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A couple of weeks ago, I addressed a piece from the AP's Jennifer Loven. Loven, the wife of a former Clinton administration environmental official, found it necessary to write, as gasoline prices were rising, about how George W. Bush was probably the greatest consumer of gasoline. Well, after almost two weeks of absolutely relentless criticism of the President for not taking Katrina seriously, the AP has run a Loven article today (Many Chiefs in White House Recovery Effort) which criticizes the President for having his administration focused on the Hurricane relief effort.


So President Bush was blamed for Hurricane Katrina, because he wouldn't support and sign the Kyoto protocol. And he was responsible for the slow Federal response, because he was vacationing in Texas/golfing in Arizona/giving a speech in California. And he didn't care about saving the people in New Orleans because they're black. And now we discover that his diabolical foresight is staggering. Because back in April, he added hardships to the people victimized by Katrina, essentially setting a trap for them, and springing it with the storm.


When President Bush returned to the Gulf Coast on Monday, many of us thought it was a part of the Hurricane relief effort. Maybe he wanted to check again on FEMA's progress. Or possibly he felt that it would help the relief effort to keep attention focused on it. Or he wanted to meet again with the local representatives, to see what else needed to be done. But, no, apparently none of that was the case. At least not according to Knight-Ridder's Ron Hutcheson. No, apparently the reason that the President returned was political damage control.


The AP's Ron Fournier has got another news analysis piece up (Newsview: Rhetoric Not Matching Reality) that is filled with negative spin on President Bush. But he's gone a little bit further this time, as he's using several "facts" that are not, in fact, facts.
  • "On Iraq alone, the rhetoric has repeatedly fallen far short of reality. Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction.


The AP is running yet another piece in which the White House is being blamed for the disaster that is New Orleans. It starts with the title of the piece (White House Backpedals on Flood Control) and takes off from there.
The White House scrambled Thursday to defend itself against criticism that it has consistently proposed cutting the budget for Army Corps of Engineers water and flood control projects — including several that could have mitigated the disaster in New Orleans.


In early August, the Democrats responded to the news reports of the President's physical results with an incredibly petty statement about non-existent "cuts to education funding." As one internet observer remarked, "if George Bush walked on water tomorrow, the DNC would issue a press release entitled Bush Can't Swim." And the AP's


George Stephanopoulos was hired by ABC news several years ago to play a journalist on television. In 2002, he was given the keys to ABC's venerable "This Week," acting as sole host in replacing Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson. At the time, Stephanopoulos remarked that "if I were biased, I don't believe I would have gotten the job." A laughable comment, it would be funny if it weren't so delusional. But there he is, and the bias just shines through. It was in full bloom on Sunday morning, as he spoke with two US Senators about the newly drafted Iraqi Constitution. To pro-Bush Republican John Thune, he addressed questions from the left. To anti-Bush Democrat Joseph Biden, he addressed questions from even further on the left. Thune wasn't criticizing Bush, so Stephanopoulos had to do it. Biden was, but not enough, apparently, so Stephanopoulos had to go even further.


Jack Kelly has a great story at Jewish World Review about how good news in the real world becomes bad news in the New York Times. The basics of the story go something like this:
  • The Army has greatly improved the body armor soldiers are wearing over the past 15 years. It's lighter and tougher.
  • There are some types of ammunition that can penetrate it, but no evidence that the "insurgents" are using that ammunition.
  • "...though the specifications weren't set until early in January, new plates were being manufactured — and delivery begun to U.S. troops — in March. Those familiar with the Pentagon's procurement process recognize this as lightning speed. "


  • Many times the bias in the mainstream press shows itself in just the stories it chooses to run. The homeless disappeared from the press when a Democrat was in the White House, President Clinton's vacations were never a big story the way that Reagan's and Bush's have been. Well, another story has crossed the wire tonight that falls, I believe, into the same category. Of All Gas Consumers, Bush May Be Biggest


    I wrote a week and a half ago that the AP was acting as a PR firm for Cindy Sheehan. It doesn't appear that anything's changed. At all. If anything, it has gotten worse. They're still refusing to run with any of the controversial statements that she's made. They've not reported her comments on Hardball that "we should have gone after al Qaeda and maybe not after the country of Afghanistan." She told Chris Matthews that the purpose of her visit to Crawford "is actually to hold [the President] accountable for things he has already said," but no one in the "tough, skeptical" mainstream press has done anything to hold her accountable for the things that she's said.


    While all indications are that the negotiating parties are coming closer to agreement on a constitution that will create a democratic country, the Iraqis missed a self-imposed deadline at midnight last night. There are many different possible ways to approach this story. The AP's Anne Gearan has chosen to use the occasion for a news analysis piece (masquerading as straight news) criticizing the President. Her article (Bush Pushes for Elusive Progress in Iraq) focuses, not on the Iraqis, but on the Bush administration.


    One of the big problems with the American "mainstream" media apparatus is the completely uncritical way in which they accept everything that fits their template, printing anything they agree with, and suppressing or ignoring or criticizing things that they don't.


    The Boston Globe this morning leads with a large picture, first column, above the fold, of a group of candle-holding protestors in a "vigil" to show solidarity with Cindy Sheehan. It's a lovely shot, taken on a beach at sundown, and the people look like nice people. It is also framed in such a way that the crowd looks like it might have been much bigger than it actually was.


    It would be an understatement to say that Cindy Sheehan, mother of a serviceman killed in Iraq, has gotten a lot of coverage in the past couple of weeks. The media, gathered in Crawford, Texas, at the site of President Bush's ranch, has devoted much of its time and energy to coverage of her "vigil," as she demands to meet with the President. The Associated Press has averaged almost 4 stories per day over the past 12 days on Sheehan and her mission.


    (As read on-air today by Rush Limbaugh. Click here to listen to introduction)

    The main political headline from the AP today is the results of an AP-Ipsos poll taken a week ago.

    Bush Approval a Low for Recent 2-Termers reports that President Bush's job approval is down to 42% with 55% disapproving. That certainly sounds disturbing, or at least it would if he were running for anything again. But looking at it again, something suspicious jumps out.
    The partisan divide for Bush is stark — 80 percent of Democrats disapprove of his overall performance while nearly 90 percent of Republicans approve.


    According to Dana Milbank in the Washington Post, Democrats [are] Conflicted on Playing Rough, a headline that should be absolutely mystifying to anyone who has watched American politics over the past 40 years. From LBJ's "Daisy" ad to Ted Kennedy's assault on Robert Bork to the "Bush = Hitler" meme of the 2004 campaign, any conflicts that Democrats have had have been resolved, quickly and quietly, in favor of taking the low road.


    Yesterday I noted that the New York Times had "cleaned up" an Al Franken quote in a story on the Air America funding scandal. The Times has issued a correction, acknowledging that, and supplying the complete and correct quote.
    An article yesterday about state and city investigations of a loan made by a Bronx social service agency to the liberal radio network Air America quoted incorrectly from comments made on the air by Al Franken, the host of an Air America program. Referring to Evan M. Cohen, a former official of the network whom Mr. Franken accused of having engineered the loan, from the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club, Mr. Franken said: "I don't know why they did it, and I don't know where the money went. I don't know if it was used for operations, which I imagine it was. I think he was robbing Peter to pay Paul." (He did not say: "I don't know why he did it. I don't know where the money went. I don't know if it was used for operations. I think he was borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.")


    A couple of years ago, there was a bit of a media firestorm, at least on the web, when New York Times' columnist Maureen Dowd was caught removing a portion of a comment that the President made. The omission rendered a clear and straightforward statement as a delusional and misleading one. Eventually the Times was forced to "correct" the quote. Well, the New York times is "Dowdifying" quotes again, leaving out crucial information with no indication that they're doing so. Only now, instead of merely doing it in a Maureen Dowd opinion piece, which is bad enough, they're doing it in an actual news story. (Big tip of the hat to Michelle Malkin, who's been all over this story.) As anyone who's been paying attention on the internet knows, the liberal Air America radio network has been operating, in part, on a "loan" of $875,000 from a Bronx Boys and Girls Club. Anyone reading the New York Times did not know it until today, and still doesn't know much. In any event, Franken spoke about the story on the air yesterday, and the Times quoted him. Sort of.


    The Associated Press is today repeating a mistake that CBS made in May. The AP story which just went out, Fraud Indictment Expected for Abramoff, focuses several times on GOP House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, and his relationship with lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
    Federal prosecutors are seeking bank fraud charges against lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a key figure in investigations involving House Majority Leader Tom DeLay ... DeLay, R-Texas, was not mentioned in any lawsuits involved in the SunCruz deal.


    There's an old joke about the New York Times that goes something like this; if the world were ending, the headline in the Times would read "World To End," with a sub-head reading "Women And Minorities Hardest Hit." Today's front page calls that to mind, as the center of the front page is devoted to a story on Entrenched Epidemic: Wife-Beatings in Africa...