Kansas City Star
News travels slowly into the Kansas City metropolitan area — or at least into the newsroom at the Kansas City Star.
On Friday, the paper's Dave Helling produced a 950-word writeup on Monday's Electoral College voting. With all of the widely published news about Republican electors receiving death threats, all Helling had to report was a rumor: "One spouse of a Missouri elector claimed to know of death threats to electors in other parts of the country." The folks at the Star really need to check the reliability of their Internet connections.
On CNN Newsroom Monday, host Brianna Keilar claimed that she covered an incident or incidents involving Tea Party "people" (plural) who spit on members of Congress and hurled racial slang terms at African-American members of Congress.
In the Tea Party's seven-plus years of national presence, there is only one known event involving two separate incidents when what Keilar referred to could conceivably have occurred. Despite what Keilar claims took place, and despite the presence of hundreds of fellow protesters and dozens of phone and other cameras at the incidents, no one has ever proven that anyone deliberately spat on a member of Congress, nor has anyone proven that racial epithets or slang terms were hurled. The available evidence indicates that these things never happened.
With just three weeks to go, major newspapers (with a circulation of at least 50,000) are walloping Donald Trump in their official endorsements, favoring Hillary Clinton by a count of 68 to zero. Out of a total of 82 newspapers that have offered an editorial on who their readers should vote for, 68 (83 percent) of them have endorsed Hillary Clinton, five (6 percent) recommended Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, two (2 percent) advised to vote for anybody but Trump and seven (9 percent) newspapers offered no endorsement at all.
Let’s look at the way the print media reacted to Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis after their first six months as pontiff.
We looked at the editorials in 15 of the nation’s largest newspapers to see what they said about the current pope, and his predecessor, after their first six months in office (Pope Francis will celebrate his first six months on September 13).
Well, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, apparently has Missouri Democratic Congressman and Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver's back. As of 2:40 p.m., there is no national story relevant to Cleaver's unpaid $1 million-plus loan at the wire service's national site, even though information published by the Kansas City Star late Friday evening (interesting timing; HT to KC Star's David Helling, who later informed me that the story made Page A-1 of the Star's Saturday print edition, while the original received the same placement on Friday) indicates that taxpayers could be out up to $1.1 million because the Small Business Administration-backed a loan to Cleaver's car wash business back in 2002 which is has been seriously delinquent for years. The Bank has sued for repayment.
There is an unbylined local AP story which appears to have been published shortly after midnight on Monday (shown in full because of its brevity and for fair use and discussion purposes):
As of 11:55 a.m., a search at the Associated Press's national site on "Cleaver" returns nothing related to an April 6 story reported at the Kansas City star (HT Nice Deb via Gateway Pundit) that Bank of America has sued Missouri Congressman and Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver for repayment of a $1 million-plus loan relating to a car wash.
The KC Star didn't exactly provide exemplary coverage in its report. One would think from reading the story's headline and first two paragraphs that Bank of America and the congressman are having some kind of difficult conversation. In paragraph 3, we finally learn that there really is a lawsuit involved. It took the Star seven paragraphs to indicate that taxpayers may be on the hook and eight paragraphs to tag Cleaver as a Dem (impact-minimizing words in bold):
In Tuesday's Kansas City Star, reporter Aaron Barnhart revealed that Current TV, the cable channel launched in 2005 by Al Gore, would be the least missed, only managing to be viewed by 18,000 households in the fourth quarter of 2010. Also on the list of "Cable's Least Wanted" were the DIY network, ESPN Classic, Fox Soccer Channel, Logo, and Sleuth.
Despite such abysmal ratings for Current, Barnhart argued that the addition of former MSNBC Countdown host Keith Olbermann to the channel would turn things around: "The good news for Current is that it won’t be counting its audience in the high five figures, at least not when Olbermann is on the air." He later remarked: "Unlike Current, the rest of Cable’s Least Wanted don’t have a ratings savior waiting in the wings."
Memo to media members wishing to invite the Tea Party Founder on your show, or use him as a source for your biased reports: He isn't exactly who you think he is.
Since the NAACP voted to condemn extremist elements in the Tea Party, news networks, sites, and liberal blogs have rushed to include ‘Tea Party Founder', Dale Robertson, in their reports. Problem being, Dale Robertson as Tea Party anything has frequently and thoroughly been, um ... ‘refudiated'.
Despite this, the media has a history of holding Robertson up as a shining example of Tea Party racism. Why? Robertson once demonstrated a level of ignorance that boggles the mind by holding a sign reading "Congress = Slaveowner, Taxpayer = (N-Word)", at a Houston Tea Party Society (TPS) event.
The reality however, is that Robertson has predominantly self-described, if any, links to the Tea Party movement, while legitimate factions of the movement have had to repeatedly distance themselves from the man. Robertson was expelled from the event at which he was holding the aforementioned sign on the very same day. He was formally denounced in a statement released by the Houston TPS. He was called ‘no friend' of the Tea Party at Pajamas Media, and mocked at RedState. He was shown to be for his infamous sign, before he was against it.
So logically, the media has decided to help further the cause of the NAACP by bringing Robertson back out of the shadows. Since word of the the NAACP resolution got out, Robertson's name has appeared at...
Listen closely and you can hear the sound of crickets chirping over at the Kansas City Star after their Readers Representative, Derek Donovan, recommended a re-examination by that newspaper of their initial story of a supposed "hate crime" committed at the Capitol steps Tea Party in Washington D.C. on March 20:
I've talked to many, many readers this week about continuing fallout from claims that members of "tea party" protests shouted racial slurs at members of the Congressional Black Caucus and one spat on Rep. Emanuel Cleaver on March 20.
The Web and the talk shows are awash with reports that the word "nigger" wasn't recorded by people with video cameras. Some have also disputed that Cleaver was spat on, though a video shows pretty clearly to me that he reacted that way contemporaneously. Was it simply spittle from the man yelling in his face, rather than a single intentional spit? You can't tell from the video -- but if someone was yelling at me so forcefully that he also spit on me, I'm not sure I'd make much differentiation there.
As I wrote earlier in the week, the initial report in The Star March 21 should have attributed the claims to the people who made them, instead of simply reporting them as fact.
Yes, a story by William Douglas which was speed written in record time. Of course, the Kansas City Star is now taking its sweet time about actually verifying the "facts" behind the story. One place they might want to start is by Googling "Emanuel Cleaver" and discovering his latest reaction to the spitting incident:
The latest newspaper circulation numbers, measuring copies sold from April through September of this year, show a 10.6 percent decline in daily newspaper sales, the first double-digit drop in circulation ever. Newspaper readership is now at its lowest level since before World War II.
The biggest losers during this six-month period, as reported by NewsBusters's Tom Blumer, were the San Francisco Chronicle (down 25.8 percent daily), the Newark Star-Ledger (down 22.2 percent daily), and the Boston Globe (down 18.5 percent daily).
The New York Times's sales during the period fell to 927,861, the first time the paper sold less than 1 million copies in that time span in decades. The Wall Street Journal saw a 0.6 percent increase in circulation, making it the most purchased newspaper in the country. The Journal surpassed USA Today, whose circulation declined by over 17 percent.
IMPORTANT UPDATE BELOW! (Kansas City Star and Abouhalkah recognize their own ignorance, change title of post and disable old link).
Numerous reasons to oppose the ludicrous Obama health care plan aside, Yael T. Abouhalkah of the Kansas City Star has cut through to the real reason for dissent - Americans are ignorant.
While Abouhalkah will undoubtedly argue that the message was meant to apply merely to the aspect of health care knowledge, he is quite unsuccessful at holding back his overall disdain for the way American's have responded to the plan.
The title of his most recent blog post says it all. In referring to an NBC poll about the health care plan, one in which MSNBC titles Doubts About Obama's Plans, Abouhalkah titles his post - Poll: Ignorance abounds among Americans on health care plan.
The message? If you're not down with the President's plan, then you can only be classified as ignorant.
But what examples of ignorance does the author specifically cite?
Kansas City Star editorial page columnist Barb Shelly is miffed. In today's "The (mis)labeling of Kathleen Sebelius," she explains why:
In other words, this image that's being projected of Sebelius as some radical defender of the abortion industry is very much overstated. She's a pragmatic executive and it's ludicrous that her confirmation process has become so politicized.
Sebelius is, of course, Barack Obama's health secretary nominee. In that capacity, she'll wield considerable influence over governmental policies concerning abortion. Shelly argues:
I'll say this again: Sebelius is a moderate governor in a state that happens to be home to one of the few doctors willing to perform late-term abortions. Just like many other Kansans, that doctor, George Tiller, has exercised his constitutional right to contribute to political campaigns. Some of his money went to Sebelius.
Shelly doesn't detail how much of Tiller's money went to Sebelius. Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported that the nominee "got nearly three times as much political money" from the abortionist than she had reported to the Senate Finance Committee.