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.
So, where’s the media outcry when liberals resort to “hate speech?” First, Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, drops the “F-bomb” in a profane verbal assault on two employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs at a press event. The AP made a passing reference to the incident, then quickly removed it. No one else in the establishment media saw fit to report the story, or call for an apology (or even an explanation) from Filner.
Now, the website of Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.), who charged last March that the Capitol Police harassed her because she is "a female black Congresswoman," uses racial slurs, calling a fellow black female Democrat an “Oreo” and white Republicans "good ol' boy cracker-crats” having a “hootenanny.” Again, where’s the media outcry against the public, political use of these hurtful racial epithets?
It became a laugh line long ago: "If we can't [insert your favorite dubious activity here], the terrorists will have won."
But that didn't prevent Keith Olbermann from trotting out the cliché tonight. A line so tired it would have to be months fresher not to be merely hackneyed. And all this in defense of the New York Times' latest leak of an anti-terrorist program - this time that of the the program designed to track terrorists' financial transactions.
Even Olbermann seemed abashed at stooping so low, but that didn't stop him. Claiming that the anti-terror program is "legally questionable," Olbermann actually said that "as the old saying goes" if the Times can't report this "haven't the terrorists won?"
In 2000, that darn MSM elected George Bush by bashing Al Gore. And when it comes to the theological argument as to whether gays and women should be Christian clergy, well, actually, there isn't an argument. There's only one side. The liberal one, of course.
Don't believe me? Ask Neal Gabler. The reliably liberal member of the Fox News Watch panel expressed those views on this evening's show.
Host Eric Burns asked whether the torture and murder of two US soldiers, coupled with the charges brought against a group of Marines in the killing of an Iraqi civilian brought us to a turning point of more open press opposition to the war.
Responded Gabler: "I think it is a right-wing frame to say is this a turning point to go overtly against the war. As if [the press] have been covertly against the war." In a strange non sequitur he continued "This press elected George Bush by bashing Al Gore. This press facilitated our entrance into the war and acted as if Bush had had a sudden turn-around by going to Iraq."
If Dave Rossie were simply a columnist, one might dismiss his sophomoric liberal rants as, well, sophomoric liberal rants. But what is disturbing is that when he's not pounding out his latest condemnation of all things Republican, the Gannett chain has seen fit to give Rossie the power to edit news at one of its papers, the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. Not long ago, Rossie, finding the mere impeachment of Pres. Bush insufficient, called on the world to boycott the United States.
Rossie's latest opus concerns commencement addresses. After knocking administration officials for speaking at military institutions, and singling out VP Cheney for "defending the practice of spying on Americans via illegal wire taps," Rossie gave an example of a commencement speech of which he approved - heartily.
You may remember my report yesterday about the gay feature writer who was marshall of the gay pride parade that his newspaper helped sponsor. You may remember how his newspaper supported him even though it clearly destroyed the impartial view of both him and his newspaper.
Mayk stressed the dispute did not get Whelan fired from his role writing the "Ask Frank" history column and a society-watch column. "We had never planned to fire him about this issue and have no plans to do so," Mayk said. She added later, "He's a valued member of our editorial staff, and we look forward to his return."
Whelan, 56, said he has been unable to bring himself to face co-workers because of the dispute. He said he received "some communication" Wednesday from the newspaper that he declined to discuss. He said he has a meeting scheduled Friday with an attorney. Whelan said he told Hilliard he felt the dispute violated his civil rights. "I kept saying, 'I'm a minority. Don't you understand that this is important to me as a member of a minority group?'" he said.
Tim Chadwick, vice president of Pride of the Greater Lehigh Valley... said "I think that's absolutely ridiculous. I think it's a conjured up excuse for The Morning Call to cover up their homophobia... This is a civil rights matter and human rights matter. It has nothing to do with some kind of agenda. People are just trying to be who they are and live without oppression."
I'm not sure what more he wants, the newspaper supported him, sponsored the event and the publisher said he supports "a diverse community." Well, so long as that diversity doesn't include the newspaper supporting the events of gun owners, the religious, or pro-life supporters.
The always modest, always charming Howell Raines, former executive editor of the New York Times, has a new autobiography out, “The One that Got Away,” a sequel to his 1993 memoir “Fly Fishing Through the Midlife Crisis.”
Dipping into his latest book on his love of fly fishing, we find that Raines is still rising to the conservative-bashing bait.
On page 189, he lets fly with thoughts about liberal bugbear Fox News:
“Fox, by its mere existence, undercuts the argument that the public is starved for ‘fair’ news, and not just because Fox shills for the Republican Party and panders to the latest of America’s periodic religious manias. The key to understanding Fox News is to grasp the anomalous fact that its consumers know its ‘news’ is made up. It matters not when critics point this out to Foxite consumers because they’ve understood it from the outset. That’s why they’re there. Its chief fictioneer, Roger Ailes, had been making up news in plain sight for a half century.”
The Vice President of the Washington Post, Ben Bradlee, has the solution to the problem of MASSIVE declining newspaper circulation all figured out:
LEHRER: Do you think that the newspapers, faced with this decline in circulation, should reexamine what they're doing? BRADLEE: They're examining, reexamining it. Boy, that's topic A. Every, every paper you go to, they've just had a meeting and they're discussing what to do about falling circulation. And there's one word is the answer. LEHRER: What is it? BRADLEE: Stories. LEHRER: Stories? BRADLEE: Good stories. LEHRER: So, when you say stories, what stories are they not doing, kinds of stories that they're not doing? BRADLEE: Well, I mean, they're just well written stories, some story that makes you, you know, say I'll be damned, that's a good story.
Actually, the average newspaper story already makes me say "I'll be damned" but probably not for the reason Ben is talking about. Here's a suggestion for all you newspaper VP's. Why don't you get rid of the bias, the America-hating columnists, the socialist editorials, and the reporters pushing a gay/lesbian/transgendered/illegal alien/pro-abortion/anti-God/anti-gun agenda?
Ever thought of that in one of your falling circulation meetings? No. Probably not.
The Morning Call has an article about Allentown's gay pride parade. Just in case you thought the paper was going to treat the spectacle fairly, you should know that the paper's feature writer and weekly columnist was the parade's grand marshall... along with his man. And the paper, as a non-partisan observer and reporter of fact, helped fund the event.
Don't think for a minute the newspaper doesn't know how wrong all of this is. Vicki C. Mayk, Morning Call director of community relations released a statement saying: "The highest duty of journalists in a democratic society is to provide credible information devoid of favor toward or obligation to any group or agenda." But that doesn't mean they would actually stop their reporter from... leading the train.
With all the fairness they could muster, the article takes a shot at point out how tragic it is that we don't accept gay marriage.
''They're normal and they do the same things as straight people do,'' Chadwick, who is not gay, said as a choral group sang the national anthem. Many gays and lesbians would like the list of ''normal'' things they do to extend to marriage... ''It's not for everyone,'' said Enrique Reid, 21, of Allentown, who sported a wide rainbow-patterned scarf around his waist and nothing else. ''As long as I am happy with that man. I don't need to put a ring on his finger.''
Walking around in nothing but a scarf? Oh yeah, that's normal, just like what straight people do.
In her latest column, Ann Coulter says it's sad that so many people are trying to make money attacking her new book "Godless," and ignoring the godless-liberal parts, as if that's hardly worth disputing any more. The column ends by citing how the MRC has the goods on an uncivil liberal media, citing some golden oldies:
In precisely five minutes on the Media Research Center's Web site, I turned up some random examples of the sort of civility we got from the MSM before the alternative media allowed conservatives to be heard, too. These are all-new quotes I've never even seen before. There are about a hundred more in my book "Slander."
On Ronald Reagan: "I predict historians are going to be totally baffled by how the American people fell in love with this man (Ronald Reagan) and followed him the way we did."— CBS News White House reporter Lesley Stahl on NBC's "Later With Bob Costas," Jan. 11, 1989
Here's one of those stories that sounds weird but may make perfect sense. According to Saturday's New York Times, Dan Rather is "seriously mulling" an offer to "develop and be the host of a weekly interview program on a high-definition television channel known as HDNet."
