Get that totally unnecessary chyron out of there, ABC News!
Why is your "ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE" chyron covering up the back of George Zimmerman's head in the police surveillance video of him arriving at the police station soon after Trayvon Martin was killed in Sanford, Florida? There is a big controversy out there as to whether Zimmerman actually did suffer certain injuries including a bruise to the back of his head during the fight with Martin. You would think ABC News would allow an unobstructed view of the back of Zimmerman's head. Instead the head was covered for much of the time by a completely redundant chyron since there was already an unobtrusive ABC News label in the lower right of the screen.
A suspicious mind might even think that ABC News was trying to cover something up with that annoying chyron. And one such person is Bob Owens, a Pajamas Media contributor, who makes just such an accusation in his personal blog:
On Friday, Darren Samuelsohn at the Politico (HT Hot Air), the place where it seems that inconvenient stories go so the Associated Press, the New York Times and the rest of the establishment press can claim they have an excuse not to cover them (respective proofs as of about 3:30 p.m. in the current instance are here and here), covering -- or I should say attempting to cover -- the latest of the White House's ritual Friday document dumps, reported that a White House communications official rejected an apparent proposal to seat Solyndra executives at the President's January 2011 State of the Union address, and that others within the White House already knew that Solyndra was in deep trouble before then.
And he almost got to the real meat of the story, but not quite. In this instance, not quite isn't anywhere near good enough (bolds are mine throughout this post), nor is the "nothing new here, you really don't need to read this" headline:
Everybody, including yours truly, makes mistakes. But a major news organization should be able to catch whoppers like the ones readers will see shortly, or at least fix them in short order if they get posted.
A Google search on the title of an ABC report on gas prices ("Bumpy Ride Ahead: Gas Prices May Soon Hit $4 a Gallon") at about 8:10 a.m. ET indicates that the story went up at about 6 p.m. last night, so the pathetic verbiage readers will see after the jump has gone unrepaired for 15 hours, and counting:
One web site devoted to "fighting the smears" (i.e., pretending that what is true really isn't) apparently isn't enough for Barack Obama's reelection campaign. There are now three, plus so-called "truth teams" of activists whose mission it will be to serve as rapid-response purveyors of what will likely heaping helpings of fabricated refutations.
This news is now officially 24 hours old; its first appearance, at least per Google News, came via the Washington Post and appeared at the web site of the Minneapolis Star Tribune shortly after midnight Monday morning. To no one's surprise, a search of the Associated Press's national site on "Obama truth" (not in quotes) returns nothing relevant, as does an advanced search at the New York Times on "Obama truth team" (also not in quotes). Here are key paragraphs from David Nakamura's story as it appeared at the Washington Post:
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on a trip underwritten by the U.S. State Department (aren't justices expected to keep their distances from the government to protect their perceived impartiality?), was in Egypt on Wednesday at a Cairo University law school seminar. While there, according to the Associated Press's Mark Sherman, she told students that (in Sherman's words) "she was inspired by last year's protests that led to the end of Hosni Mubarak's regime" and to speak to them (in her words) "during this exceptional transitional period to a real democratic state." The news that Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties now control about 75% of the seats in the country's parliament seems not to have registered with Ginsburg or Sherman -- or, for that matter, the State Department.
Sherman's AP story failed to note what Ms. Ginsburg said about the U.S. Constitution in an Egyptian TV interview, as did virtually all of the rest of the establishment press. ABC's Ariane de Vogue is currently the most notable exception, but as readers will see, she clearly buried the lede. Here are key paragraphs from her report (the related video is at Hot Air; the relevant portion begins at the 9:28 mark; bolds are mine):
In 1998, we learned that Al and Tipper Gore made $353 in deductible charitable contributions against income of $198,000 the previous year. In the decade from 1998-2007, Joe and Jill Biden averaged $369 per year in such reported contributions. Bill and Hillary Clinton were infamous for taking charitable contributions for used underwear.
The aforementioned facts are generally not known by people who don't closely follow the news, because not much was made of them. But from the point of view of ABC News, particularly the hatchet men disguised as investigative reporters Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross, Mitt and Ann Romney have a much bigger problem than the Gores, Bidens, and Clintons: They, and particularly Mitt through Bain Capital (dubious, as we'll see), have given too much money to a particular charity. Because the reporters apparently want readers and viewers to see this as something underhanded, they describe charity as "sending" instead of "giving":
At the Associated Press on Friday, reporter Jim Kuhnhenn provided yet another reason why characterizing the wire service as The Administration's Press is perfectly appropriate.
In wake of President Obama's use of a "signing statement" objecting on constitutional grounds to congressionally-imposed "restrictions on his ability to transfer detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States," Kuhnhenn wrote that presidential candidate Obama "promised to make his application (of) the (signing statement) tool more transparent." No he didn't, Jim; as will be shown, he promised not to use them. Kuhnhenn's first three paragraphs, plus two later ones describing another signing statement matter, ran thusly (also note how the term "signing statement" was kept out of the story's headline):
ABC's Jonathan Karl Tuesday published a piece now prominently featured at the Drudge Report with a headline guaranteed to be the Obama-loving media's lead story concerning something Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich wrote over five years ago: "Gingrich ’06 Memo: 'Agree Entirely With Gov. Romney' on Health Care."
Inside the actual document uncovered by BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, the former Speaker didn't "agree entirely with Gov. Romney" at all (emphasis added):
It’s the Christmas season, and ABCnews.com is celebrating Christ’s birth in the way that media types know best: promoting homosexuality and bashing traditional Christians for their unwavering stance on homosexuality.
A Dec 23 piece (in the “Health” Section) by reporter Susan Donaldson James, titled “Holiday Homophobia: Is It Christian to Reject Gay Partners?”, prominently features two challenges to traditional Christian teaching on homosexuality, without any counter voice supporting Christian teaching on homosexuality.
I’m sorry to say the good people at CatholicVote.org are apparently starstruck. Blogged Josh Merceryesterday: "The Gingrich campaign contacted me directly last night about the comments that he made to ABC News. The campaign sent me the following statement from Newt Gingrich. (Which is also on their website). I am very glad that the Gingrich campaign was quick to respond to the fallout from the ABC News interview and that they came out with a strong pro-life statement which reaffirms the scientific fact that life begins at conception."
Really? A personal note is all it takes to move past Newt Gingrich’sunequivocal statement to ABC’s Jake Tapper on December 2, that “when a woman has [a] fertilized egg and that’s been successfully implanted that now you’re dealing with life”?
As we get nearer to Election Day, Americans on both sides of the political aisle must be wondering if the media will have any limits concerning what is an acceptable attack on one of President Obama's opponents.
Consider that on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, as Republican presidential candidate and sitting member of Congress Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) was introduced Monday, the band played a song called "Lyin' A-- B--ch" (videos follow with commentary):
At the Associated Press this afternoon, White House Correspondent Ben Feller relayed the essence of a statement by Obama administration spokesman Jay Carney about how the President believes that, in Feller's words, "it's up to New York and other municipalities to decide how much force to use in dealing with Occupy Wall Street demonstrations." Feller failed to mention both the President's previous endorsement of the goals of the Occupy protesters, and his inexcusable silence as the encampments have devolved into disease-infested swamps of criminal and antisocial behavior. How convenient.
The morning shows of ABC, CBS, and NBC on Tuesday devoted just 19 seconds to the arrests of 75 people in northern California, after police evicted Occupy Oakland from their encampment in front of city hall there. The Early Show devoted a news brief to the story during its last half hour, noting the violent reaction from some of the protesters. Good Morning America and the Today show both punted.
News anchor Jeff Glor gave the news brief 35 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour, and reported that "police are confronting 'Occupy Oakland' protesters this morning in northern California...Officers were sent before dawn to kick out about 300 demonstrators who have been camped out in downtown Oakland. Some protesters threw rocks and bottles. Police responded in some cases by making arrests, tearing down tents, and firing tear gas."
Concerning President Obama, his obviously most important quote of the past 48 hours is his statement to ABC's Jake Tapper (transcript here) that concerning the economy, "I believe all the choices we've made have been the right ones ..."
Clearly, such a remark, if widely known, would be problematic for the President among quite a number of unemployed and underemployed Americans. In the New Media age, of course, it can't be kept totally under wraps, but at the two organizations which still consider themselves the nation's news gatekeepers, Obama's statement apparently hasn't made the cut. Consider it the latest installment in what might as well be dubbed, "Operation Protect the President."
ABC's George Stephanopoulos lobbied President Obama Monday to "put a stop" to Bank of America's new service charge for its debit card customers.
"You might have a new issue on your plate," the former Democratic political operative advised the President about the new five dollar monthly debit card fee for Bank of America customers. In the interview which aired on ABCNews.com and Yahoo.com at 2:35 p.m. EDT, Stephanopoulos pulled the question from the audience and beseeched Obama "Can you stop this service charge?"
That civility thing which Democrats and the Left thought to be all-important earlier this year is sooooo January. Unless it changes its stripes overnight, the incivility and hostility on display today in Detroit, which hasn't been seen much in establishment press reports to this point, won't appear on the Big 3 Networks' morning shows tomorrow. The American people really need to see what has become of the labor movement, and the type of behavior its head cheerleader in the White House condones.
The credit downgrade must be having truly deleterious effects on New York-based reporters. At least one is hyping the merits of "freeganism," which is just a politically correct euphemism for dumpster diving.
"Amid S&P downgrades and widespread panic about financial markets, an anti-consumerism movement quietly marches on: Freeganism," ABCNews.com's Reshma Kirpalani argued in an August 8 article:
As Clay Waters at the Media Research Center's Times Watch reported earlier today ("One of Obama's Emotional Arguments for Obama-Care Proven Wrong in NYT Staffer's New Book"), the New York Times's Kevin Sack ran a story yesterday which "reflects badly on Barack Obama and how he misled people in his campaign for Obama-care."
By failing to initially cover a story millions of people nevertheless learned of -- the presidential gaffe noted at NewsBusters by Matt Sheffield, among others, on Thursday morning -- the Associated Press created a bit of a problem for itself. In a speech to soldiers at Fort Drum, President Obama "mistakenly identified a fallen member of that division as another soldier in a completely different Army unit who is alive" -- both of whom were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Last Wednesday as Rep. Peter King conducted hearings on Muslim inmate radicalization in America's prisons, MSNBC was busy attacking the proceeding as unnecessary and/or unfairly targeted to unfairly single out the Islamic faith.
Many people, including yours truly, believe that one of the primary reasons for the Politico's existence is to carry negative stories about Democrats and leftists which the rest of the establishment press then mostly chooses to ignore ("Why should we cover that? It's at the Politico already").
UPDATE:As seen here, the very earliest AP reports appear to have identified Edwards as a Democrat (the age of the item may not correspond with when the AP subscriber actually received it), but the latest ones, including this item found at AP's home site (as of 12:59 p.m.), do not. UPDATE 2: A mixed bag -- The 6:55 p.m. report from the same AP reporters (pic here) notes that Edwards was the "2004 Democratic vice-presidential nominee," and waits until Paragraph 4 to note that the possible indictment stems from the 2007-2008 campaign.
In their 11:29 a.m. report (saved here in case it gets updated, and for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) on the apparently imminent indictment of 2004 and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, Associated Press reporters Mike Baker and Gary D. Robertson did not identify Edwards as a Democrat, nor did they identify any of his campaign associates (e.g., Andrew Young, Fred Baron) as Democrats. No form of the word "Democrat" appears in the report as it was posted at 11:29 a.m.
Here are the first seven paragraphs of the AP pair's effort:
Last week, the media rightfully crowed over U.S. success in killing Osama Bin Laden, an unquestioned bad guy in the war on terror. They noted that intelligence gathered from that raid may have led to an unsuccessful U.S. Predator drone attack on Anwar Al Awlaki, leader of Al Qaeda in Yemen. Unfortunately, while Al Awlaki is very much as bad as Bin Laden, the media haven’t always known it.
The mainstream media have recently described this America-born terrorist as a “central figure” of Al Qaeda and the New York Times, ABC News, and MSNBC have all called him “radical” when reporting on the recent attempted drone attack. Al Awlaki has been linked to the 2009 Christmas Day Underwear bombing attempt in Detroit, the Fort Hood Shooting and the failed Times Square bombing.
But just 10 years ago they claimed he was a “moderate” a bridge-builder, and a “prayer leader.”
That could accurately describe Republicans' relationship to the liberal media on budget matters.
While the mainstream media often raise a clamor about GOP plans to cut back on arts funding -- see this article from yesterday's Washington Post -- it seems any move to do the opposite will also face scorn.
Take ABCNews.com's "The Blotter" and its take on Rep. John Mica's (R-Fla.) proposal to expand funding the National Art Gallery:
Earlier this afternoon, the House of Representatives voted for an amendment to a spending bill that would strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding.
Much of the debate on the measure happened last night, including a speech in opposition of the move by a Democratic congresswoman, Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who recalled her own abortion procedure.
After the vote came down today, ABCNews.com's Matthew Jaffe and John Parkinson posted an article that was skewed in favor of supporters of Planned Parenthood, featuring a video of Speier's nearly 3-minute-long speech and quoting heavily from that speech.
"Amendment Passes Despite Stunning Personal Testimony From Rep. Jackie Speier," lamented the subheadline to the story. [see screen capture after page break]
The ABCNews.com website on Tuesday used the Sesame Street character Big Bird to worry about potential Republican cuts to PBS. Next to a picture of the forlorn puppet and some concerned children, a graphic alerted, "Big Bird on the Chopping Block?"
The article, by Huma Khan, discussed the efforts by the House GOP to cut of funding to PBS, but didn't feature a single quote from any such Republican.
Yet, the reporter made sure to highlight fears by NPR's Vivian Schiller: "[Cuts would] would diminish stations' ability to bring high-quality local, national and international news to their communities, as well as local arts, music and cultural programming that other media don't present."
A man is arrested and detained for months without any charges being brought against him. He is being held in deplorable conditions, forced to endure extreme physical and mental distress. He is exposed to the same ‘torture’ tactics that other enemies of the United States have allegedly suffered through.
So why isn’t the Commander-in-Chief taking heat for this travesty of justice?
Because this isn’t the Bush administration.
Firedoglake blogger, David House, has been detailing a recent visit with Bradley Manning, accused of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, at a military prison at the Quantico Marine base in Virginia (h/t Weasel Zippers). Of course, House bemoaned the ‘inhumane’ treatment of Manning, describing the toll that months of solitary confinement have taken on his physical and mental well-being.
AFP ran with the story and made it clear that they had no intention of offering a balanced report. In fact, viewing the headline, one would never know that the story came from an extremely liberal website, reading more as fact than a slanted accusation.