Amy Ridenour

Amy Ridenour's picture
Contributing Writer

Amy Ridenour (pronounced RIDE - en - our) is chairman of The National Center for Public Policy Research.  As the founding chief executive officer, she has since 1982 promoted the conservative perspective on U.S. domestic, foreign and defense policy issues.  She frequently speaks on public policy issues and political organizing techniques and has done so across the U.S., in Central America and in Europe. 

Her opinion/editorials have been nationally-syndicated.  Her articles have also been independently published by USA Today, the Sacramento Bee, the Dallas Morning News, The Washington Times, the Los Angeles Daily News and many others. 

Latest from Amy Ridenour

In light of the recent scandlous allegations regarding evangelical leader Rev. Ted Haggard, many news outlets have been referring to Haggard as a "conservative." Only a small number are mentioning that Haggard also sees himself as a global warming activist -- and definitely not one of the "skeptic" variety.

Over at the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Blog, I’ve floated an idea I believe could help journalists and editorial writers be more accurate – even when they’d rather not.

I suggested that online versions of newspaper and magazine articles include footnotes.

The Washington Post, an altogether shameless publication on many levels, is running this inexcusable excuse for an obituary by Patricia Sullivan for the late Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage, a great defender of freedom who died in a car accident Monday. The obituary, which maintains the Post's tradition of including factual errors, is, in a word, bitchy.

I offer a case study in the way journalists serve the cause of global warming alarmists -- in this particular case, by claiming scientists are associated with the fossil fuel industry using "evidence" even a superficial investigation would have rendered void, and by misleading readers in other ways.

Something doesn't quite seem right with this glowing interview the Washington Post conducted with environmental activist Dr. Lara Hansen of the World Wildlife Fund.

Dr. Hansen is quoted saying, "When I was 5 or 6, my father read me an article in Science magazine about ozone depletion, which is what causes increased ultraviolet radiation..."

Here's a link to Science. Look at it and tell me a 5-or 6-year-old could understand it.

The Washington Post is editorializing today against the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which held hearings twice in July on questions surrounding the "hockey stick" temperature studies.

Says the Post: "Instead of concentrating on the changing climate, the House Energy Committee picks on climatologists."

In so many ways does the mainstream press demean conservatives who work on environmental issues.

In this Los Angeles Times piece by Jim Puzzanghera, conservatives wary of the Henry Paulson nomination are described as "causing problems" for Paulson because Paulson likes to watch birds.

Here's how the article begins:

Quick on the heels of its recommendation that conservatives support the Senate pro-amnesty immigration bill (for political rather than principled reasons, yet), the Weekly Standard is apparently laying the groundwork for a change in the conservative position on global warming.

From the June 12 issue, in an article by Contributing Editor Irwin M.

Media Matters is criticizing the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Chris Horner for saying, on the Fox News Channel's Your World with Neil Cavuto, that ratification of the Kyoto global warming treaty was not a high profile issue for President Bill Clinton during the Clinton Administration. The Media Matters headline reads: "On Fox's Your World, CEI's Horner Misled on Kyoto, Global Warming."

Media Matters says, in part:

I've often read that plants grow better when exposed to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide.

Yet, when the Associated Press mentions the subject, what it says is: Global warming boosts poison ivy.

The AP report, as published May 29 by the Boston Globe, begins:

Newsweek's Howard Fineman says:

A new book about former FBI Agent Mark Felt, the alleged "Deep Throat" of "All the President's Men" (Watergate) fame, says Felt believes journalist Bob Woodward violated an agreement not to describe him in print.

A Washington Post story by Lynn Duke about the new book "A G-Man's Life: The FBI, 'Deep Throat' and the Struggle for Honor in Washington," by Mark Felt and John O'Connor, leads with the information that Felt's late wife, Audrey Robinson Felt, committed suicide in 1984.

By paragraph four, however, the article reveals something entirely different:

...And the book tells of Felt's deep anger at what he believed was Woodward's violation of their source-reporter relationship. Felt did not want to be described in any way in print, but Woodward both described him and called him "Deep Throat" in 1974 in "All the President's Men."

"Mark has never seen himself as a chatterbox who gave up secrets," writes O'Connor in a lengthy introduction.

"If this book does nothing else, let it destroy that caricature. Deep Throat was a journalistic joke; the name never described Mark Felt. After Woodward revealed that he had a senior source in the executive branch, thereby breaking his agreement with Mark Felt, and after the journalist identified his confidant as 'Deep Throat,' the retired FBI man was furious -- slamming down the phone when Woodward called for his reaction" to the 1974 book.

The New Republic has a "by the editors" editorial in the March 20 issue calling on the government to provide "universal health care." No surprise there.

Following up on Tim Graham's NewsBusters report on a Washington Post article about a study claiming "that supporters of President Bush and other conservatives had stronger self-admitted and implicit biases against blacks than liberals did," I have a few questions I wish the Post story had answered.

Writing in the January 18 Washington Post, staff writer Manuel Roig-Franzia begins a story about New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's apology with a reference to talk radio:
NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 17 -- An avalanche of criticism, stoked by heated talk-radio rants, forced Mayor C. Ray Nagin to apologize Tuesday for declaring that God wants New Orleans to be a "chocolate city."

Based on these internal e-mails, it looks like some editors at the Washington Post dead tree edition aren't very happy that the web version of the Post is doing well. The web version, apparently, is outside their control. It's also growing -- one editor frets it has more readers than the paper version -- and is making money, besides. More info on the angst is available here.

With the exception of a few lines, this October 7 Christian Science Monitor story by Warren Richey about Harriet Miers could have been written by the White House. Its thesis is that prior judicial experience is not a reliable indicator of how well an individual will do as a justice if appointed and confirmed for the U.S. Supreme Court. Among a number of reasonably thoughtful quotes from academics, however, this line stands out:
Snobbery is no small part of the debate over Miers, analysts say.
The "analysts" who said this are not identified, however, and the only support for a "snobbery" element to the debate is this line:

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer caps off a silly editorial about Rep. Richard Pombo's plans to strengthen/weaken (depending on whom you ask) the Endangered Species Act with this concluding paragraph:
As critics point out, the act hasn't restored many threatened species to robust health. If consensus can be found, it's possible that Congress could craft better ways of restoring endangered species. But the starting point must be to prevent extinction. On that basic responsibility, Congress must not mess with the Endangered Species Act's great success.
In other words, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer simultaneously is putting forth the following self-contradictory theses:

CNN's Jack Cafferty isn't the only one taking cheap shots at President Bush for taking a vacation in August, before Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi and Louisiana. The New York Times and Washington Post are doing it, too. From an August 31 New York Times editorial about Katrina:
As the levees of Lake Pontchartrain gave way, flooding New Orleans, it seemed pretty clear that in this case, government did not live up to the job.