Actor and former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson is close to forming a presidential exploratory committee, according to numerous media outlets, citing people close to the TV star. Reporting that news, CBSNews.com ran with a less-than-flattering AP photo of Thompson, pictured at right.
"Former Sen. Fred Thompson attends the Prescott Bush Awards Dinner in Stamford Conn., on May 24, 2007," read the caption.
By contrast, ABCNews.com ran an AP photo that features a stern-looking Thompson. With skyscrapers in the background, it evokes his current TV character incarnation, New York County District Attorney Arthur Branch on NBC's long-running court drama "Law & Order." You can see that screen cap pictured below:
"Over Ginsburg's Dissent, Court Limits Bias Suits," blared the May 30 front page headline by the Washington Post Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes. While the 5-4 ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.
hinged on a plain and simple application of a 1964 federal law, Barnes
front-loaded his article with the dissent of liberal Associate Justice
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, buried the majority's rationale deep in the
article after pro-Ginsburg feminist talking points, failed to include
comment from Goodyear Tire, and gave readers an unbalanced portrait of
the ruling focused on feminist reaction.
Let's take a look at how Barnes's bias unfolded, starting with the lede and second paragraph:
"The Anchoress" had an excellent item yesterday about how some news wires are downplaying the authoritarian, anti-free speech nature of Hugo Chavez's move to shut down a private television network that often criticized the Venezuelan thugocrat. She notes that the bland headlines give little reason for the casual reader to sit up and take notice:
Clay Waters, Editor of the MRC's TimesWatch site and a NewsBusters contributor was a guest this afternoon on the Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto," which airs weekdays at 4 p.m. EDT. The topic: New York Times coverage of Venezuela and Hugo Chavez.
TimesWatch.org is dedicated to documenting and exposing the liberal political agenda of the New York Times.
NewsBusters reader Bender messaged me earlier noting that, given an opportunity to explain her views on American troops and terrorism, Rosie O'Donnell made no effort to clear the air on her blog in a posting the evening of May 23 at Rosie.com.
National Review contributor John Derbyshire has been a favorite whipping boy of snarky left-wing bloggers for a while, but perhaps most noticeably after some controversial postings he made on the heels of the Virginia Tech shooting.
But now a blogger at Wonkette is portraying Derb as a crotchety bigot on the basis of a blog post whereby Derbyshire notes Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) both insists on voters judging him on the basis of his leadership and agenda, not race, but then goes back to pandering to a crowd on the merits of his Hispanic heritage:
Outraged over Big Bill’s public admission of Mexican-ness during a time
when Americans are supposed to be united against the Mexican Menace,
Derbyshire bravely decides to use that very Mexican-ness against
You don't believe me?! I thought you wouldn't. See screencaps below the fold. By comparison, the late Jerry Falwell, whose funeral was today, came in at only #10.
Keep in mind the trend doesn't mean Phillips is the hottest search on the Web, just the "fastest-rising." According to Google:
With Hot Trends, you can see a snapshot of what's on the public's
collective mind by viewing the fastest-rising searches for different
points of time. You can see a list of the current top 100 fastest
rising search queries in the U.S.
"Gay bishop snubbed by Anglican conference" reads the headline for the May 22 Reuters article by Luke Baker. But take a look at the lede and second graf and you'll see there are two bishops to be excluded from the gathering of Anglican prelates:
LONDON (Reuters) - The Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual head of 77
million Anglicans worldwide, has not invited two wayward bishops to a
major conference next year, a move likely to stir controversy in the
deeply divided communion.
Archbishop Rowan Williams has sent
invitations to more than 800 Anglican bishops asking them to attend the
Lambeth Conference in July and August 2008, but has not invited two
American bishops, Gene Robinson and Martyn Minns.
USA Today's "On Deadline" blog this morning picked up on a 5-day old McClatchy Newspapers item that showed Justice Clarence Thomas spoke exactly zero words during Supreme Court oral arguments since February. The original article it referred to seemed to take subtle swipes at the 58-year old George H.W. Bush-appointed jurist.
