On last night's Fox News Watch, Cal Thomas offered assessments of the way in which the independence of two of his fellow conservative commentators is viewed. While acknowledging that the two top-rated talkers have recently chided the administration, he suggested there is a perception that, by and large, the pair lack political autonomy.
In the context of a discussion of President Bush's efforts to shore up support among conservative radio talk show personalities, Thomas stated:
"Even Rush Limbaugh,whois seen as being in the pocket of the administration, has been critical of Republicans not being more like Republicans."
Air America is grasping for straws in some mighty odd places. A mass email from Air America host Thom Hartmann today touts the parallels between the plight of the bankrupt left-wing radio network and, of all things, Fox News Channel [FNC] and the Washington Times.
"There are times when doing the profitable thing is also doing the right thing. That's certainly what Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch thought when they lost an average of $90 million a year for about five years before the Fox News Channel became profitable."
The midterm elections are approaching and some members of the media are revving up their bias. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann recently suggested that President Bush might be as big a threat as the terrorists. This was only a day after referring to conservative talk show hosts who visited the White House as the "Legion of Doom." CNN’s Jack Cafferty wondered if Karl Rove is planning an "October surprise" to salvage the Republicans’ chances in the midterm elections.
The print media have also offered unrestrained attacks from the left. A "Washington Post" report described House Speaker Dennis Hastert appearance as "a cross between Wildford Brimley and Jabba the Hutt." Nothing quite like objectivity, huh? A former "New York Times" bureau chief recently characterized the Christian right as "fascist." Perhaps he’d been chatting with "Newsweek" columnist Jonathan Alter. Alter told Don Imus he hoped the country has seen the last of "values voters."
The "Today" show fawned over Barack Obama, describing him as "electrifying" and a "rock star." This was on the same day that they giddily predicted a "perfect storm" to wipe out the Republicans in the midterms. Another early AM program, CNN’s "American Morning"encouraged author David Kuo to call for Christians to boycott the upcoming election.
Reuters explains the latest mainstream meme, the public is "numb" to Iraq war deaths:
But with the U.S. military death toll hitting 2,787 on Friday, and with 73 deaths so far in October, it is shaping up to be the deadliest month for U.S. forces since the Falluja offensive two years ago.
Analysts said even local media coverage struggles to overcome the numbing affect of the steady flow of deaths.
One day after getting the celebrity treatment on "Today," Senator Barack Obama stopped by CNN’s "American Morning" to receive fawning questions from Soledad O’Brien. The big difference in the coverage is that while NBC's Meredith Vieira referred to Obama as a "rock star," O’Brien only mentioned that "some people say he is the brightest star in the Democratic Party." Isn’t it great when one media outlet differentiates itself from another? The morning host, who only mentioned Iraq and North Korea in passing, found time for particularly tough questions, including this hardball: "What’s your biggest fear?" Most of the anchor’s queries were of the short variety:
O’Brien: "Politics seems particularly mean these days."
O’Brien: "I think, we see partisanship that you see. And sort of, as you mentioned, in D.C. that you don't necessarily see in the American people. So why don't politicians get that?"
Oftentimes, many right-of-center folks just don't realize how powerful the media is at shaping public opinion. Usually, a media outlet's endorsement of a political person or point-of-view doesn't have that much of an impact. Where the media excel, however, is in creating negative perception.
Left-wingers are intimately aware of this ability, which is why so many of them choose to get into the media (why more conservatives don't is another question). Liberal journalists care very much about their objective pose and are loathe to admit this in most cases, which makes times like now all the more worth nothing as journalists talk about the "lesson" America learned during the Vietnam War and the Tet Offensive, a campaign mounted by the communist Vietnamese in which they failed to win militarily.
GREENSBORO, N.C., Oct. 18 -- President Bush said Wednesday that the current surge of violence in Iraq "could be" comparable to the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War, a succession of battles that became a milestone because it helped turn the American public against the conflict and its political leadership.
What the WaPo won't come right out and say is that it wasn't the Tet Offensive itself that had such a devastating effect upon civilian morale, it was the abjectly incompetent reporting of the event by American journalists.
