Are the "Clinton haters" mellowing? That’s the not-so-benign question NBC reporter David Gregory asked on the subject of whether conservative ire for Hillary Clinton has lessened. (Can you imagine a segment on "Bush haters?")
Fellow NBC alum Chris Matthews, perhaps offering an explanation for the media’s fawning over Barack Obama, explained that the Illinois Senator appeals to the "young at heart."
This week, CNN provided yet another example as to why "fair and balanced" wouldn’t be a good promotional phrase for them. Correspondent Bill Schneider asserted that African Americans don’t vote for the GOP because of a "perception of racism."
"24" is just a TV show. But in her Los Angeles Times column of today, America Tortures (yawn), Rosa Brooks cites the actions of the show's characters -- and the American public's reaction to them -- as evidence of the way in which we have become inured to U.S. government-sponsored torture. In doing so, Brooks unwittingly raises another, more interesting issue.
Writes Rosa: "If you need any more evidence that the American public has gotten blasé about torture, consider the hit Fox action drama '24.' The show featured 67 torture scenes during its first five seasons, and most of those depicted torture being used by 'heroic' U.S. counter-terror agents." Note Brooks' placement of scare quotes around "heroic." For the enlightened folks of the liberal media elite, Jack Bauer is no hero -- he is best viewed as a torturer. But Brooks leaves an important question unanswered.
As Newsbusters noted, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Tucker Carlson made an appearance on NBC’s 30 Rock Thursday night. The episode partially revolved around Jane Krakowski’s character, Jenna Maroney, mistakenly insulting the troops while posing for Maxim. Because the photographer had the music cranked up, Jenna mistook a reporter asking about the “beleaguered troops” for “theater troupes” and hilarity ensued. She then began a diatribe against that scourge of humanity and junior college drama programs everywhere—theater troupes, but the interviewer applied everything she said to our “beleaguered” troops.
Jenna: Ugh, I hate the theater troupes. They think what they do is so important! It’s just a bunch of gay guys that like to get in silly costumes and prance around.
It's interesting how some network TV reporter blogs show more interest in examining liberals than the network news product does. In his Media Reality Check yesterday, Rich Noyes reported that the networks have yet to touch the controversy over the anti-religious bloggers John Edwards hired for his presidential campaign website, and yet ABC Nightline anchor Terry Moran really got the ball rolling in the blogosphere on the story when he asked if a Republican would be ignored with smash-mouth bloggers like that.
Moran's blog now features a post on the liberalism of Hollywood. Moran says what Jake Tapper didn't quite say in his report on the political importance of Tinseltown...as a Democratic power center: "Hollywood money is a crucial factor for any Democrat who seriously wants to be president. You simply cannot get the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party--and you cannot win the White House as a Democrat--without the money-raising muscle of Hollywood." Do the top producers snip lines like this, lines of simple common sense?
My colleague Paul Detrick regularly monitors public radio and when doing so today he caught this gem from American Public Media's (APM) Marxist Place, er, "Marketplace" program.
A new study finds that high taxes and good healt go together. Researchers say states with higher taxes spend more money on social programs which ultimately leads to healthier kids.
Turns out APM didn't tell listeners about the political donations of the study's liberal author, nor turn to conservative health care experts for criticism or to offer market-oriented solutions to covering more children with health insurance.
Picking up on the cause of an advocacy group chaired by Ellen Malcolm, the President of the EMILY's List group dedicated to supporting liberal candidates, ABC's World News on Thursday night devoted its “A Closer Look” segment to profiling a victim of the lack of a U.S. government mandate on private employers to provide paid sick leave. “The surprising number of workers who have no paid sick days,” Gibson plugged before an ad break, “Will Congress finally expand sick pay to everyone?” Gibson cited the “enormous problem for American workers” and, with a matching graphic on screen, he fretted “that 145 nations, but not the United States, require businesses to provide some paid sick days.”
Reporter Betsy Stark recounted the plight of a home health aide and cited numbers from Malcolm's group, the National Partnership for Women and Families, but neither Stark nor the matching on-screen graphics cited the liberal group as ABC's statistical source: “Elnora is one of 59 million American workers who have no paid sick days at all. She is among the 86 million who do not get a single paid day off to care for a sick child.” So, “advocates say” that until the federal government “requires a few paid sick days as well, millions of Americans will have no choice -- no choice but to work when they should stay home." Not until the very end of the story did Stark note how “business groups say another federal mandate is the last thing employers can afford, and if paid sick leave becomes the law of the land, somebody will pay.”
CBS and 60 Minutes just can't help themselves. They keep letting their anti-military bias show. Case in point, Lara Logan (not exactly a fan of the military) is doing a piece on 60 Minutes this Sunday about Appeals for Redress. You remember Appeals for Redress? I did a post on them back in October 2006.
They present themselves as a "grassroots" organization when in fact they are another concoction of Fenton Communications. Jonathan Hutto, one of the main spokesmen, was a photographer for the Navy while in Iraq. He was an activist before he was an media darling, working with the ACLU and Amnesty International. In an interview with Revolution, the media outlet for the Revolutionary Communist Party, Hutto had this to say about his fellow soldiers...
You know, with all the focus on Barack Obama, you really can’t blame a liberal for making this mistake. However, it doesn’t make it any less funny when it happens.
On Thursday’s “The View,” the ladies were having a discussion about Britney Spears, and where she could go to escape all the paparazzi and attention. Co-host Joy Behar proudly exclaimed: “She needs to go wherever Obama bin Laden is hiding, because we can’t find him!” (video available here courtesy of our friend Ms Underestimated).
The major media outlets are really stubborn. In the past two days, freedom fighters set off two chlorine bombs in Iraq, killing at least eight and wounding many, bringing the total bombings involving chlorine gas to three over the past month. At what point will the mainstream online media call this terrorism or say that terrorists are responsible? In their quest to remain “objective” and "impartial” and not favor the viewpoint or side of the US, the media seem to bend over backwards to avoid appearing biased. Even though crude chemical weapons are the latest addition to the techniques employed to terrorize Iraqis and to the coalition forces and demoralize America, the major online media still refuse to call this “terrorism” or the bombers "terrorists.” Reuters leads the pack with their “neutrality” by calling those behind the bombings the familiar “insurgents” and “militants” and their ability to avoid describing the horrific effects of chlorine gas on humans or what these bombings foreshadow, with CNN.com in a close second.
Ace makes a good point about the common practice of media folk thinking that receiving hate mail from leftist nutjobs is the equivalent about receiving a fairness complaint from a regular conservative or libertarian:
Although Allah points out the speciousness (and convenience) of that
claim, let's also note that most of the liberal media's criticism on
the right comes from mainstream Republicans representing the
great mass of right-leaning thought, whereas those who think the WaPo
is a part of the Vast Right Wing Noise Machine are unabashed, unhinged
lefties, "undecided" voters only the sense they're undecided between
Ralph Nader and Hugo Chavez.
For those unfamiliar, Tammy Bruce is a radio talk show host who describes herself as “an openly gay, pro-choice, gun owning, pro-death penalty, voted-for-President Bush authentic feminist.”
With that in mind, she was Bill O’Reilly’s guest on Wednesday’s “Factor.” The pair discussed and analyzed the unabashed hatred that Hollywoodans like Bill Maher and Danny DeVito have for President Bush (video available here courtesy of our friend Ms Underestimated).
After O’Reilly played a recent clip of Maher slamming Bush on the “Tonight Show” as reported by NewsBuster Brent Baker, Bruce offered the following analysis:
Ripping a line straight from a TV infomercial, CBS reporter Kelly Wallace downplayed the true cost of "emergency elder home care" provided by Freddie Mac with one little phrase:
"Just $15 a day."
But wait a minute ... that comes out to $5,475 a year for the employee who needs this benefit for an aging parent. The 'Evening News' segment from February 21 blatantly advocated for companies to provide elder care assistance to employees, scolded those that do not and urged workers to ask for these programs. Read the full Business & Media Institute article here.
My colleague Dan Gainor has the full story here, but basically CNN's "American Morning" aired a story today about some teens who got sick after drinking the new Spike Shooter energy drink. They shouldn't have even consumed the stuff -- the label says those under 18 or elderly (or with asthma, etc.) should steer clear of it. But that didn't matter to anchor Miles O'Brien, who lamented a lack of FDA regulation of energy drinks rather than faulted the kids for failing to heed the warning label.
Spike Shooter's warning label can be read at the product Web site, click "ingredients."
"Good Morning America" weatherman Sam Champion continued his promotion of left-wing environmental causes on Thursday. Champion, who has previously hosted a segment on whether "billions" will die from global warming, reported from Los Angeles to preview the upcoming Oscars.
He also highlighted a party being held by the climate change organization Global Green USA a group founded by the former Russian General Secretary, and noted Communist, Mikhail Gorbachev. And this isn’t the first time Champion has touted Global Green:
Sam Champion: "We are, again, inside the Academy headquarters, right where it all happens in Hollywood. And we wanted to tell you that it’s not just gold and red, the colors of Oscar this week, but there's another big color, and that's green. It’s eco-friendly green, environmental friendly green that's highlighted this week. Some celebrities are driving eco-friendly cars to the Oscars instead of limos, and by the way, there’s also a green carpet at the environmental group Global Green’s party last night. A lot of celebrities were there, and so were we."
Penelope Cruz: "It's something that where everyone can contribute."
Champion: "Oscar nominee Penelope Cruz is just one of the stars trading in the Oscar gold for a little green, to highlight one of Hollywood's hottest issues, global warming."
Celebrity #1 (not identified): "If there's no nature, there's no us."
For those that missed it, there was a marvelous installment of “Miller Time” on the “O’Reilly Factor” Wednesday evening. The host and his comedian guest Dennis Miller discussed a wide range of media topics including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, and, believe it or not, Britney Spears.
It might seem a little jarring in the wake of the religion-bashing bloggers ruining the John Edwards campaign, but the February 18 New York Times Magazine actually contained an article claiming "In the piety primary, the Democrats win hands down." Writer Gary Rosen claimed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are not hard to envision in church among the faithful, but John McCain and Rudy Giuliani would probably be "fidgeting during the hymns and checking their watches." This is not surprising New York Times content. But here's the surprising part: Rosen is the managing editor of the neoconservative journal Commentary. Here's how Rosen began:
Try a quick political thought experiment. First, form a mental picture of the Democratic front-runners for president — Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Now do the same for the leading Republican contenders — John McCain and Rudy Giuliani. Next (and this is the key step), imagine each of them in church, sitting in a pew, head bowed, or better still, at the pulpit, delivering a homily or leading the congregation in worship.
One of the primary solutions for climate change being touted by global warming alarmists is the purchase and sale of carbon credits. Put simply, companies, countries, and individuals could balance their CO2 output by purchasing credits from others that are emitting less greenhouse gases than prescribed maximums.
The concept is that this would give companies, countries, and individuals a financial incentive to produce less CO2. Readers might recall that during a debate on “Hannity’s America” this past Sunday evening, the two liberal guests firmly avowed that there wasn’t anything wrong with Al Gore’s use of private planes because he was offsetting his massive emission of CO2 with purchases of carbon credits.
Unfortunately, there’s a hitch in this scheme that threatens to totally derail it: carbon prices are plummeting due to an excess supply. I realize this might be a bit complex, but an article published in Green Business News wonderfully detailed the problems inherent in this scheme (emphasis mine throughout):
So if campaign staffers for a prominent presidential candidate make hateful and bigoted remarks about Christians that's big news right? Not according to NBC's Meredith Vieira. The Today show co-anchor failed to question John Edwards about his former bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan calling Christianity a "mythology" and depicting Bush supporters as his "wingnut Christofascist base." Instead Vieira focused her questions from the left on Iraq, as first noted here, and his opinion of the dust-up between rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The following are all of Vieira's questions to John Edwards on the February 22, Today show:
On Wednesday’s "Situation Room," reporter Bill Schneider, in a piece on minorities in America, very casually alleged that African Americans don’t vote for Republicans because of "the perception of racism."
He also claimed that blacks have no reason to distrust the federal government because, after all, that institution rescued them from slavery. (Apparently conservatives just don’t appreciate this point.) After noting the losses by several African American GOP candidates in 2006, Schneider made his point about racism:
Bill Schneider: "President Bush appointed two African-American secretaries of state. Republicans nominated three African-Americans for important statewide offices last year. None of them came close to carrying black voters, which suggests it's not just the perception of racism that drives most black voters away from the Republican Party. There's something else. Distrust of the federal government is a core issue for Republicans."
The March issue of Gentlemen’s Quarterly contained a rather lengthy article by correspondent Wil Hylton detailing the reasons why Vice President Dick Cheney should be impeached.
I kid you not.
Here’s the disgraceful introduction (emphasis mine throughout): “Over the past six years, as the country has spiraled into military misadventure, fiscal madness, and environmental meltdown, the vice president has not merely been wrong about the issues; he has been duplicitous, deceitful, and deliberately destructive to the American democracy.”
Talk about a blatant attempt to mislead with a headline! We have no better example of such an effort than one by the AP today. It is a textbook case of a headline that does not fit the facts of the story.
Here is the headline:
R.I. to recognize gay unions performed in Mass.
Wow! It would be big news, indeed, if legislation had been passed wherein Gay Unions from Massachusetts were to be officially recognized by Rhode Island. And, if one were to read this AP headline and move on, one would be left with the impression that it had. Even the sub head doesn't really tell the whole truth.
State’s attorney general says there’s no reason to deny them recognition
With Hillary and Barack flailing away at each other, third-man-out John Edwards turned up on this morning's "Today." But while claiming he wanted to stay above the fray, he certainly came close to calling Hillary dishonest, all the while laughing off the notion that he might be.
Norah O'Donnell played a clip of Edwards saying: "We need a leader who will be open and honest with you, and with the American people. Who will tell the truth. Who will tell the truth when they've made a mistake."
Wow. John pulls off a reverse "open and honest" with a double-twisting "tell the truth." Wonder whom he might have had in mind?
When Meredith Vieira interviewed the ex-senator from North Carolina a moment later, she wasted no time in putting the question to him: "in addition to the comments we heard from you criticizing Senator Clinton for not taking responsibility for her vote authorizing the war, you also said yesterday 'we need a leader who is honest, open and decent.' Are you suggesting at all that Senator Clinton is not honest, open or decent?"
As I discussed here, yesterday's clash between Hillary and Barack Obama was perhaps the most bitter and open infighting between Dem presidential candidates in many an election cycle. Particularly given that it was comments by David Geffen quoted in a column by the New York Times' own Maureen Dowd that touched off the fracas, you would have thought the Times would have gone out of it way to highlight the intra-Dem battle. So . . . how did the New York Times portray the matter in its headline this morning? In Both Parties,2008 Politeness Falls to Infighting.
That's right, this isn't a problem unique to Dems. "Both parties" have suffered a failure of "politeness." Now it's true that over the last couple days, John McCain has taken verbal shots at Vice-President Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and also criticized the Bush administration on the environment. But those were substantive critiques of policy. In contrast, Geffen's comments, with which Obama pointedly chose not to disassociate himself, could not have been more personal, calling the Clinton couple liars and Bill "reckless."
The Times furthered the moral equivalency with this helpful chart, documenting the barbs aimed by the respective Dems and Republicans.
Thursday night's edition of "30 Rock" will feature the character of Jenna (played by Jane Krakowski) appearing on an episode of "Hardball" with Chris Matthews. Matthews is no stranger to entertainment. Last year, he appeared in the Robin Williams movie "Man of the Year" and also showed up in another citizen/politician movie, "Dave" with Kevin Kline, in 1993. He's also been around the NBC-TV carousel before, with "The West Wing" and with the short-lived young-senator drama "Mister Sterling." Tucker Carlson will also appear on the sitcom's promotion of MSNBC.
Over at Fox News, "The Half-Hour News Hour" bagged 1.48 million viewers in its Sunday night debut, landing it on the ratings "Winners" list at the Washington Post, which noted "That's about 80 percent more viewers than FNC has averaged in that slot in the first quarter." The Post also noted its competition, "The Daily Show," averaged 1.57 million viewers from last Monday to Thursday.
The press corps is scheduled to move from temporary facilities back into the spiffed-up, rewired briefing room in May or June. [Helen] Thomas, who has been questioning presidents and press secretaries for 46 years, plans to be there. But her front-row seat won’t be. Plans call for her to be moved to the second row to make room for a cable news channel – a sign of Washington’s changing pecking order, and of the new ways that Americans get their news.
I think that deserves a standing ovation! Yet, the fun wasn’t over:
NewsBusters' mission is that of exposing and combating liberal media bias, and that's what I spend the great majority of my time here doing. But I hope our readers -- and my editors -- will indulge me when I offer a bit of personal analysis here.
The outbreak of nastiness between the Obama and Hillary camps -- initiated by comments made by Obama supporter David Geffen and quoted by Maureen Dowd in her column today -- is stunning. For the Obama camp to come out this early -- and this hard -- against Hillary has riveted the attention of the political world.
For those who didn't catch it, David Geffen -- certified member of the liberal Hollywood elite, billionaire producer and co-founder of DreamWorks, and former avid and generous Clinton supporter and donor turned major Barack backer -- told Dowd:
"I don’t think that another incredibly polarizing figure, no matter how smart she is and no matter how ambitious she is — and God knows, is there anybody more ambitious than Hillary Clinton? — can bring the country together."
“I don’t think anybody believes that in the last six years, all of a sudden Bill Clinton has become a different person, [in terms of his personal proclivities] . . . I think [Republicans] believe she’s the easiest to defeat.”
Most damning was this: "Everybody in politics lies, but they [Bill and Hillary] do it with such ease, it’s troubling.”
CBS's Bob Schieffer just can't resist making analogies to Vietnam, especially when it comes to a setback in Iraq. In the wake of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision to start withdrawing his nation's troops from Iraq, which CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric paired with Denmark's decision to withdraw its 400 soldiers to form her lead story Wednesday night about “the shrinking U.S.-led coalition in Iraq,” Bob Schieffer came aboard via satellite from Washington, DC to compare the Iraq situation to Vietnam: “I think what we're seeing here, Katie, is what happened back during the Vietnam era when things were going badly and the crusty old Senator from Vermont, George Aiken, said 'there's only one way out there, that's to declare victory and just leave.'”
Schieffer often sees the world through the prism of Vietnam. This was at least the third time just this year he has raised the comparison:
Sen. Barack Obama visited Los Angeles yesterday (Tuesday, February 20, 2007), and the Los Angeles Times wanted to make sure that everyone knew about it. Check out the huge, 38-square-inch, full-color, awash-in-red-white-and-blue, front-page photo on the cover of the Times today. (See it here; btw, I had to reduce the size to fit the page.) Good grief! Oh, yeah. There is yet another flattering photo of Obama inside on page A12; the black-and-white photo of the senator surrounded by fans is very generous as well, covering a large 35 square inches.
One simple question: Can you imagine the Times giving such a fawning, glowing treatment to a McCain, Giuliani, Romney, or Brownback? I didn't think so.
We have reported on the Times' ongoing love affair with Barack Obama and its disparate treatment so far in the 2008 campaign here, here, here, here, here, and here.