Granted, this doesn't necessarily mean that one of the most beloved actresses in the history of television is a conservative Republican. Nonetheless, check out this exchange from a brief interview with Mary Tyler Moore in the February 6 Newsweek:
What do you watch on TV these days?
A lot of Fox News. I also watch "Two and a Half Men" and "Lost."
Of course, there's at least a pretty good chance that Moore's plug for FNC will annoy her former co-star, the outspokenly left-wing Ed Asner.
Garrett Graff, one of the editors of fishbowlDC -- "a gossip blog about Washington, D.C. media" that’s part of the MediaBistro.com mini-empire – has joined those who’ve stated hopefully that something or other will prove to be a “Cronkite moment” regarding the Iraq war.
(Some background for the youngsters: The term derives from Walter Cronkite’s February 1968 on-air declaration that the Vietnam War was “mired in stalemate” – i.e., the U.S. and its ally, South Vietnam, could not win. Supposedly, President Lyndon Johnson’s response to that remark was to tell an aide, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America.”)
Hugh Hewitt thinks highly of Nicholas Lemann, dean of Columbia University's graduate school of journalism and a staff writer for the New Yorker. Last year, Lemann wrote a New Yorker profile of Hewitt which the subject considered “complete and fair.” Hewitt also was “impressed with [Lemann’s New Yorker] profiles of Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. (The Cheney profile earned Lemann some animosity among colleagues, who thought him too gentle with the only man the left fears as much as Rove.)” Apparently, though, it’s possible to both write evenhandedly about right-of-center figures, and run one of the best journalism schools in the country, and still be clueless regarding basic conservative arguments on liberal media bias.
In today's entry on his blog, Eric Alterman writes, apropos of his recent media-bias debate with Tucker Carlson, that he and Carlson "seem to have started a useful argument over [on the letters page of] Romenesko...with this one making...the clearest argument, methinks."
"This one," in case you don't feel like following the link, is a missive from John Martellaro, who contrasts two of Alterman's statements from the debate with two of Carlson's, then comments, "OK, so we have verifiable facts coming from the left, vs. unsourced blather and empty talking points coming from the right."
Gee, I wonder why Alterman liked the letter so much?
Last Saturday, the University of California, Santa Barbara hosted a media-bias debate between the moderately conservative Tucker Carlson and the distinctly leftist Eric Alterman, and the UCSB student newspaper, the Daily Nexus, was on the scene. (Hat tip: Romenesko.)
Highlights from Devon Claire Flannery's piece:
Carlson opened the debate with the assertion that America’s poorly informed electorate is the result of a badly biased press. He attributed low levels of political awareness among Americans to a liberal bias in the media and expressed disapproval of the way the media portrays politics in the United States.
Today's web-only column on the Alito hearings by Newsweek's Jonathan Darman contains an irritating sentence ("In the coming days, Alito and the White House will use small gestures to assure moderate senators, and moderate Americans, that he lives in the same world they do") that suggests that Jonathan may be related to Richard Darman, the famously centrist OMB director under Bush 41.
Far worse, though, is Jonathan Darman's smirky, ahistorical quip, bolded at the end of the excerpt below, at the expense of Clarence Thomas:
Women were everywhere in the first two days of Alito’s confirmation. Seated just behind him as he took the podium yesterday were nine females, including his wife, sister, daughter and mother-in-law. These women were largely silent (though the Alito women were overheard breezily joking with one another on a ladies’ room break). But their mere appearance makes a difference. TV cameras zooming in on his face couldn’t help but capture two striking figures seated behind him wearing robust red. One was the nominee’s wife, Martha, the other, Rachel Brand, the Justice department attorney charged with preparing his nomination. This image, an earnest jurist with a rosy angel on each shoulder sent a message: Let the Democrats say what they like, this judge will remember the ladies.
It's common for leftists to call President Bush a dictator, and now liberal Newsweek foreign correspondent Christopher Dickey, by describing the Baghdad proceedings against Saddam Hussein as a "show trial," has associated Bush with one of the vilest dictators ever, Josef Stalin.
The latest installment of NewsBusters' series on political bias in sports coverage features the Washington Post columnist Joel Achenbach, who, apropos of University of Texas quarterback Vince Young's performance in last night's national-championship college-football game, wrote on his blog that Young
did the impossible: He not only took his team from 12 back with only 6 minutes left, he kept me up past midnight. This hasn't happened in years. Young also got me to root, secretly, for Texas in those final minutes. You can't root openly for Texas, even in the privacy of your own living room, because of the, you know, political associations. Let's not get into that.
Earlier this week, one columnist for ESPN’s web site went out of his way to recycle a cheap shot at President Bush, and another inadvertently reminded some of us that for a few brief, shining moments, a highly rated, prime-time, broadcast-network TV program aired unambiguously conservative points of view.
--Scoop Jackson (no relation to the late U.S. Senator from Washington state) took the NFL to task for "showing zero compassion for the people of New Orleans or [Saints] players" in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Fair enough, but Jackson also sniped, "It almost made you wish Kanye West would have added the NFL to the comment he made about George W. Bush."
David Edelstein, film reviewer for the Washington Post-owned online magazine Slate, thinks Steven Spielberg's Munich is "the most potent, the most vital, the best movie of the year." Some critics might laud Munich without making left-wing statements in the process. Not Edelstein, though. Here's the beginning of his piece:
Rapidly overtaking the "Cinema of Revenge" is the "Cinema of Revenge with a Guilty Conscience"—i.e., "My people got even and all I got was this dumb hair shirt."
What's the reason for this post-9/11, self-critical twist on the thriller genre's beloved scenarios of injury and retaliation? Maybe it's that the recent consequences of such thinking have been so catastrophic: that despite invading two countries (Afghanistan and Iraq), quickly overthrowing their governments, and inflicting massive casualties on their populations, the enemy's resistance has, if anything, grown more tenacious; and that our ally Israel, among the world's most reflexively vindictive nations, hasn't managed with its instantaneous reprisals to stanch the flow of blood. At this juncture, to make the movies we always have, the ones that revel in righteous brutality, would not only be socially irresponsible. It would be delusional.
Michael Tomasky, executive editor of the American Prospect, has written a column for the liberal magazine's web site urging the dismissal of his counterpart at the New York Times, Bill Keller, for Keller's alleged mishandling of both the Judith Miller matter and the NSA wiretap story. The piece is worth mentioning mostly for this paragraph, which builds to an overheated climax:
There are reasons for liberals (at opinion magazines, at blogs, etc.) to tread a little carefully these days with regard to criticism of the Times. Those of us who work at smaller shops don’t appreciate how difficult it can be to run large institutions (here at TAP, we sometime have trouble running this institution, of 20-whatever people). The pressure of simply being The New York Times is enormous. And, of course, every piece of flesh ripped from the paper’s body by the liberal opinion-blog world serves, ultimately, as another plate of hot victuals for the vultures of the right, circling above, counting the hours until the newspaper of record is a flayed, and inconsequential, carcass.
The current issue of the New York Observer includes Gabriel Sherman's report on the back-and-forth at the New York Times regarding the paper's NSA-wiretap story.
Highlights from Sherman's piece:
...Multiple Times sources said that the story had come up more than a year ago—specifically, before the 2004 election. After The Times decided not to publish it at that time, Mr. Risen went away on book leave, and his piece was shelved and regarded as dead, according to a Times source.
It may not be as inane as Anna Quindlen's lumping of Nazis with the religious right, but Jonathan Alter's web-only piece about President Bush and the NSA "scandal" nonetheless contains some of this week's worst overstatements from a Newsweek columnist. (Hat tips to Kathryn Lopez and Jonah Goldberg in the Corner.)
Excerpts from Alter on what he calls "Snoopgate" (fo' shizzle!):
President Bush...made it seem as if those who didn’t agree with him wanted to leave us vulnerable to Al Qaeda—but it will not work. We’re seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator, or in his own mind, no doubt, like Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War...
Jacob Weisberg, editor of the liberal, Washington Post-owned online magazine Slate, has asserted the credibility of a printed rumor that President Bush likes the idea of lethal retaliation against reporters opposed to the U.S.'s Iraq policy.
Weisberg wrote (emphasis added):
According to a recent report in the British press, Bush last year proposed bombing Al Jazeera's headquarters to Tony Blair. This may or may not have been a joke, but given our military's record of accidental assaults on journalists in Iraq, it's not impossible to imagine that the president thinks smart-bombing would be a good way to respond to hostile coverage. At home, it's more a matter of freezing out and anathematizing organs, such as the New York Times, that are deemed unfriendly, while promulgating his own, dubious version of reality.
Jim Romenesko picks up on this morning's Boston Globe interview with 60 Minutes' Mike Wallace. Highlights follow; the questioner is the Globe's Suzanne C. Ryan.
Q. President George W. Bush has declined to be interviewed by you. What would you ask him if you had the chance?
A. What in the world prepared you to be the commander in chief of the largest superpower in the world? In your background, Mr. President, you apparently were incurious. You didn't want to travel. You knew very little about the military. . . . The governor of Texas doesn't have the kind of power that some governors have. . . . Why do you think they nominated you? . . . Do you think that has anything to do with the fact that the country is so [expletive] up?
Less than a month ago, San Francisco Chronicle TV columnist Tim Goodman declared that Keith Olbermann ought to be the future of broadcast network news. This morning, Goodman touts Olbermann (and Oprah, and Jon Stewart) for Dan Rather's old job, opines that Katie Couric-to-CBS "will not change the network news blues," and gives CBS boss Les Moonves a fashion tip. (Speaking of which, a hat tip to Romenesko.)
Goodman opens, "The truly sad part about the rumors of Katie Couric becoming anchor of the 'CBS Evening News'" is that Couric's choice wouldn't signify "a revolution." He goes on:
Dan Froomkin writes a White House column weekdays for the Washington Post’s web site. In case you're not familiar with his work, let's just say that in terms of bias and tone, he's sort of an online version of Dana Milbank. (And, in case you're not familiar with Milbank: Lucky you.)
Today, in his weekly web chat, syndicated Washington Post humor columnist Gene Weingarten provided an unintentionally funny response to a "conservative-leaning" reader. Here's the exchange:
Anonymous: I love (not) that the designations on your poll are "pro-choice" and "anti-abortion." Did you do this purposefully to stir up the righteous indignation of conservative-leaning chatters like myself? Why not change "pro-choice" to "anti-life?" At least make it even, either "pro-choice or pro-life" or "anti-life or anti-abortion."
Gene Weingarten: Bullhockey. These are designations that best describe the positions. They are the ones used by almost all newspapers, which are striving for objectivity.
In his new web column, Newsweek's Paris bureau chief and Middle East regional editor Christopher Dickey writes about his dinner last Sunday with former Time White House columnist Hugh Sidey, who suffered a fatal heart attack the next day. Unfortunately, Dickey spoils his reminiscence of his friend with a lament/rant concerning the good old days when the liberal establishment media had the field all to themselves (emphasis added) :
For most of Hugh’s career, well into the 1980s, small-town newspapers told people what local editors thought they needed to know, and a handful of national media gave them what the press barons thought they ought to know. You could count the important national media on your fingers: Time and NEWSWEEK, The New York Times and to a lesser extent the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, AP, UPI, plus the three major broadcast networks—that was it. This could have been a terrible system, but in retrospect it seems a benevolent oligarchy. These media were not oblivious to market forces, but neither were they compelled to pander to them. They felt a duty to cover Washington politics, major economic issues and foreign news in considerable detail, even if only a fraction of their readers ever got past the headlines. They could dare to be boring, if that’s what it took to be responsible.
Salon is about to turn ten years old, and Gary Kamiya, who helped found the left-liberal online magazine and is now its "Vice President of Content/Executive Editor," has penned a look back. (Hat tip: Romenesko.)
Kamiya acknowledges that
[p]robably the most significant, certainly the most lurid, event in Salon's editorial history was the Henry Hyde story, in which we revealed that the esteemed and respected head of the House Judiciary Committee, who was standing in judgment on Bill Clinton, had had a longtime affair with a married woman. We thought long and hard about whether to run the story, but decided in the end that it was completely legitimate: We decided we had to reveal that the Clinton persecution was a hypocritical farce, driven by right-wing zealots and unopposed by a slack-jawed media.
In the Friday edition of his MSNBC.com blog, left-liberal pundit Eric Alterman posted a comment from a friend of his who shares his, shall we say, skepticism toward the idea of an overall liberal media bias. (Alterman is, of course, the author of What Liberal Media? and several other books.)
The relevant portion of the comment follows. Judge for yourself the extent to which the friend is kidding.
...It is time to march virtually every high-priced reporter in Washington D.C. out across the Key Bridge and deep into the Virginia hills, where they will be incarcerated in a re-education camp until they begin making sense in their profession again. (I specifically exempt Jack Farrell from Denver and the entire Knight-Ridder D.C. bureau. They all can stay.) I was going to exempt Jonathan Alter until I heard him complaining that the Democrats were wrong in resisting the ballot initiatives sponsored in California by Governor Anabolic J. Goosestep. The ultimate "good government" initiative, Jon, you lovable doof, is to break the power of the Republican party everywhere until it comes to its senses and disenthralls itself from its Jesus On A Taco Shell element. Sorry, Jon. Pick up a shovel and start marching. There are swamps to be reclaimed.
Tim Goodman writes about television for the San Francisco Chronicle. As befits a city in which almost 60 percent of voters oppose military recruiting in public schools, Goodman is just now grasping the notion of political bias on broadcast-network newscasts. Specifically, he believes that such bias will soon be a reality, as opposed to the Media Research Center's well-documented position that it's been quite real for quite a while. (Hat tip: Romenesko.)
Today, Goodman showers praise on MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, calling him a "a bit of a misunderstood visionary...Part journalist, part comic, equal parts dry, silly, skeptical and angry, there has been no traditional role for him and thus he has either been an outcast or a noble failure or a square talent in a business full of round openings. Until, that is, he started 'Countdown' on MSNBC in April 2003."
In the November 7 U.S. News & World Report, editor Brian Duffy announces a beefing-up of his magazine's front section, specifically "eight new pages…to give you more of the news and analysis you've come to depend on." Duffy himself wrote the very first piece in USN&WR’s expanded front of the book -- and it offers more of the gloomy take on the Bush administration that the magazine's readers have come to depend on.
To Duffy, last week wasn't a turning of the corner for President Bush, but rather “one of the worst weeks since he took up residence in the White House.” (Though that assessment is more reasonable than the issue’s cover subhead, which calls the week “the White House’s darkest hour.” Worse than the week of 9/11?)
Fitzmas having come and gone, the left seeks new topics about which to speculate. In an entry yesterday on the generally lefty group blog the Huffington Post, Nora Ephron, the writer and director of such movies as Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, addressed President Bush's mental health. (Hat tip: Altercation.)
Parts of Ephron's post:
...I would like to ask another question that I've been wondering about for some time: What's wrong with the president? Is he fighting depression? Is he being medicated in some way that isn't quite working? What's up?
In case NewsBusters readers needed reminding that liberal media bias exists outside the major TV networks/New York Times-Washington Post/newsmagazines iron triangle, a Knight Ridder News Service story this weekend did just that. As you'll see, the first few paragraphs of this overheated "news analysis" by Ron Hutcheson and Steve Thomma speak for themselves.
I should first note that Knight Ridder publishes 32 daily papers, some of them, such as the Miami Herald and Philadelphia Inquirer, in major markets, so Hutcheson and Thomma's piece probably found a large readership. That became even more likely when at least one non-KR paper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, also picked up the article.
As Brent Baker noted on NewsBusters, last night on Larry King Live Bob Woodward made what amounted to a pro-Bush point regarding an Iraq-Niger uranium deal. In a Thursday piece on the Editor & Publisher web site, however, Woodward's ex-Washington Post colleague Carl Bernstein, discussing the Iraq war and Plamegate, sounded anything but pro-Bush. (Hat tip: Romenesko.)
Some of Bernstein's comments from the Joe Strupp-written article:
"We are obviously watching and the press is beginning to document the implosion of a presidency...How destructive that implosion is going to be, ultimately, we don't know yet.
In his blog post today, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann not only takes credit for a World Series prediction he didn't make, but also links the Chicago White Sox' championship to...Plamegate.
(At this writing, the post in question is misdated October 24, but it's at the top of the page nonetheless.)
In today's entry, Olbermann writes, "(White Sox sweep - told you so - more later)." But that "toldyou so" is an overstatement. Last Thursday, two days before the Series began, he wrote only that there was an "excellent chance" that the White Sox "could" sweep the Houston Astros. In any context that pertains here -- Las Vegas, for example -- Olbermann's "prediction" clearly is not equivalent to declaring (or betting), "White Sox in four."
Anna Quindlen hasn't been a New York Times columnist for more than a decade, but she'd still fit in quite well on her old paper's op-ed page. In her opinion piece for the October 31 Newsweek, Quindlen takes up the inclination to psychoanalyze President Bush from one current Times columnist, Maureen Dowd, and the Iraq-is-Vietnam argument from another, Frank Rich.
Early in the column, Quindlen asserts that the Bush administration's Iraq policy
became a moving target. First there were weapons of mass destruction that were not there and direct links to the terrorists who attacked on September 11 that didn't exist. The removal of Saddam Hussein was given as the greatest good; it has been done. Then it became the amorphous goal of bringing freedom to the Iraqi people, as though liberty were flowers and we were FTD. The elections, the constitution, the rubble, the dead.
Left-wing pundit Eric Alterman, in today's installment of his MSNBC blog, reports a conversation with Bill Clinton in which the 42nd President indicated yet again that he thinks the media are slighting or shortchanging him.
On Saturday, Alterman -- who's probably best known to NewsBusters readers as the author of What Liberal Media? -- attended a ceremony at the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in Hyde Park, N.Y. at which Clinton was awarded the Four Freedoms Medal. (Tom Brokaw was awarded the Freedom of Speech Medal.) Alterman notes that he had a "nice chat" with Hillary Clinton, and then
caught up with her (perennially mobbed) husband for a minute as he was walking out and told him, politely but pointedly, that it was “nice to see him giving the guy [Bush] a little bit of hell for a change.”