May 15, 2010

Holder’s ‘Haven’t Read It’ Arizona Immigration Law Admission Gets Little Establishment Media Coverage

This is one of those “you know the ending, but someone has to take note anyway” media bias posts.

On Thursday, NewsBusters colleague Noel Sheppard revealed that Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder had told an oversight hearing of the House Judiciary Committee the following about his knowledge of Arizona’s recently pass immigration law-enforcement measure:

I have not had a chance to, I’ve glanced at it. I have not read it.

… I have not really, I have not been briefed yet.

… I’ve only made, made the comments that I’ve made on the basis of things that I’ve been able to glean by reading newspaper accounts, obviously, looking at television, talking to people who are on the review panel, on the review team that are looking at the law.

It will surprise almost no one who visits this site that Holder’s admitted ignorance about a routinely misrepresented law — misrepresentations that have led to calls for boycotts of Arizona, a PC-obsessed cancellation of a girls high school basketball team’s hoop dreams, and hysterical hyperventilation at Holder’s Justice Department as well as by the President of the United States himself — has received very little establishment media attention.

There is one interesting exception to this at the Washington Post, where Jerry Markon hit Holder pretty hard. Here are a few paragraphs from Markon’s dispatch:

Holder is criticized for comments on Ariz. immigration law, which he hasn’t read

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has said that Arizona’s tough new immigration law could drive a wedge between police and immigrant communities. He has expressed concerns it could lead to racial profiling, and he has made it clear that his Justice Department is considering a lawsuit to block the legislation from taking effect.

But what Holder has not done, as least as of Thursday, is read the law: an admission that continued to draw criticism Friday from some talk-radio hosts and conservative Web sites.

The fuss began with a simple question from Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday.

“Have you read the Arizona law?” Poe asked.

“I have not had a chance. I grant that I have not read it,” Holder acknowledged.

Poe, after helpfully pointing out that the 10-page law is “a lot shorter than” the Obama administration’s health-care overhaul bill, said he couldn’t understand “how you would have concerns about something being unconstitutional if you haven’t even read the law. It seems like you wouldn’t make a judgment about whether it violates civil right statutes, whether it violate federal preemption concepts, if you haven’t read the law.”

Holder said he based his public comments about the legislation on reading news reports, watching television and talking to Justice Department lawyers who are reviewing it. “I’ve not reached any conclusions as yet” about the law’s constitutionality, he said, adding that he will soon “spend a good evening reading that law.”

Before making too much of Markon’s mashup, readers should realize that it’s datelined 4:11 p.m. on Friday, May 14, just in time to be ignored, and that it seems not to have made it into Friday’s or Saturday’s WaPo print edition.

Elsewhere, it’s slim-to-none pickings:

  • At the Associated Press’s main web site, a search on “Eric Holder Arizona” (not in quotes) returns nothing relevant.
  • The same search at the New York Times returns nothing relevant. The two May 14 items only appear at the top of the paper’s search results because there’s a link to the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona ruling at those web pages. There is also nothing relevant at the Times’s Caucus blog or its Opinionator blog.
  • A Google News Search for May 13-15 on “eric holder arizona immigration law read” (not in quotes; string was necessary to separate Holder’s immigration law comments from other unrelated items) returns 95 items. This is light coverage for an admission such as Holder’s, and the roster of the 95 contains very few establishment press outlets. One prominent exception, as usual, is Fox News. Another notable link is at Investors Business Daily where the paper calls for Holder to resign.

The betting here is that Holder isn’t going anywhere as long as there’s no pressure from the lapdog press, where an incompetence-betraying comment such as Holder’s would have reached front-page headline status at least 48 hours ago.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

In Ohio, Gov. Strickland Bitterly Attacks Challenger John Kasich

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:08 pm

John_Kasich Strickland1020Note: This post originally appeared at the Washington Examiner’s OpinionZone and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Friday.

___________________________________

I guess when your track record stinks to high heaven, it’s the only place to go to try to score campaign points.

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, who has presided over the state since January 2007, during which time its unemployment rate has roughly doubled to its current 11%, decided yesterday that the issue Buckeye State voters will be most interested in when they go to the polls in the fall will be GOP challenger’s John Kasich’s eight-year employment at Lehman Brothers, which ended over 18 months ago.

As reported by Reginald Fields at the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

… the Democratic incumbent on Wednesday used his first major campaign speech of the year to go on the attack, painting a picture of former Republican Congressman John Kasich for voters. And the portrait was less than flattering.

… Strickland, who does not usually go negative in campaigns, nearly used his entire 25-minute speech to accuse Kasich of being an out-of-touch Wall Street tycoon whose most recent job was with Lehman Brothers, the failed banking giant whose 2008 collapse helped trigger a national recession.

And Strickland said Kasich is ducking media questions and trying to distance himself from his record in Congress for supporting trade agreements that hurt Ohio jobs before he went on to reap the rewards of Wall Street at Lehman from 2001 to 2008.

Lord have mercy. Setting aside Fields’ howler about how Strickland “does not usually go negative,” it’s as if Ohio’s current chief executive thinks that the race is for Governor of Lehman instead of Governor of Ohio.

In May of last year, here is how the Associated Press described John Kasich’s performance when he was last involved in national governance:

Kasich, a 9-term Congressman from Ohio, was the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Budget Committee in 1997 that balanced the nation’s budget for the first time in more than 30 years. He said that budget paid down the largest amount of debt in American history.

Yes, the AP was observing the obvious, namely that Kasich was a major player in creating the flush federal budgets of fiscal 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001.

This happened without tax increases. In fact, a major element of the federal government’s fiscal turnaround was a 1997 capital gains tax cut.

Ohio under Strickland has been reduced to begging the administration in Washington for a bailout. Even that wasn’t enough, as late last year (with the help of lapdog Republicans in the Ohio Senate), Strickland increased income taxes retroactive to January 1, while dishonestly portraying the exercise as a “tax cut delay.” Sadly but predictably, Ohio’s media played along.

During Strickland’s term, Buckeye State residents have also seen the personal information of hundreds of thousands disappear without a trace, chronically late financial reports, a faith-based initiatives director who was arrested and imprisoned for running a prostitution ring, and drug-dealing by inmates selected to help out at the Governor’s Mansion. In true Clintonian tradition, we’ve even seen the governor tell us that a subordinate wasn’t really lying under oath when she was really lying under oath.

As to the relevance of Strickland’s “argument” about Kasich’s stint at Lehman, the GOP candidate has frequently said, “Blaming me for Lehman Brothers is like blaming a car dealer in Zanesville for the collapse of General Motors.”

If I were Ted, I’d be attacking Kasich too, because no other credible arguments are available. “Kasich-Lehman” is probably all we’ll hear until November. It’s hard to see how it will work.

AP Report on Perceived Quality Notes Ford, Kia Strides, Toyota Decline, Ignores Two State Wards’ Low Scores

FordYesGMchryslerNo1109A few weeks ago (covered at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the Associated Press tried to pass off a poll it had conducted with its partner GfK Roper Public Affairs and Media (inexplicably held for 40 days) as showing that “Americans (are) shifting to US cars.”

Actually looking at the poll’s detailed results revealed that Americans are “shifting to US cars” made by Ford, and either shifting away or staying away from those made by the two wards of the state known as Government/General Motors and Chrysler.

They’re still at it, just not quite as blatantly. A brief AP item yesterday reported that automotive residual data collector Automotive Lease Guide’s Spring 2010 Perceived Quality Study (PDF here) had shown a significant decline for Toyota and significant improvements at Ford and Kia.

Guess who AP “forgot” to mention? When you see the graphic results, you will see who, and instinctively understand why.

Here’s a portion of AP’s unbylined report:

APonALGcarqualityResults051410

Here’s what the AP “somehow” forgot:

ALGperceivedCarQualityApril2010

Gee, AP could have noted that GM’s and Chrysler’s brands have mostly improved. Unfortunately, that would have also meant noting that Chrysler’s primary brands now own the basement (having been passed by Kia), and that GM or Chrysler brands and former brands occupy 8 of the bottom 11 slots. Better to pass on saying anything about the still-foundering efforts of President Obama’s car czars, I suppose.

No, there isn’t a separate article about GM or Chrysler. The results of an AP main site search on “Automotive Lease Guide” (not in quotes) shows the story discussed in this post is the only one.

ALG also published a similar chart for luxury vehicles (Page 3 at the PDF) the AP chose not to cover. It shows that Toyota’s Lexus brand has dropped six points in the perceived quality in the past six months (ALG does its survey two times a year), and has dropped from first to third, closely trailing Mercedes and BMW.

All in all, AP was mighty selective. Well, at least a complimentary call-out to Ford beats what the wire service did a few weeks ago.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Positivity: Vatican spokesman not surprised by record Fatima Mass turnout

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:59 am

From Fatima, Portugal:

May 14, 2010 / 09:01 am

Fr. Federico Lombardi, the spokesman for the Vatican, said it was not a surprise that hundreds of thousands of people were in Fatima for Pope Benedict’s Mass at Fatima yesterday. He recognized a “vitality” in the response and commented on the Holy Father’s observation that the prophetic mission of Fatima is not complete.

Estimates put the number of pilgrims in Fatima for Wednesday morning’s Mass at around half a million between those who filled the enormous esplanade that sprawls before the Church of the Most Holy Trinity and the tens of thousands of others who joined in from the adjacent streets.

“The crowd of about 500,000 faithful that have participated this morning in the Mass celebrated by the Pope on the esplanade of the Shrine of Fatima is not a surprise,” said Fr. Lombardi in an Avvenire newspaper report. He added, “for the Christian people, Papal trips are always occasion for a great mobilization.”

Fr. Lombardi noted that there were more people there than in the times of John Paul II, who also was joined by thousands of pilgrims on May 13, 2000 when he celebrated the beatification Mass for Jacinta and Francisco and on two other occasions.

The Vatican spokesman pointed out that the recently surfaced sex abuse scandal could have led to the perception that the vitality of the Church and people’s attention to the Pope had be been “obscured.”

“But this did not happen,” he said, “this vitality is not in crisis because of the discussions of months past, and the fact that the force of the faith manifests itself in such an evident way is very encouraging.”

Included in the Pope’s homily during Mass was the observation that the prophetic mission of Fatima is not complete because Mary’s call to the faithful to offer themselves to God for the reparation of sins and conversion of sinners continues to be relevant. …

Go here for the rest of the story.