On the 30th of September I wrote a post on Newsbusters about how the BBC is using their reporting on the Global War on Terror to advance their ideological bias against the war instead of merely reporting the facts of the news.
On the BBC website a segment called The Editors appeared on Oct. 2nd and raises this very posting of mine and makes an attempt to refute it.
Alistair Burnett (editor of "The World Tonight") made a weak attempt to nay say my point.
Is the BBC trying to make a political point when it uses the expression 'so-called War on Terror' or 'The Bush Administration's War on Terror' or 'the American-led War on Terror'?
Did publisher Simon & Schuster adjust its release schedule and rush into print a new book unflattering to the Bush administration to make an impact on the forthcoming mid-term elections? If the words of its author, David Kuo, are any indication, it's certainly a possibility.
In an interview today (Tuesday, October 17, 2006) on the Laura Ingraham radio show, Kuo was a guest in addition to prominent evangelical Chuck Colson. The suspicious timing of the release of Kuo's book was discussed. Here's the relevant exchange:
KUO: Maybe if I'm Laura Ingraham or Chuck Colson, I get to choose when my book comes out. As you guys know, someone else decides when that happens.
INGRAHAM: So you had no control over that. None.
KUO: If you look at my contract, when the book is released (sic), it's not when the book was released. All that being said (long 3-second pause) No, what I'm saying is, look - the contract that I signed was for the book to be released in early 2007.
The Sacramento Bee reports that the media can't get enough of Julia Wilson, the California teenager who was investigated by the Secret Service for her "kill Bush" MySpace page.
Once upon a time Julia Wilson dreamed of becoming the next Christina Aguilera, a pop star famous for glamour but not politics. Instead, she's become the next Cindy Sheehan, receiving global attention for displaying her anger at President Bush.
The story of the Sacramento teenager questioned last week by federal agents about her anti-Bush Web page has spread around the world, with newspapers in Egypt, China, Australia and Europe publishing articles about her and national television stations clamoring for interviews.
Never play poker against Claire Shipman. Anyone who can keep a straight face while claiming that 'Women's Voices. Women Vote' is "non-partisan" could surely bluff you out of a pot while sitting on a busted flush.
On this morning's Good Morning America, Shipman [or shall we call her 'DC Slim'?] narrated a segment spotlighting WVWV's efforts to get single women voters to the polls. Since it is obvious that single women lean heavily Dem, voting for Democrats by a more than 2/3 margin as Dem pollster Celinda Lake acknowledged, my BS-detector started screeching when I saw a straight-faced Shipman slip in her claim that WVWB is "non-partisan."
It's not the crime, it's the... coverup. The BBC is trying to prevent the release of a study that looks at its coverage for bias. Like corrupt government bureaucrats, the government-funded organization is trying to keep the Freedom of Information Act from releasing the study of charges of anti-Israeli bias. Ironically, this same Freedom of Information Act is what hard-charging BBC reporters use to expose government wrongdoing elsewhere.
The BBC has spent thousands of pounds of licence payers' money trying to block the release of a report which is believed to be highly critical of its Middle East coverage.
The corporation is mounting a landmark High Court action to prevent the release of The Balen Report under the Freedom of Information Act, despite the fact that BBC reporters often use the Act to pursue their journalism.
If the Republicans come out with a successful strategy to motivate Republicans you can expect the New York Times to be in favor of it, right? Yeah sure. Hence we get the pleasure of reading the New York Times love letter to Tony Snow in “Bush’s Press Secretary Is Raising Money, and Some Eyebrows.”
You can tell the New York Times is worried about Mr. Snow’s reputation. It only took 2 sentences for the reporter to inject the word conspiratorial into the article; all in jest of course. (all emphasis in all quotes mine).
Tony Snow draped his lanky frame across a wooden lectern, leaned forward and gazed out at 850 adoring Republicans who had paid $175 apiece to hear him speak. There was a conspiratorial gleam in his eye, as if he was about to reveal some deep inner secret from his new life as the White House press secretary.
No big deal of course; it’s just a simple play on words and I must be overly touchy so close to the looming Democrat takeover. But seriously, the New York Times must be fighting for filler. This is the silliest most contrived attempt at news blogging that I have seen in some time.
Is PBS too conservative? Is it "too balanced"? The radical leftists at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting have produced another stilted study of the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer accusing the show of presenting "virtually the same voices as corporate media, voices that overwhelmingly represent those in power rather than the public PBS is obliged to serve."
This study can be picked apart in many ways, but let’s start close to home, where they’ve made at least one obvious factual error. Authors Steve Rendall and Julie Hollar complain about the exclusion of "public interest groups" from the debate: "such groups, which ranged from progressive groups like the NAACP and Greenpeace to the conservative Federation for American Immigration Reform and Media Research Center – provided just 4 percent of NewsHour’s guests." MRC did not appear on the NewsHour in FAIR’s study period. We checked Nexis to double-check, even adding the Parents Television Council and CNSNews.com into the mix to see if our related groups were interviewed. No.
From MSNBC (Studds' party affiliation is mentioned only in reference to Mark Foley in this story):
First openly gay person elected to Congress dies
BOSTON - Former U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds, the first openly gay person elected to Congress, died early Saturday at Boston Medical Center, several days after he collapsed while walking his dog, his husband said.
Down below, MSNBC acknowledges the sex scandal that caused Congress to censure Studds:
Here's a familiar scenario: new management comes in to a media company and decides it needs to find ways to "re-engage" the audience.
How serious are they? Unless they take my advice (after the cut), probably not too much.
Newspapers are all looking for ways to gain readers, and many have hired consultants to help them. In an unusual twist, The Los Angeles Times is looking to chart its
future by using its own reporters and editors, who rank among the best
investigators in the business.
The Times is dedicating three investigative reporters and half a
dozen editors to find ideas, at home and abroad, for re-engaging the
reader, both in print and online. The newspaper’s editor, Dean Baquet,
and its new publisher, David Hiller, plan to convene a meeting today to
start the effort, which is being called the Manhattan Project. A report
is expected in about two months.
I'd like to thank Keith Olbermann of MSNBC for putting himself on my radar last week by naming the NewsBusters staff, and me personally, "Worst Persons in the World", a signal honor, usually reserved for the likes of Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh (and by the way, where's my trophy?).
Anyway, now that I'm aware of Mr. Olbermann and his little cable show, I found this quote of his in the Denver Post rather puzzling [emphasis added]:
"As a critic of the administration, I will be damned if you can get away with calling me the equivalent of a Nazi appeaser," Olbermann told The Associated Press. "No one has the right to say that about any free-speaking American in this country."
If you have a look at this NewsBusters item of mine, you'll note it is dated August 14th, 2006. It was, as noted there, the first one written after I "broke down" and subscribed to the New York Times 'Times Select' section that gives access to the work of its in-house columnists. In that historic first item, I wrote that in their pay-per-view columns, Paul Krugman and Bob Herbert had sounded the nearly-identical theme: that the Bush administration allegedly sees terrorism as something to be "exploited."
In the ensuing weeks, I wrote no fewer than 22 more NB pieces critical of items on the Times editorial page, the majority focusing on the work of the subscription-required columnists. A pretty good return on my investment, you'd have to say.
Traditional or "mainstream" media outlets continue to wither away in the face of never ending charges of liberal bias and attempts to indoctrinate America with the agenda of the left.
As these strong and meaningful changes are taking place opinion writers and pundits search for answers that will explain away the audience abandonment across the entire spectrum of traditional news outlets. Huge audience losses are being logged for network television news. Major newspaper and news magazine publications show significant decline in circulation numbers. Talk radio formats for the counter position to conservative talk have failed.
The only bright light on the news horizon seems to be The Fox News Channel...and it is the latest entry into cable news. Today, while celebrating its tenth year on the air, Fox News rightfully boasts it is the Number One cable news network. According to Glenn Garvin, writing for McClatchy Newspapers it has held this ranking...”for the past 58 months with an audience almost as big as its two main competitors combined. It took Fox News just five years to surpass MSNBC, with its powerful corporate backers, and CNN with its 16 year head start.” Garvin goes on to say that Fox News reached the 90 million-subscriber mark faster than any cable channel in history.
In today's DC Examiner, Olbermann Watch blogger Bob Cox sounds the alarm against what he (correctly) perceives as the conservative movement's failure to sufficiently become involved in creating the next generation of the internet. Now that the web has become a commodity, most conservatives have given up trying to be technology leaders, effectively allowing the left to create and control all of the major "web 2.0" resources like Technorati, Wikipedia, YouTube, and others.
The failure of the Dean campaign has led too many conservatives to dismiss technology leadership as an overhyped part of a political campaign. But that's only half the story. In truth, superb technology can never compensate for a bad candidate, but it can sure do wonders for one. And as part of a larger overall popular movement, technology is vital. For too long, conservatives have stood outside society's institutions clamoring for change. Isn't it about time that we went in?
In the waning days of Howard Dean’s abortive presidential campaign,
I met many of the talented folks who played a role in turning the Dean
Web site into a powerful fundraising tool that propelled an unknown
candidate into the national spotlight. At various blogging conferences
since, I have had the opportunity to observe many of these bright minds
strategizing on how to best leverage the emerging world of blogs and
other “social networking” services known as “Web 2.0” to advance their
liberal political agenda and win elections.
Their common refrain: “We need to own the Internet the way the right owns talk radio.”
got me wondering whether the online “conservative elite” was aware of
what the left had in mind and, if so, whether they were concerned.
Barry Hess, the Libertarian candidate for governor in Arizona is so upset with the "blatant and shameless" bias of his state's biggest newspaper, the Arizona Republic that he's embarking on a new effort to run ads--against the newspaper.
Judging from Hess's media bias section on his site, it seems his biggest complaint isn't necessarily about issues and more about that the paper's refusal to give coverage to other candidates besides the Democrat Janet Janet Napolitano and Republican Len Munsil. Still, this is the first time I've ever seen a candidate of any party want to run advertisements against a media outlet.
There is another interesting item in this story as well. Hess had an email exchange with Ken Western, the Republic's editorial page editor. In a reply to Hess after the candidate has expressed frustration with being called a "spoiler" by a Republic reporter, Western explicitly states that Hess should refrain from criticizing reporters since doing so will result in bad publicity for himself. Here's the relevant part of the page:
The headline from this Associated Press story reads, "Army: Troops to stay in Iraq until 2010." Yikes! The Army has decided that we need 141,000 troops in Iraq at least through 2010? Surely, this is a clear indication that the situation is much more dire than the American public has been lead to believe?
Actually, no. The information in the story doesn't match the headline.
It's not something you often see talked about but there's basically an unwritten assumption in national political circles that if you're a political liberal and you're also a reporter, you should be willing to be a "team player" and not admit that you even are one.
This point is important, you see, because conservatives are liars bent on "hurting America" (to use Jon Stewart's phrase), so anything that gives them comfort is something you should never do.
That attitude was very much on display in an online chat today with former Washington Post reporter Thomas Edsall. If you recall, Edsall was the one who caused a stir by admitting (to conservative talker Hugh Hewitt) the blatantly obvious fact that liberals dominate the national elite media. Everyone who has any sort of contact with the New York and DC press corps knows this. People who work for Democrats tell me it all the time.
But in the mind of some liberals, most of them journalists, this is something that should never be publicly talked about for fear that if "the little people" get wind of this fact, we won't believe the proposition that journalists are demigods who can invariably see past their personal and group biases. And if we don't believe that line from them, perhaps we'll begin to question the received wisdom we get from them on a daily basis. Maybe then, we might start realizing that what you believe is primarily shaped by the information you take in.
Now that the most recent scandal appears to be losing steam we should expect that the AP and others will return to reporting the news in an objective manner based on facts rather than speculation right? Wrong.
A news story that first circulated in 2004 is being put back into circulation because a researcher at Johns Hopkins has updated a study that was originally panned because of its high margin of error.
In all the media fuss about whether the GOP House leadership knew about former representative Mark Foley's behavior, hardly anyone in the press seems interested in whether Democrats knew about the story and declined to expose Foley's conduct, thus "putting at risk" the congressional pages in the way we constantly hear that Speaker Hastert and others did.
Turns out, Democrats did know about Foley's antics. According to Ken Silverstein, a writer for the liberal Harper's magazine, he was approached with the story way back in the month of May--by a Democrat.
House Majority Leader John Boehner has charged that the release of
the Foley documents so close to the elections “is concerning, at a
minimum.” Meanwhile, accounts I've heard about the FBI's initial
inquiries suggest the bureau is as interested in uncovering how the
story came to public attention as it is in investigating Foley's
On FNC's two-hour Sunday special (8-10pm EDT) to mark the channel's tenth anniversary, former CBS News and MSNBC executive Erik Sorenson articulated what the AP's David Bauder last week paraphrased him as acknowledging: How New York-based news media executives were so out of touch that they did not recognize the depth of belief in liberal media bias into which FNC tapped. “There was a full-on commitment” to the “fair and balanced” premise, Sorenson proposed during FNC's special, Fox News at 10: Thank You America, in explaining FNC's success: “There were far more people in America who seemed to hold that opinion of the liberal media bias than anyone in New York City -- the media capital of the world -- had estimated."
As detailed in an October 2 NewsBusters posting, Bauder had reported: “Before Fox, many in the media scoffed at the notion of a liberal bias and figured only a handful of people really believed that, said Erik Sorenson, former MSNBC President. 'Fox proved it's a much larger group than anybody realized,' he said.”
This past week, the media hyperventilated over two developing scandals: Congressman Mark Foley, and Bob Woodward's "State of Denial." ABC, CBS and NBC produced 103 stories on the Foley scandal, quite a bit more time then was devoted to Democratic sex scandals. The "Today" show’s Matt Lauer joined with Tim Russert to slam Speaker Hastert and the GOP. Lauer also contributed to the fawning over Bob Woodward and his new book. The MRC’s Brent Baker noted that Woodward has mocked the President’s intellect in the past.
Speaking of journalists with huge egos, Chris Matthews, yet again, displayed his partisan leanings by defending Robert ‘KKK’ Byrd, claiming that Bush "won’t tell the truth" about Iraq, and praising Clinton for his anti-Fox News rant. Perhaps he should rename his show, "Hardball...For Republicans."
And to think, it was just a few days ago that the former president of MSNBC stated, prior to Fox News, "many in the media scoffed at the notion of a liberal bias." Would this not be the best time to mention that leftist MSNBC host Keith Olbermann recently called Roger Ailes a "fat ass?"
MRC's Rich Noyes has calculated the number of Mark Foley/Will Hastert Quit? stories for Week One of the scandal on ABC, CBS, and NBC morning and evening news programs, from last Friday night, September 29, through Friday morning, October 6. So for evening shows, it's Friday to Thursday. For morning shows, it's Saturday through Friday. (One or two evening stories and a smattering of morning stories are brief anchor updates.)The number's a little shocking: 103 stories. It breaks down like this:
-- ABC: Good Morning America, 23 stories; World News, 15 stories
-- CBS: The Early Show, 17 stories; Evening News, 11 stories
The New York Times has finally taken note of the activities of those who support Islamist Jihad (including many right here in the US) and upload Islamist propaganda to the popular YouTube video hosting site:
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5 — Videos showing insurgent attacks against American troops in Iraq, long available in Baghdad shops and on Jihadist Web sites, have steadily migrated in recent months to popular Internet video-sharing sites, including YouTube and Google Video.
Many of the videos, showing sniper attacks against Americans and roadside bombs exploding under American military vehicles, have been posted not by insurgents or their official supporters but apparently by Internet users in the United States and other countries, who have passed along videos found elsewhere.
John F. Harris explores the role of the "new media" in politics in a Friday front-page story related to his new book "How to Win." Bill Clinton told Harris that they expect the (liberal) old media to crush the new media, as Kerry expected the old media to defeat the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth:
Democrats of his generation tend to be naive about new media realities. There is an expectation among Democrats that establishment old media organizations are de facto allies -- and will rebut political accusations and serve as referees on new-media excesses.
"We're all that way, and I think a part of it is we grew up in the '60s and the press led us against the war and the press led us on civil rights and the press led us on Watergate," Clinton said. "Those of us of a certain age grew up with this almost unrealistic set of expectations."