As of 11:05 p.m. EDT I found quite different play among some major newspaper Web sites regarding the verdict handed down by a Chicago jury against former Obama fundraiser Tony Rezko today. Both the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times gave prominent play to the story on their Web sites, and the Los Angeles Times similarly teased the story on its front page, four headlines down the left-hand column. But the New York Times downplayed the story while the Washington Post failed to tease it at all on the Web site's front page.
"Ex-Obama Fund-Raiser Is Convicted of Fraud" read a teaser headline under the "More News" menu on the NY Times Web page, about a quarter of the way down the page. A search through the Washington Post's online edition -- looking for keywords "Obama" "Rezko" and "Blagojevich" -- found no links to articles regarding Rezko's conviction, however.
Today's Web poll on Time.com asks "Should gas and heating oil be rationed until prices come down?"
It's a non-scientific Web poll of course, so in some sense it's just mindless, fluffy filler. But on the other hand, including this only serves to further the MSM's fear-mongering about the economy while banging its left-wing drum beat about oil and gas prices.
Since taking that second screencap earlier today, more votes have been cast by readers, with the numbers shifting slightly in favor of gas rationing to 39 percent of respondents.
Earlier this morning the Associated Press's Beth Fouhy reported that Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) is gearing up to concede the Democratic nomination contest to Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) in a speech following primary election returns tonight.
Not so fast, Clinton aides said, scrambling in short order to protest that Hillary is not going to throw in the towel tonight.
"A Meltdown for Argentina's Hillary" blares the teaser headline in the Top Stories slideshow on Time.com's front page.
"The fortunes of Argentina's new leader are falling even faster than those of the former First Lady she's been compared to," continues the caption on the front page.
The June 2 article in question by Uki Goni delves into how President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has seen her approval ratings plunge "into George W. Bush territory barely six months into her administration," due in large part to concerns over inflation.
Yet while Goni noted frustration over her policies, Fernandez's ideology was curiously left out of the article.
Just as a quick follow-up to both Terry Trippany and Warner Todd Huston's posts, at least one major political reporter is chagrined by the MSM's penchant for selecting photographs of Sen. Barack Obama that make him appear rather, um, messianic.
[Update (16:33 EDT): The AP has changed its lede to read "The Vatican insisted Friday that it is properly following Christian tradition by excluding females from the priesthood as it issued a new warning that women taking part in ordinations will be excommunicated." (h/t Damian G. of Conservathink).]
According to the Associated Press, the Vatican is "slamming the door on attempts by women to become priests in the Roman Catholic Church." But it's rather hard to slam shut a door that was never open, which is what Catholic Church teaching holds about women serving in the priesthood.
From a May 30 article entitled "Vatican: excommunication for female priests" (paragraph break removed):
VATICAN CITY - The Vatican is slamming the door on attempts by women to become priests in the Roman Catholic Church. It has strongly reiterated in a decree that anyone involved in ordination ceremonies is automatically excommunicated. A top Vatican official said in a statement Friday that the church acted following what it called "so-called ordinations" in various parts of the world.
Yet far from "slamming" shut the possibility of female priests, the Catholic Church holds that God, speaking to His people through the words of Scripture -- not the Pope or the Church -- bars women from clerical office. This, however, by no means diminishes the role of women in the life of the church, as Catholic apologist Jason Evert explains (emphasis mine):
Los Angeles Times staff writer James Rainey has an article today taking a look at the lack of love for John McCain on YouTube compared to the multiple hosannas found when searching for videos of the Obamessiah:
Search "John McCain" on YouTube and you'll find the latest broadside, by Brave New Films of Culver City, and a lot more that's not good for a candidate who's built his reputation on constancy and authenticity.
Six of the top 10 videos returned by a "John McCain" YouTube search Thursday pegged the 71-year-old as inconsistent, extreme, wooden or a combination of the three. (The one clearly favorable piece came from the McCain campaign and focused on his Navy service.)
Have the media fallen down on the job in pressing Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) about her war on terrorism bona fides? If silence over the 1999 pardon of 16 FALN terrorists is any indication, yes.
A Google News search for "Clinton FALN clemency" yielded but one result, this May 24 item from Politico's Ben Adler (emphasis mine):
[Y]ou have to look back roughly a decade to find the last time Puerto Rico played a starring role in mainland politics - the summer of 1999, when President Bill Clinton drew sharp criticism by offering clemency to 16 imprisoned Puerto Rican nationalists who belonged to an organization responsible for more than 100 bombings in the U.S. and Puerto Rico between 1974 and 1983.
At the time, Clinton was accused of attempting to curry favor with the large Puerto Rican community in New York, where Hillary Rodham Clinton was preparing to run for an open Senate seat. In response, the Republican-controlled House overwhelmingly passed a resolution stating, "President Clinton should not have offered or granted clemency to the FALN terrorists." The political backlash proved severe enough that Mrs. Clinton, then the first lady, ended up publicly opposing her husband's offer, saying she had nothing to do with it.
Over the course of this presidential campaign, we've released a number of studies showing how the Democratic presidential candidates have received softer coverage compared to Republicans, it's refreshing to see however, when a left-leaning journalism foundation admits the truth as the Project for Excellence in Journalism did in a comprehensive study released today:
If campaigns for president are in part a battle for control of the master narrative about character, Democrat Barack Obama has not enjoyed a better ride in the press than rival Hillary Clinton, according to a new study of primary coverage by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Joan Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University.
From January 1, just before the Iowa caucuses, through March 9, following the Texas and Ohio contests, the height of the primary season, the dominant personal narratives in the media about Obama and Clinton were almost identical in tone, and were both twice as positive as negative, according to the study, which examined the coverage of the candidates’ character, history, leadership and appeal—apart from the electoral results and the tactics of their campaigns.
May 27: Paul R. La Monica for CNN Money reporting on Warren Buffett's belief that "we are already in a recession." Notice the lede:
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- It's getting harder and harder to deny that the economy is in recession.
May 29: The federal government releases an upward revision of the first quarter GDP growth. The ever-pessimistic AP reporter Martin Crutsinger grudgingly admitted that the new numbers could bolster the view that "the country can dodge a full-blown downturn":
The economy plodded ahead at a 0.9 percent pace in the first quarter - slightly better than first estimated - but still underscoring caution on the part of consumers and businesses walloped by housing, credit and financial problems.
It's sort of like Linda Douglass but on the local level, I guess. I'll have to ask our Seattle-area readers to note in the comments section if KING's Robert Mak repeatedly displayed a penchant for gauzy coverage of liberal Mayor Greg Nickels (D).
The 10-time local Emmy-winning reporter is leaving TV news for a job that pays $10,000 more a year than his new boss.
The media have been quick to paint the slow-growing economy as though it's in recession. Indeed, as our friends at the Business & Media Institute discovered, the MSM now is painting the economy much worse than the print media reported the 1929 stock market crash that marked the beginning of the Great Depression.
But kudos are due U.S. News & World Report's Rick Newman for staking out a contrarian stand.
In his May 27 piece, "Why Consumers Are Underconfident," Newman lists five reasons why consumers are overly pessimistic and hence consumer confidence numbers misleading as far as being an accurate barometer of the economy. Here's an excerpt including one of those reasons, "the freak-out factor":
On tonight's broadcast of ABC's "World News with Charles Gibson" reporter Ron Clairborne reiterated a popular term that liberal blogs often use to refer to Sen. John McCain (R- Ariz). The news story was on the fundraiser President Bush held for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee tonight. Clairborne stated in his report, "At every opportunity the Democrats label McCain "McSame," a virtual clone of George Bush. The strategy makes sense. Bush's approval ratings are at an all time low."
The only Democrats known for constantly calling Sen. McCain "McSame" are those who write in the progressive blogosphere. View video here.
Seeing dead people in the audience wasn't Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama's only gaffe on Monday, for it has now been revealed that he also spoke about an uncle "who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps."
American troops didn't liberate Auschwitz; Soviet troops did.
Identity theft, defrauding the federal government, and illegal immigration are serious criminal matters.
But if you're the Web editor for MSNBC.com, stolen Social Security numbers are merely "shared" with "undocumented workers" stuck in a web of "federal employment laws."
From the subheadline for the front page tease to the May 27 edition of "Red Tape Chronicles" (see screencap above at right):
Millions of Americans find themselves sharing Social Security identies with others, mostly undocumented workers looking to get around federal employment laws.
Of course, you're lucky if just one person is "sharing" your Social Security Number (SSN). MSNBC.com blogger Bob Sullivan noted one Chicago woman who had 37 other people fraudulently claiming her number. Yet at no point in his 33-paragraph post did Sullivan describe the claiming of other people's SSNs as "fraud." What's more, Sullivan turned to an "immigration rights advocate" who painted the illegal immigrant fraudsters themselves as victims:
On Sunday, NewsBusters' Brent Baker noted how unhappy actress Laura Dern is with the 2000 presidential election ("Dern 'Devastated' by Florida 'Because There Were Uncounted Votes'"). Dern plays then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in HBO's "Recount," which first aired on Sunday.
Dern's displeasure has an apparently limited focus.
A review of the CNN program transcript (the interview with "Reliable Sources" host Howard Kurtz, Dern, and "Recount" director Jay Roach begins about 80% of the way through) confirms Dern's selectivity. "Somehow," the "devastated" Dern and the other interview participants never got around to talking about other votes that Democratic operatives throughout the Sunshine State worked feverishly to disqualify.
The Military Ballots
That CNN interview did not deal with matters that Big Media, which put thousands of hours of time and lots of money into recounting ballots -- only to find that George W. Bush really did win Florida -- has not investigated:
The media has been unfair to Sen. Hillary Clinton (D- N.Y.) is the new argument former President Bill Clinton made for his wife to continue on for the Democratic nomination. He's also hitting hard on the issue of seating Florida and Michigan: "I thought it was the Republican Party that disenfranchised voters in Florida, not the Democrats." View CNN video here.
The former president is also soundingconspiratorial these days. According to this ABC News report, he told a crowd in South Dakota he has, "never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully just for running," and that, "she will win the general election if you nominate her. They're just trying to make sure you don't."
Is it when something really important happens, and media share it with the public? Or, is it when press members jump on what appears to be a juicy tidbit and broadcast it over the airwaves and in print for a solid 24 hours until every American has heard about it?
Consider the media firestorm set off Friday when Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, while discussing the history of nominations not being decided until June, mentioned the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.
According to Politico editor John F. Harris, this was "set aflame by a news media more concerned with being interesting and provocative than with being relevant or serious" (emphasis added throughout, h/t Hot Air Headlines):
Cindy McCain, the wife of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, released a summary of her 2006 income tax return Friday prompting media members to quickly make negative comparisons between what she revealed and what Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) wife disclosed to the public in October 2004.
Most notable was the New York Times which in characterizing Teresa Heinz Kerry's 2003 income as being less than Cindy's in 2006 completely ignored its own October 16, 2004, article revealing as much as $50 million Teresa made in "trusts of which she is the beneficiary" not included in her personal tax filing.
Isn't that convenient?
Let's begin our examination with Saturday's Times piece (emphasis added, h/t Redstate, picture courtesy AP):
Over the years I've noticed ABCNews.com likes to have fun with Photoshop. They seem to have very lenient rules when it comes to the photos that accompany their stories. Today I spotted a picture of Laura Bush's head placed on the body of Godzilla on their front page. Here's the blog posting the picture links to over at ABCNews.com. On my blog I've previously discussed my frustration with ABCNews.com.
Update: The picture is no longer featured on the ABCNews.com Web site as of 2:25 p.m. CST.
ABC stole the Left's mojo on a McCain-slamming "pastor problem" story.
Why am I not surprised?
Here's the complaint of David Corn at Mother Jones magazine's MoJo blog yesterday (h/t Romenesko):
I'm glad that Good Morning America covered the connection between John McCain and Rod Parsley, the Ohio megachurch pastor who has said it is the United States' historic mission to see the "false religion" of Islam "destroyed."
But did ABC News' top investigative reporter, Brian Ross, have to swipe the story from us?
"[up arrow] Energy conservation: The one clear winner as oil creeps toward $200 a barrel."
So declares Newsweek.com's Conventional Wisdom for May 22.
THE only clear winner? That may be a talking point suitable for Sen. Barack Obama's campaign, but it's hardly THE only clear winner for solving America's energy problems, that is, unless your "conventional wisdom" leaves out the views of conservatives.
How about drilling in ANWR, removing barriers to offshore drilling, and building more refineries? All of those are solutions furthered by conservatives in Washington, but which apparently don't dawn on the editors at Newsweek.
The popular vote should supercede statewide results for the presidential election in November, but Hillary Clinton's popular vote argument for why she should win the Democratic nomination is specious. Both points of view have been held forth by Newsweek's Jonathan Alter.
Everyone can agree that the primary calendar needs reform. But popular-vote pandering is poison for Democrats. For a party scarred by the experience of 2000, when Al Gore received 500,000 more popular votes than George W. Bush but lost the presidency, this argument is sure to make it harder to unite and put bitter feelings aside.
The shorthand many Clinton supporters are already taking into the summer is that she won the popular vote but had the nomination "taken away" (as Joy Behar said on "The View") by a man.
What a helpful message for uniting the Democratic Party.
Bureaucratic bungling by the state of Minnesota had a heavy hand in the fatal Minnesota bridge collapse last summer, according to a new report commissioned by that state's legislature. The Associated Press has the story, but it's not as exciting as the initial "blame Bush" meme the media found so convenient as the tragedy unfolded. (emphasis mine):
ST. PAUL - A new report on the Minneapolis bridge collapse said money worries may have led to bad maintenance decisions ahead of the catastrophe that killed 13 people last August.
The report, commissioned by the Legislature, also criticized the Minnesota Department of Transportation for bridge inspections that were mishandled or not acted upon over the years, even when they called for immediate repairs.