The Formerly Mainstream Media is favorably transfixed on the proposed immigration "reforms" being whipped through Congress -- legislation that opponents characterize as "amnesty."
"Somehow," they have managed to virtually ignore immigration-related legislation that has actually become law in Oklahoma.
Perhaps it's because Oklahoma's reforms have nothing to do with "amnesty," and everything to do with enforcement.
Specifically, from a May 8 Associated Press story on the bill's passage:
Governor Henry today signed a sweeping immigration reform bill that was passed overwhelmingly by the Oklahoma Legislature, but described it as a stopgap measure until the federal government takes action on the issue.
Among other things, the bill contains employment, labor law and civil rights provisions to protect citizens and legal immigrants who lose their jobs at companies that employ illegal immigrants to perform the same or similar work.
Beginning in November, public agencies will be required to use a program that screens Social Security numbers to make sure they are real and that they match up with a job applicant's name.
A One News Now story provided more detail. It also makes it clear that the sponsor of the legislation believes that the states have more power to enforce immigration law than the "it's the Feds' problem" types would like us to believe (bold is mine):
If the AP didn’t write about it, it didn’t happen, right? In an article about a topic I blogged earlier in the week here at Newsbusters, the AP also reported it, but with a different angle. The Primary Source, a conservative newspaper at Boston’s Tufts University was charged with harassment and creating a hostile environment on campus by publishing what the paper called political parody; they were found guilty of the charges by a disciplinary panel. The catch is, the AP worded it in a way that only reported half the story and ignored the paper's other harassment complaint that the panel was judging-at the same time-a fact-based satire of Islam.
Have you seen the picture on the right showing a Shell station in San Francisco with gas prices in excess of $4 per gallon?
Well, there’s only one problem with it: this isn’t close to indicative of what gas prices are in the Bay Area. Not even close.
Yet, the following was captioned next to this Associated Press picture at Yahoo Thursday (h/t NB reader Brian Mortimer, emphasis added):
High gas prices are posted at a Shell gas station in San Francisco, Thursday, May 10, 2007. With gasoline prices poised to break records at the pump, energy futures prices jumped Thursday as traders noticed a gas supply imbalance in the fine print of Wednesday's government inventory report.(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Sadly, the caption didn’t make clear that the prices at this station are high as a form of protest by the owner. As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle Thursday (emphasis added):
Perhaps you read this week that in April, the US Treasury reported all-time-record tax collections of $383.6 billion.
If you did, you didn't read it in the dead-trees version of the New York Times. The Old Grey Lady did not deem Thursday afternoon's news "fit to print" on Friday (requires free registration), even choosing not to carry the related Associated Press report that is the main topic of this post (even though the Time posted it online Thursday evening). A Times search on "April treasury" (not in quotes) shows no evidence of any other coverage since then, nor does Sunday's Business home page.
So, unless you happened to read a brief report from MarketWatch (requires registration) or subscribe to the Wall Street Journal (requires subscription), odds are that anything you read or heard about April's Monthly Treasury Statement came from the aforementioned AP report, written by good old Martin Crutsinger (some previous examples of Crutsinger's demonstrated bias and ignorance are here, here, here, and here).
Crutsinger's full report is here. Before I get to his biggest oversight, here are the report's relatively minor (I'm not kidding) shortcomings:
When President Bush receives protests as he travels abroad, it’s front-page headline news. Yet, when former Vice President Al Gore is so protested, the media couldn’t care less.
Although the Associated Press did report Gore’s visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to speak at a biofuels conference Friday, virtually no American media outlet picked up the story:
As Gore spoke, outside the hotel demonstrators on bicycles and wearing surgical masks chanted slogans against multinational agribusinesses, saying the biofuel boom will cause deforestation and turn arable land into deserts.
Sadly, there wasn't a lot of details in this piece about the actual protests. Thankfully, I received the following La Nacion article by e-mail yesterday with a translation that offered a lot more insights into the matter:
On his must-read "Best of the Web Today" column for Opinion Journal, the online home of the excellent Wall Street Journal editorial page, James Taranto did a nice analysis on Associated Press reporter Mark Sherman:
David German, the AP movie writer, reported that notorious liberal bomb-thrower and fact-fudger, Michael Moore “is under investigation by the U.S. Treasury Department for taking ailing Sept. 11 rescue workers to Cuba for a segment in his upcoming health-care documentary 'Sicko.' " The May 10 article seemed very matter of fact, but Moore and his movies were presented from the perspective that the filmmaker is controversial but accurate and is persecuted by his “adversaries.”
The AP indicated that the Treasury Department is investigating Moore because he did not follow the law. The AP obtained a copy of a letter, dated May 2, sent by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which informed Moore that it was investigating potential violations of the US trade embargo which restricts US travel to Cuba. According to an unnamed source affiliated with “Sicko,” this past February, Moore took ill Ground Zero workers to Cuba for “treatment” (my use of irony quotes because Cuba used new and unproven procedures. Emphasis mine throughout):
"This office has no record that a specific license was issued authorizing you to engage in travel-related transactions involving Cuba," Dale Thompson, OFAC chief of general investigations and field operations, wrote in the letter to Moore.
The first Article 32 Hearing for the Marines charged in the Haditha incident started this week. Capt. Randy Stone, who was the legal advisor for Kilo Co., is charged with violating an order and two counts of dereliction of duty in connection with the killings. Even though this Article 32 hearing is not related to alleged murder of civilians, testimony related to the events of that November 2005 day has dominated the hearing.
Yesterday Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz testified to the events on the ground in Haditha. Sgt. Dela Cruz testified about the deaths of 5 Iraqi men that drove up to the scene of the IED explosion immediately after the blast. Despite the testimony coming from only one witness, one news source reported the facts from the testimony differently from two others.
If Democrats had accused former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois) last year of earmarking funds that could help real estate investments owned by his wife, would the media have reported it?
Probably on the front pages of every newspaper, and as the lead story of all of the evening news programs, right?
Well, the Associated Press published a story Monday about current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) possibly earmarking funds that would benefit her husband's investments around the San Francisco Bay. Yet, the media showed virtually no interest (emphasis added):
Has the king of Bush Derangement Syndrome, Keith Olbermann, created a new liberal malady characterized by an almost incomprehensible inability to tolerate any criticism of the MSNBC host?
After reading Joan Walsh and Glenn Greenwald’s articles at Salon Monday, one could certainly come to the conclusion that such an affliction exists, and that the two are suffering from this little known psychological impairment “Olbermann Derangement Syndrome."
Did you know that the Palestinian Authority believes Al Qaeda-linked groups are trying to assassinate Palestinian political leaders and are responsible for Sunday's deadly attack on a co-ed children's festival at a UN-run elementary school in Gaza? What about the attackers using sharia law as the reason? No? Well, if you weren't reading a handful of the foreign press, you wouldn't know. What little US reporting there was, as is often the case, was based on the AP. Unfortunately, the AP omitted any Al Qaeda references, the rise of Salafism [which the article explained is a branch of Islam that is often referred to as Wahhabism—"a derogatory term...” to many adherents] as well as the “other al-Qaida-linked groups” terrorizing Gaza and the resulting violent enforcement of sharia:
The Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh led with what should be the most important parts of this story, especially to US readers (emphasis mine throughout):
Palestinian Authority security officials accused supporters of al-Qaida in the Gaza Strip of carrying out Sunday's attack on a UNRWA-run school [U.N. Relief and Works Agency] in Rafah in which one person was killed and six others were wounded.
"There is no doubt that al-Qaida is operating in the Gaza Strip," a senior PA security official said. "Today's attack carries the fingerprints of al-Qaida." (...)
In 2005, Bush Derangement Syndrome -- the as of yet inexplicable malady effecting much of the left whereby anything bad that happens on the planet can be tied to the White House -- peaked with continuous press accusations that Hurricane Katrina was the President’s fault.
Almost two years later, and just hours after tornadoes devastated the Midwest, the President is being indirectly blamed for potentially hampering rebuilding efforts in the hardest hit area.
I kid you not.
As reported by the Associated Press late Sunday evening with the headline “Iraq War Hampers Kansas Cleanup” (emphasis added):
By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the bee crisis in America. Currently termed “colony collapse disorder,” it is the massive die-off of a bee hive or colony for oftentimes inexplicable reasons.
Of late, this malady has resulted in a 25 percent reduction in colony totals here in the U.S., setting off alarmist media reports like the following from the Associated Press (emphasis added throughout):
Unless someone or something stops it soon, the mysterious killer that is wiping out many of the nation's honeybees could have a devastating effect on America's dinner plate, perhaps even reducing us to a glorified bread-and-water diet.
Yummy. Even worse, look at this list of delectable delights supposedly at risk:
On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) spilled the beancounters' beans (PDF report is available at the link) in advance of this next Thursday's release of the Monthly Treasury Statement. The coverage of CBO's report has been very light.
