NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on Tuesday. That day, ABC's World News labeled the demonstration "one of the largest marches in Hong Kong's history" during an 18-second news brief, but failed to mention that the communist Chinese government was the target of the participants. The network's morning show, Good Morning America, has yet to devote any air time to the protest.
Seth Doane filed a two-minute report about the march on Wednesday's CBS Evening News. But like his peers at ABC, Doane omitted describing the "central government here in Beijing" as communist. Anchor Scott Pelley introduced the correspondent's report by noting the anniversary the protesters were marking: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
President Obama began a week-long trip of Asia on Wednesday with a stop in Japan, and NBC's Today dutifully heaped praise on the trip and the American Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy. On April 23, Co-host Matt Lauer gushed at the "Historic trip. President Obama greeted by Ambassador Caroline Kennedy as he arrives in Japan this morning. The first state visit by a president there in nearly two decades and Ambassador Kennedy's first major summit in her new role."
The two-and-a-half-minute segment began with reporter Peter Alexander glowing at "A large crowd, including his ambassador, greeted the president today in Tokyo. But that doesn't compare to the thousands who lined the streets here last fall to welcome Caroline Kennedy, riding in a horse-drawn carriage, she was more dignitary than diplomat. Completing the journey her father could not." [See video below.]
Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert found himself at the center of a controversy on Thursday stemming from a racially insensitive tweet posted to The Colbert Report Twitter account. The well-known satirist tried to distance himself from the tweet (now deleted) early Friday morning – even though it was almost a direct quote from his Wednesday night show. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Here is the offending tweet, posted on Thursday to the verified Twitter account of The Colbert Report:
It’s been nearly a week but it seems that someone in the press finally noticed the lack of American media traveling with Mrs. Obama across China. The Washington Post’s Krissah Thompson, who just yesterday gushed over the first lady’s trip, finally acknowledged in a March 26 piece that American media were shut out from the first lady's press pool.
Despite Thompson’s admission, the Post buried the details on A7 with the awkward title that “In China, first lady lauds free press amid questions about access.” The Post reported recognized that “coverage of the trip has been made more difficult by tight restrictions on reporters and photographers, who have been kept far away from many events and were not allowed to accompany the first lady, her mother and her two daughters on their flight last week from the United States.”
First Lady Michelle Obama is wrapping up her tour of China sans the American press. Despite American media being shut out from the visit, Mrs. Obama has received glowing coverage of her trip, most recently from The Washington Post’s Krissah Thompson.
Writing on Tuesday’s March 25, Thompson puffed up “History and jump-rope as first lady visits Xi’an” before providing a glowing description of Mrs. Obama’s “five-hour sightseeing tour, giving her and her family a view of China’s long history- plus a little jump-roping on the side.”
Gloria Steinem's almost 80, and The Washington Post never tires of boosting her as one of the greatest Americans walking the planet. On the front of the Style section on Tuesday, former Post reporter Annie Groer freelanced from the Jaipur Literary Festival in India to promote how "Steinem goes back to her activist roots."
The Post thinks Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are fringy weirdos, but think nothing of Steinem telling a bunch of Indians that we're all oppressed by gender pronouns like "he" and "she." To the Post, Steinem is "eloquent" when she speaks, a "vocal commander" for the underprivileged (if you leave the "fetuses" out):
The New York Times has been notoriously biased and wrong for a long, long time. On things large and small. The Old Shady Lady is at least consistent - if they want to advance Leftism, no facts shall impede them.
Their Ron Nixon is part of a century-plus-old pathetic tradition.
Are you happy now, Republicans? You went and forced the president to cancel his trip to Asia and with it an important foreign policy overture.
