A 13-month-old child was found yesterday morning, unsupervised and wearing only a onesie, in a tent in the Occupy D.C. squatters camp in McPherson Square. To their credit, some Occupiers notified authorities, who arrested a man who showed up later claiming to be the baby's father. That being said, it's just the latest criminal incident which highlights the ongoing problems of the 3-month long "occupation" of an urban square that was never intended for overnight camping.
But, of course, the media are doing their darndest to downplay or ignore the story: ABC's Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, and NBC's Today failed to report the incident. The Washington Post placed their 7-paragraph story on page B6. A review of the websites for the ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliate stations in D.C. shows they are not trumpeting the story as significant. Ditto with WTOP.com, the website for the region's all-news radio station.
The cold weather may have really cut into the crowds "occupying" two public spaces in the nation's capital, but The Washington Post doesn't care about crowd size. It's still publicizing some sort of protest juggernaut, like a ski resort manufactures snow when none has fallen. The Post's Sunday front page was dominated by the headline "LOVE AMID THE TENTS." The biggest "news" of the day was casual sex, hippie-style.
Post reporter Annie Gowen proclaimed that "As the Occupy movement enters its fourth month locally, it has spawned two full-service camps, more than 100 arrests and an ongoing constitutional debate over the right to free speech on federal land. But a combustible combination of youthful energy, enthusiasm for shared ideals and tight living quarters has given rise to something else: Romance. Lots and lots of romance." The bolded part was italicized and sprawled above a four-column picture taken inside a tent looking out.
A Democratic member of the Washington, D.C. City Council announced his resignation yesterday after he decided to plea guilty to federal charges of embezzlement and filing false tax returns.
The news of Harry Thomas Junior's resignation made the front page of today's Washington Post, which promptly noted the disgraced councilman's Democratic Party affiliation. Thomas's party affiliation, however, was ignored by the websites for WJLA and WRC, the ABC and NBC affiliates. WUSA, the CBS affiliate, mentioned deep in its coverage that Thomas "agreed to resign from the seat once held by his father representing residents of the heavy democratic voting Ward 5."
Editor's Note: The following is a quote from a letter NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) founder Brent Bozell sent to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) earlier today, spurred in part by the recent revelation that NPR host Lisa Simeone served as a spokesperson for the Occupy DC protest.
NPR is out of control, using taxpayer money to lend support to a sometimes violent and lawless mob set on crippling the financial backbone of our country.
Speaker John Boehner will deliver the commencement address at the Catholic University of America on Saturday, inspiring a letter of protest from Catholic professors claiming the Republican budget resolution for 2012 "will hurt the poor, the elderly and the vulnerable, and that he therefore has failed to uphold basic Catholic moral teachings." New York Times religion reporter Laurie Goodstein filed a respectful story that made the front of Thursday’s National section, "Critical Letter By Catholics Cites Boehner on Policies."
Yet when President Obama delivered the commencement address at Notre Dame in May 2009 amid protests that the preeminent Catholic university shouldn't be honoring a president who supports partial-birth abortion, the Times' response was snippy and dismissive. And abortion is a clear-cut issue for the Catholic Church in a way that budget levels for government welfare programs are not – even under Republican budget constraints, those programs are not going away.
Speaker John A. Boehner, a Republican who grew up in a Roman Catholic family in Ohio [note: The initial online version read "devout Roman Catholic family"] is scheduled to give the commencement address on Saturday at the Catholic University of America in Washington, a prestigious setting in church circles for its affiliation with the nation’s bishops.
But now Mr. Boehner is coming in for a dose of the same kind of harsh criticism previously leveled at some Democrats -- including President Obama -- who have been honored by Catholic universities: the accusation that his policies violate basic teachings of the Catholic Church.
The sound and fury of last week’s budget debate came down to a dollar figure that some members of Congress could have covered by writing a personal check.
Elective abortions for poor women in the District of Columbia -- a central bargaining chip in the deal -- have cost the city $62,300 since August, city officials say.
In a national budget that is measured in trillions of dollars, that might not seem like much. But for this city, which raises $5 billion in tax revenue each year but does not have the final say over how to spend it, the compromise -- which restores a ban on the use of local taxpayer money for abortions -- served as a bitter reminder of its powerlessness.
"Indefensible Marriage Act" blares the cover page headline for the Feb. 24 Express tabloid, a free publication of the Washington Post available around the D.C. metro area.
"In a major victory for gay rights, President Obama says the U.S. will no longer defend the federal law banning same-sex marriages," notes the caption for the photo depicting a hand holding both a miniature American flag and a miniature gay rights rainbow flag. On page 13 a subheading approvingly labels the move a "landmark call" by the Obama administration.
Why does it seem at times that our government and “public health” advocates think parents are a social problem? Parents at Hardy Middle School in the affluent Glover Park neighborhood in Washington, DC were shocked to discover that a sex-and-drug-use survey had been distributed to 12-year-olds in their physical education classes without any warnings or consent forms sent to parents.
The first words the children read were these: “This questionnaire asks you about sex and drugs (like cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, ecstasy, and marijuana).” Of course, they promised, “Your answers will not be told to anyone in your school or family.”
The mindset of these popsicle psychiatrists was evident right off the bat. The very first question was “What is your gender?” Two possibilities, you think? Try four boxes: Male and female, plus – “transgender (M to F)” and “transgender (F to M).” This was handed out to 12-year-olds.
Talk about "stimulus" spending. The gay DC weekly magazine Metro Weekly comes with an article by David Pittman on how "female condoms may be some gay men's new best friend." This may be a little difficult to report on in a family newspaper like The Washington Post, but casual sex is once again being subsidized by the condom enthusiasts at the District of Columbia Department of Health:
Ramirez recommends inserting the condom before going to a party or club where the likelihood of hooking up is high.
''There's always an excuse not to put on a condom,'' Ramirez said. ''With the female condom being in already, it's like you don't have to bring up the conversation. You go straight to it.''
Recognizing their value, the D.C. Department of Healthlaunched a campaign this spring to hand out 500,000 female condoms in beauty salons, convenience stores and high schools [!] in parts of the city with the highest HIV rates. But just like with anal sex, female condom insertion differs based on the bottom's comfort level, users say.
Despite a claim by Washington Post Ombudsman Andrew Alexander, that "accusations of journalistic overkill" in the newspaper's recent coverage of same-sex marriage are "off-base," the Post itself keeps piling up evidence of its pro-gay agenda.
The Culture and Media Institute found that between March 3, the day after same-sex couples could being applying for marriage licenses in the District of Columbia, through March 10, one week later, the Post devoted nearly 543 inches of column space (almost four full pages) to the new law and what it meant for local gay couples. Supporters of the changed policy were quoted 10 times more than opponents.
Alexander spoke with CMI last week about its review of the Post's coverage, but between March 18 and March 25, the newspaper devoted another 191 inches of column space to gay rights. Thirty-four different pro-gay quotes appeared in four stories, one of which was written by a bisexual, while the opposing view did not appear at all.
Last May, The Washington Post highlighted Patricia McGuire, the president of Trinity Washington University, for a speech lashing out at the "snarl of hatred" of pro-life protesters of President Obama’s commencement speech at Notre Dame. McGuire is the cover girl of Sunday’s Washington Post Magazine, and her vicious liberal speech is a mere footnote in a puff piece by education reporter Daniel de Vise.
The cover said "The soul of Trinity: For two decades, Pat McGuire has been consumed by turning a Catholic college into a model for urban higher ed." [Italics theirs.] As is typical in the Post, McGuire is a raging liberal, but the reporter never uses the L word. They simply suggest that at some point, she found the "right" side of history:
Even though his cable TV news network may not have that many viewers in relative terms to his competitors, MSNBC's David Shuster apparently has some clout when it comes to getting things done in Washington, D.C. - at least on a municipal level.
Shuster, making effort to give his viewers some "perspective" of his personal experience with the reason record-breaking snowfall in Washington, D.C., showed pictures of scenes near his Washington, D.C. home - complete with unplowed snow and a downed tree on MSNBC Feb. 12.
"And to give you some perspective on what it's been like for all of us here in Washington, D.C., on residential streets that don't get plowed," Shuster said. "First up, this is a picture my wife took on Sunday in front of our house looking north of 32nd Street," Shuster explained. "This was after the first storm that dumped about 23 inches and before the second drop of another 12. And here's a photo from the same angle last night, the weight of the second storm caused one of the trees to fall down yesterday morning breaking windows in that apartment building on the right. We have street parking and here's what 35 inches of unplowed snow does to cars."
Aside from protesters taking on CNN reporter Lisa Desjardins, as NewsBusters Matt Sheffield pointed out, there were also other pockets of backlash against media evident at the march, which were captured on video (pardon my shoddy camera work).
The march that preceded the rally in front of the U.S. Capitol took place on Pennsylvania Avenue, from Freedom Plaza to the West Lawn of the Capitol went directly in front of the Newseum, a building erected that supposedly honors those deemed the most important practitioners of the First Amendment - the news media. Marchers chanted, "Shame on the press," as they passed the colossal 250,000-square-foot building dedicated to the press situated between the White House and the U.S. Capitol on Pennsylvania Avenue. (0:17)
No matter how much money any government - federal, state or local - puts into public education, it's never enough in some people's eyes.
A July 1 "NBC Nightly News" segment detailed a new use of tax payer dollars in one of the worst performing, financially struggling school systems in the country - the Washington, D.C. public school system. They are paying school children with taxpayer funds, part of a social experiment to improve school participation at the middle school level.
"Keeping the exuberant sixth graders of Shaw Middle School at Garnet-Patterson in line on a sunny Friday is a challenge for principal Brian Betts," former "Nightly News" anchor-turned-correspondent Tom Brokaw explained. "But this is not an assembly, it's payday. It's called Capital Gains - paying students for good grades, behavior and attendance, part of the massive restructuring of the D.C. schools by a 38-year-old Korean-American woman, who as chancellor, wants to transform what is by many measures the worst-performing public school system in the U.S."
Last Friday, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer expressed her shock and disbelief that Arizona State University would not award President Barack Obama an honorary degree since he was their commencement speaker.
However, over the weekend, the University announced it would instead name "their most important scholarship" after Obama - instead of awarding the president an honorary degree.
"Here's the statement from ASU President Michael Crow: ‘We never felt an honorary degree was the only or event the best means of honoring his tremendous service to our country,'" Brewer said. "‘Naming the scholarship program after President Obama that will affect the lives of thousands of students is an honor befitting, not only the president's exceptional achievements, but also his value as an individual.'"
That didn't impress Brewer, responding on MSNBC in a segment on April 13. "Whoop-dee-do! That's my reaction," Brewer said
You could almost hear "How dare he!" being uttered by the left-wing establishment when Politico reported April 9 that a Republican congressman identified a specific number of "socialists" in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In a speech he gave at his home district, Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., the ranking Republican, Rep. Barney Frank's (D-Mass.) counterpart, on the House Banking Committee, said there were 17 socialists among him and his colleagues in the House.
Some in the media were also disturbed by Bachus' remarks and expressed dismay on MSNBC April 10. Emily Heil, a frequent guest on MSNBC and "Heard on the Hill" columnist for Roll Call, expressed her shock that Bachus would use "socialist" for a description of some members of Congress. MSNBC's Peter Alexander asked Heil what sort of backlash Bachus might face.
"Sure, well I think people are going to be pressing him on this and I think it was really a surprising thing to say - to say something that sort of inflammatory with that level of specificity, with providing an actual number," Heil said.
Everywhere it's been tried - liberal, or progressive as it's sometimes described as, talk radio hasn't taken off with the success conservative talk radio has.
Case and point - the top six of March 2009 Talkers magazine "Heavy Hundred" talk show hosts are conservative. The top liberal host, Thom Hartmann, come in at number 10. However, liberal talk show host Stephanie Miller appeared on CNN's April 5 "Reliable Sources" and insisted there is more at play than just pure market forces holding the liberal format back.
"Well, you know - I just did a panel on the Fairness Doctrine," Miller said. "I have to tell you, I brought ratings information. And people like me and Ed Schultz are consistently beating conservative shows in many, many markets. And yet - there is 10 percent liberal radio in this country. Ninety percent of the stations are conservative. You just cannot argue anymore it's because liberal radio can't compete."
Remember all those TV segments and magazine articles that had a list of 10 things you can do to save the planet from the perils of global warming? More likely than not, one of things you were urged to do was to switch all you incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs).
And, if you didn't heed their advice, the government's forcing you to through the legislative process. Congress banned the incandescent light bulbs in the energy bill signed into law by former President George W. Bush on Dec. 19, 2007. The bill increases efficiency standards and effectively bans traditional bulbs by 2014.
However, a segment by Washington, D.C. CBS affiliated WUSA on March 30 reported these CFLs were responsible for a fire at the home of Rick Jenkins, a resident of Cumberland, Md.
However one prominent global warming alarmist reportedly didn't fully participate in the Earth Hour festivities. According to Drew Johnson, president of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, global warming activist and former Vice President Al Gore left his lights for the hyped Earth Hour.
"I pulled up to Al's house, located in the posh Belle Meade section of Nashville, at 8:48pm - right in the middle of Earth Hour," Johnson wrote and reprinted on the Washington Examiner's blog on March 29. "I found that the main spotlights that usually illuminate his 9,000 square foot mansion were dark, but several of the lights inside the house were on."
The Seattle Times compiles what it calls "The Favor Factory," which it calls "A database of lawmakers, earmarks, and campaign giving."
One noteworthy congressman in the Favor Factory is Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA; picture at right is currently at his home page).
Moran's Favors Factory page for 2008 lists 29 earmarks totaling $40.6 million, and over $890,000 in capaign contributions from earmark recipients.
Recall that Nancy Pelosi promised "Fiscal Restraint If Democrats Win" in a July 2006 Wall street Journal interview about the congressional elections that would be taking place four months later (link is to cato.org, which excerpted the now unavailable WSJ report). She also told the Journal:
“Personally, myself, I’d get rid of all of them,” she said. “None of them is worth the skepticism, the cynicism the public has… and the fiscal irresponsibility of it.”
Rep. Moran begged to differ just one month earlier, using language he would hopefully avoid around the second-graders with whom he is pictured above (actual offensive four-letter word is at link), as reported by a local metro DC community newspaper, the Sun Gazette:
Which would be the safer place to be for a political figure who's received death threats?:
a. A school concert in a public venue. b. A press conference in the company of the President-elect of the United States of America.
If you answered 'b,' you're thinking like me and presumably most people. If you answered 'a,' you're A.B. Stoddard. The associate editor of "The Hill" offered up the strange excuse that death threats are preventing Rahm Emanuel from attending press conferences in the course of an MSNBC appearance this afternoon during which she also claimed that "President-elect Obama is taking steps to be as forthcoming and as open and as transparent as he promised he would be."
Washington, D.C., local JoEllen Murphy has received a steady stream of media exposure for her Biblical message to counter the controversial "Why believe in a god?" ads seen on metro-area busses.
On Monday, December 15, D.C.-area Metro busses will sport a pro-God advertisement that is a direct response to a $40,000 atheistic ad campaign sponsored by the American Humanist Association. Those ads read, "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake."
A Fairfax County registrar's attempts to disenfranchise soldiers voting by absentee ballot is one step closer to being reversed thanks to a legal opinion issued yesterday by Virginia Attorney General Robert McDonnell (R). Although the Old Dominion is a hard-fought battleground state in the 2008 presidential election and John Kerry-backing Fairfax County should be a true-blue source of Obama votes, the story was given just five brief paragraphs on the page four "Virginia Briefing" feature of the October 28 paper's Metro section.
The fact that the registrar, Rokey W. Suleman II, is a partisan Democrat who has worked hard to register inmates at the county jail was unreported in both Christian Davenport's Oct. 28 brief and his full October 27 online article. In fact, Suleman's name itself was missing from the print edition squib.
Washington Examiner staffer William C. Flook reported on October 8 about Suleman's efforts to register jail inmates to vote. While not illegal, his push to register misdemeanor convicts stands in stark contrast to his hair-splitting read of Virginia state law to toss out military absentee ballots for lack of a witness's address (emphases mine):
Democrats love their celebrities, and academia, well, they'll settle for celebrities' fathers. Cinncinatti.com's John Kiesewetter reports that Nick Clooney, George's dad, will be the "distinguished journalist in residence" at the American University in Washington D.C.
Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin, in the Tuesday edition of the Washington Examiner’s "Yeas & Nays" feature, reported that Helen Thomas gave a vehement denial of whether the media, and the White House press corps in particular, has a liberal bent. "Yeas & Nays got a sneak peak at Rory Kennedy’s new HBO documentary -- ‘Thank You, Mr. President: Helen Thomas at The White House’ -- which premieres next month, and Thomas is asked whether most White House reporters are liberal. ‘Hell no!’ she responds. ‘I’m dying to find another liberal open their mouths. Where are they!’ This is the second day in a row that Dufour and Gavin have reported on interesting quotations from members of the mainstream media.
During the documentary, Thomas went on to accuse the press of treating Former President Bill Clinton oppressively, especially during his second term. "[Thomas] exhibited great empathy for what President Clinton went through during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. ‘I don’t know how he could have taken what he took,’ said Thomas. ‘For reporters, it was a story you couldn’t avoid as much as you’d like to,’ but ‘no president has been subjected to that type of tyranny.’"
The Washington Examiner’s Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin reported Monday in their regular "Yeas & Nays" feature that Katie Couric had announced with pride, "I am a feminist." The ultra-liberal National Organization for Women honored Couric at their annual Intrepid Awards Gala last week in Washington, DC, and the CBS Evening News anchor received a warm welcome from her feminist compatriots.
During her speech before the NOW Gang, Couric "opened up," as Dufour and Gavin put it. She quipped to her hosts that "[i]f everyone in the country was like you, CBS News would be number one." Yes, perhaps if everyone were liberal feminist Democrats, then maybe Couric’s program wouldn’t be dead last in the ratings.
Now, this isn’t exactly a surprising "full disclosure" by Couric. When she was still on the Today Show in 1997, guest Whoopi Goldberg outed Couric’s "pro-choice" position on abortion when the comedienne revealed the two had attended a "pro-choice" march together. In October 2006, after the father of a victim of the Columbine shootings declared his pro-life position in a "freeSpeech" segment on CBS Evening News, Couric wrote on her blog that his view might be seen as "repugnant."
Nearly two years ago on Newsbusters, I floated a proposal that newspapers require their editorial and other writers to police themselves for accuracy by requiring them to turn in footnotes with their copy. The process would force writers to check information they think they know that isn't so.
With the traditional media admitting they find it hard to curb their enthusiasm for Barack Obama, John McCain demonstrated again today that he is reaching out to the new media, giving blogging critics from the right and left the opportunity to participate in the blogger conference calls he has been regularly conducting. The Washington Times noted the phenomenon in an article of May 16, McCain widens dialogue on blogs, reporting that three of the seven questions in the May 15 conference call were posed by liberal-leaning bloggers.
Of the half-dozen or so questions McCain took in today's blogger call [in which I participated], one was from a blogger from the left. James Kirchick, a New Republic assistant editor/blogger [and National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association 2007 Journalist of the Year], quizzed McCain on his position on the proposed amendment to the California constitution limiting marriage to one man and one woman [McCain expressed support for the amendment and for the ballot initiative giving citizens the right to vote on it].
The most barbed question actually came from the right. Quin Hillyer of the Washington Examiner began by expressing "all due respect," eliciting a wry "I always like that beginning" from the senator. Hillyer went on to describe what he characterized as "one of the most frequently aired complaints from conservatives," to wit, that "when you disagree with conservatives you seem to use the anger and the language of the left, and to question not just conservative positions but motive or integrity." Hillyer asked for assurances that McCain would "avoid that tendency" if he were elected President. McCain fundamentally disagreed with the premise, stating that he treated all people with respect.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that National Public Radio, long a taxpayer-subsidized sandbox for Sixties-retread liberalism, has decided to keep its headquarters in the District of Columbia -- thanks to a huge 20-year property tax holiday. "Neil O. Albert, deputy mayor for planning and economic development, said that NPR will not pay property taxes on the building for 20 years, saving $40 million. The city has agreed not to raise property taxes by more than 3 percent on the station's Massachusetts Avenue building for two decades, or until NPR sells it."
Reporters Yolanda Woodlee and Miranda Spivack also reported other local property owners were incensed at the special dealing as their taxes multiply:
Nicholas Deoudes, who owns three buildings less than a mile from the future NPR location, said that his property taxes increased last year from $13,614 to $36,151. Deoudes, who has owned the buildings for 29 years, said the city needs to help longtime business owners who stayed when the area was a "ghost town."
Author and political reporter Timothy Carney has an interesting item this morning in the Washington Examiner about how Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) practically gets campaign contribution kickbacks from her support for subsidies to the drug industry for the so-called emergency contraceptive pill Plan B. Emphasis mine. (h/t James Joyner):
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., portrays herself as a scourge of the pharmaceutical industry, but she has shown that she’s willing to help a drugmaker if that’s what it takes to profit Planned Parenthood, her indispensable political ally.
Clinton’s campaign Web site touts that she has “battled the big drug companies.” Yet she has sponsored many bills that would directly subsidize Barr Laboratories, maker of the emergency contraceptive pill Plan B, which also functions as an abortifacient. Thanks to a deal cut between Barr and Planned Parenthood, those taxpayer subsidies will yield generous profits for the pro-choice group that every four years spends millions trying to elect a Democrat to the White House.