The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Glen Kessler likes to portray himself as fair and unbiased but has a tendency to scrutinize Republicans a lot harder than their Democratic counterparts. Take for example a June 20 fact-check item when Kessler labeled a misleading challenge by Democratic members of Congress to live on $4.50 a day for food as only partially false, receiving two out of the maximum four “Pinocchios.”
At issue is 30 Democratic congressman who voluntarily chose to live on $4.50 a day for food, the amount the average family receives in supplemental assistance from the federal SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) program. Despite admitting that the Democrats’ “challenge” is false on its face, he deemed their act worthy of only 2 “Pinocchios.”
Before taking a series of cheap shots at Howard Kurtz, the former Daily Beast Washington bureau chief and CNN "Reliable Sources" host who has moved to Fox News to host its "Fox News Watch" program, Salon political reporter Alex Seitz-Wald characterized Kurtz's new employer as "a stable for journalists who have fallen on hard times."
In related news, the New York Yankees and the Miami Heat, respectively, have become basement-dwelling final refuges for baseball and basketball players whose skills have seriously eroded. (/sarcasm).
A new poll conducted by the Gallup Organization contains some very bad news for the news industry. The survey indicates that only 23 percent of American adults have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers and television news, the worst results since 2007.
According to Elizabeth Mendes, deputy managing editor at Gallup, newspapers have been trending downward since 1979, when they reached a high of 51 percent, but TV news bounced up slightly from its all-time low of 21 percent a year ago.
Liberals’ obsession with the worn-out GOP “war on women” meme entered a new phase on June 13 following comments made by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). During a committee hearing in which the congressman introduced legislation that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Mr. Franks claimed that:
Before, when my friends on the left side of the aisle here tried to make rape and incest the subject – because, you know, the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.
You can tell that members of the liberal media are uncomfortable that a southern state legislature is finally reflecting the conservative values of its electorate. For the first time in over a century, the GOP in North Carolina controls both chambers of the state legislature as well as the governorship, a feat that has the left-leaning staff at The New York Times extremely nervous and uncomfortable.
Take for example a story in the June 12 edition of the paper which highlights how “Weekly protests challenge conservative shift in state politics.” In a 26-paragraph piece, Times writer Kim Severson sympathizes with liberal protestors and relies heavily on anti-GOP quotes while including only two quotes from Republicans.
Everyone remembers the extensive front-page coverage The Washington Post devoted to the jury selection and subsequent murder trial of infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell right? Oh wait, that never happened, but another “local crime story” that occurred well outside the Post's home delivery area seems to be getting much better coverage than the Gosnell trial.
The Tuesday June 11 edition of The Washington Post ran a story on the front page of its Style section highlighting the first day of jury selection in the murder trial of George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. In total, the Post devoted 30-paragraphs to jury selection, yet among major newspapers, when it came to the murder trial of Kermit Gosnell, only The New York Times bothered to cover that portion of the trial.
Another day, another Hillary Clinton for president story by the Washington Post. On Monday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officially joined Twitter. Today, the Post devoted a 26-paragraph puff piece to this development and on the front page no less.
Staff writer Philip Rucker all but begged Hillary to run for president in his story headlined “One-tweet wonder draws followers, and anticipation.” Contrast that with how Post editors allotted a mere 12 paragraphs to an Anne Gearan piece on explosive allegations about drugs and prostitution use by diplomatic security staffers who protected Mrs. Clinton. That story, blandly headlined "State Dept.'s handling of cases reviewed," was placed on page A2.
Sometime late Thursday afternoon, an editorial at the New York Times bitterly criticizing President Obama for the expansion of surveillance efforts during his administration contained this sentence: "The administration has lost all credibility." Within a few hours, as seen here, that sentence was changed to "The administration has lost all credibility on this issue," and set off in a separate paragraph.
A week ago (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I wrote up a post on the Miami Herald's coverage of how the chief of staff of Florida Democratic Congressman Joe Garcia had admittted to attempting to orchestrate "a sophisticated scheme to manipulate last year’s primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests."
I also noted that the story, which broke on Friday, May 31, was "getting very little notice," but that perhaps "the amount and scope of national coverage will increase when the work week starts." Well, the official work week has ended, and there has been almost no coverage anywhere, despite Congressman Garcia's stunning reaction to the news reported in a separate June 1 Herald story (bolds are mine):
Yesterday, the editorial board at the New York Times published an editorial harshly criticizing President Obama and his administration for continuing to collect the phone records of millions of Verizon customers. Presumably, the board obtained word-for-word consensus before hitting the "Enter" key on this crucial sentence in the editorial's second paragraph: "The Obama administration has lost all credibility."
Mere hours after its initial publication, Jamie Weinstein at the Daily Caller notes, the editorial ("President Obama's Dragnet") was revised. Yours truly has the graphic grabs of the most crucial changes after the jump.
MSNBC and Anthony Weiner: made for each other like a frank and a bun?
Today's New York Daily Newsreports that when NYC mayoral candidate Weiner got into an argument on the campaign trail yesterday, he boasted that despite his mistakes, "I am still gonna be out there leaning forward." "Lean Forward" is of course MSNBC's lefty slogan, featured in many promos that NB has analyzed, as here and here. More after the jump.
The most interesting thing (to me, at least) about Wednesday's report in the Los Angeles Times by Ricardo Lopez on how the author of an economic report out of UCLA has said that the U.S. economy's performance since the recession officially ended in June 2009 stinks -- "It's not a recovery. It's not even normal growth. It's bad" -- is how the Associated Press relayed it to its readers and subscribers. I don't recall ever seeing a 15-plus paragraph report go unbylined, but this one did.
Maybe whoever wrote the AP item didn't want to incur the wrath of his or her colleague Tom Raum, who early last week wrote that the economy is "clearly, if slowly" recovering. It's also somewhat likely that Christopher Rugaber, who wrote "Gone are the fears that the economy could fall into another recession" in early April, might be a bit miffed. Choice nuggets from Lopez's LAT lament follow the jump:
On May 27, Nicholas Confessore and Michael Luo at the New York Times filed a ridiculously incoherent, ignorant and biased report on Tea Party groups' attempts to have their organizations approved for tax-exempt status. The story's window title: "Non-Profit Applcants Chafing at IRS Tested Political Limits." The actual print edition title (Page A1, of course): "Groups Targeted by I.R.S. Tested Rules on Politics." The headlines give the impression that Tea Party groups deliberately tried to test the boundaries of legality.
The pair's content also betrayed more than a little ignorance of the rules governing campaign finance, electioneering, and literature distribution. Among those interviewed for the story was Tom Zawistowski, Portage County TEA Party Executive Director. Zawistowski took great exception to their writeup in an email he distributed on Saturday (bolds are mine; additional paragraph breaks added by me):
The Washington Post’s continued interest with Rev. E.W. Jackson, the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor in Virginia, has entered into obsession territory. On Monday June 3, the Post ran another front-page story in the Metro section attempting to show controversy between Jackson and the GOP candidate for governor, Ken Cuccinelli over whether Cuccinelli suggested to Jackson that he run for lieutenant governor back in 2010.
In total, the Post devoted 32-paragraphs to Jackson as opposed to just 16 paragraphs focusing on the Democrats vying to run against Jackson in what was essentially a fluff piece. After spending the first 6-paragraphs discussing the supposed controversy, the Post’s Errin Whack spent the next 26-paragraphs rehashing some of Jackson’s “extreme” comments. Apparently the Post finds it “extreme” that a Christian minister like Jackson is true to his faith and promotes pro-life values.
This has to be an imaginary story, right? Most Democrats and others on the left continue to insist that voter fraud is not a problem, even in the face of examples like Minnesota U.S. Senator Al Franken, whose 312-vote "victory" margin in 2008 may have entirely consisted (and then some) of illegal votes by felons in just one county.
More recently, it seems that the claim is under revision. A Democratic Party county chair, in a Cincinnati Enquirer story about three out-of-staters who voted or attempted to vote in Ohio, is reported to have "long said there is no evidence of systemic fraud." Well, though they were were prevented from casting illegal ballots, a Florida Democratic congressman's chief of staff and his alleged cohorts definitely attempted large-scale "systemic" fraud last year. The Miami Herald, which played an important investigative role, had the story on Friday. A Google News search on relevant terms indicates that it's getting very little notice (15 items in total, most in Florida). Excerpts from Patricia Mazzei's Herald story follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Although he should have a little bit of latitude as a news columnist for the Washington Post over, say, an ostensibly objective staff reporter, Dana Milbank made abundantly clear on the Thursday edition if PoliticsNation that he has a complete disregard for any sense of fairness or objectivity.
Milbank blasted Republican senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and other as “children,” telling MSNBC host Al Sharpton he should just accept the need to “be patient” with them, sounding like someone counseling an exasperated mother trying to discipline her toddler.
The liberal media’s paranoia that “climate change” will have disastrous consequences for our planet has reached new heights in an May 31 article in the front section of The Washington Post. In a 14-paragraph piece for the Washington Forum opinion page, the Post carried the lament of Phillip Muller, the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands, to groan that the very livelihood of his people is in jeopardy.
Of course, Muller is angling for, what else, cash from various governments, including the U.S., and accordingly from the American taxpayer.
On Wednesday May 29, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) announced that she will not seek reelection to Congress in 2014, and ever since the liberal media has had a field day mocking her political career. It appears the latest example of Bachmann-trashing has come from the Tampa Bay Times, which runs the liberally-skewed PolitiFact website, for having problems with their “Truth-O-Meter.”
In a piece published on Wednesday, Times staff writer Angie Drobnic Holan lambasted Bachmann for veering away from “verifiable fact.” At issue with Ms. Holan is the fact that PoliFact has labeled numerous statements by Ms. Bachmann has false or “Pants on Fire!” which according to the website, Ms. Bachman’s “first 13 ratings were False or Pants on Fire.” This article comes just two days after PolitiFact released a skewed study showing that Republicans were cited as dishonest three times as often as Democrats.
This looks like a perfect exhibit of intimidation combined with insufferable arrogance.
Joel Gehrke at the Washington Examiner reports that Democratic Party spokesperson Brad Woodhouse, apparently temporarily assuming the role of White House Press Secretary, is really upset that the New York Times refused to meet yesterday for an off-the-record discussion about Attorney General Eric Holder about recent revelations and admissions that the Justice Departmet has been conducting secret sureillance of reporters for several years (bold is mine):
Eager to reset the political discussion away from scandal and in a manner that promotes Barack Obama as an almost apolitical statesman, MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning turned to a liberal Washington Post columnist who praised the president as a “middle-of-the-road liberal" dominated by Republican who have “gone way to the right” of their own party historically.
E.J. Dionne was brought on the Tuesday edition of MSNBC's morning show to defend his argument in Sunday's Washington Post op-ed that the president “wants to invite the nation to reason together with him.” Defending the president's scandal-ridden administration, Dionne absurdly pouted that:
For the first time in 140 years, the GOP in North Carolina controls both chambers of the state legislature and the governor’s mansion, a feat that many find surprising for a state that up until 2008 had not voted for a Democrat for President since Jimmy Carter in 1976. The May 26 edition of The Washington Post chose not to describe this as local politics in the Tar Heel State catching up with its federal voting patterns but rather an example of a “hard turn to the right.”
In a 25-paragraph front page article, author Michael Fletcher lamented the state’s changing political dynamic, highlighting the “dozens of liberal demonstrators” who are “subjecting themselves to arrest each Monday at the state legislature” before going into details of how the North Carolina GOP capitalized on the state’s poor economy during Democratic stewardship to capture the legislature and governorship.
Code Pink's Media Benjamin managed to break into another presidential event on Thursday, namely Barack Obama's speech at the National Defense University. The topic was "U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy," meaning that the administration's aversion to the T-word seems to be diminishing as the damaging scandal-related news continues to pour in.
Readers will see that Benjamin was relatively civil towards Obama. In fact, Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons at the Los Angeles Times wrote the following: "Rather than dismiss Benjamin as a heckler, the president engaged her, asking her to let him explain but also pausing to listen as she continued to talk while security closed in around her." That behavior is in direct contrast to how she behaved last decade during the Bush administration -- something never mentioned in any coverage of Thursday's speech I found. The full exchange with Obama followed by a recounting of what made Benjamin an overnight sensation in Sepetmber 2002, follow the jump.
One obvious question which occurred to me and I suspect others when I read Ann Marimow's first account at the Washington Post dated May 19 of the search warrant issued in 2009 for the personal emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen was: "Where has this thing been hiding?"
The "Affadavit for Search Warrant" is dated May 28, 2010. Why did it come out just this week? Marimow didn't say. More stories followed, still without explanation. It's not unreasonable to believe that the Post might have sat on knowledge of its existence, and that someone who works at the U.S. Court may have deliberately worked to keep it invisible for 18 months after it was supposed to have been unsealed in November 2011.
How worried should President Obama be when he loses the likes of Al Hunt?
On today's Morning Joe, discussing the James Rosen outrage, Hunt called President Obama "no better than Richard Nixon" when it comes to the press. He then strongly suggested that Attorney General Eric Holder should go. View the video after the jump.
Well, it looks like I was right earlier this afternoon when I thought that the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, was among those holding off on reporting the Wall Street Journal's Sunday evening disclosure that Kathryn Ruemmler, the head of the Office of the White House Counsel, "learned weeks ago that an audit of the Internal Revenue Service likely would show that agency employees inappropriately targeted conservative groups" was "nervous about the Journal’s report, waiting for administration apparatchiks to tell them what to say, or both."
It turns out that the AP, in an unbylined report, waited until Jay Carney told them what to say and then pretended that the Journal's Sunday story didn't exist (the time stamp seen at story as carried at the AP's national site at the time of this post was 2:51 p.m.; the graphic which follows is of the identical story at Yahoo News):
Yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I took apart Espo's claim that there is a "lack of evidence to date of wrongdoing close to the Oval Office" by showing that in at least five situations -- Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS targeting, AP phone snooping, and HHS's shaking down of insurance companies to fund ObamaCare promotions -- have all been known by people who directly report to the President, and are thus just one step away from him. On Sunday evening, the Wall Street Journal reported that in the case of the IRS targeting, it's a lot less than one step (bolds are mine):
Clearly, the New York Times couldn't run with Jonathan Weisman's headline or opening sentence in the report he filed shortly after Friday's portion of Friday's testimony at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee in its Saturday print edition. And it didn't.
The original headline at Weisman's story, as seen here (HT Ann Althouse via Instapundit), was "Treasury Knew of I.R.S. Inquiry in 2012, Official Says." His opening sentence: "The Treasury Department’s inspector general told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 he was auditing the Internal Revenue Service’s screening of politically active organizations seeking tax exemptions, disclosing for the first time on Friday that Obama administration officials were aware of the matter during the presidential campaign year." Along came Jeremy Peters, who helped to "properly" frame these matters, turning it into yet another "Republicans attack our poor innocent administration" piece. That is what made it to today's paper -- on Page A12, naturally accompanied by a "better" headline. Meanwhile, except for excerpts captured at places like the indispensable FreeRepublic, Weisman's original has been flushed down the memory hole.
In a story appearing this morning at the Politico about the Department of Justice's broad and unannounced subpoenas of the April and May 2012 personal and business phone records of reporters and editors at the Associated Press involving 20 phone lines and involving over 100 reporters and editors, James Hohmann found several "veteran prosecutors" who aren't necessarily outraged by what most members of the press and several watchdog groups have declared a blatant overreach. Instead, Hohmann summarizes their "far more measured response" as: "It’s complicated."
Hohmann utterly ignored a May 15 Washington Post story which chronicled claimed discussions between AP and government officials. Ultimately, it appears that the Obama administration's Department of Justice under Eric Holder may have only gone after AP out of spite because the wire service refused to accommodate administration requests to allow it time to crow about foiling a terrorist plot before the story gained meaningful visibility, and not because the release of the story, especially after what appears to have been an appropriate and negotiated delay, represented a genuine security risk. One obvious unanswered question is why DOJ waited, according to the AP's Mark Sherman in his original story, until "earlier this year" to obtain the phone records if it was so darned important to find out who the alleged leaker was.
It's just so unfortunate that such nice guys are going through such trying circumstances.
That's the impression one gets from graphic teases seen at about 9:30 this morning at the Washington Post, where the captions underneath the three left thumbnails read as follows: "President Obama’s disastrous political week"; "Jay Carney’s tough day"; and "Jay Carney’s day — in 7 faces." If you don't recall such an obvious outward show of sympathy during the final year of George W. Bush's presidency, you're not alone. A quick look at the underlying items follows the jump.
Friday's CBS This Morning played up the "vocal opposition" of liberal activist groups who are railing against the possible sale of several newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, to the libertarian Koch Brothers. Charlie Rose trumpeted that "critics fear politics could get in the way of journalism" if Koch Industries purchases the media outlets.
Jan Crawford underlined how "the rumors are causing anxiety and protests from unions, and liberal groups are seeking to block any sale to the Koch brothers. Some newspaper staffers also avowed they would quit, fearing the Koch brothers could impose their conservative slant to the news."