The latest op-ed piece by liberal Los Angeles Times columnist Rosa Brooks is called, "When crass is called for" (Friday, February 10, 2006). It begins with the eye-opening line, "It's time to take a stand against civility, decency and appropriateness."
The rest of the column is essentially a defense of the tasteless remarks by Rev. Joseph Lowery and former President Jimmy Carter at the funeral of Coretta Scott King on Tuesday. At one point of her piece, Brooks unbelievably declares, "I saw nothing uncivil about the remarks made by Lowery and Carter."
And in her concluding paragraph, Brooks shrugs (emphasis mine), "And if Bush was offended by Lowery's and Carter's remarks? Tough luck."
MediaBistro's FishBowl DC bloggers, Garrett Graff and Patrick Gavin, posted an internal Washington Post report on racial diversity at the newspaper. The January 26 cover letter to newsroom staff from top editors -- Executive Editor Len Downie, Managing Editor Phil Bennett, and Deputy Managing Editor Milton Coleman -- boasted of increased diversity in hiring: "Through determined recruiting, we have increased the number of minority journalists working in our newsroom to an all-time high of 152, which is 23.5 percent of our professional staff. The two percent increase from 21.4 percent at the end of 2004 is the largest ever."
But the real dirt in the 30-plus page report is the testimony of anonymous Post reporters. This one sticks out for me, on page 5: "One person noted an anti-religion bias in the newsroom. When referring to the faithful, 'the word of choice around here is "kooks".'This same person felt offended during the recent coverage of the Pope’s death, when some of her colleagues, she said, were mocking the Pope. 'I was [too] intimidated to complain, even since my editor was part of it, so I got up and left. Faith is derided.'" Other reporters complained:
Nancy Soderberg, a former Ambassador to the United Nations and Foreign Policy Advisor under the Clinton administration, repeated the often-heard myth that President Clinton prevented Millennium attacks on the United States. Soderberg made the debunked claim as a guest on tonight's episode of The O'Reilly Factor (Thursday, February 9, 2006).
Soderberg's claim would refer to the arrest of terrorist Ahmed Ressam at the U.S-Canada border on December 14, 1999. It was later learned that Ressam planned to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on or around New Year's Day 2000. Clinton defenders have often falsely cited this incident as evidence that Clinton proactively and successfully defended the United States against terrorism.
In an article written earlier today by Benny Morris and published by the UK's Guardian Unlimited newspaper, famous historian and civil rights activist John Hope Franklin had this to say regarding his home:
"This country is so arrogant, so self-certain," he says,
asked whether the west is now engaged with the Muslim world in a war of
civilisations. "I am not sure that is what we are confronting. [But I
am also] not sure we have done what we ought to have done to cultivate
the rest of the world. We're so powerful and so presumptuous that it
makes us unattractive, almost unbecoming. We don't treat other
countries and people right. Power without grace is a curse."
But the Mohammad cartoons are “gratuitous assaults on religious symbols” and won’t be run by the paper.
Just yesterday, the Times wrote, in an editorial on the Danish cartoons of Mohammad, that “The New York Times and much of the rest of the nation's news media have reported on the cartoons but refrained from showing them. That seems a reasonable choice for news organizations that usually refrain from gratuitous assaults on religious symbols, especially since the cartoons are so easy to describe in words.”
Apparently the Arts pages didn’t get the memo, because it runs a photo of Chris Ofili’s dung-clotted “Holy Virgin Mary” painting in Wednesday’s Arts section story by Michael Kimmelman, who also calls the Danish cartoons “callous and feeble.”
Today's (Tuesday February 7, 2006) tasteless anti-Bush digs at Coretta Scott King's memorial service by Rev. Joseph Lowery and Jimmy Carter, a former President (!), are certainly newsworthy, but one place you didn't hear about them was during the 5 pm PST (8 pm EST) top-of-the-hour headlines on ABC News Radio. Instead, the announcers highlighted the fact that several Atlanta schools had the day off to make the day "educational."
It looks like additional education was delivered today through a lesson in classic media bias-by-omission.
Although the Times didn’t join the Philadelphia Inquirer in actually publishing the most controversial cartoon (Mohammad with a bomb for a turban), its tentative stand for free speech is nonetheless braver than the editorial page of the NYT Co.’s subsidiary paper, The Boston Globe.
According to a large story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on January 26th, income inequality is widening. Wrote David Westphal, "income inequality is likely to deepen beyond its growth of the 1980s and 1990s, when incomes of affluent Americans grew more than three times faster than those of the low-income."
"Inequality is growing in all parts of the country," said Jared Bernstein, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.
"Certain trends have been favoring the left for the past several decades. In the early 1960s, transfer payments (entitlements and welfare) constituted less than a third of the federal government's budget. Now they constitute almost 60 percent of the budget, or about $1.4 trillion per year. Measured according to this, the US government's main function now is redistribution: taking money from one segment of the population and giving it to another segment. In a few decades, transfer payments are expected to make up more than 75 percent of federal government spending."
Ted Koppel produced his first column as a New York Times contributing columnist on Sunday, and Slate's "Press Box" media critic Jack Shafer didn't mince words. His headline calls it an "embarrassing debut." He makes it sound like Koppel is the editorial-page equivalent of a one-week wonder on "Skating With Celebrities." He begins by noting...
the invitation [to be a Times columnist] came from an "editor friend of mine," so the fault belongs to whomever assigned, accepted, and edited or rewrote Koppel's self-indulgent, self-congratulatory, late-to-the-party, and punishingly obvious 1,500-word piece about the state of television news. (It's bad.) It's not even Koppel's fault if he thinks he's any good at this columnist thing, when he isn't. If we were to belittle every person who stretched his talents until they pop, we'd have little time for anything else.
In a recent Nightline episode that aired January 27, 2006, Vicki Mabrey presented what some call a controversial program happening within the prison walls of Lawtey Correctional Institution. The issue at hand – faith in prisons, and not just Christianity.
Mabrey contends that even though officials cite success with their program it isn’t really sufficient because there aren’t any scientific studies that prove that these types of faith based programs help lower disciplinary actions or lower recidivism rates.
Former CNN anchor Aaron Brown gave a speech at Palm Beach, Florida’s Society of the Four Arts on Tuesday, and according to the Palm Beach Daily News, he didn’t have very nice things to say about the news industry including, “‘Truth no longer matters in the context of politics and, sadly, in the context of cable news.’"
According to the article: “Brown said he tried to give viewers a balanced diet of light and serious news with NewsNight. ‘But I always knew when I got to the Brussels sprouts, I was on thin ice,’ he said.”
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan visited Venezuela on January 24th and joined President Hugo Chavez at a speaking event for the sixth annual World Social Forum in Caracas. You may not have heard this story because it wasn’t mentioned on Today, the Early Show or Good Morning America, among others. This is one of those cases where the bias is in what’s not reported.
Last December, CNN’s American Morning did a "Top Five in ‘05" segment, featuring the year’s most interesting people and stories. Ms. Sheehan ranked number three, higher then Pope John Paul II. Earlier in the year, they gleefully covered her trip to England. CNN has, thus far, not bothered to report on Cindy Sheehan’s appearance with a dictator who imprisons his critics and, according to U.S. News and World Report, is "flirting with terrorism." CNN’s website did mention the anti war activist’s appearance at the event, but only in the article’s 19th and final paragraph. Is it possible that the mainstream media doesn’t want to point out the irony that Cindy Sheehan, who once described George Bush as "the biggest terrorist in the world," is now meeting with Hugo Chavez?
On the Jan. 19, "NBC Nightly News," introducing a story on Google's refusal to comply with a subpoena for Web search records, anchor Brian Williams alerted viewers to "a developing story in this country tonight that involves the collision of technology and privacy...The giant and successful search engine company has been subpoenaed by the Justice Department. They want to see exactly what people are searching for."
Fifteen additional reports graced the newscasts of the broadcast networks since then, according to a Nexis search, most of these focusing on the concerns of privacy advocates who fear overreaching by the Bush administration.
Five days later, the Associated Press reported that Google will censor Web sites the Chinese government deems objectionable:
California’s upcoming GOP primary just got interesting. Former U.S. Rep. and decorated veteran Paul "Pete" McCloskey recently announced that he will challenge Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Tracy) in June.
Often described as a "maverick Republican" (code word for liberal) by the mainstream media (MSM), McCloskey is being lauded as a "moderate" who will restore the conservative principles of small government to a scandal-plagued Washington. To drive the point home, Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay’s names are invoked frequently in articles on the subject.
McCloskey ran against President Richard Nixon in 1972 as an antiwar candidate and testified in congress along with Vietnam Veterans Against the War organizer John Kerry, who he also endorsed for president in 2004. All this, combined with having been co-chairman of the first Earth Day in 1970 and one of the authors of the Endangered Species Act, makes McCloskey a "good" Republican in the eyes of the media.
Hugh Hewitt thinks highly of Nicholas Lemann, dean of Columbia University's graduate school of journalism and a staff writer for the New Yorker. Last year, Lemann wrote a New Yorker profile of Hewitt which the subject considered “complete and fair.” Hewitt also was “impressed with [Lemann’s New Yorker] profiles of Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. (The Cheney profile earned Lemann some animosity among colleagues, who thought him too gentle with the only man the left fears as much as Rove.)” Apparently, though, it’s possible to both write evenhandedly about right-of-center figures, and run one of the best journalism schools in the country, and still be clueless regarding basic conservative arguments on liberal media bias.
Courtesy of MEMRI.org, the website of the Middle East Media Research Institute, we find that the media apparently "mistranslated" the latest tape from Osama bin Laden. Although it was widely reported that bin Laden offered America a "truce," in fact what he offered was to adhere to a truce should we propose one. Translated by MEMRI.org, these are the relevant portions of what bin Laden actually said:
"We have no objection to accepting a long-term cease fire under fair conditions which we will uphold…both sides will benefit from such a cease fire, from security and stability…"
Unsurprisingly, one of the mistranslations originated with Al-Jazeera, which is hardly an impartial source. Indeed, one has to wonder whether they have a slot in the door marked, "al-Qaeda tapes." This is their translation of bin Laden’s statement:
On Thursday, angry liberal readers of the Washington Post forced the ombudsmen of the paper, Deborah Howell, to shut it down. In her Sunday column, written on 1/15, Howell wrote that Abramoff "had made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties," prompting a wave of nasty reader postings on post.blog.
So much for our open-minded, elitist friends on the left, who are all to glad to once again enact another episode of "Do as I say, and not as I do." This is the same bunch that screams for openness and truth in media reporting, but only IF it hurts the GOP.
There were no Democrats involved with the Abramoff probe? After reading the latest online NYT assesment of the facts, you'd think that.
Ladies and Gentlemen - we have entered the twilight zone. In their ongoing efforts to obscure the depth and bipartisan nature of the congressional corruption scandal, the New York Times shows itself to be little more than a public relations organ of the Democrat Party. Committing the sin of omission once again, a piece on the Abramoff probe by Anne Kornblut neglects to implicate any Democrats in the scandal, instead focusing on slicing and dicing Bob Ney. The Grey Lady accomplishes this by dumping every allegation made in Abramoff's plea agreement all over the pages, mixed with the filtered responses of anyone who might support him (including his lawyer, who is quoted once with two sentences).
Just a heads up for a great piece on the New York Times’ latest entry into the “liberal phony photo-journalism posing as editorial content” category.
Kudos to Thomas Lifson of The American Thinker who has busted the Old Grey Lady once again:
Is a fake staged photo fit to print? What if it staged in a way that makes the US forces fighting the War on Terror look cruel and ineffective? The evidence argues that yes, it can run, and in a prominent position - at least in the case of the New York Times website.
Readers will no doubt recall the hysteria from the mainstream media and anti-death penalty forces on the left over the execution of Stanley’s "Tookie" Williams last month.
Countless articles were written bemoaning Tookie’s loss and news anchors spoke glowingly of his supposed contributions to ending gang violence. That Tookie himself was the founder of the notorious "Crips" gang, responsible for so much murder and mayhem over the years, didn’t seem to enter into the equation. Neither did the four people he murdered in cold blood.
Now California’s next execution is scheduled for Tuesday, January 17, with multiple murderer Clarence Ray Allen doing the honors. As Allen’s execution approaches, one has to wonder when all the hoopla will commence? We're all waiting for the liberal glitterati to come out and show their support.
A piece by Neil Lewis in today's Grey Lady has a curious pseudo-profile of some of the prosecutors (led by head prosecutor Noel Hillman) who cut the plea bargains and deals in the Abramoff case. Members of the Department of Justice's Office of Public Integrity are highlighted in the piece. It begins with a somewhat misleading lede, which is an indication of the cloudiness to come:
"The plea agreement from the lobbyist Jack Abramoff, which has the potential for a multitude of legal troubles for Congressional Republicans, has been largely the work of a team of career prosecutors in the Justice Department led by an avid surfer and early Bruce Springsteen fan from New Jersey."
Call me overly suspicious, but the story of 16-year-old Farris Hassan traveling to Iraq on a whim strikes me as unbelievable. The Florida teen of Iraqi descent was all over the news in December when he apparently took off without telling his family and headed to Iraq to see what all the fuss was about. Hassan was able to finance his plane ticket to Kuwait with money he earned trading stocks on the Internet.
All the media coverage portrayed Hassan as a naïve young man who simply wanted to, in his own words, "experience…the same hardships ordinary Iraqis experience everyday." In an essay written by Hassan and e-mailed to his teacher from Kuwait, he seemed to have pro-American views and he spoke passionately about the need to defeat the terrorists in Iraq. He was also interested in a career in journalism and after taking a course in "immersion journalism," he made the decision to go to Iraq. In the process, he found himself smack dab in the middle of a war zone.
A piece in today's NYT by Adam Liptak has numerous holes and discrepencies (just some documented here) that can be expected from a newspaper who officially endorsed the Democrats in the last two elections.
Apart from bringing up the name Ray Bork twice (even quoting him in an attempt to make it sound like Alito's words) and neglecting to mention any left-wing judges by name or deed, the piece is a confusing attempt to frame the confirmation hearing and subsequent issues that may arise during the proccedings.
Biggest among the potholes was the third graph, written thusly:
"Judge Roberts replaced Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, meaning that his nomination was a one-for-one, conservative-for-conservative swap. If Judge Alito is confirmed, he will replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, whose vote was often the fulcrum on which the Rehnquist court's decisions turned."
Did the NSA, the government's international communications monitoring arm, spy on CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour? Lots of lefty blogs are upset about the possibility (see the Moderate Voice's listing of them).
Apparently, the fuss started with a transcript of an "NBC Nightly News" interview with New York Times reporter James Risen, according to NBC, accidentally included a question and answer that was not broadcast:
MITCHELL: You don't have any information, for instance, that a very prominent journalist, Christiane Amanpour, might have been eavesdropped upon?
RISEN: No, no I hadn't heard that.
After the story broke, the NSA said to CNN that it had not spied on Amanpour, marking one of the first times the agency has responded to a story broken by blogs.
There's a media story here for sure, but is there a political one? Michelle Malkin argues no considering the alleged spying likely occurred entirely outside the U.S. and thus was not illegal.
The heartbreaking story of the 12 miners who died in a West Virginia mine collapse on Monday, January 2, is now common knowledge. The lone survivor remains in the hospital in critical condition. But if viewers were tuned into CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees on Tuesday night, they were in for a surprise.
Anderson was on the scene when he breathlessly delivered the breaking news that 12 out of 13 miners had in fact survived the accident. The chances of these men surviving for days on end without oxygen were nil, but sometimes audiences want to believe in miracles. The families of the deceased certainly did and they acted accordingly, taking part in a spirited celebration at the local church. But several hours later they were faced with a cruel blow. They were told that their family members had died after all.
Bonneville Radio announced yesterday that it will launch Washington Post Radio on three dial settings in the Washington, DC radio market (1500, 107.7, 104.3). Bonneville currently runs WTOP radio, a 24/7 newsradio station in Washington. Are we about to get the Post's liberal bias on the radio, too? Bonneville executive Joel Oxley said in today's Post story, "It's going to be NPR on caffeine. It will be non-drowsy public radio."
Bonneville will own and operate both WTOP and Washington Post Radio. Washington Post Radio's programming will include in-depth local, national and international news and commentary provided by Washington Post reporters, editors, and columnists as well as news makers and other local media personalities.
Once in a while, it happens. TV serves up human drama in real time. So it was on this morning's Today show, when the bereaved son of one of the Sago miners confronted the governor of West Virginia over allegedly lax safety enforcement in the mine.
Matt Lauer began with a stand-up interview at the disaster site of WV Governor Joe Manchin. Lauer then brought in John Bennett, the adult son of Jim Bennett, one of the miners who died. Bennett stood at Lauer's other side.
Bennett described the history of violations in the mine. Lauer turned to Manchin to inquire about the violations. Manchin had launched into his response when Bennett took matters into his own hands.
Bennett, wearing the red cap in the photo here, spoke across Lauer directly to Manchin:
Who needs a publicist to promote your book when the AP will do it for free? The AP is shilling for James Risen's new book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration. In an article titled, "CIA Ignored Info Iraq Had no WMD", posted on yahoo.com, the AP states that the book "describes secret operations of the Bush Administration's war on terror". The articles cites an instance of the CIA sending an Iraqi-American MD to Iraq to talk to her brother about Iraq's nuclear weapons programs. Despite reports of a nuclear weapons program that ended years before, the article reports "In October 2002, a month after the doctor's trip to Baghdad, the U.S intelligence community issued a National Intelligence Estimate that concluded Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program". According to the article, "New York Times reporter James Risen uses the anecdote to illustrate how the CIA ignored information that Iraq no longer had weapons of mass destruction.
A UCLA political scientist conducted a recent study on media bias and came to the conclusion that many of us reached a long time ago. The media tilts left. But the study did produce some unexpected results.
It turns out that PBS’ NewsHour With Jim Lehrer is the most "centrist outlet," while the Drudge Report "leans left." Most readers find the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page to be conservative (with the exception of their stance on illegal immigration, which mirrors that of the far left), but the UCLA study found that the news pages are "even more liberal than The New York Times."
If the Wall Street Journal’s Middle East news coverage is any indication, UCLA knows what it’s talking about. A front page article in the news section of the December 28th issue demonstrates all the usual biases and blind spots of the liberal media when it comes to the Middle East.