New York Times reporter Kate Zernike, the paper's main reporter on the Tea Party beat, dropped all pretense of fairness in her story for the front of the Sunday Week in Review,"Tea Party Supporters Doing Fine, but Angry Nonetheless."Her summary of the movement: "They tend to be white and male, with a disproportionate number above 45, and above 65. Their memories are of a different time, when the country was less diverse."
Sometimes it reads like a parody, with references to Joe McCarthy as a conservative hero. It starts with that chin-leading headline, rehashing the Times's favorite word to describe the Tea Party movement (hint: it's not the word "fine"). An accompanying photo showed a single "Tea Party activist" at a rally near Albany, N.Y. Where were the others?
Zernike boiled down the results from the paper's recent polling of the Tea Party movement, keeping only what could be spun as racial or extreme views on the part of participants.
Zernike started out mildly, implying puzzlement at why the protesters were out there at all, since they have it so good, "wealthier than the general public" and presumably aren't affected by the "government spending and enormous deficits" they are fighting against.
It makes sense that people would take to the streets to protest government spending and enormous deficits during the Great Recession, when they are feeling economic pain most acutely.
But the Tea Party supporters now taking to the streets aren't the ones feeling the pain.
In the results of the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, they are better educated and wealthier than the general public. They are just as likely to be employed, and more likely to describe their economic situation as very or fairly good.
"Ninety percent of the electronic media in this country is owned, operated, programmed and controlled by conservatives," MSNBC's Ed Schultz told the audience of a recent National Action Network panel discussion.
And just how did this happen?
According to Schultz, conservatives, "made a concerted effort during and before the Reagan years that they were going to get the microphone."
The Fairness Doctrine-supporting liberal talker went on to argue that conservative talk radio and Fox News are successful not because they appeal to what a broad swath of America is already thinking, but because it programs the thinking of the right from the top-down:
Here's the transcript by MRC intern Alex Fitzsimmons:
Where are all the big taxers and spenders today? You heard from any of them? But the Tea Party protestors are out there and that's a good thing. All over the country-and the media hate them. And we know this is a matter of empirical fact now thanks to our friends at the Media Research Center. Hat tip to Drudge Report who links to them: MRC.org. And they've done an analysis that reviewed every mention of the Tea Party on ABC, CBS, and NBC morning and evening newscasts, the Sunday talk shows, ABC's "Nightline," from February 19, 2009 through March 31, 2010.
Now here among their major findings is how our "news outlets" our big news outlets, our liberal news outlets, treat the American people who attend these rallies. They write:
On the eve of the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, New York Times congressional reporter Carl Hulse, who has in the past proven quite willing to pass along unsubstantiated Democratic accusations of racial epithets hurled by Tea Party protesters, on Friday passed the mike to former President Bill Clinton, who slimed the movement as potentially inspiring similar terrorist acts in "Recalling '95 Bombing, Clinton Sees Parallels."
The text box read: "Finding similarities in past and current antigovernment tones." For good measure, the Times included a photo of a mourner at the site commemorating victims of the Oklahoma City bombing.
Just last month, a Times photo caption linked peaceful Tea Party protesters to the 1960s domestic terrorists Weather Underground. Now the Times is going even further.
With the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing approaching, former President Bill Clinton on Thursday drew parallels between the antigovernment tone that preceded that devastating attack and the political tumult of today, saying government critics must be mindful that angry words can stir violent actions.
Timothy Egan, a New York Times reporter for 18 years before turning into a liberal blogger at nytimes.com, demanded in a Wednesday night posting that the next Supreme Court justice hail from a law school other than Harvard or Yale: "Supreme Club."
At last count, there were about 200 law schools in the United States accredited by the American Bar Association, but apparently only two of them -- Harvard and Yale -- can be a path to serving on the highest court in the land.
It was surprising enough to see that with the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens, the Supreme Court will not have a single Protestant among its black-robed elite. But equally jaw-dropping was the fact that without Stevens, every member of the court has attended Harvard or Yale law school.
