Journalistic Issues

By Matt Vespa | August 6, 2013 | 3:00 PM EDT

Well, the Washington Post is back to their usual tricks in distorting the facts about guns and background checks.  On page A2 of today's print edition, staff writer Philip Rucker gave readers a story, which read pretty much like a press release for a left-wing pro-gun control group, calling itself Third Way.  Rucker harped on the misleading “gun show loophole” and how, according to Third Way, criminals are taking to the Internet to arm themselves for murder and mayhem.

That's far from the truth, as Rucker's colleague Brad Plumer noted in an August 5 Wonkblog post which cut against Rucker's Wild West narrative on online gun sales. Of course, Plumer's item didn't make it into print while Rucker's did, on page A2.

By Matt Vespa | August 5, 2013 | 1:00 PM EDT

In his August 2 article, Theory On Pain Is Driving Rules For Abortion, New York Times's Erik Eckholm set about to critique how the "theory" of fetal pain is driving a push by pro-lifers for state laws tightening up abortion restrictions. Yet, in trying to convince readers that "fetal pain" is a fringe medical theory, he failed to cite any mainstream medical journal that explicitly rules out the probability that unborn children feel pain in the womb.

“[M]ost scientists and medical associations say that perception of pain is impossible without brain developments that occur well after 20 weeks,” Eckholm insisted, overlooking a 1999 British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology study finding:

By Matt Vespa | August 1, 2013 | 5:36 PM EDT

The one thing we can say safely about liberals is that they lack self-awareness, especially when one of their own acts badly.  The Chronicles of Carlos Danger, the exploits of San Diego Mayor Bob “filthy” Filner, and the sexual proclivities of Eliot Spitzer have made the political scene a national joke.   Yet, this lack of respect – and creepiness – is not treated by the liberal media as an indictment on the larger Democratic Party in much the same way as the media have helped Democrats use Republican skeezeballs like Mark Foley to lambaste the entire party.

Republicans have been quick to take the trio of Democrats behaving badly to turn the liberal Democratic/liberal media "war on women" meme on its head. Apparently it's having some success as MSNBC's Chris Jansing dutifully took to the air on her August 1 Jansing & Co. program to offer a rebuttal. The "war on women" is about "policy," not inappropriate sexual behavior, Jansing and her guests insisted. Apparently since MSNBC helped write the "war on women" meme, they're pretty defensive about when it's used to bludgeon their friends in the Democratic Party. Here's the relevant exchange between Jansing, TIME magazine's Eliza Gray, and veteran Obama-defender scribe Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times:

By Matt Vespa | August 1, 2013 | 11:14 AM EDT

Al Kamen’s In The Loop blog on the Washington Post’s website needs to be renamed.  It’s become unhinged. Emily Heil’s July 31 post for the feature literally blamed sequestration for the Snowden fiasco.  Yes, according to Heil, because of that horrible, debilitating fiscal hatchet that Congress dealt last spring, Snowden was able to spill the beans on the NSA’s surveillance operations.

Despite the evidence that the effects of the sequester were minimal at best, Heil pressed in her post that Snowden just would’ve been a normal government contractor collecting paychecks if such a policy hadn’t been executed.  Right, because the editorial board at the Washington Post has a magic crystal ball that nobody knows about. Did I mention the main source for such a claim is none other than... Snowden’s father?!:

By Matt Vespa | July 28, 2013 | 11:54 PM EDT

If you want to see what a buried lede looks like, look no further than the Washington Post’s story about juror B29 in the George Zimmerman case.   The headline of the July 25 piece blares what the left-wing commentators have been screaming for days: "Zimmerman got away with murder.” It’s juicy.  It’s eye-catching, but it paints a two-dimensional portrait of how the juror, who calls herself Maddy, feels about the case.

In fact, Maddy, a mother of eight of Puerto Rican heritage -- bursting once and for all the "all-white jury" meme in the liberal media -- said in a televised interview that she thought the trial was a “publicity stunt,” and probably shouldn’t have been convened in the first place.  Additionally, she noted “You can’t put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty.”  Translation: there was reasonable doubt (or some would say innocence) – and if that’s the case, you cannot send someone to prison.

By Joe Newby | July 27, 2013 | 6:20 AM EDT

According to all reports, Juror B29, the sole nonwhite juror on the George Zimmerman trial, said the neighborhood watch volunteer got away with murder. But Slate's William Saletan says not so fast, and accused the network on Friday of deceptive editing and manipulation to get the answers they wanted.

According to Saletan, the juror -- identified only by her first name, Maddy -- has "been framed as the woman who was bullied out of voting to convict Zimmerman."

By Matt Vespa | July 26, 2013 | 2:48 PM EDT

A recent poll shows that more than eight out of ten non-white voters are fine with their state government requiring a photo ID at polling places. Yet, that fact was completely omitted from a front-page Friday New York Times story by Charlie Savage and Adam Liptak which dutifully praised Obama Attorney General Eric Holder's push to gum up Texas's voter ID law in federal courts.

Additionally, it seems that the MSNBC crowd is on board with voter integrity laws as well.  Sixty-five percent of respondents, who described themselves as "very liberal to liberal," thought that showing an ID before voting was a "good thing."  So, this isn't a legitimate issue.  It's only relevant in the liberal boardrooms of America's news media.

By Matt Vespa | July 24, 2013 | 1:20 PM EDT

Yesterday, Slate promoted to their front page a July 19 article promising a look at “what fracking really looks like.”  David Rosenberg's piece about the photos taken by New York-based documentary photographer Nina Berman seems to rehash the frivolous narrative that fracking will turn your bathroom into the devil's water closet, complete with fountains of flame! 

Liberals – and their allies on the environmental left – must’ve missed the EPA report showing that fracking doesn’t pollute surrounding groundwater.  But why go with facts when fiction is so much more melodramatic, particularly with the new release of Josh Fox’s latest anti-fracking documentary Gasland Part II.

By Matt Vespa | July 22, 2013 | 5:32 PM EDT

The July 19 broadcast of ABC’s “What Would You Do?” at first seemed to be devoid of any racial themes that usually plague the overly-contrived ABC "News" show.  Yet, they needed to insert a racial element to see if bystanders would stop a would-be thief in broad daylight. A man named Uvall is an actor playing your everyday American commuting to work.  He parks his car along the front of New York Panini in Huntington, New York.  His car has over $10,000 in valuables, which Kevin, another actor who happens to be a white guy will try to steal. He’s mostly successful.  Yet, he’s stopped by a naval officer -- a real person, not an actor -- and placed under a citizen’s arrest. Nevertheless, ABC had to play the race game to see if there’s more to Kevin’s success.

During the second go-around in this scenario, Gabriel replaces Kevin.  He’s another actor, and he happens to be black.  He’s caught every time, and also placed under citizen’s arrest.  Yet, is this racism, or more perceptive bystanders, the folks at ABC ask?

By Matt Vespa | July 18, 2013 | 3:15 PM EDT

Imagine if you will a conservative Republican mayor used public employees' work time to advocate stricter state-level abortion regulations throughout the country? The Left would, and to an extent rightfully so, raise a fit, and the liberal media would, again, rightly so, beat the drums and make the abuse of power a major national story.

But when it's liberal independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg doing the same thing to push a gun control agenda, the media are not-so-strangely silent, given the media's push for ever-more-restrictive gun laws.

By Matthew Sheffield | July 17, 2013 | 5:00 PM EDT

The Associated Press, the most powerful and widely used wire service in the world, decided last week to lend its support to the extremist views of Texas state senator Wendy Davis by utlizing a Twitter hashtag #StandWithWendy used by her supporters.

After pro-life bloggers called attention to the tweet, AP deleted the tweet from its official timeline but the wire service has still not apologized for its action.

By Matt Vespa | July 17, 2013 | 8:49 AM EDT

With the Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act last month, you know that ABC’s “What Would You Do?” just had to produce a segment on gay marriage – again.  In the July 12 broadcast, the show decided to pick the liberal state of New Jersey -- a blue state for a change -- in order to find these nasty, homophobic Americans.  The scenario was simple.  Two lesbians walk into a local bakery picking out their future wedding cake.  The baker is a homophobe.  He hurls insults.  What would you do?

To no one’s surprise, the vast majority of the bystanders were appalled by the baker’s remarks.  Some offered their apologies, while others coaxed the couple, played by actors, to leave the store for a friendlier baking establishment.  Again, save for a few customers, most of the people caught on camera offered empathy and support for the discriminated couple.  Then again, in a state where 60% support gay marriage, you’d be hard-pressed to find Westboro Baptist types lingering around a bakery ready to gay-bash at the drop of a hat.