Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘media bias’

The October surprise ignored by the media

Posted by Richard on October 5, 2016

On Tuesday, Clinton cheerleaders and the mainstream media (but I repeat myself) were practically chortling because a much-anticipated Julian Assange press conference turned out to be just about WikiLeaks’ tenth anniversary, with no Clinton-damaging October surprise.

But there had already been an October surprise on Monday. It’s just that only Fox News (and various alternative media sites piggy-backing on their story) chose to report it (emphasis added):

Immunity deals for two top Hillary Clinton aides included a side arrangement obliging the FBI to destroy their laptops after reviewing the devices, House Judiciary Committee sources told Fox News on Monday.

Sources said the arrangement with former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills and ex-campaign staffer Heather Samuelson also limited the search to no later than Jan. 31, 2015. This meant investigators could not review documents for the period after the email server became public — in turn preventing the bureau from discovering if there was any evidence of obstruction of justice, sources said.

Think about that for a moment. Not only did the Department of Justice and FBI hand out immunity deals to most of the people involved in the Clinton email affair (apparently without the usual requirement that they provide complete and truthful testimony), but they also agreed not to examine documents that might reveal a cover-up and to destroy the computers holding those documents so that no one could ever examine them.

I can think of only two explanations. Either the DOJ/FBI people responsible are so naive and easily duped that they shouldn’t be trusted to manage a kindergarten classroom or they colluded with the Clinton team to destroy evidence and obstruct justice. The latter is clearly far more likely. And it makes Watergate seem like the equivalent of jaywalking.

This is an October surprise that should have been breathlessly declared breaking news. It should have led off questioning at the vice presidential debate. It should have led to countless reporters clamoring for answers from Mills, Samuelson, FBI Director James Comey, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and Hillary Clinton herself. It should still be dominating the news cycle today.

Instead, a Google News search for “fbi destroy laptops clinton aides” (sans quotes) yields only this. Nothing from the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, or Boston Globe; nothing from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, or MSNBC; nothing from the Associated Press or Reuters.

The people who in journalism school worshiped Woodward and Bernstein, who preened about how they were going to “speak truth to power,” are in cahoots with the Democratic power elite to keep the American people in the dark.

Meanwhile, four Republican congressional committee chairmen have sent a letter to AG Lynch:

… The Republicans expressed “concern” that the “FBI inexplicably agreed to destroy the laptops knowing that the contents were the subject of Congressional subpoenas and preservation letters.”

The letter repeatedly cited Congress’ interest in the “evidence” that may have been jeopardized under the side arrangement.

The new letter asked Lynch why the FBI agreed to destroy the laptops and, significantly, what legal authority the FBI has to destroy records subject to a congressional investigation or subpoena. The letter also asked if the FBI followed through and in fact destroyed “evidence” from the laptops or the laptops themselves.

Asked for comment, a Justice Department spokesman said: “We have received the letter and are reviewing it.”

Based on past history, I predict DOJ will provide a less than satisfying response, various Republicans will bluster for a few minutes in front of microphones (and will be completely ignored by the MSM), and nothing more will come of it.

This country has become no better than a banana republic.

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The Trump assassination attempt

Posted by Richard on June 22, 2016

As Jazz Shaw observed at Hot Air, the mainstream media seemed rather uninterested in the attempt to assassinate Donald Trump at a rally in Las Vegas and in the perpetrator:

One might imagine that this was big news, but even the most rudimentary details of the attempt were missing from the few news hits which bothered to cover it. As John accurately included in his report, the press was telling us that he was, “a UK citizen who has been in the United States for about 18 months. He lived in Hoboken, NJ and then drove cross country to southern California. He drove from there to Las Vegas last Thursday with the intention of killing Trump.

Eventually, we learned that Michael Sandford was in the country illegally and had been plotting the assassination for quite some time, but that’s about when the media dropped the story.

Can you imagine the coverage we’d be seeing if someone had attempted to shoot Hillary Clinton? The same could be said if it had happened with Barack Obama in the summer of 2008. Questions would be debated on air for weeks on end about the evil lurking in the hearts of men and why someone would be so desperate to prevent the election of the first black or female president. But when someone plots for more than a year to kill Trump, travels across the country to find an opportunity and then launches his attempt, it creates barely a ripple in the media pond.

The women on The View discussed it yesterday, and c0-host Sunny Hostin had an interesting point of view. Newsbusters has the transcript (emphasis added):

SUNNY HOSTIN: Let me say this. I mean, and it’s wrong what happened. I mean, you are never supposed to violently try to take someone out because of their views. But with the Trump campaign and all that campaign rhetoric to incite violence— I mean, he did say “I should punch this guy out,” one of the protesters. It makes me wonder whether or not that campaign, the vileness of it and all the rhetoric will bring more people out of the woodwork like that.

So essentially, “He had it coming, wearing that short skirt and everything.”

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2015 “mass shootings”: 355 or 4?

Posted by Richard on December 5, 2015

Glenn Reynolds:


It’s pretty clear from Mark Follman’s column (link above) that he and Mother Jones are not exactly defenders of the Second Amendment (in case you had any doubt). But their definition of “mass shooting” is a reasonable one. More reasonable, IMHO, than the FBI definition (which was broadened under orders from Obama) because they exclude robbery, gang violence, and domestic abuse incidents.

OTOH, the definition used by the anti-gun Reddit group to arrive at the count of 355 this year is as bogus as the absurd reasoning used to “prove” that your gun is 50 times more likely to kill you or a family member than to stop a criminal. By their definition, if two Crips are standing on a corner, a car full of Bloods pulls a drive-by that wounds them, and two bystanders sprain their ankles jumping over the bus stop bench to get out of the line of fire, that’s a “mass shooting.” Thus, there are typically several “mass shootings” every Saturday night in Chicago.

Further evidence of how low WaPo, NYTimes, and other MSM outlets have fallen: they dutifully parrot the “355 mass shootings” nonsense from a Reddit forum (!) that uses a definition that the forum founder admits he just made up because he didn’t like the real definition.

Billlls Idle Mind has interesting data on the number of “mass shootings” (definition not clear) under each of the last five presidents. Also, some graphs putting the lie to recent media caterwauling about how gun violence is “epidemic” or “exploding.”

It seems that if we want to minimize mass shootings, we should elect a Republican. If we want to reduce violent crime in general, we need to return Bill Clinton to office.

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Eugene Robinson: “one-note simpleton”

Posted by Richard on January 9, 2015

Eugene Robinson, the rabidly anti-gun Washington Post columnist, was on MSNBC today, where he told Andrea Mitchell that it’s a good thing this week’s terrorism and hostage-taking in France didn’t happen in the United States. You see, he opined, in the US “weapons are universally available and so it is actually a very good thing that, that the tensions are not exactly the same because we would expect to have a lot more carnage.”

There’s your typical anti-gunner’s mindset: if people other than the jihadists had guns, they’d just be shooting wildly, leading to who knows how many more deaths (never mind that the additional casualties would likely be the jihadists). Thank goodness France has strict gun control so that the terrorists’ targets were unarmed and helpless, thus keeping the body count down.

Remember that chilling video of the wounded policeman lying on the ground with his hands up when the terrorist shot him in the head? Apparently, like many French cops, he was unarmed. I guess to the Eugene Robinsons of the world, that’s a good thing because if he’d been able to shoot his attacker, that would have just added to the “carnage.” As we say on Twitter, SMDH*.

This Twitchy post has some of the Twitter reaction to Robinson’s remarks, including Ace of Spades’ apt “one-note simpleton” characterization.

* shaking my damn head

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That “smoking gun” Benghazi email

Posted by Richard on May 1, 2014

By now, you may have heard about the email that’s been labeled a “smoking gun” regarding the administration’s Benghazi coverup. It’s one of 41 documents finally obtained by Judicial Watch as the result of an FOIA lawsuit filed last summer. The email in question, written by Ben Rhodes on 9/14/12, sets out the talking points for Ambassador Susan Rice to use in her multiple Sunday news show appearances two days later. Rhodes’ title is “Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting.”

Is this email a smoking gun? If you rely on the Associated Press story (as it appears in the Denver Post), you have no way of knowing. AP simply presents it as “Carney said, Graham said” — as if there’s no definitive way of determining the truth. But there is.

ABC’s Jonathan Karl tweeted a picture of the relevant section of the email, which Carney insisted was not about Benghazi. It contains the heading “Benghazi.” The first talking point under that heading tells Rice to say “the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by protests at the US Embassy in Cairo” (see below). We know from other information (including earlier messages in the same email thread) that everyone involved at the White House was already aware that this was a planned terrorist attack and that there was no preceding “demonstration.”

If you rely on CBS for your news (really?!), you don’t know anything at all about this email because CBS News hasn’t reported the story. I wonder if that is in any way related to the fact that presidential advisor Ben Rhodes is the brother of CBS News President David Rhodes.

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How to get the poll results you want

Posted by Richard on April 23, 2014

In every poll, the Arkansas Senate race has been extremely tight, with most showing challenger Tom Cotton (R) with a slim lead over incumbent Mark Pryor (SD). Until now. A new New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows Pryor leading by 10 points. Bill Kristol looked beyond the headline at the polling questions, and discovered something interesting in question 12.

That question asked poll respondents if they voted for President in 2012 and if so, for whom.  32% didn’t vote, 26% voted for Obama, 27% voted for Romney, and the rest voted for someone else, didn’t know, or wouldn’t say. Kristol explained the significance:

In other words, the Times and Kaiser have produced a sample in Arkansas that reports they voted in 2012 for Romney over Obama–by one point. But Romney carried Arkansas in 2012 by 24 points. …

The whole point of question 12 is to provide a reality test for the sample. That’s why they ask that question–we know what happened in 2012, so the only thing to be learned by asking the 2012 question of the sample is to ensure that it’s a reasonably accurate snapshot of voters in the state. Of course there’ll always be some variance between reality and the sample’s report of its vote a year and a half ago–but not a 23 point variance.

A reputable news organization would have looked at question 12 and thrown the poll out. But then again, it was the New York Times.

It’s entirely possible that they paid a great deal of attention to question 12 — to ensure that the sample was not a reasonably accurate snapshot of the voters.

Heck, if they really wanted an accurate snapshot of the voters, a third of their sample wouldn’t be non-voters in 2012.

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CNN lies about their lack of reporting on Leland Yee’s arrest

Posted by Richard on March 29, 2014

Despite the sensational nature of the Leland Yee story (see Anti-gun CA state senator charged with firearms trafficking, corruption), which features international arms trafficking (including automatic weapons and rocket launchers for an Islamic terrorist group), bribe-taking, and links to a notorious Chinatown gangster nicknamed “Shrimp Boy,” it’s been completely ignored by CNN and most of the MSM.

I just searched Google News for “Leland Yee arrest,” and except for CBS News, a Washington Post blog, and a very brief “released on bond” AP story in the Boston Herald, the first page of results was from local California news outlets. As of a short while ago, a search at CNN for “Leland Yee arrested” still returned the message “Your search leland yee arrested did not match any documents.”

CNN has received numerous complaints, including from me and others on Twitter. As Tony Lee reported on Breitbart, their response has been to lie:

CNN dismissed complaints that the network was not covering last week’s shocking arrest of Democrat Leland Yee, the California state senator who was arrested for alleged arms trafficking and bribery, and falsely asserted that it does not give attention to state senators.

That standard did not apply to Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, whom CNN covered relentlessly. …

In just one of many stories on CNN about Wendy Davis, the network gushed over and played up her biography–without even vetting it–after her filibuster [of a bill limiting abortions] made her their heroine. …

(Davis’s biography was later determined to contain several significant falsehoods.)

Davis also appeared on many of CNN’s primetime shows in 2013 as it blanketed its airwaves and online real estate with puff pieces about Davis, the state senator, long before she was even a gubernatorial candidate.

As Weasel Zippers noted, CNN has also covered the California state Senate candidacy of Sandra Fluke and Yee on many occasions.

As the mid-term elections get closer, expect CNN to extensively cover every story about a Republican dog-catcher or county commissioner caught with his hand in the cookie jar. In the meantime, they’ll continue to focus on such breaking news as the fact that airliners have trouble remaining aloft after running out of fuel.

CNN reports airplanes need fuel to fly

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Media bias eviscerated in just a few tweets

Posted by Richard on March 27, 2014

Check it out.

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Game, set, match: Hinderaker destroys WaPo, 6-0, 6-0

Posted by Richard on March 22, 2014

On Thursday, the Washington Post published a hit piece by Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin on the Koch brothers and the Keystone XL pipeline that’s full of flat-out lies. Power Line’s John Hinderaker called them on it, utterly shredding their article. They responded (after a fashion). Hinderaker destroyed their response and exposed the incestuous, corrupt cronyism between the left, the mainstream media, and the Obama administration to devastating effect.

After exposing the fatuousness of Mufson and Eilperin’s defense of their article (with a little help from Jonah Goldberg) and outlining why the WaPo would publish such a smear (hint: it has an agenda), Hinderaker described how an accurate article could be written about a billionaire who stands to benefit by killing the Keystone XL pipeline. But Mufson, Eilperin, and the WaPo wouldn’t be interested in such an article because the billionaire in question is Tom Steyer.

Tom Steyer is one of the Democratic Party’s biggest contributors, and has pledged this year to contribute $100 million to its candidates. Hinderaker connected the dots between Eilperin, her husband Andrew Light, his boss at the Center for American Progress, John Podesta, Center for American Progress board member Tom Steyer, and the Obama administration, which both Light and Podesta also work for. Fascinating, in an icky, sleazy sort of way. By the end, you’ll understand Hinderaker’s closing, the money quote of the piece:

… However bad you think the corruption and cronyism in Washington are, they are worse than you imagine. And if you think the Washington Post is part of a free and independent press, think again.

Instapundit posted some key bits, but you really should read Hinderaker’s second post in its entirety — it’s outstanding.

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Palin’s prescience

Posted by Richard on March 1, 2014

During the 2008 campaign, Sarah Palin predicted that if the weak and feckless Sen. Obama were elected President, Vladimir Putin might invade Ukraine. She was laughed at by foreign policy experts.

Palin said then:

After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.

For those comments, she was mocked by the high-brow Foreign Policy magazine and its editor Blake Hounshell, who now is one of the editors of Politico magazine.

Hounshell wrote then that Palin’s comments were “strange” and “this is an extremely far-fetched scenario.”

“And given how Russia has been able to unsettle Ukraine’s pro-Western government without firing a shot, I don’t see why violence would be necessary to bring Kiev to heel,” Hounshell dismissively wrote.

Oops. Palin is now having the last laugh. Hounshell has acknowledged her prescience:

I didn’t see anything resembling an apology, however, although Moe Lane for one suggested it was due:

I’m reminded of how the left mocked Palin for telling Tea Party groups to “party like it’s 1773” — blissfully unaware that that was the year of the Boston Tea Party. When you repeatedly make fun of someone for being a stupid yahoo, and they’re repeatedly proven wiser and more knowledgeable than you, shouldn’t you feel some embarrassment and shame?

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LA Times: Israel started it by firing back

Posted by Richard on January 19, 2014

This has become so predictable that it’s practically a “dog bites man” story. But it needs to be called out as a reminder of where our leftist mainstream media is coming from.

From HonestReporting (emphasis in original):

This LA Times headline is a sneak preview of more misleading reporting of Palestinian terrorism:

Israeli forces attack Gaza in new round of cross-border violence

The headline deliberately portrays Israel as an aggressor while a “new round of cross-border violence” is the equivalent of the “cycle of violence” where Palestinian terrorism and Israeli responses are treated as morally equivalent.

Unfortunately the LA Times is no stranger when it comes to this mentality.

But just to make sure you know who the aggressor is (emphasis added):

A cease-fire brokered between Hamas and Israel in late 2012 brought a period of relative quiet to the Gaza Strip. That was shattered last month, when Israeli military forces launched a series of attacks after suspected Palestinian sniper fire killed an Israeli civilian doing repair work on the border fence.

So let’s get this straight – Palestinians carry out acts of terror but Israel is the one that breaks a ceasefire by responding.

Or, “It all started when Israel fired back…”

Note also the phrase “a period of relative quiet to the Gaza Strip.” The LA Times is unconcerned about whether there is “a period of relative quiet” in Israel.

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Objective journalism?

Posted by Richard on July 14, 2013’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:


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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MSM fiscal cliff reporting jumps the shark

Posted by Richard on December 29, 2012

In the last few days, the mainstream media’s “reporting” of the fiscal cliff negotiations has gone from somewhat biased to totally beyond the pale. For instance, NBC Nightly News in the past fawningly reported Bill Clinton’s defense of the tax rates during his administration. And for years, they’ve talked disapprovingly about the “Bush tax cuts.” The other night, they described the consequences of going over the fiscal cliff as the restoration of the “higher Bush-era tax rates.” Not the “higher Clinton-era tax rates,” but the “higher Bush-era tax rates.” That is, the rates Bush inherited from Clinton and subsequently cut. 

Another news story I saw recently (I think it was CBS) stated as fact that with time running out, the only option left is to give the President what he wants. Why isn’t the only option to give the House Republicans what they want? Why is the intransigence of Obama an immutable given, while the intransigence of House Republicans is irrelevant?

I think the President is willing — perhaps eager — to go over the fiscal cliff. He may object to the domestic discretionary spending cuts, but he has no problem with the defense cuts (neither do I, by the way). And he likes the general idea of higher taxes and more government revenue. Plus, he’s confident that, given the GOP’s messaging incompetence and the complicity of the MSM, the blame for middle-class tax increases will fall on the Republicans.

I just hope that the utterly incompetent GOP mishandling of this issue will lead to the dumping of Boehner as House speaker and possibly the dumping of McConnell as Senate minority leader. It’s far past time for a major shake-up in the GOP that kicks to the curb the “ruling class” inside-the-beltway, politics-as-usual leadership that has served the party so poorly for so many years.

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McCain: “one of the dumbest questions I’ve ever heard”

Posted by Richard on November 14, 2012

The Blaze:

Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C), and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H) during a press conference on Wednesday called for an deeper investigation into the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans. But During the “Q&A” portion of that press conference, a reporter asked Sen. McCain whether he thought David Petraeus’ sex scandal posed a greater threat to national security than the Benghazi attack.

“Senator,” the reporter began, “do you think there’s a potentially greater national security threat in, apparently, nearly thousands of pages of classified documents ending up on the personal computer of a Tampa socialite … do you think that’s a potentially greater national security threat than what we’re talking about?”

“Well, I say with great respect,” Sen. McCain answered, “that’s one of the dumbest questions I’ve ever heard. Okay? There’s four dead Americans. Four dead Americans. Not a socialite.”

It’s not such a dumb question if you’re an Obamamedia reporter whose goal is not to report what’s most newsworthy, but to divert attention away from the terrorist attack on the consulate. It’s not such a dumb question if you want the nation to focus on the salacious details of a stupid extramarital affair by someone who might, if not discredited or intimidated into toeing the administration line, reveal embarrassing information about Benghazi-gate.

Remember the 90s, when extramarital affairs by high-ranking officials were “just sex” and unworthy of our attention?

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Sickening media gloating

Posted by Richard on November 6, 2012

After a bit of flipping around the network election coverage, I’m just disgusted by what I see in the wake of the Obama victory. The expressions of the “objective reporters” on the broadcast networks range from jubilant to smug to gloating. Tonight they know that, despite the information revolution and the growth of new media, they’re still able to shape the debate, filter the news, and influence a significant portion of the population.

One example: In the last seven weeks, the MSM actively and successfully abetted the Obama administration in the Benghazi-gate coverup. One of the recent examples is CBS withholding until this past weekend of the fact that it had an unaired portion of Obama’s 60 Minutes interview that proves Obama lied in the foreign policy debate  — and that moderator Candy Crowley was factually wrong in backing Obama’s claim (as well as being totally out of line).

Another example: The exit polls suggest that a lot of the last-minute deciders were persuaded to vote Obama because of how well he “handled” Superstorm Sandy. In reality, he did nothing — nothing! — to “handle” Sandy. The federal government’s response was no better than it was during Katrina — and such as it was, the President had no hand in it whatsoever. He was preoccupied by fundraisers and campaign appearances. But a few well-staged photo ops and tons of fawning and supportive media coverage created the opposite impression.

Many years ago, Ayn Rand argued that restoring the United States to its pro-freedom, individualist, capitalist roots would require not just a political change but a philosophical change — a change in cultural values, if you will. In the wake of the Reagan Revolution, and again after 9/11 starkly illustrated the difference between the advocates of reason and the Enlightenment and their enemies, Rand’s argument was ignored or forgotten. But neither political change proved to be lasting. Rand was right. And she was right in saying that, to change the values of the mass of the American people, you first have to change the values of the intelligentsia. A good place to start would be the nation’s journalism schools.

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