U.S. News & World Report is traditionally known as the staid sister of Time and Newsweek, so it’s a little shocking to see these harsh words on the cover this week: "Bush’s Last Stand: He’s plagued by a hostile CONGRESS, sinking POLLS, and an unending WAR. IS HE RESOLUTE OR DELUSIONAL?" (Capitals theirs.) The cover story by Kenneth T. Walsh is loaded with Bush-bashing quotes from named and anonymous sources. Walsh began by noting Bush has compared his trials to those of Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman, and the diagnosis that Bush is mentally ill emerges from DNC chairman Dr. Howard Dean: "This is delusional – comparing yourself to two of our greatest presidents!" Liberal historian Robert Dallek added, "a great majority see him as stubborn and unyielding...And everything he touches turns to dust."
On Tuesday night, following a week in which the CBS Evening News attracted the fewest viewers in decades, the producers decided the Katie Couric-anchored newscast needed an injection of an Olbermann-esque twist: The arrests of six Islamists, for plotting to use automatic weapons to murder troops at Fort Dix, matches the hype around previous captures which fizzled. Armen Keteyian framed his story around how since 9/11 “more than 400,000 names have come under one form of government surveillance or another -- from watch lists to wiretaps. But only a handful of terrorists have been convicted in cases with concrete ties to al-Qaeda.” Keteyian highlighted how cases that “start out as larger, bolder terrorism cases, turn into lesser offenses. According to a study by the NYU Center on Law and Security, of the 550 terrorism cases since 9/11, only 163 individuals have been prosecuted on terrorism charges.” The group's Karen Greenburg then asserted: “The conclusion would be that we've made a lot of hoopla about a number of cases on the grounds of terrorism at the beginning, and they haven't panned out to be terrorism cases.”
But Keteyian didn't bother to alert viewers to the Center for Law and Security's agenda. Greenberg, the Executive Director featured in a soundbite, is “co-editor of The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib” and “she is a former Vice President of the Soros Foundation/Open Society Institute,” according to her online bio. Amongst the Fellows at the organization: infamous Clinton sycophant and conservative-basher Sidney Blumenthal and on the Board of Advisers: Dana Priest, the Washington Post reporter who exposed the secret overseas CIA sites to interrogate terrorists. The topic of the group's most recent forum, “The Hidden Roots of War: Christian Zionism and the Neocon Fundamentalist Alliance in America.”
The Katie Couric as “CBS Evening News” anchor experiment appears to be failing, and failing miserably.
As TV Week reported Tuesday (h/t TVNewser): “The news is not good for third-place ‘CBS Evening News With Katie Couric,’ which in the week of April 30 hit its lowest total viewership since at least 1987.”
According to TVNewser’s Brian Stelter, the “at least 1987” qualifier refers to Nielsen ratings not going back any further.
The news wasn’t any better for one of Couric’s competitors either:
Well, here's an update. It appears they still are.
As of 7:00 p.m. EDT tonight, both FoxNews.com and CNN give the Fort Dix terror plot story prime real estate. Not so for MSNBC. See MSNBC screencap below and check here and here for Fox and CNN screencaps respectively.
A new study by my alma mater, the University of Maryland, looked at the online divisions of 19 major traditional print and broadcast media:
... to see
which ones gave the users of their RSS feeds the same number of
stories, the same range of news sources, in as timely a fashion as
could be gotten if those users went to the individual website.
The Los Angeles Times, ABCNews.com, and Foxnews.com fared among the best RSS providers while the New York Times was among the worst. But the bottom line, the study concluded, was that:
... if a user wants
specific news on any subject from any of the 19 news outlets the
research team looked at, he or she must still track the news down
website by website.
The main reason? The paucity of information RSS feeds give the reader:
Tonight's (May 8) episode of ABC's “Boston Legal,” the 10pm EDT/PDT drama set in an unorthodox Boston law firm, will seemingly take up the topic of a man “tortured” by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay. The ABC.com summary of the plot relays that attorney “Alan Shore,” played by James Spader, “sues the United States on behalf of a client who was tortured for two years at a detention camp.” The title of the episode: “Guantanamo by the Bay.”
This will hardly be the first time the ABC show, starring William Shatner and Candice Bergen, has centered episodes around advancing liberal causes. See the January 17 NewsBusters posting: “ABC's 'Boston Legal' Takes Cheap Shots to the Right.” Also check a NewsBusters posting from March of 2006, “ABC's 'Boston Legal' Airs Anti-Bush Tirade, Takes Shot at FNC & Raises McCarthy Era,” which features two video clips.
We’ve now finished the first two presidential debates, both on MSNBC. Pundits are debating whether they will make a difference in the race, but one thing is very clear: it’s business as usual for the media moderating these things. The Democrats were treated to an amiable chit-chat among friends. The Republicans took round after round of hostile fire from enemies. Nothing ever changes. The Democrats are spoiled like rotten kids, and the Republicans are invited to sleep on a bed of nails, and do so willingly.
But the dynamic now has been made even worse by the petulant petitions and protests of the censorious left, the ones who claim to be "democrats" but want to remove Fox News Channel from the news media. Leftists believe in a media strategy with all the sophistication of holding your breath and turning blue. Fox hatred is required. On the Huffington Post, author Carol Hoenig argued the Democrats should debate on Fox. Even so, her article was headlined "Fox News: A Cancer On Society."
Apparently, CNN can't get enough of Kathleen Sebelius, the Democrat governor of Kansas. She made two appearances on CNN on Monday, once on "American Morning," and the other time on "The Situation Room." Both times, she tried to blame the Iraq war for any hampered reactions to the devastation caused by a tornado in Greensburg, Kansas. The same evening, the "Paula Zahn Now" program featured another segment on the supposed equipment shortages Governor Sibelius has highlighted in her media appearances. Even though the segment's sound bytes supported the governor's line, CNN Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre and Major General Tod Bunting of the Kansas National Guard made several points that reveal the truth of the situation.
The Greensburg tornado disaster was just the perfect excuse for another global warming item on ABCNews.com.
After all, the Associated Press and CNN have focused on an Iraq angle to devastating tornado damage, but finding an Iraq angle to everything is so, I dunno, 2004.
At any rate, on his "Science and Society" blog at ABCNews.com yesterday, reporter Ned Potter set out to find why tornado touchdowns have increased in the past few years.
I called the National Weather Service, which says that as of today it
knows of 69 dead in tornadoes since Jan. 1, compared to 49 up to this
point last year, and 38 deaths for all of 2005. It's worth looking
around NOAA's Storm Prediction Center site; find it HERE.
there a reason? Shifting weather patterns? Shifting population
patterns? Global climate change? Clayton Sandell was asked to put
together some notes.
With Rosie O’Donnell’s announced departure of "The View" other networks such as NBC and CBS are apparently interested in the very controversial comedienne. Broadcastingcable.com reports that Rosie may offer commentary on "The Early Show" in an effort to boost its third place ratings.
"Sources say O'Donnell will meet with CBS brass soon to discuss its offer, which could open the door to regular guest appearances on The Early Show. Her views have generated the type of buzz that could allow CBS to finally lift the perennial third-place program out of the morning-show cellar."
The New York Times is still adjusting badly to conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy's big win in the French presidential election over Socialist candidate Segolene Royal, judging by reporter Craig Smith's report from Paris on the thuggish violence that occurred after Sarkozy's big win ("Hundreds Are Arrested in Post-Election Riots Across France").
Instead of blaming the rioters, Smith implied that furthur violence could be blamed on Sarkozy keeping his campaign promises.
"Violent protests against the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France ended early Monday after hundreds of people were arrested, hundreds of cars gutted, and hundreds of windows smashed in several cities across France.
Anti-conservative bias in the media is not unique to America. Agence France-Presse (AFP) practically portrayed French President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy as a modern day, Gallic incarnation of Nero, fiddling while France burns (emphasis mine).:
France's next president Nicolas Sarkozy holidayed Tuesday in Malta
ahead of launching a radical reform programme, while back home cities
across the country were hit by more violent "anti-Sarko" protests.
A few paragraphs later, the AFP article --bearing the loaded headline "Sarkozy rests as France braces for reform -- continued to hold Sarkozy in a sinister light.:
Last night, CBS "Evening News" and ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" hyped rising gas prices, saying that the national average price was "just two cents short of the record."
Too bad they were both wrong because they didn't factor in inflation. The national average on May 7 was actually 17 cents below the inflation adjusted record high price from March 1981: $3.22 per gallon.
Anthony Mason's CBS report also proved he needs a calculator and possibly a math tutor.
Mason interviewed Mike Gorgia of Staten Island who regularly tracks his area's gas prices for GasBuddy.com. Mason said Gorgia saves a whopping $500 a year by shopping around for his gasoline.
Hold on -- $500? That doesn't exactly sound like a representative example.
The average American uses 500 gallons of gas each year, according to the Energy Information Administration. So if Gorgia is an "average American" he must be saving a full dollar on every gallon of gasoline.
First Time magazine drops the President from the '100 Most Influential' list, and now this: The big front-page photo in Tuesday's New York Times was of Queen Elizabeth (who did make Time's list of important movers and shakers) with President Bush walking past a row of photographers at the White House after her official welcome. But the photo cropped off the top third of Bush's head, and the caption whimsically referred to him only as the Queen's "American escort," as if he was a security guard or State Department flunkie.
Under the headline "Focus Group" (a play on all the cameras present), the Times summarized: "Before an A-list, white-tie dinner, the masses had a chance to see Queen Elizabeth II, with an American escort, at the White House. Page A19."
But when CBS and U.S. News & World Report’s Gloria Borger calls for a “moratorium on invoking the memory of Ronald Reagan” in a column about the recent Republican presidential debates held at a library named in his honor, this Gipper envy has clearly gotten way out of hand (emphasis added throughout):
Hours after her first appearance on CNN’s "American Morning," Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) made a second network appearance on Monday’s "The Situation Room," where she repeated her Iraq-ruined-tornado-recovery line, that "what really is hampering our reactions like this and our opportunity to clean up quickly is the equipment shortage."
Prior to her interview, CNN correspondent Brian Todd gave a report that was meant to reenforce Sebelius's claims. The report featured sound bytes from the governor and from the National Guard officials, who all claimed that the equipment shortages have had a detrimental effect. However, Todd also reported that "Kansas National Guard officials tell us they can manage this disaster with the equipment they have, and the shortage has had not effect on deaths or injuries in Greensburg."
As already noted on NewsBusters, Diane Sawyer made an absurd comparison on Tuesday’s "Good Morning America" when she linked the current rising stock markets with the period of time before the historic 1929 market crash. The GMA host, talking to ABC analyst Mellody Hobson, fearfully wondered, "Did you know that the stock market has hit a milestone reminiscent of what happened before the big crash?"
Except, it’s not at all reminiscent of the "big crash." From 2000, through 2007, the Dow rose from 10, 577 to 13, 312. That’s an average annual increase of 3.7 percent. In the seven years prior to the 1929 crash, the market spiked from 100 to 381, growing over 40 percent yearly. The rate of increase is over 10 times more than the current levels.So, when Sawyer concluded that "1929 was the big crash and this is reminiscent of what happened before that," her comparison isn't just wrong, it's also nonsensical.
Following the election of conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy to France's presidency, there have been a series of riots from angry protesters upset at his victory. Unfortunately, it's a little hard to know much about the rioters due to the French government's passing a law that makes it a crime to report on riots unless you are a professional journalist:
The French Constitutional Council has
approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of
violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could
lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police
violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French
civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.
The council chose an unfortunate anniversary to publish its decision
approving the law, which came exactly 16 years after Los Angeles police
officers beating Rodney King were filmed by amateur videographer George
Holliday on the night of March 3, 1991. The officers’ acquittal at the
end on April 29, 1992 sparked riots in Los Angeles.
If Democrats had accused former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois) last year of earmarking funds that could help real estate investments owned by his wife, would the media have reported it?
Probably on the front pages of every newspaper, and as the lead story of all of the evening news programs, right?
Well, the Associated Press published a story Monday about current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) possibly earmarking funds that would benefit her husband's investments around the San Francisco Bay. Yet, the media showed virtually no interest (emphasis added):
When it comes to the subject of global warming, is science being sacrificed on the altar of political activism? Yes, says the German magazine Der Spiegel (h/t Glenn) in a report that sounds strangely familiar. It's funny how many on the left are now complaining that we "rushed to war" in Iraq are now rushing to implement far more expensive and economy-destroying programs on the subject of global warming--with far less certitude of success. The irony is further compounded when you consider that the main person leading this rush is the guy who would have been president had George Bush not won in 2000.
No United Nations organization currently dominates the headlines as much -- or is as controversial -- as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Critics call the panel politically one-sided and its reports alarmist. Its defenders say the opposite is true. The IPCC will publish its third report on Friday. [...]
There is hardly a newspaper article and hardly a TV or radio program that doesn't conjure up images of "climate catastrophe," prophesy floods of gigantic proportions, droughts and hunger. Indeed, the media have developed something akin to a complete apocalyptic program.
It's the fault of the media, of course, but not exclusively. It's also the fault of a new hero, an environmental activist who likes to introduce himself by saying: "Hello, I was once the next President of the United States of America."
Granted, disaster stories are big news, particularly so close on the heels of the Greensburg, Kansas, tornado. But six immigrants, all of whom are suspected radical Muslims and three of whom are here in the United States illegally, is certainly a more compelling story for a top story.
I wouldn't call this the ideal outcome but it's definitely progress. Michael McGee, the racist liberal talk show host who said he wished a local conservative talker had burned to death along with his mother has been suspended "indefinitely" from his program:
Radio station owner Jerrel Jones said Saturday that he's
indefinitely suspending Mike McGee from his radio show on WNOV-AM (860)
for remarks he made about the death of Katherine Sykes, the mother of
radio talker Charlie Sykes.
Jones would not say how long "indefinitely" might be.
"Forever is a long time, and I don't want to say something that I
may not be able to deal with," he said Saturday. "But I do want to make
it clear that he won't be on anytime soon."
With gasoline prices going up, Diane Sawyer worries they will continue to rise. With stock prices going up, the same Sawyer worries they will experience a crash of historic proportions.
Sawyer's guest on Good Morning America today at 7:15 AM EDT was Mellody Hobson, a GMA financial contributor. Here's how Sawyer kicked things off.
GMA CO-HOST DIANE SAWYER: Will runaway gas prices keep soaring, and did you know that the stock market has hit a milestone reminiscent of what happened before the big Crash? Let's start with gasoline prices. On Monday the average price of gasoline hit $3.05 per gallon, just two cents less than the record. . . Is this going to keep happening, keep going up?
It's Nitpicking Tuesday. In the Washington Post Style section, the weekday ad for the "Live Online" chats at washingtonpost.com caught my eye. Today's 1 pm session with a black Post columnist is promoted with this language:
Opinion: Columnist Eugene Robinson discusses the diversity of the Democratic presidential candidates -- and the Country Club look of the first GOP debate.
Is that their best way to say "all white, all male"? As if the Post found any "diversity" worth mentioning when the candidates were female (Elizabeth Dole) or minorities (Alan Keyes)?
Washington Post writers Tamara Jones and Roxanne Roberts (who co-writes the paper's "Reliable Source" gossip column) took just four paragraphs into their page A1 story on Queen Elizabeth's state visit to snark about a gaffe of President Bush's during the welcome ceremony.
The President was noting that the Queen had visited the United States for the bicentennial in 1976, but he started to say 1776 before catching himself.
Noting that the Queen "did not appear amused," Jones and Roberts described Bush's reaction as "sheepish" and that the Queen's disapproving glare was not his only "comeuppance of the day."
Sometimes the blog entries just write themselves. Mark Ellingham, a man who helped increase travel as a form of leisure is now telling people they should stop taking flights. It gets more ridiculous, however:
Mark Ellingham, founder of the Rough Guides and the man who
encouraged a generation of travellers to pack a rucksack and explore
the world, has compared the damage done by tourism to the impact of the
Ellingham now says travelling is so
environmentally destructive that there is no such thing as a genuinely
ethical holiday. He wants the industry to educate travellers about the
damage their holidays do to the environment. The development he regrets
most is the public's appetite for what he calls 'binge-flying'. [...]
'It is hard to say the positive impact travelling has can
ever outweigh the damage done by simply travelling to the destination,'
he said. 'Balancing all the positives and negatives, I'm not convinced
there is such a thing as a "responsible" or "ethical" holiday.'
Apparently, it doesn't take much to flummox Brian Williams. He wrapped up Monday's NBC Nightly News with a whole story devoted to a “paralyzing question” which “can make otherwise competent adults quake with fear.” The dilemma? “Paper or plastic” at the grocery store. “The grocery store dilemma,” he teased, “'paper or plastic?' What is the right answer to that paralyzing question in the checkout line?” Williams repeated his terminology in plugging the story before an ad break: “What is the right answer to that often-paralyzing question at the checkout, 'paper or plastic?'”
Williams introduced the eventual May 7 story by fretting about how people “are made to feel like the fate of the planet hinges on our decision.” Maybe if you're a self-obsessed environmental extremist with too much free time, but I doubt most people feel such pressure and are able to easily make the choice without liberal guilt. Williams asserted: “Tonight, as part of our ongoing series of reports on the environment, 'America Goes Green,' we take on the question that can make otherwise competent adults quake with fear. We've all been there. You come to the end of the checkout line and then comes that question, 'paper or plastic?' For that one brief moment, we grocery buyers are made to feel like the fate of the planet hinges on our decision. Is there a correct answer?”
Reporter Anne Thompson turned to a left-wing activist group, naturally unlabeled, for the answer:
“To find out what to do in the grocery store, we turned to Alan Hershkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Plastic bags threaten wildlife along the coast. So if that's where you call home, Hershkowitz says the choice should be paper. In the heartland, he says, it's plastic.”
“To make all the bags we use a year it takes 14 million trees for paper, 12 million barrels of oil for plastic. The production of paper bags create 70 percent more air pollution than plastic. But plastic bags create four times the solid waist, enough to fill the Empire State Building two and a half times. And they can last up to a thousand years.”
The bottom line: Avoid both, as she concluded:
“Re-use and recycle is the environmentalist mantra for plastic and paper. But the best choice, they say, is cloth or canvas and B.Y.O.B. -- Bring your own bags.”
Former CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer told Columbus Dispatch writer Tim Feran that the gossip was untrue that he was trashing Katie Couric in the press. "I was not the source for that story, period. I had nothing to do with it...and I don't know who did." Schieffer also took exception to the Bill Moyers theory that the national media were enablers to President Bush's runup to war in Iraq.
Q: In his recent PBS report about the run-up to the Iraq war, Bill Moyers said: "The press has yet to come to terms with its role in enabling the Bush administration to go to war on false pretenses." Do you agree?
A: I don't think we enabled them to go to war, although there's no question we should have asked harder questions. But I think the Democrats should have asked harder questions, the CIA should have asked harder questions, the people within the administration should have asked harder questions. Somewhere along the way, the decision to go into Iraq somehow became the fault of the press.
How many times in the past year as global warming has become a headline issue have you heard a liberal media member or Hollywood elite talk about a consensus of peer reviewed scientists?
So much so that you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one, correct?
As an example, pop singer Sheryl Crow during her recent Stop Global Warming College tour would toss the term "peer-reviewed science" around to her audience like a frisbee, as if she had any idea what it actually meant.
With that in mind, a Senior Fellow in Political Economy for the Independent Institute, Dr. Robert Higgs, published an article Monday that should be required reading for folks like soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore and his followers (emphasis added throughout):