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Results tagged “media bias” from IngeMusings

Obama's problem with the military, and its problem with him

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A record 112 million Americans watched the Superbowl this weekend, on a day that also marked the first anniversary of the murder of America's deadliest sniper.


Chris Kyle, a highly-decorated Navy SEAL sniper who his enemies dubbed "The Devil of Ramadi", racked up 160 kills in four tours of duty. That nearly doubled the record of confirmed kills that was previously held by a marine sniper during the Vietnam War. Insurgents placed an $80,000 bounty on his head. Upon returning home, his military service earned him some fame and he regularly appeared on TV, and even got to punch Jesse Ventura in the face. He also authored the best-selling book American Sniper, which is slated to become a movie starring Bradley Cooper, and even attracted the attention of Steven Spielberg. And he also helped returning vets who were struggling with PTSD.


On February 2nd, 2013, he and a friend were tragically shot to death by one such vet.


Kyle's memorial service was held at Cowboys Stadium and drew thousands, but the president couldn't even be bothered to give a public statement about his outstanding service. Nor did the White House issue a press release.


Over a hundred Navy SEALs--you know, the guys that Obama heroically sends all over the world do to things like kill Bin Laden--hand-punched Tridents into the coffin of Kyle, who earned two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars. But the president stayed silent. Sarah Palin showed her support by attending his memorial. Glenn Beck showed up, and promptly raised more than $100,000 for the families of the two victims. Randy Travis even sang the closing song.


Before the 200-mile funeral procession to Kyle's final resting place, Palin unsuccessfully petitioned the president to acknowledge his death.


On February 12, 2013, President Obama had another chance to honor Kyle during his State of the Union address. He chose not to, but he let the world know that Whitney Houston's family was in his prayers after she died of an apparent drug overdose.


President Obama could not have attended Kyle's memorial, as he was fulfilling his presidential obligations at a Medal of Honor ceremony at the time. But what might be as telling as his failure to issue any kind of public statement, is the fact that at an event full of military heroes, Obama probably was not even welcome.


Thing about that. Forget about politics, parties and ideology. Start with a blank slate, and then think how unusual it would be for any sitting president to disrespect such an American military hero, and for so many other heroes to not even want him to be there.


The distrust between Obama and the best of America's best doesn't stop there.

Marcus Luttrell, another SEAL hero whose military exploits became the best-selling book and #1-movie Lone Survivor, also doesn't like Obama.


The father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who was killed in Benghazi trying to save people, said Obama wouldn't even look him in the eye, Joe Biden was disrespectful, Hillary Clinton lied to him, and he didn't believe the Administration's story about how the attack unfolded. He believed "cowards" in the White House could have sent in support to save his son and the others killed that night, but their failure to do so constituted "murder". He told Sean Hannity:


And, you know, he kind of -- it wasn't in a powerful voice it was more of just a whiney little voice I'm sorry. You know, and I could tell by his voice he wasn't even sorry.


It would be like a little kid that is told by the teacher to go apologize to Johnny out on the playground and when looked at me his face was pointed towards me but he couldn't look me in the eye. He was looking over my shoulder and like I say, I thought, you know, political -- literally like shaking hands with a dead fish. I did not believe him at all as far as his being sorry and now we understand why.


Was he one of those cowards that was in the White House watching my son being murdered on TV and refusing to do anything? That is a question that he will probably not have the courage to answer publicly but I would like to personally know that answer and one of these days, the whole I'm sure that we will have that answer.


Think for a second of all the attention that Cindy Sheehan got. Now compare the media's coverage of what this father of a SEAL who died heroically saving others said about the President of the United States.


But we're not done.


In 2012, former and current Navy SEALs slammed Obama's reelection campaign for taking too much credit for the Bin Laden raid.


It's not just guys on the ground that seem to not like Obama. His Secretary of Defense questioned his leadership and commitment, nearly resigned, and said Joe Biden was wrong on just about every foreign policy issue of the last four decades. This from a guy who served under Bill Clinton and is widely reputed as a bi-partisan moderate.


There even seems to be tension between the Obama Administration and those who are tasked to protect its members. When the owner of a bakery in Virginia declined to be used in an Obama campaign photo-op because of the president's "you didn't build that comment," Secret Service agents visited the shop, thanked him for standing up and saying 'no', and bought a bunch of pastries. Others subsequently flooded his store and he had to close early when he ran out of cookie dough.

Maybe they're upset about Joe Biden pocketing $26,000 by charging them rent to use his cottage to protect them, something that the Clinton's refused payment for a decade earlier.


Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan (who also voted for Obama), said Obama appeared "uncomfortable and intimidated" in a room full of military brass, did not seem as "engaged" in the war as he was with photo-ops. He was fired and replaced with General Petraeus. In a follow-up book, McChrystal said there was "a deficit of trust" between Obama and the Pentagon.


Obama has fired at least nine other senior military commanders, some who critical of his handling of Benghazi.


Obama doesn't seem to have the support of the military rank-and-file, either. Before the 2012 presidential election, a Military Times poll had Romney beating Obama two-to-one, by 40 points. In 2011, a Gallup poll found only 37% of military approved of the job their boss was doing (and it's likely lower than that--how many of you would pretend you liked your boss for fear of retribution).


These are unprecedented stories about the strained relationship a Commander-in-Chief has with the members of the American military--from rank-and-file soldiers, to top military brass, to celebrated national heroes. If any one of these had occurred during the Bush Administration, the media would make it a big deal for weeks. Imagine, Bush not calling the family of America's best sniper to offer his condolences. Or the Secret Service thanking people for not supporting him. Or military polls consistently weighing against him. Or, SEALs slamming his reelection campaign. The media made Cindy Sheehan is a big deal for years, but the examples in this article are mostly ignored.


The media should be highlighting these stories and asking why--why is it that there seems to be a breach of trust between the most honored among us, and this president?

Maybe Politifact will get its Lie of the Year right this time

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Politifact, the left-leaning website that purports to set us straight on misleading claims made by various talking heads, will soon be announcing its 2013 Lie of the Year.


It's unthinkable that its editors and writers would select anything other than President Obama's "You Can Keep It" lie as the runaway winner.  But, given how Politifact has blown two of its past awards defending Obamacare, it's anyone's guess.


In 2009, the group selected Sarah Palin's "Death Panels" as the Lie of the Year. Except, that turned out to be true. Don't take my word for it. Ask Howard Dean. Or Paul Krugman. Or Time Magazine's Senior Political Analyst. Committed liberals everywhere are admitting Palin was right.


The next year, Politifact's Lie of the Year was that Obamacare represents a government takeover of the healthcare industry. After the new government standards resulted in the cancellation of millions of private policies and the new government website had a disastrous rollout, President Obama deigned to not prosecute policies that were in violation of his new rules. It seems at his whim, millions policies are legal or they are illegal. That's our private system for you.


The reason Politifact got its 2009 and 2010 awards wrong is because it contains at its core the same problem as most mainstream media. They play it too safe--and the safe position is usually the official one, no matter how wrong it is or how easily it is to refute it with an ounce of common sense.


Yes, the Affordable Care Act legislation does not mention the phrase "death panels" or "government takeover." It didn't mention that millions would lose their policies, but it happened even though it's not written in black and white.


People with common sense realize that things don't always turn out how it is on paper. But with nothing tangible to point to--just thoughts, ideas, and arguments--it's not as safe as an official government document.


With all the attention paid to the You Can Keep It lie, it might be safe for Politifact to award it the Lie of the Year. But given its past mistakes, don't be surprised if it doesn't.

Fun with media bias: baseball edition

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Media bias isn't just limited to politics.


If the Dodgers defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series that begins Friday, they'll advance to the World Series for the first time since 1988. There is a strong chance they will face another storied baseball team--the Boston Red Sox.


The two teams have been closely linked together since last summer, when they engaged in one of the biggest trades in baseball history. That deal brought to Los Angeles slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, speedy outfielder Carl Crawford, starting pitcher Josh Beckett, infielder Nick Punto, and a quarter-billion dollars in payroll.


Reporters on the Red Sox beat had given those players reputations as malcontents. Boston is notorious for being a baseball pressure cooker, and sometimes they can be unfair. Here's an example.


A year after the trade, when the Dodgers reeled off one of the most dominant stretches in history, they got some national attention (there is also an East Coast media bias against the West Coast, but that's another matter). The Boston Globe sent Dan Shaughnessy to Los Angeles to interview Crawford, Gonzalez, Beckett and Punto.


Crawford and Gonzalez refused to speak to him. Shaughnessy writes:


Suddenly, Crawford is at his locker. A radio guy is with him and it looks like they might be planning an interview for later. I walk toward Carl. He sees me and bolts for the door that leads to the "no media" area with the food room and trainer's room. Carl is muttering something as he disappears into the safe haven. From my distance, all I made out is, "[expletive] talk to the [expletive] Boston media . . . ''

It's not like we weren't warned. Back on Wednesday in San Francisco, Boston reporters asked Red Sox PR people to approach Dodgers PR people to see if Crawford and Gonzalez would be made available before the first game in Los Angeles. Early Friday afternoon, we got word that Carl and the Cooler (Gonzalez in the last three seasons has been part of historic folds by the Padres, Red Sox, and Dodgers, hence, "the Cooler") would not be speaking with us.

Gonzalez and Crawford speak regularly to the Los Angeles media, and are widely regarded as good teammates. Both are having productive years outside the Boston fishbowl. You can get a glimpse as to why they were frustrated there.


First, the Cooler. Shaughnessy writes that Gonzalez was "part of" historica folds in the last three seasons, the obvious implication being that he played a role in the late-season swoons. The facts, however, show that Gonzalez batted .319, .318, and .294 in the last month of each of those years. "Cooler" seems to be little more than name-calling.


But baseball players have thicker skin that that.


So Shaughnessy, spurned by the decline for the interview, writes that the married Gonzalez had time to speak with and hug attractive NESN reporter Jenny Dell. Is Shaughnessy subtly but intentionally trying to kick up some dirt?


Finally, Shaughnessy uses a quote from former-Sox-manager-turned-Dodger-broadcaster Kevin Kennedy to bash Crawford and Gonzalez.


"Boston's not for everybody,'' said former Sox manager Kevin Kennedy, now a Los Angeles media guy. "Some people can't handle it.''

People like Carl and the Cooler.

Out of context, Kennedy's quote looks like he's criticizing the two players. However, nobody has been gushing more of Crawford than Kennedy, who broadcast games in Tampa Bay when Crawford played for the Rays. Just about every night he sings Crawford's praises, how he's a great guy, and how unfair the press was in Boston, to the point where it's a bit of a running joke on the program. So here's the context missing from Shaughnessy's article, from the Dodger Talk episode that aired the day after it was published:


"The players like him on the other side," Kennedy said. "A couple media members--I happened to be sitting next to one killed him all the time. I know what that place is like and what they do to you...A couple of those writers absolutely killed him. When I talked to this particular writer he said well he didn't play close to what was in Tampa Bay. I said, 'Yeah I know that'--I said, 'But he was also hurt and he played hurt and he tried to play through it.' Both with his shoulder and his elbow and his wrist."


Seems like Kennedy agrees with Crawford and Gonzalez that the Boston baseball media is unfair. And now we can all see why. Misleading quotes, missing facts, and innuendo are far too common in journalism, whether the story is about professional sports or politics.






Yet another massacre that fails to follow the Left's narrative

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For years now we've been told that angry, racist, white Tea Party types--encouraged by talk radio and Fox News--are going to whip out their AR-15's and go on mass shooting sprees. Progressives waited with baited breath to find out the race and creed of Tuesday's Navy Yard shooting, and oops--it wasn't a conservative, again.


But remember Oklahoma City! Remember Oklahoma City? Remember Oklahoma City, we are constantly reminded about. It's the well they keep having to go back to, because most of the recent perpetrators of mass violence have little in common with Tea Partiers, twisting the progressive media, politicians, and pundits into pretzels.


Yesterday, a 34-year-old black man, who was described as an Obama supporter, shot and killed a dozen people. The media falsely claimed he used an AR-15, the same "evil weapon" used at the Sandy Hook Massacre, to set the stage to push for more gun control. Unfortunately for them, Alexis used a shotgun (and no, not an AR-15 shotgun either). That's what happens when hysteria outruns the facts.


On April 15th, two bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Because it was tax day and near the site of the original Boston Tea Party, speculation was rampant that conservatives were involved. Nope--I know, this is hard to believe--the bombing was perpetrated by Muslim extremists.


In February, former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner went on a rampage that killed four people leading to one of the biggest manhunts in American history. Like Alexis, he was a black Navy Reservist who supported Obama and was preoccupied with racism.


On December 4, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza murdered killed twenty children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in the second deadliest mass shooting in American history. Lanza was nuts and motivated by violent video games, but the Left chose to focus on using the incident to strengthen gun control laws, which probably wouldn't have saved any lives at Sandy Hook were it in effect at the time.


In August of 2012, Floyd Lee Corkins brought 100 rounds of ammunition and 15 Chik-Fil-A sandwiches to the Washington headquarters of the conservative Family Research Council. He planned to kill as many people as he could and smear the sandwiches in their faces as a political statement, because of the Christian organization's pro-traditional marriage stance. Corkins admitted he used the progressive Southern Poverty Law Center's "hate-map" to locate his target. He fired three rounds, hitting a security guard who still managed to subdue Corkins before he could kill anyone.


On July 20, 2012, James Holmes shot and killed twelve people in an Aurora, CO theater. Although early reports were that the suspect was a Tea Partier, it nevertheless instead turned out to be yet another nut who played too many video games.


Two months earlier, five far-left Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested for plotting to blow up an Ohio bridge.


Trayvon Martin was shot and killed on February 26, 2012. Early reports were that a white man hunted down and killed the unarmed Martin for being black and in the "wrong" neighborhood. Progressives went bonkers. But oops--it turned out Zimmerman identified as a Hispanic. No matter, the media contorted themselves by unprecedentedly referring to him as a "white hispanic." (I'm still waiting for them to call President Obama a "white black man".) News networks doctored his 911 call to make him sound like he said something racist when he didn't. In fact, he mentored black youths and even tried to help a black homeless man who was apparently a victim of police brutality. Then it turned out Martin attacked Zimmerman and was on top of him banging his head on the sidewalk when he got shot. Finally, it ended up that Martin was the one using racial epithets.


In January 2011, Jared Lee Loughner killed six people in Tucson, AZ, and severely wounded Gabby Giffords. He was another young nut who played too many video games, and left behind a largely incoherent muddle of political motivations. He seemed to like Karl Marx. That did not stop the media from blaming Sarah Palin for the attack, because she had marked Giffords district as an election target, even though everyone who has ever been around politics has used the term "target" and "district" in th same sentence. The left does not blame the Southern Poverty Law Center's hate map for the Family Research Council shooting.


On September 1, 2010, environmental activist James Lee was killed by police after taking hostages at the headquarters of Discover Communications in Silver Spring, Maryland. He had demanded the network air his message of stopping the creation of more "disgusting human babies" who are polluting the earth. Lee was influenced by Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.


In May of that year, Faisal Shahzad, attempted to detonate a bomb at Times Square. Mayor Michael Bloomberg went on CBS and speculated the bomber was "homegrown" and probably someone mad about Obamacare.


In November of 2009, Major Nidal Hasan fatally shot 13 people and wounded 30 at Fort Hood. The Department of Defense labeled the massacre as "workplace violence," downplaying Hasan's connection to radical Islamic terrorism. (He had corresponded with Anwar Al-Awlaki.) At his trial, he admitted he "switched sides" and is a "Mujahideen" waging a holy war against America.


In 2007, a Korean immigrant killed 32 people at Virginia Tech. He seemed to not have politcal motivations, but was obviously not the white conservative guy the media is always looking for.


Neither were John Allen Muhammad and Boyd Lee Malvo, the infamous Beltway Snipers that killed 10 people in October of 2002. ABC News said that it was widely reported the sniper was an "angry white male." Nope! The main perpetrator was a member of the Nation of Islam and planned to kill six whites a day for 30 days.


But remember--Oklahoma City. A white dude who hated the government did that. Ignore everything else that has happened in the nearly two decades since.


CNN is a year late to the Benghazi party

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Is CNN in danger of doing real journalism?

CNN is finally starting to think there might be something to this Benghazi thing. The venerable cable news channel is in danger of discovering some things that conservatives realized nearly a year ago.

Here's a CNN programming note:

Was there a political cover up surrounding the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans? Watch a CNN special investigation -- The Truth About Benghazi, Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET.

Wow, you think maybe there was? August of 2013 is so much better a time to discuss this than in the final lap of a presidential election in October 2012, or during hearings on Capitol Hill earlier this year.

At least CNN is finally coming around. It broke the story that the CIA is going to extreme measures to keep what really happened in Benghazi a secret.

Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency's missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency's workings.

The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.

It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.

I'm really happy CNN is coming around, but I'm difficult to please. The entire story is about how the CIA is pressuring agents not to talk, how the CIA is covering something up. If this happened during the Bush Administration, would CNN fail to mention the president at all?

It would be the lead, obviously. But when it's a Democratic president's scandal, CNN and other media organizations try to report it in a way that does the least political damage--and that means confining the damage to an agency that's a step removed from the president, and a time that's a year after the last election and a year before the next important one.

 

In journalism profession, the way to the truth involves hiding it

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At the heart of journalism, theoretically, is the pursuit of the truth. If a journalist appears to have an opinion about a subject, well, that journalist can't be trusted to report the truth because he is no longer objective.

Take, for example, the case of Larry Conners of KMOV. Conners said that he may have been targeted by the IRS after a tough April 2012 interview with President Obama. For going public, he lost his job.

For KMOV, there is no higher cause than unbiased, objective news reporting. It is what our viewers expect and it is what we work very hard to deliver. We can accept no less. Larry is certainly entitled to his opinion, but taking a personal political position on one of the Station's Facebook pages creates an appearance of bias that is inconsistent with important journalistic standards.

Journalistic standards hold that any appearance of bias undermines the core mission of presenting to the truth to the news agency's viewers and readers.

One problem--it's impossible to cover newsmakers and events without forming personal opinions about it.

That leads to an interesting result--the truth is so important to the journalism profession that journalists must hide the fact that they have opinions. To be real truth tellers, they must hide the truth about their own biases.

Of course, it's perfectly fine to have biases. It's impossible not to. Like the rest of us, journalists have opinions, they get into the same political debates we do with relatives at Thanksgiving, and they vote for candidates they like and not for ones they don't.

When it comes to their reporting, however, they suddenly pretend none of that exists. For the sake of the truth, they cover that up.

Instead of pretending they don't have opinions, why not just disclose them, the way a financial reporter discloses if they own a certain stock their story is about?  If a reporter does a story on a political event, we're supposed to be kept in the dark what that person thinks about the participants in that event?

If I could flip a switch and see the political preferences of a given newsroom, I'd find that the objectivity-inducing journalism standards result in one political persuasion outnumbered by the other four to one.

Were it all exposed to sunlight--and don't journalists love sunlight--unbalanced newsrooms would feel compelled to balance out the staff and the coverage on their own, resulting in a better product for the public.

In journalism industry, the way to tell the truth involves hiding it

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At the heart of journalism, theoretically, is the pursuit of the truth. If a journalist appears to have an opinion about a subject, well, that journalist can't be trusted to report the truth because he is no longer objective.

Take, for example, the case of Larry Conners of KMOV. Conners said that he may have been targeted by the IRS after a tough April 2012 interview with President Obama. For going public, he lost his job.

For KMOV, there is no higher cause than unbiased, objective news reporting. It is what our viewers expect and it is what we work very hard to deliver. We can accept no less. Larry is certainly entitled to his opinion, but taking a personal political position on one of the Station's Facebook pages creates an appearance of bias that is inconsistent with important journalistic standards.

Journalistic standards hold that any appearance of bias undermines the core mission of presenting to the truth to the news agency's viewers and readers.

One problem--it's impossible to cover newsmakers and events without forming personal opinions about it.

That leads to an interesting result--the truth is so important to the journalism profession that journalists must hide the fact that they have opinions. To be real truth tellers, they must hide the truth about their own biases.

Of course, it's perfectly fine to have biases. It's impossible not to. Like the rest of us, journalists have opinions, they get into the same political debates we do with relatives at Thanksgiving, and they vote for candidates they like and not for ones they don't.

When it comes to their reporting, however, they suddenly pretend none of that exists. For the sake of the truth, they cover that up.

Instead of pretending they don't have opinions, why not just disclose them, the way a financial reporter discloses if they own a certain stock their story is about?  If a reporter does a story on a political event, we're supposed to be kept in the dark what that person thinks about the participants in that event?

If I could flip a switch and see the political preferences of a given newsroom, I'd find that the objectivity-inducing journalism standards result in one political persuasion outnumbered by the other four to one.

Were it all exposed to sunlight--and don't journalists love sunlight--unbalanced newsrooms would feel compelled to balance out the staff and the coverage on their own, resulting in a better product for the public.

In government vindictiveness, Tea Party vindication

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It turns out the Tea Party was right.

The raison d'ĂȘtre of the loosely affiliated grassroots organizations is that a big government threatens freedoms, especially if it's in the wrong hands. This week's revelations that the Obama Administration lied about the circumstances surrounding the death of the American ambassador at Benghazi, spied on the Associated Press, and intimidated conservative groups with the IRS clued in the mainstream media on what the Tea Party has known for years.

Not only has this administration rapidly centralized power but has turned the government against the American people in an unprecedented way, and it's not just the three scandals from this week.

Some liberals and libertarians deserve credit for raising concerns about sacrificing liberty for security in the wake of 9/11. We were fine when that power was pointed at our enemies in Al Qaeda. They warned us that in the wrong hands, it could be used against us.

Obama campaigned on ending some controversial Bush-era security programs. Liberals ate it up. Not only did he keep them, however, he expanded them and his administration has used them against his own country. Liberals didn't care.

Who did care, were the Tea Party groups. Many participants became disenchanted with Bush, especially in his second term. But size of his government was nothing compared to Obama, who showed a radical ideological streak that put no limit on the size of government--blended with nasty, brutal Chicago politics.

Thanks to an ill-informed public, an adoring press, and a golden tongue, Obama was able to get away with abuses of power. While the mainstream media may have just learned about his problems this week, conservatives reported it way back--but they were mocked and ignored, until now.

If the mainstream media was doing its job in 2008, there's no way Obama's campaign would have survived Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, and Tony Rezko, let alone his anti-American upbringing or heavy drug use.

The press ignored even the existence of the Tea Party at first, which caught fire in its opposition to Obamacare.  Without mainstream media help, the Democrats were able to push it through with shady maneuvers.

Alone, conservatives tried unsuccessfully to hold Obama's Attorney General accountable for the Fast & Furious gunwalking scandal.  They pointed out that his Green Jobs Czar was a self admitted 9/11 Truther and communist. They railed against the partial nationalization of the healthcare, auto, and financial sectors, to no avail. Solyndra didn't make a dent, and taxpayer money flowed to Obama backers. He supported the violent Occupy movement--can you imagine what the press would say if Romney backed the Tea Party and it turned violent? The press had nothing but praise for it. Then there was massive ammo purchases and an assault on the second amendment.  Don't forget about Obama's war on whistleblowers.  Or his war on Libya without Congressional approval that he said would last weeks but lasted months.

Either the flagging economy or Benghazi should have cost him reelection, but instead he sailed in. Rand Paul had to filibuster just to get him to say he wouldn't target American citizens in a drone strike.

All of it was ignored by everyone but conservatives.

But now that the election is over, we're starting to hear about Benghazi, the IRS targeting of the Tea Party, and the overly aggressive pursuit of whistleblowers, all of which took place before he was reelected.

Now, the mainstream media has finally validated only a few conservative fears of this corrupt administration, which is worse than Nixon's.  There's lots more. Can Obama's disciples spin the news cycle back to his advantage? Will the press lose interest and the public go back to sleep?

Probably.

But there's a chance that scandals' momentum will highlight his other, previously ignored ones. Whether or not Obama sustains permanent political damage, the Tea Party can at least be assured that they were in the right all along.

May Day Seattle: radical left-wing violence

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Another far-left cause, another riot and clashes with police.

Police used "flash bangs" and pepper spray against some protesters who pelted them with rocks and bottles late Wednesday, as violence erupted during May Day in Seattle.

Several dozen protesters, many using bandanas to cover their faces, began clashing with police in downtown Seattle hours after a peaceful immigrant-rights march ended.

The May Day protests in Seattle the previous year turned violent as well and in Los Angeles several years before. It's not just May Day either--let's not forget to mention the infamous Occupy Protests. There's something about anti-capitalism that brings out the worst in people.

When the "far right" protests? Millions of people in lawn chairs waving flags at Tea Party rallies.

That not only is strong evidence for the civility of their guiding ideology, but is an indictment on the media.

Can you imagine if a Tea Party rally turned as violent as a May Day or Occupy protest, with pepper spray and fires and vandalism? It would be front-page news for weeks.

But when the far left does it, it's just protesters being protesters. More of the usual--which is a sad commentary on that political ideology.

Where is the outcry against the liberals Dorner "supported"?

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Last month I wrote that the problem with Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained was that the revenge film "seemed more like an attempt to be inspirational" and to the extent social messages exists in it they "irresponsibly exacerbate existing racial tensions." Fast forward a few weeks, and Southern California was paralyzed by former cop Christopher Dorner  and his revenge killings aimed at the "racist" Los Angeles Police Department.

In Django Unchained, Jamie Foxx--who later said it's "great" he gets to kill all the white people in the movie--murders those who enslaved him as well as their families. Dorner, who saw Django Unchained and complimented it in his infamous manifesto, began his killing spree by executing the daughter of a former LAPD captain, as well as her fiancé.

"I've never had the opportunity to have a family of my own, I'm terminating yours," Dorner wrote. "Look your wives/husbands and surviving children directly in the face and tell them the truth as to why your children are dead."

Dorner's writings also revealed he is a liberal, supports Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Piers Morgan, Chris Matthews, Tavis Smiley, and so on.

 Now, we learned from the Left that Rush Limbaugh's and Sarah Palin's political opinions inspired the Gabby Giffords shooting, making them responsible. That's even considering that Loughner never listened to either pundit and his rantings have a left-wing bent.

Can you imagine if a Tea Partier waged a campaign of terrorism against a law enforcement agency, after writing a manifesto that praised Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and Rand Paul? The Left would attempt to put all of them out of business, if not behind bars, let alone what would happen to any of them that made an inspirational movie encouraging such acts.

Of course, it's silly to blame Piers Morgan and Chris Matthews for what Dorner did. But that's the standard the Left created, as stupid as it is. I would love to hear a committed liberal's thoughts about this, but it's one of those things that's too inconvenient for them to discuss.

LA Times: Romney electioneers while Obama worries about storm's impact

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With a superstorm barreling down on the East Coast in the last week of the 2012 presidential election, both candidates find themselves in the same position of having to tone down the campaign rhetoric to give the proper responses to the impending disaster. The media isn't taking a break, however.

President Obama, who at times has looked less presidential than his opponent, sees in the storm an opportunity to take command and reassure the American public that they are in his good hands. The Los Angeles Times followed that lead in a story headlined, "Obama: 'We're ready' for Sandy, election will 'take care of itself'.

Obama spoke after meeting with top security and emergency officials in the situation room, where he was briefed on the trajectory of the hurricane and the coordination of the federal and state efforts to minimize damage. Obama said he had been in touch with governors and other local officials, and urged people to listen carefully to their warnings.

How presidential. What was Mitt Romney up to?  Remember, he's in the exact same position as Obama and has given the exact same response that the election needs to take a backseat to the storm.

However, the Times said he is "electioneering".

Hurricane Sandy's impending landfall, just eight days before Election Day, puts the GOP nominee in an awkward position.

Both men are in the same situation, having to suspend campaigning due to the storm as the election nears. But the Times put a more favorable light on Obama, and cast Romney in an "awkward position."

LA Times can't take a joke when it comes to Romney

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The LA Times has ceased to be a serious news outlet and has instead churned out article after article hammering the Republican candidate. Its "journalists" pounce on anything they think they can spin against him as if they were seasoned political operatives.

Mitt Romney can't even make a joke without having the Times all over him. Almost a week after his wife's life was endangered when smoke filled the cabin of her airplane, Romney joked that he didn't know why "the windows don't open."

An initial Times article quoted him but failed to put it in the proper context that he was joking. We'll let that slide.

But a subsequent article, "Romney mocked for comment about jet windows" went for the kill. The Times would have you believe that a man who has successfully ran companies and a state didn't know why airplane windows don't open.

"The candidate cast doubt on the mechanical design of airplane windows, in a general sense," Times reporter Xiaonan Wang wrote, adding, "Romney's idea doesn't work scientifically."

No, the candidate made a joke. But that didn't stop the LA Times from acting as a forum for a quote from left-wing smear site Daily Kos.

"It'd be like the mile-high club for Seamus, with the added benefit of asphyxiation induced by the low oxygen levels at cruising altitude -- assuming that you manage to avoid having the plane rip apart due to the sudden loss of cabin pressure."

Someone trying to act so smart when it really turns out the comment wasn't serious. That's expected from a partisan hatchetmen, but real reporters? The Times continues:

The candidate's complaint about sealed plane windows quickly went viral on social media. Some are making fun of Romney for not knowing about the risks involved with an open window, while others think it might be just a joke.

At least they mentioned "others" who thought it might be a joke. The Times left room to retreat to the position of "hey, we're just reporting on something that went viral". Mmm hmm. And I'm sure they'd take an Obama joke out of context in the same way.

The Times COULD have talked to one of the "others" that was in the room. The Blaze did. But hey, they're not a respected news organization like the Los Angeles Times.

William Everitt, vice president of Investment Real Estate Associates (IREA), told TheBlaze that he was at the Romney fundraiser in Beverly Hills on Saturday. He said Romney was absolutely joking when he said he doesn't know why airplane windows don't open.

"Basically he was retelling the story and when he said 'I don't know why they don't have roll down windows on airplanes,' he looked at the audience and everyone laughed," Everitt told TheBlaze. "It was a clearly delivered joke...There were 1,000 people there that will tell you the same thing."


LA Times sidesteps Obama foreign policy crisis to spin Romney "missteps"

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Tet Offensive. Watergate. Hostage Crisis. Iran/Contra.  Every administration has a major foreign policy crisis. Obama's was the murder of the American ambassador to Libya at the hands of jihadists. I say "was" because, at least for the moment, the mainstream media successfully spun Obama's massive problem into a Romney defeat.

First, the facts. On September 11, Ambassador Chris Stephens was killed along with three embassy "staff" when armed protesters attacked the American embassy in Benghazi.  He was only the sixth American ambassador to be murdered while in office, and the first since 1979.

Because President Obama has been dogged by criticism that, like one-term president Jimmy Carter, he's weak on foreign policy (particularly in the Middle East), the mainstream media leapt to his defense. Almost miraculously, it diverted all the negative attention onto Mitt Romney and Christianity.

The press effectively slammed the door on any high-profile investigations into the incident, even though questions are rife. Why was security at the consulate not beefed up for September 11th? Why did we ignore the warning of a Libyan official three days before? If the attack spontaneously occurred over outrage over an anti-Islamic video, why did it seem so organized and why were the attackers so well armed? How did they know about Ambassador Stephens' safe house location? Why can't we get a straight story how he died? Isn't it a bit of a coincidence that the attacks happened on September 11th? Was the attack perpetrated by people armed by the U.S. government during the Libyan civil war?

If this happened under George W. Bush's watch, would the media cut him slack if his administration ignored warnings over the attack? If he went to bed while the attack was ongoing, as President Obama is said to have done, would they offer some criticism? They'd be calling for his impeachment. They'd be digging into the story weeks and months later. After all, the New York Times ran 32 consecutive front page stories on the much less severe incident at Abu Ghraib.

Instead, they turned the story into a criticism on Mitt Romney's handling of the crisis. That's right--Mitt Romney, who isn't even president. He supposedly criticized Obama too early. Furthermore, they ignored radical Islamist violence and placed the blame for the region-wide violent protest on the video. Finally, they attempted to cast the couple of lunatics that made the video as representatives of mainstream Christianity. In one day, the Los Angeles Times published the following stories:

Christian charity, ex-con linked to film on Islam

YouTube's role at issue over video that incited Mideast violence

Mitt Romney's Libyan moment (Google+ hangout)

'Innocence of Muslims': Administration asks YouTube to review video

Beyond religion in the Middle East

None of the stories mention Obama's handling of the situation, and each makes excuses for the Mideast violence, namely the video. The "film", a cheesy low-budget high-school -quality YouTube upload, was made by a Coptic Christian--Egyptian-American Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, hardly the representative of mainstream American Christianity the media would have you believe.  Finally, the only time radical Islamist violence was mentioned by the Times in a headline was the lack of it (Iranians protest film mocking Muhammad; no violence reported).

The LA Times was not alone in covering for President Obama. Remember--the New York Times ran 32 front page stories on Abu Ghraib. The media completely ignored Obama's role in this current crisis even though questions abound. Reporters were even caught coordinating questions to pin down Romney down on his response to the gaffe the manufactured for him.

This week, the Obama campaign diverted attention from the foreign affairs crisis even more by leaking video of Romney saying that 47% of the American public is dependent on the government and is not going to vote for him.

Once again, the liberal media caught the pass and ran downfield with it.  Once again the LA Times to the rescue:

Romney: Obama, supporters 'more European than American' in outlook

Obama responds to Romney remarks in David Letterman interview

We, the parasites

New ad says Romney has 'tough luck' attitude toward middle class

Romney, personal responsibility and the '47%' (Google+ Hangout)

Romney advisor predicts 'victims' remark will blow over

Romney comments echo GOP push to have all Americans pay taxes

Conservatives divided on how Romney should speak to '47%'

White House letting Romney's '47%' comment speak for itself

Obama's unlikely ally in battleground state ad war: Mitt Romney

Romney questions viability of two-state solution in Middle East

Romney defends 'off the cuff' remarks on Obama backers as victims

Romney's common touch?

Romney slams Obama backers as dependent on government, tax dodgers

I think the Times' reporters are too busy covering that story than investigating any of the seriously troubling questions still unanswered in the wake of the ambassador's death.

Obamunism 101: a crash course on the president's unique worldview

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With a turning point for America less than two months away, we should know as much possible about the unknown in the race--President Barack Obama.

It's ridiculous that we know so little about the radical past and ideology of the man that has 100% name recognition and that's been leading our country for the last four years. That's a failure of the media. But the information is available for those who seek it out. I intend to highlight individual tidbits over a series of posts leading up to the November election. You won't find far-out claims here or any birtherism, just facts that the media failed to report. We know all about Mitt Romney's dog and his hair-cutting days, but do you ever read in the liberal press that Obama thought of his grandfather as the N word? Or that Obama was raised by radical Marxists?  Or what his religion is? (Hint: He's not a Muslim.)

Let's start the series with the explosive claim that Barack Obama called his paternal grandfather the n- word after he found out he admired British civilization. Pretty explosive stuff. Does it make him a bad president? No. But it's a good example of how negligent the media has been--can you imagine them ignoring it if a prominent black conservative like Condoleezza Rice said it about her grandfather?

Obama's grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was a cook for British imperial forces during World War I. He was imprisoned by them for 6 months and tortured. While the experience apparently left him scarred, he had a grudging respect for Western culture.

Dinesh D'Souza, whose 2016 documentary is now the second biggest political documentary of all time, is one person doing the job that the mainstream media should have done four years ago. And it's not like it took a lot of digging--Obama calls his grandfather a "house n__" in Dreams from My Father. It's right there in the open. But we're just hearing about it for the first time, and it's still not talked about in the elite media.

"My image of Onyango, faint as it was, had always been of an autocratic man--a cruel man, perhaps. But I had also imagined him an independent man, a man of his people, opposed to white rule... What Granny had told us scrambled that image completely, causing ugly words to flash across my mind. Uncle Tom. Collaborator. House nigger."

Obama is disappointed that Onyango didn't oppose whites, and furthermore he's enraged that his grandfather held them in high esteem. D'Souza writes:

According to Sarah Obama, Onyango admired three things about the British. The first was their level of knowledge. "To him knowledge was the source of all the white man's power," she said. Onyango also considered the British to be generally fair-minded. "If you do a good job for the white man," he liked to say, "then he will always pay you well."  Finally, Onyango unfavorably contrasted African organization with Western organization.

 Onyango respected Western civilization a bit too much for Obama's taste. Far from being the race healer the media wanted him to be, Obama shows that he's coming from somewhere radically different than where we thought he was.  

NY Times in sync with Democratic talking points

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Editorial pages should usually be shielded from charges of bias. After all, that's what the editorial is--an opinion of the paper on a subject.  But they shouldn't be partisans, and they especially shouldn't be partisan all the time.

When an editorial page consistently supports one party or ideology over another, that is cause for complaint if the paper continues to dishonestly claim it is objective and straight down the middle. Sorry, if you always have liberal talking points in your editorial you can't claim your paper is straight-down-the-middle. You can have your opinion, but be honest about what your publication really is.

Unfortunately for us, the nation's paper of record continues to spout timed Democratic talking points day in and day out on its editorial page (an ideology that permeates other pages as well, by the way). It's one thing to criticize a party or both parties for stupid things that parties do, but to do a hit piece that coincides perfectly with cheesy liberal campaign commercials is beyond the pale.

Democrats are attempting to score cheap political points by using Tropical Storm Isaac to conjure up images of Hurricane Katrina and juxtaposing it with GOP plans across-the-board spending cuts that include "disaster relief funding and weather monitoring systems."

William Russell, a guest columnist for the Orlando Sentinal, wrote:

Tampa and the Republican convention seem to have dodged the initial impact of Tropical Storm Isaac. But the full impact of its political spin has yet to be felt.

Issac is building power over the Gulf of Mexico as I write this, and the power of the political spin builds as the storm approaches the landfall areas of Hurricane Katrina. While no one wishes for Isaac to follow the map track of Katrina, those living in its path need to prepare for the wind, rain and storm surges. Those following its political track need to brace for the impact of the political spin to follow the storm. Never a group to let a disaster go to waste, the Obama campaign is waiting to unleash the fury of its spin on the storm with a maximum of political effects.

The spin is par for the course for the Obama Administration, but should be beneath the country's most respected newspaper. Coincidentally timed with anti-Romney political ads paid for by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and the Republican National Convention, the Old Gray Lady editorialized:

Tropical Storm Isaac is more than just a logistical inconvenience for Republicans gathered in Tampa: it is a powerful reminder both of Republican incompetence in handling Hurricane Katrina seven years ago, and the party's no-less-disastrous plans to further cut emergency-related spending.

David Axelrod couldn't have said it better.

That is not something you will hear Paul Ryan talk about this week at the convention, nor any of the other lawmakers who make simplistic promises about the power of slashing government spending. But the budgets assembled by Mr. Ryan and warmly embraced by Mitt Romney severely cut spending for emergency preparedness, exactly the kind of money needed in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and scores of other states for this and future storms.

They're not even trying to pretend they are partisans at this point. It's bad enough when they pump up one side all the time, but it's even worse when they mislead readers about the other side.

That is $1.8 billion that will not be available for evacuation equipment and supplies, communications gear that lets first responders speak to one another, and training exercises.

The Times said Mr. Ryan wouldn't want to talk about these cuts, but I suspect the Times doesn't want to talk about all the money that FEMA wasted. They dishonestly list all the good things the money was spent on, and conveniently ignore the bad, like all those debit cards that were handed out like candy.

GAO and Homeland Security audits found that up to 900,000 of the 2.5 million applicants who received emergency aid were "based on duplicate or invalid Social Security numbers or false addresses and names", according to MSNBC. That includes the infamous $2,000 debit cards that were used to buy football tickets, lap dances, and expensive hotel rooms.

What's 900,000 times $2,000? Exactly $1.8 billion, the amount Republicans want to cut.

The Times pulls this every day. It's a disgrace.

LA Times Uses Ann Romney's Local Connection Against Mitt

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The LA Times wants you to know that Mitt Romney is too rich and you should vote for the other guy.

That was the underlying theme of the progressive newspaper's hit piece, "Ann Romney and dressage: A pricey private world", in which it devoted 1,300 words to Ann Romney's expensive hobby.

The Times dug up an old lawsuit that Romney is no longer a party to, which involved a dispute regarding horse she had owned.  In 2010 she was deposed in a "stuffy Simi Valley office building" and discussed how she kept her horse at a Moorpark Ranch, and how riding it helps her cope with MS.

The only reason the Times allocated resources to write this lengthy story and send a photographer to Moorpark to snap photos of the ranch, is to paint the Mitt Romney as a rich, out-of-touch, elite snob who cares little for working people. He's nothing like you, so you should vote for Obama.

As John Nolte points out, the Times devoted 1,300 more words to Ann Romney's horse than it has to the bribery accusation Jeremiah Wright made against President Obama's campaign, and it still refuses to publish a video tape it has of the president praising a man with close ties to terrorism.

Liberal media bias doesn't have to be blatant lies about Republicans. It can be subtle jabs made in concert with overt Democratic attacks on perceived Republican weak points while simultaneously ignoring anything that's bad for their party.

Fun with media bias: treat me like a child edition

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The casual news consumer looks at the news as simply stuff that happened that day. They have no idea that there are machinations at work behind the scenes that try very hard to present the daily events in a certain light. After studying politics for a certain amount of time, you start to see that the news is a form of theater--particularly TV news.

When the curtain goes up, I don't see a hard-hitting anchorman dutifully reporting the important events from around the world. I see actors, stages, scripts, directors, and producers.  Except they aren't there to entertain me--they are creating a program to manipulate us into viewing the world as they do

Why go through the effort of indirectly influencing us--can't they just come out and directly appeal to our reasoning abilities with straight facts? Unfortunately, liberal elites in the news tend to think of people as stupid, or uninformed, or unevolved, or too lazy to listen to reason. So, they need to be manipulated, as one manipulates a child.

Have you ever told a toddler to eat his vegetables like a big boy? Look, we adults ate all of our vegetables, don't you want to be like us?

That's how the media treats us, and here's an example.

I walked into a sandwich shop in Simi Valley Monday. Glancing up at a CNN anchor interviewing Jay-Z on a big screen hanging on the wall, I saw Jay-Z giving his support for President Obama's stance on gay marriage.

After Jay-Z finished, the anchor looked into the camera and said lots of people listen to Jay-Z, leaving the "and you should, too" part unspoken.

That's what you do to children. It's a tiny example, but it's still insulting to the intelligent. 

Fun with Media Bias: Can't win for losing edition

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You know something is prevalent when you can predict it's going to happen.

I got that feeling as I saw the Los Angeles Times' headline on the story about Senator Dick Lugar's defeat in Indiana's primary election after serving 35 years in Congress.

The headline read, "Sen. Richard Lugar defeated by tea party challenger." It's a momentous event for the Tea Party movement, to be able to oust someone with that tenure and those connections with an unknown newcomer.
 
I wondered how the Times was going to spin it into a negative. I didn't have to read very far.

Remember, journalists are supposed to be balanced, objective and fair. The fairest way to write an article like this would be Candidate A defeated incumbent Candidate B by x percentage points.

Instead, we got a subtle jab at the Tea Party. The Times' opening paragraph:

After more than 35 years in the Senate, Richard G. Lugar of Indiana was ousted Tuesday by a tea party challenger in a Republican primary that showed how hard it is for a veteran lawmaker known for his ability to compromise to win reelection in the current political environment.

To put it more bluntly, the Times is setting the tone for the article by saying that this veteran statesman Lugar, who tries to compromise like a mature adult, was cut down by a rabid conservative mob. That's the takeaway you're supposed to get from this, and it's a liberal perspective. The conservative perspective, which wasn't represented the lead paragraph, is that rank-and-file conservatives are fed up with being sold out by unprincipled politicians year after year.

For further proof that this article is an example of liberal bias against a moderate Republican being defeated from the right, we look to see how the Times treated a situation when a moderate Democrat was defeated from the left.

Enter Senator Joe Lieberman, who won praise for working across the aisle, compromise, and bipartisanship, just like Senator Lugar. When Lieberman was defeated in 2006, did the Times mention any of these qualities they find so important in a statesman? Nope

Sen. Joe Lieberman, who angered Democratic voters with his staunch support of the war in Iraq, on Tuesday narrowly lost his party's nomination to Ned Lamont, an antiwar candidate who was unknown seven months ago.

He "angered" people when he worked with Republicans, but Lugar won praise from the newspaper when he worked with Democrats.

The  lesson to be learned here is that the more liberal of two candidates will generally get better treatment by Times writers, a  clear case of media bias.

New info should embarrass national media for prejudging Trayvon Martin case

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The media narrative of the Trayvon Martin case is pretty clear. So far, it's been effective too--a new poll has three-quarters of Americans wanting Martin's shooter, George Zimmerman, to be arrested.

Zimmerman, an overly zealous neighborhood watchman, became suspicious of Martin only because he was black and white people don't want them in a gated community. He followed Martin, whose father lived in the neighborhood. Martin became scared and approached Zimmerman to ask why he was following him. Zimmerman used a poorly worded Stand Your Ground gun law as a loophole to legally shoot Martin point blank in the chest.

At least that's what the media narrative tells us, along with politicians who are eager to whip up racial hatred. However, some new information in the case may completely upend that story.

First, Zimmerman is a Spanish-speaking Hispanic Democrat. So the idea that this is a cut-and-dry example of white conservative racial profiling should have gone out the window pretty early. It didn't.

Next, police found Zimmerman with grass stains on his back, and a bloody nose and face. His lawyer says his nose was broken.

Some witness testimony has the much taller Martin throwing the first punch, knocking Zimmerman to the ground, getting on top of him, and repeatedly slamming his head into the pavement.

One witness, who has since talked to local television news reporters, told police he saw Zimmerman on the ground with Trayvon on top, pounding him -- and was unequivocal that it was Zimmerman who was crying for help.

Zimmerman then shot Trayvon once in the chest at very close range, according to authorities.

When police arrived less than two minutes later, Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose, had a swollen lip and had bloody lacerations to the back of his head.

Zimmerman might not have been the aggressor, if any of that was true. This might not have been "a killing that seems dangerously close to an execution." Trayvon also might not be the innocent the media portrayed him as. They ran pictures of a fresh-faced young man alongside Zimmerman's scary mug and America saw that he really could have been Obama's son, as the president pointed out. The media chose not to run a picture of Trayvon with a slight sneer than the teenager had posted on his Twitter profile. One tweet suggests Trayvon may have hit a bus driver.

The Miami Herald reported that Trayvon had multiple suspensions from school and a school official once found suspicious items in his bookbag after suspecting him of graffiti.

Instead the officer reported he found women's jewelry and a screwdriver that he described as a "burglary tool," according to a Miami-Dade Schools Police report obtained by The Miami Herald.

The day of the shooting, Zimmerman said Martin looked suspicious because he was looking inside windows of houses he passed.

It's starting to look like the media rushed to judgment, yet again, like they did with the white Duke -Lacrosse players who were accused of raping a black stripper.  That story also fit the media's desperation to find black people being abused at the hands of white people. The media looked silly by rushing to judgment in that case too. You might say they were prejudiced.

More facts about this shooting are yet to emerge. It may well turn out that Zimmerman murdered Trayvon. Or not. But it shouldn't be up to people like me to lecture season journalists on waiting for all facts to come out before hanging a guilty verdict on someone's head.

Should the Star have published the race of Simi manhunt suspects?

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Portions of Simi Valley, including two schools, were locked down Tuesday afternoon due to a massive manhunt to catch three men who robbed a jewelry story on Sequoia Ave.

The Star reported that the men ditched a car then fled on foot into a neighborhood. Police cordoned off a wide area and brought in dogs and a helicopter to find the men, whom they considered armed and dangerous.

While ABC News reported "three African-American male suspects allegedly robbed" the store, the Star didn't feel compelled to include a complete visual description of the fugitives--one of whom is still at large--because that would bring up the sensitive issue of race. But do the residents affected by the manhunt deserve to have a full picture of what the suspects look like, for their own personal safety?

It depends, according to Star policy.

Joe Howry, the former editor of the Star, articulated why most newspapers don't repeat the race of suspects--even if most police departments do--in a 2009 editorial.

The Star's policy is to include ethnicity/race in suspect descriptions, provided there is enough detailed information that ethnicity/race is relevant and likely would be helpful in leading to an arrest.

If a large manhunt involving three armed suspects doesn't warrant such details, then you're not going to read many Star stories where race is mentioned (unless it's this or this). Howry tells us why the policy is in effect:

The Star believes that to include ethnicity/race in a general description perpetuates stereotypes and is not precise, accurate or fair. In other words, providing a very broad and general description of a crime suspect that includes race/ethnicity increases the chance that innocent people will be implicated and possibly harmed.

Howry acknowledged that reporting on race "tests the competence and ethics of journalists" particularly when it comes to the "most fundamental of reporting tasks: the description of crime suspects." But he ultimately dismissed critics' claims that excluding racial information from dangerous suspects is a form of political correctness.

"What may appear to be political correctness is, in truth, acting professionally and ethically to do what's right," Howry wrote.

Had the policy been borne of political correctness, it might be more understandable--race is a third rail that nobody wants to touch due to the special-interest firestorm that awaits anyone who does. Instead, the Star's policy is to not "perpetuate stereotypes" that "increases the chance that innocent people will be implicated and possibly harmed." In other words, it's their duty.

On the subject of protecting innocent people, don't the residents of Simi Valley deserve to know what the armed manhunt suspects in their neighborhood look like so they steer clear of them?

Adam Foxman, who reported on Tuesday's robbery, is no stranger to this criticism. In a 2009 Crime Blog entry, he wrote, "We often receive criticisms from commenters and law enforcement officials about our policy in regards to printing the description of a suspect's race..."

Foxman went on to explain--and I'm pararphrasing--that the Star did report that a suspect in a 2009 robbery was black because other descriptions given about the suspect were specific enough not to implicate all black men. Foxman wrote:

One reason we are cautious about printing racial descriptions is that there are potentially negative ramifications of using race as a descriptor. Unlike, say, height, race is not a hard and fast descriptor, and using it without other specific details could lead to profiling that negatively effects people and doesn't really help police, we believe.

Like Foxman, I've also heard criticism from law enforcement officials. Two Ventura County police chiefs complained to me about the Star's policy as well. I'm sure they're comforted to know that journalists are best equipped to decide what information helps the police catch suspects.

In effect, critics of such policies--the Star is by no means alone on this in the industry--contend that willfully withholding important facts regarding the physical description of suspects because of doubts as to whether its readers will form the correct conclusions is a form of advocacy.

That's a slippery path for journalists to tread. If a media outlet sees its role as selecting certain facts to make its readers reach a predetermined conclusion instead of reporting all the facts so they can reach their own conclusions, then we don't have journalists--we have activists, to the extent of which they engage in such practices.

IngeMusings
Topic
This blog attempts to add perspective and context to local and national politics, through a variety of disciplines, such as history, economics, and philosophy--all tempered with common sense. About the author

Eric Ingemunson's commentary has been featured on Hannity, CNN, NBC, Inside Edition, and KFI's The John and Ken Show. Eric was born and raised in Ventura County and currently resides in Moorpark. He earned a master's degree in Public Policy and Administration from California Lutheran University. As a conservative, Eric supports smaller government, less taxation, more individual freedom, the rule of law, and a strict adherence to the Constitution.