As we wait for ABC to retract its strange Wednesday night leadoff story asserting Speaker Dennis Hastert was "included" in a federal bribery probe (and ex-Clinton flack George Stephanopoulos called it "potentially seismic"), it is quite obvious there is some serious liberal bias by placement here. The Hastert claims led "World News Tonight" on Wednesday. But what about Monday night, when ABC's Jake Tapper had the story on the FBI finding $90,000 in a Democratic congressman's freezer?
Monday night's broadcast didn't get to Congressman William Jefferson until 20 minutes into the show, with no promotion at the show's beginning. The program began with anchor Elizabeth Vargas promoting four other stories: identity theft against veterans, hurricane forecasts, the health of race horse Barbaro, and a segment on back pain.
In an astounding ruling by a Nebraska District Judge Kristine Cecava, a child sex offender is given ten years of probation instead of jail time. The reason - the judge believes that the child sex offender is too short for prison!
Convicted child sex offender, Richard W. Thompson, is reported to be only a 5-foot-1 man and the judge fears that he will not be safe in prison.
This is just another outrageous example of a judge who has lost all common sense. Did the judge consider the height of the child who Richard W. Thompson violated sexually? Apparently, not!
Instead, once again, an innocent child of sexual abuse is denied true justice because a demented judge has more regard for the safety of the predator.
District Judge Kristine Cecava also decided that Thompson would only be electronically monitored for the first four months of his ten year probation, and she told the child predator to stay away from using pornography and contacting under age children.
Over at CNSNews.com, a project of the Media Research Center, they have some hot stuff today on the Jesus front. First, we're told the American Family Association is protesting a student-run, taxpayer-funded, newspaper at the University of Oregon for the publication of two cartoons, one showing Jesus in sexual arousal and the other showing him kissing another man.
An official grievance over the cartoons was filed by Students of Faith on April 21. But the University of Oregon ruled that, "The Student Insurgent (newspaper) did not practice discrimination." The university also declared that the newspaper, "through its publication, continues to add to the cultural and physical development of The University Community." (It's just too funny that the paper is called The Insurgent! We may now seriously doubt any Muhammad cartoons are in the works.) Dawn Rizzoni reported:
As MRC’s Brent Baker pointed out Thursday, there appear to be some serious holes in a story reported by ABC’s Brian Ross on Wednesday’s “World News Tonight.” For those with short memory spans, Ross alleged that House Speaker Dennis Hastert is involved in a congressional bribery investigation. Though this has been fervently denied by the justice department, as well as Hastert's office which is demanding a retraction, ABC is standing by its report.
Well, radio host Laura Ingraham (hat tip to Expose the Left with audio link to follow) reported on Thursday that she received an e-mail message from somebody high up in ABC claiming that Ross’s report was “totally bogus” and “reporters in the press gallery were laughing out loud as the story aired on ABC last night.” Ingraham declared: “This is an example of an agenda driven story without fact-checking, and with shoddy sourcing.”
The e-mail message concluded (alluding to CBS’s embarrassing Memogate in 2004): “Maybe this will be Brian Ross’s Dan Rather moment.”
What follows is a partial transcript of this segment, along with an audio link, both courtesy of Expose the Left.
Jim Rutenberg nabs a front-page byline in Friday's New York Times with his news analysis, “G.O.P. Draws Line in Border,” in which he pits “compassionate” conservatives like Bush who favor some form of amnesty for illegal immigrants against those “doctrinaire” meanies who actually want to enforce and strengthen America's border and immigration laws.
“The negotiations between the White House and Congress that will follow the Senate's passage on Thursday of an immigration bill could decide not just how the nation confronts illegal immigration but also what strain of conservatism the Republican Party carries into the midterm elections and beyond.
No doubt you've heard it several times by now: American Idol garnered more votes than any U.S. President. Ryan Seacreast mentioned it on the show Wednesday night, and a number of articles have mentioned it since then.
It's not true.
Here are the basics. 63 million votes were cast in American Idol - total. This gets compared to the 54.5 million voters that voted for President Ronald Reagan. But Reagan won two elections so 63 million votes isn't more than Reagan has gotten. Then you have to consider that Taylor Hicks didn't get all 63 million votes - that was the total for all contestants. If you compare the total number of people that voted in a given Presidential election compared to the total number of votes in American Idol, the Presidents wins again. And then you have to consider the hundreds of votes cast by a single person, be that a teenaged girl or a script-kiddie with a modem setup to redial the numbers repeatedly.
Finally, if the American public could vote for President without moving their fat cells from the couch, and no doubt Democrats would love that, there would be more votes, but it's probably best that we don't do it that way. It is also worth noting that there is no way to tell just how many calls/votes came from outside America.
You almost expected The Edwin Hawkins Singers to turn up on set. For, short of Hillary raising her right hand on the steps of the Capitol some time in January of 2009, it just doesn't get much happier for Today than this morning. In one fell news cycle, George Bush and Enron evil-doers laid low.
It couldn't have come quick enough for Katie Couric. Interviewing Tim Russert on the president's mea culpa performance of yesterday, in which he and Tony Blair admitted to mistakes in his handling of Iraq, she asked:
"Do you think both men should have tried this approach sooner?"
Lest anyone think that the president's remorse will appease the MSM, it was obvious that, now with a taste of blood, the liberal media pack will only call for more. Couric wasted no time in going after Donald Rumsfeld:
Jason DeParle, assigned by the New York Times to cover the “conservative beat,” reported Thursday that faculty at Georgetown University are hotly rebelling against former Bush Pentagon official Douglas Feith, a "war criminal," in his new gig as a professor at Georgetown University. The headline was sedate: “Faculty’s Chilly Welcome For Ex-Pentagon Official.”
The typically left-wing professoriate at Georgetown may be up in arms, but you would be crestfallen if you believed liberals would be called "liberals" or "leftists" in the DeParle piece, even as Feith is identified as a “neoconservative” favoring war on Saddam Hussein.
If you want a date to mark the beginning of the end of the Bush era in American life, you may as well make it this one: May 25, 2006. The Enron jury in Houston didn’t just put the wood to Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling. The jurors took a chainsaw to the moral claims of the Texas-based corporate culture that had helped fuel the rise to power of President George W. Bush.
(What "moral claims" did the "culture" make? Is Fineman claiming that businessmen and women in Texas are pervasively and exceptionally immoral?)
What makes the Fineman piece noteworthy -- almost hilarious -- is Fineman's admittedly admirable attempt to be fair by including caveats to his thesis that Enron belongs on "the debit side of the Bush-era ledger." Fineman's caveats outnumber his proofs by 2-1, resulting in a piece that proves the opposite of what Fineman contends.
A night after ABC’s World News Tonight anchor Elizabeth Vargas hyperbolically led “with a major development in a Washington bribery scandal” in “a story with potentially major political implications” and Brian Ross asserted that “federal officials tell us the congressional bribery investigation now includes the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert,” which George Stephanopoulos called “potentially seismic," Ross acknowledged that the “Department of Justice issued two separate denials of our report,” yet he stood by his story. Ross asserted on Thursday’s World News Tonight: "As for the facts of our story itself, here is what our sources have confirmed today:” Ross then recited facts that didn’t sound as ominous as his Wednesday hype: How “the FBI interrogation of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff included specific and repeated questions about his relationship with Speaker Hastert,” how “although Hastert is not a formal target, the FBI has been looking into a letter Hastert and others sent to the Secretary of the Interior” about an Indian casino and “that a few days before the letter was sent, Abramoff hosted a fundraiser for Hastert at a restaurant he owned.” Doesn't "not a formal target" contradict Ross' original claim that the "bribery investigation now includes" Hastert?
Meanwhile, on FNC Morton Kondracke recommended that “ABC should remember Dan Rather and the Bush National Guard case where they didn't do the right thing and say, you know, we can't prove the story and just get rid of it.” And Jeff Birnbaum revealed that “ABC did not call the Speaker until an hour before the broadcast” and “that ABC did not check for an official response from the Justice Department, which seems sort of basic here.” (Transcripts, and video of the Wednesday Ross story, follow)
If you want a sense of the priorities of Meredith Vieira, the future host of the Today show, look no further then the distinction she makes between the lives of unborn children and those of rodents. On May 25, Vieira and her fellow co-hosts were discussing the terrible case of the climber who died on Mount Everest after being ignored by other mountaineers. Star Jones decried the actions as callous and inhumane. Vieira stopped the conversation cold with a complete subject shift. She compared the Everest case to her personal use of humane mouse traps. (It should be pointed out that nobody had been discussing mouse traps on the show. So this was perhaps a reference to a conversation on an earlier program or an off-air conversation.):
Vieira: "Then why did you give me a hard time for saving a mouse?"
Jones incredulously replied, "Saving a mouse?" Vieira immediately became defensive and retorted:
Vieira: "What’s the difference between that, really? It’s a life. You save a life if you see a life in danger."
A new study by BMI analysts Warren Anderson and Rachel Waters details how the broadcast media use "B-roll" (background video clips) showing pictures of higher-than-average station marquees to present a more dire picture of gas prices than reality:
Pictures of gas station prices on NBC averaged 36 cents higher than the national average between March 21 and May 24. For the typical American driver with a 20 mpg vehicle, the 36 cents extra would equal more than $200 a year.
Six of the stories in this study showed gas that was more than a dollar above the national average. ABC had four such stories and NBC two. CBS never ran a story that depicted gas at or below average.
According to experts, there are many reasons why gas prices have risen. Those include: political problems in places such as Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, and Venezuela, lingering effects from Katrina, increased demand from China and India, new ethanol requirements, and the typical summer increase. While explaining these reasons to viewers, the networks often displayed prices that were national extremes rather than those encountered by the average American consumer.
New York Times reporter Robert Pear tapped out another article for Thursday’s editions highlighting "conservatives" versus opponents who are merely "Democrats." In fact, Pear used "fiscal conservative" today more times than the New York Times has used the term "fiscal liberal" in 25 years.
The headline read: "Fiscal Conservatives Heighten Fight Over Pet Projects." Pear began: "A battle for the soul of the Republican Party flared up in Congress this week as fiscal conservatives heightened their attack on pet projects stuffed into spending bills with the consent of House leaders."
Overall, as Pear trailed Rep. Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, as he attempted to keep a lid on spending, his story used "fiscal conservatives" four times, not counting the headline. Meanwhile, his opponents were only identified by party affiliation, among them, "Marcy Kaptur, Democrat of Ohio," sticking up for tomato money, and "Mike Thompson, Democrat of California," defending federal spending on the "health benefits of wine."
Hannah Storm, co-host of CBS’s "The Early Show," interviewed CNN’s Anderson Cooper, anchor of "Anderson Cooper 360" about his new memoir. Storm was gushing over Cooper, referring to him as "one of the brightest stars in the news business" and as the "popular CNN anchorman," as she introduced him:
"Anderson Cooper is one of the brightest stars in the news business. The popular CNN anchorman became a household name after his reporting on Hurricane Katrina. But, this is certainly not the first time the seasoned journalist has come face to face with death and disaster. For years, Cooper's been covering war and poverty in countries that often get little attention here at home. And, he writes about both his personal and professional experiences in his new memoir, ‘Dispatches from the Edge.’"
Today's ABC News: The Note suggests viewers of this evening's televised joint news conference of President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, "watch closely the nuance, the body language, the bonhomie, and the sheer homo-eroticism."
The next sentence is: "(We are sort of kidding about that last one, Mr. President.)"
Thank heaven they're only "sort of kidding about that last one." It would have been a terrific shock to their wives.
Still, it would have been more politically correct to have added that, if there were any homo-eroticism between the two leaders, there'd be nothing wrong with it.
Gore and his team were seen driving the 500 metres or so from a hotel to the Cannes festival headquarters in several cars. The representative said that arriving at events like photocalls and news conferences in cars was normal practice in Cannes. And Gore walked the shorter distance from another hotel to the festival for the movie's screening.
On Wednesday night's "World News Tonight," ABC reporter Brian Ross claimed House Speaker Dennis Hastert was under investigation by the Justice Department in relation to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. In response, the Justice Department quickly put out a statement saying Hastert was not under investigation. This morning, MRC's Brian Boyd found ABC's "Good Morning America" wasn't backing down an inch, as Brian Ross reported:
"Despite flat and repeated denials from the Department of Justice, federal law enforcement officials insist to ABC News the FBI investigation of Capitol Hill corruption has widened to include potentially Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. Officials describe the 64 year old Illinois Republican as very much in the mix of the corruption investigation, something the Speaker told ABC News he was unaware of."
Harold C. Hutchison writes on Strategy Page about selective reporting by the media, who choose to focus on events in their own way. There is always more than one way to report a story or saga, and Strategy Page reveals some alternate options.
A number of stories have been unreported on – or misreported – in the war of terror. The mainstream media is willing to discuss the car bombs. But which of these stories have been the most damaging in terms of not getting out?
@ The memos from Saddam's regime. These memos, often ignored by major mass media outlets (unless targeted for derision), have generally shown the terrorist connections that Saddam's regime had, and showed that the regime was also interested in acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Far from lying, the Bush Administration had largely been spot on.
As other postings to NewsBusters of late can attest, the media love Al Gore.
The Business & Media Institute yesterday released our recap of the drumbeat the media have given Gore on the lead-up to his movie An Inconvenient Truth.
It's a perfect companion read to our latest special report, "Fire and Ice" which examines over 100 years of hyped reporting in the media of climate catastrophe, either from global warming or global cooling.
Another cool link to check out is this video from our friends at CEI. Just how much is Al Gore contributing to global warming by his frequently flying the friendly skies?
Stephen Harper, Canada's Conservative prime minister, has stepped up his criticism of that country's elite media, stating flatly that they're dominated by left-wingers and he won't have anything to do with them:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the national media are biased against him so he will avoid them from now on.
The prime minister says the Ottawa press gallery seems to have decided to become the opposition to his Conservative government.
He told a London, Ont., TV station Wednesday that he is having
problems with the media that a Liberal prime minister would never have
So Harper says he will take his message out on the road and deal with the less hostile local media.
The Freedom Forum is constructing a new building for the Newseum, the museum that honors the journalism industry. The old site for the Newseum was in Arlington, VA, across the Potomac River from Washington. The new site is in the heart of Washington.
One news executive told why the $453 million Newseum was important. Reports the Washington Post:
Inside will be a gallery on the 500 years of recorded news, 15 theaters throughout the building, television feeds from around the world, current front pages of 80 newspapers, a memorial to journalists killed reporting the news and a space devoted to Pulitzer Prize photographs. Artifacts will include a bullet-marked pickup truck used in the Balkans conflict by news organizations. Jim Kelly, managing editor of Time Inc., said the vehicle would be a "dramatic reminder" of the risks and bravery of journalists under fire.
Steve Capus, president of NBC News, said, "In this age when any fool with a laptop can call themselves a journalist, I believe it is important to demonstrate to Americans what it means to be a true journalist."
Times music writer Kelefa Sanneh tosses ice on the liberal media’s celebration of the Dixie Chicks in Thursday’s “It’s Dixie Chicks vs. Country Fans, but Who’s Dissing Whom?”
The female country music trio are best known lately for dissing President Bush at a London concert in 2003, and since then have picked fights with the overtly patriotic country singer Toby Keith. But kudos from liberal media outlets like the Times and Time magazine have proven easier conquests than radio stations, where there first two singles have struggled to get airplay and have tumbled down the charts.
In Thursday's Washington Post, political writer Libby Copeland highlights Lloyd Bentsen's 1988 debate insult of Dan Quayle in an article headlined "The World's Snappiest Comebacks." She reveled in its perfection:
If one will be remembered for a single remark, as the recently departed Lloyd Bentsen is, let it be for the perfect put-down. Most of us never get to experience the joy of excoriating an opponent with a dead-on, devastating riposte. We always think of it too late.
When Bentsen told a baby-faced Dan Quayle, "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy," he was following in the tradition of expert quipsters Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Parker and Winston Churchill, whose lines are still remembered. Perfect put-downs transcend their settings.
With the Yankees fresh from taking two-out-of-three from the Red Sox, why not a Today show double-header this morning?
In the opener, with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Washington for talks with President Bush, Today did its best to rain out any good news emerging from Iraq.
NBC White House reporter David Gregory observed that "two leaders who have paid a heavy political price for launching the war in Iraq will stand together tonight before the country to argue there is new reason for hope."
A hope that Gregory was quick to seek dash. Whereas new Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has said he expects Iraqi forces to be able to assume major responsibility for securing the country within 18 months, Gregory described it as a "tall order given Iraqi forces have been infiltrated by gangs fueling sectarian violence in the country."
On May 24th, the L.A. Times printed the oddest Opinion Editorial on the subject of making English the national language. "American Spoken Here" was written by David Eggenschwiler, professor emeritus of English at USC, but I defy anyone to tell me what the thing was really about? (For article Click here)
For a professor of English, Eggenschwiler didn't express himself very well, it's sad to say, and after reading -- and re-reading -- the good Professor's piece I was struck by the fact that it isn't clear at all what he was on about. I suppose, though, that one might be a fine professor of English yet still not be much of a creative writer. At least, I hope that this is possible. In any case, it is hard to decipher if he was being sarcastic, sincere or jocular.
NBC brought Tom Brokaw back onto the NBC Nightly News on Wednesday to trumpet Al Gore’s “stylish and compelling movie” which “graphically describes the realities and consequences of global warming."
Sitting at the anchor desk with Brian Williams, Brokaw gushed: "Brian, the Vice President's film tonight, which is called An Inconvenient Truth, is a stylish and compelling video version of an argument that he's been making for a long time, that global warming is real and it's getting worse.” Brokaw presumed Gore’s claims are accurate as he touted how “the man who lost the presidency in the U.S. Supreme Court is suddenly everywhere again, the leading man in a new documentary that graphically describes the realities and consequences of global warming." Gore sat down with Brokaw for an interview and Brokaw pressed him about running again for President after heralding how "Gore's high-profile involvement in this film and in other public appearances these days is causing a political buzz." Back at the anchor desk, Williams asked if Gore’s movie offers any solutions. Brokaw offered up a plug for Gore’s hysterical Web site before noting a shortcoming: "Well, they direct you to a Web site called ClimateCrisis.Com. They don't deal with nuclear power which many people believe is one of the solutions that will have to be examined.” (Transcript follows)
On tonight's CBS Evening News, David Martin reported on a story about Specialist Kendell Frederick and his quest for citizenship. Martin interviewed Specialist Frederick's mother, Michelle Murphy, about the red tape that delayed the approval of his citizenship application. The delay was due to a lack of a signature on his fingerprint form. Specialist Frederick was serving in Iraq and went to Camp Anaconda to have another fingerprint form completed. On the way back to his base, the convoy was hit by an IED. Specialist Frederick died on October 19, 2005.
Mrs. Murphy showed Martin a letter from Specialist Frederick's Commander explaining that her son was in the convoy solely to get his fingerprint form completed. At this point in the report Martin was shown speaking with a representative of USCIS. David Martin actually claimed that Specialist Frederick was "killed by red tape". Martin went on to say Specialist Frederick "had to die to get his citizenship".
Hey got a new book? Want it featured on the Today show? Try putting Ann Curry on the cover! The new book Extraordinary Women: Fantasies Revealed was featured in the 9:30 half hour of this morning's Today show. The cover of the book happens to feature Curry actually embracing the Earth. Curry even appeared as a guest on the segment with the book's authors. Natalie Morales conducted the interview and revealed Ann's not-so-secret fantasy: "And Ann the reason you are holding the globe is you talk about wanting to be a humanitarian, which as a journalist, I mean you do, I mean that's really a priority in your life." But one of the book's authors Ilene Leventhal pointed out Curry, as a liberal crusading journalist, is already living her dream: "I said to Ann, I said, 'Ann you already are a humanitarian.'"
Good Morning America and Today weren’t alone in expressing their enthusiasm over the return of Al Gore to the public eye. At 4:30PM EDT on CNN’s The Situation Room, political analyst Bill Schneider not only promoted Gore’s new global warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, but a potential Gore candidacy for president, as well. Schneider gushed:
Wolf, the new Al Gore movie opens today. Is it a star is born or could it be a political star is reborn? Could this be Al Gore’s moment?
Schneider applauded the timing of the documentary’s release and claimed Truth is "not overtly partisan," before using clips from the film to slam President Bush over one of his "greatest failures." Pointing to Richard Nixon’s comeback win for the White House in 1968, Schneider seemed to express glee that history could repeat itself in Gore’s favor: