The Associated Press, in a Sunday evening dispatch, reported that the refinery explosion in Venezuela, which has thus far killed "at least 39 people" and injured "more than 80" (as of 10 a.m.; now it's at 41)  is "Venezuela's deadliest refinery blast ever." I'm sure that I join all readers here in expressing deep condolences and prayers for the victims and all who have been affected.

Obviously reporting the details as they emerge will for a time be more important, but it appears that the Amuay refinery explosion is the deadliest such refinery incident in world history, and by a wide margin. If so, the press, after determining that this is indeed the case it, should get around to reporting it as such.



On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King applauded colleague Nancy Cordes for her "great question" to President Obama on Monday about a dishonest ad from a supporting super PAC that blamed Mitt Romney for a woman's cancer death. However, they failed to mention Cordes's earlier question on how Obama's campaign has "suggested that Mr. Romney might be a felon for the way that he handed over power of Bain Capital."

The President falsely claimed that "nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon" in his answer to Cordes, an additional detail that went unnoticed by the CBS on-air personalities. Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, made the felony suggestion on July 12, 2012: "Either Mitt Romney, through his own words and his own signature, was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony, or he was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people."



Now here's a surprise. The lead local section story of the Times on Wednesday was Joseph Berger's profile of the embrace by the city's Soviet immigrants of the Republican Party, in particular Ronald Reagan's anti-communism: "Among City's Soviet Immigrants, An Affinity for Republicans."

To many Russian and Ukrainian immigrants, the cornucopia in the shops along Brighton Beach Avenue -- pyramids of oranges, heaps of Kirby cucumbers, bushels of tomatoes with their vines still attached and a variety of fish, sausages and pastries -- seems like an exuberant rebuke of the meager produce that was available to them when they lived in the Soviet Union.



In a piece of propaganda that would make Cuba's Castro regime proud, on her Tuesday MSNBC program, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell cheered the communist state's "highly regarded" health care system, "and especially one of Fidel Castro's signature projects, which is training doctors, doctors who then provide free medical care throughout Latin America."

Mitchell proclaimed: "As the U.S. debates health care....We went back to the Latin American medical school here to talk to American medical students about what they're learning about medicine, about Cuba, and about themselves." That soon became disturbingly apparent as student Cynthia Aguilera gushed: "...after graduating with no debt, no worries about paying off loans and having to get a high-paying job, we can return to our communities [in the U.S.] and work in them and try to uplift them the same way that Cuba uplifted us."



The New York Times coverage of the Pope's trip to the dictatorship of Cuba has a strange, cheap-shot emphasis on how the Cuban people are coerced to attend such rallies, an authoritarian power play, but one the paper rarely if ever bothers to address during Cuban May Day rallies held in celebration of communism. A nytimes.com search suggests the Times has never previously used the words "orchestrated" or "intimidation" to describe the Cuban government coercing people to attend May Day parades.

So why use that explanation for the crowds surrounding the Pope, but leave that obvious explanation off when talking about crowds listening to dictator Fidel Castro's latest multi-hour-drone-a-thon of a speech?



Novelist (and Socialist Workers Party member) China Mieville wrote the main essay for the London issue of the New York Times Sunday Magazine, "'Oh London, You Drama Queen.'" According to him, London is a mess of racism and youth alienation, and only free public housing and celebration of loud music on the tube will save it. He also excused last summer's burning and rioting, motivated by a "deep sense of injustice": "Youths taking TVs, clothes, carpets, food from broken-open shops, sometimes with dizzy exuberance, sometimes with what looked like thoughtful care."

Even the photo captions are replete with leftist smuggery, contrasting an old-fashioned butcher with a bleak-looking dance club: "Smithfield Market, in Central London, is rooted in the past./The scene at Plastic People, a club in Hackney, looks to the future."



Sometimes you read the most interesting things in those supposedly boring trade publications.

One such item of interest comes from an article in Manufacturing News (HT to an emailer) written by Richard A. McCormack which is primarily about the Mainland China's designs on the worldwide auto parts industry, including the U.S. Some of the larger American unions are demanding that the administration and Congress take action on what they see as unfair trade practices. One sentence is indicative of a more pervasive problem, and it directly contradicts what the establishment press has been telling Americans for months. It's of particular concern to all Americans because the U.S. government still owns over 25% of General Motors, and reads as follows: "China has told GM that it will not be able to sell its Volt electric vehicle in China unless GM transfers technology to China and produces the vehicle there."



One of the Media Research Center's dearest friends and supporters, Mark Levin, has a new book out called Ameritopia” which as CNSNews reports will debut at number one on the New York Times best seller list in four different nonfiction categories.

On Tuesday, the esteemed author and radio host spoke to NewsBusters by phone about the book's contents and how the media are assisting powerful utopian forces in America to undermine our Constitutional republic (video follows with complete transcript, don't miss spectacular book signing video at article's conclusion):



American Public Media (formerly American Public Radio) says that its "Marketplace" program "focuses on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets."

Okay. One would expect, given the track record of leftist and communist movements and causes in ruining economies and creating unspeakable human misery, that if "Marketplace" were to do a segment on, say, Saul Alinsky, that it might note his antagonism towards free-market capitalism, and how damaging his "Rules for Radicals" recommendations have been in practice. Instead, those listening to yesterday's Alinsky segment got nothing but pap and misdirection orchestrated by a far-left labor prof:



Jean H. Lee's Friday afternoon report at the Associated Press on the omnipresence of images of the late Kim Jong Il throughout North Korea reads more like an audition to be the communist nation's next propaganda minister than a wire service report.

Not once does she call the late tyrant a tyrant, or for that matter even a Communist. If you didn't know any better, you would think you're reading about some idyllic place where people are happy, content, and well-off -- not a place where oppression rules, hundreds of thousands starve, and millions more would but for the kindness of foreigners. Though there is no substitute for reading the whole relatively short thing, here are several paragraphs indicating just how bad Lee's report really is (saved here in full as a graphic for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes; HT to an NB tipster):



At the New York Times Thursday morning, reporter Choe Sang-Hun's covering the funeral for late North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il made it clear to readers that it "The funeral, and the mourning, appeared to have been meticulously choreographed by the government." Meanwhile, over at the Associated Press (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes), a story involving five reporters left the impression that the outpouring of grief was genuine and broadly shared.

Here are key paragraphs relating to that aspect of the funeral coverage, first from the Times (bolds are mine throughout this post):



On Monday, Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters noted how former New York Times op-ed writer (and before that, theater critic) Frank Rich, who now plies whatever his trade is at New York Magazine, criticized MSNBC's Chris Matthews for writing a "man-crush of a biography" about John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated 48 years ago today.

Monday evening, Allahpundit at Hot Air identified a particularly egregious contention in that same very poor Rich piece, namely that "the hate that ended his (JFK's) presidency" which inspired avowed communist and Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald to commit his heinous crimes (Oswald also shot Texas Governor John Connally in JFK's motorcade and killed Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit later that day) came from the right. Really. What follows are selections from Rich's risible self-righteousness: