Patterico's Pontifications

10/25/2008

Journalist Admits Bias

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:17 pm

Michael Malone, a columnist at ABC News, writes:

The traditional media are playing a very, very dangerous game — with their readers, with the Constitution and with their own fates.

The sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this election campaign is not just bewildering, but appalling. And over the last few months I’ve found myself slowly moving from shaking my head at the obvious one-sided reporting, to actually shouting at the screen of my television and my laptop computer.

But worst of all, for the last couple weeks, I’ve begun — for the first time in my adult life — to be embarrassed to admit what I do for a living. A few days ago, when asked by a new acquaintance what I did for a living, I replied that I was “a writer,” because I couldn’t bring myself to admit to a stranger that I’m a journalist.

It gets better:

Republicans are justifiably foaming at the mouth over the sheer one-sidedness of the press coverage of the two candidates and their running mates. . . . . If the current polls are correct, we are about to elect as president of the United States a man who is essentially a cipher, who has left almost no paper trail, seems to have few friends (that at least will talk) and has entire years missing out of his biography.

. . . .

Why, for example to quote the lawyer for Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., haven’t we seen an interview with Sen. Obama’s grad school drug dealer — when we know all about Mrs. McCain’s addiction? Are Bill Ayers and Tony Rezko that hard to interview? All those phony voter registrations that hard to scrutinize? And why are Sen. Biden’s endless gaffes almost always covered up, or rationalized, by the traditional media?

Read it all.

Thanks to Mark.

Drug War Violence in Mexico

Filed under: Crime,International — DRJ @ 8:33 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Drug cartel violence has escalated in Mexico for the past 1-2 years with the victims ranging from government officials including military and law enforcement officers (police deaths in Mexico were up 50% in 2007), civilians, and even popular musicians.

Now an especially horrific tactic has emerged — Decapitation:

“Two human heads have been found in Mexico with threatening messages, police reported Friday.

A Mexico state police official in Cuautitlan, just outside the capital, said one head turned up in a box left in the parking lot of the station.

It was accompanied by a message warning that federal police and members of the drug gang La Familia will be beheaded, said the official, who was not authorized to give his name.

State prosecutors in Michoacan, where La Familia is based, said another head was discovered Friday in an ice chest in the port city of Lazaro Cardenas. Tape covered the eyes and an attached message read: “From the Gulf Cartel.”

Border cities like Tijuana and Juarez are seeing staggering levels of violence.

(more…)

Gateway Pundit: Obama-Biden Campaign Still Not Verifying Credit Card Donations

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 3:43 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Gateway Pundit posts a screenshot of this donation by “Tony Rezko” he received from a reader, a donation the reader claims was charged to his credit card account:

Tony Rezko donation

Gateway Pundit states the campaign has turned off its credit card Address Verification System, enabling it to accept donations from anywhere in the world. He calls this the “largest campaign donation fraud in history.”

There’s much more at the Gateway Pundit link.

– DRJ

Obama-Biden Campaign Cancels Interview Because of Reporter’s Questions

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 3:09 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Jake Tapper of ABC News reports the Obama-Biden campaign cancelled a scheduled interview of Jill Biden by Orlando TV reporter Barbara West due to West’s “unprofessional interview” of Senator Joe Biden that would “make Rush Limbaugh proud.”

Here are West’s questions that provoked the cancellation:

* If Biden is “embarrassed about the blatant attempt to register phony voters by ACORN,” since Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., worked with the organization in the past;

* If Obama’s comment about wanting tax policies that “spread the wealth” is “a potentially crushing political blunder”;

* “You may recognize this famous quote: ‘from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs.’ That’s from Karl Marx. How is Sen. Obama not being a Marxist if he intends to spread the wealth around?”;

* Regarding Biden’s comment that the world would test Obama and the Obama-Biden administration will need the support of Americans since it might not be immediately apparent Obama did the right thing — “Are you forewarning Americans that nothing will be done and America’s days as the world’s leading power are over?”

* “What do you say to the people that are concerned that Barack Obama will want to turn America into a Socialist country like Sweden?”

Tapper described Biden as “quite taken aback by the anchor’s questions, at one point asking her, “Are you joking? Is this is a joke? Or is that a real question?”

The only joke I see is that the Democratic candidates are surprised at questions from reporters like Barbara West or citizens like Joe the Plumber.

– DRJ

Informing the World About the Domain Hijacking

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:37 pm

The hijacking of my site was briefly on the Drudge Report yesterday:

It quickly came down — I think because I told them that the link threatened to melt down my site. (Later in the day my site admin made improvements that might have kept up the site through that link. Good timing is my specialty.)

In any event, the Instapundit link (thanks, Glenn!) and other attention has gotten a couple of journalists interested in the story — including both national television and magazine journalists. At least one of those was speaking to a spokesman for Sedo yesterday. “Big companies steal from little guy” makes a good story.

If nothing has happened by Monday, there may well be a lot more publicity for 1&1 Internet, Sedo.com, and DomCollect.

Previous posts here and here.

The Media War on Sarah Palin Continues

Filed under: 2008 Election,Media Bias — DRJ @ 11:57 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Today’s AP article attacks Sarah Palin as just another self-dealing Alaska politician:

“Gov. Sarah Palin’s signature accomplishment – a contract to build a 1,715-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from Alaska to the Lower 48 – emerged from a flawed bidding process that narrowed the field to a company with ties to her administration, an Associated Press investigation shows.”

Meanwhile, just 19 months ago, Republicans in the Alaska Senate criticized Palin’s plan because it encouraged too many companies to enter the bidding process:

“Sen. Charlie Huggins, R-Wasilla, said there was concern that despite the inducements offered by the state to lure a potential pipeline builder into the bidding process, the state was running a huge risk of licensing a pipeline operator without any customers.

“My confidence level isn’t that high right now,” said Huggins, who is the chairman of the committee, during a hearing Monday.

Palin’s proposed legislation seeks to provide a framework in which pipeline builders can enter a competitive bidding process to construct a natural gas line that would bring North Slope gas to market.

The proposal, called the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, or AGIA, offers several incentives to bidders intended to move the project forward. If the bill passes, it will allow the governor’s gas line team to award a license after a public and administrative review of applications.

Members of Palin’s gas line team defended the bill, saying the proposal was designed to create competition, not tailor the process to one particular entity.”

And despite the AP’s storyline, the Alaska legislature approved the license to TransCanada Corp., one of largest oil and gas pipeline companies in North America:

“The Alaska House approved the license on July 22, and Friday’s vote in the Senate sealed the popular Republican governor’s second major victory in two years against not only her opponents in the Legislature but also major oil companies Palin sometimes has poked publicly.

BP, Conoco Phillips and Exxon Mobil — which control most of the Slope’s prodigious 35 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves — opposed the TransCanada license and last year were unable to stop Palin’s push for higher oil taxes.”

The media should look closely at the candidates’ actions and the Palin-sponsored pipeline is a fair topic, but media investigations should also be objective and directed at all the candidates. Something is wrong when articles about Palin’s clothes get intense MSM coverage while Obama’s background, education, and associates are largely ignored.

– DRJ

Anti-Palin Story? Put it on Page One! Questions About It? We Have Blogs, Don’t We?

Filed under: 2008 Election,General,Media Bias — Patterico @ 11:37 am

Here is how Big Media operates, friends.

If it looks like tons of money was spent for Sarah Palin’s clothing, that is reported in print editions across the country, and is discussed around water coolers and over dining room tables from coast to coast.

If it starts to look like there are questions about the story, that story is confined to a blog. (H/t B.F.) [UPDATE: Also, she shops resale in real life. Yeah, that's in a blog too. A fashion blog.]

If it looks like Palin is avoiding the media, that story is reported in print editions across the country, and is discussed around water coolers and over dining room tables from coast to coast.

If it starts to look like Palin is the one meeting the media — and doing just fine — while Slow Joe Biden is being muzzled due to his chronic foot-in-mouth disease . . . that story is confined to a blog.

No bias here!

The Democrats’ “New” Plan for America: Tax, Spend and Cut Defense (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 11:06 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Here are a few of the things Democrats plan if they win in November:

Rep. Barney Frank wants to cut defense spending 25% and effectively defund the troops to get the US out of Iraq sooner:

“In a meeting with the editorial board of The Standard-Times, Rep. Frank, D-Mass., also called for a 25 percent cut in military spending, saying the Pentagon has to start choosing from its many weapons programs, and that upper-income taxpayers are going to see an increase in what they are asked to pay.

The military cuts also mean getting out of Iraq sooner, he said.”

Frank also plans to spend more money and raise taxes, and he is joined by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid who want to call a special session of Congress to spend $150B:

“After consulting with Barack Obama, Democratic leaders are likely to call Congress back to work after the election in hopes of passing legislation that would include extended jobless benefits, money for food stamps and possibly a tax rebate, officials said Saturday.

The bill’s total cost could reach $150 billion, these officials said.”

Other reports suggest the Democrats have inflated their spending goals to $300B or more.

Meanwhile, House Democrats contemplate abolishing 401(k) tax breaks in favor of a government mandated and run system:

“Under [a plan by Teresa Ghilarducci, professor of economic-policy analysis at The New School for Social Research in New York], all workers would receive a $600 annual inflation-adjusted subsidy from the U.S. government but would be required to invest 5% of their pay into a guaranteed retirement account administered by the Social Security Administration. The money in turn would be invested in special government bonds that would pay 3% a year, adjusted for inflation.

The current system of providing tax breaks on 401(k) contributions and earnings would be eliminated.”

Finally, the DC Examiner reviews recent liberal spending bills that will likely resurface under a Democratic government:

• Tax relief for trial lawyers — $1.5 billion worth over a decade by changing rules to encourage more and riskier “jackpot justice” lawsuits. (Section 311 of H.R. 6049.)

• Obama’s own proposed Global Poverty Act that would require the United States to spend its own money working at “eradicating extreme hunger, promoting gender equality, empowering women… ensuring environmental sustainability…[and] achieving significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers” worldwide. Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy did the math and concluded this would amount to a new commitment of $845 billion in new foreign aid through 2015. (S.2433)

• New federal subsidies to buy gas for families making up to three times the federal poverty line, which would be $63,600 in annual income for a family of four. (H.R. 6561)

• Wage insurance. Create a new federal payroll tax on all workers to pay for “insurance” that would – get this – pay people up to 50 percent of the difference in wages between an old job and a new, lower-paying job. So if John Doe voluntarily takes a new job that requires 10 hours less work per week, the government would pay him for five of the hours that he doesn’t work – courtesy of other, harder-working wage earners.

• A new, Cabinet-level, multi-billion-dollar federal Department of Peace, dedicated to “peace education and training.” (H.R. 808)

The Democratic Party’s first order of business will be “No Dollar Left Untaxed or Unspent.”

UPDATE: Mike K at A Brief History has much more on the 401k proposal.

– DRJ

A Journalist Looks at Media Bias

Filed under: 2008 Election,Media Bias — DRJ @ 6:18 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Journalist Michael S. Malone ponders why media bias is so pronounced this election season and concludes the blame lies with mainstream media editors:

“Picture yourself [as a mainstream media editor] in your 50s in a job where you’ve spent 30 years working your way to the top, to the cockpit of power . . . only to discover that you’re presiding over a dying industry. The Internet and alternative media are stealing your readers, your advertisers and your top young talent. Many of your peers shrewdly took golden parachutes and disappeared. Your job doesn’t have anywhere near the power and influence it did when your started your climb. The Newspaper Guild is too weak to protect you any more, and there is a very good chance you’ll lose your job before you cross that finish line, ten years hence, of retirement and a pension.

In other words, you are facing career catastrophe -and desperate times call for desperate measures. Even if you have to risk everything on a single Hail Mary play. Even if you have to compromise the principles that got you here. After all, newspapers and network news are doomed anyway – all that counts is keeping them on life support until you can retire.

And then the opportunity presents itself: an attractive young candidate whose politics likely matches yours, but more important, he offers the prospect of a transformed Washington with the power to fix everything that has gone wrong in your career. With luck, this monolithic, single-party government will crush the alternative media via a revived Fairness Doctrine, re-invigorate unions by getting rid of secret votes, and just maybe, be beholden to people like you in the traditional media for getting it there.

And besides, you tell yourself, it’s all for the good of the country…”

It’s a powerful article. I hope you will read the whole thing.

EDIT: The Instapundit is “getting email from journalists that suggests quite a few feel like Malone does.”

– DRJ


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