As the Huffington Posted noted, The York Dispatch reported today that former House speaker and Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich said that the Tea Party movement is "more likely to end up as the militant wing of the Republican Party" than as an independent or third party. Gingrich was speaking in York, Pennsylvania, and was asked about the future of the Tea Party. The Dispatch reported:
Gingrich said the movement is a "natural expression of frustration with Republicans and anger at Democrats," which is "more likely to end up as the militant wing of the Republican Party" than as an independent or third party.
Gingrich has previously stated that Tea Party leaders "understand that in the end their job is to help defeat Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi."
As in [emphasis added]:
Mediaite Exclusive: Censored Portions of Blago Subpoena May Implicate Team Obama
Then again, they may not. But you get the idea.
Mediaite concedes it doesn't have faintest idea if "Team Obama" will be implicated by censored portions of subpoenas with regards to the soggy Blago story that was thoroughly beaten into the ground by the Beltway press in late 2008.
But that doesn't stop Mediaite from posting an exclusive because it has a non-legal hunch the Obama team may be implicated.
UPDATED: The NBC affiliate in Chicago has gotten into the "may" game, posting a report breathlessly repeating what Blago's defense attorney's --and Blago's attorney's only--claim Obama "may" have done.
Demonstrating the entangled relationship between Fox News and the Republican Party, a new campaign ad for Rand Paul's (R-KY) Senate campaign features a clip of contributor Sarah Palin endorsing Paul on Fox News Sunday. Fox News last month demanded that YouTube remove a Democratic National Committee ad that featured Fox footage, raising the question of whether Fox News will take similar action over Paul's ad.
As Daily Kos' Jed Lewison noted, while Fox News had the DNC ad yanked, it ignored similar RNC videos that featured Fox clips:
Ordinarily, the inclusion of a clip from cable channel in a campaign ad would be unremarkable, but just last month, Fox demanded the DNC pull an ad from YouTube that included Fox footage. The DNC asserted that it was exercising its fair use rights to no avail; Fox stood by its demand, and YouTube pulled the clip.
Meanwhile, there are several clips from Fox on the RNC channel (example 1, 2, and 3). There's nothing wrong with that, but if Fox is going to allow the RNC and Rand Paul to use its video in their political campaigns, shouldn't they also let the DNC do the same?
Fox News' Fox Nation appears to have no problem with the ad, as the conservative website is touting it under the headline, "WATCH: Palin Stars in Ad for Tea Party Candidate."
Fox News personalities routinely use their employment with the news channel to promote and tout their PAC-endorsed candidates and causes. In February, Mike Huckabee hosted and promoted Florida State Sen. Mike Haridopolos (R), who Huck PAC endorsed. In 2009, Huckabee repeatedly used Fox News to fundraise for his PAC on-air; Fox executives later reportedly asked Huckabee to stop the promotions. In February, Fox News contributor Rick Santorum touted the prospects of Rep. Mark Kirk's (R-IL) U.S. Senate campaign and attacked his Democratic opponent; Santorum's PAC endorsed and donated to Kirk.
Having bet against America (what would Reagan say?), and specifically the U.S. economy (i.e. Obama's destroying America!), Fox News continues to be battered with good news reports. And on the front page of the pro-business Wall Street Journal!!
Today's painful revelation from Detroit [emphasis added]:
Nearly a year after two big U.S. auto makers were bailed out by government-engineered bankruptcies, both offered tentative signs of a turnaround, with General Motors Co. repaying $6.7 billion to the U.S. government ahead of schedule and Chrysler Group LLC reporting a first-quarter operating profit and boosting its cash reserves.
Still, a year after predictions that the industry and its suppliers could face a drastic decline, the situation has clearly stabilized. In the past three quarters, the U.S. auto industry has added 45,000 new jobs, making it the strongest nine-month period for auto-industry job growth since 2000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
And please, don't even mention the surging Dow this month!
A news article in today's Washington Times warned President Obama not to name someone for the Supreme Court who is "viewed as extreme on abortion or other key issues." If Obama did not heed this warning, the Times reported, it would be "advantage Republicans" and such a nominee "could drive a Republican landslide in November." As proof of these assertions, the Times quoted an anti-abortion rights activist, the executive director of Democrats for Life of America.
If this seems like a low point in news reporting even for The Washington Times, recall that, as my colleague Morgan Weiland has noted, after steep cutbacks in the newsroom in 2009, The Washington Times stated that it would focus on the paper's "well-established core strengths that include exclusive reporting and in-depth national political coverage, enterprise and investigative reporting, geo-strategic and national security news, and cultural coverage based on traditional values." The president of Washington Times LLC Jonathan Slevin stated that the paper "will continue to report Washington-focused news that other journalistic enterprises often overlook."
Apparently this is what the Times meant by "overlooked" stories involving "cultural coverage based on traditional values."
You won't soon encounter a bigger fan of salt than me. I consume more of it than I should, and that is not a new development -- as a young child, I once enjoyed the taste of the salt lick at my grandfather's farm. OK, maybe that's a bit of over-sharing. Anyway, the government can take my salt away when they pry it from my cold, dead hands. Which just might happen: Too much salt isn't healthy.
I establish my pro-salt bona fides in order to make clear that the flurry of lousy reporting about the FDA's assault on salt bothers me not because I am an anti-salt crusader, but because it's deeply dishonest.
Here, for example, is the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz on the FDA's plans to limit the amount of salt in processed foods:
A worthy goal, but do we want Uncle Sam in charge of our diets?
Isn't it all too easy for Obama opponents to caricature this move as the triumph of the nanny state? To paint the president as the salt czar, dispatching his bureaucrats to micromanage your life?
I don't mind jawboning the industry, which seems to favor some level of voluntary reduction. I don't mind banning sugary sodas in public schools, because kids are involved (not that they can't get their Coke fix elsewhere). But should the government be telling adults they can't have salty foods if they want them? And why salt? Fat and sugar are arguably bigger problems in terms of Michelle's anti-obesity drive.
Maybe I'm overreacting. But the president just gave ammunition to those who are angry at the reach of Big Government.
First of all, it's hard not to suspect there's a little projection going on here: Kurtz speculates that "Obama opponents" will "caricature this move" -- but that's exactly what Kurtz is doing. He writes that the president "gave ammunition to those who are angry at the reach of Big Government" -- but it sure looks like he's talking about himself.
See, Kurtz is badly distorting the FDA plans. The FDA isn't planning to impose legal limits on the amount of salt you consume. The government isn't "telling adults they can't have salty foods if they want them." It simply isn't happening. The FDA is considering limits on how much salt manufacturers can include in processed foods. You, me, and Howard Kurtz will still be free to purchase salt and add as much to our food as we like. The FDA plans will have literally no effect on our ability to decide for ourselves how much salt we consume.
I'm sure there are legitimate objections, both practical and philosophical, to the FDA plans -- but Kurtz shouldn't be misleading readers about those plans in order to stoke fears of invasive "Big Government."
Politico's Ben Smith & Jonathan Martin argue that the importance of the tea party "movement" has been exaggerated by the news media. Their lede reminds me of something I've been meaning to address:
2009 was the year when many journalists concluded they were slow to recognize the anti-government, anti-Obama rage that gave birth to the tea party movement.
2010 is the year when news organizations have decided to prove they get it.
And get it. And get it some more.
It seems like reporters have been saying forever that the media had previously failed to pay sufficient attention to the tea partiers (or, more broadly, voter anger at government/Obama/Washington) -- but that they get it now.
Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz, for example, says (or writes) this every few weeks.
Kurtz, March 22, 2010: "[T]here was no lack of journalistic shortcomings. When anger erupted at those town hall meetings last summer, much of the media wrote them off as a spectacle. Reporters were slow to recognize the growing public anger at Obamacare and what "tea party" enthusiasts viewed as out-of-control federal spending.
Kurtz, March 15, 2010: "The media initially ignored or downplayed the tea party protests, and now have had to acknowledge that it's a legitimate, if unfocused, force."
Kurtz, January 25, 2010: [M]uch as journalists were slow to recognize the significance of the 'tea party' movement last summer, most didn't treat this [Massachusetts Senate] race as a serious contest until the final 10 days."
The received wisdom that the media didn't pay enough attention to angry conservatives in 2009 is presumably a key factor in the increased coverage they've been given recently.
But is it true that the media dropped the ball last year?
The credibility of that notion actually takes a hit due to how long it has been around. See, way back in April of 2009, Kurtz was already asserting that the media wasn't paying enough attention to the tea party protests. Here's Kurtz on April 12, 2009:
CNN and MSNBC may have dropped the ball by all but ignoring the protests.
But the protests Kurtz was referring to hadn't even happened yet -- he was talking about the tax day protests organized by Fox News that were still three days away at the time. Just how much media attention should have been devoted to protests that had not yet occurred?
And it just isn't true that the media was "slow to recognize" the significance of what was happening last summer -- the August congressional recess, in particular, was dominated by wall-to-wall news coverage of angry conservatives yelling at town hall meetings.
It isn't that the media didn't cover the protests enough. It's that they didn't cover the protests (or the health care debate, or darn near anything else) well enough -- and, in doing so, they made it inevitable that overheated and false rhetoric would come to dominate public discourse.
Check out the headline:
Shocking Report: Police Find TEA Parties More Peaceful Than Anti-war Protests
I'll keep this brief: Go to the linked Christian Science Monitor article and try to find a single sentence from the report that concludes police have determined Tea Party rallies are more peaceful than anti-war ones.
Good luck, because the sentence does not exist. NewsBusters made it up. (Hint: No police are even quoted in the article.) And did I mention, the GOP Noise Machine can't tell the truth. About anything.
UPDATED: The entire point of the Monitor article is to ask if police have adopted a double standard in the way they deal with the Tea Party rallies vs. how they dealt with previous rallies, not that the police have in any way conclusively determined the Tea Party people are more peaceful.
Although we do know this: Today's Tea Party rallies are a lot smaller than the anti-war protests under Bush.
The Washington Times, particularly its editorial page, has a long history of advancing bizarre right-wing conspiracy theories enabling the conservative media echo-chamber to cite Ronald Reagan's paper-of-record with a legitimate sounding source for their daily screeds.
So how should one respond when the Times comes knocking with questions aimed at advancing the right's conspiracy theory du jour - the baseless notion that Team Obama was 'colluding' with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in filing a civil lawsuit accusing Goldman Sachs of fraud in order to create a "villain" to advance financial regulatory reform.
Politico's Ben Smith reports on one hilarious technique deployed in an effort to push back:
An editorial writer for the Washington Times called DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan, Sevugan says, earlier this afternoon to ask when, exactly, the DNC had purchased the search terms, "Goldman SEC." The writer was checking out a theory -- current on the right -- that Democrats had bought ads against the terms "Goldman" and "SEC" before the Securities and Exchange Commission's charges were made public.
The theory depends on it taking quite a bit of time for Google's ad words program to make its way through the system, as the DNC says it bought the ads right after news of the charges broke Friday.
Sevugan proved his point with a thumb in the eye of the Times: He bought a new ad for the DNC, against the terms "Washington Times + purveyor + baseless Republican conspiracy theories."
"This just proves how silly this Republican conspiracy theory is and that it was being desperately spread by Republicans and their allies in the hopes of sullying efforts Wall Street reform. The truest thing about all of this conspiracy theory is what's in the search term we just bought," Sevugan emails.
Long a money-losing joke, it's nice to see the Times get its comeuppance in such a humorous manner.
Today, Gretchen Carlson wished everyone a "Happy Earth Day," and then proceeded -- along with co-host Brian Kilmeade and Media Research Center's Brent Bozell -- to bad-mouth climate scientists. Today, of all days, the Fox & Friends crew decided to spread more falsehoods about "Climategate."
First of all, there is no excuse for this, because these lies have been debunked for months. Carlson claimed the apparently stolen emails "expos[ed]" that "scientists held back data that discredits theories on global warming." Kilmeade suggested one scientist's use of the word "trick" means he manipulated data. Bozell said the emails show "there were campaigns to manipulate the data in their favor. There was a campaign to destroy evidence that would go against them, to manipulate that evidence."
Then, in a stunning display of hypocrisy, they actually criticized other networks -- namely ABC News and NBC News -- for bias in their coverage of "Climategate" and accused them of ignoring the story.
Know what Fox & Friends ignored and conveniently left out of their Earth Day segment? Three separate official inquiries have found there is no evidence that the scientists at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit manipulated or falsified data.
Carlson owes Mother Earth a retraction.