A 60-year-old white woman from Spring Hill, Florida is quoted as saying that there is no chance a black man can win the White House. This same woman, Sandra Cichon, is quoted in a total of three St. Petersburg Times stories, the latest being from September 15. But in a follow up interview, Barbara Sowell of digitaljournal.com finds that Cichon claims she was never called by a pollster, as the paper claims, and never told any reporter that she wouldn't vote for a black man.
So who is right? Did the St. Petersburg Times merely make up racist quotes out of whole cloth and put words in the mouth of this woman or is she suddenly trying to take back what she said by claiming not to have been interviewed about Obama? Here's the story and you can decide.
Orlando Magazine (FL) published the amazing life's story of Florida artist Mark Pulliam in their August issue. It was an amazing story of a man who seemingly did everything. Played Major League Baseball, hobnobbed with the likes of Paul McCartney, Madonna, and Tiger Woods as well as finding great success as a local artist. Oh, it seemed a whirlwind life. One little problem. Little of it was true and Orlando editor Mike Boslet want you to know he's sorry.
Unfortunately for Orlando Magazine, they simply took Mark Pulliam's word for it all, ran with the story, and were informed by readers that many of the details didn't seem to pan out. So, on second look, the editors of Orlando sent an investigator to track down the various factoids that Pulliam told them about his personal history. It turned out little of what Pulliam claimed was true.
If these allegations are true, the danger isn't their potential to gather secrets. Instead, it's their ability to quietly shape opinion and influence public policy on Cuba through powerful academic groups, frequent media statements and slanted analyses as they maneuver within elite academic-think tank circles--and even brief government agencies and the military.
After several media outlets discovered the Democratic congressman from Florida uses his in-laws' house in a Florida retirement community to meet residency requirements, he has sent out an e-mail (entire text here) asking for campaign donations - alleging it's his "strong and vocal stands in favor of impeaching President Bush and Vice President Cheney" that has made him a target of "ultra-conservative" media.
"In the eyes of the right wing, I am seen, along with Rep. Kucinich, as one of the symbols of the impeachment fight. They believe that if they defeat me - they defeat our cause," Wexler wrote. "For the last week, I've been relentlessly targeted by ultra-conservative radio and television hosts, as well as my local media. It has taken a toll. Now more than ever, I need your support to help me stay in Congress to represent your voice in Washington."
She thinks she has lit upon a "responsible idea" to regulate guns. The idea Megan Kristen Lewis of the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat thinks is "responsible" is to put global positioning tracking devices (GPS) in every gun. That way the government could track down your firearm if it is "stolen" or used in a crime.
Miss Lewis attempts to assure the reader that she really is a fan of guns before she unleashes this great idea, of course. She knows people with guns, she claims, and she doesn't "fear" them. Why, she grew up around them, she says. Of course, they were always locked up in a safe so no one could get to them. Still, she says her Father taught her about "weapon safety from a very young age."
Sadly, her Father neglected to teach her about the Constitution or about world and American history because if he did her Big Brother gun tracking program idea would have never occurred to her in the first place.
This is the sort of report that immediately gets my BS detector up. A recent Palm Beach [Fla.] Post story is trying to claim that Americans are running to Europe to claim dual citizenship because the U.S. is so horrible for everyone here. Yet, even as the story is making the claim that more Americans are fleeing this country for Europe, it offers no statistics to prove it. And the Post even admits that there are none to be got. So, in essence, all we end up with is a claim and nothing but circumstantial and anecdotal evidence with no real facts to prove anything. But this piece does, however, succeed in bashing the USA at every turn.
The first sentence sets the tone of lament that the rest of the piece carries by giving the reader a sense of something lost, a foreboding that foreshadows the end of the prominence of the United States of America.
The Miami (FL) Herald let lose with another propagandistic broadside against the 2nd Amendment on Thursday featuring some more moaning and false statements about how horrible it is for America that the misnamed "assault weapons ban" has lapsed. There is much wringing of hands, waterworks, histrionics and over dramatics by the aptly named Fred Grimm here. In "What's a few dead cops to the gun lobby?" Grimm's final pronouncement is that the 2nd Amendment is a "mythical right" but in between there are many misstatements and out right lies.
Grimm starts out putting on some faux "shock" that a modern "semiautomatic assault rifle" he had the occasion to handle was so light. "The shock was in the weight of the thing. Less than six pounds," Grimm writes. And, what exactly does this mean? A butcher knife weighs less then a pound and can kill, too. What does weight have to do with anything?
In an appearance on Monday's Hannity and Colmes on FNC, former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris responded to the HBO movie Recount, about the 2000 Florida recount of the presidential election, as she charged that the movie ignored Harris's early attempt to implement a statewide recount in Florida, a move which was fought by the Al Gore campaign. According to Harris attorney Joe Klock, who worked on the recount case, Gore "wanted no part of" a statewide recount, instead preferring to "count in their four carefully-selected counties," which were predominantly Democratic.
The segment began with a clip of actress Laura Dern negatively portraying Katherine Harris in the movie Recount. Harris responded:
I'm quite accustomed to being mocked in terms of my appearance, but when the truth is so flagrantly disregarded ... we had to respond. In fact, in the closing scene of this film, when two of Gore's lead campaign consultants were leaving by the airplane, they said, "You know, we should have gone after that statewide recount at the beginning." Had the author of this film ... bothered to do the research, then, perhaps, he would have learned that indeed we did that from the very start.
New York Times TV-beat reporter Alessandra Stanley reviewed "Recount," the HBO film about the controversial aftermath of the 2000 presidential campaign vote in Florida.
Many have commented on how the movie clearly visualizes the contest through a Democratic prism. Predictably, Stanley loved it, and let her opinion of one major GOP character (often loathed by liberals who accuse her of handing the election to Bush) very clear.
"Recount," an astute and deliciously engrossing film on HBO this Sunday night, retells the tale of Florida in all its bizarre and inglorious moments, from haggling over the "hanging chad" and "butterfly ballots" to the ruckus between the Florida secretary of state, Katherine Harris, and the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board. "Recount" is not satire; it's a mordantly serious look at a moment when character, political influence and luck fatefully collided.
Then it was time for some Katherine Harris-hating:
"A certain segment has basically been feeding a kind of xenophobia. There's a reason why hate crimes against Hispanic people doubled last year,'' Obama said. "If you have people like Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh ginning things up, it's not surprising that would happen."
The Post noted that Obama also dismissed the notion that he would have a difficult time wooing Hispanic voters that Sen. Hillary Clinton and Republican Sen. John McCain have claimed as their own. "I'm confident that if the Latino community knows me well, they know my values, they know my stance on the issues, then they will know no one will fight more for things that matter to them,'' Obama said. Including amnesty?
From windy Washington, D.C., to sunny Palm Beach, Florida, the liberal print media are refusing to note the liberal bent of an interest group vocal in the health care debate.
The March 26 edition of the Palm Beach Post -- a broadsheet notorious to conservatives for its unbalanced treatment of Rush Limbaugh -- featured not one but two articles which pushed government-run universal health care. In both of them, the Post asserted that Floridians are dying daily due to a lack of health care coverage.
The source for the Post’s assertion was a recent study by the liberal group Families USA. Not surprisingly, the Post described the organization as simply a “nonpartisan” group that advocates for “comprehensive health care” while conveniently leaving out the group’s liberal tendencies, its support of socialist-style universal healthcare and that its political allies include liberal Democratic politicians such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.)
I have never seen, from a supposedly serious media establishment, a more hate filled rant against a particular state in this great country than this screed against Florida in the Washington Post. Granted, writer Libby Copeland has spewed hate filled rants in the past, but this one is particularly mean-spirited. Copeland seems to hate the elderly who've moved to Florida, she hates the business community there, appears to scoff at the asylum seekers from Cuba that settled there, and claims that all dreams die there. And what does it all boil down to? Al Gore's loss in the 2000 election, naturally! At this rate, I'd suggest she not vacation in Florida in the near future after this slam on everything Sunshine State.
Ostensibly, Copeland is using the fact that Florida is seemingly the end of Rudy Giuliani's road to the White House as the excuse for her evisceration of the state. According to Copeland, dreams are dashed in Florida just like Rudy's were. She warns us to "Beware of the Sunshine State, Where It's Easy To Get Burned," and thinks that Florida's good days are behind her, stranded in the 1970's, "since those were the good days for Florida."
My friend Cam Edwards proclaimed he was going on a "rant" on Friday night on his radio show "Cam & Company" (on Sirius satellite radio and at nranews.com) about the latest example of the national media ignoring stories of armed self-defense. While the networks were charmed by the story of 14-year-old Michael Six fending off a burglar with a baseball bat in Arizona, there was this eyebrow-raising story from the Orlando Sentinel:
An armed citizen surprised four men who robbed him at gunpoint last week.
After being ordered to his knees, Russel Olofson warned the men that "they should think about it," according to an Orlando police report released this week.
A private investigator with military training, Olofson, 24, told police the robbers snatched his cell phone and a wallet containing his concealed-weapon permit shortly before 10 p.m. Friday outside Ridge Club Apartments.
The wire service began by deliberately mischaracterizing the Cubans as “migrants” instead of calling them “refugees” or even “passengers.” Labeling them “migrants” ignores Cuba's political and economic straitjacket, and more importantly links Cuban refugees to the issue of illegal immigration.
The media are beginning to call everyone who comes to America with the intent to stay, “migrants,” whether here legally or not, which erases any distinctions. People who are anti-illegal immigration often support Cuban refugees remaining in the US, and linking the two issues can reduce opposition to illegal immigration.
While explaining why the Cubans risked their lives coming to the US, Reuters ignored Castro's totalitarian regime (bold mine throughout):
Previously in NewsBusters, PJ Gladnick and I have blogged about South Florida newspapers, such as the Miami Herald, that have left out disgraced former Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne's political affiliation. Jenne is a Democrat, and a gun control-friendly one at that (more on that after the page break).
It appears Jenne's party registration remains under lock and key at the Herald. Here's reporter Wanda J. DeMarzo's short December 6 story on Jenne being sent to a prison camp in Georgia:
It appears that Editor & Publisher felt the need to get in front of some really bad news in the newspaper business. In fact, the sampling of numbers reported previews a report that will apparently be worse than others I have tracked (previous posts here, here, and here):
According to industry sources speaking to E&P, daily circulation for reporting papers in the six-month FAS-FAX period ending September is down about 2.5% while Sunday is expected to fall 3.5%. Those types of declines -- in the 2% and 3% range -- have been occurring as far back as the March 2005 period.
Campaigning for the loyalty of young voters can be tricky, so holding a fundraiser in a Miami night club can't hurt (although it didn't help then-Florida gubernatorial candidate Janet Reno in 2002). But holding one in a night club that hosts "Striptease Sundays" is just asking for media scrutiny, although I doubt it will be a big row for Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
But at least MSNBC noticed the gaffe (see screencap at right) at about 10:42 in the August 26 edition of MSNBC Live.
On Tuesday’s edition of "Nightline," anchor Martin Bashir interviewed businessman Tom Monaghan, founder of a new Catholic university in Florida and also a community called Ave Maria that will be based around Catholic values. Bashir parroted criticism that the town has "been described as a Catholic Jonestown, a kind of Catholic Iran, where individual rights and liberties are curtailed."
Earlier in the segment, Bashir asserted that the community, which will encourage traditional values but be open to all,has "been called a Disney World for Catholics, a country club Christianity."
On Saturday’s "Early Show," host Jeff Glor framed a political headline in a way that portrays President Bush as criminally uncaring. The story was about a seven year old Orlando boy who wrote a letter to the president, pleading for him to do something to make his community safer.
Jeff Glor (Host): "And one seven year old boy's cry for help has gone as far as Capitol Hill and the White House."
Santiago Valera: (Video) "Dear Mr. President, hello, sir, my name is Santiago Santana Valera...."
Glor: "In a letter to the president, Santiago describes the shooting death of his aunt and his fear of even playing outside in Orlando, Florida now. His words were read this week on the House floor by his congressman. It led to the passage of a bill to beef up police departments nationwide. President Bush is expected to veto that legislation."
Glor offered no specifics about the bill nor did he provide any explanation as to why the president is expected to veto it. Rather, from the framing of the story, the president is portrayed as something of a heartless monster, inexplicably denying the impassioned pleas of a scared child. According to spokesman Blair Jones, the administration has spent 2.5 billion dollars on the issue since 2001.
But a Florida Republican state legislator is only arrested for solicitation of oral sex from an undercover male police officer, and his party affiliation is rendered in the second paragraph of the AP story.
That doesn't seem to square with the AP Stylebook, which says party affiliation mention should be tested by relevance to the story and that in some stories "[p]arty affiliation is pointless."
In an interview published today in the Tampa Tribune, Meredith Vieira talks about how wonderful her two jobs are, co-hosting NBC's "Today" and hosting the game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." In particular, she loves the "switching gears" aspect of the stories she covers on "Today":
She says 'Today' is a great challenge 'because you can go from reporting on the presidential pardon of Scooter Libby to grilling hamburgers outside on the patio - from one kind of grilling to another - and I love that. Switching gears makes it so much fun.'
Presidential pardon? Pardon me? President Bush did not pardon Libby, he commuted his sentence. There is a huge difference between a pardon and a commutation. The felony conviction is still on his record, along with the huge fine he was ordered to pay, and he still faces the possibility of having his law license revoked. The only difference is that Libby won't have to serve jail time. And while the White House says a full pardon has not been ruled out, it hasn't happened yet.
Instead, for every Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi we can show a Bill O'Reilly, an Ann Coulter, a Rush Limbaugh, a Glenn Beck and a Sean Hannity. Idiocy parades unashamed in the streets on both sides of the war on terror.
After hearing that Sami Al-Arian confessed to a dirty laundry list of terrorism related activities, I was eager to see how the liberal St. Petersburg Times would handle the story. Today they posted an editorial about "The Real Al-Arian," writing about all the horrible things he has done and lies he told. But is that an accurate account of the role the Times played in defending him? Maybe when you consider it is a newspaper that employs a former ACLU director as a columnist and has a Huffinton Post contributor for a reporter and an F.B.I. wiretap exposing a Times reporter acting as Al-Arian's media coach.
With the benefit of this hindsight, hindsight that the rest of us had little problem seeing in foresight, let's take a look at some past quotes. One has to wonder why a huge newspaper with vast resources couldn't see what the rest of us saw so easily.
Robyn Blumner: "...[USF President] Genshaft's stated intention to fire tenured computer science professor Sami Al-Arian due to the swirl of controversy over his activist Islamist views. Here Genshaft cannot deflect blame for besmirching the university's reputation. She made the call, and it's once again the wrong one for academic freedom and free speech...
There was an interesting article in the Floridian Gainesville Sun over the weekend. Said the article,
"The statements sound like a refrain from a third-party independent like Ross Perot or Ralph Nader:
'I think we are living in a time where there is a remarkable abuse of power in Washington and Tallahassee,' the candidate told reporters earlier this month. 'People are so hungry for change because they don't feel a part of what happens up here.'"
At Get Religion, Terry Mattingly notes that Gov. Jeb Bush is catching flak from the atheist lobby for encouraging Florida children to read "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe." Barry Lynn of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State is typically wheezing over anyone encouraging stories with Christian metaphors. (Actually, Lynn's claiming C.S. Lewis is "retelling the story of Christ," but I don't remember the Gospels saying Jesus was a lion, not a human.) Palm Beach Post reporter S.V. Date is scandalized at how Bush’s "Just Read, Florida" effort is funded by Walden Media, producers of the Narnia movie, which the Post notes is run by Philip Anschutz, a big Republican contributor. Walden makes family films, and its latest film was "Because of Winn-Dixie."