The Comcast Corporation, sole owner of NBCUniversal now, recently made the decision to refuse advertising from gun stores and ammunition manufacturers. Operating in 39 states and the District of Columbia, it is by far the largest cable company in the country. What's more, it holds a regional monopoly on cable TV in a multitude of markets, meaning it's the only affordable televised commercial access that many gun stores have.
The blanket directive was issued just as soon as its purchase of NBCUniversal was finalized, which has had a long-standing policy against gun-related ads on its networks.
New York Times reporters Jonathan Weisman and Michael Cooper both suggested Mitt Romney would be hurt by comments made by Indiana's Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock at a debate Tuesday night. While explaining why he doesn't support abortion in the case of rape, Mourdock said: "I've struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
Democrats and their media allies pounced, devoting more airtime to Mourdock's comments than to damning emails showing the White House was informed within hours that the Benghazi attacks were terrorism, not a spontaneous reaction to a YouTube video. The paper's get-Romney attack line was clear from the headline in Thursday's edition: "Rape Remark Jolts a Senate Race, and the Presidential One, Too."
The New York Times's Monica Davey and Trip Gabriel shared Democratic "giddiness" over the possibility of winning a Senate seat in the Republican-leaning state Indiana on Thursday: "With Primary Over, a New Battle for Indiana Senate Seat Begins." The text box was all sunshine for the Democratic Party's prospects for the Indiana seat: "Strategies emerge as Democrats now see a chance at a win."
The morning after Senator Richard G. Lugar, in his 36th year in office, was overwhelmingly defeated in a Republican primary election, this state awoke on Wednesday to another surprise: A new battle, now likely to be far fiercer and costlier than once expected, was already brewing over the seat he leaves behind.
The passage of "controversial" right-to-work legislation in Indiana is a "blow to organized labor." That's the spin by Reuters reporter Susan Guyett, who front-loaded her coverage of the bill's passage by focusing on anger from liberals and labor unions over the new legislation (emphases mine):
Indiana House of Representatives Democrats could incur fines for every day that they refuse to show up to work. Democratic caucus members have threatened to fail to report for duty as a protest against a Republican bill that would make Indiana a right-to-work state.
Reporting the story for the Associated Press today, Tom LoBianco (available here on Twitter) heavily weighed down his report with sob stories about the potential financial difficulty facing Democrats should they boycott the job they were elected to do (emphasis mine):
Here in Michigan, more than 11,000 families received letters last week notifying them that in October they will lose the cash assistance they have been provided for years. Next year, people who lose their jobs here will receive fewer weeks of state unemployment benefits, and those making little enough to qualify for the state’s earned income tax credit will see a far smaller benefit from it.
On Wednesday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), quoting Indiana Congressman Andre Carson's inexcusable, hateful comment at a Congressional Black Caucus event on August 22 (key sentence: "Some of them in Congress right now of this Tea Party would love to see you and me ... hanging on a tree"), I observed that "Carson was obviously accusing some of his congressional colleagues, whom he gutlessly would not name, of actually wanting (not metaphorically wishing) to see himself and his black colleagues lynched." I should also note that in an earlier segment of the quote originally cited by Matthew Balan at NewsBusters, Carson said, of Tea Party sympathizers wishes, "And this is beyond symbolic change." This is why I also wrote that "The meaning of the words Carson used is not arguable."
With a disregard for the truth and gutlessness similar to Carson's, Indianapolis Star columnist Erika D. Smith wrote today that the congressman "had the guts to stand up and say what we've all seen over the last three years," while also asserting that "I really don't care" if any congressmen actually want to lynch anyone. Here's more; brace yourself (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
It’s a major story, packed with statistics and charts and interviews, clocking in at 2,500 words, which suggests the idea to bring Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels down a peg was being bandied about back when the governor seemed about to enter the Republican presidential race (he declined on May 22, citing family concerns).
Gov. Mitch Daniels sits in his grand cave of a Renaissance Revival office and reviews Indiana’s economic fortunes, his self-effacing manner not entirely disguising satisfaction. The state’s pension funds are relatively healthy, the unemployment rate is dropping slowly and per capita income is ticking up, slowly.
With Sen. John McCain making conservative noises on illegal immigration, Lugar may be the best bet for the Times to foster its dream of a moderate (i.e. toothless) Republicanism to counter the Tea Party, one that accommodates Democrats and supports, as Lugar did, President Obama on issues like amnesty for illegals. In November 2010, Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer marked Lugar as a brave "maverick" who had refused to succumb to "hyper-partisanship and obduracy," like the rest of the G.O.P., presumably.
During the 11AM ET hour on MSNBC on Tuesday, anchor Thomas Roberts decried Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels voicing support for legislation to de-fund the state chapter of Planned Parenthood as "a move that has many questioning if politics is playing too much of a role in women's health."
Turning to Planned Parenthood of Indiana President Betty Cockrum, Roberts declared: "...here's the national reality for everyone out there that may not understand what it is that Planned Parenthood does, and this was checked by Politifact, only 3% of services at national clinics are abortion-related." What he failed to mention was that Planned Parenthood is America's largest abortion provider, performing over 300,000 abortions per year. According to its annual report, Planned Parenthood of Indiana performed 5,580 abortions in 2010.
Three years ago, Steve Skvara won the admiration of many in the mainstream media by basically calling for taxpayers to foot his wife’s health insurance. Now he's ba-a-ack! No longer hailed by Chris Matthews or People's Weekly World, he still manages favorable, unquestioning coverage. Today's nwi.com Web site, which bills itself as "the largest and most trusted media company in northern Indiana," carries the article "Health care spark gets a checkup." Written by editorial page editor Doug Ross, the piece starts:
In December, Steve Skvara of Union Township was hospitalized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for 28 hours in hopes of a clean bill of health. He emerged with a bill for $96,000.
It was pleasant, he said, to have a waiter in a tux deliver his meal, but was that really necessary?
His experience is relevant because it was Skvara who lighted the fuse on the health care debate in which the nation is now embroiled.
It was on Aug. 7, 2007, that Skvara asked the seven Democratic presidential candidates what they would do to get health care to "the woman I love." Skvara explained that he lost much of his pension when LTV collapsed, and he was forced to sit across from his wife at the kitchen table, knowing he couldn't afford her health care.
Cam Edwards giggled as he shared his "Headline of the Week" with his audience Friday night at NRANews.com. It comes from Indianapolis: "Homeowner Holds Burglar Hostage."
Understandably, while that headline remains on Google, WXIN (Fox 59) has changed the headline now to the more appropriate "Homeowner holds burglar until police arrive." The lesson is a gun owner beats a burglar with a screwdriver:
22 year-old Jorge Barrera now faces burglary charges.
According to police, Barrera entered the home on the southwest side of Indianapolis late last night armed with a screw driver.
President Obama delivered the commencement address at Notre Dame on Sunday, amid protests that the nation's preeminent Catholic college shouldn't be honoring a pro-choice president who even supports the gruesome procedure of partial-birth abortion.
President Obama directly confronted America's deep divide over abortion on Sunday as he appealed to partisans on each side to find ways to respect one another's basic decency and even work together to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.
As anti-abortion demonstrators protested outside and a few hecklers shouted inside, Mr. Obama used a commencement address at the University of Notre Dame to call for more "open hearts, open minds, fair-minded words" in a debate that has polarized the country for decades. The audience at this Roman Catholic institution cheered his message and drowned out protesters, some of whom called him a "baby killer."
Monday's print version is toned down from the original filing Sunday afternoon at nytimes.com. That story, credited to Peter Baker alone, had a headline with a more defensive thrust -- "At Notre Dame, Obama Defends His Abortion Stance." That filing (no longer available at nytimes.com, but you can read it here for now) also included this paragraph:
In keeping with the Old Media's penchant to lionize The One, the Indianapolis Star is pouring on the saccharine to celebrate the Obammessiah once again in a piece that praises the fact the Obama has made community organizers "cool" at long last. But, a closer reading shows that this new craze for community organizing isn't all the IndyStar tries to make it out to be.
The Star starts out with the hearwarming tale of law student Zac Elliot who has assured the paper that he has changed his mind about what he wants to do with his life. Gone are his selfish, capitalist dreams of becoming a high paid lawyer and in is his newfound desire to be a "cool" community organizer like his idol Obama. He now wants to help the regular folks because "coincidentally, it's also become cool" to emulate The One.
Liberally slanted legal reporter Neil Lewis has a scoop-let on President Obama's anticipated first court appointment, the "moderate" Judge David Hamilton, to the federal appeals court in Chicago ("Moderate Is Said to Be Pick for Court").
Lewis saw this upcoming move as a "signal" Obama's future appointees would be "moderate" as well. But how truly moderate is David Hamilton, federal trial court judge in Indiana and former board member for the Indiana ACLU?
Lewis provides no evidence, only the vague assertion that Hamilton "is said by lawyers to represent some of his state's traditionally moderate strain." But that seal of approval has a certain "strained" quality itself; if Hamilton is "said" to "represent some" of Indiana's moderation, then he's not all moderate, but something else as well. Probably something liberal. Why?
For one, the liberal Obama picked him. For another, his only memorable rulings, according to Lewis himself, were two anti-conservative ones. In one case, he sided with the ACLU on prayer, a ruling later overturned. Third, Hamilton clerked for a liberal judge. Lewis's assertion is contradicted by factual evidence from his own story.
The popular Poynter Institute weblog Romenesko highlighted a new study Tuesday insisting the TV networks favored the Republicans in presidential campaigns from 1992 to 2004, with this blurb:
"We don't think this is journalists conspiring to favor Republicans," says Indiana University's Maria Elizabeth Grabe, who wrote "Image Bite Politics" with Erik Bucy. "We think they're just so beat up and tired of being accused of a liberal bias that they unknowingly give Republicans the benefit in coverage."
The Indiana University professors came up with this bizarre result by studying the visuals of TV news, the "image bites." A glance at the press release shows the study's sample size was tiny:
They examined 62 hours of broadcast network news coverage -- a total of 178 newscasts -- between Labor Day and Election Day over four U.S. presidential elections between 1992 and 2004. Cable news outlets, including CNN and Fox News, were not included in their research. The professors are now looking at 2008 election coverage.
In a story on "Potential Problems at the Polls," Time's Michael Scherer passed along to readers a misleading anecdote about some nuns from South Bend who were "turned away" from the polls in Indiana's May presidential primary. The scary tale of sweet elderly nuns being robbed of their right to vote was how he introduced Time readers to potential problem #6, "New Burdens of Proof."
The sisters of the holy cross [sic] in notre [sic] Dame, Ind., don't have much use for driver's licenses. Or at least that's what a dozen of the nuns thought on May 6, when they went to vote in the presidential primary. They were each turned away as a result of a recently established ID-check requirement at Indiana polls.
In truth what actually happened was the nuns refused to avail themselves the opportunity of voting via provisional ballot and Scherer is hardly the first to mislead readers as to the facts of the incident in question.As I noted in a May 6 NewsBusters post:
If you're going base an entire TV show on taking potshots at conservatives and Republicans for anything and everything, you might try to get at least the simple things right - things like grade-school U.S. geography.
MSNBC's Oct. 13 "Rachel Maddow Show" must not have read that memo. After launching into a Keith Olbermann-esque tirade criticizing Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain's geographic campaign strategy, the best and the brightest couldn't correctly label the state of Indiana, mistaking it for Illinois - which ironically is Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama's home state.
If Barack Obama wins this election, there will be absolutely no doubt whatsoever that one of the things that will help push him over the top is massive Democrat vote fraud. It'll make the Democrats that stole the 1960 JFK/Nixon election for Kennedy look like pikers. One example of this massive vote fraud is in the amazing fact that there are now more registered voters in Indianapolis than are actually eligible to vote. News at 11? How about no news at all.
Oh, sure, there have been stories in the media in Indiana covering the vote fraud issue. But almost to a report they are covered as mere charge and counter charge and end up making the GOP look as if they are engaged in just the normal partisan bickering. But no one is reporting the true nature of this vote fraud.
Jane Pauley, one-time co-host of NBC's Today and Dateline NBC programs, is actively campaigning for Barack Obama. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote of one such appearance in Portage, Indiana that attracted only eight people. That event also featured Steve Skvara, the retired steelworker who in August of last year tearfully asked Democratic presidential candidates at a debate, "What's wrong with America? And what will you do to change it?"
It's only fair that I follow up by reporting that Pauley's current efforts are being met with much more enthusiasm. Maybe it's because she's now campaigning at Democratic headquarters and that's a more welcoming venue than the previously utilized union hall, difficult as it is to distinguish between the two. Perhaps the advance planning, blamed for her earlier poor turnout, was improved. Possibly it's because she lost Skvara, even though his admirers include MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who last year asked Skvara, "Well, can I pay tribute—can I pay tribute to you, sir?"
There's a heartwarming story in today's Times of Northwest Indiana. Jane Pauley, one-time co-host of NBC's Today and Dateline NBC programs, made an appearance yesterday for Barack Obama. Joining her was Steve Skvara, the retired steelworker who in August of last year tearfully asked Democratic presidential candidates at a debate, "What's wrong with America? And what will you do to change it?" The Times reported:
PORTAGE Former television news anchor and Hoosier native Jane Pauley returned to her professional roots Monday during a local appearance on behalf of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama.
Pauley, who said she worked for the state Democratic Party before launching her successful news career, took part in a panel discussion aimed at touting the benefits of Obama's economic plans for Hoosiers over that of his Republican challenger John McCain.
If you have been watching the primary election coverage tonight you've probably seen at least one story about elderly nuns from South Bend, Indiana, who were "denied the right to vote" for lack of a photo ID.
It's a shame when the mainstream media, bear false witness. Even more so when they exploit the nun angle to carry water for left-wing groups that opposed the law all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Under Indiana's voter ID law, persons lacking proper ID can vote. The only difference is they cast a provisional ballot which is not counted until after their identity is verified within 10 days following the election.
In one of her earliest drafts, AP's Deborah Hastings did note the 10-day provisional ballot exception, but still crafted her coverage to paint the South Bend sisters as the victims of an unforgiving law:
Update (14:11): Video is no longer up on YouTube, so we pulled the embed. For more coverage, see Ed Morrissey's post at Hot Air.
Just in time to prove a major migraine for the Clinton campaign for the May 6 Hoosier State primary, a YouTube video alleges Clinton backer Mickey Kantor once derided Indianans as "sh*t" and "white n****rs." Fellow NewsBuster Seton Motley and I reviewed the video. There's no doubt Kantor actually said "It doesn't matter if we win. Those people are sh*t," but there is a dispute over who "those people" are and if the second slur is doctored. [see video embed below fold]
Ben Smith at Politico.com reports that D.A. Pennebaker, director of "The War Room" from which the clip is taken, insists the "white n****rs" comments were doctored. Au contraire, says the editor of the video, who insists he merely "enhanced" the audio to bring out the barely whispered epithet.
What's more, Smith reports, Pennebaker says Kantor was referring to then-President George H.W. Bush's political advisors as "sh*t", not the people of Indiana themselves:
Theoretically one of the pluses of reading British newspaper coverage of American politics is that the reporters and editors would exhibit a certain detachment from the political biases that much more easily ensnare domestic reporters. That often doesn't play out in practice, however, as today's Financial Times demonstrates with a four-paragraph brief on yesterday's Supreme Court ruling upholding an Indiana law requiring voter identification for voting.
"Supreme Court ruling gives Republicans a boost," blares the headline for reporter Patti Waldmeir's April 29 story. While Waldmeir avoided any references to the 2000 Bush v. Gore decision, she saw fit to quote Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) attacking the 6-3 decision as "a blow to what America stands for -- equal access to the polls."
Waldmeir failed to find a Republican to counter Schumer. What's more, the FT reporter failed to note that Indiana voters can always vote with a provisional ballot if they cannot or will not present a valid photo ID. From the Web page for the Indiana Secretary of State:
Tuesday's New York Times led with the Supreme Court ruling, by a vote of 6-3, to uphold an Indiana law, favored by conservatives, requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. Huffy Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse called it a "splintered decision," apparently code for close decisions she doesn't approve of. (See here for more journalistic "splintering.")
Update (11:25 EDT): The Stevens opinion in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, along with the Scalia concurrence and the dissents by Justices Souter and Breyer can be found here.
This morning the Supreme Court issued a 6-3 ruling upholding Indiana's voter ID law. That law requires voters to present photo identification prior to voting in order to curb voter fraud.
Yet AP writer Mark Sherman cast the decision as a political victory for Republicans in a "splintered" ruling from the bench. Oh, and for good measure Sherman invoked the controversial 2000 Bush v. Gore decision that "sealed" President Bush's electoral victory, a favored talking point of liberals who argue the president was "selected not elected" (emphasis mine):
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states can require voters to produce photo identification without violating their constitutional rights, validating Republican-inspired voter ID laws.
In a splintered 6-3 ruling, the court upheld Indiana's strict photo ID requirement, which Democrats and civil rights groups said would deter poor, older and minority voters from casting ballots. Its backers said it was needed to deter fraud.
Only one Supreme Court Justice seemed keen on overturning Indiana's voter identification law, Los Angeles Times reporter David Savage noted in a January 9 article at latimes.com. That would be liberal Clinton appointee Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But while Savage noted that "conservatives [were] leading the way," in questioning the validity of the Indiana Democrats' complaint about the law, he failed to note Ginsburg's ideological leanings. Nor did he suggest she's out on a far-left limb since none of other liberal colleagues shared her concerns:
An article by Ryan Lenz of the Associated Press reported on the shooting of two sheriff’s deputies in Georgetown, Indiana by a teenager, who subsequently killed himself. The article, entitled "Officials: Teen used WWII-era rifle," identified the weapon used in the shooting as a "sniper rifle" in its lead sentence. Two paragraphs later, the weapon was specifically-identified as M-1 Garand. [pictured at right, photo via MemorablePlaces.com]
Anyone who has seen "Saving Private Ryan" or the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers" has seen the M-1 Garand, the standard service weapon in World War II for the American military. It was the first semi-automatic rifle to be issued in mass quantities to infantry forces. It was used with great effect during the war, and General George Patton called it "the greatest implement of battle ever devised." Since it was a standard weapon, it was generally not used in the sniper role for most of the war. Two versions of the rifle for snipers, the M-1C and M-1D were issued in small quantities in the last year of the war, which had the telescopic sight needed for snipers.
Many conservatives don't like Bill O'Reilly. He's an advocate for gun control, amnesty for illegal immigrants, believes in global warming, etc. Still, you have to respect the fact that an entire journalism department just created a "study" which accuses him of being the most vile type of propagandist, going so far as to compare him to a Nazi sympathizer.
You'd think that the Indiana University department has better things to be doing (how about teaching kids about real diversity and fairness in journalism?) than studying a one-hour show on cable, but there it is.
According to the gurus of IU, O'Reilly is eerily similar to Father Charles Coughlin, a Nazi sympathizer during World War II:
"In this study, O'Reilly is a heavier and
less-nuanced user of the propaganda devices than Coughlin," the geniuses tell us.
I think the operative word is "this study." A more objective department might have compared O'Reilly to a myriad of other media figures such as Bill Moyers or Dan Rather who hardly present the news in an objective fashion, all while saying that's exactly what they do. Click past the jump to read an excerpt.