In a striking contrast to his fellow reporters, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz took NBC to task for the extensive Live Earth coverage on NBC and its sister cable channels (earlier NewsBusters item on this very same column, with transcript of Kurtz's discussion on CNN's Reliable Sources.) Shockingly, Kurtz even used quotation marks when mentioning the global warming “crisis.” In his “Media Notes” column, Kurtz rightfully questioned the ethics of a network taking sides on a political issue (a General Electric senior VP said he doesn't “think climate change is a political issue”) and helping a “prominent Democrat” who potentially has presidential ambitions to raise money.
These are important points that most reporters have failed to raise, but Kurtz was not intimidated by the peer pressure and got down to the nuts and bolts (emphasis mine):
NBC and its cable networks devoted a total of 35 hours of air time Saturday to the Live Earth concerts, organized by Al Gore to call attention to what he calls a global warming "crisis."
As NewsBusters noted, in June Rolling Stone published a “green” issue that still didn't please the enviro-left. Well, now Radar Online exposed the magazine's founder and publisher Jann Wenner's not-so-green lifestyle which contrast with his ecological stunts and stances.
Radar's July 3 article and July 6 update about Wenner's high-living, carbon-spewing lifestyle which is filled with globe-spanning Gulfstreams, big SUVs, lending his evil Global Warming Inducing Death Plane to high-profile friends (like John Kerry) and staffers ferrying lunches back and forth should really tick the green crowd off. Oh, and he doesn't even recycle. Bad environmentalist, bad!
Wenner is reportedly planning to spend his summer jetting between Europe and his vacation home in the Rocky Mountains. How much carbon dioxide would this add up to for, say, just one get-away trip? Let's count. Wenner flies to his son's wedding in Greece and back to New York, then speeds off to Sun Valley, Idaho with his family. Counting just one round trip in each direction, the miles total to about 14,000.
There are two Americas. One fans the flames of class warfare while running for office and the other knows that there is something disingenuous about a class-warfare spokesman posing on the cover of high-end fashion magazine. Yes, that's John Edwards on the cover of “Men's Vogue.” The same John Edwards who decried the "Two Americas" in 2004 (emphasis mine throughout):
Today, under George W. Bush, there are two Americas, not one: One America that does the work, another that reaps the reward...One America that is struggling to get by, another America that can buy anything it wants, even a Congress and a president.
For a magazine that seemed determined to pump up the Edwards campaign, describing Edwards as “the person who may shape our immediate future more than anyone in these pages is North Carolina's John Edwards...who just might be the boldest—and most refreshing—choice for 2008” and “a passionate advocate for rural America,” it strangely kicked off with a description that only reinforced Edwards' preening, very non-rural, metrosexual, hair-obsessed “Breck Girl” image:
Elizabeth Edwards is even more of a hypocrite than NewsBusters readers already think. Everyone knows that during the infamous “Hardball” phone-call confrontation, Mrs. Edwards criticized Ann Coulter's “hate speech” and her “personal attacks" that “lower our political dialog.” But regular readers know that NewsBusters pointed out the hypocrisy of Elizabeth Edwards' comments, considering that until liberal bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan resigned, they worked for the Edwards' campaign and were known for anti-Christian “hate speech” and "personal attacks" toward Republicans.
Now it's even worse than Mrs. Edwards condemning Coulter because "(w)e can't have a debate about issues [while] using this kind of language” after employing Marcotte and McEwan. Guess who hired them in the first place? Yep, Elizabeth Edwards herself.
Alert Al Gore and Hillary Clinton! Capitalism has answered the call for better recycling methods, but you probably haven't heard about it. A US company, Global Resource Corporation (GRC), invented a revolutionary high-frequency microwave which recycles anything with a hydrocarbon base like plastic, rubber or automobile "scrap" into 20% diesel oil and 80% combustible gas. The Hawk-10 should reduce the amount of trash in landfills and numbers of abandoned junk piles, as well as to a lessor extent, provide some oil--all without producing (for those who care) greenhouse gasses. Aside from a handful of articles that are mostly on techie sites and in India, the major media ignored a June 26 New Scientist article about the Hawk-10.
It will now be profitable to clean up those previously useless mountains of discarded tires and old car dumps that enrage environmentalists, while reducing landfills in the process. Considering the media drum beat over oil, environmentalism and recycling, this discovery seemed like a perfect fit, but not even Katie Couric or the New York Times mentioned it. Maybe they were confused as to whether they should support or condemn the process because it creates that dastardly oil.
Here's what the media didn't tell you about how the Hawk-10 could change recycling (emphasis mine):
Ubergizmo.com, a “trendy web magazine dedicated to consumer electronics news and reviews,” such as a $2,650 Fujitsu Tablet PC and a “Wiener Dog Accent Lamp,” had a puzzling entry last week that discussed an amazing new sleeping tent, then surprisingly slammed the free-market system by whining about glorifying “the excesses of capitalism.“ Basically, the Water Shelter tent is an easily portable tent that also collects rainwater and can even be dropped in by air, which would be a lifesaver for flood refugees.
At the end of the blurb, the author threw in a comment that is strange for a site that is filled with small articles designed to highlight and promote capitalist goods. Was this an unclear joke or yet another anti-capitalist dig from an unlikely source?
There is yet another example of the mythology of Michael Moore growing with the complicity of the media. Time's article by S. James Snyder, “Michael Moore: 'I'm Mainstream Now' ” read like another example of an incurious journalist who bought into Moore's PR and joined in with some covert activism. For the past month or so, finding bias in an article about Michael Moore has been about as easy as it is to find "creative editing" in Moore's films, and this article was no exception.
The most significant untruth in this article was Moore's carefully vague and misleading claim that he didn't intend to go to Cuba “in the first place,” and only after being turned away from his real destination, the Guantanamo Bay detention center, by that heartless US military, did he go to communist Cuba (bold mine throughout):
Finally, a review of Michael Moore's “Sicko” that addressed the problems with his Seigfried & Roy style of filming and his one-sided view of health care systems. USA Today's review, by Richard Wolf, did not ignore the problems with US health care, but it put “Sicko's” view into perspective and notes the tricks and gimmicks he used to frame an image of a health care system that is worse than those in the third world (emphasis mine throughout):
Sicko is sure to prompt a healthy debate about the U.S. health care system. But it tells only one side of the story.
Michael Moore's latest documentary is partly a diatribe against insurance companies and drug makers. It recalls outrageous examples of treatments denied that led to death, disfigurement or bankruptcy.
June 19 edition had an interesting web-exclusive “Mind Matters”
column by Wray Herbert called “Toothless
which was about social psychologists Carol Tavris and Elliot
Aronson's new book, “Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me).” The
book and the column concerned the “psychological process known as
cognitive dissonance.” Sound like an unlikely candidate for bias?
Cognitive dissonance is “the extreme
emotional discomfort we feel when two important beliefs, attitudes or
perceptions collide. Humans cannot tolerate dissonance for long, so
they ease the tension by making a change in belief or attitude—and
justifying the change.”
Newsweek and Herbert, a fellow at the [Jimmy] Carter Center for
mental health journalism still managed to somehow throw in a little
liberal bias, with a vague reference that does not make clear whether
Newsweek or the study's authors named only Republicans (surprise!) as
examples of public figures with cognitive dissonance. After naming a
series of recognizable GOPers, Newsweek also got in dig at Bush and
those who still support the “misbegotten war”(emphasis mine):
Part of a regular web-only health-centric column, "Tip of the Week," Newsweek ran a June 14 piece written by Ruth Olsen, called “How to shop for organic foods without breaking your budget,” that hit many of the usual myths and wishful thinking about organic foods, such as, organic foods taste better than conventional foods (which are labeled “nonorganic” in the article, implying they deviate from the norm and are somehow lacking), organic produce lasts as long as conventional and organics can be comparable price-wise to regular produce in supermarkets (emphasis mine throughout):
If you do manage to get more organic into your diet, you won't regret the extra effort. Organic produce isn’t just healthy and better for the environment, it tastes better, too, according to Charles Benbrook, chief scientist for The Organic Center. And that flavor boost might just make it easier to convince your children to eat their veggies, or to introduce them to new foods.
In yet another example of either Castro-philia or ill-informed gullibility by a member of the press, this time from CNN's Larry King, who fell for the propaganda of Hollywood, leftists and Fidel Castro who portray the oppressive Communist dictator in the media as a Communist--uh, strike that--socialist Sheriff Andy Taylor, who is so beloved by his “constituents,” that he is never challenged and doesn't need to take basic security precautions.
On a June 14 encore of a Glenn Beck show which originally aired May 17, the “Larry King Live” host responded to Beck's question which asked who King wished he could have interviewed. King answered Pope Jon Paul II and Fidel Castro. King didn't seem to want to interview Castro to discuss the brutal hold that he maintained on the island, now supposedly passed on to his brother Raul, or his relationship with Hugo Chavez, another civil rights-crushing dictator, but because he's so popular and, apparently, doesn't need bodyguards (from CNN transcript, bold mine):
KING: And the guy I`d like to do is Castro, because he fascinates me. BECK: Better hurry on that one.
KING: I know. When you -- we`re getting close. When you can run a country for more years than anybody ever ran a country in this century, the 20th century until now, you`ve got to -- there`s got to -- somebody likes him.
It seems that Rosie did more on “The View” than lame Donald Trump imitations, belittle Elisabeth Hasselbeck (as well as Republicans in general) and advance ridiculous conspiracy theories that defy logic, not to mention physics. Rosie also controlled the issues discussed on the “The View,” and while she was on the show, certain issues were off limits...like heterosexual sex.
According to the TV Guide, during a June 13 appearance on the popular LA-based radio show “On-Air with Ryan Seacrest,” Barbara Walters revealed the control that Rosie wielded over the show's daily discussions. From the TV Guide (bold mine throughout):
Al Roker was one of the villagers with torches who stormed the castle demanding that Don Imus be fired, but now the foot is in the other mouth. On the June 7 edition of the “Today” show, during a segment discussing London's truly horrible 2012 Olympic logo, which was said to have driven people into epileptic seizures upon viewing, Roker cracked a joke about the disorder. Without turning inflecting a politically correct tone or blowing the situation out of proportion, the New York Post reported his comments and next-day apology (hat tip: Insignificant Thoughts):
"Remember that controversial Olympic logo for the 2012 Olympics in London? Some folks have complained that the campaign actually sent them into epileptic seizures," Roker said on Thursday's show.
"Well, we asked you to weigh in on our Web site in an informal poll; those of you who could get up off the floor after shaking around were able to actually log in…"
I guess things have changed since Roker wrote in his blog that he was sick of the “ 'humor' at others expense” and “the cruelty that passes for funny” (bold mine throughout):
Fox News and Variety have reported that Larry Register, former longtime CNN producer, resigned Friday from Al Hurrah, which is a US government-funded TV station in the Mid-East that is supposed to be a type of Mid-East Voice of America combating the pervasive anti-US and anti-Israel rhetoric in on TV stations like Al Jazeera.
As I noted here at NewsBusters in March, “within weeks” of Register taking over in 2005, the station took a sharp turn toward the radical. Award-winning investigative journalist and columnist Joel Mowbray and the Wall Street Journal have been on top of this story, reporting the problems, which included Register reversing the Al Hurrah policy banning terrorists as guests, that resulted in the broadcast of most of an anti-US/anti-Israel rant by Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah and giving other terrorists and extremists air time. Al Hurrah later covered the Iranian conference that denied the Holocaust and hired Yasser Thabet, a well-known Al Jazeera editor who had a habit of “fawning over terrorists,” including broadcasting Osama Bin Ladin's unedited propaganda videos because “[i]t's important to hear [Bin Ladin's] opinions.”
Variety reported Register's resignation June 10 and printed a portion of the letter he submitted (bold mine throughout):
The May 14 issue of Newsweek proclaimed that some descendants of famous Republicans--Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Barry Goldwater--are thinking about changing parties and voting Blue. In an article titled, “Generational Tensions: Thesons and daughters of some iconic Republicans (Ike! T.R.!) are contemplating crossing the aisle,” reporter Michael Hirsch set up the improbable idea that the logical move by unhappy "fiscally conservative" Republicans is to the Democratic Party. According to Ike's granddaughter Susan Eisenhower, “moderate ‘Eisenhower Republicans’ “ are not content, but Newsweek did not fully explore the illogic of this proposed alternative (emphasis mine throughout):
Increasingly, however, she says that the partisanship and free spending of the Bush presidency—and the takeover of the party by single-issue voters, especially pro-lifers—is driving these pragmatic, fiscally conservative voters out of the GOP.
Debatably, the dissatisfaction of moderate Republicans with the Iraq war and with what the article categorized as religiously influenced issues surrounding topics like Terri Schiavo, abortion and homosexuality can be answered by the Democratic Party, but not the problems of bloated bureaucracies and out of control spending. The article did not state the obvious; a Big Government GOP is still smaller than the modern Democratic Party.
All I can say is Rosie O’Donnell’s mask is slipping. Rosie was so motivated by an article in the Gay City News written by contributing writer Brendan Keane, that on June 4, she cross-posted it on her own site. By posting the article, Rosie at least tacitly approved of its content, and thus Keane’s anti-military stance gives some insight into who Rosie really believes are the terrorists as well as what she thinks about the military she claimed to love while on “The View.” She didn’t condemn or correct any of the negative comments about the US armed forces, like this one, which indicate that she was indeed questioning the military’s morality (emphasis mine throughout):
O’Donnell’s pacifism is ridiculed when it questions the morality of the American military and of the decision-makers that send young people to kill and die in America’s name.
Thanks for finally admitting it, Rosie. I’m sure if she disagreed with any of this article, she would have said so, instead of proudly posting it on her website and thanking the person who pointed it out to her. As for the “decision-makers that send young people to kill and die in America’s name,” Rosie and Keane must really hate Franklin D. Roosevelt, the OG of evil fascist warmongers.
More headline editorializing, this time on Yahoo. A June 5 Reuters article titled, “Bush bashes Putin on democracy on eve of G8 summit” sounds like Bush attacked Russian president Vladimir Putin, but the body of the article clearly did not support that view.
The headline told a very different story than the article. Editors not reporters are generally responsible for headlines, and they can greatly influence opinions about the news. The importance of a bias-free headline is that most people don’t read every word of every article; they often just skim the headlines. That meant the people who read just the headline got a very different impression from those who read the entire article (emphasis mine throughout):
"Russia is not our enemy," Bush said after meeting Czech leaders on a visit aimed at highlighting the country's emergence from Soviet domination.
He said he would urge Putin at the summit to cooperate with the U.S. plan to deploy a radar system in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland, but later in a speech took a dig at Moscow's record on democracy. "In Russia reforms that once promised to empower citizens have been derailed, with troubling implications for democratic development," Bush said.
In this June 4 article, the AP worked hard to leave out something very important but very basic in an article about Democratic US Representative William Jefferson’s 16-count bribery indictment. What the AP left out was any identification of Jefferson’s party affiliation. In almost 30 paragraphs, no where is there any hint of what party Jefferson belongs to, not even a “(D-LA).”
When a politician is in trouble and the party is not identified, it a safe bet to assume that the missing letter is a Big “D,” as in this AP piece.
How were other politicians identified? Nancy Pelosi is identified as “Pelosi, D-Calif.” John Boehner is identified as “House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio.” But Jefferson is not a Democrat, just “Louisiana congressman William Jefferson.” Strange how that works, huh?
Since party is usually identified in the first paragraphs, the AP had many opportunities to note that Jefferson is a Democrat and simply did not (emphasis mine):
Someone at the AP must really like Stephen Colbert. A bait-and-switch June 3 article was supposedly about a new book by Afghanistan-born author Khaled Hosseini, but gave readers stealth fanboy journalism that wrote a play by play of Colbert’s shtick without discussing the book. From the reporting, the BookExpo America breakfast was more like a segment of the “Colbert Report” than a national book fair discussion. Instead of any information about the book, it was line after line of Colbert coverage, "That Stephen Colbert sure is funny, and he sure has some funny ideas about books. Just ask "The Kite Runner" author Khaled Hosseini."
The media was fascinated with the story of the Americans in Michael Moore's "Sicko," who left the US for medical treatment in Cuba, a country with socialized medicine, and it was used to highlight the failings of the US health care system. When the exact opposite occurred, and an American fled Italy's socialized medicine for medical treatment in the privatized care of the US, the media decded that angle was no longer significant.
In the coverage of Andrew Speaker’s TB quarantine, very little was mentioned about why he was so determined to return to the US that he ignored the CDC’s command to remain in Italy to treat his life-threatening illness, which is the most serious form of TB and is resistant to most drugs.
Speaker was so adamant about getting out of Italy and returning to the US health care system because Italy's was inadequate for his needs. The AP recounted the Diane Sawyer interview on ABC where Andrew Speaker said the doctors at a Denver research hospital said the US was his only hope (emphasis mine throughout):
"Before I left, I knew that it was made clear to me, that in order to fight this, I had one shot, and tha was going to be in Denver," he said. If doctors in Europe tried to treat him and it went wrong, he said, "it's very real that I could have died there."
Maybe Michael Moore should listen to people who actually have socialized medicine—at least those who are allowed to disagree with their government’s policies. Singer Elton John’s partner David Furnish slammed Michael Moore and his latest docuganda “Sicko” for misrepresenting the quality of the US health care system. On June 02, Furnish stated, ”[America] was the only place to get good treatment”(emphasis mine):
A little anti-gun bias on CNN. This week, CNN interviewed 11-year-old Jamison Stone who claimed he killed a “Monster Pig,” which was often compared to the other giant pig Hogzilla, but not everyone in the media was very receptive to the story of an 11-year-old boy using a handgun to kill a giant boar. CNN Newsroom correspondent T.J. Holmes was uncomfortable with the boy’s use of a handgun, asking, “Is it just me, or an 11-year-old with a pistol, is that OK?” (emphasis mine throughout):
A website has sprung up called FireElisabethHasselbeck.com and has a petition for people to sign if they think token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck should be fired. So far over 18,880 people have signed in support of firing the woman the petition calls the “aggressor throughout the entire discussion.” The petition reads like a satire of what actually happened but with the two hosts' names reversed (all emphasis is mine):
Elisabeth began by interrupting Joy with sarcastic comments as Joy attempted to provide some facts about the George Bush presidency, and then continued as Elisabeth angrily defended her refusal to respond to the Republican pundits who incorrectly said that Rosie called the U.S. troops terrorists. As the discussion progressed, Rosie repeatedly tried to de-escalate the situation and not get into a disagreement. However, Elisabeth angrily continued in her blind defense of this administration and her criticisms of Rosie’s views. While many have portrayed this fight as one over politics, it was really a fight about friendship and Elisabeth’s refusal to support Rosie by denouncing what these pundits were attempting to say about her.
For the past 20 years, every Memorial Day weekend, tens of thousands of motorcyclists join together as Rolling Thunder to honor the military, particularly the dead and MIA. The coverage is usually positive and focuses on the patriotic bikers and their interesting-looking bikes. On May 27, ABC News went a different direction for this year’s ride. Instead of covering Rolling Thunder and their military and veteran-related issues, the way the Washington Post and the Washington Times did in their articles, ABC turned it into advocacy journalism to inform people about the importance of--wearing helmets while riding motorcycles. After four rather bland sentences about the the event, ABC slipped into lecture-mode (emphasis mine thoughout):
The “Clueless” star and animal rights activist, Alicia Silverstone, was the guest directly following the Rosie/Elisabeth dust-up, and it looked like she snubbed Hasselbeck, or did she just make a mistake? When approaching from the token non-liberal’s side of the stage, Silverstone stepped up onto the platform with the couch to greet the hosts and instead of greeting the pregnant Republican in the brightly colored dress, the PETA activist walked right by Hasselbeck’s outstretched hands. The Republican host actually touched the actress’ arms to welcome her, but Silverstone moved past Hasselbeck and clearly greeted Behar, who was standing directly beside Hasselbeck. She then hugged all of the hosts except Hasselbeck (YouTube video here).
May 24, the Washington Post wrote an article describing a “theater-wide delay in food shortage," “especially for (f)resh fruits and salad bar items” which quoted a “memo” reportedly issued by an official Green-Zone organization. It is identical in wording to a “memo” posted on a blog belonging to harsh anti-war critic and former CIA and State Department employee Larry Johnson, who is known for claiming in July 2001 that “terrorism is not the biggest security challenge confronting the United States, and it should not be portrayed that way.”
The memo was posted in a PDF on Johnson’s blog, No Quarter, and according to Ace of Spades, used a Lenox china flag-cluthing eagle collectible figurine on tan emblem for the header's graphics. Little Green Footballs also questioned its veracity, stating it was “not a scan of a printed original,” but typed directly from Microsoft Word “two days after the date on the so-called ‘memo.’ ” I noticed a lack of any official identifiers like group affiliation, phone numbers, job titles or logos. Even Johnson now admits in an update that a “journalist buddy” said a US military Public Affairs Officer in Baghdad called it a fake (more after jump).
“Entertainment Weekly's” online site, EW.com, is usually politics-free, but not this week. Who would have thought that EW's “Lost” blogger could inject a little Bush Derangement Syndrome into a review of the show's May 23 season finale? Somehow, writer Jeff Jensen managed to find a way (spoilers ahead).
In case you aren’t a “Lost” viewer, here’s what you need to know to help explain this article about the show's season closer entitled “Through The Looking Glass.” Ben, the leader of the Others, intercepted the retreating Losties to negotiate with their leader Jack. Three Losties stayed behind to attack the Others’ but were taken hostage in the process. Ben threatened to have them killed by their captors if Jack didn’t follow his demands. So, now that the scene is set up, here is the BDS in full glory (emphasis mine):
The Digg community is notorious for instantly burying stories by conservatives or about conservative-themed issues. Digg seems to be doing something that might help a little; they are banning users who bury stories (as well as those who Digg) without taking the time to read them. (hat tip Hot Air)
An Australian tech blogger named Dan posted a letter on his blog TheWrongAdvices.com from Digg notifying him that his account had been banned for Digging or burying too quickly. Strangely, Dan’s blog account has been suspended and his site is inaccessible, and so, the Righty blogger Weasel Zippers now seems to be the only source to read the email.
Why should a country go to the effort of spying on America when all they have to do is follow the US media? USA Today reported a database of phone calls and the New York Times publically exposed the SWIFT banking transaction database; both were used to combat terrorism. Now on the May 22 edition of ABC News’ the Blotter, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito revealed another national security-related secret (my emphasis throughout):
The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.
Canadians are mad as heck, and this time, they’re not going to take it. Michael Moore went too far to be ignored, which meant that a Canuck really gave him “what for” in the form of a polite but pointed recap of a heated press conference on Saturday for the premiere of “Sicko,” Moore’s one-sided US health-care hit job, which debuted at Cannes Film Festival .
May 20, Toronto Star entertainment reporter Peter Howell wrote in the ideologically left of center paper that the Canadian journalists who saw “Sicko” were less than happy with his “playing fast and loose with the facts” and churning out a one-sided Pollyanna treatment of Canadian health care, presenting a system without problems. After being chastised by some of the most polite people on Earth, he fired back and leveled a truly terrible offense at them by stating their system is barely a step above America's. Quelle horreur!
Read what one of the few articles critical of Moore and his accuracy had to say about the movie's obvious problems with Moore’s film (bold emphasis mine throughout):