The Columbus Dispatch has done some impressive work exposing the unauthorized and arguably illegal database diving done by State of Ohio employees into the records of Joe the Plumber in October. The rest of Ohio's and the nation's media have been virtually asleep.
In a previous post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that Vanessa Niekamp, the state employee who blew the lid off the underhanded undertaking, was virtually unknown, while many other past government whistleblowers have been treated as media heroes.
A story in the Dispatch this morning that should be read in full (HT Michelle Malkin) about Ms. Niekamp's testimony before the Ohio House's Government and Elections Committee reveals just how imperiled she was.
While carrying out a personal order from a superior who was trying to cover his tracks, she was reminded that she was an "unclassified" employee. In plain English, she was threatened with her job if she didn't do what she was told (bolds are mine):
The party-ID treatment of Fabian Nuñez, whose term as California Assemly Speaker ended on May 13, but whose term in the Assembly ended just this past Sunday, was barely better than what Kerry observed in the articles she reviewed yesterday.
Here's the rundown, which I will follow with past examples of obviously disparate treatment of Republican politicians whose sons got into much less trouble with the law:
The Los Angeles Times recently created a stir among the Pentagon press corps, running a page one story implying that the Defense Department was cheating wounded warriors out of their disability pay.
The LAT shared the story of a Marine “wounded twice in Iraq -- by a roadside bomb and a land mine” and a soldier who “crushed her back and knees diving for cover during a mortar attack in Iraq.” The LAT indignantly reported: “…in each case, the Pentagon ruled that their disabilities were not combat related.”
A Department of Defense official tells me that a number of prominent MSM Pentagon correspondents were ready to take the Pentagon to task, but all ultimately dropped the story. Why? It turns out that, upon investigation, the LAT’s page-one piece was mostly fiction.
It has been 19 months since Mona Charen and yours truly obliterated the legitimacy of the basic premise of the "Food Stamp Challenges" that began popping in various parts of the USA last year. The false premise is that the USDA's calculated benefit for recipients is all they have to buy food.
Governor: John? It's the Governor here. Say, you guys there at the Bristol Press are doing a great job. Top notch. But there is that one reporter of yours making a big stink over our proposal to increase the state income tax. He really doesn't get what we're trying to do to help our state move forward. And you know, that bill to renew your paper's subsidy is coming up next week. I'd hate to see it get bogged down in the fuss over this. Know what I mean?
Editor: Um, yes, I know, sir.
The conversation is imaginary but the possibility is real. At least, it is if the proposal of seven Connecticut state legislators were ever to be adopted. As reported at the BristolToday blog, the seven have written a letter to the state's Commissioner of Economic and Community Development asking for state "help" for two struggling local newspapers in their districts. [H/t FReeper abb.]
It's very doubtful that the name "Vanessa Niekamp" rings a bell with very many readers here. That's because the media elites like some whistleblowers, and not others.
In other circumstances, someone like Ms. Niekamp would be a heroine. In the current circumstances, she's barely a footnote. In my opinion, it's because she was involved in exposing shenanigans conducted on behalf of the then-presidential candidate the media loves and adores that threatened to derail his march to victory.
If it weren't for Vanessa Niekamp, the public might not have learned of the duplicitous and likely extra-legal dives into State of Ohio databases by state employees determined to dig up dirt on Joe the Plumber. A subsequent investigation by the Ohio Inspector General (OIG; PDF is accessible at the first item at this link) determined that Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Helen Jones-Kelley and state employees at other agencies had engaged in "improper" records checks "without any legitimate business purpose."
The plot surrounding Father Jay Scott Newman's admonishment to Barack Obama-supporting parishoners has thickened.
On Friday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted news that Fr. Newman, a Catholic priest and pastor at St. Mary's Church in Greenville, South Carolina, had informed parishoners who voted for Barack Obama in full knowledge of the Illinois Senator's aggressively proabortion positions that they "should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance."
This is not a controversial position, but rather, as shown at BizzyBlog earlier today, bedrock Catholic teaching, to the point where if you vote for a known proabortion presidential candidate or any other candidate in a position to meaningfully influence the law and do not repent, you're not a legitimate practicing Catholic. Period.
Well, it turns out that Father Newman originally had the full support of Monsignor Martin T. Laughlin, the acting administrator of the Diocese of Charleston, which currently does not have a bishop. But two days later, Msgr. Laughlin reprimanded Fr. Newman in what appeared to be fairly harsh terms (they really weren't; I'll get to that).
Why wasn't there more of this before the election?
The headline at a Greenville, SC News story carried at USA Today says, "Priest urges penance for Obama voters."
Father Jay Scott Newman is actually demanding it of those who would claim to be faithful Catholics. In the process, he is also stating longstanding Church policy on abortion that has largely been absent from Sunday pre-election homilies at Catholic churches for at least a half-dozen presidential election cycles -- policy that Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, and other politicians who claim to be Catholic have long ignored (bolds are mine):
The litmus test results are in: If you're against the legalization of same-sex marriage and are discovered, you can't be involved in the performing arts in California, even though the majority of potential patrons in your state agree with you.
Under the pressure of a threatened boycott, the artistic director of a Sacramento theater has stepped down after it was learned that he contributed to Yes side ("yes, same-sex marriage should be prohibited") of the supposedly Golden State's Proposition 8 campaign.
A boycott of the theater was called Tuesday by some in the national arts community when news broke that Eckern contributed $1,000 to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign, which supported the ban on gay marriage.
A well-known Lansing-area evangelical church was the target of a raucous demonstration by gay anarchists during Sunday services.
The disruption came from a group that calls itself Bash Back, and involved demonstrations outside the church and inside the sanctuary while services were under way, said Mt. Hope Church communications director David Williams.
Members of the group inside the church shouted pro-gay slogans, threw leaflets, unfurled a banner and pulled a fire alarm, then hastily departed, Williams said. There were no injuries, he said.
My 14-year-old daughter informed me that the many of the young teens in her school are dressing up as Sarah Palin for Halloween. Given that she attends school in very blue Northern Virginia, I asked her if the girls were dressing up as Governor Palin because they thought she was "scary."
"Oh, yes," she replied.
Well, at least they'll be dressed conservatively. A few less skankily-clad kids parading through the neighborhood.
Yes, Cruella, it's Halloween, the time for costume makers to make their annual contribution to the premature sexualization of young children.
First it was Barack Obama's encounter with Joe the Plumber. Then there was his 2001 interview at Chicago radio station. Today, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air highlights yet another in what is turning out to be a long line of links and other items proving that Democratic candidate Barack Obama is a longtime dedicated, doctrinnaire soc-, soc-, (yes, we're still allowed to say it) socialist.
I'll cite the relevant verbiage after the jump. But what's more important, I will show just how easy it would have been for a journalist searching Google to find this item. The fact that either no one found this, or that those who might have found it obviously ignored it, shows just how lazy and/or negligent Old Media has been in vetting the Illinois senator's fitness to be president.
Here's what Obama had to say at "A Town Meeting on Economic Insecurity: Employment and Survival in Urban America" on February 25, 1996 in Chicago (bullets added by me for clarity, bold is mine):
See Update at foot: university says Mika will not "represent" Obama.
H/t reader Thomas S. Despite her obvious liberal leanings, Mika Brzezinski prefers to play coy about her presidential preference on Morning Joe. Mika often deflects co-host Joe Scarborough's accusations that she's in the tank for Obama by invoking the fact that her brother works for McCain. And I have two beloved liberal Dem sisters: nu?
But Mika is apparently set to emerge from the political closet and let her Obama flag fly. Check out this report from the Fairfield [CT] Weekly about Brzezinski's upcoming participation in a debate at Fairfield University in which Mika will be "representing" Obama in a debate with formidable conservative pundit Monica Crowley [emphasis added]:
Virginia State Police chaplains can't invoke the name of Jesus Christ during department-sanctioned events.
But to the Associated Press and its reporter Bob Lewis, that's not the story. In all too typical traditional media fashion, and in what I believe is the wire service's first report on the controversy, Lewis decided that the real story is that Republican lawmakers are objecting to the ruling by the state's police superintendent, and to Governor Tim Kaine's agreement with it.
Before getting to what Lewis wrote, here is a local report on what has transpired, from Roanoke TV station WDBJ:
Six of 17 Virginia State Police Chaplains have resigned over a request they not reference Jesus Christ at public events.
Instead, they've been instructed by the Superintendent to offer non-denominational prayers, a decision made following a recent ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Check out this [emphasis added] excerpt from an LA Weekly report on Michelle Obama's appearance at a private fundraiser last Wednesday in the ritzy LA neighborhood of Holmby Hills. Mrs. Obama was addressing a crowd that reporter Patrick Range McDonald described "heavily entertainment-industry."
Obama then moved on to politics, where she first brought up her husband’s vice-presidential choice. “I think it was a really good pick—Senator Joe Biden,” she said, and later added, “People say they have amazing chemistry, and it’s true.”
Obama continued with talk about Biden when she said, “What you learn about Barack from his choice is that he’s not afraid of smart people.” The crowd softly chuckled.
Thanks to Sarah Palin, the culture war has become a civil war—on the left. Mika Brzezinski bravely opened a new front in the conflict during today's "Morning Joe," repeatedly going after two female MSMers for suggesting Palin is taking the working-mom thing too far.
And, mirabile dictu, Mika even admitted to sensing MSM unfairness to Republicans.
"This is an argument Joe and I have about fairness and whether or not there are some sort of underlying unfairness when it comes to Republicans. And I just, you know, I feel it here," Brzezinski said referring to a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. Full text and commentary after the jump. View video here.
So how did Anchorage Daily News reporter Lisa Demer end up speaking with a California doctor and getting her allegedly expert opinion concerning the circumstances surrounding Sarah Palin's pregnancy and birth?
Obviously, I don't know. But it's not like Dr. Laurie Gregg was a local phone call away.
Still, a Sacramento, Calif., obstetrician who is active in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said when a pregnant woman's water breaks, she should go right to the hospital because of the risk of infection. That's true even if the amniotic fluid simply leaks out, said Dr. Laurie Gregg.
"To us, leaking and broken, we are talking the same thing. We are talking doctor-speak," Gregg said.
Is that "doctor-speak," or Democrat-speak?
Well, I don't know, but it could be the latter, because, "oddly enough," there is a Laurie Gregg who is a known Sacramento Democrat and a Golden State political appointee (bold after title is mine):
This doesn't qualify as any kind of surprise, but it should be noted nonetheless.
Thursday, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama gave a stunningly downbeat assessment of the nation's overall situation in a response to a seven year-old girl who asked him why he is running for president. Obama's media water-carriers have virtually ignored his very telling response, one that is reminiscent of Jimmy Carter's gloomiest, malaise-based assessments of America during his awful presidency.
The Associated Press has done it again, even beyond what Ken Shepherd of NewsBusters noted in a related post on June 4.
In that post, Ken cited an AP report that did not identify the political party of Democratic Massachusetts State Senator and alleged serial sexual assaulter James Marzilli until the eleventh and final paragraph.
AP Writer Denise Lavoie went one step further in her 300-word July 30 report on criminal complaint charges that have been filed against Marzilli. She completely failed to disclose his party, even though she noted his previous withdrawal from an upcoming election, and even though there is another prosecution in progress involving similar charges:
If there is a previous record for "Highest Level of Saturation Press Coverage with No Political Party Affiliation Named" (HT to e-mailer Jason), the Cleveland press corps almost broke it.
In looking over three publications' stories about today's massive and far-ranging police actions in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, Ohio, I found only one reference to the Democratic Party affiliation of those involved. Cleveland's sole daily newspaper put up a half-dozen related blog entries and failed to name anyone's party in any of them.
