Journalistic Issues

By Warner Todd Huston | September 25, 2008 | 11:50 AM EDT

<p><b>**Video Below the Fold**</b>

<p><img height="132" hspace="10" src="http://www.reportercaps.com/Home_CNN/zverjee/zain_verjee_044.jpg" width="159" align="right" border="0" /> In the Words-Mean-Things category, yesterday we got both the Associated Press and CNN distorting the words Laura Bush used to describe Sarah Palin on foreign policy. Worse, the video interview of the First Lady was right <i>on</i> CNN yet on its own Political Ticker blog, CNN <i>still</i> distorted what Laura Bush said about Palin. It makes you wonder if the folks at CNN even watch CNN? </p>

<p>On September 24, Political Ticker posted a story by "CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney" headlined "<a href="http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/09/24/laura-bush-says-palin-la... Bush says Palin lacks foreign policy experience</a>" and started the posting out with these first lines: (bold mine) </p>

By Warner Todd Huston | September 25, 2008 | 2:47 AM EDT

In a recent visit to Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, Washington Post political editor David Broder told students that he believes there is no such thing as media bias. He claims that too many confuse talk radio with journalism and imagines the bias is predicated on that basis.

Speaking also to WOAI radio, Broder said, "I have spent almost fifty years of my life covering campaigns with other people. I don't think there is a serious problem with ideological or political bias."

According to WOAI, Broder claimed not to see any bias in reporters of his generation nor in younger journalists. "I don't find a problem with bias among my younger colleagues at all," Broder said. "That's not a concern of mine."

So, what is the problem with the pervasive feeling from so many that there is media bias? Blame it on talk radio.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 24, 2008 | 10:05 PM EDT

Andrea Mitchell is mad at John McCain and Sarah Palin because the McCain camp excluded the press from Palin's meetings with foreign officials this week. She is so upset that she as much as charged that John McCain's treatment of the press is as bad as that of the dictatorial ruler in North Korea, Kim Jong Il.

On Tuesday's Rachel Maddow show (MSNBC), Mitchell said that excluding the press when Palin met with foreign leaders was not "standard practice" and mentioned that in oppressive countries like Sudan and North Korea the press is often excluded. Mitchell also added that The State Department has a "standard practice" of making sure the press is included in meetings even in foreign countries. But Obama also excluded the press in his meetings with leaders in Europe this Summer, yet this fact didn’t even rate a mention by Mitchell tonight.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 24, 2008 | 6:20 AM EDT

At least since September 8 the extreme left has been pushing a lie that Governor, then Mayor, Sarah Palin "charged rape victims for rape kits" performed upon them in the Alaskan town of Wasilla. The charge stems from a May 22, 2000 article in the local Wasilla paper The Frontiersman and has been spun from a comment made by the Wasilla Police Chief. This comment was somehow made into a Sarah Palin policy. Evidence of the incident, though, shows no involvement by Palin at all. Still, many Old Media outlets continue to keep illegitimately linking this rape kit billing claim to Sarah Palin, even though the truth is easily discovered.

As mentioned first up was The Frontiersman story from 2000. In that story Police Chief Fannon was quoted as standing against legislation that would force local municipalities to pick up the costs of rape kits being performed. In the interview Fannon said that, upon conviction, he favored the criminals being charged for the costs.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 24, 2008 | 3:27 AM EDT

Once again Rasmussen Reports presents evidence that more and more Americans are coming to the realization that the media is biased to the left. This time Rasmussen's polling results shows that more Americans than ever think the folks chosen from amongst the Old Media to moderate the upcoming presidential debates are biased in favor of Barack Obama. Earlier in the month, Rasmussen found that 50% of their respondents feel that the media is trying to help Obama get elected while only 11% felt the media was trying to help McCain win. This time Rasmussen finds that 56% feel that the debate moderators are biased in their questioning, though veteran TV newsman Jim Lehrer (PBS) gets better personal numbers with 43% saying he'll be neutral as a moderator.

By Matthew Vadum | September 24, 2008 | 12:29 AM EDT

Stop the presses!

By Warner Todd Huston | September 23, 2008 | 7:58 PM EDT

A 60-year-old white woman from Spring Hill, Florida is quoted as saying that there is no chance a black man can win the White House. This same woman, Sandra Cichon, is quoted in a total of three St. Petersburg Times stories, the latest being from September 15. But in a follow up interview, Barbara Sowell of digitaljournal.com finds that Cichon claims she was never called by a pollster, as the paper claims, and never told any reporter that she wouldn't vote for a black man.

So who is right? Did the St. Petersburg Times merely make up racist quotes out of whole cloth and put words in the mouth of this woman or is she suddenly trying to take back what she said by claiming not to have been interviewed about Obama? Here's the story and you can decide.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 23, 2008 | 5:56 AM EDT

The single most common current explanation for a possible Obama loss posited today by the left is that America is filled with racists. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review political reporter Selena Zito uses this charge to the hilt in a September 21 opinion piece on union members voting McCain. Naturally, the only reason Zito can come up with for this phenomenon is because these McCain supporting union members are wild-eyed racists. Yet, there are no statistics, no interviews with racists, no proof presented in this story other than the claims of professors and Obama supporters that it’s a true assessment.

This is an entirely common occurrence with these sorts of stories, too. We get all sorts of tongue clucking "experts" assuring us that anyone who votes for John McCain is a racist yet no proof other than the bald faced claims of those who merely assert the point as fact.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 22, 2008 | 8:06 PM EDT

Back on September 10 in a visit to Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden seemed to hint that al Qaeda forced down a helicopter he was traveling in when he was visiting Afghanistan in February of 2008. He made the claim again on September 22 in a campaign stop at the National Guard Association. The truth, however, is not exactly what Biden may be trying to allege. Thus far, only ABC's Jake Tapper is exposing the ruse for what it is, a misleading tale pumped up to make his Afghanistan visit seem more menacing than it really was.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that on September 10 Biden told a Chicago audience a harrowing tale about his helicopter ride.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 21, 2008 | 11:01 AM EDT

<b>**Full Size Image Below Fold**</b>

<p>Well, leave it to Pat Oliphant, political cartoonist of the Washington Post, to make fun of both God <i>and</i> Sarah Palin at the same time, eh? Back on September 9, with his Tuesday comic, Oliphant featured a God that curses and portrays Sarah Palin speaking in gibberish as if she were "speaking in tongues" because she is supposedly a crazy Pentecostal. Oliphant apparently isn't aware she left the Pentecostal Church six years ago? I'm sorry missed this one back on the 9th, but it is no less outrageous now than it was then.</p>

<p>Take a gander at this disgusting display of anti-religious blather:</p>

By Warner Todd Huston | September 21, 2008 | 9:55 AM EDT

NewsBusters is, of course, a site dedicated to exposing liberal bias in the press. But, once in a while the liberal press gets something right and this is one of those cases. On Spetember 20, Newsweek hosted an article by FactCheck.org that exposed the outright lies contained in the claims Barack Obama made against John McCain's record on Social Security in order to scare as many elder citizens as he can. Obama may have expected every Old Media outlet out there to cover for him, but Newsweek didn't oblige this time. So, I thought I'd highlight this piece and give Newsweek the thumbs up for hosting the FactCheck.org article.

Over the weekend, Barack Obama appeared in the battleground state of Florida and made to scare citizens over McCain's votes on Social Security. Obama claimed that McCain voted for a plan that would have seen the Social Security benefits of "elderly women" at risk in the stock market during the recent wildly fluctuating market. Telling his audience, "if my opponent had his way, the millions of Floridians who rely on it would've had their Social Security tied up in the stock market this week," Obama tried to claim that the elderly would have lost their money because of John McCain. FactCheck.org called these claims "not true."

By Warner Todd Huston | September 21, 2008 | 2:06 AM EDT

<p><img height="115" hspace="10" src="http://imgsrv.kcbs.com/image/kcbs/UserFiles/Image/clintonPalin_clo.JPG" width="155" align="right" border="0" /> News has emerged that the organizers of that anti-Iran rally that famously got snarled up in Senator Hillary Clinton's ire at Governor Sarah Palin last week were threatened by New York Democrats with IRS action against their tax-exempt status if they allowed Palin to speak. <a href="http://wcbstv.com/local/clinton.palin.event.2.821565.html">CBS</a> local NY news reported this little fact and so did <a href="http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/09/18/1421633.aspx">NBC</a> but most of the national news has ignored this outrageous threat to use the IRS to silence Governor Palin. </p>

<p>Accusing New York Democrats of using "McCarthyism" to shut Palin down, Democrat Assemblyman Dov Hikind was flabbergasted by the behind the scenes threats against the rally organizers. "It's an absolute shame that this has happened," CBS quoted Hikind as saying. "To threaten organizations … to threaten the Conference of Presidents that if you don't withdraw the invitation to Gov. Palin we're going to look into your tax exempt status … that's McCarthyism." </p>