Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘journalism’

Calling out the New York Times

Posted by Richard on February 28, 2014

The New York Times extols the benefits of increasing employee wages. Tom Maguire wonders why they don’t eat their own dog food. It’s brief and doesn’t lend itself to excerpting. Hit the link; you’ll get a good chuckle out of it.

HT: Thomas Lifson

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Objective journalism?

Posted by Richard on July 14, 2013

Breitbart.com’s Big Journalism reports that:

After George Zimmerman was found not guilty of all charges on Saturday evening, an Associated Press reporter, Cristina Silva, tweeted this out from her verified twitter account: “So we can all kill teenagers now? Just checking.”

And the Huffington Post reported the George Zimmerman verdict like this:

huffpo-zimmerman

Yesterday, John Nolte posted a roundup of the “malicious fraud and lies” propagated by the media regarding George Zimmerman — certainly incomplete, but sufficiently extensive to prove the point — entitled “Guilty Until Proven Innocent: How the Press Prosecuted Zimmerman While Stoking Racial Tensions.” Regarding this item in Nolte’s roundup, I’d like to add a bit more information:

March 19, 2012 – CBS News Falsely Claims Zimmerman Is White

A small detail that the Obama administration and the media apparently missed was that the white versus black racial narrative they were preparing to invest so much into was missing just one thing: a white person.

Proof of this is that CBS News falsely claimed Zimmerman was white about a week before the story exploded.

In their venomous zeal, the media and Democrats likely assumed that someone with the last name Zimmerman had to be white. But they were wrong, as Zimmerman is Hispanic.

Never ones to back off a good narrative, rather than use this revelation to tamp down tensions or correct their reporting, the media simply made up out of whole cloth a new racial category: the “white Hispanic.”

It’s even more contemptible than that. Zimmerman isn’t just Hispanic, he’s part black. Did you ever see an MSM report identifying him as a “black and white Hispanic”? Of course not.

They aren’t journalists. They’re propagandists.

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Newsweak news

Posted by Richard on October 18, 2012

A couple of years ago, when the Washington Post sold Newsweek to Sydney Harman for $1, some wags said he paid too much. Now, Newsweek editor Tina Brown has announced that it’s ceasing print publication and will be online only.

I’m sure I’m not the only one whose reaction was, “Newsweek has a website?”

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More damning “Fast and Furious” revelations

Posted by Richard on October 3, 2012

A week or so ago, the Spanish-language network Univision aired an interview with President Obama. As Investor’s Business Daily observed, it was a far cry from the fawning interviews full of softball questions that Obama has been able to count on from the mainstream media. They actually asked tough questions, particularly regarding Operation Fast and Furious and the administration’s immigration policy, and followed up with more tough questions when fed the usual pabulum. (The Daily Caller has the video and more about the interview.) I wish the presidential debates were being hosted by people like Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas.

Last Sunday night, Univision aired an hour-long investigative report on Operation Fast and Furious with lots of new revelations. The Examiner called it “hard-hitting” and “devastating.” The Blaze called it a “bombshell” and highlighted “5 Things You Didn’t Know About Operation Fast and Furious” (although those of us who get our news online and don’t rely on the MSM knew some of them).

Breitbart and Newsbusters both noted the almost complete absence of interest in these revelations by the mainstream media. ABC News did report on the story online (but not on ABC Nightly News), but not exactly prominently:

Nothing shows how much the media wants to downplay this story more than the ABC News site, which finds the Fast and Furious scandal a lower priority than Woman Sues Over Personality Test Job Rejection, Anne Hathaway Marries Adam Shulman, Banned Books Week: 10 Books That Keep Censors Jumping.

Why do I single out ABC News? Univision and ABC News enjoy a partnership. So what you have here is ABC downplaying the superb investigative work of its own partner.

Is anyone surprised by the MSM blackout? Not me. I admit I’m somewhat surprised (pleasantly) by Univision’s interview and investigative report. I understand they generally lean liberal. But in these two instances, they did journalism as it should be done — and as the MSM has long since quit doing it.

Thank you, Univision! These two stories could (and should) reduce the support for Obama in the Hispanic community by a small but measurable amount.

 

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Same story, two countries

Posted by Richard on July 10, 2011

While researching the current state of the Gaza flotilla for my previous post, I found the same July 7 Reuters story in two places. But there are some not-so-subtle differences (emphasis added throughout). On the Reuters UK website, the second paragraph states:

Greece, just over a year after nine people were killed when Israeli marines stormed a pro-Palestinian flotilla, imposed a ban on all Gaza-bound ships saying it feared for the safety of the activists who are now trying to find a way to set sail. 

I wouldn't call descending onto the deck by ropes from a helicopter "storming," but I won't quibble about that. But that sentence makes it sound like the whole flotilla was the scene of violence and leaves the impression that the Israelis were responsible for it. All the vessels were boarded peacefully except one, the Turkish ship Mavi Marmora. And there's ample video evidence proving that the Israelis were brutally attacked on the Mavi Marmora by "peace activists" who were members of a Turkish Islamist group allied with Hamas.

So the version from the Jerusalem Post (still under the Reuters byline) is somewhat more accurate: 

Greece imposed a ban on all Gaza-bound ships saying it feared for the safety of the activists who are now trying to find a way to set sail. A year ago, nine people were killed when IDF commandos stormed a Turkish flotilla ship and were met with violence.

Toward the end of the story, an even bigger difference jumped out at me. The Reuters UK version states: 

Israel says its blockade of Gaza is aimed at stopping weapons from reaching the enclave's rulers, Hamas — an Islamist group that is branded a terrorist group by some Western nations.

 

That smarmy bit of equivocation is corrected in the JPost version: 

Jerusalem says the blockade on Gaza is aimed at stopping weapons from reaching the Strip's rulers, Hamas — an Islamist terrorist group.

I wonder if a JPost editor made those changes or if Reuters routinely matches its "narrative" to the local audience in this way. 

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Shocker! The New York Times employs a double standard!

Posted by Richard on November 30, 2010

This isn't really news, now is it? It's been clear to many of us for years that the New York Times' real, but unspoken, motto is "All the news that fits our agenda, we print." In the latest example, here's how the Times explained their decision to publish a series of articles based on the stolen documents released by WikiLeaks:

The articles published today and in coming days are based on thousands of United States embassy cables, the daily reports from the field intended for the eyes of senior policy makers in Washington. … The Times believes that the documents serve an important public interest, illuminating the goals, successes, compromises and frustrations of American diplomacy in a way that other accounts cannot match.

And here's how they explained their decision just over a year ago to ostentatiously ignore the ClimateGate documents:

The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here. 

Compare and contrast. Extra points for explaining how the Hadley CRU's leaked documents illuminated the goals, successes, compromises, and frustrations of the anthropogenic global warming proponents in a way that the fawning media coverage they receive cannot match.

PowerLine's Scott Johnson didn't want to belabor the point, simply noting that "the two statements are logically irreconcilable." James Delingpole, on the other hand, thought it important to belabor the point, and he helpfully offered a few other examples of the Old Gray Lady applying its peculiar situational ethics to promote its ideological agenda.

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Michael Yon’s Moonshine on Ama Dablam

Posted by Richard on November 24, 2010

Over the last five years or so, Michael Yon has not only proven himself today's pre-eminent war correspondent, he's also developed into one of our finest photographers. His dispatches from Iraq showed that he has a natural eye for composition, and gave us some memorable war images.

Recently, Yon posted one of the most stunning mountain photos I've ever seen. Take a look. And don't forget, Yon is an independent journalist who relies on donations and sales of books and photos to finance his work. Let's keep him out there doing the wonderful job he's been doing. 

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Time magazine says Rush was right about oil spill

Posted by Richard on July 29, 2010

Many weeks ago, early in the history of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Rush Limbaugh argued that calling it a crisis or an environmental catastrophe was unwarranted and mere environmentalist hype. He pointed out that the natural seepage of oil from the ocean floor every day in the Gulf was about equal to the amount being spewed each day from the well. He pointed out that the microbes in the ocean water consumed that natural seepage and would do the same with the plumes of oil spreading throughout the Gulf. He argued that, while the accident was serious and unfortunate, it was not a catastrophe and would not, as environmentalists claimed, do permanent and significant harm.

Now, more than a hundred days after the spill began, Time magazine's Michael Grunwald says that the "obnoxious anti-environmentalist" Rush was right

President Obama has called the BP oil spill "the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced," and so has just about everyone else. Green groups are sounding alarms about the "catastrophe along the Gulf Coast," while CBS, Fox and MSNBC are all slapping "Disaster in the Gulf" chyrons on their spill-related news. Even BP fall guy Tony Hayward, after some early happy talk, admitted that the spill was an "environmental catastrophe." The obnoxious anti-environmentalist Rush Limbaugh has been a rare voice arguing that the spill — he calls it "the leak" — is anything less than an ecological calamity, scoffing at the avalanche of end-is-nigh eco-hype.

Well, Limbaugh has a point.

The scientists I spoke with cite four basic reasons the initial eco-fears seem overblown. First, the Deepwater oil, unlike the black glop from the Valdez, is unusually light and degradable, which is why the slick in the Gulf is dissolving surprisingly rapidly now that the gusher has been capped. Second, the Gulf of Mexico, unlike Alaska's Prince William Sound, is very warm, which has helped bacteria break down the oil. Third, heavy flows of Mississippi River water have helped keep the oil away from the coast, where it can do much more damage. And finally, Mother Nature can be incredibly resilient. Van Heerden's assessment team showed me around Casse-tete Island in Timbalier Bay, where new shoots of Spartina grasses were sprouting in oiled marshes and new leaves were growing on the first black mangroves I've ever seen that were actually black. "It comes back fast, doesn't it?" van Heerden said. 

Read the rest — it's fascinating. Apparently, the harm to fish and wildlife has been very modest, the damage to the marshes is a mere blip compared to the coastal wetlands lost every year for other reasons, and the oil-eating microbes, as Limbaugh predicted, seem to be doing a bang-up job. It's becoming increasingly difficult to even find any remaining oil to clean up.

Limbaugh claimed (tongue firmly in cheek, as usual) that the missing oil is "hiding next to the 3.6 million jobs that have been saved, admiral.  It's hiding right next to all the heat that the global warming people can't find."

BTW, here's something that's peeved me about the coverage of the oil spill almost from the beginning: Crude oil is measured by the barrel. No one in the oil industry ever measures a volume of oil by the gallon. Gasoline, milk, and water are measured (in the US) by the gallon, but it wasn't gasoline, milk, or water that was spilled.

There are 42 US gallons per barrel of oil. Admittedly, many people don't know that. But rather than educate their audience by stating this in their stories, the MSM have routinely specified the spill rate and the total amount of oil spilled in gallons. It gives them bigger, scarier numbers to report. Lazy journalism? A reflection of their own ignorance? Or a subtle way to further their anti-energy-industry agenda? I don't know, but it annoys me. 

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Journalists and legal scholar agree: government should shut down Fox News

Posted by Richard on July 22, 2010

JournoList was a private email list of leftist news and opinion journalists started and run by the Washington Post's Ezra Klein. Klein shut it down (ostensibly) after the Dave Weigel scandal. Leaked JournoList emails revealed that Washington Post reporter Weigel, who covered the conservative movement, loathed conservatives and used his reporting to undermine and discredit them at every opportunity.

In recent days, additional JournoList archives have been leaked to the Daily Caller, and they contain some eyebrow-raising revelations: journalists plotting to cover up the Jeremiah Wright story and take steps to protect candidate Obama from negative news, arguing in favor of smearing some right-wing pundit ("Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares") as a racist in order to "raise the cost on the right of going after the left," and wanting to watch Rush Limbaugh die of a heart attack because "he deserves it." 

Any number of commentators have weighed in on this ongoing story, like John Fund, James Taranto, Greg Gutfeld, and Alexander Marlow. The latter focused on the latest Daily Caller story's "far-from-shocking revelation" that the JournoList folks really hate Fox News. The discussion of how to control or shut down Fox News, which included people from Time magazine, the Guardian, and the New Republic, is interesting. But the part that really struck me was this: 

Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at UCLA, suggested that the federal government simply yank Fox off the air. “I hate to open this can of worms,” he wrote, “but is there any reason why the FCC couldn’t simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?”

Broadcasting permit?? Fox News is a cable network. It doesn't broadcast. So it doesn't have or need an FCC license (not permit). Even ABC, CBS, and NBC don't have FCC licenses, only their local affiliates do. Because the networks themselves don't broadcast over the "public airwaves," only their affiliates do. I'm stunned that an apparently respected professor at a purportedly prestigious law school doesn't know this.

(Of course, the situation could change if FCC chair Julius Genachowski's "net neutrality" scam becomes the camel's nose in the tent regarding FCC regulation of non-broadcast communications.)

I wondered how Prof. Zasloff came to be so incredibly ignorant. Well, according to UCLA Law School, this is how:

Jonathan M. Zasloff
Professor of Law
B.A. Yale, 1987
J.D. Yale, 1993
M.Phil. International Relations, Cambridge, 1988
M.A. History, Harvard, 1990
Ph.D. Harvard, 2000
UCLA Law faculty since 1998

Wow. I'm feeling smugly superior, and damned glad I was never intellectually crippled by an Ivy League education.

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While you watched a tennis match, debt grew by $1.7 billion

Posted by Richard on June 25, 2010

Even non-tennis-fans like me are aware of and amazed by the Wimbledon match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, which took 11 hours and 5 minutes (Isner won; I got it wrong when I first posted). Shortly after it ended, Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida tweeted, "Think Wimbledon tickets are expensive? Our National Debt has gone up by $1,729,000,000 during the Isner v. Mahut match."

An interesting factoid. If true. The folks at the St. Petersburg Times' PolitiFact.com decided to fact-check his ass. They determined that not only was he right, he arrived at the number using the most conservative methodology (well, he is a conservative). 

PolitiFact.com initially assumed (quite reasonably, IMHO) that "during the Isner v. Mahut match" meant the time period from when it started until it ended — about two days. Depending on whether they used CBO numbers or OMB numbers, they came up with figures four to six times larger than Buchanan's: 

Why so different? We contacted Buchanan's office and an aide clarified that what they'd actually meant in the tweet was how much the debt had risen during the 11-hour, 5-minute match itself. (The match was suspended for darkness twice and there were delays on the third day to give extra rest time.)

So, using our first method, the 11-hour debt increase works out to $1.718 billion, while using the second, it's about $2.4 billion. Of these two, the first is spot-on.

Since the size of the federal debt is a moving target, and since economists periodically re-evaluate its size, we'll grant Buchanan leeway here. While we think the wording of his tweet suggests the full, 48-hour period, his 11-hour number strikes us as a reasonable estimate. So we rate his statement True. 

Not just true, but conservatively true. :-) 

But what really gave me a laugh was the USA Today story about Buchanan's estimate. Although they quoted Buchanan's tweet, and thus had the correct number ($1,729,000,000), they described it in the headline as "$1.7T" — "T" as in trillion. That's off by a factor of 1000.

They've since corrected it, but a commenter, urbanrealtor, noted that they weren't exactly open and above-board in their handling of the gaffe: 

I like how when they fixed the error (originally this article said 1.7 Trillion) they deleted all the comments making fun of the mistake. 

They shouldn't have tried to cover their embarrassment by deleting comments (and wording their correction so vaguely). But I can understand their mistake. For one thing, in my experience, most journalists are extremely math-challenged. For another, in this Age of Obama, it's natural for all his MSM sycophants to assume that everything is in the trillions. [rimshot]

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Retracto gets a theme song

Posted by Richard on February 12, 2010

The other day, I mentioned in passing Big Journalism contributor Retracto, the Correction Alpaca. I really like that alpaca — great picture! Thanks to Gary Eaton, Shelli Eaton, and Michael Broderick, Retracto has a theme song, and it's pretty catchy. Check it out!

And for those of you who don't care for rock 'n roll, but like cartoons, there's this version with just the lyrics. Weird. Personally, I much prefer the song.

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Fair and balanced vs. one-sided and ugly

Posted by Richard on January 22, 2010

Miami Herald TV critic Glenn Garvin undertook the unpleasant task of watching MSNBC's election-night coverage of the Massachusetts senate race, and what he found was "frothing lunacy":

If you watched CNN or Fox News last night, you got a balanced analysis of how Republican Scott Brown pulled off the political upset of the century (or, if you prefer, how Democrat Martha Coakley blew a dead solid electoral lock). Yes, I said Fox News, without irony. To be sure, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity made it clear they were rooting for Brown. But their shows also included a steady parade of liberal-leaning guests — former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, former Dukakis campaign manager Susan Estrich, Democratic party strategist Mary Anne Marsh, NPR commentator Juan Williams and radio host Alan Colmes. And pollster Frank Luntz interviewed a panel of two dozen or so Massachusetts voters, most of them Democrats, about how they voted and why. Practically every conceivable perspective on the election was represented.

And on MSNBC, you got practically every conceivable expression of venom against Brown and anybody who voted him. From Maddow's dark suspicions that the election was rigged — she cited complaints about a grand total of six ballots out of about 2.25 million cast — to Olbermann's suggestion in the video up above that the same Massachusets voters who went for Barack Obama by a 62-28 percent margin had suddenly realized they helped elect a black guy and went Republican in repentance, the network's coverage was idiotic, one-sided and downright ugly.

Read the rest for examples from the "two hours of nonstop bilious rage." (And see update below.)

Johnny Dollar pointed out a significant difference in coverage of the candidates' speeches:

During Tuesday night's coverage of the Massachusetts special election, CNN and MSNBC aired only a fraction of the Republican candidate's speech. Fox News Channel aired both candidates' speeches in their entirety.

MSNBC ran 100% of Coakley's speech, but just over a third of Brown's. CNN ran 80% of Coakley's, but only a quarter of Brown's. Yes, he spoke longer. But he'd just pulled off a stunning upset, and thus what he had to say was news. She was simply conceding defeat and then slinking back into obscurity.

So, do TV viewers have a clear preference for election coverage? You bet they do. Fox News won the ratings battle in a landslide (emphasis added): 

In the first of many elections night taking place in 2010, Fox News dominated the cable news networks, with its highest prime time viewership since Election Day 2008. FNC was the #1 news network by far, topping CNN, MSNBC and HLN combined in prime time and total day, total viewers and the A25-54 demographic. Sean Hannity has his best ratings ever in total viewers at 9pmET – the hour Bret Baier announced Scott Brown’s victory.

• FNC didn’t just clean up on cable. The network had more viewers during prime time than The Jay Leno Show, and Greta Van Susteren’s 10pmET show and Hannity’s 9pmET show topped all ABC prime time programs.

In the 25-54 demographic during the three hours after the polls closed, Fox News beat CNN 4-1 and MSNBC almost 5-1.

UPDATE: Olbermann's insane rants are too much even for John Stewart:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Special Comment – Keith Olbermann's Name-Calling
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

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Media fact-checking priorities

Posted by Richard on November 21, 2009

It's a tough time in the news business, with lots of layoffs and red ink. So it's especially important for an organization like the Associated Press, which is cutting 10% of its staff, to allocate its limited investigative and reporting resources carefully, based on well-chosen priorities. James Taranto provided an excellent example:

An Associated Press dispatch, written by Erica Werner and Richard Alonso-Zaldivar, compares the House and Senate ObamaCare bills. We'd like to compare this dispatch to the AP's dispatch earlier this week "fact checking" Sarah Palin's new book. Here goes:

Number of AP reporters assigned to story:
   • ObamaCare bills: 2
   • Palin book: 11

Number of pages in document being covered:
   • ObamaCare bills: 4,064
   • Palin book: 432

Number of pages per AP reporter:
   • ObamaCare bill: 2,032
   • Palin book: 39.3

On a per-page basis, that is, the AP devoted 52 times as much manpower to the memoir of a former Republican officeholder as to a piece of legislation that will cost trillions of dollars and an untold number of lives. That's what they call accountability journalism.

I suppose that kind of prioritization of journalistic resources is why the evening news, CNN, MSNBC, NYT, WaPo, etc., haven't dug into the many examples of bogus math and fiscal sleight-of-hand in the ObamaCare bills, like delaying most of the expenditures until 2013 (after the election) so that the CBO's 10-year projection includes only seven years' worth of costs. And they've been too busy with the Palin investigations to notice that both the House and Senate bills contain the regulatory framework that will eventually transform government panels' suggested standards of care, like those much-criticized mammogram and Pap smear recommendations, into the tools for rationing health care

I suppose it's also why you'll have a hard time finding any in-depth coverage of the bogus accounting and reporting of the "stimulus" bill's spending and job creation

This is nothing new. During the campaign last fall, the big media organizations sent scores of reporters to scour Alaska in search of dirt on Gov. Palin. But hardly anyone had time to investigate Obama's relationships with Tony Rezko, the Daley brothers, ACORN, Rod Blagojevich, Emil Jones, and other elements of the Chicago machine (well, to be fair, I think one reporter each from the Chicago Sun-Times and the Washington Times and a couple of semi-pros from Newsmax doggedly dug into these things). 

But some journalists still have the courage to hammer interviewees with challenging, aggressive, well-researched, adversarial questions — at least when the interviewee is a 17-year-old Sarah Palin fan. Speaking Truth to Teenager. (By all means, take Finkelstein's advice and read the blog entry by interviewee Jackie Seals. Fascinating.)

Maybe the courageous Norah O'Donnell's next assignment will be to confront supporters of ObamaCare with tough questions like, "Do you realize that if this passes, you could be sent to jail for not buying an approved health care plan?" And then she'll go to some "Save the Planet" rally and challenge a Gore supporter with, "Are you aware that the Earth's core is 4000°, not a million degrees as Mr. Gore has claimed, and that many of his other claims are equally outlandish and unsubstantiated?"

Somehow, I doubt it. And I'm not holding my breath waiting for 60 Minutes reporters to ambush the perpetrators of the latest climate fraud, either.

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Shocker! Mainstream news outlet uses phrase “global cooling”

Posted by Richard on October 27, 2009

It's definitely a "man bites dog" event when a CBS-affiliated local TV news department headlines a story "Global Cooling Causes Fish Kill In Cherry Creek": 

DENVER (CBS4) – A major fish kill was reported Tuesday afternoon in Cherry Creek in downtown Denver.

Dead fish were spotted from Confluence Park upstream to Speer Boulevard.
The fish were small, between two to four inches long. They were floating in the swift current and sloughing off on the banks of the creek.

The Division Of Wildlife said the kill came as a result of global cooling.

I'm sure the DOW really said something about "recent cooling" or the like, referring to the weather, not climate. And I'm certain that legions of climate change watchdogs are contacting CBS4Denver at this moment, and the offending phrase will soon be scrubbed from the story. But it gave me a laugh. Here's the original preserved for posterity: 

Global Cooling Causes Fish Kill 

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MSNBC takes media mendacity to a new level

Posted by Richard on August 21, 2009

It's been increasingly obvious for several years that the majority of the mainstream media are no longer attempting to report the news honestly and fairly, they're attempting to create news and manipulate public opinion.

No outlet has been a worse offender in the past year or so than MSNBC. But their August 18th story about demonstrators near the VFW convention in Phoenix marked a shameful new low even for them (emphasis in 1st pgf from original; later emphasis added): 

On Tuesday, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer fretted over health care reform protesters legally carrying guns: "A man at a pro-health care reform rally…wore a semiautomatic assault rifle on his shoulder and a pistol on his hip….there are questions about whether this has racial overtones….white people showing up with guns." Brewer failed to mention the man she described was black.

Following Brewer’s report, which occurred on the Morning Meeting program, host Dylan Ratigan and MSNBC pop culture analyst Toure discussed the supposed racism involved in the protests. Toure argued: "…there is tremendous anger in this country about government, the way government seems to be taking over the country, anger about a black person being president….we see these hate groups rising up and this is definitely part of that." Ratigan agreed: "…then they get the variable of a black president on top of all these other things and that’s the move – the cherry on top, if you will, to the accumulated frustration for folks."

Not only did Brewer, Ratigan, and Toure fail to point out the fact that the gun-toting protester that sparked the discussion was black, but the video footage shown of that protester was so edited, that it was impossible to see that he was black. The man appeared at a health care rally outside of President Obama’s speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Phoenix, Arizona.

Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson has called for the firing of everyone responsible for this blatant piece of propaganda (emphasis added): 

According to the Wilson letter to Capus, in the MSNBC broadcast at 10:45AM on August 18th “your anchors hysterically raised the specter of impending racial violence — while carefully cropping the very video upon which they based their duplicitous charges. Leading audiences nationwide to believe that militant whites were mounting violence against a black President, they deliberately covered up the fact that the individual they were framing was himself African-American.”

The broadcast showed a video of a man with a machine gun [wrong; it was a semi-automatic rifle] at a protest against the government-run health care legislation in Arizona, a state where citizens are permitted to carry firearms openly.

“His face and hands were cropped out so that viewers could not see that the man was black as the broadcasters breathlessly reported that he was a rightwing white militant,” Wilson explained in a statement.

“This simply goes beyond the pale, and has never in my memory been seen in what is supposed to be a legitimate news broadcast,” Wilson said.

ALG has video of both the MSNBC broadcast and a local Phoenix news interview with the gun-toting black man.

The Second Amendment Foundation has also denounced this deliberate dissemination of lies (emphasis added):

“What MSNBC purposely did not reveal with the deliberately doctored video is that the man carrying that sport-utility rifle was an African-American,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “MSNBC knows the man was black, yet all they showed in a brief film clip was a close-up of the rifle against the man’s neatly-pressed dress shirt. It was impossible to tell the man’s race.

“This is a detestable attempt to manipulate public sentiment,” he continued, “in MSNBC’s continuing effort to perpetuate a stereotype of gun owners as white racists. It was even suggested during the segment by MSNBC culture critic Toure that it would not be surprising ‘if we see somebody get a chance and take a chance and really try to hurt’ the president.

“By irresponsibly fomenting this kind of racial divisiveness through the use of carefully-edited video,” Gottlieb stated, “MSNBC is not simply reporting news, it is provoking a reaction. If any harm comes to the president, MSNBC’s hate-mongering should be blamed.

“I wonder,” Gottlieb conclude, “if Keith Olbermann is going to name MSNBC as the worst news network in the world.”

Note: I'm not defending the judgment of the unnamed black man with the rifle and pistol, or his armed friends. Just because you have the right to do something doesn't mean it's the right or wise thing to do. In the interview, he seemed quite reasonable and articulate, and his point about conditioning people not to freak out when they see an armed citizen is quite valid. But if that's his goal, he should openly carry that pistol on his hip when he goes grocery shopping, buys gas, and picnics in the park. In my opinion, from a tactical and public relations perspective, just outside a presidential appearance is not a good place to make that particular point.

But that's neither here nor there. The issue here is MSNBC's cynical manipulation of the video footage to convey an outrageous lie in furtherance of their vicious disinformation campaign against those who oppose the Obama agenda and its drive toward socialism. 

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