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:
Alvarez’s story hyped the liberal compassion factor even more than a similar story in Wednesday’s Times, on a move in Michigan that will also trim state unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 20.
In the year [Richard Dudenhoeffer has been collecting unemployment checks in Flagler County, where joblessness remains stubbornly high, Mr. Dudenhoeffer, 61, has not even gotten his foot in the door, despite his almost daily efforts to find a job, any job. No interviews. No phone calls. No e-mails. No flicker of hope.
Norman Braman is not your typical billionaire car dealer. Nor is he your typical establishment Republican, who too often puts party above principle. Norman Braman is the type of person who strikes fear into the hearts of every professional politician who thinks he can say one thing to get elected and then do the opposite once in office.
In case you haven't been paying attention, Braman led a successful drive to recall Republican mayor Carlos Alvarez of Miami-Dade, Fla., and Commissioner Natacha Seijas. Their offenses? In a telephone conversation, Braman tells me there were many, including, he says, "sloppy bookkeeping, fraud, and the mayor's decision to use tax dollars to build a sports stadium for the local baseball team" when fiscal challenges for the city and high unemployment were harming the local economy.
Florida’s new Republican Gov. Rick Scott is moving to cut state bureaucracy, reduce regulation and make the state a more business-friendly environment, and is meeting resistance among the old political guard in Florida. But instead of hailing the governor’s fresh blood and independence (as it had done previously with liberal Republican Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida), the New York Times does its best to paint him as an ideologue in over his head.
"It's one thing to look a gift horse in the mouth. It's quite another thing to slaughter a gift horse and send its disemboweled corpse back to Washington."
That's how Time magazine senior correspondent Michael Grunwald characterized Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott's decision to spurn a federal Department of Transportation high-speed rail grant for the Sunshine State.
"This was the nation's most shovel-ready high-speed project, and the state wasn't required to spend a dime to build it," Grunwald noted in his February 16 Swampland blog post.
ABC’s World News Sunday gave attention to black Republicans who have a good chance of getting elected in this year’s congressional elections, focusing on Tim Scott of South Carolina and Ryan Frazier of Colorado, and even showing a clip of Allen West of Florida. Anchor Dan Harris set up the report: "Two years after the historic election of America's first African-American President, there is now a huge wave of black candidates running against Barack Obama. Many of these candidates have the full support of the largely white Republican Party and the Tea Party."
As correspondent Ron Claiborne filed a report, early on a soundbite was shown of South Carolina’s Scott explaining why he believes in the Tea Party movement. Scott: "I think if you believe in conservative government, if you believe in free markets or capitalism, if you believe in not spending money you don't have, you're a Tea Party member as well."
Claiborne soon informed viewers that the South Carolina Republican is expected to make history: "If Scott is elected from this Charleston district, he would be the first African-American Republican elected to the House of Representatives from the Deep South since 1901. This year, 42 African-Americans ran for the Republican nomination for House seats; 14 of them won. And, like Republicans everywhere this year, they are harsh critics of President Obama."
Republicans are likely to go with Tampa, Florida, as the venue for their 2012 presidential nominating convention in part because evangelicals hate Mormons. That's the gospel truth, at least according to Chris Matthews, who yesterday went on a loopy rant that was pure bluster and completely unsubstantiated in its assertions.
[MP3 audio available here; click play on the embedded video at right for video]
Matthews informed viewers that an RNC selection committee had submitted its recommendation of Tampa -- the RNC still has to give its formal approval -- over other finalists Phoenix, Arizona, and Salt Lake City, Utah. The "Hardball" host than gave his theory behind why the latter two cities were rejected, failing, of course, to cite any sources nor to add the caveat that this was purely his own speculation.
Media Research Center President and Brent Bozell appeared on last night's "Hannity" for a new recurring segment entitled "Media Mash," where the NewsBusters publisher and the Fox News host go over some of the latest instances of the liberal media's bias.
Last night's topics included media coverage of Florida Senate candidate Charlie Crist's jumping ship from the GOP to run as an independent and the new Arizona anti-immigration law, and Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber suspect.
Everyone knows that the quickest way to become a popular Republican in the media’s eyes is to denounce the Republicans as too extreme and conservative. The latest example is Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who became an instant media sensation when he abandoned his dreadfully losing GOP campaign for the U.S. Senate to run as an independent. Chris Matthews pushed the storyline as a “Stalinesque purge” of moderates.
Obama strategist David Axelrod crowed about how great the Democrats looked as a result: “We have a big tent. They have a lean-to now.” This, from the party that hasn’t tolerated a pro-life presidential or vice-presidential nominee since Jimmy Carter tried to straddle the fence in 1976. This, from the liberals who are presently trying to “purge” Sen. Blanche Lincoln in a Democratic primary in Arkansas. This, from the party that successfully purged Sen. Joe Lieberman from its ranks.
The Times dispatched its political personality profiler and snarkster-in-chief Mark Leibovich to Florida to report on the hot race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Mel Martinez. In the course of his report, Leibovich ran into a conservative in a parking lot who showed "contempt" for the New York Times. (Wonder why?)
Moderate Gov. Charlie Crist looks set to battle insurgent conservative Marco Rubio in the Republican primary in late August. Leibovich's piece, "The First Senator From the Tea Party?" which will appear in the Times Magazine next Sunday, described the reporter's attendance at a Tea Party rally in Orlando, from which he dutifully filed anecdotes about racist attacks, bullying, and birther-paranoia on the part of conservatives.
