Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Charles Babington, Coverup Artist

Posted by MEC on July 19, 2008

I first became aware of Charles Babington when I read a Washington Post article, soon after George W. Bush took the White House, that quoted Richard Perle saying encouraging things about Bush’s foreign policy skills (Charles Babington, “Leaders Urge Bush to Face Foreign Policy Issues.” Washington Post, 20 March 2001, no longer online). Babington portrayed Perle as a conservative (but nonpartisan) objective observer of the new Bush Administration — in reality, he’d been an adviser to the Bush campaign. When I wrote Babington to ask him why he’d chosen a Bush partisan to cite in the article, he claimed complete ignorance of Perle’s role.

Babington has not learned to choose his sources more carefully or fact-check himself. Which is another way of saying he’s still shilling for the Republicans as a reporter for the Associated Press:

John McCain was in his favorite campaign setting, a town hall meeting, when he spotted a promising target. “I’d love to recognize you first, sir,” the Republican presidential candidate said to a man in a Vietnam War veteran’s hat.

Instead of a softball opening question from a fellow vet, however, McCain got a lengthy harangue, as the man insisted the senator had opposed better medical benefits for veterans.

McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war, politely said the man was mistaken. He finally broke it off, saying, “I’ll be glad to examine what your version of my record is.”

Babington’s account, using a loaded verb to portray the questioner as aggressive and McCain as forbearing, gives the impression that the man in the Vietnam War veteran’s hat was wrong. Babington’s covering up McCain’s lies about his record on veterans issues and the support he isn’t getting from veterans’ organizations.

Babington even tries to portray McCain’s “town halls” as somehow more democratic and courageous than Obama’s campaign appearances. But I don’t remember any reports of people being barred from entering an Obama event because they don’t agree with him on an issue (as described in Babington’s own article) or arrested for exercising First Amendment rights.

Straight Talk Express? So-called journalists like Babington make McCain’s campaign the Stenography Express.

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55 Responses to “Charles Babington, Coverup Artist”

  1. A-yep.

  2. Richard Rhodes said

    It is disgusting how badly liberal garbage has even taken over the internets search engine. I can’t even do a search for true information without being lead to a bunch of trash like you. I am getting so tired of so many lying bastards like you on the loose.

  3. Stormcrow said

    You were almost funny, Richard.

    Keep working on it.

    But don’t quit your day job just yet.

  4. Charles II said

    Now, now Stormcrow.

    What Richard is saying is that the conservative machine is starting to shut down. Which is why “the internets search engine” isn’t finding many maggots for him to dine on.

    • Mike Sipe said

      Conservatives don’t have all the time in the world to be trolling the net. Most are working !!!

      • Charles II said

        Most liberals work, too, Mike. The right rails against the teachers’ unions and labor unions and the trial lawyers and so on– and simultaneously say that they’re the only people who work.

        Someone might think they were hypocrites, slanderers, and liars.

  5. Hey, don’t pick on the guy. He’s trying to earn his points as a volunteer Internet troll for the McCain campaign.

  6. Allison said

    Babington has just written a false description of the Obama acceptance speech for the AP, and now, and forever in history, his speech will be recorded in newspapers differently than it happened. This Babington should lose his job tonight. The AP should recall his piece from the news wire. This is an outrage.

  7. Aaron said

    MSNBC has already picked up on Babington’s Obama article and hopefully will make a few inroads into questioning his credibility.

  8. Keith Olbermann noticed that too tonight, Allison.

    Alas, the AP has Rupert Murdoch on its board, Rove and McCain buddy Ron Fournier for its DC bureau chief, and a love of filthy lucre. But the AP’s thuggery has not gone unnoticed: Newspapers are dropping AP like a bad habit.

  9. They just read Babington’s characterization of the Obama speech on the air, and it is not merely an alternative view, it is absolute fabrication. It is clearly part of the Republican machine’s attempt to alter reality with mischaracterization and flat out lies. As the National press service, AP should offer honest reporting not partisan lies transmitted as reporting. This was not an editorial, it was purportedly a news bulletin. Babington and his editors who approved his story should be sacked on the spot. I concur with Allison that the piece should be immediately retracted, and AP should be held accountable for its abuse of its unique forum.

  10. Zephyr said

    Babbington’s just a shill for the right wing wackos who are seeing their chokehold on America slip sliding away…………

  11. […] The role he played in that propoganda was described as a shill for the Republicans by a prominant blog> Babington also has tended to give obviously biased coverage of John McCain in a variety of […]

  12. Encourage your papers to run with the Agence France-Presse version instead.

  13. Adam Witek said

    Mr. Babington’s piece about Mr. Obama’ acceptance speech must have been written in advance or he was listening to something different. His false report violates THE ASSOCIATED PRESS STATEMENT OF NEWS VALUES AND PRINCIPLES. Fire him !!!

  14. SandraL said

    I just found this entry while trying to find out more about this Charles Babington guy – I thought perhaps it was a pseudonym for Ron Fournier. Like Adam, I think the piece must have been written before the speech – with a few quotes thrown in afterward to make it appear legitimate.

    AP: Either fire Fournier and Babington (and any other partisan shills in your ranks), or come clean about your organization’s biases. This must stop.

  15. Kevin said

    I too found this site looking for more info on this scum Babington. What a piece of crap this guy is. How can he look himself in the mirror and call himself a journalist when he’s obviously kowtowing (and probably taking back-end money to do so) to McCain and the right wing propaganda machine?

    I concur that Babington and his editors should be fired and made an example of.

  16. Thanks but Nothanks said

    It just goes to show you how far and deep the GOP fear machine will go to keep the cash drawer open for their friends and business partners. Don’t ever let up and don’t ever stop outing and shunning them. Tar and feather them.

  17. mozey said

    I like how he addressed the fact that many of us are losing our home and that he would like to do something about it. The homlessness rate is getting higher and higher. More people are getting kicked out of their homes, it is time to heal our country first.

  18. Stormcrow said

    PW, the link you cited describes newspapers dropping AP over changes to, and uncertainty about, AP rate structures.

    Not over their “make shit up as you go along” editorial policy.

    It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.

  19. Bill said

    Babington definitely deserves Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” award. In addition he should be given the Rupert Murdoch “Fox Medal” for right wing slime. Shame on AP if they don’t fire him.

  20. Steve said

    Any “reporter” who insinuates by omission that Richard Perle is a non-partisan conservative is either a) utterly incompetent or b) diabolically biased. Either one is grounds for immediate firing. There can be no middle ground.

  21. Sandy said

    Don’t kid yourselves–the AP, Newscorp (Murdoch), the Tribune Companies, Gannett and McClatchy together reach more homes all over the country (especially in small towns) than MSNBC, NY Times, Wash. Post, Newsweek and Time, Inc.–they are in league to make sure that the most vital core of the electorate–undecideds and rust belt blue collars/Reagan Dems–will have access only to the information that’s been pre-spun. It is in their own best interests of self-preservation to make sure the status quo continues. As John Mayer put it, “if you own the information, you can bend it the way you want.”
    In case anyone’s been bemoaning the decline of readership of newspapers and hard copy print journalism in general, this is part of the reason. People are depending more and more on broadcast news–even skewed–because of the immediacy. Pretty hard to spin live events as they happen!

  22. Smitty said

    I noticed Babington used the POW card again. Pretty soon, to borrow a phrase from Joe Biden, all we’ll hear from McSame is a noun, a verb and POW when he defends his insane extreme policies or is caught in a lie like at Saddleback, or can’t remember how many homes he has or when he is denying benefits to veterans. I say he has about 4-5 times more to use the get out of POW camp card before it is void except in the corporate media. Then he’ll play the Sara Palin card that he is for women. I hope progressives note that she is under investigation as well as the Senator from Alaska, that she wants the polar bear off the endangered or threatened species act so that it WILL be extinct by 2030, that she is a global warming denier and proponent of the Alaska Gas Inducement Act that awards sweetheart deals to oil companies on state owned land under the guise of “free marketeering” when in fact the state picks who it decides will participate and give them serious funding. WTF!! Fund ExxonMobil even more when they still haven’t ponied up for the Valdez spill costs that her administration lowered.

    http://www.andrewhalcro.com/debating_agia_with_the_governor

    Thank God for the internet & real journalists that care about the facts.

  23. C’mon, even Pat Buchanan was gushing over Barack’s speech. (A deeply disturbing image I know).

    Either Babington is truly part of McCain’s base or somebody had just explained to Chuck exactly what those Rocky Mountain oysters were he ate earlier in the evening.

    -AF
    Andrew Sullivan Is A Fraud

  24. Jacquelyn said

    Yes, Allison, journalism has deteriorated to selling sloppy boilerplate, and one often wonders if “reporters” like Mr. Babington accept gratuities for skewing.

    Write, call, pester the AP and other culprits. Get friends who actually read to do the same. Our unacceptable alternative is accepting that accurate language and verifiable facts are irrelevant.

  25. […] & Publisher notes that Keith Olbermann took partisan hack Charles Babington to task for a very shoddily written article on Obama’s acceptance speech last night: NEW YORK […]

  26. Jack said

    This election is doing one thing for sure. It is making white America show how racially intolerant they really are. All those good God fearing Christians are now finding every reason not to want to vote for a Christian man; Barack Obama. FEAR, FEAR, FEAR!!!
    And yes, is it that hard to believe that someone posing as a reporter is biased toward McOld I mean McCain. What about Bush/Cheney giving an ex gay porn star a press pass; Armstrong Williams ring any bells. Yes folks, we are now very aware how the republicans use the media. It is evident by the hotline in the FU-News news room to Tricky Dick Cheney office. Please get a grip folks, McOld is to frigging old and his
    VP pick is up there with the chick at the perfume counter in Macys. But whatever you do don’t hire the black guy. He’s so scary and his wife appears to be smart. Yikes!!!

  27. Danny said

    Charles needs to find a new job….what a loser geek that I heard was ripped on in highschool

  28. Vic said

    i respect the individual and not the mob.
    my vote has been cast in this election.
    after reading these comments, most of these individuals have decided also.

    whether i vote for republicans or democrats is not based on skin color.

    my vote was based on relevant issues.
    retire the race card.

  29. MC Johnson said

    Charles Babington wrote in a recent article that Barack Obama was exaggerating when he said that ‘there were more black men in prison than in college.’ The below is from Information Please, which seems to says Obama was telling the truth:

    Prison Population Exceeds Two Million
    According to a Justice Department report released in July 2003, the U.S. prison population surpassed 2 million for the first time—2,166,260 people were incarcerated in prisons or jails at the end of 2002 (the latest statistics available). Since 1990, the U.S. prison population, already the world’s largest, has almost doubled.

    About two-thirds of prisoners were in state and federal prisons, while the rest were in local jails. The report does not count all juvenile offenders, but noted that there were more than 10,000 inmates under age 18 held in adult prisons and jails in 2002. The number of women in federal and state prisons reached 97,491.

    About 10.4% of the entire African-American male population in the United States aged 25 to 29 was incarcerated, by far the largest racial or ethnic group—by comparison, 2.4% of Hispanic men and 1.2% of white men in that same age group were incarcerated. According to a report by the Justice Policy Institute in 2002, the number of black men in prison has grown to five times the rate it was twenty years ago. Today, more African-American men are in jail than in college. In 2000 there were 791,600 black men in prison and 603,032 enrolled in college. In 1980, there were 143,000 black men in prison and 463,700 enrolled in college. mcj

  30. […] Babington has been outed as an ex-Bush advisor by Mercury Rising. The Daily Kos pointed out that the story was supposedly written, edited and […]

  31. Mary K said

    Charles Babington could not tell the truth about Barack Obama or his standing in the Presidential race, his speeches, his policy ideas, his demeanor or any OTHER aspect of the Democratic candidate, if his very LIFE depended on it. Babington’s distortions, lack of specifics, intentional misleads and OUTRIGHT LIES about how this campaign is shaping up is a DISGRACE. While I have been aware for quite some time of the encroaching “right wing-nut” turn in the stories of AP reporters, Babington is the WORST. I suggest he quit his job with AP and go work on the John McCain ticket…it is obvious they need SOMEBODY to manage their PATHETIC campaign of LIES, LIES, and MORE LIES….what’s the matter Charles, are you feeling inadequate?You can’t simply WRITE THE TRUTH? McCain is a despicable sell-out and Sara Palin is a shallower-than-a-petrie-dish, brain dead ‘Barbie Doll’…THIS is the BEST the Republicans have to offer this country after GEORGE W. F#@*UP?

  32. All of you people are stupid anyway you are playing into this man’s hands by getting you all to respond what F is wrong with the people of USA, Racist babel is this the only intelligent conversation you can have, for gods sake these are two men who will potentially run out country, unlike the last guy Who I might add was white) ran it into the ground> get your thumbs out of your asses and vote. But shut up already, it is 2008 and if you wan to be angry get angry at the goverment that put us here( again i might add they were white)DIck Chaney.. sending our boys to die. NOt to mention voting for a woman because you think she is hot, Now that is stupid. boys wake up..

  33. Tammy Dean said

    Most white people are uncomfortable around people who don’t look, act or smell like them; the race card will never be retired because many white people feel they are better than all other races. Believe me I know. Most whites say they are liberal, when infact they are latent racist. The world has been plundered by these people for so long , they themselves have forgotten this, many whites, in the rural areas never get accurate information, so they s pout all kinds of crap and they end up believing it. Race card aside. The truth is many whites have a problem and the few that don’t well lets just say they don’t really exist. Why the hell do you think we are having this discussion now? Should it be anyone else we would not be having this issue, White people are just the same as they have always been, delusional thinking they are so progressive, but in reality they are bigots.

    • robert waring said

      98% of whites did not vote for a man because of his race. check detroit out for a left wing experiment

      • Charles II said

        Which of Obama’s two races did “98%” of whites not vote for, Robert?

        For your information, the white vote split roughly evenly, with Obama getting slightly less than half and McCain slightly more.

        Wherever you are living is an experiment in the limits of ignorance and gullibility.

  34. Charles II said

    Human beings of any color tend to be delusional bigots. It is only by grace that a few escape.

    But this thread is about Charles Babington.

  35. paul weiss said

    I read the article about the racists that Charles Babington says will not voted for Obama. What a joke, what about the racists that will not vote for mcCain. Libs always paint it as a one way street; get real. It’s a two way street for sure.

  36. Stormcrow said

    PW and friends, be proud.

    I think it’s safe to say “Mercury Rising” is now considered more of a threat by the wingnuts than GNB.

    GNB hardly ever sees trolls or drivebys these days.

    But there’s scarcely a week that goes by without this blog seeing several of them.

  37. Charles II said

    We are honored by their ritual acts of reputational suicide, Stormcrow.

  38. Barbie Clack said

    Well, I suppose some white people won’t vote for Barack because of prejudice and I can’t argue that. I suppose some women will vote for McCain because there is a woman – albeit a highly unqualified scary woman – on his ticket. But playing into the race or gender card is not what will get the Republicans out of the White house and out of our pockets. I’m a white woman. I will vote for Barack Obama because he is the right man. We need to spread the word, do what’s right, and stop lowering ourselves into the gutter politics of the past.

  39. SpaceRat said

    I bet all of you Libtards are happy now that Babington’s true colors have been exposed and he has been revealed to be a true Obama kiss ass.

    Wow, He had you all fooled. But he didn’t fool me, however. I knew he was sucking up to McCain because McCain is in reality a Liberal, and jumped ship to be an Obama suck-up when McCain lost.

    I am glad he’s in your camp, and not ours. You can have him.

  40. Doug Jenkins said

    Who is Keith Olbermann?

  41. Dear Mr. Babington,
    Your article about the Birthers stated that the claim Obama was born outside of America was false!
    Please forward to me the proof that you have that allows you to state that in a Associated Press release.
    Thank you, Brucesmithlw@gmail.com

  42. Kent Wolford said

    Your article on the GOP field always omits Herman Cain. Well, we know who he is and why the Dems are afraid of him. You may have no choice but to write about him, come 2012.

    • Charles II said

      You mean that for its jobs program the Republican Party is going to offer a pizza in every pot?

      Or have you mistaken Herman Cain for John McCain?

      As usual, Kent, your comment illustrates exactly how unperceptive, poorly-informed and loopy Republicans are. MEC’s post dates to July, 2008. Herman Cain announced for president in January, 2011.

      Get it?

  43. Tim said

    The funny thing is, I just decided to do a search on “charles Babington” because I thought that I detected a pretty strong liberal bent in his articles for the AP. However, I’m the first one to always say that you have to look at someones work as a whole, in order to really be able to properly judge the person’s professionalism.

    Babington is pretty clearly not conservative at all and he may yet have a bit of a liberal slant to his stories (he writes for the AP after all), but I’ll reserve judgement for now.

    Whatever “mercury rising” is, should probably have done the same thing but then when you are very partisan (as the author of this “mercury rising” fiasco is), it’s awfully hard to know when you are letting your emotions get in the way of being rational about these things.

    • Charles II said

      The facts have a pretty strong liberal bias, Tim. We just follow those facts where they lead.

      The author of the post took the time to contact the reporter to confront him with the fact that Babington portrayed Richard Perle as non-partisan even though he had been a campaign adviser to Bush.

      The author of the post further illustrates that Babington portrayed a veteran who confronted presidential candidate Senator John McCain with the fact that he has a terrible record of supporting veteran’s benefits in a negative light, while portraying the Senator (who has a reputation as a hothead) in a positive light–even though the Senator was lying.

      I notice that in your post you include no facts, just your opinions… opinions which appear to exhibit an extraordinary interest in whether someone is liberal or conservative, as opposed to whether they’re right or wrong.

      I’d rather know the latter.

    • I also got here from probably one of the AP articles you read, Tim, that was liberal slanted, “GOP may OK tax increase that Obama hopes to block”. And I too was surprised to find he was accused of being slanted toward a conservative in the case of “Mercury Rising” (which I have not read, I’m just citing others here in this comment section. I also found this Olbermann video from a google search: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5wOUCnJwQ0).

      Charles II, I act like a fool, but that’s just to cover the fact that I’m not very smart.

      Looking at all the comments on this article though, of some of the big mistakes/lies in his past articles, I think it is fair to say that Babington is either incompetent or can be paid to write anything for whoever will pay him. I like to trust in the goodness of others, even though it rarely pans out in politics, so I’ll go with incompetence. :)

      [Comment slightly modified by siteowner for clarity]

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