It's no wonder that sensible people just shake their heads and wonder what's wrong with the extremists of the far left when they come up with such off the wall nonsense and then try to pass it off as real political analysis. It just makes people who have even the slightest clue about what is really going on in the world double over with laughter. Such is the case with today's comedic attempt at political forecasting by nut in residence Ed Garvey of the Madison, Wisconsin Capital Times.
Columnist Garvey, in true nutroots fashion, thinks he has hit on the perfect Neocon conspiracy. The Neocons don't want any of the current candidates for president. No, sir, they are trying to angle for General Petraeus to take up their Neocon banner!
I know that you're scratching your head wondering how in Heaven's name he came up with this one. I did too.
Well, the L.A.Times certainly followed the Democratic National Committee's stylebook for reporting the news with this one, it is obvious. In a story about the new "sweeping ethics bill" making its way through Congress this week, they mention all the Republican corruption they can dredge up, but somehow miss every single Democrat example of the same. They also misreport a Nancy Pelosi rules change that makes it seem as if she is a corruption fighter when the truth is that she backed off from the very rule the Times cites as an example of how "ethical" the House is! This one is a perfect example of partisan, agenda driven "reporting," for sure.
So, the L.A.Times gives us the hero Democrat Party who has quashed that "culture of corruption" and cleaned up Congress' "sullied image." Yaaa, Democrats and boo Republicans who are so "corrupt." Read on for some fair-and-balancedness that'll curl yer hair!
A lot of people are atwitter over this addition to the Thompson advisory team of former Senator Spencer Abraham. But, it is starting to look to me like a story incorrectly reported by the MSM and rolling off track from there. It just seems that there are too many conflicting reports on Abraham's role with the AP reporting that he is a new "campaign manager" but others saying Randy Enwright is.
The website IsraelToday, for instance, has posted a story full of alarm over the addition of Spence to the team. Their reaction is similar to many Israel supporters here in the states, too. "Fred Thompson names anti-Israel ex-senator as campaign manager" their headline screams. They are very worried over Spence's past slights to Israel and for being "soft on Islamic terrorism."
Americans interested in free speech got a boost Monday when the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Kevin J. Martin, came out strongly against any reimplementation of the Fairness Doctrine.
As reported by the Associated Press Thursday (emphasis added):
Martin, in a letter written this week to Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and made public Thursday, said the agency found no compelling reason to revisit its 1987 decision that enforcing the federal rule was not in the public interest.
This letter (PDF available here) quite supported the views concerning this issue being expressed by Congressional Republicans in the past few weeks since this matter took center stage (emphasis added):
Liberals love to decry the Bush administration's alleged undermining of the rule of law. The lead editorial in today's New York Times, for example, demands Congress "not capitulate in the White House’s attempt to rob it of its constitutional powers."
But ironically, just below the editorial appears a column by one Jean Edward Smith brazenly entitled "Stacking the Court." Far from condemning the possibility, the author, a Marshall University professor, endorses the prospect as a means of coercing the Supreme Court into issuing rulings more to his, and his fellow liberals', liking.
Threatens Smith, with all the subtlety of a mobster telling a mark he'd hate to see anything happen to his kids:
If the current five-man majority persists in thumbing its nose at popular values, the election of a Democratic president and Congress could provide a corrective. It requires only a majority vote in both houses to add a justice or two. Chief Justice John Roberts and his conservative colleagues might do well to bear in mind that the roll call of presidents who have used this option includes not just Roosevelt but also Adams, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and Grant.
Do you ever wonder how "a single mother of two from Atlanta" who earns the minimum wage has the dough to plunk down for travel to Washington, D.C., lodging, and child care to attend a left-wing rally? I sure do. But then, it can't be that difficult when you're a professional victim for a left-wing group.
Washington Post reporter Xinyun Yang quoted one Irene Cole of Atlanta, Ga., at the close of his July 25 article "Democrats Cheer Wage Hike." "From $5.15 to $5.85 -- that's... a big raise, and we do thank you," Yang quoted Cole, who attended yesterday's "rally of union and activist groups on Capitol Hill."
Haven't I heard Cole's name before? Oh yeah, I have. It cropped up in January when I wrote about ABC's biased treatment of the minimum wage for the MRC's Business & Media Institute. Reporter Dean Reynolds cited Cole in his report on the January 10 "World News."
After reviewing that story, I realized two things. First, Cole misled the Post's Yang. She earns at least $6-an-hour (when she's working for private employers), and secondly, Cole is no stranger to whipping up crowds at liberal activist rallies (no word how much she's paid or compensated for expenses for her activist work):
The New York Daily News perpetrated an interesting, yet subtly misleading headline about president Bush's Charleston, South Carolina speech on Al Qaeda in Iraq today in theirs titled "W still ties Iraq, 9/11." Following the left's playbook of claiming Bush has illicitly linked Saddam's Iraq to 9/11 their headline made it seem as if Bush, indeed, "still ties" 9/11 to Iraq.
It is, of course, a false claim that Bush linked Iraq to 9/11 either then OR now, but the New York Daily News doesn't seem too interested in the truth. And for the headline to say "still ties" they are certainly saying that Bush is using past tense verbiage. But, for the most part, Bush is clearly talking present tense in his speech and he still never linked "Iraq" to "9/11" in the way the Daily News headline seems to claim.
Filling in on July 17 for Keith Olbermann, MSNBC's Alison Stewart devoted a "Countdown" segment to criticizing the dress Wendy Vitter wore during a July 16 news conference in which her husband, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), admitted to an affair with a prostitute.
With "Fashion Ho-Pas?" emblazoned on-screen (pictured at right), Stewart interviewed Radar Online's Jeff Bercovici, who snarked that Vitter's sartorial choice could mark "a complete reversal of the laws of skankery." [Video (1:37):Real (2.54 MB) and Windows (2.90MB), plus MP3 audio (753 kB)]
Olbermann returned to his program's hosting duties the next day and also hosted the July 19 program before turning over the helm yet again to Stewart for his July 20 show*, despite having had three days to become aware of the "ho-pas" segment, take disciplinary action against Stewart, and make her issue an apology. Olbermann either saw the light or felt the heat over the weekend, apparently, as he issued an apology about one-third of the way through his July 23 program (h/t Ian Schwartz):
He's a "burly man" with "rhetorical punch" from Catholic, blue collar roots in Baltimore who trekked a "remarkable rise" to become "one of Maryland's most powerful public officials." But today former state senator Thomas Bromwell (D-Md.) finds himself facing a judge and entering a guilty plea in a federal racketeering case that's been years in the marking. Reporting the story, the Washington Post's Philip Rucker calls Bromwell's saga "one of the state's largest public corruption investigations in years." Yet nowhere in Rucker's Metro section front pager "Bromwell Says He Accepts His Fate," is any mention of the politician's party affiliation, Democratic.
PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler has to be getting uncomfortable for calling out unbalanced liberal programs on the taxpayer-funded network. After he agreed with critics last week that a pro-Kerry editorial was wildly out of place on the show "History Detectives," now he has noticed the incredibly one-sided Bill Moyers Journal hour on impeaching Bush and Cheney and mildly noted it could have used a smidgen of balance. Despite Nancy Pelosi’s promise to avoid impeachment hearings, he wrote, "I would argue that it is still a newsworthy topic. So, as a viewer, I'm grateful that it is being addressed....On the other hand, there was almost a complete absence of balance, as I watched it, in the way this program presented the case for impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney."
There was an epic dust-up on this afternoon's show between feminist Naomi Wolf and conservative radio talk show host Melanie Morgan.
At the risk of burying the lead a bit, I can't resist observing that Naomi Wolf might just be the most passively aggressive woman in America. She has an amazing, infuriating, ability to keep a smile plastered on her face while saying the nastiest of things. It took her no more than a few seconds to get into it with guest host Mike Barnicle on this evening's Hardball. Barnicle invited Wolf to comment on the WaPo story about Hillary showing cleavage on the floor of the Senate, introducing her as a Democratic consultant and former advisor to Al Gore who had advised him to wear earth tones. But before responding, Naomi had some correctin' to do.
NAOMI WOLF: Mike, let me just stop you right there. You basically have not done your homework, no offense [right]. First of all, I'm not a Democratic consultant, I'm a writer. Second of all, I was advising Gore 2000 on women's issues that I've been talking about for 15 years . . . so you've just been, the Republican National Committee came up with a bunch of urban legends, and I'm afraid they pulled the wool over your eyes.
Pretty aggressive. Yet Wolf managed to maintain a brilliant, nay, beatific smile throughout. But when it came to aggression, Wolf was just clearing her throat.
Say you write for or edit the metro section of a major metropolitan newspaper and you have a juicy story of a local ex-mayor who was arrested for running a brothel. It's right on the heels of the Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) prostitution scandal and the politician in the local story in question was once a sheriff's deputy, clearly no stranger to anti-prostitution laws.
Party affiliation is just one more tidbit of information that couldn't hurt your readers, right?
The Kennedy political dynasty has certainly been blessed with blue-collar friends awaiting them at the start of their political careers. There never seems to be a shortage of horny-handed sons of toil to assure fledgling Kennedys that being rich is no impediment to being a friend of the working man.
In the course of Times reporter Robin Toner's web-only column absolving rich Democrats from feeling guilty for preaching about poverty while making millions, Toner delivered the better-documented version of the Kennedy family folk tale.
As the story goes, Ted Kennedy was campaigning for his first Senate seat in 1962 when he was confronted by a blue-collar worker who provided the future senator his absolution.
The Hill newspaper can be a good read for Capitol Hill coverage. It goes deeper than the superficial treatment the MSM often gives legislative matters.
That said, it seems to me the paper is taking at best a curious tack on an issue dividing fiscal conservatives of late: whether to sew up a federal tax loophole on private equity compensation and effectively raise some taxes as a result.
The Hill is painting the matter as one of conservative activists versus their GOP congressional allies with Jessica Holzer's July 18 article, "Conservatives break with GOP leaders on tax bill." The lede for the article lends the impression that some conservatives are finding a tax they actually like:
At a conservative Web activist happy hour yesterday, I learned about a new Web site that's a great resource for press and public alike, although I doubt many in the liberal media will catch on quickly, if at all.
WashingtonWatch.com is a Web site "maintained by Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, in his spare time, as a public service." Harper puts a dollar figure on the bright (or frankly mostly not-so-bright) ideas that Congress toys with day in and day out.
Making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes Costs $5,868.73 per family
Reporting on Mayor Adrian Fenty (D-D.C.) and his decision to appeal a gun rights case to the Supreme Court, the Washington Post failed to consult any of the half-dozen citizens of the District of Columbia who won the lawsuit in federal Circuit Court four months earlier.
Reporter David Nakamura quickly revealed to readers that the liberal mayor was couching his appeal as an effort to protect the citizens of the gun-crime-plagued city.
The District will ask the Supreme Court to uphold its strict 30-year
handgun ban, setting up what legal experts said could be a test of the
Second Amendment with broad ramifications.
The high court has
not ruled on the Second Amendment protection of the right to keep and
bear arms since 1939. But at a morning news conference yesterday, Mayor
Adrian M. Fenty (D) and Attorney General Linda Singer said they expect
the court to hear a case they called crucial to public safety.
A few grafs later, Nakamura quoted Fenty, who heads the city government that was the losing party to Parker v. District of Columbia. That's fair enough, Fenty is the guy taking the case to the High Court, he should be quoted first. But what about this Parker fellow?
He was nowhere to be found in Nakamura's article, although Post reporter Paul Duggan gave readers of the Post a glimpse into Palmer's plight in a March 18 article. Of the six plaintiffs on the case, libertarian and Cato Institute constitutional lawyer Robert Levy knew just one:
The Left must be afraid of Fred Thompson. The latest attack on the
former Tennessee senator: he's violating the "spirit" of campaign
finance laws by toying with his candidacy for too long, even as he
builds the framework to hit the campaign trail running. Yet
unfortunately for her readers, ABCNews.com's Jennifer Rubin
leaves out the liberal leanings of the two major critics of the former
senator that she cites in her recent story. Indeed, one group's president even has a link to First Amendment breacher, er, campaign finance reformer John McCain, a GOP candidate, while the
other group's executive director previously worked for Democratic 2008 candidate
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) as well as liberal pols such as Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Here are the offending passages, followed by my commentary (portions in bold are my emphasis):
Pacifica Radio defines the idea of ideological pork barrel. Every year, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting offers community-service grants in the area of about $1 million to Pacifica stations like WPFW in Washington, DC and KPFK in Los Angeles to spew their radical politics. Their flagship show "Democracy Now" celebrated the Fourth of July with an hour with Pete Seeger, the radical socialist folk singer. In this passage, they discussed how Pete's dad was a communist (Pete was a member of the CPUSA after Daddy):
But he, in those early days, linked up with the Communist movement. He and Aaron Copland and Henry Cowell and Marc Blitzstein. They had a thing they called the Composers' Collective. After all, in Russia they had collectives this and collective that. And there, they decided, as skilled musicians, they would compose the new music for the new society. Well, their attempts were laughable. Aaron Copland put music to a poem by Alfred Hayes, same man who wrote "Joe Hill" -- "Into the Streets May 1st." But only a very expert singer could sing it, tremendous range, and only a very expert pianist could accompany it properly. Of course, no proletariat ever sang him.
We are seeing all over the MSM the reports highlighting the Republicans in the House and Senate who are turning away from the Party line and voting against -- or at least seeming to vote against -- the President's Iraq war policies. The MSM is presenting this revolt as a momentous thing, unprecedented and presenting it as a loss for the President's ideas. Yet, even as a small number of Republicans have, indeed, voted against the Party line, an even larger number of Democrats are voting against their Party, too. Yet, somehow, we are not hearing this being brought up by the tongue waggers and controversy-mongers in the MSM.
In a July 12th vote in the House of Representatives to mandate a certain date to pull out of Iraq, for instance, the fact that four Republicans broke ranks is treated as a stampede of GOP defectors. Yet, in that same vote, 10 Democrats did not vote with their Party -- in effect "defecting" to the GOP side of the argument. Of this fact, the MSM seem strangely quite.
Why is it that four Republican votes against the President's plans is some sort of landslide, yet 10 Democrat votes against their Party line is ignored?
Video (3:15):Real (2.38 MB) or Windows (1.99 MB), plus MP3 audio (1.11 MB).
It starts with Helen Thomas insisting that President Bush is responsible for al Qaeda in Iraq and ends with Martha Raddatz of ABC News misconstruing a new report on al Qaeda to conclude the terror network's threat is "greater than ever now." NBC's David Gregory and CBS's Jim Axelrod are also included. All questions betray an alarmist and defeatist tone on Iraq and/or push President Bush to consider hypotheticals involving Democrats passing legislation to curtail his management of the war.
"The campaign of presidential hopeful John Edwards has a ready answer for all the criticism about his expensive haircuts and expansive home: A man can be wealthy and care about the poor, too.
Just look at a Democratic hero Robert F. Kennedy." [sic]
Bobby Kennedy, of course, is still remembered warmly by much of the mainstream media for his expressed concern for poor people. What isn't so well remembered is that Kennedy himself couldn't explain exactly why this issue was of such importance to him.
In 1968 a Time Magazine piece covered Kennedy's foray into poverty-stricken eastern Kentucky. A pertinent excerpt:
"Why, Kennedy was asked in the township of Pippa Passes, was a man reared to a multimillionaire's comforts concerned with the plight of Kentucky's poor? 'I can't answer that question,' Bobby confessed. 'Sorry.'
I received an e-mail tip from a member of the news media who enjoys our work, pointing out some shenanigans at the Associated Press. The matter at hand was President Bush answering a question about Plamegate at today's White House news conference.
Here's an excerpt of his e-mail (emphasis mine):
If you haven't already, check out the AP Stories on the President's
press conference this morning (7/12). The item: BC-Bush 4th Lead by
Headline: Bush acknowledges administration leaked CIA operative's name.
However... quote in paragraph 6 contradicts headline: "I'm aware of the fact that PERHAPS somebody in the administration did disclose the name of that person.
Yesterday's testimony by a disaffected former Bush official gave the
mainstream media the opportunity to resurrect a favored meme: President
Bush hates science.
Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona
yesterday testified before a House committee on White House meddling in
Carmona's speeches. Of course, Drs. C. Everett Koop and David Satcher
also complained of political meddling from the Reagan and Clinton
administrations respectively, but this fact was buried deep in the print accounts I've read.
But rather than exploring the complaints of political interference as a "systemic problem"-- Carmona's words -- that transcend party line and administration, news coverage in the mainstream media has
sought to single out the Bush administration as anti-science.
Are White House reporters taking cue from liberal bloggers? A bit near the end of the New York Times "White House Memo" by reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg, "An Ebbing of Coverage With '08 on the Horizon," certainly puts the idea out there.
White House correspondent Stolberg again indulged herself in portraying Bush as a fallen and failed president.
"Back when he was riding high in the polls, when his every utterance made headlines and the press planes trailing him around the country were still full, President Bush had little need to indulge reporters with ceremonial pleasantries.
Over on his blog, "The News Hole," Keith Olbermann's staff posted an item on Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who has admitted patronizing the erotic services of a call girl agency.
Olbermann (or a staffer who blogs for him), closed the July 10 entry "The Vitter End" with a not-so-subtle "ha, another hypocrite gets what's coming to him" snark:
And...from Sen. David Vitter's website:
For his work in
Congress, David has received numerous awards from leading organizations
such as Americans for Tax Reform, the 60 + Association, and the Family
Mr. Vitter has some 'splainin to do.
Wow, that's really clever and original, Olbie. How quickly he forgets, I dunno, Bill Clinton and the staunch defense he received from NOW, even well after his history of sexual misconduct with employees was apparent.
Of late, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been arguing that the mainstream media persistently exercise the "management" of the news. That is to say, aside from slanted and biased reporting on the news of the day, they frame news developments in a way that manage events to fit a preconceived meme or storyline.
The media's coverage of Army recruiting numbers is no exception.
Bear in mind these facts included in some of the stories I cite below but usually well after the lede:
The Army is nonetheless ahead of its year-to-date recruiting goal
July, August, and September are traditionally the best months for recruiting
Many potential enlistees are turned away from being overweight or lacking a high school diploma
Some experts, such as former Defense undersecretary Edwin Dorn, marvel that "the big surprise is that Army recruiting has remained as healthy as it has been" given the Iraq war's falling support in the polls.
Nope, instead the lede is two straight months of numbers that aren't up to par and immediately Iraq is blamed.
Voila! A "trend" story waiting to happen for a media bent on managing the news.