FUN FACTS

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

News + com­edy + bias = com­edy. The con­ser­va­tive bl­o­go­sphere rat­tled with rev­e­la­tions that CNN went to great lengths to “fact check” a par­ody of Pres­i­dent Obama on NBC’s “Satur­day Night Live.” The se­ri­ous news seg­ment fea­tured an­chor Wolf Bl­itzer, cor­re­spon­dent Ka­reen Wyn­ter and Bill Adair, an an­a­lyst at Poli­tiFact.com.

Wait. It’s a com­edy show, not, say, PBS’ “Front­line.” But the anal­y­sis ma­chine was in mo­tion, and the seg­ment was rife with solemn pro­nounce­ments, graph­ics, cut-aways; Mr. Adair in­toned that “SNL” “missed the mark” and “glossed over progress” of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion. Greg Hens­ley of Townhall.com and Salem Ra­dio Net­work pro­ducer Lee Habeeb were the sharp-eyed sages who first no­ticed this ironic cul­tural mo­ment, and then de­manded to know why CNN did not “fact check” the now-in­fa­mous Tina Fey im­pres­sions of Sarah Palin.

And where there is a cul­tural mo­ment, mirth may fol­low. This went vi­ral — picked up in print, broad­cast and on­line — and on an in­stant Twit­ter topic, CNN­factcheck. The Tweets con­tinue to pile up by the minute, sug­gest­ing other CNN fact-checkin’ head­lines. Among the many:

“This just in: Wolf Bl­itzer not re­ally a wolf,” “Rhett re­ally did not give a damn. Con­firmed,” “David Let­ter­man is, in fact, not at­trac­tive,” “Just in: Pepe Le Pew was re­ally a cat that smelled like a skunk,” “CNN Re­port: De­spite wide­spread claims, few ac­tu­ally ‘scream’ for ice cream,” “CNN Nau­ti­cal re­port­ing that Cap­tain Crunch nei­ther is or has been an ac­tual cap­tain of any ves­sel,” “CNN Re­port: Pres­i­dent Obama never ac­tu­ally used phrase ‘did­dly squat.’ ” tion, 269 words in the Get­tys­burg Ad­dress and ap­prox­i­mately 13,500 words, in five dif­fer­ent fed­eral agency man­u­als, on the han­dling of cab­bage,” Mr. Emm­rich points out.

“We add that the Lord cre­ated the Earth in 50-some­thing words, a jot and tit­tle that Wash­ing­ton Times ed­i­tor emer­i­tus Wes­ley Pru­den pointed out to his re­porters on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions.” 47 Chi­nook he­li­copter cra­dled in the arms of his mas­ter. Yes, the dog had an oxy­gen mask and a nifty jump­suit. We as­sume he got a bis­cuit, hope­fully lots of them.

Sgt. Lalonde is as­signed to Com­pany D, 701st Mil­i­tary Po­lice Bat­tal­ion. And Sgt. Fasco? We sug­gest a nice lit­tle medal, with T-bone clus­ters.

In­deed, the chil­dren are in­ton­ing th­ese lines on a mul­ti­mil­lion­dol­lar ad­vo­cacy-ad cam­paign from the Wash­ing­ton, D.C.-based non­profit re­search group, now air­ing on CNN, Fox News Chan­nel and CNBC. And you may have seen their 17 raggedy cos­tumed Un­cle Sams wan­der­ing through Wash­ing­ton, beg­ging. Too much? They don’t think so.

“This cam­paign is all about get­ting peo­ple to un­der­stand the fright­en­ing re­al­ity of the mas­sive fed­eral debt,” says the group’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Richard Berman. “Peo­ple do not re­al­ize just how much $12 tril­lion is, and what it will take for our coun­try to get out from un­der that level of debt.” Obama has al­ready en­vi­sioned the day when he could wel­come the world to his home­town, never mind that small mat­ter of re­elec­tion,” the Times said.

All of it dis­ap­peared in an up­dated story, but not be­fore the nim­ble “Zips” posted the be­fore and af­ter.

“Un­for­tu­nately, this is not the first time the New York Times has scrubbed an ar­ti­cle to shine a more fa­vor­able light on this ad­min­is­tra­tion,” a Weasel Zip­pers spokesman tells Belt­way. “In the ar­ti­cle last week by the Times’ pub­lic ed­i­tor, the di­rec­tor of the Pew Project for Ex­cel­lence in Jour­nal­ism Tom Rosen­stiel was quoted as say­ing, ‘If you know you are a tar­get, it re­quires ex­tra vig­i­lance. Even the sus­pi­cion of a bias is a prob­lem all by it­self.’ It is quite ob­vi­ous that the re­porters for the Times do not read their own pa­per.”

U.S. ARMY

U.S. Army Sgt. Chris Lalonde (cen­ter), holds his mil­i­tar y work­ing dog, Sgt. Maj. Fasco, while civil­ian jump­mas­ter Kirby Ro­driguez, be­hind them, de­ploys his para­chute dur­ing the mil­i­tary’s first tan­dem jump from an alti­tude of 12,500 feet, onto Gam­mon Pa­rade Field at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

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