On tonight's Nightly News, NBC anchor Brian Williams played excerpts from former President Bill Clinton's meltdown on Fox News, then turned to an "expert" for "perspective" - former Clinton staffer David Gergen. Gergen and Williams downplayed Clinton's display of anger, calling it a "four or five on a scale of ten" compared to previous private Clinton hissy fits.
On the Thursday, September 21, 2006, episode of his radio show, host Hugh Hewitt interviewed Thomas B. Edsall, who up until recently was a senior political reporter for the Washington Post. He had been with the paper for 25 years. Through precise and direct questioning by Hewitt, Edsall admitted something that is rarely heard from a liberal these days. In a shocking admission, Edsall articulated that the biases of the mainstream media are "overwhelmingly to the left." He also proposed that Democratic reporters outnumber Republicans "in the range of 15-25 to 1"!
In the interview, as Hewitt and Edsall discussed the rise of conservative talk radio and the biases of the mainstream media, Edsall stated the following:
EDSALL: ... I agree that whatever you want to call it, mainstream media, presents itself as unbiased, when in fact, there are built into it many biases, and they are overwhelmingly to the left.
Jules Crittenden, writing in the Boston Herald, examines the Associated Press' actions in light of the detention of AP photographer Bilal Hussein, captured by Coalition forces with al Qaeda terrorists and a weapons cache earlier this year:
The Associated Press, the reliable just-the-facts news agency you and I once knew, no longer exists. Amoral propagandists have taken over. It is not only in the disturbing matter of Bilal Hussein, AP photograher and al-Qaeda associate, being held without charge in U.S. custody in Iraq that this is evident. But also in the departure from balanced, nonpartisan coverage that has always been the AP’s promise to us, its customers...
The establishment news media places too much emphasis on the negative events happening in Iraq, so Defense Department employees need to side-step the media and get a positive message out to the American people, said Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
According to an article by www.CNSNews.com, Pace was asked by a soldier what the department is doing to confront what the soldier called the "negativity in the press [that] is absolutely detrimental to the morale of our forces."
He said the limited coverage now tends to focus on what "captures people's attention" and "not the schools being built."
He said the military is finding ways to have soldiers bring good news about the war directly to the American people. "One of the things we've changed," Pace said, "is as troops come home ... they are given the opportunity to take an extra day or two of leave if they will stay at home and just talk to their local communities, not from a script ... [but] tell the people in their hometown what their experience was like."
Soldiers and others from DoD, according to Pace, have the responsibility "to be very open, forthright about not only the bad, but the good and to present it in a way that our fellow citizens can understand and accept."
The San Francisco Chronicle has finally found a "hate crime" it can write about.
No, it isn't the hate crime of self-proclaimed terrorist, Omeed Aziz Popal, who drove his SUV into pedestrians throughout San Francisco, killing one, paralyzing another, and injuring many... no not that story. Why Omeed was just a poor, sick-in-the-head fellow, not an Islamist terrorist despite that he claimed to be to all who would listen to him.
I have looked at quite a few San Francisco Chronicle articles, and none of them have used the words "hate crime" in connection with the Aziz Popal story. (Here is a typical oneFamily cites history of mental problems, where the Chronicle never seems to get around to accusing hate crimes, but does feel sorry for the perpetrator)
This week was almost officially Bill Clinton Week, as he grants a round of interviews to surround his annual meeting for the Clinton Global Initiative. The event gave NBC viewers the opportunity to wonder: would Meredith Vieira be tougher on First Lady Laura Bush than she was with the man Rush Limbaugh calls Der Schlickmeister? Check it out. (Mark Finkelstein made bloggers like NRO's Stephen Spruiell laugh with his take.)
Clinton made "Daily Show" jokester Jon Stewart sit up and try to look serious and ask those tough questions like what's "fun" for Clinton. (Is that a trick question?) Stewart was also quite serious about trashing Robert Novak. Maybe he heard about Novak's comments from....here?
Democrats accuse Steele of 'political identity theft'
No, Maryland voters, the printer did not make an error. Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele's new campaign signs seem to identify him as a Democrat.
A "Steele Democrat," they read.
..... The group and accompanying signs appear to be the latest Steele effort to distance himself from an unpopular White House and a Republican Party struggling to maintain its hold on Congress. The state Democratic Party chairman immediately accused him of "identity theft."
Liberal press critics are quite the paradox. Most such writers like Eric Alterman, Michael Wolffe, and Michael Massing, are pretty sophisticated about the media in non-political matters, but when it comes to politics, they can't help repeating a slightly toned down version of rhetoric you'll find over at the Daily Kos. They deny the press is tilted toward the left (ignoring scores of content studies and surveys of reporters) and yet they cheer when the media chooses to favor the left, as if that's the media's natural role. Which it is, of course--if you're a liberal
This line of thought is far too common among left-wing media critics. In an interview with the Huffington Post, writer Michael Massing provided a textbook example of it, arguing that the press has properly began pushing back against the Bush Administration while also saying that conservative critics are fundamentally wrong in their opinion of the media:
My working hypothesis on all this, which I have mentioned in some of
those articles, is that the more powerful the President, the more timid
the press. There's an inverse relationship between the popularity of
the President and the willingness of the press to challenge him. And
right now, Bush's popularity is very low. I think we're seeing the
press pushing back in a very strong way. If I were writing an article
today about what's been happening, I would say more about how the press
has been pushing back. And I think there's a big appetite for this
among readers. The Bush administration is so beleaguered and has done
so many things that have upset the public that the press sees an
opening and has been moving to take advantage of it.
A striking bit of journalistic malpractice seems to have affected
the mainstream media web sites this morning, as news site after news
site failed to provide their readers with the transcript of Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speech last night to the United Nations.
As of noon at ABC News, it is as if Ahmadinejad never spoke, as
their was no reference to his address in front of the United Nations on
their Web site’s front page, and is notably absent from the headlines
of their political section as well. I had to search Google News to find
this report on their site, which did not link to the transcript, nor provide Ahmadinejad's closing remarks.
Likewise, Ahmadinejad’s speech was not easily found on the CBS News
site, and when an article was found buried below the fold of their
International news section, their story, as well, did not provide a transcript nor a summation of his closing remarks.
Sometimes when I'm talking about the media with someone who's smart but
not particularly that political, they'll sometimes wonder why it's
worth pointing out press bias or unfairness. The way they figure it,
basically everyone is smart enough to take everything they see in the
press with a grain of salt. If they come across something that's not
true, they'll reject it.
It's a nice idea in theory, but in practice it just doesn't work that
way. Most people are either too busy, too apathetic, or not intelligent
enough to question the accuracy of something they see on TV or read
The latest Gallup survey provides a great illustration for this point.
According to Gallup, nearly one-half of the American public believes
that President Bush is deliberately manipulating oil prices to help
Republicans. The following is from USA
Today's recount of the poll (h/t: Ace):
Comedy Central host Jon Stewart, well known for slamming conservatives, talked last night with former President Clinton and proceeded to offer him non-stop softball questions. The ex-President plugged his new Clinton Global Initiative program to fight poverty, global warming and support racial reconciliation. (Stewart did not press as to what specifically the project will do.) The tenor of the comedian’s questions can be summed up in this query on what makes Clinton happy:
Stewart: "All right, so what, in your mind, you’ve worked, you’ve worked in government for most of your career. Now you are out and doing private initiatives, these types of things. What’s more effective? What are you having more fun doing and what do you think is more effective?"
Yes, that’s right. Jon Stewart asked the former President what he found "fun," political or private life? It became clear, very early in the program, just how the talk show host differentiated between George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Stewart: "We got a fine program for you tonight Former president Bill Clinton will be sitting down with us today. And uh, I'll ask him probably questions about the political climate and the complex issues, and he will be like [high pitched, hysterical voice], duh, I don't know. Oh, no, wait. That's, uh, oh, right, no, this is President Clinton."
"Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" premiered on NBC tonight, and it looks like more of the same old, same old. Judd Hirsch's character, in charge of the Saturday Night Live-like show flew into a snit when the network standards and practices exec forced him to pull a skit called "Crazy Christians".
On CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday morning, Gloria Borger, CBS News Capitol Hill correspondent and U.S. News columnist, conceded that the revelation that then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was who leaked the fact that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, “was sort of a big yawn” to the news media “and why we didn't cover it that much, is because, first of all, everybody was anticipating a Karl Rove indictment, and that would have been a huge, huge story.” So, when “Karl Rove was not indicted, the air went out of the balloon at that particular point.” To put it mildly. Host Howard Kurtz called media coverage of Rove “overheated,” suggesting that “a lot of journalists practically had the date circled on the calendar when he might be charged."
The CBS Evening News at least ran a story, unlike the ABC and NBC evening newscasts, but a very skewed and incomplete report, as detailed in my September 7 NewsBusters item, “CBS Interviews Armitage, But Skips Rove and Asks if He Owes Apology to Wilson?” (Brief transcript of Borger's exchange with Kurtz follows)
Eric Burns, host of Fox News Channel's Fox News Watch, recently gave an interview to Bill Steigerwald of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Following are two large portions of the Q&A, with emphasis added. What Burns has to say in the first will annoy much of the left, but some of his comments in the second presumably won't sit well with NewsBusters readers. Portion one:
Q: You don't give away much on the air. You're pretty good at playing the middle - the centrist. Can you tell us what your politics are, generally?
A: No. I won't do that because that's not what I'm paid for at Fox. There are a lot of people who do give their political opinions on the air. And I make it a point - and a point of pride - to have people not know my politics. I don't think they are relevant to a show that analyzes the news, so I prefer to keep them to myself off the air, as I do on.
The Fitzpatrick Plame investigation has spurred the New York Times into examining how their reporters conduct themselves. Apparently, the Gray Lady wants her staff to act more like terrorists and drug dealers. Reporters are being told to delete emails, destroy notes, and use disposable cell phones in order to stymie future investigations.
To hear the establishment media tell it, the American public is unanimously against U.S. troops being in Iraq and the war against terror. We hear about every ragtag, fly-by-night anti-war group’s activities, no matter how small the turnout or ineffectual the impact.
Conversely, three Conservative activist groups unite to announce that they’ll converge on Washington, D.C., Sept. 22-23 to show their support for the war in Iraq and the soldiers fighting it, and it’s virtually impossible to find media coverage of the event.
So, was August a good or poor month for retail sales? It depends on who you ask. Despite that the fact that everyone is working from virtually the same data, different reports are reaching totally opposite conclusions.
Here's the beginning of one of several reports with an ominous tone from the Associated Press (negative words in bold):
Retail sales in August posted the weakest showing in two months as worried consumers curbed their spending habits.
The Commerce Department reported that the nation's retailers saw a tiny 0.2 percent increase last month following a much bigger 1.4 percent rise in July. It was the weakest performance since sales had actually fallen by 0.5 percent in June.
On Wednesday’s "Early Show," co-host Rene Syler offered results from Tuesday’s primaries, but the labels were remarkably different. In Rhode Island, Syler classified Senator Chafee’s opponent as a "conservative," but in New York, Senator Clinton’s ultraliberal opponent was simply classified as "anti-war." Bob Schieffer offered commentary on the Rhode Island race, and called the Club for Growth "very conservative." Back in August, Connecticut Senate candidate Ned Lamont was labeled as "anti-war" while the "Early Show" never referred to Lamont backers as "very liberal."
The top story on the "Early Show" was the primary results, and the story was narrated by Rene Syler. She noted Stephen Laffey was a conservative:
Rich Muslims of the world need to unite and buy up various parts of the global media in order to force them to become more friendly to Islam. That's the message coming out of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference being held in Saudi Arabia.
As you might expect, Reuters has a reporter there who couldn't help but insert an anti-Fox News remark into the story:
Muslim tycoons should buy stakes in global media outlets to help
change anti-Muslim attitudes around the world, ministers from Islamic
countries heard at a conference in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
ministers and officials meeting under the auspices of the 57-nation
Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the world's largest
Islamic body, said Islam faced vilification after the September 11
attacks, when 19 Arabs killed nearly 3,000 people in U.S. cities in
Sept. 15: Rex Nutting, in the first BizzyBlog comment, noted that he e-mailed me support for how he calculated the item I contended needed correcting (which he believes does not, and therefore will not correct). I had to spend some time reverse engineering what he sent, because he did not provide a detailed calculation to support any of the figures he provided; those figures did check out, but doing so took time.
I will cover the dispute in detail Monday. I apologize for the delay, but will give away the ending in the interest of a peaceful weekend -- His calculation uses an averaging method that, while commonly used and therefore not "requiring" a correction, is nevertheless mathematically incorrect, as I will show in detail when I put the post up on Monday.
What would you call someone who, as per Project Vote Smart, within the last six years has received a 100% rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood and a 0% from the National Right-to-Life Committee? A 100% rating from the ACLU. A 0% rating from Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum. A 100% rating from the League of Conservation Voters and a 0% rating from the conservative Family Research Council?
Oh, and someone who voted against George W. Bush for president in 2004, against the confirmation of Sam Alito to the Supreme Court, and who demands the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq?
I'd call that person a liberal. Not MSNBC. Not Hardball. Not Chris Matthews's field correspondent David Shuster. The person in question is Republican-barely-in-name-only Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. How did Shuster describe him in a set-up piece for Hardball's discussion of the Rhode Island GOP senatorial primary this evening? A "moderate Republican."
At the very end of Monday's Countdown show, during his latest "Special Comment" (also posted on his Bloggermann Web site) attacking the Bush administration, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann unleashed one of his most vitriolic attacks on the President, accusing him of "lying by implication" to get America into a "fraudulent war" with "needless death" in Iraq, which Olbermann referred to as "an impeachable offense." Olbermann: "The polite phrase for how so many of us were duped into supporting a war on the false premise that it had something to do with 9/11 is lying by implication. The impolite phrase is 'impeachable offense.'" He also bizarrely seemed to blame President Bush for the delays in building a memorial at Ground Zero, as he branded Bush's "reprehensible inaction" as a "crime against every victim here and every patriotic sentiment you [Bush] mouthed but did not enact, you have done nothing about it." After accusing the President of "forgetting the lessons of 9/11," Olbermann obnoxiously concluded: "May this country forgive you." (Transcript follows)
Video of the last two-thirds of Olbermann's nearly nine-minute long rant (5:45): Real (4.4 MB at 100 kbps) or Windows Media (3.7 MB at 81 kbps), plus MP3 audio (2 MB)
As badly as the American press leans leftward, the Canadian press is actually worse in its bias against things conservative. That's ironic since Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper, is actually a conservative which has caused a good amount of friction with intolerant liberals up north.
Facing an entire press corps as impartial as Keith Olbermann, Harper has had no choice but to play tough with reporters who despise him, snubbing their little award ceremonies, and denouncing their desire to pontificate at news conferences. "They don't ask questions at my press conferences," he said in May.
As of today, The Parliamentary Press
Gallery has called off its five-month-old boycott of Prime Minister
Stephen Harper's news conferences.
Officially, its only a
temporary suspension of the boycott to let Harper think about the error
of his ways and to reach a new protocol for holding press conferences.
But the PPG members know the jig's up.
Attendance at Thursday's pro-illegal alien rally fell way below even the latest low-balling protest organizer estimates. In Friday's Washington Post, reporters Darryl Fears and N.C. Aizenman estimated that "fewer than 5,000" attended the festivities yesterday. The first paragraph was a stunner:
A pro-immigration rally that promised to bring tens of thousands of marchers from across the nation to Washington yesterday managed to draw only a paltry number of demonstrators, raising questions about the movement's tactics and staying power.
You've satirized numerous presidents. How's this presidency different? Previously, whether I was dealing with a Republican or a Democratic president, I always felt that they were kind of up to the job, basically. And this president, to me, doesn't seem that way at all. It's very scary to me that he occupies the office.
That doesn't sound so impartial. Are you a Democrat? I am...
Some of your cartoons are kind of dark. We're in a dark time in history now. The country is needlessly divided.
Yes, needlessly divided. All we have to do to be undivided is convert to liberalism. Just like we're needlessly at war with militant Muslims and all we have to do to stop it is convert to Islam.
Early reports on Thursday's planned Washington march for amnesty for illegal aliens said a million protesters were expected. At the top of the Metro section of Thursday's Washington Post, we learn lowering expectations is under way -- well, not at the top of the story, but in paragraph eighteen: "Organizers initially predicted a turnout of 1 million, but they now are projecting a crowd similar to the one at a rally on the National Mall on April 10. A police official estimated that the demonstration drew at least 100,000 people; organizers pegged attendance about 500,000."
The story's headline is "Rally May Gauge Future of Immigration Movement." The headline inside Metro after the jump is "Non-Latinos Taped To Bring New Energy And Serve As Allies." Neither headline says "Protest Leader Estimates of Attendance Collapsing." Despite the note of disappointing turnout, the Post is still giving prominent pre-protest publicity to what they call the "immigrant rights" movement, as reporters Darryl Fears and Karin Brulliard began the Thursday story:
Dan Rather, who may have been out to rain on Katie Couric's parade, promote his return to TV news, or both, talked at length the other day to Rebecca Dana of the New York Observer, and the result is in the Observer's new issue. Highlights:
--Starting October 24, the hour-long Dan Rather Reports will air Tuesday nights on the high-definition channel HDNet, whose boss, Mark Cuban, has, in Dana's words, "promised [Rather] complete editorial control of the program." Rather also will do a documentary for HDNet every so often.
Dana writes that Rather "declined to say whether he himself hoped to pursue the mysterious National Guard documents that formed the basis of the [Memogate] report. Instead, he outlined three areas of coverage that he plans to focus on...the lives of soldiers and their families; the shrinking of the middle class (“although I don’t like to talk in terms of class; it’s a European term”); and the relationship between money and political campaigns...All three are topics that he believes are under-covered by the broadcast and cable news operations..."
As regular readers of NewsBusters know, a fairly large number of
leftists in this country are convinced that George W. Bush is hell-bent
on destroying America and turning it into a dictatorship where
mandatory worship of "neocons" is required and media outlets are
censored. Liberal figures such as Al Gore, Keith Olbermann, and regulars at places like Democratic Underground and Daily Kos routinely make such statements.
exposing leftist paranoia for public ridicule is amusing, I think it's also
worth noting just how far from reality these claims really are. Last
month, we saw how real media repression occurs every day in Fidel Castro's Cuba. But Cuba is far from the only place where this happens. Over at PBS's MediaShift, Mark Glaser and Zimbabwean journalist Frank Chikowore talk about how that country's government imprisons and censors reporters who dare criticize it:
government shuts down independent newspapers. It jams radio signals
from outside the country. Internet access is sporadic. Inflation is out
of control. A bill is in Parliament that would allow the government to
censor private email communications.
Welcome to Zimbabwe,
the south African country born out of the former Rhodesia in 1980 and
led by strongman President Robert Mugabe every day since its
independence from British colonialism.