Journalistic Issues

By Matt Vespa | March 29, 2013 | 5:18 PM EDT

This morning’s episode of Starting Point on CNN wouldn’t be complete without host Soledad O’Brien doing what she does best: cheerlead for the Obama administration.  Yesterday, the president chastised the American people for forgetting about the tragedy in Newtown last December, and said this was a critical moment for the nation to back his anti-gun agenda.

So of course O'Brien this morning invited slain Sandy Hook teacher Victoria Soto’s sister Jillian on the program to discuss the new ad released by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The MAIG ad shamelessly plays on the emotions of Americans, specifically residents of Connecticut, in order to do damage control for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s failed campaign to ban assault weapons and so-called high-capacity magazines.

By Matt Vespa | March 29, 2013 | 3:43 PM EDT

The liberal website Slate has taken post-Newtown commentary to a new low by tracking the amount of deaths via firearm that have occurred since December. It’s purely an emotional ploy to show how awful America, our right to bear arms, and gun owners really are, and how the perpetuate carnage.  Hence, we must act, and pass ineffectual policies like an assault weapons ban.  What’s odd is that this interactive map was posted yesterday, when President Obama testily chastised the country for Congress's failure thus far to enact his anti-gun agenda.  

Furthermore, its seems Chris Kirk and Dan Kois, the two men compiling this butcher’s bill, are lusting for more macabre news, urging readers to help them "draw a more complete picture of gun violence in America" by tweeting "@GunDeaths with a citation" of "gun death[s] in your community" that "[aren't] represented here."

By Matt Vespa | March 28, 2013 | 5:41 PM EDT

Note to Piers Morgan: Journalism isn't rocket science and making a few phone calls can go a long way.

Giddy about a Newtown search warrant that showed there was an NRA certificate found in the Lanza household,  Morgan tweeted giddily: 

Yet, this is an abject lie.

By Matt Vespa | March 28, 2013 | 12:52 PM EDT

So, Politico jumped the shark on gay marriage yesterday in reporting that Justice Elena Kagan that she had a ‘gotcha’ moment during yesterday’s hearings on the Defense of Marriage Act.

But a real ‘gotcha’ moment would have been if Politico did their homework and resurrected Kagan’s past comments about gay marriage from 2009, when she was awaiting confirmation to the post of solicitor general and she insisted in the answer to a questionnaire that “there is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”

In Elena Kagan's DOMA 'Gotcha' Moment, Jennifer Epstein and Josh Gerstein gushed that:

By Randy Hall | March 28, 2013 | 1:51 AM EDT

Just when you think you've heard it all, along comes Philip Kent -- chairman and chief executive officer of the Turner Broadcasting System, which owns the Cable News Network – who says that CNN “is a serious news network” that viewers would appreciate more if they would watch the channel “more critically.”

Kent made the laughable comments during an interview published in this week's edition of Broadcasting and Cable magazine, when he admitted that the “biggest misconception about CNN is that it's a liberal news network,” which “drives me crazy” because “it's not.”

By Randy Hall | March 27, 2013 | 2:26 AM EDT

When the Associated Press reported on the upcoming “Sex Week” program at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, the reporter calmly noted that the “student-initiated” event will begin on Friday, April 5, and include several generic seminar topics.

However, when Fox News Radio's Todd Starnes described the same program, he indicated that it will include such controversial aspects as seminars by a lesbian bondage expert and a campus-wide scavenger hunt for a golden condom.

By Matt Vespa | March 26, 2013 | 12:26 PM EDT

So, the Associated Press decided yesterday to write a story about Republicans – more or less – switching their stance on ObamaCare’s mandated Medicaid expansion, which targets America’s working poor, children, and the elderly.   However, what the piece omits is the fact that a) it’s the most expensive provision of ObamaCare and b) the 2010 study  showing people on Medicaid are more likely to die than those who are uninsured.

David A. Lieb, the author of the column, reported that one in five Americans are already on Medicaid, and that expanding it was the Obama administration’s way of insuring America’s low-income households.

By Matt Vespa | March 24, 2013 | 7:53 PM EDT

The “nonpartisan” Organizing for Action is using the president’s twitter account.  How is that not a violation of their 501 (c) (4) status?  They’re selling access to the president.  The site’s URL is Barackobama.com, and they recently made the decision to not disclose their donors, which seems to be fine with the D.C. watchdog community.  Under Bush, this conduct would’ve drawn vociferous reactions from the political left, but Obama has the left and the media cowed.  

Aaron Blake reported for the Washington Post on March 22, that the OFA was going to share the president’s Twitter account.

By Matt Vespa | March 22, 2013 | 6:35 PM EDT

Today, the Washington Post's Ann Marimow and Aaron Davis published a rather celebratory piece on the Metro section front page claiming that a federal court panel's upholding of Maryland’s restrictive "may issue" concealed carry law is a “decision seen as [a] victory for public safety.”  "'This is huge' for advocates of gun control," gushed the headline on the jump page, B8. Ever since Newtown, the Washington Post's editorial board has reinvigorated its push for fresh gun control, and ostensibly objective reporters at the paper have also done their part to stack the deck in how they color news related to gun rights issues.

A three-judge panel of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit -- comprised of jurists appointed by Democratic presidents -- ruled on March 21 that the law passed constitutional muster. Clinton appointee Judge Robert B. King wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel:

By Matt Vespa | March 22, 2013 | 4:03 PM EDT

On March 20, the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein reported that it seems Obamacare’s true costs are starting to sink in with its most ardent supporters: Democrats.  Despite years of the liberal media reporting that this new trillion dollar health care entitlement will save money over the next decade, that outcome is, to be generous, highly dubious, especially with the possibility of eleven million new illegals being able to apply for health care benefits, the cost of health care will have to increase. 

Klein wrote:

By Matt Vespa | March 22, 2013 | 1:47 PM EDT

Has Slate’s John Dickerson been replaced with a pod person?  If not, the CBS Political Director is exuding signs of schizophrenia – or sheer forgetfulness. While in January Dickerson counseled the president to "go for the throat" of the Republican Party, in today's piece at the online opinion journal he's calling for Obama to court Republicans on a "grand bargain" to avert the looming debt crisis.

Today, Mr. Dickinson used anecdotes and Sun Tzu axioms to convey the point that Obama should not be such an agitator if he wants a deal to solve our fiscal woes.

By Randy Hall | March 20, 2013 | 9:43 PM EDT

It's easy to tell when a television series is a success because elements from the program start popping up in the oddest places. The latest example of this is the History Channel's wildly popular “The Bible” miniseries, which featured an actor representing the devil in last Sunday's episode. Soon after, Glenn Beck asked in a tweet if anyone else thought the character looked exactly like President Obama.

On the following day, CNN's Erin Burnett accused the “right-wing radio host” of having an “ugly history” of demeaning the Democratic occupant of the White House by calling him “That Guy,” “Satan” or “the Antichrist.” Beck responded on his Wednesday program by calling the accusation “complete hogwash” and “a blatant smear.”