For a long time, the San Antonio Express-News was unique, not in its predictably liberal editorial page or in its port-skewing news coverage. No, instead, it was one of the few American newspapers to have two editorial cartoonists, one liberal and one conservative.
That is no longer the case. Under pressure to cut jobs and staff in the midst of the overall decline of print media, Express-News editorial page editor Bruce Davidson decided that the paper should drop conservative cartoonist Leo Garza, a fixture at the paper for over 20 years. Liberal cartoonist John Branch will remain on the staff.
You'd think that given the Express-News's posture of demanding accountability from government and (other) businesses, that it would be consistent and respect the "public's right to know" what prompted this politically charged decision. Alas, no such explanation seems in the offing for us plebs.
The new movie, "Arctic Tale," which follows a polar bear and walrus "as their beautiful icebound world" "melts beneath them." will be promoted during today's Starbucks "National Day of Discussion" at stores nationwide.
"We can spark discussion on this issue and impact change from right inside our stores," Starbucks Entertainment president Ken Lombard says.
If “significant changes” were not made, the NIAC threatened that the film would “generate serious backlash against the Iranian American community.”
After the complaint, the producer “immediately contacted” the NIAC and “agreed to take its concerns into consideration.” Even more surprising was how much access and influence the NIAC had over the Weinstein film starring Sean Penn and Harrison Ford (my emphasis throughout):
NIAC later submitted its analysis and suggestions to the production team, which changed elements of the script and even re-shot certain scenes. The final product, the director says, does not include any reference to "family honor" and does not depict an honor killing.
Novak blamed liberal discrimination which he said forces young conservatives to remain "in the closet" if they hope to have a career in media.
"One of the big differences in 50 years is that the liberals have now filtered into the executive ranks of journalism. And so if you go into journalism now not in the closet but out in the open as a conservative, you're going to have a hard time getting a job, believe me."
Ah to be a liberal, to proclaim my tolerance and open-mindedness with a few tacky bumperstickers and then turn around and try to silence any type of political divergence:
Liberal activists are stepping up their campaign against Fox News Channel by pressuring advertisers not to patronize the network.
MoveOn.org, the Campaign for America's Future and liberal blogs like DailyKos.com are asking thousands of supporters to monitor who is advertising on the network. Once a database is gathered, an organized phone-calling campaign will begin, said Jim Gilliam, vice president of media strategy for Brave New Films, a company that has made anti-Fox videos.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer conducted a hardball interview of White House press secretary Tony Snow on Thursday's edition of The Situation Room about the Democrats' subpoena of Karl Rove and the possible perjury investigation against Alberto Gonzales. Blitzer asked Snow a series of tough questions that you might find on any Democrat pundit's list. Contrast this with Blitzer's colleague at CNN, John Roberts, who earlier the same day, did a softball interview of Sen. Charles Schumer, which helped the New York Democrat echo his talking points. Actually, both Roberts and Blitzer helped forward the Democrat talking points, but the major difference was the approach towards the person being interviewed.
Environmentalists are targeting kids and using deception to get their message out. Anthropogenic global warming evangelists and wildlife filmmakers, Sarah Robertson and Adam Ravetch, made the upcoming live action “Arctic Tale” because as Robertson told the LA Times, "Global warming to a lot of people is statistics...What we wanted to do was put a face on climate change."
OK, so there's the goal, now how to accomplish it? Adults ask all of those pesky questions, but children's minds are easier to mold and manipulate. During the credits, the filmmakers came right out and showed their cards, using kids to shill for AGW and convince their parents to change their evil habits.
The expected tugging of emotions was turned into a shell game by the way the movie was created. “Arctic Tale” is sold to the public as a heartwarming movie that follows a polar bear and a walrus through their first eight years of life. The problem is, they're not real, and the alarming story about their environment was crafted by scriptwriters (emphasis mine throughout):
There are millions of Web sites floating around the Internet on any given day, so finding five ones to label as the "worst" in the world is risible on its face. And if you did, wouldn't you think that NAMBLA, the Westboro Baptist Church, the KKK, pedophile sites and the like would constitute the absolute worst? I mean, MySpace is annoying, but it's not as bad as jihadist Web sites by any stretch.
But aside from the inanity of the undertaking, what caught my eye with Time magazine's "Five Worst Websites" list was eHarmony.com's inclusion.
