James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal took on the strange conflict that is PolitiFact picked a “Lie of the Year” they’ve repeatedly defended as “Half True.” Barack Obama repeatedly claimed that if you liked your health plan, you could keep it once he passed his badly named "Affordable Care Act." He called it "PolitiFact's Forked Tongue."
PolitiFact has only drawn a yellow Hi-Liter through what’s wrong with liberal media-elite “fact checking” patrols: It exploits their "objective" image as it declares a campaign promise as factual (or not) prematurely, before there’s any factual reality to judge. From the beginning of the “truth squad” tendency in the 1992 presidential campaign, we’ve found this disturbing tendency.
It's amusing to see how the left reacts when things don't work out as predicted. Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how USA Today's Kelly Kennedy described a major malfunction in Obamacare which will cause hundreds of thousands of children to go without health insurance next year as a "glitch."
On the "climate change" front, those darned "glitches" abound. In an item today about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Karl Ritter at the Associated Press attempted to report on how the IPCC plans to address the fact that there hasn't been any global warming, human-caused or otherwise, since the late 1990s. A hilarious headline spewed forth, followed by eruptions of ridiculous and hysterical words (HT James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web; bolds and numbered tags are mine throughout this post):
At The Huffington Post, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich railed against how angry and divided America is and blamed it on a yawning gap of economic inequality. James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal added, “Somehow he neglects to notice that his own political allies try to incite resentment of ‘millionaires and billionaires,’ ‘corporate jet owners’ and similar targets."
Like many American liberals, he longs for the days when CBS News told everyone what to think: “Within this cacophony, we've lost trusted arbiters of truth -- the Edward Murrows and Walter Cronkites who could explain what was happening in ways most Americans found convincing.” He complained that “cable news and yell radio” make America angrier:
On Wednesday, James Taranto at The Wall Street Journal exposed that the New York Times editorial page shamelessly changed its position on the filibuster in 2013 from nearly the exact opposite of its position during a Republican Senate majority in 2005.
“It's now clearer than ever that the Times's guiding principle is nothing other than the tactical interests of the Democratic Party,” wrote Taranto. On July 16, 2013, an unsigned Times editorial lamented that the Democrats caved in to Republicans and failed to shred the filibuster, just in case Republicans ever regain the majority (perhaps in the next election.) Harry Reid was too wimpy:
In a study finding that should be completely obvious to anyone who spends an hour with the media, the liberal-leaning Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has found media coverage “was tilted massively against those who favor traditional marriage.”
Pew’s study of more than 1,000 stories from March 18 to May 12 found what anyone could find. Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple noted the numbers back up the lament from Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage that even Fox News doesn’t want to hear their side of the argument:
“Liberal media bias is an old complaint,” the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto noted in his “Best of the Web Today” column this past Monday on responses to the Obama scandals, before warning: “The Obama presidency has given it a new and dangerous form. Never has the prevailing bias of the media been so closely aligned with the ideological aims and political interests of the party in power.”
He recognized “the American media remain free and independent, or you would not be reading this column,” but zinged, “to a large extent they have functioned for the past few years as if they were under state control.”
James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal cracked on New York Times columnist Frank Bruni for his Sunday Review column urging the new pope to "dwell less in the bedroom, more in the soup kitchen." (Last week Bruni guest-hosted the Charlie Rose show and pushed similar talking points.)
Taranto had fun with Bruni in his "Best of the Web" column Monday:
James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal had fun with liberal journalists calling for a female pope in his Best of the Web Today column on Tuesday. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne wrote a piece for the Sunday paper insisting: "It is time to elect a nun as the next pontiff."
Dionne acknowledged that "this hope of mine is the longest of long shots," but Taranto added "if he were Catholic he would know that a female holy father isn't just a long shot, it's a contradiction in terms. Dionne wants a mome, not a pope."
The self-described "essential global news network" known as the Associated Press, more aptly characterized as the Administration's Press, has from all appearances chosen to minimize the exposure given to Friday's letter from four Senate Democrats to President Obama encouraging him to unilaterally increase the nation's debt ceiling if Congress fails to do so.
A search on Harry Reid's last name at the AP's national site at 8:30 ET this morning returned nothing relating to that letter. But there was an AP writeup about it on Sunday morning. A search on a few key words in Andrew Taylor's report found at another web site demonstrates that it's no longer available at the AP's national site. Gosh, it's almost as if AP doesn't want Americans to know that four Democratic senators are urging Obama to blatantly violate the Constitution. The first six paragraphs of Taylor's report follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
In a story the New York Times appears not to have touched, Hunter Walker at Observer.com's Politicker ("about" page is here) reported on Tuesday that Thomas Lopez-Pierre, a black Harlem activist, "circulated an email" Monday night "in an attempt to plan a 'private meeting' to 'discuss the potential damage to the political empowerment of the Black and Hispanic community if Mark Levine, a White/Jewish candidate was elected to the 7th Council District in 2013.'" So we see that black Chicagoland establishment officials trying to ensure that the successor to the recently resigned Jesse Jackson Jr. in Illinois' 2nd Congressional District are not alone in seeing a political office as somehow "belonging" to them.
The Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required) has also picked up the story ("Race, Religion Used as Basis For an Attack"). Verbiage from the Politicker report, along with separate comments from James Taranto at the WSJ's Best of the Web, follow the jump (internal links are in originals; bolds are mine throughout this post):
The leftist bias of the New York Times beautifully encapsulated in seven words used about a week before two presidential elections. Headline over Saturday’s editorial on the third quarter GDP creeping up to 2.0 percent under Democrat Barack Obama: “Slow but Steady Improvement.” Headline twenty years ago (October 29, 1992) when Republican incumbent George H.W. Bush was in the White House and the third quarter GDP nearly doubled to 2.7 percent: “Gross National Letdown.”
The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto on Thursday offered a plausible explanation for why President Barack Obama, during Tuesday night’s debate, felt confident he could count on moderator Candy Crowley of CNN to back him up on how he had uttered the phrase “acts of terror” the day after the Benghazi attack.
On her CNN State of the Union show back on September 30, Crowley interviewed David Axelrod and during that segment she was as incredulous as Mitt Romney was at the debate that Obama had initially referred to “acts of terror” in any relationship to Benghazi.
James Taranto at The Wall Street Journal smelled a conflict-of-interest problem when "The Washington Post Co. said Monday that it has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Celtic Healthcare, a provider of skilled home health-care and hospice services in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions.”
The Post has offset losses in its core journalism businesses with profits from its Kaplan educational business. But federal money is part of the cash flow. A recent story on threatened accreditations noted “A loss of accreditation would mean the Kaplan campuses would no longer be eligible for Title IV loans from the Education Department, the source of nearly 90 percent of Kaplan higher-education revenue.” The Post’s foray into health care will also make the Post more dependent on government revenue:
“Writers have been bowing to the ‘fact checkers’ as submissively as Barack Obama upon meeting some anti-American dictator,” the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto quipped in a devastating take-down of the rise of the news media’s so-called “fact checkers.”
In “The Pinocchio Press: The bizarre rise of ‘fact checking’ propagandists” posted on Tuesday, the author of the daily “Best of the Web Today” noted “the usual conservative complaint about all this ‘fact checking’ is the same as the conservative complaint about the MSM’s product in general: that it is overwhelmingly biased toward the left.” But, he concluded, “the form amplifies the bias. It gives journalists much freer rein to express their opinions by allowing them to pretend to be rendering authoritative judgments about the facts.”
New York Times reporter turned columnist Frank Bruni is on a nasty streak. He devoted his long Sunday Review column, "Rethinking His Religion," to a former classmate with a pat liberal morality lesson that seemed a lot like an invasion of patient privacy, then attacked Newt Gingrich and insulted Gingrich's wife. James Taranto at Best of the Web explained:
New York Times columnist Frank Bruni has some insufferable friends. Yesterday he spent nearly 1,500 words profiling one of them, a classmate at the University of North Carolina whom he knew at the time as a conservative frat boy who "attended Catholic services every Sunday in a jacket and tie." Bruni, who is gay, "kept a certain distance from him" under the assumption that the young man, whom he does not name in the column, would be hostile to the future Timesman because of his sexual orientation.
Two Republican presidential candidates, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann, are both promising to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem if they should become the nation's next president. There's literally no way to "fact check" something that is only a promise, but Gearan wasted over 500 words pretending to do just that. She couldn't even buy a clue that her item's title ("FACT CHECK: Israel embassy promise may be empty") gives away the, uh, fact that it wasn't a "fact check" at all. Jim Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web minced no words in critiquing AP's and Gearan's cluelessness (bolds are mine):
In Monday's edition of his “Best of the Web” column, under the subhead "Recycling Is Garbage," Opinion Journal’s James Taranto unveiled a humorous pattern of New York Times columnists recycling a satirical headline from The Onion that made an apparently profound point about the unfair burdens accompanying Barack Obama into office: "Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job." (Not as hard as coming up with new column ideas, apparently.)
* "Of all the coverage of Obama's victory, the most accurate take may still be the piquant morning-after summation of the satirical newspaper The Onion. Under the headline 'Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job,' it reported that our new president will have 'to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind.'"--Frank Rich, New York Times, Jan. 18, 2009
Elaine Quijano continued CBS's consistently glowing coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement on Wednesday's Early Show by spotlighting how two-thirds of Crosby, Stills, and Nash gave a concert for the protesters in New York City. Quijano played 12 clips from the concert and from the demonstrators, without once mentioning the growing examples of violence involving the left-leaning movement [audio clips available here; video below the jump].
Anchor Chris Wragge introduced the correspondent's report by noting only in passing how "anti-Wall Street protesters around the country are under growing pressure to go home...critics in several cities are saying they're just becoming a public nuisance." Co-anchor Erica Hill added that "here in New York City, demonstrators say they are in it, though, for the long haul- yes, even with winter coming. Correspondent Elaine Quijano takes a look at what the future holds for the protests."
“The Republican Party is split right down the middle between Tea Party movement supporters and those who do not support the two-and-a-half-year-old movement, according to a new national survey,” a Thursday CNN.com “Political Ticker” post asserted in recounting the findings of a CNN/ORC poll which were cited on air by both Wolf Blitzer and John King.
If we're being warned of dangerous new wave of white racist extremists, it naturally is another product of the leftist Southern Poverty Law Center, which warns daily of a radical-racist-right takeover of America. Taranto asked: How startling is this wave of white-power candidates from sea to shining sea?
The New York Times marked Father’s Day last Sunday in its own special way -- here’s the front-page tease to a 4,000-word story by N.R. Kleinfeld: “In Brooklyn, a single mother, her son, her sperm donor and his lover are helping to redefine the concept of the American family.”
At Opinion Journal, James Taranto was bothered by the Times's blithe unconcern for the child’s privacy in its rush to celebrate an alternative family lifestyle. Under the cutting headlines “Happy Donor's Day! The New York Times celebrates fatherhood by cruelly invading a 3-year-old's privacy,” he wrote:
Peter Thompson, 41, was left in a corridor for ten hours before someone noticed he had passed away. In a final act of indignity, hospital auxiliaries pulled his lifeless body across the floor in a manner his family described as like "dragging a dead animal."
Just when you consider cutting the Associated Press a break for doing something right, they pull this.
Most people know that in the interest of "not spiking the football," the Obama administration has decided that it will not release photos of Osama bin Laden's dead body.
Shortly after the decision was announced, AP filed a Freedom of Information Act request for said photos. According to John Hudson at the Atlantic (HT to Jim Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web), the AP's Michael Oreskes claims that "This information is important for the historical record" and "It's our job as journalists to seek this material." So far, so good.
But you just knew they'd figure out a way to potentially ruin it. Here's Oreskes as quoted by Hudson:
James Taranto could be the best columnist around. Every day at his Best of the Web at the Wall Street Journal online, Taranto turns out an original, often unconventional, conservative take on the news, regularly managing to leaven the message with humor.
Rush today rightly extolled Taranto's column of yesterday, in which he made the point that there is a vast, inherent difference between private and public sector unions. In the former case, unions are negotiating against corporate interests. In the latter, unions are, by definition, organizing against the interests of the public itself.
Surely even Cenk Uygur understands this. So when Cenk suggests, as he did on his MSNBC show this evening, that without unions public employees would be "at the mercy" of "corporate executives," it seems fair to accuse him of . . . fraud.
James Taranto, who writes the “Best of the Web” column for the Wall Street Journal online, continues to be on fire on the subject of New York Times hypocrisy over “violent” political rhetoric. His Monday column opened with another moral excoriation of the Times, based on its Saturday editorial endorsing the latest cause from Common Cause, a left-wing advocacy group. An excerpt:
The New York Times editorial page, a division of the New York Times Co., on Saturday endorsed Common Cause's personal attack on Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. As we explained Friday, Common Cause, a Washington-based corporation, is complaining about Scalia and Thomas's having joined Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, the 2010 decision that overturned a law criminalizing certain political speech by corporations.
After arguing that “Common Cause's complaint is not only meritless but frivolous,” Taranto quoted a damning excerpt from the Times editorial.
Justice Scalia, who is sometimes called "the Justice from the Tea Party," met behind closed doors on Capitol Hill to talk about the Constitution with a group of representatives led by Representative Michele Bachmann of the House Tea Party Caucus.
Two of the conservative opinion world’s heavyweights, humorist P.J. O’Rourke and Wall Street Journal writer James Taranto, both have responded in passionate, even moral fashion to the New York Times’s often disgraceful coverage of the Tucson shootings, in which six people were killed and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was severely injured.
In their view, the Times used the tragedy to play political blame games against conservative politicians and talk show hosts. O'Rourke condemned the Times for "shameful," "ugly and offensive" reporting, while Taranto accused the Times of "reckless disregard for the truth."
First, some highlights from P.J. O’Rourke’s scathing take on the Times’ decline in the January 24 edition of The Weekly Standard, “The Times Loses It.”
The Washington Post had better refrain from telling other media outlets to tone down their rhetoric, for on Sunday, one of the paper's longest running columnists asked on national television, "How much time do we have left to talk about how stupid Sarah Palin is?"
Such was said by Richard Cohen, a man that has been with the Post since 1968, towards the end of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
There is an axiom that is adhered to by conservative journalists that explains at least some of what for liberals is this inexplicable election. It is the Taranto Principle. Coined by the inimitable James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal, the Taranto Principle encourages the worst in liberals by reporting politics with a slavish bias. The conservatives can do nothing right. The liberals can do nothing wrong, and besides, they are always more winsome and more intelligent, and moreover they have an aesthetic and philosophical side. Even Vice President Joe Biden has an aesthetic and philosophical side. His malapropisms and goofball pronunciamentos are to be perceived from an artistic and philosophical perspective, as the artiste Chris Ofili's artful uses of elephant dung are to be perceived from an artistic and philosophical perspective.
I am serious. If the art of Ofili, the British-born hustler, were reported as not art but animal waste, he might have learned the rudiments of art a long time ago and become an acceptable street artiste. If Biden were reported to have bungled yet again, he might not say such idiotic things. According to the Taranto Principle, biased liberal reporting brings out the worst in liberals and makes them ridiculous and often unelectable.
In light of President Barack Obama's recent attack on the Fox News Channel, the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto wonders: "why is the Ground Zero mosque the only case in which Obama has ever defended anyone's First Amendment rights without qualification?"
There are a number of possible answers, and at least some of them are reasonable and worthy of media attention. And indeed, a few journalists have noticed and raised objection to the White House's selective contempt for opinion media - Fox is "destructive," but MSNBC libtalkers Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann "provide an invaluable service."
But there is a deeper First Amendment double standard at work here, as Taranto notes:
James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal pointed out in his "Best of the Web Today" review on Thursday how Mark Halperin of Time seems to disagree so vehemently with himself about how the Obama presidency was supposed to unfold this year. Why would Obama delay business-tax-cut talk until the fall, for example:
It is fair to ask (and many Democrats have) why the President is only now proposing such critical measures, rather than offering them up earlier in his term, before election-season politics brought governing to a standstill.
It's fair to answer, too. While Americans were anxious about the economy, Obama was obsessed with wrecking our health care. He was urged on by cheerleaders in the media like the one who wrote an article on March 22, the day after the House passed ObamaCare, which began as follows: