Rachel Maddow has engaged in a strange--sinister?--irony. On her MSNBC show last night, one moment Maddow was condemning the late Senator Joe McCarthy for encouraging people to "turn in their friends" in the entertainment industry. The next moment, Maddow was urging her viewers to . . . turn in someone in the entertainment industry--the animator of Mike Huckabee's history series for kids.
Maddow devoted a sarcastic segment to mocking Huckabee's series of DVDs on American history. Along the way she accused Huckabee of engaging in revisionist history. Her example was the way a Huckabee DVD described Ronald Reagan's testimony as a friendly witness at a McCarthy hearing, in his role as president of the Screen Actors Guild, as Reagan having "worked against Communism in Hollywood."
Maddow then said this: "We asked [Huckabee's production company] today who had done the animation on these DVDs. They would not tell us. If you know who brought this amazing animated sauce to life, please get in touch with us. We would like to know."
A bill to legalize gay marriage in Maryland fell short Friday after supporters failed to find enough votes to overcome Republican opposition and misgivings by some Democrats in the deeply Catholic state.
Just in case any readers missed the point, seven paragraphs later:
Some predicted that, if passed, the measure would have been petitioned to referendum in the deeply Catholic state.
Message received. But why does the AP writer characterize Maryland as deeply Catholic?
In 2009, the Gallup Organization produced an analysis of religious identity based on more than 170,000 interviews conducted earlier in the year. 24.3% of adult Americans identified themselves as Catholics. In Maryland, it was 21.9%, less than the national average. The Free State's percentage of Protestants and other Christians is 54.9, more than double that of Catholics. Overall, more than half the states have a greater percentage of Catholics than Maryland does.
It appears the progressive New York Times is running an ugly campaign of character assassination against a real-life American hero who saved lives and helped to safeguard the nation’s sacred democratic process. The man with the bull’s eye on his back is Brandon Darby, formerly a far-left community organizer. The Old Gray Lady has accused Darby of encouraging a plot to firebomb Republicans at the 2008 nominating convention, when in fact he was instrumental in thwarting the conspiracy and saving the lives of Republican delegates and police officers.
Darby stands accused by the New York Times and by angry radical groups of acting as an agent provocateur. In the article Anarchist Ties Seen in ’08 Bombing of Texas Governor’s Mansion published February 23, 2011, the paper said Darby urged two radicals to firebomb the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. According to NYT reporter James C. McKinley Jr.:
On December 18, 2010, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric posted a video on her blog, Couric & Co., calling on Congress to pass tougher legislation to combat underage sex trafficking. However, what she failed to reveal to online viewers was that only two weeks earlier she attended a party at the Manhattan townhouse of Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender accused of trafficking underage girls. (h/t BigJournalism.com)
Couric and other media figures, including ABC Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos, were apparently at the event to speak with Britain's Prince Andrew about the upcoming royal wedding. As the New York Post reported on December 6: "Andrew regaled a bevy of media heavyweights at billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's Upper East Side townhouse the other night when he told of the royal family's joy over Prince William's upcoming wedding to Kate Middleton – and the glamorous guests asked for invitations."
ABC reporter Bob Woodruff has helped raise money for a liberal environmental advocacy group while reporting on environmental issues for ABC, in direct violation of the network's ethics politcies, according to our friends at Big Journalism (who picked up on an investigation by the Enterprise Report).
Woodruff even reported on the group he helped raise funds for - Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Waterkeeper Alliance - and dubbed one of its advisory board members one of the "six people helping to save our planet," all without disclosing his financial ties to the group.
ABC acknowledged that Woodruff's actions violate its ethics policies, according to the Enterprise Report, and insisted that it will take "appropriate disciplinary action," but neglected to elaborate any further.
Update (5:03 pm): The Times responds. See the full response below.
Below is the full text of an email I sent Friday afternoon to Arthur Brisbane, Public Editor of the New York Times. In it, I detail a serious error made by Times columnist Paul Krugman in his Sunday column - documented at NB - and request that the Times correct the record, in keeping with its own ethics policies. If Mr. Brisbane or another member of the Times's staff responds, I will post the response as an update.
