"GOP rejects rape exception in platform," blared a Politico headline yesterday. "Even as Mitt Romney sought to quash the furor surrounding Todd Akin’s 'legitimate' rape comments, the Republican platform committee here approved an abortion plank that includes no exemptions for rape, incest or even to save the life of the mother," James Hohmann noted in the lead paragraph of his August 21 story.
"On Tuesday, not one of the 100-plus members on the GOP platform committee introduced amendments. They kept the identical language from 2004 and 2008," Hohmann groused, comporting to the media's quadrennial fixation on how the GOP is supposedly too extremely pro-life. By contrast, as I noted yesterday, the 15-person Democratic platform committee -- one member of which is NARAL Pro-Choice America's president -- earlier this month stubbornly refused to mildly soften their party's stringent pro-choice abortion plank. Politico, of course, failed to cover that controversy.
Mere hours after Politico reported on Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder's admitted skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee in Israel, CBS highlighted the story on its Monday morning newscast. By contrast, the network was slow to report on former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner's lewd photo scandal in 2011. On June 1 of that year, ABC and NBC's morning shows reported on the "underwear uproar," while CBS's Early Show punted on the story.
The following day, CBS played up conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart's early role in spreading word of the New York liberal's indecent Twitter pic: "Supporters of Weiner note that it was right-wing blogger, Andrew Breitbart, who broke the story. But Breitbart tells CBS News he had nothing to do with the supposed hack." Of course, Weiner would go on to admit that he sent the photo.
To get an idea of the Politico's priorities, first do a search on "Corzine." You'll find nothing from last week other than a reference to him as the defeated former Governor of New Jersey in an item about current Governor Chris Christie speaking at the upcoming Republican National Convention. So apparently no one cared to take notice of a New York Times story about how Corzine and apparently all other major players at bankrupt MF Global, which raided customers' accounts to the tune of $1.6 billion as it attempted to avoid its visit to death's door, will not face criminal prosecution.
Then go to something really, really important -- so important that it merited its own special breathless breaking news email a few hours ago. The nearly 1,400-word story from Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan that couldn't wait (actually, I believe it did, but more on that in a bit) is that a U.S. Congressman swam in the nude in Israel. Seriously -- I mean, unseriously (bolds are mine):
Appearing as a panel member on Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, Politico's Evan Thomas brought up the term "death panels" as he advised that America will some day have to stop "spending so much money" on people who are near death. As he brought up a few examples of reforms for American health care, he ended up proposing:
It might seem like a bad time for a reporter to marvel over Joe Biden’s political gifts, after the load of gaffes this week, but not for Politico reporter Jonathan Martin. He wrote a story headlined “Mission Impossible: Managing Joe Biden.” But he meant that to be positive.
Just days after slamming Paul Ryan’s background driving the Wienermobile and “slinging cheap margaritas,” Martin began the story in awe of Biden’s campaign prowess:
The controversy surrounding Vice President Joe Biden’s offensive claim that Republicans want to enslave black Americans has become such a concern to the Obama White House that the veep’s staff have resorted to trying to directly censor the news coverage about him.
In what is widely believed to be an unprecedented move, the Biden press shop has severely restricted access to vice president and begun telling journalists what they should write about his activities as they write them up.
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:
UPDATE: In its video report, but not in its accompanying text, Cincinnati Local 12 News reported that the crowd was over 6,000, and that "a whole line of people were turned away, because there wasn't enough room."
It would appear that Politico's Juana Summers and the Associated Press's Steve Peoples have an unusual and nearly identical problem with math. Yesterday, they could have and should have gone to the Secret Service for help. (Also, go to this subsequent post about how the pair also played a very odd duet in supposedly independently written stories, both attempting to portray Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan as avoiding the topic of Medicare on the campaign trail.)
Summers wrote that Ryan's appearance yesterday at Miami University drew "several hundred supporters gathered for an outdoor rally." Peoples claimed it was "hundreds of supporters." After the jump, I will note several media outlets which reported that the crowd numbered in the "thousands" -- including one which cited a Secret Service estimate of 5,500.
If you thought the Democrats would be satisfied with the fact that a solid phalanx of liberals have been chosen to moderate the presidential (and vice-presidential) debates, you would be wrong. Now they want to dictate what questions will be forbidden from being asked at the debates. I kid you not. The Politico reports on the question that the Democrats want to make taboo:
Some Democratic lawmakers want to make sure that one question does not get asked at the upcoming first presidential debate - about Simpson-Bowles.
This was how it started: "Flipping burgers at McDonald’s, steering the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, slinging cheap margaritas, and toning abs and pecs. That’s about the extent of Rep. Paul Ryan’s private sector experience." Again, this from the liberals who weren't in the habit of mocking Barry Obama slinging Bubble Gum ice cream?
NewsBusters reported Friday that Politico's Roger Simon, appearing on PBS's Inside Washington, accused the Romney campaign of employing a racist "dog whistle" in its anti-Obama welfare ad.
Also appearing on the program was syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer who scolded, "Any time a real issue is brought up here, all of a sudden it’s a silent dog whistle that only liberals hear...Clinton’s the guy who passed the law in the first place. Was that a dog whistle? Was he a racist?" (Video follows with transcript and commentary).
Appearing as a panel member on Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, Politico's Roger Simon claimed to see racism in a campaign ad against President Obama which criticizes the President for granting waivers to some states to loosen work requirements for welfare recipients.
After host Gordon Peterson recalled that fellow panel member Charles Krauthammer had called the ad "accurate," Simon launched into race-baiting:
On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, regular panel member Evan Thomas dismissed media claims that Mitt Romney's recent trip abroad suffered from gaffes as the Politico correspondent asserted that the GOP presidential candidate spoke the truth about the Olympics in London and the social problems of the Palestinians.
National Review editor Rich Lowry has been granted space for a column in the liberal Politico newspaper/website, and he's not mincing words. On Wednesday, his headline was "The media's terrible trip."
"During his overseas trip, Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, traveled to some of our closest allies accompanied by some of his most merciless enemies — the media. If you don’t know that Romney’s foreign jaunt was the worst diplomatic fiasco since the Zimmermann telegram or the XYZ Affair, you haven’t been reading his press clips," he wrote. Politico reminded readers that was its spin by advertising within Lowry's piece: "Also on POLITICO: Mitt needs veep to replace flop."
Back in May, a handful of Senate Democrats attempting to open a new offensive front against Republicans in the "War on Women" introduced The Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA). "Democrats cited statistics showing that women today are still paid 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, or $10,784 less a year on average. That’s the equivalent of 183 tanks of gas or 92 bags of groceries," Politico's Matt Wong helpfully noted in a May 23 story.
One day later, the conservative-leaning Washington Free Beacon, published an article which exposed how the very same Senate Democrats out in front on the PFA were egregious violators when it came to a pay gap among members of their own congressional staffs. Reported Andrew Stiles:
Politico ran a story yesterday about a sobbing woman thanking President Obama for ObamaCare. To read the story you would think the woman, Stephanie Miller, had no ulterior political motive. However, she has been busted by Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit who has exposed her as @obamasbestfan which is her twitter handle whose tweets demonstrate not only over the top enthusiasm for Obama but which are also chock full of vitriolic hate such as wishing that prominent conservatives had been aborted. Here is but one example of Miller's hate tweets:
If there ever was a valid def. why women need birth control & legalized abortion it would b ROMNEY, SANTORIUM, GINGRINCH, PAUL, & LIMBAUGH!!
Politico's Patrick Gavin on Monday hyped the evolution of a 13-year-old conservative to a 17-year-old liberal in an article trumpeting, "CPAC's Boy Wonder Is All Grown Up." Grown up equals liberal? The headline proved too much even for Politico. It was quickly changed to "CPAC's Boy Wonder Swings Left."
Gavin breathlessly recounted what a difference four years makes: "[Jonathan] Krohn is bucking the received wisdom that people become more conservative as they get older, a shift he attributes partly to philosophy."
Joe Williams, Politico's White House correspondent that was suspended after stating Mitt Romney was most comfortable around “white folks,” said on a Wednesday radio show that he was a victim of conservative websites that seized upon those words to make a point about the media.
While a guest on “The Bill Press Show,” Williams was asked by the liberal host, “Do you believe those words were seized upon, taken out of context, blown up by people with their own political agenda?”
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his campaign have issued a strongly worded written challenge to the Washington Post refuting claims in its June 21 article that Bain Capital outsourced jobs while Romney was there.
On Thursday, the Post's Jennifer Rubin published some excerpts:
The count of prominent Democratic Party politicians who have decided not to attend the Democratic Party's convention in Charlotte, thereby attempting to avoid direct association with the formal renomination of incumbent President Barack Obama, is up to seven. Press coverage has been sparse. One can only imagine how much media end-zone dancing there would have been in 2004 had one governor, one senator and five congresspersons chosen not to attend the Republican National Convention to renominate George W. Bush.
On Thursday, the Hill had the story about the latest declared non-attendee, who admittedly is the least surprising addition to list (internal links are in original):
A June 16-18 YouGov.com poll (at Page 25) reported that 47% of Americans in a sample of 1,000 U.S. citizens 18 and over had heard or heard about President Barack Obama's June 8 claim that "the private sector is doing fine."
The reaction of John Sides, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at George Washington University, as picked up by Byron Tau at the Politico, is that this "low" percentage shows that "even after national headlines, some kinds of stories just don’t register to busy Americans who have more things to do than follow every jot and tittle of the news." You've got to be kidding me; 47% is amazingly high.
A Politico reporter has suggested that racism was behind Neil Munro's questioning of President Obama at the White House yesterday. Saying "it's very, very difficult to place race outside of this context," the Politico's Joe Williams claimed racially-motivated direspect of PBO is part of a pattern among conservatives, citing Rep. Joe Wilson, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, and the Tea Party.
Williams made his remarks in the course of responding to a question from Michael Eric Dyson, subbing for Ed Schultz on MSNBC last night. View the video after the jump.
If you're starting to lose Jonathan Alter, reporters at Politico, and other left-leaning outlets, you're starting to get into trouble. Double that if you can't even get Julie Pace at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, to muster more than eight paragraphs relating to a 53-minute speech pre-positioned as a "major address."
Hunter Walker has compiled several less than complimentary tweets at Politicker, including the following:
Michelle Obama said at a campaign stop in Philadelphia Wednesday, "When we need a leader to make the hard decisions to keep this country moving forward, you know you can count on my husband, your president."
On PBS's Inside Washington Friday, Politico's Evan Thomas surprisingly said, "That’s precisely wrong. You can’t count on him to make the tough decisions, and I think that most voters sense that" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
At National Review (here and here), Stanley Kurtz has proven beyond doubt that Barack Obama sought the far-left New Party's endorsement in 1996. In the process, he has rendered a central claim made by the Obama campaign at its "Fight the Smears" web site in 2008 ("Barack Did Not Seek New Party Endorsement") and swallowed whole by the gullible establishment press utterly false.
In 2008, Ben Smith, who was then at Politico, also swallowed the line from the New Party's founder that the party never really had "members," which is going to be the focus of this post: