Is PBS too conservative? Is it "too balanced"? The radical leftists at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting have produced another stilted study of the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer accusing the show of presenting "virtually the same voices as corporate media, voices that overwhelmingly represent those in power rather than the public PBS is obliged to serve."
This study can be picked apart in many ways, but let’s start close to home, where they’ve made at least one obvious factual error. Authors Steve Rendall and Julie Hollar complain about the exclusion of "public interest groups" from the debate: "such groups, which ranged from progressive groups like the NAACP and Greenpeace to the conservative Federation for American Immigration Reform and Media Research Center – provided just 4 percent of NewsHour’s guests." MRC did not appear on the NewsHour in FAIR’s study period. We checked Nexis to double-check, even adding the Parents Television Council and CNSNews.com into the mix to see if our related groups were interviewed. No.
From MSNBC (Studds' party affiliation is mentioned only in reference to Mark Foley in this story):
First openly gay person elected to Congress dies
BOSTON - Former U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds, the first openly gay person elected to Congress, died early Saturday at Boston Medical Center, several days after he collapsed while walking his dog, his husband said.
Down below, MSNBC acknowledges the sex scandal that caused Congress to censure Studds:
Here's a familiar scenario: new management comes in to a media company and decides it needs to find ways to "re-engage" the audience.
How serious are they? Unless they take my advice (after the cut), probably not too much.
Newspapers are all looking for ways to gain readers, and many have hired consultants to help them. In an unusual twist, The Los Angeles Times is looking to chart its
future by using its own reporters and editors, who rank among the best
investigators in the business.
The Times is dedicating three investigative reporters and half a
dozen editors to find ideas, at home and abroad, for re-engaging the
reader, both in print and online. The newspaper’s editor, Dean Baquet,
and its new publisher, David Hiller, plan to convene a meeting today to
start the effort, which is being called the Manhattan Project. A report
is expected in about two months.
I'd like to thank Keith Olbermann of MSNBC for putting himself on my radar last week by naming the NewsBusters staff, and me personally, "Worst Persons in the World", a signal honor, usually reserved for the likes of Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh (and by the way, where's my trophy?).
Anyway, now that I'm aware of Mr. Olbermann and his little cable show, I found this quote of his in the Denver Post rather puzzling [emphasis added]:
"As a critic of the administration, I will be damned if you can get away with calling me the equivalent of a Nazi appeaser," Olbermann told The Associated Press. "No one has the right to say that about any free-speaking American in this country."
If you have a look at this NewsBusters item of mine, you'll note it is dated August 14th, 2006. It was, as noted there, the first one written after I "broke down" and subscribed to the New York Times 'Times Select' section that gives access to the work of its in-house columnists. In that historic first item, I wrote that in their pay-per-view columns, Paul Krugman and Bob Herbert had sounded the nearly-identical theme: that the Bush administration allegedly sees terrorism as something to be "exploited."
In the ensuing weeks, I wrote no fewer than 22 more NB pieces critical of items on the Times editorial page, the majority focusing on the work of the subscription-required columnists. A pretty good return on my investment, you'd have to say.
Traditional or "mainstream" media outlets continue to wither away in the face of never ending charges of liberal bias and attempts to indoctrinate America with the agenda of the left.
As these strong and meaningful changes are taking place opinion writers and pundits search for answers that will explain away the audience abandonment across the entire spectrum of traditional news outlets. Huge audience losses are being logged for network television news. Major newspaper and news magazine publications show significant decline in circulation numbers. Talk radio formats for the counter position to conservative talk have failed.
The only bright light on the news horizon seems to be The Fox News Channel...and it is the latest entry into cable news. Today, while celebrating its tenth year on the air, Fox News rightfully boasts it is the Number One cable news network. According to Glenn Garvin, writing for McClatchy Newspapers it has held this ranking...”for the past 58 months with an audience almost as big as its two main competitors combined. It took Fox News just five years to surpass MSNBC, with its powerful corporate backers, and CNN with its 16 year head start.” Garvin goes on to say that Fox News reached the 90 million-subscriber mark faster than any cable channel in history.
In today's DC Examiner, Olbermann Watch blogger Bob Cox sounds the alarm against what he (correctly) perceives as the conservative movement's failure to sufficiently become involved in creating the next generation of the internet. Now that the web has become a commodity, most conservatives have given up trying to be technology leaders, effectively allowing the left to create and control all of the major "web 2.0" resources like Technorati, Wikipedia, YouTube, and others.
The failure of the Dean campaign has led too many conservatives to dismiss technology leadership as an overhyped part of a political campaign. But that's only half the story. In truth, superb technology can never compensate for a bad candidate, but it can sure do wonders for one. And as part of a larger overall popular movement, technology is vital. For too long, conservatives have stood outside society's institutions clamoring for change. Isn't it about time that we went in?
In the waning days of Howard Dean’s abortive presidential campaign,
I met many of the talented folks who played a role in turning the Dean
Web site into a powerful fundraising tool that propelled an unknown
candidate into the national spotlight. At various blogging conferences
since, I have had the opportunity to observe many of these bright minds
strategizing on how to best leverage the emerging world of blogs and
other “social networking” services known as “Web 2.0” to advance their
liberal political agenda and win elections.
Their common refrain: “We need to own the Internet the way the right owns talk radio.”
got me wondering whether the online “conservative elite” was aware of
what the left had in mind and, if so, whether they were concerned.
Barry Hess, the Libertarian candidate for governor in Arizona is so upset with the "blatant and shameless" bias of his state's biggest newspaper, the Arizona Republic that he's embarking on a new effort to run ads--against the newspaper.
Judging from Hess's media bias section on his site, it seems his biggest complaint isn't necessarily about issues and more about that the paper's refusal to give coverage to other candidates besides the Democrat Janet Janet Napolitano and Republican Len Munsil. Still, this is the first time I've ever seen a candidate of any party want to run advertisements against a media outlet.
There is another interesting item in this story as well. Hess had an email exchange with Ken Western, the Republic's editorial page editor. In a reply to Hess after the candidate has expressed frustration with being called a "spoiler" by a Republic reporter, Western explicitly states that Hess should refrain from criticizing reporters since doing so will result in bad publicity for himself. Here's the relevant part of the page:
The headline from this Associated Press story reads, "Army: Troops to stay in Iraq until 2010." Yikes! The Army has decided that we need 141,000 troops in Iraq at least through 2010? Surely, this is a clear indication that the situation is much more dire than the American public has been lead to believe?
Actually, no. The information in the story doesn't match the headline.
It's not something you often see talked about but there's basically an unwritten assumption in national political circles that if you're a political liberal and you're also a reporter, you should be willing to be a "team player" and not admit that you even are one.
This point is important, you see, because conservatives are liars bent on "hurting America" (to use Jon Stewart's phrase), so anything that gives them comfort is something you should never do.
That attitude was very much on display in an online chat today with former Washington Post reporter Thomas Edsall. If you recall, Edsall was the one who caused a stir by admitting (to conservative talker Hugh Hewitt) the blatantly obvious fact that liberals dominate the national elite media. Everyone who has any sort of contact with the New York and DC press corps knows this. People who work for Democrats tell me it all the time.
But in the mind of some liberals, most of them journalists, this is something that should never be publicly talked about for fear that if "the little people" get wind of this fact, we won't believe the proposition that journalists are demigods who can invariably see past their personal and group biases. And if we don't believe that line from them, perhaps we'll begin to question the received wisdom we get from them on a daily basis. Maybe then, we might start realizing that what you believe is primarily shaped by the information you take in.
Now that the most recent scandal appears to be losing steam we should expect that the AP and others will return to reporting the news in an objective manner based on facts rather than speculation right? Wrong.
A news story that first circulated in 2004 is being put back into circulation because a researcher at Johns Hopkins has updated a study that was originally panned because of its high margin of error.
In all the media fuss about whether the GOP House leadership knew about former representative Mark Foley's behavior, hardly anyone in the press seems interested in whether Democrats knew about the story and declined to expose Foley's conduct, thus "putting at risk" the congressional pages in the way we constantly hear that Speaker Hastert and others did.
Turns out, Democrats did know about Foley's antics. According to Ken Silverstein, a writer for the liberal Harper's magazine, he was approached with the story way back in the month of May--by a Democrat.
House Majority Leader John Boehner has charged that the release of
the Foley documents so close to the elections “is concerning, at a
minimum.” Meanwhile, accounts I've heard about the FBI's initial
inquiries suggest the bureau is as interested in uncovering how the
story came to public attention as it is in investigating Foley's
On FNC's two-hour Sunday special (8-10pm EDT) to mark the channel's tenth anniversary, former CBS News and MSNBC executive Erik Sorenson articulated what the AP's David Bauder last week paraphrased him as acknowledging: How New York-based news media executives were so out of touch that they did not recognize the depth of belief in liberal media bias into which FNC tapped. “There was a full-on commitment” to the “fair and balanced” premise, Sorenson proposed during FNC's special, Fox News at 10: Thank You America, in explaining FNC's success: “There were far more people in America who seemed to hold that opinion of the liberal media bias than anyone in New York City -- the media capital of the world -- had estimated."
As detailed in an October 2 NewsBusters posting, Bauder had reported: “Before Fox, many in the media scoffed at the notion of a liberal bias and figured only a handful of people really believed that, said Erik Sorenson, former MSNBC President. 'Fox proved it's a much larger group than anybody realized,' he said.”
This past week, the media hyperventilated over two developing scandals: Congressman Mark Foley, and Bob Woodward's "State of Denial." ABC, CBS and NBC produced 103 stories on the Foley scandal, quite a bit more time then was devoted to Democratic sex scandals. The "Today" show’s Matt Lauer joined with Tim Russert to slam Speaker Hastert and the GOP. Lauer also contributed to the fawning over Bob Woodward and his new book. The MRC’s Brent Baker noted that Woodward has mocked the President’s intellect in the past.
Speaking of journalists with huge egos, Chris Matthews, yet again, displayed his partisan leanings by defending Robert ‘KKK’ Byrd, claiming that Bush "won’t tell the truth" about Iraq, and praising Clinton for his anti-Fox News rant. Perhaps he should rename his show, "Hardball...For Republicans."
And to think, it was just a few days ago that the former president of MSNBC stated, prior to Fox News, "many in the media scoffed at the notion of a liberal bias." Would this not be the best time to mention that leftist MSNBC host Keith Olbermann recently called Roger Ailes a "fat ass?"
MRC's Rich Noyes has calculated the number of Mark Foley/Will Hastert Quit? stories for Week One of the scandal on ABC, CBS, and NBC morning and evening news programs, from last Friday night, September 29, through Friday morning, October 6. So for evening shows, it's Friday to Thursday. For morning shows, it's Saturday through Friday. (One or two evening stories and a smattering of morning stories are brief anchor updates.)The number's a little shocking: 103 stories. It breaks down like this:
-- ABC: Good Morning America, 23 stories; World News, 15 stories
-- CBS: The Early Show, 17 stories; Evening News, 11 stories
The New York Times has finally taken note of the activities of those who support Islamist Jihad (including many right here in the US) and upload Islamist propaganda to the popular YouTube video hosting site:
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5 — Videos showing insurgent attacks against American troops in Iraq, long available in Baghdad shops and on Jihadist Web sites, have steadily migrated in recent months to popular Internet video-sharing sites, including YouTube and Google Video.
Many of the videos, showing sniper attacks against Americans and roadside bombs exploding under American military vehicles, have been posted not by insurgents or their official supporters but apparently by Internet users in the United States and other countries, who have passed along videos found elsewhere.
John F. Harris explores the role of the "new media" in politics in a Friday front-page story related to his new book "How to Win." Bill Clinton told Harris that they expect the (liberal) old media to crush the new media, as Kerry expected the old media to defeat the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth:
Democrats of his generation tend to be naive about new media realities. There is an expectation among Democrats that establishment old media organizations are de facto allies -- and will rebut political accusations and serve as referees on new-media excesses.
"We're all that way, and I think a part of it is we grew up in the '60s and the press led us against the war and the press led us on civil rights and the press led us on Watergate," Clinton said. "Those of us of a certain age grew up with this almost unrealistic set of expectations."
The media have relied on the threat of hurricanes to keep the audience’s anxiety level high. Whether it’s promoting the theory that global warming is causing stronger hurricanes, or warning that we’re just “a hurricane away” from higher gas prices, reporters haven’t let us forget the devastation of 2005.
But now that a leading hurricane forecaster has severely scaled back his predictions about the remainder of this season, the TV news airwaves have been largely silent.
On October 3, Reuters reported that “noted hurricane forecaster” Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University had again downgraded his forecast, now predicting “the Atlantic hurricane season will see just two more tropical storms and no more ‘major’ hurricanes.” Nexis searches revealed that ABC was the only network that acknowledged the new prediction.
Interviewed by ABC's Charles Gibson at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia shortly before receiving, along with former President Clinton, the center's “Liberty Award,” former President George H.W. Bush zinged the New York Times and Bob Woodward. In an excerpt aired on Thursday's World News, Bush 41 fretted how “there's a lot of Bush-bashing” of his son with “a lot of people out there that have nothing good to say.” Bush then marveled: “I can't remember the New York Times ever writing anything positive about our son."
When Gibson raised how Bob Woodward, in his new book about the Iraq war, State of Denial, “quotes Mrs. Bush as having said that you were losing sleep over whether that was the right thing to do, and your feeling that perhaps it was not,” the former President rejected the accuracy of the premise: “In that incident, it was a conversation that Barbara allegedly had with David Boren,” the former Democratic Senator from Oklahoma, “who has sent me a letter saying it didn't take place. That's a Kitty Kelley journalism in my view, and he can get away with it,” Bush regretted, because “he's a very famous journalist.”
We've been here before; the similarities are, well, eerie.
First, the sensational story in the closing weeks of an election, attributed, of course, to an anonymous source. A blogger, William "Wild Bill" Kerr of Passionate America, using clues gleaned from ABC's own website, reveals the name of one of the "victims," and the fact that he was not, as reported by ABC, under 18 at the time of the Instant Message exchange.
ABC News has just released this statement explaining how blogger Wild Bill of Passionate America was able to learn the real screen name of Mark Foley's Instant Message correspondent:
On Friday, ABC News published instant messages between a former page and Congressman Foley with the IM screen name of the teenage victim redacted. Immediately, we discovered that in one instance, the screen name of the teen on one IM exchange had not been properly redacted. ABC News immediately took down the posting [version 1], redacted the screen name and re-published the posting [version 2]. We certainly believed that we had taken care of the issue quickly. Last evening, after an inquiry from Matt Drudge, it came to our attention that a blogger was able to access our deleted file [version 1] by typing in a slightly modified web address. To be clear, no one visiting our website would have simply stumbled on the old version. We thank the blogger and Drudge for bringing this to our attention.
According to CBS Evening News host Katie Couric, a Monday installment of its "freeSpeech" segment, which espoused a strong conservative viewpoint, could be viewed as "repugnant." The issue was discussed on tonight's episode of The O'Reilly Factor (Wednesday, October 4, 2006).
In light of Monday's shooting at a Pennsylvania Amish school, CBS invited Brian Rohrbough, the father of a victim of the 1999 Columbine school massacre, to speak on "freeSpeech."
Quite simply, Mr. Rohrbough delivered a powerful and thoughtful editorial. His commentary is a must-read/must-see (link (with video)). Among other things, Mr. Rohrbough said:
This country is in a moral free-fall. For over two generations, the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum, expelling God from the school and from the government, replacing him with evolution, where the strong kill the weak, without moral consequences and life has no inherent value.
CNN has been hyping the Mark Foley scandal by emphasizing the damage that it will have on Republicans in the upcoming November elections. In doing so CNN is repeatedly using Minnesota Democrat Patty Wetterling’s campaign commercial that attacks Congressional leaders head on with the following opening statement.
"Congressional leaders have admitted covering up the predatory behavior of a Congressman who used the Internet to molest children". - Patty Wetterling Campaign Commercial
We can put aside the record speed in which the network picked up this campaign ad to concentrate on the actual statement by Wetterling that is being used in these reports. Note how quickly a scandal about e-mails and instant messages is now being presented as a case of child molestation that was covered-up by Congressional leaders.
Tim Graham pointed out to me that CNN had a real attachment to the word ‘lurid’ yesterday. As disturbing as this story is, do we need to use tabloid adjectives? If they are going to treat the story like that, why not follow it with pieces on the latest Hollywood scandal or alien abduction? They would do their counterparts at the National Enquirer proud.
Notice the systematic use of ‘lurid’ throughout the day! The Larry King people liked it so much they doubled up on "lurid" last night.
1.gruesome; horrible; revolting: the lurid details of an accident. 2.glaringly vivid or sensational; shocking: the lurid tales of pulp magazines. 3.terrible in intensity, fierce passion, or unrestraint: lurid crimes. 4.lighted or shining with an unnatural, fiery glow; wildly or garishly red: a lurid sunset. 5.wan, pallid, or ghastly in hue; livid.
After all, it is remarkable that the Post would run any story comparing the disparate treatment Democrats have received at the hands of the press and their constituencies as a result of sex-related scandalous behavior compared to their Republican counterparts.
But upon further review, as surprising as Farhi's effort is, when you group all of the people identified in Farhi's article into categories by party and how they were treated, you realize that Farhi glossed over important elements relating to Democrats who were (eventually) punished, and you note at least two very, very glaring omissions.
The mainstream media not infrequently employs the word "archconservative." But if there are indeed archconservatives, are there not also archliberals? Not in the world of the Chicago Tribune. A computer check of the newspaper's archives for the past five years revealed not a single instance of "archliberal" being used.
I suspect that Mrs. Chenoweth-Hage would not have been surprised.
Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe appeared on Tuesday's "American Morning" to challenge CNN anchor Miles O’Brien over a previous report on the Senator’s global warming position. Specifically, this was in reference to a piece on the September 28 edition of the program that portrayed Inhofe’s skepticism on the subject as less than noble. O'Brien had asserted:
"Now we should point out in a recent five-year period, Senator Inhofe received more than $850,000 in donations from the oil and gas industries, his leading contributor. Inhofe challenged the media to get this story right, as he put it, but when we asked for an interview several times, we were told he is too busy to speak to us this week."
Inhofe did appear this week and he came ready to challenge the CNN host:
INHOFE: "Well, Miles, it's nice to be with you. I know you don't believe it, but it is nice to be with you....You know why? You always smile. So many of these extremists out there, they are mad all the time. But you're not; you smile. In fact, when you're cutting my guts out for two minutes last week, you smiled all the way through it. And I appreciate that."
“Before Fox,” the AP's David Bauder relayed in a weekend article about the tenth anniversary of the Fox News Channel, “many in the media scoffed at the notion of a liberal bias and figured only a handful of people really believed that, said Erik Sorenson, former MSNBC President.” Sorenson, the President of the Secaucus, New Jersey-based MSNBC from 1999 through early 2004, where he re-hired Keith Olbermann in 2003 to replace Phil Donahue's show which he had created, told Bauder: "Fox proved it's a much larger group than anybody realized." Many realized it earlier, just not very many inside MSNBC -- or CBS News, where he served as Executive Producer of the CBS Evening News from 1991 to 1995. So he should know how Rush Limbaugh was banned from the newscast back then. Indeed, Bauder related how "the very idea that Rush Limbaugh would appear on a CBS Evening News segment called 'Free Speech,' heavily promoted on Katie Couric's first night as anchor, would have been unfathomable a decade ago, Sorenson said."
To you and me that may not exactly be earth-shattering news, but it is a bit surprising to hear admitted by liberal Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz. After all, this is the same guy who was "agnostic" about whether Keith Olbermann aims to forward a liberal agenda on his MSNBC program.
Veteran Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz admitted recently what many conservatives have long argued: taxpayer-funded National Public Radio (NPR) leans heavily to the left politically.
“With the rise of Fox News and conservative talk radio and NPR on the left and certain liberal cable programs, there is, polls have shown, that people like hearing opinions that reinforce their own,” Kurtz said on the September 30 edition of CNN’s “In the Money.”