Longtime readers here may recall that yours truly and others have written about liberties New York Times reporter Kate Zernike has taken with the truth, especially in her reporting on the Tea Party movement. Her penchant for inventing baseless stories about alleged racism in the movement once caused the late Andrew Breitbart to label her "a despicable human being."
Breitbart might well have the same reaction to the hours-later revision made at Zernike's Times story Friday about Chris Christie. Several alert bloggers and tweeters noted that her story about Christie's knowledge of shut lanes on the George Washington Bridge conveniently went from solid to speculative without any indication that any changes had been made.
Moments earlier, President Obama wrapped up a petulant, whiney Rose Garden harangue in which he defended ObamaCare while insisting no one was more frustrated by the botched roll-out than he was.
Earlier this morning, Time magazine took it upon itself to counsel that the chief executive "has to get mad" about the failures of the ObamaCare web portal. "Political reality, unlike actual reality, is malleable stuff," writer Michael Scherer offered, adding:
You can trust National Public Radio to take the statist side in a shutdown. It happened again on The Diane Rehm Show on Monday, where “objective” reporters took turns slashing at “reality”-deprived Tea Party conservatives. Washington Post reporter Lori Montgomery said “the Obamacare push was a giant mistake.”
She even announced that “Obamacare madness” can be blamed for the shutdown:
As we noted previously and to its credit, the Washington Post has been critical of misleading Barack Obama attack ads on Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Now Time magazine has taken to fact-checking an Obama ad which hits Mitt Romney on a hot-button social issue: abortion.
Time magazine's Michael Scherer -- no Romney backer he -- slammed the Obama spot as "centered on a clear untruth," and delved into the comments the ad took wildly out of context in order to appeal to women voters on the basis of a "scary falsehood" (emphases mine):
The Washington press corps always love it when establishment Republicans scold conservatives for trying to “purify” the party, and Time magazine’s Michael Scherer did not disappoint. “Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar did not go quietly, after losing his primary contest Tuesday in Indiana to a Tea Party-backed challenger, Richard Mourdock,” Scherer wrote the next day in a Time “Swampland” blog titled “The Importance of Dick Lugar’s Farewell Warning.”
“If there is one thing the American people need to read today,” the former writer for the far-left Mother Jones directed, “it is his farewell missive, which may prove to be as prescient and long lasting as Dwight Eisenhower’s 1961 exit speech warning of the coming military industrial
Time magazine's Michael Scherer on Monday constructed one of the odder political metaphors when he compared the likelihood of Barack Obama running for reelection to the recent announcement that Playboy founder Hugh Hefner is engaged.
Appearing on Monday's Early Show, he joked, "This is about as surprising as Hugh Hefner getting married again." The weird comparison makes even less sense when you think that Hefner is 84 and has only been married twice. (The eight-time married Elizabeth Taylor, he is not.)
Early Show guest host Russ Mitchell quizzed Scherer on the announcement by White House press Secretary Robert Gibbs that Obama would likely run for a second term: "The President's run in 2008 was historic in so many ways. How will the 2012 campaign be different, do you think?"
Shortly after 5 p.m. yesterday, Time's Michael Scherer laid out his reasons why he believed Democrats would eventually come around to President Obama's compromise with congressional Republicans on tax policy.
Despite unemployment at 9.5 percent and millions of people having lost their jobs since Barack Obama was elected, Chris Matthews just doesn't understand why anyone would miss George W. Bush.
Without naming this week's PPP poll finding Ohioans would vote for Bush over Obama by the tally of 50 to 42 percent if a presidential election was held today, Matthews in the first segment of "Hardball" asked his guests, "Why would you want that back?"
When Time's Michael Scherer tried to explain logically why voters are disappointed with what Obama has done since Inauguration Day, Matthews wasn't having any of it (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Michael Scherer of Time tried to explain the concept of "Why Barack Obama Doesn't Like to Chit-Chat with the Press Corps" -- despite their obvious affection for him. The president's first Ground Zero Mosque comments were "perfectly scripted," he wrote, and perfectly timed, on a Friday night at a Muslim dinner celebrating Ramadan. Scherer doesn't get that the venue could be controversial, considering Obama's allergies to traditional Christian prayer breakfasts. But this "perfect" scenario was ruined by the White House press pool (specifically, CNN's Ed Henry):
A reporter asked a stray question, and Obama blew all the careful planning of his staff. He varied from his initial remarks, creating a new narrative for a story the White House does not want to linger. Was he adding an asterisk to his remarks, as the Washington Post put it? Was it a recalibration, as the New York Times put it? In short, this is a communications disaster. The White House had to release a statement clarifying the new statement, or restatement, or whatever.
The president's opponents, who had been pushing the mosque issue for weeks as a way to get Democrats on the wrong side of the polls in an election year, came out celebrating. Liz Cheney, who can diminish just about any nuanced thought into a barbed cable news talking point, emailed Politico's Mike Allen from her iPhone. "I guess President Obama was for the mosque before he was against it. You can quote me," went the message.
That excuse may not have gotten you out of hot water with your parents, but it seems to hold some sway with Time magazine, at least when it comes to ethically-challenged former House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.).
Staffer Michael Scherer apparently drew the short straw for the August 13 assignment, in which he focused on just one of the numerous allegations of impropriety against Rangel: that he misused his congressional office to solicit contributions to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service.
UPDATE: HuffPo's Jason Linkins offers explanation (see bottom)
Maybe this is the way former Hearst Newspapers columnist and so-called dean of the White House Press Corps Helen Thomas would have wanted it.
Although Thomas' old seat in the White House press briefing room hasn't officially been designated for a particular outlet, and this might be wishful thinking on the part of the Huffington Post's Sam Stein, the White House correspondent for website, took the seat for the July 27 briefing with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
Stein's questions from the front row dealt with the possibility of President Barack Obama making recess appointment, in dealing with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and what he deemed the "lethargic pace" of judicial confirmations. Stein then followed up with four additional questions for his piece posted on the Huffington Post later that afternoon.
Time magazine's Michael Scherer, who has been revealed by the Daily Caller as expressing a deep dislike of Fox News, has the power to really annoy them.
"Ailes understands," Scherer said in an email on the much-maligned JournoList, "that his job is to build a tribal identity, not a news organization. You can't hurt Fox by saying it gets it wrong . . ." Though Scherer clearly has a bone to pick with the channel, he and Time have vehemently denied claims that he would silence Fox News.
Ironically, according to Politics Daily's Matt Lewis, Scherer "may actually be in a position to hurt Fox" by denying the cable network the front-row seat in the White House briefing room left vacant by Helen Thomas. Scherer sits on the Board of Directors of the White House Correspondents' Association, which controls access to White House press conferences.
If you were in the presence of a man having a heart attack, how would you respond? As he clutched his chest in desperation and pain, would you call 911? Would you try to save him from dying? Of course you would.
But if that man was Rush Limbaugh, and you were Sarah Spitz, a producer for National Public Radio, that isn’t what you’d do at all.
In a post to the list-serv Journolist, an online meeting place for liberal journalists, Spitz wrote that she would “Laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out” as Limbaugh writhed in torment.
In boasting that she would gleefully watch a man die in front of her eyes, Spitz seemed to shock even herself. “I never knew I had this much hate in me,” she wrote. “But he deserves it.”
So much for the idea that NPR is an oasis of civil discourse in a desert of vituperation. Spitz is a producer for trendy-hot NPR station KCRW and its nationally distributed talk show Left Right & Center (which could be called Three Leftists and Tony Blankley). But Spitz has also done stories for NPR's evening newscast All Things Considered.
Meanwhile, in Chicago, the source of the lawsuit decided today by the Supreme Court, ten people were killed by guns after 54 people were shot over the weekend. The victims included a baby girl, who suffered a neck graze wound at a midnight barbecue, early Monday morning.
Something tells me Scherer's observation isn't that the Chicago gun ban has been a horrendous failure, especially given his attribution of violence in the brief blog post on the guns themselves -- "ten people were killed by guns" -- not the criminals who used them.
Mainstream media journalists delighted in joining left-wing bloggers in mocking President George W. Bush over his penchant for verbal miscues, often when speaking off-the-cuff. Of course, President Bush wasn't too prickly on this point and on occasion made self-deprecating jokes about his penchant for mangling the English language.
Yet when it comes to right-of-center bloggers playfully mocking President Barack Obama's dependence on the teleprompter, don't expect most journalists to yuk it up with conservatives.
When Time magazine likes a liberal, they really, really like them.
Time’s profile of Obama’s "economic wise man" Larry Summers boils over with superlatives. The February 9 edition’s Table of Contents is brief, but gooey: "The brilliant, slightly bumbling man who may save our butt." His photo carried the caption: "Big brain: Summers is planning nothing short of a complete overhaul of the U.S. economy." The headline was "It’s Now or Never For Larry Summers: Obama’s brash and brilliant economic adviser has attained vast power and a chop on nearly every issue. Can the former Treasury boss sort out the financial mess before it gets worse?" The online headline was blunter: "Can Larry Summers Save the Economy?"
Turn the page, and former Time editor Strobe Talbott pays tribute in a bold-faced pull quote: "To have an argument with Larry Summers is a little like being run over by a tank with a Lotus engine." Liberals are touted for their brilliance. Smart conservatives are painted as Uncle Scrooge on Time’s cover (recall Newt Gingrich at the end of 1994).
The actual story on the National Economic Council chair, by Time’s Michael Scherer and Massimo Calabresi, includes one paragraph about his verbal gaffes (including a sentence about his dismissal from the top job at Harvard for suggesting women have displayed less scientific acumen), but it’s described as the fault of his "raw brainpower." The profile began with the adjective "wunderkind":
In a story on "Potential Problems at the Polls," Time's Michael Scherer passed along to readers a misleading anecdote about some nuns from South Bend who were "turned away" from the polls in Indiana's May presidential primary. The scary tale of sweet elderly nuns being robbed of their right to vote was how he introduced Time readers to potential problem #6, "New Burdens of Proof."
The sisters of the holy cross [sic] in notre [sic] Dame, Ind., don't have much use for driver's licenses. Or at least that's what a dozen of the nuns thought on May 6, when they went to vote in the presidential primary. They were each turned away as a result of a recently established ID-check requirement at Indiana polls.
In truth what actually happened was the nuns refused to avail themselves the opportunity of voting via provisional ballot and Scherer is hardly the first to mislead readers as to the facts of the incident in question.As I noted in a May 6 NewsBusters post:
Yesterday in a chat with USA Today reporters, former President Jimmy Carter complained that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was "milking every possible drop of advantage" from his stay in the Hanoi Hilton.
Perhaps picking up on that talking point, Time magazine's Michael Scherer asked in an August 28 article, "Is McCain Overplaying the POW Card?" Yet not once in his did Scherer point to Carter's comments. Instead Scherer resorted to the ever-so-reliable journalistic convention of "some critics":
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is "prickly" with the press, particularly Time magazine, reporters for the publication insist on the heels of a recent interview. Yet reporters for the same publication had a decidedly less confrontational chat last week with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), although they did question if he was tough enough to topple McCain in November.
In the August 28 item, "McCain's Prickly TIME Interview," Time editors prefaced the transcript of James Carney and Michael Scherer's interview by lamenting McCain's less frequent engagement of the press as compared to his 2000 Republican primary run. They then insisted that McCain "quickly soured" and refused to "stray off message" during a Time interview:
McCain at first seemed happy enough to do the interview. But his mood quickly soured. The McCain on display in the 24-minute interview was prickly, at times abrasive, and determined not to stray off message.
By contrast, Time editors didn't add prefatory commentary to a relative soft August 20 interview, "Obama on His Veep Thinking" by Karen Tumulty and David von Drehle. That interview began with two questions on Obama's toughness, particularly from the perspective of nervous partisan Democrats: