Old Media coverage of government budget difficulties usually focuses on the here and now, and all the "tough decisions" that have to be made.
Seldom is there ever an examination of how a state or local government entity got into its current fix. Scratch just a little bit beneath the surface, though, and you'll almost inevitably find that an annoying habit of overspending during the good times has left the state or municipality unprepared for when things go even a little bit sour, as they invariably and eventually do.
It now appears, as predicted by yours truly two weeks ago today, that Hillary Clinton will not be our next president, and that Barack Obama is going to be Democratic Party's presidential nominee.
This means that it must be time for Old Media to start playing robust defense on his behalf.
Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press got Old Media off to a "great" start in that regard this morning, as she linked criticism of Obama's patriotism strictly to conservatives, rewrote the history of the Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry, played a game of misdirection regarding the candidate's failure to put his hand over his heart during the national anthem, and made excuses for Michelle Obama's quarter-century gap in her pride in being an American.
Pickler's report, entitled "Conservatives Say Obama Lacks Patriotism," starts thusly:
I hate to say it, but for a news service that is supposed to thrive on the facts, the Associated Press sure seems to leave out an awful lot of them in their wire stories. We've seen dozens of examples of that when they conveniently forget to mention the political party affiliation when a public servant caught up in crime or scandal and happens to be a Democrat. We have also seen the AP somehow forget to mention when a criminal happens to be an illegal alien. Well, here is yet anther case where a crime is committed by an illegal and the AP seems to have developed amnesia about the fact that the criminal is an illegal alien.
Unlike Congressman Rick Renzi, who is a Republican, and whose party membership was identified in the first word of an Associated Press report yesterday about his indictment, the person involved in this situation, Wicomico County (MD) State's Attornery Davis Ruark, is not a Republican.
This explains why the AP report of Ruark's drunk-driving arrest begins devoid of any indication as to what party he might belong to:
Wicomico County State's Attorney Davis R. Ruark was charged with drunken driving Friday night after being pulled over for speeding and crossing the center line, police said.
There is no need to play the parlor game, "What party is this person a member of?" with this Associated Press story by Lara Jakes Jordan (Feb. 23 Note: The original link from AP's hosted.ap.org site was changed; the story link now goes to Jordan's story carried at SignOnSanDiego.com. Jordan's report has been saved for future reference at BizzyBlog's host for fair use and discussion purposes):
Congressman Charged in Land Deal
Republican Rep. Rick Renzi was indicted Friday on charges of extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other matters in an Arizona land swap scam that allegedly helped him collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in payoffs.
A 26-page federal indictment unsealed in Tucson, Ariz., accuses Renzi and two former business partners of embezzlement and conspiring to promote the sale of land that buyers could swap for property owned by the federal government.
Guilt by association, that's the trick that the AP just pulled on the wife of GOP presidential candidate John McCain. In a story about the non-story du jour, AP writer Libby Quaid has placed Cindy McCain in with jilted political wives of the likes of Hillary Clinton, Suzanne Craig, Dina McGreevey, and Carlita Kilpatrick. They even reached back into the graveyard of political careers and dug up Lee Hart, wife of Donna Rice's paramour Gary Hart.
The AP got all weepy eyed over how Cindy McCain "did not hesitate" to step forward to take "her place in the history of political wives who stood by their men in the face of rumored or alleged marital infidelity." The AP then states her first lines as "Well, obviously I'm disappointed." AP thinks this is interesting because, "A coterie of wives has confronted the public pain of such an accusation. Smaller still is the band who, like Cindy McCain, have spoken out."
As the AP begins the story, you'd think that John McCain is exactly the same as Bill Clinton or Gary Hart... in other words guilty of screwin' around on his wife. Even the way they quote Cindy McCain could be taken as that she is "disappointed" in her husband if the reader stops there!
Associated Press writer Tini Tran, in covering the fallout inside Mainland/Communist China from Steven Spielberg's decision to resign from his position as artistic adviser to the Beijing Olympics over that country's involvement in Darfur, introduced the critical reaction to his decision as a "groundswell" rising up from the public. But the detail presented indicates that the reaction came from Chinese officialdom far more than from the public in general (bolds are mine):
China Media, Public Angered by Spielberg
Hollywood director Steven Spielberg's decision to quit the Beijing Olympics over the Darfur crisis is drawing condemnation by China's state-controlled media and a groundswell of criticism from the Chinese public.
..... Officially, the Chinese government has not directly criticized Spielberg by name, expressing only "regret" over his decision. But the state-run media and the public have been far less restrained.
Let me get this straight: On September 11, 2001, terrorists brutally exterminated nearly 3,000 Americans, obliterated the landscape of lower Manhattan, and pummeled the headquarters of the United States's national defense. And since that same date nearly six-and-a-half years ago, pro-lifers have committed a grand total of zero murders, attempted murders, and bombings directed at abortion workers and clinics across the United States and Canada.
So the Associated Press implies that the bigger threat of terrorism to this country comes from ... pro-lifers? Here's how the AP tells it:
When it comes to fears about a terrorist attack, people in the U.S. usually focus on Osama bin Laden and foreign-based radical groups. Yet researchers say domestic extremists who commit violence in the name of their cause — abortion or the environment, for example — account for most of the damage from such incidents in this country.
Update 14:16 | Matthew Sheffield. The level of excusing and tip-toeing around the truth about Castro is staggering. As of 2:13 ET when you do a Google News search for "Fidel Castro" you come up with 7,520 results. Add the word dictator after it and you come back with 1,417. That's 81 percent less.
Just a few headlines from major newspapers as Fidel Castro has called it quits as dictator:
Castro resigns, ending era in Cuba (LATimes.com front page)
None of those articles directly referred to Castro as a dictator. Here's how AP's Anita Snow danced around the matter of Fidel's autocracy, conceding that "detractors called him a dictator" while throwing in the favored defense leftists often throw up for Castro (emphasis mine):
I'm in the unusual position of defending uber-liberal Margaret Carlson. Carlson, formerly of Time and CNN's old Capital Gang, now with uber-liberal Al Hunt's Bloomberg News, was unfairly ripped by Taylor Marsh over at Huffington Post Saturday.
Carlson sent an e-mail to someone suggesting that, as far as Hillary Clinton's candidacy is concerned:
..... I covered the Clinton White House for 8 years and don't think it would be good for the country to go back there.
Relatively innocuous stuff.
Not according to Marsh, who launched into a major rant:
Associated Press reporter David Bauder wrote an article on the emergence of "pundit police" in the wake of MSNBC suspending reporter David Shuster for two weeks over his pimped-out-Chelsea outburst. Bauder began by noting how NewsBusters (Mark Finkelstein) was on Shuster's case within ten minutes:
Fewer than a half-million people were watching MSNBC when David Shuster made his comment that Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign had "pimped out" daughter Chelsea by having her make political phone calls.
Among them were monitors at Newsbusters. The Web site posted video of Shuster 10 minutes after the show was over, beginning a reaction that led to his two-week suspension. The pundit police never go off duty.
In changing his tune on whether delegates from Michigan and Florida should be able to vote their preferences at the Democratic National Convention based on the results of those states' primaries, Harold Ickes has gone from DNC hack to Hillary Clinton flack.
Yesterday, Associated Press reporter Hope Yen gave Ickes an open microphone to "explain" himself, and showed no skepticism regarding Ickes's hopefully conflicting positions (bolds are mine):
Harold Ickes, a top adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign who voted for Democratic Party rules that stripped Michigan and Florida of their delegates, now is arguing against the very penalty he helped pass.
Remember the former governor of New Jersey, Jim McGreevey? What political party did he belong to? Can't remember? Well, don't rely on the Associated Press to assist you in its article yesterday about him and his continuing marital woes:
They've bickered over whether she knew he was gay, whose tell-all book would sell better, whether a poster of a nude man hanging over his new lover's bed had to come down before she'd allow their 6-year-old to visit.
Granted, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is a trade organization which will, as trade organizations do, try to put the best face on a bad situation. And granted, part of the press's job is to filter through hype and false sunniness to report the truth of what's really going on.
But that is most emphatically not what the Associated Press did with yesterday's NAR report on the state of the national housing market. Instead, AP failed to report overall statistics in favor of reporting individual metro areas; ignored most of the legitimately good news; ignored an important piece of historical context; and, most importantly, and as has been the case for well over a year in the national business press, emphasized reductions in unit sales while de-emphasizing much smaller reductions in sale prices.
Sure, it's garden variety AP labeling/double-standard bias, but it bears busting anyway.
At KnoxNews.com (h/t NB reader coffee260), one can read the tale of Nashville, Tennessee, state representative Rob Briley, who "has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and property damage prior to leading authorities on a high-speed chase last September." Briley is a Democrat, but his party affiliation was not mentioned in the 6-paragraph story.
Yet another AP dispatch on another state politician, this one from Maryland, had a quite different treatment of that legislator's political affiliation.
You know, if the Associated Press ever straightens up and starts reporting the news like a truly unbiased news agency it would ruin our little game of "Democrat or Not?" Fortunately for us, it doesn't seem like the AP is going to go legitimate any time soon and our little game can go on ad infinitum. Today our game is being hosted in the Tennessee House of Representatives where State Representative Bob Briley pleaded guilty to a DUI from last September.
State Rep. Rob Briley of Nashville has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and property damage prior to leading authorities on a high-speed chase last September... Authorities said he struck the rear of a truck and then left the scene.
Americans will be in far greater danger of a terrorist attack after midnight Saturday due to House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.), deciding to leave town for a break rather than vote on a surveillance bill that cleared the Senate Tuesday.
Sadly, the good folks at the Associated Press don't seem concerned, for instead of painting an accurate picture of this truly abysmal delay tactic by the left, the wire service chose to defend Pelosi and the Democrats while conveniently ignoring some key facts.
As reported moments ago (emphasis added throughout):
(See Update below for correction and clarification re Google News.)
This one has an interesting twist relating to Google News that I will get to later.
It should be no surprise that the so-called "newspapers of record" did very little with the news earlier this week that the actiing director of an Iraqi psychiatric hospital had been arrested for allegedly supplying mentally ill patients for use as, for lack of a better description, unwillingly co-opted "suicide bombers."
Iraq Hospital Chief Allegedly Supplied Patients for Bombings
The acting director of a Baghdad psychiatric hospital has been arrested on suspicion of supplying Al Qaeda in Iraq with the mentally impaired women it used to blow up two crowded animal markets in the city on Feb. 1, killing about 100 people.
Yesterday, the Associated Press, in its ongoing campaign to make sure that readers get and stay downbeat about the economy, made sure that its story on January's retail sales had can't-miss gloom and doom in it:
Retail sales posted a surprising rebound in January following a dismal December, although much of the strength reflected rising gasoline prices. Economists saw the increase as a temporary blip rather than a sustained recovery.
..... The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that retail sales rose by 0.3 percent last month after having fallen by 0.4 percent in December.
The newest update to a study published in the British medical journal, the Lancet, claims that 655,000 Iraqis have been killed since the U.S. invaded Iraq. This absurd claim has been hailed around the world as evidence of the evil American empire's murderous reign in the Mid East. But it turns out that the entire study is not only filled with lies, the creators of the study even tried to hide the fact that George Soros funded the thing.
MSM sources like the AP and the Washington Post, among many others, highlighted the report lending it credence when it came out last month but few of those news outlets revealed the source of the study's funding. While most did reveal that the study was "controversial," few went into just how far off from the truth the details of this study are.
The real facts, however, are beginning to come out.
Hello and welcome to today's episode of "Democrat or Not?" Today we have the sordid tale of a "top official" in Governor Deval Patrick's administration in Massachusetts who is accused of sexual misconduct with a minor in Florida. Oh, the story is filled with all sorts of details... well, all the details but one, of course.
A top official in Gov. Deval Patrick's administration is accused of sexually assaulting a boy in the steam room of a Florida resort and has been placed on unpaid leave... Carl Stanley McGee, the assistant secretary for policy and planning, was arrested Dec. 28 after the suspected assault at the Gasparilla Inn and Club in Boca Grande, according to the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
The fate of a so-called economic stimulus bill is currently bogged down in the Senate as Republicans and Democrats disagree on how much to spend.
Both sides are playing to the crowd trying to take credit for helping prop up the economy and accuse the other side of trying to block economic aide. It's classic political theater in that way but also in another--left-leaning reporters just can't help but frame things in the way that the congressional Democrats would like them to.
The Associated Press was one of the worst offenders, running a story headlined "Republicans join to block stimulus bill" which waited until the end of the third graf to state the Republican viewpoint that the package was not fiscally responsible. To hear that view, however, you have to wade through more than a few bleeding heart sentences:
Here's an oldie but a goodie. Well, not a goodie, but this is instructive when it comes to examining liberal bias in the Associated Press: Ron "Authenticity" Fournier from June 2007 defending his liberal biases as "accountability journalism." (h/t NewsBusters fan motherbelt)
In an Associated Press newsletter, Fournier defended what he called "Accountability Journalism" as a news reporting format that "[liberates] reporters and the truth." (emphasis mine):
The Cleveland Plain Dealer apparently decided to do something wtih a story it was dragged into kicking and screaming last fall -- one that it seemed at the time to be wishing would go away.
Saturday, David Briggs, the paper's religion reporter, did something with a near non-story relating to previous events that he and his paper failed to do twice when it counted: He followed up, reporting on the difficulties a Cleveland mosque is experiencing in finding a new imam.
That contrasts starkly with how Briggs and the PD handled the story of the guy who was on the verge of becoming that mosque's imam last fall.
Imagine this! We get to play our favorite game twice in the same day! Yes, it's time once again for "Democrats or Not," where we read an MSM story about corruption in politics and try to determine which party the perp is from... because the MSM won't tell us -- usually, that is.
This is a very special edition of "Democrats or Not," because this time we don't have to guess which party the violator in question is from. Amazingly, unexpectedly, we have finally found a story where the AP has found the temerity to list the perp's party affiliation. Yes, we can thank the AP for their bravery in, "Judge Grills E-Mail-Deleting Texas DA."
Yes, ladies and gentlemen thanks for tuning in to our next episode of "Democrats or Not?" Our favorite game where we read a story highlighting corruption, fraud, and crime by a public official or party member and then we try to guess which Party the perps are from... because the MSM won't tell us.
Today's tale come from the Associated Press and concerns charges laid against 4 Duval County, Texas residents who are charged with making up fake mail-in ballots during the 2006 primary. It appears that Lydia Molina, Maria "Kena" Soriano, Elva Lazo, and Maria Trigo are charged with a Class B misdemeanor for possession and handling of ballots assigned to another person.
One major flash-point in the January 21 Democratic debate was when Hillary Clinton slammed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for ties to Tony Rezko, an indicted real estate developer. Shortly thereafter a photo from the Clinton administration depicting Sen. Clinton with Rezko and her husband came to the fore, and Clinton subsequently denied knowing Rezko.
Fast forward to today and the Associated Press reporting that Hillary Clinton booster L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took campaign contributions from Rezko. The question remains how much the media, outside the Associated Press, will care:
In a January 29 article for the Associated Press, reporter Rachel Zoll lambasted conservative Southern Baptists as "vicious" partisans who sought to "wipe out" any trace of liberals or moderates from the denomination. What's more, this characterization came while reporting on a gathering of "moderate" Southern Baptists set to convene tomorrow and featuring ex-presidents (and liberal Democrats) Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. (h/t Steve Barrett)
Both Clinton and Carter were raised Southern Baptist, but Carter has since cut ties to the Southern Baptist Convention and Clinton frequently attended the liberal Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., with his wife while president.
Here's Zoll's first two paragraphs:
Weary of Southern Baptists' dominance in American Protestantism, a new push is starting by other Baptist groups aimed at working on social justice issues, and showing their religious tradition is broader than the conservative SBC. Former President Jimmy Carter is leading the effort.