Citing how “members of the anti-war group MoveOn.Org named Iran, not Iraq, as their top issue,” and without once applying a liberal or left wing label, ABC's Word News on Monday night skewered Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton from the left for voting for a resolution other candidates claim could allow President Bush to launch a war against Iran. Anchor Charles Gibson explained how “Clinton recently voted for an amendment in the Senate that would designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Other Senators running for President...are criticizing her vote, saying the amendment she supported could give the President authority to start a war against Iran.”
Reporter Kate Snow centered her story around how “Senator Clinton has been taking a lot of heat for that Iran vote, starting at the last debate.” Viewers heard saw video of Clinton being confronted at an Iowa event, and Mike Gravel charge “I'm ashamed of you,” before Snow maintained “it's the kind of vote that angers the Democratic faithful.” Snow concluded by benignly describing MoveOn as simply an “anti-war” group: “Tough talk on Iran is perceived by some Iowans as all too similar to the tough talk from Democrats in the run-up to the Iraq War. And, Charlie, last week, members of the anti-war group MoveOn.Org named Iran, not Iraq, as their top issue.” So, MoveOn speaks and ABC News jumps?
MSNBC's Chuck Todd posted a blog post today on his First Read blog titled "George Allen, Liz Cheney to Spin for Thompson." So, any takers to wonder if Chuck Todd would have posted a blog post titled "Sandy Berger to Spin for Clinton," or "Oprah to Spin for Obama"? Does anyone think that Chuck Todd would have used such a negative word as "spin" to describe the assistance a high profile supporter would give a Democrat candidate?
After that misleading headline, Todd cynically starts his post with the following:
One of the fun parts of being the host network of the debate is finding out first who the campaigns are lining up to spin for them post-debate.
I see. So no candidate's supporter could ever come on to offer post debate commentary without it being "spin"? No one could possibly be honestly supporting their candidate? Is that how Chuck Todd sees the situation?
On Sunday’s 60 Minutes, Anchor Scott Pelley interviewed left-wing rocker Bruce Springsteen and said of the aging musician that he "sees himself following a long American tradition that reaches back through Vietnam and on to the Great Depression, from Dylan to Guthrie."
Pelley opens the segment exclaiming that "He’s returned to full-throated rock and roll, and a message that is sharper than ever, damning the war in Iraq, and questioning whether America has lost its way at home." Pelley then helps to further frame Springsteen’s political activism and wonders what the message is:
Much of the new music is a protest. Some of it blunt, as in the song that asks "Who will be the last to die for a mistake," but most of it subtle, like the story of a man who returns to his all-American small town but doesn’t recognize it any more, "It's gonna be a long walk home." What's on your mind? What are you writing about?"
It should not be that difficult to read the Boss’s mind on that one Scott.
"Washington Examiner" White House correspondent Bill Sammon reported to the October 8 edition of "Fox and Friends" that the Clinton campaign hired convicted document thief Sandy Berger. In questioning Sammon, guest co-host Greg Kelly asked if the story "has legs." Sammon responded noting the mainstream media’s double standard reputation.
"Greg, I think it's entirely up to the mainstream media. Let me give you an analogy. If one of the Republican campaigns had hired 'Scooter' Libby can you imagine the hue and cry? The guy would be run out of town on a rail. We will see how the mainstream media reports this. I have a feeling they won't work up quite as big a head of righteous indignation. "
“If you toss the bulbs in the trash, they're likely to break, potentially exposing workers to mercury or releasing it into groundwater and soil from landfills,” Hartman wrote in the October 7 Washington Post.
Now, a little more on that new Howard Kurtz book on the anchor battles over egos and ratings. Rachel Sklar at the Huffington Horror House has more dish from Kurtz’s book. "Despite the careful seeding of info, the book itself still remains under wraps, but from the amount we've surveyed (about 7,500 words) it looks to be a thoroughly engrossing, engaging and more than occasionally juicy read." She summarized:
However effective Couric was in the morning, her partner Matt Lauer privately had doubts about how she would do in the 6:30 timeslot — and said so, telling a friend that he didn't think the evening newscast played to Couric's strengths. Oops. Now that's in a book.
On Monday's "Good Morning America," co-host Chris Cuomo conducted a sycophantic interview with former President Jimmy Carter. In the introduction alone, the ABC anchor glowingly described Carter as someone who is " waging peace, fighting disease and building hope." A few seconds later, he again cheerfully enthused that Carter is a "a man who is all about peace."
Cuomo even went so far as to tell the one-term president that, given some hindsight, America would now appreciate Carter's leadership during the hostage crisis. He described Carter's handling of the 444 day long spectacle of American hostages being held in Iran as the philosophy of saying, "'We will negotiate. We will not just go in and bomb and see what happens.'" To make it perfectly clear that Cuomo was praising Carter and simultaneously slamming President Bush, the ABC host elaborated, "It just seems that today in our political climate, restraint is seen as strength, because we've seen what happens when we use force." After a brief discussion of the 2008 campaign, Cuomo, the son of the former liberal governor Mario Cuomo, gushed that he hoped the Democrats pay "attention to your message. It certainly serves well with the current political situation."
Writing at her "Couric & Co." blog this morning, CBS's Katie Couric gave journalist/feminist polemicist Susan Faludi a platform to flesh out her theory that the mainstream media have harnessed fears of terrorism post-9/11 to socially repress women and resurrect myths of the Old West. Here, for example, is Faludi's response to Couric's question about why Faludi penned her latest book:
“Say Goodbye to Baseball The ash tree – from which all baseball bats are made – is in danger of disappearing, thanks to a combination of killer beetles and global warming.”
“Say Hello to Bulgarian Hooker Shortages ‘Brothel owners in Bulgaria are blaming global warming for staff shortages. They claim their best girls are working in ski resorts because a lack of snow has forced tourists to seek other pleasures.’”
MSNBC Interactive News, a Microsoft and NBC Universal joint venture with 27.3 million Web visitors in August, announced Sunday night that it has purchased Newsvine in a deal of undisclosed size. It is the first acquisition in MSNBC.com's 11-year history, one that President Charlie Tillinghast hopes will lead to additional news-sharing features on MSNBC and tap an audience of highly engaged news readers.
Newsvine will continue to operate as a separate business unit and brand under the direction of Davidson, with the team remaining in its Seattle offices.
On Monday's "Good Morning America," co-host Diane Sawyer reported live from Mexico and repeatedly blamed U.S. rage for much of the controversy over illegal immigration. After introducing a segment on the problem, Sawyer lectured, "So a lot of Americans are erupting in anger. While others say, 'Who are we kidding? It's too late to complain.'" Sawyer then opined that efforts to stem the tide of illegals, such as building a 700 mile fence, are "fueled by anger."
Sawyer continued this theme of out of control, emotional Americans into an interview with Mexican President Felipe Calderon. She informed the GMA audience that "Felipe Calderon says it's time to stop yelling at each other and face the facts." Later, she described him as "urging less emotion, more strategy." And although Sawyer found time to describe Calderon as the "new action president" and mention that he went to Harvard University, she didn't ask him about the estimated $10 billion a year illegal immigration costs American taxpayers. (Although, the host did touch on the subject in the segment's introduction.)
In the wake of MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews's deplorable comments regarding the Bush administration having "finally been caught in their criminality," many conservatives are wondering if this clearly left-leaning pundit should be allowed to moderate GOP presidential debates including this Tuesday's.
To address the growing controversy, Fox News's "Fox & Friends" invited media members from both sides of the aisle Monday morning to debate the issue. On the left were Ellis Henican of Newsday and Ellen Ratner of FNC; on the right were radio host Herman Cain and Jim Pinkerton of Newsday (video available here courtesy Johnny Dollar).
In the end, I strongly agree with Henican and Cain who felt that candidates should be willing and able to answer anybody's questions regardless of political leaning if they want to attain the highest office in the land.
Gallup News Service has just released a new poll that supports what we here say every day; the Media is perceived as left leaning. Yet, for a report on how the media leans left, titling their piece "Republicans Remain Deeply Distrustful of News Media" and subtitling it "Democrats much more positive," even Gallup's article seems to skew left. After all, when the poll results are reviewed it shows that both Republicans and independents are "distrustful of the media," not just Republicans. And that fact would tend to show that more people think that the media is leftist than don't. Gallup's opening statement is interesting:
PRINCETON, NJ -- Republicans in America today remain deeply distrustful of the national news media -- in sharp contrast to Democrats, who have a great deal more trust in the media's accuracy. Overall, less than half of Americans, regardless of partisanship, have a great deal or a fair amount of trust in the mass media.
In a Fox & Friends segment on Hillary Clinton and her founding of the left-wing group Media Matters, substitute co-host Greg Kelly brought the fair-and-balanced mantra to bear by questioning guest Byron York of National Review about the Media Research Center, suggesting (to gasps at MRC employee breakfast nooks) that these groups are "arguably...the same thing." Luckily, York quickly made one important distinction: MRC mostly monitors "objective" media, while MMFA mostly badgers [and ahem, calls for the firing/censorship of] conservative talk show hosts and other opinion journalists. Here's the exchange:
GREG KELLY: I want to ask you about the Media Research Center. They, arguably, are the same thing as Media Matters, except on the other side. I mean, they tend to go after liberal targets whereas Media Matters tend to go offer conservative targets. Aren’t both sides? – both sides have a media watchdog group.
Joe Scarborough: MSNBC's kind of Republican. The sort who not only tells a Democrat he's "very badly" needed in Washington. Who not merely expresses the desire to write him a campaign check. But who even volunteers [tongue-in-cheek, one would hope] to do illegal check-bundling for him a la Norman Hsu.
After recently putting in an embarrassingly sycophantish performance when interviewing Hillary Clinton, Scarborough was back ingratiating himself with another Dem today. Interviewing former Nebraska senator Bob Kerrey on "Morning Joe," talk inevitably turned to the possibility of Kerrey seeking a Senate seat again. Scarborough waxed wildly enthusiastic.
A September 12 NewsBusters' item, NYT Misreports Biden-Obama Exchange, detailed a reporting error in the New York Times' coverage of testimony delivered the previous day to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by General David Petraeus and Iraq Ambassador Ryan Crocker. The news story reported an exchange between Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), both Democratic presidential candidates:
The senators were allowed only seven minutes each for questions, a limit that Mr. Biden, as a committee chairman, tried to enforce. But he did not try overly hard to cut off Mr. Obama, perhaps because he did not want to be seen in the ungentlemanly act of silencing a political rival. “Why don’t you try to summarize quickly what you said, O.K.?” Mr. Biden genially asked him as his time ran out.
"This is Anne Jones, reporting live from the headquarters of the ACLU, where the organization has issued a 'DEFCON 1 Threat-to-the-Constitution Alert' in the wake of a Republican presidential candidate's call for the creation of God's 'kingdom on earth.' We're speaking with ACLU representative Amanda Rogers. Ms. Rogers, now that a Republican candidate has brought the wall that separates church and state crashing to the ground, can our constitutional system be saved?"
"Anne, I'm afraid the answer is a resounding 'no,' at least, not if someone who thinks like this, and who sadly reflects the thinking of his entire party, is elected president. Fortunately, there are candidates from another party who respect the constitutionally decreed separaration of church and state."
"Thank you, Amanda; very frightening stuff. Now back to our studio, where we'll be breaking into our regularly-scheduled programming throughout the day to bring you updates on this unfolding crisis. I'll be back a little later with an interview with the pro-Constitution group 'People for the American Way,' which has called the Republican candidate's statement 'the gravest threat to America since the presidency of Ronald Reagan.'"
OK, perhaps I exaggerate just a tad with this apocryphal dialogue, but you get the point. The MSM would surely be in full threat-to-the-Constitution cry if ever a Republican presidential candidate had said exactly what Barack Obama did yesterday:
Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz's new book excerpt on the network anchors led with some news in Monday's Post:
Charlie Gibson is a product of the Vietnam War era. When he was a television reporter in Lynchburg, Va., he had driven to Washington on weekends to march in antiwar demonstrations. And he had lost friends in that jungle war.
Now Gibson had friends whose sons were dying in Iraq. His thoughts kept returning to one central question: When you commit kids to war, what are they fighting for? What was the mission in Iraq? How could a family say that the war was worth little Johnny's well-being?
The ABC anchor was obsessed with this point. If you were president, and you decided to go to war, was there a calculus in your mind, that the goal was worth so many American lives? After all, your generals would tell you that X number were likely to die. What was the acceptable trade-off? Gibson's threshold would be one: Was the war worth one life?
Last Sunday, NewsBusters introduced readers to Media Matters for America, the left-wing organization behind the recent smear campaigns against conservative personalities Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly.
In the days that followed, although news outlets and leading Democrats continued to reference articles written by this shadowy group, few details were offered about the organization behind them, and virtually nothing was shared concerning its founder, David Brock, who in a short period of time a decade ago remarkably went from a staunch enemy of the Clintons to one of their strongest supporters.
As National Review's Jonah Goldberg wrote in Sunday's New York Post, "Brock was once a right-wing hatchet man, penning a book, ‘The Real Anita Hill,' and some articles in the American Spectator on the Clintons that for a time earned him considerable notoriety on the right and hatred on the left."
Despite the influence Media Matters currently has with the mainstream media, Brock's extraordinary political metamorphosis ten years ago, though obviously a journalist's dream, has received little recent attention from press representatives typically clamoring for such juicy dish (emphasis added throughout):