Their U.S.-based correspondents appear to make stuff up. Or at the very least, they fail to back up the central assertions of their news reports. Like this suspect Times UK headline that Drudge is currently hyping:
Americans told to wear masks as swine flu spreads round globe
Here's the reporting, in its entirety, that the Times used to make that rather startling claim:
North of the border, in the US, doctors were advising people worried about the illness to buy painters' masks from DIY stores as a precautionary measure.
Terry Krepel, a senior web editor at Media Matters and founder and editor of ConWebWatch, has a great piece up at Huffington Post about how the Washington Examiner is driven by its right-wing tilt.
Here's just a taste:
In early February, Washington Examiner editor Stephen G. Smith gushed over his new chief political correspondent, Byron York, calling him "a prototype of the modern journalist, equally at home in print, on television and on the Web."
One word not uttered by Smith, however, was "conservative" -- as in the political orientation of York's former employer, the National Review. Indeed, York has regularly peddled conservative misinformation from his National Review perch.
York is one of the latest manifestations of the rightward skew of the Examiner, a free tabloid daily created four years ago when conservative billionaire Philip Anschutz took over a chain of suburban papers and refashioned them after the publication he owns in San Francisco -- an interesting move since Anschutz himself hasn't talked to the media in decades.
The Examiner has had a conservative skew from its inception, as exemplified by its early hiring of Bill Sammon, a former Washington Times staffer who penned several books laudatory of George W. Bush and his presidency even while serving as a White House correspondent. Sammon moved last year to Fox News, but he left no ideological vacuum behind.
Ostensible "news" positions at the Examiner have become increasingly stocked with opinion-minded right-wingers -- for instance, Matthew Sheffield, executive editor of the conservative blog NewsBusters, is managing editor of the Examiner's website, and Chris Stirewalt, who has been lauded for his "outspoken conservative perspective," is political editor.
Be sure to check out the entire piece.
Howard Kurtz on Perez Hilton's response to Carrie Prejean's gay marriage comments:
KURTZ: Perez told me that her answer was not inclusive because it alienated gay Americans. But by that reasoning, had she said she supported gay marriage, she would have alienated those who believe marriage should be between a man and a woman.
So, Howard Kurtz thinks that alienating gays by denying them the right to get married is equivalent to alienating bigots by allowing gays to get married?
Seems like maybe there's a bit of difference between those two things.
It's in an article about soft ratings for CNN under the Obama administration. The Times contrasts that lack of success with MSNBC and Fox News, which the newspaper claims, have carved out winning formulas by being more partisan:
The development raises an obvious question: With its rivals stoking prime time with high-octane political opinion and rant, can CNN compete effectively with a formula of news delivered more or less straight?
See, both MSNBC and Fox News are airing rants during primetime. They're like left-right mirror reflections. They're just like each other.
This is a common ploy adopted by the mainstream media in order to play dumb about the radical, unprecedented rhetoric that Fox News has been broadcasting since Obama's inauguration; that he's a radical, a socialist, a fascist. That tyranny looms and the government wants to confiscate all the guns.
How on earth does anything that MSNBC has aired in the last three months come anywhere near matching that kind of militia media rhetoric broadcast by Fox News? It doesn't because we've never seen anything like what Fox News now peddles aired on American television before. But there's today's Times, casually claiming that MSNBC and Fox News are exactly alike.
Tucker Carlson, in a Washington Post online discussion today: "I don't think it's a choice between the tax current system, which isn't simply progressive but wildly skewed against the rich, and Mexican plutocracy. As of today, before Obama's tax increases on the upper income, the top one-percent of earners pay about as much in income taxes as the bottom 90 percent of earners. So next time you see a rich person, thank him for keeping the country afloat."
Now, the Washington Post lets Carlson say pretty much anything he wants in these things, so he didn't have to support his claim that the current tax system is "wildly skewed against the rich," which is a good thing for him, because he can't*.
According to Citizens for Tax Justice, the top one percent pay 30.9 percent of their income in federal, state, and local taxes. The remaining 99 percent pay 29.8 percent of their income in taxes. The top one percent actually pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than the next 20 percent.
That doesn't sound like a system that "isn't simply progressive but wildly skewed against the rich," does it? In fact, it sounds more like a system that isn't progressive at all.
* No, Carlson's statement that "the top one-percent of earners pay about as much in income taxes as the bottom 90 percent of earners" does not support his contention that the tax system is "wildly skewed against the rich," for several reasons. First, it considers only federal income taxes. More importantly, looking at the amount of taxes paid without looking at the amount of income earned is worse than useless; it is deliberately misleading. It's like going out to dinner with a friend and ordering the Surf & Turf, then lashing out at your friend who ordered only the house salad because she wants you to pay 90 percent of the bill. Whenever anyone tells you the richest X percent of Americans pay Y percent of taxes, stop taking them seriously right there: they're trying to trick you.
"Infectious diseases are now spreading geographically much faster than at any time in history. Human immigration and unlimited transport cause it."
World Health Organization
The current Swine flu spreading across Mexico provides Americans a glimpse of their future if mass immigration from third world countries continues into the United States.
It stems from cultural habits that cannot be changed once they migrate over U.S. borders. Third world people lack personal hygiene, collective health habits and educational understandings of how their personal actions promote disease transmission.
If you travel into the third world such as Mexico, Central and South America, you will notice that while visiting a bathroom you discover a box for used toilet paper in the corner and no soap or paper towels at the lavatory.
The sewage systems cannot handle toilet paper so it is a habit to throw it into the box provided which lures flies and cockroaches. Additionally, few third world people wash their hands after bathroom use. Today, in California, Florida and Illinois, and spreading to other states across the nation, recent arrivals are so accustomed to throwing their used toilet paper into boxes, they discard it into trashcans. Whether they work at the counter or chop tomatoes with unwashed hands, thousands carry head lice, leprosy, tuberculosis and hepatitis A, B, and C.
Associated Press reporter Laurie Kellman, on Al Gore's appearance before a House committee considering global warming legislation:
"I have read all 648 pages of this bill," Gore bragged, a boast that would surprise no one who caught his teacher's-pet performance in the 2000 presidential race. "It took me two transcontinental flights on United Airlines to finish it."
The schoolhouse metaphor is appropriate, if not for the reason Kellman thinks. There are perhaps only two groups of people who view knowledge as a flaw, and ignorance as an asset: Seventh-graders, and the Washington press corps.
For years leading up to the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore committed the sins of taking policy seriously, and of knowing what he was talking about. As punishment for those sins, reporters like Kellman mocked him as a "teacher's-pet" and a dull, lifeless buffoon. They propped up a dim-witted Texan (by way of Greenwich Country Day, Andover, Harvard, and Yale) who had run business after business into the ground, and skipped out on the National Guard service that kept him out of Vietnam by virtue of his father's accomplishments. On the other hand, he called reporters "Stretch," and they loved him for it. And so George W. Bush became president.
Given what happened over the following eight years, you would think the media would have enough of a guilty conscience that they would avoid treating Al Gore with precisely the same petty, stupid middle-school-cafeteria derision that led to thousands of deaths in an unnecessary war, torture, warrantless surveillance, a stunningly incompetent response to Hurricane Katrina, and a Vice President whose shooting of a friend in the face doesn't even rank among his top fifty most offensive actions.
But no: Associated Press reporter Laurie Kellman is still pointing and laughing at Al Gore, because he bothered to read legislation that deals with his life's work before testifying about it. What a nerd.
Oh, by the way: Gore wasn't bragging. He was answering a direct question.