"Our main beef with this online dating site is its power to cause utter despair," lament the writers at Time.
Apparently, the grandstanding by Edward R. Murrow-wannabe Keith Olbermann during his performance as co-moderator of the May Republican debate won the support of the AFL-CIO. On its blog, the union announced the big news that Olbermann will also moderate the August 7 Democratic debate, which the powerful union is sponsoring.
July 17, the AFL-CIO Now blog promoted Olbermann's new moderator gig, and since the site didn't mention Matthews' name or anyone else's, it looks as if Olbermann will fly solo (via Inside Cable News, emphasis mine throughout):
New Editorial Page Editor Cheryl L. Reed has been given marching orders from publisher John Cruickshank and head editor Michael Cooke to re-brand the editorial and opinion section of the Chicago Sun Times with an eye toward the future. Specifically she has been told not to be too conservative. (h/t Republic of Biloxi)
"Don't be conservative," Cruickshank urged me. "We don't want you to hold back."
One could take this statement in one of two ways. On the one hand you might assume that Cruickshank is telling Reed to think outside the box and come up with some really innovative ideas that might just involve a bit of risk.
On the other hand you could approach this challenge from the perspective of just about everyone else in the newspaper industry and take Cruickshank's words literally.
In a striking contrast to his fellow reporters, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz took NBC to task for the extensive Live Earth coverage on NBC and its sister cable channels (earlier NewsBusters item on this very same column, with transcript of Kurtz's discussion on CNN's Reliable Sources.) Shockingly, Kurtz even used quotation marks when mentioning the global warming “crisis.” In his “Media Notes” column, Kurtz rightfully questioned the ethics of a network taking sides on a political issue (a General Electric senior VP said he doesn't “think climate change is a political issue”) and helping a “prominent Democrat” who potentially has presidential ambitions to raise money.
These are important points that most reporters have failed to raise, but Kurtz was not intimidated by the peer pressure and got down to the nuts and bolts (emphasis mine):
NBC and its cable networks devoted a total of 35 hours of air time Saturday to the Live Earth concerts, organized by Al Gore to call attention to what he calls a global warming "crisis."
It seems not even Al Gore and his stable of celebrity talent could keep Live Earth at the top of the ratings this past weekend. Greg Pollowitz from The Corner has the breakdown from Nielsen Media Research:
Saturday 7/07/07 Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data).
That's right; NBC had a total of 2.75 million viewers for their three-hour airing of the Live Earth concerts. As a small consolation, they had more viewers than this spot in Brisbane, Australia, where a large outdoor screen had been set up for the anticipated throng.
Regardless of your views on global warming and climate change, Live Earth’s use of school-aged children as political spokesmen was, by anyone’s standards, in poor taste. Bravo’s coverage of the Al Gore-produced musical festival began with several innocent, gapped-tooth children sharing their all-too-adult frustrations and concerns over the environment. One poor girl, clearly shaken by the doomsday philosophy of extreme environmentalism, actually burst into tears (pictured at right).
Unidentified girl: "I’m really afraid of my children growing up and not being able to see like a blue sky or green grass. [Crying] If I don’t do something who will, you know?"
The June 27 edition of "MSNBC Live" was sponsored by liberal filmmaker Michael Moore.
"'MSNBC Live' is brought to you by 'SiCKO', a Michael Moore film in theatres everywhere Friday," read the announcer dipping into a commercial break about 14 minutes into the 10 a.m. block of MSNBC programming.
Bill Dedman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for MSNBC, recently filed a report on the MSNBC website that won’t win him any Pulitzers. He investigated political donations made by journalists, and found a resounding liberal tilt: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes, and only 16 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.
Does this prove cause and effect, a subsequent tilt in the liberal media’s coverage of the news? No, but to believe there is no causation at play here is ludicrous: if a survey of journalists found that 86 percent were donors to the National Right to Life Committee, would anyone dispute labeling the media "pro-life"?
The talk radio lines were ablaze with commentary. Predictably the news media reacted with near silence. Fox News, of course, was on it. MSNBC television lightly covered the result on TV – but refused to discuss the media bias angle. Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post filed a good story, as did a few other "mainstream" newspapers, but that was it.
Dateline: San Francisco. A city which HumanEvents.com ranked as the "most liberal city in America" is taking another shot at business and consumer rights and another step towards socialism with it's most recent ban. This week’s victim? The plastic shopping bag.
Jane Meredith Adams, a contributing editor to Parenting Magazine penned this June 25 special to the Chicago Tribune in which she ignores the impact of the law’s demands on businesses and consumers but instead highlights the fashionable nature of "eco-chic grocery totes."
Ubergizmo.com, a “trendy web magazine dedicated to consumer electronics news and reviews,” such as a $2,650 Fujitsu Tablet PC and a “Wiener Dog Accent Lamp,” had a puzzling entry last week that discussed an amazing new sleeping tent, then surprisingly slammed the free-market system by whining about glorifying “the excesses of capitalism.“ Basically, the Water Shelter tent is an easily portable tent that also collects rainwater and can even be dropped in by air, which would be a lifesaver for flood refugees.
At the end of the blurb, the author threw in a comment that is strange for a site that is filled with small articles designed to highlight and promote capitalist goods. Was this an unclear joke or yet another anti-capitalist dig from an unlikely source?
Michael Moore's new documentary, Sicko, challenges U.S. healthcare. Yet in the coverage of the film, some interesting facts about Moore appear to be ignored. These facts are addressed on page 53 of the bestselling book by Peter Schweizer, Do As I Say (Not As I Do):
[Moore's] IRS forms make for interesting reading. Over the past five years, Moore's "savings account" has included such evil pharmaceutical and medical companies as Pfizer, Merck, Genzyme, Elan PLC, Eli Lilly, Becton Dickinson, and Boston Scientific. "Being screwed by your HMO and ill-served by pharmaceutical companies is a shared American experience," he recently told the Detroit News ... He may savage HMOs in his film Sicko, but he has also owned shares of Pharmacia Corporation and Tenet Healthcare. He may have liked their price-to-earnings ratio.
The discussion ended up being a classic battle between a capitalist who believes that free market forces are determining programming on the radio dial and a leftist who feels ownership is to blame for the scarcity of liberal talk shows.
In fact, Schultz actually was rather hypocritical in his position as demonstrated by the following (video available here):
Update (Ken Shepherd): Maloney tells me he'll be on the John Gibson radio program on Fox News radio shortly after 6:20 p.m. to discuss this.
As NewsBusters reported here and here, liberals around the country are carping and whining about conservatives having too much control of AM radio.
In fact, just yesterday, the Center for American Progress issued an outline as to what needs to be done to counter what it views as an unfair dominance of the airwaves by conservatives.
With that in mind, Brian Maloney has taken a look at the data collected by the Center to identify just how bad things really are for those poor liberals trying to compete with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, et al.
What Maloney found – not surprisingly – was that the Center fudged the numbers a bit to make it look like things were much worse than they actually are (emphasis added throughout):
The supposedly “free speech” left are out in force trying to silence all voices in the media with views different than their own just in time for the 2008 presidential campaign.
Potentially more worrisome, one liberal advocate in the middle of this debate has close ties to the Clintons, although it is quite unlikely the press will convey such when its recommendations are disseminated with their predictable stamp of approval.
With that in mind, the left-leaning Center for American Progress published a report Thursday detailing how conservatives dominate the talk radio dial, and exactly what needs to be done legislatively for liberals to wrest control over this medium (emphasis added throughout):
One of the more persistent myths in this country is that lower income people are liberals. Anyone who's spent more than a weekend in the Midwest, South, or West can tell you that in many places, it's the richer neighborhoods that tend to vote Democrat.
The fact that the left now has money (and lots of it) has significant benefits for it but there are downsides, especially if you're one of those liberals who is obsessed with wealth redistribution. The trouble for these folks is that now that in many ways the left has made peace with capitalism, it simply doesn't have the stomach to engage in the extremist regulation that statist liberalism demands philosophically. Instead, the left focuses on "higher-order needs" such as environmentalism, identity politics, and political correctness.
That's very frustrating for many who long for the days when being liberal wasn't synonymous with pampered, rich media elites as Matt Taibbi writes in the left-wing "Adbusters."
Here’s the real problem with American liberalism: there is no such
thing, not really. What we call American liberalism is really a kind of
genetic mutant, a Frankenstein’s monster of incongruous parts – a fat,
affluent, overeducated New York/Washington head crudely screwed onto
the withering corpse of the vanishing middle-American manufacturing
Updates below. (Close look at whiteboard in video calls Ann Coulter a "whore," etc.)
By now you may have heard about "Obama Girl," an attractive young woman dancing and singing a tune about having a "crush" on the Democratic presidential hopeful. It's all the rage on the cable news nets this afternoon. Doing some digging around the Internet, however, I was unable to find who exactly is behind the viral video phenomenon, but I did find it was registered through GoDaddy.com, the Web site registrar made a household name for its racy TV ads.
At any rate, "Obama Girl" Leah Kauffman (see update) doesn't appear to be a random young woman with a camcorder and Internet savvy. Her video "I Got a Crush on Obama" serves as the inaugural media stunt for BarelyPolitical.com, a Web site created on May 30 that has a skimpy "about us" section:
Kids and parents love the highly-successful series of “Shrek” movies, starring Cameron Diaz, Mike Myers and many others. “Shrek the Third” opens May 18, and that means the cast is on a promotional tour. Several cast members gave an interview to Michael Ordona for the Tribune Newspapers, which own the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times, and disclosed that “Shrek 4” might continue a relatively recent Hollywood trend.
The trend in children's movies has been propagandizing them, usually about environmental issues, and it looks like the the upcoming “Shrek 4” will be no different, especially if Diaz has anything to say about it.
Cameron Diaz wants “Shrek 4” to involve an eco-friendly story line about a threatened swamp environment. Fellow cast members Myers, Julie Andrews and Amy Poehler are also in the below interview excerpt where Diaz revealed her propagandist goal (emphasis mine):
With Rosie O’Donnell’s announced departure of "The View" other networks such as NBC and CBS are apparently interested in the very controversial comedienne. Broadcastingcable.com reports that Rosie may offer commentary on "The Early Show" in an effort to boost its third place ratings.
"Sources say O'Donnell will meet with CBS brass soon to discuss its offer, which could open the door to regular guest appearances on The Early Show. Her views have generated the type of buzz that could allow CBS to finally lift the perennial third-place program out of the morning-show cellar."
Yesterday, NewsBusters executive editor Matthew Sheffield passed along how bloggers had picked up on Virgin Airlines screening the 9/11 conspiracy documentary "Loose Change" as an in-flight movie selection.
Andersen reminds her readers that "one simple phone call" can make all the difference, as was the case with Wilkow's producer complaining to Virgin. I suspect, however, that a large, irate blog readership also had a role to play. Over 15,000 hits came up for my "loose change" search on Technorati, while over 600 hits came up when I looked for "Virgin Airlines" on the blog search site.
Hundreds of thousands of potential airline passengers are not worth messing with, after all.
You'd think that by now the left would have abandoned the ludicrous argument that businesses are inherently conservative. Simply untrue. There is so much evidence that this is not the case such as how most public TVs are tuned to CNN, not FNC, or how conservative books generally get worse placement at bookstores compared to liberals ones.
Via LGF, I learned of another proof of this: Virgin Airways is showing a 9/11 conspiracy film, "Loose Change," as the in-flight movie to some travelers. There's contact info for Virgin at Charles's entry.
Update 16:14. To keep track of these types of stories, I've made a new category for it "Corporate liberalism." Use our feedback form to send us examples of this when you see or read about it.
In an unusual move last Friday, Ford decided that it couldn't wait for the month to end before it told us how bad it was going to be -- for the whole industry:
Ford Motor Co. said on Friday that U.S. auto industry sales to date in April were "terrible" as consumer confidence was hit by a slow housing market and rising gas prices.
..... Pipas said industry volume appeared to be down 10 percent to date before seasonal adjustment, but expected Ford's U.S. retail share to hold steady around 13 percent.
After an entire weekend where Pipas's message was spread virtually without criticism, the April vehicle-sales reality turned out to be quite different (the first figure is adjusted for the two-day difference in the number of "selling days" in April 2007  vs. April 2006 ; the second figure in parens is not adjusted for that difference):
This isn't exactly media bias, but since the myth of the conservative corporation is one of my personal favorites to demolish, I couldn't help but link to a Human Events study showing that conservative groups get far less money from Fortune 100 companies than liberal groups do. Here's an excerpt: