Washington Post reporter Ed O'Keefe defends the inclusion of two Arkansas Senators in the so-called "Gang of 10" health care negotiations:
Washington, D.C.: Is it just me, or is Arkansas a bit overrepresented in the "Gang of 10"?
Ed O'Keefe: It's a moderate state with moderate lawmakers, so it makes sense to me!
Arkansas is a "moderate state"? Really?
Let's use the 2008 presidential election returns as a proxy, shall we?
Nationally, Barack Obama won about 53 percent of the vote, to John McCain's 46 percent.
In Arkansas, Obama won 39 percent to McCain's 59 percent. Wow, that sure looks like Arkansas was pretty far out of the mainstream, doesn't it?
Let's compare that to a few other states, shall we? In California, Obama took 61 percent of the vote to McCain's 37 percent. In New York, Obama won 63 percent to McCain's 36 percent. And in Massachusetts, Obama won 62 percent to McCain's 36 percent. All of those totals are closer to the national totals than Arkansas' results are. Now: How often do you see reporters refer to California, New York and Massachusetts as "moderate states"? Not very often.
So what states did deviate from the national results by roughly the same amount as Arkansas? In Alabama, Obama won 39 percent of the vote to McCain's 60 percent. In Mississippi, Obama won 43 percent and McCain 56 percent. So Arkansas was more anti-Obama than Mississippi, and about the same as Alabama.
Are Alabama and Mississippi your idea of "moderate" states?
Howard Kurtz is still going on about what he claims is a double-standard in which the media pays more attention to Republican sex scandals than those involving Democrats. And he's still doing so without addressing the fact that -- to pick just one of many examples -- media coverage of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign often focused on her husband's decade-old infidelity, but Rudy Giuliani got a pass for his own history of infidelity. Or the fact that Kurtz's own newspapers covered allegations of affairs involving Bill Clinton, but spiked a story during the 1996 presidential campaign about Clinton's Republican opponent, Bob Dole, having an affair. Or the media's code of silence about John McCain's history of infidelity. Or ...
From a December 7 DailyFinance article, headlined "Thar's gold in them shills! Fox raps Glenn Beck's endorsement deal":
Glenn Beck's dual embrace of gold -- as an investment vehicle for his listeners and a personal moneymaking opportunity for himself -- has drawn boos from various journalism watchdogs. And now it looks like the talk-show host's close relationship with one purveyor of gold coins has gotten him in a bit of trouble with his employer Fox News.
Beck is prominently featured on the website of Goldline International, a vendor of "gold, silver, and platinum coins and bars as well as rare and collectible numismatic coins." According to the site, Beck is a "paid spokesman" for the company. "This is a top notch organization," a thumbnail photo of Beck's head declares.
Beck regularly does "live reads," or live commercials, for Goldline on his syndicated radio show, and has even interviewed Mark Albarian, Goldline's president and CEO, twice on the show, most recently on Nov. 12, 2009.
Critics including Media Matters say it's a major conflict of interest for Beck, who has often advised the viewers of his Fox News program to buy gold to protect themselves against the collapse of the dollar -- and of Western civilization -- without informing them of his Goldline deal.
Like other news organizations, Fox News prohibits its on-air personalities from making paid product endorsements. But it makes an exception for its commentators who are also radio hosts, who are allowed to perform live reads, says Joel Cheatwood, senior vice president for development.
"When we hired Glenn at Fox News, we hired him with the understanding that he had a well-established, burgeoning radio business, and we had to be accepting of certain elements of that," Cheatwood tells DailyFinance, noting that Beck's relationship with Goldline dates back to his time at HLN, CNN's sister network.
The same understanding applies to Don Imus, who recently started simulcasting his radio show on Fox Business Network. (An MSNBC spokesman says his network has a similar policy in place, while a spokeswoman for CNN said only, "CNN/US anchors and correspondents are prohibited from participating in any paid endorsements of products and services.")
But the exemption is meant only to apply to live reads, not to the kind of broader spokesmanship Beck, to all appearances, provides Goldline. In particular, Beck's ubiquity on the Goldline website is not in keeping with Fox's rules. A Fox spokeswoman said the network's legal department is taking up the matter with Beck's agent, George Hiltzik.
In her December 8 Washington Examiner column, Barbara Hollingsworth writes of the tea party movement:
The growing grass-roots movement will indeed destroy the political careers of many politicians who fail to heed the warning it delivered Sept. 12, when 1.7 million angry voters (according to a crowd estimate by Zac Moilanen of Indiana University) descended on Washington to say they were totally fed up with bailouts and stimulus packages, and want the country to return to its constitutional, limited-government roots.
But as Media Matters has detailed, Moilanen's estimate is somewhat less than authoritative. Moilanen, an undergrad studying East Asian Languages and Cultures at Indiana, cited such not-quite-unimpeachable sources as a Free Republic post and a message board to arrive at his crowd estimate.
On the Right, it seems, a good falsehood never dies -- even after it's been repeatedly proven wrong, and especially when a deep-pocketed billionaire's money is financing it.
From Bret Stephens' December 8 Wall Street Journal column:
[T]he really interesting question is less about the facts than it is about the psychology. Last week, I suggested that funding flows had much to do with climate alarmism. But deeper things are at work as well.
One of those things, I suspect, is what I would call the totalitarian impulse. This is not to say that global warming true believers are closet Stalinists. But their intellectual methods are instructively similar. Consider:
[...]• Monocausalism: For the anti-Semite, the problems of the world can invariably be ascribed to the Jews; for the Communist, to the capitalists. And as the list above suggests, global warming has become the fill-in-the-blank explanation for whatever happens to be the problem.
Yikes, talk about veering off-message from the right-wing ACORN crusade.
Monday's agreed response to the internal investigation released by ACORN, which found no pattern of intentional lawbreaking in the wake of the pimp-and-prostitute ring, was to openly mock it as being absurd. ACORN obsessed Andrew Breirtbart (aka, Capt. Ahab) once again declared that, "ACORN is a corrupt and criminal organization, and anyone with open eyes can see this."
But check out this from Big Government's Michael Volpe [emphasis added]:
ACORN did in fact engage in no criminal wrongdoing by offering advice to a "pimp" and "prostitute" about how to hide assets and their business practices. Simply offering such advice is not illegal.
I'm glad Breitbart's Big Government finally agrees that ACORN broke no laws in the pimp-and-prostitute videos. Now that that's been settled, maybe Breirtbart can remind us what all the right-wing hysteria is about.
UPDATED: Very interesting note from TPM's Josh Marshall:
You may have heard that an independent report found that there was "no pattern of intentional, illegal conduct by ACORN." But what they also found was that not only were the videos substantially edited but that the editing also involved substitute voiceovers of the faux pimp and hooker who made the videos. So it's not really possible to see what the ACORN staffers were responding to.
Question: Why won't Breitbart, in the name of transparency and full disclosure, force his undercover video makers to post all their ACORN film online, unedited? What is Breitbart hiding? And why won't he detail how much of the ACORN tapes were edited and doctored?
The latest from Malcolm's never-ending low-ball attacks? This week, Laura Bush's former flak used the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor to ridicule Obama, because naturally who doesn't see the connection? (Well, Obama did grow up in Hawaii.) Specifically, Malcolm complained that Obama's speech last week about the future U.S. policy in Afghanistan wasn't like FDR speech to the nation the day after Pearl Harbor.
I kid you not, Malcolm thinks that rhetorically, Obama's speech regarding a tactical decision to send more troops to fight a battle that's been unfolding for eight years half-a-world away should have been just like when FDR addressed Americans hours after the country was attacked by the air. I think perhaps only Andrew Malcolm is dumb enough to actually believe his own premise.
From Laura Bush's former flak [emphasis added]:
Last week we had President Obama's less-than-rousing Afghanistan war speech, trying to have it both ways by dispatching more troops while promising a scheduled departure. And not once using the word "victory."
So here as a political refresher are two historic videos -- one about the actual attack itself by 350 planes from Imperial Japanese aircraft carriers more than 200 miles away.
The other video includes President Franklin D. Roosevelt's famous war speech the very next day, the one saying that Dec. 7, 1941, would live in infamy. And here we are 24,837 days later remembering.
And now a real presidential war speech from the days of radio when voice and words mattered more than looks.
Meanwhile, can we please take one step back and ponder the rancid hypocrisy of Malcolm supposedly longing for a "real presidential war speech"; for the time when a president properly rallied a nation into battle? Because here's the sad truth about today's right-wing Obama haters: If America were tested again like it was by Pearl Harbor, and if a Democrat sat in the Oval Office, you can be sure that Malcolm and his kind, instead of rallying around the president in the nation's hour of need, would help unleash mobs to tear the president down in order to score political points.
On Monday, Malcolm praised FDR for being "real" when he addressed the country in the wake of the shocking attack by the Japanese. But today? OMG, can you imagine how Limbaugh and Beck and Hannity, and the online chorus of professional Obama haters like Malcolm would savagely go after the Democratic president--instantly and without reservation--if America came under attack by a foreign power?
Pretty ironic, isn't it? Malcolm hearkens back to a "real" president war speech like the one given by FDR and wished we had a leader today who could rally the nation like FDR did. Of course, FDR didn't have deal with a political movement, fueled by well-funded corporate media (like the LA Times), whose entire political purpose is to tear the president down.
So Malcolm please, spare us the lectures about "real" presidential speeches, not when it's so clear that Obama Derangement Syndrome has you hoping America fails.
From Fox Nation:
Do you want to know how serious the "Climategate" hacked e-mail scandal is? It's so serious that, according to Rasmussen, 120 percent of Americans have an opinion on it. At least, that's what I learned from watching the December 4 edition of Fox & Friends, which featured this graphic:
What happened? Well, here's the Rasmussen poll Fox & Friends cited. They asked respondents: "In order to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming, how likely is it that some scientists have falsified research data?" According to the poll, 35 percent thought it very likely, 24 percent somewhat likely, 21 percent not very likely, and 5 percent not likely at all (15 percent weren't sure).
Fox News' graphics department added together the "very likely" and "somewhat likely" numbers to reach 59 percent, and called that new group "somewhat likely." Then, for some reason, they threw in the 35 percent "very likely" as their own group, even though they already added that number to the "somewhat likely" percentage. Then they mashed together the "not very likely" and "not likely at all" groups, and threw the 15 percent who were unsure into the waste bin. Voila -- 120 percent.
As such, Fox News' presentation of the data made it seem as though 94 percent of Americans think it's at least "somewhat likely" that climate scientists falsify their research data.
As for the data itself, based on the phrasing of Rasmussen's question there's no way to know who the respondents were thinking of when they answered. It's possible that they could have been thinking of the climate scientists who compile the IPCC reports, it's also possible that they could have been thinking of the scientists on Exxon Mobil's payroll.
It's impossible to tell what motivated Fox to distort Rasmussen's data this way. The network as a whole has quite obviously sided with the "skeptics" and regularly plays host to a whole roster of petroleum industry-funded climate change deniers. Then again, it very well may be that the graphics department simply got confused once they started adding percentages together and didn't catch the mistake before it went on the air. Either way, it would appear that Fox News' new "zero tolerance" policy regarding mistakes isn't having its desired effect.
UPDATE: Here's a video of the Fox & Friends crew amplifiying their absurdly false graphic: