Chrysler Commercial – It’s Halftime in America
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By: Lynn Woolley and Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
When the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure made a decision to sever its ties with America’s number one seller of abortions, Planned Parenthood, the media went to war. The media coverage was slanted in such a way that “mainstream” reporters like Andrea Mitchell and Lisa Myers of NBC News were openly advocating for a point of view—pressuring Komen to reverse course and give in to Planned Parenthood.
Why would the media go to war over something as seemingly insignificant as a policy change regarding funding at Komen, a private cancer charity? Part of the answer lies in the fact that, for the media, “women’s rights” take precedence over all other rights, including the rights of children. This is what “feminism” has become and this is what the Komen controversy was supposed to be about. In reality, it had nothing to do with breast cancer because the fact is that most Planned Parenthood affiliates don’t even provide mammograms. That money from Komen was used to refer women at risk of contracting the disease somewhere else.
So the issue was something else as well. While there were references to Planned Parenthood being an “abortion provider,” there was no explanation of what this “service” actually “provides”—a procedure that destroys a human life. This is why the annual March for Life against abortion is mostly ignored by the major media. It is a sad fact that even some conservative women still think that Planned Parenthood is simply an organization that provides information about voluntary family planning.
You saw very little in the mainstream media from pro-life people who supported Komen’s initial decision. The bias is so pronounced that the media long ago adopted the language of the Left. The term “pro-life” is never used. But “pro-choice” is. Newspapers use the term “abortion rights” to describe the political process of terminating the lives of the unborn, but use “anti-abortion” when referring to those of us who value human life. We are “against.” They are for “rights.”
So we made it a point to tune into the Big Three network newscasts on Friday night—hours after Nancy Brinker of Komen had caved. We wanted to see if this story would be treated in a neutral manner, or if the stories would be written from the standpoint that Brinker did the right thing—and, why did it take her so long? We did receive a shock, though it was a mild one. One of the three networks actually did a fairly nice job.
NBC was first. Brian Williams handed the story off to Lisa Myers. She had a packaged piece in which she featured several pro-abortion video bites, but no sound-on-tape from any pro-life people. She provided one very short pro-life quote, as a throwaway. It was advocacy journalism, pure and simple.
On ABC, Diane Sawyer did not hand off to a field reporter and did just a brief rundown of the story. But she was giddy about “people power.” There simply was no thought that anyone in the audience might have disagreed with her viewpoint.
It was a different story on CBS. Anchor Scott Pelley put the story later in his broadcast, opting for some national/international stories that he considered more important. When he handed off to Nancy Cordes, she presented a more balanced report with on-camera reaction from both sides of the issue. We suspect Pelley is influencing the CBS Evening News, and taking it down a more journalistic path. This may have to do with his journalism background in Texas.
Pelley is a native Texan who started his TV career in Lubbock and then moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth market where he eventually landed at WFAA-TV. This station is well known as one of the country’s premier news operations with virtually every reporter on staff having a fine journalistic reputation. Pelley worked there for seven years. As a correspondent for 60 Minutes, he has helped move the CBS Evening News into a more serious direction.
It is significant that the CBS Evening News employs investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, the recipient of one of the Reed Irvine Investigative Awards at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference. Attkisson is not afraid to offend the Obama Administration by pursuing stories such as the Department of Justice cover-up of the officially-sanctioned “Fast & Furious” arms trafficking from the U.S. to the Mexican drugs cartels. Such reporting would not be tolerated at NBC News or ABC News.
It seems unlikely that any network, however, would do an investigative piece on Planned Parenthood. This is truly a taboo subject for much of the media. Not only does Cecile Richards’ organization sell abortions to young women in trouble, but it also promotes the anything-goes sexual attitude that often leads to abortions. Baylor University economics professor Dr. John Pisciotta, in his role as head of Pro-Life Waco, has documented the despicable outreach of the local chapter that he calls “Planned Promiscuity.” The implication is that Planned Parenthood is a racket that victimizes young women and then exploits them for profit.
Meanwhile, Keach Hagey at Politico and other so-called liberal media watchdogs are assigning credit to social media for the Komen cave. We understand that liberals by the thousands got on Facebook and Twitter to complain. But what is it they were complaining about? The issue for the media was that the Komen decision could have snowballed, leading to more scrutiny of what Planned Parenthood is actually doing with the money, including federal dollars, it receives. And some of that money goes into the coffers of liberal Democrats running for office this year.
When Nancy Brinker dared to offend the leading organization behind the “sacrament” of abortion, the lines were drawn. That meant all the minions of the Left dropped what they were doing. It was time to go to war! The lives of women facing the risk of cancer were not the issue. They get their mammograms at other places anyway. The issue was the human lives already being lost at the Planned Parenthood clinics. This was the scandal that stood to be exposed, if Komen was not beaten down and put in its place.
Lynn Woolley is a Texas-based radio talk show host. His website is www.BeLogical.com. Cliff Kincaid is director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism.
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
There are so many scurrilous, condescending and false charges on MSNBC on any given day, that it is tough to catalog all of them. The NBC brand, which used to have much higher standards, is being damaged on a daily basis by its cable news division. A few items from MSNBC’s Florida primary analysis demand retractions and corrections, which will likely never come. They don’t care. They are hit men for the Democrats. That’s who they are, that’s what they do.
During the 5 p.m. hour on January 31st, the day of the Florida primary, Chris Matthews was on with New York magazine’s John Heilemann and Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman. It was the usual pile-on of the GOP candidates, not that they’re not doing a good enough number on each other. Clearly they are. But that doesn’t excuse the lies and the sloppiness of the commentary.
Heilemann was explaining that the negative campaigning in 2008 between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama never was anything like what we’re seeing among the Republicans, particularly between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Heilemann, along with Mark Halperin, wrote the book that is the liberals’ favorite account of the election, Game Change. So you would think he knows the history of that campaign pretty well.
Here is a transcript of the three of them talking:
Heilemann: Howard and I were talking before, you know people think back to the Clinton-Obama race in 2008 and how negative that was, how tough it was, etc. There was not a negative ad run between Clinton-Obama until March in that race. We’ve seen negative ads [in this Florida primary] on an unprecedented scale.
Matthews: I’m trying to remember, guys, how bad it got between now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama. What I remember when the now President said something we all thought then was pretty rotten, he said, “She’s likable enough,” Well that was considered very ungentlemanly, to put it lightly. That would be like the morning starter. They [Romney and Gingrich] don’t even say anything even remotely that nice.
Fineman: Liars, phonies, erratic, crazy!
Heilemann: Hillary Clinton, when she had the outburst in Ohio, “Shame on you, Barack Obama.” Again, that was considered a moment of great, emotional outburst and people talked about how bitter this campaign was getting.
Matthews: She didn’t call him a liar.
Heilemann: She didn’t come out and call him a liar, they didn’t call each other unfit for office. Nobody taunted, and kind of belittled the other one. Nothing quite like we’re seeing right now in this Republican race.
But Heilemann was simply wrong. A Google search turned up loads of examples of negative attacks, both publicly and in ads, between the two, and well before March of 2008. There were many to choose from, but I’ve just picked a few that were described as such on CNN, ABC, CBS, The Young Turks and Robert Reich’s blog. Perhaps Heilemann doesn’t agree with their characterizations of these ads and comments as “negative.”
For example, Robert Reich, Bill Clinton’s former Treasury Secretary wrote this in his blog on January 24, 2008: “Bill Clinton’s ill-tempered and ill-founded attacks on Barack Obama are doing no credit to the former President, his legacy, or his wife’s campaign. Nor are they helping the Democratic party. While it may be that all is fair in love, war, and politics, it’s not fair—indeed, it’s demeaning—for a former President to say things that are patently untrue (such as Obama’s anti-war position is a “fairy tale”) or to insinuate that Obama is injecting race into the race when the former President is himself doing it. Meanwhile, the attack ads being run in South Carolina by the Clinton camp which quote Obama as saying Republicans had all the ideas under Reagan, is disingenuous.
And here is just a small sampling of stories about negative ads, in the months leading up to March 2008, when Heilemann said the first ones began.
From CBS, on February 16, 2008—Obama Counters Clinton’s Negative Ad;
From ABC on December 31, 2007—Obama Launches First Negative Ad;
From The Young Turks on the Hillary Clinton—“3 a.m. wake-up call” ad;
A YouTube from a debate in which Hillary accused Obama of plagiarism;
From CNN—Clinton camp pulls negative ad in South Carolina.
The key difference is that when Hillary and Obama called each other, or their campaigns, liars, or plagiarists, or not ready or unfit for the office, the media usually tried tamping it down, and kept it from becoming a media circus. With the Republicans, the liberal media, particularly the clowns at MSNBC, want it to be as ugly as possible. They have an agenda, which is getting Barack Obama reelected. No question about it.
Later on in the evening of the Florida primary, after the results were in, with Romney winning over Gingrich by 14 points, the whole crew had a little love-fest with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairperson of the Democratic National Committee. They were yukking it up about what they see as the Republicans’ self-destruction, and Obama’s great compassion for the middle class.
Howard Fineman said that he had just spoken to some Democrats close to the White House and “They’ve been assuming Romney is the candidate. What they focused on is that they want to attack Mitt Romney on character, the way that Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney were going at each other here. So if you think it was nasty now, wait till you see what the Democrats have planned for Mitt Romney,” said Fineman with a great sense of an insider’s righteous glee.
So you see, it’s not negativity that offends these fine journalists so much. Negativity used by Obama against Republicans is just fine.
“What are the targets?” asked Matthews.
“The targets are the notion that he [Romney] will do anything, say anything, to get where he wants to go,” said Fineman, “and therefore is not trustworthy, cannot be believed.” Fineman said the tactics that Romney used, and the negative ads, provide the opening for Obama to go after Mitt’s character. “The Democrats think—they may be deluding themselves—that they have a character case to make against Mitt Romney.”
Then Matthews took class warfare to the point of accusing Romney of committing a crime:
“Let’s go south of Florida, the Cayman Islands, where he put his money, a chunk of his money,” said Matthews. “If I were doing the Democratic ad campaign [You mean, Chris, you’re not? You certainly act as if you are chief flak for the Dems, and you are paid millions of dollars a year to be in that position, making you part of the 1%.], I’d say ‘wait a minute, you’re an angry factory worker, your job’s been shipped overseas, guess what, he’s [Romney] been shipping his money overseas to hide it from the IRS.’ [Emphasis added. Matthews is outright accusing Romney of a crime.] This guy is moving his wealth overseas to avoid taxation, but not only that, isn’t there something unpatriotic about putting your money overseas so it doesn’t face U.S. taxation? Isn’t there something a little subversive in that even?”
Fineman: “It’s the difference between the worldview of the partners of Bain Capital and the view of just about everybody else in America. If you’re a partner of Bain Capital, if you’re a captain of industry, if you’re a Wall Street person, it’s considered the proper thing to do, to send your money abroad.”
Matthews: To bury your money overseas.
Fineman: To bury your money because you’re trying to avoid taxation. And that’s legitimate if it’s legal. But for most American working people, the notion that somebody would do that is just beyond their understanding and it does sound, I think, if the campaign is run right by the Democrats and the President, they’ll make it sound unpatriotic and they’ll have reason to do it with average working people.
Matthews later added, “We’ll see how well Mitt Romney’s money-making stands up under the scrutiny of the press. He may not have a problem with the Republicans but I think he’ll get a lot of scrutiny from the President and his people and their campaign. We’re going to learn a lot more about Mitt Romney and how he hid his money in the last 10 years, before this thing is out,” said Matthews, before invoking God, saying “and thank God we will.”
Let’s see. Matthews works for MSNBC, part of the NBC family, which in 2010 made $14.2 billion worldwide, and $5.1 billion on its U.S. operations, according to The New York Times, and not only paid zero federal income taxes in the U.S., but claimed a $3.2 billion benefit through lobbying, write-offs and loopholes. After much back and forth on this issue, other studies indicated that The New York Times may have gotten their figures wrong, though they stand by them. GE then owned 80% of NBC Universal, and today still owns 49%, with Comcast owning the other 51%. And GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt heads President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. You can’t make this stuff up.
So what does that make Matthews? A hypocrite? He accuses Romney of hiding money from the IRS. Yet he works for a company that goes to great lengths to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Furthermore, a majority of GE’s more than 300,000 employees are based overseas, after shuttering 28 manufacturing plants in the U.S. between 2005 and 2009. Yet GE’s CEO is ironically the head of the President’s Jobs Council?
To quote Chris Matthews: “Isn’t there something unpatriotic about putting your money overseas so it doesn’t face U.S. taxation? Isn’t there something a little subversive in that even?”
Finally, did Romney invest money in the Cayman Islands to, as Matthews said, “hide it from the IRS?” According to a column by the widely respected economist Alan Reynolds, “The assets of Mitt and Ann Romney have been held in blind trusts since 1993, leaving them with no choice about how or where the money is invested. Accounts in Bermuda or the Caymans would be suspicious only if the resulting interest income was not reported on the tax return—as it obviously was.”
And that’s the point that Matthews foolishly misses. If Romney was trying to hide this money from the IRS, why would he report it on his IRS tax returns, which once released became the basis for how Matthews and others came to know about the accounts?
Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at [email protected].
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
On top of the campaign to pressure New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to release terrorist killer Judith Clark from prison, the far-left is asking President Obama to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier, an American Indian activist who was convicted of the execution-style murders of FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams.
February 4 has been declared “International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier,” who was sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment.
A group working for Peltier’s release, in an email to its supporters, says, “Several high-level meetings (some with Administration officials) are expected to occur in Washington, D.C., in early 2012.” No officials were named, however.
The campaign has the support of actor Danny Glover, whose film company, Louverture Films, has taken up the cause of freeing the convicted killer. The Glover company, which has received over $19.7 million from the Marxist regime of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, is involved in the publicity campaign for “Wind Chases the Sun,” a film that glamorizes Peltier.
Another Danny Glover project, “The Black Power Mix Tape,” features former Communist Party activist Angela Davis.
While the chances of an Obama pardon of Peltier may seem far-fetched, support for Peltier does exist in the “progressive” ranks of the Democratic Party. Reps. Maxine Waters and John Conyers have been among dozens of left-wing Democrats who had asked President Clinton to give clemency to Peltier.
Interestingly, Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, had been a Peltier supporter when he was a left-wing congressman from California. He signed a congressional letter asking President Carter to give clemency to Peltier.
While the far-left Democrats failed in their efforts to get Presidents Carter and Clinton to let Peltier out of prison, the case of Obama could be different. Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, signed a submission to the U.N. claiming that Peltier is a “political prisoner” in the U.S. and should be freed. One wonders if the President ever talked to Wright, his pastor of 20 years, about the case, or whether Wright preached about it in his sermons.
A committee established to free Peltier is asking its supporters to directly telephone the White House to demand clemency for Peltier. The group is also asking people to contact Attorney General Eric Holder on behalf of Peltier. Holder, of course, was involved in facilitating the Clinton pardons of Weather Underground terrorists Linda Evans and Susan Rosenberg and various Puerto Rican FALN terrorists. Under Obama, the Holder Justice Department granted early release to Weather Underground terrorist Marilyn Buck.
The group working for Peltier’s freedom says, “As has been done in the past, we’re busy lobbying senators and other Members of Congress to gain their support for Leonard’s freedom…To date, this activity has been focused on mail and fax communications. To enhance our effectiveness, a lobbying trip to Capitol Hill and face-to-face meetings with congressional leaders is planned.”
The FBI has officially opposed any form of release or clemency for Peltier. In 2009, Thomas J. Harrington, FBI Executive Assistant Director in the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, testified in opposition to parole for Peltier, saying, “The intentional and vicious attack by Mr. Peltier was not simply a blatant attack on two FBI special agents; it was an attack on law enforcement as a whole—an attack on the rule of law. The inevitable haziness brought on by the passage of time does not diminish the brutality of the crimes or the lifelong torment to the surviving families. Those surviving families extend beyond the Coler and Williams’ to the entire FBI family. Moderation or lenience in terms of Mr. Peltier’s sentence can only signal disregard and disrespect to the law enforcement community as a whole, and to the families of Special Agents Coler and Williams.”
Nevertheless, Danny Glover brings Hollywood star power to the effort. Glover played roles in such films as “The Color Purple” and “Lethal Weapon.”
Since Glover has criticized Obama for not being left-wing enough, a White House grant of clemency for Peltier could be used to appease Obama’s base.
The campaign to get the attention of Obama and other left-wing Democrats is well underway. Glover participated in a “Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights” on behalf of Peltier that took place at the “Occupy Oakland” encampment in Oakland, California.
“I am involved because of the great injustice that was committed against Leonard Peltier,” Glover said. “I believe he is innocent of the crimes for which he was convicted. During the trial there were at least 25 violations of the U.S. Constitution committed against him. This is a travesty of justice.”
The “Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights” was launched on December 18, 2011 on Alcatraz Island and will conclude in Washington, D.C. on May 18, 2012. “I plan on being in Washington on May 18,” Glover said. However, he did not say if a visit to the White House or Congress was on his agenda.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected].
Hat Tip: BB
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