I'm sure as a concerned social observer, CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric may genuinely think we as a society are too addicted to TV. That said, I can't help but feel that her persistent third-place status in the broadcast evening news race is part and parcel of her Andy Rooney-Lite rant against the boob tube. Here's the November 7 page from Katie Couric's "Notebook" (see video here):
This week in Newsweek, writer Allison Wood complains about seeing television everywhere, and I think we're on the same wavelength.
It's in your living room, the kitchen, the bedroom. Leave home and hail a taxi, it's there too. A lot of cabs now have little TV screens bombarding you with news and weather as you head to wherever you're going.
Over a span of three days, "Good Morning America" has devoted almost 19 minutes of air time to promoting "Lions For Lambs," the left-wing, anti-war drama starring and directed by Robert Redford. The promotional push continued on Thursday's show as one of the film's other stars, Meryl Streep, attacked Bill O'Reilly for what she apparently saw as questioning the patriotism of liberals. After co-host Diane Sawyer played a clip of O'Reilly wondering if Democrats really want to win in Iraq, the actress sarcastically stated, "It was my favorite thing that I ever saw Bill O'Reilly do. And so I lifted it out of his show and put it in the movie."
Streep derided O'Reilly's comments as the "wife beating question" and, in an annoyed tone, asked, "Are you still beating your wife? There's no way to answer it." Sawyer's interview came after a segment on Wednesday with the actress, director Redford and fellow star Tom Cruise. That followed yet another piece on Tuesday solely with Redford. On Thursday, Sawyer continued to laud what she saw as a brave film. The co-host gushed that "Lions For Lambs" wonders how "you strengthen the muscles of your convictions?" She fawned over the film, which involves a journalist lobbying other reporters to oppose the government's plans for war, by describing Streep's character as "a middle-aged reporter, facing the question of her job or her convictions. What does it take to be brave?"
It seems that no bad Hillary Clinton deed goes unresponded to.
As we are in the midst of a presidential campaign, this by itself is not an issue. That it is the national media that is leading this charge is. One need focus on but the latest corners of the Clinton pantheon to come to light to see the full court press the press puts on when their girl needs them.
In an October 10 Boston Globe interview, Senator Clinton let her socialism slip a bit, saying "I have a million ideas. I can't do all of them. I happen to think in running a disciplined campaign - especially when it comes to fiscal responsibility, which is what I'm trying to do - everything I propose I have to pay for. You know, you go to my website, you'll see what I would use to pay for what I've proposed. So I've got a lot of ideas, I just obviously can't propose them all. I can't afford them all. The country can't afford them all." (Emphasis ours.)
A Pew Research Center poll released late last month found that while four out of five American adults (81%) could name one of the Democratic presidential candidates, far fewer (just 59%) could recall any of the GOP candidates. Even among self-described Republican voters, Pew found “Clinton and Obama are much more visible than Giuliani or any other GOP presidential candidate.”
One reason may be that the big broadcast networks have treated the Democratic frontrunners like celebrities worthy of intense coverage, while the Republican candidates have received far less TV time. A new Media Research Center study of the ABC, CBS and NBC morning news shows has found that in the first 10 months of 2007, the networks spent more time covering the Democratic race and spent far more time interviewing the Democratic candidates than the Republicans. And those interviews were much friendlier to the Democrats, with the morning show anchors emphasizing a predominantly liberal agenda.
Over the course of his political career, Bill Clinton was literally and figuratively embraced by countless pastors, most of whom presumably went to their pulpits on Sunday to preach traditional values, including marital fidelity. If memory serves, neither Gail Collins nor other liberal pundits noted any irony in people of the cloth endorsing the spectacularly straying Clinton.
But let a preacher praise a Republican with a personal history, and Gail Collins thunders like Billy Sunday with a bad migraine. Here's the opening paragraph of her "Pat Loves Rudy" in today's New York Times [emphasis added]:
The Contra Costa Times has given us an interesting new angle to fool the voters into voting for a new gasoline tax in an article titled, "Calling gas tax a 'fee' may help at ballot." In an opinion laced article, the CCTimes is advising politicians to call the tax hike a "fee" instead of a tax to fool the voters into accepting it at the ballot box. Throughout this piece is the obvious assumption by staff writer Erik N. Nelson that the county governments in and around San Francisco are "cash-starved" and that these taxes... oops, I mean fees... are needed because it is important that the governments "look for new funding" for roads and to "curb global warming." Not a hint that these governments have wasted the money they are already confiscating from the citizens, nor any investigation why some of the highest taxes in the country have not been able to satisfy the needs there.
When the Labor Department on Friday announced a strong gain of 166,000 jobs during October, double expectations, ABC and CBS gave it a few seconds while NBC ignored the good news, but on Wednesday night NBC, as well as ABC and CBS, led with a bad day on Wall Street they painted as a harbinger of impending economic doom. NBC anchor Brian Williams piled on the bad news as he insisted he took “no pleasure” in highlighting it. With “DANGER SIGNS” on screen, Williams announced: “Good evening. The following sounds pretty awful -- and we take no pleasure in reporting it -- but today Wall Street fell, the U.S. dollar fell, GM is in bad shape and the housing market continues to be in big trouble.”
CBS displayed “MARKET TURMOIL” on screen as Katie Couric opened with how “investors were carrying a world of worries on their shoulders today” because of “the falling dollar, record high oil prices, the mortgage mess, the housing slump, and a possible economic slowdown. And they responded by dumping stocks. That sent the Dow plummeting more than 300 points for the second time in a week.” Over on ABC, Charles Gibson teased his top story: “Tonight, oil gushes and Wall Street plunges.” Gibson cutely led: “Wall Street today took a nose dive sharp enough to make investors' ears pop.”
