This could be something of a first: a major MSM player admits there's a case to be made that the media is incredibly biased against Republicans.
As I noted here, when Tom DeLay accused the media of bias on this morning's "Today," Matt Lauer stonewalled: "I'm not going to let it, you know, end with that assumption, congressman, because I clearly don't agree with it."
But appearing on this afternoon's Harball, DeLay successfully wangled an admission from host Chris Matthews.
TOM DELAY: If [Craig] has been found guilty of what he's been accused of, then yeah. But I do know that the Republicans will do something about it. I do know that if he were a Democrat they would rally around him and they would not do something about it. I do know that the national media is incredibly biased against Republicans that find themselves [in trouble] --
CHRIS MATTHEWS: That's a charge which I've heard before and I can understand why you make it. You make it a lot. Sometimes you have a case to make. Sometimes.
It's rare to see a leading MSM light directly confronted over the liberal media's bias. But it happened in spades this morning as Tom DeLay (R-Texas) called out Matt Lauer on the MSM's double-standard in handling Republican, versus Democrat, scandals.
In the past couple of days, there have been two articles written about how the media are covering global warming.
In one, the author contended that the press are acting to inhibit free speech by exclusively reporting one side of the climate change issue as they castigate skeptics as deniers and operatives of the oil industry.
By contrast, another article suggested that the press in their attempts to appear objective are not doing a good enough job stressing the dire nature of global warming, and should be taking a much stronger position as advocate for the supposed consensus.
Presenting the inhibiting free speech view was Christopher Lingle, a research scholar at the Center for Civil Society in New Delhi and professor of economics at Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala (h/t Benny Peiser, emphasis added):
Time Magazine has a headline today that screams out "Bush Motorcade Kills Cop." After reading that one, you'd think Bush's limo ran over a policeman or something (I'll say policeman instead of the more vulgar "cop" Time used). Talk about a misleading headline! It turns out that Bush's motorcade didn't "kill" anyone. The unfortunate death occurred when an officer lost control of his motorcycle and died in the wreck. But Time has to turn an unfortunate accident into an accusation that Bush killed a "Cop" with his motorcade! This is Bush Derangement Syndrome at its finest and most ridiculous.
(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) — A police officer in President Bush's motorcade crashed his motorcycle and died Monday, less than a year after a crash in Hawaii killed another motorcycle officer accompanying the president.
And, then there is the bringing up of the other incident as if it is a sure thing that Bush's motorcade is somehow negligent, even as they make no such accusation directly. Quite a deft way to cause doubt in a reader by stealth.
But after the blaring and misleading headline and the first questionable paragraph, we finally get some truth:
Here we go again with another pointless Bush bashing presidential rating story filled with quotes from partisan, hack "historians." In this report, Bush doesn't have "many achievements" and will finish "mired in an unpopular war" unless, of course, that war mysteriously happens to "unexpectedly" turn out alright and he is "destined for the failed presidents' club." Forget the fact that what a president does in office will not be assessable for at least 10 years after he leaves office, forget that these historians change their ideas on who is a good president every decade, forget that these "historians" are part of the far left University system we are saddled with. These "ranking" stories are always full of partisan left nonsense and this one is no different.
Friday’s earlier post on CNN’s "God's Warriors" hinted that CNN and Christiane Amanpour gave Muslim "fundamentalists" in the U.S. sympathetic treatment, while they showed discomfort towards Christian conservatives. The original intention was to give examples of each in that post, but the distinction is so clear and important that it deserves its own separate post.
Bob Knight of MRC’s Culture and Media Institute detailed some examples of Amanpour’s biased treatment of Christian conservatives in his latest column. She spent the last 20 minutes of "God’s Christian Warriors" profiling the Battlecry Campaign of Ron Luce, an evangelical Christian who runs a larger organization called Teen Mania Ministries.
As Knight pointed out, Amanpour "couldn’t quite conceal her hostility" towards Luce. A partial transcript from this segment showing the full context of her rather-pointed questions clearly demonstrated this hostility.
Christiane Amanpour’s six-hour miniseries "God’s Warriors" reflects less of the reality of "fundamentalist" monotheists - Jews, Muslims, and Christians - and more of liberals’ attitudes about these faiths. It is clear, given how CNN and Amanpour covered each faith, that they have sympathy towards Muslims in the U.S., "concern" with the Jewish settlers in the West Bank, and are uncomfortable towards the beliefs and practices of Christian evangelicals.
Tuesday night’s "God’s Jewish Warriors" focused on the cause of the "right-wing" Jewish settlers. The term "right wing" is used seven times to describe the settlers and/or their supporters in Israel and in the United States, and "fundamentalist/-ism" was used three times, once in reference to Christian supporters of the settlers in the U.S. On Wednesday night’s "God’s Muslim Warriors," "fundamentalist/-ism" was the more prevalent term, used 11 times. "Right wing" is used twice, only to describe Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch Parliament.
A partial transcript of the first occasion Amanpour used the term "right-wing" to describe Wilders:
In "Thompson's Image Cultivated by Hollywood" we get another MSM attempt to make Fred Thompson seem to be just a hollow, fake actor. The AP offers us an analysis that Thompson's "image" is just a Hollywood invention and that he had no "conscious decision" in shaping the perception that he exhibits the sort of strong, take charge kind of leadership that Americans might want in a president. Of all the lines of attack they've tried thus far, this is the MSMs favorite way to belittle Fred Thompson. This meme has it that Thompson's acting persona is an invention of Hollywood and that his political life is a reflection of this invented persona, that he capitalized on the illusion to launch a political career -- they want to make Thompson out to be a fake. But, in reality, Thompson's roles are a reflection of his real life persona, not an invention by Hollywood but an amplification of reality by Hollywood.
AP does their level best to make Thompson seem the illusionist...
The person close to the investigation said that Mr. Ahmed had sent an e-mail to his brother two hours before crashing the Jeep, but it was not opened until 90 minutes after the attack. On Monday, The Guardian newspaper reported Kafeel Ahmed had sent a text message to “a relative” with link to an e-mail and a password to access it, saying he was acting according to God’s will.
Fox News is using its mighty power to bully the mainstream media into promoting yet another war, left-wing activist/filmmaker Robert Greenwald and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are warning. Claiming that "Fox wants war with Iran," Greenwald is urging other news networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN -- "not to follow Fox down the road to war again."
Greenwald and Sen. Sanders (I-Vt.) are touting a new viral ad campaign for the filmmaker's anti-Fox video "exposing" what Fox News supposedly is doing. According to Greenwald, Fox News engaged in "daily fear-mongering" in the days leading up to the war with Iraq, serving as a media cheerleader for the U.S.-led war.
The Hollywood Reporter has the news that actress-comedian and former Air America talk show host Janeane Garofalo will be joining the cast of Fox's "24" next season:
The political left and the political right are going to meet on Fox's "24" this coming season.
Actress-comedian Janeane Garofalo, an outspoken liberal, is set to co-star on the conservative-leaning real-time drama, whose co-creator/executive producer Joel Surnow jokingly describes himself as a "right-wing nut job."
On the Imagine TV/20th Century Fox TV series, Garofalo will play a government agent who is part of the team investigating the crisis befalling Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) and company in the upcoming season.
Looking to sample the political opinions of regular Americans? What better cross-section than the denizens of MSM newsrooms! That seems to be Mike Barnicle's attitude, at least. The former Boston Globe columnist-turned-MSNBC contributor is guest-hosting for Chris Matthews on this afternoon's "Hardball."
Chatting with guests Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post and Holly Bailey of Newsweek, talk turned to the topic of Americans' desire for political change. At one point Barnicle made this observation:
MIKE BARNICLE: The force for change that's out there, if you talk to regular people, people like me, people like you, the idea that they want a change is a very powerful force.
Is PBS still making money off a discredited documentary that they know is filled with untruths, misquotes, and lies? It would seem so.
In 2003 PBS aired a show titled "Einstein's Wife" that attempted to prove that Albert Einstein's world changing theories of physics were a result of a hidden collaboration with his first wife, Mileva Maric. This documentary claimed that Maric’s work on the theory of relativity was lied about and hidden away all these years by Einstein, his biographies and history. Imagine the implications if the work of what must be the smartest woman on earth was hidden by those evil, greedy men who don't want to share credit with a woman. It's a feminist's dream story promulgated by PBS.
Unfortunately it isn't true. Not only is it not true, but also so many historians have since complained to PBS that they surely know the real truth by now, even if their original airing was a result of their honestly just not knowing the truth then. Yet, this faux documentary still has a PBS sponsored webpage and was recently aired by Australian broadcasters. PBS is also still selling DVDs and attempting to make money off a film hat has been discredited by dozens of historians and even attacked by the scientists in the film who were misquoted and misrepresented by the film's producers.
As covered by NewsBusters managing editor Ken Shepherd in his post last Wednesday, Seattle Times executive editor David Boardman scolded his staffers for cheering when news of Karl Rove's resignation from the White House was announced. Now one of those cheering staffers has issued an apology...of sorts. In a column reeking with self-righteousness while at the same time attacking bloggers for bringing down the level of journalism, staff columnist Nicole Brodeur writes:
That was me.
I was one of the people who cheered in The Seattle Times news meeting Monday when it was announced that presidential adviser Karl Rove had resigned.
So, as you all know, the news comes out that Jose Padilla has been convicted of being a terrorist by a US Court, yet the AP wants to focus more on what it feels the government did wrong than what Padilla did. I guess the AP thinks the US government is more guilty than is a convicted terrorist.
Even after his conviction, the AP fills their report with "supposedly," "possible," and other mitigating verbiage to describe Padilla and the other terror suspects in the news. But even as they want to give Padilla a pass they cast the Bush Administration's efforts as their "zeal to stop homegrown terror." The story makes Padilla seem put upon and mistreated while the Bush Administration is cast as the overwrought party. This AP story gives a lot of space to Padilla's defense and little to the government's proven case. Apparently they just cannot make themselves believe that Padilla is really guilty of any thing.
CNN released a poll on the 16th that claims that 53% of Americans don't trust the U.S. Military assessment of what is going on in Iraq and that 72% won't have their mind changed on their view of the war no matter what General Petraeus says about the surge next month. But if one reviews the questions of the poll and the method by which it was conducted is considered (at least the only hint of that method that was released), it makes one suspicious that it was anywhere near a fair and balanced scheme. In fact, there are so many questions about how this poll was carried out that the results must be viewed with skepticism.
To start with, of course, the poll is conducted by Hillary Clinton supporter Vin Gupta's Opinion Research Corporation, the organization CNN has hired to run their political polling -- a convenient situation for the Clinton campaign, to be sure. This single fact alone is enough to inform that the poll could likely be weighted to skew toward the ideas that Hillary Clinton is propagating in her campaign.
The MSNBC staffers who booed President Bush in 2003 were just following the tradition set in 2000 when those at the NBC News flagship cheered on Al Gore. In the wake of Joe Scarborough's revelation Thursday morning that on his first day at MSNBC, on the night of President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address, “people in the newsroom...were booing the President basically from the beginning to the end” (Mark Finkelstein's post), a look back at how on the night of the 2000 election, NBC News employees were openly “cheering for Gore.”
On the election night, the NBC News control room was full of people “all cheering for Gore,” retiring General Electric CEO Jack Welch told Vanity Fair as he denied he pressured anyone to call the election for Bush, “and two or three of us cheering for George Bush.”
"American Morning" co-host Kiran Chetry, an alumna of Fox News Channel’s "Fox & Friends Weekend," gave her former colleagues at Fox a run for the money in highlighting a case of media bias. While "Fox & Friends" on Thursday morning was covering the earthquake in Peru, and featured several segments on the 30th anniversary of the death of Elvis, Chetry interviewed "Wired" magazine senior editor Nick Thompson towards the end of the 7 am EDT hour on a new website that traces who is editing different entries on Wikipedia. Chetry brought up an instance in December 2005 where the words "jerk, jerk, jerk, jerk" appeared on President Bush’s Wikipedia entry, and the new website traced the entry to the IP address of a computer at the New York Times.
The key excerpt from Chetry’s interview of Thompson:
Bryan at Hot Air lets loose on the New Republic's Peter Beinart for his magazine's silence on the Scott Thomas Beauchamp scandal, even as Beinart appeared on an National Review Online vlog to defend the leftist fabulist.
I’ve tried to keep all emotion out of the TNR’s Scott Thomas Beauchamp scandal, but frankly, Peter Beinart’s defense of TNR in today’s What’s Your Problem (on NRO) made my blood boil a bit.
He professes shock, shock that anyone on the right would seek ideological causes for the scandal in an ideological magazine such as The New Republic.
He calls Beauchamp a “good writer,” which is obviously untrue. The man writes with more purple than Prince.
Seattle Times Executive Editor Dave Boardman, who in a Tuesday e-mail to his staff had scolded them for cheering Karl Rove's resignation (Ken Shepherd's NewsBusters item), wrote a follow-up e-mail on Wednesday in which he conceded the political display matched the “blue” perspective of the majority in his newsroom where, like most of journalism, reporters are driven by “activism.” Boardman acknowledged:
“If we wore our politics on our sleeves in here, I have no doubt that in this and in most other mainstream newsrooms in America, the majority of those sleeves would be of the same color: blue. Survey after survey over the years have demonstrated that most of the people who go into this business tend to vote Democratic, at least in national elections. That is not particularly surprising, given how people make career decisions and that social service and activism is a primary driver for many journalists.”
It seems that some folks at the Seattle Times got a bit giddy when they heard news of Karl Rove's resignation.
The paper's David Postman clarified in an August 14 "Postman on Politics" blog post that while it "sounds like a conservative's parody of how a news meeting would be run... It was only a couple of people who cheered [Rove's resignation] and they, thankfully, are not among the people who get a say in news play."
Nevertheless, Postman noted that executive editor David Boardman has issued a warning to Seattle Times staff:
As we head into a major political year, now's a good time to remember: Please keep your personal politics to yourself.
Kudos to Boardman for reminding his staffers to check their politics at the door.
Not surprising, but the Time magazine contributor and "Swampland" blogger slapped around President Bush for moving to empower the federal government to freeze assets held by the terrorist-sponsoring Revolutionary Guard Corps of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Yet two weeks ago, Joe Klein slammed President Bush for not confronting U.S. ally Pervez Musharraf about terrorist sympathizers that work covertly against U.S. interests from within the Pakistani military.
Here's Klein's August 15 post, after which I add more commentary:
Back on July 29th, the New York Times published an article that was ostensibly supposed to be a book review even as the first half of the long piece was an anti-Bush political rant. The byline was credited to Samantha Power, who is, as the Times somewhat benignly defined her, a "professor of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard." But, Power is far from a mere lefty Harvard professor because in the past she was a duly paid member of Senator Obama's staff and still to this day she is a key foreign policy adviser to his campaign for president. In fact, when Obama's shallow foreign policy experience was attacked in the press recently, she was the one who wrote a long apologia that was sent to media outlets to staunch the bleeding of the Obama campaign. Why the Times did not fully identify her as an interested party in a political campaign and instead painted her as just a "professor" is hard to understand.
So, why did the New York Times publish the work of a key adviser to a Democratic presidential candidate's foreign policy team without telling the reading public that this "professor" was a partisan operative and not just an uninterested, unbiased reviewer of books? Even Amitai Etzioni, a blogger for the left leaning Huffington Post, wondered why.
I had thought that perhaps the tide was turning on those who glorified Che Guevara as a revolutionary man of the people. I was wrong.
Over the weekend Chicago's local PBS affiliate aired a segment of a DVD box set that is being distributed by PBS called The British Beat. The DVD is a retrospective of the British Invasion and features Animals lead singer Eric Burdon donning a giant Che Guevara button down shirt at a 2005 concert where he stumps for PBS on stage. Note that this is a 4 disc box set and PBS could have chosen any number of segments to air for their pledge drive. (video at Webloggin, repeat airing on WTTW Channel 11, Chicago, Sunday, August 19, 3:30am)
Here is another example of the poorly-researched mix of fact and opinion prevalent in today’s reporting.
A recent news article covering a defensive shooting in Florida highlights media bias against Castle Doctrine law: the right of the law-abiding citizen to use appropriate force to repel an attack without first seeking to retreat.
On August 1, I wrote about how Time.com's "Swampland" blog was soliciting suggestions for guest bloggers on its 39-member Facebook group home page. I gave NewsBusters readers the address and sure enough some of you left suggestions in the topic thread.
As of publication of this blog post, there were but a few liberal suggestions (such as strategist James Carville) from members of the "Swampland" Facebook group, but the vast majority of suggestions leaned rightward and included such names as Ace, Mary Katharine Ham of TownHall, independent Iraq-based journalist Michael Yon, Patterico, and libertarian writer P.J. O'Rourke.
So given two weeks to digest input from Facebook, who have the editors at Time.com chosen as a guest blogger? None other than liberal activist Ralph Neas of the People for the American Way (PFAW), who is guesting on the site from August 13-17.
In a report that is supposed to be about General David Petraeus and his efforts to pacify Iraq by commanding the forces in president Bush's Iraq surge, The New York Times speculates instead about his state of mind and generally tries to tear him down. Times writer John Burns seems to be putting in a bid for his own late night psychic TV show by being able to read the General's mind and divining that he has "flagging spirits" and that he is "rueful." Instead of a serious news report, Burns gives us speculation and a mystic's interpretation.
The most egregious paragraph in the story is the second.
Pressing the talk button on his headset, the slightly built, 54-year-old general, the top American commander in Iraq, said glimpses of the normal life that have survived the war’s horrors have helped to boost his own flagging spirits, especially on days when signs of battlefront progress are offset by new bombings with mass casualties, the starkest measure of continuing insurgent power across Iraq.
Did you notice the lack of quote marks in that paragraph? It is a sure bet that Petraeus never said he had "flagging spirits." More likely, Petraeus pointed to those signs of "normal life" to reveal to Burns that such signs are good signs of an Iraqi people just yearning to live life without all the strife. It is more likely that Petraeus was merely trying to impress upon writer Burns the resilience and strength of the Iraqi people. Yet, Burns interprets this to be a revelation of Petraeus' "flagging spirits" instead because it fits in better with the New York Times' pessimistic opposition to the surge.
Julie Chen followed Barbara Walters’ lead in endorsing a global warming alarmist film, this time on Leonardo DiCaprio’s upcoming documentary, "The 11th Hour." The August 13 edition of "The Early Show" ran an unchallenged piece on DiCaprio’s film, then this exchange between co-hosts Harry Smith and Julie Chen.
CHEN: He has also turned his official website into an eco-site. News about his latest movies is posted side by side, with updates from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. And to see how you can help protect the environment, log on to our website at CBSNews.com.
HARRY SMITH: And what was your impression?
CHEN: Oh he was very sweet, and--oh of him or the movie? Gotta go green.
I saw this yesterday but didn't work up anything on it. Basically it's a lame Style section front-pager from Sunday that fixates on how dull/boring/lame/stupid-sounding the name "Fred" is, and what that means for presumptive GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson.
Fortunately Myra Langerhas of "Snarking Dawg" worked up a snarky blog post and so I thought I'd share that with you. Below is the relevant excerpt from Myra's August 12 entry "What's in a name?"
Myra began by quoting the first seven grafs of staff writer Monica Hesse's August 12 article and then laid out swipe at the author's biases and decidedly liberal cosmopolitan tastes, like joining a bunch of lesbians in "crashing" a "straight bar.":