On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Byron Pitts filed a report on the causes of and potential solutions for Philadelphia's high murder rate in which the correspondent heard from several people who approached the problem from a liberal point-of-view while the NRA's Wayne LaPierre voiced a conservative point-of-view on the issue. While LaPierre stressed the need for more prosecutions of criminals, other activists blamed the crime problem on such issues as income "disparity," "availability of guns," and "inherent racism." (Transcript follows)
Journalists far and wide are still crying about Rupert Murdoch possibly owning the Wall Street Journal. Vanity Fair's Michael Wolff said a Murdoch-owned WSJ would suffer "the loss of a few points of I.Q., a quickened pace, a higher sense of drama, less accurate, perhaps, but less tedious too, and, likely, a keener instinct for following the money." So for all of you psych majors who thought IQ scores were static; you've apparently never met a journalist who was told to be fair. By the way, isn't the most precious tenet of journalism "following the money"?
LA Times' Tim Rutten shocks us with the real reason the NY Times and Baltimore Sun reject forced embargoes and try to wreck your Harry Potter night with pre-dawn spoilers; "...it's about money." Harry Potter spoilers, classified information spoilers, apparently Pinch Sulzberger has a different take on "follow the money."
Brent Bozell, President of NewsBusters parent the Media Research Center, appeared Tuesday night on the Fox News Channel's Hannity & Colmes. Topic: Swirling questions about the accuracy of The New Republic's "Baghdad Diarist," writing under the pseudonym "Scott Thomas," a presumed soldier who has penned derogatory stories about the behavior of U.S. soldiers in Iraq running over dogs, ridiculing maimed Iraqis and playing with the skulls of kids.
Bozell pointed out how the New Republic only says “they know who he is with near certainty,” which is like saying you're “almost pregnant.” Noting that the magazine's editors now promise to look into the accuracy of the stories, Bozell wondered: “Ought not they not to have done that before?” Bozell recited a list of previous media distortions about Iraq, from CBS's National Guard story to exaggerating Haditha, and agreed with Sean Hannity that the magazine has an agenda. Bozell contended the magazine is motivated by wanting to make a statement that “America is wrong in Iraq,” an assertion rejected by Alan Colmes.
One way you can tell the media roots for liberal Democrats is by how it can’t choose just one for president. They’re all still viable, so...they’re all still fabulous. Trying to say one is better than the others seems just impossible for some reporters. And what about when the candidates fight each other? The fights are minimized, since Democratic party unity is important for their electability.
As Matthew Balan has mentioned, CNN has offered praise to all the Democratic candidates, but to me, political reporter Candy Crowley seemed a perfect example of that telltale Praise Everybody Syndrome. On Tuesday’s American Morning, Crowley asserted, that Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama, "all did really well in getting their points across," even when they were fighting each other. From Crowley, this sounded a bit repetitive – because she also spread praise all over the candidates – and a few candidate spouses – last Friday morning, and even as anchor John Roberts explained their recent spats, she refused to elaborate on the fights and turned the subject back to praising Democrats all around.
Every four years, journalists present themselves as objective questioners in presidential debates only to be roundly, and correctly, denounced by conservatives for being anything but. When, oh when, we ask, will America be able to enjoy a candidate forum free from liberal reporters inserting their slanted worldviews into the discussion? When, oh when, we ask ourselves, will they get out of the way?
It looks like we should be very careful what we ask for.
The Chicago Tribune's Frank James thinks the Democrats really need to stop this insistence on retreat... from the word liberal. In short, James wrote at the paper's "The Swamp" blog today, if Democrats don't hunker down and fight Republicans on the dreaded L-word, the GOP will keep moving on and make "progressive" an epithet as well.
Here's James' argument, portions in bold are my emphasis:
My headline really says it all. In an article that sets out to determine why New Haven, Connecticut would choose to offer official ID cards to illegal immigrants, while Hazleton, Pennsylvania enacted legislation that would make it difficult for illegals to obtain employment and housing, Hazleton ends up with the short end of the stick. It's all in the wording.
Right away, we discover that New Haven "has a long and rich history of liberal politics" while Hazleton is "a conservative city in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania." It's a classic case of sophisticated city folk versus uncultured hillbilly rubes. I can hear "Duelling Banjos" now...
If you read the article through, you'll notice that New Haven mayor Joe DeStefano is given more quote "airtime" than Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta. Compare this:
"[T]here is unmitigated good news," proclaimed Ali Velshi about the minimum wage increase on the July 24 "American Morning." While the business reporter admitted "there are lots of sides to the story," he still called it "good news."
Back on January 2, Velshi stated that the current minimum wage of $5.15 an hour is "simply not fair." He had trouble with math in that "American Morning" appearance stating that the minimum wage comes out to $900 a week, when he likely meant $900 a month.
This time, Velshi was right with the math and left with his politics.
"The bottom line is you can't underpay people. And we've been underpaying people," said Velshi.
Unlike their "American Morning" counterparts who liked most of the candidates, CNN legal analyst Jeff Toobin and CNN contributor Roland Martin had clear favorites on who was the best Democrat at the CNN/YouTube.com debate. In the post-debate special on Monday night, host Wolf Blitzer asked Toobin about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's response to a YouTube video questioner who asked whether the candidates would meet with the leaders of rogue counties like Iran, Syria, and North Korea in their first year in office. Toobin gushed, "I thought on this issue, and throughout the debate, this debate was Gladys Knight and the Pips. Hillary Clinton is the dominant figure in the party. She's the dominant figure in the debate. And everybody else was responding to her." About twenty minutes later, Martin took issue with Toobin's comments, and argued that Obama did as well as Hillary in his answer.
Orson Scott Card is an award-winning science fiction author who made his first huge step into the political arena on the day before Election Day 2006 when he wrote an op-ed - as a life-long Democrat, mind you - declaring (emphasis added):
If control of the House passes into Democratic hands, there are enough withdraw-on-a-timetable Democrats in positions of prominence that it will not only seem to be a victory for our enemies, it will be one.
Four months later, he wrote a piece for the Greensboro, North Carolina, paper he's been writing for since shortly after the attacks on 9/11 - The Rhinoceros Times - that largely slipped under the radar until Meridian magazine republished it this month (h/t Tim Ball).
In his own inimitable style, Card meticulously debunked the infamous "Hockey Stick Hoax" that much of global warming alarmism is based on, and, after doing so, concluded (emphasis added):
The list of media-approved drinks in dwindling. Bottled water is out for its contribution to global warming, we're not supposed to chuckle at beer ads and energy drinks make kids sick according to the news media.
Soda "may be bad for our hearts," worried CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric.
The CBS report focused on a woman "hooked" on soda, consuming eight glasses of soda a day according to CBS Medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook.
What CBS left out was an industry response, although the network had the opportunity. The American Beverage Association told Business & Media Institute that "Evening News" interviewed ABA president Susan Neely, but left it out of the broadcast.
Filling in on July 17 for Keith Olbermann, MSNBC's Alison Stewart devoted a "Countdown" segment to criticizing the dress Wendy Vitter wore during a July 16 news conference in which her husband, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), admitted to an affair with a prostitute.
With "Fashion Ho-Pas?" emblazoned on-screen (pictured at right), Stewart interviewed Radar Online's Jeff Bercovici, who snarked that Vitter's sartorial choice could mark "a complete reversal of the laws of skankery." [Video (1:37):Real (2.54 MB) and Windows (2.90MB), plus MP3 audio (753 kB)]
Olbermann returned to his program's hosting duties the next day and also hosted the July 19 program before turning over the helm yet again to Stewart for his July 20 show*, despite having had three days to become aware of the "ho-pas" segment, take disciplinary action against Stewart, and make her issue an apology. Olbermann either saw the light or felt the heat over the weekend, apparently, as he issued an apology about one-third of the way through his July 23 program (h/t Ian Schwartz):
On the July 24 edition of "The Early Show," co-host Harry Smith interviewed home and garden expert Danny Lipford on how to keep gardens irrigated under parched conditions. Lipford demonstrated a lawn belt that can soak the grass beneath the surface. Such a product will "only cost you about $140.
Harry Smith, who's income is safe to assume to be much higher than the average American, gleefully responded, "now that the minimum wage is up, maybe we can afford it." Smith was clearly responding to the new increase in the minimum wage, effective today, of $5.85 per hour.
CNN "American Morning" co-hosts Kiran Chetry and John Roberts, in a discussion on Tuesday morning on the Democrat presidential candidates' performance CNN/YouTube.com debate, could only offer constructive criticism to one of the candidates, and nothing but praise for most of the others. Roberts gushed, "You know, I think that Hillary Clinton did really, really well last night. I thought John Edwards did well.... Barack Obama, I thought was very good as well. I was a little disappointed in Mike Gravel."
Chetry responded: "You know, and Joe Biden got off a couple of one-liners. Dennis Kucinich also did really do what he is best at doing, which is showing how different he is from some of the other candidates." Neither said anything about Chris Dodd or Bill Richardson, but given they offered praise for all of the others but Gravel, odds are they would have said something positive about them if they were given an opportunity.
As CBS and NBC evening newscasts ignored dropping gas prices on July 23, ABC's Charles Gibson found a way to provide negative spin.
"News today in this country, that gas guzzling is getting cheaper while coffee guzzling gets more expensive. The price of gas took a dive in the past week. The government says it was down nine cents a gallon, to an average of $2.96," Gibson said on "World News with Charles Gibson."
But the cost of an optional Starbucks latte has nothing to do with gasoline. Still, Gibson oddly correlated the nine-cent price drop per gallon of gas since last week with the nine-cent price increase at the popular coffee joint.
He's a "burly man" with "rhetorical punch" from Catholic, blue collar roots in Baltimore who trekked a "remarkable rise" to become "one of Maryland's most powerful public officials." But today former state senator Thomas Bromwell (D-Md.) finds himself facing a judge and entering a guilty plea in a federal racketeering case that's been years in the marking. Reporting the story, the Washington Post's Philip Rucker calls Bromwell's saga "one of the state's largest public corruption investigations in years." Yet nowhere in Rucker's Metro section front pager "Bromwell Says He Accepts His Fate," is any mention of the politician's party affiliation, Democratic.
Ex-CBS anchor Dan Rather is stepping up his sour grapes routine against Katie Couric, telling TVWeek magazine that it's only a matter of time before his former employer cancels the "Evening News" entirely:
Dan Rather, who last month accused broadcast networks of dumbing down and tarting up their newscasts [a story which you heard here first], said he can foresee a time when media company executives retreat from evening news production.
“I think we’ll see the time when someone at the top says, ‘We can give this time back to affiliates,’” Mr. Rather said Monday in a discussion with TelevisionWeek Publisher and Editorial Director Chuck Ross at the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing convention in Washington.
As NewsBusters reported Monday, a writer named Corey Mitchell posted an amazingly disgraceful blog at the liberal website Daily Kos Thursday stating that the United States armed forces were creating serial killers and mass murderers.