Showing posts with label NYT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NYT. Show all posts

Friday, August 28, 2015

NYT Leaves Out Democratic Ties Behind Planned Parenthood's Publicity Stunt

NYT Leaves Out Democratic Ties Behind Planned Parenthood's Publicity Stunt York Times reporter Jackie Calmes has been playing aggressive defense for Planned Parenthood ever since damning undercover videos were released showing staffers using dehumanizing terms to describe aborted babies, and engaging in possibly illegal activity. On Thursday she took dictation from the abortion provider about its supposed exoneration. In a public relations move that may be designed to neutralize the final undercover videos to be released by David Daleiden's Center for Medical Progress, Planned Parenthood commissioned its own report accusing the CMP of selective editing. Calmes treated the stunt as news. But she left out vital information from Planned Parenthood's supposed exoneration -- that it came courtesy of a firm that engaged in pro-Obama opposition research against conservatives. 

Planned Parenthood on Thursday gave congressional leaders and a committee that is investigating allegations of criminality at its clinics an analysis it commissioned concluding that “manipulation” of undercover videos by abortion opponents make those recordings unreliable for any official inquiry.
“A thorough review of these videos in consultation with qualified experts found that they do not present a complete or accurate record of the events they purport to depict,” the analysis of a private research company said.
The analysis was by Fusion GPS, a Washington-based research and corporate intelligence company, and its co-founder Glenn Simpson, a former investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal.
According to the investigation, the reviewers could not determine “the extent to which C.M.P.’s undisclosed edits and cuts distort the meaning of the encounters the videos purport to document.”
But, it said, “the manipulation of the videos does mean they have no evidentiary value in a legal context and cannot be relied upon for any official inquiries” unless C.M.P. provides investigators with its original material, and that material is independently authenticated as unaltered.
The analysis also supported Planned Parenthood’s objection to two allegations that have elicited some of the most outrage from anti-abortion forces, disputing that Planned Parenthood staffers at one point say of fetal remains, “It’s a baby,” and in a second instance, “Another boy.”
But Mark Hemingway at The Weekly Standard focused on what Calmes skipped over: "Politico & NYT Fail to Mention Report Exonerating Planned Parenthood Produced By Democratic Opposition Research Firm."
Hemingway asked: "Just who, exactly, is behind Fusion GPS? Turns out it's an opposition research firm with ties to the Democratic party and has a history of harassing socially conservative Republican donors, possibly on behalf of the Obama campaign."
He quoted a Wall Street Journal editorial:
As [Kim] Strassel has reported in recent columns, Idaho businessman Frank VanderSloot has become the target of a smear campaign since it was disclosed earlier this year that he had donated $1 million to a super PAC supporting Mr. Romney. President Obama's campaign website teed him up in April as one of eight "less than reputable" Romney donors and a "bitter foe of the gay rights movement." One sin: His wife donated to an anti-gay-marriage campaign, of the kind that have passed in 30 or so states.
Now we learn that little more than a week after that Presidential posting, a former Democratic Senate staffer called the courthouse in Mr. VanderSloot's home town of Idaho Falls seeking his divorce records. Ms. Strassel traced the operative, Michael Wolf, to a Washington, D.C. outfit called Fusion GPS that says it is "a commercial research firm."
Fusion GPS is run by a former Wall Street Journal reporter, Glenn Simpson, who wouldn't say who is paying him for this high-minded slumming but said in an email that Mr. VanderSloot was a "legitimate" target because of "his record on gay issues."
Politico was slightly more balanced than the Times.
A report commissioned by Planned Parenthood has found that the sting videos targeting its tissue donation practices contain intentionally deceptive edits, missing footage and inaccurately transcribed conversations. But there is no evidence that the anti-abortion group behind the attack made up dialogue. ...
But the firm also wrote that it is impossible to characterize the extent to which the edits and cuts distort the meaning of the conversations depicted and that there was no “widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation.”

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Holder: You Don't Have to Enforce Laws You Disagree With

Attorney General Eric Holder has given the nod to his state counterparts that they do not have to defend laws they consider discriminatory -- effectively giving the green light for states to stop defending bans on gay marriage.

Holder addressed the issue during a gathering of state attorneys general on Tuesday, after detailing his position in a New York Times interview.

Speaking to the National Association of Attorneys General, Holder said that any decision not to defend individual laws must be "exceedingly rare" and reserved for "exceptional circumstances." He indicated that legal challenges to gay marriage bans would qualify as such a circumstance.

"In general, I believe that we must be suspicious of legal classifications based solely on sexual orientation," he said.

His remarks, while already generating backlash from conservatives, could fuel a wave of legal challenges at the state level. In the wake of the federal Defense of Marriage Act being struck down by the Supreme Court last year, several Democratic state attorneys general have taken the unusual step of abandoning their defense of state gay marriage bans.

Among the most recent is Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who stood by as a U.S. District Court ruled against his state's prohibition on same-sex marriage. However, his office said Monday that it would appeal that ruling -- in the interest of expediting the appeals process.

The U.S. attorney general's comments could encourage other state officials to follow in Herring's footsteps.
Holder, in the Times interview, reportedly said that attorneys general should apply a high level of scrutiny on whether to defend a state law when constitutional issues are at stake.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Roberts: NYT Residency Story Is Wrong

Kansas senator Pat Roberts hit back today at a New York Times story questioning whether the senator has a residence in his home state.

“We had an interview with Jonathan Martin where we discussed the senator’s residency, and what turned up in the story is a distortion,” Sarah Little, the Roberts campaign’s communications director, tells National Review Online.

Little says the senator is in Wichita today and goes back to the state whenever he can, and that the Times piece is a hit job.

The Times reporter, Jonathan Martin, leads his story with a man-in-the-street interview of retiree Jerald Miller held at a restaurant across the street from the address listed on Roberts’s voter registration.

“They talked to one person in Dodge City, Kansas, who is apparently empirical evidence for the senator’s trips to the state,” Little says.

The Times piece says the senator is “desperate to re-establish ties to Kansas.” Little says that statement is false, and that Roberts’ ties to Kansas are as strong as ever.

The senator, she told NRO, goes back to Kansas at least once or twice every month and has visited 72 of the state’s counties this Congress. His election began a more conservative era for the state’s politicians, she says.

In a statement provided to NRO, she writes the following:
Also false is the statement that Senator Roberts “acknowledged he does not have a home of his own in Kansas.” Senator Roberts told the reporter just the opposite, both verbally and in writing.
The statement continues, taking aim at the reporter: 
Reporter Jonathan Martin came to us with a clear agenda. In an interview with the Senator, Martin scoffed at the fact Pat is proud to call Dodge City home. Martin even told us he didn’t understand why Pat bothered to live in western Kansas when it was so far away. He suggested Pat should live in Kansas City.
Martin did not let facts stand in the way of his agenda.
The reporter found two people who said they did not know Senator Roberts. Martin did not bother to find thousands of others who know the Senator well.
Via: NRO

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

All Three Networks Fret Over Obama Not Getting 'Credit' for 'Better' Economy

Minutes before the President began his State of the Union address Tuesday night, hosts on ABC, NBC, and CBS all worried that Obama was not getting the "credit" he deserved for how well the economy was supposedly doing. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Talking to former Obama advisor David Plouffe during ABC's live coverage of the speech, Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos argued: " of the real puzzles the President has to solve tonight, the economy, doing about as well as it's ever done in his presidency, as he comes into the chamber tonight, but most people don't believe it and don't give him credit for it."
Over on NBC at the same time, Meet the Press host David Gregory was complaining: "Look, the economy's getting better. That's what this president had to do, he had to make the economy better. And, yet he's not getting a lot of credit for it."On CBS, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer observed: "I thought The New York Times had a good headline today on one of their things, it said the economy has rarely been better, but the approval ratings have rarely been worse.
 People seem to favor many of the programs that the President wants to pass, but they are worried and concerned about whether he can actually – actually get it done."The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed 60% of Americans believe the nation is heading in the wrong direction, 68% think the country is in the same place or worse than when Obama took office, and 70% are dissatisfied with the economy.
Via: Newsbusters
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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Alaska Democrats Campaign to Reinstate Sarah Palin's Tax Policies

Alaska Democrats are campaigning to have former Gov. Sarah Palin's tax policy reinstated after Palin's successor, Gov. Sean Parnell, had it repealed this year, saying that it discouraged exploration. 

But Democrats liked the way it was in the Palin years and were able to gather enough signatures to make it a ballot measure for 2014, asking that Alaska voters repeal the new plan and keep Palin's, The New York Times reported.

"She was a transformational figure in Alaska politics," said Democratic State Senator Bill Wielechowski, a leader of the repeal effort. Tax policy had not caught up to the profits being made in oil in The Last Frontier. "People realized that for decades Alaska had not gotten a fair share."

Palin ran for governor as a reform candidate in 2006 after it was learned that the oil companies in the state were buying off state legislators in exchange for votes.

However, Andrew Halcro, president of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, argues that while Palin's tax policies were popular at the time, they may have gone too far and have resulted in discouraging oil companies from drilling. 

"People were angry at the oil industry, angry at the Republican Party, angry at the lawmakers who got caught in the scandal, and she channeled that," Halcro said. "And so when she raised taxes, people were like, 'All right, you go get 'em.' But then the reality sunk in."

While Alaskan Democrats prefer Palin's tax policy, they are hesitant to solicit her support in repealing the new law because she has become a polarizing figure following her candidacy as vice president in 2008 and her resignation as governor. 

"She did the right thing. She put in a tax that was tough on the big guys," said Jack Roderick, age 87, former Democratic major of Anchorage Borough and leader of the repeal effort. But with her divisive image, including her in the campaign would "probably not be helpful."

Via: Newsmax

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Obama’s Image Machine: Monopolistic Propaganda Funded by You

New York Times photographer Doug Mills strode into Jay Carney's office Oct. 29 with a pile of pictures taken exclusively by President Obama's official photographer at events the White House press corps was forbidden to cover. "This one," Mills said, sliding one picture after another off his stack and onto the press secretary's desk. "This one, too – and this one and this one and … ."
The red-faced photographer, joined by colleagues on the White House Correspondents' Association board, finished his 10-minute presentation with a flourish that made Carney, a former Moscow correspondent for Time, wince.
"You guys," Mills said, "are just like Tass."
Comparing the White House to the Russian news agency is a hyperbole, of course, but less so with each new administration. Obama's image-makers are taking advantage of new technologies that democratized the media, subverting independent news organizations that hold the president accountable. A generation ago, a few mainstream media organizations held a monopoly on public information about the White House. Today, the White House itself is behaving monopolistic.
The fast-moving trend is hampering reporters and videographers who cover the White House, but Mills' profession has probably been hardest hit. "As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist's camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government," reads a letter delivered today to Carney by the WHCA and several member news organizations including The Associated Press and The New York Times.
The letter includes examples of important news events that were not covered by media photographers, and yet pictures were taken by the White House image team and widely distributed via social media. This happens almost daily.
Unlike media photographers, official White House photographers are paid by taxpayers and report to the president. Their job is to make Obama look good. They are propagandists – in the purest sense of the word.
Via: National Journal
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Insurers: Let Consumers Bypass

Health insurers have so little trust in the Obamacare website that they are pressuring the administration to allow consumers entitled to subsidies to bypass and go directly to the companies.

Since its disastrous rollout Oct. 1, the government website has been an epic failure. The list of technical problems is endless and growing. It began with system delays and timeouts and more recently has been plagued with capacity problems that surface when a consumer is further along in the application process.

The administration so far has thwarted allowing direct access by consumers to insurers, The New York Times reports, in part due to privacy concerns. The White House, though, is “continuing to pursue additional avenues by which people can enroll.”

Officials reportedly are worried that users’ personal data, such as financial and tax information and immigration status, might be compromised, according to the Times. 

Quality Software Services Inc., the company charged with fixing the website mess, already has put at risk the personal information of more than 6 million Medicare beneficiaries, The Hill reports.

Federal investigators this year called the company a “high risk” after it was revealed it “failed to stop its employees from connecting unauthorized USB devices (such as iPods) to highly sensitive Medicare systems.” 

Doing so risks malware infecting the system asnd opens the door to identity theft by allowing for inappropriate access to personal information. 

The company put additional safeguards in place following the government report, according to a spokesman.

Via: Newsmax

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Obamacare Ads Steer Clear From Discussing Penalties

The state and federal health insurance exchanges created under Obamacare are touting the benefits of coverage but largely steering clear of discussing the penalty for not signing up. 

The avoidance of penalty talk is by design rather than default, reports The New York Times, noting that operators say market research has showed that consumers are more likely to respond to positive messages than to the threat of punishment.

"We feel that the carrot is better than the stick," Larry Hicks, a spokesman for Covered California,  told the newspaper. "This is a new endeavor. We want people to come in and test our wares."

Officials at Enroll America, a nonprofit agency promoting the new exchanges, agreed. 

Sophie Stern, a senior policy analyst for the agency, told the Times, "That doesn't mean that the penalty or the mandate isn't an important piece of the law from a policy perspective. But from a messaging perspective, this is what we find resonates best."

But there is another side to downplaying the penalty: The so-called tax is difficult to enforce. As Forbes contributor Roberton Williams explained,  "If you owe a penalty, you're supposed to pay it with your income tax return. But there's not much the IRS can do if you don't pay. They can't put you in jail or garnish your wages. In fact, about the only way the IRS can collect is if you're due a refund. They can deduct the penalty from this year's and future refunds."

"It might be that they want to be positive," Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute, said to the Times, referring to exchange operators. "But it's also the case that an informed customer is not their best customer."

There is also the question of whether it would cost more to buy insurance than to pay the penalty, which in 2014 is $95 per adult, or 1 percent of their income, and half that for children under 18. 

Via: Newsmax

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