MSNBC's Tamron Hall [file photo] is a big "Us Weekly" fan. Even more disturbing: she believes that guilty pleasure is expiated by her reliance on the New York Times for her news.
Hall has been taking Mika Brzezinksi's place on this week's "Morning Joe." This morning's show opened with Joe Scarborough decrying the disparately lenient judicial treatment doled out to Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan. They have received slaps on the wrist, doing virtually no jail time for their drug-fueled escapades, whereas Paris Hilton spent over 20 days in the hoosegow.
When Joe asserted that Paris has been walking the straight and narrow since exiting the Big House, Tamron corrected the record.
An August 22 article in the UK's Times Online gave some insight into the paper's behind-the-scenes views with this headline, “Paris vacates the moral highground to give Washington a helping hand” (h/t Fausta).
For the Times, France's “moral highground” was a four-year diplomatic lock-out with Iraq that began after the “US-led invasion” (and, interestingly, at the end of several Frenchmen profiting from the corrupt UN Oil For Food scam) that Sarkozy broke by sending his Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner to Baghdad yesterday for a three-day fact-finding trip with the goal of helping the Iraqis, through the UN, rebuild and stabilize a country that could easily devolve into genocide without adequate attention.
After CNN and YouTube organized a fairly silly and yet seriously liberal presidential debate for the Democratic presidential candidates this summer, GOP contenders developed cold feet about placing their ambitions at the feet of these groups. When only two GOP candidates accepted invitations for a proposed CNN/YouTube debate in September, the event was called off. In response, a set of conservative bloggers started a website called Savethedebate.com, urging that “Republicans cannot afford to write off the Internet” and risk “denigrating” the youth vote and the way they communicate. Five GOP candidates have now agreed; the new date is November 28.
These bloggers are fine conservatives, but no one should be under the illusion that writing off one website is “writing off the Internet.” That said, GOP candidates do not have the Democrats’ luxury of ignoring hostile media outlets like FOX as if they did not exist.
You knew this was coming: the Seattle office of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has come out against the FBI's release of photos of two men observed acting suspiciously aboard as many as six different Seattle-area ferry routes in recent week.
The Seattle Times - which published the photos at the FBI's request - reported Thursday that CAIR-Washington "resented" the release of the photos, which the FBI released in order to enlist the public in helping identify and locate the men so the FBI could talk to them. (CAIR also has an excerpted version of the Seattle Times story on its website.)
Republican Senator John Warner's call for the withdrawal of 5,000 troops from Iraq by Christmas was trumpeted by the broadcast network evening shows Thursday night: CBS's Katie Couric touted a “major blow tonight to President Bush's Iraq policy” and ABC's Martha Raddatz saw a “stunning announcement that could have a powerful effect on the war” as the NBC Nightly News, for the fifth time in two years, heralded a “turning point” against the war. NBC anchor Brian Williams introduced “another major story we're covering this evening that could amount to a turning point in the debate over America's involvement in Iraq. Tonight, there has been a major defection from President Bush's camp.” (This wasn't the first time Williams has hailed the prescience of the very same Senator. When Warner warned last October that Iraq was drifting “side-wise,” Williams teased: “Is this a new turning point?”)
After a report from Andrea Mitchell, which began with “Turning Point?” on screen, Williams compared Warner to Walter Cronkite, reminding Tim Russert about how during Vietnam President Johnson “famously said, 'If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America.' Well, if George W. Bush has lost John Warner, how big is this, Tim?” Russert affirmed: “In a word: Very big.” Similarly, on the CBS Evening News, Bob Scheiffer declared that “John Warner is the single most influential Republican voice on Capitol Hill” and so his recommendation will “have a major impact.”
Views on abortion are basically binary: you're essentially either pro-life or pro-choice. And Americans are almost evenly divided. According to the Gallup Poll:
[W]hen the entire issue is distilled to the labels most commonly used on each side of the debate -- pro-choice vs. pro-life -- the public is split nearly down the middle.
Under these circumstances, it would seem logically impossible for one of the positions to be inherently "more moderate" than the other. But consider this sentence from a New York Times article of today, Opponents Attack Giuliani’s New York Record:
Socialist thinking can often pop up in the most unexpected places.
One of the “most powerful bond investors in America” is calling for a full-fledged government bailout of homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgages. Pimco Chief Investment Officer and founder Bill Gross thinks the Fed and monetary policy need to step aside for direct government intervention by President George Bush.
“Write some checks, bail 'em out, prevent a destructive housing deflation that Ben Bernanke is unable to do," wrote Gross on his September blog, which appeared in an Associated Press story on August 23. “This rescue, which admittedly might bail out speculators who deserve much worse, would support millions of hard working Americans whose recent hours have become ones of frantic desperation.”
Arthur Bremer, the man who on May 15, 1972, attempted to assassinate then-Gov. George Wallace (D-Ala.), is scheduled to be released from a Maryland correctional facility later this fall, the Associated Press reports.
In 1963, during his first term as Alabama's chief executive, the Democratic governor famously declared: "I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."
While Wallace recanted his segregationist views years later, in May of 1972 he still espoused racist rhetoric during his run for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Is the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) politically picky when taking umbrage with topics pursued by the media? Could be. After Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report posted the "Obama Wife Slams Hillary" headline across his site, CJR ran an article complaining Drudge Barks, TV News Bites.
It seems the CJR is upset that Drudge's headline sparked a media feeding frenzy in which the major news sources all picked up both on the original story in the Chicago Sun-Times and on the interpretation that Michelle Obama's remark constituted an attack on Senator Hillary Clinton. Now for anyone who read the original story, there seems little doubt that Mrs. Obama's remark really was a thinly disguised dig at Hillary. The Sun-Times wrote:
Glancing over blogs that have written on the CNN "God's Warriors" miniseries, I came across a critical entry by liberal activist Sharon Cobb, formerly a contributor to the "NBC Nightly News."
While Cobb professes immense respect for CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour, she's not well-pleased with the jet-setting journalist's latest special. Cobb is particularly chagrined with how Amanpour's special seems to treat Judaism. Here are the first few grafs of her August 22 blog post (emphasis mine):
President Bush's speech before a gathering of the Veterans of Foreign Wars drew attention with his provocative comparison to Vietnam, in which Bush reminded Americans that the U.S. pullout from Vietnam led to millions being killed in Asia. The media jumped on Bush for alleged hypocrisy in comparing the situation in Iraq with Vietnam, even though the liberal press itself has long invoked the failure of Vietnam when discussing Iraq.
New York Times Pentagon reporter Thom Shanker's Thursday "News Analysis," "Historians Question Bush's Read of Lessons of Vietnam War for Iraq," continued in that slanted vein, finding sources to criticize Bush's outlook in his speech at the VFW convention in Kansas City, but none to defend it, and again wondering why America hasn't seen any big tax increases as a show of "national sacrifice" for the war effort.
Left-wing author and media darling Barbara Ehrenreich’s August 29 article, entitled “Smashing Capitalism,” proves yet again what’s been obvious for quite some time. Her view of economics is crazy. Ehrenreich is the author of numerous books, her most famous being “Nickel and Dimed,” and her most recent “Dancing in the Streets”
Ehrenreich claims the poor are single-handedly “smashing the global financial system.” She even describes their actions as a “revolution.”
For the second day in a row, Google News is placing a picture of President Bush laughing next to stories about new proposals for tightening who is eligible for the federally-backed State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). (SEE screencap below fold)
NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard wrote about a similar incident on Wednesday.:
Whether an accident or intentional, the placing of a picture of President George W. Bush laughing next to the headline "Children May Lose On Insurance" is rather deplorable, especially since the picture was not from the article in question.
The Associated Press's Melinda Deslatte covered the controversy over Democratic attack ads on GOP gubernatorial candidate Bobby Jindal yesterday:
A political ad from the Louisiana governor's race is drawing a storm of criticism for accusing Republican Rep. Bobby Jindal of calling Protestants "scandalous, depraved, selfish and heretical."
Democrats say the state party's 30-second TV spot - running in heavily Protestant central and north Louisiana - simply explains Jindal's beliefs with his own words, using portions of the Catholic congressman's religious writings through the 1990s, before he was an elected official.
Jindal, who is running for governor, said the ad distorts his writings.
Now that the military surge led by General Petraeus is clearly succeeding in lowering the violence level in Iraq, the liberal media cheerleaders for defeat are scrambling for a new strategy to convince Americans that Iraq is a disaster. But what line will they choose? The New York Times has apparently decided that since success on the military end of things is now fairly evident, that it is time to begin chipping away at the political side. To this end, they have once again utilized their favorite tool, the anonymous source, to try to destroy Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The Times story, posted on the front page of their web site, is entitled Report Cites Grave Concerns on Iraq's Government.
MTV is gearing up for its 2008 presidential coverage and presenting an opportunity for young people interested in television journalism. Please take advantage of this opportunity and ensure that the right gets some representation in the program:
Citizen journalists! Visionaries! Vloggers! This is your year. Now more than ever, the presidential candidates know that every vote counts, and that local campaign stops can be covered and spread worldwide by anyone with a cell phone. You have power.
As part of our collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Knight News Challenge, MTV is looking for one aspiring reporter from every state and Washington, D.C., to be part of our Choose or Lose team. We know that you're already hitting the streets and doing this work. So now we're giving you the chance to join a national team of journalists in covering this unprecedented election year from a youth perspective.
Oh sure, Hugo Chavez might have his quirks. But at least he's not George Bush. That's Gail Collins's operative thesis in The Great Clock Plot [subscription required] in this morning's New York Times.
Collins riffs off an announcement Chavez made this week of his plan to move Venezuela's clocks ahead by half an hour. Writes Collins:
Reaction was swift, with many people recalling the scene in Woody Allen’s “Bananas” when a revolutionary hero becomes president of a Latin American country and announces that from now on, “underwear will be worn on the outside.”
That democracy-repressing strongman really cracks Gail up. But that's when Collins gets off the first of her barbs against President Bush:
In the wake of President George W. Bush's reminder Wednesday about how the “killing fields” of Cambodia followed the 1975 U.S. pullout from Vietnam and the region, a look back at a study, by William C. Adams and Michael Joblove, which documented how from 1975 to 1978 the three broadcast network evening newscasts, as well as the New York Times and Washington Post, virtually ignored the ongoing massacre of millions by the Khmer Rouge. Below is an excerpt, fairly lengthy since I can't imagine this is online anywhere else, from the MRC's 1990 book, “And That's the Way It Isn't: A Reference Guide to Media Bias.” The excerpt starts with a summary and then key findings from the study published in 1982:
The xenophobic reign of terror by the Marxist Khmer Rouge from April 1975 to January 1979 in Cambodia was as brutal as that of any in history. Up to three million Cambodians died of starvation, torture or execution. But despite what George Washington University professor William Adams and research associate Michael Joblove called "the barbarism and the magnitude of the tragedy," major media outlets in the U.S. paid little attention to the tragic events.
In "Thompson's Image Cultivated by Hollywood" we get another MSM attempt to make Fred Thompson seem to be just a hollow, fake actor. The AP offers us an analysis that Thompson's "image" is just a Hollywood invention and that he had no "conscious decision" in shaping the perception that he exhibits the sort of strong, take charge kind of leadership that Americans might want in a president. Of all the lines of attack they've tried thus far, this is the MSMs favorite way to belittle Fred Thompson. This meme has it that Thompson's acting persona is an invention of Hollywood and that his political life is a reflection of this invented persona, that he capitalized on the illusion to launch a political career -- they want to make Thompson out to be a fake. But, in reality, Thompson's roles are a reflection of his real life persona, not an invention by Hollywood but an amplification of reality by Hollywood.
AP does their level best to make Thompson seem the illusionist...
Remember how many of the Democrat presidential candidates, led by John Edwards, announced that they would refuse to participate in any debate sponsored by Fox News because they complained about the so-called unfairness of that network? It turns out that Dennis Kucinich is upset about the coverage he is receiving from a major news network and it isn't Fox News. Kucinich is angered over what he perceives to be an attempt by ABC News to minimize him. Here is the Kucinich list of complaints about ABC News from his campaign website:
The broadcast network evening news shows on Wednesday night pounced on President Bush's reminder that the U.S. pullout from Vietnam led to millions being killed, as all three shows featured historians to discredit Bush's parallel to what may happen if the U.S. withdraws from Iraq, and NBC portrayed Bush as hypocritical for raising Vietnam after earlier rejecting comparisons to Iraq as a Vietnam-like quagmire. Only ABC, leading into Bush recalling “killing fields,” showed a picture of stacks of skulls and ABC also uniquely featured two Vietnam vets who backed Bush's case.
NBC anchor Brian Williams asserted that “after years of rejecting any comparisons to Vietnam, today President Bush invoked the Vietnam War as a way of saying the U.S. must stay the course and not pull out.” Reporter Kelly O'Donnell noted that “after years of pushback rejecting the Vietnam-Iraq comparison, today in Kansas City, before the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the President made a turn and embraced his own Vietnam analogy.” O'Donnell insisted: “Mr. Bush's comments to the VFW today contrast with what he said last year when asked if he saw an Iraq-Vietnam connection.” Viewers then got just this very short soundbite from Bush at a June 14, 2006 press conference: “I don't see the parallels.” Contrary to NBC's implication, there is no conflict between scorning of a liberal comparison of Iraq to a Vietnam-like quagmire and suggesting other lesson about Vietnam.
Does liberal New York Times columnist Selena Roberts have a double standard for white/blacks accused of crimes? A review of her recent work makes that conclusion hard to escape.
Earlier this year, Roberts wrote passionately (if incorrectly) regarding the three falsely accused Duke lacrosse players in the Times's once-august pages. One of her main themes was that the lacrosse players were engaging in a wall of silence designed to protect the guilty. She condemned this behavior in very strong terms, even using the illustration of a gang member wearing a "Stop Snitching" T-shirt on her first article, published on March 31, 2006. In this she portrayed them as equally despicable and in fact equivalent to those gang members who discourage snitching to the authorities with threats of physical violence.
CNN used an old tactic in the mainstream media’s play book - a person overcome by emotion - to drive home the point they wanted to make - that the only state that hasn’t been visited by President Bush is Vermont. In a segment during the 4 pm hour of "The Situation Room" detailing this apparent "snub," CNN chief national correspondent John King played a clip from an interview of Regina Gilbert, the mother of Kyle Gilbert, who was killed serving in Iraq four years ago. Gilbert fought back tears as she made her plea for a visit from the President.
On Wednesday night's "Hardball" both substitute host Mike Barnicle and MSNBC's David Shuster took pot shots at the President over his stated concern about Iraq becoming a Cambodian-like massacre if the U.S. leaves too early. Substitute hosting for Chris Matthews, Barnicle blurted: "Do you think the President has ever read a book about Vietnam?" while Shuster sneered: "The mere mention of Vietnam and arguing for more sacrifice in Iraq is fraught with potential political peril. After all, President Bush didn't serve in Vietnam and Vice President Cheney received multiple deferments, telling reporters, a few years ago, that in the 1960s he had other priorities than military service.
They may not be YouTube-friendly, but the Chicago Sun-Times has on staff at least two Obama Girls cranking out their undiluted admiration for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Columnist Lynn Sweet, the newspaper's Washington Bureau Chief, has expressed her displeasure with not being able to follow him into the East Bank Club's locker room. When Obama announced his candidacy, Ms. Sweet deemed his speech "soaring" and "inspirational," an evaluation not shared by everyone seeing it.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is apologizing for its decision to run a haiku contest about its decision to not run the photos of two men sought by the FBI for questioning related to possibly terrorist-related activities involving the Seattle-area ferry system
The paper's "online reporter" Monica Guzman writes on the paper's "Big Blog":
The paper's decision not to run photos of the two Seattle ferry passengers sought by the FBI didn't take long yesterday to become part of a widespread debate that provoked readers around the country.
Tuesday August 21, Glenn Beck interviewed Ben Wallace (CNN transcript), who profiled Beck in a September GQ article that asked if Beck is “The Most Annoying Man On TV?” After Wallace told Beck that he thinks the talk show host's annoyance factor ranks up there with Michael Moore, Rosie O'Donnell, Alberto Gonzales and Criss Angel, the only magician to top David Blaine's creepy-factor, the writer really whipped out his liberal media bona fides by claiming that “there aren't that many on the [left] side of the aisle who have talk shows” (emphasis mine):
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," anchor Chris Cuomo completely glossed over the health care implications of a Canadian mother giving birth to quadruplets in America and not her home country. According to Cuomo, Karen Jepp and her husband, the new parents of identical quadruplets, had to be flown 300 miles from Calgary to Montana on August 16, because "every neo-natal unit in their country was too crowded to handle four preemie births."
Apparently, it didn’t occur to Mr. Cuomo to wonder why all the hospitals in Canada, a nation with universal health care, were full. During a subsequent interview with Jepp and her husband J.P., the co-host continued with this unquestioning explanation. He elaborated, "...Towards the very end, it gets even more complicated....You know, they're not ready for them at the hospital. Your doctors have to make calls. You have to fly 300 miles to have [the children]." Considering that back in June, "Good Morning America" co-anchor Diane Sawyer announced "a commitment to take a hard look at the health insurance industry," it seems odd that unusual circumstances, which forced a very pregnant mother to fly to another country and give birth, would be of such little interest to Mr. Cuomo.