CBS Newser Jumps Ship for HuffPo; NYT Downplays Leftward List

It doesn't take you a comprehensive Media Research Center study to know that the Huffington Post is a leftist site. Of course, MRC/NewsBusters' Tim Graham did such a study, but it's common knowledge in the media that HuffPo skews leftward. Yet New York Times staffer Bill Carter downplayed the liberal nature of the site in his October 2 story "CBSNews.com Chief to Lead a News and Blogs Site."Carter kicked off his article by taking pains to avoid the ideological bent of HuffPo, instead painting HuffPo's new hire of a CBSNews.com staffer for chief executive as a sign that "new-media" outlets no longer have to sit at the MSM's version of the kids table:

The Huffington Post, a news Web site, plans to announce today the appointment of a new chief executive, Betsy Morgan, who will leave her job as the general manager of CBSNews.com.Ms. Morgan will switch from running the Web site for a prominent traditional media organization to running a news Web site that is just over two years old.

But rather than find concern in the implications of a high-level CBS staffer moving so comfortably from an ostensibly objective news organization to a decidedly partisan one, Carter focused on the power of "new-media," even turning to Morgan's ex-boss at CBS, Larry Kramer, to marvel at how "traditional media companies are further down the road than people think" as far as "being helpful for how new media plans to expand."Isn't that like saying, "Isn't it cool that left-wing blog sites can gain street cred with the MSM by hiring our alumni?" What's more, Carter punted on describing the site as liberal, instead noting that outgoing HuffPo chief executive Kenneth Lerer described the site as moving away from being merely an outlet for "left-of-center political voices." Yet two paragraphs later, Lerer affirmed that the meat and potatoes of the Huffington Post was liberal commentary, not news reporting in the traditional sense of objective journalism:

Mr. Lerer acknowledged that the site’s audience still consisted largely of visitors attracted by its commentators, virtually all of whom share what he called “a progressive point of view.” Among those who regularly blog there are entertainment figures like Nora Ephron, Bill Maher, Alec Baldwin and Norman Lear, and political figures (all Democrats) like Gary Hart, Wesley Clark, John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi.

As NewsBusters senior editor and MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham reported in his September 2007 study "Huffingtons House of Horrors", Baldwin and Maher are among the aforementioned Huffington Posters who have blessed unsuspecting (?) readers with extreme left-wing bile:

Cheney Is A Terrorist: On February 17, 2006, actor Alec Baldwin described the Vice President of the United States in the most negative light:
Cheney is a terrorist. He terrorizes our enemies abroad and innocent citizens here at home indiscriminately. Who ever thought Harry Whittington would be the answer to America’s prayers. Finally, someone who might get that lying, thieving Cheney into a courtroom to answer some direct questions.

A few days later, after hearing complaints about this rather indiscriminate remark, Baldwin insincerely apologized: “How about something more measured, then? How about...a lying, thieving Oil Whore. Or, a murderer of the U.S. Constitution?”Could I Kill Cheney with Osama’s Corpse? On the Fourth of July, 2006, Alec Baldwin advanced his double-murder fantasy, by hurling the corpse of Osama bin Laden over a balcony onto Vice President Dick Cheney standing below:

At that instant, Osama Bin Laden comes out of a door. He is oblivious. I make my move. Bin Laden reacts, but too late. We tumble into his upper floor suite. I have him in my grasp and, conveniently, I spy a box cutter on the table. (Hey...it’s a fantasy.) Osama struggles, swearing at me in his native tongue, until I jam the box cutter into his neck. I do it again. Fading, Bin Laden says (this time in English for my benefit) “Good luck with 30 Rock. I am a big Tina Fey fan.” I gather up the body of the world’s most notorious terrorist and hurl it over the balcony. Then, in the final stroke of luck, bin Laden lands on Dick Cheney.

Baldwin was also snide on the occasion of actual funerals. His quick and dirty take upon the death of former United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick was typical for the HuffPost, obscuring her talk of peace through strength: “I heard William Bennett on CNN, eulogizing Jean [sic] Kirkpatrick. He referred to her as the GOP’s Thatcher and called her ‘our Iron Lady.’ What is it about these people that they can never talk of peace? (Even their women have to come across like Vince Lombardi.)”[...]Forget His American Birth, Deport Alberto Gonzales: HBO talk-show host Bill Maher wrote a blog post with a typical HuffPost headline (“Why Not Impeachment?”) on August 23, 2006, full of enthusiasm that then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales could be deported, despite his American birth:

[F]ederal law expressly makes the ordering of surveillance under the program a federal felony. That would mean that the president could be guilty of no fewer than 30 felonies while in office. [Italics Maher’s.] Moreover, it is not only illegal for a president to order such surveillance, it is illegal for other government officials to carry out such an order. And that means Alberto Gonzalez [sic] could be tried, convicted, and deported.

Maher also added to the usual profanity with an April 12, 2007 post headlined “John McCain Fucked by the Republican Fantasy World.” Maher delighted in how “ridiculous and out of touch” the GOP presidential nominee was going to sound in 2008 sounding positive about progress in Iraq: “In fact, two-thirds of likely GOP primary voters support what Bush is doing in Iraq. They support the surge. They’ve swallowed so much Kool-Aid that any change in their diet would kill them.”

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters