Liberal media critics dismiss FNC as biased to the right, pointing to how Republicans prefer to watch it, but a new poll completed by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that by the same margin that Republicans choose to get their news from FNC, Democrats prefer to learn their news from the broadcast networks and, to a somewhat lesser extent, CNN and NPR. In the survey released Sunday, 34 percent of Republicans reported they watch FNC regularly, compared to 20 percent of Democrats -- a 14 point spread. As for the broadcast networks, Pew reported: “The gap between Republicans and Democrats in regular viewership of the nightly network news on ABC, CBS, or NBC is now 14 points, nearly three times as large as it was in 2004; currently, 38 percent of Democrats regularly watch compared with 24 percent of Republicans. There is a slightly smaller gap in the regular audience for NPR -- 22 percent of Democrats listen regularly, compared with 13 percent of Republicans.” A higher percentage of Democrats than Republicans watch CNN, MSNBC, network morning shows, Sunday morning interview programs and TV news magazine shows. Other than FNC, Rush Limbaugh is the only measured news source to which more Republicans than Democrats turn.
On the CBS News "Public Eye" site, CBS Evening News producer Ward Sloane was interviewed in the "Ten Plus One" feature. The Public Eye team asked ten questions, and then added one from an outsider, who asked about media watchdog groups: "There is always a lot of criticism, particularly in the realm of political reporting, about journalists being biased against liberals or conservatives. There are organizations that exist primarily to highlight instances of such bias. How do you think that climate affects political coverage, if at all?" Sloane said all the media-bias talk was just fundraising hucksterism:
I do not believe that honest journalists worry about what such organizations say about their stories and pieces. Of course, political stories I’ve worked on have been picked up by both conservative and liberal organizations as being “unfair.” But for these folks, “unfair” is anything that doesn’t promote their agenda. And it is my belief, though I don’t have any evidence of this, that a lot of the howling about media bias is primarily a vehicle to raise money.
Do I think these organizations can be helpful? Not really; I think they just want to use journalists and their media outlets for their own purposes. People who read or subscribe to those organizations are going to think the media is biased anyway. Once in a blue moon, it may be that they do serve the purpose of poking a stick in my eye and asking, hey, did I slant that item?
During an appearance on Friday's Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann acknowledged accusations of liberal bias, but denied they were true, preferring to describe himself politically as "correct" and "neutral," without a "rooting interest" in who wins elections. Ignoring criticism from the MRC that, among other instances of bias during the 1998 Monica Lewinsky scandal, he once compared former Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr to Nazi war criminal Heinrich Himmler, Olbermann claimed that he was never accused of liberal bias while covering the scandal. Olbermann: "I've been accused of being a liberal, which is interesting because the last time I was on doing the news in the late 90s, I did 218 consecutive shows about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. And no one accused me of being a liberal then. It's very interesting the way you can be sort of pigeonholed. I like to think of myself politically as 'correct.'" (Transcript follows)
You may recall the past items I've posted about journalists who think they are exempt from the same behavior that they inflict on the rest of us. CBS News anchor Diann Burns is suing her contractors for skimping on her $3 million house because she is black. Of course the contracter gave her $92,000 in free perks, but she's still upset that they aren't going to fix the rain gutters on the neighboring house so they don't spill water in her yard. Obviously the neighbors are also doing this because she is black.
The punch line is this request to the court:
The filing asks that all attorneys, experts and court personnel involved in the case sign a "secrecy agreement," which would last up to five years after the suit has ended, barring them from talking about aspects of the case publicly or peddling pictures of the interior of the home.
The filing, which will be the subject of a Thursday court hearing, says that the luxury home is Burns' and Watts' "castle and refuge from the daily pressures of life," and that they "will suffer unreasonable annoyance and embarrassment if pictorial or verbal descriptions of the interior of their home" are made public and "may attract curiosity seekers, depriving them of the privacy and peace of the home to which every human being is entitled."
The filing specifically asks a judge to prevent information from being given "to the general public or the media" about the inside of their home...
Next time you see a reporter doing a live stand-up in front of an innocent victim's house, remember how this hypocritical CBS anchor believes that every human being is entitled to privacy and peace in their home.
The July 31 issue of the Nation includes Lakshmi Chaudhry's piece, pegged to last month's Yearly Kos shindig in Las Vegas, asserting that "the media rage on the left--at least among those politically active online--now matches that on the right."
To her credit, Chaudhry provides some valid insights regarding left-wing critics of the MSM, e.g.:
At least part of [lefty bloggers'] rhetoric is less about the press itself than about bolstering the bloggers' self-identity as outsiders, which offers the emotional comfort of victimhood. "The notion of the press being in the pocket of the Bush Administration is definitely overdrawn, but it feels good," says [NYU journalism professor Jay] Rosen. "This way you can feel even more marginalized."
Guess we folks at NewsBusters and at our parent organization, Media Research Center, can go home. Our work is done. Not only is the media not controlled by liberals, it's actually . . . dominated by the right wing. For that matter, it has been for decades! If only we had known, we could have saved ourselves all this trouble.
How did I learn this? From Arshad Hasan, of Democracy for America, the group Howard Dean founded at the end of his candidacy, and that has as its stated goal "to rebuild the Democratic Party." Dean's brother Jim serves at its chair.
Arshad was nice enough to send me an email this morning [OK, I signed up for their list], informing me of the exciting news that DFA is working "to take back our media" and that for such purposes will be conducting online 'DFA Night School' sessions to cover the following subjects:
Jim Murphy, who castigated the MRC as “more biased” than the mainstream media and rejected criticism in NewsBusters when he was the Executive Producer of the CBS Evening News, will soon take control of ABC's Good Morning America. Broadcasting & Cable magazine's Web site today reported that ABC's news division “is expected to name Jim Murphy...as Senior Executive Producer of Good Morning America, according to sources inside ABC News.” Murphy ran the CBS Evening News for six years, until being replaced in November.
Last September, when two NewsBusters/MRC CyberAlert items criticized biased CBS Evening News stories about President Bush and Katrina (a CBS reporter gratuitously pointed out how Bush spoke “inside an air-conditioned tent” while most were sweltering and on another night CBS uniquely highlighted a slam at the Bush administration from Jimmy Carter), CBS's Public Eye blog asked Murphy to respond and he charged that the Media Research Center “is a much more biased organization than any institution in the MSM."
One of the frequent complaints liberals make about the Bush admin is that it is far too secret with everything, cutting off the public from information that it has a right to know. It's a complaint that's usually made by either party when it's out of power. The minority party usually tries to paint the majority as a corrupt and less-than-transparent.
Curiously, though, some new Democratic complaints of a lack of transparancy are now arising, but they're not about Republicans. Via Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters, we learn that more moderate Democrats are raising questions about a liberal group lavishing millions of dollars on leftist groups like Air America and Media Matters in exchange for silence about their finances:
An alliance of nearly a hundred of the nation's wealthiest donors is
roiling Democratic political circles, directing more than $50 million
in the past nine months to liberal think tanks and advocacy groups in
what organizers say is the first installment of a long-term campaign to
compete more aggressively against conservatives.
A year after its founding, Democracy Alliance has followed up on
its pledge to become a major power in the liberal movement. It has
lavished millions on groups that have been willing to submit to its
extensive screening process and its demands for secrecy.
These include the Center for American Progress, a think tank with an
unabashed partisan edge, as well as Media Matters for America, which
tracks what it sees as conservative bias in the news media. Several
alliance donors are negotiating a major investment in Air America, a
liberal talk-radio network.
But the large checks and demanding style wielded by Democracy
Alliance organizers in recent months have caused unease among
Washington's community of Democratic-linked organizations. The alliance
has required organizations that receive its endorsement to sign
agreements shielding the identity of donors.
In what has to be the biggest stretch of all time to personally attack the President, the LA Times tries to blame the bad behavior of a French frog on George W. Bush.
NOW WE KNOW why France's team captain lost his cool in the World Cup finals and France lost the trophy to Italy. Terrorism.
Zinedine Zidane, who is of French and Algerian ancestry, head-butted an Italian player who insulted him. Although Zidane in an interview Wednesday would not say what words provoked him, a lip reader hired by the Times of London claims Marco Materazzi called Zidane "the son of a terrorist whore.'' That's pure trickle-down politics. From the White House to the soccer pitch, "terrorist" has "cooties" and "your mother wears combat boots" flat beat as the top playground potty-mouth slur for the 21st century.
Who's surprised? The Bush administration has been scattering the word like ticker tape on a Manhattan parade. Old McDonald left the farm for the NSA, and now it's here a terrorist, there a terrorist, everywhere a terrorist.
That has to be the most sophomoric reasoning I've ever encountered in a newspaper. George Bush didn't make Marerazzi say what he did. George Bush didn't force Zidane to act like a French frog.
But this fits hand in glove with the party-line liberal view of personal responsibility -- that there is none.
"It is a liberal editorial page and a liberal editorial board that reflects core values the paper has had for a long time. But I would challenge anyone, if you look at our news reports on those big issues of the day -- tax policy, foreign affairs -- to say it is a liberal newspaper. It is objectivity they strive hard to do." -- New York Times Editorial Page Editor Gail Collins, in an interview with Joe Strupp of Editor & Publisher, July 14.
The Tribune Company lost 62 percent of their earnings.
McClatchy kept earnings about the same though they lost almost 5 percent of their circulation.
Media General lost 47 percent from a year ago.
Gannett lost 8.3 percent.
Of course, none of the papers will admit that their bias and reportage are to blame for their problems. Instead it is all the fault of Internet activities, Craigslist, the uncooperative entertainment and auto industry, and a "weak operating environment." Leave it to journalists to blame even thier financial problems on the environment.
I would highly suggest any newspaper publishers wanting to save their papers take a tip from my recent Newsbusters post on the real problem.
A year ago tomorrow, I did a post on the continued decline in evening news viewership at Big Three Networks NBC, ABC, and CBS, and made these observations and predictions about why that decline was taking place, and would continue (some of last year's text was slightly revised):
All three nightly broadcasts most likely lose money, when isolated from their morning counterparts (Today, Good Morning America, CBS Morning Show) and their documentary shows (Dateline, 60 Minutes, 20/20, etc.). At a minimum, none makes an acceptable level of profit.
BUT, the news operations of each of the Big 3 networks are very small parts of very large organizations (CBS-Viacom, NBC-GE, and ABC-Disney), so small that apparently no one at any of the three parent companies cares enough to do anything about the continued hemorrhaging in their evening new shows, as long as the news operations themselves are profitable.
So because those other parts of the news operations make money, the nightly news programs can chug right along, oblivous to normal profitability expectations.
The journalists who put together the nightly news programs could care less if the broadcasts are profitable. It's obvious that their agenda is more important.
Because of all of the above, the ever-shrinking audience for these broadcasts will be spoon-fed biased reporting, Bush bashing, and conservative-bashing for the foreseeable future.
Now, a year later, in today's story about network TV's generally low level of viewership last week (HT Drudge), the real eye-popper is not that the predicted viewership decline has occurred (that was, after all, a pretty easy prediction to make), but that it has accelerated:
"World News Tonight" averaged 7.3 million viewers and "Nightly News" had 7.2 million (both 5.1 rating, 11 share). The "CBS Evening News" averaged 6.5 million viewers (4.6, 10).
That's a big-whoop total of 21.0 million people, and is down precipitously from just the end of 2005. The deterioration is especially obvious when you compare the total and individual network numbers to the following two graphs from the 2006 State of the News Media report:
On Monday, July 10, 2006, fabulous radio host Hugh Hewitt celebrated his 6th anniversary on the air with an on-air spanking of Los Angeles Times columnist Jonathan Chait. The day before, in another one of his badly misguided op-eds, Chait actually wrote that President Bush is a "greater threat" to the country than Osama bin Laden, and it is "quite reasonable to conclude that Bush will harm the nation more" than Bin Laden.
Hewitt invited Chait to his program and proceeded to do what he does best with far-left liberals who espouse unsupportable views. Hewitt coolly shredded Chait and his Times column. The transcript with audio is at Radio Blogger (Thanks, Duane!).
We here at The Daily Iowan recently learned that the July 6 column "Minimum wage no-brainer" was largely plagiarized from a report released June 29 by the Democratic Policy Committee. On behalf of The Daily Iowan staff, I sincerely apologize and deeply regret that such a piece appeared in our newspaper.
Per staff policy, the harshest possible action has been taken against this employee, and John Heineman will no longer work for this publication. We performed an investigation of all his previous work since joining the paper in the fall of 2005. This search revealed no prior cases of plagiarism.
Philadelphia Inquirer TV columnist Gail Shister notes today that Dan Rather, the new public face of HDNet's news coverage, will be a panelist for the next two installments of Chris Matthews' syndicated half-hour weekend show. (Hat tip: Romenesko.)
Not a few NewsBusters readers probably will salivate over the liberal bias to come after reading the following from Shister's column:
"We assume he'll be fabulous," says Matthews, who's been looking to book Rather for months. "Now that he's not constrained by the anchor role, he can say what he thinks. We don't know how far he's going to go."
First topic: the role of presidential power. "I'm sure he has an opinion on the rise of President Bush," Matthews says. "The topic will provoke his passions."
The death of Ken Lay, the founder of the now-defunct energy company
Enron, aroused a lot more passions than a typical CEO's passing would.
Apparently, many liberals out there are letting their anger out in the
strangest place, Lay's entry in the online community encyclopedia,
Wikipedia. Frank Ahrens reports:
10:11 a.m., the Lay article concluded, "The guilt of ruining so many
lives finaly [sic] led him to his suicide." (Is it the speed with which
flamers type that inevitably leads to typos? Or is it a political
statement, a willful rebellion against the bourgeoisie strictures of
so-called conventional spelling? Or are they just idiots? Discuss.)
one minute later, actual news managed to elbow its way into Wikipedia:
"According to Lay's pastor the cause was a 'massive coronary' heart
But the sanity was short-lived. At 10:39 a.m., a
self-styled medical expert opined: "Speculation as to the cause of the
heart attack lead many people to believe it was due to the amount of
stress put on him by the Enron trial."
Finally, by Wednesday
afternoon, the Wikipedia entry about Lay said that he was pronounced
dead at an Aspen, Colo., hospital and had died of a heart attack,
citing news sources.
What does all of this tell us?
That Wikipedia's greatest strength is its greatest weakness.
the statement that "history is written by the winners" is too gross, it
does speak to an underlying truth: All definitive encyclopedia
authorship comes with the point of view of its times. It is
That didn't take long! Just yesterday I suggested readers keep in mind the MSM's bashing of Pres. Bush on his birthday the next time a liberal accused conservatives of being 'mean-spirited.' Groucho fans will know what I mean when I say: bring down the duck! On last evening's Journal Editorial Report , liberal newsie Marvin Kalb said the magic 'm-s' word in condemning the Wall Street Journal for its criticism of the New York Times.
The Journal had run an editorial, Fit and Unfit to Print [subscription required] that both explained why it had run a story on the anti-terror financial tracking program, and criticized the New York Times for doing so. For the record, the editorial explained that in contrast with the Times article, the Journal only published declassified information that had been provided them by the Treasury Department.
Discoverthenetworks.org is a self-described 'guide to the political left.' Go there, enter 'Center for Economic and Policy Research' and what is the FIRST thing that pops up in the entry?
"Prominent supporter of, and apologist for, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez."
When the AP writes an article on Hugo Chavez's 'new socialism.' it is quick to identify the Heritage Foundation as 'conservative' when mentioning that Heritage "found Venezuela's business climate inhospitable and 'repressed' this year, ranking it 152 out of 157 countries -- just above Zimbabwe and North Korea."
The FBI "scrambling" to pick up suspects stopped a terror plot by jihadists trying to blow up the Holland Tunnel, flooding Manhattan.
Counterterrorism officials are alarmed by the "lone wolf" terror plot because they allegedly got a pledge of financial and tactical support from Jordanian associates of top terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before he was killed in Iraq, a counterterrorism source told The News.
It's not clear, however, if any cash or assistance was delivered.
No, and it probably will never be clear again. Thanks, New York Times.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been waging a one-man battle against Canada's newspapers, knowing that regardless of what he tells them during press conferences, they'll spin his words into their own liberal prism and diminish any of his efforts to make a case.
Guy Giorno was the chief of staff when conservative Michael Harris was Ontario premier (Harris resigned in 2002). He has engaged in his own fight with the Toronto Star, and won.
Guy Giorno doesn't have a problem with bias in Canada's press--though he sympathizes with Prime Minister Stephen Harper's claims that some reporters are anti-conservative (Harper, who's locked in a public battle with the press gallery, has said some reporters have it in for his government).
But Giorno does have a problem with ideology getting in the way of reporting the truth. "While [some people] can see through bias, an uninformed reader doesn't know what is true and what is not," says the former chief of staff to former Ontario premier Mike Harris. "The real problem for conservatives is not left-wing bias, but actual untruths when reporting on conservatives and conservative causes." And Giorno's done more than gripe about it. He's taken Canada's largest newspaper before the Ontario Press Council with charges of printing untruths--twice. And won.
Don't know if it will still be up when you go there, but when I went to Google News Top Stories at about 2:25 PM EDT, this is the photo of Rush Limbaugh that I found, accompanying the various stories reporting that Rush will not be charged in the discovery, when recently going through customs, of a prescription medicine not in his name.
NewsBuster Noel Sheppard has written elsewhere about Google's censorship of conservative web sites, and others have accused it of a liberal slant in its selection of stories.
If you thought the folks at the Los Angeles Times would use the Fourth of July to take a day off from spewing their usual bias and vitriol, think again. Readers of today's op-ed page (Tuesday, July 4, 2006) in the Times are greeted to this piece of bitterness by Mark Kurlansky, "Fathers don't always know best" (The title comes from the print edition; online, the title is, "WWFFD? Who cares?" We have already written about the discrepancy between the print and online titles at the Timeshere.).
Apparently, Kurlansky is not too impressed by the very people who founded our nation. He begins his column by listing reasons why the United States is such a horrible "backward democracy." And the blame, implies Kurlansky, lies at the feet of the Founding Fathers (emphasis mine):
New York Times executive editor Bill Keller appeared on CBS' Face the Nation to defend his treasonous decision to publish information about the SWIFT program, which tracked terrorists' banking accounts. (Video available at Expose the Left)
Keller attempted to play the sympathy card saying the public doesn't know when the NY Times DOES NOT publish sensitive information. If that wasn't disgusting enough, Keller continued his defense and summed up the leak as "one man's breach of security is another man's public relations."
The homepage of NewsBusters.org was displayed on CNN briefly during the 7am EDT hour of American Morning. The blink-and-you'll-miss it moment was during an Andrea Koppel report on the House Republican resolution condeming the New York Times for its publication of a story that revealed a secret government program to track terrorists by monitoring international financial transactions.
The NewsBusters homepage was on-screen during this segment of Koppel's voiceover:
House Republicans are not alone in targeting the New York Times, along with other media. For days, bloggers have been up in arms, while conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh have had a field day.
On Wednesday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann set a new standard for spin that would even make the famous Black Knight character from Monty Python's Holy Grail blush. Reacting to the MRC's recently released study (see the latest Media Reality Check and NewsBusters posting) documenting Olbermann's overwhelming 8 to 1 bias toward attacking many conservatives but very few liberals during his show's regular "Worst Person in the World" segment, Olbermann ludicrously argued that the study actually proves the segment is "apolitical" since most of his targets are not political. Tagging the Media Research Center as a "rabid right-wing spin group," Olbermann proceeded to employ his own spin as he essentially mocked the study, and concluded: "I'd like to thank the MRC for confirming my point that the segment is apolitical." And to add even more shamelessness, Olbermann brazenly chose conservatives, including MRC President Brent Bozell, as all three of his "Worst Person" nominees later in the same show. (Transcript follows)
As you may have heard, Star Jones has been fired from The View. Numerous media outlets reported on the behind-the-scenes drama that has engulfed the ABC show. Several reasons have been given for the departure. Many speculate it was due to her feud with incoming View host Rosie O’Donnell or that it’s related to her sudden weight loss. Whatever the truth is, one thing is certain: Throughout the years, Ms. Jones, a former legal correspondent for Today and NBC’s Nightly News, has been a constant source of liberal bias.
Just prior to the 2004 presidental elections, Ms. Jones recounted, on-air, her campaign appearances with Democratic candidate John Kerry. Her comments appeared in the November 2, 2004 edition of the CyberAlert:
"But I was with Senator Kerry on Friday night in Florida because you know that's a battleground state [video of her at a podium with a Kerry campaign sign and a still shot of Kerry with his arm draped around her]. And everybody is down there, I got a chance to give a speech to talk about why I believe what I believe. And then, we went from Miami to Fort Lauderdale and into Pensacola. And, Barbara, to me, your talking about South Africa reminded me of the people in Pensacola. People don't realize just how much poverty is in our own country. And there are people with no jobs, there are people with no health care, people who can't afford to buy their drugs, and I'm talking basic prescription drugs you might need, like insulin, every single day."
When President Bush has an accidental slip of the tongue, the establishment media makes it a front page headline, but when the chairman of the Democratic National Committee says something outrageous in prepared remarks, they all suddenly experience hysterical deafness.
Yesterday, DNC Chairman Howard Dean called the 60’s “the age of enlightenment” and called for a return to the morals of that era during a press conference. Not only did Dean praise an era best known for sex, drugs, racial strife, and declining church attendance, he even had the gall to hypocritically condemn giving power and authority to the government.
The disgust of conservatives directed at the New York Times after the newspaper on Friday again undermined national security, this time by taking the lead in exposing a program to monitor international financial transactions by terrorist operatives, hasn't much disturbed the broadcast networks. While the cable news channels have been filled with coverage, especially after President Bush on Monday called the disclosure “disgraceful,” the CBS Evening News with Bob Schieffer hasn't touched the controversy -- though it has made time for stories on how at Wimbledon women are paid less prize money than men and on a left-wing (un-labeled) group's efforts to raise the minimum wage -- and other broadcast network coverage has questioned the administration's motives.
On Monday night, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell asserted that “today's coordinated White House assault is more than simply shared frustration. Analysts say there is political upside as well." Tuesday, on NBC's Today, co-host David Gregory doubted the White House, wondering “whether we should be taking their word for it. That these are legal programs, inappropriate programs. Do you think the administration has earned the right, has any administration earned the right in this kind of war to protect that kind of secret?" Chris Matthews replied: "Well not this one.” On CBS's Early Show, Harry Smith called the paper an “easy target” and suggested: "Is this just a way to attack the evil media or does he have a legitimate beef here?" Meanwhile, on Tuesday's GMA, ABC's Jessica Yellin featured New York Times reporter Eric Litchblau's insistence that “we're not trying to tilt the debate, we're not trying to influence the debate one way or the other. We're just trying to inform the public debate," as well as a great zinger from radio talk show host Scott Hennen about how the Times has become “a terrorist tip sheet."
You're having a first conversation with someone. Alright, maybe you don't agree with him, but he seems rational. Then, out of the blue, he blurts something so strange, so disconnected from reality, that you say to yourself 'whoah! - who is this guy?' And you go back and rethink everything else he had said in light of his suddenly-exposed madness.
That's what is was like watching Chris Matthews' interview of Ken Auletta on this evening's Hardball. Alright, Auletta's the media columnist of the New Yorker. So you have no illusions. This is a liberal. Even so, he seems so urbane, so calm, even reasonable. You could almost imagine having a drink and a conversation at sunset on the deck of one of those fancy Hampton houses you picture him visiting on weekends.
The first clause of one sentence in a Tuesday MSNBC.com blog entry: "Folks, we need to pause here and really examine just how derelict the MSM has become..."
That certainly sounds promising, but, alas, here's the second clause: "...and just how entrenched the entire corporate media enterprise is in terms of allowing the Republican party to dictate coverage on key political issues." The blogger in question, who's specifically talking about last week's Iraq debate in the Senate, is Eric (Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush) Boehlert, filling in for Eric (What Liberal Media?) Alterman.
Boehlert goes on: "The fact that the lapdog press allows it to happen on behalf of a historically unpopular president just boggles the mind. (And yes, the USA Today poll confirmed Bush's much-anticipated June bounce was non-existent.)" You'd think that if the media really were in the tank for Bush, they'd rig the poll in his favor, thereby manufacturing a bounce, but...whatever.