Archive for the ‘Media Bias’ Category

According to Pat Kessler’s latest Reality Check segment, most of the claims in Stewart Mills’ ad about Syrian refugees are true. According to Kessler, “Here’s what the Mills ad said: “Rick Nolan supports bringing 100,000 unvetted Syrians to America by the end of the year.” He doesn’t. But much what the Mills ad says is true, even if some of it is out of context. 100,000 Syrian refugees? True. By the end of 2016? True. “Unvetted”? False.”

Actually, there’s some question as to whether the refugees are vetted. The person questioning the Obama administration’s vetting abilities is James Comey, the director of the FBI. Further, Nicholas Rasmussen, the head of the National Counterterrorism Center, admitted “the intelligence that we have of this particular conflict zone is not as rich as we would like it to be” during the hearing.

Let’s connect these Reality Check dots. We know that Reality Check verified that most of the claims were “true”. Further, we now know that the only claim that they said was false shouldn’t have been categorized as false because congressional testimony from the Director of the FBI and the head of the National Counterterrorism Center both said that vetting Syrian refugees was especially difficult.

Therefore, LFR rates this Reality Check as Mostly True, with one statement rated ‘highly questionable’.

Politifact’s fact checks are notoriously questionable. This Politifact fact check is among the sloppiest fact checks they’ve ever published.

Politifact’s fact check of Trump’s claim about Syrian refugees is rated as half-true. That’s based on Mr. Trump’s statement that Hillary Clinton “has called for a radical 550 percent increase in Syrian … refugees … despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from.”

Politifact says “The 550 percent figure is correct. To say that there’s no way to screen them to find out who they are or where they come from ignores the extensive screening they undergo.” That last statement would surprise FBI Director Jim Comey and Jim Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence. This article publishes information that directly contradicts Politifact’s fact check when it says “Virtually no database of information exists to screen Syrian refugees coming into the United States, according to the FBI Director James Comey. The statements were made by Comey while testifying to the House Judiciary Committee about the security risks involved in taking in Syrian refugees.”

In other words, FBI Director Comey testified to the House Judiciary Committee that “virtually no database of information exists to screen Syrian refugees coming into the United States.” That directly contradicts Politifact’s published statements.

Then there’s this statement published in Politifact’s questionable fact check:

Compared to other countries, the United States has accepted very few – about 2,000 last year, for example. Half are children. Only about 2 percent are single men of combat age, the mostly likely demographic for a would-be terrorist.

That statement is directly contradicted by this information:

During the hearing, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) pointed out, according to the U.N., more than 43 million people worldwide are now displaced because of conflicts. Children constitute close to 41 percent of all refugees worldwide and women almost half.

However, the percentages are significantly different when it comes to the Syrian refugees. Of the close to 380,000 arrivals across the Mediterranean Sea from January through September of this year, 15%were children, 13% were women and 72% were men. Gohmert quoted Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as saying, “This provides a prime opportunity for Islamic State groups to attack Western targets … It’s a disaster of biblical proportions.”

This video must be watched for verification:

Based on FBI Director Comey’s testimony and DNI Director Clapper’s statement, I rate Politifact’s fact check mostly false. It ignores congressional testimony that directly contradicts their statements.

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Donald Trump’s acceptance speech last night has been characterized as being scary or dark by Democrats. Mo Elleithee, a former Hillary campaign spokesman, said that this was a dreadful week for the GOP. That’s spin but not very good spin.

Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s pollster, said that she expects Trump and Hillary to be tied in all of the major swing states when the swing state polls start coming out. While it’s wise to take anything from a candidate’s pollster with a grain of salt, I’ve watched Mrs. Conway since she was Ms. Fitzpatrick. She isn’t a spinner. She’s earned the benefit of the doubt with me.

As for Trump’s speech, it was different in important and profound ways. He stripped away the façade that the Obama administration has hidden behind for 8 years. It started when Mr. Trump said “It is finally time for a straightforward assessment of the state of our nation. I will present the facts plainly and honestly. We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore. So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully-crafted lies, and the media myths, the Democrats are holding their convention next week. Go there.”

