CBS, and especially ABC, on Thursday night portrayed the debate over increasing federal spending on health insurance for children as an effort to help kids only the cold-hearted could oppose, a framing aided by scenes of cute toddlers, a crying mother and little emphasis on how those well above poverty would qualify. ABC anchor Charles Gibson overlooked the proposed expansion, to those in families who have or can afford private insurance, as he cited “a bill providing health insurance to millions of kids whose parents cannot afford private coverage.”
Reporter Martha Raddatz found a poor mother to exploit, beginning her story: “Susan Dick depends on the so-called SCHIP [State Children's Health Insurance Program] program for her two sons, both of whom have asthma. The family income is too low for private insurance, too high for Medicaid.” Raddatz briefly noted Bush's fear many would move from private insurance to the government program and then, leading into a soundbite from liberal Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, she hailed how “the expansion has bipartisan support across the country, including from many Republicans...” Capping her story, Raddatz featured a crying mother who sympathetically fretted: “If my boys don't have health insurance, it makes it very hard when you're a parent to know that they're sick and you have to get them to the doctor.” Raddatz coldly concluded: “But the President made it very clear today, Charlie, he will veto this bill in its present form.” CBS anchor Katie Couric also painted Bush as opposed to helping kids: “President Bush opened a news conference today by attacking a proposed expansion of a health care program for low-income children.”
This story about Ohio has nationwide application. That's because Ohio's media have been awfully quiet about the tax increases that will be necessary if the Buckeye State's version of "universal health care" comes to pass. The bill was introduced on April 25, according to this Ohio Legislative Services Commission bill analysis, and has flown under the radar ever since. I expect that national Old Media scrutiny of the Second Coming of Hillarycare will also be minimal.
My interest in the so-called "Ohio Health Care Plan" was perked when I heard an ad from the Ohio Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) claiming that the plan would cost Ohio taxpayers $50 billion.
$50 billion. With a "b." In one state.
That's over $4,400 for every man, woman, and child in Ohio, or over $17,000 for a family of four.
A separate fiscal analysis by the Legislative Services Commission is pending, so I thought that the NFIB might be engaging in a bit of reckless hyperbole.
"As a public relations effort, I mean, this is like the litigation equivalent of a suicide bombing. It just doesn't make any sense," noted MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham about former "CBS Evening News" anchor Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS. The NewsBusters senior editor was interviewed shortly after 5:30 p.m. Eastern on Thursday's "Big Story" by Fox News reporter Heather Nauert.
Video (3:04):Real (2.24 MB) and Windows (1.87 MB), plus MP3 audio (1.39 MB). [related links listed below fold]
The title of Laura Ingraham's new book is "Power to the People," and the conservative commentator paraded power of her own to burn in her smackdown with Chris Matthews on this afternoon's "Hardball." The bone of contention was Matthews's suggestion that former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan had, in his new book, said that oil was the key to the Bush administration's decision to go to war in Iraq.
Sticking and moving like a prize fighter, talk show host and author Laura Ingraham, outnumbered in a three against one fight, took out not only "Hardball" host Chris Matthews but his colleague David Shuster and NBC News political director Chuck Todd, as well.
View video here. (courtesy NB contributor Mark Finkelstein)
On Thursday night's "Hardball" Ingraham took Matthews to task for his outrageous claims about the Iraq war being about oil as she threw his past bias in his face: "What? What? Chris are, were you the one, the other night, correct me if I'm wrong, who said that we should hang Exxon and Mobil signs at, at Arlington National Cemetery?" Then Ingraham slapped down Matthews about his pessimistic view on the war: "Chris, I'm different from [where] you are on this. I actually have hope that goodness will prevail."
On the eve of the Senate voting overwhelmingly to condemn MoveOn's recent "General Betray Us" ad, Michael Kinsley chose to defend the actions of this far-left group while poking fun at conservatives for being so outraged (h/t NB reader Lee Martin).
In an article published by Time Wednesday, the former "Crossfire" host stated that the ad could be interpreted "merely as questioning the general's honesty, not his patriotism," and that Republicans were suddenly practicing "political correctness" that could turn "discussions of substance into arguments over etiquette."
Besides omitting Iran’s terror ties in their coverage Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s planned visit to Ground Zero in New York City, as Scott Whitlock noted in his earlier post, ABC and CBS, as well as NBC, failed to mentioned that Ahmadinejad is also giving a lecture at Columbia University. The lecture, sponsored by the University, is planned on September 24, the same day Ahmadinejad will be addressing the United Nations.
Byron York over at the National Review's Corner blog is reporting that the Senate has just voted 72 - 25 condemning MoveOn's "General Betray Us" advertisement published by the New York Times last Monday (h/t's to Charles Johnson and Glenn Reynolds).
This raises an interesting question: How will media report this vote?
After all, as York reported, every Republican Senator voted "Yea," while key Democrat leaders - including presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Majority Leader Harry Reid - voted "Nay."
In the September 20 presidential press conference, CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux sought to blame President Bush and the GOP for a perceived nationwide deterioration in race relations. In doing so, Malveaux raised the plight of the so-called Jena Six, a group of black Louisiana teenagers charged in the beating of a white student.
Media outlets covering the controversy have generally skirted around reporting on the victim of the "Jena Six" assault, focusing more on the political dimensions of the controversy, particularly Thursday's Al Sharpton-led protests in the small Louisiana town. For example, in a separate post, NewsBusters contributor Matthew Balan notes how news outlets like CNN.com and USAToday are burying or ignoring details about victim of the Dec. 4, 2006 beating, Justin Barker.
Below are the questions Malveaux asked, as well as a separate "Jena Six" question posed by Michael Fletcher of The Washington Post, who the president referred to as "Fletch":
On Thursday’s morning shows and Wednesday’s evening newscasts, CBS and ABC discussed a possible visit to Ground Zero by Iran’s President and, at the same time, ignored Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s connections to terror and also his statements about wiping out Israel. On "Good Morning America," Chris Cuomo briefly mentioned the upcoming U.S. trip and only cited construction at New York’s Ground Zero and "security concerns" as reasons to deny the man a visit. On CBS's "Early Show," reporter Russ Mitchell filed a similarly bland report. Neither mentioned that the Iranian leader in 2005 called for Israel to be wiped from the map and Iran is a state supporter of terrorism.
Only on NBC’s "Today," did Ahmadinejad’s extreme statements and actions warrant a reference. Reporter Andrea Mitchell labeled the attempted visit to Ground Zero a "PR stunt" and pointedly observed, "[Bush] Administration officials called it appalling. Presidential candidates condemned the visit and one 9/11 widow said it's like letting Osama Bin Laden visit Ground Zero." With a series of anchor briefs, Wednesday night’s news broadcasts featured a similar pattern. NBC’s "Nightly News" host Brian Williams proclaimed that the request had been rejected because of security and the fact that "Iran is, as the U.S. said today, among the world’s leading sponsors of terrorism." However, "World News" host Charles Gibson provided no reason at all. In a news brief, he simply asserted, "[Ahmadinejad] told New York police he’d like to visit Ground Zero. The New York City police department has said no." "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric didn’t cover the subject at all.
The statements in Dan Rather's $70 million lawsuit, filed Wednesday against CBS for terminating him nearly two years after his discredited story on President Bush's National Guard service, reflect a conspiratorial paranoia about how he sees himself as a victim of Bush White House pressure and is unable to accept responsibility for his sloppy and politically-driven story.
The former network star charged that he was made a "scapegoat" for the 2004 story because CBS wished to "pacify the White House." CBS management "coerced" him, Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz on Thursday quoted the lawsuit, "into publicly apologizing and taking personal blame for alleged journalistic errors in the broadcast." Josh Howard, the Executive Producer at the time of the weekday 60 Minutes who was forced to resign, rejected Rather's claim that he was just a passive narrator, telling Kurtz: "He did every interview. He worked the sources over the phone. He was there in the room with the so-called document experts. He argued over every line in the script. It's laughable."
The websites of CNN and USAToday joined their "Big Three" network brethren in covering the march in Jena, Louisiana to support the so-called Jena 6, while at the same time, either burying mention of the teenager who was beaten by the six high school students, or not mentioning him at all.
CNN.com’s report, in which CNN correspondents Susan Roesgen, Tony Harris, Kyra Philips and Eliott McLaughlin were contributors, didn’t mention Justin Barker until the twenty-second paragraph of the story.
The teens were initially charged with attempted murder after they allegedly knocked out Justin Barker -- a white classmate -- while stomping and kicking him during a school fight on December 4, 2006.
Barker was taken to a hospital with injuries to both eyes and ears as well as cuts. His right eye had blood clots, said his mother, Kelli Barker.
Before this, the report focused entirely on the planned march in support of the so-called Jena 6.
A respected member of the blogging community who also happened to be serving our nation was killed in Iraq Wednesday.
Frank Salvato, editor of The New Media Journal, sadly e-mailed his readers:
It is with a very heavy heart and swollen eyes from the tears that I inform you all that one of our fellow writers, Sgt. Eddie Jeffers who was serving in Ramadi, Iraq, was killed today. He was patriot, humble, kind and dedicated to his mission, his country, his family and his faith.
Many of you might be familiar with Sgt. Jeffers's piece "Hope Rides Alone" posted on February 1, 2007:
As a service to you the reader I'm watching the presidential news conference as covered on Fox News Channel. My goal here is to give you the questions the various reporters ask and if feasible, go back and clip video of the most biased questions.
Wrap-up, 11:27: There were no questions on the Hsu scandal and Hillary Clinton nor about Dan Rather's lawsuit, even though Memogate promulgated a bogus storyline intended to negatively impact Bush's 2004 reelection. The Jena Six controversy was raised by two reporters although it's had very little national media coverage. And unsurprisingly, no one asked about the Petreaus smear by MoveOn.org except Bill Sammon of the Washington Examiner (and also a Fox News contributor).
* * * * * * ** * * *
Bush turns over press conf to Michael Leavitt for q's on SCHIP, 11:20, Fox News fades out of press conference, as do other cable networks.
Bill Sammon, Washington Examiner, 11:19: What is your reaction to the MoveOn.org ad that mocked Petraeus. Would you like to see Democrats including presidential candidates repudiate the ad?
There's a marvelous law in Great Britain prohibiting the "promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school" that is about to be tested by a lorry driver trying to prevent Al Gore's schlockumentary "An Inconvenient Truth" from being forced on English children.
Why hasn't someone in America done the same thing?
While you ponder, it was reported in Thursday's Telegraph (emphasis added throughout, h/t Marc Morano):
"I'm a Dan Man myself, so I tend to look at this from his viewpoints [sic]." -- WaPo media critic Tom Shales, on today's "Morning Joe."
It's a morning for candor on "Morning Joe." Earlier, Mika "Bubbles" Brzezinski had admitted that "the SATs were not my strong suit." Later in the show, the notoriously tough-on-conservatives [see, e.g., MRC item #3 here] Tom Shales acknowledged that he has a soft spot for Dan Rather, calling himself a "Dan Man."
I'll say. Despite the overwhelming mountain of uncontroverted and incontrovertible evidence, Shales refuses to admit the obvious: that the documents at the heart of Memogate were the most transparent [literally] and amateurish of forgeries.
Substitute anchor Willie Geist interviewed Shales at 8:30 A.M. EDT this morning.
The time I spent worrying about my segment on “The Daily Show” (filmed last month) was wasted. Yeah, I sound a little silly (hated my voice, liked my hair, but my face looked fat - this photo I like…but not because of the way I look…OK, moving on), and the editor sliced and diced sound bites. But overall, it’s much better than I expected. (And my expectations were quite low.) Whew!
I got a bunch of nastygrams this morning from - you guessed it - white liberals. They wrote the sort of things I know they wouldn’t say to my face.
Another episode of "NewsBusted" has arrived! Topics in this episode: Telemarketers, Al Sharpton, Tom Cruise, David Souter, and more.
If you like the show, spread the word by telling your friends and favorite bloggers about it. We can always use positive comments and ratings on YouTube as well since liberals love to trash anything that isn't politically correct. Note: To be automatically notified by email whenever we post new shows, click this link.
Regular readers of this space know that MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski is one of our favorites, serving up heaps of grist for our mill with her regular injections of liberal opinion into her newsreading on "Morning Joe," as here.
We'd been searching for an apt nickname for Brzezinski, and as of this morning, Mika herself has supplied one. Meet "Bubbles" Brzezinski. Mika was reading headlines from the morning's crop of newspapers, when she came across an item from the Boston Globe.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Boston Globe: "Many colleges ignore SAT writing test." I find this very interesting because SATs were not my strong suit. I probably would never have been allowed to go to college if it was based on just my SAT scores. But apparently hundreds of universities, including several top schools, are ignoring or paying little heed to students' scores on the writing section of the SAT in admissions. I never had a writing section, just bubbles.
A popular San Francisco news anchor inexplicably made a joke on a Wednesday evening newscast suggesting NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. “should marry his stepmother.”
First, some background: Preceding the quip by KPIX news anchor Dana King was a flawed report from sports anchor Dennis O’Donnell about the unveiling of the stock car Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be racing with his new team next season. Dale Jr., son of the late NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Sr., is in his final season with Dale Earnhardt Inc., the racing team his father founded and left to Dale Jr.’s stepmother, Teresa Earnhardt. Dale Jr. and Teresa have been publicly at odds about the direction and management of DEI.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is NASCAR’s most popular driver, and his millions of fans have purchased merchandise emblazoned with his #8, which is the property of DEI. Negotiations with Teresa to allow Dale Jr. to race under #8 on his new team broke down, forcing him to choose a new number. 88 is the number he selected (he purchased the right to use the number from another driver).
In a story on Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS, Rich Noyes, Research Director at the MRC and Senior Editor of NewsBusters, got two soundbites Wednesday night on the 11pm news on WUSA-TV, channel 9 (ch 34 DT), the Gannett-owned CBS affiliate in Washington, DC. Reporter Gary Nurenberg traveled to the MRC's offices to tape Noyes at about 6:30pm. In Nurenberg's story, Noyes blasted Rather:
This is a story attacking President Bush at the height of a campaign that they raced onto the airwaves. And now Dan Rather's complaining that the investigation was biased and he's the victim in all of this. He is not the victim. He's the perpetrator.
After Nurenberg noted how “the conservative Media Research Center has criticized Rather for years,” viewers heard from Noyes again: “His undoing was his own reporting.”
Wednesday night, Katie Couric read this short item on the "CBS Evening News:"
Dan Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit today against CBS. He accuses the network of making him a quote, “scapegoat” for a discredited story about President Bush's National Guard service. In a statement today, CBS said Rather's “complaints are old news” and his “lawsuit is without merit.”
On ABC's "World News," anchor Charles Gibson allocated about the same amount of time to the lawsuit, but Gibson gave a glimpse of Rather's paranoia, pointing out how “he accuses the network of punishing him to pacify the White House.” Ron Allen included that claim in a full story on Wednesday's "NBC Nightly News."
Related: Tim Graham's earlier item, “Rather Warned Us Years Ago: Some Americans 'Sue at the Drop of a Hat,'” with video.
With “Straight Talk” on screen, ABC's World News led Wednesday night by touting as momentous the news that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, in a quote cited in the middle of a newspaper column, said “I don't know” when asked whether invading Iraq was a good idea. “Three little words,” a delighted Charles Gibson announced about dissension in the ranks, “three little words that you rarely hear from the Bush administration when it comes to the war in Iraq: 'I don't know.' That's what Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said when asked if the Iraq invasion was a good idea. Gates' words are in stark contrast to the surety often expressed by the President.” Reporter Jonathan Karl trumpeted how “Gates' stunningly candid answer came in an interview with New York Times columnist David Brooks.” Repeating the “I don't know” reply, Karl urged: “Compare that to the words of President Bush, who has said consistently and forcefully the invasion was the right thing to do.” Viewers then saw three Bush soundbites. Karl concluded with how Gates disagrees with Bush “on what might just be the most important question of the Bush presidency.”
ABC seems to apply the approving “straight talk” label to those expressing the media's consensus liberal view.
He's baack! Steve Skvara, the man who won the hearts and minds of many in the mainstream media by essentially calling for other people to pay for his wife's health insurance will soon be on Oprah Winfrey's talk show.
On August 28, radio talk show host Ed Schultz, who has proclaimed that he became "converted" from conservative to liberal while eating a baloney sandwich with his future wife in a Salvation Army cafeteria, loudly issued a challenge to all conservative radio hosts to debate him. Since his show that day was simulcast by C-SPAN, the Big Eddy Challenge can be both seen and heard at almost 20 minutes into the third hour of his show:
...We'll stand up to any conservative talker anywhere in America who wants to have the guts to go head to head with me on your radio show, on your TV show, you conservatives, you're absolutely a bunch of damn liars and we're right back on the Ed Schultz show.
A new study that will appear in Thursday's journal Nature revealed that methane being released from bogs in what is now Great Britain likely contributed to global warming 55 million years ago.
Maybe more importantly, when you add up the methane being released from wetlands around the world, it could completely counteract all the carbon dioxide emissions reductions mandated by the Kyoto Protocol.
Of course, such findings are likely not going to be entered into the current climate change debate, for media will totally ignore this study as they do all reports that go counter to the global warming agenda.
Regardless, as reported by National Geographic Wednesday (emphasis added throughout):
The Huffington Post is notable mostly for its shrill left-wing bloggers -- see Tim Graham's latest study-- but it can turn up some apolitical gems from time to time.
Rachel Sklar's September 17 "Eat the Press" entry is complete with photos of CNN's yummy (at least in Sklar's opinion) John Roberts from his days as a Canadian veejay (h/t TVNewser).:
Just over a week ago, we sent out the small, hopeful call: To be reuinted by a glowing, shining icon of my frostbitten Canadian childhood in the form of video footage of my early crush, J.D. Roberts. J.D. was a MuchMusic veejay, the host of "Toronto Rocks" on CityTV and the dashing, causally-mulleted flame of my secret heart.
You can find more pics of Roberts from his glory days in the Great White North here.
Not once but twice, Chris Matthews today accused Hillary Clinton of "pimping" for having staged a fundraiser that brought together high-rolling homeland-security lobbyists and the congressmen with power over their pet interests.
Matthews leveled the charge on this afternoon's "Hardball" in the course of an interview with David Bonior, John Edwards's campaign manager. The Edwards campaign, in an email from campaign advisor Joe Trippi, has swiped hard at Hillary over the fundraiser, calling it "corrupt."