Bill Blakemore, the ABC News reporter in charge of making sure global warming gets covered fairly, said this in front of a group of journalists:
Of course [skeptics] play on the idea that we have to be ‘balanced,’” he noted. “It was very lazy of us for 10 years when we were asked for balance from the [climate skeptic] spinners. We just gave up and said ‘Okay, okay – I will put the other side on, okay are you happy now?’” he said. “And it saves us from the trouble of having to check out the fact that these other sides were the proverbial flat earth society.”
Columnists often remind us how they don't have to be fair, balanced, or impartial in their products because they are paid to give their opinions, not to provide balanced or even honest coverage of topics like their news-breatheren. That is, unless you're a conservative radio host. Says NPR host Ben Merens:
The New York Times is sure that voters are losing their rights the country over, in essence yelling "the sky is falling, the sky is falling" for voters this year. They have been ballyhooing that voters are being "disenfranchised" all across the country by voting machines and voting law changes -- their biggest worry being ID requirements. The Times points in horror to the continuing effort of the States to nail down who is eligible and a proliferation of new laws assuring that eligibility before casting a ballot claiming this is proof of such "disenfranchisement". Ridiculously, the Times has decided proving you are eligible to vote is a threat to democracy.
Funny how they don't consider people who vote illegally as being any threat to democracy... of course that is because illegal voting benefits the Democrats, their favored party.
A few weeks ago, the BBC complained that one of my Newsbusters pieces unfairly criticized them as horribly biased. Then a recent report emerged wherein Andrew Marr, a BBC staffer, said at an internal seminar that the Beeb had gone too far in pursuit of multiculturalism.
It seems that the BBC is getting tired of these so-called mischaracterizations...
One of the BBC's most senior executives has defended the corporation against accusations that it is "crammed full of soft liberals" obsessed with pushing a politically correct agenda.
In an exclusive interview, Mark Byford, the deputy director-general, has hit back at suggestions that the broadcaster is too sensitive to the feelings of Muslim viewers and that it has an inbuilt anti-Christian bias.
But this claim seems disingenuous after a week were the BBC announced a consideration of allowing Veiled Muslim news presenters and has featured an embedded reporter with the Taleban allowing the Taleban free and unfettered access to a platform from which they can disseminate their anti-British and anti-western propaganda.
The following analysis by author and former Bush 43 White House speechwriter David Frum, which he posted Thursday in his blog on National Review Online under the title "The Cry Baby Party," may express what plenty of NewsBusters readers have sensed during this election campaign (bold-type emphasis has been added):
Let me see if I understand the rules of American politics in 2006:
It's in bounds to write a deliberately deceptive voter initiative to try to inscribe embryo-killing research into a state's law.
It's in bounds for a likeable and suffering celebrity to suggest that such research is poised to deliver a cure that will help him - despite the utter absence of evidence for any such claim.
Camille Paglia, cultural scholar and maverick liberal Democrat, has given a politically themed interview to the left-wing online magazine Salon in which she touches on some media issues. (HT: National Review Online's Hot Links.)
Previously, Paglia has readily acknowledged that liberal media bias exists, and that it's hardly a new phenomenon; she's said that Barry Goldwater was the target of a "vicious media assault" during the 1964 presidential campaign.
In the Salon interview, Paglia argues that the media and Democrats were guilty of "gargantuan overkill" in their treatment of the Mark Foley matter, but that the excessive coverage actually wound up being a "tremendous boon" to President Bush because it distracted the public from the Iraq war.
The Associated Press is continuing to report that Democrat Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland supports stem cell research despite the fact that his recent voting record contradicts such claims.
Fox, who supports research on embryonic stem cell for a potential cure for Parkinson's, also has lent his celebrity to Democrats Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, running for the Senate in Maryland, and Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, who is seeking re-election. Both politicians also back stem-cell research. [emphasis added]
Terrorists in Iraq know they can rely on CNN to carry their propaganda as if it were straight news, now the Taliban is having success in placing "news" with the publicly funded British Broadcasting Corporation.
The national press corps is justifiably looked upon with suspicion by conservatives and in dire need of reform if it wishes to regain their confidence, especially since that's a sound business strategy.
Those are the words of ABC News political director Mark Halperin who on last night's "O'Reilly Factor" provided a resounding endorsement of the idea that the elite American media needs to stop being liberally biased. (Video available in WMV or Real. MP3 audio also available, transcript is after the jump.)
In a followup to an Oct. 19 internet posting in which he sarcastically implied that reporters take their cues from Democrats and liberal activists, Halperin stated that the press should use the 2006 elections as an opportunity to regain the public trust:
"In this country, we've got these old news organizations, the major networks, ABC, where you [O'Reilly] used to work, the New York Times, the Washington Post. These organizations have been around a long time, and for 40 years conservatives have looked with suspicion at them. I think we've got a chance in these last two weeks to prove to conservatives that we understand their grievances, we're going to try to do better, but these organizations still have incredible sway, and conservatives are certain that we're going to be out to get them. We've got to fix that."
Whenever a writer for one of America's most influential newspapers states his or her opinions about liberal media bias, it should be brought to the attention of NewsBusters readers (unless, of course, said writer merely offers some variant of the lame, threadbare "we get complaints from both the right and the left, which tells me our coverage is balanced" argument).
Washington Post humor columnist Gene Weingarten also occasionally writes long pieces for the paper's Sunday magazine. In a Monday web chat concerning Weingarten's admiring profile of Doonesbury's Garry Trudeau, a questioner charged that the Post ran that story and others in order to help the Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections. In today's chat, when the same questioner posted a good-humored follow-up, Weingarten addressed media bias in general terms (emphasis added):
With all due respect to Rush (his rant is behind his firewall), Michelle Malkin (also at Hot Air in a vid with O'Reilly), Allah at Hot Air, and all the others who are justifiably "Venting" at CNN -- You're STILL missing a BIG, BIG point -- We aren't getting "the unvarnished truth" from our military, because they are constrained about issues relating to the safety of soldiers and their families HERE, IN THIS COUNTRY. Since they are limited in what they can show of our soldiers' exploits, it is incumbent on media outlets to be VERY restrained in what they will show of the enemy's.
Let me break it down as briefly as I can (more detail is at my post Sunday at BizzyBlog):
The BBC, a government agency, fought hard to keep an internal study of the organization's bias secret. Reporters from other British media outlets filed a complaint with the UK's own Freedom of Information Act, and the report has now been released.
The level of political correctness at the BBC seems almost like a caricature of what a politically correct group would look like, but caricature matches reality.
An internal memo, recently discovered by the British media, revealed what the BBC has been trying to hide. Senior figures admitted in a recent 'impartiality' summit that the BBC was guilty of promoting Left-wing views and anti-Christian sentiment.
Most executives admitted that the corporation’s representation of homosexuals and ethnic minorities was unbalanced and disproportionate, and that it leaned too strongly towards political correctness, the overt promotion of multiculturalism, anti-Americanism and discrimination against the countryside.
Ah, the refined sensibilities of the Associated Press. Far be it from that paragon of journalistic impartiality to insert itself in the controversy over whether George Bush & Co. intentionally murdered thousands of Americans on 9-11 via the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center.
And so it is that the Associated Press preciously entitled its article about the decision of 9-11 conspiracy nut Steven Jones to retire from his BYU professor's post:
"BYU Scholar, Sept. 11 Theorist, Resigns".
A "scholar" and a "theorist." Impressive! Might that be some kind of hybrid between a 'gentleman and a scholar' and a theoretical physicist, perhaps? Now, in fairness, I wouldn't expect the AP to adopt my "conspiracy whack job" nomenclature in its headline - although it would be entirely accurate. But the utter neutrality of "theorist" coupled with the honorary title of "scholar" seems excessive. Would the AP describe David Duke as a "racial theorist," for example?
Mr. Mallaby goes on a long diatribe that contradicts itself so many times that an informed reader would get whiplash from the experience. And all those head turing points are attacks against the effectiveness, sincerity, and well-meaning of American policy.
He begins his screed by negatively invoking a Ronald Reaganism, saying "It's not exactly morning in America", after which he regales us on how nothing worthwhile has come from Iraq, "a special Rumsfeldian screw-up".
If you've ever wondered who it is that seems to be getting polled, or how come questions always seem to understate support for Republicans and conservatives, read this posting from Freeper "MHT" which tells of his encounter with a pollster:
Twenty-five years after registering to vote, I finally got polled by
a national news group. And, as usual, Rush was right. However, there
are a few things which I want to share.
1. The interviewer
really wanted to talk to me. I was on another call and told them to
call me back in 10 minutes. They did, indicating to me that they are
having difficulty reaching people who wish to talk to them.
The questions were phrased in a very subtle way that focused on an
anti-Bush agenda. For example, "Do you think that Bush is responsible
for the situation in Iraq?" That's a yes/no question. They could have
made it multiple choice. At best, Bush gets a 50% chance of being
blamed for Iraq instead of insurgents, radical Islam, outside funding,
(AP) London, March 2, 1867: Karl Marx, a rising star among centrist economists, announced today the publication of the first volume of his treatise, 'Das Kapital'.
OK, perhaps I exaggerate a tad. But is there any man of the left that the MSM is unwilling to cast as a "centrist" or moderate, particularly when he is seen as a potential Democratic presidential nominee?
The Associated Press offers a perfect case in point this evening. This article reports Barack Obama's acknowledgement on today's Meet The Press that, earlier protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, he is indeed contemplating a run for the presidency. Writes the AP:
"In recent weeks, his political stock has been rising as a potentially viable centrist candidate for president." [emphasis added]
On last night's Fox News Watch, Cal Thomas offered assessments of the way in which the independence of two of his fellow conservative commentators is viewed. While acknowledging that the two top-rated talkers have recently chided the administration, he suggested there is a perception that, by and large, the pair lack political autonomy.
In the context of a discussion of President Bush's efforts to shore up support among conservative radio talk show personalities, Thomas stated:
"Even Rush Limbaugh,whois seen as being in the pocket of the administration, has been critical of Republicans not being more like Republicans."
Air America is grasping for straws in some mighty odd places. A mass email from Air America host Thom Hartmann today touts the parallels between the plight of the bankrupt left-wing radio network and, of all things, Fox News Channel [FNC] and the Washington Times.
"There are times when doing the profitable thing is also doing the right thing. That's certainly what Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch thought when they lost an average of $90 million a year for about five years before the Fox News Channel became profitable."
The midterm elections are approaching and some members of the media are revving up their bias. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann recently suggested that President Bush might be as big a threat as the terrorists. This was only a day after referring to conservative talk show hosts who visited the White House as the "Legion of Doom." CNN’s Jack Cafferty wondered if Karl Rove is planning an "October surprise" to salvage the Republicans’ chances in the midterm elections.
The print media have also offered unrestrained attacks from the left. A "Washington Post" report described House Speaker Dennis Hastert appearance as "a cross between Wildford Brimley and Jabba the Hutt." Nothing quite like objectivity, huh? A former "New York Times" bureau chief recently characterized the Christian right as "fascist." Perhaps he’d been chatting with "Newsweek" columnist Jonathan Alter. Alter told Don Imus he hoped the country has seen the last of "values voters."
The "Today" show fawned over Barack Obama, describing him as "electrifying" and a "rock star." This was on the same day that they giddily predicted a "perfect storm" to wipe out the Republicans in the midterms. Another early AM program, CNN’s "American Morning"encouraged author David Kuo to call for Christians to boycott the upcoming election.
Reuters explains the latest mainstream meme, the public is "numb" to Iraq war deaths:
But with the U.S. military death toll hitting 2,787 on Friday, and with 73 deaths so far in October, it is shaping up to be the deadliest month for U.S. forces since the Falluja offensive two years ago.
Analysts said even local media coverage struggles to overcome the numbing affect of the steady flow of deaths.
One day after getting the celebrity treatment on "Today," Senator Barack Obama stopped by CNN’s "American Morning" to receive fawning questions from Soledad O’Brien. The big difference in the coverage is that while NBC's Meredith Vieira referred to Obama as a "rock star," O’Brien only mentioned that "some people say he is the brightest star in the Democratic Party." Isn’t it great when one media outlet differentiates itself from another? The morning host, who only mentioned Iraq and North Korea in passing, found time for particularly tough questions, including this hardball: "What’s your biggest fear?" Most of the anchor’s queries were of the short variety:
O’Brien: "Politics seems particularly mean these days."
O’Brien: "I think, we see partisanship that you see. And sort of, as you mentioned, in D.C. that you don't necessarily see in the American people. So why don't politicians get that?"
Oftentimes, many right-of-center folks just don't realize how powerful the media is at shaping public opinion. Usually, a media outlet's endorsement of a political person or point-of-view doesn't have that much of an impact. Where the media excel, however, is in creating negative perception.
Left-wingers are intimately aware of this ability, which is why so many of them choose to get into the media (why more conservatives don't is another question). Liberal journalists care very much about their objective pose and are loathe to admit this in most cases, which makes times like now all the more worth nothing as journalists talk about the "lesson" America learned during the Vietnam War and the Tet Offensive, a campaign mounted by the communist Vietnamese in which they failed to win militarily.
GREENSBORO, N.C., Oct. 18 -- President Bush said Wednesday that the current surge of violence in Iraq "could be" comparable to the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War, a succession of battles that became a milestone because it helped turn the American public against the conflict and its political leadership.
What the WaPo won't come right out and say is that it wasn't the Tet Offensive itself that had such a devastating effect upon civilian morale, it was the abjectly incompetent reporting of the event by American journalists.
On the 30th of September I wrote a post on Newsbusters about how the BBC is using their reporting on the Global War on Terror to advance their ideological bias against the war instead of merely reporting the facts of the news.
On the BBC website a segment called The Editors appeared on Oct. 2nd and raises this very posting of mine and makes an attempt to refute it.
Alistair Burnett (editor of "The World Tonight") made a weak attempt to nay say my point.
Is the BBC trying to make a political point when it uses the expression 'so-called War on Terror' or 'The Bush Administration's War on Terror' or 'the American-led War on Terror'?
Did publisher Simon & Schuster adjust its release schedule and rush into print a new book unflattering to the Bush administration to make an impact on the forthcoming mid-term elections? If the words of its author, David Kuo, are any indication, it's certainly a possibility.
In an interview today (Tuesday, October 17, 2006) on the Laura Ingraham radio show, Kuo was a guest in addition to prominent evangelical Chuck Colson. The suspicious timing of the release of Kuo's book was discussed. Here's the relevant exchange:
KUO: Maybe if I'm Laura Ingraham or Chuck Colson, I get to choose when my book comes out. As you guys know, someone else decides when that happens.
INGRAHAM: So you had no control over that. None.
KUO: If you look at my contract, when the book is released (sic), it's not when the book was released. All that being said (long 3-second pause) No, what I'm saying is, look - the contract that I signed was for the book to be released in early 2007.
The Sacramento Bee reports that the media can't get enough of Julia Wilson, the California teenager who was investigated by the Secret Service for her "kill Bush" MySpace page.
Once upon a time Julia Wilson dreamed of becoming the next Christina Aguilera, a pop star famous for glamour but not politics. Instead, she's become the next Cindy Sheehan, receiving global attention for displaying her anger at President Bush.
The story of the Sacramento teenager questioned last week by federal agents about her anti-Bush Web page has spread around the world, with newspapers in Egypt, China, Australia and Europe publishing articles about her and national television stations clamoring for interviews.
Never play poker against Claire Shipman. Anyone who can keep a straight face while claiming that 'Women's Voices. Women Vote' is "non-partisan" could surely bluff you out of a pot while sitting on a busted flush.
On this morning's Good Morning America, Shipman [or shall we call her 'DC Slim'?] narrated a segment spotlighting WVWV's efforts to get single women voters to the polls. Since it is obvious that single women lean heavily Dem, voting for Democrats by a more than 2/3 margin as Dem pollster Celinda Lake acknowledged, my BS-detector started screeching when I saw a straight-faced Shipman slip in her claim that WVWB is "non-partisan."
It's not the crime, it's the... coverup. The BBC is trying to prevent the release of a study that looks at its coverage for bias. Like corrupt government bureaucrats, the government-funded organization is trying to keep the Freedom of Information Act from releasing the study of charges of anti-Israeli bias. Ironically, this same Freedom of Information Act is what hard-charging BBC reporters use to expose government wrongdoing elsewhere.
The BBC has spent thousands of pounds of licence payers' money trying to block the release of a report which is believed to be highly critical of its Middle East coverage.
The corporation is mounting a landmark High Court action to prevent the release of The Balen Report under the Freedom of Information Act, despite the fact that BBC reporters often use the Act to pursue their journalism.
If the Republicans come out with a successful strategy to motivate Republicans you can expect the New York Times to be in favor of it, right? Yeah sure. Hence we get the pleasure of reading the New York Times love letter to Tony Snow in “Bush’s Press Secretary Is Raising Money, and Some Eyebrows.”
You can tell the New York Times is worried about Mr. Snow’s reputation. It only took 2 sentences for the reporter to inject the word conspiratorial into the article; all in jest of course. (all emphasis in all quotes mine).
Tony Snow draped his lanky frame across a wooden lectern, leaned forward and gazed out at 850 adoring Republicans who had paid $175 apiece to hear him speak. There was a conspiratorial gleam in his eye, as if he was about to reveal some deep inner secret from his new life as the White House press secretary.
No big deal of course; it’s just a simple play on words and I must be overly touchy so close to the looming Democrat takeover. But seriously, the New York Times must be fighting for filler. This is the silliest most contrived attempt at news blogging that I have seen in some time.
Is PBS too conservative? Is it "too balanced"? The radical leftists at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting have produced another stilted study of the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer accusing the show of presenting "virtually the same voices as corporate media, voices that overwhelmingly represent those in power rather than the public PBS is obliged to serve."
This study can be picked apart in many ways, but let’s start close to home, where they’ve made at least one obvious factual error. Authors Steve Rendall and Julie Hollar complain about the exclusion of "public interest groups" from the debate: "such groups, which ranged from progressive groups like the NAACP and Greenpeace to the conservative Federation for American Immigration Reform and Media Research Center – provided just 4 percent of NewsHour’s guests." MRC did not appear on the NewsHour in FAIR’s study period. We checked Nexis to double-check, even adding the Parents Television Council and CNSNews.com into the mix to see if our related groups were interviewed. No.
From MSNBC (Studds' party affiliation is mentioned only in reference to Mark Foley in this story):
First openly gay person elected to Congress dies
BOSTON - Former U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds, the first openly gay person elected to Congress, died early Saturday at Boston Medical Center, several days after he collapsed while walking his dog, his husband said.
Down below, MSNBC acknowledges the sex scandal that caused Congress to censure Studds: