August 11, 2008

AP Finally Names Detroit Mayor’s Party — To Faciliate ‘Playing Politics’ Charge Aimed at GOP AG

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:49 pm

KwameHatWhatParty0808.jpgAs the latest episode of Detroit’s Kwame Kilpatrick Calamity has played out, we learn that there is a supplemental directive to add to the Associated Press’s apparent commandment (“Thou shalt not name a Democrat’s party”) about politicians in trouble whose party mascot happens to be the donkey.

Several previous Kilpatrick-related AP reports, including this one from two weeks ago, have been cited at NewsBusters and elsewhere as examples of how closely that commandment is followed.

But in this evening’s report by the AP’s Ed White, you’ll see that there is an important exception (bold is mine):

Mich. AG: Detroit mayor violated bail terms again

A prosecutor on Monday accused Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick of violating his bond in an assault case by spending time over the weekend with his sister, one of 11 witnesses listed by authorities.

Kilpatrick and Ayanna Kilpatrick were together at their mother’s house Saturday, a day after he was released from jail for violating bond in a separate perjury case, said Doug Baker of the Michigan attorney general’s office.

The mayor is charged with assaulting two investigators who were trying to deliver a subpoena at his sister’s house in July in the perjury case.

In a court filing, Baker said the mayor had been ordered to have no contact with witnesses.

Kilpatrick’s defense team, however, believes the mayor is not in trouble. Attorney Jim Thomas said Magistrate Renee McDuffee clarified Friday that Kilpatrick could have contact with his sister.

In a statement, Kilpatrick spokesman Marcus Reese accused state Attorney General Mike Cox, a Republican, of trying to score political points with the latest filing against the embattled Democratic mayor.

The complete rule appears to be “Thou shalt not name a Democrat’s party, unless it helps you facilitate an attack on a Republican.”

Separate from the media bias angle, it would appear to do the Democrats, especially presumptive nominee Barack Obama, no good to have Kilpatrick still hanging around in November. Politico’s Glenn Thrush lists the situation in Michigan as the third of “7 worrisome signs for Obama” in his quest for electoral victory:

Michigan’s in play for McCain. In the year of the downturn, the hard-hit upper Midwest should be prime Obama country. Instead it’s a potential minefield. Obama is still ahead by two to five points there — similar to margins of victory enjoyed by Gore and Kerry in the last two presidential contests — but McCain has quietly crept up over the past month and could vault ahead if he anoints ex-Gov. Mitt Romney as his running mate. Simmering tensions between predominantly black Detroit and its white suburbs could hurt Obama. And McCain’s surrogates were handed a gift in the jailing of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, an Obama supporter.

I would think that the longer the Kilpatrick saga drags on, the worse it is for Obama, regardless of whether or not McCain picks Romney (disclosure: I strongly oppose Romney’s selection by McCain).

It’s probably time for someone at AP to remind Ed White of a different, and even more important, wire service commandment: “Thou shalt not provide aid and comfort to an offending Democrat if his or her continued presence hurts the electoral prospects of other Democrats further up the ticket.”

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Rasmussen: Voters Say Media Bias Bigger Problem than Campaign Money

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:35 pm

Based on Rasmussen poll results reported today, it looks like twenty or so years of very hard work by the Media Research Center and affiliates, including just over three years at NewsBusters, has paid some dividends.

Despite the years of hype over how money is the root of all campaigning evil by the press, the respected polling organization reports voters’ belief that there is a bigger problem in political campaigns: media bias.

Here is some of what today’s report says:

Voters overwhelmingly believe that politicians will “break the rules to help people who give them a lot of money,” but most say there’s a bigger problem in politics today—media bias.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 55% believe media bias is more of a problem than big campaign contributions. Thirty-six percent (36%) disagree and think that campaign cash is a bigger problem.

People believe media bias is a bigger problem even though 63% believe most politicians will break the rules to help campaign contributors. Just 14% believe most politicians would refrain from breaking the rules for a donor. Forty-four percent (44%) say that lobbyists and campaign contributors have too much influence on John McCain’s positions. Forty percent (40%) say the same about Barack Obama.

