Have liberal journalists gotten more than they bargained for after hyping up the Valerie Plame Wilson leak "scandal?" Ed Morrissey argues that this is the case in light of yet another leak investigation, this one about CBS and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee:
The media, especially national organizations, used to have a silent
immunity from these kinds of investigations, but two developments
changed all of that. First, the media used to understand the impact of
the disclosures they made and to coordinate them with the federal
government to minimize the damage. That era appears to have ended,
largely with the New York Times, which has blown several intelligence
programs during wartime despite the warnings of the White House and
members of Congress.
Secondly and more importantly, the press brought it on themselves in
the Plame leak. The New York Times, hypocritically, took the lead in
hysterically demanding a federal probe into the kind of leak that they
regularly publish on their front pages. Somehow the media mavens who
took their lead from the Gray Lady never considered the fact that an
investigation into leaks would require subpoenaed testimony from the
reporters that received them.
Too late, they realized that the public storm they created would
rain down all over themselves. They have tried to paint the subpoenas
and the resulting contempt-of-court threats as an indication of an
oppressive Bush administration, declaring war on the media. This order
by Judge Ellis should put an end to that misapprehension. The media
created this demand for investigations into leaks of classified
information, and jus because they were too foolish to understand that
all roads led back to them is no reason to feel much sympathy for their
Agence-France Press, the French press agency, must be violating child labor laws. That can be the only possible conclusion one can reach after reading this Allahpundit post at Hot Air which chronicles the petty and immature oeuvre of its photographer Paul Richards who seems unable to take a picture of George W. Bush in which the president is not making a ridiculous or sinister gesture.
Now it's true that some unreasonable, unclear-thinking Americans out there might believe AFP to be politically biased. But that is completely impossible. Therefore, one must come to the conclusion that Richards is 11 years old.
The Palestinian kidnapping of Fox news correspondent Steve Centanni and camerman Olaf Wing is now in its fifth day, and it's interesting to note the flabby response from both the media and so-called journalism "protection" organizations -- which are usually quick to condemn Israel and the U.S. authorities in Iraq.
The usually garrulous Committee to Protect Journalists issued a tepid statement expressing "concern," and the media generally has kept its distance. The New York Times, typically, buried a tiny reference to the kidnapping in a news roundup two days later. Obviously the Times was hoping that Centanni would be swiftly released, and delayed mentioning the kidnapping in the hope that it could report news of his release at the same time. Mustn't upset the myth of Palestinian moderation!
Have you heard the news of the latest celebrity political pronouncement?
For those living in a cave, Bernie Mac, Nicole Kidman, Michael Douglas, Danny De Vito, Bruce Willis, and a host of other celebs recently signed an issue ad taking a stand…against terrorism.
Didn't hear about it? That's no surprise. According to Nexis, not a single American news organization other than Fox News Channel has covered it.
Say what you will about celebs "shutting up and singing," but the fact that this isn't getting nearly the coverage given to anti-Bush and anti-American rants of lesser lights like the Dixie Chicks or Michael Moore is a yet another nail in the coffin that the media in this country is sorely lacking in political diversity. (Full text and signers here.)
Here at NewsBusters, we often bring you irrational rants from paranoid lefties who are certain that Chimpy Bush McHitler is trying to become dictator of America, enslave anyone to the left of Pat Robertson, and personally assasinate Pinch Sulzberger.
Now, for a change of pace, here's Val Prieto on some real journalists who actually are living in a totalitarian government. Here's an excerpt but the entire piece is very well worth reading:
Right now there remain at least two dozen independent journalists incarcerated in Cuba simply because they dared speak the truth. Some have been locked away since 2003, still in the infancy of their 15 or 20 year sentences. Truth has made them suffer beatings, torture and malnutrition. Truth has mocked, ridiculed, and subjected them to abject horrors and indignity.
All because they bear witness to the world around them and dare describe it nakedly and without their government’s official veil.
There are many journalists from around the world in Havana. CNN is there. Reuters, the AP. They live comfortably in hotel rooms and work in comfortable in air-conditioned offices full of amenities. They have the copy machine. They have the faxes and computers and printers and scanners. They have staff and editors. What they don’t have is the security to report the truth.
KOLKATA, India - A group of Indian television
journalists gave a man matches and diesel to help him commit suicide in
order to get dramatic footage which was later broadcast on the news,
police said on Thursday.
man died from severe burns to his body in hospital in Gaya town in the
eastern state of Bihar on Aug. 15, India's Independence Day.
of the man, screaming and writhing in pain as he ran with his back on
fire, was aired on several television channels. Police identified the
man as Manoj Mishra.
"We have seized footage clearly showing a
group of journalists handing over matches and some inflammable
substance -- which we later verified to be diesel -- to the victim,"
acting Gaya police chief P.K. Sinha told Reuters by telephone.
who worked as a delivery man, was upset over what he said was a large
sum of money owed to him by a state-run dairy farm whose milk he
transported to customers, police said.
Pennsylvania Democrat Jack Murtha has become a liberal media darling for his non-stop pounding of the surrender drum, and his jumping on the bandwagon to accuse the Marines of misconduct and covering up an alleged massacre in Haditha, Iraq.
The Haditha talk got started after Marine general Michael Hagee briefed certain members of congress about the start of an investigation into the deaths of at least 20 Iraqi civilians. After some of the briefings, Murtha almost immediately began accusing the Marine Corps of engaging in war crimes.
Trouble is, though, Murtha had not been briefed on the investigation before he began his media campaign. That is not what the L.A. Times reported, however. The paper said, over the protests of Patterico who argued the opposite, that Murtha had been briefed before making his remarks.
Failing to convince the Times to double-check its sources better (whodathunkit?) and with Murtha's office unwilling to correct the record since it might have made the congressman look bad, Patterico took matters into his own hands:
Most of the major American media had serious qualms about printing the Mohammed cartoons a while back. No major newspaper did as far as I can remember.
None of them seemed particularly outraged over a particularly vile cartoon by Wiley Miller, the creator of the syndicated strip Non Sequitur, which implied that Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia wants to enslave black Americans, and more specifically, his court colleague Clarence Thomas. (HT: Betsy Newmark)
After months of encouraging media hype, incoming "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric is now trying to downplay expectations that she'll bring viewers to the last-place network nightly.
Katie Couric won't be altering her look. She won't be going off to war
merely to read the news while "standing somewhere in a flak jacket."
And most of all, she isn't expecting any big "surge" in ratings for CBS
Evening News With Katie Couric this fall.
As the network's promotional blitz for its new $60 million anchorwoman
kicks into high gear, Couric, who will debut in her new role Sept. 5,
yesterday launched a counter-campaign of sorts, ratcheting down
expectations and softening the drumbeat of hype.
Journalists, the self-described writers of the first draft of history, often have a very tough time remembering it. I've lost count how many times I've heard the phrase "most ever," "biggest in history," "worst X ever" and so on.
The BBC provided the latest example of this historical short-sightedness in a not-exactly condemnatory (the Beeb never once calls him a dictator) profile of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, which as the WSJ's James Taranto noted yesterday, contained a major error:
Last Monday the BBC published a puff piece on Cuba's dictator titled "Fidel:
The World Icon." Here's how it starts:
Cuba's President Fidel Castro--the world's longest-serving leader--turns
80 on 13 August. This week, we will be assessing his political life and his
impact on the Caribbean island.
When talking with someone who isn't especially political or is
left-of-center about the topic of media bias, I will occasionally
hear the argument that the media's political orientation doesn't really matter
because most people are skeptical of what they hear on TV and
elsewhere. In the modern age of low voter turnout, anti-advertising
advertising, and the permanent campaign, people are smart enough not to
take in any media message without several large grains of salt.
Non-intelligent people don't make this argument in my experience. Only smart people do.
not everyone is smart. Many people continue to be very impressionable
as adults, especially to mass media like television and movies, as
demonstrated in this post from the Dummie Funnies, a blog run by NewsBusters user pjcomix which monitors the loonybin known as Democratic Underground.
Stand by for some really great laughs on Sunday, November 5. Some Dummies, taking their cue from the movie, "V For Vendetta,"
are actually planning to gather in front of public buildings around the
country wearing dopey Guy Fawkes masks as you can see in this THREAD
titled, "Remember, remember the 5th of November....". Yeah, that's just
the ticket, DUmmies. Leading into the midterm elections, make complete
FOOLS of yourselves. This doesn't totally surprise me since the DUmmies
instantly took to this fantasy flick in which Britain is ruled by an
EVIL rightwing regime. The DUmmies have fantasized themselves in the
masked hero's role in opposing that regime (which they have transferred
to the EVIL Bush regime). So let us now watch the DUmmies once again
make laughingstocks of themselves in Bolshevik Red while the commentary
of your humble correspondent, looking for a V For Vendetta Halloween costume at the Dollar Store, is in the [brackets]:
I've been meaning to write something about the latest blog-bashing
from the keyboard of Columbia J-school dean Nicholas Lemann but haven't
had the time. Thankfully, New York Press's Russ Smith and my friend Bob
Cox have taken care of the task for me. Before quoting from them,
here's a taste of Lemann's sour grapes, actually saying that the legacy media never have been elitist and, in fact, are reflective of the average American:
American journalism began, roughly speaking, on the
Britain model; during Colonial times it was dominated by fiery
political speechmakers, like Thomas Paine. All those uplifting
statements by the Founders about freedom of the press were almost
certainly produced with pamphleteers in mind. When, in the early
nineteenth century, political parties and fast cylinder printing
presses developed, American journalism became mainly a branch of the
party system, with very little pretense to neutral authority or
ownership of the facts.
A related development was the
sensational penny press, which served the big cities, whose populations
were swollen with immigrants from rural America and abroad. It produced
powerful local newspapers, but it’s hard to think of them as
the priesthood model. William Randolph Hearst’s New York
leading examples, were flamboyant, populist, opinionated, and
thoroughly disreputable. They influenced politics, but that is
different from saying, as Glenn Reynolds says of the Hearst papers,
that they “set the agenda for public discussion.”
Most of the formal
means of generating information that are familiar in America
today—objective journalism is only one; others are modern
research, professional licensing, and think tanks—were
created, in the
late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, explicitly to counter
the populist inclinations of various institutions, one of which was the
In fact, what the prophets of Internet
journalism believe themselves to be fighting
against—journalism in the
hands of an enthroned few, who speak in a voice of phony, unearned
authority to the passive masses—is, as a historical
a straw man.
I misheard the annoucement on Today. What the BBC's Stephen Sackur actually said, reading an incoming report, was this: "We understand that it is now being suggested by officials that British-born ... er... men were involved in the alleged plot."
Could something else have been written after "British born" that caused
Sackur to pause? Whatever the case, I apologise for suggesting that
Muslims might in any way have been involved in this attempted terrorist
attack. What was I thinking?
Further update. Sackur's missing word? This from Sky News:
The fauxtography scandal is blowing out of control as proof after proof rolls in how much of the self-described photojournalism coming out of Lebanon is illegitimate. If you're a blogger (or are reading some) covering the story, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll include a link in this roundup. And of course, you can link in the comments as well. Comments are now open to unregistered users.
UPDATE 6:25. After an overnight hardware failure, NB is back up and running. The links will begin momentarily.
UPDATE 6:38. Snapped Shot is another blog worth checking out. Keep those links coming, folks!
UPDATE 7:05. Via NB reader Geepers comes this link to a German TV news show proving that the infamous Salam Daher, aka "greenhelmetguy," is a stage manager for Hezbollah. The video shows him rehearsing the removal of a body from an ambulance and giving directions to the camera operator.
Despite lots of promotion from the entertainment media, the Dixie Chicks seem to have offended their fan base too much. The lefty group has been forced to cancel shows in 14 states, replacing them with Canadian ones, the AP reports:
concerts on the Dixie Chicks'"Accidents & Accusations" tour have
been canceled after slow ticket sales, but the group says it has
replaced them with other dates.
City, Houston, St. Louis, Memphis and Knoxville are among 14 cities no
longer on the original schedule released in May, according to a revised
itinerary posted Thursday on the Dixie Chick's Web site.
It's unquestionable that something bad happened in Qana, Lebanon recently. Was it a massacre of innocent civilians, collateral damage, or a Hezbollah set-up?
It's starting to seem as though it was a combination of all three. The Washington Post's Jefferson Morley, Aziz P, and Ace are some of the bloggers beginning to raise this point. I've excerpted some of their arguments below. If you see any counter-arguments, post them as a comment or email them to me so I can include all sides.
UPDATE 14:25. Dan Riehl theorizes on how Hezbollah might have staged the casualties. Read on past the jump for an excerpt.
UPDATE 14:48. Power Line argues further that Arab stringers for MSM organizations are staging photos.
UPDATE 15:17. Ace has more possibly staged pix, including a mannequin improbably standing upright sporting a wedding dress.
The hot story in the blog world today is the story of Adnan Hajj, a photographer for the Reuters news service who has been exposed as faking shots in his work, most famously, a photograph of a suburb of Beirut, Lebanon in which he inserted fake smoke into the picture to make it look as though Israel was targeting civilians.
Use this thread to post relevant information about the story from blogs and elsewhere. Note to NB contribs: Email me if you want to get in on editing this thread so you won't have to post updates as comments.
As liberally biased and prone to sniffing out conservative and Republican wrongdoing as many of the larger media organizations are, there actually is a more insane wing of the left-wing media made up of nutjob bloggers and "news" web sites.
This leftist press has been busily humming along the past six years, churning out conspiracy theories wild enough to make saner people's heads spin, ultimately with the objective of getting President Bush impeached should Democrats ever take control of the House in November. This is evidenced by the latest opus penned by the minority members of the House Judiciary Committee which is hardly anything more than a copy and paste job from the angry left media. Writing at NRO, Byron York gives us a peek:
While it's absent in the body of the report, the I-word does appear a few times in Conyers's 1,401 footnotes, which include citations of authorities ranging from the left-wing conspiracy website rawstory.com to the left-wing antiwar sites democracyrising.us and afterdowningstreet.org to the left-wing British newspaper the Guardian to the left-wing magazines The Nation and Mother Jones to the left-wing blogosphere favorite Murray Waas to the New York Times columnists Paul Krugman, Maureen Dowd, Bob Herbert, and Frank Rich to former Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal to the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh. (Sources for "The Constitution in Crisis" even include one story co-written by the disgraced Internet writer Jason Leopold.)
I couldn't help but smile when I read the following Wall Street Journal
article that's making its way around lefty blogland. In it, reporters
Antonio Regalado and Dionne Searcey look into the mystery of a
fun little parody video of Al Gore and his global warming movie, "An Inconvenient
Truth," posted at YouTube.
But all is not as it seems, however. According to our dynamic duo, the video was uploaded from a person using the computer owned by the DCI Group, a political lobbying firm that (wait for it) has connections with the nefarious ExxonMobil.
That may or may not be the case. The funny part of the article is how suspicious Regalado and Searcey seem to be that non-liberals may be finally starting to use films to carry political messages:
Our one-year anniversary is coming up very soon (Aug. 9). As we head into our second year of operation, we're pleased that NewsBusters has become one of the top 10 conservative blogs and one of the top 100 blogs in the world according to Technorati.
What are some of your suggestions for our second year? What kinds of new features, events, site components or other things would you like to see?
The Jerusalem Post reports today that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is investigating arguments, first raised by bloggers, that Hamas may have staged the alleged "atrocity" that occurred when building collapsed in the Lebanese city of Qana.
As reported by NewsBusters and elsewhere, significant doubts are being raised as to whether the building's collapse was caused by Israeli bombs or was deliberately destroyed by Hamas to gin up anti-Israeli sentiment.
Mentioned prominently in the article is NewsBuster Bob Owens's blog, Confederate Yankee, which in the fine MSM tradition of accuracy, is called "Conservative Yankee" by the Post. (See Bob's response post here.)
An excerpt from the JP article is after the jump...
Normally, people expect that a media outlet with an unadmitted agenda will keep its political views to its news and opinion pages. This usually isn't the case, though, as today's New York Times demonstrates.
Inside the arts section is a 1400-word article about how the cultural scene of Beirut has been damaged by Israel in the course of the war between Lebanon and the Jewish state.
There's no denying that such destruction is unfortunate, but the fact that the Times doesn't even bother to mention similar problems created by the war for Israelis doesn't even rise to the low standard of moral equivalence.
TEHRAN, Iran -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered government and cultural bodies to use modified Persian words to replace foreign words that have crept into the language, such as "pizzas" which will now be known as "elastic loaves," state media reported Saturday.
The presidential decree, issued earlier this week, orders all governmental agencies, newspapers and publications to use words deemed more appropriate by the official language watchdog, the Farhangestan Zaban e Farsi, or Persian Academy, the Irna official news agency reported.
After being plugged relentlessly by the New York Times and other "objective" media outlets, the ratings for Air America continue to drop. Brian Maloney has the details:
Like an ice cream cone left in the hot July sun, Air America Radio's ratings are melting in some key (read: liberal) regions of the country.
Based on fresh ratings data released Thursday evening, the "progressive" radio network has lost strength in three cities where it had previously found the most listener support: Portland, Seattle and Denver.
Representing the spring 2006 Arbitron reporting period, these results provide one of the two most important report cards for the entire year.
The fact that Jason Leopold doesn't have a television show is a significant reason to believe that there is some sanity within the TV news business. However, the fact that Keith Olbermann still has one after years of failure does make one wonder about the mental acuity of the folks at MSNBC.
When you think about it, aside from its host, "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" has a lot of things going for it. It's got nice graphics, some different music to it, and a snappy pace. Far left bloggers routinely urge their readers to watch. It never fails to get good press from liberal journalists whose greatest fantasy is Roger Ailes getting hit by a bus--which may explain why so many of them have been taken by a guy whose bizarre antics, strange demeanor, journalistic ineptitude, and ridiculous pomposity should have gotten him laughed out of the news business in under three months.
It's probably safe to assume that Olbermann is aware of all this. How else could one explain his latest desperate ploy for attention, donning a mask of Bill O'Reilly while doing a Nazi salute? Now, via Olbermann Watch, we learn that NBC and the "Countdown" staff planned the entire thing.
Surprised? I sure was. I mean who ever would have thought that a guy who is afraid to interview anyone to the right of Hugo Chavez for fear of getting embarrassed would ever need to plan such brilliant humor out beforehand?
Of course, Bob Cox and the other OW folks might be lying. After all, it's quite possible Olbermann came up with the joke right after a brief bathroom break with his Bill O'Reilly hand puppet.
Not only is America in a quagmire, but Israel is, too. Via Hot Air, here's the first few grafs of a Salon reprint of a Der Spiegel article headlined "Is Israel Facing a Quagmire?:"
On the map the war looks so straightforward. An Israeli commander has marked Hezbollah strongholds in south Lebanon red for the purposes of our briefing -- lately practically all of the towns north of the Israeli border are colored red. Marked with blue crosses are the strategically important positions, mostly crossroads, now controlled by Israel. "Now we have to just go in and deal with the Hezbollah boys," the commander, who asked not to be identified, said. "There isn't much more to say." [...]
The mission, christened "Just Reward," now appears much more difficult than was first thought -- above all in terms of casualties. Since the small targeted ground operations began Israeli soldiers have been dying on a daily basis in heavy firefights. Wednesday was especially bloody. In an attempt to take the Hezbollah stronghold of Bint Jbail, as many as 14 Israelis lost their lives.
Military analysts and politicians talked confidently at the beginning of the mission of targeted, surgical assaults against Hezbollah and an estimated conflict duration of about a week. Now Israel is increasingly preparing for a long war.