The May 1 Variety reported that Warner Independent Pictures has snapped up the domestic distribution rights to Leonardo DiCaprio’s "documentary" "11th Hour," with Warner Brothers Pictures International scooping the overseas rights. The supposed documentary is produced and narrated by the former teen idol turned environmental activist, and based on what he said at a Natural Resources Defense Gala that I blogged about here at Newsbusters, the “message won’t be diluted by our having to yell over oil-company-funded ‘scientists’ .” It will be another so-called “documentary” disguised as propaganda (docuganda) like “An Inconvenient Truth” that is portrayed as legitimate evidence of anthropogenic global warming. Who needs to waste time endlessly debating AGW, when a slickly packaged promotional movie can change more minds? Variety describes the film:
Docu (sic) explores what it will take for humans to make a difference ecologically before it is too late. A variety of leading scientists, thinkers and leaders are interviewed in the film, including Stephen Hawking, former CIA topper James Woolsey and former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev.
In case you haven't heard, the entire Senate Democratic caucus sent a letter to the Washington Post complaining about a column that David Broder, the paper's respected moderate liberal columnist wrote criticizing Democratic leader Harry Reid for saying the Iraq war is "lost."
We've talked about it quite a bit here at NB (here and here for some of our coverage) but today's New York Sun makes a point worth posting today:
"The episode illuminates how thin-skinned and intolerant the left is in this country of a press corps that is anything less than completely pliant. It began with the Democratic presidential candidates refusing to participate in a presidential debate that would be aired on the Fox News Channel, a network so reflexively right-wing that its regular paid contributors include Michael Dukakis's campaign manager Susan Estrich, National Public Radio's Mara Liasson, and the 2006 Democratic candidate for Senate in Tennessee, Harold Ford Jr. First they came for Fox News Channel, then they came for David Broder."
That's exactly right. The problem Broder is encountering is that even though he is a liberal, the fact that he has crossed the far left on its most important agenda item (surrendering in Iraq) has made him anathema. Same with Joe Lieberman.
CBS on Wednesday night turned over a full story to promoting the cause of one interest group which wants a 12-fold hike in federal spending on health care for children. As if it were some kind of scoop to hype a report from a group yearning for media attention, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric trumpeted it as an “exclusive look tonight at a stunning report by a respected children's health care group. It says nearly 24 million children in this country do not have regular access to medical care and that's twice as many as experts believed.”
Reporter Sharyl Attkisson's story was completely devoted to the Children's Health Fund (CHF) study (as of 8pm EDT Wed, not yet on CHF's Web site) that she outlined: “It's estimated nine million children are completely uninsured, but the new study says 11.5 million more kids end up without medical care for part of the year and another three million can't get a ride to the doctor. That's over 23 million children. To close the gap,” the co-founder of CHF, Irwin Redlener, “is on Capitol Hill lobbying for a dramatic expansion of the $5 billion federal children's health insurance program, or CHIP.” Attkisson relayed his quest: “Redlener wants to add nine million more people to CHIP, plus dental and mental health benefits and transportation. The price tag for all that?”Redlener answered: “What we need is $60 billion.” That would be an incredible 12 times more. (More below on CHF connections to NBC News, Bill Clinton and Chris Dodd)
The first regular episode of the latest incarnation of Bill Moyers Journal on PBS featured Comedy Central host Jon Stewart (recently hailed by Moyers as "the Mark Twain of our day") mocking Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for appearing to be a "low-functioning pinhead" and comparing the Bush administration to the mobster characters in the movie Goodfellas. He suggested the White House press corps was a joke, suggesting they're the Washington Generals to Bush's Harlem Globetrotters: "the government is just you know, blowing the doors off the media."
First, the "Daily Show" fake anchor expressed amazement on the Friday night show that Gonzales would be so willing to look foolish and wildly incompetent so that Congress would fail in its attempt to impose oversight:
Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is involved in a scandal that so far the media has completely ignored. David Keene reports:
Anyone who knows much about real power in Congress knows that almost
every member of the House and Senate lusts after a seat on the
Appropriations Committee and hopes one day to achieve the status of
Cardinal. The Cardinals, of course, are the folks who chair the various
Appropriations Committee subcommittees and literally control the
billions of dollars that pass through their hands.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) chairs the Senate Rules
Committee, but she’s also a Cardinal. She is currently chairwoman of
the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies subcommittee, but until
last year was for six years the top Democrat on the Military
Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (or “Milcon”)
sub-committee, where she may have directed more than $1 billion to
companies controlled by her husband.
If the inferences finally
coming out about what she did while on Milcon prove true, she may be on
the way to morphing from a respected senior Democrat into another
poster child for congressional corruption.
Yeah, before my time too, but the Vietnam Era folk singer/protester (pictured at right on the washingtonpost.com front page earlier) scored a publicity coup today. In addition to space in the letters-to-the-editor section, the Post dispatched writer Teresa Wiltz to cover Baez. So what was so deserving of giving an aging Vietnam Era folk singer so much attention?
Of course nowhere in Wiltz's article did she interview any concertgoers to see if anyone really missed the earth-shattering experience that is hearing Baez's music.
What's more, Wiltz left unconsidered how negatively injured soldiers might receive Baez's decidedly politically-infused folk music and ultra-left wing leanings. Mellencamp is no Bush fan, but it's hard to accuse the rocker of being opposed to the institution of the military itself. (see correction below)* (continued...)
For all journalists' talk about political elitism and cronyism, they are probably more inclined to toe the party line when one of their own comes under fire.
Almost always, you can count on an elite media figure to defend another one. Such was the case earlier today when Donald Graham, the Washington Post's publisher defended the second-class status that regular shareholders receive in comparison to a small liberal clique that has almost exclusive control over the money-losing paper. Incredibly, Graham's argument includes the preposterous premise that making Times (or his paper which operates under a similar structure) be accountable to public investors would promote biased journalism.
As the stock market has continued to regularly make new highs in 2007, how many times have you heard or read a media report carping about how the rich are getting richer?
Quite a bit, right?
If you feel bombarded with such inanities, consider that a completely unaudited LexisNexis search of major American media outlets identified 234 reports which included phrases like “rich get richer,” “income inequality,” “wealth disparity,” etc., since January 1.
Add it all up, and that’s almost two a day.
A fine example of this nauseating mantra was demonstrated by CBS’s Charles Osgood on “Sunday Morning” April 15:
Many conservatives don't like Bill O'Reilly. He's an advocate for gun control, amnesty for illegal immigrants, believes in global warming, etc. Still, you have to respect the fact that an entire journalism department just created a "study" which accuses him of being the most vile type of propagandist, going so far as to compare him to a Nazi sympathizer.
You'd think that the Indiana University department has better things to be doing (how about teaching kids about real diversity and fairness in journalism?) than studying a one-hour show on cable, but there it is.
According to the gurus of IU, O'Reilly is eerily similar to Father Charles Coughlin, a Nazi sympathizer during World War II:
"In this study, O'Reilly is a heavier and
less-nuanced user of the propaganda devices than Coughlin," the geniuses tell us.
I think the operative word is "this study." A more objective department might have compared O'Reilly to a myriad of other media figures such as Bill Moyers or Dan Rather who hardly present the news in an objective fashion, all while saying that's exactly what they do. Click past the jump to read an excerpt.
On April 25, 2007 the Dow soared to another record close, this time above 13,000. As Newsbusters reported here, here and here, the networks did anything but cheer. In fact, network broadcast reporting of the Dow's recovery since 2003 has been marked by pessimism.
Katie Couric introduced the April 25, 2007 CBS "Evening News" report with this dismal statement:
"Even as investors are making money in the market, Anthony Mason reports there are concerns tonight about the rest of the U.S. economy."
Mason made good on Couric's tease, with a class warfare remark that "Wall Street and Main Street appear to be headed in different directions" because of housing and gas prices.
I haven't had time to read the entire
79 pages of the Army's new OPSEC guidelines, which apparently cover
uniformed personnel as well as civilian contractors and family members,
however I have read this piece and it is cause for concern if some of Noah's characterizations are correct.
U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending
personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a
superior officer, Wired News has learned. The directive, issued April
19, is the sharpest restriction on troops' online activities since the
start of the Iraq war. And it could mean the end of military blogs,
observers say. [...]
You'd think that by now the left would have abandoned the ludicrous argument that businesses are inherently conservative. Simply untrue. There is so much evidence that this is not the case such as how most public TVs are tuned to CNN, not FNC, or how conservative books generally get worse placement at bookstores compared to liberals ones.
Via LGF, I learned of another proof of this: Virgin Airways is showing a 9/11 conspiracy film, "Loose Change," as the in-flight movie to some travelers. There's contact info for Virgin at Charles's entry.
Update 16:14. To keep track of these types of stories, I've made a new category for it "Corporate liberalism." Use our feedback form to send us examples of this when you see or read about it.
To prove that even broken clocks are correct twice a day, co-host Rosie O’Donnell along with the other three co-hosts, spoke out against frivolous lawsuits, trial lawyers, and called for tort reform. Barbara Walters reported on a man suing a dry cleaner for $67 million for losing his pants. Walters editorialized that there are "so many frivolous lawsuits" and even stepped on her soapbox to denounce them.
"I mean, it– but it's part of so many different kind of suits that there are. When I was reading about it, one of the things that it said is that teachers are very often afraid of putting a child on their lap or putting their arms around a child if a child is crying because a parent can sue. I mean, these days you can sue for almost anything. "
A truly extraordinary media event occurred Wednesday.
One news outlet reported: “Developing nations that are fast industrializing, such as China and India, have braked their rising greenhouse gas emissions by more than the total cuts demanded of rich nations by the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol.”
Practically at the same time, another reported: “Yet [China’s] coal habit means it will soon overtake the United States as the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, some say as early as this year.”
Can’t be, right? Well, the first report by Reuters (h/t NB member dscott) dealt with a draft about to be released by the United Nations concerning CO2 emissions (emphasis added throughout):
On the May 2 "View" co-host Barbara Walters previewed the upcoming issue of Time and it’s feature on the "100 most influential people." On that list is the radical left co-host Rosie O’Donnell. The criteria are people "who helped dictate international dialogue," quite fitting for a woman who uses "ching chong" to describe international news. The article’s headline reads "Rosie O’Donnell. The TV host who loves to fight." Barbara Walters noted that she wrote the article. The transcript of the exchange is below.
BARBARA WALTERS: Time magazine this Friday comes out with an issue of the 100 most influential people in the whole entire world. And the reason that they are influential is: "It is the fourth annual list of the most influential people in the world who helped dictate international dialogue." Why do I care? Because one of those people is a "TV host who loves a fight," Rosie O'Donnell!
One great thing about liberal journalists blogging is that without the constraints of editorial oversight, they can let their hair down even more than usual, unleashing their biases as fast as their fingers fly over the keyboard.
Time magazine's Joe Klein is no exception. The journalist and formerly anonymous author of "Primary Colors" shared with readers of the "Swampland" blog today his complaints about a Bush administration that "trafficks" in publicity stunts such as the May 1, 2003, carrier landing. Klein went on to complain that Donald Rumsfeld was the worst Secretary of Defense in the history of the Republic who, along with "the spinners who gave us the Abraham Lincoln stunt" should be "emptying bed pans at Walter Reed."
Klein's ire draws from liberal talking points about the four-year old "major combat operations" speech. You know the meme "Mission Accomplished" and an end of "major combat operations" were impossibly rosy scenarios in light of the ongoing insurgency.
But for the record, Klein himself described the war as having been won shortly after President Bush's USS Abraham Lincoln speech.
From the May 19, 2003, Time magazine, emphasis mine:
The New York Times' quest for social justice knows no out-of-bounds, judging by the front-page placement Wednesday of "Study of N.B.A. Sees Racial Bias in Calling Fouls" by sportswriter Alan Schwarz. Years after failing to secure Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor the right to golf at Augusta National Golf Club, the Times has now turned to the plight of multimillionaire NBA players who get bad foul calls.
"An academic study of the National Basketball Association, whose playoffs continue tonight, suggests that a racial bias found in other parts of American society has existed on the basketball court as well.
"A coming paper by a University of Pennsylvania professor and a Cornell University graduate student says that, during the 13 seasons from 1991 through 2004, white referees called fouls at a greater rate against black players than against white players.
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," weatherman Sam Champion, once again, touted a celebrity’s support of liberal environmental policies. In a brief segment discussing actor Robert Redford’s new TV series, the ABC host attempted to portray the activism of the famously liberal celebrity as something new.
An onscreen graphic hyperbolically asserted, "Redford Goes Green: Hollywood Legend Saves The Planet" and Champion said of the actor, "But now, he’s a pioneer for the environment." Redford goesgreen? Now, he’s a pioneer for the environment? It’s more than a little disingenuous for the GMA anchor to try and pass Redford’s liberalism as something new.
Yesterday, the computer geek world was abuzz with news that someone had managed to break the encryption code on the next-generation DVD system, HD-DVD.
The code was posted all over the internet (a Google search for "09 F9," the first four digits of the code turns up 62,000 results). One site it was posted on was digg.com, a popular and somewhat left-leaning news community. Digg, however, was contacted by Hollywood lawyers who warned them to delete the post or face legal action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Digg deleted the post and in the process set off a firestorm of user protest within its community. Immediately, everyone started posting the code into non-related entries and denouncing Digg for being a censor. It got so bad that the site shut down entirely.
CBS’s Bob Schieffer offered commentary on Senator and presidential candidate Joe Biden, but one would think he was describing former President Bill Clinton. On the May 2 edition of "The Early Show" host Harry Smith and Schieffer were ironically discussing a recent gaffe by Senator Biden, when Schieffer stated the Delaware Senator "has a habit of making these boners." Presumably Schieffer meant to say "blunders." For the record, Senator Biden’s gaffe was video of him telling a prospective voter that Democrats were "going to shove [the president’s veto] down his throat."
So, did you hear about the Hamas Parliament speaker who, during a sermon on Sudanese television, called for Allah to kill all Jews and Americans?
You didn’t? Why might that be? After all, this happened about three weeks ago, was reported by Memri TV on April 13 the very same day, hit Digg on April 20, and was reported by CNSNews on April 26.
And you still didn’t hear about this?
Could there be a reason why the media ignored such an extraordinary statement by a Hamas official who happens to currently be the acting speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, or was this just an innocent oversight by a media obsessed with more important issues?
Regardless, the shocking video is available here courtesy of Memri TV, and the transcript follows (emphasis added):
Despite Al Gore and friends' best hopes, not everyone on the left is running around proclaiming catastrophe when it comes to global warming. One such liberal is Alexander Cockburn who is uneasy about just how close alarmist global warming rhetoric seems to be to a religion:
In a couple of hundred years, historians
will be comparing the frenzies over our supposed human contribution
to global warming to the tumults at the latter end of the tenth
century as the Christian millennium approached. Then, as now,
the doomsters identified human sinfulness as the propulsive factor
in the planet's rapid downward slide.
Answer: When the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) keeps on issuing monthly reports, such as the one yesterday covering April, telling us that manufacturing is in expansion mode.
On February 28 (second item at link), Times Business writer David Leonhardt wrote the following:
For Manufacturing, a Recession Has Arrived
The nation’s manufacturing sector managed to slip into a recession with almost nobody seeming to notice. Well, until yesterday.
To this day, Leonhardt appears to be the only person to "notice" the recession in manufacturing -- because it doesn't exist.
The TimesSelect current tease for Leonhardt's article, which is now behind the Times' subscription firewall, is even worse, leading one to think that it tells us that the whole economy is in recession (bolds are mine):
The Washington Post is tsk tsking the U.S. Army and Walter Reed Army Medical Center today for their uninviting of aging 60s' war protester Joan Baez from appearing in a concert for wounded soldiers with John Cougar Mellencamp last Friday. In a sympathetic article the Post can't seem to understand why the Army wouldn't want an over the hill, anti-establishment activist to appear before our wounded heroes.
But even a look at just some of the quotes in their article -- much less any perusal of all her wild-eyed rants of the last 40 years -- seems to explain pretty clearly why a patriotic American soldier would not find her brand of "entertainment" desirable.
It's hard to believe the Post could be at all confused.
In an unusual move last Friday, Ford decided that it couldn't wait for the month to end before it told us how bad it was going to be -- for the whole industry:
Ford Motor Co. said on Friday that U.S. auto industry sales to date in April were "terrible" as consumer confidence was hit by a slow housing market and rising gas prices.
..... Pipas said industry volume appeared to be down 10 percent to date before seasonal adjustment, but expected Ford's U.S. retail share to hold steady around 13 percent.
After an entire weekend where Pipas's message was spread virtually without criticism, the April vehicle-sales reality turned out to be quite different (the first figure is adjusted for the two-day difference in the number of "selling days" in April 2007  vs. April 2006 ; the second figure in parens is not adjusted for that difference):
ABC News apparently sees its role not merely as reporting the news, but acting as advocates on a highly-charged political issue being promoted by a left-wing Democratic presidential candidate.
Check out the graphic from this morning's Good Morning America: "GMA Gets It Done: Taking on Medicaid. Fighting to Treat Tooth Decay."
The screencap shows a palpably emotional GMA co-host Chris Cuomo literally pointing his finger at the head of the federal Medicaid program. The moment came during the course of a segment this morning recounting the sad case of 12-year old Deamonte Driver, who died after infection from an abscessed tooth spread to his brain. The boy and his family were in fact covered by Medicaid, the government health care insurance program for poor people. But the boy's mother [pictured below] had never before taken him to a dentist, and when the abscess occurred it was reportedly difficult to find a dentist willing to provide care, given Medicaid reimbursement rates.
GMA CO-HOST CHRIS CUOMO to the Medicaid official: Why am I wrong to place the blame on the federal government? We give you our tax dollars to take care of kids exactly like Deamonte Driver: the most vulnerable, the most at risk, make sure they get care, and you didn't. This is your fault, don't pass the buck.
Sports Illustrated has this annoying tendency to serve up its sports coverage with a side dish of liberal politics. On its website, basketball writer Jack McCallum wrote of deciding to compare Democratic presidential candidates to NBA playoff teams after watching the Democrats debate on C-SPAN in the middle of the night after some spicy quesadillas.
He began by lauding Mike Gravel's routine of poking Barack Obama about which country America should "nuke" next. "So there you are -- Gravel is the Golden State Warriors. A feisty, combative, in-your-face underdog who loves the public stage." Later, McCallum added to the comparison: "Unorthodox and even a little scary, both are trying to overcome the odds with offense." Here are the other comparisons, enough to ruin the day of a conservative fan of any of these teams:
While the ABC and NBC evening newscasts led Tuesday night with President George W. Bush's veto of the Iraq funding bill with pull-out deadlines, CBS began with back-to-back stories trumpeting the cause of illegal immigrants and portraying them as the victims. “Tonight,” Katie Couric teased the CBS Evening News, “tens of thousands of protesters take to the streets of America to rally in support of illegal immigrants” and then, over video of a teen girl and her little sister, Couric fretted, “she was born here, but her parents were deported and there are many more like her.” Of course, it was the choice of the parents to not take the kids with them back to Mexico.
Citing how “it's estimated there are as many as 12 million in this country illegally,” Couric framed CBS's coverage around their agenda: “What are they and their supporters demanding?” Bill Whitaker highlighted the protests and the views of their advocates before acknowledging “the chance for real immigration reform seems slim again this year, so these marchers plan to keep up the pressure to change the laws and stop the deportations, which they say are breaking up families.” The next report picked up the theme: “I'm Sandra Hughes in San Diego, where nine-year-old Adeline Munoz packs for her weekly trip to Tijuana, Mexico. It's the only place she can see her parents. In February, Abel Munoz and Zulma Miranda were deported by immigration officials.” After obligatory heart-rendering soundbites from the kids, Hughes featured the mom: “The deportation was inhumane. Our kids will never forget it. The little one always tells will me, every time I hear a knock on the door, I think it's Immigration." Not until the very end of her piece, about six minutes into the newscast, did viewers hear from someone not so enamored with the cause of the illegals. Hughes set up a clip: “Critics of illegal immigration concede it's a tough situation, but one the parents themselves created.”
Actually, Bill Maher didn't add that Seinfeldesque qualifier when describing Republican affection for Ronald Reagan. Maher was a guest on this afternoon's "Hardball." In the course of taking a cheap shot at Fred Thompson, this Cornell alum [what is it about my alma mater, which also churned out Keith Olbermann?] had this to say:
BILL MAHER: It amuses me so much that the Republicans now are talking about the great charisma of Fred Thompson, basset-hound faced Fred Thompson. The Republican party has this campy fixation with Ronald Reagan. It is almost gay about the way they are talking about him and obsessing about him.