Even if the Times does correct the record, however, Krugman's error has already filtered into and throughout the media echo chamber. Others, such as MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, have repeated Krugman's false claim, illustrating the inevitable consequences of journalistic negligence.
As reported at NB by TimesWatch editor Clay Waters, the New York Times bestowed the honor of "modern day Edward R. Murrow" on "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart for his advocacy for a bill awarding billions for the medical care of 9/11 first responders.
As it would only ever do for a liberal, the Times lauded Stewart as the exemplar of righteous journalistic advocacy - hence the likeness to Murrow, who, according to lore, brought down Sen. Joseph McCarthy during his communist witchhunts during the 1950s.
You just can't make this stuff up. According to the Times of London (subscription required), Julian Assange is angry at the UK Guardian for publishing details of sexual assault allegations against him based on…wait for it…a leaked police report. Stones, glass houses, etc.
Assange is especially peeved, the Times reported, that the Guardian "selectively published" details of that report. Gee, you mean that publishing only sensational excerpts of leaked private information might present an incomplete and misleading narrative to the paper's readers that could damage the reputations of those involved? You don't say.
MSNBC.com reported Thursday that Julian Assange was hiding out in the Frontline Club, a club for journalists in London, where reporters "closed ranks and kept his whereabouts to themselves." That Assange "knew…he would be well-fed and, more importantly, safe" at the Frontline club demonstrates the bizarre affinity that journalists have for the Wikileaks founder.
Assange's mission is not journalism's mission. He sees no inherent value in truth; information is simply a means to his (very political) end. He doesn't want transparency; by his own admission, Wikileaks's endgame is opacity. He is not a reformer, he is a destroyer.
The U.S. government “ought to speak about the enablers in the American journalistic community” who have cooperated with WikiLeaks, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer urged on Monday’s night’s Special Report on FNC, recommending that if you “collaborate” with WikiLeaks, then “we are going to look into possible prosecution.”
It's a weighty charge, plagiarism. But your credibility in making it tends to dissipate when you do so on a site founded and run by an alleged serial plagiarist.
Arianna Huffington has been accused of lifting portions of a number of her books from other authors, and in one case had to dole out a 5-figure settlement to put plagiarism charges to rest. Her site has also taken heat from celebrities whose names appear on bylines on the site, but who didn't actually write those posts' contents.
If Juan Williams knew at 9:45 p.m. yesterday that he was out of a job, he sure didn't show it.
The same night he was fired by NPR, Williams appeared on Sean Hannity's "Great American panel" segment in an ostensibly cheerful mood, exchanging playful banter with the host and panelists.
"I love the sartorial splendor of his mutton chops," quipped Williams, referring to New York gubernatorial candidate Jimmy McMillian's facial hair. "And I'm thinking what would you look like with this? A little bit of that deputy dog look. You know what I'm talking about? You would look marvelous, my friend. That would be you as more liberal. That was a hip, younger Sean."
Medical marijuana is an evergreen (pardon the pun) topic for alternative weeklies, along with the return of vinyl records. The recent loosening of federal regulations under Obama have pushed the issue into the mainstream, with one surprising side effect -- a huge boost in ad sales for alternative papers and even some mainstream dailies, as medical marijuana businesses like "Happy Buddah" and "High Mike's" attempt to entice customers, er, patients.
But the New York Times, usually hypersensitive to how corporate advertising affects coverage of industry-related issues, didn't spot any potential conflicts in this case, even as a newspaper executive lamented how a tightening of a state law on medical marijuana could adversely affect his newspaper ad sales.
Reporter Jeremy Peters' report from Colorado Springs, "New Fuel for Local Papers: Ads for Medical Marijuana," on Tuesday's front page, failed to question whether such massive advertising for a controversial product could influence a newspaper's journalism. By comparison, the Times banned tobacco cigarette ads from its pages in 1999, and tobacco companies have long been prohibited from advertising their products on television and radio.
When it hit the streets here last week, the latest issue of ReLeaf, a pullout supplement to The Colorado Springs Independent devoted to medical marijuana, landed with a satisfying thud.
CNN aired a documentary featuring young conservative “guerrilla” journalists four times this weekend.
One of the four activists spotlighted on “Right on the Edge” was pro-life activist Lila Rose, who singlehandedly shattered Planned Parenthood’s image with her undercover videos exposing the abortion behemoth as a pedophile protector and disinformation dispenser.
I thought CNN treated all four conservative young guns quite fairly. One complaint about Lila’s segment would be there wasn’t much discussion of her findings at PP.
We can thank James O’Keefe (pictured right) for that, who sucked at least one quarter of the documentary’s hour away from the featured four with his incredibly stupid plan to punk CNN.
For some in the White House Press Corps, literally thanking God for the existence of a terrorist organization is less controversial than being owned by a company that gives more money to one political party than the other. That, at least, is the standard former WHCA president Edwin Chen has set forth. In an interview with the far-left blog Media Matters, Chen dubbed "a travesty" the WHCA's decision to award a front-row seat in the briefing room to Fox News. His objection? "The vacancy was created because of an ideological conflict," and would be filled by "another cloud of ideological conflict." The first ideological conflict to which Chen referred was Helen Thomas's retirement, forced by a video showing her making anti-Semitic comments. The second: the political contributions of Fox's parent company, News Corp.
Police Chief David Brown (pictured right) was pressed on this, and here was how blogger Andrea Grimes of the Dallas Observer interpreted his remarks:
But Ms. Jasso read my mind, asking the Chief to explain the... increase.... is it that victims are reporting rapes more frequently, or that more rapes are happening? The answer, unfortunately: More rapes, says Chief Brown, specifically date rapes. And we all know what the solution to date rape is: getting women to stop drinking, because that is what causes date rape. Not dudes raping women, but women drinking.
When former Congressman Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL) passed away this week, Fox Chicago News's political editor Mike Flannery described the late Ways and Means committee chairman as 'a giant of Chicago politics, remembered and beloved for negotiating legislation that helped create projects all over the state." Rostenkowski did indeed bring home the pork. But Flannery also writes that the congressman "was as responsible as anyone but Ronald Reagan for the 'Reagan tax cuts' of (the) early '80s."
In an accompanying video on Fox Chicago's Web site, Flannery recalls (at about 4:30) speaking to Rostenkowski and House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill (D-MA) in the first days of Reagan's presidency. They said that Reagan had been elected and "we're going to give him what he wants. He told us the number one thing is this tax deal and they said we're going to work with him."
Vanity Fair's national editor Todd Purdum has a long piece in the most recent issue (in the print edition only, as far as I can tell) bemoaning what he argues are the new and unique challenges facing the Obama administration, including the state of the news media. Purdum's opinions on the state of the news business boil down to a call for the press's continuing political uniformity.
He offers a quote from White House adviser Valerie Jarrett that also captures the author's opinions on the issue. Purdum writes:
Obama's senior adviser Valerie Jarrett looks back wistfully to a time when credible people could put a stamp of reliability on information and opinion: "Walter Cronkite would get on and say the truth, and people believed the media," she says. Today, no single media figure or outlet has that power to end debate, and in pursuit of "objectivity," most honest news outlets draw the line at saying flatly that something or other is untrue, even when it plainly is.
Purdum's and Jarrett's statements are comprised of one part revisionist nostalgia, and one part liberal elitism. "Objectivity" was never really present. What they're longing for is the reliable white-collar liberalism of the 20th century news media.
Of all networks to go on to accuse Fox News hosts of faux anger, Anthony Weiner chose MSNBC. You know, MSNBC--home to Ed Schultz, who into his mid-40s was a Republican, and who described himself as a "fresh conservative voice" in seeking a GOP congressional nomination. MSNBC. Keith Olbermann's hang-out, the man whose stagey histrionics have made him a laughingstock even at his sister network's Saturday Night Live.
Weiner made his allegation in the course of responding to Mika Brzezinski, who asked whether he regretted "losing it" on the House floor last week in a vein-popping diatribe that became an instant YouTube classic. Said Mika savvily: "Come on. You've been on television. You understand how it all works. You knew it would be all over the place. Do you regret losing it?"
An unrepentant Weiner, rather than apologizing for his televised tirade, chose to point the finger at Fox.
If Anne Applebaum is to be believed, the existence of primary sources is in and of itself the reason the dead-trees should be kept around. She writes for Slate:
I didn't think it was possible, but Julian Assange has now done it: By releasing 92,000 documents full of Afghanistan intelligence onto the laptops of an unsuspecting public, the founder of Wikileaks has finally made an ironclad case for the mainstream media. If you were under the impression that we don't need news organizations, editors, or reporters with more than 10 minutes' experience anymore, then think again. The notion that the Internet can replace traditional news-gathering has just been revealed to be a myth.
Ironically, that passage shows one of the key problems with the mainstream media: they don't know anything. The Afghanistan documents collected by Wikileaks are not "intelligence," but field reports from regular combat units and special forces. Also, the notion that Wikileaks is some kind of news organization when it is really an online repository of documents-i.e. sources instead of reportage-shows the kind of unfamiliarity with basic facts that people like Applebaum, in the mainstream media, wrongly attribute to Wikipedia and ignore in themselves.
The Daily Caller released a new JournoList scoop today, and this one's a doozy. It confirms that reporters on the liberal media listserv did in fact collaborate with political operatives and campaign officials to spin media coverage in favor of Barack Obama.
The latest piece further debunks JournoList founder Ezra Klein's claims - also taken on by this humble blogger - that the email list did not include campaign or government officials, and was not used to manufacture talking points.
In fact, two members of the Obama campaign, Jared Bernstein and Jason Furman, were JournoList members during the race. Jeff Hauser reportedly signed a number of JournoList emails "Campaign Manager, Shulman for Congress," while he worked on New Jersey Democratic congressional candidate Dennis Shulman's campaign.
And talking points were a much-discussed issue. "JournoList’s greatest challenge is to make sure an actual win by Obama translates into winning the battle for political impact," Houser stated on one occasion. It doesn't get more explicit than that.
Fox Business is reporting that the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that President Obama signed recently includes a provision that exempts the Securities and Exchange Commission from responding to Freedom of Information Act requests. Fox wrote:
The law, signed last week by President Obama, exempts the SEC from disclosing records or information derived from "surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities." Given that the SEC is a regulatory body, the provision covers almost every action by the agency, lawyers say. Congress and federal agencies can request information, but the public cannot.
Several years ago, the media was confronted by several similar issues involving attempts by the Bush Administration to narrow the provisions of FOIA and exempt certain agencies from having to respond to requests filed under that act. The question that remains in these next few days as the media reports on this story is weather their response will be as condemnatory as it was when George W. Bush was in office.
UPDATE: Louis's retort considered - and debunked - below. UPDATE II: Louis makes a pretty outrageous claim on his twitter account. Details below.
Here's a helpful tip if you ever run for federal office: make sure to curry favor with journalists so that if you're ever charged with multiple ethics violations, those journalists won't ask you difficult questions. It works - just ask Charlie Rangel!
The New York congressman, chairman of the House panel in charge of the tax code, will likely be charged in a number of violations of the ethics code. Among the alleged violations is a charge that he extended a $500 million tax loophole to an oil executive in exchange for donations to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York.
No matter, says New York Daily News columnist Errol Louis, who admitted to refraining from asking Rangel any tough questions in an interview. His reason: Rangel has "been a friend to my show and he's given us a lot of good inside information."
The smarty pants set, breezily dismiss the contents of JournoList, the group made up of hundreds of mainstream journalists, bloggers, activists and Democrat policy wonks. The reasoning goes this way: how is it shocking that a bunch of like-minded people want to get together and chat? I mean, that’s just human. They’re young and liberal and brash, who cares?
Regardless, the record shows Scherer had very harsh words for Fox — a point that would be less relevant had Scherer not recently won a seat on the board of directors of the White House Correspondents Association.
Why does this matter? As you may recall, there is a battle taking place to determine which media outlet will get Helen Thomas’ front-row seat for White House briefings. Many believe that Fox News should get the seat.
The more details emerge about the liberal media listserv JournoList, the more it resembles the cabal of leftist message-coordination many conservatives feared. Though perhaps not the "vast left-wing media conspiracy" Fred Barnes proclaims, evidence points to concerted efforts to coordinate talking points, and now, to direct links between the Obama White House and JournoList members.
Ironically, those are two elements of the listserv of which creator Ezra Klein explicity claimed JournoList was completely devoid. "Is it an ornate temple where liberals get together to work out "talking points?" Of course not," Klein stated last year. He added, "There are no government or campaign employees on the list."
Both of those assertions are provably false (whether or not they were at the time). The former has been contradicted by a number of instances of JournoList members doing just that: coordinating talking points. The second claim is upended by recent revelations that Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden's chief economic adviser, and unpaid "surrogate" adviser to the Obama campaign, was a member of JournoList while advising then-candidate Obama on economic issues.
Tucker Carlson posted a piece on his website, the Daily Caller, Thursday evening in what he claims is an attempt to refute two key criticisms of the website's recent exposes involving the lefty reporter listserv JournoList.
The first, that the reporters are opinion commentators and not "straight news" journalists Carlson says is irrelevant. "What we object to is partisanship," Carlson stated, "which is by its nature dishonest, a species of intellectual corruption… Those who engage in it are not journalists. They should stop pretending to be."
The second line of attack taken on in the post is the notion, "familiar to anyone who has ever published a piece whose subject didn’t like the finished product," that excerpts of JournoList emails published at the Daily Caller were taken out of context. Carlson challenged the accusers to publish the full emails and refute his charges.
Even though I as a pro-life blogger know I battle on the right side of history, on a day-to-day basis I sometimes don't feel like a victor. The fight seems so uphill, with money, political power, and MSM all against us.
So the following July 21 Politico story about what bloggers on the Left think of us was enlightening. Every time I get a peek into the other side's view of us I realize once again that they're paper tigers.
Also of note is the Left's view that Obama has clipped his agenda thanks to us, when we think his actions thus far demonstrate he is the most liberally radical president ever.
A journalist with a political agenda is not necessarily a dishonest one, and a journalist who claims to be objective is not necessarily honest. These are useful facts to bear in mind as media liberals call for Andrew Breitbart's head.
Breitbart posted video of recently-fired USDA official Shirley Sherrod claiming she considered race in allocating federal agriculture funds. The apparent racism was debunked when the entire video surfaced, showing that Sherrod had actually discouraged such actions. "This is what happens" wrote Eric Deggans for the St. Petersburg "when ideologically-focused noise machines are treated like real news outlets."
Conspicuously absent in Deggans's screed is any mention of the recently-discovered attempt by liberal commentators to maliciously - and falsely, by their own admission - brand their ideological opponents as racists. Also absent: any mention of the litany of instances of dishonest and counter-factual reporting from the purportedly "objective" media.
According to Poole, the Masjid Al-Noor mosque in Memphis posted an event entitled "A Weekend with Mohammed al-Hanooti" for the non-weekend dates of July 13 through 15 on its website. He has a screenshot of the mosque's event page and says that it is genuine, however, local Memphis newspaper The Commercial Appeal's Michael Lollar disputed Poole's findings in an article entitled "Hamas fundraiser not speaking at mosque."
Lollar only addressed the side of the mosque's administrators. According to Poole, Lollar made no attempt to contact him and Lollar's language in the article was dismissive of Poole's post, to the point of making it seem as though independently verifiable facts used by Poole were merely allegations and suppositions.