On July 25, two of the major morning news shows, "Today" and "The Early Show," covered the recent foreign policy disagreements between Senators Obama and Clinton with very stark contrasts.
Bob Schieffer on CBS’s "Early Show"hyped her supposedly inevitable nomination exclaiming "it’s Christmas in July for Mrs. Clinton" and "this is going to be Mrs. Clinton’s nomination to lose." Scheiffer, noting Clinton’s response to Obama, fawned "boy...she jumped on this one" and tied it in to her "experience." To top it off, Schieffer claimed "this Clinton machine is now really running."
Tim Russert on NBC’s "Today," by contrast, forecasted "a fight to the finish" because Obama "punches back" by accusing Clinton of irresponsibility voting for the Iraq War. Russert also opined that Hillary risks hurting the left wing base of her party.
On Wednesday’s Good Morning America, reporter David Wright attempted to manipulate the potential voters of the 2008 presidential election by casting a gloomy shadow over the Republican candidates. Meanwhile, according to Wright, the array of candidates for the Democratic nomination could not be any more impressive. First, Wright exalted the Democrats for having a clear front-runner, Hillary Clinton. However, he was skeptical of the same status of Rudolph Giuliani in the Republican field saying, "just how solid is that lead?" Then he went about exposing the inconsistency of Republican candidates, never once mentioning any similar problem for Hillary Clinton or any other Democratic candidate.
As most media have unsurprisingly cheered the Democrats' recent moves to either bring back the Fairness Doctrine, or prevent its prohibition, the Los Angeles Times has presented itself as a beacon of sanity in the midst of a clear lack thereof.
In fact, instead of the prevalent, pointless, press pontifications about equal opportunity on the airwaves, and ensuring the public hears both sides of the debate, Tuesday's Times editorial - bravely entitled "The Unfairness Doctrine" - spoke the truth about the extraordinary access the citizenry currently have to diverse views on all subjects.
With that in mind, prepare yourself for an alternate media reality (emphasis added throughout):
Over at Time's "Swampland" blog yesterday, journalist Joe Klein all but suggested the GOP candidates might be hoping to chicken out of the upcoming YouTube debate on September 17, given the leftward slant of the YouTube questions.
Given the generally irreverent and, well, liberal tone of the questions last night--and the general skew of the YouTube audience leeward, do you think it's possible that some of the Republican candidates are having second thoughts about participating in their version of the CNN/YouTube debate on September 17?
And might there be an Ailes gremlin whispering to the candidates: The Dems stiffed us at Fox. You can stiff CNN.
I'm glad Klein agrees with us that the agenda of questions on Monday skewed heavily left-of-center, but where he's off-base is suggesting that Republicans should also be pushed from the left in the debate format.
One way you can tell the media roots for liberal Democrats is by how it can’t choose just one for president. They’re all still viable, so...they’re all still fabulous. Trying to say one is better than the others seems just impossible for some reporters. And what about when the candidates fight each other? The fights are minimized, since Democratic party unity is important for their electability.
As Matthew Balan has mentioned, CNN has offered praise to all the Democratic candidates, but to me, political reporter Candy Crowley seemed a perfect example of that telltale Praise Everybody Syndrome. On Tuesday’s American Morning, Crowley asserted, that Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama, "all did really well in getting their points across," even when they were fighting each other. From Crowley, this sounded a bit repetitive – because she also spread praise all over the candidates – and a few candidate spouses – last Friday morning, and even as anchor John Roberts explained their recent spats, she refused to elaborate on the fights and turned the subject back to praising Democrats all around.
Every four years, journalists present themselves as objective questioners in presidential debates only to be roundly, and correctly, denounced by conservatives for being anything but. When, oh when, we ask, will America be able to enjoy a candidate forum free from liberal reporters inserting their slanted worldviews into the discussion? When, oh when, we ask ourselves, will they get out of the way?
It looks like we should be very careful what we ask for.
The Chicago Tribune's Frank James thinks the Democrats really need to stop this insistence on retreat... from the word liberal. In short, James wrote at the paper's "The Swamp" blog today, if Democrats don't hunker down and fight Republicans on the dreaded L-word, the GOP will keep moving on and make "progressive" an epithet as well.
Here's James' argument, portions in bold are my emphasis:
After Diane Sawyer’s fawning interview last Thursday morning hailing his work to "save a continent," ABC’s Good Morning America returned to praising the African philanthropy of former president Bill Clinton on Monday. Traveling with him, ABC’s Kate Snow sounded less like a reporter and more like an overnight infomercial spokeswoman: "In Africa, they seem to be on a first-name basis with the former president, shouting ‘Bill! Bill!’"
Every soundbite in the story was Clinton or Clinton’s supporters explaining all the wonderful things Clinton is trying to accomplish, how he’s impatient in his struggle to save lives. Without any skeptical note that his private foundation might create a thicket of conflicts of interest, Snow simply relayed without questioning that Clinton would continue his foundation activities if his wife won the White House. Snow could only coo: "He may redefine the role of first spouse in America."
During the course of tonight's CNN/YouTube Dem debate, Barack Obama got off this zinger at Hillary's expense.
BARACK OBAMA: One thing I have to say about Senator Clinton,s comments a couple moments ago: I think it's terrific that she is asking for [Iraq withdrawal] plans from the Pentagon [A+ for condescension there, Barack!], and I think the Pentagon response was ridiculous. But what I also know is that the time for us to ask how we were going to get out of Iraq was before we went in. And that is something that too many of us [like you, Hillary] failed to do. We failed to do it.
The screencap shows Hillary's reaction. What was going through her mind?
Just a moment ago, radio host Rush Limbaugh was blasting the mainstream media's notion that the YouTube debates represent a revolution in American presidential debates.
Not so, says Limbaugh, at least in terms of the content of the questions asked. They're still as inane and moronic, or brilliant (in rare circumstances) as they've always been because they're the same inance, moronic, or brilliant (rare circumstances) people asking them.
Instead, Limbaugh insists, we are seeing a revolution in media technology being confused for a nascent political revolution.
Now couple that, the notion that "new voices" are being heard in the YouTube debates ,with the wild left-wing skew we've documented at NewsBusters, and you see the media's liberal bias at work in staging the 2008 election in terms of liberal issue battlegrounds.
In 1992, Bill Clinton successfully used a campaign strategy of continually focusing attention on the supposedly poor economy thinking that Americans typically vote with their wallets.
Of course, most intelligent people know that the recession actually ended in early 1991, and that this strategy would have failed miserably had the media not been complicit, and, instead, honestly reported economic realities.
Regardless, it appears media at this point are concerned that a strong economy and rising stock market might undermine Democrat presidential candidates in November 2008.
With that in mind, the New York Times' Tom Redburn wrote an article Saturday that diminished the importance of the economy in the upcoming elections, threw cold water on the premise that presidents have any impact on economic developments, and told readers to be much more concerned with - wait for it - the war in Iraq.
In fact, the article actually began (h/t Lynn Davidson, emphasis added throughout):
Be honest: when you saw the news Sunday that a woman was going to be president in the next season of the hit series "24," you smelled something akin to when ABC made a similar announcement concerning "Commander in Chief," and CBS hired Katie Couric.
Well, according to Politico, the failure of both is actually not good news for Hillary Clinton (h/t Hot Air).
But, before we get there, what was also fascinating about this piece was how the producer of "Commander in Chief" admitted a political goal behind casting Geena Davis as the first female president (emphasis added throughout):
For those interested, there are currently 2,794 video questions that have been submitted for consideration to be asked at Monday's CNN/YouTube Democrat debate. Those that can stomach it should go here.
However, be forewarned. Some of the submissions are quite absurd.
With that in mind, Bryan at Hot Air has selflessly and admirably taken one for the team so to speak, and actually looked at about 1,100 of these videos reaching the following conclusions (emphasis added):
Sometimes when you see NPR's Juan Williams on Fox News, you are left scratching your head wondering what planet he lives on, and what the color of the sky is there.
Such questions must certainly have been raised in the minds of right-thinking "Fox News Sunday" viewers this morning when Williams suggested that the liberal blog Daily Kos "is now center."
I kid you not.
What precipitated this extraordinary lapse of reason on Williams' part was a rather accurate observation made by the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol concerning Democrat presidential candidates attending the upcoming YearlyKos convention (video available here):
There was an epic dust-up on this afternoon's show between feminist Naomi Wolf and conservative radio talk show host Melanie Morgan.
At the risk of burying the lead a bit, I can't resist observing that Naomi Wolf might just be the most passively aggressive woman in America. She has an amazing, infuriating, ability to keep a smile plastered on her face while saying the nastiest of things. It took her no more than a few seconds to get into it with guest host Mike Barnicle on this evening's Hardball. Barnicle invited Wolf to comment on the WaPo story about Hillary showing cleavage on the floor of the Senate, introducing her as a Democratic consultant and former advisor to Al Gore who had advised him to wear earth tones. But before responding, Naomi had some correctin' to do.
NAOMI WOLF: Mike, let me just stop you right there. You basically have not done your homework, no offense [right]. First of all, I'm not a Democratic consultant, I'm a writer. Second of all, I was advising Gore 2000 on women's issues that I've been talking about for 15 years . . . so you've just been, the Republican National Committee came up with a bunch of urban legends, and I'm afraid they pulled the wool over your eyes.
Pretty aggressive. Yet Wolf managed to maintain a brilliant, nay, beatific smile throughout. But when it came to aggression, Wolf was just clearing her throat.
ABC’s Good Morning America interviewed Bill Clinton on Thursday morning, and while he made the news for saying Iraq is hopeless ("There is no military victory here"), the interview was also notable as another opportunity for ABC to honor Clinton as a global statesman and ask him softball questions for almost nine minutes. Co-host Diane Sawyer reported he was in Africa to see Nelson Mandela and do his AIDS work: "And President Bill Clinton weighs in, speaking out on the war, his work to save a continent and Senator Hillary Clinton’s campaign. An exclusive interview."
When the interview began nine minutes into the show, Sawyer lauded his humanitarian foundation work again, saving hundreds of thousands of people: "And we turn now to an exclusive interview with former President Bill Clinton, who is in Johannesburg South Africa this week as part of his life’s work with his foundation which has provided life saving treatment for nearly 800,000 children and adults with AIDS in Africa and also simple solutions like fertilizer to revolutionize agricultural production."
Washington Post fashion reporter Robin Givhan, usually so kind to the fashionably liberal, can’t muster a thumbs-up on Friday as she discussed Hillary Clinton showing cleavage Wednesday afternoon on C-SPAN2. She set the scene: "The neckline sat low on her chest and had a subtle V-shape. The cleavage registered after only a quick glance. No scrunch-faced scrutiny was necessary. There wasn't an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable."
But Givhan wrote that after Hillary’s spent so many years in the spotlight avoiding a sexy look, it’s profoundly unsettling: "It's tempting to say that the cleavage stirs the same kind of discomfort that might be churned up after spotting Rudy Giuliani with his shirt unbuttoned just a smidge too far. No one wants to see that. But really, it was more like catching a man with his fly unzipped. Just look away!"
The 9-10 mentality is alive and well and living at the Los Angeles Times. In A really bad case of 'reality', house columnist Rosa Brooks approvingly cites unnamed "experts" thusly:
[Al Qaeda] was little more than an obscure group of extremist thugs, well financed and intermittently lethal but relatively limited in their global and regional political pull. On 9/11, they got lucky — but despite the unexpected success of their attack on the U.S., they did not pose an imminent mortal threat to the nation.
A Democratic presidential contender has hinted that he thinks some form of sex ed is appropriate for the nation's five-year olds.
I'm not exactly holding my breath for media outrage or at least interest in the topic, but I though Good Lt. at the "Jawa Report" has some good observations about how yet again, life seems to be imitating South Park:
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told Planned Parenthood Tuesday that sex education for kindergarteners, as long as it is "age-appropriate," is "the right thing to do."
The left, at the rate of almost several times per month now, is intent on mimicking South Park's proverbial "theater of the absurd" in real life and real time. The episode? Season 5's "Proper Condom Use," in which the school board decides that condom use has to be taught to progressively younger grades to the point that the kindergarteners are learning about it.
Without much fanfare, NBC made an interesting announcement Tuesday: if Fred Thompson becomes a presidential candidate, his episodes of "Law and Order" will no longer be rerun.
As reported by the New York Daily News Wednesday (emphasis added throughout):
"If Fred Thompson formally declares his intention to run for President, NBC will not schedule any further repeats of 'Law & Order' featuring Mr. Thompson beyond those already scheduled, which conclude on Saturday, Sept. 1," [executive producer Dick] Wolf said.
Wolf assured that NBC would take all "appropriate steps consistent with FCC regulations."
"Consistent with FCC regulations" appears to relate to the Equal Time rule:
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program actually reported on Elizabeth Edwards’s attack that ‘08 contender Hillary Clinton may not be a strong advocate for women. However, correspondent Claire Shipman managed the feat of somehow turning the story into a positive for both women. She also engaged in the standard media practice of identification bias.
Shipman gushed that the spouse of former Senator John Edwards is "popular" and then later referred to her as "very popular." Before playing a clip of Hillary Clinton sounding tough on terrorism, the ABC reporter asserted, "...There is striking gender role reversal on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton by far the toughest politically and stylistically."
In yesterday's Chicago Sun-Times article, "Could Obama end centuries of corruption?," staff reporter Jennifer Hunter questions if Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, "a champion of improving government ethics at both the federal and state level," can clean up the government. Ms Hunter finds the senator's "ethic proposals are praiseworthy" and lauds his efforts.
No mention is made in her article of Obama's intimate connection to someone who may not be quite so interested in ethics, indicted businessman Tony Rezko. Even after it was known that Rezko was the target of a Federal investigation, Obama asked the wheeler-dealer to get involved in the purchase of Obama's home.
If you had any questions about the political leanings of the
Associated Press, they were answered Tuesday when the wire service finally
noticed nine days after the fact that a Democrat Congressman had made some
despicable comments about President Bush, Adolf Hitler, and 9/11.
Of course, the AP getting around to this issue when the
Congressman apologized for his deplorable remarks is icing on the cake.
As NewsBusters reported Monday, Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota),
speaking in front of an atheists’ meeting in his home state, said (emphasis
Quick -- which is Hillary Clinton's bigger liability as a candidate?:
A. She's an insufficiently ardent feminist; or B. Her personality is cold, calculating and unfeminine.
If you've been living on Planet Earth since 1992, surely your answer is 'B.' So when Elizabeth Edwards adds fuel to that fire, accusing Hillary of behaving like a man, that is very newsworthy stuff. Unless you're NBC or ABC, that is.
"Today" and "Good Morning America" ran segments this morning on Mrs. Edwards' recent interview with Salon.com in which she made comments critical of Hillary. The networks focused on Elizabeth's relatively innocuous line:
She's just not as vocal a women's advocate as I want to see. John is.
But both shows airbrushed out the more controversial comment that immediately preceded it:
I'm sympathetic, because when I worked as a lawyer, I was the only woman in these rooms, too, and you want to reassure them you're as good as a man. And sometimes you feel you have to behave as a man and not talk about women's issues.
Monday’s Early Show on CBS picked up on Time magazine’s promotional cover story "How The Democrats Got Religion." Reporter Jeff Glor used two guides to explore how the Democrats would "level the praying field," but didn’t exactly tell viewers that these guides were involved in the drive to help the Democrats. The first expert was Time magazine’s Amy Sullivan, who wrote a "God Gap" essay for the magazine. CBS didn’t explain she was an aide to then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and during her stint with the liberal magazine The Washington Monthly, she advised the Democrats on how to "get religion" in the last presidential election cycle, to no avail.
The other expert was so-called "conservative evangelical" Rev. Joel Hunter, a man eager enough to help the Democrats that he was selected by the people at the left-wing magazine Sojourners to ask Hillary Clinton a question at the CNN/Sojourners Democrat debate (clips of that event were sprinkled throughout the CBS story.) He asked Hillary Clinton a seemingly pro-life question that enabled her to proclaim that she's always been for abortion being very rare. Rev. Hunter’s also written a book titled Right Wing, Wrong Bird: Why The Tactics of the Religious Right Won't Work with Most Conservative Christians.