The November 13 article in question by writer Enrique Andres Pretel dealt with how Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is demanding an apology from Spain's King Juan Carlos. The Spanish monarch snapped at Chavez that he should "just shut up," when the latter was railing about former conservative Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar as a "fascist." Chavez received a rebuke, albeit less pointed, from the current prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, a Socialist.
Chavez has a history of impolitic moments on the international stage, such as last year when he called President Bush "the devil" in a speech before the United Nations.
All the same, Reuters writer Pretel found Chavez to be a folksy, funny guy:
L. Brent Bozell, founder of Media Research Center, NB's parent, made an appearance on today's "Morning Joe." Brent is the author, with MRC/NB's Tim Graham, of the recently-released "Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell you About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will."
Look for comprehensive coverage of Brent's appearance from my colleagues at MRC and NB during the day. But for present purposes, let's focus on one point Brent made that speaks volumes about the depth of the MSM's partisanship -- that for broadcast networks, promoting liberal ideology trumps even the bottom line.
As the Democrats prepare for their latest CNN debate tonight, Wolf Blitzer has denied the Drudge Report’s bulletin that he was pressured by the Clinton campaign to avoid orchestrating a Hillary Clinton beat-down. But with all the controversy this week over the Clinton campaign planting college-age questioners in its events, our new book Whitewash explains that in a 2000 CNN town meeting, Blitzer and CNN carefully screened questions for Hillary – and there were no scandal questions uttered – but Blitzer never told the audience:
On April 24, CNN held a town meeting for Hillary in prime time, at 10 p.m. Eastern at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Wolf Blitzer claimed, "The format is open-ended." But it was not. Buffalo News Washington bureau chief Douglas Turner reported that university officials submitted to CNN all the names of students attending, and that "questions from university students have been screened by CNN staff members." University administrators gave CNN students’ phone numbers.
A very interesting article appeared in yesterday's Wall Street Journal titled, "The Insanity of Bush Hatred." Author Peter Berkowitz stated that even many normally rational members of the left are completely overcome by their absolute hatred of Bush to such an extent that it borders on insanity:
...But Bush hatred is different. It's not that this time members of the intellectual class have been swept away by passion and become votaries of anger and loathing. Alas, intellectuals have always been prone to employ their learning and fine words to whip up resentment and demonize the competition. Bush hatred, however, is distinguished by the pride intellectuals have taken in their hatred, openly endorsing it as a virtue and enthusiastically proclaiming that their hatred is not only a rational response to the president and his administration but a mark of good moral hygiene.
The liberal-media establishment at the Poynter Institute delights in the supposedly scandalous appearances of conservatives in the media, as its Romenesko website featured liberal PBS complainers on Wednesday:
National Review editor Rich Lowry recently filled in for David Brooks on "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" during the Friday week-in-review segment. Some viewer reactions:
"Please rethink having such a callous, offensive 'reporter' on PBS again."
"He gives journalism an ugly face not to mention the total disregard this young man has for democracy."
"The remarks of Rich Lowry were shameful and deeply disturbing."
"Good evening, this is Katie Couric. I'll be anchoring our Decision 2008 coverage tonight, as the world elects the next President of the United States. The polls closed just minutes ago in Pakistan but we're already able to declare Barack Obama the runaway winner in the Islamabad Capital Territory, and he seems poised to pull off a clean sweep of all Pakistan's provinces."
OK, not even the New York Times is proposing -- yet -- giving the vote to everyone in the world. But for whatever reason, the Times's Roger Cohen apparently thinks the best thing he can say about Barack Obama is that -- given the chance -- he's the candidate that most people around the world, including Pakistanis, would put in the White House.
A night after CNN host Rick Sanchez decided to try to create a scandal over John McCain's failure to rebuke a supporter who referred to Hillary Clinton as a “bitch,” Sanchez on Wednesday declared McCain “should have distanced himself” from the remark and, since he didn't, the incident was newsworthy; McCain castigated CNN for its “biased reporting” and CNN's own media critic, Howard Kurtz agreed “his campaign has a point. That little incident was pretty badly hyped by Rick Sanchez.”
ABC got into the hype too as anchor Charles Gibson introduced a story on “another bit of controversy in the presidential race” which “involves the reaction of Senator John McCain when a lady at a town meeting asked him a question that contained a derogatory reference to Hillary Clinton.”
On CNN's The Situation Room, Brian Todd informed viewers how on “Tuesday evening CNN anchor Rick Sanchez takes about six minutes at the very top of his prime time show, Out in the Open, raising questions about why Senator McCain didn't immediately chastise the woman for insulting Mrs. Clinton like that.” Later, on Out in the Open, Sanchez whined about how in criticizing CNN's news judgment, McCain is “shooting the messenger, blaming me personally and CNN for his present plight.” Sanchez laid bare his agenda as he excoriated McCain for not acting as Sanchez wanted: “His staff has put out several statements today. None of them offers an apology to women in general or to Hillary Clinton specifically.”
Three weeks after ABC's World News aired the first of three stories then and since about significant declines in violence and improving living conditions in Iraq, NBC Nightly News caught up Wednesday night as anchor Brian Williams acknowledged: “We are all hearing more and more these days about a significant drop in violence and deaths in Iraq, even though 2007 some time ago became the bloodiest year of the war, yet for U.S. forces these new stats show a different trend.”
From Iraq, reporter Tom Aspell illustrated how life has improved:
A few months ago, Ali Hamid could not have sold balloons here on Jadriyah Street. He might have been kidnaped or killed. A few blocks away, Azar Habud might have been shot for giving Western-style haircuts in his barbershop. And nearby, Mohammed Hassan's ice cream shop is still busy, even though it was bombed twice in April, killing nine customers. Back then, explosions were a horrifying part of everyday life. Now, the U.S. military says rocket and mortar attacks in Iraq have dropped sharply in the last few months from 1,000 in June to fewer than 400 in October. And so have civilian deaths.
A trip to the United States from Pope Benedict is still nearly six months away (April 2008), but the Los Angeles Times is already in a tizzy. An editorial in Wednesday's Times (11/14/07) advises the Pope to shun "hard-liners" and "conservative Catholics" and listen to "other Catholics." The Times is concerned with the issue of whether or not abortion-friendly politicians who claim they are Catholic should receive Holy Communion. As they so often do, the Times avoided the "liberal" tag for these "other Catholics":
Hollywood's Variety is wounded. They are upset that their buddies across the lines of the Hollyweird writer's strike have written some mean things about them on the Internet and they are just cut to the quick over it all. Aghast, really. So, instead of dealing with this criticism, Variety decided that it's all Rush Limbaugh's fault because he has made "modern politics" so "poisonous." I guess they really are so used to creating their own reality in La La Land that they don't know their creation from God's creation!
As the networks try to ignore the good news coming out of Iraq, conservatives may soon believe it's time to revisit the Left's swaggering notion that they alone were living in Reality and the stay-the-course Iraq-liberation movement was living in Fantasyland. So now with all the bias by omission, which side is in danger of looking like it's sticking its fingers in its ears and singing "la la la"? (Frank Rich, to name just one Reality Riverdancer, is still too busy applying Nazi metaphors to the Bush team to notice any good news.)
On the Swampland blog, Time correspondent Jay Carney responds to the Michael Crowley New Republic piece by noting that while Hillary's people use to admire the Bush team's manhandling of the press, they are now wise enough to avoid "losing touch with reality" by emulating them too closely.
As oil flirts with $100 a barrel, guess who is getting gold stars for reporting ... NPR.
National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" stories on $100 a barrel oil this week have featured some underreported views on the industry: The economy is surviving the higher costs, and the oil companies are using the profits for future exploration.
Reporter Jim Zarroli told NPR listeners what was supposed to happen, saying, "Time and again, economists from Alan Greenspan on down have warned that oil prices are inflationary ... Interest rates go up, borrowing becomes more difficult, and growth slows."
But, Zarroli also pointed out the unique trend that gets little coverage: Despite the rise in oil prices since March 2007, the economy has continued to grow at a strong pace.
There's more than one way to survive the rising cost of oil.
After Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) reported higher third-quarter earnings and predictions of a "strong" holiday shopping season, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) surged 320 points after taking a battering over the previous week.
TVNewser has an item today about MSNBC's David Shuster blasting Rudy Giuliani and Fox News brass while announcing a lawsuit involving the rival news channel (h/t Ian Schwartz):
This is how MSNBC's David Shuster, who once worked for FNC, reported the story in the 9amET hour:
"This is bad news, perhaps not just for Rudy Giuliani, but also for Fox News Channel. Roger Ailes who is in charge of Fox News, a close friend of Rupert Murdoch, he's been close friends with Rudy Giuliani for 20 years. Fox News commentator Sean Hannity led a Giuliani fund-raiser."
"Here you have a $100 million lawsuit in which Judith Regan is alleging that there was a smear campaign against her to protect the political agenda of Fox News of News Corp. and that that political agenda was to protect Rudy Giuliani"
On CBS’s "Sunday Morning" this past weekend, reporter Martha Teichner did a profile of recently deceased ultra left-wing author, Norman Mailer, who she described as "... a hell of a big man for a short guy, scrappy, brilliant, controversial. Slugging away at life and letters until the very end." Of course, this was the same Norman Mailer that said of the World Trade Center in October 2001: "Everything wrong with America led to the point where the country built that tower of Babel, which consequently had to be destroyed."
Later Teichner remarked that "Mailer was unapologetically liberal, anti-war, anti-Nixon, anti-establishment." Well, he certainly was "anti-establishment" when he said to a "London Telegraph" reporter in February 2002, "America has an almost obscene infatuation with itself...The right wing benefitted so much from September 11 that, if I were still a conspiratorialist, I would believe they'd done it."
At another point, Teichner observed that "Norman Mailer loved playing the political provocateur." That proved true when in 2003, Mailer asserted to the "London Times" that, "Bush thought white American men needed to know they were still good at something. That's where Iraq came in...."
"The View’s" Joy Behar considers prayer a "distraction" from achieving scientific results. On the November 14 edition of "The View," the co-hosts discussed Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s prayer service for drought relief. Whoopi Goldberg, surprisingly defended the governor, but Joy Behar, just like Rosie O’Donnell, fretted about the "separation of church and state," and hinted the Georgia residents should be praying to Al Gore instead.
"Well, they need to be praying to people who will fix global warming and take care of the environment because that's more realistic."
In an Andy Rooneyesque rant about how his latest movie-going experience "left much to be desired," CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller hinted he wouldn't mind seeing liberal consumers groups tackle hefty snack prices at the nation's movie theaters. He even suggested the short titles for two bills Congress could draft on that front.
From Knoller's November 12 Couric & Co. blog post (emphasis mine):
The fact is, most movie theaters are glorified snack bars. On average, they keep only 50% or less of the ticket price, far less for blockbusters in their opening weeks. Much of a theater’s profit comes from the concession stand.
Regal, one of the nation’s largest multiplex chains, reported the 3rd quarter profit margin at its snack bars exceeded 86%.
And the markup – especially on popcorn – is eye-popping. The Los Angeles Times last year calculated that just $30 of raw popcorn can translate into as much as $3,000 in sales at the snack bar.
That sounds like a markup that would make the oil industry blush.
Is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration filled with climate change deniers?
Such seems likely to be alleged by hysterical alarmists in the press when and if they read a new study out of NASA which determined that "not all the large changes seen in Arctic climate in recent years are a result of long-term trends associated with global warming."
Goes quite counter to all the recent media reports, as well as assertions by Nobel Laureate Al Gore, that low ice conditions in the Arctic are all the fault of that despicable -- albeit essential to life and naturally occurring! -- gas carbon dioxide.
Of course, it's quite unlikely many climate alarmists will even hear about this study, for today's green media wouldn't want to do anything that destroys their illusion that there's a scientific consensus regarding this matter.
As such, consider yourself fortunate to be apprised of the highlights (emphasis added throughout):
In a recent CBN News report by Melissa Charbonneau on the Fairness Doctrine, jaws dropped across the conservative-Christian segment of America at this section:
Liberals, such as radio host Bill Press, say it's only fair for government to rein in right-wing broadcasters who dominate the airwaves licensed by the government.
"Conservatives rule talk radio," Press said. "Conservatives have their own powerful television network: the only one, the most powerful in the country, the most watched. Liberals have none. Conservatives rule the op-ed pages of all the newspapers."
I was invited in to discuss our PBS Special Report on how there's not exactly a Fairness Doctrine ruling the increasingly liberal taxpayer-funded network. It's a good thing I wasn't in the middle of a glass of water when that quote aired.
Anchor Lee Webb asked me to respond to Press, and I simply said that's not the way conservatives see it. Maybe I should have just said "Bill Press knows better."
Thanks to changes being implemented by the newspaper industry's Audit Board of Circulations (ABC), it may be, as I suspected in a previous post (NewsBusters; BizzyBlog) that the 30-month analysis of newspaper print circulation drops I did last week (NewsBusters; BizzyBlog) is the last "clean" one I'll be able to do.
The ABC announcement is here. Editor and Publisher's Jennifer Saba describes the changes that appear likely to prevent meaningful comparisons of new circulation figures to those in prior reports (bolds are mine; HT to Recovering Journalist, whose post on the topic is hysterical, though I always thought that CPAs were the ones who answered "What do you want it to be?" when asked "What is 2 + 2?" :-->):
Reading this HuffPo entry from "Inconvenient Truth" producer Laurie David and environmental activist Gene Karpinski, it's hard to not come up with the impression that these two are a bunch of whiners.
Both are outraged (!) that NBC host and former Democratic strategist Tim Russert is not as obsessed with global warming as they are.
What's even funnier (unintentionally of course) is that David and Karpinski frame their outrage around the recent NBC Universal PR campaign "Green Is Universal," which was nothing more than a corporate-driven shillfest designed to drum up interest in parent company General Electric's non-fossil fuel offerings. (So much for the left-wing lie about corporate "conservatism.")
Tim Russert's real sin was that he didn't parrot the company line like a good liberal media hack. The arrogance is stunning. A billion-dollar media empire devotes an entire week to promoting their pet issue and yet it's still not enough for David and Karpinski. Whine excerpt is past the jump:
When thinking of Hillary Clinton, do the adjectives "moderate" and "spontaneous" spring to mind? They do for Joe Klein, assigned by Time magazine to write its cover-story profile of her last week.
Joe Scarborough let Klein's characterization slide this morning. But when Klein played the "spontaneous" card on last night's "Hardball," Chris Matthews devastated him with a clip of Hillary at her wooden worst [second video link, at foot].
Klein offered his assessment during the 8:30 AM ET half-hour of today's "Morning Joe.