The Huffington Post has a video clip of the introduction to Friday’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO. In it is a satirical advertisement for a new rap album by Dick Cheney, the real “ODP.” Predictably, the piece lampoons Cheney’s recent hunting accident, while bringing up some old favorites including his infamous expletive directed at a member of Congress, as well as some not-so-nice words for a member of the press.
The lyrics (not suitable for children) as transcribed from the video follow. To see the video, go here.
Remember when actor Alec Baldwin threatened to leave America if George W. Bush was elected president, and then welshed on his promise? Well, Alec is at it again at the quickly becoming blog site for the stars to rant non sequiturs with total impunity Huffington Post. This time, Baldwin set his sights on Vice President Dick Cheney – color me surprised. Baldwin began:
“So, I suppose the question is...what kind of civil trial will we see, or not see, between Cheney and Whittington? Whittington is certainly no stranger to a court room and to civil litigation. Will Cheney pay him off, preemptively? Will they go to court? I would imagine if a guy with a few beers in him shoots you in the face on a hunting trip, how could you turn down that opportunity?”
Then, Baldwin mumbled some truly unintelligible nonsense concerning Cheney, Enron, former California Governor Gray Davis, and current Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. I must caution the reader to hold tightly onto something as you read this drivel, and try to do it on an empty stomach, for this malarkey is destined to repeat, and repeat often:
With a hat tip to the Drudge Report and CNS News, actor Richard Dreyfuss, speaking in front of the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, called for the impeachment of President George W. Bush stating “‘There are causes worth fighting for even if you know that you will lose.’"
Dreyfuss continued (from video): “Unless you are willing to accept torture as part of a normal American political lexicon; unless you are willing to accept that leaving the Geneva Convention is fine and dandy; if you accept the expression of wiretapping as business as usual, the only way to express this now is to embrace the difficult and perhaps embarrassing process of impeachment."
And continued by claiming that impeachment “‘is a statement that we refuse to endorse bad behavior.’" “‘If we refuse to debate the appropriateness of the process of impeachment, we endorse that behavior, and we approve the enlargement of executive power,’ regardless of whoever may occupy the White House in the future, he said.”
Updated with video (30 secs), as aired on Friday's (Feb. 17) Hannity & Colmes on FNC: Real (900 KB) or Windows Media (1 MB)
America’s media have been falling all over themselves with outrage concerning this weekend’s quail hunting accident involving the vice president. Yet, when a van containing Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) rolled through a checkpoint at the Westchester County airport in 2001 injuring a policeman, the press paid virtually no attention. A LexisNexis search identified only six reports on this subject in the two weeks after it happened, with one being an October 16, 2001 Journal News (Westchester County, N.Y.) article:
“A Westchester County police officer was treated for a minor injury after a Secret Service agent with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's motorcade tried to cruise past a security checkpoint at the county airport. The incident - which police and Secret Service chalked up to miscommunication - happened at 10:30 a.m. Sunday as Clinton was headed to an airport hangar to catch a flight for a Democratic rally in Syracuse.”
The Huffington Post has gotten some advance highlights of a rather disparaging quiz concerning America’s vice president that is due to be published in the upcoming March issue of GQ. According to HuffPo, the title of the quiz is “You Don’t Know Dick.” Here are some sample questions:
7 NUMBER OF MILITARY DEFERMENTS CHENEY RECEIVED DURING THE VIETNAM WAR: [ A ] None [ B ] Two [ C ] Four [ D ] Five
11 TO WHAT EVENT DID CHENEY WEAR THIS OUTFIT, COMPLETE WITH HIKING BOOTS, A MONOGRAMMED PARKA, AND A SKI CAP READING “STAFF 2001”? [ A ] A fall ’03 campaign speech at the VFW in Skokie, Illinois [ B ] The sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz [ C ] A “pimps up, hos down” party at the vice presidential residence thrown in honor of the Royal Nepalese ambassador
As you would imagine, no quiz about the vice president would be complete without some references to his former company:
Television producer and “McLaughlin Group” regular Lawrence O’Donnell is offering an explanation of the now infamous weekend quail hunting accident at the Huffington Post: Vice President Dick Cheney was drunk. O’Donnell’s proof? All the lawyers that he’s talked to since the news of this event was first released on Sunday say so, and wealthy Republicans are all drunks. I’m not kidding.
O’Donnell began his piece:
“The L.A. Times is edging closer to the most likely reason for the 18 hour delay in reporting that the Vice President of the United States shot someone:
“‘This was a hunting accident,’ said Gilbert San Miguel, chief deputy of the Kenedy County Sheriff's Office. ‘There was no alcohol or misconduct.’"
Much like the Richard Dreyfuss character in the movie "Jaws," O’Donnell doesn’t believe this was a hunting accident:
The New York Times published an article on Tuesday concerning an annual Conservative Party conference held in Albany, New York, on Monday. Reporter Jennifer Medina addressed issues raised by some of that state’s Republican candidates for governor and attorney general. Yet, Medina and the Times chose not to report in its print editions statements made at this meeting by John Spencer, the likely Republican candidate to oppose Hillary Clinton (D-NY) for senator this November.
At about 1PM EST on Monday, the Associated Press ran an article (hat tip to Drudge Report) about Spencer’s comments at this conference with the headline “Spencer: Clinton aids and abets our enemies.” According to the article, Spencer said “the New York Democrat's criticism of the Bush administration ‘aids and abets our enemies’ in the battle against terrorism.” Yet, for some reason, the Times chose not to report this part of the meeting to its readers, and didn't address Spencer's attendance at this conference at all.
A LexisNexis search identified few media outlets that covered this report. In New York, Newsday placed a 251-word watered-down version of this AP story on page A17. That was better than the Daily News who, like the Times, didn’t report this at all. Why should they, as Spencer had some strong language for Hillary and her husband:
This weekend’s vice presidential quail hunting trip is fast becoming a comedian’s dream. Channel and Internet surfing is suddenly a virtual “Open Mike” night at the Comedy Store.
Next on stage was the host of the demised Comedy Central program (remember when it was a decent show before Bill sold out to ABC!) “Politically Incorrect.” Bill Maher decided to write a mock script, posted at the Huffington Post, of how things progressed after Harry Whittington was accidentally shot:
"Um. Sir. Mr. Vice President, he's kinda just laying there."
"Shhhhhh!!!! He's a lawyer. You want him to sue?...Harry? You OK? Harry? See? He's fine. This is just part of the administration's new tort reform package."
Nice gratuitous shot at lawyers and tort reform in the same punchline, Bill. From there, Maher went after the medical profession adding a dash of stereotypical anti-Semitism:
Mondays are normally a target rich environment for television talk show hosts that, like most Americans, take weekends off. After all, they’ve got more days to cover than normal. And, given a major East Coast snowstorm, a Congressional report on how the three levels of government handled the Katrina disaster, two air marshals facing drug charges, Saddam returning to trial, Alabama church burnings, the United Nations calling for the closure of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, clashes in Haiti, and Tehran threatening to abandon a nuclear treaty, you would think that there was a lot for any member of the press to really sink his/her teeth into today. Yet, for some reason, Chris Matthews decided to spend the better part of three quarters of Monday’s 7PM EST installment of “Hardball” discussing a quail hunting accident the vice president had this weekend.
Matthews began: “Questions, questions, questions. The vice president of the United States shoots someone in the face late Saturday afternoon. Why didn`t he tell us? Why did Cheney wait until today, Monday, to talk to the president?”
In reality, it seemed that Matthews was the one with questions, and was thoroughly annoyed that the vice president of the United States, after accidentally shooting a close friend while hunting, didn’t immediately call a press conference to alert the media. This indignation went so far that NBC News chief White House correspondent David Gregory and Matthews actually discussed whether or not the vice president was calling the shots, and, therefore, had too much power. From closed captioning:
Remember back in October when Al Franken joked with David Letterman about Karl Rove and I. Lewis Libby being executed for treason? Well, Franken is at it again with a blog entry Sunday evening at the Huffington Post. This time, the target of his tasteless satire is Vice President Dick Cheney who accidentally shot his hunting partner on Saturday:
“Over the weekend, Vice President Dick Cheney shot a man in Texas. Asked why he shot the man, the Vice President said, ‘Just to watch him die.’"
Much like other members of the media, Franken saw a bizarre connection to a previously documented hunting trip that the vice president went on: “You know who's doing a ‘there but for the grace of God go I?; Scalia.”
Then, Franken painted a sophomoric picture of what would happen if Bush and Cheney went hunting:
The American media have been in full lather over the existence of pictures containing former lobbyist Jack Abramoff with President George W. Bush. TIME magazine published the first such “evidence of a White House connection” at its website on Saturday, with The New York Times following suit on Sunday. TIME reported: “Now, finally, the first such photo has come to light. It shows a bearded Abramoff in the background as Bush greets an Abramoff client, Raul Garza, who was then the chairman of the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas; Bush senior advisor Karl Rove looks on. The photograph was provided to TIME by Mr. Garza.” The Times said: “By itself, the picture hardly seems worthy of the White House's efforts to keep it out of the public eye. Mr. Abramoff, a leading Republican fund-raiser who pleaded guilty last month to conspiring to corrupt public officials, is little more than a blurry, bearded figure in the background at a gathering of about two dozen people.”
After that statement, the Times became more conspiratorial:
Al Franken wrote a blog piece for the Huffington Post on Saturday entitled “Reflections on the Wellstone Memorial and the King Funeral,” wherein he tried to explain how people of his political persuasion behave at what most Americans believe to be solemn events. In the way that only a man who best understands how lying liars lie, Franken began his piece by employing an uncanny amount of revisionist history to refute contentions that the behavior of the crowd at Paul Wellstone’s memorial service in October 2002 was unfitting the occasion: “The chapter was mainly about how cynically Republicans used the memorial politically as they complained that the Democrats had used it politically. And how the mainstream media, many of whom had neither attended the memorial nor seen it on TV, bought into the Republican spin.”
Now THAT’S an interesting concept – mainstream media buying into Republican spin. That happens as often as hell freezes over. Franken continued:
The Associated Press reported Thursday that Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has much stronger ties to former lobbyist Jack Abramoff than had been previously believed. Yet, most of the mainstream media have ignored this stunning revelation suggesting that, contrary to press assertions, this isn’t just a Republican scandal.
According to AP: “Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid portrays convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff's activities as involving only Republicans. But Abramoff's billing records and congressional correspondence tell a different story."
The article continued: “The activities -- detailed in billing records and correspondence obtained by The Associated Press -- are far more extensive than previously disclosed. They occurred over three years as Reid collected nearly $68,000 in donations from Abramoff's firm, lobbying partners and clients.”
President Bush gave some details Thursday concerning foiled plots by al Qaeda to attack America, including one plan to fly a plane into the tallest building on the West Coast that was successfully averted. Unfortunately, those that rely on either The New York Times or The Washington Post for their news might have missed these revelations, for this story was curiously not placed on the front page of either of these papers.
The New York Times strategically placed its article on this subject on page A22. Times’ editors must have felt that more information about what the administration knew concerning the levees in New Orleans before Katrina hit, warnings on ADHD drugs, how Haiti elections are shaping up, a resignation at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, security issues at America’s borders, and how magazines use numbers on their covers to tantalize consumers were more important than America foiling al Qaeda attacks.
Press reaction – that Mideast imports are no big deal – is inconsistent with earlier assertions that oil is the reason for Iraq war. Free Market Project
Since the 1973 Arab oil embargo, politicians and pundits have argued that America’s Mideast foreign policy was governed by oil. Such claims were quite common before and after the Iraq invasion in 2003. As recently as January 14, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked on “Hardball”: “Why is the President out there saying out of nowhere that it’s wrong to say that this war was about oil or Israel? I can see where the Israel part would be sensitive, but why is he denying that this was about oil? I mean, does anybody really think that we would go into Iraq if it was down in the Congo or if it was in Bolivia?” Despite the oily hype and condemnation that has surrounded the Iraq war, the media have either dismissed or downplayed the president’s proposal to reduce U.S. reliance on Mideast oil.
ABC’s “Good Morning America” asked two different guests if this plan was just a “pipe dream.” Meanwhile, The Washington Post suggested that this could have “come straight from the mouth of Jimmy Carter. The only thing missing was the sweater.”
These same media outlets seemed to forget the “no blood for oil” drumbeat they had championed in the months before the Iraq invasion and largely since. Such reports normally focused on supposed cabals constructed by “neoconservatives” within the administration for the domination of the Mideast and its vast oil reserves, or simply to aid the profits of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former company Halliburton.
The Case Against Mideast Oil Such disturbing conspiracy theories ran rampant throughout the media the past four years. For example, The Washington Post published an article on Aug. 6, 2002, about a Pentagon advisory board meeting that depicted Saudi Arabia as America’s enemy and outlined a strategy supposedly concocted to take over the entire region: “This view, popular among some neoconservative thinkers, is that once a U.S. invasion has removed Hussein from power, a friendly successor regime would become a major exporter of oil to the West.”
USA Today published an article three days later concerning this same conspiratorial premise stating that “the administration is hearing from critics who support radical changes in U.S. policy, including ‘liberating’ the Saudi province that contains its oil fields.” And The New York Times ran an April 10, 2003, story discussing Vice President Dick Cheney’s position on the war: “He showed little reaction, they said, to protests around the world in which he was portrayed as the instigator of a ‘blood for oil’ war and was accused of using the conflict to benefit his former employer, Halliburton, the oil field services firm.”
That Was Then; This Is Now All this makes the ironic response to Bush’s Mideast oil reduction platform more surprising. The New York Times devoted three stories on February 1 to the president’s address dealing with this proposal. Elisabeth Bumiller and Adam Nagourney’s article quickly dismissed it with “But even that goal was less ambitious than it might have appeared – the United States gets less than 20 percent of its oil from the Persian Gulf.” They later emphasized this with “Energy analysts also said Mr. Bush's goal to replace 75 percent of America’s Mideast oil imports by 2025 was not as meaningful as it appeared because the bigger suppliers to the United States are Mexico, Canada and Venezuela.”
▪ And where was this three years ago?: The Times and USA Today reported different figures on the subject. As reported by USA Today on February 2, “Middle East countries account for about 22% of total U.S. oil imports, Energy Information Administration data show, or roughly 14% of the oil used in the USA.” If America did reduce Mideast oil imports by 75 percent and didn’t replace them with other sources of oil, this would represent a 16.5-percent decline in total imports. It would also mean a 10.5-percent cut in the nation’s oil usage, both foreign and domestic.
▪ Nothing new under the sun: The Times’ David Sanger dismissed the president’s call to reduce Mideast oil imports by suggesting it was a program whose only novelty was its name: “What was new was his Advanced Energy Initiative, though the increases he proposed in clean-energy research, better batteries for hybrid cars and new ways of making ethanol largely piggyback on programs already under way at General Motors and Ford, Toyota and Honda, rather than charting a new course.”
▪ Yeah, yeah: The Times continued its attack on this proposal with an article entitled “Call to Cut Foreign Oil is a Refrain 35 Years Old.” Matthew L. Wald and Edmund L. Andrews echoed much of the content of the prior two pieces, while suggesting the public not take it too seriously: “President Richard M. Nixon promised in 1971 to make the United States self-sufficient in energy by 1980. President Jimmy Carter promised in 1979 that the nation would ‘never again use more foreign oil than we did in 1977.’”
▪ Pipeline or pipe dream?: ABC’s “Good Morning America” decided to dismiss the seriousness of this proposal. While discussing the content of the address with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on February 1, Charles Gibson asked: “Talking about energy, talking about reducing dependence on Middle Eastern oil by 75 percent in 20 years. Pipe dream? Doable?” Gibson later asked his second guest, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) virtually the same question: “You think the idea of using alternative sources to reduce dependence on Middle Eastern oil, 75 percent, 20 years, pipe dream?”
▪ Is anyone really ‘stable’?: Meanwhile, using a premise similar to that of the Times, The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler downplayed the president’s point about reducing oil demand from countries that were somewhat unstable: “Only three of the 10 biggest suppliers are from the Middle East – Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Algeria.” Needless to say, it seems a bit disingenuous to minimize the significance of Saudi Arabia when talking about oil imports, or Iraq when it comes to instability. In addition, it would be a stretch to classify two of America’s other major oil exporters, Mexico and Venezuela, as “stable.” And, after the events of this past weekend, with riots throughout parts of Europe and Asia over a cartoon, who’s to say what represents stability?
▪ Alternative energy’s identity crisis: USA Today took a different approach to downplay the significance of Bush’s proposal. Bush proposed that a reduction in American oil demand will involve alternative energy – something that has been hyped by the political left for some time. However, in one staff article on February 1, USA Today wrote: “The former Texas oilman ticked off a series of alternative-energy initiatives, but the dirty reality is that most of the new technologies Bush is touting are costly, require taxpayer subsidies and are years if not decades from making any meaningful impact.” When did the mainstream media begin concerning themselves with such issues as cost and taxpayer subsidization? More importantly, nuclear energy, ethanol, wind and solar power are not decades away – most of these technologies have been in existence for many years and are already being employed at both the consumer and commercial levels.
I’m having a hard time understanding Chris Matthews lately. On the one hand, in the past couple of months, his Sunday program has been by far the most balanced of the broadcast network political talk shows save “The McLaughlin Group.” Yet, something odd happens when he steps on the soundstage of MSNBC to host “Hardball” – his ultra-left, San Francisco Chronicle columnist side emerges…and then some.
Tuesday’s installment was a perfect example. In fact, Matthews’ San Francisco liberal side came out so strongly that he should be ashamed of his performance. First, he spent much of the hour gushing over former president Bill Clinton’s “passing of the torch” to his wife at Coretta Scott King’s funeral. Then, he actually compared bloggers to Danish cartoonists. Finally, during a discussion concerning King’s funeral, he didn’t have the spine to suggest to his guests what likely the majority of Americans are thinking: A funeral is not the right forum for a former American president to be condemning the policies of the current president, especially in his presence.
Al-Jazeera held a news forum yesterday at which a number of American media members spoke poorly about the U.S. press, while giving high praise for their Arabic counterparts. According to the Guardian Unlimited (hat tip to Drudge): “Arabic-language media have an unprecedented chance to take over as the world's premier news source because trust in their US counterparts plummeted following their ‘shameful coverage’ of the war in Iraq, a conference heard today.”
The article got some great quotes from some of America’s “finest” media representatives: “The US media reached an ‘all-time low’ in failing to reflect public opinion and Americans' desire for trusted information, instead acting as a ‘cheerleader’ for war, said Amy Goodman, the executive producer and host of US TV and radio news show Democracy Now!, at a news forum organised by al-Jazeera.”
Ethan Zuckerman, co-founder of Global Voices Online and research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, joined the parade: “‘I would urge everyone involved with new Arabic media not just to report on this [Arabic] world more fairly and accurately, but to report on the whole world more fairly and accurately. I challenge al-Jazeera and the new Arabic media players to do a better job [than] the US in covering the rest of the world,’ he said.”
Step aside, Mr. Zuckerman, for no one was going to upstage Goodman’s disdain for the American media:
It turns out that media coverage of the nation’s economic growth can vary a lot depending on how strong or weak the economy is doing. Strong numbers are downplayed or undermined and weak numbers like the fourth-quarter results are highlighted in some of the major media.
The Commerce Department released the fourth-quarter Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”) January 27, and the 1.1 percent growth was well below the 2.8 percent analysts had predicted. Though the stock market rose by 98 points and the dollar rallied strongly against most other currencies, much of the news was strongly negative. Articles over the weekend had phrases like “The economy slowed to a near crawl in the final quarter of 2005, a listless showing that was the worst in three years,” and “Those numbers suggested that the economy is slowing – and an end is in sight to free spending.”
One of the most bearish reports came from that evening’s “NBC Nightly News.” Reporter Anne Thompson began her segment in a similar vein:
In the past few months, conceivably the greatest attention given by the antique media to any subject has been to quash the confirmation of Samuel L. Alito to the Supreme Court. According to a LexisNexis search, CBS News has done 156 stories on this nominee's background along with objections to his confirmation. ABC News has done 174. NBC News has done 133. CNN has done a staggering 679.
As for the print media, the Washington Post has done 257, while the New York Times has done an extraordinary 339.
Yet, despite all the efforts by the antique media to block it, Mr. Alito was just confirmed in the Senate by the vote of 58 to 42. It appears that the losing streak of the antique media continues unabated.
In Arianna Huffington’s blog this morning, the former devout conservative turned extreme liberal activist wrote about a conversation she had yesterday with actor John Cusack while they were both watching NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Cusack made such a strong observation in Huffington’s view that the latter decided to inform all of her readers of his unprecedented wisdom and political insight: “‘In order to protect his brand as a hard-charging, truth-probing journalist,’ he said, ‘Team Russert needs to do an Oprah: haul back on his show Cheney and Rumsfeld and all the politicians who've lied to him on the set and damaged his credibility and confront them straight out.’"
For those unfamiliar with the reference, famed television talkshow host Oprah Winfrey invited an author back onto her program last week to eviscerate him for “duping” her and the nation concerning the fictitious parts of his non-fiction bestseller that Oprah had enthusiastically recommended to her book club.
On Friday, the New York Times released results from its recent, comprehensive poll done along with CBS News. The Times devoted an entire article to this poll, and put it smack dab on the front page. Yet, the article curiously left out a few details that the Times editors must have thought were unimportant. For instance, 52 percent of those polled approve of the way the president is prosecuting the war on terrorism. This is the highest approval the president has received in this regard from a CBS News/New York Times poll since before Hurricane Katrina hit. This is quite surprising given all of the attention given to NSA eavesdropping over the past six weeks, and last week’s release of the Osama bin Laden tape.
Another finding of this poll that the Times omitted from its Friday article was that 50 percent of respondents said U.S.
If there was any doubt that the New York Times thoroughly despised President Bush, the last shreds were erased this morning. In an editorial entitled “Spies, Lies, and Wiretaps,” the Times presented a case against the Bush administration with similar gusto as it might attack an organized crime family and it’s Mafia Don. Assuming it had already received an indictment, the Times then prosecuted its case, and acted as both judge and jury to seal a conviction.
The piece began with a subtle reference to Woodward and Bernstein’s famous Watergate expose while sexistly ignoring the female members of the administration:
“A bit over a week ago, President Bush and his men promised to provide the legal, constitutional and moral justifications for the sort of warrantless spying on Americans that has been illegal for nearly 30 years. Instead, we got the familiar mix of political spin, clumsy historical misinformation, contemptuous dismissals of civil liberties concerns, cynical attempts to paint dissents as anti-American and pro-terrorist, and a couple of big, dangerous lies.”
After these opening remarks, the prosecution built its case. It began by discrediting what it perceived was lie number one:
As reported by NewsBusters last Sunday, Newsweek’s recent cover story, “The Trouble With Boys,” appeared to intentionally omit key statistics that might have made the article’s premise completely erroneous. With that in mind, a reader sent me an e-mail message with another pivotal omission on the part of the article’s author.
The third paragraph of this article boldly stated: "By almost every benchmark, boys across the nation and in every demographic group are falling behind." The key word here is "almost," for as amazing as it might seem, in a piece designed to demonstrate how much better girls are doing in school than boys, nowhere was there any reference to the SATs. This test that has been the benchmark for most major colleges and universities for decades wasn’t even mentioned.
Why might that be? Well, because with all these changes to education in the past three decades, and after all the psychobabble, boys still do better than girls on both the verbal and the math sections of the SAT. Moreover, as demonstrated by the following chart created by the College Board,
On Sunday, as reported by NewsBusters, Newsweek did a cover story on what it referred to as a “Boy Crisis.” The article detailed “why” girls are doing so much better than boys in school. In an interesting twist, the Associated Press reported this Wednesday evening (hat tip to the American Thinker):
“A senior boy at Milton High School has filed a federal civil rights complaint contending that his school discriminates against boys by making it easier for girls to succeed academically.
“Doug Anglin, in his complaint filed last month with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, claimed girls faced fewer restrictions from teachers and boys are more likely to get punished.”
Former CNN anchor Aaron Brown gave a speech at Palm Beach, Florida’s Society of the Four Arts on Tuesday, and according to the Palm Beach Daily News, he didn’t have very nice things to say about the news industry including, “‘Truth no longer matters in the context of politics and, sadly, in the context of cable news.’"
According to the article: “Brown said he tried to give viewers a balanced diet of light and serious news with NewsNight. ‘But I always knew when I got to the Brussels sprouts, I was on thin ice,’ he said.”
(This is an op-ed version of a previous NewsBusters post.)
There’s an old rule of thumb in marketing – stick to what sells. Lately, America’s media have been doing just that.
Since the significant rebound in the President’s poll numbers from their October lows, coincident with a lack of outrage by the public concerning the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and domestic eavesdropping by the National Security Agency, the media have been downplaying current events, and, instead, focusing attention on last year’s big story that was largely responsible for Bush’s favorability decline in the first place.
Some time yesterday morning, the Gallup Organization released the results of a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll that, judging from its shocking results, many Americans might never hear about. Now, at this point, this is idle speculation. However, through 9:50AM EST Thursday, this has received very little attention.
From what I can tell, CNN reported this on its “American Morning” program which aired at 7AM EST. Oddly, according to a LexisNexis search, that’s the only time yesterday that CNN referenced this poll. Rush Limbaugh reported about this during his program yesterday, which means that he had this information in the AM Wednesday. As the Drudge Report posted the story at 10:52 AM EST (assuming I'm doing a good job of converting from GMT!), this makes sense. An hour later, both NewsMax and World Net Daily reported it. Moreover, the AP reported this at 3:58PM yesterday in an article about Sen. Clinton’s disagreements with the president’s recently iterated views on terrorist surveillance. And, Jonah Goldberg addressed this in a Los Angeles Times op-ed this morning.
Yet, a Google news search done at 9:50AM EST Thursday indicated that, to this point, no other major news organizations published these results. In fact, from what I can tell, this hasn’t been reported by USA Today, and has yet to be posted at CNN’s website.
What’s so shocking about this poll that the press appear frightened to share with the public:
There’s an old rule in marketing – stick to what sells. Lately, it appears that America’s media are doing exactly that.
Since the significant rebound in the president’s poll numbers from their October lows, along with an apparent lack of outrage by the public concerning the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and revelations of domestic eavesdropping by the National Security Agency, the media seem to be downplaying reports on current events, and, instead, focusing attention on last year’s big story that was largely responsible for the decline in Bush’s favorability ratings.
In the past three days, the media have given more air time and print space to issues surrounding Hurricane Katrina, an event that occurred at the end of August 2005, than a one and a half-hour question and answer session in Kansas that the president held on Monday, and a one-hour address that the second most powerful intelligence figure in our nation gave concerning terrorist surveillance the same day.
The Associated Press reported late last evening that NBC is dropping the controversial series “The Book of Daniel” from its lineup: “Although the network stopped short of saying the low-rated show was canceled, a spokeswoman said Tuesday it has been dropped from the schedule.”
For those unfamiliar, the story line was potentially a bit over the top, even for network television: “The series, which starred Aidan Quinn as an Episcopalian priest with a pill habit who holds regular conversations with Jesus, has a promiscuous son and a daughter who deals marijuana, proved better at drawing criticism than viewers.”
According to the report, this show was largely a failure right from the start:
President Bush went to Kansas yesterday to discuss a number of important issues facing the nation including the war in Iraq, and terrorist surveillance. Yet, what seems to have most captured the attention of America’s media is a question asked of the president by a reporter in attendance yesterday concerning whether or not he has seen the controversial film “Brokeback Mountain.” In fact, the media found this such an important issue that all three broadcast networks addressed it during their morning news programs today.
The “Today Show’s” Matt Lauer ended his segment with guest Bill O’Reilly this morning by playing a video clip of the exchange between President Bush and this reporter at Kansas State University, after which he asked O’Reilly: “So, O'Reilly, have you seen it? Should it be given the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year?”