Friday, August 23, 2013

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Police And Prosecutor Debunk Fox Claims That Recent Crimes Were Racially Motivated

ZACHARY PLEAT/Media Matters For America
Fox News has recently engaged in racebaiting by baselessly claiming that a Florida student's beating on a school bus and the shooting of an Australian college student in Oklahoma were racially motivated. But police and a prosecutor involved in these cases debunked these claims during interviews on Fox.
In early August, a video of three teenagers beating another student on a school bus in Florida spread across national news outlets, and an August 6 report from the Orlando Sentinel noted that the attack was in retaliation for the victim notifying school officials that the three teens tried to sell him drugs. But Fox News took a different angle. Since all three of the alleged perpetrators are black, and the victim is white, Fox repeatedly claimedthat race was the motivating factor for the attack. On August 9, Fox host Steve Doocy bragged that it was Fox News that brought race "to the forefront" of the story.
But the day before, Fox had interviewed the police chief of the town where the beating occurred. During the interview, Gulfport Police Chief Robert Vincent said: "The race difference between the victim and the defendants in this case is purely coincidental, there is absolutely no indication that race was a motivator in the attack." 
Instead of learning from their mistake, Fox News hosts also baselessly insisted race was a factor when reporting on the tragic death of Christopher Lane, an Australian attending college in Oklahoma. Because Lane was white and two of the three suspects charged in connection with his shooting are black, Fox presented this crime as having a racial bias. On the August 21 edition of Fox & Friends, the hosts demanded to know why President Obama, Al Sharpton, or Jesse Jackson hadn't commented on the case, an attempt to connect this crime to the killing of Trayvon Martin.
Once again, an official involved with the case debunked the network's assertions that race was a factor in this crime. On August 22, Fox News host Greta van Susteren interviewed local District Attorney Jason Hicks, who said that with all of his evidence for the case, he had nothing to "indicate that the killing of Christopher Lane was related to either his race or to his nationality." 
How many more crimes will Fox News falsely charge are motivated by race?

Drudge Leaves White Alleged Accomplice Out Of Lane Murderer Montage

MATT GERTZ/Media Matters For America:
In an attempt to promote stereotypes of African-Americans as violent and dangerous, Matt Drudge is featuring on his website the photos of two black teenagers who allegedly killed an Australian athlete, leaving out the photo of their alleged white accomplice.
On August 16, Australian baseball player Christopher Lane was shot and killed while jogging in Oklahoma. Two black teenagers have been charged with first-degree murder in the case while a white teenager has been charged as an accessory for allegedly driving the getaway car. Conservative media have suggested that the shooting was racially motivated, despite the fact that one of the alleged perpetrators was white and that the local district attorney said he has seen nothing to "indicate that the killing of Christopher Lane was related to either his race or to his nationality." 
Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan, who has a long record of bigoted commentary, claimed during a Fox News appearance that the murder is part of a societal trend in which "interracial violence is overwhelmingly black-on-white." Drudge is featuring that commentary under photos of the two black teens charged with murder, leaving out their alleged white accomplice.

John Lewis remembers the March on Washington

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No, you’re not impeaching anyone

BY /Salon 

The last time Sen. Tom Coburn spoke warmly but candidly to his Oklahoma constituents about his “friend” Barack Obama, it was to reassure them that the president doesn’t want to “destroy America.” Instead, Coburn said two years ago, “his intent is to create dependency because it worked so well for him.” He went on: “As an African-American male,” Obama received “tremendous advantage from a lot of these programs.” That’s what friends do, in Coburn’s world: They indulge in delusional racial stereotyping to defend their “friend” from detractors.
Also? Apparently they claim their “friend” is “perilously close” to “high crimes and misdemeanors” – the standard for impeaching a president – and promise they won’t let their friendship stand in the way of impeaching the “lawless” president.
Coburn is just the latest Republican to humor his crackpot constituents in August town halls by suggesting the president can and/or should be impeached. By the standards of the modern GOP, he may be the most surprising, since every once in a while he has an outbreak of sanity and refuses to go along with his party’s nihilism caucus. Most recently he said Sen. Mike Lee’s drive to shut down the government to repeal Obamacare amounts to “destroying the Republican Party.”
To make up for that breach with the base, Coburn told constituents in Muskogee that the administration is “lawless” and “getting perilously close” to the constitutional standard for impeachment. He one-upped Lee by joining crackpot Mark Levin’s call for a new constitutional convention. “The constitutional republic that we have is at risk,” he told the crowd. When asked directly about impeachment, he said, “I think those are serious things, but we’re in serious times. And I don’t have the legal background to know if that rises to ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ but I think you’re getting perilously close.”
To be fair, Coburn also defended his “friend” Obama by allowing that the first black president just might not be very good at his job. “I think there’s some intended violation of law in this administration, but I also think there’s a ton of incompetence,” he said.  Glad to have that out there.
Though Coburn’s impeachment remarks have triggered a lot of coverage, he’s gotten less attention for another wild assertion to the Muskogee crowd: that a better strategy for repealing Obamacare than shutting down the government is to use the debt ceiling deadline.
“If you wanna do it,” he told an angry constituent, “do it on the debt limit, don’t do it on shutting down the government, because the economy’s so precarious right now, and shutting down the government won’t stop Obamacare one iota.” If the economy is too “precarious” for a government shutdown, imagine what a debt-ceiling meltdown would do. Nobody in the crowd asked Coburn to explain.
Coburn’s impeachment rambling comes on the heels of similar musings by other congressional Republicans at their August town halls. Just Monday, when asked why not impeach the president, Sen. Ted Cruz genially replied: “It’s a good question. And I’ll tell you the simplest answer: To successfully impeach a president you need the votes in the U.S. Senate.” Actually, the supposedly brilliant Cruz ought to know that to impeach a president, you need the votes in the House – the Senate then votes on whether to “convict” him.
But you know, maybe Cruz is getting ahead of himself because he believes his fellow Texan Rep. Blake Farenhold, who recently told his constituents that Republicans have the votes in the House to impeach Obama. “If we were to impeach the president tomorrow, you could probably get the votes in the House of Representatives to do it,” he said. “But it would go to the Senate and he wouldn’t be convicted.”
Of course, reindeer farmer Kerry Bentivoglio thinks impeaching Obama would be “a dream come true,” but he sounded more skeptical than Coburn about the chances of doing it – though he admitted consulting lawyers about possible grounds. “Until we have the evidence, you’re going to become a laughingstock if you’ve submitted a bill to impeach the president, because number one, you’ve got to convince the press,” he said.
So let’s recap: Coburn, one of the Republicans the Beltway media regularly use as an example of someone willing to work with Obama, sounds more convinced the president might be impeachable than a former reindeer farmer who resides on the party’s wingnut fringe. Reporters have to stop covering the supposed attempt of the GOP to heal itself, because it’s not happening. Real change in the party will require Republican leaders leveling with their base. That means standing up to nuts like Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh and the delusional extremists organizing “Overpasses for Obama’s impeachment” (yes, that’s a thing) and showing up to rant at town halls.
Tom Coburn doesn’t have the guts to do that, so he can’t be counted among the last few reasonable Republicans. Let’s hope Time magazine leaves him off its annual list of 100 “influential” luminaries next year. Or at least let’s hope Obama declines to write the tribute to his GOP “friend” next time around.

‘Vitriolic coverage’: Study examines why Fox News viewers hate Obama

By Eric W. Dolan/Raw Story
Those who think the growing popularity of highly-partisan opinion shows is tearing the United States apart now have some empiric evidence on their side.
Research published in the September issue of Political Research Quarterly has found pundits on political opinion shows influence attitudes toward presidential candidates — and in a way that is entirely negative.
“An increasing number of Americans engage in selective exposure to ideologically consistent news sources. This fact has caused some scholars and pundits to worry that partisan news sources such as Fox News are making their audiences more polarized,” Glen Smith of the University of North Georgia and Kathleen Searles of Augusta State University wrote in their study.
The researchers found Fox News viewers became more favorable of McCain and less favorable of Obama over the course of the 2008 presidential election. Both Fox’s news programs and opinion shows made viewers more favorable of McCain and less favorable of Obama, but the effect was stronger for those who watched the opinion shows. The study also found MSNBC’s opinion shows had the converse effect, viewers became more favorable of Obama and less favorable of McCain.
Opinion shows on both news networks adopted an “attack mentality” during the 2008 election season. Pundits on MSNBC and Fox News attacked the candidate they disagreed with far more often than they voiced support for the candidate they agreed with.
This tendency to attack the opposition influenced how viewers perceived the candidates. Watching Fox News opinion shows made viewers more likely to think Obama was extremely liberal. Conversely, watching MSNBC opinion shows made viewers more likely to think McCain was extremely conservative.
But watching Fox News opinion shows had little impact on how viewers perceived McCain’s ideology, and watching MSNBC opinion shows had little impact on how viewers perceived Obama’s ideology.
The study suggests that “viewers’’ attitudes are shaped predominantly by vitriolic coverage of the opposition,” Smith and Searles wrote. “Rather than viewers consuming news from a source that confirms their support for their in-party candidate, viewers are consuming news from a source that seems to confirm their distaste for the opposition. The result is not only more polarized partisans but also partisans who are polarized because they hate the other side rather than because they are card-carrying supporters of their side.”
The findings have worrisome implications for American politics.
“If a large segment of the base of either party believes the president is ideologically extreme, they are likely to attach that extreme label to any policies the president supports,” the researchers wrote in their study. “Perhaps the rise of partisan news outlets, and consequently the increasing influence of opinion show hosts on the right and left, has contributed to polarization of the two political parties.”

Tea partier at Ted Cruz town hall: ‘Canada is not really foreign soil’

By David Edwards/Raw Story:
Even so-called birthers who falsely believe that President Barack Obama was Kenyan born and not a legitimate U.S. citizen seem to think that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) won’t have the same problem because “Canada is not really foreign soil.”
The Texas Tribune caught up with on of those birthers, Republican voter Christina Katok, at a tea party rally where Ted Cruz was speaking earlier this week.
Katok said that she never thought Obama met the constitutional standard of “natural born” citizen because, she reasoned incorrectly, that he was born in Kenya. The president was born in Hawaii and has released his birth certificate to prove it.
Earlier this week, Cruz released his Canadian birth certificate to The Dallas Morning News, proving that he was definitely born in a foreign country to an American mother.
But Katok told the Tribune that she wouldn’t hesitate to vote for Cruz.
“As far as I’m concerned, Canada is not really foreign soil,” she explained, adding that she was more worried about the president’s “strong ties to Kenya.” She noted that Obama had not released his long-form birth certificate until after he was elected.
For his part, Cruz has vowed to renounce his Canadian citizenship, which could require a security check and an eight-month waiting period.
Speaking to National Instruments in Austin on Thursday, Cruz poked fun at his own birth certificate situation, and at the same time, he seemed to be stoking those who don’t believe the president is a U.S. citizen.
“I promise that while y’all are out I’ll try not to give any like really juicy piece of crazy news,” Cruz said, adding, “I am secretly a citizen of Ethiopia.”
Watch this video from The Texas Tribune, broadcast Aug. 22, 2013.

OOPS: Obamacare Opponent Is Very Impressed With The Law He Hates So Much

BY SY MUKHERJEE/Think Progress 
The Huffington Post’s Jason Cherkis reports on a remarkable encounter between Reina Diaz-Dempsey, a Kentucky public health worker signing people up for insurance coverage under health care reform, and a middle-aged man who approached her booth at the State Fair. After Diaz-Dempsey explained that he will either qualify for tax credits to buy insurance through Kynect (the state’s new insurance marketplace) or an expanded Medicaid pool in October, the man seemed pleased and mused, “This beats Obamacare, I hope.”
Kynect is actually one of the statewide insurance marketplaces at the heart of Obamacare, and the Medicaid expansion is another provision that stems from the health reform law. But Diaz-Dempsey doesn’t tell the man that — figuring the connection to Obamacare might actually dissuade him from pursuing coverage in a state with terrible public health demographics, where one in every five adults is uninsured. The anecdote is striking for its irony. But it underscores the reality that while some Americans — including many who will benefit immensely from the law — remain opposed to the abstract specter of “Obamacare,” they actually do support its core provisions.
Polling on the health law has consistently highlighted that paradox. A Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) tracking survey from March found skepticism about “Obamacare” but widespread approval of actual Obamacare policies. Over 75 percent of respondents like the law’s insurance subsidies; 80 percent favor the statewide insurance marketplaces; a staggering 88 percent approve of the small business tax credits to help pay for employees’ health coverage.
But decidedly fewer Americans realize that these are all things the health law actually does:
CREDIT: Kaiser Family Foundation
Diaz-Dempsey isn’t the first health care worker to downplay Obamacare’s connection to new consumer protections out of fear that the negative attitudes surrounding the health reform law will dissuade Americans from using its benefits. Most states’ Obamacare marketplaces are advertising to consumerswithout using politically-loaded terms like “Obamacare,” opting for a more plainspoken approach that explains the objective facts of upcoming changes to the health care market without explicitly noting the new law.
That’s not very surprising considering that Obamacare critics and conservative political groups have launched an all-out assault on reform. Misleading adsdeployed by groups such as the Koch brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity feature concerned-looking Americans asking questions like, “How do I know our family is going to get the care they need?” before replying with objectively false answers.
In Kentucky specifically, AFP paid for an ad on behalf of and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in which a narrator proclaims, “It’s already causing layoffs. Higher premiums are next. Mitch McConnell saw it coming. Leading the fight against Obamacare.” GOP lawmakers have also done everything in their power to make sure actual facts about the law don’t reach the public, denying funding for outreach efforts and warning companies that might consider promoting the law not to do the Obama administration’s “dirty work.”
That sort of obstruction has certainly had its intended effect. About 43 percent of uninsured Americans who could get basic health benefits under the law have no idea that they’re expected to buy coverage with the help of subsidies next year. Now, it’s up to outreach groups, community leaders, and health care workers like Diaz-Dempsey to undo the damage that has been done and sign people up for coverage any way they can. Luckily, if her story about the middle-aged man at the Kentucky State Fair is any indication, they’ll be more than willing to oblige.

Obama Slams Dirty Energy Money In Congress: ‘Fossil Fuel Industries Tend To Be Very… Influential’

President Barack Obama disparaged dirty energy money being pumped into political campaigns in a speech before Binghamton University on Friday, saying that members of Congress’s energy committees didn’t have the public’s best interest at heart because they were bought and sold by “fossil fuel industries.”
“What we’ve seen too often in Congress,” Obama said, “is that the fossil fuel industries tend to be very… influential, let’s put it that way, on the energy committees in Congress.”
He’s right. According to numbers on, the members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources have received political contributions totaling $6,219,543 from oil and coal industries, with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) topping the list with $1,155,084 donations.
This undue influence, Obama went on, has contributed to Congressional resistance to increasing energy efficient appliances, and investing in new clean energy technologies.
“In some cases we’ve actually been criticized that it’s a socialist plot that’s restrict restricting your freedom for us to encourage energy-efficient light bulbs, for example,” Obama said, mocking some members of Congress like Reps. Michael Burgess (R-TX) and Joe Barton (R-TX), who have said essentially that. “I never understood that. But you hear those arguments.”
Overall, the President’s remarks on the environment struck a strong note on climate change and clean energy. “Climate change is real. The planet is getting warmer. And you’ve got several billion Chinese, Indians, Africans and others who also want cars, refrigerators, electricity,” Obama said. “As they go through their development cycle, the planet cannot sustain the same kinds of energy use as we have right now.”
Unfortunately, though, Obama’s policy has lagged behind his rhetoric. While his new climate action plan has indicated that he will take environmental issuesmore seriously in his second term, the public is still waiting for a final decision from Obama on approving or discontinuing the Keystone XL pipeline, a hotly debated tar sands pipeline set to cut from Canada through the Midwest to Texas. He has also moved to expand fracking projects on public lands despite known environmental and health risks. The U.S. government has also remained a key purveyor of coal under Obama’s administration, despite his detractors’ assertions that he has a war on the fossil fuel.

Raising The Minimum Wage Is A Political Goldmine

minimum wage
CREDIT: Wisconsin Jobs Now flickr account
BY RUY TEIXEIRA/Think Progress
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an issue that was hugely popular with the public, fit perfectly into the progressive agenda, appealed to the white working class, and split the Republican Party right in half? Sounds to be good to be true, right? Actually, it’s hiding in plain sight: raising the minimum wage.
Start with overall public opinion. The public’s views on many policy issues can be very complicated; there are nuances to the nuances, so to speak. The polling on the minimum wage, however, is about as unnuanced as it comes. People just think it’s the right thing to do and decades of attempts by conservatives to convince the public otherwise have been an abject failure. Take, for instance, this Pew Research poll from early 2013. By a thumping 71-26 margin, the public said it favored increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 an hour.
Moreover, there was astonishingly strong support across demographic groups. Blacks and Hispanics supported the proposal by 91-8 and 83-14, respectively, and whites felt similarly by a not-as-large-but-still-strong 64-33 margin. Those with family incomes below $30,000 supported raising the minimum wage by 79-20, but so did those with incomes above $75,000, who were also on board by a high (65-32) margin:
min wage demos gen
Unsurprisingly, Democrats and independents supported a higher minimum wage by, respectively, 87-11 and 68-28. But here’s where it gets really interesting: Republicans also supported a rate hike, albeit by a narrow 50-47 margin. So raising the minimum wage roughly slices the GOP down the middle.
This split in support has a very distinct class character. Working class (non-college) Republicans supported the proposal by 58-40, while college-educated Republicans opposed it by 60-34. Similarly, low income Republicans (less than $30,000) supported raising the minimum wage by 68-31 while high income Republicans (over $75,000) opposed such a raise by 57-40:
min wage demos reps
Of course, even strenuous advocacy of raising the minimum wage will not suddenly persuade a majority of white working class Republicans to support progressive candidates. But even modest white working class defections wouldgo a long way, even — or perhaps especially — in red states.
No wonder Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is running for Mitch McConnell’s seat in Kentucky, is making a higher minimum wage a central part of her campaign. In fact, the only really hard thing to understand here is why more candidates with progressive views on the minimum wage aren’t following Grimes’ lead. Let’s hope in the future they will.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

How To Lie About Benghazi And Almost Get Away With It

ARI RABIN-HAVT/Media Matters For America:

Wednesday morning, Benghazi whistleblower attorney Victoria Toensing appeared on Fox News' Fox & Friends as part of a long standing campaign among conservatives to discredit the findings of the Accountability Review Board (ARB) report on the Benghazi attacks, authored by Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen.
Toensing delivered what has become the standard conservative myth -- the claim that the ARB report was a "corrupt cover-up to protect Hillary Clinton." She asserted:
Because they were not thorough. There are all kinds of people they didn't interview. They made false statements and they framed four State Department employees to take the blame away from the higher-ups. They did not interview Hillary. They did not interview her top deputy for security, Pat Kennedy.
That is a lie. Pat Kennedy was interviewed by the ARB, a fact Pickering, one of the authors, has made clear. On May 12, Pickering explicitly told CNN's Candy Crowley, "We interviewed Pat Kennedy." This was also pointed out during the May 8, 2013 House Oversight hearing on Benghazi. Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA) addressed the room, stating:
By the way, defend in statements that Undersecretary Kennedy was not interviewed by the ARB by Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen. That is a misstatement of fact.  He most certainly was.  You can look it up.  It is documented.  He was interviewed, and he provided evidence. And that evidence was evaluated.
So it is not true that Undersecretary Kennedy was not part of that process.  He most certainly was, and I would ask Mr. Chairman that the record so reflect.
In fact, Fox News Host Greta Van Susteren tweeted out this exchange:
Greta Van Susteren tweet
So why tell such a blatant lie?
Because Toensing thinks she can get away with it and the right needs to discredit the ARB. Prepared in the aftermath of the attacks on our diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, the report detailed more than two-dozen recommendations on improving security for our State Department personnel overseas. It did not cast blame on then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or President Barack Obama nor did it conform to the narrative conservatives and their allies on Capitol Hill -- namely Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) -- have been selling to the media about Benghazi.
Because both Pickering and Mullen are public servants with reputations beyond reproach, the right has had to work overtime trying to discredit their report.
The simplest way to attack the ARB is to claim their work was incomplete because they failed to interview specific witnesses.
And because the complete list of witnesses who spoke with the ARB remains classified, most often there is no way to respond to these accusations, unless a name was at sometime placed in the public record. Conservatives will continue to make claims about the ARB process, but without citations, the media should keep a watchful eye on which sources they trust.  

Obama lashes out over shutdown threat

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The Birth Certificate Donald Trump Won’t Talk About


In the leadup to the 2012 election, entrepreneur, perennial presidential flirt and reality television star Donald Trump spent a good deal of time loudly spreading the false conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya and, thus, ineligible to occupy the White House.
However, Trump seems far less interested in discussing the intricacies of 2016’s birther-esque drama — the Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) citizenship saga. TPM has attempted to speak with Trump multiple times over the past three days about the release of Cruz’s birth certificate and revelations the senator holds dual citizenship in Canada and the U.S., but Trump has not responded. 
On Aug. 11, Trump appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” where the network’s Jonathan Karl asked him about Cruz’s Canadian roots. In the interview, Trump said he had been told by “somebody” that Cruz was “born in Canada.” He went on to say that Canadian birth would “perhaps” make Cruz ineligible to run for president. Speaking to Salon the next day, Trump said that, if Cruz was indeed born in Canada, then the senator would have to “explain that.”
However, Trump has not weighed in since Cruz’s birth certificate was released on Sunday prompting the revelation that, as someone born in Canada, Cruz is a dual citizen. TPM first attempted called Trump’s office about the issue on Monday. During another attempt on Thursday morning, Rhona Graff, Trump’s assistant and a vice president at the Trump Organization, said he was “traveling.”
“If he’s able to get back to you and wants to respond, then you know he definitely will,” Graff said.
Trump’s quest to resolve the non-issue of Obama’s birthplace was relentless. He even took creditwhen the White House released the President’s “long form” birth certificate in April 2011. Since Trump seemed interested in getting an explanation from Cruz as well, it seemed almost inconceivable he would not want to weigh in on the release of Cruz’s certificate. TPM tried his office a final time Thursday afternoon. Graff said Trump was “visiting one of his many properties” and assured TPM she passed the message on to “somebody who’s with him” and that he would respond “if he gets it and wants to reply.”
In the meantime, Trump posted over 15 messages on his Twitter page during the course of the day Thursday. Since it seems to be his preferred mode of communication, TPM also tried to talk with Trump about Cruz on Twitter. He has not responded.

New Study Shows U.S. Media Has Been More Critical of Obama than Bush

By: Sarah Jones/politicususa
The U.S. outlets were more critical of Obama and less critical of Bush than were Arab and European outlets, according to a study released by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University. Yes, the U.S. press loved them some W.
They found that European and Arabic-language TV news shows were both more positive toward the Obama administration than were U.S. TV news shows. Fox News Channel had the most negative coverage of Obama (shocking). But also, all news outlets in the study except for Fox News were more negative toward the Bush administration then they were toward the Obama administration, which might seem confusing until you put into context the epic debacle that was Bush’s presidency. Even our corporate press couldn’t whitewash the stream of lawlessness that comprised the Bush administration.
The U.S. outlets were more negative toward Bush but less negative than the European and Arabic-language outlets. To make sense of this, consider the policy differences between Obama and Bush, and how they impacted the perception of each in international media. European news outlets were the most negative toward the Bush administration, even more negative than Mid-East outlets, which says that it wasn’t all about the the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but also about Bush’s cowboy diplomacy and the tendency of European news outlets to actually cover the news as opposed to U.S. outlets. The U.S. outlets were the least negative toward the Bush administration.
These findings are from a new book published August 16, The Global President, by CMPA Senior Fellow and University of Mary Washington Professor Stephen Farnsworth, CMPA President and George Mason University Professor S. Robert Lichter and Media Tenor President Roland Schatz.
Given the fact that European outlets are more likely to have real news than the Kardashian-obsessed, for-profit, cute-whale-sighting, shiny weapons-of-mass-destruction that passes for our “news” here, one might deduce that this means that the Bush administration did more negative things, like say lying about WMD, invading a sovereign nation on a lie, ignoring an entire region after a natural disaster, outing a CIA agent for political retribution, using U.S. attorneys for political retribution, politicizing the DOJ with evangelical partisan hacks in career, non-political jobs, ending his term with a global financial meltdown attributable to policies he and his party championed, and so much more.
Oh, sure, you’re thinking but Obama is responsible for Katrina! Only in the Republican Party, my friend, proving that they have given up on reality all together in order to justify their irrational hatred of Obama. And then there was Obama using the IRS for partisan political purposes! Oh, it turns out that was a Republican lie sold to you by none other than the US “news” outlets (see above). In fact, it was Republicans who used their power in the IRS and the House to manufacture a false narrative and provide false testimony to Congress in hopes of implicating Obama and Hillary Clinton. In other words, Republicans used their power to exact revenge on their enemies’ list.
The idea that the U.S. press is less critical of Republicans isn’t new. Being negative toward Bush was sort of impossible to escape in the reality based world, but did they tell the truth? If one side is so off that Constitutional scholars accused Bush of operating like a dictator (and they did), to be negative isn’t necessarily to be truthful. Instead, the press ran with the administration’s big lies, like their WMD lies, with the same fever and naivete that they now follow Republicans’ fake scandals about Obama.
The press give Romney three times more positive press during the campaign than the President. The U.S. press isn’t liberal, and facts do have a liberal bias these days. Follow the thought — the press isn’t always factual. They are trying to sell something, not trying to inform you. Gone are the days when TV news was the loss leader and could afford to inform you.
Today, our corporate for profit news must cater to the deregulators and that party is Republican. They are also always a few years behind reality, just like Hollywood, always chasing the last popular thing instead of looking forward. Fear and profit motives will do that. Republicans used to be the real Americans, but that trend died when George W. Bush sold WMD.
The press is supposed to be a watchdog, so it’s great that they are critical of Obama. It would be more helpful if they could manage to be critical over real things instead of chasing every Republican lie that comes from headquarters. It would be even better if they could find a modicum of that bravado when a Republican is in office, or even of the Republicans in Congress. It is not surprising that the U.S. press was less critical of Bush and more critical of Obama than were Arab and European outlets.
It’s painful to pay attention because things really are much worse than they appear on the surface. Meanwhile, the misinformed and barely-informed live in a happy bubble where both sides are the same and President Obama’s biggest error was his response to Katrina.
Thanks for nothing, Obama.
There is no liberal media. The U.S. media caters to Republicans, even misleading you on purpose in order to sell Republican lies with impunity.
“News” at 11.
Methodology and scope: The study examined over 200,000 statements on thirteen flagship TV news programs in England, Germany, the Middle East, and the United States (listed below) concerning the Bush and Obama administrations from January 2005 through June 2010. The outlets studied were: England – BBC1 10 O’clock News, BBC2 Newsnight; Germany – ARD Tagesthemen, ZDF heute journal; Middle East – Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiyah; Nile News, LBC, and Al-Manar; USA – ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news shows, Fox News Special Report.
According to CMPA, an outlet’s coverage was defined as mainly positive or favorable if positive statements about the Obama or Bush administration outnumbered negative statements. An outlet’s coverage was defined as mainly negative or unfavorable if negative statements outnumbered positive statements.

Neo-Nazi plans to build an all-white city of racists in North Dakota

By Eric W. Dolan/Raw Story
A man living in North Dakota plans to turn his small town into a bastion of white supremacists, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“I didn’t have a clue who the guy was until he showed up. All I know is he bought that house sight unseen, $5,000 cash, and had no idea what it looked like, where it was, other than he knew the directions to get to Leith,” Mayor Ryan Schock told the Hatewatch blog.
Craig Paul Cobb, 61, has been buying up abandoned property in Leith, a town of only 19 people. He has invited other white supremacists to live on his properties and help take over the city.
In a post last year on the Vanguard News Network forum, Cobb said anyone who lives on his property would be required to fly a “racialist banner” — such as a Nazi flag — 24-hours a day. They would also be required to try to “import more responsible radical hard core [white nationalists]” and become a legal resident of the state so they could vote in local elections. He plans to rename the city “Cobbsville.”
“Imagine strolling over to your neighbors to discuss world politics with nearly all like-minded volk. Imagine the international publicity and usefulness to our cause! For starters, we could declare a Mexican illegal invaders and Israeli Mossad/IDF spies no-go zone. If leftist journalists or antis come and try to make trouble, they just might break one of our local ordinances and would have to be arrested by our town constable. See?” he wrote.
Cobb has even built a concrete prison, where he plans to “lock up recalcitrant journalists and lefty commies who violate the codes or peace of the community.”
Cobb had moved to Estonia in 2005 but was later deported to Canada, where he was arrested in 2010 on federal charges of willful promotion of hatred. He fled back to the United States.
The plan to turn Leigh into a white supremacist paradise has the town’s only black resident understandably worried.
“The more the word gets out, the better chance that we can move him out. People are welcome if they’re here to improve our community, but they’re here to bring hate,” Bobby Harper told The Bismarck Tribune.

The Daily Beast publishes column that alleges ‘true rape’ doesn’t occur in prison

By Eric W. Dolan/Raw Story
Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley Manning, will likely fare well in prison because “true rape” is mostly a myth, according to a column published by The Daily Beast on Thursday.
Manning was sentenced to 35 years for leaking U.S. secret documents on Wednesday. She is expected to serve her time at the Fort Leavenworth military base in Kansas.
In a column published by The Daily Beast on Thursday, author Mansfield Frazier said Manning was likely to be “treated quite well” based on his own experiences in prison. He said the popular image of widespread prison rape was untrue.
Though Frazier admitted federal reports showed more than a third of transgender former inmates were sexually assaulted in prison, he claimed this statistic wasn’t measuring incidents of “true rape.” Inmates who were closeted often falsely said they were raped to hide their sexuality, he claimed. Frazier said closeted homosexuals were “one reason for high recidivism rates.”
Frazier wrote:
Indeed, the vast majority of experienced convicts know that “true” rape is not a common occurrence in prison. That doesn’t mean that homosexual sex doesn’t occur—it certainly does. But it’s really not that unusual for a new prisoner to show up on the compound and begin walking around the yard in pants far too tight. Before long they drop the soap in the shower, get a little close to another naked man, and then— simply because they’ve never been able to come to terms with their own sexuality—tell anyone who will listen (but, interestingly enough, they usually never complain to the guards) that they were “raped.” And a week or two later it could happen again, and then again.
Responding to a critical commenter, Frazier doubled-down on his claim that some men wanted to be raped. In the comments section, he wrote:
True rape against anyone is horrible, and I would never condone it. But, there are some guys in prison who set themselves up for “rape” again, and again, and again. All they have to do if they don’t want to participate in the sexual activity is to go into protective custody … but men many don’t. Why?
Nearly one in 10 prisoners report having been raped or sexually assaulted by other inmates, staff or both, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Inmates who identify as gay or bisexual are particularly vulnerable. More than one-third of gay and bisexual male inmates said that they were victimized in prison.
UPDATE: The column was later edited and the paragraph about “true rape” was removed.