The Times' Jacques Steinberg also reports that "in addition to the one-hour interview program, which could eventually include '60 Minutes'-style investigative reports that he would prepare, Mr. Rather said he had been asked to commit to deliver at least two documentaries a year to HDNet."
Rather told Steinberg that the offer to join HDNet came from none other than the channel's co-founder Mark Cuban, who's been on TV quite a bit himself lately during ABC's coverage of the NBA finals between the Cuban-owned Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat.
Dan Bobkoff, who covers Massachusetts for Albany, N.Y.-based WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, has written a piece for CBS News's Public Eye blog in which he offers ideas for reform of the broadcast networks' evening newscasts. (Hat tip: Romenesko.) Bobkoff, a former intern for ABC's World News Tonight, opines:
...I think the shows should try to become as different from one another as possible.
The first step toward originality would be to turn off all the TV's in the newsroom. Producers love watching the "competition" on a row of monitors while they work, and will note with glee if they air an important story five minutes before another network. But watching each other doesn't create a better product; it creates sameness.
After they turn off the TV’s, they should cancel their subscriptions to The New York Times. The paper's great, but it shouldn't be TV's job to read the paper and then steal the feature stories for that evening’s newscast (unusual baby names, ABC?)
With nothing to copy off the TV or from the papers, the newscasts then could think about broadening what they cover...
The situation and conditions of the resistance in Iraq have reached a point that requires a review of the events and of the work being done inside Iraq. Such a study is needed in order to show the best means to accomplish the required goals, especially that the forces of the National Guard have succeeded in forming an enormous shield protecting the American forces and have reduced substantially the losses that were solely suffered by the American forces. This is in addition to the role, played by the Shi'a (the leadership and masses) by supporting the occupation, working to defeat the resistance and by informing on its elements.
So in private, al Qaeda is saying that America is winning. Hear that New York Times?
However, here in Iraq, time is now beginning to be of service to the American forces and harmful to the resistance for the following reasons: 3. By undertaking a media campaign against the resistance resulting in weakening its influence inside the country and presenting its work as harmful to the population rather than being beneficial to the population.
A new study says that the more the media cover terror attacks, the more terror attacks occur. Both the media and terrorists benefit from terror attacks, because the terrorists get free publicity while the media get higher ratings and sell more newspapers.
It's a macabre example of win-win in what economists call a "common-interest game," say Bruno S. Frey of the University of Zurich and Dominic Rohner of Cambridge University.
"Both the media and terrorists benefit from terrorist incidents," their study contends. Terrorists get free publicity for themselves and their cause. The media, meanwhile, make money "as reports of terror attacks increase newspaper sales and the number of television viewers."
More ink equals more blood, claim two economists who say that newspaper coverage of terrorist incidents leads directly to more attacks. It's a macabre example of win-win in what economists call a "common-interest game," say Bruno S. Frey of the University of Zurich and Dominic Rohner of Cambridge University.
"Both the media and terrorists benefit from terrorist incidents," their study contends. Terrorists get free publicity for themselves and their cause. The media, meanwhile, make money "as reports of terror attacks increase newspaper sales and the number of television viewers." The results, they said, were unequivocal: Coverage caused more attacks, and attacks caused more coverage -- a mutually beneficial spiral of death that they say has increased because of a heightened interest in terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001.
Gee, thanks for the altruistic journalism, New York Times.
During the panel segment on Wednesday’s Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC, Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke criticized and ridiculed the questions posed by the White House press corps during the morning’s presidential press conference in the Rose Garden. Kondracke pointed out how “there was hardly any question, critical question from the right,” such as about how Bush was following a misguided Clintonite path on Iran or how not enough troops are being allocated to securing Baghdad.
Barnes proposed: “These questions tell you what reporters are interested in and not what is really important or what the American people would like to hear about.” Barnes mockingly recited what upset him: “The President just went on a trip to Iraq to demonstrate that he's not pulling out the troops right away. If you couldn't realize that that's what that trip was partially about, you're an idiot. And yet the first question was about a troop pullout. The second question was about getting out of Guantanamo. I mean, it just went on and on. Two questions about Karl Rove. Karl Rove has just been vindicated, and these questions were, 'Mr. President, now really, now he may not be indicted but he really did bad stuff, right? Tell us about it.' Come on. This is, these are obsessions of reporters that don't match the feelings of the American people." Barnes also zeroed in on “preening by some reporter with a gotcha question. Ridiculous." (Transcript from Hume’s show, and of several of the questions posed in the Rose Garden, follow.)
Lashawn Barber writes at Townhall.com that the Duke lacrosse rape story was just too good for the mainstream media to ignore: privileged white college students having their way with a poor black single mother.
When a black stripper claimed three white Duke University lacrosse players gang-raped her at a party, I knew instinctively it was a lie. The tale reeked of Tawana Brawley-like fabrications. At 15, Brawley claimed that six white men abducted and raped her, smeared her with feces and wrote racial epithets on her body. The media loved it.
It turned out that Brawley lied to get out of trouble for skipping school to see a jailbird ex-boyfriend. The media glommed on to the Duke rape story in a similar man-bites-dog fashion. Since news accounts of black-on-white crimes are rather commonplace, journalists jumped at the chance to exploit a fresh angle.
I'd like to revisit the comedic styling of one Jason Leopold. Now, maybe you haven't heard of Leopold, or maybe all that comes to mind is the Bugs Bunny cartoon ("Leopold, LEOPOLD, leopold") but Jason is a hero to journalists. He writes the stories that other journalists won't touch, for websites other journalists won't admit to reading, like CounterPunch, Common Dream, Truthout.org, you know, your typical moonbat hangouts. Sure he's had some anti-Bush stories retracted by Salon.com, he may have dabbled in plagiarism, and he has the average liberal reporter's issues with drug addition, mental illness, suicide, and lying to employers, but he's still a journalist's journalist.
Rove Informs White House He Will Be Indicted By Jason Leopold Within the last week, Karl Rove told President Bush and Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten, as well as a few other high level administration officials, that he will be indicted in the CIA leak case and will immediately resign his White House job when the special counsel publicly announces the charges against him, according to sources. Speaking on condition of anonymity, sources confirmed Rove's indictment is imminent.
Stephen Spruiell at NRO's Media Blog rightly whacks Slate's John Dickerson -- formerly a White House reporter for Time magazine and the son of pioneering network TV reporter Nancy Dickerson -- for his assertion Monday that liberal bloggers merely want the press to improve, but conservatives can't stand that the press exists, that they want them.....dead?
One of the healthiest things about the left-wing blogosphere is its confrontational dislike of the mainstream media. There's a distinction here with the media's critics on the right. At some level, the right doesn't much like that the press exists. They don't want to fix it, they want to drive a stake through its heart. The left, on the other hand, just wishes the establishment press would do a better job.
In his latest "Regarding Media" column in the Los Angeles Times (Sat. June 10, 2006), the perpetually clueless Tim Rutten claims that author Ann Coulter is a "pornographer" and her latest tome is "pornography" and "hate." ("Like most pornographers ... [Coulter] is resourceful in the service of her own economic and other interests.") In addition, Rutten expounds (emphases mine),
Shown the Thursday Washington Post headline, “Victory in California Calms G.O.P.” followed by the New York Times headline, “Narrow Victory by G.O.P. Signals Fall Problems,” NPR's Nina Totenberg exclaimed on Friday night's Inside Washington: "The Times is wrong!" Syndicated columnist Mark Shields suggested his disagreement with the spin of the New York Times: "I don't think there's any question that if the Democrats had won they'd be yelling at the tree tops.” Shields added his analysis that the Times missed: “The culture of corruption, I think, is not a viable campaign message for 2006 for the fall. That ought to be a warning to the Democrats.”
On Thursday, in postings for the MRC's TimesWatch and on NewsBusters, “Double Huh: NYT Headline Says GOP's Cali Win Means 'Fall Problems' for Party,” Clay Waters provided a look at the tilted June 8 front page New York Times article about the congressional race in which Republican Brian Bilbray beat Democrat Francine Busby to replace imprisoned Republican Randy 'Duke' Cunningham.
Rick Klein at the Boston Globe reported Thursday that Republicans in the House are proposing a cut for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) again, which completely failed last spring:
On a party-line vote, the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees health and education funding approved the cut to the budget for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which distributes money to the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio. It would reduce the corporation's budget by 23 percent next year, to $380 million, in a cut that Republicans said was necessary to rein in government spending...
A similar move last year by Republican leaders was turned back in a fierce lobbying campaign launched by Public Broadcasting Service stations and Democratic members of Congress, in a debate that was colored by some Republicans' frustration with what they see as a liberal slant in public programming.
Not even their liberal media colleagues are buying ABC’s May 24 hit piece on House Speaker Denny Hastert in which Brian Ross insisted that “federal officials tell us the congressional bribery investigation now includes the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert,” and "Justice Department officials describe the 64-year-old Illinois Republican as very much in the mix of the corruption investigation.” On Inside Washington aired Friday night on Washington, DC’s PBS affiliate WETA-TV channel 26, NPR reporter Nina Totenberg declared: "That seems to have been a bogus story. It really does seem to have been a bogus story." Evan Thomas, Assistant Managing Editor of Newsweek, proposed that the ABC News “investigative unit sometimes goes a beat too," presumably “far,” but another panelist talked over him.
The good news: The unemployment rate of 4.6% is the lowest since June 2001.
The not-as-good news: The jobs increase of 75,000 is even smaller than indicated by May's figure alone, as March and April were revised downward by 25,000 and 12,000, respectively. So the net increase in the number of people working is at the end of May is 38,000 than what was originally reported at the end of April.
I don't even have to tell you whether the business press is focusing more energy on the reduction in the unemployment rate or the mediocre jobs number, do I? Typical is MSNBC headlining an FT.com report: "US Employment Growth Stalls in May." (New Media's Drudge, by contrast, has focused on the positive with a simple headline "4.6%" since the BLS release until the time of this post.)
Medill School of Journalism has concluded a survey that attempts to get some benchmarks on bad journalism. While thousands of examples have been documented by MRC and Newsbusters on a daily basis, the report tells us that we don't know the half of it.
...how much internal misconduct [can] a paper reasonably be asked to uncover on its own... maybe 50 percent.
The report, “Newspaper Reporter and Editor Attitudes Toward Credibility, Errors and Ethics,” claims that reporters are in denial.
assistant dean Ellen Shearer... told Helfrich the journalists complained about Jayson Blair, TV news, and “agenda-driven media,” saying they undermined public confidence in their papers’ credibility. But most felt unethical behavior was “not an actual problem at their newspapers—it’s more other people,” she went on. “That’s a little concerning to me.”
Well the final goodbye came this morning but Today has been drawing out Katie Couric's farewell for what seems like forever or at least the last few weeks. Starting back on May 15th Today as been running a regular Goodbye Katie segment featuring some fond adieus from Katie's buddies in the media, entertainment and political worlds. Below you can find a list of those who said goodbye and no surprise it's full of liberal politicians and celebrities. Republicans are few in number, only four to be exact. Some of the goodbyes were particularly syrupy, like this long-winded goodbye from Bill Clinton on yesterday's Today: Video: Windows Media or Real Player Plus MP3
Liberal bias is nothing new to the weekly PBS program, This Week in California. When reporters from the San Francisco Chronicle typically represent the right side of the political spectrum on the show's panel, viewers pretty much know what they're in for.
But the May 19 show took bias to a new level by shamelessly promoting Republican congressional candidate Pete McCloskey over his opponent. Former U.S. Rep. Pete McCloskey is going up against incumbent Rep. Richard Pombo of Tracy in the upcoming GOP primary for California's 11th Congressional District.
Because of Pombo's position as Chairman of the House Committee on Resources and his vocal opposition to various environmental restrictions, he has become enemy number one to California's environmentalist movement. Pombo is also being investigated for allegedly receiving funds from indicted former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the Indian tribes he represented.