We here at NewsBusters spend a lot of time pointing out examples of liberal media bias and stupidity, and taking to task empty-suit reporters for a variety of offenses, including "gotcha" journalism wherein reporters set out their questions like a fur-trapper laying a line of traps. You've seen it - questions using quotes out of context, twisting words into a trap for the targeted political figure - usually a Republican of course.
Well, today I'd like to point you in the direction of someone who does it right. Peter Robinson, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, has been doing a series of in-depth interviews with various political figures, distinguished scholars, and leading journalists, and they are some of the most interesting and serious journalism you'll find anywhere.
There's no attempt to trip the interviewee into a gaffe, no gotcha journalism, no rhetorical tricks and traps. Just good questions designed to shed light on serious topics and issues.
As NewsBusters readers are likely aware, we are one of the finalists for Best Conservative Blog in this year's Weblog Awards. Interested parties should vote here early and often as the polls close on November 8 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time.
Also, NB contributor PJ Gladnick's blog DUmmie FUnnies is up for Funniest Blog. Please show your support here.
In addition, NB contributor Tom Blumer's BizzyBlog is up for Best Business Blog. Please show him your love here.
Finally, we encourage voting for Stephen McIntyre's Climate Audit as Best Science Blog here. Folks should be aware that Steve is the individual that debunked Michael Mann's absurd Hockey Stick theory in 2003, and recently exposed mistakes in how NOAA calculated average temperatures in the United States since the year 2000.
Please also be advised that NewsBusters' friend Steven Milloy has graciously placed his support behind McIntyre even though his own blog Junk Science is also a finalist. Steve has once again presented himself as the class act we fondly know him to be.
Here is a perfect example of why no one can trust the MSM. They can't even get a quote in context without spinning it to their own desired ends by leaving out parts of the quote, materially changing its meaning. MSNBC took a few choice words out of an Internet post written by Randy Thomas, vice president of Exodus International, a Christian based organization that promotes "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ." In MSNBC.com's "More evangelicals concluding God is green," they quote Mr. Thomas as to why he is supporting Mike Huckabee. But, the way they quote Thomas it seems that he endorses the "God is green" concept, when he doesn't at all in reality. Here is how they quoted Thomas:
Randy Thomas, vice president of Exodus International, an evangelical ministry, wrote last month that “I have decided to vote for Huckabee.
PBS personalities can certainly come across as full of themselves, even boasting of how they can dare to do news programming that almost nobody wants to watch. Take Jim Lehrer’s recent speech at the University of Texas, as reported by the Austin American-Statesman:
He warned against the "spicing up" of news with entertainment programming and partisan commentary. "You want to be entertained? Go to the circus, please. Do not watch 'The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,' " he said.
The typically straightforward face of "NewsHour" relayed humorous tales from his education at Victoria College and the early days at his 32-year-old show, which took a while to hit its stride.
"We did 30 minutes comparing naturally grown tomatoes to unnaturally grown tomatoes," Lehrer said. "Don't ask me why we did it.
"We did 30 minutes on the Portuguese elections that not even the Portuguese cared about."
Shirley MacLaine appeared on the Wednesday "Today" show to promote her new book Sage-ing While Age-ing, and after host Matt Lauer finished talking to the actress about her belief in UFOs and reincarnation, he asked if there was anything she feared in life, the author responded: "Mad men who say they're at the head of democracies scare me."
Now while MacLaine didn't mention George W. Bush by name it's not a stretch to assume the sister of liberal actor Warren Beatty was referring to the current president. In fact Lauer, earlier in the interview, noted MacLaine was the godmother of the daughter of fellow UFO witness Dennis Kucinich.
If the founder of The Weather Channel spoke out strongly against the manmade global warming myth, might media members notice?
We're going to find out the answer to that question soon, for John Coleman wrote an article published at ICECAP Wednesday that should certainly garner attention from press members -- assuming journalism hasn't been completely replaced by propagandist activism, that is.
Coleman marvelously began (emphasis added, h/t NB reader coffee250):
Cramer, host of the CNBC’s “Mad Money” called liberal Democratic New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as “communist” on CNBC’s November 7 “Street Signs.”
“[W]itness the fact that right now, the most important man in America for the stock market – the most important man and I mean it negatively is this guy Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Attorney General,” Cramer said. “I’m getting tired of the New York State Attorney General being the most important man in America.”
Smith teased the segment at the top of the show by declaring, "On the record, 21 Democrats officially call for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney, citing deceit in Iraq and covert operations in Iran." This declaration was preceded by a song that CBS managed to find on the internet with the lyrics: "Impeach Cheney first."
The top of the segment featured a report by Chip Reid, who explained, "The resolution accuses Cheney not only of alleged past sins regarding Iraq, but alleged current ones on Iran." Despite Cheney’s "sins," Reid also admitted the unpopularity of the proposal:
Recently, Bill O'Reilly used Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) to illustrate that he condemns extremists on the right as well as those on the left, but the problem is that Phelps isn't one of the “far right nuts,” he's one of the “left wing loons.”
On the November 1 “O'Reilly Factor,” the Fox News talker criticized the Kansas-based WBC as a “far right group” that loudly protests military funerals because they disagree with the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy that allows closeted gays in the military.
In the November 7 "Washington Post," in an article reporting on the Virginia General Assembly elections, staff writer Tim Craig adopted the liberal terminology of referring to government spending as "investing" as he relayed that Democratic Governor Tim Kaine hopes to get more support for his "agenda to invest more in education, health care, and the environment." The complete text of a similar article using the same line can be found on the Washington Post's Web site here. In the front-page article "Delays in Counting Slow Results in State, Local Races," after summarizing some of the early election results, including the plight of some Republican state senators running for re-election in Democratic-trending districts, the following one-sentence paragraph ran on page A12: