"The New York State Legislature needs to Raise the Age of criminal responsibility, and they need to do it this year," demands the subheadline on MSNBC.com's landing page this afternoon for a story headlined, "Stop charging kids as adults." The column, co-authored by former NAACP president Ben Jealous and actress Rosario Dawson, promotes a push by the Citizens Committee for Children of New York [CCCNY] to change Empire State law so that minors aged 16 years old cannot be charged as adults.
Jealous and Dawson don't disclose to what age they believe the age of criminal responsibility should be raised, but they do include a reference to mental maturity which suggests they might be happy with it falling somewhere in the mid-20s:
An official NAACP video for Saturday's One Nation rally (featuring their leader Ben Jealous, among others) claims that their movement includes "Conservatives and moderates, progressives and liberals." But a look at the actual "endorsing organizations" on the One Nation website doesn't list conservative groups, but it does include the Communist Party USA, the Committee of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (founded as a "moderate" wing of the CPUSA), the International Socialist Organization (publishers of SocialistWorker.org), and the Democratic Socialists of America (as well as its Chicago, Detroit, and New York chapters).
And the liberals get mad when you associate them with socialism. Well, what are these groups doing on this list, then? Where are the media worrying about "fringes" and "extremists"?
These endorsements have been missing from news accounts. AP's pre-protest dispatch by Nafeesa Syeed surgically began "Groups pushing for progressive policies will gather in the nation's capital this weekend for a march aimed at recapturing momentum for their agenda and mobilizing supporters before next month's midterm elections." Krissah Thompson left this angle out in her Washington Post story.
On the National Public Radio show Tell Me More, host Michel Martin welcomed in three liberals on Wednesday, but tried so very hard not to identify them or the march as "liberal" or "left-wing." The issue of fringy endorsing organizations never came up. She began:
On Thursday, The Washington Post reported plans for the liberal One Nation rally, and even used a label in reporting "liberal groups" were organizing the event that "they expect to draw tens of thousands of people." Reporter Krissah Thompson quoted organizers of the event:
"We aren't the alternative to the tea party; we are the antidote," said NAACP President Benjamin Jealous, who is also a lead organizer. The team that produces the NAACP's annual Image Awards show are putting together the One Nation rally.
But Thompson somehow missed the hubbub over Mr. Jealous recently speaking in a black church about the rally, wildly comparing the "hatred" of Obama opponents to the "period before Kristallnacht," that is, the prelude to the Nazi slaughter of six million Jews:
As the Texas State Board of Education worked to complete its once-every-ten-year revision of the curriculum for the state’s schools in May, much of the mainstream media promoted complaints and distortions from the left – many originating with the left-leaning Texas Freedom Network – about the nature of the changes in the guidelines and how they would effect textbooks that might end up in other states. One of the more incendiary distortions was that the conservative-leaning Texas Board of Education was trying to downplay or ignore the existence of slavery in America’s history as some on the left claimed that the term "slave trade" was being renamed "Atlantic triangular trade" thus removing the word "slave" or "slavery" from the curriculum. Joy Behar of ABC’s The View and of HLN’s Joy Behar Show went the furthest in slamming the board of education as she charged on the May 17 The View that "It's called revisionism. People do it about the Holocaust, and now Texas wants to do it about our country." She soon mockingly declared: "You know what, next they'll be burning books. Next step, burn books."
NBC’s Rehema Ellis mentioned the issue on the NBC Nightly News on two consecutive nights, on the May 22 show charging, "And the expression 'slave trade' would be changed to the 'Atlantic triangular trade.' Some critics see that as a move to deny slavery," while ABC’s Dan Harris on the May 21 World News asserted, "Here are some of the things the conservatives tried and failed to do: Have the President called by his full name, Barack Hussein Obama, which some called an attempt to raise questions about his faith, and even rename the 'slave trade' as the 'Atlantic triangular trade.'"
But CNN’s T.J. Holmes deserves credit because he actually took the time to inform viewers of the wording in question, first as he, on the May 22 CNN Saturday Morning, hosted a debate between NAACP President Benjamin Jealous and Jonathan Saenz of the Liberty Institute, with the CNN anchor revealing that the new wording still used the word "slavery" as he posed a question to the NAACP president. Holmes: "I want to make sure, because I read this thing as well and I did see 'Atlantic triangular trade' in there, but then in the next, almost couple of words I saw the word 'slavery' ... Now, what is the issue with that that you call it a 'triangular trade' and then you're still talking about slavery and you used the word ' slavery'? What's the issue?"