Seton Motley is the founder and president of Less Government.  Please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@SetonMotley) and Facebook.  It’s his kind of stalking.

Latest from Seton Motley
December 30, 2008, 6:15 PM EST

For at least ten seconds there, it appeared Margaret Warner thought PBS stood for the Palestinian Broadcast Service.

On last night's NewsHour Ms. Warner, whilst interviewing Israel's Ambassador to the United States Sallai Meridor, posed one of the dumbest questions in the long, dumb history of broadcast journalism. 

So banal was her query that there was for nearly five seconds the most pregnant of pauses, broken finally by Ambassador Meridor's bemused and chagrined response.  Which Ms. Warner followed with another question of nearly equal asinine force. 

Ms. Warner was fairly addled throughout (transcript below the fold), but nothing else she said rose quite to the heights of foolishness as did this.  We have edited in after the exchange an earlier statement from Ambassador Meridor that we think pretty much sums it all up.

December 29, 2008, 6:07 PM EST

Failing to Grace the WaPo Front PageThe Washington Post has certainly taken a timeworn media tack in it's coverage of the latest instance of Israel stubbornly insisting on continuing to exist.  That being: keep nearly all mentions of the prolonged and incessant attacks of Israel by the Palestinians off the front page and to an absolute minimum, then deliver maximum coverage of the Israelis' response. 

A response that Israel on Christmas Day openly announced was to come were the rocket bombardments from the Gaza Strip not halted.  This called shot gave the Post two (additional) days to provide a description of the nearly daily asaults Israel has faced from Gaza since they ceded the territory to the Palestinians in September 2005 (and that have been stepped up even further in the last month plus).  To provide some sort of context for why the Israelis were planning what they have now begun.

But rarely if ever does the Post find these Palestinian attacks worthy of any coverage at all, let alone the stuff of front page placement.  It didn't this time either.  No mention -- of Israel's warning or why they had issued it -- made the Post's front page at all on either day.

December 19, 2008, 3:21 PM EST

With Obama-Blagojevich, and many other Dems in distress, the media has suddenly lost interest in the subject

Editor's Note: This first appeared in today's Human Events.

When It's the Democrats, the Media Falls SilentWe are now a week into the wall-to-wall coverage of the tape recorded fall of Senate seat auctioneer and sometime Illinois Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich.  But there has always been a distinctly different tenor from the media in stories involving scandalized Democrats compared to their reports on corrupt Republicans.

During the 2006 mid-term elections, the news world was saturated with talk of a GOP "Culture of Corruption," a Democratic slogan repeated incessantly by the traditional media. The press cast three bad Congressmen and a single scamming lobbyist as representative of an entire Party gone bad, and their incessant drumbeat helped drive the GOP out of power.

Meanwhile, one prominent Democrat after another has been tinged with scandal, but the media has yet to stamp their Party as "Culturally Corrupt."

December 9, 2008, 4:35 PM EST

The new moderator of Meet the Press is a good fit on The Olbermann Network

Editor's Note: This first appeared this morning in Human Events.

More Than Mere Shouting Distance From ObjectivityTom Brokaw's last performance as fill-in moderator of NBC's premier news show, Meet the Press, included a pretty blatant Leftist query.  Interviewing President-elect Barack Obama, southpaw Brokaw uncorked a wild one on energy:

"Let's talk for a moment about consumer responsibility when it comes to the auto industry.  As soon as gas prices began to drop, consumers moved back to the larger cars once again, the SUVs and the big gas consumers.  Why not take this opportunity to put a tax on gasoline, bump it back up to $4.00 a gallon - where people are prepared to pay for that - and use that revenue for alternative energy and as a signal to consumers that these days are gone.  We're not going to have gasoline that you can just fill-up for $20 anymore."

Brokaw's last stand as MTP host served as the perfect lead-in to his final official MTP duty -- introducing his permanent successor, longtime NBC and MSNBC White House reporter David Gregory.

December 4, 2008, 5:01 PM EST

Budding United States Senate candidate and still current MSNBC Hardball anchor Chris Matthews finds few things in life as thrilling as President-elect Barack Obama. Republican in-fighting, certainly, comes close.

As we saw on Tuesday, when Chris the Contender gleefully reported on another potential Senate challenge, of current Alaska GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski by her Governor, Sarah Palin. There was just so much wrong with this segment; it was a rich pageantry of ridiculous bias, rank hypocrisy and Matthews's snarkiness and adolescent boy sexual frustration.

I will let the video (located, with the audio, below the fold) speak for and to the entirety of the patheticness, and write further merely to point out some of the more ludicrous highlights.

December 3, 2008, 10:27 AM EST

Summary:  The so-called "Fairness" Doctrine again looms to take away conservatives' access to talk radio

Editors Note: This originally appeared in Human Events on December 1, 2008.  Click here to sign the Free Speech Alliance petition, and stand at the ready for whenever any liberal again threatens the First Amendment with talk of reinstating the Censorship Doctrine.   

The Government Regulating Radio "Fairness"

Liberals - now controlling both the White House and Congress - are ready to revive the so-called "Fairness" Doctrine to destroy conservative talk radio.  The Media Research Center has formed a new "Free Speech Alliance" to defend conservatives' most effective political weapon against the return of what should be called the "Censorship Doctrine."

The GOP is nearly leaderless, self-shredded by its steady diet of "Me Too" bipartisan liberalism. 

Conservatives were active, agitating against these capitulations of principle.  But too regularly, in the end Congressional Republicans ignored them and enabled Democrats and their allies, the "compassionate conservatives" - aka big government Republicans --  to grow government big enough to squeeze themselves out as the majority Party.

November 21, 2008, 8:33 AM EST

Remember the years of media flak President George W. Bush received for his alleged use for political gain of first the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and then the related Afghanistan and Iraq Wars?

Will the press be as vociferous now? Incoming Obama Administration Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, speaking on Wednesday on and to the Wall Street Journal Digital Network, stated outright his desire to make political hay with the ongoing travails of the U.S. and global economy:

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

Wonder why President-elect Obama resigned from the Senate so early (while Vice President-elect Joe Biden remains an active member) and is hanging back, not wading into the debate over bailouts etc, and naming candidates for nearly every Cabinet post save Treasury (the man or woman who will have $350 billion to dispense when he/she walks through the door)?

November 7, 2008, 7:30 PM EST

Media Research Center Director of Communications and NewsBusters.org Contributing Editor Seton Motley appeared on today's Your World with Neil Cavuto on the Fox News Channel to discuss radical leftist Henry Rivera, President-elect Barack Obama's appointee to oversee the Administration's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) transition process, and its implications for the future of free speech in America.

Many members of the Democratic Party, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have stated their desire for a return of the so-called Fairness Doctrine, more rightly called the Censorship Doctrine for it would force conservative talk radio hosts off the air. 

But no Congressional action is required to bring back the Fairness Doctrine. All the Obama Administration has to do is make one appointment to the FCC, turning a 3-2 Republican FCC majority into a 3-2 Democratic one, and it can again be reinstated.  Republican Robert McDowell's term ends in June 2009.

November 4, 2008, 12:52 PM EST

We began with sixteen of the most overtly biased journalists towards Illinois Democratic Senator and Presidential nominee Barack Obama.

You, the media's biggest fans, watched the videos and read the excerpts and cast your ballots for your selections.  

First for the Enamored Eight, then the Infatuated Four and the Dynamic Biased Duo.

November 3, 2008, 10:39 AM EST

Matthew Vadum (Right) Speaking Truth to Flower PowerAs Bill Cosby said via Fat Albert and the Gang, it's like school on Saturday: No class.

NewsBusters.org Contributor, the estimable Matthew Vadum of the Capital Research Center, made an October 30th appearance on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, during which he discussed the many illegal activities of the community organizing group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and their long relationship with the media's all-time favorite candidate: Illinois Democratic Senator and Presidential candidate Barack Obama.  Soon thereafter, Mr. Vadum changed his Facebook Profile photograph to one of him hamming it up with his Daily Show interlocutor John Oliver. 

This was all too much for New York Times reporter Dan Mitchell.  Mitchell sent Mr. Vadum a poison Halloween Facebook email, which is hostile from start to finish and in which he calls Mr. Vadum the aforementioned body part.

The Mitchell email in its entirety, with the one word redacted so as to maintain our G-rating:

October 29, 2008, 2:28 PM EDT

The Media Research Center's Director of Communications and NewsBusters.org Contributing Editor Seton Motley appeared on the Fox News Channel's America's Election HQ with Megyn Kelley to discuss the Los Angeles Times refusing to release a video of Illinois Democratic Senator and Presidential nominee Barack Obama attending the apparently anti-Israel going-away party for anti-Israel professor Rashid Khalidi in April 2003.

The Times did write a story about it at the time, but recently knowledge of the tape's existence came to light and they have steadfastly refused to release it.

Motley pointed out that this is but the latest in a long list of things potentially damaging to Sen. Obama that the media has obfuscated or outright ignored in their coverage of the Presidential race, including his relationships with Khalidi, remorseless domestic terrorist William Ayers, his anti-American pastor and self-described "mentor" and "spiritual advisor" of two decades Jeremiah Wright and convicted felon Tony Rezko.

October 27, 2008, 2:11 PM EDT

Spreading the Word

Media Research Center Founder and President L. Brent Bozell, III today demanded the press report on damning new evidence of Illinois Democratic Senator and Presidential nominee Barack Obama's radical views on how we need to "break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution" because it "doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf."  In tearing away from the Constitution, Sen. Obama says he seeks to achieve "social justice" through "redistributive change."

In the 2001 Chicago Public Radio interview, the audio of which has just surfaced, Sen. Obama laments that "the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society."

The media have refused to report on or obfuscated what has now become a series of comments from Sen. Obama that indicate a radical outlook on America, wealth redistribution and the courts.  He famously told "Joe the Plumber" (Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher) that we need to "spread the wealth around."  On his nominees for the courts, he said "We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom.  The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges."

Brent Bozell:

October 24, 2008, 10:07 AM EDT

Bozell acknowledges network taking responsibility for misleading viewers to believe conservatives at odds with Gov. Palin

Spreading the Word

As we reported on Tuesday, CNN's Drew Griffin completely mischaracterized the nature of a "quote" from National Review's Byron York during his interview with Alaskan Republican Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.  

CNN has responded to the Media Research Center's call for CNN to retract the accusation that wrongly accused National Review's Byron York of calling Gov. Sarah Palin "incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt or all of the above,"  and have taken full responsibility for the mischaracterization.

Yesterday, the cable network addressed the mistake on both Newsroom and The Situation Room, explaining the circumstances of the badly-worded representation of the statement and clarifying reporter Drew Griffin's intention, which was not to deceive his audience that a well-respected conservative publication was putting itself at odds with Gov. Palin.

October 23, 2008, 1:42 PM EDT

Spreading the WordAs we reported earlier, former Newsweek reporter Michael Hastings drops one rhetorical bomb after another on the media in a new article for GQ magazine.  All of them reinforcing what we already knew, best summarized by Hastings himself: the press's "objectivity is a fallacy."

It has been a horrendous year for the media's credibility, and Hastings's statements only make it worse.  "If (it) sounds like I had some trouble being ‘objective,' I did. Objectivity is a fallacy. In campaign reporting more than any other kind of press coverage, reporters aren't just covering a story, they're a part of it-influencing outcomes, setting expectations, framing candidates-and despite what they tell themselves, it's impossible to both be a part of the action and report on it objectively."  

Hastings is utterly derisive of both former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona Senator and Presidential nominee John McCain, both of whom he covered during the Republican primary.  He in fact dreamed repeatedly of doing Giuliani harm as some sort of warped civic duty.

October 22, 2008, 5:12 PM EDT

Spreading the WordOn yesterday's Situation Room, CNN's Drew Griffin completely mischaracterized the nature of a "quote" from National Review's Byron York during his interview with Alaskan Republican Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Griffin said to Gov. Palin: "Governor, you've been mocked in the press, the press has been pretty hard on you, the Democrats have been pretty hard on you, but also some conservatives have been pretty hard on you as well. The National Review had a story saying that, you know, ‘I can't tell if Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt or all of the above.'"

This is a complete distortion, a falsehood. The full quote from the National Review's Byron York shows he was in fact dressing down the media, NOT Gov. Palin. "Watching press coverage of the Republican candidate for vice president, it's sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward, or - or, well, all of the above."

MRC President and Newsbusters.org Publisher L. Brent Bozell, III issued the following statement in response:

October 21, 2008, 3:34 PM EDT

We are almost at halftime of Round Three of the MRC's Sweet-On-Obama Sixteen Media Bias Tournament.

Only the Infatuated Four remain. If you haven't yet voted, by all means do so now.

And if you have, check back often to see how your selections are faring.

And as biased as they all are, much like the 1980's cinematic classic says, "There can be only one."

No, not that one.

October 21, 2008, 11:38 AM EDT

Spreading the WordAs we reported earlier, former CBS news anchor Dan Rather noted on today's Morning Joe on MSNBC that the traditional media is largely ignoring Democratic Senator and Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden's alarming comment on Sunday:  "... (M)ark my words, within the next, first six months of this administration if we win, you're gonna face a major international challenge, because they are going to want to test him...." 

Rather pointed out "... (C)ertainly if Sarah Palin had said this it would be above the fold in most newspapers today... (I)f Sarah Palin had said this, the newspapers would have jumped all over it and so would have the major television outlets."

Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski agreed with Rather's assessment, saying "I'm seeing spotty media coverage."

Spotty is an understatement.

October 20, 2008, 9:58 AM EDT

And then there were four -- the Infatuated Four.

Of the sixteen most pro-Obama journalists, you have determined the four that have been the sweetest on him. 

Your righteous indignation, and your votes, have solidified the Sweet-On-Obama Sixteen's Infatuated Four.

So check the results, and vote again to pare the four down to two.  All on the way to determining the Media's Most Valuable Partisan (MVP).  

The media have shown Obama their love.  Now's your chance to show what you think of them.

October 17, 2008, 2:14 PM EDT

We have reached the final days of voting from amongst the Enamored Eight. 

The polls remain open through Sunday, so if you haven't already, get in there and cast your ballot.

And if you have, check back throughout the weekend (as nearly half of Round One's voting took place then) and see how your choices are faring.

And to Comment upon the action, all as we work our way towards deciding the Infatuated Four.

Cheers, and enjoy.

 

October 16, 2008, 10:34 AM EDT

Spreading the WordAs we reported earlier, in an interview for the upcoming New York Times's Sunday Magazine, and again in last night's Presidential debate, Illinois Senator Barack Obama singled out the Fox News Channel for scorn for how he feels they are covering his campaign.

Excerpted Sen. Obama quotes from the Times Sunday Magazine: "I am convinced that if there were no Fox News, I might be two or three points higher in the polls.... If I were watching Fox News, I wouldn't vote for me, right? ... Because the way I'm portrayed 24/7 is as a freak. I am the latte-sipping, New York Times-reading, Volvo-driving, no-gun-owning, effete, politically correct, arrogant liberal. Who wants somebody like that?"

MRC President and Newsbusters.org Publisher L. Brent Bozell, III issued the following statement in response: