Skip to content

Planned Parenthood Director Quits After Watching Abortion on Ultrasound

November 5, 2009

Here is some great news from Fox News. It should encourage us to pray for those who are thinking about having an abortion, abortion clinics, etc. No doubt many have prayed for this woman and the clinic.

———————

The former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in southeast Texas says she had a “change of heart” after watching an abortion last month — and she quit her job and joined a pro-life group in praying outside the facility.

Abby Johnson, 29, used to escort women from their cars to the clinic in the eight years she volunteered and worked for Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas. But she says she knew it was time to leave after she watched a fetus “crumple” as it was vacuumed out of a patient’s uterus in September.

‘When I was working at Planned Parenthood I was extremely pro-choice,” Johnson told FoxNews.com. But after seeing the internal workings of the procedure for the first time on an ultrasound monitor, “I would say there was a definite conversion in my heart … a spiritual conversion.”

Johnson said she became disillusioned with her job after her bosses pressured her for months to increase profits by performing more and more abortions, which cost patients between $505 and $695.

“Every meeting that we had was, ‘We don’t have enough money, we don’t have enough money — we’ve got to keep these abortions coming,'” Johnson told FoxNews.com. “It’s a very lucrative business and that’s why they want to increase numbers.”

A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood told FoxNews.com that it offers a range of services at it 850 health centers nationwide, providing pregnancy tests, vaccinations and women’s health services, “including wellness exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings, contraception, and STD testing and treatment.”

“Planned Parenthood’s focus is on prevention,” wrote Diane Quest, the group’s National Media Director. “Nationwide, more than 90% of the health care Planned Parenthood affiliates provide is preventive in nature,” explaining that a “core component the organization’s mission is to help women plan healthy pregnancies and prevent unintended pregnancies.”

But Johnson said her bosses told her to change her “priorities” and focus on abortions, which she said made money for the office at a time when the recession has left them hurting.

“For them there’s not a lot of money in education,” she said. “There’s as not as much money in family planning as there is abortion.”

Without a doctor in residence, she said, her clinic offered abortions only two days a month, but the doctor could perform 30 to 40 procedures on each day he was there. Johnson estimated that each abortion could net the branch about $350, adding up to more than $10,000 a month.

“The majority of the money was going to the facility,” she said.

Johnson said she never got any orders to increase profits in e-mails or letters, and had no way to prove her allegations about practices at the Bryan branch. She told FoxNews.com that pressure came in personal interactions with her regional manager from the larger Houston office.

But she said she got involved with the clinic “to help women and … [do] the right thing,” and the idea of raking in cash seemed to go against what she felt was the mission of the 93-year-old organization.

“Ideally my goal as the facility’s director is that your abortion numbers don’t increase,” because “you’re providing so much family planning and so much education that there is not a demand for abortion services.

“But that was not their goal,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood refused to answer questions about Johnson’s accusations, but released a statement noting that a district court had issued a temporary restraining order against the former branch director and against the Coalition for Life, an anti-abortion group with which Johnson is now affiliated.

“We regret being forced to turn to the courts to protect the safety and confidentiality of our clients and staff, however, in this instance it is absolutely necessary,” said spokeswoman Rochelle Tafolla.

It is unclear what made Planned Parenthood seek the restraining order. Johnson said she did not intend to release any sensitive information about her former patients at the clinic.

A hearing is set for Nov. 10 to determine whether a judge will order an injunction against Johnson and the Coalition for Life, which has led protests outside the clinic and joined her in a prayer vigil there last month.

Johnson hasn’t found a job since she quit on Oct. 6, but she said she’s enjoying the time off to be with her 3-year-old daughter.

“It’s been great just to spend some time at home and get a break,” she said.

Gallup Poll: Conservatives Outnumber Moderates

October 27, 2009

Newsmax:

A new Gallup poll shows that conservatives outnumber moderates for the first time since 2004.

 

Gallup’s breakdown shows that 40 percent of Americans call their political views conservative, 36 percent moderate and 20 percent liberal. Last year, conservatives were tied with moderates at 37 percent. While Gallup first documented this trend in June, the finding has been sustained through the third quarter.

 

So what put conservatives into the lead? Independents, apparently. Now, 35 percent of them are self-proclaimed conservatives, up from 29 percent last year. Meanwhile, the portion of independents who call themselves moderate dipped to 43 percent from 46 percent.

 

Among Republicans, 72 percent now call themselves conservative, up from 71 percent last year. Among Democrats, 22 percent now call themselves conservative, up from 21 percent in 2008.

 

Gallup also discovered that Americans have turned more conservative on specific issues. For example, perceptions that there is too much government regulation of business rose to 45 percent this year from 38 percent last year.

 

These findings would seem to bode well for Republicans in the 2010 elections. “The question is whether increased conservatism, particularly among independents, will translate into heightened support for Republican candidates,” Gallup points out.

 

“Right now, it appears it may. Although Gallup polling continues to show the Democratic Party leading the Republican Party in Americans’ party identification, that lead has been narrowing since the beginning of the year and now stands at six points, the smallest since 2005.”

 

That trend stems from the increasing number of independents who now lean Republican, Gallup says.

 

A Real Clear Politics compilation of polls by ABC/The Washington Post, Rasmussen Reports, CBS and Gallup shows that on average Democrats have a lead of 45 percent to 39.5 percent over Republicans in next year’s congressional races.

 

That data comes on the heels of an August Gallup poll that shows self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals in America.

 

According to that survey, more than 160,000 respondents in Gallup polls conducted From January to June 2009 have described themselves as either “conservative” (31 percent) or “very conservative” (9 percent) – for a total of 40 percent.

 

At the same time, 16 percent identified themselves as “liberal” while 5 percent described themselves as “very liberal – for a total of 21 percent.

 

According to Gallup, liberals lag behind conservatives on a statewide level, and conservatives have big margins in all but three states.

 

“Conservatives outnumber liberals by statistically significant margins in 47 of the 50 states, with the two groups statistically tied in Hawaii, Vermont, and Massachusetts,” reported a Gallup analysis.

 

“In fact, while all 50 states are, to some degree, more conservative than liberal (with the conservative advantage ranging from 1 to 34 points), Gallup’s 2009 party ID results indicate that Democrats have significant party ID advantages in 30 states and Republicans in only 4,” said the analysis. “Despite the Democratic Party’s political strength – seen in its majority representation in Congress and in state houses across the country – more Americans consider themselves conservative than liberal.”

David Brooks: Obama getting the Nobel is a joke (video)

October 12, 2009
tags: ,

Stop the Abortion Mandate

October 4, 2009

This video shows many pro-life leaders making their opposition to federal funding for abortion known. Any provision that allows for the federal government to fund abortion is completely unacceptable.  We need to vehemently stand against this.

Go to http://stoptheabortionmandate.com/ for more information.

Support for Health Care Plan Hits New Low — 41%

September 28, 2009

Here are the latest poll numbers from Rasmussen on health care reform:

Just 41% of voters nationwide now favor thehealth care reformproposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s down two points from a week ago and the lowest level of support yet measured.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% are opposed to the plan.

Senior citizens are less supportive of the plan than younger voters. In the latest survey, just 33% of seniors favor the plan while 59% are opposed. The intensity gap among seniors is significant. Only 16% of the over-65 crowd Strongly Favors the legislation while 46% are Strongly Opposed.

For the first time ever, a slight plurality of voters now express doubt that the legislation will become law this year. Forty-six percent (46%) say passage is likely while 47% say it is not. Those figures include 18% who say passage is Very Likely and 15% who say it is Not at All Likely. Sixty percent (60%) are less certain.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Democrats say the plan is at least somewhat likely to become law. Sixty-one percent (61%) of Republicans disagree. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 34% say passage is at least somewhat likely while 58% say it is not.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The overall picture remains one of stability. Today’s record low support for the plan of 41% is just a point lower than the results found twice before. With the exception of a slight bounce earlier this month following the president’s nationally televised speech to Congress to promote the plan, support for it has remained in the low-to-mid 40s since early July. During that same time period, opposition has generally stayed in the low-to-mid 50s.

Intensity has been with the opposition from the beginning of the public debate. Currently, among all voters 23% Strongly Favor the legislative effort and 43% are Strongly Opposed.

Also, from the beginning of the debate, the has been a huge partisan divide. Currently 75% of Democrats favor the plan. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Republicans are opposed, as are 72% of the unaffiliated.

Rasmussen Reports will continue to track support for the plan on a weekly basis (see day-by-day numbers).

As Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, wrote recently in the Wall Street Journal: “The most important fundamental is that 68% of American voters have health insurance coverage they rate good or excellent … Most of these voters approach the health care reform debate fearing that they have more to lose than to gain.” A Rasmussen video report shows that 53% of those with insurance believe it’s likely they would have to change coverage if the congressional plan becomes law.

Despite strong efforts by the White House to counter that belief, including many comments by the president himself, there has been no change for months in the number who fear they will be forced out of their current coverage.

Polling released last week shows that 58% of uninsured voters favor passage of the health care plan. However, 35% of the uninsured are opposed. The divide fell largely along partisan and ideological grounds.

If the plan passes, 24% of voters say the quality of care will get better, and 55% say it will get worse. In August, the numbers were 23% better and 50% worse.

Fifty-four percent (54%) say passage of the plan will make the cost of health care go up while 23% say it will make costs go down. In August, 52% thought the plan would lead to higher costs, and just 17% thought it would achieve the stated goal of lowering costs.

While many credit or blame the town hall protests for building opposition to the plan, it appears they were simply a reflection of public opinion rather than a creator of it. This sense is confirmed by the fact that Obama’s approval ratings fell more in June and July before stabilizing in August.

One thing that did change during the month of August is that public perception of the protesters improved. Most voters came to believe that the purpose of the town hall meetings was for members of Congress to listen rather than speak. That’s partly because just 22% believe Congress has a good understanding of the legislation.

While some Democrats have charged that opposition to the president’s plan is based upon racism, just 12% of voters agree.

Voters overwhelmingly believe that every American should be able to buy the same health insurance plan that Congress has. Most favor limits on jury awards for medical malpractice claims and think that tort reform will significantly reduce the cost of health care. Forty-eight percent (48%) want a prohibition on abortion in any government subsidized program while 13% want a mandate requiring abortion coverage.

The health care debate has produced a difficult political environment for Democrats.  Several incumbent Democratic senators currently are behind in their reelection bids including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada, Chris Dodd in Connecticut and Michael Bennet in Colorado. Republicans appear to have a better shot than expected at hanging on to the New Hampshire Senate seat, and GOP incumbents lead in both North Carolina and Iowa. The races for soon-to-be-vacant Senate seats in Missouri and Ohio are neck-and-neck, and longtime incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer polls under 50% against two potential 2010 challengers in California. Appointed Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand holds a very narrow lead over former Governor George Pataki in a hypothetical match-up for New York State’s 2010 Senate race.

Democrats also trail in the 2009 governor’s races in New Jersey and Virginia.Incumbent Democratic governors in Iowa and Ohio face tough challenges next year. In New York’s gubernatorial race, the fate of the Democrats appears to depend on which of two nominees they choose.

The health care debate has become one focal point for voters frustrated by a string of government actions. Voters overwhelmingly opposed the bailout of the financial industry and the bailout and takeover of General Motors.

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.

A Surrender

September 28, 2009

The following is a prophecy from  Kim Clement on September 19, 2009 – Houston, TX. In it God talks about how He has “…watched over you (America) since your 9/11.”  There is also mention of the surrendering of hidden arms, which appeared to mean weapons. I believe that it is vital that we heed the prophecies of trusted prophets like Kim Clement. Here is the prophecy in its entirety.

We command you to surrender the arms.  They will be exposed.  America I have watched over you since your 9/11.  For God says now there will be a surrender.  There shall be a surrender.  They will surrender arms that have been hidden.  The Spirit of the Lord declares What they plan to use against this nation, against Israel, against Europe, the United Kingdom will be surrendered one by one.  And finally the Beast that has been in hiding shall be brought out for the world to see.  They shall say is this the one that terrified the whole world?  Is this the one who frightened the nations of the earth?  Is this it?  So shallow shall it be says the Lord.  But I will draw the beast out from the caves and the fields and America shall once and for all shout as one nation, and in one moment I will wipe out the division that has been brought to this nation by the spirit of python says the Lord.

There shall be a cry.  They shall say this has not been right, let the courts decide.  For God said what courts can decide the guilt of a man.  I will show you which court shall decide.  In one moment this nation shall stand again as they stood in the steps when 9/11 took place and they sang together, and now years later there is division, hatred, scorn, shame, debt.  God said they look upon you not the way they shall see you.  For very soon God said they will look and say the nation has brought themselves together, and now they are one.  They are praying together.  For I have caused the beast to surrender and the surrendering of the arms will stop a potential war in Israel and in America, and God said I will stop it in an instance, for My Word has been declared and so shall it be.

Does the ‘public option’ have to imitate Medicare?

September 24, 2009

The following is a debate between Michael F. Cannon and Larry McNeely from the L.A. Times.

Today’s topic: What about a public plan that isn’t modeled after Medicare? For example, how about co-ops or local plans such as L.A. Care?

Give market forces room to breathe, and costs will decrease
Point: Michael F. Cannon

The dirty little secret, Larry, is that “Obama-care” isn’t about reducing healthcare costs or making coverage more secure. It’s about robbing Peter to pay Paul.

How many young and elderly people can we rob to subsidize coverage for the uninsured? How can we leverage the 50% of health spending that government already controls to push payments below costs among the other 50%? How many special interests should we bribe along the way? (Answer: all of them.)

Supporters from President Obama right down to you assure us that consumers will come out ahead. The only losers, you assure us, will be the insurance industry.

The opposite is true: Democrats in Congress are taxing workers to pay off insurance companies. Democratic Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) just proposed $774 billion in subsidies for private insurers. (Somehow, that’s supposed to be more moderate than House Democrats’ $773 billion in subsidies.)

The outrage at the August town halls came from voters realizing that under Obama-care, they’re not Paul — they’re Peter.

“Almost every political pronouncement now emphasizes cost reduction as a central object of healthcare reform,” writes Stanford health economist Victor Fuchs. “The policy recommendations that follow, however, frequently aim at cost shifting rather than cost reduction.” Cost shifting, Fuchs reminds us, “does nothing to reduce the real cost of care.”

Real reform would reduce costs by letting individual consumers control their healthcare dollars and choose their health plans.

Eliminating the tax preference for job-based coverage would let workers control the $4,000 to $10,000 of their earnings that employers now control and choose secure coverage that stays with them between jobs. Converting Medicare to a voucher program, with larger vouchers for the poor and the sick, would protect seniors from government rationing.

Consumers will spend that money more wisely than employers or government ever could. They will drive costs down because they will personally reap the rewards.

Real reform would further reduce the cost of coverage by letting workers purchase coverage from other states. As Cal State Northridge economist Shirley Svorny suggests, real reform would also make medical services more affordable by eliminating barriers to competition by nurse practitioners and other mid-level clinicians.

Those two steps would not only increase competition and reduce costs, Larry. They would improve many dimensions of quality by helping the Kaiser Permanente model spread to other states. That sounds better than summarily kicking Kaiser out of Medicare Advantage, doesn’t it?

Our healthcare sector is a mess. Countless Americans are suffering and dying — yes, dying — because well-intentioned government interventions are driving costs higher, blocking innovation and leaving us with insecure coverage.

Yet the greatest strength of America’s healthcare sector is that it shows what competition can do when market forces are given room to breathe. What do you say we give market forces a little more breathing room?

But first, let’s stop the kleptocrats and kill this insurance-company bailout.

Michael F. Cannon is director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute and the coauthor of “Healthy Competition: What’s Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It.”

Let readers decide: Cato’s plan, or Obama’s?
Counterpoint: Larry McNeely

Michael, I’d like to thank you for laying out your plan to fix healthcare. There has not been enough of that from reform opponents. The consequences of your proposals, however, might not be clear to all of our readers, so let’s take a closer look at them.

The Cato-Cannon Plan

* By allowing insurers to sell plans across state lines, you would create a race to the bottom that would gut state-level consumer protections, as I argued Wednesday.

* By eliminating Medicare and substituting vouchers for private insurance, you would leave our seniors vulnerable to medical bankruptcy and destroy their well-earned healthcare security.

* By ending all state licensing and monitoring of physicians, as your economist friend Shirley Svorny suggests, not only qualified nurses but also any quack with a scalpel and some drugs would be able to set up a shingle, call himself a doctor and start cutting.

If this is what health reform opponents are selling, America is not going to buy it. On the contrary, government can and should make the healthcare and insurance industries live by a fair set of rules. And that is what health reform is all about.

Our readers can see exactly what the Obama plan means for them right here. But for your sake, Michael, I’ll lay out a few key points:

First and foremost, under the Obama plan, the words “preexisting condition” would be a relic. No one could be denied coverage options when they get sick or because they change jobs.

Small businesses and individuals who cannot afford insurance in today’s market could pool their resources and bargaining power to get better deals from the insurance companies. (See U.S. PIRG’s report on how high healthcare costs are crushing America’s small businesses.) To make sure that no one single company could dominate the coverage options in any state, a publicly sponsored health insurance plan would be offered.

Americans with insurance from larger employers could stay in their current plan, but with one key improvement: The plan would have to be affordable or the employer would have to help pay for the cost of insurance from a new health insurance exchange.

In terms of cost-containment, health reform could actually save consumers, businesses and the government trillions of dollars over the next 10 years by injecting competition into the insurance market with some form of public plan; encouraging preventive care; preserving Medicare by keeping the same benefits but demanding that providers and hospitals cut out the one out of three healthcare dollars that the Congressional Budge Office says don’t improve health outcomes; and placing a tax on insurers that offer the most expensive, gold-plated policies.

The right combination of these policies not only can trim the federal deficit but also reduce overall national healthcare costs and save money for families (see this report from U.S. PIRG for more details). The Bipartisan Policy Center,the Commonwealth Fund and CEOs for Health Reform have all come to a similar conclusion.

So let’s allow our readers to decide. Which plan do they prefer: yours, Michael, or Obama’s?

Larry McNeely is the healthcare reform advocate for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

Biden: Iran Not a Threat

September 19, 2009

Newsmax.com

By: Rick Pedraza

Vice President Joe Biden said he was “deeply involved” in President Barack Obama’s decision to scrap the U.S. missile defense shield over Eastern Europe because he is “less concerned” now about Iran’s long-range nuclear threat, CNN reports.

“I think we are fully capable and secure dealing with any present or future potential Iranian threat,” Biden said Thursday in Baghdad.”The whole purpose of this exercise we are undertaking is to diminish the prospect of the Iranians destabilizing that region in the world. I am less concerned — much less concerned — about the Iranian potential. They have no potential at this moment; they have no capacity to launch a missile at the United States of America.”

Biden’s prediction came on the heels of an International Atomic Energy Agency report released Thursday that said Iran “is capable of making a nuclear weapon and is far along on developing a missile system to carry an atomic weapon.”

An IAEA spokesman reiterated that it has no concrete proof that there is or has been a nuclear weapon program in Iran, and that the next formal report on Iran’s nuclear capabilities is expected in November, Fox News reports.

The Obama administration’s decision to scrap the Eastern Europe missile defense was based on Iran’s long-range missile program “not progressing as rapidly as once expected,” diminishing the threat to the U.S. and major European capitals, the Wall Street Journal reports.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., blasted Biden’s statement about Iran’s potential threat, saying he hopes Biden’s remarks aren’t accurate. “Iran’s missile and nuclear programs pose a clear and real threat to both the United States and its allies,” Cantor said in a statement released by his spokesman.

“A suggestion that the United States is only concerned about international threats that can definitively reach our shores will raise questions amongst our allies about our true commitment to their well-being. Allies including Poland, the Czech Republic and Israel stand on the front line of an Iranian missile threat and should never doubt the United States’ commitment to their security.

”Biden assured that the Obama administration is not abandoning its allies who “took significant geopolitical risks” in standing up to Moscow over the missile-defense shield. A fact sheet issued by the White House Thursday explaining Obama’s decision to halt the missile defense program said the new approach will “augment our current protection of the U.S. homeland against long-range ballistic missile threats.”

The White House statement said a new approach to the U.S. missile defense program will protect “our Allies in Europe sooner and more comprehensively than the previous program, and involves more flexible and survivable systems. The Czech Republic and Poland, as close, strategic and steadfast Allies of the United States, will be central to our continued consultations with NATO Allies on our defense against the growing ballistic missile threat. We also welcome Russian cooperation to bring its missile defense capabilities into a broader defense of our common strategic interests.”

“This is catastrophic for Poland,” a spokeswoman at the Polish Ministry of Defense told CNN, adding that Poland and the Czech Republic had based much of their future security policy on getting the missile defenses from the United States. On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that experts at the world’s top atomic watchdog fear Iran will have enough uranium for a nuclear warhead by the end of this year and that Iran is expected to have inter-continental ballistic missile capability by 2015 or sooner.

© 2009 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Mainstream Media Misses ACORN, Other Anti-Obama Scoops — Bias or Incompetence?

September 17, 2009

Newsmax.com

David Patten, writing for Newsmax.com, wrote the following article about how the mainstream media is falling more and more out of touch. Well, its not that they are out of touch but they are denying reality.

Now that ACORN has lost its Census Bureau contract and Senate funding, grassroots conservatives are trying to decide what’s more outrageous – the organization’s wrongdoing, or the media’s blatant reluctance to cover it?

“Truly shocking” is how The Los Angeles Times described the ACORN revelations on Tuesday.

Fox News viewers weren’t shocked: They’ve known about the scandal since the leading cable news network broke it last Thursday. But the LA Times, the first major newspaper to offer an editorial on the latest ACORN scandal, is actually ahead of the curve compared to the rest of the mainstream media.

In fact, in the 24 hours after the controversial videos were first posted on BigGovernment.com, the collective mainstream response could be virtually summed up as follows: “Story? What story?!?”

Consider: According to Fox News’ research, the ACORN coverage aired and posted by the various news outlets in the first day of coverage consisted of: Fox News, 19 stories; CNN, 3 stories; the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal – one story apiece.

MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC offered their online and television viewers exactly zero news stories that first 24 hours, as reports that ACORN employees offered to help a child prostitution ring dupe the IRS rocked viewers around the country – not to mention Census officials and U.S. Senators.

“These people are going to find themselves completely irrelevant very shortly if they don’t pick up these stories,” Fox News host Glenn Beck told viewers Tuesday. “You can’t let these gigantic stories go by in this atmosphere …. You can’t ignore it. It won’t make it go away.”

“A major national scandal and none of the broadcast networks is covering it,” Dan Gainor, vice president for business and culture at the Media Research Center, told FoxNews.com. “This is the news media in the era of Van Jones and President Obama. The major outlets cover what they want and create the themes they want.”

The ACORN lapse is but the latest in a series of embarrassments for the mainstream media lately. Others include the town hall protests, the resignation of Obama “green czar” Van Jones after his conspiracy theories about 9/11 came to light, and this weekend’s 912 Project march on the nation’s capital — which the networks treated like a third-tier event rather than a grassroots conservative resurgence it so plainly is.

Yet it was the ACORN wrongdoing exposed by twenty-something journalists James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, however, that several pundits are now saying revealed an out-of-step mainstream media that has been repeatedly beaten by the very news outlets they try hardest to dismiss.

“Issues initially dismissed or missed entirely by the national media have burst, if only fleetingly, onto the national agenda after relentless coverage on Fox News, talk radio, and in the blogosphere,” Politico.com reported.

On Tuesday, five days after the story broke, ABC World News anchor Charles Gibson confessed to a Chicago radio station he didn’t even know about the video exposes of ACORN. After giving a hearty laugh, Gibson stated: “I didn’t even know about it. Um. So you’ve got me at a loss. I don’t know. Uh. Uh….”

Conservative media critic and Fox News commentator Bernard Goldberg blasted Gibson’s journalistic faux pas: “Because the story hadn’t been in The New York Times, Charlie Gibson didn’t know about it. They live in a bubble, a comfortable elite bubble, and inside that bubble, if it’s not in The New York Times, it didn’t happen. There might have been a time when that was somewhat true. But no more.

“Van Jones resigned under pressure even though The New York Times hadn’t run a single word about it,” Goldberg tells Newsmax. “Without any press from The New York Times, he still had to resign. That tells you how little influence the media has these days. Charlie, like the organization he works for, is a dinosaur.”

The mainstream mishaps could hardly come at a worse time for them. Earlier this week, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press reported that nearly two-thirds of Americans now believe the news stories they receive are frequently inaccurate. That compares to only 34 percent who believed stories were frequently adequate in 1985. Pew also found that a whopping 74 percent of voters believe news stories tend to favor one side of an issue over another. That’s up from 66 percent just two years ago.

Being a day late and a few million dollars of ad revenue short on major stories like ACORN won’t help matters, communications experts say.

“It goes back to the newsboys selling newspapers on the street corner,” Boston University communications professor Tobe Berkovitz tells Newsmax. “‘Extra! Extra! Read all about it.’ Journalism has always lived by the scoop. You’ve now had this repeated problem of the media not recognizing the scoop until they can’t avoid it, until it’s no longer a scoop. That’s what I find interesting.”

What’s behind this summer’s phenomenon of the major outlets’ faltering control over the news cycle? A host of excuses have been offered up: Declining news budgets and the constraints of a 22-minute news hole on the nightly news broadcasts among them.

Most pundits tell Newsmax another powerful factor is at work however: The networks and big city newspapers rue the appearance that they’re taking their cues from Fox News.

“Clearly, this is a story that broke on Fox News and is being driven for now by Fox News,” DePauw University communications professor Jeffrey McCall says. “These other media organizations, it seems to me, don’t want get on board with a news story that would essentially have them following Fox News’ lead. Most national journalistic outlets still consider, incorrectly, that Fox News is a journalistic lightweight, and they are unwilling to recognize Fox News as a news-agenda setter.”

Berkovitz says the series of missed and underreported stories has mainstream media czars reeling.

“I think they’re seriously shocked because they’ve let a front page story not be on their front page,” he says. “I think it’s the magnitude of the story that shocked them. They had to know this stuff’s floating around, unless you are fly-fishing somewhere with no Internet.”

Berkovitz contends the traditional news icons have been tripped up by their own view of what is and isn’t news.

“They don’t want to kick over certain rocks,” he tells Newsmax. “Certain rocks they’re delighted to kick over. When George Bush was president, no rock was too small to kick over. With Barack Obama, I think what you’re seeing in the mainstream media is that, once a really big rock is turned over, and it’s unavoidable, then they have to go with it.”

Whether that amounts to bias, Berkovitz says, is in the eye of the beholder. But others aren’t being quite so charitable.

On his radio show Tuesday, Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, told listeners: “If the Christian Coalition in 1995 had a sting operation carried on against it by a liberal group, I guarantee you it would have been front page, New York Times, the next day. And people like me would have been called out, people saying, ‘How could you ever, ever justify supporting a group that would teach people how to violate the tax code and promote prostitution.'”

Goldberg, whose latest book on media coverage of the president is titled “A Slobbering Love Affair,” isn’t pulling any punches either. He notes that a major theme of the parse ACORN coverage is focusing on the scandal as a conservative smear campaign.

“It becomes a way to avoid what they want to avoid,” he says, “that here’s a liberal organization corrupt to its core that has ties to the president of the United States.”

© 2009 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Bill would provide week of learning about Constitution

September 16, 2009

Bay News 9:

Some members of Congress aren’t happy with how much the general population knows about the U.S. Constitution.

So, they have a plan that could change how students learn about the Constitution.

A U.S. representative from Orlando is working on passing a bill that would have high school seniors nationwide spend at least one week learning about the U.S. Constitution each September.

“I wouldn’t see the problem in that,” said Brian Mitchell, a high school senior. “I mean it’s our rights. We should know what our rights are.”

So far 222 members of the House have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.

Bay News 9 checked in with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson to get his reaction to the proposed bill. He provided this statement:

“Abe Lincoln said it best 150 years ago: ‘No government initiative can succeed unless the public consents.’ That’s why it’s important we teach our kids about how their government works. They are, after all, its stewards.”