As Brent Baker of MRC/NB has documented, MSNBC has been among the worst MSM offenders in propagating the falsehood that Rush Limbaugh had accused all anti-war military members of being "phony soldiers."
A point of light at that same network this morning, however, as Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist combined to debunk the Media Matters allegation, accusing the organization of using a "phony story about a phony soldier" to go after Rush.
It began at 6:04 A.M. EDT today, during the "Morning Joe" opening coffee klatsch.
Just over a week after ABC News exploited a crying mother to push an expansion of federal health insurance “for kids,” a story which matched the media's overall emotion over facts reporting on the topic, on Monday's World News anchor Charles Gibson highlighted how “a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds opposition to more money for Iraq and support for more money for children's health insurance.” Citing a “guns versus butter debate,” Gibson noted how “fewer than three in ten Americans back the President's request for another $190 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while seven in ten Americans support the increased funding for children's health insurance that the President says he'll veto.”
Left-wing activist/actor Sean Penn rejected David Letterman's characterization that Hugo Chavez, the anti-U.S. President of Venezuela, is “nuts” and, asked about suppression of free expression, Penn used that as a hook to ridicule Fox News as run by “loons.” Penn appeared on Monday's Late Show to promote his new movie, Into the Wild. Letterman noted Penn's visit with Chavez and related how he understands Chavez “is nuts” and “wacky.” Penn retorted that “if people have oil under their ground they're called wacky”and asserted he's done “incredible things for the 80 percent of the people that are very poor there.” When Letterman raised how Chavez is “talking about nationalizing the media,” Penn defended Chavez for closing a television station before rejecting Letterman's premise: “The idea that, that there's no freedom of expression, I mean the loons on Fox News are broadcast there every day.”
Video: The Late Show with David Letterman Web site features streaming video of this exchange (on its “Big Show Highlights” page, click on “Hanging with Hugo Chavez”).
CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Monday night matched MSNBC in distorting the target of Rush Limbaugh's “phony soldiers” comment as the 7pm EDT hour of The Situation Room devoted a full story to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's attack on Limbaugh based on a Friday hit job on Limbaugh by the far-left Media Matters. “It's an angry new shot in the dispute over the war in Iraq,” Blitzer asserted before reporting that Limbaugh had charged “that some veterans who are criticizing the war are, in his words, quote, 'phony soldiers.'" In fact, on his show Friday and Monday, Limbaugh made clear he was referring to those who claimed to be soldiers, but never served, a point mentioned by reporter Dana Bash, but only after Blitzer framed the story by adopting as fact the spin of the left wing attack group.
Bash offered a favorable take on Reid's reasoning: “Harry Reid combined a biting attack on Limbaugh with a demand for an apology for what Democrats call an insulting rant against soldiers who joined Democrats in opposing the war.” Though Bash noted that “Limbaugh insists he was only talking about one anti-war soldier, Jesse MacBeth recently convicted of falsely claiming to have served in Iraq,” she proceeded to highlight how “Limbaugh's comments are burning up the liberal blogosphere. Watchdog group Media Matters, among the first to blast Limbaugh, says it doesn't buy his explanation.” She next vaunted how “this new escalation of the Iraq debate has Democrats looking to turn the tables after the controversy of MoveOn.org's attack on the commanding General in Iraq.” A strategy that will only work if the media play along. Bash did air a bit of Limbaugh's response to Reid: Laughter, followed by “he's got to be a nut!”
CNN Headline News wants to know what you think about the question “Do conservative thinkers face a bias on college campuses?” On the October 1 broadcast of “Prime News," correspondent Mike Galanos interviewed “Indoctrinate U” filmmaker Evan Coyne Maloney about the silencing of conservative thought at colleges, and at the end of the segment asked for viewers to email their opinions and personal stories.
Someone in the media is listening and wants to hear personal stories and opinions about conservatives facing a bias in colleges. Take Galanos up on his offer, and email “Prime News” or send a video.
Don't look for Shuster to be guest hosting "Tucker" again any time soon. -- from my column of September 26th.
Oy, was I wrong!
I had figured that David Shuster wouldn't be subbing again for Tucker Carlson after embarrassing his show, and MSNBC at large, with the tasteless "gotcha" game he sprung on Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), exploiting the death of a soldier for partisan political purposes.
But tuning to Tucker today, there was Shuster, the so-called MSNBC "correspondent."
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, the leftwing organization responsible for the recent smear campaigns against Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, Media Matters, has direct ties to the Clintons.
To be sure, folks on the left, and in the media that support them, will either deny this connection, or ignore it.
In the end, that's going to be hard to do, for on August 4, while speaking at the YearlyKos convention in Chicago, the junior senator from New York boasted of "institutions that I helped to start and support like Media Matters and Center for American Progress."
Our friend Mike Church has been kind enough to provide the following audio of this segment of her speech that day (partial transcript to follow). Those interested can also view the video available here (relevant section at 2:20):
CNN has highlighted the Media Matters-driven spin on Bill O’Reilly’s race remarks on his radio program since the beginning of the week, and has specifically used "Out in the Open" program, hosted by Rick Sanchez, to carry the water on the subject Monday through Friday of last week.
"Out in the Open" first did a segment on the O’Reilly issue on Monday, at the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour. Sanchez played select audio clips from O’Reilly’s radio show, outside of the greater context of the entire hour that O’Reilly discussed race. He also read some of the quotes from a transcript of the radio broadcast. CNN contributor and O’Reilly critic Roland Martin appeared unopposed during the segment, which lasted about six minutes. During the segment, Martin, in his attack on O’Reilly, played-up the parts from O’Reilly’s remarks that both Media Matters and Sanchez chose to highlight.
Those people who thought Steve Kroft’s interview with Clarence Thomas on Sunday’s 60 Minutes was not tough enough should remember that Anita Hill received a very gentle 60 Minutes treatment on February 2, 1992. Ed Bradley drew out the disclosure that she was a Democrat, but went on with a set of gooey questions about whether she has Eleanor Roosevelt quotes on her office wall.
CBS made no attempt to investigate Hill's unproven claims. The purpose was public relations. Bradley began: "We haven't heard much from Anita Hill since those hearings, but she's heard a lot from people around the country: more than 30,000 letters of support, many from women who shared their stories with her and let her know she's not alone."
Bradley began by asking Hill: "You've been described as someone who is conservative in your positions. Is that a fair description of you?" In a clever, roundabout answer that any politician would envy, Hill agreed: "I think I am conservative to a number of people because I do have a religious background. I do go to church.
Considering the mainstream media's penchant for highlighting negative aspects of our involvement in Iraq and for shining a positive light on anyone who protests the war in any way, how is it we didn't hear about this guy? (hat tip: Moonbattery)
Bill McDannell, 58, of Lakeside, California, quit his job and sold nearly all his possessions (including his home) in order to trek across the country on foot to protest Iraq. It took him about nine months.
Returning to normal life won't be easy, either. He's broke now. He's got no place to call his own. And he didn't garner the national attention he had hoped for.
Apparently when he arrived in Washington D.C., there were no reporters and no cameras. Perhaps his problem is that he didn't walk in the nude or on his hands or something similarly outrageous. Just walking? With today's 24-hour news cycle, you have to do something nutty in order to get the attention-span-challenged producer's eye. Just ask Code Pink.
On the September 27 edition of The Situation Room, at the end of an interview with Democratic presidential contender John Edwards on his decision to accept federal matching funds for his campaign, CNN reporter Candy Crowley asked if Edwards agreed with "a lot of people" who think Bush is the worst president ever. That's hardly a tough question, unless you worry about disagreeing publicly with Helen Thomas:
CROWLEY: Has George Bush accomplished anything in office that you approve of?
EDWARDS: That takes a little thinking.
He has raised the amount of money that America is contributing to the global fight on AIDS. He has talked -- in fact, he did it at the United Nations a few days ago -- talked about global poverty. I don't think he has done nearly enough, but he has raised it as a serious issue.
I think those are the two things that come to mind. I mean, I think he has been devastating to America and the world as a president, unprecedented. And I think it is very hard to find good things in a bad batch of bad things.
CROWLEY: A lot of people have said he's the worst president in history. Do you agree?
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," ABC reporter Kate Snow rose to the defense of Hillary Clinton and the fact that she’s been seen manically giggling in many interviews. Referencing the mocking that the Democratic presidential candidate has taken on "The Daily Show" and other places, Snow asserted that either Hillary Clinton is either "having a really good time out on the campaign trail, or she's the master of a shrewd political skill, disarming her critics with a gleam in her eye and a roar straight from the belly." So, the former First Lady is vibrant and fun-loving or brilliant in a good natured way? Those are the only two options?
During the segment, only Democratic operatives or Clinton campaign officials were asked to explain the candidate’s recent outburst of giggles (except for a brief "Daily Show" clip). According to Snow, "Her inner circle insists her laugh is not calculated. It's natural." Clinton operative Capricia Marshall found Hillary’s laughter to be "contagious." Democratic strategist Chris Lehane glowingly described the cackling as "smart and pretty adroit." What else would ABC and Kate Snow expect them to say?
"Freedom's Watch, a deep-pocketed conservative group led by two former senior White House officials, made an audacious debut in late August when it began a $15 million advertising campaign designed to maintain Congressional support for President Bush’s troop increase in Iraq."
The tone quickly shifted to suspicion and remained there until Van Natta's conclusion:
The Media Research Center distributed the following press release Monday afternoon:
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell blasted MSNBC for deliberately misrepresenting statements radio host Rush Limbaugh made Thursday about an anti-war activist who falsely and despicably passed himself off as an Army Ranger and Purple Heart winner. On Friday, MSNBC’s Hardball and Countdown programs wrongly adopted the dishonest spin of the far-left group Media Matters to attack Limbaugh.
On Monday, three days before Limbaugh’s comments, ABC’s World News exposed the same anti-war activist, and ABC reporter Brian Ross declared his story “a complete fabrication.” In spite of this, Media Matters and MSNBC pounded Limbaugh for making the exact same point.
Cherie Black of the Seattle P-I took the opportunity to inform readers of a liberal cancer patient's political stunt: putting out a personals ad looking for a Canadian man to marry, for health care, of course.
But while Black breezed past Canadian angst over American Jeanne Sather's hopes of cashing in on love and free health care, the P-I reporter failed to mention a prominent Canadian pol who recently went to the United States for cancer care.
OTTAWA–Belinda Stronach, the MP for Newmarket-Aurora and former cabinet minister, travelled outside Canada's health-care system to California for some of her breast cancer treatment earlier this year.
Stronach, diagnosed in the spring with a type of breast cancer that required a mastectomy and breast reconstruction, went to California in June at her Toronto doctor's suggestion, a spokesperson confirmed.
On Friday morning’s Today, NBC put the thumb-screws on the Republican PBS debate no-shows in a segment with NBC’s Tim Russert and an outraged PBS host Tavis Smiley, who in his outrage over being snubbed, equated himself with history, that skipping his debate was a "watershed moment" in American history. Russert piled on with the same liberal media spin, quoting all the Republicans who said the no-shows were making a huge mistake, that attending was "good politics" – and no Republican holding a contrary opinion.
Possible talking point: Will House Democrats offer a resolution to condemn Rush Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" remarks, or might the revelation of ABC's "phony heroes" piece airing two days prior change some minds?
NBC Nightly News and ABC’s World News both brought out their Republicans-might-be-racists handbook and took advantage of PBS’s and Tavis Smiley’s decision to hold a Republican debate on black issues on the last week of the third-quarter fundraising crunch. Instead of trying to negotiate a better time, Smiley and PBS painted Republicans as making a huge and possibly racist mistake. Both networks loaded up on soundbites trashing the GOP frontunners for snubbing minorities and creating an "image problem" for themselves and their party.
On Thursday’s Nightly News, hours before the Smiley debate took place, NBC was already casting the debate’s losers as the no-shows. MRC’s Brad Wilmouth compiled the transcript:
If Dems and Republicans are at odds over everything from Iraq to healthcare, there's one thing that has brought many of them together: shared criticism of the leading GOP presidential contenders for their decision to skip the recent debate moderated by Tavis Smiley, billed as oriented to the concerns of black Americans.
But beginning on yesterday's "Meet the Press" and continuing on today's "Morning Joe," Pat Buchanan has not hesitated to make a pragmatic political case in defense of the Republican candidates' decision. And alone, at least among pundits I've heard, he drew an interesting parallel to the venues the leading Dem candidate is skipping.
A few months ago, the blogosphere and talk radio were abuzz with the story of how the nation's various weather stations and temperature reading devices have been improperly located or badly constructed and how the data received from these improper devices must be suspected as inaccurate. The MSM briefly mentioned this story but quickly dropped it like the proverbial hot rock. It makes one wonder why?
Since global warming research often uses the suspect data that is gotten from these failed stations, the accuracy of the entire theory must therefore be called into question as its conclusions are derived from likely false data. Still the MSM ignores this explosive story.
But, it is evident that the so-called scientific community has also ignored the arguments in this story as there has yet to be a weather station moved or its location and/or construction reevaluated.
CBS's 60 Minutes got the first interview with Clarence Thomas on the occasion of the release of his memoir and ABC's Good Morning America is in line for the morning show exclusive interview with him to air multiple days this week, thus leaving NBC News out of the mix. So, the losing network decided to resurrect Anita Hill. Anchor Lester Holt teased Sunday's NBC Nightly News: “Her story. Justice Clarence Thomas speaks out, and tonight so does the woman who nearly derailed his confirmation. My exclusive interview with Anita Hill.” Though Hill's charges against Thomas look pretty tame through the later revelations of Bill Clinton's actions with women, Holt depicted them as “charges of crude sexual advances” and “shocking allegations.” Also, without any mention of the left-wing activists with whom Hill colluded, Holt sympathetically described her as “a reluctant witness.”
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, CNN host Howard Kurtz led a discussion of Hillary Clinton's recent media attention, commenting that the networks "lust after putting her on," and also quipped that the New York Senator did "the full Ginsburg" when she appeared on all the Sunday morning talk shows last week, during which, as Kurtz noted, she gave the "Clinton cackle" response to a number of questions. While discussing the recent Democratic debate moderated by NBC's Tim Russert, Kurtz also pointed out that Clinton had flip-flopped on the issue of whether she would be willing to torture a terrorist prisoner, as he noted the lack of media coverage. Kurtz: "That was a flip-flop by Hillary Clinton. She had earlier said, taken the opposite position saying that torture would be acceptable in that kind of extreme situation. The AP, the New York Daily News pointed this out, but you didn't get a lot of flip-flop coverage." (Transcript follows)
When elitist politicians and pundits in Old Media rail against "the rich," the implicit assumption is that it's the same people, year after year, who are getting over on the rest of us.
On Friday, using the 1982 and 2007 Forbes 400 lists (2007's main page is here), John Tamny at Real Clear Politics nuked that perception (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine), and landed a not-so-subtle broadside on the campaign of John Edwards:
This is really hysterical, folks, and definitely requires all drinking vessels be properly stowed before continuing.
Just days before Rush Limbaugh was attacked by a number of press outlets for discussing "phony soldiers" on the air, ABC's Brian Ross did a segment on "World News with Charles Gibson" dealing with "phony heroes...scam artists...posing as the war heroes they never were, claiming credit for acts of courage in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Marvelously, this story was aired on Monday, September 24, just two days before Limbaugh made his comments. And, as noted in a NewsBusters posting by the MRC's Brent Baker, the report even mentioned the same "phony soldier," Jesse Macbeth (pictured to the right), that Limbaugh did on his program Wednesday.
The smear campaign against conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh will take a dramatic turn Monday if Greg Sargent of TPM Election Central is correct.
According to a blog posting by Sargent Friday evening, "Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO) will be introducing a resolution in the House of Representatives on Monday condemning Rush Limbaugh for his ‘phony soldiers' remark."
Last week, two of the leading conservatives in the media, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, were dishonestly and unprofessionally attacked by press outlets that cherry-picked out of context remarks from lengthy radio broadcasts in order to vilify outspoken personalities whose opinions they don’t agree with.
Unfortunately, as folks around the country saw this play out on their television sets and newspapers, few were at all familiar with the organization behind the smear campaigns, or that this same group started the firestorm which ended with radio host Don Imus being terminated by NBC and CBS in April.
Maybe more importantly, even fewer citizens are aware that this organization is linked directly to Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as billionaire leftist George Soros.
For some background, John Perazzo wrote a column for FrontPage Magazine in July entitled “Media Matters: Hillary’s Lap Dogs,” that should be must-reading for all citizens interested in who's targeting America’s leading conservative personalities (emphasis added throughout):
MSM coverage over the non-racist statements of right-of-center pundit Bill O'Reilly has been trumpeted loudly and lots. But when John Edwards says to a group of kids on MTV that young black men will soon either be in prison or dead, there is barely a blip on the radar. If a Republican cadidate would have said this, the MSM would have made certain it was a campaign killer. It would have been red meat for the echo chambers. Here is what he said.
“We cannot build enough prisons to solve this problem. And the idea that we can keep incarcerating and keep incarcerating — pretty soon we’re not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They’re all going to be in prison or dead. One of the two.”