March 20, 2010

Unreal: AP Cites Teen Intercom Prank As Wal-Mart’s ‘Latest Minorities/Women Problem

APabsolutelyPathetic0109Following up on a post earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) — a 16 year-old in southern New Jersey was arrested and charged with “harassment and bias intimidation” for getting onto an area Wal-Mart store’s intercom and saying, “Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now.”

Though the company had told the local press Friday evening that it believe that a non-employee had been responsible for the incident, the Associated Press did not report that critical fact (see picture of 7:03 a.m. report here) until mid-morning on Saturday, leaving its readers up to that point to infer that a company employee had perpetrated the act.

Now, even though the worst you could say about the company is that it didn’t protect its public address system from customer access Associated Press writer Bruck Shipkowski is citing the incident as “the latest in a series of problems the retailer has had in its dealings with minorities and women.” How disgusting.

Here are key paragraphs from Shipkowski’s POS (pretty outrageous smear):

Police: Boy, 16, made racial comment at NJ Walmart

A 16-year-old boy who police said made an announcement at Walmart ordering all black people in the southern New Jersey store to leave was charged with harassment and bias intimidation, authorities said Saturday.

The boy, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, grabbed one of the courtesy phones at Walmart’s Washington Township store Sunday evening and calmly announced: “Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now,” police said.

The teen was arrested Friday and released to the custody of his parents; police did not know whether he had a lawyer.

“This was an extremely disturbing event on many levels,” Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton said at a news conference. “Any statements like these that can cause harm or grave concern must be addressed as quickly we possibly can.”

Dalton said the case would be handled in juvenile court in neighboring Atlantic County, where the boy lives. He would not say whether the boy has a criminal record, citing the teen’s age, and would not disclose the teen’s race, saying that did not factor into the investigation.

… Although a manager quickly went on the intercom system and apologized for the remark, many customers expressed their anger to store management. Some community members said Saturday that they’ve heard reports of similar incidents happening at the store in recent months that were not reported to police.

… The incident was the latest in a series of problems the retailer has had in its dealings with minorities and women.

There have been several past instances of black customers claiming they were treated unfairly at Walmart stores, and the company faced lawsuits alleging that women were passed over in favor of men for pay raises and promotions.

By no stretch of the imagination does anything in the final two excerpted paragraphs matters in relation to the current incident. Of course it doesn’t. But that’s what passes for journalism at the Absolutely Pathetic Associated Press.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

In Wal-Mart Intercom Incident, AP ‘Forgets’ To Mention Critical Story Element in Company’s Defense (See Updates — 16 Year-Old Arrested)

Here is the Associated Press’s report on an intercom incident at a southern New Jersey Wal-Mart store as of 7:03 a.m. Saturday (text at link will likely change):

APonWMintercomIncident032010at703am

Naturally, most readers will believe that some Wal-Mart associate thought he was being “cute.”

That’s because “somehow” the wire service “forgot” to reveal a key element of the story that as of 7:03 a.m. Saturday had been known for at least eight hours:

WMintercomIncident031910PhillyReport

A report time-stamped at 8:25 a.m. Saturday at NBC Philadelphia covering the person’s arrest repeats the company’s contention concerning evidence that the person who committed the act was not a store associate.

The story’s placement in AP’s raw news feed (shot taken at about 9:30 a.m.) would seem to indicate that the story’s 7:03 a.m. version was either a significant revision to an existing story or a fresh one:

APrawfeedAsOf930am032010

Gosh, if I didn’t know better, I’d think that the AP was keeping information from its national readers and subscribers in an attempt to make a favorite target of the left look bad during the critical early hours of a story.

Those hallowed keepers of the journalistic flame at the self-described “Essential Global News Network” wouldn’t do that … would they?

Cross-posted at NewBusters.org.

_______________________________________________

Cross-posted Update: The AP’s 10:33 iteration carries the company’s contention –

AP1033amUpdate

This post went up at 9:54 a.m. at BizzyBlog and 10:06 a.m. at NewsBusters. Hmm.

BizzyBlog-only Update: Are “Officials … staying tight-lipped on the arrest” (per the NBC Philly story) because something about the person arrested doesn’t fit the narrative?

Cross-posted Update, 1:30 p.m.: Bulls-eye, it’s a 16 year-old kid —

Police have arrested a 16-year-old boy in the case of a racial comment that was made over the public-address system at a Walmart store in southern New Jersey.

Police said Saturday the Atlantic County teenager was arrested Friday on charges of harassment and bias intimidation. They say he’s been released to the custody of his parents.

So what is his ethnicity?

An Open Letter to Congressman Stupak

Filed under: Activism,Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:35 am

Congressman Stupak,

Word has it that you’re considering caving and voting yes to support the implementation of statist health care.

Since you claim to be fighting the good fight for life, please consider this undeniable truth: The entire health care enterprise is anti-life, regardless of the presence or absence of abortion funding in its provisions.

Rationing is anti-life, and is a guaranteed result.

Death panels” are anti-life, and are a guaranteed result of “comparative effectiveness.”

The people who will be running the health care enterprise are militantly anti-life.

Further, once health care is accepted as a government-guaranteed right, the likelihood that the courts would consider abortion to be a form of “health care” that the government would have to pay for regardless of the legislative language is unacceptably high. I would suggest that this result, effectively gutting the Hyde Amendment, is a near certainty.

Please, please hold firm and vote no on any form of statist health care, and encourage others in your coalition to do the same.

____________________________________________________

Related: At Ace’s place — “Stupak: We Won’t Have a Deal Until Nancy Pelosi Commits Her Unenforceable Empty Promises to Worthless Paper.”

UPDATE (as of 10:57 a.m. at the Corner): “Stupak is ‘Finished with Pelosi.’”

The Corner is doing as good a job as any at keeping up with developments.

There’s also this:

Reps. Driehaus (D., Ohio) and Dahlkemper (D., Penn.), two Stu-Packers, just went into Pelosi’s office. Of the meeting, Dahlkemper says “we’re still working on it.”

Mr. “Allegedly Pro-Life (but not really)” Driehaus, the original post above is also for you.

Positivity: Westport lifeguards to be honored as heroes

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 3:01 am

From Westport, Connecticut:

Published: 01:05 a.m., Friday, March 19, 2010

Last summer, two young lifeguards who never had to administer rescue breaths or CPR during all their summers of lifeguarding, had to do both when a man started to sink under the water at Burying Hill Beach. The Vietnam veteran’s life was truly in the hands of Gordon Kempler and Cooper Whiteside, who were not yet of voting age. They had practiced for a moment like this so many times in the past, but practice often doesn’t truly prepare one for reality.

“When it first happened, I was holding myself back,” Kempler said, “but then I had to take a deep breath, a second where I had to realize, I can’t panic.”

Kempler and Whiteside were successful in sustaining life and for their efforts, they are being honored by the Connecticut Chapter of the American Red Cross at the Lower Fairfield County 2010 Heroes Breakfast March 25 at the Trumbull Marriott. The man’s head, neck and feet were blue after he was pulled out of the water onto shore. He had a very weak pulse, and would actually lose his pulse, but Kempler and Whitestone provided the crucial aid that kept him alive prior to the arrival of a police officer.

Kempler, a 2008 graduate of Staples High School, said the man made a really miraculous recovery “because in my opinion, when I saw him on the beach, with EMS working on him, I didn’t think he had a good chance of making it.”

Unlike Compo Beach in the summer, where there are five lifeguards on duty and five on break all the time, Burying Hill Beach only has two lifeguards at all times. And when one goes on a break, that leaves only one watching the beach.

Whiteside was in the lifeguard chair when he heard a woman scream for help. Kempler was by the lifeguard shack that sits on the top of a hill. Whiteside got to the man first and Kempler called Compo Beach, telling his superiors to send an ambulance. He also grabbed an automated external defibrillator (AED), oxygen and medical kit before making his way down to the beach.

Whiteside said the man had a weak pulse but was not breathing, and so he administered a couple of rescue breaths to get air in his lungs. By this time, Kempler had arrived and the man was coughing up a good deal of water. Both lifeguards turned him over on his side to get all of the liquid out. He was subsequently put back on his back, and was found to have no pulse, which is why Kempler began administering CPR, and did so for about six minutes. Then an officer took over, performing more CPR before EMS got to the scene. Later, EMS personnel hooked the man up to an AED and intubated him. In the end, the man’s life was saved. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

AP: ‘Some’ Obama Health Care Bill Promises Not Kept; Looks More Like ‘Almost All’

NoObamaCareIn a Friday piece of presidential protection prose promulgated by the Associated Press, writer Erica Werner correctly identified a number of significant “unfulfilled commitments” relating to proposed health care legislation, and then attempted to make excuses for why they didn’t happen.

Werner’s work was conveniently accompanied by a heavily downplaying headline — “Final health bill omits some of Obama’s promises” — while her rundown of the specifics in reality ended up being “all but two”:

It was a bold response to skyrocketing health insurance premiums. President Barack Obama would give federal authorities the power to block unreasonable rate hikes.

Yet when Democrats unveiled the final, incarnation of their health care bill this week, the proposal was nowhere to be found.

Ditto with several Republican ideas that Obama had said he wanted to include after a televised bipartisan summit last month, including a plan by Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to send investigators disguised as patients to hospitals in search of waste, fraud and abuse.

And those “special deals” that Obama railed against and said he wanted to eliminate? With the exception of two of the most notorious – extra Medicaid money for Nebraska and a carve-out for Florida seniors faced with losing certain extra Medicare benefits – they are all still there.

For the White House, these were the latest unfulfilled commitments related to Obama’s health care proposal, starting with his campaign promise to let C-SPAN cameras film negotiations over the bill. Obama also backed down with little apparent regret on his support for a new government-run insurance plan as part of the legislation, a liberal priority.

But was it all the president’s doing?

In the cases of the insurance rate authority, the Republican ideas and the special deals, it came down to Obama making promises that Congress didn’t keep. He can propose whatever he wants, but it’s up to Congress to enshrine it into law.

Arguably, the president could have foreseen that outcome, and was making a low-risk p.r. move by floating proposals – dismissed by critics as insubstantial anyway – whose demise he couldn’t be blamed for.

While the White House worked hard to trumpet Obama’s plans for the rate authority, his embrace of bipartisanship and his opposition to special deals, the administration hardly advertised the lack of follow-through. Understandable, certainly, but perhaps not the new way of doing business that Obama promised to bring to Washington.

Werner also continued the wire service’s annoying habit of saving some of the more important news for the very end when she quotes a health policy consultant who says that “Democrats will have three years to tinker with health reform before universal coverage goes live.”

Geez, after 2,000-plus pages in heaven knows how many Senate and House iterations, with who knows how many new bureaucracies, taxes, mandates, fines, and penalties, we will have to endure another three years of “tinkering” until we know what we’re really going to face in 2014 if the current madness disguised as legislation “passes” this weekend (“passes” is in quotes because the constitutionality of attempt is extremely dubious)?

If so, this will mean that the length of the Wall Street Journal has called “the uncertainty economy” will bear quite a resemblance to how certain not-free countries used to run things, — i.e., five-year plans — while endless establishment press protection prose continues to proliferate.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.