On Thursday’s morning shows, all three networks seemed to take delight in showing "MC Rove" ham it up for Wednesday night’s Radio & Television Correspondents Association dinner. None, however, showed the video footage of the distinguished Brian Williams, anchor of the "NBC Nightly News," burping the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." The Los Angeles Times, one media outlet that did report the event, covered it this way:
For their first act, [comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood] recruited NBC anchor Williams and Cheryl Gould, senior vice president of NBC News, to deliver the sound effects for a nonsensical skit about a hunter and a lawyer -- one that culminated with the two volunteers burping "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" to the incredulous delight of their colleagues.
The co-hosts of "The View" again discussed the Iranian British hostage situation on the March 29 edition. Rosie O’Donnell trusted the Iranians more than the British and Americans, and the discussion evolved into more Rosie rants against alleged Bush administration tyranny and for the first time on "The View," Rosie ranted on her September 11 conspiracy theories. Rosie’s rants were too much even for fringe liberal Joy Behar. Token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck was far more assertive than the previous day. In the teaser at the end of the first segment, Rosie and Joy made light of the upcoming discussion.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: Alright we’re going to take a break and come back and talk about the situation in Iran with the soldiers, the British soldiers who were in international waters. The British say they were in the right waters and the Iranians say no they were in our waters, and so it begins.
JOY BEHAR: Do you think people are now clicking us off because you promoed that?
O’DONNELL: Well, I don’t know, but we're going to talk about it and I'm sure it will make the news.
Two days ago, I blogged about how the Washington Post's Jeff Birnbaum believes that "without question," Reagan's tax cuts went "too far."
In today's Post, Slate's Timothy Noah went a few steps further in his negative review of John Patrick Diggins's Reagan biography "Ronald Reagan: Fate, Freedom, and the Making of History."
Noah tried his hand at being a shrink, attributing psychosexual motives to Reagan's economic policy. Emphasis mine.:
...Reagan, like just about every other actor who ever passed through Hollywood, had a very hard time viewing sex as something to repress. This genial hedonism would later express itself in Reagan's embrace of supply-side economics. Tax cuts would pay for themselves, he told himself, and when they didn't, he left to his two White House successors the drudge work of reducing the huge budget deficit.
I suppose it's possible she could defensively argue that this refers to Iran's Ahmadinejad or North Korea's Kim Jong-il, but in context it seems NY Post columnist Liz Smith refers to President George W. Bush in her March 29 article "Cruise-ing to WWII":
March 29, 2007 -- 'EVERY SECOND is a door to eternity. The door is opened by perception," said Rumi.
does a nation's elite rid itself of a deranged chief executive or
commander who is bent on leading the country astray? No, we're not
talking here about our own life and times. We're talking Nazi Germany.
Smith's piece was syndicated to other papers, including The Toledo Blade, where NewsBusters reader John Page noticed the item and forwarded it to me. The Blade headline for the Smith item: "Tom Cruise to star in film about Hitler."
Eating up calls for more regulation, CBS "Evening News" attacked kid's cereal makers for television advertising in last night's broadcast.
The nanny-staters were at it again, warning on March 28 that children who like sugary cereals are "setting off alarms." Really? Is it any sort of surprise that children prefer sweet cereals to bran flakes? It doesn't surprise me, I still hate bran flakes.
Bill Whitaker's brought on Susan Linn "one of a chorus of critics calling for the government to ban the ads," but Whitaker didn't mention that Linn is the co-founder of the liberal Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. Linn declared that "self-regulation has failed."
Did I mention that legendary radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh will be there?
Rush told his listeners as much in his opening dialogue a few minutes ago, and we at the MRC are very much looking forward to Rush and other friends of the conservative movement sharing the evening with us tonight as we mark 20 years of the Media Research Center busting liberal media bias.
Remember, you can check out the live Webcast at MRC.org starting at 8 p.m. EDT tonight. We'll also have a comment thread open at NewsBusters so you can add your comments in real time.
Columbia University released a presser nearly 10 weeks ago about a "Novel Clinical Trial" involving those damn adult stem cells; you know, the kind we're supposed to pretend are useless as compared to their embryonic predecessors.
The novelty of course comes from the fact that medical researchers are yet again showing promise using non-embryonic forms of adult stem cells. But this trial goes beyond that simple fact; it has the added novelty of using a person's own adult stem cells to treat a form of coronary artery disease that is so severe that traditional treatment is not an option.
The results are very preliminary but even if the trial was in the final phase I wouldn't expect to hear about it in the mainstream media anytime soon. That's because this study breaches all the taboo's of liberal activism by the novelty of its sheer existence. Combine that with the fact that the trial is being funded by a (gasp) major "money grubbing" pharmaceutical researcher and you have all the elements necessary to justify below the fold, section c, inside the back page, small left hand corner, 2-3 lines max treatment (with a little luck).
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, reporting on Saudi King Abdullah’s condemnation of America’s “illegitimate foreign occupation of Iraq,” decided to gratuitously bring up the fact that President Bush had held Abdullah’s hand when the then-Crown Prince was visiting Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas nearly two years ago, a gesture that resulted in much snickering from media types at the time.
Mentioning Abdullah’s critique, Williams suggested his hand-holding with the President in April 2005 was somehow relevant to his views on Iraq. “You may recall this visit by Abdullah to the Bush ranch in Texas and the closeness the two men displayed then,” the NBC anchor announced over two-year old file footage of the two men at Bush’s ranch.
If you are a journalist or blogger who wants to embed in Iraq, good
luck making it through the PAO system. As a pair of prominent bloggers
tell us on the record, getting into Iraq can be all but impossible
thanks to obstacles put in place by the U.S. military's Pubic Affairs
Office, and once there, the PAO seems to delight in making the life of
an embed a living hell.
I wrote last week about embedded journalist Michael Yon being
threatened with expulsion from Iraq by U.S. Army General Vincent
Brooks, in a post called The Silencer.
If the history I cobbled together is correct--and I believe it
is--Brooks has held a grudge against Yon since 2005, when Brooks was
the lead PAO (Public Affairs Officer) for the war, and a former
spokesman for U.S. Central Command known as the "the face of the U.S.
military" during his tenure in that position.
Far be it from me to put in a plug for "Today," but I do hope Nancy Pelosi & Friends were watching this morning. Congressional Dems might be quick to dismiss what President Bush predicts would be the upshot of a date-certain pull-out from Iraq. But perhaps they would not so blithely disregard the observations of one of the most experienced and respected reporters on Iraqi matters . . . a New York Times staffer, no less.
During this morning's first half-hour, "Today" aired a segment devoted to answering the question "What if US Troops Withdraw?" In the first part, narrated by David Gregory, dueling experts painted alternatively gloomy and not-so-glum pictures of what things would be like if the US withdrew. Those on the "things wouldn't-be-so-bad" side seemed to receive more than their fair share of air time.
But then, Matt Lauer interviewed John Burns. As Matt observed, "few Western journalists have as a good a perspective on this war in Iraq as New York Times Baghdad bureau chief John Burns."
Today's starter is a special announcement: Tonight is the big MRC 20th anniversary party set around our usual "DisHonors" awards. To make sure everyone gets a chance to celebrate, for the first time ever, we're going to have a live webcast of the event along with an IRC discussion like we had during the '05 election.
As Newsbsuters has brought you many times (see here and here among others), the MSM's focus on Bush's firing of a handful of U.S. Attorney's is wonderfully empty of any balanced treatment whatsoever. Not only has the MSM ignored the Clinton story -- where he fired EVERY one of them -- but they have also ignored the fact that Jimmy Carter also fired a U.S. Attorney for "political reasons." Not to be left behind, the Boston Globe today reports an uncritical story about Senator Edward Kennedy's (D, Mass) recent statement about the issue.
In a short report by Globe Staffer, Rick Klein, the Globe finds no room for any discussion of Clinton or Carter's firings -- par for the course for this shallowly reported story.
Monika Scislowska of the Associated Press reported on Warsaw rallies in support of a complete ban on abortion in Poland. It's restricted now to the first 12 weeks and only in the cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother. But look at the labeling contrast AP employed, the usual stereotype of the epic political battle between the ultraconservatives and the nonpartisans:
The two marches were organized by an ultraconservative Roman Catholic radio station and a right-wing political party. Mostly elderly demonstrators attended a Mass and marched through central Warsaw carrying Polish and Vatican flags. One banner had an image of a baby and the words, "Can you really kill me?"
Elsewhere in the capital, about 700 mostly young people held a rally with music and balloons in support of abortion rights.
The top Washington story on Monday, March 26 came straight from the Sunday morning chat shows: the support for embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was slipping, even among Republicans.
Which Republicans? There are conservatives who are not big fans of Gonzales, who would have preferred the President had chosen someone bolder, more confrontational, someone willing to make a case for conservatism. But none of those people were seen on ABC, CBS, or NBC. Viewers saw instead the "even Republicans," the ones who specialize in ratifying the conventional liberal media wisdom, as in "Even Republicans say Gonzales is cooked." If the media think Gonzales is crippled and Bush is wretched, then it’s not that hard for them to find Republicans will spit that line back to them, for emphasis. They aren’t Republicans. They merely play them on TV.
Failed radio mouth and Senatorial candidate from Minnesota , Al Franken, told David Letterman on the set of the "Late Show" that the USA should reconsider approving the Kyoto Protocols because the treaty is good for the economy -- Despite that the ruinous treaty was voted down by a unanimous Senate vote in 1997 for the very reason that it would harm the economy.
To a fawning audience and a rapt host, Franken attacked Bush over the treaty that was voted down before he ever got to office, saying "One of the dumbest things that this president has said -- and that is a high bar -- is that if we abided by the Kyoto agreement, it would be ruinous to our economy. The opposite is true."
This is a developing story, so there's room for it to play out a bit, but the law firm congressional Democrats are hiring to help plow through the U.S. attorney firings, Arnold & Porter, has a history of heavy donations towards Democrats.
Since April of 2004, the Los Angeles Times has published over 20,000 words on the death and the controversy surrounding the death of NFL star Pat Tillman in Afghanistan. The word total includes 20 articles, editorials, and op-eds.
Meanwhile, since July of 2004, the Times has published less than 4,200 words on the story of former Clinton security advisor Sandy Berger pilfering classified documents from the National Archives. This includes 7 articles and one editorial. Two of the seven "articles" were in the notorious "In Brief" section, by the way.
John McCain was making the rounds on the network and cable news channel morning shows on Wednesday. During his appearance on "American Morning," substitute host John Roberts tried to lay a guilt trip on the Arizona Senator when he brought up the current hot topic of cancer (McCain received treatment for melanoma in 2000). His first question resorted to the old left-wing cliche that throwing more money at a problem will lead to a solution.
ROBERTS: Again this year, in the next budget, President Bush has proposed to cut funding for the National Cancer Institute. I was on their web site this morning and noticed that for all the major cancer groups, spending on research has gone down for the past two years. Your party was in charge during that time. How did you let it happen?
"We should have went to the mob for a loan," said Bronx homeowner Ana Rosado on CNN's March 27 "American Morning."
Her statement, extreme as it was, rivaled network reporting in March about subprime loans and foreclosures.
Reporters called the situation a “meltdown,” an “epidemic” and a “crisis” that could potentially lead to recession, and blamed lenders while almost entirely ignoring personal responsibility for borrowers. Instead, media accounts portrayed borrowers as victims, many of whom seemed shocked when their adjustable-rate mortgages adjusted upward.
While lenders were painted as the bad guys, they were rarely allowed to give any perspective. The networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, have done at least 26 stories on subprime loans just in the month of March, but only six of those included a lender’s voice. That meant an overwhelming 77 percent of stories didn’t even try to explain the lenders’ position.
As an NBC military affairs analyst, retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey is a familar face to many Americans. McCaffrey also serves as an adjunct professor at West Point, and in that capacity recently wrote an eight-page paper on the situation in Iraq based on a recent visit there.
In today's Washington Post, there appears an article by Thomas Ricks, WaPo's Pentagon correspondent, reporting on the McCaffrey paper. While Ricks does discuss some of McCaffrey's more optimistic findings, he emphasizes the negative while ignoring a number of the general's positive observations. Ricks' headline sets the tone: McCaffrey Paints Gloomy Picture Of Iraq, a tone reinforced by the article's opening line: "An influential retired Army general released a dire assessment of the situation in Iraq, based on a recent round of meetings there with Gen. David H. Petraeus and 16 other senior U.S. commanders."
Ricks does state that McCaffey's report "also lists several reasons for some new optimism, noting that since the arrival of Petraeus last month, 'the situation on the ground has clearly and measurably improved.'" And later: "Among McCaffrey's reasons for new optimism were that the Maliki government is permitting the United States to attack rogue leaders in the Mahdi Army of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Also, he noted that U.S. and Iraqi forces have changed their basic approach to operations, with soldiers now living on small outposts across Baghdad. Iraqi forces also are better equipped than before. In Anbar province, he noted, 'There is a real and growing groundswell of Sunni tribal opposition to the al-Qaeda-in-Iraq terror formations.' So, he concluded, it is still possible to develop a stable Iraq."
But Ricks omits mention of a number of other significant, positive findings that McCaffrey made, including the following: