Des Moines Register

By Tom Blumer | September 29, 2014 | 1:45 PM EDT

According to a poll which is described as the state's "gold standard," Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst now leads Bruce Braley, her Democratic Party opponent, in the Iowa U.S. Senate race for the seat being vacated by Democrat Tom Harkin.

The Des Moines Register's "Iowa poll" has Ernst up by a six-point margin, 44% - 38%. That Ernst's lead isn't larger is apparently attributable to a statement she made to the Register's editorial board which has been treated as a misstep, but really wasn't. The truth is that the statement Ernst made — that she had "reason to believe there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq" — really wasn't strong enough.

By Tom Blumer | March 28, 2013 | 8:40 PM EDT

Apparently the journalistic disease known as obsessive-compulsive interactive map publishing is spreading.

Late last year, Gannett's Journal News in White Plains, New York created a firestorm when it published an interactive map of gun permit holders in two counties north of New York City, obviously giving criminals, depending on how they target victims, the identity of places to rob to get guns or, by inference, people they could be comfortable wouldn't be carrying concealed weapons. On Wednesday evening, the Des Moines Register published an item still present on its site discussing the general degree of presence or absence of resource officers at Iowa schools. It also published a "handy" interactive map, since taken down, of which schools have resource officers, which ones don't, and which ones didn't respond to a survey on the topic. Excerpts from the report follow the jump (HT Newsmax via The Blaze):

By Tom Blumer | January 8, 2013 | 10:49 AM EST

The first rule for those who have dug themselves into rhetorical holes is: Stop digging. As noted yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Des Moines Register columnist Donald Kaul ignored that rule on January 5 by claiming that his December 30 column -- which, among other things, advocated "(tying) Mitch McConnell and John Boehner ... to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag(ging) them around a parking lot until they ... (see) the light on gun control" and having those who resist the efforts of those trying to pry their "guns from their cold, dead hands" should get their wish -- was "satire" comparable to the work Jonathan Swift.

The first rule for bystanders watching others digging themselves into such dangerous holes is: Take away their shovel. Instead, Register editor Rick Green joined in the digging in a Saturday column, even backing Kaul's ridiculous "satire" claim (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | January 7, 2013 | 5:18 PM EST

On December 30, (originally noted at NewsBusters by MRC's Tim Graham), twice- or thrice-retired Des Moines Register columnist Donald Kaul, feeling compelled to come back and begin writing columns again, in the Register's words, "when events move him," made five immodest proposals: 1) "Repeal the Second Amendment"; 2) "Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal"; 3) "Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony"; 4) People resisting the confiscation efforts of those trying to pry their "guns from their cold, dead hands" should get their wish; 5) "tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner ... to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they ... (see) the light on gun control."

Following a firestorm of outrage, Kaul wrote a January 5 follow-up column claiming he was only engaging in satire, while arrogantly comparing himself to Jonathan Swift and the revered satirist's Modest Proposal. Really. Mr. Kaul seems to have missed something about how his supposedly satirical original column differs from Swift's work:

By Tom Blumer | January 7, 2013 | 9:35 AM EST

In a Washington Examiner column last night, Gregory Kane made several quite valid points in comparing the media firestorm over Rush Limbaugh's comments about Sarah Fluke to the virtual silence over Des Moines Register columnist Donald Kaul, who, if he were in charge, "would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner ... to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control." Kaul also wrote that he would, "If some people refused to give up their guns," make "that 'prying the guns from their cold, dead hands' thing" operative.

Confirming what readers here would expect, a search at the Associated Press's national web site on Kaul's last name comes up empty. Key paragraphs from Kane's column follow the jump (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):

By Noel Sheppard | October 28, 2012 | 11:12 AM EDT

The Des Moines Register shocked many political observers Saturday by endorsing Mitt Romney for president.

Clearly not accepting such a thing, Michael Tomasky, the Obama-loving correspondent for the Daily Beast, came out Sunday claiming the Register's endorsement "is little more than a practical joke":

By Tom Blumer | January 23, 2012 | 12:49 PM EST

This morning, P.J. Gladnick at NewsBusters pointed to how the Des Moines Register avoided identifying the employer of a "prominent member of a well known Democrat campaign consulting firm" who was also a "former Obama campaign staffer" until the firm, LINK Strategies, had a chance to fire him. Once Zachary Edwards was shown the door, it it became a "safe" story to cover, whereupon the Register ran the story as "Political consultants quickly fire arrested man." But of course.

Though the story of Edwards's arrest in connection with an attempt to steal Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz's identity is nationally newsworthy, it appears that the Associated Press has not yet covered it that way, while avoiding the damning details in its local/regional story.

By P.J. Gladnick | January 22, 2012 | 12:58 PM EST

Is it safe?

Is it safe?

No, that wasn't Laurence Olivier as a Nazi dentist drilling holes into Dustin Hoffman's teeth in Marathon Man as he kept repeating that question. In this case it was the Des Moines Register wondering if it was "safe" to mention that a former Obama campaign staffer, Zachary Edwards (see mug shot), who was arrested on Friday for attempted identity theft of the Iowa Republican Secretary of State, Matt Schultz, was a prominent member of a well known Democrat campaign consulting firm, LINK Strategies. On Friday, the day the Des Moines Register first briefly reported the arrest, it wasn't "safe" to mention Link Strategies:

By Brad Wilmouth | December 19, 2011 | 8:25 AM EST

On Sunday, both morning and evening newscasts on ABC and NBC touted the Des Moines Register's endorsement of Mitt Romney as a boost for his campaign for President, in spite of the paper's left-wing tilt in a state where the Republican Party is predominantly conservative. While they did at least note the paper's liberal slant, both networks still played up the liberal endorsement.

By Tom Blumer | November 21, 2010 | 10:47 AM EST

The seemingly endless variety of "name that party" stunts has yet another wrinkle.

In this case, Matt Drudge is currently linking to a Des Moines Register story ("Culver OKs state pay raises"; also saved here at host for future reference) about how outgoing Iowa Governor Chet Culver has decided to rush through union contracts granting thousands of state employees 3% raises (before considering "step" raises that occur with seniority) in each of the next two years before Republican Governor Terry Bransted takes over in January.

The headline for Drudge's link is "Lame duck Dem governor in Iowa OKs $100 million in raises for state workers." Actually, it's $100 million a year for the next two years. But the linked Register article by Jason Clayworth never identifies Culver's Democratic Party affiliation, even though he tags the governor's opposition as Republican twice in the first two paragraphs. In other words, not that it was difficult to show that Culver is a Dem, but Drudge had to figure it out and tell his readers -- and we thank him for that.

Here are excerpts from Clayworth's clunker:

By Jill Stanek | September 7, 2010 | 4:31 PM EDT

des moines registerIn a September 5 editorial promoting the legalization of RU-486 telemed abortions, the Des Moines Register editorial board had to admit Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is currently committing them illegally.  Read carefully:

… Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has used telemedicine as it was intended: to expand access to legal health services in rural Iowa. The challenge of that smart approach should prompt state leaders to update laws and policies – to give Iowans increased access to health care, including abortion, through the use of technology.

Now it’s up to Iowa leaders to:

- Re-evaluate outdated abortion laws in this state.

The law requiring physicians to perform abortions made sense when all abortions were surgical procedures. But that requirement is called into question now that women are increasingly choosing to take a drug….

Iowa should take a step forward in fostering 21st century medicine – including using it to give women access to a legal medical procedure.

By Jeff Poor | May 28, 2009 | 8:04 PM EDT

You'd expect to see this in the liberal blogosphere or possibly some of the national mainstream media outlets with an obvious agenda. But now some of the preemptive strikes against Republican senators leading up to the Senate confirmation hearings and eventual vote to confirm President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, are finding their way into local newspapers.