March 22, 2011

Four NYT Journalists Freed; Paper Won’t Describe What Happened to Lynsey Addario as ‘Sexual Assault’

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 3:27 pm

First, obviously, thank goodness they’re free.

But not unharmed.

Here’s coverage from the UK Daily Mail (bolds are mine):

Sexually assaulted and told ‘You’ll die tonight’… but spared as she’s American: Female journalist’s horror at the hands of Gaddafi’s men

A female war photographer from the New York Times revealed tonight how she was repeatedly sexually assaulted during her nightmare hostage ordeal in Libya.

Lynsey Addario was one of four Times journalists have now been released after being held captive by pro-Gaddafi forces.

During their six-day detainment, the Americans were beaten and threatened with being decapitated and shot.

Miss Addario, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, gave a harrowing account of her brutal treatment at the hands of their Libyan captors in an interview given just hours after her release.

After she and her colleagues were hauled out of a car at a checkpoint near the eastern city of Ajdabiya, one of the Libyans punched her in the face and laughed at her.

‘Then I started crying and he was laughing more,’ she told the Times.

One man grabbed her breasts – the start of a pattern of sexual harassment she endured over the ensuing 48 hours.

‘There was a lot of groping,’ she said. ‘Every man who came in contact with us basically felt every inch of my body short of what was under my clothes.’

As she was being driven away from Ajdabiya, she said another of her captors stroked her head and told her repeatedly that she was going to be killed.

Now let’s go to the Times’s coverage of their employees’ release.

Though the detailed descriptions are similar, readers will search in vain for any kind of reference to sexual assault. The strongest term used is in the following sentence:

“Then I started crying,” she recalled. “And he was laughing more.” One man grabbed her breasts, the beginning of a pattern of disturbing behavior she would experience from her captors over the next 48 hours.

“Disturbing behavior”? That’s a term you use to describe someone who serially sulks, or has fits of anger, not someone who commits acts of sexual aggression which are crimes in civilized society.

This search at the Times demonstrates that the paper is not generally allergic to the term “sexually assaulted.”

What’s more if you look at the search results, you’ll see that the Times didn’t hesitate on March 16, shortly after its own reporters were captured, to describe CBS correspondent Lara Logan as having been “sexually assaulted” in Cairo last month.

So why not acknowledge the obvious in Ms. Addario’s case? The Times may believe that it’s protecting its photographer’s dignity. But in the process, it is whitewashing her captors’ behavior, and exhibiting an obvious double standard while doing so.

David Sirota’s Surreptitious Anti-1980s Screed

A decade-bashing political polemic disguised as a cultural critique.

Note: This column went up at Pajamas Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Sunday.

The Left has been attempting to recast the reality of the 1980s since at least the middle of that decade. David Sirota is the latest to go on offense — stealthily.

Here are four of the more important things I remember from the 1980s:

  • In 1980 or 1981, while driving to lunch with a CPA firm coworker through the area where I had grown up, I said something like, “You know, we might as well get used to gazing at these homes from the outside, because there’s no way we’re ever going to be able to own one of them.” My rider agreed without hesitation. At the time, inflation hovered at around 13%. Interest rates were out of control; the prime rate was at times over 20%. Unemployment was high, and getting worse.
  • Being proven wrong by buying a home in 1983.
  • Being proven wrong again, this time buying a new home in 1986 after an 18-month out-of-town assignment.
  • In what I believe was January 1985, before Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration, watching an extraordinarily bitter and spiteful Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter telling CBS News (probably on 60 Minutes) that Reagan had in essence (possibly paraphrasing) “made it okay to be a racist again.”

After the Carters’ conniption, I turned my back on the Democratic Party, and have seen no reason to change my mind in the subsequent quarter-century.

The fact that the 1980s were going rather well was not lost on director Oliver Stone, whose 1987 movie Wall Street was deliberately written not to chronicle the truth, but to maliciously depict the decade as one of unfettered avarice, and its active participants as a collection of conscience-free robber barons.

The latest and perhaps most underhanded attempt to rewrite the decade, aided and abetted by a gullible, cooperative establishment press, comes from the moonbat mind of David Sirota.

Sirota’s book, Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now–Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything, just came out on Tuesday — and no, I’m not interested in putting any money in the guy’s pocket by buying it. I don’t have to, because Sirota’s background and the “clever” media coverage he is receiving give away his game.

Sirota is a longtime far-left Democratic activist. His Wikipedia entry, which “may have been edited by a person who has a conflict of interest with the subject matter” (imagine that), indicates, among many other lefty labors, that he has spent time at the Center for American Progress, as a press aide and spokesperson for Vermont Socialist Congressman (now Senator) Bernie Sanders, as a regular columnist at The Nation, and as a political consultant for Ned Lamont’s ultimately losing 2006 attempt to take out usually liberal but Iraq War-supporting Senator Joe Lieberman. Sirota also has had a morning drive talk show since November 2009 at KKZN, Denver’s 27th-rated “progressive” station.

Almost none of the aforementioned information about Sirota got into USA Today’s March 10 PR piece — er, I mean, report — on his then-impending book. You will search in vain for the words “Democrat,” “progressive,” or even “liberal.” USAT reporter Craig Wilson merely informs us that Sirota is “a syndicated columnist, author and radio talk-show host.” Sirota is also 35, which would have made him 13 or 14 at the end of the decade over which he claims expertise.

His core premise about the 1980s is as childish as his age during that decade — not that he’s upfront about that premise. Oh, there are a couple of slip-ups. USAT’s front-page tease tells us: “Charlie Sheen is big again” (Sheen starred in Wall Street), and “so is greed and anti-government feeling.” Wilson laughably writes: “The Cold War loomed.” Actually, Craig, it was over before 1989 ended.

If you get halfway through the video at the online version of USA Today’s article, you get a taste of what you will see in the book; Sirota says as much in one of the article excerpts below.

In the video, David takes viewers to his childhood bedroom, which is “inadvertently a museum to the 1980s. It really honors the 1980s.” After showing off some of his memorabilia, Sirota lays out the following 1980s honorifics, conveying a predictably perverse “progressive” perspective (bolds are mine):

  • “Video games militarized our thinking.”
  • “We were going in one direction as a country for a while before we hit the ’80s. And the 1980s intensified things that we were moving away from before the 1980s. It intensified militarism, it intensified racism, it intensified greed, it intensified narcissism, embedded in its pop culture. That’s what the 1980s did, when you look at that historical era.”
  • “The reason to look back on the actual 1980s is to see exactly how that change happened. Because if we want something different from those things — if we want something different than racism, narcissism, greed, and the like, then we have to realize that those things are a departure from where we were going.”
  • “[W]hat I’m trying to say in the book (is that) the calendar may not say 1980s, but we are still looking at the world in many cases through an ’80s mindset. … You had a 1950s, you had a 1960s, you had a 1970s, and the then the rest of it moving forward has been the 1980s in the way we look at race, the militarism, narcissism, our sense of community. All of these things remain informed by the ’80s.”

Racism? As I demonstrated several weeks ago, blacks and Hispanics made unprecedented economic progress during the decade. Additionally, graphs such as this one at James Lindgren’s recent Daily Caller column on the topic show that the 1980s was a decade of sharp declines in racism across the board — with white Democrats, as is still the case today, betraying a bit more racism than white Republicans. Sirota’s spider and the fly strategy on race is especially galling. He wants to lure you into the book with newspaper platitudes like “(the fact) that race was being publicly discussed and black cultural figures were ascending in the ’80s was a good thing,” so he can hit you over the head with his racism rants once you buy.

Narcissism? I can think of two presidents — one from the 1990s and another who currently occupies the Oval Office — whose pictures might as well be next to that word in the dictionary.

Militarism? Reagan rebuilt the military and ended the Cold War after his predecessor had allowed our capabilities to dangerously decay. Sirota and leftists are still insufferable ingrates after all these years.

Greed? It took off in corporate suites after 1993, thanks to ridiculous tax-law changes that made executive salaries over $1 million nondeductible. In came the era of out-of-control stock options.

Sirota is right about one thing: We were indeed “going in one direction as a country … before we hit the ’80s.” That direction, as seen in the economic conditions I cited earlier and in Jimmy Carter’s timid, naive, hollow presidency, was “straight down the tubes.” Thank God Ronald Reagan and the 1980s changed that.

Unfortunately, we currently have a president who is determined to run the country even worse than it was run during the late 1970s. If David Sirota thought we were going in a good direction during the Carter era, he should be positively thrilled with where we’re headed now. Very few others are.

Positivity … But For How Long?

From an Investors Business Daily editorial yesterday (bolds are mine):

Baby Joseph Is Going Home

A Canada court had ruled that under socialized medicine their baby must die in the hospital. Now he’s in the U.S., getting the care his parents, not the bureaucrats, want.

Joseph Maraachli, who’d been set to have his ventilator removed against his parents’ wishes at an Ontario hospital last month, got a tracheotomy Monday morning and is doing well, his family says. The procedure was denied him under a system of medicine that may be coming to a hospital near you courtesy of ObamaCare.

His parents, Moe Maraachli and Sana Nader, took Joseph to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis on Sunday after trying unsuccessfully to get him the simple procedure at London Health Sciences Centre, a hospital in Ontario, Canada. Doctors report he is resting comfortably.

His parents will soon be able to take him home, which was their initial wish.… the parents have spent precious time battling courts and medical boards as to just how and where their son should die.

“He’s a human,” Moe Maraachli told Fox News. “He has a right to fight.”

But Ontario Superior Court Justice Helen Rady recently ordered the couple to agree to take Joseph off his ventilator. The court was upholding a decision already made by Ontario’s Consent and Capacity Board, which some here might call a death panel.

His parents defied the court order to consent to the removal of the breathing tube. They feared Joseph would die a painful death if taken off the ventilator and wanted a tracheotomy performed so they could take Joseph home. If he is to die, they said, he should die in his own home in his own bed surrounded by those who love him.

The passage of ObamaCare here immediately raised concerns that decisions regarding what medical care will be available and who will get it, even to the point of deciding whether a person’s life is worth the expense, will be decided by uncaring bureaucrats more concerned with cost effectiveness.

Don’t think the case of baby Joseph can’t happen here. Unless ObamaCare is repealed, the day will rapidly come when bureaucrats, not patients and parents, will not only decide what care we get, if any, but also how, where and when we should die.

“You can’t have your baby back. He must stay here, and he must die here.”

Outrageous — and coming to a hospital near you, if Obamacare is not stopped.

Parental control over treatment decisions for their children = Liberty.

Government-run health care, where bureaucrats decide = Tyranny (“arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority”).

Positivity: Couple shares marriage preparation through blog

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 8:44 am

From Kansas City, Missouri:

Mar 20, 2011 / 01:06 pm

Once upon a time, a bride-to-be confided her hopes and thoughts on her upcoming marriage to only a few — her sister, a best friend, perhaps only to her diary.

Today, thanks in part to Pope Benedict’s continuous call for both lay people and the Church to use social media to evangelize and spread the Gospel message, on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops web site,, a young couple blogs about their courtship, their engagement and their preparation for Catholic marriage.

Sara Carlson, 24, and Justin Kraft, 35, have just started to blog. In fact as of March 7, their second post was up on the site. Their blog is entitled, “Learning to Say I Do.” The couple met three years ago through a Kansas City-St. Joseph diocesan Young Adult Ministry “City on A Hill” retreat, and plan to marry June 25 at St. Francis Xavier Church in St. Joseph.

Sara grew up in a small town in the Iowa corn belt, and graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville with a double degree in Business Management and Marketing. During a summer internship in public relations at the amusement park, Worlds of Fun, Sara fell in love with “the hustle and bustle” of Kansas City, and moved here after graduation. She had been active in the Newman Center at NW Missouri State, which led her to work for the church, taking the job as communications coordinator for St. Charles Borromeo Parish.

Justin, a native of South Dakota, served as a Fellowship of Catholic University Students, FOCUS, missionary for four years, before obtaining his doctorate from the University of Alabama. He now teaches exercise science at Missouri Western University in St. Joseph, and serves as faculty advisor for the university’s Newman Center.

The couple is going through the diocesan marriage preparation, in addition to full-time jobs, wedding planning and phone calls to each other every night at 9 p.m.

“Learning to put together a budget for two,” Justin said, “make decisions that aren’t just good for me but good for us, and deal with issues that are a part of marriage, hey, this is everyday life. I’m trying to start valuing my time with Sara as I will when we’re married. And we learn to make accommodations. But I’m gaining more than I’m giving up.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Overnight Engine-Starter: Wis. Judge Sumi’s Conflict(s) of Interest

Cindy at Fairly Conservative and Mary at FreedomEden broke this story yesterday. RedState, Gateway Pundit, and Doug Ross, among others, have helped promulgate it. I’d rate the odds of the establishment press doing anything with the information at nearly zero.

I have a potential tidbit to add.

FreedomEden’s Mary writes: “Jake Sinderbrand, son of Judge Maryann Sumi, poses a bit of a problem for his mother.” Sumi is the county judge who on Friday temporarily blocked implementation of the collective bargaining-related law passed by the Wisconsin legislature and signed by Governor Scott Walker.

You see, Jake Sinderbrand is “a former field manager with the AFL-CIO and data manager for the SEIU State Council.” Both organizations have members who are employed in Wisconsin’s public sector.

That’s already a pretty clear conflict of interest, one would think. My tidbit after the jump possibly adds to it: