The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has launched a wonderful little feature that will run until Barack Obama takes the oath of office next month. They are calling it "Dear Mr. Obama" and it is a heartwarming exercise in child indoctrination and brainwashing. The Post-Gazette will be publishing letters from local students to Obama asking him for all sorts of global warming fixes, Iraq war enders, and big government programs.
Sadly, it appears that the government schools these kids have been subjected to have failed to teach their charges about anything like the American system, federalism, even science seems neglected. But they SURE taught their kiddies that government is there to spend, spend, spend, that government is to be treated like our collective parents, and that the war in Iraq is obviously an evil venture. Obviously.
And, yes little kiddies, The One, your very own Obamessiah, is flying to the rescue like a super hero. Cue the theme music -- I'd suggest the theme to 2001, like Elvis used, is appropriate for the sentiment here. The Obamessiah has entered the building!
New York Times reporter Katharine Seelye set the Election Day scene in her front-page story "Election Night (Popcorn Included)," an hour-by-hour guide for interpreting tonight's electoral results. It contained several dire predictions for McCain and the future of the GOP if various states (including Indiana, Virginia, and New Mexico) go for Obama.
On the other hand, Seelye warned that if McCain managed to win Pennsylvania, it would not be a crushing blow for Obama, but would instead bring up deep concerns about latent racism and the (perhaps mythological) "Bradley effect," in which white voters lie to pollsters, saying they favor a black candidate, but then vote for the white one.
On Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, New York Times columnist Frank Rich charged that it looks "morally bad" and "idiotic" that Republicans have not elected a black candidate to federal office in six years. The Republican party also seemed to remind Rich of South Africa’s racist Apartheid policy of the past: "The fact is, this isn`t South Africa 25 years ago, this is a major political party that is essentially all white. And the hierarchy of it is definitely white. There hasn`t been a new black Republican elected to federal office, I think, in six years. And so, what does that tell us about the party? And how does that look to voters? I think it looks like it`s the party of the last century. It looks bad. Not only is it morally bad, but politically. I think it`s idiotic because it`s against the whole demographics of this country and where they’re going."
The single most common current explanation for a possible Obama loss posited today by the left is that America is filled with racists. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review political reporter Selena Zito uses this charge to the hilt in a September 21 opinion piece on union members voting McCain. Naturally, the only reason Zito can come up with for this phenomenon is because these McCain supporting union members are wild-eyed racists. Yet, there are no statistics, no interviews with racists, no proof presented in this story other than the claims of professors and Obama supporters that it’s a true assessment.
This is an entirely common occurrence with these sorts of stories, too. We get all sorts of tongue clucking "experts" assuring us that anyone who votes for John McCain is a racist yet no proof other than the bald faced claims of those who merely assert the point as fact.
New York Times reporter Sean Hamill filed "Mexican's Death Bares a Town's Ethnic Tension," about a killing in the town of Shenandoah, Pa. Four teenagers on the town's high school football team have been charged in the death of Luis Ramirez, an illegal immigrant, after he suffered a beating July 12. The boys have been charged, among other counts, with "ethnic intimidation." Motive? Hamill had the audacity to suggest an overturned policy from the town of Hazleton, 20 miles away from Shenandoah, was somewhat responsible for the hostile atmosphere that led to the killing.
Mr. Ramirez's death has also reignited a regional debate over immigration that began two years ago when the town of Hazleton, about 20 miles from Shenandoah, enacted an ordinance that sought to discourage people from hiring or renting to illegal immigrants.
CNN carried KDKA footage showing that Murtha has grudgingly acknowledged the obvious: That the troop surge in Iraq has, in his words, "in the short-term ..... certainly reduced incidents," but that "I'm not sure whether it's because of the Iraqis are just worn out, but certainly the way they're doing it today makes a big difference."
What KDKA decided to keep from TV viewers is arguably at least as important as what the station showed.
In interview footage left on the cutting room floor, Murtha falsely claimed that less than 1/3 of the Iraqi benchmarks have been met, and that the majority of Americans "want us out" of Iraq as fast as possible. But most explosively, the Pennsylvania congressman claimed that a major reason why the troop surge has been successful is that before that time "we broke down doors, we went in and we killed people inadvertently."
The York Daily Record thinks it has comedy gold on its hands today with a faux "ad" that claims that Republicans are frustrated because they "long for a simpler time, say 1952, when women. blacks and gays knew their place." The supposedly humorous "ad" says that Republicans want people to die from diseases and fear the war ending because war profiteering will cease stopping Republicans from making "tons of money off the suffering of others." It makes Republicans out as warmongering, uncaring cretins that want people to be harmed all across the country. In short, just about every offensive thing you can imagine is leveled against Republicans "suffering electile dysfunction."
The faux ad is presented like a drug company ad for a drug that "blocks the receptors in the brain, those things liberals call a conscience." The fake ad also features a very, very badly produced fake radio commercial to go along with the unseemly print edition. You can hear the ad at www.mikeargento.com (Go on over to ol’ Mikey’s website and leave a nice, kind message about his efforts, will ya?)
Here is a story in a small paper in Philadelphia that serves as a fine example of the junk that all too often passes for "journalism" in America today. This example is as ridiculously anti-intellectual and dismissive of the importance of preserving our history as it is anti-corporate. It's a fine example of a journalist who thinks he is smarter and funnier than everyone about whom he writes -- even his name reflects that condescension. The arrogance and smarminess is so thick with James Smart's "Renovating a historic home" that it just drips off the page.
Of course, Mr. Smart's work isn't what one would call straight journalism, but more like the sort of commentary one would see from writers such as Dave Barry. Light hearted, ultimately pointless wastes of time that would find readers no better informed after having read them, but no worse off for the four minutes or so of their lives they'll never get back from the exercise. But, in this particular piece, Smart goes over the edge of simple minded, blather and into uncalled for denigration. It also reveals his intense anti-capitalist feelings. Whatever his past work, this one reveals far more about his generally dismissive attitude against our history and capitalist system than it does about the subject matter.
Worried that the extended primary season is tearing the Democratic Party apart, the New York Times is all but taking back its previous endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
Wednesday's lead editorial, "The Low Road to Victory," ludicrously claimed that she squandered Pennsylvania by not winning by a much larger margin and concluded by commanding her to "call off the dogs" -- though it could also be read as a subliminal message for her to get with the program and pack it up so as not to hurt the Democrats in the fall.
The Pennsylvania campaign, which produced yet another inconclusive result on Tuesday, was even meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it.
Washington Post reporter Shailagh Murray mastered the self-negating sentence on Monday's front page. Her article began:
As strong and consistent abortion foes, Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. and former congressman Timothy J. Roemer are anomalies in a Democratic Party that has overwhelmingly advocated abortion rights. Yet both are backing Sen. Barack Obama, whom one conservative blogger dubbed "the most pro-abortion candidate ever."
Dear Shailagh: If a politician supports the election of President Obama, who will nominate abortion supporters to the federal courts, doesn't the "strong and consistent abortion foes" line go directly out the window? But she stuck to the "firm opponents" fiction spin:
As firmly as Casey (Pa.) and Roemer (Ind.) have adhered to their opposition, Obama has never supported a single measure that would curtail access to abortion -- even under controversial circumstances. But Casey and Roemer have chosen to ignore Obama's legislative record, and are promoting the Democratic presidential candidate to their antiabortion allies as someone who could achieve a new consensus on the issue.
Once again, the mainstream media displays their party preference, as it is yet another edition of Name That Party! In this instance, as reported by CBS television station KDKA Channel 2, Pennsylvania State Representative Frank LaGrotta stands accused of two criminal counts of conflict of interst. Strangely, though the story discusses LaGrotta's purported transgressions in detail, his party affiliation is somehow neglected!
NBC Channel 10 News of Philadelphia, PA has given us a perfect example of how the media misuses words in order to illegitimately blame things and people who are otherwise blameless. This particular story really shows how the media manipulates... or is, perhaps, just plain illiterate at the very least.
The headline begins us on our journey of media manipulation and nonsense. With the proclamation that "French Fries To Blame For SEPTA Station Gang Beating", we are supposed to be informed that "French fries" are at fault for a beating. I guess it wasn't the gang-banger punks that were responsible, huh? It was the "French fries"? Already the news piece shies blame away from the humans responsible to an inanimate object; the French fries (a favorite poly in the "gun violence" meme, by the way).
Oh, but it doesn't stop with just an illogical, misleading headline. The very first few paragraphs caries us further on our journey into absurdity.
Triads. Quads. V's. No, it's not a math lesson, it's the terminology used to describe relationships by polyamorists. Not sure what those are? Lucky you have the February 13 edition of The Washington Post's "Style" section to enlighten you. And if you read far enough into the copy you'll also find a game plan for redefining marriage. More on that in a minute.
In what can only be described as a Valentine to immorality and provocative behavior, the Post ran a 2554-word feature on polyamory that describes a practice most readers - even the liberal fans of the Post - would find disturbing. Sometimes called "swinging" or "wife swapping," polyamory is the practice of openly having several sexual partners, regardless and sometimes in spite of, marital status.
Could a description of Mary Jo Kopechne's death in a car accident possibly not mention Ted Kennedy till five paragraphs later?
That's how the Times Leader, the Wilkes Barre, PA-based newspaper reported the passing away at age 89 of Mary Kopechne's mother Gwen, a local resident.
Here's the opening paragraph [emphasis added]:
A mother who lost her daughter in a well-publicized automobile accident in Massachusetts nearly 39 years ago was remembered Saturday as a caring woman who loved talking, drinking coffee and making pancakes for breakfast.
How thoughtful of the AP to give NewsBusters a Christmas contestant for “Name That Party.” Consider this post our thank you note for the timely gift!
In this December 25 article, the AP buried the party affiliation of Democratic Philadelphia mayor John F. Street in the very last sentence of a ten-paragraph article about the mayor taking an extra $111,000 in pay raises that he rejected while in office. He now wants to take the money through a program he he once vetoed, claiming the city couldn't afford it. He then played the race card and asked as a politician elected mainly by "poor black people" "what will I do" without the extra money.
Not only did the AP bury Street's party, it didn't label him a Dem outright, instead indirectly referred to a “fellow Democrat” as the only party identification. (Thnx to NBer DaBird)
Also missing are references to Street's financial troubles, some relating to his office, and several corruption scandals, earning him a 2005 Time magazine award as one of the worst top-three big city mayors. Note the many spots for a label:
The Democrats are better at understanding the impact of globalization on working people in America. The wages that have been arrested and halted in their growth, while, you know the boys in investment banking are making 10 times the average income of an American. I think the Democrats understand the consequences of it more than the Republicans and, frankly, another disagreement I've got with Republicans is that they are compulsive interventionists. They seem to have learned nothing and forgotten nothing from what happened in Iraq when they are talking about doing the same thing in Iran. -- Pat Buchanan, November 29, 2007
The next time you hear the MSM defending itself against charges of a lack of balance by pointing to Pat Buchanan's presence on its panels, remember his statement above. On globalization, Pat echoes the Seattle street protesters, seasoned with some John Edwards "Two Americas" rhetoric about Wall Street fat cats. On foreign policy, Pat sounds like someone auditioning for Secretary of Peace in Pres. Kucinich's cabinet.
A recent episode of Nova about the high-profile 2006 Kitzmiller v. Dover intelligent design trial has been cited for numerous false facts and false insinuations. The episode, entitled "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on trial," contains "blatant misrepresentations" and "misinformation," according to the Discovery Institute, the leading think tank of the intelligence design movement.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review recently published a story about Citgo gas stations in Pittsburgh finding a dip in gasoline sales. The piece sympathetically portrays Hugo Chavez, the America hating dictator of Venezuela, as a victim attacked by mean American boycotters even as they then claim at the end of the story that it isn't boycotters, but a down economy causing the dip (or maybe it isn't, the story can't make up its mind). So, if it is a down economy, why did the Trib-Review spend so much energy with the first half of the piece decrying a non-existent boycott of that poor, innocent Chavez? Why all this sympathy for Chavez? Your guess is as good as mine.
In fact, there aren't a whole lot of facts presented in this piece at all, so when all is said and done, there is no real conclusion reached, prompting the question of just what the heck the point of the article was in the first place if it weren't for exploiting the mean American boycotters angle? The very first line in the piece sets the tone of pity for Chavez.
This article appeared a couple of days ago in the Johnstown (PA) Tribune-Democrat, but it just came to my attention today. It's about Republican William T. Russell, the career Army man who is launching a campaign to unseat Rep. Democrat John Murtha in Pennsylvania's 12th District in 2008.
What stands out isn't the topic of the article. It's this little paragraph inserted close to the midway point:
Russell and his wife, Kasia, were in the Pentagon when a hijacked jetliner crashed into the building on Sept. 11, 2001. They escaped unharmed.
A hijacked jetliner? Which one would that be? Goodness, there have been so many hijackings in the past decade, it's hard to keep count.
Monday’s Washington Post carried a long, splashy article on the divorce of Richard Mellon Scaife, major conservative philanthropist (and backer of the MRC, truth be told). The joy in Scaife’s misfortune was hardly hidden. The headline was “Low Road to Splitsville: Right-Wing Publisher's Breakup Is Super-Rich In Tawdry Details.” Reporter David Segal’s article began and ended with the gimmick that the divorce was so entertaining that you should literally pack a lunch and travel to Pittsburgh to watch it. Most of the details were personal, except for this bizarre paragraph about Scaife’s alleged philanthropic failures:
When he isn't tending to this modest publishing empire, he's underwriting what Hillary Clinton once called "a vast right-wing conspiracy." His highest-profile expenditure is the $2.3 million he gave the American Spectator magazine in the mid-'90s, to try to unearth prurient and embarrassing details about Bill Clinton's years as governor of Arkansas. (The magazine came up virtually empty-handed.)
The liberal "alternative" paper Philadelphia Weekly (PW) has taken aim at former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) for his October 1 stop at Geno's Steaks (h/t Blonde Sagacity). What's so political about a lunch stop? PW took issue with owner Joey Vento's strong conservative views on immigration and immigrant integration.
Given Giuliani's decidedly more liberal immigration stance when he was mayor, the PW sought to make Giuliani's lunch run a symbol of pandering to "xenophobic" intolerance:
On the way to a fundraising event, he stopped by Geno’s Steaks at Ninth and Passyunk, and embraced Joey Vento, the biggest symbol of ignorance, intolerance and immigrant-bashing in the U.S. today.
In September 2005, a half dozen different bloggers verifiedthatapersonfacingintowhatwas originally called the Crescent of Embrace memorial to Flight 93 would be facing almost exactly at Mecca. Some surrounding trees have been added to the design, but the giant central crescent remains completely intact in the Bowl of Embrace redesign.
How many times have we seen it where the MSM refuses to mention the Party affiliation of an accused public figure, convicted felon or otherwise notorious personage if that person in the news happens to be a Democrat? It seems to happen nearly other day in the MSM, doesn't it? Conversely, should that newsworthy person be a Republican, well the MSM seems to fall all over themselves to mention that he is a Republican -- and usually in the first few sentences. Well, it looks like the MSM is now branching out to mentioning party status even of relatives of a notorious person in the news should there be a Republican in the family! It's as if just having a Republican family member alone explains the bad conduct as far as the Media are concerned.
Here we have the case of one William Smith, Jr., who is currently waiting to find out if the U.S. government is going to acquiesce to a request by the government of Peru for his extradition to face murder charges. Smith is accused of murdering his Peruvian wife while living in that country. It's a sad story of internet dating gone bad, and tawdry all the way around. Certainly, we hope justice is done.
But HOW does Smith's Father being a local Republican have anything to do with this story?
On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Byron Pitts filed a report on the causes of and potential solutions for Philadelphia's high murder rate in which the correspondent heard from several people who approached the problem from a liberal point-of-view while the NRA's Wayne LaPierre voiced a conservative point-of-view on the issue. While LaPierre stressed the need for more prosecutions of criminals, other activists blamed the crime problem on such issues as income "disparity," "availability of guns," and "inherent racism." (Transcript follows)
My headline really says it all. In an article that sets out to determine why New Haven, Connecticut would choose to offer official ID cards to illegal immigrants, while Hazleton, Pennsylvania enacted legislation that would make it difficult for illegals to obtain employment and housing, Hazleton ends up with the short end of the stick. It's all in the wording.
Right away, we discover that New Haven "has a long and rich history of liberal politics" while Hazleton is "a conservative city in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania." It's a classic case of sophisticated city folk versus uncultured hillbilly rubes. I can hear "Duelling Banjos" now...
If you read the article through, you'll notice that New Haven mayor Joe DeStefano is given more quote "airtime" than Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta. Compare this:
Matthew Balan showed me that The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a woman "who considers herself an advocate for issues affecting women and families" is all about declaring that Philadelphia is officially a city where women can safely "terminate" pregnancies and insure they don't create a family. Couldn't they just call her a liberal, or an abortion advocate? Patrick Kerkstra reported the vote was nine to eight:
Already this year, more than 50 resolutions have sailed through City Council, including those that honored Miss Philadelphia, chastised Don Imus, and designated "Safe Kids Week." With rare exception, these purely symbolic gestures are approved by unanimous voice vote.
Two figures, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Al Sharpton, were recently targeted with a death threat, but the media treated them very differently. An article by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that when the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown booked Hirsi Ali to speak, along with other Islamic leaders, a Johnstown Imam “tried to block" her from speaking and thinks she should be put to death. Other than the Pittsburgh article, the only news coverage of this was local. Here's a group of men who tried to prevent a woman from speaking and advocated her death, and even in a world hyper-aware of violence against women, the rest of the media ignored the situation and statements like this (emphasis mine throughout):
Imam Fouad ElBayly, president of the Johnstown Islamic Center, was among those who objected to Hirsi Ali's appearance.
"She has been identified as one who has defamed the faith. If you come into the faith, you must abide by the laws, and when you decide to defame it deliberately, the sentence is death," said ElBayly, who came to the U.S. from Egypt in 1976.
Sorry, Bob. But "pro-life" really means wanting to eliminate elective abortions, not just "reduce the number." When Bill Clinton trotted out that "safe, legal, and rare" line years ago, few would seriously deny that he was pro-choice.
Reporter Alan Cooperman played up Pennsylvania Democrat Bobby Casey's speech at Catholic University in Friday's Washington Post as part of an exciting new trend of Democrats speaking out on religion. (Casey is seeking to unseat Sen. Rick Santorum, who is loved -- and hated -- for his passionate faith-based politics.) His other example of the religious outreach trend was the media's Tiger Beat fanzine idol, Sen. Barack Obama.
Cooperman passes several obvious tests for a balanced article. He includes conservatives and liberals in it, and labels each side. He lets the conservatives underline that Bobby has some positions that please the libertine left, including making Plan B abortifacients available to everyone, including teenagers, and backs "civil unions for same-sex couples." That's a fancy way of saying "gay marriage." But what about the ending?
You may remember my report yesterday about the gay feature writer who was marshall of the gay pride parade that his newspaper helped sponsor. You may remember how his newspaper supported him even though it clearly destroyed the impartial view of both him and his newspaper.
Mayk stressed the dispute did not get Whelan fired from his role writing the "Ask Frank" history column and a society-watch column. "We had never planned to fire him about this issue and have no plans to do so," Mayk said. She added later, "He's a valued member of our editorial staff, and we look forward to his return."
Whelan, 56, said he has been unable to bring himself to face co-workers because of the dispute. He said he received "some communication" Wednesday from the newspaper that he declined to discuss. He said he has a meeting scheduled Friday with an attorney. Whelan said he told Hilliard he felt the dispute violated his civil rights. "I kept saying, 'I'm a minority. Don't you understand that this is important to me as a member of a minority group?'" he said.
Tim Chadwick, vice president of Pride of the Greater Lehigh Valley... said "I think that's absolutely ridiculous. I think it's a conjured up excuse for The Morning Call to cover up their homophobia... This is a civil rights matter and human rights matter. It has nothing to do with some kind of agenda. People are just trying to be who they are and live without oppression."
I'm not sure what more he wants, the newspaper supported him, sponsored the event and the publisher said he supports "a diverse community." Well, so long as that diversity doesn't include the newspaper supporting the events of gun owners, the religious, or pro-life supporters.