Consider this a bonus follow up to Fall Out Buckley.
Last night Politifact Wisconsin issued one of the least factual and most skewed “fact checks” I’ve ever seen. Not only do they bend over backwards to provide cover to one of the most impotent promises President Obama ever made, they also simply lie about the key facts they use to label Paul Ryan’s claim false. Here is Politifact’s ruling:
A strange thing happened during last week’s debate. One of the candidates actually brought up what could be President Obama’s least covered but most controversial on the record stance ever. The candidate was Newt Gingrich and Obama’s stance was against the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act:
After that moment though something a bit more predictable happened. Ben Smith, formerly of Politico and now the head of Buzzfeed’s political reporting operation, immediately tweeted out a defense of President Obama by lumping him in with a larger group of critics:
Obama opposed a “born alive” bill that, critics said, went well beyond banning infanticide (which is already illegal)….
— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) February 23, 2012
Knowing full well that the national version of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which was identical in language to the 2003 Illinois version that Obama killed in committee, passed the House without recorded opposition and the Senate by unanimous consent I wasn’t about to let that defense go unchallenged. So I tweeted back to Smith and called him out on what he was saying. Drew M joined in as well and Smith ended up responding.
Smith first claimed that the federal Born Alive Act and the Illinois version that Obama lead the opposition to were not identical. However, when confronted he said that he “misremembered” and changed his defense of Obama to the claim that, though identical to the national bill, the state bill would have a different impact.
This would not be the last time Smith’s arguments changed through the course of our discussion. The next change would come in his defense of the media’s handling of this story. Or, rather, in whether or not the media covered this story much at all.
During an email exchange, brought on by Smith’s request for a link to the transcript of Obama’s speech against the Born Alive Act on the Illinois Senate floor, Smith took two contradictory positions on how the media covered the stance. At first Smith claimed that “this was pretty intensely reported on in ’08” but later, after a detailed exchange about the media coverage, Smith claimed that Obama hadn’t broken with his party and therefore the story “didn’t get much coverage”.
Thankfully Ben Smith has agreed to let me publish our email exchange so others can see exactly how he rationalizes the utter lack of coverage on this story. I think this exchange is informative not only because Smith contradicts himself and reveals inclined he is to defend the president but also because his thinking is, more than likely, shared by many reporters in the liberal media. I highly doubt an exchange like this with most other reporters from the New York Times, Washington Post, or CBS News, where they willing to be as honest as Smith was, would have turned out any different.
I have published the transcripts of our email exchange here. I’d urge you to read the entire back and forth to get the full context of our conversation as well as a full understanding of why this issue and the media’s mishandling of it are so important.
Why yes. That is me sandwiched between Erick Erickson and Dr. Herbert London on the front page of Human Events.
My review of Jason Mattera’s book “Obama Zombies” was published by them today and I think you should, ya know, go read it. Here’s a taste to get your appetite going:
In 2008, twenty-somethings like me began to notice a disturbing new creature appearing on their college campuses around the country and all over their favorite social networking sites. They seemed to spread out everywhere, spewing meaningless dribble in the form of campaign slogans and infecting others as the year went on until it appeared a full-blown epidemic had emerged. What were these ominous beings and where did they come from?
Well the last time I live tweeted an Obama speech people really seemed to enjoy it so I figured, why not, I’ll take on the State of the Union too. So here you go… all my tweets from last nights speech and from the Republican response given by Bob McDonnell. My point in bla bla translating the two speeches wasn’t necessarily that they were poorly delivered (and actually I think McDonnell did a pretty amazing job in his speech) but, rather, that, like nearly all modern political speeches, they are nearly meaningless rehashing of already known, and even decades old, talking points surrounded by overwhelming heaps of tired rhetorical tricks and lots of bla bla.
Obama: bla bla bla bla bla hey guys bla bla bla the constitution says I gotta bore you to death tonight
Obama: bla bla bla bla I inherited a mess just like the world wars bla bla *Biden head shake* bla bla bla
Obama: bla bla bla bla random small town reference bla bla bla wall street hates children bla bla
Obama: bla bla bla bla this is the hardest presidency EVAH bla bla bla *fox letting teleprompter screens in the frame* bla bla Continue reading Live Tweeting President Obama’s State of the Union Speech
With Scott Brown giving Republicans their 41st member, the health care reform that was close to passing Congress has hit a major roadblock. Now, anything that comes out of the conference committee between the House and Senate would hit a GOP filibuster in the upper chamber. Meanwhile, Congress and the White House have been silent on what their next course of action will be. They are debating a few options.
First, the House could pass the Senate version of the bill. Since both chambers would have passed the same bill, it would go right to President Obama’s desk to sign. However, Speaker Pelosi says she doesn’t have the votes to pass that through the Senate. It would also be political suicide, as seen in polls and the Massachusetts election.
Or, Congress could break up the large health care bill and pass small initiatives that most people agree with. For instance, increasing portability by allowing customers to buy insurance across state lines would almost certainly pass. Outlawing caps on benefits, reforming the high-risk pools, enacting tort reform, preventing insurers from canceling policies, and pooling small businesses together would go a long way in lowering costs for all Americans, thus helping the uninsured obtain health care.
Either way, without a super majority in the Senate, Democrats will be forced to negotiate with Republicans. Whether or not they will do that is another story. Democrats have a diverse caucus, from socialists to liberals to more moderates. As we’ve seen, it is hard to compromise with all these factions. However, with 59 votes Democrats need only find one of the Maine Senators to vote with them to pass their legislation.
Yes, President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. This is all I have to say:
Since I was recently randomly granted press credentials by the white house I figured I’d give covering the President a shot. So I now present, in chronological order, my live tweeting of President Obama’s speech to the United Nations as I heard it:
Obama: “bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla *head swivel* bla bla bla *head swivel* bla bla bla bla”
Obama: “bla bla bla bla cleavage bla bla bla in this body bla bla bla” Continue reading Live Tweeting President Obama’s Speech to the UN
Well, it’s about time: Van Jones, President Obama’s ‘Green Jobs’ adviser, has resigned his position. Recently, some controversial comments, including calling Republicans “assholes”, made by Jones have resurfaced, leaving him to be a sitting duck in the Obama Administration. A video of Jones has surfaced on the Internet where he suggests black students would never do anything like the Columbine Massacres.
In the video, from December 2005, Jones makes statements about the racial differences in school violence. “You’ve never seen a Columbine done by a black child. Never,” he said. “They always say, ‘We can’t believe it happened here. We can’t believe it was these suburban white kids.’ It’s only them. Now a black kid might shoot another black kid. He’s not going to shoot up the whole school.” Continue reading All The President’s Czars