Think of that as Trump’s way of telling the elitists in the media and in the Democratic Party (pardon the repetition) that America would hear the truth. Here’s an example of that truthfulness:

These are the facts:

Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement. Homicides last year increased by 17% in America’s fifty largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years. In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. They are up nearly 60 percent in nearby Baltimore.

In the president’s hometown of Chicago, more than 2,000 have been the victims of shootings this year alone. And almost 4,000 have been killed in the Chicago area since he took office. The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50 percent compared to this point last year.

Democrats say that the speech was dark. Let’s ask this question: Are those the type of statistics that should make us feel happy? Or are they the type of statistics that make your heart ache? If that wasn’t enough information to make a decision on, this will help thoughtful people make the right decision:

One such border-crosser was released and made his way to Nebraska. There, he ended the life of an innocent young girl named Sarah Root. She was 21 years old and was killed the day after graduating from college with a 4.0 grade point average. Her killer was then released a second time, and he is now a fugitive from the law. I’ve met Sarah’s beautiful family. But to this administration, their amazing daughter was just one more American life that wasn’t worth protecting. One more child to sacrifice on the altar of open borders.

There’s no spinning that story. If I were to put it in tennis language, that story would be “Game. Set. Match. Championship.” Thoughtful people can’t hear that story and think we need to continue this administration’s immigration policies.

This is a powerful indictment of Hillary’s incompetence:

In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map. Libya was stable. Egypt was peaceful. Iraq had seen a big reduction in violence. Iran was being choked by sanctions. Syria was somewhat under control.

After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region and the entire world. Libya is in ruins, and our ambassador and his staff were left helpless to die at the hands of savage killers. Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, forcing the military to retake control. Iraq is in chaos. Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. Syria is engulfed in a civil war and a refugee crisis that now threatens the West. After 15 years of wars in the Middle East, after trillions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost, the situation is worse than it has ever been before.

This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: Death, destruction and terrorism and weakness.

That’s a devastating and accurate before and after portrait of Hillary’s incompetence. Think of it as the indictment the Justice Department didn’t attempt to get.

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This Washington Post editorial, published in the Star Tribune, highlights what passes for liberal logic. First, it’s worth highlighting some of the statements made in the editorial.

The editorial says “Citing ‘insufficient evidence,’ Judge Barry G. Williams on Thursday found Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr. not guilty of all charges in the April 2015 death of Gray.” That’s the Post’s way of saying the prosecution couldn’t prove that Freddie Gray’s rebellious actions didn’t cause his own death.

What the Post omitted is the fact that Mosby’s office conducted their own investigation and that police questioned the thoroughness of that investigation. In fact, this article highlights the rift between Mosby’s office and the Baltimore PD.

Specifically, Detective Dawnyell Taylor said “As I read over the narrative it had several things that I found to be inconsistent with our investigation,” adding: “I thought the statements in the narrative were misquoted.” It gets worse:

The claims in her account underscore a rift between prosecutors and police that began in the spring of last year, when the two agencies worked together on parallel tracks to investigate Gray’s death.

Some police officials believe prosecutors moved too quickly and have questioned their findings, while prosecutors have raised questions about whether police were seeking to absolve the officers of wrongdoing. Prosecutors have accused Taylor in court of trying to sabotage their case.

Here’s Det. Taylor:

Frankly, Mosby’s prosecution of these police officers is a sham. A year before the first case went to trial, legendary law professor Alan Dershowitz criticized Mosby’s office:

The mayor outrageously said we’re going to get justice for the victim, the family and people of Baltimore, never mentioning the defendants. Under our Constitution, the only people who are entitled to justice are the defendants. They are presumed innocent, they need due process of law, and the mayor and the state attorney have made it virtually impossible for these defendants to get a fair trial. They have been presumed guilty.

More than a few attorneys have suggested that Mosby should have her license suspended. Others have said she’s committed an offense that warrants disbarment.

Prosecuting police officers is always difficult and, as former state Sen. Clarence M. Mitchell IV pointed out, it showed “courage to bring charges when it appeared that the police had done something wrong.”

It didn’t take courage to railroad these officers. It took a reckless disregard for the rules of evidence. The fact that Mosby’s office hasn’t convicted the officers of a single criminal count shows that the “$6.4 million settlement” to the Gray family was meant to taint the jury pool. That strategy apparently failed.

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The St. Cloud Times Editorial Board’s latest editorial could’ve been written by Moms Demand Action. The sad thing is that the Times is just as uninformed now as it was a year ago.

For instance, their chief recommendation is “Improving background checks. There are a variety of proposals in Congress that are reasonable. A good starting point is the long-proposed plan to require background checks for all gun purchases online and at gun shows. Unfortunately, the Senate, the day after the San Bernardino shootings, rejected this proposal 50-48. It was the second failure of the measure. It also rejected 55-45 a proposal to prevent people on the terrorist watch list from being able to legally buy guns.”

First, the Times should read the existing laws. Sean Davis, the founder of The Federalist, did. Then he wrote this post demolishing the myths that the Times still perpetuates:

1) The ‘Gun Show Loophole’ Allows Anyone, Even Criminals, To Get Guns

In reality, the so-called “gun show loophole” is a myth. It does not exist. There is no loophole in federal law that specifically exempts gun show transactions from any other laws normally applied to gun sales. Not one.

If you purchase a firearm from a federal firearms licensee (FFL) regardless of the location of the transaction — a gun store, a gun show, a gun dealer’s car trunk, etc. — that FFL must confirm that you are legally allowed to purchase that gun. That means the FFL must either run a background check on you via the federal NICS database, or confirm that you have passed a background check by examining your state-issued concealed carry permit or your government-issued purchase permit. There are zero exceptions to this federal requirement.

If an individual purchases a gun across state lines, from an individual or FFL which resides in a different state than the buyer, the buyer must undergo a background check, and the sale must be processed by an FFL in the buyer’s home state.

Here’s a pointed question for the TEB (Times Editorial Board): Do we need multiple federal laws covering the same situation? Here’s another question for the TEB: Might it not be better if we just enforced the laws that already address these situations?

Further, I wrote this article to highlight the fact that the federal government failed to do what it’s supposed to do. It won’t do any good to write new laws if the federal government won’t consistently and efficiently enforce the laws on the books.

To be fair, the TEB did its liberal duty. It did what it’s expected to do. Unfortunately, according to chapter 1, verse 1 of the progressives’ gospel is to disseminate untruths frequently and consistently.

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The St. Cloud Times is on a roll editorial-wise. Last week, they published this hate-filled editorial that ended with a church getting vandalized, thanks in large part, I suspect, to the Times editorial, which did everything except call the church a host for bigotry. A week later and the Times Editorial Board is at it again, this time telling Gov. Dayton to play politics rather than correcting the DFL’s sabotaging of a bonding bill that would’ve fixed the most dangerous stretch of highway in Minnesota.

Apparently, the St. Cloud Times doesn’t care that motorists will be put at risk because DFL senators put a higher priority of funding the Southwest Light Rail project than they put on fixing the 38-mile stretch of Highway 12 between Wayzata and Cokato. What a heartless bunch the Times Editorial Board is. Of course, they don’t put it that way. Instead, they insist that they’re recommending no special session because politicians need to be taught a lesson for not getting their work done on time.

There is no budget shortfall. The operation of state government programming and services is not contingent on legislation being drafted and approved. And there certainly is no natural disaster, no unemployment benefits nor even war bonuses for veterans (see Korea, 1958) that require legislators to reconvene in St. Paul this year.

So don’t convene a special session. Make the best decisions you can about the legislation sent to your desk and be done with it.

Technically, the Times is accurate. Still, the Times is blind as a bat. There is an emergency that the DFL didn’t address. The DFL Senate insisted that the House approve funding for the controversial Southwest Light Rail project be included in the bonding bill. By doing that with minutes left in the session, the DFL Senate killed the bonding bill and, with it, funding to fix Highway 12.

To the Times editors, I’ll just say this: your editorial is shameful. You didn’t think things through. Either that or you just don’t care about public safety. Either that or you just aren’t that bright to begin with.

Finally, before publishing your next editorial, think these things through. It’s embarrassing to read an editorial that’s this filled with depravity.

The Times’ latest editorial reads more like DFL chanting points than an editorial that required original thought. Even the commenters noticed the Times’ dishonesty.

What they noticed is that the Times said “As the final hours of the session ticked away, the House inserted into the omnibus tax bill a measure that gives about $32 million in tax breaks to tobacco companies. It does so largely by stopping an automatic annual increase in the state’s tax on packs of cigarettes.”

One of the commenters got it right when he said “Nothing any legislative body does should be put on autopilot — taxes or spending. Every increase should be a deliberate and separate decision by lawmakers. They need to be individually accountable for their votes (yes or no) on every increase. They should not be able to dodge responsibility because a change in an economic index triggered an automatic increase. Vote for a cigarette tax increase in the next session — and the session after than and …. . Just have the guts to accept responsibility.”

The DFL has been preaching that BS for over a week. The DFL has insisted that the GOP tax bill provides a tax break for tobacco companies:

“It is inconceivable to me that we would reward cigarette producers given what we know about their proclivity to entice young people to use their products,” Rep. Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, wrote in a letter to Dayton. “There are countless better purposes in Minnesota for tax dollars, purposes that will build our future.”

Rep. Murphy wouldn’t know intelligent public policy if it bit her in the backside. Tax increases on autopilot are terrible policy because it’s multiple tax increases with a single vote.

Anne Mason, a spokeswoman for ClearWay Minnesota, a nonprofit group that lobbies for reducing tobacco use, said the issue is about tobacco. The group has produced surveys showing that Minnesota’s rising tobacco costs have motivated people to quit or to not start smoking, particularly the young. “The benefit we’ve seen in the yearly increases is in keeping tobacco prices high relative to inflation,” Mason said. “We would expect that to dull over time if we don’t have the periodic increases.”

If it’s such a benefit, the ClearWay shouldn’t have any difficulty persuading the legislature into passing their tax increases. At minimum, if the cigarette tax increases are as popular as ClearWay insists, they shouldn’t have trouble defeating legislators that vote against ClearWay’s agenda.

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It’s time that the St. Cloud Times put more thought into their Our View editorials. This one is particularly annoying. Their chief complaint is that things don’t get done until there’s a deadline. Now that’s a shocker. Both parties hold to their positions until the last minute. The DFL does it because they’re rigid ideologues that want things their way. Principled conservatives, not to be confused with Republicans, stick to their guns because they’ve thought things through and believe that their ideas work.

The Times might as well have just used Paul Thissen’s talking points in writing the opening paragraphs of the editorial. Those paragraphs state “With three days left in the 2016 legislative session, anything can happen. Of course, Minnesotans would not know about it because it probably would take place behind closed doors.

That introduction in itself highlights one of the biggest frustrations rank-and-file Minnesotans have about the 2016 session. Just like so many other recent sessions, 2016 is coming to a conclusion with virtually no way for voters to see what’s going into final agreements worth potentially billions of tax dollars.”

When government is this intrusive, it’s guaranteed that there will be lots of lobbyists looking for a slice of the government pie. Rather than whining about last minute negotiations, the Times should be complaining that government is too intrusive, too expensive and too larded up with fat to effectively serve the people.

Editorials like this give the DFL the cover to keep doing what they’re doing. Simply put, they know that a ‘throw the bums out’ editorial, which this is, plays to their advantage because they’re the out party in the House.

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt, DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and perhaps a handful of other key legislators are holding “closed door” negotiations as they try to bridge gaps involving transportation funding, the $900 million state surplus and a statewide bonding bill. These leaders emerge from their meetings and say virtually nothing that helps voters learn anything useful. Then it’s rinse and repeat until a secret deal is reached.

While the Times’ editorial whines about secrecy, the Times says nothing about the fact that the DFL transportation bill sticks people with a major tax increase. Why don’t they speak out against something substantive rather than whining about process? Isn’t the goal to pass legislation that improves society?

Based on the Times’ editorial, their goal seems to be to whine without providing substantive solutions.

It isn’t surprising that Sarah Palin predicted that Speaker Ryan would get “Cantored” in Wisconsin’s August primary. I wrote this article to state my opinion that Mrs. Palin has started believing her press clippings a bit too much.

Palin’s track record isn’t exactly filled with success. That’s mostly because she doesn’t do her research and her off-the-cuff statements are positively loony. This past Sunday, Mrs. Palin said that she’d do whatever she could to help Paul Nehlen, the sacrificial lamb that’s about to get trounced. After this tweet, though, I think Ryan can focus his time on important things rather than waste a split second on this annoying little gnat. Check out what Nehlen tweeted:

Nehlen all but officially ended his campaign with that tweet. That he thinks people will feel scandalized that a Catholic sent his kids to a Catholic school tell voters that he’s either stupid or that he’s incredibly desperate. I’m betting it’s the latter.

The truth is that Nehlen should consider it a moral victory if he doesn’t lose by 60 points. Contrary to Mrs. Palin’s prediction, this isn’t a close race. It never was going to be. The Washington Free Beacon’s article highlights what Nehlen was tweeting about:

Breitbart News reached out to the school as a perspective [sic] applicant and obtained a copy of the school’s 2015-2016 registration papers and tuition contract. The document inquires specifically into the applicant’s religious background; in particular, it asks whether the applicant is a parishioner at the associated Catholic parish. The school recruits through the parish by offering a tuition discount to those who have been baptized and are members of the parish.

Then there’s this astonishing admission:

As the registration forms explain, the school exists for the express purpose of helping to foster Catholic children.

Trumpbart has really outdone themselves with this one. If Andrew were alive today, he wouldn’t let his websites be used like this. Period. Finally, there’s this:

While Muslim students could presumably get into Ryan’s school, the school’s reliance on the parish as a recruiting center and the above-cost tuition fees would, by definition, function as a mechanism for screening them out.

There’s no cheap shot that Trumpbart won’t use against their enemies.

When this election is over, what will be the fallout from news consumers on Fox News? Which personalities and hosts will be looking for new jobs? Will Megyn Kelly jump ship for a network job or a show on CNN? One thing that likely won’t change is that Bill O’Reilly will still have his show. His “I’m just a simple man” schtick still resonates with his viewer, most of whom seem to have the intelligence of eighth graders.

O’Reilly’s talking point Wednesday night is a shining example of O’Reilly’s ignorance:

O’Reilly’s statements aren’t the statements of a well-educated man. They’re the statements of a man who hasn’t studied reality. Let’s compare O’Reilly’s statements with Karl Rove’s statements. (I’m not a fan of Rove but he’s smarter about this stuff than O’Reilly.)

The most important information from Rove’s WSJ article is when he writes “Mr. Trump’s sweeping victory was impressive. But, as Henry Olsen of the Ethics and Public Policy Center pointed out at National Review, it was also expected.” I’d quibble that it wasn’t totally expected. Trump’s victory exceeded expectations. Still, Trump is trailing the OTT (Other Than Trump) delegates.

That didn’t matter to O’Reilly, who said “Simply put, Trump is so far ahead that Ted Cruz and John Kasich or any other Republican phantom simply does not have the constituency to take the nomination away from Trump. Any back room dealings will be quickly exposed and will doom the Republican Party.”

That’s something only an idiot who hasn’t studied the convention would say. First, if Trump doesn’t win on the first ballot, he’ll face a major uprising from delegates in the Bible Belt states, the Rust Belt states and the Midwest. That’s because Trump’s gotten spineless lately. Trump wants to change the GOP platform on abortion. What’s worse is that Trump “thinks transgendered people should be able to use whatever restroom they’d like to use.”

Changing the GOP platform on abortion requires an uphill fight that Trump wouldn’t win. With the delegates attending the convention, Trump’s position on the bathroom issue resembles a suicide mission. While many northeastern delegates would continue faithfully supporting Trump, he’d be the person losing his constituency attending the convention.

O’Reilly’s Talking Points is wrong because he didn’t pay attention to the details. That’s because he’s an impatient, big-picture guy. Compare that with Rove’s column:

According to the National Association of Secretaries of State, by the time Republicans gather in Cleveland on July 18, the deadline for Mr. Trump to be listed on the ballot as an independent will already have passed in 12 states with a combined 166 Electoral College votes.

There’s those pesky little details inserting themselves into the conversation again. By the time the convention ends, it would be clear that a Trump third party run was his attempt to hand the presidency to Hillary Clinton.

Some of Fox News’ anchors haven’t indulged in drinking the Trump Kool-Aid. Unfortunately for them, not enough of them have refrained from drinking that toxic drink.