Media Archives

From the "Now They Tell Us" Department

The Associated Press is breaking news that those of us who were paying attention knew about at least 6 months ago.

The first thing Michelle Pool did before picking a plan under President Barack Obama’s health insurance law was check whether her longtime primary care doctor was covered. Pool, a 60-year-old diabetic who has had back surgery and a hip replacement, purchased the plan only to find that the insurer was mistaken.

Pool’s $352 a month gold plan through Covered California’s exchange was cheaper than what she’d paid under her husband’s insurance and seemed like a good deal because of her numerous pre-existing conditions. But after her insurance card came in the mail, the Vista, California resident learned her doctor wasn’t taking her new insurance.

"It’s not fun when you’ve had a doctor for years and years that you can confide in and he knows you," Pool said. "I’m extremely discouraged. I’m stuck."

Stories like Pool’s are emerging as more consumers realize they bought plans with limited doctor and hospital networks, some after websites that mistakenly said their doctors were included.

Now we know why her policy’s cheaper. You get what you pay for.

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    Benghazi: Smoking Gun, or All Smoke?

    When the latest memo to come out of the Benghazi investigation came out…

    OK, let me back up. Actually, the memo was never given to the Congressional investigation. It took a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Judicial Watch for this memo to come out. So for starters, it really looks like the administration did not want this out in public.

    The thrust of the message was clear: Protect Obama’s image (and re-election efforts) at all costs; American interests and the American public’s right to know be damned. It contained four bullet points:

    –”To convey that the United States is doing everything that we can to protect our people and facilities abroad;

    –”To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy;

    –”To show that we will be resolute in bringing people who harm Americans to justice, and standing steadfast through these protests;

    –”To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”

    Remember, this all happened in the heat of the President’s re-election campaign. As to the bullet points, we now know that the US was not doing everything it could to protect the consulate, the protest were not rotted in an Internet video (and the administration knew that almost immediately after the incident), we did not bring anyone to justice (not even now, 20 months after the incident), which goes to show that the President and the Administration do not have strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.

    But the kiester-covering was in full swing and scapegoats were worth their weight in gold.

    In his congressional testimony, former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell said that then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice is the one who linked the video to the Benghazi attacks but that the video was not part of the CIA analysis. In other words, the administration made it up out of whole cloth to deflect blame for its policy failures in relaxing the war on terror…

    Indeed, the day after the event:

    An email on Sept. 12, 2012, to Rice from Payton Knopf, deputy spokesman at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, confirmed the attacks were “planned in advance” and “complex,” not spontaneous in reaction to a video.

    Poor Jay Carney had the unenviable job of trying to deny that these memos had anything to do with Benghazi, even though they were provided due to a FOIA request about…Benghazi.

    The fact that they, indeed, speak to the Benghazi issues specifically, but the administration hung on to these memos and did not give them to Darrell Issa and the committee, shows just how revealing they are.

    But only now are the mainstream media noticing this story. The Benghazi hearings have been pitifully covered. The idea that this has been a “Fox News story” (as though they made it up) only came because they gave it the coverage it deserved, while the rest of the media sat on its collective hands. Now, even ABC news reporters found themselves amazed at the stonewalling and dissembling.

    But even with that, ABC has been very reluctant to report on it. Even the President has called out Fox on this — no other network — so you know it’s been getting short shrift elsewhere. And at other networks, without coming out directly and saying it, the news executives suddenly wouldn’t find time to report on it.

    Yes, the daily interviews from the committee can be yawners, and it’s not always breaking news. That much is true. But it’s also true that the latest revelations are news, and even that is getting reported primarily by Fox.

    Oh, and MSNBC? Yeah, never mind about them. If it doesn’t have a link to Chris Christie and “Bridgegate” (where nobody died), they don’t care much about it.

    This is important. If you news outlet isn’t covering it, you may need to switch sources.

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      Next Step: Accepting "Open Marriage"

      Now that same-sex marriage has been accepted by some states, it’s no longer a draw for the evening news, so ABC News in America has decided to move on to the next big thing; open marriage. These are marriages where fidelity is more of a suggestion than anything else. It’s not polygamy, which at least formally acknowledges, in one manner or another, a lasting relationship with more than one spouse. Instead, open marriage, or polyamory, means two people are legally married while continuing to see other people.

      So ABC News decided to present a generally positive quote-unquote “news” piece about those for whom commitment is something only for mentally disturbed people. The most critical thing said in the whole segment was that reporter Nick Watt thought it just wasn’t his thing, and that his wife wouldn’t like it. But the rest of the segment, including questions to a psychologist, was generally positive. Not a hint of an opposing viewpoint.

      This is what passes for “news” in the 21st century; one-sided advocacy journalism. Even if Watt isn’t personally in favor of it, showing one side only, on a controversial topic, on a news show, is advocacy.

      Do other news organizations do it? Yes, on both sides of the aisle. But while Fox News and the Wall Street Journal get lambasted anytime they don’t play it down the middle, so many liberal news watchers have such a blind spot when something like this airs. Conservative media bias is outrageous. Liberal media bias is…hey look, a unicorn!

      The other issue, of course, is that those who said that same-sex marriage would lead to a slippery slope have been, yet again, proved absolutely on target. We aren’t falling for it, but the news media is pushing.

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        A Chilling Effect

        What if I told you that ice levels in Antarctica have reached 35-year record highs? What if I told you that the rise in the surface temperature of the earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that? And what if I told you that the lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace?

        Well figure out what you would do if I told you, because I’m telling you. And I’ll tell you this as well; many climate scientists aren’t sure what to do. They’re trying to come up with explanations, but so far they’re just theories plucked out of thin air.

        When the facts don’t fit the theories, scientists claim that they will rework the theories. Well, so far, we’ve seen little reworking and more digging in. And here’s another “what if”; what if the media gave this as much attention as they did stories of a spot here or a point there where warming is occurring? This isn’t weather, as they love to say; this is a pause in the warming of the climate that they’re having trouble figuring out. What if people were told about this, or is liberal orthodoxy in the media having a chilling effect?

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          Liberal Magazine Proves Conservatives’ Point

          The magazine The Nation is a liberal-leaning publication; that much is certain. What’s not so certain is whether or not they really understand the topics they cover.

          Here’s a case in point. It recently asked it readers to sign an open letter to Wal-Mart demanding that they pay workers at least $12 an hour. However, another web site, ProPublica, reported, as good news, that, this fall, interns at the Nation Institute, who put out the magazine, will be paid minimum wage for the first time in the history of the 30-year-old program. Up until now they’d been paid at less than minimum wage, when all the while they railed against those who did just that.

          But anyway, that’s good news, right? Those overworked interns will now get the federal minimum wage and have more to spend in our economy. Well, consider this. In a statement to ProPublica on the report, The Nation said that, “We are not yet certain how this will work out long term, but for the fall we are anticipating hiring ten interns rather than twelve.”

          So they’re raising the pay, but hiring fewer workers in response. Wow, now who could have anticipated that?

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            Study Shows the Sun Rose Today

            (This is one of the segments of the most recent episode of my podcast, "Consider This!")

            The NY Times recently reported on a study that, I imagine, came as a shock to most of the Times’ readership. “News organizations are far more likely to present a supportive view of same-sex marriage than an antagonistic view, according to a content study by the Pew Research Center to be released on Monday.” The Pew study also noted that the views of the public at large, contrary to the news reporting, are evenly divided.

            For conservatives, this is like a study showing that the sun rose this morning, or the Pope is actually Catholic. But this paranoia about news coverage does, in fact, prove the adage that it’s not paranoia because, if you have the unapproved viewpoint, they really are out to get you.

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              An Inconvenient Life

              The Kermit Gosnell and Cleveland kidnapping stories have been raising some questions when it comes to the issue of abortion. Gosnell, certainly (and where it was actually covered), definitely brought back to light the issue of the fine line between abortion and infanticide., at least as abortion supporters define those terms.

              And the Cleveland kidnapping story is doing it again, from another angle.

              The problem, once again, is that at the heart of the Gosnell nightmare were the reports that he was DELIVERING late-term fetuses and THEN killing the infants — after delivery. In other words, these infants were no longer “fetuses,” according to the dictionary, when the abortionist snipped their spinal cords.

              Now, were are seeing some interesting, and related, issues emerging in Cleveland, where prosecutors are preparing to throw the book at the alleged kidnapper and torturer Ariel Castro.

              The issue is that the state prosecutor may seek the death penalty.

              Now, from the perspective of the journalists defending a consistent use of the term “fetus,” even when the term is inaccurate (see Gosnell coverage), here is the hard-news question of the moment. If the prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty for Castro in this case, who did he kill? What human persons with full dignity and legal rights, under this nation’s current legal regime, died during these alleged crimes?

              The Get Religion blog takes the angle of how (or if) the reporters "get religion", and it highlights good and bad examples. However, in the Gosnell case, the bad examples were legion. It’ll be interesting to see how the media deal with a death penalty in the Cleveland case.

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                An Inconvenient Truth, Ignored

                There’s a murder trial going on in Pennsylvania. A doctor was arrested in 2011 for killing 8 people, and the trial has been going on since March 18th. Accusations of beheadings, special treatment for whites, severed feet in jars, 15-year-olds administering anesthesia, unsanitary clinic conditions that spread STDs to unsuspecting women, and multiple state agencies made aware of this but who chose to ignore what was going on.

                “What?”, you may be asking. “Why isn’t this front-page news?” Indeed, the fact that it isn’t strains credulity. It’s so unbelievable that the popular Snopes website that debunks (or in some cases, “bunks”) urban legends, felt compelled to let its readers know that, yes, that story you see being passed around in e-mail or on Facebook is, indeed, true, and not some made-up legend.

                Kirsten Powers wrote an opinion piece asking the obvious question of why this isn’t front-page news. The answer, I think, is because all this happened at an abortion clinic. Kermit Gosnell, who has been performing the cheapest and fastest abortions he could possibly perform for over 30 years, finally was arrested, but not after so much damage had already been done.

                And where is the media in all this? Well, they say they covered the arrest in 2011, so at this point it’s just a local crime issue. Right, like Aurora, and Sandy Hook, and Littleton. As the facts come out, there’s no need to cover that. Rather, let’s talk about a basketball coach behaving badly. Hey look! Rush Limbaugh said something shocking! That doesn’t happen often, right, it must be news!

                Let’s not talk about babies born alive and having their spinal cords quote-unquote “snipped”. Let’s not talk about deliveries in toilets. Let’s not talk about this little abortion shop of horrors.

                Why not? Well, as James Taranto wrote, that just might make people think hard about their stance on abortion. They might start to change their minds, two examples of which Taranto mentioned. Oh, let’s make sure they think hard about their stance on guns, or immigration, or whatever else they need to hear about to come to the liberal way of thinking. But the realities of abortion? Doesn’t fit the narrative, so the media ignore it. That’s advocacy, not just in how something’s reported, but whether it’s reported at all.

                If Kermit Gosnell had killed those women and babies with an AR-15 rifle, you know it would be national news. Or if he were a Christian. Or if he had killed abortion doctor George Tiller. Instead he was performing what the law has contorted into a Constitutional right that the Left enshrines in their political platforms. When what used to be called back-alley abortions are being done right in an alleged clinic, both the government and the media turn a blind eye to it.

                It doesn’t fit the narrative, and it might (well, it is) changing some minds on this liberal sacrament of abortion. I am of the firm belief that the politics of the issue is directly affecting its coverage. Oh, oh, that liberal media.

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                  The Boston Blame Game

                  The smoke from the bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 15th had hardly had a chance to clear when the media began speculating about right-wing extremists. Folks, please, let’s take care of the wounded and bury our dead before breaking out the knee-jerk reactions, OK? It seems like after every single act like this, the media just has to have a race to see who can blame conservatives first.

                  After the Aurora shooting, for example, Brian Ross apparently did a Google search for the shooter’s name, Jim Holmes, and may have hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button, before reporting that he was a Tea Party member. Turned out, of course, that some guy with the same name did belong to the Tea Party, but he wasn’t the shooter. Still, it was too good to check, it fit the narrative, and Ross reported it.

                  But did they learn their lesson? Why, of course not.

                  • Esquire’s Charles Pierce suggested conservatives when he wrote, “Obviously, nobody knows anything yet, but I would caution folks jumping to conclusions about foreign terrorism to remember that this is the official Patriots Day holiday in Massachusetts, celebrating the Battles at Lexington and Concord, and that the actual date (April 19) was of some significance to, among other people, Tim McVeigh, because he fancied himself a waterer of the tree of liberty and the like.”
                  • MSNBC’s “journalist” Chris Matthews got in on the disgraceful speculation and claimed, “Normally domestic terrorists, people, tend to be on the far right.”
                  • CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen told host Jake Tapper shortly after the bombings that they could be the work of “right-wing extremists” just as easily as they could be the work of Al Qaeda.

                  Yeah, just like the Unabomber, Gabby Gifford’s shooter, the aforementioned Jim Holmes, and Adam Lanza. Not that they’re all far Left, mind you, but they certainly aren’t or weren’t far Right.

                  To try to make it seem like this sort of unhelpful speculation was happening equally on both sides, the left-wing FreakOutNation website posted that a Fox News contributor was immediately blaming Muslims. See? Exactly the same thing, right?

                  Well, except that Erik Rush has contributed to CNN as well as Fox. No mention of that. Oh, and that his was an ugly, but personal, tweet, rather than being broadcast nationally by, well, anyone. Oh yeah, exactly the same thing.

                  Yes, both sides have their nuts. However, when it comes to jerking their knees around, the left-wing, mainstream media have the blame game down to a science, and they make sure you heard it here first.

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                    The Science Was Settled

                    That is, during the 1970s, what they were saying about global cooling sounds quite a lot like what they’re saying today about global warming. Anthony Watts has compiled 65 stories from that era that talked up the dangers of a new Ice Age, including remedies like outlawing the internal combustion engine, population control, and the loss of democracy to save us from the coming disaster.  And these were just those available online from a time 20 years before the Internet.

                    This includes findings from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, so it’s not just a bunch of journalists getting themselves in a tizzy. So this is something for a little perspective.

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                      Dealing Fairly With Pat Robertson

                      I’ve had my issues with what Pat Robertson has said in the past, and expressed them here. But the news media seems to love to just toss out items from him, even items that may be 6 years old, to keep piling on.

                      The wonderful Get Religion blog, which I recommend to any Christian, or religious person in general, covers how the press covers religion, both the good and the bad. Yesterday they had a blog post on the Pat Robertson issue, highlighting an article in The Huffington Post that has Robertson saying something he’s always been saying, and calling it news.

                      After noting that he’s not examining Robertson’s claims, only the reporting thereof, George Conger takes apart the article, noting that when Robertson said that Islam wasn’t a real religion but an economic system in 2007 (and in stronger terms back then), few cared. The Huffington Post calls the 2013 remarks "inflammatory", but if that’s so, why was nothing inflamed 6 years ago?

                      How many times can you make “inflammatory” comments before they no longer become “inflammatory” — do they become combustible, explosive, or after the passage of time — and when no fire ensues — do they simply become rude?

                      That’s a fair question.

                      And what of the actual opinion expressed? If it is incorrect, surely it could be explained why. But the Post doesn’t go into this at all.

                      The tone of offended outrage adopted by the article, that Pat Robertson has said a terrible thing, is not explored. The Huffington Post believes these sentiments are outrageous, but it does not say why. A long time ago I studied Arabic and Farsi as an undergraduate and took a number of courses in Islam. I have not kept up my studies and have lost my facilities in these languages, but I do recall the academic debates over Islam — whether it was a religion in the sense that Christianity or Judaism understood itself to be a religion, or whether it was a religio-political movement that did not bear a one to one comparison with the other Abrahamic faiths. I offer no answer to these questions. But given the unlimited space available to a Huffington Post author for an article, to denounce him without substantiation is sloppy reporting.

                      Oh and by the way…

                      And please note, Pat Robertson is not an “elder statesman of the evangelical movement. ” He is a Pentecostal Christian. There is a difference.

                      Pat Robertson has much more weekly air time than most on his own show, and thus has loads of time to speak. During those many hours of speaking, he’s bound to say something worth disagreeing with. I’ve done some disagreeing with him myself. But if a journalistic endeavor like the Huffington Post is going to do so, they need to do a far better job than this.

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                        When the Shooter is a Liberal, the Media Gets Quiet

                        When a nut shot Gabby Giffords, the Left blamed it on the Tea Party and thought Sarah Palin should apologize or reach out. LA shooter Chris Dorner idolizes the Left, and suddenly the media is a model of restraint.

                        Alleged Los Angeles shooter Christopher Jordan Dorner, influenced by left-leaning media coverage of gun crime in the wake of the Newtown shootings, has virtually paralyzed the City of Angels. Floyd Lee Corkins, a gunman incensed by anti-gay marriage bias after reading articles by the liberal advocacy group Southern Poverty Law Center, took a firearm into the Family Research Council’s headquarters with the intention of killing “as many as possible.” He hoped to smash Chick-fil-A sandwiches in the faces of as many corpses as he could. These shooters were clearly moved by left-wing media, and we should thank every benevolent force in the universe that they were. Had either shooter possessed even a tenuous link to a conservative group, a media-driven hysteria about the malevolent influence of right-wing broadcasters and commentators would be gripping the nation today. Fortunately, when a crazed shooter’s ideology is explicitly and demonstrably left-wing, the media displays admirable restraint about linking a gunman’s politics to their acts of violence.

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                          The "Consider This!" Podcast, Episode 28

                          Maybe this is why I’ve not been blogging much. Well, it’s certainly a contributing factor.

                          The latest episode covers the fight of North Carolina pro-choicers against a license plate that advocates a choice, and a rundown of how well the Washington, DC gun ban reduced homicides (hint: it didn’t).

                          Click here for the show notes, links to articles mentioned, and ways to get your voice heard on the podcast. You can also listen to the show right on the page, or subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher or the Blubrry network.

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                            Media Ignore "March for Life"

                            Tens of thousands marched in a huge anti-abortion protest in Washington, DC. You’re forgiven if you didn’t know about it. ABC and CBS couldn’t be bothered to mention it at all. NBC gave all of it 15 seconds. But for less than 1,000 protestors who came out for more gun control, CBS managed to find time for them.

                            In print, the NY Times has ignored the march for the past 5 years, but this year, while it finally realized that something was happening, they managed to frame it just the way they wanted.

                            This year, the 40th anniversary of the March, the Times broke its streak with a so-so 815-word story by Ashley Parker that made the bottom of the front of the paper’s National section, on page 9.

                            What made the top of page 9? Here the Times showed some nerve, as religion reporter Laurie Goodstein’s used some liberal Catholic activists to chide pro-lifers supporters for not also being anti-gun It’s almost as if the paper acknowledged the march so as to be able to criticize it.

                            Oh, that liberal media.

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                              Now that Paul Ryan is the VP nominee on the Republican ticket, his budget proposal has been in the spotlight all over again, and all the same distortions about it are being trotted out. Guy Benson writing at TownHall.com gives us 5 facts to remember about the Ryan budget.

                              1. "The Republican reform plan totally exempts anyone over the age of 55 from any changes." Basically, if you like your plan, you can keep it. (I know I’ve heard that somewhere before.)
                              2. The Democrats have already raided $741 billion from Medicare to pay for ObamaCare. They are the ones cutting Medicare.
                              3. "Medicare’s own accountants have calculated that Medicare will be insolvent within 12 years." This means that doing nothing is really what guts Medicare.
                              4. Ryan’s Medicare proposal is actually the result of a bipartisan solution, "co-authored by a committed liberal who understands that the clock is running out to save the program." And it’s means-tested so that the poorer get more protection.
                              5. The plan increases spending every year, just not as much as Obama wanted in his budget proposal (which was, just to remind you, unanimously defeated by his own party).

                              That last point, calling a spending increase a "cut", is a ploy used by Democrats and parroted by the news media.

                              Keep these in mind when you hear talk of "gutting" Medicare. It’s just not true.

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