The New York Times has made a front-page push for higher taxes and stringent regulation in the name of "climate change" two days in a row (the Washington Post had the self-control to leave its own related stories off the front page).
Monday afternoon at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Andrew Taylor predictably described the House's passage of the Ryan Budget in shrill terms (in order of appearance): "A slashing budget blueprint"; "Sweeping budget cuts"; balances the budget "at the expense of poor people and seniors"; "sharp cuts to domestic programs"; "staking out a hard line for the future"; and "tough cuts." Naturally, he failed to disclose that the Ryan budget increases the federal government's total outlays in each and every fiscal year from 2015 to 2024, with the final projected year coming in at $4.995 trillion, or 42 percent above the $3.523 trillion in spending the Congressional Budget Office predicted yesterday for fiscal 2014.
In the process of performing the AP's usual hatchet job, Taylor let loose with a howler about the federal government's ability to continue on its current financial path. The AP reporter may also have inadvertently let something slip into his narrative about the viability of a cherished government program, something which is a deep, dark secret to most Americans, but is quite well-known to those who watch things more closely:
In the battle for balanced news, score one each for Univision and Telemundo. Unlike the CBS, NBC and ABC evening news, both Noticiero Univision and Noticiero Telemundo on Friday night included soundbites from conservative leaders on the resignation of President Obama’s HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius.
On Univision, correspondent Lourdes Meluzá ran a clip of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who noted that Sebelius has been the principle face of “the disaster that has been, is and will continue to be ObamaCare.” Even more noteworthy, Univision’s report also featured Tea Party Patriots President Jenny Beth Martin, who called ObamaCare the former Secretary’s “legacy of shame” and said Sebelius “could go down in history as one of the most incompetent Cabinet secretaries in the history of the Republic."
Days after labeling comedian Stephen Colbert a "darling of the far left" and "ideological fanatic," on Monday, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly again called out the David Letterman replacement: "Colbert has built an entire career on pleasing the left. And if you don't believe me, check out the reportage on his ascension, the far-left web sides and writers are thrilled." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
O'Reilly predicted the Comedy Central host would have a tough time drawing viewers to the CBS Late Show: "So he has to compete with Fallon and Kimmel who are basically high-energy guys who want to have a good time on their shows. Be hard to fathom that 40% of Americans who describe themselves as conservative will watch Colbert, and that's a lot of folks to lose from the jump."
On April 15, 2013, one year ago, two Muslim extremists planted bombs at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring 264 others. This tragic event was sadly exploited by some in the media who quickly speculated that "extreme right" and "anti-government" individuals could be responsible for the mayhem.[See below for a round-up, including video, of the worst examples of journalistic malpractice.]
The morning after the attack, Good Morning America's Pierre Thomas narrated a segment with an on-screen graphic wondering, "Could this be homegrown terror?" Thomas noted that April 15th was only four days before the anniversaries of the bloody end of the Branch Davidian standoff and the Oklahoma City bombing. Regarding the date the attack occurred, GMA guest Mark Potok linked, "The real Patriots Day is April 19th. That is the date that counts for people on the extreme right in the United States." [MP3 audio here.]
The federal tax filing deadline has arrived. Tax season, when H&R Block commercials are as inescapable as news how-to segments about filing taxes, is nearly over.
But there’s one big tax story the broadcast networks practically ignored this year: the Obamacare taxes that just took effect. The network evening news shows have aired 40 stories or news briefs that mentioned “Obamacare” or the “Affordable Care Act” between Jan. 1, 2014, and April 13, 2014. But 87.5 percent (35 of 40) of those ignored the taxes associated with the legislation by failing to mention any taxes or penalties related to Obamacare. (Video is available after the break)
Reason.tv and libertarian comedian Remy have teamed up for another great parody video out in time for Tax Day. Remy reworked the Pharrell Williams hit, "Happy," to detail all the "Crappy" ways big government blithely wastes our hard-earned dollars.
At this point it might take a dead body to get the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks to give the IRS-Tea Party scandal any sort of real coverage. Huge developments in the last week – like IRS official Lois Lerner receiving a criminal referral from the House Ways and Means Committee and e-mails proving she fed tax information on a targeted group to the staff of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D) – were completely censored by ABC and NBC news. Only a 90 second report on Thursday’s CBS This Morning kept last week’s revelations from being totally blacked out on the Big Three networks.
In the last seven days the following IRS scandal developments have emerged:
The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky has an unfortunate habit of making outlandish statements to attack the GOP. In his latest piece, the liberal columnist used recent comments made by Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) to argue that “You’re in denial to think Steve Israel is wrong about GOP racism.”
As a refresher, Congressman Israel argued that “not all” GOP lawmakers are racist but “to a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism.” In typical Tomasky fashion, the frequent MSNBC guest jumped on the comments and used to attack the entire Republican Party.
Q. How do you know when Barack Obama has set a dubious new record for presidential weakness? A. When Jimmy Carter's former top adviser mocks his anemic response to an international crisis.
On today's Morning Joe, Zbigniew Brzezinski argued that the US needs to discuss with Ukraine the provision of defensive weapons in the face of the Russian threat. He then mockingly observed: "the Ukrainians did ask us for help in that regard. Do you know what our answer has been? We offered them prepackaged food for their soldiers. Well, you can't win a military conflict by throwing pancakes at somebody." The laughter on the normally Obama-friendly set should still be ringing in the President's ears. View the video after the jump.
One of the tender mercies of Stephen Colbert's ascension to the "Late Show" set at CBS is his shedding of the faux-conservative "high-status idiot" character. To conservatives, this "Colbert" has never seemed authentic or sustained cleverness -- how many times can you say you don't read or even like books? It mostly marks the deep ruts of liberal arrogance in their own mental superiority. Colbert has perpetually had trouble staying inside this character, always winking at and mocking it more than inhabiting it.
To liberals, abandoning this thin charade is far too much sincerity for an ironic age. They love their idiot conservative, and aren't dealing well with its departure. Hendrik Hertzberg at The New Yorker, a former Carter speechwriter and Newsweek reporter, is putting on a black armband in mourning. He sincerely believes "The Character" is a "miraculous and unparalleled intellectual and political achievement." Break out the smelling salts:
Daily Kos boss Markos Moulitsas thinks that conservatives typically come off as angry and resentful, and in a Monday post he argued that's because culturally, economically, and politically, the world "has left them behind...[T]hey've created an entire alternate media world in which to cocoon themselves. But they know they've lost."
Kos warned liberals not to celebrate just yet: "[P]ower isn't just about ideas. It's about wrestling the institutional levers of government from the retrogrades. Those entrenched economic and conservative interests wield power via the Supreme Court, through gross gerrymandering, through voter suppression efforts. So we've got a lot of work ahead of us."
On Thursday, Christopher Rugaber's assignment at the Associated Press was to cover that day's release of Uncle Sam's Monthly Treasury Statement for March.
If the AP economics writer had limited the scope of his coverage to the statement itself, his coverage would have been passed muster. But, as he and his AP colleagues so often do, Rugaber felt it was duty to offer what he must have thought was helpful analysis. He wrote that March's reported $37 billion deficit, an admitted significant improvement over the March 2013 result, even after adjusting for timing differences in end-of-month receipts and outlays, was "the latest sign of improvement in the nation's finances." The last time I checked, running significantly in the red is not an improvement. It really signifies less rapid deterioration, especially since fiscal 2014 in full is still expected to end with deficit of over $500 billion.
On Friday, Erik Wemple -- a blogger for the Washington Post -- announced that the “renowned investigative reporter” Michael Isikoff was leaving the “Peacock Network” that day because “it was increasingly clear" that the news division “was moving in directions in which there were going to be fewer opportunities for my work,” Isikoff told the New York Times.
After 33 years, NBC investigative reporter Lisa Myers left the network in January. In a statement later on Friday, Richard Esposito -- the senior executive producer of the shrinking NBC News investigative unit -- praised Isikoff by asserting:
Democratic Congressman Steve Israel, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, charged on Sunday that some of his GOP colleagues, as well as a "significant extent" of the GOP base, are racist, yet none of the broadcast networks picked it up on Monday evening.
On Sunday's State of the Union, CNN host Candy Crowley played a clip of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi accusing GOP obstruction of the immigration bill as partly based on race. She asked Israel if he thought Republicans on Capitol Hill were racist. "Not all of them, no, of course not," he replied, before attacking the GOP base. [Video below the break.]
On the Monday, April 14, PoliticsNation, host Al Sharpton squeezed more mileage out of President Obama's Friday visit to the MSNBC host's National Action Network as Sharpton devoted another segment to the President's words criticizing new laws against voter fraud, with Sharpton accusing Republicans of "waging a war on voting rights." The PoliticsNation host had previously highlighted Obama's speech on Friday's show.
Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post soon joined Sharpton in going over the top as he accused Republicans of engaging in a "concerted effort" to "disenfranchise a vast block of voters," and of "trying to make" voting "illegal."
After a clip of President Obama addressing Sharpton's National Action Network on Friday, the MSNBC host recalled:
MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams blurred the lines of reality while arguing with Republican strategist Ron Christie on Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt. The two men were sparring over the desire among some Republicans to impeach Attorney General Eric Holder. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Witt asked how Holder can work with Republicans when some of them are calling for his impeachment, and Christie responded with an example from the George W. Bush presidency:
This week holds some critical dates. April 15 haunts most Americans as a tax deadline. April 18 and 20 this year commemorate the pinnacle in Holy Week — Good Friday and Easter. But April 13 still stands as an important day that eludes most Americans. It's the birthday of Thomas Jefferson.
We patriots love to quote the Founding Fathers, especially when they support our theses. And Jefferson remains at the top of the heap. But there are three beliefs or practices often attributed to Jefferson that are either myths or cherry-picked partial views.
Hyping the latest alarmist global warming study on Sunday's NBC Nightly News, fill-in anchor Carl Quintanilla proclaimed: "A new U.N. report out today warns the world must act now to address climate change to avert disaster." In the report that followed, correspondent Anne Thompson fretted: "The report says time is running out to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Melting ice sheets that will raise sea levels and swamp coastlines. Stronger heat waves and droughts that could put the world's food supply at risk....The U.N. panel says the world must act now." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
A soundbite was included of the report's lead author, Leon Clarke: "If we wait for more than about ten or fifteen years, we really make it extremely difficult for us to keep climate from changing substantially, and really, exposing ourselves to some substantial harms." Thompson followed: "To protect itself, the report says the world must reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 to 70% by the year 2050 and be near zero by 2100."
View co-host Jenny McCarthy is now attempting to backtrack on her anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. The former Playboy model has repeatedly promoted the danger of vaccines and asserted, despite a total lack of evidence, that they can cause autism. In an op-ed for the Chicago Sun Times on Sunday, she proclaimed, "I am not 'anti-vaccine.' This is not a change in my stance nor is it a new position that I have recently adopted."
However, in 2009, she claimed of her own son's condition: "Without a doubt in my mind, I believe that vaccinations triggered Evan's autism." She is also on record as saying, "So, you ask any mother in the autism community if we'll take the flu, the measles over autism any frickin' day of the week -- So, I think they [pro-vaccine doctors] need to wake up and stop hurting our kids." As noted by the National Geographicin 2013, "In April, researchers published a study that looked at nearly 1,000 children and concluded that exposure to vaccines during the first two years of life was not associated with an increased risk of developing autism."
Leave to Bill Maher to revive an amusing complaint on his HBO show during a discussion with his guests about crime and punishment.
It's been so long since I've heard this venerable liberal chestnut, I thought they'd gotten wise and stopped trotting it out, much as liberals seldom say any more how "frightened" they are, though it used to be one of their favorite words. (Recall, for example, how Reagan left them petrified) (Video after the jump)
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts on Monday all omitted the arrest of a Utah woman, after the bodies of seven newborn babies were discovered in her house on Saturday. The Big Three morning shows did understandably devote a significant amount of air time to a white supremacist's shooting rampage at two Jewish community centers near Kansas City.
However, the networks also set aside over two minutes each to a bear mauling in central Florida, and CBS This Morning and NBC's Today also covered the so-called "blood moon" lunar eclipse. CBS's lack of coverage of the murders in Utah is even more puzzling, given how CBS Morning News aired a news brief to the story: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On the heels of The Washington Post Magazine’s glowing profile of U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, ABC’s Terry Moran gushed over the Democrat during her recent visit to Rwanda to pay respects to the genocide that happened there 20 years ago.
The segment aired during This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday April 13 and Stephanopoulos began the segment by beaming how “As a journalist, Samantha Power uncovered how America and the U.N. failed in Rwanda. Now, as America's U.N. Ambassador she was in Africa this week to make sure that doesn't happen again. ABC's chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran traveled with her.” [See video below.]
Sarah Silverman's website is promoting an interview Sarah and her sister the rabbi, Susan Silverman, gave to CNN contributor (and former Bush staffer) Margaret Hoover at The Daily Beast's Women of the World summit after they spoke on April 4.
Hoover encouraged Rabbi Susan to explain again how Sarah Silverman preaches and is "in the line of the biblical prophets...but they were also less effective." (Video below)
The journalists at NBC's Today on Friday rhapsodized over a liberal economic policy coming out of France. Regarding new rules that would bar some employers from e-mailing workers after hours, co-host Matt Lauer enthused, "[The French] get some things very right over there!" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Co-host Savannah Guthrie praised, "Vive la France!" Al Roker deemed the concept "fantastic." At no time did any of the hosts ponder whether this kind of problem could best be decided between businesses and their employees. Nor did they note the disastrous election results the country's socialistic government just endured. Instead, the on-screen graphic declared "Freedom in France."
Taking a page from liberal activists concerned with "food deserts" in America's inner cities, it seems abortion rights absolutists are taking a rhetorical test drive with the arid metaphor for areas lacking many abortion clinics.
"There is a nearly 1,200-mile-wide desert of abortion providers stretching from the western boarder of Idaho to the eastern boarders of North and South Dakota," the Daily Beast's Robin Marty whines in her April 14 story, "America's Abortion-Free Zone Grows," adding that:
On Monday, all three network morning shows found time to worry about IRS budget cuts meaning fewer audits and longer wait times for taxpayer assistance, but not one mentioned the ongoing scandal embroiling the agency, including Congress issuing a criminal referral for former IRS official Lois Lerner. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's Good Morning America, news anchor Amy Robach warned: "More tax evaders could slip through the cracks this year....we are learning the IRS will have the fewest agents auditing returns since the 1980s due to budget cuts and new IRS responsibilities." On Friday, ABC's World News covered the same story – while ignoring the House Ways and Means Committee calling for Lerner's prosecution.
Bozell and Tim Graham rightly pointed to the university's embrace of particularly nasty anti-Catholic and anti-Israel speakers. Michael Graham found yet another example adding toxic icing to an already rancid cake, and noted that three of its female graduates have achieved a unique level of infamy (links are in each original; bolds are mine throughout):
Fox News Sunday was the only Sunday show that discussed the latest revelations in the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups. As a result, viewers were treated to host Chris Wallace grilling Congressman Sander Levin (D-MI) over why the IRS targeted 100 percent of conservative groups as opposed to only 30 percent of liberal groups.
Appearing on Sunday April 13, Wallace challenged Levin: “30 percent of organizations with progress or progressive in their names were examined as possible political groups. And, therefore, not included -- would not have been considered for tax exempt status. But 100 percent of groups with Tea Party, Patriot or 9/12 in their names were examined. Congressman Levin, 248 conservative groups were examined, but only 29 liberal groups. How do you explain that disparity?” [See video below.]
At the end of Maryland’s legislative session in Annapolis, The Washington Post and reporter Fredrick Kunkle slowly realized outnumbered Republicans are outraged with “a slew of what they call well-intentioned but annoying attempts to micromanage people’s lives with bans, prohibitions and regulations, these critics say the state’s latest attempt to boldly embrace the future felt more like the smothering clasp of Mary Poppins.”
“Where’s this going? Are we going to ban dark chocolate bars now?” wondered Jeff Zellmer, a lobbyist with the Maryland Retailers Association who testified against a bill that would have criminalized the sale of energy drinks to minors. “Criminalizing energy drinks! And down in Judiciary they’re [decriminalizing] pot ! What the hell is going on? Next you’re going to have to check IDs at Starbucks.”