When it comes to the First Amendment, too many people in this country have a distorted sense of what that document actually means.
This is especially true of the liberal elite media which construe the First Amendment in the following manner: 1) Congress shall not make any attempt to censor or diminish the rights of any media outlet--except those dominated by the right. 2) Congress shall not restrict flag burning or any form of pornography. 3) Religious people do not have the right to express their religion in public. 4) Political speech is equal to money and therefore can be censored at whim.
To those who doubt that, take a gander at this recent Kansas City Star editorial, denouncing the new John Roberts court:
result, made clear in rulings handed down this week and earlier, is
empowerment for the powerful and callousness toward individuals.
In a landmark 5-4 case today, the U.S. Supreme Court found that two school systems had improperly used race as a consideration in managing the public school districts. Web sites for many newspapers have carried Associated Press coverage of the ruling, and the later the revision of the AP report, the more information tends to be packed in them.
As of 1:15 a.m. Eastern when I started this post*, the Los Angeles Times front page linked to an AP story published just before 11 a.m. Eastern. But in that version of the AP story, Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion, is not quoted at all. Yet a similar AP story (perhaps the same story but with fewer paragraphs edited out) was published just minutes later in the Washington Examiner.
Note: Though this post is primarily about Ohio's governor speaking at a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) banquet in Columbus last Sunday, it contains nationally significant info about connections between CAIR, Al Qaeda, and Hamas, and Old Media's non-coverage of those connections.
On Friday ("Strickland-CAIR Update: Reported Strickland Staffer Response"), I noted how staff member "Charles" in Ohio Governor Ted Strickland's office responded in a conversation with a constituent relayed to me by a trusted source. The constituent objected to the governor's June 17 appearance at CAIR-Ohio's annual banquet -- a banquet also attended by CAIR's national chairman of the board. In part, the constituent reported the following:
"Charles of his staff stated that he did a lot of research on CAIR and they were an organization that does a lot of good and no more terrorist than the Jewish Defense Fund or Dr. James Dobson."
Monday, June 18, 2007 OHIO GOVERNOR SPEAKS AT CAIR BANQUET
(COLUMBUS, OH, 6/18/2007) - Ohio Governor Ted Strickland spoke last night at the tenth annual banquet of the Council on American-Islamic Relations chapter in that state (CAIR-OH).
Governor Strickland addressed the crowd of 350 people, saying: "On behalf of all Ohioans, [my wife and I] appreciate your vision to promote justice and mutual understanding. We gather under CAIR-Ohio's theme this year, 'American Muslims: Connecting and Sharing,' to do just that, to connect and share and get to know each other better."
Governor Strickland also expressed appreciation for "the Muslim traditions of strong family, hard work, and education,” and presented a proclamation honoring CAIR-Ohio’s work.
..... One of the strangest examples (of "political correctness has crept into the halls of academia") comes from Marquette University in Wisconsin -- where a Dave Barry quip was banned. Last fall, Ph.D. student Stuart Ditsler printed out a short blurb from one of Barry's humor columns and stuck it on his office door. It read, "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." Of course, anybody who has ever heard of Dave Barry would know that he wasn't exactly suggesting insurrection.
The head of Marquette's philosophy department apparently didn't get it. He took down Barry's words and issued a statement that included the words, "while I am a strong supporter of academic freedom. I'm afraid that hallways and office doors are not free-speech zones." Since then, the Marquette philosophy department has stuck to its stance that Barry's words are "patently offensive," despite the fact that lots of other doors had slogans pasted on them.
As is often true in situations such as these, there's a lot more to the story. In this case, a little digging reveals not only a hypocritical academic mindset, but also shows that the next generation of journalists is on track to be even more biased than the current crop.
Following a report on fisticuffs in the Alabama State Senate, CNN reporter T.J. Holmes cracked a joke about Sen. Lowell Barron (D) being on the receiving end of a punch to the face from Republican Senator Charles Bishop.
Give Food Stamp Challenge organizers in Michigan and New Haven, Connecticut some credit.
We'll probably never know whether they figured it out on their own, or perhaps read of other organizers' errors when they were pointed out by syndicated columnist Mona Charen and by yours truly (at NewsBusters here and here; at BizzyBlog here and here). But unlike their comrades in most other cities and states, they have at least framed their Challenge using a correct amount of $35 per person per week ($5 per person per day) based on this table, which was adapted from information available at the USDA's web site (near the bottom at link; the weekly amount is result of dividing by 4.345, the average number of weeks in a month):
Canadians are mad as heck, and this time, they’re not going to take it. Michael Moore went too far to be ignored, which meant that a Canuck really gave him “what for” in the form of a polite but pointed recap of a heated press conference on Saturday for the premiere of “Sicko,” Moore’s one-sided US health-care hit job, which debuted at Cannes Film Festival .
May 20, Toronto Star entertainment reporter Peter Howell wrote in the ideologically left of center paper that the Canadian journalists who saw “Sicko” were less than happy with his “playing fast and loose with the facts” and churning out a one-sided Pollyanna treatment of Canadian health care, presenting a system without problems. After being chastised by some of the most polite people on Earth, he fired back and leveled a truly terrible offense at them by stating their system is barely a step above America's. Quelle horreur!
Read what one of the few articles critical of Moore and his accuracy had to say about the movie's obvious problems with Moore’s film (bold emphasis mine throughout):
You haven't heard of Robert E. Murray? That's not surprising.
If there were an open dialog instead of continual blather about "settled science" when it comes to supposedly human-induced "climate change" and "global warming" (two concepts I like to collectively refer to as "globaloney"), Murray would have visibility. But, as Strassel writes, a different "climate," the political one, appears to be keeping him largely out of the public eye, despite his best efforts to break through.
You see, Robert Murray is a coal-company executive who has first-hand experience with what will happen on a much broader scale if the radical changes envisioned by Al Gore and others (whom I like to refer to as "globalarmists") ever get enacted:
The Volokh Conspiracy reported that yet another college has cracked down on a conservative student paper. The Primary Source, published a fake ad called “Islam-- Arabic Translation: Submission.” It satirized the events of an upcoming Islamic Awareness Week which quoted verses from the Koran and included unpleasant but true statements about Islam and ended with the statement, "If you are a peaceful Muslim who can explain or justify this astonishingly intolerant and inhuman behavior, we'd really like to hear from you!" This earned the students a quick trip before a disciplinary committee facing charges of "harassment and creating a hostile environment." The school ultimately decided not to punish the students, but from now on, TPS must identify who created which content.
Liberally-minded people and liberal institutions may say that they support free speech, but that claim is parsed down to what the definition of “is” is. This is yet another example of “hate speech is not free speech.” Stepping on and even burning the American flag is allowed (as it should be), but stepping on a flag that has the name of Allah written on it, such as a Hamas flag is not. It is fine for atheists to criticize or make fun of Christianity, but they are not allowed to criticize Islam. A liberal calling Condoleeza Rice Bush’s “house n***a” is acceptable, as is using digital blackface, but conservatives who say “tar baby” are hounded. The idea of “hate speech” is rarely applied equally.
A cartoon in the May 13 "Sunday Briefing" on page F2 of the Washington Post furthered a left-wing talking point against "Big Oil" that a comprehensive study by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) debunked last year: that oil companies artificially manipulate gas prices by squeezing supply.
A cartoon from the Newark Star-Ledger's Drew Sheneman depicts a man fueling his car asking a cigar-smoking "Oil Co." representative, "Why do gas prices always go up right before the summer vacation season?" "Coincidence," replies the oil executive, as he stands atop the fuel line, bottlenecking the gas on its way to the motorist's car. The price atop the pump reads $3.50.
The implication, of course, is that the petroleum industry artificially bottlenecks supply to jack up fuel costs.
But that's not true, previous probes into allegations of price gouging have determined, including a May 22, 2006 FTC study of post-Hurricane Katrina gas prices.
Among the major conclusions, the FTC post-Katrina found:
Over the weekend, Al Gore caused somewhat of a stir down in San Antonio for refusing to allow the media to cover a speech he was giving to architects who are also adherents to his global warming gospel.
Thankfully for open dialogue, a reporter for the San Antonio Express-News crashed the party. Unfortunately for reasoned dialogue, the reporter, Anton Caputo, failed to report the event with any sort of skepticism, almost falling over himself to praise the veep-turned-envirovangelist.
parts visionary, cheerleader and comedian, Al Gore brought his message
of how to fight global warming to a capacity crowd of receptive
architects Saturday in San Antonio.
The former vice president referred continually to a "new way of
thinking" that is emerging in the country and offered hope in the
battle to control the effects global warming will have on the planet.
Oregon governor Ted Kulongoski got lots of attention earlier this week as he tried to show us how allegedly inadequate the Food Stamp program is (bold is mine):
Ore. gov. starts week on food stamps
By Julia Silverman, Associated Press Writer | April 25, 2007
SALEM, Ore. --If Gov. Ted Kulongoski seems a little sluggish this week, he's got an excuse: he couldn't afford coffee.
In fact, the Democratic governor couldn't afford much of anything during a trip to a Salem-area grocery store on Tuesday, where he had exactly $21 to buy a week's worth of food -- the same amount that the state's average food stamp recipient spends weekly on groceries.
Kulongoski is taking the weeklong challenge to raise awareness about the difficulty of feeding a family on a food stamp budget.
The governor put on quite a show trying to stay within that $21:
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.
I suppose it's possible she could defensively argue that this refers to Iran's Ahmadinejad or North Korea's Kim Jong-il, but in context it seems NY Post columnist Liz Smith refers to President George W. Bush in her March 29 article "Cruise-ing to WWII":
March 29, 2007 -- 'EVERY SECOND is a door to eternity. The door is opened by perception," said Rumi.
does a nation's elite rid itself of a deranged chief executive or
commander who is bent on leading the country astray? No, we're not
talking here about our own life and times. We're talking Nazi Germany.
Smith's piece was syndicated to other papers, including The Toledo Blade, where NewsBusters reader John Page noticed the item and forwarded it to me. The Blade headline for the Smith item: "Tom Cruise to star in film about Hitler."
Without a lot of breaking news out there this morning, why not pass some of today's 23 hours with an exhilirating session of one of our favorite games, WIARHSI, which as regular readers know stands for "What if a Republican Had Said It?"
Check out this paragraph from a Newsday article that reports on a Hillary campaign event in Nashua, New Hampsire:
"The former first lady, referring to New Hampshire's roster of female Democratic officials, quipped, 'I don't know about you, but I like seeing women in charge.'"
For purposes of WIARHSI, let's imagine that a Republican had made the mirror-image comment: "I don't know about you, but I like seeing men in charge." Fair to say that the feminist howls of outrage would soon be echoing from sea to shining sea? But what are the odds that Hillary's blatant appeal to sexist solidarity will cause even the smallest ripple in the MSM?
Note how Newsday tries to cover for Hillary, casting her comment as a mere "quip." Real side-splitter!
UPDATE (01:15 EST): Law professor and blogger Eugene Volokh addresses factual errors in reporting in the New York Times and Washington Post (h/t Instapundit).
How are your local TV news shows covering today's federal court decision overturning the D.C. handgun ban?
I live just outside Washington, D.C., and the station I most often watch for local news deployed a few typical media bias tricks: stacking the deck with sources aligned on one side (4 pro-ban, one anti-ban) and focusing on emotional aspects of a debate (highlighting emotional reactions to the court ruling rather than dealing with the legal merits).
Is it just coincidence that a story has appeared touting the fact that Al Sharpton is the descendant of slaves, ones owned by relatives of Strom Thurmond to boot? Or could this be the unofficial kick-off of the Sharpton presidential campaign, with a major boost from the reverend's hometown newspaper?
Let's put these three stories together:
On January 17, a story appears reporting: "civil rights activist Al Sharpton said Monday he is seriously considering a run for president. " And why is Sharpton running? "If we're talking about the urban agenda, can you tell me anybody else in the field who's representing that right now?" Translation: Obama might be preparing to announce, but he's not addressing African-American issues.
Three weeks later, on the day Barack Obama announces his candidacy, a story appears in which Al Sharpton declares “just because you’re our color doesn’t make you our kind.” Translation: Barack Obama is not an authentic African-American.
And now, just two weeks after Obama's announcement, a story bursts out of the Daily News declaring that Sharpton's ancestors were slaves owned by relatives of Strom Thurmond.
A few days old but a goodie. I've seen in this one report something that's often missing from network treatment of the minimum wage issue: a quantification of how much the government wage mandate affects the bottom line for small businesses, and ends up screwing over the little guy.
Mark Messner, owner of Pepi's Pizza in south Phoenix, estimates he has
employed more than 2,000 high school students since 1990. But he plans
to lay off three teenage workers and decrease hours worked by others.
Of his 25-person workforce, roughly 75 percent are in high school.
"I've had to go to some of my kids and say, 'Look, my payroll just
increased 13 percent,' " he said. " 'Sorry, I don't have any hours for
Messner's monthly cost to train an employee has jumped from $440 to $580 as the turnover rate remains high.
"We go to great lengths to hang on to our high school workers, but
there are a lot of kids who come in and get one check in their pocket
and feel like they're living large and out the door they go," he said.
"We never get our return on investment when that happens."
Will the rise of blogging and "citizen journalism"* have a positive effect on news coverage of politics? I'd have to say yes. Kate Werk at Small Dead Animals posted the other day on a different reason this will be so:
The distinction between national and local is an important one. [...] I find
the local reporting by mainstream affiliates in my part of the country
to be, by and large, reasonably thorough and not nearly as tainted by
the political "default setting" that infects much of national and
international coverage. [...]
Indeed, one wonders how different our perceptions of the national
mainstream media might be if the chattering quasi -experts, political
mouthpieces and overpaid anchors were sent into early retirement, and
replaced with editing teams that simply compiled reports submitted by
local affiliates and journalists in the field.
Removing the conclusion-drawing, forecasting and speculation that
currently infects hard news could go a long way towards restoring the
credibility of a troubled industry and the confidence of that "former
audience" - those news consumers who have turned to the internet, not
for its speed, but for the sources - to fact check, cross-check and provide context.
The emergence of blogging as a source of national news can bring out information that the elitist, liberal press can't or won't report.
Some times, real surprises arrive in your e-mail, such as: Newsweek's International Edition welcomed the New Year with an article titled "Iraq's Economy Is Booming." Nobody noticed this "mother of all surprises" in America, since the article wasn't placed in front of domestic customers (it is online). Why not? Liberal, Bush-hating politics, perhaps? Despite the often-reported violence and terrorism, Newsweek's Silvia Spring asserted "there's a vibrancy at the grass roots that is invisible in most international coverage of Iraq."
Canadian columnist Neil Reynolds noticed Spring's piece in Toronto's Globe and Mail:
OTTAWA -- More than U.S. troops are surging in Iraq. As the international edition of Newsweek magazine reported at year-end, the Iraqi economy is expanding at a rapid rate: "Civil war or not," writer Silvia Spring says, "Iraq has an economy and - mother of all surprises - it's doing remarkably well." Amid anarchy and savage violence, Iraq's construction industry is booming.
Back when I was in college, I was involved in journalism in various capacities, in the classroom and at student newspapers. I couldn't help but notice in each place I went, women far outnumbered men. The Star-Tribune of Minnesota has picked up on a similar trend in the television industry. Men seem to be disappearing:
In TV news these days, a good man is hard to find.
networks, men still rule -- Katie Couric notwithstanding -- but at the
local level, women have taken the lead. Nationally, they account for 57
percent of TV news anchors. [...]
The male disappearing act
starts in the classroom. At the University of Minnesota this fall,
women outnumber men 227 to 125 in the professional journalism major,
which includes broadcasting. Ken Stone, a broadcast journalism
professor who spent 20 years working in radio and TV news, has 10 women
and six men in his advanced reporting class; he said that's as balanced
as it gets.
Stone traces the trend to the 1970s, when women and
minorities protested about domination of the airwaves by white men. One
of his first journalism professors asked the men in his class to stand
up, then told them, "Get a new career, there are too many of you." [...]
Among political consultants, the general rule of thumb is that a disapproval rating of 40% spells a candidate's near-certain defeat. After all, virtually no one who disapproves of a candidate will vote for him, while approving of someone is no guarantee of a vote.
Hillary Clinton's disapproval rating of 44% in a recent Time magazine poll thus bodes very ill for her presidential prospects. Yet the Sunday Times of London has managed to put a rosy gloss on what would have most politicians looking for another line of work. Pollyannas the Times of the poll results:
"Only 44% viewed her negatively, figures that President George W Bush can only dream of at the moment."
KOLKATA, India - A group of Indian television
journalists gave a man matches and diesel to help him commit suicide in
order to get dramatic footage which was later broadcast on the news,
police said on Thursday.
man died from severe burns to his body in hospital in Gaya town in the
eastern state of Bihar on Aug. 15, India's Independence Day.
of the man, screaming and writhing in pain as he ran with his back on
fire, was aired on several television channels. Police identified the
man as Manoj Mishra.
"We have seized footage clearly showing a
group of journalists handing over matches and some inflammable
substance -- which we later verified to be diesel -- to the victim,"
acting Gaya police chief P.K. Sinha told Reuters by telephone.
who worked as a delivery man, was upset over what he said was a large
sum of money owed to him by a state-run dairy farm whose milk he
transported to customers, police said.
On the public-access TV show I host, 'Right Angle', the topic this past week was immigration. A Cornell campus radical expressed the view that not only should our borders be completely open, but that we shouldn't screen immigrants for criminal history or even . . . for being known Al-Qaeda members.
Now, if the radical making these sophomoric suggestions isn't quite a sophomore - he's in fact a grad student - perhaps some slack can be cut him as he continues to live, largely divorced from reality, within the liberal cocoon of the ivy-league tower.
The same defense cannot be offered to explain away the equally churlish remarks that Dave Rossie serves up week after week. Rossie is associate editor of the Gannett newspaper, the Binghamton [NY] Press & Sun Bulletin. In addition to his editing duties, Rossie writes a syndicated weekly column that, in its juvenile tone, reads like something worthy of an over-the-top 10th grader.
Bonneville Radio announced yesterday that it will launch Washington Post Radio on three dial settings in the Washington, DC radio market (1500, 107.7, 104.3). Bonneville currently runs WTOP radio, a 24/7 newsradio station in Washington. Are we about to get the Post's liberal bias on the radio, too? Bonneville executive Joel Oxley said in today's Post story, "It's going to be NPR on caffeine. It will be non-drowsy public radio."
Bonneville will own and operate both WTOP and Washington Post Radio. Washington Post Radio's programming will include in-depth local, national and international news and commentary provided by Washington Post reporters, editors, and columnists as well as news makers and other local media personalities.
James O. Clifford, Sr., a retired reporter and editor with UPI and the Associated Press, has an interesting guest column, "Cardinal Law Was Looking For Media Sin In The Wrong Places," in this month's edition of the conservative Catholic magazine, New Oxford Review. Clifford argues that while the national media have rightfully reported aggressively on systemic abuses and coverups among the Catholic hierarchy regarding priestly sexual abuse of children, the media have played down similar concerns within the teaching profession about nationwide problems with student-teacher sexual misconduct in American public schools.
The article can be found teased here, featuring the first five paragraphs. There is a $1.50 charge for reading the full article.