This report by Scientific American is a hoot for its blatant hypocrisy. With the title of their piece, "Getting Duped: How Media Messes With Your Mind,", it appears that Scientific American is trying to set itself up as the bringers of truth to all those confused by the "surreptitiously" misleading media. Their piece is ostensibly a warning on how the media is misleading us all. Their subtitle even declares how they are about to tell us of the media's misconduct.
Statements made in the media can surreptitiously plant distortions in the minds of millions. Learning to recognize two commonly used fallacies can help you separate fact from fiction
So, with that, what would you expect from the rest of the piece? Perhaps some examples of how the media misleads us? Maybe a few New York Times lies, or gaffs from network news outlets, or even the cable news stations? If you would expect examples of media lies in a story sold as one about the media, you'd be disappointed because all the examples Sci. Amer. gives us are from politicians and commentators, not the media. And guess what else? Nearly all the examples of "lies," "misleading statements," and "straw man arguments" are from Republicans and/or conservatives.
A story that mildly resembles today's McCain "scoop" came four years ago, the charge that young AP reporter Alexandra Polier may have had an affair with John Kerry. No proof emerged. How did the New York Times cover that charge?
On February 17, 2004, on page A-19, the Times ran a 434-word piece by reporter Jim Rutenberg, one of the four reporters on the McCain story today. The rumor had a "vibrant life on the Internet," but not in the New York Times. Here it is:
Here is a story that is fairly recent and it is perfect for our ongoing game of "Democrat or Not." One Susan Freeman, a secretary in the office of North Carolina's Attorney General has been hauled in after a routine traffic stop by police in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She wasn't driving on an expired license, didn't even have a broken tail light. But she did have $150,000 in illegal drugs -- 31 pounds of marijuana and one and a half pounds of cocaine -- hidden in her car.
So far, I've seen two reports about this incident, both from TV websites. NBC 17 from Raleigh/Durham gives us an account and so does News9 of Oklahoma City. Both stories mention that this Susan Freeman works in the NC Attorney General's office, but neither name that politician or his party.
The email recommended against using wording that implies Castro didn't write his letter of resignation and to rely on reporting by Communist Party daily Granma. It then reminded “Fidel did bring social reforms to Cuba” and “'[w]hile despised by some, he is seen as a revolutionary hero...for standing up to the United States.”
Here is the email posted by Babalu (bold mine after email's heading):
Sure, it's garden variety AP labeling/double-standard bias, but it bears busting anyway.
At KnoxNews.com (h/t NB reader coffee260), one can read the tale of Nashville, Tennessee, state representative Rob Briley, who "has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and property damage prior to leading authorities on a high-speed chase last September." Briley is a Democrat, but his party affiliation was not mentioned in the 6-paragraph story.
Yet another AP dispatch on another state politician, this one from Maryland, had a quite different treatment of that legislator's political affiliation.
You know, if the Associated Press ever straightens up and starts reporting the news like a truly unbiased news agency it would ruin our little game of "Democrat or Not?" Fortunately for us, it doesn't seem like the AP is going to go legitimate any time soon and our little game can go on ad infinitum. Today our game is being hosted in the Tennessee House of Representatives where State Representative Bob Briley pleaded guilty to a DUI from last September.
State Rep. Rob Briley of Nashville has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and property damage prior to leading authorities on a high-speed chase last September... Authorities said he struck the rear of a truck and then left the scene.
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 blogosphere began buzzing yesterday afternoon because of a Cuban flag superimposed with a picture of Che Guevara that was flown in an volunteer, unofficial office for Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama in Houston, Texas, captured by a local Fox News affiliate.
Allahpundit likened it yesterday to be the equivalent of flying a Timothy McVeigh flag in a John McCain office, and noted that if that had occurred, media outlets would have more than likely made more of an issue of it than they have in this instance.
I don't however, share the condemnation heard yesterday of the Obama campaign itself over this particular story from some of my friends on the right. I think James Joyner's take on the issue is even-handed, in that:
Democratic state legislators in Washington State are taking aim at changing the state ballot initiative process, all because of numerous successes of perennial anti-tax advocate Tim Eyman, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported today.
While P-I reporter Brian Slodysko did an overall good job reporting the controversy, including how critics think the legislature could be overreaching in their "reform" efforts, this portion proved a bit vexing (emphasis mine):
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, has the backing of a coalition of organized labor, business interests and environmental groups, who say special interest groups have co-opted the state's initiative and referendum process from its populist origins.
"Up until the late '80s, almost into the start of the '90s, (the initiative process) was a populist grass-roots effort. At this point in time, it became professionalized. We felt obligated to defend the Legislature," Jim Bricker, a spokesman for the coalition, said.
As NewsBusters has been reporting, MSNBC's reaction to David Shuster's "pimped out" Chelsea Clinton comment is an extraordinary example of the double standard that exists at this admittedly left-leaning cable network.
In fact, the goings-on since Shuster first made this remark last Thursday make it crystal clear that potentially insensitive comments directed at the Clinton family are thoroughly verboten by MSNBC, whereas derogatory statements concerning President George W. Bush are highly encouraged.
As another example of this hypocrisy, consider the following disgraceful report concerning Bush's twin daughters aired on MSNBC's "Countdown" November 28, 2006 (h/t NBer Grammy):
As Mitt Romney tries to close the gap with John McCain before the voting on Super Duper Tuesday, New York Times reporter Michael Luo took an unsympathetic look at Romney's political makeover in Tuesday's "Meet the New Mitt Romney, The Anti-Insider Populist."
First, to be fair to Keith Olbermann, I personally doubt the MSNBC anchor harbors prejudicial sentiments towards Mexican-Americans, but really, can you imagine the ire, or very least wide-open speculation if say Don Imus had said this?:
New York Senator Clinton, an adopted Giants fan watched the game in Minnesota and told the Associated Press, quote, "Super Bowl, Super Tuesday, we've got one down, let's get the other." This as her husband watched the game in New Mexico with the former governor, or with the governor and former presidential Bill Richardson, possibly asking Richardson for an endorsement and then, "would you please pass the guacamole?"
Video from Feb. 4 "Countdown" (22 secs):Windows (1.25 MB), plus MP3 audio (149 kB).
Remember when the media was concerned about the tone of the Presidential discourse?
About how it had fallen to new lows when an audience member, in querying Republican Senator and aspirant John McCain on November 13th of last year, referred to Democrat hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) as a female dog? CNN's Rick Sanchez tried desperately to create a scandal out of whole cloth, insisting that Senator McCain was obligated to lash said woman verbally and with a wet noodle in defense of HRC's honor.
The mainstream media seems to believe that they are above the law. they feel that anything that they do should be protected by law, no matter if they are engaging in actions that walk close to the line of treason. Today, Breitbart News is reporting that New York Times reporter James Risen, one of the two reporters who blew the whistle on the US government's use of overseas wire-tapping (a program, mind you that has not been declared illegal) is being subpoenaed over his source in a 2006 book on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
It's quite interesting how CNN.com words the bios of the various presidential candidates. Interesting in that the Republican candidates have negative comments included, whereas the Democrats do not. Case in point: Here are the GOP candidate bios (my emphasis):
John McCain: The U.S. senator from Arizona ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2000, but lost to George W. Bush.
Mitt Romney: The former Massachusetts governor made an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate in 1994.
Rudy Giuliani: The two-term mayor of New York City once ran for the U.S. Senate, but dropped out in 2000.
The presidential field has winnowed down further, with Democrat John Edwards and Republican Rudy Giuliani announcing their withdrawal from the presidential race on the same day. But while the left-wing Democrat was serenaded as a trailblazer, the moderate Republican was mocked for "living an illusion."
While few were surprised by Giuliani's announcement (and subsequent endorsement of fellow moderate John McCain) after his distant third-place finish in Florida, Edwards' decision must have shocked at least one person -- New York Times reporter Julie Bosman, who must be feeling snake-bit after her Tuesday story portraying Edwards as the Energizer Bunny, motoring on and becoming a possible kingmaker at the Democratic convention.
The presidential campaigns of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) were both derailed yesterday in Florida. But in covering the story, the AP was considerably more morose about Edwards's train wreck than Giuliani's (h/t NB reader Joe Loiacono).
Let's look at the AP coverage. First the Edwards write-up by Nedra Pickler (emphasis mine):
Now, remember, the left is more tolerant. They are more caring, more civilized and more intelligent than you conservatives. OK? Now that we got that all straight, we can continue to inform you that uncivil leftist whiners in Connecticut have quashed someone's free speech, forcing them to pull out of a commencement speech at a high school. Remember... leftists are more interested in freedom than you Nazis on the right. I hope you remember that?
Have the recent race baiting antics of the Clintons left you wondering whether the former first couple has lost its collective mind, especially now that this tactic seems to be at least partially responsible for Barack Obama's landslide victory in Saturday's South Carolina primary?
Or, like most conservatives, do you believe that nothing this pair ever does is spontaneous and without advanced political calculus, and that South Carolina went exactly as Bill and Hill planned?
For those undecided, a conversation I had on Friday with a very liberal albeit astute friend of mine might shed some light.
As the subject of the current presidential race surfaced, my friend indicated that he was supporting Hillary. Knowing him to be very concerned about civil rights, I asked why he wasn't backing Obama.
Comedian Al Franken is running for the U.S. Senate seat from Minnesota, this the media is happy to report. But, for some unexplainable reason, the media isn't so interested in reporting Franken's odd behavior. It seems that an ungovernable rage is always just under the surface with Franken, a rage that has several times broken free and resulted in assault and other violent or antisocial behavior. Why the media doesn't highlight this man's unstable behavior can only mean that they are lending him as much cover as they can to assist his campaign.
His unprofessional and intemperate language is well-known, of course. He has titled books by childishly calling people "big fat liars" and he has utilized his uncivil tongue as a talk-show, shocker. It all makes for a rather angry, uncivil fellow, but if that were all there were to it, one might at least be able to excuse it as mere bravado utilized to make some cash. Still, there is an always lurking anger that is detectable in his ranting. There is just something unstable about the man.
The Establishment Media hailed the study's lead "finding" -- 935 false statements by Bush Administration officials in the two-year period leading up to the launch of the War. The Associated Press, CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post and -- of course -- the New York Times were all exhilarated to once again climb aboard the "Bush Lied - People Died" Express.
Everyone hates Mitt Romney. You should too. Why? Because, among the Republican presidential candidates, he's the most disliked.
This extremely sound bit of reasoning comes in today's edition of the New York Times courtesy of reporter Michael Luo whose evidence that the other candidates think this is based on some good old-fashioned arm-chair psychology. Let's take a look:
The woman who got her big break on network TV thanks to the firing of Don Imus now apparently wants another host to lose his job over some tasteless remarks.
Morning Joe is the show that took over MSNBC's early-morning time slot after Imus was bounced for his offensive observations about the Rutgers women's basketball team. Mika Brzezinski, a regular member of the Morning Joe crew, has now left little doubt she would like to see John Gibson fired for the callous comments about the death of actor Heath Ledger the Fox News host made on his radio show.
"Mitt Romney, whose 1950s manner and celebratory drink of choice call to mind a milkshake man more than a rap singer, gave a shout out Monday that left no doubt that he had spent little time listening to hip-hop.
"Mr. Romney, the Republican candidate from Massachusetts by way of Michigan and Utah who enjoys a milkshake at the end of a long day, stopped by a staging area for a Martin Luther King Birthday parade here. In his dress shirt and tie, and with his unwavering smile, he walked over and posed for photographs with a group of black youngsters. Putting his arm around a teenage girl, he waved to the cameras and offered, 'Who let the dogs out?' He added a tepid 'woof woof.'
The first story discusses the three Democratic candidates - Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards - and their appearances at various black churches on Sunday. Each candidate makes determined efforts to woo the African-American vote, while mentioning Dr. King.
The second story discusses the three Democratic candidates again, and how they chose to honor Dr. King today at various memorial services.
The three rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination stood together on the steps of the state capitol here on Monday in a brief display of political unity as they remembered the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
So were the Republican presidential candidates even aware of today's holiday honoring Dr. King?
Since the media have promised the anti-war left really do support the troops, wouldn't it be news that an anti-war, self-described "radical leftist" was in court on Friday for angrily keying the car of an Iraq vet because he didn't like the military plates and USMC stickers?
Jay Grodner keyed a $2400 side-to-side gash into Sgt. Mike McNulty's car. When confronted, Grodner berated McNulty, who was getting ready to redeploy to Iraq, with anti-military epithets, even telling the Marine he was too “small” to be a “soldier" (sic).
Milblogger Blackfive wrote about the lack of media coverage (bold mine throughout):
In the past few decades, as political correctness has taken hold of virtually every industry, folks involved in sports and sportscasting that have made racist or sexist remarks on camera have typically been fired or forced to make public apologies.
Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder's termination by CBS back in 1988 is a fine example, with the recent two-week suspension of Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman being another.
Yet, given what happened on an Atlantic City dais on January 11, where a high-profile ESPN anchor went on an alcohol-induced tirade which included a vulgar reference to Jesus Christ, it appears public antitheism is not politically incorrect.
After all, until this moment, you probably hadn't heard about this incident, and the person involved apparently has not been publicly admonished for her behavior by her employer.
While you consider such a double standard, Press of Atlantic City reported on January 12 (h/t NB reader Andy Traynor, readers are warned that vulgarity and blasphemy appear after the jump):
Riled! Angry Romney Rips Reporter Sparks fly as Mitt Romney tells reporters lobbyists aren't running his campaign.
According to anyone else who has watched the video, theirs is a difficult assessment with which to agree.
As we stated when we posted the video last night (video below as well), the Associated Press' Glen Johnson angily interrupts Romney on the podium mid-sentence, already visibly flustered, and only proceeds to become more so as he tries to drive home the semantic difference between a campaign "run"ner and a campaign "adviser".
You don't suppose NewsBusters has become Matt Lauer's guilty pleasure; one having a salubrious effect on his thinking? The Today co-anchor this morning suggested an MSM double-standard on the Dem and GOP races and acknowledged the success of the surge.
Matt's guest during the first half-hour was Tim Russert, impressively fresh despite red-eyeing to NYC after moderating last night's Nevada debate. Lauer, after playing clips of the candidates' take on Iraq, suggested that the war is no longer the winning issue the Dems once thought it was.
MATT LAUER: How much of a tightrope are they walking with the apparent success of the surge over the last couple months, how difficult is it for these Democratic candidates to score points on Iraq right now?