As you pretty much have to know by now due to the fact that they won't shut up about it, NBC Universal's "Green Is Universal" campaign is winding down. Begining next week, we'll no longer be hearing the media giant's numerous television properties spreading feel-good environmentalism to viewers and promoting allegedly earth-friendly policies (ethanol, anyone?). I, for one, couldn't be more happy, not just because we'll finally be spared the painful inanity that such reports often entail but also because of the numerous acts of unethical journalism we'll no longer have to witness.
We often hear lefties rage against Rupert Murdoch for allegedly harming the objectivity of his employees by forcing his "right-wing" politics on them. At the same time, however, our journalistic bluenoses routinely turn a blind eye to flagrant corporate-sponsored journalism such as "Green" or the equally disturbing case of an Australian company literally banning its employees from criticizing its own "Earth Hour" campaign.
We all know the reason why media-beat reporters are unconcerned by such actions of course. It's because they support liberal policy goals. Sadly, in the eyes of many left-leaning journalists, good journalism is liberal journalism. As troubling as the fact that NBC News has willingly prostrated itself before its corporate master is, it's probably less disturbing than the fact that the entire "Green" campaign seems to have been cooked up by NBC Universal's own parent company, General Electric, as a way to make money for itself.
Monday's NBC Nightly News kicked off “Earth Week” by trumpeting Sweden as an environmental and economic paradise that could point the way for the United States. Anchor Brian William contended Swedes “always seem to be so happy and beautiful” and now “there's another reason to be green with envy about the Swedes. We're told they are living green lives, showing kindness to the planet, and saving a ton of energy in the process.” Sweden certainly enchanted reporter Anne Thompson who rode a bicycle in Stockholm and gushed:
Sweden's official colors are blue and yellow, but it lives green -- from the citizens who can eat the fish from waterways in Stockholm to King Carl XVI Gustaf, who rules the land and drives an ethanol-powered car.
Thompson focused on how the nation is researching “gasified wood” and putting people onto bicycles. Plus, “alternatives like the fuel made from organic waste that powers this train.” Highlighting that “to reduce traffic, Swedes pay to drive in the business district,” Thompson concluded by touting how “Sweden's most important export” is “real world ways to live green.”
It continues. Days after NewsBusters reported that the BBC willingly censored its reporting to fit the agenda of a left-wing environmental activist comes news that reporters at an Australian paper have been forced company-wide to promote climate alarmism by their bosses.
In some positive news for journalistic independence though, it looks like the staffers at the Age newspaper have finally had enough. What's even more surprising is that the Age is a left-wing paper, similar to London's Guardian, that normally has no trouble pursuing agenda-driven coverage. The mandated bias is so ridiculous though, that it was too much for even them.
Our story begins late last month when the Age's parent company, Fairfax Media, teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund to help promote Earth Hour, a silly PR campaign to use less or no electricity as a way of "raising awareness" about "climate change."
Well, here is what might be a landmark case for the blogosphere, for the Internet, and for the future of our new media, citizen journalism. The AP has just sent a cease and desist letter to Brian C. Ledbetter telling him to stop using their copyrighted images on his website, snappedshot.com.
Snappedshot.com is a site predicated on criticism of photo-journalism. In pursuit of his criticism, Mr. Ledbetter uses photos from across the web that he thinks are doctored or misleading in some way. He then reports his opinion on the bias he sees therein.
Because of this pending legal action, snappedshot.com is now been placed on hiatus until the situation can be cleared up.
At least when the National Enquirer prints unsubstantiated garbage, they go with new stories, MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued today on the Fox News Channel. Bozell was referring to the New York Times publishing a front page article on a 10-year old rumor regarding presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and lobbyist Vicki Iseman.
If you have a weak stomach, steer clear of today's New York Times, particularly their "Cruise Issue" which contains a travel article reviewing a cruise that will make you lose your lunch.
The author, Henry Alford, gushes over every detail, painting it literally as "The Love Boat for Policy Wonks" in a fashion that is so over-the-top it's almost a self-parody of what you'd expect the Times to write about a cruise hosted by the left-wing Nation magazine:
When 460 of the more ardent readers of a 142-year-old leftist weekly get together on a cruise ship, things can be a little topsy-turvy. “It’s like an S.D.S. reunion on the Love Boat,” said a guest speaker, Mary Mapes, the former CBS news producer who helped break the Abu Ghraib story among others, before being fired over her involvement in a “60 Minutes” piece on George W. Bush’s military record.
Minus that little detail, Mapes is fantastic and wonderful person. More:
Former CBS correspondent and best selling author Bernard Goldberg noted the clear double standard NBC and MSNBC has on liberal versus conservative commentators. On the February 11 edition of "The O’Reilly Factor," Goldberg discussed the corruption at NBC News after the fallout from the David Shuster "pimped out" comments.
Goldberg alluded to left wing partisan commentator Keith Olbermann, without mentioning him by name, and noted that has anchored the election night coverage and moderated a presidential debate. Goldberg posed the question "would NBC News have Rush Limbaugh anchoring their election night coverage on MSNBC? Would they have an angry, ideological right winger like Michael Savage anchor their election night coverage on MSNBC?" He then answered his own question "of course not!" And added that "they do have a left wing bomb thrower doing it."
The writers' strike is giving conservative fans of "24" a temporary reprieve from a maddening, preachy plots planned in the new season. So argues Bryan Preston at Hot Air, noting that Hollywood praises liberal anti-military, anti-war on terror fare like "Redacted," while it can't abide a pro-American, pro-war on terror far like "24," despite the latter being vastly more successful as a commercial enterprise than the former.
Preston notes that Day 7 of "24" opens by featuring lead character Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) defending his actions before a congressional committee that will doubtless rail against his methods in obtaining intelligence from terrorists. He notes this merely gives fictional liberal senators air time to echo arguments "24" fans here time and again from real life liberal politicians and the mainstream media (emphasis mine):
National Review's Jonah Goldberg has a new book out, "Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left," that argues essentially that liberalism is a sort of happy-faced fascism. It's a reasonable argument when one thinks about the endless crusades of liberal nanny-state promoters (state-run universal pre-K, the food police, anti-smoking zealots eager to stamp out smoking in bars, etc.).
Yet apparently online bookseller Amazon.com thinks it's something of a joke, categorizing the book among a list of best-selling parodies such as "The Zombie Survival Guide" and "Our Dumb World: The Onion's Atlas of the Planet Earth, 73rd Edition." (see screencap below page break):
Despite its best efforts, the New York Times Company continues to find itself plagued by wave after wave of investor complaints spurred on by the fact that the company's shares have fallen from near $50 to just under $16 since 2004.
First it was Morgan Stanley's audacious attempt to end the Times's dual-class share system which enables the radical leftist Sulzberger family to continue running the paper into the ground by giving it almost-exclusive control of the NYT Co.'s board of directors. Now comes news that two large Times investors are nominating their own members of the company's board, without prior approval from Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger:
As a conservative media critic, I often hear liberal journalists say that the reason there aren't more libertarians or conservatives in the media is simply because lefties are more interested in news writing and opinioneering than righties. They are quite quick to deny there is any kind of discrimination--despite the experiences of Susan Molinari at CBS, Ben Domenech at the Washington Post and pretty much any right-leaning journalist in the business who doesn't make a habit of bashing Republicans like Pat Buchanan.
This pattern of vitriolic anger and rage at the temerity of a right-winger daring to venture into the left's inner sanctum of the press is once again on display with the New York Times's recent hiring of Weekly Standard founder Bill Kristol to be a columnist. Things have gotten so out of control that even the paper's public editor (aka public fig leaf) is protesting the hire. As before, inevitably, leftish reporters and editors are raising objections about the slightest thing. In Kristol's case, as Gabriel Schoenfeld writes (h/t Power Line), Times public editor Clark Hoyt is straining at a comment he made during an appearance on Fox News Channel:
In it, an MSNBC executive admitted “Keith runs MSNBC.” Good to know that the basement-dwelling cable net is banking on a conspiracy-addled, orange-tinted Edward R Murrow wannabe for corporate guidance.
Olbermann went from almost fired to pulling the corporate strings in two years, which is impressive for a man with a habit of "trashingpeople publicly, even his employers" (bold mine):
But he seems to be doing well for himself in the office now. [Interviewer Paul] Tullis cites a senior executive at MSNBC, who says, "Keith runs MSNBC. It's been an amazing turnaround, because two years ago they were going to cancel him. Because of his success, he's in charge. Chris Matthews is infuriated by it."
Journalists often fret about Big Business. Yet their coverage leans so pro-union that they won't give the business side of the story - even when they ARE the business.
The writers' strike has cost the networks millions in lost ad revenue from the lack of new primetime and late-night shows. But now that late night lives again, the coverage is all about "awareness" of the writers' guild and the strike.
Once the late-night comedy shows returned January 2, a new controversy arose: guests who dared to cross the picket line to appear on the writer-less shows. One of those was Baptist preacher and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
"I don't think Jesus would cross the picket line, no, I'm almost positive Jesus would be on our side," one striking writer said to CBS's January 3 "Early Show."
Between doctoring quotes, misrepresenting TV ratings, obsessing over Michelle Malkin's ethnicity and crushing on Bill O'Reilly, the TV host who self-anointed himself as Edward R. Murrow's heir let loose with some tall tales.
While lie number one is my favorite (go read it), some of 2007's lying lowlights include Keith claiming Rosie O'Donnell never compared US troops to terrorists, stating Fox News' Roger Ailes is running Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign or just lying about O'Reilly and News. Here's a little sample (bold mine):
#5 - ... But our #5 entry shows Keith "Man on Fan" Olbermann at his most desperate. So eager was he to protect a possible NBC hire (Rosie O'Donnell) he doctored her words (sound familiar?) to claim she never compared US troops to terrorists.
On this holy Sunday, just before the celebration of the birth of the Christian Savior, The Seattle Times decided it needed something Christmas related for its Entertainment & Arts section. Not just something that reflects the values of 92% of the country, like a church service, a Christmas play, or a church choir. No, this has to be something that represents The Seattle Times values. Seattle Times arts writer Michael Upchurch certainly found it.
The Seattle Times decided the front page should include the "tawdry glamour" and "warped yuletide spirit" of "drag legend Dina Martina - a big boned chanteuse of stage and dive". So bundle up the kids in their Sunday best and brave the cold night so that your family may celebrate the birth of the Lord at "The All-New Dina Martina Christmas Show".
"It could be the worst movie I've ever seen" ... "[T]he out and out worst, most disgusting, most hateful, most incompetent, most revolting, most loathsome, most reprehensible cinematic work I have ever encountered." ... "It portrays the members of our Marine Corps in the most disgusting way imaginable." ... "This film is an atrocity. It is zero stars." ... "I honestly was close to vomiting when I saw the film." ... "It is a slander on the United States of America." ... "Everyone associated with this film ought to be ashamed." ... "Will it inspire future terrorists? Of course it will!"
Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC has finally admitted what everyone knew to be the case: his network's talk lineup tilts leftward. This type of admission is quite rare in media circles. Usually when high-level media types are confronted with evidence their product is biased, they issue silly blanket denials that anyone can see through as mere corporate shillery.
Griffin's admission came in a recent New York Times article which instead of being concerned about journalism's institutional credibility as it has when covering Fox News, predictably celebrated the network's decision to become the network for Bush haters:
Reading this HuffPo entry from "Inconvenient Truth" producer Laurie David and environmental activist Gene Karpinski, it's hard to not come up with the impression that these two are a bunch of whiners.
Both are outraged (!) that NBC host and former Democratic strategist Tim Russert is not as obsessed with global warming as they are.
What's even funnier (unintentionally of course) is that David and Karpinski frame their outrage around the recent NBC Universal PR campaign "Green Is Universal," which was nothing more than a corporate-driven shillfest designed to drum up interest in parent company General Electric's non-fossil fuel offerings. (So much for the left-wing lie about corporate "conservatism.")
Tim Russert's real sin was that he didn't parrot the company line like a good liberal media hack. The arrogance is stunning. A billion-dollar media empire devotes an entire week to promoting their pet issue and yet it's still not enough for David and Karpinski. Whine excerpt is past the jump:
O’Reilly also dispelled the false "New York Times" story that "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" (O’Reilly only said "MSNBC" without mentioning Olbermann by name) is competitive with "The O’Reilly Factor." In fact, "The Factor" dominates the 8:00 PM slot dwarfing "Countdown."
Bill O’Reilly also poked fun at NBC’s hard left turn noting "it is not true that Sean Penn will be co-anchoring the NBC ‘Nightly News’...that Hugo Chavez will become their chief foreign correspondent."
Will Joe Scarborough be sent to NBC's environmentalist re-education camp and subjected to an endless loop of "An Inconvenient Truth"? The "Morning Joe" host gave a number of hints today that he is less-than-thrilled by the doctrinaire environmentalism the network is imposing on viewers and employees alike during its "Green Week."
Scarborough's show-opening line was a not-overly-subtle dig at the seemingly endless greenery.
One sure sign the media are taking global warming alarmism too far is when fellow press members begin eviscerating green reporting.
Such was the case Monday when TV and radio writer Tom Jicha published a scathing review of NBC's "Green is Universal" campaign.
Rather than focus on the inanity of the cause - which Jicha did eventually address - the piece began by illustrating the delicious hypocrisy inherent in a major television network pretending to be environmentally friendly (emphasis added throughout, h/t NB reader Stu):
The networks and the newspapers that compose the "mainstream media" "don’t care" if they’re biased towards liberals according to former CBS reporter and best selling author Bernard Goldberg. Appearing on the November 1 edition of "The O’Reilly Factor," Goldberg responded to the recent Harvard study, cited by NewsBusters, that Democrats do get more positive coverage and less negative coverage than their Republican counterparts.
Goldberg also opined that "if another study came out about another kind of bias against women or against minorities, they’d establish a blue ribbon panel to investigate it. But bias against Republicans, they don’t care."
Author and political reporter Timothy Carney has an interesting item this morning in the Washington Examiner about how Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) practically gets campaign contribution kickbacks from her support for subsidies to the drug industry for the so-called emergency contraceptive pill Plan B. Emphasis mine. (h/t James Joyner):
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., portrays herself as a scourge of the pharmaceutical industry, but she has shown that she’s willing to help a drugmaker if that’s what it takes to profit Planned Parenthood, her indispensable political ally.
Clinton’s campaign Web site touts that she has “battled the big drug companies.” Yet she has sponsored many bills that would directly subsidize Barr Laboratories, maker of the emergency contraceptive pill Plan B, which also functions as an abortifacient. Thanks to a deal cut between Barr and Planned Parenthood, those taxpayer subsidies will yield generous profits for the pro-choice group that every four years spends millions trying to elect a Democrat to the White House.
Like the latest runway trend, "green is the new black" according to the media. At least where business is concerned. But it turns out that companies are finding "going green" is an easy way to put themselves in the red.
Back in 2003 FedEx announced it would begin switching to hybrid trucks and won an award from the Environmental Protection Agency, but at $70,000 more per truck the costs got in the way. Four years later, the company has fewer than 100 hybrid trucks, according to the October 29 BusinessWeek.
Other companies like PepsiCo and Caterpillar could face problems with the bottom line because of their support for more government regulation, said Steve Milloy on CNBC's "Street Signs" October 12.
Just when you thought it was safe to turn on an NBC-owned station, the network is getting ready to bombard citizens with a weeklong manmade global warming propaganda blitzkrieg that's destined to make Nobel Laureate Al Gore and his Norwegian sycophants smile like a polar bear that's just bagged a juicy seal.
It appears the good folks at NBC didn't feel they lost enough money -- and good will! -- pushing this absurd issue down citizens' throats during July's failed "Live Earth" concerts.
Be that as it may, this campaign, cleverly called "Green is Universal" - I guess they couldn't think of anything better that rhymes with "Reading is Fundamental!" - is "part of the company's ‘Get On Board' effort to improve the environment by reducing greenhouse gases, raising awareness about green issues and accelerating change in the media and entertainment industry."
Hmmm. Take out that nonsense about GHGs and green issues, and that sounds like NewsBusters' goal!
As reported by Multichannel News (emphasis added to enhance comedic value):
In between cyborg fights, NBC's new sci-fi show “Bionic Woman” flattered Hillary Clinton with an awkward and artificial reference to her prowess at getting to the bottom of an injustice.
In the October 10 episode “Sisterhood,” the latest Bionic Woman, Jaime Sommers, portrayed by Michelle Ryan, discovered there is a constant video feed in her recently implanted bionic eye, and as the character groused about the invasion of her privacy, the writers slipped in a little stilted praise for Clinton.
The remark occured at about 29 minutes into the show where Jaime was talking to her boss Jonas Bledsoe, the director of the bionics program (video here):
JAIME SOMMERS: OK, you know what, this camera in my eye? It sucks.
Those pesky conservative suburbanites and their market forces! They'll be the ruin of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, bellows Anonymous.
Hugh Hewitt and Ed Morrissey have taken on the unattributed complaints of a self-described Star-Tribune ("Strib") veteran, who laments that his beloved paper is becoming a right-wing shill for, gasp, hiring a token conservative opinion columnist.:
The Rake, a local alternative newspaper here in the Twin Cities, published an interesting cri de coeur from "one Strib veteran" about the direction of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The anonymous attribution wears thin in the first line of the quote: