Friday, September 21, 2012

Chick-fil-A fires back at media’s mischaracterization of their giving

Legal Insurrection ^ | 9-21-12 | Anne Sorock

This Wednesday, I reported that the media were falsely reporting that Chick-fil-A had decided to cease donations to “anti-gay” groups. Scores of so-called reputable news outlets like the Los Angeles Times and ABC News ran headlines declaring that Chick-fil-A had changed its policy toward giving to anti-gay groups. Yesterday, Chick-fil-A set the record straight, saying that their corporate giving has been “mischaracterized” and calling out “events from Chicago this week that have once again resulted in questions around our giving”:

A part of our corporate commitment is to be responsible stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. Because of this commitment, Chick-fil-A’s giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities. We will continue to focus our giving in those areas. Our intent is not to support political or social agendas.

The lack of due diligence from reporters like the LA Times’s Tiffany Hsu led to scores more erroneous headlines, as articles like hers were then picked up by affiliates like the Denver Post and spread around the country.
On Wednesday, I pointed out that all of these headlines seemed to be taking one group’s press release–the Civil Rights Agenda–along with Alderman Moreno’s comments in a Chicago Tribune article about a letter he received from the company, and printing them without checking their validity against the actual documents.
I did fact-check Alderman Moreno and the Civil Rights Agenda’s press release on Wednesday. And when I did, I determined that, at best, we had no way to corroborate what they were saying; at worst, they were falsifying and spinning what was, in fact, no change whatsoever from Chick-fil-A’s original corporate giving policy. The actual quote from the letter to Alderman Moreno:
The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.
Alderman Moreno has once again thrust a company, one that wished to open in his ward and provide employment to his constituents, into the spotlight for his own personal gain. When will Alderman Moreno, and the woefully inattentive media that backs him up, be held accountable for their casual manipulation and mischaracterization of a private company?

More Americans Added to Food Stamps Than Find Jobs

Weekly Standard ^ | 09/21/2012 | DANIEL HALPER

An alarming data point from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee: More Americans are being added to food stamps than are finding jobs. The data is detailed in this chart, provided by the committee:

As the chart shows, between April-June 2012 (the most recent three month block for which government data is available), only 200,000 jobs have been created while 265,000 individuals have been added to the food stamp rolls. Additionally, in that time period, 246,000 workers were awarded disability.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...


ABC, CBS, NBC Hype Romney Hidden Camera Tape, Bury Obama's 'Redistribution' Clip! ^ | September 21, 2012 | Geoffrey Dickens

Game changer” -- NBC’s Brian Williams

“Seismic” -- ABC’s Diane Sawyer

“Shaken up the race.” -- CBS’s Scott Pelley

Those were the reactions of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) evening news anchors to the hidden camera tape of Mitt Romney expressing a basic breakdown of voters who weren’t likely to vote for him. What was a simple analysis by Romney of 47 percent of the electorate was turned into a “political earthquake” that threatened to sink the GOP nominee’s chances.

Over three full days of coverage, on the Big Three evening and morning shows, liberal anchors and reporters devoted almost an hour and a half (1 hour, 28 minutes, 23 seconds) to the Romney tape that made up all or a portion of 42 total stories.

In contrast, when tape emerged of Barack Obama stating he was in favor of “redistribution” of wealth, reporters barely broached the story, spending only six minutes, 28 seconds over eight stories. In all the Big Three networks this week devoted about 88 minutes to the Romney tape compared to just six and a half minutes on the Obama clip -- a 13 to 1 ratio.
ABC's Diane Sawyer Is Astounded By Mitt Romney Tapes: Seismic 'Political Earthquake'
Even if you just compare coverage starting from the Tuesday night release of the Obama “redistribution” clip (6 minutes, 28 seconds) to the time spent on the Romney tape (1 hour, 6 minutes, 39 seconds) the ratio is still a stunning 10 to 1.
The media’s furor over the Romney tape began on Monday night, September 17, when NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams teased viewers about Romney comments that he promised will “raise eyebrows when heard.” By Tuesday morning the Big Three journalists were in full attack mode against Romney. ABC’s Amy Robach, on Good Morning America, exclaimed: “New bombshell rocking the Mitt Romney campaign.” ABC’s George Stephanopoulos wondered where Romney’s comments would “register on the Richter Scale?” Later that evening, on ABC’s World News, anchor Diane Sawyer joined her colleague in the tectonic imagery as she told viewers of the “political earthquake” that occurred on a “seismic day” for the campaign.
Over on CBS, anchor Scott Pelley, on Tuesday’s Evening News called it the “tape that has shaken up the race.” On Wednesday morning’s CBS This Morning Bob Schieffer declared of Romney’s comments: “I just can’t think of anything that he could have said that could have hurt his cause more” and “He’s got a lot of work to do to dig out of this hole.”
On NBC the Today show invited MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, on Tuesday’s show, to dump on Team Romney as he asserted: “This is one of the worst weeks for any presidential candidate in a general election that any of us can remember.” NBC’s Brian Williams buried Romney’s campaign as he opened Wednesday’s Nightly News with this announcement to viewers: “Good evening. These are tough days for the Romney campaign. Inside 50 days to go now until the election and they are dealing with something of a public relations disaster.” Williams went on to say even “members of his own party” were “desperately worried about the damage here.”
When the liberal media eventually got around to reporting on Obama’s “redistribution” tape it was portrayed as a last ditch effort by the Romney campaign to save itself with a dusty old clip. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, on Wednesday’s Nightly News, reported: “The Romney campaign fought back furiously today, trying to change the subject from Mitt Romney’s comments caught on tape to a 14-year-old remark by then State Senator Barack Obama.” CBS’s Jan Crawford, on Thursday’s This Morning, noted the Obama tape “made public Tuesday, as Romney was doing damage control over his own leaked video from a May fundraiser, when he said 47 percent of Americans, who don't pay income taxes, are victims.” ABC’s Jake Tapper, on Wednesday’s Good Morning America, alerted viewers that “Romney tried to pivot, reaching back 14 years to an audiotape of then-State Senator Obama,” but then reminded them: “But of course, those comments that Romney made, the 47 percent, are the news.”
The double-standard within just one week of the news cycle is staggering. A surreptitiously taken video of Mitt Romney published by leftist magazine Mother Jones outpaced coverage of an Obama tape at a public event by a 10 to 1 ratio. It has to be asked if the scenarios were reversed and it was a hidden camera video of Obama published by the conservative National Review would the liberal media have reacted as excitedly?
Thanks to news analysts Scott Whitlock, Kyle Drennen, Matthew Balan, Matthew Hadro and intern Ryan Robertson for their help on this report.

U.S. Distrust in Media Hits New High! ^ | September 21, 2012 | Lymari Morales

Fewer Americans closely following political news now than in previous election years!

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Distrust is up from the past few years, when Americans were already more negative about the media than they had been in years prior to 2004.

The record distrust in the media, based on a survey conducted Sept. 6-9, 2012, also means that negativity toward the media is at an all-time high for a presidential election year. This reflects the continuation of a pattern in which negativity increases every election year compared with the year prior. The current gap between negative and positive views -- 20 percentage points -- is by far the highest Gallup has recorded since it began regularly asking the question in the 1990s. Trust in the media was much higher, and more positive than negative, in the years prior to 2004 -- as high as 72% when Gallup asked this question three times in the 1970s.
This year's decline in media trust is driven by independents and Republicans. The 31% and 26%, respectively, who express a great deal or fair amount of trust are record lows and are down significantly from last year. Republicans' level of trust this year is similar to what they expressed in the fall of 2008, implying that they are especially critical of election coverage.
More broadly, Republicans continue to express the least trust in the media, while Democrats express the most. Independents' trust fell below the majority level in 2004 and has continued to steadily decline.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Democrats block GOP rewrite of immigration priorities

Washington Times ^ | 9/21/2012 | Steven Dinan

House Democrats defeated the broadest immigration reform effort yet in this Congress, voting down a bill on Thursday that would have ended the random visa lottery and replaced it with a system rewarding high-tech foreign graduates from U.S. universities.
The vote showed neither side is ready to break the stalemate that has foiled every major immigration bill for the past decade.
This latest effort would have tried to rewrite the country’s immigration priorities, shifting away from random chance and toward picking skilled workers that Republicans said could boost the U.S. economy.
“Unfortunately, Democrats today voted to send the best and brightest foreign graduates back home to work for our global competitors,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, who wrote the bill. “Democrats voted against a bill that helps American businesses hire the most qualified foreign graduates.”
Most Democratic opponents said they didn’t oppose visas for high-tech graduates, but objected to canceling the random chance visa lottery. Democrats said the lottery is a key way that the U.S. gets immigrants from countries that don’t have long-standing business or family ties to the United States.
Black, Hispanic and Asian Democrats all urged their colleagues to block the move.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Old pledge of allegiance and national anthem Banned, New Adopted.

Dan Miller's Blog ^ | September 21, 2012 | Dan Miller

This breaking news is brought to you by CONS (Combined Obama News Services).

By Executive Order, President Obama today adopted a New Pledge of Allegiance for the Nation and made recitation of the old version unlawful. He also adopted a new and better National Anthem for us.

The New Pledge of Allegiance.
After much thought, President Obama made another gutsy call to advance his vision of a New Reality for America. His idea perhaps grew from a small seed planted in his fertile mind by an e-mail his beautiful First Lady sent, appropriately dated September 11, 2012, entitled "Pledge to Vote." There, she made a simple request on behalf of our beloved nation.

Please take a moment to commit to vote this fall, and get at least one other person to do the same. In a matter of days, voting will have already started in some states, and I just want to know that you plan to do your part to make sure Barack gets four more years to move this country forward.
The idea quickly took root, grew and bore beautiful fruit. Beltway Confidential provides further details here.

The Obama campaign has launched its “For All” campaign, encouraging supporters to take pictures of themselves with their hands on their hearts and a note explaining why they support President Obama. Actress Jessica Alba uses the Pledge of Allegiance as an example of the campaign in an email to supporters.

“Growing up, my classmates and I started every day with a ritual: We’d stand up, put our right hand over our hearts, and say the Pledge of Allegiance,” explains Alba. “To me, that gesture was a promise. A promise to be involved and engaged in this country’s future. A promise to work for liberty and justice — and for affordable education, health care, and equality — for all.” . . . .
“That’s why all across the country, people like you and I are proudly writing down our reasons for getting involved, and then taking the pledge — to vote.”
Obama campaign staffers have also begun posting photos of themselves with the pledge.

President Obama, always intensely focused on our most crucial national crises, immediately recognized the need for a New Pledge of Allegiance that would do great credit to the Nation and to his campaign for us all.

New Pledge of Allegiance I pledge obedience to the Flag
of the United Serfs of America,
and to the President for which whom it stands:
one Nation under Obama, Empathetic,
With Fairness and Security for all.
The ACLU and all other patriotic American organizations have lauded the New Pledge and particularly the substitution of President Obama for the disgracefully unconstitutional mythical entity previously mentioned. We must all pledge allegiance to our flag and hence to President Obama for whom it stands; failure to do so would be racist and can no longer be tolerated by patriotic Americans. Failure is now deemed a hate offense, for which appropriate penalties will be imposed under the Federal tax laws in accordance with the Supreme Court's June decision on the constitutionality of ObamaCare's individual health insurance purchase mandate.
The Executive Order recalled all copies of the old pledge for immediate destruction by HAZMAT teams as toxic contraband. Possession of a copy of the old pledge after a generous five day grace period will be penalized as noted above. The Government Printing Office is now printing copies of the New Pledge on a top priority basis for distribution to all schools, mosques and other institutions and organizations where the old pledge had previously been recited.
May we continue to prosper with our Beloved Wise Leader reigning over us for ever and ever!
[youtube] You Tube video link
The New National Anthem
By the same Executive Order, President Obama declared that the old national anthem has been replaced by the New National Anthem, Beyoncé's own Run the World (Girls), which is far more pleasing to the ear, easier to sing and better reflects the glorious aspirations of our nation.
[youtube] You Tube video link
As background on why and how President Obama made this heroic decision, Beyoncé had sent me (and possibly a few other beloved friends) this warm and inviting e-mail on September 13th:

Friend -- I usually don't email you -- but I have an amazing invitation I have to share.
Jay and I will be meeting up with President Obama for an evening in NYC sometime soon. And we want you to be there!
Until midnight tonight, if you pitch in $5 or whatever you can, you'll be automatically entered to be flown out to join us.
I've had the honor of meeting President Obama and the First Lady a few times -- and believe me -- it's an opportunity you don't want to miss.
Don't worry about the airfare and hotel, it's taken care of. And you can bring a guest.
But the countdown is on -- this opportunity ends at midnight:
Can't wait to meet you!
The suggestion for President Obama's decisive action almost certainly came from Beyoncé herself at that intimate dinner party. He was shocked when told of the difficulties even a very talented and well trained vocalist such as Beyoncé has in singing the old national anthem as well as the dissonance between the old anthem's obscene allusions to violence and our tranquil modern life in his United States. He immediately directed the band to play the old national anthem so that Beyoncé could sing it for him (he could not recall ever having paid attention when it had previously been sung). Upon listening attentively he was horrified and so immediately decided that the New National Anthem Beyoncé had suggested must be adopted. Today, he directed that the old national anthem no longer be performed at public or private gatherings, effectively immediately.
Our beautiful New National Anthem sends tingles up all of our legs. These are great advances for our beloved nation and, with President Obama's reelection assured, we can hope for many more initiatives, as necessary as they are dramatic, in the near future. Here, for example, is a video of a new close order military drill to be introduced promptly after November 7th to enhance the combat effectiveness and morale of our troops, for all of whom President Obama has a very special place in his warm and enormous heart. The costs of introducing the new drill will be recouped by a ten percent reduction in military pay and allowances.
[youtube] You Tube video link

The Self Delusion of BROADCAST news and the danger of ‘quiet’ bias

by Greta Van Susteren 

I just watched Ted Koppel on NBC with Brian Williams on NBC. The theme of their show? Cable news anchors are biased and network news anchors – especially those of yesteryear – are not or if they are, they don’t show it. Really? Network anchors are not biased? they don’t show it? They are delusional if they think that about themselves.

When broadcast networks present what they think is the all that is important in the world in the 22 minutes of a half hour news program or 44 minutes of an hour program – it starts with its bias. When you pick and isolate what YOU think is news, you are making YOUR decision of WHAT is important and HOW to present it the viewers. That is bias.

Bias is evident by the topics they pick, the video they show, how long they show the video, the guests booked, the time given the guests, the questions asked, the correspondents hired, the graphics on the screen, the time spent on the segment, the cross promotion on other shows, how the segments are stacked, ads, promotion of the anchors, music, teases for the segments, the scripts etc. It all adds up to bias even if they have deluded themselves into thinking it does not. (By the way, print journalism is likewise biased even though they, too deny it. You see it not only with the text of the report but bias is evident by such things as where the news organizations places the story (front page? above the fold?) and what picture might be attached to it (subject sneering or smiling?)

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Pants on Fire

Obama, Queers And The Middle East

The Daily Rant ^ | 21 September 2012. | Mychal Massie

The Arab media reported that Obama’s Libyan Ambassador Christopher Stevens was gang-raped and his body put on display after heathen Muslims murdered him. With the apparent exception of Obama, who claims the embassy attack was just a spontaneous incident and Hillary Clinton, who has been glaringly absent thus far, America is angered and appalled at the Muslim barbarism.

As barbaric and reprehensible as the behavior of those Muslims was, my observation is that they were simply behaving in kind with their depraved so-called prophet. The admin for the website Logan’s Warning, detailed Mohammad’s crazed debauchery in a December 6, 2011 article titled “Mohammad – The Poisoned Mind of Prophet Pervert Penetrates America.” The article meticulously details what those willing to tell the truth about Islam have argued pursuant to the historical record: “Even after marrying a child [i.e., a six-year old who was still playing with dolls and with whom he had sex with starting when she was nine-years old], and marrying his daughter-in-law, Prophet Pervert was still not satisfied. So in his attempt to fulfill his sexual addiction he raped sex slaves. His insane perversions are not yet finished. Not only did Mohammad ok the rape of sex slaves, he also encouraged his cronies to impregnate them.”
There is documented historical evidence he allowed and some argue even encouraged sodomy. So with those historical perversions in mind, why should we be surprised at the brutal rape and sodomizing before and perhaps even after Stevens’ murder? Kyle Rogers of reported that: “According to leading Arab media outlets” Stevens’ murder was more horrible than reported by U.S. media. “The Arab media reports that Stevens was beaten, gang raped, killed, and then his body was publicly displayed in a manner similar to Gaddafi.” Does that sound like a kind, warm-spirited religion to you? I understand that what I point out is sickeningly grotesque but I’m only sharing the truth about these caricatures of human life. Islam attempts to hide behind a phony piety but in fact it is nothing more than a Erebusic cult based upon the teachings of a mad-man.
Which brings me to this question. Why are appeasers like Obama and Clinton so quick to apologize to Muslims? Did America or the Axis powers apologize to the Nazis for condemning the dictates of their evil? Were the Nazi faithful looked upon differently than Hitler or his generals? Are Nazis readily accepted as respected and admired even today? Have Muslims apologized to us or other nations who have suffered unprovoked loss of life by the hands of Islamists?
Are the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan supremacist groups viewed as religious groups with rogue members who misinterpret the truth of what they are about? Applying the apologetic-logic that Obama and Hillary were so quick to display, should we also apologize to the KKK, supremacist groups and Nazis–and allow them the benefit of claiming they murdered Jews, blacks, and Catholics because said groups insulted them? Bill Clinton’s deep and abiding concern for the Marxist terror group FALN which led to his pardoning their members for their terrorist crimes, notwithstanding.
Why is it that Muslims are the only group that sanctions terror and believes any insult, real or perceived of their lecherous, deviant, so-called prophet is an excuse for murder and mayhem? And while that question is being pondered answer me this. There is a twist here that also needs investigative consideration. The has reported that “Hillary Clinton has been spending U.S. taxpayers dollars to fund homosexual pride events in foreign countries. Her actions have prompted backlashes against the U.S. in Italy, Russia, Pakistan, and other nations. Last year, Barack Obama made it official U.S. policy to fund homosexual rights groups overseas with U.S. tax-dollars.” (SEE: Obama Orders US State Department To Fund Homosexual Groups Overseas; Kyle Rogers; 12/6/11)
The also reports that: “Friends of Christopher Stevens in Chicago say he was [homosexual]. A member of the Serbian team based in Chicago told that the State Department knowingly sent a [homosexual] man to be ambassador of Libya. reports ‘in Chicago’s diplomatic circles at least there is no doubt that Chris Stevens was [homosexual].’” (NOTE: The employed the assignation “gay.” But utilizing “gay” as an assignation for homosexual is antithetical to my linguistic belief system, ergo, my usage of the correct assignation homosexual) (SEE:
The question that begs an answer is why are Obama and Clinton so committed to forcing homosexuality on the world, especially in areas of the world that supposedly condemn the practice? Which brings me back to the question I asked yesterday which is: “Why is the Obama administration denying the embassy attack was a planned attack?”
There is more here than meets the eye. I have my suspicions as to the answers to the questions I’m asking, and if I’m right, Obama and Clinton are worse than anything we could have remotely suspected


Just as true today as it was when his book first came out. He was, and still is, a brilliant businessman! Often we need to be reminded of Iococca's words.

Remember Lee Iacocca, the man who rescued Chrysler Corporation from its death throes? He's now 82 years old and has a new book, 'Where Have All The Leaders Gone?'.

Lee Iacocca Says:

'Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage with this so called president? We should be screaming bloody murder! We've got a gang of tax cheating clueless leftists trying to steer our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even run a ridiculous cash-for-clunkers program without losing $26 billion of the taxpayers' money, much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'trust me the economy is getting better...'

Better? You've got to be kidding. This is America , not the damned, 'Titanic'. I'll give you a sound bite: 'Throw all the Democrats out along with Obama!'

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore...

The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs... While we're fiddling in Afghanistan , Iran is completing their nuclear bombs and missiles and nobody seems to know what to do. And the liberal press is waving 'pom-poms' instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of the ' America ' my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for... I've had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have. The Biggest 'C' is Crisis! (Iacocca elaborates on nine C's of leadership, with crisis being the first.)

Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with thumb up your butt and talk theory. Or send someone else's kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.

On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. A hell of a mess, so here's where we stand.

We're immersed in a bloody war now with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. But our soldiers are dying daily.

We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the world, and it's getting worse every day!

We've lost the manufacturing edge to Asia , while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs.

Gas prices are going to skyrocket again, and nobody in power has a lucid plan to open drilling to solve the problem. This country has the largest oil reserves in the WORLD, and we cannot drill for it because the politicians have been bought by the flea-hugging environmentalists.

Our schools are in a complete disaster because of the teachers union.

Our borders are like sieves and they want to give all illegals amnesty and free healthcare.

The middle class is being squeezed to death every day.

These are times that cry out for leadership.

But when you look around, you've got to ask: 'Where have all the leaders gone?' Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, omnipotence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo?

We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping the government will make it better for them. Now, that's just crazy... Deal with life.
Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when 'The Big Three' referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, look what Obama did about it! Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debit, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the Chicago gangsters in Congress. We didn't elect you to turn this country into a losing European Socialist state. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bonehead on NBC or CNN news will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change?

Had Enough? Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope - I believe in America . In my lifetime, I've had the privilege of living through some of America 's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises: The 'Great Depression,' 'World War II,' the 'Korean War,' the 'Kennedy Assassination,' the 'Vietnam War,' the 1970's oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years since 9/11.

Make your own contribution by sending this to everyone you know and care about. It's our country, folks, and it's our future. Our future is at stake!!

In Mohammed's Name

Posted Image

Obama’s Army

The Washington Free Beacon ^ | September 21, 2012 | Matthew Continetti

You are probably eager to vote on Nov. 6. You have followed the news closely, watched the ads, listened to the conventions, and waited for the debates. If you are like most people, you are worried about the direction of the country, and for good reason. Calling the current economic situation a “recovery” is an insult. The government has failed to address important matters such as taxes, spending, and debt. American embassies across the Muslim world are under siege. The situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating, Putin just ejected USAID from Russia, and China and Japan are hurtling towards conflict. The candidates agree: This election is a choice between two futures. You get to say which path you would prefer in a little over a month.
Just kidding! The election is over, and Mitt Romney lost. He’s toast; his goose is cooked; put a fork in him he’s done; he’s yesterday’s news. Disagree? That’s too bad. The American media have made up their minds. And on this they are certain: Barack Obama is a lock for reelection. They may not be sure when Romney lost exactly—was it his trip to England, Israel, and Poland? Was it the Clint Eastwood speech at the RNC? Was it Romney’s response to the attacks on our embassies in Benghazi and Cairo? Was it his leaked remarks on government dependency? The exact date doesn’t matter. What matters is that the chorus has spoken. The politburo has decided. A consensus has been reached. Romney will lose, and the only question is by how much. The voters might as well stay at home.
The conceited arrogance with which our most sophisticated and well-schooled editors, writers, and journalists voice this conclusion makes it that much more annoying. Their eagerness to judge Romney a failure is not only premature but also erodes whatever credibility they had left. Indeed, the ridiculous manner in which the political press has covered the 2012 campaign suggests that “bias” is no longer a suitable description of the character of the media establishment. “Partisan toadies” may be a better one. “Obama’s army” is another.
Here is where the campaign actually stands. The Real Clear Politics average of polls has President Obama in the lead with 48 percent of the vote, and Mitt Romney close behind with 45 percent. That is a tight race, with less than seven weeks before Election Day. The fundamentals, moreover, seem not to have changed much at all, despite hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising. Americans remain disappointed in Obama’s job performance while liking him personally, but recent history and Romney’s personal and political nebulousness make them reluctant to embrace the challenger.
The final outcome of the election will depend on several factors that cannot be anticipated: How the candidates perform in the debates; unpredictable events such as the financial crisis in Europe or war in East Asia or the Middle East; and the extent to which Obama’s base shows up to vote. The election is a jump ball. As Joe Biden might say, literally no one on this planet knows the future. Political forecasting, like astrology and reading entrails, is a junk science. Historical “laws” hold true until the day they are exposed as false.
Does anyone doubt that if it were Romney rather than Obama who led by three points, the creed recited daily on MSNBC would stress the inexact nature of polling and the overwhelming power of conservative millionaires and billionaires? Imagine for a moment that a Republican was president: What would appear on the front pages and at the top of the network news broadcasts? There would be stories on long-term unemployment, stagnant wages, brutalized net worth, and credit downgrades. There would be stories on last weekend’s brazen attack on our base in Afghanistan, which led to the deaths of two Marines and the loss of eight Harrier jets. The White House would be slammed for its changing and evasive explanation of the murder of a U.S. ambassador and his security officers.
Charges of corruption would be leveled at the president for naming the wife of a wealthy contributor to the U.N. General Assembly just weeks after that contributor penned a New York Times op-ed arguing the president does indeed support Israel (though if the president were a Republican support for Israel would not be in doubt). The AP would resurrect its headline from the spring of 2008: “Everything Seemingly Is Spinning Out of Control.” Imagine the deafening, glass-shattering howls as NBC and ABC and CBS and PBS and NPR and CNN and MSNBC and NYT and WAPO and WSJ and AP and Reuters and FT and Bloomberg and Politico demanded accountability.
The fact that the media line is so mutable—that the tone and emphasis of their coverage is merely a function of Obama’s relative position—reveals the extent to which the press has become a withering and slightly deformed appendage of the center-left. This is not a matter of “vetting” the president’s biography and past associations four years into his term. It is a matter of covering Obama’s official record, right now, as the global economy stagnates, Washington deadlocks, Europe teeters, Islamists take power in the Middle East, Iran grows emboldened, Afghanistan falls apart, and China and Russia fester. It is about suggesting, if only hinting, that Obama and not George W. Bush, ATMs, or an idiot in California might be at least somewhat responsible for what is happening in the world.
What we receive from the media is something else entirely. Obama is not the incumbent in their eyes. He is the challenger. He is running against what Elizabeth Warren called a “rigged” system—the same system over which he has presided for almost four years. He is running against the Wall Street fat cats whose money he is happy to take when it suits his purposes.
In the eyes of the media, the stimulus was a roaring success. The problem with the health care overhaul is that the Democrats have failed to explain its virtues to a confused and “frustrated” public. Obama’s dismal record and his emphatic failure to say what he might like to accomplish in a second term do not merit inclusion in the approved storyline.
Obama’s most successful reset, it turns out, was not with Russia but with the mainstream media: In their eyes we are back where we started, in 2008, and Obama is once again nothing more or less than a symbol of racial and political progress whose opponents are ideologues or reactionaries or bigots.
This is the story line that has dominated news coverage of Obama ever since that first tingle ran up Chris Matthews’ leg, and we know the media love story lines. They have been committed in this election to the twin notions that the Republicans are radical obstructionists and that Romney is an out-of-touch and gaffe-prone plutocrat. Neither the Republicans nor Romney can do anything to change such an impression once it has been set in media concrete. It is left to the rest of us to show the media oligarchy that it is wrong, and that the election is not over until Nov. 6 (and perhaps, God help us, not even then).
But be warned: If Romney does lose, not only will you have to deal with the consequences of a second Obama term. You also will have to watch as the smug and puffed up soldiers in Obama’s vainglorious army pat themselves on the back, and pompously remind the country that they were right all along. And that is a price even the most eager voter should be unwilling to pay.