Mum's the word for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Very, very mum.
reticence to new heights, Thomas zips his lip during the robust
intellectual combat known as the oral argument. While his eight
colleagues joke, thrust, parry and probe, Thomas leans back in silence.
And that's how he stays.
Yet rather than leaving Thomas's silence to his quiet demeanor or personality, Doyle went on to suggest to readers that the taciturn Thomas was not intellectually engaged in his work (emphasis mine):
Well before the Media Research Center was conceived in 1987, the Gipper was watching the media's liberal biases and recording his "frustration with the press," Allen noted:
One of the dominant themes is his frustration with the press.
April 22, 1982: “Last night CBS did a special 1 hour documentary (Bill Moyers) on 4 cases of poverty and illness they laid to our ec. program. It was a thoroughly dishonest, demagogic, cheap shot.”
March 11, 1983: “Lou Cannon’s story in the Washington Post. It was a vicious series of falsehoods and I was mad as h—l.” (The lead of the front-page story, written with David Hoffman, was: “The resignation of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Anne M. Burford was carefully orchestrated by White House and other administration officials who had to persuade a ‘stubborn and defiant’ President Reagan, as well as Burford, that her departure was politically essential, administration sources said yesterday.”)
Oct. 30, 1983: “Watched the Sunday talk shows – subject Lebanon & Grenada. The press is trying to give this the Vietnam treatment but I don’t think the people will buy it. They’re still whining because we didn’t take them on a guided tour the 1st day we were on Grenada. No mention of the fact that we’ve flown 180 of them onto the Island today.”
As gas prices are on a springtime upswing and the summer driving season is upon us, NewsBusters and the Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute have documented the media's persistent hype about gas prices.
Blogging at the "Couric & Co." blog, CBS producer Ward Sloane admitted that many journalists who covered the Gipper were wrong about the 40th President's political and policy acumen. Noting a new book that reveals entries from Reagan's journal, Sloane made it sound like the media were only echoing a large swath of the American electorate:
The fact is that many Americans and -- not surprisingly to some of you
reading this blog -- many members of the mainstream press believed that
Ronald Reagan was aloof and disconnected from the events that marked
his presidency. Historian Douglas Brinkley, who edited the diaries at
the invitation of Nancy Reagan, says they show Reagan to be exactly the
CBS News producer/blogger Greg Kandra opened the e-mailbag today to relay to "Couric & Co." readers some negative reaction to the network's coverage of Rev. Jerry Falwell's death. In particular, Kandra quoted from a female Liberty University graduate and vascular surgeon who took issue with historian/guest pundit Douglas Brinkley's assessment of Falwell's views on women.
In an appearance on the May 15 "Evening News," Brinkley dismissed Falwell as a reactionary who (emphasis mine) was "opposed to some of the
progressive liberal high watermarks of the 1960s, and certainly he
wanted--his returning to family values was returning to women being in
the kitchen, in many ways."
Time.com Washington Editor Ana Marie Cox directed "Swampland" blog readers to a compendium of Mitt Romney gaffes in a post entitled "Gaffe-a-Minute Mitt," calling it "The missing sidebar to Karen's cover story on the Mittster." Cox was referring to Karen Tumulty's May 10 article, "What Romney Believes."
The link takes the reader to a Cox-compiled "top ten" list of the former Massachusetts governor's gaffes. "Mitt Romney may be leading the underwhelming Republican presidential
field in fundraising, but he also has a less dubious distinction —he
leads the pack in committing professional-grade gaffes," Cox opened her special report.
Of course, former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R-Wisc.) has also had his fair share of gaffes in the past few weeks, as has Democratic contender, Sen. Barack Obama. For instance, shortly after the Virginia Tech mass murder, Obama gave a rambling speech about violence that made little sense. More famously, on May 8, Obama said that 10,000 people perished in the Greensburg, Kansas, tornado when in fact that number was considerably smaller.
My review of the Time "Swampland" blog postings from on and around April 16 and May 8 revealed nothing by Cox snarking about either incident.
In today's Washington Post, staff writer Carol Leonnig heavily
skewed in favor of the District of Columbia gun ban. The stringent 1976
gun law was overturned earlier this year by a three-judge panel of the
D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals but may be appealed to the Supreme Court. Notice the skew of the article in favor of the D.C. government's position in the first two paragraphs of "Gun Ban Ruling Puts Fenty on the Spot.":
D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty
must make a risky choice about the District's gun ban: defend it before
the Supreme Court or write new, looser laws governing how city
residents can keep guns in their homes.
As he wades into a
high-stakes debate over the Second Amendment, the new mayor of the
nation's capital faces the possibility that the city could lose the
case and undercut decades of hard-fought gun-control legislation across
Yeah, because it's a darn shame when laws that undercut a
constitutional right might, you know, be repealed by the highest Court
in the land.
Update/Related (16:44 | May 17) P.J. Gladnick of "DUmmie FUnnies" (also an NB blogger) has a blog entry about Democratic Underground worrying about commenter bile over Falwell damaging their "cause."
Update (10:14 EDT | May 17): WikipediaReview.com picked up on this post. The discussion board's slogan: "Now with 100 percent better judgment, care, and sensitivity than Wikipedia itself." Check them out.
(Content warning: Inappropriate, crass comments from left-wing nutjobs excerpted below)
Joking that an elderly religious man died from suffocating on a penis is not my idea of anything "comical." It is to the George Carlin wannabes at Wonkette though, reporting on a vandalized Jerry Falwell page on Wikipedia:
Something happened to somebody famous, so guess what happened on
Wikipedia … that’s right, the person’s page was comically vandalized! Nobody ever gets tired of a really good joke.
You'll recall that in March, MRC's Brent Bozell wrote about Wikipedia's bias against conservatives, but this is ridiculous.
On Wonkette's part, posting such an item served only to provide another comment thread for wingunuts to spew hatred about Falwell and religious conservatives, such as this dirge by commenter "choirboy":
A NewsBusters reader sent us an MP3 clip
of an ABC News radio report from the afternoon of May 15 by "Nightline"
host Terry Moran. In it, Moran boils down the late Rev. Jerry Falwell's clerical career and political activism to one extreme soundbite from
shortly after 9/11.
Moran left unmentioned that Falwell later
clarified his statements to reflect more accurately his belief that God lifted the "curtain" of His protection to allow 9/11 to happen, and closed his report emphasizing Falwell as a marginalized political actor:
In 2001, just two days after the 9/11 attacks, Falwell infamously and
appallingly blamed the mass murder not on terrorists...
FALWELL sound bite: The pagans and the abortionists...
The TV industry is a fickle business, just ask any veteran of the small screen. While most actors in Hollywood would probably tell you that they're at the mercy of you the viewing audience, blogger LaShawn Barber noticed that comedian George Lopez whipped out the race card to complain about his five-season-long show being canned by the alphabet network.
"TV just became really, really white again," complained Lopez, who was reacting to the premise of "Cavemen," the sitcom that will replace his show. "Cavemen" will basically transform the Geico commercial cavemen premise into a half-hour laugh riot (you can tell I suspect it will be even less funny than Lopez's show).
XM Radio announced today that radio shock jocks Opie & Anthony will be suspended for 30 days. The news release excerpted below makes a nondescript reference to a crude May 9 radio bit with a homeless man in which said man suggested he'd like to rape Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Here's an excerpt:
Radio deplored the comments aired on "The Opie & Anthony Show" last
week. At the time, the company strongly expressed its views to Opie and
Anthony, and they issued an immediate apology.
Comments made by
Opie and Anthony on yesterday's broadcast put into question whether
they appreciate the seriousness of the matter. The management of XM
Radio decided to suspend Opie and Anthony to make clear that our on-air
talent must take seriously the responsibility that creative freedom
requires of them.
Patrick Ishmael of NewsBuckit notices that XM didn't find the rape references worthy of discipline but rather that the shock jocks may "appreciate the seriousness of the matter." Ishmael also points out CBS Radio plans to keep airing O&A, even though it quickly canned Imus shortly after MSNBC killed his simulcast:
I've always had this sneaking suspicion that John Kerry asked the wrong
Republican to join his ticket in 2004, that Chuck Hagel would have said
yes, that a Kerry-Hagel ticket would have won. Now we have Hagel
hinting at a 3rd party run. So, with apologies to, uh, Hegel:
Chuck Hagel is a terrific national resource, a decorated veteran of
Vietnam who has taken a courageous path away from his party on
Iraq...and who really understands national security and foreign policy.
Third Party talk is futile, especially if you don't have a fortune like
Perot's or Bloomie's, which Hagel doesn't.
Synthesis--An Obama-Hagel ticket. (Or a pick-your-democrat -Hagel ticket)
Little Green Footballs has more on the infamous "Mullah Mouse" TV program geared towards Palestinian children and running on Hamas TV.
The Islamic supremacist character was back on the air Friday as LGF's Charles Johnson notes:
The monstrous clone of Mickey Mouse used by Hamas to teach children violence, hatred, and Islamic supremacism was back on the air yesterday. Hamas issued a statement with the usual toxic mix of whining victimhood and murderous threats; MEMRI TV captured and translated the latest episode of this nightmarish Islamic children’s show.
And the media, meanwhile, continue to make excuses and cover for this depravity, in story after story that claims the evil mouse is doing nothing more than teaching “resistance against Israel.” It’s more disgusting than the show itself.
Update 17:27 | Matthew Sheffield. As Charles notes here, Friday's show featured Farfur cheating on his homework in school because "the Jews destroyed our home." Here's the clip:
Update (14:25): Justin McCarthy has more analysis and a full transcript available here.
Update (13:50 EDT): Video (2:07): Real (1.55 MB) or Windows (1.3 MB) plus MP3 (980 kB).
Update (12:42 EDT): We're still working on video and a transcript, but here's the audio (980 kB).
Moments ago "The View" co-host Rosie O'Donnell found a golden opportunity to resurrect her conspiracy theories on the collapse of World Trade Center Tower 7 (WTC 7) as her fellow co-hosts were discussing Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign. Co-host Joy Behar faulted Giuliani for keeping the NYC emergency command center in the World Trade Center complex. That's when O'Donnell noted that the command center was in WTC 7. This time around, however, token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck pushed back on Rosie's loopy conspiracy theories.
A cartoon in the May 13 "Sunday Briefing" on page F2 of the Washington Post furthered a left-wing talking point against "Big Oil" that a comprehensive study by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) debunked last year: that oil companies artificially manipulate gas prices by squeezing supply.
A cartoon from the Newark Star-Ledger's Drew Sheneman depicts a man fueling his car asking a cigar-smoking "Oil Co." representative, "Why do gas prices always go up right before the summer vacation season?" "Coincidence," replies the oil executive, as he stands atop the fuel line, bottlenecking the gas on its way to the motorist's car. The price atop the pump reads $3.50.
The implication, of course, is that the petroleum industry artificially bottlenecks supply to jack up fuel costs.
But that's not true, previous probes into allegations of price gouging have determined, including a May 22, 2006 FTC study of post-Hurricane Katrina gas prices.
Among the major conclusions, the FTC post-Katrina found:
The CBSNews.com blog "Public Eye" reported today that a retired general who has appeared in anti-Bush TV ads has been dismissed as a CBS News military analyst due to his political activism. Yet the CBS executive who defended the move seemed to almost blame CBS's at-home audience for the personnel decision.
Maj. Gen. John Batiste (US Army, Retired) may still be quoted on CBS's newscasts, he just won't get paid for it.
"We might still go to the general to ask about things, but not as a consultant to CBS News," CBS News Senior Vice President for Standards Linda Mason was quoted by editor Brian Montopoli.
Montopoli quoted Mason's rationale for asking Batiste to leave (emphasis mine):