Skip to main content

Ken Shepherd's blog

ABCNews.com's Facebook Page Omits Biggest News from September Unemployment Report

Reporting on the latest unemployment reports by the U.S. government, ABCNews's Facebook page curiously left out the most newsworthy statistic: 63.2 percent. That's where the labor force participation rate stands right now. [see screen capture below the page break] It's the lowest it's been since 1978.

But here's how ABCNews's social media editors teased Facebook visitors:

Video: Bozell, Hannity Look at Conflicted Liberal Media Handling Obama's Push to Bomb Syria

President Obama's push for military action against the Assad regime in Syria has some die-hard Obama acolytes at MSNBC finally speaking out against the president. "Even with Chris Matthews, the Obamagasm is gone," cracked Sean Hannity last night.  Does "the love story [end] here?" he asked NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell on the September 5 program's "Media Mash" segment.

Not so fast, Bozell reminded Hannity, as Matthews quickly returned to form and slammed Republicans for their opposition to military action in Syria. "Obama knows he's in trouble when even Chris Matthews criticizes him.... But isn't it interesting that one day later, Chris Matthews went into his usual rant, calling anyone who disagreed with President Obama a hater?" [watch the full segment below the page break]

MSNBC's Facebook Page Churning Out Positive Obama/Syria Memes

MSNBC hosts are skeptical if not downright opposed in principle to President Obama's push to bomb Syria, but the MSNBC.com Facebook page is doing its level best to present President Obama in a favorable light, complete with photo memes of the president adorned with quotes related to his Syria policy. [see screen captures below page break]

On September 1, the day after President Obama announced he was going to seek congressional approval, MSNBC Facebook page editors posted a photo of the president emblazoned with the following quote:

Time: Iranian President 'Proves His Moderate Stance' with Rosh Hashanah Twitter Greeting; Iran Says It's a Fake

In case you missed it, new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has proven his "moderate" credentials to Time magazine [see screen capture below page break]. How so, you might ask? Well, a tweet from (what purports to be) his account yesterday, which reads, "As the sun is about to set here in #Tehran I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah. pic.twitter.com/tmaf84x7UR"

In a September 5 post, Time's David Stout noted Rouhani stood "[i]n contrast to his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was known for espousing anti-Semitic vitriol." But hold your horses, Time, Iranian officials are denying the account is legitimate, as the International Business Times reported this morning:

WashPost Editorial Slams Obama/Holder Justice Dept. for Blocking La. School Vouchers

The Washington Post is reliably liberal on just about every major political issue. But there are exceptions, and its stand for school vouchers programs as a way to lift disadvantaged kids out of a failing public school monopoly is one of them.

So it's not too surprising that the paper devoted an editorial on Monday to criticizing the Obama/Holder Justice Department for a lawsuit it's filed that is putting a halt -- temporarily at least -- to school vouchers in Louisiana. Even so, the newspaper has dropped the ball on bringing the public's attention to the underlying story. Aside from the September 2 editorial, the paper has virtually ignored the development in its news pages, with the only mention of the underlying controversy being reported in the August 25 paper in a national news roundup. Here's that item -- an AP brief -- in its totality:

Daily Beast's Bouie Slams New 'Republican'-passed N.C. Gun Law, Omits Fact Most Dems Voted for It Too

"For years, police officers in North Carolina had a choice when it came to confiscated guns. They could use them for law enforcement purposes—training, testing, examining—or they could destroy them," Daily Beast writer Jamelle Bouie noted in a post to the website on Wednesday.

But now, thanks to "a new law... passed by Republican lawmakers in the state," that's changed. Now, "Police officers can still use confiscated guns, but as of this week, they can’t destroy them," Bouie groused in his September 4 post, going on later in his piece to whine about how the bill is evidence of an almost religious devotion to guns by conservatives. Left completely out of his story, however, was any note that nearly all the state senate's Democrats and a majority of Democratic state representatives backed the so-called Save the Gun law, Senate Bill 443.

Michelle Goldberg Inadvertently Proves Conservative Point on Planned Parenthood

She probably doesn't realize it, but Michelle Goldberg just proved conservatives' point about Planned Parenthood: Donors from the private sector are more than capable to finance the abortion-providing non-profit group.

In her September 4 post, "Planned Parenthood's Rich Red-State Backers," a giddy Goldberg gushed that "Planned Parenthood has more friends in deep-red Texas than you might think," adding:

MSNBC's Wagner Tries, Fails to Make 'Pretzel' Out of Liz Cheney's Stand on Gay Marriage

In a brief segment on the September 3 edition of Now with Alex Wagner, the MSNBC program's host revel in how Republican Wyoming Senate candidate Liz Cheney has supposedly "contort[ed]" herself into an "ideological pretzel." But if you listen closely to the 2009 soundbite that Wagner thinks illustrates that Cheney has flip-flopped on the issue of same-sex marriage, it actually underscores no change in position on her views.

What's more, as I explain towards the end of this post, it seems MSNBC is once again guilty of selectively editing, with the target this time being former Vice President Dick Cheney. [listen to MP3 of segment here; video embed follows page break]

The Spin Begins: White House 'Gird[ing] for Battle with Congress' Over Syria Airstrikes

The president's call on Saturday for Congress to debate and pass a resolution authorizing airstrikes against Syria also served as a telegraphed message to the liberal media about how to spin the message in a way that puffs the president politically while turning a serious question of foreign policy and use of military resources into a domestic political grist for the 2014 midterms.

Well, the Wall Street Journal's Jay Solomon and Janet Hook smartly saluted and fired their salvo in a piece filed at the paper's website on Sunday afternoon headlined, "White House Girds for Battle With Congress." Here's how they began:

Daily Beast Cheers Wendy Davis Raising $1.2-million Off of Pro-Abortion Filibuster

Earlier today in their "cheat sheet" digest of "must-reads," the Daily Beast hailed as "worth it" Texas State Senator Wendy Davis's hours-long, but ultimately unsuccessful filibuster against a measure that toughened abortion clinic regulations and outlawed late term abortions in the Lone Star State. [see screen capture below]

The linked item in the digest is a Politico story about Davis raking in $1.2 million, mostly in small-dollar donations, since her 11-hour-long filibuster. While that's nothing to sneeze at for an otherwise obscure state senator with long-shot odds of winning the 2014 governors race, it's still a drop in the bucket against Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Mediaite's Rothman Takes on Media's Double Standard on Bush vs. Obama Military Adventures

"How do you know that the run-up to war in Syria is eerily similar to the run-up to the Iraq War? Liberal journalists keep reminding you of the many ways in which they claim it is not," conservative Mediaite writer Noah Rothman noted at the open of his excellent August 30 piece, "As Expected, Liberal Reporters Mock Bush’s 48-State Coalition to Absolve Obama of Failure Abroad."

Rothman first turned his focus to today's edition of MSNBC's Now with Alex Wagner, a daily resource for Obama administration puffery and hackneyed liberal talking point generation. The Mediaite editor found the program's panelists twisting themselves into a pretzel to explain how President Obama's poise to truly "go it alone" on Syria is more defensible than President Bush's 48-nation "coalition of the willing" in Iraq:

Bozell, Hannity Slam Matthews for Charging Half of America as Racist for Disapproving of Obama

It doesn't take a special occasion for Chris Matthews to smear conservatives as racist, but the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's "I Have a Dream" speech was too good for the Hardball host to pass up. During special coverage of Wednesday's festivities, Matthews smeared "half the country" as opposing the chief executive because of the color of his skin, not the political and philosophical content of his governance.

"Let's try to follow the logic of Dr. Matthews here," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Fox News host Sean Hannity on the August 29 edition of his eponymous program. "First he says if you're a Republican or a conservative" who dares to oppose any of Obama's policies, "you're a racist" but yet "if you can't find any evidence of any Republican or conservative saying anything racist, well, that means they're just not being honest about their racism." [watch the full segment below the page break]

Daily Beast: Obama Administration Refused to Send Gas Masks to Syrian Opposition, Despite Abundant Supply

"The Obama administration has refused to send gas masks and other chemical-weapons protection gear to Syrian opposition groups, despite numerous requests dating back more than a year and until the reported chemical-weapons attack that struck the Damascus suburbs August 21," Josh Rogin of The Daily Beast reported earlier today. What's more, it wasn't for lack of supply, as there are numerous gas masks lying about in the region in storage, surplus from the late Iraq War, Rogin reported.

It's completely understandable and arguably advisable to not ship weapons to Syrian opposition groups for fear of weapons falling into the wrong hands, but refusing life-saving gas masks when the Syrian government is known to have chemical weapons caches is quite another. It remains to be seen how much the Big Three networks and newspaper outlets pick up on this thread, but we'll be watching. Below is a critical excerpt from his post (emphasis mine):

Shorter Amanda Marcotte: You Don't Need to Be a Surgeon to Rip Apart a Baby with a Vacuum

"Things are looking pretty bleak in the world of abortion care" with "[a] wave of states" having been "disturbingly successful at shutting down abortion providers by passing medically unnecessary restrictions on clinics," abortion rights absolutist and Daily Beast contributor Amanda Marcotte lamented at the open of her August 29 Women in the World blog post.

But alas, there's a bright ray of hope in the womb-like darkness, Marcotte found in her post tagged as a "call to arms" piece (see screen capture below page break; WARNING disturbing image attached at bottom of the post): deep blue states like California working to liberalize abortion laws:

Slate Writer: You're a 'Bad Person' if You Send Your Kid to Private School

Update: Benedikt sent her child to a private pre-school (see bottom of post; h/t Josh Trevino) |Do you now or have you ever sent your child to a private school? You sir or madam are a "bad person." That's the argument of Slate's Double X blog editor Allison Benedikt in "a manifesto" she published today at the liberal website headlined, "If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person." One presumes that homeschooling parents are even worse, perhaps "evil," but we'll wait to see if Benedikt issues another manifesto on that issue.

Benedikt opens by qualifying that private-school parents are not "murderer bad," but they are "ruining-one-of-our-nation’s-most-essential-institutions-in-order-to-get-what’s-best-for-your-kid." Sounds like an argument MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry would agree with, after all, your kids are not yours, they belong to the community. Benedikt continued to lay out her case by qualifying that she is:

WSJ Hints Voting Rights Act Has Harmed Prospects of Blacks Holding Senate, Governor Seats

"Fifty years after Martin Luther King delivered his landmark 'I Have a Dream' speech at the Lincoln Memorial, which will be celebrated at a public ceremony Wednesday in Washington, African-American progress in the political arena has been spotty," Peter Nicholas and Neil King Jr. of the Wall Street Journal noted in a page A4 article on Wednesday headlined "Uneven Election Success for Black Politicians."

While the Journal staffers didn't explicitly make the connection, it turns out that an unintended consequence of the Voting Rights Act's majority-minority House districts has been to restrict the pool of black House candidates who are moderate enough to appeal to a statewide, much less nationwide electorate (emphases mine):

'When Did Chelsea Manning Become Chelsea Manning?' Time Asks in All Seriousness

While honoring Bradley Manning's wish to be identified as a woman and called "Chelsea," Time magazine writer James Poniewozik wants to know exactly when did Bradley become Chelsea, posing various grammatical issues raised by journalists accepting Manning's self-delusion about his gender.

"Since she’s a longtime figure in the news, in a case involving her actions years previous, how do you refer to her history? Did Bradley leak information to Wikileaks, or did Chelsea? (Or Breanna?) Did she serve in Iraq or did he?" Poniewozik wondered in an August 18 Tune In Time.com blog post, adding, "The answer goes to the question, still fuzzily defined, of what philosophy and definitions we’re using when referring to the growing number of transgender persons":

Networks Ignore Obama/Holder Lawsuit That Could Trap Black Kids in Failing Public Schools

Late last week the Obama/Holder Justice Department filed a lawsuit in federal court which could hold up school vouchers for disadvantaged, predominantly African-American, kids in Louisiana. The school vouchers could "impede the desegregation process" in the state's public schools, the Justice Department reportedly claims in the lawsuit. For his part, as the Associated Press reported, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R)  denounced the lawsuit as "shameful" and complained that the president and his attorney general were "trying to keep kids trapped in failing public schools." What's more, the leader of the Black Alliance for Educational Options has also criticized the lawsuit.

Yet a search of Nexis found no stories about this lawsuit by any of the Big Three broadcast networks. The story was completely omitted from the pages of The New York Times, and Sunday's Washington Post only briefly covered it by running a short AP news brief on page A3. In an editorial yesterday, the Wall Street Journal slamming the Obama/Holder DOJ, noting that "90% of the beneficiaries" of the voucher program would be black:

Fast-food Strikes Will 'Go Viral' Predicts Time Mag, Citing Prof. Who Predicted 'Occupy' Would Succeed

Hoping to breath some new life and some fresh drama into the minimum wage issue, Time magazine foresees the handful of fast-food strikes going "viral" tomorrow.

"Fast Food Strikes Go Viral: Workers Expected to Protest Low Wages in 35 Cities Thursday" blares the headline to Victor Luckerson's 10-paragraph August 27 post at the magazine's website. Here's how Luckerson opened his piece:

NYTimes, AP Will Now Call Bradley Manning 'Chelsea,' Use Female Pronouns

*Corrected from earlier | "Starting tomorrow, The New York Times and The Associated Press will refer to Bradley Manning as Chelsea Manning, 'formerly know as Pfc. Bradley Manning,' honoring the former soldier's request to be addressed as a female," Politico media reporter Dylan Byers noted yesterday* afternoon. Not only will AP and the Times refer to Manning with female pronouns, but in an email, an AP editor insisted that Manning "will henceforth use Pvt. Chelsea E. Manning... in accordance with her wishes to live as a woman."

For his part, however, Byers (and presumably the rest of Politico), is sticking with "he" when describing Manning:

Daily Beast Features Article Actually Praising the NYPD

Slamming the New York Police Department for its stop-and-frisk policy has been something of a favored sport by the left this summer. So imagine my pleasant surprise to find a positive piece about New York's finest at the Daily Beast this morning.

"Thank the Cops" read a teaser headline in the lightbox dominating the top left column of the page. "They may not have gotten any love at the VMAs, but if the cops hadn't cleaned up that crime-ridden block in Brooklyn, there would have been no red carpet" for the MTV awards program, added an editorial caption. Writer Michael Daly explained not only how smart policing helped "save the city" but reminded readers that dedicated NYPD officers in the 1950s helped save Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and with it, the iconic "I Have a Dream" speech that followed five years later:

Bozell, Cavuto Discuss Media WMD Double Standard: Iraq and Bush v. Syria and Obama

"With all the talk that took place" during the Bush administration "on Iraq about the need for congressional approval, before there was a military strike, have you heard anyone in the media question how unilaterally Barack Obama can decide to send us to war [in Syria] without congressional approval?" NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell asked Neil Cavuto on the August 26 edition of his Fox News Channel program Your World. Cavuto opened the segment by noting that many in the media were prodding Obama to use unilateral military action against Syria for having crossed a "red line" by deploying chemical weapons.

There's also the fact that "this administration, [and their] foreign policy is an incoherent mess, " Bozell added, noting that in 2011, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed Syrian dictator Bashar Assad as a "reformer," something the liberal media are not reminding the American public about now. "No one's asking the question, 'Do you folks in this administration have any idea what you're doing?!'" [watch the full segment below the page break]

Study: Calif. Taxes Make Liberal Golden State Second Most Expensive to Own a Car In

When you think of California, a few things spring to mind. One is the state's love affair with the automobile. Another is, of course, how in the past 25 years the state the state has abandoned the center-right politics that gave it governors like Ronald Regan and George Deukmejian for hard-left, tax-and-spend politics.

So it should come as no surprise that the penchant for the latter is harming the former. In a Highway 1 blog post this morning at latimes.com, Los Angeles Times staffer Jerry Hirsch noted how it's high taxes that has a larger impact on the sky-high cost of owning and driving an automobile in California, not the price of gasoline (emphasis mine):

Okla. DA: More Gun Laws Wouldn't Have Prevented Murder of Australian Student

Noting that the teenage suspects in the slaying of Australian exchange student Christopher Lane already broke gun laws by possessing a revolver -- the minimum age to do so is 21 -- Stephens County [Okla.] District Attorney Jason Hicks told members of the press. We here at NewsBusters don't imagine Hicks's comments will bear repeating on national news outlets, but would be trumpeted by the same if he used the horrific slaying as an opportunity to push for more federal and/or state gun laws.

From NewsOK.com:

WashPost's Jouvenal Still Refusing to Note Convicted Murderer's Illegal Immigrant Status

Yesterday evening a northern Virginia jury convicted Julio Blanco-Garcia, an illegal immigrant with a history of scrapes with law enforcement, of first-degree murder in the July 2010 stabbing death of Vanessa Pham. The 19-year-old victim was giving Blanco-Garcia a ride to a local hospital when he killed her in a fit of PCP-fueled paranoia.

The Washington Post's Justin Jouvenal has been covering the trial and has repeatedly failed to note Blanco-Garcia's status as an illegal immigrant. Today's 22-paragraph Metro section front-pager was no exception. It's not like this is not public knowledge. As Whitney Rhodes of the AOL-owned Patch.com news website noted on December 15, 2012:

Unlike TIME, NBC's Savannah Guthrie, Reuters Refuses to Call Bradley Manning 'She'

We at NewsBusters have repeatedly raked Reuters over the coals for years now on various issues -- particularly their steadfast refusal in numerous stories to call terrorists "terrorists." But today a kudos is in order as the news wire -- in reporting Private Bradley Manning's desire to undergo hormone therapy to take on the persona of a woman named Chelsea -- refuses to call Manning a "she," something that Time magazine and NBC's Savannah Guthrie, among other journalists, are doing.

In Susan Heavey and Ian Simpson's 24-paragraph story this afternoon, the only times Manning was described as a "she" was when his lawyer was directly quoted [article accessed via ChicagoTribune.com]:

John McWhorter: 'Don't Ignore Race' in Senseless Murder of Australian Exchange Student

Well, there goes John McWhorter's shot at being invited on MSNBC anytime soon, especially any program featuring Joy-Ann Reid.

"[I]t’s time for the media to stop proudly emblazoning the race of white cops who kill black boys while cagily describing black teens as, say, 'from the grittier part of town,' as has been the case regarding [Australian exchange student Christopher] Lane’s killers," the Columbia University professor argued in his August 22 Time.com piece, "Don't Ignore Race in Christopher Lane's Murder." "The media needs to be as honest with black people as we need to be with ourselves. No group gets ahead by turning away from its real problems," he concluded, having already noted how:

Daily Beast Contributor Dismisses Scalia as 'Extremist' on 2nd Amendment; Federalist Society Responds

Liberal constitutional law professor Adam Winkler took to the Daily Beast today to attack Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as an "extremist" on the Second Amendment. Winkler -- who filed a friend-of-the-court brief in 2008 backing the District of Columbia's gun ban -- drew upon an AP news wire account regarding comments Scalia made at a recent Federalist Society event about the purpose for which the Second Amendment was proposed by Congress in 1789.

But an official with the Federalist Society who was in attendance at the speech says Winkler is all wet. First, the key charge Winkler leveled at Scalia (emphasis mine):

House Dem Sues IRS in Bid to Clamp Down on 501c4 Groups; WashPost Doesn't Smell Partisan Politics

Former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Rep. Chris Van Hollen is filing a federal lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service, alleging that IRS guidelines for 501(c)(4) organizations distort federal law and thereby encourage 501(c)(4) "social welfare" groups to heavily engage in political speech, contrary to statutory requirements that a 501(c)(4) exist solely for "the promotion of social welfare."

Of course, numerous conservative 501(c)(4) groups have taken heavily to the TV airwaves in campaign cycles past to run issue advertising that has bedeviled liberal Democrats and favored conservative Republicans, but nowhere in his 11-paragraph August 21 story on Van Hollen's lawsuit did Washington Post staff writer Josh Hicks consider that the Maryland Democrat just might have a partisan motivation behind his actions. As Georgetown University Law adjunct professor Warren L. Dean Jr. noted in a piece in the Washington Times in June , there's evidence this hobby horse about 501(c)(4) political activity is indeed motivated by Van Hollen's penchant for using the heavy hand of government to attack conservatives (emphasis mine):

WashPost: 1972 Dolphins Reduced to 'Wide-Eyed Children' in Obama's Presence

The only team in professional football history to go undefeated getting a White House reception 40 years after the fact is worthy of real estate in print newspapers, but today's Washington Post elected to put a gauzy item on President Obama hosting the 1972 Dolphins not on the front page of the Sports section but the front page of the entire paper.

What's more, sports writer Liz Clarke all but infantilized those heroes of the gridiron, portraying them as "wide-eyed children" who could "stand a little taller" basking in Obama's presence (emphasis mine):