Journalistic Issues

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>

By Warner Todd Huston | September 21, 2008 | 12:41 AM EDT

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

<p>A 2005 Video of Fannie Mae CEO Shown Affirming his Connection to Congressional Black Caucus and Barack Obama, Where is the Media?</b></p>

<p><img height="120" hspace="10" src="http://images.publicradio.org/content/2007/09/20/20070920_fannie_mae_bui... width="120" align="right" border="0" />In a 2005 video Daniel Mudd, at the time the interim CEO of the catastrophically failed mortgage lender Fannie Mae, affirmed his fealty and that of Fannie Mae to the Congressional Black Caucus. The top three campaign donation recipients were Democrats, number two of which was Barack Obama, yet the media is laying mum on these facts. One wonders what would be going on in the media if John McCain were a top recipient of campaign donations from a market crashing, government bail-out getting organization like Fannie Mae? </p>

<p>The three top campaign donation recipients from Fannie Mae were all Democrats. Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) got $165,000, Senator <b>Barack Obama</b> (D-IL) was given $126,349, and failed presidential candidate Senator John Kerry (D-MA) took $111,000 from the folks at Fannie Mae. Is this information getting out there? </p>

By Warner Todd Huston | September 20, 2008 | 3:48 AM EDT

Along with the claim that Joe Biden had a "blue-collar" upbringing -- he had a decidedly upper class (though not "rich") childhood -- Joe Biden has for years claimed that his first wife and his daughter were killed by a "drunk driver" in 1972. However, closer examination of the records proves that the man driving the truck that slammed into the Biden family car was never charged with drunken driving. So, why has the media allowed this perception that Biden lost his wife to a drunk driver to persist?

As late as 2007 Biden said that the man who was involved in the fatal crash that killed his wife and daughter was a "guy who allegedly ... drank his lunch" before he got behind the wheel of his truck and in 2001 the TV show Inside Edition aired a tape of Biden saying the truck driver "stopped to drink instead of drive." Additionally, several media outlets have included the drunk driver claim in their bios of the Senator from Delaware.

This drunk driving accusation, though, is simply a Biden creation and every time this claim is uttered it pains the family of the poor, maligned man involved in the tragic accident with Biden's family, truck driver Curtis C. Dunn. Gannett-owned DelawareOnline reports the anguish that Biden's continued lie causes the man's family every time it is uttered.

By Rusty Weiss | September 19, 2008 | 5:11 PM EDT

We've covered it here before.  It's akin to that old child's game where one person whispers something into another's ear, passes it on to several others, until the final statement is no longer vaguely recognizable as being related to the first.

So, here we go again with Anatomy of a Biased Headline...

Let's start with a recent study funded by the National Science Foundation, in which researchers lay claim to this finding: 

Some Political Views May be Related to Physiology

Science Magazine's actual headline was similarly non-insulting:

Political Attitudes Vary with Physiological Traits

Seems pretty neutral right?  Let's see how the media took that headline and ran with it...

By Warner Todd Huston | September 19, 2008 | 11:25 AM EDT

A few weeks ago we wrote about the undue and disingenuous attack led by Barack Obama's Chicago HQ perpetrated against Chicago radio host Dr. Milt Rosenberg. Well, last week they did it again, raising their legions to attack the host and his radio station (WGN) and trying to have the unassuming radio host thrown off the air. And what was his "crime"? Rosenberg had the gall to actually interview two conservative writers who were investigating the life and history of the Obamessiah. I live in Chicago and have listened to Milt Rosenberg many times. His show is one of the most intelligent radio shows in the country, filled with high concepts and serious guests. I also heard both radio shows being protested by Obama's radio brownshirts and there wasn’t a thing wrong with either of the shows. On the first, conservative writer Stanley Kurtz was invited on to speak about his investigation into the ties Obama has with American domestic terrorist William Ayers. In this case, Rosenberg offered airtime to the Obama campaign and it refused the offer. With the second program, Rosenberg had on David Freddoso, author of the recent New York Times best selling book "The Case Against barack Obama." In the later case, Rosenberg even had a lefty Obama apologist on air with Fredoso, there to counter his every anti-Obama comment. Yet, the Obama campaign still tried to destroy Milt Rosenberg’s career by mounting an email attack campaign as well as urging calls to the station.