Snowflake-in-Chief

Number 37 of a series

Did I? Yes, I’m sure I did. I already mentioned I subscribe to a newsletter from the Media Research Center (MRC).  They are a news-corralling outfit with a conservative bent. They figure mainstream news outlets are slanted left, and their aim is to provide a right-leaning shove. They provide an enlightening look at the hurt pride of conservatives, who think the world is not giving them a fair shake. That said, here is something from a recent missive:

The double standard at CNN is stark. The cable news network can’t seem to find much time for the three-week long unfolding drama of the corruption trial of sitting Democratic Senator Robert Menendez from NJ. But it found nearly 2 hours in just one day to cover HHS Secretary Tom Price’s flights on private jets.

The item includes a link:

By Mike Ciandella | September 29, 2017 4:35 PM EDT

The double standard at CNN is stark. The cable news network can’t seem to find much time for the three-week long unfolding drama of the corruption trial of sitting Democratic Senator Robert Menendez from NJ. But it found nearly 2 hours in just one day to cover HHS Secretary Tom Price’s flights on private jets (this coverage was all before Price’s resignation).

Yes, that does sound a bit one-sided. All this talk about Tom Price’s obsession with plane travel and barely a squeak on the notorious Senator Menendez. Indeed, CNN’s most recent coverage, from a Google search, is four days old:

Menendez prosecutors begin tying friend’s campaign donations to senator’s political favors

Newark, New Jersey (CNN)An official at US Customs and Border Protection told jurors at Sen. Bob Menendez’s federal bribery trial Thursday that she received a “somewhat odd” request from the New Jersey Democrat’s staffer on January 11, 2013, asking the agency to hold off delivering cargo scanning equipment to the Dominican Republic.

And more, of course. Considering there may have been television content not posted to the Internet, I checked YouTube and could find nothing more recent. What could be the reason CNN is not dragging the Menendez trial across the screen hourly, while it’s jumping all over former Secretary Price’s ride fest? What, indeed?

Could it be the facts of the Menendez case have been aired for months and years, and the trial is a public rehash? And the Tom Price affair hit the pavement with a bounce over the past few days? Could be.

Note to the MRC, if conservatives feel feel they can’t get a break from the world of real news, there are some things they can do to turn this around. Here are some suggestions to get them started:

  • Quit denying the science behind biological evolution.
  • Quit pretending there is a magical person in the sky who smiles on American conservative values.
  • Quit insisting that guns do not kill people.
  • Shake loose that corrosive element of white supremacists and Nazis who dog your campaign rallies.
  • Quit promoting and electing a presidential candidate whose campaign comprised a 15-month long litany of bald-faced lies and personal insults.

When you get that cleared off your plate, come back, and I will give you the second installment. It took conservatives decades to dig the hole they’re in. They should not expect a miracle fix by the end of the year.

And may Jesus have mercy on your souls.

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People Unclear

An ongoing scandal – number 13

This Senator Menendez story will not go away. Previously I looked into an item that appeared on The Federalist site. See the link above:

The lined story was posted by Bre Payton, who is a staff writer covering culture and millennial politics, and she has some interesting things to say about the just started trial of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey:

Media Won’t Talk About Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s Corruption Trial

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s upcoming corruption trial has gotten very little attention from members of the media. When they do talk about it, they like to leave out the fact he’s a Democrat.

So there was some back and forth about this in a Facebook exchange. My take was Bre Payton, author of the above, was commenting on the news without first reading the news. And on. And I got some push back.

Your analysis is for nought. Here’s the real truth:

http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/when-is-a-scandal-not-a-scandal-when-theres-a-democrat-involved/

The link tracks to an editorial item appearing in Investor’s Business Daily:

When Is A Scandal Not A Scandal? When There’s A Democrat Involved

Corruption: A sitting U.S. Senator is currently on trial for bribery, and if he’s found guilty it could have major political ramifications. Haven’t heard about this case? That’s because the Senator in question is a Democrat.

A CNN story this week about the opening of the trial against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez noted that “Democrats are eager to avoid the subject of Menendez’s bribery trial.”

That headline would have been just as accurate if it said “Reporters” instead of “Democrats.”

Menendez in on trial for allegedly having sold his office in exchange for luxury vacations, private flights, and piles of campaign cash. In his opening remarks, Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Koski said “this case is about a corrupt politician who sold his Senate office for a life of luxury he couldn’t afford and a greedy doctor who put that senator on his payroll. … The defendants didn’t just trade money for power, they also tried to cover it up.”

And I was quick to think my Facebook correspondent for coming forward with the real  truth. Also, I was particularly taken by an opening sentence: “Haven’t heard about this case?” It was impossibly for me not to respond:

John Blanton “Haven’t heard about this case? ” Really? Who has not? It’s been in the news for years.

Please read the entire piece to completely appreciate it. There is no byline, so I am concluding this is from the editorial board of Investor’s Business Daily. I am also concluding that collectively the editorial board of Investor’s Business Daily does not read the news. As I pointed out in the previous installation of this series, the Menendez story has been carried by mainstream media since it broke years ago. And with rare exceptions, Senator Menendez has been identified as a Democrat. I first wrote about it over two years ago, and, bleeding heart liberal that I am, I made sure the Senator was appropriately cataloged.

To be sure, IBD did cite a case of mis-association:

Then there’s the version of an AP story that ran on the NBC News website, which identified Menendez as “R-N.J.” in the first paragraph. Several hours later, NBC corrected its mistake, noting that “an earlier version of this article misstated the party affiliation of Menendez. He is a Democrat, not a Republican.”

Sloppiness? Bias? You decide. But try to imagine these reporters making such Journalism 101 mistakes if the case had involved a Republican. Does anyone outside of the liberal media bubble really think that a reporter would incorrectly identify a Republican as a Democrat when reporting on a major scandal? Or fail to mention the person’s party affiliation at all?

Yeah, methinks IBD doth protest too much.

I also run into complaints that the Menendez case does not get the amount of coverage by mainstream media it does on right-leaning outlets. This after first asserting that you would never know of it if you relied on mainstream media. I looked. I saw. I beheld. Menendez is not a screaming headline in The New York Times, on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC. Could there be a reason for that? Some Skeptical  Analysis is due.

I looked. I saw. I analyzed.

Yes, there is a at least one reason Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey is not front and center every day. First let’s discount Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which, paired together, have swamped the news of late. Forgetting these major news stories, what else is crowding the Menendez story? It turns out another famous player is hogging the political spotlight these days:

Trump Associate Boasted That Moscow Business Deal ‘Will Get Donald Elected’

WASHINGTON — A business associate of President Trump promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of RussiaVladimir V. Putin, that he said would help Mr. Trump win the presidency.

The associate, Felix Sater, wrote a series of emails to Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, in which he boasted about his ties to Mr. Putin. He predicted that building a Trump Tower in Moscow would highlight Mr. Trump’s savvy negotiating skills and be a political boon to his candidacy.

How many of these do I need  to post to get across the idea. If Donald Trump would quit grabbing pussy, lying about global warming, lying about election fraud, lying about the size of his inauguration crowd, lying about why he fired the FBI director, and if he would quit abrogating treaties (e.g., the Paris Climate Accord) and insulting friendly heads of state, then maybe the mainstream media will find it in themselves to push Senator Menendez (D-NJ) above the fold.

Wait for me. I will hold my breath. In the meantime, may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

People Unclear

I’m posting enough of these I need to recognize a series. This is number 12.

I get a bunch of my story ideas from Facebook. Let me restate that. I get almost all my story ideas from Facebook. This one came through my feed yesterday, courtesy of a Facebook friend. See the image. It’s a screen shot from Facebook, and I’ve turned down the brightness so  you can read the name of the originating publication at the bottom. It’s TheFederalist.com. And here’s what’s interesting.

The lined story was posted by Bre Payton, who is a staff writer covering culture and millennial politics, and she has some interesting things to say about the just started trial of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey:

Media Won’t Talk About Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s Corruption Trial

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s upcoming corruption trial has gotten very little attention from members of the media. When they do talk about it, they like to leave out the fact he’s a Democrat.

And that is strange on two levels. First, the media—meaning mean stream news outlets—pay little attention to (do not report much on) the Senator Menendez trial. Second, when they do talk about it, they neglect to mention that Menendez is a Democrat. Double strange, because double false.

Mainstream media have been reporting on the Menendez trial. CNN:

Newark, New Jersey (CNN)As he walked into the federal courthouse in New Jersey, Sen. Bob Menendez became emotional.

Speaking to reporters gathered in the rain Wednesday, he appeared to choke back tears as his son and daughter stood by his side.
“Never, not once, not once have I dishonored my public office,” said Menendez, a Democrat.

ABC:

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez “sold his office for a lifestyle he couldn’t afford” by accepting luxury trips and other favors from a wealthy doctor seeking political influence, a government prosecutor told jurors Wednesday during opening statements of the Democrat’s corruption trial.

CBS:

A federal prosecutor said Wednesday the case against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez is about a corrupt politician who, “sold his office for a lifestyle he couldn’t afford, and a greedy eye doctor,” CBS News’ Pat Milton and Erica Brown report.

Prosecutor Peter Koski methodically and meticulously laid out the U.S. government’s corruption case against 63-year-old Menendez, a Democrat, who is charged with accepting bribes including lavish vacations and hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Salomon Melgen, a wealthy Florida eye doctor, in exchange for political influence and favors to advance his business interests.

NBC:

WASHINGTON — The first U.S. senator to face bribery charges in nearly four decades goes on trial Wednesday in a case that could affect the Senate’s partisan makeup and the fate of President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda.

Robert Menendez, a Democrat in his 12th year as a senator from New Jersey, is charged with using his influence to do favors for a Florida eye doctor accused of overbilling Medicare. In return, prosecutors say, the doctor treated Menendez to “a lavish lifestyle that included private jet rides and vacations in Paris and the Caribbean.”

The New York Times:

Since his indictment more than two years ago, Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, has steadfastly proclaimed his innocence, and last week he reiterated that. “I am going to be exonerated,” he said in a brief interview on Wednesday with reporters following a rally protesting President Trump’s immigration policies.

I am not too sure how many of these mainstream media sources I am supposed to name in order to reveal that mainstream media are covering the Menendez trial. And they are calling him a Democrat. And they have been calling him a democrat for years. From The New York Times, 7 March 2015:

For decades, Senator Robert Menendez has been one of the immovable objects of New Jersey politics. Even now, staring down expected criminal charges, the Democratic lawmaker has vowed not to give way.

So, what am I missing here? I suspect what I am missing is that Bre Payton, who reports on culture and millennial politics, has now taken a turn at writing about the news—without first reading the news.

I am guessing some of the people who commented on the Facebook post are in the same situation. Here are some comments on Facebook, without naming names:

It wouldn’t surprise me if the piece is right about it being under-reported, especially the fact that he is a Democrat. Like the author says, the NY Times piece neglected to say he was a Democrat until it was edited a few hours later, and even then it was placed in the fourth paragraph. I would lay odds that if Menendez had been a Republican, the Times would have featured that fact much more prominently, maybe even in the title.

Imagine if he were a hated Republican. It would be a top story and the only story in many cases. As things are everyone expects that Democrats lie cheat and steal so it’s not news.

Imagine if you were actually adding something to the conversation rather than spouting off emotionally charged nonsense…

Hmmmm…. So you don’t think that pointing out the contrast between the way that “the media” treats republicans and democrats is adding anything. It’s not nonsense because it’s true. It’s also not emotionally charged, just a simple observation. Just trying to understand. You must be one of those that thinks that there is no real difference in the way that the media treats public figures. Either that or you think that all republicans are bad and so deserved to be treated differently. Which is it?

Apparently a bit of persecution complex is showing. To paraphrase, “The mainstream heads won’t hype the dirt unless it’s about a Republican.” For “Republican” you can substitute “conservative” or “Christian” or “white person.”

For the record, I’ve been on the story for several years:

This is another one of those posts. Sometimes (often times) people just don’t seem to get the point. In this case it’s Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey:

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors charged Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez and wealthy donor Salomon Melgen on Wednesday with participating in a long-running bribery scheme.

New Jersey’s senior senator used his office to benefit the Florida eye doctor in exchange for nearly $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions, prosecutors say.

68-page indictment outlines 14 criminal counts against Menendez, 61, including eight counts of bribery. Melgen, a 61-year-old West Palm Beach, Fla., ophthalmologist, faces 13 counts, also including eight bribery counts.

That’s from 2 April 2015. Maybe Bre Payton needs to follow my blog.

To be sure, Bre Payton’s story posted to The Federalist pointed out that The New York Times was slow coming around to the fact that Menendez is a Democrat:

On Sunday, The New York Times published a 1,288-word article about the trial, which begins Wednesday, without once mentioning Menendez’s political party affiliation. The newspaper of record then stealth-edited the piece hours later. The updated version identifies the New Jersey senator once in the fourth paragraph as a Democrat.

I like the phrase “stealth-edited.” Stealthy. In the middle of the night. When nobody was looking. So nobody would notice the Times was trying to play favorites. Good try, Payton, and welcome to the world of real news. If you worked for a real news outlet you would know it works something like this:

Editor: Nick [Corasaniti], did you write this? (Of course he did.)

Nick: Yes (gulp), sir.

Editor: I just read it. It’s already on the streets. You failed to mention Menendez is a Democrat.

Nick: Oops!

Editor: Fix it right now. Fix the on-line edition and print a correction in today’s edition.

I would like to contrast that with how things are done in the not-so-mainstream media:

The conspiracy-choked story of Seth Rich’s killing has made a sudden comeback thanks to Fox News, but the latest reporting seems to have generated more controversy than credibility.

Rich’s family is demanding a retraction from Fox for airing unsubstantiated claims about the Democratic National Committee staffer, whose death last year generated a wild river of theories and innuendo about who was behind it.

Fox’s latest reporting on the unsolved crime has an odd twist: Much of its work relies on a private investigator who is also a Fox News contributor. The investigator, in turn, is being funded by a frequent Fox News guest.

I would not bother to bring up this item, except that with Fox News this has been the modus operandi for much of its existence. Please do not ask me to cite additional examples, and I will not ask you to read them when I post them.

People Unclear

RobertMendenez-01

Oh, God! Don’t tell me that is our nation’s capitol building in the background.

This is another one of those posts. Sometimes (often times) people just don’t seem to get the point. In this case it’s Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey:

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors charged Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez and wealthy donor Salomon Melgen on Wednesday with participating in a long-running bribery scheme.

New Jersey’s senior senator used his office to benefit the Florida eye doctor in exchange for nearly $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions, prosecutors say.

A 68-page indictment outlines 14 criminal counts against Menendez, 61, including eight counts of bribery. Melgen, a 61-year-old West Palm Beach, Fla., ophthalmologist, faces 13 counts, also including eight bribery counts.

Those are some pretty tough accusations. What does the senator have to say about all of this?

Menendez has acknowledged that he flew multiple times on Melgen’s private jet to the Dominican Republic and initially failed to properly pay for the trips. In 2013, Menendez agreed to reimburse Melgen $58,500 for the full cost of two flights.

The senator’s office later disclosed another flight from Florida to New Jersey in 2011, and said Menendez had repaid Melgen $11,250 for it.

Last year, Menendez disclosed that his campaign accounts had paid a law firm $250,000 for legal costs related to investigations by the Justice Department and the Senate Ethics Committee of his ties to Melgen.

Menendez has also acknowledged taking actions that could benefit Melgen, among them contacting U.S. health agencies to ask about billing practices and policies.

But the lawmaker has said he did nothing wrong and that he and Melgen have been friends for decades.

“We celebrated holidays together,” he once told reporters. “We have been there for family weddings and sad times like funerals and have given each other birthday, holiday and wedding presents, just as friends do.”

That is some defense. “But the lawmaker has said he did nothing wrong and that he and Melgen have been friends for decades.” Senator, what about your constituents? What about the people who voted for you? What about the people in New Jersey you are supposed to represent? Aren’t they your friends, as well? Maybe so, but then those people forgot to give the senator free rides to the Dominican Republic. Senator, I’ve been the the Dominican Republic, as well, and as I recall I got there the traditional way. I purchased an airline ticket.

But what else can the senator’s constituents expect? They live in New Jersey. Maybe they should consider moving down to Texas. Wait. Never mind.

Hard Time

Hard Time