Do you ever find it amusing when liberal newspaper reporters tear their hair out in frustration that all the Bush administration gives them is publicity, not news? If someone wants to argue that it's not a reporter's job to recycle robotically the publicity blurbs of the party in power, there is a two word retort: Bob Dart. Bob Dart of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote an article on how the House was taking up a bill to make gas price gouging a federal crime, since we face "much of the nation complaining that gas prices are the highest ever."
Dart's story featured this lineup of the notable and the quotable: Speaker Pelosi (Democrat); Rep. Bart Stupak (Democrat), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations; and Tyler Slocum energy expert with the left-wing group Public Citizen. He mentioned Sen. Maria Cantwell (Democrat) in passing. (CORRECTION: Dart's original story from the Cox News Washington Bureau also included, in paragraphs 19, 20, and 21, a statement from Marlo Lewis of the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute and a refiners' representative, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution edited it out.)
In the new 40th Anniversary Edition of Rolling Stone magazine, Editor Jann Wenner asks rocker-icon Bob Dylan, "Do you worry about global warming?" and Dylan responds: "Where's the global warming? It's freezing here."
The point is that Dylan was half-serious and questioning Wenner's liberal assumptions, as were a number of other 1960s rock icons who gave some startlingly sober answers to the hyper-idealized drivel regurgitated by Wenner and other questioners. (Hat tip to Cincinnati.com.) When asked his views about the 1960s, Director Steven Spielberg replied, "Just narcissism, a collective and personal narcissism."
New York Times columnist and reporter Jim Dwyer provided comfort to left-wing anti-Bush conspirators everywhere when he gave respectability to Rosie O’Donnell’s wacky theorizing about how World Trade Center No. 7 collapsed (“miraculously, for the first time in history, steel was melted by fire”).
Even the headline misleads: “On Her Way Out the Door, Rosie O’Donnell Revives a Conspiracy Theory About 9/11.” Actually, the recently departed co-host of “The View” said it on the March 29 edition of the show -- two full months ago.
“The first day of the post-Rosie O’Donnell era on ‘The View’ television show has come and gone, and by any fair accounting, an often useful provocateur has left the building.
Actor and former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson is close to forming a presidential exploratory committee, according to numerous media outlets, citing people close to the TV star. Reporting that news, CBSNews.com ran with a less-than-flattering AP photo of Thompson, pictured at right.
"Former Sen. Fred Thompson attends the Prescott Bush Awards Dinner in Stamford Conn., on May 24, 2007," read the caption.
By contrast, ABCNews.com ran an AP photo that features a stern-looking Thompson. With skyscrapers in the background, it evokes his current TV character incarnation, New York County District Attorney Arthur Branch on NBC's long-running court drama "Law & Order." You can see that screen cap pictured below:
Al Gore’s new book "The Assault on Reason" has definitively established one fact: Al Gore is still the sorest loser in American politics. Even liberal book reviewers are wincing at the tone of his jeremiad against the Bush administration. The book should have been titled "They Should Have Elected Me Instead: How Much Better America Would Fare With President Gore."
Like many liberals with the itch to micromanage our lives, Gore clearly believes the American people are ignorant to the point of endangerment. So he’s become a media scholar, and unloaded his communications theories in a book excerpt hyped by his friends at Time magazine.
"Over Ginsburg's Dissent, Court Limits Bias Suits," blared the May 30 front page headline by the Washington Post Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes. While the 5-4 ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.
hinged on a plain and simple application of a 1964 federal law, Barnes
front-loaded his article with the dissent of liberal Associate Justice
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, buried the majority's rationale deep in the
article after pro-Ginsburg feminist talking points, failed to include
comment from Goodyear Tire, and gave readers an unbalanced portrait of
the ruling focused on feminist reaction.
Let's take a look at how Barnes's bias unfolded, starting with the lede and second paragraph:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may have said she saw evidence of climate change in a recent trip to Greenland, but leave it to CNN to press her and other Democrats from the left for not doing enough to stop greenhouse gas emissions "in their own backyard." Both "American Morning" and "The Situation Room" on Tuesday featured CNN congressional correspondent Andrea Koppel's segment on how the heating and cooling power supplied to the U.S. Capitol building comes from the Capitol Power Plant, which is half-fueled by coal, and emits "tens of thousands of tons of greenhouse gases into the air." The blame for these emissions is placed on the politics of Senators Robert Byrd and Mitch McConnell, both of whom come from "two of the biggest coal-producing states."
Koppel interviewed two people for her segment, both of whom have left-wing affiliations. The first was Pelosi's chief administrative officer for the House, Dan Beard, who talked about the massive environmental advantage of switching to compact fluorescent bulbs. The second, Frank O'Donnell of the group Clean Air Watch, was given two sound bites in the segment. O'Donnell compared Senators Byrd and McConnell to a famous television mobster. "It's as if Tony Soprano had a seat in the Senate. They're saying this plant must stay alive. It must keep burning coal, even though it is causing pollution and global warming."
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program attempted to justify and explain away the booing that Miss USA, Rachel Smith, received in Mexico City during Monday night’s Miss Universe pageant. In a tease for the segment, GMA anchor Diane Sawyer even wondered aloud, "Was it fair?"
Is "Early Show" anchor Harry Smith stumping for an Al Gore presidency? On the May 30 edition of the show, it appeared like he did as he tried to place a "Gore 2008" pin on the former vice president’s suit. Before a tee ball interview, Smith demonstrated his desire for a Gore presidency to co-anchor Hannah Storm.
New York Times reporter Michael Luo’s Tuesday profile of Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, the GOP leader in shepherding through Congress a Bush-style immigration bill unpopular among Republicans, followed some familiar patterns of bias.
“Angry calls poured into Senator Jon Kyl’s office this week by the thousands, expressing outrage beyond anything he said he had witnessed in his 20-year political career. The callers were inflamed by Mr. Kyl’s role in shaping the bipartisan immigration compromise announced May 17, which lawmakers continue to debate.
This is really getting hysterical. As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) tours Europe to discuss the imminent doom to the planet at the hands of the left’s recent bogeyman anthropogenic global warming, late-May snows are falling all around her.
Honestly, folks, you can’t make this stuff up.
As she set out on her journey, such late-season white stuff hit parts of America, Canada, and Great Britain as reported by NewsBusters Tuesday.
Even better, as she met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a late-season snowstorm rocked Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, and Italy.
As reported by England’s Daily Mail (hilarious emphasis added throughout):
Based on its own ABC poll, "Good Morning America" could have run a segment this morning on the theme "support for universal coverage slipping as Americans express increased concern for keeping taxes down." But that wouldn't have fit ABC's big-government paradigm. So instead, GMA used this prescription for pushing universal health care:
Cherry-pick results from a poll you've conducted; ignoring inconvenient findings.
Bring in a spokesman from a left-wing group that pushes universal care.
Uncritically rely on a clip from, yes, Michael Moore's latest propa-mentary, "Sicko."
Today's "Good Morning America" took Barack Obama's announcement yesterday of his health care proposal as a jumping-off point for a segment on the broader issue. Co-host Diane Sawyer flashed a graphic showing that according to an ABC News poll, 56% of Americans favor Universal health coverage. What Diane didn't tell you: the number of people backing universal coverage has dipped since ABC last conducted such a poll, when support was at 62%.
On page 23 of the June 4 edition of Newsweek, there's a subtle bias on the "Perspectives" quotes-of-the-week page this week. Note the editorializing by using quotation marks suggesting progress will never happen in Iraq:
"It could be a bloody -- it could be a very difficult August." --President George W. Bush, on what is in store for U.S. troops in Iraq in the months before a "progress report" due in September (emphasis mine).
On page 33, there's a story by Melinda Liu on actual progress in Iraq, headlined: "Gathering the Tribes: U.S. field commanders are finally beginning to tap the traditional networks that helped Saddam stay in power." Liu reported from Ramadi that "Marines and Iraqi tribesmen and police are sitting together, swapping jokes and stories. Some of these Iraqis were probably shooting at Americans less than a year ago. Now they and the Marines are fighting side by side against Al Qaeda."
Politicians like Nancy Pelosi who carp about high gas prices and brood about gouging while simultaneously bemoaning global warming are hypocrites. That's the gist of Robert J. Samuelson's column in today's Washington Post. The actual title is A Full Tank of Hypocrisy, but the teaser headline for it on the online op-ed home page is "The Case for Gouging."
Samuelson in fact disputes that gouging, in the sense of collusion among oil producers/refiners, is taking place. He points out, for example, that concentration of ownership in the oil industry has been deemed low-to-moderate, "less concentrated than the auto industry, which is considered intensely competitive." But the long-time WaPo columnist does make the case than many politicians in the global-warming crowd are engaging in some have-it-both-ways hypocrisy on the issue of higher gasoline prices.
A website has sprung up called FireElisabethHasselbeck.com and has a petition for people to sign if they think token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck should be fired. So far over 18,880 people have signed in support of firing the woman the petition calls the “aggressor throughout the entire discussion.” The petition reads like a satire of what actually happened but with the two hosts' names reversed (all emphasis is mine):
Elisabeth began by interrupting Joy with sarcastic comments as Joy attempted to provide some facts about the George Bush presidency, and then continued as Elisabeth angrily defended her refusal to respond to the Republican pundits who incorrectly said that Rosie called the U.S. troops terrorists. As the discussion progressed, Rosie repeatedly tried to de-escalate the situation and not get into a disagreement. However, Elisabeth angrily continued in her blind defense of this administration and her criticisms of Rosie’s views. While many have portrayed this fight as one over politics, it was really a fight about friendship and Elisabeth’s refusal to support Rosie by denouncing what these pundits were attempting to say about her.
For the past 20 years, every Memorial Day weekend, tens of thousands of motorcyclists join together as Rolling Thunder to honor the military, particularly the dead and MIA. The coverage is usually positive and focuses on the patriotic bikers and their interesting-looking bikes. On May 27, ABC News went a different direction for this year’s ride. Instead of covering Rolling Thunder and their military and veteran-related issues, the way the Washington Post and the Washington Times did in their articles, ABC turned it into advocacy journalism to inform people about the importance of--wearing helmets while riding motorcycles. After four rather bland sentences about the the event, ABC slipped into lecture-mode (emphasis mine thoughout):
Charlie Hall, a Washington Post reporter and copy editor for 20 years, is running for a county board seat in suburban northern Virginia as a Democrat, and as the Post itself reported Tuesday, he gets really upset when his Democratic opponents suggest he has no Democratic credentials: "The issue infuriates Hall, who said that he has voted Democrat his whole life."
Post reporter Bill Turque chronicled the primary fight for the Providence District of the Fairfax County Board, a long-time Democratic stronghold. Hall's a staunch opponent of new real-estate development in the area. The incumbent fighting for re-election on June 12 is Linda Q. Smyth, who is backed by the chairman of the Fairfax County Board, Gerald Connolly:
Yes he leans left. But MSNBC host Chris Matthews was manifestly offended by the Mexican audience at the Miss Universe pageant that booed Miss USA. The Mexicans were adding insult to injury, since the lovely and gracious Rachel Smith of Tennessee had earlier slipped onto her derrière during the evening gown segment of the competititon.
Discussing the matter on this afternoon's Hardball with his panel of NBC political director Chuck Todd, Howard Fineman of Newsweek, and Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Tribune, Matthews unleashed on the Mexicans:
That's about the worst PR I can think of for this Mexican immigration bill which is mainly helping Mexicans become legal Americans. . . This young woman smiled right through it. That's class, but [the booing] wasn't very classy.
What is it about immigration though that bothers Mexicans? I mean there are 12 million here illegally. That's fairly benign, even if it is passive, policy. It's hardly predatory. What other country in the world let's 12 million come in there, live there illegally? How can you be mad at that?
Although Katie Couric began Tuesday's CBS Evening News coverage of Iraq on a downbeat note, pointing out how May has become the “deadliest month” of 2007, with “at least 114” U.S. servicemen killed so far, she moved on to how “in an exclusive interview, Iraq's Prime Minister tells CBS News the security crackdown is working.” From Baghdad, Lara Logan offered more of a glass is half full spin as she relayed how, “in his first American television interview since the U.S. troop surge began in February, Iraq's Prime Minister told CBS News today the additional forces here have prevented an even greater catastrophe.” Logan challenged Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's premise: “When we talk to Iraqi people on the streets of Baghdad, they say security is worse. Murders went down, but they're coming up back up again. There are still bombs every day. What is your sense of the quality of life to Iraqi people?”
Logan, however, also passed along how “despite this month's deadly toll on U.S. forces, Maliki said there have been many victories in breaking up al Qaeda and other militant cells. Although he cautioned it was too soon to do a complete evaluation of the surge, he said he has great hopes for more progress in the next two or three months.”
It never ceases to amaze me to see how ignorant The Washington Postis about Catholic teaching---the latest example being staff writer Peter Slevin's liberally biased slam against Abp. Raymond Burke on p. A2 of the May 29 edition. The ignorance (or anti-Catholicism?) is clear in the very first sentence, which is false, in the first paragraph. "When it comes to expressing his views of church values, Roman Catholic Archbishop Raymond Burke has a habit of making headlines, not always to the satisfaction of his flock," writes Slevin. These are not, of course, "his views." They are the views and stipulations of the Catholic Catechism, the Code of Canon Law, and numerous papal encyclicals that often teach definitively on certain matters. Slevin apparently never cracked the Catechism, and he apparently never Googled it because it is online, as is the Vatican, with all the relevant documents.
Abp. Burke has spoken out against abortion; against politicians who support abortion; against entertainers who support anti-Catholic teachings but also want to perform at Catholic functions; against using embryonic stem cells for research; and so on. And this is what apparently ticks Slevin and his editors off: A Catholic Bishop who actually tells his flock the Truth about Catholic teaching and how Catholics must strive to seek holiness and save their souls.
News magazines love to float above the real news and focus on nebulous trends, and perhaps none are more nebulous than the sudden popularity of the "beta male," as represented by Al Gore. The "cultural dispatch" by writer Jennie Yabroff celebrates Gore as "the proto beta male" who’s "having the last laugh as a movie star, an ecosavant, a best-selling author, and a potential dark-horse presidential candidate."
Yabroff’s article in the June 4 edition was headlined "Betas Rule: What do Jim from 'The Office,' Shrek and Al Gore have in common? They're beta males—losers who are winning. Look out, alpha dogs." While the grasping, ambitious "alphas" are out, Gore and Bill Clinton are singled out as the hottest political embodiments of sensitively surrendering men, as if they have no ambitions at all:
"The Anchoress" had an excellent item yesterday about how some news wires are downplaying the authoritarian, anti-free speech nature of Hugo Chavez's move to shut down a private television network that often criticized the Venezuelan thugocrat. She notes that the bland headlines give little reason for the casual reader to sit up and take notice:
Better stow all potables, combustibles, and sharp objects, sports fans, because climatologist/environmental consultant Dr. Tim Ball and mechanical engineer Tom Harris wrote an op-ed for the Toronto Sun Monday that is destined to evoke untimely bouts of laughter.
Titled “Prove It! Environmental Do-gooders,” the piece marvelously took aim at governments deciding to prevent the use of consumer products – in the name of saving the planet – without any proof that their recommendations actually will benefit anyone (emphasis added throughout, grateful h/t Rush Limbaugh):
If there was one thing the 'Today' show wanted its viewers to know about comedian, turned failed Air America radio host, turned Senate candidate, Al Franken, it's that he's really "smart." Profiling his Minnesota Senate seat run, the Today show cast went out of their way to prove the Saturday Night Live alum's candidacy was serious by emphasizing Franken was, indeed, "smart."
Not once, not twice, but three times this morning's Today tagged Franken with the "smart" label. First up, 'Today' co-host Meredith Vieira, in her tease of the upcoming Franken piece proclaimed of the creator of Stuart Smalley: "He's a smart guy!" Then later, Franken impressed Today's national correspondent Jamie Gangel with his smartness as he doodled a map of the U.S. from memory:
Jamie Gangel: "What some people may not know, Franken is smart, Harvard smart. A math whiz who aced the SATs and it turns out not bad at geography, either."
Al Franken doodling: "It's a circus trick. I can draw all 48 contiguous states from memory in about two minutes."
Clay Waters, Editor of the MRC's TimesWatch site and a NewsBusters contributor was a guest this afternoon on the Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto," which airs weekdays at 4 p.m. EDT. The topic: New York Times coverage of Venezuela and Hugo Chavez.
TimesWatch.org is dedicated to documenting and exposing the liberal political agenda of the New York Times.
In "The View’s" first live broadcast after Rosie O’Donnell announced her immediate departure, Barbara Walters addressed the issue. After introducing guest co-host Whoopi Goldberg, Walters said she was "very sad" and claimed that Rosie left on her own terms and "was never fired." "The View" creator asserted she has "admiration" and "affection" for Rosie and is "welcome to come back anytime she wants and we hope that will be often."
Elisabeth Hasselbeck, whose famous fight was Rosie’s immediate reason for leaving, claimed she was "in communication" with Rosie this weekend and "begun the process" of "forgiveness." However, on Rosie’s blog, Rosie claimed they exchanged e-mails and Elisabeth talked to Rosie’s partner, Kelli, for some time, but stated they never actually talked. The entire transcript is below.
If you've been listening to the news, you might be surprised that the national average for gas is $3.20 - not $4 or more. Media hype of rising gas prices included predictions of $4, $5 and even higher national averages for gasoline.
MRC Business & Media Institute director and Newsbusters contributor Dan Gainor appeared on Fox's "Your World with Neil Cavuto" on May 28, 2007 to combat the hype.
"Nobody's saying gas prices aren't high. What we're saying is for the last couple years the media have warned us about $4 a gallon, $5, $6 - even $7 a gallon gas. It's never topped more than $3.22 and it's actually dropped in the last couple days," Gainor told viewers.
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program promised to investigate the "final straw" that pushed Rosie O’Donnell to leave "The View." Yet, somehow, neither anchor Chris Cuomo, nor reporter John Berman managed to mention the comedienne’s obsessive promotion of bizarre 9/11 conspiracy theories.
The segment also sympathetically portrayed O’Donnell. Co-anchor Cuomo even blurted out that Rosie "has to come here," meaning GMA. But first, reporter Berman tenderly noted that a video blog on her website features a picture of Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the show’s token conservative and frequent brunt of O’Donnell’s aggression:
John Berman: "As for Rosie O’Donnell, it does seem like she has at least a touch of nostalgia. On her blog, a new music video montage, pictures of her time at ‘The View,’ including one of Elisabeth Hasselbeck."
Well, sports fans, it appears the media have figured out a clever way to report the events surrounding antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan this weekend without insulting the political party they are shilling for.
Looking at the major media outlets that have begun to cover this story, the strategy appears to be to report Sheehan’s Daily Kos post from Monday, wherein she stated that she was resigning “as the ‘face’ of the American anti-war movement,” while totally ignoring her Saturday post when she defiantly declared, “I am leaving the Democratic Party.”
Pretty sneaky, wouldn’t you agree?
However, this certainly appears to be the modus operandi as demonstrated by the following articles on the subject published Tuesday which included absolutely no reference to her statements Saturday: