There was a time when conservatives took the mainstream media to task for not covering stories of success in Iraq. I vaguely remember a time past when Laura Ingraham challenged MSM reporters to do the unthinkable such as leave the green zone and talk to Iraqi's so they could put a more honest and balanced perspective on the new. This challenge was met with the kind of puerile outrage and denial that you might expect to get from your child when they are caught doing something both of you know to be unacceptable. The upside of this was that we saw a brief attempt to get reporters out into the field where they could at least say they are reporting from first hand knowledge. It didn't necessarily change the bias in the reports but at least it tempered those reports with an occasional success story even in times where success may be hard to find.
With the president mentioning "global climate change" in his State of the Union, CNN’s Miles O’Brien was happy he finally mentioned it. But, of course, he’s not doing enough and "more drastic action is needed.". Because his proposals are voluntary and not mandatory, it is "essentially toothless." O’Brien featured Gene Karpinski of the liberal League of Conservation Voters to call for "mandatory caps on global warming," but featured no contrary view.
The CNN anchor then predicted a very grim future.
Miles O’Brien: "Bush’s remarks were a small concession to what an overwhelming majority of climate scientists believe is a huge problem. They say in the coming decades, climate change will melt glaciers, flooding coastal areas as see levels rise. It will likely increase the frequency of extreme weather events like catastrophic hurricanes and it could lead to entire species going extinct, such as polar bears which are already struggling as their arctic habitat melts."
One phrase you won't find in the AP/Times articles is "pro-life." Why? As Reuters widely reported in 2004 (here), the paper adheres "to a strict Times policy banning the phrase 'pro-life' as offensive to people who support abortion." (The paper appears only to allow the phrase if a person is being quoted using it.) Does the AP have the same policy as well? The AP article alternates between using the words "abortion foes" and "abortion opponents" to label pro-lifers in its article. In their headline and the first paragraph, the Times scrubbed the AP's use of the word "foes" and replaced it with "opponents." What's going on? (By the way: In 2004, this ridiculous policy of banning the phrase "pro-life" resulted in a hilarious episode in which the Times scrubbed the words in an opera review and replaced it with "anti-abortion" - even though the opera had nothing to do with abortion. Read the hilarity here.)
CORRECTION: An earlier post incorrectly said none of the
evening newscasts carried a mention of the falling gas prices. I apologize for
Gasoline costs nearly 20 cents less than it did the same
time last year, but the good news merited only a passing mention on the night
before President Bush’s State of the Union address. By contrast, the networks
spent more than 10 minutes combined interviewing 2008 presidential candidate
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).
"The price of gasoline fell by 6 cents last week to an
average of about $2.16 a gallon nationwide – a 14-cent decline over three
weeks,” the Associated Press reported January 22. AAA's Fuelgaugereport.com,
which displays data from the Oil Price Information Service, shows similar data.
"Retail gasoline prices have fallen 17 cents from this time
last year," and the price of crude oil has also been on a downward track, "down 86 cents at $51.13 a barrel Monday on the New York Mercantile
Exchange," the AP reported.
ABC's Charles Gibson mentioned the drop in a 15-second bit
on "World News," while CBS and NBC had no time for that good news. Each
network, however, gave the junior senator considerable air time on its January
ABC anchor Gibson gave the former first lady the most face
time with 5 minutes and 9 seconds in a satellite interview on "World News." NBC’s Brian Williams and CBS’s Katie Couric gave Clinton about the same time as a full-length
news report. Clinton’s
taped sit-down with Couric lasted 2 minutes and 40 seconds, while Williams’
taped in-studio chat was 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
After Sean Hannity’s trip, another commentator returned from a tour of Iraq and found that the mainstream media are not telling the entire story on the progress. Syndicated columnist and blogger Michelle Malkin appeared on the O’Reilly Factor along with Democratic strategist Kirsten Powers to discuss what she found on the ground. Despite all of the grim news coming from the media, Malkin asserted "you don’t get a true full sense of the work and the small baby steps and progress that are being made" including "Iraqi civilians that are cooperating with our U.S. troops." The transcript is below.
Bill O’Reilly: "In the 'Impact' segment, 27 American military killed in Iraq over the weekend. And support for the war, as you know, is shaky. All the polls say the majority of Americans are now against it. Fox News analyst Michelle Malkin just back from Iraq and she also has some comments on Hillary Clinton as does Fox News analyst Kirsten Powers. Kirsten's here in New York, Michelle is in Washington. Michelle, what did you learn in Iraq while you were there?"
In a very poorly written article in the Washington Post, reporter Christopher Lee seems to find it remarkable that a lot of the health insurance groups that opposed Hillary Clinton-Care back in the early 1990s are now on board with a number of the new efforts at health insurance reform (and I use that last term loosely).
When I served as Mayor during the 1990’s, the Administration and Congress helped local communities fight crime by providing funds to hire more police, and making it harder for criminals to get guns. As a result, crime decreased. Over the past few years, however, the approach seems to have been switched. Now cities are often seeing less police but more guns on their streets. These new crime statistics indicate that we’re doing things backwards. – Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence1
Brady Campaign’s new spokesman seems full of high-sounding verbiage these days, but the Clinton administration’s crime policies–contrary to Helmke’s claims–fell short on crime fighting:
An unbylined report on unemployment claims by the Associated Press is a classic of the genre (bold is mine):
The Labor Department reported Thursday that applications for jobless claims dropped by 26,000 to 299,000 last week on a seasonally adjusted basis. It marked the first time jobless claims have fallen below 300,000 since the week of July 22.
The improvement was much better than the decline of 9,000 that analysts had been expecting and provided further evidence that the slowing U.S. economy has not begun to seriously affect the labor market outside of specific industries such as housing and auto manufacturing.
SLOWING? Did AP ever consider that maybe claims are dropping because the economy may NOT be slowing?
It's not like there is a lack of evidence of continued and probably accelerating growth:
In other words, what follows is from an officially released May 30, 2004 interview of Nancy Pelosi by Tim Russert. At the time, what Pelosi said was blessed by the party, and what she said is that there should be more troops in Iraq (bolds are mine):
"How can you talk about bombing a country when you won't even talk to them?" said Clark. "It's outrageous. We're the United States of America; we don't do that. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the military option is off the table - but diplomacy is not what Jim Baker says it is. It's not, 'what will it take for you boys to support us on Iraq?' It's sitting down for a couple of days and talking about our families and our hopes, and building relationships."
When we asked him what made him so sure the Bush administration was headed in this direction, he replied: "You just have to read what's in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided, but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers."
Today's announcement there were 167,000 net new jobs in December (196,000 counting revisions to prior months), and that the unemployment rate held steady at 4.5%, made me wonder how job growth during the Bush prosperity compares to job growth during comparable periods in the 1990s.
On Tuesday’s O’Reilly Factor, guests Michelle Malkin and Kirsten Powers offered what they thought were the top stories of 2006. The number one story on Michelle Malkin’s list was "mainstream media war coverage." Malkin spoke of the "eroding credibility" of the mainstream media from leaking classified information to doctoring photos and airing terrorist propaganda. This prompted her to conclude that there are "a lot of people questioning which side of the war these mainstream media outlets have been on." The entire transcript is below.
Bill O’Reilly: "Alright Michelle, surprisingly mainstream media war coverage. Why was that your top story?"
Michelle Malkin: "Well, I think that the slow and steady erosion of mainstream media credibility has been going on for quite a while, but 2006 was really a milestone. And I did a little poll on my website, michellemalkin.com, asking people who they thought was the worst media performer of the year. And the New York Times ran away with the prize. And I think they started off the year, if you'll recall, blabbing about the NSA's domestic surveillance program. And there was a huge uproar about that from the public. The New York Times refused to acknowledge that this program was very valuable in gathering intelligence and information that was helping in the War on Terror and our prosecution of the War on Terror. And they didn't listen to the public. I mean they went on to blab about, about a number of programs, and they set a role model for other papers. You saw the USA Today and the Los Angeles Times blab about another top secret program, that was-"
As NewsBusters reported here, on the December 20, 2006 edition of The View, co-host Rosie O’Donnell sparked a war of words and the threat of a lawsuit over comments she made about real estate mogul Donald Trump. Her statement that he had been bankrupt "many times" was particularly infuriating to the billionaire. On the January 3 show, Barbara Walters, who noted O’Donnell’s absence from today’s show was due to a "long-planned vacation," was left to clean up the mess, and delivered this statement from ABC:
Barbara Walters: "Okay, guys, as I said earlier, Rosie is on a long-planned vacation with Kelli and the kids, and not, I can promise you, with Donald Trump. Now, speaking of which, ABC has asked me to say this, just to clarify things and I will quote, ‘Donald Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy. Several of his casino companies have filed for business bankruptcies. They are out of bankruptcy now.’"
Walters then denied Trump’s charge that she regrets her decision to hire O’Donnell to replace Meredith Vieira:
It's no secret that Iran, and to a lesser degree, Syria, are responsible for supplying weapons to our enemies in Iraq, as well as encouraging would-be terrorists from their own lands to join the ranks of the blood-thirsty Islamo-fascist militias that our military and the Iraqi Army faces on a daily basis in the area known as the Sunni Triangle.
Both of these countries also directly support Hezbollah, the most well-organized terrorist group in the world, and next to Al-Qaeda, the most deadly. The United States and Israel know full well the threat posed by this extremist faction and their patron states, yet year after year passes with no substantial military action being taken against them. Why?
It's all well and good that we are expending every available resource to destroy Al-Qaeda and its confederates worldwide, but for some inexplicable reason the terrorist organization which was responsible for more American deaths prior to 9/11 than any other in history is largely ignored by the Bush Administration. Israel as well seems to have concluded that taking the fight to these parasites isn't worth the trouble, and every time I think about what's going on in Lebanon these days, my stomach begins composing an overture to the next 'Star Wars' sequel.
If an Iraqi police captain by the name of Jamil Hussein exists, there is no convincing evidence of it - and that means the Associated Press has a journalistic scandal on its hands that will fester until the AP deals with it properly.
This controversy and the AP's handling of it call into question the credibility, integrity, and smarts of one of the world's biggest, most influential, most respected news organizations, the New York-based Associated Press.
When does a protest that includes a total of approximately 45 people spread over 3 US cities merit national media coverage? When the protest is anti-American and pro-terrorist. That was the case of the “emergency” protests sponsored by Ramsey Clark’s International Action Center decrying the execution of Saddam Hussein. According to the AP, the protests were “small rallies” with “a few dozen activists” in Times Square, 15 “anti-war demonstrators” in Detroit and “five protesters” in Boston. Given the media’s penchant for inflating the attendance at any anti-American event, the number 45 is probably too generous.
The NY Times (HT Hot Air; scroll down, and look on left; direct link to pic is here; pic below is from my host's hard drive) has in a sense outdone CNN by giving Saddam the look of a charismatic, and from all appearances beloved, leader:
One suspects that this is just a warm-up for Castro when his time comes.
While he wielded a heavy hand to maintain control, Saddam also sought to win public support with a personality cult that pervaded Iraqi society. Thousands of portraits, posters, statues and murals were erected in his honor all over Iraq. His face could be seen on the sides of office buildings, schools, airports and shops and on Iraq’s currency.
What was the point of closing out an otherwise well written article with the above statement? Does the reporter actually believe that the Iraqi people made the decision to put Saddam's mug on the currency or that they erected statues out of something other than fear?
When righting yourself after a downturn in life, it is best to first take an honest inventory to understand how your own actions influenced the outcome. It may seem emotionally easier to blame outside influences, but professional victims do not expend any effort to improve their lot in life, expecting somebody else to straighten things out instead. This runs counter to liberty, where personal freedom is reflected by an equal amount of personal responsibility. So we need to see exactly where we stand before we plan our recovery from the 2006 elections.
When the Clouds Cleared…
In the House, 23 A-rated, NRA-endorsed representatives–17 of them incumbents–lost to F-rated challengers. (Assumes initial rating of “?” is really an “F”.) In the Senate, 5 endorsed candidates lost, four of them incumbents, for a 72% winning percentage.