CBS Public Eye blogger Matthew Felling has a message for those of us who complain about media bias. Don't expect the media to pursue balance. In fact, it's YOU who should balance your news diet, with slanted reporting from the opposing side of the political spectrum. Insisted Felling, "It’s one thing for an ideologue to cry bias over this story or another, but it’s far more productive to offer a solution or an alternative."
If you're a Rush listener, try Ed Schultz. If you like Keith Olbermann’s take, change channels afterwards and see what Sean Hannity has to say. Likewise, if you see something coming down the pipe that looks like the "Censored" list or Goldberg's liberal media smoking gun -- and you initially resist it -- don't dismiss it offhand.
Until we push ourselves out of our media comfort zone, we risk continuing to argue past each other -- us of the by-now-trite 'red' and 'blue' Americas --wearing blinders and not connecting at all. So even if you like your blinders and feel intellectually justified in wearing them, don’t be afraid to swivel your head once in awhile to get a fuller view.
The CBS ombudsblogger --Public Eye purports "to bring transparency to the editorial operations of CBS News"-- offered this advice after he tossed up a liberal and a conservative complaint about media bias, hoping to show that left and right-wing complaints have equal merit and/or that media bias is subjective according to the ideological lens of the beholder.
I know, it's a dog-bites-man story, but I thought I'd pass along that longtime White House correspondent and left-wing columnist Helen Thomas addressed the College Democrats at the University of Maryland on Wednesday evening.
I live close to the campus, but unfortunately found out about the event after the fact and hence was unable to drop in and take in my own observations. Fortunately Maryland's student paper The Diamondback covered the event. Unfortunately the reporter covering the assignment failed to press Thomas on her commanding respect as a journalist while forsaking any attempt to objectively report news from her perch at the White House. In fact reporter Chidima Okaparanta labeled Thomas's abrasive technique as a "straight-shooting reporting style, especially regarding the war in Iraq."
Below are some excerpts with portions in bold reflecting my emphasis:
Writing at National Review Online, Kimberly Kagan of the Institute for the Study of War talks about the revitalized Dora Market in Baghdad as a sign of success in Iraq. Kagan attributes the Petraeus strategy significant credit and in doing so takes a swipe at the Washington Post for its slanted reporting on the Dora success (h/t Instapundit):
In Wednesday’s Washington Post, Sudarsan Raghavan, criticized the Dora market in an article called "Weighing the ‘Surge’: The U.S. War in Iraq Hinges on the Counterinsurgency Strategy Of Gen. Petraeus. The Results Have Been Tenuous." The Dora market is a frequent stop for visitors to Iraq assessing the progress of “the surge.” Raghavan criticizes the market, and the frequent visits it receives from distinguished guests of General Petraeus: “[T]he Dora market is a Potemkin village of sorts. The U.S. military hands out $2,500 grants to shop owners to open or improve their businesses. The military has fixed windows and doors and even helped rebuild shops that had burned down, soldiers and others said.”
Yet when one considers the 300 shops reopened in the Dora market in the context of the past year, rather than in pre-2003 terms (more than 800 shops then, according to Raghavan), it is easy to understand why General Petraeus might think it worthwhile for visitors to see the Dora market.
Scott Johnson at Powerline argues that liberal opinion journal The New Republic really needs a grown-up in charge to clean up the magazine's act:
Although the -- I believe the correct word is "venerable" -- Martin Peretz is nominally the editor-in-chief of the New Republic, the lack of adult supervision at the magazine has become painfully apparent in the course of the magazine's continuing Beauchamp disgrace. When are "the editors" going to render their verdict on their Baghdad Fabulist, anyway?
The lack of adult supervision at the magazine is apparent beyond the Beauchamp disgrace. Here the juvenile TNR staffer Joshua Patashnik does little more than direct sarcasm at the New York Times's relatively favorable review (by Carl Cannon) of Stephen Hayes's book on Vice President Cheney. Unlike Patashnik, Cannon actually shows evidence of having read Hayes's book.
Chicago, like Washington, D.C., has a stringent gun ban. So naturally the move by the District to defend the ban before the Supreme Court will be big news in the Windy City. Yet that doesn't excuse the Chicago Tribune's James Oliphant for breezing over gun rights advocates in his article, "D.C. gun case may hit Chicago."
Oliphant began by telling his readers that gun rights advocates would come gunning for Chicago's gun ban if they succeed before the high Court.:
The District of Columbia is going to the Supreme Court to protect its 1976 law that effectively disarmed its crime-plagued law-abiding civilian populace. In addition to an editorial cheering on the appeal, Washington's largest broadsheet is all to happy to skew its front-page coverage accordingly.
In their September 5 article "D.C. Case Could Shape Gun Laws," reporters Robert Barnes and David Nakamura quoted from gun ban proponents Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) and D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer as they laid out their arguments for the gun ban. Only one opponent of the gun ban was quoted, and even then his ink was wasted on explaining his next move:
Andrew at Biased BBC has an excellent take on the British news agency's flawed reporting on the recent release of some South Korean aid workers. For starters, the original headline glossed over the brutal murder of two hostages. Andrew also noted that contrary to BBC's own style guide, the news agency characterized the murdered missionaries as having been "executed," which implies a legal penalty governed by due process of law.
In light of the Larry Craig scandal, Time magazine's Joe Klein stepped up to the pulpit at the magazine's "Swampland" blog to insist that conservative Christians are being, well, un-Christlike with their moral opposition to homosexuality. Klein points to conservative objection to homosexuality for creating a culture of shame that forces gay men to seek sex in public restrooms.
To Klein, it's the religious right's fault, and boy are they misunderstanding what Jesus --or "Dr. J" as Klein calls him-- was all about (emphasis mine).:
Some people get angry at Craig's--and a long list of theofoolish sexual demagogues'--hypocrisy because they don't consider consensual adult homosexuality a matter of morality at all. Some people are infuriated at people like Craig etc. because they promote the social stigma that forces closeted gay men to find sexual solace in secret, shame-ridden places like public restrooms. Some people are angry enough to actually celebrate Craig's outing because of the untold pain and suffering that people like Craig have caused.
As NewsBusters has recorded, Snow has tangled with biased journalists in his role as the White House's chief spokesman. Perhaps one of the most memorable was an episode in June 2007 reported by NewsBusters contributor Justin McCarthy:
MRC old timers like Geoff Dickens and Tim Graham will remember how in the late 1990s, MSNBC was largely a re-run channel. MSNBC's programming was largely "Time & Again" and "Headliners & Legends," two programs that relied heavily on canned news content and usually consisted of puffy profile pieces.
Well, now with the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana's death, MSNBC's gone back to the bad old days of stale newscasting, running highlights, as it were, from Diana's September 6, 1997 funeral, including Scripture readings and eulogies by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Diana's brother Lord Earl Spencer.
MSNBC is justifying the gauche gimmick as a "Living History Event."
As an MRC study has proven, liberal broadcast media has a strong record of skewed coverage of illegal immigration. Print coverage in major metropolitan broadsheets in no different. In her August 30 article, Washington Post staff writer Pamela Constable featured English-speaking illegal immigrants lamenting "hateful talk against immigrants."
"Many have no legal documents," Constable conceded of the day laborers waiting at 5:30 a.m. outside a Gaithersburg, Md., work center operated by "the nonprofit CASA de Maryland." Constable failed to note anywhere in her article the pro-illegal immigration, pro-amnesty stance CASA consistently promotes.
Indeed, Constable's mission was not to report both sides of the immigration debate, but rather to paint a stark, emotional account full of loaded language, including comparing the plight of illegal immigrants to Jews hiding from Nazi persecution:
MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell appeared on the August 29 "Glenn Beck Live" on CNN Headline News. He discussed the Washington Post's decision to censor the August 26 edition of Berkeley Breathed's "Opus" cartoon mocking radical Islamists.
Earlier that day, Bozell appeared on FNC's "Fox & Friends" to discuss the Post's double standards on religious sensitivity. You can find video of that at this NB post.
The rockier the rib, the more likely you'll find pink lingerie under the trousers or a bullwhip and manacles in the bedside drawer. You can bet those Beltway dominatrices, madams and escorts (gay and straight) have been able to buy second homes -- maybe even in Sun Valley! -- with their haul during W's reign.
Oh, it gets better. According to Burleigh, gay-baiting and the Amish vote were keys to Bush's 2004 re-election victory:
Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs has an item today about an Arabic newspaper editor pronouncing his plans to dance in London's Trafalgar Square should Iran ever use a nuclear weapon on Israel:
That's what I thought when I received an e-mail from NewsBusters reader Lori Puente informing me that Yahoo News is listing an article about Katie Couric's upcoming trip to report from Iraq and Syria in the "entertainment news" section.
MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell appeared on the August 29 "Fox & Friends" to discuss the Washington Post's double standards on religious sensitivity.
As NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard reported on Sunday, the Post refused to run Berkeley Breathed's August 26 "Opus" cartoon in which flighty recurring character Lola Granola has declared herself a "radical Islamist" and adopted its strict adherence to Muslim law, including covering herself head-to-toe, much to the chagrin of her long-suffering boyfriend.
It's not very surprising coming from the same guys that tried to scare young voters in 2004 with fears of the military draft, but Human Events online producer Ericka Andersen takes a look at the left-wing, anti-war in Iraq slant of MTV.com's political news section:
Not that I expected MTV to be fair and balanced but this is ridiculous. I checked out the MTV site after seeing their recent commercials featuring two musicians strumming along to Spanish music in a cool setting to cool music with two cool looking Latin folks. But the wordless tone is clearly MTV's embrace of illegal immigration. Though they did provide different viewpoints to choose from on the immigration debate on the politics section of their web site, the same could not be said for coverage of the Iraq War.
When you enter the think:Politics section of MTV.com, you can choose to to click Iraq: Take a Stand. Then, there are two sections -- one for if you support the war, one if you do not. The section labeled "If you are against the war" features six different websites and resources to choose from. The section labeled "If you are for the war" lists only one.
John Hinderaker at Powerline has an item about how CNBC and MSNBC are refusing to sell ad time to a group called Freedom Watch which is supportive of winning the war in Iraq:
We wrote here about the television commercials that Freedom's Watch has produced, featuring veterans and their families, that urge Congress and the public to continue supporting the Iraq war. The commercials are well done, and convey the simple message that the Iraq war is important and winnable, and that we should allow our troops to see the mission through. The ads are appearing in the context of a blizzard of anti-war ads by left-wing groups, intended to pressure Senators and Congressmen into pulling the plug on the Iraq effort.
That was the cry of many an alternative rock fan in D.C. in January 2005 when WHFS went from alt-rock to 99.1 El Zol, a Spanish language station playing mostly salsa music. [Although to be perfectly honest most music snobs agree that WHFS was past its prime in cutting edge programming, having become too corporate, etc.] Don't expect the same donning of sackloth and ashes to mourn the loss of persistent money-loser, Washington Post Radio.
Yes, the Washington broadsheet's radio edition, once described lovingly by a radio executive as "NPR on caffeine" will shut down in September, the Post's Paul Farhi reported in the August 28 paper.:
What's your nomination for today's Dumb Headline of the Day?
Here's mine, from the August 27 blog entry by Chicago Tribune religion reporter/blogger Manya Brachear. The topic was Mother Teresa's diary and how some entries revealed a fear of being distant from Jesus:
Campaigning for the loyalty of young voters can be tricky, so holding a fundraiser in a Miami night club can't hurt (although it didn't help then-Florida gubernatorial candidate Janet Reno in 2002). But holding one in a night club that hosts "Striptease Sundays" is just asking for media scrutiny, although I doubt it will be a big row for Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
But at least MSNBC noticed the gaffe (see screencap at right) at about 10:42 in the August 26 edition of MSNBC Live.
When it comes to major human causes for global warming, one need look no further than mine fires in India and China reports Lyric Wallwork Winik in the August 26 Parade magazine.:
Coal-mine fires in China and India could be huge culprits in global warming. In China alone, up to 200 million tons of coal go up in flames each year—which may be equivalent to America’s total carbon-dioxide emissions from gasoline. India’s mine fires waste up to 10 million tons of coal annually. The pollution has made land in both countries uninhabitable. And the problem is expected to worsen.
Now experts are asking if controlling mine fires in Asia might be a key to reducing global warming. Economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth, for one, argues that it would likely be more efficient than offsets like planting trees or cleaning the ocean.
If you're a soldier serving in Iraq and have a downbeat view of the troop surge, Time's Joe Klein is itching to have the Left adopt you as a poster boy. But should you be a soldier in Iraq and you think the surge is working, well, obviously you're just a tool of those vile neocons at The Weekly Standard, willing to "trash" fellow soldiers.:
Arthur Bremer, the man who on May 15, 1972, attempted to assassinate then-Gov. George Wallace (D-Ala.), is scheduled to be released from a Maryland correctional facility later this fall, the Associated Press reports.
In 1963, during his first term as Alabama's chief executive, the Democratic governor famously declared: "I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."
While Wallace recanted his segregationist views years later, in May of 1972 he still espoused racist rhetoric during his run for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Glancing over blogs that have written on the CNN "God's Warriors" miniseries, I came across a critical entry by liberal activist Sharon Cobb, formerly a contributor to the "NBC Nightly News."
While Cobb professes immense respect for CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour, she's not well-pleased with the jet-setting journalist's latest special. Cobb is particularly chagrined with how Amanpour's special seems to treat Judaism. Here are the first few grafs of her August 22 blog post (emphasis mine):
For the second day in a row, Google News is placing a picture of President Bush laughing next to stories about new proposals for tightening who is eligible for the federally-backed State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). (SEE screencap below fold)
NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard wrote about a similar incident on Wednesday.:
Whether an accident or intentional, the placing of a picture of President George W. Bush laughing next to the headline "Children May Lose On Insurance" is rather deplorable, especially since the picture was not from the article in question.
Sometimes I wonder if, when she left "The View," Rosie O'Donnell ever looked in the mirror and borrowed from the 37th President of the United States. "You won't have Rosie to kick around anymore!" Of Course, Richard Nixon never had a blog, Rosie does, and when she's not showing videos of her kids or writing stream-of-consciousness poetry, she's sharing her favorite 9/11 conspiracy theories.
"How in the world could anyone write a lengthy article about the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), without mentioning once that the group has been named an unindicted co-conspirator in the nation’s largest terrorism trial?"
In June, Johnson picked up on ISNA's brush with federal prosecutors in a blog post entitled "A Really Bad CAIR Day." You can also read more reporting on the matter in Josh Gerstein's June 4 New York Sun article, "Islamic Groups Named in Hamas Funding Case."
Indeed, while reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman failed to mention ISNA's ties to Hamas, the USA Today writer focused on how sick and tired Mattson is of persistently denouncing radical Islam:
In the appropriately-titled "Media Backtalk" chat on August 21, Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz defended a fellow reporter's self-described "smart-assed" remark to President Bush about adviser Karl Rove's political acumen.
Kurtz defended CBS White House correspondent Bill Plante's August 13 question as "the Sam Donaldson technique of trying to get the president and top aides to say something, anything at a scripted event where they are determined not to respond to reporters."
It's not a scientific survey, but a recent poll of Chicago Tribune readers showed an overwhelming majority of readers support the arrest and deportation of illegal immigrant and Social Security fraudster Elvira Arellano. You'll recall I wrote about the Trib's bias on Monday.