Lachlan Markay

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A liberal Washington Post columnist laments today of the loss of civility in the public discourse. Strange that he is suddenly outraged that Americans would dare call Obama a socialist or a fascist, given that Bush-Hitler comparisons were widespread during the previous administration.

Liberals in the media spent the summer and early fall bemoaning signs at town hall protests and tea party rallies calling Obama a socialist or communist comparing him to Hitler (incidentally, many of these signs were actually created by supporters of uber-leftist Lyndon LaRouche, as reported by Seton Motley here and here). These pundits had no such admonitions for signs at anti-war rallies during the Bush administration comparing him to Hitler and the Devil, and calling the president a fascist.

So the Post's E.J. Dionne's complaints about the loss of civility in the debate over federal politics fit right in with the narrative liberal pundits have been pushing since last year: comparing an American president to a murderous dictator is unacceptable...if that president is a Democrat.

After a Census Bureau worker was found dead in rural Kentucky in September, liberals jumped at the chance to attribute his death to right-wing extremists whipped into a frenzy by the hate-filled sermons of Michelle Bachmann and Glenn Beck. It turns out the Census employee committed suicide and tried to make it seem like a murder to recoup life insurance payments for his son.

USA Today reports that Bill Sparkman "committed suicide and staged his death to look like a homicide." He was not murdered by a government-hating extremist with Fox News prime time cued up on his Tivo. Given this revelation, let us review what some in the liberal media and the lefty blogosphere had to say upon the discovery of Sparkman's body.

The ClimateGate email leak has demonstrated in full force a glaring double standard in the mainstream media's coverage of leaked information. Too often, liberal media outlets jump at the chance to damage conservative figures by publishing sensitive information, but refuse to publish such information if it discredits or hinders the left's efforts.

As Clay Waters reported yesterday, Andew Revkin, who writes for the New York Times's Dot Earth blog, refused to publish emails from Britain's East Anglia Climate Research Unit showing efforts to manipulate climate data and marginalize global warming skeptics.

Said Revkin, "The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here."

Revkin is correct that the emails were never intended for the public eye, contained private communications, and were released by hackers who violated the law in obtaining them. But apparently this standard for publication of such documents does not apply to information about Sarah Palin.

The release of internal emails from Britain's University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit shows scientists plotting to ostracize and marginalize other researchers who question their assumptions on anthropogenic global warming. Yet the Washington Post finds that such a strategy is but a natural reaction to attacks on these scientists by climate skeptics.

The Post characterizes the CRU, and the larger circle of scientists pushing the global warming theory, as "an intellectual circle that appears to feel very much under attack." Readers must be forgiven for their confusion about who exactly is being attacked, as the Post goes on to detail CRU communications calling for a boycott of academic journals that publish articles critical of the supposed "consensus" on global warming. (Noel Sheppard reported on these and other incendiary statements in a Friday post.)

"I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report," CRU director Phil Jones wrote of two skeptical academic works. "Kevin and I will keep them out somehow--even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"

A "new consensus" has emerged on the success of the economic stimulus package, according to a New York Times headline. In touting the supposed success of the legislation, and hinting at support for another round of spending, the Times neglected to mention the widespread fraud that characterizes the administration's attempt at shoring up the economy.

As reported by P.J. Gladnick on Saturday, the Times made sure to attribute its claims to "dispassionate analysts," and asserted that the stimulus is "helping an economy in free fall a year ago to grow again and shed fewer jobs than it otherwise would." Gladnick thoroughly debunked this claim, and others, in his NB post.

In a further show of bias, the Times article makes no mention of the 76,779 jobs that were not actually "saved or created" by the package, but were added to the number touted by the administration (interactive map embedded below the fold - h/t Examiner's Freddoso, Spiering, and Hemingway). Given that this number is roughly 12 percent of the 640,000 jobs the administration claims to have "saved or created," it might merit a mention in the Times's story.

The scandal surrounding the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now has provided a number of case studies in liberal media bias. The initial silence of the vast majority of media outlets on the story, the attempts by leftist commentators to excuse ACORN and discredit the group's critics, and Andrew Breitbart's strategy of rolling out video exposes periodically to counter those commentators, all speak to the liberal media paradigm, and activists' efforts to combat it.

Breitbart and his filmmaking proteges James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles have released another video showing an ACORN employee volunteering her help in establishing an underage prostitution business. This employee, Lavelle Stewart, had been trumpeted by liberal pundits as a shining example of ACORN's refusal to aid in criminal deeds. Stewart, they claimed, had refused to help Giles and O'Keefe as many other employees had.

But the new videos (Part 1 video embedded below the fold) tell a different story. "There are ways, people do it all the time," Stewart told O'Keefe when asked if he could launder prostitution money into his congressional campaign. "Yeah there are ways, especially out here in California," she added. Stewart, who works in an ACORN office in Los Angeles, was the latest staffer of the organization to volunteer her services in smuggling underage girls into the country, setting up a prostitution ring with those girls, and laundering the proceeds into a political campaign.

Megan Fox has a real distaste for "Middle America". Those darned hillbillies in fly-over country just don't seem to go for blockbuster lesbian slash ‘em up soft-core porn flicks. What gives?

Fox is blaming Middle America for her potentially career-breaking flop of a horror movie "Jennifer's Body." Asked why it was such a pitiful failure, Fox explained, "the movie is about a man-eating, cannibalistic lesbian cheerleader, and that pretty much eliminates middle America."

Oh my, what ignorant and close-minded folks these Middle Americans must be that they wouldn't want to sit through 90 minutes of that. Really, what is the film industry coming to when Americans won't pay ten bucks to see one half-naked pinup model devour another?

CNN's Rick Sanchez hosted a forum of 'average joes' yesterday in a sort of focus group on Sarah Palin. CNN did not feel, however, that it needed to invite any Palin supporters. Despite claims that the group accurately represented American opinion, its responses demonstrated a total disconnect from actual public sentiment.

Sanchez, shown right in a file photo, asked the group to inform viewers of their political and party affiliations, concluding that there was "a pretty good cross-section" of Americans participating. He then asked about Palin. None of the viewers said they would vote for her in a presidential run, and none said they plan on purchasing her new book (video and transcript below the fold - h/t Townhall).

A screening of the show's guests would hardly be a surprise given Sanchez's history of playing fast and loose with the facts when conservatives are involved. He touted one of the quotes falsely attributed to Rush Limbaugh, and later apologized for his mistake, adding to his long list of retractions. He has blamed the murder of a police officer on "right wing radio" and berated Fox News for alleged bias while ignoring CNN's.

Sanchez's coverage of Palin herself has not exactly been stellar. He suggested after she stepped down as governor that she might be pregnant.

Twitter has announced that it will end a list service that blatantly favored Democratic politicians by attracting viewers to their profiles while excluding GOP officials from the service.

The list service provided new Twitter users with lists of prominent message-posters they might like to follow. Watchdog groups discovered late last month that Democratic officials were prominently listed by the service, and gaining large swaths of followers as a result, while many prominent GOP politicians were excluded.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who has since withdrawn his bid for Governor, was one suggested user, and had roughly 1.2 million followers when the Associated Press reported the story on October 27. His opponent in the race for the Democratic nomination also appeared on the lists, and garnered 960,000 followers.

But none of the GOP's gubernatorial contenders appeared on the lists, and all three had fewer than 5,000 followers.

Too often "objectivity in journalism" is code for agreeing with the left. The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz demonstrated this sentiment in his profile of Fox News Channel's Shep Smith.

Kurtz lauded Smith as an "outspoken newsman at the network defined by high-decibel conservatives, a stance that has earned him respect even from some Fox-hating liberals."

But was it really his "newsman" status that has earned him this respect, or is it the numerous instances in which Smith has agreed with the left? Kurtz documents a number of such instances, intended to demonstrate Smith's purported objectivity.

The Associated Press recently assigned eleven of its writers to fact-check Sarah Palin's new book "Going Rogue." AP's team of truth-seekers only found six errors the former Alaska Governor's book, most of which were trivial and presumably not worth the time of a team of reporters.

"AP writers Matt Apuzzo, Sharon Theimer, Tom Raum, Rita Beamish, Beth Fouhy, H. Josef Hebert, Justin D. Pritchard, Garance Burke, Dan Joling and Lewis Shaine contributed to this report", reads the sign-off of Calvin Woodward's fact-check. Even with this impressively large crew, the AP seemed to stretch to find objectionable statements in "Going Rogue".

Here's a fact-check that supposedly required a squad of reporters to unearth:

Lou Dobbs left CNN after years of tensions between him and the network's brass, who consistently objected to his outspoken, often controversial reports. But the issues that seem to have annoyed CNN execs most were ones on which Dobbs took a conservative stance.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that CNN President Jonathan Klein offered Dobbs an ultimatum a few months ago: "Mr. Dobbs could vent his opinions on radio and anchor an objective newscast on television, or he could leave CNN." Klein reportedly complained about Dobbs's reporting on the Birther movement over the summer, and his outspoken opposition to illegal immigration.

According to the New York Post, one "TV insider" said Dobbs was "polluting the CNN brand" of purported political objectivity. Klein issued a statement saying Dobbs had decided to "carry the banner of advocacy journalism elsewhere."

On last night's "Rachel Maddow Show", the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh commended President Obama for taking the reins in Afghanistan. Hersh stated that Presidents must decide their own war strategies. But in the early stages of the war in Iraq, Hersh was a leading critic of similar actions by the Bush administration. Hersh's hypocrisy suggests he is more concerned with the political implications of military policy than strategic ones.

"Lincoln did not let McClellan write a report on how to win a war against the South," Hersh told Maddow, in reference to Gen. George McClellan, initially the top general for the Union during the Civil War. Hersh was offering a historical perspective on why Presidents should not rely on military commanders to form strategy--McClellan was a disastrous general, after all (video embedded below the fold).

CNN misquoted a soldier at Fort Hood who was wounded in last week's shooting to  suggest that the soldier's recollection that Major Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar" before firing was in doubt. Many in the media have been doing their best to downplay evidence suggesting Hasan was acting in accordance with radical Muslim beliefs.

"I was sitting in about the second row back when the assailant stood up and yelled 'Allahu Akbar' in Arabic and he opened fire," Pvt. Joseph Foster recalled yesterday on CNN's "American Morning" (Video below the fold - h/t Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit).

Wanda Sykes debuted her new comedy show Saturday on Fox. That critics met the show with reviews of varying degrees of mediocrity is hardly surprising, as Sykes simply recycled years of Bush-bashing and Obamamania into her monologue, which set the mood for the show.

Sykes is well known in political circles for proclaiming "I hope his kidneys fail" in reference to Rush Limbaugh at this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner. She went on to make fun of Limbaugh's former drug addiction, liken him to terrorists, and call for him to be waterboarded.

So it came as little surprise that Sykes kicked off her new show with attacks on Ann Coulter, discussions of environmentally-friendly sex toys, accusations of racism leveled against Rush Limbuagh, and an anti-Bush, Obama-crazed diatribe (video and partial transcript below the fold).

Very often criticism of journalists is actually criticism of journalism. Effective investigative reporting entails asking the tough questions and demanding answers.   Powerful Democrats, including White House officials, have derided Fox News for this reason. But even conservative bloggers are not immune to the "extension of the opposition" charge for simply asking the tough questions.

Late last month Congressman Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., held a conference call on the administration's reform efforts. Pomeroy reiterated his support for the House health care bill. Rob Port, of the center-right blog, asked a question during the Q and A period, in which he displayed open skepticism that the "public option" would increase consumer choice in the health care market (audio and transcript below the fold).

As reports of the Fort Hood shooting began to pour in yesterday, numerous news outlets neglected to mention that the shooter is a Muslim. Either the potential import of this fact was completely lost on these journalists, or they omitted the shooter's Muslim affiliations out of a concern for political correctness.

CBS and NBC both omitted the shooter's faith in their East Coast feeds last night, as reported by Brent Baker. The Los Angeles Times left key facts out of its report, published at 9:46 EST (which has since been edited), even though other other media outlets had reported them. Among these was that shooter Nidal Malik Hasan was Muslim, and that he had previously expressed on an Internet forum affinity for suicide bombers.

The Associated Press reported at 8:15 EST that Hasan had "come to the attention" of Army officials at least six months ago for these Internet posts.

Coverage of Tuesday's election night took place during prime time, giving cable news partisans the responsibility of tracking and reporting details on the elections. Many observers, fed up with the substandard coverage of the networks' opinion commentators, turned to Twitter for up-to-the-minute coverage.

Election followers on Twitter displayed their discontent towards cable news stations throughout the night. Twitterer Some1ToShoutFor lamented, "I know this isn't a huge election, but you would think CNN would be covering it a little bit."

Another, with the ironic username msnbcwatcher, complained of hyper-partisan Ed Schultz's coverage: "What makes @MSNBC think that Ed Schultz should be on TV more? Is there no 1 else to do election coverage? Wheres @DavidShuster?"

The Democratic mayor of Oakland, CA and his wife recently admitted to failing to pay $239,000 in taxes since 2005. The San Francisco Chronicle covered the story, but made no mention of the mayor's party, in striking contrast to coverage of recent ethics violations by Republicans in the state.

"We owe taxes," Mayor Ron Dellums, pictured right, bluntly said in a statement on Tuesday. "The matter is being dealt with and will be resolved in short order." The IRS imposed a tax lien on the couple's $1.4 million home in the Foxhall Crescent neighborhood in Washington, DC, and 3,200 square foot house in Oakland Hills.

There is no party identification in the story, however, only a statement in the second-to-last paragraph that Dellums is a "stalwart of progressive ideals." It seems the Chronicle could not bring itself to state the he is a Democrat.

It seems that the moratorium on appearances by White House officers on the Fox News Channel has ended. But high-ranking Democratic officials continue to peddle false information about the cable network, leveling unsupported charges of bias and political favoritism against it.

Noel Sheppard reported last week that Fox Senior Vice President Michael Clemente and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reportedly reached a truce during a meeting at Gibbs's office Wednesday.

David Plouffe all but confirmed the truce when he told The Swamp today that he is planning on promoting his new book "The Audacity to Win" on Fox's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" Thursday night. Plouffe had cut Fox out of his regular network news appearances.