As CNN's Howard Kurtz accurately pointed out on Sunday's "Reliable Sources," few media outlets seemed at all interested in giving much attention to the great news out of Iraq last week regarding September's sharp decline in casualties.
To Kurtz's obvious frustration, his guests - Robin Wright of the Washington Post and Barbara Starr of CNN - both supported the press burying this extremely positive announcement.
I kid you not.
*****Update: Wright responds to reader e-mail message at end of post.
After introducing the subject, Kurtz asked, "Robin Wright, should that decline in Iraq casualties have gotten more media attention?"
Were you aware that embattled Idaho Senator Larry Craig has been inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame? If you journeyed over to MSNBC.com, you couldn't miss [this AP] story; their 8:30am EDT update highlights it not once, not twice, not three times, but four times in different sections of their main page. Here's one from the "Inside MSNBC.com" segment:
The Los Angeles Times ran a bizarrely biased October 5 article about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Qods Day speech. The Times omitted and downplayed important remarks and outright threats in the much-sanitized speech, such as twisting Holocaust denial into just asking questions.
True to form, the Iranian president railed against the ever-oppressive and all-powerful “Zionists,” but the LAT presented his speech with a tone better suited for an Iranian audience.
The reporters, special correspondent Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran and staff writer Borzou Daragahi in Beirut, jumped right into the anti-Semitic propaganda that could just as easily have come from the Aryan Nation (bold mine throughout):
Friday's "Hannity and Colmes" featured a discussion of a recently released Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll which found that, when asked the question, "Do you personally think the world would be better off if the United States loses the war in Iraq?" 19 percent of Democrats answered "yes" while 20 percent answered "don't know," leaving only 62 percent who definitely disagreed with the idea that the world might be better off if America lost. By contrast, 87 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Independents disagreed with the idea that a loss by America might be a good thing for the world. (Transcript follows)
Blogger "Conservative Belle" has a penchant for getting to the bottom of stories. You'll remember that a couple weeks ago, she discovered that the fallen soldier whose name David Shuster blamed Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) for not knowing had his official residence in another district. It was a Dem congressman, not Blackburn, whom the Department of the Army had notified of the soldier's death.
Conservative Belle [or "CB," as we like to call her] has gone Sherlock Holmes again today. And this time, she's discovered that "Media Matters," the outfit that denies that Hillary Clinton [contrary to her assertion as pictured here] helped start it, just happens to use as official agents a firm whose head honchos include . . . two senior political operatives from the Clinton adminstration.
In this photo released by CBS, former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, left, shares a laugh with host David Letterman on the set of 'The Late Show with David Letterman, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007. It was Snow's first appearance on the show.
On Thursday's "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN's Randi Kaye filed a story in which she promoted gun control as a solution for Philadelphia's crime problems, as she pushed the argument that the city's high rate of gun violence was the result of Pennsylvania state lawmakers voting to loosen gun laws in the 1990s. And, as if criminals would bother to apply for a permit to legally carry a concealed weapon, Kaye further suggested that the availability of concealed carry permits has contributed to the city's problems. Kaye: "In 1995 there were fewer than 800 applications for concealed weapons here. 'Keeping Them Honest,' we checked, and today there are 29,000 permits to carry. And it's against the law for police to ask anyone why they want one. One law enforcement source told me permits to carry are being passed out like candy." A blog posting on the show's Web site based on this story can be seen here. (Transcript follows)
And yet another flashback of a phony Democrat soldier. Here is World Net Daily's exploration of the lie Al Gore told about his "gassed Uncle in WWI" during his doomed run for president in 2000... turns out Gore didn't HAVE any family that served in WWI.
Oct. 6, 2000: When Vice President Al Gore claimed, during the first presidential debate of the 2000 campaign, his uncle had been gassed in World War I while serving in Bosnia, skeptical fact checkers went to work – and they, like the campaign itself, came up empty. "And when the conflict came up in Bosnia," said Gore, "I saw a genocide in the heart of Europe, with the most violent war on the continent of Europe since World War II. Look, that's where World War I started, in the Balkans. My uncle was a victim of poison gas there. Millions of Americans saw the results of that conflict." World War I started in the Balkans, true.
Are media members finally getting comfortable expressing skepticism about climate change?
Just days after CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano practically spoke heresy by stating "There are definitely some inaccuracies" in soon-to-be-Nobel Laureate Al Gore's schlockumentary "An Inconvenient Truth," a British nature-loving journalist said "I wish we could grow up about" global warming.
You gotta love it.
As reported by the British Telegraph Saturday (emphasis added throughout, h/t Marc Morano):
The gist is that it was selfish of Jones to elbow her way onto the 2004 4x100-meter Olympic relay team. Since she knew she had been taking steroids, she must also have realized that any medal the team won was in danger of being forfeited. Good point.
But then, from out of left field, this gratuitous shot [emphasis added]:
In a little blast from Clinton's past it's an avalanche of Democrats and their supporters who are turning out to be liars about their military service, lately. We are reminded of the late M. Larry Lawrence, a long time Bill Clinton donor who was such a heavy contributor that Clinton paid him off with the ambassadorship to Switzerland (1993 to 1996). Even The New York Times can't hide this one because since his false service had been confirmed, in 1997 his body had been removed from Arlington Cemetery, an honor that Clinton had strings pulled to bestow upon him after his passing from cancer in 1996 -- an Arlington burial being just another payoff for his huge donations to Clinton's campaign fund.
"Confronted with mounting evidence that M. Larry Lawrence, the late Ambassador to Switzerland, had fabricated a heroic World War II record, his widow decided today to have his remains exhumed from Arlington National Cemetery, where he was granted burial under an unusual waiver."
So what was the story? How was his military service a sham?
Here's another Old Media non-followup on yesterday's news: Failure to get a reaction from two Democratic presidential candidates who had harsh things to say a month ago when August's weak employment report was released.
That August report showed a loss of 4,000 jobs. The Old Media "recession worries" chorus was deafening. August's job-increase number was revised upward to a pickup of 89,000 as part of yesterday's report. As noted by Baker and Gainor, Old Media reaction to that revision was relatively muted. I also don't see that anyone in Old Media pointed out that the total new-jobs increase, including prior revisions, was a gain of 228,000 jobs (September's initial +110,000 pickup, August's +93,000 revision, and a +25,000 revision to July).
The two leading Democratic presidential candidates opportunistically jumped on that initial August report and its supposed implications in early September, reporter Edmund Andrews noted in a New York Times article:
Media's power was on full display last week when a popular rock singer published a song about the Jena 6.
The lyrics angered the embattled Louisiana city's mayor so much that he wrote a letter to the Associated Press complaining about how his town has "for months been mischaracterized in the media and portrayed as the epicenter of hatred, racism and a place where justice is denied."
The latest episode in this bizarre story began with the posting of this video at the website of John Mellencamp featuring his most recent song "Jena." In it, Mellencamp sings:
Oh oh oh Jena Take your nooses down
The town's mayor, Murphy R. McMillin, wasn't pleased by this, and wrote the AP:
ABC anchor, and former Clinton employee, George Stephanopoulos interviewed his old boss on ABC’s "This Week." Stephanopoulos sycophantically highlighted a story in The Atlantic about the ex-President's philanthropy. Stephanopoulos quoted the author, "'History may remember Bill Clinton as the philanthropist who happened to be President" and then asked if Clinton was "okay" with that description.
Why did President Bush veto a federal health insurance bill "for children?" Well, ABC painted the President as uncaring and not concerned about the poor, rather than mention the program actually covers more than just the destitute.
On Friday's Hardball, MSNBC's Chris Matthews tried to explain away his “criminality” allegation against the Bush administration, hailed as his “hero” a CBS News correspondent who touted Jesse Jackson as “a sort of conscience of the country” and, in showing pictures from the Thursday night party celebrating Hardball's 10th anniversary, illustrated how he was surrounded by liberals.
Comments from Matthews on his show suggested that his charge against the Bush administration -- “they've finally been caught in their criminality” -- which the Washington Examiner quoted him as saying at the party, was merely a reference to Scooter Libby. But he failed to specifically clarify, correct or deny the quote. He argued “that in one case,” Bush administration “efforts to silence critics, and to cover up those efforts, got a senior Cheney aide caught up in criminality, indeed, in a conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice.” Matthews, playing the martyr to obviously unsuccessful supposed attempts to silence him, then trumpeted “my hero Eric Sevareid,” who “once noted we cannot always be right on the facts, though we must try to be; we cannot always be fair, but we must try to be. But we must always be independent.” If only Matthews really lived up to that “independent” promise.
Imagine this scenario: A Republican Mayor of a famous city lies about his service in Vietnam and is caught at it but before that revelation comes to light he was already in trouble as he was about to be recalled by the citizenry for commonly being absent at city council meetings. What's more he also presides over a city council that has several members under investigation for sexual misconduct, drunk driving and at least one recent council member who is in jail serving a conviction for bribery. Imagine how the MSM would howl over the Republican "culture of corruption?" And yet, this scenario that I describe actually exists with but one small alteration in the particulars. The mayor in question actually exists. His city council is as corrupt as I describe. Only the mayor is a Democrat instead of a Republican... not that the MSM seems to have noticed.
Once again, the AP seems to have forgotten to mention the party affiliation of a wretchedly corrupt Democrat who is under fire for his perfidy.
When the Labor Department reported a net loss of 4,000 jobs for August, the September 7 ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts highlighted the bad news as evidence of an impending recession, but on Friday, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised the August number to a gain of 89,000 jobs and reported 110,000 new jobs for September (AP story), only ABC bothered to mention the revision while CBS didn't utter a syllable about either jobs gain. The CBS Evening News anchored by Harry Smith, however, found time to note the Postal Service's decision to honor two CBS journalists -- Eric Sevareid and George Polk -- with stamps.
A month ago, Katie Couric plugged an upcoming look at “new worries about the U.S. economy following a disappointing jobs report.” Harry Smith then cited “new concern about the economy tonight following a report which showed the number of jobs in the U.S. dropped by 4,000 in August, the first monthly decline in four years.” Anthony Mason asserted “it had a lot of economists uttering the 'r' word today, recession,” and fretted: “These job numbers are the most worrisome sign yet, Harry, that the housing slump and the mortgage crisis could take the entire economy down with them.” ABC anchor Charles Gibson teased: “The economy loses jobs for the first time in years as the housing crisis raises the risk of recession.” Betsy Stark declared: “The risks of a serious slowdown, even a recession, are rising. Today's jobs report was shockingly bleak.”
MRC Research Director and NewsBusters senior editor Rich Noyes appeared on Friday's "The Big Story with John Gibson" on the Fox News Channel to discuss how MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews declared that the administration has “been caught in their criminality” just days before he was scheduled to co-moderate a GOP presidential debate on CNBC.
On Friday's "Good Morning America," reporter Claire Shipman fretted over the fact that local governments are aggressively fighting illegal immigration. An ABC graphic worried, "Crackdown on Illegal Immigrants: Have Communities Gone Too Far?" Discussing the efforts by a Texas town to stop the influx of illegals, Shipman claimed, "...Neighbors suddenly find they can't help themselves. The immigration debate exploding without the niceties." She also lamented the tone of the debate, saying that since the defeat of the Senate immigration bill, "...What had once been a lofty political debate has now become a gritty, explosive reality."
At no point did it occur to ABC to wonder if illegals had "gone too far" in breaking American laws. Rather, Shipman highlighted sympathetic stories of terrified immigrants. She asserted that in the small town of Irving, Texas, "Latino parents have grown so nervous, they're keeping their kids out of schools." The GMA reporter also talked to an anonymous illegal immigrant in Virginia who recounted the ordeal of having a child who "comes home and asked me, 'Why do they hate us?'"
The Bush administration has "finally been caught in their criminality," MSNBC host and former Speaker Tip O'Neill (D-Mass.) aide Chris Matthews seethed at the 10th anniversary party for his "Hardball" program, the Washington Examiner is reporting.
They're strong and loaded words, of course, but only the latest example of Matthews history of political bias against conservatives and the GOP. Yet coming as it does so close to the October 9 Republican presidential debate that Matthews will host, RedState's Erick Erickson is urging Republican candidates to call Matthews on the carpet for his bias.:
You know, I will be gravely disappointed if the GOP candidates do not make an issue of this at the debate.
If the GOP candidates are too chicken to take on Chris Matthews before a live television audience on Matthew's gross bias, they will have disgraced us all.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told a group at the 2007 Washington, D.C., conference on October 4 one of the things that made the SPJ great is its Code of Ethics. But the code didn't come into play during the hour-long October 5 program at the convention entitled "Climate Change Affects Every Beat."
The event had three panelists: Larry Evans, managing editor of Daily Environmental Report; Judi Greenwald, director of innovative solutions at the Pew Center on Climate Change; and Michelle Moore, vice president for policy and public affairs at the U.S. Green Building Council.
Retired steelworker Steve Skvara tugged at the heartstrings of liberals everywhere when he asked Democratic presidential candidates at an August debate sponsored by the AFL-CIO, "What's wrong with America? And what will you do to change it?" The underlying premise of his question, that something's wrong with this nation because taxpayers aren't picking up the tab for his spouse's health insurance, made him an instant celebrity in certain circles.
Chris Matthews invited Mr. Skvara to his MSNBC Hardball program and told him, "You're a great American to speak so well to the needs of this country." Matthews later fawned, ""Well, can I pay tribute — can I pay tribute to you, sir?" The CBS Evening News described Skvara's query as a time when "a moment of truth breaks through a political campaign event." Since his debut, Mr. Skvara's popped up in the media numerous times, including Oprah Winfrey's show.
On Friday's "Good Morning America," ABC reporter David Wright narrated a sympathetic look at Barack Obama's decision not to wear an American flag lapel pin and asserted that this country's "obsession with flag pins isrelatively new." To further defend the Democratic presidential candidate, Wright pointedly noted that liberal bogeyman Richard Nixon wore such a pin. He observed, "Ike didn't wear one. JFK either. Nixon did wear the flag as he told the American people he had nothing to do with Watergate."
Of course, Wright himself was not wearing a pin with the U.S. flag on it. As the MRC has previously noted, ABC President David Westin banned on-air talent from having such pins adorn their lapels. In 2003, he deemed it the "patriotic duty" of reporters not to display the flag. At a journalist conference, he elaborated that "after 9/11, the question came up and we, as a matter of policy at ABC News, tell our people on the air, you shall not wear an American flag or any other symbol on the air."
In 1960, John F. Kennedy, who had been shocked by the hunger he saw in West Virginia, made the fight against hunger a theme of his presidential campaign. After his election he created the modern food stamp program, which today helps millions of Americans get enough to eat.
But Ronald Reagan thought the issue of hunger in the world’s richest nation was nothing but a big joke. Here’s what Reagan said in his famous 1964 speech “A Time for Choosing,” which made him a national political figure: “We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet.”
Do you remember hearing about a BBC documentary about Queen Elizabeth II this summer? During filming, Her Majesty walked out of the room in a huff when photographer Annie Leibovitz asked her to remove her crown for a photo. This is the stuff tabloid dreams are made of, and they had a field day with this tasty tidbit. But apparently it never happened: selective editing of the film footage in the trailer, which was shown to journalists, made it seem as though it did.
Back in July, when the controversy erupted, Peter Fincham, the controller for BBC One apologized for the "mistake," but said he wouldn't resign.