Just 22% believe it would be a good idea to ban all campaign commercials so that voters could receive information on the campaign only from the news media and the internet. Sixty-six percent (66%) disagree and think that, despite the annoyance factor, it’s better to put up with an election-year barrage of advertising rather than rely on the news media.

Especially crucial is the view of independents: “Among those not affiliated with either major party, 47% say media bias is the problem while 43% hold the opposite view.”

This means that at least half, and probably more, of swing voters are on the alert for biased reporting. It’s probably more than that, because it’s possible to believe that bias is a significant problem while believing that money is a bigger one. Dovetail that with an earlier Rasmussen poll showing that voters believe overwhelmingly that “most reporters are trying to help Barack Obama win the election this year” (49%, vs. only 14% who believe they’re helping McCain) and it seems very likely that Barack Obama won’t be getting the degree of default acceptance from voters that Bill Clinton largely received in 1992.

That would be progress.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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ADDENDUM: It’s reasonable to believe that the 14% who believe the press favors McCain largely consist of those who know better but won’t tell the pollsters the truth.

Things I’d Like to Post About Today ….. (081108, Morning, Round 3)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 9:37 am

But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • Guess which possible Veep being considered by the presidential candidate I refer to as JW3M3 (John Sidney the Mad Maverick McCain III) is heavily invested in Russian oil companies, both personally and through partnerships at his old firm — oil companies that were implicated in the Oil For Food scandal? Given the Russia-Georgia hostilities, I would humbly suggest that this is proof that Mitt Romney’s investments should have been a relevant issue long, long ago. The fact that he did not become the GOP’s presidential nominee is a big bullet dodged — at least as big as the one the Dems might have faced with John Edwards. Certainly now that Russia’s renewed militarism has our attention, the selection of Objectively Unfit Mitt as Veep would be the “Bain” of McCain’s existence. Romney should do everyone a favor and voluntarily withdraw himself from consideration. Now.
  • John Fineman at Newsweek tries to criticize McCain and Obama equally over energy — The only problem is that McCain DOES want to “do everything,” just as Fineman’s newly anointed “energy expert” Paris Hilton suggests.
  • This is disgraceful (“Plans to release a novel about Prophet Muhammad’s child bride A’isha have been scrapped by US publishers Random House over fears it could spark violence”; HT Powerline). So is the lack of reaction.
  • Taxman links to TaxProf who lays out the 10 highest and lowest state tax burdens. There is a definite red-state low, blue-state high tendency.
  • Students can’t spell well — So a British criminology lecturer at Bucks New University in England wants to surrender and say spelling errors are okay. Not that I’m perfect on this score, but they’ll have to pry the keyboard from my cold, dead hands before I give in to that.
  • There are rumblings of a Dem convention revolt and Hillary Clinton stealing the nomination. She’s not exactly acting like it’s inconceivable. Given that Obama is a virtual non-stop gaffe machine who has made Dan Quayle look like Einstein, you can never rule it out. I still doubt it will happen, even given the fact that superdelegates, and even many “pledged” delegates, can change their minds.

Things I’d Like to Post About Today ….. (081108, Morning, Round 2)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 8:36 am

MadMag0808Obama.jpgBut I Don’t Have Any Time For (graphic HT to Doug Ross):

  • Georgia on my mind — Anyone else think that the USSR v. Georgia hostilities reinforce the need to maximize the development of our own God-given natural resources — ASAP?
  • Consider the hype as prices went up, this is the most invisible story in America — “Retail gasoline prices have fallen for the 24th straight day, a AAA survey of gas station sales showed.” The Georgia situation may have ended that.
  • Georgia presidential candidate reax — McCain 1, Obama 0.
  • Columbuser, who has just returned to active blogging (welcome back!), has another addition to the “By their fruits, you shall know them” list.
  • Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Democrat, was charged Friday with two felony assaults. The Detroit Free Press, as usual, didn’t identify Kilpatrick as a Democrat.
  • Jerome Corsi, in his book “The Obama Nation,” has done the work traditional media has mostly refused to do for almost two years. The need for follow-up work on “The One” I refer to as “Mr. BOOHOO-OUCH” (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein “Obambi” Obama – Objectively Unfit Coddler of Haters) was clear in various late-2006/early-2007 BizzyBlog posts (or in the comments), at least including here, here, here, here, and here. Though Corsi’s book has debuted at Number 1 on the New York Times best-sellers list, it’s getting the la-la-la treatment in the press. As the John Edwards saga shows, press non-coverage doesn’t matter quite as much any more. In fact, non-coverage can make a story more visible if non-coverage becomes an adjunct story.

