Posts Tagged: Downplays


6
Dec 10

NY Times downplays Saudis as main source of funding for global terrorism

Why is the Times protecting Saudi Arabia?
American Thinker Blog


6
Dec 10

Anuzis downplays endorsement of ‘hate group’ leader

Kyle Bristow and Saul Anuzis (Photo courtesy of Southern Poverty Law Center)

Saul Anuzis, the former Michigan GOP leader running for chairmanship of the Republican National Committee has received an endorsement from the state’s Republican Congressional delegation despite criticism over his defense of a white nationalist extremist and use of race-baiting campaign tactics.

Anuzis chaired the Michigan Republican party from 2005-2009 — years in which Republicans lost their majority in the state House and two Congressional seats. His leadership was controversial both because of the losses the party faced during his terms and because of his endorsement of race-baiting in politics.

Anuzis, 51, owns a communications firm and ran an Internet campaign against the Employee Free Choice Act for Newt Gringrich’s group American Solutions last year. In a web announcement of his candidacy for RNC chair he said he wants to harness the power of new media and raise campaign funds so the party can retake the White House.

In a 2007 radio interview he defended Kyle Bristow, the president of the Michigan State University chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, a group that was labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Bristow led YAF as it organized a Koran Desecration competition, staged a “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day,” and invited holocaust denier and racial separatist Nick Griffin to speak.

“This is exactly the type of young kid we want out there,” Anuzis said on a radio program several months after YAF’s activities had been widely reported. “I’ve known Kyle for years and I can tell you I have never heard him say a racist or bigoted or sexist thing, ever.”

This year Bristow, now a law student at the University of Toledo, published White Apocalypse, a book that presents a theory that Europeans first settled North America and were killed off by “Amerindians.” The so-called Solutrean Hypothesis has quickly become popular with white supremacist and other racist groups.

The SPLC reported on the book recently and noted that it is endorsed by a long list of white nationalist leaders. The book contains a sequence that imagines the hero murdering one of his critics from a fictional organization that is clearly modeled on the SPLC.

“I do not ‘fantasize’ about anyone’s death,” said Bristow. “I do, however, fantasize quite often of taking the country over and implementing a real right-wing agenda that would make [archconservative MSNBC commentator] Pat Buchanan and the late Sam Francis [the chief editor of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens] proud. What I mean by this is the most offensive thing possible, and what this is I will leave to your imagination.”

Though Anuzis’ business is internet campaigns, he has chosen not to clarify his support for Bristow, which has been reported on several blogs.

In an e-mail exchange with Michigan Messenger Anuzis refused to say whether he still supports Bristow and he called reports of his 2007 comments in support of Bristow “an old story, out of context and irrelevant.”

“I have no idea what Kyle has been up to since he was MSU chair,” he wrote, “so I have no idea or comment on his current status or activities.”

This response was not reassuring to Heidi Beirich of the SPLC.

“Anuzis was defending Kyle long after he’d done very racist things and those things had been made brutally public in the Michigan press,” she said. “He may be distancing himself from him now, but he sure didn’t care much about Bristow’s racism for a very long time.”

“If it weren’t for Anuzis’ strong backing of Bristow’s racist acts, he may well not have progressed to the full blown hatemonger he is today. Anuzis helped build Bristow’s career. And now he isn’t even willing to denounce Bristow’s genocidal novel. That’s a bit cowardly, I’d say.”

This is not the first controversy Anuzis has found himself in that involved racial politics. In 2006 the leadership of the Kent County Republican Party attributed the heavy Republican losses in West Michigan to race-baiting campaign tactics authorized by Anuzis.

That year the Republicans lost the House seat in the 75th district, one that they had held since the mid 80s, after candidate Tim Doyle and the Michigan Republican Party sent out mailers that portrayed the African-American Democratic candidate Robert Dean as a criminal.

Kent County GOP Chairman Libby Child, Co-Chair Karl Hascall, Treasurer Rusty Richter, and Secretary Carolyn Mianowski blamed the loss on that mailer and urged state Republicans not to reelect Anuzis as their leader.

A Nov. 11 2006 Grand Rapids Press article on the controversy featured excerpts from an letter issued by the west Michigan Republicans.

“We write you today to state that we cannot support his campaign for re-election and view his performance poorly,” the letter read. “The race-baiting mailers of the Michigan Republican Party cost Tim Doyle his race against Robert Dean for state representative and Dan Koorndyk his re-election for county commission. We are not happy about it.”

In addition, the letter states: “We fear that anyone who supports (Anuzis) risks associating themselves with the race-baiting tactics … .”

