On Thursday the New York Times ran a worshipful obituary for Michael Ratner, former president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a hard-left outfit founded by radical lawyer William Kunstler. The obituary by Sam Roberts appeared under an adulatory headline, “Michael Ratner, Bold Civil Liberties Lawyer, Dies at 72.”
Left out of Roberts’ report? Ratner's solidary with Cuba's Communist dictator Fidel Castro, his adulatory book on murderous Communist thug Che Guevara, and this gem from December 2005 during the Bush administration’s war in Iraq: "The Bush administration has moved us from a government responsible and accountable to the people to one that dictates to the people. Every American should be in political rebellion against the criminals now running this country."
Like many analysts in the “mainstream media,” New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters sought to explain how David Brat -- a 49-year-old economics professor and virtually unknown candidate -- won the Republican primary in Virginia on Tuesday, unseating Eric Cantor, a seven-term incumbent who has served as the majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Peters' explanation? During a lengthy article the following day, he asserted that the upset victory was made possible by the intervention of “potent voices of the conservative media,” including GOP radio talk show hosts Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin.
The “new media” is expanding in the digital realm, but one trend of liberal bias certainly isn’t new: While The New York Times repeated and repeated that expanding Breitbart News network is “conservative,” left-wing ventures by Glenn Greenwald and Ezra Klein were apparently non-ideological, and drew no ideological labels of any kind – liberal, leftist, progressive – at all.
On the front of Monday’s Business Day section, the Times promoted “The conservative news group begun by Andrew Breitbart, who died in 2012, is going global.” The headline on B-3 was “Conservative News Group to Add Staff to Websites.” Leslie Kaufman's story began with another two C-labels in the first 45 words:
Hating Breitbart, a documentary filmed during the last several years of the late Andrew Breitbart’s life, is about one man’s struggle against the left-dominated media.
How perfect that the film about the man is about to set a record in and of itself thanks to liberal media bias? According to the Hollywood Reporter, Hating Breitbart will soon set a record on the movie ratings site Rotten Tomatoes for the biggest gap between its establishment film critics score and the score given to it by the general public.
From time to time, Americans manage to elect extraordinarily corruptible people—and these walking moral catastrophes, in turn, pass laws for us, enforce those laws for us, presume to lecture us, and run, in general, as much of our lives as they can gets their hands on. It's not that we don't care about being governed by vulgarians, and it's not that we're pathologically gullible—so what is it? What's the secret of their success? How do they hold on to power for so long? The short answer is: the media—with a little help from human nature.
Such was the case with Weinergate, which most people still regard as a sex scandal and not the story of a scandalous character. Former Congressman Anthony Weiner has recently begun his campaign to become the next mayor of New York City, and given New York’s bizarre and inexplicable gluttony for punishment, he has a real chance of being elected. Then again, maybe New Yorkers are catching on – the fact that Weiner was booed last weekend at a parade offers a sliver of hope.
On Thursday for Friday's print edition, the New York Times carried a weakly headlined but well-written story entitled "U.S. Opens Spigot After Farmers Claim Discrimination" on its front page. Written by Sharon LaFraniere with the help of three others, it laid out how what began in 1997 as a class-action suit by black farmers (Pigford v. Glickman) claiming they had suffered discrimination at the hands of the U.S. Department of Agriculture "became a runaway train, driven by racial politics, pressure from influential members of Congress and law firms." Moreover, LaFraniere covered how the scope of the litigation grew "to encompass a second group of African-Americans as well as Hispanic, female and Native American farmers" to the tune of over 90,000 claims and potential ultimate taxpayer cost of over $4.4 billion, in the process morphing into a vehicle for the Obama administration to unjustifiably dole out taxpayer money to as many people and constituent groups as possible. It is worth reading the entire story, though it will make just about anyone concerned about the financial and cultural future of this nation shudder.
The Times coverage indeed "vindicates" the late Andrew Breitbart, whose Big Government blog exposed the fraud associated with Pigford, but that vindication is hardly satisfying. We're supposed to be impressed that the paper finally got around to substantively covering it, and that the paper even noted the "Public criticism (which) came primarily from conservative news outlets like Breitbart.com and from Congressional conservatives like Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, who described the program as rife with fraud." I don't see why.
The cover story of the upcoming New York Times Sunday magazine is independent journalist Jonathan Van Meter's 8,000-word sympathetic profile-slash-therapy session for disgraced New York City former congressman Anthony Weiner, he of explicit Twitter photo infamy. Weiner's extended interview is having its intended effect, as the networks promote his political rehabilitation.
But even some liberal journalists think Van Meter left a lot out of his cover story. And conservative blogger Ace of Spades' timeline of the summer 2011 scandal suggests Van Meter is shielding Weiner by tossing details of the scandal down the media memory hole while ignoring the indispensable role played by the late Andrew Breitbart:
Looks like liberals are still trying to peddle the discredited allegation that Tea Party members attacked black members of Congress.
The op-ed page of today's New York Times contains a column by James Sleeper, a long-time left-wing activist, now a lecturer at Yale. The gist is the grudging respect that Sleeper came to have for Ed Koch, the former New York City mayor who passed away two days ago. Sleeper writes of how as mayor, Koch wrestled to the ground a protester who had stormed the stage as he spoke and pelted him with eggs. Sleeper wrote that Koch's asking the audience whether they wanted the other protesters removed looked demagogic at the time, "[b]ut not so much now, with Tea Party heckling and assaults on public officials." More after the jump.
Gateway Pundit blog and Michelle Malkin's Twitchy site both reported on Saturday how Ryan Clayton, a far left contributor to DailyKos and Huffington Post, was escorted out a Friday night showing of the documentary, Hating Breitbart, in Arlington, Virginia, for his outbursts during the opening minutes of the film. Clayton actually makes an appearance in the movie, where he shouted bogus allegations of cocaine use and soliciting male prostitutes at Breitbart in 2011.
I actually played a part in getting the leftist booted out of the theater. I went to the 10:20 pm showing at the invitation of Jason Jones of Movie to Movement, who is a good friend and a former boss. I sat towards the back of the theater, as many of the seats were filled by the time I entered. When the documentary started, Clayton somehow thought it was appropriate to add his own commentary track and laughed like a hyena at various points. I spoke up and told him to stop talking. But he didn't stop.
Hollywood Reporter's Paul Bond is reporting that "Hating Breitbart," the Andrew Marcus film which was to hit theaters two days from now has been pushed back to October 19 in a dispute over the film's rating.
Marcus has pushed for PG-13, but the MPAA retained its R rating of the film even after the filmmaker deleted all F-bombs except a few delivered by Breitbart himself. So nine days from now, because time is running short, the film will be released with an R rating. Why MPAA is being so inconsistent? I think it would be useful to look at who is in charge of the organization and who runs the day-to-day ratings operation, and will do that after excerpting key paragraphs from Bond's report:
The late Andrew Breitbart wouldn't be surprised to learn 2012 was the year conservative films finally broke through.
He had a way of predicting media trends, sensing the Web-based technological revolution would let conservatives have a louder voice in the marketplace of ideas.
Mere hours after Politico reported on Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder's admitted skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee in Israel, CBS highlighted the story on its Monday morning newscast. By contrast, the network was slow to report on former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner's lewd photo scandal in 2011. On June 1 of that year, ABC and NBC's morning shows reported on the "underwear uproar," while CBS's Early Show punted on the story.
The following day, CBS played up conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart's early role in spreading word of the New York liberal's indecent Twitter pic: "Supporters of Weiner note that it was right-wing blogger, Andrew Breitbart, who broke the story. But Breitbart tells CBS News he had nothing to do with the supposed hack." Of course, Weiner would go on to admit that he sent the photo.