Floundering media and news conglomerates have expressed interest in accepting government bailout money, leading some to object, arguing that strings attached to federal funds will subvert our nation's freedom of the press.
Brent Bozell, president of the media watchdog organization Media Research Center, contends that if a news company – even a bankrupt one – accepts taxpayer money, it can no longer be trusted to hold government accountable to the people.
"How in the world can [a] paper propose to be a watchdog for the public when it's had conversations about being bankrolled by the government?" Bozell asked in The Philadelpia Bulletin.
"When a media outlet proposes a bailout, it proposes to put itself under the authority of the entity bailing it out," Bozell said. "Therefore, if it's a government, the media entity proposes to become an arm of the government."
Are journalists playing favorites with some of the key political figures involved with regulatory oversight of U.S. financial markets?
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews launched several vitriolic attacks on the Republican Party on his Sept. 17, 2008, show, suggesting blame for Wall Street problems should be focused in a partisan way. However, he and other media have failed to thoroughly examine the Democratic side of the blame game.
Prominent Democrats ran Fannie Mae, the same government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) that donated campaign cash to top Democrats. And one of Fannie Mae’s main defenders in the House – Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., a recipient of more than $40,000 in campaign donations from Fannie since 1989 – was once romantically involved with a Fannie Mae executive.
The media coverage of Frank’s coziness with Fannie Mae and his pro-Fannie Mae stances has been lacking. Of the eight appearances Frank made on the three broadcasts networks between Jan. 1, 2008, and Sept. 21, 2008, none of his comments dealt with the potential conflicts of interest. Only six of the appearances dealt with the economy in general and two of those appearances, including an April 6, 2008 appearance on CBS’s "60 Minutes" were about his opposition to a manned mission to Mars.
Frank has argued that family life "should be fair game for campaign discussion," wrote the Associated Press on Sept. 2. The comment was in reference to GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and her pregnant daughter. "They’re the ones that made an issue of her family," the Massachusetts Democrat said to the AP.
The news media have covered the relationship in the past, but there have been no mentions since 2005, according to Nexis and despite the collapse of Fannie Mae. The July 3, 1998, Reliable Source column in The Washington Post reported Frank, who is openly gay, had a relationship with Herb Moses, an executive for the now-government controlled Fannie Mae. The column revealed the two had split up at the time but also said Frank was referring to Moses as his "spouse." Another Washington Post report said Frank called Moses his "lover" and that the two were "still friends" after the breakup.
Frank was and remains a stalwart defender of Fannie Mae, which is now under FBI investigation along with its sister organization Freddie Mac, American International Group Inc. (NYSE:AIG) and Lehman Brothers (NYSE:LEH) – all recently participants in government bailouts. But Frank has derailed efforts to regulate the institution, as well as denying it posed any financial risk. Frank’s office has been unresponsive to efforts by the Business & Media Institute to comment on these potential conflicts of interest.
In 2004, I spent a couple of hours providing an Argus Leader reporter details of the research I had done on Linda Daschle and the Democrats love affair with the corporate airliners, only to find very little of it making it past the editor’s cut. Seems that tactic is common among the Drive-By media elite:
A prominent article by the New York Times this weekend purporting to investigate the connections between Sen. Barack Obama and former Weathermen radical Bill Ayers omits key associations between the two and in some cases seems to minimize their relationship.
One law professor and blogger who was interviewed for the Times piece says he provided the newspaper with key documentation showing Ayers was directly involved in the formation of the board of an education organization on which Obama served as chairman.
But the Times did not present that information and instead made the claim Ayers was not involved in the selection of Obama as chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, or CAC, which was founded by Ayers.
The Times article in question was first released online under the title "Obama had met Ayers, but the two are not close." That title was soon changed to, "Obama and the '60's Bomber: A Look Into Crossed Paths."
The piece purports to present the scope of Obama's relationship with Ayers, an increasingly public point of contention during this campaign season, with Gov. Sarah Palin just yesterday highlighting the controversial relationship.
Larry Elder points out the successful attempt by the media to mislead and portray the falsehood that America is in a recession:
But during an election year, the media's constant use or expectation of "recession" does matter. Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic Party's likely nominee, already considers the U.S. economy "in a recession."
So are we – at least as economists commonly define the term?
No – not even close.
A recent typical news wire story, however, goes like this: "(George W.) Bush's news conference … appeared to be a pre-emptive measure of sorts, as it came a day before the release of statistics on the nation's gross domestic product for January through March. The common definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of declining GDP, and many expect Wednesday's report to provide the first official confirmation of a slide."
Well, case closed.
The day before the released GDP report, a headline in USA Today read, "USA TODAY survey: We're in a recession, economists say." The first two sentences read as follows: "The U.S. economy is in recession, or soon to be in one. … Two-thirds of the 52 economists polled said the U.S. economy is in recession."
This USA Today we're-in-a-recession story showed a graph with the 52 economists' predictions. They (incorrectly) predicted 0.1 percent economic growth for the first quarter, 0.5 percent negative growth for the second, with positive growth for the next four quarters at 2.3, 2.0, 2.2 and 2.6 percent respectively. But they never bothered to show the growth in the last quarter of 2007, while anemic, was still a positive 0.6 percent. In other words, assuming the traditional definition of recession – back-to-back quarters of negative economic growth – even USA Today's economic experts were not truly predicting a recession.
The next day, the actual number for this year's first quarter came out.
Oops. USA Today's website headline for an Associated Press story read: "Weak 0.6 percent economic growth in Q1 is better than forecast." In English, this means that since the recovery began in Bush's first year in office, we have had zero quarters of negative economic growth, let alone consecutive ones.
1. Developments moving U.S. and continent closer to a North American Union
2. Bush's refusal to pardon imprisoned Border Patrol Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who were prosecuted by the president's friend, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton
3. Research refuting man-made global warming
4. Lack of action on border fence mandated by Congress
5. California bill introducing homosexuality to young children
6. Hillary and her felonious fundraising
7. Illegal aliens who rape, murder, kill driving drunk, commit voter fraud, welfare fraud and burden the system
8. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein's resignation from the Senate Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee, which she chaired, amid a conflict of interest due to her husband's ownership of two major defense contractors
Governor Rounds' proposed two million dollar cut to the Highway Patrol's 2009 budget is already having an impact on how many troopers are on the roads to respond to accidents.
Highway Patrol troopers have been busy for the past two days in the Sioux Falls area after five inches of snow fell Christmas Day. But only five troopers were on duty Tuesday, meaning only a few troopers were working on each shift, and a spokesperson for South Dakota's Department of Public Safety says the reason more troopers were not working was because of the proposed budget cuts.
So how could next year’s budget impact current year operations? It would be nice to ask the "spokesperson for South Dakota's Department of Public Safety", but Keloland did not identify their source. But they did identify "Democratic" Scott Heidepriem to score political points:
Democratic Senator Scott Heidepriem says, "The thing that's so unfortunate to me is that we allow our funding of the Highway Patrol to fluctuate based on the highway trust fund revenue."
While there were five troopers on duty in the Sioux Falls area all day Tuesday, there were supposed to be more. But according to a spokesperson for the South Dakota Department of Public Safety some troopers were told not to come to work Christmas Day because they already had overtime, and the department didn't want those troopers to work anymore because of the proposed budget cuts for 2009.
Heidepriem says, "I certainly hope that we aren't making those changes in anticipation of a budget that hasn't even been voted on yet."
That's because Heidepriem says there is support for the Highway Patrol in Pierre and he plans to write up legislation to restore money for troopers in the 2009 budget.
Heidepriem says, "There will probably be legislation specifically to address this cut. Senator Abdallah and I are already working on that kind of approach."
Because Heidepriem says in storms like Tuesday's the state can't afford to fall behind when it comes to public safety.
Heidepriem says, "This is clearly protecting those in need and that's all of us and we depend on the Highway Patrol to do exactly that."
Note they used, "Democratic Senator Scott Heidepriem". And they ended with this:
State Senator Gene Abdallah is also working on legislation to stop the cut. Abdallah was the head of the Highway Patrol when it faced cuts, and he says overtime was the first thing to be reduced, and this latest snow storm proves what will happen if cuts are made.
So which political Party is Abdallah a member of? Uniformed Keloand viewers will never know. And "what will happen if cuts are made" is reported as happening now, according to the Drive-by media outlet that Pat Powers likes to use to attack conservatives. Unfortunately, Republican Governor Mike Rounds is being used by the Drive-by media to trash conservative Republicans for cuts, as he plans on using the budget cut to increase funding for liberals in Higher Ed. Talking about messed up.
RUSH: Now, folks, I want to say just a little bit more about the "unfairness," the "inaccuracy," whatever you want to call it from the Drive-By Media of the Harry Reid smear letter auction with my matching donation now generating $4.2 million for the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. In anybody's judgment, that's huge news, especially since it involved a skirmish between me and the Senate majority leader. The amount of coverage that this has received, especially accurate coverage, is such that you could put it in a thimble. Well, maybe a syringe, but certainly nothing larger than that. But the point is: Why do you expect anything different, after all these years, especially with stories in which I'm involved? I'm not portraying myself as a victim by any stretch. Don't misunderstand. It is always this way and has always been this way for conservatives. Reagan does not get credit for ending the Cold War; Gorbachev does. Do you want decent press, or do you want to smash communist Russia? Tax cuts do not get the credit for creating mountains and mountains of unexpected revenue pouring into the Treasury. Do you want buzz and credit for tax cuts, or do you want a roaring economy with flush federal coffers and lower tax rates? Now, in that one I understand the importance of getting it out to educate people as to what happened, but people are living this.
The press is never going to give this to you. The press is never going to acknowledge that any aspect of conservatism works. They're just not. They look at conservatism as an aberration. It's a bunch of kook weirdos, NASCAR types, southerners who are conservatives. You know, dunces like Ronald Reagan. To have these expectations, wanting to be satisfied by the buzz as opposed to the results is misplaced priority. This program, its efforts, are either ignored or misrepresented by the Drive-By Media, constantly. Now, do you want accolades or do you want the largest radio talk show in the history of modern radio and $4.2 million going to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation? I've evolved, ladies and gentlemen. It's an old adage, but I apply it to myself constantly, and that is: "Success is always the best revenge." Triumphing over these people is always the best revenge. Make no mistake: They know it. They know full-well what's happening. The fact that they don't report it is quite indicative of just who they are. You can sit here and say, "But, Rush! But, Rush! It's not fair." There is no such thing as "fairness," folks. It's an elusive concept. I defy you to define it in a universal sense.
RUSH: I think they wave their fees on charitable auctions. But even had they not, we were going to pays those. The high bidder, the winner of the Harry Reid letter, was not going to have any expense whatsoever associated with this. But, look, I predicted to you people on Friday: Once Dingy Harry came out with that last-minute appeal to make it look like he was part of the fundraising effort all along, I said, "The whole purpose of this is designed to get the Drive-By Media, which are in the tank for Democrats, an out in order to get Harry Reid involved in this." The last thing they want to do is report success on the part of somebody like me. I've taken my own little informal, personal surveys. You would be amazed. The New York Post has not said a word about it. The New York Times lied about it. The New York Daily News put a one-line blurb or two-line blurb at the end of a big story on radio -- and this is perfectly understandable, folks. These are liberals. If you don't know it by now, you have to understand, or you must try to understand -- and I really don't want to make this about me, but it is, unfortunately. They've had a monopoly. I've said this over and over again: They had a monopoly.
They used to be able to determine what was reported -- and, more importantly, what wasn't reported. They had every media controlled from broadcast, to cable, to print, the magazines and newspapers, and they don't have that anymore. I'm the guy that started the trend that defeated their monopoly. So it's personal with them. You can see it in the way they report. There's an alternative universe here. The media lives in a different world than the rest of us do. As I told somebody on Friday: "To expect validation for what you do, or for what the conservatives get done in this country in the mainstream media -- to even expect objectivity and accurate reporting -- is an expectation that you're only going to be disappointed in because it's never going to be met." We know who they are. We know what angers them. We know their gnashing their teeth over this. That's part of the success and the fun with it. The way to look at this is not that they're not covering it fairly, because we know that's going to happen. The way to look at this is: "Look what we did without them." Not only did they not cover it after the fact, they didn't cover it before or during -- and those that did touch on it got it wrong, as was also predicted. So this was done, this record and so forth was set on eBay without them. It's a positive! It's a net win-win.
One hour to go: Senator Harry Reid (Democrat-Nevada) tried to horn in on the credit. What a guy! What a leader. What a grungy act. He implied that he and my syndication partner worked out the fundraiser. But he didn't even know his name. He kept calling him Mark "May." It's Mays! He claimed he talked to him, and they had conversations, and they said, "Ah, it's not going to raise a whole lot of money." Dingy Harry tried to horn in on this and get credit for it in the last hour -- and as I predicted on Friday, the Drive-By Media in most places went right along with it. The New York Times and Reuters went right along with it. When a Republican has egg on his face, it's a Republican issue. When a Democrat has egg on his face, they turn it into, "Both sides do it," and they try to turn this into a story, to you, me, and Senator Harry Reid, were both wrong. Listen to the way the New York Times started on Saturday. This is the babe who called me and wanted an interview, and I told you I wasn't going to do it because I looked into some of the other things she's written and she attacks private charity because that money doesn't go to the government. So here's her lede on Saturday. Stephanie Strom is her name. "After Rush Limbaugh referred to Iraq war veterans critical to the war as 'phony soldiers'..." So they start out with a lie! After 17 days of this, they still perpetuate the lie. "[H]e received a letter of complaint signed by 41 Democratic senators. He decided to auction the letter, which he described as 'this glittering jewel of colossal ignorance,' for charity, and he pledged to match the price, dollar for dollar." So they start out with a false premise, and they close with a former IRS agent in the Clinton administration claiming that there might not be tax deductibility for the donor here, which to me signaled that they might investigate the donor.
I guess I always thought a blog's independence from MSM was what made it such a force. So basically Sibby's left holding MSM accountable in South Dakota. Seems like a sell-out for page views.
Someone with money and a large sphere of influence will give you a leg up. You know who has even more money and influence? The government. And just like a government-sponsored group's writing about the government is suspect, your blog's opinions about the MSM are now cast in doubt.
A big difference between bloggers and the media is that we hold each other accountable, while the media does not. So it is left to us bloggers to hold the media accountable along with ourselves. I was told by the publisher of the Mitchell Daily Republic that I could not write letters in their paper about the Argus Leader bias. I was told that they did not want to promote other papers. That want not be a good business decision. But then that same Mitchell paper would run opinions from other South Dakota papers on a weekly basis and give attribution. So their excuse did not hold water.
This web site is a sincere effort to search for the truth. When I am wrong I admit it, as I did when I was wrong in regard to Todd Epp’s deleting content from his web site. I am also sincere about my ideological position that America, Christianity, and the traditional American family is under attack by those who adhere to the secular humanist worldview. And there are folks out there like Todd Epp who refuse to he held accountable for the political positions they promote. Instead, they paint thase they disagree with as extremists and issue person attacks toward us. As I said earlier, this is so they don’t have to deal with a discussion that pins the secular humanist worldview against the Biblical Christian worldview. That may cause too many of those who listen to the discussion to understand the truth. That it is these humanists that are the radicals and extremists, not those who the Drive-by media falsely portrays as extremists.
Yes, what I do does not make me popular. But I consider truth to be more important than the number of page views this web site gets. Perhaps Todd Epp needs to take a look into a mirror as he makes false accusations against those who are holding him accountable to the standard of truth. Just consider it a little free advice from a friend.