Michael Moore, darling of the American left, is also a big hit in Islamic fundamentalist quarters. We already knew that Osama likes him, now, we learn that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is also a big fan.
Following his infamous speech to the United Nations, Ahmadinejad held a few receptions for Iranians and Iranian-Americans as well as the media. His translator while he was in this country wrote an account of Ahmadinejad's itinerary:
The following morning, Mr. Ahmadinejad held a 7:30 a.m. breakfast meeting, again at his hotel, with American academics and journalists. Earlier, he had expressed some interest in having Michael Moore attend, and although attempts were made to reach him (even by myself, since I was asked), they were unsuccessful. I was seated between Gary Sick (of Columbia University) and Jon Lee Anderson (of The New Yorker), and three hot issues were covered: nuclear power, Israel and the Holocaust.
Since the other threads got full on tonight's posts, I'm opening up another thread for comments. I also want to point everyone to a new project: the NewsBusters FAQ. It's the place to go to get all your questions answered about NB. It's nowhere near complete so please post your thoughts.
Fox News president Roger Ailes blasted former president Bill Clinton in an interview with AP reporter Dave Bauder:
Fox News chief Roger Ailes says former President Clinton's response
to Chris Wallace's question about going after Osama bin Laden
represents "an assault on all journalists."
Ailes said Clinton had a "wild overreaction" in the interview,
broadcast on "Fox News Sunday." Hundreds of thousands of people
subsequently watched clips over the Internet, with Fox foes rallying
"If you can't sit there and answer a question from a professional,
mild-mannered, respectful reporter like Chris Wallace, then the hatred
for journalists is showing," Ailes said in an interview with The
Associated Press on Wednesday. "All journalists need to raise their
eyebrows and say, `hold on a second.'"
All the buzz generated by Chris Wallace's explosive "Fox News Sunday" interview with former president Bill Clinton surely came as great news to the Fox News publicity staff and management. "Sunday" has long lagged behind its competitors and this was just the kind of press it needed.
Part of the reason the interview got so much attention was the internet. But because Fox hasn't provided an easy way for its visitors to link to videos, all the web traffic for the interview went to sites which did make it easy to view, YouTube, Hot Air, and others. This must've upset someone in the legal department over at Fox Television because yesterday, YouTube users who used the keywords "fox news" in their descriptions of the Clinton-Wallace exchange received cease and desist letters from YouTube which said Fox News had lodged copyright claims against it. (h/t USS Neverdock)
After booting Rush Limbaugh over non-political remarks that
media favor Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb because he
is black, ESPN, the radio home of Keith Olbermann, allowed left-wing
director Spike Lee to go off on a rant about how New Orleans is not
rebuilt. Limbaugh touched on the topic in his show Tuesday:
must tell you, I watched the game a little bit last night. I had a very
important secret meeting and I didn't get to see the entire game,
missed some of the beginning, but as soon as I tuned in who do I see
but Spike Lee in the booth being asked questions as though he's an
expert on social policy and everything else. I listened to a little bit
of it, and I kept saying, "It's a football game! Couldn't you have done
this in the pregame show?" I find out they did, they devoted a lot of
time to the pregame show.
was pure politics in the booth at ESPN last night, and it was pure
liberal politics, disguised as social compassion. Give us the game,
guys! I'm getting sick of all these shots of the fans and the crowds
and the shots that take us away from the field. It's no different than
if you're at the game and a bunch of drunks in the row in front of you
stand up and you can't see what's going on on the field. That's what
these networks do. I don't want to hear Spike Lee when I'm watching the
Atlanta Falcons and the Saints. I don't care. He got his HBO
documentary. It doesn't matter to me. This ain't a social
welfare-concern show. Now, I know that there might have been some
pressure brought by the NFL. We gotta make New Orleans look good. We
gotta make people understand still a lot of work to do here and so
forth, but it got so syrupy and Milquetoast that I was about to puke.
It's a football game! And football announcers, I thought, were not
supposed to delve into politics. Where did I hear that once? Did
politics we get all over the place, and we got liberal politics, and
how rotten and horrible it is. "You may think Bourbon Street looks
good, but we had to go on a tour of all these areas of New Orleans that
are still dilapidated and un-repaired."
Hinderaker of Power Line points out the broader implications
of CNN being foisted upon Glenn and many other travelers:
This has become my major issue with air travel, worse even
having to throw away my shaving cream and toothpaste. (Want a stock
tip? Invest in a company that makes really, really small toiletries.)
The airports of America--as far as I can tell, there aren't any
exceptions--have entered into a contract with CNN whereby CNN's
outrageously one-sided coverage blares non-stop at every airline gate
in the U.S. Talk about a captive audience! You really don't have any
choice but to sit at the gate, waiting for your plane to load, and the
volume is turned up so loud that you can't miss a single snarky attack
on the Bush administration. Frankly, I think I'd rather be
waterboarded. Do you suppose John McCain can do something about this?
This is just one of many manifestations of the fact that the
Democratic Party is the "home team" of American politics. CNN is the
"official" news network, viewed by corporate America as neutral and
unobjectionable even though, in fact, it is relentlessly liberal. If
anyone proposed that they shift the contract over to Fox, for the sake
of more competent news coverage if nothing else, the reaction would be:
we can't do that, Fox is conservative! It isn't, actually, for the most
part. But occasional moments of conservatism will drive a network more
or less underground, while constant liberalism is considered middle of
the road, and suitable for infliction--like it or not--on the air
travelers of America.
had the same experience, most airport TVs I've run across show
CNN. But CNN is not only the channel of most major airports,
it's also the channel in most public spaces where ESPN isn't being
shown, simply because liberalism is the default political viewpoint set
up for Americans. It's not the raving, Bush-is-Hitler bile that
left-wing blogs and Air America pine for, but it's there nonetheless,
surrounding us all like a comforting political amniotic fluid, helping
us know what's right, who's evil, and what's sensible and moderate.
It's also probably one of the bigger reasons why liberal media bias
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Liberal press critics are quite the paradox. Most such writers like Eric Alterman, Michael Wolffe, and Michael Massing, are pretty sophisticated about the media in non-political matters, but when it comes to politics, they can't help repeating a slightly toned down version of rhetoric you'll find over at the Daily Kos. They deny the press is tilted toward the left (ignoring scores of content studies and surveys of reporters) and yet they cheer when the media chooses to favor the left, as if that's the media's natural role. Which it is, of course--if you're a liberal
This line of thought is far too common among left-wing media critics. In an interview with the Huffington Post, writer Michael Massing provided a textbook example of it, arguing that the press has properly began pushing back against the Bush Administration while also saying that conservative critics are fundamentally wrong in their opinion of the media:
My working hypothesis on all this, which I have mentioned in some of
those articles, is that the more powerful the President, the more timid
the press. There's an inverse relationship between the popularity of
the President and the willingness of the press to challenge him. And
right now, Bush's popularity is very low. I think we're seeing the
press pushing back in a very strong way. If I were writing an article
today about what's been happening, I would say more about how the press
has been pushing back. And I think there's a big appetite for this
among readers. The Bush administration is so beleaguered and has done
so many things that have upset the public that the press sees an
opening and has been moving to take advantage of it.
If 35,000 people were to show up and rally against a speech President Bush right across the street from him, that would surely be news. Thousands of people, led by a few political figures such as Jesse Jackson, Noam Chomsky, and others protesting a world leader they consider to be a threat should be news if only because of the proximity.
Change the scenario to include thousands of demonstrators against Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, though, and you see another perfect portrait of media bias according to Meryl Yourish (h/t Instapundit):
Can you find a news source for the rally against Ahmadinejad at the
UN yesterday? Correction: Can you find a non-Jewish media source, or a
non-blogger source, for the rally?
This story about a Vietnamese man who was a spy for the communists during the war as well as a reporter for Reuters and Time magazine is nothing short of an outrage. It also makes you wonder how many agents for totalitarianism are working in the press today. An's assertions of impartiality are all too familar as well. (An old MRC MediaWatch item on him is here.)
HANOI, Vietnam - Pham Xuan An, who led a remarkable and perilous double life as a communist spy and a respected reporter for Western news organizations during the Vietnam War, died Wednesday at age 79. [...]
In the history of wartime espionage, few were as successful as An. He straddled two worlds for most of the 15-year war in Indochina as an undercover communist agent while also working as a journalist, first for Reuters news service and later for 10 years as Time magazine's chief Vietnamese reporter — a role that gave him access to military bases and background briefings.
He was so well-known for his sources and insight that many Americans who knew him suspected he worked for the CIA.
Before Saigon fell to the communists, An worked to help friends escape, including South Vietnam's former security chief who feared death if he was found by northern forces. An later revealed his true identity as a Viet Cong commander, but said he never reported any false information or communist propaganda while in his role as a journalist.
Sometimes when I'm talking about the media with someone who's smart but
not particularly that political, they'll sometimes wonder why it's
worth pointing out press bias or unfairness. The way they figure it,
basically everyone is smart enough to take everything they see in the
press with a grain of salt. If they come across something that's not
true, they'll reject it.
It's a nice idea in theory, but in practice it just doesn't work that
way. Most people are either too busy, too apathetic, or not intelligent
enough to question the accuracy of something they see on TV or read
The latest Gallup survey provides a great illustration for this point.
According to Gallup, nearly one-half of the American public believes
that President Bush is deliberately manipulating oil prices to help
Republicans. The following is from USA
Today's recount of the poll (h/t: Ace):
Back when I was in college, I was involved in journalism in various capacities, in the classroom and at student newspapers. I couldn't help but notice in each place I went, women far outnumbered men. The Star-Tribune of Minnesota has picked up on a similar trend in the television industry. Men seem to be disappearing:
In TV news these days, a good man is hard to find.
networks, men still rule -- Katie Couric notwithstanding -- but at the
local level, women have taken the lead. Nationally, they account for 57
percent of TV news anchors. [...]
The male disappearing act
starts in the classroom. At the University of Minnesota this fall,
women outnumber men 227 to 125 in the professional journalism major,
which includes broadcasting. Ken Stone, a broadcast journalism
professor who spent 20 years working in radio and TV news, has 10 women
and six men in his advanced reporting class; he said that's as balanced
as it gets.
Stone traces the trend to the 1970s, when women and
minorities protested about domination of the airwaves by white men. One
of his first journalism professors asked the men in his class to stand
up, then told them, "Get a new career, there are too many of you." [...]
Breaking in a parallel universe somewhere: NBC is set to air live footage of actor Jean Reno portraying the Islamic prophet Mohammed engaging in sex acts with another man.
In our real world, according to Matt Drudge, the network is going to be airing a "special" concert featuring over-the-hill singer Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone (aka Madonna) singing her song "Live to Tell" while standing on a disco-style crucifix and sporting a glittery pretend crown of thorns. It's a repeat of shows she's done in Europe.
Frankly, I have to yawn at this point. There's nothing new here. If these Hollywood types had any real guts or edge, they'd do PR stunts in the style of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's "Team America." But since they and Ciccone are pseudo artists, that's not likely to happen.
Note to the professionally offended: I am not advocating ridiculing any particular religion here. Just saying what Ciccone et al. would do if they ever thought about living up their supposed ideals.
Bill Press, the former CNN and MSNBC host refuses
to yield ground on the Plame story. Starting to sound a lot like a crazy guy shouting about aliens, Press creates a unified
conspiracy theory of Plame. That's a little difficult given recent news
events, so Press has to resort to distorting the words of columnist
So where's my apology to Karl Rove?
what many readers want to know: Having accused Karl Rove of leading a
conspiracy within the Bush White House to reveal the identity of
undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame, don't I owe Rove an apology now
that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has admitted
that he, not Rove, was Novak's primary source?
here's my answer: Hell, no! Armitage's involvement doesn't disprove the
Rove conspiracy. It only proves it was a lot wider than we originally
With the gun control movement running for the hills nationwide,
opponents of the Second Amendment have taken comfort in the fact that many of America's largest cities remain solidly in the anti-gun camp. In such places, it's not uncommon
for local government officials to initiate so-called gun buyback
programs where police purchase weapons citizens bring in, no questions
Basically no one who studies firearms policy believes
these initiatives actually work to reduce crime or take guns away from
by the DOJ and even Harvard University have discounted the
effectiveness of buyback programs. Just a few months ago, the liberal
Boston Phoenix alternative newspaper ran an article
that contended they enable criminals to afford newer, more deadly
weapons. Most of the time, the bulk of residents selling their guns are
older, as are their firearms--not exactly the kind of people you'd see
engaging in armed robbery.
All of this information
can be easily found on the internet. Surely the District of Columbia,
which hosted a buyback program over the weekend, was aware of it. One
would hope that at least one person at the Associated Press or the Washington Post
knew that gun buyback programs don't work, or that they'd at least have
the journalistic inclination to look into how effective such
initiatives are. But hard-hitting, thoughtful local reporting isn't
exactly in high supply in America's newspapers today, to say nothing of
research critical of liberal shibboleths.
If you thought Al Gore would somehow go away after the 24/7 promotion of his lecture film "An Inconvenient Truth," you couldn't be more wrong. The failed presidential candidate is continuing to build his media empire with a follow-up book entitled "The Assault on Reason." He's going to use its commercial appeal to decide whether he should run for president or not, at least according to the Washington Post:
Although saying he has no plans to run for president in 2008, former
vice president Al Gore has nonetheless left the door ever so slightly
ajar. It's a good bet that door will swing open a good bit wider come
That is when Gore is scheduled to publish his next
book. With no fanfare, he signed a few weeks ago with Penguin Press to
write "The Assault on Reason."
As described by editor Scott Moyers [any relation to Bill?], the book is a meditation on how
"the public arena has grown more hostile to reason," and how solving
problems such as global warming is impeded by a political culture with
a pervasive "unwillingness to let facts drive decisions."
First there was "Dowdification," named after the NYT columnist's deliberate truncation of a speech by President Bush to falsely imply he had said al Qaeda was "no longer a problem. Now, Patterico (aka Patrick Frey) suggests a new term, "Isikoffed" for the Newsweek reporter who similarly truncated a memo by Alberto Gonzales to make the Bush admin look like it considers all the Geneva Conventions to be "quaint" when it comes to the war on terrorism. Instead, Gonzales was making the sensible point that some of them, such as the requiring prison guards to provide inmates with scientific instruments and athletic clothes, are obsolete.
That the MSM has not sufficiently corrected the record on this point continues to be a problem since many liberals in and out of the blogosphere continue to believe this bit of misinformation.
Update 11:02. While you're over at Patterico's, be sure and read his post about how the LA Times is providing cover for a left-wing church leader who basically said voting for Republicans is a sin.
Cyrus Nowrasteh, the screenwriter behind ABC's "Path to 9/11" miniseries, has an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal about his experience. Unsurprisingly, he has little good will for left-wing critics who tried to censor a film that portrayed Democrats in any kind of a bad light:
It would have been good to be able to report due diligence on the part of those who judged the film, the ones who held forth on it before watching a moment of it. Instead, in the rush to judgment, and the effort to portray the series as the work of a right-wing zealot, much was made of my "friendship" with Rush Limbaugh (a connection limited to two social encounters), but nothing of any acquaintance with well-known names on the other side of the political spectrum. No reference to Abby Mann, for instance, with whom I worked on "10,000 Black Men Named George" (whose hero is an African-American communist) or Oliver Stone, producer of "The Day Reagan Was Shot," a film I wrote and directed. Clearly, those enraged that a film would criticize the Clinton administration's antiterrorism policies--though critical of its successor as well--were willing to embrace only one scenario: The writer was a conservative hatchetman.
I wonder how much we'll be hearing of this news in the political press and how much Marylanders will from their MSM:
Rep. Benjamin Cardin has fired a campaign staffer who wrote racially
charged comments on an Internet blog against his opponent, Republican
Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is black, Cardin's campaign confirmed
The blog includes a reference to "Devouring the Competition" by eating
Oreo cookies, which Steele has said people threw at him during a 2002
debate as a slight directed at his race and political views.
In a statement, Cardin also condemned "anti-Semitic" comments written by the female staffer on her own Internet blog [formerly at persuasionatrix.blogspot.com].
One important fact left out of the AP report I quoted above is that the story was broken by our friends over at Wizbang. AP reporter Brian Witte's behavior in this instance is all too familiar. Blogs are often not given the proper credit they deserve for reporting, especially if they're conservative ones.
Today's starter: Noel Sheppard and I noted Thursday, the Republicans' electoral fortunes are beginning to look up. Now comes word that online gambling sites that allow wagers on elections are starting to favor Republicans retaining control of the House. The GOP's poll numbers are also up as well. Have the Democrats peaked?
While ABC came under assault from the left in this country for
even thinking to air something critical of the Clinton administration's
role in the leadup to 9/11, Canada's leading broadcast network was
doing the very opposite: airing a "documentary" exploring
the idea that the Bush White House was behind the attacks
that killed thousands of Americans (often called MIHOP in leftie circles):
the eve of the 9/11 remembrance ceremonies, the leftist, anti-Bush
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada’s national public
broadcaster, aired an outrageous and disgraceful documentary on a
Sunday news program regarding half-baked 9/11 conspiracy theories that
only served to insult the memories of those who perished that tragic
9/11: Truth, Lies and Conspiracy, the only fascinating thing about the
CBC show was its complete absurdity and the fact that it actually made
it to air.On the conspiracy side, it featured a young, budding
“film-maker” whose online documentary portrays the
destruction of the World Trade Center
towers as the result of a bomb in the basement, demolition explosives
planted beforehand throughout the buildings, and the airliner crash,
which, it claims, was not enough in itself to topple the towers.
According to this masterpiece of misleading fiction, the Pentagon was
also hit by a missile, not by an airplane; and the passengers of United
93 didn’t crash into a Pennsylvania field, but disembarked at
Via LGF comes this report from the paragons of neutrality at Reuters:
LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime
Minister Tony Blair launched a withering attack on Thursday on what he
called “mad anti-Americanism” among European politicians.
Blair, U.S. President George W. Bush’s closest ally in the so-called war on terror, said the world urgently needs the United States to help tackle the globe’s most pressing problems. [...]
Blair, accused by critics of being Bush’s poodle who slavishly follows Washington’s line,
sought to stifle a revolt in his ruling Labour Party last week by
promising to quit within a year after almost 10 years in office.
Not exactly media bias but worth noting: Dan Rather is hard at work on producing his new HDNet show. The report comes from the same Freeper, MindBender26, who correctly announced the departure of Dan Rather from CBS.
Rather is working overtime on his new satellite-fed dinky cable show.
Editors who have seen first drafts of story treatments say it is WAY
over the top, sort of a "Howard Beale on LSD reading Rolling Stone
straight to camera, with a Texas accent" concept.
In other media business news, Sean Hannity is apparently set to leave his perch at ABC Radio.
Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines spews Bush hatred in public, so it's not exactly a surprise to see her grow more unhinged in private:
The international press won't get their first look at the documentary
Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing until its gala premiere at the Toronto
Film Festival tonight. But EW.com got an early look at the
sure-to-be-controversial doc in Los Angeles and can attest that the
film will continue to bring the (ex?) country trio more plaudits from
progressives and further condemnation from conservatives. And if you
think singer Natalie Maines had some harsh words for President Bush in
public, wait till you hear what she had to say about him behind the
In one memorable scene, Maines watches news footage
of the president being interviewed about the furor that followed the
singer's on-stage comment that she was ''ashamed the President of the
United States is from Texas,'' which resulted in the group being
dropped from most radio stations, as well as protests and plummeting
sales. ''The Dixie Chicks are free to speak their mind,'' Bush told Tom
Brokaw at the time, adding, ''They shouldn't have their feelings hurt
just because some people don't want to buy their records when they
speak out. You know, freedom is a two-way street.''
watching this footage, Maines repeats the president's comment about how
the group shouldn't have their ''feelings hurt,'' incredulous, and then
says, ''What a dumb f---.'' She then looks into the camera, as if
addressing Bush, and reiterates, ''You're a dumb f---.''
Hat tip to Sister Toldjah who adds: "Ever notice how she tends to make these disparaging comments about the
Prez. when she’s NOT in the US? What’s the matter, Natalie? Too
chick(s)en to say ‘em on your home turf?"
Is Nancy Grace, the crime-obsessed CNN Headline News host and
prosecutor, at least partly to blame for the suicide of a Florida woman
whose son has been reported missing?
According to the family of Melinda Duckett, a harsh interview Grace
taped with Duckett was one of the factors that put her over
Duckett shot herself a
day after taping an interview with CNN Headline News' Nancy Grace, who
frequently focuses on missing-persons cases. Stumbling on questions
like whether she had taken a polygraph test or where, specifically, she
was shopping with her son before his disappearance, Duckett, speaking
by telephone, became audibly exasperated.
Before it was over,
Grace was pounding her desk in a raised voice, saying, "Where were you?
Why aren't you telling us where you were that day?"
and the others, they just bashed her to the end," Melinda Duckett's
grandfather Bill Eubank said Tuesday. "She wasn't one anyone ever would
have thought of to do something like this. She and that baby just loved
each other, couldn't get away from each other. She wouldn't hurt a bug."
As you would expect, Grace denies this. On Monday's
show, instead of focusing on 9/11, she devoted basically the
entire program (except for a small mention of the terrorist attacks at
the end) to the Duckett case. Everything Grace said about the case, plus a comment, is below the fold.
Rich Muslims of the world need to unite and buy up various parts of the global media in order to force them to become more friendly to Islam. That's the message coming out of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference being held in Saudi Arabia.
As you might expect, Reuters has a reporter there who couldn't help but insert an anti-Fox News remark into the story:
Muslim tycoons should buy stakes in global media outlets to help
change anti-Muslim attitudes around the world, ministers from Islamic
countries heard at a conference in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
ministers and officials meeting under the auspices of the 57-nation
Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the world's largest
Islamic body, said Islam faced vilification after the September 11
attacks, when 19 Arabs killed nearly 3,000 people in U.S. cities in
British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's comic creation Borat Sagdiyev has caused so much outrage in Kazakhstan with his new movie, President George W. Bush will address the issue when he meets the Kazakh leader.
Bush is set to hold talks with Nursultan Nazarbayev over oil supply--and disgusted Kazakhs have demanded action over Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Roman Vassilenko says, "We have made it clear that we are unhappy with the character's representation. He does not represent the true people of Kazakhstan."