Guest hosts of the NPR-distributed Diane Rehm Show announced on Thursday and Friday that "Diane is in Maine on a station visit." But that description to the public was incomplete. In fact, Rehm went to Portland, Maine as a keynote speaker on Friday to the fall conference of the local environmental group Maine Businesses for Sustainability. "Diane Rehm will discuss the ways in which sustainability and sustainable concepts have infiltrated current events, touching on her personal observations of sustainability trends in the media."
According to the Washington Post, examining every detail of the relationship between moderate Republican Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins is worth devoting an exhausting 6228 words to. Writer Martha Sherrill offered a fawning analysis of the two senators who often frustrate conservatives.
The near book-length profile investigated the apparent dislike the senators have for each other, but also highlighted the "nuanced" way in which the two side with liberal policies. "But voting with the Democrats has never fazed Snowe, especially after weeks of rumination," readers learn.
Regarding Snowe's decision to vote for acquitting Bill Clinton during impeachment, Sherrill narrated, "This nuanced decision making and openness to Democratic initiatives has fueled a tea party Web site called 'Mainers for Snowe Removal,' which displays a photograph of the smiling senator with her head being scooped up by a giant snow shovel."
ABC anchor Diane Sawyer, who in February demanded to know who will “keep insurance companies from jacking up premiums while making huge profits?”, on Friday found her champion in the Superintendent of Maine’s Bureau of Insurance, hailing Mila Kofman as a “super-cop” and a “gladiator” for rejecting a rate hike requested by Anthem Blue Cross.
Kofman proclaimed “we are the super-cops on the street. I take that responsibility as an insurance regulator very seriously,” a self-promotional description Sawyer adopted in her introduction, touting “a woman in Maine who is acting as a super-cop, and telling the insurance companies ‘no.’”
Reporter Bill Weir recounted how Kofman turned down an 18 percent increase in premiums for individual policies, allowing “11 percent. Enough for Anthem to cover their rising costs, but not enough to make a profit. She says they're doing just fine.” Presuming nefarious motives by insurance companies, Weir asserted the new health care law “depends on state regulators to keep them honest every day.”
The censorious intolerance of the gay left is on display again – a reporter was fired in Waterville, Maine. His offense? Sending an angry private e-mail to the Human Rights Campaign in Washington. The HRC wanted the reporter dismissed – and bang, he was terminated.
Via the Romenesko media news site, I found Al Diamon of Downeast.com reported that Larry Grard was fired after 17 years at the Waterville Sentinel and 35 years in journalism:
Grard was fired by Bill Thompson, editor of the Sentinel and its sister paper the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, shortly after the Nov. 3 election in which Maine voters repealed a same-sex marriage law approved by the Legislature. Grard said he arrived at work the morning after the vote to find an e-mailed press release from the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C., that blamed the outcome of the balloting on hatred of gays.
Reporters at the Associated Press are clearly unhappy that Maine voters turned out to refuse to honor "gay marriage" at the ballot box. An AP dispatch two days ago by Lisa Leff and David Sharp suggested conservatives are misleading voters with charges that have "no evidence," like students going on a field trip to a lesbian wedding.
Are they that factually challenged at AP? From Fox News on October 13, 2008, just weeks before the vote on California’s Proposition 8:
First-graders in San Francisco took a field trip to City Hall to celebrate the marriage of their lesbian teacher on Friday, but opponents of same-sex marriage in the state say the field trip was an attempt to "indoctrinate" the students, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The field trip was suggested by a parent at the Creative Arts Charter School, and the school said the trip, where students tossed rose petals on their teacher and her wife as they left City Hall, was academically relevant.
Maine's successful referendum to repeal a newly-imposed "same-sex marriage" law would have been a huge national story if the gay left had won. But since they narrowly lost, the broadcast network morning shows on Wednesday barely acknowledged it. In fact, NBC avoided the news for its entire four hours of Today. The Early Show on CBS offered 20 words from Jeff Glor early in the show: "In Maine, a loss for supporters of gay marriage yesterday. Voters voted down a law that had legalized same-sex marriage."
ABC’s Good Morning America led the pack with two quick mentions. In the first hour, Diane Sawyer told George Stephanopoulos: "In Maine, you probably heard about this, voters were voting on gay marriage. They decided against gay marriage, 53 to 47 percent." That’s 22 words. In the 8 am hour, this squib from news anchor Chris Cuomo: "And we do have the results of one widely watched ballot initiative. Voters in Maine repealed a law that allowed same-sex marriages." That’s also 22 words.
On Nov. 3, 53 percent of Maine voters rejected a six-month-old law redefining the state's definition of marriage to include same-sex couples. The next day, an AP article about the vote read more like a direct mail appeal for the Human Rights Campaign than a news piece.
Headlined "Maine Voters Repeal Law Allowing Gay Marriage," the article called the repeal of the legislation that granted marriage for same-sex couples a "stinging defeat" for the gay rights movement and focused almost exclusively on the reactions of gays and lesbians. Framed around the thwarted wedding plans of a lesbian couple, the article contained three quotes from supporters of same sex-marriage and only one from an advocate for traditional marriage.
"Cecelia Burnett and Ann Swanson had already set their wedding date," began the article. "When they joined about 1,000 other gay marriage supporters for an election night party in a Holiday Inn ballroom, they hoped to celebrate the vote that would make it possible."
On Saturday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Kimberly Dozier filed a report profiling moderate Republican Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both from Maine, in light of their vote in favor of President Obama's economic plan, and relayed their criticisms that other Republicans should show more willingness to "compromise." Dozier also likened Collins to another former Republican Senator from Maine, Margaret Chase Smith, who is known for being "the first Senator to stand up to McCarthyism."
Dozier began her report: "President Obama owes his stimulus package to three Senators from the losing side. Three renegade Republicans tipped the balance: Senator Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania and two women Senators from the sparsely populated state of Maine – Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins."
This week's column on entertainment and culture issues from Brent Bozell focused on how King Middle School in Portland has agreed to allow its health center to offer contraceptives -- even pills and the patch -- to middle-schoolers without parental knowledge or consent. Brent borrowed from the Good Morning America debate segment Scott Whitlock blogged where the anything-goes blond hottie favoring sex among children (Logan Levkoff) said she would draw no limits at grade-school contraceptive distribution. She said you had to buy "protection" for the kids when they're bombarded with sexual messages. (Like "Desperate Housewives"? Or even the Geico Caveman comedy?)
Glenn Beck was great in mocking the Permissives in that debate: "The library is outdated, why don't we have a copulation room for the kids?"