Politico media writer Dylan Byers sought to add context to Paul Farhi’s “glowing profile” of CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson in Wednesday’s Washington Post.
Byers suggested Farhi painted it as a David and Goliath story with Team Obama as Goliath. But there’s another Goliath, he wrote: CBS News executives who aren’t happy with Attkisson’s “Benghazi campaign” that’s “wading dangerously close” to advocacy:
Politico media reporter Dylan Byers stirred up media indignation with an unflattering article Tuesday on Jill Abramson, the New York Times executive editor, "Turbulence at the Times", based largely on anonymous Times sources who snipe that Abramson is detached, brusque, and a "very, very unpopular" presence in the newsroom.
One Monday morning in April, Jill Abramson called Dean Baquet into her office to complain. The executive editor of The New York Times was upset about the paper’s recent news coverage -- she felt it wasn’t “buzzy” enough, a source there said -- and placed blame on Baquet, her managing editor. A debate ensued, which gave way to an argument.
In a 1,700-word report on conflict and office politics at the New York Times, the Politico's Dylan Byers omitted critical context about the apparent personality clash between Jill Abramson, the paper's executive editor, and Dean Baquet, its managing editor.
Byers could have remedied the situation by including these seven words at an appropriate point: "Baquet, who has a history of insubordination ..." This history is not a secret, as illustrated in the following writeup at the (I'm not kidding) New York Times in September 2006 (bolds are mine):
Normally, the people who cover the media industry try studiously to avoid mentioning the very obvious fact that America's elite journalists are overwhelmingly liberal and that one can discern this by reviewing their output. This is a logical response considering that said reporters probably do not wish to antagonize potential sources. It's hard to report on the media if no one in the media will speak to you.
In the case of the recent journalist meltdown over gun control, the bias was so overwhelming, even Politico's cautious media reporter Dylan Byers had to admit the obvious:
Looks like this could be a rocky transition for Ed Schultz and MSNBC.
Ever since Politico reported "The Ed Show" would move from primetime weeknights on MSNBC to the network's barren weekends, bumping up against scarcely watched programming that consists mainly of reality shows set in prison, Schultz has insisted the shift is not a demotion. (Audio clips after page break)
Politico media writer Dylan Byers reported that Ed Schultz viewers on MSNBC are bigger Obama fans than Schultz fans. While Schultz asserted on Thursday night that "many Americans want to know how the United States can order the killings of American citizens without due process," a phone survey during the hour of his show found
78 percent said they agreed with "the policy of targeted killing of American citizens." Only 22 percent stuck with Ed.
Byers wrote, "These results may have come as a surprise to Schultz -- neither he nor MSNBC PR immediately responded to a request for his reaction -- because the results of his viewer surveys almost always align with his own progressive worldview."
Someone needs to tell Dylan Byers at the Politico that the 2012 presidential smear campaign is over, and their guy won.
Byers seems not to have gotten the memo, and is still engaged in associating Mitt Romney with the firm he left in 1999 any time it has involvement in decisions relating to layoffs. In the current instance, Bain was engaged as an advisor to a new CEO at Time Inc. -- meaning that management of the company involved could have ignored the firm's advice -- and not as an investor. It doesn't matter to Byers, who named Romney anyway, even though Ad Age, the underlying source, didn't (presented in full because of its brevity; bolds are mine):
The burning question on the mind of Dylan Byers Saturday afternoon at the Politico -- a question that somehow merited over 2,000 words of content -- was "Al Jazeera America (AJA): Will they watch?" He could have answered his question in eleven words: "Except for segments of America's Muslim community, the answer is 'no.'" Along the way, Byers spoke with former Al Jazeera English (AJE) anchor David Marash, who, per Byers, "still describes it as 'the best news channel on Earth.'" That's odd, because what Al Jazeera English did to him, as described in an interview he had in April 2008 with Brent Cunningham at the Columbia Journalism Review in April 2008 should have caused him to doubt the channel's ability to cover American stories in its new AJA unit with any kind of integrity (bolds are mine):
The media agenda against guns is nothing new. But recent mass shootings have encouraged supposedly neutral journalists to push for gun regulation instead of reporting the facts surrounding the tragedies.
One thing the media seldom mention is that both the Newtown and Aurora shootings occurred in gun free zones. In the Clackamas Town Center Shooting in Oregon, however, a gunman was stopped when someone with a concealed carry permit intervened. There were only two casualties in this shooting which received little media attention. If this incident was mentioned, the concealed carry part of the story was almost completely ignored.
I'm almost surprised that the Politico's web site background isn't all black because of news delivered by its "On Media" reporter Dylan Byers on Tuesday.
The "bad" news is that "gun control" as a media obsession appears to have largely disappeared, especially when you consider that some of the primary remaining stories on the topic are about David Gregory's illegal but unprosecuted (as of yet) brandishing of a magazine on Meet the Press, a New York newspaper's publication of an interactive map of two counties' pistol permit dwellers, and said newspaper either feeling threatened or pushing for more publicity (my bet is on the latter) by hiring armed guards to protect its headquarters and staff from outraged readers. Here's part of Byers's narrative (charts are at the link; bolds are mine):
Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) announced Thursday that he will be trading his Senate seat in January to assume the helm of the Heritage Foundation. Covering the surprising development in its Friday edition, Politico dismissed DeMint as a mediocre politician with an undistinguished record who is moving on to captain a conservative think tank that has become "predictable, uninspiring, and often lacking in influence."
Manu Raju and Scott Wong mocked DeMint's lack of credentials in their front-page story titled, "DeMint Departure Fallout." They described him as a popular senator who has actually "accomplished very little" in Congress because he "wasn't a legislator" and having "no signature laws to his name." Of course, this betrays an inside-the-Beltway way of thinking about success in Congress. Conservatives dedicated to shrinking the size and scope of the federal government are not going to be be known for legislative accomplishments, which more often than not are about expanding the federal government's size and scope, not dismantling old bureaucracies.
Updated below | Not only has the Obama administration failed to live up to its promise of "transparency," it appears the president's reelection campaign shares the same issue. Politico media reporter Dylan Byers noted this morning that "Joe Vardon, a reporter with the Columbus Dispatch, says campaign aides stopped him from speaking to voters at a rally featuring Vice President Joe Biden in Canton, Ohio, today."
"Reporters NOT ALLOWED to talk to voters at Biden/Canton event," Byers quoted a Vardon tweet, "Saddled up to two 'Scotts' — both white, mid-50s — campaign tapped me on shoulder, said I wasn't allowed." In an update subsequently filed a mere eight minutes later, Byers noted that "Amy Dudley, a spokeswoman for Vice President Biden, emails" the following:
Clay Waters at NewsBusters has already exposed the passive-aggressive anti-Semitism in Maureen Dowd's Sunday rant ("Neocons Slither Back") at the New York Times. So did Politico's Dylan Byers, who nonetheless thought that the Obama campaign's tweet supporting Dowd's column via its "Truth Team" (and, by inference,their endorsement of her "neocon puppet master" premise) was so unimportant that he didn't mention it until his final paragraph. Excerpts from Byers weakly headlined item follow (HT Twitchy):
Former ABC News reporter Carole Simpson --who in 2008 insisted Hillary Clinton was the best candidate for president because of her gender -- is hoping that the women of America will rise up and demand that the presidential debate commission make a female journalist the moderator of at least one of the forthcoming presidential debates.
In a telephone interview with Politico, Simpson made perfectly clear her reasons, all but saying that the media-imagined "war on women" has something to do with it, making claims about Romney's positions on the issues that are woefully inaccurate:
During the 1960 presidential campaign, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy was attacked for his Catholic faith, then viewed by many as subversive and un-American. Anti-Mormon bigots are now targeting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for his Mormon beliefs, which are now viewed by many “progressives” as a “transparent and recent fraud.” But in those 50 years, the role of the media has changed significantly.
The gang at Politico is under fire from liberal friends for a piece by Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei alleging major newspapers have a pro-Obama, anti-Romney bias. For example, Devin Gordon, a former Newsweek writer who's now a "senior editor" at GQ, lamented "The house position of Politico, as evidenced by this piece, is that they are fair and their chief competition is not. It's a thinly disguised, fundamentally craven argument for Politico's superiority in the world of political coverage."
Unsurprisingly, the newspapers claimed they were fair and balanced in the Dylan Byers followup:
He means the negative stuff: “I’m talking about a national conversation about the Mormon faith, including its past practice of polygamy (which was renounced by the church in the 19th century) and its exclusion of African Americans from the priesthood (until 1978). That sort of thing.” Does he watch anything?
"Fox News again buries the [monthly] jobs numbers," Politico media critic Dylan Byers groused this morning in a 10:23 a.m.-stamped post. Those numbers "appear in the lead or left-hand column atop the websites of the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and MSNBC, as of 10 a.m.," Byers noted.
Former Catholic seminarian and left-wing radio host Bill Press took to his eponymous program today and devoted significant attention to the death of conservative blogger and author Andrew Breitbart. It was not all positive, although he did feature guests who had kind things to say about Breitbart's impact on Internet journalism.
"Raised a Catholic, I was taught the great phrase 'Necal [sic] nisi bonum*' you don’t say anything about the dead unless you’re saying good things about the dead. Well, then I should say nothing about Andrew Breitbart because I can’t think of one good thing to say about him." [MP3 clip here]