ABC and CBS last week jumped to advance the NAACP’s charge of racism within the Tea Party movement with friendly stories which provided corroboration for the allegation as neither identified the left-wing group’s ideology. On Tuesday night, however, the ABC and CBS evening newscasts had a sudden concern for the accuracy of the racism charge leveled against a USDA official via video posted by BigGovernment.com, a group the networks were quick to label “conservative” as they painted Shirley Sherrod as a victim of distorted editing of the video of her remarks – as if the news media never do that.
Meanwhile, the NBC Nightly News, which last week managed to refrain from promoting the NAACP’s anti-Tea Party agenda, ran a full story on Sherrod and BigGovernment.com’s “lie,” but also ran the very first broadcast network story on the Justice Department’s refusal to pursue the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case.
“We turn now to a story about race, politics and what constitutes a rush to judgment,” ABC anchor Diane Sawyer intoned. (Last week: “The NAACP has just adopted a resolution this evening at its annual convention condemning quote, ‘racist behavior by Tea Party members.’”) Jake Tapper referred to “a conservative Web site posting a video clip of Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod at an NAACP event talking about meeting with a white farmer...” He noted the NAACP, which had condemned Sherrod, later in the day “reversed course, saying they'd been snookered by conservative media.”
The Daily Caller has another scoop on the leftist JournoList e-mails today, recalling when liberal scribes all wanted the Jeremiah Wright story to be dead and buried in the spring of 2008. Jonathan Strong explained "Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage."
Stephanopoulos asked, “Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?”...The tough questioning from ABC left many of them outraged. “George [Stephanopoulos],” fumed Richard Kim of the Nation, is “being a disgusting little rat snake.”
In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”
Love is a many splendored thing - except when the feeling isn't mutual. Then, love stinks. That's the position journalists find themselves in as their love for President Barack Obama has been a one-way street.
The rejection is much harsher than screening their calls. Obama has done everything to keep them away except take out a restraining order. The latest examples of mistreatment include actions by both the Defense Department and government agencies in the Gulf clean-up. In both cases, journalists have been restricted in ways that have made scribes scream.
No wonder they call it a "crush."
The American media fell in love at first sight with Obama when he gave what CBS called his "electrifying" keynote speech before the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Then journalists wooed him throughout the presidential campaign - with election news stories looking like Democratic campaign ads. Now nearly a year-and-a-half into the marriage, they've discovered an awful truth about modern love - Obama is the most anti-press president in modern history.
During the previous presidential administration, the liberal media were more than happy to promote the Left's allegations of improper political interference by Bush officials in the workings of the federal government. The Bushies improperly revised government scientists' conclusions, bullied CIA analysts over their interpretation of Iraq intelligence, and perhaps worst of all, politicized the Justice Department, the media insisted.
Yet when it comes to a serious charge of political interference by Obama appointees at the DOJ involving voter intimidation, Newsweek's David Graham dismisses the charge as simply another effort by conservatives at "staging an effective piece of political theater that hurts the Obama administration."
As we've noted here at NewsBusters, the liberal media virtually ignored the story about how a DOJ career attorney's case against a New Black Panther member was dropped in May 2009 under the okay of an Obama DOJ appointee.
Now with attention being cast by conservatives on the media's bias by omission, folks like Graham are coming to the defense of the media by painting the matter as a non-scandal, evidenced in part by the conservative media outlets that have been the ones at the forefront of reporting the story:
Liberal talk radio host Bill Press says President Obama's poll numbers are down because Americans are spoiled, impatient children that want everything solved yesterday.
After describing to his listeners Tuesday all the fabulous accomplishments this president has made since taking office in January 2009, Press admonished the citizenry for giving the White House resident poor grades for his efforts.
"I think this says more about the American people than it does about President Obama," barked Press.
"I think it just shows once again that the American people are spoiled" (audio follows with partial transcript and commentary):
The White House has gone to extraordinary lengths to prevent the press corps from having meaningful access to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Such measures are hardly unprecedented, though they stand in stark contrast to then-candidate Barack Obama's message of openness and press transparency.
But now the White House has outdone itself in media opacity. It apparently blocked a New York Times reporter from sitting in on Kagan's brother Irving's constitutional law class at Hunter College High School. Yes, that's right. The White House is now trying to determine who can or cannot sit in a school class for teenagers.
According to watchdog group Judicial Watch, White Hosue Deputy Press Secretary Joshua Earnest intervened after hearing of Times reporter Sharon Otterman's intention to sit in on one class. "I'm definitely not comfortable with this at this point," Earnest told Kagan, according to documents it obtained from the school.
Add New York Times columnist Bob Herbert to the growing list of liberal media members realizing that Barack Obama's campaign slogan "Hope and Change" was nothing but a great sales pitch.
"Mr. Obama and the Democrats have wasted the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity handed to them in the 2008 election," wrote Herbert Tuesday.
"They did not focus on jobs, jobs, jobs as their primary mission."
No, they sure didn't. Instead, they worked on a stimulus package that has done nothing but add to the debt, a healthcare bill that WILL do nothing but add to the debt, and a cap and trade bill that if ever passed will cost jobs in virtually every industry.
As Herbert continued, he surprisingly noted how disappointed Americans are in the failure of this administration to do what the country needed most:
Demonstrating that no setback for Sarah Palin which can be portrayed as a rebuke is too insignificant or relevant for Katie Couric, she made time on Thursday's CBS Evening News to inform her viewers about a disputable technical violation of arcane law:
One little word will cost Sarah Palin a small fortune. Today, state investigators in Alaska said a legal defense fund she set up while she was Governor was illegal. They said the use of the word “official” on the fund's Web site implied it was endorsed by the office of the Governor. Palin's lawyer says she will return the fund's nearly $400,000.
Unmentioned by Couric? How Timothy Petumenos, the investigator/counsel for the Alaska Personnel Board which issued the ruling, absolved Palin of blame. “Petumenos found the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee acted in good faith and relied on the advice of lawyers when setting up the fund,” the Anchorage Daily News reported in an afternoon posting.
After confessing that "President Obama's relationship with America, like many a young marriage, is growing sour" in his Saturday column "The Thrill Is Gone," New York Times columnist Charles Blow defended the president by citing a promises-kept tally at PolitiFact.com:
Of the 168 promises where action has been completed, they judge Obama to have broken only 19. That's not bad, and it must be acknowledged. We have to stop waiting for him to be great and allow him to be good.
It's one thing for a so-called journalist to claim media members in 2008 were all taken with the historical notion of electing the country's first black President, but it's quite another to say they were right in doing so.
Despite the seeming absurdity, this is exactly what the Pulitzer Prize-winning editor of the New Yorker magazine told the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz Sunday.
During the "Reliable Sources" interview of David Remnick, Kurtz noted that in his new biography about Barack Obama, Remnick wrote, "[D]uring the campaign...Obama received generally adoring press coverage."
After giving a few examples, Kurtz asked, "What came over the press in 2007 and 2008 when it came to Barack Obama?"
Readers are likely to find some of Remnick's answer quite disturbing (video follows with transcript and commentary):
What do Tea Partiers, Truthers, birthers, Birchers, militias, Pat Buchanan, Jerry Falwell, Barry Goldwater, Joe McCarthy, Father Coughlin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Ronald Reagan, Strom Thurmond, Rand Paul, Alex Jones, Orly Taitz, and Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh all have in common? Approximately nothing, but don't tell Chris Matthews.
The MSNBC "Hardball" host spent the better part of an hour last night trying to associate all of these characters with one other. Of course he did not provide a shred of evidence beyond, ironically, a McCarthyite notion that all favor smaller government, and are therefore in league, whether they know it or not, to overthrow the government. Together, by Matthews's account, they comprise or have given rise to the "New Right."
The special was less a history of the Tea Party movement than a history of leftist distortions of the Tea Party movement. As such, it tried -- without offering any evidence, mind you -- to paint the movement as potentially violent. Hence, after Matthews tried his hardest to link all of these characters, he went on to paint them all as supporting, inciting, or actually committing violence. (Videos embedded at the end of post.)
Media bias often shows itself in which organizations journalists choose to cite or ignore. A very prevalent form of this bias is selective reporting on polling data--polls that show results friendly to the liberal position like are touted while those that show the opposite are buried.
MSNBC's Chuck Todd, pictured right, is the latest reporter to demonstrate such a bias. He took Rasmussen Reports to task on Twitter yesterday, claiming it is "has a horrible track record and us [sic] proven to be unreliable" and is really "[n]ot a serious polling firm." Todd said he would only report on "numbers from a more reliable pollster."
Apparently one such pollster, in the mind of Todd's cable network at least, is Research 2000. But R2K was recently rated one of the least reliable major polling firms in existence by liberal statistician Nate Silver. R2K was not even accurate enough for the Daily Kos, which officially dropped the firm on Wednesday.
On February 19, 2009, Rick Santelli helped create a movement whose political impact has not yet been fully realized. The "Rant Heard 'Round the World," as it has become known, was a profound, if hardly isolated example of the power of conservative pundits to enact political change.
That power has grown as Americans have become more sympathetic to the economic conservative argument--both the moral/spiritual element of it, and the strictly economic one. The American people have by and large come full circle in a short time, and the pundits that retain the most influence in our society have changed accordingly.
Santelli is the perfect example, as he was certainly not the prominent name he is now before he let loose on the floor of the Chicago exchange. Michael Barone explains the essential appeal of the rant. He wrote Wednesday that it "was both an economic and a moral argument."
According to Cosmopolitan Magazine writer Korin Miller those are the four "magic" words that caused John Edwards to toss away his marriage, family, and political career. Could he have simply ignored Rielle Hunter when she uttered those words to him? Such a thing would have been next to impossible...or so Miller claims in her article:
Former senator John Edwards is obviously lacking in good judgment, but he has looks, money, power, and intelligence on his side. Meanwhile, his "other woman," Rielle Hunter, has little to none of the above. So how the hell did she entice him to cheat when he had a devoted wife, loving family, and potential presidency at stake? By using four little words that have a surprisingly powerful impact on men.
According to Elizabeth Edwards' new book, Resilience, "You are so hot" was the one-liner Hunter used to lure John into an affair. Elizabeth's story is heartbreaking and complicated, but this revelation made us think: How can such a clichéd phrase entice a smart guy to risk everything? And is a woman who fails to say these words to her guy more in danger of losing him than one who does?
It seems that the vast majority of journalists who bemoan unaccountable, unabashedly opinionated digital reporting are the same ones who have, without challenge, pushed a liberal perspective through their own reporting.
The latest such journalist, Newsweek's Howard Fineman, is concerned that "nobody is cross-examining" the "position papers" that supposedly comprise a critical mass of new media journalism. Of course without new media, Fineman's position papers would be virtually immune from meaningful cross examination.
His position is common among the media's old guard: accountability for thee, but not for me. This view stems both from a sort of meta-double standard: Fineman and his ilk extrapolate a few bad apples among the new media crowd into a larger trend of malfeasance, while treating instances of journalistic malpractice among old media reporters as isolated incidents that have no real bearing on Old Media's accountability (or lack thereof).
Sarah Palin on Sunday said that she sees similarities between how the media are treating Kentucky senatorial candidate Rand Paul and the way the press tried to "get" her before the elections in 2008.
Appearing on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace, the former Alaska governor said, "I think there is certainly a double standard at play here."
"One thing that we can learn in this lesson that I have learned and Rand Paul is learning now is don't assume that you can engage in a hypothetical discussion about constitutional impacts with a reporter or a media personality who has an agenda."
She continued, "They are looking for the gotcha moment, and that's what evidently appears to be that they did with Rand Paul" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
The far-left Nation magazine is facing a $1,000,000 budget shortfall. Though it attributes it to a weak market for print journalism, conservative periodicals are doing quite well. In fact, the president the Nation worked so hard to elect could spell the magazine's downfall. The irony is delicious.
The magazine's Washington Editor Chris Hayes wrote a fundraising email saying that "newspapers and magazines are having a rough time." Well, not all magazines. National Review's circulation has increased by roughly 25,000 since 2008. It would have been more accurate to say that liberal magazines are having a rough time.
It's generally accepted that magazines do well when someone of the opposite ideological makeup is in the White House. During the Bush administration, liberal magazines thrived. Since Obama was elected, they've declined while conservative ones have flourished.
News today that the Washington Post Company has put the money-losing Newsweek up for sale reminded me of how during the last presidential campaign the “news” weekly repeatedly showcased their favorite candidate, Barack Obama, on the cover.
Might such obvious blatant liberal advocacy, which anyone could see in the grocery store checkout line, help explain its decline in fortunes – in credibility followed by finances?
The Washington Post is making the transition from a powerhouse liberal newspaper to a network of powerhouse liberal blogs. While the paper's Old Guard is worried that the move will tarnish the Post's supposed reputation for political neutrality, it should be seen more as a embrace of the agenda the Post has evinced for years.
"Traditionalists," wrote Politico today, "worry that the Post is sacrificing a hard-won brand and hallowed news values." One such "traditionalist," Rem Rieder of the American Journalism Review, said a more openly-liberal approach to reporting, mostly done online in the form of various blogs, would be "a danger to the brand."
To the extent that the Post still pretends to be objective -- and to the extent that its readers believe that claim -- then yes, an opinion blog-centric approach is tarnishing the brand. But for those who acknowledge the Post' consistently liberal approach to the news, the only change is the way that that news is delivered.
Former leftist agitator Brandon Darby took the mainstream media to task today for toeing the administration line on supposed right-wing violence while ignoring the leftists who actually pose a threat to the nation's security.
Few know the measures political violence better than Darby (pictured right). He spent years as a radical leftist/anarchist, espousing hatred for the United States and advocating violent revolution. Eventually he realized the error of his ways, became an FBI informant, and helped foil a plot to bomb the 2008 Republican National Convention. So he knows a thing or two about radical, violent leftists.
What are his thoughts on the media's coverage of recent political violence (and the lack thereof)? He wrote at Big Government today that "the Mainstream media is currently peddling the Obama Administration myth that patriotic Americans, many of whom have served in our military or who otherwise have an American flag hanging proudly in their front yards, pose a grave threat to our nation’s security."
Actor Alec Baldwin and New York Times assistant managing editor Richard Berke went back and forth mocking Sarah Palin during a discussion at Harvard University on Wednesday.
Baldwin dubbed Palin "caribou barbie," while Berke rehashed the former Alaska Governor's interview with Katie Couric during the 2008 campaign -- perhaps the left's favorite Palin-basing talking point. Baldwin went on to attribute Palin's success to a television news culture that sports women who look like they "just popped off the runway."
These demeaning comments marked the latest in the liberal elite's condescension of Sarah Palin -- condescension that would likely be condemned as outright sexism if directed at another prominent public figure. Videos of the exchange are embedded below the fold.
Is President Obama incapable of dealing with journalists who question his policies? The White House press corps is becoming increasingly agitated with an administration that reacts particularly strongly to criticism, and even skepticism.
The White House has adopted a pugilistic attitude towards the press, lashing out at journalists who criticize the president, shutting others out, and adopting a deferential attitude towards the press corps that has some journalists reminiscing about the openness of -- gasp -- the George W. Bush presidency.
The Obama administration "came in with every reporter giving them the benefit of the doubt," one journalist told Politico's Josh Gersten and Patrick Gavin. "They’ve lost all that goodwill." It seems that the press corps's offense is questioning the administration's positions.
In his weekly address today (video only at link; transcript was not present when this post was prepared), President Obama opened with these three sentences:
It was a little more than one year ago that our country faced a potentially devastating crisis in our auto industry.
Over the course of 2008, the industry shed 400,000 jobs. In the midst of a financial crisis and deep recession, both General Motors and Chrysler, two companies that for generations were a symbol of America's manufacturing might, were on the brink of collapse.
Look at what Associated Press reporter Darlene Superville did to those first three sentences in the third paragraph of her report on Obama's presentation:
One thing you can say about the Associated Press's and most of the rest of the establishment media's treatment of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick during the past two-plus years is that they've been almost totally consistent. They pretend not to know or care what political party Kilpatrick represented throughout his political career, and fail to acknowledge Barack Obama's fondness for him before his legal and criminal troubles began.
The latest episode in this bizarre soap opera/insult to the taxpaying public has Kilpatrick, who now lives with his wife in Dallas, accused of violating his probation by not remitting monies received that he had agreed to pay to the City of Detroit to help take care of an acknowledged $1 million debt to the city. The cliffhanger is: Will he or won't he be sent to jail again?
Today, the AP continued following its two-year pattern (see related March 2008 post at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), this time as written by reporters Ed White and Corey Williams, of avoiding any mention of Kilpatrick's status as a Democratic politician when he was mayor of Detroit. Here are several paragraphs from the pair's prose:
President Obama has extensive ties to Goldman Sachs. Yet even given record-breaking financial contributions and sketchy relationships between Goldman executives and Obama officials at the highest level, the mainstream media will not afford Obama the same scrutiny it gave to George W. Bush during the collapse of Enron.
Obama's inflation-adjusted $1,007,370.85 in contributions from Goldman employees is almost seven times as much as the $151,722.42 (also inflation-adjusted) that Bush received from Enron. Goldman was one of the chief beneficiaries of the TARP bailout package -- supported by then-Senator Obama -- and has been a force for -- not against -- Democratic financial "reform" proposals currently under Senate consideration.
Despite the extensive connections between President Obama and Goldman Sachs, the same media that vaguely alleged unseemly connections between the Bush administration and Enron after its 2001 collapse have barely noticed the Obama administration's prominent ties to Goldman (h/t J.P. Freire).
Jason Mattera, author of "Obama Zombies" and newly appointed editor of Human Events, said "members in the media treat leftist politicians as though they are at a Jonas Brothers concert." He also had rather choice words for young Obama supporters stuck in a "brainless slumber" on Fox Business Channel's April 2 broadcast of "Imus in the Morning."
"Somebody about your age - mouthpiece of Franken - is trying to dissuade you from continuing that," host Don Imus noted upon viewing his guest's recent confrontation with Sen. Al Franken.
"Yea, he had his hands all over me like Eric Massa," Mattera joked.
And - in usual politically-correct fashion - he went on to address the devastating consequences that journalists and media bias has on the young generation.
"I just think that we know that members of the lame-stream media aren't gonna grill politicians," Mattera said. "Al Franken, Senator Smalley had no idea what was in the bill - and I'm not gonna sit down and play patty cake with the dude...So I mean I gotta go and confront the dude because we know members in the media treat leftist politicians as though they are at a Jonas Brothers concert. They're just fawning licking the heels of their favorite teen idol."
Are young people completely in the tank for Barack Obama and the left? They voted for Obama over John McCain by a greater than 2-1 margin. Obama was young, cool, good looking, and well-spoken -- all the characteristics for a winning candidate in the eyes of the nation's youth.
But it was more than just Obama's charisma that handed him the youth vote in 2008. He was abetted by lapdogs in the press, reliably liberal pop-culture icons, and ultra-leftists in academia. Combined, they created a bloc of "Obama Zombies," writes Jason Mattera, author of a new book by that name.
Mattera was kind enough to give NewsBusters an interview. He described some of the themes of his book, including the incessantly liberal mainstream press -- "pre-pubescent little girls at a Jonas Brothers concert" is how he described the Obamaniacs in the press corps. NB's Steve Gutowski noted the book's tremendous assessment of media bias in his review yesterday.
"Obama Zombies" is the perfect primer for all conservatives worried about the movement's past troubles and hopefully brighter future with newly minted voters. Read the transcript of the interview below, or listen to the audio file here.
"The United States of America does not quit once it starts on something. You don't quit, the American armed services does not quit. We keep at it. We persevere." -- Pres. Obama to US troops in Afghanistan, March 28, 2010
"Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is calling for the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. combat brigades from Iraq, with the pullout being completed by the end of next year. 'Let me be clear: There is no military solution in Iraq and there never was,' Obama said." -- Obama calls for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, AP, Sep. 12, 2007 [emphasis added]
There are lies, damned lies, and then the kind of brazen rewriting of what a man stands for that Barack Obama engaged in yesterday.
Last week when President Barack Obama cited an impossible “three thousand percent” price reduction and referred to a woman who “upped her deductible...to the minimum,” ABC's World News didn't utter a syllable about it, but in a Friday story on Sarah Palin headlining a John McCain campaign event in Arizona, ABC's David Wright found it somehow newsworthy to remind viewers Palin made verbal miscues in 2008 -- as if those are what doomed McCain's presidential campaign.
Noting that McCain plucked Palin “pretty much out of obscurity in the frozen tundra,” but now she “has all but eclipsed” McCain in national popularity, Wright played a soundbite of Time's Mark Halperin observing “John McCain needs her now to come back and help him just as he helped her by raising her from obscurity.” Wright gratuitously asserted: “Never mind that at key moments in the '08 campaign Palin lost her footing.” Viewers then saw a clip of Palin on the CBS Evening News in 2008: “Our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They're in the state that I am the executive of.”
Of course, Palin, unlike Obama last week, was factually accurate -- even if she did stumble in her second sentence -- since Alaska borders Russia and Canada. Wright moved on: “Today, all of that was ancient history...”
And you thought a couple of plucky young conservative activists with a camera brought down ACORN. Nope. It's the arch-conservative New York Times that did in the noble community organizing group, or so says The Huffington Post in "Why ACORN Fell: The Times, Lies, and Videotape."
"Because of its pivotal role in bringing down ACORN," Peter Drier and John Atlas wrote in their March 24 editorial, "the Times owes the group an apology and the public a commitment to assign an experienced journalist to cover the complex world of community organizing, whose diverse practitioners mobilize poor and middle class people to win a voice in local, state, and national politics."
The New York Times, the two maintained, were complicit in ACORN's "framing."
The authors took particular issue with the following excerpt from Clark Hoyt's March 21 article: "It remains a fascinating story. To conservatives, Acorn is virtually a criminal organization that was guilty of extensive voter registration fraud in 2008. To its supporters, Acorn is a community service organization that has helped millions of disadvantaged Americans by organizing to confront powerful institutions like banks and developers."