With two political activists, who toiled for Barack Obama, starting hosting duties today with new shows on MSNBC (Ronan Farrow’s 1 PM EST Ronan Farrow Daily and Joy-Ann Reid’s 2 PM EST The Reid Report), the Media Research Center’s list of those revolving between working on behalf of Obama and positions in the news media has reached 30. [UPDATED March 24, 2015]
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.
As explained in his post, Matthew Sheffield, the driving force behind the Media Research Center’s (MRC) decision to launch NewsBusters in 2005, is moving on to new projects for his firm, Dialog New Media.
This means some changes at the top of NewsBusters, but you can count on the site to continue to deliver what it always has: Exposing and combating liberal media bias with timely documentation of the media’s agenda, affection for Barack Obama and disdain for conservatives – with a little fun mixed in.
President Barack Obama naive on foreign policy? Perish the thought! CBS’s Bob Schieffer seemed appalled that Senator John McCain dared to describe Obama as the “most naive President in history.”
On Sunday’s Face the Nation, Schieffer demanded: “Senator I want to ask you about something you said the other day, you said that President Obama, and I believe these are your words, ‘the most naive President in history.’ Did you mean that literally, or how did you mean that?”
Steve Hayes and Charles Krauthammer, on Friday’s Special Report with Bret Baier, scoffed at the Washington Post’s front page characterization that President Barack Obama’s expected budget proposal “will call for an end to the era of austerity that has dogged much of his presidency.”
Hayes marveled: “This is one of the funny things about reading mainstream newspapers and watching mainstream media report on this President, is they somehow are operating under the illusion we’re living in this age of austerity.” Krauthammer proposed, “we have talked about Obama’s assaulting the Constitution. This is an assault on the dictionary. This is a guy who ran $4 trillion of deficit in three years...”
“Where is the mainstream media on this?” Steve Hayes of The Weekly Standard pleaded on Tuesday’s Special Report with Bret Baier in reference to President Obama’s latest decision to change the ObamaCare law. “Can you imagine if this were George W. Bush? I mean, we would be talking about a constitutional crisis, front page New York Times splashed above the fold, ‘George W. Bush: Dictator President.’ You’re seeing none of that.”
George Will zinged the media’s duplicity in how they have approached the IRS scandal versus past major scandals when a Republican was President, a lack of interest President Obama recognizes and, “hence, his sense of weariness and boredom as he discussed this with Bill O’Reilly.”
Will, on Bret Baier’s FNC panel Monday night, recalled “three big” scandals “regarding the distortion and abuse of institutions: Watergate, Iran-Contra and the IRS,” noting “the first two were ravenously covered by the media; they were Republican Presidents’ problems.”
Emmy Rossum, the 27-year-old star of Showtime’s Shameless, which has its fourth season debut tonight (Jan 12), on Wednesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live marveled at the “amazing” and “free health care” in Britain.
Recounting her travails during a recent visit to the nation with nationalized healthcare, she told Kimmel that food poisoning sent her to a hospital. “The hospitals are amazing there,” she exclaimed, citing “free health care” and how “they don’t even ask you for your I.D. You give your name, you give your symptoms, they hook you up to a bunch of fluids. They say just leave when you feel like it. You pay nothing!”
Every year, in the days before Christmas, toy expert Shannon Eis goes on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman to show off the hot toys of the season. But this year, she was greeted Wednesday night by a “Grinch” Letterman disturbed by “$20 billion a year on toys. 20 billion dollars a year!”
“I wonder if we should take some of that money and put it elsewhere,” Letterman ruminated. “I don’t want to be the Grinch here,” he deflected before being just that, fretting “but people in this country need food.”
George Will marveled in his column late last week over how “a CNN anchor wondered if an asteroid that passed by Earth on Feb. 15 was ‘an effect of, perhaps, global warming.’” That quote, however, isn’t new to you if you’ve been reading NewsBusters or attended the MRC’s 2013 “DisHonors Awards” where that was a runner-up in the “Dan Rather Memorial Award for the Stupidest Analysis.”
A prime time plug Thursday night for the joy of voting for Barack Obama. “I’m really into this. You know, elections and voting, it really means a lot to me. I mean, casting my ballot for Obama in ‘08 was one of the most meaningful things I’ve ever done,” enthused “Jasmine Trussell,” played by Joy Bryant, on Parenthood, the NBC drama about the multi-generational “Braverman” family in suburban San Francisco.
Lee Harvey Oswald was far-left defector to the Soviet Union, but you’d never know that from Sunday’s ABC This Week which focused on Dallas as a cauldron of segregationist hate for President Kennedy without any mention of the political orientation of the actual assassin.
Using Dan Rather as his expert, ex-CBS and current ABC reporter Byron Pitts perpetuated the myth that right-wing hate was somehow responsible for what occurred in Dallas: “Nowhere in Texas did the jagged edge of segregation cut deeper, anti-Kennedy sentiment spew any stronger. This flyer [“Wanted for Treason”] greeted the President when he arrived.”
Exhibit A on Friday night for how the news media are an impediment to any rational discussion of reining in federal spending. “The ax falls for more than 47 million Americans struggling to put food on the table as tonight time has run out,” NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams ominously and fatuously intoned Friday night, as if payments to them are about to be eliminated.
Spending on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), aka “food stamps,” will increase “over the next decade by 57 percent,” as the number of Americans on the program has doubled under Obama, yet NBC focused on the victims of “cuts.”
Jumping in to excuse President Obama for making the false promise (“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan”), ABC News on Tuesday night rationalized how ObamaCare is simply saving people in the individual market from being victims of awful policies forced upon them by insurance companies.
On World News, Jim Avila cited the case of Julie Prince, who has been notified her policy will be canceled. Avila turned to an ObamaCare advocate and asked: “Julie tells us that she doesn’t have hospital care on this cheap insurance plan. Is that dangerous?” Lynn Quincy of Consumers Union agreed: “Absolutely. That’s on enormous hole in her coverage.”
David Callaway, Editor-in-Chief of USA Today, is so upset by Republicans using the HealthCare.gov roll-out mess to discredit ObamaCare, that he penned an op-ed for Friday’s edition of the national newspaper to dismiss the problems as a blip with no relevance to the overall program.
Headlined “Obama’s Y2K moment,” Callaway unpersuasively equated the current situation of the ongoing dysfunctional HeathCare.gov with the concerns before January 1, 2000 about how that date change could cause computer havoc. But it did not, so he equated an actual technology mess with one that never occurred, contending the current situation is just like Y2K – a big nothing.
Some more bashing of Sarah Palin on Sunday night’s episode of CBS’s The Good Wife, but the scene also managed to deliver an illustrative dramatization of liberals in a bubble displaying arrogant condescension toward those who dare stray from liberal orthodoxy – and how they learn to despise the Fox News Channel via Jon Stewart.
A couple who are old college friends of liberal lawyer “Diane Lockhart” visit and meet her fiancé, Gary Cole as Sarah Palin supporter, gun owner and ballistics expert “Kurt McVeigh.” An appalled “Francesca” despairs: “But his views, Diane. All his views. He supports Sarah Palin!”
As anybody knows, who watched Charles Krauthammer accept the “William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence” last month at the MRC’s 2013 DisHonors Awards and Gala, Charles Krauthammer is capable of delivering funny lines and humorous anecdotes.
On Friday’s Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC, Krauthammer offered a joke in explaining why the ending of the government shutdown – with the resumption of the “Panda-Cam” – meant a panda at the National Zoo was his “loser” of the week.
“Wow, so you actually worked for Obama on his campaign in 2008!?” So gushed “Kristina Braverman,” played by Monica Potter, on last week’s episode of NBC’s Parenthood, a prime time drama about the extended, three-generation Braverman family in suburban San Francisco.
(A new episode airs tonight, Thursday, at 10 PM EDT/PDT, 9 PM CDT).
From the debate over ObamaCare over the past few years, Bob Schieffer learned not of all the problems that need to be addressed or that it lacks public support, but that it should have been enacted without delay so critics would have been thwarted. “The opponents of this have had two years to just go at it from all different angles,” he lamented.
The Washington Post’s Colby King took another stab Saturday at impugning and discrediting the Tea Party as a bunch of racists who are little more than an extension of the Confederacy. In a column titled “The rise of the New Confederacy,” King, a regular on Inside Washington, argued: “Today there is a New Confederacy, an insurgent political force that has captured the Republican Party and is taking up where the Old Confederacy left off in its efforts to bring down the federal government.”
“After the President vetoed several spending bills, not one story blamed him for the shutdown, but nearly two dozen declared the GOP culpable. Furloughed workers and other ‘victims’ were featured in half the stories.” Sound familiar? That’s from a 1996 Media Research Center study on the battle between Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich. Yes, the current shutdown showdown is deja vu all over again in who gets blamed.
To help illustrate the very familiar media tone and approach, I’ve put three clips together out of the MRC archive, starting with Bob Schieffer anchoring the Saturday, December 16, 1995 CBS Evening News: “Well, they’ve done it again. Nine days from Christmas, Republicans have forced another partial shutdown of the government because they cannot come to an agreement with the White House on how to balance the budget.”