What is not reported is often far more important than what is
The Media, Their Mouths and Their Minds
And you thought the media made it tough with their mouths open. They make things far more difficult when they choose to keep them shut.
Consuming news as a conservative is always an unappetizing proposition, given the Leftist slant to nearly everything on the menu. Being fed a steady diet of what collectively amounts to "You are wrong, and an ass (to boot) for what you think" leaves the average diner unsatisfied.
We are delivered so many servings of these media bias sins of commission we have been forced to make antacids the fifth food group. Here at the Media Research Center we find ourselves perpetually understaffed and overwhelmed in our efforts to chronicle it all. (We were going to address this by conducting a hostile takeover of the New York Times, but we found them to be too hostile and with too little left to take over.)
Was it a change of heart or manipulating the media? My personal opinion is of the latter, and I've gathered several reactions from other bloggers that seem to agree. The way the media is reporting it right now, Mike just made a stupid mistake and it is backfiring already.
The media does, and they have with Liberals devised the perfect way to do it. It is the "pay-as-you-go" Congressional budgeting rule -- Pay-Go. It requires every move that Congress makes be "budget neutral"; every new spending initiative must be paid for - no more deficit spending.
How could anyone, Conservatives especially, not be enraptured with such a concept?
As Chief White House correspondent for NBC, there is no doubt David Gregory has danced his way through a lot of fast breaking stories in Washington, DC. Little did we know just how much practice Gregory had been getting of late.
On December 19, Gregory danced around the economy's "Naughty and Nice" list with Jim ‘Cramer Claus.' But while filling in for ‘Today' host Matt Lauer on December 20, Gregory pulled out all the stops. Demonstrating what looked like an audition for ABC's ‘Dancing with the Stars,' Gregory expressed his enjoyment of guest Mary J. Blige's performance by dancing along.
Was This the Slipping Digit?Found within the confines of the Los Angeles Times "Top of the Ticket" blog -- actually in its URL address -- is an interesting bit of a slip of the thumb (or finger, as I have no idea how Mister Andrew Malcolm types).
The entry is entitled "Is (Hillary Rodham) Clinton now planting people in campaign forums?" (we at MRCwould neverinsinuatesuch a thing), and is the average, tepid writing one has come to expect from Hollywood's ideological twin of New York's Times.
It is their web address that is more than a bit amusing:
It's a first. The New York Times is admitting that one of their headlines slamming the Bush White House was an outright lie. Such a lie that they had to change it when the White House complained. Of course, the original subhead had trumpeted how White House spokesman Dana Perino lied to the American people, but when Perino pointed out that she never even said what the Times claimed, they had to face the truth and change the original. This is the sort of junk "reporting" you get when you have an agenda to push... truth be damned.
On the 19th, the Times had published a front-page story on the CIA's destruction of interrogation tapes made of Islamofascist detainees, but the subhead made it seem as if the White House was straight out lying about their knowledge of the situation. The original subhead screamed "White House Role Was Wider Than It Said," but what was it the White House "said" about the issue, anyway?
Turns out, not a thing. Literally... not a single thing!
Suppose for a moment that Al Qaeda operatives who used pharmaceutical factories in Sudan and Yemen for the purpose of manufacturing deadly chemicals decided to ply their trade in China, where lax standards and deleterious practices have already claimed lives?
This unsavory scenario has been missed in media reports and public policy discussions circulating around dangerous and unsafe Chinese imports that were discovered in American markets last year, and are most likely “lurking on shelves this holiday” season, Richard Miniter warns in a just released report entitled: “Buyers Remorse: How America Has Failed to See the Threat Posed by Dangerous Chinese Goods and the Case for `Safe Trade.’ ”
Miniter is a best selling author and a fellow at the Hudson Institute.
Like many Reaganites, he was no media darling; at least not initially.
In fact, he was intensely ridiculed at home and abroad in newspapers and magazines that frequently called his credentials and his intelligence into question. The media onslaught directed against William P. Clark was replete with misrepresentations and inaccuracies that were nevertheless widely circulated in the 1980s a political science professor, and best-selling author maintains in a recently released biography entitled "The Judge."
Although he was responsible for crafting "highly respected opinions" for the appellate and supreme courts in California, Clark remained "The Forever Unqualified Man" in eyes of the news media, Paul Kengor explains his new book.
Behold some of the many extraordinary excerpts therefrom:
In the book "Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell You About Hillary Clinton, but Conservatives Will," by L. Brent Bozell and Tim Graham, the inside cover asks, Why Hillary? "How did the first lady to a disgraced impeached president become a presidential front-runner despite never having held elective office before 2001; her staggering number of personal political and financial scandals and her leftist political agenda?"
The authors have a ready answer: a media so enamored of Hillary Clinton that they have no problem shamefully protecting, defending, promoting, covering up her numerous scandals, and relentlessly advancing her presidential ambitions.
Quickly reacting to the December 9 Washington Post's front page revelation yesterday that some Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knew about waterboarding interrogation techniques YEARS ago, Time's Joe Klein sought to silence criticism of Democratic hypocrisy.
The media's reaction to the November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear weapon program has been as grandiose as it is selective, inaccurate and wrong-headed.
The single excerpt they chose to trumpet, that the report proffers with "high confidence" that Iran halted weapons development in 2003, maximized their ability to bash President George W. Bush for being wrong all along about one third of his Axis of Evil.
The MSM has characterized as "war mongering" and "the politics of fear" Bush's consistent and prudent imputations to keep our eye on -- amongst other things -- the spinning Persian ball. They allege the Administration wielded these Terror implements to rush us into battle in Iran and to ensure electoral wins here at home.
Apparently, the Philly Inquirer wants us to know that the GOP candidates for president are drooling, half sentient, Bible thumping, gun toting, racists. Oh, and Fred Thompson is stupid and lazy. Just as apparently, the Philadelphia Inquirer is having trouble finding writers for their rag. I mean, what else could explain their giving a teenager a shot at filling space in the Sunday issue? Of course, I could be wrong. It could be that Dick Polman only writes like a 15-year-old. Worse, Polman seems to have sold himself to the Inquirer as some sort of comedian with "The American Debate, For the love of guns, God and Reagan," too. But, if he IS an adult and really does think his Sunday piece is funny, well, there's no accounting for taste -- or sense -- on the far left, I suppose. I guess the joke is on the readers of the Inquirer.
Washington Post staffers Jonathan Weisman and Steven Mufson gaver readers of the December 7 paper an article on a "comprehensive energy bill" that passed the House of Representatives without delving into Republican criticism that the bill lacks any provision to produce or procure more energy domestically, such as from interior and off-shore natural gas and oil reserves.
Weisman and Mufson noted in the lede that the bill will raise "fuel-efficiency standards" and "require increased use of renewable energy sources" and later quickly dispatched with Republican opposition by finely chopping Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner's (R-Ohio) criticism:
Even House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) -- who assails the measure as a "no-energy" bill and as a tax increase that would raise, not lower, energy costs -- lauded the CAFE (corporate average fuel efficiency) standards as a good and reasonable compromise.
Oh really? On it's "Online Newshour" Web page, PBS -- hardly a right-wing news venue -- gave readers more of Boehner's critical quote:
Director's Note: In my rush to get to a meeting, I neglected to give credit where credit is due. David G., you are indeed the Man. -- SM
(Yet Another) Smarter Than the MediaAs wily and wary as we have come to know the media to be, the many members of Team Clinton just keep out-Foxing them (apologies for the mention of the Hellish network).
In a great many of the media's post-game analyses of the Thursday, December 6th Mitt Romney religion speech, including that of the Associated Press, we are treated to the negative reactions thereto of one Costas Panagopoulos, who is rightly (if only partially) identified as "a political science professor at Fordham University".
Amongst his many analytical stylings on Romney's effort:
Business & Media Institute Director Dan Gainor appeared on the Fox Business Network December 6 to discuss how the media is choosing sides in the subprime housing problem.
"All throughout this whole year and actually if you go back in the last year and before [the media] have been pointing out that the lenders are the bad guys...CBS News who actually did an okay report last night, then the example they use is someone who has a 6.6% adjustable rate adjusting up to 9.6%, they've got a house the size of a mansion and they've got horses."
Gainor said the important thing that journalists fail to do is to get both the lenders and the home buyer's viewpoints.
Congress.org, a service of Capitol Advantage and Knowlegis LLC -- "private, non-partisan companies that specialize in facilitating civic participation" -- seems to have a partisan problem. This past weekend, their main page featured its "Hot Topics in Congress," and the subject of the Iraq "surge" was featured prominently (including a pic of John Murtha).
Notice the two links shown. Now, if you think the surge is indeed working, you'll click the "Yes, the surge is working" link, right?
I'll be live-blogging the press conference (mostly just the questions from the journalists as we're focused on the bias) and if a video update is warranted, we'll post one shortly after the conference concludes:
10:44 closes press conference, leaves podium.
10:41: Mark Silva, Chicago Tribune, says reading Bush's body language he can tell he's "somewhat dispirited." Then he says "the facts have failed you" on things he's telling the American people. Quotes Harry Reid. "Are you feeling troubled... credibility gap?"
10:37: unid'd reporter "Wolf" asks about if Bush's personal relationship with the Democrats in Congress is affecting getting legislation through.
10:35: another unid'd reporter named "Wolf" asks Bush to react to 2008 U.S. presidential race
10:35: reporter asks if he discussed Russian elections with Putin
10:33: unidentified reporter asks Bush if in his conversation with Putin if he asked him to not sell uranium to Iran.
10:30: Baier, Fox News: "What does the vote in Venezuela mean for the U.S.? .... What's your reaction to Chavez opponents winning?"
Dictator-groupies Sean Penn, Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover are at it again. They are among the “artists, scholars and performers” calling themselves “representatives of the cultural sphere in the US,” who sent a letter to President Bush asking him to “end the travel ban,” allowing a cultural exchange between nations.
Most troubling is the group did not address Cuba's lack of freedom and limited their travel demands to Cuba's “artists and scholars.” That wasn't a mistake. As faithful fans of the Cubano Dear Leader, they don't care about all Cubans' ability to travel, just those carefully-selected Party-approved “artists and scholars." Under heavy guard, of course, to avoid more embarrassing defections.
The surveyor will see you now Journalist and Pollster (Either Or)
As an increasing number of Americans exhibit knowledge of and confidence in the success of the surge in Iraq, pollsters seeking a gloomier picture have turned to their single most reliable focus group for bad news. They have in fact skipped the middle men and women and gone to its very font: the media.
Nearly 90 percent of U.S. journalists in Iraq say much of Baghdad is still too dangerous to visit, despite a recent drop in violence attributed to the build-up of U.S. forces, a (Pew Research Center) poll released on Wednesday said.
One wonders if this is the same 90% of correspondents who admitted to voting for President Bill Clinton twice; certainly a great deal of overlap exists between the two polling samples.
Trent Lott, once a favored whipping boy of the mainstream media for unfortunate and poorly-worded comments at Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday bash, is now being hailed by the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman as a great statesman as he exits the U.S. Senate.
Weisman's page A4 profile, "As Lott Leaves the Senate, Compromise Appears to Be a Lost Art," paints a picture of a U.S. Senate descending into perpetual gridlock thanks to partisanship. Yet Weisman seems to lay all the blame for partisan gridlock on Republican shoulders, assigning no blame to the Democrats who now control the august deliberative body.:
States once represented by common-ground dealmakers, including John Breaux (D-La.), David L. Boren (D-Okla.), James M. Jeffords (I-Vt.) and Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.), are now electing ideological stalwarts, such as David Vitter (R-La.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).
Only one of those "stalwarts" is a liberal, the socialist professor-turned-politician Bernie Sanders. Other left-wing ideologues like Sens. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and of course Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) apparently escaped Weisman's attention.
Indeed, while Reid's Senate is one-half of a Congress with abysmal public approval ratings, Weisman lamented that with the Senate "almost dysfunctional" that "new power centers," such as "pragmatist" dealmakers like Trent Lott "are difficult to find."
Wash, spin, rinse, spin. Phone, spin, report, spin, poll, spin. The similarities between the work of the mainstream media and a laundry machine are striking. Yet there is nothing about the cycle -- the spin-report-poll-spin cycle -- that does for political events what detergent does for your boxers or briefs.
The media, as One, spend days or weeks bashing someone or something they do not like. They then conduct a poll to prove to you that they were right all along. In a campaign season, their one-sided coverage is calculated, then executed to produce a result. It’s not about reporting the events, it’s about changing the prevailing view.
And the polls -- such as the ones by the media, which are not independent surveys like those undertaken by the likes of Rasmussen or Gallup -- aren’t intended as much to gauge the public view of a candidate or events as they are to reinforce that which they have “reported”, or provide the media guidance on how effective their spinning of the news has been.
Are voters sick of taxes? Gov. Chris Gregoire is worried enough about angry voters to call a special legislative session to reinstate I-747's tax limit.
That's how the Seattle Post-Intelligencer website front page teased a November 26 story by state capitol correspondent Chris McGann. The bottom line is that the Democratic governor -- who eked out a narrow victory in 2004 after a drawn-out recount process -- has called the state legislature to convene on November 29 in a special session to address a court ruling that struck down I-747, a tax limitation measure that voters approved six years ago.
McGann found a politicial scientist and a Democratic state legislative leader to suggest that voters are not really all that steamed about high taxes. By contrast, McGann produced just one man, Tim Eyman, to suggest voters in Washington State are fed up with high taxes.
What's more, nowhere does McGann find any conservatives to suggest that Washington State voters might chafe at their legislators failing to do anything to address overreaching or judicial activism by the court that struck down a ballot initiative approved by the voters themselves.
Here's an excerpt of McGann's article, with portions in bold reflecting my emphasis.:
Team Edwards, both eminently coiffed candidate John and his designated political hitter bride Elizabeth, on Wednesday, Novemeber 21st cancelled their scheduled appearance on The View, doing so, according to the UnDynamic Duo, to “honor the members of the Writers Guild of America”, who are currently on strike.
Not to be outpandered, Michelle Obama, wife of the incredibly audacious Barack, later that same day pulled out of her December 5th guest co-hosting duties.
Obviously, sucking up is more important than being sucked up to in Democratic presidential politics.
This is related to nearly every Donkey candidate promising to not participate in a scheduled December 10th CBS debate (moderated by the ratings Juggernaut Katie Couric) should their news writers decide to join their union brethren and sistren (one must be, in this age of PC, all-inclusive) and abandon that foundering network vessel to the waves unscribed.
Yesterday I noted that the Washington Post's John Wagner virtually cheered Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and the Democratic Maryland General Assembly for its recently-concluded, tax-hiking special legislative session. Well today the hosannas migrated from the front page to the editorial one. The closing paragraphs are rather telling (emphasis mine):
Politically, Mr. O'Malley will have more than higher taxes to show for his gamble. The new revenue will not only close the deficit, it will also help to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, extend health-care coverage to 100,000 lower-income Marylanders, build public schools, and add facilities for state colleges and universities. In addition, and critically, the governor secured about $420 million in fresh annual revenue for transportation, the biggest infusion of new money in 15 years...
Facing a budget shortfall due in large part to overspending in years past, Gov. Martin O'Malley called a special session of the Maryland General Assembly to consider a package of tax hikes and a referendum on legalizing slot machines. Now that the freshman Democratic governor has proven successful in pushing through both, the Washington Post congratulated O'Malley with a front page article replete with pats on the back and attaboys from O'Malley's fellow Democrats. The icing on the cake: a signing ceremony photograph (shown above*) of O'Malley that appears to show him pumping his fist in victory.
Staff writer John Wagner opened his November 20 article with triumphal language that painted O'Malley as a respected statesman:
The U.S. military plans to seek a criminal case in an Iraqi court against an award-winning Associated Press photographer but is refusing to disclose what evidence or accusations would be presented.
An AP attorney on Monday strongly protested the decision, calling the U.S. military plans a “sham of due process.” The journalist, Bilal Hussein, has already been imprisoned without charges for more than 19 months.
Veteran Maryland political commentator, radio show host and White House correspondent Les Kinsolving often calls Maryland "The Land of Political Enchantment," and indeed the Old Line State never fails to enchant natives and outsiders alike with its bizarre --William Donald Schaefer comes to mind-- and often corrupt politicos.
Yet although the state is famously blue-hued with an overwhelmingly Democratic General Assembly, you can count on the media to ignore the party affiliation of Democratic state legislators who run afoul of the law.
Such was the case with the Associated Press today ignoring former state senator Thomas Bromwell's Democratic Party affiliation. AP follows the Washington Post's lead (see my July 24 article) in ignoring Bromwell's party connections.
The New York Times newspaper headlined its article about the recently concluded United Nations-sponsored Internet conference in Brazil as US Control of Internet Remains Issue. However, as is usual with the Times, while the tone of the article was complaining about the fact that the United States maintains control over the core Internet, they offered no evidence that handing over control to a foreign or even worse, a UN-controlled entity would be better. As the Associated Press article used by the Times reports,
A U.N.-sponsored Internet conference ended Thursday with little to show in closing the issue of U.S. control over how people around the world access e-mail and Web sites. With no concrete recommendations for action, the only certainty going forward is that any resentment about the American influence will only grow as more users from the developing world come online, changing the face of the global network.