Latest from Lyford Beverage
In which the NY Times reveals itself, yet again, to be a simple, partisan rag...
In 2005, the Republicans in the United States Senate were frustrated by the Democrats' use of the filibuster to thwart Presidential nominations to the Federal judiciary, and were particularly concerned with the threat of a filibuster on Supreme Court nominees, which had never previously happened. Because of this, they contemplated a rule change to eliminate, or significantly limit, the filibuster, a change that was termed the "nuclear option." The mainstream press, as represented here by the New York Times, was appalled. This despite the fact that, with Democrats in the White House and control of the Senate, they had favored filibuster reform. No, they were just wrong earlier, and their new, more fully matured position, was the right one. Clearly, the filibuster was wrong. A problem.
What interests the media? Let's look at a couple of stories.
Over the course of the last 30 days, the McCain campaign has raised questions - legitimate questions - about former community organizer* Barack Obama's relationship with unrepentant terrorist William "Bill" Ayers. The McCain campaign even released an ad, to which the Obama campaign responded with an ad of their own, specifically about the Ayers-Obama relationship. The release of papers by the University of Chigago from the Annenberg Challenge revealed that Obama's earlier assertion that "this is a guy who lives in my neighborhood. ... He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis" was, at best, incomplete and inaccurate.
On Monday, it was revealed that Republican VP Candidate Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol, 17, is pregnant and preparing to marry the father.
The storyline. That's the thing. Feed the storyline.
The media has been just enthralled with the idea that the removal of political appointees, and their replacement with other political appointees, somehow constitutes a grand scandal, since it's a Republican adminstration that did it. The storyline was promoted again in a Reuters piece on Friday.
The Washington Post, this morning, is demonstrating that they aren't biased in favor of liberals, nosirree. What, just attack Republicans? Us? No way! This fascinating column by Ruth Marcus, prominently positioned on page A21, demonstrates that they aren't going to just roll over on corruption just because it's a Democrat being talked about! Nope, Marcus is actively going after Jack Murtha, going so far as to say that "On its own, Murtha's ... conduct is disqualifying."
"The Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history," Pelosi pledged on election night. Five days later she wrote Murtha a letter endorsing his bid to become her No. 2.
Not the most promising start.
Linda Greenhouse is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who covers the United States Supreme Court for the New York Times. As we all know, the New York Times, along with the rest of the mainstream press, is adamant about their commitment to unbiased journalism. Reporters don't have opinions, at least not opinions that impact their journalism. It's nonsense, of course, but nonsense that's maintained by the likes of the Times.
Yesterday, Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma took to the floor of the United States Senate and gave a passionate and informed speech about Global Warming and the American media's coverage of it. He noted that
During the past year, the American people have been served up an unprecedented parade of environmental alarmism by the media and entertainment industry, which link every possible weather event to global warming. The year 2006 saw many major organs of the media dismiss any pretense of balance and objectivity on climate change coverage and instead crossed squarely into global warming advocacy.
Well, ABC's Good Morning America addressed the Global Warming issue this morning. One might think that the entire point of this morning's report was to prove Inhofe right.
A couple of snippets from this morning's "news" segments on ABC and CBS...
On The Early Show, Rene Syler interviewed the President of the Council on Foreign Relations, and former Bush administration official, Richard Haass. After having played the video of Chavez calling Bush "the devil," of crossing himself and saying that he could still smell the sulfur in the air, Syler's first question for Haass, her first question on this head-of-state behaving that way on the world's primary diplomatic stage?
"Let's start with those comments by Hugo Chavez yesterday. He makes this personal attack on the president calls him the devil a number of times. Is that appropriate?"
What, Rene -- you couldn't figure that one out for yourself?
The President of the United States addressed the nation, the media and the world today (well, most of the world - the mainstream networks felt it unnecessary to break from their soaps to carry the speech) from the White House. He spoke for 37 minutes, and addressed the current state of the War On Terror. He talked about the attacks on September 11th. He talked about the terrorists who have been caught, and how the information from them led to the capture of other terrorists.
The New York Times continues its coverage of the world the way they think it ought to be, with the Democratic party in control of the United States Congress. This morning's piece - Issues Await if Democrats Retake House - goes through the issues facing our gallant Dems as they prepare to take back the various House chairmanships that were usurped by Speaker Newt lo these many years ago.
The Boston Globe is not a media outlet known for its sympathetic view towards fundamentalist religious types. Everyone is aware of this. The Globe coverage of fundamentalist religious types is never particularly positive. Iran is a repressive fundamentalist theocracy. Everyone knows this.
Let us try, for a moment, to imagine a media figure. Let us assume that this figure has been a major media personality for more than 20 years, but has, on occasion, been known for making racially tinged comments. This media personality has built a reputation as an intellectual, so he's aware of what kind of comments can be mis-interpreted or mis-construed.
Now, let us a imagine a professional sports league which is in the process of changing commissioners. It has been an extremely successful league, with billions of dollars in revenue, and a long period of relative labor peace between ownership and the player's union. Let us suppose that the Commissioner in question (we'll call him "Paul Tagliabue") is a white man, and the President of the Players Association ("Gene Upshaw," for short) is a black man.
Juan Williams is a long-time columnist and commentator, who has been at the Washington Post (where he has an excellent column today) for years, as well as NPR and FoxNews. He has also written several books, the latest of which was reviewed in The Washington Post yesterday, by one Peniel E. Joseph.
When the New York Times originally broke the story of the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program, the rest of the media leapt to the bandwagon, and immediately began referring to President Bush's "Domestic Surveillance Program." One of the forums where this has been particularly egregious is CBS' The Early Show. Well, the last 7 months and all of the discussion has done nothing to change the view of the program held by CBS. There were two separate comments in a 30-second news snippet from Tracy Smith that were either inaccurate or incomplete, and, of course, they were inaccurate or incomplete in a manner that made the program sound worse than it is.
The first was the continued mis-labeling. The program is not, despite the mainstream press' continued insistence, a "domestic" surveillance program. The NSA is not monitoring American's domestic calls without warrants, or at least, if they are, that has not been made public. That's not what the program being talked about covers. The NSA is monitoring overseas communications of suspected terrorists and terrorism supporters. If some of those communications are into the United States, they're continuing to monitor. That doesn't make the conversations "domestic."
One of the interesting evidences of bias in the mainstream press is the way that all political discussions tend to be written from the point-of-view of "what do the Democrats need to do to win?" This New York Times "analysis" is just the latest example. All of the factors that you'd expect to see from a PR firm trying to help Democrats get elected are present.
Introductory paragraph framing the issue from the Democrats' perspective? Check.
After being outmaneuvered in the politics of national security in the last two elections, Democrats say they are determined not to cede the issue this year and are working to cast President Bush as having diminished the nation’s safety.
The Boston Globe has been running an occasional series of editorials on the issues for the upcoming gubernatorial campaign. Today's, they're talking about crime and punishment. The Globe opinion writers, doctrinaire liberals that they are, are concerned about the former, but more concerned about the latter. But sometimes you have to wonder whether they're even reading and paying attention to what they themselves are writing.
Shortly after 9:00 this morning, MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer introduced a report on the potential political ramifications of plot that was foiled by the British yesterday. Her introduction was questionable, but not necessarily offensive:
It comes like a punch to the gut, at times like these, when our leaders blatantly use the nation’s trauma for political gain.