2012 Convention Watch

By Seton Motley | October 23, 2012 | 9:52 AM EDT

In their third Presidential debate analysis, the Jurassic Press Media last night and thus far this morning have failed utterly in their role as fact checker and record-corrector - at least when it comes to what President Barack Obama had to say. 

As but one glaring example, there were the President’s absurd assertions regarding the auto bailout and China.

By Brent Bozell | September 21, 2012 | 11:27 AM EDT

We’ve seen this play out over and over and over again. If it hurts Barack Obama’s chances of re-election, the media ignore it. If it hurts Mitt Romney, they obsess over it night after night.

We saw it in July when Obama disparaged small business and at this point in the cycle the networks had given it ZERO coverage. We saw it last week when the networks relentlessly attacked Romney’s criticism of the Obama Administration’s spineless response to anti-American violence in the Middle East. Now we’re seeing it again this week with this manufactured controversy surrounding the secretly recorded - and edited - Romney tape.

By Scott Whitlock | September 17, 2012 | 4:30 PM EDT

An executive producer at Good Morning America was forced to defend ABC's skimpy convention coverage, huffing that the network stressed quality over quantity. The Associated Press on Monday picked up a report by the Media Research Center pointing out that ABC had the least amount of convention coverage, less than half than that of CBS.

When pressed on it by the AP's David Bauder, Good Morning America executive producer Tom Cibrowski defended, "We're not going to get into the game of minute to minute in political coverage." He chided, "We want to make sure we have the best political coverage."

By Scott Whitlock | September 17, 2012 | 12:27 PM EDT

Clint Eastwood appeared on Monday's Good Morning America to promote his new movie, but still had to deal with media fallout from his "controversial" "chair stunt" at the Republican National Convention.

Fill-in co-host Josh Elliott teased the segment by lecturing, "We'll have much more about that controversial speech." After talking to Eastwood about his soon-to-be released baseball film, Trouble With the Curve, reporter Nick Watt segued, "Eastwood's last role was, of course, guest star at the Republican National Convention. He controversially addressed an empty chair as if it were President Obama." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Scott Whitlock | September 14, 2012 | 9:59 AM EDT

Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos on Friday landed an exclusive interview with Mitt Romney and proceeded to taunt the Republican presidential candidate: "But you're falling further behind. Why aren't you doing better?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Stephanopoulos's hyperbole aside, a new Rasmussen poll shows Romney ahead by three points. A CBS poll has the President ahead by three. Hardly panic time.

Unsurprisingly, the Good Morning America host neatly parroted the Democratic campaign's attacks over how Romney has responded to the situation in Libya. Teasing the segment, Stephanopoulos promised to hit Romney on "those controversial comments made right after the outbreak of violence."

By Scott Whitlock | September 11, 2012 | 2:55 PM EDT

If journalists were interested in fairness, there's nothing more basic than giving a similar amount of airtime to each major party convention. An MRC analysis finds that's exactly what CBS and ABC did, giving virtually identical airtime to the Republican and Democratic conventions on their morning and evening news shows.

But NBC skewed in favor of the Democrats, donating 25 percent more coverage to the Democratic National Convention (121 minutes) than they did the previous week's Republican convention (97 minutes). Most of the disparity is accounted for by the Today show, which gave 30 percent more coverage to the Democrats (87 minutes vs. 67 minutes), although the NBC Nightly News also favored the Democrats, albeit by a slighter margin (34 to 30 minutes).

By P.J. Gladnick | September 11, 2012 | 1:03 PM EDT

The title of John Cassidy's column in the New Yorker is "Rational Irrationality" but after reading the reason he gives for Barack Obama ditching his outdoor stadium speech at the Democrat convention in Charlotte, NC, I think it would be safe to ditch the "Rational" part of the column title.

One of the big reasons why Cassidy pretty much comes off as completely irrational was his explanation as to why Team Obama really moved the convention speech from the 75,000 seat outdoor stadium to the much smaller indoor venue. At first Cassity does seem a bit rational in his Six Unanswered Questions From Charlotte, which is also notable for his complete lack of curiousity about the "two-thirds" platform voice vote, since he admits what most of us already knew---that the excuse of poor weather was bogus. However, he provides an "answer" so off the wall as to be a real howler:

By Mike Bates | September 10, 2012 | 11:12 AM EDT

On Sunday's CNN Reliable Sources, host Howard Kurtz spoke of President Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention:

Bob Cusack, Obama gave a pretty good speech overall. The media acted like it was terrible. And it seems to me that perhaps we have set a standard for him that (if) he doesn't he doesn't hit the stratosphere, he has somehow failed.

The media acted like it was terrible?  Kurtz must not have been watching CNN immediately after Obama's speech.  Observed CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer: "Anderson, he clearly still has that oratorical skill that he's always had over these many years." CNN chief national correspondent John King opined: "I think a very smart, well-crafted speech, both strategically and tactically."  CNN senior political analyst David Gergen said, ". . .I thought it was a very strong speech."

By Tim Graham | September 7, 2012 | 10:51 PM EDT

Bill Press was the very model of a modern talk-show partisan on Friday. He loved the Democratic convention: "What a contrast with Tampa, right? This is a convention that told the truth and Tampa was the convention that just told nothing but lies, lies, lies, lies. There were no lies here. Joe Biden told the truth Barack Obama told the truth Bill Clinton told the truth."

Press also welcomed in black talk show host and political strategist Richard Fowler and adored his put-down of the Republicans in Tampa as "pale,male, and stale." Press apparently doesn't think he could be described with any of these disparaging words:

By Kyle Drennen | September 7, 2012 | 4:59 PM EDT

On Friday's NBC Today, less than two hours before another poor jobs report, co-host Matt Lauer touted a bold economic prediction: "Some of the analysts I've been reading have said that no matter who is president over the next four years, the economy will add about 12 million jobs just because of the cycle it's in." CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer agreed with the rosy scenario: "...a lot of pent-up demand in autos and pent-up demand in exports. It's not such a bad moment."

Earlier in the discussion, Cramer predicted that the upcoming jobs numbers would be "a little better than expected" from the projection of 135,000 jobs created in August, with "Maybe 10,000 jobs more than that." At the top of the 9 a.m. hour, fill-in news anchor Tamron Hall delivered the much more disappointing reality: "[The unemployment rate] now stands at 8.1% for the month of August, down .2% from July, but only because more people gave up looking for work. The economy added 96,000 jobs last month."

By Ryan Robertson | September 7, 2012 | 3:22 PM EDT

After offending religious Americans by appearing to boo God, the Democratic National Convention had the top ranking Catholic official in the country perform the closing Benediction Thursday night. Cardinal Timothy Dolan did the same for the Republicans last week in Tampa Bay, but those delegates didn’t seem to have a problem with a party platform that included God and Jerusalem.

The only networks respectful enough to show the prayer in its entirety without interruption was Fox News, Fox Business and C-SPAN. ABC, CNN, and PBS kept it in background while talking over it. MSNBC completely ignored it, cutting the audio feed to let their pundits share their opinions without distraction. CBS and NBC returned to local news affiliates as soon as he began.  

[See video below.  MP3 audio here.]

By Kyle Drennen | September 7, 2012 | 12:38 PM EDT

Comparing the RNC and DNC conventions on Friday's NBC Today, MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough declared a knockout for Democrats: "...if we're going pound for pound, round for round, this wasn't Ali versus Frasier, this was Muhammed Ali versus Chuck Wepner...It was ugly..." The liberal crowd assembled around Scarborough at a bar in Charlotte all cheered and applauded the statement. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Scarborough's boxing reference was to a 1975 fight when Wepner went 15 rounds with the heavyweight champion Ali before losing. On the conventions, he argued that Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton and Joe Biden "all hit home runs...all hit it out of the park," while in Tampa, "you had a Republican convention that was trying to figure out how to love Mitt Romney."