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By Noel Sheppard | | July 27, 2007 | 11:03 AM EDT

Yale law professor Ian Ayres raised a very interesting question Tuesday: Is ABC possibly committing sexual discrimination by only hiring women as hosts on the daily coffee klatch "The View?"

Great question, wouldn't you agree?

In an article posted at Balkanization blog (h/t Ann Althouse via Glenn Reynolds), Ayres began his analysis of this issue by first looking at the recent announcement that comedian Drew Carey would be the new host of the "The Price is Right."

His concern was raised when former "Price" host Bob Barker said the following last month:

By Ken Shepherd | | July 27, 2007 | 10:38 AM EDT

Nothing biased here, just an amusing video to kick off your weekend. Yesterday shortly after 3:30 p.m. Eastern on "Studio B," Fox News anchor Shep Smith cracked up his guests and crew by joking about the all-too-frequent incidence of false fire alarms at Fox News Headquarters in New York.

Enjoy the YouTube video embedded below the fold.

By NB Staff | | July 27, 2007 | 10:09 AM EDT

Thank God it's...well, you know...

By Mark Finkelstein | | July 27, 2007 | 7:56 AM EDT
Scanning the columns at is part of my early-morning routine, and it was at about 6 A.M. today that I read Charles Krauthammer's "Obama Bombing." I marveled at how perfectly the Pulitzer Prize-winning author had captured the essence of Hugo Chavez, calling the Venezuelan thug "a malevolent clown."

Krauthammer's words obviously impressed Matt Lauer, too. For barely an hour later, I was pleasantly surprised to find the psychiatrist-turned-pundit's phrase turning up on the screen at "Today," with Lauer clearly seeming to advance the conservative commentator's theory.

Lauer was interviewing MSNBC's Chris Matthews on this week's Hillary-Obama dust-up.
"TODAY" CO-ANCHOR MATT LAUER: Let me ask you about this debate, the issue that came out of the debate, this whole inexperience-versus-change thing, when Barack Obama answered that in the first year of his presidency he would meet with people like Castro and Chavez. Let me read you what Charles Krauthammer wrote in the Washington Post this morning:
Do the Democrats want to risk strike three, another national security question blown, but this time perhaps in a final presidential debate before the '08 election, rather than a midseason intraparty cattle call? The country might decide that it prefers, yes, a Republican -- say, 9/11 veteran Rudy Giuliani -- to a freshman senator who does not instinctively understand why an American president does not share the honor of his office with a malevolent clown like Hugo Chavez.

View video here.

By Tim Graham | | July 27, 2007 | 6:49 AM EDT

Newsweek’s Jonathan Darman lamented this week that the John Edwards poverty tour/publicity tour didn’t passionately grip America, that it did not immediately become a mythic event, like filthy-rich Bobby Kennedy's poverty tour in 1968. In a dramatic flourish, the young Harvard-educated whipper-snapper blames this tragedy on not-very-compassionate America:

"There is something tragic about Edwards's failure to break through. Today, 37 million Americans live below the poverty line, 12 million more than at the time of Kennedy's death. And yet Edwards's call of conscience has not resonated. By all rights, Edwards, the son of a millworker, should have an easier time talking about poverty than did Kennedy, the son of a millionaire. His difficulty speaks to the candidate's inability to connect. It also speaks to the nation's inability to be moved."
By Tom Blumer | | July 26, 2007 | 11:38 PM EDT

Yesterday, Brent Baker at NewsBusters caught the Old Media emphasis on the decline in existing-home unit sales, even though the median existing-home price went up. CBS and Katie Couric apparently invoked the Great Depression in their existing-home sales commentary (I think any number of those 90 and older could say: "I knew the Depression, and Katie, this is no Depression.").

Today we have the Commerce report (PDF) that new-home sales volume is down, AND the media crowing (unfortunately fed by the lack of Commerce Dept. detail) that the nationwide median new-home selling price is down:

The median price of a new home sold last month dropped to $237,900, down by 2.2 percent from a year ago. It was the biggest year-over-year price drop since a 6.5 percent fall in April. The median price is the point where half the homes sold for more and half for less.

But at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'm forced to make the same point I made a couple of months ago in more detail -- by the time you consider changes in the regional mix in home sales, you're left with an overall new-home market where regional prices are holding steady or perhaps even slightly increasing -- and definitely NOT in decline.

A quick look at the following figures will illustrate the point:

By Brent Baker | | July 26, 2007 | 9:44 PM EDT
Thursday's NBC Nightly News combined the usual with the unusual for an evening newscast story: A breast cancer survivor story which would appeal to woman and a look at an Army Sergeant who has now fulfilled her 'dream' of getting to serve in Iraq, hardly a view expressed very often on network news. Anchor Brian Williams introduced the profile: “Tonight we have a story of a woman who is serving her country and serving as an example, in her bravery, to the rest of us.” Checking in on the state-side training being undergone by Army Sergeant Elizabeth Cowie, reporter Jennifer London explained how “it's been her dream to serve in Iraq.” Cowie, however, was sidelined by breast cancer. But now that she successfully treated it, her dream has been “realized,” London related, as “this was Sergeant Cowie's final training mission before deployment.” Cowie expressed her idealism and commitment: “We have a lot of liberties, we have a lot of freedoms that other people around the world don't have, and so for me that's important, so I'm willing to do what I have to do and put my own life at risk.”

After London's piece, Williams followed up with how Cowie arrived in Iraq and sent an e-mail to NBC News “with the following request, quote: 'Keep our soldiers in your prayers. They are the best of America.'”
By Mark Finkelstein | | July 26, 2007 | 6:50 PM EDT
The current political buzzword is "naive." That's of course what Hillary called Obama, and he has responded in kind. But when it comes to being an ingenue, Obama has a long way to go to top Sally Quinn, grande dame of the DC set and wife of former WaPo editor Ben Bradlee. Here's what she said on this afternoon's "Hardball."
By Noel Sheppard | | July 26, 2007 | 6:29 PM EDT

On July 13, NewsBusters reported that Michael T. Eckhart, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy, sent an e-mail message to Dr. Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute threatening to destroy his career:

If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity.

During a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Thursday, this matter was brought to the attention of Stephen Johnson, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, as was the shocking revelation that the EPA is a part of ACORE.

Presenting this information was Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), who showed and read the following panel of the offensive e-mail message for the record (video available here):

By Ken Shepherd | | July 26, 2007 | 5:03 PM EDT

A week ago, NewsBusters editor and MRC vice president Brent Baker noticed that ABC had a decidedly negative slant on the Dow Jones industrial average closing above 14,000 points, much the same as it did in April, when the DJIA cracked 13,000.

By Melissa Lopez | | July 26, 2007 | 4:39 PM EDT

Wednesday night on "The Colbert Report," author Charles Kaiser was on the show to plug his book, The Gay Metropolis. Hoping to get the Colbert bump, Kaiser talked about how his book chronicles the history of gay culture and society in New York starting from 1940. One of his claims is that homosexuals and African Americans are “both more interesting than straight white people.” He also discussed being open with who you are or else you become like Mark Foley: “You become a congressmen who sends nasty notes to teenagers over the computer.” He lastly implies but denies that J.Edgar Hoover is gay.

Stephen Colbert constantly pointed out when Kaiser was stereotyping people, whether it is dance choreographers, white straight people or Republican congressmen. “I wish I could stereotype but I’m not allowed to. I’m not gay. I have to play by the rules you make but don’t live by,” Colbert stated after Kaiser put the label on dance choreographers being gay. Kaiser jumped into the interview trying to show how exciting and interesting minorities are compared to straight white people:
By Matthew Balan | | July 26, 2007 | 4:22 PM EDT

CNN's John Roberts, co-host of "American Morning," gave nothing but softball questions to New York senator Chuck Schumer on Thursday morning. Prefacing his interview with sound bites from a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where attorney general Alberto Gonzales was testifying on the controversial Terror Surveillance program, Roberts got right to the point that Schumer wanted to get out in the press. "So, did Gonzales lie to you?" Roberts was even brazen about his aid to Schumer with this interview at the close of the segment. "Well, there's your newsy sound bite this morning. Senator Schumer, thanks very much. Good to see you."

By Clay Waters | | July 26, 2007 | 4:09 PM EDT

In his Sunday Business section story for the New York Times, "Did McDonald's Give In to Temptation?" reporter Andrew Martin took a surprisingly moralistic look at the corporation's new menu.One wonders what the paper's beef is with McDonald's, which after all provides safe, inexpensive food to the lower-to-middle-class section of society the Times claims to care about (and convenient bathroom facilities for the homeless, at least in Times Watch's neck of the woods).

By Noel Sheppard | | July 26, 2007 | 2:32 PM EDT

Put down your coffee mugs before you continue, sports fans, for conservative columnist Ann Coulter wrote a review of Monday's Democrat presidential debate, and your computer is in grave jeopardy if fluids are nearby.

In a column entitled "Obama Hails a Unicorn," Coulter first skewered the junior senator from Illinois' claim that "he couldn't get a cab in New York because he's black" (emphasis added throughout):

Last year, a black writer in the [New York Times] pointed out how things had changed in New York in the 10 years since he had been out of the country. Not only did he have no trouble getting a cab, but he cited statistics from taxi sting operations that showed a 96 percent compliance rate among cabbies in picking up blacks.

However, her best shot was taken at the junior senator from New York: