The Associated Press reported late Thursday evening that the chairman of the House Intelligence committee Peter Hoekstra (R-Michigan) has suspended a Democrat staffer over possibly being the source of the recently leaked National Intelligence Estimate to the New York Times (hat tip to Michelle Malkin): “In a letter to Hoekstra dated Sept. 29, Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., a committee member, said the Democratic staffer requested the document from National Intelligence Director John Negroponte three days before a Sept. 23 story by the Times on its conclusions.”
CBS News today is carrying the AP story, "Dems to Use Moderation if They Win House." Written by Associated Press writer Andrew Taylor, the article appears intended to quiet any anxieties about what a Democratic majority in the House will mean.
"They're mostly a liberal bunch. Yet the would-be chairmen in a House under Democratic control promise to rule from the center. They'd have little choice, given the likely balance of power they would confront if elected."
Later in the story:
"What won't be seen is any serious move to impeach Bush, even though the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, has introduced a bill calling on Congress to determine whether there are grounds for impeachment over the government's warrantless wiretapping program.
"Conyers already has been overruled by Democratic leaders including would-be Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, who dismiss any talk of impeachment."
I experienced an eerie sense of déjà vu this morning while reading an AP article entitled "Iran Blames U.S. for N. Korea Nuke Test." I could swear that I had already read this same blame-America analysis somewhere else. That sent me scrambling back to my report on the piece by LA Times columnist Rosa Brooks, "A Good Week for the Axis of Evil" contained in my NB item of yesterday [but please don't read just yet]. And sure enough, I found language there that closely tracked the statement from Tehran.
So, let's have a little fun. I'll set the two statements out below, and you try to guess. Which was issued by the Men of Mahmoud, and which by a homegrown member of the Blame America Brigades? Answer below.
Since the Mark Foley page story first broke, there have been many articles discussing the double standard in which Republican and Democrat sex scandals are handled by Congress and the media. No finer example of such hypocrisy has been demonstrated than by the Associated Press on Saturday, October 14, which had nothing but high praise for the now deceased former Rep. Gerry Studds while it continued to heap scorn on Foley.
For example, an article entitled “Studds, first openly gay person elected to Congress, dead at 69,” spoke glowingly of the former Congressman who, unlike Foley, actually had a sexual encounter with a seventeen-year-old male page in 1973. In fact, the AP suggested that this was an important moment in history for gay rights:
“Gerry often said it was the fight for gay and lesbian equality that was the last great civil rights chapter in modern American history. He did not live to see its final sentences written, but all of us will forever be indebted to him for leading the way with compassion and wisdom,” said his husband, Dean T. Hara, 49, in a statement.
The article included some glowing praise from a current member of Congress:
Keeping in line with the Associated Press' penchant for running interference for the Democratic Party, we have another fine example in today's story about the five year prison sentence handed down to Tennessee state senator Roscoe Dixon, a Democrat.
Dixon, convicted of taking $9,500 in bribes, was sentenced as a result of an FBI investigation of Tennessee politicians called Operation Tennessee Waltz.
Amazingly, the AP found no room in their story for party labels. Naturally, they also don't bother to emphasize the many OTHER Democrats that have been indicted in this scandal.
Among others, the top indictments were as follows:
State Senator John Ford (Democrat) of Memphis, TN, State Senator Roscoe Dixon (Democrat) of Memphis, State Senator Kathryn Bowers (Democrat) of Memphis, State Senator Ward Crutchfield (Democrat) of Chattanooga, State Representative Chris Newton (Republican) of Cleveland, Tennessee Barry Myers of Memphis (Democratic Political operative) Charles Love of Chattanooga (Democratic Political operative)
Now imagine if this story was about 6 Republicans and only one Democrat involved in such a deeply disturbing corruption scandal. Do you think Party labels would be left out of the AP story in that case? Who could doubt that, were it a passel full of Republicans under indictment instead of Democrats, the headline would read "Tennessee Republican Corruption Scandal" instead of "Tenn. Senator Gets 5 Years for Bribes"?
So, here we have a story of endemic corruption in the Tennessee state house featuring a gaggle of 99% Democrats... and the AP somehow forgets to mention Party affiliation.
The AP tried to characterize Bush as a "tepid" supporter of Speaker Hastert and directly said that "half the country" wanted Hastert to resign.
The $1.1 million fundraiser provided the first picture of Bush with Hastert since a scandal broke involving a Republican congressman pursuing underage male pages. Although the president has spoken out in Hastert's defense — tepidly at first and more directly at a White House news conference on the eve of the fundraiser — their appearance together was an endorsement of Hastert when nearly half the country says he should resign.
New York Times reporter Philip Shenon covers the possible financial scandal involving House Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid…very carefully. For one, "Senator Offers to Amend Financial Forms" is the most benign headline imaginable -- as if Reid is doing everyone a favor by offering to follow the law.
Contrast that with the negative headline over the Times' AP story about Republican Sen. George Allen from Monday, which has no problem focusing the blame: "Virginia Senator Did Not Disclose Stock Options."
According to the AP's report on the Conference on School Safety which was ordered and attended by President Bush this week in the wake of the three most recent school shootings in Colorado, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Democrats "mocked the event as a photo opportunity with little substance."
Excuse me? Little substance? Would they say that directly to the face of Columbine survivor Craig Scott who was there and told the "wrenching story of the day his sister died"? Craig was in the Colorado school when two students killed 13 people, including his sister Rachel.
Craig asked, "Please take my words to heart today. They were bought at a high price."
Clearly the Dems failed to take Craig's words to heart. Instead of valuing what he had to say they used the event as an opportunity for partisan politics. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. said, "It seems every week we learn of yet another school shooting, and all the president is willing to do is hold a summit."
The headline from this Associated Press story reads, "Army: Troops to stay in Iraq until 2010." Yikes! The Army has decided that we need 141,000 troops in Iraq at least through 2010? Surely, this is a clear indication that the situation is much more dire than the American public has been lead to believe?
Actually, no. The information in the story doesn't match the headline.
Did you happen to go home from work this evening and miss this AP Exclusive?
Funny, the following AP story broke this afternoon at 2:13 P.M. on the Forbes website yet it doesn't appear that any of the big mainstream newspapers covered it until well after most people left for home from work.
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid collected a $1.1 million windfall on a Las Vegas land sale even though he hadn’t personally owned the property for three years, property deeds show.
In the process, Reid did not disclose to Congress an earlier sale in which he transferred his land to a company created by a friend and took a financial stake in that company, according to records and interviews.
Now that the most recent scandal appears to be losing steam we should expect that the AP and others will return to reporting the news in an objective manner based on facts rather than speculation right? Wrong.
A news story that first circulated in 2004 is being put back into circulation because a researcher at Johns Hopkins has updated a study that was originally panned because of its high margin of error.
I bring this up only because nowhere in the article is President Bush quoted saying such a thing. Maybe he did, but it's not in the story. In a different political environment (that is, pre-Foley) that headline would have been perfectly acceptable, because in the article the president is in effect saying Democrats can't be trusted with national security. But now that Foley has been exposed and the heat is on Congress, that headline portrays the Republicans as (even more) hypocritical by calling Democrats untrustworthy.
No, this isn't a joke. Of all the possible photos available of Joe Negron, the Florida state representative who has replaced Mark Foley as the GOP congressional candidate in the 16th CD, the top one here is the one the Associated Press chose to accompany its article: FL GOP picks Foley replacement.
Congressmen come and congressmen go. But the Associated Press's liberal bias goes on forever.
UPDATE: Reuters has pulled a similar stunt. Here's the photo it chose to accompany its article on Negron's nomination.
Hat tips to Free Republic members Behind Liberal Lines re AP and bitt re Reuters.
Note: The AP can of course always change the photo accompanying an online article. It's always possible that by the time an NB reader clicks on the link provided above to the AP article, a responsible editor will have done so, perhaps even embarrassed by this NB item exposing AP's bias. But the photo displayed here was the one accompanying the AP article as originally posted. I saved it to our NB server.
First from Reuters, which has not always been very even-handed in reporting economic news, a pretty decent report:
Consumers bright, Midwest business strong in Sept
By Ros Krasny
CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. consumer spending slipped in August but falling gasoline prices elevated shoppers' moods by September and Midwest factory activity picked up as well, according to reports on Friday that suggested the economy was still motoring along.
Meanwhile, consumer prices outside food and energy edged up just 0.2 percent in August, although year-on-year price gains hit an 11-year high, offering a mixed reading on inflation.
Poor Martin Crutsinger of the Associated Press, on the other hand, must have had a lot of pent-up negativity to get out before the weekend commences, as he took the same data and turned it into what Jim Taranto at Best of the Web described thusly: "If we didn't know better, we'd think we were heading for another Great Depression."
It's good to know where your friends are. Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter denounced the detention of Iraqi AP photographer Bilal Hussein. (Michelle Malkin has more on the Hussein case.) He is accused of aiding terrorists and for doing activities one would not expect from a mere photographer.
A Democratic congresswoman on Wednesday cited the case of an Iraqi Associated Press photographer imprisoned by the U.S. military during debate on a prisoner treatment bill that she considers too harsh.
In a House speech, Rep. Louise Slaughter referred to Bilal Hussein, who has been detained in Iraq for more than five months.
Rush Limbaugh just mentioned that the Dems' latest strategy to keep the NIE story bubbling is to make a hullabaloo over the Bush administration's decision not to declassify and release the entire NIE report. I then turned to the Yahoo News page, and what do I find but an Associated Press article with this headline and lead paragraph:
White House refuses to release full NIE
WASHINGTON - The White House refused Wednesday to release the rest of a secret intelligence assessment that depicts a growing terrorist threat, as the Bush administration tried to quell election-season criticism that its anti-terror policies are seriously off track.
Rather than offer a reasoned analysis of a National Intelligence Estimate declassified by the Bush administration today, the AP selected only the most negative aspects of the report for inclusion in their story.
WASHINGTON - The war in Iraq has become a "cause celebre" for Islamic extremists, breeding deep resentment of the U.S. that probably will get worse before it gets better, federal intelligence analysts conclude in a report at odds with President Bush's portrayal of a world growing safer.
In the bleak report, declassified and released Tuesday on Bush's orders, the nation's most veteran analysts conclude that despite serious damage to the leadership of al-Qaida, the threat from Islamic extremists has spread both in numbers and in geographic reach.
The story, however, makes the State Department's actions seem petty and uninformed. It makes the denial of the visa seem more a result of "racism" than one based on substance. In fact, the reasons that this "scholar" was denied a visa were given short shrift whereas a defense of Ramadan was given full throat.
All Ramadan's "reasons" that he and his attorneys ascribe to the supposedly illegitimate government action are included in the article, but only one small paragraph explores the State Department's reasons for denying the visa... and that in the words of the ACLU!
Jules Crittenden, writing in the Boston Herald, examines the Associated Press' actions in light of the detention of AP photographer Bilal Hussein, captured by Coalition forces with al Qaeda terrorists and a weapons cache earlier this year:
The Associated Press, the reliable just-the-facts news agency you and I once knew, no longer exists. Amoral propagandists have taken over. It is not only in the disturbing matter of Bilal Hussein, AP photograher and al-Qaeda associate, being held without charge in U.S. custody in Iraq that this is evident. But also in the departure from balanced, nonpartisan coverage that has always been the AP’s promise to us, its customers...
Blogger and columnist Michelle Malkin has been providing new information about Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi AP photographer who is being held by the U.S. government on charges of colluding with terrorists. The AP pretended the story didn't exist for five months, but when it finally admitted the truth, it also fired back a rebuttal to one of her recent columns. Said Malkin in her Sep. 20 column:
On April 12, I learned from military sources that an Associated Press photographer in Iraq, Fallujah native Bilal Hussein, had been captured in Ramadi in an apartment with insurgents and a cache of weapons. This was news. I asked the AP for confirmation. Corporate spokesman Jack Stokes informed me that company officials were "looking into reports that Mr. Hussein was detained by the U.S. military in Iraq but have no furthhttp://newsbusters.org/node/add/bloger details at this time." After reporting the alleged detention on my blog ( michellemalkin.com/archives/005941.htm), I followed up several more times with AP over the past five months for status updates on Hussein. No reply.
After trying to cover up the story for five months, the AP was finally forced to acknowledge that one of their own was being detained.
Let me repeat that: An Associated (with terrorists) Press journalist gets caught with an alleged al Qaeda leader and tests positive for bomb-making materials. That. Is. News. How does a news organization explain away its decision to sit on it for five months? Like this: "The AP has worked quietly until now, believing that would be the best approach."
The best approach to journalism? No. The best approach to suppressing a damning connection to terrorists.
Editor's note: Dan Riehl has uncovered some more apparent photo staging by AP photographer Bilal Hussein. Due to the graphic nature of the photos involved, we aren't posting the photos to the front page. Click the "read more" link to follow the story...
This story about a Vietnamese man who was a spy for the communists during the war as well as a reporter for Reuters and Time magazine is nothing short of an outrage. It also makes you wonder how many agents for totalitarianism are working in the press today. An's assertions of impartiality are all too familar as well. (An old MRC MediaWatch item on him is here.)
HANOI, Vietnam - Pham Xuan An, who led a remarkable and perilous double life as a communist spy and a respected reporter for Western news organizations during the Vietnam War, died Wednesday at age 79. [...]
In the history of wartime espionage, few were as successful as An. He straddled two worlds for most of the 15-year war in Indochina as an undercover communist agent while also working as a journalist, first for Reuters news service and later for 10 years as Time magazine's chief Vietnamese reporter — a role that gave him access to military bases and background briefings.
He was so well-known for his sources and insight that many Americans who knew him suspected he worked for the CIA.
Before Saigon fell to the communists, An worked to help friends escape, including South Vietnam's former security chief who feared death if he was found by northern forces. An later revealed his true identity as a Viet Cong commander, but said he never reported any false information or communist propaganda while in his role as a journalist.
In a clear attempt to throw cold water on the potential positive economic impact of falling energy prices, an Associated Press article yesterday got sloppy with the credentials of those it sought out for quotes. It also conveyed a false impression that all of those quoted were not impressed with what falling energy prices might do for the economy. Here is the headline and first paragraph of the article:
Economists Wary of Falling Energy Prices
WASHINGTON (AP) — It should only be this simple: Oil prices plunge 20 percent, leading businesses and consumers to ramp up their spending, which gives a nice jolt to the economy. That seems to be the conventional wisdom on Wall Street right now, where the pullback in energy prices is being cheered by investors. But some contrarians think that view could be missing the point.
But not all of those quoted are economists, and not all of those quoted are contrarians.
Here is the roster of the quoted (not in the same order as the article):
"If it's necessary to do that because the military situation on the ground requires that, we'll do it," he said. "If we have to call in more forces because it's our military judgment that we need more forces, we'll do it."
Abizaid said that right now the current number of troops "are prudent force levels" that are achieving the needed military effect.
With the gun control movement running for the hills nationwide,
opponents of the Second Amendment have taken comfort in the fact that many of America's largest cities remain solidly in the anti-gun camp. In such places, it's not uncommon
for local government officials to initiate so-called gun buyback
programs where police purchase weapons citizens bring in, no questions
Basically no one who studies firearms policy believes
these initiatives actually work to reduce crime or take guns away from
by the DOJ and even Harvard University have discounted the
effectiveness of buyback programs. Just a few months ago, the liberal
Boston Phoenix alternative newspaper ran an article
that contended they enable criminals to afford newer, more deadly
weapons. Most of the time, the bulk of residents selling their guns are
older, as are their firearms--not exactly the kind of people you'd see
engaging in armed robbery.
All of this information
can be easily found on the internet. Surely the District of Columbia,
which hosted a buyback program over the weekend, was aware of it. One
would hope that at least one person at the Associated Press or the Washington Post
knew that gun buyback programs don't work, or that they'd at least have
the journalistic inclination to look into how effective such
initiatives are. But hard-hitting, thoughtful local reporting isn't
exactly in high supply in America's newspapers today, to say nothing of
research critical of liberal shibboleths.
While the national media begin to revisit the "corruption" issue -- largely as a Republican problem, as you can see from Monday's front page Washington Post story on GOP Sen. Conrad Burns -- it's important to remember where Democrats could have problems. Take appointed Sen. Bob Menendez, who's now the subject of a federal investigation for accepting $3,000-a-month rent from a group he's also sought to enrich with federal funding. NRO blogger Jim Geraghty reported:
So here outside Philly, we're getting New Jersey political ads, too, including one for Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, that features him in a courtroom. Oh, no, wait, it's not what you're thinking - he's not a defendant, he's touting his credentials fighting political corruption, not facilitating it.
Over at The Corner today, National Review's Jonah Goldberg noticed that the AP dispatch on Congressman Ben Cardin's prejudiced/fired blogger leaves out the "D" word for Democrat:
Rep. Benjamin Cardin has fired a campaign staffer who posted racially charged comments against his opponent on the Internet, the congressman's campaign said Saturday.
The staffer's blog includes references to Oreo cookies. Cardin's opponent, Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is black, has said people threw Oreos at him during a 2002 debate as a slight directed at his race and political views.
I wonder how much we'll be hearing of this news in the political press and how much Marylanders will from their MSM:
Rep. Benjamin Cardin has fired a campaign staffer who wrote racially
charged comments on an Internet blog against his opponent, Republican
Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is black, Cardin's campaign confirmed
The blog includes a reference to "Devouring the Competition" by eating
Oreo cookies, which Steele has said people threw at him during a 2002
debate as a slight directed at his race and political views.
In a statement, Cardin also condemned "anti-Semitic" comments written by the female staffer on her own Internet blog [formerly at persuasionatrix.blogspot.com].
One important fact left out of the AP report I quoted above is that the story was broken by our friends over at Wizbang. AP reporter Brian Witte's behavior in this instance is all too familiar. Blogs are often not given the proper credit they deserve for reporting, especially if they're conservative ones.