Morning Briefing for January 15, 2009

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1. Martha Coakley: Nuns are Bad, Pedophiles are Good.

Every once in a while a combination of stories comes along in politics that is so bizarre you can’t believe you’re actually writing about it. This is one of those times. Fresh after taking a run at Fenway Park fans in a public interview yesterday, Martha Coakley decided today that she’d insult another institution nobody in Massachusetts gives a crap about: Nuns. Here she is discussing why Nuns shouldn’t be allowed to work in Catholic Hospitals – private institutions that have zero problem with accomodating the consciences of the nuns . . . .


While Nuns and Fenway Park are on Martha Coakley’s bad list, it turns out she has a good list. Know who’s on it? Pedophiles.

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2. The Story The Media Is Missing Because It Does Not Fit Their Narrative

Let’s admit there is media bias. We know there is despite the best efforts of some on the left to deny it.

I cannot tell you the number of reporters at major networks and newspapers who will, in private moments, admit there is a real bias.

In most cases it is not an intentional bias. It is a product of being largely highly educated, liberally inclined, white urbanites who live on the Upper West Side, have drivers whisk them off to their studio or out of Adams-Morgan into downtown DC where they hang out with other fashionable liberals who, unlike me, think Jimmy Choo is a shoe manufacturer and not, a I thought, a Chinese restaurant.

They talk about what’s in the New York Times Magazine and on its front page. They gossip about who isn’t sleeping with Maureen Dowd anymore. They go to wine country in France, tie the latest J. Crew sweater around their neck because Michelle does, and otherwise live in an insular world of group think.

The preconceived notions they develop in this insular world of their likeminded friends colors what gets reported and what doesn’t. The majority of Americans who realize global warming is a scam are pooh-poohed as ignorant because all the guys at Brown, Harvard, and Vassar say so.

The credible scientists who disagree with the group think are shunned as holocaust deniers. Republicans and conservatives are treated as the same creature.

David Gergen’s latest bout of conventional wisdom is serenaded on NPR and David Frum is celebrated for speaking truth to power from the renovated carriage house behind his posh home on the northwest side of Washington. The women from The View are considered intellectuals, except for that Republican one who is just on their for the affirmative action quota for wingers.

Sarah Palin is disdained because she had a Down Syndrome child and all the forty something first time moms dropping their kids off (assuming it’s not the nanny doing it) at Birch Wathen Lenox, Trinity, and Dwight before going to work at their six-figure jobs know that smart women abort Down Syndrome babies — there’s a great clinic in SoHo where you can shop fashionably after the baby is chopped up and sucked out.

Sometimes the bias is more patent, open, and intentional. After all, friends do want to help out their friends and likeminded brethren on the left. Any criticism of Obama is racist and conservatives sometimes must pay the price.

The mainstream media arising out of that culture misses stories that don’t fit the narrative or don’t make it past the New York – DC corridor echo chamber.

Right now the media is missing a really big story. It does not fit their narrative.

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3. Martha Coakley: Terrible Prosecutor

It’s worth recalling, as the Massachusetts Senate election approaches, that Martha Coakley is not just some bland Democratic machine apparatchik. She’s a bland Democratic machine apparatchik with a long record as a prosecutor that includes some very ugly things.

Exhibit A is the notorious case, familiar to readers of the Wall Street Journal over the past three decades, of Gerald Amirault. The case, discussed in summary here, was a terrible miscarriage of justice involving fantastical accounts of sex abuse of children, exposed by Journal reporter Dorothy Rabinowitz; it was originally prosecuted by another politically ambitious Democrat, Scott Harshbarger. And then Martha Coakley took over.

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4. Martha Coakley Disses Fenway Park, Shaking Hands With Bostonians. No, Really.

Given the serial fiascoes of the Martha Coakley for Senate campaign – veering from gaffe (her claim that there are no terrorists in Afghanistan) to comedy (misspelling her own state’s name in an attack ad) to ham-handedness (a staffer barrelling over a Weekly Standard reporter trying to ask about the Afghanistan gaffe) to outright panic in her communications with national Democrats, who are now tapping into their House campaign fund to prop her up – you would think, five days before Election Day, that the second coming of Shannon O’Brien has run out of ways to hand Scott Brown an upset victory in the race for what was for decades Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat (but, as Brown has reminded us, remains the people’s seat to do with as they wish).

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5. Mike Pence: Health Care: “This fight ain’t over”

When Harry Reid passed a government-run health care bill two weeks ago, he believed the long battle was done. He was wrong. After months of speaking out against a government takeover of health care — via phone calls, letters, town halls, protests and online activism — the American people will not quietly accept this fate. Now, the roughly 2,000 page bill is being negotiated behind closed doors — even after the president promised at least eight times that this process would be televised.

C-SPAN has offered to broadcast the negotiations anytime, anywhere. This failure to respond to C-SPAN’s broadcast request is appalling. While transparency was once the “touchstone” of Obama’s campaign, it’s clear that promise was mere campaign rhetoric.

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6. What Do Sarah Palin and Jesus Christ Have In Common?

I don’t know what it is about Sarah Palin that sets people off, but there is very little in between. The reaction people have to Sarah Palin is very much the reaction many people have to Jesus — both offend and disgust the secular values of some and with others failing to embrace either sends you straight to hell. Judging by my conversation with Governor Palin a few weeks ago when I asked her why the left has more compassion for Al Qaeda than for conservative women and minorities, I think she gets it and finds some humor in it. . . .

But there is a serious problem developing among some of Palin’s biggest fans.

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