Latest from Aubrey Vaughan
Last week was filled with Chris Christie fat jokes. This week, Sen. Scott Brown was the target of Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren's joke about Brown's nude photos from college.
Brown posed for the pictures to help pay for his schooling, but during the Massachusetts Senate debate earlier this week, the moderator reminded everyone of the issue, and asked Warren what she had done to pay for college. She joked, "I kept my clothes on." Yesterday when Brown was asked about the remark, he responded, "Thank God." When Warren made the joke, no one cared. When Brown joked back, he was called a sexist.
The blogosphere has been abuzz this week with a video misleading viewers to believe that Rep. Michele Bachmann riles up a campaign crowd in Iowa with the line, "Who likes white people?"
The video was pirated from Robert Stacy McCain's blog, the Other McCain, after he covered a Bachmann appearance at a rainy August 5th Christian music festival, during which Bachmann shouted to the drenched crowd "Who likes wet people?" She followed the question with a statement to her Christian audience on God's power over the weather, which was cut from the edited version. The blogger took the video from McCain, added a caption to read "Who likes white people?" and the video instantly became viral thanks to Perez Hilton, CBS News, and Wonkette. Now the blogger who edited the stolen video has removed the video from YouTube and apologized to McCain, but has still damaged the reputation of Bachmann and could face legal repercussions from both her and McCain.
The New York Times's Eric Lichtblau published a front-page hit piece on the House oversight committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, on Monday, titled "Helping His District, and Himself." The piece opened with an attempt to paint a corporate image of the entrepreneurial congressman, saying, "Here on the third floor of a gleaming office building overlooking a golf course in the rugged foothills north of San Diego, Darrell Issa, the entrepreneur, oversees the hub of a growing financial empire worth hundreds of millions of dollars," going on to attempt to forge a connection between Issa's public service and private business. The errors began in the lede, as Issa's office is not located in a ritzy building near a golf course, and continued for the rest of the article.
Issa's office has called for a "front-page retraction of the story due to the inaccuracies that fully undermine the premise of the article," describing the piece as an "error-ridden front page story." Issa's director of communications, Frederick Hill, explained that the three central examples the Times used to justify their claims are "wildly inaccurate," citing 13 inaccuracies in the article that reflect incorrect information or baseless assertions. With only one exception, the Times has yet to correct or retract any of the errors in the article.
As reported by the Blaze earlier today, CBS News's online store is selling seven different Obama-related items, but complementary Republican merchandise is suspiciously absent. The online store includes paperback and hardback copies of Obama's memoir, "Dreams From My Father," and five memorabilia books and DVDs of his campaign and election.
When the Blaze looked into the matter, CBS News had even dedicated an entire tab of its store to the president. The category has since been removed, but searching "Obama" in the online store still returns all the merchandise. When the items are clicked on, though, shoppers are redirected to the online store's home page. Such activity raises the question of why seven different pro-Obama items were for sale alongside CBS News mugs, tote bags, and t-shirts, while not a single piece of Republican merchandise can be found in the store.
Throughout July and early August, during the weeks of an impending budget crisis, Tea Partiers were repeatedly called vile names, from terrorists to delusional children to people strapped with dynamite in the middle of Times Square. The British rioters, who did inflict terror on London, who were typically delusional youth, and who burned down a number of buildings, were instead "disenchanted."
It seems as though the media mixed their labels on the two activist groups, sympathizing with the rioters while viciously attacking a mainstream and completely non-destructive conservative group. The same sympathy the media felt for the British youth was never applied to the Tea Party, which has always peacefully worked to enact political change.
Over the past few days, Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has been the subject of criticism due to his unusually high number of Twitter followers. Some say a large number of his followers were manufactured by a Twitter account generator to falsely boost his online clout. His campaign contends his follower count came from other means, explaining instead his early adoption of the social network and his personal engagement with his followers, in addition to having been featured as a suggested account for quite some time.
We won't take a position on whether or not Gingrich's followers are legit but it is worth noting that before he began his presidential run, Gingrich was the literally the only right-leaning political pundit to be recommended to Twitter users by the company. That stands in dramatic contrast to the many liberal pundits and media outlets which Twitter recommends to its users via a hand-picked list. Read on for the full details.
Monday night, to the surprise of many, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned to the Capitol to cast her first vote since being shot in the head by Jared Lee Loughner seven months ago. Her triumphant return brought cheers from everyone in the room, despite their contentious disagreements over the past few weeks.
Ironically, these disagreements have often turned to using the same violent rhetoric that was so widely blamed by the media as the reason for Loughner's violent shooting spree. In reality, martial rhetoric is virtually ubiquitous in our political system, but the same people who condemned it seven months ago are now hypocritically using the same language, having no problem calling Tea Partiers "terrorists," "kidnappers," or congressmen on a "suicide mission."
If there has been anything unifying the mainstream media coverage of the debt crisis, it has been attacking the Tea Party. Last night on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart joined the chorus, railing against the Tea Party's dislike of the debt deal, which he claimed they won through the plan's spending cuts, even though the cuts are in fact quite small.
According to Stewart, the Tea Party freshmen control less than half of the House, but they are the ones who caused the ruckus of forcing billions in spending cuts. He went on to say Tea Partiers don't want a government at all and likened them to bank robbers taking everyone hostage.
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Most journalists would never correlate terrorism with Islam for fear of being criticized as Islamophobic, but now they are relishing in the opportunity to connect Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik to Christianity using a fairly weak link.
Breivik, who published a manifesto hours before his shooting spree, discussed his cultural connection to Christianity only as a vehicle by which he could accomplish his goal of a pure Nordic race. He even wrote, "I'm not going to pretend I'm a very religious person, as that would be a lie." Nevertheless, Breivik's supposedly radical Christian beliefs are making the headlines, instead of his truly radical belief of eliminating Muslims through modern eugenics.
First it was her migraines, then it was the cost of her hair and makeup, and now it's correlating her anti-gay views to bullying and suicides in a school district she represents. Rep. Michele Bachmann has in many ways become the new Sarah Palin as a prominent female target the media love to hate. Even when she responds to her critics, they don't seem to go away.
Bachmann suffers from migraines, like 30 million other Americans, but has proved through her career the migraines don't hinder her ability to serve. Nevertheless, she immediately released a statement from her doctor explaining her migraines are under control. In comparison, both former President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama had health issues that could have turned into major problems during their presidencies, but neither released their medical records. Clinton had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and clogged coronary arteries, while Obama was a longtime smoker with a family history of cancer.
Over the past few days, media coverage has been dedicated almost entirely to the debt negotiations between President Obama and more outspoken members of Congress. As the Los Angeles Times pointed out, this let slide an interesting statement by the self-described democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, who said, "I think it would be good if President Obama faced some primary opposition."
For one of the most outspoken defenders of universal healthcare, same-sex marriage, and environmentalism to be challenging Obama signals major problems with what should be Obama's most ardent base of supporters, which is also confirmed by new polls from CBS, NBC, and ABC. The networks, however, are failing to report their own polls because they reflect poorly on the president.
In an interview, MSNBC president Phil Griffin made some rather strange characterizations of his network, insisting that it "come[s] from a progressive stance" while it is simultaneously "not ideologically driven."
Those two concepts would seem contradictory in the minds of most people--but not to Griffin, who seems to believe that his staff of "smart people" who "do their research" is up to the task.
British media mogul Rupert Murdoch has spent the past few weeks facing ethics inquiries as a result of his News of the World phone hacking scandal. Now British-government-owned media giant BBC is being questioned for its journalistic ethics in muzzling global warming skeptics in its taxpayer-funded broadcasts.
Because BBC believes skeptics' views "differ from mainline scientific opinion," the network plans to reduce airtime to the "minority" views. The Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think tank that serves to challenge the costly environmental policies countering a possibly fabricated problem, describes the attack on skeptics as "using the 'science-is-settled' mantra as a smokescreen to silence critics of climate taxes and green policies." Coming from a government-funded network, the political agenda the network is trying to push should be making the same headlines the News of the World scandal has created.
After Entertainment Weekly graciously gave grades of B+ to Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11' and A- to former Vice President Al Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth,' EW's John Young has bestowed a much different treatment on his review of the new Sarah Palin political documentary, 'The Undefeated.'
The conservative documentary, which successfully opened last weekend in limited release, was given a snarky review under the headline "Sarah Palin's 'The Undefeated': We saw it so you don't have to!".
For having made a shocking revelation that deeply undermined one the most repeated stories of Obama's 2008 campaign and 2009 health care debate, Janny Scott is staying extremely quiet. Scott's new book, 'A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother,' proved false Obama's claim that his mother was fighting with insurance companies from her death bed, one of Obama's favorite lines to use when campaigning and appealing for the passage of Obamacare.
Yesterday, the Washington Examiner's Byron York wrote of being turned down twice after trying to reach Scott for an interview, even though the New York Times landed an interview with her in between York's two requests. It seems likely that Scott, whose liberal bias has been exposed here at NewsBusters and at our sister site TimesWatch, is not thrilled that conservatives have used her book as a way of exposing the liberal president.
It's no secret that most campaigns are heavily funded by big checks from lobbyists, PACs, and rich donors, but President Obama's campaign team is turning away from that assertion, instead showcasing the claim that it is 98-percent-funded by grassroots support. Jim Messina, Obama's campaign manager, said "we did this from the bottom up," pushing the idea that the $86 million fundraising figure released on Wednesday was fueled almost entirely by grassroots organizers.
While 98 percent of the checks may have come from grassroots donors, it doesn't mean that 98 percent of the money did. Many media outlets are taking the bait and are ignoring the two percent of donors whose contributions may turn out to be a far greater portion of Obama's campaign funds than Messina is making them out to be.
For comparison, eight years ago when then-President George W. Bush was ramping up for his re-election campaign, the media magnified a small fraction of extremely wealthy donors to be the image of his campaign.
Despite the fact that the White House press corps is comprised mostly of members who are ardent liberal Democrats who want to see President Obama triumph over Republicans, it has grown increasingly clear that the feeling of respect is not mutual.
The White House made that apparent today by laying down a new rule for reporters covering Obama's news conferences there: No more shouting questions at the president.
Earlier this morning, Washington Times blogger Kerry Picket discovered an unusual listing on the popular movie rating website Rotten Tomatoes. The new Sarah Palin documentary, 'The Undefeated,' was categorized not only as a documentary, but also as science fiction and fantasy.
Since Picket's blog was posted, the science fiction and fantasy tag has been removed, but it begs the question of why the film was categorized in the same listing as the fantasy tales of 'X-Men,' 'Pirates of the Caribbean,' and 'Transformers' in the first place.
For the past few days, everyone has relished the opportunity to pounce on the lack of media ethics by Rupert Murdoch affiliated tabloid News of the World, but are neglecting to recognize the lack of media ethics by much more mainstream media outlets on this side of the Atlantic.
Over the past three years, often to the chagrin of TV news audiences, Casey Anthony has been the star of the airwaves. Casey, a resident of Orlando, Florida, was indicted on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter, and aggravated child abuse following the death of her daughter, Caylee. Last week, Casey was found not guilty of these charges, and thanks to her previous good behavior in prison, is scheduled to go home Sunday. With her imminent release, brazen media outlets will soon begin duking it out to land the coveted first interview with the newly free Casey. Thanks to the thousands of dollars they put towards helping her throughout the trial, though, it seems that ABC News might already have a head start in the competition.
Mila Kunis, a Ukranian immigrant to the United States at age seven and star of 'That 70s Show' and 'Black Swan,' just proved herself to be a lot more patriotic than some of her American counterparts in Hollywood.
Sgt. Scott Moore of the 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines in Musa Qala, Afghanistan, posted a video on YouTube last month asking Kunis to the Marine Corps Ball in North Carolina this fall, and word finally got around to Kunis, who gladly accepted his invitation.