Journalistic Issues

By Warner Todd Huston | September 2, 2008 | 10:29 AM EDT

For those who say that the Maverick can't learn a new lesson, Bloomberg has a story that proves John McCain has at least learned this lesson; the media is not his friend. Pronouncing that McCain's "longtime love affair" between himself and the media is "on the rocks," Bloomberg reports on how McCain has been distancing himself from the media of late. Naturally, Bloomberg takes a few shots along the way, too.

It seems that, instead of placing the blame on the media where it belongs for its mistreatment of McCain and its sycophancy for Obama, Bloomberg seems to suggest that it is the fault of McCain's new campaign manager who, Bloomberg gravely tells us, was "close to Karl Rove."

By Warner Todd Huston | September 2, 2008 | 3:17 AM EDT

There is an ethics squabble going on in Montana perpetrated by the senior counsel to the Democrat Governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer. It has been revealed that the Governor's "senior counsel," a man named Eric Stern, has been caught trying to "back-door" the judge in a case in which he is involved on behalf of Governor Schweitzer. The ethics violation is bad enough, but it has also been discovered that, even though he is claimed to be an attorney and the Governor's senior counsel, Eric Stern, is not licensed to practice law in the state of Montana. This seems to say that Eric Stern is practicing law without a license, doesn’t it? Strangely, the media have not bothered to report this most important fact.

According to reports, Eric Stern "a senior official in the governor's administration" improperly contacted the commissioner of political practices "outside of official proceedings in an ongoing ethics case." In effect, Stern is accused of trying to "back-door" the judge by discussing the case outside of official proceedings, an extremely blatant ethics violation.

By Jacob S. Lybbert | September 1, 2008 | 2:25 PM EDT

I think I've got it now. These are the MSM rules when dealing with the personal lives of national candidates and/or members of their family:

Given the chance to publicly embarrass and humiliate a Republican candidate's 17 year old daughter, do it.

If it's a moralizing former Democratic candidate for president, well, leave that to the National Enquirer.

Today, to head off the many tawdry rumors being passed back and forth between the Daily Kos diarists and their MSM fellow travelers, the McCain camp announced that Governor Sarah Palin's 17 year old daughter, Bristol, is pregnant.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 1, 2008 | 8:40 AM EDT

Many Americans have a negative image of journalists and it is one that is growing in believability and acceptance every day, especially as the New Media begins to attract more and more attention from the American people. This image of the aloof, even anti-American, journalist is becoming rote with more people all the time. Sadly, the journalists themselves seem to be uninterested in countering this appalling public image, imagining themselves above being considered mere Americans. On this subject, a recent op ed by Mark Fitzgerald of Editor & Publisher warns journalists that perception is often truth and that the penchant that journalists have for not standing proudly and patriotically during the National Anthem does not help their image any -- good advice that will be roundly ignored by journalists the country over.

Fitzgerald starts off with a bit of an untruth of his own, though I am not accusing him of knowingly perpetrating a falsehood. Saying that "There's no cheering in the press box," Fitzgerald goes on to describe journalists are perennially uninvolved and aloof from the subject of which they report. At some level this may be correct. Certainly when journalists, notoriously left-wing, cover conservatives and Republicans there is no cheering. But, as the recent example during the 2008 National Democratic Convention shows, when it is left-wing, journalists have no problem at all cheering. One need not forget the fawning the media lovingly handed to Bill Clinton to prove the cheerleading they are apt to, either.

Still, that quibble aside, Fitzgerald has a great point about how the unpatriotic attitude of journalists damages their profile. Worse, it makes people doubt journalist's work simply because their word isn't trusted not to be coming from an anti-American perspective.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 1, 2008 | 1:48 AM EDT

Milwaukee has discovered some more voter fraud with 10 more voter registration workers are being investigated by Wisconsin authorities. Fittingly, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covered the story in its paper on August 29. Unfittingly, the Journal Sentinel forgot one, tiny aspect of the story... that the voter fraud was perpetrated by Democrats. In fact, one of the organizations, ACORN, is intimately linked with Barack Obama.

Milwaukee’s top election official said Thursday she plans to seek criminal investigations of 10 more voter registration workers, including two accused of offering gifts to sign up voters.

So, what we have here is an Old Media story about voter fraud where the salient fact that the fraud is being committed by Democrats and Democrat organizations is somehow absent from the story. What a surprise, eh?

By Warner Todd Huston | September 1, 2008 | 1:40 AM EDT

Reuters gets the award for the most misleading headline of the day with its Aug 28 story making it seem as if unemployment has wildly increased in New York State -- even calling it a "crisis" -- when there was really only a small increase. The headline would cause the casual reader to assume that the world is falling apart concerning employment rates and on top of that the badly worded headline also feeds into the Bush-ruined-the-economy meme. And we know how Reuters is always looking to smear President Bush whenever it can. Further, Reuters cites the work of the Fiscal Policy Institute without identifying it as a left leaning think tank.

Reuters headlines its New York employment piece Unemployment leaps over 20 percent in 25 New York counties. It is a shocking headline, to be sure, screaming that unemployment "leaps 20 percent." Such a wild headline would certainly cause a casual reader to assume that overall unemployment has risen by 20 to 25 percent. Contrary to the scaremongering of the headline, New York's unemployment did not "leap 20 percent" in over all numbers at all. In fact, the over all unemployment of the state has only gone up by .2 percent, from 5.2 in June to 5.4 in July. That is hardly a number to spark a "Crisis."

By Warner Todd Huston | August 31, 2008 | 11:19 PM EDT

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

<p><img height="143" hspace="0" src="" width="125" align="right" border="0" />Tom Brokaw's Meet the Press this week was as prosaic as ever, but for one little line uttered by the increasingly partisan Andrea Mitchell. In a discussion about the McCain VP pick of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, guest Doris Kerns Goodwin, plagiarist/historian, said that the choice of Palin is a "very strange choice," showing how little she bothered to even think about the facts. But the most outrageous analysis came from Mitchell who said that only uneducated, female voters will be drawn to Sarah Palin, not those smart, college educated ones. </p>

<p>At about 5:57 into this clip Andrea Mitchell was brought onto Meet the Press with Goodwin, David Gregory and host Tom Brokaw to tell us all that Sarah Palin will only appeal to uneducated women, not educated ones. </p>

By Warner Todd Huston | August 30, 2008 | 9:57 AM EDT

Taking a look at the stories in the Old Media will show that the Media is turning attack dog ASAP on McCain's choice for vice president, Sarah Palin. Notice the main meme is her supposed "inexperience." Funny how Palin was the VP pick for about 15 seconds before the Old Media went after her "inexperience" while they have yet to hit Barry Obama on HIS inexperience at all and he's been running for president since 2004. We should also note that Palin didn't get the honeymoon that Biden got when his announcement was made. But, the worst is yet to come and the Daily Kos is doing its level best to mine the lowest of lows. In a Kos diary today, it is being alleged that Sarah Palin "faked" the pregnancy of her last child, a baby born with Down's Syndrome. The claim is that it was her teenaged daughter's child, not hers. And, true to form, the Kossacks took that absurd calumny and hate even further in the comments.

With all the pseudo gravity the Kos diarist could muster, this ridiculous story of a "cover-up" was floated for the foolish Kossacks to lap up. Inky99 gave us the scurrilous diary headlined "Palin's faked 'pregnancy'? Covering for teen daughter?," in which the Kossacks posit that Governor Palin covered up her own teenage daughter's teen pregnancy by pretending it is her own child instead of her daughter's.

By Warner Todd Huston | August 30, 2008 | 9:49 AM EDT

The folks at Yahoo News Photos section must have been greatly amused by their web page titled "Anthropology & Archaeology." The first four pictures in the slide show are various archaeological discoveries... well, except for the third one. THAT one happens to be a photo of John McCain. Yes, Yahoo seems to be saying that John McCain is an archaeological artifact! Nice ageist slap, eh?

Here's a screen shot of the original page...

By Warner Todd Huston | August 29, 2008 | 5:33 AM EDT

Some how, the Old Media has missed the good news on Iraq. On August 27, the Rasmussen polling organization published a poll that showed American confidence is at its highest level ever in support of the War on Terror since they've begun tracking in January of 2004. This poll got little notice by the Old Media, of course, but it illustrates an issue that McCain should exploit to his benefit -- especially after Obama's acceptance speech last night.

Rasmussen found that Fifty-four percent of American voters now think that the U.S. is winning the war in Iraq and forty-eight percent think the situation will get even better in the next six months. Further, Rasmussen reports that this turn around in public opinion has been sharp when just last year only twenty-seven percent thought things were going to get better in Iraq.

Ominously for the Obama campaign, the poll also found that sixty-two percent of men agree that the U.S. is winning the War on Terror while forty-six percent of women do. Less than a quarter of women now think the terrorists are winning with just fourteen percent of men feel that way.This growing support augers against Obama's continued anti-war stance.

It all points to two salient facts: the surge worked and we've won the war in Iraq. And people are starting to notice.... not that the media is.

By Warner Todd Huston | August 28, 2008 | 11:40 AM EDT

<p><b>**Audio below the fold**</b></p>

<p><img height="88" hspace="0" src="" width="150" align="right" border="0" />Members of Barack Obama’s campaign HQ in Chicago tried to shut down a local radio show on the City's most powerful radio signal, WGN 720, because they didn't like a conservative guest that was on going on the air to discuss Senator Barack Obama's ties to local terrorist William Ayers. This is a shocking attempt at stifling political free speech and a bald attempt to quash debate by the office of the Democratic Party's nominee. The funny thing is, WGN is the most liberal station in the City with every host but one slavishly supporting the junior Senator from Illinois. </p>

<p>Show host <a href=" Rosenberg</a>, the station's only conservative leaning host (probably to be considered more libertarian than Republican), had on short notice asked conservative writer Stanley Kurtz to come on the air to discuss his work on uncovering Obama's ties to terrorist Wiliam Ayres and the Annenberg Challenge project. Kurtz was just in Chicago for his investigation and Rosenberg contacted Kurtz only that morning to appear. At the same time, Rosenberg's producer contacted the Obama campaign's HQ -- which is but blocks from the radio station in downtown Chicago -- to offer some time on the air with Kurtz to debate Kurtz' claims about Obama and Ayres. The campaign, however, flatly refused the offer of the equal air time and instead tried to drum up via email a protest of the show, trying to get it stopped. </p>

By Warner Todd Huston | August 28, 2008 | 9:11 AM EDT

More bad news for the newspaper industry. Anyone paying attention to the current state of financial distress in the print news industry will realize that saving money is the order of the day industry wide. Yet, not long ago the Associated Press announced that it was to raise its prices to the print news industry causing consternation everywhere. This new rate structure has caused quite a few newspapers to begin the process of dropping AP content giving pause to consider what the future of the AP might become?

Several papers have already announced that they are preparing to drop the AP, the latest of which appears to be the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The Minnesota paper has announced it will cease using AP content by 2010. The Star-Trib joins The Bakersfield Californian, and two papers from Washington State, The Yakima Herald-Republic and Wenatchee World. Also The Post Register of Idaho Falls informed the AP that they were going to drop their service in early August.