On Monday’s "Good Morning America," an ABC graphic about soaring stock prices proved, yet again, that there’s no positive economic story the media can’t spin downward:
ABC Graphic: "Will Dow Hit 13,000 Today? Is Unstoppable Market Good or Bad?"
The graphic ran underneath co-host Diane Sawyer and GMA financial contributor Mellody Hobson’s discussion over whether or not the Dow, which has been breaking records recently, is headed for a downturn.
Sawyer certainly seemed to think so. She began the program with this pessimistic tease:
CBS's $15 million experiment of hiring Katie Couric has not
paid any dividends. Six months into her tenure as anchor of the
"Evening News," Couric has actually fallen in the ratings from her
predecessor, Bob Schieffer, sparking talk within the network that the
former NBC star will soon be shown the door.
Besides ratings, CBS insiders and TV observers quoted by
Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Gail Shister take
issue with Couric over
her inability to relate to the 50+ news viewer and fluff news
Couric's personal pride seems to be the stickler, though:
It's hardly news that sportscasting, MSM-style, offers no respite from liberal politics. Particularly so when it comes to the ABC/Disney owned ESPN, the sports network that pressured Rush Limbaugh to resign from its Sunday NFL Countdown pregame show for saying what was on his mind about media treatment of Eagles QB Donovan McNabb.
Even so, it came as something of a shock to observe that one ESPN personality is turning his on-screen appearances into an opportunity to promote the candidacy of a Dem presidential contender. Many sportscasters have their signature calls. From Stuart Scott's "boo-yah!" to Chris Berman's "back-back-back gone!," several of the ESPN announcers utter idiosyncratic phrases to underline signal athletic accomplishments. Fair enough. But watching ESPN's Kenny Mayne over the course of the last few days, I was surprised to notice that he has coined a new call. Home run at a crucial moment? Three-pointer to take the lead in a basketball game? "Obama!", exclaims Mayne.
By now you've heard about the environmental dust-up between singer
Sheryl Crow and GOP operative Karl Rove at the White House
Correspondents Dinner. Crow wrote about the incident at Huffington
Post. She also added a new posting to her Stop Global Warming College
Tour blog that includes "easy ways for us all to become a part of the
I propose a limitation be put
on how many sqares [sic] of toilet paper can be used in any one
sitting. Now, I don't want to rob any law-abiding American of his or
her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people
that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit,
except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be
required. When presenting this idea to my younger brother, who's
judgement [sic] I trust implicitly, he proposed taking it one step
further. I believe his quote was, "how bout just washing the one square
For the last two days, The Washington Post has placed a small anti-illegal immigration rally on the front page of its Metro section – a Sunday story previewing the protest, and another front-pager on the events of the Sunday rally on Monday. Why the prominent play, given they estimated the protest crowd at 400? It could be a little pre-emptive publicity to head off complaints when the pro-illegal immigration rallies arrive on May Day, the socialist fun day. Last year’s left-wing rallies in Washington drew earth-shaking, flood-the-zone Post coverage in April and May.
Pamela Constable’s Monday report is fairly straightforward, and gives opponents of illegal immigration their say. (You might quibble that the quotes sound defensive, but is that the Post’s selection of quotes, or were the speakers largely defensive?) The other quibble would be the photo in the paper with a large poster of Sen. John McCain grimacing like he’s getting his chest waxed.
The Sunday preview report by Constable and N.C. Aizenman was more interesting, particularly this: they dug into the finances and interlocking directorates of the anti-illegal immigration movement – something the Post has failed to explore in all the breathless coverage of left-wing "immigrants rights" marches.
The headline on the top left of Monday's Washington Post is "Democrats Craft New Tax Rules, New Image." Reporter Lori Montgomery notes that House Democrats are "aiming to seize taxes from Republicans as a political issue" and want to change the alternative minimum tax (AMT) to fall more upon the rich.
Forget the AMT details for a minute, and let's not blame Montgomery for the headline writer's bias. But can you imagine the Post covering the Iraq surge with a headline like "White House Crafts New Iraq Strategy, New Image"? Isn't the creation of a new public image something that needs some media cooperation? In this case, the Post seems to be aiming to help Democrats craft a new image other than their very established tax-everything-that-moves image.
Brian Wesbury, whose previous writings have been blogged on many times by yours truly (including here, here, here, and here), is very tired of the dissing the current economy is taking, and especially how it is unfavorably compared to the economy of the 1990s:
World News Sunday continued ABC's gun control crusade, devoting its “A Closer Look” segment to how after the 1996 school shooting in Dunblane, Scotland, Great Britain virtually banned handguns, suggesting it's worth emulating. But though reporter David Wright conceded, in the middle of his story, that “gun crime has risen here” since handguns were outlawed, thus seemingly undermining the premise that making guns illegal lessens crime committed with guns, he hung his story on how “Britain has never again had a school shooting.” But if gun crime is rising, that sounds more like good luck than a result of the ban.
Wright featured two Britons exasperated by the refusal of the U.S. to follow Britain's lead. Gun control activist Ann Pearston contended: “What ordinary people have got to do in the United States, if they really care about what happened at Virginia Tech, is to make the banning of firearms in the United States an election issue.” Mick North, the father of a child killed in the Dunblane incident, fretted: “Nothing happened after Columbine. Nothing happened after Nickel Mines in the Amish community. After a few weeks, nothing will happen after Virginia Tech. Even the death of 32 people may not be enough to build up the necessary momentum.”
As most NewsBusters readers are aware, the media have been foaming at the mouth this week for Congress to advance stronger gun control laws in the wake of the tragedy at Virginia Tech.
As a result, this absolutely delightful feel-good story about an 82-year-old former Miss America that defended her farm in Kentucky with a lil ol’ .38 caliber handgun is sure to be ignored by a media more interested in advancing an agenda than doing their job as disseminators of information.
Did you hear about that report released last week from a Stanford University atmospheric chemist demonstrating that the tailpipe emissions from cars using E85 ethanol are actually more dangerous than those using normal gasoline? You didn’t?
Hmmm. What a shock.
Anyway, Environmental Science & Technology reported Wednesday (emphasis added throughout, h/t NB member Dahlia Travers):
When Mark Jacobson heard a venture capitalist tout ethanol fuel as a solution to air pollution last year, he was surprised—and intrigued. Jacobson, an atmospheric chemist at Stanford University, knew that air quality got worse during Brazil's big ethanol push in the 1970s and that the reason was still unclear.
You don’t hear a lot about Brazil’s pollution woes, do you? Well, Jacobson’s instincts were quite strong:
I think I might know the reason that Karl Rove didn’t want Sheryl Crow touching him. He’s read her blog, and he knows where her hand has been. What is it with these environmentalists and scatology? First there was “The Year Without Toilet Paper” in the New York Times, and now this. Muzak-friendly pop-rocker, Sheryl Crow and “An Inconvenient Truth” producer and private-jet aficionado Laurie David are on a cross-country college speaking tour to promote the idea of anthropogenic global warming. Crow is blogging her experiences at the Huffington Post, and this time, she really came up with a Duesey (emphasis mine throughout).
Apparently, Crow wants to save the Earth one toilet paper square at a time. She proposed “a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting” and perhaps “just washing that one square out.” She doesn’t seem to want to pass a law, just culturally berate us into obedience. Here is Crow’s “easy way” to be part of the solution to anthropogenic global warming:
“Saturday Night Live” on April 21 introduced a new cartoon character named “Torboto: The Robot That Tortures People” (video available here, h/t Ian).
In the animated segment, Torboto is a creation of Vice President Dick Cheney’s. In order to get around Geneva Convention regulations preventing humans from torturing humans, Cheney’s scientists created a robot that does it for them.
As the scene moved to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Cheney brought President George W. Bush to the detention center to demonstrate how his new toy works. Bush asked, “I thought we were earmarking this money for body armor?”
"For Hollywood's sake, he needs to return." "I miss Harvey Weinstein." "[T]he movies he made were full of class." So says Patrick Goldstein in an April 17, 2007, article in the Los Angeles Times.
"[T]he movies he made were full of class"? Harvey Weinstein is best known as the co-founder (with his brother Bob) of Miramax Films. (He now heads something called The Weinstein Company.) But he is also known as a producer of a string of Catholic-bashing movies.
If you’re a leftwing journalist with a new television special about to air on PBS accusing the Bush administration of using the media to sell the Iraq war in 2003, is there any place better to promote the event than HBO’s “Real Time?”
Bill Moyers must have felt this was the perfect venue to market his upcoming “Buying the War” program, as he discussed its contents and his views of the incursion and the media with Bill Maher on Friday (video available here).
As so often happens when Maher has such an outspoken critic of the Administration as his guest, the host set up the discussion in a manner seemingly designed to create an environment condusive to bashing the president:
No one forced you at gunpoint to use Google today, but you probably have. The trouble is you don't know how evil that tech company with a "gusher of profits" is.
Fortunately for you, Washington Post's Steven Pearlstein does, and he thinks Big Government -- awash in a gusher of tax revenues it collects from you involuntarily -- has just the remedy. More regulation.
Accompanying a cartoon in the print edition depicting Google as a many-tentacled sea monster, Pearlstein devotes four paragraphs to asking "How Much More Should It Be Allowed to Grab?"
Pearlstein started off by noting that "Google is the quintessential business success story" and that its meteoric rise is standing the company in good stead on Wall Street while its chief rival, Yahoo, is faltering.
WRAL-TV in Raleigh, NC, was one of hundreds of news outlets to publish an AP story on 21 April, entitled "Mass Shootings More Common Since 1960s." The pathetic aspect of this story is that the reporter found and included the truth of the matter in paragraphs nine and ten, but otherwise acted as if he had never seen it.
Both the title and the lede warn of burgeoning mass murder in the US. The lede says that, "Mass public shootings have become such a part of American life in recent decades that the most dramatic of them can be evoked from the nation's collective memory in a word or two: Luby's. Jonesboro. Columbine."
Buried late in this article that is filled with assorted speculations about the causes of this tide of mass murder, is this finding from Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections:
Is The Ford Motor Company committing an Old-Media-assisted suicide?
On Wednesday, One News Now had a story about how the Formerly Mainstream Media has largely ignored the negative impact the the American Family Association's boycott of Ford has had on the company (an audio version of the report is also at the link):
News media ignoring Ford boycott, media analyst says
Brent Bozell's culture column this week took one last bite out of the Imus apple, taking exception to CBS chief Les Moonves claiming he was so glad to listen to the public and dismiss Don Imus from his CBS Radio gig, because he is all about being sensitive to the public's wishes. Baloney, says Brent:
In his press statement on the Imus firing, the strangest part was Moonves touting how he enjoyed listening to the public. "Many of you have come forward during this past week to share your thoughts and feelings. I thank you for that. At the end of the day, the integrity of our Company and the respect that you feel for CBS becomes the most important consideration."
Integrity and respect for CBS? Thanking the public for sharing its thoughts? Moonves & Co. at CBS have stubbornly fought against the public on other matters of broadcast decency. They’ve consistently looked protests in the eye and declared their contempt for the opinions of the majority of Americans.
ABC News tries its hand at sensationalism with a story on the VT killer buying "ammo" on the auction site Ebay, but muffs it badly getting all the relevant facts wrong. But it sure is a good headline... Ammo from eBay? VT Killer May Have Used Site
April 21, 2007 — ABCNews has learned that in the months before his shooting spree at Virginia Tech, Seung-Hui Cho may have purchased 20 rounds of ammunition through the online auction site eBay.
An eBay account holder who appears to be Cho purchased a two-pack of 10-round ammunition clips for a Walther P22 on March 22, 2007, less than a month before Cho killed 32 people and himself at Virginia Tech. The ammunition was purchased on eBay from Elk Ridge Shooting Supplies for the same type of weapon used by Cho in his bloody rampage last week.
One would think the writers of The Onion satirical newspaper snuck into the offices of The San Francisco Chronicle after reading a report about a pizza shop owner who saved the lives of his family by killing a gun wielding robber that was attempting to rob his store, a store with the owner's whole family inside. The Chronicle calls the meeting of the thief and would be killer and the innocent pizza shop owner "tragic" and the report is filed as if the whole story was all just some unfortunate accident instead of a crime stopped cold.
The lives of the two men intersected tragically at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday when Hicks, armed with a pistol and joined by two other men, tried to rob Piedra inside the popular pizzeria at 89th Avenue and International Boulevard. Fearful that the assailants might hurt him, his wife and three children -- all of whom were inside the restaurant -- Piedra pulled out his 9mm semiautomatic pistol and opened fire, killing Hicks, police said.
The Chronicle made the story as an excuse at a morality play revealing how friends are remembering the robber as one who "...always had a smile on his face", that the shop owner "took no satisfaction in taking Hicks' life", and the police "...by no stretch of the imagination" were they "agreeing with or justifying what the owner did." We are even treated to a telling of our "tragic" robber's happy little "rap artist" name; "Boonie".
Obviously the San Francisco Chronicle has decided that this story is going to be their platform to show how guns "traumatize" everyone when the real focus of the story should be on how a shop owner protected himself and his family inside the shop from an armed criminal.
'One-Third Probability' in '07, Former Fed Chief Says
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said yesterday that there is a "one-third probability" of a U.S. recession this year and that the current economic expansion won't have the staying power of its decade-long predecessor.
"We are in the sixth year of a recovery; imbalances can emerge as a result," Greenspan said in an interview at his District office. "The historically normal business cycle is much shorter" than a decade and is likely to be this time, he said.
Greenspan's outlook contrasts with the prediction of his successor, Ben S. Bernanke, who told Congress last week that the economy might strengthen this year. Bernanke's upbeat assessment helped steady stock markets on Feb. 28 after a plunge the day before that some traders attributed partly to Greenspan's musing that a recession could not be ruled out.
At 5:00 pm, Saturday, April 2, cable news outlets reported that a Blue Angels jet crashed in Beaufort, SC. Fox News and the local town paper, the Beaufort Gazette, reported the pilot did not make it. CNN reported that there is one fatality but has not specified who that fatality is. The plane appeared to "drop out of the sky," clip a power line and then break up, slamming into pine trees. Our thoughts and prayers are with all involved.
A Fox News anchor called the area "remote," but with a Marine Corps Air Station and a population of 12,950, the area isn't exactly remote. I guess it seems remote to those in major news, especially if they have to drive more than an hour or two.
CNN and FNC covered it live for about an hour and then went to regular programming. MSNBC didn't cover it live at all and ran a pre-recorded "true-life crime story," but it did mention the crash during the commercial breaks. Should MSNBC have covered it live, too? Would the media have devoted more time to the FA-19 crash if it had been commercial or private?
Although it goes without saying that Internet denizens of all colors, shapes, and sizes typify the concepts inherent in the First Amendment, conceivably nothing incites more ire from bloggers than out of control comments sections.
As this issue came to a head last month in the midst of the Kathy Sierra debacle – a computer programming instructor that ended up canceling speaking engagements due to death threats – a debate has ensued throughout the blogosphere concerning what should be done to increase civility without jeopardizing free speech. This has even gone so far to evoke discussions of creating a “bloggers code of conduct.”
In reality, comments sections can be so hostile that many bloggers debate the pluses and minuses of having them at all. Law professor Ann Althouse posted a deliciously comic view on this issue Saturday that is much like John Kerry’s position on funding the Iraq war (emphasis added):