A story topic so enticing, they ran it twice. Apparently, not even dying is enough to deter media hostility – if you’re a conservative. Headline on page A6 in Thursday’s Washington Post: “Justice Scalia’s free stay at luxury ranch highlights judicial ethics questions.” Subhead: “Should judges socialize with people who could have cases before them?” (Online version: “Why Justice Scalia was staying for free at a Texas resort”). Page A2 of Friday’s paper: “Scalia was staying free at the resort in Texas where he died.”
Jim Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web caught the Washington Post either misrepresenting the motives of an anonymous informer in connection with Ron Paul's long-ago newsletters, getting duped by said informer, or trying to dupe its readers. Perhaps it was a bit of all of the above, all of which worked out to conveniently smear Paul without giving him -- or readers -- a chance to know who was going after him.
The 1700-word story by Jerry Markon and Alice Crites ("Paul pursued strategy of publishing controversial newsletters, associates say") concerned the degree of knowledge the presidential candidate had of allegedly racially charged material in his newsletters published during the 1990s. The contradiction follows the jump:
"TV, Twitter were Boston mobster's undoing" the below-the-fold page A1 Washington Post headline informed readers this morning.
In the 21-paragraph story that followed, Post staffer Jerry Markon detailed how the FBI closed in on the alleged serial killer and wanted mob boss.
Yet Markon waited until the very last paragraph to note James "Whitey" Bulger's familial connection to Bay State Democratic politics:
USA Today released the results of its Freedom of Information Act requests for FBI documents related to Ted Kennedy. John Fritze's story leans heavily on the sympathetic "barrage of threats" angle to begin his story, and downplayed the lack of documents on the death at Chappaquiddick. Fritze began:
Sen. Edward Kennedy, who buried two brothers killed by assassins, endured a barrage of threats on his life that continued for much of his political career, thousands of FBI documents released Monday show.
More than 2,200 pages of previously secret documents reveal Kennedy, the brother of President John F. Kennedy, received a constant stream of anonymous threats and warnings from members of the Ku Klux Klan and the militant anti-communist "Minutemen."
Fritze arrived at Chappaquiddick late in the article, and hinted without outrage that the Kennedy family may have removed a pile of documents that might have tainted the Ted Kennedy image:
"Memo from 2002 could complicate challenge of Arizona immigration law," lamented the Washington Post in a Web site headline today.
Staffer Jerry Markon explained in his 11-paragraph story -- which ran on page A17 in the print edition* -- that the Obama/Holder Department of Justice (DOJ) has not rescinded a Bush administration memo that "concluded that state police officers have 'inherent power' to arrest undocumented immigrants for violating federal law."
Although the memo is not legally binding, it does "carry great weight within the executive branch" and is considered "to be the Justice Department's official position" on the issue.
But while this certainly is a complication to any move by the Holder DOJ to file a lawsuit in federal court to toss out the Arizona anti-illegal immigration law as unconstitutional, it equally provides ammo to Arizona lawmakers and Gov. Jan Brewer (R), who can point to the memo as evidence that they acted well within constitutional bounds.
Of course, it doesn't fit the liberal media's favored storyline if the Post had placed this story on page A1 and headlined it, "Arizona immigration law may fall in line with DOJ memo."
Monday's Washington Post has a front page story by Jerry Markon on the building "anti-Obama" conservative movement in the New Media, easing conservative complaints that the movement doesn't get much ink. MRC's Brent Bozell came in at the very end (saving the best for last?) as Markon mentioned Greg Mueller, the head of our PR firm, CRC Public Relations:
Among CRC's clients is L. Brent Bozell III, who started the Media Research Center in Alexandria in 1987 with one black-and-white TV to monitor perceived liberal media bias. Today, he operates a mini-empire with seven Web sites, including Eyeblast.tv, a conservative version of YouTube.
"When you are on the outs, and we are completely on the outs in Washington, we've got nothing to lose," Bozell said. "It's a heckuva lot more fun."
The story is fairly objective and explanatory. While the Post can do an entire story on a left-wing group like Code Pink and use one liberal label, the most noticeable tic in the Markon story is how many times the word "conservative" appears, and not counting the headline -- forty-six. You get redundancy-stuffed sentences like this one:
Inside the Beltway, much of it is fueled by the Conservative Action Project (CAP), a new group of conservative leaders chaired by Reagan-era attorney general Edwin Meese III. CAP, whose influential memos "for the movement" circulate on Capitol Hill, is an offshoot of the Council for National Policy, a highly secretive organization of conservative leaders and donors.
Imagine, if you will, an expert on the federal judiciary told a Washington Post reporter a few years ago during the Sam Alito nomination that the conservative jurist took "a kind of carpet-bombing" approach to the law, showing a determination "not to just defeat the other side, but to annihilate it" when rendering his opinions from the bench.
It's hard to image that being buried deep in an article on the jurist.
But of course the nominee in question isn't Alito, it's President Obama's pick of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace outgoing liberal Justice David Souter. Post reporter Jerry Markon opened his July 9 front-pager -- "Uncommon Detail Marks Rulings by Sotomayor" -- by noting Sotomayor's "unusual" attention to detail for an appellate judge.