It has been over three weeks since The New York Timespublished a front-page investigation unmasking the actions of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) shuttering an anti-corruption commission. In reaction, the U.S. Attorney has now begun investigating Cuomo’s administration for possible “witness tampering and obstruction of justice,” according to The New York Post.
Despite these serious allegations, CNN has all but ignored the story. The cable news outlet completely ignored the Cuomo scandal until it aired a single tease and report on August 7 during The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.
On the Friday, April 11, PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton led the show by pushing the liberal mantra that Republicans are in a "war on voting" as he highlighted President Obama's speech earlier that day to Sharpton's own left-wing National Action Network organization on the subject of voting rights.
And later in the show, as Sharpton hosted a segment dismissing the various Obama administration scandals, guest and liberal talk radio host Bill Press accused FNC audience members of being "dumb" as he asserted that California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa should be "on the payroll" of FNC head Roger Ailes.
In a lengthy item "as told to Joe Hagan" at NYMag.com's The Vulture, actor, commercial pitchman, and brief MSNBC host Alec Baldwin makes it very clear that he is fed up with a lot of things.
There is plenty of material for discussion in his writeup. I want to focus on what he sees as his mistreatment at the hands of MSNBC and the self-described "progressive" community. Unfortunately, after said mistreatment, it's clear that he still doesn't get the difference between legitimate if strident criticism and expressions of over-the-top hatred, as the excerpts which follow will show (bolds are mine):
Former New York Times columnist Frank Rich wrote a long attack piece on Fox News for New York magazine theorizing that the Left pays too much attention to “waning” Fox News and gives them too much cachet by opposing them fiercely. It's called "Stop Beating a Dead Fox."
Fox never succeeds on its own. Liberals have the power to make it succeed:
During an interview with Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast website, MSNBC president Phil Griffin strained at gnats when he stated that his network “has never had an ideology” but insisted that the dominant Fox News Channel does.
“An ideology is a single thought across all programs,” he said. “We’ve never had that.” However, Griffin asserted, MSNBC instead has“a progressive sensibility,” which he claimed is not the same as an ideology. “Obviously, I hire people who fit the sensibility” because “we do stay true to facts. You have to build your argument. That's why I call it a sensibility.”
Just when you think you've seen it all, along comes an interview during the 30-minute Politicking With Larry King program on Thursday night in which the long-time interviewer asked his guest, Dan Rather: “Do you ever think the thought that Fox News Channel is an actual part of the Republican Party?”
The veteran newsman paused for a moment before responding that the claim “goes too far” even though network founder Roger Ailes has used the channel to benefit the GOP. However, “is it a sole operative and propaganda machine for the party? I'd have to stop short of that.”
The nightly Fox-bashers at Comedy Central unsurprisingly booked liberal author Gabriel Sherman for a five-minute interview to discuss his Roger Ailes book “The Loudest Voice in the Room” at the very end of “The Colbert Report” on Wednesday night.
Displaying the usual hypocrisy of media liberals, completely satirical conservative Colbert lectured Sherman that he really shouldn’t have spent so much time on his research, since he should have learned from Fox News that you decide what your story is and "only talk to the people who support it." How many thousands of liberal media reports have we witnessed where the only people cited are liberals, and they don't even have the honesty to call themselves liberals? (Video below)
Phil Griffin, head of the MSNBC cable television channel, told Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter that he accepts responsibility for recent embarrassments that led Alec Baldwin and Martin Bashir to leave the network and Melissa Harris-Perry to offer a tearful on-air apology.
"These were judgment calls made by some of our people. We handled them. We were transparent. That is our philosophy: Be factual, and step up when you make a mistake,” Griffin asserted. “We took responsibility for them and took action. They were unfortunate,” but “I don't think it hurt us in any way.”
Jill Lepore at The New Yorker magazine took on the new book on Roger Ailes by comparing Ailes to William Randolph Hearst. This is odd, since Hearst’s actual tycoon character at Fox would be Rupert Murdoch, not Ailes.
In one classic paragraph, Lepore explained that urbane liberals shouldn’t be so lazy as to despise Ailes (as they did Hearst) when they should really loathe “the vulgarity and the prejudices” of the lower-class Fox News audience that Ailes attracts:
In 2009, Jacob Weisberg argued “The Australian-British-continental model of politicized media that Murdoch has applied at Fox is un-American.” This makes him a natural choice for The New York Times in picking a reviewer for Gabriel Sherman’s new anti-Roger Ailes biography “Loudest Voice in the Room.”
In Weisberg’s opinion, instead of helping the GOP defeat Obama, “Ailes effectively sabotaged them by giving unlimited airtime to fringe figures like Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin and Herman Cain during primary season. Having weathered this freak show through the primaries, Mitt Romney couldn’t shake the Fox News taint.” Times media columnist David Carr wrote almost exactly the same thing about the “fringy” conservatives:
During Wednesday night's edition of Piers Morgan Live on the Cable News Network, a panel of four media analysts joined their liberal host in agreement that The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News -- and Divided a Country, a new book written by New York Magazine reporter Gabriel Sherman, will not have much impact on readers' views of that cable network.
“People who are skeptical of Fox News are going to read this book and are going to be sure, once and for all, that Fox News is an arm of the Republican Party,” said media critic Brian Stetler of the New York Times. However, Amy Holmes -- a host on TheBlaze TV -- asserted that the book is filled with “pretty thin gruel.”
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell refreshingly departed from their usual softball treatment of liberal guests, and pursued New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman about his new biography of Fox News's Roger Ailes. O'Donnell spotlighted how "critics...[are] saying...you're a younger, liberal-leaning journalist."
Both anchors also hounded Sherman for a political accusation in the very title of the bio – The Loudest Voice in the Room: How The Brilliant Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News – and Divided A Country: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza caused a bit of a stir in the conservative media world today in a report he filed for the New Yorker about the ongoing debate in the U.S. Senate over an immigration bill that is currently opposed by many conservatives. According to the piece, the so-called Gang of Eight see the role of Florida Republican Marco Rubio as being to “neutralize” conservative talk radio and to get opinion hosts on Fox News Channel to either talk up the legislation or at least not oppose it.
In their view, Rubio, who was initially touted by many conservatives nationally as their great hope even though he was regarded far more skeptically by Florida conservatives, has succeeded in his assignment.
One of the most outspoken conservatives in the past few years has been Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska who was the GOP candidate for vice president alongside Arizona senator John McCain during the 2008 presidential election and a contributor on the Fox News Channel from Jan. 19, 2009, to Jan. 25, 2013, when she withdrew from the network staff to focus on “broadening her message of common-sense conservatism across the country.”
Less than five months later, the cable channel announced that Palin will return as a political analyst next Monday, a move that was hailed by Greta Van Susteren, host of the weeknight On the Record program, who wrote in an email to Politico.com that she is “delighted to have her back at Fox” because "it will drive her critics crazy!"
The Bradley Foundation, a private, independent grant-making organization based in Milwaukee, recently handed out its annual Bradley Prize to four men who have, in the words of the organization's mission statement, "(preserved and defended) the tradition of free representative government and private enterprise that has enabled the American nation and, in a larger sense, the entire Western world to flourish intellectually and economically."
Among the winners at the Kennedy Center event in Washington, D.C., was Roger Ailes, chairman of Fox News, the bete noire to the broadcast networks and other media elites.
It’s hard to pity someone as smarmy and self-righteous as Jonathan Alter. Still, with all the bad luck that the left-wing pundit has faced lately, it almost makes you want to consider it. Well, ok, not really.
May has been a tough month for the MSNBC contributor. First, an anecdote from his latest book was proven beyond doubt to be an outright fabrication. Yesterday, he was revealed by radio host Don Imus as a conniving, two-faced jerk. Now his reporting is being denounced as “patently, provably false” by Fox News president Roger Ailes.
Fox News boss Roger Ailes wrote a pep-rally memo to his employees in the wake of the James Rosen investigation news. Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple called it a "masterpiece."
"For all those who wonder what it is about Ailes that endears his people to him — and that makes him such a good interviewee for any media reporter lucky enough to get an audience with him — just read this," he wrote:
Since its founding in 1996, the Fox News Channel has been the subject of much media scrutiny. Part of this was inevitable given that its creator, Roger Ailes, explicitly designed it to be different than the rest of the national media outlets which lean to the left.
As such, there has been a lot of journalism produced about Fox News. Some of it has been excellent. Much of it has been nonsense, including a hoax “study” purporting to show that Fox News viewers have lower IQs than average and actual real study claiming that people who watched the channel were “misinformed” about political issues. As it turned out, the non-hoax was incredibly shoddy as it basically determined that someone was “informed” if he agreed with the political opinions of Democrats and “uninformed” if he agreed with Republicans.
While most people have never heard of Roger Ailes, they have heard of his famous creation, the Fox News Channel. As basically the sole national mainstream news entity which is not operated on a left-of-center paradigm, Fox News has become almost public enemy number-one to the far left. For many of today’s illiberal liberals, the mere existence of Fox News is enough to induce spittle-flecked rants calling for its forceful closure by the government.
The sheer hatred leveled against Ailes and Fox News was why I was very interested to interview Zev Chafets, about his new biography, Roger Ailes Off Camera.
Dylan Byers of Politico reported that the new Zev Chafets book on Fox News boss Roger Ailes includes talk of his warm friendship with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. Ailes wrote a blurb for Maddow’s first book, “Drift,” and told Chafets he knew praising Maddow would make MSNBC executives think he was trying to bring her over to Fox. “I don’t want to recruit her but they’ll think I do,” Ailes told Chafets. “Hell, they’re paranoid over there.”
“I think Roger’s vision is wrong, but he’s the most important Republican in the country,” Maddow told Chafets. Then she insisted he was so intellectually superior to the Republican rank and file:
Pot, kettle: New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani reviewed Tuesday a new biography by Zev Chafets of Fox News president Roger Ailes under the headline, "A Soft-Focus Look at Fox's Tough-Talking Tough Guy." Kakutani faulted the book for relying on familiar stories and, of course, for Fox News's conservatie viewpoint: "There is little cogent analysis in these pages about how Fox News frames its reports from a conservative point of view, or the effect that this has had on the national conversation."
CNN's Howard Kurtz made a comment Sunday that might raise some conservative eyebrows.
In a Reliable Sources discussion about comments Fox News's Roger Ailes made in a new book about him, Kurtz said, "I think this president works very hard and doesn’t take many vacations" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
While being ignorant of the facts is not as bad for a journalist as deliberately suppressing them, not knowing what you’re talking about can be far more embarrassing—and amusing.
Soledad O’Brien, the soon-to-be-former host of CNN’s “Starting Point,” proved that point definitively yesterday when she revealed that she had basically no knowledge of the new favorite story among left-of-center journalists, the supposed racism of Fox News president Roger Ailes.
On Wednesday night’s edition of “PoliticsNation,” MSNBC host Al Sharpton and “The Cycle” host Touré Neblett claimed Fox News president Roger Ailes used racist “dog whistle” language when he called President Obama “lazy” in a newly released biography.
Sharpton started by reading a portion of the quote in the book.
During the Wednesday edition of her CNN program “Outfront,” host Erin Burnett and her producers just could not stop themselves from deriding Kentucky Republican Rand Paul’s filibuster effort to block a Senate vote on John Brennan, President Obama's choice for CIA director.
While the show did give some serious discussion to the substance of Paul’s concern on behalf of Americans’ civil liberties, during the introduction of the segment, Burnett treated the matter rather flippantly and featured a graphic of the senator entitled “Sen. Paul Drones On… And On…”
Gabriel Sherman of New York magazine is a media writer with a flaw. He wrote about Fox News without seeming to think he had to watch it. On Monday night, he wrote an article hotly claiming that Fox News hosts were ordered not to talk about gun control after the Newtown shooting (except for Fox News Sunday).
Jeff Poor at The Daily Caller unloaded a painful box of facts on Sherman about all the examples of gun-control talk over the weekend. Sherman’s report was anonymously sourced and loose on the facts:
After Karl Rove disagreed with other Fox News Channel contributors that President Obama had won re-election on the night of Nov. 6, a reporter for the New York Magazine website has claimed that network president Roger Ailes was “angry” at the GOP strategist's “tantrum,” which led to Rove being “benched” from the cable channel for 27 days.
In a story on the subject, Gabriel Sherman relied on many anonymous “sources” to claim that “Rove's meltdown” resulted in his banishment by Ailes, who sought to “reposition” the news channel “in the post-election media environment.” In truth, according to Fox officials who spoke on the record, Rove has been less of a presence on the channel because the election has ended.
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow has been nominated for a Grammy Award for her book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power. The extremely liberal MSNBC host was recognized in the spoken-word category for the audiobook version of her New York Times bestseller.
Maddow's nomination is an apt opportunity to remind our readers that an assortment of reviewers have critically panned the progressive commentator's polemic about the military-industrial complex for its blatant misrepresentation of history and glaring omissions.