OVERVIEW: I believe that the sale of The Tribune Company last week to investor Sam Zell is an unrecognized low-water mark in the newspaper publishing business. In fact, after subtracting the value of the Tribune's non-newspaper properties from the deal, what little value remains indicates that the value of having access to a newspaper's readers is a mind-boggling 70% less than it was a mere seven years ago.
Is it possible that Tribune Company investors are paying the price of many years of relentless misreporting and biased reporting at its newspapers, especially those it acquired when it bought Times Mirror in 2000? While the numbers presented here of necessity involve a fair amount of approximation, it's hard to avoid concluding that the answer is "yes."
Agence France Presse has published a whopper about Global Warming, titled "Climate refugees -- the growing army without a name", in which we get the claims of a UN Climate Committee that "50 million" will be homeless because of Global Warming "by 2010". But the report is so filled with could be's, might be's and the ever popular "some experts say" that it is hard to take the claims seriously. It is, in fact, downright impossible to believe a word in the report unless you suspend all faculties of disbelief and merely accept as a matter of faith that they "could be" right. Of course, that is the nub of the Globaloney debate in the first place; the willing suspension of disbelief.
The first paragraph of this report sets a dichotomy that the rest of the report tries hard to refute with their "expert" testimony.
Is the Clerks and Dogma creator next going to attack middle America, Conservatives, Republicans and Christians in an upcoming movie? It certainly seems so with a recent interview he gave that appears on the moviefan website called Rottentomatoes.com.
Smith, known for his irreverent skewering of conventional mores, seems to be in the midst of production on a horror movie based on a "Fred Phelps" styled character.
UK audiences recently saw documentary journalist Louis Theroux spend time with members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, a controversial church group made largely of members of the Phelps family and run by preacher Fred Phelps. Infamous in America for taking a supremely homophobic stance and for picketing the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, the group see media interviews as a platform for airing their views and the word of their founder, Fred Phelps.
John at Power Line has an excellent post documenting just how a left-wing reporter can use neutral-sounding language to make a casual observer doubt the credibility of a leading global warming skeptic:
Sometimes media bias is blatant and grotesque; it can extend to flat
misrepresentations, use of fake documents, etc. Much more often, it is
relatively subtle, as reporters push their version of a story in small
ways, day after day. Here is a textbook example, via Power Line News.
Yesterday, in an interview with the Associated Press, one of the
world's leading weather experts, Dr. William Gray, blasted Al Gore for
perpetrating global warming hysteria. Since Dr. Gray is generally
recognized as the world's leading expert in the science of forecasting
hurricanes, this is news. But let's examine how the AP handled it in the article that resulted from their interview. The AP begins in a straightforward manner:
Simply wow, is all I can say to the segment on last night's O'Reilly Factor. Both of them lost their cool in the extreme.
O'Reilly screams that Geraldo wants "anarchy", Geraldo yells that O'Reilly wants to take illegal aliens and "do something to them" over the infuriating story of a drunk illegal who killed two teenaged girls in a Virginia Beach car accident.
(Click Image to go to video)
I have to say, in my opinion they were both wrong a little and right a little, but neither did his case any good by getting into a shouting match. O'Reilly made it solely an illegal alien issue, and Geraldo completely excused illegals of all wrongs. O'Reilly had the better point, of course, but both tried to make it a single issue discussion with Geraldo accusing O'Rielly of, in effect, being a racist and O'Reilly screaming that Geraldo might not care about his own teenage girls.
Eric Alterman recently got his dander up over at the Nation about many of the MSMs political pundits today, calling them "lazy" and blasting them for their near universal refusal to address Blogger's critiques of their work. Obviously he isn't happy over the treatment he received at the hands of Time Magazine's Joe Klein who dealt him a series of "schoolyard insults", as Alterman phrased it, after he criticized some of Klein's work. But, this personal vendetta aside, Alterman is on to something.
Alterman is filled with disgust at many Pundit's arrogance as they ignore the ankle biting leveled at them by Internet opinionists and Bloggers. And I cannot say that I disagree with him over his contention that the MSM is trying so hard to ignore rising Internet pundits and the influence they are garnering that they have damaged their own credibility in the process by overlooking substantive critical analysis offered at lightening speed by Internet writers.
Earlier today, NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham wrote about ABC's Tahman Bradley and his coverage of President Bush's recess appointment of Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium. The headline for Bradley's story read like that of a left-wing press release: "Bush Swift Boats Belgium, Congress."
CBS’s website’s feature "The Public Eye Chat" interviewed correspondent Allen Pizzey, who completely ignored some positive signs in Iraq in his grim report last month. Interviewer Brian Montopoli asked if John McCain’s optimistic statements on Iraqi progress "really sort of bothered reporters." Pizzey scuffed: "It’s disgraceful for a man seeking highest office, I think to talk utter rubbish." Pizzey claimed, that "no one in his right mind who has been to Baghdad believes that story," but he must not have checked the recent ABC story citing some improvement.
