Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Does The Name Anita Moncrief Ring A Bell?

It should, if the media had done its job, that is. Well, the Wall Street Journal did a while back, and I did a piece back in November on her. Her name should be familiar because she was a whistleblower on ACORN. And, she was having conversations with the New York Times
about ACORN and Obama, a story on which the Times chose to sit before the election. Kinda like when the LA Times refused to release videos of Obama attending an anti-Israel testimonial for a professor friend of his. But I digress...

The Bulletin
, one of the oldest newspapers in the country, had this story on Monday,'New York Times' Spiked Obama Donor Story:Congressional Testimony: ‘Game-Changer’ Article Would Have Connected Campaign With ACORN. The title pretty much says it all, and what it says is that the NY Times has completely ceased to be a reputable news reporting organization, and has revealed itself to be nothing more than a propaganda arm for Barack Obama. Sure, sure, it still pretends to report stories, and yes, it even has Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize winner, Princeton Economics professor as a columnist, who is often critical of Obama's whacked out ideas, but he is a voice crying in the NY Times wilderness, for all intents and purposes.

But let's get into the nuts and bolts of the article - honestly, this does not require a lot of commentary for me as it is plain, in my humble opinion, that the NY Times has failed MISERABLY as any kind of reputable news source:
A lawyer involved with legal action against Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) told a House Judiciary subcommittee on March 19 The New York Times had killed a story in October that would have shown a close link between ACORN, Project Vote and the Obama campaign because it would have been a “a game changer.”

Heather Heidelbaugh, who represented the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee in the lawsuit against the group, recounted for the ommittee what she had been told by a former ACORN worker who had worked in the group’s Washington, D.C. office. The former worker, Anita Moncrief, told Ms. Heidelbaugh last October, during the state committee’s litigation against ACORN, she had been a “confidential informant for several months to The New York Times reporter, Stephanie Strom.”

Ms. Moncrief had been providing Ms. Strom with information about ACORN’s election activities. Ms. Strom had written several stories based on information Ms. Moncrief had given her.

During her testimony, Ms. Heidelbaugh said Ms. Moncrief had told her The New York Times articles stopped when she revealed that the Obama presidential campaign had sent its maxed-out donor list to ACORN’s Washington, D.C. office.

Ms. Moncrief told Ms. Heidelbaugh the campaign had asked her and her boss to “reach out to the maxed-out donors and solicit donations from them for Get Out the Vote efforts to be run by ACORN.”

Ms. Heidelbaugh then told the congressional panel:

“Upon learning this information and receiving the list of donors from the Obama campaign, Ms. Strom reported to Ms. Moncrief that her editors at The New York Times wanted her to kill the story because, and I quote, “it was a game changer.”’

"IT WAS A GAME CHANGER." Emphasis mine, obviously. The NY Times withheld a critical story regarding Barack Obama because it would impact the election. How can that be viewed as anything less than unethical,immoral, and as a complete and utter failure to do the work the Fourth Estate has been entrusted to do?

There is more:
Ms. Moncrief made her first overture to Ms. Heidelbaugh after The New York Times allegedly spiked the story — on Oct. 21, 2008. Last fall, she testified under oath about what she had learned about ACORN from her years in its Washington, D.C. office. Although she was present at the congressional hearing, she did not testify.

U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., the ranking Republican on the committee, said the interactions between the Obama campaign and ACORN, as described by Ms. Moncrief, and attested to before the committee by Ms. Heidelbaugh, could possibly violate federal election law, and “ACORN has a pattern of getting in trouble for violating federal election laws.”

He also voiced criticism of The New York Times.

“If true, The New York Times is showing once again that it is a not an impartial observer of the political scene,” he said. “If they want to be a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party, they should put Barack Obama approves of this in their newspaper.”

Academicians and journalism experts expressed similar criticism of the Times.

“The New York Times keeps going over the line in every single campaign and last year was the worst, easily,” said Mal Kline of the American Journalism Center. “They would ignore real questions worth examining about Obama, the questions about Bill Ayers or about how he got his house. Then on the other side they would try to manufacture scandals.”

Mr. Kline mentioned Gov. Sarah Palin was cleared by investigators of improperly firing an Alaska State Trooper, but went unnoticed by The Times.

“How many stories about this were in The New York Times,” he asked.

“If this is true, it would not surprise me at all. The New York Times is a liberal newspaper. It is dedicated to furthering the Democratic Party,” said Dr. Paul Kengor, professor of Political Science at Grove City College. “People think The New York Times is an objective news source and it is not. It would not surprise me that if they had a news story that would have swayed the election into McCain’s favor they would not have used it.”

Liberal or not, the issue is their integrity as a reputable news organization. That lack of integrity is most troubling.

Naturally, the ACORN people had something to say about all of this:
ACORN has issued statements claiming that Ms. Moncrief is merely a disgruntled former worker.

“None of this wild and varied list of charges has any credibility and we’re not going to spend our time on it,” said Kevin Whelan, ACORN deputy political director in a statement issued last week.

Yeah, okay. Just like ACORN is a NON-PARTISAN organization, too, right, Kevin? That was completely unbiased int his past election? Like this?

Ahem. Just save it already. We're not buying what you're selling.

And finally, here is the response from the NY Times:
Stephanie Strom was contacted for a comment, and The New York Times’ Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications Catherine Mathis replied with an e-mail in her place.

Ms. Mathis wrote, “In response to your questions to our reporter, Stephanie Strom, we do not discuss our newsgathering and won’t comment except to say that political considerations played no role in our decisions about how to cover this story or any other story about President Obama.” (Michael P. Tremoglie can be reached at mtremoglie@thebulletin.us)

Yeah, I bet you don't discuss your "newsgathering" because then you would have to discuss your "newsDUMPING," Ms. Mathis!

Between the LA Times and the NY Times, with a whole bunch of "news sources" in between, our media has made it blatantly obvious that reporting critical stories that might actually reveal important, RELEVANT information to the people, is squashed. Our Fourth Estate is no more. It is now a part of the Executive Branch.

Lou Dobbs is right: this is "obscene and outrageous." And an affront to our democracy, such as it is since the "game changer" information was suppressed. The NY Times needs to change its saying from "All the news that's fit to print" to "all the news we deem fit to print that best protects our chosen candidate(s)." And that makes them a propaganda rag, nothing more.


Connie said...

This makes me sad sad sad and furious.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Right there with you, friend...