August 13, 2008

Bias-Based Briefs (081308)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 4:09 pm

Since they come so fast and furious, I’m thinking that maybe a somewhat daily group of short shots noting examples of media bias might be useful to compile.

We’ll see. Let’s go:

  • Only the New York Times (HT NaugBlog) could “cover” late July’s Cuyahoga County, Ohio raids by calling a law enforcement exercise involving 200 G-men an “inquiry” (yes, they used “investigation,” too, but give me a break), and “somehow” overlooking the fact that the county building was raided, not just the homes of Democrats Jimmy Dimora and Frank Russo.
  • In an Alice in Wonderland-like report, The Associated Press’s Angus Shaw treats Morgan Tsvangirai, the person who beat Robert Mugabe in a March election, as the guy who’s the barrier between humanitarian basket case Zimbabwe’s current mess and a semi-legitimate power-sharing government with Mugabe. It’s clear that Tsvangirai’s “problem” is that, well, he wants real power. South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki, who has cut Mugabe way too much slack for at least a decade and gotten a free media pass virtually the entire time, says that Tsvangirai needs “more time to reflect.”
  • Prediction: Almost no one in traditional media will report Charlie Rangel’s disgraceful and stereotyping remarks about those who oppose amnesty and those who want to actually, like, enforce the immigration laws.
  • I’ll bet there could be reports like this one from Chicago all over the country that the Al Gore-loving media won’t do much with, at least not prominently — “August is the wettest and often the muggiest month of the year. Yet, summer heat continues in short supply, continuing a trend that has dominated much of the 21st Century’s opening decade. There have been only 162 days 90 degrees or warmer at Midway Airport over the period from 2000 to 2008. That’s by far the fewest 90-degree temperatures in the opening nine years of any decade on record here since 1930.” The Windy City suffered a disastrous heat wave in 1995, when the temps reached 98 degrees or higher four days in a row, including consecutive days within that period of 106 and 102. An estimated 600 heat-related deaths occurred. There’s still a few weeks left of serious potential heat, but so far this year, That Toddlin’ Town’s highest temperature has been 91.
  • Has anyone in traditional media outside of the UK, which thanks to intense competition still has a vibrant press (TV, that’s another matter), ever told us what a joke wind power is (HT Michelle Malkin; original heads-up from e-mailer Dan Scott)? I mean, this would be funny if it weren’t so financially misguided:

    James Oswald, an engineering consultant and former head of research and development at Rolls-Royce Turbines, who led the study, said: “Wind power does not obviate the need for fossil fuel plants, which will continue to be indispensable.

    “The problem is that wind power volatility requires fossil fuel plants to be switched on and off, which damages them and means that even more plants will have to be built. Carbon savings will be less than expected, because cheaper, less efficient plant will be used to support these wind power fluctuations.

    “Neither these extra costs nor the increased carbon production are being taken into account in (UK) government figures for wind power.”

    I’ll betcha they aren’t being taken into account here in the US either. T. Boone’s windy idea looks pretty T. Boneheaded.

  • Tom Maguire’s nomination for Items Traditional Media Will Ignore: Anything and everything, other than going after a precious a few mistakes (out of what, maybe 5,000 factoids?) in Jerome Corsi’s “The Obama Nation.” Corsi’s book has basically done the work traditional media should have done during the past two years. Complaining about the fact that it’s in essence 99.8% or so accurate is just poor sportsmanship.

Mandatory Volunteer Work to Attend Obama Convention Speech?

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:03 pm

This is one of those “I hope against hope that I’m wrong, but I doubt it” stories.

According to a Denver TV Station (HT Michelle Malkin), many of those who are expecting tickets for Barack Obama’s Invesco Field speech on the final night of the Democratic Convention in the Mile High City are being told they have to do volunteer work for the campaign — this week — to qualify.

Will this story get any traction outside of Denver in traditional media outlets? As I said, “I hope against hope that I’m wrong, but I doubt it.”

Read the whole thing, but here are the details:

The Obama campaign has begun notifying people who got tickets for the big acceptance speech at Invesco Field the final night of the convention.

Many of those who received tickets told 7NEWS they have come with a caveat.

Those viewers said the campaign told them they must volunteer six hours for the campaign by Friday in order to get a ticket.

“I got a call that if I want the tickets I have to volunteer two shifts of three hours apiece — for one ticket. If I want two tickets, then it’s four shifts of two hours apiece,” said Berenice Christensen.

….. Dozens of Obama supporters are already volunteering. They are volunteers who believe working for tickets to the biggest night of the convention is a small price to pay.

“They’re trying desperately. I mean, they’re almost panic-stricken, they want tickets to hear his acceptance speech,” said volunteer Terry Andrews.

….. Christensen said she too is excited, but a part of her believes the process for signing up was disingenuous. “I mean they made it seem like any Coloradan could go, and now you have to work for your ticket.”

A Breckenridge resident e-mail 7NEWS with a similar experience:

“My experience matches what you are hearing from other sources. Because of my work schedule and other activities going on, I did not sign up for the All Star tickets. But I was called by the campaign and told that I had to volunteer this week in order to get tickets at all. I finally agreed to one three-hour shift, but it left a bad impression for this lifelong Democrat …..”

….. The Obama campaign insists that volunteering is not a requirement to get a ticket.

The article goes on to note that the Obama campaign is now claiming that you have to volunteer to get better “all-star seating.” But if you don’t volunteer, it appears that “you retain your place in line for what is called a ‘community credential.’”

Someone in the media ought to be on the lookout for overbooking, which I would think is a legitimate danger, given the mechanics of how things are being handled. Or maybe overbooking is a deliberate plan to make it appear as if the teeming masses can’t get enough of this guy.

Can you imagine the traditional media outcry if the GOP convention and its stereotypical mean, exploitative capitalists started demanding “slave labor” as a condition for entry — and either incompletely disclosed the requirement, or only disclosed it after the fact?

Another personal reax: Maybe this guy really does think he’s “The One.”

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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UPDATE: Could this be an indication that the planning and budgetary problems noted by the New York Times in July (reprinted here at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune) are so acute that the DNC and the campaign need thousands of free hours to get things ready on time and sort of on budget?

UPDATE 2: Don Singleton tracked back here, and I inadvertently deleted it. Here’s the link to his post. Sorry, Don.

Positivity Follow-up: Dianne DeNecochea

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 12:06 pm

Monday’s Positivity post about Dara Torres inspired an e-mail, which I will excerpt:

Tom,

I like your approach of Positivity on BizzyBlog. It reinforces a number of surveys that indicate people are optimistic despite the constant drumbeat of the mainstream media telling us how terrible things are and how depressed people are.

….. A similarly impressive sports story is that of Dianne DeNecochea, a professional volleyball player who, like Dara Torres, conquered the big 4-0 and motherhood and made it to the quarter-finals of the 2008 Olympic trials. She will be interviewed live at Wednesday at 6 p.m. PT, 9 p.m. ET:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dryessis

Again, it’s a very impressive achievement to lose in the quarters, but Dianne doesn’t get the publicity that Dara does, because Dianne didn’t win, and we all know the media only likes winners.

I would appreciate it if you would let your readers know about Dianne and encourage then to listen and to call in Dianne’s show to speak with her or ask questions.

Victor L. Lee

Consider it done, Victor.

A profile of DeNocochea’s career is here.

Things I’d Like to Post About Today ….. (081308, Morning)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 9:31 am

But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • Hanging question I: I have all the sympathy in the world for the health challenges Elizabeth Edwards faces. Having said that, how do we know she is telling the truth about when she learned of her husband’s affair with Rielle Hunter? Given the brazen political and media calculations John Edwards has engaged in through all of this, why should we automatically assume that she is? This latest tryst, er, twist makes a lot more sense if Edwards never told his wife until the National Enquirer first reported the Edwards-Hunter relationship.
  • Hanging Question II: Readers know that I hold no brief for “The One” I refer to as “Mr. BOOHOO-OUCH” (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein “Obambi” Obama – Objectively Unfit Coddler of Haters). But why is it the default assumption that Hillary Clinton would have been the beneficiary if Kos Kids’ darling John Edwards had been forced out of the race just before Iowa? It seems more likely that Edwards’s predominantly anti-war, anti-establishment high-taxers would have gravitated towards Obama. Yeah, I know the National Enquirer has very strong Clintonian connections, but that doesn’t mean they are incapable of miscalculation.
  • Hanging Question III: The latest National Enquirer story has all sorts of things you would think papers other than the New York Post and the TV networks might report. Don’t hold your breath.
  • I intensely resent how the cynical operators of FreeCreditReport.com continue to give capitalism a bad name (previously noted here).
  • Any time I come across an article like this one about election-related fraud, I know I’m going to see ACORN in it, usually pretending to have found the problems on their own, describing the situation as an isolated incident, blah-blah-blah. I have rarely seen any other group involved. Update: Of course, as soon as I write that ….. I see that payday lenders are out-ACORNing ACORN (though on a smaller scale; HT Weapons of Mass Discussion). Birds of a feather, as they say.
  • I would have thought that refusing to compete against someone from another country in the Olympics under orders from the national team, as has occurred at least once with an Iranian refusing to compete against an Israeli, would be grounds for that nation’s banishment from the Games. Guess not. Despite the marvelous athletic heroics, so much about the “Olympic Movement” is so deeply disappointing on so many levels.
  • Making it a part of one of my “Things I’d Like to Post About” entries will hopefully ensure that I note it more often — the 130th Carnival of Ohio Politics, ably assembled by blogger, ABJ “The Point” blogger, and all-around rising star Ben Keeler, is here. The previous two posts, compiled by the lovely and gracious Lisa Renee at Glass City Jungle and Jill at Writes Like She Talks are here and here. Pho’s most recent contribution is here.

Positivity: Friends save man’s life at swimming hole

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Waterloo, Ontario:

WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP — Police are commending the quick action of a man’s friends after a 22-year-old nearly drowned in West Montrose.

At about 8:30 p.m. Thursday evening, the man was swimming in a pond with a group of friends on a farm on Letson Drive. He is a non-swimmer, but stayed in the shallow end, police said. When his friends swam to the deep end to hop out and get changed, the man slid into the deeper water and struggled. He slipped under the surface.

The man was under water for about two minutes until his friends pulled out his body which, police say, was starting to turn blue. The rescuers then performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until the man started to breathe again.

“They saved his life,” said Sgt. Merv Knechtel, of Waterloo Regional Police in Elmira. “His friends should be recognized for a heroic effort.”

Woolwich fire crews and police arrived and continued CPR. He was taken to St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener for further examination. …..

Go here for the rest of the story.