Montopoli followed up with a question of liberal bias, and quickly added that, that charge "has died down alittle bit of late." Pizzey, of course denied that charge and accused the Bush administration of thinking "that anything that doesn’t wholly support everything they say is against them." The transcript of the relevant portion is below.
Reporting a crime story from Colville, Wash., the Associated Press refused to use the term "unborn baby" to describe the intended victim of a crime that landed an 18-year-old man in prison for over six years:
(AP) An 18-year-old pleaded guilty to trying to hire a hit man to kill
his ex-girlfriend's nearly full-term fetus and was sentenced to more
than six years in prison.
Charles D. Young received 76½ months
in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to first-degree solicitation to
commit manslaughter. State law allows for such a count when a viable
fetus is the intended target.
Prosecutors allege Young, then 17,
offered an undercover officer posing as a hit man $3,250 last October
to injure his estranged 17-year-old girlfriend so badly that her fetus
I have been waiting for the MSM to start the drumbeat against Fred Thompson that they so often and so boringly used (and still do) against Ronald Reagan; the refrain of "He's just an actor." Now, Rebecca Sinderbrand of the New York Observer has used the general theme for her latest piece, The Mysterious Appeal of Fred Thompson. Subtitled "Actor, Senator, presidential candidate... but what G.O.P. gap is he filling?", Sinderbrand makes liberal use of Thompson's "roles" as a foil for his seriousness as a candidate and seems to be saying that the only reason anyone is considering him is because he looks the part as a result of his "camera presence."
Sinderbrand's entire piece is dismissive and shallow in its approach to the Senator with constant allusions to his being an actor playing a role and treats the Senator as if his candidacy is an effort at bait and switch, or at the very least a silly proposition. Throughout, Sinderbrand constantly mentions the acting aspect of the Senator's life as if that is all there is to him just like they have always done with Reagan.
Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill. The Boston Globe reports on the "push" to draft Al Gore to run for president in 2008 in the April 4th edition of the paper. The story's starry-eyed subjects launching Gore for president websites and sponsoring web petitions are in for the best fluff treatment lending their claims of a "surge" in support for a Gore candidacy far more legitimacy than it deserves.
The sunny representation of these Gore for president campaigns the Globe gives is almost pathetic in it's obvious wishful thinking. The only qualifying language to downplay the efforts used in the piece is an understated "How big is the effort? Hard to say."
No, it's not really that hard to say even when assessing the fluff the Globe reported. In fact, it's pretty easy to say that there is little interest -- at least far from enough interest to show a "surge" in support for a second Gore run for the White House. Far from "heating up" it seems more likely that there is a flaming out in the offing.
It seems CBS is expanding its search for interns by placing not just ads on its Web site, but sponsored "news feed" items on Facebook, a social networking site popular among college students and recent college graduates:
The kids and parents of Burlington Township can sleep better knowing that school Superintendent Chris Manno worked alongside the Burlington Township Police Department to prepare for an impending attack against "right-wing fundamentalist groups".
This is the root of liberal bias. It starts in the schools and spreads throughout from the children to the town councils and eventually to local newspapers such as the Burlington County Times where staff writer David Levinsky blends the fantasy of the mock scenario with the reality of school shootings through America. (hat tip, Girl on the Right)
Chris Matthews attacked campaign fund donations to Mitt Romney last night on Hardball, calling the entire system of political fund raising "unsavory" along with claiming that Romney's contributors in particular are all "rich people" and people who are "loaded". In fact, he didn't seem to understand at all why anyone would even donate to a Romney campaign because he thinks everyone sees him as a "stranger".
In a report that was supposed to be about this first round of fund raising of all the candidates, Matthews found no time in a ten minute segment to even mention the many millions of dollars raised by Democrats, focusing almost entirely on his distrust of Romney, even though Romney raised far less than Clinton.
The National Center for Public Policy Research's health care senior policy analyst, David Hogberg, contacted
the CBS television show "60 Minutes" five times last week -- by telephone, fax and e-mail -- to warn the show's producers that a report by the leftie big-government health care lobby group Families USA, which "60 Minutes" planned to highlight in Sunday's show, rested on faulty data.
The Families USA report made certain claims in support of calls that Medicare be permitted to "negotiate (read: dictate) drug prices to drug companies. An analysis David completed for the National Center in January, and which he made available to "60 Minutes," called the Families USA study "nonsense."
As David explained in a National Center press release today:
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) continues to refute claims that they are heavily biased to the left and the State run entertainers deny any claims that they pander to the elites of British society. But a new internal study seems to be saying that the programing "remains too middle class and highbrow and needs to be driven downmarket". Leave it to the BEEB to imagine that they are somehow too smart for their audience.
Executives at the corporation have always denied that it is a bastion of the liberal elite, pandering to the young, upmarket and metropolitan.
But now they are secretly conceding there may be some truth in the accusations and are drawing up plans to make programmes more populist.
Some "truth in the accusations"? As laughable it is for the BEEB to continue to deny their leftward leaning editorial underpinnings -- they "embedded" a reporter with the Taliban to give them positive coverage, for Heaven's sake --it's even more outrageous that they imagine themselves the smartest one in the room.
Drudge mentions that during a live press conference in Baghdad, CNN "reporter" Michael Ware heckled John McCain. Video from the event is sure to follow. What will be interesting to see is who in the mainstream press covers it. Will it be covered on CNN? Will the press gossip blogs mention it? Or will this be swept under the rug as usual?
"Objective reporter" Michael Ware is no stranger to spouting his personal opinions. In an interview with Bill Maher he said "I've been given a front-row ticket to watch this slow-motion train wreck … I try to stay as drunk for as long as possible while I'm here … In fact, I'm drinking now.”
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is publicly voicing its strong objections to two recent columns in the Los Angeles Times regarding the priest abuse scandal. Both articles contained substantial falsehoods, according to the Archdiocese.
1. A March 26, 2007, article in the Times claimed that Church officials and employees, when questioned in legal proceedings, could invoke something called "'mental reservation' — a 700-year-old doctrine by which clerics may avoid telling the truth to protect the Catholic Church." The article quoted Irwin Zalkin, a lawyer for abuse victims, as saying of church officials under oath, "You're never going to know the truth, one way or the other."
The truth? There is no such doctrine, and the term "mental reservation" is found nowhere in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
CNN Baghdad reporter Michael Ware has had quite a week getting his rips in, and more, about how ineffective (in his view) current military efforts in Baghdad have been -- to the point of obviously crossing the line into blatant unprofessionalism earlier today.
Ware's "the war is failing" stridency flared up last Tuesday, and can be seen at this YouTube video (HT Hot Air) -- Ware starts getting his rips in at about the 1:30 mark after McCain states that some neighborhoods of Baghdad are safe. It appears that Blitzer made sure that McCain didn't get any words to rebut Ware after Ware's rant. Ware's strongest riposte:
“I don't know what part of Neverland Senator McCain is talking about when he says we can go strolling in Baghdad.”
Next, on Thursday, Ware took issue with Joe Lieberman when the Connecticut senator said that "American soldiers are more confident walking the streets of Baghdad." Ware's response is that the insurgents are simply "laying low."
Finally, Drudge is reporting the following exclusive about Ware's conduct at a press conference that apparently took place earlier today:
With the Democrats back in
power, network anchors are dwelling lovingly on congressional hearings
now with liberal stars like Al Gore and Valerie Plame. They've shown no
loss of appetite for hearings on the U.S. Attorney-firings scandal,
deemed a “constitutional crisis” by NBC Wednesday night. But ten years
ago, when a Republican Congress prepared subpoenas for the Clinton
White House on receiving political contributions from China, viewers
heard the networks sing a very different tune.
wondered whether subpoenas and hearings weren't democracy in action,
but a waste of America's resources. On the April 10, 1997 World News
Tonight, anchor Peter Jennings promoted a story: “When we come back,
two investigations of fundraising abuse, two of them on Capitol Hill.
Is it a waste of time and money?” Reporter John Cochran underlined the
problem of GOP partisanship: “Dan Burton is a hard-charging partisan
and has resisted investigating anyone but Democrats.”
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is in for a world of hurt from his former constituents should he center his 2008 campaign on his handling of 9/11 and its aftermath, the Associated Press is reporting. But in his March 30 article, reporter Larry McShane left out some crucial facts about two people he cited in his story to bolster that point: Sally Regenhard and Hank Sheinkopf.
Let's begin with Regenhard. She's portrayed merely as the angry, distraught mother of a NYC firefighter who perished on 9/11.:
"If Rudolph Giuliani was running on anything but 9/11, I would not
speak out," said Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son was among the
343 FDNY members killed in the terrorist attack. "If he ran on cleaning
up Times Square, getting rid of squeegee men, lowering crime _ that's
"But when he runs on 9/11, I want the American people to know he was part of the problem."
Majority also believe there is too much sex on television, that the world was literally created in six days as stated in the Bible and that the government should encourage school prayer.
Got you. I just demonstrated a common tactic of today's activist media. The play book is simple, hook you in with a leading headline/byline combo and use that as foundation to present poll results within the limiting confines of my own personal agenda. While the headline and byline are technically correct you will soon see that those touting the Yale poll completely ignore these "less than liberal" results while spicing up the responses about global warming through the use of definitive sounding catch phrases such as "tidal wave of public sentiment". (yeah that makes it true)
A rather small section, one small paragraph, in a pretty straight forward story reveals the sheer absurdity and incomprehension that prevails in the Media today and serves to show the emptiness of what passes for thinking and logic about American history in what some feel are our cultural elites. It also shows the bias against things Southern in certain circles these days.
The story, "Confederate General's Painting Sold", is mostly a simple retelling of the facts around the $400,000 acquisition by Colonial Williamsburg of a painting painted by Robert E. Lee's wife to be in the 1830s.
I suppose it's possible she could defensively argue that this refers to Iran's Ahmadinejad or North Korea's Kim Jong-il, but in context it seems NY Post columnist Liz Smith refers to President George W. Bush in her March 29 article "Cruise-ing to WWII":
March 29, 2007 -- 'EVERY SECOND is a door to eternity. The door is opened by perception," said Rumi.
does a nation's elite rid itself of a deranged chief executive or
commander who is bent on leading the country astray? No, we're not
talking here about our own life and times. We're talking Nazi Germany.
Smith's piece was syndicated to other papers, including The Toledo Blade, where NewsBusters reader John Page noticed the item and forwarded it to me. The Blade headline for the Smith item: "Tom Cruise to star in film about Hitler."
Columbia University released a presser nearly 10 weeks ago about a "Novel Clinical Trial" involving those damn adult stem cells; you know, the kind we're supposed to pretend are useless as compared to their embryonic predecessors.
The novelty of course comes from the fact that medical researchers are yet again showing promise using non-embryonic forms of adult stem cells. But this trial goes beyond that simple fact; it has the added novelty of using a person's own adult stem cells to treat a form of coronary artery disease that is so severe that traditional treatment is not an option.
The results are very preliminary but even if the trial was in the final phase I wouldn't expect to hear about it in the mainstream media anytime soon. That's because this study breaches all the taboo's of liberal activism by the novelty of its sheer existence. Combine that with the fact that the trial is being funded by a (gasp) major "money grubbing" pharmaceutical researcher and you have all the elements necessary to justify below the fold, section c, inside the back page, small left hand corner, 2-3 lines max treatment (with a little luck).
As Newsbsuters has brought you many times (see here and here among others), the MSM's focus on Bush's firing of a handful of U.S. Attorney's is wonderfully empty of any balanced treatment whatsoever. Not only has the MSM ignored the Clinton story -- where he fired EVERY one of them -- but they have also ignored the fact that Jimmy Carter also fired a U.S. Attorney for "political reasons." Not to be left behind, the Boston Globe today reports an uncritical story about Senator Edward Kennedy's (D, Mass) recent statement about the issue.
In a short report by Globe Staffer, Rick Klein, the Globe finds no room for any discussion of Clinton or Carter's firings -- par for the course for this shallowly reported story.
Failed radio mouth and Senatorial candidate from Minnesota , Al Franken, told David Letterman on the set of the "Late Show" that the USA should reconsider approving the Kyoto Protocols because the treaty is good for the economy -- Despite that the ruinous treaty was voted down by a unanimous Senate vote in 1997 for the very reason that it would harm the economy.
To a fawning audience and a rapt host, Franken attacked Bush over the treaty that was voted down before he ever got to office, saying "One of the dumbest things that this president has said -- and that is a high bar -- is that if we abided by the Kyoto agreement, it would be ruinous to our economy. The opposite is true."
Since April of 2004, the Los Angeles Times has published over 20,000 words on the death and the controversy surrounding the death of NFL star Pat Tillman in Afghanistan. The word total includes 20 articles, editorials, and op-eds.
Meanwhile, since July of 2004, the Times has published less than 4,200 words on the story of former Clinton security advisor Sandy Berger pilfering classified documents from the National Archives. This includes 7 articles and one editorial. Two of the seven "articles" were in the notorious "In Brief" section, by the way.
For today's lesson in bias by labeling, class, turn to today's "Annapolis Notebook" in the March 28 Washington Post.
It's there that reporter Lisa Rein skewed her portrayal of a debate over tuition for illegal aliens in favor of the liberal Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly, with everything from watering down the label "illegal immigrant" to painting Republicans as angry partisans and Democrats as righteously angry protecters of the underprivileged.
The New York Times cannot make up their mind if Dennis Hastert should be despised or laughed at, apparently. Neither can they decide if he is "rumpled and weary" or if he is "healthier and more relaxed" -- they confusingly say both in the very same article. But one thing is sure, their underlying sentiment toward the former Speaker of the House seems to be one of pity. And this article was simply an opportunity to kick someone they think is down.
But Dennis Hastert is neither seeking nor requiring such special attention or emotion to be wasted upon him. Furthermore, he never has. The pity party thrown for him by the Times is a pointless jab at a man who has given his life to the community. Hastert should be celebrated, not pitied. Least of all from as cynical an organization as the New York Times.