During Brent Bozell’s Thursday interview promoting our book Whitewash on Morning Joe, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough mentioned that ABC’s Jake Tapper had a new story out Thursday morning about how three people pardoned by Bill Clinton in 2001 had donated to Hillary for President. Scarborough used that as an example of how the networks can’t be so isolated anymore in an era of New Media challenges. But there’s just one problem with that theory. Tapper’s story was isolated: it only appeared online, not on-air.
Tapper did appear on ABC's airwaves on Wednesday evening's Nightline to forward the story Hillary really wants circulated: John McCain’s campaign struggling with a supporter calling Hillary the B-word. Here’s the MSNBC exchange on Tapper:
Dictator-groupie Sean Penn told Australia's The Age that Venezuelan autocrat Hugo Chavez is “much more positive for Venezuela than he is negative” and the Chavez-crafted constitution is “a very beautiful document.”
But hey, Venezuelans, relax! Actor/director/humanitarian Sean Penn isn't concerned that Chavez is on his way to becoming a dictator. So, stop worrying that Chavez will confiscate your home or business and force you to sew “I Heart Holocaust-Deniers” onto his custom-made Commie-red button downs.
What's another $1 trillion here and there among friends - especially when it promotes a leftist agenda?
Throwing around a big number like that obviously isn't a problem for one liberal executive. Woody Tasch, the chairman of Investors' Circle wrote in the November 15 Christian Science Monitor that since we can spend money on Iraq, we can spend $1 trillion over five years for socialist causes.
"Economists project that the cost of the war in Iraq, when all is said and done, will come in at $1 trillion or more," wrote Tasch. "I say: Let's do it again! Let's allocate another trillion dollars - but this time for the good of all humanity and all species. Let's do it with the same moral urgency and vision that has made America great at so many critical junctures in history."
In order to make food choices for her constituents, Perry wants to ban new fast-food restaurants from opening in the South L.A. district for at least a year.
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta ate up the plan for regulatory meddling saying on "American Morning" November 16, "[A]lthough obesity may not be eliminated entirely, studies show zoning laws are a good first step to fighting the problem."
Former NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw took the publicity tour on his book on the 1960's to PBS’s Tavis Smiley show, where he discussed how he was "in a rage" when a friend of his died in Vietnam, although he initially believed in it when John F. Kennedy insisted in a domino theory in southeast Asia, a premise that "quickly came apart." Brokaw agreed with Smiley that there were many parallels between Iraq and Vietnam, and also agreed that Martin Luther King is the most important figure in American history. But he also agreed when Smiley insisted no one has ever been able to detect a bias in his reporting and anchoring: "I've been comforted over the years that people on the far left and people on the far right have said to me, ‘What party are you in, anyway?’ I have never been able to figure it out."
For those who have any doubt that Brokaw fit the mold of the liberal media elite, see MRC’s Media Reality Check on twenty years of Tom Brokaw tilt. Here’s the exchange from PBS:
SMILEY: As I sit and listen to you talk, Tom, now about all of these issues that you've covered in your career and lived through in your life, I always thought that as a newsman, you, Tom Brokaw, kept your feelings, kept your politics out of what you -- I know on paper you have to do that or you don't have a job. [!]
Surprisingly, CNN, during its Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, asked a numbers of questions that conservatives might propose on Thursday night. During the first hour of the debate, moderators Wolf Blitzer, Campbell Brown, and John Roberts asked a total of 13 questions (not counting follow-up questions) on a number of issues. Of these, five could be considered to be "conservative."
Campbell Brown directed the first such question to Barack Obama. "Senator Obama, I want to ask you about immigration....What do you say to those Americans who say they are losing out because you would give benefits to people who broke the laws of this country, who came here illegally. And then more generally, as president, where do you draw the line when it comes to benefits for illegal immigrants?"
Veteran Maryland political commentator, radio show host and White House correspondent Les Kinsolving often calls Maryland "The Land of Political Enchantment," and indeed the Old Line State never fails to enchant natives and outsiders alike with its bizarre --William Donald Schaefer comes to mind-- and often corrupt politicos.
Yet although the state is famously blue-hued with an overwhelmingly Democratic General Assembly, you can count on the media to ignore the party affiliation of Democratic state legislators who run afoul of the law.
Such was the case with the Associated Press today ignoring former state senator Thomas Bromwell's Democratic Party affiliation. AP follows the Washington Post's lead (see my July 24 article) in ignoring Bromwell's party connections.
The lead story on Friday’s CBS "Early Show" focused on the Democratic debate and celebrated Hillary Clinton’s comeback as co-host Harry Smith exclaimed: "This morning, Hillary's camp declares a landslide as the Dems sling mud, exchange barbs, in the feistiest debate yet." The segment began with a report by CBS White House Correspondent, Jim Axelrod, who described how, "Hillary Clinton's two top rivals didn't waste any time attacking her...[she] looked confident, taking the attacks in stride." Axelrod later concluded his report by declaring that:
Her performance at this debate makes her prior stumble look like an isolated event. The story line now goes back to Hillary the sure-footed front-runner, where it will stay. At least for now.
Would the Democrats have been better off if Fox News had run their debate? The candidates are boycotting Fox as a way to please their far-left base, but Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace on this morning’s Fox & Friends criticized how CNN’s Wolf Blitzer repeatedly interrupted exchanges among the candidates last night (“It reminded me of Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon 2.”) and forced candidates like Joe Biden and Dennis Kucinich to beg for airtime.
“Fox, I have to say, I think we’re smarter,” argued Wallace, who has moderated a couple of GOP debates this year and would presumably play a role in a Democratic debate on FNC if the candidates dropped their boycott. “We let the guy talk for a minute. At the end of the minute, the bell rings, and that’s it. You’ve got a minute, and you can do with it what you want. But instead we have Wolf Blitzer every 30 seconds going, ‘Okay, okay, okay.’ It reminded me of Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon 2.”
The New York Times newspaper headlined its article about the recently concluded United Nations-sponsored Internet conference in Brazil as US Control of Internet Remains Issue. However, as is usual with the Times, while the tone of the article was complaining about the fact that the United States maintains control over the core Internet, they offered no evidence that handing over control to a foreign or even worse, a UN-controlled entity would be better. As the Associated Press article used by the Times reports,
A U.N.-sponsored Internet conference ended Thursday with little to show in closing the issue of U.S. control over how people around the world access e-mail and Web sites. With no concrete recommendations for action, the only certainty going forward is that any resentment about the American influence will only grow as more users from the developing world come online, changing the face of the global network.
CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux, while moderating the second half of the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas on Thursday night, added her own "two cents" to a question she fielded from an "undecided voter." After the voter asked the nominees what qualifications a Supreme Court nominee should possess, Malveaux directed the question to Senator Christopher Dodd, and added whether or not he would "require nominees to support abortion rights."
LaShannon Spencer, who was identified as a member of the First African Methodist Church, asked the question near the top of the 10 pm Eastern hour. She highlighted how health care and the Iraq war had, in her view, dominated the questions during past debates. "We constantly hear health care questions, and questions pertaining to the war. But we don't hear questions pertaining to the Supreme Court justice or education. My question is, if you are elected president, what qualities must the appointee possess?"
NBC’s Today called the Democratic debate a "Vegas slugfest" at the beginning of the Friday morning show, but the story that followed by NBC reporter and Hillary pal Andrea Mitchell made it look like a TKO for Hillary. "She proved she can take a punch," oozed Mitchell, and "she denied playing the gender card." Mitchell noted her husband did, but she made no attempt to rebut the falsehood that Hillary's campaign in general never did.
If the "pal" language sounds strong, find Andrea Mitchell’s recent memoir Talking Back and see the gal-pal, smiley-faced Hillary-autographed picture from the 1995 Beijing summit for women that’s in the book's photo section in the middle. That’s either true feminist sisterhood or just an eagerness to be pictured arm in arm with the powerful. "Talking back" is not something she’s done to Hillary on NBC. Matt Lauer introduced Mitchell’s story of Hillary vanquishing her brutish male rivals:
Liberal journalists George Stephanopoulos and Kate Snow spun ABC's coverage of Thursday's Democratic debate as a roaring comeback for Hillary Clinton and charitably described the 2008 contender's shifting position on the issue of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. Reporting on Friday's "Good Morning America," Snow slyly claimed that Clinton has "simplified her opinion" on the matter and now opposes licenses.
"Simplified" is one way to describe the senator's change of heart. A less friendly variation, one that might be handed to a Republican, is that she flip-flopped. On November 1, the Boston Globe reported, "Hillary Clinton came out yesterday in support of a plan by Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York to offer limited driver's licenses to illegal immigrants..." So, on November 1, she was for the program. She's now against it and that's simplifying a position? "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos, a former Bill Clinton operative, appeared on GMA to gush that the headline from the debate is "Hillary's back." He enthused, "And the subhead, I guess, would be 'no more Madam Nice Guy.'"
Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC has finally admitted what everyone knew to be the case: his network's talk lineup tilts leftward. This type of admission is quite rare in media circles. Usually when high-level media types are confronted with evidence their product is biased, they issue silly blanket denials that anyone can see through as mere corporate shillery.
Griffin's admission came in a recent New York Times article which instead of being concerned about journalism's institutional credibility as it has when covering Fox News, predictably celebrated the network's decision to become the network for Bush haters:
Is it acceptable for stores catering to Hispanics to use racial epithets when referring to Caucasian residents of the United States? Apparently so. According to the Washington Times online edition, a furniture store located in Alexandria, Va., has posted a sign calling Americans 'gringos'. The Times reports that,
A sign outside the store at the intersection of North Beauregard and King streets reads, “Credito sin papeles de gringo.” In English, that could be translated to say “Credit without gringo papers.” Blanca Granados, the store's assistant manager, translated the message to mean “just 'without white papers,' like Social Security or like that.”
On Monday, NewsBusters reported the ironic occurrence of a Missouri newspaper firing a former journalism professor for plagiarism.
At the time, I wrote, "I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry."
Well, new information suggests the latter, as the piece which started the brouhaha, a November 3 column by professor emeritus John Merrill, was critical of a new department for women's and gender studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia (emphasis added):
CNN, during a report on Thursday’s "The Situation Room," mislead its viewers by reporting that a new document issued by the Catholic bishops on voting stated that "the candidate who supports abortion rights shouldn't necessarily be counted out for your vote." Besides this misrepresentation, the report also highlighted the issue of denying pro-abortion politicians Communion. CNN correspondent Mary Snow reported that some "critics" state that "the Communion question was created by extremists, and they hope they're shut out of this election cycle." Speaking of "shutting out," conservative and faithful Catholics were not featured at all in the report. Instead, Snow played two sound bites from prominent liberal Catholics.
Rush Limbaugh has often indicated that he has no beef with Wolf Blizter. And I must say that I've generally found Blitzer to be a straight shooter who has rarely-if-ever provided grist for my NewsBusting mill.
All of which makes that much more perplexing Blitzer's bail-out at arguably the key moment last night's debate. The CNN anchor's failure to follow up on Hillary's monosyllabic answer on driver's licenses for illegals, letting her slide with her terse "no," was in my opinion the greatest single act of journalistic malpractice thus far in this campaign season.
MSNBC "Countdown" host and Media Matters marionette Keith Olbermann handed MRC founder Brent Bozell his whimsical Worst Person in the World honors on Wednesday night for having the bad manners to assert on FNC’s "Hannity & Colmes" that Hillary Clinton was at the center of the FBI files scandal. Using the same argument and same verbiage as Media Matters – without mentioning them by name or suggesting he is an anchor-droid programmed nightly by David Brock – he cited the Clinton-camp argument that if Hillary was not indicted by those hated special prosecutors, therefore it’s preposterous she was in any way involved:
Our winner: Brent Bozell, Media Research Council, goes on the Hannity and Colmes fiction hour, again, to announce about Senator Clinton, quote: "Now we know and we know -- we knew that she was in the middle of things, we knew that she was behind the whole FBI-gate." Yeah, in 2000, the last Whitewater independent counsel, Robert Ray, wrapped up six years of investigations and announced that, quote: "No senior White House official or First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton engaged in criminal conduct to obtain through fraudulent means derogatory information about former White House staff. No senior White House official or Mrs. Clinton was involved in requesting FBI background reports for improper partisan advantage." Independent counsel Robert W. Ray was a Republican and Brent Bozell is a guy who makes stuff up. Brent Bozell, today's Worst Person in the World!
On its Tabloid Tidbits blog page, MSNBC is taking potshots at both one time pinup boy Fabio and current left-wing, heartthrob George Clooney in a Hollywood smack 'em up two fer. Now, I'm as unconcerned over the entertainment media beating up the denizens of Hollyweird as anyone else -- especially when one of them is the uncouth, surly, leftist Clooney -- but this one strikes me as interesting for the reason they are attacking Fabio; because of his act of chivalry. I guess entertainment reporters think it is odd, funny or execrable when a man sticks up for the virtue of a woman, now 'a days? Sadly, it appears that acts of chivalry opens one up for ridicule in today's Hollywood. They just can't stand any exhibition of traditional manhood out there on the left coast.
The Tabloid Tidbits section goes for Fabio's throat with its very first line
It's Friday which means another episode of our political comedy show "NewsBusted" has arrived! Topics in this edition: Democrats' Iraq policy, Hillary Clinton, AOL and more.
I'm pleased to announce that yesterday we hit 1,000 YouTube subscribers in just over two months' time, a record for original political programming. Help us continue to build our numbers by subscribing to "NewsBusted."
On Thursday, for the second time this week, only the CBS Evening News -- of the three broadcast network evening newscasts -- gave a few seconds to new stats from the Department of Defense with good news on Iraq, this time a 50 percent reduction in IEDs. On Monday, only the CBS Evening News devoted a few seconds to how rocket and mortar attacks on U.S. forces fell in October to the lowest level since February of 2006. And on Thursday night, anchor Katie Couric relayed:
Now to Iraq, which has seen a dramatic decrease in roadside bombs, which account for nearly half of all American deaths there. The U.S. military reported today that in October, 1,560 roadside bombs were either found or exploded in Iraq, that's less than half as many as this past March. A top General says one reason for the decline is that Iran seems to be living up to its promise to stop the flow of arms to Iraqi insurgents.
CBS has struck back against Dan Rather's lawsuit alleging the network made him a scapegoat for his discredited Air National Guard story about President Bush shortly before Election Day 2004.
The network filed a 30-page motion in New York Supreme Court Thursday to dismiss the case claiming it was "mystified and saddened by the baseless and self-serving allegations and distortions of fact raised in his lawsuit."
"Dan Rather is one of the most important figures in the history of broadcast journalism, and for more than 40 years was one of our most valued colleagues," CBS said in the statement. "That is why we at CBS are mystified and saddened by the baseless and self-serving allegations and distortions of fact raised in his lawsuit."
"Today we are filing a motion to dismiss," added the statement. "If we are required to proceed beyond this point, we will defend the case vigorously and demonstrate that the lawsuit is wholly without merit, and that the bizarre allegations by Mr. Rather are untrue."
Maybe even better, CBS questioned Rather's motives for the suit:
Laura Ingraham’s Monday appearance on The View on ABC wasn’t well-reviewed by the Huffington Post, where Rachel Sklar whacked Laura’s knuckles for daring to ask Barbara Walters if she supported victory in Iraq. She condemned the question as an irresponsible rhetorical trick, a conservative canard, “Slightly accusatory, more than a little condescending.”
On Thursday’s Laura Ingraham show, Laura and Rachel faced off over what you can ask Barbara Walters. Sklar insisted this kind of who-wants-victory question was a “debate-ending question,” meant to stifle discussion rather than promote it. Ingraham was quick to disagree, insisting that she wanted the discussion about the war to go on, but The View gang changed the subject to a more important topic: Heather Mills and her nasty tabloid-pleasing divorce from Paul McCartney.
Here's what Sklar wrote on Eat the Press:
"The View’s" Joy Behar objects to personal attacks on presidential candidates, when they agree with her. On the November 15 edition of "The View" co-host Joy Behar ranted against John McCain because one audience member called Hillary Clinton a "bitch." But when confronted for her personal attacks on President Bush, as co-host Sherri Shepherd pointed out how "you do personal assaults on President Bush" and wondered "what’s the difference?", Behar passively responded: "I don’t like him."
The co-hosts were discussing the recent "controversy" of an enthusiastic McCain supporter calling Senator Clinton a "bitch." Whoopi Goldberg surprisingly defended McCain, because there is not much else he could do. Behar responded by placing all of the blame on McCain because he did not lecture the woman on the spot.
The discussion led to this exchange with Sherri Shepherd calling out Joy Behar on her many personal attacks against President Bush.