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Warner Todd Huston | July 13, 2007 | 01:55

We are seeing all over the MSM the reports highlighting the Republicans in the House and Senate who are turning away from the Party line and voting against -- or at least seeming to vote against -- the President's Iraq war policies. The MSM is presenting this revolt as a momentous thing, unprecedented and presenting it as a loss for the President's ideas. Yet, even as a small number of Republicans have, indeed, voted against the Party line, an even larger number of Democrats are voting against their Party, too. Yet, somehow, we are not hearing this being brought up by the tongue waggers and controversy-mongers in the MSM.

In a July 12th vote in the House of Representatives to mandate a certain date to pull out of Iraq, for instance, the fact that four Republicans broke ranks is treated as a stampede of GOP defectors. Yet, in that same vote, 10 Democrats did not vote with their Party -- in effect "defecting" to the GOP side of the argument. Of this fact, the MSM seem strangely quite.

Why is it that four Republican votes against the President's plans is some sort of landslide, yet 10 Democrat votes against their Party line is ignored?

Brent Baker | July 12, 2007 | 21:47
ABC's Jake Tapper on Thursday night raised the prediction “genocide” will result after a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, a forecast Tapper put to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at a Capitol Hill news conference: “Do you think the Iraqi people will be safer with U.S. troops out?” Reid didn't respond to the point, leading Tapper to retort in the exchange played on World News: “You didn't answer my question.” A perturbed Reid, presumably not used to challenging questions from the Washington press corps, chastised Tapper: “This isn't a debate. We're answering questions.” Tapper then repeated his question -- “Will the Iraqis be safer?” -- but Reid ignored him and moved on: “Anyone else have a question?”

Tapper's story ran a night after Wednesday's World News featured a report from Terry McCarthy in Iraq on how General David Petraeus, commander of all multi-national forces in Iraq, “is still very optimistic about the military battle, if the politicians give him enough time.” (July 11 NewsBusters item)

Video clip (35 secs): Real (1 MB) or Windows Media (1.2 MB), plus MP3 audio (200 KB)
Julia A. Seymour | July 12, 2007 | 18:57

It seems the network newscasts will put anything on in the name of stopping global warming, including a report about trying to put penguins on the U.S. Endangered Species list.

Wait, a minute. Penguins don’t live in the U.S. except at the zoo.

But that didn’t stop ABC “World News with Charles Gibson” from promoting the left-wing group trying to accomplish that.

“If the group can get them [the penguin] protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act, they say it’ll send an important message about the global problem of climate change,” said ABC science correspondent Ned Potter on July 11.

Julia A. Seymour | July 12, 2007 | 18:21

Apparently, “CBS Evening News” thinks it shouldn’t be your responsibility to remember to balance your checkbook. Anthony Mason’s July 11 report bashed banks for *GASP* profiting from overdraft fees.

Banks are cashing in on overdrafts, raking in more than $17 billion in fees last year, according to the Center for Responsible Lending” said Mason.

The segment, called "Hidden Charges," did not include comment from the banking industry and it also ignored the risk taken by banks by offering overdraft protection service – which can be a benefit to consumers. Bouncing a check is costly too from what I've heard. 

Ken Shepherd | July 12, 2007 | 18:05

I took the liberty of taking what are perhaps the five worst, most biased questions in today's White House news conference (see earlier live blog thread here and official White House transcript here).

Video (3:15): Real (2.38 MB) or Windows (1.99 MB), plus MP3 audio (1.11 MB).

It starts with Helen Thomas insisting that President Bush is responsible for al Qaeda in Iraq and ends with Martha Raddatz of ABC News misconstruing a new report on al Qaeda to conclude the terror network's threat is "greater than ever now." NBC's David Gregory and CBS's Jim Axelrod are also included. All questions betray an alarmist and defeatist tone on Iraq and/or push President Bush to consider hypotheticals involving Democrats passing legislation to curtail his management of the war.

Lynn Davidson | July 12, 2007 | 17:59

July 11, the AP wrote that former NC state House Speaker Jim Black was sentenced to five years for “taking cash to promote chiropractors,” but the writer forgot to mention until the sixth paragraph that Black is a Democrat.

We've seen the phenomena of the media forgetting to identify political parties when a Democrat is portrayed negatively and at times, when a Republican is portrayed positively, as during Rep. William Jefferson's (D-LA) corruption and bribery scandal. Conversely, an AP article about Sen. David Vitter's (R-LA) link to the “D.C. Madam” included his party in the first four words.

Since everyone doesn't read every article, it's important to pack the major facts into the initial paragraphs. The first several paragraphs offered many perfect spots to disclose Black's party, but they were not used. Also, the seriousness and details of the charges were minimized by vague descriptions. Between the vagueness of the charges and the lack of identification, the reader is left with questions (emphasis mine throughout):

Noel Sheppard | July 12, 2007 | 17:34

On Thursday, Jules Crittenden wondered if American media are lazy, stupid or willfully ignorant with how they’ve been reporting events in Iraq.

Given the BBC’s recent piece concerning the relationship between the sun and climate change which hysterically ignored an article it published almost three years ago with a completely diametric view, one might ask the same question of that British television network.

To set this up, as NewsBusters reported Thursday, the published a piece concerning Mike Lockwood’s paper discrediting a connection between the sun’s activities and global warming in the past 22 years.

However, on July 6, 2004, published an article entitled “Sunspots Reaching 1000-year High” (h/t Global Warming Hysteria):

Geoffrey Dickens | July 12, 2007 | 16:10

The donations to the global warming cause keep coming in from NBC. On this morning's "Today" show, the band Maroon 5 came on to tease their upcoming performance on the show but couldn't leave without the "Today" show cast urging them to plug their partnership with a liberal environmentalist organization, that gets $1 from every Maroon 5 ticket sold.

When the band's lead singer, Adam Levine, urged viewers to buy tickets for their tour, "Today" co-host Ann Curry mentioned viewers could see the band for free at their August 17th performance on the Rockefeller Center Plaza. However Today's weatherman, Al Roker, quickly rectified Curry's inadvertent undercutting of the cause, as he reminded viewers: "But buy a ticket because a dollar goes to Global Cool."

Tim Graham | July 12, 2007 | 15:56

If you’re the kind of liberal elitist who makes untold millions as a precious literary mind on National Public Radio (complete with relentless program-related merchandising), then you are the kind of person who finds the "War on Terror" to be nothing more than the comedic Gift That Keeps on Giving. I’m talking about Garrison Keillor of "A Prairie Home Companion," who takes up space on the left-wing site on Thursday with a "comedy" piece headlined: "His stethoscope is loaded: The war on terror must be pursued wherever it leads and right now it points toward people in green scrubs." The recent finding that some terrorist suspects are doctors will no doubt lead to dramatic and tyrannical overreaching by "Secretary Shirtsoff" and the Department of Homeland Security, Keillor suggests:

Noel Sheppard | July 12, 2007 | 14:59

A funny thing happened a few days after Al Gore’s concerts to draw attention to global warming concluded: a significant study out of England stating that changes in the sun’s output are not responsible for climate change went almost thoroughly ignored by America’s media.

A report by the BBC on Tuesday, which demonstrably challenged one of the key arguments made by anthropogenic global warming skeptics, would normally have been greeted with great enthusiasm by press representatives in the States always looking to highlight stories supporting their green agenda.

Yet, of the major American news organizations, only Bloomberg gave this new study any attention:

Pam Meister | July 12, 2007 | 14:39

Jimmy Carter is writing another book. Already, you ask? Well, this one is a little different than some of his others. Due out this fall, it's a memoir about his mother, "Miss Lillian" Carter, the woman whom Carter says was his "inspiration" to "commitment and faith."

The topic of this new book doesn't interest me so much as how the short AP article by Hillel Italie describes Carter's career as an author in the final paragraph:

Jimmy Carter, 82, has been a prolific author since leaving the White House, in 1981. His many best sellers include "An Hour Before Daylight," "Our Endangered Values" and "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," which angered supporters of Israel and led 14 members of an advisory board to the Atlanta-based Carter Center to resign in protest.

Scott Whitlock | July 12, 2007 | 14:35

Thursday’s edition of "Good Morning America" featured a Diane Sawyer anecdote that revealed the low opinion Americans have of journalists. After wrapping up a segment on people who avoid jury duty, the ABC co-host recounted the "hurtful" experience she had in a courtroom:

Video (0:55): Real (1.51) or Windows (1.71 MB), plus MP3 Audio (607kB) and MP3 audio (just the soundbite -- 130 kB)

[Wrap up of segment on getting out of jury duty.]

Diane Sawyer: "You know, I wanted to sit on a jury once and I was taken off the jury. And the judge said to me, 'Can, you know, can you tell the truth and be fair?' And I said, 'That's what journalists do.' And everybody in the courtroom laughed. It was the most hurtful moment I think I've ever had."

Julia A. Seymour | July 12, 2007 | 14:06

So much for recycling as a perfect save-the-planet solution …

It seems recycling may be deadly, according to the CBS “Evening News.”

“The business of recycling is a big part of the reason people are piling their trucks full of junk,” said CBS News correspondent Sandra Hughes on the July 11.

Mike Bates | July 12, 2007 | 14:01
In an Associated Press story carried on ABC News' Web site, writer Nedra Pickler reports on Democratic presidential contender John Edwards taking a three-day poverty tour next week, a trip "reminiscent of [Bobby] Kennedy's 1968 trip."

Ms Pickler's article begins:
"The campaign of presidential hopeful John Edwards has a ready answer for all the criticism about his expensive haircuts and expansive home: A man can be wealthy and care about the poor, too.
Just look at a Democratic hero Robert F. Kennedy." [sic]
Bobby Kennedy, of course, is still remembered warmly by much of the mainstream media for his expressed concern for poor people. What isn't so well remembered is that Kennedy himself couldn't explain exactly why this issue was of such importance to him.

In 1968 a Time Magazine piece covered Kennedy's foray into poverty-stricken eastern Kentucky. A pertinent excerpt:

"Why, Kennedy was asked in the township of Pippa Passes, was a man reared to a multimillionaire's comforts concerned with the plight of Kentucky's poor? 'I can't answer that question,' Bobby confessed. 'Sorry.'

Ken Shepherd | July 12, 2007 | 13:19

See update added below for more clarification.

I received an e-mail tip from a member of the news media who enjoys our work, pointing out some shenanigans at the Associated Press. The matter at hand was President Bush answering a question about Plamegate at today's White House news conference.

Here's an excerpt of his e-mail (emphasis mine):

If you haven't already, check out the AP Stories on the President's press conference this morning (7/12). The item: BC-Bush 4th Lead by Terence Hunt....

Bush acknowledges administration leaked CIA operative's name.

However... quote in paragraph 6 contradicts headline:
"I'm aware of the fact that PERHAPS somebody in the administration did disclose the name of that person.

Noel Sheppard | July 12, 2007 | 12:43

As American media turned anti-war in late 2003 in order to assist Democrats in the upcoming 2004 elections, a common strategy of comparing the war in Iraq to Vietnam was implemented.

In fact, since the March 19, 2003, invasion, there have been thousands of press reports which included the words Iraq and Vietnam.

With this is mind, our friend Jim at Gateway Pundit posted an absolutely fabulous analysis on Thursday of just how absurd such comparisons are (h/t Glenn Reynolds):

Warner Todd Huston | July 12, 2007 | 11:42

Before I tell you how the Dallas Morning News is breathlessly reporting that Nobel laureate Betty Williams called for the death of President Bush at the "International Women's Peace Conference" in Dallas on the 11th, I must remind you all that peace activists on the left are far more "civilized", "Humane", "tolerant", and "intelligent" than the rest of us. OK? I just wanted to get that straight before further relating this story.

James Hohmann of the News reports that Williams, who is Irish and not a US citizen by the way, "came all the way from Ireland to Texas to declare that President Bush should be impeached."

I suppose we should be flattered... or not.

Interestingly, Burying the obvious leade, the News decides to avoid mention of the violent intent of the speaker who later says "Right now, I could kill George Bush” with a title that belies her serious hypocrisy. "Irish peace activist's speech at Dallas event gets standing ovation", it says in sunny, innocent language.

Yet the content of this woman's rant is far more insidious than the sunny title portends.

Pam Meister | July 12, 2007 | 11:16

Not all news insiders believe Katie Couric's disastrous stint as anchor for the CBS Evening News has anything to do with sexism or people having a thing against Couric. Steve Adubato of MSNBC simply believes Couric was the wrong person for the job. He tries to sweeten the criticism by making sure he compliments Couric on her strengths:

While I respect Katie Couric tremendously as a broadcaster who has had an impressive career doing personal profiles and engaging interviews, this CBS experiment was a really long shot right from the beginning.   Simply put, Katie Couric is not a great news anchor or an even particularly good news anchor, at least not a network evening news anchor.  That's not a crime.  A lot of great football players can't play baseball or basketball, but they are still great athletes.  That's how different Katie Couric's job on "The Today Show” was from what she was expected to do for CBS News. 

Noel Sheppard | July 12, 2007 | 10:47

For those unfamiliar, Jules Crittenden is a city editor for the Boston Herald with a blog that is truly a daily must-read for those interested in top-notch media analysis.

On Thursday, Crittenden lambasted various mainstream press outlets for their lazy, stupid, or willfully ignorant coverage of the war in Iraq.

I highly recommend it be read in its entirety.

Early in his piece, Crittenden asked a question that should be on the minds of all Americans regardless of political leaning (emphasis added throughout):

Jason Aslinger | July 12, 2007 | 10:46

On his CBS News blog Public Eye (“Atwitter over Vitter” 7/10), editor Brian Montopoli slapped a self-congratulatory pat on the back to the mainstream media (yes, he used that term) for its “straight news” reporting of the sexual revelations involving Republican Louisiana Senator David Vitter.

Montopoli differentiated the mainstream media’s “straight” reporting to that of the “blogs and liberal sites” which focused on the hypocrisy of Vitter’s actions against his reputation as a “family-values conservative.”