President-elect Barack Obama is truly the man to "change the tone in Washington," something at which outgoing President George W. Bush failed miserably.

That's the tacit argument one could infer from Washington Post staffer Lori Aratani's January 14 Metro section front-pager, "At Rallies, Giving 'Please' a Chance: Activists Weigh How to Push Message While Abandoning Adversarial Tacks." Aratani profiled both left and right-wing activists who plan to demonstrate during the inauguration, but have a decidedly respectful tack to criticizing the incoming Obama administration.

Aratani began her Metro section front-pager finding that left-wing organizers known for over-the-top histrionics and disrupting congressional hearings face "a new problem: how to make demands without appearing adversarial" (emphasis mine):



OaklandRiotTVreportPic0109Here's something you don't see every day.

A video report about last night's riot in Oakland related to the shooting death of an unarmed man at the hands of a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer actually calls it .... a riot. What's more, the reporter notes, as is really often the case in situations such as these, how people he characterized as "professional protesters" egged others on and created the atmosphere that led to so much violence and vandalism.

CBS5 reporter Joe Vazquez filed "Inside the Oakland Riot: A First-Hand Account." It's a little too "gee whiz" to me, but it least it gets some usually unreported facts out.

Here is the full text of the video:



During a report on Friday’s Situation Room, CNN correspondent Susan Roesgen failed to mention the left-wing affiliation of the “activists” who were protesting near the Chicago home of President-elect Barack Obama. She only labeled them as “pro-Obama” and that they “promote a list of campaign promises they want Obama to remember -- promises to bring the troops home, to stop foreclosures, to make a plan for universal health care.”

Roesgen’s short report, which began 36 minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, began with a description of the tight security outside Obama’s home, and how “anyone who wants to make a political statement is pretty much pushed off to the side.” She described the group of people making the demonstration as “small in number, big in spirit.”

The CNN correspondent went on to describe the “activists” and their agenda:


CincyGazaDemoThe Cincinnati Enquirer's coverage (photo is from that coverage) of a local press conference and demonstration relating to the Israeli-Hamas conflict in Israel and Gaza has been atrocious. I suspect that the Enquirer is not unique in its egregious journalistic failures.

The two stories involved, both by Rebecca Goodman, are (original Cincinnati reference HT to Atlas Shrugs):

-- Dec. 31 -- "Area groups call for an end to Gaza conflict"
-- Jan. 1 -- "Ecumenical group calls for end to fighting in Gaza Strip"

Any more, you can almost work up a checklist on stories such as these, and expect to be able to check off the majority of, if not all, of the items on the list. The checklist follows the jump:



Bush Shoe AttackCNN, which long ago abandoned the concept of credible journalism, ran a story today regarding the attack by Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi on our nation's President as a feel good story about the shoe industry.

The title itself reveals that CNN reporters simply can't contain their giddiness when it comes to covering someone attacking the President:

Bush assailant kick-starts sales for shoemaker

The media are simply tripping over themselves in their attempt to uncover even the most loosely associated positive aspects of a physical attack on our President.

The piece reiterates the theme throughout the MSM in their attempts to glorify the incident and the reporter involved.  In fact, the following statement seems to be mandatory in every article which covers the topic: 



YouTube is promoting as its "citizen news report of the day" a video of an alleged attack on Greenpeace activists at a coal plant in Poland. There are two problems with the news judgment behind this video selection.

First, both the initial report on the video and YouTube's description of it overstate what actually happened. Watch the video for yourself and see. Aside from some unjustifiable shoving, kicking of snow and grabbing of signs, there is no attack.

In one instance, the pushing is to get protesters out of the way of an oncoming bulldozer. Another clip appears to show a coal miner helping up a protester who fell, and the Greenpeace activists eventually are allowed to display their "Quit Coal" banners without interference -- presumably on private property where they had no right to be.

But the bigger problem with the news judgment in this case is the blatant double standard at work. Why is YouTube helping to publicize an obscure, pro-environmental protest in Poland while ignoring citizen journalism reports of recent bad behavior by protesters that are far more noteworthy and much closer to home?



Here's the description by Dawson Bell of the Detroit Free Press of what happened during a service at Mt. Hope Church in Lansing, Michigan on Sunday:

Pro-gay protest disrupts Lansing-area church's services

A well-known Lansing-area evangelical church was the target of a raucous demonstration by gay anarchists during Sunday services.

The disruption came from a group that calls itself Bash Back, and involved demonstrations outside the church and inside the sanctuary while services were under way, said Mt. Hope Church communications director David Williams.

Members of the group inside the church shouted pro-gay slogans, threw leaflets, unfurled a banner and pulled a fire alarm, then hastily departed, Williams said. There were no injuries, he said.



Hattie Kauffman, CBS Following a Thursday one-sided report by correspondent John Blackstone, on Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez continued to lament the passage of California’s Proposition 8, defining marriage as only between a man and a woman: "On Tuesday, voters in California approved Proposition 8, a ban on gay marriage. It was a stunning defeat for gays and lesbians who are now fighting back." Correspondent Hattie Kauffman reported: "Supporters of gay marriage targeted L.A.'s Mormon temple, protesting the $15 million the church poured into passing Proposition 8." She played a clip of those protesters chanting: "Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you!"

Following Kauffman’s report, Rodriguez interviewed ‘Star Trek’ actor George Takei and his partner Brad Altman, who were married in September and have made numerous Early Show appearances since the California Supreme Court allowed gay marriage. Rodriguez, who had interviewed the pair shortly after their marriage, asked: "I remember your jubilation when you talked about your wedding here on the program. You shared your wedding video and you shared your hope that other gay couples in California would continue to get the opportunity that you had. This ban says that they won't. George, the last time we spoke, you felt hopeful. Today, you feel?" Takei replied: "Well, we feel that our marriage is valid, that there's no language in Proposition 8 that says it's retroactive... This is a fundamental right, all-inclusive, as Supreme Court of California has ruled, and this is taking away that fundamental right. It's like saying, you know, you don't have a certain -- a certain group will be -- will have their freedom of speech taken away from them, just because they're red heads."



Prop 8 Protestors, CBS At the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Julie Chen praised Barack Obama’s election as the first African-American president but lamented the passage of California’s Proposition 8, preventing gay marriage: "One barrier falls, another returns. Married gays in legal limbo protest through the night as California voters ban same-sex unions." At the top of the 8AM hour, correspondent John Blackstone reported: "In disappointment, supporters of same-sex marriage gathered in Los Angeles last night, after the hard-fought campaign over California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage, they were on the losing side, but not ready to give up."

Blackstone went on to describe the fight that lay ahead: "This may, however, be just one more battle in California's long war over same-sex marriage. Gay rights advocates have already filed a lawsuit claiming Proposition 8 improperly writes discrimination into the state constitution." A clip was then played of the left-wing mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom: "Never before has our constitution been used to strip rights away." Blackstone did not offer the voice of a single person who supported the proposition.



Ayers MugAh, the land of lollipops and unicorns has descended upon us now that the savior has won the election.

Perhaps with the safety of the completed election securely behind, Peter Slevin of the Washington Post did a very cutesy article covering the not-so-cutesy terrorist, Bill Ayers.

Ayers was gracious enough to come out of the woodwork to offer his viewpoints on the Republicans demonizing him during the campaign. 

"Pal around together? What does that mean? Share a milkshake with two straws?" Ayers said.

No William, palling around together might include one pal giving another a glowing review of their book, or perhaps the two of you serving together on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, or maybe even inviting Obama over to your home to help launch his political career.  Hell, who's to say Bernardine Dohrn wasn't serving up milkshakes in your living room at the time?  But maybe we're just splitting hairs on defining the term ‘pal.'

He goes on to say:



Did you happen to catch the candidate who handled her heckler with grace, poise, and dignity? It’s created quite a buzz in the media… The Boston Globe spoke of her ‘snappy comeback.’ The Consortium for Independent Journalism reveled in ‘her deft reaction.’ MSNBC reported from the scene that there was ‘roaring cheers and applause from the stunned crowd.’ USA Today remarked about her ‘deadpanning.’ The New York Times noted that ‘Her words were drowned out by a cheering, now-standing crowd.’ Yes, the media was all sorts of in love with the quick retort to a crazed heckler. But, if you thought that was in response to Sarah Palin’s excellent handling of an anti-war heckler, you’d be sadly, mistaken. Rather, those were all quotes in response to Hillary’s handling of the ‘Iron My Shirt!’ incident, nearly a year ago. It was all the MSM rage once upon a time.


Investigation or inoculation?

John McCain has said he'll be taking a tougher line against Barack Obama and his associates, and reporter Scott Shane's front-page piece in Saturday's New York Times on the "sporadic" ties between Obama and William Ayers, a founder of the 1960s domestic terrorist group Weather Underground, serves as a 2,100-word inoculation, a long investigative piece that does little in the way of actual investigating, providing the appearance of due diligence while exonerating Obama.

The two men knew each other years in Chicago politics, most notably when Obama served as chief executive of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a school project co-founded by Ayers, while Ayers served on the board. Ayers and his wife, fellow Weather Underground member Bernardine Dohrn, hosted a gathering for their Hyde Park neighbor Barack Obama. It was Obama's "coming-out" party for politics.

Ayers has never repented from his domestic terrorism, which included a bomb attack on the Pentagon (a Weather Underground member planted a bomb in a Pentagon restroom). In a Times profile that coincidentally appeared the morning of September 11, 2001, Ayers said, "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough." In his memoir, "Fugitive Days," he wrote: ''Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon."