Quick, name the two Congressmen who were convicted of corruption this year and sent to the slammer. Bet you came up with Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.) like a shot. But who was the other one?
My friend John Fogle, a fine writer, ran an eye-opening comparison in the Hendersonville Times-News today. It names the other crooked Congressman. The other one, who now resides in the same federal penitentiary as Cunningham, is Rep. Frank Ballance (D-NC). Here's the comparison of the national press coverage of these two convicts:
A Web search for articles containing the three words Cunningham, congressman and jail results in 156,000 hits. But, replace Cunningham with Ballance and you get only 890 hits. So the liberal press produced not twice as many, not 10 times as many, but 175 times as many articles describing a Republican going to jail as those describing a Democrat in the same predicament.
Medill School of Journalism has concluded a survey that attempts to get some benchmarks on bad journalism. While thousands of examples have been documented by MRC and Newsbusters on a daily basis, the report tells us that we don't know the half of it.
...how much internal misconduct [can] a paper reasonably be asked to uncover on its own... maybe 50 percent.
The report, “Newspaper Reporter and Editor Attitudes Toward Credibility, Errors and Ethics,” claims that reporters are in denial.
assistant dean Ellen Shearer... told Helfrich the journalists complained about Jayson Blair, TV news, and “agenda-driven media,” saying they undermined public confidence in their papers’ credibility. But most felt unethical behavior was “not an actual problem at their newspapers—it’s more other people,” she went on. “That’s a little concerning to me.”
Reviewing "An Inconvenient Truth" for the American Spectator, James Bowman doesn't really discuss the film as film, but does scold Gore for making no attempt to engage the public on the question of how much drastic emission-limiting regulations could help, and how much they would cost:
As to how much of a difference we can make, he gives us none of the science on that point. Bjorn Lomborg's calculation that the implementation of the Kyoto accords, the great shibboleth of the global-warming lobby, would at the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars a year only postpone the temperature rise over the next century by six years may be wrong, but Mr. Gore never mentions that calculation, let alone demonstrates its error...
CNN reporter Ben Wedeman got to spend some quality time with terrorists who get their kicks trying to kill Israeli children as he spent the day hanging out at a rocket factory. Nowhere in the story will you read a derogatory word about the terrorists, or even the word "terrorist" at all, and he closes the piece by calling it "a good story."
You might think, as an American or even as a decent human being, that if you knew people who knew bomb-making terrorists, or you had the means to get to where the bombs are being made, you would tell authorities. Not CNN reporters. They bend over backwards to protect these murderers:
I got to the rocket makers through an old acquaintance in Gaza. To protect his identity, I'll call him Majid. A journalist, Majid has the numbers of all Gaza's factions, parties, politicians, warlords, thugs, crooks and freelance gunmen... I didn't mention what I was trying to arrange to anyone -- not CNN's assignment editors, not our Jerusalem bureau, not even Adil, my cameraman who was hoping for a day off after two weeks in Gaza covering clashes and chaos. Gaza is crawling with informants, collaborators and spies, so the less anyone knows about your plans, the better.
First it was pajamas. Now it's degenerated into underpants. Perhaps he thinks Underpants Media should be a new blogger compendium.
Washington Post humor writer and journalist Gene Weingarten, who writes a regular commentary called Below the Beltway, gave a commencement speech to graduating journalism students at the University of Maryland.
In today's world, he says, it's getting tougher for journalism majors to find jobs, especially when "the public appears more and more willing to receive its 'news' online from nincompoops ranting in their underpants."
The BBC has an article out today claiming they have a “new Iraqi massacre tape“. The most curious thing about this article is not the massacre claim itself, but a line buried 15 paragraphs into the 16 paragraph article:
The pictures came from a hardline Sunni group opposed to coalition forces.
That’s like interviewing Hitler for his take on life at a concentration camp. Who needs fact-checking when you have such unbiased and trustworthy sources?
Not only are the sources questionable, but so is the motive for re-running this story now... a story that's several months old. The motive is pretty obvious based on what the BBC chose to include above the fold:
Washington Post film critic Desson Thomson respectfully endorsed Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" Friday, even if he saw it as more a movie about Gore's reinvention that the planet's doom. While he admitted the film was "hagiographic," Gore wasn't wooden, he claimed: "If all college courses had presentations this evocative and sophisticated, no universities would hurt for enrollment."
No, the real Post film critic going goo-goo for Gore was Michael O'Sullivan, who was granted an interview/shoeshine with Gore for the Post's Friday Weekend section:
I begin by reading aloud from an e-mail sent out by the office of Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), who sits on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, in response to a letter from a concerned constituent (and film critic pal of mine), urging her senator to support "green" legislation.
The Associated Press headline proudly proclaims "San Franciscans honor those touched by AIDS" and goes on to regale us all about how AIDS activists "honored" the lives of San Franciscans who have died of AIDS since 1981. (See story by clicking here)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Clasping purple irises, calling out names and clapping to a gospel beat, San Francisco paid tribute Thursday to the thousands of residents who died from AIDS in the last 25 years and honored the thousands more still living with the HIV virus
The report glowed on about how politicians and religious leaders "honored" and "celebrated" AIDS victims at the gathering in the performing arts center this week. The gay men's chorus performed and 40 members of the audience came to the stage and sang "We shall overcome".
In a Thursday night update on the CBS Evening News on the condition of Kimberly Dozier, the CBS News correspondent seriously injured Monday in Baghdad, Sheila MacVicar reported that a soldier at the U.S. military hospital in Germany, where Dozier is recovering, gave her his Purple Heart. From Landstuhl, MacVicar related:
“Something happened that surprised and moved all of us this afternoon. A young American soldier came up to Kimberly's brother, Michael, and told him that he'd met Kimberly in Iraq two years ago after he'd been wounded with shrapnel in his arm. The soldier had his Purple Heart with him, and he told Michael that he'd now like Kimberly to have it because, he said, she suffered as much as any soldiers. That Purple Heart is now beside Kimberly's bed.”
For the second day running, Chris Matthews has run a Hardball segment entitled "Does Hill Fit the Bill?" It's his way of asking whether Hillary Clinton would make a good presidential candidate, and, presumably, by play-on-words, whether she's up to the political standard set by Bill.
While Matthews hasn't squarely answered his own question, he clearly seems skeptical about Hillary's personal and political qualities.
His first guest on the topic this evening was the urbane Roger Altman, Hillary adviser and a Deputy Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration. Matthews grilled Altman on Hillary's hawkishness.
Matthews: "A lot of people in her party, maybe four out of five Democrats, especially New York Democrats, are against this war. Think we never should have gone into Iraq. Hillary on the other hand OK'd the president's authority to go to Iraq and has subsequently stuck to that position, that that was a decision that she still honors, believes in, is by most standards a hawk. How can she lead a doveish party as a hawk?"
CNN’s Bill Schneider sounded more like a spokesman for the Democratic Party than a seasoned political analyst during the 4pm EDT hour of today’s The Situation Room. In his report on the Bush administration’s handling of Hurricane Katrina and the impact it will have on the 2006 mid-term elections, Schneider opined over a picture of Bush looking out the window of Air Force One:
"The President’s image of compassion was shaky to begin with, even though he calls himself a compassionate conservative. Bill Clinton felt your pain. George Bush flew over it."
That zinger met with strong approval, not surprisingly, from Schneider’s colleague, Jack Cafferty during his Cafferty File segment minutes after Schneider’s report: "Great line from Bill Schneider. ‘Bill Clinton felt your pain. George Bush flew over it.’"
Yes this is a few days old, from this past Sunday’s "60 Minutes" on CBS, but Andy Rooney’s commentary on the show was so far out, it had to be shared with the Newsbusters community. Although he began by making valid points about Americans needing to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day, and not just viewing it as a day off, and solemnly remembered friends he lost in World War II, some of his statements called into question whether the sacrifices made by those killed in battle were worth it.
"There's only so much time any of us can spend remembering those we loved who have died, but the men, boys really, who died in our wars deserve at least a few moments of reflection during which we consider what they did for us. They died."
Continuing their endless media blitz to promote their latest album, the Dixie Chicks were Larry King’s guests May 31. When asked by King about her 2003 remarks at a London concert where she said she was ashamed that President Bush was a fellow Texan, lead singer Natalie Maines maintained that her "genius" comment was spontaneous and that she believed she was "defending" America.
Natalie Maines: They [the comments] were not planned. That genius comes to me off-the-cuff...I felt like I was defending America by saying that we don’t all think the same and you can’t just call us Americans like we have one voice and one opinion.
Whatever her intentions may have been, her swipe at the President was read by many fans of the group as an easy way to score some applause from a friendly audience overseas.
New York Times columnist and best-selling foreign-policy author/guru Thomas Friedman appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" Thursday, mostly to address the administration's Iran initiative. But MRC's Brian Boyd also noticed Diane Sawyer turned to Friedman's harsh but very green Wednesday column beginning with the sentence: "Is there a company more dangerous to America's future than General Motors?"
Sawyer: "[B]oy, did you cause a stir yesterday with your column saying that it's time for Toyota to take over General Motors because General Motors has offered what to subsidize gas for people who in effect buy gas-guzzlers?"
NEW YORK (AP) — Consumers apparently shook off their worries about higher gas prices during May, shopping with enthusiasm at apparel stores and malls and giving many retailers better-than-expected results. A big exception was Wal-Mart Stores Inc., whose low-income consumers are feeling the biggest financial squeeze from $3-a-gallon gas.
Yeah, only the poor shop at Wal-Mart. Everyone else shops somewhere else. You didn't know? (/sarcasm)
Economist Thomas Sowell says it's too soon to cheer on the destruction of the mainstream media, who still wield enormous clout.
Conservatives who point out the declining audience for the big television network newscasts, and declining public trust of the media in general, often underestimate how much clout the liberal media still have.
For example, while the economy has had near-record highs in growth rates and in the stock market, with near-record lows in unemployment and inflation, polls show that the public thinks the economy is in big trouble. A steady diet of gloom-and-doom spin in the liberal media has worked. The death of media influence has been greatly exaggerated.
More is involved than partisan attempts to undermine the Bush administration. For decades, the liberal media and the intelligentsia have had to struggle mightily against good economic news. Their whole vision of the world -- and of themselves -- is at stake.
Because it’s been so heavily subsidized, you forget that Air America Radio hosts do shameless commercial plugs like any other talk-radio star. I’ve heard Al Franken chat about his Craft-Matic adjustable mattress, for example. Today checking out the Stephanie Miller show on DC's Progressive Talk 1260, the hopeless Bush-hater turned into a commercial pitch-woman by hosting Roger Schlesinger of Manhattan West real estate, the “Mortgage Minute Guy,” as he discussed the hot new trend toward second homes, and how they can set you up smartly in the Las Vegas area or the Coachella Valley in California. Liberal Air America fans shouldn't be buying second homes, when there's so many charitable causes to support, like say, paying back Air America's robbing the kids of the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club?
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission refused to reconsider on Wednesday its decision to fine 20 CBS Corp. (CBSa.N: Quote, Profile, Research) television stations a total of $550,000 for airing pop singer Janet Jackson's breast flash in 2004.
The decision sets up a likely court battle over the FCC's attempt to crack down on indecent content broadcast on television and radio.
Jackson briefly exposed her breast during the Super Bowl football halftime show, sparking an outrage among some lawmakers and parents groups and provoking regulators to impose the fine on CBS for violating U.S. decency standards.
"The roadside blast in Baghdad on Monday that killed two CBS News crew members and seriously wounded a third has deepened concerns among television network executives about the risks their crews face trying to cover the Iraq war, some arguing that television reporters may be even more exposed than those in print journalism."
Near the end, Carter lets two news executives take some timely blasts at conservatives, and radio host Laura Ingraham in particular:
As Katie Couric departed the Today show after 15 years Wednesday with hours of "misty, watercolor memories" -- for you in the under-40 crowd, that's Streisand singing "The Way We Were," in, ouch, 1973 -- it’s quite obvious that CBS knew it was not only getting one of America’s most famous journalists, but also one of America’s most liberal ones. In the weeks since Couric announced her CBS move on April 5, she has seemed especially outspoken.
She told Ted Kennedy his goal of government-mandated health coverage was a “noble goal”; swooned over Helen Reddy’s feminist anthem “I Am Woman” and oozed over how it shaped her; insisted that teaching tolerance of homosexuality should be done at an early age; and promoted Al Gore’s direst ice-cap-melting predictions: “Even Manhattan would be in deep water, right?” To mark Couric’s NBC career, here’s a very brief listing of some of Katie’s dramatic liberal bias, going all the way back to 1991. (See more from our main page here.)
On the "Couric Watch" over at TVNewser, Brian Stelter noticed the early reviews for the looong Katie Couric goodbye on Wednesday were negative. Take B&C Beat at Broadcasting and Cable magazine:
But today’s Today orgy of tribute was ridiculously over the top, so long by so far that even Couric seemed to know it. Shortly after 8 a.m., when Matt Lauer promised even more tributes to come, Couric chimed in, “Sorreee!" Almost exactly an hour later, as the tributes kept coming, Couric acknowledged, “It’s a lot of Katie.”
The higher CO2 levels that inherently come with global warming are actually a good thing if you're starving in a third world country. Plants breathe CO2, and higher levels means faster plant growth and higher crop yields.
But that isn't the story you want to paint if you're a big media operation like USA Today. Instead, you want to frame it like this:
Study: Global warming boosts poison ivy WASHINGTON (AP) — Another reason to worry about global warming: more and itchier poison ivy. The noxious vine grows faster and bigger as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise, researchers report Monday... Compared to poison ivy grown in usual atmospheric conditions, those exposed to the extra-high carbon dioxide grew about three times larger — and produced more allergenic form of urushiol, scientists from Duke and Harvard University reported. "...the shift toward a more allergenic form of urushiol have important implications for the future health of both humans and forests," the study concludes.
There you have it. That means I can expect to get stricken with poison ivy three times more than I have in the past, which is currently a consistent zero times. This coupled with inch higher water must be part of the end of civilization that Al Gore anticipates. Remember, folks, all of this global warming nonsense you're reading about is just part of the 2008 Democratic platform as delivered by big media.
On Wednesday’s CBS Evening News, Anthony Mason trumpeted how North Carolina Treasurer Richard Moore, who got four soundbites, withheld that state’s pension fund votes from the ExxonMobil directors who he thinks gave too great a compensation package to the retired CEO, but Mason failed to identify his Democratic affiliation (not even on-screen) or let viewers in how CBS was delivering publicity benefitting a likely 2008 Democratic candidate for Governor of the Tar Heel state. The North Carolina Democratic Party was so excited by Moore’s move that they sent out a press release: “NC State Treasurer Richard Moore Takes on Oil Company.”
"Outside its annual shareholders meeting, ExxonMobil was under fire today from protesters frustrated with soaring gas prices and the company's former CEO," Mason touted before a woman protester outside the Dallas meeting charged: "He's one of the worst examples of corporate greed." After reciting ex-CEO Lee Raymond’s large compensation package, Mason noted that “ExxonMobil is the most profitable company in the country,” but “it's even starting to feel the heat here on Wall Street." For his evidence from “Wall Street,” Mason turned to Democrat Moore of Raleigh who declared: "I think the sentiment of disgust and outrage is very wide." Mason explained Moore’s power: “Richard Moore is North Carolina's state treasurer. The state's pension fund owns 11 million shares of ExxonMobil, worth more than $660 million. Today Moore, on behalf of the state, withheld all those share votes from the Exxon directors who backed Raymond's pay." Moore called the compensation package “un-American.” (Transcript follows)
Forget the forthcoming report. Forget any trials. It appears that the Los Angeles Times has already reached its verdict on Haditha. The title of an editorial today (Wed. May 31, 2006) in the "print edition" at latimes.com is entitled, "What happened at the Iraqi My Lai?"
However, the exact same editorial appears under a different title in the actual print copy of the paper. Paper readers saw a more tame headline: "Duty, honor, investigation." (Yawn.)
For Hillary Clinton and her terminally unfaithful husband, last week must have seemed like a Wes Craven version of an old musical comedy reworked and entitled “A Ghastly Thing Happened on the Way Back to the White House.”
With Hillary leading in most polls as the prohibitive favorite to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008, many party loyalists and typically favorable media members appear to be jumping off her bandwagon. At the same time, these very folks are falling over themselves to assist in the makeover and revitalization of former vice president Al Gore.
Coincidence? Unlikely. In fact, this is starting to resemble what these same folks did to Howard Dean during his 2004 presidential run.
For those that have forgotten, Dean was riding high in the polls in the winter of 2004. However, few top-ranking Democrats believed that he could beat President Bush in November. As a result, Time and Newsweek both ran cover stories on January 12, 2004 questioning his “electability” beyond the primaries. As Eric Boehlert wrote in Salon on January 13:
Goldhagen wrote in the Times in reference to Pope Benedict's recent appearance at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp. The smears and invectives from Goldhagen are numerous. He baselessly asserts an "unavoidable causal, historical and moral link connecting the church, the Nazis and Auschwitz" while staking his bogus claim of "a connection between the Catholic Church, Christianity and the Holocaust." Goldhagen then accuses Pope Benedict of "clouded historical understanding" and "whitewashing of the past."
The media spins up for an attack swarm against the US military…
By now I am sure you have heard of this incident between US Marines and Iraqi civilians in Haditha? It absolutely must be foremost in our minds that all the facts are not in. Still, the MSM are falling all over themselves saying that, when one of their own was killed by an IED and several more were injured, a squad of Marines lost their collective minds and murdered some two dozen Iraqi civilians.
If this really happened it is a horrible incident. It just should never have happened. And, further, those who did this deed will be tried and punished appropriately if found guilty. It is a black mark on the Marines and the USA. The criminality of this incident must not be diminished.
But, even if true, it is just one of some very few such incidents in this war. However, while regrettable, shameful even, it just cannot be said that this incident is indicative of a general US policy in Iraq. Nor can it be said to represent any kind of policy of the US military historically.
The topic was the disconnect between Hillary Clinton's support for the Iraq war and the fact that her coterie is composed of hard-core, anti-war liberals. In discussing it with guest Dee Dee Myers on this evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews let slip that he equates liberalism with 'caring' for peace and human rights.
Here's how it went down. Discussing Hillary's inner circle, Matthews suddenly interjected:
"Here's something I find to be a mystery, and it just came to me, Dee Dee. You can answer it, you can solve it. When I think about the people who are really loyal to Senator Clinton, they're all pretty much liberals - and I mean liberals - I don't mean just on big spending programs at home, but they really care about peace, and they care about human rights, and they're very suspicious of foreign policy intrigue and overreach. And yet Hillary Clinton is for that. She was for the war with [sic] Iraq. She still is. How can she build a campaign for president on the backs of people who don't agree with her on the central issue of our time?"
Newsbusters readers who had the misfortune of watching CNN May 30 were not experiencing deja vu. Democratic Congressman John Murtha was interviewed on not one, not two, but three separate network programs throughout the day. Murtha’s day of CNN appearances began with an interview conducted by American Morning's Soledad O'Brien, followed by a late afternoon exchange with Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room. Anderson Cooper 360 viewers, not to be left out, were treated to a pre-taped interview between Cooper and Murtha during the 10pm hour.
While O’Brien and Blitzer were eager to hear Murtha equate the alleged shooting of Iraqi civilians by U.S. Marines in Haditha to the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, only Cooper questioned whether Murtha might be rushing to condemn the Marines before the official investigation is complete.
Cooper: "Congressman Murtha, you believe the military investigation will ultimately show that the, the troops in Haditha, quote, ‘overreacted because of the pressure on them and killed innocent civilians in cold blood.’ That’s a quote from you. How are you so sure at this point? The investigation isn’t even complete."