- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 19, 2011

CHARTING THE LEFTY PRESS

He’s got “scientific proof” that the press skews left. That would be Tim Groseclose, political science professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, who reveals all in his new book, “Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.” He measures the “SQ,” or “slant quotient” of the press through news content, and quantifies the “PQ,” or “political quotient” of voters and politicians, based on their answers to real congressional roll-call votes. Determine your own “PQ” online at http://timgroseclose.com/calculate-your-pq.

Meanwhile, Mr. Groseclose concludes that “(1.) all mainstream media outlets have a liberal bias; and (2.) while some supposedly conservative outlets — such as The Washington Times or Fox News ‘Special Report’ — do lean right, their conservative bias is less than the liberal bias of most mainstream outlets.”

Oh, well. Heavens. Inside the Beltway will dutifully pass that information on to someone in a higher paygrade who will doubtless note that part about “supposedly.” More importantly, the precise professor has calculated deleterious effects of a liberal press beyond its annoying shrillness, observing, “The general leftward bias of the media has shifted the PQ of the average American by about 20 points, on a scale of 100.”

MURDOCH, ACT 1

“A Tiger Wife in full battle cry.” (Daily Telegraph correspondent Toby Young’s description of Wendi Deng, wife of Rupert Murdoch, as she deflected a comedian’s shaving cream pie attack on the media mogul during a court appearance Tuesday.

“I got him.” (Her description of the same incident).

CARNEY, ACT 2

“Hope you enjoyed the warm-up act.”

(White House press secretary Jay Carney to assorted journalists, after President Obama’s brief appearance on the press room podium before the daily briefing.)

PALIN, ACT 3

“We now know we have a film that works. Our objective is very simple: to bring this film to every market and every corner of the country,” says Stephen Bannon, the intrepid director behind “The Undefeated” who ignores inaccurate news coverage framing his Sarah Palin political biopic as a laugh or a failure.

After a modest but successful opening in 10 AMC Theaters across the nation, the film will be seen in additional larger markets Friday, including Phoenix, Milwaukee, Denver, Houston, Orlando, Fla., and West Orange, Calif. — tantalizingly close to Hollywood. The expansion continues slow and steady, with streaming video, on-demand access and DVD to follow, Mr. Bannon says.

“We have been inundated with requests from around the country,” adds the film’s distribution chief Trevor Drinkwater.

APPLAUSE FOR W

“President Bush, whom you might have arguments with on various levels, he actually led this, and he deserves some credit for this.” Rock star Bono, citing former President George W. Bush for funding antiviral AIDS drugs in Africa and saving 5 million lives, to CBS host David Letterman on Monday night.

“That would be President Bush.” John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project, crediting Mr. Bush for America’s positive role in the South Sudan peace deal, to Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert, also on Monday night.

“A truly amazing coincidence,” observes Newsbusters.com analyst Brad Wilmouth.

TAKING LICENSE

James Linlor was denied a personalized license plate that reads “GOPALIN” from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles for two years, though the office already issued plates reading “DMOCRAT,” “AL GORE” and “KERRY,” among other mottos. Though Mr. Linlor was awarded his plate in December; he’s since sued, claiming his personal rights were violated.

“Plaintiff intends to apply for other ‘political’ license plates in Nevada in the future, and believes that the Department of Motor Vehicles will deny such applications on grounds of ‘political’ content,” say records from Courthouse News Service.

Meanwhile, things are more harmonious in Virginia. Curious to see if her local motor vehicle office was up to the same tricks, Sarah Palin Radio executive producer and host LaDonna Hale Curzon of Alexandria applied for a personalized license plate that read “PALIN.”

She reveals, “To my pleasant surprise, that message had already been taken. So had ‘MAMA GRRZ.’ Speaks well for the commonwealth and Sarah Palin.”

KING PIN

It is a topic the mainstream media is not eager to cover. But Rep. Peter T. King, chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, soon will launch a third investigation of Muslim-American radicalization. The New York Republican conducts a hearing titled “Al Shabaab: Recruitment and Radicalization within the Muslim American Community and the Threat to the Homeland” in a week.

“In Minnesota, Ohio and other states, dozens of young Muslim males have been recruited, radicalized, and then taken from their communities for overseas terrorist training by al-Shabaab,” Mr. King says. “In a number of cases, the men — including Somali-Americans and other converts — have ended up carrying out suicide bombings or have otherwise been killed, often without their families even knowing where their sons have gone. There has not been sufficient cooperation from mosque leaders.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 79 percent of Americans say the U.S. “spends too much on defending other countries.”

• 13 percent say the expenditures are “about right,” 4 percent say the U.S. does not spend enough “protecting its friends.”

• 68 percent say the U.S. can “significantly reduce” this amount without putting the American people at risk.

• 17 percent are undecided, 15 percent say it is not possible.

• 48 percent say it is possible to significantly reduce overall defense spending without putting the nation at risk.

59 percent of Democrats agree.

58 percent of Republicans disagree.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults conducted July 15 and 16.

Rants, hoots, hollers to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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