Taranto writes the Journal's Best of the Web column, and boy the Sanford story couldn't be of less interest to the very serious conservative writer. Forget that an embattled Republican governor, who used taxpayer money to visit his girlfriend and is in danger of being driven from office. For Taranto, who covers the waterfront each day for the Journal highlighting the day's most important political developments, the Sanford saga is a total non-starter.
In the five Best of Web editions published since the Sanford shocker broker, Taranto has linked to approximately 250 items. How many of those dealt with Sanford? Approximately ten. Which means yes, less than three percent of the stories that Taranto has been flagging since the middle of last week are about Sanford, because his very public fall from grace is of no interest to Journal writers; the same Journal writers who literally could not sleep at night during the 1990's knowing that Bill Clinton had not yet been impeached or put in jail for his allegedly abusive and selfish ways.
UPDATED: If and when Sanford is forced to resign from office (driven by Republicans, is my hunch), will ''journalists' at the WSJ opinion pages then decide to weigh in? Or is the story still going to be pretty much ignored on the paper's editorial page?
UPDATED: The Journal couldn't care less about Sanford, but if you want to learn how Franken stole the Minnesota election, then today's Journal is the place for you.
And yes, the Journal called Norm Coleman's nearly eight-month-late concession "graceful."
From a June 30 Accuracy in Media blog post by AIM chairman Don Irvine, headlined "Gay Old Time at the White House":
President Obama moved swiftly to try to repair relations with gays and lesbians by hosting the first ever Pride month celebration at the White House.
From ABC News' Jake Tapper
ABC News' Yunji de Nies reports: ABBA's "Dancing Queen" filled the East Room, as more than 200 prominent gays and lesbians gathered for the first ever celebration of Pride month at the White House. The President and First Lady entered to thunderous applause. President Obama told the group he is committed to equality for their community.
"This struggle continues today, for even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot and will not put aside issues of basic equality," he said, "We seek an America in which no one feels the pain of discrimination based on who you are or who you love."
He ended his speech with a promise to champion their cause in the days to come.
"I want you to know that, in this task, I will not only be your friend; I will continue to be an ally and a champion and a president who fights with you and for you," he said.
Maybe next he can repaint the White House a nice shade of pink and hang the rainbow flag in front to show his commitment to the gay cause.
From today's Note [emphasis added]:
But if there's an upside in not having a [Sotomayor] battle, the ruling allows the GOP to refocus its energies in advance of next month's hearings. It's back to judicial philosophy and temperament, and away from identity politics and Rush Limbaugh/Newt Gingrich-fueled name-calling.
While we're talking course corrections, the GOP is honing its health care message. From the memo going out to Republicans leaders nation-wide today, being sent by RNC Chairman Michael Steele:
The Note then went on to quote what is basically Steele's press release for several paragraphs.
But note how openly The Note speaks on behalf of the GOP: it's a good thing there wont' be a Sotomayor fight because it will allow the GOP to tweak its persona. And here's how the GOP chairman is going to fix the party's messaging.
There seems to be no daylight between what The Note writes and what, for instance, Republican consultants might be emailing friends and colleagues.
Hey, you don't think....
Last week, MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski downplayed Mark Sanford's Argentinean affair, saying that unlike Bill Clinton, who "risked, you know, things that were happening in the White House by his behavior," Sanford is just a guy who "had an affair with someone it sounds like he is in love with." You really have to watch the video to get the full effect of Brzezinski's excuse for Sanford's conduct.
Brzezinski's suggestion that, unlike Clinton, Sanford didn't "risk" anything was absurd, for reasons I explained in a column a few days ago.
But so was her sympathetic portrayal of Sanford as just someone who fell in love. Brzezinski has no idea if Sanford loved his mistress. None. (Neither do I. And I don't care one way or another.) That was clear a week ago, and it's even more clear today:
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford says he "crossed lines" with a handful of women other than his mistress - but never had sex with them.
The governor says he "never crossed the ultimate line" with anyone but Maria Belen Chapur, the Argentine at the center of a scandal that has derailed Sanford's once-promising political career.
Here's how the AP reported on the Minnesota Supreme Court's ruling in favor of Al Franken:
Coleman's campaign didn't immediately return a call for comment. Nor did, whose signature is required on the election certificate Franken needs to be seated.
Pawlenty, a Republican, has said he would sign the certificate if ordered to do so by the court. The court's ruling stopped short of explicitly ordering the governor to sign the document, saying only that Franken was "entitled" to it.
That's some pretty fine hair-splitting.
UPDATE: And here's how Chris Cillizza describes Pawlenty's comments from Sunday: "On Sunday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) indicated he was inclined to sign the certificate of election for Franken if the state's Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Democrat."
Well, no, Pawlenty didn't say he was "inclined" to sign the certificate. Here's what he said: "I'm going to follow the direction of the court, John. We expect that ruling any day now. I also expect them to give guidance and direction as to the certificate of election. I'm prepared to sign it as soon as they give the green light. ... I'm not going to defy an order of the Minnesota Supreme Court. That would be a dereliction of my duty."
That's rather more definitive than "inclined."
He's dissecting Todd Purdum's new Sarah Palin hit piece in VF.
Here's a highlight of Purdum's reporting: "More than once in my travels in Alaska, people brought up, without prompting, the question of Palin's extravagant self-regard. Several told me, independently of one another, that they had consulted the definition of 'narcissistic personality disorder' in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders--'a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy'--and thought it fit her perfectly."
Is there any real chance that "several" Alaskans independently told Purdum that they had consulted the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders? I don't believe it for a moment.
I'm with Kristol; this doesn't pass the smell test. Then again, Purdum's work for the mighty VF has often failed to pass any kind of common sense test.
UPDATE: Don't you love how Purdum zeroed in on how self-obsessed Palin is; how (clinically) narcissistic she is? I'd be curious to find out how many VF features in recent years about male politicians stopped to ponder the me-me-me tendencies of those powerful players.
Maybe I imagined this, but I could have sworn I heard a collective sigh of relief last week from the press, and especially the cablers, when it realized it wouldn't have to spend more time discussing health care reform (borrrring!) now that Michael Jackson had died.
As Jim Rutten at the Los Angeles Times noted, Jackson's death was huge news, and news consumers responded in record numbers:
When Jackson's death was first reported, traffic across the Internet spiked to virtually unprecedented levels. Google's search engine slowed to a crawl; Yahoo reported "one of the biggest things" in its history; social networks Twitter and Facebook nearly collapsed under the weight of traffic. This newspaper experienced 12 million page views at its website, apparently because it was widely credited with confirming the death.
The funny part is Rutten was complaining about the "serious" media's wall-to-wall Jackson coverage on Saturday. (Rutten thought it was excessive.) If anything, the coverage seems to have become more intense/monotonous since the weekend.
Behold CNN's primetime last night, four days after Jackson died. Since Jackson's passing, very little actual news had been uncovered (the official cause of death won't be known for weeks), but CNN devoted pretty much its entire night, starting with Lou Dobbs Tonight, to the Jackson story.
I realize that for TMZ and Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight (not to mention US and People), the Jackson passing requires all hands on deck. But I guess I'm not sure why on CNN the "Jackson" references have out-numbered "Honduras," which just experienced a traumatic military coup, nearly 10-to-1 over the last two days, according to TVeyes.com
UPDATED: From journalism.org:
Jamison just highlighted the dreadful WashPost effort, as the Beltway press corps continues to fictionalize the tale about Obama's falling poll numbers. (Fact: According to the latest from WashPost/ABC News, his approval rating stands at a very robust 65 percent.)
In my column this week, I focused attention on the ABC News team and how they did their best to ignore, play down and just plain misinform viewers and readers about their own polling data.
For instance, on his blog, This Week host George Stephanopoulos posted an item under the headline: "Obama's Poll Numbers Falling to Earth?" In his post, Stephanopoulos stressed that Obama was "slipping a bit," but never once mentioned that Obama's approval rating stood at 65 percent, down just 1 point from March.
Jake Tapper's report last week on GMA perfectly captured the ABC unsightly phenomena. Watch below, and then read the column to see exactly why his report was so dismal.
Washington Post reporter Ed O'Keefe, during today's "Post Politics Hour":
I think we're already starting to see signs of Obama taking the blame. Look at last week's Post-ABC poll that showed that while most Americans still like Obama personally, they've got serious concerns about how he's going to address the deficit, the economic stimulus plan and health care reform efforts.
The poll to which O'Keefe refers does not say anything about whether Americans "like Obama personally." The poll asked whether respondents "approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president?" Personal favorability and job approval ratings are not the same thing, no matter how much journalists conflate them.
Saying Americans "like Obama personally" but have "serious concerns" about how he is going to do his job is a distortion of the poll's actual findings, which is that a strong majority of Americans approve of how Obama is doing his job.
As for those "serious concerns," the poll finds that 56 percent of Americans approve of Obama's handling of the economy while only 41 percent disapprove. Health care: 53 percent approve, 39 percent disapprove. The public is split, 48-48 on his handling of deficits. O'Keefe's description of the poll as showing "serious concerns" about Obama's handling of these issues is misleading.
Actually, it's worse than that looks. O'Keefe's phrasing is forward-looking: "serious concerns about how he's going to address ..." The Post and ABC also asked whether respondents trusted Obama or Republicans in Congress to handle a variety of issues; that question is pertinent to O'Keefe's phrasing. On health care, Obama had a 55-27 advantage; on the economy, he led 55-31; and on the budget deficit he led 56-30.
EDITORIAL: Sotomayor reversed again
Martin Luther King can rest easy. His dream is being protected by the Supreme Court - against and over the opinion of Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor.
The high court's landmark decision in Ricci v. DeStefano, the New Haven, Conn., firefighters case, is a dramatic stride toward the cherished goal of achieving a colorblind society. In Ricci, the court told us that people of ability can succeed regardless of skin color, and government bureaucrats seeking racially biased outcomes can be thwarted in their racist designs.
Previously: The Civil Rights Movement according to Fox ...