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.

Latest from Rich Noyes
June 15, 2010, 10:32 AM EDT

None of the three broadcast evening newscasts had even a few seconds last night for video of Democratic Congressman Bob Etheridge physically grabbing and yelling at an unidentified student attempting to ask him whether he supports President Obama’s agenda. But last Thursday, after Republican senate candidate Carly Fiorina was caught making a flip remark about Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer’s hair, ABC’s World News ran a full report on that “caught on tape political moment.”

Worth noting: Back on June 10, George Stephanopoulos was sitting in for Diane Sawyer. But last night, Sawyer was back in the anchor chair.

In introducing last week's report from correspondent Jonathan Karl, Stephanopoulos touted the Fiorina flap as “the latest caught off guard, caught on tape, all too candid political moment.” The Etheridge scuffle would surely fit that same standard, but ABC’s World News had no time on Monday to mention that embarrassment for the Democrats.

June 9, 2010, 10:40 AM EDT

All three network morning shows touted the good showing by a bevy of Republican women and Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln in yesterday's primaries. NBC's Today and CBS's Early Show both headlined "Ladies Night," while ABC's Good Morning America's take was "Women Rule."

But ABC fill-in anchor Elizabeth Vargas suggested credit should really go to Hillary Clinton, because she "helped by running for president," paving the way for "all these other women about to possibly take office, high office, in those states."

Vargas's co-host and former Clinton employee George Stephanopoulos offered no comment.

Here's how ABC's Good Morning America opened their June 9 program:

June 8, 2010, 11:07 AM EDT

On Sunday’s Face the Nation, CBS legal correspondent Jan Crawford revealed how the Obama White House is “strongly” pushing back against her unsurprising report last week that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan “stood shoulder to shoulder with the liberal left” when she clerked for liberal Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Crawford says the White House reaction to her report “has been astonishing....Their reaction has been to push back so strongly on allegations, as they would put it, that she’s a liberal. Like there’s something wrong with that, like it’s a smear to say their nominee is a liberal.”

To Crawford, Team Obama’s strategy reeks of phoniness: “They’re putting enormous pressure on Elena Kagan who, as you said, is qualified. She’s an intellectual superstar. They’re putting pressure on her to portray herself in these hearings as something other than what she is. They’re thinking short-term politically and not long-term for the Court and the law and liberal judicial philosophy.”

June 6, 2010, 1:25 PM EDT

Longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas has issued a statement of “deep regret” after telling an interviewer that Israeli Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home” to Germany and Poland.

Thomas has been widely admired by the liberal establishment in the media. NBC’s Ann Curry, for example, last year saluted Thomas as “a woman who inspired me....I’ve tried to emulate her.” CBS’s Harry Smith has described her as “legendary,” adding: “What she does day after day after day, I’m not sure we value enough.”

Thomas has not been shy about expressing her left-wing views and reliably anti-Israel opinions since she became a White House “columnist” in 2000, after a lengthy career as UPI’s straight news White House correspondent. But a review shows Thomas was expressing solidly liberal opinions even as a supposedly neutral reporter:

June 3, 2010, 3:35 PM EDT

The American lawyers who flock to Guantanamo Bay to represent captured terrorists are simply fulfilling their duty to provide representation, it is often argued by those who seem to enjoy mucking up efforts to curtail future terrorism. But once representing the American beverage giant Coca Cola makes Attorney General Eric Holder a “corporatist” who’s going to “do the Devil’s work” and only “pretend” to go tough on BP after the oil spill, lefty talk radio host Mike Malloy (a onetime CNN news writer) argued Wednesday night. (Audio here.)

I guess you know this by now, the, uh, Justice Department under Eric Holder who defended, uh, was it Coca-Cola, against murder charges in, uh, South America? Good old Eric Holder, another corporatist, who, uh, is going to do the Devil’s work now and pretend that he is conducting a criminal investigation into the events that led to the oil gush?

For their part, the big three network evening newscasts reported Holder’s announcement of a “criminal investigation” against BP during their Tuesday night broadcasts, but only CBS’s Chip Reid struck what could be called a skeptical note about the Obama administration’s motives in publicly touting the investigation after a week of criticism about the federal government’s less-than-effective handling of the matter.

May 26, 2010, 4:16 PM EDT
 

For more than a month, the American Gulf Coast has been threatened by a gigantic oil spill, caused by the April 21 explosion of a British Petroleum deepwater rig. Yet unlike five years ago — when the media were quick to put the onus on the Bush administration for its handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina — for four weeks, ABC, CBS and NBC failed to scrutinize the administration’s ineffectual response to this disaster, now blasted even by such Democratic stalwarts as ex-Clinton operative James Carville.

On Wednesday’s Good Morning America, Carville accused the President of “political stupidity” for not making the oil spill a top priority. “It just looks like he’s not involved in this! Man, you have got to get down here and take control of this! Put somebody in charge of this and get this thing moving! We’re about to die down here!” Carville specifically faulted Obama for not deploying sufficient federal resources to protect the valuable marshes in southern Louisiana.                                 

May 22, 2010, 12:57 PM EDT
The front page of Saturday's New York Times screamed how "Arizona Law Reveals Split Within GOP." Fair enough. But the Democrats are ostensibly in worse shape, having publicly and visibly denounced (with the President of Mexico) a popular law that nearly two-thirds of Americans support.
May 21, 2010, 6:37 PM EDT

The top story at NYTimes.com Friday afternoon, presumably headed for the front-page of Saturday morning’s newspaper, touted how: “Immigration Law in Arizona Reveals G.O.P. Divisions.” All but one paragraph of the 30-paragraph report by Jennifer Steinhauer described the dilemma for Republicans torn between popular sentiment in favor of Arizona’s pro-enforcement stance, and the need to not alienate Hispanic voters.

Fair enough. But the Democrats are ostensibly in worse shape, having publicly and visibly denounced (with the President of Mexico) a popular law that 64% of Americans support, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

But the Times casts the GOP as stymied by the “delicacy of the issue,” even going so far as to seek wisdom from Karl Rove (not a Times favorite), identified with the soft-line approach that helped erode President Bush’s popularity among conservatives a few years ago:

May 20, 2010, 6:16 PM EDT

All three broadcast evening newscasts have repeatedly touted, as if it is a valid representation of national sentiment, the “boycott” of Arizona by liberal municipalities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. But when the Arizona Corporation Commissioner on Tuesday made a tongue-in-cheek offer to help Los Angeles out in its boycott by shutting off the electricity flow, CBS and NBC were silent.

The only network to mention the proposal to test the depths of the city’s commitment to liberal sanctimony was ABC, MRC intern Matthew Hadro discovered. White House correspondent Jake Tapper first noted how President Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon both criticized Arizona’s new immigration law at the White House, then reported:

JAKE TAPPER: The debate is intense. The Los Angeles City Council voted last month to boycott all official business in Arizona, prompting an Arizona utilities commissioner to all but threaten to cut off the electricity Arizona power plants provide L.A.
GARY PIERCE, ARIZONA CORPORATION COMMISSIONER: You can’t call a boycott on the candy store, and then decide to go in and pick and choose candy you really do want.
May 17, 2010, 6:25 PM EDT

Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter could find himself out of a job Tuesday night, if his newly-adopted Democratic Party refuses to renominate the 80-year-old incumbent for a sixth term. For the establishment media, Specter’s chief value was as a Republican Senator they could quote espousing anti-conservative talking points usually uttered by liberal Democrats.

It will be interesting to see whether, if Specter is indeed rejected in favor of the more liberal Congressman Joe Sestak (late polls show a virtual dead heat), if that will trigger hand-wringing about the “fringe” of the Democratic Party drumming out a more “moderate” Senator.

A review of how the media have promoted Specter as more desirable than the rest of the GOP over the years, starting with Specter’s (brief) 1995 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination:

May 12, 2010, 11:44 AM EDT

As the MRC’s Tim Graham documented yesterday, ABC and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have so far refused to tag Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan as a “liberal,” with CBS’s Jan Crawford offering the sole ideological label of the nominee on Monday's Evening News: “Her career has put her solidly on the left.”

In contrast, all three networks made a major deal out of the last person nominated by a Republican President for a slot on the Court, Justice Samuel Alito. Out of the first 21 stories on the ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows after Justice Alito’s selection, correspondents conveyed ten explicit “conservative” labels during the first 36 hours of coverage. In contrast, Graham documented just one “liberal” label in 14 Kagan stories during the equivalent time period after her selection.

In Alito’s case, the networks began trumpeting ideology from the moment he was picked. Anchor Charles Gibson opened ABC’s Special Report announcing Alito’s nomination: “He is very conservative. This is a liberal appellate court, but he is the most conservative  member on it....The President has picked someone very conservative, but a very accomplished jurist as well.”

May 10, 2010, 12:24 PM EDT

During ABC’s live coverage of President Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, Diane Sawyer and a quartet of correspondents failed to find a single thing to criticize about the new nominee. Instead, Sawyer touted it as a “history making day” (although why is unclear, since she's the fifth woman to be nominated), and touted Kagan as a feminist “trailblazer” and a “conciliator” between “the conservative and liberal wings of the Court.”

Good Morning America co-anchor George Stephanopoulos agreed Kagan had a “reputation for bringing conservatives and liberals together,” and recounted how he and Kagan worked side-by-side in Bill Clinton’s White House: “She does have a great temperament, very easy-going, a good sense of humor.” Then, as Kagan and President Obama strode to the podium, Sawyer quoted the nominee complimenting herself: “We had a soundbite from her saying she had a reputation for being a very good teacher.”

May 1, 2010, 11:11 AM EDT

The last time a major disaster threatened the U.S. Gulf Coast, journalists dropped any pretense of objectivity and openly scorned what they saw as the ineffective response of the Bush administration to Hurricane Katrina. And top media writers found it just wonderful that the press was taking a side, with New York Times’ critic Alessandra Stanley saluting “a rare sense of righteous indignation by a news media that is usually on the defensive.”

Now, there are gentle suggestions that the Obama administration dropped the ball in the days after the oil rig explosion that triggered a 5,000 barrel per day leak that threatens to eclipse the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill as the worst in U.S. history. Today’s lead story in the New York Times determined that “a review of the response suggests it may be too simplistic to place all the blame for the unfolding environmental catastrophe on the oil company. The federal government also had opportunities to move more quickly, but did not do so while it waited for a resolution to the spreading spill from BP,” a theme echoed in an editorial, as Noel Sheppard notes below.

Not exactly “righteous indignation,” but the story isn’t over, yet.

In contrast, here’s some of what the critics had to say about the media’s adversarial approach when George W. Bush was in the White House:

April 22, 2010, 3:04 PM EDT


For more than two decades, the so-called mainstream media have preached the dangers of manmade global warming, insisting American businesses and consumers must make massive economic sacrifices to ward off a global climate catastrophe. Not even last November’s exposure of e-mails from leading scientists on the alarmist side of the debate — showing them conniving to fudge or suppress data, discredit critics and distort the peer review process — has caused journalists to finally take a skeptical approach to radical environmentalists’ doomsaying.

A new study from the MRC’s Business & Media Institute documents how ABC, CBS and NBC have been just as strident in their advocacy in the months following “ClimateGate” as they were in the 20 years that preceded the scandal. At the same time, a review of the Media Research Center’s archives going back to the late 1980s shows just how strongly reporters have pushed the liberal line on global warming. Here are just some of the many examples:

April 13, 2010, 7:49 AM EDT

The Tea Party movement launched one year ago, in response to the unprecedented expansion of government by President Barack Obama and congressional liberals, a massive increase in spending that will create economy-crushing fiscal burdens for future generations of taxpayers.

In that relatively brief period, the Tea Party has demonstrated it is a formidable political force. The pressure the movement brought to bear at the grassroots level put liberals on the defensive for much of the health care debate, and nearly succeeded in torpedoing the entire scheme in spite of Democrats’ overwhelming congressional majorities. And Tea Party activists proved decisive in a string of electoral defeats for liberals, culminating in Republican Scott Brown’s victory in the special election to succeed Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate.

So how have the supposedly objective media covered one of the biggest political stories in recent years? The Media Research Center has a new report out today, reviewing every mention of the Tea Party on the ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening newscasts, Sunday talk shows, and ABC’s Nightline from February 19, 2009 (when CNBC contributor Rick Santelli first suggested throwing a “Tea Party” to protest government takeovers) through March 31, 2010. Among the major findings:

April 5, 2010, 9:17 AM EDT

This week, the MRC’s regular Notable Quotables newsletter, documenting the latest outrageous quotes from the liberal media from the past two weeks, could not fit in its normal 3-page format, so we created a super-sized special edition, “Celebrating ObamaCare, Demonizing Its Opponents.” It’s chock full of quotes touting the wonders of the liberal health care scheme, and slamming the Tea Party and other opponents as vicious racist thugs. The whole thing is posted at www.MRC.org; here’s a sample:

If You’re Anti-ObamaCare, You Must Be a Bigot

“What are the Tea Partiers really angry about? Health care reform, or the fact that it was an African American President and a woman Speaker of the House who pushed through major change?” — MSNBC’s Chris Matthews at the top of Hardball, March 29.

March 20, 2010, 11:03 AM EDT

On Saturday’s Good Morning America, reporter Rachel Martin cast President Obama and Democratic leaders as working hard to nail down the votes needed to pass their massive health care bill, but made no suggestion that liberals were using devious or heavy-handed tactics. But when it came to the Republicans, reporter David Kerley included an indignant Democratic congresswoman, who charged that the mean-spirited GOP was casting her as “soft on cancer” just weeks after both of her parents died of the disease. (Friday's ABC World News highlighted the same complaint, MRC's Brent Baker noticed.)

The two reports, which aired back-to-back at the top of the March 20 program, were a good illustration of the liberal media trope that Republicans sink to using offensive hardball tactics while Democrats are seen as offering lofty arguments.

On the one hand, Martin’s story showed only soundbites from Democrats: President Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and a freshman Congressman who was switching his vote from “no” to “yes.” Martin helped cast Representative John Boccieri as a profile in courage:

March 15, 2010, 10:25 AM EDT

The end of Congress’s long debate over ObamaCare could be near, as the President pushes for a final vote this week before his Asia trip, and House Democrats want a resolution before next week’s Easter break.

Yet whether or not liberals’ dreams are ultimately realized, they have had a huge advantage throughout the process. Over the past twelve months, journalists have continually stacked the deck in favor of a big government takeover of health care.

A review of the worst spin:

March 6, 2010, 12:49 PM EST

Filling in for Mark Levin on his national radio talk show on Thursday, Houston radio host Michael Berry picked up on MRC’s recently-released “Media Bias 101” report detailing dozens of polls since 1981 showing journalists liberal attitudes and strongly pro-Democratic voting record. “I'm sitting on a great study done by the Media Research Center, Media Bias 101,” Berry enthused. “It's one of the best reports I've ever seen.” [audio excerpt here]

Berry was making the point that new media technologies such as Facebook lets citizens inform each other and mobilize to affect public policy without being dependent on a relatively few unrepresentative journalists: “The ability for people to communicate and to interact in the way that Facebook allows is an absolute game changer....People that can’t get hired at big newspapers or big TV stations [are now] changing public policy in profound ways.”

Here’s some of what Berry had to say near the beginning of the first hour of the March 4 Mark Levin Show (Levin was off that night getting ready for his Friday night speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.)

March 4, 2010, 9:42 AM EST

“Despite persistent violence and a critical election coming up, President Obama hardly ever mentions the war in Iraq,” Joseph Curl reports in today’s Washington Times, and the news media are largely aiding in this neglect. Curl discloses that “the last time a White House reporter asked about the Iraq war was June 26,” while ABC, CBS and NBC aired just 80 minutes of coverage in all of 2009.

The near-media blackout means that the success of President Bush’s “surge” policy in 2007 — a policy opposed by President Obama and Vice President Biden when both were presidential candidates and ridiculed by the networks as a "Lost Cause" — has gone virtually unreported in the past year. This week’s Newsweek is an exception, with a big Iraq War cover story declaring “Victory at Last.”