Today I'm pleased to announce a new feature: The NewsBusters Interview. These will be a series of lengthy, candid conversations we'll be conducting with prominent individuals in the media and political worlds.
Recently I had the privilege of attending the premier of the "Indoctrinate U," a documentary that exposes the widespread suppression of conservative and libertarian opinions on America's college campuses. Turns out, the same 60s and 70s radicals who marched for free speech back then aren't so interested in the concept now that they're running academia.
This is a great film and a very necessary one as well. I was so impressed by it that I wanted to interview its creator, Evan Coyne Maloney. We had an in-depth and candid discussion about a variety of things including how he got interested in film, getting funding for it, the background behind campus speech codes, how the media covers academic censorship and much more.
The most interesting aspect of the interview was his discussion of why there are so few conservatives and libertarians in the entertainment media. Read past the fold for excerpts and the full transcript.
In early October, ABC reporter Kate Snow sprang to the defense of Senator Hillary Clinton's much maligned laugh. On Thursday's "Good Morning America," the correspondent marveled over Bill Clinton's successes and also how his wife is able to make turning 60-years-old a good thing. While an ABC graphic wondered if the Democratic power couple are "masters of spin," Snow gushed, "The Clintons have always been masters at turning bad news into good..."
Snow's piece focused on the Clintons' ability to, essentially, spin the American public. The GMA reporter featured comments exclusively from liberals such as Gail Sheehy (author of the sympathetic book "Hillary's Choice") and the Washington Post's Sally Quinn. Quinn asserted that the Clintons ability to "pretend to have a wonderful marriage" "works" for them, as well as other political couples. Snow continued this theme by credulously repeating, "...On the eve of this birthday, Hillary is trumpeting the strength of their marriage." The correspondent rhapsodized over a money-raising birthday party the senator is throwing and marveled that "instead of facing gray hair and retirement, for Hillary Clinton, being a member of AARP is fund-raising gold."
It's one thing for an editor to stubbornly defend a reporter whose story has come under fire when the reporter in question vehemently insists he is telling the truth. It's quite another when an editor stands by a discredited story that even the writer responsible for refuses to vigorously defend.
Such appears to be the case with The New Republic's Franklin Foer.
In a recorded Sept. 6 conversation, the writer, Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp, said from Iraq that the controversy had "spun out of control" and had become "insane" and "ridiculous" and concluded: "I'm not going to talk to anyone about anything."
The spectacle that is the Clinton marriage continues to raise eyebrows. The London Daily Mail seemed surprised at excerpts of Hillary Rodham Clinton's interview with Essence magazine, now up on their website. She called her marriage an "investment," but didn't use the word "love" to describe it:
On her marriage: “I know the truth of my life and of my marriage, my relationship and partnership, my deep abiding friendship with my husband. It's been enormously supportive to me through most of my life. Now obviously we've had challenges as everybody in the world knows. “But I never doubted that it was a marriage worth investing in even in the midst of those challenges,” she says, “and I'm really happy that I made that decision. Again, not a decision for everybody. And I think it's so important for women to stand up for the right of women to make a decision that is best for them.”
As media outlet after media outlet blame the burning of parts of Southern California on climate change, it was rather shocking to see a headline in Thursday's Los Angeles Times that read "Global Warming Not a Factor in Wildfires."
Maybe this is just another example of how folks should rely on local media closest to events rather than national press members.
Regardless, the Times piece, although it employed climate models to make the case that global warming could be a problem in the future, cited a number of scientists and studies suggesting today's natural disaster shouldn't be used by media to pat Nobel Laureate Al Gore on the back (emphasis added throughout):
I'd be curious to see how Tina Brown describes someone she doesn't like. Because after painting what seemed for all the world an unflattering portrait of Hillary Clinton, Brown proclaimed that she think's Hillary's great.
Brown, the former editor of Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and Talk appeared on today's "Morning Joe" largely to discuss British royal doings as dished in her "Diana Chronicles"and otherwise.
To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter with more than 100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years. Earlier this week, I presented quotes showing the media’s hostility towards Ronald Reagan and other conservatives, and sycophantic coverage of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Today’s installment: America the Awful. On Monday, I recounted how many journalists offered sympathetic coverage of totalitarian communist regimes. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, too many journalists opted to take a harsher approach with their own country. In a commencement address at the State University of New York at New Paltz back on May 21, 2006, New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., exposed his extreme left-wing agenda as he railed against everything he saw as wrong with America:
I don't normally follow Ted Rall's work. But when J.M., a member of our military serving in Iraq, wrote NB about Rall's recent column and cartoon, I had a look. I'd say our soldier was being restrained in describing Rall's work as "particularly offensive."
I'm displaying one panel from his cartoon of October 22nd. You can view the whole of it here. As you'll note, the point is to celebrate the death of our soldiers, since they are "idiots" whose removal from the gene pool causes the average IQ back home to soar.
A day after NBC blamed the California wild fires on global warming, CBS on Wednesday night cited global warming, but also gave equal emphasis to how years of putting out fires has provided more fuel for them in the form of thick trees and brush. From Escondido, California, anchor Katie Couric asserted the wild fires are “more intense today than ever, and John Blackstone reports, man may be at least partly to blame for that.” Blackstone first went to global warming: “Fire ecologist Tom Swetnam has a collection of tree rings that reveals thousands of years of climate history. He told Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes that global warming means a longer fire season.”
Then, however, Blackstone considered another cause: “A whole lot more fuel to burn, a result of a hundred years of fighting fires” since “putting out almost every fire is not what nature intended, says Richard Minnich, who studies fire history.” Minnich, a professor of earth sciences at the University of California Riverside, explained: “The fire suppression management over the hundred years, in fact, generates more severe fires than what would otherwise occur.” Plus, Blackstone noted, the destructive impact of the fires has increased because “the realization it's often good to let fires burn has met a big obstacle: more houses in forest and wild lands.” Concluding his piece, Blackstone returned to warming, but didn't blame it alone: “Firefighters are trying to keep up with the megafire threat, a threat that won't go away in a warming world, and a growing West.”
Was it just a slip of the tongue, or did Josephine "Josie" Hearn of Politico just let her liberal slip show? On this evening's "Tucker," she sure seemed to wax enthusiastic over a positive poll result for Hillary.
Norah O'Donnell subbed for Tucker Carlson on his MSNBC show this evening, and talk turned to the latest LA Times|Bloomberg poll, which put Hillary at 48%, with Obama at 17% and Edwards trailing with 13%. Norah invited Hearn to comment.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Josie, it just shows she's continuing her wide margin on just about every demographic, right?
Tom Brady is the glitzy quarterback of the NFL's flashiest undefeated juggernaut, the New England Patriots. But columnists seem to be plopping Brady into several different political slots. On the ESPN website, former Newsweek writer Gregg Easterbrook wrote of how he saw the matchup between the Indianapolis Colts (good guys) and the Patriots (dishonesty, arrogance, hubris), and somehow, surprise, the liberal writer finds that dishonest hubris translates well to Cheney:
The team's star, Tom Brady, is a smirking sybarite who dates actresses and supermodels but whose public charity appearances are infrequent. That constant smirk on Brady's face reminds one of Dick Cheney; people who smirk are fairly broadcasting the message, "I'm hiding something."
CNN’s Jack Cafferty, in his "Cafferty File" segment on Wednesday’s "The Situation Room," asked how the $2.4 trillion, which the Congressional Budget Office estimated would be the cost for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over the next decade, could be better spent. Apparently, Cafferty, who is a well-known opponent of the Iraq war, also thinks that money being spent in Afghanistan for operations against al Qaeda and the Taliban could also be put to better use.
Cafferty’s "Question of the Hour" came 11 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour of "The Situation Room." He included that this figure "amounts to about $8,000 for every man, woman, and child in this country" and that it includes "$700 billion in interest, since these wars are all being fought on borrowed money to begin with. And more than 70% of this money would go to the war in Iraq." Cafferty also included that apparently "as of September 30th, the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost $604 billion. That's more than either Korea or Vietnam, and there's no end in sight to this thing."
See Update at Foot -- FEMA Administrator flatly debunks Garamendi
Good on Tamron Hall.
On the one hand, as I've noted here and here, Hall let her liberal leanings show more than once when serving as a "Morning Joe" panelist. But the MSNBC anchor is also the daughter of a career Army man, and clearly knows and respects the military.
When Dem John Garamendi, the California Lt. Gov., appeared on MSNBC this afternoon, Hall took the occasion to challenge him over the misleading remarks about the California National Guard that he made yesterday to Chris Matthews during an interview in which he also spoke most ungraciously, as I noted here, about Pres. Bush's impending visit to California.
Time's Joe Klein, aka the Anonymous who wrote "Primary Colors," painted a very nasty portrait of the crop of 2008 Republican candidates for the presidency on his October 24 appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Particularly of note, Klein referred to the former Republican governor of Massachusetts as a "troglodyte.":
Look at Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney, you know, ran as a liberal against Ted Kennedy in 1994. Then he ran as a moderate for governor, and now he's running as a troglodyte. It's unbelievable.
Romney has come under fire from conservatives, and perhaps quite fairly, for his flip-flopping on key issues over the past two decades. Yet no respectable pundit on the left or right would characterize the affable family man as a "troglodyte."
Even so, Klein's invective went unanswered by host Joe Scarborough, who helpfully added, "And it seems to work in all cases."
“It’s almost embarrassing. I talk a lot to political scientists, and you go through the numbers and the polls. And it all boils down – almost everything else goes away, except for five words: ‘Southern whites started voting Republican.’ The backlash against the civil rights movement explains almost everything that’s happened in this country for the past 45 years,” Krugman said in an interview promoting his book on the left-wing Democracy Now! newscast on October 17 .
Comedian George Carlin blames the victims on the Southern California wildfires. Appearing on the October 24 edition of "The View" Carlin said, because many of these home owners "overbuild" and "put nature to the test," "they get what’s coming to them."
This rant was too much even for noted left-wing co-host Joy Behar who felt his statement was "a little harsh." Carlin continued that he "can’t wait for the sea levels to rise" and "for some of these cities to disappear." Carlin added that these people who "do all this moron stuff" are selfish and "want their toys."
Carlin should note that these homeowners who "do all this moron stuff’ were let down by their government who did not properly manage their own forests.
Drudge scooped me (arrgghhh!) with two documents related to the Beauchamp/TNR story. I had asked for in a FOIA request submitted more than a month ago to the U.S. Army. Those documents including a transcript of the call between Scott Beauchamp, TNR editor Franklin Foer, and TNR executive editor Peter Scoblic on September 7. I first wrote about the conversation itself previously.
The other document was the Army's official report, which I first discussed with the investigating officer, Major John Cross, on September 10.
Knowing the documents exist is one thing; having them is quite another. Now that they have been posted on the public record, these disclosures should end careers at The New Republic.
As wildfires rage throughout Southern California, media have predictably begun to blame this awful natural disaster on President George W. Bush much as they did almost exactly two years ago when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.
On Tuesday evening, MSNBC's Dan Abrams set up an interview with California Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Cal.) thusly:
But the fire storms in California`s raising tough questions about what the National Guard is extended too much to handle emergencies at home. Back in May, before the fire started, "The San Francisco Chronicle" reported that the California National Guard was down a billion dollars worth of equipment. Two hundred and nine vehicles in Iraq, including 110 humvees and 63 military trucks. According to report the California guard should have had 39 diesel generators on hand. They say it had none. The Kansas governor raised similar concerns earlier this year when she said the deployment of National Guard troops to Iraq hurt the emergency response to a deadly tornado in her state. The question -- is this another unanticipated cost of a prolonged and expensive war effort?
On Wednesday morning, CNN's John Roberts asked a similar question of FEMA Administrator David Paulison:
Wednesday’s CBS ‘Early Show’ had a recurring theme in its coverage of the Southern California wildfires: the federal government failed to provide resources. Co-host Harry Smith opened the show by exclaiming that "...a fire chief says it's "the absolute truth," with more air resources, we would have been able to control this." In a later segment of the show, co-host Hannah Storm asked FEMA Administrator David Paulison, "Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California complained the ability of the state's National Guard has been compromised because too much of their equipment and personnel is in Iraq. Is that true?"
In addition to Smith’s blame-the-government show intro, he later observed in a report from the fire line that "I'll tell you, resources is a big part of this story...There are just not enough planes, there's not enough people, there's not enough equipment." Smith then sent the coverage to CBS reporter Bill Whitaker, who asked a firefighter if the wildfires could be brought under control, to which the firefighter responded "...if we get the resources..." Whitaker then remarked, " Now, considering how stretched resources are all across Southern California, that is a big "if."
It might not be as sexy as an item about an MSM anchor exposing his liberal bias. But if there's one thing I'd encourage conservatives to read, consider and act on in the blogosphere today, it is the Patrick Ruffni column "Information Gaps on the Right" at Hugh Hewitt's blog.
Ruffini's fundamental point is the need for professionalized, conservative "feeder blogs," sites that "tee up" information for other blogs. Ruffini points to Think Progress as a model from the left of what this should be:
Reporter Claire Shipman did her level best to get California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to say the efforts to combat the state's wild fires were going poorly. Shipman interviewed the governor on Wednesday's "Good Morning America" and wondered about "the comparison to Katrina that everybody's making in the back of their mind..." At one point, Governor Schwarzenegger cut off Shipman's pleas for negative assessments of the effort by grabbing her arm. He bluntly scolded, "Trust me when I tell you, you're looking for a mistake and you won't find it because it's all good news, as much as you maybe hate it, but it's good news."
Earlier, the ABC correspondent attempted to deflate Schwarzenegger's sunny optimism by mentioning unnamed officials in Orange County who asserted the state doesn't have enough resources, including firefighting aircraft. The former actor simply wouldn't go along with this premise of victimization. He firmly retorted, "Anyone that is complaining about the planes, just wants to complain because it's a bunch of nonsense." Schwarzenegger then proceeded to point out that the state has 90 planes and only wind has hampered their use.
The hills of Los Angeles are burning and the media keep finding reasons to blame global warming.
CNN found a way to work global warming into its reporting on a national tragedy on October 23.
During “Anderson Cooper 360: In the Line of Fire,” CNN’s Tom Foreman even looked into his crystal ball to predict the future by warning of a possible “century of fires, just like what we're seeing now” as a result of global warming.
Foreman cautioned viewers that, “greater periods of rain” that fuel “increased vegetation growth” over the next century may provide a “potential link between these fires and global warming.”
Like clockwork, much of the mainstream media quickly jumped to blame the California wildfires on global warming. As CBS’s "60 Minutes" and "NBC Nightly News" jumped on the global warming bandwagon, Headline News’ Glenn Beck offered a different take: government forest mismanagement and environmental pressure groups forbidding California homeowners from clearing flammable brush around their land.
Stephen Colbert, the liberal comedian who portrays a conservative TV talk show host, recently launched a similarly fake presidential campaign. Trouble for him and his network, the fact that Colbert's PR stunt is funded by Viacom (Comedy Central) and Doritos may make it illegal:
With its snack-food sponsorship, Democratic and Republican affiliations [MS: isn't that somehow a violation of Colbert's conservative schtick?], and Sen. Larry Craig as a possible running mate, Stephen Colbert's run for the presidency is hardly serious business.
But the joke could be on Colbert if federal election officials decide his candidacy is for real. [...]
It's not every day you read an article in a major newspaper stating unequivocally that media radically misreported a current event that made national headlines, especially one with a racial component.
However, that's exactly what happened Wednesday when the Christian Science Monitor published an article written by the assistant editor of the Jena Times about how press outlets "got most of the basics wrong" concerning the beating of a white student by six black students in Jena, Louisiana.
In fact, the author, Craig Franklin, was by no means shy with his criticism of just how poorly media behaved (emphasis added, h/t Glenn Reynolds):
For many months, NewsBusters has been warning readers that the hysteria being generated by the media and the Global Warmingist-in-Chief Al Gore concerning climate change would eventually begin to impact energy and economic policies.
Following last Thursday's landmark decision in Kansas to not give an electricity producer a construction license for a coal-fired power plant due to global warming fears, more than a dozen states are set to file a lawsuit against the Bush administration for holding up efforts to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from cars and trucks.
I kid you not.
As reported by the New York Times Wednesday (emphasis added throughout):
To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter with more than 100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years. Earlier this week, I presented quotes showing the media’s sympathy towards totalitarian communism and hostility towards Ronald Reagan and other conservatives.
Today’s installment: The media’s love affair with Bill and Hillary Clinton. For 15 years, liberal reporters have made themselves looked like the sycophants they are, as they made excuse after excuse for the Clintons’ moral failings even as they applauded the couple’s supposed greatness. But perhaps no one looked sillier than Dan Rather on May 15, 2001, when the then-CBS News anchor was asked on Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor if he thought Bill Clinton was honest.