There Will be No Reward for Andrew Breitbart’s Lack of Integrity

Andrew Breitbart Puts a $100,000 Bounty on Ezra Klein’s Liberal Listserv. I would have found Breitbart’s post at Big Journalism entitled Hypocrisy, Thy Name is Andrew Sullivan a fascinating revelation about the right-wing conservative mindset a decade ago. Now it is just the same regurgitated conservatives are the poor unfortunate aggrieved party that can get no justice from a vast media conspiracy to manipulate the people.

Most information of value is held by people that don’t want it to be public. Not that anyone asked, but I would never divulge information discovered that was not pertinent to my stated mission, which is to point out the collusion between the political left and a journalist class that improbably claims there is no such thing as media bias and who dismiss those who accuse the media of having a left wing agenda as paranoid conspiracy theorists.

When was the rule passed which said journalist were not entitled to personal and confidential communication. And who put Breitbart in charge. Did Breitbart not take logic in school. Is his claim that if an editorial columnist has a political leaning one way or the other, the writer is not capable of being fair. On that patently faulty logic Brietbart launches a campaign reminiscence of Stalin’s purges to purify the editorial pages and newsrooms of anyone of insufficient loyalty to conservatism. Conservatism being the only ideological bent from which fair opinion can originate? Imagine the howls of injustice from the rabid Right if a moderate offered a reward for the names and private correspondence of conservative pundits so as to cleanse the nation of the opinion’s of knuckled headed conservative writers. Black and White and Re(a)d All Over: The Conservative Advantage in Syndicated Op-Ed Columns

Though papers may be “willing to consider” progressive syndicated columnists, this unprecedented study reveals the true extent of the dominance of conservatives:

* Sixty percent of the nation’s daily newspapers print more conservative syndicated columnists every week than progressive syndicated columnists. Only 20 percent run more progressives than conservatives, while the remaining 20 percent are evenly balanced.

* In a given week, nationally syndicated progressive columnists are published in newspapers with a combined total circulation of 125 million. Conservative columnists, on the other hand, are published in newspapers with a combined total circulation of more than 152 million.2

* The top 10 columnists as ranked by the number of papers in which they are carried include five conservatives, two centrists, and only three progressives.

* The top 10 columnists as ranked by the total circulation of the papers in which they are published also include five conservatives, two centrists, and only three progressives.

* In 38 states, the conservative voice is greater than the progressive voice — in other words, conservative columns reach more readers in total than progressive columns. In only 12 states is the progressive voice greater than the conservative voice.

* In three out of the four broad regions of the country — the West, the South, and the Midwest — conservative syndicated columnists reach more readers than progressive syndicated columnists. Only in the Northeast do progressives reach more readers, and only by a margin of 2 percent.

* In eight of the nine divisions into which the U.S. Census Bureau divides the country, conservative syndicated columnists reach more readers than progressive syndicated columnists in any given week. Only in the Middle Atlantic division do progressive columnists reach more readers each week.

[   ]…The truth is that conservatives have a clear and unmistakable advantage. Conservative columnists appear in more papers than progressive columnists do, and conservatives reach more readers. Most states find their newspapers’ op-ed pages dominated by conservatives. In short, just as in so many other areas of the media, the right has the upper hand.

THE BIG PICTURE

If one were to throw a dart at a map of the United States and pick up the local newspaper where the dart landed, chances are one would be reading a paper whose op-ed pages lean to the right. Putting aside for a moment the question of circulation, the data show unequivocally that most newspapers in America run more conservative syndicated columnists than progressive syndicated columnists.

In fact, there are fully three newspapers that run more conservatives than progressives for every one newspaper that runs more progressives than conservatives.

Most newspaper editors simply do not give their readers a choice. A recent example of how the media in general and certainly newspapers are cowed by conservatives and their doublespeak manipulation of reporting was a report by Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government – New study documents media’s servitude to government

This new study examines how waterboarding has been discussed by America’s four largest newspapers over the past 100 years, and finds that the technique, almost invariably, was unequivocally referred to as “torture” — until the U.S. Government began openly using it and insisting that it was not torture, at which time these newspapers obediently ceased describing it that way..

Breitbart also presents a typically perverted account of Sarah Palin’s hacked e-mails. No major media outlet defended the hacker who was recently prosecuted. Left conveniently out of Breitbat’s spiffy analysis is that Palin was using a personal e-mail account to conduct state business which walked a thin line as to whether it violated state ethics guidelines and violated her own vow to run an “open and transparent ” administration. In some ways that hacker handed the Right a gift with which they could muddy the original issue. The point at which he calls conservative Andrew Sullivan one of the “Alinsky monsters” of the left is the kind of wild unsubstantiated claims which the Right must resort to fill up the space where the facts would be in a rational person’s writings.

Then there is Wingnuttia’s perennial problem with apples and oranges. Breitbart writes,

I am not bound by those rules.  Unless you are going to tell me that in the future, journalists are forever bound not to report information that others  have agreed would remain private, you are holding me to a standard that no one else in the media would ever agree to.  Such a standard would allow corporate, government and military malfeasance to flourish and would certainly prevent stories like the Risen and Lichtblau exposes in the New York Times from ever being published; even though the programs were top-secret, the Times  was not bound by any privacy agreement.

A private e-mail list is exactly the same as the NYT sitting on a story about the Bush administration’s illegal wire tap program – an opinion of the uber-Right Robert’s Court – which they finally got around to reporting to the American public. If the media is the public’s watchdog on government, as Thomas Jefferson suggested, than the NYT was remiss while on guard duty. The NYT can’t catch a break from the Right. They withhold a story about the gross abuse of executive power for a year, helps the Bush administration sell a pack of lies about WMD and Iraq to the public,  and still have not gotten an official thank you from the Breitnuts.

The Right’s Distortion of the Law and Science to Get Kagan

Supreme Court nominee Elana Kagan once suggested the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) change some wording on the summary of a research paper they did about the extremely rare  use of intact D&Es. A procedure the Right has cowed the media and Congress  into calling “partial-birth abortions”.  This was supposed to be the gotcha moment except they left out a few details – Righties and “Medical Science”: Still at Odds

Somehow, in the fevered imagination of righties, a professional organization representing 90 percent of U.S. board-certified obstetrician-gynecologists was duped by Kagan into telling a lie, or something, and because this wording came from Kagan it must not actually reflect the views of ACOG. Coffin concludes,

Now we learn that language purporting to be the judgment of an independent body of medical experts devoted to the care and treatment of pregnant women and their children was, in the end, nothing more than the political scrawling of a White House appointee.

Miss Kagan’s decision to override a scientific finding with her own calculated distortion in order to protect access to the most despicable of abortion procedures seriously twisted the judicial process. One must question whether her nomination to the Court would have the same effect.

But no scientific finding was “overridden,” just clarified, and ACOG must have agreed with the statement or they wouldn’t have continued to repeat it in their position papers ever after.

Shannen W. Coffin, the writer of the italicized commentary, was a legal hack at the DOJ under Bush. Who better to come forward and subvert both the law and science. Apparently Kagan’s influence, like all Democrats, is nearly god-like in it’s power since the ACOG is still using language very similar to Kagan’s – ACOG Statement on the US Supreme Court Decision Upholding the, Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, For Release:  April 18, 2007

Despite the fact that the safety advantages of intact dilatation and evacuation (intact D&E) procedures are widely recognized—in medical texts, peer-reviewed studies, clinical practice, and in mainstream, medical care in the United States—the US Supreme Court today upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) amicus brief opposing the Ban, the Act will chill doctors from providing a wide range of procedures used to perform induced abortions or to treat cases of miscarriage and will gravely endanger the health of women in this country.

“Today’s decision to uphold the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 is shameful and incomprehensible to those of us who have dedicated our lives to caring for women,” said Douglas W. Laube, MD, MEd, ACOG president. “It leaves no doubt that women’s health in America is perceived as being of little consequence.

“We have seen a steady erosion of women’s reproductive rights in this country. The Supreme Court’s action today, though stunning, in many ways isn’t surprising given the current culture in which scientific knowledge frequently takes a back seat to subjective opinion,” he added.

This decision discounts and disregards the medical consensus that intact D&E is safest and offers significant benefits for women suffering from certain conditions that make the potential complications of non-intact D&E especially dangerous. Moreover, it diminishes the doctor-patient relationship by preventing physicians from using their clinical experience and judgment.

I was almost hoping this particular right-wing smear would work since Diane Wood is my preferred choice for Supreme Court Justice and was reportedly the second choice behind Kagan. It has never been the case that the president’s second choice has been rejected by the Senate so the Right would have been due some credit for getting a more liberal Justice on the court.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)  Has ‘No Idea’ Whether He Would Have Voted To Confirm Thurgood Marshall

Moreover, Republicans can’t seem to provide any evidence to support their claim that Marshall was an “activist” judge. Talking Points Memo asked Coburn, Hatch, and Sessions which of Marshall’s opinions best exemplified his activism — “none of them could name a single case.” As the National Urban League’s Stephanie Jones wrote in today’s Washington Post, “Unlike many of his detractors, past and present, Marshall showed the utmost reverence for the Constitution” by defending equal rights for all Americans.

Let’s be fair. The notion that Justice Marshall was “activist” probably came to the three stooges of conservatism in a vision. Isn’t that all the intellectuality depth and honesty America has come to expect from Republicans.