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Friday, August 25, 2006

Shut Up Kessler

--posted by Tony Garcia on 8/25/2006

I think it is well known how little I think of Michele Bachmann as a person and as a candidate (and should she win, how little I will think of her as a Congresswoman). I advocate skipping the race on the ballot for there are no good options in that race.

However, I do also try to be fair when I look at each and every story that I look at. So when I saw Pat Kessler's story raising questions about President Bush's visit to Minnesota recently I felt compelled to speak out.

Kessler...SHUT UP!
Many people are wondering about the cost of President Bush's visit to Minnesota this week.

His stop in the Twin Cities was part health policy and part campaign politics and nothing is easy or cheap when a president travels.

Taxpayers picked up most of the tab for Bush's Minnesota trip on Tuesday, even though it included campaign fundraising.
Really...is this any different than any other election year? President masquerades a fundraiser into the calendar on the same day and in the same city as a Presidential policy event. Clinton was a master at this, as were Presidents before him. Bush is a master at it now.

The only difference is, well, nothing.

Kessler...SHUT UP!
Here's what you NEED TO KNOW.

Republican Congressional candidate Michele Bachmann's campaign paid $40,000 to bring Bush to Minnesota. That is nowhere near the total cost of the trip.

A prolific fund-raiser, Bush generated more than $500,000 for Bachmann, but he also set aside 50 minutes for a public forum on healthcare and there is a reason for that, so THAT'S NOT THE WHOLE STORY here.

By coupling a policy event with a campaign fund-raiser, the
White House -- under any president of any party -- can reduce the amount of money political candidates must pay to bring the fund-raiser-in-chief to town.

No matter where the president goes, taxpayers pick up the tab for Air Force One, which costs about $57,000 an hour. The total cost for Air Force One for Bush's latest trip to Minnesota: $228,000.
At least he mentioned "under any president of any party"...though it kind of rings hollow without naming the other Presidents who have done this.

Hey, Kessler, where is the real follow-up? How many times did Bush do this in his 5+ years? How many times did Clinton and Reagan do it in their 8 years? How about Bush I in his 4 years? How about Carter, Nixon and Ford in their 12 years?

Kessler...SHUT UP!
The political story is INCOMPLETE without noting who attended the event. Despite reports of political distance between him and Bush, who is scoring low approval ratings, U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kennedy was there to greet Bush. He even presented Bush with a baseball autographed by Minnesota Twins star Joe Mauer.
You started that paragraph out with a truthful phrase, "The...story is INCOMPLETE". Not for the stuff you continue on to mention, but for the questions you did not address (see above questions for a start).

Worse, though is what he puts into the end of his story. Is ANY of this relevant AT ALL to the story in which it is presented? Do Bush's approval ratings have anything to do with the costs of Air Force One and a Presidential trip to Minnesota? No. Does Kennedy's appearance at a GOP fundraiser in Minnesota (not to mention the attendance at an event with the President) have any bearing on the story about costs of Air Force One and a Presidential trip to Minnesota? No. It is even less relevant to the story that the appearance is made "[d]espite reports of political distance between [Kennedy] and Bush". Even more ridiculous is adding, as if it proves even more something nefarious, the fact that Kennedy presented Bush with a baseball. Look out Joe Mauer, you are now linked to the evil that is the GOP...gasp...because you signed a baseball that made its way through Kennedy to Bush. What really was the point of that in the story.

Kessler...SHUT UP! Do us a favor and retire, or change jobs, or something besides that which you do so poorly: reporting a "reality checking" series.

[I added the following to the post after I saw my Google News feed which had an older story still up.]
Kessler...what I find more interesting than your moronic story about Bush's recent trip is the absence of similar scrutiny for Wetterling's national assistance. Please point me to the "reality check" story about the costs to the taxpayer (or lack thereof) of flying in US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to a fundraiser on Wetterling's behalf. Same race...and no scrutinizing questions from Kessler. Hmm, did you notice that Kessler is from WCCO and the link provided above about the Wetterling event is also from WCCO. So, no blaming the oversight on different news rooms or different editors. What gives. In fact the scrutiny was found only in the following paragraph:
Bachmann has gotten fundraising help from Vice President Dick Cheney, White House adviser Karl Rove and House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
Hmm, interesting. A report about Wetterling taking a shot at Bachmann.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I'm no fan of Bachmann, but fair is fair...and WCCO's handling of these two campaigns is far from that. Not that we should be surprised. It is simply worth pointing it out.

Oh yes, and for those of you who like to hold people accountable for being too close to Bush I have something for you. Lieberman was with Bush on one issue...Iraq. And y'all threw your good uber-liberal to the wolves. Will you do the same with Wetterling? She is with Bush on one issue, and even went to a bill signing ceremony at the White House:
Wetterling, a child safety advocate, was in Washington on Thursday at President Bush's invitation for the signing of a bill stiffening penalties for child predators and creating a national Internet database of convicted sex offenders.
Why bring up this old story? Because it is a great chance to compare and contrast how the media is covering the race.

********** UPDATE **********
This is ThePete with my first Post/Edit/What-have-you. I am a pretty blunt guy so I went strait to the source for this one.

Pat Kessler urked me with his “reporting” so I called him on it, sending him an E-Mail:
Note: The e-mail addresses below from Pat and my self have been made public long before this blog article.
From: zeeboid@gmail.com
To: pjkessler@wcco.cbs.com
Date: Aug 28, 2006 1:55 PM
Subject: RE: Reality Check: Cost Of Bush's Minnesota Visit
Pat,
Would this story you've written also be incomplete without a comparison of past presidents (Clinton, HW Bush, Regan, Carter, Nixon, Ford)? without such data, it just looks as if you are picking on our Current President, as campaigning is something that every president has done for their side.
What is different about it this time?
This reminds me of when people were whining about Bush's inauguration party, as if Clinton never had one... or whining about Bush "lying" about WMDs, while they forget about Clinton's speech the night before he bombed the Iraq aspirin factory where he quoted WMDs as his reason for the attack... or how our current president
wasn't impeached for lying, like our past one.

Your story would look as if it contained less BIAS if you included information on other presidents.

To quote Tony Garcia of alwaysrightusuallycorrect.blogspot.com :
"Hey, Kessler, where is the real follow-up? How many times did Bush do this in his 5+ years? How many times did Clinton and Reagan do it in their 8 years? How about Bush I in his 4 years? How about Carter, Nixon and Ford in their 12 years?"

To add to that, do you have the figures for these presidents and their total campaigning expenditures on the government's dime?
BTW. As a communications major, the proper way to reference our president is not with the last name alone, but with his title: President Bush.

From: Kessler, Pat
To: The Pete
Date: Aug 28, 2006 2:50 PM
Subject: RE: Reality Check: Cost Of Bush's Minnesota Visit

Hello,

As we noted in our story, the costs of presidential travel is paid by taxpayers for any president of any party... and we also included web sources for you to read if you want more information.

Also, you should know we also reported the costs of travel for President Clinton when he visited Minnesota on behalf of candidates, and the costs of security and
local tie-ups for candidate John Kerry in 2004.

Thanks for watching,

Pat Kessler
WCCO TV
Okay, I got a reply. Very nice. Thank you very much Pat, that e-mail I sent you was farily agressiavly stated, and I didn't expect a reply. Very Diplomatic. I'll be nice too then:

From: The Pete
To: "Kessler, Pat"
Date: Aug 28, 2006 4:45 PM
Subject: Re: Reality Check: Cost Of Bush's Minnesota Visit
Thanks for your reply Pat. I do think its sad that ANY taxpayer payment of presidential travel for candidate Brag-a-thons is a waste of money, and I appriciate your mention of reporting Clinton's visit costs, it just seams like the public needs to be reminded of these things otherwise some get the impression that the media is favoring one side, while the others are influenced in a negative way.

I will check out the web sources, so long as I can find them, They may have been on TV, but are not included on WCCO's website with your story:
http://wcco.com/seenon/local_story_236133459.html

Anywhoo, You keep on reporting the news, and I'll keep watching WCCO.

Take it easy, and Thank You for your time.
ThePete

From: Kessler, Pat
To: The Pete
Date: Aug 28, 2006 4:50 PM
Subject: RE: Reality Check: Cost Of Bush's Minnesota Visit
I think you make a very good point, and in the future I think it's probably wise for us to mention Pres. Clinton (or whomever) by name so people understand that...

Best,
Pat Kessler
WCCO TV
I hear what you say Pat, but while doing a google search, I wasn't able to find much looking for WCCO and Clinton Campaign:

http://wcco.com/election/local_story_228121440.html
http://wcco.com/politics/politicsnational_story_233185511.html
I know WCCO refused to air the Midwest Heros ad... but that may be another topic.
If one could help me find said items that WCCO has reported on, that would be great. I love being corrected.

God I hate the Mafia Media. The only diffrence between me and them is I tell people what they should think, I don't hide that its my opinion, dispite how correct I am... and I have less money.
Updated by Pete

3 Comments:

Blogger The Scribe said...

Eric Black has also tried to bring a pseudo "reality check" column to his election beat for the Strib. Black's "Truth Squad" series masks itself as a independent non-partisan, objective uncovering of the real facts behind the election. But it comes across as obnoxious and Black's lefty biases shine through.

good analysis on Kessler.

As a side note: I always though it would be fun to hold these "reality check"-type reporters to their own standard, and oncover their political secrets and biases. A blogosphere series on each of the main local media moguls could be an interesting task.

August 27, 2006  
Blogger Tony said...

The only "reality check" I have seen that was (a) fair to both/all sides and (b) not unduly ripped for attacking any side was FactCheck.org. They rock.

August 27, 2006  
Blogger ThePete said...

My E-Mail to Kessler:

Pat,

Would this story you've written also be incomplete without a comparison of past presidents (Clinton, HW Bush, Regan, Carter, Nixon, Ford)? without such data, it just looks as if you are picking on our Current President, as campaigning is something that every president has done for their side. What is different about it this time?

This reminds me of when people were whining about Bush's inauguration party, as if Clinton never had one... or whining about Bush "lieing" about WMDs, while they forget about Clinton's speech the night before he bombed the Iraq aspirin factory where he quoted WMDs as his reason for the attack... or how our current president wasn't impeached for lieing, like our past one.

Your story would look as if it contained less BIAS if you included information on other presidents.

To quote Tony Garcia of alwaysrightusuallycorrect.blogspot.com :
"Hey, Kessler, where is the real follow-up? How many times did Bush do this in his 5+ years? How many times did Clinton and Reagan do it in their 8 years? How about Bush I in his 4 years? How about Carter, Nixon and Ford in their 12 years?"

To add to that, do you have the figures for these presidents and their total campaigning expenditures on the government's dime?

BTW. As a communications major, the proper way to reference our president is not with the last name alone, but with his title: President Bush.

--
www.zeeboid.com
www.hybridmuscle.com
zeeboid.blogspot.com
Most Liberal arguments can be easily countered by Fact.

August 28, 2006  

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