Last Sunday’s (January 17) episode of Shameless, Showtime’s dramady about a family which excels at scheming to rip off government programs, featured a scene in which a teenager refused to agree to get an abortion. When older sister “Fiona” argues “you have a choice,” pregnant 15-year “Debbie” retorts: “I choose to have the baby.” “Debbie” soon yells: “I’m not killing my baby.” To which, “Fiona” counters: “It’s not a baby. It’s a few cells.” That prompts Debbie to hold up her smartphone screen, demanding: “Does this look like a few cells?”
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center (MRC), the publisher of NewsBusters. He’s been the central figure in the MRC’s News Analysis Division since the MRC’s 1987 founding and in 2005 spearheaded the launch of NewsBusters.
Baker oversees the selection of the award nominees and “winners” for the MRC’s “DisHonors Awards,” presented at an annual gala, and each week he helps the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard select a “Mainstream Media Scream.” Those picks are added, on a one week delay, to NewsBusters. (Archive for 2012-2014 on MRC.org)
In 2001, Weekly Standard Executive Editor Fred Barnes dubbed Baker “the scourge of liberal bias.”
For 13 years he compiled and edited the daily CyberAlert e-mail and online report. In late May of 2009 the CyberAlert became an e-mail-only product based on BiasAlert postings on the MRC's Web site. BiasAlerts since early 2012. (In February 2015, the MRC discontinued posting BiasAlerts on MRC.org and began feeding the newsletter via CyberAlert posts on NewsBusters).
An avid fan of the Washington Capitals NHL hockey team, in January of 2009 the Washington Post's "DC Sports Bog" took note of Baker's attendance at a Caps game with John Kerry: "The Caps, John Kerry and a Scourge."
Baker lived in Massachusetts through high school, whereupon he fled the liberal commonwealth for George Washington University in DC and, since graduation, a life in Northern Virginia. Full bio on MRC.org.
Americans “will offer congratulations for just about anything,” Jimmy Kimmel observed in setting up a clip from his Wednesday night ABC show in which people on the street outside his Los Angeles studio treated North Korea’s supposed successful test of a hydrogen bomb as an achievement worth congratulating.
Ooops. CNN’s Anderson Cooper seemingly let slip on Thursday night what anyone who has a watched a presidential press conference already knows, but journalists are usually loath to admit: The White House press corps favor President Obama’s policies and so don’t challenge him on them. Following CNN’s “town hall” on guns with Obama, Cooper explained his approach: “I wanted him to actually address people who disagree with him, not just people who agree with him that so often happens at, you know, a presidential news conference.”
Reviewing Newsweek veteran Jon Meacham’s biography of former President George H.W. Bush, Thomas J. Duesterberg observed in The Weekly Standard that Meacham portrays the 41st President‘s life through a liberal prism. For instance: “The policies of Ronald Reagan are viewed from a decidedly unsympathetic and formulaic viewpoint, which follows the consensus, left-of-center perspective.”
Michael Simon, who headed the 2008 Obama presidential campaign’s targeting and analytics team, has joined CBS Radio, the Tom Taylor Now radio industry e-mail newsletter reported last week. Taylor relayed how “Simon worked on the Obama campaign and later in the administration itself. He also started the ‘data science consultancy’ named HaystaqDNA.” Tagline on HaystaqDNA’s Web site: “We pioneered the predictive analytics that helped the Obama campaign make history.”
You could hear it in her voice. Hosting Meet the Press on Sunday, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell was clearly exasperated by Donald Trump daring to warn Hillary Clinton he would raise Bill Clinton’s “penchant for sexism” if he campaigns for her. Mitchell was so annoyed by it that she brought it up during three segments. First, with Bernie Sanders, she let out a loud sigh in highlighting Trump “attacking” Bill Clinton: “Are we going to get into an argument not only of sexism between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton but, eh, Donald Trump attacking Bill Clinton?”
“At the very top of my naughty list” for the year, the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes announced on the Christmas Day edition of FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier, are “the mainstream media.” Hayes cited how “the coverage of President Obama and Hillary Clinton in particular this past year has been abysmal,” pointing to the failure to correct Obama’s “unequivocally wrong” assertions about Guantanamo and how, re Benghazi, “the media basically celebrated the fact she had won a victory over those mean and evil Republicans.”
An amusing video collection as we enter the last shopping day before Christmas: From ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live last week, clips from some of the wackiest product offers in TV ads. Kimmel dubbed it the “As Seen on TV Gift Guide” with the “must-see items of 2015.”
Headline atop the page two “Voices” column in Tuesday's USA Today by Trevor Hughes, the Denver-based correspondent for the newspaper: “How I came to decide to buy a gun.” “After months of soul-searching, I’ve decided to buy a handgun,” Hughes began, later making an obvious point so many journalists would prefer to avoid: “You don’t see terror attacks in this country on areas where there’s lots of armed men and women. Instead, it’s those soft targets that get hit.”
Seemingly unable to tell the difference between a man who affirmatively asserted racist assumptions about the physical abilities of a whole race and a man doing his job by pressing lawyers about a contention in a brief, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd smeared Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: “I couldn’t help but think of Al Campanis on Nightline.” Ted Koppel, a panelist on Sunday’s show who interviewed Campanis on ABC’s Nightline back in April of 1987, agreed: “You know, it’s funny. I was thinking of Al Campanis too.”
Demonstrating there’s no space between liberal politicians and major media figures – once they feel free in retirement to express their true views which guided their news judgments during their careers – long-time ABC News correspondent and anchor Charlie Gibson on Wednesday afternoon dismissed the relevance of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails or Benghazi: “I don’t think there’s anything to Benghazi and I don’t think there’s anything to the e-mails.”
Previewing last Monday’s episode of FX’s Fargo, set in 1979, I highlighted a promotional clip in which a man declared “I’m not shaking” Ronald Reagan’s hand because Reagan “made a movie with a monkey. It wouldn’t be dignified.” In fact, the November 9 episode presented Reagan as a charismatic figure whose “shining city on a hill” speech, at a campaign stop in Minnesota, moved the man to tears. And, when Reagan later approached the man, he eagerly shook Reagan’s hand.
A promo run at the end of last week’s Fargo, to plug tonight’s (Nov. 9) new episode on FX, showed Ronald Reagan, in 1979, shaking hands at a campaign stop as a character out of his earshot declared: “I’m not shaking his hand.” Asked why not, the man explained: “Because the man made a movie with a monkey. It wouldn’t be dignified.”
Another Hollywood liberal infatuated by Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Actress Jill Hennessy, best-known for starring roles in NBC’s Law & Order and Crossing Jordan, hailed Hillary Clinton: “I just think she has accomplished more than most people accomplish in about five lifetimes.” But she was quick to also trumpet Bernie Sanders: “I find him really inspiring. I think he’s tremendous.”
Comedian Amy Schumer got a surprise during Saturday Night Live when the Manhattan audience didn’t display much enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton. In her monologue, she set up a series of jokes by relaying how “I just met Hillary – yeah, I was pretty psyched about that.” After a smattering of applause, she noted her disappointment with the audience: “A little discouraging, the amount of applause.”
On the Monday night debut, with a new host, of Comedy Central’s Daily Show, Trevor Noah didn’t display previous host Jon Stewart’s obsession with the Fox News Channel, but he did continue Stewart’s liberal politics. Noah, who promised at the top of the show that he would “continue the war on bullshit,” soon delivered a line favorably comparing socialist Bernie Sanders with the Pope before offering very unoriginal ridicule of “radical conservatives” over the departure of House Speaker John Boehner.
Proving he’s a liberal first and a comedian second, Stephen Colbert, who had a very friendly session last Friday with socialist Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, was more hostile on Monday night to the political positions of Republican presidential contender Senator Ted Cruz, whom he described as “far right.” Colbert pushed him to match Ronald Reagan by agreeing to raise taxes and offer amnesty before challenging him on gay marriage.
NBC’s Jimmy Fallon began his Wednesday night sit-down with Hillary Clinton by contrasting her supposed vast experience with the leading Republicans who, he declared, “have no experience.” Fallon told her “the two leaders over there on the Republican Party, one is a real estate mogul. The other guy is a neurosurgeon.” He then touted her: “You were a Senator, you were First Lady, Secretary of State. Is it possible that you have too much experience to become the President of the United States?”
Three days before CNN’s Republican presidential candidates debate, Jake Tapper, the moderator of it, predicted at least one of those on stage will try to distract from the real issues by attacking him. “I anticipate that at some point somebody is going to take a shot at me as the straw man, as the stand-in for the media writ large,” Tapper forecast Sunday morning from the site of the debate, the Reagan Presidential Museum and Library.
TBS’s Conan commissioned a song on behalf of Rhode Island’s leading candidate for President, Democrat Lincoln Chafee. FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier made a clip of that parody song, “Let’s Get Lincoln Chafee to One Percent!” its end of show kicker this past Monday night where fill-in host Shannon Bream facetiously pleaded: “One percent. You want a man to have a fighting chance.”