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Tag Archives: Politico

Fake News Alert: Politico Mischaracterizes What Trump Said

Look at this. See if you can spot the “mistake.”

Here is a headline for a story Politico has had on its website all day. Below a photo of Trump looking all nasty and ugly is a headline that declares he thinks “our relationship” with Germany is bad for the United States.

And yet, that’s not at all what he said, according to Politico’s own account:

If fact, Trump is saying only that the trade deficit and Germany’s failure to pony up for NATO are “very bad” for America. Not the whole relationship. The headline suggests that crazy Trump wants to cut off ties with our Teutonic amigos.

This is not the mistake of a single person, the reporter. It takes at least one editor as well to miscast Trump’s views in this light. That suggests to me an eagerness to say something more damaging about Trump than the facts suggest. That is, fake news.

Kerry Still Struggling with “War”

Just look how pathetic this is.

You are asking our nation to go to war. And yet you cannot even call it a war. You don’t even look like you know what the Hell it is.

So how do you get people to prepare for the sacrifices ahead? How do you galvanize them toward victory? This isn’t some damn college political science seminar.

He says something about ISIS being in a war against Islam. Last time I checked America was not an Islamic country but if that’s what it takes for Kerry to feel like he’s in a war then fine.

H/T The Blaze.

Politico Nails Mainstream Media for Liberal Bias

A recent article in Politico has stirred up a little firestorm in Washington, with the mainstream media and liberal blogs taking umbrage at a rare example of one corner of the MSM calling out the other for liberal bias.

The article, by Politico Executive Editor Jim VandeHei and its top reporter, Mike Allen, raises a possibility that is shocking within the Beltway but which would be unremarkable to many conservatives outside of it: that the charge of liberal bias in the press “often rings true” and that it is already emerging in stories about Romney’s past.

I can tell you, VandeHei and Allen – both of whom I know personally – have done a brave bit of work here and made themselves no new friends within the Washington journalism establishment.

Here’s section from the piece:

On the front page of its Sunday edition, the New York Times gave a big spread to Ann Romney spending lots of time and tons of money on an exotic genre of horse-riding. The clear implication: The Romneys are silly rich, move in rarefied and exotic circles, and are perhaps a tad shady.

Only days earlier, news surfaced that author David Maraniss had unearthed new details about Barack Obama’s prolific, college-age dope-smoking for his new book, “Barack Obama: The Story” — and the Times made it a brief on A15.

No wonder Republicans are livid with the early coverage of the 2012 general election campaign. To them, reporters are scaring up stories to undermine the introduction of Mitt Romney to the general election audience – and once again downplaying ones that could hurt the president . . .

Republicans cry “bias” so often it feels like a campaign theme. It is, largely because it fires up conservatives and diminishes the punch of legitimate investigative or narrative journalism. But it also is because it often rings true, even to people who don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh.

And the imbalance can do slow, low-grade but unmistakable damage to Romney: Swing voters are just getting to know him. And coverage suggesting he is mean or extravagant can soak in, even though voters who took the time to weigh the details might dismiss the storyline.

And the horse-riding story came a few weeks after a second story that made Republicans see red – another front-pager, this time in the Washington Post, that hit Mitt Romney for bullying a kid who might have been gay, in high school nearly a half-century ago. The clear implication to readers: Romney was a mean, insensitive jerk . . . the 5,500-word account was invested with far more significance than it merited, and is more voyeuristic than relevant to assessing Romney’s readiness for office . . .

Maraniss works for the Post and his pot-smoking scoop, which included details of Obama’s college-era dope-smoking club and waste-no-weed rules for inhaling it, never made the front of his own paper.

I hope this is a sign that the media will be more attentive to its biases, but I doubt it.

Politico’s own in-house media reporter chronicled the outrage: Talking Points Memo called the article “an astonishingly bad piece of reporting/analysis.” The Washington Post’s media blogger charges “hypocrisy.” GQ writes: “It’s a thinly disguised, fundamentally craven argument for Politico’s superiority in the world of political coverage. Let’s call this article for what it was. It wasn’t journalism. It was business.”

Really, there’s nothing like a little charge of liberal bias – so obvious to conservatives – to rankle the press. That and reducing the number of seats they are allowed at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner will really get the Washington media’s attention.

FYI, since I’m writing about the publication, I should note: I write regular opinion pieces for Politico, for which I am paid.

Santorum’s Contemptuous Certainties

I have strong concerns about Rick Santorum. I believe he shows a kind of intolerance toward dissenting opinion that is unacceptable in a president.

Santorum, for example, has suggested the devil is driving his opponents and compared Obama’s policy choices to the descent into Naziism.

This country faces serious peril. But the premise underlying American democracy is that we have at least some respect for our opposition, some acknowledgement that we might be wrong in some cases. Otherwise, why not a dictatorship?

A true conservative leader who will actually be an effective president must be someone who, like Ronald Reagan, vigorously promotes his principles while appreciating his opponents enough to be able to deal with them and in some cases bring them over to his view.

Santorum is a divisive and smug figure, convinced of the absolute rightness of his cause, and contemptuous of those who disagree with him. He’d be unable to advance conservative principles as president, because he’d be forced to work with people he thinks are evil.

I have a piece running today in Politico that describes why I think this about Santorum. Here’s an excerpt. I hope you have a chance to read the whole thing.

Santorum’s 2008 comments about the devil, which sparked a firestorm after they were uncovered last week by the Drudge Report, are alarming because he connected the devil’s work with Congress — and clearly, liberals in Congress.

Speaking at a Catholic university, Santorum argued that the devil launched his assault on America by first penetrating its colleges. Satan, Santorum said, had started there because he “understood the pride of smart people” — which is that “they were in fact smarter than everybody else.”

From there, Santorum explains, the influence of The Beast extended into society at large, which meant the devil could eventually get into politics — and did.

I know many of you will disagree. I’d love to hear what you think.

 

POLITICO: Obama Should Worry

I wanted to flag for you a piece running in POLITICO today that questions the rationale for the recent perky optimism being emitted by the Obama operation.

The campaign and the White House have put out word recently that they and the boss are buoyed by recent positive numbers on the economy, a rise in Obama’s polls, and signs of deeply ingrained ineptitude plaguing their Republican opposition.

But while Mitt Romney certainly needs to go back to the laboratory where he was created for some fine tuning, the economy and the polls are not quite what many Democrats seem to think. Or say they think.

In the piece, POLITICO Executive Editor Jim VandeHei points to a widely overlooked nugget of data to be found in Wednesday’s Congressional Budget Office economic forecast, noting that the CBO is predicting an 8.8 percent unemployment rate around Election Day.

That, as VandeHei suggests, would be catastrophic for the Obama campaign.

Part of the New Optimism message is predicated on the unemployment rate having dropped from above 9 percent to its current level of 8.5 percent. If it starts going up again, the recent decrease will actually work against the president, because Republicans will be able to claim that after almost four years of Obama, joblessness is rising.

What’s more, CBO says we’re looking at about 2.2 percent growth in the third quarter. That, to put it in the technical jargon of economists, sucks.

Meanwhile, the polls, VandeHei notes, are not particularly encouraging in the states that matter.

The president had a 50 percent or better approval rating last year in only 10 states and the District of Columbia. In five states that could decide the election — Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia — Obama’s slide has been steep and uniform. In each state, approval in 2011 had fallen 12 or 13 percentage points from 2009 levels.

And the Obama campaign strategy of trying to crush their eventual GOP opposition with dollar bills doesn’t seem to be working.

Look at the latest numbers: Romney, the RNC and the super PAC run by his allies have raised a total of $175.7 million during 2011; Obama, the DNC and the super PAC run by his allies have raised $209.3 million. As far as cash on hand, Obama enjoys an edge but not a decisive one: $96 million to $63.5 million.

This doesn’t factor in super PAC American Crossroads and sister nonprofit group Crossroads GPS, which plan on raising as much as $240 million for the election cycle, or the political spending of the Koch brothers, David and Charles, who together plan to funnel $200 million to various conservative groups this cycle. It is possible Republicans could actually outspend Obama.

So when you see cheerful Obamaites on TV and view the president with his newly chipper affect, remember that this is as likely a facade to energize the grassoots and open up donors’ wallets as it is a true sign of the current state of mind in the West Wing and at campaign HQ in Chicago.

Obama’s State of the Union from Mars

Hey everyone. I published a piece this morning in POLITICO titled “A State of the Union from Mars.” You can read it here.

The point is that Obama in his speech ignored the real perils facing the country – war, terrorism, Iran, North Korea and the deficit – while focusing instead on the presidency he wants to have, one with lots of pleasant domestic policy initiatives.

Hope you like.

Obama Edges Toward Demagoguery

Please check out my latest piece for POLITICO. It, um, doesn’t pull any punches. Below are the first two paragraphs to give you an idea. You can get to the whole piece at POLITICO by clicking here.

President Barack Obama makes legitimate, mainstream arguments when he says it is dangerous for millions of dollars in untraceable funds to be used to fund political attacks and also charges that Republicans have been insufficiently responsive to his attempted bipartisanship.

But his current response to these problems represents a peril to Democracy and the proper functioning of government. By waging unsubstantiated rhetorical assaults on his opposition, and then demanding that they prove their innocence, Obama is headed into the domain of demagoguery — maybe even McCarthyism. An ominous place for a sitting president to be.