Katie Couric touted, on Wednesday's CBS Evening News, how her Thursday broadcast will feature an interview with actor Michael J. Fox. It will air just three days after conservatives denounced as misleading and distorted his TV ads, about stem cell research, against Republican Senate candidates. In a spot for Democratic Missouri Senate candidate Claire McCaskill, for instance, Fox, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, charged in reference to the Republican incumbent: “Senator Talent even wanted to criminalize the science that gives us the chance for hope." (See my Tuesday NewsBusters posting for details.)
Couric's plug for the Fox interview followed a piece from Cynthia Bowers on the battle in Missouri with competing ads about stem cells, a story which failed to address the accuracy of the Fox ads. Couric plugged the Fox appearance as an “exclusive” interview: "By the way, tomorrow we'll have an exclusive interview with Michael J. Fox on the stem cell legislation and Rush Limbaugh." No word on when CBS might give equal time to someone with a different view. (A transcript of a portion Bowers' story follows)
Those who are familiar with my economic analyses know that I have maintained for some time that the left and their media minions exercise a peculiar brand of arithmetic whereby one plus one sometimes equals one, two, or three depending upon the result required to fit the agenda of the person in question. Well, White House advisor Karl Rove was Robert Siegel’s guest on NPR Tuesday, and a rather lively discussion ensued over polling data and how to read such statistics culminating in Rove making a similar point about fuzzy liberal math (audio available here).
The exchange in question was precipitated when the host stated that Rove was on the “optimistic end of realism” concerning the upcoming elections. Rove quickly responded, “Not that you would be exhibiting a bias.” Siegel rebutted, “I'm looking at all the same polls that you're looking at every day.”
Dick Cheney is the well-known hunter in the family but it turns out his wife, Lynne, can hold her own when it comes to hunting down bias. Cheney came loaded for bear or network anchor when she appeared on this morning’s Today show. On to promote her latest history book for children, Cheney wasn't allowed to leave before NBC’s Matt Lauer queried her about Iraq's effect on the midterms, asking: "Are the Republicans in trouble?" To which Cheney fired back with both guns blazing as she asked Matt, why Today wasn't doing more to report on all the positive economic news.
The following is the full exchange as it took place in the 8:30am half hour of the October 25th Today show:
Brent Bozell recalled for us today that on Tuesday night's "Larry King Live," conservative talk show host Neal Boortz let leftist host Stephanie Miller have it for dropping the usual Hitler line, against Rush Limbaugh in this case. Boortz and Miller were on along with liberal Ed Schultz and conservative San Diego host Mark Larson, a friend of mine. Just before the last commercial break, they were discussing Rush Limbaugh, and the bomb dropped.
Stephanie Miller: "I -- you know, we do a segment called "Right Wing World" every day when we play sound bites. And by the way Neal, a couple of the things you said, you've been in there a few times, buddy, keep going. But I've got to say, this was the morning -- this was like the springtime for Hitler face. This, I could not -- first of all, maybe he shouldn't talk about other people's drug problem. But secondly, it just is beyond awful. I don't even know how you -- I can't believe we're having this discussion on whether it's appropriate to accuse Michael J. Fox of faking his Parkinson's symptoms because you don't agree with him."
CNN’s "American Morning" has deemed Rush Limbaugh’s criticisms of Michael J. Fox "a new low." Co-Anchor Miles O’Brien introduced a segment and alleged that now the midterm campaign is really getting dirty:
Miles O’Brien: "With so much at stake in the upcoming election, it's no surprise the political debate has turned nasty. But the exchange between the actor Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, and Rush Limbaugh seems to stand out. Could it be a new low? CNN's Tom Foreman with more."
The piece played a portion of Fox’s ad for Democrat Claire McCaskill, who the actor is supporting in the Missouri Senate race, but didn’t bother to challenge any of the dubious claims made in it.
As my colleague Matt Sheffield noted yesterday, Newsweek has finally admitted they were wrong about global cooling in the 1970s.
The admission comes after Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) cited on the Senate floor, among other things, "Fire and Ice," a study by the MRC's Business & Media Institute about the media's 100+ year history of hyping climate change.
Here's a sample of the May 17 study pertaining to Newsweek's coverage from the 1970s.
Newsweek was equally downbeat in its article “The Cooling World.” “There are ominous signs that the earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically,” which would lead to drastically decreased food production, it said.
