Archive for Media Bias

Folks or Volks?

I was just going to sit down and write about Obama’s cynical use of the word “folks” (five mentions in the SOTU), only to see that Aggie beat me to it. Still, I have a favorite:

I intend to protect a free and open Internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community — (applause) — and help folks build the fastest networks so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world.

“Folks” built the internet? I thought Al Gore and Tim Berners-Lee did. They’re not “folks”. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates? Not “folks”. His folk-o-meter malfunctioned.

Oddly enough, folks are not always the little guy who needs a break. Sometimes, folks are just evil:

Now, one year doesn’t make a trend, but this does: 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.

I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act.

Those folk bastards! Get ‘em!

Another of Obama’s tired tropes is “the time for debate is over”, usually employed when he’s losing the debate. But guess what? Sometimes, the debate shouldn’t be over:

So while some have moved on from the debates over our surveillance programs, I have not.

Ray Bolger couldn’t have played a better straw man. Who’s moved on from the debates over our surveillance programs? And they’re not ours, they’re yours! You, Dumbo-ears, you who’ve been in the White House for six years.

But if you want to know the most fascistic phrase liberals have invented, this guy has a candidate:

The phrase “an idea whose time has come” pops up a lot these days, usually though not always in conjunction with left-leaning or “progressive” policy changes.

“The idea of making community college free,” wrote Gary Stix of the Scientific American about a proposal put forward recently by President Obama, “is one whose time has come.” A social-studies teacher last month told Los Angeles Times columnist Sandy Banks that the introduction of an ethnic-studies requirement in L.A. schools is “an idea whose time has come.” And in a Washington Post article last summer about workplace-flexibility legislation, Joan Lombardi, a child-care expert, told the paper that, yes, “It’s an idea whose time has come.”

The line works well on the campaign trail—it lends a bit of intellectual frisson to stump-speech rhetoric—but you shouldn’t take it too far. President Obama, at a Labor Day rally in 2014, told the crowd: “There’s only one thing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” And what would that be? “Millions of people organizing around an idea whose time has come.” That makes no sense at all.

You mean…it’s inarticulate? [Gasp!]

There is something else that rankles about the phrase. It’s that whiff of arrogance you always get from the rhetoric of inevitability. Those who use it claim to win the argument without having worked for it; they appeal to fate, which for some unstated reason is on their side. If you think their ideas are naïve or half-baked, that’s because you haven’t come to terms with reality. (Or are “on the wrong side of history,” as the president likes to say.) Of course, lots of terrible ideas once had their times come, too, and they were all promoted with the rhetoric of inevitability: communism, socialism, eugenics, racial hegemony of various kinds.

So, true enough: One does not resist the invasion of ideas. But surely one can resist the invasion of an insidious cliché.

It is the nature of politicians to try to peddle snake oil. So, Obama is just another snake oil salesman. But to have so many members of the media wearing sandwich boards out front, promoting the guy—remember, Oz (the great and powerful) was just a flim-flam man:


The time for debate is over. A twister is an idea whose time has come.

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Another Milhous in the White House

Seriously, it’s like 40 years ago, all over again:

In her memoir Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington, Attkisson looks back on the final years of her network career. One concludes from her book that Attkisson encountered more difficulty practicing her profession at CBS News during Obama’s tenure than at any other time. She reached an agreement for her departure from CBS News in March 2014, well before her contract was to expire.

The book’s subtitle refers to the difficulties Attkisson encountered in “Obama’s Washington.” The term is in part a euphemism for the Obama administration, but it also reflects the support for the administration within CBS News. The head of CBS News is David Rhodes, brother of Obama national-security adviser Ben Rhodes.

Let’s digest that for a moment. I write a lot about the Democrat-Media Complex, but this is as bad as it gets—tied, I suppose, with Al Sharpton on MSNBC, George Stephanopoulos on ABC, David Axelrod wherever he is, Mr. and Mrs. Jay Carney wherever they are, crony capitalist Jeffrey Immelt, head of GE (parent corporation of the the NBC networks), etc. ad nauseam.

Each of the scandals falls into a larger pattern of scandal management practiced by the Obama White House. (The reader can infer how the IRS scandal fits the pattern precisely to a T.) Her book is invaluable for how it analyzes and exposes this pattern, combining her reportage and her behind-the-scenes work at CBS News.

The pattern begins with blatant denials — bald lies — and stonewalling. Attkisson deftly articulates one of the bona fide occupational qualifications for service as a spokesperson in the Obama administration. Referring specifically to HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters, whom Attkisson had caught lying to her, she writes: “It takes a certain kind of person to be untruthful and then display utter lack of contrition when caught.”

You say Joanne Peters, I hear Haldeman and Erlichman.

Also, rather than responding to straightforward inquiries, administration spokesmen pump reporters for the information they have so they can undermine it. Attkisson calls this technique “pump and mine.” The administration then plants slanted leaks to friendly bloggers and reporters; next, it characterizes any advances in the story as “old news.”

Attkisson also shows how the administration, using a technique she calls “controversialization,” disparages any sources and reporters who move the story forward. As she recounts in the book, Attkisson has extensive personal experience being at the receiving end of this technique.

She singles out Media Matters as the main outlet that moves administration spin into the mainstream media. As Attkisson demonstrates, however, the power of Media Matters derives from the complicity and cooperation of its many allies in the media, i.e., the many Obama allies in the media.

See above.

She writes:

Perhaps the greatest PR coup of all is that the administration’s expert spinners successfully lead the media by the nose down the path of concluding there’s no true controversy unless there’s a paper trail that lays blame directly on the president’s desk. Time and again, with each scandal and each damaging fact, Democrats and the White House read from the script that says, “there’s no evidence President Obama knew” or “there’s no evidence of direct White House involvement.” Anything short of a signed confession from the president is deemed a phony Republican scandal, and those who dare to ask questions are crazies, partisans, or conspiracy theorists. . . .

Under President Obama, the press dutifully regurgitates the line “no evidence of White House involvement,” ignoring the fact that if any proof exists, it would be difficult to come by under an administration that fails to properly respond to Freedom of Information Act requests, routinely withholds documents from Congress, and claims executive privilege to keep documents secret.

You say Barack Obama, I hear Richard Nixon.

Attkisson bookends her accounts of the Obama-administration scandals she covered with the story of what she describes as coordinated intrusions into her telephones and computers. She was working on the Benghazi story when a friendly source “connected to a three-letter agency” offered a surprising observation. “The administration is likely monitoring you — based on your reporting,” the source advised her. She had, in fact, been having troubles with her phones and computers, which were behaving oddly.

Three sets of experts — including experts hired by CBS — examined her computers. All reached the same conclusion: She was the victim of computer intrusion and monitoring. One expert found classified government documents secreted in her hard drive, though she had not placed them there and had nothing to do with them. She believes that they were placed there by the intruders for use against her at an appropriate time.

The Department of Justice has issued two statements on Attkisson’s case. In response to Attkisson’s first public mention of her experience, in the course of a radio interview, the Department of Justice said:

To our knowledge, the Justice Department has never “compromised” Ms. Attkisson’s computers, or otherwise sought any information from or concerning any telephone, computer, or other media device she may own or use.

You say Justice Department, I hear Justice Department.

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The Courage of His Convictions

How can we defend your freedom of speech, Jim Clancy, when you won’t defend it yourself?

Senior CNN international correspondent Jim Clancy appears to have deleted his Twitter account following a firestorm over a bizarre anti-Israel tirade last week.

Following the murder of 12 people at the Paris headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, Clancy got into an argument over whether the magazine has actually insulted the founder of Islam Mohammed in its famously provocative cartoons.

But the discussion rapidly deteriorated when Clancy launched a barrage of verbal abuse at several Jewish respondents, attacking them as “pro-Israeli” and accusing some of attempting to promulgate “an anti-Muslim and pro-Israel agenda.”

Several of his followers reacted with shock at his response, with some calling into question his objectivity as a journalist who frequently reports from the Middle East.

Clancy remained unrepentant, however, with a slew of tweets attacking “hasbara” (pro-Israel) activists.

He was also criticized by the head of a disability charity, after he tweeted to one of his critics: “@HumanRights2K Get a grip, junior. It’s my Friday night. You and the Hasbara team need to pick on some cripple on the edge of the herd.”

Jay Ruderman, who heads the Ruderman Family Foundation which advocates for greater integration of people suffering with disabilities, demanded an apology from Clancy, but was promptly blocked.

If CNN reporters are not free to taunt Jews and make fun of the disabled, the terrorists will have won.

Branding the “cripple” comment “appalling,” Ruderman asked how “in this day and age a senior anchor at CNN, a world leader in the media, would use a word such as ‘cripple’, which is a derogatory term for people with disabilities.”

“If a news anchor had hurled a racial epithet, CNN’s response undoubtedly would have been swift,” Ruderman said in a statement. “The disability community expects CNN to extend the same sensitivity to people with disabilities as it does to other minority communities.”

Last year, during the infamous “chickens**t” scandal, Ruderman complained to the White House over alleged comments by an unnamed senior official who referred to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as “Aspergery.”

How come the Left feels comfortable pushing the boundaries of free speech only against Jews? Why not call Al Sharpton chickens**t (when the epithet fits)? Isn’t Valerie Jarrett “Aspergery”? I’d defend their right to free expression if only they’d have the nuts to express themselves.

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Fox News Calls Nancy Pelosi a Lush! [UPDATED]

Correction: Fox News called John Boehner, not Nancy Pelosi, a lush. We regret the error.

Correction II: Boston.com, not Fox news, called John Boehner, not Nancy Pelosi, a lush. We regret the error.

[We’re just trying to get hired by Boston.com]

A Boston.com story that made light of a threat against House Speaker John Boehner has drawn the ire of the Ohio congressman, prompting an apology from the website.

Posted online Tuesday night, the story suggested that Boehner has a drinking problem and asked whether anyone would have noticed if Boehner had been poisoned. That comment was in reference to news that a former bartender at an Ohio country club where Boehner is a member has been arrested for allegedly threatening to kill the congressman.

“Stories about Boehner’s drinking have circulated for years,” wrote Victor Paul Alvarez, one of a handful of associate editors at Boston.com, in a passage that has since been removed from the website. “Had he been poisoned as planned, perhaps his pickled liver could have filtered out the toxins.”

Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, fired back in an e-mail Wednesday.

“I would have thought it would be obvious to any sentient human being that your item mocking the threats against the speaker and his family was completely insensitive and inappropriate,” Steel wrote. “Should you wish to offer an explanation, or – better – an apology, feel free to respond.”

Mike Sheehan, the chief executive of Boston Globe Media Partners LLC, said he spoke with Boehner’s office and sent a note of apology Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s very difficult to hit the epicenter of tasteless, mean-spirited, and humorless in one fell swoop,” Sheehan said in an interview.

In a statement released Wednesday, Boston.com general manager Corey Gottlieb said the Alvarez piece did not reflect the site’s values.

“The original column made references to Speaker Boehner that were off-color and completely inappropriate,” Gottlieb wrote. “We are sorry, and we will do better.”

Boston.com is owned by Boston Globe Media Partners LLC but operates independently from The Boston Globe and BostonGlobe.com.

“There is a really fine line between tongue in cheek . . . and what’s unfair or hurtful,” Gottlieb said, but Alvarez’s story clearly crossed that line. He declined to say whether Alvarez would be disciplined for the story.

Since threatening the life of a Republican is hardly news (until the culprit is awarded a Nobel Peace Prize), you may not have heard:

Last October, Hoyt allegedly told police he was going to kill Boehner, who he claimed was responsible for the spread of Ebola.

Hoyt allegedly said he planned to shoot Boehner and suggested he could poison one of his drinks.

Freedom of the press trumps all to me, so if the snide comment was in an opinion piece, I would defend it from the outside, even if I would have spiked it from the inside. (I run a blog, not a supposedly respectable news site. As editor the latter, I would never have allowed it, even if I might have written something like that here.)

But then, it has to go both ways. You can’t make fun of Boehner’s liver and Sarah Palin’s special needs son, and not let me have a go at Obama’s nicotine addiction, Pelosi’s Botox addiction, and John Kerry’s John Kerry addiction.

UPDATE
The guy got canned.

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Bonkers or Believers?

I’ve seen references in news headlines to the “motivations” of the Paris terrorists. Round up the usual suspects: Israel, Bush, Abu Ghraib, Two Broke Girls. But wait: we were told the killers were madmen, irrational actors driven to slaughter by a screwed-up pituitary gland or something. Now, they are depicted as making rational (if overreactive) decisions. Something (Israel, Bush, etc. ad nauseam) offended their sensibilities (Muslim sensibilities, as they say, since we’re now taking what they said as gospel, pardon the pun), and they reacted. Violently.

I don’t see how the Left can have it both ways. Israel and Bush (etc. ad nauseam) were either triggers for this carnage, and the killers made calculated choices to respond (against Jews and those “insulted” the prophet); or their minds were warped by hate and blood lust, pay no attention to what they said (about avenging Islam).

The same goes for the Left: don’t listen. And for the same reason: their minds are warped by hate. David Berkowitz was mad as a hatter, but if the Son of Sam had told the police that he went on a killing spree because the neighbor’s dog had told him that the rise of Reagan could be stopped only by pumping bullets into the brain pans of couples making out in cars, the Left and the media (a distinction without a difference) would have given him his own show on whatever the radio equivalent of MSNBC was at the time.

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We Are All Shoppers In A Kosher Grocery In Paris

Expect to see thousands on the streets of Paris and NY waving signs saying: I am a French Jew!

But don’t hold your breath:

PARIS – Several people were taken hostage at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris on Friday after a shootout involving a man armed with two guns, a police source said. Two people were killed, according to police sources quoted by AFP.

There were unconfirmed local media reports that the man was the same as the one suspected of killing a policewoman in a southern suburb of Paris on Thursday.

A police source had told Reuters earlier he was a member of the same jihadist group as the two suspects in Wednesday’s attack at weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

The exact number of hostages was unclear. Local media spoke of at least five. The police source said the man was equipped with automatic weapons.

And in the US, a CNN anchor blames… wait for it… Israel!!

A CNN anchor claimed that Israeli propagandists are distorting the truth behind the terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and trying to sow anti-Muslim sentiment on Wednesday evening.

Repeatedly stating that it was his “Friday night” and he just wanted to relax, CNN anchor Jim Clancy argued on Twitter that the Charlie Hebdo cartoons did not actually mock the Islamic prophet Muhammad and claimed that those who disagreed with him were part of a pro-Israel propaganda campaign.

Clancy appears to have removed some of the more inflammatory tweets, but several still remain on his Twitter page. A spokesperson for CNN did not respond to request for comment.

“The cartoons NEVER mocked the Prophet,” wrote Clancy on Wednesday night. “They mocked how the COWARDS tried to distort his word.”

When this claim was disputed by some of his followers, Clancy suggested they were engaging in “hasbara,” an Israeli PR effort.

“Get a grip junior,” Clancy wrote to @HumanRights2K, a Belgium-based human rights news feed. “It’s my Friday night. You and the Hasbara team need to pick on some cripple at the edge of the herd.”

Clancy also tweeted “hasbara” in response to a comment from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Oren Kessler, and added, “The Hasbara (Israeli explaining the inconsistencies of Human Rights) team has declared victory over [me]. Next up, [International Criminal Court].” The second tweet appears to have been removed.

Clancy went on to accuse pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon and a Twitter user called @JewsMakingNews of being “part of a campaign to do PR for Israel.” The tweet has also been removed.

Jews Making News is an anti-Semitic Twitter feed devoted to “exposing” alleged Jewish global domination and promoting Holocaust-denial. It is unclear why Clancy named either of the Twitter users as Israeli PR agents.

Clancy’s followers appeared baffled by his allegations, with one asking “Are you drunk right now or something?”

This was not the first time Clancy, who covers foreign affairs, made controversial comments related to Israel. He was criticized last April after he asked former Israeli ambassador Dore Gold whether Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu “personally order[ed]” airstrikes on Gaza as a response to a unity deal between Fatah and Hamas. Clancy also praised the deal as a way to bring “fresh blood” into the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

To get the extremely offensive tweets that are deleted in the above article, check out the Israeli media

– Aggie

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Strike While the Irony’s Hot

Scorching!

The director of BBC Television said rising anti-Semitism has made him question the long-term future for Jews in the UK.

Speaking at a conference in Jerusalem on Sunday, Danny Cohen said the past year had been the most difficult for him as a Jew living in the United Kingdom.

“I’ve never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK as I’ve felt in the last 12 months. And it’s made me think about, you know, is it our long-term home, actually. Because you feel it. I’ve felt it in a way I’ve never felt before actually,” he said in a conversation with Channel 2’s anchor Yonit Levi.

Cheer up, things could be worse. You could be French.

Cohen went on: “And you’ve seen the number of attacks rise. You’ve seen murders in France. You’ve seen murders in Belgium. It’s been pretty grim actually. And having lived all my life in the UK, I’ve never felt as I do now about anti-Semitism in Europe.”

Cohen, who grew up and went to school in London — including to a Jewish elementary school — is a TV whiz kid. Still only 40, he was previously the controller of BBC1 TV, the youngest appointee to that post, before taking over a director of BBC Television last year.

Last month, Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, who is also Jewish, decried the rise of anti-Semitism in Great Britain and called for “a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism in the UK.”

Miliband, the son of Holocaust refugees, cited figures from the Jewish Community Security Trust that indicate a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents. He praised Britain’s tradition of tolerance but warned that “the recent spate of incidents should serve as a wake-up call for anyone who thought the scourge of anti-Semitism had been defeated and that the idea of Jewish families fearful of living here in Britain was unthinkable.”

The summer’s Israel-Hamas war saw a striking increase in anti-Semitic incidents, with more than 100 hate crimes reported in July alone — more than double the usual number. Among the reported incidents were the physical assault of a rabbi in Gateshead, attacks on synagogues and an attack by an Arab woman wearing a niqab on a Jewish boy riding his bicycle in northern London.

The irony? Read for yourself:

CAMERA: BBC.

Why do people associate antisemitism solely with the far right when the left, near and far, is absolutely awash in the muck? Jew-hatred is interwoven in their socio-political DNA.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

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Good Luck, What’s-Your-Name

The Grand Duchy of Bloodthirstan wishes to join the throngs, the multitudes, lining the streets to wish Stephen Colbert well.

Maybe we’ll finally watch him for once:

Stephen Colbert’s ratings might have been half those of late-night cable reruns of the “The Family Guy,” but he was adored by our objective, unbiased, not-at-all-liberal media for being a leftist who protected Central Government and savaged anyone who disagreed. And now the media is in universal mourning over the loss of one of their most powerful weapons.

After nine years of protecting The State, the final episode of “The Colbert Report” aired last night, and it should come as no surprise that the media coverage has not only been excessive but a sad spectacle of monolithic gushing.

Time Magazine: The Colbert Report Is Dead. Long Live Stephen Colbert!

Washington Post: The show was so good and so meticulously performed that you could, in fact, not watch it.

Time Magazine (again): Stephen Colbert: A Great Talk-Show Host? No, the Greatest!

You get the idea.

Despite the fact that fewer than 1% of the American people ever watched “The Colbert Report,” because he made himself a useful tool against the political right, the mainstream media artificially inflated his influence (Jon Stewart, Lena Dunham, and Tina Fey are fellow travelers in this regard), and in turn used his clips during “objective” newscasts to undermine the GOP with ridicule.

Not “despite the fact”—due to the fact. Who wrote this, Fox Butterfield?

For not only did Colbert finish behind re-runs of The Family Guy, he finished behind four different re-runs of The Big Bang Theory. Scads more people know Sheldon Cooper than know Stephen Colbert, to the relief of a great republic.

I would also point out that in total numbers (not just 18-49 yos), Robot Chicken, iCarly, Sponge Bob (3 episodes), something called Down East Dickering, and WWE’s Tribute to the Troops all kicked Colbert’s bony ass—the last by about a 50% margin.

I missed the Washington Post’s tribute to Down East Dickering.

The next time we watch Colbert will be the first, so we are no expert. But his shtick reminds us of a typical SNL skit: clever in concept; shaky in execution; clueless on how and when to end. His appeal ran the gamut from A to B: if you hated George Bush and Dick Cheney, you loved Stephen Colbert. We’re sorry for your loss.

PS: It should be noted that he picked up his game as he left it:

“The Colbert Report” signed off on Comedy Central with series-high ratings on Thursday night, roughly doubling its recent averages.

According to Nielsen estimates, the half-hour finale of the long-running fake-news program averaged 2.48 million viewers overall and a 1.0 rating in adults 18-49 — building on its “Daily Show With Jon Stewart” lead-in (2.03 million, 0.8) by more than 20% in both categories.

The only cable program to rate higher than “Colbert Report” on Thursday was an NFL game on NFL Network.

Of course, that NFL game was an epic battle between two 2-11 teams, Tennessee and Jacksonville. And in total numbers, Pawn Stars beat Colbert Thursday night—twice.

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Heard On NPR [Update: Apparently The Islamic Terrorist That NPR Didn’t Know About Killed A Couple Folks

I was gobsmacked this morning during drive time when I heard the NPR news report on the Islamist hostage situation in Sydney. The NPR reporter said, approximately, that there was a hostage situation in Sydney and that the Australian PM says it is probably political in motive. That’s all. Every other news source that I checked correctly noted that there was something resembling an ISIS flag in the window, being held up by the hostages. NPR tried to shield its listeners from the unpleasant fact that the Religion of Peace (or a minority thereof) was carrying out a terror attack in Sydney. What in the world does NPR have to gain by covering this up? And no matter what the answer is, why do I have to pay for it?

And here’s the latest, which you can share with your NPR-disabled friends:

Sydney siege live: Loud explosions heard as police storm Lindt cafe
Updated 14 minutes agoMon 15 Dec 2014, 10:38am

Police have stormed the Lindt cafe in Sydney after an intense period of loud explosions or gunshots and flashes of lights.

Several ambulances are on the scene.

Earlier, police identified the man behind the siege as Iranian cleric Man Haron Monis.

Monis has been holding an unknown number of people hostage at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place since Monday morning.

Three people emerged from the building about 4:00pm (AEDT) and they were followed by another two an hour later.

Hostages were earlier seen pressing a black flag with Arabic text against the cafe’s windows.

Monis is on bail for a string of violent offences and has a conviction for sending offensive letters to the families of deceased soldiers.

And this is from CNN

Chilling images from Australian media on Monday showed people, believed to be hostages, with their hands pressed against the cafe’s windows. They were holding up a black flag with Arabic writing on it reading, “There is no God but God and Mohammed is the prophet of God.”

Sounds like angry Congregationalists to me. Again, why are we spending tax money on NPR? They couldn’t find the news if it was handed to them in a brown paper bag.

Update: Two or three dead.

– Aggie

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Why Isn’t This News?

George Bush and Dick Cheney made headlines for calling NY Times reporter, Adam Clymer, a major league a-hole.

This?

Crickets.

According to retired ABC News journalist Ann Compton, Barack Obama launches into “profanity-laced” tirades against the press in off-the-record meetings with reporters. In a C-SPAN interview, Compton also derided the President for leading “the most opaque” administration of “any I have covered.”

The journalist, who retired in August after a 40-year career, revealed to C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb: “I have seen in the last year Barack Obama really angry twice. Both were off-the-record times. One, profanity-laced where he thought the press was making too much of scandals that he did not think were scandals.”

She explained, “And I don’t find him apologetic. But I find him willing to stand up to the press and look them in the eye, even though it was off the record and just give us hell.”

After Lamb wondered if the President had a point, she chided, “We cover what we are allowed to cover. And when policy decisions and presidents are inaccessible and don’t take questions from the press on a regular basis, I think they reap what they sow.”

Earlier in the hour-long C-SPAN interview, which aired on Sunday night, but was recorded in October, Compton slammed the “opaque” administration:

ANN COMPTON: Before I walked out the door on September 10, I was a strong voice for complaining that this particular administration has been more opaque than any I have covered about what the President does in the Oval Office everyday. He is far less accessible on photo-ops with meetings. Even some meetings on the record, meeting in the Roosevelt room with financial leaders from, from Wall Street or on issues with environmental groups, or with issues with environmental groups, with public opinion leaders, I think most presidents have been far more forthcoming than the second Obama term, in terms of what the President is doing every day and we almost never get photo-ops.

She added that it’s fine for the White House to take its own photographs, but “those same elements should not be blocked from the White House press corps.”

Since when does the president get to dictate what is and is not a scandal? And why do these guys cover up for this guy? Especially when he’s such a major league a-hole himself?

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Mr. Tingle-Down-My-Leg Comments: Hope ‘N Change Baby!

He must be worried about the MSNBC ratings…

– Aggie

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Rolling Stone Apologizes For Accusing Frat House Of Rape

This reminds me of the Duke lacrosse scandal.

To Our Readers:

Last month, Rolling Stone published a story titled “A Rape on Campus” by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, which described a brutal gang rape of a woman named Jackie at a University of Virginia fraternity house; the university’s failure to respond to this alleged assault – and the school’s troubling history of indifference to many other instances of alleged sexual assaults. The story generated worldwide headlines and much soul-searching at UVA. University president Teresa Sullivan promised a full investigation and also to examine the way the school responds to sexual assault allegations.

Because of the sensitive nature of Jackie’s story, we decided to honor her request not to contact the man she claimed orchestrated the attack on her nor any of the men she claimed participated in the attack for fear of retaliation against her. In the months Erdely spent reporting the story, Jackie neither said nor did anything that made Erdely, or Rolling Stone’s editors and fact-checkers, question Jackie’s credibility. Her friends and rape activists on campus strongly supported Jackie’s account. She had spoken of the assault in campus forums. We reached out to both the local branch and the national leadership of the fraternity where Jackie said she was attacked. They responded that they couldn’t confirm or deny her story but had concerns about the evidence.

In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced. We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.

Will Dana
Managing Editor

That’s OK, Mr. Dana. This is just another example of journalists being journalists.

– Aggie

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