Latest Posts

By Mark Finkelstein | September 14, 2010 | 10:47 PM EDT
"This is probably one of the few times we're going to disagree here."  -- Sean Hannity to Karl Rove regarding Christine O'Donnell.
I'll say. Even after Fox News called the Delaware GOP senatorial primary for Christine O'Donnell tonight, Karl Rove continued to rip the winner, questioning everything from O'Donnell's "rectitude" to her "character."   Concluded the pessimistic Rove: "this is not a race we're going to be able to win."

Sean defended O'Donnell staunchly, but was met with a litany of Roveian criticism of Christine, including these comments:
By Lachlan Markay | September 14, 2010 | 9:00 PM EDT

Outrage over political donations by Fox News's parent company News Corp. always seemed like a bit of a stretch when it implied that those contributions affected Fox's political coverage.

Many news media outlets are owned by larger companies. Those companies' activities don't ipso facto affect news coverage at their media subsidiaries. So when NewsBusters pointed out that 88 percent of political donations from employees of the three TV news networks went to Democrats, it was really just to note the double standard at work (surely, numerous employees have nothing to do with the news operations).

New data revealed by the Center for Responsive Politics, however, suggests a real bias at play. According to Megan [spelling corrected - Ed.] Wilson, who writes for the Center's site OpenSecrets.org, 65 percent of donations from 235 self-identified journalists have gone to Democrats this cycle.

By Noel Sheppard | September 14, 2010 | 6:11 PM EDT
In a sign of the technological times we live in, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sent a message via Twitter to pop singer Lady Gaga on Tuesday concerning a vote on the controversial military policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Reid's tweet was actually in response to Gaga informing her 6.3 million followers:

Gay Veterans were my VMA dates. Repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell. CALL HARRY REID to Schedule Senate Vote 

For those unfamiliar, VMA is short for Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards (Gaga and escorts pictured above right).

So began a modern exchange over gay rights between a popular entertainment figure and one of the most powerful men in Washington:

By Tom Blumer | September 14, 2010 | 6:03 PM EDT

APabsolutelyPathetic0109I tried to find a nicer way to put it in the headline. But I can't.

At the Associated Press, Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger's apparent plug-and-play report less than an hour after the issuance of Uncle Sam's August Monthly Treasury Statement on Monday (his item is time-stamped at 2:56 p.m., which follows the Treasury Department's 2:00 p.m. release by less than an hour) contains three obviously false statements that a news organization which really subscribes to its own "Statement of News Values and Principles" would retract and/or correct.

The specific AP standard in question is whether it has violated its promise not to "knowingly introduce false information into material intended for publication or broadcast." The only conceivable excuse at this point is that Crutsinger and his employer don't realize what they have done. The three falsehoods involved are not arcane or open to interpretation. Rather, they are significant, obvious, irrefutable, and in need of correction.

What follows are the three statements, the first of which contradicts itself in the report's own subsequent sentence:

By Matthew Balan | September 14, 2010 | 5:50 PM EDT
CNN's Ali Velshi leaned against extending the Bush tax cuts during a commentary on Tuesday's Newsroom, warning that it "may not be a brilliant idea," and spouted the liberal talking point that tax cuts are a costly matter. Velshi also misleadingly stated that "we have not seen a huge surge in spending."

The anchor devoted his regular "XYZ" segment at the end of the 2 pm Eastern hour to the tax issue. He began by outlining how "President Obama wants to extend the Bush-era tax cuts that apply to the middle class, or households earning less than $250,000 a year...and that sounds like a great thing." He then continued with his argument about the "cost" of cutting taxes: "But let me put this into perspective. First, it's not free. Extending the tax breaks to the top 3 percent of earners would cost between 650 and 700 billion dollars. Extending it for the rest of us is going to cost a lot more, possibly $3 trillion. Everyone wants to pay less in taxes, but in an economy with a debt like America's, that may not be a brilliant idea."
By Matt Hadro | September 14, 2010 | 5:47 PM EDT
Appearing on MSNBC to present his magazine's feature piece critical of the "Baby Boomer" generation, James Bennet of The Atlantic named George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, and Bill Clinton as the three worst "baby boomers" who did the most harm to the country's political culture and its economy.

"It'd be hard not to point to George W. Bush as having done a lot of damage," Bennet asserted.  Bush, he added, "created a lot of programs that costed us a huge amount of money, without a lot of regard for what the effects are going to be on the folks that are going to have to pay for those for many years."

Bennet also blamed President Clinton and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich for failed policies. However, Bennet was quick to reference the "surpluses as far as the eye could see" at the end of the Clinton administration, as a counterweight to Clinton's damage while in office. He bafflingly lauded President George H.W. Bush's tax hike as "politically brave" and which helped create the prosperity of the Clinton years.
By Kyle Drennen | September 14, 2010 | 4:34 PM EDT
Reza Aslan, CBS On the September 11th Saturday Early Show, CBS News Middle East analyst Reza Aslan slammed opponents of the Ground Zero mosque as having "unapologetically politicized" 9/11 and being part of a "whole wave of anti-Muslim sentiment."

While he denounced others for trying to "take advantage of this symbol for their own political purposes," Aslan made his comments only seconds after live coverage of the first moment of silence for victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Co-host Chris Wragge accepted Aslan's characterization of the controversy and responded: "...this is not an opportunity to add controversy into the mix. If there's one day, you know what, to keep our mouths quiet and let's just reflect on the lives lost, today is it, you don't mess with that."

Aslan followed up by admitting: "I'll be honest with you, I hope that there is kind of a backlash against what's going on right now. As you know, at 1pm today there'll be a rally in support of the so-called Park 51 project, at 3pm there'll be this international rally against it. So, I'm hoping that Americans all over the country see these images and think we've gone too far."

He later specifically condemned mosque opponents: "...particularly in the case of this sort of international anti-Islam rally that's being brought by this group called Stop Islamization of America. And they're inviting all these European anti-Muslim politicians in to speak. I mean, that's really now taking this to a whole other level."   
By Jeff Poor | September 14, 2010 | 4:29 PM EDT

This could confirm what many suspected all along - the corporate heads at General Electric (NYSE:GE) would try to use their media holdings to portray President Barack Obama and his administration in a positive light in order to gain a corporate advantage.

That's how former CNBC reporter and current Fox Business Network senior correspondent Charlie Gasparino explains it in his forthcoming book, "Bought and Paid For: The Unholy Alliance Between Barack Obama and Wall Street."

According to Gasparino, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt had "helped his company feast off of the subsidies of Obamanomics," including the green energy initiatives and health care reform. And although Immelt is a registered Republican, Gasparino detailed how Immelt would walk around his company's headquarters saying "we're all Democrats" now at the prospect of government checks going to GE. But later, Gasparino explained how Immelt would use his authority to manipulate the editorial coverage of on Obama for that reason:

By Scott Whitlock | September 14, 2010 | 4:22 PM EDT

ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday wondered if a Florida pastor's threat to burn a Koran could "change" and "challenge" the meaning of the First Amendment. [MP3 audio here.]

Talking to Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, the Good Morning America host speculated, "When you think about the internet and when you think about the possibility that, you know, a pastor in Florida with a flock of 30, can threaten to burn the Koran and that leads to riots and killings in Afghanistan, does that pose a challenge to the First Amendment, to how you interpret it?"

Stephanopoulos followed-up, "Does [the threat of the Koran burning] change the nature of what we can allow and protect?" The ABC host didn't explain expand on how the First Amendment "changes" in light of an unpopular action such as a Koran burning.

By Alex Fitzsimmons | September 14, 2010 | 4:16 PM EDT
Interviewing White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett yesterday, The View's liberal co-hosts repelled Elisabeth Hasslebeck's tough questions on President Obama's failed economic agenda by changing the subject and ignoring their conservative colleague's criticism.

Refuting the claim that the economy is "certainly moving in the right direction" despite dismal unemployment numbers, Hasselbeck asked Jarrett if Obama's $50 billion infrastructure bill represents an "admittance of failure on the $800 billion stimulus bill that didn't seem to work."

To sidestep Hasselbeck's question, Jarrett invoked incredulity, flawed statistics, and historical revisionism:
By Jack Coleman | September 14, 2010 | 3:57 PM EDT

Not how I'd mark an anniversary, but MSNBC is flexible in its alleged standards.

On Sept. 8, Rachel Maddow told viewers it was two years since her cable show started on MSNBC. And what better way to enter her third year of televised liberal polemics than with Maddow's trademark melding of smarm and deceit. 

The following night, Maddow railed at Newt Gingrich and Citizens United for producing and marketing a documentary warning Americans of the threat from radical Islam, after she complained about Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck charging admission to a meet-and-greet on Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks (first of four parts in embedded video) --

By Tim Graham | September 14, 2010 | 3:15 PM EDT

On Tuesday, Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz publicized a forthcoming book by former TV producer/reporter Mark Feldstein on syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, a big star in the media firmament in the 1960s and 1970s. (He was an early featured player in ABC's Good Morning America.) Kurtz relayed how Feldstein found Anderson engaged in blackmail and bribery to get scoops, often designed to provide maximum embarrassment to Republicans.

People whose version of media history only includes the Woodwards and Bernsteins taking down Richard Nixon (for nothing more than their sheer love of country) might want to see just how Anderson worked hand in glove with Democrats, and cut a series of ethical corners: 

Anderson's questionable tactics were visible as early as 1958, when he and a Democratic congressional investigator were caught with bugging equipment in the old Sheraton-Carlton Hotel, surreptitiously recording the businessman who bribed Sherman Adams, later forced to resign as President Dwight Eisenhower's chief of staff. This was a big break for Anderson, who was then the chief legman for columnist Drew Pearson.
By Geoffrey Dickens | September 14, 2010 | 2:02 PM EDT

NBC's Andrea Mitchell reporting live from Tehran on Tuesday's Today show, on the American hikers held hostage in Iran, relayed Iranian government spin, that the Ground Zero mosque protest and controversial Koran "desecrations" have "added to the tension here, the anti-American spirit." Spurred by a question from substitute anchor Carl Quintanilla about the protests in New York city, Mitchell actually held up one of the state-owned newspapers and relayed that "if the government needed any excuse to drum up more anti-American fever," they have it, as she noted "all the headlines" in Iran are about the "desecration" and "burning" threats of the Koran.

The following segment was aired on the September 14 Today show:

By Brent Baker | September 14, 2010 | 1:32 PM EDT
Emily Lenzner, Executive Director of Communications at ABC News for its DC-based shows, who spent eight months in 2007-2008 as editorial producer for This Week with George Stephanopoulos (for whom she also toiled inside the Clinton White House), has left ABC News for Anita Dunn's “strategic communications firm.” SKDKnickerbocker announced Monday she'll be a Managing Director with the firm led by Dunn, the Obama administration's Communications Director in 2009. SKDKnickerbocker's “About” page boasts:
We helped Barack Obama by being the only firm in America to do direct mail and television advertising for his 2008 presidential victory. We helped SEIU fight to stave off millions of dollars of healthcare cuts.
Their “Case Studies” page, which touts work for a bunch of liberal candidates, highlights “FAR-REACHING ROLE IN ELECTION: Obama for America.” That page trumpets: “No other firm had as far-reaching a role in President Obama's election...with Anita Dunn serving as one of the top officials of the campaign and the firm producing both television advertising and direct mail for the campaign.”
By Mark Finkelstein | September 14, 2010 | 1:26 PM EDT
If a RINO is a Republican In Name Only, let's coin a new acronym for David Brooks: RINYTO: Republican In New York Times Only.  For only in the Gray Lady's bailiwick could Brooks be considered much of a Republican.

Take his current column in the Times.  Brooks warns Republicans on the verge of regaining power that it would be nothing short of a "tragedy" if they were to oppose . . . more government and higher taxes.