On Friday morning, Richard Pollock at the Washington Examiner (HT Ed Driscoll at PJ Media) broke an important story about the the large number of doctors choosing not to participate in Covered California, the state's Obamacare exchange.
The odds that the agenda-driven press in the formerly Golden State of California was already aware of this problem and chose not to report on it would seem to be pretty high — and they're still ignoring the story, despite its obvious impact on the availability of medical services once Obamacare kicks in on January 1. Excerpts from Pollock's report follow the jump (bolds are mine):
In a Sunday morning report which tries to put the best possible face on a project which appears to be on track to make the $22 billion "Big Dig" in Massachusetts look like a petty cash disbursement, Juliet Williams at the Associated Press claimed that the $68 billion involved thus far "would span the state." No it wouldn't, unless all of the formerly Golden State north of the San Francisco Bay Area — roughly one-fourth of the state's land mass — were to secede.
Williams also wrote: "Voters in 2008 approved $10 billion in bonds to start construction on an 800-mile rail line to ferry passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2 hours and 40 minutes." Nope. It's an 800-mile rail "network" (quoting from the state's ballot measure guide) which was supposed to include San Diego to the south (see the top left at Page 6 at the link), and apparently now does not. In other text seen below, she cited that 2008 proposition, which carried by a margin of 52.7% to 47.3%, as evidence that voters "overhelmingly approved" the project.
Movie star, comedian, and “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Rob Schnieder announced he was switching to the Republican Party in an interview with Anne-Marie Murrell of the website Politichicks.tv.
“The state of California is a mess,” Schneider declared, “and the supermajority of Democrats is not working. I’ve been a lifelong Democrat and I have to switch over because it no longer serves the people of this great state. We need to have a new voice. We need to have a new direction, and we need to break the supermajority. It isn’t helping with jobs.”
When you think of California, a few things spring to mind. One is the state's love affair with the automobile. Another is, of course, how in the past 25 years the state the state has abandoned the center-right politics that gave it governors like Ronald Regan and George Deukmejian for hard-left, tax-and-spend politics.
So it should come as no surprise that the penchant for the latter is harming the former. In a Highway 1 blog post this morning at latimes.com, Los Angeles Times staffer Jerry Hirsch noted how it's high taxes that has a larger impact on the sky-high cost of owning and driving an automobile in California, not the price of gasoline (emphasis mine):
If the newly gay-friendly Boy Scouts were paying attention last week, they may have caught a glimpse of their future.
According to USAToday, Girl Scouts marched in San Francisco’s infamous gay Pride Parade “for the first time.” Celebrating the “boost” that the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings gave to the Pride Parade, the article quoted Girl Scout parent Del Gregor, who brought her 11-year-old daughter to march in the parade, as saying that she wants her kids “to be able to tell their children they were a part of this.”
UPDATE: The photo has been changed to a University of Hawaii logo.
For outrageous and tasteless photo placement, it's hard to top the one accompanying an article in the Modesto Press about top college football prospect Aaron Zwahlen.
Despite the availability of many photos of the player, at least a few of which are likely public domain, the Press chose to use the following photo accompanying a report that Zwahlen is choosing to do two years of missionary work with his church before he begins his collegiate career at the University of Hawaii (HT to a NewsBusters tipster):
For decades, members of the left have insisted that the right is fighting a war on science. But when it comes to the issues of abortion and homosexuality, it is the left that fights a consistent and ridiculous war with reality.
This week, Wesley Smith of the Weekly Standard reported that California would be considering AB 460, a bill that would mandate group insurance coverage for so-called gay and lesbian "infertility." What in the world does that bizarre phrase mean? It doesn't mean situations in which two members of a lesbian couple are both infertile and incapable of conception using some third party's sperm.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was giddy over a triumph of the liberal vision in the supposedly resurgent California economy in Monday's "Lessons From A Comeback." The state has overcome a "fanatical conservative minority" to push through "desperately needed tax increases." But is California really back?
