By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
You know the standards of the media have hit rock bottom when a liberal commentator makes news for telling the truth. Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post and MSNBC has become a media star for his belated recognition of the “Hands up, don’t shoot” lie out of Ferguson, Missouri. Better late than never, except for the fact that this liberal narrative was always in dispute. There was never any legitimate reason to believe that Police Officer Darren Wilson had simply fired on Michael Brown for no reason.
The appropriate reaction to Capehart’s Damascus Road conversion to the truth should be: What took you so long? And what will you do to make sure you never fall for such a vicious lie again?
Don Irvine, the chairman of Accuracy in Media, notes in his blog on the AIM website that Capehart admitted the narrative was wrong after the Department of Justice found Wilson’s side of the story to be true. Capehart said, “What DOJ found made me ill.” Irvine commented, “I would be ill too if I had helped push a false narrative that gave fuel to the riots in Ferguson that have cost businesses and taxpayers millions of dollars, and ruined the career of Officer Wilson.”
The people who should be ill are those who depend on Capehart and others like him for the truth. Capehart is just trying to recover some of the credibility he never had in the first place.
Those of us who don’t take Capehart and his ilk seriously as arbiters of truth are watching this celebration of his one-time truth-telling as an example of how, for much of the media, lies and distortions are the standard fare. Otherwise, why would telling the truth be so controversial?
But this case is much more than a few liberal commentators like Capehart taking the side of dishonesty and then waking up, months later, to what actually happened.
Colin Flaherty, an award winning reporter and author of Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry: The hoax of black victimization and those who enable it, says that what happened in Ferguson was a carefully orchestrated hoax. He notes how in an amazing turnabout, the false claims about an unprovoked murder of a young black man became complaints about too many traffic tickets for black people.
“We now know the Ferguson riots were all about racist traffic tickets and not the relentless white racism and violence that killed yet another black person,” Flaherty notes. “The greatest bait and switch of our generation and few reporters even seemed to notice. Why would they? They are used to it by now.
“First they told us about ‘hands up, don’t shoot.’ When that turned out to be a lie, they told us about the Gentle Giant. It continued for months, one lie after another, each discarded, replaced and sometimes recycled.” Flaherty reminds us of several of the lies. We were told that Michael Brown was shot in the back, that he was minding his own business, and trying to surrender.
Flaherty adds, “The racial grievance industry and their beards in the press put on and took off each lie like a cheap suit. Cute kids made viral videos with the ‘hands up don’t shoot’ pose, and reminded white people of their relentless racism. Members of Congress followed from the floor of the House.
“The President talked about racists in Ferguson at the United Nations. The parents of Michael Brown were honored guests at the gala dinner of the Congressional Black Caucus. The President greeted them from the podium during his keynote speech to extended applause. Then he talked about Ferguson racism.
“The Attorney General traveled to Ferguson and made [a] ‘personal promise’ that he would stand with the people of Ferguson. As long as those people were not cops.”
Flaherty goes on, “Entire cable networks repeated the lie day after day, guest after guest, promo after promo. Death. Murder. White racism. How could we not see it? Were we so blind, so immersed in white privilege, like a fish unaware of the water?”
It turned out, according to the DOJ, that Ferguson was all about traffic tickets. “Funny: At the time, no one mentioned the traffic tickets that now stand with the firehoses and police dogs of Selma as icons of racist oppression,” Flaherty notes.
The facts were such that the Attorney General had to grudgingly admit what many others had been saying from day one. “The facts of the death and the fairy tale that followed were all concocted, spoon fed to a willing press corps that did nothing but ask for more,” he points out.
Then, suddenly, in another diversion from the essential truth of what happened, the media picked up on another narrative—that blacks were the victims of too many traffic tickets. “The day after the Attorney General’s confession, the manufactured outrage of Chris Cuomo of CNN was on full display as he and the Brown family attorney railed against the injustice of too many traffic tickets,” commented Flaherty.
The media moved on to another issue, without bothering to emphasize how wrong they had been in the months before. This is the performance of a media that promotes and even prefers lies over the truth. The lies, after all, gin up racial controversy and ratings.
Flaherty asks: what about the CNN anchors who were holding the “Hands up, don’t shoot” signs on the air?
That’s a good question indeed. These included what we called a prominent example of the “fake conservatives” in the media, such as when Margaret Hoover joined her fellow CNN panelists in a “Hands up, don’t shoot” display based on the fiction that Brown was surrendering to the police when he was shot.
Hoover has written a book titled, American Individualism: How a New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party. This self-described conservative thinks she has the answer to saving the Republican Party. She engaged in that display despite the fact that she said the narrative had been discredited because of witness testimony from the grand jury.
So Hoover engages in something she knows to be untrue, simply because it is the fashionable thing to do. What does this say about her ethical standards? “As a reform Republican, who works for the GOP to broaden its base and reach new constituencies, I see no contradiction between supporting law enforcement and the policy solutions highlighted by these protesters,” Hoover says.
The “protesters” were not highlighting “policy solutions,” but a deadly and false narrative about alleged police violence. She could have told the truth. Instead, she participated on the air in a display of a false narrative.
Why doesn’t she have the decency to apologize? Why doesn’t CNN apologize?
Flaherty also wonders why, after the hoax was exposed, we didn’t hear one apology from the media. It’s because our media have no standards of ethical behavior and conduct. Instead, the media went on with their business, acting as if traffic tickets “justified all the rioting, vandalism, fire-bombing, looting, assaulting, attacks on police, gunfire and other mayhem in and out of Ferguson.”
The praise for Capehart for eventually telling the truth may be one way the media can attempt to atone for their sins in this coverage. But it’s not good enough.
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
Why is it that the media almost always want to distance President Obama from the various scandals occurring during his presidency? It is as if he has nothing to do with the people he has appointed to run the various federal agencies, and no responsibility for their incompetence or corruption. Here is but the latest example:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is reviewing insurance claims for 144,000 New York and New Jersey victims of Superstorm Sandy. The storm, which was actually Hurricane Sandy, hit the U.S. coast near Atlantic City, New Jersey, on October 29, 2012. This FEMA review was prompted by lawsuits, an ongoing criminal inquiry, and news reporting that exposed the systematic, corrupt low-balling of homeowners by insurance companies working with FEMA. “They [FEMA] probably orchestrated the whole thing,” one victim, Doug Quinn, told CBS News. “A Sandy task force is being formed to evaluate the nation’s flood insurance program,” it reports.
The media would likely have treated this as a front-page scandal under George W. Bush’s leadership.
Relegating this news to page A25, The New York Times, on March 12, reported that insurance and engineering firms “have noted that there is little financial incentive to cheat.” In fact, “the money that is paid out ultimately comes from FEMA, not the insurance companies,” wrote David W. Chen, and the “flood insurance program…penalizes insurers for overpaying claims but not for underpaying them.”
Deborah Ramey and her husband Robert Kaible lost the home they rented out in Long Beach, NY due to Superstorm Sandy’s sand and floodwater damage. Although the house was valued at $205,000, they were offered just $60,000 for it before it was demolished because the insurance company concluded that long-term forces had caused the damage, not the storm.
However, when the insurer “agreed to send an engineer to take another look,” it made the mistake of sending out the same engineer who wrote the original report, according to Catherine Dunn of the International Business Times. That engineer had originally concluded that Superstorm Sandy, not long-term deterioration, was responsible for the destruction.
The engineer, George Hernemar, allowed Kaible to take cell phone photos of portions of his original, undoctored report in order to confront the insurer. In the end, they received just $79,000, demolished the house and sold it at a loss. The couple’s plea for relief from the courts is one of about 2,000 such lawsuits.
Steve Mostyn, who represents the couple, obtained a sample of 250 engineering reports from one such engineering firm, U.S. Forensic, and claims that all but two reports were identical, according to Dunn. Mostyn told “60 Minutes” that he began looking for a common denominator in the reports to understand why nearly all of the engineering companies’ reports were exactly the same. “And in this case, all of those companies are overseen by FEMA…” added CBS correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi. “More than 5 million homeowners living in designated flood zones all around the country are required to buy flood insurance policies backed by FEMA and taxpayer money.”
When “60 Minutes” covered this unfolding debacle earlier this month, it demonstrated the show’s best strengths and greatest weakness. In its damning investigative story about how insurance companies and the government conspired—or at least joined together—to deceive and abuse their clients, CBS also couldn’t help itself. It, like other news organizations, chose to politicize the story by conspicuously leaving out any mention of politics or administration accountability.
Alfonsi, the “60 Minutes” reporter, spoke with FEMA’s Brad Kieserman, the Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance, who had been on the job for about three weeks at the time he was interviewed. In that time, Kieserman had uncovered fraudulent activity, warning signs reaching back to 2013, and said he referred the issue to the Inspector General. Now, the Times reports, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program head David Miller has resigned and a top deputy has retired.
The media are apparently not interested in looking any higher than mid-level management for accountability. As with so many other instances, such as the IRS and Veterans Affairs scandals, the media prefer to minimize the fallout for the Obama administration. Both the “60 Minutes” broadcast, and The New York Times fail to mention President Obama, current Department of Homeland Security (which FEMA is under) Secretary Jeh Johnson, former Secretary Janet Napolitano, or the administration in general.
This constitutes a deliberate omission by these news outlets. Such hypocritical reporting also serves to shelter the administration from the type of shellacking meted out to President Bush over Hurricane Katrina.
“So I want to repeat—my message to the federal government: No bureaucracy, no red tape. Get resources where they’re needed as fast as possible, as hard as possible, and for the duration [of Sandy],” said President Obama on October 30, 2012, in the midst of his reelection campaign.
Even National Public Radio is blasting FEMA’s actions toward Sandy victims, reporting this week that “In fact, FEMA’s appeals process almost never works in favor of homeowners. According to interviews with insurance insiders, FEMA’s appeals process is a ‘joke’ and ‘rigged’ in favor of insurance companies.” And just like CBS’s “60 Minutes,” NPR never mentions a word about President Obama, or Jeh Johnson. Instead, it’s just this faceless bureaucracy, FEMA, that is to blame.
FEMA, along with the IRS, Veterans Affairs and the Secret Service, are all agencies run by political appointees of President Obama, but no one in the media seems to want to hold the President or his appointees responsible. Why? They’ve spent nearly eight years covering for him. They’re certainly not going to stop now.
The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.
You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness? – Adolf Hitler
I studied the Qu’ran a great deal. I came away from that study with the conviction that by and large there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad. As far as I can see, it is the principal cause of the decadence so visible today in the Muslim world and, though less absurd than the polytheism of old, its social and political tendencies are in my opinion more to be feared, and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress in relation to paganism itself. – Alexis de Tocqueville
All this talk of people who burn the Koran and nothing about the people who reacted in such a stupid way. We are always blaming the victim and not holding them — not most Muslims, but at least a large part of Muslim culture that doesn’t condemn their people… There is one religion in the world that kills you when you disagree with them and they say ‘look, we are a religion of peace and if you disagree we’ll f**king cut your head off, and nobody calls them on it — there are very few people that will call them on it. It’s like if Dad is a violent drunk and beats his kids, you don’t blame the kid because he set Dad off. You blame Dad because he’s a violent drunk. – Bill Maher
This week’s winning essay, Joshuapundit’s The Chicken Or The Egg?, looks at some elements of Islamic culture and asks: is it Islam that promotes the extreme violence and misogyny associated with Muslim societies? Or is that just part of a tribal society that persists in spite of Islam? Here’s a slice:
Unless you’re in a coma, you’ve probably noticed that a great many of the violent and barbaric acts in our modern world can be attributed to followers of Islam.
In the Islamic world today, aside from homicide bombings, jihad and terrorism directed against dar harb ( the part of the world not ruled by Islam), honor killings, female genital circumcision and other forms of violence against women are commonplace, and homosexuals are routinely brutalized and murdered. Non-Muslims are treated as barely human in much of the Islamic world, if they’re allowed to exist at all. Warfare carried out by Muslims is done with modern tools of the trade provided by the despised infidels, but is a relic of the good ol’ primitive and tribal days. Hostages, beheadings and the deliberate killing of civilians are all fair game, and the language of jihad is essentially the same heady stuff used back in the 7th century against the infidel. And through it all, there remains the miasma of seething violent rage at things like the Danish cartoons that simply doesn’t exist in other religious groups.
The question nobody wants to ask keeps floating to the surface: Is Islam to blame? Or, to put it another way, are the perpetrators simply bad Muslims or are they actually good ones who are simply more in tune with Mohammed’s message than the majority? Does Islam itself promote violence? Or are the acts simply a product of primitive tribal society that persists in spite of Islam?
Actually, this is a trick question. I personally believe that Islam and the primitive tribal culture combined back in the day to sustain each other and can’t be separated by their very nature…even though some valiant attempts have been made in the past, and are being made today.
Let’s look at honor killings, for example. Probably the oldest recorded one is in Genesis 34, when Jacob’s daughter Dinah was seduced (or raped, depending on how you interpret the text) by a man from the town of Shechem( modern day Nablus). Afterwards, Jacob’s sons Simeon and Levi instigated the killing of the town’s men in revenge. But the Torah also tells us how Jacob denounced the killings and actually took the time to bad mouth his sons for the deed from his deathbed. Not only that, but you’ll notice a profound difference from the Islamic way of handling this – the onus of punishment fell on the male, not the female.
his isn’t the only honor killing mentioned in the Bible, but they were never condoned or part of Jewish law, just merely reported.
Islam, on the other hand, not only sanctions honor killings but is quite clear about its position in the matter. Killing or flogging an adulteress or a female that has relations with a non-Muslim male are part of sharia ( Qu’ran: 4:15, for example) – provided an Islamic court orders the punishment rather than an individual male family member going off on his own.
Even at that, Islamic courts today in the Muslim world frequently view male family members taking the law into their own hands fairly leniently. In Jordan, for example, many brutal honor killings have been punished by as little as a three month sentence under Jordanian Public Law 340. Moreover, in the context of Islamic society such murderers are often celebrated and held up as role models. Just as homicide bombers and terrorists who kill infidel civilians often are.
But what if a Muslim feels himself disrespected and lives in say, Britain or New Jersey? If no Islamic courts are available, is it permissible to take the law into one’s own hands? Probably. There’s not much in the way of Islamic rulings or commentary on that particular subject, but the near silence of most Muslim clergy in the West when it comes to denouncing honor killings speaks volumes…one of those little inconvenient truths Western apologists for multiculturalism and Islam constantly run up against when a number of Muslim clerics themselves insist that honor killing, female genital mutilation, and stoning of adulterers are mandated by Islam. And, as you’ve probably guessed by now , that’s one of the unspoken reasons behind the push among many Muslims in the West for sharia courts to handle those messy domestic problems that come up with uppity females from time to time.
Violent death penalties for women caught in adultery is fairly typical of a primitive society, but only Islam continues the practice into the present day. No Christian court has ever condemned a woman to death for adultery. And although the death penalty for adultery is found in the Book of Leviticus, there is no record of such a sentence ever carried out by any Jewish court. The same is true of homosexuality; while both Christianity and Judaism consider it ‘a sin and an abomination’ only Islam clearly mandates the death penalty for such activities and carries it out in our present day.
So why does Islamic society persist in these practices?
Much more at the link.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Daniel Greenfield’s – Obama’s Treason Is The New Patriotism, submitted by The Noisy Room. Daniel has some very hard hitting things to say about President Obama and a number of his questionable actions… and the tendency by the usual suspects to name anyone whom disagrees with the Regime a ‘traitor.’
Here are this week’s full results. GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD and Rhymes With Right were unable to vote this week, but were not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:
- *First place with 2 1/3 votes! – Joshuapundit – The Chicken Or The Egg?
- Second place with 2 votes – Bookworm Room – Trevor Loudon tells enthralled Marin County audience that victory in 2016 requires uniting and inspiring conservative base
- Third place with 1 1/3 votes – VA Right! – Is the Location of Hillary Clinton’s Email Server 75 Broad St New York, NY 10004?
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – Nice Deb – President Bystander Blames Bush For ISIS – Even Though He Funded Them and They Metastasized On His Watch
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – Ask Marion – Beating The Odds
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – Don Surber – Prime Minister: “Australians are sick of being lectured to by the United Nations”
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – The Right Planet – The Silencers
- Fifth place with 2/3 votes – The Noisy Room – The Faustian Pact Between Obama And Iran
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 votes – The Glittering Eye – The History of ‘Advice and Consent’
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 votes – Rhymes With Right – But The Obama Administration Assured Us These Folks Were Poor People Who Just Needed Jobs!
- *First place with 3 votes! – Daniel Greenfield/FrontPage Mag – Obama’s Treason Is The New Patriotism submitted by The Noisy Room
- Second place with 2 1/3 votes – Michael Totten – Let Iraq Die: A Case for Partition submitted by Joshuapundit
- Third place with 2 votes – James Rosen/Playboy – Dick Cheney Interview: ‘Obama is The Worst President Of My Lifetime’ submitted by The Watcher
- Fourth place with 1 vote – Walter Russell Mead – The Way Forward on Iran submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 votes – Michael Douglas/LA Times – Michael Douglas finds Judaism and faces anti-Semitism submitted by Don Surber
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 votes – Richard Epstein/Hoover Institution – Race Baiting And Ferguson submitted by Nice Deb
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Veronique de Rugy/The Daily Beast – On Ex-Im Bank, the Democrats Are the Real Corporate Shills submitted by The Razor
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Victor Davis Hanson/PJ Media – A Tale of Four Droughts submitted by Bookworm Room
See you next week!
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!
And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.
It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.