In the past, Washington Post music reviewers have made no secret of their disdain of country music star Toby Keith's patriotic homegrown quasi-conservatism. But now that Keith is shying away, almost apologizing for his political scuffles with the Dixie Chicks and the late Peter Jennings, the Post seems to have a new-found respect for Keith as a musician and artist. Below the fold you'll see what I'm talking about, but let's start with two prime examples of the Post's past personal swipes at Keith.
Take this November 5, 2003, review by Bill Friskics-Warren, which front-loads a begrudgingly positive review with the obligatory "I can't stand this guy's politics, but he's a damn fine musician" lede:
THIS is CNN in 1998; the link is to a story debunking the network's Peter Arnett and April Oliver, who accused Vietnam soldiers of war crimes in Operation Tailwind.
This is from 2003. The network's Eason Jordan confessed that the network twisted the news out of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, thereby giving false impressions of the regime to the world so that it could maintain its access to the country (the article is posted at the author's web host for fair use and discussion purposes).
Then there's this from 2005. Eason Jordan accused the US military in Iraq of targeting journalists, and ultimately resigned in the wake of the outcry. "Somehow" the actual video footage of Jordan's accusations, made at the World Economic Forum in Davos, never surfaced.
In Monday’s daily online Washingtonpost.com political chat, reporter Shailagh Murray grew readably irritated when a reader questioned her use of the label "ultraconservative" for Rep. Barbara Cubin in a June 7 story on who would succeed the late Sen. Craig Thomas. "I get irritated with people who assume knee-jerk bias in reporters, based on one story that they happen to read. I actually don't see such terms as inflammatory, but as descriptive, and I'll use them as a I see fit."
The reader also asked her if she ever puts the word "ultra" in front of "liberal" in her stories, and who would fit the "ultraliberal" label. The reporter skipped the first question (suggesting she doesn’t use "ultraliberal"), but offered a list of ultraliberals: Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, and Sen. Barbara Boxer. Not a bad list, but guess what? It’s easy to find Post stories where those ultraliberals are written up, and are only called "liberals" and more often, aren’t labeled at all.
What is it about some news outlets that they can't report a story without trying to flavor it with their own biases? That they can't give "just the facts m'am" but have to throw in their snide asides and negative phraseology? And, it's bad enough when they do it in their normal attempts at "reporting" the news, but when they do it in between an upbeat report by one of our soldiers who's opinion is that the surge is working and our presence in Iraq is a good thing, it's all the more grating. But, then, they just can't leave their hatred for American foreign policy aside long enough to report this soldier's enthusiasm, now can they?
In this case, Boise, Idaho TV 2 News, in a story by Scott Logan, just can't leave the snide comments out of their story of Army First Sergeant Noah Edney's enthusiastic point of view on our efforts in Iraq. Even the title seems to take a swipe at policy: Boise Infantryman In Baghdad Shares Views On "Surge" -- notice the quotation marks around the word surge? Even as surge is a commonly acceptable term and not one to be questioning with quotations they cast doubt onto it by using the grammatical device.
But, if you might think the parenthesis around the word surge might not be suspect, they quickly set the record straight on how they feel about the policy with their very first line of the story.
Mireya Navarro of The New York Times took 32 paragraphs in her June 10 Fashion & Style section article to tell you what I'm about to in one sentence. (h/t Clay Waters of NB sister publication TimesWatch)
Liberal Hollywood doesn't feature women having abortions in TV and movies very often because it's bad to alienate a sizable chunk, if not an outright majority, of your audience who are pro-life.
Of course, you can't fault Hollywood for being pro-choice where it counts to them most. Choosing plotlines and conventional stories that boost the bottom line. That is, unless you're an artiste who is forever battling the crass capitalistic forces of banality, like say, Christopher Keyser. You know, the cinematic Michelangelo that gave us the late-1990s Fox drama 'Party of Five.' Navarro thought it important that we hear from him and other liberals in the industry who lament this one area where Hollywood remains mostly conservative, if only because they feel the heat rather than see the light.
Can you remember the last time you heard "Today" or other MSM outlets describe, in terms such as "over the top," rabid anti-Bush protests by the likes of the Cindy Sheehan crowd, the Code Pink girls, or the folks pictured below ? Neither can I. Conversely, when Bill Clinton receives enthusiastic receptions overseas, the MSM breaks out the "rock-star" analogies, with no sarcasm in sight.
But let President Bush receive a warm welcome from Eastern European crowds who appreciate his leadership on behalf of their freedom, and "Today" just can't take it.
On this morning's "Today" at 7:04 am EDT, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell reported from Bulgaria on the president's European trip, in which crowds in Bulgaria and notably in Albania greeted him very enthusiastically.
NBC CORRESPONDENT KELLY O'DONNELL: We've seen the president get a warm, sometimes over-the-top reaction here in Eastern Europewhere countries send troops to Iraq and also generally back the president. So he may not be all that anxious to get back to Washington."
I was wondering when the New Republic Magazine began to delve into comedy? I guess it's all the rage with the comedic stylings of Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, and John Kerry, but I had always thought the New Republic fashioned itself a magazine of "serious" political commentary. After reading a fawning, nay slobberingly sycophantic, assessment of the career of David Gregory, NBC News' White House correspondent, I have my doubts about TNR’s claims to serious analysis. The title even seems a stab at humor, or at least wild hyperbole, as they absurdly seem to think that Gregory "Saved the Press Corps". (Registration required for the New Republic)
I mean, this thing might have been written by the best The Simpsons writers or the inventive crew from the joke-shop operated by that red-headed rake, Conan O'Brien.
Sadly, I believe the magazine published this in all seriousness. I mean, imagine? They truly are positing that this ill tempered, easily provoked, admittedly "showboating", loudmouth of a reporter is something to admire and emulate!
This one is really stretching the limits of any legitimate blame being leveled at Fred Thompson, but the L.A.Times has published a story linking Thompson to businessman with a shady past over a radio advertisement that the Senator narrates for that businessman's company. But, as we find out, Thompson's ABC Radio contract requires that he and other ABC Radio personalities act as narrator for the radio spot, so it isn't like Fred has gone out of his way to endorse this shady businessman's product. Naturally, the L.A. Times has to title the piece "An Awkward Ad By Fred Thompson", even as the Senator barely has a walk on part in the article. Most of the article ends up being about the company that the ad was recorded for and not Thompson. So, the light is shined on Thompson even as the story is not really about him much at all.
National Public Radio’s weekend show "On The Media" is often a liberal oasis inside of a liberal oasis. Last weekend, NPR host Brooke Gladstone invited on Paul Waldman of that Hillary Clinton-cloned media pressure group, who wrote a study claiming the religious left was underrepresented on TV. (It might be because you often can’t really tell the difference between the "religious" left and the secular left. Both want socialism, abortion on demand, forced gay acceptance, the banning of the SUV, and the restoration of the 90-percent top tax bracket. But just one half says Jesus wouldn't drive an SUV.)
Gladstone’s other guest was Jeff Sharlet, a leftist blogger at a media-and-religion site called The Revealer. (It's the counterpoint to Get Religion, in other words.) At the segment’s end, Gladstone uncorked a new motto jokingly: "We really span the spectrum here from sort of left to very left."
The AP has given us a piece on how "Right-Wing" book publishers are "worried" over the future success of publishing books on conservatives topics. One cannot help wonder, though, if the "worry" by the so-called "right-wing" publishers is more like the APs glee when you read their piece titled, "Right-Wing Publishers Worry About Future", by Hillel Italie, AP National Writer.
The first half of this story leads the reader to imagine that Conservative books are hurting in the market with all the negative quotes employed about their future. Naturally, after that first half about how dismal the future for conservative books is, the story then takes a turn to praise liberal books, showing how "energized" they are, after which the story broadens into a piece about the entire BookExpo America gathering.
When done reading the report, you realize that, despite the story's title, it isn't just about how bad the conservative book market is, but, instead, it is a story on the whole of the BookExpo America trade show. Why, exactly, is this titled the way it is, then, if it isn't just about how bad the conservative market is?
Sandy Berger, the national security adviser under former President Clinton, was disbarred yesterday in the District of Columbia.
The Washington Post says Berger agreed last month to give up his law license in order to avoid a prolonged investigation that grew out of his conviction in 2005 of removing classified documents from the National Archives.
In an interesting slam against the Left-Wing Blogosphere, one time Clinton man, now Time Magazine writer, Joe Klein, hits 'em hard. Left-Wing Bloggers are vile. Left-Wing Bloggers are mean. Left-Wing Bloggers are disloyal. Left-Wing Bloggers jump to wild, unsupported conclusions... So says Klein in a June 6th piece titled "Beware the Bloggers' Bile." But, don't get your hopes up because, while everything he says about the nut-roots is dead on, it all ends up being Bush's and Radio icon Rush Limbaugh's fault, instead of the left's fault -- it's not as if the left could ever imagine anything is ever their fault, I suppose.
Still, for most of the piece, Klein slams his nut-roots followers in just about every which way you can imagine but calling them ugly and having bad B.O. and it's fun to read.
A tipster reports that the New York Daily News has a style guide on its internal computer system with a very typical liberal-media template for its reporters on how to handle abortion labeling:
Guidelines regarding stories and headlines on abortion:
1. Call those who oppose abortions abortion foes or abortion opponents or (in tight-count heads) abort foes. Avoid the phrases pro-life or pro-lifers, except in direct quotations.
2. Those who favor a woman's right to an abortion are abortion rights activists or pro-abortion rights or pro-choice. Avoid pro-abortion.
3. Also avoid the phrase "when the life of the mother is at stake." Make it "... life of the woman ..." Don't call the fetus an unborn child, and don't refer to the unborn in headlines.
4. You can use abortion clinic or abort clinic in tight-count headlines.
I know. The first thing you thought was, "well, DUH!" Of course Keith Olbermann "overstates". He is a raving lunatic, for Heaven's sake. But, it took long enough for the left leaning MSM to catch on and Public Eye is gently -- and I DO mean gently -- trying to get their truthiest of truthers back on track, apparently. After all, they don't want to hurt his widdle feelings, or nuthin'.
Public Eye's Matthew Felling starts by buttering up Olby's fragile ego with an estimate on how much "media capital" he's "earned" with his show, but soon wonders why he went to far into tin-foil hat territory with his rant that Bush was really responsible for the recent JFK Airport terror plot.
A really marvelous video was posted at YouTube today depicting a somewhat fictional press outlet – the People’s News Network – reporting on the American invasion at Normandy as if it happened today with the present antiwar media.
As the negotiations about whether to sell the Wall Street Journal's parent company appear to be moving along between Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and the Bancroft family, owners of a special class of stock which gives them control over Dow Jones.
Whenever Murdoch is going hard for a media asset, it inevitably sets off concerns among those on the left (such as the employee unions at Dow Jones) that the purchase of an outlet by News Corp. will somehow comprimise its editorial integrity since Murdoch is a very active manager in his properties. Those concerns seem to be less about editorial process and more about political considerations since Murdoch is far from the only active media mogul.
In an editorial today, the Journal pointed out that Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger is heavily involved in managing the New York Times:
[T]he Bancrofts are unique in their hands-off ownership. They are often compared as family newspaper proprietors to the Grahams at the Washington Post or the Sulzbergers at the New York Times. But members of those families run those newspapers, exerting influence over the news and opinion operations. In that sense, those newspapers are hardly "independent" of those families.
If this isn't the ultimate hypocrisy? Here we have new NBC Universal Entertainment Co-chairman Ben Silverman, a highly positioned member of the MSM, getting all huffy over the fact that an eeeevil "Blogger" leaked his important, behind the scenes company operations on the Internet. "I hate the blog world. ... It ends up interfering with people's lives," says the NBC kingpin.
This is hilarious for it's disconnectedness. The MSM doesn't seem to feel THEY are "interfering with people's lives" when they do stories that destroy people (hello Richard Jewell, falsely accused as being the "Centennial Park Olympics bomber" by the MSM -- or "Scooter" Libby for that matter. And let's not forget how the "entertainment" media dogged poor Anna Nicole Smith to her death... and after!). Nor do they worry much about the propriety of leaks of information where it concerns national security (hello New York Times' constant disclosure of National security info). None of those things seem to worry the MSM when it is they being the exposer rather than the exposed (hello Dan Rather and "60 Minutes").
NewsBusters reader Paul Farmer (NoMoreClintons) sent along the following this morning a guest blog submission. Farmer touched on the decidedly vague guidance that the Associated Press gives reporters on when to include a politician's party affiliation.
Farmer has an older AP Stylebook than I have (I have the 2006 edition), but the portion on "party affiliation" he excerpts from his is nearly a word-for-word match with mine.
So in light of AP's pattern of obscuring the party affiliation of the recently indicted Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) (as reported by NB's Lynn Davidson) and an initial lack of interest by some media in Jefferson's scandal (see this oldie but a goodie from 2005, the early days of NB), I'd thought I'd share Mr. Farmer's thoughts with you:
Publicly, American media elites often deny that they attempt to influence the national agenda. They're professionals, so the story goes, and completely capable of not letting their personal viewpoints intrude accidentally into their stories. It's laughable given the mountain of evidence to the contrary and the fact that journalists support affirmative action on the grounds that white reporters can't cover minority issues as fairly.
Every so often, however, you hear journalists privately say the complete opposite--that not only do they have the ability to influence news, they also choose to influence it. Such statements are usually more common among the non-American press where the sham of "objectivity" is not perpetrated on the public.
With that in mind, I was still quite surprised to see the following statements said at a panel discussion in Israel on the influence that country's media has had on its foreign policy:
Former CBS host Bryant Gumbel, who was once infamously caught on camera calling a conservative activist a "f***ing idiot," defended and reaffirmed his comment while guest hosting on Tuesday’s "Live With Regis and Kelly." Discussing the possibility of inadvertently swearing on live television, Gumbel told co-host Kelly Ripa that he "was correct" when he used the F-word in reference to Robert Knight, then with the Family Research Council.
While explaining the 2000 event, Gumbel did announce that it was "wrong" to use profanity on the air, but added that he found Knight’s assertion, that gays should not be allowed in the Boy Scouts, "infuriating." He also derided Mr. Knight, now the director of MRC's Culture and Media Institute (CMI) saying, "I'm going to kindly describe him as a gentleman."
Video of the Gumbel’s original on-air vulgarity can be found here. Video of the June 5 "Regis and Kelly" can be found here: Video: Real (942 KB) or Windows (1 MB) plus MP3 (164 KB) [Warning: Discussion of the profanity follows]
Earlier this year, Democrats caved in to their left wing by canceling a debate hosted by FNC on the grounds that Fox wouldn't provide a fair forum for their presidential aspirants. Never mind that in 2003, the Dems eagerly and without complaint participated in a FNC-sponsored debate, the last CNN-sponsored debate had the network pulling far more strings than it should have, skewing the process in a way that it wanted.
As noted by Howard Mortman, the liberal dominated network deliberately placed the three highest-polling candidates right next to each other, thereby minimizing the exposure the "lesser" candidates received. Moderator Wolf Blitzer also took more time for himself than every candidate except Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Update: Links to other blogger reactions at bottom of post.
Bernard Shaw, the former CNN reporter and Washington, D.C. anchor, told WTTW Channel 11 in Chicago that he's "very, very disappointed with the way news management" at CNN "has gone," reports TVSpy.com. He further complained that Fox News Channel is "the ratings leader ... and what Fox puts on the air is not news." Fox, in Shaw's view, is "commentary, personal analysis."
"I don't want to hear an anchor's personal opinion about anything. Just report the news," said Shaw. "But CNN continues to ape many of the on-air mannerisms of the Fox News Network, and I don't like that." This doesn't match his record. More on that in a moment.
Ford's protracted sales slump continued in May, while every other major automaker showed gains:
DETROIT — Toyota Motor Corp.'s U.S. vehicle sales jumped 14.1 percent in May to its best monthly level ever and General Motors Corp.'s sales rose 9.7 percent, helping boost industry sales 5 percent, as both automakers credited in part the appeal of their more fuel-efficient offerings amid high gas prices.
For the second month this year, Toyota outsold Ford Motor Co., which saw sales fall 6.9 percent as it continued to cut low-profit sales to rental companies. Nissan Motor Co.'s sales gained 7.4 percent, DaimlerChrysler AG's sales rose 3.9 percent and American Honda Motor Co. rose 2.5 percent.
Even factoring in the change in sales to rental companies, the article goes on to say that Ford's retail sales were still down 3%.
As he did last month, George Pipas of Ford tried an advance PR stunt that fizzled, but left less-than-close observers thinking that the company might be doing better than it really is:
Surely you've heard the phrase "out of left field" when something is part of a discussion yet it makes no sense to be included? In this case, I have an example of leftist sentiment slamming Richard Nixon at the end of a story that has nothing to do with modern political "sides." It strikes one as quite odd to be where it is. When you see it, you'll cock your head and say, "What the heck is THAT all about"?
You know what I mean, I am sure. It's jarring when someone in the media is talking sports and then suddenly takes a jab at Bush, or when they're talking about fashion and they abruptly throw in a crack at those "evil conservatives", always when it is quite off topic. It makes you go "huh?" It makes you wonder if their hatred of the right is so ginned up in their tiny little minds that they cannot even talk about movies and sports without taking shots their political enemies -- and those enemies are us, folks.
This particular head spinning "Huh?" is in a story in the UK's Telegraph titled, "One filing cabinet held 500 years of history." This is a story that has nothing to do with politics per se, yet this UK paper can't resist a shot at an American Republican. The slam is completely gratuitous and makes no sense in context to the story.
Barbara Miner of the Milwaukee Journal, Sentinel has written one of the funniest anti-gun screeds I've seen in a long, long time. Oh, she didn't MEAN to be funny, of course. But, her article gave the effect of seeing a 40-year-old white guy trying to chant the lyrics to a popular rap music tune to look cool to his eye rolling kids. Her rambling little column was so filled with unintentionally funny moments, was so clueless in its lack of introspection and so completely absurd that one would have thought the link at the Milwaukee Journal, Sentinel website had accidentally taken you to the satirical website, "The Onion".
Now, I have always been somewhat confused when leftists are being unintentionally funny. Do we laugh and be mean at their utter cluelessness, or do we feel sorrow and pity instead of mirth? How should we feel, for instance, when Keith Olbermann pretends that he is giving pertinent commentary, or when Babs Streisand acts as if she is to be taken seriously... or anytime we even see Cindy Sheehan doing, well, anything. So, when I read this anti-gun piece so chock full of absurdity, I was torn as to how to feel about it.
Ah, who am I kidding? I laughed like a hyena at how foolish this liberal chick is. I mean, what planet is this woman from?
In answer to Mark Finkelstein's question here on Newsbusters, "How Will MSM Take on Thompson?", we may be seeing some possible angles of attack warming up. I won't claim to know the definitive answer, but Mark's question got me to taking an occasional look to see how the MSM is approaching Senator Fred Thompson and I think that we might be seeing a few trial balloons on that subject.
Balloon #1 - Thompson is a traitor
As I chronicled in my last Newsbusters piece about New York Times TV writer, Alessandra Stanley, who poked at the good Senator over his leaving the TV show upon which he played a part, one line of attack says that Fred Thompson is not to be trusted because he is letting down the producers of the TV show. Since the show is in ratings trouble, his leaving looks like some sort of traitorous move as far as Stanley is concerned... not that anyone ELSE sees it, of course.
In the MSM world of NBC, the only "rights" groups are liberal ones. And Supreme Court justices, at least women ones, are there to serve as advocates for their sex.
That was evident from the segment "Today" ran this morning, focusing on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The gist was that with Sandra Day O'Connor gone, it's a lonely struggle for Ginsburg as the high court's sole woman. "Today" portrayed that struggle not between liberals and conservatives, but between conservatives and various "rights" groups.
Campbell Brown introduced the segment.
'TODAY' WEEKEND TODAY CO-HOST CAMPELL BROWN: One thing as clear as the Court moves into its final weeks of the current session, it is much different place with just one female place among nine high court justices."