In its classic "fair and balanced" tradition, CBS slanted in favor of Democrats its poll that found Bush has a 34 percent approval rating and a 59 percent disapproval rating, an all-time high for a CBS poll.
On the bottom of the PDF version of the poll (page 18) it says how many Democrats versus Republicans were contacted.
"Total Republicans" contacted: 272 unweighted and 289 weighted.
"Total Democrats" contacted: 409 unweighted and 381 weighted.
"Total Independents" contacted: 337 unweighted and 348 weighted.
Brent Baker also noted how CBS failed to highlight a key portion of its poll on the Feb. 27 "CBS Evening News." 66 percent of respondents thought the media devoted "too much time" to Cheney's hunting accident.
Here in Annapolis, Maryland, local, state, and national media
remained silent while Democrats in the General Assembly quietly
overrode no less than three vetos by Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich,
making Maryland's voting laws the least transparent and most liberal in
the nation. From local and state news sources, not a word was breathed.
From the national media, including, even, Fox News... Nothing!
Only author and WSJ columnist John Fund seems to have noted Maryland's radical moves towards their new "vote early and often" elections policy. As Fund aptly notes:
It should normally be difficult to
pick the worst state legislature in America, but Maryland's is way out
in front. First it overrode GOP Gov. Bob Ehrlich's veto of a special
health-care tax on Wal-Mart. Democratic legislators then passed three
election-related bills and again mustered the necessary three-fifths
votes to overturn his vetoes. Together the election laws would so
weaken safeguards against voter fraud as to make Maryland the nation's
prime example of Election Day irresponsibility.
The Bush administration secretly required a company in the United Arab Emirates to cooperate with future U.S. investigations before approving its takeover of operations at six American ports, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. It chose not to impose other, routine restrictions.
Later in the story we read:
Outside legal experts said such obligations are routinely attached to U.S. approvals of foreign sales in other industries.
"They're not lax but they're not draconian," said James Lewis, a former U.S. official who worked on such agreements. If officials had predicted the firestorm of criticism over the deal, Lewis said, "they might have made them sound harder."
In an attempt to keep the New York Times-imposed NSA kerfluffle on somebody's radar screen, a rehash of the situation ran today in the paper's Washington section. The lede is particularly interesting, since it gets it wrong right out of the gate:
After two months of insisting that President Bush did not need court approval to authorize the wiretapping of calls between the United States and suspected terrorists abroad, the administration is trying to resist pressure for judicial review while pushing for retroactive Congressional approval of the program.
Well, that certainly is news to everyone. The Presidency has never been required to obtain court orders to wiretap those communicating out of or into the country. I don't know what legal standard the New York Times thinks it is citing here (none is cited in the article), but the argument the paper was trying to make about two weeks ago was that he needed court orders to monitor domestic-to-domestic communications. Nobody, including the President, has disputed that. So exactly what premise is the lede attempting to set up? That the President has to get Congressional oversight (despite breifing the Senate Intel Committee dozens upon dozens of times since 9-11-01) to excercise the executive branch's Constitutionally granted authority to monitor international communications with terrorists?
Editors at The Oregonian talked about the issue but gave little consideration to publishing the cartoons that have sparked violence across the world. They reasoned that sharing the cartoon was not necessary for readers to understand the story.
"We have every right and an ability to publish the cartoons," says Therese Bottomly, managing editor for news. "But that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do."
Bottomly says the newspaper could convey the content of the cartoons to readers without also offending readers. She likened it to the newspaper's avoidance of the "N" word; the racial slur can be described without repeating it.
TIME magazine just released the results of a recent poll done for them by SRBI Public Affairs concerning America’s view of Vice President Dick Cheney following almost non-stop, wall-to-wall, 24/7 coverage of a hunting accident that he was involved in last weekend. The numbers are quite fascinating, and depict a populace that is much less concerned about this incident than the press, as well as possessing a far smaller level of disdain for the vice president than those in the media.
It appears safe to assume that the headline statistic from this poll will be that 41 percent of respondents disapproved of Cheney’s performance as vice president versus 29 percent that approved. However, SRBI stated this is “little changed from last November.”
Yet, what likely won’t make the front-pages tomorrow or be the lead stories on tonight’s network broadcast news programs is that 52 percent of respondents approved of the way Cheney handled informing the media of the hunting accident, compared to 42 percent that disapproved. This has certainly not been reflected in the seven days of media outrage that followed this incident.
One of the annoying things conservatives discover when they spend any time studying public broadcasting is how much cash pub-casting bosses take home even as they beg struggling audience members for donations (and ever more taxpayer funds). The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Minnesota Public Radio may forego $190,000 in state tax money rather than disclose how many MPR execs make more than $100,000. One sharp Republican legislator (my hero!) is saying you want the money, you disclose your salary info:
Thomas Kigin, MPR executive vice president, said MPR would ask legislators to change the law. Asked if it might forgo the state money should the disclosure provision remain, Kigin said, "It's possible."
Bob Ehrlich, Republican Governor of Maryland, retaliated against the reporting of two Baltimore Sun reporters by barring all state employees from talking to them. The paper sued in federal court, claiming the First Amendment rights of reporter David Nitkin and columnist Michael Olesker were being violated. A lower court refused to hear their case, and a higher court ruled in favor of the governor.
4th Circuit judges J. Michael Luttig, Paul Niemeyer and William B. Traxler Jr. said they could not accept the newspaper's argument that the governor's directive "created a chilling effect any different from or greater than that experienced by The Sun and by all reporters in their everyday journalistic activities."
The White House press corps is completely fair to Republicans and not only that Helen Thomas was "never, never" accused of being biased while she was a reporter.
That at least seems to be the view from the fishbowl of the veteran reporter-turned-columnist who sounded off in a highly contentious interview yesterday with radio host Hugh Hewitt. (Transcript and audio available at Radio Blogger.)
"I worked for United Press International for more than fifty years, and I wrote straight copy. I was never, never accused of bias," Thomas said. "I did not bow out of the human race. I permitted myself to care, to believe, to think. But I assure you, I assure you that it did not get in my copy."
Thomas also refused to state whether she disliked President Bush and became increasingly agitated at Hewitt's tough questioning. (Only Republican presidents deserve hard questions, after all.) More quotes below the fold.
Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report today highlights a recent SFGATE.com article written by Matea Gold of the LA Times entitled Critics slam Cheney's interview choice. As predicted, the assualt on the Vice President, who waited approximately 24 hours before making an official announcement over the shooting incident this past weekend, has modified somewhat to include an assault on Fox News as well:
For days, the White House news corps has pounded the Bush administration, demanding to learn more about Vice President Dick Cheney's accidental shooting of a hunting companion Saturday.
Last week, the New York Times haughtily washed its hands of the controversial Mohammad cartoons, saying it had no intention of printing them because it was the paper’s policy to avoid “gratuitous assaults on religious symbols.” (Though that didn't prevent the paper from running a photo of "The Virgin Mary" painting clotted with elephant dung). Besides, the editorial sniffed, “the cartoons are so easy to describe in words.”
But while the Times may have passed on defending free expression in order to avoid protests from Muslims, it’s apparently not concerned about stoking Muslim opinion against the United States and the war in Iraq, judging by its decision today to run a three-year-old photo of a prisoner at Abu Ghraib.
Today, a Washington Post Op-Ed columnist, Dave Ignatius said this of the Bush Administration:
There is a temptation that seeps into the souls of even the most
righteous politicians and leads them to bend the rules, and eventually
the truth, to suit the political needs of the moment. That arrogance of
power is on display with the Bush administration.
course, Mr. Ignatius is referring to the latest MSM obsession, the
unfortunate accident in which Vice President Chaney peppered a friend
with shotgun pellets while on a hunting trip. While the Vice
President's friend is expected to fully recover, the mainstream media
has so far spent the entire week obsessing over the 24-hour delay in the announcement of this incident. And, while part of the media
frenzy is justifiably related to the unusual nature of the accident,
the 24-hour delay has rankled the Washington media beyond all understanding.
In David Sanger’s “Political Memo” for the New York Times on Wednesday, “Handling of Accident Creates Tension Between White House Staffs,” Sanger predictably uses the incident to symbolize what he sees as the unprecedented secrecy of Vice President Cheney.
“When the White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, came to the press room just before 10 a.m. Tuesday and suggested he was wearing an orange tie to avoid a stray shot from Vice President Dick Cheney, it seemed to signal an effort to defuse the accidental-shooting story with a laugh.
“But by midday, it was clear that the staffs of the president and the vice president had failed to communicate. Just after arriving at work around 7:45 a.m., Mr. Cheney learned that the man he had shot, Harry M. Whittington, was about to undergo a medical procedure on his heart because his injuries were more serious than earlier believed, Mr. Cheney's spokeswoman said.
John Dickerson of the Washington Post-owned webzine Slate wrote a piece, posted Monday night, about the Dick Cheney shooting incident. Here's one of Dickerson's paragraphs:
And at some point Cheney's starchy behavior is also insulting. Shouldn't there be some minimum level of explanation he's willing to offer as the second-highest ranking public official? When you nearly commit manslaughter as a public official shouldn't the honor of your office compel you to stand up and explain yourself in some fashion, at least say something in a press release and not just whisper it to a Texas rancher? [Emphasis added.]
Why, over a weekend so full of news regarding important issues, such as Al Gore's disgraceful speech in Jeddah, or the growing strength of the American economy, or even the troubling issue of Iran's decision to go forward with their uranium enrichment process -- defying the UN in a direct manner -- has the press chosen to obsess over a minor hunting accident? How obsessed is the MSM over this story? Here's an example for you:
Remember back in October when Al Franken joked with David Letterman about Karl Rove and I. Lewis Libby being executed for treason? Well, Franken is at it again with a blog entry Sunday evening at the Huffington Post. This time, the target of his tasteless satire is Vice President Dick Cheney who accidentally shot his hunting partner on Saturday:
“Over the weekend, Vice President Dick Cheney shot a man in Texas. Asked why he shot the man, the Vice President said, ‘Just to watch him die.’"
Much like other members of the media, Franken saw a bizarre connection to a previously documented hunting trip that the vice president went on: “You know who's doing a ‘there but for the grace of God go I?; Scalia.”
Then, Franken painted a sophomoric picture of what would happen if Bush and Cheney went hunting:
In fact, on Aug. 30, the President began his day in San Diego where he took part in an anniversary observance of V-J Day and visited a Naval hospital. Later he flew to Arizona to speak on medicare; after which he flew to Texas. Throughout the day, the President was kept informed of Katrina developments and made decisions regarding relief efforts.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Thursday he was blindsided by President Bush's announcement of new details on a purported 2002 hijacking plot aimed at a downtown skyscraper, and described communication with the White House as "nonexistent."
"I'm amazed that the president would make this (announcement) on national TV and not inform us of these details through the appropriate channels," the mayor told The Associated Press. "I don't expect a call from the president — but somebody."Bush has referred to the 2002 plot before but he publicly filled in the details Thursday. (bold added)
Yes, it's an old news story but the AP still wants to shock us with L.A. Mayor Blindsided by Bush Announcement.And, of course, give His Honor the chance to tell us just how bad The White House is at communicating with him.
According to Lipton's story, the White House knew of flooding in New Orleans by midnight August 30.
But the alert did not seem to register. Even the next morning, President Bush, on vacation in Texas, was feeling relieved that New Orleans had "dodged the bullet," he later recalled. (bold added)
the Times knows the next morning the President was at the North Island
Naval Air Station in San Diego taking part in an anniversary observance
of V-J Day. Here's The White Press release of the event, including photos.
MSNBC isn’t the only network mentioning the I-word. Fox News Analyst and Cavuto on Business regular Gregg Hymowitz recently raised the specter of impeaching President Bush. On the February 4th edition of his show, Neil Cavuto opened a roundtable business discussion. At about 10:42AM EST, he asked whether Wall Street should support President Bush’s wiretapping program. Hymowitz quickly jumped in and responded:
"Stocks go up in free and open societies. Here we have an administration that has violated the law and the law, by the way, which allows-... A law which allowed for secret wiretaps and for warrants retroactively. This is a complete violation of the law and quite frankly, you may not like this, but the president should be impeached for this."
On Saturday's NBC Nightly News, anchor John Seigenthaler retracted and apologized for a story, which ran on December 17, 2005, accusing former President Richard Nixon of ordering his aides to target journalist Jack Anderson for murder. On the Saturday February 4 show, Seigenthaler declared: "While there were reports that Nixon aides discussed a plan to kill Anderson, there is no evidence to suggest President Nixon authorized a plan or was even aware of one. We apologize for the error."
The original story from the December 17 NBC Nightly News, filed by Seigenthaler, was inspired by the death of investigative journalist Jack Anderson, a frequent Nixon administration critic. At one point, Seigenthaler ran a clip of George Washington University Professor Mark Feldstein saying that, according to some of the Nixon tapes, Nixon was "personally obsessed" with Anderson and repeatedly told his aides to "go after him." (Complete transcripts follow.)
In an especially contentious exchange on this evening's Hannity and Colmes (Friday February 3, 2006), cantankerous cartoonist Ted Rall, a guest on the program, unbelievably declared, "We do not owe our liberties to the military." The topic was the recent Washington Post cartoon by Tom Toles that has outraged many. The cartoon prompted a letter to the editor (linked at Michelle Malkin) from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who tagged the the work as "beyond tasteless." Needless to say, Rall (who himself has created bigoted trash in the past) defended Toles' cruel piece. Here's the relevant exchange (audiotape on file, emphasis mine):
SEAN HANNITY: Here's what you're missing. The reason that you have the right to be mean, and you were mean to this guy [killed in Afghanistan, former NFL star Pat] Tillman, who gave up a football contract to save his country. The reason you have the right to be mean in your cartoons, and Toles has a right to mean and insensitive in his cartoons, is because of people like this (Sean holds up the WaPo cartoon) that literally put their lives on the line so you have the right for free expression. And you insult them and use them as props so you can make your left-wing political points.
RALL: Sean, you could not possibly be more wrong about the nature of this country. We do not owe our liberties to the military. We owe them to the Constitution. We have civilian rule in the United States --
Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., who has been widely praised for his intellect and integrity but both admired and assailed for his conservative judicial philosophy, was confirmed today as the 110th justice in the history of the Supreme Court.
A few paragraphs down we read:
The vote is also a triumph for the conservative movement, whose adherents have longed to tilt the balance of the court to the right.
The Times continues to use the “conservative” label throughout the story. Examples:
Legal scholars have described (Alito’s) jurisprudence as … solidly conservative. …
In a country where freedom of the press is nearly absolute, it's always funny to see media figures act as if their speech is under threat by the mere fact that a Republican occupies the White House, as if by sheer force of his presence in a position of power, George W. Bush by thought alone (amazing considering his tremendous alleged stupidity), can see to it that all contrary speech is snuffed out of existence.
One media figure has enough of a tendency to do this alone but get a room full of them together and the paranoia and political naivete are thick enough to cut with a knife. Newsweek obtained such a result a few days ago when it got several Oscar nominated directors together for a chat. George Clooney and Steven Spielberg provided the bilge to go along with the coffee:
In a recent Nightline episode that aired January 27, 2006, Vicki Mabrey presented what some call a controversial program happening within the prison walls of Lawtey Correctional Institution. The issue at hand – faith in prisons, and not just Christianity.
Mabrey contends that even though officials cite success with their program it isn’t really sufficient because there aren’t any scientific studies that prove that these types of faith based programs help lower disciplinary actions or lower recidivism rates.
Former CNN anchor Aaron Brown gave a speech at Palm Beach, Florida’s Society of the Four Arts on Tuesday, and according to the Palm Beach Daily News, he didn’t have very nice things to say about the news industry including, “‘Truth no longer matters in the context of politics and, sadly, in the context of cable news.’"
According to the article: “Brown said he tried to give viewers a balanced diet of light and serious news with NewsNight. ‘But I always knew when I got to the Brussels sprouts, I was on thin ice,’ he said.”
On the Jan. 19, "NBC Nightly News," introducing a story on Google's refusal to comply with a subpoena for Web search records, anchor Brian Williams alerted viewers to "a developing story in this country tonight that involves the collision of technology and privacy...The giant and successful search engine company has been subpoenaed by the Justice Department. They want to see exactly what people are searching for."
Fifteen additional reports graced the newscasts of the broadcast networks since then, according to a Nexis search, most of these focusing on the concerns of privacy advocates who fear overreaching by the Bush administration.
Five days later, the Associated Press reported that Google will censor Web sites the Chinese government deems objectionable:
Yesterday's Canadian election confirmed what polls and pundits had been reporting: Millions of voters strongly favored the Conservatives and were disgusted by the Liberal Party's stumbling social policies and massive corruption.
The Post only quoted one person who even claimed to have voted Conservative. And it told its readers said she did so “reluctantly:”
"I think we have to give it a try. But I am very afraid that it will be too far right," said Florence Koven, 72, emerging from the polls after voting -- reluctantly, she said -- for the Conservative Party. "The unknown always concerns you. Mr. Harper (the Conservative leader) says he is a changed man; we'll see how much he has changed."
Yes indeed, all of us on both sides of the border need to be sooo careful about voting for Conservatives. And if they win, we must always hope they change once in office.
The Post's management continues to insist the paper doesn't have a liberal bias. What's more, the editors tell us that when covering an election, their reporters find out what voters are saying and tell us.
Well, if that's the case, how did The Post miss all the Canadians who would have been happy to tell its reporters: "We're sick and tired of the Liberals and glad the Conservatives are going in?"
Lying to the FBI? Obstruction of justice? A possible "coverup at high levels of our government"? Sure. But what the Los Angeles Timesreally wants you to know about the completed investigation of former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros is how much it cost. Check this out from yesterday's Times (Friday, January 20, 2006) (emphasis mine):
PAGE A1, in a preview block at the bottom corner of the page, under a picture of Cisneros: "Prosecutor Ends Cisneros Probe: After about 10 years and $21 million spent ..."
PAGE A2, Today's News (a preview section), "Coverup is Alleged: ... The inquiry began in 1995 and cost $21 million."
Up front in the "Periscope" section of Newsweek, it's reported that Sen. Joe Biden, stung by all the arrows about his blah-blah-blah at the Alito confirmation hearings, suggested that perhaps Supreme Court nominees should face a murder board of liberal media inquiries instead. He suggested confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee should just be junked:
Critics point out that such a plan deprives nominees like Alito the chance to speak in their own behalf. But Biden, who notes that Judiciary Committee hearings haven't always been part of the confirmation process, says ditching hearings would leave nominees to make their cases in the media, where holding back and being boring won't necessarily fly. "Then [the press] would actually write about how they're not answering the questions," Biden says. "You people might get some answers out of them."