Warner Todd Huston
Latest from Warner Todd Huston
The Associated Press posted an "analysis" piece by writer Tom Raum on June 15 to address the GOP strategy against Obamacare and other administration policies but the APs characterization of the GOPs efforts almost seem meant to belittle and de-legitimize that opposition as opposed to describing it. The entire GOP argument against Obama is boiled down to a use of "buzz words" as far as AP's Raum is concerned. Apparently, no political truth or ideological disagreement really enters into it. Only "tactic," and "strategy" built on "buzz words" and "fear" is offered by the GOP instead of real issues according to the AP.
In "GOP using buzz words to taunt Democrats," with a subhead of "Republicans claim Obama embraces 'socialism,'" Raum never once admits that Republicans just might have a principled ideological opposition to Obama's policies leaving readers to get the vague feeling that the GOP is trying just anything to find a winning issue. Further, the entire article is premised as if the Democrats are correct and the GOP is just trying to chip away at their essentially correct stand on the issues. AP even presents a lefty professor to shore up the AP point of view -- naturally the professor's propensities are not divulged.
On June 9 a rally that saw thousands of participants in support of traditional marriage assembled at Albany, New York, the state capitol. One month earlier, a similar rally was held in Midtown Manhattan that also saw thousands in attendance. And in neither case was there much by the way of media coverage.
A Google search of the words marriage rally in New York June 9 turns up many hits on the story. But almost all of them are from blogs as opposed to traditional media sources, though the Village Voice covered the May rally in Manhattan.
Back in 2005, the Old Media was all atwitter over a supposed "plant reporter" at a Bush press conference. The Old Media made a big deal out of this guy and used it to try and cast the Bush White House as employing some sort of underhanded control of information. Flash forward to today, President Obama held his Healthcare townhall in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It turns out that Obama's first "spontaneous question" from the audience sure seems like a "plant" in the same way as the previously mentioned situation in 2005. Will the media take notice?
Naturally, President Obama wants people to think his "townhall meetings" are legitimately open to just any American to attend to ask him the tough questions. The June 11 meeting on Healthcare, of course, was supposed to feature spontaneous questions for the president from the audience about a takeover of nearly 20% of the nation's economy with his healthcare plans. But a closer look at this townhall in Green Bay, Wisconsin, might disabuse anyone of the notion that spontaneous questions really were taken from the audience.
Earlier, Brent Baker reported that ABC's Pierre Thomas went off the deep end with a story claiming that America's white population was increasingly prone to a "wave of domestic terror." Now the Associated Press also wades into the same murky waters with a June 11 piece claiming that the "potential for an increase in violence from whites who feel they are slipping from power is high." Naturally, the AP employed the Old Media's favorite source for the claims. It's "some say," and "others believe."
Worse than the "some say" line of proof employed, this tale also relies on some experts that end up being expectedly biased sources. The AP asks a white supremacist what he thinks -- as if there is any doubt that he would be for increased racism -- and a university professor hawking a book on racism -- as if there would be any doubt that she'd see racism everywhere. There is also all sorts of claims and worries by authorities, but no proof of any real "growing racist movement" is presented.
You might recall back in 2008 when Diantha Harris, a teacher from a North Carolina grade school, made a YouTube splash for having verbally berated a soldier's young daughter that said in class she was for John McCain instead of Barack Obama for president. Of course the righty blogs immediately went wild for the story, but eventually the Old Media came to the teacher's rescue and reported that the teacher never meant any harm. The story appeared on cable and local TV for several days last November.
Well, last month another teacher found himself making news -- or not making it as the case may be -- for having been fired because he is a conservative. Lawrence, Kansas teacher Tim Latham was fired early last month, he claims for being a conservative, yet the Old Media even in Kansas has been very quiet on the story.
Reports on Governor Sarah Palin's appearance at the National Republican Senatorial Committee dinner in D.C. on Monday nearly all mention that she was quite the center of attention with dinner attendees. Well, all agree with that characterization but Politico's Alex Isenstadt, that is. Isenstadt seems to have been the only one to report that her attendance was a dud. This spurred our friend Videmus Omnia to wonder if Isenstadt went to the same dinner as everyone else? After looking it over, I have to ask the same question.
For Politico, Isenstadt snorted that Palin's appearance at the dinner "went little-noticed." He also stated that, "If she hadn't walked quickly across the stage the outset and if her presence hadn’t been mentioned briefly in the remarks of some of the evening's speakers, it would have been hard to know that she had, in fact, shown up." So there you have it. No one cared a whit that Governor Palin attended the dinner.
But wait. A perusal of other media accounts says just the opposite.
Ed Frank created an interesting little video that serves as a stark reminder of how harsh the Old Media was on Bush's "faltering" economy in comparison to today's hearts and flowers style of reporting during the age of Obama, even though the stats are far, far worse under Obama than they ever were under Bush.
Frank's video is shocking for its revelation of how Bush was slapped around and how every economic indicator during his tenure in the White House was deemed as obvious proof of the supposed though times we then faced. Yet now, every dismal indicator is celebrated as if recovery just around the corner. Under Bush the Old Media was sure the economy was a wreck, now the wreck proves we will surely be saved by Summer!
If you would like a great example of how the Old Media takes a story that has no legitimacy at all and uses it as the basis for a smear job, the Associated Press offered a wonderful sampling of the tactic for you on June 8. From a headline that makes the issue seem more weighty than it is, to the lack of competent reporting from both sides of the matter, AP employed this favorite Old Media tactic by taking another swipe at Governor Sarah Palin with little by way of substantive evidence. It's another "seriousness of the charge" story despite the complete lack of evidence as well as a lack of any gravitas on the part of the original source of the charge.
At issue is the false charge leveled by a Huffington Post blogger that Governor Palin "plagiarized" a section of her speech as she introduced talk show host Michael Reagan in Anchorage, Alaska on Wednesday, June 3. HuffPo blogger Geoffrey Dunn charged that Palin lifted several sections of Newt Gingrich's work without attribution, and AP ran with the story even as they allow Palin's lawyer to point out that she cited Gingrich twice in her speech.
You want a blatant example of the Old Media's over-the-top, gobsmacked love affair with Obama? Well, one would be hard pressed not to see Time Magazine's latest piece by Nancy Gibbs as a perfect example of the media ignoring all ills and of projecting only what is wonderful onto the dearly beloved as this piece represents. The lionization of Obama is bad enough, but the selective memory of the writer is even more appalling.
Writer Gibbs begins her column trying to "place" Barack Obama in a "cultural map." Most famous people are remembered for a certain place that formed their inner core, of course, and Gibbs tries to pinpoint that place for several presidents including Obama. She pegs Ronald Reagan to Hollywood, Clinton to Hot Springs and W. to Texas. But where does she place Obama?
There is happy-talk and then there is delusion. The Associated Press has just approached the delusional stage with its recent assessment of what the unemployment numbers mean. Absurdly, the AP seems to imagine that the continued job losses under Obama means that job hunters are experiencing "raising hopes"! It's like sitting on the Titanic pleased that taking on water raises hopes that a nice, relaxing bath is will soon be at hand.
The first paragraph of the story claims that since last month saw a few less layoffs, why, that is saying that what we have here is "the brightest hope yet that an economic recovery" will take hold later this year. What does the AP offer as proof? Not a whole lot, sadly. In fact, the very next paragraph sort of torpedoes the first. After this "brightest hope" business, the AP gives us this:
On June 6, 1944, the crucial Normandy Landings that formed the spearhead of the Allied invasion of Nazi held Europe occurred. D-Day ultimately led to the victory of the Allies over the despotic Nazi regime. Now here we are on June 6, 2009 and, in its inimitable way, Google has decided to memorialize the important occasion by adding an image on its homepage depicting... the computer game Tetris.
Yes, it's far more important to Google to celebrate the anniversary of the invention of the video game Tetris than to memorialize D-Day. It just warms the heart, doesn't it?
**Video Below The Fold**
The folks at Powerline realized the implications of an outrageous news clip featuring NBC's Tom Brokaw conducting an interview with the Obammessiah. Apparently, this hard news journalist thought he'd get deep and ask a pertinent question about Israel, the Palestinians, and just what it might be that the Jews can learn from Obama's visit to Buchenwald and how they should treat Palestinians and stuff about Nazis or something.
Seriously, what sort of historical ignorance does it take for someone to ask what Jews can learn about Buchenwald from a guy that has never visited the place before now, never had any intimate or even cultural connection to it, and wasn't even alive when it was a Nazi terror to the Jewish world? I mean, is Brokaw insinuating that the Jews did not learn anything from their own "visit" to Buchenwald?
On CNBC, Tony Fratto, former White House Spokesman for President Bush, has used the nice word -- that would be "deception" -- to say that Barack Obama is lying about his claims that his "stimulus" efforts saved any American jobs. Not only does Fratto devastate the administration's claims to have saved jobs, but he rightfully points out that the lapdog media is letting Obama get away with the deceit.
Fratto calls the jobs-saved rhetoric a "breathtaking deception" and is aghast at the "gullibility of the Washington press corps" for reporting Obama's claims with a straight face and an un-skeptical eye.
Oh, it isn't that the numbers that Obama uses to make his claims are somewhat jiggured, but that the whole claim is impossible to figure all the way around and Obama's economic team knows it, according to Fratto. The claim is simply a fiction, a fantasy, a claim made based on no numbers and no ability to find them.
It's been a little while since we had a good "Name that Party" story, but leave it to corruption plagued Democrats and their willing accomplices in the Old Media to always find some time in their busy schedules to give us an opportunity to play our favorite game. This time it is a former Speaker of the House in Massachusetts who, along with a cadre of his pals, was indicted on corruption charges. Naturally, the party affiliation is mysteriously absent from many of the stories.
It seems that ex-Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, who resigned from the House back in January at the outset of this scandal, and three "Beacon Hill power brokers" have been indicted on corruption charges involving mishandled software contracts. Of course, DiMasi is a leading Democrat in the state, but you sure wouldn't know that from any of the reports.
Well, I am just as shocked as Simon Dumenco over at AdvertisingAge.com is that the leading anti-journalist of our day, Arianna Huffington, was just awarded the Fred Dressler Lifetime Achievement Award. I mean, Huffington a "journalist"? Come on, isn't that stretching things just a tad?
Dumenco is flabbergasted that Huffington won this award even though she "thinks journalists should work for free," a charge he makes because the HuffPo does not for the most part pay its bloggers for content. But I am flabbergasted because the Huffington Post is the farthest thing from responsible journalism there is. It is a left-wing advocacy site that invites anyone that agrees with the party line to contribute, sure, but it is not a site interested in actual journalistic integrity.
Don't get me wrong, I am not against sites like HuffPo, nor against advocacy, left-wing or otherwise. It absolutely has its place in the scheme of things. But Arianna Huffington has never been and is not now a person interested n traditional journalism. In fact, she isn't even a reliable advocate because over the decades she's been on every side of every issue! So an award for journalism to this woman is a farce worthy of a Saturday morning cartoon show. (Does that date me? Do they even HAVE Saturday morning cartoon shows anymore?)
It is interesting, instructive, and a little disheartening to notice that the foreign press is much more shocked than the U.S. press is by the arrogance and expense of the Obama's "date night" that cost the taxpayers nearly one million dollars last week. The Australian and British press, for instance, scoffed at the absurd cost of the one night visit to New York that Obama "sacrificed" for but the U.S. press didn't seem to mind the waste of the taxpayers money nearly as much.
Let's start with the fawning U.S. press coverage. Us magazine, for instance, gave us the happy talk of "Obamas enjoy date night in NYC," in which we are told all about the happy patrons that got to dine in the same restaurant as the Obamas who were there just like reg'lar folks... except that all the other reg'lar folks had to be patted down like criminals by the Secret Service, of course -- not that Us really noticed that much.
In another nearly orgasmic tribute to The One, in its Arts section The New York Times published a May 30 story buoyantly jubilant over the fact that Obama's face "rules the web." The story is in glee over how the Obammessiah's portrait fills the web and that some folks are even making a bit of cash off the deal.
To my mind, though, the amusing thing about the piece is that, if read closely, it appears that only schlocky Obama art can bring any sales as any serious artistic efforts are going unsold. I don’t know what that says about Obama art aficionados, but there you have it. Obama schlock rules.
Rob Thomas, singer/songwriter and front man for the band Matchbox 20, has successfully proven an old adage: Don't keep quiet and let people think you're a fool. Open your mouth and remove all doubt. He has also shown us all that the American system of education is in pretty sorry shape. But, one thing is sure, Mr. Thomas "feels good" about himself, so he's got that whole self esteem thing down nicely. Sadly, he lacks some basis for the conceit.
Michael Calderone over at Politico has the scoop on CNN's fall from grace these days with cable news viewers. Reporting that "since Obama took office, CNN's prime-time audience had dropped sharply," Calderone gives us the grim details of CNN's struggle to keep it's audience.
The upshot of the story seems to be that CNN is being out liberaled by MSNBC. The hard-left programing of MSNBC seems to be drawing viewers away from CNN with CNN finding itself lately in the unfamiliar role of being considered the "centrist" network. This only shows how far left MSNBC truly is.
CNN is also alarmed that its top anchors, Anderson Cooper and Campbell Brown, are floundering in the ratings.
Roll Call is reporting that during the typical Friday afternoon document dump -- a practice used to hide actions that might prove somewhat embarrassing to the White House -- the administration quietly announced that some of the former restrictions on lobbying ballyhooed about during the late campaign have been lifted. And now, we have to wonder: will the media notice this sudden change? I mean, a whole day has gone by and so far only Roll Call has mentioned it.
In any case, let special interests ring, baby!