That's the message Time magazine is sending readers with Michael Crowley's October 4 post, "Shutdown Dents Vital Obama Foreign Policy Goal," which was plugged on the Time.com front page with a photo of a frowning President Obama given the teaser headline, "Grounded by the Shutdown." "President Obama cancels a long-planned Asia excursion as the standoff continues at home, yet again putting off U.S. goals to recharge relations with the continent," complained the front-page caption [see screen capture below the page break]. Here's a taste of Crowley's story (emphasis mine):
In Tuesday's Washington Post, Tom Hundley of the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting gave Post readers a textbook example in biased reporting freighted with loaded language. The target was a predictable bogeyman of secular liberal reporters: the Catholic Church.
Hundley painted the constitutional court battle over a "reproductive health law" in the Philippines as a struggle "pit[ting] the entrenched power of the Roman Catholic establishment against a rising tide of modernization and economic aspiration." You read that right. It's progress and prosperity against repression and Romanism according to Hundley.
CBS again paid homage to Caroline Kennedy on Tuesday's CBS This Morning as they hyped her possible nomination to be the next ambassador of Japan. During her report, Jan Crawford featured liberal historian Robert Dallek, who gushed over the apparent worldwide reputation of the presidential daughter's family: "The Kennedys, generally, have an extraordinary, continuing hold on the public's imagination, both in this country and abroad."
Dallek later asserted that the U.S. might be "sending somebody as ambassador to Tokyo who is representative of the best in American culture." The correspondent also touted how Kennedy "would have an opportunity to test her political skills, but also, she would be able to put the Kennedy name back on an international stage" if President Obama named her to the key diplomatic post.
On Thursday's World News, ABC News correspondent Terry Moran acted like it was a big surprise that newly-elected Pope Francis stands by the Catholic Church's teachings on sexuality: "Now, as the world comes to know him, it turns out, on many issues, Pope Francis is a staunch traditionalist. He compared abortion to a death sentence; called gay marriage 'destructive of God's plan.'"
By contrast, CBS surprisingly reported on the continuing persecution of the Catholic Church in China on Friday's CBS This Morning. Though he didn't explicitly label the Chinese government as communist, correspondent Wyatt Andrews noted how "millions of the faithful worship in groups at home, praying in underground churches where religion, if practiced too openly, can lead to arrest." Andrews' report stands out from his network's biased coverage of the papal election.
Ian Buruma is not exactly a household name, but he is a hero to readers of The New York Review of Books. His fan base will obviously warm to his latest piece in the Beirut newspaper, The Daily Star ["Pope Benedict's dangerous sex appeal"].
Buruma begins by recounting the brutal rape of a young woman by six men on a New Delhi bus last month. His quick segue to Pope Benedict XVI’s speech on gay marriage, which was given a few days before Christmas, was not only awkward, it was a dead give-away: the pope was responsible for the gang rape.
ESPN's Grantland website jumped on the bash Manny Pacquiao bandwagon on Thursday by giving a platform to a homosexual activist, who predictably trashed the Catholic Church as she took the Filipino boxing sensation to task for defending traditional marriage.
Writer Laurel Fantauzzo ripped the "the Church's cruel, untrue dictates about me," and promised if he didn't "evolve" like President Obama, "I'll simply have to sigh wearily and turn away from you, the way I've turned away from all of the idiotic bigots I've come across in my life, carrying a cross or a heavy book or a Constitution."
In gross-out news, London's Daily Mail reports "Thousands of pills filled with powdered human flesh have been discovered by customs officials in South Korea, it was revealed today."
"The grim trade is being run from China where corrupt medical staff are said to be tipping off medical companies when babies are aborted or delivered still-born." This could be a new income stream for Planned Parenthood if they get their subsidies reduced.
Tim Carney has an excellent post this morning at the Washington Examiner about how the media are reluctant to note the reason that Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng -- who is believed , but not confirmed, to be in hiding in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing -- is in hot water with the Communist government. Chen "has exposed the horrors of China’s one-child policy, including forced abortions and forced sterilizations," Carney noted.
Yet that fact was curiously missing from today's "1300-word Washington Post story." Indeed, "Of the five Post news articles I found discussing Chen, only one of them has the word 'abortion,'" Carney noticed. And the Post isn't alone in its bias by omission:
Thursday's CBS Evening News ended with an uplifting report highlighting refugees from Burma who were resettled in the United States to escape ethnic persecution in their home country.
