Glenn Thrush seems to think his post yesterday about Nancy Pelosi & family planning funds is vindicated by reports that House Democrats may strip those funds from their stimulus package.
Here's Thrush today:
Apparently she has -- at the behest of President Obama.
Actually, Thrush "took some heat" for baselessly repeating bogus GOP spin, and falsely suggesting that public support for contraception funding is unpopular.
Most notably, Thrush suggested supporting funding for contraceptives would make Pelosi look like a "Bay area liberal" with a "far left agenda." In fact, backing public funding for contraceptives isn't a "far-left" position, as Thrush later acknowledged. It is a position that enjoys overwhelming public support. So overwhelming that opposing such funding could probably be described as a "far-right" position.
Thrush's post yesterday was reminiscent of the first media reports during the Terry Schiavo controversy - the ones that contained the baseless speculation that the "wedge issue" would play to the GOP's benefit. But it didn't: the American public isn't where the conservatives think they are - or where reporters think they are. That's been true for quite some time.
The fact that House Democrats may drop funding for contraceptives from their bill doesn't vindicate Thrush's lazy reporting. If it says anything at all about that reporting, it is that the credulous repetition of false right-wing spin can have an effect on public policy debates. That shouldn't be something to be proud of; it should be a reminder that reporters have a responsibility to carefully and factually assess spin - and their own assumptions - before they write their articles.
New York magazine has a big Caroline Kennedy feature this week, dissecting the behind-the-scenes drama of Kennedy's pursuit of Hillary Clinton's former N.Y. senate seat. As part of the feature, there's a Spy-like graphic ("Keystone Kamelot!") to spell out all the roles played by the various pols. (It's here.) And here's what it says under the photo of Clinton [emphasis added]:
Perhaps upset that Caroline had endorsed Obama, Clinton and her camp were thought to be trying to derail her candidacy.
Yowie-zowie. "Were thought to be trying"? I don't even know what verb tense that is. Keep in mind, the caption accompanied a 6,00-word reported article by Chris Smith and contained no evidence--none--that anybody associated with the Clinton ever even got involved in the process of picking her replacement or trying to sink Kennedy's chances. In fact, Clinton and her clan barely even appear in the article.
Nonetheless, continuing a media tradition of trying to create a public spat between Hillary Clinton (or at least her backers) and Caroline Kennedy, even when there's no proof to back it up, New York mugged the English language in an effort to make Clinton look bad.
1. With all due respect isn't that a bunch of pork in here and how is that exactly stimulus?
2. I take your point Congressman. but go ahead and answer what Congressman Boehner said. How can you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives. How does that stimulate the economy?
3. Well, let me ask you that then, do you think 200 million dollars essentially contraceptives is wasteful spending?
4. You get my point, (scowl on her face) there is going to be since this is over 800 billion dollars there's going to be a lot in there that people are going to raise questions about in the long run about wasteful spending, whether it's democrats efforts just to HUGE massive, unprecedented spending bill to put stuff and get stuff paid for that they haven't been successful or paid for in the past.
Digby said it best this week: "The media are going to be the death of this country."
Not but seriously MRC, in terms of Obama's "war" on Limbaugh. The only evidence you have of Obama's declaration was a single passing reference the president made to the talk show host: "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done" he told Congressional Republicans last week. That just doesn't seem very war-y.
Question (as we do our best Dwight Schrute impersonation), what constitutes further acts of "war"? Is Obama allowed to mention Limbaugh by name? Is Obama allowed to make eye contact with Limbaugh if the two men are ever in the same room? And is Obama allowed to tune into Limbaugh's AM show, or would that be considered unwarranted government intimidation?
MRC, we await further wartime instructions.
We detailed this back-and-forth earlier at CF, and how Newsweek chose to ignore the salient points actor Ben Affleck recently raised about the magazine's coverage of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson last autumn. (Oops sorry, Newsweek claims Affleck raised no salient points.)
Anyway, Newsweek's updated response to the Affleck caper, as it were, is mighty peculiar: Newsweek doesn't matter! At least that seems to be the magazine's talking point.
Affleck claimed Newsweek's worshipful coverage of Paulson at a crucial juncture of the unfolding financial crisis helped create a larger public perception that Americans shouldn't critically questions Paulson's economic bailout plan; a plan lots of critics now see as being flawed.
It was one of many factors that made it difficult for people to say, [inaud] hold on a second, what is the difference between now and a week from now? Why can't we examine this more closely? Can we talk about this? Why is it that we can't have more transparency in this piece of legislation?...Long and short of it is, Newsweek, in deciding to tell all of America that we all have to put our trust in Henry Paulson, that's like a mediaocracy. It's presumptuous and it damaged us in some ways.
But Newsweek in response, now claims it's loopy to suggest that the journalism the weekly magazine produces somehow influences public opinion, let alone public policy.
Writes Newsweek's Kurt Soller:
Journalism criticism is one thing, but accusing us of actually influencing the economic bailout package? That's ludicrous thinking -- especially for a Cambridge boy like Affleck.
Guys, don't sell yourself short.
Newsbusters is upset that CNN aired an "estrogen-dominated segment which included feminists complaining about Obama."
No. I'm not making that up. Here's their actual headline: "CNN: Ladies Nag Obama about Lack of Women's Jobs."
See for yourself:
Newsbusters apparently thinks the nagging ladies should instead be grateful that women constitute nearly 30 percent of cabinet appointees:
Newsroom host Kyra Phillips introduced Christine Romans' estrogen-dominated segment which included feminists complaining about Obama. Romans mentioned that six cabinet positions out of 21 have gone to women, yet liberal feminist groups like National Organization for Women (NOW) and The New Agenda were "disappointed."
Newsbusters readers reacted predictably:
An Open Letter to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Michelle Malkin
In a time like this, when tempers are riding high and many Americans are close to panic about their jobs and finances, you have a special responsibility to consider the accuracy of what you say and the consequences of inflammatory and erroneous statements. In the last few days, manifestly distorting my words and pulling them out of context, you have accused me of wanting to exclude white males from jobs generated by the stimulus package. Anyone who takes a moment to examine what I actually said and wrote knows this to be an absurd misrepresentation of my position (see this). My goal is and has always been to create as many opportunities for as wide a group as possible, and not exclude anyone from access. There is and has never been any ambiguity about this. The hate mail I have received since your broadcast suggests that the mischievous consequences of your demagoguery are potentially dangerous, in addition to being destructive of rational and constructive political discourse. I urge you to take responsibility for your words. Words and ideas have real world consequences, and you have demonstrated a cavalier disregard for both.
Earlier this month Ann Coulter appeared all over Fox News (and some other outlets) plugging her new work of fiction, Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America. From January 6, the day of the book's release, to January 13, Coulter appeared on:
It seems Fox News' effort to stimulate the book sales of right-wing authors is far from over.
Today, Bernard Goldberg's latest laughable tome, A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media, is being released (though Media Matters got ahold of a copy several days in advance) and according to a tipster in the know, he'll be all over Fox News starting tomorrow.
Question: When was the last time you saw a progressive author receive that much airtime on Fox News?
We may not have Fox News but you can help support progressive authors by joining the Progressive Book Club.