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NewsBusters Archive

Tim Graham | March 10, 2007 | 09:00

At The Corner, Mark Steyn notices once again that the liberal media elite's line that they only love a good story, and not any one political party in particular, can only lead one to fits of giggles:

Here’s something I meant to mention yesterday – the unerring news instincts of the American media . Anyone who wonders why US newspaper sales are heading south should ponder the behavior of the geniuses at The Tennessean. They had the Al Gore electric-bill story a month before the Oscars but somehow never got around to writing anything up:

Noel Sheppard | March 10, 2007 | 02:59

Last week, the media got themselves into quite a lather over Ann Coulter making a joke about Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards. Do you think the same “delicate” press will be as close to offended by a major cable personality suggesting that Republicans "love Ronald Reagan in a way that’s just gay"?

On Friday’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher was discussing how various Republicans like to “dress up” in assorted costumes, and quickly moved into a diatribe about one of our nation's favorite presidents that would offend most Americans regardless of what side of the aisle they were on (video available here courtesy of our friend Ms Underestimated):

Ken Shepherd | March 10, 2007 | 00:21

UPDATE (01:15 EST): Law professor and blogger Eugene Volokh addresses factual errors in reporting in the New York Times and Washington Post (h/t Instapundit).

How are your local TV news shows covering today's federal court decision overturning the D.C. handgun ban?

I live just outside Washington, D.C., and the station I most often watch for local news deployed a few typical media bias tricks: stacking the deck with sources aligned on one side (4 pro-ban, one anti-ban) and focusing on emotional aspects of a debate (highlighting emotional reactions to the court ruling rather than dealing with the legal merits).

Tim Graham | March 9, 2007 | 23:49

Under pressure from radical-left activists at and bloggers like the Daily Kos, the Nevada Democratic Party pulled the rug out from under the Fox News Channel on Friday, canceling a planned presidential debate that had been scheduled for August 14, reported. MoveOn launched a petition drive that it said was signed by more than 260,000 people, arguing “Fox is a mouthpiece for the Republican Party, not a legitimate news channel. The Democratic Party of Nevada should drop Fox as its partner for the presidential primary debate.” The group's Eli Pariser also called FNC part of the "right-wing smear machine."

The decision represents a dramatic shift leftward from the presidential cycle four years ago. On September 9, 2003, all nine Democratic candidates went to Baltimore to participate in a debate sponsored by FNC and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. Dick Gephardt and Dennis Kucinich even missed a close school-voucher House vote for the event. Brit Hume was the moderator, and the panel had three black liberals: NPR's Juan Williams, Ed Gordon (formerly of NBC and BET), and former Newsweek writer (and current NPR host) Farai Chideya. As you can see from the transcript, Hume asked no questions to the candidates, aside from asking Howard Dean what his lapel pin said.

Warner Todd Huston | March 9, 2007 | 23:39

On Friday, Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the city of Washington D.C. could not ban its citizens from owning firearms because such a ban violates the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In light of this ruling so damaging to gun grabbers everywhere, I was curious to see how the wires were handling the news. Turns out, they don't seem too happy.

In two reports on Friday the AP gave far more time in their "balanced" report to opponents to Second Amendment rights than they did to proponents. Worse, it never seemed to occur to them to report that gun violence in Washington D.C. has consistently ranked as among the highest in the country despite being one of the strictest anti-gun cities therein.

Noel Sheppard | March 9, 2007 | 23:25

As a devout conservative, I must say that I was shocked – shocked I tell you, shocked! – to find out that I don’t like sex. Alas, if Chris Matthews says so, who am I to question it, right?

With that in mind, I think all readers need to brace themselves for the truth according to the all-knowing, all-seeing, wisest man in the world as presented on Friday's "Hardball."

We must learn from the sage, ladies and gentlemen, as he explains why liberals are focused on important issues like “poverty, injustice, and racism, and nuclear war,” while “conservatives don’t like sex” (video available here courtesy of our friend Ms Underestimated):

Tim Graham | March 9, 2007 | 21:59

The White House isn't alone in doing advance work for the President's trip to Latin America. Associated Press is already finding negative angles to highlight the Ugly American President's critics. Juan Carlos Llorca writes from Guatemala City:

Mayan priests will purify an ancient archaeological sites to eliminate ‘bad spirits’ after President Bush visits next week, an official with close ties to the group said Thursday.

"That a person like (Bush), with the persecution of our migrant brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked, is going to walk in our sacred lands, is an offense for the Mayan people and their culture," Juan Tiney, the director of a Mayan nongovernmental organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders, said Thursday.

NB Staff | March 9, 2007 | 17:05

Original caption:

Democratic Presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., is surrounded by reporters following a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Tim Graham | March 9, 2007 | 15:55 managing editor Patrick Goodenough has a new column reporting that some of the most visible far-left sites attacking Ann Coulter for making a failed "faggot" joke about John Edwards have used their new F-word themselves: "Daily Kos postings have included the word 'faggot' at least three times in recent years, as have other liberal blogs -- without apology, and without generating a furor."

Among the offending bloggers were Melissa McEwan and Amanda Marcotte, the two Christian-bashing bloggers who were hired by John Edwards and then slowly disappeared from his staff.

Julia A. Seymour | March 9, 2007 | 15:07

If I were a rich man, the media would likely bash me. But if I were a female billionaire, I would become "good news" according to ABC and NBC.

While both ABC and NBC have called very successful CEOs examples of "runaway pay," there was no animosity to be found toward extremely high-earning women during the March 8 "World News with Charles Gibson" or "Nightly News."

In fact, after CNBC's Maria Bartiromo stated  that 83 women made Forbes magazine's billionaires list on NBC "Nightly News," anchor Campbell Brown chimed: "All right, that's good news."

ABC's "World News" lauded the 1 percent club: "self-made members of the fairer sex," but left out Forbes statement that 60 percent of those on the billionaires list all made their fortunes from scratch.

Julia A. Seymour | March 9, 2007 | 14:50

Perhaps Janus, the two-faced god of Roman mythology, should be the CNN mascot because the network was certainly double-minded today on employment.

"American Morning's" Ali Velshi called the report "good news" while called the same data "weakest in 2 years" on March 9.

"Four-point-five percent as a national unemployment rate is good news for workers because it means more demand for workers and they can demand higher wages," Velshi said.

In contrast, reported:

"The gain of 97,000 was the smallest since January 2005, weaker than even the final readings in the two months after Hurricane Katrina that fall."

Scott Whitlock | March 9, 2007 | 14:26

On Friday’s "Good Morning America," veteran journalist Ted Koppel talked with co-host Diane Sawyer about his new Discovery Channel special on the war against terror, "Our Children’s Children’s War." Koppel used the appearance to suggest that America stop calling the conflict a war, rely more on negotiations and he also blamed the U.S. for actually making things worse, asserting that " we turned al Qaeda into the biggest franchise since McDonalds."

Throughout the interview, Koppel discussed the need to take the long view. A plan that apparently means pulling out of Iraq:

Rich Noyes | March 9, 2007 | 14:25
Over at TVNewser, Brian Stelter has posted an MP3 of a song that is apparently being played today on WPLJ in New York City, ridiculing the poor ratings performance of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, with lyrics offering several suggestions for Ms. Couric and her producers. Safe to say it's a bit on the cruel side, especially the line about "if you want big success....find Dan Rather's home address."

Here’s a link to the audio file, and what follows is my transcription of the song’s lyrics (although you need to hear the tune to get the full effect):
Paul Detrick | March 9, 2007 | 13:48

Host of American Public Media's (APM) Marketplace broadcast, Scott Jagow, asked “why would the U.S. or any other country go along” with the European Union's carbon reduction plan if there is “so much skepticism about whether they can actually do it.”

European correspondent Stephen Beard expressed his concern, in the March 8 report, entitled “Climate pressure building in Europe”, saying, “We’ve had already so many examples of performance falling well short of promise” from the European Union’s emission’s trading system and ultimately, "Cutting greenhouse gases is going to involve some economic pain.”

Mark Finkelstein | March 9, 2007 | 12:52
Does Karen Greenberg believe the United States is involved in a war with Islamist terrorists? Judging by her column in today's Los Angeles Times, The military's Gitmo script, you really have to wonder. Greenberg is executive director of the Center on Law and Security at NYU law school. Her bio there [from whence her photo here comes] indicates that she is a former Vice-President of George Soros' Open Society Institute. Her colleague at the Center, NYU prof Stephen Holmes [pictured here], lists as one of his areas of specialization: "the disappointments of democratization after communism." Ah, remember the good old days under Uncle Joe?

In any case, Greenberg recently toured the detention facilities at Guantanamo, and several of her comments make clear her skepticism as to the seriousness of the terror threat. Examples:
Ken Shepherd | March 9, 2007 | 12:47

Tonight's episode of NBC's "Las Vegas" apparently has an Iraq sub-plot that, at least the abstract below suggests, may carry an anti-war message.

SEASON FINALE-- Mike finds out that Sam has been kidnapped by one of her whales. Meanwhile, Danny takes drastic measures to help a friend avoid being deployed to Iraq. Elsewhere, Delinda learns life-altering news for she and Danny. James Caan and Nikki Cox also stars in this unpredictable and explosive season four finale. TV-14

In a previous season of "Las Vegas," actor Josh Duhamel's character (Danny McCoy) suffered post-traumatic stress disorder following a harrowing tour of duty with the Marines in Iraq.

Vegas co-star Molly Sims (Delinda) and creator Gary Scott Thompson will participate in a live chat at following the program's 9 p.m Eastern (8 p.m. Central) airing. [continued after page break]

Matthew Sheffield | March 9, 2007 | 12:40

The upgrade is proceeding but rather than shut down everything, I've decided we'll continue to post but we may lose some comments, just fyi.

Here's a joke to start your weekend:

A young man, hired by a supermarket, reported for his first day of work. The manager greeted him with a warm handshake and a smile, gave him a broom and said, "Your first job will be to sweep out the store."

"I once had a diary promoted to the front page on Daily Kos," the young man said under his breath, thinking the manager wouldn't hear.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know that," said the manager. "Here, give me the broom, I'll show you how."

Warner Todd Huston | March 9, 2007 | 10:18

Well, even though Pelosi is getting let off the hook for violating the law, we in the Blogosphere are gaining a new ability: to re-broadcast C-SPAN video without fear of copyright violations.

C-SPAN alters copyright over Pelosi flap

WASHINGTON - It turns out that Republicans were right: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did violate C-SPAN's copyright by using its televised footage on her blog promoting Democrats.

Officials for the cable TV network that provides daily gavel-to-gavel coverage of House and Senate proceedings at first said the blog was in violation, then announced it wasn't. On Wednesday, they said that it was but that they're changing their policy so that it won't be in the future.

Mark Finkelstein | March 9, 2007 | 10:05
Back in the '70s, an exchange of ping pong players between the United States and China began a thawing of relations between the two countries that paved the way for Richard Nixon's famous trip to Beijing. Could we be entering a similar stage with Iran that could come to be known as "orange juice diplomacy"? Diane Sawyer certainly seems to hope so, judging by the way she pressed US ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad on Good Morning America today. Along the way, Sawyer seemed to willfully downplay the degree of Iran's responsibility for the Shia insurgency in Iraq.

Sawyer spoke from New York with Ambassador Khalilzad in Baghdad on the eve of a regional conference on security issues organized by the Iraqi government that will bring representatives of the United States into the same room with those from Iran and Syria. Sawyer quoted to the ambassador the recent remarks of David Satterfield, the State Department's Iraq coordinator: "If we are approached over orange juice by the Syrians or the Iranians we're not going to turn and walk away."

Sawyer seized on Satterfield's statement: "Are we talking to the Syrians and the Iranians, or are we dependent on orange juice?"

Khalilzad: "As you know, for some time Diane, we have said that we are willing to talk to the Iranians if we think it will be useful to the situation in Iraq."
Scott Whitlock | March 9, 2007 | 09:20

While members of "mainstream media" have eagerly covered Ann Coulter’s use of an vulgar term at a conservative conference, HBO host Bill Maher’s obnoxious comment about the Vice President, that "more people would live" if Dick Cheney had been assassinated, drew only sparse attention from the press.

Commenting on the diversity of the 2008 Democratic contenders, MSNBC host Contessa Brewer remarked of Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, "It’s sort of like we’re rooting for everybody all at once."