As the Internet becomes the driving force of the print media, it’s not surprising to hear newspaper moguls talk about their online strategies. However, when the chairman of the New York Times Company says, “I really don't know whether we'll be printing the Times in five years,” one should sit up and take notice.
With that in mind, Haaretz’s Eytan Avriel had a chat with Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., while he was in Davos, Switzerland, during the recent World Economic Forum (h/t Drudge, emphasis mine throughout):
Given the constant erosion of the printed press, do you see the New York Times still being printed in five years?
"I really don't know whether we'll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don't care either," he says.
As eager as they are to promote liberal politicians over conservative ones, the MSM is even more eager to promote the careers of black political figures who happen to be liberal. Black conservatives like Michael Steele or Condoleezza Rice could instantly get 400% better press simply by putting a "D" next to their names.
The last time such media fatuousness was on display was during the presidential campaigns of Jesse Jackson who received press coverage good enough as if he had owned the papers who fawned over him. The emergence of Barack Obama as a Democratic presidential candidate has sent the same MSM into a tizzy as media outlets rush to shower him with praises. This latest journalistic pack-patronizing is especially odd since Obama has basically no political record and very little in the way of accomplishments.
One does not have to be of the conservative bent to notice that the press has gone off the deep end here. Timothy Noah, a liberal writer who works at the left-leaning Slate ezine, has started a series called "The Obama Messiah Watch" highlighting ridiculous media coverage of Illinois's junior senator. Read his latest edition here, as well as the firsttwo.
Following in John Kerry’s footsteps, former Vice President Al Gore was in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday basically blaming the world’s problems on the country that made him a very wealthy man.
As reported by the Associated Press (h/t Drudge, emphasis mine throughout): “Emerging economies such as China are justified in holding back on fighting greenhouse gas emissions until richer polluters like the United States do more to solve the problem, former Vice President Al Gore said Wednesday.”
Of course, Gore didn’t mention that one of the fastest growing economies in the world is China’s, or that it is believed that nation has been buying twice its actual need for oil in the past five years to stockpile it for the future. Such facts are unimportant when you’re trying to sell junk science.
Getting back to the recent announcement by China blaming America for global warming:
Message to Nancy Pelosi: when NBC's Matt Lauer and David Gregory agree that your quest for a big plane is turning into a PR mess, and ABC's Chris Cuomo calls it a case of "jet envy," it's time to fold your wings.
Lauer raised the matter with David Gregory on this morning's "Today": "Let's talk about the size of the plane that Nancy Pelosi has requested from the Pentagon. Depending on the spin you want to believe here, either the Speaker says it's to travel efficiently back to her home district; Republicans are saying it's an abuse of power. Either way, does it just look bad from a PR standpoint?"
Gregory agreed: "I think that's the problem. This is a Democratic leader who's promising to clean up Washington. It's worth remembering, post-9/11, the House Speaker gets private air travel by the Air Force to get back to his or her home district. Dennis Hastert went back to Chicago [in the much smaller plane shown here], Nancy Pelosi is going back to San Francisco. She wants the ability to go direct and not have to refuel on the way and have some family members go with her, and none of that is untoward, but the Air Force is saying, the military is saying 'look, we can't guarantee you a 757' which is essentially what she wants, it depends on availability. Republicans are saying 'look, this is more than just efficiency, this is extravagance.'"
President Bush visited a Micron Technology factory in Manassas, Virginia on Wednesday, about 35 miles from the White House. The Washington Post wouldn't have found much use to cover the visit -- unless there was something embarrassing. The caption on the front of the Thursday Prince William Extra section had it: "Bush made a canned crack about potholes in Manassas, despite arriving by helicopter at the Micron campus."
Bush joked with the mayor of Manassas about fixing the potholes, a throw-away gibe. But reporter Christy Goodman spent a good chunk of her article on the Micron visit focused on Bush's rude "canned wisecrack." The mayor told the Post he wanted to tell Bush "we don't have potholes in Manassas." Baloney. I live about a mile west of the Micron plant, and a year or two ago, I lost a tire due to a pothole near that factory at the intersection of Wellington Road and Godwin Drive (pothole since fixed). Here's how Goodman chronicled Bush's insensitivity:
Those who bother analyzing the drivel regularly emanating from MSNBC’s “Countdown” never cease to be amazed by how low the star will go each night.
On Tuesday, Keith Olbermann moved ever closer to journalism’s abyss.
In his “Worst Person in the World” segment, Olbermann gave the gold medal to Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid for his coverage of Sen. Joe Biden’s potentially racist comments concerning Barack Obama (video available here)
On Wednesday evening, CBS became the first of the broadcast networks to cover the controversy over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's efforts to acquire access to a larger jet than what her predecessor used. CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric relayed that Pelosi's request for a "big travel upgrade" was coming at a time when "they're cracking down on congressional perks." After pointing out that Pelosi "finds herself on the defensive" as military officials are "grumbling," correspondent Sharyl Attkisson gave attention to House Republican Whip Roy Blunt's concern that the extra seats on such a large aircraft might be used for fund-raising purposes. According to a Nexis search, the only mentions of the controversy on the cable news networks have come several times this week on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight and once on MSNBC's Tucker. (Transcript follows)
MRC/NB media watcher Tim Graham was interviewed on the Fox News Channel show "Hannity & Colmes" on Wednesday night on media coverage of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's request to be flown to San Francisco on (some say extravagant) military aircraft with 42 seats and a crew of 16. The other guest was former ABC News veteran Bob Zelnick. Video: Windows (2.4MB) or Real (2.86MB) Plus: MP3 (1.1 MB)
Zelnick expressed satisfaction that the story was being aired. Tim disagreed, saying the Pelosi story has not aired on ABC, NBC, NPR, and so on. (CBS aired their first story on Wednesday's Evening News.) Print coverage is also lacking: no story in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, or USA Today. The Washington Times was first on the story last week, and the Washington Post ran a small 273-word piece on A-15 on Tuesday.
Has Chris Matthews watched one too many episodes of "Oz," the hyper-graphic HBO original series about prison life?
Discussing the Scooter Libby trial on the 7 PM ET edition of this evening's Hardball, Chris spun a sanguine scenario in which Libby, facing the prospect of a long prison sentence in a vulnerable environment, might turn on Vice-President Cheney.
Matthews: "If Scooter's convicted, if you're looking at the number of counts facing him. If that jury really does go to town -- and I hope they're not watching -- and hits him with four or five counts, they add up to big time in some federal penitentiary, not necessarily Allenwood [known as the country club of federal prisons]. Someplace where a guy like Scooter Libby would not bevery protected from the fellow prisoners. If he faces 20 years somewhere in maximum security, he's going to think again about his situation, isn't he?"
Former President Jimmy Carter has gotten himself into more hot water, although it seems quite unlikely that any in the media will pay much attention to this recent faux pas (h/t LGF).
In a seemingly absurd response to a call by The Simon Wiesenthal Center for members and supporters to send letters to Carter concerning his book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” the former president penned a handwritten note to the organization’s well-respected founder and Dean.
In it, Carter suggested that the Center lied about him and his book in order to raise money.
Think I'm kidding? Well, put this in your Middle East peace pipe and smoke it:
Since I mentioned Helen Thomas's honors in Washington last night, I should add she was hailed as a celebrity at the radical-left National Conference for Media Reform in Memphis a couple of weeks ago. One of her interviews there was with the radical Pacifica Radio show "Democracy Now." She lamented that there aren't enough protesters hitting the street against the war in Iraq like in the glory days of the Vietnam War. But she also praised Jimmy Carter's book condemning Israel for "Apartheid" against the Palestinians. First, the Vietnam talk:
AMY GOODMAN: But how does this compare? Does it bring back any memories of other wars?
HELEN THOMAS: It's deja-vu all over again with Vietnam, except the difference is our passive society. At least during Vietnam, they hit the streets. The people hit the streets finally, when they realized there had been deception, and it was a no-go. Too many -- we were killing people 10,000 miles away, and the reason could not be explained, except the domino theory, which was fading.
How much value do people put in a liberal radio network? Well, judging from the top bid garnered by Air America Radio during bankruptcy proceedings, the answer is clearly “Not very much!”
As reported by The Smoking Gun (emphasis mine throughout, h/t Drudge):
Bankrupt and about to lose Al Franken, its marquee star, Air America Radio is set to change hands for the bargain price of $4.25 million, according to new court documents. The sales figure was disclosed in a purchase agreement filed yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York.
Forgive me, but there are a lot of houses in my small town that go for more than this. This is way too funny, and marvelously gets better:
On Sunday’s "Late Edition," CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer conducted a syrupy interview with consumer advocate and frequent presidential candidate Ralph Nader. Blitzer allowed the former Green Party standard-bearer to once again promote left-wing PBS host Bill Moyers for President in 2008. The CNN anchor also gushed over Nader’s new work of non-fiction, "The 17 Traditions," a liberal tome about rasing families. Blitzer described it as a "beautiful book with a lot of emotion." But first, he prompted Nader to plug the Moyers for President campaign:
Wolf Blitzer: "Here's what you wrote back in October on Bill Moyers, the PBS commentator: ‘Moyers brings impressive credentials beyond his knowledge of the White House, congressional complexes. As millions of viewers and readers over the decades know, Bill Moyers is unusually articulate and authentic in evaluating the unmet necessities and framing the ignored solutions in our country.’ You'd like him to run for president?"
Ralph Nader: "Very much. I got a great response to that column."
Blitzer: "What -- What response did you get from Bill Moyers?"
As previously reported on Newsbusters, the mainstream media overlooks fringe groups at anti-war rallies, pro-illegal immigrant rallies, or even extreme anti-American hatred at anti-Bush rallies overseas. However, when it comes to opposition against illegal immigration, the mainstream media tries to connect it to fringe hate groups where ever they can find it.
On Tuesday’s Paula Zahn Now, host Paula Zahn described the "frightening new trend" that the very small Ku Klux Klan has increased recruitment. This increased recruitment is largely, of course, to blame from alleged immigrant baiting from some Republicans. Zahn was giving free, unquestioning publicity to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League. Reporter Deborah Feyerick asserted that the increase in recruitment is "which some believe is the result of the heated debate on immigration, which at times uses hateful language."
CBS’s Bob Schieffer utilized Democratic Party spin in discussing Monday evening’s procedural vote in the Senate that blocked a vote on a non-binding Iraq resolution. Schieffer, appearing in his weekly "Capitol Bob" segment on Wednesday’s "Early Show," blamed Republicans for blocking the vote and dismissed their arguments:
"...So they did the only thing that they could do, they used the Senate rules to block the vote. Now that group will give you another version of all this, but basically that's what happened."
Schieffer failed to mention the reason Republicans blocked the vote and that is because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will not allow votes on two Republican alternatives. As the Washington Times noted on Wednesday:
Sometimes media bias can be found in what the networks don’t say. On Tuesday, Wal-Mart suffered a major blow when the liberal 9th Circuit Court in California ruled that a class action lawsuit claiming sex discrimination could proceed against the company. All three evening newscasts reported the story, with ABC and CBS noting that a "federal appeals court" had sided with the female plaintiffs. Over on NBC, "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams simply used the phrase "federal court."
However, the 9th circuit isn’t just any court. This is the group of judges that ruled the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional. And, according to a report by the Center for Individual Freedoms, 32 percent of the reversals by the United States Supreme Court in 2003 came from the 9th Circuit. And yet, none of the network anchors thought this a pertinent point. "World News" anchor Charlie Gibson instead chose to hype the enormity of the case:
Charles Gibson: "It is a lawsuit so large in scope and size, that it staggers the imagination.A federal appeals court ruled today that a gender bias suit against Wal-Mart can proceed in what is known as a class-action suit. That means a million and a half to two million women would-be plaintiffs arguing, as a group or class, that Wal-Mart discriminated against them in providing promotions and in paying them less than male employees. Here's our senior law and justice correspondent, Jim Avila."
Jose Antonio Vargas covered the Washington Press Club Foundation dinner in the capital last night for The Washington Post, and the liberals were handing over the highest compliments to one honoree, long-standing leftist UPI reporter Helen Thomas, now a Hearst columnist and author of a book scolding the rest of the press corps for being Bush tools:
On behalf of the House of Representatives, we salute Helen Thomas," said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. "You could have gotten [this award] over and over again, Helen."
"One of the greatest reporters in the history of the republic," Kennedy called her.
Despite some notable blockbusters, it’s been a pretty bad twelve months for movie studios.
To find some answers, Zogby International recently did a poll of viewing habits (h/t Instapundit). Here are some of the more interesting results:
Theaters may offer massive screens and superior surround sound systems to movie-goers, but most would rather stay in their comfy confines home and watch DVDs, the survey showed. The majority (63%) said they would rather have free unlimited DVD rentals with no late fees for a year than a year’s worth of free unlimited movie passes (30%).
You can certainly count me in on that. Why might this be? You’ll never guess:
Any time a Republican does something stupid or advocates a dumb idea, the media invariably point out that the politician in question happens to be a Republican.
When it's a Democrat doing or saying something stupid, however, all bets are off as to whether or not they'll be outed as a Democrat (since such information is now immaterial in the minds of liberal reporters). Such is the case in this NBC affiliate story currently being highlighted on the Drudge Report:
A state senator from Brooklyn said on Tuesday he plans to introduce legislation that would ban people from using an MP3 player, cell phone, Blackberry or any other electronic device while crossing the street in either New York City or Buffalo.
NewsChannel 4 reported that Sen. Carl Kruger is proposing the ban in response to two recent pedestrian deaths in his district, including a 23-year-old man who was struck and killed last month while listening to his iPod on Avenue T and East 71st Street In Bergen Beach.
"While people are tuning into their iPods and cell phones, they're tuning out the world around them," Kruger said. The proposed law would make talking on cell phones while crossing the street a comparable offense to jaywalking.
Carl Kruger is a Democrat as anyone can see by looking at his entry in the New York State Senate Democrats web site. (H/t: pow)