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Q: Where is approximately 380,000 votes "the narrowest of leads" in an election?  

A: In the New York Times, but only when the leftist candidate is trailing.

From James C. McKinley Jr. and Ginger Thompson's dispatch on the Mexican presidential race (emphasis added):



The Times backpedals a bit from its irresponsible story revealing a successful terrorist surveillance program involving international bank transactions. After playing it up as a lead story June 23, nine days later it's shrugged off as common knowledge by the very reported who trumpeted it on the front page.



Someone at the Washington Post must be leaning their head out of an office door, shouting "We need more Milbank!" Sort of like the old "Saturday Night Live" skit about Blue Oyster Cult needing "more cowbell." So the Post's Sunday "Outlook" section had a new feature called the "Zeitgeist Checklist," which is pretty much a complete ripoff of Jon Alter's dopey "Conventional Wisdom Watch" feature in Newsweek.



What is it about celebrations of national pride that Washington Post columnists find so distasteful? Remember Marc Fisher declaring the Pledge of Allegiance "has a creepy totalitarian feel to it, with or without the obviously unconstitutional, McCarthy-era addition of the God bit"?



The St. Petersburg Times ran an article about Hazleton, Pennsylvania where the mayor has proposed making English the official language and to fine those who employ illegal aliens. The Hispanic population in Hazleton has grown tenfold since 2000 and now makes up one-third of the town. They write:

It's about time, some longtime Hazleton residents are saying. About time someone did something to stop these people from acting so brazen, walking around like they own the place. Staring you down on the street, making you stop your car to let them cross.

Even some Hispanics who usually support the mayor are nervous, because who can tell just by looking whether a brown-skinned person is here legally or illegally? Your citizenship status doesn't matter to the guy in line at the doughnut place, who says: These people are everywhere. They're like cockroaches.

Notice anything missing? Quotation marks? Names?

One type of journalism is where the reporter talks to people in the town and when they say things the reporter quotes and attributes them to a person or maybe even keeps them anonymous if there is cause. The other type of journalism already knows what people must think and the reporter quotes the voices in his or her head. This goes past various levels of editors who also think it is a good idea. The Times could not deduce that one way to tell if "a brown-skinned person is here illegally" is whether or not they can speak English, a requirement of citizenship.



If you thought the folks at the Los Angeles Times would use the Fourth of July to take a day off from spewing their usual bias and vitriol, think again. Readers of today's op-ed page (Tuesday, July 4, 2006) in the Times are greeted to this piece of bitterness by Mark Kurlansky, "Fathers don't always know best" (The title comes from the print edition; online, the title is, "WWFFD?



Today, America celebrates her independence from the British. Many journalists, liberal and conservative, have offered their opinions about the history of this event, and what it means 230 years later, at newspapers, websites, and blogs across the fruited plain.

At the extraordinarily liberal Huffington Post, people like Congressman Jack Murtha and Senator John Kerry took the opportunity to discuss what they believe patriotism is.

So did actor Alec Baldwin. However, in his case, he chose to share a dream of his wherein he kills Osama bin Laden, and, depending on how far bin Laden falls, Vice President Dick Cheney.

As a courtesy to those who would prefer not to be offended by such drivel on this day, his dream will be posted in the “Read More” section. However, before we get there, on this Independence Day, Baldwin also wanted his readers to know that “Bush/Cheney stole both the 2000 and the 2004 elections with the help of the Supreme Court in one and Diebold in the other.”

Nice thoughts on Independence Day, no? Now, to Alec’s patriotic fantasy on this Fourth of July:



Many writers covering the launch of a new magazine would mention that its inaugural issue had been boycotted and removed from thousands of chain-store racks because of a copyright infringement case that continues to rage.

Not Peter Carlson, though. That would be too...obvious.



Anybody that has read the Declaration of Independence knows that taxes were a big issue for our Founding Fathers. Certainly, this has been lost on most media in our country as they regularly advocate a higher and higher financial burden on the citizenry to pay for government programs.

No finer example of the divide between the media and the intent of our Founding Fathers was demonstrated than in an op-ed published in today’s Washington Post entitled “Tax Inheritance, Not ‘Death.’” In it, authors Maya MacGuineas and Ian Davidoff – fittingly from the New America Foundation, as their ideas certainly go contrary to the America our colonists fought and died for – proposed that estate taxes in America should be replaced by inheritance taxes for everybody that tries to pass on more than $10,000 to their heirs.

Yes, they really said $10,000: “A far better approach would be to tax people equivalently on all the income they receive, whether it be from earned or inherited income, by replacing the estate tax with an income tax on inheritances. Under such a tax, inheritances would be treated the same as other forms of earned income and taxed in the same manner.”

The article foolishly continued:



To help you all celebrate our nation's independence, and remember what it's all about, I offer the following video for your enjoyment and reverence.

Happy

Independence

Day!



In its July 3, 2006 Corrections, the Washington Post reports:

"In a June 28 Style review of "Superman Returns" (which was excerpted in the June 30 edition of Weekend), Superman's home state was incorrectly identified as Iowa. He is from Kansas."

It must be difficult for the Post's staff, even movie reviewers, not to be confused about flyover country, that great space between the coasts that they usually ignore.



The top of Tuesday's Washington Post carries the headline "Mexico Girds for Legal Battle As Election Yields a Near Tie." But the caption nearby under pictures of the candidates reports: "Felipe Calderon, left, has 36.38 percent of the vote following a preliminary, uncertified tally, and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has 35.34 percent." That's a one percent lead, which is tight, but not a "near tie" -- it's a margin of 384,000 votes, says the New York Times with a more accurate headline:



We might assume that on a holiday like the Fourth of July, there's not going to be a lot of liberal media bias. But a search through the MRC's "Notable Quotables" archive shows there have been a few sharp examples that could ruin an Independence Day. I'd begin with with this one from 1994: "We hear the stories of discrimination in education and housing and jobs all the time. We hear the violence between races.



James Taranto really passed on a lulu of a quote today. It comes from a book review by Michael Browning of the Palm Beach Post, reviewing Stephen O'Shea's book Sea of Faith on medieval clashes between Christianity and Islam:



Over on Air America Radio on Monday, Sam Seder (Mr. FUBAR) was sitting in for Al Franken. Late in the show, he hosted the blogging artist known as Atrios, Duncan Black. Seder promised they would soon get into celebrating how Washington Post reporter Dana Priest "handed his ass" to Bill Bennett on "Meet the Press" Sunday, as we blogged yesterday.