On August 27, PolitiFact, the once promising but now largely co-opted "fact check" site run by the Tampa Bay Times, finally got around to evaluating Obama campaign spokesperson Stephanie Cutter's August 22 lie that "over the past, you know, 27 months we've created ... more jobs than in the Bush recovery, in the Reagan recovery." Apparently, the evaluators lost their matches as they only gave Cutter's statement a "False" tag.
In doing so, PolitiFact clearly ignored its own rating guidelines, wherein "False" means that "The statement is not accurate," while "Pants on Fire" means "The statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim." Cutter made an utterly ridiculous claim, which I will illustrate beyond what was already shown on Sunday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog):
The Washington Post editorial board today set out to slam Florida's Republican governor for "threaten[ing] the integrity of elections" with his voter "purge" effort and for enforcing the state's new curtailed early-voting hours.
But in their editorial on the matter, the Post misled readers with deceptive language about how the state undertook its voter roll cleanup effort (emphasis mine):
AP couldn’t let Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio hand out juice at a campaign event in Miami without connecting them to cocaine. What? David Fischer’s story was headlined “Host for Romney event is a convicted drug dealer.” It began: “Mitt Romney held a campaign event Monday evening at a Miami juice shop owned by a convicted cocaine trafficker.”
In 1995, cocaine trafficker Jorge Cabrera gained access to Al Gore and Hillary Clinton at separate fundraisers after giving $20,000 to the DNC. When that story broke a year later, CNN tried to describe him as a “commercial fisherman.” AP’s story continued:
The media-news site JimRomenesko.com reports on Facebook comments by Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press reporter Mark Krzos, who summed up his disgust as he covered Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day: "Such a brave stand ... eating a g-ddamn sandwich." [UPDATE: Krzos has taken his Facebook page down.]
"I have never felt so alien in my own country as I did today while covering the restaurant’s supporters. The level of hatred, unfounded fear and misinformed people was astoundingly sad. I can’t even print some of the things people said," he claimed. Then he bashed talk radio:
This year, as always, Florida is a crucial swing state. Because of that, the liberal media is doing all it can to gin up Democratic base voters, attempting to energize them for the November election by bashing Florida's conservative Republican governor Rick Scott and his attempt to clean up voter rolls of noncitizens, who by definition are not allowed to cast votes. The liberal media, particularly hyper-partisan MSNBC, has also attacked efforts in other states to require voter ID. Florida has had a photo ID law since 2002.
The tragic February shooting death of Trayvon Martin also led the Left to work up attacks on the Sunshine State's Stand Your Ground laws. But new polling shows that the media's attacks are just not working. Sure, Gov. Scott himself is personally unpopular, but the policies he's pursuing are, reports Steve Bousquet of the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times (emphasis mine):
All the attention focused on today's ObamaCare ruling was bound to have some effect in drowning out this news development, but on its own merits, it's certainly one the media would rather ignore anyway. Yesterday, a federal judge -- a Clinton appointee no less -- refused to issue an injunction that would halt Florida's effort to clean up its voter rolls of noncitizens. The Obama/Holder Department of Justice is suing Florida in an attempt to thwart the state's voter roll cleanup effort.
"The decision by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle applies to Washington's request for a temporary halt and is not a final ruling in the case," the Reuters news wire reported. Today's Washington Post placed the story at the bottom of page A4 with the headline, "Request to keep Florida from purging voter rolls is denied."
Natural disasters have a way of bringing out the worst on the Left. Flooding in Florida and wildfires in Colorado “inspired” nutty talk-show host Mike Malloy and the Daily Kos to rant about how conservatives in these states deserve these disasters because they’re anti-government, and too religious to boot.
Malloy teased from his atheist worldview, “Could that be, you know, Jesus or God saying hey, you know, we're sick of you right-wingers. We're sick of you religious nuts. We're gonna -- we're gonna flood you, we're gonna burn you?” Malloy mused maybe God was punishing the Christians at the Air Force Academy:
Recent job cuts at Alabama newspapers have been steep. The Birmingham Business Journal, which (ahem) apparently is not among the participants, reports that "Three of Alabama’s largest daily newspapers, including the Birmingham News, will lay off about 400 employees as they cut back their printing schedules and increase their focus on digital." The other affected publications include the Huntsville Times and the Mobile Press Register. The job cuts are on the order of 50%-60%.
Across the Alabama border in Florida at the Pensacola News Journal, cartoonist Andy Marlette did not handle the layoff news well, as will be seen after the jump.
Of course you probably won't hear an apology or retraction on the network's programming, but PolitiFact.com has determined that MSNBC's Chris Matthews was in error when the Hardball host claimed on his June 4 program that a new Florida law -- which has been on hold by a federal judge -- made it utterly impossible for voter registration drives to sign up new voters over weekends. The law requires voter registration drive volunteers to turn in new voter registration forms within 48 hours after having collected them. "You don’t have to be a lawyer to own a calendar or know what a weekend is. A weekend is 48 hours," Matthews sneered at Florida GOP chairman Lenny Curry, insisting that its impossible to register new voters over a weekend without running afoul of the law
But the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald-run PolitiFact site did what Hardball producers should have done before Chris took to the air, actually look up and read the text of the legislation. In doing so, PolitiFact found that there's an exception in the law that takes weekends into account:
While the national liberal media, particularly MSNBC, have been eager to portray Florida's efforts to remove noncitizens from its voter rolls as a "purge" that is really motivated by partisan attempts at "voter suppression," the Miami Herald reporter who's been covering the story as it develops seems to see it quite differently than his colleagues.
In today's 16-paragraph page A6 story, "Legal challenges tie up new voting restrictions,"* the Washington Post's Krissah Thompson reported that many "[s]tricter ID laws and other controversial voting restrictions" could be held up in the courts until after November election.
At no point in her story, however, did Thompson note recent polling shows 70 percent of Americans back photo ID for voting. What's more, while Thompson noted Obama/Holder Justice Department staffers are working to thwart "an effort by Florida's Republican secretary of state to remove noncitizens from voter registration lists, saying it is illegal to conduct such a purge this close to an election," she failed to note that in this instance, it may well be the Obama administration that is violating federal law by refusing to assist Florida officials.
In a segment titled onscreen "What's the Matter with FL," MSNBC's Alex Wagner today continued her network's efforts to flog conservative Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) for his voter "purge." This despite the fact that the "purge" -- which targeted a mere 0.02 percent of registered voters in the state-- has not disenfranchised a single eligible voter and has in fact brought to light noncitizens who were illegally registered to vote. What's more, neither Wagner nor anyone else on her panel informed viewers that the Obama administration itself appears to be violating federal law by not helping Florida with its voter rolls cleanup effort.
To service her network's spin on the matter, Wagner turned to Rolling Stone magazine's Eric Bates and Ari Berman, the latter of whom insisted that the Sunshine State's efforts were part of a GOP effort to "depress the turnout" of Obama-friendly voting blocs.
Florida is a "state where a small number of ballots can swing a presidential race," MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell noted on her eponymous program this afternoon as she introduced Miami Herald's Marc Caputo to discuss Florida's attempt to "purge" its voter rolls of noncitizens.
But while Caputo noted that some 13 noncitizens -- who are of course ineligible to vote -- have been found and eliminated from the state's voter rolls thanks to the Sunshine State's efforts, Mitchell sought to present the inquiry as a waste of time because it's found so few noncitizens on the voter rolls thus far. [video update follows page break; MP3 audio here]
It's the Monday after a woefully disappointing unemployment/jobs report and the day before the Wisconsin recall looks likely to blow up in Democrats' face. You're MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts. How do you rally the Democratic base? It's as simple to turning to an old network standby: blasting those dastardly Republicans for "voter suppression" efforts.
On two programs today -- Roberts's 11 a.m. EDT MSNBC Live and filling in at 2 p.m. EDT on Tamron Hall's NewsNation -- Roberts treated viewers to softball interviews with liberal activists who bemoaned a voter "purge" in Florida.
NPR's Greg Allen has dutifully joined others in the liberal media in presenting the liberal Democratic spin on Florida's efforts to remove noncitizens from its voter rolls as a heavy-handed "purge." As I noted yesterday, the so-called "purge" has amounted to just 0.02 percent of the state's voters being called to address discrepancies in their voter registration that suggest they are noncitizens.
Predictably, Allen seized on the Democrats' poster veteran, Bill Internicola, a 91-year-old Bronze Star recipient who was born in the Bronx and is, of course, a natural-born citizen. But of course Allen failed to inform listeners of NPR's Morning Edition that Internicola's citizen status was questioned by state officials perhaps because of a date-of-birth discrepancy between his voter registration and his driver's license. Noted the Miami Herald:
"A consortium of 13 media companies, including The Associated Press, is challenging efforts to seal certain documents in the second-degree murder case of the neighborhood watch volunteer charged with killing Trayvon Martin," the AP reported today.
"Both sides also say they worry that witnesses will be harassed if their names are released," the AP noted. "The State and Defendant wish to be able to receive a fair trial and try this case in the courtroom and not in the media," prosecutors argued in a legal motion presented to Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr., NBC Miami's Edward B. Colby reported last Thursday.
Comparing conservatives to Hitler is old-and-busted. The new hotness, if you ask Martin Bashir, is comparing them to Stalin.
A few months ago, you may recall, Bashir compared Rick Santorum to the long-dead Soviet dictator. Now it's the state of Florida, more specifically, the conservative Republican Rick Scott, who is getting the honors. "Why is the Sunshine State in the midst of a purge that even Josef Stalin would admire?" Bashir rhetorically asked on the way out to an ad break on today's program. The "purge," by the way, is one admitted by a Democratic official in Broward County, Florida, to be "very, very microscopic" in nature. [video follows page break]
The New York Times's Serge Kovaleski reported from Sanford, Fla. on the many "missteps" in the police investigation into the fatal shooting of black youth Treyvon Martin by George Zimmerman: "In Martin Case, Police Missteps Add to Challenges to Find Truth." Of course, the Times and the rest of the media have made plenty of their own mistakes in covering the volatile case.
Kovaleski's front-page story Thursday glided over a scrap of data pointing toward vindication for Zimmerman: "...One witness, though, provided information to the police that corroborated Mr. Zimmerman’s account of the struggle, according to a law enforcement official."
Despite NBC's refusal to engage in any transparency regarding its internal investigation into the airing of two fake audio recordings of George Zimmerman, information about how they made it onto the air is continuing to leak out.
According to a Southern Florida television news blog, the creator of at least one of the false audio clips was a correspondent with NBC's Miami affiliate WTVJ named Jeff Burnside. According to SFLTV, Burnside was the person responsible for editing Zimmerman's call to 9-1-1 which made him appear to be racially motivated in his pursuit of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. That manufactured audio was then taken by NBC News and run on the air:
Editor's Note:Last week, NBC’s Today show doctored George Zimmerman’s 9-1-1 call so that his motive for shooting Trayvon Martin appeared racial. Over the weekend, NBC reported to The Washington Post that an investigation would be forthcoming after the Media Research Center (MRC) exposed their fraud. It appears NBC’s investigation has been completed.
Last night, NBC issued a two sentence explanation on it. NewsBusters publisher and MRC president Brent Bozell argues that the network's "apology" is as dishonest as the original piece and that Comcast, which owns NBC and MSNBC, needs to clean house at the network:
We reject this fraudulent apology. We're not surprised. After all, NBC "investigated" itself. We again call on Comcast, not NBC, to investigate this matter -- thoroughly, honestly, and professionally.
In what is apparently completely unimportant news to just about everyone except NBC2 in Southwest Florida and Andrew Breitbart, numerous instances of illegal voting by non-citizens have been uncovered. Projecting the problems across the state and into the rest of the nation would seem to indicate that many thousands of people who are registered to vote should never have been allowed to register and are routinely casting ballots illegally.
A Google News search on "Florida vote fraud" (not in quotes) at Google News at 11:00 PM ET indicated that there was a grand total of six stories on this disturbing development. Immediately below the reference to the non-citizen voting news is a link to a Tampa Bay Times editorial posted two days ago which claimed that voter fraud is "a nonexistent problem in this state." Uh huh. What follows are excerpts from each segment (Part 1; Part 2) of Andy Pierrotti's NBC2 report (also look at the TV reports at the links, which differ from the text below):
Mitt Romney can’t win for losing. Wednesday’s New York Times “news analysis” by Michael Barbaro and Ashley Parker posed as concerned over the “heavy new baggage” the Romney campaign had acquired by successfully going negative against Newt Gingrich in his Florida primary victory Tuesday night: “A Nasty Fight Carries Risks for the Winner.” Of course it does.
Who cares what an unelected dictator thinks about the U.S. presidential campaign? Well, New York Times reporters do. Michael Shear and Trip Gabriel were in Miami following the campaign in the runup to next Tuesday’s Florida primary and quoted Fidel Castro in Thursday’s “Candidates Scramble to Win Hispanic Voters in Florida.”
They even suggested the dictator (who they merely called “the retired Cuban leader”) “had reason to be annoyed” at threats voiced by Republican candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.
Keith Morelli of the Tampa Tribune is not much of a fact-checker. His story on Chris Matthews on Tuesday began: "Veteran newsman and 'Hardball' host Chris Matthews will be in Tampa this weekend, touting his new book about John F. Kennedy."
Leftist radio talker Mike Malloy is really obsessed with executing conservatives. When the Navy SEALs shot Osama bin Laden, he asked when they would "drop in on George Bush," since he "was responsible for a lot more death, innocent death, than bin Laden."
On Tuesday, Malloy wished death on Thanksgiving for Florida Gov. Rick Scott. "And then this miserable son of a bitch has the audacity to go to a homeless shelter? It's a wonder somebody didn't hold his head down in a vat of turkey gravy until he stopped squiggling! He goes to a homeless shelter and talks about how he cares...? Mmm-hmm!" (Listen to the audio)
In the past few weeks, Gov. Rick Scott has traveled around the state extolling the accomplishments of the recent legislative session and promoting his success in pushing Florida down a more conservative, financially sound path.
Gov. Rick Scott at the budget signing in May, which was marred by reports that some Democrats were removed from the event
So why is his approval rating the lowest of any governor in America?
Steinhauer’s profile, while not overtly hostile, contained no less than eight ideological labels to describe the “conservative” West, not including the first word of the headline, while his comments on feminism and support for Israel were labeled “incendiary.” This from a newspaper that constantly refers to the truly incendiary Al Sharpton as a “civil rights activist.” A sampling:
But the most compelling part of Representative Allen B. West of Florida is his own biography, there for all to see: an African-American Tea Party activist Republican congressman and ally of hard-right Israelis who, after his beloved career in the Army ended under a cloud, defeated the sitting Democrat in a largely white, politically polarized district here and quickly became one of the right’s most visible spokesmen.
Mr. West’s popularity among conservatives goes far beyond South Florida. He was chosen to give the keynote speech in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference, and is frequently featured on the Fox News Channel and in other conservative settings where he enjoys explaining, reiterating or unleashing any number of incendiary remarks concerning what he often calls “the other side.”
In Florida, New York Times reporter Lizette Alvarez buttered up Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida (aka Superwoman) the new head the Democratic National Committee, in Monday’s “In a Life Filled With Firsts, One More.” In case there weren’t enough superlatives in that headline, the subhead had another: “Energetic Florida Congresswoman to Be Democrats’ New Leader.”
By contrast, in March Alvarez suggested new Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott was in over his head, a political “novice” with a “go-it-alone style” that “irritated” or “annoyed” even his fellow Republicans.
Whoever is compiling a list of what journalists really believe when they put forth certain vague but commonly used phrases (e.g., using "some people believe" instead of truthfully saying "in my opinion") should consider adding the following: "small but vocal group" really means "a tiny bunch of people I agree with."
That's my assessment as I look at two uses of the term this past weekend, each referring to pathetically small gatherings of people using tax-filing weekend as a excuse to protest "corporate tax loopholes."
The first comes to us via David Roeder of the Chicago Sun-Times (HT JammieWearingFool via Instapundit), where the paper's headline writers cooked up something that would give those who didn't read the underlying report the impression that the city's Tea Party Tax Day protest was small: