October 24, 2011

AP on Rubio Assumes He’s Still the One on the Defensive Over Parents’ Cuban Departure

MarcoRubio1011Despite all the huffing and puffing over Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s alleged “embellishing” at the Washington Post, the fact is that his parents were Cuban exiles (meaning number 5 at link: “anyone separated from his or her country or home voluntarily or by force of circumstances”). That fact essentially undercuts everything about the WaPo article except the problem with the opening sentence of the biography at Rubio’s Senate web site, which has been corrected.

That didn’t stop two Associated Press writers, Brendan Farrington and Laura Wides-Munoz from doing quite a bit of embellishing of their own (a better word would be “mischaracterizing”) in an item currently time-stamped early Saturday morning, while pretending that the rebuttal to the Post written by Mark Caputo at the Miami Herald doesn’t exist. The AP pair’s pathetic prose has two particular howlers which simply must be debunked.

First, there’s the matter of whether Rubio is getting a break from the Cuban exile community which he somehow doesn’t deserve (bolds are mine throughout this post):

So far, prominent members of the Cuban American community are standing by him, including the head of one of Miami’s oldest and most respected exile groups, who said Friday that he is willing to give the rising GOP star and tea-party favorite a pass.

Uh, no, that’s not what the Cuban exile lead the AP pair quoted said:
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Questionable Polling: GOP Presidential Preference Questions Vary Widely

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:35 pm

Herman Cain has been ahead of Mitt Romney in the most recent GOP presidential candidate polling average at Real Clear Politics by a microscopic margin since late last week.

Readers might be surprised to know that the wordings of the presidential preference questions at the various polling organizations differ significantly. In my view, the same person might given a different answer depending on which organization’s polling question was asked. Here are the examples, with the Cain-Romney split identified in each instance (links are to fairly large PDFs in some instances):

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AP Item About Obama’s Upcoming Vegas Visit Calls It ‘Sin City’ Three Times in Headline and First Two Grafs

If you didn’t know any better (actually, I think I do), you would think that perhaps Cristina Silva at the Associated Press is doing all she can to minimize the tourism-damaging things President Barack Obama has said about Las Vegas while tasked with reporting on his upcoming visit there.

Three times in her short afternoon report — once in the item’s headline and twice in the item’s first two paragraphs — Silva refers to Las Vegas as “Sin City.” I realize that it’s a legitimate nickname and that the town isn’t seen as a mecca of virtue, but whatever happened to referring to the place as, well, “Vegas” — especially since Obama has never used the “Sin City” nickname in a speech? A graphic capture of the short item’s first four paragraphs follows (link will probably be revised during the evening):

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AP Pair Discovers Religion at ‘Occupy Wall Street,’ Turn Blind Eyes to Profanity, Violence, and Other Sins

Yesterday (since updated to early morning Monday), in what should be seen as a thoroughly embarrassing report — but mostly won’t be — the Associated Press’s Jay Lindsay in Boston, with help from Karen Matthews in New York, devoted almost 1,000 words to the involvement of various religious clerics in the ongoing Occupy Wall Street activities.

Before getting to their report, I’ll bring readers up-to-date on the starkly irreligious, anti-religious, and, yes, downright sinful elements of Occupy Wall Street which Lindsay and Matthews chose to totally ignore in their report. The video involved comes from MinnesotaMajority.org, and follows the jump (Direct YouTube; HT Powerline; Warning – some strong language and disturbing images):

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Previously Arrested NYT City Room Freelancer Seen On Video Leading ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Discussion

NatashaLennard101411(Originally posted overnight; carried forward because of the story’s importance)

Lee Stranahan at BigGoverment.com has a scoop which bears out suspicions expressed by Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters and blogger Jammie Wearing Fool earlier this month. How the Times and other peripherally affected press outlets respond will be telling.

You see, Natasha Lennard, a freelancer at the Times’s City Room blog, Politico, and Salon, who was arrested on October 1 during the Brooklyn Bridge “march,” escaping (in her words) “with only a disorderly conduct violation summons, in no small measure because of my editors’ contacting Police Headquarters to ensure my swift release,” has been seen on tape leading a discussion of Occupy Wall Street participants, leading to obvious questions about what business she has ever had reporting on developments in this ongoing story. Stranahan’s opening paragraphs (bolds are mine):

A newly-discovered video–filmed by Occupy Wall Street supporters themselves–reveals that New York Times reporter Natasha Lennard is not merely covering the protests, but is also apparently taking part in planning and executing them.

In the video, Lennard is seen participating as a featured speaker in a discussion among anarchists, communists, and other radicals as they examine the theory, strategy and tactics of the Occupy protests.

The discussion was held at the left-wing Bluestockings book store in New York on Friday, Oct. 14, and filmed and promoted by the radical magazine Jacobin. The audience included participants in, and apparent organizers of, the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in lower Manhattan.

Lennard, who has also written for Politico and Salon, is identified in the video by the panel’s moderator as a freelancer for the Times, and also as the Times reporter who was arrested along with seven hundred activists on the Brooklyn Bridge on Oct. 1.

When Lennard reported on her arrest at the time, she appears to have concealed her own apparent role in the Occupy protests, implying that her arrest was an abuse of press freedom. She used her affiliation with the Times to win her early release.

Sympathetic media expressed shock that a reporter had been taken into custody by allegedly overzealous police. Only sources like Newsbusters questioned that narrative at the time. The video suggests that the skeptics were correct in their suspicions.

Watch the video yourself at BigGov. Lennard begins responding to a participant’s rambling question about how the movement should coalesce at about the 1:30 mark. Here’s the transcript of her response:

Well, that’s what I don’t know. Let’s experiment. But I do think there are a few conditions that disallow for that that are at play now. So if we can address those, maybe it can be a more open possibility.

The state of the square now…[people] would not speak at the park. Because being an outright anti-authoritarian or an anarchist is not really something that people like to be live streamed around the world with a fucking police pen around you. So there is a silencing that’s sort of gone on without much addressing, because to address it would be to out oneself.

So if you’re talking–and this also addresses the question of escalation; it’s like–yes, there are a lot of people talking about many different ideas. Do they all want all of those ideas live streamed to the entire world on the assumption that everything is permitted and legal, when it quite clearly isn’t?

So there is already a tendency in the park that means backing away from anti-authoritarian tendencies that don’t fall into pre-existing permitted institutional structures, or that can’t be coded by them. So I think there’s a problem with the way the park operates now that doesn’t allow for this kind of coming together.

Natasha Lennard is part of the story now, and more than likely has been since shortly after it began, if not earlier. Assuming that’s the case, why was she ever allowed to cover it?

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UPDATE: Noel Sheppard’s related post at NewsBusters is here.

UPDATE 2: Lee Stranahan has e-mailed with the following information –

(another gentleman and) I are planning to go to OWS to shoot video, right in the belly of the beasts. We’ve done a fundraising drive to cover expenses and we’re close to what we need.

Here’s our PayPal link.

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (102411)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:00 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder will follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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George Will seems to think that a GOP primary challenge to Indiana’s Dick Lugar isn’t worth the effort. Well, his Heritage Action score is only 70%, which puts him to the left of … John McCain (75%) and Mitch McConnell (71%). I’d say it’s time to give Richard Mourdock a chance.

Getting Robbedupdate: Ohio Senator Rob Portman’s Heritage Action score is worse than Lugar’s (67%). Both gentlemen scores put them below 30th place.

Leftovers from last week which shouldn’t be left behind:

  • At CNBC“Energy Department Altered Loan-Related Releases”
  • At The Truth About Cars — “From Akerson (at General Motors) To Ghosn (at Nissan), The Mood Of (Auto) Industry Leaders Darkens”
  • At the New York Post (“Protest mob is enjoying rich diet”) — “while your family of four may have been forced to resort to Hamburger Helper … hordes of Occupy Wall Street protesters instead feasted on organic chicken, spaghetti Bolognese, roasted beet and sheep’s milk-cheese salad and wild heirloom potatoes.”
  • At Cleveland.com“The White House is proposing a $100-per-takeoff charge on commercial, corporate and cargo planes.” Key sentence: “Airports like Cleveland Hopkins International Airport that are heavily populated with 50-seat regional jets could be especially affected because smaller planes have fewer passengers to absorb the $100 per plane fee, the airline executives (at United and American Airlines) warned.”
  • At Hotline on Call (“Announcing Retirement, Dem Congressman Bashes Obama”) — Specifically, “‘Home foreclosures are destroying communities and crushing our economy, and the Administration’s inaction is infuriating,’ (California Democrat Dennis) Cardoza said.” Oh, they’ve taken “action,” Dennis. It’s just designed to freeze the market and home values right where they are — or worse.
  • From the Associated Press, your tax dollars thrown to the wind — “More than 2 million taxpayers – including some prisoners claiming students as dependents – apparently wrongly collected $3.2 billion in college tax credits last year, according to a report issued Thursday by a federal investigator. The suspect credits represent more than a fifth of the $15.5 billion in college credits the report says went to nearly 8.9 million taxpayers through 2010.”

Positivity: Finding a Long-Lost Holocaust Hero

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Massachusetts, and Eastern Europe:

Posted Oct 18 2011

How does an American Jew go about finding the Ukrainian non-Jew who, 65 years ago, saved his mother’s life by hiding her in his hayloft for three years?

For Ethan Schaff, a lawyer from Massachusetts, it was like looking for a human needle in the haystack of Eastern Europe.

In the end, after three and a half long years, Schaff succeeded in finding not the man who saved his mother – he had died in 1963 – but rather his last surviving child, Janina.

Ethan will be flying her and her son to Israel this December for an official ceremony at Yad Vashem posthumously recognizing her father, Voitek Woloshtuk, as Righteous Among the Nations – the title awarded by Yad Vashem to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. …

Go here for the rest of the story.