It’s been nearly a week but it seems that someone in the press finally noticed the lack of American media traveling with Mrs. Obama across China. The Washington Post’s Krissah Thompson, who just yesterday gushed over the first lady’s trip, finally acknowledged in a March 26 piece that American media were shut out from the first lady's press pool.
Despite Thompson’s admission, the Post buried the details on A7 with the awkward title that “In China, first lady lauds free press amid questions about access.” The Post reported recognized that “coverage of the trip has been made more difficult by tight restrictions on reporters and photographers, who have been kept far away from many events and were not allowed to accompany the first lady, her mother and her two daughters on their flight last week from the United States.”
First Lady Michelle Obama is wrapping up her tour of China sans the American press. Despite American media being shut out from the visit, Mrs. Obama has received glowing coverage of her trip, most recently from The Washington Post’s Krissah Thompson.
Writing on Tuesday’s March 25, Thompson puffed up “History and jump-rope as first lady visits Xi’an” before providing a glowing description of Mrs. Obama’s “five-hour sightseeing tour, giving her and her family a view of China’s long history- plus a little jump-roping on the side.”
Surprise! The Washington Post on Wednesday profiled two young female pro-life activists on the front of the Style section. Not a surprise? The headline: “Antiabortion forces’ rising young stars.” Reporter Krissah Thompson wrote “Kristan Hawkins, 28, and Lila Rose, 25, are central players in the antiabortion movement’s resurgence.”
In the same corner of the front page yesterday, the Post oozed all over Gloria Steinem without a single opposing word. (Or consider past 100-percent goo for Planned Parenthood boss Cecile Richards.) The profile on Hawkins and Rose was heavily dosed with abortion advocates denouncing them as unethical or extreme.
Monday’s Style section of the Washington Post is stuck on its Glorify Liberals setting. At the top it reads, “Forty years after founding the Children’s Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman is unbending on aiding the youngest." The large headline below is “A soldier stands her ground.”
Edelman and CDF are holding a biggest Kennedy Center fundraising event honoring Hillary Clinton, although that information is buried in the middle. Post reporter-glorifier Krissah Thompson is at it again, painting Edelman as the righteous advocate who scolds conservatives who apparently want to starve poor children:
While The Washington Post wrote about reporters revolving into the Obama administration, the more common pattern is reporters who flatter, pander, and powder the Obamas in the “news” pages. Krissah Thompson should be on Michelle Obama’s payroll. Splashed all over the front of Style today is this concept: “Rest up. You’re going to need extra energy to even read about all the places that the first lady has gone to get to know D.C.”
Following the all-caps headline “MICHELLE OBAMA’S WASHINGTON" and a huge graphic of eight images of Mrs. Obama in her many activities, the Post story went on for two entire pages. Thompson began the smoochy prose from the top:
In today's 16-paragraph page A6 story, "Legal challenges tie up new voting restrictions,"* the Washington Post's Krissah Thompson reported that many "[s]tricter ID laws and other controversial voting restrictions" could be held up in the courts until after November election.
At no point in her story, however, did Thompson note recent polling shows 70 percent of Americans back photo ID for voting. What's more, while Thompson noted Obama/Holder Justice Department staffers are working to thwart "an effort by Florida's Republican secretary of state to remove noncitizens from voter registration lists, saying it is illegal to conduct such a purge this close to an election," she failed to note that in this instance, it may well be the Obama administration that is violating federal law by refusing to assist Florida officials.
"One of Michelle Obama's early worries about life in the White House had to do with a plot of land," Thompson gushed in the lead paragraph of today's page A4 story. "[T]he first lady found herself fretting over whether her much-hyped garden would grow," Thompson added, going on to quote a passage from Mrs. Obama's new book:
The front page of The Washington Post carried a story Tuesday on black liberals demanding all blacks stand with President Obama -- just because he's black. Krissah Thompson's story carried some noteworthy "get in line" quotes from the forget-the-black-unemployment-numbers crowd, but the closest thing to a moderate or conservative in the article is a man suggesting Obama is not God.
On the front page, Thompson quoted from radio host Tom Joyner on his BlackAmericaWeb.com blog. “Let’s not even deal with the facts right now. Let’s deal with just our blackness and pride — and loyalty. We have the chance to re-elect the first African-American president, and that’s what we ought to be doing. And I’m not afraid or ashamed to say that as black people, we should do it because he’s a black man.”
Anyone reading the Anita Hill puff piece in Friday's Washington Post could see reporter Krissah Thompson was a big Anita Hill fan. But did she also have to be a lazy, handout-accepting Anita Hill fan? The only conservative skepticism toward Hill that the Post allowed were five words from Justice Clarence Thomas's memoir. But they were misquotes.
I have an autographed copy of the book from a Heritage Foundation dinner with the Thomases, and could not find the quotes Thompson used...until I found a New York Times op-ed by Anita Hill from October 2, 2007 -- in the week the Thomas book came out. It was called "The Smear This Time," and Hill misquoted the book. So did Krissah Thompson, copying Hill's misquotes...word for word.
Twenty years ago, Senate Democrats and National Public Radio reporter Nina Totenberg colluded to try and ruin the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas by promoting the never-substantiated sexual harassment allegations of Anita Hill. If a woman ever claimed Barack Obama talked up Long Dong Silver porn films to her, you can bet it would be seen as an ugly, racist right-wing smear promoted by crackpots. But the liberal media presented Hill as a sober and centrist Saint Anita, not part of a lie-manufacturing left-wing conspiracy. (See Totenberg's activism in our new Special Report as one of the top 20 liberal excesses of public broadcasting.)
Hill strongly denied to the Senate Judiciary Committee that she was making these allegations for her own benefit or that she would be making any hay out of her time in the spotlight. Then at the end of 1993, news broke that she struck a million-dollar-plus book deal with Doubleday. On Friday, The Washington Post's Krissah Thompson filed a report that celebrated "her role" in the hearings, and completely sidestepped whether she was lying her face off.
The Washington Post reported on Obama's bus tour without making much of the protesters (but promoted supporters strangely suggesting he "inherited a very big deficit.") The president's conversation with Tea Party activist Ryan Rhodes only appeared once -- in the Fact Checker column, as the Post's Glenn Kessler suggested it was dubious for Rhodes to claim Vice President Biden compared the Tea Party to terrorists, and awarded Obama a "rare Geppetto" (as opposed to the usual liar's "Pinocchio") for defending Biden.
But in Friday's Post, Krissah Thompson's report on Rick Perry's campaigning in New Hampshire was dominated by protesters and hecklers from the left. The headline was "Perry hits bumps on campaign trail in NH: Candidate faces tough questions from protesters, others."
In her April 1 Washington Post story, staffer Krissah Thompson explored how the "mission" and "challenges" of the Congressional Black Caucus have "evolved" from its initial aim "to eradicate racism."
Yet nowhere in Thompson's 23-paragraph article is any mention of how the CBC has denied entry to prospective members on the basis of skin color, such as liberal Democrats Steve Cohen (Tenn.) and Pete Stark (Calif.).
Here's how Politico's Josephine Hearn reported on the controversy surrounding the former in January 2007:
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:
The list includes the radio talk show host who called a female senator a "prostitute" for cutting a deal to benefit her state, the male challenger who referred to his female rival [as] "attractive" and "probably a good mother," and the TV host who noted that the candidate's wife looked like an angry woman.
Two words that dare not escape the pen of Washington Post writer Krissah Thompson: "Coffee Party."
Yes, Ms Thompson writes yet another article about a "grassroots" liberal alternative to the Tea Party movement. If you have a feeling of "been there, done that," it is because Thompson's hype about the "One Nation" movement sounds almost identical to all the PR the mainstream media gave to the faded Coffee Party a few months ago. And the reason why Thompson dare not mention the Coffee Party is that it has devolved into a laughable parody of itself with aimless group therapy sessions dominated by founder Annabel Park as you can see in this video with a grand total of 915 YouTube views as of this writing.
Meanwhile stifle your yawns as Thompson plugs yet another supposedly grassroots organization while carefully avoiding mention of you-know-what:
Saturday's Washington Post carried a story by reporter Krissah Thompson on constitution classes in Springfield, Missouri on its front page. The headline was anodyne: “For answers to today's problems, Fathers know best: Conservative group's course on Constitution touts founders' wisdom.” But Thompson is traveling halfway across the country to identify the fringes of the right wing, a Glenn Beck-endorsed Constitution teacher named Earl Taylor with a “far right” inspiration. This sentence stands out:
Since the nation's earliest years, some Americans have revered the Constitution as a bulwark against government expansion.
It's hardly strange for “some Americans” to believe a document written to define limits to the national government's powers would still be seen as a “bulwark against government expansion.” That would seem to indicate you've read it -- and not treated it like Eric Holder treats the Arizona immigration law.
It might seem less bizarre if Thompson explained that “some other Americans” believe in ignoring the plain meaning in the document's text and expanding the national government to meet any perceived need. Thompson continued her exploration of history:
"Tea party groups battling allegations of racism," reads a May 5 page A3 Washington Post print headline. The online version header softened the word choice a tiny bit, substituting the word "perceptions" in for "allegations."
The underlying poll data which prompted the story tells us more about the Post's prism through which it views the Tea Parties than how the public at large does.
After three paragraphs pounding readers with the meme that "the [Tea Party] movement is struggling to overcome accusations of racism," the Post's Amy Gardner and Krissah Thompson quickly dispatched with the fact that most Americans see Tea Parties fueld by distrust of big government and opposition to the Obama/congressional Democratic agenda before highlighting how a minority of poll respondents think race is a motivating factor:
In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, most Americans see the movement as motivated by distrust of government, opposition to the policies of Obama and the Democratic Party, and broad concern about the economy. But nearly three in 10 see racial prejudice as underlying the tea party.
Of course, in the very next paragraph we learn that:
Monday's Washington Post continues the "ugly" health-care protest theme by somehow making a national story out of a protest "which never included more than three people at a time" outside the home of freshman Rep. Steve Driehaus in west Cincinnati. That's on A-3.
The Post said the poor Democrat found "angry protesters wouldn't allow him a full escape from the raw and vitriolic discussions that have embroiled the health-care debate for more than a year."
In the Metro section, the Post took days to acknowledge that the GOP headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia discovered two bricks thrown through its "very thick" double-pane glass windows on Friday morning. That's in the bottom left-hand corner of B-6.
The Washington Post’s front-page Obama story on Friday includes a glaring error. Reporters Krissah Thompson and Cheryl Thompson began with a reference to Barack Obama’s first speech before the "nation’s oldest civil rights organization."
This is a standard claim in stories on the NAACP, but it’s untrue – the NAACP just turned 100, but the National Rifle Association was founded in 1871. This is only true if "civil rights group" can only be used as an honorific synonym for "black interest group." If the election of Obama ends one era of the "civil rights" struggle, can reporters stop using the "civil rights" tag just for black groups?
The Friday story by Thompson and Thompson never defined the NAACP as a liberal group or part of the Democratic base, even as the NAACP lobbies for Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation. This is also typical. In a 1994 study of 2,707 NAACP news stories in national newspapers, we found eight liberal labels, or in 0.3 percent of stories.