On Friday, I noted that a WSJ article stood out as being one of the very few I've seen that even raised the question of possible political downsides the GOP could face if they successfully kill health care reform.
Watching the coverage unfold I'd been surprised that so few in the press even considered that Republicans might face some kind of backlash. Instead, the press has been painting their opposition as win-win, despite the fact that polls show a clear majority of Americans want health care reform; the type of health care reform Democrats in Congress are proposing.
Here's the latest proof of that, courtesy Gallup:
Yep, an astounding 71 percent of Americans want a new health care reform bill passed. But don't tell the press, they're too busy writing about the Republican pending success in blocking health care reform.
In fact, in an effort to prove my point, Reuters actually used the above Gallup polling data to highlight bad news for Obama.
Behold [emphasis added]:
Obama's soaring rhetoric helped him win the presidency and propelled his first months in Washington. But despite his frequent speeches declaring a healthcare revamp is urgently needed to help rebuild the U.S. economy, Americans are still expressing some uncertainty.
A Gallup poll released on Friday said only 41 percent of those surveyed wanted legislation approved this year, and the poll was done on Thursday night, one day after Obama's healthcare-dominated news conference.
See, 71 percent of Americans want health care reform. But to the Beltway press that's not bad news for Republicans, it's bad news for Obama; it simply proves Americans are "expressing some uncertainty."
From the FoxNation.com, accessed on July 27:
Newsbusters' Brent Baker provides still more evidence that the conservative media critique is fundamentally absurd. Baker is upset that "Time magazine's online staff certainly undermined any notion of impartiality in how they littered the posted version of this week's cover story, 'Inside Bush and Cheney's Final Days,' with the links they chose to display between paragraphs and at page breaks of the article."
Baker's first example?
Others, however, reflected hostility and/or derision toward the two key players in the story, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, starting with "Visit RottenTomatoes.com for reviews of W., Oliver Stone's 2008 portrait of George W. Bush" and "Read 'Leahy's Plan to Probe Bush-Era Wrongdoings.'"
Wow. That's Baker's strongest evidence that Time's link package demonstrated liberal bias? The fact that a Time article about Bush mentions the fact that the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee is considering investigations into Bush-era wrongdoing? A link to a movie review web site? Pretty weak stuff. But Baker's argument gets weaker from there:
The "See the top 10 unfortunate political one-liners" link goes to a collection which includes George H.W. Bush's pledge to not raise taxes: "Read my lips: no new taxes."
Baker forgets to mention this, but the list also includes two Bill Clinton quotes and one each from LBJ and Jimmy Carter. What the heck is Baker's point?
The link for "See pictures of polarizing politicians on LIFE.com" brings readers to a collection which has Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton and Al Sharpton, but also George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Rudy Giuliani and Ronald Reagan.
OH MY GOD! THE BIAS! IT BURNS!
Wait. Uh ... what? That's an "Anti-Bush and Cheney Potshot Link"?
They all quote Sarah Palin's resignation-speech attack on the news media: "how about, in honor of the American soldier, you quit making things up"
And none of them point out that Palin herself has a famous history of "making things up." Like her claim to have said "thanks but no thanks" to Congress' attempts to inflict a "bridge to nowhere" on her state.
Sarah Palin, who has a lengthy history of making things up, basically accused the news media of dishonoring dead American soldiers by ... making things up. And the media typed up her words, not daring to point out the utter hypocrisy of her sanctimonious attack. An attack on them.
Don't they have any self-respect?
Howard Kurtz's "Media Notes" column today: 2,500 words -- none of them about CNN president Jonathan Klein's endorsement of Lou Dobbs birtherism.
Why would the Washington Post employ a media critic who refuses to criticize the president of a company that pays him on the side?
UPDATE: Kurtz just finished his weekly "online discussion" for the Post, during which he didn't take any questions about Klein or Dobbs.
Glenn Thrush wins more admirers at the RNC with this nasty piece on Nancy Pelosi, proving once again that Politico staffers seem to thrive on regurgitating GOP talking points beneath their bylines. I mean, who actually quotes Michelle Malkin in a news story? Glenn Thrush, that's who.
Check out Thrush's comically loaded lede [emphasis added]:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is one of the most despised political figures in the country.
From the first sentence we can see where Thrush is going. Pelosi isn't unpopular, she's despised. By that measure, I suppose former president Bush was despised, but I didn't see those kinds of references in Politico news articles last year. But a Democrat? And a female Democrat? Trust Thrush; she's despised.
Last week's Public Strategies Inc./POLITICO poll brought grim news for Pelosi, revealing that only a quarter of Americans trust the San Francisco Democrat — putting her in the basement with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).
Do I even have to explain that the polling data Politico pointed to had nothing to do with public figures being "despised." It asked voters which leaders were trusted. Pelosi scored low, and Thrush translated that into her being despised.
BTW, according to Politico's own polling, 58 percent of Americans don't trust Pelosi. And wouldn't you know it, according to Politico's own polling, 57 percent of Americans don't trust Sarah Palin. Can't wait for Thrush's exposé about how Palin is among "the most despised" political figures in America. Wake me when it arrives.
UPDATED: Well, well, well. According to Politico's polling, the Republican Party is not trusted by 57 percent of voters, which, of course, makes it one of the most "despised" political institutions in America, right?
UPDATED: Thrush utterly failed in his attempt to rewrite GOP history with this passage:
By contrast, Newt Gingrich's popularity tanked only after his conservative revolution sputtered and he had helped shut down the federal government.
The Post's Marc Siegel, perfecting that brand of useless journalism that Rupert Murdoch prefers, ran a Drudge-friendly scoop this weekend about a single sentence in the pending health care bill legislation.
Classy NYP headline:
'Retarded' House Bill
Here's Siegel's all-important scoop, in its entirety (emphasis added):
The proposed health-insurance bill from the House of Representatives refers to mentally disabled people as "retarded" -- a term advocates, relatives and physicians find outdated and offensive.
The bill refers to: "A hospital or a nursing facility or intermediate-care facility for the mentally retarded . . ."
The phrase could cause more problems with groups for the developmentally disabled, who were angered when President Obama referred to his poor bowling skills on "The Tonight Show" as "like the Special Olympics." Obama later apologized.
Siegel, who apparently knows nothing about mental health in America, thinks it's a big deal that a piece of legislation uses the phrase "mentally retarded" because it's so offensive. (The NYP is now the PC police? Who knew?)
Except, of course, the phrase is used commonly by organizations like the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Association on Mental Deficiency, the American Associations of Intellectual and Development Disabilities, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Department of Health and Human Services,
In other words, "mentally retarded" is a medical term.
UPDATED: Some commenters have mentioned there is an ongoing debate about the phrase "mental retardation" and whether it should be used or not. What I pointed out was that all the above mentioned organizations still use the phrase. And that it's a common medical term.
More importantly, the Post, particularly with its headline and the lede, clearly tried to imply that Democratic legislation refers to mentally challenged patients simply as "retarded," which was never the case.
From Andrew Breitbart's July 27 Washington Times column:
Sgt. Crowley, a proud and defiant public professional, played the moment perfectly and stopped his own assassination by media. Talk about a postmodern hero. Whether he likes it or not, Sgt. Crowley is a potent symbol of how the union has managed to become more perfect, a Rosa Parks of rush-to-judgment "reverse racism."
Now that the facts of the case show that his friend the professor was the man doing the racial profiling, the president wants to end the discussion.
Now we see what the attorney general meant when he spoke of cowards.