As the MRC’s Tim Graham noted earlier today, Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales provided conservatives with quite a laugh when he asserted in Wednesday’s edition of the paper that "even critics of Rather" would have to admit the man has firm "integrity." Appearing on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe," he went even further. According to Shales, Rather’s comments about Katie Couric "tart[ing]" up the news couldn’t have been sexist, because "liberals, so called, don't go around calling women names like that."
Does the name Don Imus ring any bells? "Morning Joe," with host Joe Scarborough, even airs in the exact same time slot, on the same network. How quickly people forget.
The cover of this week’s Newsweek touts a story inside on "Hillary’s Likability Gap." That’s not exactly how it’s pitched inside, where the magazine tries another attack on right-wing Clinton haters titled "The New War on Hillary." Reporters Jonathan Darman and Mark Hosenball ponder the "haters’ fury," and remember the bad old days of First Lady Hillary: "Installed in Washington, Hillary morphed into a comic-book villain for her detractors – a man-eating feminist, they claimed, who allegedly threw lamps at her husband, communed psychically with Eleanor Roosevelt and lit a White House Christmas tree adorned with sex toys. The narrative of depravity – a tissue of inventions by conservatives – was often hard to follow."
But wait, wait: who "invented" Hillary’s seances with Jean Houston conjuring up Eleanor Roosevelt in the White House? That story emerged from the keyboard of Bob Woodward – no conservative – in 1996. Newsweek wrote an article lamenting the story, hailing Hillary as a persecuted "Joan of Arc figure." And what about the lamp-throwing? Newsweek really launched those rumors nationwide (albeit with sympathy toward poor Hillary) in the April 5, 1993 edition:
Does "Good Morning America" have a masochistic streak? On Wednesday, GMA host Chris Cuomo allowed liberal filmmaker Michael Moore to claim that due to the failure of journalists in challenging President Bush’s claims about pre-war Iraq intelligence, ABC and other networks are "complicit" in the deaths of American soldiers:
Al Roker was one of the villagers with torches who stormed the castle demanding that Don Imus be fired, but now the foot is in the other mouth. On the June 7 edition of the “Today” show, during a segment discussing London's truly horrible 2012 Olympic logo, which was said to have driven people into epileptic seizures upon viewing, Roker cracked a joke about the disorder. Without turning inflecting a politically correct tone or blowing the situation out of proportion, the New York Post reported his comments and next-day apology (hat tip: Insignificant Thoughts):
"Remember that controversial Olympic logo for the 2012 Olympics in London? Some folks have complained that the campaign actually sent them into epileptic seizures," Roker said on Thursday's show.
"Well, we asked you to weigh in on our Web site in an informal poll; those of you who could get up off the floor after shaking around were able to actually log in…"
I guess things have changed since Roker wrote in his blog that he was sick of the “ 'humor' at others expense” and “the cruelty that passes for funny” (bold mine throughout):
The liberal media love to talk about "victims," particularly victims of alleged economic or social oppression, such as illegal immigrants, children without enough Head Start funding, the homeless, the transgendered, detainees at Gitmo, and so on. But when it comes to victims of left-wing ideology--i.e., Communism--the liberal media don't say too much. And this is evident in the minimal (in my view) coverage given to the dedication of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism in Washington, D.C. on June 12, an event where President Bush spoke and where some of the world's leading experts on communism's atrocities--more than 100 million victims--spoke as well.
From yesterday's dedication of the memorial, there has been some print coverage, yet most of the stories have been buried inside the papers. For instance, Los Angeles Times, p. 15; Chicago Tribune, p. 3; Miami Herald, p. 17; and the Washington Post (registration required) placed the story in its Style section but did run a page 1 story in its free "express" newspaper, distributed around D.C. Good for The Post. But, so far, I have not seen any network news coverage and only one mention on MSNBC in a Financial Times article on the MSNBC Web site. You'd think a memorial dedication to the 100 million victims of the greatest evil in modern times would get a little more attention from the dominant liberal media---but perhaps the "victim" Paris Hilton is more important to them.
Editor's Note: See also Noel Sheppard's post. Sheppard notes the controversial recount rules Broward County followed in the 2000 presidential election.
Democrats and the Left often make platitudes about how they’re for free speech. Over the course of the years however, with speech codes on college campuses, the push to criminalize "hate speech," and talk of reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, they have consistently demonstrated that their actions speak louder than their words.
In the latest case that the Left has no problem with abusing power to influence the media, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that the Broward County, Florida County Commission, which consists entirely of Democrats, is pondering cancelling a deal with WIOD, a local radio station which has been the county’s official channel for providing emergency information, due to the fact that the station is also a local affiliate for the Rush Limbaugh Show.
Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales has always been a bit of a Dan Rather apple-polisher, but today's article on Dan Rather's feud with CBS grew preposterous, when right after he wistfully noted Rather might still be the CBS anchor "if not for a botched CBS News report about President George W. Bush's lack of active service in the National Guard," he claimed everyone must acknowledge Dan's virtue:
Even critics of Rather would have to admit he has always stood, firmly and stubbornly, for hard news over fluff and for integrity in the newsroom.
No, actually critics of Rather would have to do no such thing. This is like arguing that Bill Jefferson has always stood, firmly and stubbornly, against congressional bribery.
Time TV critic James Poniewozik took great delight in two federal judges in Manhattan suggesting that the FCC can’t fine Fox for airing the F-word because some clever media person captured President Bush muttering the S-word to Tony Blair. As Brent Bozell argued, there’s a difference between profanities uttered by airhead celebrities on national TV and profanities overheard and put on the air by media people who want to embarrass Bush with his base. But Time magazine's F-bomb advocate thinks it’s time the man they call "President Pottymouth" surrendered on the decency issue:
Of course, the President and his party may try to exploit the inevitable outrage from this defeat. But actually there's another way for them to make chicken salad out of something you are now allowed to say in prime time. They could call off the decency crusade. They could say it's a good thing to protest idiotic crudity -- on the radio, on TV or on the Senate floor -- but to legislate against it is another matter. They could embrace the civil libertarians to whom they inadvertently handed a big win. What do you have to lose, Mr. President? In recent years, you have disappointed your anti-illegal-immigration base, your fiscal-conservative base and now your family-values base. But to free-speechers, after this court ruling, you are the f___ing man.
For some years, Jeff Jacoby has been a brave and lonely conservative voice on the op-ed pages of the Boston Globe, one whose voice I have admired. All the more disappointing, then, to read his column this morning, The demonizing of illegal immigrants, which could just as easily have been written by his erstwhile Globe colleague Thomas Oliphant, the quintessential effete East Coast liberal. Consider these excerpts:
Illegal immigrants don't steal across the Mexican border because they lack the patience to wait their turn in line. They do it because there is no line for them to wait in. The great majority of immigrants who enter the United States lawfully qualify for visas because of family ties: They are lucky enough to be related to a US citizen . . . For most illegal immigrants, a legal option simply doesn't exist.
Folks, the speech that British Prime Minister Tony Blair made on the 12th about the changing role of the media and how it is mostly failing to meet that change is a prescient one filled with spot on analysis and important insight.
It is a Press bashfest on one hand, but it is far more intelligent than just sourgrapes, or indiscriminate bashing of the media. It is a very intelligent analysis of the changing world of communications and how the Press has intimidated people on one hand, but failed to uphold standards and taste on the other.
I urge each and every one of you to read this great presentation because much of what Blair says with his criticisms of the failure of the Press and the changing world in which we live is echoed here every single day. Blair proves he is no politician of yesterday and shows us how deeply he has thought about the state of things now and the things to come.
On Tuesday's The Situation Room, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer covered filmmaker Michael Moore's trip to the California state capitol and rally with nurses who support his push for universal health care and the abolition of private health insurance. At one point, Blitzer plugged the segment referring to Moore getting support from "people at your hospital bedside." Blitzer: "Why's he getting some unexpected support from people at your hospital bedside?"
Correspondent Brooke Anderson reported live from the state capitol -- once during the 5:00 p.m. hour and again during the 7:00 hour -- to cover Moore's activities, as she included a clip of the filmmaker complaining about profits in the health care industry. Moore: "This doesn't look good, folks. I mean, it doesn't look good to the rest of the world, and it won't look good to the anthropologists who dig us up hundreds of years from now. They'll wonder, what were these people thinking?" (Transcript follows)
Was it the most important speech of President Reagan’s life?
Who knows? But, on the 20th anniversary of the moment many historians believe signaled the beginning of the end of the Cold War, none of the broadcast evening news programs bothered to even mention it.
Instead of covering the anniversary of President Reagan’s demands in front of the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, Germany, for Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” (video and transcript of the speech available here), ABC’s “World News with Charles Gibson” reported:
Among Tuesday's broadcast evening newscasts, the CBS Evening News uniquely relayed the positive news of a shrinking federal budget deficit, as released by the Treasury Department. As anchor Katie Couric read a brief item on the subject, she described the data as "some good news for a change" as she reported that tax revenues are "way up" and that the budget deficit is almost "35 percent lower than it was last year." Couric: "To the economy now, and some good news for a change about the deficit. It's actually shrinking."
Notably, on the Saturday June 9 edition of CNN's In the Money, during a discussion of the effect of the economy on the presidential race, guest Greg Valliere of Stanford Washington Research Group chided the media for not reporting on good economic news in light of lower budget deficit numbers as he described the overall economy as "okay" and the unemployment rate of 4.5 percent as "a great number." The show's anchor, Christine Romans, defended the media's obsession with the cost of the Iraq war. Romans: "I think one of the reasons why, and I can't speak for the rest of the media, but why there may be the perception, at least, that it's been ignored is there is an incredible amount of spending going on for the war in Iraq, and that is something that, you know, we have to pay for." (Transcripts follow)
A June 12, 2007, segment on The O'Reilly Factor addressed a recent lawsuit filed by a gay woman against online matchmaker eHarmony.com. (She's suing the company for discrimination because they do not offer matchmaking services for homosexuals.)
In the segment, lawyer Sunny Hostin stated that, due to California law, the lawsuit may have merit, even though eHarmony.com is a private company. She then opined that eHarmony could be missing out on a lot of money from "10 percent of the population" by negating homosexuals.
Well, although the line is still commonly heard today, the "10 percent" figure has been debunked. Even the homosexual community has admitted the figure is false. A Friend of the Court brief filed with the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court case said that a National Health and Social Life Survey ("the most widely accepted study of sexual practices in the United States," according to the brief) reported "that 2.8% of the male, and 1.4% of the female, population identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual." (source).
Do all balding black guys look the same to ABC News? As anchor Charles Gibson teased a Tuesday World News story, about DC administrative law judge Roy Pearson's $54 million lawsuit against a Korean family's Washington, DC dry cleaning establishment over losing a pair of his pants, viewers saw video of what clearly appeared to be ex-DC Mayor Marion Barry. Gibson announced, over video of Barry in front of the DC courthouse, “Pant Suit: Ever lost anything at the dry cleaners? This man did, and claims he deserves $54 million dollars and he's not pulling your leg.”
Barry is now a member of the District's City Council, but he has been in some legal trouble of late over charges of driving under the influence, and thus has recently visited the local courthouse.
Video clip, from the 6:30pm EDT feed of World News, of Gibson teasing the story about the suit against the dry cleaner, with video of Barry (12 secs): Real (600 KB) or Windows Media (800 KB). [See after the jump for a screen shot of the real Pearson and do your own comparison.]
Appearing on Tuesday’s edition of "Your World With Neil Cavuto," former "CBS Evening News" anchor Dan Rather talked to guest host David Asman and defended his "tarting it up" comment about successor, Katie Couric. He dismissed the "insulting" assertions by CBS President Les Moonves that his comments were sexist.
Additionally, Rather, who left CBS after famously trying to smear President Bush’s National Guard record, lamented how the network used to be "the champions of hard news." Now, he added, "They know about entertainment, but they don’t know about news." He also hoped for the continuance of "quality news with integrity."
Finally, Rather snuck in this little slam at the Bush administration. Minimizing the Couric controversy, he mentioned all the more important topics that should be discussed:
Dan Rather: "We’re talking about something infinitesimally small here. We’ve got the war. We’ve got a presidential election underway. We have the dismantling of the civil rights division of the Justice Department. These are important things."
File this one under the "no duh" department. On tonight's Hardball, Chris Matthews attempted to outline his stance on illegal immigration but prefaced it by declaring: "I don’t want to be the conservative here. I’m not comfortable playing that role."
Matthews uttered what has to be the Understatement of the Week, during an exchange with Ron Reagan Jr. and former John McCain spokesman Todd Harris, on the June 12th edition of MSNBC's Hardball.
Chris Matthews: "But let me ask you guys, I don’t want to be the conservative here. I’m not comfortable playing that role. I’m just not comfortable playing it. But I would like to see a liberal policy of immigration, a liberal policy of letting people come into work but dammit, enforce the law and stop the B.S.! Stop the undocumented workers and the clever language used. All the time, anything but enforcing the law."
“I think that it should be given by prescription so limited amounts are given out, limited amounts at a time. So, if someone is using it too much, it is monitored by a physician,” said Newman.
Anchor John Roberts did not mention other possible factors involved in Arielle Newman’s death and only provided a short statement from manufacturer Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. Nor did CNN include consult any medical experts on the show.