Despite growing scientific evidence that humans are to blame for warming the planet — rising sea level, melting glaciers, more intense droughts — polls show the number of Americans who believe global warming is happening is at its lowest point in 12 years.It should be noted that the Washington Post/ABC News poll Sandell cited was conducted between November 12 and 15, before the revelations of e-mails from Britain’s Climatic Research Unit which suggest conniving among left-wing scientists to manipulate data and silence critics.
Rich Noyes is currently Research Director at the Media Research Center where he is co-editor of Notable Quotables, MRC’s bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media, and the Media Reality Check, a regular analysis of how major news stories are distorted or ignored.
Noyes has authored or co-authored many of MRC’s authoritative Special Reports, including: The Censorship Election: How the Broadcast Networks Buried the Bad News That Threatened Barack Obama’s Quest for a Second Term; TV’s Tea Party Travesty: How ABC, CBS and NBC Have Dismissed and Disparaged the Tea Party Movement; Cheerleaders for the Revolution: Network Coverage of Barack Obama’s First 100 Days; Better Off Red? Twenty Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Recalling the Liberal Media’s Blindness to the Evils of Communism; and Megaphone for a Dictator: CNN’s Coverage of Fidel Castro's Cuba, 1997-2002.
An expert with nearly 30 years of experience studying the news media’s impact on U.S. politics, Noyes has discussed the issue of liberal bias on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC and dozens of radio talk shows, and has authored articles which have appeared in the Journal of Political Science, New York Post, Investor’s Business Daily, Roll Call and Human Events.
As Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby observed Wednesday: “Assuming the e-mails are genuine, they are nothing short of scandalous. They reveal celebrated climate scientists apparently conspiring to corrupt the peer-review process, to suppress or finesse temperature data at odds with global-warming alarmism, to silence or discredit climate experts who criticize their work, and to hide or eliminate the raw data on which their own much-trumpeted claims have been based.”
Yet since the story broke, the MRC’s Business & Media Institute (BMI) discovered just one broadcast news reference to the “Climategate” e-mail scandal, on ABC’s This Week November 29; CBS and NBC have yet to inform their viewers.
In 2007, as Brent Baker chronicled at the time in the MRC's CyberAlert, the broadcast network evening newscasts jumped to hype a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing meant to publicize a report from two far-left groups about how the Bush administration supposedly suppressed science about the dire threat of global warming — as if that view wasn’t getting plenty of play in the mainstream media.
But he quickly added: “I’d still vote for it.” (Video here.)
NPR’s Nina Totenberg attempted to defend the Senate bill as one that “actually tries to do something about costs.” But she, too, was insistent on the need for congressional passage: “I am not saying it’s ideal. But we have to start this. But if we don't get a health care bill this time, it is probably the last chance.”
ABC’s Good Morning America finally picked up on the deep bow President Obama performed for the Emperor of Japan over the weekend. Co-host Diane Sawyer ran through how other U.S. Presidents have greeted either Emperor Akhito or his father, the late Emperor Hirohito over the years — some bowing, some not. Sawyer claimed that Americans are “not trained to greet royalty” and “it’s just too confusing.”
Actually, the government employs lots of experts on culture and protocol to make sure that our presidents are fully “trained” on what to do when they represent our government overseas — which is not to say that all of our presidents perform these duties flawlessly.
Missing from Sawyer’s run-down is a tidbit that ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper posted on his “Political Punch” blog Sunday afternoon. Tapper said he received a note from an old friend whom he described as “an academic with expertise about the Japanese Empire, and in general a supporter of President Obama.” According to this expert, it wasn’t necessarily incorrect for Obama to bow, but the President’s “forward lurch” was “jarring and inappropriate.”
Noting tomorrow’s 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Sunday’s Today show, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw claimed East Germans were “still adjusting to the harsh economic realities” of life after communism. But a recent poll of former East bloc countries by the Pew Research Center actually discovered that the people of what was East Germany are actually the biggest enthusiasts of the shift to capitalism, with 82% approving, higher than any other ex-communist country.
Brokaw did note, however, that the current “center-right” Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, was “born and raised in East Germany,” implicitly acknowledging that her youth spent under communism obviously did not make her a fan of leftist economic policies.
The suggestion that capitalism is somehow “harsh” compared to communism echoes what many liberal journalists argued after the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago. “The transition from communism to capitalism is making more people more miserable every day,” CBS reporter Bert Quint argued in 1990.
On June 12, 1987, as the liberal media elite were toasting the leader of the Soviet Union as a great champion of progress, President Ronald Reagan stood at the Berlin Wall and challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to put his money where his mouth was: “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” (Video.)
Gorbachev did not open the gate or tear down the Berlin Wall, but two years later the people of East Germany did. News broke in the U.S. late in the afternoon (Eastern Time) on November 9, 1989 that the communist government would no longer restrict travel to West Berlin. Just a few hours later, ABC’s PrimeTime Live hosted former President Ronald Reagan to celebrate what would turn out to be the death blow against communism in Eastern Europe. We found the tape in our archives, and posted a video excerpt at right. (Audio excerpt here.)
For our report, Better Off Red?, Scott Whitlock and I combed through the MRC’s archives; the quotes (and 19 audio/video clips) we pulled together show some liberal journalists utterly failed to accurately depict communism as one of the worst evils of the 20th century, and often aimed their fire at those who were fighting communism rather than those who were perpetuating it. The full report has more than 70 quotes; here's a sample from the Executive Summary:
■ Before it collapsed, these journalists insisted those enslaved by communism actually feared capitalism more. "Despite what many Americans think, most Soviets do not yearn for capitalism or Western-style democracy," CBS anchor Dan Rather asserted in 1987.
Couric disclosed the news in a brief item that never mentioned The One by name: “It's the biggest IOU Uncle Sam has ever written. Government figures out today show for the last fiscal year, which just ended, the United States spent a record 1.4 trillion dollars more than it took in. That's three times more than the year before.”
New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes this morning noted that Obama’s deficit is much larger as a percentage of GDP than during the 1980s, when Democrats attacked Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts as fiscally reckless:
Earlier today, the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack reported that the Huffington Post had asked author Jack Huberman to document quotes allegedly from Rush Limbaugh declaring that slavery “had its merits” and that the assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr. deserved the Medal of Honor.The quotes were widely cited as real by several sports writers and on CNN and MSNBC in the past week as proof that Limbaugh was a racist who did not deserve to own part of the St. Louis Rams football team. But the Huffington Post has now removed them, saying the author has not been able to substantiate them.
[UPDATE: CNN's Rick Sanchez also, apologizes, sort of, via Twitter: "our bad."]
This editor’s note appeared early this evening on the 2006 blog by the liberal Huberman, who was pitching his then-new book, 101 People Who Are REALLY Screwing America:
The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack has a fine run-down of CNN’s use of the discredited claim that Rush Limbaugh once said of slavery “it had its merits.” McCormack also reports that the Huffington Post, which originally ran the quote (and another preposterous quote about Limbaugh saying that MLK assassin James Earl Ray deserved “the Congressional Medal of Honor”) in a 2006 post by left-wing author Jack Huberman, might pull the quotes from their Web site as early as today.
McCormack contacted the Huffington Post, and was told by a spokeswoman that “now that the issue has been raised,” Huberman has now been asked to back up the quote. “When a question of accuracy is raised with us, we give our bloggers 24 hours to either back up the claim or correct the record. If not, we remove the post.”
McCormack, playing off the fact that CNN’s Rick Sanchez has yet to retract the statement, says: “So around 6:00 p.m. tonight we'll get to find out whether the Huffington Post has higher editorial standards than CNN.”
Back on October 7, Post-Dispatch sports writer Bryan Burwell was the first to inject the quote into the debate about whether an investment group including Limbaugh should be able to buy the St. Louis Rams; in his column today, Burwell suggested it didn’t really matter if the quote was a “fabrication.”
So what are we left with? Well, essentially, I think we just threw a deck chair off the Titanic. There is still a huge pile of polarizing, bigoted debris stacked up on the deck of the good ship Limbaugh that he can't deny or even remotely distance himself from.That doesn’t sound very contrite for a writer who jump-started a nasty round of character assassination with a quote that his own newspaper says needs further “research” to confirm.
<div style="float: right"><object width="240" height="194"><param name="movie" value="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=GdSUnz8z2G&sm=1"></para... name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=GdSUnz8z2G&sm=1" allowfullscreen="true" width="240" height="194"></embed></object></div>Moments after President Obama’s remarks in the Rose Garden this morning, NBC anchor Brian Williams took a weird shot at the blogosphere as the “comic element of our society,” suggesting perhaps that Obama or the Nobel committee would face three days of mockery over what Williams in the same broadcast himself termed the “bizarre” selection of Obama as this year’s Peace Prize Winner.<br /><br />In his typically overblown and convoluted fashion, Williams argued to White House reporter Chuck Todd that <b>“the way our society and civilization is set up now,” the “comic element of our society -- the blogosphere, pundits, the opinion-based economy in the United States” would “just get a free shot and have at it for the next three days at least.”</b> [MP3 audio <a href="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/10/2009-10-09-NBC-Will... target="_blank">available here</a>]<br />
Meet the Press moderator David Gregory felt the need to point out the “left-leaning” impulse of the Europeans who christened Obama as the world’s leading peacemaker for 2009: “This is a lot more about tone than it is substantive accomplishment. In many ways, this is a European body who is more left-leaning, certainly, and opposed to the administration of George W. Bush.”
Lauer followed up: “So, what you're saying in some ways and, again, not to be rude here or sarcastic, that in some ways he wins this award for not being George W. Bush?”
For the media, Gallup’s news is not good: Only ten percent of Americans say they have a “great deal” of trust in the media, while “about 2 in 10 Americans (18%) have no confidence in the media at all — which is also among the worst grades Gallup has recorded.” Three out of four Republicans (74%) and nearly half of independents (45%) join one-fifth of Democrats (21%) in seeing the press as “too liberal.”
Among the key findings, as written up by Gallup’s Lymari Morales in an October 1 report:
Now is the time for the mainstream media to show it’s not totally in President Obama’s pocket. The Washington press corps will never fault Obama for pushing hyper-liberal policies in a moderate-to-conservative country. Ideological criticism by the press is reserved for Republican presidents.
But the media is faced with three facts as a result of Obama’s embarrassing failure in Copenhagen. 1) The failure itself. 2) The incompetence. 3) The lack of persuasive ability. There’s nothing ideological about any of these items....
The very next day, the Massachusetts Senate passed the bill that would partially reverse the law Democrats passed in 2004 to prevent a Republican governor from naming a Senate replacement if Senator John Kerry had been elected president. The bill reached Governor Patrick yesterday, and today, Patrick announced the selection of former Democratic National Chairman Paul Kirk to become Senator until the state’s voters pick a permanent replacement in January.
Earlier this week, as the front-page story in today’s Investor’s Business Daily noted, the Los Angeles Times ran a front-page story touting the American Medical Association (AMA)’s backing of President Obama’s health care plans, while a National Public Radio publicized a poll funded by a pro-ObamaCare group to claim that “nearly three-quarters of doctors said they favor a public option.”
The IBD/TIPP poll of 1,376 physicians suggests that the AMA does not represent most doctors as it advertises and lobbies on behalf of the administration’s plan, and offers a second opinion to the poll (of 991 physicians) originally published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggesting strong support for a bigger government role.
Big liberal protests, such as the Million Mom March (for gun control), the 2006 demonstrations in favor of illegal immigrants’ “rights,” and numerous anti-war marches all garnered heavy play and adoring coverage from the broadcast networks, cable news outlets, and big papers like the New York Times. So how did those news outlets react to Saturday’s huge protest with conservative themes? MRC’s analysts scrutinized the coverage; here’s their report card:
■ ABC, CBS and NBC: The broadcast networks did not offer any pre-rally coverage before Saturday’s protests, but offered decent coverage of the event itself. ABC’s World News on Saturday was pre-empted by college football, but Good Morning America offered full reports on both Saturday and Sunday, as did NBC’s Today. Both the NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News led with the rally on Saturday night, although CBS’s morning news shows gave the protest almost no attention.
The tone of coverage, however, was largely antagonistic.
Both ABC’s World News and the NBC Nightly News, in contrast, offered full reports on the killing of Pouillon and a local businessman, but offered different explanations. According to NBC’s John Yang, prosecutors said the killer, Harlan Drake, had grudges against his victims and another intended target but “none of them were specifically related to anti- or pro-abortion beliefs.”
Over on ABC, however, reporter Chris Bury showed a soundbite from the Owosso police chief that sure sounded like a grudge against Pouillon’s protests: “Mr. Drake did not believe the children should view the graphic material that was on the signs that Mr. Pouillon carried.”
And ABC’s Bury claimed Friday’s killing of the peaceful protester represented “the flip side of the troubling violence surrounding the abortion debate,” and equated the pro-life activist with the doctor who performed late-term abortions: “George Tiller and Jim Pouillon, on opposite sides of the abortion divide, but both victims of the hate that too often surrounds it.”