In his Monday "Media Notes" column in The Washington Post -- for some reason, the whole column was demoted to page C-7 -- Howard Kurtz reported (in his second item) that National Public Radio's FBI reporter, Dina Temple-Raston, recently did a report quoting the American Civil Liberties Union. That wouldn't be shocking, except that Temple-Raston is also co-author of a new book with the executive director of the ACLU on "the dangerous erosion of the Bill of Rights in the age of terror."
Temple-Raston claimed she's aware of the "perception issue," but will try to be "really, really balanced." (So is NPR, which includes the data in her online bio.) This hire is a complete insult to the idea of creating an impression of a fair, nonpartisan public-radio news network. It would be bad enough if an NPR reporter gave money to the ACLU, or attended their fundraising dinners. But this reporter has written a book, cheek and jowl, with the leader of the ACLU, endorsing their leftist worldview on a blooming Bush dictatorship. How on Earth can NPR think it doesn't look transparently partisan from the first broadcast word?
Media bias doesn't operate by outright lies (usually). Instead it operates by settling on and relentlessly repeating an overly-simple and therefore deceptive narrative. The Washington Post's article yesterday morning about how meaningful climate change legislation is being stifled (but only on this side of the Atlantic) by economic concerns in Climate Change Debate Hinges on Economics. There are those of us who are grateful for such concerns, but the Post seems disturbed by them. Naturally, the issue is cast as a morality play, with the selfless Europeans facing off against the narrow-minded Americans. The truth is, naturally, a little more, ah, nuanced.
The potential economic impact of meaningful climate legislation -- enough to reduce U.S. emissions by at least 60 percent -- is vast. Automobiles would have to get double their current miles to the gallon. Building codes would have to be tougher, requiring use of more energy-efficient materials. To stimulate and pay for new technologies, U.S. electricity bills could rise by 25 to 33 percent, some experts estimate; others say the increase could be greater.
On his page on the PBS website, PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler agreed with e-mailers on an episode of gratuitious liberal bias – a seemingly out-of-nowhere attack on the 2004 ad campaign against John Kerry by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth – on the show "History Detectives." In a brief commentary, Wes Cowan denounced how the group known as "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and funded by a wealthy Republican campaign donor smeared Kerry's military record and possibly cost him the election." When Getler asked the executive producer Christopher Bryson about the claim, he shot back: "In stating that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ‘smeared Kerry's military record’ we carefully and believe accurately summarized and characterized a great deal of objective reporting by established media organizations, respected media watchdog groups, and an official Pentagon investigation."
Those "objective" reporters included The Washington Post, and the Annenberg Center’s Factcheck.org, which also relied on the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and a Kerry pal’s commentary in the Wall Street Journal. But the "objective" label gets more hilarious when Bryson also cited John Kerry’s incredibly sympathetic liberal biographer and pop-historian Doug Brinkley, and the left-wing Center for Media and Democracy’s online Sourcewatch encylopedia. CMD puts out paperback books with obviously left-wing and partisan titles such as Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush’s War on Iraq and Banana Republicans: How the Right Wing Is Turning America Into a One-Party State.
Hardly a week goes by without the New York Times editorializing for more government regulation of something or other. But the Grey Lady takes things to another level in its jeremiad of this morning: scolding the Chinese communists for insufficient regulation of their economy.
Now it's true that a variety of defective Chinese products have made their way into international commerce, from, as the Times enumerates, toothpaste sweetened with an industrial solvent [NB: file photo, not of defective brands] to tainted antibiotics. But for entertaining irony, it's hard to beat the spectacle of the New York Times criticizing a communist government for insufficient regulation of its society.
The AP will use just bout any excuse to say that the USA isn't what it used to be, or what it should be. Yes, they will use any excuse to tear down this great country. Today's example is predicated on the dodgy research of another America bashing "economist" who is saying Americans are too short -- as in too short in actual, physical height -- because we are "gradually falling behind the rest of the world" in everything.
Lamenting that in the 1850's the people of the USA averaged 2 and 1/2 inches taller than folks in western Europe, the AP goes on to rip the USA because other nations have caught up to us and, in some cases, surpassed us in height. But it isn't just height that the AP says makes us losers.
Without explaining, the AP says that we have faded in "so many other arenas."
Four years ago, syndicated columnist Bob Novak wrote an article about a man few Americans had ever heard of that included information about this man’s wife who also was practically an unknown entity.
This set off a media firestorm, and, given that the president at the time was a Republican, included the usual misinformation from the usual suspects.
Four years later, regardless of no one actually being charged with the crime of outing a CIA operative, or a special prosecutor not concluding that the wife in question actually was outed, the media, hell-bent on destroying a Republican president, refuse to report the truth.
Might this change given Novak’s appearance on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” wherein he once again addressed details surrounding this scandal that seem impossible to penetrate the mental block the press have created regarding this matter (video available here, partial transcript follows, h/t Hot Air)?
The Pulitzer Prize winner's latest syndicated column is an offbeat gem about the "suspension of operations" that appears to presage the death of Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio:
There is, however, a minuscule market for what Antioch sells for a tuition, room and board of $35,221 -- repressive liberalism unleavened by learning.
Founded in 1852 -- its first president was Horace Mann -- Antioch was, for a while, admirable. One of the first colleges to enroll women and blacks, it was a destination for escaped slaves. Its alumni include Stephen Jay Gould, Coretta Scott King and Rod Serling, whose "Twilight Zone" never imagined anything weirder than what Antioch became when its liberalism curdled.
In 1972-73, Antioch had 2,470 students. In 1973, a protracted and embittering student and employee strike left the campus physically decrepit and intellectually toxic. By 1985, enrollment was down 80 percent. This fall there may be 300 students served by a faculty of 40.
There is a troubling undercurrent of seemingly routine violence and harassment that appears to have been the order of the day at the school:
The 21-year-old nephew of Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez has enlisted in the Marines, and Lopez isn't happy about it. "Don't become a pawn, I told my nephew," Lopez writes. His column is, "When the reality of Iraq hits home" (Sun., 7/15/07).
Some have argued that without a draft, enlisting in this war is a matter of choice, so what happens, happens.
But that's not necessarily true in the case of National Guard troops who have been called up. And as for soldiers as young as my nephew, I don't see enlistment as a well-informed choice but as a product of manipulation.
Not a "well-informed choice"? A "product of manipulation"? At 21 years old? Am I the only one who think this sounds a tad condescending?
Lopez has a justified worry that his nephew will be deployed to Iraq. Nearly everyone can sympathize with that anxiety. But Lopez claims that President Bush "misled us from the beginning" and "will keep sacrificing lives in a vain and futile attempt to save face." Bush's campaign has been one of "deceit and simplification," says Steve.
As NewsBusters reported, the BBC published an article at its website Tuesday refuting there being a link between recent increases in global temperatures and solar activity. This piece went counter to one the BBC published just three years ago.
The author of the 2004 piece, former BBC science correspondent David Whitehouse, wrote an article published in the British Telegraph Sunday which slammed the BBC for its “enthusiastically one-sided, sloppy and confused” report on this subject.
*****Update: MIT's Richard Lindzen weighs in at end of post.
Whitehouse marvelously began (emphasis added throughout):
With an ever-increasing discussion that the Iraq surge is working, the old guard in the MSM is frantic to deride the administration’s war effort. This scenario played out in Bob Schieiffer’s interview of National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley on Sunday’s Face the Nation.
During the interview, Hadley stated the administration’s familiar position that it would give the surge a chance to succeed, at least until September’s assessment from General David Patreaus. A clearly perturbed Schieffer snapped, “With all due respect, [the Bush administration] set out this policy and it’s not working.” When Hadley disagreed, Schieffer responded, “I understand that’s your position,” and further commented that he wasn’t sure he agreed with Hadley. Further prodding Hadley to retreat from his position, Schieffer said, “I will give you a chance because we have to end this.” Hadley didn’t oblige.
Bruce Fein was a member of the Reagan Administration, but during the Dubya years, Fein sounds a lot like your typical "Bush hater," comparing the president to a long list of historical villains, which makes him a more acceptable guest for Bill Moyers or NPR’s Diane Rehm show. Here are the actual places in the Friday Bill Moyers Journal interview where squeaky-voiced Fein took Bush to the historical dark alley and tried to rough him up:
– Today’s Japanese Internment Camps?
FEIN: Take World War II. We locked up 120,000 Japanese Americans, said they were all disloyal. Well, we got 120,000 mistakes. They lost their property. They lost their liberty for years and years because we made a huge mistake. And that can be true after 9/11 as well.
Americans are likely not familiar with Sir Antony Jay, but may become so soon given the knighted Brit’s just-released book entitled “Confessions of a Reformed BBC Producer” in which he explains why media are liberally biased.
An excerpt of the book was published by Britain’s Telegraph Sunday, and, much like Bernard Goldberg’s “Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News,” gave a first-hand account as to what makes a television network lean so strongly to the left.
In fact, in an era when liberals are carping and whining about conservative talk radio, Jay's book should be required reading (h/t Hot Air, emphasis added throughout):
The MSM has been mostly silent on the scheming caught on video between Hillary Clinton and John Edwards as they plotted to purge the "lower tier" candidates from the Democrat debates. However, we now have Time Magazine's Washington Bureau Chief, Jay Carney, weighing in on the issue and he has come down firmly on the side of ridding the "lesser" candidates from the debates. In his July 13 Time blog post, Carney asks, "Are Crowded Debates Useless?" As you can see, Carney answers his own question in the affirmative:
On last night's Fox News Watch, panelist and conservative columnist Jim Pinkerton mentioned that, when it came to analyzing the reasons for the collapse of John McCain's candidacy, Media Research Center [MRC] got it right: it was the Arizona senator's avid support for the amnesty-based immigration plan, and not his backing of the Bush Iraq policy, that did him in with GOP primary voters.
FOX NEWS WATCH PANELIST JIM PINKERTON: The mainstream media said "[McCain's] toast because of the Iraq war. In fact, he's toast because of the immigration bill, and it was only the MRC that caught that, saying the real thing that hurt him with the Republican base, the people in the primaries, was immigration and not Iraq.
PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers devoted his entire hour-long Bill Moyers Journal on Friday night to the need to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney. The stacked hour had two guests, and both were aggressively pro-impeachment: John Nichols of The Nation magazine, author of the book "The Genius of Impeachment," and lawyer Bruce Fein, who Moyers labeled a "conservative," but he compared Bush to King George III, to Adolf Hitler, to the communist autocrats of the Gulag, and to, well, FDR, in suggesting the post 9-11 era could see a mistake like our interning of Japanese Americans. In this conversation, Moyers sometimes played the skeptic, but the overall tenor of the hour was not only anti-Bush, but anti-Speaker Pelosi for being so timid: "Why doesn't Nancy Pelosi see it her duty to take on at least the impeachment hearings that you say would educate the public?"
It’s really something when PBS is so far to the left it’s bashing both parties for not being radical enough, but this is a routine pose for Moyers, where he somehow thinks he’s "objective" when he sounds roughly in sync with the Dennis Kucinch for President campaign. Pelosi came in for whacks several times, first in this early exchange:
A terrorist website releases a tape of Osama Bin Laden, claiming it's new. And how do the MSM react? By rushing to air it, or in the case of wire services like AP, trumpet it in print. As of 6:30 A.M. EDT this morning, the AP story Bin Laden Appears in New al-Qaida Video was featured on Drudge.
There's only one problem. A senior Bush administration official informs this NewsBuster that:
"intelligence agencies have determined the video was previously aired as a portion of a longer show first on MBC TV (Middle East broadcast station) on April 17, 2002."
What's the result of the MSM's sloppy "air-first-verify-later" approach? The world’s most evil and despicable terrorists are given tons of free air time and print exposure.
As NewsBusters reported Monday, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., made some absurd statements about a number of conservative media members at Al Gore’s Live Earth concert in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
One of those Kennedy called a flat earther, ABC’s John Stossel, after debating Kennedy on Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto” Wednesday, spoke quite candidly about this issue with WOR radio’s Steve Malzberg.
In the July 14, 2007, episode of NPR's humorous quiz show, "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!," host Peter Sagal claimed, "The Bush Administration reported this week that Iraq hadn't quite met any of the 18 benchmarks set out for them" (emphasis mine).
Not quite, Peter. The newly released report (pdf file, released 7/12/07) stated that Iraq has achieved satisfactory progress for eight of the 18 benchmarks. President Bush had been required by law to "submit an initial report to Congress, not later than July 15, 2007, assessing the status of each of the specific benchmarks ... and declaring, in his judgment, whether satisfactory progress toward meeting these benchmarks is, or is not, being achieved" (emphasis mine). A second report is due from Gen. David Petraeus in September.
Joey Fatone, right, of 'N Sync and 'Dancing with the Stars' fame, reacts with NBC 'Today' television reporter Al Roker, left, and co-host Matt Lauer during his appearance on the program, in New York's Rockefeller Center Monday July 9, 2007.
Hot Air’s AllahPundit posted an absolutely delicious YouTube video on Friday that is guaranteed to lighten your Saturday.
As previously reported by NewsBusters, the Senate on Friday debated a Defense Appropriation bill. During the proceedings, Bill Nelson (D-Florida) made a statement about his military service that comically came across as if he was bragging about his sexual prowess.
Given Michael Moore’s anti-war tendencies, you wouldn’t envision him to possess so much rage.
However, following his well-publicized dustup with CNN last week (please see Business & Media Institute reports on the subject here and here), the controversial schlockumentarist has published an open letter threatening the network with reprisals.
Although likely not his intent, Moore's screed was actually funnier than any movie he's made to date.
With that in mind, here are some lowlights for your Saturday entertainment pleasure (emphasis added throughout, h/t Dan Gainor, better remove liquids from your proximity):