via USA Today:
Pen gun accident kills budding rap singer

Here's how some major newspapers this morning delivered the news that a Texas judge threw out a campaign finance conspiracy charge against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay:

Washington Post: "DeLay's Felony Charge Is Upheld"

USA Today: "Charges Against DeLay Stand"

Don't miss my latest writing for the Free Market Project: Media claims about a “housing bubble” are nothing new. Since before the 9/11 terror attacks, the media have been calling the housing market a “bubble” while predicting an imminent, devastating decline. Not only have they been wrong in forecasting such a top, they have thoroughly mischaracterized what an investment bubble is. Now that the market for homes has finally slowed a bit, the media are declaring the bubble has burst.

  • A Bubble?: Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan has denied the existence of a national housing bubble for several years, but the media have used the term repeatedly.
  • Strong Gains: The increase in real estate values the past five years has not resembled the rapid rise typically seen in a bubble. In 2000, the national median existing-home value was $139,000. This grew to $215,900 by the third quarter of 2005 – a 55-percent nominal increase but a 34-percent inflation-adjusted gain.
  • Home Sales Still Going Up: New home sales jumped another 13 percent in October. While sales of existing homes were down 2.7 percent from September, the median national price rose to $218,000, a 16.6 percent increase since October 2004.

The websites of many major media organizations (including USA Today, MSNBC, ABC News, and CNN) aren't wasting any time reporting the guilty plea by California Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a Republican who admitted taking $2.4 million in bribes.

"Cheaper gas gets season rolling," trumpets the front page of the November 23 edition of USA Today, in a story that breaks the usual media template on "soaring" or "record" gas prices that the Free Market Project study documented in early November.

USA Today's coverage of dropping gas prices continues on pages 8-9A with "Pump prices dip below $2 in some states; still up from '04," which is complemented by an color-coded county-by-county map of the United States displaying current average gas prices.

[ view map online: Flash plugin required to view]

[see more after jump]

Apparently my recent Newsbusters article about Muhammad Ali ruffled some feathers. Last week USA Today sports writer Jon Saraceno wrote a puff piece about Ali and the Medal of Freedom, in which he couldn't resist taking a jab at me for bringing up Ali's treason during Vietnam. In classic left-leaning media manner, he copied and pasted one sentence out of the context of the entire article condemning Ali. I expected as much; this is the MSM, after all.

On Washington's WMAL radio tonight, Chris Core was highlighting an article on Bill Clinton calling for civility. (He was a bit taken aback, since the Clinton people made those bimbo-bashing cracks about dragging a dollar bill through a trailer park.) USA Today reporter Kathy Kiely secured a soft 50-minute interview to serve as a publicist for Clinton's call for "kinder, gentler political talk."

Newsweek’s Howard Fineman, in a new article entitled “Bush at the Tipping Point,” joined an expanding list of media representatives that have not only completely ignored statements made by Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) concerning his disappointments with the Iraq war that came before his Thursday call for troop withdrawals, but also thoroughly misrepresented the level of support that Murtha gave to the initial war resolution back in October 2002:

“Murtha was the one-man tipping point. Initially a strong supporter of the conflict, he had voted for it and the money to pay for it. But on his last trip to Iraq, he had become convinced not only that the war was unwinnable, but that the continued American military presence was making matters far worse.”

As reported by NewsBusters here, Congressman Murtha first voiced dissent for this war in September 2003, and then again in May 2004. However, maybe most important, the record before the war resolution passed on October 11, 2002 shows Murtha as having initially been against invading Iraq, and only getting onboard when a revised resolution was proposed on October 2. Prior to those revisions authored by Democrats in the House to assuage dissenters like Murtha, the Congressman was quite vocal against an invasion:

There's an editorial at USA Today this morning (Bush picks another justice — and a fight over court's future) that does a wonderful job illustrating all of the problems with the media coverage of the Supreme Court debate. USA Today has chosen sides, and doesn't even seem to understand it.

In a report last night on CNN’s “Newsnight,” David Ensor continually referred to CIA employee Valerie Plame as being “undercover.” In fact, the entire report was about the dire consequences to the agency as a whole as a result of such an "outing," as well as to Plame:

“Forty-two-year-old Valerie Plame Wilson, whose husband referred to her as 'Jane Bond,' is clearly now the most famous female spy in America. Exposing her as a CIA undercover officer did damage to U.S. intelligence, U.S. officials say. They refuse to be more specific.”

Unfortunately, nowhere in the report did Ensor relay to the viewer that Plame has not been undercover since 1997, and, instead, has been working for the CIA on American soil ever since. In fact, as reported by USA Today back in July 2004:

Earlier today NewsBusters contributor Bob Owens noted that USA Today doctored an image of Condoleezza Rice.



USA Today has now removed the doctered photographed of Condoleezza Rice and included a note from the editor with the correction:

Editor's note: The photo of Condoleezza Rice that originally accompanied this story was altered in a manner that did not meet USA TODAY's editorial standards. The photo has been replaced by a properly adjusted copy. Photos published online are routinely cropped for size and adjusted for brightness and sharpness to optimize their appearance. In this case, after sharpening the photo for clarity, the editor brightened a portion of Rice's face, giving her eyes an unnatural appearance. This resulted in a distortion of the original not in keeping with our editorial standards.

Michelle Malkin busts the photo editor of USA Today for manipulating a photo of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in a way that makes Dr. Rice look just a wee bit possessed.