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.
Correction: My initial post incorrectly conveyed that Chandra Levy was an intern for then-Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.). She was in fact an intern for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
"Salvadoran Immigrant Ingmar Guandique Found Guilty of Murdering D.C. Intern Chandra Levy [12:45 p.m. ET]"
That was the breaking news headline that was blasted to my inbox from ABCNews.com regarding today's murder conviction of the suspect in the 2001 murder of federal government intern Chandra Levy.
In the Associated Press story by Matthew Barakat at the ABCNews.com website, there is no mention of the fact that Guandique is an illegal immigrant nor of the fact that he is involved in the ruthless gang Mara Salvatrucha, more commonly known as MS-13. This despite the fact that numerous news reports during Guandique's trial noted that he often wore turtleneck shirts in the courtroom to hide his gang tattoo.
You can clearly see that gang tattoo in an April 2009 file photo ABCNews.com included in their breaking news story.
On Sunday, I examined the causes of the nation's toxic political atmosphere and amongst other things accused the press of fanning the fires of discontent.
Two days later, an ABC News/Yahoo News poll reported by Michael Calderone found 63 percent of Americans believe the mainstream media are more interested in encouraging political division than cooperation between the Parties:
In the past eight days, ABC News has filed twoshocking stories about "a serious epidemic" of sexual abuse and rape of children in Kenya. Not only did the network report that "over 1,000 teachers have been fired for sexually abusing girls over the last two years," but it also relayed systemic cover-ups, police corruption, and perpetrator interference.
And while the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe have frantically and endlessly trumpeted decades-old abuse allegations in the Catholic Church from anywhere in the world, neither paper has found a single square inch to dedicate to these sickening new revelations.
In New Mexico yesterday and probably in several other appearances, President Barack Obama criticized the House Republicans' Pledge to America on several fronts. To me, only because I tend to look at the real numbers during most months, his most obviously off-base critique had to do with federal education spending (as carried at Jake Tapper's Political Punch blog at ABC):
Obama said the Republicans would to cut education spending by 20 percent in order to pay for some of the tax breaks, a charge House Republicans say is inaccurate.
Tapper is one of the few establishment media reporters left who isn't afraid to question liberal authority, but he missed a golden opportunity to dig into facts that might have left him wondering why the Republicans are being so timid.
ABC News has changed the headline of an online video to "Christine O'Donnell's Masturbation Argument" from the more inappropriately suggestive "Christine O'Donnell's Masturbation Stance," but that doesn't mean the network has grown up about the sex-related beliefs of conservative candidates.
ABC posted video on its news website Sept. 16 from a monologue by comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who hosts a late night show on its network. The network's social networking team also publicized the link via Twitter using the "masturbation stance" pun. The headline on the video has since been changed, but the Twitter message remains active.
"Nobody knows what this woman does for a living, if anything," Kimmel said. "All we do know is that she's gone on the record to oppose masturbation, for real." He referred to a 1996 documentary that aired on MTV in which O'Donnell made a Biblical argument against self-pleasure based on Jesus's exhortation that lust in the heart is the same as adultery.
In a slam on another prominent conservative's family, Kimmel joked that, "I have a feeling Christine O'Donnell opposes masturbation in the same way Bristol Palin opposes premarital sex." Bristol Palin, of course, had a baby out of wedlock and now publicly advocates abstinence before marriage.
They'll have all sorts of excuses (but only if asked) about why it happened: It's because they had a lot of guest anchors last week, it was hot, summer vacation season is still on (though lots of kids around in Greater Cincinnati were already back in school by last Wednesday), cable is killing us, blah-blah, etc., etc.
But the Big Three networks won't be able to avoid the fact that their ongoing decline reached a painful low last week of 18.82 million average viewers. Here is the graphic that appeared this morning at ABC's lipstick-on-a-pig blog post:
I don't know whether that's an all-time low, but Kevin Allocca at Media Bistro, who hadn't posted the full numbers as of the time of this post, has noted that one of those networks indeed scraped bottom last week:
In liberal reporters' minds, the "more perfect union" referenced in the Preamble to the Constitution is a more perfect labor union.
In an August 6 ABCNews.com story about pay raises for the middle class, reporter Ray Sanchez found a few reasons for "median wage stagnation" including the decline of organized labor. He also cited a common liberal talking point -- the "erosion" of the minimum wage.
As President Obama travels to Michigan to visit General Motors and Chrysler assembly lines, the media assembly line continues mass-producing bias.
On July 30, both ABC and CBS ran stories on their websites promoting President Obama's trip to Michigan to "let you know the Detroit Big Three are in the black again." Both networks' stories claimed the "unpopular auto industry bailout has turned into an economic good-news story."
"Analysts say there is no doubt the bailout rescued these companies," ABC reported.
CBS ignored criticism of the bailouts, while ABC buried opposition from Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., in the 27th paragraph after support from White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Treasury Secretary Advisor Ron Bloom, and White House Council on Automotive and Community Workers head Ed Montgomery.
Gold has been a highly valued commodity going at least as far back as the ancient Egyptian culture in 2600 BC. But now, with economic instability and uncertainty over the health of major global currencies, the demand for gold has risen as a store of value and a hedge against inflation.
Over the past 12 months, the price of gold has gone up dramatically - up 25 percent from July 2009 (from $929 per ounce to $1,163 per ounce, after reaching a high of $1,250 per ounce). That has outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) on a percentage basis.
Memo to media members wishing to invite the Tea Party Founder on your show, or use him as a source for your biased reports: He isn't exactly who you think he is.
Since the NAACP voted to condemn extremist elements in the Tea Party, news networks, sites, and liberal blogs have rushed to include ‘Tea Party Founder', Dale Robertson, in their reports. Problem being, Dale Robertson as Tea Party anything has frequently and thoroughly been, um ... ‘refudiated'.
Despite this, the media has a history of holding Robertson up as a shining example of Tea Party racism. Why? Robertson once demonstrated a level of ignorance that boggles the mind by holding a sign reading "Congress = Slaveowner, Taxpayer = (N-Word)", at a Houston Tea Party Society (TPS) event.
The reality however, is that Robertson has predominantly self-described, if any, links to the Tea Party movement, while legitimate factions of the movement have had to repeatedly distance themselves from the man. Robertson was expelled from the event at which he was holding the aforementioned sign on the very same day. He was formally denounced in a statement released by the Houston TPS. He was called ‘no friend' of the Tea Party at Pajamas Media, and mocked at RedState. He was shown to be for his infamous sign, before he was against it.
So logically, the media has decided to help further the cause of the NAACP by bringing Robertson back out of the shadows. Since word of the the NAACP resolution got out, Robertson's name has appeared at...
UPDATE - 7/15, 7:00 PM: Politico makes a nearly identical argument. Ace tears it to shreads. Details below.
The folks at ABC News are confused. Democrats are passing all this awesome legislation, they posit, so why are Americans acting so hostile and looking to hand Congress to the GOP? The key problems, ABC's Z. Byron Wolf deduces, are that Democrats simply have not embraced liberalism enough and Americans have failed to perceive just how great the Democratic agenda has been.
"The imminent passage of a tough new Wall Street Reform bill," wrote Wolf, pictured right, on ABC's website, "will cap off a wildly productive two years for Democrats in Washington – they will have passed two pieces of sweeping legislation and an enormous $800 billion stimulus bill to deal with the ailing economy."
Wolf goes on to wonder why those three pieces of legislation haven't benefited Democrats' electoral prospects. Let's see: 6% of Americans believe the stimulus bill created jobs, a strong majority favors repealing the health care bill, and almost 80% of Americans polled have little or no confidence that the financial reform bill will achieve its stated objectives. Is Wolf still confused?
Apparently, Fannie and Freddie are the new Batman and Robin.
At least they seemed more like heroes than villains in a July 6 ABC News story about the troubled housing market. Reporter Rich Blake gave the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac credit for "propping up" the flailing housing sector:
"As perplexing and disturbing as this economic brainteaser may seem, the housing sector would be in even worse shape if not for those twin government sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both in government conservatorship and bleeding assets," Blake wrote.
Saturday demonstrated a staggering disparity in how media view those involved in the Gulf Coast oil spill cleanup.
While news outlets heaped scorn upon beleaguered BP CEO Tony Hayward for attending a yacht race in England Saturday, there was no such anger shown towards President Obama and Vice President Biden for going golfing.
In fact, as this Reuters piece illustrated, despite what our Commander-in-Chief was doing, it was perfectly acceptable for his administration to criticize Hayward's recreational exploits on his day off (h/t Hot Air headlines):
(Tony) Rezko is a central figure in the government's conspiracy case. His relationship with Obama was highlighted this week when Joseph Aramanda, the owner of a Chicago pizza business, took the stand to detail how Rezko arranged for him to receive a $250,000 "finder's fee" from a state teacher's pension system investment deal, and then instructed him to use the money to make a $10,000 contribution to Obama's presidential campaign. Prosecutors say that Aramanda never performed any work on the deal, and that most of the money was funneled to Rezko, who used it to pay off debts.
Aramanda may still be involved in pizza, but his primary gig now would appear to be the executive Federal position he currently holds. As noted in a Chicago Tribune piece earlier this week:
These days Joseph Aramanda manages a U.S. Census Bureau Chicago-area office and its 1,000 employees. But it was in a different capacity that he showed up for the government Tuesday at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse — witness in the corruption trial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Quite a coincidence, huh? Aramanda, testifying with an immunity deal after his $10,000 funny-money gift to The Anointed One, just happens to land a more than decent Federal job. How'd he get it? According to the Associated Press:
In today's "Silence of the Cams" segment, an ABC reporter was hassled Thursday for trying to cover the Gulf Coast oil spill from an Alabama beach.
According to an article published at ABCNews.com, "Reporting is often about access, but journalists along the Gulf Coast covering the BP oil spill have had some trouble getting it."
The piece continued, "As BP faces more pressure from the government and from its own shareholders unhappy with the company's falling stock price, it seems to be clamping down on who can talk to reporters" (video follows with more quotes from the article and commentary):
Reporter Devin Dwyer’s May 25 ABCNews.com profile of Andrew Young reported the civil rights leader’s derisive remarks against the Tea Party without giving the movement a chance to defend itself.
Despite the liberal activist’s claim that “ethno-centrism runs so deep in America” and that the Tea Party is “motivated by a nativism,” at no point in the piece did Dwyer include a response to the charges.
Instead, Dwyer devoted the rest of the piece to praising the “civil rights legend” for his myriad achievements.
“Young, who has spent a lifetime fighting to change American society for the better, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his decades-long career in public service, which included working as an aide to Martin Luther King Jr., serving as a Democratic congressman from Georgia, and later becoming U.N. ambassador and mayor of Atlanta,” gushed Dwyer.
Strictly as a public service, the mainstream media have long pointed out that those pesky folks who question where Barack Obama was born are your typical knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing Neanderthals. You know, the type of know-nothings who attend Tea Parties and other such sinister gatherings.
So those deep thinkers must be stunned by the findings of the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, which finds "about a third of so-called 'birthers' nonetheless approve of Obama's work in office and express a favorable opinion of him personally." Not only that, but as shown in the accompanying charts and questionnaire on ABC News's Web site, "15 percent of Democrats say they think Obama was born elsewhere, as do 12 percent of liberals."
Democrats and liberals are birthers? Whenever life became just too frustrating for Chester A. Riley, he'd exasperatingly wail, "What a revoltin' development this is!" The talking heads at MSNBC, CNN and other bastions of liberal thought must share that feeling today.
The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."
Just another sign that the media just don't get religion. Here's the ABCNews.com headline for an April 4 story on President Obama's attendance of Easter Sunday service at Allen Chapel AME Church in Southeast D.C.:
Of course, the term Easter Mass would connote a Catholic liturgical celebration, but the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) is a thoroughly Protestant denomination, as its articles of faith Web page makes clear.
An article on ABCNews.com aggressively touted fears by the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that prominent conservative are spreading hate. The headline for the March 3 piece by Anna Schecter screamed, "Dobbs, Beck, Palin, Bachmann Share Blame For Rise in Right-Wing Extremism, Says Activist Group."
Schecter interviewed SPLC director Mark Potok and repeated, "Potok said he blames some public personalities and conservative politicians for inciting fear." The ABC News author also fretted about tea party extremism: "Potok said one of the main fears is that these radical groups are infiltrating mainstream groups like the Tea Party movement because of cross pollination of individuals who attend radical group meetings and more mainstream gatherings."