Nov
15
2013

Obama's Deadly Website Compared to Katrina

ACA website

To some people, a new law that is running into technical problems with a poorly designed website is not really the same as a massive disaster in one of America's iconic cities that killed almost 2,000 people.

Mar
15
2013

NYT: Odd Memories of Iran-Contra, Obama First Term

Reagan image made of jelly beans, Reagan Presidential Library (Photo: Ryan Dickey)

The New York Times' Michael Shear suggests that Rep. Rand Paul's criticism of Obama's drone attacks are nothing out of the ordinary–but he takes a strange trip down memory lane to make the case.

May
01
2012

He Said, She Said on Voter ID Laws

Stories about new state voter ID laws should, at a minimum, explain that the problem the laws supposedly address–voter fraud–doesn't really exist. On that count, a New York Times report (4/30/12) by Michael Shear failed, since it presented the issue as a partisan dispute. On the one hand, Democrats complain: Many of the laws in question–including the ones in Florida and Wisconsin–are the subject of legal challenges by Democratic groups who say they are part of a partisan, Republican effort to dampen the turnout of voters, particularly members of minority groups, for Mr. Obama and his party. While on the […]

Sep
09
2011

What Do You Call a Guy Like Rick Perry?

Frontrunner-of-the-moment Rick Perry is getting a lot of press for his performance at the recent Republican debate–especially because he's standing by his belief that Social Security is a "monstrous lie" and a Ponzi scheme, and that climate change is an untested theory advanced by corrupt, discredited scientists. You can call such ideas a lot of things. "False" or "untrue," for example, would work. But a lot of reporters characterized Perry's performance in positive terms. In today's New York Times (9/9/11), Michael Shear writes that Perry made clear in his first national appearance that he would campaign as an unabashed Southern […]

Jul
07
2011

Questioning Obama: The Pros vs. the Tweeters

Barack Obama took questions via Twitter at an event yesterday. The queries they posed didn't impress everyone– Michael Shear of the New York Times wrote: Most of the Twitter queries were not very tough-minded and gave the president the opportunity to repeat his talking points. Yeah– leave the question-asking to the professionals, who apparently know how to get politicians to stray from their talking points (anyone who's ever watched a White House press conference might find this unusual). The real difference, though, is in what issues are worth asking questions about. On that score, the Twitter users have different priorities […]

May
19
2011

Gingrich's Gaffes and Wesley Clark's

The New York Times' Michael Shear has a piece today (5/19/11) reminding readers that presidential candidates often have early stumbles of the sort that Newt Gingrich has been having. He recalls several examples, most of which don't really offer much hope for Gingrich. One is Wesley Clark's brief 2004 campaign: In 2004, General Clark's campaign was premised on his military credentials and his critique of President George W. Bush and the Iraq War. So when the general said, within days of announcing, that he might have voted to authorize the Iraq War, it was a big deal. That's not exactly […]

Apr
27
2011

When NYT Talks About Ron Paul's 'Foil'–Do They Mean Tin Foil?

The New York Times's Michael Shear (4/27/11) has this odd reference to Ron Paul's presidential campaign: Surveys suggest that Mr. Paul's support remains low. In most recent polls, Mr. Paul receives just over 5 percent of the support from potential Republican voters. That is similar to the level of support he received in contests four years ago, when he served mostly as a foil for discussion during the debates. It's not clear what Shear's criteria for "low" polling is–according to Real Clear Politics, Paul averages 6 percent in recent polls, within three or four points of Sarah Palin and Newt […]

Sep
20
2010

Mediaspeak: 'Divisive Social Issues'

In the New York Times today (9/20/10), Michael Shear writes: But as the first full week of the 2010 general election season opens across the country on Monday, Washington is scheduled once again to debate immigration and gay men, lesbians and bisexuals in the military, two deeply divisive social issues that threaten to polarize the conversation on the campaign trail. Repealing "Don't Ask Don't Tell" is widely supported by the public. Public opinion on immigration policy is somewhat more complex; this story is referring tothelegislation known as the DREAM Act,which would provide a path to citizenship for students who have […]

Nov
06
2009

The Election Lesson: Hoover Was Right!

The Washington Post reported (11/5/09) that some Democrats are "questioning whether they should emphasize job creation over some of the more ambitious items on the president's agenda." A couple paragraphs later, reporters Michael Shear and Paul Kane elaborate: Moderate and conservative Democrats took a clear signal from Tuesday's voting, warning that the results prove that independent voters are wary of Obama's far-reaching proposals and mounting spending, as well as the growing federal debt. The implication that "job creation" is somehow at odds with "mounting spending" and "ambitious" or "far-reaching" government proposals is a another example of the neo-Hooverism that corporate […]