In a serious indicator of approaching liberal bias on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, Howard Kurtz noted yesterday:
The revamped program has just hired its own historian, author Douglas Brinkley, and has taped outside contributors delivering 20 possible commentaries for its new "Free Speech" segment (including a couple by Washington Post op-ed columnist Eugene Robinson).
As part of a continuing series of book reviews on The Washington Post's "Federal Page," Post reporter Jonathan Weisman reviewed a new book Tuesday by former Clinton aides Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Reed, headlined "A Political Blueprint With Room to Build On." Predictably, Weisman found it not boldly liberal enough -- even if he doesn't describe it exactly that way. But he found a new way of dividing conservatives and liberals. Conservatives do "not believe in government intervention," while liberals are those "those who agree that government is a necessary part of society."
Maybe it's not a good idea to let your "objective" reporters state their general agreement with Democratic Party manifestoes, but the Washington Post doesn't see the danger. Weisman gently chides the Clintonistas for calling the massive new prescription-drug subsidy for seniors hack work, suggesting it's not generous enough and doesn't let the government manipulate drug prices: "true enough," Weisman suggested, but:
Friday’s Washington Post reported that the NAACP has been cleared by the IRS of charges of violating its tax-exempt status with overt partisan advocacy. Reporter Darryl Fears never described the NAACP as a liberal group, instead using a very typical formulation, that they were "the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization." Fears repeatedly watered down the fiery rhetoric of NAACP speeches, as well as the 2000 commercial where the daughter of dragging-death victim James Byrd claimed then-Gov. George Bush seemed like he was killing her father all over again.
Technically, if we’re not merely defining "civil rights" as the liberal black agenda, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization is the National Rifle Association, fighting for the civil right to bear arms. It’s older and larger than the NAACP.
The Washington Post is at it yet again. Almost a month after Sen. George Allen said "Macaca," it's back on the top of the front page of the Metro section again Sunday, with another happy-days-for-Democrats headline: "'Macaca Moment' Marks a Shift in Momentum: Allen's Gaffe, Demographic Changes Give Webb a Boost."
Reporter Michael D. Shear is clearly dedicated to making this nonsense word into the defining moment of Sen. Allen's entire political career:
Allen's "macaca moment" -- a term that has rapidly become part of America's political lexicon -- has breathed new life into Webb, a former Republican and Vietnam war hero who worked for Ronald Reagan.
For his debut on The American Prospect’s "Horse’s Mouth" blog on political reportage, Brendan Nyhan accurately explained the new frontier of "progressive" media criticism: that the Clintonistas at Media Matters for America have surpassed the Noam Chomskyites at Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR).
There’s two easy reasons he doesn’t cite: MMFA is the liberal Democrat establishment, while FAIR is ultra-left. Or put it this way: MMFA is in the tank for Hillary, while FAIR favors her hard-left primary challenger, Jonathan Tasini. Two, MMFA has to have a lot more cash. Nyhan is right that MMFA’s online methods are more up to date, but I’m not so sure about "they are vastly more useful than FAIR because they write articles that are often convincing to non-liberals." I’m non-liberal, and I almost never find them convincing. I don’t really take issue, though, until Nyhan suggests the MRC is an untrustworthy pile of hacks:
It's funny how sometimes reporters can find cool objectivity when the subject is wildly inflammatory. Kevin Sullivan's review of the Bush-assassination-scenario movie for Saturday's Washington Post calmly presents the question of tastelessness as an either-or scenario: "The film, "Death of a President," has been alternatively derided as a tasteless publicity grab and defended as a serious look at a plausible event that could have dramatic ramifications for the world." The real standout lines were here:
Rod Liddle, a newspaper and magazine columnist who also makes documentaries for Channel 4, said he thought the Bush film gave voice to a common sentiment in Britain. "You will never, ever be able to overestimate the degree to which the British people loathe George Bush," Liddle said. "It will be a free round of drinks in every pub for the person who plays the assassin."
As the summer ends, so ends the season of the superhero blockbuster, and some parents of young boys that I know are still getting over their annoyance at the superhero movie-marketing gap. The toy stores and burger joints carry all the merchandise for the grade-school set – and the movie is rated PG-13. What happens when your first-grader wants to see the movie that’s tied in with his new toy?
Suffice it to say that our news media would be more upset about the fat content in the Happy Meal food than the dangers of taking young children to movies they may not be ready to handle.
"Superman Returns" was a big, noisy, critically acclaimed blockbuster – and it was PG-13 for intense violence. But just look at how the movie was promoted by Burger King: eight different toys, including sweat bands, sunglasses, action figures, Frisbees, and fans. There was even a drawing for a Superman laptop computer.
Based on the Jose Antonio Vargas account of the MTV video music awards bash in The Washington Post, I'm spurred to ask the following:
1. When Vargas reports that MTV still knows how to create awards-show moments such as "Al Gore, to wild applause, giving a short lecture on the effects of global warming," is the audience reaction due to Gore's cause, or were the cheers for the brevity of the lecture?
2. When Vargas describes MTV News diva Suchin Pak as the "Katie Couric of MTV," is that a compliment? Or was her apparent failure to ask the Juicy Big Questions about dueling female singers Couric-esque?
3. Now, based on the MTV website, is Al Gore signaling hard enough that he's eager to be seen as un-presidential? I refer to this report of "chilling" with the "Jackass" crew:
I'm not good at poring over the Corrections box in the Washington Post, but Patrick Gavin of Mediabistro's FishBowl DC blog captures this priceless item about ye olde liberal New Republic scandal in today's "Corrections":
An Aug. 29 Business article incorrectly referred to Stephen Glass, subject of the movie "Shattered Glass," as a plagiarist. Glass did not steal material; he fabricated it.
Gavin suggested "Stephen Glass Calls the Post in Protest...or least we suspect that he did." For those of you to young to remember Glass's high-profile rise and fall, here's one example from our man Bozell on his so-called journalism:
Michelle Malkin provides today’s LOL moment in supposed corporate conservatism. The Chicago Tribune reports that Miller Brewing paying out $30,000 to sponsor an illegal-alien advocacy march from Chicago to Denny Hastert’s office in Batavia. Their motto: “Live responsibly.” (Perhaps that might be contradicted a bit by the illegal immigrating.) What next? The coyotes bringing illegal aliens across the border with teams of Budweiser Clydesdales?
In the Tribune story, a Hispanic marketer warns: "A company sponsoring one of the two sides of the immigration debate is no different than a company sponsoring groups for or against abortion [rights]. It's one of those heated political debates that companies should stay clear of." You have to love the Tribune throwing "rights" in brackets after the word abortion. The Trib's headline calls this an "immigrant rights march."
Sitting in the CNN green room in Washington today and staring at the tube during "Live From" at about 2:10, I noticed a promo for a big show this weekend starring President Bill Clinton. On Saturday and Sunday night at 8 PM Eastern, CNN will air a special edition of "CNN Presents" hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. It's titled "The Poverty Trap: A Conversation With President Clinton." The Turner press release is headlined "CNN and President Clinton Search for Solutions To Global Poverty." How chummy. The release continued:
From Detroit, Michigan to Mexico and rural Arkansas to Rwanda, CNN explores poverty in communities around the world in places where the statistics are staggering and on the rise. In THE POVERTY TRAP: A CONVERSATION WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON, Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks to former President Bill Clinton about how these communities and others can break out of the poverty trap.
On page A-12 of Thursday's Washington Post, they report on "More Immigration Demonstrations Planned." Reporter Karin Brulliard tells her entire story without ever finding anyone to describe as "liberal" in it. She began: "After four months of relative quiet, immigration reform advocates are mobilizing a new round of protests in Washington and other cities to put pressure on a returning Congress and reinvigorate a Latino movement that awakened in massive demonstrations this spring." One of the first marches will be directed straight at the office of Republican House leader Dennis Hastert, which apparently doesn't make you hostile to Republicans.
Liberal groups like the Center for Community Change and CASA de Maryland were cited, but not labeled. Bruillard also exaggerates the spontaneity a little when she writes: "Local organizers said they are improving on spring rallies that were hastily planned amid a spontaneous groundswell of activism."
Near the end of Tuesday's "World News with Charles Gibson," ABC's "A Closer Look" segment explored racial tensions in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Reporter Steve Osunsami recycled wild black conspiracy theories about how the levees were blown up in a racist plot, complete with Spike Lee soundbites and documentary footage. Whites were said to be delighted that Katrina would make the city much whiter. Lance Hill, the Tulane University professor ABC selected to describe white opinion, claims the government ordered no food and water be distributed to Katrina victims, and spurred local Holocaust-survivor outrage by comparing the government's Katrina response to Hitler's Holocaust. ABC didn't explain any of that.
On ABC's World News Tuesday night, a story on President Bush's day in New Orleans aggressively underlined the liberal theme that the response to Hurricane Katrina is a scandalous, indelible black mark on Bush's legacy. Reporter Martha Raddatz told viewers "the slow response was indeed a political disaster for the President, from which he is still trying to recover." Raddatz ended the story with an anecdote about a waitress joking to Bush that he wasn't going to turn his back on her, and Bush reportedly replied: "No, ma'am, not again."
Anchorman Charles Gibson began the segment, the second story after a general recounting of how New Orleanians commemorated the one-year anniversary, with a brief mention of responsibility at all levels of government. But as usual, ABC had no time for the Democratic mayor or governor and their failures, even as Raddatz highlighted the Democratic senator slamming the federal response. Gibson theorized:
In a story headlined "Fascism is new buzz word among GOP," AP political writer Tom Raum demonstrates he's a little behind the linguistic curve. "President Bush in recent days has recast the global war on terror into a 'war against Islamic fascism.' Fascism, in fact, seems to be the new buzz word for Republicans in an election season dominated by an unpopular war in Iraq." While it's true that the lingo has gained currency at the White House, it's positively antique in the wider conservative and Republican world.
Clearly, what Raum is trying to say is: okay, the word's not new, but its embrace by the White House is displaying a new political tactic designed to juice up the national-security issue before the elections. After all, by paragraph seven, Raum is admitting his first paragraph isn't quite right: "Conservative commentators have long talked about 'Islamo-fascism, and Bush's phrase was a slightly toned-down variation on that theme." I'd guess his goal for the article is demonstrated by academic Stephen Wayne:
As Dave Pierre notes, some newspapers can be proven to find Jill Carroll of the Christian Science Monitor a more newsworthy hostage than Fox News Channel's Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig. It's certainly true of the Washington Post, which never put Steve and Olaf on page one, even after they were released. On Monday, in his weekly "Critiquing the Press" online chat, Howard Kurtz disagreed with his paper's record:
It seems everyone's going to be getting in on the Katrina-exposed-racism extravaganza this week. Looking through Thursday night's BBC World rebroadcast that's shown locally here on PBS station WETA, MRC's Michelle Humphrey found something weird. As reporter Jim Fish narrated a story on racial cohesion in Britain and France, he then took a jolting turn to a one-sentence condemnation of America:
"And in the most renowned melting pot society of all, the United States, Hurricane Katrina exposed the grim reality that far too many black people remain at the bottom of the pile, too often ignored and cut off from the American Dream."
Read all about it: a new MRC special report called “Election in the Streets,” that demonstrates that ABC, CBS, and NBC behaved like protester publicists in late March, April, and May, in complete contradiction to public opinion polls showing America had a serious problem with the tide of illegal immigration. Gooey stories about illegal aliens “emerging from the shadows” to fight for their “rights” piled up the soundbites for amnesty, and the protest organizers somehow evaded ever being described as liberals or leftists, despite talking about the “fascist clauses” in the Sensenbrenner bill. Check it out before the next round of protests heats up next weekend. Here's a summary:
Washington Post reporter Peter Baker highlighted an estimated 700 anti-Bush protesters in Maine in the Sunday Post. The headline was "War Protesters Follow Bush to Maine," which is an odd headline, since the organizing groups were Maine locals from groups like "Seacoast Peace Response." But short of reporting the protest was encouraged by Cindy Sheehan, nowhere in the article could he locate the protesters on the left with any sort of liberal label, despite descriptions like these:
The protesters carried handmade signs with slogans such as "Stop Killing Our Children," "Bring Them Home Now," "We Have Nothing to Fear But Bush Himself," and "Liar, Liar, World's on Fire." In a school field where the group rallied after the march, speakers called for Bush's impeachment and sang specially written songs such as "Where is the Rage?"
Sorry, this item is a bit dated. On last weekend's edition of "On The Media" on National Public Radio, host Bob Garfield devoted a segment to the utter, outrageous waste of public broadcasting. Oops, no, not that public broadcasting, but U.S. propaganda broadcasts to Cuba. (Forgive me for chortling whenever a government-funded news outlet denounces another government-funded news outlet. It ought to come with a disclaimer. "We here at National Public Radio believe deeply in biting the hand that feeds us -- hard.")
Garfield began by reporting on TV Marti's satire show, "The Office of the Chief," that mocks Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. In the chair normally occupied by El Jefe was his brother Raul Castro, "waxing about his 59 luxury homes and barking orders at his staff." After a clip, Garfield instructed:
Last Sunday morning, I threw up a blog on the Sunday Washington Post publishing a story based on MSNBC host Joe Scarborough airing a segment on his show titled "IS BUSH AN ‘IDIOT’?" A few days later, Joe Scarborough granted an interview to the hard-left website Salon.com, ostensibly to discuss how conservatives can't handle dissent well. At interview’s end, interviewer Alex Koppleman threw NewsBusters at him:
Tim Graham, from the Media Research Center, recently referred referred to your criticism of the president as "Scarborough syndrome" and said that "being a conservative host inside a liberal network -- not to mention a liberal network that has a history of changing prime-time hosts like socks -- might compel you to being [sic] more critical of Bush and conservatives." What's your reaction to that?
As Tom Johnson noted, Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon wrote a column for Thursday's paper, headlined "Gumbel Has the Right To Say What He Feels." After Gumbel insulted union leader Gene Upshaw about needing a "leash" because he was the NFL Commissioner's "pet," Wilbon said he disagreed with the argument that Upshaw made bad deals for football players, but suggested the idea of the NFL Network removing Bryant Gumbel from broadcasting their football games later this fall "not only won't fly but will look like the silliest Nixonian attempt at censorship." But don't give him a First Amendment Award. That's not the way Wilbon felt about Rush Limbaugh broadcasting football games. In May of 2000, when ABC was considering Limbaugh as the third man in the broadcast booth for "Monday Night Football," he declared Rush was a racist, and has no right to broadcast:
Mouthy liberal former sportscasters of a feather stick together. On Wednesday night's Countdown, former ESPN/Fox Sports anchor Keith Olbermann mocked the NFL for even considering renouncing their deal to let Bryant Gumbel broadcast games on the emerging NFL Network. MRC analyst Scott Whitlock noticed that he tried to pile more laughs on Gumbel's apparently side-splitting comments that Eugene Upshaw was a leashed pet of NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue:
"First, time for COUNTDOWN’s latest list of nominees for ‘Worst Persons in the World.’ The Bronze to the National Football League. It is reportedly considering dismissing Bryant Gumbel who was to do play-by-play of games on the NFL`s own TV network. Gumbel claims the league`s current commissioner owned a leash on which he kept the executive director of the very pliant Football Players Union. Mr. Paul Tagliabue called Gumbel`s comments ‘uninformed and quite inexcusable.’ No truth to rumors that union head Gene Upshaw called the comments, ‘Roof. Ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff.’
Erick at RedState.org offered a little "Macaca" rebuttal to The Washington Post. What about George Allen's Democratic opponent Jim Webb writing dust-cover blurbs sticking up for the white man in a book that came out...just in January?
When George Allen mocked the little tool with the bad haircut a few weeks ago, the Webb campaign whipped itself into high dudgeons about the racism of George Allen. Perhaps the Webb campaign should not have been so vocal. Mr. Webb, you see, has his own history of quotes, like this one:
Politicians and judges over the past forty years have created the mythology that white America is a monolith whose history is based on social and economic privilege, while anyone who is not white is by definition disadvantaged. No one knows this better than William Perry Pendley and a few have done more to put an end to this outrage.
By now, the piling on should not be a surprise. But the Washington Post put "Macaca" on the front page for the fourth time today (the last time? wouldn't bet on it), this time for Allen's personal apology to S.R. "I Love Noam Chomsky" Sidarth, fresh from his appearance on kooky-left Pacifica's "Democracy Now" radio show. After all that, it's funny to see the Post reporters Michael Shear and Tim Craig put "leftist" in quotes when Allen campaign manager Dick Wadhams talks about Jim Webb's "leftist" allies. As if Webb's feisty pals on lefty blogs don't fit the word. (Not to mention the quotes around "feeding frenzy" to describe the Post reporting.) Shear and Craig began:
Virginia Sen. George Allen apologized directly to S.R. Sidarth yesterday, telling the 20-year-old Democratic campaign staffer that he was sorry for offending him with remarks that have generated nationwide criticism for being racially insensitive....
The Washington Post on Wednesday maintained its iron grip on Republican ethnic gaffes with political reporter Jim VandeHei repeating the Democratic talking points against Montana Sen. Conrad Burns, who’s made several jokes about Latino workers having their citizenship papers. The headline, playing off their incessant Macaca riffs, is “Comments Haunt Another Senator.” (They don’t mean Hillary’s Gandhi-gas-station joke.)
Just so you know that this is a one-sided tactic, the Post didn’t notice in June that San Diego Democratic congressional hopeful Francine Busby told a largely Latino audience, “you don’t need papers for voting,” until after she lost, despite playing up her chances over the last weekend as a possible bellwether of big GOP losses. Now look at the first paragraphs of VandeHei's story and ponder if it doesn't sound like he's writing for the Democratic Press Release Service:
S. R. Sidarth, the Jim Webb for Senate volunteer who filmed Sen. George Allen nicknaming him 'Macaca,' appeared Tuesday on the far-left Pacifica Radio network show "Democracy Now" with Amy Goodman, the playground of wild-eyed radical leftists like Cindy Sheehan, Ramsey Clark, and Noam Chomsky. Sidarth replayed his outrage. But the show also featured Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an expert The Washington Post also used to denounce Allen. He was denouncing Allen as a racist on the nationally distributed show, traveling rapidly from little off-the-cuff nicknames to "neo-Confederate hate groups" and Trent Lott praising Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrat campaign for president:
On his "Political Punch" blog (formerly "Down and Dirty"), ABC reporter Jake Tapper reports that the ethical scolds in the Democratic Party are somehow overlooking the corruption of Congressman Bill "Cold Cash" Jefferson as the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina rolls around:
The Democratic Caucus's Katrina Task Force will travel to the Gulf Coast region from August 27 through August 30 to mark the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. One special part of this trip? On Monday, August 28, roughly 20 House Democrats will be guided on a tour of the region by Rep. William Jefferson, D-LA and the National Guard.
That may seem especially odd considering the history of Jefferson and the National Guard in New Orleans. You may remember Jefferson from a year ago, when we broke the story that in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina he used National Guard troops to check on his property and rescue his personal belongings — even while New Orleans residents were trying to get rescued from rooftops. (Read the story HERE)
Time's cover story on Hillary by Karen Tumulty is predictable, largely channeling anonymous Clinton aides and strategists about her forthcoming campaign for the White House. There are no conservatives quoted. It only gets unpredictable when Tumulty turns the corner to acknowledge (mean-spirited) conservatives. Typically, in her starry-eyed reflection on the "outsize status of both Clintons," and how her race will be "brutal," she exaggerates the number of anti-Clinton tomes by a factor of five or ten, but she surprises by actually naming the forthcoming Jonah Goldberg book, as well as the Brent Bozell-Tim Graham media-bias packet:
TV Newser reports that ABC has made it official that Chris Cuomo, the son of long-time liberal New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, will be the news anchor of ABC's "Good Morning America" starting September 5. Cuomo's been at ABC since 1999, just a little shorter than...
George Stephanopoulos, another Democrat in media clothing. George is a hot property at ABC that CBS wanted to steal, as TVNewser cited a report from Michele Greppi:
"CBS News courted but couldn't land George Stephanopoulos, who recently signed a new deal, with a nice raise, to stay at ABC News for four more years."
Stephanopoulos and his agent Alan Berger initiated the talks and "the conversation never turned into an actual offer." Sean McManus "made an aggressive pitch that included talk about multiple plum roles, including Washington bureau chief and chief political analyst, and a high-profile position as the chief on-air political foil for Ms. Couric. He is said to have been told that he would be able to contribute to '60 Minutes.'" But McManus couldn't offer a Sunday show "because Bob Schieffer is assured that he will be moderator of 'Face the Nation' for as long he wishes."