Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison yesterday. As has been the case for nearly six years as his scandals and prosecution have unfolded (seen here in dozens of NewsBusters posts), press coverage has usually avoided the inconvenient fact that Kilpatrick is a Democrat, and almost completely ignored Barack Obama's hearty endorsement of him during the early stages of his 2008 presidential campaign. A YouTube video from a May 2007 speech at the Detroit Economic Club shows Obama thanking Kilpatrick for "doing an outstanding job of gathering together the leadership at every level of Detroit, to bring about the kind of renaissance that all of us anticipate for this great city."
News outlets failing to note Kilpatrick's Democratic Party affiliation yesterday included the New York Times, CBS in Detroit, the Detroit Free Press in an item carried at USA Today, and Mike Tobin at Fox News. The Associated Press outdid itself in this regard, as will be explained after the jump.
Vickie Thomas and the news department at Detroit TV station WWJ really ought to be ashamed of themselves. The open question is whether they even know enough to be ashamed.
In reporting on a Motor City McDonald's store which was forced to close — whether it was for a few hours or all day and night isn't disclosed — Thomas quoted a "protester" claiming that "McDonald’s made like $500 billion last year." Most readers would interpret "made" as the company's annual profit. The company's worldwide net income in 2012 was $5.5 billion, barely 1 percent of the protester's completely unchallenged figure. The "like $500 billion" cited and allowed to stand is also 14 times larger than the $35.6 billion in gross sales at all of McDonald's U.S. franchised and company-owned stores.
Sometimes you have to wonder if anyone at MSNBC is actually watching what is being said on the network.
On Thursday’s Ed Show, host Ed Schultz actually said, “Thanks to Republican policies, and I don't care if [Detroit's] been under Democratic rule or not, it's Republican policies that have come down from the state and the country that have put this city in a bad position” (video follows with commentary):
Ed Schultz has spent weeks blaming Detroit’s recent bankruptcy filing on Republican policies, even though the city has been firmly in Democratic hands for decades. The bombastic MSNBC host has called the city a “conservative utopia,” arguing that Republican anti-union policies have “gutted Detroit.”
Schultz’s latest tirade came on Saturday’s The Ed Show, when the left-wing host bizarrely claimed that Republicans have “taken democracy away from Detroit.” Schultz further suggested that Republicans “circumvent[ed] local elections in this country” and “discard[ed] what people want and say about their communities.”
On his eponymous Sunday program, Ed Schultz blamed Republicans for Detroit’s recent bankruptcy filing, implying that the GOP is “happy to see Detroit go bankrupt” and that Governor Rick Snyder (R-Mich.) is “swindling public workers out of their hard-earned pensions.” Schultz accused Republicans of wanting to “quit” and “surrender” on Detroit, launching into a 13-minute diatribe against Snyder and Republican policies of “free trade and outsourcing.”
The bombastic MSNBC host was also critical of Snyder’s efforts to remove blighted structures in the city, an effort funded by the Obama/Lew Treasury Department. Schultz blasted the federally-supported undertaking, claiming Snyder “wants to spend money to destroy the city”:
If you were wondering whether any liberal media veteran could have made the networks sound less clueless about the reasons for Detroit filing for bankruptcy, one answer was longtime Washington Post foreign correspondent Keith Richburg. In an article on the Post website (but not in the newspaper), Richburg wrote painfully about the demise of his beloved hometown, and how racial polarization and crime and political corruption have destroyed it.
His personal story, including his relatives who remained in the urban blight, offered the most gripping testimony:
All three networks on Thursday night and Friday morning avoided key factors in the bankruptcy of Detroit, skipping the city's astronomically high tax rate and ignoring Democratic dominance for the previous half century. (Detroit's last Republican mayor left office in 1962.) Instead, ABC, NBC and CBS acted as though the bankruptcy, what Brian Williams called "the slow-moving tragedy of decline," was something that just happened.
On Good Morning America, Betty Liu gently summarized, "What happened here? Well, people have been leaving the city for years. Back in the 1950s, you had almost two million people, at the peak, living in Detroit. Now, just 700,000. So they've lost half their population." She added, "When you have fewer people living in the city, you're collecting less income and property taxes." Why are people fleeing the city? Lacking curiosity, Liu didn't bring that point up. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Here's something you don't see every day: a newspaper editor suing six readers for $25,000 in damages including “humiliation, mortification and embarrassment,” “sleeplessness and anxiety” and “mental anguish.”
The lawsuit grew out of the actions of Lori Kilchermann, general manager and editor of the Ionia Sentinel-Standard in Michigan, who decided to accompany a story about a police methamphetamine bust with a photo of a Republican fund-raising event that had occured at the same location two years previously.
Detroit's former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted Monday on multiple serious charges, including racketeering, fraud, and extortion. But Times reporter Mary Chapman buried Kilpatrick's Democratic party affiliation in paragraph 19 of her 21-paragraph report.
Even then, the Times never even directly labeled Kilpatrick a Democrat:
"[J]ust when we were finally starting to forget about those asinine comments [Rob] Parker made about Robert Griffin III on ESPN First Take about a month ago—and just as Parker was about to finish up his 30-day suspension from the Worldwide Leader—he's come out and, in a way, tried to defend what he said once again," Chris Yuscavage of Complex.com reported today.
"During an interview on a program called Flashpoint on Channel 4 in Detroit over the weekend, Parker talked about the backlash he received after calling RGIII a 'cornball brother' and didn't seem all that contrite about what he'd say about the Redskins quarterback," Yuscavage noted. You can read his full story here.
Wednesday's New York Times's front page featured Monica Davey's latest dispatch from Lansing, after the Michigan legislature passed and the governor signed right-to-work legislation that would forbid unions to coerce membership dues from workers in the traditionally union-dominated state.
All three networks on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning ignored the violent assaults by union protesters in Michigan, instead vaguely insisting that activists were simply "voicing their anger" at the "showdown raging in the heartland." The morning shows on Wednesday allowed little coverage of Michigan at all, a mere 72 seconds out of eight hours of programming. (On Tuesday, the nightly newscasts offered eight minutes out of a possible 90 total.)
On Tuesday, World News reporter Alex Perez put the focus not on out of control violence, but on the fact that Michigan's right-to-work bill actually passed. He began, "The anger boiling over. Officers turning to pepper spray to control the crowd at least 10,000 deep. But it wasn't enough." One might think the journalist was speaking of the attack on Fox News contributor Steven Crowder. No. Perez kept the attention on the new law: "Michigan Republican lawmakers approving landmark legislation, lifting the requirement that workers in unionized workplaces pay union dues." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The pro-union broadcast networks are deliberately censoring footage of thuggish union violence directed at conservatives. If a Tea Partier had physically assaulted a liberal journalist or ripped down a structure occupied by a liberal organization all on video, the footage would be broadcast on an endless loop. ABC, CBS, and NBC have a responsibility to the American people to expose what’s really happening in Michigan. Their double standard is absolutely outrageous.
Both Steven Crowder and Americans for Prosperity should press charges on the parties responsible for these assaults, and they should be prosecuted. ABC, CBS, and NBC may be willing to turn a blind eye to union violence, but the unions are not above the law.
On Wednesday, CBS This Morning shipwrecked its aim to be the hard-news alternative to ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today. Its only coverage of the passage of the right-to-work law in Michigan was a clip of Comedy Central's Jon Stewart ripping the legislation. Anchors Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell laughed on air in reaction to Stewart's shtick, with O'Donnell adding, "That's pretty good."
The liberal Daily Show host poked fun of the "right-to-work" phrase as an Orwellian reversal of reality (audio available here; video below the jump):
Appearing on Wednesday's MSNBC Morning Joe, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was greeted with childish behavior by the show's panel of left-wing pundits, who were unable to conceal their disgust with the state's right-to-work legislation just signed into law by the Republican. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Contributor Richard Wolffe led off the disrespectful display when Snyder defended the new law: "I don't believe this is actually anti-union. If you look at it, I believe this is pro-worker." Wolffe started laughing and rudely interrupted: "Hang on a second. Are you really – are you serious? Are you serious? This is not anti-union? This actually, at its core, undermines the ability for unions to organize. So you can make many arguments you like, but saying it's not anti-union..."
Demonstrating his and his employer's pro-union bias, Jeff Karoub at the Associated Press, in compiling a list of "5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MICH. RIGHT-TO-WORK BILLS," made "The Name Is Misleading" his first item.
As an AP journalist, Karoub is likely a member of the Occupy Movement-supporting News Media Guild. Earlier this year, his employer's recently departed chairman, acting in an official capacity representing his supposedly objective, values-driven organization, praised President Obama in terms so effusive that Charles Hurt at the Washington Times wrote that it was "more like he proposed to him." In his five-item listing, the third of which has an inchoherent title, Karoub seemed to jump right in where Obama left off in a Monday Michigan speech (bolds and numbers in headings are mine):
Is wanting workers to have the right to choose if they're going to join a union racist?
Apparently it is according to MSNBC commentator Al Sharpton who concluded a Huffington Post rant about Michigan's newly enacted right to work laws Wednesday, "People should think twice before they invite Gov. Snyder to a King Day celebration in three weeks."
Appearing on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on Tuesday, liberal Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus lashed out against passage of Michigan's right-to-work law: "Unions are reeling, and the more states that enact measures like this, the more unions will be reeling....unions aren't going to survive when people have a choice of whether to ante up the dues or to get the benefit of being free-riders." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Perhaps hoping that readers wouldn't scroll down to peruse what followed, a Tuesday evening Detroit Free Press report by David Jesse and Lori Higgins carried at USA Today featured a video taking up my entire computer screen which consisted entirely of union protesters chanting slogans for 49 seconds.
The pair's actual report carries a misleading headline ("Mich. governor signs anti-union bills after protests") directly contradicted in their dispatch's content ("The right-to-work legislation ... makes it illegal to require financial support of a labor union as a condition of employment"). But it's their description of Tuesday's incident involving Steven Crowder and Americans for Prosperity which is the report's biggest flaw (HT Instapundit):
An unhinged Chris Matthews on Tuesday berated a representative of Americans for Prosperity with the same question 13 times. Talking to Scott Hagerstrom, the Hardball anchor didn't seem to hear the answer, despite Hagerstrom repeating it over and over. Matthews fumed, "Well, who's paying your salary?" [See a montage video below. MP3 audio here.]
A calm Hagerstrom appeared on the show to discuss the just-passed right-to-work law in Mighican. He explained, "I work for Americans for Prosperity...This is about freedom for everybody." Matthews repeated over and over: "Who's paying your salary?...No, but who's paying your salary to do it?Who's paying your salary to do what you're doing right now?...Who's paying your– to do this today?"
There will be plenty of time later to look at how the Associated Press and other wires more than likely fail to report the violence that took place in connection with right-to-work legislative actions in Michigan's legislature today. For now, let's look at the reactions of Associated Press reporters John Flesher and Jeff Karoub on Friday in an item which is no longer at the AP's main national site.
Their dispatch's headline ("Michigan Republicans end part of union tradition") was from all appearances an attempt to make it seem uninteresting. The story itself didn't describe the law involved as "right to work" until its fourth paragraph. Both before and after that, the pair, who are more than likely members of the Occupy Movement-supporting News Media Guild, got bitter (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On a day when violent union protesters in Mighigan attacked those who would dare disagree with them, MSNBC stuck to liberal talking points. Anchor Martin Bashir on Tuesday ignored the assaults and instead assailed the state's Republican governor for his "crap burger" comments. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Although Bashir showed footage of some of the protests, he did not discuss the violence directed against political contributor Steven Crowder and others. Bashir only gently noted, "Angry protests have accompanied the decision by the state's legislature to send two bills, which would weaken unions, to the desk of the state's governor." After the liberal anchor played a clip of Governor Rick Snyder insisting the right-to-work legislation is "pro-worker," Bashir dismissed, "That's what we describe as a crap burger."
Tuesday's CBS This Morning played up the union-led protests against a proposed right-to-work law in Michigan. Elaine Quijano claimed "the protests here in Michigan...[will] likely only get bigger." Quijano added that "they're planning to return today in record numbers - protesters determined to defend one of the biggest union strongholds in the country."
The correspondent loaded her report with six soundbites from the anti-right-to-work protesters and their supporters, including President Obama. Quijano only played two from proponents of the Michigan bill, including "reluctant supporter" Governor Rick Snyder.
Right-to-work legislation has passed in Michigan, despite the vociferous protests of bused-in union protesters in Lansing and sympathetic coverage from the liberal media, who have portrayed right-to-work as a blow to "union rights" as well as a "politically unnecessary" and "divisive" move by Republicans who control the state legislature and governor's mansion in a state that went strongly for Obama last month.
But there is another side of the story, which the liberal media outlets are seemingly ignoring. The Michigan-based conservative think tank called the Mackinac Center for Public Policy has not only published persuasive and thoroughly-researched reports advocating for the right-to-work policy, they are doing their best to inform the public with the facts and figures that the majority of the media refuses to acknowledge, much less verify.
It appears as though NBC’s Andrea Mitchell has sided with the unions in the latest battle over workers’ rights, this time in Michigan.
Appearing on Tuesday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, Ms. Mitchell took it upon herself to hammer Governor Rick Snyder (R-Mich.) over his decision to sign a bill making Michigan the 24th right to work state. She later followed up the Snyder segment with a friendly chat with liberal columnist Ruth Marcus and later with a softball interview with the Rev. Jesse Jackson and a United Auto Workers union boss. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
Union thugs across the nation are outraged that Michigan has become the latest state to pass a “right to work” law allowing people in unionized companies to choose whether or not they wish to join. Unions oppose such laws because they want people to be forced to join their ranks.
Earlier today the union supporters turned violent as they attacked supporters of the Michigan law, tearing down a tent while people were in it and punching conservative activist and comedian Steven Crowder in the face. Both acts were caught on video. Click past the jump to view them here since you won't see them in the so-called mainstream media. First the one of Crowder being punched in the face:
Michigan may very well become the 24th state to adopt right-to-work legislation on Tuesday, and liberal media outlets have given its opponents ample opportunity to state their case. While proponents have not been allowed to defend the law at all, MSNBC's Chris Jansing was more than happy to briefly play "devil's advocate" with her guest on Monday -- newly elected state representative Tim Greimel who called right-to-work "too divisive and too extreme for the state."
Following his lengthy diatribe on the subject, in which he also called right-to-work the "surest path to poverty that anybody could pursue here in Michigan," Jansing invited the Washington Post's Dana Milbank and Jackie Kucinich -- daughter of retiring liberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) -- of USA Today back on the program to reinforce the argument Greimel made. Hardly a balanced analysis of legislation designed to safeguard an individual's right not be coerced into a union or into financially supporting a union in which he/she is not a member [ video and transcript below ]
He who first invokes the Nazis during an argument loses, posits Godwin's Law. Allow me to introduce Cook's Corollary to Godwin's Law, whereby he who makes a patently ludicrous analogy to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor forfeits all credibility.
The corollary gets its name courtesy of Steve Cook, president of the Michigan Education Association, the state's largest school employee union. (audio clip after page break)
Reuters correspondent Andrea King Collier offered readers a heavily-slanted 27-paragraph story last evening about Michigan Republican lawmakers pushing a right-to-work bill in the state legislature. King Collier quoted only one proponent of the legislation -- Gov. Rick Snyder -- who was described as a "reluctant supporter of the measure," unlike "other Republican governors who have championed curbs on unions." Snyder sounded apologetic for the legislature's action, quoted by King Collier as saying "that issue was on the table whether I wanted it to be there or not."
By contrast, King Collier quoted three critics of the legislation: a union boss, an Obama White House spokesman, and a teacher's union member who was on hand outside the state capitol in Lansing to protest the bills under consideration.
Where’s my bacon, Obama? That's the attitude of Councilwoman JoAnn Watson, who said that in appreciation for Detroit having voted for the president, Obama should bail out the financially insolvent.
In fact, Watson says, “that’s what you do” when your friends help you out. Alas, the country sees the incompetence and the entitlement that has ruined Detroit. Just because you helped get the president re-elected, doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed loans to save your city. In fact, if such a list existed, I’d bet that most of California’s municipalities are probably in front of you, Ms. Watson.