The AP is protesting a decision made by U.S. Military officials in Afghanistan claiming an oppression of a free press and saying there was "not a reasonable justification" for erasing an AP photographer's pictures taken of the aftermath of a suicide bombing in Barikaw, Afghanistan. The decision protested by the AP was made March 4th by officers on the scene of a bombing that killed 8 Afghans, wounding 34. But, is the AP correct that this was somehow an outrage against a free press?
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- The U.S. military asserted that an American soldier was justified in erasing journalists' footage of the aftermath of a suicide bombing and shooting in Afghanistan last week, saying publication could have compromised a military investigation and led to false public conclusions.
With the recent announcement by CBS that they have made ex-Clinton friend Rick Kaplan the new Executive Producer of the CBS Evening News, it was eyebrow raising that another fawning pal has suddenly been ensconced in a "new" position at an American news service.
On Friday, Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the city of Washington D.C. could not ban its citizens from owning firearms because such a ban violates the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In light of this ruling so damaging to gun grabbers everywhere, I was curious to see how the wires were handling the news. Turns out, they don't seem too happy.
In two reports on Friday the AP gave far more time in their "balanced" report to opponents to Second Amendment rights than they did to proponents. Worse, it never seemed to occur to them to report that gun violence in Washington D.C. has consistently ranked as among the highest in the country despite being one of the strictest anti-gun cities therein.
The White House isn't alone in doing advance work for the President's trip to Latin America. Associated Press is already finding negative angles to highlight the Ugly American President's critics. Juan Carlos Llorca writes from Guatemala City:
Mayan priests will purify an ancient archaeological sites to eliminate ‘bad spirits’ after President Bush visits next week, an official with close ties to the group said Thursday.
"That a person like (Bush), with the persecution of our migrant brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked, is going to walk in our sacred lands, is an offense for the Mayan people and their culture," Juan Tiney, the director of a Mayan nongovernmental organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders, said Thursday.
The 2006 Real (after Inflation) Increase in Household Net Worth Was Greater Than 2005's -- But You Wouldn't Know That from Reading the Associated Press's Accounts. And this is not the first time AP has ignored what's "real."
Net Worth of U.S. Households Skyrockets in Final Quarter of 2006
The net worth of U.S. households climbed to a record high in the final quarter of last year, boosted mostly by gains on stocks, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday.
Net worth — the difference between households' total assets, such as houses and bank accounts, and their total liabilities, such as mortgages and credit card debt, totaled $55.6 trillion in the October-to-December quarter.
That marked a 2.5 percent growth rate from the third quarter, the previous quarterly record high. Stocks gains helped fuel the increase in net worth, although real-estate gains played a role, too.
For all of last year, households' net worth rose by 7.4 percent, a slower pace than the 7.9 percent increase registered in 2005.
AP made 2006 look worse than 2005, when 2006 was better. "Really."
The AP reviews a new documentary at the Austin, Texas film festival, South by Southwest. "Manufacturing Dissent" is one of the films premiering at the well-regarded festival, and the documentary is about controversial director, Michael Moore, who made 2002’s gun-control statement movie, "Bowling For Columbine," and 2004's problematic anti-war critical and financial hit, "Farenheit 9/11," which focused on the war in Iraq. His work is best known for creative editing and ambushing interview targets in the name of entertainment and shock. The new documentary about Moore is generating quite a lot of talk at South By Southest, and includes a scene that demonstrates that the whole premise of the movie that made his name,“Roger & Me,” is not what it seemed:
Online, CBS and FOX used an AP report about a Beliefnet.com interview with John Edwards, in which the Democratic Presidential candidate discussed some of his religious views. Since both articles drew from the AP’s reporting, both similarly fail to make significant connections with Edwards’ comments and his personal life. Edwards said that Jesus would be disappointed with the selfishness of Americans:
"Your chances of being stuck on a stuffy airliner for hours on a taxiway – like passengers on recent JetBlue flights – are slim, the government reported yesterday," the Associated Press reported on March 6.
That was the very same day USA Today emphasized that "588 flights sat for more than two hours on taxiways before taking off in January," and highlighted "calls for federal regulation to prevent recurrences."
It's a good thing I wasn't sipping my coffee when I saw this on the front page of the Baltimore Sun in Starbucks this afternoon.
"Checks, balances rule Md. capital: Democratic leaders split on key issues, how to raise money."
Reporter Andrew Green began his March 5 article by conceding that "in ways large and small, Annapolis is showing signs of a leftward tilt" ever since Gov. Martin O'Malley took the helm on the second floor of the State House. But relax, Green continued, competing egos in the state government ensure that the legislative track isn't laden with runaway trains.
Maybe so, but all the freight the Maryland General Assembly is steaming into the station is filled with liberal goodies:
How is Al Gore going to explain this one? Multi-platinum-selling rapper Kanye West, who infamously said during the Katrina telethon, "George Bush doesn't care about black people" has something else to explain. The AP reports that Kanye asked a restaurant in Cardiff, Wales to fly a chef and a meal across the Atlantic ocean to a Manhattan business meeting this Wednesday for about $4000 "plus travel and accomodation for the restaurant's head chef" and the addition of lots of Earth-killing greenhouse gases. OK, that seems typical for the music biz, after all, Bono did have a forgotten favorite hat flown first class that was flown from London to Italy for about $1700, but now people are now paying attention to celebrity hypocrisy more closely. Kanye is signed up for Al Gore's Live Earth, which is designed to raise money for and awareness of human-caused global climate change and is the latest giant concert that will save the world. (AP didn't connect the political dots.)
The ABC News web site currently features a dramatic picture of a nuclear bomb blast (a cropped version of which appears at right) along with a story blurb that matches Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claim that the U.S. is hypocritical to seek to prevent nations like Iran and North Korea from getting the bomb while we still preserve our nuclear arsenal.
The headline: "You Can't Build Nukes. But We Can" followed by this short story tease: "A decision has been made to update and redesign America's aging stockpile of nuclear weapons, even as the U.S. demands that Iran and North Korea not build up their own arsenals."
When you click on the actual AP report, written by Scott Lindlaw, readers see a much more neutral headline, "Bush Administration Picks Lawrence Livermore Warhead Design," and the story mainly focuses on the technical reasons for updating the country's nuclear technology. Deep in the story, however, Lindlaw cited critics who thought the U.S. was sending the "wrong signal" to the world's rogue regimes.
Last week, the Senate Ethics Committee exonerated former Virginia Senator George Allen on charges that he failed to report stock options he earned during the time he served as a director of a biotech company. As Cal Thomas throughly documented in his current column, this determination of innocence has gone little noticed by the mainstream media. The accusations, however, which were made last October during Allen’s heated, and ultimately unsuccessful, reelection campaign, were heavily covered.
As noted by CNSNews.com, the charges, first reported by the AP, were picked up and editorialized in several prominent Virginia papers. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee even used the claims in an ad for Allen’s Democratic opponent James Webb. (See above picure) Not so coincidentally, Senator Allen ended up losing his pivotal Senate seat by around 8000 votes. So the question is, now that it turns out the media hyped faulty accusations, where does Senator Allen go to get his reputation and his Senate seat back?
In his March 1 column, Cal Thomas commented on the shoddy coverage by the liberal media [emphasis added]:
Over at National Review Online Jay Nordlinger is praising a national media outlets for its reporting from the United Nations. The UN is not exactly a hot or hostile beat for liberal media outlets, who seem to like the intentions of the UN, and never seem to worry much about the follow-through. Oil-For-Food fraud? Yawn. Sexual harassment by UN brass? Yawn. This story is more pedestrian, about how "multilateralism" can often break down into a moral void.
I wanted to be super-sure that you saw this highly revealing article about the United Nations. It’s by Edith M. Lederer, the excellent U.N. correspondent of the Associated Press.
The United States criticized the United Nations for refusing to list a panel it organized Tuesday entitled “State-Sanctioned Mass Rape in Burma and Sudan” on a U.N. Web site.
The U.S. Mission to the United Nations arranged to hold the panel on the sidelines of the annual two-week meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women which this year is focusing on discrimination and violence against women. It will include presentations about rape and sexual violence in both countries.
But the U.N.’s Meeting Services branch objected to the title, which was published in the U.N.’s daily journal last Thursday, because it “would be perceived as offensive to named member states,” according to a letter to the U.S. Mission obtained by the Associated Press.
Two reports from earlier this week, one that warned of a "likely recession," and another that flat-out declared a non-existent "manufacturing recession," have to make you wonder, especially considering a positive report from the real world that came out earlier today.
Second -- On Tuesday evening, the New York Times (may require registration), in an article by David Leonhardt, declared:
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.
Wall Street was caught off guard when the Commerce Department reported yesterday morning that orders for durable goods — big items like home computers and factory machines — plunged almost 8 percent last month. That’s a big number, but it really shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise. In two of the last three months, the manufacturing sector has shrunk, according to surveys by the Institute for Supply Management that have been out for weeks.
It sure looks as if Leonhardt was engaging in wishful thinking:
Here's a headline sure to spook any investor or economist: "Greenspan warns of likely U.S. recession." That was the headline right near the top of the widely surfed Drudge Report yesterday afternoon and this morning, referring to a speech that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan made the other day via satellite to a business conference in Hong Kong. Many market watchers are blaming those comments– along with a weak durable goods report and the plunge in the Chinese stock market – for today's stock market sell-off. But despite the inflammatory Drudge headline – which, in all fairness, linked to an Associated Press story with that same title – the Maestro was hardly so definitive as Drudge made him out to be. Here is what Greenspan said, according to AP:
February 28, 2007 -- To those who remember the infamous 1981 Brinks heist in Nyack, Judith Clark is a self-indulgent '60s radical serving a well-deserved 75-year prison term for her role in the violent deaths of three heroic law-enforcement officers.
But to the Associated Press, which supplies news to the world, Judith Clark is a "former freedom fighter."
The man suspected of kidnapping a 13-year-old boy and leaving him tied to a tree in the woods in a ransom scheme reportedly is an illegal alien who had already been deported once.
Police are searching for Vincente Ignacio Beltran-Moreno, 22, an illegal alien who has already been deported once, for the kidnapping of 13 year old Clay Moore at gun point. It's believed to be a ransom attempt but Moore escaped on his own.
What’s next, knitting? The AP has taken up genealogy and investigated the family tree of Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. On Saturday, February 24th, Yahoo published an AP article detailing the polygamy in his family's past. The AP includes the obligatory phrase noting that Romney condemns the practice but for the rest of the article, goes into explicit detail about the Romneys' devotion to polygamy, even after the Mormon church and federal law banned it. The AP rattles off the family’s polygamists and gets into “how important polygamy was to them” (emphasis mine throughout):
Talk about a blatant attempt to mislead with a headline! We have no better example of such an effort than one by the AP today. It is a textbook case of a headline that does not fit the facts of the story.
Here is the headline:
R.I. to recognize gay unions performed in Mass.
Wow! It would be big news, indeed, if legislation had been passed wherein Gay Unions from Massachusetts were to be officially recognized by Rhode Island. And, if one were to read this AP headline and move on, one would be left with the impression that it had. Even the sub head doesn't really tell the whole truth.
State’s attorney general says there’s no reason to deny them recognition
Last Thursday, I provided Associated Press Media Relations Director Linda Wagner with confirmation that a January 4 Steven R. Hurst article appears to be 180-degrees from the truth.
To date, neither Wagner nor any other AP contact has deemed to provide
any sort of response. Frankly, I didn't expect one. The Hurst article
was a CYA piece written to provide cover for shoddy Associated Press
reporting, and it is not in their personal interests to admit that
they've been caught apparently fabricating that story from the ground
I've thus resorted to contacting several members of the AP Board of
Directors with the following letter sent out just moments ago, hoping
that they will display the integrity that neither AP reporters nor
senior management seem to have any interest in maintaining.
If they decline to investigate this extended "Jayson Blair" moment,
then their integrity and credibility as a news organization, to put it
mildly, is shot.
Here is a copy of the letter, with links added for context and HTML formatting added:
Talk about creating a false dichotomy geared to discrediting a policy! The AP has generated a doosie in theirs titled "Rural America bears scars from Iraq war" and subtitled "Nearly half of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq came from a small town".
Their main thrust is that small towns are somehow seeing their sons fall on the field of battle in "unfair" numbers.
Across the nation, small towns are quietly bearing a disproportionate burden of war. Nearly half of the more than 3,100 U.S. military fatalities in Iraq have come from towns like McKeesport, where fewer than 25,000 people live, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. One in five hailed from hometowns of less than 5,000.
At first blush this might seem to be alarming. But, when one lets that first emotive rush fade and allows a little common sense to be applied to the situation, it doesn't seem so outrageous. The fact is, youngsters from rural areas are simply far more prone to joining the military in the first place and always have been. So it is a natural matter of strict statistics that more from those areas would fall in battle. After all, there are more of them.
So, what we are left with is a naked, emotive effort to cause some sort of outrage over the perceived unfairness of this statistic, even as there is no "fair" or "unfair" component to it. It is simply a fact.
Realizing we don't yet know all the details, apparently the AP has decided to not put the story of a Muslim cab driver running down two students after a religious dispute over the wire. Why might that be? They can't all be writing about Anna Nicole Smith?
And no, I don't mean the cloud of smug from all the Toyonda Piouses.
Benefit concerts, even ones held to save the planet, generate lots of trash and traffic, and eat up plenty of electricity, half of which is generated in this country from coal-fired power plants. Just don't expect the liberal media to make those points as they cover former Vice President Al Gore's "Live Earth" concerts.
In keeping with their constant quest to saddle the USA with the fault for the growing unrest in he Middle East, the Washington Post has unleashed another article, replete with some efforts to blame-the-USA-first, titled "Across Arab World, a Widening Rift".
In the first paragraph, writer Anthony Shadid illustrates the traditionally intertwined nature of Egypt's Sunni and Shiite communities showing us how they have so easily coexisted in the recent past but quickly gets to the warnings of the danger of the Shiites "rising".
Naturally, this is the fault of the USA who has left Arabs with a sense of "powerlessness and a persistent suspicion of American intentions." The rise of unrest is also blamed on the "United States and others for inflaming it".
U.S. Tax Revenues Up 9.7% Through Four Months, Deficit Down 57%; U.S. Media Outlets Mostly Ignore the News
There's a good chance you didn't hear about this (original US Treasury report is here):
Both Brian Wesbury at FT Portfolios and yours truly have to confess to being wrong so far this year on revenue growth. We both have been thinking (Wesbury here, BizzyBlog here) that it’s going to come in at 9%, but as you see, through four months it’s actually pushing 10%.
The AP has found a new way to attack TV's 24. They say that because of the depiction of character Jack Bauer's, shall we say, short-cuts in interrogating prisoners his ways have now infected the US Military. Absurdly, the AP is advancing the case, in "Does Jack Bauer Influence Interrogators?", that "there are indications that real-life American interrogators in Iraq are taking cues from what they see on television."
Are they indeed? Says who?
Predictably the AP reports these claims are from the "advocacy group Human Rights First".
While the media fawn over despots like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, they rarely report on the horrors of life for most under such rule. With that in mind, it seems safe to assume that a current meat and sugar shortage in Venezuela that appears to be caused by government price controls is likely to go mostly unnoticed.
As reported by the Associated Press (emphasis mine throughout):
President Hugo Chavez's administration blames the food supply problems on unscrupulous speculators, but industry officials say government price controls that strangle profits are responsible. Authorities on Wednesday raided a warehouse in Caracas and seized seven tons of sugar hoarded by vendors unwilling to market the inventory at the official price.
Hmmm. Price controls and government intervention in the free market causes shortages and hyperinflation. You don’t expect to see that reported on the broadcast network news programs tonight, do you? Regardless, the article continued:
Following in John Kerry’s footsteps, former Vice President Al Gore was in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday basically blaming the world’s problems on the country that made him a very wealthy man.
As reported by the Associated Press (h/t Drudge, emphasis mine throughout): “Emerging economies such as China are justified in holding back on fighting greenhouse gas emissions until richer polluters like the United States do more to solve the problem, former Vice President Al Gore said Wednesday.”
Of course, Gore didn’t mention that one of the fastest growing economies in the world is China’s, or that it is believed that nation has been buying twice its actual need for oil in the past five years to stockpile it for the future. Such facts are unimportant when you’re trying to sell junk science.
Getting back to the recent announcement by China blaming America for global warming: