June 4, 2011

Additional Reasons Why Mark Halperin’s Omissions of Herman Cain at Time Are Inexcusable

herman-cain_052111Congrats to Tim Graham at NewsBusters for writing up a post (“Are Time and Mark Halperin Racist? Herman Cain Omitted Twice in GOP Oddsmaking”) linked by Matt Drudge (headlined “Time Magazine Ignores Black Candidate in Race”) flagging an egregious and arguably deliberate omission of Herman Cain’s name in Mark Halperin’s coverage of the race for the GOP presidential nomination at Time Magazine. Tim noted that Halperin has handicapped the race twice (May 23 and June 6), but left Cain out each time.

Tim pointed out that Cain’s omission is hard to forgive, given that Cain, whose background includes extensive business turnaround experience, a stint as Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve in Kansas City, and a number of years as President of the National Restaurant Association, as well as more current involvements with talk radio and Tea Party activism, “participated in the first presidential debate on May 5 to high praise and formally announced on May 21.”

There are two additional items which make Halperin’s second exclusion of Cain appear virtually smoking-gun deliberate:

  • In a Gallup survey released on Tuesday, May 24, more than likely a week before Time’s June 6 issue was put to bed, Cain, as reported by Juana Summers at the Politico the next day, “Cain leads all his potential rivals in “positive intensity,” calculated by measuring the difference between the potential candidates’ strongly favorable and strongly unfavorable ratings.” Gallup’s graphic intensity representation is as follows:


  • For those unimpressed with intensity ratings for supposed unknowns, there’s an IBOPE Zogby poll released on Monday, May 23, which shows Cain with an outright lead over the rest of the GOP field. Cain, Chris Christie, and Mitt Romney came in with 19%, 16%, and 11%, respectively. Every other candidate in the field polled at under 10%. Kerry Picket’s reaction at the Washington Times: “Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain star meter is rising among the field of GOP presidential primary candidates undeclared Republicans.”

The point here isn’t to assert that the items noted or Cain’s debate performance prove that the Georgian is the front-runner. The point is that in the face of the data noted by Graham and now yours truly, you have to possess a special combination of one or more of the following four items — ignorance, arrogance, deliberate bias, and/or outright racism — to ignore Cain’s presence in the race. Ignorance would appear to be a long shot, as it seems virtually inconceivable that a political reporter at Time Magazine would be completely unaware of all three items (the May 5 debate performance, the Gallup intensity poll, and the Zogby poll) demonstrating Cain’s legitimacy as a candidate.

So, Mark Halperin, which one or more of the four items just mentioned explain your blatant, unprofessional oversights?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

NYT: Kevorkian Was ‘Fiercely Principled’

At the New York Times yesterday (appearing on the front page in today’s print edition), Keith Schneider’s Jack Kevorkian obituary described the late assisted suicide practitioner as “fiercely principled.”

An advanced search on that term (in quotes) indicates that the Old Gray Lady has only used it to describe a real human being one other time since 1981, in reference to composer Peter Maxwell Davies in January 2009. The same Times search done on 1851-1980 comes up empty. Think of all the eminently nobler and saintly people who have passed through this life during the past 160 years. Not one of them was ever described by the Times as “fiercely principled” during their lives or after their deaths. Amazing.

Additionally, the Times has had some difficulty adequately describing the nature of Kevorkian’s “accomplishments.” In the obit’s window title and currently at the paper’s home page, Kevorkian is headlined only as someone who “backed assisted suicide.” The story’s actual headline at the web obit and in today’s print edition is still somewhat non-descriptive: “Dr. Jack Kevorkian Dies at 83; A Doctor Who Helped End Lives.”

Schneider outrageously gives Kevorkian partial credit for spurring the growth of hospice care and heightening doctors’ sensitivities to patients’ pain. I’m not kidding. Additionally, the obituary’s content will leave many readers with the mistaken impression that all of Doctor Death’s victims were terminally ill. They weren’t.

Here are several of the most offensive paragraphs from Schneider’s odious obit (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the medical pathologist who willfully helped dozens of terminally ill people end their lives, becoming the central figure in a national drama surrounding assisted suicide, died on Friday in Royal Oak., Mich. He was 83.

In arguing for the right of the terminally ill to choose how they die, [1] Dr. Kevorkian challenged social taboos about disease and dying while defying prosecutors and the courts. He spent eight years in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder in the death of the last of about 130 ailing patients [1] whose lives he had helped end, beginning in 1990.

Originally sentenced in 1999 to 10 to 25 years in a maximum security prison, he was released after assuring the authorities that he would never conduct another assisted suicide.

His critics were as impassioned as his supporters, but all generally agreed that his stubborn and often intemperate advocacy of assisted suicide helped spur the growth of hospice care in the United States and made many doctors more sympathetic to those in severe pain and more willing to prescribe medication to relieve it. [2]

… In Oregon, where a schoolteacher had become Dr. Kevorkian’s first assisted suicide patient, state lawmakers in 1997 approved a statute making it legal for doctors to prescribe lethal medications to help terminally ill patients end their lives. In 2006 the United States Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that found that Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act protected assisted suicide as a legitimate medical practice.

During the period that Oregon was considering its law, Dr. Kevorkian’s confrontational strategy gained wide publicity, which he actively sought. National magazines put his picture on their covers, and he drew the attention of television programs like “60 Minutes.” His nickname, Dr. Death, and his self-made suicide machine, which he variously called the “Mercitron” or the “Thanatron,” became fodder for late-night television comedians.

In 2010 his story was dramatized in the HBO movie “You Don’t Know Jack,” starring Al Pacino as Dr. Kevorkian. Mr. Pacino received Emmy and Golden Globe awards for his performance. In his Emmy acceptance speech, he said he had been gratified to “try to portray someone as brilliant and interesting and unique” as Dr. Kevorkian. Dr. Kevorkian, who was in the audience, smiled in appreciation.

… Jack Lessenberry, a prominent Michigan journalist who covered Dr. Kevorkian’s one-man campaign, wrote in The Detroit Metro Times: “Jack Kevorkian, faults and all, was a major force for good in this society. He forced us to pay attention to one of the biggest elephants in society’s living room: the fact that today vast numbers of people are alive who would rather be dead, who have lives not worth living.” [4]

Fiercely principled and equally inflexible, he rarely dated and never married. [3] He lived a penurious life, eating little, avoiding luxury and dressing in threadbare clothing that he often bought at the Salvation Army.


  • [1] — It is a historical fact that at least a couple of those who committed suicide with Kevorkian’s assistance were not terminally ill. Additionally, Schneider identifies Doctor Death’s first victim as “Janet Adkins, an Oregon teacher who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.” Ronald Reagan lived almost 10 years after his Alzheimer’s was identified. Schneider “cleverly” dodges this inconvenient truth about the health of Kevorkian’s patient by describing his advocacy as relating to “the terminally ill” while characterizing his handiwork as involving “ailing patients” who, as noted, were not always terminally ill. Many if not most readers won’t catch Schneider’s weaselly, disgraceful distinction.
  • [2] — If “all generally agreed” that Kevorkian “helped spur the growth of hospice care” and ” made many doctors more sympathetic to those in severe pain,” why didn’t the Times writer quote anyone to that effect? It would appear that “all generally agreed” might in this case really mean “I believe.”
  • [3] — Ah yes, the euthanasia theme song, “life not worth living.”
  • [4] — As noted in earlier paragraphs, the Times has applied the term “fiercely principled to a real human being only one other time in 160-plus years.

In the annals of historical revisionism, Kevorkian’s Times obit is a definite Hall of Shame contender.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.


UPDATE, June 5: Commenter Billy Rubin has a great post on Kevorkian. Read the whole thing, but here a few excerpts —

In reality, Kevorkian was … a creepy zealot obsessed with death who knew nothing about actual patient care.

… He was praised for his compassion despite the fact that he had not only not taken care of living patients except during his internship, but had never received any training of any kind in treating patients with depression (common enough among the terminally ill), palliative care, or any of the diseases that he claimed to treat.

… In short, Dr. Kevorkian-the-Caring was a total media fabrication. He was a murderer, and if anything was treated gently by the justice system.

… As for judging whether a life is worth living, that’s much more straightforward. Physician’s have no business judging the worth of any of their patient’s lives. That is playing God.

Jack Kevorkian can only hope that God exercises more compassion with him than Kevorkian did with those who killed themselves with his help.

Mitt Romney Hearts Globaloney

Filed under: Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:32 am

RomneyNo0808Rodney Graves at Wizbang thinks this “effectively” ends Objectively Unfit Mitt Romney’s presidential run. We should be so lucky.

From Reuters:

“The world is getting warmer”: Romney

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney broke with Republican orthodoxy on Friday by saying he believes that humans are responsible, at least to some extent, for climate change.

“I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that,” he told a crowd of about 200 at a town hall meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire.

“It’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors.”

The world is NOT getting warmer, and there is plenty of evidence to that effect. I’m not saying that. Global warmists have said that – in their own e-mails, when they thought no one outside their cult would read them.

So Mitt is a full-fledged true believer in what yours truly has been calling “globaloney” (the unsupported belief that the earth is getting warmer, that humans are materially contributing to the warming, and that unnecessary, standard of living-lowering and potentially crippling changes in energy and other policies are necessary to combat it) for about five years.

Is there anything sensibly conservative (a redundant term) about Mitt Romney?

You go, Mitt Romney. Go … away.

Positivity: Boy hailed as hero after river rescue

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:58 am

From Eel Ground First Nation, New Brunswick:

Published Monday May 30th, 2011

Near-tragedy | 11-year-old pulled friend from water, then ran to call for help

A boy is being praised as a hero after an innocent romp through the woods with a friend turned into a rescue operation Friday afternoon.

Brad Denny and Julian McCormack, both 11, are neighbours in Eel Ground. They were playing on the edge of a steep cliff Friday that hangs about six metres over the Miramichi River.

Rain throughout the day made the already rugged ground treacherous, said Const. Eric Anderson of the Sunny Corner RCMP.

As the boys played, Denny tried to climb down the cliff by holding onto a sapling and using it as a rope. Denny lost his grip and fell backwards off the cliff, Julian said.

“He was just trying to get down,” he said.

Anderson said Denny fell about 10 feet (three metres) off the cliff, hit a ledge and then fell another 15 feet (4.5 metres). The boy suffered injuries to his leg.

As if the fall wasn’t bad enough, the long, dangerous walk to where the boy was stranded made it almost impossible for rescuers to reach him from the shore.

“It was too steep and treacherous,” Anderson said.

The situation looked bad for a while. A Coast Guard helicopter in Halifax was contacted, but Miramichi firefighters responded with a boat, which was used to rescue Denny from the rugged shore.

Michelle Patles, Julian’s aunt, was among the crowd waiting on the shore as the Miramichi Fire Department boat came into view on the river.

“They were exploring the shore and they got too close,” Patles said. “They were just doing what boys do.”

However, Julian did something most adults would never consider doing. He went over the cliff after his friend.

“My nephew crawled down there and hauled him out of the water,” Patles said.

After pulling Denny to safety, Julian climbed up the cliff face and ran to get help.

“My nephew’s a hero,” Patles said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.