Number 10: Neil Steinberg, Chicago Sun-Times
As a citizen of the state with one of the worst economic climates in the country, one with an ex-governor in jail and another likely headed there (to add to the other two that once sat behind bars), the state with the worst budget crisis in the nation, I have to nominate at least one Illinois journo to the list of most left-biased. Naturally, there are several from which to choose.
There’s the lightweight Richard Roeper whose prosaic columns appear in the Chicago Sun-Times. It was Roeper who once said, “I just couldn’t shake hands and smile with President Bush,” and who has reveled in attacking Sarah Palin. Two more Sun-Timesians in the running would be the angry Laura Washington who never met a man or a white person she seems to like and the equally race-baiting Mary Mitchell who finds a way to make every story of the day about how racism or sexism still pervades all aspects of America. The Chicago Tribune’s Eric Zorn must also get special mention for being pleased that the new media wasn’t around to hound Teddy Kennedy off the public stage for killing Mary Jo Kopechne in 1969.
But the king of left-wing lunacy in the Windy City has to be Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Steinberg is a dogged abortion advocate, supports Mayor Richard “King” Daley’s unconstitutional gun ban, and has a real affinity for slamming conservatives. In short he believes in every left-wing trope in the book. And he seems to really dislike Tea Party folks, too.
As we continue our list of the top ten most left-biased journalists working in America today (see part one here), we have to nominate Liz Sidoti of the Associated Press for spot number nine on the countdown.
The Associated Press has been increasingly disappointing at least since Ron Fournier, one of its former bureau chiefs, decided in 2008 to change the APs editorial policy and allow more emotive language and opinion to become an official part of its newswire copy. Not every AP reporter has taken Fournier’s challenge, but boy has Liz Sidoti claimed that policy as her own.
Liz isn’t the only AP reporter to indulge her inner Olbermann, of course, as there are many AP writers that have been caught using emotive wording, hyperbole, and straight out opinion to damn conservatives and Republicans. But Liz is particularly good at the off-handed sleight and the surreptitious slam.
Let’s take Sidoti’s explosive fawning over The One after his first four months in office as an example of her wonderfully understated style of “reporting,” shall we? Liz was so overawed by her Obamamessiah’s ascension to godhood that she couldn’t help herself from gushing like a schoolgirl. The following are some of the notable quotes from her April 26, 2009 piece.
- It didn’t take long for Barack Obama — for all his youth and inexperience — to get acclimated to his new role as the calming leader of a country in crisis.
- “I feel surprisingly comfortable in the job,” the nation’s 44th president said a mere two weeks after taking the helm.
- Obama has applied the same “no drama” leadership
- As a fledgling president, he similarly has mapped out a big-risk agenda that he’s methodically begun to execute, keeping to the discipline that has been a hallmark of his life.
- Rookie jitters? Far from it.
- Confident almost to a fault
- exhibiting few flashes of any off-putting, self-important tone
- he’s reached the pinnacle
- Obama has seemed extraordinarily at ease
- (And here’s that “expect”) “He became presidential almost immediately. Physically as well as rhetorically he transformed himself,” said American University professor James Thurber, an expert on the presidency. He said Obama had little choice but to dive in and start governing, given the full plate of issues. But, Thurber added, “He also did it with real skill and confidence that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from someone who just walked in the door.”
- Obama has spoken in firm, yet soothing tones
- Sometimes he has used a just-folks approach
- He also has steamed with anger
- He has shown contriteness
- He also has let it be known he hasn’t forgotten how politics works
- Stylistically, this is a careful president who uses a teleprompter even during news conferences and presides over a White House that scripts his public appearances
- a strong, ethical leader
- Mindful of Obama’s high popularity and, thus, the media’s hunger for any details about him and his family, the White House has gone to great lengths to make sure he’s visible.
- People don’t seem to mind all that exposure
- Overall, Obama seems unflappable
- He made a string of comments that were, to some extent, joking and self deprecating, almost as if he didn’t take the hubbub around his candidacy too seriously
Sickening, isn’t it? And remember that was all in just one piece!
#8: Christiane Amanpour, CNN
I stay away from commentary and I stay away from ideology. All this stuff that we have seen marching into the space of fact-based news over the last several years, the highly opinionated, highly ideological [demagoguery] that exists and masquerades as journalism. I draw a line and I stay in the fact-based reality.
Nice story, that. Reality, though, seems to diverge a bit from Amanopour’s self-serving assessment. Let’s take Amanpour’s recent altercation with Marc Thiessen, for example. During a recent appearance on her show, the former Bush speech writer took Amanpour to task for saying that the waterboarding tortures perpetrated by Cambodia’s genocidal communist organization Khmer Rouge was exactly the same sort used by the Bush administration on terror suspects.
Here is how Amanpour characterized the waterboarding practices during her filmed visit to the Khmer Rouge torture camps:
I stared blankly at another of Vann Nath’s paintings. This time, a prisoner is submerged in a life-size box of water, handcuffed to the side so he cannot escape or raise his head to breathe, his interrogators arrayed him, demanding information. I asked Vann Nath whether he had heard this was once used on America’s terror suspects. He nodded his head, ‘It’s not right.