A prostitution scandal strikes the Democrats? When Sen. David Vitter admitted he’d used the services of the "DC Madam," thanks to probing by ABC News, the major media saw harm for the entire Republican Party nationwide. Will Governor Spitzer become a national problem for the entire Democratic party? Or will the media suddenly keep the scandal as localized as they can make it?
NBC and MSNBC were especially aggressive in describing conservatives and Republicans "in crisis." The standout quote on the Vitter scandal (along with the Mark Foley internet-messages-to-pages scandal) came from MSNBC reporter David Shuster on August 29, 2007, who blurred the ethical embarrassments into Hurricane Katrina:
Update (16:50 EDT): Clay Waters of MRC's TimesWatch informs me the 3rd paragraph reference in a NYT article to Spitzer's Democratic Party affiliation has been removed. Only an oblique reference to his party remains in the 15th paragraph, notes Waters.
It's the first major political sex scandal of 2008 (aside from Detroit's Kwame Kilpatrick) and it involves a Democrat. So of course the Associated Press failed to note Gov. Eliot Spitzer's (D-NY) party affiliation. Via the LATimes.com Web site, published at 2:28 p.m. EDT:
The New York Times is reporting that Gov. Eliot Spitzer has told senior advisers that he had been involved in a prostitution ring.
On its Web site, the newspaper cites an anonymous administration official as the source and says Spitzer was meeting with his top aides.
Spitzer officials wouldn't immediately comment on the story to The Associated Press. An announcement was scheduled for 2:15 p.m. at his Manhattan office.
The New York Times has more here, and that paper notes Spitzer's party affiliation in the third graf:
Jennifer Harper, Washington Times reporter and friend of Newsbusters, gives us a revealing look at how far left our taxpayer funded National Public Radio network has gotten itself these days. Even when they try to go a little toward the conservative side of the debate, they get lambasted by their audience, angered that they had the temerity to air conservative views. Of course, the only reason they would get such a rude reception from their own audience is because they have garnered only a far left listenership as a result of their far left programming. After all, if they had a balanced listenership they wouldn't get deluged by angry emails when they aired conservative content.
Apparently, at the end of February, the NPR program "Morning Edition" took the unusual move of airing four consecutive days of interviews with conservative thinkers in a segment they dubbed "Conversations with Conservatives."
The Media, as Sisyphus, Unwinding its Terror TaleThere is a push by the Jurassic Press -- in two directions at once -- to frame just-so their presentation of the murder and murderers engaged in the attempted global implementation of political Islam.
One such shove was again demonstrated by the New York Times this past February 13th. The Media attempt to present these bits of human flotsam -- and their family members and friends -- in the most sympathetic of possible lights. The Times portrayal of the mourning father and grandfather of recently rubbed out Hezbollah serial assassin Imad Mugniyah -- responsible for amongst many other atrocities the 1983 bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut (American death count 241) is nothing more than another attempt to humanize these inhuman creatures.
The other Press effort underway is the minimization of the evil of these acts and actors. There is even a feel to some of these reports that those delivering them almost do not wish to have to do so, but are forced to by circumstances and forces (the Internet, anyone?) beyond their control.
Key facts that would exhibit the depths of barbarism mined by these men (and women and, sadly, their bloodletting-by-proxy children) are left out.
For years, NewsBusters and the Business & Media Institute have regularly complained about the abysmal financial coverage offered by the mainstream press while accusing media of consistently painting a negative -- and oftentimes fallacious! -- picture of the economy.
On Friday, a perfect example of such was illustrated by the Associated Press whose article about the February unemployment data just released by the Labor Department grossly misrepresented what was announced.
In fact, the AP's Jeannine Aversa actually fabricated data that went completely contrary to what was reported. Take a close look at paragraph two of Aversa's article published at Yahoo at 9:39AM (emphasis added):
The US media seems to think that their job description includes deciding what information is and is not legal to leak and print- never mind that we elect Presidents, Senators and Representatives to do this, not members of the scribbling class. This arrogance and complete lack of care for their fellow Americans was famously demonstrated in the NSA and SWIFT banking exposes by the New York Times resident anti-Americans, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau.
However, these are not the only such cases. Recently, Risen has once again exposed classified data with the aid of hidden law-breakers in the government. In this case, Risen exposed a CIA-Mossad operation to destabilize Iran. Risen has been subpoenaed by a federal court to reveal who gave him this data, but predictably, he sees his mission of aiding America's enemies and assisting said enemies to kill American citizens as more important that assisting the government to uphold laws about leaking sensitive information. And equally predictably, the rest of the mainstream media is rallying to his defense. Haaretz, an Israeli news source, reported on the topic today, casting Risen in the role of victim.
Poynter Institute's Scholar for Journalistic Values Bob Steele must not plan on bending an elbow at a British pub anytime soon. Not only did Steele scold the journalists who agreed to keep Prince Harry's Afghanistan deployment secret, he condescendingly dismissed Harry's honorable service to his country (emphasis mine):
But even if one accepts that news reports might heighten a danger, there are other logical challenges to this secrecy about Harry the soldier. To the best of my knowledge, there was no compelling reason for Prince Harry to go to Afghanistan as an army officer. There was nothing essential that he, personally, brought to the battlefield. He had no specific duty or skill that was irreplaceable. Praise him, if you will, for his spirit or his patriotism. But it's certainly not justification for the risks taken or the journalistic principles sacrificed.
Sorely DispleasedIt seems it all depends on who is doing the asking.
ABC News spent a good portion of last week's morning programming in deep prostration and self-analysis in response to criticism that their journalistic presentation suffered from partiality.
Could it be? Had we at the Media Research Center (MRC) -- after twenty-one years of protracted press analysis and serial and sober exposition of liberal bias in all manner of broadcast and print reporting -- finally saturated the consciousness of a member of the Network Big Three?
Neither the Seattle Times nor the Seattle Post-Intelligencer are high on your average conservative's daily to-read list, but at least the latter is not gun-shy about calling recent suspected Earth Liberation Front (ELF) arsons acts of eco-terrorism.
The Times opted for "radical environmentalists" to tag ELF even though it's pretty clear that investigators clearly think the Street of Dreams fires in Snohomish County, Wash., are terroristic in nature. As reporter Steve Miletich noted in paragraph seven of his March 4 article, "Hunt is on: Who torched the Street of Dreams?":
Working with few clues, federal investigators face a daunting task as they try to determine whether a shadowy group of radical environmentalists torched three multimillion-dollar homes along a Street of Dreams in Snohomish County on Monday.
Former Windy City alderman Dorothy Tillman (D) was recently arrested in Birmingham, Ala., for trespassing, yet in a 27-paragraph article reporting the story, Chicago Tribune's Tara Malone failed to mention Tillman's party affiliation.
Tillman's leftist politics were briefly alluded to in a passing reference to how she was bailed out of jail by a minister who worked with Tillman on the issue of slavery reparations:
Rev. Al Dixon, 79, said he awoke to an early morning call from Tillman. The pair had worked together to seek slave reparations and share a history of involvement with the civil rights movement. When Tillman realized she might be arrested, she called Dixon, who is pastor of Anderson Chapel Ministries.
Prior to becoming a serious presidential candidate in the run up to the 1964 election Barry Goldwater was on the receiving of favorable press coverage and even led a “charmed life” that he was reticent to give up, according to a new book that explores the origins of the modern conservative movement.
In the spring and summer months of 1961 Time, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report all ran positive and often highly complimentary stories on the Republican senator from Arizona. His popularity among college students and his growing influence within the party were widely acknowledged.
“Goldwater has more than his share of political sex appeal,” a Time Magazine piece observed.
Before ... Those of us on the Right side of things have a profound disdain for what has become known as Che Chic -- the rampant popularity amongst the ignorant and idiotic portions of society (ours and elsewhere on the globe) of the recently retired Fidel Castro's designated Revolutionary hit man, Che Guevara.
Shirts, hats, and flags bearing the likeness of the Central and South American Communist assassin have adorned the bodies, heads and campaign offices of some of the world's finest mindless.
So it was with joyous exhuberence that I came upon the current issue of Mad Magazine whilst strolling through the grocer's this afternoon.
For the cover art alone (below), it was indeed an absolute must purchase.
What follows is coverage of the February 28 presidential news conference. I focused mostly on the questions posited by the media. Video of the most biased questions should be posted shortly thereafter. [Update: White House transcript available here.]
Bottom line: Most of the really biased questions came down on the economy, particularly with regard to gas prices. Other than that and a question by Bill Plante about FISA immunity for telecom companies, most of the questions were fine, although the reporters often tried to draw Bush into handicapping the 2008 presidential contest or commenting on how his policies affect Sen. John McCain's chances:
Standard-free journalism on parade all day on NBC's Sunday
Forgotten But Not GoneIt was another do-as-we-say, not-as-we-do day for the National Broadcast Company this past Sabbath.
Over the weekend NBC offered up their latest versions of Tim Russert's Meet the Press and the Chris Matthews Show -- the latter being political television's answer to Jerry Springer. In them we were treated to two more glittering examples of all that is wrong with the Jurassic Press.
That being the woeful lack of journalistic ethics demonstrated by those at the heights of the media mountain, and the utter shamelessness they and their colleagues exhibit upon their being outed as amoral hacks.
At NewsBusters we've been noticing the reticence the media are showing in characterizing the Castro Brothers regime in Cuba as a Communist dictatorship. Today's Miami Herald came a bit closer with its February 26 article ("Old-style socialist takes the No. 2 job in Cuba"), although it painted Raul Castro's deputy as a "devout socialist" and results-oriented problem-solver.
Of course, there are "devout socialist" politicians in numerous countries the world over who abide by the results of free and fair elections and respect the rule of law, two things sorely lacking in Cuba.
No matter, the Herald's Frances Robles seemed more interested in painting Raul Castro's number two as though he were Che Guevara with a hearing aid (emphasis mine):
So much for Washington Post staff writer Manuel Roig-Franzia waxing poetic about the tech-savvy younger generation of Communists in Cuba. "Party Elders Triumph in Cuba," as Raul Castro has been formally named the new dictator, a February 25 Post headline informs readers. Party elders?! That's language suitable for a story about the role of superdelegates in the presidential nomination process for the Democratic Party, not when describing window-dressing "elections" in one-party Communist dictatorships.
Roig-Franzia opened his article with a lament that a "younger generation" of Communists has been "bypassed" by the Geritol crowd:
HAVANA, Feb. 24 -- Cuba's revolutionary old guard consolidated its hold on power Sunday when the National Assembly bypassed a younger generation of politicians and named Fidel Castro's brother, Raúl, president and a hard-line communist first vice president.
You tell me that you need me Then you go and cut me down, but wait You tell me that you're sorry Didn't think I'd turn around, and say...
It's too late to apologize, it's too late I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late
I don't know about you, but the lyrics for "Apologize" by OneRepublic came to mind as I read this item from Newsweek.com about a new chill in the air separating the generally press-friendly Arizona senator and the Third Estate:
Cheap Shots Fit to PrintThis would make even the Daily Kos and MoveOn.org blush.
Well, maybe not. But still, ... .
The New York Times on Wednesday evening went to the web with "For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk", an innuendo-filled and fact-deprived 3,000 word ramble on the 1999 professional interactions between now virtually certain Republican Presidential nominee John McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman. They then extrapolated the unproven impropriety of this alleged "relationship" into a broader questioning of McCain's ethics.
Both McCain and Iseman flatly deny the affair. Their refutation, and the Times' protracted inability to gather any evidence to the contrary, should in no way have served to prevent them from levying the accusation in long form print, apparently.
At least when the National Enquirer prints unsubstantiated garbage, they go with new stories, MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued today on the Fox News Channel. Bozell was referring to the New York Times publishing a front page article on a 10-year old rumor regarding presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and lobbyist Vicki Iseman.
The New York Times has launched a full-scale attack campaign against John McCain and in so doing, revealed their liberal agenda for all to see! It’s the clearest example of their bias since they published MoveOn.org’s "General Betray Us" ad...Why wasn’t this story published previously?
If you're infuriated by this failing liberal news organization’s desperate attempt to tar and feather the Republican front-runner by dredging up 8 year-old allegations, take quick action and do something about it
Join our MRC Action Team and help bury the NY Times with thousands of angry emails and phone calls.
Los Angeles Times's L.A. Now blog today picked up on reporter/former L.A. mayoral mistress Mirthala Salinas:
Her rise through the ranks at Telemundo was swift. Her fall following the disclosure of an affair with Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of our fair city, was a spectacle. And now she's back - on the radio this time. Hoyinternet.com is the first with the news:
Update 14:16 | Matthew Sheffield. The level of excusing and tip-toeing around the truth about Castro is staggering. As of 2:13 ET when you do a Google News search for "Fidel Castro" you come up with 7,520 results. Add the word dictator after it and you come back with 1,417. That's 81 percent less.
Just a few headlines from major newspapers as Fidel Castro has called it quits as dictator:
Castro resigns, ending era in Cuba (LATimes.com front page)
None of those articles directly referred to Castro as a dictator. Here's how AP's Anita Snow danced around the matter of Fidel's autocracy, conceding that "detractors called him a dictator" while throwing in the favored defense leftists often throw up for Castro (emphasis mine):
Fans of NewsBusters are quite familiar with how we track instances of labeling bias: where the media don't label liberal activists or employ double standards in labeling conservatives vs. liberals, Republicans vs. Democrats, etc.
Noting Sen. Barack Obama's recent statement that he considers the Second Amendment an individual right -- setting aside for a moment his pro-gun control record and defense of the D.C. handgun ban -- ABC's Jan Crawford Greenburg dismissed private gun ownership as constitutionally protected, holding instead that the "orthodox" view defends only a state's right.
Here's the relevant portion from a February 15 entry at Greenburg's Legalities blog (emphasis mine):
Sure, it's garden variety AP labeling/double-standard bias, but it bears busting anyway.
At KnoxNews.com (h/t NB reader coffee260), one can read the tale of Nashville, Tennessee, state representative Rob Briley, who "has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and property damage prior to leading authorities on a high-speed chase last September." Briley is a Democrat, but his party affiliation was not mentioned in the 6-paragraph story.
Yet another AP dispatch on another state politician, this one from Maryland, had a quite different treatment of that legislator's political affiliation.
The February 13th New York Times online contained fifteen "Pictures of the Day". Their #1, lead photograph was what you see to the right, with the following description (emphasis added):
Security officials in Lebanon said Imad Mugniyah, 45, a senior Hezbollah military commander, was killed by a car bomb on Tuesday night in Damascus, Syria. Mr. Mugniyah had been accused in a series of bombings, hijackings and kidnappings during the 1980s and 1990s, including the 1983 bombing of a Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 American service members. Mr. Mugniyah's father, Fayez, left, and grandfather held each other during a wake in Beirut.
The Bush administration has once again proposed cuts in scheduled spending for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in his latest budget. No conservative should hold his breath that proposal would pass. But that doesn't mean lobbyists for PBS on the left won't fight the cuts with dishonest claims. Credo Mobile Action, a project of the the "progressive" Working Assets telephone company, offers this clunker:
Many families do not have access to cable and depend upon PBS for kid-friendly programming that is not offered by the major networks, especially in the prime time hours. Cuts to public broadcasting would threaten such programming.
Since when does Sesame Street run in prime time?
The message has the usual GOP-hates-Big-Bird line in it: "In his last year in office, don't let Bush pull the plug on Bill Moyers, the NewsHour, Big Bird, and the Cookie Monster."
I was offered the privilege on Friday of introducing Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana at CPAC, who gave a nice, staunch speech about conservatism and urged John McCain to "embrace the Right and the Right will embrace you." In my introduction, I noted that Brent Bozell said it used to seem like many Republicans on the Hill were conservative leaders when Reagan was president, since they were carrying out Reagan's work. But now, when Republicans are back in the minority and conservatives are discouraged, there might be five people you can identify as conservative leaders on the Hill. You might debate the other four, but nearly everyone nods their head at the mention of Mike Pence. You can see the Pence video at TownHall.
On one of our issues in Medialand -- the reimposition of a "Fairness Doctrine" to clamp down on conservative talk radio -- Pence has been a stalwart. He received several standing ovations, including these lines on freedom of speech:
Non-naturalized immigrants, especially illegal ones, can't vote in federal elections. Nonetheless, the day before the so-called Potomac Primary (D.C., Md., and Va.), the Washington Post devoted a 22-paragraph Metro section story to "The Frustration of Being Illegal."
The story, by staff writer Marcela Sanchez, aims at tugging at the heart strings by recounting the plight of one immigrant who fears her deportation will separate her from her children. Here's an excerpt:
Celia Llanes came to the United States 4 1/2 years ago with typical immigrant aspirations. She hoped to provide for her family, earn enough to buy a patch of land back home and perhaps take her girls to Disney World. Today, her wish is far simpler: that when she is deported her girls will be deported with her.