....California has been solidly Democratic since the late 1990s. And ever since the political balance shifted, conservatives have declared the state doomed. Their specifics keep changing, but the moral is always the same: liberal do-gooders are bringing California to its knees.
So the Lefty, better known as Phil Mickelson publicly aired his political grievances in an interview with CBS Sports the other day, noting that federal and state tax policies in California have him strongly weighing whether now might be the time to retire.
The three-time Masters champion said he would have to make some "drastic changes" when more than 60 percent of his future earnings are taken away by the government, due to the passage of California's Proposition 30 and the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for top income earners:
Christmas: a season of generosity, good cheer, preparation for Christ’s birth – and a swarm of lawyers seeking to purge any mention of Christianity from the public square.
Every Christmas, the so-called secular community starts shrieking whenever any mention of religion is brought into the public eye. Lawyers successfully targeted a school’s performance of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’ Even Christmas trees have too much religious content to suit the self-appointed censors.
You may recall when CBS fired Charlie Sheen early last year from the popular Two and a Half Men series for a string of "felony offenses involving moral turpitude." In the weeks and months that preceded this decision, an increasingly erratic Sheen received an inordinate amount of media attention for his drug-induced rants. To this day however, Sheen's bad boy persona is received warmly by the media, and he's been rewarded for it with ad spots for Fiat and DirecTV and even another show on the FX network that jokingly plays off his history of reckless hedonism.
By contrast, Sheen's former co-star, Angus T. Jones, the titular "half man" on the sitcom, has been castigated by the media for his recent religious conversion and subsequent YouTube testimonial in which he urged folks to avoid his popular TV series. Perhaps pressured by producers, Jones has since apologized for coming across as indifferent and unappreciative for the lucrative opportunity, but that hasn't stopped the media for characterizing Jones's video as another celebrity meltdown. [ video below the page break ]
Wednesday's lead New York Times story from California-based Adam Nagourney strongly suggested that tax hikes promoted by Gov. Jerry Brown (and Nagourney himself) were paying off in economic resurgence in the already tax-high state: "California Finds Economic Gloom Starting To Lift."
After nearly five years of brutal economic decline, government retrenchment and a widespread loss of confidence in its future, California is showing the first signs of a rebound. There is evidence of job growth, economic stability, a resurgent housing market and rising spirits in a state that was among the worst hit by the recession.
From the "I thought Social Security was supposed to have solved this decades ago" Dept.: The State of California has just passed a law mandating opt-out pension plan contributions of 3% of earnings for six million workers in the private sector, or roughly half of its private sector workforce.
The targeted population is the cadre of those working at employers of five or more who do not offer a retirement plan. It has the distinct aroma of a bailout, because of who gets to manage the money. Excerpts from a predictably dreadful Associated Press report by Judy Lin follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
The broadcast networks complain loudly about real or perceived offenses committed by conservatives. But when they are faced with violence committed by those they agree with, they downplay or even bury such behavior. The silence of the networks regarding the vandalism of multiple Chick-fil-A restaurants is only the latest example of destruction committed by the left and ignored by the media.
Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy ran afoul of gay marriage advocates when he dared to praise “the biblical definition of the family unit” in an interview with the Baptist Press and declare in a radio interview: “I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’” The controversy his remarks sparked was intense; the media slammed him for his remarks.
“Poor John Bryson!” exclaimed the "Reliable Source" gossips at The Washington Post on Wednesday. “Be honest: How many of you could have coughed up the name of the commerce secretary last week, even if a Jeopardy Daily Double were on the line?” (Especially, you, Chris Matthews.)
Even the newspapers ignored him: “In the year since he was nominated for the job by President Obama, Bryson had never once made it onto the front page of the Washington Post, New York Times or Wall Street Journal — until, of course, the bizarre series of traffic accidents in southern California Saturday that prompted him to take a medical leave.” Or as Jim Geraghty of National Review tweeted on Monday, “How is it that 4 years into economic hard times, most of us news junkies have no idea who the Commerce Secretary is?”
A massive, notoriously scandal-ridden abortion provider is operating in Los Angeles high schools? What could go wrong?
Anna Gorman, writing for the Los Angeles Times on June 5, gave a glowing report of a highly controversial move: the nation’s largest abortion provider has been put in charge of a public high school’s health care.
The front of Thursday's New York Times Home section (!) features a large story targeting Mitt Romney that makes the paper's notorious front-page investigation into Ann Romney's troubling horse habit look as significant as Watergate by comparison.
Political reporter Michael Barbaro invaded the Home section and devoted a staggering 1,800-word investigation to the fact that Romney's liberal neighbors in La Jolla, California don't approve of his presence or his politics: "The Candidate Next Door." The text box: "On a cul-de-sac in La Jolla, residents are not happy about their new neighbor's renovation plans – or his entourage."
California savings-and-loan billionaire and liberal-Democrat philanthropist Marion Sandler died on June 1, and the Washington Post obituary on Wednesday by T. Rees Shapiro underlined once again how the media “establishment” is now funded not just by advertisers, but by Democratic financiers.
Sandler backed the ACLU, the Clintonistas at the Center for American Progress, and investigative reporting partners for the Post and The New York Times:
As the national media's political attention turns again to a Wisconsin recall election ginned up by angry labor unions -- that's not counting Ed Schultz, who's never stopped obsessing about ousting Gov. Scott Walker -- it's easy to forget that the national media used to be on the other side of a recall election.
In 2003 in California, it was liberal Gov. Gray Davis who was recalled, and conservatives who ginned up the campaign. Back then, the governor was a hero and the opponents were cranks. As reporters Howard Fineman and Karen Breslau summed up in a Newsweek cover story: "So this is California: in thrall, at least for the moment, to an earnest crank and in the grip of what can only be described as a civic crackup."
Cam Edwards at NRANews.com pointed out to me that liberals in California (and "animal welfare" lobbyists across the country) are trying to demote the head of the California Game and Wildlife Commission for hunting and shooting a mountain lion in Idaho (where it's legal).
Dan Richards was pictured in a hunting newsletter smiling over his kill. Hunting mountain lions in California has been illegal for 40 years, first banned by Gov. Ronald Reagan and then by a statewide ballot initiative. The San Jose Mercury News reported:
It wouldn't take more than a nanosecond for the establishment press and TV talking heads to rip into any white political candidate -- Democrat or Republican -- who carved out a web site devoted to "Whites for Candidate X."
About a week ago, President Obama, with his powers of incumbency in tow, decided to revive something he created back in 2007: "African-Americans for Obama." And, as seen in the Obama video which appears at the site and in what appears to be a new twist, the Obama campaign is driving a Mack through the alleged wall of separation between church and state by finding so-called "congregation captains" to maximize African-American support on his behalf. As would unfortunately be expected, the press has not covered campaign's move; A Google News search on "African Americans for Obama" (in quotes) returns only 17 results, only four of which are arguably mainstream media items.
NBC whitewashed the anti-American activities of the violent Occupy protests in Oakland. The network dedicated only 34 seconds to covering the riot, but refused to mention the fact that Oakland protestors burned an American flag - despite the fact that both its sister networks, ABC and CBS, had done so.
On Saturday, Jan. 28, nearly 400 Occupy Oakland protesters were arrested for their actions in a violent riot. Occupiers vandalized Oakland's historic City Hall and burned an American flag (which they stole from the City Hall). They were harshly criticized by the Democratic Oakland Mayor, Jean Quan, for their destructive actions. MRC TV obtained footage of the American flag being burned by Occupiers in Oakland while the Occupier shooting the video recited a mocking, anti-Semitic version of the Pledge of Allegiance.
In what amounted to a love letter to California's Democratic Governor Jerry Brown on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, special correspondent Tom Brokaw gushed: "It's not sunshine every day for the California economy, but Jerry Brown has not given up on big dreams. His new big dream, a high-speed rail line from the north to the south..."
Anchor Brian Williams set the scene for Brokaw's fawning report: "California is mounting a comeback led by a man whose name has been synonymous with California government for decades." Brokaw sympathetically declared: "The one-time boy wonder of California politics is now the state's aging lion....Sticking up for his state."
Showing how no left-wing effort to raise taxes is too silly or embarrassing for ABC News to embrace, World News on Wednesday night jumped to promote a Web video, created by a group founded by a former Howard Dean operative and “featured contributor” to the Huffington Post (Rick Jacobs), to impose a higher state income tax rate on Californians earning over $1 million.
“First it was Warren Buffett,” anchor Diane Sawyer glowed in citing her hero, “and now it is reality TV star Kim Kardashian. What could they have in common? Both center stage on the question of fairness in the way the country taxes the rich versus the middle class. Some big unions in California have created an ad saying people like Kim Kardashian are the reason the tax code has to change.”
Bradley Fikes at the North County Times, whose coverage area is mostly the northern portion of San Diego County in California, appears to have broken a quite significant story last Thursday when he reported that cloning pioneer Ian Wilmut of Dolly the sheep fame (4,250 stories from 1996-2003 were found in the Google New archive) urged stem cell scientists, as Fikes headlined, to "shift away from embryonic stem cells." Wilmut, speaking at a stem cell research conference in nearby La Jolla, advocated instead for stronger pursuit of direct reprogramming of stem cells.
Five days later, searches at Google News on "Dolly sheep" (not in quotes) and Wilmut's name surfaced about a half-dozen other results, virtually all from religious and pro-life publications, and none from the establishment press. The same two searches at the Associated Press's main site (Dolly sheep; Ian Wilmut also come up empty. Here are key paragraphs from the report by Fikes (bold is mine):
The Los Angeles Times reports "Police are searching for a man who tried to knock down a Ronald Reagan statue Sunday morning. Newport Beach Police received a call about 5:30 a.m. Sunday of a vandalism in progress at Bonita Canyon Sports Park on Bonita Canyon Drive. A witness said a man in dark clothes tried to attach a chain to the base of the statue. The chain was connected to the back of his pickup and he appeared to be trying to pull the statue down."
On the Stephanie Miller radio show on Monday, Miller said this act of vandalism "is one of America's funniest liberal pranks." Yet everyone knows Miller the reflexive partisan would get the vapors if anyone tried to damage the "Little Barry Obama" statue in Indonesia.
The New York Times’s coverage of the left-anarchist Occupy movement has been very favorable, pushing the group’s vague aims of “fighting economic inequality” while downplaying the anti-Semitism, violence, vandalism, and general squalor of the leftist campouts. Now that undeniable violence has broken out at an Occupy Oakland protest that blocked the city port and halted commerce, how will the Times respond?
The thrust of the New York Times’s coverage of the violence in Oakland begs the question: When even the left-wing magazine Mother Jones reports of police in Oakland being assaulted with eggs, glass, and vinegar, what is the “objective” Times excuse for virtually ignoring the protester violence?
Yet Jesse McKinley and Malia Wollan’s report from the “Occupy Oakland” protests Friday focused not on the anti-cop violence, but on a military veteran hit in the head by a projectile and the outpouring of sympathy from all the suddenly staunch pro-military people at the Oakland encampment: “Outrage Over Veteran Injured at ‘Occupy’ Protest.”
Political dissent on campus – acceptable when it involves left-wing protesters shouting down conservative speakers, but hurtful and possibly dangerous when performed in a peaceful, parodic nature by conservatives. That’s the impression left by the New York Times.
Malia Wollan visited the campus of the University of California at Berkeley for Tuesday’s report, “A ‘Diversity Bake Sale’ Backfires on Campus.” The parody “bake sale,” mocking affirmative action in California college admissions, has not in fact taken place yet, but the threats and intimidation are already pouring in on the Republican activists -- things the Times isn't overly bothered about.
A bake sale sponsored by a Republican student group at the University of California, Berkeley, has incited anger and renewed the debate over affirmative action by asking students to pay different prices for pastry, depending on their race and sex.