The Bush administration created a journalistic shield to stall investigation into the CIA leak case until after the 2004 election. So proclaims the Washington Post in a column by E. J. Dionne Jr. on Tuesday, November 1, 2005.
The writer claims that “As long as Bush faced the voters, the White House wanted Americans to think officials such as Libby, Karl Rove and vice president Chaney had nothing to do with the leak campaign to discredit its arch-critic on Iraq, the former ambassador Joseph Wilson.”
The writer claims that to assure a delay in the inquiry the administration had Libby state his information concerning Wilson’s wife, CIA employee Valerie Plame was provided by a number of reporters.
In tomorrow’s (Friday) Washington Post is a front page article entitled “Youths in Rural U.S. are Drawn to Military.” The title is correct. The lede, however, is a single sentence that displays for all to see the bias of the Post against the war and against its volunteer military. It reads:
“As sustained combat in Iraq makes it harder than ever to fill the ranks of the all-volunteer force, newly released Pentagon demographic data show that the military is leaning heavily for recruits on economically depressed, rural areas where youths' need for jobs may outweigh the risks of going to war.”
The second paragraph reads:
“More than 44 percent of U.S. military recruits come from rural areas, Pentagon figures show. In contrast, 14 percent come from major cities. Youths living in the most sparsely populated Zip codes are 22 percent more likely to join the Army, with an opposite trend in cities. Regionally, most enlistees come from the South (40 percent) and West (24 percent).”
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, an outspoken Democrat, seems to catch lots of attention, locally. Will it stay that way? The Democrats in Nevada want him to run for governor, to replace their Republican Governor, Kenny Guinn. According the Las Vegas Sun, 5 October 2005:
But some close to him have said the mayor is seriously considering a run, and the latest poll suggests he's the best hope for the Democrats.
A Zogby International poll released Tuesday found Goodman was the only Democrat to top Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., the Republican front-runner and early favorite in the 2006 governor's race.
This is all a bit amazing. In March of 2005, the Los Vegas Sun story line is, "Mayor endorses gin to fourth graders." Other times, he's more politically movivated on the national level, out attacking President Bush's conservative judicial nominations. But yesterday, he's out promoting the idea of cutting off the thumbs of graffati artists who deface public property. Wait! He’s not finished. He even suggests that the government step in and start whipping and caning the kids that are in trouble. Anyone see the ACLU coming? By the way, here's how you find out the Mayor's political leanings. Well, you'll have to go search. The media just leaves it out. If the politician does or says something outrageous, possibly illegal, and he is a Democrat, his party affiliation won't be mentioned - good luck finding out. That is, if the story is even printed. If he/she is a Republican, it will be right up top, and then the news will miraculously appear all over the media. Here's the news - oh, too bad Aaron Brown is gone, we're sure that this one would have been covered in tomorrows news segment. Right. In the November 03, 2005 Las Vegas Sun:
Eight days ago, Steve Gilliard, a liberal blogger critical of Lt. Governor Michael Steele (R-MD), a black conservative seeking the Republican senatorial nomination in his state, altered a photograph of the candidate to portray a minstrel in blackface, and accompanied it with the caption, "I's Simple Sambo and I's running for the Big House."
[Gilliard has since removed his original artwork, but blogger Charles Bird saved the image before Gilliard took it down and documents it on redstate.org, a conservative team blog.]
Understandably, this set off a storm in the blogosphere, with many conservative and some liberal bloggers decrying the racist post as beyond the pale. As I blogged last week, even the Washington Post reported it in their Metro section. Well, the story has evolved a bit more. While the Maryland Democratic Party also issued a statement criticizing it, lately, some elected Maryland Democrats including a white Democrat vying for Governor, have excused the attack on Steele as valid owing to Steele's affiliation with the GOP.
So far there has been no coverage of this new development in the mainstream broadcast media.
Yesterday Democrats shot down a bill that allowed bloggers to be exempt from the hundreds of pages of Federal regulations that deal with commenting on politics.
The Democrats are against free speech.
Don't expect this to be the lede in the New York Times. I'll bet my favorite body parts it won't open CBS News tonight. Basically, you won't hear boo about this anywhere because it shows exactly where democrats stand on our personal liberties.
How odd -- how telling -- that media companies who live and breathe for freedom of speech, who claim to be champions of the rights of the public, don't give a damn about what happened yesterday.
You will read the rioters called "gangs of youths", "rioters", "immigrants", and "poor" and that's it.
Yet, the article notes that what sparked the riots was the death of two Muslim youths who decided to hide from a police checkpoint in a power substation, where they electrocuted themselves to death. The article also notes that the Interior Minister, whom the French President is blaming for the riots because he has dared to crack down on a runaway crime problem in France's poor Muslim ghettos, has proposed using government buildings as mosques. The article also says that Muslim leaders are attempting "to persuade local youths -- particularly Muslims -- to refrain from violence".
It's not every day a major al Qaeda figure with a huge bounty on his head gets captured, so when that happens, you'd expect it to lead the news. But apparently not at CBS, where the Early Show led instead with President Bush's latest poll numbers and the Lewis "Scooter" Libby court appearance today.
First, the teasers from the opening credits tipped off the readers to which story the Early Show found more important:
Hannah Storm, co-host: "The Vice President's former chief of staff, Lewis 'Scooter' Libby will be arraigned today in the CIA leak case. This as President Bush's approval rating hits an all-time low. We'll get the latest from the White House."
Harry Smith, co-host: "I'm Harry Smith. In the war on terror, one of America's most wanted men, a key al Qaeda leader with a $5 million bounty on his head has been captured in Pakistan. We'll have details."
WASHINGTON - The 14 centrists who averted a Senate breakdown over judicial nominees last spring are showing signs of splintering on President Bush's latest nominee for the Supreme Court.
That is weakening the hand of Democrats opposed to conservative judge Samuel Alito and enhancing his prospects for confirmation.
The unity of the seven Democrats and the seven Republicans in the "Gang of 14" was all that halted a major filibuster fight between GOP leader Bill Frist and Democratic leader Harry Reid earlier this year over Bush's nominees.
As reported by NewsBusters here and here, there was a lot about the closed session held in the Senate on Tuesday that the media chose to ignore. However, now that the damage has been done, and public opinions of this issue have been formed, the Washington Post today decided to share some of the facts with its readers.
First, the decision to have a closed session is normally made with the consent of both parties:
“The rule's existence was widely known, and closed sessions had been held by bipartisan agreement as recently as 1999, regarding President Bill Clinton's impeachment. But the notion of one party springing the rule on the other party without warning was so alien that senators could not cite a previous example.”
Fitzmas having come and gone, the left seeks new topics about which to speculate. In an entry yesterday on the generally lefty group blog the Huffington Post, Nora Ephron, the writer and director of such movies as Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, addressed President Bush's mental health. (Hat tip: Altercation.)
Parts of Ephron's post:
...I would like to ask another question that I've been wondering about for some time: What's wrong with the president? Is he fighting depression? Is he being medicated in some way that isn't quite working? What's up?
Since Clay Waters has brought up Al Franken again, one more note that shows Al Franken has too many wild thoughts about executing political leaders. (And for the record, I'm fairly certain this did not come up in Franken's interviews at the time.) In Al Franken's book "Lies and the Lying Liars That Tell Them," he has a supposedly comic story about Vietnam titled “Operation Chickenhawk: Episode One.” On page 250, after courageous commander John Kerry saved Rush Limbaugh from certain doom, he told his imaginary chickenhawk men it was time to go again and “engage the enemy,” and asked “Are there any questions?” But the chickenhawks weren’t having that. It was time for some friendly fire.
Neither of President Bush's first two Supreme Court nominees, John Roberts and Harriet Miers, gave conservative and liberal interest groups the ideological showdown they've long been spoiling for.
The liberal interest groups absolutely wanted a showdown over John Roberts. NARAL started with the dishonest ad accusing Roberts of essentially supporting abortion-clinic bombers very early in the process. All of the Democrats on the judiciary committee tried to discredit Roberts. It wasn't possible - they tried to make a bogeyman out of him, and it didn't work. It remains astounding that an institution that could give Ruth Bader Ginsburg 96 votes for confirmation could only muster 78 for John Roberts.
But with Bush's selection Monday of federal appeals court Judge Samuel Alito, the battle is on. And it's shaping up to be as ugly as it is unavoidable.
On this one point, USA Today is correct. The battle is unavoidable, and it is bound to be ugly. As the Roberts battle was in many corners.
Conservative activists, who forced Bush to abandon Miers last week because she lacked the hard-right public record they wanted, were effusive in praise of Alito.
This is where they start to go through the looking-glass. There is some truth here, but just enough to mislead. Yes, there was great concern about Harriet Miers on the right, though most of it was not because she "lacked [a] hard-right public record" - the vast majority of the concern on the right was because of concerns about her qualifications. And it isn't only the political right that was concerned - all of the usual suspects on the left came out against Harriet Miers with their typical knee-jerk response to any Republican nominee.
Abortion-rights, women's rights and other groups declared the gauntlet thrown down and rushed into full counterattack.
There was no "attack" to counter - the "abortion-rights, women's rights and other groups" didn't rush into counterattack - they rushed in to attack. To attack Alito, to attack Bush, to attack conservative interest groups. All of the usual suspects generated all of the usual press releases, and the usual media played them in the usual fashion. As USA Today is doing here.
For Bush, under fire on several fronts and suffering the lowest poll ratings of his presidency, the nomination helped by calming one set of critics. But for observers like us, who prefer pragmatic nominees capable of drawing bipartisan support, it was a disappointing start.
Can we be honest here? This is nonsense. It is nonsense when Sen. Chuck Schumer goes to the floor of the Senate with it, and it's nonsense when the USA Today editorial staff repeats it. It's fantasy. There is no such thing as a "pragmatic nominee capable of drawing bipartisan support," at least not when there's a Republican in the White House. Such a beast just plain does not exist in this universe. (The closest you'll ever see to such is Harriet Miers, whose nomination drew bipartisan criticism...) Much like the abortion issue, on which the entire court system has become so politicized, there is a clash of absolutes in place, and it is not possible to find someone who will satisfy both sides. The liberal position is that they want the courts to enact policy positions that they like. They want a court to issue a Roe v. Wade to remove the abortion debate from legislative oversight. They want a Lawrence v. Texas, to force states to repeal sodomy laws. They want liberal justices to be able to look at foreign law and find support for Roper v. Simmons, ruling the death penalty unconstitutional for minors. They want judges to impose Gay marriage, another position that can't win at the ballot box. The conservative position is that either the Constitution means what it says, or it means nothing. Period. Lawrence v. Texas, Roe v. Wade, Roper v. Simmons are all bad decisions, not because the policy positions they establish are necessarily bad, but because the text of the Constitution does not support them. There is no common ground between these two visions. So it is utter nonsense to complain that the President has nominated someone who is not a "pragmatic nominee capable of drawing bipartisan support" - there just is no such thing.
More so because Alito would make the Supreme Court even less diverse. If Alito replaces Sandra Day O'Connor, the court will be disproportionately white (eight of nine justices), male (eight) and Ivy League (eight). None of these characteristics should disqualify anyone, but the court and nation benefit from diversity in life experience and world view.
This is more of the same. Obviously, there is no reason to suggest that "diversity" would be a bad thing. But the law and the constitution say what they say. If the reading is being significantly influenced by the race or gender of the reader, that's a bad thing.
The more important question, though, is whether Alito fits within a legal mainstream, and that can be answered only after thorough vetting. His credentials are sterling. But unlike other recent nominees, Alito has a long paper trail of judicial rulings, several of which raise questions about his respect for the rights of the individual.
Really? What decisions? What rights?
He has been a darling of anti-abortion activists because of his acceptance of restrictions that the Supreme Court has rejected, such as a Pennsylvania law requiring women to inform their husbands of abortions in advance.
Again, a dollop of truth ladled out to create a lie. Yes, he did dissent on one of the 5 sections of the Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision in 1992. Yes, the Supreme Court did rule against his position on that section. But, as has been clearly outlined elsewhere, his dissent was based entirely on the precedents that the Supreme Court had established, and which they had to modify (by a 5-4 vote) to rule his dissent incorrect. They're using a half-truth in a pejorative fashion.
He has narrowly interpreted the applicability of federal anti-discrimination laws. And he has challenged Congress' authority to ban possession of machine guns, endearing him to Second Amendment absolutists.
In other words, he has followed the law and the Constitution, rather than his "personal policy preferences." Just a paragraph or so back, they were concerned that his decisions "raise questions about his respect for the rights of the individual." Now they're concerned about Congress' right to ban machine guns from individuals. Does that sound like a concern about judicial principles, or specific policy positions? The latter, obviously.
These and other issues will provide grist for the dueling, multimillion-dollar ad campaigns over control of the court, put in play by the retirement of O'Connor, who has been pivotal in dozens of hot-button cases. If the past is any indicator, the truth will be bent into unrecognizable shapes in some of the advertising.
...and USA Today editorials...
That puts a great burden on the Senate Judiciary Committee. At Roberts' hearings, senators wasted time with speeches instead of questions — and failed to follow up when he responded with knowledgeable but evasive answers. The committee and the full Senate must determine whether Alito is the judicial ideologue welcomed by his cheerleaders and feared by his critics. Or, whether he can be expected to show the respect for the court's precedents that served O'Connor — and the nation — so well.
Which court precedent was Harry Blackmun following when he wrote Roe v. Wade? Which precedent was Sandra Day O'Connor following on Planned Parenthood v. Casey? She wasn't even following her own - Judge Alito was! The fact is, this editorial makes it clear - they're concerned not with precedent, but results. They want a justice to support liberal precedent.
Is it at all surprising that today's "site pass" advertisement entitling you to look at the left-wing Web site Salon.com is an ad for a PBS documentary starting tonight? Once again, PBS shows by its advertising decisions that it feels its natural audience is liberals.
"Rx for Survival," narrated by Brad Pitt, would be defended as an utterly nonpartisan piece that's pro-"global health." But even the episode descriptions betray a bit of tilt. Episode 5 "examines how an overabundance of nutrition — in the form of over-consumption — is causing an epidemic of obesity that is spreading across the globe." An epidemic of obesity? The tub-thumping on the "pressing need for global health systems" suggests some Carter Center/Clinton Global Initiative bias is going to seep through...
“IT'S OFFICIAL: 2005 WILL BE the newspaper industry's worst year since the last ad industry recession.”
So began an article from yesterday’s Media Daily News.
“‘Sadly, 2005 is shaping up as the industry's worst year from a revenue growth perspective since the recession impacted 2001-2002 period,’ says the report from Goldman Sachs, adding a warning that meaningful growth in 2006 is ‘very unlikely.’"
Wendy Wright at Concerned Women for America e-mailed that they had a surprise in their e-mail. It seems ABC reporter Linda Douglass sent them e-mail through their press person Stacey Holliday by mistake, an e-mail dripping sarcasm about their best wishes to Harriet Miers.
-----Original Message----- From: Douglass, Linda D [mailto:Linda.D.Douglass@abc.com] Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2005 10:14 AM To: Stacey Holliday Subject: Re: CWA Wishes Miss Miers All the Best
Ever the polite ladies, Concerned Women for America wish Miers "all the best". Yesterday they slammed her as someone who promotes a radical feminist agenda and called upon her to withdraw.
Bill Steigerwald writes for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review:
The New York Times and The Post -- living up to their left-liberal-Democrat reputations -- don't come close to achieving more than a sliver of ideological diversity. The entrenched liberals running the opinion shops at the Big Three are not genuinely interested in maximizing their ideological diversity. If they were, they could try some really radical stuff. They could, for example, allow folks from magazines, Internet sites and think tanks to guest-edit a whole page each week. Rich Lowry of National Review, Russ Rymer of Mother Jones, Nick Gillespie of Reason and countless other idea-mongers would probably do it for free. So would super-bloggers like Andrew Sullivan or Rush Limbaugh.
Welcome to the party, Bill. That's actually a great idea and Rush has already done it for the Wall Street Journal. As for the New York Times, I don't think it will ever happen.
Power is not derived from objectively telling others what happened yesterday, it comes from telling others what they should think about a given subject, and The New York Times is first and foremost a power company, not a news company. Don't hold your breath waiting for them to share this power with those they disagree with.
Via a tip from a reader...
Just when you though the media would have learned from USA Today's manipulating of photos of the Secretary of State, the New York Times run a photo in this article that gives conservative Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito a sickly green pallor.
Is this an accident, incompetence on the part of the NY Times, or a deliberate act by a liberal news organization to taint a conservative Supreme Court nominee?
This photo clearly violates the National Press Photographers Association Code of Ethics and Articles I, IV, V, and VI of the American Society of Newspaper Editors Statement of Principles.
On Sunday's The Chris Matthews Show, Norah O’Donnell claimed that Wolfowitz and Libby were "two of the angriest people" over the fact the US did not take out Saddam in the first Gulf War. The two then shared a laugh over Saddam's capture:
O'DONNELL: Two of the angriest people after the first Gulf War that we didn't go in and take out Saddam were Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby. They've been holding that grudge ---
MATTHEWS: I thought Cheney was kind of upset too, wasn't he?
O'DONNELL: Yes, but not publicly. BUT Wolfowitz and Libby were.
MATTHEWS: Well they got their way didn't they?
O'DONNELL: HAHAHA! (Eerie laugh)
*****At the end of the show, Chris Matthews said the milestone of 2,000 dead troops is the reason why we should pull out of Iraq now.
I wish the morality of this was clear for all to see, that the loss of these happy faces makes by it self the case against this war.
From television to newspapers, the media have gone wild over oil companies’ profit reports this week, asking “how much is too much?”
That question alone demonstrated journalists’ omission of free market principles in their reporting. America’s free market allows the small businessman to become a large business if he is able. Once companies are publicly traded, millions of others share in the business’s profits. Yet, the media have pitted businesses against consumers, leaving out the fact that these large companies distribute dividends to millions of individuals.
Covering oil companies’ profits, reporters operated on the assumption that there should be a profit ceiling for a business, and that anything above that would be unacceptable. They also attempted to whip up consumer “outrage,” even though it is consumer demand and oil scarcity that drive up prices – not an arbitrary decision by oil companies. Just a few highlights:
Bloggers are beginning to speculate about a new scandal that may effect New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Jon Corzine. Enlighten-New Jersey writes of an allegedly damaging videotape that may surface within the next few days. At this point the story involves nothing more than speculation.
Whether or not the story is true, the MSM's silence is significant. Had this story related to a Republican, every morning talk show would be speculating about it. The MSM had Rove convicted of outing a spy more than two years ago. The same shows have been speculating about secret grand jury proceedings for weeks.