• Newsbusters unclear on concept of "local newspaper"

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    It's only Sunday, and the competition is always tough, but we already have a clear frontrunner for Dumbest Newsbusters Post of the Week.

    Under the headline "SF Chron Reports 'Massive' Anti-War Protest, Completely Ignored Equally Large Cincy Tea Party," Warner Todd Huston writes:

    the Chronicle does enjoy a good protest ... As long as it's of a leftist, anti-war flavor, of course. Witness the Chron's coverage of the "Massive anti-war, anti-Wall Street protest in San Francisco" from this weekend, March 21.

    If size was the key here, as the Chronicle's headline seems to note, then why ignore the likely bigger protest in Ohio only a week ago?

    I'll bet you can figure that one out, eh?

    Of course you can. You, not being a paranoid Newsbusters writer, can probably figure out why the San Francisco Chronicle covered a rally in San Francisco, but didn't cover one in Cincinnati.

    Ok, here's a hint: The San Francisco Chronicle article about the rally in San Francisco appeared in section B of the newspaper -- the section labled "Bay Area."

    By the way, note the way Huston addresses the sizes of the two rallies. First, he claims the Cincinnati rally involved "thousands of average Americans." Huston offers no evidence to support this claim. Then he says it "truly was massive" -- but, again, no proof. Then he writes that the San Francisco rally "rally was no bigger (and arguably smaller)" than the Cincinnati rally -- again, without proof. I guess if you include the word "arguably," you don't need proof. Then -- in the very next sentence -- Huston asserts that the Cincinnati rally was "likely bigger" than the one in San Francisco. Once again: no proof. And in consecutive sentences, Huston has shifted from asserted the California rally was "no bigger" than the Ohio rally to asserting it was "arguably smaller" to claiming the Ohio rally was "likely bigger." All without a shred of evidence.

    For the record: I have no idea which rally was larger, nor do I care. The point here is the standards of evidence in place over at Newsbusters. Or, rather, not in place.

  • AP quotes "labor lawyer" who is really an anti-labor lawyer

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Earlier, I noted that the Washington Post failed to quote a single labor representative in its Employee Free Choice article today, though it quoted three CEOs. Turns out the AP is even worse. This article doesn't quote any labor sources, though it does quote a Starbucks spokesperson, the vice president of the anti-labor National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, a Whole Foods spokesperson, a Chamber of Commerce official, a representative of the anti-labor Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, and "Washington labor lawyer Jay Krupin."

    Wait, "Washington labor lawyer Jay Krupin" sounds promising. Surely, given the fact that the AP quoted two representatives of major corporations and three representatives of anti-labor interest groups, "labor lawyer" Jay Krupin must represent unions, right?

    Probably not. Here's a 2000 restaurant industry newsletter that says Krupin "represents a range of restaurant and other foodservice companies dealing with unions" and quotes him calling unions a "cancer":

    Indeed, Jay Krupin, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who represents a range of restaurant and other foodservice companies dealing with unions, contends the foodservice industry has seen more organizing activity in the last year than in recent memory.

    That activity is evident "across the board" in the industry, though most likely seen with national restaurant and hotel chains, he says. And while foodservice industry "conferences aren't focusing on the issue of organizing. . . they very well should be," Krupin suggests.

    "I think [the expanding organizing efforts are] a hidden cancer, [that] employers are more concerned with profitability and the ability to succeed, to survive in a very competitive market," Krupin says.

    And here's a Fortune article from last December that says Krupin has "negotiated more than 300 labor agreements on behalf of employers."

    And here's Krupin claiming "instead of having secret ballot election by employees on whether or not they wish to join a union, the labor movement wants to move to a card-check process, which is potentially fraught with issues such as coercion, intimidation and interference."

    It's bad enough that the AP quotes several anti-labor activists and not a single labor representative. But it's even worse that the AP identifies a corporate lawyer who has described worker organization efforts as a "cancer" simply as a "labor lawyer," which most readers will probably assume means he is a pro-labor lawyer.

  • WaPo ignores views of labor in article about labor

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Today's Washington Post article about the Employee Free Choice Act notes "the widespread perception in Democrat-dominated Washington that there is not a level playing field between labor and business."

    As if to prove the accuracy of that perception, the Post manages to devote nearly 1,000 words to the Act without ever once quoting or paraphrasing a representative of the labor movement. The Post did, however, manage to quote three CEOs and devote several paragraphs to anti-labor views like these:

    Giving organizers the ability to use card check, [Starbucks CEO Howard] Schultz said, would lead to a slew of separate bargaining units at a company like his, leading to "havoc and significant cost and disruption." [Whole Foods CEO John] Mackey had an even grimmer view. "Armed with those weapons, you will see unionization sweep across the United States and set workplaces at war with each other," he said. "I do not think it would be a good thing."

    Gee, why would anyone think there is not a level playing field between labor and business?

  • Charles Murray & the Washington Post

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Today's Washington Post features an op-ed by Charles Murray:

    Over the next few decades, advances in evolutionary psychology are going to be conjoined with advances in genetic understanding, and I predict that they will lead to a scientific consensus that goes something like this: There are genetic reasons why boys who grow up in neighborhoods without married fathers tend to reach adolescence unsocialized to norms of behavior that they will need to stay out of prison and hold jobs.

    It isn't surprising that Charles Murray is quite popular among the VDARE crowd. But why does Fred Hiatt like him enough to give him 1,600 words in the Washington Post?

  • That didn't take long

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    The unhinged Right, egged on by hate bloggers and AM talkers, let their true feelings out at an anti-Obama rally in Orlando:

    UPDATE: I couldn't help being noticing the deep irony surrounding the strident anti-Obama rallies that the right-wing media is so proud of, and comparing that to the right-wing media rhetoric this week about how tasteful and destructive the "mob rule" mentality was surrounding the AIG bonus scandal.

    So, angry mobs gathering to denounce Obama as a communist is good. But angry mobs denouncing seven-figure bonuses for failed financial executives who work for bailed out institutions is bad.

    Just so everyone is clear.

  • What passes for media criticism from the Right

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Over at Newsbusters, Erin Brown writes:

    MSNBC's Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd trivialized the death of Terry Schiavo by suggesting the fight over Schiavo's life was the demise of the Republican party.


    Conventional wisdom may contend that the Republican Party became too conservative for its own good, and that the fight over Schiavo's life was the quintessential example to prove that point. However, even if the fight over Schiavo's life was indeed the point at which people turned from the party that had become too conservative, at least the party went down fighting for something it believed in: the value of human life.

    The death of 41 year-old Terry Schiavo was a controversy that gripped the nation for weeks because the battle between her family members to end her life peacefully, or keep her on life support was a difficult one to watch. For Todd to equate the continuing saga over bank bailouts with the life and painful death of a woman is certainly in poor taste.

    So, the Republicans politicized the Schiavo situation and meddled in a private family matter, and it blew up in their faces, but pointing out that it blew up in their faces is "in poor taste"? Yeah, that makes sense...

  • WaPo runs Chris Mooney's rebuttal to George Will

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Three weeks ago, Chris Mooney submitted an op-ed to the Washington Post, in response to George Will's controversial global warming column. Today, the Post runs Mooney's column. Mooney concludes:

    Readers and commentators must learn to share some practices with scientists -- following up on sources, taking scientific knowledge seriously rather than cherry-picking misleading bits of information, and applying critical thinking to the weighing of evidence. That, in the end, is all that good science really is. It's also what good journalism and commentary alike must strive to be -- now more than ever.

    Mooney graciously says he is "heartened" that the Post ran his column. The Post does deserve some credit for doing so, but I have to wonder what took so long. Three weeks is an eternity in the modern news cycle, and many people have probably forgotten all about the controversy surrounding Will's column. In the meantime, Will's false claims have had three weeks to solidify in Post readers' minds. The paper would have done better by the public -- and the truth -- had it published Mooney's column much sooner.

  • The LA Times' Andrew Malcolm might want to monitor his readers' hate comments

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    After posting one his of signature moronic items about black journalist celebrating Obama at a closed-door White House event, and after the item got picked up by Drudge and right-wing blogs, Malcolm's Times blog was rewarded with lots of reader comments.

    According to the Times' policy, comments will be erased if they:

    contains vulgar, profane, abusive, racist or hateful language or expressions, epithets or slurs, text, photographs or illustrations in poor taste, inflammatory attacks of a personal, racial or religious nature

    You mean like these?

    The fried chicken and watermelon lunch was enjoyed by all.

    Posted by: Max | March 20, 2009 at 08:54 PM


    No white interlopers allowed!

    Posted by: Rev. Al Sharpton | March 20, 2009 at 09:23 PM


    WHO is he recieving his 'award' from? The Federation of 'BLACK' Community Newspapers? Is there a WHITE Federation of Newspapers? And if there was, do you think that this IDIOT would be ACCEPTING AN AWARD FROM THEM? For someone who 'CLAIMS' to be 'bi-racial', he sure goes to a lot of " 'BLACK' things. You say the 'PRESS' isn't going to be allowed. Are you sure that it isn't THE WHITE PRESS, that isn't invited. This IDIOT makes my stomach sick.

    Posted by: Timothy L. Pennell | March 20, 2009 at 05:22 AM


    So the racist black president allows only some racist black representative of the press to present the award.

    Posted by: rollinson | March 20, 2009 at 06:07 AM


    Ha! Ha! Let me get this straight. Obama is receiveng an award from a "Federation of Black Community Newspapers" and bans the rest of the media outlets from attending.Sounds like the first official "Blackout" of the White house! I would like to be a fly on the wall at that ceremony, and wonder if Biden was invited? Kill Whitey!!!!

    Posted by: Micah Lomas | March 20, 2009 at 08:18 AM

    Stay classy LA Times.

  • NYT: Obama suffered "a near cataclysmic week"

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    The Times' proof? None, really. The Times just knows.

    Just like on Tuesday, after the AIG bonus story broke, the Washington Post just knew that "the public" was furious with the White House (not at corporate greed), and that Obama's entire agenda was in danger of collapsing over the AIG story.

    What proof did the Post offer to back up that sweeping claim? What independent experts confirmed the claim and what poll results bolstered it? None. In fact, I have not seen a single new poll that offers any insight into how much blame the White House gets for the AIG story or if Obama's approval rating have taken a hit.

    But the press doesn't bother waiting. Even when announcing how "the public" is reacting to a news story, the press doesn't actually really care what "the public" thinks. The press decided immediately that the AIG story was a "cataclysmic" event for Obama and that "the public" was blaming him.

    I suppose it's just a coincidence that the RNC thinks the exact same thing.

  • The WashPost is very easily "distracted"

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    From the WashPost's Ben Pershing. It's just painful to read:

    Is the White House doing its level best to distract people from the cratering economy and the AIG bonus controversy?

    That's the premise, that there's a concerted White House effort to "distract people" from certain unavoidable news topics. And what, exactly, are those ingenious distractions? Pershing lists these as evidence:

    1. Obama appeared on TV last night.

    2. Obama made a joke on TV about bowling like a Special Olympian.

    3. Obama mentioned his dog on TV.

    4. Michelle Obama planted a vegetable garden at the White House.

    5. Obama filled out his March Madness hoops bracket.

    Are normal "people" distracted by those events? We can't imagine who would be. But for the Post, and many in the press, the trivial occurrences inexplicably demand attention.