MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared opposite liberal radio talk show host Mike Papantonio on the April 24 "Fox & Friends" program in two short segments in the 8 a.m. half-hour. Topics included the cancellation of a planned CBS North Carolina Democratic primary debate and the recent Los Angeles Times's article hinting that John McCain "may face "fitness questions" in light of his U.S. Navy disability pension. [see video here; audio available here]
In the first segment, Bozell applauded ABC for a hard-hitting Pennsylvania debate and lamented that the primary debates up to it had mostly been "a farce." In the second, the MRC president slammed the April 22 Ralph Vartabedian article in the Times as worse than being a mere "cheap-shot," it's just merely "stupid" and nonsensical.
The Chicago Tribune continued today to dance around the party affiliation of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) in its ongoing coverage of the Tony Rezko trial. [See Lyndsi Thomas's March 18 blog post here]
While Blagojevich's party affiliation was not explicitly mentioned, writers Jeff Coen and Bob Secter did note that a former Democratic fundraiser has testified that the governor "linked state contracts, business and favors with the raising of campaign cash." That came 20 paragraphs deep into the 26-paragraph article:
Ali Ata, a former high-ranking Blagojevich administration official, pleaded guilty Tuesday in a separate criminal case involving Rezko. Ata admitted he bought his $127,000-a-year state job by bribing Rezko and making campaign contributions to Blagojevich.
Tuesday's plea by Ata could have significant implications for both Rezko and Blagojevich. Ata becomes the third person to testify under oath that the governor had direct knowledge of Rezko's activities. Both Stuart Levine and former national Democratic fundraiser Joe Cari testified about separate conversations with Blagojevich in which he linked state contracts, business and favors with the raising of campaign cash.
Let's say the year is 2006 and you're the Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. A story breaks that you "received donations from an Alabama contractor" but you flatly deny it has anything to do with "a $2.6 million no-bid contract for the company in a national defense bill."
There's no doubt, particularly given the media's Republican "culture of corruption" meme that year that your party registration and chairmanship of the intel committee would be front-and-center when reporting the story.
But fast forward two years and that's precisely what the El Paso Times withheld from readers in the case of hometown congressman Silvestre Reyes. Rep. Reyes (D-Texas) has chaired the Intelligence Committee since Democrats regained the majority in the House of Representatives in January 2007, yet neither his influential post as chairman nor his Democratic party affiliation were mentioned by reporter Ramon Bracamontes in an April 16 article (h/t Peter DeNitto).
Bracamontes cited a Reyes statement denying allegations of impropriety:
The Media's Reaction to George and CharlieCall it the Audacity of Journalism.
ABC's Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos slipped and let a bit of actual reporting seep into their Democrat Presidential debate moderation efforts on April 16. They mistakenly engaged in fifty minutes worth of pertinent inquiry, largely regarding the patriotic perspectives and numerous troubling relationships of Illinois Senator Barack Obama -- and to a lesser extent examining the fact that New York Senator Hillary Clinton has a Herculean ability to create her Living History out of whole cloth.
The response from the Left has been withering and unremitting.
The cable network MSNBC has refused to air an advertisement from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group created by New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg,on the grounds that the ad is too "controversial."
The ad, below, features each of the three leading presidential candidates pledging to make it harder to buy guns at gun shows, and images of three mayors urging viewers to call Congress and ask that a bill closing the "gun-show loophole" be passed.
The ad is airing on CNN and Fox, and on affiliates around the country, a Bloomberg aide said.
While the word "humane" does appear within the Supreme Court's ruling today upholding Kentucky's lethal injection method of execution, is it biased of Los Angeles Times reporter David Savage to put the term in quote marks in his lede? I'm leaning towards yes.:
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court cleared the way today for executions to resume across the nation, ruling that lethal injections, if properly carried out, are a "humane" means of ending a condemned individual's life.
The court upheld Kentucky's use of lethal injections by a surprisingly large 7-2 vote.
Four men that greased the wheels of the Daley machine in Chicago had their federal convictions upheld by an appeals judge, the Chicago Sun-Times noted in an April 16 article. Yet although Daley is a lifelong Democrat and the Democrats run Chicago lock, stock, and barrel, the Sun-Times failed to even casually mention either Daley's or Gov. Blagojevich's Democratic bona fides.
The federal appellate court in Chicago Tuesday upheld the conviction of four men charged with running the patronage hiring system in Mayor Daley's City Hall.
The ruling sent waves of angst through City Hall, Gov. Blagojevich's office and other government offices where some had hoped the court would find the age-old practice of giving plum government jobs to cronies was legal.
The former Daley aides -- Robert Sorich, Tim McCarthy, John Sullivan and Patrick Slattery -- were convicted of mail fraud:
Just in time for Tax Day, the April 13 issue of Parade magazine gave readers left-wing talking points on corporate taxation dressed up as objective reporting.
Contributor Gary Weiss cited two left-wing interest groups and liberal Democratic congressman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) in "Are You Paying For Corporate Fat Cats?" By the end of the article, readers are all but left to seethe an angry "yes!" to that question.
Yet at no point were any economists consulted to point out that corporate tax levies are always ultimately paid by the consumer, who bears the final cost of goods and services produced by the taxed corporations. Taxes are yet one more input cost into final goods and services. So simply put, corporations don't pay taxes, individuals do.
Weiss failed to tackle the political slant of the groups he consulted, which were merely tagged as nonprofits. A quick Google search of the groups makes clear the liberal slant of the organizations.
None of the April 11 editions of the network morning shows: ABC's "Good Morning America," CBS's "The Early Show," and NBC's "Today," noted the April 10 unanimous ruling of the California Supreme Court striking down a San Francisco handgun ban.
I mean, what other reasons could this possibly be newsworthy besides that:
So DeBord apparently thinks ribbons worn on the service dress uniform are the equivalent of "flair" that Chotchkie's waiters wore in the comedy classic "Office Space"? Here's how DeBord began his screed against Petraeus being decked out in "martial bling":
Our news analysts at the MRC have combed through the April 9 editions of ABC's "Good Morning America," CBS's "The Early Show," and NBC's "Today," and found zero mentions of the comments that Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) made smearing McCain and military pilots past and present.
Yesterday I noted how news agencies were slow to cover the story, and certainly were not blowing up the incident into a major gaffe for Sen. Barack Obama, whom Rockefeller supports for president, to publicly and personally denounce.
ABC White House reporter Martha Raddatz (file photo at right), formerly that network's Pentagon correspondent, is clueless when it comes to federal law regarding U.S. military personnel and what they can and cannot say publicly about their politics, bloggers Richard Gardner and James Joyner argue in an April 8 post at Outside the Beltway.
Why not “Government Employees Cannot Participate in Partisan Political Activity”? Or how about government employees are not allowed to state who they support politically? How about government employees are NOT allowed to vote? How about UNION government employees are not allowed to vote?
Gardner went on to quote an excerpt in which Raddatz equated servicemen expressing "their personal endorsements" -- that is telling people for whom they plan to vote -- to engaging "in partisan political activity" which "the military is not supposed" to do.
Gardner called Raddatz on the absurdity of her statement:
War veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have been touring the country over the past few weeks in an effort to focus public attention on recent strategic gains in the war against terrorism. Vets for Freedom(VFF) is a non-partisan organization with 20,000 members and 44 chapters. Captain Pete Hegseth, who served with the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq in 2005 and part of 2006, serves as the executive director.
The VFF's "National Heroes Tour" was launched aboard the U.S.S. Midway in San Diego, California in mid-March and included stops in Los Angeles; Phoenix, Ariz.; San Antonio, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Columbia, S.C. and Virginia Beach, Va. Today the Vets are visiting Capitol Hill where they are working to persuade members of Congress to fully support the military mission in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The tour continues up to New York City tomorrow.
Another Empire State Democrat appears ensnared in a juicy political scandal involving misappropriated money and political patronage.
An article in the April 3 New York Post reports that New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s office has been hoarding millions of dollars in taxpayer money. The money was allocated to fake organizations so that it could be saved and used later for political favors.
The Post noted that the money constituted what essentially turned out to be a “slush fund” for the Speaker as it was later used at Quinn's discretion whether it be to reward loyal groups or to provide funding for projects of favored council members.
The Post's Frankie Edozien should be congratulated for the exclusive, but one thing is missing from the story: Quinn’s political party affiliation. Although the newspaper reported that this “bogus bookkeeping” is subject to federal as well as city investigations, not once did the New York Post note that Quinn is a Democrat. NewsBusters appreciates good investigative reporting, but it is important to be consistent in labeling political party affiliation.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich's (D-Ill.) name has cropped up quite a few times in the ongoing trial of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) benefactor Tony Rezko. Yet in their latest coverage, both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times left out Blagojevich's party affiliation. The Sun-Times, however, did take note of the Republican party affiliation of another politico caught up in the maelstrom, William Cellini (see screencap at right, photos via AP/Sun-Times).
The caption for a photo montage accompanying the April 3 article "Levine: Blagojevich knew", reads, "Clockwise from left: Gov. Rod Blagojevich; Tony Rezko; Stuart Levine;Chicago businessman-turned-Hollywood producer Tom Rosenberg; longtime Illinois Republican Party power William Cellini."
Tribune staffers Bob Secter and Jeff Coen also covered the development in a story filed shortly after midnight Eastern time on April 3.
A federal judge on April 1 ordered Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), a veteran liberal legislator and Saddam Hussein stooge, to pay Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) $1 million for an illegally-taped 1996 phone conversation. Even the Associated Press, which we've taken to task numerous times for dropping party labels, noted McDermott's party affiliation. Not so the Seattle Times, McDermott's hometown paper:
A federal judge in Washington, D.C., says Congressman Jim McDermott owes an Ohio congressman $1 million for leaking an illegally taped phone call to the media.
Today's decision may end the dispute that began in 1996 when John Boehner (BAY'-ner) was taped talking about an ethics case involving Newt Gingrich. The tape reached McDermott who gave it two newspapers. He says it's a free speech issue.
Boehner sued and the case has been in the courts for a decade. A federal court ruled McDermott had no right to release the call.
Update: Reaction from document examiner Emily Will added at bottom of post (April 3 | 13:02 EDT)
Mary Mapes (file photo at right), the former CBS producer behind the Bush National Guard memo scandal that eventually felled Dan Rather's career has a post up at the liberal Nation magazine's Web site insisting that comparisons between Memogate and the L.A. Times falling for fake documents about Tupac Shakur's murder are "simplistic, unfounded and unfair." (h/t Patterico)
Apparently, there's a profound difference between trying to sway a presidential election with questionable documentary evidence and messing with Tupac.
Mapes defended her work in Memogate before turning, predictably, to fire on the Bush administration. Of course in doing so, Mapes, who had just finished defending her reliability as a journalist, laid out at least two commonly-repeated falsehoods propagated by the Left about the Iraq war. First, Mapes insisted that:
The greatest fraud perpetrated in modern journalistic history was the Bush Administration's linking of Iraq to September 11.
But the Bush administration never argued such a thing in the lead-up to the war. As the BBC, hardly a Bush cheerleader, rightly noted in September 2003:
Which is what Limbaugh has dubbed his call for Republicans to cross over -- where legal -- to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic Presidential primaries. In so doing he hopes to prolong as much as possible the Democrat primary process.
Limbaugh began Operation CHAOS in advance of the March 4th primaries and primary/caucus held in Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont and Texas. It appeared to be at least somewhat effective beyond just ruffling Abrams' feathers, as HRC won three of the four (losing only in Vermont). Which is when Abrams first resorted to Limbaugh name calling -- at least in this regard.
The Big Three Networks and Their Plan to Protect Obama (PPO)Why did it take until Thursday March 13, 2008, for the nation to begin to learn about Barack Obama's pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright? The man whose Trinity United Church of Christ Obama has attended and generously funded for seventeen years? Whom he had publicly and repeatedly cited as his mentor and had named as a campaign advisor? Whom he chose to perform his wedding and baptize his two daughters?
Because, until then, we were in the midst of Phase I -- preventative medicine -- of the media's version of campaign health care for the Senator's Presidential bid. Call it the Plan to Protect Obama (PPO).
The Reverend Wright story had been percolating beneath the surface for several years. It finally broke through to widespread dissemination last week. A picture is worth a thousand words -- moving pictures with audio of Wright's anti-American, paranoid rantings from the pulpit have finally inspired many more than that.
Although it already weighed in on Monday about District of Columbia v. Heller, the Post is clearly worried that the Court will find, shockingly enough, an individual right to keep and bear arms in the text of the Second Amendment. So the legal solons at the Post penned a second layman's lame brief, "Judging Guns," in the March 20 paper (emphasis mine):
BY THE END of oral arguments Tuesday in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, a majority of Supreme Court justices seemed to embrace the notion that the Second Amendment recognizes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Such a conclusion, however, should not automatically prove fatal to the District's admittedly tough gun control law.
Every right, including freedom of speech, is subject to some limitations. The legal and public policy arguments for allowing broad government regulation of firearms are compelling.
Yesterday NewsBusters contributor and MRC News Analysis Division intern Lyndsi Thomas noted the Chicago Tribune leaving out the Democratic Party affiliations of two politicians tied up in the Tony Rezko trial: Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Chicago Alderman Richard Mell, the governor's father-in-law.
In light of our ongoing analysis of liberal media coverage of the District of Columbia v. Heller gun ban case, yesterday NewsBusters Senior Editor Rich Noyes brought to my attention a 2005 survey of journalists that found some 31 percent found the right to keep and bear arms unnecessary and non-essential to their personal liberty.
That study's findings don't appear to remain archived online, but Noyes happened to have saved a print copy. Below the fold you can find the responses to the relevant question from a Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll of journalists. The very same poll found that 68 percent of respondents voted for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) and that self-described conservatives numbered only seven percent of those polled.
On the gun question, 31 percent of respondents thought that the 2nd Amendment's guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms was "not necessary." It was the highest "not necessary" rating for any constitutionally-protected right listed in the survey.
District of Columbia v. Heller goes to the Supreme Court today, as a group of Washington, D.C. residents contend that the ban on operable firearms inside homes in the District of Columbia—including an outright ban on handguns not registered prior to 1976—violates the Second Amendment and is unconstitutional.
Robert A. Levy, co-counsel to Heller has an op-ed posted in today's Boston Globe that highlights the correct individual rights argument.
Predictably, the editorial board of the New York Times has an op-ed of their own against the individual rights perspective, which they seem to feel applies to the First Amendment, but not the Second.
As the ongoing Tony Rezko trial yields more news of corruption, once again the mainstream media aren't identifying the party affiliation of the Democratic perpetrators. This time, the culprit is the Chicago Tribune in an article regarding a witness testimony that Alderman Richard Mell, father-in-law of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, hoped to receive kickbacks from an insider deal at a state pension fund. The article goes on to describe this new information along with the details of the deal for which Mell hoped.
The Tribune also noted that this finding adds to the "Mell-Blagojevich relationship that has devolved to downright dysfunctional in recent years."
Yet despite running a thirty paragraph article over two pages, the Tribune failed to recognize either Mell or Blagojevich are Democrats.
Perhaps it was his attempt at balance, but CNN's Bill Mears cast a cloud over the constitutional right to keep and bear arms by stacking his March 18 article about today's District of Columbia v. Heller case in "personal" terms that focused heavily on the victim of a tragic school shooting. What's more, Mears put the constitutional language about the right to keep and bear arms within the dreaded dismissive quote marks (emphasis mine):
Shelly Parker wants to know why she cannot keep a handgun in her house. As a single woman she has been threatened by neighborhood drug dealers in a city where violent crime rates are on the rise.
"In the event that someone does get in my home, I would have no defense, except maybe throw my paper towels at them," she said. But Parker lives in the nation's capital, which does not allow its residents to possess handguns.
Elilta "Lily" Habtu thinks that is how it should be. She knows about gun violence firsthand, surviving bullets to the head and arm fired by the Virginia Tech University shooter nearly a year ago.
It's "paternalistic" for the U.S. Supreme Court to tell a D.C. woman she can't have a partial-birth abortion. But it would be "perverse ideological purity" for the high court to strike down the city's handgun ban that leaves her defenseless in her own home against burglars or abusive ex-boyfriends. That's the logic flowing from that great fount of legal wisdom, the Washington Post editorial board.
It's not often we criticize newspaper editorials, after all, bias occurs in slanted reporting. One expects opinion in editorials. But I thought it worth pointing out to NewsBusters readers the hypocrisy of the Post vehemently opposing Second Amendment rights but screaming bloody murder when the Supreme Court dared to uphold one federal law outlawing a particularly brutal form of abortion.
In an April 19, 2007 editorial slamming the Court for upholding a federal partial-birth abortion ban, the Post's editorial board lambasted (emphasis mine) "the majority's paternalistic pretense that the law can be justified by Congress's interest 'in protecting the integrity and ethics of the medical profession' and in protecting pregnant women from making a choice they may come to regret."
Yet the Post showed no concern for the District of Columbia's paternalistic handgun ban and its violence to the plain meaning of the Second Amendment. Indeed, in a March 17 editorial, the Washington Post called on the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in Tuesday's District of Columbia v. Heller case in such a way that maximizes government's power to regulate the right to keep and bear arms (emphasis mine):
It's a funny thing about the Bill of Rights. Rather than view each Amendment's protections as equally valid, many (but not all) liberals tend to enshrine some as sacrosanct but dismiss others at antiquated. Hence the First and Fourth amendments and their protections of free speech and press and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure respectively are held in extremely high regard, with state or federal restrictions on these rights held to strict scrutiny. But the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bears arms, eh, not so much.
But shouldn't a major newspaper like the Los Angeles Times take due care to not echo that line of thinking in its reporting? Above at right is a screen capture for a teaser headline on the L.A. Times Web page that hints that the First Amendment's protections are more iron-clad in their nature as individual rights than the Second's guarantee of firearm ownership rights.
What's more, in the third paragraph of reporter David Savage's article, the writer seems to suggest the Second Amendment does not guarantee the right to keep and bear arms because, well, the Supreme Court hasn't said as much (emphasis mine):
It's not as salient an issue as Obama's controversial pastor, but this couldn't be good news for the Illinois senator, that is, if the rest of the MSM follow this story.
In a post this morning at The Swamp blog, Mike Dorning of the Chicago Tribune notes earmarks that Democratic presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama inserted in legislation that would have his benefited his wife's hospital:
Among the pork-barrel spending requests Barack Obama has made since arriving in the U.S. Senate is $1 million for the hospital where his wife worked at the time and $8 million for weapons technology made by a big defense contractor with close ties to a major fundraiser.
Not Minding Their Ps & QsWe on Thursday brought you the Agence France-Presse (AFP)'s ludicrous labeling of self-ousted New York Governor Eliot Spitzer as an (R). This after a week's worth of the Gong Show Media's failure or utter refusal to ascribe any Party affiliation to the man.
Well, we have heard word from the horse's ... mouth.
DScott, an intrepid NewsBusters participant, contacted AFPto point out their inanity. And in the wee small hours of Friday morning -- they wrote back.
DScott was generous enough to share it with us, and we now, in turn, share it with you:
Contemplating the SwitchThose of us who have been participating in the Eliot Spitzer Media Waiting Game -- halting our respitory activity in anticipation of the Jurassic Press actually ascribing Party affiliation to the recently resigned Big Apple Governor -- can finally breathe easy.
The Agence-France Presse and Yahoo! have teamed up to finally do what's right.