Lachlan Markay

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During the Bush administration, journalists and liberal politicians were up in arms against a Defense Department policy that forbade the photographing of caskets coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Now that we have a Democrat as a commander in chief, however, the caskets are old news, and are getting little to no coverage.

The New York Times announced today that it would appoint an editor to monitor 'opinion media'. In an attempt to respond to criticism that it has been too slow to pick up on stories first reported by conservative blogs and talk show hosts, the Times acknowledged poor coverage, but denied a political agenda.

The self-proclaimed 'paper of record' was extremely slow in picking up on two recent stories. The first, the 'trutherism' of former White House Green Jobs Czar Van Jones, was initially reported by Pajamas Media, and later by Glenn Beck on his Fox News talk show. The Times did not cover the story until after Jones had resigned.

Later, the Times neglected to report on the undercover sting operation that exposed ACORN for offering assistance in a bogus child prostitution ring. The Times reported on Congress's votes to de-fund ACORN, but neglected to mention the sting operation that inspired the votes.

According to many in the liberal media, vehement conservative protestations to Obama and his policies are inciting, or have the potential to incite violence against the President. In their eyes, violent rhetoric and violent actions are one and the same. "Violent rhetoric begets violence," as one liberal talk show host put it.

So why are we not seeing blame heaped upon documentary filmmaker and avowed socialist Michael Moore for yesterday's G-20 riots in Pittsburgh? Moore does, after all, preach hateful and extreme anti-capitalist rhetoric. The cryptic slogan for his most recent movie, "Capitalism, A Love Story", reads, "Capitalism is evil, and you can't regulate evil." This line is eerily reminiscent of many of the socialist-anarchist slogans chanted by the G-20 protesters.

Assume for the sake of argument that violent rhetoric does beget violence. By this logic, shouldn't we blame Michael Moore's vitriolic indictments of investment banks for the brick that was hurled through a PNC Bank window yesterday? And if government aids and abets the evil that is capitalism, aren't Moore's words responsible for the bricks that were hurled at riot police in Pittsburgh?

Some liberals are using the death of a Census Bureau worker in rural Kentucky to bolster their wild claims that criticism of Obama is sparking political violence. But evidence is lacking, speculation is rampant, and left wing accusers are coming up short in their efforts to portray opposition to the president as somehow dangerous.

"This is the kind of violent event that emerges from a culture of paranoia and unsubstantiated attacks," writes Allison Kilkenny, a Huffington Post contributor and liberal radio host who, according to her bio, "makes sh***y world news funny." She was referring to the probable murder (authorities have not officially ruled it a homicide) of Bill Sparkman, whose body was found with the word 'Fed' carved into his chest.

'Fed', by Kilkenny's account, "has taken on a derogatory meaning in right-wing circles where fear and paranoia reign supreme... Such paranoia and anger isn't contained in the woods of Kentucky. The problem is systematic."

The mainstream media has left Americans with little reason to believe they will serve as watchdogs against foul play on the left. After major media outlets were scooped by two twenty-somethings with a hidden camera, and failed to vet former Green Jobs Czar Van Jones, leaving it to bloggers at Gateway Pundit to expose his trutherism, it comes as little surprise that the Washington Times is now turning to the center-right's online grassroots community to expose the White House's most recent instance of malfeasance. And it is a doozy.

On August 10, the National Endowment for the Arts, the federal agency that is nation's largest source of funding for the arts, held a conference call with some 75 artistic leaders to discuss ways in which those leaders could "help lay a new foundation for growth, focusing on core areas of the recovery agenda – health care, energy and environment, safety and security, education, community renewal."

Patrick Courrielche of Big Hollywood, who participated in the conference call, reported that there were a number of high-level White House officials present, including Yosi Sergant, the Director of Communications for the National Endowment for the Arts, and Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Callers were openly encouraged to back the president's message, as they had during the campaign.

In a column today, Salon’s Joe Conason drastically downplays the history of illegality that characterizes the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. In his revisionist history of the organization, Conason tries to show that ACORN may commit voter registration fraud, intimidate its employees to prevent them from unionizing, and willingly assist in the trafficking of underage sex slaves, but by and large it is a force for good.

For many years the combined forces of the far right and the Republican Party have sought to ruin ACORN, the largest organization of poor and working families in America.

Ah yes, ACORN is supposedly battling for the rights of the working class. But in 1995, the organization sued the State of California for an exemption to the high minimum wage laws in that state on the grounds that higher wages would mean they would have to employ fewer people. Incidentally, this is the exact same argument that every opponent of minimum wage laws employs, and ACORN has always battled for a higher minimum wage.

Time Magazine's Joe Klein leveled another accusation of racism against Tea Party protesters today, employing fallacious arguments that could be torn apart by any student of basic logic.

Tea Party protesters, by Klein's account, are similar to the caricature of the 1990s religious right: "largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command," in the words of the Washington Post. Klein takes that WaPo adage and adds 'racist' to the end.

The Tea Party protesters are scared above all, Klein asserts, "by an amorphous feeling that they [sic] America they imagined they were living in--Sarah Palin's fantasy America--is a different place now, changing for the worse, overrun by furriners of all sorts: Latinos, South Asians, East Asians, say nothing of liberated, uppity blacks...

After systematically ignoring the outrageous and offensive signs used by leftist protesters at anti-war demonstrations journalists and bloggers are now devoting an immense amount of attention to a small minority of Tea Party protesters carrying signs far outside of the mainstream.

Brian Williams and Chris Matthews think the Tea Party goers are racists, CBS's Nancy Jiles called the protests "a frightening mix of disrespect and bad behavior," CNN suggested in an on-screen heading that there was a "racial tinge to TEA movement" and MSNBC's David Shuster wondered, "as civility gives way to shouting, what’s fueling all this anger" at this "intolerance festival"?

Liberal bloggers were also incensed with what they claimed were the hateful (and racist) intentions of the protesters. Matt Yglesias at Think Progress noted the miniscule presence of Confederate Flags and pondered why demonstrators were "waving flags of treason and slavery". Other bloggers at TP complained of the "hate at the protest."

Who would have thought Karl Marx would rear his ugly head at the US Open. But some liberals just could not help attributing Serena Williams's match-ending outburst in her semifinal match against Kim Clijsters to class warfare.

Here's what happened. Williams supposedly foot-faulted on her second serve to put Clijsters one point away from the match. Rather than challenging the call or sucking it up and moving on--as any respectable tennis player would--she threw a tantrum, and told the line judge she was going to "shove this ball down your f***ing throat." There are also reports of her uttering some 'motherf***ers' afterward.

She lost the point, and was penalized another, giving Clijsters the match. This was her second outburst of the match. After losing the first set, Williams smashed the frame of her racquet on the court. These outbursts would be unacceptable at any level of play, let alone in Arthur Ashe Stadium during the US Open.

When Glenn Beck reports that a top-level White House advisor has endorsed communism, accused 'white polluters' of poisoning minority communities, called his political opponents a**holes, and believes an American president was complicit in the slaughter of innocent civilians, Beck must have a hidden agenda. When the mainstream media fails to report these facts, it's all an honest mistake.

Or so one might gather from listening to CNN contributor and Washington Post columnist Howard Kurtz. Kurtz continues to waffle between a cynical take on Glenn Beck's outing of Van Jones as a truther conspiracy theorist, and an apologetic approach to the mainstream media's virtual silence on the story until after Jones's resignation.

The Times's Managing Editor Jill Abramson offered a number of excuses for the lack of Van Jones coverage last weekend, chiefly that the paper's Washington Bureau was short-staffed. This did not stop the Times from sending two reporters to Boston for the weekend to cover the non-story of Joseph Kennedy II's Senate run (which he later said would not happen).

You wouldn't know it from reading much of the mainstream media's coverage of the legislative battles over health care reform, but Republicans and President Obama share a number of prominent goals. Republican lawmakers have tried address the same problems that the President highlights, but congressional Democrats won't allow GOP amendments to get past committee votes.

With the exception of the public option, President Obama and GOP lawmakers agree on most major provisions on health care reform: increasing competition in the health insurance market; keeping bureaucrats out of the doctor's office; passing a health care bill that helps, or at least does not hurt, the economy; keeping legislation deficit neutral; preventing increases in taxes for the vast majority of citizens; preserving Medicare benefits for seniors; and preventing taxpayer dollars from funding abortions.

If you get your news from the New York Times, however, you are most likely oblivious to the many areas in which congressional Republicans and President Obama agree. The Times declared in an editorial last week that the President has "waited in vain for a bipartisan compromise to emerge — a virtual impossibility from the start given the determination of top Republicans to kill his effort and cripple his administration." The Times also insisted that the President "has been far too passive — for the sake of an unrequited bipartisanship — as his opponents have twisted and distorted the health care debate."

A Washington Post marketing executive announced his resignation today 10 weeks after he spearheaded the paper’s 'salons,' exclusive dinners that offered lobbyists and industry leaders a chance to mingle with Washington lawmakers and Post reporters—for $25,000 a head.

The left has attempted with varying degrees of success to enact legislation that would increase government control over the news media and, in some instances, sway the political tides of various media in their favor, most notably in the form of the ‘Fairness Doctrine.’ Having failed to achieve its ends with the Fairness Doctrine, the left is now moving into alternative means through so-called ‘localism’ in broadcast media and ‘net neutrality’ on the web.

Both in traditional and new media, the left is attempting to tight its grip on the news, possibly asphyxiating the few bastions of center-right news and information that exist.

The misnamed ‘Fairness Doctrine’ is the most widely publicized and debated of the left’s attempts to tighten their grip on the news media. Discarded by the Federal Communications Commission in 1987 on constitutional grounds, the doctrine required that networks and broadcast radio stations air opposing views that satisfied federal bureaucrats’ conception of ‘fairness.’

NYT Managing Editor Jill AbramsonA top editor at the New York Times this week owned up to the paper’s lack of coverage of the controversy surrounding former Green Jobs Czar Van Jones. Rather than leaving it there, however, the editor noted the paper’s minimal online coverage, insisted that the Washington bureau was short-staffed, and suggested that Jones and his contentious positions really were not important enough to cover at length.
The Times did not print an article about Jones and his recently-discovered support of the ‘truther’ movement, which believes that the Bush Administration had foreknowledge of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, until Monday, when it ran a story on the front page.

“The Times was, in fact, a beat behind on this story,” admitted Jill Abramson, managing editor of the paper, in answer to a number of readers’ questions during an online Q&A session Monday. She went on to offer three excuses for the newspaper’s virtual silence on the controversy.

Outraged advocates of same-sex marriage have forced the Washington Post into an apology for running a features piece last week that portrayed an opponent as more than an evil, bigoted, hatemongering fundamentalist.

The profile examined Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, one of the groups that lobbied for Proposition 8, the hotly-contested California State ballot initiative that explicitly defined marriage as between and man and a woman, overturning a State Supreme Court decision to the contrary.

Pundits on the left called the features piece, written by Monica Hesse—who says she is a bisexual and has had romantic relationships with women in the past—“absurd,” “bizarre,” and “accusatory and belittling.”

The contrast between the virtual silence of major news outlets on Green Jobs Czar Van Jones’s belief in the Bush Administration’s complicity in the 9/11 attacks and the hubbub made about those who believe the President is not an American citizen casts light on the politicized attitudes of the mainstream media.

NewsBusters has noted how the story has been ignored by the television media. Byron York in the Washington Examiner Friday noted that a Nexis news search for the Van Jones ‘truther’ controversy turns up exactly zero results from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and transcripts from ABC World News, NBC Nightly News, and CBS Evening News (though that newscast aired a full story Friday night).

So, as York noted, anyone who gets his or her news from one of these sources, or all five, is unaware that the President’s Green Jobs Czar is not only a self-avowed communist but also a supporter of the truther movement, which means he believes that the Bush Administration was complicit in—even orchestrated—the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Much of the mainstream media shares the Obama Administration's mistrust of-even outright hostility to-industry leaders, and its reverence for ‘sound science.' Too often, however, ‘sound science' simply is another way of saying conventional liberalism.

A good example of this is David Michaels, tapped by the president as OSHA administrator, praised by the New York Times in an editorial with the headline "A Champion for Workers' Safety." The Times said he would steer OSHA away from "eight years of lax oversight and favoritism to industry under the Bush administration."

Michaels shares the Times's distaste for "industry favoritism," exemplified by the title of his 2008 book, "Doubt is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health". In fact, doubt is a central element of sound science. We doubt claims until they are shown to be true.

Conservatives are resuming their historically dominant position atop the New York Times and bestsellers lists after a short hiatus that coincided, not coincidentally, with George W. Bush's tenure in the White House.

While the mainstream media raved about a new era of leftist intellectual supremacy during the liberal ascendance on the bestsellers lists, the return of conservative books to the tops of those lists seems to be going unnoticed.

Amazon, which, unlike the New York Times, ranks books according to the number of actual copies sold, shows Glenn Beck's Common Sense rounding out the top, with Michelle Malkin's Culture of Corruption coming in a close second. Ron Paul's End the Fed comes in at number seven, Mark Levin's Liberty and Tyranny is at number nine, and at number 22 is Dick Morris and Eileen Mcgann's Catastrophe, which carries the blunt sub-heading, "How Obama, Congress, and the special interests are transforming... a slump into a crash, freedom into socialism, and a disaster into a catastrophe... and how to fight back."