As MSNBC's Al Sharpton hosted a panel on Wednesday's PoliticsNation to discuss Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann's retirement, MSNBC analyst Karen Finney claimed that Bachmann never had an idea "that wasn't about hate or wasn't about being against something," while MSNBC analyst and former Pennsylvania Democratic Governor Ed Rendell similarly charged that historians will put her "in a group of people during this era who were just haters, who breeded hate and discontent."
After Sharpton introduced the panel by asking how history would treat Bachmann, Rendell replied:
The media in Fargo, North Dakota were scandalized when a nearby Minnesota priest informed the parents of Lennon Cihak that he would not be confirmed in the local Catholic church after he posted a picture on Facebook supporting gay marriage (or a No vote on the traditional-marriage ballot initiative). Naturally, the liberal parents – who agree with their son – were shocked, shocked that the church would stand for something.
“You kind of know the Catholic beliefs, but I never thought they would deny somebody confirmation because you weren’t 100 percent. I guess that’s what shocks me,” Shana Cihak said. That’s exactly how the Fargo Forum sold it:
Amid the media's vilification of Rep. Peter King, their continuing coverage of Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison's "tearful struggle" stands in stark contrast.
"Amid the raw feelings of Thursday's House hearings on domestic Islamic radicalization, Rep. Keith Ellison could not fight back the tears" as he recounted a story about Mohammed Salman Hamdani. Rep. Ellison "choked up and spoke haltingly of how some tried to 'smear' Hamdani because of his faith," declared the Minneapolis Star Tribune on March 10. The manner in which Hamdani was defamed, and the identities of the guilty, has remained ambiguous to date.
Echoing Rep. Ellison's Twitter post "America is big enuf for all of us," USA Today declared "Rep. Keith Ellison" has made it clear "America is big enough for us all." Cursorily noting that "Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y. vowed not to bow to 'political correctness,'" it went on to give an in-depth reaction provided by a talk show host based out of Minnesota: "As I was wiping my tears," she said, "I was thinking what is it about my faith that is not being accepted as an American? My faith? My scarf? My ethnicity?"
Absent from all of the media's coverage of Rep. Ellison's weeping is the Title 1 of Section 102 in the Patriot Act passed by Congress after 9/11:
This past week, we learned that it was another year, another dive for newspaper circulations: 5% for dailies, and 4.5% on Sundays, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. That's not as bad as some past declines, but it's still going the wrong way.
As usual, they'll blame the Internet, and reject the possibility that persistent, pervasive bias and blind adherence to politically correct reporting priorities have anything to do with the results. But as I've similarly asked before, how does one explain away the fact that the only daily paper in the nation's top 25 that has shown consistent gains during the past several years is the (usually) fair and balanced Wall Street Journal?
What is the religious right doing by campaigning against abortion? First and foremost, its efforts seem aimed at trying to keep church pews filled by bringing more and more poor people into the world. Second, it will just end up boosting the teen unwed pregnancy rate every time it guilt trips an unwed, pregnant teen into bringing to term a child she does not want and cannot afford to raise. Third, it will effectively subjugate women and girls in the same way women and girls in developing nations are consigned to a life of child-bearing and little else.
The seemingly creepy fixation some MSNBC on-air personalities have with Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann just continues to persist on the cable network.
The latest installment involves MSNBC's "Ed Show" host Ed Schultz relying on a left-wing publication, The Minnesota Independent, which found a high rate of foreclosures relative in Bachmann's district relative to the rest of the state of Minnesota. Schultz, on his Dec. 2 program, contended Bachmann was spending too much time as a conservative activist and not enough time focusing on the problems of her district. But it turns out the data might not be at all accurate.
"One last page in my playbook tonight," Schultz said. "It looks like Minnesota congresswoman and ‘Psycho Talk' regular Michele Bachmann needs to spend a little bit more time riling up the right-wing nut job partiers out there and focus on her own back yard."
"Quite honestly, I don't even know anything about MSNBC," Bachmann said. "It's not a network that I watch and most of the American people agree with that assessment. They aren't watching it either. And that's why Fox's ratings - I mean it's like CNN, CNBC, MSNBC combined. I think Fox even exceeded one of the major networks last week. They're on the ascendency."
... except that's not exactly what the poll says. Minneapolis's KSTP channel 5's headline reads "POLL: Coleman should concede." The article that follows reads,
An exclusive Survey USA poll shows nearly half of Minnesotans surveyed say its time for Republican Norm Coleman to concede the U.S. Senate race to Democrat Al Franken.
But the survey does not hold good news for Franken either.
On election night, each candidate received only 42 percent of the votes. Now it appears they're both even less popular.
Only 38 percent of Minnesotans surveyed said they view Coleman favorably. 44 percent have an unfavorable view.
Franken scored similarly with 37 percent favorable and 45 percent unfavorable.
Now what would you think "nearly half" means? 49%? 48%? What would you think of 44%? Because, as the Minnesota Independent reports, that's the percentage that actually believes Norm Coleman should concede:
Al Franken has shown himself to be an angry, easily enraged man and after the October 16 Minnesota Senatorial candidate's debate he allowed his overwrought emotional state to send him over the edge once again. After the debate was over and the Media had turned off their microphones and cameras, Franken rushed over to Senator Norm Coleman's table and proceeded to angrily get in his face over some point or another made during the debate. Franken was getting so angry that his own wife had to rush over and force him to back off from a mounting confrontation with Coleman.
This isn't the only time that Al Franken has allowed his seemingly delicately balanced temperament to be tipped to unseemly anger. In fact, he's allowed himself to be driven to physical violence in the past. In 2004, for instance, Franken tackled a disruptive LaRouchie at a Howard Dean speech. He has also been known to get into shouting matches with rally attendees and opponents alike. Not to mention his past usage of intemperate or profane language and mean-spirited use of ridicule in his comedy routines and during his radio shows when he was an Air-America host.
That “Made in America” sticker is looking more attractive.
Second-quarter (2Q) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was revised up from 1.9 percent growth to a higher than anticipated 3.3 percent, according to reports on August 28.
Rising exports played a significant role in the expansion. According to the Commerce Department, real exports increased 13.2 percent in the 2Q of 2008, compared with an increase of 5.1 percent in the first. Real imports of goods and services decreased 0.8 percent in the first quarter and 7.6 percent in the second.
Back in the days of our MediaWatch newsletter, we used to have a feature called "Revolving Door" to note reporters swapping their jobs for political appointments or political appointees swapping their jobs for reporting gigs. (See the NB Revolving Door topic for more recent updates.) The Minneapolis Star Tribune announced that its editorial writer Dave Hage is leaving "to become communications director for first-term Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. Hage, 52, will take over Klobuchar's fledgling press operation," which has already lost its top press aide. Hage, a Minneapolis native, was an economics correspondent for for U.S. News & World Report magazine in Washington from 1991 to 1995, where he drew our attention as he repeatedly attacked Reaganomics and boosted Clintonomics. So the new Democrat job isn’t a shocker.
From our Notable Quotables in March 1993, the myth that health socialism-pushing Clinton would have a "healthy respect" for free enterprise:
Those pesky conservative suburbanites and their market forces! They'll be the ruin of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, bellows Anonymous.
Hugh Hewitt and Ed Morrissey have taken on the unattributed complaints of a self-described Star-Tribune ("Strib") veteran, who laments that his beloved paper is becoming a right-wing shill for, gasp, hiring a token conservative opinion columnist.:
The Rake, a local alternative newspaper here in the Twin Cities, published an interesting cri de coeur from "one Strib veteran" about the direction of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The anonymous attribution wears thin in the first line of the quote:
Update (14:15): Welcome to Rush Limbaugh listeners. You can find more on media bias about the Minnesota bridge collapse on our site here.
By now it's been so widely adopted by the media that it's easy to be numb to it, but Chicago Tribune's E.A. Torriero breathed new life into the Bush-caused-it meme in the I-35W bridge collapse story by adding a new twist. The bridge collapse, suggested Torriero, is insult added to injury for mostly Muslim Somali immigrants already angered by American foreign policy.
In a story filed the evening of August 7, Torriero portrayed the collapse as insult added to injury for Somali immigrants, weaving in suggestions that America under President Bush is becoming akin to a third world country, unable or unwilling to build and maintain safe infrastructure:
If anyone in the media blames the Minnesota bridge collapse on "cheap Republicans" who like tax cuts, it would not be the first time. In 1989, after a memorable San Francisco earthquake, an interstate highway bridge collapsed and killed hundreds. Media figures demanded new taxes, and some even suggested the Proposition 13 ballot initiative may have caused unnecessary deaths. We reported in the November 1989 MediaWatch:
As aftershocks rumbled through the San Francisco Bay area, media figures began calling for more taxes. On the October 18 Nightline, Ted Koppel asked an agreeable Democratic politician from California: "We all remember a few years ago Proposition 13 which rolled back taxes. And at the same time the point was made you roll back the taxes, that's fine, but that means there are going to be fewer funds available for necessary projects. Any instances where the money that was not spent because of the rollback of Proposition 13 where money would have made a difference?"
The left is famous for its general intolerance and suspicion of religion, especially in the public sector. Yet, increasingly, an exception seems to be made for Islam.
Scott at Power Line caught another instance of this in today's Minneapolis Star Tribune where the normally anti-religious editorial page is oddly favorable to a local college's installation of a foot-washing basin for Islamic students:
It's worth remembering that
this question first arose at MCTC as a matter of safety, not religion.
A student slipped and fell after another student used a campus sink to
wash his or her feet. [...]
Banning Christmas carols on the official campus coffee cart -- which
incensed the school's critics -- seems plainly in keeping with a long
string of court rulings that forbid the use of public resources to
endorse a particular religion. But accommodating the prayer practices
of some devout Muslims seems akin to putting kosher items on the
cafeteria menu and letting employees display religious objects in their
private workspaces -- accommodations that MCTC has in fact made in the
One of the side effects of the left's control of the media is that Democratic politicians often have trouble dealing with criticism because they aren't subjected to the 24/7 scrutiny that Republicans usually face. This leads them to fall apart when they come into contact with a reporter that doesn't defer to them like usual.
Minnesota's Democratic nominee for the governor's office, Mike Hatch, provided an example of this yesterday in the face of questioning about his running mate's apparent lack of knowledge about the subject of the gasoline additive ethanol.
Mike Hatch’s aggressive reputation showed through Thursday for one of the few times in this year’s heated gubernatorial race.
There's a certain irony to my column today. The author whose op-ed piece I'm about to criticize grew up hunting and shooting in Iowa, and still owns several guns. I grew up in Jewish neighborhoods in the Bronx and Queens where about the only concealed items were tzitzis - undergarments men wear to remind them of Biblical commandments. I've never owned a gun and my forays into shooting have been limited to Boy Scout camp and one adult session at a trap range - or was it skeet?
Minnesota ABC affiliate KSTP continues to defend its refusal to run an ad from the conservative group Progress for America which says the American news media is witholding good news about the war in Iraq.
"The first spot had two statements that
implied the media intentionally withheld good news and intentionally
distorted reporting from Iraq. We know that's not true about KSTP. So
we declined to run the ad," station general manager Rob Hubbard is quoted as saying in a Chicago Tribune article which gives a good background on the controversy.
Are the "Midwest Heroes" (ads viewable here) set to become the Swiftboat Veterans of 2006?
When Progress for America tried to air a commercial with Minnesota veterans defending U.S. war policy in Iraq, they soon found their money was no good at KSTP - Channel 5. What was the offending remark in the ad that caused this censorship?
The message contains the idea "That the media only reports the bad news" and "you would never know it from the news reports, but the enemy in Iraq is al Qaeda."
This is over the line for KSTP, who believes the statements to be untrue. "That, says [General Manager Rob] Hubbard, is plainly false. He points out that both KSTP and ABC, its parent network, have reported on the Iraqi elections, progress concerning reconstruction of the country, and the reopening of its schools--all of which qualifies as 'good' news. 'When someone is watching our news, we're "the media."' Hubbard explains. 'We know that [the claim in the advertisement] is inaccurate as it relates to us.'"
Apparently they believe it is inaccurate as it relates to all media, because the commercial never mentioned KSTP. I looked through the KSTP Web site to see all these examples of reporting "good news". I couldn't find a single story, perhaps they could point us toward some of this work. For instance, an article about the Iraqi elections opines:
One of the annoying things conservatives discover when they spend any time studying public broadcasting is how much cash pub-casting bosses take home even as they beg struggling audience members for donations (and ever more taxpayer funds). The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Minnesota Public Radio may forego $190,000 in state tax money rather than disclose how many MPR execs make more than $100,000. One sharp Republican legislator (my hero!) is saying you want the money, you disclose your salary info:
Thomas Kigin, MPR executive vice president, said MPR would ask legislators to change the law. Asked if it might forgo the state money should the disclosure provision remain, Kigin said, "It's possible."
As the MRC's CyberAlert noted on Thursday, an assistant editorial page editor with the St. Paul, Minnesota Pioneer Press, Mark Yost, has written a column, headlined "Why They Hate Us," castigating his reporters for omitting positive developments and emphasizing violence and negativity in their coverage of the Iraq War.
But apparently Yost is now taking a lot of heat from other journalists for expressing his own views in a clearly marked opinion column, which I think says a lot about the low threshhold for dissent that many journalists seem to have. Stephen Spruiell has a good round-up on National Review's media blog about how some journalists are trying to shout Yost down.