The liberal media all too often confuses temperamentally "low-key" red-state Democrats for moderates when their voting record is anything but.
The latest example comes today in Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold's 40-paragraph front-page profile for Sen. Mark Pryor, who is facing a tight reelection battle against the "sharply conservative" Tom Cotton. Pryor's "personality matches his politics: He is low-key and averse to big changes," Fahrenthold offered a few paragraphs after uncritically allowing Pryor to insist he's:
On Tuesday, staunchly liberal Rep. Robert Andrews (N.J.) -- lifetime ACU score of 13.5 -- announced he's retiring from Congress. For his part, reporter Jason Horowitz of the New York Times noted in the lead paragraph of his Wednesday morning print article that the 12-term Democratic congressman's legacy was dogged by his "alleged misuse of his campaign funds."
When President Bush gave his fifth State of the Union address on January 31, 2006, he sat at 43 percent approval in the Gallup tracking poll, in no small part because of public perception regarding his administration's handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. When President Obama delivered his fifth State of the Union last night, his Gallup approval number was lower a mere 41 percent, doubtless impacted in no small part by the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare and the public's disapproval of the health care overhaul. What's more, some 53 percent in a recent Quinnipiac poll slammed the administration as incompetent and 47 percent expressed the belief that President Obama doesn't pay attention to what's transpiring on his watch. As to more objective metrics, the job situation is worse at this point in Barack Obama's presidency than it was the same point in George W. Bush's with higher unemployment (6.7 percent to Bush's 4.9 percent) and a woefully low labor force participation rate (62.8 percent to Bush's 66 percent).
Yet when you compare the Washington Post's front-page treatments of Mr. Obama's January 28 speech and Mr. Bush's January 31, 2006 one, it becomes all too apparent that the Post is eager to help the former spin his way to resetting the narrative for the midterm election year while the paper was all too happy to pound out a drumbeat about how President Bush was an abject failure, a lame duck roasting in the waters of public disapproval. Here's how Post staffers David Nakamura and David Fahrenthold opened up their January 29 front-pager "Obama: I won't stand still" (emphasis mine):
The Washington Post was in Gloating Mode on Thursday against Republicans. The front page of the free Express tabloid showed an elephant’s trunk waving a white flag. The headline: "IT'S OVER. FOR NOW." (Somehow, they failed to show Obama waving a white flag when he “solved” Syria’s chemical-weapons problem.)
On page 3 was a nasty Associated Press article by Donna Cassata on how a selfish Ted Cruz has enriched his own PAC by pleasing the “far right flank” at the expense of a “heavy toll” on the party’s standing:
Yet in a June 16 page A3 story on the Wednesday release of congressional financial disclosure statements -- the very documents from which the Pelosi figure was calculated -- Washington Post reporters David Fahrenthold and Karen Yourish instead chose to focus on Republican freshmen congressmen with debt, hinting at hypocrisy for having campaigned on reining in spending in Washington (emphasis mine):
Two men testified yesterday before a U.S. House of Representatives panel about how their loved ones were radicalized by Islamist extremists and how local mosque leaders did nothing to help alert U.S. authorities of the potential danger.
Yet accounts of their testimony were buried in the Washington Post's front page March 11 story about the Homeland Security Committee's March 10 hearings formally entitled an inquiry into "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response."
The Washington Post put the bad news for liberals right at the top of Monday's front page, left side: "Climate debate unmoved by spill." Reporters David Fahrenthold and Juliet Eilperin lamented that "great change" is not following the "great tragedy" of the BP oil spill. We haven't had an "awakening" to our wasteful ways:
Environmentalists say they're trying to turn public outrage over oil-smeared pelicans into action against more abstract things, such as oil dependence and climate change. But historians say they're facing a political moment deadened by a bad economy, suspicious politics and lingering doubts after a scandal over climate scientists' e-mails.
The difference between now and the awakenings that followed past disasters is as stark as "on versus off," said Anthony Leiserowitz, a researcher at Yale University who tracks public opinion on climate change.
Only liberals are "awake," while the public is "asleep." They wonder why newspaper readership is declining. Here's how the story started:
In its puffy celebration of Earth Day on Thursday, The Washington Post found the green movement in "midlife crisis." Sadly, reported David Fahrenthold and Juliet Eilperin, the American people aren't grasping the immediacy of global warming, or seeing their exhalations as pollution:
The problems are more slippery: pollutants like greenhouse-gas emissions, which don't stink or sting the eyes. And current activists, by their own admission, rarely muster the kind of collar-grabbing immediacy that the first Earth Day gave to environmental causes.
"I don't think we've come up with a good way in the conservation movement of making it real for people," said Arturo Sandoval, who was 22 when he organized activities across the West on the first Earth Day.
On the top left of Monday’s Washington Post came an eye-opening report acknowledging the continuing series of scientific problems from the United Nations in its dire forecasts about the impending doom of global warming. The headline was "Missteps weigh on agenda for climate."
Reporters Juliet Eilperin and David Fahrenthold suggested a "scientific consensus" remains about drastic human-caused global warming, but sloppy work and overstatement can "give doubters an opening." (It sounds a little like the way reporters started blaming Bill Clinton for feeding the haters.) The story began:
With its 2007 report declaring that the "warming of the climate system is unequivocal," the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won a Nobel Prize -- and a new degree of public trust in the controversial science of global warming.
But recent revelations about flaws in that seminal report, ranging from typos in key dates to sloppy sourcing, are undermining confidence not only in the panel's work but also in projections about climate change. Scientists who have pointed out problems in the report say the panel's methods and mistakes -- including admitting Saturday that it had overstated how much of the Netherlands was below sea level -- give doubters an opening.
Talk about an inconvenient truth. In ever-increasing numbers, Americans are becoming skeptical about the scientific argument that there’s a man-made global-warming crisis that requires immediate and drastic government action. The media’s enablers of the radical environmental left have a response: maybe America just isn’t smart or curious enough to save the planet. In fact, they say our growing denial is making us nationally irrational.
On Monday, National Public Radio’s "Morning Edition" ran a story by science correspondent Richard Harris. He worried out loud about a new Harris Poll showing that 51 percent of the American public believes that the carbon dioxide building up in the atmosphere could warm up our planet. That’s down from 71 percent just two years ago. That’s a free-fall.
Harris found an expert from Yale to explain this decline is based on our poor economy. People are too worried about their jobs to care about the fate of the entire globe. In a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, that’s why climate came in dead last of 20 issues of concern.
On Tuesday, The Washington Post’s Health & Science section was headed by a story contending global warming skeptics need a psychologist. David Fahrenthold’s piece was headlined:"It’s natural to behave irrationally: Climate change is just the latest problem that people acknowledge but ignore." It began:
To a psychologist, climate change looks as if it was designed to be ignored.
It is a global problem, with no obvious villains and no one-step solutions, whose worst effects seem as if they'll befall somebody else at some other time. In short, if someone set out to draw up a problem that people would not care about, one expert on human behavior said, it would look exactly like climate change.
That's the upshot of a spate of new research that tries to explain stalled U.S. efforts to combat greenhouse-gas emissions by putting the country on the couch.
The Washington Post put ClimateGate on the front page, top left in Saturday’s edition. It’s also the top story at washingtonpost.com. The headline is "In e-mails, science of warming is hot debate." The website summary: "E-mails stolen from British research center show climate-change leaders noting flaws in their own data and seemingly scheming to muzzle critics."
Wow. The story is breaking. Here’s paragraph two of the David Fahrenthold and Juliet Eilperin story:
Now it has mushroomed into what is being called "Climate-gate," a scandal that has done what many slide shows and public-service ads could not: focus public attention on the science of a warming planet.
Except now, much of that attention is focused on the science's flaws. Leaked just before international climate talks begin in Copenhagen -- the culmination of years of work by scientists to raise alarms about greenhouse-gas emissions -- the e-mails have cast those scientists in a political light and given new energy to others who think the issue of climate change is all overblown.
The e-mails don't say that: They don't provide proof that human-caused climate change is a lie or a swindle.
Imagine if you will, that during the prior presidential administration two EPA employees put up a video on YouTube that criticized environmental and energy policies supported by Republicans in Congress and President Bush, only to be told by EPA officials that they need to take down the video.
Given the media's consternation about the Bush administration's alleged efforts to squelch proponents of the theory of manmade global warming, such a story would likely be front page news in many newspapers, including the Washington Post.
But in this instance, the administration in question is Obama's, and the EPA employees are going at the president from his left flank, arguing the so called "cap-and-trade" plan would "lock in climate degradation."
But rarely if ever do the mainstream media present green enthusiasts as, to put this delicately, difficult people with whom to live under the same roof.
So on behalf of NewsBusters, here's kudos to the Washington Posts's David Fahrenthold, for today's front-pager, "D.C. Area Families Take Green to the Extreme," in which he documents, among others, a man who harangues his sister to bathe with a bucket to catch the shower water for reuse for laundry loads:
"The president-elect popped into a party at Bobby Van's restaurant, as well as The Washington Post's newsroom, where hard-bitten journalists fumbled for their cellphone cameras and reached for his hand."
So noted Post staffer Paul Schwartzman in his January 18 Metro section front-pager "Mr. Obama's (Giddy) Neighborhood." Yet for a supposedly hard-bitten bunch, the Posties sure are giddy over Obama.
Elsewhere on the Metro front page: "Driven to Obamaville by Something 'Bigger Than Us,'" -- columnist Marc Fisher's look at Obama fans camping out in an RV park north of Washington, D.C. -- and David Fahrenthold's "Visitors Pour Into D.C., Loaded With Luggage, But Lightened by Hope."
Hard-bitten journalists? Only if it's Chris Matthews that's been doing the biting.