The front of Thursday’s Washington Post Style section carried a report from Monica Hesse on how the toy makers at Lego were a little embarrassed that one of their "Creativity Awards" was handed to an eight-year-old who would like President Bush impeached:
That last one's winners were announced last week, and Bethesda's Kelsie Kimberlin, 8, got the nod. The judges of Lego's first annual Creativity Awards got more than they bargained for. When the third-grader is asked to describe her winning entry to Lego's Creativity Awards, her explanation -- with just a little prompting from her dad, Brett -- is on message: "I don't want kids to lose any parents in the war."
Later in the article, the youngster added: "I don't like Bush because he sends people to be killed." Hesse explained the YouTube video that Kimberlin and her father made (which the Post also placed on its website for viewing):
ENDA Who? The House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill on Wednesday evening that elevates sexual behavior to the civil rights status of race, ethnicity and sex. Except for the New York Times, AP, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Miami Herald, the media swept it under the rug. TV networks ignored it Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is a major expansion of federal government power and civil rights law. Backers call it "historic." Opponents say it is a direct threat to religious freedom. But much of the media skipped the 235-184 House vote (including 30 Republicans for it and 25 Democrats against). Major papers including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and USA Today failed to carry the story.
Hillary Clinton is a "moral conservative." Don't believe it? Ask Amy Sullivan. The Time editor said so on this evening's "Tucker." Let's permit the dialogue between Tucker Carlson and Sullivan to speak for itself. But come back after the transcript to learn some interesting factoids about Ms. Sullivan's background.
“No, he's not doing his job,” Cramer said to host Meredith Vieira, in his usual animated, over-the-top manner. “This is New York State. This is not the federal government. He is making it so that the very institutions we need right now to provide money for people are gun shy – Fannie Mae, Washington Mutual.”
It is understandable, but not forgivable, that business reporters at Old Media newspapers might think that the economy is in bad shape. They first have to get past how poorly most of their employers are doing. The industry as a whole has not been doing well, and it's been that way for quite some time.
This table illustrates that point (September 30, 2007 figures are at this post, which originally came from this Editor & Publisher article, which will soon disappear behind its firewall; March 31, 2005 figures were estimated in reverse using annual percentage changes reported as of March 31, 2006, because older data I thought would remain available no longer is):
What could be more timely than a study about debt? With all the networks crying about oil prices and threats to the economy, consumers are feeling squeezed. Director of the Business & Media Institute, Dan Gainor appeared on the Fox Business Channel today to talk about the Culture & Media Institute and Business & Media Institute joint study, "DEBT Who'$ responsible?" That found the broadcast networks blame businesses, not borrowers for spendthrift ways.
"When you look at how the networks cover [debt] what you find is they ignore personal responsibility and flip it around and blame business for debt. Six times more they blame business than borrowers and almost two-thirds of the time they ignore the whole concept of personal responsibility," Gainor told viewers.
"Good Morning America" viewers may have been surprised to see someone wearing a "Fred '08" t-shirt on Wednesday's show. No, it wasn't liberal co-host Diane Sawyer or Chris Cuomo, the brother of New York's Democratic Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo.
Rather, it was John Rich, a singer/songwriter for the band "Big & Rich" and a Tennessee native. He performed on the program sporting a big grin and a shirt that promoted Fred Thompson's 2008 presidential bid. Here he can be seen standing next to Sam Champion, GMA weatherman and a supporter of Al Gore's liberal climate change policies.
"Stop, hey, what's that sound?" Nuclear power getting put down. Again.
In 1979, musicians such as Bonnie Raitt, Graham Nash, and Jackson Browne were hailed "the energy source everyone had been looking for" to fight against nuclear power. The result of their support was termed a "chain reaction." The group has returned, picking up where it left off nearly 30 years ago.
And what better to bridge the gap into the new millennium than YouTube. (Video after the break)
"Do as I say not as I do," says Rosie O’Donnell. One week she raises the global warming alarm, the next she reportedly demands a carbon burning clause in her contract. First, on appearing on Martha Stewart’s Halloween show on October 31 of course, Rosie the climatologist explained why she "knows" global warming is such a big problem.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: What do you think of global warming?
MARTHA STEWART: I think global warming is a real problem.
On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Russ Mitchell introduced a news brief in which reporter Byron Pitts speculated on a potential indictment of former NYPD Commissioner and Giuliani friend, Bernard Kerik. Mitchell began the segment by exclaiming:
Republican presidential hopeful, Rudy Giuliani, has stood by his good friend and associate, Bernard Kerik, through good times and bad. But that could change now that Kerik maybe in some big trouble.
Despite the fact that no indictment had actually been handed down yet, that did not keep Pitts from furthering the speculation: "CBS News has learned former New York City Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik, could face indictment as early as today on criminal charges, including tax fraud and other counts."
While the "Early Show" had no hesitation in reporting a possible Giuliani scandal, the morning news program failed to mention the Hillary Clinton fund raising scandal involving fugitive Norman Hsu even once. That was true even when "Early Show" co-host, Harry Smith, had reported the story on the August 31 and September 6 CBS "Evening News" broadcasts, while filling in for anchor Katie Couric.
As NewsBusters reported, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann went on a ridiculously disgraceful rant during Monday's "Countdown" claiming, amongst other things, that "[T]he presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush."
On Wednesday, Fox News's John Gibson, during his radio program, took issue with Olbermann's tirade, and actually called the former sportscaster a liar for misrepresenting what former acting Attorney General Daniel Levin wrote about the interrogation procedure known as waterboarding.
Christmas is still nearly seven weeks away, and already the media are offering a “Bah, Humbug” for retail sales and the U.S. economy.
CNN shoveled coal at the positive economic news on November 2 and immediately moved into full Grinch mode.
“You know, just earlier this week the broadest measure of the economy, Kyra, the GDP, came in at 3.9 percent, stronger than expected. What’s working against it, though, the financials, concerns that we’re going to have a lot more carnage coming from that very important sector, consumer spending …” said “Newsroom” correspondent Susan Lisovicz.
On September 24 of this year, Alexis Christoforous of “CBS Morning News” warned, “It could be a blue Christmas for many of the nation’s retailers.”
As the mainstream media often accentuate the negative in the Iraq War -- see Newsweek's latest photo essay -- independent journalist Michael Yon's latest photograph (pictured at right) is highly unlikely to grace the cover of any major liberally-biased newsmagazine.
Yet the picture of Muslim and Christian Iraqis working together to affix a cross atop St. John's Church in Baghdad is creating buzz throughout the blogosphere on sites such as Captain's Quarters, Michelle Malkin, and the Anchoress as a sign of everyday progress -- not just militarily but in the battle for the "hearts and minds" of the Iraqi people.
Here are some of the Anchoress's thoughts on the matter:
It’s one of those photographs that takes the breath - there is a feeling of cognitive dissonance. Some of us on one side - who perhaps have never understood why we went to Iraq in the first place - may look at this picture and say, “but…but…Iraq is a hell-hole, an unmanageable, unwinnable, place of civil strife, death and occupied people who hate us!”
Some of us on the other side, who - overwhelmed with images of burned flags and screaming mobs - may have forgotten the humanity of the Iraqi people (people we let down once before, and who had reason to distrust us and our commitment) may see these Muslims and Christians raising a cross together, in a language of brotherhood and gratitude, and say, “but…but…all those people are bad people…”
As much as the mainstream media like Rudy Giuliani’s liberal viewpoints on abortion and homosexuality, a panel on CNN’s "The Situation Room" were divided on the issue of Pat Robertson’s endorsement of Rudy Giuliani. Jack Cafferty, who won MRC’s "Tin Foil Hat Award for Crazy Conspiracy Theories" last year, labeled Robertson as being part of a "lunatic fringe" and opined that the endorsement was "absolutely irrelevant." On the other hand, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin thought the Robertson/Giuliani alliance was a "big deal."
Cafferty and Toobin, along with host Wolf Blitzer and CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger discussed the endorsement at the bottom of the 6 pm Eastern hour. Blitzer introduced the roundtable discussion by highlighting the possible "mixed blessing" of Robertson. "While the value of Pat Robertson's endorsement is clearly debatable, he has tended to hitch his wagon to winners in the Republican primary."
Blitzer then introduced the panel, and directed the first question to Cafferty, who took the opportunity to not only criticize Robertson, but also go on one of his rants about the Iraq war.
When Rush Limbaugh opened today's show by mentioning that the New York Times had relegated to page A19 the story of the ridding of Al Qaeda-in-Iraq from all of Baghdad, I actually thought he might be joking. Surely not even the Times could be so brazenly biased as to bury such a huge story reflecting the success of the surge.
But, sure enough, Rush was right. Page A19 is precisely the remote location to which the Times banished the story. And to further diminish the number of people who would learn the good news, the paper stuck this bland headline on it:
It was waterboard Wednesday in the New York Times, as Philip Shenon and Scott Shane filed separate articles on the issue of waterboarding and "torture" in general.
Shenon's article on the positive outlook for Michael Mukasey's attorney general nomination tsk-tsked:
"Even some of Mr. Mukasey's supporters said at the hearing to vote on the nomination that they were troubled by the way Mr. Mukasey handled questions about waterboarding, which the United States has fiercely condemned when carried out by other nations and had prosecuted as a war crime after World War II."
I'm sure as a concerned social observer, CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric may genuinely think we as a society are too addicted to TV. That said, I can't help but feel that her persistent third-place status in the broadcast evening news race is part and parcel of her Andy Rooney-Lite rant against the boob tube. Here's the November 7 page from Katie Couric's "Notebook" (see video here):
This week in Newsweek, writer Allison Wood complains about seeing television everywhere, and I think we're on the same wavelength.
It's in your living room, the kitchen, the bedroom. Leave home and hail a taxi, it's there too. A lot of cabs now have little TV screens bombarding you with news and weather as you head to wherever you're going.
Over a span of three days, "Good Morning America" has devoted almost 19 minutes of air time to promoting "Lions For Lambs," the left-wing, anti-war drama starring and directed by Robert Redford. The promotional push continued on Thursday's show as one of the film's other stars, Meryl Streep, attacked Bill O'Reilly for what she apparently saw as questioning the patriotism of liberals. After co-host Diane Sawyer played a clip of O'Reilly wondering if Democrats really want to win in Iraq, the actress sarcastically stated, "It was my favorite thing that I ever saw Bill O'Reilly do. And so I lifted it out of his show and put it in the movie."
Streep derided O'Reilly's comments as the "wife beating question" and, in an annoyed tone, asked, "Are you still beating your wife? There's no way to answer it." Sawyer's interview came after a segment on Wednesday with the actress, director Redford and fellow star Tom Cruise. That followed yet another piece on Tuesday solely with Redford. On Thursday, Sawyer continued to laud what she saw as a brave film. The co-host gushed that "Lions For Lambs" wonders how "you strengthen the muscles of your convictions?" She fawned over the film, which involves a journalist lobbying other reporters to oppose the government's plans for war, by describing Streep's character as "a middle-aged reporter, facing the question of her job or her convictions. What does it take to be brave?"
It seems that no bad Hillary Clinton deed goes unresponded to.
As we are in the midst of a presidential campaign, this by itself is not an issue. That it is the national media that is leading this charge is. One need focus on but the latest corners of the Clinton pantheon to come to light to see the full court press the press puts on when their girl needs them.
In an October 10 Boston Globe interview, Senator Clinton let her socialism slip a bit, saying "I have a million ideas. I can't do all of them. I happen to think in running a disciplined campaign - especially when it comes to fiscal responsibility, which is what I'm trying to do - everything I propose I have to pay for. You know, you go to my website, you'll see what I would use to pay for what I've proposed. So I've got a lot of ideas, I just obviously can't propose them all. I can't afford them all. The country can't afford them all." (Emphasis ours.)
A Pew Research Center poll released late last month found that while four out of five American adults (81%) could name one of the Democratic presidential candidates, far fewer (just 59%) could recall any of the GOP candidates. Even among self-described Republican voters, Pew found “Clinton and Obama are much more visible than Giuliani or any other GOP presidential candidate.”
One reason may be that the big broadcast networks have treated the Democratic frontrunners like celebrities worthy of intense coverage, while the Republican candidates have received far less TV time. A new Media Research Center study of the ABC, CBS and NBC morning news shows has found that in the first 10 months of 2007, the networks spent more time covering the Democratic race and spent far more time interviewing the Democratic candidates than the Republicans. And those interviews were much friendlier to the Democrats, with the morning show anchors emphasizing a predominantly liberal agenda.
Over the course of his political career, Bill Clinton was literally and figuratively embraced by countless pastors, most of whom presumably went to their pulpits on Sunday to preach traditional values, including marital fidelity. If memory serves, neither Gail Collins nor other liberal pundits noted any irony in people of the cloth endorsing the spectacularly straying Clinton.
But let a preacher praise a Republican with a personal history, and Gail Collins thunders like Billy Sunday with a bad migraine. Here's the opening paragraph of her "Pat Loves Rudy" in today's New York Times [emphasis added]:
The Contra Costa Times has given us an interesting new angle to fool the voters into voting for a new gasoline tax in an article titled, "Calling gas tax a 'fee' may help at ballot." In an opinion laced article, the CCTimes is advising politicians to call the tax hike a "fee" instead of a tax to fool the voters into accepting it at the ballot box. Throughout this piece is the obvious assumption by staff writer Erik N. Nelson that the county governments in and around San Francisco are "cash-starved" and that these taxes... oops, I mean fees... are needed because it is important that the governments "look for new funding" for roads and to "curb global warming." Not a hint that these governments have wasted the money they are already confiscating from the citizens, nor any investigation why some of the highest taxes in the country have not been able to satisfy the needs there.
When the Labor Department on Friday announced a strong gain of 166,000 jobs during October, double expectations, ABC and CBS gave it a few seconds while NBC ignored the good news, but on Wednesday night NBC, as well as ABC and CBS, led with a bad day on Wall Street they painted as a harbinger of impending economic doom. NBC anchor Brian Williams piled on the bad news as he insisted he took “no pleasure” in highlighting it. With “DANGER SIGNS” on screen, Williams announced: “Good evening. The following sounds pretty awful -- and we take no pleasure in reporting it -- but today Wall Street fell, the U.S. dollar fell, GM is in bad shape and the housing market continues to be in big trouble.”
CBS displayed “MARKET TURMOIL” on screen as Katie Couric opened with how “investors were carrying a world of worries on their shoulders today” because of “the falling dollar, record high oil prices, the mortgage mess, the housing slump, and a possible economic slowdown. And they responded by dumping stocks. That sent the Dow plummeting more than 300 points for the second time in a week.” Over on ABC, Charles Gibson teased his top story: “Tonight, oil gushes and Wall Street plunges.” Gibson cutely led: “Wall Street today took a nose dive sharp enough to make investors' ears pop.”
We here at NewsBusters spend a lot of time pointing out examples of liberal media bias and stupidity, and taking to task empty-suit reporters for a variety of offenses, including "gotcha" journalism wherein reporters set out their questions like a fur-trapper laying a line of traps. You've seen it - questions using quotes out of context, twisting words into a trap for the targeted political figure - usually a Republican of course.
Well, today I'd like to point you in the direction of someone who does it right. Peter Robinson, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, has been doing a series of in-depth interviews with various political figures, distinguished scholars, and leading journalists, and they are some of the most interesting and serious journalism you'll find anywhere.
There's no attempt to trip the interviewee into a gaffe, no gotcha journalism, no rhetorical tricks and traps. Just good questions designed to shed light on serious topics and issues.
As NewsBusters readers are likely aware, we are one of the finalists for Best Conservative Blog in this year's Weblog Awards. Interested parties should vote here early and often as the polls close on November 8 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time.
Also, NB contributor PJ Gladnick's blog DUmmie FUnnies is up for Funniest Blog. Please show your support here.
In addition, NB contributor Tom Blumer's BizzyBlog is up for Best Business Blog. Please show him your love here.
Finally, we encourage voting for Stephen McIntyre's Climate Audit as Best Science Blog here. Folks should be aware that Steve is the individual that debunked Michael Mann's absurd Hockey Stick theory in 2003, and recently exposed mistakes in how NOAA calculated average temperatures in the United States since the year 2000.
Please also be advised that NewsBusters' friend Steven Milloy has graciously placed his support behind McIntyre even though his own blog Junk Science is also a finalist. Steve has once again presented himself as the class act we fondly know him to be.
Here is a perfect example of why no one can trust the MSM. They can't even get a quote in context without spinning it to their own desired ends by leaving out parts of the quote, materially changing its meaning. MSNBC took a few choice words out of an Internet post written by Randy Thomas, vice president of Exodus International, a Christian based organization that promotes "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ." In MSNBC.com's "More evangelicals concluding God is green," they quote Mr. Thomas as to why he is supporting Mike Huckabee. But, the way they quote Thomas it seems that he endorses the "God is green" concept, when he doesn't at all in reality. Here is how they quoted Thomas:
Randy Thomas, vice president of Exodus International, an evangelical ministry, wrote last month that “I have decided to vote for Huckabee.
PBS personalities can certainly come across as full of themselves, even boasting of how they can dare to do news programming that almost nobody wants to watch. Take Jim Lehrer’s recent speech at the University of Texas, as reported by the Austin American-Statesman:
He warned against the "spicing up" of news with entertainment programming and partisan commentary. "You want to be entertained? Go to the circus, please. Do not watch 'The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,' " he said.
The typically straightforward face of "NewsHour" relayed humorous tales from his education at Victoria College and the early days at his 32-year-old show, which took a while to hit its stride.
"We did 30 minutes comparing naturally grown tomatoes to unnaturally grown tomatoes," Lehrer said. "Don't ask me why we did it.
"We did 30 minutes on the Portuguese elections that not even the Portuguese cared about."
Shirley MacLaine appeared on the Wednesday "Today" show to promote her new book Sage-ing While Age-ing, and after host Matt Lauer finished talking to the actress about her belief in UFOs and reincarnation, he asked if there was anything she feared in life, the author responded: "Mad men who say they're at the head of democracies scare me."
Now while MacLaine didn't mention George W. Bush by name it's not a stretch to assume the sister of liberal actor Warren Beatty was referring to the current president. In fact Lauer, earlier in the interview, noted MacLaine was the godmother of the daughter of fellow UFO witness Dennis Kucinich.