Update: Links to other blogger reactions at bottom of post.
Bernard Shaw, the former CNN reporter and Washington, D.C. anchor, told WTTW Channel 11 in Chicago that he's "very, very disappointed with the way news management" at CNN "has gone," reports TVSpy.com. He further complained that Fox News Channel is "the ratings leader ... and what Fox puts on the air is not news." Fox, in Shaw's view, is "commentary, personal analysis."
"I don't want to hear an anchor's personal opinion about anything. Just report the news," said Shaw. "But CNN continues to ape many of the on-air mannerisms of the Fox News Network, and I don't like that." This doesn't match his record. More on that in a moment.
Ford's protracted sales slump continued in May, while every other major automaker showed gains:
DETROIT — Toyota Motor Corp.'s U.S. vehicle sales jumped 14.1 percent in May to its best monthly level ever and General Motors Corp.'s sales rose 9.7 percent, helping boost industry sales 5 percent, as both automakers credited in part the appeal of their more fuel-efficient offerings amid high gas prices.
For the second month this year, Toyota outsold Ford Motor Co., which saw sales fall 6.9 percent as it continued to cut low-profit sales to rental companies. Nissan Motor Co.'s sales gained 7.4 percent, DaimlerChrysler AG's sales rose 3.9 percent and American Honda Motor Co. rose 2.5 percent.
Even factoring in the change in sales to rental companies, the article goes on to say that Ford's retail sales were still down 3%.
As he did last month, George Pipas of Ford tried an advance PR stunt that fizzled, but left less-than-close observers thinking that the company might be doing better than it really is:
Surely you've heard the phrase "out of left field" when something is part of a discussion yet it makes no sense to be included? In this case, I have an example of leftist sentiment slamming Richard Nixon at the end of a story that has nothing to do with modern political "sides." It strikes one as quite odd to be where it is. When you see it, you'll cock your head and say, "What the heck is THAT all about"?
You know what I mean, I am sure. It's jarring when someone in the media is talking sports and then suddenly takes a jab at Bush, or when they're talking about fashion and they abruptly throw in a crack at those "evil conservatives", always when it is quite off topic. It makes you go "huh?" It makes you wonder if their hatred of the right is so ginned up in their tiny little minds that they cannot even talk about movies and sports without taking shots their political enemies -- and those enemies are us, folks.
This particular head spinning "Huh?" is in a story in the UK's Telegraph titled, "One filing cabinet held 500 years of history." This is a story that has nothing to do with politics per se, yet this UK paper can't resist a shot at an American Republican. The slam is completely gratuitous and makes no sense in context to the story.
Barbara Miner of the Milwaukee Journal, Sentinel has written one of the funniest anti-gun screeds I've seen in a long, long time. Oh, she didn't MEAN to be funny, of course. But, her article gave the effect of seeing a 40-year-old white guy trying to chant the lyrics to a popular rap music tune to look cool to his eye rolling kids. Her rambling little column was so filled with unintentionally funny moments, was so clueless in its lack of introspection and so completely absurd that one would have thought the link at the Milwaukee Journal, Sentinel website had accidentally taken you to the satirical website, "The Onion".
Now, I have always been somewhat confused when leftists are being unintentionally funny. Do we laugh and be mean at their utter cluelessness, or do we feel sorrow and pity instead of mirth? How should we feel, for instance, when Keith Olbermann pretends that he is giving pertinent commentary, or when Babs Streisand acts as if she is to be taken seriously... or anytime we even see Cindy Sheehan doing, well, anything. So, when I read this anti-gun piece so chock full of absurdity, I was torn as to how to feel about it.
Ah, who am I kidding? I laughed like a hyena at how foolish this liberal chick is. I mean, what planet is this woman from?
In answer to Mark Finkelstein's question here on Newsbusters, "How Will MSM Take on Thompson?", we may be seeing some possible angles of attack warming up. I won't claim to know the definitive answer, but Mark's question got me to taking an occasional look to see how the MSM is approaching Senator Fred Thompson and I think that we might be seeing a few trial balloons on that subject.
Balloon #1 - Thompson is a traitor
As I chronicled in my last Newsbusters piece about New York Times TV writer, Alessandra Stanley, who poked at the good Senator over his leaving the TV show upon which he played a part, one line of attack says that Fred Thompson is not to be trusted because he is letting down the producers of the TV show. Since the show is in ratings trouble, his leaving looks like some sort of traitorous move as far as Stanley is concerned... not that anyone ELSE sees it, of course.
In the MSM world of NBC, the only "rights" groups are liberal ones. And Supreme Court justices, at least women ones, are there to serve as advocates for their sex.
That was evident from the segment "Today" ran this morning, focusing on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The gist was that with Sandra Day O'Connor gone, it's a lonely struggle for Ginsburg as the high court's sole woman. "Today" portrayed that struggle not between liberals and conservatives, but between conservatives and various "rights" groups.
Campbell Brown introduced the segment.
'TODAY' WEEKEND TODAY CO-HOST CAMPELL BROWN: One thing as clear as the Court moves into its final weeks of the current session, it is much different place with just one female place among nine high court justices."
Proving that few people in the entertainment industry can tell the difference between reality and fantasy and in a perfect example of why people who write about entertainment should stay away from the topic of politics, The New York Times today has let lose one of the silliest, most confused political "editorials" yet published about Senator Fred Thompson's possible run for the White House. Fitting the he's-only-an-actor mode of considering his potential candidacy, TV writer Alessandra Stanley compounds a prosaic dismissal of the man with a complete inability to keep straight in her head which Fred Thompson she is talking about; the REAL Senator from Tennessee or the character he plays on a popular TV show.
Valerie Plame Wilson claims her life was ruined, her career ended, and national security possibly compromised because her CIA employ was made public, but of course she now wants to cash in with a memoir.
The CIA, for good reason, wants to make sure nothing that compromises national security gets published, and now Plame is literally making a federal case out of that, suing over CIA objections that her dates of employ are and should remain classified.
A funny thing happened during the search for gun control.
Entering the keywords “gun control” at the search engine Dogpile returned the warning: “You've entered a Web search term that is likely to contain adult content.” From there, you have two choices: click on the link which allows you to “View Unfiltered Dogpile Web results with Adult Content” or select the link with “No Adult Content”.1
An examination of “adult content” results does bring up a message at the top of the page: “View adult results provided by DestinationXXX.com.”2 The search also returned 76 links on May 28, 2007, none of which, besides this reference to Destination XXX, were adult content. An inquiry to Dogpile resulted in this response:
Demonstrating the insular liberal world of New York public television, PBS late-night talk show host Charlie Rose hosted an interview for Al Gore in front of a very supportive draft-Gore-for-president audience at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan and then made it his Friday night national television broadcast. He asked Gore if the election was stolen in Florida, if Gore would consider running in 2008 now that he's speaking his mind freely without consultants, and how the network news elite has played a part in "The Assault on Reason."
The whole thing had the air of Bravo's Inside the Actors Studio, with Charlie Rose playing James Lipton and a supportive audience bathing the guest in adulation. Rose began with an effusive tribute, reading purple prose about how right he is on the issues and how graciously accepted defeat in 2000 (apparently leaving out the six weeks of desperate pleading and lawyering?) from two liberal columnists from The Washington Post and a liberal venture capitalist:
In an interview on Monday’s edition of “Democracy Now” on radical (and taxpayer-supported) Pacifica Radio, host Amy Goodman relayed listener questions to Cindy Sheehan on her self-pitying Withdrawal from Politics tour. We learned again that Sheehan will not run for office: “I have been asked by the Green Party to run for president, but, you know, that’s not anything that I want.” (Imagine what Hillary Clinton would try to do to a female third-party threat. Eek.)
It was funnier when Goodman passed along a question from left wing “PR Watch” guru John Stauber: “What is your opinion of MoveOn and the role it played in the recent congressional debate over war funding?” Sheehan found it hilarious that the “corporate media” would categorize MoveOn as part of the “antiwar left.” So where the devil on the ideological spectrum is it? She said:
On May 29th a Catholic Priest from Chicago's St. Sabina Church joined a rally in front of a gun shop and called for the owner of the shop and all pro-gun legislators to be "snuffed out", yet, the media is strangely silent on the "Father's" extreme comments -- words one would think would be explosive enough to get media coverage. Father Michael Pfleger, known the city over for his overt political activism, made the obscene comments while demonstrating with Jesse Jackson and his Organization Operation Push in front of Chuck's Gun Shop in Riverdale, a Chicago suburb.
This from the Capitol Fax Blog (one of Illinois' best political sites):
Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina’s Church, went way over the top this week. During a protest against Chuck’s Gun Shop, Father Pfleger twice threatened to “snuff out” the shop’s owner and threatened the same fate for legislators who oppose his position on gun control.
“We’re gonna find you and snuff you out,” Fleger said about the gun shop owner, likening the man to a “rat.” He later repeated his threat to “snuff out” the owner.
Is "Early Show" anchor Harry Smith stumping for an Al Gore presidency? On the May 30 edition of the show, it appeared like he did as he tried to place a "Gore 2008" pin on the former vice president’s suit. Before a tee ball interview, Smith demonstrated his desire for a Gore presidency to co-anchor Hannah Storm.
Based on its own ABC poll, "Good Morning America" could have run a segment this morning on the theme "support for universal coverage slipping as Americans express increased concern for keeping taxes down." But that wouldn't have fit ABC's big-government paradigm. So instead, GMA used this prescription for pushing universal health care:
Cherry-pick results from a poll you've conducted; ignoring inconvenient findings.
Bring in a spokesman from a left-wing group that pushes universal care.
Uncritically rely on a clip from, yes, Michael Moore's latest propa-mentary, "Sicko."
Today's "Good Morning America" took Barack Obama's announcement yesterday of his health care proposal as a jumping-off point for a segment on the broader issue. Co-host Diane Sawyer flashed a graphic showing that according to an ABC News poll, 56% of Americans favor Universal health coverage. What Diane didn't tell you: the number of people backing universal coverage has dipped since ABC last conducted such a poll, when support was at 62%.
Diane Vadino, travel writer for MSN, seems to be just as disgusted by Americans who travel abroad as those foreigners whom she quotes in hers titled "How American Travelers Are Viewed Abroad: The U.K.". Vadino revels in the "ugly American" stereotype and seeks out all the Brits she can find to validate her point. She even "apologizes" to an Iraqi for the evil of U.S. foreign policy on her visit to England.
In what woefully promises to be the “first in a series”, Vadino wonders, “Which affects British perceptions more: Stereotypes of the ‘ugly American’ or our country’s foreign policy? Or is something else at play?”
I can only imagine how often Vadino will say how much we are hated because of our foreign policy in this series, but whatever is to come this first segment is chock full of hating Americans by Brits… even as they are happy to eat our fast food, watch our movies and listen to our music not to mention take our money.
Editor's Note (May 29 | 14:35 EDT): Reaction from AP's Minnesota news editor added at bottom of post.
May 28 Note: See the Update below, which notes different timing, but no change to the fundamental premise of this post.
That there has been no love lost between the Associated Press and leading center-right blog Powerline for quite some time is not exactly a secret. The mutual distaste goes back at least as far as the 2004 presidential campaign, when Powerline caught AP reporter Scott Lindlaw telling others that his "mission" was to see that George Bush would not be reelected, and exposed the AP's Jennifer Loven's conflict of interest in reporting environmental stories while her husband was the Kerry campaign's environmental consultant.
At the MRC, we work to make bias history. In the media, they’ve learned to bias history – even Military History.
The magazine by the same name has gone left. How far, as Johnny Carson fans would say? So far that the June issue included several letters skewering it for the “outrageous” switch from a balanced historical publication to another left-wing political outlet.
On a weekend where we honor our warriors past and present, it’s important to note that the left does not. And now they have taken their propaganda to a whole new audience and are trying to alter not just the future, but the past.
I’ve read MH for more than a decade and was infuriated with the magazine’s April issue. It included a Q&A with left-wing Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), a piece mocking the lessons learned from the Alamo, and an article about Napoleonic Spain that somehow included a discussion of the current war in Iraq.
For those who prefer their news fair and balanced instead of imbalanced and biased, the demise of the Big 3 networks' evening newscasts can't come quickly enough. Though their imminent end seems unlikely (see the reasons at the end of this post), the latest May sweep results strongly indicate that their march towards irrelevance may be completed sooner than originally thought.
All the happy talk at evening news sweep winner ABC should not obscure the fact that over 6% fewer Americans watched the evening newscasts during the May 2007 sweep than did during the May 2006 sweep, and that the combined May 2007 sweep results are barely above those achieved during what was described last summer as the "Low-Water Mark for Broadcast TV Viewing":
Reuters wants us to know that Republican Senators who block honors for “environmentalist pioneers” are bad but they don’t want to just come right out and say so, of course. So, they write a story that presents the environut in question as akin to a saint and the Republican Senator as somehow “arbitrary” and mean. This particular story from Reuters is a classic example of advocacy on the sly by presenting the “wrong” side of the issue as the uninformed or mean protagonist to the innocent and well meaning good guys.
In question is an honorific for what many imagine is the Godmother of the environut movement, Rachel Carson, the woman responsible for destroying the reputation of DDT, a life-saving insecticide that once helped control a killer called malaria all over the world. A resolution to honor Carson’s 100th birthday was to be introduced by Maryland’s Democrat Senator Ben Cardin, but Cardin put the brakes on his plans when it became clear that Senator Tom Coburn (R, OK) would use Senate rules to oppose the effort.
The Associated Press imagines itself a “news” organization. Ordinarily, “news” does not convey opinion, but only facts… at least that’s the ideal. That being the general understanding of what comprises news, it is interesting when we at Newsbusters find odd bits of opinion encased inside any particular AP “news” story. But, it is really odd to find a story that is predicated almost entirely on opinion. Such is the case with the AP’s ”Frozen federal tax on gasoline leading to more toll roads, higher state fuel taxes”, a story that bemoans the fact that Federal gasoline taxes have stayed stagnant for 14 years.
Why is the AP worried about stagnant Federal gas taxes? Because the “falling” revenue prevents high spending on roads and bridges by the states. The AP worries that “A cash crunch is fast approaching for the government trust fund that pays to build and repair highways and bridges” and broadly hints that the taxes must be raised to save our roads.
Brent Bozell, President of the Media Research Center, appeared Fox News Channel Thursday morning to discuss the recent radio controversies, such as Don Imus’ firing and XM Radio’s suspension of Opie and Anthony, who had joked on air about violently raping Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Bozell argued that such vile speech plainly crosses a line, but at the same time defended the need to have unfettered political speech from both the Left and Right.
Referring to left-wing campaign to go after talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Bozell warned: “We also have to be very cognizant that there are some people who are playing games,” using the pretense of “decency” to suppress political speech.
The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABC News.com.
For the second time in two days, "Good Morning America" co-anchor Diane Sawyer interviewed Al Gore about his thesis that the media are obsessed with celebrity, while "politicians are heard in sound bites." That point may be undercut by the fact that, by Tuesday, the ex Vice President has received 15 and a half minutes of air time to complain about the subject.
After prompting Gore to compare Americans to chickens on a farm, the co-host allowed herself to be interrogated and challenged over how the media operates. But first, Sawyer and GMA helped Gore along with his analogy that Americans are like frightened chickens in the way they allow themselves to be manipulated:
Sawyer: "You even talk about chickens when, when you were young and on the farm, that you could hypnotize chickens this way."
Clip of 50s instructional video: "It's no trick to keep a chicken from straying through the fence if you know how."
It has been over three weeks since the fundamental claim of the "Food Stamp Challenge" was debunked, first by Mona Charen in her syndicated column, then in more detail by yours truly (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog). Yet the "Food Stamp Challenge" has spread.
As noted in this NPR report from April 23, it all started in Oregon. That state's governor, Ted Kulongoski, joined in and put on quite a show, getting plenty of Old Media attention (Associated Press; New York Times [may require free registration]) as he tried to buy a week's worth of groceries with $21, because that was said to be what "the state’s average food stamp recipient spends weekly on groceries."
The Challenge's claim that the average Food Stamp recipient's benefit of $21 per person per week is all that beneficiaries have available for purchasing food is incorrect, as anyone visiting the USDA's web site could have learned very easily.
As I noted in late April, the Food Stamp Program’s "Fact Sheet on Resources, Income and Benefits" provides a table of "Maximum Monthly Allotments" (i.e., benefits), and says the following about benefit levels (bold is mine; I converted the Monthly Allotments to weekly allotments per person by dividing by the average number of weeks in a month [4.345], and then by the number of people):
The left never ceases to amaze and confound an honest man. As we have seen reported on Newsbusters, Jimmy Carter called President George W. Bush the “worst” president in history then lied about it claiming that his words were "careless or misinterpreted.” Carter was seen on the "Today" show trying to get the nation to imagine he didn’t really say what he said attempting to make it seem as if the newspaper that first reported his outrageous, intemperate language had somehow gotten it wrong. In essence, Carter was trying to make it out as if the paper was doing the lying, not him.
The newspaper, however, can prove without the shadow of a doubt that it is Carter who is lying. He did say what was first reported and there is no “carelessness” or “misinterpretation” over his words.
The fact that a former president is caught in a bald faced lie should be big news. You’d think the MSM would be all over the lies of a man who lost his office in one of the biggest landslide elections in history. Yet, here we have Editor & Publisher compounding Carter’s lies by assisting him to avert the subject from his own culpability and to reinforce the “Bush is worst” theme Carter was trying to develop in the first place by obfuscating the fact that Carter was caught in a straight out lie.
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program extended its habit of offering copious amounts of time to Democratic political contenders. GMA devoted 10 and a half minutes of coverage to promote former Vice President Al Gore and his new book, "The Assault on Reason."
This is the same network that, in March, featured 30 minutes of softball questions with Senator Hillary Clinton in a "town hall" style meeting, a campaign gift that the network has yet to offer to a Republican presidential candidate.
The May 21 segment contained an odd disconnect as Gore proceeded to accuse the media of focusing on unserious, silly subjects and Diane Sawyer mostly accepted, or did not disagree with criticism of the medium. The ABC host prefaced a question about the former Vice President losing weight by saying, "But to dig not-very deep, once again, at my peril here-" Gore proceeded to interrupt and hector Ms. Sawyer over wondering about such things. "Well, listen to you. Listen to you," Gore began.He continued:
Trying to stir trouble for Rush Limbaugh this morning over his "Magic Negro" parody about Barack Obama, "Today" relied on misleading comments from a left-wing outfit without bothering to mention its highly-partisan orientation. NewsBuster Noel Sheppard had given readers a heads-up about the story on Saturday.
NBC's Michael Okwu narrated the segment, aired during the second half-hour of this morning's show. He began by harkening back to Don Imus's MSNBC career-ending comments about the Rutger's women's basketball team. Fretted Okwu: "which leads some to wonder: has Limbaugh been getting a free pass?" Okwu described the creator of the parody [Paul Shanklin] as a "white" political satirist.
Sometimes you read something by a member of the MSM that is just so elitist, someone whose arrogance is so amazing, that it is hard to believe it was written by a member of a democratic society.
We MSM watchdogs love to poke our fingers in the eyes of the homogeneously leftist elitists in the media establishment assailing them for their pervasive assumptions of their own superiority. We don’t often, however, get to see them come right out and say that they truly do think they are better and smarter then the rest of us mere commoners. Usually they are sly enough not to show their arrogance so obviously, leaving it unsaid but broadly hinted at. But, once in a while their egos get the better of them and they let that upturned nose snort just enough at the rest of us to let us know where our “place” in life is.
Well before the Media Research Center was conceived in 1987, the Gipper was watching the media's liberal biases and recording his "frustration with the press," Allen noted:
One of the dominant themes is his frustration with the press.
April 22, 1982: “Last night CBS did a special 1 hour documentary (Bill Moyers) on 4 cases of poverty and illness they laid to our ec. program. It was a thoroughly dishonest, demagogic, cheap shot.”
March 11, 1983: “Lou Cannon’s story in the Washington Post. It was a vicious series of falsehoods and I was mad as h—l.” (The lead of the front-page story, written with David Hoffman, was: “The resignation of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Anne M. Burford was carefully orchestrated by White House and other administration officials who had to persuade a ‘stubborn and defiant’ President Reagan, as well as Burford, that her departure was politically essential, administration sources said yesterday.”)
Oct. 30, 1983: “Watched the Sunday talk shows – subject Lebanon & Grenada. The press is trying to give this the Vietnam treatment but I don’t think the people will buy it. They’re still whining because we didn’t take them on a guided tour the 1st day we were on Grenada. No mention of the fact that we’ve flown 180 of them onto the Island today.”