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April 27, 2006

11:32
April 27: Senate investigators have determined that the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be dismantled and restructured. NBC's Chip Reid reports.
Categories: News
11:32

On the April 24 broadcasts of CNN's Paula Zahn Now and ABC's World News Tonight, as well as on the April 25 broadcast of ABC's Good Morning America, news reports noted that congressional Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), were calling for President Bush to investigate possible price gouging by the oil industry. But none of the reports mentioned that Democrats had previously called for a price-fixing probe, including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who had called for such an investigation at a press conference a week earlier. Further, 15 Senate Democrats also sent a letter to Bush on April 18 calling for him to support legislation that would prevent price gouging.

In a report on high gas prices for ABC's World News Tonight, Washington correspondent Jake Tapper noted that "congressional Republicans were very mindful of blame when they called for the federal investigations into possible price gouging by the fuel industry," then quoted Frist saying, "We have to address this." Likewise, CNN anchor Paula Zahn reported in her broadcast that "GOP leaders are asking the president to order an investigation into whether price gouging or speculation are causing higher gas prices, while Democrats say the GOP is scrambling for political cover for the upcoming midterm November elections."

On Good Morning America, co-host Diane Sawyer interviewed Frist, noting that he was "targeting gouging," then said: "I'm going to play a bite of Senator Edward Kennedy [D-MA], who says ... this is the problem." Sawyer then played a clip from the April 23 edition of NBC's Meet the Press during which Kennedy csaid Bush "should have called the head[s] of the oil companies into the White House and started jawboning." After the clip, Sawyer asked Frist, "What about that, Senator? Time to tackle the profits of the oil companies?" suggesting that Kennedy was arguing only in favor of a windfall profit tax. However, during his Meet the Press interview, Kennedy also said: "And [Bush] ought to activate and call the Federal Trade Commission [FTC] -- which is basically a sleepy organization that has given an interim report in terms of price fixing and gouging -- he ought to get them off and have them working seven days a week, 24/7, to make sure that we know exactly who is price gouging."

On April 18, Schumer held a press conference at a gas station in New York to call for the FTC to investigate the business practices of the major oil companies, saying, "The bottom line is they are producing at 85-percent capacity when they should be producing over 90 percent. Are they scaling back production? Only by subpoenaing the companies and looking in their books will we get that answer." Fifteen Senate Democrats also sent a letter to Bush on April 18 calling for him to support pending anti-price-gouging legislation:

We are writing to enlist your support in enacting strong consumer protection measures that will protect American consumers from price gouging at the gas pump this summer. You are undoubtedly aware of projections from the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) that gas prices will rise 25 cents per gallon across this nation compared to last summer. In light of these projections, we believe a federal anti-price gouging law should be enacted before the summer driving season begins in earnest, this Memorial Day.

Already, price gouging legislation (S. 1735) exists that has been cosponsored by nearly a third of the United States Senate, and endorsed by a number of state Attorneys General. This legislation would give federal and state regulators new authority to prosecute price gouging in the wake of national energy emergencies, as well as put in place measures to ban manipulation and enhance the transparency of our nation's fuel markets. One of the hallmarks of this legislation is that it would also apply to the wholesale fuel markets-an important distinction, given that it is often the large vertically integrated oil companies that dictate the prices that gasoline retailers can charge. While the oil companies rake in record profits, it is often these retailers that bear the brunt of consumer anger.

From the April 24 broadcast of CNN's Paula Zahn Now:

ZAHN: Now, GOP leaders are asking the president to order an investigation in whether price gouging or speculation are causing higher gas prices, while Democrats say the GOP is scrambling for political cover for the upcoming midterm November elections.

From the April 24 broadcast of ABC's World News Tonight:

ELIZABETH VARGAS (co-anchor): Good evening. We begin with high stakes and the nation's high gas prices. They were up yet again today. The government said a gallon of regular unleaded now costs, on average, $2.91. That is an increase of 29 percent in the last two months. The new math at the gas pump is starting to force Americans across the country to change their driving habits. We'll have more on that in a moment. But we begin in Washington. Congress returned from recess today, vowing to investigate oil companies as they prepare to report another round of record profits. Here's ABC's Jake Tapper.

TAPPER: Today, regular unleaded gasoline in San Francisco cost $3.10 a gallon. In Miami, $2.99. In Chicago, 2.96.

MOTORIST 1: I think we're being ripped off.

MOTORIST 2: Who do I blame? You know, there's really enough blame to go all around.

TAPPER: But with midterm elections coming up in November, congressional Republicans are very mindful of blame when they called for the federal investigations into possible price gouging by the fuel industry from refineries, to pipelines, to retail sales.

FRIST: Everybody is feeling it. Whether you're a farmer, you're a small business person; whether you're a mom or a dad taking kids to the school. We have to address it.

TAPPER: In Las Vegas, the president said he took the request seriously.

BUSH: If we catch them gouging, if we catch them in unfair trade practices, we'll deal with them at the federal government.

From the April 25 broadcast of ABC's Good Morning America:

SAWYER: All right Senator, you're targeting gouging, which is the guy at the pump, the middle guy. How is this going to help, and how soon, specifically, the person paying $2.91 on average right now.

FRIST: Diane, you're exactly right, this $2.90, over three dollars in some areas right now, cannot be sustained by the person driving their kids to school today or filling up their tractor with fuel. There is no silver bullet. I think that's obvious to most people now, but we need to make sure, though the prices are ultimately determined by supply and demand, that the markets themselves work, and therefore, the Speaker and I did send a letter to the president to make sure that we fully investigate, using our entire government -- mainly the Department of Justice and the FTC -- that any evidence of price gouging be addressed and be addressed aggressively. In addition, in that letter, we asked both the FTC and the DOJ to investigate and to examine, to make sure that markets are not being manipulated in any way as we look to the future and the future commodity purchases of these -- these oil and gas reserves that we have today.

SAWYER: Well, you talk about the possibility of market manipulation, also want to talk about the record profits of the big oil companies. During the past four years, profits have jumped more than 260 percent, and you were holding hearings on this back last fall. I'm going to play a bite of Senator Edward Kennedy, who says, you know, this is the problem. Listen.

KENNEDY [video clip]: The president should have called the head of the oil companies into the White House and started jawboning. He should have done that a week ago. Why he doesn't do that, I do not understand. He ought to be pointing out that hardworking Americans, middle-class people, who have their sons and daughters in Iraq and in Afghanistan -- that this is not a time for greed.

SAWYER: What about that Senator? Time to tackle the profits of the oil companies?

FRIST: Well, I think we need to look at it, and that's why, I, very early on, the last time we had a spike, called for those hearings -- the hearings you heard Senator Kennedy just speaking at. We were told at that time by the executives from the various oil companies that those profits would be invested in increasing the supply side of the equation -- the production side of the equation. We may have to bring them back in, we'll have to wait and see whether they have done just that. The price ultimately is determined by supply and demand.

From the April 23 edition of NBC's Meet the Press:

MR. RUSSERT: What are we going to do about $3-dollar-a-gallon gasoline?

KENNEDY: The president -- the president should have called the head of the oil companies into the White House and started jawboning. He should have done that a week ago. Why he doesn't do that, I do not understand. He ought to be pointing out that hard-working Americans, middle-class people, who have their sons and daughters in Iraq and in Afghanistan -- that this is not a time for greed. And he ought to activate and call the Federal Trade Commission -- which is basically a sleepy organization that has given an interim report in terms of price fixing and gouging -- he ought to get them off and have them working seven days a week, 24/7, to make sure that we know exactly who is price gouging. And third, we ought to have a bipartisan effort to recapture -- recapture these excessive profits that are going to the oil industry and return them to working families and middle-income families.

Categories: News
11:32

In a discussion with a caller he later described as an "ordinary Muslim," on the April 24 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, Michael Savage declared that, based on the caller's views about the war in Iraq and fading phone signal, he must have been using a cell phone "made over there in a bomb factory in the Gaza strip." Savage also said that "[a]ll Aljazeera outlets should be blown up in the United States of America by the federal government." He later asked, "How come you don't hear about there's a billion Christians that could be marshaled to defend Western civilization?" Savage concluded that Christians are failing to "stand up" because "liberalism has perverted Christianity."

From the April 24 edition of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation:

SAVAGE: Chicago, [caller], you're on The Savage Nation. Go ahead, please.

CALLER: Hi Michael, I just want to say you don't indict a global faith for the actions of some individuals.

SAVAGE: Now, I've heard that homily before, so, perhaps, you could help me and those listening to this show by answering this question. Why is it that your faith of Islam is so easily misinterpreted to permit suicide bombings and other acts that are outside the can of human behavior?

CALLER: You see, it's not misinterpreted, it's actually, some individuals who, in their minds, are righting a wrong, which we all agree about, and the --

SAVAGE: Wait, what do you mean righting a wrong with which we all agree about? So, you agree with them?

CALLER: No, I don't agree with them, of course, but, I do agree that some things, for instance, you know, the Iraq war, the Afghanistan, so many other things --

SAVAGE: So, you were in favor of the Taliban in Afghanistan, I see.

CALLER: I am not.

SAVAGE: You like the Taliban blowing up Buddhist statues that are 1,300 years old and keeping women out of jobs. Is that your idea of an Islamic state?

CALLER: No, you are missing my point, Michael.

SAVAGE: Well, you just said that it's -- that we -- we did something wrong in Afghanistan. How? By liberating the Afghanistan -- the Afghani people? Please interpret for me what you just said because it makes no sense.

CALLER: OK, this is just what I'm trying to tell you here. The invasion of Iraq, OK? You have so many Americans, including myself, who are, you know, against it --

SAVAGE: What do you mean? You keep saying, "you know." I don't know. What? Because you suddenly found the voice in [Sen.] Ted Kennedy [D-MA] and the liberals who hate Bush, you think that everybody in America thinks it was a mistake to topple Saddam Hussein? So, you were a fan of Saddam Hussein?

CALLER: You see, you're putting, you know, putting words --

SAVAGE: You can't have it both ways. You cannot have it both ways. You tell me that you are a -- you hate America because we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. That's what you just said. But you're telling me on the other hand, you don't agree with those who are chanting, "Zionists, you will pay. The wrath of Allah is on its way. The mushroom cloud is on its way. The real holocaust is on its way." You like those words?

CALLER: Michael, if I -- somebody came here and --

SAVAGE: I just, wait -- wait -- wait. No. Answer my question. Don't play Philadelphia lawyer with me. Do you want a mushroom cloud here in America? Do you want a holocaust in America?

CALLER: I don't, Michael. You see --

SAVAGE: How would I know that? Why do you say it with such a patronizing pained "Michael"? How would I know that? You were -- suddenly, you shifted gears pretty quick. Two minutes ago, you were sympathetic, saying that we all agree with the wrongs that have been done to the Muslim world. I am so sick of hearing about wrongs done to the Muslim world! Don't you understand it's a bunch of crap!

CALLER: Let me tell you. This is some of the wrong. If -- if someone tries to come here and overthrow our government, would you -- would you agree to that? Of course, you wouldn't. If someone came and killed half of your family members --

SAVAGE: You're breaking up, I'm afraid you'll have to use an American cell phone, not the one given to you by your controller made over there in a bomb factory in the Gaza strip. So, there we have another one, a fellow traveler, and let's assume that he's just another ordinary Muslim.

[...]

SAVAGE: Today, of course, three bombings hit the Egyptian beach resort popular with foreigners killing at least 21, wounding 60 -- that means probably 100 people are going to die over time. Now, this is a day after OBL [Osama bin Laden] issued a tape warning against Westerners which was disseminated by the hate filled Aljazeera, which should be, as far as I'm concerned, blown up. All Aljazeera outlets should be blown up in the United States of America by the federal government. The FBI should immediately get warrants go in there and rip the wiring out of their facilities and arrest everybody in Aljazeera. You know, this is like saying, we're in the pre-stages of war with Nazi Germany -- it's 1939 -- and the Nazis have an outlet in America called Deutschland ueber Alles [German national anthem] and they have a network that they can disseminate Hitler's ideas to America and we're sitting here saying, "Well, it's freedom of speech. We're a nation of immigrants. It's freedom of religion" -- all of the shibboleths of the left.

[...]

SAVAGE: I had a long talk with a friend that I admire very much yesterday. He's a very deep conservative, gives a lot of money to conservative causes, but he's very -- he's very frustrated. He looks ahead and he says, "They're going to win." I say, what do you mean they're going to win? I said we know what nations are the nation state sponsors of these suicide bombers. We know they're Iran, we know they're Syria, we know they're Saudi Arabia. We all know that. I said, there's (sic) very simple solutions.

You got to wipe the nests out at the top. Take the head of the snake out, and suddenly, the bombs stop. He says but there's a billion some odd -- 100 million of them. I said, yeah, well there's (sic) over a billion Christians. How come you don't hear about there's (sic) a billion Christians that could be marshaled to defend Western civilization? Why is nobody telling the Christians to stand up and survive, or they're going to disappear, or their children will become slaves, or be forcibly converted? Why? Well, there's (sic) a million answers. The number one answer is because liberalism has perverted Christianity. Liberalism has perverted every religion on this planet. Liberalism is a cancer. Liberalism is a virus. Liberalism is a mental disorder. We are at war and we know it.

Categories: News
11:32

In reporting on President Bush's April 25 announcement that he would suspend deposits into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in an effort to reduce rising gasoline prices, numerous news outlets failed to note that Bush had previously criticized both the Clinton administration and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) for proposing to use the reserve to lower prices.

On April 25, Bush announced his decision to suspend deposits to the SPR under a three-part plan purportedly intended to reduce gas prices in the short term. His plan also entailed limiting oil company tax breaks and promoting fuel efficiency. From Bush's speech before the Renewable Fuels Association in Washington, D.C.:

BUSH: One way to ease price is to increase supply. One immediate way we can signal to people we're serious about increasing supply is to stop making purchases or deposits to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for a short period of time.

I've directed the Department of Energy to defer filling the reserve this summer. Our Strategic Reserve is sufficiently large enough to guard against any major supply disruption over the next few months. So by deferring deposits until the fall, we'll leave a little more oil on the market. Every little bit helps.

Following Bush's announcement, most news reports noted experts' opinion that his plan to halt SPR deposits would amount to little more than a "drop in the bucket" in terms of its effect on gas prices. But only a few outlets also pointed out that, in taking this step, Bush contradicted his past opposition to using the reserve to drive down prices.

Indeed, as both The Washington Post and the Associated Press reported on April 26, during his 2004 re-election campaign, Bush denounced then-presidential candidate Kerry's proposal to relieve gas prices by diverting deposits to the SPR. At the time, Bush asserted that the reserve was to be utilized only in the case of "major disruptions of energy supplies":

BUSH: [W]e will not play politics with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. That petroleum reserve is in place in case of major disruptions of energy supplies to the United States. The idea of emptying the Strategic Petroleum Reserve plays -- would put America in a dangerous position in the war on terror. We're at war. We face a tough and determined enemy on all fronts. And we must not put ourselves in a worse position in this war. And playing politics with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve would do just that.

An April 26 Chicago Tribune article further contrasted Bush's decision to suspend the SPR deposits with his criticism -- made during his 2000 presidential campaign -- of the Clinton administration's decision to tap into the reserve. On September 22, 2000, at the urging of presidential candidate and then-vice president Al Gore, Clinton authorized the release of 30 million barrels of oil from the SPR to "increase supply and help consumers make it through the cold winter." In a statement made a day earlier in response to Gore's recommendation, Bush described as "bad public policy" the idea of taking such steps "in response to public outcry." As with his 2004 rebuke of Kerry's proposal, Bush invoked the issue of national security and noted that the reserve was intended "for a sudden disruption of our energy supply":

BUSH: Today, my opponent, in response to public outcry, proposed that our nation tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. That's bad public policy.

The Strategic Reserve is an insurance policy meant for a sudden disruption of our energy supply or for war. Strategic Reserve should not be used as an attempt to drive down oil prices right before an election. It should not be used for short-term political gain at the cost of long-term national security.

By contrast to the Post, Tribune, and AP, numerous other news outlets reported Bush's plan without pointing out his prior opposition to such a move. These included April 26 articles by New York Times reporter David E. Sanger, Los Angeles Times staff writers Peter Wallsten and Richard Simon, and USA Today reporter David Jackson.

CNN White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux's April 25 report on White House plans to address high gas prices also failed to contrast Bush's decision to suspend SPR deposits with his previous criticism of similar Democratic proposals. Malveaux's taped report appeared on Lou Dobbs Tonight, The Situation Room, Paula Zahn Now, and Anderson Cooper 360.

Fox News chief White House correspondent Carl Cameron went a step further. Discussing the president's plan on the April 25 edition of Fox News' Special Report, Cameron not only failed to inform viewers of Bush's past statements on the appropriate use of the reserve, he ignored experts' criticism of the plan as largely symbolic.

From the April 25 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight:

DOBBS: President Bush today announced a plan to tackle another major concern for middle-class Americans, the soaring price of gasoline. His plan includes a temporary halt of oil deliveries to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but it is early and certainly unclear to decide whether the president's initiative will do anything to stop what is part of now a war on our middle class.

[...]

MALVEAUX: Second, Mr. Bush pledged to boost the supply of U.S. crude oil and gasoline by temporarily suspending deposits into the country's strategic oil reserve.

BUSH [video clip]: So by deferring deposits until the fall, we'll leave a little more oil on the market. Every little bit helps.

MALVEAUX: But energy analysts say that's not likely to lower gas prices.

DANIEL LASHOFF (Natural Resources Defense Council) [video clip]: It is something within the president's jurisdiction, and I think it's largely symbolic.

From the April 25 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:

CAMERON: To boost the U.S. fuel supply, Mr. Bush directed the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend certain rules for cleaner but more expensive blends of gasoline during the summer months. He also temporarily halted shipments of oil to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve so that oil can supply the market now.

BUSH: By deferring deposits until the fall, we'll leave a little more oil on the market. Every little bit helps.

Categories: News
11:32

On the April 25 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Alan Colmes noted the inconsistencies in media accounts of an alleged incident during which political opponents of Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele -- an African-American Republican -- purportedly threw Oreo cookies at him. Media Matters for America has previously documented (here, here, and here) the many conflicting -- and often contradictory -- accounts of the alleged Oreo incident offered by the media and by Steele himself.

The Oreo incident is alleged to have occurred at the September 26, 2002, Maryland gubernatorial debate between Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. As Media Matters noted, members of the media have characterized the purported incident as a racial slur of Steele, who is now running for U.S. Senate -- Oreo cookies being "black on the outside" but "white on the inside." But initial accounts of the debate by the media and Steele himself made no mention of Oreo cookies. The Oreo allegations originated well after the debate -- made by members of Ehrlich's staff -- and are disputed by eyewitnesses present at the event.

In interviewing Steele, Colmes referred to "a story about you being 'pelted' ... with Oreo cookies," but noted that "then the Associated Press said that as you left this particular debate, where this allegedly happened, there were Oreos rolled up on the floor and that pelting didn't exactly take place." He then invited Steele to offer his description of what took place at the debate.

As Media Matters previously noted, the allegation that Steele was "pelt[ed]" with Oreos originated in a November 2, 2005, Washington Times article by reporter S.A. Miller, who later backed away from his story. Members of the Ehrlich administration had not previously alleged that Steele was hit by Oreo cookies. Colmes apparently also referred to a November 14, 2005, AP article in which Steele was quoted saying that Oreo cookies "fell on the floor" and "rolled up next to my shoe" as he left the debate.

In his interview with Colmes, Steele offered a description of the alleged Oreo incident similar to the account he gave to the AP. But as Media Matters previously noted, this is only one of the several versions of the story Steele has offered -- one of which included the allegation that Oreo cookies "hit my shoes," while another included the statement that "I've never claimed that I was hit."

From the November 14, 2005, AP article:

Steele told The Associated Press Monday that Oreo cookies were tossed in his general direction as he left the debate at Morgan State University.

"They fell on the floor; two rolled up next to my shoe," Steele said. "I remember turning to someone and saying, 'Anyone got a glass of milk?"'

Ehrlich said he did not personally see cookies thrown at Steele because he was on stage. He also said he doesn't know who might have thrown them. But spokesmen Greg Massoni and Paul Schurick, who were with the governor in College Park, reiterated Monday that the cookie-throwing had occurred.

From the April 25 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

COLMES: Let me ask you this. You were -- there was a story about you being "pelted" was the word used, with Oreo cookies, which is a terrible thing. It shouldn't happen.

STEELE: Yeah.

COLMES: And then the Associated Press said that as you left this particular debate where this allegedly happened, there were Oreos rolled up on the floor and that pelting didn't exactly take place. How would you describe what actually happened?

STEELE: Well, what actually -- and, you know, let's just be clear about what happened since I was there. When I finished -- when we finished the debate, this was for the debate for Governor Ehrlich and myself for this office in 2002.

When the debate was over, I was leaving. As I was leaving the auditorium, I noticed at my feet Oreo cookies, and they were there. There were two or three there. I turned to a friend and said, "Got milk?" You know, I was like, "Hey, what's up with this?"

I got the joke. You know, here is a guy, he's black on the outside, white on the inside, ha ha. It happened.

But what it speaks to is this -- a certain sadness by some who don't understand that that's what people hate about politics. They hate that kind of political behavior that seeks personal destruction as opposed to let's battle it out on the ideas of the day, to come to some consensus on how we move together and move forward.

And, you know, it's just part of what you have to go through as a black Republican, where people are afraid of your message and how you deliver and the response you're getting from people.

Categories: News
11:32

In an April 23 article about a petition signed by 50 prominent religious leaders in support of a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, New York Times reporter David D. Kirkpatrick, while detailing the support of many religious conservatives for the amendment, ignored significant support for same-sex marriage among other religious groups. For example, more than 500 religious leaders have endorsed an open letter on marriage equality.

In the article "A Religious Push Against Gay Unions," Kirkpatrick noted that "seven Roman Catholic cardinals and about a half-dozen archbishops," as well as "many influential evangelical Protestants, a few rabbis and an official of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" support the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. The article also stated:

Organizers said the petition had brought together cardinals from both the left and right sides of the United States bishops' conference, including the liberal Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles and the conservative Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, as well as Cardinals Edward M. Egan of New York, Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, William H. Keeler of Baltimore and Sean Patrick O'Malley of Boston.

But the article did not mention the numerous religious denominations, organizations, and clergy who have expressed support for same-sex marriage.

For example, the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice and Healing sponsored "An Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Marriage Equality," which cited "strong civil liberties arguments for ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from the legal institution of marriage." The letter, with over 500 endorsements from religious leaders -- 10 times the support for the petition against same-sex marriage mentioned in the Times article -- noted the following religious support for same-sex marriage. From "An Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Marriage Equality":

  • Several religious denominations have endorsed their clergy performing commitment or union ceremonies for same sex couples. These include the Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform Judaism), the Ecumenical Catholic Church, Ohalah, Alliance for Jewish Renewal, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches.
  • The United Church of Christ, the American Baptist Churches, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and various Quaker groups leave the decision to perform same sex unions to their clergy, congregations, or local governing bodies. The Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Episcopal Church in the United States of America allow their clergy to bless same sex unions, if their clergy do not call them marriage.
  • Several denominations have endorsed the rights of same sex couples to legally marry and/or opposed federal and state efforts to deny marriage equality.
  • In 1996, the Unitarian Universalist Association passed a resolution in support of marriage equality. The same year, the Central Conference of American Rabbis passed a resolution supporting the "right of gay and lesbian couples to share fully and equally in the rights of civil marriage." The Executive Council of the United Church of Christ in April 2004 affirmed "equal rights for all couples who seek to have their relationships recognized by the state." Other religious organizations that either support civil marriage for same sex couples and/or who are on record opposing the denial of equal rights to same sex couples include the American Friends Service Committee, Dignity USA, Ecumenical Catholic Church, Interfaith Working Group, Presbyterian Church (USA), Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, and the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Churches.
  • More than 2250 religious leaders have endorsed the Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing, which calls for full inclusion of sexual minorities, including their ordination and performance of same sex unions.
  • More than 4000 religious leaders have endorsed the marriage resolution sponsored by Freedom to Marry.

The Coalition Against Discrimination in the Constitution, a group dedicated to "organiz[ing] clergy who strongly oppose any attempt to write discrimination into the United States Constitution" through its Faith for Fairness website, also cited support from more than 100 national organizations, "including many national religious groups." Groups listed as supporters include: Alliance of Baptists, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Dignity USA, Disciples of Christ Church, Episcopal Church USA, and many others.

Hundreds of churches and religious congregations also perform holy unions and often bless same-sex weddings that are performed in jurisdictions where such marriages are legal.

Categories: News
11:32

During an interview with House Homeland Security committee chairman Peter King (R-NY) on the April 24 edition of Fox News' Your World, host Neil Cavuto failed to challenge King's misleading claim that "Democrats voted" to retain a provision in the House immigration reform bill that makes illegal presence in the U.S. a felony. Cavuto also left unchallenged King's false claim that Alaska's oil reserves are "equivalent" to those of Saudi Arabia.

While discussing the controversy surrounding the immigration bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in December 2005, Cavuto did not challenge King's claim that "[t]he only reason that the [immigration] bill came out of the House saying that it's a felony for immigrants to overstay their visa is because the Democrats voted to keep it a felony." But as Media Matters for America has documented, GOP congressional leaders have recently attempted to blame Democrats for the controversial felony provision in the immigration bill by asserting that, because Democrats voted against an amendment sponsored by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) to reduce the charge for unlawful presence in the United States from a felony to a misdemeanor, Democrats support the felony provision. This is not the first time King's assertions went unchallenged. Media Matters also recently noted that CNN host Lou Dobbs failed to challenge King's claim that Democrats are to blame for the immigration bill's felony provision.

In fact, as the Congressional Record shows, Democrats opposed the measure because it retained the bill's imposition of criminal penalties for unlawful presence -- not because they supported the felony provision, as King and other Republicans have suggested. From Rep. Zoe Lofgren's (D-CA) floor statement immediately following Sensenbrenner's introduction of the amendment:

LOFGREN: This section, section 203, makes virtually any violation of the immigration laws an ongoing criminal act. In one stroke, it would subject the entire undocumented population, estimate by some to be 11 million people, to criminal liability. Now the amendment before us changes the degree of punishment, but it does not alter the underlying issue of criminalizing being alive in the country without documents.

Shortly thereafter, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) declared on the House floor that the Hispanic Congressional Caucus had unanimously resolved to oppose the amendment. "I do not think we should criminalize it at any level," Gutierrez said.

In addition, Sensenbrenner's introduction of the amendment illustrates that the Bush administration lobbied to change the felony provision to a misdemeanor out of concern that the due process requirements associated with felony charges would limit the number of actual prosecutions. From Sensenbrenner's December 16, 2005, floor statement:

SENSENBRENNER: The administration subsequently requested the penalty for these crimes be lowered to 6 months. Making the first offense a felony, as the base bill would do, would require a grand jury indictment, a trial before a district court judge and a jury trial.

Also because it is a felony, the defendant would be able to get a lawyer at public expense if the defendant could not afford the lawyer. These requirements would mean that the government would seldom if ever actually use the new penalties. By leaving these offenses as misdemeanors, more prosecutions are likely to be brought against those aliens whose cases merit criminal prosecution.

For this reason, the amendment returns the sentence for illegal entry to its current 6 months and sets the penalty for unlawful presence at the same level.

Later in the Your World segment, while discussing the implications of high energy prices and the immigration issue for the 2006 mid-term elections, Cavuto failed to question King's claim that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has "a 30-year supply of oil, equivalent to that of Saudi Arabia." According to the U.S. government, however, Saudi Arabia has more oil resources than the entire United States, not just "up in Alaska."

As Media Matters has previously noted, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), a statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, the United States has between 21.4 and 29.3 billion barrels of proved oil reserves, while Saudi Arabia possesses between 262.1 and 266.8 billion barrels of proved oil reserves. "Proved oil reserves" are defined by the EIA as "estimated quantities that analysis of geologic and engineering data demonstrates with reasonable certainty are recoverable under existing economic and operating conditions."

A U.S. Geological Survey analysis, which uses a different methodology to assess the "ultimate oil resources" available to each country, found that the United States has up to 255.2 billion barrels, while Saudi Arabia has up to 374.2 billion barrels.

From the April 24 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:

CAVUTO: Do you think that the Democrats are trying to paint the -- the -- the get-tough position on illegal immigrants with an issue that will hurt your party with legal immigrants in the next election -- in other words, with the Hispanic community in particular, with whom you have made great gains, that that's what they're going to hang over their head?

KING: Well, you know, it's hard to get into the mind of some of these Democrats. They have totally distorted what the bill is all about. The only reason that the bill came out of the House saying that it's a felony for immigrants to overstay their visa is because the Democrats voted to keep it a felony. You have people like the Catholic bishops and Democrats saying that we have made it illegal to assist illegal immigrants who need food and water. That's totally untrue. So, I think they are trying to distort it. They're afraid to come to terms with the real issue. They are trying to hurt us with Hispanics. But, you know, we can't be looking at this as a race or ethnic group issue. It's an American issue. And I think all immigrants, especially those who are here legally, realize what we're trying to do. And I'm willing to do what's the right thing, and let the chips fall where they may.

CAVUTO: While I still have you, do you think that these twin issues -- the higher energy prices, still no way to solve the illegal immigration mess -- are a one-two punch that are going to kill Republicans this November?

KING: No, I don't expect to be killed at all. I have been hearing this from the Democrats for the last 12 years. We're going to have tough races. There's no doubt about it. But I believe we're right on immigration, the House of Representatives. The American people do want tighter border security. And one of the reasons we have gas shortages is because the Democrats have stopped us from drilling in ANWR. We can get as much oil from ANWR in the -- up in Alaska, as we could from Saudi Arabia. It's a 30-year supply of oil, equivalent to that of Saudi Arabia. So, you know, there's no easy answer on this, but that's one answer which the liberals and the Democrats have continually blocked, because they cave in to liberal extremists on the environmental issue.

CAVUTO: Yes, but it's your party, right? I mean, there's a different view on the illegal immigration mess held by the Senate, more, I think, in line, Congressman, with the president's views on this -- not quite amnesty, but it seems pretty close, and --

KING: Yes.

CAVUTO: -- and your own House.

Categories: News
11:32

In an April 23 editorial, the Los Angeles Times falsely asserted that President Bush "has acknowledged with increasing explicitness that he was wrong to believe that Saddam Hussein harbored weapons of mass destruction [WMD]." In fact, while Bush has described the intelligence as "wrong," has accepted responsibility for "the decision to go into Iraq," and has said he was "responsible for fixing what went wrong by reforming our intelligence capabilities," he has never stated he was wrong to believe the flawed intelligence or assumed responsibility for the intelligence failures, as Media Matters for America has previously documented. The Times misrepresented Bush's record on taking responsibility for false WMD claims in order to suggest he would not be "repudiating his own record" if he demanded Vice President Dick Cheney's resignation.

Rather than accepting responsibility for his false WMD claims, Bush -- and his aides -- have continued to portray the president as a victim of flawed intelligence, often sidestepping responsibility for intelligence failures or his use of intelligence while continuing to defend the decision to go into Iraq. For example, Media Matters noted that in a December 18, 2005, speech, Bush said: "It is true that many nations believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. But much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong. As your president, I am responsible for the decision to go into Iraq."

Little has changed in the administration's position in recent weeks. For example, at an April 17 press briefing, then-White House press secretary Scott McClellan restated the administration position that "the intelligence was wrong" but did not say that the administration had some responsibility for that failure:

Q: Scott, I want to ask you about the National Intelligence Council report that came to the White House in January of 2003, that essentially said the Niger uranium claims were baseless. In view of that report, how did the uranium claim make its way to the State of the Union Address subsequently?

McCLELLAN: I don't know how many times we've been over that. I think we went over that back in July of 2003, and we talked about that. So I would encourage you to look back at the briefing that was provided to you all in this room.

In terms of the intelligence, we have said multiple times that the intelligence was wrong. That's why the president asked the Robb-Silberman Commission, an independent bipartisan commission, to take a look at all the intelligence in the lead-up to the decision to go into Iraq. It was intelligence that was shared with members of Congress, it was intelligence that was very similar to what nations across the world believed, and it's intelligence that the United Nations --

Q: Well, who got the intelligence here?

McCLELLAN: What's important now is that we make sure we move forward in implementing the reforms that were recommended by the Robb-Silberman Commission. We have done that.

An April 13 article in The Washington Post also reported that, according to McClellan, "Bush has repeatedly acknowledged 'the intelligence was wrong.' "

From the April 23 Los Angeles Times editorial titled "Bush's Third Term":

Suppose Bush didn't stop there. Suppose he also asked Cheney, his mentor and friend but an even more polarizing figure than Rumsfeld, to step down.

We know the objections. The vice president is not a mere presidential appointee but an elected constitutional officer. In choosing a replacement, Bush might be pressured to predetermine the outcome of the 2008 Republican presidential race by anointing one would-be successor over another. Throwing Cheney overboard would be an implicit repudiation of the excessively hawkish foreign policy with which the vice president, even more than Rumsfeld, has been associated.

Unlike most vice presidents, Cheney does not aspire to be president, and he is the consummate Bush loyalist. He would not be giving up a political birthright by agreeing to retire (citing health reasons or a concern about the publicity surrounding the trial of his former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby). And the problem of taking sides in the 2008 election is easily solved. Bush could nominate as Cheney's successor an elder party statesman -- Bob Dole, anyone? -- with no interest in the 2008 nomination.

We even have an answer to the complaint that in jettisoning Cheney, Bush would be repudiating his own record. The truth is that the president, however grudgingly, has recognized that he and the administration made mistakes in the run-up to the war in Iraq and in its aftermath. He has not confessed that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake, but he has acknowledged with increasing explicitness that he was wrong to believe that Saddam Hussein harbored weapons of mass destruction.

From an April 13 article in The Washington Post:

Whether White House officials were alerted to the technical team's finding is unclear, The Post article reported. In any case, senior administration and intelligence officials continued for months afterward to cite the trailers as evidence that Iraq had been producing weapons of mass destruction -- the chief claim used to justify the U.S.-led invasion.

McClellan dismissed the news article as "rehashing an old issue," saying Bush has repeatedly acknowledged "the intelligence was wrong." The spokesman said Bush's comments on the trailers reflected the intelligence community's dominant view at the time.

"The White House is not the intelligence-gathering agency," he said.

From a question-and-answer session after Bush's March 20 speech at the City Club of Cleveland:

Q: Mr. President, at the beginning of your talk today, you mentioned that you understand why Americans have had their confidence shaken by the events in Iraq. And I'd like to ask you about events that occurred three years ago that might also explain why confidence has been shaken. Before we went to war in Iraq, we said there were three main reasons for going to war in Iraq: weapons of mass destruction, the claim that Iraq was sponsoring terrorists who had attacked us on 9-11, and that Iraq had purchased nuclear materials from Niger. All three of those turned out to be false. My question is, how do we restore confidence that Americans may have in their leaders and to be sure that the information they are getting now is correct?

BUSH: That's a great question. [Applause.] First, just if I might correct a misperception. I don't think we ever said -- at least I know I didn't say that there was a direct connection between September the 11th and Saddam Hussein. We did say that he was a state sponsor of terror -- by the way, not declared a state sponsor of terror by me, but declared by other administrations. We also did say that [Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab Al-] Zarqawi, the man who is now wreaking havoc and killing innocent life, was in Iraq. And so, the state sponsor of terror was a declaration by a previous administration. But I don't want to be argumentative, but I was very careful never to say that Saddam Hussein ordered the attacks on America.

Like you, I asked that very same question: Where did we go wrong on intelligence. The truth of the matter is the whole world thought that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. It wasn't just my administration, it was the previous administration. It wasn't just the previous administration; you might remember, sir, there was a [United Nations] Security Council vote of 15 to nothing that said to Saddam Hussein: disclose, disarm, or face serious consequences. The basic premise was, you've got weapons. That's what we thought.

When he didn't disclose, and when he didn't disarm, and when he deceived inspectors, it sent a very disconcerting message to me, whose job it is to protect the American people and to take threats before they fully materialize. My view is, he was given the choice of whether or not he would face reprisal. It was his decision to make. And so he chose to not disclose, not disarm, as far as everybody was concerned.

Your question, however, the part that's really important is, how do we regain credibility when it comes to intelligence? Obviously, the Iranian issue is a classic case, where we've got to make sure that when we speak there's credibility. And so, in other words, when the United States rallies a coalition, or any other country that had felt that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction is trying to rally a coalition in dealing with one of these non-transparent societies, what do we need to do to regain the trust of not only the American people, but the world community?

And so what I did was I called together the Silberman-Robb Commission -- Laurence Silberman and former Senator Chuck Robb -- to take a full look at what went right and what went wrong on the intelligence, and how do we structure an intelligence network that makes sure there's full debate among the analysts? How do we make sure that there's a full compilation of data points that can help decision-makers like myself feel comfortable in the decision we make?

The war on terror requires the collection and analysis of good intelligence. This is a different kind of war; we're dealing with an enemy which hides in caves and plots and plans, an enemy which doesn't move in flotillas or battalions. And so, therefore, the intelligence-gathering is not only important to make a diplomatic case, it's really important to be able to find an enemy before they hurt us.

And so there was a reform process they went through, a full analysis of what -- of how the operations worked, and out of that came the NDI [National Directorate of Intelligence], John Negroponte and Mike Hayden. And their job is to better collate and make sure that the intelligence-gathering is seamless across a variety of gatherers and people that analyze. But the credibility of our country is essential -- I agree with you.

From Bush's December 19, 2005, press conference:

Q: You talked about your decision to go to war and the bad intelligence, and you've carefully separated the intelligence from the decision, saying that it was the right decision to go to war despite the problems with the intelligence, sir. But, with respect, the intelligence helped you build public support for the war. And so I wonder if now, as you look back, if you look at that intelligence and feel that the intelligence and your use of it might bear some responsibility for the current divisions in the country over the war, and what can you do about it?

BUSH: I appreciate that. First of all, I can understand why people were -- well, wait a minute. Everybody thought there was weapons of mass destruction, and there weren't any. I felt the same way. We looked at the intelligence and felt certain that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Intelligence agencies around the world felt the same way, by the way. Members of the United States Congress looked at the National Intelligence Estimate -- same intelligence estimate I looked at -- and came to the same conclusion, Wendell [Goler, Fox News White House correspondent].

So in other words, there was universal -- there was a universal feeling that he had weapons of mass destruction. As a matter of fact, it was so universal that the United Nations Security Council passed numerous resolutions. And so when the weapons weren't there, like many Americans, I was concerned and wondered why. That's why we set up the Silberman-Robb Commission to address intelligence shortfalls, to hopefully see to it that this kind of situation didn't arise.

Now, having said all that, what we did find after the war was that Saddam Hussein had the desire to -- or the liberation -- Saddam had the desire to reconstitute his weapons programs. In other words, he had the capacity to reconstitute them. America was still his enemy. And of course, he manipulated the oil-for-food program in the hopes of ending sanctions. In our view, he was just waiting for the world to turn its head, to look away, in order to reconstitute the programs. He was dangerous then. It's the right decision to have removed Saddam.

Categories: News
11:32

On the April 24 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, correspondent Major Garrett claimed that Republican charges that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) "sabotaged" a recent immigration reform compromise "took deeper root" when The Denver Post reported that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) "phoned Reid and advised him to kill the compromise the day it was announced by Republicans Mel Martinez of Florida and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska." Garrett offered no explanation for his claim that Richardson's phone call supported Republican allegations that Reid "sabotaged" the compromise. In fact, rather than opposing the Hagel-Martinez compromise, Reid and most other Democrats voted to advance it in the Senate.

Excerpts of news reports about Richardson's phone call appeared in an April 21 Republican National Committee press release.

In March, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, which, among other things, would grant permanent legal residency and a path to "earned citizenship" to the nation's approximately 11 million illegal immigrants. Reid, along with most Senate Democrats, backed the Judiciary Committee bill. At an April 6 press conference, Hagel, Martinez and a bipartisan group of senators (including Reid) announced a compromise that would allow most illegal immigrants to earn citizenship but would exclude more recent arrivals.

From the April 24 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:

GARRETT: Reid has tried for two weeks to deflect GOP criticism that he sabotaged the immigration compromise. But those charges took deeper root when it was learned that New Mexico's Democratic governor, Bill Richardson, phoned Reid and advised him to kill the compromise the day it was announced by Republicans Mel Martinez of Florida and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. According to The Denver Post, Richardson left this message on Reid's cell phone: "I don't like this Hagel-Martinez initiative. It's sort of half a loaf. Let's hold fast." Reid aides said Richardson's call had no impact on the party's immigration strategy.

As Garrett himself reported on April 7, the compromise died because of a dispute over "[h]ow many votes to have on amendments." As Garrett noted, Democrats, led by Reid, refused to allow votes on many Republican-sponsored amendments that Democrats "said were designed solely to undermine the bill." President Bush subsequently accused Reid of "single-handedly thwarting" immigration reform.

But Garrett offered no evidence to support his April 24 assertion that reports about Richardson's phone call lent support to Republican accusations that Reid "sabotaged" the bill. A search* of the Nexis database reveals that prior to Garrett's report, Richardson's April 6 phone call had been mentioned only in the April 16 Denver Post article cited by Garrett, an April 19 Albuquerque Tribune article, and April 20 and April 23 Albuquerque Journal articles (subscription or viewing of ad required). None of these articles cited the call as evidence that Reid "sabotaged" the bill.

In the April 23 Journal article, reporter Michael Coleman wrote that Reid spokesman Jim Manley "said the immigration deal in the Senate fell apart because of disagreements on the number of amendments that could be offered, not because of the Hagel-Martinez deal, which Reid fully supported."

Manley's claim that Reid "fully supported" the Hagel-Martinez compromise is reinforced by the fact that Reid voted to advance it in the Senate. As Congressional Quarterly Today noted on April 7, Reid was one of 38 Democrats who voted for a cloture motion that would have instructed the Judiciary Committee to adopt the Hagel-Martinez compromise bill:

Republicans defeated an attempt to invoke cloture, or limit debate, on a comprehensive compromise proposal that was hailed as a "huge breakthrough" 24 hours earlier by Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. The vote was 38-60.

[...]

Frist asked his caucus to oppose cloture on the compromise moments after he and Reid could not reach agreement on how many amendments could be offered to it for floor votes. That same impasse has stalled debate for nearly two weeks.

The breakdown came just a day after the two leaders stood together with more than a dozen senators from both parties, praising the broad outlines of a compromise. The plan, based on a proposal by Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., and Mel Martinez, R-Fla., would strengthen border security, create a temporary guest worker program and provide a path to U.S. citizenship for most of the illegal immigrants now in the United States.

The floor impasse pits Republicans who want to offer amendments to the compromise against the deal's Democratic supporters, who want to preserve the language as it stands now.

In an April 7 floor statement supporting the cloture motion, Reid said that "[v]irtually all Democrats support" the Hagel-Martinez compromise. Reid accused Republican leaders of permitting a "filibuster by amendment":

REID: The amendment before us does what we need of an immigration bill. An immigration bill will secure our borders, crack down on employers who break the law, and allow us to find who is living here by giving 12 million undocumented workers a reason to come out of the darkness, out of the shadows, pay a fine, undergo a background check, stay out of trouble, have a job, pay the penalties, and become legal when their number is called, even though it is many years from now.

Americans have demonstrated literally in the streets for a bill like this. They have spoken. It is up to the majority to answer their call. If tough, comprehensive immigration reform fails to move forward, it will be the Republicans' burden to bear. Virtually all Democrats supported the Specter bill [the Judiciary Committee bill, introduced by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA)] that came before the Senate. Virtually all Democrats support the Martinez substitute. So the majority must explain to the American people why they are permitting a filibuster of immigration legislation, a filibuster by amendment.

The suggestion that Richardson's April 6 phone call convinced Reid to sabotage the Hagel-Martinez compromise by blocking Republican amendments is further undermined by the fact that Reid opposed the Republicans' amendments before the compromise even existed. As the Associated Press reported on April 4, Reid had previously blocked similar Republican attempts to amend the Judiciary Committee's immigration reform bill on the Senate floor:

For their part, Democrats made a show of support for legislation that emerged from the Judiciary Committee more than a week ago. It provides for tightened border security, an increase in the number of temporary workers allowed in the country, and allowing illegal immigrants to apply for citizenship after they meet several conditions, including the payment of fines and any back taxes and passing a background check.

Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, blocked numerous attempts by Republicans during the day to hold votes on selected amendments. "We do not need a compromise. It's in our bill," he told reporters. He set the stage for a test vote on Thursday, but supporters will need 60 votes to prevail.

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democrat, said the leadership was "trying to preserve a strong bipartisan bill" and didn't want to have it watered down before any later compromise talks with the House.

Republicans loudly accused Reid of attempting to hijack the proceedings by refusing to allow votes, and privately, some Democrats acknowledged they did not want to expose their rank and file to difficult choices.

* Nexis search of "News, All (English, Full Text)" for Reid and Richardson and immigra! and (Hagel or Martinez or half a loaf or hold fast).

Categories: News
11:32

On April 5, Media Matters for America hosted an all-star panel discussion on progressive voices and the media. The forum, held at The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs in conjunction with Air America Radio's second anniversary, addressed questions about balance in news coverage and what consumers of news can do to ensure accurate and reliable reporting. The panelists highlighted -- and proposed solutions to -- the narrow spectrum of opinion represented in the media, from which liberal and progressive voices are often excluded.

The event -- "Why Media Matters: Progressive Voices and the Media" -- featured David Brock, Media Matters president and CEO; Eleanor Clift, Newsweek contributing editor; Al Franken, host of Air America Radio's The Al Franken Show; and Helen Thomas, Hearst Newspapers syndicated columnist.

Media Matters' long-term studies have shown that many news programs on both broadcast and cable television feature conservative guests in significantly greater numbers than progressives. The Sunday-morning talk shows, such as ABC's This Week, NBC's Meet the Press, and CBS' Face the Nation, as well as cable news shows such as CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight and MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, are prime examples of the imbalance.

You can watch the video highlights in chapters:

1. David Brock discusses Media Matters and changes in the press.

2. Al Franken explains why he covers the right-wing media and Iraq war distortions.

3. Eleanor Clift speaks about how progressives are making inroads in the media.

4. Helen Thomas discusses media malpractice since 9-11.

5. The panelists talk about how the right pressures the mainstream media.

6. An audience member asks: "Which lies have been the most harmful?"

7. Eleanor Clift and Helen Thomas discuss increased government secrecy.

8. Eleanor Clift, Helen Thomas, and Al Franken answer question about where we go from here.

Categories: News
11:32

In an April 25 post on his FrontPageMag.com weblog, conservative activist David Horowitz called Media Matters for America employees "creatures" and claimed that Media Matters "pars[ed] the difference between making false claims and lying" to rebut Horowitz's assertion that we accused him of "lying" when we recently noted his false claim that his book, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America (Regnery, January 2006), doesn't attack "professors' political speech" outside the "classroom." According to Merriam-Webster Online, a "lie" is "to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive [emphasis added]." As such, Media Matters did not claim to know Horowitz's intent in making these false claims, nor did we claim that Horowitz intended to make them; instead, Media Matters simply noted that his claim that he does not criticize what professors say outside the classroom was untrue. Moreover, Horowitz himself employed the distinction in defending President Bush against claims that he lied about weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq.

On April 10, Media Matters posted an item noting that Horowitz "falsely claimed that although he has criticized what university professors teach in the classroom, he has refrained from criticizing 'professors' political speech' outside of the universities at which they teach." When, on the April 12 edition of Hannity & Colmes, Fox News co-host Alan Colmes confronted Horowitz with Media Matters' findings, Horowitz dismissed Media Matters as a "smear site." He then wrote an email to Colmes, which he also posted on his FrontPageMag.com blog, claiming that Media Matters had accused him of lying. Horowitz placed the words "lie," "lied," "liar," and "lies" in quotation marks to suggest that they were direct quotations. Media Matters responded with an April 14 item:

Media Matters never referred to Horowitz as a "liar" nor made any assertion that Horowitz "lied." Media Matters simply corrected Horowitz's false claim that he has refrained from criticizing "professors' political speech" outside of the classroom by pointing to numerous occasions on which he had done so[.]

In his April 25 post, Horowitz took issue with the distinction made in the item between a "lie" and a "falsehood":

I posted the email to Colmes in this blog and as if to prove my point Media Matters responded a day later by repeating its deceptive claim and accusing me of lying, about the claim itself:

In the email exchange, Horowitz told Colmes that "reasonable people can disagree about sound-bites on a fast-paced show like Hannity & Colmes where you're sitting in the dark and things are coming at you from all sides ... but calling people liars over these matters is not right." In the blog post, he also used the words "lie," "lied," "liar," and "lies" in quotation marks to portray how MediaMatters referred to him. However, in our April 10 item, MediaMatters never referred to Horowitz as a "liar" nor made any assertion that Horowitz "lied." MediaMatters simply corrected Horowitz's false claim that he has refrained from criticizing "professors' political speech" outside of the classroom...[7]

The reader is invited to parse the difference between making false claims and lying.

This was not the first time MediaMatters had attacked me for "falsely" criticizing their site in this manner. Just four months earlier, MediaMatters featured another article whose headline said it all: "Caught Giving False Information Horowitz Attacked MediaMatters With (Yet Another) Falsehood." But of course that's not "lying." To say that it's lying is....lying.

The difference between accusing someone of lying and accusing him or her of merely issuing a falsehood is clear. Media Matters did not presume to know Horowitz's intent in pointing out the falsehood. It is a distinction with which Horowitz -- his claims to the contrary notwithstanding -- is familiar. In an October 14, 2004, speech at Georgetown University, Horowitz drew a distinction between an intentional lie and a false statement. In that speech, Horowitz described charges that Bush "lied" about WMD as "reckless and baseless" because Bush had good reason to believe that his statements about the Iraqi threat -- which were later proven false -- were true when he made them:

Even the charges which followed the failure to locate stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction are reckless and baseless given the fact that there is no evidence the President lied about these weapons in advance of the war, and indeed the evidence would lead to the opposite conclusion, since all national intelligence agencies, including those of the Muslim countries of Pakistan and Jordan were saying the same thing.

In a subsequent item , Media Matters more thoroughly debunked Horowitz's claim that The Professors does not criticize academics' political speech outside the classroom; our study found that Horowitz noted outside-the-classroom speech and activities of 94 of the 100 professors he profiled, including 52 professors for whom he listed only out-of-class activities.

In addition to referring to the "creatures" at Media Matters, Horowitz noted that he published the April 25 blog post "so that others may begin to understand the character of the opposition, who share a political DNA with the totalitarians[.]"

From Horowitz's April 25 blog post on FrontPageMag.com:

This month, when I was in Pennsylvania to speak at Penn State, I appeared from a Harrisburg studio on a segment of the Hannity & Colmes TV Show. I was supposed to talk about an incident that had occurred in a high school in Alabama, where a science teacher had shown his class a film attacking President Bush and other Republicans (the teacher was himself running for elective office as a Democrat). There was no question that the film had been shown; the teacher had been suspended. But before I could finish my comments on the case, the liberal host Alan Colmes interrupted to ask me about an article that had appeared on the website MediaMatters which said that I had "falsely claimed" on an earlier Hannity & Colmes segment that I had not criticized professorial views made outside the classroom in my book The Professors. Because the charge was entirely irrelevant to the subject at hand and I did not want to be deflected from the point I was making, I dismissed the accusation observing that MediaMatters (with which I had many previous encounters) was a "smear site" that should not be taken seriously. Colmes expressed alarm that I should make such an accusation, and after the show I sent him an email explaining my position:

"One reason I refer to MediaMatters as a 'smear site' is that they invariably take reasonable differences of opinion and refer to them as 'lies' by their adversaries (like me). This is one of those instances. My book, The Professors, makes a case that certain professorial behaviors are non-academic and unprofessional ... I have never called for the firing or disciplining of a professor for having leftwing views inside or outside the classroom. The sliver of truth in the MediaMatters' statement is that since my book is a series of profiles of 101 professors I do describe their general perspectives which may or may not be expressed outside the classroom, and sometimes (but pretty rarely) I do comment on the content of what they say. But there's a difference between this and saying that because what they say is ludicrous outside the classroom they shouldn't be in it."

I posted the email to Colmes in this blog and as if to prove my point Media Matters responded a day later by repeating its deceptive claim and accusing me of lying, about the claim itself:

In the email exchange, Horowitz told Colmes that "reasonable people can disagree about sound-bites on a fast-paced show like Hannity & Colmes where you're sitting in the dark and things are coming at you from all sides ... but calling people liars over these matters is not right." In the blog post, he also used the words "lie," "lied," "liar," and "lies" in quotation marks to portray how MediaMatters referred to him. However, in our April 10 item, MediaMatters never referred to Horowitz as a "liar" nor made any assertion that Horowitz "lied." MediaMatters simply corrected Horowitz's false claim that he has refrained from criticizing "professors' political speech" outside of the classroom...[7]

The reader is invited to parse the difference between making false claims and lying.

This was not the first time MediaMatters had attacked me for "falsely" criticizing their site in this manner. Just four months earlier, MediaMatters featured another article whose headline said it all: "Caught Giving False Information Horowitz Attacked MediaMatters With (Yet Another) Falsehood." But of course that's not "lying." To say that it's lying is....lying.

I have not brought these matters up in search of sympathy; I can take care of myself. I am aware that the creatures at MediaMatters will be energized by any news that their smears may be effective. They already know this or they would not be spending millions of dollars provided by Democratic Party funders to conduct these campaigns. I am publishing so that others may begin to understand the character of the opposition, who share a political DNA with the totalitarians who call themselves "progressives" and who have blighted our age.

Categories: News
11:32

In an April 22 column touting a new book by Carrie Lukas -- director of policy for the conservative Independent Women's Forum -- conservative radio host and columnist Doug Giles slurred feminists as "misogynists with vaginas" and praised "lassies" who "[d]on't want their vagina turned into a sexual turnstile."

Giles wrote that in Lukas's upcoming book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex and Feminism (Regnery Publishing, May 2006), Lukas "shreds the lies which the female chauvinist pigs (FCP) have sold our nation's fair ladies" and "shows the women who would be women the true identity of postmodern day feminists: misogynists with vaginas ... womyn who not only hate men, but women also."

Giles then asked:

BTW ... have you ever seen a feminist around a womanly woman and not one of her butch buddies who's sporting a Tim Allen haircut? (Question: If feminists and lesbians hate men like they do, why do they try to look like us?)

Additionally, in praising Lukas, Giles called her "a girl who got her bachelor's at Princeton, her Masters at Harvard and did it without drinking the lesbians' -- I mean the feminists' -- Kool Aid." He also predicted that Lukas's book "will get all the feministas' big panties in a major wad."

Giles added that Lukas's book "is going to liberate ladies to be ladies" and that "contrary to the propaganda belched forth via our universities and MSM [mainstream media], there are a whole lot of lassies" who:

  • "Look to their husband's [sic] to provide rather than looking to the feminists' sugar daddy, Uncle Sam."
  • "Don't want their vagina turned into a sexual turnstile. Who don't want to be the village bicycle. ... Who can be sexy without being a skank."
  • "Want to get married to a man versus a career."
  • "Want to have a baby before half of their life is history. Who don't want to be in diapers when their child is. *BTW girls, the longer you wait the more difficult it's going to be to get pregnant. If you're waiting strategically 'til your mid 30's -- 40's well, uh ... good luck."

Giles is the creator, host, and director of ClashRadio.com and "The Clash" radio shows. Guests on his weekly one-hour program have included Ann Coulter, Cal Thomas, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Michelle Malkin, and fox News host Brian Kilmeade. He is also the founder of Clash Christian Church in Aventura, Florida, and a columnist for the conservative website TownHall.com.

From Giles's April 22 column:

Carrie Lukas' new book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex and Feminism, just dropped, and I predict that it will get all the feministas' big panties in a major wad.

[...]

I'm sure right now all the anonymous Amazon.com book review attack weirdoes, who do not have a life and won't actually read the book but feel compelled to write their inane and uninformed critiques, are queuing up to lay into Carrie. They're sweating. And they need to sweat, because in this soon to be New York Times best seller, Mrs. Lukas shreds the lies which the female chauvinist pigs (FCP) have sold our nation's fair ladies -- I'm talkin' wood chipper style. She shows the women who would be women the true identity of postmodern day feminists: misogynists with vaginas ... womyn who not only hate men, but women also.

BTW ... have you ever seen a feminist around a womanly woman and not one of her butch buddies who's sporting a Tim Allen haircut? (Question: If feminists and lesbians hate men like they do, why do they try to look like us?)

[...]

Another cool thing about The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex and Feminism is that it was a young, accomplished woman, who also happens to be a happy wife and mother, who penned this work of non-fiction. These are not the crayon scribblings of some repressed, backwoods, barefoot, unenlightened Ellie Mae Clampett, but rather a girl who got her bachelor's at Princeton, her Masters at Harvard and did it without drinking the lesbians' -- I mean the feminists' -- Kool Aid.

This book is going to liberate ladies to be ladies; and contrary to the propaganda belched forth via our universities and MSM, there are a whole lot of lassies who:

1. Like being a woman, in a traditional sense. *I'll take a Katharine McPhee over a Hillary any day.

[...]

5. Look to their husband's to provide rather than looking to the feminists' sugar daddy, Uncle Sam.

[...]

7. Don't want their vagina turned into a sexual turnstile. Who don't want to be the village bicycle. Who see the benefits of serious sex verses casual sex. Who're not buying the Paris Hilton/Courtney Love/Madonna whore thing. Who can be sexy without being a skank. Who like to retain their respect and power and require a man to show some commitment before he gets to run the bases.

8. Want to get married to a man versus a career. Who still believe that being married to the right guy is good for the soul, the body, the pocket book and their sex life no matter what pop culture and the FCP's have tried to shame them in to believing.

9. Want to have a baby before half of their life is history. Who don't want to be in diapers when their child is. *BTW girls, the longer you wait the more difficult it's going to be to get pregnant. If you're waiting strategically 'til your mid 30's -- 40's well, uh ... good luck.

Categories: News
11:32

National Journal's "The Hotline" reported on April 25 that "Republicans close to the White House expect Pres. Bush to formally name Tony Snow as his new press secretary." Snow, a syndicated columnist and Fox News host, has emerged as the front-runner to replace outgoing White House press secretary Scott McClellan, who announced his resignation on April 19. Throughout his tenure as a columnist, Snow has offered various opinions on President Bush, the Bush administration, the Republican Party in general, and top Democrats that the White House press corps may want him to expand upon should he be named press secretary. Media Matters for America suggests the following questions:

Do you still think President Bush is a "wimp" and looks "impotent" for not "veto[ing] a single bill of any type"?

From Snow's September 30, 2005, column:

Begin with the wimp factor. No president has looked this impotent this long when it comes to defending presidential powers and prerogatives. Nearly 57 months into his administration, President Bush has yet to veto a single bill of any type. The only other presidents never to issue a veto -- William Henry Harrison and James Garfield -- died within months of taking office.

Could you elaborate on the "leaden phrases" and the "unbearably abstract and dull" portions of Bush's "Social Security sales pitch" that made it "stink[]"?

From Snow's May 4, 2005, column:

Polls indicate President Bush is taking a pounding on the issue of Social Security. I will explain tomorrow why many of these reports are exaggerated. Today, I'll focus on the simpler issue of why his Social Security sales pitch stinks.

[...]

Check out the leaden phrases: "the math has changed ... 40 million retirees receiving benefits ... more than 72 million retirees drawing Social Security benefits ... 16 workers for every beneficiary ... 3.3 workers for every beneficiary; soon there will be two workers for every beneficiary ... In 2017 ... by 2041 ..."

Not one syllable of this stuff resonates with people sitting at home watching on TV. It sounds as if some rogue accountant has invaded the president's body, and filled his head statistical dross.

I agree with the president, and I actually sympathize with his argument, but this is unbearably abstract and dull. So what would I, Mr. Smarty Pants Radio Host, do instead? I would speak Dinner Table English.

With the failure of Harriet Miers' Supreme Court nomination, do you consider Bush's presidency effectively over?

From Snow's October 7, 2005, column:

So now things get interesting. The president has stirred up a lot of mischief, but Miers has to clean up the mess. The upcoming confirmation hearings will determine her fate -- and the president's. If she defies expectations, George Bush will look like a genius. If the Senate rejects her nomination, his presidency will come effectively to an end.

Do you still believe that Republicans nationwide "behave like reckless heirs to someone else's fortune"?

From Snow's November 11, 2005, column:

Elected Republicans and their legislative leaders nationwide have fallen prey to the natural temptation to view power as their birthright, rather than a reward for hard and righteous work. This explains why they behave like reckless heirs to someone else's fortune. It's a little difficult to mock Ted Kennedy or Howard Dean when George W. Bush can't even say no to peanut institutes in Alabama or gambling halls (rather than, say, repaired levees) in Louisiana.

Would you still argue that the Republican Party is "packed with cowards"? Or that the president's "compassionate conservatism" is "a slogan that exceeded skeptics' worst expectations"? Or that Bush "lack[ed] not only conviction, but vision" when he signed McCain-Feingold? If not, what has caused you to change your mind, aside from having accepted this job?

From Snow's December 3, 2005, column:

When Democrats gibber about Republicans' writhing in a culture of corruption, they're on to something -- but not what they think. The Republican Party in Washington is in trouble not because it's overrun by crooks, but because it's packed with cowards -- and has degenerated into a caricature of the party that swept to power 11 years ago promising to take on the federal bureaucracy and liberate the creative genius of American society.

[...]

Hence, George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" -- a slogan that exceeded skeptics' worst expectations. That phrase, aimed at reassuring suburban white moms and queasy left-wing Republicans, became a white flag on the core issue of government size and might. Bush insiders even began boasting about "big government" conservatism -- oblivious to the fact that big government does not conserve or preserve; it crushes and digests, devouring institutions that challenge its supremacy.

[...]

When House Speaker Denny Hastert broke arms to secure votes for a pork-packed highway bill, calling the legislation a "jobs bill," it was an embarrassment. When the president signed a campaign-finance bill he called unconstitutional, he seemed to lack not only conviction, but vision.

In your estimation, has the "Conservative Movement" bounced back after Bush's and the Republicans' spending policies "shattered" it "like a broken mirror, into dozens of jagged, sharp and discordant pieces"?

From Snow's September 1, 2004, column:

In addition, George W. Bush has made it clear that "compassionate conservatism" is expensive conservatism -- a formula many Republicans consider oxymoronic (and others, just "moronic").

[...]

When it comes to spending, George W. Bush is the president who hasn't said no. He has approved the most dramatic expansion of government activity and expense since Richard Nixon and unlike Nixon, or any other modern president, hasn't vetoed a single bill in his first term of office.

[...]

Not so long ago, one could count on Republicans at least to defend the idea of limited government, but no more. This is the chief reason the Conservative Movement has shattered, like a broken mirror, into dozens of jagged, sharp and discordant pieces.

Will you pursue amicable relations with Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), even though he "behave[s] in such an inane manner," and "made official his descent into the Moonbat Grotto"?

From Snow's September 26, 2005, column:

Harry Reid was a famously nice guy before he became the Senate Democratic leader. Although reliably partisan, he built a well-earned reputation for playing the role of nice guy, the man of genial calm.

No more: The senator this week made official his descent into the Moonbat Grotto by issuing a lame rebuke of John Roberts, the president's choice to become the next chief justice of the Supreme Court.

[...]

Reid's performance raises an interesting and vital question: What on earth would persuade a naturally nice man to behave in such an inane manner -- and why would a majority of Democrats join him in voting against John Roberts, who may be the strongest high-court nominee in a century?

Categories: News
11:32

During the April 24 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly launched a "campaign to hold the smear merchants accountable," because "some media people" allegedly "have been using personal attacks and smears to try to marginalize people with whom they disagree." O'Reilly declared that "the committed left-wing media hates Fox News, along with me ... because we provide a balance to the overwhelming secular presence in the media." O'Reilly cited the Dayton Daily News and the Post-Standard of Syracuse, New York, as examples of newspapers that have recently "smeared" him, and added that he has posted "contact numbers" on his website for "[t]he villains at" the Post-Standard -- publisher Stephen Rogers and editorial writer Mark Libbon, who O'Reilly called "unprofessional" and "incompetent." Concluding, O'Reilly stated: "Any media person who uses smear tactics in any way ... will be featured on The Factor and inducted into the billoreilly.com 'Hall of Shame.' ... [B]eginning today, the smear stops here."

O'Reilly also referred to his "don't buy, don't advertise list," which he has repeatedly touted on his television and radio shows in recent months. While O'Reilly's website has no "Hall of Shame," it does contain a "media defamation" section, to which O'Reilly was apparently referring, listing eight media outlets that allegedly "have regularly helped distribute defamatory, false or non-newsworthy information supplied by far left websites." After the list, the website states, "We recommend that you do not patronize or advertise with the above."

In an April 15 Post-Standard editorial, the paper wrote, "O'Reilly put his spin on current events as the keynote speaker for Wednesday's Boypower fundraiser for the Boy Scouts." The editorial then offered a quiz on O'Reilly's discussion, writing:

The Fox News personality was especially critical of:

a) The American Civil Liberties Union, for pointing out flaws in the United States of America.

b) Liberal newspapers and other "secular progressives" for urging tolerance and generosity.

c) Syracuse University, for denying organizers the use of campus facilities because of the Boy Scouts' prohibition of openly gay members.

d) Former associate producer Andrea Mackris, for making him about $10 million poorer when he settled the sexual harassment lawsuit she filed against him.

O'Reilly added the Post-Standard to his "media defamation" list on the April 17 edition of his television show, declaring that "the ultra-liberal Syracuse Post-Standard newspaper didn't like" his Boy Scout speech, "and personally attacked me in its pages for absolutely no reason whatsoever. ... Its disgraceful lack of professionalism is not worth your time up in upstate New York."

Though he did not officially list it on his "media defamation" webpage, during the April 24 broadcast, O'Reilly included the Dayton Daily News as an example of newspapers that have "smeared" him. A March 19 Dayton Daily News editorial that addressed the sentencing of a convicted pedophile to probation instead of prison mentioned O'Reilly's recent interest in impeaching the judge responsible for the sentencing. The editorial advocated due process in any proceeding against the judge, arguing that "O'Reilly should realize on a very personal level the importance of a legal system not inflamed by the politics of the moment," and noting, "Mr. O'Reilly was sued by a female colleague for allegedly making sexually harassing telephone calls."

On March 20, O'Reilly said he was adding the Dayton Daily News to the "don't buy, don't advertise list," stating that the "Dayton Daily News personally attacked" him and accusing Dayton Daily News editor Jeff Bruce of "smearing anyone who disagrees" with him. Bruce responded to O'Reilly's boycott, stating:

"Mr. O'Reilly is upset with the newspaper because in an editorial we referred to his own recent legal history in which he was accused of sexual harassment. His producer threatened that unless we published an apology they would resort to their 'bully pulpit.' That's what they've done. This isn't about being 'soft' on child molesters. It's about Bill O'Reilly getting even.

[...]

"His producer, in a conversation with me, acknowledged the logic of our editorial's argument. But they felt dragging O'Reilly's own legal problems into the article was gratuitous. While I expected O'Reilly to take a shot at us, I was shocked that he would suggest that this newspaper 'has sympathy for child rapists.' That is a deliberate distortion of what we said and what we stand for, and nothing could be further from the truth."

From the April 24 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight. Fighting the culture war in the media, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo".

There's no question, the committed left-wing media hates Fox News, along with me and some other commentators here because we provide a balance to the overwhelming secular presence in the media.

Now, every poll of journalists says the same thing. Secular media people outnumber traditional media people by a huge margin. And some left-wing media companies aggressively push their agenda in their news pages.

That is not acceptable, because the press in America is afforded special constitutional privileges. Thus, we have an obligation to be fair and balanced.

For a number of years, some media people have been using personal attacks and smears to try to marginalize people with whom they disagree. They do this because they can't win the debate. So they try to demean and demoralize their opposition.

Well, that's no longer tolerable. And The Factor's now going to launch a campaign to hold the smear merchants accountable. You may remember a few weeks ago, The Factor investigated Ohio Judge John Connor, who sentenced a child rapist to probation, no prison time whatsoever.

The attorney general and governor of Ohio supported the evidence we presented that Connor is unfit to serve. Well, the Dayton Daily News didn't like that. It smeared the three of us. Thousands of you called that newspaper to complain. And it was badly damaged.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I traveled to Syracuse, New York, to give a speech in support of the Boy Scouts, who had been thrown off the campus of Syracuse University after the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] complained.

For my trouble, I was smeared twice by the Syracuse Post-Standard. The villains at that paper are publisher Stephen Rogers and editorial writer Mark Libbon. These men are not only unprofessional, they are incompetent.

Over the past few years, the Post-Standard's circulation has declined nearly 30 percent. It is a disgraceful newspaper, nicknamed "substandard" by some in upstate New York.

Now, we posted contact numbers for Rogers and Libbon on billoreilly.com, should you want to speak with them.

And that is what we'll continue to do. Any media person who uses smear tactics in any way, not just on me, but any way will be featured on The Factor and inducted into the billoreilly.com "Hall of Shame."

We will keep a running list of media smear merchants on the website, in addition to our "don't buy, don't advertise" list.

As you know, we debate issues all day long on this program. I have no objection to any media criticizing my stand on any matters of the day. But beginning today, the smear stops here.

You guys want to do that? We'll let everybody know about it. That's called accountability.

From the April 17 edition of The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." Last week I spoke at a benefit to the Boy Scouts of Syracuse, New York, a very successful event.

Well, the ultra-liberal Syracuse Post-Standard newspaper didn't like that very much and personally attacked me in its pages for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Thus, the Syracuse newspaper joins our "don't buy, don't advertise" list. Its disgraceful lack of professionalism is not worth your time up in upstate New York.

Now, that paper is owned by the Newhouse Company, which also owns the ultra-left New Yorker magazine, also on the "don't buy" list. Last week The New Yorker ran a -- surprise -- pro-illegal alien article, which said, quote, "Bill O'Reilly accused the pro-immigrant demonstrators of intimidation," unquote.

From the March 20 edition of The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day" and perhaps the most vile and irresponsible editorial I have ever seen in an American newspaper. The Dayton Daily News personally attacked the governor of Ohio, the attorney general of that state, and myself for calling for the ouster of Judge John Connor.

The editor of the Dayton Daily News, Jeff Bruce, apparently believes Connor should not be sanctioned for giving probation to a child rapist and is smearing anyone who disagrees with that. Mr. Bruce can be reached at [email protected], [email protected] If you don't get that, it's on -- we're going to have it on billoreilly.com. And we'd like you to give him a little toot and let him know how you feel.

But the larger problem is the Cox newspaper company, which owns the Dayton Daily News, as well as the ultra-liberal Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The CEO of Cox, Jay Smith, routinely allows his newspapers to use smear tactics against perceived opponents. Smith is simply too cowardly to address the situation.

Dayton Daily News now goes on our "don't buy, don't advertise" list, joining the Atlanta paper. Like the good folks in Georgia, the good folks in southern Ohio deserve much better than this. Ridiculous doesn't even begin to cover it.

Categories: News
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