Diane Sawyer, ABC Anchor; & Bill Blanton, Cherokee County, South Carolina Sheriff | NewsBusters.orgABC’s Diane Sawyer acted more concerned than the reporter on the scene on Monday’s Good Morning America over a small town in South Carolina arming itself against a serial killer. She asked the local sheriff, “The community has apparently been arming up and we’re reading that ammunition is selling out at some of the stores. How concerned are you that people are standing at their doorways with guns right by the side?”

ABC News correspondent Jeffrey Kofman filed a report from Gaffney, South Carolina six minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour on the five murders apparently perpetrated by the same suspect over the course of a week during late June/early July. After stating the community was “reeling over events of the last week, and it’s not overstating to say that people here are terrified,” Kofman highlighted how people in the Southern small town “left lights on and doors locked. This small South Carolina town is living in fear- and it is arming itself.”

The San Francisco Chronicle is proving the old bromide true. That's the one that goes: "a lie can be half way 'round the world before the truth can pull its boots on" (often incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain). Then there is another one Twain didn't originate but aptly fits here, "there are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies and statistics." The subject of this scoffing is that factoid the Old Media has been promulgating like gospel where "90% of Mexico's confiscated guns are from the U.S."

The problem with this "90%" refrain is that it just isn't true. There is no truth in the claim that 90% of the guns Mexican officials confiscate from drug dealers in Mexico are from the U.S.A. But, true or not, the Old Media use this line as if it were received truth. Suspicions are easily raised that they do so because it fits their ideological matrix perfectly and the truth of the matter does not fit the approved story line.

Apart from several reports on FNC, and a few on CNN, the mainstream television news media have ignored the controversial firing of former Inspector General Gerald Walpin, who had recently battled for tougher penalties against Obama friend and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson after an investigation by Walpin found Johnson had misused hundreds of thousands of tax dollars granted by the AmeriCorps program to the Johnson-founded St. Hope charity. Over the past weeks, there have been a number of developments, including the opening of an FBI investigation into the St. Hope charity, further casting doubt on the White House's decisions and bolstering Walpin's case that he was wrongfully booted.

In the June 22 editorial "Walpin-gate Opens Wider; FBI Investigation Embarrasses the White House," the Washington Times wrote that "The FBI has opened an investigation into a Sacramento program formerly run by a close ally of President Obama's, giving credence to the IG's work."

The L.A. Times is parsing math.

If you were to not read Josh Meyer’s June 17 article very carefully, you might think that 90 percent of the weapons recovered from Mexican cartel raids originated in the United States:

The report by the congressional Government Accountability Office, the first federal assessment of the issue, offered blistering conclusions that will probably influence the debate over the role of U.S.-made weaponry as violence threatens to spill across the Mexico border.

According to a draft copy of the report, which will be released today, the growing number of weapons being smuggled into Mexico comprise more than 90% of the seized firearms that can be traced by authorities there.

Pay close attention, however, to the wording.  That’s 90 percent of the seized firearms – that authorities are able to trace.  This wording actually reflects the vagueness of the GAO report’s highlights:

Rick Sanchez, CNN Anchor | NewsBusters.orgA chyron which accompanied a report on CNN’s Newsroom program on Wednesday about the arrest of a leader of an organization inspired by the Minuteman Project, referred to her and her accused accomplices as “extremists.” Despite qualifying how the largest Minuteman organization had distanced itself from the suspects, anchor Rick Sanchez questioned how she became a “player in the anti-immigration movement.”

Sanchez took the human interest story approach to the segment, which began 26 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program. He first displayed the picture of a young girl who was one of two murder victims in the case, and gave the following description: “Things are not always as they seem, right? And I want to illustrate this now with a picture of a beautiful little girl- there she is. Her name is Brisenia Flores- take a close look, because it may be the only way that you’ll be able to see this little girl. Why? Because this little girl- Brisenia Flores- is now dead.”

After giving some details of the crime, the anchor continued by describing the suspects: “Shawna Ford and two other suspects are now being held on a bond of a million dollars for the deaths of Brisenia Flores and her father....Let me tell you who Shawn Forde is. She’s the executive director of a group that’s called Minuteman American Defense. Police say that Forde planned the killing of the little girl and her father to steal drugs and money, and make it look like it was the work of a drug cartel.”

And now another episode of Name That Party where the news customer reads a story and tries his darndest to discern from what party a scandal plagued politician hails. We have many times said that one of the main rules of the Name That Party parlor game is that if the Old Media is talking about a troubled Democrat, often times the pol's party is either not mentioned at all or is buried way down in the story. On the other hand, if it is a troubled Republican, why the party affiliation often leads the story if it isn't right in the headline itself. Today we have a pair of stories that proves this axiom well.

First up is the mysterious case of Detroit City Council Member Monica Conyers (wife of Representative John Conyers) who the Associated Press reports is "snarled in bribes probe." All the sordid details about the tale are laid out for us... except one. It seems the AP somehow forgot to mention that Monica Conyers is a Democrat.

