A month ago, I noted that the establishment press has ignored an especially pernicious program undertaken by Eric Holder's Department of Justice and the Obama administration's regulatory apparatus, namely Operation Choke Point.
On Thursday, a strong 321-87 bipartisan majority of the House passed H.R. 4660, the "Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (of) 2015." Among its provisions: "Sec. 554. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to carry out Operation Choke Point." The final bill's supporters included 204 Republicans and 117 Democrats. The establishment press has ignored the vote. Excerpts from Kelly Riddell's Friday coverage at the Washington Times follows the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
A group of prominent journalists -- including former Washington Post executive editor Len Downie -- met yesterday with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder but walked away from the meeting disappointed that the Obama administration's top cop won't amend vague Justice Department guidelines which, they argue, make it far too easy for the administration to hound a reporter with the threat of criminal prosecution for protecting his or her sources in a leak investigation.
Yet in covering the story, Post editors shoved Paul Farhi's reporting on the matter to the front page of Style, rather than the A-section, and slapped on a yawn-inducing headline guaranteed to entice only the wonkiest of readers: "Media group, Holder meet on leak cases." "U.S. rules on warrants and subpoenas targeting reporters are challenged," noted the subheader. According to Farhi, the group of journalists want to see DOJ policy amended so that the attorney general must personally get involved in a subpoena request for a journalist's records (emphasis mine):
Frustrated by the Justice Department’s stonewalling of its IRS scandal investigation the House Oversight Committee, on Tuesday, sent a subpeona to Attorney General Eric Holder but you wouldn’t know that if you got your news from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks.
The news that committee chairman Darrell Issa sent the subpoena to Holder, after a Justice Department official in charge of election crimes refused to testify about his role in the IRS scandal, went unreported on the Big Three’s Tuesday night and Wednesday morning programs.
Chris Cuomo sparred with Senator Bernie Sanders on Thursday's New Day on CNN over the left-wing politician's scheduled hearing with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki regarding the V.A. hospitals scandal, where scores of veterans died as they waited for care. Cuomo pointed out that "the mandate for Shinseki when he was put in...was that we knew there were big lapses at the V.A. that had to be addressed, and you could argue they have not been. Isn't it time for accountability?"
When Sanders tried to shift the issue to a critique of CNN's coverage of the scandal, the anchor shot back at the Vermont senator for sounding like an apologist for the government-run health care system: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In June 2006, the New York Times, over strident pleas not to from the Bush 43 administration, published details of how counterterrorism officials were "tracing transactions of people suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda by reviewing records from the nerve center of the global banking industry." According to the administration, the program had "helped in the capture of the most wanted Qaeda figure in Southeast Asia." Other outlets like the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, which were apparently on the brink of breaking what the Times reported first, also chipped in with their own supplements. The stories received prominent network TV coverage, and reinforced the image of the Bush administration as secretive and far less than transparent.
So the details of how the government was monitoring the operation of the world's financial system to obtain clues to help catch terrorists apparently deserved full exposure. If that's fine, why has the press been barely interested in a far more troubling development, namely Eric Holder's U.S. Department of Justice using pressure on the financial system to conduct "a massive government overreach into private businesses that are operating within the law," which has been going on for at least a year? Welcome to "Operation Choke Point."
During Tuesday morning's edition of the Fox & Friends program, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham hammered the lack of political fallout over secretary of state John Kerry's remarks that Israel could become an “apartheid” state if that nation doesn't adopt “a two-state solution” to achieve peace with their Palestinian neighbors.
“He's kind of apologized,” Ingraham noted before stating that on the other hand, the Left “rushes to demonize people who are either Republican or conservative who misspeak.” [See video below.]
On Wednesday Darrell Issa demanded Attorney General Eric Holder answer new questions about the Justice Department’s role in the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups. In a letter sent to Holder, Issa sought answers about a newly released email between former IRS official Lois Lerner and DOJ official Richard Pilger in which Pilger asks Lerner “When you have a moment, will you call me? I’ve been asked to run something by you” and requests who at the IRS “DOJ folks could talk to” about ways to target politically involved non-profit groups.
So far none of the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) reported on this latest IRS scandal development on their evening or morning shows.
MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams blurred the lines of reality while arguing with Republican strategist Ron Christie on Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt. The two men were sparring over the desire among some Republicans to impeach Attorney General Eric Holder. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Witt asked how Holder can work with Republicans when some of them are calling for his impeachment, and Christie responded with an example from the George W. Bush presidency:
The Democratic National Committee has accused the MSNBC cable channel of having "a pretty big double standard" regarding its “confusing policy” of forbidding some anchors from attending political fundraising events while others are allowed to speak at similar programs, according to a letter written to Phil Griffin, president of the liberal television network.
Mo Elleithee, the DNC's communications director, indicated that channel executives prevented Ed Schultz -- host of the weekday afternoon program The Ed Show – from appearing at a Democratic Unity Dinner in Broward County, Fla., on March 15, while Joe Scarborough, a co-host of the weekday Morning Joe program, is slated to give the keynote address at next month's Cheshire County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner in New Hampshire.
CBS This Morning co-anchor Charlie Rose on Thursday uncritically hyped an attack by Eric Holder that implied racism as the motive for Republican opposition to him and Barack Obama. Before playing a clip of the Attorney General speaking at Al Sharpton's National Action Network (NAN) conference, Rose promoted, "Attorney General Eric Holder is lashing out at the culture on Capitol Hill. Holder lost his cool at Tuesday's House judiciary hearing." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Rose then showed an uninterrupted, 40 second snippet of the Attorney General assailing the "unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive" insults he and the President endured. Holder complained, "What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?" Behind Holder, NAN logos and the phrase "no justice, no peace" could be seen. Rose offered no skepticism to this implication of racism by the Attorney General.
Georgia-based abortionist Tyrone Cecil Malloy is headed for prison. A judge sentenced Malloy to four years in prison and six years probation on two counts of Medicaid fraud. The judge will hold a restitution hearing at a later date to determine the exact amount of restitution Dr. Malloy will be ordered to pay the Georgia Department of Community Health.
Steven Ertelt of Lifenews.com insists this conviction has a national-media angle: Malloy’s abortion clinic sits in a building owned by Dr. Sharon Malone, the obstetrician and wife of Attorney General Eric Holder, or "The First Lady of Justice," as they call her at Essence magazine. If John Ashcroft's wife owned a building with say, a crisis pregnancy center in it, trying to urge women not to have abortions, would that be evaded by the liberal media? After a criminal conviction?
On the Thursday, January 23, PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton characterized voter ID laws as a "poll tax" as he celebrated the 50th anniversary of the abolition of poll taxes with the 24th Amendment's passage.
Even while acknowledging that the IDs are generally issued by states for free, Sharpton cited Attorney General Eric Holder and Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis in complaining that simply having to travel to obtain the free ID amounts to a tax. Sharpton began:
Rita Braver badgered former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on the January 12, 2013 edition of CBS's Sunday Morning over his new memoir which, in her words, "has created such turmoil in Washington." Braver even used Gates's own words against him: "In your book, you say that one of your favorite adages is, never miss a good chance to shut up. And I wonder if you think, maybe, you violated your own advice here."
The correspondent's hardball treatment of the former Obama cabinet official contrasts with her kid glove treatment of Attorney General Eric Holder during a September 12, 2010 interview for the morning show: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Mere minutes after New Jersey governor Chris Christie said during a press conference on Thursday that he was firing deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly for lying about her role in closing lanes of the George Washington Bridge, many online posters compared the Republican official's swift action with the utter lack of movement by president Barack Obama, who has yet to terminate anyone in his administration, even if that person is embroiled in scandal.
Several comments included barbs aimed at the “mainstream media” for reporters' wall-to-wall coverage of the Christie scandal while allowing Obama officials to avoid any punishment. “To confused journalists, what @GovChristie is doing right now is called 'leadership,'” noted @derekahunter. “Google it, then look at the White House & feel shame.”
As he ended his PoliticsNation show on Wednesday, January 8, MSNBC's Al Sharpton praised Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan for issuing guidelines pushing for schools to reduce "harsh punishment" of students, which the MSNBC host labeled a "national problem," and griped about black students disproportionately receiving discipline.
On the Thursday, November 14, PoliticsNation, MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor asserted that Republicans who are pushing Attorney General Eric Holder's impeachment are a "Bozo caucus" who are "fanning the flames of hatred and bigotry."
Host Al Sharpton raised the possibility of "racial elements" as he posed the question:
(UPDATE, 11:40 a.m.: AmberAlert.gov is working again.)
In yet another news story which has bubbled up through social media and the blogosphere and which will test the establishment press's willingness to ignore obvious news, the Obama adminstration's Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder has taken AmberAlert.gov offline.
To the extent that it interrupts what DOJ has identified as one of the three components of its national AMBER strategy for "a Coordinated AMBER Network," the move could make locating and saving missing and exploited children more difficult. Meanwhile, the 83% of the government which isn't shut down includes the following:
The Washington Post is reliably liberal on just about every major political issue. But there are exceptions, and its stand for school vouchers programs as a way to lift disadvantaged kids out of a failing public school monopoly is one of them.
So it's not too surprising that the paper devoted an editorial on Monday to criticizing the Obama/Holder Justice Department for a lawsuit it's filed that is putting a halt -- temporarily at least -- to school vouchers in Louisiana. Even so, the newspaper has dropped the ball on bringing the public's attention to the underlying story. Aside from the September 2 editorial, the paper has virtually ignored the development in its news pages, with the only mention of the underlying controversy being reported in the August 25 paper in a national news roundup. Here's that item -- an AP brief -- in its totality:
Attorney General Eric Holder's decisions about where not to apply prosecutorial resources -- illegal aliens, "medical marijuana" -- have created big fans at MSNBC. At the Maddow Blog, MSNBC's Steve Benen hailed how "Eric Holder steps in, digs in, and breaks out."
To Team Rachel, Holder "seems wildly underrated" and is "one of the more accomplished attorneys general in recent memory," as in one of the most liberal:
Late last week the Obama/Holder Justice Department filed a lawsuit in federal court which could hold up school vouchers for disadvantaged, predominantly African-American, kids in Louisiana. The school vouchers could "impede the desegregation process" in the state's public schools, the Justice Department reportedly claims in the lawsuit. For his part, as the Associated Press reported, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) denounced the lawsuit as "shameful" and complained that the president and his attorney general were "trying to keep kids trapped in failing public schools." What's more, the leader of the Black Alliance for Educational Options has also criticized the lawsuit.
Yet a search of Nexis found no stories about this lawsuit by any of the Big Three broadcast networks. The story was completely omitted from the pages of The New York Times, and Sunday's Washington Post only briefly covered it by running a short AP news brief on page A3. In an editorial yesterday, the Wall Street Journal slamming the Obama/Holder DOJ, noting that "90% of the beneficiaries" of the voucher program would be black:
On Wednesday at CBSnews.com, Sharyl Attkisson reported that "Three more weapons from Fast and Furious have turned up at crime scenes in Mexico."
A Google News search at 10 a.m. on ["Fast and Furious" guns] (typed exactly as indicated between brackets, past 7 days, sorted by date, with duplicates) returned 26 relevant items. Very few (to be noted later) are from establishment press outlets.
On Friday, Eric Holder's Department of Justice gave the memory-hole treatment to wildly inflated statistics released last October about the number of cases and the amount of money involved in DOJ's mortgage fraud enforcement efforts.
Bloomberg News reporters who had discovered that the original numbers were suspect had been getting stonewalled for months in their efforts to get answers to their queries, and finally got them through the document-dump route. The differences are stark.
Additionally, it seems that the MSNBC crowd is on board with voter integrity laws as well. Sixty-five percent of respondents, who described themselves as "very liberal to liberal," thought that showing an ID before voting was a "good thing." So, this isn't a legitimate issue. It's only relevant in the liberal boardrooms of America's news media.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that the Obama/Holder Justice Department would request a federal court to put a hold on plans by the State of Texas to put into effect new voter ID laws. The Wall Street Journal's Devlin Barrett has a short article on the development, "Holder Targets Texas in New Voting-Rights Push," published shortly after the announcement at 10:05 a.m. Eastern time.
Barrett failed to directly quote any opponents of Holder's move, but did not that "The move is likely to anger conservatives who have long argued that the law has outlived its usefulness and punishes certain states—particularly in the South—based not on their current conduct, but on their past." But when it came to promoting the article on social media, a Journal social media staffer gave Twitter followers a decidedly pro-Holder spin, pitching the story thusly:
Welcome to the Obama administration's cringe-inducing non sequitur of the week. On Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder continued stoking the fires of racial resentment over a Florida jury's acquittal of George Zimmerman. In an address to NAACP leaders, who are demanding federal intervention, Holder attacked Stand Your Ground self-defense laws.
In a "How can he possibly top this?" move, Eric Holder's Justice Department "is trolling for email tips on the former neighborhood watch volunteer (George Zimmerman) as it weighs a possible federal civil rights case against him."
What other establishment press outlets besides Fox News will cover this? And if they do, which of them (if any) will note the mountain of exculpatory evidence about Zimmerman? First, excerpts from Fox's report by Jake Gibson, followed by the accumulated evidence that Zimmerman more than likely hasn't a racist bone in his body (HT to a frequent tipster, who saw coverage of this on a Fox show earlier today; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Norah O'Donnell gushed over Eric Holder on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, trumpeting the supposedly "remarkable" and "very personal" speech that the attorney general gave to the NAACP on Tuesday. O'Donnell also played up how "Holder, the first African-American attorney general...talked very personally about, after Trayvon Martin's death, counseling his own 15-year-old son if he was stopped by police" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The morning newscast spotlighted how the controversial Obama administration figure "sharply criticized the so-called 'stand your ground' laws in Florida and other states", and played 36 seconds of clips from his speech to the organization:
Imagine if -- and you'd have to imagine it, because it never happened -- the George W. Bush administration had sent members of its Justice Department to a city where a black man charged with murder was claiming self-defense in the killing of a non-African-American for the purposes of ginning up protests against the accused. Establishment press coverage and would have been justifiably intense.
On Thursday, Judicial Watch revealed that it had obtained documents showing that "a little-known unit of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Community Relations Service (CRS), was deployed to Sanford, FL, following the Trayvon Martin shooting to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman." In other words, DOJ did to Zimmerman what I just noted Bush 43 administration never did and would never have considered doing. JW's bombshell is not news at the Associated Press or at the Politico.