Friday, 19 December 2008

MEDIA BIAS? NAAAAAAAHHHHHH

Ken Berwitz

In the previous blog I pointed out how two-faced mainstream media are when it comes to dealing with al sharpton - so much so that, instead of being a political death knell, associating with this sack of manure is a political bonanza for the Democrats who do it.

Here is a more extensive look at just how biased our media are, from Seton Motley, writing for www.humanevents.com:

What About the Democrats 'Culture of Corruption?'
We are now a week into the wall-to-wall coverage of the tape recorded fall of Senate seat auctioneer and sometime Illinois Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich.  But there has always been a distinctly different tenor from the media in stories involving scandalized Democrats compared to their reports on corrupt Republicans.

During the 2006 mid-term elections, the news world was saturated with talk of a GOP Culture of Corruption, a Democratic slogan repeated incessantly by the traditional media. The press cast three bad Congressmen and a single scamming lobbyist as representative of an entire Party gone bad, and their incessant drumbeat helped drive the GOP out of power.    

Meanwhile, one prominent Democrat after another has been tinged with scandal, but the media has yet to stamp their Party as Culturally Corrupt.
Last election cycle, we had the theme-busting story of Louisiana Democratic Congressman William Jefferson indicted on 16 counts of bribery after $90,000 turned up in his freezer.  Also breaking the mold was West Virginia Democratic Congressman Alan Mollohan, who spent the better part of the decade earmarking himself from rags to riches.

Since then, New York Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel has been accused of preserving a lucrative tax loophole that benefited an oil-drilling company whose chief executive had pledged $1 million to a school of public service named for him, illegally holding four New York City rent-controlled properties, failing to claim rental income on his place in the Dominican Republic and expensing to us taxpayers a leased Mercedes, amongst other acts of malfeasance.  

And Connecticut Democrat Senator Chris Dodd got a sweet deal on his Countrywide home mortgage in exchange for helping oppose Republican attempts at oversight of the collapsing lender.  There have been others.

But all of this somehow fails to rise to the medias Culture of Corruption standard.  

And thats just the Donkeys in Washington.  There was also New York Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer and his penchant for really expensive prostitutes.  And Detroit Democratic Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, ousted from office after pleading guilty to charges of obstruction of justice and perjury.  (For added Culture we have his mother, Michigan Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick.)   

And if ever there was a distilled-to-its-essence Culture of Corruption, Chicagos Machine is it.  And Blago is the latest and perhaps greatest example of how the Toddling Town does business.    

Here we have the governor of the state from which the next president hails attempting to sell the President-elects seat in the Senate.  We have credulity-straining denials of any contact with the Governor from the Administration-to be, followed by evidence surfacing that the two sides had in fact discussed the vacancy.

Additionally, President-elect Obama was -- according to his soon-to-be Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel -- one of the four architects of Blagos first gubernatorial victory in 2002.  And both Obama and Blago received campaign money and prodigious fundraising assistance from criminal political fixer Antoin Tony Rezko.

But rather than delving more deeply into these many ties, the media have instead gone out of their way to try to insulate Obama from the rampant Toddling Town hackery.  And have expressed a newly discovered disdain for the guilt by association with which they tarred Republicans in 2006.

CBS asserted that GOP attempts to tie Obama to Blagojevich were a tough sell, and that:
Barack Obama and Rod Blagojevich have both been leaders in Illinois Democratic politics for years, but long-time observers say that's about as far as the connection goes.
Reuters gave us the dismissive headline and story Obama seen untouched by Illinois governor charges.

NBCs Lee Cowan appeared to be not just indifferent to Chicagos Corruption Culture, but accepting of it.  And asserted that Blagos fraudulence was in fact not of his doing, but was inexorably preordained due to his hailing from the Windy City. 
Governor Rod Blagojevich is just the latest squeaky wheel in Chicago's political machine. Although he promised to be different, he fell victim, prosecutors allege, to history.
Cowans NBC colleague -- and newly minted "Meet the Press" moderator -- David Gregory was equally understanding of all things politics being dirty.  A courtesy he certainly did not extend to the Republicans in 2006. 
(A)t the heart of all politics is pay to play. Yes. There's a thin line between expectations and shakedown. But do any of us really believe that the people who raise huge sums of money for a particular political candidate aren't expecting something for their efforts? Do we really believe that a person who is vested with the power to give away a Senate seat isn't going to give it to the person who will somehow do him or her the most good?
While Cowan and Gregory found the Chicago political morass to be inevitably corrupting, Newsweeks Howard Fineman insisted that Obama had emerged from it unscathed.  And that it was his inexperience that saved him. 
Among Obama's many gifts are luckand a knack for not staying long enough in any one place to be corrupted by the local culture Obama managed to be allied with, but not really captured by, a host of Chicago and Illinois factions.
Fineman admits the Obama-Blago Nexis is strong, but ultimately unaffecting of the President-to be. 
Yes, Obama was an early supporter and adviser in 2002, when Blago first ran for governor and Obama was positioning himself to run for U.S. Senate in 2004. Yes, Obama allies Rahm Emanuel and David Wilhelm (but not David Axelrod) did work on that campaign. But Obama had the sense to keep his distance -- and he essentially got out of town before Blago went wild. 
The Washington Posts Eli Saslow was just as sure as Fineman of Obamas spotlessness in his piece entitled Obama Worked to Distance Self from Blagojevich Early On.

And PBSs Jim Lehrer nicely summed it all up for media men and women everywhere, asking of the 76-page indictment of a sitting Governor What's the big deal here?

It was of course a HUGE deal when the media could peddle a Republican Culture of Corruption.  Now that Democrats nationwide are steeped in sleaze, perhaps including the incoming President, the press has collectively lost interest in connecting the corruption dots, and deemed doing so to be in poor taste.  

Now it's all a Whats the big deal? All politics is pay-to-play non-story.  A micro-scandal from which Obama is distance(d) and by which he is untouched.

And thus do the traditional media lay-off another round of viewers and readers in their ongoing self-imposed journalistic recession.

The degree of two-faced, duplicitous behavior by our wonderful "neutral" media is utterly breathtaking.  And with Obama coming into office, along with a Democrat-packed congress, don't expect things to get better. 

If you want a hint of how this goes, here's a good one for you.  On the Today show this morning, Andrea Mitchell did a piece about Bill Clinton finally being forced to disclose the donors to his library and foundation.

Remember what media said about President Bush dealing with the Saudis?  Remember what they said about the Dubai port deal?  Bush was an idiot, who was willing to compromise the security of the United States because he was in bed with Arab countries that hate us. 

Well, it turns out that two of the biggest contributors to Clinton are....Saudi Arabia and Dubai. 

So what did Andrea Mitchell refer to them as?  "Major allies in the Middle East", that's what.  It's all better.  Clinton did it, not Bush.

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.

free` Everyday we see examples of media fraud, I wish their was some way to put an end to it. I used to hold out the hope that the people would stop buying there crap and they would go out of business. But with all the givernment bailouts I now know that isn't going to happen. What incentive does the media have to not be corrupt, they are like the Chicago politicians. (12/19/08)


CAROLINE LUNCHES WITH A RACIST

Ken Berwitz

Yesterday, Caroline Schlossberg Kennedy openly had lunch with a career racist/anti-Semite.  So that immediately ends any chance she has of being appointed the U.S. Senator from New York, right?

Nope.

The career racist/anti-semite Ms. Kennedy lunched with was al sharpton.  So instead of being condemned and shunned, Ms, Kennedy Schlossberg is even more beloved by the media and sharpton's pal, Governor David Paterson - who succeeded to the office after eliot spitzer resigned - is even more likely to pick her.

Here is the story, which I pulled from www.breitbart.com:

Sharpton takes Caroline Kennedy to lunch in Harlem
Dec 18 04:52 PM US/Eastern
By JENNIFER PELTZ
Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - The Rev. Al Sharpton took Caroline Kennedy to lunch Thursday at a famed Harlem soul food restaurant as she continued her quest to join her uncle in the U.S. Senate. Kennedy smiled as she and the civil rights activist made their way through a throng of media and into Sylvia's, whose walls are lined with photographs of visiting politicians including the Clintons.

"I come at this as a mother, as a lawyer, as an author, as an education advocate and from a family that really has spent generations in public service," Kennedy told reporters after lunch. "I feel this commitment, and this is a time when nobody can afford to sit out. And I hope that I have something to offer."

The late President John F. Kennedy's daughter acknowledged Wednesday she's seeking to be appointed to the Senate seat held by Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has been nominated by President-elect Barack Obama to be secretary of state.

Kennedy was asked what she would need to do to prepare herself for the post, which has attracted the interest of at least a dozen Democratic officials including her former relative by marriage, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

"I have, you know, quite a lot to learn, but I feel like I bring a lot with me, as well," Kennedy said.

She was also asked why she was plunging into politics now, after spending most of her life carefully cultivating her privacy.

"These are issues that I care so much about and I understand that, really, I have been trying to work on them as a private citizen and in the position that I have," she said. "But really, to solve our problems, I think government is the place where people need to come together."

Kennedy's emergence as a contender has generated both buzz and controversy. She comes from a Democratic dynasty but has never held public office, and some Republicans and Democrats have criticized her lack of experience.

Democratic Gov. David Paterson has said he won't make an appointment until Clinton is confirmed. The governor confirmed Kennedy's interest in the seat on Monday, the same day she reached out to Sharpton in a telephone call.

After speaking to Kennedy, Sharpton released a statement saying he disagreed with those who say she isn't qualified to be U.S. senator.

He said he had invited her to dine wtih him at Sylvia's this week, reminding her that he took Obama there during his campaign "so it's a good luck stop since he did all right."

This is the same al sharpton who gave us the tawana brawley hoax.  The same one who goaded the rioting crowds in Crown Heights by sneering out characterizations of Lubavitcher Jews as "diamond merchants".  The same one who incited protesters in front of Freddy's Fashion Mart in Harlem until one of them torched the place and killed 7 people. 

He is also the same sharpton who is front and center in every racially charged event he can find.  The same al sharpton who was convicted of defamation of character, who had to hand back over $100,000 in matching funds when he ran for President because of the way it was used and who has been found to owe the the government $1.5 million dollars in back taxes (which I doubt that he will ever pay - sharpton isn't very good at paying his debts).

Let me ask the question I ask over and over in here.  If this were a REPUBLICAN, do you suppose that he would be a media darling?  A kingmaker in the Republican Party?  A man whose prominence in the Republican Party would be treated as nothing with nothing by media?

More than ever before, it is so good to have a D after your name.  Even if, in this case, it stands for Dissolute, Dishonest and Discriminatory.

BOBW JUST A COMMENT ABOUT VASELINE HEAD DOES ONE HAVE TO BE A BLACK PERSON THAT IS SHOT BY A COP FOR THE GREASE BALL TO SOUND OFF- HOW ABOUT THE POOR GUATAMALAN WHO WAS ATTACKED BY A BLACK SAVAGE BECAUSE THE SAVAGE THOUGHT THIS MAN WAS A LATINO AND A GAY. WHERE IS THE GREASE BALL? DOES HE COME OUT OF HIS HOLE IN THE GROUND ONLY WHEN IT SUITS HIM AND HIS RACE? (12/19/08)


KRAUTHAMMER ON CAROLINE

Ken Berwitz

Charles Krauthammer is a great writer and a great columnist.  He has a great column today on the impending annointme....er, appointment of Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg as New York Senator to replace Hillary Clinton.

You can read it all by clicking the above link.  But in case you want to cut to the chase, I've put the last half of Mr. Krauthammer's column below:

Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against Caroline Kennedy. She seems a fine person. She certainly has led the life of a worthy socialite helping all the right causes. But when the mayor of New York endorses her candidacy by offering, among other reasons, that "her uncle has been one of the best senators that we have had in an awful long time," we've reached the point of embarrassment.

Nor is Ms. Kennedy alone in her sense of entitlement. Vice President-elect Biden's Senate seat will now be filled by Edward Kaufman, a family retainer whom no one ever heard of before yesterday. And no one will hear from after two years, at which time Kaufman will dutifully retire. He understands his responsibility: Keep the Delaware Senate seat warm for two years until Joe's son returns from Iraq to assume his father's mantle.

This, of course, is the Kennedy way. In 1960, John Kennedy's Senate seat was given to his Harvard roommate, one Ben Smith II (priceless name). He stayed on for two years -- until Teddy reached the constitutional age of 30 required to succeed his brother.

In light of the pending dynastic disposition of the New York and Delaware Senate seats, the Illinois way is almost refreshing. At least Gov. Rod Blagojevich (allegedly) made Barack Obama's seat democratically open to all. Just register the highest bid, eBay-style.

Sadly, however, even this auction was not free of aristo-creep. On the evidence of the U.S. attorney's criminal complaint, a full one-third of those under consideration were pedigreed: Candidate No. 2 turns out to be the daughter of the speaker of the Illinois House; Candidate No. 5, the first-born son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Caroline Kennedy, Beau Biden and Jesse Jackson Jr. could someday become great senators. But in a country where advantages of education, upbringing and wealth already make the playing field extraordinarily uneven, we should resist encouraging the one form of advantage the American Republic strove to abolish: title.

No lords or ladies here. If Princess Caroline wants a seat in the Senate, let her do it by election. There's one in 2010. To do it now by appointment on the basis of bloodline is an offense to the most minimal republicanism. Every state in the union is entitled to representation in the Senate. Camelot is not a state.

Michael Bloomberg usually has his head on pretty straight.  Can he possibly have cited Ms. Kennedy Schlossberg's uncle as a basis for making her a senator?  Did he really say that?

Tell you what:  I have two uncles.  Both of them were doctors.  One was an OB/GYN in Brooklyn, affiliated with Brookdale Medical Center.  Maybe I'll call the OB/GYN department at Brookdale to see if they have an opening on staff. 

And if they tell me I'm not qualified to be an OB/GYN just because my uncle was, I'll reference Michael Bloomberg.  That should end the issue right there.  But if it doesn't, I'll threaten them with Governor Paterson. 

I can almost see them shaking.

steve schneider my theory is this. the dems need a female candidate in 8 years and caroline fits the bill as hillary will be too old. steve (12/20/08)


THE STEALING OF NORM COLEMAN'S SENATE SEAT: FINAL STAGE

Ken Berwitz

From www.cnn.com today:

(CNN) -- Democrat Al Franken has pulled ahead of incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman in Minnesota's still unresolved U.S. Senate race, according to a running tally on the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Web site.

Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, left, and Democrat Al Franken have swapped leads in Minnesota's Senate race.

Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, left, and Democrat Al Franken have swapped leads in Minnesota's Senate race.

 Late Friday morning, the newspaper's tally put Franken ahead by 102 votes. Coleman's lead had fallen to single digits Thursday evening.

But the race remains fluid: The results reported by the newspaper are ongoing, with hundreds of challenged ballots still to be reviewed.

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has said that he and four other members on the Canvassing Board will not end their workday until all remaining challenges have been reviewed.

One major wild card that remains are roughly 4,000 ballots that were originally challenged by the campaigns, who have since withdrawn those challenges. The secretary of state's office has yet to declare how or when those ballots will be awarded to the candidates.

About 3 million votes were cast in the election, and the close result tripped an automatic recount.

Franken, a former "Saturday Night Live" comedian and writer, gained several hundred votes Thursday night as the board ruled on ballot challenges from both sides, the newspaper reported.

"When the recount is over and all the votes that were legally cast are counted, Al Franken will have won this election and will be declared the winner," Marc Elias, Franken's lead recount attorney, told the newspaper

Who is declaring that al franken will win?  Is it franken himself.  Or his campaign manager?  No and no.  It is his "lead recount attorney".  That says it all.

This is being done right in front of your eyes, folks.  Enjoying the show?


KEITH ELLISON'S TIES TO RADICAL ISLAM

Ken Berwitz

If a Christian congressperson had ties to - and was being bankrolled by - a radical right wing "church" with a history of supporting violence in the name of christianity, how do you suppose media would cover it? 

Well, Keith Ellison, the USA's first Muslim congressperson has that exact situation with radical Islam. 

Have you so much as heard of it, let alone been given details?

If not, then keep reading.  This piece by Scott Johnson at www.powerlineblog.com will get you up to speed.  Please pay special attention to the last paragraph, which I've put in bold print:

Who paid for Ellison's Hajj?

December 19, 2008 Posted by Scott at 5:51 AM

John Hinderaker wrote about the Star Tribune's puff piece by Mitch Anderson earlier this week on the pilgrimage of Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison to Mecca for the Muslim Hajj. The brief piece relied heavily on comments by Ellison spoksman Rick Jauert, who told Anderson "that Ellison paid for the journey himself." (Incidentally, the Star Tribune seems to have tinkered with the version of the story on which John commented)

Today the Star Tribune devotes a second puff piece by Anderson to Ellison's Hajj The rationale for another piece on the same subject is obscure. Apparently adding weight to Ellison's greatness in the eyes of the Star Tribune, Anderson quotes Ellison: "This is just me trying to be the best person I can be."

Anderson buries the sole item of journalistic interest at the end of the article. Anderson reports: "[Ellison's] expenses were paid for by the Muslim American Society of Minnesota." Despite the fact that it was Anderson himself who previously quoted Ellison's spokesman asserting that the trip was on Ellison's own nickel, Anderson drops the subject there. As one can infer from my Standard piece "Louis Farrakhan's first congressman," this is typical of the paralysis to which the Star Tribune's coverage of Ellison has been subject.

Ellison's relationship with the Muslim American Society of Minnesota should be troubling. The MAS Minnesota stands at the center of many of the religiously inspired controversies that have roiled the Twin Cities. It was the MAS Minnesota's own fatwa, for example, that prompted Muslim taxi drivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to refuse to transport passengers carrying liquor or accompanied by guide dogs. It is the MAS Minnesota that houses the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy, the Muslim charter school operating in violation of the First Amendment. (Both of these stories were broken by my friend Katherine Kersten in her discontinued Star Tribune column.)

The Muslim American Society that is the parent of MAS Minnesota is a story in itself. The MAS was founded as the American offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood is the radical Islamist organization that originated in Egypt that has put down roots in Europe and elsewhere. See Lorenz Vidino's excellent Middle East Quaterly essay on the MAS's efforts to Islamize Europe and Daniel Pipes's discussion of the MAS's American efforts.

Pipes also comments on the Muslim American Society's goals here and points out Daveed Gartenstein-Ross's important Standard column that looks at the Minnesota MAS chapter's stated goals. Gartenstein-Ross further explored the MAS's deep ties to radical Islam in a column for the Dallas Morning News.,

The Muslim Brotherhood was also at the heart of the Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas. The Holy Land Foundation was the chief American fundraiser for Hamas. Both the Holy Land Foundation and Hamas were created by the Muslim Brotherhood.
See the
Dallas Morning News article by Jason Trahan and Tanya Eiserer on the Holy Land Foundation verdicts last month.

Joe Kaufman documents the hate and support for Islamist terrorism spewed by the MAS Minnesota. Kaufman likens Ellison to other politicians such as Robert Byrd who have been involved with hate groups. Byrd was of course once an officer in the Ku Klux Klan.

Kaufman notes that unlike Byrd's, however, Ellison's associations continue while he remains in office. Ellison is perhaps more akin to such former House members as Vito Marcantonio, who became a friend of the Communist Party in Congress as a member of the American Labor Party.

Keith Ellison embodies the American left's weird alliance with radical Islam. How Ellison reconciles his Islamic faith with the Democratic Party's devout belief in homosexual rights, leftist feminism, abortion rights and every other element of the party's most radical agenda is a subject that the Minnesota media have somehow left unexplored, along with several others raised by Mitch Anderson in his two Star Tribune puff pieces on Ellison's Hajj.

How can this be?  How can this happen?  And how can media so determinedly keep you ignorant of it?

Well, I don't know how.  But they do, don't they? 

An ignorant electorate is an electorate that can be owned and operated by someone.  Sadly, to a great extent I have just described our electorate. 

When will we learn?  Ever?


HAMAS IS RE-ARMED...SO THE TRUCE IS OVER

Ken Berwitz

I don't like to do I-told-you-so's.  But in this case it was so obvious that (I hope) you realized it just as much as I did, so I'm doing one now.

hamas, the terror organization specifically dedicated to vaporizing Israel through jihad, has declared an end to the "truce" (as if there ever actually was one). 

Translation:  It is re-armed enough to kill a lot more Jews and spread a lot more terror.

Here is the story, via an excerpt from a larger article published by Reuters:

Hamas declares end to ceasefire with Israel in Gaza

Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:37pm EST
 
18 Dec 2008

By Nidal al-Mughrabi

GAZA (Reuters) - Hamas on Thursday declared an end to a six-month-old Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel in the Gaza Strip, raising the prospect of an escalation in cross-border fighting.

"The calm is over," Hamas official Ayman Taha said in an announcement after concluding talks with Palestinian factions in the coastal enclave controlled by the Islamist group.

He said the ceasefire, which Hamas says was scheduled to expire on December 19, would not be renewed "because the enemy did not abide by its obligations" to ease a crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip and halt all attacks.

Hamas stopped short of threatening an immediate escalation against Israel, which had hoped to extend the truce and appears wary of a confrontation that could cause heavy casualties on both sides.

The European Union, in a statement, called for an "immediate cessation" of both rocket fire and Israeli incursions.

Tensions along the Israeli-Gaza border have been escalating since early last month when a deadly Israeli army raid triggered a wave of rocket attacks by Palestinian militants.

On Wednesday, at least 20 rockets hit Israel, injuring two. The army responded with air strikes which killed a Palestinian.

On Thursday, 14 more rockets struck Israeli soil, causing damage but no injuries.

Israel has insisted the ceasefire was in the Palestinians' interest and ought to continue indefinitely.

Some Gaza residents hoped the deal would survive.

"I hope the truce can be renewed so we can continue to live in our houses," said Umm Mohammed, a mother of 10 whose house east of Gaza city lies close to the fortified border fence with Israel, from where tanks have mounted past incursions.

"If there was a raid I would have to leave the house with my children because raids can take days sometimes," she said.

But in the Israeli border town of Sderot, a common target for Gaza rockets, people scoffed at the notion of "calm."

"What calm? Did we have any calm so far? If this is calm then what will we have when it escalates?," said Yossi Timsit on Thursday, as sirens sounded and fellow residents ran for cover.

The way this works is as follows:  hamas attacks Israel daily.  That's ok.  Israel retaliates from within its own borders, or moves across its borders to wipe out the places it is being attacked from.  Israel is an aggressor. 

Then, when hamas depletes its arms and can no longer do as much damage as it would like, it calls a "truce".  That's ok.  hamas shoots artillery and rockets throughout the "truce".  That's ok.  Israel retaliates from within its own borders, or moves across its borders to wipe out the places it is being attacked from..  Israel is an aggressor.

This is a game.  A game with deadly consequences.  It will continue to be a game until there is an Israeli government willing to act decisively against these hate-filled genocidists. 

And that may happen in a matter of months.

If Benjamin Netanyahu is once again elected Prime Minister of Israel, you will not be seeing this insane policy of proportional give-and-take.  Unlike Ehud Olmert, the Neville Chamberlain reincarnation who currently is PM, Mr. Netanyahu will not accept things as they are. 

Netanyahu understands that the only way to do something about terrorist murderers is to make it worth their while to stop terrorizing and murdering.  And the only way to do that -- the only thing they understand -- is to inflict more damage on them than they are willing to accept.  

How I hope he wins.


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