Conservative blogger and friend of NewsBusters Andrew Breitbart has an excellent column in today's Washington Times entitled "Left cries 'racist' in crowded country."

The creator of the Big Hollywood blog noted in his June 15 column the inconvenient truth the mainstream media did not focus on in the aftermath of last week's Holocaust Museum shooting, even as the MSM furthered the meme that 

The perpetrator, James von Brunn, has far more in common with Rosie O'Donnell's conspiracy theorist views of the world than say the politics of Rush Limbaugh or Fox News fans (emphasis mine):

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.

Which way is it? Highlighting three murders this year, ABC's Pierre Thomas on Thursday night delivered an ominous and speculative story on how “radicals of the ultra-fringe, filled with rage about illegal immigration, fear of losing their guns, abortion and race making law enforcement increasingly nervous about a potential wave of domestic terror.” In contrast, on the NBC Nightly News, Pete Williams noted that “Barack Obama's election has stirred the passions of some white separatists,” but he stuck with the facts of what has occurred: “A former FBI official, who tracked hate groups, said overall there's been no spike in activity.”

Thomas began his World News story: “A cold-blooded murder at the Holocaust Museum by a white supremacist. An abortion doctor gunned down in a church two weeks ago. January 21st, Brockton Massachusetts, a day after inauguration, a man who police say had a plan to kill as many blacks, Hispanics and Jews as he could, rapes a minority woman and kills two.” He proceeded to cite the April Homeland Security bulletin, which “warned, quote: 'The economic downturn and the election of the first African-American President present unique drivers for right wing radicalization and recruitment.'”

Rick Sanchez, CNN Anchor; Eric Boehlert, Media Matters Senior Fellow; & Roger Aronoff, Accuracy in Media Analyst | NewsBusters.orgAnchor Rick Sanchez used another crazed gunman’s rampage to blast conservative media during CNN’s Newsroom program on Thursday, and brought on Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert as his aide to bash talk radio and Fox News. He hinted that the white supremacist who killed a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, might have been “motivated to move by right-wing pronouncements...on some TV and radio outlets.”

Sanchez began his panel discussion with Boehlert and Accuracy in Media’s Roger Aronoff at the end of the 3 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program with his indicting line of questioning against conservative radio and TV: “Was there a tone in this country that was actually started with the election of our first black president that is bringing the crazies out of the woodwork, and are they being motivated to move by right-wing pronouncements, like he’s dangerous- he’s a socialist- he’s a Muslim, and he isn’t even a U.S. citizen? This is what we hear on some TV and radio outlets.”

After introducing his two guests, the CNN anchor let the left-wing partisan Boehlert “start with the premise” which, of course, echoed the preceding introduction: “I don’t think there’s any doubt since Barack Obama’s been elected, there’s been a complete unhinged reaction from the conservative movement in America, and sort of this vigilante and- and militia-style rhetoric has become a cornerstone of the movement, and certainly of conservative media.”

Michael Rowe has an article on the Huffington Post, posted today, that makes a few wild-eyed claims about right-wing extremists.

For example, Ann Coulter is responsible for yesterday’s tragic shooting at the Holocaust Museum.

Bill O’Reilly is responsible for the shooting of well-known abortion doctor George Tiller.

Oh, and the coup de grace: Sarah Palin and all of her supporters are raging racists.

That’s not to mention the implication that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, and all of Fox News were the favorite news sources of James von Brunn, now-infamous shooter at the Holocaust museum.

Idiotic though these claims most certainly are, liberal bilge of this magnitude demands confrontation.  First, examine what Rowe wrote on Ann Coulter:

Wayne Slater, Dallas Morning News Political Writer | NewsBusters.orgDallas Morning News’s Wayne Slater become one of the first pundits after the shootings at the Holocaust Museum on Wednesday to hint that there was a connection to mainstream conservative activists. On CNN Newsroom, about two hours after the story broke, Slater linked this incident and the murder of abortionist George Tiller with “anti-tax secessionists in Texas,” his label for Tea Party protesters.

Anchor Rick Sanchez moderated a panel discussion on the Holocaust Museum shootings after the bottom of the 3 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, in which Slater participated. Sanchez asked the Dallas Morning News political writer if criminals like this suspect are “motivated or do they need to be motivated?” He replied, not including the shooting of Tiller, but reaching back to include the Oklahoma City bombing perpetuated by Timothy McVeigh:

SLATER: They absolutely need to be motivated and are being motivated. Each of these episodes in recent weeks- whether it’s [the] killing of an abortion doctor- whether it was this Holocaust denier today, or whether it was others- whether you’re talking about Tim McVeigh or anti-tax secessionists in Texas- the interesting thing is they’re all separate, but they’re all hearing portions of the same echo chamber, a kind of dialogue- a toxic dialogue that’s subterranean in large parts. Remember, the man who was accused- who is accused of the most recent shooting of the abortion doctor, according to his ex-wife, had connections with the Montana Freemen, a kind of wild radical secessionist group. You hear not only these conversations about blacks and Jews, but about the government and about other hate-filled issues. It is- although they are separate- they are connected by a kind of dialogue of toxic ideology.