Writing at Salon, Michael Scherer discloses one of journalism's dirty secrets: many of the biggest and most sensational stories you hear about in the media were not dug up by the reporters themselves. Instead, they were handed to them by political operatives from an opposing campaign. Oftentimes, the provenance of that information is never disclosed to the audience.
While he frames his article around Matt Drudge and his supposed control of Republican politics, Scherer's point is equally true of the MSM which is regularly handed scoops by liberal bureaucrats and Democratic officials.
John McCain's "Bomb Iran" scandal almost never happened.
The reporters covering the Murrells Inlet, S.C., rally last month,
where McCain jokingly parodied the old Beach Boys song "Barbara Ann"
with the words "Bomb Iran," didn't think the joke was news. Only one
writer, Scott Harper, from the local Georgetown Times, mentioned it in
his story, and he relegated it to the 17th paragraph. "I didn't think
Jay Leno would be talking about it," he said.
Interviewing Shell Oil's president on this morning's Today show, NBC's Meredith Vieira cited Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer's "Big Oil" conspiracy theory, worried America's "addiction to oil" was "dangerous," and altogether added fuel to the fire that oil company execs, "were a bunch of thieves." Appearing in the 7am half-hour, Shell Oil president John Hofmeister, for the most part, explained the basic economics of the oil business to viewers but that didn't stop Vieira from throwing out conspiratorial charges from left-field.
After asking if Hofmeister thought the price of gas was "reasonable," Vieira launched into the conspiracy theories:
Vieira: "Let's talk about the refineries for a minute because there's been a lot of controversy about them. Maintenance problems at refineries around the country. There are some people, consumer activists, some analysts and even some politicians like Senator Schumer here in New York, who believe that the oil companies are basically holding back the production of gas, they're slow on repairs of their refineries, to keep the price of gas high. Senator Schumer has not gone so far as to say that the oil companies are in collusion but he did say, quote, 'that they wink at each other and do the same thing.' First I'd like your response to that."
If television news were covered the same way the media covered Iraq, Katie Couric would surely be out of a job by now. I can imagine the New York Times lede:
The news just keeps getting worse for the administration. After spending millions of dollars and manpower to sell a leadership transition, the situation continues to deteriorate. External critics are stepping up their attacks and cracks within the administration's iron-clad discipline are beginning to show as dissenters leak secrets, express discontent and demand an exit strategy to an eager press.
That, of course is not a lede you'll ever see in any American newspaper but it is dead-on accurate as far as the facts go. The "CBS Evening News" continues to sink in the ratings despite the fact that former "Today" star Katie Couric was brought in to save the show from oblivion. Here's the actual New York Times:
Did you happen to see the reports last week predicting that summer temperatures in the southeastern part of the country could reach 110 degrees by the year 2080?
Well, according to a study just released by the Roger Pielke, Sr. Research Group, the media took “an otherwise interesting and informative research article” published in the Journal of Climate and translated it “into an almost hysterical claim of future weather.”
Time magazine came out swinging last week against Rupert Murdoch for his offer to buy the Wall Street Journal. In an article titled "Murdoch vs. Family-Owned Newspapers", Time painted a picture of Murdoch as a "controversial genius" who used his company for power and profit, swooping in to take over a family business where the owners "have made use of dual-class stock structures that allow them to take Wall Street's money while attempting to resist its pressures".
How noble, they resisted the pressures of money while "Murdoch has treated News Corp. not as a trust but as a vehicle to get richer and more powerful."
Wait, so using dual-class stock options that allow more votes for select family members in an aristocratic fashion is somehow more noble then expanding one's coporation by traditional methods?
Business is business. Time shouldn't paint one method as better than another, the market will decide.
Update (14:25): Justin McCarthy has more analysis and a full transcript available here.
Update (13:50 EDT): Video (2:07): Real (1.55 MB) or Windows (1.3 MB) plus MP3 (980 kB).
Update (12:42 EDT): We're still working on video and a transcript, but here's the audio (980 kB).
Moments ago "The View" co-host Rosie O'Donnell found a golden opportunity to resurrect her conspiracy theories on the collapse of World Trade Center Tower 7 (WTC 7) as her fellow co-hosts were discussing Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign. Co-host Joy Behar faulted Giuliani for keeping the NYC emergency command center in the World Trade Center complex. That's when O'Donnell noted that the command center was in WTC 7. This time around, however, token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck pushed back on Rosie's loopy conspiracy theories.
Did you know if you support enforcement of immigration laws you're heartless and also support destroying families?
That was the over-the-top sob story offered yesterday by Geraldo Rivera on his "Geraldo at Large" show where he featured a man who was about to be deported, alongside his wife and three of his children.
"Look at these children. Do you want to
be responsible for separating these babies from their daddy?" Rivera emoted, making an especial plea to FNC's Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity along with the "most hysterical voice in the bunch," CNN's Lou Dobbs.
"Their hard-working daddy who's done
nothing but do good here in this country?" he asserted, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the man (identified as "Jean") had about 30 seconds earlier admitted that he'd been convicted of a drug offense in 1989.
Full transcript, video link, and fact check after the jump.
Those who have been following the manmade global warming debate are well aware that every time the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issues another dire pronouncement, the media report the bad news every hour on the hour.
However, what if a new scientific study concluded that the IPCC cherry-picked data concerning CO2 levels in the past in order to make it look like today’s levels are out of the ordinary. Would the media report that?
Well, an article written by scientists Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project was published on Monday making exact this claim (emphasis added throughout):
Reminiscent of Bryant Gumbel's 1989 charge on the Today show that you're either “a racist or a liberal,” on Sunday's This Week, ABC's George Stephanopoulos presumed only Republicans are racists who will not vote for Democratic candidate Barack Obama, who had an African father. During the roundtable, Sam Donaldson proposed that the country is ready for an African-American President, but noted how “he said he thinks he'll lose some votes because of that, and so the question is what does the word 'some' mean? In critical elections, not just in the South, it may mean something.” Moderator Stephanopoulos then jumped in: “I guess I think that anyone who's not going to vote for Barack Obama because he is black isn't going to vote for a Democrat anyway.” Donaldson, however, soon explained that he was referring to Democratic primary voters: “But I'm talking about the race for the nomination.”
On CNN's Reliable Sources this weekend, liberal former CNN Crossfire co-host Bill Press returned to his old network to deliver an old, reliable liberal talking point: the 'mainstream media' is largely responsible for the war in Iraq, because they failed to ask the tough questions that would have convinced the country about the soundness of leaving Saddam Hussein alone. Laura Ingraham provided the opposition, who said the media opposes the war, and doesn't want to cover the bloody aftermath of an American withdrawal:
BILL PRESS: I beg to differ. Look, the media, in large part, gave us this war, because they went along and repeated everything that George Bush said without asking tough questions. And I'm even talking about The New York Times.
A 12 year old girl is suing the Chicago Board of Education for negligence, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress after a substitute teacher led her 8th grade class to watch the film Brokeback Mountain with the warning, "What happens in Ms. Buford's class stays in Ms. Buford's class," according to the lawsuit.
The teacher then proceeded to show the 8th grade elementary school class the R rated gay themed film; a film that garnered its rating for sexual content, language and drug use.
According to the suit, a substitute teacher introduced herself as Ms. Buford to Jessica's class at Ashburn Community Elementary School, 8300 S. St. Louis Ave. She then said, "What happens in Ms. Buford's class stays in Ms. Buford's class," the suit claims. Buford then had a student close the door, and started showing the controversial R-rated film, which features two men engaged in sex.
The Volokh Conspiracy reported that yet another college has cracked down on a conservative student paper. The Primary Source, published a fake ad called “Islam-- Arabic Translation: Submission.” It satirized the events of an upcoming Islamic Awareness Week which quoted verses from the Koran and included unpleasant but true statements about Islam and ended with the statement, "If you are a peaceful Muslim who can explain or justify this astonishingly intolerant and inhuman behavior, we'd really like to hear from you!" This earned the students a quick trip before a disciplinary committee facing charges of "harassment and creating a hostile environment." The school ultimately decided not to punish the students, but from now on, TPS must identify who created which content.
Liberally-minded people and liberal institutions may say that they support free speech, but that claim is parsed down to what the definition of “is” is. This is yet another example of “hate speech is not free speech.” Stepping on and even burning the American flag is allowed (as it should be), but stepping on a flag that has the name of Allah written on it, such as a Hamas flag is not. It is fine for atheists to criticize or make fun of Christianity, but they are not allowed to criticize Islam. A liberal calling Condoleeza Rice Bush’s “house n***a” is acceptable, as is using digital blackface, but conservatives who say “tar baby” are hounded. The idea of “hate speech” is rarely applied equally.
What is it about anti-gunners that they just have to lie in their advocacy against guns? Do they lie because they know the facts makes them look so bad? This time it's the Washington Times' turn to publish an anti 2nd Amendment piece based on several lies. This one, penned by an Alex Gerber, worries that gun control will "apparently be glossed over again" and claims that the evil "American gun culture" is so insensitive to have tolerated "some 14,000 firearm murders" in 2005.
Only there weren't 14,000 "firearm murders" in 2005. According to FBI statistics, there were 10,100 gun murders in 2005 instead of the 14,000 cited by Gerber. In fact, the whole of the 2005 murder rate of all causes was 15,517, not much more than just the gun deaths claimed by Gerber.
Conveniently ignoring all the evidence that says more armed people in a given area actually lowers gun violence, Gerber goes on to claim that the idea that if the students at Virginia Tech were armed, maybe so many would not have died before the killer was taken down is "a joke". Absurdly, he makes his claim as if he knows beyond doubt that it could not be true that others being armed could have lowered the VT kill ratio.
Years ago, my great-aunt Annie Goodman was named Mother of the Year in New Hampshire. She was the mother of 13 children, and despite the family's very limited financial resources, saw to it that 12 of them made it to college and went on to be productive members of society. That's the kind of story that, in the good old days, the CBS Evening News might have featured on Mothers Day.
But times have changed. A lot. So where did the Evening News send its video bouqets during the Mother's Day edition? To the draft-Al-Gore movement, and to growers of eco-friendly roses.
There’s going to be two installments of Fox News’ “1/2 Hour News Hour” Sunday evening, and after getting straight A’s for his first 100 days in office, President Limbaugh will be taking a well-deserved vacation.
In his absence, Vice President Coulter will run things with assistance from Secretary of State Drudge.
*****Critical Update: Ian at Hot Air now has the OxyClinton video available wherein Laura Ingraham helps liberal women that are suffering from "Hillary Ambivalence Syndrome." This is the best routine of the evening.
The closer we get to the end of President Bush's term, the more desperate the left is becoming for his impeachment. The topic of impeachment has always been a background buzz for the past few years in the leftwing blogosphere but recently it has reached fever pitch probably due to the fact that the clock is running out on Bush's term in office. As a result, the left is working itself into a frenzy to achieve impeachment with often comedic results. Such was the case last Tuesday in a Daily Kos thread demanding to Impeach Rove, so that he can never be pardoned. Of course, Karl Rove, not having an official position as defined in the constitution, has as much chance of being constitutionally impeached as your gardener or cable guy. However this did not stop the Daily Kos nutroots from fantasizing about a Rove impeachment:
Have you seen the picture on the right showing a Shell station in San Francisco with gas prices in excess of $4 per gallon?
Well, there’s only one problem with it: this isn’t close to indicative of what gas prices are in the Bay Area. Not even close.
Yet, the following was captioned next to this Associated Press picture at Yahoo Thursday (h/t NB reader Brian Mortimer, emphasis added):
High gas prices are posted at a Shell gas station in San Francisco, Thursday, May 10, 2007. With gasoline prices poised to break records at the pump, energy futures prices jumped Thursday as traders noticed a gas supply imbalance in the fine print of Wednesday's government inventory report.(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Sadly, the caption didn’t make clear that the prices at this station are high as a form of protest by the owner. As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle Thursday (emphasis added):
A cartoon in the May 13 "Sunday Briefing" on page F2 of the Washington Post furthered a left-wing talking point against "Big Oil" that a comprehensive study by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) debunked last year: that oil companies artificially manipulate gas prices by squeezing supply.
A cartoon from the Newark Star-Ledger's Drew Sheneman depicts a man fueling his car asking a cigar-smoking "Oil Co." representative, "Why do gas prices always go up right before the summer vacation season?" "Coincidence," replies the oil executive, as he stands atop the fuel line, bottlenecking the gas on its way to the motorist's car. The price atop the pump reads $3.50.
The implication, of course, is that the petroleum industry artificially bottlenecks supply to jack up fuel costs.
But that's not true, previous probes into allegations of price gouging have determined, including a May 22, 2006 FTC study of post-Hurricane Katrina gas prices.
Among the major conclusions, the FTC post-Katrina found:
In a commencement address to New England College, Democrat Party presidential candidate John Edwards has issued a call to turn Memorial Day from a day to celebrate our troops to a day pushing a political message that attacks them. He has also created a new website to further that goal and the Washington Post is helping him advertise it breaking their more common practice of not posting links taking the reader outside their own website.
How often do you see MSM sources giving direct links to websites outside their own site? How many times have you seen a story mentioning a website, maybe even including the name of the website somewhere within the story, yet the story won't give the full address? Also, how many times do you see a web posting that actually includes a hypertext link to any website outside any paper's site? Not very often. But today the Washington Post has given John Edward's anti-war website a big boost by not only writing a story about it, but creating a direct link to it at the end of their story.
I wonder how many conservative or pro-war websites they have helped advertise in the past with a direct link?
For Mothers' Day, The Washington Post did the same thing it does most days: promote liberal causes. At the top of the Metro section is an article headlined "Pushing the Motherhood Cause: Group Works to Give Busy Women A Voice on Family Issues." It was also promoted on the front of Sunday's paper under the headline "Activist Mothers Unite." But a reader would have to go inside the Metro section to paragraph 11 to see the liberal cause revealed in the group, called MomsRising: "Co-founder Joan Blades also helped launch the liberal group MoveOn.org -- 'the great success story of Internet politics,' said Michael Cornfield, who wrote a book on the topic."
Reporter Donna St. George's story was surrounded with attractive color photos of mothers interacting with their toddlers, and began with the typical emphasis on the supposed nonpartisan activism that's all the rage:
The Sunday Times published a rather shocking article on May 13 with the headline, “Al-Qaeda Planning Militant Islamic State Within Iraq” (h/t LGF, emphasis added throughout):
A RADICAL plan by Al-Qaeda to take over the Sunni heartland of Iraq and turn it into a militant Islamic state once American troops have withdrawn is causing alarm among US intelligence officials.
A power struggle has emerged between the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq, an organisation with ambitions to become a state which has been set up by Al-Qaeda, and more moderate Sunni groups. They are battling for the long-term control of central and western areas which they believe could break away from Kurdish and Shi’ite-dominated provinces once the coalition forces depart.
Regardless of what you might think of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, his syndicated Sunday talk show is a must-see due to the unscripted statements that often emanate from those not used to being so unfettered.
Such was certainly the case Mother’s Day when NBC’s Chief White House correspondent David Gregory made some extraordinary assertions about the “big bad threat of Islamic fundamentalism” and that “George W. Bush did not get that part of it wrong, that the [Middle East] needed to be transformed after 9/11.”
The discussion had moved in the direction of the Iraq war, and what position the Republican presidential candidates should take. Gregory suddenly took total control of the conversation, making the following statements that seemed to shock Matthews as well as the BBC’s Katty Kay sitting to his right:
Perhaps you read this week that in April, the US Treasury reported all-time-record tax collections of $383.6 billion.
If you did, you didn't read it in the dead-trees version of the New York Times. The Old Grey Lady did not deem Thursday afternoon's news "fit to print" on Friday (requires free registration), even choosing not to carry the related Associated Press report that is the main topic of this post (even though the Time posted it online Thursday evening). A Times search on "April treasury" (not in quotes) shows no evidence of any other coverage since then, nor does Sunday's Business home page.
So, unless you happened to read a brief report from MarketWatch (requires registration) or subscribe to the Wall Street Journal (requires subscription), odds are that anything you read or heard about April's Monthly Treasury Statement came from the aforementioned AP report, written by good old Martin Crutsinger (some previous examples of Crutsinger's demonstrated bias and ignorance are here, here, here, and here).
Crutsinger's full report is here. Before I get to his biggest oversight, here are the report's relatively minor (I'm not kidding) shortcomings:
Scott Johnson at Power Line reported Saturday that attorneys representing the Democratic National Committee have sent a cease and desist letter to Free Republic due to a post at its website concerning allegations made on the “Quinn & Rose” XM Satellite radio show Thursday (h/t Glenn Reynolds).
Howard Dean appears to be doing another “I Have a Scream” speech, only this time through his attorneys.
For those that missed it, Friday night’s debate on Fox News’ “Hannity & Colmes” between “Imus in the Morning” producer Bernard McGuirk and Rev. Al Sharpton was a fireworks-filled extravaganza (video in three parts available here, here, and here; full transcript follows).
Without question, McGuirk came prepared to take on the man conceivably most responsible for his termination by CBS Radio, as well as his boss’s, Don Imus.
In fact, with McGuirk’s first words, it was made infinitely clear that viewers were in for quite a barnburner: “Let's get ready to box on FOX, I guess, huh?”
After the first question was posed to McGuirk, he tried to explain to the audience that Imus was an equal opportunity offender (readers are warned that some of the language is a bit graphic. As such, proceed with caution):
The media outlet, known for faux photography, crossed the line again this week with false and biased reporting of the testimony in the Article 32 Hearing for one of the Marines charged in the Haditha incident. Marty Graham is covering Capt Randy Stone's hearing for Reuters. Graham filed two separate stories with Reuters with patently false claims about the testimony of Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz.
In both articles, Graham claimed Sgt. Dela Cruz testified that the 5 Iraqi men, who jumped out of a white car immediately after the IED explosion, were standing with their hands tied behind their backs when they were shot by Sgt. Wuterich. Here's Graham's exact words...
Dela Cruz also said he watched squad leader Sgt. Frank Wuterich shoot five men whose hands were tied up near a car.