When a major journalist breaks a gun law in the nation's capital on national TV in front of hundreds of thousands of viewers at home, you'd think it would be pretty much an open-and-shut case to prosecute. But when Meet the Press host David Gregory did just that last December -- displaying on-air an empty 30-round magazine during an interview segment with the NRA's Wayne LaPierre -- he got off scot-free when the District of Columbia failed to prosecute. The relevant law on the books in the nation's capital calls for a $1,000 fine and a year in prison for any civilian who possesses a ammunition magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds.
Two months later, annoyed with the District of Columbia for failing to answer her questions pertaining to the case, pro-gun rights opinion columnist Emily Miller of the Washington Times filed a freedom of information request. On Friday, Miller updated readers by noting how the District has been stringing her and other conservative bloggers along when it came to producing documents related to the Gregory investigation (emphasis mine):
It says something about the seriousness of the rest of the news during the past several days when a story about unethical spying by reporters working for a company founded and built by the current mayor of New York City barely makes a ripple.
It has been alleged, and now admitted, that Bloomberg reporters monitored terminal login activity to develop stories about possible Wall Street executive departures before anyone else outside the entities involved knew and for other news-gathering purposes. The practice appears to go back to when Gotham Mayor Michael Bloomberg was still at the helm of Bloomberg LP, as seen in the bolded sections in the excerpt from a Saturday CNBC news story which follows the jump:
Yesterday 72 congressmen sent letters to the executives at the news divisions of ABC, CBS, and NBC expressing that they were "profoundly appalled" at the broadcast networks censoring the Kermit Gosnell murder trial and the official testimony by a Planned Parenthood representative in Florida opposing a law to stiffen criminal penalties on abortionists who fail to provide medical care to babies who survive abortion attempts.
The effort was organized by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Steve Scalise (R-La.) and joined by 70 of their colleagues. You can read more at Blackburn's official House.gov website here. [Update: Only one Democratic congressman, Dan Lipinski of Illinois, joined in on the letter.]
Kara Swisher of the Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD.com has a March 9 post in which she noted how former U.S. Vice President Al Gore was confronted at 2013 SXSW Interactive Festival about his sale of Current TV to the Qatari government-backed Al Jazeera network by her colleague, AllThingsD editor Walt Mossberg:
You sold your network to Al Jazeera, which is owned by a government that’s a big oil producer,” asked Mossberg. “How could you do that?”
Does New York Times columnist Al Hunt actually have the psychic ability to tell what Rep. Steve King REALLY meant by a comment the congressman made on immigration? Rep. King doesn't think so. And, if you watch this video, you won't either.
On Feb. 24, 2013, Al Hunt wrote a New York Times column entitled, "A Struggle for Control of the Republican Party" in which he accused King of being well-known for making anti-immigrant rants, citing comments King made last year referring to bird dogs.
Media consultant John Terenzio is suing former U.S. Vice President Al Gore for stiffing him of a cool $5 million over the environmental activist's sale of Current TV to the Al Jazeera, the Islamist-friendly news network owned by the oil-rich country of Qatar. In a nutshell, Terenzio claims the sale was his idea and that he got the ball rolling on the sale, only to see Gore initially reject it before changing his mind and negotiating the sale without Terenzio.
Eriq Gardner of the Hollywood Reporter has the details in what is the latest development in the Al Gorezeera saga:
In a 19-paragraph story today, Washington Post staff writer Paul Farhi took a look at how various newspapers around the country are backing away from their initial requests for public records of gun owners. "For the third time in as many months, a newspaper has faced an angry backlash, including threats of violence, after it sought government data on local gun permit holders," Farhi noted. "In the two most recent instances, the newspapers rescinded requests for the documents amid the outcry, with one issuing an abject apology to its readers and the local sheriff for daring to seek the information in the first place," he griped.
In a time when the print newspaper is an endangered species, you'd think Farhi might present the story with the angle being how liberal papers are shooting themselves in the feet with stunts that harm their advertising revenue and subscription base. But no, the thrust of Farhi's piece is how newspapers are cowering away from doing their job. To make this point, Farhi turned to journalism professor Geneva Overholser, who perhaps is most infamous for her call eight years ago for newspapers to identify alleged rape victims (emphasis mine):
Taken to task by numerous individuals on Twitter yesterday -- see Twitchy's excellent roundup here -- Fox News Channel The Five liberal co-host Bob Beckel today sought to explain, if not actually apologize for, his comments on the February 19 program in which the panel's token liberal both suggested campus rapes were rare incidents and that college co-eds might accidentally shoot someone who was not really a rapist:
While the mainstream media has been transfixed with the Manti Te'o fake girlfriend story, it seems many outlets in the gullible liberal media were biting on another hoax, this one involving Florida Gov. Rick Scott and a band of Satanists supposedly set to stage a rally expressing their support for the Florida Republican.
Among the journalists taken in by the fake story was MSNBC's Martin Bashir, who could not wipe the devilish grin off his face as he reported what he thought to be a legitimate news story on his January 14 program, in a segment entitled "Dread Scott." [MP3 audio here; video embedded below]
Another home included in an interactive map of gun permit holders published by the Lower Hudson Valley’s Journal News shortly before Christmas has been burglarized. This time, according to the related report at Newsday, "The thieves ransacked the house Wednesday night, breaking into two safes on the home's third floor and stealing a third safe." The third safe, in what was either an amazing coincidence or yet another direct result of the interactive map’s publication, is the one which contained the homeowners' guns. Imagine that.
More details from Timothy O'Connor's Newsday report, wherein officials compete to distance the crime from the map, follow the jump.
The Lower Hudson Valley's Journal News based in White Plains, New York has been very tight-lipped since it published an interactive map showing the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland Counties. The Washington Post's Erik Wemple reports that the paper has hired "a Manhattan public relations, marketing and government affairs firm" whose job appears to involve denying interview requests and issuing "no comment" statements.
Predictably, the one media outlet which has been granted access by the Journal News is the New York Times, whose Christine Haughney filed a report on January 6. In that dispatch, she quoted Dwight R. Worley, the "tax reporter" who cooked up the idea of publishing the map, putting forth the following defense of his handiwork: "The people have as much of a right to know who owns guns in their communities as gun owners have to own weapons." How disingenuous, as will be seen after the jump.
Many of those who expressed outrage at the publication of a two-county interactive map of pistol permit owners by Gannett's White Plains, New York-based Journal News just before Christmas have raised serious concerns that the paper's action would directly harm law-abiding citizens. Evidence is pouring in that those fears are legitimate.
Fox News, doing something the wire services should have been begun within days of the map's publication, has unsurprisingly found that "Reformed crooks say the New York newspaper ... did a great service – to their old cronies in the burglary trade." Additionally, a Newsday report identifies four concrete examples of negative impact: "Inmates are taunting corrections officers" at an area jail; one of the counties' sheriffs says that it's "hurting law enforcement as a whole"; a Rockland County Democratic legislator who currently doesn't own a gun says "he now fears for his safety" and will get one; and a divorced woman who says her ex-husband tried to strangle her is worried that "now he can find me." Excerpts from the two news reports follow the jump.
The third page of an unbylined report with an early Saturday time stamp credited to "USA Today" carried at the Jackson, Mississippi Clarion Ledger (like USAT, a Gannett Company) claimed that "Walmart heiress Alice Walton expressed solidarity with Walmart's striking workers."
Putting aside whether or not an action taken by what the company estimated may have been fifty associates is a "strike" or a "temper tantrum," the claim was not true. USA Today fell for a hoax. Following the jump are several paragraphs from the Clarion Ledger report and an LA Times writeup identifying the hoax. Additionally, I learned that Alice Walton's Crystal Bridges Museum was the object of Occupy and union movement protests when it opened a year ago.
A video at CNN with reporting by Sara Sidner from Gaza tells us "how a small child became a symbol of civilian casualties." Some of her narrative: "A scene no parent should ever have to endure"; "Four year-old Mahmoud Sadallah lies dead in the arms of a neighbor, a child of Gaza, another victim of an airstrike"; "we saw no evidence here of military activity." There's even a scene where Ms. Sidner reports having to flee where she is currently reporting because "there are airstrikes" and "rockets." Since Hamas doesn't have an air force, we're supposed to assume that Israel's military is responsible for Mahmoud's death.
Except, as Joel Pollak at Breitbart noted this morning, others have shown that Sidner wants us to believe isn't the truth (bolds are mine throughout this post; links are in originals presented):
In her "Sunday Roundup" post at the site which bears her last name, Arianna Huffington supported that notion that "This week, America finally began questioning the judgment of its generals," but lamented that the scrutiny is over "sexual conduct rather than military conduct."
Fine, that's her opinion. But what's really odd is that she apparently thought that referencing a headline found at the Onion would be seen by readers as meaningful support for her argument (HT to a NewsBusters tipster):
Mark Thompson, a former director-general of the British Broadcasting Corporation, began his new job Monday as president and CEO of The New York Times. The lack of embarrassment was remarkable. Thompson claimed he was the worst kind of ignorant buffoon, knowing nothing about the massive sex-abuse scandal – and then its censorship – that’s rocking the BBC.
Scotland Yard has been conducting a criminal investigation into allegations of child sex abuse by the late disc jockey and TV personality Jimmy Savile over six decades, describing him as a "predatory sex offender.” In mid-October, the metropolitian police stated they were pursuing over 400 lines of inquiry based on the testimony of 300 potential victims. Chris Patten, the head of the BBC’s government body called it “this great tsunami of filth.” BBC’s “Newsnight” was about to broadcast an expose last December – but BBC bosses spiked it, and incredibly, aired Christmas tributes to Savile instead.
On everyone's mind this morning was the resignation of CIA Deputy Director David Petraeus on Friday. Liberal radio talk show host Bill Press did his best to catch his listeners up on the details of the scandal, but then went on a rant asking why it's even an issue.
At no point in his defense of the former Army general and CIA chief did Press bring up the impending hearing concerning Libya on Capitol Hill that Petraeus was scheduled to appear before, nor did he think an FBI investigation was necessary -- despite the confidentiality agreement Petraeus submitted to before accepting one of the highest, if not the highest-level security clearance job there is in the federal government [ video below, MP3 audio here ]:
Thirteen Catholic church abuse articles made the front page; just one BBC piece did
Lead sentence linked Pope to scandals 20 times; linked new Times boss to BBC scandals just once.
It’s a horrifying and tragically familiar story: A beloved and trusted institution is rocked by allegations of sexual abuse of minors over many years. Intrepid reporters dig to learn how the crimes could have gone on so for so long, who knew about them, and if officials kept it quiet. Story after newspaper story leads with speculation that corruption may be systemic and the cover-up may go all the way to the man at the top.
Earlier today, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell accurately noted that the Big Three TV news networks are "as guilty in ... (the Benghazi) cover-up as is the administration." He did so based on the fact that "For the sixth night in a row, ABC World News, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News refused to give one single second of coverage to a Fox News report that the Obama Administration denied help to those attacked and killed by terrorists at the US consulate in Benghazi on September 11."
Not that it mitigates the legitimacy of Mr. Bozell's outrage, but one can take some comfort in the fact that fewer people are tuning in to the three nightly news broadcasts than were doing so a year ago, and that their ratings in the 25-54 demographic in the past five weeks are down by almost 20 percent from the same five-week period during the 2008 presidential cycle. A table containing individual results from the past two weeks and the average results from the past five is after the jump (a previous NewsBusters post on the first three weeks is here).
While President Obama's record-breaking pace to raising a total of $1 billion earlier this month received significant media attention, there was little if any curiosity among the traditional press about how he was on track to achieve such an unprecedented milestone in presidential fundraising. The broadcast networks in particular have not bothered to mention the growing scandal that is being scrupulously pieced together by alternative media outlets.
An independently-owned website Obama.com (redirects to official site here) has been suspected of accepting millions of dollars worth of illegal foreign donations for months now. Despite all the speculation and accusations coming from a nonprofit organization known as the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), no action had been taken until recently.
Just before 1 p.m. ET, Rush Limbaugh said the following about CNN's Candy Crowley and her performance as "moderator" last night in the second presidential debate: "In the real world, she would have committed career suicide last night."
Debate moderator Candy Crowley admitted on CNN's Debate Night in America that Governor Romney was “right in the main” but “picked the wrong word” on the Obama administration’s immediate response to the terrorist attack in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.
Immediately following the second presidential debate, Crowley was repeatedly asked for her thoughts on what she had just witnessed first-hand at Hofstra University. On everyone's mind was the foreign policy discussion between the two candidates, in which Crowley defended the president for what he said in the Rose Garden on Sept. 12 about the Benghazi consulate attack that occurred the day before. [ video below, MP3 audio available here ]
Imagine if an employee at a college or university was suspended from her duties for signing a ballot petition that is for same sex marriage, the media outrage would be predictable and the person would become a household name. And the media would have good reason for doing so: no one should suffer employment consequences for their political convictions. But you probably haven't heard of Dr. Angela McCaskill, because she's on the 'wrong' side of the same-sex marriage debate.
In an incomprehensible move that is being criticized by even advocates for same-sex marriage, Gallaudet University put their Chief Diversity Officer on administrative leave until further notice. Why, you ask? Because McCaskill had the audacity to sign a petition at her church that supported a reversal of Maryland's relatively new same-sex marriage law.
As of 2 PM ET, various searches at the national web site of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press (on "furious"; on "Univision"), Reuters ("furious"; "fast and furious"; "univision"), and United Press International ("furious"; "Univision") indicate that the three wire services have given no coverage to reports from Univision exposing the wider geographic scope and far more fatal fallout of the deliberately untrackable guns-to-cartels operation known as Fast and Furious.
I wonder how the leading U.S. Spanish network's broadcasters and audience feel about getting the same treatment the establishment press gives center-right blogs? (A lengthy yet partial transcript of Univision's broadcast with details which will shock all but those who have immersed themselves in the evolving scandal follows the jump.)
MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal on Saturday morning to discuss the letter MRC president Brent Bozell and more than 20 other conservative leaders and media personalities wrote to executives of ABC News, CBS News, CNN and NBC News.
"I would simply say we have a news media that doesn't hold the Obama Administration accountable. It's trying to destroy the Mitt Romney presidential campaign," Graham said. "That is not what ‘objective’ news media does." (See video and transcript below, MP3 audio available here).
For CNN's Ashleigh Banfield, complete opposition to abortion equals a "very far right" position, as she insisted on Tuesday about the new Republican Party platform. For context, CNN used the same "far right" label to describe Sikh shooter Wade Michael Page's racist skinhead band.
"[T]he platform, for the most part, was crafted by the very far-right wing of the party and then if you combine that with the timing of all this ugliness that's going on with Mr. Akin...does that besmirch this platform that so many people agree with?" she asked, framing the completely pro-life stance as extreme and possibly damaging to the GOP. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Time magazine just e-mailed Newsbusters with an announcement: Fareed Zakaria's column will return early, in the September 7 issue. His offending plagiarism-soiled column appeared in the August 20 edition, so the one-month suspension became a one-week slap on the wrist. (Update: CNN also announced today that their suspension of Zakaria would end on Sunday, August 26.)
"We have completed a thorough review of each of Fareed Zakaria’s columns for TIME, and we are entirely satisfied that the language in question in his recent column was an unintentional error and an isolated incident for which he has apologized. We look forward to having Fareed's thoughtful and important voice back in the magazine with his next column in the issue that comes out on September 7."
Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how the Associated Press's Steve Peoples and Politico's Juana Summers could only find hundreds of people attending GOP vice-presidential pick Paul Ryan's Wednesday appearance at Oxford, Ohio's Miami University. Perhaps even more troubling is how they somehow chose an odd angle for their coverage, namely that Ryan has supposedly avoiding talking about Medicare in his stump speeches -- and both wrote "that changed" in describing its first mention.
It seems more than a little odd that two establishment press reporters from supposedly separate and independent media outlets both apparently focused for four days on when Ryan would mention the word "Medicare" on the campaign trail. Summers even made it her headline, while Peoples seemed to want to convey the impression that Ryan has been afraid to mention the word: