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NewsBusters Archive

Laura Flint | July 21, 2014 | 17:45

MSNBC has truly outdone itself. On the July 21 edition of Ronan Farrow Daily, the MSNBC host invited Eli Lake from Huffington Post and Italian-Palestinian journalist and MSNBC contributor Rula Jebreal onto the show to discuss how Secretary of State John Kerry’s off-air comments about Israeli operations in Palestine revealed a gap between “American officials’ public versus private thoughts when it comes to Israel.”

When Farrow asked Jebreal, “Why can't American leaders be more honest?” she responded that because of “AIPAC and because of the money behind it and because of Sheldon Adelson and because of all of us in the media,” American political leaders are forced into a pro-Israel stance. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]

Scott Whitlock | July 21, 2014 | 17:30

The week of July 13 to 19 saw increased violence between Israel and the Palestinians, an act of terror as a plane was blown out of the sky in Ukraine, and simmering tensions between Mexico and the United States over a border crisis. With that as a backdrop, the networks skipped White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest's July 14 claim that Barack Obama has "improved the tranquility of the global community." 

The journalists at NBC, CBS and ABC, so far, have ignored the remark, offering no skepticism. NBC viewers wouldn't have known about the comment if they watched last week's Nightly News or Today. Yet, if they stayed up to 12:37am on July 16, they would have seen Late Night host Seth Meyers mock, "Yesterday, White House Press Secretary said that President Obama has brought tranquility to the global community. And that's good, Josh. You should always open with a joke." [See below for video of Earnest's original comment and Meyers's joke. MP3 audio here.]

Curtis Houck | July 21, 2014 | 17:10

On the Monday edition of his MSNBC show, Jose Diaz-Balart rolled out the red carpet for liberal activists in favor of amnesty by broadcasting from the National Council of La Raza’s (NCLR) conference in Los Angeles. This included inviting an illegal immigrant activist to promote her agenda and pushing another guest to blame House Republicans for the lack of immigration reform. Oh, and he failed to mention that the NCLR was giving him an award at the conference’s closing gala.

Towards the end of a second segment on immigration (more on the first later), he was congratulated by the NCLR’s Clarissa Martinez de Castro for something neither Diaz-Balart nor his guests mentioned. What was the "congratulations" for? Well, turns out, the congratulations was for the NCLR selecting him to receive the Ruben Salazar Award for Communication, which is given “each year to an outstanding communications professional dedicated to portraying news relevant to US Hispanics.” With this being the only mentioning of it on his show (and a vague one at that), talk about a major conflict of interest. [MP3 audio here; Video below]

Matthew Balan | July 21, 2014 | 16:02

On Sunday's Media Buzz, Senator John McCain brushed off Jon Stewart's latest blast at him over the Iraq War. Host Howard Kurtz wondered, "Is Jon Stewart fair to Republicans?" McCain bluntly answered, "No, but it doesn't matter really. He's a comedian." When Kurtz brought up Stewart's "sizable following among young people," the Republican contended that "he's a very entertaining and funny guy, but...when he says things...that are absolutely wrong, he gets away with it."

Earlier in the interview, the Fox News Channel host raised the conservative critique about the liberal media's deferential treatment of President Obama. Kurtz wondered if that was less true since his second inauguration: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

Kyle Drennen | July 21, 2014 | 15:21

While discussing potential 2016 presidential contenders on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, correspondent Andrea Mitchell argued that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren could be "real issue" for Hillary Clinton, touting Warren being "greeted as such a celebrity" at the left-wing Netroots Nation conference. Moderator David Gregory confirmed Warren "getting a huge, huge response" at the event. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Mitchell declared that Warren "was all but a candidate" and could make a move for 2016 "if there were a slip, or if there were any reason where Hillary Clinton has to take a step back, and if the foreign policy becomes an issue, which she has to own part of."

Matthew Philbin | July 21, 2014 | 14:44

Dear Guardian, thanks for making this easy! Rarely are a media outlet’s prejudices and blinkered sense of moral equivalence more in evidence than in two stories on the left-wing British newspaper’s site.

Exhibit A: A 461-word July 19 story picked up from the AP. Boko Haram killed more than 100 people when the Islamist group entered a town in North Eastern Nigeria on July 20. They “attacked the town of Damboa before dawn on Friday, firing rocket-propelled grenades, throwing homemade bombs into homes and gunning down people as they tried to escape the ensuing fires.” The accompanying photo captioned as “A screengrab taken on 13 July from a video released by Boko Haram shows the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau.”

Tim Graham | July 21, 2014 | 14:17

The lead reporter on Monday's Washington Post story on Palestinian protests is Britain Eakin, whose Twitter bio reads "Graduate Student Extraordinaire in Journalism and Middle East Studies at UA, Tucson."

Eakin is in no way a neutral observer of the Israel-Palestine conflict. As she's reporting "objectively" for the Post, she's tweeting out an editorial she'd written defending the Palestinians against "Israel's disproportionate war on Gaza"  for al-Jazeera America:

Kristine Marsh | July 21, 2014 | 14:08

Editor’s note: this article contains objectionable language.

The Democrat party is the pro-woman party right? Well on Sunday night’s episode of HBO's "True Blood," the left-leaning characters inadvertently reveal their hateful attitudes towards women, all the while mocking conservatives.

In the July 20 episode, vampires Eric and Pam are looking for the parents of their enemy, who happen to be conservative. To do this, they must go incognito at a Ted Cruz fundraiser held, (where else?) at the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas. Beforehand, the vampires are warned “They only let in a**holes.”

Geoffrey Dickens | July 21, 2014 | 13:40

PBS’s Charlie Rose opened his 62 minute-long interview with Hillary Clinton, aired in two parts on Thursday and Friday’s Charlie Rose show, by reciting a Maya Angelou poem dedicated to the former Secretary of State. Almost an hour later Rose finally asked Clinton about the Benghazi scandal.

In the second part of the interview, aired at the end of Friday’s show, Rose waited until his last question, with just a little over 3 minutes of interview time left, to finally bring up Benghazi. Even then Rose sheepishly tip-toed up to the topic as he told Clinton that if he didn’t ask the question he was worried “a thousand people will write me.” Sadly, neither Rose or Clinton could even bring themselves to actually mention the names of the four victims (Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty) killed in the September 11, 2012 attacks. (video after the jump)

Tom Blumer | July 21, 2014 | 12:45

Sunday evening, Noah Pollak at the Weekly Standard noted that "Something important is missing from the New York Times's coverage of the war in Gaza: photographs of terrorist attacks on Israel, and pictures of Hamas fighters, tunnels, weaponry, and use of human shields."

That's because Hamas has demanded that such photographs not be circulated. The Times is clearly complying, and without telling its readers that is coverage has been restricted. Pollak believes that the Times really doesn't mind the overt censorship (links are in original; bolds are mine throughout this post):

Laura Flint | July 21, 2014 | 12:30

John Oliver used the Sunday July 20 edition of HBO’s Last Week Tonight as a platform to condemn the privatization of the American prison system. Rather than describing both sides of the issue, Oliver told horror stories from prisons that outsource healthcare and food provision without mentioning similar stories from publicly run prisons. According to Oliver, the verdict is straightforward: “private prisons are bad.”

The British comedian spent 18 of his 30 minute show decrying the “drug laws that do seem to be a little draconian, and a lot racist,” as well as the “dismantling of our mental health system” that lead to America having “more prisoners at the moment than China.” Of course, he failed to mention that the Chinese government usually chooses the death penalty over imprisonment, and according to CNN, “executed more people than any other country last year.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]

Scott Whitlock | July 21, 2014 | 12:15

As the border crisis in Texas intensifies, only one network on Monday bothered to cover Governor Rick Perry sending the National Guard to the border. CBS This Morning allowed 20 seconds to the latest development. NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America avoided the story. 

This Morning co-host Charlie Rose explained, "The Republican will announce today his plan to mobilize some 1000 members of the Texas National Guard. Their mission is to beef up security." Rose added that the move came "amid the growing problem of immigrant children crossing into the southern states." He added, "Perry told Republicans in Iowa this weekend if the federal government won't secure the border, Texas will." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Jack Coleman | July 21, 2014 | 12:02

It doesn't happen often, just enough to pique the interest of conservatives who comprise a sliver of his audience, but comedian Bill Maher occasionally lapses into lucidity.

Earlier this month, for example, Maher observed that liberals are often little more than "useless Obama hacks."  Back in April he denounced "political correctness Nazis" who hound him to "censor every joke" and "apologize for every slight." Two months earlier, Maher mocked the awkward fact that liberals got weak in the knees over Soviet dictator Joe Stalin back in the 1930s. (Video after the jump)

Connor Williams | July 21, 2014 | 11:44

While NBC’s coverage of the latest Israel-Palestine conflict has been distinctly anti-Israel, NBC News foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin is perhaps the worst offender. Despite the reality that Hamas has repeatedly rejected Israeli attempts at a cease fire, Mohyeldin touted Palestinian talking points with surprising consistency.

This time, in a report during the July 21 edition of Morning Joe, Mohyeldin cited “Palestinian medical sources” who described the recent Israeli surgical strikes “as nothing short of a massacre.” [MP3 audio here; video below]

Kyle Drennen | July 21, 2014 | 11:30

Despite the continuing fallout from the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 and Israel's incursion into Gaza, Monday's NBC Today devoted over four minutes of air time to weatherman Al Roker conducting a fawning interview with First Lady Michelle Obama. In what Roker teased as a "revealing conversation," he asked Obama: "Who's the best cook in the family?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Roker had the friendly chat with the First Lady while attending the Kids State Dinner at the White House on Friday, something he promoted during the segment: "The tiniest top chefs from all fifty states with a seat at the White House table, serving recipes they submitted....if you give a kid a meal, they'll eat for one meal. It's the old saying. You teach somebody how to fish or how to make the healthy meal, they eat that way for a lifetime."

Sean Long | July 21, 2014 | 11:13

Climate alarmists sometimes like to claim skeptical scientists don’t exist, but they do, and one meteorologist had a lot to say on the subject.

In an interview with the MRC’s Business and Media Institute, well-known meteorologist Joe Bastardi dissected and criticized major aspects of the climate change alarmism movement. Drawing on his knowledge of weather and climate history, Bastardi said that “extreme weather” events the media talk about so much are commonplace and the result of normal variability. He also attacked basic arguments about CO2, scientific consensus and alarmist media bias.

Clay Waters | July 21, 2014 | 10:47

Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren's front-page Monday story, "In the Battleground of Words, Hatred and Muddied Reality," strived for a tone of equal blame and moral equivalency, dubious enough when talking about a war started by the anti-Israel terrorist group Hamas.

Yet Rudoren clearly slanted against Israel in her unbalanced condemnations of rhetoric vs. reality in the region, claiming that discussion of the dead in Gaza on Israeli news programs lacks a "human, moral" context, ignoring the years of dehumanization of Jews as monkeys and pigs on official Palestinian media.

Tom Blumer | July 21, 2014 | 09:16

Let's see. A rebel group pushing for separation from Ukaine has shot down a passenger plane, killing almost 300 aboard. Israel has invaded Gaza. Illegal immigrants are flooding across the U.S.-Mexico border, in at least one instance following a hail of protective gunfire directed at Border Patrol agents.

Meanwhile, in news concerning truly important matters, New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer and fellow party member Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut are focusing on what's really important — prescription pet medication prices:

Tim Graham | July 21, 2014 | 08:40

The Washington Post devoted a story and two large color photographs on Monday to a small leftist protest against Israel. “STOP FUNDING ISRAEL TERROR – CODEPINK.ORG” was splayed across a large picture.

Nowhere in this brief story loaded with attacks on Israel's killing of Palestinian women and children is there any reference to more than 1,700 Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilians -- nor is there any reference to the protest organizers' statement on Facebook claiming in complete contradiction to the facts that Israel's attacks in Gaza are "unprovoked."

Tom Johnson | July 20, 2014 | 22:05

How do you visually represent a missed opportunity? In a Sunday column for Salon, What’s the Matter With Kansas? author Thomas Frank suggests one answer: given the Obama administration’s repeated failure to deliver much-needed leftist change, the future Obama presidential library and museum should be “designed as…a mausoleum of hope.”

Obama’s salient mistake, Frank asserts, was that he “propped up” the obviously discredited “shitty consensus ideas” of the Reagan era. He expects that the museum will portray Obama “as a kind of second FDR: the man who saved the system from itself. That perhaps the system didn’t deserve saving will be left to some less-well-funded museum.”