If you ever doubted that the media see the news through a partisan prism, consider this: in less than two days, ABC, CBS and NBC devoted nearly 7 times as much coverage to Jeff Sessions meeting with the Russian Ambassador in his role as a U.S. Senator than they did when then-Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress in June 2012.
In Tuesday’s New York Times, legal reporter Charlie Savage went way overboard fear-mongering over a quip Donald Trump made to Hillary Clinton during their debate Sunday night in “Pledge to Put Clinton in Jail Gets Experts Thinking of ‘Tin-Pot Dictators.’” Trump’s “you’d be in jail” rejoinder to Hillary Clinton came during a heated discussion of her handling of classified documents, and the media aggressively misrepresented it to liken Trump to a dictator. One wonders where this concern about careful rhetoric and the rule of law was when the left howled for war crimes tribunals for President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
Acting more like a doorman than a journalist during PBS coverage of the Democratic National Convention Thursday night, CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose invited former Attorney General Eric Holder to blast Donald Trump: “You also said that Donald Trump, you questioned his gray matter. You mean he’s not smart enough to be president?”
Gateway Pundit dubbed the Democratic National Convention's program Tuesday evening as "Criminal Appreciation Night." Site proprietor Jim Hoft certainly has a point. The party officially nominated a candidate for the highest office in the land who committed acknowledged and admitted criminal acts, but whom the FBI and the intensely politicized Justice Department chose not to prosecute. A former president who was impeached over admitted perjury, also known as a crime, was also a featured speaker.
Tuesday night's program also included an appearance by several representatives of "Mothers of the Movement." Here, as seen at the Dayton Daily News, is how Richard Thompson of Rare.us, a Cox Media-owned web operation, began his coverage of the "Mothers" appearance:
If we're to believe the pose struck by five Associated Press reporters who contributed to a Sunday afternoon story on the topic, the spike in violent crime in the U.S. during the past nearly two years apparently needs its own episode of the old Unsolved Mysteries TV series.
"Experts can't point to a single reason" for the rise. The increase "is stumping law enforcement officials." FBI Director James Comey says, "I don't know what the answer is." But don't worry, say the AP reporters, because "the jump isn't enough to suggest there's a trend," and "it's a far cry from the more notorious early 1990s." The obvious genuine answer, the one which people who don't have blinders on clearly recognize, known as the "Ferguson effect," got scant notice, and wasn't directly named. It's almost as if the wire service has a Stylebook rule against using the term — and especially against recognizing the effect's legitimacy.
The New York Times Magazine cover story by political correspondent Jim Rutenberg, "A Dream Undone -- Inside the 50-year campaign to roll back the Voting Rights Act," is a 10-part, 10,000-word doorstop (issued with the baleful threat "The first in a series") comparing current attempts to stop voter fraud as a return to Jim Crow, with particular focus on North Carolina. Rutenberg also relayed more Times misinformation about Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign and his appeal to "states rights" in Mississippi.
Aamer Madhani at USA Today took the easy way out on Friday in covering the sharp increases in murders in many U.S. cities during the first half of this year.
He quoted Milwaukee's police chief bemoaning "absurdly weak" gun laws. He noted that "the increased violence is disproportionately impacting poor and predominantly African-American and Latino neighborhoods." He found a university prof to allege that there's a lack of resources to "fund a proactive law enforcement." What rubbish. The fact is that the "broken windows" approach to law enforcement, the "proactive law enforcement" initiative pioneered in New York City under Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the 1990s which made New York one of the safest cities in America, is being systematically discredited by the left and abandoned by many police departments, with all too predictable results.
In late September 2014, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released "A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States, 2000-2013."
To say the least, the report's issuance, timed six weeks before the midterm elections, and its topic ("a specific type of shooting situation law enforcement and the public may face") were curious. Given the press's inclination to sensationalize and politicize any report on gun violence, its findings were especially vulnerable to misinterpretation. When that quite predictably happened, the FBI and the study's authors appear to have done nothing to correct errant media reports. It also appears that they would have remained silent about those media distortions if longtime gun rights advocate John Lott Jr. hadn't called them out in a professional criminal justice journal.
Leave it to MSNBC host Chris Matthews to inject an absurd political angle into a completely apolitical story involving international soccer. In the midst of a panel discussion about today's revelations regarding a Justice Department case against FIFA corruption, the Hardball host wondered why on Earth former Attorney General Eric Holder didn't stick around at the DOJ long enough to bask in the glow of the klieg lights at the press conference announcing the corruption indictments.
The headline is already gone from the Associated Press's national site, but it's still present elsewhere.
In the context of events in Ferguson and elsewhere since August of last year, one could argue that it contains more truth than the wire service and the headline's accidental creators will ever admit.
On Friday, CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 surprisingly spotlighted that the "hands up, don't shoot" narrative and chant forwarded by many left-wing supporters of Michael Brown's family is grounded in falsehoods. Correspondent Sara Sidner cited a recent Justice Department report that underlined that the mantra is "inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence" and that "witnesses have acknowledged their initial accounts were untrue."
Thursday on his Your World show, host Neil Cavuto went after the Obama administration's near obsession with the coverage it gets on Fox News.
While Team Obama can count on the Big Three triumvirate of ABC, CBS and NBC to toe the line, promoting its points while generally avoiding damning information, Fox has generally remained fair and balanced, an approach which has clearly gotten under their ultra-thin skins.