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.
Green Vehicles is no more. The world will somehow have to get by without the lovely vehicle pictured after the jump populating our streets and highways.
Given that its owner put an "I've giving it up" blog post last Tuesday, and even though Drudge just caught it a few hours ago, it's pretty safe to assume that the Green Vehicles debacle won't be a national establishment press story.
It is, however, a fairly hot story in Salinas, California, a city of about 150,000 fifty or so miles south of San Jose.
The video-game industry has won again in court, insisting on their right to make the most debased gaming experience imaginable and market it to children with little commercial restraint. On June 27, the Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 against California’s law mandating that children are not allowed to purchase “Mature” video games without a parent.
The political elites are celebrating the Court ruling as a victory for a vibrant First Amendment, rejectinthe very notion of social responsibility on the part of the video-game makers and their often-twisted conceptualization of what constitutes “fun” for children.
Redwood Heights Elementary School in Oakland, CA has joined the chorus of those wishing to mainstream “gender-bending” by enacting a program this week that, according to a press release, tells kindergarteners “there are more than two genders.”
The kindergarten through fifth grade school hosted a 2-day program for students titled, “Gender Spectrum Diversity Training,” in which single-sex Hawaiian geckos and transgender clownfish were brought in to teach children that “there are different ways to be boys. There are different ways to be girls,” according to Redwood Heights principal Sara Stone. Students received gender diversity training as they learned about “boy snakes that act ‘girly’.”
Quirky liberal California Gov. Jerry Brown (elected to the post for the second time) was glorified in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine story by reporter Adam Nagourney in "Jerry Brown’s Last Stand."
Brown proceeded to answer the reporters’ questions with a display of self-confident humor and a command of facts, history and language that befits a man in the eighth decade of his life, as he likes to describe himself. The news conference ended, 22 minutes after it began, only when a reporter signaled the close with a clipped, "Thank you, governor." Brown wandered down the terminal, trailed by two television reporters who wanted to book him for studio interviews. One handed him a business card, which Brown slipped into his shirt pocket. When the governor arrived at his waiting car, he laid a garment bag straight and neat in the trunk and climbed into the passenger seat.
This White House faced strikingly little press criticism during the 2008 presidential campaign and through most of its first two years in office. So seldom is this White House meaningfully criticized in fact, that even the most mild jab apparently inspires backlash against the press.
Just last week it was revealed that a San Francisco Chronicle reporter was booted from the White House press pool for the crime of recording an anti-Obama protest with her smartphone. Then today, the Pleasanton Weekly, a small newspaper in Pleasanton, California, revealed that the White House had asked that the paper remove a passage it felt reflected poorly on First Lady Michelle Obama.
And, amazingly, the paper obliged. It removed the passage, saying it didn't want to make a "fuss." The White House is grateful for the self-censorship, I'm sure.
They are a constant if unlikely pair these days: the oldest man elected governor of California and the woman who is its youngest budget director, shuttling from office to office as they meet with lawmakers, confer quietly in the Capitol hallways and fend off reporters and lobbyists.
Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, lived through another fiscal crisis when he was governor 30 years ago. The budget director, Ana Matosantos, 35, was barely able to do addition back then, but she has the experience that comes with having served under the last governor and through three years of California fiscal crises.
Medina painted Matosantos as a budgetary whiz (who, conveniently, is also opposed to Republican spending cuts):
Recently, the Los Angeles branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) released a video showing a group of protestors exhibiting anti-Muslim sentiments outside an ICNA fundraising dinner. Liberal media outlets ran with the press release as a way to highlight bigotry towards Muslims, with the video showing up on The Guardian, Think Progress, Salon, Mediaite, Huffington Post, and Hillary Clinton’s source for ‘real news’, Al Jazeera. Problem being, the video and press release is so wrought with false statements, distortions, and a cut and paste documentary style, it could have passed as a Michael Moore film.
Naturally, these news outlets casually gloss over the ICNA’s controversial ties to radical clerics, terrorist organizations, and the implementation of Sharia law. Outlined previously, the group has hosted events with such speakers as radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, and Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and one of the keynote speakers at this particular fundraiser. Additionally, the group has documented ties to Hamas, Jamaat-e-Islami, and the Muslim Brotherhood.
All facts which seemingly bear little relevance as to why there would be a protest in the first place. But even beyond an exploration of reasons behind the protest, is concern that these media outlets would present a distorted video as evidence of anything other than their own journalistic malpractice.
MSNBC's prime-time "town hall" on immigration reform yesterday exemplified one of the more unseemly elements of media bias: brazen political advocacy disguised as an "honest conversation."
Attempting to pass itself off as a forum for voices on all sides of the immigration issue to elevate the dialogue, "Beyond Borderlines" featured droves of liberal guests who dismissed, admonished, and overwhelmed only token conservative opposition.
From the outset of the program, conservative guests were disadvantaged and drowned out. The "conversation," which touched on a wide-range of issues related to immigration reform, was steered by hosts Lawrence O'Donnell, who is a self-described socialist, and Maria Teresa Kumar, who is executive director of Voto Latino, a liberal immigration reform group.
Mike Cutler, one of the few guests who offered a contrasting perspective on the issue, was repeatedly attacked by Kumar, who oscillated between the conflicting roles of questioner and answerer, and the other panelists.
Yesterday the California Supreme Court ruled "that illegal immigrants are entitled to the same in-state tuition breaks that are offered to citizens who attend public colleges and universities."
The Associated Press reports that "[t]he high court unanimously upheld a state law that says any student, regardless of immigration status, who attended a California high school for at least three years can qualify for in-state tuition that's much less than what out-of-state students pay."
The losing party in the case plans an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, so this may not be the final word on the issue.
Given that the Golden State is flat broke and illegal immigration is a hot button issue nationally, this sounds like a story worthy of mainstream media attention.
Yet it appears the story has been largely ignored or buried by the MSM thus far.
It’s no secret that the nation is preparing for a GOP tidal wave with significant conservative victories in the Senate and House next Tuesday. The election has essentially focused on domestic economic policy. Conservative candidates have been gaining ground with a popular job growth/lower taxes/revive the economy mantra.
But desperate liberal Democrats have suddenly shifted the focus from the economy to divisive social issues like abortion and gay rights, and the mainstream media have been more than willing to give them a platform. Media personalities like Matt Lauer, Rachel Maddow and Eleanor Clift are loudly voicing concerns over the future of gay marriage and the legal status of abortion.
Earlier this evening, conservative radio host and friend of NewsBusters Mark Levin conducted a nearly 20-minute interview with Gloria Allred, a celebrity attorney who's also known for her liberal politics.
Allred is representing one Nicky Diaz, an illegal immigrant who worked as a housekeeper for California Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman. Allred alleges Whitman employed Diaz knowing that she was an illegal immigrant. Whitman denies the allegation and says she fired Diaz after learning that she was an illegal.
Levin, a veteran of the Reagan Justice Department and president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, grilled Allred for, among other things, willingly exposing her client to legal jeopardy. Diaz is, after all, an illegal immigrant who quite possibly committed Social Security fraud, a federal felony.
Levin also asked Allred if she was working for Diaz pro bono or if she was being paid by a third party. Allred declined to disclose that information and also denied any collaboration with the campaign of Whitman's Democratic opponent, Jerry Brown.
In late July, NB Contributing Editor Tom Blumer busted the Associated Press for neglecting to mention the party affiliations of scandal-plagued officials in Bell, California. The AP piece was one of hundreds of reports on the scandal. Of those hundreds, one solitary report mentioned party labels for the five officials.
Can you guess which party they belong to? I'll bet you can.
The only news outlet that mentioned the officials were Democrats was the Orange County Register. And even that paper noted the absence of party labels only in response to reader complaints. "Our readers noticed one part of the story has been left out by virtually all media sources," the paper's editorial board wrote. "All five council members are members of the Democratic Party."
The most prominent of the officials in question, former Bell city manager Robert Rizzo, resigned after it came to light that he was making $1.5 million per year - in a town with a per capita income languishing at about half the national average.
Many readers may already be familiar with recent exposure of the treasury plunderers disguised as public officials serving up hefty salaries to themselves while allegedly serving their constituents in the LA suburb of Bell, California.
Here's some of the latest from the Associated Press, carried at the Los Angeles Times, which broke the original story, for those who need a quick catch-up. Almost as night follows day, the news doesn't answer a question many readers here and elsewhere will naturally have:
Several hundred angry residents from a modest blue-collar Los Angeles suburb marched Sunday to call for the resignation of the mayor and some City Council members in a protest sparked by the sky-high salaries of three recently departed administrators.
The residents of the city of Bell marched to Oscar's Korner Market and Carniceria, owned by Mayor Oscar Hernandez, then to his home, demanding that he reduce his own six-figure compensation or quit.
They then did the same with some members of the City Council, with many marchers wearing T-shirts that read "My city is more corrupt than your city."
When news recently broke that the 78 year-old actor Larry Hagman had surfaced in California promoting solar energy as means of staving off the end of civilization, I must admit I was somewhat taken aback. Prior to this, the last time anyone had heard from Hagman was when he was part of a "who done it" spoof which TV viewers watched in an attempt to ascertain "Who Shot J.R.?"
Now he looks like just so many other Hollywood figures that miss the limelight and therefore come out and say something crazy in order to get a little attention: Either that or he actually believes the things he said in the interview for the Oregonian. (After reading the interview a couple of times, I personally hope he's just talking crazy to get attention because if he really believes the things he said, Hollywood has hit a new low.)
In the interview, Hagman takes Sarah Palin's famous "Drill, baby, Drill" and augments it to fit solar energy by changing it to "Shine, baby, Shine." He describes solar power as "an inexhaustible source of energy" which he uses to provide electricity for his home.
ABC anchor Diane Sawyer greeted Meg Whitman’s victory in California’s Republican gubernatorial primary by putting forward Democrat Jerry Brown as the savior protecting the nation against Whitman becoming Governor. “Jerry Brown told us today, he wants the country to know that he sees this as an epic duel in California between the politics of ideas and the power of money,” Sawyer warned from Los Angeles in setting up an interview with Brown aired on Wednesday’s World News. Sawyer later relayed how Brown “believes the soul of California is at stake.”
Condemning Whitman’s spending on ads, Brown charged “it's almost like a ministry of information in a totalitarian country,” before he offered up pablum, unchallenged by Sawyer, about how he’ll solve the Golden State’s $20 billion shortfall by telling “legislators you have to get did of your cars, get rid of your perks.”
Sawyer fondly recalled: “For 40 years we watched him – the son of a political family who studied to be a Jesuit priest, then turned Buddhist seeker. When he became governor, he lived in one room, bed on the floor, and rode around in his own Plymouth.” Now, “he says it's a singular time for a man who believes the soul of California is at stake. He remembers studying Buddhism in Japan.” Brown got the last word in ABC’s infomercial for him: “‘Life and death is a serious matter. Time waits for no man. Do your best.’ And that, I think, could be the spirit of this campaign.”
Nagourney argued that Arizona's strict new immigration enforcement law has "hijacked this contest" and "stirred worry" that the Republican nominee will be weakened against Democrat and former California Gov. Jerry Brown. (Yes, that Jerry Brown.) He portrayed being on the strong side of a popular issue as a stumbling block for California's G.O.P. gubernatorial candidates: