Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Published in Journalism


Is Slow Growth Actually Good for the Economy?

So reads NPR's latest headline - a 2012 candidate for the media's most shameless attempt to spin bad news in favor of Obama. The U.S. economy slows at an inopportune moment in the election cycle and NPR responds with "Is Slow Growth Actually Good for the Economy?" You can't make this stuff up.

James Taranto takes up the theme of the poodle media and Obama's unseemliness in today's Best of the Web, wondering whether "A more aggressive press corps might have motivated him to preserve his dignity." This seems to be a certainty. Obama - and liberals in general - are able to behave in particularly classless ways with the confidence that the higher they rise in the hierarchy, the more deference they'll receive from the media. The inverse is true for Republicans. (Fox News excluded, of course.) Taranto lists a few of the media's hypocrisies and a few of Obama's less dignified moments

UPDATE: NPR has changed the article title to "Is Moderate Growth Good for the Economy?" It seems even NPR has a modicum of shame.
Categories > Journalism


Who Cares About Trayvon Martin?

The answer seems to be: a lot of people, including the president.

I've been on an island recently (literally, in the Pacific) and haven't been following a lot of news, but two issues seem to be dominating American news and foreign conversation about America: health-care and Trayvon Martin. I had originally wondered if the prominence of a story about a single (undeniably tragic) murder wasn't a ploy by the media to divert attention from the health care case. The CDC reports that there are about 45 murders / day in the U.S., and the Martin case involves contested facts, unclear motives and a suspect of questionable mental capacity. It's likely neither the most egregious nor clearly race-based murder of that week. Nevertheless, Martin is today's Rodney King and has been anointed by the media as their story of the moment.

Since there is a potential race element to the case, all the usual race-hustlers have scrambled to the spotlight in order to bellow their usual litany of victimhood and division. Obama weighed in on the matter last week ("If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon Martin.") and has been widely criticized by conservatives for his seeming partisanship. I'm slightly sympathetic to Obama. He didn't make this a national story and probably wasn't overjoyed to be asked a question on the subject. He answered by expressing personal empathy to grieving parents. Of course, he didn't express sympathy for the man who might have been forced to shoot a delinquent child in self-defense - which could be interpreted as revealing which version of the facts the president believes. Given his record on racial issues, Obama knee-jerk sympathies certainly run toward Trayvon Martin. But he would have been criticized for silence or nearly anything else he was likely to say, so why not err on the side of his political base?

The problem is not that the president spoke, but that he was expected to speak by a majority of the nation. Other families of murder victims are now asking the president to speak out on behalf of their lost loved-ones. I don't think we need a daily litany of the newly departed from our chief executive. But the media has made this a story and daily stokes passions by granting a microphone to the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Mass demonstrations, race tensions and calls for violence have been artificially instigated by the media's sensational promotion of this incident. Again, while tragic, this story is neither unique nor objectively deserving of national attention - the media simply wanted to create a national debate on race and gun laws (recall the immediate focus on "stand-your-ground" laws). The media control the national conversation, for better or worse - usually the latter.
Categories > Journalism


Who Does the New York Times Hate?

Ridiculing the New York Times for liberal bias would prove a full time job, so I generally only venture into that fertile field when the example is particularly egregious. One of those occasions occurred today. The Times published a full page ad from the Freedom From Religion Foundation which viciously slurs the Catholic Church and openly calls for Catholics to leave the Church.

The hysterical ad at times sounds more like satire: "Why are you aiding and abetting a church that has repeatedly engaged in a crusade to ban contraception, abortion and sterilization...?"  But the intent is genuine. Catholic League president Bill Donohue is a war hawk on these matters and declares of the present ad:

Never has there been a more vicious anti-Catholic advertisement in a prominent American newspaper than the one in today's New York Times by Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). 

FFRF is a vitriolic, militant and litigious atheist group with very little tolerance and even less good taste or class. They are of no real interest in this matter, of course - it's not difficult to find a small coterie of hate-filled vermin under any given rock. The issue is that the Times has handed them a microphone. Try to imagine a similar ad aimed at Muslims - or attacking atheists - and imagine the reaction of the New York Times - and the liberal disciples of tolerance who are suspiciously quiet in the wake of this obvious expression of hate and intolerance.

Click to enlarge.

New York Times Anti-Catholic Ad.jpg


Categories > Journalism


The Crisis Hits Close to Home

Timothy Noah's new book, The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It, should be available around the time the author, a New Republic columnist, deposits the first paycheck signed by his new boss, a 28-year-old with a net worth in excess of $700 million.
Categories > Journalism

Health Care

In re Rush

We misheard Rush on the 30 year-old law student demanding free contraception, via Obamacare mandate.

UPDATE: Now he apologizes.

Categories > Health Care


Royalism on the Left

The cover of Newsweek:

The Seals: How Obama Learned to Use His Secret Weapon.

Shouldn't that be "America's Secret Weapon"?

Categories > Journalism


The Postmodern Media

For the Postmodern Presidency. Headline on the first page of today's Wall Street Journal: "Obama Makes Populist Pitch."  The news is his strategy, not what he said.
Categories > Journalism


2011's Major Media Malfeasance

Poking the left-wing mainstream media is a hobby of many conservatives - myself included - though it's so easy to find examples of liberal bias that the effort could easily become a full time job. PJ Media has done us all a service by assembling a top ten list of 2011's most extreme examples of major media malfeasance.

Beyond the list itself, PJ Media provides context and rationale for 2011's increasing "malfeasance" as compared to 2010.

In 2011 ... the leftist legacy media seemed to almost completely abandon any pretense of objectivity or fairness left over from its disgraceful collective performance in 2010.

Why did this happen? Beyond the normal factors, 2011 saw White House thuggery directed at a press corps already inclined to reflexively parrot its positions reach previously unseen heights.

To name just three examples:

  • In March, Orlando Sentinel reporter Scott Powers, sent to cover a fundraiser involving Vice President Joe Biden and Florida Senator Bill Nelson, was confined in a closet "to keep him from mingling with high-powered guests." Sentinel editors "dropped the story."
  • In April, the White House banished San Francisco Chronicle reporter Carla Marinucci "for using a video camera to capture an event." The paper was "threatened with more punishment if they reported on it." Chronicle Editor at Large Phil Bronstein called the White House's subsequent attempt to deny it all "a pants-on-fire moment." Press coverage elsewhere was scant.
  • In May, the White House Press Office "refused to give the Boston Herald full access to President Obama's Boston fund-raiser" because it objected "to the newspaper's front page placement of a Mitt Romney op-ed." The shutout was virtually ignored.

In a mid-May editorial, Investor's Business Daily called out the press for failing to stand up for it own, and correctly characterized the White House's actions as baby steps "toward state control of the media, using the carrot of access against the stick of exile."

Nothing has changed. In December, a Washington Post item noted that "when a reporter gets something wrong or is perceived as being too aggressive, the pushback is often swift and sometimes at top volume" (including heavy doses of profanity). What do you guys expect when you just sit there and take it -- something you would never do under a conservative or Republican administration?

The list is a walk down memory lane for conservatives - and likely an eye-opening revelation for anyone depending upon MSNBC and the like for information. And, in case you're thinking it can't get any worse, the prognostication is grim.

As bad as this past year was, there's every reason to believe that 2012 will be worse. The press has to figure out a way to drag a president who is very unpopular despite their best efforts to date across the November finish line while the White House continues its "oversight."

Categories > Journalism


Rated R-17 For Graphic Violence

I'm sorry, but how seriously can we take advice from the writing team of Blood and Gore?
Categories > Journalism


Noonan v. Frum?

David Frum last summer:

In this debt-ceiling fight, I'm having horrible flashbacks to the Republican debacle over health care.

Then as now, what could have been a negotiated deal turned into all-out political war.

Then as now, Republicans rejected all concessions by the president as pathetically inadequate.

Then as now, Republicans refused any concessions of their own, instead demanding that the president yield totally to their way of thinking.

Then as now, Republicans convinced themselves that they had the clout to force the president to yield.

With health care, Republicans calculated spectacularly wrong.

Peggy Noonan last weekend:

Once again the president thought he was playing a shrewd game: The collapse of the super committee would serve his political purposes. Once again he misjudged.

What has occurred is an exact repeat of the summer's debt ceiling fiasco. Then the president summoned a crisis, thinking people would blame it on the Republicans. Instead they blamed Washington, which is to say him, because he owns Washington. Immediately his numbers fell. As they did again this week.

Categories > Journalism