First, Leibovich sat down with the "embattled Republican" Crist, the "pragmatist" battling "ideological purists" in his own party:
To many Republicans, the governor's biggest sin was his support for the Obama administration's $787 billion economic-stimulus package. That's what comes up the most, although a fair number of conservatives also blame Crist for his seemingly decisive endorsement of John McCain three days before the Florida primary in the 2008 presidential campaign, effectively handing the state to an eventual nominee for whom many conservatives had little use. They see Crist's career as pockmarked with instances of consensus-seeking, deal-making and bipartisanship -- three particularly vulgar notions to a simmering Tea Party movement on the right. Conservatives have tagged Crist as being part of that pariah breed of Republican today: a "moderate." Or worse.
It's hard to find fault with such an exemplary young man, but I have.
In a Monday story in USA Today, religion writer Tom Krattenmaker reported these findings:
"Tebow does his missionary trips to the Philippines under the auspices of his father Bob Tebow's Evangelistic Association. The Tebow organization espouses a far-right theology. Its bottom line: Only those who assent to its version of Christianity will avoid eternal punishment. The ministry boldly declares, 'We reject the modern ecumenical movement.'"
If Tebow is selling that, this Lutheran isn't buying.
Blogs on both sides of the political aisle exploded last night, as first reports rolled in about a union event breaking out at a fight. That’s an exaggeration, of course. However, here are the facts, as far as we’re able to tell.
Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) scheduled a last-minute town hall meeting for yesterday evening, essentially tagging along on Florida State Rep. Betty Reed’s (D) already-scheduled town hall meeting. This meeting was also officially hosted by the Service Employees international Union, a highly politically active union that is a reliable ally of liberal Democratic politicians. Between RedState.com and conservative talk-radio king Rush Limbaugh, local conservative activists found out about this meeting and decided to crash the party.
The first reports came in through the Tampa Bay local media, depicting a rowdy town hall meeting interrupted by conservative activists demanding to be heard. This was a fairly straightforward story which contained simple quotes and facts, written by one William March. There was one quote which was particularly intriguing:
This story defines the phrase "the audacity of hope," but it probably won't make the network news. Jennifer Hale of Scripps-Howard News Service reports on unemployed artist Jennifer Stone-Anderson of St. Petersburg, Florida, who used her free time to turn her car into a rolling artistic tribute to Barack Obama. The problem? She's not making the payments:
Stone-Anderson missed her car payments in December, January and February and has started receiving calls from Chrysler. She has ignored them.
She said that Chrysler has the paperwork to repossess the car, and it's really just a matter of the company finding it at this point. The car is hard to miss, but Stone-Anderson said she's not worried about the company taking it.
"Barack says he's an eternal optimist," she said. "We're like minds."
Seriously, do the kindly folks at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's editorial board even know what the definition of the word logic is? Their headline read, "Hysteria fuels sales of guns and ammo," the Sun-Sentinel takes Floridians to task for being so stupid as to be afraid of Obama's gun banning plans, claiming that Obama "didn't do it." But, even after telling readers no one wants to ban guns, the piece ends with the Sun-Sentinel editorial board advocating for the banning of guns! So the message is, no one wants a gun ban but we should ban guns? This is the sort of logical disconnect that fuels the very "hysteria" that the paper is claiming to want to dispel.
And this ridiculous about face isn't the only illogical idea or uninformed claim the piece makes, either. Just about every word in this piece proves that the editorial board of the Sun-Sentinel is wholly uninformed about the Constitution and the technical aspects of firearms, not to mention being uninformed about the various gun banning bills floating about Congress and the several states at this very moment.
Update (Feb. 9; 11:15 EST): Apparently the Buffalo News updated the story and the link I gave in my lede goes to a follow-up story. I wasn't able to find the exact article I was writing about, but here is a link to an updated story from Feb. 6 by Armario, entitled: "Botched abortion outrages pro-life, pro-choice factions."
Maybe it's because the election is over. Or perhaps the fact that Bush is no longer President. It also might simply be because Miami Hurricane news editor, Chelsea Isaacs, hasn't been sufficiently indoctrinated yet.
Whatever the reason, her recent article about Karl Rove's visit to the University of Miami was surprisingly fair and quoted students who were quite impressed by the erstwhile Evil Genius.
The “campaign architect,” as he is commonly called, built a case against President Barack Obama’s order to close Guantanamo, an overseas CIA detention center where terrorists and other “enemy combatants” are held. Obama’s order could enable terrorists to be tried in U.S. courts, to be given undeserved rights afforded American citizens and could cause damaging long-term effects, Rove said.
“One year from now, Gitmo won’t be closed,” Rove said. “If it is, there will be an uproar in the U.S. about where to put these people.”
The Los Angeles Times recently created a stir among the Pentagon press corps, running a page one story implying that the Defense Department was cheating wounded warriors out of their disability pay.
The LAT shared the story of a Marine “wounded twice in Iraq -- by a roadside bomb and a land mine” and a soldier who “crushed her back and knees diving for cover during a mortar attack in Iraq.” The LAT indignantly reported: “…in each case, the Pentagon ruled that their disabilities were not combat related.”
A Department of Defense official tells me that a number of prominent MSM Pentagon correspondents were ready to take the Pentagon to task, but all ultimately dropped the story. Why? It turns out that, upon investigation, the LAT’s page-one piece was mostly fiction.