All three morning shows on Tuesday worried about Governor Rick Perry's "controversial," expensive move to send the National Guard to the Texas border. But it was ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday that offered the most annoyed commentary. GMA correspondent Jim Avila began his report by lecturing, "But the border patrol says [National Guard troops are] not needed because federal law prohibits the military from enforcing civilian laws."
Avila also highlighted that Operation Strong Safety comes "with a hefty price tag of $12 million per month." The journalist continued his critique, deriding, "The head of the border patrol telling ABC News he has other needs. It's not about detaining the child immigrants. They're giving themselves up." An irritated Avila added, "It's about where to put them and neither Governor Perry or the Guard has offered any help with that." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Texas ranchers must deal with gang members, drug dealers and violent criminals in their daily battle with illegal immigrants. Yet, journalists for the networks are largely uninterested in their plight. The Daily Signal on Friday talked to these men and women and found out just what goes on in south Texas.
Talking to reporter Josh Siegel, Linda Vickers, the owner of a ranch in Encino, Texas, explained, "We have [illegal] traffic almost every day...From women in distress to gang members." Pointing, she added, "In fact, one MS-13 was right up in that tree." Benny Martinez, the chief deputy sheriff in Brooks County, Texas, described the impact of illegal immigration: "You get your extortion cases that occur here in town. You get your human smuggling cases. You get your assault cases."
Texas State Senator and MSNBC heroine Wendy Davis is not doing that hot in the fundraising race as she pursues her shot for governor of the Lone Star state, the Daily Beast reported today.
"As if things weren’t going badly enough for Wendy Davis, the Texas gubernatorial candidate got caught inflating her campaign’s finances this week by counting a Willie Nelson concert as a contribution," reporter Ben Jacobs noted in the lead paragraph of his July 17 story, "Wendy Davis's Fundraising Fiasco." You can read the full story here, but here's an excerpt to give you a taste (emphasis mine):
The folks at msnbc.com are absolutely confounded that a new Texas voter ID law does NOT permit the usage of out-of-state driver's licenses to establish one's identity for voting.
"Even an out-of-state driver's license is not an acceptable form of ID under the law," whines a caption for an item on the network's Facebook page, promoting an article by Zachary Roth about a federal lawsuit challenging the Lone Star State's law. I found this on my Facebook page earlier this afternoon. As you can see in the screen capture below the page break, the network actually paid money to promote this particular post as sponsored content.
On Monday's NBC Today, fill-in co-host Willie Geist posed an ominous question to viewers: "How would you feel if you saw someone walk into a store or restaurant with a rifle strapped to his or her back?" Teasing an upcoming story on the topic, he proclaimed: "It's perfectly legal in one state, sparking quite a controversy this morning, we'll explain." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed minutes later, correspondent Kerry Sanders announced: "...in Texas, it is legal to carry a long-barreled rifle, a shotgun, as long as you're carrying it openly....But when a group of gun enthusiasts and activists began carrying their long guns into places like restaurants and stores, it started a debate that's raging like a Texas prairie fire." The headline on screen declared: "Texas Gun Fight; 'Open Carry' Movement Sparks Controversy."
The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday about a big setback for the Wendy Davis campaign for Texas governor. The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) did not include her campaign as a top target which means it won't be prioritized for heavy spending. The reaction from the Davis campaign could best be described as an angry hissy fit which bitterly attacked the DGA.
Pretty big political news from Texas to the extent it was covered by the Wall Street Journal. Therefore you would expect the Texas Tribune which is supposed to cover the nuts and bolts details of Texas politics to report this story. Well, as of this writing there is NADA about this at the Texas Tribune. To get an idea of how completely absurd it is for the "nonpartisan" Texas Tribune to avoid this story, first let us take a look at the the WSJ report titled "Wendy Davis’s Race in Texas Isn’t a Top Target for DGA" about that organization keeping her campaign out of the big leagues in terms of support:
Yesterday the Toyota Motor Corporation announced it would move its U.S. headquarters from Torrance, California, to Plano, Texas. Closing his report on the development, Tim Reid of Reuters noted the reaction of a Torrance business owner who doubtless counts many Toyota employees as loyal customers. "The taxes are lower in Texas. There are fewer regulations. It's cheaper for a company there. Why wouldn't they leave California?" shrugged Frank Portillo, the owner of a nearby Mexican restaurant.
While Toyota's forthcoming move is a huge economic and PR development for prospective 2016 presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) and a major embarrassment for liberal Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.), a search of Nexis and our DVR recording system shows the Big Three networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- ignored the story on both their April 28 evening newscasts and their April 29 morning news programs.
You might think an abortion-rights absolutist, a "champion of choice," like MSNBC.com contributor Irin Carmon would be revulsed at the notion of women potentially procuring prescription-strength abortion pills at a flea market. You'd be wrong.
While the CBS Evening News on Thursday and Good Morning America on Friday allowed mere seconds to explain a court ruling upholding "tough" "new abortion restrictions" in Texas, only Fox News fully detailed what the decision and law actually do. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Evening News guest anchor Sharyn Alfonsi briefly informed, "A federal appeals court today upheld Texas' new abortion restrictions, among the toughest in the nation. Many abortion clinics have closed since the law was passed."
On Friday's GMA, Amy Robach did a little better, noting, "The law requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and then restricts the availability of abortion-inducing drugs." But GMA offered a mere 18 seconds and CBS a scant 15 seconds. In contrast, Fox and Friends covered the story three times. Plus, Fox and Friends First co-host Heather Childers described it as "a win for pro-lifers in Texas."
MSNBC's rooting interest in the Texas gubernatorial race and the Lean Forward network's loathing of voter ID laws came together Monday in a hit piece on Republican gubernatorial nominee Greg Abbott.
MSNBC.com scribe Zachary Roth sharpened his pen to attack the Texas attorney general's "bogus voter fraud crusade." Essentially Roth whined that because there were only a handful of cases of potential voter fraud which Abbott's office was able to document for the network that the state's tightening of ID requirements at the polling stations were an empty gesture at best, and, you guessed it, racially-motivated at worst (emphasis mine)
"Wendy Davis Will Turn Texas Purple" insists the teaser headline on the Daily Beast front page today. No, this is NOT satire, but the honest-to-goodness belief of community organizer turned Daily Beast contributor Sally Kohn.
The headline for the story itself -- "Wendy Davis Is One Step Closer To Turning Texas Purple" -- dials down the hype a tiny bit, but the argument of her piece is pretty clear, even as Kohn desperately latches on to one poll for her ray of hope for the Lone Star State (emphasis mine):
One of the more depressing truths of contemporary society is contained in “O’Sullivan’s First Law,” from British conservative journalist John O’Sullivan: “All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.” For proof, look no further than South by Southwest (“SXSW”).
SXSW started as a meetup for tech experts, but attendance has grown 300 percent since since 2009 (as many as 150,000 people are expected to come to Austin, TX, this year starting March 7), and it has turned into a pop culture party, featuring more celebrity special guests each year. This year, the guest list includes Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Myers, Mindy Kaling, Rosario Dawson, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Nicolas Cage, Andy Samberg, CeeLo Green, Wiz Khalifa, 50 Cent and Bill Nye.
Wendy Davis would love to be the next governor of the state of Texas. She'd also probably love to retain the unquestioned doe-eyed adoration of MSNBC. Those aspirations might be at cross-purposes, however, especially as Davis is tacking to the right on gun rights and abortion in order to pass herself off as a centrist Democrat.
A reporter for The Daily Texan, the student newspaper for the University of Texas, got it right when calling abortion supporters what they are – “pro-abortion” – five times in an article about a counter-demonstration held during the annual pro-life Texas Rally for Life on January 24.
The term even made the article’s headline. [see below page break for image]
Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator running for governor, became a liberal superhero last June when she filibustered a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. (This was the good filibuster, not that awful filibuster three months later by Ted Cruz -- that was just grandstanding.)
Apart from her enthusiasm for abortion (and you have to admit, abortion is really cool), the centerpiece of Davis' campaign is her life story. Also the fact that she's a progressive woman who doesn't look like Betty Friedan.
On her Tuesday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell tried to downplay the controversy swirling over the misleading biography put forward by Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis: "[She's] being forced to answer media reports down there that she had slightly altered her resume or focused on the single mom aspects of it and didn't really give the timeline correctly." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell continued by actually warning Republicans to tread lightly on the issue: "You never want to be on the defensive about giving your biography when you're running for office, but this is a careful balancing act also, given her appeal to many women and the fact that she's potentially running against a man."
On Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton pretended that the misleading details liberal hero Wendy Davis has used to exaggerate her biography are merely "minor details" and actually suggested that it is the "right wing" who should be embarrassed by repeating the revelations as he ended his regular "Nice Try" segment by proclaiming:
When a politician -- male or female, liberal or conservative -- writes a memoir*, anything therein is fair game for the news media and his or her opponents, particularly when claims made therein are false or misleading. But to the gang at MSNBC, Republican criticism of the network's anointed golden girl Wendy Davis is beyond the pale.
In a glowing profile of Texas state senator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis that amounted to a campaign commercial on Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Maria Shriver proclaimed: "Wendy Davis became a familiar name last year when she stood in her pink tennis shoes for eleven hours to defeat a Texas abortion bill. Even though the bill eventually passed, Davis became a star. And her story, her personal story, resonated across this country." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Following footage of cheering Davis supports, Shriver lobbed this ridiculous softball to the Texas abortion heroine: "Everybody says Wendy Davis is an overnight sensation. Does it irritate you that people call you an overnight sensation?" Davis replied: "I'm not an overnight sensation. I'm a Texan. And I'm a Texas success story. I am the epitome of hard work and optimism."
Appearing as a panel member on the Monday, December 30, PoliticsNation on MSNBC to help assign the annual "Revvy" awards for the year 2013, MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams ranted that Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz is "the biggest fraud to have ever walked in the United States Senate," and went on to bizarrely claim that Cruz "wasn't supposed to be elected," even though the Texas Republican not only won the Republican runoff with over 56 percent of the vote, but even the general election by about the same percentage, beating the Democrat by 16 points.
After Sharpton asked for his choice of "biggest loser of the year," Williams began:
It’s only natural that both liberal state Sen. Wendy Davis and conservative U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz would be nominees for “Texan of the Year” at the Dallas Morning News. (In the end, they chose the rescuers at the West, Texas fertilizer-plant explosion, which killed 12 first responders.) But the two editorials on Davis (on December 26) and Cruz (on December 27) show how liberal editorialists can struggle with being honest with the facts.
Both went to Harvard Law School – Davis graduating in 1993, Cruz in 1995. Both gained prominence this year with failed legislative maneuvers. Both draw great excitement from their party’s base voters. Let’s see how the Dallas pundits played with the facts:
Actresses, comedians, women empowerment, laughter – why it must be an abortion party!
In her latest piece, titled “Hello, Texas? Abortion Rights Calling,” The Daily Beast’s Sally Kohn advertised an telethon to raise money for “abortion services” in Texas, the “land of Wendy Davis and Jane Roe.” The Nov. 18 event boasts big names, including comedians Lizz Winstead and Sarah Silverman as well as NARAL Pro-Choice America. Oh, and hers truly, Sally Kohn.
Recently declared Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis had a really, really bad opening round of campaign appearances. Naturally, the national press, which swooned over the Fort Worth Democrat's ultimately failed filibuster against a common-sense pro-life law in the Lone Star State's legislature, pretended not to notice.
They had local help. On Wednesday, At The Monitor in McAllen, Texas, in an item mirrored at the Brownsville Herald, "reporter" Ty Johnson opened with six paragraphs of fanboy fawning about Davis's Tuesday campaign appearance in Brownville, and then buried Davis's galling attempt to portray herself as "pro-life" in Paragraph 23. Also, stay tuned until the final segment of this post for how a Davis press aide tried to bully a local paper into retracting a headline.
The first election cycle in the Lone Star State with a photo ID mandate went off without a hitch on Tuesday. In fact, voter turnout was up 66 percent over the last comparable election cycle in 2011, according to the Texas Secretary of State's office.
But that has done nothing to stop MSNBC's fear-mongering as the network's Zachary Roth hacked out a piece ominously warning in the headline, "Texas voting suggests trouble on the horizon." Roth opened his piece with a woman who insists her being required to sign an affidavit when voting on Tuesday was part of some grand conspiracy to suppress the women's vote for Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) next year:
If Wendy Davis’ 11-hour filibuster to protect late-term abortion in the Lone Star State wasn’t proof enough of the Texas pro-abortion movement’s desperation, a new video game does the trick.
In “Choice: Texas,” designed by Carly Kocurek and Allyson Whipple and currently in development, players hunt for abortion access in Texas via the “choose-your-own-adventure” technique – and confront obstacles such as geography and healthcare.
Corrected from earlier | Just when you thought the whole Wendy Davis obsession was dying down, Vogue has up and done a puffy profile of the Texas state senator and abortion rights absolutist for its September issue. Now, I know you're tempted to run out to the newsstand and snatch up a copy, but apparently the Daily Beast's Erin Cunningham did America a favor with a blog post today about the "13 Things You Didn't Know About Wendy Davis."
"From her love of Victoria Beckham to her teenage rebellious phase [here are]13 things we learned from Vogue’s September-issue profile of Wendy Davis," the subheader for Erin Cunningham's August 15 post gushed. Predictably full of pablum and puffery, Cunningham closed her short piece on a absurdly trite note:
In the first week of February 2012, the Big Three networks lunged to the defense of Planned Parenthood when the Susan G. Komen Foundation (very temporarily) withdrew its donation to abortion giant (about $680,000 the previous year). Network reporters whacked Komen, promoting “outrage and disappointment engulfing the Internet.”
But Mollie Hemingway of Get Religion pointed out that Planned Parenthood in Texas was recently forced to pay the state of Texas $4.3 million for Medicaid fraud. Where was the “outrage and disappointment” engulfing the media? The networks didn’t notice. Even the local newspaper coverage was terrible.
"New state restrictions on clinics that provide abortions could leave millions of women -- many of them poor and uninsured -- without easy access to cancer screenings and other basic health care services," worried Jake Grovum of the Pew Charitable Trust's Stateline news agency in his heavily-slanted July 24 piece at USAToday.com headlined "Anti-abortion measures may hit women's health care." Grovum quoted two foes of abortion regulation laws -- making sure to give one of them the last word in his 16 paragraph story. By contrast, he cited just one pro-life proponent of clinic regulation, Alabama State Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin.
But aside from the article's imbalance and the all-too-common meme that women only have abortion clinics to turn to for free or low-cost health care -- patently untrue as we've noted time and again -- Grovum's article was off-base for suggesting that abortion clinics will become an endangered species in states which regulate them. By contrast, as Lisa Maria Garza of Reuters explained in her July 18 story, "Why many abortion clinics in Texas may stay open despite new law,"abortion-rights advocates who study changes in abortion laws for a living admit that clinic closures might not be a widespread as feared by the Wendy Davis-types in the pro-choice lobby (emphasis mine):
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that the Obama/Holder Justice Department would request a federal court to put a hold on plans by the State of Texas to put into effect new voter ID laws. The Wall Street Journal's Devlin Barrett has a short article on the development, "Holder Targets Texas in New Voting-Rights Push," published shortly after the announcement at 10:05 a.m. Eastern time.
Barrett failed to directly quote any opponents of Holder's move, but did not that "The move is likely to anger conservatives who have long argued that the law has outlived its usefulness and punishes certain states—particularly in the South—based not on their current conduct, but on their past." But when it came to promoting the article on social media, a Journal social media staffer gave Twitter followers a decidedly pro-Holder spin, pitching the story thusly:
In an adoring softball interview with San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro on her Monday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell eagerly wondered if the Democrat was leading the way in turning the solidly red state blue: "Take a look at Texas Monthly, both you and your brother [Congressman Joaquin Castro] and Wendy Davis are on the cover of Texas Monthly. Is there a Democratic revival coming up in Texas?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Castro seized the opportunity to proclaim: "It is an exciting time to be in Texas right now, as a Democrat....And the question is not if Texas is going to become a competitive state, and eventually a blue state, the question really is just when, how long is it going to take?...but it's going to happen. And you can feel that excitement right now in the air."