First, though, from the always-reliable (in shielding troubled Dems' party affiliations) Associated Press, writer Joe Milicia named no party in eight paragraphs:
Given how much grief charter schools and other creative initiatives get from the government-school establishment if they don't instantly turn at risk kids into Einsteins, along with the hounding of homeschoolers that seems to be on the rise, this story shouldn't be allowed to fall through the cracks, or remain confined to its local area.
Last Sunday's Rochester Democrat and Chronicle story (HT One News Now), which really should be read in full, would be humorous ("Kids Get Answers, Still Can't Pass") if it weren't for the fact that real children are clearly not getting educated. This systemic failure will affect them, and, to at least a slight degree, everyone reading this, for years to come (bolds are mine):
The Associated Press's Ed White used almost 700 words in his story (link is dynamic; story in form found at 5:04 p.m. is also here) about the latest developments relating to Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick of Detroit, and failed to name his party affiliation even once.
Even beyond that, though he did tell readers that Kilpatrick faces a criminal trial for perjury, misconduct, and obstruction of justice, White failed to note that calls for Kilpatrick's resignation, which began in earnest with City Council's 7-1 vote in March, continue to mount.
Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin, in the Tuesday edition of the Washington Examiner’s "Yeas & Nays" feature, reported that Helen Thomas gave a vehement denial of whether the media, and the White House press corps in particular, has a liberal bent. "Yeas & Nays got a sneak peak at Rory Kennedy’s new HBO documentary -- ‘Thank You, Mr. President: Helen Thomas at The White House’ -- which premieres next month, and Thomas is asked whether most White House reporters are liberal. ‘Hell no!’ she responds. ‘I’m dying to find another liberal open their mouths. Where are they!’ This is the second day in a row that Dufour and Gavin have reported on interesting quotations from members of the mainstream media.
During the documentary, Thomas went on to accuse the press of treating Former President Bill Clinton oppressively, especially during his second term. "[Thomas] exhibited great empathy for what President Clinton went through during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. ‘I don’t know how he could have taken what he took,’ said Thomas. ‘For reporters, it was a story you couldn’t avoid as much as you’d like to,’ but ‘no president has been subjected to that type of tyranny.’"
The Washington Examiner’s Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin reported Monday in their regular "Yeas & Nays" feature that Katie Couric had announced with pride, "I am a feminist." The ultra-liberal National Organization for Women honored Couric at their annual Intrepid Awards Gala last week in Washington, DC, and the CBS Evening News anchor received a warm welcome from her feminist compatriots.
During her speech before the NOW Gang, Couric "opened up," as Dufour and Gavin put it. She quipped to her hosts that "[i]f everyone in the country was like you, CBS News would be number one." Yes, perhaps if everyone were liberal feminist Democrats, then maybe Couric’s program wouldn’t be dead last in the ratings.
Now, this isn’t exactly a surprising "full disclosure" by Couric. When she was still on the Today Show in 1997, guest Whoopi Goldberg outed Couric’s "pro-choice" position on abortion when the comedienne revealed the two had attended a "pro-choice" march together. In October 2006, after the father of a victim of the Columbine shootings declared his pro-life position in a "freeSpeech" segment on CBS Evening News, Couric wrote on her blog that his view might be seen as "repugnant."
You can’t make this stuff up. The online version of the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Press reported on Wednesday that a homosexual man has filed lawsuits filed against two Christian publishers, since their editions of the Bible call homosexuality a sin.
A Canton [Michigan] man is suing Zondervan Publishing and a Tennessee-based publisher, claiming their versions of the Bible that refer to homosexuality as a sin violate his constitutional rights and have caused him emotional pain and mental instability.
Bradley LaShawn Fowler, 39, is seeking $60 million from Zondervan, based in Cascade Township, and $10 million from Thomas Nelson Publishing in the lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
In the unsigned report, the newspaper gave only the liberal viewpoint of the plaintiff and failed to include any reaction or response from the companies or from conservative sources.