Anuzis defended the mailer as effective and attributed the Republican losses to other factors.

Despite concerns about far right associations and tactics, Aunzis is gaining support among state Republicans. Last month longtime political adversary John Yob threw his support behind Anuzis and last week the state’s Republican Congressional delegation endorsed him for the position.

Michigan Messenger


30
Nov 10

The Arab press downplays WikiLeaks

The L.A. Times‘ Babylon and Beyond blog reports
that unlike in most of the world, the WikiLeaks dump of U.S. diplomatic cables isn’t getting that much
attention in the pan-Arab press:

Headlines in
the heavily state-controlled Saudi media were dominated
by news of King Abdullah’s ongoing physiotherapy, while the top story in the Emirati newspaper,
Al Bayan, centered on Prince Mohamad bin Rashid’s praise for
the country’s progress toward "transparency." Most mentions of the
WikiLeaks documents in official Arabic news outlets were scrubbed of
any reference
to the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, focusing instead
on U.S. attempts to control the damage to its diplomatic relations.

Even the
Qatar-based Al Jazeera, considered one of the most credible pan-Arab news
outlets, tread lightly in its coverage and generally refrained from repeating
the most incendiary quotes from the heads of neighboring states.

It’s hardly surprising that state-controlled Arab media
wouldn’t report on the repeated requests by Arab heads of state for the United
States to put a stop to Iran’s nuclear program. Some Arab leaders have gone as
far as supporting military strikes against Iran. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia,
for example, called on the U.S. to "cut the head off" the Iranian snake.  

These positions might make sense from the point of view of
an Arab autocrat, but they remain deeply unpopular with the populations they
rule over. A 2010 public
opinion poll
of the Arab world found that 57 percent of Arabs think that an
Iranian nuclear weapon would be positive
for the Middle East. (H/T Friday
Lunch Club
.)

Issandr El Amrani (a frequent Foreign Policy contributor) writes on his
blog:

There is so
much information flowing around about US policy - and often, a good deal of
transparency - that a smart observer with good contacts can get a good
idea of what’s happening. Not so in the Arab world, and the contents of the
conversations Arab leader are having with their patron state are not out in the
Arab public domain or easily guessable, as anyone who reads the meaningless
press statements of government press agencies will tell you. Cablegate is in
important record from the Arab perspective, perhaps more than from the US one.

The leaked cables bring to light the
behind-the-scenes positions of Arab politicians from Mubarak to Abdullah, but
if that information doesn’t make its way into the mainstream Arabic media, what
kind of effect will it really have?

FP Passport


30
Nov 10

Miami Heat coach Spoelstra downplays LeBron bump - MiamiHerald.com


Washington Post
Miami Heat coach Spoelstra downplays LeBron bump
MiamiHerald.com
A literal run-in between LeBron James and his coach, a players-only meeting and now an unnamed source questioning the team's direction: The periphery of an otherwise innocuous game against the Washington Wizards has snowballed into a
NBA: LeBron James leads Miami Heat over Washington WizardsSan Jose Mercury News
LeBron hurting himself by undermining coachFOXSports.com
James and His Coach Deny a RiftNew York Times
ESPN -Reuters -msnbc.com
all 1,768 news articles »

Sports - Google News


29
Nov 10

Erik Spoelstra downplays LeBron ‘bump - USA Today


Kansas City Star
Erik Spoelstra downplays LeBron 'bump
USA Today
Erik Spoelstra says the bump he got from LeBron James during a Miami Heat timeout on Saturday night was simply incidental contact, not a sign of dissension. "I didn't even notice it until people mentioned it after the game," Spoelstra told the South
LeBron James, Heat Unifying Nation in Unexpected WaysFanHouse
Erik Spoelstra Reportedly Frustrating HeatSan Francisco Chronicle
Tracy McGrady calls out lack of chemistry between LeBron, WadeSportingNews.com
Vancouver Sun -NESN.com -Yahoo! Sports (blog)
all 1,274 news articles »

Sports - Google News


29
Nov 10

Spoelstra downplays ‘bump,’ friction inside Heat locker room - Orlando Sentinel


CBC.ca
Spoelstra downplays 'bump,' friction inside Heat locker room
Orlando Sentinel
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra strongly downplayed reports of internal conflict within the team and termed innocuous the bump he received from forward LeBron James during a third-quarter timeout Saturday in
Haters, rejoice! Heat struggles delighting manySeattle Times
Haters, rejoice! Heat struggles delighting manyUSA Today
Tracy McGrady calls out lack of chemistry between LeBron, WadeSportingNews.com
ESPN -MiamiHerald.com -Yahoo! Sports
all 1,147 news articles »

Sports - Google News


28
Nov 10

Worst New Home Market Ever; AP’s Crutsinger Downplays, Lowers the Recovery Bar

There are many annoying aspects of the sea change in media coverage of the economy since Barack Obama became president. At or near the top of the list is how the business press has downplayed the unprecedented housing industry disaster, while lowering the bar that will supposedly represent a real recovery to ridiculous levels.

According the the Census Bureau (12-page PDF), 23,000 new homes were sold nationwide in October. That figure ties August 2010 and December 1966 (when the population was 35% smaller) for is the lowest single month since records have been kept. More extensive evidence of how bad things are will come after the jump.

On Wednesday, the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger provided as good an example as any of the press template for housing coverage — acknowledge that, yes, things are really bad; give readers an absurdly low benchmark for what would represent real improvement and how long it should take to get there; locate some "expert" to say it's really not all that bad; and find some kind of anecdote somewhere, anywhere, that will leave the impression that things might somehow be getting better:

read more

NewsBusters.org blogs


28
Nov 10

Worst New Home Market Ever; AP’s Crutsinger Downplays, Lowers the Recovery Bar

There are many annoying aspects of the sea change in media coverage of the economy since Barack Obama became president. At or near the top of the list is how the business press has downplayed the unprecedented housing industry disaster, while lowering the bar that will supposedly represent a real recovery to ridiculous levels.

According the the Census Bureau (12-page PDF), 23,000 new homes were sold nationwide in October. That figure ties August 2010 and December 1966 (when the population was 35% smaller) for is the lowest single month since records have been kept. More extensive evidence of how bad things are will come after the jump.

On Wednesday, the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger provided as good an example as any of the press template for housing coverage — acknowledge that, yes, things are really bad; give readers an absurdly low benchmark for what would represent real improvement and how long it should take to get there; locate some "expert" to say it's really not all that bad; and find some kind of anecdote somewhere, anywhere, that will leave the impression that things might somehow be getting better:

read more

NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias


27
Oct 10

ABC Alone Features Obama Extorting Latinos to ‘Punish Our Enemies,’ Stephanopoulos Downplays

Good Morning America on Thursday was the only network morning show to highlight Barack Obama's exhortations that Latinos should help him "punish our enemies." Host George Stephanopoulos played the clip while discussing the issue with conservative Laura Ingraham.

read more

NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias


16
Oct 10

NYT Japan Write-up Downplays Decades of Stimulus, Fails to ID Causes of Malaise

Only the New York Times could burn through 2,500 words about Japan's economy and not use the word "stimulus." The Old Gray Lady's Martin Fackler did refer to Fed Chair Ben Bernanke's just-announced second attempt to "stimulate" economy, but dodged the central lession: The government created the Japanese people's malaise, and our government, despite Japan's experience, seems determined to do the same to us.

The Times item is the first in a series, so I suppose Fackler may get around to it in subsequent reports, but it doesn't seem likely.

Here are some paragraphs from Fackler's report that show how intent he and the Times were on not getting to the real root causes of Japan's nearly two-decade malaise (bolds are mine):

read more

NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias


13
Sep 10

White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett Downplays Chief of Staff Talk – “I don’t want to change jobs. I love my job.”

ABC News’ Karen Travers reports: White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett downplayed talk of a job promotion during an appearance on ABC’s “The View” this morning. “View” host Barbara Walters noted that with the possibility of White House Chief of…



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Valerie Jarrett - White House - Barbara Walters - View - United States
Political Punch


24
Aug 10

New York Times Faults Gov. Candidate Rick Lazio for Mosque Opposition, Downplays Firefighter Protests

The front page of Monday’s New York Times featured a story on how Rick Lazio, the Republican candidate for governor of New York, is gaining voter appeal from his strong opposition to the building of a mosque two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks: "Lazio Finds an Issue in Furor Over Islamic Center."

Reporter Michael Barbaro, while conceding the popular appeal of Lazio’s opposition, managed by tone to suggest Lazio was somehow engaged in inappropriate politicking, confirmed by the story’s text box: "Commercials that appeal to some may risk the alienation of moderates."

Mr. Lazio’s relentless opposition to the project — he again attacked the imam behind it during an appearance Sunday on NBC’s "Meet the Press" — is, above all, aimed at Republican primary voters, analysts say. But it risks alienating moderates who could prove crucial in a general election. And it certainly is infuriating many Muslim leaders, who say he is preying on the worst fears of voters; and provoking a backlash from some influential voices in the community of Sept. 11 emergency workers, who say he is exploiting the tragedy.

Nevertheless, Mr. Lazio is pushing ahead with the strategy, even breaking what has been, until now, something of an unwritten rule of politics in New York: never to use images of Sept. 11 in campaign advertisements.

The Times drug up an incident from 10 years ago to make Lazio into some kind of anti-Muslim campaigner:

This is not the first time that Mr. Lazio has thrust Islam into a political campaign. In his 2000 bid for the United States Senate, Mr. Lazio attacked his Democratic opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton, for raising money from a Muslim group, some of whose members had defended the radical Islamic group Hamas.

Mrs. Clinton eventually returned the donations. But in the waning days of the campaign, Mr. Lazio’s supporters in the State Republican Party made a telephone calls to voters that linked Mrs. Clinton’s donors to the terrorism attack on an American warship in Yemen, angering many voters, who considered the tactic over the top.

Also on Monday, reporter Michael Grynbaum covered the fiery protest and counter-protest that took place Sunday near ground zero over the proposed mosque: "Proposed Muslim Center Draws Protesters on Both Sides of the Issue."

Although a front-page photo featured firemen and hard-hat construction workers protesting the mosque, only one firefighter made it into the story, quoted three paragraphs from the end. The Times has been very supportive of the health needs of September 11 first responders like the firefighters and police and has attacked Republicans for allegedly short-changing them. Why would the Times downplay their concerns now?

Instead, Grynbaum led with a flattering anecdote about a tolerance martyr attacked by an angry, red-cheeked mosque opponent.

Around noon on Sunday, Michael Rose, a medical student from Brooklyn, approached some of the hundreds of protesters who had gathered near ground zero to rally against a mosque and Islamic center planned for the neighborhood.

Mr. Rose, 27, carried a handwritten sign in favor of the mosque — "Religious tolerance is what makes America great," it read — and his presence caused a stir. An argument broke out, punctuated by angry fingers pointed in the student’s face.

One man, his cheeks red, leaned in and hissed that if the police were not present, Mr. Rose would be in danger.

Before any threats could be carried out, the police intervened, dragged Mr. Rose away from the crowd and insisted that he return to the separate area, one block away, where supporters of the project had been asked to stand.

Minutes later, as Mr. Rose was still shaking off the encounter, he turned to find the red-cheeked man back at his side. The man had followed the student up the street, and the two now stared at each other for a tense moment.

Then the man stuck out a hand and, in a terse voice, said, "I’m sorry."

"You have a right," he told Mr. Rose. (He would not give his name.) "I am sorry for what I said to you. I disagree with you completely, but you have a right."

Here’s a tidbit about firefighter opposition that was picked up by the New York Post but ignored in the Times on Monday:

Opponents of the project began with a 9 a.m. motorcycle ride, led by several firefighters, to Ground Zero and then proceeded to an 11 a.m. rally around the corner from the Park Place site of the planned 13-story mosque and community center.

NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias


19
Aug 10

White House downplays combat brigade pullout in Iraq

(CNN) -  With broadcast reports and pictures  Wednesday evening celebrating the last U.S. brigade combat team leaving Iraq and  crossing the border into Kuwait, the White House and Pentagon scrambled to  explain that the war in Iraq is not over.

With the August 31 deadline for withdrawing  U.S. combat troops fast approaching, administration officials were caught off  guard by the onslaught of questions about the moment’s  significance.

The broadcast pictures were of a convoy of service members from the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division leaving Iraq.


White House spokesman Tommy Vietor  said Thursday, “it was an extraordinary moment. The men and women in this brigade and all others serving tours of duty in Iraq  deserve our sincerest thanks for their enormous sacrifice. But this brigade leaving doesn’t mean the mission has ended early.

Operation Iraqi Freedom ends  August 31, and on September 1 we transition to Operation New  Dawn.” Operation New Dawn is the official  name for the new U.S. mission in Iraq. Those remaining U.S.  forces will take on a new advise-and-assist role. Pentagon Spokesman Bryan Whitman  told CNN Wednesday, “I have daily conversations with Iraq to talk about important issues - they never mentioned that there was anything  significant about what’s been happening this evening.”

Adding to the confusion  about the significance of the brigade’s departure, earlier in the day at fundraisers in Columbus, Ohio, and Miami, Florida, President Barack Obama made two separate on-camera statements pledging to fulfill his campaign promise of bringing the Iraq war to a responsible and swift  end.

Wednesday afternoon, Obama released a letter on the White House website, whitehouse.gov, saying “[T]oday, I’m pleased to report that - thanks to the extraordinary service of  our troops and civilians in Iraq - our combat mission will end this  month, and we will complete a substantial drawdown of our troops.”

Vietor said none of the president’s statements were meant to foreshadow or give any  particular weight to the 4th Stryker Brigade’s departure, which happened later that evening.


CNN Political Ticker


19
Aug 10

White House downplays combat brigade pullout in Iraq

(CNN) -  With broadcast reports and pictures  Wednesday evening celebrating the last U.S. brigade combat team leaving Iraq and  crossing the border into Kuwait, the White House and Pentagon scrambled to  explain that the war in Iraq is not over.

With the August 31 deadline for withdrawing  U.S. combat troops fast approaching, administration officials were caught off  guard by the onslaught of questions about the moment’s  significance.

The broadcast pictures were of a convoy of service members from the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division leaving Iraq.


White House spokesman Tommy Vietor  said Thursday, “it was an extraordinary moment. The men and women in this brigade and all others serving tours of duty in Iraq  deserve our sincerest thanks for their enormous sacrifice. But this brigade leaving doesn’t mean the mission has ended early.

Operation Iraqi Freedom ends  August 31, and on September 1 we transition to Operation New  Dawn.” Operation New Dawn is the official  name for the new U.S. mission in Iraq. Those remaining U.S.  forces will take on a new advise-and-assist role. Pentagon Spokesman Bryan Whitman  told CNN Wednesday, “I have daily conversations with Iraq to talk about important issues - they never mentioned that there was anything  significant about what’s been happening this evening.”

Adding to the confusion  about the significance of the brigade’s departure, earlier in the day at fundraisers in Columbus, Ohio, and Miami, Florida, President Barack Obama made two separate on-camera statements pledging to fulfill his campaign promise of bringing the Iraq war to a responsible and swift  end.

Wednesday afternoon, Obama released a letter on the White House website, whitehouse.gov, saying “[T]oday, I’m pleased to report that - thanks to the extraordinary service of  our troops and civilians in Iraq - our combat mission will end this  month, and we will complete a substantial drawdown of our troops.”

Vietor said none of the president’s statements were meant to foreshadow or give any  particular weight to the 4th Stryker Brigade’s departure, which happened later that evening.


CNN Political Ticker


18
Aug 10

WaPo Highlights Dem Outrage at Fox Donations to GOP, Downplays Reality of 50-50 Contributions

The Washington Post hyped the news on the front of Wednesday’s Style section that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation has donated $ 1 million to the Republican Governors Association, "triggering swift criticism from Democrats that a contribution of that magnitude casts a shadow on his media properties, particularly Fox News." In paragraph 13, on page C-10, this apparent outrage of Republican favoritism gets ruined by reality:

Until now, the News Corp./Fox political action committee had given 54 percent of its donations to Democrats and 46 percent to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics — including $ 8,000 to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid’s campaign committee and $ 5,000 to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s organization. News Corp. also gave $ 45,000 each to GOP and Democratic campaign committees on Capitol Hill.

So the real story here is that Democrats are having a fit over the RGA donation, even if the overall donation levels are about even. Reporter Howard Kurtz failed to inform readers that Murdoch held a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in 2006 (and the New York Post endorsed her Senate re-election bid). Kurtz only mentioned he’d "sought accomodations" with her:

An outspoken conservative, the Australian-born Murdoch has nonetheless sought accommodations over the years with political rivals, including Tony Blair when he was British prime minister and Hillary Rodham Clinton when she was a senator from New York.

Kurtz suggested the RGA donation spurred a new anti-Fox News political campaign by the Democratic Party:  

The White House refused for months to make top officials available for interviews and assailed Fox as an arm of the Republican Party — an attack that was revived Tuesday.

"Any pretense that may have existed about the ties between Fox News and the Republican Party has been ripped violently away," said Hari Sevugan, spokesman for the Democratic National Committee. "Any Republican that appears on Fox should now have a disclaimer that they are financially supported by the network and any coverage of the elections this fall on Fox should be reported with disclaimer for what it is — partisan propaganda."

But if "disclaimers" were being handed out, wouldn’t every report on Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have to note they were funded by the parent company of Fox News? And wouldn’t that tend to ruin the DNC spin? If Sevugan thinks the on-air FNC product is ridiculously unfair and imbalanced, if anything, the roughly 50-50 donations levels must be more balanced than the TV coverage. 

It’s quite clear that the Democrats are used to a media environment where every network, every newspaper, and every "news" magazine caters to Barack Obama and find it scandalous and outrageous that anyone wouldn’t march to their drumbeat. Being a "real" news network and not a "partisan propaganda" outlet by their definition actually requires being a partisan propaganda outlet for Obama. 

NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias