The mainstream media loves war veteran members of Congress -- when they’re opposed to the Iraq War. As reported by Newsbusters, in November 2005, when Congressman and Vietnam War veteran John Murtha came out against the Iraq War, the network news broadcasts touted his opposition as well as his service.
That has never been the case for Congressman and Vietnam prisoner of war Sam Johnson. Earlier this week, Johnson spoke out in favor of the war and against the anti-surge resolution. Congressman Johnson gave an emotional press conference with his retelling of the events of that era.
Representative Sam Johnson (R-TX): “Words can't fully describe the unspeakable damage of the anti-American efforts against the war back home to the guys on the ground. When they pulled the funds for Vietnam, we were still POW's and we thought we were going to be there forever.”
The NBC announcement that they've kept Keith Olbermann as the erratic quarterback of their anti-Bush offense came larded in praise. First, the NBC News press release:
"Keith Olbermann is a tremendous talent and a superb broadcaster," said NBC News President Steve Capus. "He is an asset to NBC News and the timing of this announcement couldn't be better given the momentum Keith's program is enjoying right now."
A compelling hour of nightly news, delivered with Olbermann's particular wit and style, "Countdown" takes a fast paced look at the top five news stories of the day – from politics to pop culture and from the mainstream to the oddball. The program has enjoyed particular success in the past year, finishing the month of January with an average of 283,000 viewers in the adult demographic (25-54) and 715,000 total viewers, up +89% and +85% respectively, over a year ago.
"I've been overwhelmed by the support for this newscast, both inside NBC, and among our remarkable viewers," said Olbermann. "I'm delighted we can continue 'Countdown,' and continue to try to hold politicians and other newsmakers accountable for what they are doing, or not doing."
As reported by the Associated Press, along with a contract extension for “Countdown” through 2011, “Olbermann will also contribute occasional essays to ‘NBC Nightly News’ and there will be two prime-time ‘Countdown’ specials a year on NBC, a division of NBC Universal, said NBC News President Steve Capus.”
Hmmm. So, rather than add another conservative contributor to a staff heavily laden with liberals, NBC News has decided to give more airplay to one of the most partisan and vitriolic personalities on television today.
Of course, this shouldn’t surprise readers given the sentiments expressed by Capus in this article:
The New York Times generally keeps conservative blogs at arms length, treating them with either how-dare-you criticism, pat-on-the-head condescension or, most notoriously, accusations of CIA stoogery. But
when it comes to liberal bloggers like the ones covering the Lewis
Libby trial, The Times embraces them as they struggle side by side with
the MSM, as shown in Scott Shane's front page story today, "For Liberal Bloggers, Libby Trial Is Fun and Fodder." (By contrast, Shane has written two condescendingpieces on conservative bloggers.)
is one group blog covering the trial of Libby, the former top aide to
Vice President Dick Cheney accused of lying to prosecutors during the
investigation of who leaked CIA worker Valerie Plame's name to the
a convoluted trial in which everyone, government officials and
journalists alike, seems to have a faulty memory -- no surprise, since
it involves who may or may not have said what to whom in the summer of
2003. Tom Maguire, a must-read on all matters Plame-related who knows
the ins and outs better than virtually any journalist, wonders if the
Times is watching the same trial he is.
When word emerged yesterday that NBC had named Chuck Todd, currently the Editor-in-Chief of National Journal's "The Hotline," as its new political director, my curiosity as to his personal politics was naturally aroused. I found a MediaBistro article that included this intriguing sentence:
"Before coming to the world of political reporting and analysis, Todd earned practical political experience on initiative campaigns in Florida and various national campaigns based in Washington, D.C."
That in turn naturally raised the question: on just whose national campaigns and which Florida initiatives did Todd work? Deciding to go right to the source, I sent an email to Todd that resulted in an interesting exchange.
The NFL has a long history of rejecting overly political ads during game programming. However, it went too far recently in refusing an ad from a government agency during the Super Bowl. Sound improbable? Not when you learn that the agency in question was the Border Patrol (HT: bulletproof):
The National Football League refused to run a recruitment ad for the
U.S. Border Patrol in last week's Super Bowl program, saying it was
"controversial" because it mentioned duties such as fighting terrorism
and stopping drugs and illegal aliens at the border.
"The ad that the department submitted was specific to Border
Patrol, and it mentioned terrorism. We were not comfortable with that,"
said Greg Aiello, a spokesman for the NFL. "The borders, the
immigration debate is a very controversial issue, and we were sensitive
to any perception we were injecting ourselves into that."
The NFL's rejection didn't sit well with Border Patrol agents,
who called it a snub of their role in homeland security and said it was
"more than a little puzzling."
"The NFL missed a golden opportunity to reach countless
patriotic citizens who want to answer the call to help prevent another
terrorist attack on American soil," said T.J. Bonner, president of the
National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents the agency's
nonsupervisory personnel. [...]
Are Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh to blame for left-wing vulgarity from the likes of blogger Amanda "%$@#" Marcotte, late of John Edwards presidential campaign blog? That's the argument from Time senior writer and columnist Joe Klein, now writing at Time's Swampland blog.
a newcomer to this blogging business, I've been interested in the
Edwards dust-up. As readers know, I've been critical of the tone of the
left-wing blogosphere in the past. But I think that Yglesias raises an
important point here
and anyone reading the comments section of any Swampland post knows
that troglyditic right-wing cavedwellers fester there, in a vomitously
vile manner, too.
File this one under "MSM condemns ee-vil corporations." As you'll note from the screencap, ABC's Good Morning America today branded State Farm Insurance "not a good neighbor." What is State Farm's sin? Its decision not to write new homeowners and commercial policies in the state of Mississippi.
Did you note that? State Farm has decided not to write any new policies. This in no way affects the insurer's liability for existing policies. State Farm has made a simple business decision: given the legal environment there, Mississippi is not a good place for an insurer like it do to business.
"Mike Fernandez, vice president of public affairs for State Farm, said Mississippi's 'current legal and political environment is simply untenable. We're just not in a position to accept any additional risk in this homeowners' market.'"
That didn't stop Diane Sawyer from introducing a segment on the news by speaking of "outrage" over insurance companies and declaring that "some" call State Farm's decision "heartless and others call it plain greedy."
I have been watching the "reportage" on the regrettable incident of a teenaged killer's rampage in a Utah shopping mall with mounting interest. In nearly every story of this crime the fact that this youngster is from a Muslim background is either muted or ignored altogether.
The AP, for instance, avoids identifying the boy as a Muslim in all their stories that I saw. In one, they merely identify the region in Bosnia in which he lived as the "northeastern enclave where up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered in 1995" but do not even speculate as to the boy or his family being Muslims. It is all rather dutifully avoided. In another story, the AP doesn't even use the word Muslim at all.
It’s safe to say that columnist Helen Thomas is not a favorite figure in the White House pressroom as far as conservatives are concerned. On Wednesday morning, the “Fox & Friends” crew discussed the revelation that the Fox News Channel has asked for a better seat during gaggles and pressers in the newly renovated pressroom once it’s completed, one in the front row in fact.
Co-host Steve Doocy mentioned that FNC and another cable outlet have asked for this privilege, but as the new design only includes one more front-row seat, Helen Thomas would have to be kicked out of her chair to accommodate both outlets.
This set up a comical discussion between the gang, including a viewer poll about the issue (video available here).
As NewsBuster Matt Sheffield reported Wednesday, Fox News will be introducing a new comedy this coming Sunday called “The Half Hour News Hour.” FNC previewed another segment (h/t Hot Air) with Rush Limbaugh as the new president in January 2009.
It appears that Limbaugh won after another “bitter recount,” and the loser, Howard Dean, is now “finally getting the medical attention he has so desperately needed for so long.”
His vice president, Ann Coulter, informed viewers that if they don’t watch the show, “We will invade your countries, kill your leaders, and convert you to Christianity.”
Given the subject matter, Horner had a lot of fun slamming Al Gore, Ellen Goodman, and the global warmingists (video available here). Goodman was Horner’s first target:
Well, let's say this Ellen Goodman a columnist just joined the parade of those who call people who deny climate change – that’s what they call it -- Holocaust deniers. Okay, now think about this. You decide which is being trivialized: a few tenths of a degree increase over a hundred and something years, or 20 million people dead on the basis of their religion or sexual preferences.
Horner then made an interesting historical climate observation that has conveniently eluded all the global warming alarmists and their devotees:
This Sunday at 10pm Eastern, Fox News Channel is going to show a pilot episode of a news satire show it's commissioned from "24" executive producer Joel Surnow.
Here at NB and MRC, we often rightly complain at the media's leftward slant. This slant exists largely because the news and entertainment media shun and blacklist people with known conservative and libertarian politics, however, it's also a question of the right's interest in media.
If you're sick of every comedy show being run by left-wingers like Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, and David Letterman, join me in watching the "Half-Hour News Hour" this Sunday and tell everyone you know who might like it to tune in as well.
For a sample of the show and its format, click on over to this YouTube excerpt. There's also another promo where the show's producers discuss who might be offended at it. Click past the fold to watch the first spot right from this entry.
Anne Schroeder at The Politico started a new rumor that when the newly renovated White House Briefing Room is ready, perhaps the new seating chart will move caterwauling Hearst columnist Helen Thomas (no longer a reporter, more like a Sheehan-style anti-war protester) out of her traditional seat on the front row. For those who do not recall, Helen left United Press International way back in 2000 rather than work for new owners when it was sold to conservatives at The Washington Times.
The new room will have an added seat in each row, but both CNN and Fox News want to move up, so moving Helen would be the logical move to acknowledge that cable-news networks perhaps have more importance 24-7 than once-a-week columnists for Hearst. (Back when I was in the room in '01 and '02, FNC was often sitting in row 3 or 4, not even the second row.)
Yesterday I dismissed the idea that PBS couldn't find anyone conservative to comment on the Bush team's alleged war on the press. Talk-radio host and blogger Hugh Hewitt, a long-time host for PBS in Los Angeles, explained on his blog that the Frontline folks at PBS tried to cajole him into an interview for their "News War" four-hour marathon, but he ultimately declined. Here's his story:
Producer Raney Anderson journeyed to California to make the case for why I ought to participate, and I declined. I spent a decade inside the PBS system, and while I think Ms. Anderson is a talented and sincere documentarian, the form is inherently biased as the moment a cut gets made, an editorial choice has been rendered, and I didn't trust a PBS team, however talented, to make those choices about what I have to say about media, new and old.
Diamonds don't cause conflicts in Africa, bands of armed thugs do. But you wouldn't know that if you followed the media's slant on "conflict diamonds," which, much like stories on gun control, often blame the object instead of the evil person misusing it.
It goes without saying that we wouldn't want to provoke such a person -- it could harm his self-esteem. Unfortunately, President Bush doesn't seem to have gotten the message. But thank goodness for David Gregory. As luck would have it he turned up at today's White House press conference to convey the message to the president: stop provoking poor Mahmoud!
Gregory began by observing: "A lot of critics say that you are using the same quality of intelligence about Iran that you used to make the case for war in Iraq . . . and that you are doing that to make a case for war against Iran. Is that the case?"
The proposed Castle Doctrine law being considered in the Texas legislature is getting the typical Brady Campaign treatment. An examination of their tactics is a good study for any state considering the law.
Does Brady Care More About Criminals Than Law-Abiding Victims?
Brady came out against Castle Doctrine because of its impact on criminals:
“The law only changes things for the bad guy,” Mr. Ragbourn said. “The good guys already had the law on their side.”1
The New York Times political blog "The Caucus" and editor Kate Phillips seemed to sympathize with two bloggers, Andrea Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, who recently quit the John Edwards campaign after coming under fire for bigoted, irresponsible, and vulgar statements they'd written on their own blogs in the past.
The name Timothy Ball should be familiar to many conservatives as one of the leading international skeptics of man’s role in global warming. He was interviewed recently by Bill Steigerwald of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and once again made some fascinating statements about the media hysteria surrounding this issue (emphasis mine throughout):
As I tell audiences, the minute somebody starts saying “Oh, the children are going to die and the grandchildren are going to have no future,” they have now played the emotional and fear card. Just like in the U.S., it’s almost like the race card. It’s not to say that it isn’t valid in some cases. But the minute you play that card, you are now taking the issues and the debates out of the rational and logical and reasonable and sensible and calm into the emotional and hysterical.
Ball addressed the recent IPCC report by the United Nations:
On the Tuesday edition of "Good Morning America," Diane Sawyer, on the last leg of her Dictator ‘07 tour, asked Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad her silliest questions yet. Sawyer mused about Iranian environmental problems and also wondered how often the Holocaust-denying leader cries. The ABC program featured several segments with the President of Iran. After a piece where she only lightly pressed Ahmadinejad on his calls for the destruction of Israel, the GMA anchor asked if Iran’s President, who is seeking a nuclear bomb, is "sentimental and sympathetic" This question allowed Americans to see a softer side of the unpredictable leader:
Diane Sawyer: "Well, in a minute we're going to talk and I'm going to get the questions you have from e-mails. But a number of people have already said is there anything surprising, personal about President Ahmadinejad that we didn't know? Well, it turns out, someone told me he cries a lot. That he is dramatically sentimental and sympathetic if someone comes up and expresses a personal plight. So I just asked him, are you often in tears?"
The Washington Post's Amit Paley did an excellent job giving a balanced, factual report just four days ago on a recent stock sale by Sallie Mae chairman Albert Lord. His February 14 Business section article, however, is a different matter. Instead of digging for evidence on both sides, Paley relayed Democratic complaints and clipped a quote from a company spokesman.
Blogs such as NewsBusters are an "incredibly important" news medium whose influence will only continue to grow, a senior U.S. military official said today. Speaking from Baghdad, Major General William Caldwell, senior military spokesman in Iraq, made the remarks in the course of a conference call with bloggers in which this NewsBuster participated.
Said MG Caldwell in closing remarks: "Thanks for what you all do. I've just been amazed. I had no idea ten months ago what an incredible addition you all are in helping tell what's going on and providing information. You're an incredibly important news medium, that from what I've seen is just growing in importance from last May until now, and will only continue to do in the future."
A very funny moment occurred during Tuesday’s White House press briefing between Press Secretary Tony Snow and CNN’s Ed Henry. As the latter tried to back the former into a corner over claims that Iran is arming Shia in Iraq with weapons, Snow comically admonished the CNN correspondent for getting a bit excited during his questioning.
After Kyra Phillips introduced Henry during the 1PM EST installment of “CNN Newsroom,” Henry went right into Democrat talking points concerning the allegations of Iranian weaponry in Iraq (video available here):
On last night's Hardball Chris Matthews, interviewing Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, was peeved that Democrats weren't pushing hard enough to have a vote on the surge. Citing polls in opposition to the surge a flustered Matthews worried Democrats were going to roll over for the President and demanded Hoyer not let the President ignore Democrats like he ignored Katrina. In the first segment of the February 14th, Hardball Matthews declared to Hoyer: "He is gonna treat you, the first branch of the Constitution, as if you're Katrina, not to be paid attention to."
The following is the full question from Matthews:
Chris Matthews: "Well, we have a new poll that shows that seven, seven out of 10 Americans are watching Congress to see how they vote on this and they say that they vote and they say that if they vote the wrong way, they're going to remember that come election time. You know, Mr. Leader, you and I were grew up in a country where presidents were very attune to Congress and respectful of it, especially those who came out of Congress like Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy and even Richard Nixon. They watched the Congress, they paid attention to it and they cared about its legislative duties. This President, and I know you respect him as we do, as President, but he came out and said the other day that he's not even gonna bother watching the floor debate. He doesn't even want to hear about it. He's got other things to do. He is gonna treat you, the first branch of the Constitution, as if you're Katrina, not to be paid attention to. Does that bother you constitutionally that the President doesn't think that this major debate on war is something he's not even gonna bother to watch on television?"
Several MRC employees have encountered a new pamphlet on the subway system in the Washington D.C. area called the "CBS Evening News Report" with a big picture of Katie Couric on the cover. (It also promotes the local CBS news on Channel 9.) Inside the 14-page pamphlet are articles by Dr. Jonathan LaPook, Armen Keteyian, Byron Pitts, Steve Hartman, and Jim Axelrod.
But it's mostly promoting Katie. In the front, "A Word From Katie" carries the usual messages with exclamation points selling the magazine. "Hi everyone!...We hope it'll serve as an appetizer, and maybe entice you to try out the main course!...We'll do our best to keep you on track. Meantime, thanks for taking us along for the ride!" Showing the pamphlet's age, though, is a two-page article with Katie recounting her "remarkable conversation with a remarkable man," embryo-destruction spokesman Michael J. Fox -- in October.
In every electoral cycle, the liberal media informs us that the Democratic Party will fight fiercely for the votes of religious Americans and refute the ugly, even slanderous caricature that the Democrats are the party that mocks God, prayer, and everything most Americans hold dear.
And then, suddenly the alleged caricature has a name. Meet Amanda Marcotte.
Marcotte is a hater – to be precise, a hater of the Christian religion and how it apparently warps society with its oppressive myths. For some mysterious reason, John Edwards, just a few years removed from being inaccurately hailed by coddling correspondents as a Southern centrist balancing the John Kerry ticket, hired Marcotte as one of his official bloggers.
The novelty of the 2008 presidential campaign is the apparent necessity for every campaign to have an official blogger or two. The problem, it seems, is that Edwards never seemed to read – let’s hope he never read – a thing his sneering new employee wrote over a period of months. It was all summed up in one outrageous alleged joke from last summer:
Of the broadcast network evening newscast stories Tuesday night on the House debate over the non-binding resolution that “disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush...to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq,” only ABC’s Jake Tapper included the views of soldiers in Iraq. Tapper's report on World News featured soundbites from two Army Sergeants in Ramadi, and both condemned the resolution. First Sergeant Louis Barnum declared: “It makes me sick. I was born and raised a Democrat, but when I see that it just kind of makes me sad.” Sergeant Brian Orzechoski went even further: “I don't want to bad-mouth the President at all. I mean, to me it's treason.”
Video clip (30 seconds): Real (1 MB) or Windows Media (1.1 MB), plus MP3 (200 KB) Audio is over-modulated, but that's how it aired on ABC's DC station.