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Think of Scott Walker’s op-ed as his way of telling the Gotcha Media that he isn’t playing by their rules:

There has been much discussion about a media double standard where Republicans are covered differently than Democrats, asked to weigh in on issues the Democrats don’t face. As a result, when we refuse to take the media’s bait, we suffer.

I felt it this week when I was asked to weigh in on what other people said and did and what others’ beliefs are. If you are looking for answers to those questions, ask those people. I will always choose to focus on what matters to the American people, not what matters to the media.

Various right-leaning pundits have said that Gov. Walker needs to deal with the Gotcha Media’s tactics. Those pundits are wrong. In fact, I think that part of Gov. Walker’s strengthening poll ratings are directly attributable to Gov. Walker’s refusal to play the Gotcha Media’s games.

This is the stuff that Americans want to hear about:

Americans believe our nation is facing some substantial challenges. Government spending is out of control. Terrorists seek to destroy our way of life. Our economic recovery has been slow. Our borders aren’t secure. The federal government has usurped powers that rightly belong to our states.

And every day across Wisconsin, and as I travel the nation, I hear from people who share with me their worries about, and their hopes for, our country. They worry about whether their children in college will be able to find a good job after graduation. And as a dad with two sons in college, I worry right along with them.

They talk to me about the rise of terrorist attacks and ISIS, and what it means for our security at home, and for Americans and our allies abroad. We all pray for American sons and daughters in the military and their safe return home.

We’re living in dangerous times in terms of the threat posed by ISIS and al-Qa’ida, both of which get stronger with each week. We aren’t living in prosperous times, thanks to President Obama’s failed policies, starting with the Affordable Care Act.

It’s time conservatives to unite around Scott Walker. We need an inspirational leader who’s gotten great things done and who hasn’t played the Gotcha Media’s games. Only Scott Walker fits that description. Jeb Bush did some conservative things as Florida’s governor. Now that he’s playing on the national stage, however, he’s supporting things like Common Core and President Obama’s executive amnesty.

What Americans need now is an unapologetic conservative who’s listened to the people and did what they told him to do. We don’t need someone who’s listened to political consultants and the special interests.

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Scott Walker’s media strategy has confounded the Gotcha Media thus far. Gov. Walker’s unconventional answers have exposed these Gotcha Bandits’ political agenda. Recently, Gov. Walker threw the Gotcha Media into a hissy fit with this answer:

Walker notably delivered a critique of the media over the weekend, after being asked whether he believed President Obama is a Christian.

“I’ve never asked him that,” Walker told the Washington Post. “You’ve asked me to make statements about people that I haven’t had a conversation with about that. How [could] I say if I know either of you are a Christian? To me, this is a classic example of why people hate Washington and, increasingly, they dislike the press,” he said. “The things they care about don’t even remotely come close to what you’re asking about.”

The Gotcha Media immediately flew into faux outrage mode, hinting that Gov. Walker thought President Obama was a Muslim. That isn’t what Gov. Walker said. He simply said that he didn’t know because he’d never talked with President Obama about the subject.

It wouldn’t be difficult to call members of the Gotcha Media and other progressives the ‘Dog Whistle Media’ because they’re experts at hearing things that other people haven’t said.

This is an important point. When the Gotcha Media asks a question about President Obama’s religious beliefs or about the candidate’s theory on evolution or other questions, there’s just one goal in mind: to try and entice the candidate into sounding like a Neanderthal. The best way to deflect those types of questions is with a reply of “I don’t answer gotcha questions. Next.”

UPDATE: This Hill article shows how adept the Walker campaign is:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is fundraising off what he describes as “gotcha” questions from the media.

Then there’s this:

Some are questioning whether Walker’s moves have been beneficial — but his campaign is looking to frame it as a moral stand.

“He refuses to be drawn into the sideshow of answering pointless questions about whether and how much President Obama loves our country. To Governor Walker, what matters are ideas, issues, his record, and results,” the email from Friends of Scott Walker continued. “Now is the time to stand up against the publicity hounds and the journalistic pack, and help Governor Walker fight back. Your support will show the clueless and mindless journalistic herd that you know what matters most and that it is not the pointless minutiae that they are pushing.”

It’s outstanding that Gov. Walker is setting the terms of his coverage:

“To Governor Walker, what matters are ideas, issues, his record, and results.”

That’s the battlefield Gov. Walker will fight on. If journalists are upset that he isn’t playing their gotcha games, he’s saying, that’s their problem. The American people, I’m betting, are looking for a positive, upbeat, politician who focuses on them instead of the Gotcha Media’s games. Further, I’m betting they’ll find Scott Walker’s rules refreshing.

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During his recent trip to England to promote international investment in Wisconsin, a moderator asked Scott Walker what his view of evolution was. Gov. Walker quickly responded that he would “punt” rather than answer the question. Immediately, journalists and other Democrats pounced on Gov. Walker’s question. Ron Fournier wrote this article criticizing Gov. Walker’s response. Here’s the opening of Mr. Fournier’s article:

Gov. Scott Walker wants to be president and is a serious contender for the job. But nobody who wants to be taken seriously for the presidency can duck a question like, “Do you believe in evolution.”

“I’m going to punt on that as well,” the Wisconsin Republican said in response to a question in London about whether he was comfortable with the idea of evolution. “That’s a question that a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or another.”

Asking a potential presidential candidate about his views on evolution aren’t relevant. That’s like asking a city council candidate what their view is of Roe v. Wade. It’s like asking a gubernatorial candidate what they think about changing zoning laws.

What I want to know from potential presidential candidates is what they’d do to stop the terrorists in southwest Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Will we need boots on the ground? Should we arm the Jordanians and the Peshmerga? Should we increase the bombing runs into Iraq and Syria?

Why can’t journalists stop practicing gotcha journalism? Asking a potential presidential candidate about evolution, especially at a time when US embassies are being overrun and President Putin is sending troops into Ukraine, isn’t serious journalism. Here’s Fournier’s response to why it’s important:

I can think of at least two reasons why the question relates to Walker’s unofficial bid for the GOP nomination. First, there are virtually no questions that are out of bounds for a presidential candidate. Think of a campaign as a lengthy interview for a job with 300 million bosses, each with a singular set of standards for making a decision. What might be a stupid question to 99 percent of votes (“Boxers or briefs?”) might matter to somebody.

That’s one of the flimsiest excuses I’ve ever heard. Essentially, Fournier said ‘because it might be important to someone.’ It’s telling that Gov. Walker has the courage to tell voters that he’s perfectly comfortable not playing the media’s gotcha games. I don’t want another president that’ll tell me whether he wears boxers or briefs. If that question never gets asked again, I’ll be a happy camper.

Walker tried the weasel route, telling Twitter followers, “It’s unfortunate the media chose to politicize this issue during our trade mission to foster investment in Wi.”

Here’s Fournier’s snotty reply:

No, sir. It’s unfortunate that a man who had the political courage to defy public employee unions is afraid to answer a simple question. Or maybe you’re not so courageous. Your attempt to clean up the flap on Twitter didn’t work because your tweet doesn’t answer the question.

Essentially telling an unserious journalist to take a hike on asking an unserious question is definitely a sign of confidence.

Wow. What a concession:

Republicans have convinced themselves that Obama got preferential treatment from the mainstream media in 2008. I will concede the point for the sake of argument.

It isn’t that Republicans “have convinced themselves that [President] Obama got preferential treatment” from the MSM in 2008. It’s that they’ve repeatedly proven that the MSM treated President Obama with kid gloves throughout his 2008 campaign.

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Truth Revolt’s article will undoubtedly cause lots of consternation with senior management of NBC’s news division. This might sink Brian Williams’ career:

“I want to apologize. I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by RPG [rocket-propelled grenade] fire. I was instead in a following aircraft.”

Truth Revolt cited Stars and Stripes article that accurately reported what happened:

The admission came after crew members on the 159th Aviation Regiment’s Chinook that was hit by two rockets and small arms fire told Stars and Stripes that the NBC anchor was nowhere near that aircraft or two other Chinooks flying in the formation that took fire. Williams arrived in the area about an hour later on another helicopter after the other three had made an emergency landing, the crew members said.

My advice to Williams is to buy a dog because that dog will be his only friend for the next few months. Williams’ clean-cut image just took a major hit. This headline is worth 1,000 articles:

This won’t just blow over in a couple of days, especially when you consider this story:

NBC News anchor Brian Williams told actor Alec Baldwin in March 2013 that he was afraid he was going to die when a Chinook helicopter he was riding in during the Iraq War was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

“I guess I do say to myself and to others — ‘I’ve got this’ — and I don’t know where that unbridled confidence comes from,” Williams told Baldwin, trying to describe where he gets his thirst for action and challenge.

“And I’ve done some ridiculously stupid things under that banner, like being in a helicopter I had no business being in in Iraq with rounds coming into the airframe,” Williams said.

This picture says it all:

It’s all over except the announcement. When will that shoe drop?

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Dana Milbank’s article highlights the Left’s lack of intellectual gravitas.

Rubio’s emotional, and at times inaccurate, response to the policy change shows why Obama’s move to normalize ties to Cuba after more than half a century is both good policy and good politics. It’s good policy because it jettisons a vestigial policy that has stopped serving a useful purpose, and because it is a gutsy move by Obama that demonstrates strong leadership and will help revive him from lame-duck status. It’s good politics because it will reveal that the Cuban American old guard, whose position Rubio represents, no longer speaks for most Cuban Americans.

It apparently didn’t bother Milbank that President Obama didn’t negotiate a deal with Cuba. Apparently, Milbank likes the thought of giving up leverage without getting anything in exchange.

This wasn’t a negotiation. It was a capitulation. It sold out Cubans at a time when Cuba’s supporters were hurting and getting worse. Venezuela’s, Iran’s and Russia’s economies are tanking thanks to $60/bbl oil. That’s way less than they need to keep their economies afloat. Without Russia’s and Venezuela’s support, Cuba’s dictatorship dies the minute the Castros croak.

This paragraph is laughable:

But Rubio was responding with his gut, which has been seasoned by the unwavering dogma of Cuban exiles. He began his remarks with the phrase “As a descendant of Cuban immigrants and someone who’s been raised in a community of Cuban exiles,” and he observed that “Cuba is close to home for me, both because of my heritage, also because of the community I live in.”

Apparently, Mr. Milbank frowns on people with actual expertise, which explains his fawning over President Obama. President Obama didn’t bring expertise on issues. He just brought a cocky attitude and a certainty that, though he was devoid of expertise, he knew how to right America’s wrongs.

By comparison, Sen. Rubio understands the history and plight of the Cuban people. He’s gained valuable insight while sitting on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to supplement the insight he had before joining the Senate. This, in Milbank’s mind, disqualifies him from speaking intelligently on the subject.

This is the perfect illustration of the Left appreciating trash-talking narcissists more than they appreciate people with topical expertise. It’s the perfect illustration of the Left’s foolish priorities.

There was a time when Gloria Borger was a serious journalist. After this week’s lovefest, it’s clear that she should be shipped to MSNBC, where undisciplined progressive hacks go for their final acts. Check out this slobbering Obama lovefest:

In case you haven’t noticed, President Obama has been flexing his executive muscles lately. On paper, it’s a head-scratcher. After all, he lost control of the Senate in the last election. His popularity is hovering near an all-time low. And, of course, he’s a lame duck.

Only no one seems to have told him. It’s as if he has shed his Clark Kent-ish demeanor for the more flamboyant cape. He’s no Superman, to be sure, but he’s spending an awful lot of time lately trying to get off the ground.

If Ms. Borger lavishes more praise on President Obama, she’ll be in danger of reminding people of the Obama rallies of 2008 where people fainted from excitement while listening to him. She’s acting like a giddy schoolgirl when she’s around her first crush.

With an introduction like that, it isn’t wise to think we’ll get anything useful from the rest of her article. After reading this crap, it’s safe to say that she lived down to my expectations:

And all that pent-up energy, ambition and action, barely two months after losing control of the Senate. Can this be no-drama Obama? “Anyone would become annoyed and frustrated if you were accused of being a wuss,” says a senior Democratic policy adviser. “And it’s always better to be on offense than defense.”

Everyone knows the old saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Actually, there is such a thing as bad publicity. Similarly, it isn’t always better to be on offense. President Obama’s actions have been exceptionally stupid from a political standpoint.

In the latest Fox News poll, 60% of registered voters surveyed disapproved of his handling of immigration, compared with 36% who approved. Apparently, the people polled didn’t get Ms. Borger’s gushy memo that President Obama is Superman. Further, it’s worth questioning whether doing things the people don’t like is helping the Democratic Party for 2016.

At this point, Republicans should pray that President Obama should continue acting this obnoxious. If he continues acting like a spoiled brat who thinks that this nation’s laws don’t apply to him, he’ll sink the Democratic Party for 2016.

It wasn’t exactly a state secret that Obama had a lot on his to-do list after the election. The thinking, according to a knowledgeable source: He felt constrained and frustrated by his tactical responsibilities to Democrats in trouble. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t make Democrats take hard votes. Don’t even campaign in red states. So he didn’t. And, as it turns out, the restraint helped not one whit.

So now, with the clock ticking, he’s moved from party cheerleader to the head of the executive branch. It’s Katie-bar-the-door, with or without the Congress. ‘Tis the season for a presidential list, and he’s checking it twice — as his legacy looms. Everything he is doing redefines the very notion of a lame duck.

The things President Obama is doing through executive orders will be immediately undone by executive orders when Republicans retake the White House in 2017. That’s if they last that long. It’s quite possible the courts will put a thumping on his most exotic executive actions long before then.

It isn’t like President Obama hasn’t gotten thumped repeatedly by the Supreme Court. At last count, they’ve ruled unanimously his executive power grabs 13 straight times and counting.

President Obama is making the 2016 election about him, mostly because he’s a narcissist. He can’t help himself. Little Ms. Borger apparently hasn’t figured it out that he’s toxic. People want him to exit the stage. It’s apparent that, in most people’s minds, the 2016 election can’t get here soon enough. It’s time for President Obama to go. While he’s leaving, I’d appreciate it if he took Ms. Borger with him. We need real journalists, not over-the-hill cheerleaders.

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This Our View editorial in the Times isn’t surprising considering their disgust with conviction politicians. It isn’t surprising that the Times is running interference for St. Cloud State again.

Councilman Johnson’s understanding of the airline industry has caused him to ask a number of pointed questions about daily flight service to Chicago. Being an expert on that issue isn’t a liability, though the Times apparently think it’s a liability. It’s a strength. Councilman Johnson isn’t afraid to ask tough questions while the Times and other politicians try sweeping things under the rug.

Further, it’s beyond galling to see the Times write about conflicts of interest, especially with regards to St. Cloud State. The Times has played multiple roles in its relationship with St. Cloud State and President Potter. They’ve been SCSU’s PR agency. They’ve been Potter’s stenographer, too. Unfortunately, the thing they haven’t been are unbiased reporters of fact.

If you weren’t reading LFR, you likely don’t know that SCSU has hidden, with the Times’ help, the fact that administrators have erased students’ participation in classes from the University’s official transcripts. If you haven’t read LFR, you certainly wouldn’t know that St. Cloud State’s tuition revenues have dropped dramatically thanks to a precipitous drop in enrollment. One Times article even said that enrollment for a semester was only down 1.3%, which is technically accurate if you’re going by headcount enrollment.

Had the Times reported that FYE enrollment, which is the only enrollment that’s predictive of tuition revenues, that semester was down close to 5%, they might’ve seen this year’s $9,542,000 budget deficit. Unfortunately, they didn’t report it, then were surprised when President Potter was forced to announce that SCSU’s operating deficit for FY2015 will be at least $9,542,000. It’s still possible, unfortunately, that it might reach higher.

If you haven’t read LFR, you wouldn’t know that President Potter’s trust rating with the faculty was terrible. The best that the Times has done is admit that there’s a problem and that both sides need to work together to solve the problem. The Times hasn’t said anything critical of President Potter with respect to the Great Place to Work Institute’s Trust Index Survey. When the Institute asked if the administration didn’t play politics, only 17% of faculty agreed with that statement.

Not surprisingly, the Times didn’t report that. Instead, they talked about the need for both sides to work together.

LFR is calling on the Times to abandon their SCSU cheerleader uniforms and to become a serious news organization. Their unwavering support for President Potter, frankly, is disgusting. If they won’t stop being President Potter’s off-campus PR firm, then people shouldn’t take their Our View editorials seriously.

After reading this LTE, there’s no question that fascism is alive and well in the United States. Here’s what the LTE proposes:

Combined, about $43,781,720 was spent on campaigning just for the governor, Senate and U.S. House elections in Minnesota. Think what that money could have been used for in the state.

I realize it’s not a lot of money in the total scheme of things, but it sure could have been used for something better than all the advertising. There should be no money allowed except from individuals living in the state or legislative district. No money should come from PACs, corporations or unions; only from people who can vote! PACs, corporations and unions don’t vote.

There also should be no negative advertising. Period! Only advertising should be about the candidate’s position on issues and what the candidate will try to do if elected. Period!

Who made this person the arbiter of what’s protected by the First Amendment and what isn’t? This is what happens when schools don’t teach their students the Constitution. It’s what happens when parents don’t teach their children the Constitution, too. It’s what happens when buffoons don’t think things through, too.

Why shouldn’t PACs, corporations and unions have the right to participate in the political process? There’s nothing in the text of the First Amendment that says it only protects individuals’ right to free speech.

What’s particularly bothersome about this LTE is that he didn’t bother mentioning the fact that the DFL and Nancy Pelosi’s ads were particularly dishonest. The other thing that’s troubling is the fact that the DFL’s ads and Nancy Pelosi’s ads outright lied. Repeatedly. Though this isn’t a Pelosi ad, it’s of a similar nature:

That ad was run by NARAL Pro-Choice USA. It accused Cory Gardner, Colorado’s new senator-elect, of banning birth control. NARAL ran this slanderous ad despite their knowing that Sen.-Elect Gardner proposed making contraception available without a prescription.

The best way to clean up politics isn’t by limiting citizens’ participation in the political process but by defeating the politicians whose ads are essentially smear campaigns. Politicians won’t stop running smear campaigns until they don’t work anymore. This isn’t that complicated.

Another key step in eliminating negative campaigning is by tying outside groups’ spending to the candidates they’re attempting to help. While it’s illegal to for politicians to coordinate with these outside expenditure organizations, it isn’t illegal to issue a heartfelt statement specifically criticizing these smear campaign ads. For instance, a man of integrity caught in soon-to-be former Sen. Udall’s position could’ve issued this statement about NARAL’s smear campaign ad:

My campaign condemns in the harshest possible terms NARAL’s ad suggesting my opponent wants to ban birth control. While my opponent and I disagree on a wide range of issues, and while I stand ready to highlight those points of disagreement during our debates and out campaign, I can’t sit idly by while this smear campaign is carried out on my behalf. I hereby demand that NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado take this ad down immediately.

In the Eighth District, there was little difference between Rick Nolan’s advertisements and Pelosi’s advertisements. In fact, the DCCC’s advertisements against Torrey Westrom and Rick Nolan’s advertisements against Stewart Mills were cookie-cutter copycats of Pelosi’s advertisements against Stewart Mills.

I’ll have more to say on Rick Nolan’s spinelessness later this morning.

It isn’t a surprise that the Strib endorsed Steve Simon. It’s just sad that they said this about him:

This is the issue that should matter most when those Minnesotans who do exercise their civic privilege vote for a new secretary of state on Nov. 4. And once this key consideration is taken into account, it’s clear that Steve Simon, who represents portions of St. Louis Park and Hopkins in the Legislature, is uniquely well suited to succeed Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who is not seeking a third term.

Simon, like Ritchie, is a DFLer. But he has built bipartisan consensus to increase voter participation. As chair of the House Elections Committee, Simon was instrumental in passing the “no excuses” absentee voter law, which starting this election makes it easier for Minnesota voters to cast a ballot, as well as the bill allowing online voter registration. And he carried the bill to switch Minnesota’s primary election from September to August to better accommodate state voters living abroad.

That’s BS. Simon didn’t build bipartisan consensus “to increase voter participation.” The only time Republicans and Democrats have disagreed about election policies, they were discussing Photo ID. Other than that, they’ve largely agreed.

Lately, though, Rep. Simon has shown a particularly nasty, race-hustling side:

STEVE SIMON: I really don’t support this idea of a sort of Lexus lane for voting or the so-called “Express Lane Voting. First of all, it seems intended to be a separate but equal system. All I have to go on are Dan’s own words when he characterized on a TEA Party TV show in the spring when he said “If you don’t want to show an ID, be my guest. You can go over to the side and wait 2 hours in the cold. That’s fine.”

It isn’t accidental that Rep. Simon used that disgusting term. Rep. Simon intended to frighten minorities, especially African-Americans, into turning out and voting. That type of partisanship indicates that Steve Simon isn’t the nonpartisan, consensus-seeking public servant that the Strib wants us to believe. It’s apparent that he’s a politician who won’t hesitate in saying anything to get elected. Further, that tells me that he isn’t the man of integrity that’s required to do this job.

What’s most disheartening is that nobody in the DFL or in the Twin Cities media have said a thing about Rep. Simon’s racism. Nobody’s called him out for his racist fearmongering. That’s both disgusting and disheartening. What’s worst is that Steve Simon has repeatedly resorted to this inflammatory racist rhetoric. Why would anyone think that he’s an impartial, nonpartisan arbiter of administering elections?

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This fall, I’ve made a point of checking the fact-checkers’ analysis. This time, I’m factchecking John Croman’s fact-check of Jeff Johnson’s campaign ad titled Unaware. Here’s one thing that Croman talked about:

The ad begins with video of Gov. Dayton with President Obama, and a pseudo headline “140,000 lose insurance coverage.”

Here’s Croman’s opinion:

In Minnesota policies are renewed every year, so those consumers were being notified they would have to buy more comprehensive, and possibly more expensive, plans for 2014. Within a month President Obama announced people in that predicament could keep their old plans if they wanted to. There’s no way to know how many of those 140,000 became uninsured in 2014, kept their old plans, or bought better ones.

And the truth, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota, is that the share of Minnesotans with health insurance went from 92 percent to 95 percent in the past year.

This is a perfect example of the reporter either not understanding the statement or pretending that he didn’t understand the statement. Republicans started using that fact after the Pioneer Press ran this article:

About 140,000 Minnesotans are receiving letters that describe changes to their current health care insurance policies for 2014 due to the federal health law.

And while the national controversy over individuals finding their coverage canceled because of the Affordable Care Act doesn’t technically apply in Minnesota, state law prevents insurers from issuing cancellation notices unless their entire product line is discontinued, potentially higher prices offer little consolation. Because the changes will drive up costs by mandating richer benefits, Minnesota consumers might well be experiencing the same frustrations as those subject to cancellations elsewhere.

The point of this statement is to highlight Politifact’s lie of the year:

Politifact’s Lie of the Year in 2013 was President Obama’s repeated promises that people could keep their health plan if they liked their health plan. I’ll stipulate that the headline should’ve said that “140,000 lose insurance that they liked.” There’s no question that 140,000 Minnesota families lost the insurance that they liked, though.

This statement is DFL spin:

The share of Minnesotans with health insurance went from 92 percent to 95 percent in the past year.

In 2012, before MNsure’s rollout, 93% of people had health insurance. Of those people that didn’t have health insurance, 60% of them were eligible for taxpayer-subsidized health care. Had the Dayton administration run a $5,000,000 multimedia advertising campaign telling people how they could’ve enrolled in those programs, more than 97% of Minnesotans would’ve been insured…in 2012.

Here’s another verified fact that Croman missed in his ‘fact-check': a higher percentage of Minnesotans could’ve been insured without spending $160,000,000 on a website that doesn’t work.

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