Journalistic Issues

By Matt Vespa | April 25, 2013 | 9:03 PM EDT

Did anyone notice anything missing during Diane Sawyer’s interview with President Bush last night?  She didn’t mention his surge in the polls, which was conducted by ABC News.  Yes, ABC decided to omit their poll in order to have Sawyer bait President Bush with left-leaning questions, like his views on gay marriage.  The American people are now giving the forty-third president a second look, and it seems to be driving liberals crazy.

On April 23, the Washington Post’s Fix blog reported that Bush’s approval ratings have hit a seven-year high.  They are equal to that of President Obama’s at 47%.

By Matt Vespa | April 23, 2013 | 5:25 PM EDT

Sure, he was a terrorist who killed four people, injured hundreds and shut down a city in terror for an entire day last week, but Tamerlan Tsarneav's brain -- studied for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) related to his amateur boxing career --  could be useful for science!  Or at least, that’s what Travis Waldron of Think Progress offers as a silver lining to the Boston Marathon tragedy.   It just adds to the humanization process that some in the media, like the Washington Post, have conducted with these two terrorists.

Someone does need an examination of the brain, but it isn’t Tamerlan.  Waldron mentions that this science fair project could be seen as a diversion, but noted how the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs Jovan Belcher proves that it could be something of significance (emphasis mine):

By Matt Vespa | April 22, 2013 | 6:12 PM EDT

As the Big Three –NBC, ABC, and CBS – continue to engage in, to borrow a George Will term, journalistic malpractice over ObamaCare’s adverse effects on the economy, they probably missed the development concerning Democrats who are calling for repeal of a tax which was embedded within the behemoth health care overhaul.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is ramping up her efforts to repeal the tax on medical devices that’s included in ObamaCare.  The liberal Talking Points Memo reported today that it’s building upon a vote last month,where the majority of Senate Democrats voted with their GOP colleagues to repeal the tax.  Klobuchar, of course, voted for ObamaCare. But wait, there's more discontent from Democratic ranks, with Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus warning of a coming "train wreck" when ObamaCare is scheduled for full implementation in 2014.

By Matt Vespa | April 22, 2013 | 2:35 PM EDT

It's no surprise that the liberal media are ignoring poll after poll showing widespread discontent, even among Democrats, with ObamaCare. But what's utterly inexcusable is the man-bites-dog story coming out of a labor union this week, which is now calling for ObamaCare's repeal.

Janet Adamy of the Wall Street Journal noted on April 16 that the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers is the first union to call for the repeal of Obamacare. Why? Because it could lead to members losing their existing coverage:

By Matt Vespa | April 21, 2013 | 2:53 PM EDT

On April 18, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll that showed 51% of Americans feel that guns in the home make it safer, compared to 29% who think otherwise. More telling is that fact that 51% of white middle class women agree with the sentiment about firearms making homes safer.  Additionally, a Nexis search detailed that ABC News has yet to report this poll, and, with the exception of the Fix blog online, the Post's print edition avoided the “guns make a home safer” findings.

So, will there a correction to Jill Filipovic, Amanda Marcotte, and Co. for trying to smear the NRA as the “domestic abuse lobby? The article by New York Times’ Michael Luo that set off this meretricious commentary on guns looks like to have been a smear too far.  After all, it wasn’t “intense pressure” the gun lobby that killed Obama’s anti-gun agenda.  It was white middle-class women, who liked their Second Amendment rights to be left untouched by big government.

By Randy Hall | April 19, 2013 | 7:17 PM EDT

While discussing the ongoing manhunt for the second suspect behind the bombing of the Boston Marathon, Chris Wallace -- the host of Fox News Sunday -- linked the Monday terrorist attack with the debate on gun rights currently going on across the country.

Pointing to the fact that most of the region is in a tight lockdown due to the search for 26-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Wallace asked how many people in the area “do you think, might like a gun to be able to protect themselves and defend their homes?”

By Matt Vespa | April 18, 2013 | 6:15 PM EDT

With the monumental collapse of the president’s anti-gun agenda, many are wondering if both sides will “go back into their corners” on gun control.  Every single measure in this new bill failed, which elicited the wrath of the president yesterday in the Rose Garden.  During the April 17 broadcast of the PBS NewsHour, Gwen Ifill asked why these measures failed to pass, mentioned the popularity of background checks, and failed to press Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on past statements about how this bill really wouldn’t have prevented Sandy Hook ergo more mass shootings.

In fairness, Ifill also had Lawrence Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Democrat from Conneticut, on the program to discuss the failed bill.  While he said his organization supported some of the amendments in the bill, they couldn’t back it due to the background check provision, noting it would have harmed gun sellers who rely heavily on weekend sales, when most customers come to their stores [emphasis mine]:

By Matt Vespa | April 18, 2013 | 4:43 PM EDT

Our taxpayer dollars seem to be at work finding the culprit of the Boston terror attack last Monday. But on taxpayer-funded NPR, counterterrorism reporter Dina Temple-Raston was already guessing this was domestic not foreign.  “The thinking, as we've been reporting, is that this is a domestic or extremist attack,” Temple-Raston declared on the April 16 All Things Considered.

So, besides the pressure cooker bomb, whose directions on building it can be found on the Internet, what evidence shows that this is probably domestic terrorism?  Where’s the manifesto?  Who’s claimed responsibility?  All are question marks at this point, so what’s with the incessant speculation by some in the media.  Yes, it could be a crazy right-winger, or an al-Qaeda operative, but what ever happened to a simple narrative of there was a bombing, it’s awful, people died, and federal authorities are investigating the matter? But Temple-Raston heavily implied this matches with past acts of right wing – and domestic – terror:

By Randy Hall | April 18, 2013 | 6:03 AM EDT

Whenever a disaster like the bombing at Monday's Boston Marathon occurs, members of the press try to be the first to report any “scoops” they can find regarding the catastrophe. However, news organizations are often so anxious to beat the 24/7 news cycle that they don't always check all the facts before posting a story.

One recent example of this problem is an article on the CNN website entitled “Boston Marathon bombs have hallmarks of 'lone wolf' devices, experts say,” in which an anonymous senior U.S. counter-terrorism investigator is quoted as saying that pressure cooker bombs have been “a signature of extreme right-wing individuals in the United States,” even though the report provides no evidence to support that claim.

By Matt Vespa | April 17, 2013 | 6:31 PM EDT

As NewsBusters colleague Kyle Drennan reported today, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie asked if President Obama was following the Gosnell case, or NBC’s reporting of it.   He dodged the question, but at least NBC acknowledges that a case is actually going on in Philadelphia. The president answered:

By Matt Vespa | April 16, 2013 | 5:52 PM EDT

As we've noted, the liberal media generally and the Big Three broadcast networks in particular have studiously avoided paying attention to the Kermit Gosnell murder trial. The Philadelphia abortionist is charged with murdering newborns who survived abortion attempts and were born alive.

But aside from the criminal aspect of the case, there's other angle in the Gosnell matter that is of interest to political observers of the 2014 election cycle, particularly the Pennsylvania governor's race. One of the Democrats vying for the nomination to challenge Gov. Tom Corbett (R) is Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), who operated an abortion clinic from 1975-1988. J.D. Mullane of the Bucks County Courier News has some great, incisive questions for Schwartz connected to the Gosnell matter, particularly whether Schwartz ever referred any patients to Gosnell.  Her clinic stopped performing abortions in 1984, but continued with issuing referrals to other clinics.  Schwartz has been curiously silent on the issue, and larger media outlets seem to be silent as well, failing to ask her if she ever referred women to Gosnell, for example.

By Matthew Sheffield | April 16, 2013 | 12:25 PM EDT

In a comparatively rare feat, a conservative writer has won a Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious award in journalism. Bret Stephens, who writes a column for the Wall Street Journal primarily about world affairs is the first conservative to win the award in more than a decade.

Congratulations are certainly in order to Stephens for pulling off the win, especially since the very liberal Columbia University is in charge of the award.