Impressive tax receipts bring in 'low' deficit of $150 billion
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Washington- The federal budget deficit could go as low as $150 billion this year, congressional analysts said Friday.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office had earlier seen a deficit for 2007 of about $200 billion, but continued strong revenue growth has led CBO to lower its estimates.
..... Impressive tax receipts during the April filing season prompted the more optimistic estimates. This year's April receipts ran $70 billion higher than last year's. CBO says receipts are likely to grow at a 9 percent pace over the first months of the budget year.
Through the first seven months of the budget year, which ends Sept. 30, the government posted an $83 billion deficit, about $100 million less than during a comparable period last fiscal year.
The $70 billion revenue increase and the $83 billion deficit mentioned in Taylor's report, plus CBO's note in its report that April's surplus was $176 billion, are enough info to enable an update of a chart of what has happened during the first seven months of the government's fiscal year (the final numbers will differ by very small amounts):
Yahoo picked up a fluff AP article that distorted Democratic NJ Governor Jim McGreevey’s 2004 resignation. It perpetuated the success of what should have been a politician’s attempt to cover allegations of corruption by using his closeted sexuality to distract an incurious and complicit media. This puff piece kept alive McGreevey’s pattern of announcing something socially startling to draw attention away from the incredible graft, scandal and alleged sexual harassment that would have otherwise defined his administration. When threats to McGreevey's reputation arise, he uses his status as a gay man to deflect unwanted attention, and the AP went along with it by reporting this latest “shocker” and omitting his political affiliation while identifying his opponents’ party (emphasis mine throughout):
Jim McGreevey has gone from altar boy to mayor to the nation's first openly gay governor.
From the moment he stood at a podium in 2004 and announced he was a "gay American" who was resigning because of an affair with a male staffer, people wondered what McGreevey's next act would be.
Now we know: He wants to become a preacher and a teacher.
In the wake of Democrat presidential candidates canceling debates to be held by Fox News, it only seems fitting that similar concerns are surfacing regarding the inclusion of Keith Olbermann during Republican debates sponsored by MSNBC.
Print accounts of the House of Representatives turning into Pelosi Palace, passing a so-called "hate crimes" expansion act to please the gay left, don't seem to notice there is a left side on the debate over this bill. There are "civil rights groups" on one side, and "conservatives" on the other. That apparently would make them an "anti-civil rights" group.
In The Washington Post, reporter Jonathan Weisman quotes Speaker Nancy Pelosi using words from the Pledge of Allegiance to back the left wing, not to mention Ted Kennedy and Steny Hoyer, but none of them are described as liberals. Weisman can't even call the bill's backers "gay advocates," just "advocates," as if idealistic blandness (and not ideological severity) defined the left, while these idealists were opposed by the staunchest of conservatives:
If a high-ranking member of the Taliban told Al-Jazeera that the recent attempted assassination of Vice President Dick Cheney was devised by Osama bin Laden, would you expect the media to report it?
In reality, after this interview, the claim was largely discredited. However, one has to wonder why Mullah Dadullah’s (the believed leader of the Taliban in southern Afghanistan) statement made last Wednesday went largely ignored.
Was this an attempt by a media seemingly always interested in downplaying the war on terror to keep the public from even considering that bin Laden could have been involved?
Answer: When the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) keeps on issuing monthly reports, such as the one yesterday covering April, telling us that manufacturing is in expansion mode.
On February 28 (second item at link), Times Business writer David Leonhardt wrote the following:
For Manufacturing, a Recession Has Arrived
The nation’s manufacturing sector managed to slip into a recession with almost nobody seeming to notice. Well, until yesterday.
To this day, Leonhardt appears to be the only person to "notice" the recession in manufacturing -- because it doesn't exist.
The TimesSelect current tease for Leonhardt's article, which is now behind the Times' subscription firewall, is even worse, leading one to think that it tells us that the whole economy is in recession (bolds are mine):
In an unusual move last Friday, Ford decided that it couldn't wait for the month to end before it told us how bad it was going to be -- for the whole industry:
Ford Motor Co. said on Friday that U.S. auto industry sales to date in April were "terrible" as consumer confidence was hit by a slow housing market and rising gas prices.
..... Pipas said industry volume appeared to be down 10 percent to date before seasonal adjustment, but expected Ford's U.S. retail share to hold steady around 13 percent.
After an entire weekend where Pipas's message was spread virtually without criticism, the April vehicle-sales reality turned out to be quite different (the first figure is adjusted for the two-day difference in the number of "selling days" in April 2007  vs. April 2006 ; the second figure in parens is not adjusted for that difference):
In 1995, Bill Clinton said this to a Houston fund-raising audience about the 1993 tax increase his administration is infamous for:
Probably there are people in this room who are still mad at me at that budget because you think I raised your taxes too much. It might surprise you to know that I think I raised them too much too.
John Edwards, on the other hand, must think that the Clinton Administration and the congress at the time raised taxes too little, because he said on Sunday that he wants to go beyond what was done in 1993 (link requires registration; HT Colorado Right):
Turkish, Pakistani and Afghan leaders sign a pact to fight terrorismGood news is no news, at least when it comes to the war on terrorism.
On Monday evening, the State Department released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism showing a number of interesting findings, including steep declines in terrorist attacks and murders in many regions of the globe. That has not been the lede story in America's liberal media, however. Instead, they've chosen to focus their attentions on how terrorism has increased in Iraq and in Afghanistan.
That's not entirely unjustified. Both of those countries have significant amounts of American troops in them (although I doubt that the left-wing French or German press, say, is covering this any differently). What has been unacceptable, however, is the American press's complete ignoring of the rest of the State Department's numbers.
Instead of saying that terrorism has increased markedly in Iraq (the truth), the media are extrapolating beyond that to claim that, as Reuters puts it, "U.S. sees sharp rise in global terrorism deaths."
Assume for a moment that a prominent Republican’s uncle that happened to be a former state senator was convicted of accepting bribes. Do you think:
This would have been headline/front-page news
The family relationship would have been in the lede and/or headline
His party affiliation would have been in the lede and/or headline?
Well, on Friday, the uncle of former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. (D), former Tennessee State Sen. John Ford (D), was convicted of accepting bribes totaling $55,000. Yet, many media outlets buried the connection to his much more popular nephew, as well as the fact that he was a Democrat.
For instance, this is how the New York Times handled the story Saturday coincidentally on page A14 (h/t NB reader Joe Easley):
In case you hadn’t heard, there was a huge protest in Turkey on Sunday as reported by the Associated Press (h/t NBer Gary Hall and LGF, emphasis added throughout):
At least 300,000 Turks waving the red national flag flooded central Istanbul on Sunday to demand the resignation of the government, saying the Islamic roots of Turkey's leaders threatened to destroy the country's modern foundations.
Given the American media’s predilection towards never wanting to write or say anything that could possibly offend Muslims, an interesting question is raised regarding how they will report this story.
Journalists in Washington are supposed to be public watchdogs. But when it comes to the crisis facing Social Security, they act more like lapdogs for politicians determined to shirk their responsibility.
The Washington Post, New York Times and Associated Press all led off their stories on the latest Social Security and Medicare trustees' projections by pointing out that Social Security isn't expected to deplete its trust fund reserves until 2041. This supports the contention of Democratic politicians and the AARP that the day of reckoning is more than three decades away, so reform is not an urgent need .....
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:
I have heard of journalists thinking they're gods of objectivity but this is a new one. Apparently, when you become an elite journalist, you also become a prophet.
AP reporter Nedra Pickler (her real name) filed a story on the recent Democratic presidential debate 45 minutes before the event had even started. Mickey Kaus reports (h/t Small Dead Animals):
Why have a debate? AP has already written its lede: It's 3:15. The big South Carolina Democratic debate starts in 45 minutes. But you don't have to actually watch it. AP's Nedra Pickler has already filed her story, in the past tense.
presidential candidates largely stood together Thursday in support of a
U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq and then sought to separate themselves
on the details in the first primary debate of the 2008 race.
A troubled newspaper industry is beset with a raging journalistic debate around using the Internet to bolster the bottom line for the nation's broadsheets.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Faced with declining circulation, many U.S.
newspapers are trying to engage readers by allowing them to respond to
news stories online. But the anonymity of the Internet lets readers
post obscenities and racist hate speech that would never be allowed in
the printed paper.
LaShawn Barber lays out her thoughts in an April 26 post to her eponymous blog, suggesting that newspapers are misguided to attempt to co-opt the blog format. Rather than allowing anonymous comments that can encourage trolls that cheapen honest debate and discussion, Barber suggests another strength of the blogosphere that is easily adaptable to newspapers' online versions.:
This is really hysterical: a group of scientists has sent a letter to the producer of the British documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle” (video available here) demanding that changes be made to the film before the DVD version is released.
Yet, despite the egregious errors and factual misstatements made by soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore in his schlockumentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” no such call occurred when it was released on DVD.
Why the double standard?
Regardless of the obvious hypocrisy, the Associated Press reported (h/t NB member Sick-n-Tired, emphasis added throughout):