When Aaron Sorkin’s leftist series “The Newsroom” debuted on HBO in 2012, then-ABC reporter Jake Tapper trashed it in The New Republic, writing “though “The Newsroom” intends to lecture its viewers on the higher virtues of capital-J journalism, Professor Sorkin soon reveals he isn’t much of an expert on the subject.”
Via Buzzfeed, we learned that on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, Sorkin admitted in an interview with former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau that Tapper was right, he’s not an expert, and he's not sophisticated on politics or journalism:
At Politico Magazine, writer and physician James Hamblin tried to answer the question "Who is Dr. Ben Carson?" After describing how he became a "darling of the right-wing media" after calling out President Obama at a prayer breakfast, Hamblin tried to explain how he speaks in "over the top" language about America in decline.
But Hamblin really let loose when he insisted that despite Dr. Carson's surgical talent, his opposition to Obamacare is based on "sentiment," not a "rational pespective. His talent "does not imply an elevated or even rational perspective on health-care policy."
In the textbooks, journalists are supposed to be watchdogs of government – not just government of one party, but both parties. If Edward Snowden’s massive leaks on government surveillance programs (approved by presidents of both parties) win a Pulitzer Prize for “Public Service,” why isn’t exposing President Obama’s scandals like Benghazi and IRS harassment hailed as a public service?
This isn’t just an issue for liberal judges of the Pulitzers and other journalism prizes, but for CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter, who on Easter Sunday grilled Sharyl Attkisson about her alleged failures and "conservative bias," and then turned around and treated Pulitzer-winning Glenn Greenwald like he was God’s gift to journalism. David Gregory was "infamous" for challenging his propriety:
“Washington Gadfly” blogger Evan Gahr caught Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman in an ethical dance over accepting a “civil liberties” award from the ACLU at their “Bill of Rights Award Dinner.” Gellman recently shared the Pulitzer Prize with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras for revealing Edward Snowden's leaks about U.S. anti-terrorist surveillance programs. Four years ago, TIME sent Gellman on the road for six months to report a cover story on the "Secret World of Extreme Militias" a month before the midterm elections.
Former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson was blunt in her interview with CNN’s Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources.” Stelter tried to ask if CBS lost interest in investigative journalism to favor Obama or every administration.
“I didn’t sense any resistance to doing stories that were perceived to be negative to the Bush administration – by anybody, ever. I have done stories that were not received well because people thought they would reflect poorly upon this administration.” Attkisson declared old managers moved out, and “ideologically entrenched” ones moved in (Videos below):
Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi wrote a big Style section front-pager for Monday on how NBC's Meet the Press, "Sunday's most venerable news show has stumbled in the ratings."
The shocking paragraph that will get discussed around Washington today is that NBC commissioned a psychological consultant to figure how who MTP host David Gregory is, and what makes him tick. Or maybe, why people just don't like him very much:
On the evening of Good Friday, NPR All Things Considered anchor Audie Cornish announced one of those “landmark” (read: leftist) victories.
“There was a landmark ruling in India this week on sexual identity. The country's supreme court declared that India's transgender population shall be considered neither male nor female but a third gender,” Cornish announced. “The sweeping decision redefines the rights of and the state's obligations to one of India's most marginalized groups." NPR’s Julie McCarthy took over the celebration with a “journey of one young man who rejected his male identity” from New Delhi:
Dan Gainor relayed to me that Sunday's New York Times hasn't a whiff of Easter on its front page -- not even in its blurbs at the bottom, saved for epic stories like "U.N. Cholera Struggle in Haiti." Above that is a depressing story about a 12-year-old Ecuadorean girl who committed suicide in Mexico after a second failed attempt at illegal immigration into America.
But it could be worse. Jim Romenesko reports from marijuana-addled Colorado that the Denver Post had nothing on Easter, but a huge writeup on "Welcome to Weed Country":
Craig Bannister at CNSNews.com reports that the San Francisco Chronicle highlighted how House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi helped an Episcopal bishop in San Francisco wash the feet of two children on Holy Thursday to "honor the dignity and work of immigrants," and push legislation for “an earned pathway to citizenship."
MRC president Brent Bozell was appalled at this political display as an abuse of her putative Catholic faith:
“Why we root for Chelsea Clinton” was the latest from the Washington Post’s new culture blogger Alyssa Rosenberg. “For those of us who were once curly-haired, awkward daughters, Chelsea Clinton’s arrival on the national stage at age 12 meant years of sympathetic wincing. The barbs directed her way landed on us by proxy,” including Rush Limbaugh’s old “family dog” joke.
Youngsters might not realize that almost everyone in politics treated Chelsea with deference to her parents throughout the Clinton presidency, which ended when she was 20. The weirdest part is how Rosenberg can complain about Clinton opponents mocking Chelsea instead of the “adult Clintons” while she talks about 2008 and 2010, when ahem, Chelsea headed into her thirties:
Comedy Central really hates conservatives, especially the social ones. Have you seen Daniel Tosh making vicious fun of pro-lifers in a fake ad for Dr. Dre headphones?
Tosh and his girlfriend drive up to a modest-looking Planned Parenthood location and face a barrage of cartoonishly angry protesting haters that make the girlfriend tear up, while Tosh is happily tuning them out with his awesome headphones (video below):
In an online chat on PBS on Thursday, NewsHour and Washington Week anchor Gwen Ifill did the usual song and dance avoiding any admission of liberal tilt.
Someone named “Darius” pressed Ifill: “Why does PBS overdo the PC mentality so much? Especially in the face of reporting hard, substantiated news?” She couldn’t possibly agree. He must not be watching regularly:
The current edition of People magazine has ABC Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts on "How Love Saved Me: The Family, Friends & Relationship That Gave Her Strength." It also promised a look "Inside her coming-out journey." People's Sharon Cotliar didn't report on how Barack Obama gave Roberts strength (and "chills") by coming out for gay marriage in an interview with her in 2012.
But her lesbian lover Amber Laign is barely mentioned because she's a "very private person." In addition to her inspiring story of how she survived a bone marrow disease, late in the story, Roberts finds peace in a pro-gay God:
Whoopi Goldberg is adding another media gig on top of hosting "The View" on ABC: marijuana columnist for the Denver Post pot section.
"As I write my debut column for The Cannabist, talking about this newly legal weed and admiring the states that have had the foresight to legalize medical marijuana, I’m most tempted to extol the virtues of the vape pen." She calls her vapor device "Sippy."
Weasel Zippers has the latest superiority dance from Al Gore, in a speech at the University of Hawaii.
"Ultimately, we are going to win this thing," he said, one of many statements met with hearty applause from the Hawaiians, reported the Civil Beat. He displayed “a Bell Curve showing the number of hotter days over the past 80 years grow alarmingly disproportionate to the number of cooler days and days with average temperatures.”
Ten years ago, Mel Gibson unveiled his massively successful movie The Passion of The Christ. It came out on Ash Wednesday (February 25, 2004), but is often re-viewed on Good Friday. It had a worldwide box-office gross of over $611 million.
In our Special Report on religion coverage that year, we explored how the TV networks attacked Gibson's movie as extreme, divisive, and potentially harmful -- one CBS reporter even called it an "ecumenical suicide bomb" -- and how that differed from their fascination with theories in The DaVinci Code:
Washington Post culture-and-politics blogger Alyssa Rosenberg is crediting Fox News with a “stroke of evil genius” for creating a new show called “Outnumbered” with a panel of four women and one man.
“I thought it was smart when Fox News promoted Megyn Kelly, an anchor with the singular ability to generate juicy cable news moments that appeal to the left and the right, to an evening slot. Ratings-wise, that seems to have been a good call for the network.” Rosengberg added “And the show the network dreamed up to replace Kelly’s in daytime has a flair of evil genius.” It’s an audacious act of trolling:
Former Newsweek boss Tina Brown was incredibly candid -- or wildly spinning in retrospect -- in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek. Why would The Daily Beast try to absorb Newsweek? "Our hope was that we would reanimate the moribund Newsweek, but nothing could actually reanimate Newsweek because it was a wholly different ball of problems."
So why buy it? Her Bloomberg questioner asked: “When did you realize it wasn’t going to work?” She replied: “In about the first week." Even folks at Time noticed that one.
MRC president Brent Bozell sent along this USA Today report to the staff, and wondered whether the rest of the American media would follow up, as the news from Ukraine carried an echo of the early days of the Nazi Holocaust.
Oren Dorell reported "Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to "register" with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia, according to Israeli media."
MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow Daily wasn’t exactly in Reverence Mode for the Boston Marathon bombing victims. About 40 minutes before the memorial ceremony on Tuesday afternoon, Farrow aired a segment about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s love for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and how it somehow may have led to his radicalism.
How is the “robust martial arts culture” of wrestling a better “scene” for Tamerlan’s radicalism instead of radical websites or mosques? Farrow somberly promised “a look at the people behind this tragedy: the Tsarnaev brothers.” Was it just a tragedy, or a crime? Farrow turned to his partners at Vocativ for a report. (Video below)
What? Yes, she says that would amaze "fellow liberals who had not watched much Fox News but had seen the most outlandish clips of Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity that had made it to 'The Daily Show' or YouTube. They perhaps imagined that walking down the hallway outside makeup, Mr. O'Reilly might yell then, too, instead of just saying hello. That's a funny notion, but it couldn't be further from the truth."
Jeff Poor at Breitbart has identified the latest example of Rachel Maddow's superiority complex. In a newly released video interview for the comedians who operate "The Muslims Are Coming!" tour, she claimed she has found a new comedian -- Ann Coulter.
The openly lesbian MSNBC host is convinced that nothing Coulter says can be serious. All her books, all her TV appearances must be an elaborate gag. Coulter wasn't about to let that go unchallenged. (Video below)
One of the tender mercies of Stephen Colbert's ascension to the "Late Show" set at CBS is his shedding of the faux-conservative "high-status idiot" character. To conservatives, this "Colbert" has never seemed authentic or sustained cleverness -- how many times can you say you don't read or even like books? It mostly marks the deep ruts of liberal arrogance in their own mental superiority. Colbert has perpetually had trouble staying inside this character, always winking at and mocking it more than inhabiting it.
To liberals, abandoning this thin charade is far too much sincerity for an ironic age. They love their idiot conservative, and aren't dealing well with its departure. Hendrik Hertzberg at The New Yorker, a former Carter speechwriter and Newsweek reporter, is putting on a black armband in mourning. He sincerely believes "The Character" is a "miraculous and unparalleled intellectual and political achievement." Break out the smelling salts:
Sarah Silverman's website is promoting an interview Sarah and her sister the rabbi, Susan Silverman, gave to CNN contributor (and former Bush staffer) Margaret Hoover at The Daily Beast's Women of the World summit after they spoke on April 4.
Hoover encouraged Rabbi Susan to explain again how Sarah Silverman preaches and is "in the line of the biblical prophets...but they were also less effective." (Video below)
At the end of Maryland’s legislative session in Annapolis, The Washington Post and reporter Fredrick Kunkle slowly realized outnumbered Republicans are outraged with “a slew of what they call well-intentioned but annoying attempts to micromanage people’s lives with bans, prohibitions and regulations, these critics say the state’s latest attempt to boldly embrace the future felt more like the smothering clasp of Mary Poppins.”
“Where’s this going? Are we going to ban dark chocolate bars now?” wondered Jeff Zellmer, a lobbyist with the Maryland Retailers Association who testified against a bill that would have criminalized the sale of energy drinks to minors. “Criminalizing energy drinks! And down in Judiciary they’re [decriminalizing] pot ! What the hell is going on? Next you’re going to have to check IDs at Starbucks.”
Recently departed CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson appeared with Howard Kurtz on Fox's Media Buzz on Sunday. Kurtz said her forthcoming book is titled “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.” Kurtz asked her to define those forces.
"I think any journalist who has been covering Washington for a few years would agree… that there is pressure coming to bear on journalists for just doing their job in ways that have never come to bear before." (Video below)
It started sounding like Unholy Week on NPR. On the national show “Fresh Air,” one day after Bart Ehrman insisted Jesus didn’t see himself as God, host Terry Gross brought on another atheist author, Barbara Ehrenreich. The segment was titled "A Nonbeliever Tries to Make Sense of the Visions She Had as a Teen."
Or as Hanna Rosin summarized it for Slate: “Could Barbara Ehrenreich, fourth-generation atheist, proud socialist, and mocker of brightness and smiles, have found religion? Dream on, Billy Graham.” But apparently titling your book "Living With a Wild God" makes your atheist comrades unhappy.
On Thursday, Washington Post reporter Ed O’Keefe blogged: “An incredible thing happened this week: A bill written by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has passed Congress.” It was a bill designed to block entry into the country for Iran’s new ambassador to the United Nations, who aided the radical Iranians who held Americans hostage for 444 days in 1979 and 1980.
On Saturday, the Post put the controversy on page one and played “Hide the Ted.” There was no mention of Cruz anywhere in the 946-word article. The only proud politician quoted was liberal Chucky Schumer. Reporter Anne Gearan began:
Several letters to the editor published in The Washington Post on Saturday strongly criticized the Matt Schudel obituary of Marine Gen. Carl Mundy from April 6. Favorable obituaries are more likely for left-wing radicals like "visionary scientist" Barry Commoner, to recall Schudel's recent work.
It began by noting the general offended liberals (without using the L-word): “Carl E. Mundy Jr., a retired four-star general who, as commandant of the Marine Corps in the early 1990s, oversaw troop reductions in the wake of the Cold War and whose statements on race, women and gays in the military provoked widespread criticism, died April 2 at his home in Alexandria, Va.” What followed was a long list of offenses against liberal political correctness with no debate allowed from Mundy’s point of view: