On Friday, Washington Post reporter Juliet Eilperin filed a Style section front-pager on Marlon Marshall, the “deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, where he is charged with helping to sell the Affordable Care Act, which remains politically polarizing and was damaged by a disastrous Web site rollout last fall.”
What sticks out most in this profile is how Planned Parenthood – which receives hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money each year – is an integral part of selling Obamacare door to door, and this is somehow not seen as controversial:
Yesterday afternoon three red state Democratic senators -- plus Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.) -- joined a number of Republican legislators and the Canadian ambassador to the United States at a press conference called to publicly press President Obama to approve the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Such a show of bipartisan and international agreement on an economic-development issue is surely worthy of attention by the broadcast news media, and yet ABC, CBS, and NBC all ignored the development on both the February 4 evening newscasts and the February 5 morning news shows. Here's how Matthew Daly of the Associated Press reported the development in his Tuesday afternoon piece, "Broad coalition backs Keystone XL oil pipeline" (emphasis mine):
With his papal audience, Mr. Obama has "an opportunity to highlight the problem of economic inequality, an issue he has placed at the forefront of his second-term agenda" and what's more the visit gives "the president a chance to frame one of his signature domestic issues in largely moral terms." (emphasis mine)
With a headline at a Washington Post story by Amy Goldstein and Juliet Eilperin reading "Obama administration quietly extends health-care enrollment deadline by a day," you would think that the administration issued some kind of press release without comment — or at least, as was the case with its announcement waiving the individual mandate for those who had individual policies cancelled, communicated the change to sympathetic senators or congresspersons.
Nope. The Post's detailed coverage tells us that those involved merely made "a software change that government officials and IT contractors inserted into the computer system over the weekend for the online insurance marketplace." Readers will see who was actually told about the change after the jump (bolds are mine):
Saturday’s Washington Post served up the Kool-Aid with this Obamacare headline on the front page: “Health Web site to meet deadline: Officials set to announce fixes.” The entire story by Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein is unanimously just Obama and his tech-helpers. There are no launch critics anywhere to be found.
“As of Friday night, federal officials and contractors had achieved two goals, according to government officials who spoke on the conditition of anonymity in order to discuss ongoing operations,” the reporters said. But by noon Saturday, they were updating to back away from the giddy optimism:
Americans hold "[a] complicated mix of views on abortion," the Washington Post insists, reporting the results of a new Washington Post-ABC News poll with interesting data on some roiling controversies in the nation's political discourse regarding abortion. "Poll: Most in the U.S. back stricter time limits, not rules that hinder clinics," a subheadline to Juliet Eilperin's page A6 story in the July 26 paper reads.
But as always, the phrasing of the question and the sampling of the poll respondents tell us a lot about the results. Here's the loaded language regarding the abortion clinic regulation (emphasis mine):
For the second day in a row, The Washington Post showed it was bored by the IRS scandal by putting the hearings story inside the paper.
Instead, the top of Wednesday's post seized on the favorite liberal scandal du jour: "Military chiefs lament sex assaults but reject Senate bill." Their Post Express tabloid screamed this front-page headline: "CAN THE MILITARY CURE ITS 'CANCER'?"
As the Obama staff labors to deny they’re waging what’s being called “Obama’s war on journalism,” it might not help to have journalists mocked as fussy “figure skating judges.”
In today’s Washington Post that’s what we read from David Plouffe as he defended the White House from the “minutiae” that the White House counsel urgently wanted to keep Obama clueless about a Treasury Department inspector general’s report on the IRS scandal:
Last Friday, Obama made “history” by being the first president to address Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest purveyor of abortions. Obama did this in spite of the terrible timing, during the Kermit Gosnell trial. But like the Gosnell trial, Obama’s speech drew a blackout: no story on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, or NPR.
MSNBC's Chris Hayes hailed it was a "history-making" speech, but complained that Obama never used the A-word, which he should never feel ashamed to use. Rachel Maddow praised Obama for “putting a new capstone” on bold proclamations for the “right to choose.” USA Today and the Los Angeles Times somehow missed it. The New York Times blogged it – with this amazing paragraph from reporter Peter Baker as he mentioned Gosnell:
At the Washington Post's Post Politics blog on Monday, Juliet Eilperin revealed that the White House has notified participants invited to the April 1 Easter Egg Roll that the event "is subject to cancellation due to funding uncertainty surrounding the Executive Office of the President and other federal agencies."
Eilperin only considered the White House's latest obvious example of "no petty and partisan gesture left behind" a partisan matter when a Republican who hasn't held political office for 15 years objected (bolds are mine):
Washington Post staffer Juliet Eilperin portrayed proposed new federal regulations on heavy-duty trucks and buses as having hearty agreement by both environmentalists and trucking industry lobbyists.
Unfortunately Eilperin left out the dissenting remarks of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which blasted the rule change as harmful to the small-business truckers it represents.
During a congressional hearing in March 2009, manmade global warming skeptic Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) referred to God's promise in the the book of Genesis to never again flood the entire Earth as one reason why he is dismissive of global warming alarmists.
"The earth will end only when God declares its time to be over. Man will not destroy this earth. This earth will not be destroyed by a flood," Shimkus insisted, after quoting from Genesis 8:22.
Ever since then, the media have gone back from time to time to scoff at Shimkus's statement, citing his religious beliefs as reason he should not considered credible when it comes to challenging climate change science.
But if the media think that's fair game, shouldn't they apply the same standard to religious language employed by climate change alarmists like Christiana Figueres?
It’s not every day that a front-page Washington Post report has copy that can be mocked as “Auditioning to Be the Next Obama Girl.” (That is, unless you count Eli “Obama's Chiseled Pectorals” Saslow.) James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal designated this florid passage for that title, from a sprawling 5,355-word Wednesday front-page article by reporters Michael Leahy and Juliet Eilperin.
The moment was vintage Obama -- emphasizing his zest for inquiry, his personal involvement, his willingness to make the tough call, his search for middle ground. If an Obama brand exists, it is his image as a probing, cerebral president conducting an exhaustive analysis of the issues so that the best ideas can emerge, and triumph.
Slogging through the entire article (eating up all of two inside pages) demonstrates that the Post reporters were praising Obama’s “zest” and thoughtfulness even as they summarized how Obama, in their view, struck too “centrist” a path by supporting offshore drilling and stiff-arming the Left – which Leahy and Eilperin never identify as liberals, merely as “environmental activists.” The Post reporters say Team Obama was trying to find a “grand bargain” to pass a “climate-change bill.”
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:
It's no secret that the late Sen. Ted Kennedy was a major obstacle to a proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound, but Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin at least buried that fact in today's 18-paragraph page A6 story on the Obama administration approving the first offshore wind farm in the United States.
In the lead paragraph, Eilperin hailed the announcement by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as "a move that could pave the way for significant offshore wind development elsewhere in the nation."
Yet Eilperin waited until the 14th paragraph to note that the project, "split the Democratic Party" when it was proposed in 2001 because Kennedy, "whose family compound overlooks the sound, fought it, with criticism of its aesthetics and its effects on fishing and boating."
Of course Eilperin devoted a significant part of her article to relaying the objections of other opponents of the Cape Wind project, liberal activists who tossed out the predictable boilerplate liberal invective against Big Business...:
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.
The front page of Saturday’s Washington Post heralded the first wave of a new evangelism in the United States. It’s not for a religion, per se, but they are definitely disciples of a lifestyle (and a government-style). Reporter Juliet Eilperin explained the Embassy of Sweden has found four Washington-area families to serve as "climate pilots" to teach others the need to stop driving cars and using fossil fuels. Take the Nolan Stokes family of Falls Church, Virginia:
There's even an official name for the Stokeses, along with three other households in Northern Virginia: They are Climate Pilots, guinea pigs in a Swedish experiment aimed at helping U.S. citizens understand that a lifestyle that curbs greenhouse-gas emissions is not necessarily oppressive, just different.
"Not oppressive, just different." It should have been Al Gore’s campaign slogan. Eilperin explained how Europe feels the United States is full of savages who need socialist civilization:
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.
"What you're seeing is increasing political polarization," Eilperin said. "What we've seen is from since three-and-a-half years ago where there was kind of an all-time high in terms of people believing in it. You've seen the biggest drop among Republicans by about something like 22 points, and then independents dropped less than that and then with Democrats, it was a much smaller drop - just about 6 points."
Unlike some Washington Post ombudsmen (ahem, Geneva Overholser), Andrew Alexander deserves credit for raising the question of liberal bias, and reporters’ connections to the liberal movement, even by marriage. But he didn’t tell the whole story. At best, he gets an I for Incomplete. On Sunday, Alexander reported:
Post reporter Juliet Eilperin covers the contentious issue of climate change. Her husband, a noted expert on the subject, coordinates international climate policy as a part-time senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. She has quoted officials from the liberal think tank in her stories, although not her spouse. Climate change is discussed at home, she said, but a "church-state separation" exists for areas where their work overlaps.
This kind of spousal connection would not be easily tolerated by the Post if Eilperin was a married to an expert for ExxonMobil. She would be moved off the green beat. Alexander bows briefly to that notion, but doesn’t really buy it:
I believe the Washington Post knows perfectly well that the word "censor" does not belong in the lead of today's Juliet Eilperin story, but the editors left it in (or inserted it?) anyway.
The story, "Cheney Aides Altered EPA Testimony, Agency Official Says Ex-Administrator Says Official From Vice President's Office Edited Out Six Pages," begins:
Members of Vice President Cheney's staff censored congressional testimony by a top federal official on the health threats posed by global warming, a former Environmental Protection Agency official said today.
Bush and Cheney have been in office nearly seven and a half years now. That's time enough for the Post's staff and editors to get used to the fact that they were elected to run the executive branch, and thus they can alter any executive branch document, presentation or policy they darn well please.
That's not censorship; it's editing, policy-setting, or both.
Business as usual, when you run the government.
To be fair, near the end of the story, Eilperin's piece included this quote from the White House:
Washington Post environmental reporter-slash-advocate Juliet Eilperin penned a front-page piece in Monday’s Post on how John McCain is "instinctive" on environmental matters, pulling a "balancing act," which means insufficiently radical enough to please the Sierra Club and their media friends. Eilperin’s piece was loaded with the opinions of environmental "interest groups" without any group or any policy being labeled as liberal:
McCain's lifetime League of Conservation Voters score is 24 percent, compared with 86 for Obama and 86 for Clinton; Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund's conservation report card gave him 38 percent in the 108th Congress and 40 in the 109th.
When [LCV chief Gene] Karpinski tells audiences about McCain's environmental scorecard rating, he said, "jaws drop....I tell them, 'He's not as green as you think he is.' "
"Actually, you know what I think - the more I think of it, John McCain should not be allowed to hold sharp scissors," Huffington said. "[Y]ou know he wants to make the tax cuts permanent. He wants bigger corporate tax cuts. You know, it's an endless process. You know it's basically, exactly what this country does not need. It's expanding and deepening the last eight years."
The Washington Post reviewed Newt Gingrich and Terry Maple’s "A Contract for the Earth" on Sunday, but Post "national environmental reporter" Juliet Eilperin was torn. On one hand, she wanted to say that even the Republicans recognize and bow before the Global Warming Threat. On the other hand, she simply had to mock the idea that private-sector solutions would help rather than stringent government mandates: "This is no revolutionary manifesto. It's Gingrich as Smokey the Bear, rather than as the provocateur he used to play on the national stage." The Post illustrated the sentence with a graphic that crudely pasted a picture of Gingrich’s face on a Smokey Bear painting.
Ultimately, in the review's final paragraph, Eilperin dismissed the book as "greenwash," resembling a "corporate advertisement" from an op-ed page, designed for public relations rather than actual solutions: