In October 2006 the national media projected Rep. Mark Foley’s online sex chats with House pages into a disaster that would swallow the Grand Old Party whole. CBS, for example, proclaimed it the "congressional equivalent of Katrina." In 2008, when federal investigators found Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich trying to put Barack Obama’s Senate seat on the auction block, these same "news" gatherers found a storm, to be sure, but a storm they suggested would in short order be "pushed out to sea."
With the governor caught on tape unloading obscenity after obscenity about how he expected to reap a financial bonanza for handing out his gubernatorial perks, this story was so undeniably big, even the Obamaphile press couldn’t ignore it. So instead these reporters tried to downplay its impact on the President-elect and the Democrats.
It was 13 years ago that O.J. Simpson was acquitted in the stabbing murders of his wife Nicole and waiter Ron Goldman, two grisly deaths for which he was most certainly responsible.
On December 5, Simpson was sentenced to at least nine years in a Nevada prison for a Las Vegas robbery attempt of what he claimed was his own sports memorabilia.
We live in a crazy world, and the shamelessness never ends for Simpson: on the same day he was sentenced, Xtreme Entertainment Group (XEG) announced they would be selling a new comedy DVD starring Simpson called “Juiced!”
The nation’s economy is causing great anxiety, and no corner seems untouched by the blight of layoffs, or the fear of further stock-market erosion. It probably should come as no surprise that in this crisis, the journalists who have hailed Barack Obama for two years as the Messiah would want their savior’s arrival to be accelerated. They’ve broken out in cold sweats, displaying a bad case of Inauguration Impatience Syndrome.
You can’t reason with them and suggest that several months of transition are necessary to build a new administration, and for Obama it’s not different. They certainly aren’t showing the slightest sign of remembering 2000, when the Left, with the news media cheering them on, dragged the election results out 35 days trying to install Al Gore. Obama’s inauguration needs to happen immediately if not sooner, and George W. Bush should be tossed out like spoiling Thanksgiving leftovers.
Hollywood can still mount a soapbox and recall the dark days when people lost their jobs in show business for daring to take an unpopular political position that was outside the mainstream. Whenever they’re criticized, they proclaim "McCarthyism," accuse their critics of "blacklisting," and condemn the deplorable "intolerance."
Hollywood has yet to accept, perhaps even to understand, that it is the entertainment industry that excels at this slanderous behavior. After California voters narrowly approved Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, it was revealed that Scott Eckern, the artistic director of the California Musical Theater in Sacramento, the state's largest nonprofit musical theater company, had donated $1,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign.
Eckern’s freedom of speech be damned: the man needed to be punished. Producer Marc Shaiman's musical "Hairspray" had played at the theater and he announced he would never allow anything he wrote to play there because of Eckern's donation. Shaiman’s declaration triggered a blistering e-mail pressure campaign, forcing Eckern to resign.
On the night before Thanksgiving, just an hour after Rosie O’Donnell had publicly belly-flopped with a horrible attempt at an old-time variety show on NBC, Barbara Walters made a fool of herself interviewing Barack and Michelle Obama. The toughest questions dealt with whether there was enough "change" in his cabinet picks, and whether he was "waffling" on tax hikes for the rich – questions his (and ABC’s) liberal base would enjoy.
Let’s go back eight years. On the Friday before the Inauguration, Walters interviewed then-President-elect George Bush and his wife Laura. But it was only one part of a routine "20/20" hour, and she brought harsh questions to carve up Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft as a divisive disaster.
This time, the media’s favorite won. The Obama interview drew a whole hour, which Walters promoted with a gooey splash of Obama fawning and interview clips all across the ABC News schedule. She was so ubiquitous one might have expected her to plug the Obamas in a cameo appearance on an ABC soap opera like "All My Children."
Christmas is coming, which means it’s time for Comedy Central to begin besmirching the holiday. This year’s first salvo is “A Colbert Christmas,” hosted by the clueless-ultraconservative buffoon persona played by Stephen Colbert. Colbert is so busy manufacturing his O’Reillyesque right-wing jerk that it’s impossible to tell where the real man and the cartoon diverge. His adoring entourage in the secular press tries to smooth over his satires of Christianity by insisting he’s a Sunday school-teaching Catholic family man. Colbert told the Associated Press that he thinks his Christmas special is “sincerely strange, but strangely sincere.”
Why do men like this say such insincere things when promoting their shows? That claim of sincerity vanishes within the first 30 seconds, when Colbert proclaims in his white cardigan and red turtleneck that he’s so excited for his Christmas special he’s "sporting a Yule log" and gets out a baseball bat and promises to provide a "freshly hobbled Tiny Tim." I’m guessing that slogan is also ruined by the scene where he tongue-kisses a bear under the mistletoe.
If there is a dreadfully overused word in the giddy countdown to the Obama inauguration, it is "smart." Not just "smart," but also its stronger cousins like "Brilliant" and "Genius." These words have been offered shamelessly for nearly every person assigned a role by President-Elect Obama. They are assembling an "all-star cabinet." This was not an honor for those having attended all the right schools, but a tribute to people who have all the "right" ideas. Liberals are smart because they’re liberals. Conservative beliefs are honed from having been dropped on your head as an infant.
Last week, Newsweek almost comedically compared Obama to Lincoln, hailing the strength of his "humility." How could anyone stay humble with all these hyper-flattering cover stories about whether you’re Lincoln or you’re Franklin Roosevelt? Nobody asked: But what if he turns out to be another ineffective Jimmy Carter? Then again, not to worry. Just as Time turned Obama into FDR on its cover, they comically projected Carter as Gary Cooper in "High Noon" in the hostage-crisis spring of 1980.
The liberal crocodiles at The New York Times are shedding tears for National Review magazine. The headline of media reporter Tim Arango’s piece is "At National Review, a Threat to Its Reputation for Erudition." It is a curious topic for the Times, which usually treats the idea of intellectual conservatism as oxymoronic.
Arango mourns that the tenor of debate at National Review Online, the magazine’s Internet sister, "devolved into open nastiness" over the question of Sarah Palin’s fitness for the vice presidency, "laying bare debates among conservatives that in a pre-Internet age may have been kept behind closed doors." Arango claims that the coarsening effect of the Internet has damaged NR’s "reputation as the cradle for conservative intellectuals and home for erudite and well-mannered debate prized by its founder, William F. Buckley Jr." [Full disclosure: my uncle.]
The election of Barack Obama was certainly historic, and the great attraction of that historic moment led to more history: an Obama-smitten news media that completely avoided their responsibility to test the nominee with hard questions. It made the gooey 1992 Clinton campaign look like a fistfight by comparison.
Obama faced none of the withering scrutiny applied to even the Republican vice presidential candidate. Instead, he was treated to a nearly constant string of encomiums and tributes to his transformational candidacy, while nearly every possible pitfall of political embarrassment or inconvenience has been omitted or dismissed.
Hollywood celebrities campaigning and cavorting with national contenders is a staple of presidential politics. Frank Sinatra is remembered for backing Jack Kennedy. Paul Newman made waves for Hubert Humphrey in 1968. Warren Beatty was part of George McGovern’s "Malibu Mafia" in 1972. Ted Kennedy used Carroll O’Connor, famous for playing Archie Bunker, to add to his lunch-bucket appeal in 1980.
Republicans, too, had their moments. Nixon had Hope; the Gipper had the Duke, Jimmy Stewart and others. But these were exceptions to the rule. For a generation this industry comprised of the very rich and very famous has been dominated by the Left. Some know whereof they speak, many are intellectual embarrassments and all believe the Earth’s axis revolves around the 90210 zip code.
In 1992 they flexed their muscle in a spectacular fashion, seemingly everywhere in support of the Man from Hope. The exercise would be repeated every four years thereafter; in the last go-round John Kerry lined up every Affleck and DiCaprio he could find.
The election results aren’t in yet, but there is one set of surveys with an unmistakeable conclusion. Everyone should be forced to admit that the publicists formerly known as the "news" media have worked themselves to the bone this year to elect Barack Obama.
Polls have found it. The Pew Center for the People and the Press documented a landslide: "By a margin of 70 percent to 9 percent, Americans say most journalists want to see Obama, not John McCain, win on November 4."
The Center for Media and Public Affairs found it. Measuring for comments that are either measurably positive or negative – and dropping out the neutral remarks – comments about Obama on the three network evening newscasts have been two-thirds positive (65 percent) since the party conventions. Comments about John McCain have been about one-third positive (36 percent) in the same time frame.
Academics at Washington State University have discovered something that may not be very profound. Celebrities are quite successful in persuading young people to turn out and vote.
The survey found that get-out-the-vote pitches by celebrities in the 2004 election cycle helped create an 11 percent increase in voting by people between the ages of 18 and 24, compared to the 2000 election."It suggests that we can make use of celebrity culture to get students engaged," said Erica Austin, a co-author of the study and dean of the school. "They want to be like celebrities."
Austin’s team found that "celebrities have the power to motivate civic engagement regardless of their own grasp of the issues at hand." It’s easy to question the political savvy of musicians like P. Diddy or Christina Aguilera. Oprah Winfrey’s big primary push for Barack Obama gushed through the news and spilled over at the ballot box, even if her speeches on his behalf vaguely touted him as "The One" and sounded like a goopy New Age chat. He was "an evolved leader" and "we're all here to evolve as human beings."
Back in 1964, Lyndon Johnson and his hatchet man Bill Moyers made the infamous "Daisy" ad charging Barry Goldwater would cause a nuclear war, and it became a massive media story. Reportedly the ad ran only once and yet everyone came to know about it, thanks to the press. In 1976 and again in 1980 the Democrats worked overtime suggesting the election of Ronald Reagan would trigger a military calamity, so much so that in their 1980 debate, Reagan joked that Jimmy Carter was cartooning him as a "mad bomber." The media couldn’t get enough of that narrative, either.
So what happens when a vice presidential candidate makes the gaffe to end all gaffes and declares that his own running mate will trigger an international crisis? In the Year of The One, it’s yet another controversy that is virtually ignored by a national press corps that has become an institutional embarrassment.
On Sunday, October 12, CBS wrapped up its "Evening News" with the apparently charming scoop that Sister Cecilia Gaudette, a 106-year-old Catholic nun living in Rome, would cast her first presidential ballot since 1952...for Barack Obama. That’s one more evening-news story than CBS has devoted to Obama’s radical legislative record on abortion.
Try this on for size: ABC, CBS, and NBC together have unloaded more than a thousand stories on Obama’s presidential campaign, and we’re still waiting for the first broadcast network TV story devoted to examining Obama’s abortion record.
CBS’s man in Rome, Allen Pizzey, packaged his story without the slightest interest into inquiring as to why this Catholic nun would vote for a candidate who is clearly the nation’s fervent advocate of abortion. Instead, Pizzey chose to...ooze. "She has a simple, old-fashioned standard for politicians," Pizzey proclaimed, before giving the good nun the opportunity for her on-air national endorsement of Barack Obama: "A good straight man; good private life, honest and politically able to govern, of course."
Just like Bill Maher, "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane is discovering that atheist ridicule of Jesus Christ and Christianity draws nothing but yawns from today’s media elite. If you want an angry media mob, you need merely spit out "Barack Hussein Obama" at a McCain rally and watch the Guardians of Social Taste bring out the torches and pitchforks. But mocking Jesus? Ho hum.
On October 5, Fox’s Sunday night cartoon debuted an episode titled "I Dream of Jesus," a play on "I Dream of Jeannie." Get it? Jesus is a fairy tale, like a genie in a bottle. The title character, Peter Griffin wanders into a record shop, where he finds Jesus Christ minding the store. Jesus lies to Peter, trying to deny who he is, until Peter threatens to urinate on the albums of Christian artist Amy Grant. Jesus comes clear on his identity and explains he came to Earth "just to get away from the family... my dad just quit smoking and he’s a little on edge." What follows is an entire story that chronicles, in rather amazing fashion, how this lying, slacker Jesus is even dumber than Peter, the greatest idiot on animated television today.
It seems like only yesterday when Enron and Worldcom collapsed. Throughout these ordeals our national media labored long and hard to paint Worldcom’s Bernie Ebbers as the face of Capitalism Corrupted while connecting the dots between President Bush and Enron’s "Kenny Boy" Lay, in the effort to demonstrate that corruption in action.
Now it is not a couple of business behemoths in trouble; it’s the entire economy that is teetering over a credit crisis brought on in part by corrupt government-sponsored enterprises and liberal politicians. So where are those same journalists now?
They’re out there finding fault only with the evil private sector. The mushrooming federal government and the stewards of its never-ending expansion cannot be questioned.
Ever since liberal media types felt robbed by the Bush-Quayle campaign’s "lies" about Michael Dukakis in 1988, we’ve been suffering through the media elite’s attempts to "police" the facts in advertisements. "Correction" squads are insisting that John McCain can’t say Barack Obama will raise taxes, no matter how much that announcing Democrats will raise taxes is like announcing the sun will rise.
In 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle suggested Bill Clinton would raise taxes on the middle class. Quayle said in the vice presidential debate that everyone over $36,000 could face a tax hike. Media "experts" accused the GOP of mangling "facts." President Clinton was elected – and passed the largest tax increase in American history, right down to the middle class.
"It was Quayle who repeatedly twisted and misstated the facts," CNN reporter Brooks Jackson had pronounced after the vice presidential debate. On ABC, Jeff Greenfield proclaimed: "Independent examination of this charge by, for example, press organizations, has found it, to say the least, misleading."
For two decades, going back to the Willie Horton ads of 1988, we’ve heard liberals accuse Republicans of race-baiting. Throughout this campaign, there have been endless whispers, suggestions, and outright accusations that GOP could/would play the race card because Obama is half-black. Now Barack Obama has found his bizarre version of Willie Horton, and it’s…Rush Limbaugh.
Obama sneakily tried to air a Spanish-language TV ad telling Latinos that Limbaugh thinks Mexicans are all stupid and Mexican immigrants should all shut up and go home, and that Limbaugh and John McCain are identical twins on immigration.
None of it is true. Now when Obama talks about reaching across the aisle and healing a divided Washington, we’ll fall to the ground laughing.
The McCain campaign went looking for a major anchor to be awarded the blessing and the curse of the first Sarah Palin interview -- a blessing for ratings and a curse from all the competitors who would accuse the winners of being soft on Republicans. At CBS, Katie Couric had wallowed in fan-club-president questions to Hillary Clinton about her "pure stamina," so she couldn’t be first. NBC's Brian Williams kept asking Barack Obama those hardballs about how his late mother would swoon over the latest glowingly positive "news" magazine cover. How hard was it to pick Charlie Gibson on ABC?
Of the three anchors, Gibson is the one with the longest career in the hard-news trenches. The McCain people knew Gibson was not a "friendly." They knew Palin's first interview was going to be a grilling -- not just because the media saw her as untested, but because of the enormous liberal-media peer pressure to puncture her popularity.
It's not unlike the attitude that greeted conservative Gov. John Sununu of New Hampshire when he came to Washington to be Bush 41's chief of staff in 1989. Ben Bradlee, then the executive editor of The Washington Post, offered the Los Angeles Times his less-than-humble opinion: "A jack-leg Governor from a horse's ass state. How could he play with us in the big leagues?"
Seven years ago America was attacked. Thousands of innocents were murdered. As a nation we were first stunned, then saddened, and then angered, united as we hadn’t been for half a century, committed in a common purpose to fight back and defeat what was now a national enemy. There were many heroes that day. We honored them all then, and today we honor them again.
The mission of the Media Research Center is to document, expose and neutralize liberal media bias. We do so relentlessly. But if our mission is to take to task those who err in their roles as news journalists, we are also honor-bound to recognize their efforts when they excel in their profession. On 9-11-01, and in the days that followed, we saw the American news media at their finest. Several months after this horrific event, during the MRC’s Annual Gala in Washington DC, we unveiled a video tribute to these men and women, recognizing their excellence, and thanking them for it.
It is fitting that today, on the seventh anniversary of 9-11, that we release this video again, with our gratitude.
The executive suite at MSNBC is the last hardened corner of America to concede that maybe Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews are nowhere close to the textbook definition of detached, "straight news" anchor. Their decision to abandon what was tenderly called their anchoring "experiment" only acknowledges that the idea was a bust: MSNBC was regularly coming in dead last among the commercial cable-news and broadcast-news network covering the conventions.
NBC News is coming to the realization that Olbermann and Matthews aren’t only suppressing MSNBC’s ratings on election and convention nights, they’re ruining whatever credibility NBC’s brand retained. When the boos really kicked in during Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech in St. Paul, the delegates started chanting "NBC! NBC!" as the foremost example of partisan excess from an "objective" source. It’s gotten so bad that old NBC war horse Tom Brokaw is decrying how these men have "gone too far." This is shocking stuff coming from an anchorman who gave a Reagan-trashing interview to Mother Jones magazine in his Eighties heyday.
When MSNBC’s Chris Matthews suggested in Denver that Barack Obama earned his present elevation in American politics, unlike "showcase appointments" like Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, he reminded the world of the peculiarity of liberalism. John McCain’s selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate underlined it. Liberals find no joy when Republicans select women or minorities for top positions. They are all fraudulent traitors to their own apparent group interests. Conservative blacks aren’t really black. Conservative Latinos aren’t really Latino. Now, conservative women are somehow not really women.
Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift spoke for her colleagues on the Palin selection: "If the media reaction is anything, it's been literally laughter in many places...In very, very many newsrooms."
What a disgraceful display of media malice in response to the Gov. Palin announcement. The Governor is a remarkable, genteel and upstanding woman, yet the press went right into the gutter in response to Sen. McCain's selection of her to be Vice President.
These alleged journalists are again demonstrating what utter charlatans they are. Every day they lecture conservatives about ‘mean-spirited' politics, yet they spent the entire Labor Day weekend using Gov. Palin's new born son's condition to try to score cheap and shoddy Democratic campaign points. And continued right on doing so when the Palin family announced that their oldest daughter Bristol was pregnant.
These are not reporters, these are hypocritical left-wing advocates using their First Amendment rights as clubs to bludgeon and abuse this fine woman with the lowliest attacks they can drum up.
The line between the liberal media and the Democratic Party has now been crossed so many times it is no longer blurred, it is obliterated.
Barack Obama's campaign has been seriously frightened by John McCain celebrity-mocking ads. Those celebrities were virtually nowhere to be found for most of the Denver convention. While the Obama machine may control the inside of the convention, outside these celebrities are clearly out of control – again.
That overbaked tart Madonna kicked off her latest concert tour with a fairly typical attempt to put her Kung Fu grip on media attention by signaling her preferences in the presidential race. In her first concert in London – the same city where the Dixie Chicks professed their shame for being geographically associated with Bush – Madonna performed a song titled "Give It 2 Me" with a video screen flashing images behind her.
First came John McCain's picture – alongside images of Adolf Hitler, Zimbabwe's dictator Robert Mugabe, environmental ruin, and starving children. (She also included Mike Huckabee in that odd hall of shame.) Then came the Obama segment, and the Democrat was surrounded by images of Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, John Lennon, and Al Gore.
For two years now, we’ve heard Barack Obama’s media allies telling us how he was a somehow Not A Politician, that he was the pragmatic soul of civility who was "uniquely qualified to nudge the country toward the color purple." (So said Newsweek.) If that myth hadn’t died under tons of weight to the contrary by now, it certainly should have expired in Springfield, Illinois when he selected Joe Biden as his running mate. The Democratic hatchet men were unleashed.
Obama brought the D-word to the table: the Republicans are a "disaster." The country could not suffer through "Four more years of the same out of touch policies that created an economic disaster at home. A disastrous foreign policy abroad. Four more years of the same divisive politics that's all about tearing people down instead of lifting the country up."
When Sen. John Kerry arrived in Boston for the last Democratic convention, the TV news stars thought they’d died and gone to political heaven. Dan Rather said Kerry’s speech drove the crowd in Boston into “a three-thousand-gallon attack about every three minutes,” and Newsweek’s Jon Meacham was comparing Kerry to Abraham Lincoln on MSNBC. If media liberals can get that excited over Kerry, viewers may have to worry about the anchors lapsing into diabetic comas over Barack Obama’s ascension convention in Denver.
It’s easy to forget just how “tick tight,” as Rather once put it, the primary race was between Obama and Hillary Clinton. It ended up with a vote gap of just one tenth of a percentage point. The real difference-maker in the 2008 race was the Obama favoritism of the national media, led by the television networks. It was his margin of victory.
Hollywood is always reminding us of its rosy vision of the future where there are absolutely no limits to sexual adventurism and gender confusion. Seldom is heard a discouraging word about the next new frontier of tolerance. "If it feels good, do it" isn’t merely a T-shirt slogan. In California, it should become the state motto, and might soon sound like a new pledge of allegiance – one utopia, casting aside any moral compass, finding liberty and justice in applauding every perversion.
On television, it’s become almost blase to place a reality show in the fashion world that merely features gay men with pink hair and cross-dressing judges. The CW network show "America’s Next Top Model" has now gone through ten seasons of "top models." So to freshen up the concept, hostess Tyra Banks announced that for the fall season, one of the girls will be a man – or, to use the politically correct term, a "transgender."
You know there are some in the liberal media who have simply lost touch with reality when the headline reads "John Edwards Cheats on Wife With Cancer" and they ask with great detachment whether he'll be able to run for office again soon. These people's morality is so bizarre that they showed more outrage at John McCain featuring a picture of Paris Hilton in a commercial for two eye-blinks than for Edwards catting around on a dying spouse.
For months (and more hotly in the last two weeks), the National Enquirer has been trickling out the goods they collected on John Edwards having an affair and possibly a love child with campaign aide Rielle Hunter, staking out Edwards in a California hotel – and how he hid in the bathroom to avoid them.
There's a quick campaign ad on the two parties in a nutshell. Republican George Bush took on Osama bin Laden and took out Saddam Hussein. Democrat John Edwards hides in a bathroom from the tabloids.
Newsweek’s love for Barack Obama knows no bounds. After Obama’s speech in Berlin, Newsweek published a headline that suggests an editor who’s spent six days drunk on a merry-go-round: "Obama’s Reagan Moment." That deserves the Lloyd Bentsen retort: "I knew Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was a friend of mine. Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan."
The Newsweek piece sneered that while Obama and John Kennedy spoke to more than a hundred thousand people, Reagan spoke to a much smaller audience, "only about 20,000," and they were outnumbered by leftist protesters the night before. They recalled, "Even some of Reagan’s aides were embarrassed by the ‘tear down this wall’ line thinking it was too provocative or grandiose." Newsweek would concede only that "Reagan understood stagecraft," and communism’s fall "made his words prescient."
In other words, the Gipper was a showboat who got lucky.
John McCain has figured out that one way to build enthusiasm among conservatives is to confront his former best friends in the liberal media. As the media glorify Barack Obama the "statesman" on his trip abroad, with the three network anchors lining up for interviews like a gaggle of smitten fan-club presidents, the McCain campaign suddenly acquired a surprising "Annoy The Media" flavor.
Like many Obama-loving press outlets, Newsweek has reported that McCain’s campaign is struggling against an Obama crusade that seems "blessed by destiny." This spin is maddening. The Obama campaign has been blessed by a media that arrogantly aspires to be the manufacturers of our destiny, and make history by beating the electorate senseless with glowing Obama coverage.
McCain is learning that the best way to fight the "destiny" makers is to take them on directly. The Drudge Report revealed that after The New York Times published an op-ed by Obama on July 14 laying out his thoughts on Iraq, McCain submitted an op-ed in reply. But the Times rejected it. David Shipley, the deputy editorial page editor, suggested that McCain’s article wasn’t constructive enough to publish.