#From the December 18 Good Morning America on ABC:
DAN HARRIS: Good morning, America. This morning, the big endorsement. With little more than two weeks before the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Rommey gets a big boost overnight. with Newt Gingrich's momentum slowing, is this race about to be shaken up yet again?
HARRIS: Let's start with politics. It's "Your Voice, Your Vote." We're about two weeks away now from the Iowa caucuses, the first step on what could be a very, very long road to the Republican nomination. And this morning, one of the Republican candidates picking up a key endorsement. ABC's David Kerley following all the action story overnight. David, good morning to you.
DAVID KERLEY: Good morning, David. In fact, two big endorsements for Mitt Romney. Bob Dole says Romney is his pick. And the biggest newspaper in Iowa, the Des Moines Register, endorsed Romney when he wasn't even in the state. In fact, with this final sprint under way, two of the leading candidates are not in Iowa. Social conservatives in Iowa believe Mitt Romney has ignored their state, but that didn't stop the Democratic-leaning Des Moines Register from endorsing Romney, citing his, quote, "sobriety, wisdom, and judgment." Half a country away, Romney tweeted, quote, "Looking forward to being back in Iowa soon."
Gingrich continues to stir up some controversy. On that conference call yesterday, he said he would abolish some courts that are out of step with the country if he is Pesident.
#From the December 18 World News on ABC:
DAVID MUIR: The war is getting a lot of attention tonight on the campaign trail. With just two weeks till the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney criticized Obama for bringing the troops home now. It comes as Romney looks to regain his frontrunner status, and today, he got some help in Iowa. Here's ABC's David Kerley.
DAVID KERLEY: Mitt Romney has logged less time in Iowa than most candidates, but he nabbed the endorsement of the largest paper, which noted what it called his "sobrity, wisdom, and judgment." But it was a scathing review of Newt Gingrich by the Des Moines Register, "an undisciplined partisan who would "alienate not unite."
NEWT GINGRICH: I'm actually delighted because the Manchester Union Leader, which is a reliably conservative newspaper, endorsed me. The Des Moines Register, which is a solidly liberal newspaper, did not endorse me. I think that indicates who the conservative in this race is.
KERLEY: The former House Speaker still leads Iowa polls, but his opponents say he's slipping. Romney, buoyed by the endorsements, including South Carolina's governor, broke a two-year avoidance of the Sunday morning talk shows and showed a softer side when asked about his wife learning she has Multiple Sclerosis.
MITT ROMNEY CLIP #1: Probably the toughest time in my life was standing there with Ann as we hugged each other and the diagnosis came.
ROMNEY CLIP #2: And I said to her, "As long as it's not something fatal, I'm just fine. Look, I'm happy in life as long as I've got my soulmate with me."
KERLEY: Gingrich may be feeling the heat. He had intended to take this weekend off, and, at the last minute, he agreed to that national TV appearance today. David, the holiday dash in Iowa is under way tonight.
#From the December 18 Today show on NBC:
JENNA WOLF, IN OPENING TEASER: Advantage Romney? With just two weeks to go in the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney scores two key endorsements, but how much weight will they carry?
WOLF: Turning to politics now at home, the President is enjoying a small victory after the Senate on Saturday extended the payroll tax for two months, this as one Republican presidential candidate picks up what some call a key endorsement. NBC's Mike Viqueira joins us live from the White House with the latest. Mike, good morning.
MIKE VIQUEIRA: Good morning to you, Jenna. It's already been a big weekend in politics, both here in Washington and out on the campaign trail. There was a rare Saturday session of the Senate. The President appeared in the briefing room afterward, after fighting to a temporary standstill with Republicans on extending that payroll tax cut. And, meanwhile, out on the campaign trail, the man the Obama campaign still thinks it's most likely to face in elections next fall picked up some key endorsements.
With the Iowa caucus in a little more than two weeks, last night a major endorsement. The Des Moines Register, Iowa's largest paper, endorsed Mitt Romney, delivering a major boost.
LESTER HOLT: Mitt Romney, by design, did not put a lot of effort in Iowa. Now he's picked up this endorsement from the Des Moines Register. How big a deal is that for him?
DAVID GREGORY: Well, I think nationally it's big in terms of the overall narrative of how's he doing. I think within Iowa it may not have as much effect as it would for a Democratic primary. But it does help Romney begin to make the case here that Iowans should take a hard look at Newt Gingrich, who is still on top of the polls. I think if you're Romney, you may not be able to win Iowa, but what you hope to do is reduce the scale and the size of a Gingrich win in Iowa. And others can help him do that. If Ron Paul does well, if Bachmann gets a decent percentage of the vote, then that Gingrich win in Iowa, should that happen, could be seen as a smaller victory.
#From the December 18 NBC Nightly News:
LESTER HOLT: To presidential politics now, and a major endorsement today for Mitt Romney from Iowa's largest newspaper. It's a shot in the arm for the Romney campaign, hoping to stem the recent surge of Newt Gingrich. NBC's Mike Viqueira now with the latest.
MIKE VIQUEIRA: Entering the home stretch in Iowa, candidates in the back of the pack are racing to catch up. Both Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are blanketing the state on bus tours, stopping to greet voters, and delivering attacks on frontrunner Newt Gingrich.
MICHELE BACHMANN: He's trying to sound like a conservative, but he's actually sounding more like a 30-year establishment Washington beat insider that he is.
VIQUEIRA: Today, Mitt Romney questioned Gingrich's ability to lead.
MITT ROMNEY: He has been unreliable in those settings and zany. I wouldn't think you'd call mirrors in space to light highways at night particularly practical or a lunar colony a practical idea, not at a stage like this.
VIQUEIRA: This as Gingrich invited more controversy, speaking out in favor of abolishing some courts, allowing presidents to ignore judicial rulings and empowering Congress to subpoena judges.
BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS NEWS: Would you send the Capitol Police now to arrest him?
NEWT GINGRICH: If you had to. Or you'd instruct the Justice Department to send U.S. marshals.
VIQUEIRA: In the past two days, Romney has scored a string of endorsements, including the Des Moines Register, though the paper's record of picking winners is mixed. John McCain was their choice in 2008 over the eventual caucus winner, conservative Mike Huckabee. The backing comes as a welcome boost for the Romney campaign.
RICK GREEN, DES MOINES REGISTER: Through all that we have seen and heard from Governor Romney, he was very measured, very focused on what we think is the most pressing issue in front of all of us, and that's the economy.
VIQUEIRA: And, Lester, you might be surprised to learn that Newt Gingrich pronounced himself delighted that the Des Moines Register endorsed his rival, Mitt Romney. He calls it a solidly liberal paper and points out New Hampshire's Manchester Union Leader, known to be much more conservative editorially, has endorsed him. Lester?
HOLT: Mike Viqueira at the White House. Mike, thanks.
After recounting the help Christian organizations in Kentucky have provided for refugees, correspondent Seth Doane concluded his report with a soundbite of Dr. Mahn Myint Saing, who runs a successful Thai restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, as he declared that America is the "best place to live in the world."
Earlier in the report, referring to a teenage refugee, Doane had also related:
Eh-Nay-Thaw is among several hundred refugees from Burma who've been embraced by Crescent Hill Baptist Church. Officially resettled as refugees, they come here with full legal status, welcome to work, welcome to go to school, welcome to stay.
Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Thursday, December 1, CBS Evening News:
SCOTT PELLEY: Finally tonight, America has always been a beacon for those escaping persecution. Since 1990, 92,000 refugees have fled the brutal regime in Burma to settle right here. And we asked Seth Doane to introduce us.
SETH DOANE: A lot of folks think it's the best Thai restaurant in Louisville. Simply Thai gets terrific press, but the real story here is not the food. You were a physician in Burma. You run a restaurant here in the U.S. Was that difficult?
DR. MAHN MYINT SAING, REFUGEE FROM BURMAN: It needs a little bit of adjustment, but, no, it's not difficult.
DOANE: In 1988, Dr. Mahn Myint Saing found his clinic in the cross-fire of a brutal government crackdown in Burma - persecuted, he says, because he's part of the wrong ethnic group.
SAING: They shoot at the building. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Glass shattered.
DOANE: Your clinic was destroyed.
SAING: Yes, completely destroyed.
DOANE: Sang took up arms against the government but was eventually forced to flee with his family.
SAING: No human rights.
DOANE: In Myanmar, at all.
SAING: At all. No human rights.
DOANE: In the conflict, thousands fled into neighboring Thailand. For 23 years, 150,000 have been trapped, unable to go home, yet not permitted to leave the camps by the Thai government. Their best hope is an offer from the U.S. government to emigrate. That's what happened to 16-year-old Eh-Nay-Thaw, who spent 10 years in the camps before being resettled in Kentucky. When your mother tells you about those times, what does she tell you?
EH-NAY-THAW, REFUGEE FROM BURMA: Her house was burned. The only thing you see was ash, and the place, they destroyed everything.
DOANE: Your village where you were living was all destroyed?
EH-NAY-THAW: Yeah, yeah, ash.
DOANE: Eh-Nay-Thaw is among several hundred refugees from Burma who've been embraced by Crescent Hill Baptist Church. Officially resettled as refugees, they come here with full legal status, welcome to work, welcome to go to school, welcome to stay.
EH-NAY-THAW: God has sent a miracle for us, and we have chance to come here, which is real good.
DOANE: Groups like Kentucky Refugee Ministries provide support with English classes, assistance with government paperwork and job placement. Having started as a dish washer, Dr. Saing is something of a legend among the refugees.
SAING: America is not perfect, but in my mindset, it is the best place, bar none, it is the best place to live in this world.
DOANE: While they've lost their homeland, in Kentucky, they've found a home. Seth Doane, CBS News, Louisville.
PELLEY: The U.S. welcomes more refugees than any country on Earth. That's the CBS Evening News for tonight. For all of us at CBS News all around the world, good night.
A just released book, "Bowing to Beijing" by Brett M. Decker and William C. Triplett II, will change forever the way you think about China — even if, like me, you already have the deepest worries about the Chinese threat. As I opened the book, I was expecting to find many useful examples of Chinese military and industrial efforts to get the better of the United States and the West.
Indeed, there are 100 pages of examples of the most remorseless Chinese successes at stealing the military and industrial secrets of the West and converting them into a growing menace — soon to be a leviathan — bent on domination and defeat of America. The authors itemize the sheer, unprecedented magnitude of this effort. But the opening chapters dealt with human rights abuses, and my first thought as I started reading was that I wanted to get right to the military and industrial examples.
On Sunday's World News on ABC, correspondent Nick Schifrin filed a report recounting complaints by Pakistanis that CIA drone attacks that have successfully killed high-profile terrorist figures residing in Pakistan have also resulted in civilian deaths and injuries.
With the words "A Young Man's Plea" displayed on screen next to him, anchor David Muir introduced the piece:
On Sunday’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt informed viewers that Human Rights Watch recently aimed criticism at singer and former anti-war activist Bob Dylan, charging that he "should be ashamed of himself for letting" the Chinese government "tell him what to sing."
After recounting the irony of Dylan performing a concert in Vietnam after opposing the Vietnam War in the 1960s, Holt noted that he was criticized for "submitting his song list to Chinese authorities."
Below is a complete transcript of the item as read by Lester Holt from the Sunday, April 10, NBC Nightly News:
On Monday's All Things Considered, NPR's Bob Mondello used movies about fictional nuclear disasters, such as "The China Syndrome" and "Silkwood," to play up atomic energy's hazards. Mondello especially highlighted the 1959 movie "On the Beach" as supposedly coming the closest to the portraying a real-life radiation catastrophe, such as the ongoing crisis at the Japanese nuclear plant.
Host Melissa Block noted the movie critic's 2010 report comparing Hollywood disaster films to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster in her introduction: "Last summer, as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was finally brought under control...Bob Mondello did a comparison for us on Hollywood disaster movies and how they differ from real world disasters. Well, in the last few weeks, as tragic events have played out in Japan, Bob realized he had left something out of that story: the menace that can't be seen."
On CBS's Sunday Morning, left-wing commentator Nancy Giles managed to attack Rush Limbaugh while condemning a UCLA student's internet video rant against Asians: "Her monologue was straight out of the Rush Limbaugh playbook from a few months ago....And Rush is a cartoon. In my humble opinion."
On the March 25 CBS Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge apparently merged his nuclear terms by warning viewers of leaks of "uranium and plutanium" at the Fukushima power plant in Japan. Neither he nor co-host Erica Hill ever corrected the error.
On Wednesday, Barack Obama will appear on ESPN to announce his picks for the 2011 NCAA tournament. This past Saturday, as the disaster in Japan unfolded, the President found time to, again, play golf. On Tuesday's Special Report, Fox News host Bret Baier highlighted the difference between Obama's treatment and that of President Bush.
Baier quoted from Media Research President Brent Bozell: "If George Bush reacted this way during an international catastrophe -- wholly irrelevant radio addresses, golf outing for the 61st time, the left-wing media would require medically induced sedation to keep them in check."
Demonstrating the ability to go unhinged without provocation, movie critic Roger Ebert looked at this Hollywood Reporter item discussing CNN's audience increase on Friday as an excuse to tweet the following at about midnight Eastern time last night:
Hundreds if not thousands of people are dead due to a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But at least it gave Barack Obama an avenue to remind everyone he was born in Hawaii. That's the silver lining for MSNBC's Chris Matthews.
"Was this sort of a good opportunity for the president to remind everybody that he grew up in the United States and Hawaii?"
Previewing President Obama's upcoming speech in Indonesia during Tuesday's 2PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Tamron Hall wondered if the troop surge in Afghanistan had hurt the President's image in the Muslim world: "How much of the skepticism comes from the fact that he's added more troops on the ground in Afghanistan?"
Hall asked that question of Time magazine's deputy international editor Bobby Ghosh, who agreed and even went further: "There's certainly a lot of that, the troops on the ground, the drone campaign in Pakistan, which, unfortunately, from time to time kills innocent people. That certainly gets a lot of play around the world."
Anyone critical of President Obama being in India right now is an "idiot," MSNBC's Joe Scarborough bluntly served on his morning show, which prides itself on being a safe haven for different views. India is "exactly where [President Obama] should be" right now, he opined.
With Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass on as a guest Monday morning, Scarborough clamored that President Obama "needs" to be in India right now for the sake of U.S. foreign policy. "I would send my President to India, like once a month, if I could, for long weekends," he emphasized.
Scarborough hit left-wing bloggers earlier on the show for helping push President Obama's agenda too far to the left. Now he took the chance to slam the far right for what he considers unfair criticism of the President. "I was just going to say, any right-wing bloggers out there that are critical of the President being in India – anybody – is an idiot," he stated.
Leave it to Dylan Ratigan, one of the star personalities at MSNBC who seems to be constantly looking for a reason to be angry.
On his July 12 show, Ratigan posed his view on how trade between China and the United States operates. According to Ratigan, importing products where labor costs are significantly lower is akin to slavery. He specifically named Foxconn, a company that manufactures iPhones and iPads for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). (h/t @KenShepherd)
"Do you want to get raw?" Ratigan said. "Let's say that the American people happily, logically apathetic are perfectly happy basically with a slave culture of illegals and outsourced slaves in China making iPhones at Foxconn and that for as much as we talk about the liberation of the slaves and we like to pat ourselves on the back for the Civil War - got a big statue of Abe Lincoln. All we've really done is alter the color of some our slaves and moved them to other countries. Is that too extreme on my part, Matt?"