Tim Russert was Jon Stewart’s guest on The Daily Show Tuesday night. The main course on Stewart’s menu of questions: Bush-bashing. Don’t the Bush people have an “open contempt for democracy” when they don’t submit to the All-Powerful Russert on Meet the Press? How do they “get away with their belligerence?” And when David Gregory dances behind Karl Rove at the White House correspondents dinner, why doesn’t he lean in with a microphone and assert “you lied to everybody!”
Stewart made his "open contempt for democracy" outburst after Russert complained he hasn't interviewed President Bush since 2004, Vice President Cheney since last September, and didn't interview Defense Secretary Rumsfeld in the last three years of his tenure. But Bush has submitted to plenty of other interviews (including with NBC anchors Brian Williams and Matt Lauer) not to mention press conferences. The same goes for Rumsfeld. Russert insisted to Stewart that our leaders "cannot make tough decisions unless you're willing to answer tough questions." But when has Russert submitted to a tough, adversarial TV interview about his role in the Plame-Wilson war on the White House? Never.
For a news division that prides itself on being hard-hitting, there's nothing less hard-hitting than a special where CBS News touts itself as the Historic Oasis of Truth and Fairness. That's coming again tonight with a special remembering Walter Cronkite on his 90th birthday. Most companies don't put their slobbery internal tributes up for a nation to watch, but CBS News keeps trying to live down Memogate and other embarrassments in partisan excess by playing up Cronkite. (To see a more critical look at Cronkite and his excesses, check out our Walter Cronkite Profile in Bias page.)
MRC's Justin McCarthy noticed a big promo segment on Friday's Early Show. The only honorees were Bill Clinton, George Clooney, Robin Williams and a slew of TV news buddies -- like Diane Sawyer cooing "I think he is the most wonderful combination of a certain steel of integrity but absolute humanity," and Katie Couric having a diva moment: "If I knew the answer to what made Walter Cronkite Walter Cronkite, I'd be running all three networks and every cable channel, too." The morning clip read like this:
Bob Knight, Director of the Culture and Media Institute offers these thoughts on the media's treatment of the death of Rev. Jerry Falwell.
In many of his talks to Liberty University students, the Rev. Jerry Falwell emphasized the importance of “finishing well.”
On Tuesday, May 15, he was at the top of his game when he unexpectedly died in the college office where he was planning more expansions of the fast-growing university that he founded in 1971.
The Rev. Falwell did a lot of things well, ticking off liberals right up to the end. How else would he have garnered the kind of tribute from a major newspaper’s religion writer that was headlined, “Sigh of relief over Falwell death.”
To make sure no one mistook her, Chicago Sun-Times Religion Writer Cathleen Falsani’s May 18 column explains her reaction to the news about Dr. Falwell on May 15.
On Friday, both CBS and ABC skewed their coverage of the Senate’s immigration bill to the left. Neither network featured a conservative talking head that opposed the legislation, instead "The Early Show" and "Good Morning America" simply referred to the "critics" who believe the bill would amount to amnesty for those who came to the country illegally. However, while both networks also interviewed Senator Ted Kennedy, ABC anchor Diane Sawyer actually pressed the liberal legislator with several conservative points.
GMA used flowery language to discuss the Senate’s action, describing the legislation as "landmark." Co-host Sawyer asserted, "It was a historic day to see Republicans and Democrats coming forward on something together." ABC even queried illegal aliens as to what they think of the Senate’s action:
Diane Sawyer: "Everyone taking sides. [sic] But sometimes it’s good to hear the voices from the people who are at the center of the debate. And some of these illegal 12 million have been phoning in to Talk Back, which is our website. Here's one woman who partially hid her face."
Thanks to the right blogosphere, the media's virtual embargo on the gruesome murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, the young white Tennessee couple who were gangraped and killed by a group of black criminals, has finally begun to break. Fox News reported the story yesterday. Hot Air has the video.
The air continues to seep out of the global warming consensus balloon, ladies and gentlemen.
Meet Augie Auer, the former University of Wyoming professor of atmospheric science turned New Zealand meteorologist who isn’t buying what soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore and his band of not so merry global warming alarmists are selling.
As reported by the New Zealand Timaru Herald (emphasis added throughout):
Outgoing "View" co-host Rosie O’Donnell made racist and anti-Catholic slurs during her tenure on the show. On the May 18 edition, she can now add a sexist comment to her resume. In the context of a book about a male nanny, Barbara Walters asked the co-hosts if they would like a male nanny. Rosie responded likewise.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: No, I wouldn't.
WALTERS: Not even--You would not want a male nanny?
O’DONNELL: No question about it.
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Maybe not for a daughter.
O’DONNELL: Nope. Not even for a son.
Her reasoning? Rosie applied the same argument proponents of racial profiling use noting, "the vast majority of people who sexually abuse children are male." But the vast majority of men would never sexually abuse children.
Here is a story that should make every parent proud, even those on the left side of the aisle.
A high school student up in Portland, Maine, created a website for extra credit in her Honors Earth Sciences class. Called “Ponder the Maunder,” fifteen-year-old Kristen Byrnes took on the subject of global warming, and was eventually asked to examine the veracity of Al Gore's schlockumentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”
In her piece, Byrnes quickly demonstrated what few in the media, especially Gore sycophants Laurie David, Sheryl Crow, and Leonardo DiCaprio, were able to grasp about this farcical film (emphasis added throughout):
As gas prices are on a springtime upswing and the summer driving season is upon us, NewsBusters and the Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute have documented the media's persistent hype about gas prices.
One of the claassic D.C. quotes quipped about “a billion here and a billion there.” It referred to money. We aren’t supposed to be so cavalier when we’re talking about a million here and a million there and we mean human lives.
Yesterday, a friend from Los Angeles called. The person is successful, known, part of the entertainment industry. Jerry Falwell is, my friend said, the reason I can't call myself a Christian in Hollywood. He is what everyone thinks to that when they hear the word Christian. That may well be Jerry Falwell's most enduring and most troubling legacy. Jerry Falwell almost single-handedly blurred the line between Jesus and conservative politics to the detriment of both.
A television program came out strongly against the war on terror and the war in Iraq Thursday evening, but Katie, Charlie, Brian, and Wolf weren’t involved.
Video (1:42): Real (1.23 MB) or Windows (1.04 MB), plus MP3 (1.12 MB).
In this instance, it was NBC’s hit series “ER,” and the show – about doctors, nurses, and patients in a hospital emergency room if you couldn’t guess – didn’t wait very long to take a jab at the White House (h/t NBer SpinyNorman).
In fact, the episode began with the staff being informed by desk clerk Frank Martin: “Homeland Security raised our threat level to orange this morning.”
Leading character Dr. Neela Rasgotra asked, “Well what does that mean exactly?”
It might not be surprising for liberal blog commenters or talk-radio callers to denounce Rev. Jerry Falwell upon his death, but it's a little more surprising when it comes to a professed Christian who's religion columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. Cathleen Falsani reflected on her first reaction about hearing Falwell was "relief" and compared him to gangster TV character Tony Soprano:
Knowing I didn't have a deadline to meet that day, my first thoughts were not of what to say or write.
In fact, my very first thought upon hearing of the Rev. Falwell's passing was: Good.
And I didn't mean "good" in a oh-good-he's-gone-home-to-be-with-the-Lord kind of way. I meant "good" as in "Ding-dong, the witch is dead."
Blogging at the "Couric & Co." blog, CBS producer Ward Sloane admitted that many journalists who covered the Gipper were wrong about the 40th President's political and policy acumen. Noting a new book that reveals entries from Reagan's journal, Sloane made it sound like the media were only echoing a large swath of the American electorate:
The fact is that many Americans and -- not surprisingly to some of you
reading this blog -- many members of the mainstream press believed that
Ronald Reagan was aloof and disconnected from the events that marked
his presidency. Historian Douglas Brinkley, who edited the diaries at
the invitation of Nancy Reagan, says they show Reagan to be exactly the
If the AP didn’t write about it, it didn’t happen, right? In an article about a topic I blogged earlier in the week here at Newsbusters, the AP also reported it, but with a different angle. The Primary Source, a conservative newspaper at Boston’s Tufts University was charged with harassment and creating a hostile environment on campus by publishing what the paper called political parody; they were found guilty of the charges by a disciplinary panel. The catch is, the AP worded it in a way that only reported half the story and ignored the paper's other harassment complaint that the panel was judging-at the same time-a fact-based satire of Islam.
Does L.A. Times columnist Rosa Brooks think 9-11 was "fictional and entirely implausible"? I ask, because in The GOP's Torture Enthusiasts today, that's how she describes a similar scenario that Brit Hume sketched during this past Tuesday's GOP presidential debate.
In inviting the candidates to discuss their views on interrogation during this past Tuesday's get together, debate moderator and Fox News DC Bureau managing editor Brit Hume said the following:
The questions in this round will be premised on a fictional, but we think plausible scenario involving terrorism and the response to it. Here is the premise: Three shopping centers near major U.S. cities have been hit by suicide bombers. Hundreds are dead, thousands injured. A fourth attack has been averted when the attackers were captured off the Florida coast and taken to Guantanamo Bay, where they are being questioned. U.S. intelligence believes that another larger attack is planned and could come at any time.
Brooks sniffed at the scenario, calling it "the kind that most intelligence experts consider fictional and entirely implausible."
Al Gore, "improbably charismatic"? That's the premise of this week's cover story in Time magazine, titled "The Last Temptation of Al Gore." He is, according to the ogling opening of Time writer Eric Pooley, everything the Democrats could want, "the perfect stealth candidate for 2008," with "the grass-roots appeal of Barack Obama," who "spoke out loud and clear and early" against the Iraq war, but also " candidate with the operational toughness of Hillary Clinton—someone with experience and credibility on the world stage." In short:
In other words, you would want someone like Al Gore—the improbably charismatic, Academy Award–winning, Nobel Prize–nominated environmental prophet with an army of followers and huge reserves of political and cultural capital at his command. There's only one problem. The former Vice President just doesn't seem interested.