Things I’d Like to Post About Today ….. (081108, Morning, Round 1)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 7:33 am

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • By their fruits, you will know them.
  • By their intimidation tactics, you will see degree of their belief in the supremacy of their ideas in open debate. Answer: None.
  • Cindy Sheehan is on the November ballot against Nancy Pelosi for the Speaker’s seat in Congress. I still say she had a chance if she had gone for a Democratic Primary upset, especially since it was held on a date different from the presidential primary. She has almost no chance now, though it will be interesting to see if she makes Pelosi sweat just a little.
  • In Minnesota, US Senate candidate, multi-state tax scofflaw, political execution “jokester,” all-around not-funny guy, and (surprise!) Democrat Al Franken is searching for votes, one at a time.
  • Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, like me yesterday, thinks that John Edwards could survive the Rielle Hunter affair and make a political comeback. Two questions: In a nation of over 300 million, he’s among the best available? Or is it that he’s among the best lefties available?
  • ARIFPOTUS (Accused Rapist and Impeached Former President of the United States) Bill Clinton has been offered a speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention, which he will apparently accept. OK, so why not John Edwards? Related historical reality check from Anchoress: “Remember, had it not been for Drudge, Newsweek would have spiked Isikoff’s story on Clinton and Monica, too.”

Positivity: With Silver, Torres Sets Age Record for Medalist

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Beijing (link requires free registration):

August 10, 2008

Twenty-four years after Dara Torres first dived into an Olympic pool for a freestyle relay, she took the plunge again.

There would be no gold medal Sunday morning to match the one she won with the American team as a teenager, but Torres, now 41, would have no problem keeping up with most of the younger set.

Her much-anticipated anchor leg kept the United States in second place behind the Netherlands, whose team set the world record in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay in March and who won the Olympic gold comfortably in a time of 3 minutes 33.76 seconds.

Torres and the Americans took silver in 3:34.33 and the Australians the bronze in 3:35.05. But for all but the delighted Dutch, Torres’s remarkable comeback was the keepsake from the event that concluded the morning session. The morning also featured the first South Korean gold medal in swimming, by Park Tae Hwan in the men’s 400-meter freestyle, and world records in each 400 individual medley, by Michael Phelps of the United States and Stephanie Rice of Australia.

Torres was already the oldest Olympic female swimming medalist in history, after taking gold in the medley relay in Sydney in 2000. But she is now the oldest swimming medalist of either gender, breaking the century-old standard of Britain’s William Robinson, who was 38 when he won the silver in the 200 breaststroke in the 1908 Games.

But training standards, swimsuit technology and women’s sports have evolved beyond the imagining of those from Robinson’s era.

“I think there are a lot of middle-aged women and men who I know and who have contacted me or e-mailed me or stopped me in the street and told me I was an inspiration to them,” Torres said. “As I’ve said from the beginning of this, age is just a number.

“When we’re in the water, I know the water doesn’t know what age we are.”

After deciding to return to elite competition last year, Torres has sculpted her middle-aged body into an instrument capable of swimming faster than in her younger years, raising some doubts along the way about her methods.

Torres, well aware of such concerns in an era where doping has tainted too many sports, has submitted to extra drug testing in an attempt to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she is beating the biological clock fairly.

She has now won 10 Olympic medals and is the first American swimmer to compete in five Olympics. …..

Go here for the rest of the story.