Today's CNN.com carries the AP story "'Daily Show' humor befuddles governor." The article centers on Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who made a recent appearance on the program and now claims he didn't realize it is a spoof. "'It was going to be an interview on contraceptives ... that's all I knew about it,' Blagojevich laughingly told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in a story for Thursday's editions. 'I had no idea I was going to be asked if I was 'the gay governor.'"
Blagojevich, who is running for reelection this year, is not identified in the CNN/AP article as a Democrat. Yet the same show also featured an appearance by an Illinois state legislator. He is identified as a Republican.
Here in Annapolis, Maryland, local, state, and national media
remained silent while Democrats in the General Assembly quietly
overrode no less than three vetos by Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich,
making Maryland's voting laws the least transparent and most liberal in
the nation. From local and state news sources, not a word was breathed.
From the national media, including, even, Fox News... Nothing!
Only author and WSJ columnist John Fund seems to have noted Maryland's radical moves towards their new "vote early and often" elections policy. As Fund aptly notes:
It should normally be difficult to
pick the worst state legislature in America, but Maryland's is way out
in front. First it overrode GOP Gov. Bob Ehrlich's veto of a special
health-care tax on Wal-Mart. Democratic legislators then passed three
election-related bills and again mustered the necessary three-fifths
votes to overturn his vetoes. Together the election laws would so
weaken safeguards against voter fraud as to make Maryland the nation's
prime example of Election Day irresponsibility.
Ex-ABCer Josh Gerstein reports in the New York Sun on the struggles of Al Gore's cable channel, named Current TV. We not only learn it's not widespread enough to be studied for ratings, but that it has an unsurprising liberal bias, a potentially Tipper-shocking appetite for raunch, and a legal problem: those greedheads at Minnesota Public Radio are taking them to court over the "Current" name. First, Gerstein's report on the liberal bias:
The network's staff is clearly wary about the channel being perceived as political. Mr. Gore is not an on-air presence. According to a question-and-answer posting on the channel's Web site, it is "absolutely not" a requirement that videos present a Democratic Party viewpoint.
Not to be outdone by their liberal brethren in the printed press and TV mediums, AOL has once again loaded the web site's home page with another "We hate Bush, too!" headline, followed by those ever-present yet predictable AOL poll questions.
Centering around the recent political upheaval of the impending sale (6.8 billion dollars) and takeover of the operation of 6 American ports by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Dubai Ports World specifically, today's AOL Home page hopefully asks : "Is His PowerFading Away?" placed alongside a head-drooping and cryptic silhouette of what can only be President Bush. The sentence below then reads: “Bush Faces More Challenges," whereupon clicking on it brings one to a battery of poll questions in a section that AOL calls "The Daily Pulse"
When Progress for America tried to air a commercial with Minnesota veterans defending U.S. war policy in Iraq, they soon found their money was no good at KSTP - Channel 5. What was the offending remark in the ad that caused this censorship?
The message contains the idea "That the media only reports the bad news" and "you would never know it from the news reports, but the enemy in Iraq is al Qaeda."
This is over the line for KSTP, who believes the statements to be untrue. "That, says [General Manager Rob] Hubbard, is plainly false. He points out that both KSTP and ABC, its parent network, have reported on the Iraqi elections, progress concerning reconstruction of the country, and the reopening of its schools--all of which qualifies as 'good' news. 'When someone is watching our news, we're "the media."' Hubbard explains. 'We know that [the claim in the advertisement] is inaccurate as it relates to us.'"
Apparently they believe it is inaccurate as it relates to all media, because the commercial never mentioned KSTP. I looked through the KSTP Web site to see all these examples of reporting "good news". I couldn't find a single story, perhaps they could point us toward some of this work. For instance, an article about the Iraqi elections opines:
Editors at The Oregonian talked about the issue but gave little consideration to publishing the cartoons that have sparked violence across the world. They reasoned that sharing the cartoon was not necessary for readers to understand the story.
"We have every right and an ability to publish the cartoons," says Therese Bottomly, managing editor for news. "But that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do."
Bottomly says the newspaper could convey the content of the cartoons to readers without also offending readers. She likened it to the newspaper's avoidance of the "N" word; the racial slur can be described without repeating it.
Staff Writer Ted Vaden of the News & Observer hits Rush Limbaugh for reading a "satirical" article about the Dick Cheney shooting. The crux of the argument is that everyone should have known that the article was satirical. Have a look at the article in question for yourself. Do you see "Satire" at the top? Is there a disclosure to note that fake news follows?
Limbaugh read about half the column over the air. But he left out the half that made clear that the N&O columnist was satirizing the Cheney affair. Not quoted, for instance, was this line: "When obstinate countries declare their unwillingness to negotiate with Secretary of State Condi Rice, all we have to do is roll out Deadeye Dick."
So it was that line that was supposed to clue us all in that it was a fake article? It reads just like any other moonbat column to me. 500 people responded to the article, all failing to pick it up as "satire."
Here are some tips for other journalists wanting to practice writing fake news:
If you print fake news "satire" where truthful facts should reside, don't be surprised when it comes back to bite you.
If you want to risk the credibility of your newspaper on making a political point, there is no need to ask later what happened to your credibility and subscriber base.
You can act like The Daily Show but you won't get their accolades, age group or the ratings that they have, and you aren't even close to being as funny.
The Programme Complaints Committee of the BBC looked into charges that one of its news reports was unfair towards the Conservative Party. Almost a year after the broadcast, the committee has ruled that the story did indeed breach "the guidelines on accuracy and impartiality."
According to a Friday BBC story, "Governors said rules were broken when Harri said the then Conservative leader was booed, but did not mention the same thing had happened to Tony Blair."
The reporter in question is Guto Harri, who now peddles his fair and balanced reporting as BBC's North American correspondent.
The Associated Press issued a somewhat peculiar story this afternoon. The story? Rush Limbaugh made an error. Yup. Rush apparently mistook the fact that Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is a white man and not black, as he had announced on the air. According to the story, Limbaugh received e-mails from listeners correcting him. "Uh, Sherrod Brown's a white guy? Then I'm confusing him with somebody. OK, I'm sorry," Limbaugh is quoted as saying.
And ... this ... is ... news? I'm ... confused. That the Associated Press would find this episode newsworthy is almost weird.
Many posters at Free Republic are equally bewildered. "Must be a slow news day for the AP?" wondered one. My favorite: "The AP finds the speck in Rush's eye but ignores the log in theirs."
Longtime CBS and CNN political reporter Bruce Morton is retiring, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer announced after Morton filed his last piece (on the changing significance of the vice presidency) shortly before 5pm EST on Thursday’s The Situation Room.
“Beyond his years of solid, hard news reporting, Bruce brings something very special to television journalism, a truly unique voice, smart and wry, with a perspective you could only get by covering politics for five decades,” Blitzer enthused. “When we need a certain kind of piece we immediately know is Bruce material, ‘Morton-esque,’ as many of us like to say right here.”
In case you didn't see it on the MRC home page, Vaughn Ververs from the "Public Eye" blog at CBSNews.com offered us space this week in their weekly "Outside Voices" feature. Their blog was set up in the wake of Rathergate to demonstrate more "transparency" or CBS news-making and also serve as "a forum for debate, a conversation about the news between the people who produce it and the people who consume it."
I tried to offer the CBS News staff and the wider media community a small sense of how we answer the questions and critiques we've received over the almost 20 years the MRC has been taping and transcribing and exposing. One accusation, an indirect attack from Bill Moyers, suggested conservative media critics want right-wing unanimity with no disturbing liberal counter-argument:
Bob Ehrlich, Republican Governor of Maryland, retaliated against the reporting of two Baltimore Sun reporters by barring all state employees from talking to them. The paper sued in federal court, claiming the First Amendment rights of reporter David Nitkin and columnist Michael Olesker were being violated. A lower court refused to hear their case, and a higher court ruled in favor of the governor.
4th Circuit judges J. Michael Luttig, Paul Niemeyer and William B. Traxler Jr. said they could not accept the newspaper's argument that the governor's directive "created a chilling effect any different from or greater than that experienced by The Sun and by all reporters in their everyday journalistic activities."
The White House press corps is completely fair to Republicans and not only that Helen Thomas was "never, never" accused of being biased while she was a reporter.
That at least seems to be the view from the fishbowl of the veteran reporter-turned-columnist who sounded off in a highly contentious interview yesterday with radio host Hugh Hewitt. (Transcript and audio available at Radio Blogger.)
"I worked for United Press International for more than fifty years, and I wrote straight copy. I was never, never accused of bias," Thomas said. "I did not bow out of the human race. I permitted myself to care, to believe, to think. But I assure you, I assure you that it did not get in my copy."
Thomas also refused to state whether she disliked President Bush and became increasingly agitated at Hewitt's tough questioning. (Only Republican presidents deserve hard questions, after all.) More quotes below the fold.
Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report today highlights a recent SFGATE.com article written by Matea Gold of the LA Times entitled Critics slam Cheney's interview choice. As predicted, the assualt on the Vice President, who waited approximately 24 hours before making an official announcement over the shooting incident this past weekend, has modified somewhat to include an assault on Fox News as well:
For days, the White House news corps has pounded the Bush administration, demanding to learn more about Vice President Dick Cheney's accidental shooting of a hunting companion Saturday.
An unsuspecting viewer watching this morning's Today show would have thought Fox News failed to disclose that VP Cheney, during his interview with Brit Hume, acknowledged having a beer at lunch on the day of the shooting incident.
But when it comes to the MSM, it pays to be 'suspecting.'
Here's how NBC White House reporter Kelly O'Donnell artfully chose her words:
"The official White House transcript of the interview shows Cheney said 'I had a beer at lunch.' Fox News did not show that particular clip during Brit Hume's program."
I was jarred by O'Donnell's statement since, having watched "Brit Hume's program" - Special Report - I was certain I had heard reference to the mid-day beer. And sure enough, a transcript of Special Report confirms it:
The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz today offers up an analysis of why Vice President Cheney chose Brit Hume -- and only Brit Hume -- to go public with the details of his hunting accident. This, of course, will be the next phase of the media's assault on the Vice President's character, which is about to become an assault on the character of Fox News as well; why would the Vice President forgo a press conference for an in-depth interview with just one person.
Former Clinton spokesman, Mike McCurry said this of Hume:
Hume was "impartial and balanced and fair" as an ABC correspondent covering Clinton, but that "he's in advocacy journalism now."
I suppose that quoting Al Franken for evidence of liberal media bias is, if you'll excuse the expression, like shooting fish in a barrel.
Nevertheless, perhaps it's useful for the archives to record one of Franken's remarks this evening in the course of his appearance on MSNBC's 'Scarborough Country.'
Commenting on Vice President Cheney's decision not to follow Harry Whittington to the hospital, Franken mused:
"It's inconceivable that you don't go to the hospital unless there's a reason you don't go to the hospital. If you had been drinking, you wouldn't go to the hospital. Or, you're an amazing jerk, that's the other. Or both."
Today, a Washington Post Op-Ed columnist, Dave Ignatius said this of the Bush Administration:
There is a temptation that seeps into the souls of even the most
righteous politicians and leads them to bend the rules, and eventually
the truth, to suit the political needs of the moment. That arrogance of
power is on display with the Bush administration.
course, Mr. Ignatius is referring to the latest MSM obsession, the
unfortunate accident in which Vice President Chaney peppered a friend
with shotgun pellets while on a hunting trip. While the Vice
President's friend is expected to fully recover, the mainstream media
has so far spent the entire week obsessing over the 24-hour delay in the announcement of this incident. And, while part of the media
frenzy is justifiably related to the unusual nature of the accident,
the 24-hour delay has rankled the Washington media beyond all understanding.
Maybe you've heard about former Vice President Al Goreaccusing the United States of "terrible abuses" that include "indiscriminately round[ing] up" Arabs and holding them in "unforgivable" conditions. Oh, yeah: The remarks were made on Sunday on foreign soil in Saudi Arabia. If you have heard about this story, it wasn't from a print edition of the Los Angeles Times, who has failed to publish even one word about the episode (as of February 14, 2005)!
Yet the Times has found room for two front-page, above-the-fold headlines in the last two days on the Cheney hunting story. Get this: The headline in today's print edition (Tuesday, February 14, 2006) is, "Cheney Lacked $7 Hunting Credential." That's right. "Cheney Lacked $7 Hunting Credential" merited an above-the-fold headline on page A1 of the LA Times. Yet there is nothing on a former Vice President (who came awfully close to becoming President) criticizing his country on foreign soil? Yikes.
Thirty-six minutes into tonight's Hardball, host Chris Matthews finally permitted a Cheney defender, former Cheney aide Ron Christie, to grace his program. Even then, Christie was denied an unobstructed opportunity to make his case, having to share the segment with hyper-partisan Dem consultant Bob Shrum - he of the record-breaking number of losing presidential campaigns - who tried to drag in everything from Iraq to Hurricane Katrina.
Until Christie's belated appearance, Hardball was an absolutely ceaseless cavalcade of criticism heaped on the Veep and his handling of the shooting incident that included:
clips of NBC reporter David Gregory haranguing Scott McClellan;
file footage of Gloria Borger supposedly tripping up Cheney over the Saddam/Al-Qaeda connection;
MSNBC reporter David Shuster's decidedly downbeat portrayal of events;
a grim assessment from Washington Post reporter Jim Vandehei;
a pessimistic view of Whittington's medical situation by former NIH director Bernadine Healy; and finally
a panel discussion with former Clinton Press Secretary Dede Myers and DC factotum David Gergen
The negative portrayal of the Vice-President and of the administration's handling of the matter was absolutely unrelenting.
Why, over a weekend so full of news regarding important issues, such as Al Gore's disgraceful speech in Jeddah, or the growing strength of the American economy, or even the troubling issue of Iran's decision to go forward with their uranium enrichment process -- defying the UN in a direct manner -- has the press chosen to obsess over a minor hunting accident? How obsessed is the MSM over this story? Here's an example for you:
Imagine you're a member of the media, and in your heart you believe that a major official wouldn't mind seeing you burn to death. Think that might affect the way you cover him?
A comment on this morning's "Early Show" by veteran CBS reporter Bill Plante, while perhaps intended to be light-hearted, pulled back the curtain on just how antagonistic the White House press corps believes VP Cheney to be toward them. But more importantly, it suggests how antagonistic they likely feel in return.
The topic was the Veep's accidental shooting of hunting partner Harry Whittington, and more particularly the very contentious press conference yesterday between the White House press corps and presidential spokesman Scott McClellan. Windows Media or Real Player
On tonight's Countdown With Keith Olbermann on MSNBC (Monday, February 13, 2006), Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank appeared for an interview wearing a bright-orange hunter's vest and hat. Michelle Malkin has the photo and video.
How on earth is anyone supposed to believe that the Washington Post can maintain any objectivity on the Cheney hunting story when one of their most veteran and prominent reporters shows up for an interview dressed like this?
Think back to 1998. Imagine a female newspaper reporter (not an opinion columnist, but a reporter, mind you) showing up for a television interview dressed in a beret and looking like Monica Lewinsky. Or a male columnist wearing a Clinton wig and holding a cigar. It never would have happened, because these people would have lost their jobs. Their employer's credibility would have been shot.
Good Morning America took a double-barrelled blast at Vice President Cheney this morning over his accidental shooting of a quail-hunting companion, suggesting the White House might have tried to cover up the incident and calling into question a witness's version of events.
GMA did at first describe the accident as having occurred because the victim, attorney Harry Whittington, failed to observe the quail-hunting rule by which hunters remain in a single line as they advance, indicating that the accident occurred after Whittington left the line to retrieve a bird from the tall grass.
But GMA host Charlie Gibson later claimed that there was "growing political fallout" from the incident, wondering:
In fact, on Aug. 30, the President began his day in San Diego where he took part in an anniversary observance of V-J Day and visited a Naval hospital. Later he flew to Arizona to speak on medicare; after which he flew to Texas. Throughout the day, the President was kept informed of Katrina developments and made decisions regarding relief efforts.
The latest op-ed piece by liberal Los Angeles Times columnist Rosa Brooks is called, "When crass is called for" (Friday, February 10, 2006). It begins with the eye-opening line, "It's time to take a stand against civility, decency and appropriateness."
The rest of the column is essentially a defense of the tasteless remarks by Rev. Joseph Lowery and former President Jimmy Carter at the funeral of Coretta Scott King on Tuesday. At one point of her piece, Brooks unbelievably declares, "I saw nothing uncivil about the remarks made by Lowery and Carter."
And in her concluding paragraph, Brooks shrugs (emphasis mine), "And if Bush was offended by Lowery's and Carter's remarks? Tough luck."
In an interview conducted in her office, Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman, the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told FNC’s Jim Angle that the “very valuable” terrorist surveillance program “fits within” the FISA law. In the session excerpted on Friday’s Special Report with Brit Hume, she deplored how leaks are hurting intelligence efforts and scolded the news media for “not extremely accurate” characterizations of the program. Zeroing in on the New York Times, which first revealed the program, Harman asserted their story was “inaccurate” because they reported it included a “domestic-to-domestic” surveillance effort. She also charged that “these leaks are compromising some core capability of the United States,” regretting how “it's tragic that this whole thing is being aired in the newspapers.” As to who is the blame, however, she bore in on the Bush administration for how “this can't be handled in normal channels because this administration refuses to share the information with Congress." (Transcript follows.)
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Thursday he was blindsided by President Bush's announcement of new details on a purported 2002 hijacking plot aimed at a downtown skyscraper, and described communication with the White House as "nonexistent."
"I'm amazed that the president would make this (announcement) on national TV and not inform us of these details through the appropriate channels," the mayor told The Associated Press. "I don't expect a call from the president — but somebody."Bush has referred to the 2002 plot before but he publicly filled in the details Thursday. (bold added)
Yes, it's an old news story but the AP still wants to shock us with L.A. Mayor Blindsided by Bush Announcement.And, of course, give His Honor the chance to tell us just how bad The White House is at communicating with him.
According to Lipton's story, the White House knew of flooding in New Orleans by midnight August 30.
But the alert did not seem to register. Even the next morning, President Bush, on vacation in Texas, was feeling relieved that New Orleans had "dodged the bullet," he later recalled. (bold added)
the Times knows the next morning the President was at the North Island
Naval Air Station in San Diego taking part in an anniversary observance
of V-J Day. Here's The White Press release of the event, including photos.