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It took ABC Radio's Martha Raddatz only two sentences to report the vote on the Iraqi constitution.  In the first, Raddatz allowed as how the referendum probably passed.  In the second, Raddatz said (my memory),

"It cannot be denied, however, that thousands and thousands of Sunnis will be living under an Iraqi government they did not want."

Yes, Martha, in elections, that's the way it works.  One side wins and one side loses. 

The Associated Press led the way nationally in dishonest reporting on the riot in Toledo, Ohio, Saturday, Oct. 15.. Below is a screen capture of the false headline and subhead from the AP story, copied by ABC News:

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With The recent Iraq election turning out to be better than anyone had expected, the Associated Press has decided to do its best to drag everyone back down to reality. The only problem here for the AP is the reality they seek to push is their own.

ABC’s Andrea Canning on Sunday's “Good Morning America” did a report on Divorce Parties. That’s right, married women having a party to celebrate their divorces. In fact, Canning in her report referred to the party as “Part celebration, part exorcism.”

At this party, they play games like throwing the wedding ring into the toilet, as well as with voodoo doll figurines of the former husband.

Of particular note, the report made no mention of ex-husbands having such parties. Quite the contrary, the only person in this piece who wasn't celebrating was a divorced man: "I don't find anything about divorce to be funny at all. I find the whole experience rather tragic."

What follows is a full transcript of this report.

In the midst of the recent controversy surrounding Harriet Miers' political leanings, the media seems to have come to its own comfortable determination that Miers is a suitable candidate for the Supreme Court.

National Black Justice Coalition president and gay activist Keith Boykin was prevented from speaking at yesterday’s Millions More Movement March in Washington, DC. As Boykin was walking to the podium, he was at the last second turned away.

Oddly, this controversy has gone largely unreported. A Google-search suggested the only mainstream outlet that covered this was the Washington Post, though they buried the article on page A16.

At the heart of the conflict is Rev. Willie F. Wilson, the march’s national executive director who apparently made some disparaging remarks about lesbians this summer.

Boykin had this to say about the snubbing:

“This is what happened today. After I arrived at the VIP tent shortly after 8 in the morning, my colleague Donna Payne spoke directly to Rev. Willie Wilson backstage, and he informed her that no one from the National Black Justice Coalition would be speaking today. Donna told Rev. Wilson that he was violating our agreement, and Wilson replied that the agreement was void because the Coalition had not responded by Friday. That was not true.”

For those unfamiliar with Boykin, this is a Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School graduate who was part of President Clinton's trade delegation to Zimbabwe in 1997 along with Rev. Jesse Jackson, Coretta Scott King, and Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater.

A New York Times article placed prominently on the front page of Sunday’s print edition, written by Dexter Filkins and John F. Burns, played down the success of Saturday’s vote in Iraq concerning that nation’s constitution, and suggested that turnout was lower this time than during January’s elections:

“On Saturday in Baghdad, streets were noticeably bare of pedestrians, polling centers were less busy, and voters exhibited little enthusiasm.

“‘I sense that the turnout will be lower this time,’ said Zainab Kudir, the chief poll worker at the Marjayoun Primary School in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad. ‘People feel their needs have not been met. There is no security. There are no jobs.’"

Yet, after many other media outlets reported that turnout was going to surpass January’s final tally, Filkins and Burns posted this at the Times website just moments ago:

Regular readers of my threads at FR know that Julian Phillips of Fox & Friends Weekend has been a favorite target for my barbs.

Fairness therefore dictates that I salute him when he gets something right, as he did this morning.

The topic was the planned neo-Nazi march in Toledo, OH and the violence it sparked among largely black protesters.

Co-host Alisyn Camerota teed up the issue: "the question always arises, do you let the neo-Nazis or other groups, like the KKK, march?"

On Friday’s Washington Week on PBS, Washington Post reporter Michael Fletcher informed the panel that “the little bit we know about” the “record” of Harriet Miers “indicates kind of a, you know, bridge-builder, moderate” and “so there's deep concern among conservatives, some of whom have called for her to withdraw." That prompted befuddled fill-in host

Allen Pizzey did a piece on the “CBS Evening News” on Saturday about the voting in Iraq. In it, he suggested that Shiites only voted for the new constitution because their leaders told them to. And:

“Despite how well the day went, the grim reality is that the democratic process has done little to improve these people’s lives. Throughout the day, the voting, and now the counting, has been done without the benefit of electricity, because the insurgents blew up the power-lines again.”

I guess democracy in America had no value until Edison invented the light bulb.

Video Link

Unfortunately, journalists haven’t accurately reported the data involved.

Catastrophic events in America’s cities have a tendency to generate discussions about race, class, and poverty. The Watts riots in 1965, as well as the Rodney King riots in 1992 are fine examples. Hurricane Katrina has sparked another such debate. Unfortunately, America’s media are relying on consistently questionable or out-of-date statistics to not only exaggerate the problem, but to blame President Bush.

No, this is not about the Rev. Louis Farrakhan and his march in D.C. Instead, it’s about an article today (15 October) in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer entitled, “ 'Slave syndrome' may still affect black behavior.” The thesis of the professor appears in the early paragraphs:

“The troubling images of African Americans displaced by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans' impoverished neighborhoods didn't startle researcher Joy DeGruy-Leary. ‘All Katrina did was reveal what was already there. I wasn't confused, wasn't surprised,’ she said....

CNN runs an AP article on King Midas, a 300-pound sea turtle from Louisiana. In one of the photo captions it says King Midas is "in his watery home with other fish at the aquarium in New Orleans."

They don't know fish from turtles and they want to preach to us about global warming and the environment?

A follow-up, with Friday morning coverage, to the Thursday night NewsBusters posting, “Shocked, Just Shocked Network Reporters Hype 'Staged’ Bush Event with Troops,” which detailed how the NBC Nightly News LED with the supposed scandal and how the other networks devoted full stories to it. The network obsession, with the ordinary preparation for a presidential event involving nervous participants, continued on Friday morning. Plugging upcoming stories at the top of Good Morning America, ABC’s Charles Gibson referred to “an embarrassing, staged photo-op.” Diane Sawyer soon cited the event as a “new embarrassment” for the administration and reporter Claire Shipman asserted that “an embarrassing White House blunder lifted the veil on the Bush administration's meticulously managed photo-ops." With “WAS TALK WITH TROOPS SCRIPTED?” plastered on-screen, NBC’s Today made the incident its story of the day as Katie Couric announced: "On Close-Up this morning, is the Bush administration using staged events to sell the war in Iraq?”

Over on CNN’s American Morning, co-host Miles O’Brien insisted to Major General Rick Lynch in Iraq that the participating soldiers were “coached.” Though Lynch repeatedly denied the soldiers were told what to say, O’Brien stuck to his claim they were “coached,” citing how the Pentagon official told them, “here's what he's going to say, here's what you might want to say in response, right?" Lynch maintained that “those soldiers yesterday were giving their opinion." To which an oblivious O’Brien replied: “Well, I guess it's too bad, if that's true, that people would have another impression this morning, because of the way they were coached." But the best O’Brien could come up with was how the Pentagon’s Allison Barber suggested how to segue to another soldier for an answer and that “a few smiles wouldn't hurt back here on the TV.” When news reader Carol Costello wondered: "Is anything spontaneous in politics, really? I don't think so," O'Brien heralded a left-winger: "Jeez. Dennis Kucinich, maybe?" O'Brien also had the gall to contend that “truth be told, if they were not coached, they would have said things that the administration would have liked to hear, I'm convinced. Because they are, you know, these troops are gung ho about their mission. And so it's a shame that they have cast this cloud." Wow, that’s chutzpah given it was O’Brien and the media which cast the “cloud.” (Full transcripts follow.)

Published just hours apart, but by journalists separated by thousands of miles and a huge cultural divide, articles at the Boston Globe and al-Jazeera concerning the voting just finished in Iraq had striking similarities in their views. In fact, the tenor of both reports was quite negative.

The key points raised in the al-Jazeera article were:

“In what the American President George W. Bush claims to be another milestone on Iraq’s road to democracy, Iraqi headed to polling stations today to give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the proposed draft constitution, expected to further divide the country into three mini-states.”

On this issue, the Globe stated: