On both Tuesday’s "Evening News" and Wednesday’s "Early Show" CBS gave prominent coverage to Nancy Pelosi’s call for the resignation of the head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Nancy Nord. In an interview with Nord on Wednesday’s "Early Show" co-host Julie Chen asked:
American parents are upset, they're frightened, they feel like their Halloween and their Christmas is now ruined. They don't know what to buy. Members of Congress are calling for your resignation. Are you going to resign?
The "Evening News" featured a portion of Pelosi’s rant against the Bush Administration, "I'm calling upon the President of the United States to ask for the resignation. It is, after all, his administration, his policy, his appointee." That was followed by reporter Chip Reid’s explanation that "Pelosi says it's clear that Nancy Nord, the Acting Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, doesn't understand the gravity of the situation because Nord opposes legislation now before Congress that would double the agency's budget over the next seven years to more than $141 million a year." Later, Reid did present Nord’s perspective that "Democrats...want to change the mission of the agency to less testing of products and more litigation against companies."
However, on the "Early Show" Reid again reported from Capitol Hill, but this time followed Nord’s explanation with "Consumer advocates say what's really going on here is the Bush Administration protecting big business at the expense of consumers, a charge the White House vigorously denies." Why the sudden addition of an attack on the administration?
ABC's Good Morning America didn't sugarcoat the Democratic debate in favor of Hillary Clinton on Wednesday morning. Reporter David Wright sounded a little weak: "At times Clinton gave answers so carefully calibrated, she seemed to contradict herself." Seemed? But news anchor Chris Cuomo did attempt one lame pro-Hillary spin -- that Barack Obama didn't look presidential by dancing on the Ellen DeGeneres talk show. Even George Stephanopoulos wasn't biting on that spin.
Boxing enthusiasts saw quite a barnburner Tuesday evening when conservative author Ann Coulter took on liberal media member Alan Colmes on Fox News's "Hannity and Colmes."
As this was the first time the pair met since Coulter's now famous "Jews need to be perfected" comment, it was a metaphysical certitude this issue would surface.
Not surprisingly, Colmes did not disappoint, as irrespective of any other pressing matters facing the nation, this was the first topic he raised with his guest, and in so doing, set off quite a firestorm when he said Coulter was using "the classic language of anti-Semitism."
As this is just too marvelous to interrupt with needless commentary, what follows is a partial transcript of this delicious battle between right and left with a video available here for your added entertainment pleasure (h/t Hot Air):
In the same vein as NewsBusters Warner Todd Huston's earlier blog today about labeling bias, the Associated Press found a Republican politician's alleged episode of gay sex worthy not only of mentioning his party affiliation, but of doing so in the lede.
SPOKANE -- A Republican state legislator from southwest Washington had sex with a man he met at an erotic video store and then told police he had been targeted in an extortion attempt, according to police documents released Tuesday.
State Rep. Richard Curtis, R-La Center, who on Monday declared, "I have not had sex with a guy," told police he was the victim in an extortion attempt by Cody Castagna at the posh Davenport Tower hotel Friday, search warrant documents said.
Curtis' party was also mentioned in the subhead for the article, although that may have been the work of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where I found the article from a link in the paper's Big Blog.
It is no secret that Chris Matthews is a shill for the Democrats and adamantly opposed to the Iraq War. The former Democratic staffer, who the previous night wrote a speech for Obama attacking Hillary Clinton from the left, endorsed "the sentiment" of a disruptive protestor.
After the October 30 Democratic debate, upon interviewing John Edwards campaign strategist Joe Trippi, a lone protestor stormed the stage "all U.S. troops out of Iraq now! No more blood for oil!" After security pulled him out, Matthews quipped that he "agreed with the sentiment at least." Joe Trippi agreed. The exchange is below.
Those that wisely shun CNN for its obvious liberal leanings have been missing an epic on-air battle between anti-illegal immigration anchor Lou Dobbs and New York's Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D).
In case you also eschew news from the Empire State, Spitzer wants to give all illegal immigrants in New York driver's licenses, which so offends Dobbs that he said on "Lou Dobbs Tonight" Monday evening: "I really don't care anymore about what this governor, this arrogant abuser of his office - and the just absolute disdain with which he holds both the truth and the citizens of the state of New York."
The Washington Post topped off its Style section today by interviewing filmmaker Jonathan Demme on his documentary following around Jimmy Carter on the book tour of his tome Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid. When asked if he worried that Carter's book was "too tedious" as a film subject, Demme suggested Carter as The Answer to the War on Terrorism:
Whether we want to admit it or not, most of us Americans, certainly me, feel we are trapped in this terrifying, potentially cataclysmic situation where we feel as Westerners that we are in a conflict with [the jihadists] in the Middle East, and we're looking for a way out. Carter's message of peace provides that. I got excited when I heard about the book tour. . . . Here is a man with Camp David under his belt; he thinks he can solve this. Maybe we can catch lightning in a bottle and learn something about how that archaic notion of peace can be achieved.
Obama, goner? Joe Scarborough seems to think so. Here's what the MSNBC host had to say on today's "Morning Joe":
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Yesterday, way too late in the afternoon, I did an hour on "Super Tuesday" [MSNBC's weekly Election 2008 special] and was interviewing A.B. Stoddard, journalist of "The Hill," and I asked her about Barack Obama, was he going to step forward? And she gave a great answer, and she said what a lot of people are not saying right now, she said, "you know what, Joe? He just doesn't have it in him."
Democrats never get "outed" as Democrats by the MSM if they are accused of crimes and corruption, but if they are Republicans... well, that party affiliation is rarely held back by that same media. Some may have scoffed at this claim that GOPers are always outed while Dems are always shielded, but here is so perfect an example of it that it almost seems that we wrote it ourselves as a Halloween joke. Today we have a case where the party affiliation of a Republican nearly leads the report of a legislator accused of a sex crime. Even more amusingly -- or sadly as the case may be -- our example here is written by the same AP reporter who failed to report the Democrat label in past stories. Nope, no bias here!
On October 4th, we had a Newsbusters piece displaying the "reporting" of one Chet Brokaw, Associated Press Writer, who gave us a little tale about a state Senator from South Dakota who is accused of sexually molesting a legislative Page. One tiny aspect of the facts of that particular story seemed to slip by old Chet Brokaw, Associated Press Writer and that would be that the accused legislator is a Democrat. So, go ahead... ask. What would old Chet Brokaw, Associated Press Writer, do if he should be assigned a story where the eeeeevil sex offender was a Republican lawmaker? Come on, I know you are dying to ask. Well, since you asked, here are the first two paragraphs of a recent piece by my man Chet Brokaw, Associated Press Writer:
Dorothy Parvaz, a columnist, blogger and member of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial board, posted a short P-I blog post in which she sympathetically says she understands how someone would want to burn a church down because it is "an oppressive institution." And she isn't just shrugging her shoulders over the threatened arson of a church, but the planned arson of San Francisco's Grace Cathedral, a landmark building on Nob Hill. Is there a little hatemongering going on against religion in the Post-Intelligencer? Sure seems so.
We've met Miss Parvaz here on Newsbusters before, the last time when she said that GOP voters were "White, male, middle-aged and slightly stupid," and intimated that terrorism was nothing to worry about by calling the WOT "Bush's asinine 'war on terror.'" Well, this time she is ready to "understand" the burning of churches in a blog post about the arrest of a mentally suspect man named Paul Addis who was the goof responsible for the too early torching The Man figure at the last pot-head festival Burning Man 2007. This time, though, he meant to burn down the famous Frisco Cathedral.
During Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate on MSNBC, NBC anchor Brian Williams posed a question to Barack Obama which managed to simultaneously impugn Republicans as executors of disreputable campaign practices and portray Obama as a likely victim of it -- all based on Mitt Romney flubbing Obama's name and memories of the Bush campaign's attacks on John McCain in 2000.
Explaining that his question would be “about religion and misinformation,” Williams, who co-moderated the debate with Tim Russert, raised how Romney “misspoke twice on the same day, confusing your name with that of Osama bin Laden,” as if, apparently, that was some sort of effort to suggest Obama is Muslim. Williams proceeded to highlight how “your party is fond of talking about potential swift boating,” before he got to his charged political point in the form of a question: “Are you fearful of what happened to John McCain, for example in South Carolina a few years back, confusion on the basis of things like names and religion?”
Both NBC and ABC on Tuesday night noted the smallest number of American servicemen killed in Iraq since March of 2006, but while NBC's Brian Williams stressed the total number killed since the war began, ABC's Charles Gibson segued to a story about “booming” markets and significantly improving life in Baghdad. Eight days ago, ABC uniquely highlighted Fallujah's “extraordinary comeback story.” [See below] Williams cited three soldiers killed, observing “that brings the toll for October to 37 Americans dead, which we should point out is the lowest monthly total in a year and a half. Since the war started almost four and a half years ago, more than 3800 Americans have died in the war in Iraq.”
Gibson listed 36 as killed, not 37, and clarified “some of them in non-combat-related incidents.” After relating how “that is the lowest number of U.S. deaths since March 2006,” Gibson described “violence on a downward trend” in Iraq so now “Iraqis are learning to adapt to what might be called a new normal.” Reporter Miguel Marquez conveyed how Baghdad's largest market is “booming. Big sales, says this vendor. Everything, 2,000 dinars. There hasn't been an attack here since February.” Marquez highlighted “pockets of security where life is starting to get back to normal,” but, he acknowledged, “it's not a normal by most standards” since though “large-scale violence between Sunnis and Shiites has stopped,” there "are still criminal gangs” so “most people...are too afraid to leave their homes.” Still, “with wedding season coming up,” a woman florist “is hopeful that business and life will get back to something like normal.”
We know that the mainstream media love to report on all of the following: 1) the mass firing of prosecutors for political reasons; 2) anything about New Orleans; 3) and race issues in Lousiana. So what happens when you have one story that covers all three topics? The answer is almost nothing when the story involves an embattled Democratic official.
According to a new study, those news organizations that hold themselves up as the most neutral and professional — big newspapers, the broadcast networks and taxpayer-subsidized National Public Radio — are actually producing campaign stories that are the most tilted in favor of Democrats, while online news and talk radio have actually been the most balanced.
The study, released Monday from the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) and Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, found newspapers and broadcast TV outlets devoted far more time to covering the Democratic candidates than the Republicans and that the tone of those stories was much more favorable to the Democrats, mirroring the results of a Media Research Center study released in August.
If the "peace" movement holds a protest and no one in the press covers it, does it still exist? If Americans are sick of the war, they’re also sick of the "anti-war." Even the media have grown anti-war-weary. Rallies on October 27 drew only perfunctory news mentions.
The peaceniks have now become a bipartisan political problem, now that the Democrats who control Congress haven’t dared to placate the radicals by cutting off money for the troops. Cindy Sheehan is threatening to run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But suddenly – surprise, surprise – the media aren’t interested in Sheehan’s new crusade. Crusades only have a point when it’s an anti-Republican point. Camping out against Bush during his Texas vacation was news, fun news, important news. But running against Speaker Pelosi is not news. It’s a sign your fifteen minutes of fame are all used up.
CBS’s 60 Minutes repeatedly promoted in its ads for the October 28 program how Lesley Stahl pressed French president Nicholas Sarkozy into tearing off his microphone and walking out as she quizzed him about how "Paris was buzzing with rumors" about whether his wife Cecelia had left him again. This is hardly the dainty 60 Minutes style that Steve Kroft used asking Bill and Hillary Clinton about marital "mistakes" in 1992. By asking pointed personal questions about a collapsing marriage, CBS wanted viewers to know that Sarkozy was explosive, "tempestuous," and perhaps too pro-American for their tastes. Stahl asked about his election-night acceptance speech: "Why did he go that far as to mention how much he likes America on that occasion?"
Start with how Stahl played up the troubles between Sarkozy and his spouse:
Imagine the ire the media would have, rightfully so, if George W. Bush, Karl Rove, and Dick Cheney (and Sean Hannity and whatever other liberal bogeymen the ultra-left fear) could even dream of, much less institute, a block-by-block patriotism patrol answerable to the U.S. government.
Of course that would not and could not ever happen under our Constitution. But the same essential thing was a building block of Fidel Castro's Marxist regime in Cuba, and, surprise, surprise, a Washington Post staff writer devoted an A-section article to its waning influence and substitute dictator Raul Castro's hope of reviving it.
CAMAGUEY, Cuba -- Children swarmed the table outside Blanca Peleaz's concrete home in this central Cuban city. There were cakes and cookies, gooey frosting and candy speckles, rare abundance in a place where food shortages are the norm.
The sweets came with a history lesson on a recent muggy evening during a celebration of the Cuban Revolution. Peleaz and other neighborhood adults told the youngsters about the Moncada Barracks raid that started it all. They told the little ones that the Communist Party would lead the nation to glory.
Then they sang.
"Marching, we move toward an ideal," the grown-ups blared, urging the youngsters to join in. "Onward, Cubans. Cuba will reward our heroism."
For decades, Peleaz and her mother before her have been keepers of Fidel Castro's communist message, using their position as the head of the neighborhood's Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, or CDR, as an ideological wedge into the minds of their neighbors. Now, in the twilight of Castro's reign, the fate of the CDRs could provide a clue about Cuba's future.
Earlier this month, Karl Rove said he was a fan of NewsBusters. Count Ann Coulter, author and humorist, as another prominent conservative who is a fan of NewsBusters.
Moments ago, I spoke with her during a conference call for bloggers in which I asked her for her thoughts on MSNBC host Chris Matthews.
Before I got to my question, however, Coulter interrupted. "I love NewsBusters," she said and then turned to my query. Here is her answer:
"Chris Matthews is the perfect example of the media's 'it girl' mentality. He's been on TV forever and been shoved into America's face for years and what does he have like 26 or 27 viewers?
"The media is always trying to pawn these 'it girls' of the moment off on us, I mean look at Ashleigh Banfield who was talked about as if she were the Second Coming. But no one watched. I have no idea where she is today. The same thing applies to Matthews."
“I know that most people are very fearful of Hillary being elected,” Jim Cramer said to Matthews on the October 29 “Mad Money.”
“Well, they ought to be fearful,” Matthews responded. “Democrats raise taxes and Hillary already said she's going to repeal the Bush tax cuts. The Republicans start this election with their hole card, the ace showing – they’re going to keep taxes lower. That’s always a big plus for Republicans.”
NewsBusters reported on October 29 that Chris Matthews wrote a speech for Barack Obama attacking his primary rival Hillary Clinton from the left. The following morning, "Fox and Friends" picked it up. Co-host Steve Doocy noted, just as Geoffrey Dickens did in his post, that Matthews is a former Jimmy Carter speech writer.
Doocy read an e-mail from Jonathan in Sag Harbor, New York calling Matthews a "Democratic stalwart" and "will do anything to get a little face time" for his "low rated program." Co-host Gretchen Carlson observed that it "sounds a lot maybe like a speech that MoveOn.org would also write."
In an interview with Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith wondered how Edwards could possibly have a chance against Hillary Clinton’s perfect campaign: "This woman's got numbers, she's got money, she's got name recognition. I mean, how do you begin to even chip away at that?"
As Smith began the segment, he went so far as speak of the "harshness" of Edwards’ Campaign, a term usually reserved for the Republican field: "His harshest rhetoric is reserved for front-runner, Hillary Clinton. As you go forward then, do you ratchet up the rhetoric?"
In a Tuesday online posting on the New York Times website, Katharine Seelye enthused about "Campaign Coverage That Is Raw and Fresh" from two new journalism sites -- staffed almost exclusively by liberals.
"We're taking a look today at two new Web ventures that could help change how politics is covered. One, OffTheBus.net, is all of three months old, which these days makes it practically establishment. The other, Scoop08.com, is so new it hasn't even started yet. It's a national daily online newspaper by and for college and high school students and is preparing to go live on Sunday. That makes it the newest entry in the field and therefore the one with most of its ideals still intact."
But the two sites are staffed almost exclusively by liberal and Democratic activists -- what kind of change is that?
Here's the first clue of the political slant of the new ventures:
The Associated Press wrote up the story with very minor modifications that mentioned the Homeland Security issues Alzaree acquaintance Wagdi Ghoneim had with the US Department of Homeland Security. The AP's headline writer then, incredibly, applied this headline (link is to MSNBC; headline is present at several other sites):
The mainstream media’s long march against the Iraq War continues unabated. On October 27, the Washington Post ran a front-page story with an attention-grabbing headline taken from a quote by an American soldier serving in Iraq: "I don’t think this place is worth another soldier’s life." Two days later on October 29, CNN’s Jack Cafferty on "The Situation Room" used the same quote in his "Question of the Hour:" "What does it say about the conflict in Iraq when troops there are saying things like, 'I don't think this place is worth another soldier's life.' Our soldiers are saying that stuff."
The Post story, written by Joshua Partlow, detailed the experience of American soldiers in a neighborhood of Baghdad called Sadiyah, which is known for its slide into sectarian violence over the past 14 months. The piece seemed to be tailored to put a negative spin on the recent drop in violence across Iraq. For example: "While top U.S. commanders say the statistics of violence have registered a steep drop in Baghdad and elsewhere, the soldiers' experience in Sadiyah shows that numbers alone do not describe the sense of aborted normalcy -- the fear, the disrupted lives -- that still hangs over the city."
ABC's George Stephanopoulos highlighted adversarial quotes and characterizations for an interview with 2008 Republican candidate Mike Huckabee on Tuesday's "Good Morning America." The former Clinton operative quoted conservative Phyllis Schlafly as saying, "[Huckabee] destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas" and Betsy Hagen of the Eagle Forum who compared the GOP contender to Bill Clinton and labeled him a liberal. In a previous piece, ABC reporter Jake Tapper highlighted an American Spectator article that derided Huckabee as "a guy with a thin skin, a nasty vindictive streak and a long history of imbroglios about questionable ethics."
Now, one could argue that Stephanopoulos's critique hit Huckabee from the right and, by quoting Schlafly, questioned whether the former governor is conservative enough to be the GOP nominee. However, just two weeks ago ABC medical expert Dr. Tim Johnson conducted a fawning interview with Hillary Clinton over her health care plan. He lauded the Democrat for knowing "health care better, I think, than any other candidate" and gushed over how impressed he was with the New York senator's "knowledge base." She certainly didn't face any adversarial quotes about temperament and "questionable ethics."
Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona was indicted "on federal corruption charges stemming from a lengthy investigation into allegations that he had misused his office for financial gain," the Los Angeles Times reported on October 30. Reporters Christine Hanley, H.G. Reza and Paul Pringle noted that Carona was once considered a "rising star" for the GOP.
It's a fair point to make note of Carona's party affiliation, but the Times unevenly applies party labels when it comes to elected officials' scandals.
As NewsBusters contributor Dave Pierre noted on September 11, Democratic Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's (D-Los Angeles) campaign violations and the corresponding punitive fine of $5,200 were buried on page B-4 of that day's Los Angeles Times. The same squib failed to disclose Villaraigosa's Democratic Party affiliation. (more follows after page break)
Here's a heart-rending story out of Iraq media will likely boycott or downplay: a group of Iraqi soldiers in a military camp east of Baghdad collected $1000 last week to send to folks in southern California affected by the recent wildfires.
Certainly not something an anti-war media will want to quickly share with the public, wouldn't you agree?
This article appeared a couple of days ago in the Johnstown (PA) Tribune-Democrat, but it just came to my attention today. It's about Republican William T. Russell, the career Army man who is launching a campaign to unseat Rep. Democrat John Murtha in Pennsylvania's 12th District in 2008.
What stands out isn't the topic of the article. It's this little paragraph inserted close to the midway point:
Russell and his wife, Kasia, were in the Pentagon when a hijacked jetliner crashed into the building on Sept. 11, 2001. They escaped unharmed.
A hijacked jetliner? Which one would that be? Goodness, there have been so many hijackings in the past decade, it's hard to keep count.