This one is really stretching the limits of any legitimate blame being leveled at Fred Thompson, but the L.A.Times has published a story linking Thompson to businessman with a shady past over a radio advertisement that the Senator narrates for that businessman's company. But, as we find out, Thompson's ABC Radio contract requires that he and other ABC Radio personalities act as narrator for the radio spot, so it isn't like Fred has gone out of his way to endorse this shady businessman's product. Naturally, the L.A. Times has to title the piece "An Awkward Ad By Fred Thompson", even as the Senator barely has a walk on part in the article. Most of the article ends up being about the company that the ad was recorded for and not Thompson. So, the light is shined on Thompson even as the story is not really about him much at all.
On Wednesday’s "Situation Room," liberal anchor Jack Cafferty argued that, perhaps, it's President Bush, not Vladimir Putin, who is attempting to reignite the Cold War. However, Cafferty might want to consider the fact that fewer pesky journalists seem to mysteriously disappear in the United States than they do in Russia.
During this week’s Republican debate, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer had a suggestion for the national GOP: Be more like liberal Arnold Schwarzenegger. Now, this is an idea he’s peddled four times since the midterm elections. Isn’t it sweet when left-wing journalists offer advice to the Republican Party?
Speaking of liberal cable hosts, Keith Olbermann suggested this week that the unraveling of a terror plot at JFK airport was politically timed to help the Bush administration. Yes, Keith, and the Paris Hilton media soap opera is a cover by the White House to distract from the immigration debacle.
The new books by liberal-media stars investigating Hillary Clinton are already drawing the annoying accusation from the Clintonistas that they’re sexist, and then their media supporters are backing them up on the charge. The liberal media attacks their own. On last weekend’s chat shows, the trend was apparent. On The Chris Matthews Show, Chris adopted a confessional I-may-be-a-pig tone with Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, this year’s (liberal) winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary:
MATTHEWS: Cynthia, the question, I think, somewhere in the middle of this--and this may be sexist, I don't deny it--but is the charge that she's calculating, that they're calculating together, a little too much planning, this two presidency following two presidencies, this 20-year plan, so-called, does this hurt?
TUCKER: I don't think it hurts with those people who would support Senator Hillary Clinton for president. They're--she's a very divisive figure. There are already a lot of Americans who would never vote for Senator Clinton, with or without a book being written, or books being written which rehash all the old assumptions about her.
Having said that, let me also point out that it is sexist to charge a woman with being ambitious.
On Friday's The Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty used his regular "Cafferty File" segment to attack President Bush for not reappointing Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace out of fear of a tough confirmation hearing, tagging it a "gutless" decision. At about 5:08 p.m., as Cafferty set up his regular question of the hour about what it would take to end the war in Iraq, he lashed out at the absence of greater outrage from the American people, and suggested that American troops have "died for nothing" as he seemed to wish for the kind of protests of the Vietnam War era, which included "students tearing up college campuses," to happen again. Cafferty: "When it was going this poorly in Vietnam, Americans were in the streets demanding to be heard. Students were tearing up college campuses in an effort to head off being sent away to die for nothing. But not this time -- 3,503 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq, and nobody does anything. ... It's no wonder the Bush White House gets away with this stuff." (Transcript follows)
More headline editorializing, this time on Yahoo. A June 5 Reuters article titled, “Bush bashes Putin on democracy on eve of G8 summit” sounds like Bush attacked Russian president Vladimir Putin, but the body of the article clearly did not support that view.
The headline told a very different story than the article. Editors not reporters are generally responsible for headlines, and they can greatly influence opinions about the news. The importance of a bias-free headline is that most people don’t read every word of every article; they often just skim the headlines. That meant the people who read just the headline got a very different impression from those who read the entire article (emphasis mine throughout):
"Russia is not our enemy," Bush said after meeting Czech leaders on a visit aimed at highlighting the country's emergence from Soviet domination.
He said he would urge Putin at the summit to cooperate with the U.S. plan to deploy a radar system in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland, but later in a speech took a dig at Moscow's record on democracy. "In Russia reforms that once promised to empower citizens have been derailed, with troubling implications for democratic development," Bush said.
ABC's Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos on Friday night lamented the lost “hope” in the defeat of the compromise “immigration reform” bill as Gibson fretted about how “polarization” killed it. “Immigration bust,” Gibson teased World News: “Is there still hope for immigration reform after a highly touted deal falls apart?” He then led the newscast by repeating his “hope” line: “Many had great hopes for the compromise.” Turning to George Stephanopoulos in Iowa, Gibson proposed: “The left and the right opposed it. So you've got this polarization that killed the bill, and also the President's strength wasn't enough to keep it alive.” Stephanopoulos agreed as he held conservatives most culpable: “This was driven by the wings on either side. Liberal Democrats who didn't like the guest worker program, probably even more important, conservative Republicans who thought this program was amnesty, they drove this process, they killed the bill.”
That prompted Gibson to ruminate: “So it makes you wonder, right now, the way things stand, if our political system is really equipped to attack and solve the big problems?” Stephanopoulos confirmed: “Certainly not this big problem, Charlie, even though, as I said, a majority of Americans support it.”
Washington Post reporter Lori Montgomery must not be reading Newsbusters.
Because this is the second time she painted the Democrats as the saviors of the middle-class for wanting to reform the alternative minimum tax, but neglected to inform her readers that they are the same Democrats who voted against the full repeal of the AMT in 1999.
Her June 8 story referred to House Democrats as “looking to spare millions of middle class families from the expensive bite of the alternative minimum tax …”
Following a report on fisticuffs in the Alabama State Senate, CNN reporter T.J. Holmes cracked a joke about Sen. Lowell Barron (D) being on the receiving end of a punch to the face from Republican Senator Charles Bishop.
While past ABC reports have mourned the hardship facing the American auto industry, ABC aired liberal support for higher fuel efficiency standards that would make competition more difficult and manufacturing more expensive.
But reporter Dean Reynolds gave almost no time to the auto industry in his June 7 “World News with Charles Gibson” story.
Reynolds cited left-wing Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Phyllis Cuttino of Pew’s Campaign for a Fuel Efficient America.
“We have better cup holders in cars, we have better music systems in cars – that’s all good,” Dorgan said, “But the fact is we need cars that are more efficient.”
National Public Radio folks read NewsBusters. The new show "Tell Me More" noticed that NB Senior Editor Tim Graham analyzed their sympathetic segment on anti-war mothers of fallen soldiers and how they felt about Cindy Sheehan's decision to abandon her activism for now because of mean conservatives.
On Friday's edition of "Tell Me More," NPR played host Michel Martin's Wednesday phone interview with Tim as he sat in his messy MRC office about his objections to the NPR piece, and he explained how the media didn't play up that Cindy Sheehan didn't merely suffer from derogatory names, but she also threw around a lot of derogatory names of her own. Tim also called out Martin for inaccurately suggesting on her blog that President Bush never met with Sheehan.
The Secretary of Defense has decided to recommend a new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, rather than re-nominate General Peter Pace. Reporting this development, this CBS/AP story noted that the Pentagon personnel move by Secretary Robert Gates was done to avoid a contentious Senate circus, more so than with dissatisfaction with Pace's performance.
"It would be a backward looking and very contentious process," the AP quoted Gates, noting that Gates insisted the personnel move had "nothing to do" with Pace's performance.
So why this teaser photo illustration on the CBSNews.com front page, done in a grainy black-and-white and preparing the Web site reader for a negative take on the outgoing 40-year Marine veteran? (picture below jump)
Friday's New York Times predictably led with the dramatic stalling in the Senate of the immigration bill endorsed by President Bush (a story by Carl Hulse and Robert Pear that offers the pleasant surprise of the term "liberal Democrats" to characterize some opponents of the bill). As a counterweight, the Metro section fronted a sob-story by Jennifer Medina, "Arrests of 31 In U.S. Sweep Bring Fear In New Haven."
Some of those in federal custody are suspected of being illegal immigrants, and Medina described in sympathetic terms the liberal attitude toward illegal immigrants by New Haven, Conn. officials who "wanted to bring them out of the shadows."
"Within hours, any sense of sanctuary that the city and advocates for immigrants advocates [sic] had developed over the years was turned upside down, replaced with fear."
Media representatives wait for Paris Hilton to arrive at a Los Angeles municipal courthouse Friday, June 8, 2007. They were disappointed because she was driven in using an underground entrance as she arrived.
National Public Radio’s weekend show "On The Media" is often a liberal oasis inside of a liberal oasis. Last weekend, NPR host Brooke Gladstone invited on Paul Waldman of that Hillary Clinton-cloned media pressure group, who wrote a study claiming the religious left was underrepresented on TV. (It might be because you often can’t really tell the difference between the "religious" left and the secular left. Both want socialism, abortion on demand, forced gay acceptance, the banning of the SUV, and the restoration of the 90-percent top tax bracket. But just one half says Jesus wouldn't drive an SUV.)
Gladstone’s other guest was Jeff Sharlet, a leftist blogger at a media-and-religion site called The Revealer. (It's the counterpoint to Get Religion, in other words.) At the segment’s end, Gladstone uncorked a new motto jokingly: "We really span the spectrum here from sort of left to very left."
On Friday’s "Good Morning America," co-anchor Chris Cuomo, the son of former Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo, slammed conservative immigration hawk Tom Tancredo for using "scary" words and wondered why he chose to "rip" down the Senate’s immigration bill. The GMA anchor slyly asked if the Congressman was "driving anti-immigrant sentiment."
Cuomo’s overall tone fit the very definition of loaded questions and a liberal agenda. The ABC anchor, whose brother is the Democratic Attorney General of New York, began the segment by aggressively inquiring, "Why did you feel the need to rip a bill like this down?"
From the moment word got out that Rupert Murdoch had offered billions to buyout The Wall Street Journal, the media have cried foul.
Journalists and media critics charged that a Murdoch takeover would turn the prestigious business newspaper into a journalistic joke, that the media mogul would page six-ify the Journal.
An art director at The New York Times, carried those complaints a step further by creating a mock-up of what the Journal would look like under Murdoch. According to The Washington Post, the image has been circulating Journal and Times newsrooms for about a month.
The tabloid style page (See below) reveals the anti-Murdoch bias that exists even in the Times art department.
The AP has given us a piece on how "Right-Wing" book publishers are "worried" over the future success of publishing books on conservatives topics. One cannot help wonder, though, if the "worry" by the so-called "right-wing" publishers is more like the APs glee when you read their piece titled, "Right-Wing Publishers Worry About Future", by Hillel Italie, AP National Writer.
The first half of this story leads the reader to imagine that Conservative books are hurting in the market with all the negative quotes employed about their future. Naturally, after that first half about how dismal the future for conservative books is, the story then takes a turn to praise liberal books, showing how "energized" they are, after which the story broadens into a piece about the entire BookExpo America gathering.
When done reading the report, you realize that, despite the story's title, it isn't just about how bad the conservative book market is, but, instead, it is a story on the whole of the BookExpo America trade show. Why, exactly, is this titled the way it is, then, if it isn't just about how bad the conservative market is?
When covering religion, the news media has a tendency to grant the Roman Catholic Church the lion’s share of religion coverage – in part due to its size, and in part due to its centralized authority in Rome. Protestant denominations, even the evangelical Protestant mega-pastors, are covered less each year. Unfortunately, that centralized authority also leads to media caricatures of tyranny (remember New York Times editor nastily Bill Keller comparing the Vatican to the Kremlin, the Polish Pope to the Soviet autocrats?)
Time’s David Van Biema and Katherine Mayer crack a little too wise in this week’s story on Anglicanism (their cover story in the Europe and the South Pacific editions), noting not only "Roman-style lockstep," but a "useful Catholic authoritarianism." This has a very obvious whiff of politics, comparing Pope Benedict to a tinhorn dictator like a Francisco Franco or a Juan Peron. The pontiff is not a dictator, and no one is forced to join a Catholic church or forced to obey its moral dogmas.