On the Oct. 23 "Good Morning America," ABC's George Stephanopoulos was troubled. The source of his disquiet was a new Pew Research poll released on Oct. 22 that shows "just 57 percent of Americans see solid evidence" of global warming. [Emphasis ours.] This represents a 14 percent drop since last year. Additionally, the number of those who believe climate change is caused by human activity fell 11 percent. To the media's true believers - and those who just like reporting a good scare story - these numbers are upsetting.
GMA in particular has a stake in making sure Americans believe they're destroying the planet, since the morning show has been a tireless purveyor of climate change propaganda. Stephanopoulos referenced the poll in introducing a segment on the new book "Superfreakonomics," which offers "radically different" solutions on how to "save our planet."
"Superfreakonomics" co-author Stephen Dubner agreed with Stephanopoulos that global warming "very well may be" a serious problem. But he then argued that "the proposed solution of carbon mitigation as the one and primary path [to combating climate change] will be too little and too late, and it's too optimistic."
On Oct. 22, ABC's "The View" tsked at "the media" for presenting an alleged suspect as guilty. The focus of their discussion was Nicole Howell, a former high school teacher that was accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student but has since been acquitted of the charges.
"Is her teaching career over?" worried Whoopi Goldberg. "They accused her of it; it turned out she hadn't done it, and they made a big hoo ha. But now can she go back to teaching? What can she do?"
"I think it's wrecked in a certain way, unfortunately, this poor girl," said Joy Behar. "Any time somebody shouts fire, ya know, when there is none, is a problem. This is going to haunt her - unless she goes into the witness protection program."
The Federal pay czar announced that executives in companies that took bailout funds from the Troubled Asset Recovery Program should not receive the bonuses that were announced recently. And there are rumblings about extending government reach into the executive compensation at all publicly traded companies. That would be just fine with Harry Smith at CBS's "Early Show."
On Oct. 22, Smith interviewed Elizabeth Warren, the chairperson of the Congressional Oversight Panel - basically the government-mandated babysitter of companies that were bailed out by TARP funds.
"Guys, you can't party on like it's 2007," said Warren. "If you're going to have to take taxpayer dollars, then it means the game has to change."
In performing its duty to help save us from ourselves, ABC often turns to its favorite kill-joy food police, the Center for Science in the Public Interest. And they did it again on Oct. 21, when "Good Morning America's" Lisa Stark lamented with CSPI's executive director, Michael Jacobson, about the conniving designs of the food industry to lure unsuspecting consumers into its artery-clogging, diabetes-ridden death trap.
On Oct. 20, Media Research Center Vice President of Business & Culture, appeared on the Fox Business Network to discuss recent calls from journalists and liberals for government intervention in America's ailing newspaper industry.
"I can hardly believe that the Washington Post would publish an editorial asking for a taxpayer bailout of newspapers," said host Stuart Varney. "Tell me I should not be shocked."
Varney, said Gainor, shouldn't be surprised, since the editorial was "pegged to a report that came out by former editor Len Downey calling for exactly that same thing." Gainor explained that industry insiders and liberals, along with some on Capitol Hill are either desperate to save journalism jobs or salivating at the prospect of exercising greater control over the media. "You've got both houses of Congress, the Federal Trade Commission and the FCC all looking at the future of journalism and all trying to get their hooks into it."
So Whoopi Goldberg is a fan of the "We Report, You Decide" school of TV journalism. Who knew? Unfortunately, her choice of "fair and balanced" news icons leaves much to be desired.
On ABC's "The View" Oct. 19, Goldberg said, "I don't get my news often times from any of the networks because, ya know, I'm from the Walter Cronkite generation, where they told you what was going on and you were left to make your decision. You were left to figure it out."
But was Cronkite really the gold standard for impartial reporting?
Back in 2006, the Media Research Center compiled quotes from Cronkite dating from the years after his 1981 retirement. These words clearly exposed not only his liberal views but also his belief that being a good journalist means being liberal.
Hell hath no fury like an infotainment show duped. On Oct. 19, ABC's "Good Morning America" started the week by picking up where it left off the previous Friday. On Monday, GMA wasted over 14 minutes whining about the bogus balloon boy story and his family's lack of "remorse."
On Oct 16, GMA spent 25 minutes hyping balloon boy, covering every angle by talking to the family, the sheriff, and a former co-worker. Now that it's apparent that the boy had taken them "for a ride," the morning show wants an apology.
"If you are among those who feel deceived and are waiting for a public apology from the family," said reporter Ryan Owens, "you may be waiting for a while."
With Rush Limbaugh now out of a group vying to purchase the St. Louis Rams, the continued smearing from ABC's "The View" on October 15 constitutes a late hit.
Whoopi Goldberg said that Limbaugh was dropped as a potential buyer because they're not "pleased" with him: "It actually might not be about conservativism. This one might be personal." She also claimed that Limbaugh is "part of the mainstream media."
Joy Behar added that Limbaugh likes to "be the victim" and, making Limbaugh owner of the St. Louis Rams would be like "making Michael Vick own the American Kennel Club."
You have to wonder about CNN's priorities. The network that has promoted the legalization of "our friend marijuana," and on Oct. 14 praised the British government's decision to offer free shooting galleries to heroin addicts, was the next day demonizing American cigarette companies for "color coding cigarettes to ‘trick' you."
"American Morning's" Kiran Chetry introduced the cigarette segment by fretting that, even though "the misleading, deceptive" tobacco companies have fully complied with the latest law that bans cigarette companies from advertising products as "low tar" and light," they "are still allowed to market their brands with colors." Chetry waved a pack of cigarettes in the air. "And some are saying that these [colors] actually are sending signals to a smoker about what kind of product they're going to get ... Is this a question of genius marketing? Are they duping people?"
On Oct. 14 CNN's "American Morning" aired a segment about the controversial program that "gives heroin to heroin addicts at the taxpayers' expense." Correspondent Paula Newton declared, "A safe, steady supply of heroin is apparently just what the doctor ordered ... As radical as it is, for some it is really working." She also said that the British government's decision to dole out 97 percent pure heroin - "better than anything sold on the street" - "takes heroin off the streets."
On Oct. 13 "The View" hosts reacted to the news that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had ruled out a future run for the presidency. "Hillary Clinton told Anne Curry that she will not be making another run for president of the United States, saying she loves her job as Secretary of State and is looking forward to retirement at some point ... Ya know, that kind of made me sad," Whoopi Goldberg lamented.
Sherri Shepherd called Hillary "victorious" - "an inspiration to women" - and equated the news of her retirement with "being hit in the pit of your stomach" and "deflating a balloon."
"Because - not ever calling Hillary Clinton a quitter, but it's something - even when she pulled out, I felt sad," Shepherd said. "Because as a woman, you just look at Hillary as, ‘You don't quit. You always keep going' ... The fact that she's saying, ‘I think I'm going to stop and retire,' it's just like, no, Hillary!"
Just last week Suze Orman appeared on "Good Morning America" to advise couples not to share a bank account so that "nobody could take anybody else's money." Now on Oct. 12 GMA aired a segment about Sidetaker.com, a Web site that allows arguing couples to "just log on and let a group of complete strangers weigh in."
Last year when Justin Marinos couldn't decide whether to dump his cheating girlfriend, he jumpstarted Sidetakers.com to make the decision for him. Responders voted to ditch the girl, and he did.
So much for the good ol' days of compromising behind closed doors. Sidetakers had 200,000 readers last month with 11,000 registered users anonymously - and often shamelessly, airing their dirty laundry.
Did you think that marriage was about love and selflessness and sharing? Not anymore. Marriage is about getting what's yours. At least according to Suze Orman, the personal finance expert known for saying "I told you so" when the economy crashed.
On Oct. 9 Orman advised "Today" show listeners not to invest in their marriage, saying, "Just to have everything [all your money] together allows you to have a big downfall if something goes wrong." She says it's just commonsense to have three bank accounts, "His, Hers, & Ours," so "nobody could take anybody else's money."
"You enter a relationship as an autonomous human being," Orman said. "You need to have your own money. He or she needs to have his or her own money. And then there needs to be a joint account."
This Saturday, October 10, President Obama will be the keynote speaker at a Human Rights Campaign awards ceremony and fundraiser. He'll be the first president in history to participate in a gay activist campaign event outside of the White House. (In June 1999, President Clinton had invited HRC along with other gay activist groups to the White House to celebrate "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.")
But all is not right between the president and some of his most reliable supporters.
On the campaign trail, Obama offered plenty to the gay lobby, promising to end "Don't Ask - Don't Tell" and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Back in March he went so far as to name HRC's Harry Knox to the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Knox is an anti-Catholic bigot who has repeatedly attacked the Pope and the Church, and even called the Knights of Columbus "foot soldiers of a discredited army of oppression."
Poor David Letterman. Not only did blackmail force him to publicly admit unseemly workplace sexual trysts, as a simple talk show host, he's not in a position to buy off feminist condemnation with legislative goodies.
National Organization of Women released a statement on Oct. 6 about the recent Letterman sex scandal, condemning Letterman for creating an "awkward, confusing and demoralizing" work environment.
But back in 1998, when Bill Clinton was perjuring himself about Monica Lewinsky, NOW (along with other feminists) was strangely silent. Even Maureen Dowd noticed. She called them out in her Pulitzer Prize winning article "The Slander Strategy," saying, "Ms. Lewinsky must die so that the women of America can have better child care, longer maternity stays, toll-free domestic violence hot lines and bustling mutual funds."
On Oct. 6 "Good Morning America's" Sharyn Alfonsi devoted an entire segment to the doom-and-gloom study. But of course she conveniently forgot to mention that CSPI is a radical left-wing kill-joy consumer group that has attacked everything from remote controls to washing machines to Chinese food to casual dining.
The study was discussed in relation to a recent New York Times headline about the 22-year-old girl Stephanie Smith who was paralyzed apparently from E. coli in a frozen hamburger.
What do you do to unwind at the end of the day? Read a book? Take a bath? Watch some TV? Well, maybe you should think about smoking some pot. At least that's the latest advice from NBC's "Today" show.
On Sept. 30 an entire segment was devoted to discussing the positive aspects of pot smoking and included a pitch for legalization. "Today's" Matt Lauer interviewed Joanna Coles, the editor-in-chief of Marie Claire, about the magazine's recent article "Stiletto Stoners," which highlighted "educated, career-minded, successful women" who are "casual, recreational" pot smokers.
Coles said that these "Stiletto Stoners" are "highly functioning women who - you know - these are not people who are lying on park benches - the typical picture of someone who's addicted to drugs. They're casual, recreational users who find it very effective."
In 1977 Polish-born filmmaker and Academy Award winner Roman Polanski pleaded guilty to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl, and then fled the United States before he could be sentenced. For three decades he has lived as a fugitive under the protection of the French government. But finally, on Saturday, September 26, the 76-year-old was arrested by the Swiss police after flying in to - ironically - receive an honorary award at the Zurich Film Festival.
Disturbingly, some are up in arms, claiming that - even though Polanski performed oral sex, intercourse and sodomy on a frightened girl he had plied with Champagne and a Quaalude - the incident should be forgotten. One such person is Tom O'Neill, the senior editor of In Touch Weekly. On September 28, during a CNN interview, O'Neill first claimed that Polanski "seduced" the young girl when it's obvious after reading her grand jury testimony that she was raped. Also, during that same interview, O'Neil argued that Polanski shouldn't be extradited to the U.S. for a trial, saying:
On September 25, "The View's" Sherri Shepherd asked Michael Moore, "How do you feel about Obama's health care plan?"
Moore responded, "Aw, geez. I feel so bad for this guy. I mean - I - ya know, he's out there all alone; nobody's got his back. The other side they're out there angry, organized."
Nobody's got his back? Really? Let's take a look at the numbers.
In August, the Business & Media Institute examined 224 stories about health care on the three broadcast networks' morning and evening shows that aired between Jan. 20, the date of Obama's inauguration, and June 24, the night of ABC's prime time town hall special on health care.
The networks favored proponents to critics by a margin of more than 2-to-1 (243 to 104).
It was quite a "two-for" on CBS' "The Early Show" September 25. They got a chance to feature a young woman who'd recovered from a very rare disease, and they also got to advocate for ObamaCare.
"The Early Show's" Maggie Rodriguez talked with Krista Lesinski, who had been diagnosed with Wilson's Disease, a rare and potentially lethal condition that attacks the liver. With Lesinski was Dr. Lisa Sanders, a former producer of CBS News, covering health and medicine. Sanders is currently at the Yale University School of Medicine and a physician at the Waterbury Hospital in Connecticut. Her monthly New York Times' column "Diagnosis" was an inspiration for the hit Fox TV series "House."
Rodriguez asked Lesinski, "You were ... highlighter yellow ... why did you wait to go to the hospital?"
“In Denmark – my favorite country – they are the happiest people in the world,” declared Joy Behar on “The View” September 23. They’ve come a long way since Hamlet.
Why are the Danes so contented? Could it be all that Havarti and herring? The satisfaction of knowing that their ancestors plundered and pillaged the entire North Atlantic?No. According to Behar, the Danes wear the smile of socialism.
“The reason that they’re so happy is because they don’t worry about health care,” she explained. “They don’t worry about sending their kids to college because everything’s paid for.”
It appears Behar was referring to the 2008 World Values Survey that asked 350,000 citizens of 97 different countries two questions:
Perhaps ABC is just over-eager to find some of those "green shoots" of economic recovery we're supposed to be seeing. Despite the nationwide unemployment rate of 9.7 percent - a 26-year high - the network still managed to find some "welcome news" on the jobs front.
On September 23, "World News'" Charles Gibson reported that a whopping 12,000 people are being hired in the "recession-battered city" of Las Vegas. While Gibson did mention that "160,000 people applied" for those jobs, Gibson failed to contrast the 12,000 against the 14,988,000 other Americans still out of work.
"Can skimpy bikinis raise awareness about breast cancer?" asked 'Good Morning America's Robin Roberts.
OnSeptember 22, Roberts and Andrea Canning discussed a new public service announcement campaign called "Save the Boobs" that uses a "less-is-more approach" to call attention to breast cancer.
Roberts tsked at the "provocative footage," quoting critics that say the ads are "distracting from the message." Canning agreed, adding, "One PSA even looks more like a beer commercial than a breast cancer awareness spot."
You know him as Han Solo or Indiana Jones, but these days, "Harrison Ford Fights for Planet." Or so says "Good Morning America."
ABC's morning show devoted an entire segment on September 21 to actor Harrison Ford touting "Team Earth", an "action campaign" dealing with "pressing environmental issues." Ford said, "We need to come together, umm, to create solutions to the pressing, uhhh, environmental issues that face us ... "
With the entire on-air cast of GMA surrounding him, Ford stated that "... it's the time to come together and, uhh, make an effort to, uhh, um, make people understand that we require - not just here in the United States but throughout the world - meaningful climate legislation, uhh, from all of our leadership."
Far from questioning the need for climate legislation, Ford's hosts helpfully prodded him along. Diane Sawyer chimed in, "And there are a lot of people who think this ... these are the months it must be done. We have to address what we're going to do if we're going to do something."
Major newspapers and networks have been ignoring the question of abortion coverage in the new health care bill sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. The only newspapers to even mention abortion coverage since the bill was released on September 16 were The Boston Globe, The Oregonian, and The Orlando Sentinel - all of which were editorials.
The Boston Globe only mentioned in passing that the funding of abortion was scratched in order to please the Republicans, who refuse to be pleased anyway. The Oregonian admitted that abortion was funded in the bill but concluded that "being a citizen means paying taxes, and being one of hundreds of millions of citizens means that some tax revenues will fund something you don't like." And The Orlando Sentinel stated that the "truth" behind Republicans "right-wing anti-Obama rhetoric" against abortion is simply "cowardly coded smoke screens intended to mask fear and racism."
The MTV Awards once again earned its reputation for tawdry entertainment by broadcasting Jack Black praying to the devil. The comedian, who was hawking a heavy metal video game called Brütal Legend, asked the "Dear Dark Lord Satan" to bless the rock star nominees with "continued success in the music industry."
Black appeared sporting a mullet, wearing a muscle suit, and carrying a larger-than-life battleaxe. While the Satan worshiping was obviously a gag, Black has previously made a point of offending Christians - going so far as to appear as Jesus in a video protesting Proposition 8, the California constitutional amendment that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.