As NewsBusters reported Wednesday, ABC News’s political director Mark Halperin made some stunning statements about liberal media bias on Tuesday’s O’Reilly Factor on Fox News. In the introduction, O’Reilly referred to an Internet posting entitled, “How the Liberal Old Media Plans to Cover the Last Two Weeks of the Election.” This was written by Halperin and some of ABCNews.com’s “The Note” gang on Monday, and outlined a twelve-point strategy for the media to use in the next two weeks leading up to the elections.
It was pointed out by NewsBusters on October 19 that the folks at “The Note” like to use sarcasm to prove their point concerning bias. As such, this pre-election media strategy is likely somewhat tongue-in-cheek. However, given Halperin’s statements to O’Reilly on Tuesday, one has to wonder just how much truth is buried in the seeming satire:
Reporter Randal Archibold gets a full story out of Kevin Tillman, brother of former NFL player Pat Tillman, who died by friendly fire after quitting pro football to go into service in Afghanistan. Kevin Tillman lashes out at the Bush administration in an article published on the Truthdig website on October 19. (Truthdig is run by Robert Scheer, the left-wing former columnist for the L.A. Times.)
The national press corps is justifiably looked upon with suspicion by conservatives and in dire need of reform if it wishes to regain their confidence, especially since that's a sound business strategy.
Those are the words of ABC News political director Mark Halperin who on last night's "O'Reilly Factor" provided a resounding endorsement of the idea that the elite American media needs to stop being liberally biased. (Video available in WMV or Real. MP3 audio also available, transcript is after the jump.)
In a followup to an Oct. 19 internet posting in which he sarcastically implied that reporters take their cues from Democrats and liberal activists, Halperin stated that the press should use the 2006 elections as an opportunity to regain the public trust:
"In this country, we've got these old news organizations, the major networks, ABC, where you [O'Reilly] used to work, the New York Times, the Washington Post. These organizations have been around a long time, and for 40 years conservatives have looked with suspicion at them. I think we've got a chance in these last two weeks to prove to conservatives that we understand their grievances, we're going to try to do better, but these organizations still have incredible sway, and conservatives are certain that we're going to be out to get them. We've got to fix that."
On this morning's Today show, NBC's Carl Quintanilla floated the kooky conspiracy theory that the oil companies lowered gas prices to help the GOP. Today co-host Meredith Vieira at the top of the show even postulated: "You know the good news is that gas prices are down but do the elections have anything to do with it? In other words are we being manipulated?"
Co-host Matt Lauer fed the conspiracy, when he introduced the segment: "This morning on Today At the Pump, falling gas prices fueling conspiracy theories. The price of a gallon of gas, the average price, is way down to about $2.21 a gallon just in time for the midterm elections. Is it a coincidence? Some people say no."
In an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer on Wednesday’s 'Good Morning America,' Sean Hannity defended fellow talk radio host Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh has taken a lot of heat in the press for his criticism of Michael J. Fox’s campaign ads in favor of embryonic stem cell research and Democratic Senate candidates. Hannity fought the notion that Fox, who has injected himself through these ads into the political arena, is "immune" from critics, a view Sawyer seemed to express:
Sawyer: "Rush Limbaugh. What, what is going on here? Attacking Michael J. Fox?...Rush Limbaugh, even in his apology, said that Mike Fox was allowing his illness to be exploited, shilling for a Democratic candidate. If you have Parkinson’s disease, and you believe embryonic stem cell research is the, is the answer, a possible answer, a possible cure, don't you have a right to speak up?"
Assume for a moment that a conservative advocacy group was accused of voter registration fraud four weeks before the upcoming elections, and had been accused of similar activities in 2004. Further imagine that this group was accused by some of its representatives of campaigning for a Republican candidate for the U.S. senate in a key state that could determine which party controls that Congressional chamber. Do you think this would get reported by the media, especially given all the attention on expected electronic ballot irregularities in the upcoming elections? Might be front-page news, and the lead story for the broadcast networks, right?
Well, on October 11, the Associated Press reported (hat tip to reader Saw the Light) such alleged activities in St. Louis, Missouri, by a liberal group called the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). The Kansas City Star reported similar allegations against the group on October 24. And, a video made available by a St. Louis blog called Pub Def on October 4 showed ACORN workers admitting that they had been registering voters specifically to elect Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri). Yet, a Google and LexisNexis search indicated that not one major national news organization other than AP chose to report any of these allegations. Not one.
(Update: A reader just sent me an October 21 article from the Columbus Dispatch concerning voter registration fraud by ACORN members in Ohio.)
The AP appears to be star struck by Michael J. Fox with the debut of his campaign ad for Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill and several other Dems this week. So star struck that the AP has pronounced him a great success in a puff piece today. But how can they possibly know for sure if his ads are working?
The Washington Post took a good swing at Rush Limbaugh's comments yesterday about the exploitative Michael J. Fox TV ads for Democrats, saying Republicans are stopping "life-saving" cures for debilitating diseases. On the front page, top left, of Wednesday's Style section, David Montgomery began his article "Rush Limbaugh On the Offensive Against Ad With Michael J. Fox" very much like an editorial instead of a news article:
Possibly worse than making fun of someone's disability is saying that it's imaginary. That is not to mock someone's body, but to challenge a person's guts, integrity, sanity.
Time out. What is Michael J. Fox doing in these ads if not challenging Republican integrity? By suggesting the GOP are pro-disease? Montgomery makes no mention in his little, huffing post of an article as to whether Fox's claims are accurate, factually, scientifically. He can't go "back to the future" here and tell us if smashing embryos really works.
To: On-Air Personalities From: NBC News Management Subject: Watch your language!
With less than two weeks left before the election, naturally we're all excited at the prospect, after 12 long years in the wilderness, that we will finally be winning back the majority in one or perhaps even both houses of Congress.
With victory this close at hand, it's important that none of us provide any fodder for Republicans - or those annoying right-wing media critics - to claim that we are, well, doing what we're doing - rooting for a Democratic win.
A study - released by its anti-war partisan authors just in time for the election - claiming that more than 650,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the war has been debunked more times than Paris Hilton has been . . . well, let's just say the study has been debunked often and thoroughly, as noted here and here.
But that doesn't prevent a member-in-good-standing of the MSM from shamelessly recycling the phony numbers. Have a close look at this editorial cartoon from today's Boston Globe by house cartoonist Dan Wasserman. President Bush is shown declaring that, among other problems in Iraq, there are "hundreds of thousands dead."
While the national media made the books of Bob Woodward and David Kuo big anti-Bush sensations, are there any books from conservatives that could make a wave in the campaign? On Monday's talk shows, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin both promoted a story from our colleagues at CNSNews.com on a new book by Grove City College professor Paul Kengor called "The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism." Its startling revelation: Ted Kennedy was asking Soviet dictators to help assist in defeating Reagan in 1984:
At least they're honest about it. So avid is the New York Times for a Dem House majority that in an editorial of this morning, it's decided to throw Chris Shays [R-CT] to the wolves, under the bus, or wherever it is that liberal Republican congressmen go when the Times won't endorse them anymore.
Although they came to bury him, the Times does throw in some praise of Shays [rhymes!]:
Referring to him as "a good representative."
Noting that it has "admired his independence and respected his leadership."
Describing him as "a rare voice for moderation within [the] Republican caucus."
Calling him "a beacon of integrity."
Not good enough for the Gray Lady. Endorsing his Democrat opponent, the Times make no bones about sacrificing Shays' electoral bones on the altar of a Pelosi speakership:
This story from the PRC's propaganda wire, Xinhua won't likely get much play in the leftist world which believes that Chimpybushitlerhalliburtonfoleyisgay is the real threat to world-wide free speech. China is continuing its crackdown on opposing free speech, this time,
signaling that it will move toward forcing anyone who wants to make a
blog do so under their real names, making it easier to crack down on
NANCHANG -- With widespread online rumor saying China will implement a blog
real name system, the Internet Society of China (ISC) has clarified that so far
the Ministry of Information Industry has not officially made any related
However, a real name system will be an unavoidable choice if China wants to
standardize and develop its blog industry, Huang Chengqing, ISC secretary
general, told Xinhua on Sunday.
An official with the ISC confirmed on Thursday that the society is working on
a real name system for Chinese bloggers, which attested to netizens' longtime
guess about it and triggered a hot controversy.
Huang said some reports on the Internet about the implementation of the real
name system are not "very accurate."
The ISC, affiliated to the Ministry of Information Industry, was entrusted by
the ministry to form a blog research panel to provide solutions for the
development of China's blog industry.
"We suggest, in a recent report submitted to the ministry, that a real name
system be implemented in China's blog industry," Huang said.
Under such a system, a netizen has to register with his real name to open a
blog, but can still write under a pseudonym, according to Huang.