As modern media has seen a fusion of news, opinion, and entertainment, are too many things being politicized? I think so.
The news media have contributed to this state of affairs more than any other group so it was refreshing to see the New York Times actually point out a case of inappropriate politicization in an article about "300" the new movie about a group of Spartans who held off a large Persian army.
The Times also makes the point that in many cases a media outlet will attempt to gin up controversy about its product to get the public to tune in.
Three weeks ago a handful of reporters at an international press junket here for the Warner Brothers movie “300,” about the battle of Thermopylae some 2,500 years ago, cornered the director Zack Snyder with an unanticipated question.
“Is George Bush Leonidas or Xerxes?” one of them asked.
The questioner, by Mr. Snyder’s recollection, insisted that Mr. Bush
was Xerxes, the Persian emperor who led his force against Greek’s city
states in 480 B.C., unleashing an army on a small country guarded by
fanatical guerilla fighters so he could finish a job his father had
left undone. More likely, another reporter chimed in, Mr. Bush was
Leonidas, the Spartan king who would defend freedom at any cost.
Mr. Snyder, who said he intended neither analogy when he set out to
adapt the graphic novel created by Frank Miller with Lynn Varley in
1998, suddenly knew he had the contemporary version of a water-cooler
movie on his hands. And it has turned out to be one that could be
construed as a thinly veiled polemic against the Bush administration,
or be seen by others as slyly supporting it.
I meant to post this yesterday but didn't have time to get to it at CPAC. A lot of people have noticed that profanity on conservative blogs is a lot scarcer than it is on the left-leaning ones. Believing this to be a correct hypothesis, I did a few Google searches and discovered that profanity is far more common on the left.
Lucky for my weekend, this information has already been distilled by Patrick Ishmael at the News Buckit blog. He went to Google looking up George Carlin's "seven dirty words" on many of the most-read right- and left-wing blogs. The results are unsurprising to anyone who's observed resident lefties here at NewsBusters.
His study isn't completely "scientific" since it is only a partial survey (leaving off NewsBusters and our count of 822 for instance), however, it is fairly comprehensive.
Anyway, the results are as follows: 1,537,788 instances in left-wing blogs compared to 38,107 (including NB) on right-wing blogs.
That's a pretty amazing disparity there. I'd say it's mainly due to the fact that 1) liberals are less "old-fashioned" when it comes to profanity than righties, 2) partisan anger seems higher when the opposite party is in power, 3) many of the non-deranged left work in the MSM, whereas the the non-deranged right is relegated to the blogosphere and 4) liberal bloggers' limited intelligence stops them from expressing themselves without profanity.
Fresh off his Oscar coronation, Al Gore is stepping up his
jihad against global warming skeptics by continuing his
campaign to stop the media from covering their viewpoint at all.
In a speech delivered Tuesday, Gore blasted media
giving any credence at all to people who see things differently than
him on global warming. The former veep denounced what he termed "balance
as bias" in environment reporting:
Gore told a crowd of about
50 people at the U.S.
Media Ethics Summit II
that the presentation's single most provocative slide was one that
contrasts results of two long-term studies. A 10-year University of
California study found that essentially zero percent of peer-reviewed
scientific journal articles disagreed that global warming exists,
whereas, another study found that 53 percent of mainstream newspaper
articles disagreed the global warming premise.
And now for some NB news: I mentioned some changes coming to NB recently and one of them is that Ken Shepherd is now our Managing Editor. Greg Sheffield is leaving his spot but will still remain a contributing editor.
We're also getting close to being ready to perform a major software upgrade. This will involve making the site read-only for several hours during a weekend. Just thought I should announce this beforehand so no one gets surprised.
As I type this, there's a minor skirmish being fought within the Democratic Party over the plan of Nevada Democrats' plan to give Fox News Channel the rights to broadcast a presidential campaign debate scheduled for next August in Reno.
Predictably, the moonbats at Moveon.org are outraged and up to their usual online petitioning:
The battle between the Nevada Democratic Party and online liberal
activists continues to rage, with MoveOn.org saying Friday it had
collected 135,000 signatures on a petition asking the party to
dissociate itself from the Fox News cable channel.
"Hopefully, they're getting the hint," MoveOn.org Civic Action spokesman Adam Green said.
the party, which is partnering with Fox News to broadcast a Democratic
presidential debate Aug. 14 in Reno, wasn't backing down.
From time to time, we receive suggestions about adding a link on articles to submit NB stories to the community bookmarking site Digg.com. It's something we've thought about, however, I've always been skeptical of the non-partisanship of Digg.
LGF and Ace have some interesting posts on how leftist readers of the site consistently vote stories with conservative messages off the front page.
IMO this is yet another example of the left better using technology than the right. <
Ace makes a good point about the common practice of media folk thinking that receiving hate mail from leftist nutjobs is the equivalent about receiving a fairness complaint from a regular conservative or libertarian:
Although Allah points out the speciousness (and convenience) of that
claim, let's also note that most of the liberal media's criticism on
the right comes from mainstream Republicans representing the
great mass of right-leaning thought, whereas those who think the WaPo
is a part of the Vast Right Wing Noise Machine are unabashed, unhinged
lefties, "undecided" voters only the sense they're undecided between
Ralph Nader and Hugo Chavez.
A British hospital conducted a study recently that I doubt will get much coverage here in the States considering its erosion of a left-wing feminist myth that men are sexual predators. According to the study, none of 75 women who came in for treatment of "date rape" drugs had actually been given them. In fact, they'd just drank too much. Too bad the study didn't come out in time for V-Day, the radical left's attempt to ruin Valentine's Day.
Here's an excerpt from a London Evening Standard summary of the report:
Women who claim to be victims of 'date-rape' drugs such as Rohypnol
have in fact been rendered helpless by binge-drinking, says a study by
They found no evidence that any woman seeking help
from emergency doctors because their drinks were allegedly spiked had
actually been given these drugs.
Around one in five tested positive for recreational drugs while two-thirds had been drinking heavily.
Today is probably going to be the last day of the Lewis "Scooter" Libby trial. I'm going to be in the courtroom blogging the trial for Dean's World. For my coverage and everyone else's see the Media Bloggers Association's Scooter Libby Trial web site. For an idea of what to expect, see Tom Maguire's post here.
You probably haven't heard anything about it, but there was another allegation of interracial rape at Duke University recently. That it's the racial mirror image of the ridiculous lacross rape is probably the reason why.
The mainstream media has bent over backward to keep race out of
this. Even those who first gave a description of the alleged rapist as
a “black man” later redacted that from their reports. The News &
Observer never printed it at all. And none has pointed out, as the Duke Chronicle has done, that the alleged victim was white, making this a mirror image of the Duke lacrosse case.
NBC military analyst Ken Allard, a former army colonel, has resigned from the network, citing a general drift to the left at MSM outlet, especially following NBC's inaction over scurrilous remarks made by one of its other analysts, a leftist named Bill Arkin, that implied the military was full of "mercenaries" raking in "obscene amenities."
(This was the same Bill Arkin who has hated the military for years and released a book called "Code Names" in which he exposed classified military codenames to the world. Of course, the same media that has clamored about "treason" and "scandal" in the Valerie Wilson nonsense has no such compunction when it comes to this type of exposure of military secrets.)
After NBC failed to take action against its rogue analyst, Allard decided that he would, detailing why he has resigned in a column for a San Antonio newspaper:
Has anyone else noticed the network's precipitous retreat from journalistic and
ethical standards? Not only were no apologies given and no pink slips
issued for Arkin's outburst, but on his MSNBC show last week, Keith
Olberman went out of his way to defend this "valid criticism" of our
The NFL has a long history of rejecting overly political ads during game programming. However, it went too far recently in refusing an ad from a government agency during the Super Bowl. Sound improbable? Not when you learn that the agency in question was the Border Patrol (HT: bulletproof):
The National Football League refused to run a recruitment ad for the
U.S. Border Patrol in last week's Super Bowl program, saying it was
"controversial" because it mentioned duties such as fighting terrorism
and stopping drugs and illegal aliens at the border.
"The ad that the department submitted was specific to Border
Patrol, and it mentioned terrorism. We were not comfortable with that,"
said Greg Aiello, a spokesman for the NFL. "The borders, the
immigration debate is a very controversial issue, and we were sensitive
to any perception we were injecting ourselves into that."
The NFL's rejection didn't sit well with Border Patrol agents,
who called it a snub of their role in homeland security and said it was
"more than a little puzzling."
"The NFL missed a golden opportunity to reach countless
patriotic citizens who want to answer the call to help prevent another
terrorist attack on American soil," said T.J. Bonner, president of the
National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents the agency's
nonsupervisory personnel. [...]
This Sunday at 10pm Eastern, Fox News Channel is going to show a pilot episode of a news satire show it's commissioned from "24" executive producer Joel Surnow.
Here at NB and MRC, we often rightly complain at the media's leftward slant. This slant exists largely because the news and entertainment media shun and blacklist people with known conservative and libertarian politics, however, it's also a question of the right's interest in media.
If you're sick of every comedy show being run by left-wingers like Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, and David Letterman, join me in watching the "Half-Hour News Hour" this Sunday and tell everyone you know who might like it to tune in as well.
For a sample of the show and its format, click on over to this YouTube excerpt. There's also another promo where the show's producers discuss who might be offended at it. Click past the fold to watch the first spot right from this entry.
Admin note: There was a corruption in some of our data tables over the weekend which should no longer be present. For the technically inclined, I've migrated them from MyISAM to InnoDB which has more robust data management features. The move should also make making a comment go quicker, too.
As for our planned upgrade, I am working with someone to migrate us to version 4.7 of our software Drupal. When this is completed, we are going to shortly thereafter switch hosting companies.
However, all this moving is going to be expensive as is the new hardware and being released from our contract. If you could help MRC and NB with a donation, we'd all appreciate it greatly. There are some big things coming in the next few weeks and months and it will be nice when these tech issues are out of the way so stay tuned.
The defense in the Scooter Libby trial has subpoenaed NBC News reporter Andrea Mitchell to speak about her earlier statement that the profession of Valerie Plame Wilson "was widely known among those of us who cover the intelligence community."
She's since retracted it after her remarks seemingly implicated her NBC colleague Tim Russert. The prosecution also does not want Mitchell to testify as Clarice Feldman notes:
Yet Special Counsel Patrick
Fitzgerald is fighting hard to make sure reporter Andrea Mitchell's
testimony is not heard, and is asking the jury to buy some highly
implausible notions about a key FBI interview with NBC's Washington
Bureau Chief Tim Russert.
prosecution is still trying hard to keep Andrea Mitchell from being
called as a defense witness. In a pleading Friday, the defense is
trying just as hard to get court permission to call her. The
prosecution argues that the defense cannot call a witness just to
impeach her, and the defense says that is not their only reason to call
her, that she has other evidence to provide, and that a fair trial
cannot be had without her being called and questioned by the defense.
This isn't exactly news since he's been saying the same thing to anyone who'll listen for the past 20 years, but Walter Cronkite is a very upset man. You may have heard this before so I've taken the liberty of translating the former CBSer's remarks to keep it interesting:
Pressures by media companies to generate ever-greater profits are
threatening the very freedom the nation was built upon, former CBS News
anchor Walter Cronkite warned Thursday.
In a keynote address at Columbia University, Cronkite said
today’s journalists face greater challenges than those from his
generation. No longer could journalists count on their employers to
provide the necessary resources, he said, “to expose truths that
powerful politicians and special interests often did not want exposed.”
Translation: Journalists are no longer as able to spout leftist talking points and pass it off as news like they did in the days of Egbert "Edward" Murrow.
As eager as they are to promote liberal politicians over conservative ones, the MSM is even more eager to promote the careers of black political figures who happen to be liberal. Black conservatives like Michael Steele or Condoleezza Rice could instantly get 400% better press simply by putting a "D" next to their names.
The last time such media fatuousness was on display was during the presidential campaigns of Jesse Jackson who received press coverage good enough as if he had owned the papers who fawned over him. The emergence of Barack Obama as a Democratic presidential candidate has sent the same MSM into a tizzy as media outlets rush to shower him with praises. This latest journalistic pack-patronizing is especially odd since Obama has basically no political record and very little in the way of accomplishments.
One does not have to be of the conservative bent to notice that the press has gone off the deep end here. Timothy Noah, a liberal writer who works at the left-leaning Slate ezine, has started a series called "The Obama Messiah Watch" highlighting ridiculous media coverage of Illinois's junior senator. Read his latest edition here, as well as the firsttwo.
Any time a Republican does something stupid or advocates a dumb idea, the media invariably point out that the politician in question happens to be a Republican.
When it's a Democrat doing or saying something stupid, however, all bets are off as to whether or not they'll be outed as a Democrat (since such information is now immaterial in the minds of liberal reporters). Such is the case in this NBC affiliate story currently being highlighted on the Drudge Report:
A state senator from Brooklyn said on Tuesday he plans to introduce legislation that would ban people from using an MP3 player, cell phone, Blackberry or any other electronic device while crossing the street in either New York City or Buffalo.
NewsChannel 4 reported that Sen. Carl Kruger is proposing the ban in response to two recent pedestrian deaths in his district, including a 23-year-old man who was struck and killed last month while listening to his iPod on Avenue T and East 71st Street In Bergen Beach.
"While people are tuning into their iPods and cell phones, they're tuning out the world around them," Kruger said. The proposed law would make talking on cell phones while crossing the street a comparable offense to jaywalking.
Carl Kruger is a Democrat as anyone can see by looking at his entry in the New York State Senate Democrats web site. (H/t: pow)
The House Democrats got big media publicity for a huff-and-puff committee session on global warming this week, yet no one seems to have noticed that on the hot-button issue of Iraq, the congress which has been clamoring for "oversight" opportunities wasn't as interested Wednesday morning:
all 435 members of the House were invited to participate in a
classified briefing Wednesday morning providing an update on
implementation of the president's surge strategy in Iraq, only about
25-30 members accepted the invitation.
two-hour closed event at started at 8:00 a.m. EST. Members who attended
told FOX News that the meeting was "helpful" and "useful" in that the
officials essentially confirmed a lot of what has been reported
publicly about the strategy.
of Defense Undersecretary for Policy Eric Edelman, who was testifying
later in the day to the Senate Armed Services Committee on the troop
surge, appeared with the directors of intelligence and operations for
the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a high ranking State Department official,
for a closed-door briefing.
"Truth is stranger than fiction" is a phrase you often hear tossed around. I'd add a corollary to it: truth can be funnier than fiction, too.
Such was the case on tonight's "Hardball" where host Chris Matthews got so excited with his quest to blame the Bush admin for the Valerie Plame kerfuffle, he actually started drooling about it on the air, going past anything that "Saturday Night Live" actor Darrell Hammond has ever done in parody.
And no, that's not hyperbole. See the screenshot to the right and watch the video here in WMV or in RealPlayer.
Today's starter: Over the weekend, I went to the National Review Institute's first Conservative Summit where the 2008 presidential election was topic one. Several of the candidates were there including former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who in all likelihood announced his presidential candidacy on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday.
If you've been student of politics on the internet for more than a few years, you've no doubt seen variations on what your political ideology is. With Democrats recently having taken control of congress and the Right wondering where to head after big losses in 2006, I think it's time to break down what I think defines a person's political ideology. The following is my attempt to do this:
Moral: Religion, censorship, science, and sexuality.
Social: Race, regulation, the welfare state
Foreign policy: America's cultural place in the world, military interventions
Fiscal: Taxation, spending
Organizational: Unionization, regulating politics
Tell me if you think I've missed any broad topics that should be in here. Then, head over to the Pew Center's political Typology Test and see where you fit in. I have a poll at the bottom of the sidebar where you can say which group you're in. I did notice two flaws in the poll, though: It skews your results if you say which ideology you think you are.
Will the rise of blogging and "citizen journalism"* have a positive effect on news coverage of politics? I'd have to say yes. Kate Werk at Small Dead Animals posted the other day on a different reason this will be so:
The distinction between national and local is an important one. [...] I find
the local reporting by mainstream affiliates in my part of the country
to be, by and large, reasonably thorough and not nearly as tainted by
the political "default setting" that infects much of national and
international coverage. [...]
Indeed, one wonders how different our perceptions of the national
mainstream media might be if the chattering quasi -experts, political
mouthpieces and overpaid anchors were sent into early retirement, and
replaced with editing teams that simply compiled reports submitted by
local affiliates and journalists in the field.
Removing the conclusion-drawing, forecasting and speculation that
currently infects hard news could go a long way towards restoring the
credibility of a troubled industry and the confidence of that "former
audience" - those news consumers who have turned to the internet, not
for its speed, but for the sources - to fact check, cross-check and provide context.
The emergence of blogging as a source of national news can bring out information that the elitist, liberal press can't or won't report.
Despite their best efforts to woo the public, Democrats are still having trouble when it comes to convincing the public that they have a plan for the country. In the most recent Los Angeles Times poll, only 25 percent of the public believes the new Democratic majority actually has a plan.
This is one of several bits of bad (and good) news for Democrats which more than likely you will not see reported on the left-leaning TV networks. Read the rest of the poll, scroll to the bottom in this page, for details.