Last Tuesday, Bill O'Reilly was indignant -- as were we all -- over the loss of our two soldiers who were captured and brutally murdered by terrorists in Iraq. So incensed was he that on his Tuesday show he called for stricter and stronger action against these thugs in Iraq. Etc., etc.
On Thursday, the Chicago Tribune published a guest commentary by Don Wycliff, associate vice president for news and information for the University of Notre Dame. Wycliff also teaches "media criticism" for the University, or so his bio line reads.
Wycliff took O'Reilly to task for his "intellectual dishonesty" with his reaction to our soldier's deaths, though what "dishonesty" there was in that reaction Wycliff doesn't really say. In fact, Wycliff made it fairly clear that he is unaware of what the definition of "intellectual dishonesty" is in the first place.
Upon the recent discovery that 500 chemical weapons have been found in Iraq, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), with Rep. Pete Hoesktra (R-MI) at his side, announced yesterday (Wed. June 21, 2006) some stunning news: "We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons." If you thought such an eye-opening story would merit at least a syllable or two in today's Los Angeles Times (Thu. June 22, 2006), think again. There is not a single word on the story in today's paper. Of course, the Times found plenty of room above the fold on their front page to play up the charges of murder against U.S. troops: "8 U.S. Troops Charged in Iraqi's Death."
Norah loves Larry. At least, she loves the way Larry Eagleburger phrased things about North Korea. At the same time, Eagleburger made clear there's no love lost between himself and Dick Cheney, taking some surprisingly acerbic shots at the Veep.
The former Bush, Sr. Secretary of State appeared on this evening's Hardball. Guest host Norah O'Donnell interviewed him along with former Clinton defense official Ashton Carter. Carter had in turn written an op-ed in today's Washington Post, which as indicated by its title, If Necessary, Strike and Destroy, advocates blowing the North Korean ICBM off its launch pad if N. Korea persists in its launch preparations.
MRC intern Chadd Clark reports that CNN's "American Morning" touched on the new declassified document suggesting there were 500 WMDs found in Iraq since last year -- touched on it quickly, and with complete disdain:
John Roberts: "As the Senate opened debate on U.S. troops in Iraq, two Republican lawmakers claim that weapons of mass destruction still pose a threat. They said troops have found aging stockpiles of chemical shells."
Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.): "It is important for the American public to understand that these weapons did in fact exist, were present in the country, and were, in fact, and continue to be, a threat to us."
What do you do when you’re a cable news network struggling to keep up in the ratings? Do you lure viewers away from your competitor with programming that they would want to watch, or alienate those same viewers by insulting their intelligence?
The latter seems to be the strategy for CNN’s Jack Cafferty. Shortly before 5pm EDT on the June 22 The Situation Room, Cafferty made this remark to substitute host John King after reading viewer responses to his question of the hour:
John King, substitute host: "Jack, I’m glad they always tell you exactly what they’re thinking."
Cafferty: "And, and they’re pretty smart, too."
King: "Yes they are, yes they are. Thank you very much–"
Cafferty: "The dumb ones watch Fox."
King [laughing]: "Ouch! Ouch, ouch, that’s going to bring some more e-mail."
The Earth is the hottest it has been in at least 400 years, probably even longer. The National Academy of Sciences, reaching that conclusion in a broad review of scientific work requested by Congress, reported Thursday that the "recent warmth is unprecedented for at least the last 400 years and potentially the last several millennia.
However, as we read on, there seems to be a bit of confusion here in whether or not the earth was this warm 400 years ago or several millennia ago, as the article goes on to revisit these quite recent temperature (historically speaking) records. Now, I ask you to consider, as you read each of these statements on the historical record of warming. Is today's global warming unprecedented?
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) -- The United States said Thursday that a
U.S. missile-defense system under development has "limited operational
capability" to protect against weapons such as the long-range missile
North Korea is said to be near firing.
O. Ricardo Pimentel, Editorial Page Editor for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, writes at Poynter Online, the top site for journalists to debate their trade's issues, that reporters should refrain from using the word "illegal" to describe.... those who are here illegally.
Did you know that it's not criminal to be an undocumented immigrant? In fact, one of the burning issues in the recent and ongoing debate on immigration reform is whether to make such mere presence a felony.
If you didn't know this, you probably didn't read past that headline. You know, the one with the word Illegals emblazoned in large type. Maybe even in your own newspaper.
"There he goes again," some of you are probably thinking. "Politically correct Ricardo." That's one take, I guess. Another might be, "trying-to-be-accurate Ricardo." It's a matter of both grammar and law. Illegal as a noun offends both -- not to mention the offense given by stigmatizing an entire group of people.
Henry Winkler won fame on the old "Happy Days" comedy. He played Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli, also know as Fonzie or the Fonz.
In real life, Winkler certainly isn't the tough guy he portrayed. He is an ardent liberal who over the years has made campaign contributions to Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, John Kerry and many of the usual suspects.
Wednesday night on CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck show he made an appearance to plug his new movie. He was asked by the host: "So now if you saw -- I mean, if you had, you know, a remote control, like they have in 'Universal Control,' or as you like to call it, 'Click,' what part of your life would you skip past?"
Winkler chose to answer not that question, but one he would have preferred: "You know what? The first thing I would do would -- I would end the war in Iraq. I`d just kind of click it." He then went on, "And the second thing I would do, I would mute Ann Coulter."
Reality often is stranger than fiction, the saying goes. An author writing the story of former anchor partners Dan Rather and Connie Chung's lives would never have had the temerity to have them both get canned within a week of each other. Not after the two's well-known history of bickering and fighting with each other. Yet that's exactly what happened. Seattle Post-Intelligencer TV critic Melanie McFarland looks back at the twighlight of both discarded anchors (Diskussionsleitersdämmerung?), realizing that between Rather's delusions and Chung's bizarre singing debut, the former duo provide another lesson in how not to behave:
More than a decade has passed since Dan Rather and Connie Chung had us shaking our heads at the obvious tension when they briefly shared an anchor desk between 1993 and 1995.
Rather won in the end, using a nasty behind-the-scenes campaign to force out his co-anchor. He remained at CBS; she jumped to ABC and later to cable.
Nobody would have guessed their separate and drastically declined careers would share headlines again -- and in the same week. [...]
Many are the lessons of how to begin a journalism career. These two showed us how not to end one. Different as their career trajectories may have been for a time, Chung and Rather's respective undoings are, in the end, the same. They held on for too long. And you know what happens when you overstay your welcome: You get cast out with a rough push instead of a friendly wave.
This is truer of Rather's departure, of course. Given his inglorious step down from CBS's anchor chair, a muffled exit was inevitable. The 74-year-old newscaster insists he's not done and has announced his intention to host a weekly interview program on Mark Cuban's high-definition channel, HDNet, where he will be watched by a few thousand, if he's lucky. He told The New York Times that he's contemplating a blog.
Last night CNN and Larry King gave the Democratic party a generous election year gift. King’s guests consisted of 9liberal Democrat Senators, four of whom are up for reelection in November, and 0 Republicans. Larry King noted that a few weeks ago he had the Republicans on. However, that program, on May 18th, was designed to have Republicans fight each other and show divisions in the Republican party. But last night, Larry King made it clear this was going to be an opportunity for these Democratic Senators to show unity and attack the Bush Administration and the Republican Party:
"Tonight, exclusive, all 9 Democratic women of the United States Senate [Senators Hillary Clinton-NY, Barbara Boxer-CA, Dianne Feinstein-CA, Patty Murray-WA, Maria Cantwell-WA, Debbie Stabenow-MI, Barbara Mikulski-MD, Blanche Lincoln-AK, and Mary Landrieu-LA]. Could one of them become the first female President? How do they think Bush is doing, and how would they do it differently? Together for the hour next on Larry King Live."
This week’s edition of Newsweek carries a devastating story suggesting the case is falling apart against three members of the Duke lacrosse team accused of rape. The phrase bannered across the cover: “Duke: Should The Case Be Dropped?” The story’s subhead: “The prosecutor insists his rape case is strong. One big problem: the facts thus far.”
So, what does Times sports columnist Harvey Araton have to say about this turn of events? After all, Araton went after the Duke lacrosse team in two previous columns, even attacking the university’s women’s lacrosse team for daring to defend their athletic colleagues.
Mark Twain once said, "It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native criminal class except Congress."
Today's Hollywood TV executives would beg to differ. To them there's no distinctly native criminal class except American businessmen.
The Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute is out with our latest study, the first of a three-part series looking at the media's bias against businessmen.
Almost 10 years ago, the Media Research Center’s
Business & Media Institute published “Businessmen Behaving Badly,”
which found that businessmen on TV committed more crimes than any
other demographic. In this new study, BMI looked at 129 episodes
from 12 top-rated dramas on the four networks: ABC, CBS, FOX and
NBC. These broadcasts were picked from two “sweeps” months in 2005 –
May and November – when networks try to attract the largest
audiences to maximize ad dollars.
In this look at primetime, BMI found:
Negative toward Business: Negative plots about business and
businessmen outnumbered positive ones by almost 4-to-1. Of the 39
episodes that included business-related plots or characters, 30
(77 percent) cast businessmen and commerce in a negative light.
You may remember my report yesterday about the gay feature writer who was marshall of the gay pride parade that his newspaper helped sponsor. You may remember how his newspaper supported him even though it clearly destroyed the impartial view of both him and his newspaper.
Mayk stressed the dispute did not get Whelan fired from his role writing the "Ask Frank" history column and a society-watch column. "We had never planned to fire him about this issue and have no plans to do so," Mayk said. She added later, "He's a valued member of our editorial staff, and we look forward to his return."
Whelan, 56, said he has been unable to bring himself to face co-workers because of the dispute. He said he received "some communication" Wednesday from the newspaper that he declined to discuss. He said he has a meeting scheduled Friday with an attorney. Whelan said he told Hilliard he felt the dispute violated his civil rights. "I kept saying, 'I'm a minority. Don't you understand that this is important to me as a member of a minority group?'" he said.
Tim Chadwick, vice president of Pride of the Greater Lehigh Valley... said "I think that's absolutely ridiculous. I think it's a conjured up excuse for The Morning Call to cover up their homophobia... This is a civil rights matter and human rights matter. It has nothing to do with some kind of agenda. People are just trying to be who they are and live without oppression."
I'm not sure what more he wants, the newspaper supported him, sponsored the event and the publisher said he supports "a diverse community." Well, so long as that diversity doesn't include the newspaper supporting the events of gun owners, the religious, or pro-life supporters.
I’ve been warning people a lot lately to be careful to not spit their coffee on their keyboards as I present the hysterical rantings of hysterical ranters. Today it is my keyboard taking the bath as it were.
The following is highly typical of the liberal elites in our country: when Americans aren’t interested in a movie, book, or piece of journalism that they believe is either fabulous or socially important, give it an award. Such has happened to Al Gore’s recent piece of …science fiction which, judging from its meager sub-$7 million dollars worth of ticket sales after three weeks, is being shunned by moviegoers much as members of his party typically are at the polls every two years.
As reported by the Associated Press: “The Al Gore documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth' will receive a rare recognition from the Humanitas Prize, which honors screenwriting that helps 'liberate, enrich and unify society.'"
Yes, there's nothing like using junk science and inflammatory rhetoric for making a politic point that benefits you while debasing and castigating others to "liberate, enrich, and unify society." However, here’s the truly delicious punch line with emphasis mine (put your coffee down now):
The always modest, always charming Howell Raines, former executive editor of the New York Times, has a new autobiography out, “The One that Got Away,” a sequel to his 1993 memoir “Fly Fishing Through the Midlife Crisis.”
Dipping into his latest book on his love of fly fishing, we find that Raines is still rising to the conservative-bashing bait.
On page 189, he lets fly with thoughts about liberal bugbear Fox News:
“Fox, by its mere existence, undercuts the argument that the public is starved for ‘fair’ news, and not just because Fox shills for the Republican Party and panders to the latest of America’s periodic religious manias. The key to understanding Fox News is to grasp the anomalous fact that its consumers know its ‘news’ is made up. It matters not when critics point this out to Foxite consumers because they’ve understood it from the outset. That’s why they’re there. Its chief fictioneer, Roger Ailes, had been making up news in plain sight for a half century.”
Here's a few tidbits from this week's news magazines.
1. Newsweek's predictably liberal "Conventional Wisdom Watch" box is clearly unhappy with the good-news-for-Bushies trend. Bush and Rove each get an up arrow. Each also get incredibly whiny blurbs. Bush: "Surprise Baghdad trip boosts troops' morale -- and his own. But he still had to sneak in, three years after invasion." Rove: "Being cleared in CIA leak probe clears his to go back to attacking Democrats as pansies. To the well once too often?"
Answer: No, not when you're pushing withdrawal from Iraq by the end of the year.
Maybe it was just tough love, but NBC's "Today" gave the Democrats a rather rough going-over this morning. And cast in the role of flip-flopping heavy was none other than John Kerry. The subject matter was Democrat disunity over plans for Iraq, and co-host Campbell Brown set the tone by suggesting that the internal debate could be evidence of "a Democratic party at war with itself."
Norah O'Donnell began the segment she narrated by observing that "Republicans are working to exploit Democratic divisions in November elections." After noting that Kerry has a proposal to pull all troops out by 2007, she cut to a clip of Sen. Mitch McConnell [R-KY] on the floor of the Senate pointing out "the junior senator from Massachusetts has had four positions on Iraq."
What do Ronald Reagan, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter all have in common, aside from the fact that history will judge them to be among the most successful people in their respective fields? Why, they're right-wing extremists, of course, and although one of them is no longer with us, he's still regarded with as much contempt as any living conservative, by people like Dan Rather and Ted Kennedy.
Funny how the most popular conservatives are always labeled extremists by left-wingers and their lapdogs in the "mainstream" media. Apparently in the minds of liberals, if the majority of people find you to be bright, articulate, charismatic, talented, and well informed, you must be evil incarnate.
Indeed, if you've been voted the 'Greatest American' (1) of all time in a national poll by millions of your fellow citizens, created the most popular program (2) in the history of talk radio, or written 5 consecutive non-fiction bestsellers (3), you deserve nothing but ridicule from those enlightened few who, for some inexplicable reason, have a popularity rating on par with brussel sprouts.
Fox News's Geraldo Rivera came to Dan Rather’s defense on last night’s syndicated "Geraldo At Large." Teasing an upcoming report on the Rather firing, Rivera let CBS have it: "Still ahead, shame on them. CBS kicks Dan Rather out on the street after 44 years of usually wonderful work." Thankfully, later in the show, Rivera's colleague Laurie Dhue reminded viewers of the reason for Rather's axing: "CBS has agreed to let Dan Rather go after 44 years at the network. The 74-year-old newsman has not been on the air much since he stopped anchoring the 'Evening News' a year ago, six months after running a later-discredited story about President Bush's military service."
You know the media are overreaching when they start to portray teenagers hunkered over schoolbooks while downing iced lattes at a coffee shop as an alarming thing:
For my full story, click here. For a similar item on the biased coverage ABC brewed up just two days earlier, click here.
The kids aren’t alright. An epidemic is sweeping the nation as teenagers down the addictive brew by the pint. Underage alcohol consumption? No, coffee.
As anti-food industry advocacy groups like Center for Science in the Public Interest sharpen their legal knives against Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX), the media are brewing up alarmist reports on teenage caffeine consumption.
During her much hyped June 20 interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, actress Angelina Jolie expressed a view that may shock many of her liberal Hollywood friends:
Just because someone’s Republican doesn’t mean that they don’t also, you know, have the capacity to understand or care about children...
This backhanded compliment was in response to Cooper’s adoring praise of activist Jolie’s "non-partisan" efforts to "affect change" in the world. If by non-partisan Cooper meant indirectly attacking the Bush administration and the Iraq war, then Jolie certainly is "non-partisan."
You can certainly see that the amount of money being spent at war, and the amount of money we are not spending in countries and dealing with situations that could end up in conflict if left unassisted, and then cause war. So, so our priorities are quite strange. So we’re not–we’re missing a lot of opportunities to do a lot of the good that America is used to doing, has a history of doing. And we’re not able to be as generous.
More from the two hour Cooper-Jolie lovefest is behind the cut:
While I’m on the subject of MRC interns wanting to pluck their eyeballs out watching Al-Gorey screeds about our impending planetary doom, MRC intern Chadd Clark sat through the entire Matt Lauer "Countdown to Doomsday" special on the Sci-Fi Channel that aired on June 14. The transcripts are so full of hyperbole it reads more like the the aforementioned Science Fiction in the usual rotation on that channel than an alleged documentary hosted by an NBC News anchor. Chadd lined up a long list of wild predictions of how we may all be dead tomorrow.
9:03 PM, Lauer on the threat of extinction: "Today, some of our greatest scientific minds are warning that we could be on the brink of another terrible extinction, only this one, is our own."
Alan Caruba writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer that the media never reported on the supporting arguments Ann Coulter used in her criticism of the 9-11 "Jersey Girls." To attack someone's statements, but neglecting to address how the person backs them up, is a classic media technique for delegitimizing or even dehumanizing an opponent.
Coulter noted, as she does in her book, that these "Jersey Girls," after receiving huge amounts in compensation for their losses, then went public blaming President Bush for having failed to anticipate and prevent the 9/11 attacks.
The mainstream media made much of them while ignoring some very key factors that undermined their views. Coulter, of course, did not.
The general charged with investigating whether Marines tried to cover up the killing of 24 civilians in Haditha has completed his report, finding that Marine officers failed to ask the right questions, an official close to the investigation said Friday.
Nothing in the report points to a "knowing cover-up" of the facts by the officers supervising the Marines involved in the November incident, the official said. Rather, he said, officers from the company level through the staff of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force in Baghdad failed to demand "a thorough explanation" of what happened in Haditha.
Back from a break for heart surgery, PBS talk-show host Charlie Rose devoted his entire hour-long show Monday night to Al Gore, promoting his doom-documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." Rose pressed Gore comfortably from the left: if the president has an "intellectually dishonest" position ignoring the facts, and why no one is having an "enlightened conversation" with President Bush on global warming. Once Rose shifted to Iraq, he laughed at Gore when they discussed whether Bush knew he would invade Iraq as he campaigned in 2000: "I don’t think Dick Cheney had told him yet that he was going to invade Iraq.” This, after Gore said he was trying to convey a "textured and subtle" foreign policy mindset.
In ending the June edition of his Real Sports news magazine show Tuesday night on HBO by urging Americans to watch and appreciate World Cup soccer, Bryant Gumbel slipped in a personal/political slam: “I know that in soccer they score about as often as Ann Coulter makes sense.” Back in February, Gumbel used a commentary, about how he would not watch the Winter Olympic games, to denounce Republicans over race as he condescendingly suggested viewers "try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention." (Dave Pierre's NewsBusters item on that, with video)
The media reporting on Enron was aggressive from day one. As well it should be. But another huge corporate scandal rife with political connections has been virtually ignored by the media: the $40 billion Fannie Mae fiasco, presided over by Clinton alumni like Franklin Raines and Jamie Gorelick. Today the Washington Times ran an op-ed by the MRC's Business & Media Institute Director Dan Gainor about the media's double standard. Dan's piece is on page A18 of the print edition, and available on the Web here.
Here's a taste:
When most people hear the word "Enron," they mentally complete the phrase by adding the word "scandal." As reporter Lester Holt of NBC's "Today" put it in a Jan. 1 story, "Enron has been the poster child, if you will, of corporate scandals."