The first thing that goes through my mind every time I lay eyes on an article on abortion in the Los Angeles Times is, "Oh, no." As we've relayed several times before, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, the Times's reporting on abortion and life issues can be problematic, to say the least.
So imagine my pleasant surprise after reading Friday's front-page piece by Times staffer Nicholas Riccardi, "Abortion foes' strategy advances." I wasn't offended by a blatant agenda by the writer. There were no factual errors that I could see. The article wasn't laced with hysterical pro-choice rhetoric. Even the photo that accompanied the article portrayed pro-lifers respectfully.
Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani used a recent fiasco involving one of opponent Mitt Romney’s judicial appointees to make political hay in the press:
“He had an increase in murder and violent crime while he was governor,” Giuliani said. “So it’s not so much the isolated situation which he and the judge will have to explain — he’s kind of thrown her under the bus, so it’s hard to know how this is all going to come out. But the reality is, he did not have a record of reducing violent crime.”
In response, Romney spokesman Matt Rhoades said in a statement: “It’s troubling that Mayor Giuliani would politicize this tragedy, but the fact is under Governor Romney violent crime in Massachusetts decreased…”1
Update | 10:48 AM ET -- Mystery Solved: Morning Joe Executive Producer Chris Licht has emailed me to say: "Mika was reading research emailed from a segment producer to her Blackberry: specifically, the Bloomberg News article re: Townsend says election is potential terrorism target."
Have a look at the screencap. It's Mika Brzezinski scrolling what looks to be her Blackberry as she poses a hostile question to Fran Townsend, President Bush's top White House adviser on terrorism and homeland security.
Townsend, who has announced that she's stepping down after four years in the Bush administration, appeared on today's "Morning Joe." After some conversation with Willie Geist, Mika Brzezinski took over, peppering Townsend with a series of challenging questions on everything from the failure to capture Bin Laden to waterboarding.
Mika appeared to have Blackberry in hand throughout. When it came to her last, and nastiest, question, she was busily scrolling it as she read off its screen.
In a report ("D.C. Poised to Exceed 2006 Homicide Totals"; HT Hot Air) on overall urban homicide, Allison Klein at the Washington Post used a word that I've never seen directly associated with criminal activity by groups of people, and she used it twice.
Here's the first:
The number of killings in the District this year already has reached the homicide count for all of last year, reversing a trend in which deadly violence steadily declined over the past four years.
With six weeks left on the 2007 calendar, the District has recorded 169 homicides.
"There's a whole lot of things that play into it," (D.C. Police Chief Cathy L.) Lanier said. "It's hard to say any one contributing factor is driving the homicides."
Among her theories: Neighborhood crews are having more violent flare-ups, and criminals are using assault rifles and other guns with more firepower.
Did the police chief really say "crews"? Note that the sentence has no quotations marks.
We have reported several times on the negligent reporting by the Los Angeles Times on the Catholic Church abuse scandal. (See here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.) Last week, we reported on a glaring error about the scandal in an opinion article by Jason Berry.
In yesterday's Times (Sat. 11/17/07), a reader thoughtfully weighed in on this narrative in a way that the paper never has. From the Letters section:
It's Friday which means another episode of our political comedy show "NewsBusted" has arrived! Topics in this edition: Democrats' Iraq policy, Hillary Clinton, AOL and more.
I'm pleased to announce that yesterday we hit 1,000 YouTube subscribers in just over two months' time, a record for original political programming. Help us continue to build our numbers by subscribing to "NewsBusted."
Uh oh! America might have to do without CBS' usual standard of news reporting if the network's news writers vote to strike Thursday. Hmm, what production staffer will ghostwrite “Katie Couric's Notebook” now?
November 12, the AP reported that CBS' 500 radio and television news writers, who belong to the Writers Guild Association East, “are expected to overwhelmingly approve a strike authorization” during Thursday's upcoming vote. This strike would follow the WGA drama and comedy writers walk out, which has shut down much of television.
It's Tuesday which means another episode of "NewsBusted." Topics in this episode: Licenses for illegals, Hillary Clinton's tipping habits, Rosie O'Donnell.
Click the "play" icon at the top right of the sidebar to watch, you can also view this episode at YouTube or see our past episodes here. If you like the show, be sure to subscribe to "NewsBusted" to be automatically notified via email whenever we post new webcasts. We're really picking up steam with more subscribers per day than any other political show on YouTube.
Honestly, there are times when I wonder if liberal media members are just addle-minded, or so obsessed with their political agenda that fabricating news seems acceptable to them.
Either must have been the case when the Associated Press, followed by the leftwing entourage of Keith Olbermann and Arianna Huffington, completely misrepresented a rather innocent statement by Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, and in so doing, cast doubt on their veracity as journalists.
In fact, and as difficult as it may seem, the three entities mistook the name "Assad" for "Osama."
Nice job of fact-checking, guys!
Sadly, this all began Monday with the following Associated Press article (emphasis added, h/t Hot Air):
At 11 p.m. EDT Tropical Storm Noel was located near 17.1 north and 72.1 west or about 105 miles south of Port Au Prince, Haiti. Sustained winds are 60 mph with higher gusts and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 115 miles. Tropical Storm Noel is moving to the north-northwest at 5 mph. The minimum central pressure is estimated at 996 millibars, or 29.41 inches of mercury.
John F Kennedy once defended his stance on lower taxes with the phrase "a rising tide lifts all boats." But, if the New York Times has its way they would change that to a "a rising tax tide swamps all boats." Or at least one would be excused for thinking that upon reading an unsigned editorial that laments "A Dearth of Taxes" in the U.S. today.
Stating that a "zeal" to cut taxes is "misguided," the Times whines that the U.S. government doesn't bring in the kind of tall cash in taxes that European countries do. But, this confiscatory policy that the Times pines for assumes one thing and one thing only: that government will spend that money well. And that is the main reason that Americans are against high taxes in the first palce, government does not spend our money well and everyone but the Times seems to know it.
You may have seen one of the 19,000 mentions of the "Home-made helicopters from Northern Nigeria." Once the AFP article hit Yahoo! News, it crossed the blogosphere like wild fire. I highly doubt it is true, and if journalists knew the first thing about flight, they might not have been so easily duped.
For starters, let's look at the measurements provided by the journalist.
For a four-seater it is a big aircraft, measuring twelve metres (39 feet) long, seven metres high by five wide.
Seven meters high? That's 23 feet tall. Does the photograph look like the helicopter is over two stories tall and 39 feet long? But the real problem with the story is with the tail rotor -- or lack thereof. France 24 has several more of the photos of this "helicopter", and in the one where the "pilot" is opening the cardboard flap that covers the engine, you can see that there is no axle to turn the tail rotor. The tail rotor, which keeps a real helicopter from spinning the same speed as the main rotor, is purely aesthetic.
The reporter claims this helicopter has "flown briefly on six occasions" at an "altitude of seven feet", but the reporter fails to corroborate this with any other witnesses. In true journalism fashion, the reporter takes a shot at a government for allegedly not supporting the wild ideas of this dreamer:
Although some government officials got very excited when they saw him conduct a demonstration flight in neighbouring Katsina state, Nigeria's Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has so far shown no interest in his aircraft. "No one from the NCAA has come to see what I've done. We don't reward talent in this country," he lamented.... In a country with Nigeria's abysmal air safety record officials may be loath to gamble on one student's home-made helicopter.
Who are the "government officials" who "got very excited"? What were they excited about? What exactly did the reporter expect the government to "gamble on"?
On Tuesday (10/9/07), the Los Angeles Times published this story about four women reaching a $6.8 million settlement in molestation lawsuits against the Catholic Church's diocese of Orange County, California.
The article, by Christine Hanley, exhibits the paper's continuing lack of fairness in coverage of the Church abuse narrative. Hanley's piece omits much important information.
1. Wrote Hanley,
The deal came about a week before [Christina] Ruiz's lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial in a case that had already exposed [Orange County Bishop Tod] Brown to a contempt-of-court order, and rekindled the anger leveled at the church. Ruiz accused former Mater Dei assistant basketball coach Jeff Andrade of molesting her for more than a year, starting when she was 15. In a deposition taken as part of the lawsuit, Andrade admitted to having had sex with the then-teenager.
On Wednesday (10/10/07), Tim Rutten, media columnist for the Los Angeles Times, gave a glowing review to the latest book from anti-Catholic "Catholic" Garry Wills. Wills' new book is Head and Heart: American Christianities. In the book Wills addresses the issue of abortion. Rutten allies with Wills to spread an egregious falsehood about the Catholic Church. Rutten:
Once again, Wills' deep mastery of the primary sources and his respect for them as a believer himself lend his argument a compelling authority. He points out that Catholic opposition to abortion is a recent development.
"Catholic opposition to abortion is a recent development"?? No way. In fact, had either Wills or Rutten taken the 15 seconds to look inside a copy the Catechism (that's if either of them even own one), they would have seen (emphasis mine), "Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable" (2271).
In this photo released by CBS, former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, left, shares a laugh with host David Letterman on the set of 'The Late Show with David Letterman, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007. It was Snow's first appearance on the show.
Did Reuters reporter Noor Mohammed Sherzai ever take a class in journalistic ethics? If so, perhaps he slept through it, as his article today uses himself as a quote. Sherzai writes today that US troops fired towards a crowd in Afghanistan. However, the main quote that he is able to produce to substantiate his accusations is from himself. He writes,
"I saw the fire brigade vehicle rushing to the area at top speed. Somehow its brakes failed and hit one police vehicle and coalition vehicles, then the Americans started firing," said Reuters correspondent Noor Mohammad Sherzai.
Is the media hypocritical on censorship when conducted by Democrats versus Republicans? It would seem that this may indeed be the case. The media likes to claim that President George Bush's Administration is clamping down on civil rights, although they have a difficult time citing any actual examples of such. However, when the Clinton campaign really does exercise press censorship, the media is largely silent. According to the Politico online magazine, GQ magazine was poised to run a story that would have been critical of the Hillary Clinton campaign. This in itself is a relative rarity in the current media. However, by threatening to withold access to former President Bill Clinton, the campaign managed to force GQ to pull the planned story. Editor Jim Nelson then tried to claim that this was normal procedure,
“I don’t really get into the inner workings of the magazine, but I can tell you that yes, we did kill a Hillary piece. We kill pieces all the time for a variety of reasons,” Nelson said in an e-mail to Politico. He did not respond to follow-up questions. A Clinton campaign spokesman declined to comment.