"There's a lot of anxiety for thousands of women in Texas today about their health care," MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell alarmed viewers of her 1 p.m. Eastern program today. "They're going to lose health care coverage this week, on Wednesday, when the Texas state legislature enforces a law cutting funds to any health care center affiliated with an abortion provider, and that means Planned Parenthood," Mitchell noted as she introduced the Daily Beast's Michelle Goldberg to elaborate. [emphases mine]
What commenced was a segment -- entitled onscreen, "Women's Health Under Attack" -- devoted to painting the decision by the Texas legislature as an assault on women's health care, even though the health care provided by Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas is far from comprehensive, as a cursory review of the organization's website clearly spells out.
What does the New York Times have against Texas A&M, a rare public university whose student body leans right? Manny Fernandez reported Saturday from the campus in College Station, on an illegal immigrant who lost his bid for student body president: "Vying for Campus President, Illegal Immigrant Gets a Gamut of Responses." Who was to blame? A conservative student body who made him feel unwelcome.
Jose Luis Zelaya stood with a crowd of other students waiting to hear the news. It was election day at Texas A&M University here, and he was running for student body president. A victory for Mr. Zelaya, a 24-year-old graduate student from Honduras, would make history at Texas A&M: He would become its first Hispanic student body president -- and the first illegal immigrant to hold the position.
The New York Times defended the Texas branches of Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, on the front page Thursday: "Women in Texas Losing Options For Health Care" was reported by Pam Belluck and Emily Ramshaw, a reporter for the Texas Tribune, which produces a twice-weekly local section for the Texas edition of the Times.
Ramshaw was last covered in Times Watch in January, lamenting the "bureaucratic nightmare" instigated by a pro-life law. (When was the last time the Times complained about overregulation?)
Emily Ramshaw’s New York Times report on new abortion regulations in Texas, “Required Delay Between Sonogram and Abortion Creates Logistical Issues,” made the national edition Sunday. In an odd twist for the liberal Times, Ramshaw lamented the plight of abortion clinics having to comply with regulations. And isn’t it ironic for the pro-regulation Times to criticize a “bureaucratic nightmare”?
Ramshaw is a reporter for the Texas Tribune, a left-leaning nonprofit news organization based in Austin that has a content partnership with the Times. Back on September 30, 2011 she filed “Few Bright Spots in Perry’s Health Care Record,” a negative piece on Texas governor Rick Perry, at the start of Perry's brief presidential campaign.
In an unsigned per curiam opinion issued today, the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out a federal judge's revision of Texas's congressional redistricting map, finding that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas had "substituted its own concept of 'the collective public good' for the Texas Legislature’s determination of which policies serve 'the interests of the citizens of Texas.'" The court "appears to have unnecessarily ignored the State’s plans in drawing certain individual districts," the Court added. No justice dissented and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas issued a concurrence.
Yet in teasing Supreme Court correspondent Robert Barnes's story on the Washington Post's website, editors colored the decision in a way that portrayed the move as the justices having "throw[n] out... electoral maps favoring minorities." [see screencap below page break]
It's possible I missed something in history class, but I'm pretty sure Davy Crockett never urinated in public as a sign of protest.
I say this because the Washington Post's Pamela Constable and Fredrick Kunkle today compared the Occupy D.C. movement to the Texan freedom fighters at the Alamo in today's 25-paragraph front-page story (emphases mine):
Yet another media outlet is writing Gov. Rick Perry’s political obituary after his GOP debate flub Wednesday night. This time it's Ross Ramsey, managing editor for the Texas Tribune, a nonprofit news organization that provides content to the New York Times: “National Spotlight Might Shine Too Bright for Gaffe-Prone Perry.”
The Times has certainly feasted on Perry’s flub, in which the Texas governor blanked out on naming the three government agencies he planned to eliminate. Thursday’s front page carried the story under the headline “‘Oops’ at Debate When Perry Can’t Get to Three,” and quoted the entire exchange in a text box on the jump page.
Former Executive Editor Bill Keller, now a columnist for the paper, used the tragic fire in Bastrop, Texas to let loose an Obama-inspired rant against the conservative argument for limited government (and again targeted Texas Gov. Rick Perry) on his New York Times blog Monday: “Life Without Government.”
Monday’s column by former New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, “Is the Tea Party Over?”, indulged in the usual doomsaying for the G.O.P.’s 2012 presidential prospects (too negative, too far to the right, etc.). Keller also found the “doofus” Gov. Perry guilty of giving “a wink to the evangelicals, a nod to the executioner, and an ardent defense of personal liberties for those who are heterosexual and don’t need an abortion.”
Keller, who as editor of the paper virtually ignored the Tea Party during its first year of existence, has now turned around and said the movement is about to blow its big political opportunity:
New York Times White House reporters Jackie Calmes and Jennifer Steinhauer were with Obama on the money-raising trail in Texas and did their usual spin job for the partisan, combative president in Wednesday’s “Obama Pitches Jobs Bill And Appeals to Donors.”
President Obama on Tuesday combined fund-raising and campaigning for his jobs bill in the home state of the Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry and the Congressional district of a House Republican leader, and he did not shy away from telling donors that they and Texas’ oil companies should pay more taxes for the nation’s good.
Although the Perry connection is extremely tenuous (the camp’s name predated the Perry family's involvement, and the family had the rock painted over years ago) both the headline (“snag”) and a photo caption wishfully insisted the new controversy had already knocked Perry off stride: “His presidential campaign has been on the defensive in recent days.”
Ramshaw, a reporter for the Texas Tribune, a left-leaning nonprofit news organization based in Austin that has a content partnership with the Times, played the same sour notes on Perry and Texas health-care statistics as the paper’s regular reporters.
While the media have been keen on pushing anti-bullying campaigns, there is a flip side to the coin: students can become the victims of over-sensitive school administrators who confuse legitimate free speech with bullying.
A prime example comes to our attention out of Fort Worth, Texas, as Dakota Ary recently served a suspension from school for telling a classmate in a classroom discussion that he believes homosexuality is sinful.
The cultural and media snobs are trying to explain Texas to those who don't know the difference between a steer and a bull. If you fall into this category, a steer has been castrated -- a bull has not. I'll leave any analogy to East and West Coast elites for you to sort out.
People who are from Texas, or have lived there, are devoted to it and I never truly understood why until I lived there ... twice. Texans speak of their state with an affection one doesn't often hear from Oregonians or Michiganians. No matter what city they are from, Texans almost always add "Texas" when they introduce themselves, apparently to avoid confusion, as though there were another Nacogdoches or Cut and Shoot anywhere else in the world.
ABC Highlights Complaints That 'There is Little Heart' in Rick Perry's Texas
On Saturday's World News on ABC, correspondent Jim Avila filed a report in which he focused mostly on aspects of Texas's economy that receive praise, but he ended up warning that things may not really be as good as they seem, as the ABC correspondent highlighted claims that, "deep in the heart of Rick Perry's Texas, there is little heart."
As the presidential candidacy of Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas revs to life, the New York Times is doing its best in both its opinion and news sections to throw sand in the gears.
Times reporter James McKinley Jr. actively led the cheers for Perry’s Democratic opponent during Perry’s 2010 gubernatorial race. This time around, columnist Paul Krugman on Monday tried and failed to knock down Perry’s successful economic record as Texas governor with a misleading column, “The Texas Unmiracle.”
Texas, we have a problem. Your GOP governor is running for president against Barack Obama. Yet, one of his most infamous acts as executive of the nation's second-largest state smacks of every worst habit of the Obama administration. And his newly crafted rationalizations for the atrocious decision are positively Clintonesque.
In February 2007, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a shocking executive order forcing every sixth-grade girl to submit to a three-jab regimen of the Gardasil vaccine. He also forced state health officials to make the vaccine available "free" to girls ages 9 to 18. The drug, promoted by manufacturer Merck as an effective shield against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) and genital warts, as well as cervical cancer, had only been approved by the Food and Drug Administration eight months prior to Perry's edict.
On both Good Morning America and World News, two different ABC correspondents filed separate reports recounting that some Christians oppose Texas Governor Rick Perry’s prayer rally from the weekend, but, in both reports, clips of left-wing figures like the Reverend Barry Lynn of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and Drew Courtney of People for the American Way were shown, instead of showing any more mainstream Christians as examples of dissent.
The ABC and NBC morning and evening newscasts on Sunday gave attention to President Obama's attack on the Republican presidential candidates for not scolding a couple of audience members who booed a gay solder who asked a question about gays in the military at a recent debate. Monday's Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC noted that Obama has his own history of standing by without condemning inappropriate comments at public events.ABC correspondent David Kerley filed full reports devoted to the story on both Good Morning America and World News Sunday, while NBC's Mike Viqueira mentioned Obama's line of attack within reports that dealt with other political issues on Today and the NBC Nightly News.
On Thursday’s Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, host Maddow devoted a considerable chunk of her show to the story of convicted murderer Humbarto Leal Garcia's execution in Texas, and Republican Governor Rick Perry’s refusal to delay the execution to give Congress more time to pass legislation to address how the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations should be applied to such cases.
Garcia, who in 1994 raped a 16-year-old girl and then strangled her and crushed her skull with a 35-pound piece of asphalt, was sent to prison in 1998 but did not discover until two years later that he was supposed to be legally entitled to ask for help from the Mexican consulate in his defense.
(Note: This article earlier erroneously claimed that the Vienna Convention does not seem to demand that authorities inform a foreign national of the rights contained in the treaty when, in reality, the treaty does contain text making this demand of authorities.)
New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes was with the president in El Paso, Texas, inspiring Latino voters for his 2012 reelection by pushing Congress to hack a "path to citizenship for illegal immigrants." It’s a long shot in a Republican-controlled Congress, on an issue Obama did not press when the Democrats had big majorities in the House and Senate, but those points were buried in her 1,100-word story Wednesday, "In Border City Talk, Obama Urges G.O.P. to Help Overhaul Immigration Law."
President Obama came to this border city on Tuesday to argue that he is doing his part to crack down on illegal immigration, and that Republicans must now join him in overhauling the nation’s immigration laws for the millions of workers already here illegally.
GOP Gov. Rick Perry, who refuses to commit to Times-approved tax hikes, endured several stories from McKinley during his 2010 re-election battle cheering for his Democratic opponent. On Friday, McKinley again sounded more like an editorial writer than an objective reporter:
It is hard to overstate the budget-cutting furor that has gripped lawmakers in this capital, where the Republicans who control the Legislature and all statewide offices believe voters sent them an iron-clad mandate last year to shrink the size of government.
But the Texas government was already a relatively lean operation after years of conservative fiscal policies. So when the Texas House passed its budget bill last weekend, the depth of the cutbacks necessary for the Republican majority to stick to its promise of no new taxes became clearer. It was not a pretty picture.
A New York Times reporter who came under fire from the paper’s executive editor for his “cringe-making” and “ham-handed” reporting on a young rape victim in Texas returned to the story for Tuesday's front page: “3-Month Nightmare Emerges in Rape Inquiry.”
Keller criticized Houston Bureau Chief James McKinley’s March 9 story in his March 27 column for the Times Sunday magazine, giving it special place among various Times embarrassments “Between Ivana’s brassieres and W.M.D.’s are cringe-making one-offs like the ham-handed article that led some readers to think we were blaming the 11-year-old victim of a monstrous gang rape in Texas (the only way to make amends was to order up a whole new story)....”
McKinley’s initial story generated some reader outrage for seemingly being more concerned over the future of the young men being accused then of the rape victim herself, and with insensitive comments like this: “Residents in the neighborhood where the abandoned trailer stands – known as the Quarters - said the victim had been visiting various friends there for months. They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.” Well, one cheer for editorial transparency on the part of Keller.
Appearing as a guest on Saturday’s Huckabee show on FNC, Whoopi Goldberg - co-host of ABC’s The View - complained that bloggers disseminate inaccurate information about her without the need to "fact check," and that "they poop on you and they walk away." Goldberg: "But a blogger can say endless stuff. They don't have to fact check. ... And then that is picked up and made into some other story on another station, and it becomes the truth. See, I think fact outweighs assumption. So if you have facts in your hands, then you can talk, then you can have a conversation... People just, they poop on you and they walk away."
After asserting that she has said "not one thing" on ABC’s The View that she regrets saying, Goldberg soon added, "And I've gotten flack for what I felt was fact as opposed to someone's speculation."
But Goldberg has her own history of helping spread misinformation on The View. Last May, she and other co-hosts repeated the distorted claims of a left-wing organization in Texas which alleged that conservatives on the Texas State Board of Education were trying to downplay or eliminate references to slavery in its grade school history curriculum. On the Monday, May 17 show, Behar misinformed viewers with sarcasm: "Remember that thing called the 'slave trade'? Remember that? Okay, it turns out, what you learned was all wrong. Because it wasn't some evil buying and selling of human beings. It was simply called 'Atlantic triangular trade.' That's what they want to call it now. It's called revisionism. People do it about the Holocaust, and now Texas wants to do it about our country."
Moments later, Goldberg chimed in, "I’m sorry. Slavery was slavery. You can’t recall it." Instead of reading out the actual wording from the curriculum plan, panel members seemed only to refer to third-party accounts of the proposed changes.
And in April, the panel on the View helped feed the misinformed hysteria over Arizona’s effort to enforce federal immigration laws as some of her co-hosts assumed the new state law would require racial profiling and targeting of Hispanics, failing to convey that Arizona law enforcement would only check immigration documents of suspects who have been detained for some other reason. Goldberg acted more as moderator on this occasion and was not as outspoken as other co-hosts in making assertions about the new law, but she did not challenge the claims of her co-hosts and seemed to assume they were accurate. Goldberg, from the April 26 The View:
On Thursday's CBS Early Show, news reader Erica Hill used loaded liberal terms to describe a Texas pro-life event that Sarah Palin attended on Wednesday: "Palin shared the stage in an anti-abortion rights rally with Texas Governor Rick Perry."
Hill touted how despite making no announcement to make a 2012 presidential run, Palin "was looking an awful lot like a candidate," adding that the appearance with Governor Perry represented "a dream ticket for some tea party supporters." However, after playing a brief clip of Palin, Hill noted how "A just-released Associated Press poll finds of all the potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates, Sarah Palin is the most polarizing."
Former president George W. Bush can’t even put exhibits in his own presidential center without offending some easily frightened leftists. New York Times reporter Michael Brick handed some at Southern Methodist University in Dallas a megaphone to complain about the megaphone Bush used to address rescue workers from the rubble of the World Trade Center in moving fashion three days after the attacks in “Opening of Exhibit on Bush Reopens a Campus Rift.” Let's pick things up at paragraph three:
But now Mr. Bush is bringing out the bullhorn.
“Breaking New Ground: Presenting the George W. Bush Presidential Center,” an exhibit set to open this weekend on the campus of Southern Methodist University, prominently features the handgun taken from Saddam Hussein and the loudspeaker used to address rescue workers at the World Trade Center in September 2001.
The choice of mementos, emphasizing some of the more controversial foreign policy aspects of the Bush presidency, has reinvigorated opposition to the center’s presence at the university.
“It’s the approach they’ve taken all along; it fits their worldview,” said the Rev. William K. McElvaney, a professor emeritus of preaching and worship at the university. “It’s a tragedy for S.M.U. to hitch its star to this.”
The new opening exhibit, some Methodist leaders said, provides a disturbing first glimpse into the presidential center’s priorities.
As the Texas State Board of Education worked to complete its once-every-ten-year revision of the curriculum for the state’s schools in May, much of the mainstream media promoted complaints and distortions from the left – many originating with the left-leaning Texas Freedom Network – about the nature of the changes in the guidelines and how they would effect textbooks that might end up in other states. One of the more incendiary distortions was that the conservative-leaning Texas Board of Education was trying to downplay or ignore the existence of slavery in America’s history as some on the left claimed that the term "slave trade" was being renamed "Atlantic triangular trade" thus removing the word "slave" or "slavery" from the curriculum. Joy Behar of ABC’s The View and of HLN’s Joy Behar Show went the furthest in slamming the board of education as she charged on the May 17 The View that "It's called revisionism. People do it about the Holocaust, and now Texas wants to do it about our country." She soon mockingly declared: "You know what, next they'll be burning books. Next step, burn books."
NBC’s Rehema Ellis mentioned the issue on the NBC Nightly News on two consecutive nights, on the May 22 show charging, "And the expression 'slave trade' would be changed to the 'Atlantic triangular trade.' Some critics see that as a move to deny slavery," while ABC’s Dan Harris on the May 21 World News asserted, "Here are some of the things the conservatives tried and failed to do: Have the President called by his full name, Barack Hussein Obama, which some called an attempt to raise questions about his faith, and even rename the 'slave trade' as the 'Atlantic triangular trade.'"
But CNN’s T.J. Holmes deserves credit because he actually took the time to inform viewers of the wording in question, first as he, on the May 22 CNN Saturday Morning, hosted a debate between NAACP President Benjamin Jealous and Jonathan Saenz of the Liberty Institute, with the CNN anchor revealing that the new wording still used the word "slavery" as he posed a question to the NAACP president. Holmes: "I want to make sure, because I read this thing as well and I did see 'Atlantic triangular trade' in there, but then in the next, almost couple of words I saw the word 'slavery' ... Now, what is the issue with that that you call it a 'triangular trade' and then you're still talking about slavery and you used the word ' slavery'? What's the issue?"
MSNBC's Chuck Todd on Tuesday attacked new standards being adopted for history textbooks in Texas as "odd" and mocked that the state would now be teaching "education by Wikipedia." Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune appeared as a guest and fretted that the school board includes "a conservative, arch conservative bloc."
Todd recounted the changes being made to the curriculum, including "the idea that our Founding Fathers may not have intended a separation of church and state...how government taxation and regulation can serve as restrictions to private enterprise."
Todd derided the story, saying, "...The more you look into it, the odder it gets." He noted that the rise of the conservatism in the '80s would be highlighted and later marveled, "So, is this, essentially, education by Wikipedia? I mean, because, Wikipedia is...when a majority, it seems, accept what the version of a story that might have happened?" [Audio available here.]
The Texas state school board gave final approval Friday to controversial social studies standards that minimize the separation of church and state and say that America is not a democracy but a "constitutional republic."
Really? The second point is ludicrous to describe as "controversial." The U.S. system of government is not direct democracy but a representative republic regulated by a constitution, hence a "constitutional republic." As to the first allegation in Birnbaum's lead paragraph, this writer did some homework and found the actual text of the newly-approved standard in question, which applies to government courses:
Examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America and guaranteed its free exercise by saying that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and compare and contrast this to the phrase “separation of church and state.”
The notion that that standard "minimize[s]" the notion of "separation of church and state" must be read into the text of the actual newly-approved standard, it certainly isn't logically concluded from it.
Later in the article, Birnbaum insisted that "the new standards... draw an equivalency between Jefferson Davis's and Abraham Lincoln's inaugural addresses." Here's the actual language of the newly devised standard: