With Twitter doubling its character limit to 280 from 140, the establishment press can now cram twice as much fake news into a single tweet. MSNBC's Joy Reid did exactly that in a Saturday morning tweet by mischaracterizing the scope of the intelligence community's assessment of "Malicious Cyber Activity" relating to the 2016 presidential election, and by falsely claiming that President Trump said that he personally believes Russian President Vladimir Putin's contention that there was no such meddling.
In a Sunday front-page report at the New York Times, Patrick Healy, who has been covering the presidential race almost exclusively for well over a year, complained that neither major party's presidential frontrunner appears to have the capacity to be "a unifying candidate." After all, as his story's headline indicated, somebody, right now, needs "to Be (a) Unifying Voice for (the) Nation."
Hold on there, Patrick. Since when did it become the job of private citizens, neither of whom currently holds political office, to pull the country together when we have a President named Barack Obama who is supposed to be handling that task?
The Washington Post's Fact Checker blog, after years of usually sincerely prepared though not always accurate posts, appears to have descended to the level of hackery typically found at Politifact.
One recent example demonstrating that the effort has turned into a weapon dishonestly employed against Republicans and conservatives comes from Michelle Ye Hee Lee, who on Friday called 2016 Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina's true story about once being a secretary and eventually becoming a Fortune 20 CEO "bogus," giving it "three Pinocchios." That means, according the paper's description, that Fiorina's claim is either a "Significant factual error and/or" that it contains and/or "obvious contradictions." What rubbish.
On Thurday, Fox News "analyst" Juan Williams and several other liberal journalists met privately and off the record with President Obama.
On Fox News Sunday, Williams went into what apparently are the administration's internal (and perhaps becoming external) talking points about the policy trainwrecks HealthCare.gov and Obamacare in general have become. They are that the Affordable Care Act's failure to gain the support of even one House or Senate Republican is the party's "original sin," and that the program's rollout is an attempt to fix what it inherited — yet another tacit contention which essentially comes down to, "It's Bush's fault."
Clearly, the New York Times couldn't run with Jonathan Weisman's headline or opening sentence in the report he filed shortly after Friday's portion of Friday's testimony at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee in its Saturday print edition. And it didn't.
The original headline at Weisman's story, as seen here (HT Ann Althouse via Instapundit), was "Treasury Knew of I.R.S. Inquiry in 2012, Official Says." His opening sentence: "The Treasury Department’s inspector general told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 he was auditing the Internal Revenue Service’s screening of politically active organizations seeking tax exemptions, disclosing for the first time on Friday that Obama administration officials were aware of the matter during the presidential campaign year." Along came Jeremy Peters, who helped to "properly" frame these matters, turning it into yet another "Republicans attack our poor innocent administration" piece. That is what made it to today's paper -- on Page A12, naturally accompanied by a "better" headline. Meanwhile, except for excerpts captured at places like the indispensable FreeRepublic, Weisman's original has been flushed down the memory hole.
Friday evening, Madison, Wisconsin blogger Ann Althouse reported receiving (HT Instapundit) an "Incredibly creepy mail today from the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund." She has a put up an image of what she received with names and addresses redacted (except for her name). It's a list which includes Althouse and many of her neighbors indicating who has and hasn't voted in the last two elections.
Unsurprisingly, the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund is the political fundraising arm of the Greater Wisconsin Committee, both of which lean very left. Both support the effort to recall Badger State Governor Scott Walker. Both appear likely to get a virtually free pass from the establishment press. Althouse's reaction follows the jump:
As Clay Waters at the Media Research Center's Times Watch reported earlier today ("One of Obama's Emotional Arguments for Obama-Care Proven Wrong in NYT Staffer's New Book"), the New York Times's Kevin Sack ran a story yesterday which "reflects badly on Barack Obama and how he misled people in his campaign for Obama-care."
I'll say. As reported by Sack (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Given a chance to revise and extend its 9:58 a.m. report (covered this afternoon at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) on the June 13 altercation between Wisconsin Supreme Court Judges David Prosser, Jr. and Ann Walsh Bradley, the Associated Press's 5:29 p.m. version persists in telling its national audience only one side of the story.
Although the fact is that accounts as to who was the aggressor completely differ, the wire service's oddly unbylined story (a 650-word AP item usually has a byline -- it's almost as if someone doesn't want their name on it) will cause its readers, including subscribing news outlets around the country, to believe that the only open question is whether and how hard Prosser choked Bradley. One suspects that AP's "fairness" defense will be the employment of these three words in Paragraph 8: "While accounts differ ..." Sorry guys, that doesn't cut it when the accounts are totally opposite.
Despite the accumulated reportage and commentary available to the Associated Press this morning, the wire service, at 9:58 a.m Eastern Time (saved here for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes), only reported on one side of the story relating to an altercation that took place between Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices David Prosser, Jr. and Ann Walsh Bradley. In doing so, it ignored the existence of a follow-up story published at least 12 hours earlier at the Milwaukee Journal, the newspaper it cites as the primary source of its original coverage.
In AP-Land, despite contrary assertions, the relatively conservative Prosser is the alleged choking aggressor, and the left-leaning Bradley the supposed innocent victim. Taking all known accounts into consideration, the matter is hardly so clear-cut.
Last week's issue of the Village Voice featured Roy Edroso's review of "10 conservative Web scribblers," described therein as "buffoons" and in the article's subhead as "a confederacy of dunces." (Actually, Edroso names twelve bloggers, arriving at his figure of ten by counting the Power Line trio as one person.)
Lefty snark aside, the piece is problematic in part because at least two of the bloggers Edroso scrutinizes, Ann Althouse and Megan McArdle, really aren't conservatives. Moreover, by emphasizing individual bloggers he almost completely ignores lively large-group sites such as the Corner (he examines only Jonah Goldberg's contributions to NRO) and, of course, NewsBusters.