Fair enough. But he goes off the rails claiming that Stevens, who has held down the liberal wing of the court for years, is actually a moderate. In fact, Egan seems to go further than even liberal former Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse in bizarrely claiming that there are no liberals on the court, just four moderates, balanced, presumably, against five conservatives! This on a court that includes, besides Stevens, former ACLU lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Stevens, one of four moderates on the Court, has held that seat. He is not just the last World War II veteran to serve, but as a product Northwestern University Law School, he succeeded a very iconoclastic justice, William O. Douglas, whose law school days were not spent in Cambridge or New Haven.
Must be nice being a leftie and NEVER having to worry about some childish television creator taking a gratuitous shot — from completely out of nowhere — at what you believe in. Not so for we righties. When all we want after a hard day of gay bashing, cross burning and kitten punting is to get lost in mindless entertainment, we always have to worry about stuff like this (see video embed at right).
This is why I stopped watching television over a decade ago. Tired of being insulted. Tired of being disappointed. And you can practically feel the people behind the childish political shot laughing at your Charlie Brown as they once again pull the football away.
“Glee” spent all of last season building up buzz and an audience, and as soon as they get one: POW!
Screw you, righties. We don’t like you and we think you’re stupid for liking Palin.
Liberal Salon.com editor Joan Walsh appeared on the April 14 edition of Hardball and mocked Sarah Palin for suggesting that some of Barack Obama's policies are un-American. She sneered that this was "ridiculous" and attacked, "The choice of un-American is a typical Sarah Palin, divisive thing to say."
However, the same Joan Walsh appeared on the December 30, 2009 Hardball to talk about the Republican response to the thwarted Christmas plane bombing. She ranted, "The climate right now is that Republicans use everything they can to undermine and delegitimize this President. And it's actually un-American. It's traitorous in my opinion."
Walsh derided, "Do you want to give aid and comfort to our enemies? Continue to treat this President like he wasn't elected and he doesn't know what he's doing!" Again, in contrast, the April 14, Walsh proclaimed, "[Conservatives] just want to stay on, 'It's un-American. It's un-constitutional. They don't like the Constitution.' And these are loaded words. These are words that are whipping people up with fear."
While the tea party movement began to take shape in late February of 2009, the CBS Early Show did not offer a complete story on it until nearly 14 months later, with co-host Harry Smith declaring: "Today is tax day, April 15th. And thousands of tea party activists are headed to Washington...a new CBS News/New York Times poll is showing us just who these passionate conservatives really are."
Various co-hosts, correspondents, and guests certainly mentioned the tea party on the CBS morning show over the past year, but Thursday's broadcast was the first to provide a report that actually focused on the movement itself. Correspondent Nancy Cordes summed up the protests: "the tea partiers are planning to hold a series of rallies, not just hear in Washington, but around the country today, tax day. They're calling it the people's tax revolt. They say they're just fed up with the nation's tax burden."
Cordes noted how "Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin rallied an estimated 5,000 tea party protestors in Boston" and explained that a Washington D.C. event would "cap weeks of protests in 47 cities across the country. Tea partiers voicing their frustration with Congress and the White House." The headline on screen read: "Tea'd Off; Upstart Party Holds Final Rally On Tax Day."
Thursday's lead New York Times story on a new poll of Tea Party members (a joint effort by the Times and CBS News) got off to a promising start with a headline that probably truly qualified as news for the paper's liberal readership: "Poll Finds Tea Party Backers Wealthier and More Educated."
The story by Kate Zernike and Megan Thee-Brenan also began on an upbeat note (Zernike has evidently taken L.A.-bound reporter Adam Nagourney's place on the poll-watch beat):
Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, and are no more or less afraid of falling into a lower socioeconomic class, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
The 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.
They hold more conservative views on a range of issues than Republicans generally. They are also more likely to describe themselves as "very conservative" and President Obama as "very liberal."
But by paragraph four, the Times began to portray the movement as "angry," paranoid, and possibly anti-black.
At the top of the 3PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Peter Alexander reported on a tea party event being held in Boston and grilled conservative author Kevin Jackson on "the fringe elements who show up for these rallies. Some in the past have had offensive signs and rhetoric." As Alexander spoke a large sign from the Boston rally appeared on screen, displaying the word 'LOVE' and a heart symbol.
In fairness to Alexander, he prefaced his comment by acknowledging that such signs were "perhaps not at today's event."
After Jackson, author of 'The Big Black Lie' and founder of TheBlackSphere.net, observed that the "fringe" claim was "much ado about nothing," Alexander responded by arguing that a recent email sent out calling on tea party members to avoid any offensive behavior was evidence of offensive behavior: "I think it said the following: Like, 'no chants or signs that you wouldn't want to repeat to your mother or children....'No bigotry, threats, or profanity. No alcohol or pre-drinking.' I mean, would that be necessary if there weren't signs of bigotry or offensive signs at these events?"
During a discussion of John McCain's drift rightward on Wednesday's Morning Joe, MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle smeared the Arizona Senator as more scared of Republican primary challenger J.D. Hayworth than he was of his Vietnamese torturers. Barnicle mocked, "The ultimate sadness is that, here, in the 21st century, running for re-election, he shows more fear of J.D. Hayworth than he showed toward his captors in North Vietnam." [MP3 audio available here]
"That is really sad," added Barnicle. At this point, the show ground to a complete stop. Seemingly stunned by the journalist's comments, co-host Mika Brzezinski sputtered, "That's- Okay. I'm just going to stay away from that. " The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart marveled, "Wow."
Joe Scarborough, who is supposed to be the token conservative on the liberal cable network, provided no defense of McCain. He neutrally remarked, "There's a pregnant pause. Some very tough things being said here." Scarborough continued, "And since I'm a diplomat, and I never say such things, I'm just going to go to my good friend Paul Ryan." He then moved on to a different subject and talked to the Republican Congressman.
Stuart Elliott of the New York Times's Media Decoder blog reported on Tuesday that CNN, a network known for its consistent liberal bias, is now incredibly touting itself as "the only credible, nonpartisan voice left" on cable television. Elliott noted that this spin was being pitched by the network at a Tuesday morning event for advertisers at the Time Warner Center in New York City.
The New York Times writer highlighted the meeting hosted by CNN executives, and their overall strategy: "In a presentation to advertisers and agencies on Tuesday morning, executives of CNN indicated how they plan to counter the growing ratings of — and buzz about — the rival Fox News Channel: play up their channel’s identity as an objective source of news." Elliott quoted Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide, as using the "credible, nonpartisan voice" phrase, and tried to put the face on his network's poor ratings during the first quarter of 2010: "[Walton and CNN executive vice president Greg D'Alba] alluded to the recent spate of news articles about CNN’s poor ratings...as Fox News...and MSNBC...stay ahead of CNN in prime time. Mr. Walton referred lightly to 'all the great coverage we’ve had' and Mr. D’Alba said that “there’s no way” the complete story was being told about CNN’s performance."
Aww...New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, respected economist turned talking points purveyor for the left-wing blogosphere, has had his feelings hurt by a fellow Times writer, Andrew Ross Sorkin, and is demanding redress: "Andrew Ross Sorkin Owes Several People An Apology."
That's right. Krugman, who has accused the GOP of "eliminationist rhetoric" and global-warming skeptics of "treason against the planet," chided a fellow Times writer for "caricaturing" his view on an issue, "making it sound far more extreme than it actually was."
The source of Krugman's wounded feelings? These mild passages in Sorkin's Tuesday column, quoted by Krugman in his post:
You may recall that during the most perilous months of 2008 and early 2009, there was a vigorous debate about how the government should fix the financial system. Some economists, including Nouriel Roubini of New York University and The Times's own Paul Krugman, declared that we should follow the example of the Swedes by nationalizing the entire banking system.
They argued that Wall Street was occupied by the walking dead, and that no matter how much money we threw at the banks, they would eventually topple the system all over again and cause a domino effect worldwide.
Touchy Krugman hypocritically huffed in a Tuesday morning post on his nytimes.com blog:
While attending the Radio Television Digital News Association conference in Las Vegas on Monday, 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft spoke to a crowd of young journalists and claimed that his dream interview would be with Dick Cheney, but complained how the former vice president and Bush adviser Karl Rove simply "make hay" in criticizing 60 Minutes coverage, but would not go on the show.
If one looks at a recent history of 60 Minutes reporting, it's easy to see why Cheney and Rove would not be eager to appear on the CBS program. On the May 11, 2008 broadcast, correspondent Morley Safer conducted a fawning interview with left-wing actor Alec Baldwin and light-heartedly remarked: "Your eloquence, if that's the word, can get you into deep trouble....perhaps excessively eloquent, as in your description of Dick Cheney, who you said was a sociopath and a terrorist, and you later apologized by just calling him a 'lying, thieving, oil whore and a murderer of the US Constitution.'"
NBC host Norah O'Donnell is taking it from all angles for pulling the race card on Newt Gingrich last Friday.
Speaking at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Gingrich said "shooting three-point shots may be clever, but it doesn’t put anybody to work,” referring to President Obama's basketball skills. Norah O'Donnell embarrassed herself Friday by claiming the comment had racial undertones.
Since then, commentators on the left and right have criticized O'Donnell's race-baiting. Bill O'Reilly and Juan Williams have both condemned her remark, and Gingrich himself has repudiated the accusation.
"The left is becoming a parody of itself," Gingrich said Tuesday morning. He added that "it's relatively hard to go from 'we need someone who is a good president more than we need three point shots' to" racism.
Media Research Center Research Director and NewsBusters senior editor Rich Noyes appeared on this morning's "Fox & Friends" program to discuss "TV's Tea Party Travesty," the MRC's latest special report.
Noyes provided statistical data proving the mainstream media's initial lack of coverage and subsequent trashing of the Tea Party movement [MP3 audio available here; video available here]:
Clearly the media double standard is apparent. You know, when you go back to liberal marches like the Million Man March of 1995, all the anchors came to Washington and set up shop to run full coverage that day. This Million Mom March [for gun control] that was something that people don't even remember anymore, that was in 2000, that had 41 stories in advance of their march, interviews with the hosts setting it up.
"In 2009, with all the activity that took place in 2009, guess how many network news stories were done on the TEA Party," Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell asked the hosts of WMAL radio's "Grandy & Andy Morning Show" at the open of his April 13 interview.
[click here or on image above to play MP3 audio, courtesy of WMAL producer Ann Wog]
When Bozell -- citing the result of MRC's latest study -- noted that the total number of stories through all of 2009 on the TEA Parties registered at a paltry 19, co-host Andy Parks exclaimed, "Is that all?!"
Why does the mainstream media keep trotting out the Boy Who Cried Right-Wing Terrorist?
Better known as Mark Potok of the hard-left Southern Poverty Law Center, he has been trumpeted by a number of media outlets seeking to promote the notion that "right-wingers" are lurking behind every corner to overthrow the federal government.
The fact that he is consistently wrong about, well, just about everything -- from the political views of the supposed right wingers to the supposedly violent nature of conservative groups to the mere presence of violent crime -- does not seem to dissuade Old Media from using him to smear conservatives.
Potok's latest target for fear-mongering is a group called the Oathkeepers. The group consists of military veterans who pledge not to follow orders that would result in the violation of Americans' constitutional rights. I know, this is really radical, extremist, right-wing nutjob stuff.
In his end-of-the-show commentary on Sunday's Face the Nation on CBS, host Bob Schieffer cited a Saturday New York Times article celebrating retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens: "that Justice Stevens 'may be the last justice from a time when ability and independence, rather than perceived ideology, were viewed as the crucial qualifications for a seat on the court.'"
Schieffer agreed with that assessment and declared that for President Gerald Ford "sending John Paul Stevens to the Supreme Court is not a bad legacy." He concluded: "As Justice Stevens's fine service was being rightly celebrated last week, I couldn't help but think of that as well."
Prior to his commentary, Schieffer spoke with CBS legal analyst Jan Crawford about possible nominees to replace Stevens. Crawford argued that President Obama and Democrats would attempt to "counter" Republican efforts to "beat up on their candidate," "by continuing to portray the Supreme Court as out of touch with everyday Americans."
At the top of the 8:30AM ET half hour of Friday's CBS Early Show, co-hosts Maggie Rodriguez and Harry Smith welcomed a new contributor to the broadcast, the daughter of Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, Ayla Brown. As Smith put it: "she's about to graduate from college and she's agreed to come aboard as a special contributor with us here on the Early Show."
Rodriguez led into the announcement by recalling: "...remember back in January, Ayla Brown made headlines sort of by accident when her father, newly elected Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, announced during his victory speech that she was 'available.'" Smith followed by mentioning Brown's previous appearance on the show: "And remember then a couple of weeks later, we asked Ayla, who's a veteran of American Idol, to sing for us here on the Early Show. She knocked it out of the park."
On Wednesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, substitute host Laura Ingraham and FNC analyst Bernard Goldberg discussed the mainstream media's double standard in highlighting bad behavior by extreme and atypical members of the Tea Party movement while ignoring bad behavior by left-wing protesters. After showing a clip of anti-war protesters burning an American flag and shouting incendiary accusations about the CIA and the war on terrorism, Ingraham observed: "That video was striking. And the sentiment expressed, the vile comments. But you've got to search for the coverage of that. I mean, you had to, you had to hunt, with those little metal detectors, to find that coverage anywhere."
Goldberg complained about media treatment of Tea Party activists: "These fringe events at Tea Party rallies, whether they're nasty signs or these alleged shouting of racial slurs, which I am convinced at this point never happened, this fits into the narrative of most mainstream news reporters, that the Tea Party people are not too smart, they're bigots. So when you see a nasty sign, which I'm against and you're against, but when you see one of these signs, they report it as, if not typical, certainly not unusual."
Goldberg soon highlighted charges of racism by conservative activists recently made by Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen, and noted the irony that Cohen himself has been the target of racist and anti-Semitic attacks by fellow Democrats who want his predominantly black congressional district in Tennessee to elect a black candidate in his place. Goldberg:
In what is generally being interpreted by most as a surprise move, CNN has recently decided to cover the Tea Party movement from an angle foreign to most in the main stream media - combating stereotypes that are heavily promoted by liberals.
That comparison alone raises some questions, however. How does a network which featured the Roesgen debacle, suddenly find respect for the movement? How does the organization whose award-winning journalists refer to the people as ‘tea baggers', seek to dispel the degrading stereotypes propagated in the media? And how does a network, who just over a week ago minimized a Nevada Tea Party Event of roughly 20,000 people, by speculating that ‘at least dozens' were in attendance, suddenly believe the movement to be legitimate and important?
Most importantly, is the network actively seeking a shift to more fair and balanced coverage, or are they seeking the admiration of conservatives driving the ratings of Fox News? Michelle Malkin for one is skeptical, calling it a desperate move for a ‘ratings-starved CNN'.
The curiosity of the CNN shift has only been exacerbated by the network's desire to have the story covered by conservative writers.
Wondering how much faith the left has in your ability to run your own life? Chris Matthews was brutally honest today when he criticized that "idealistic notion" of self-reliance that ignorant conservatives insist on pushing.
Matthews apparently believes that without massive social welfare programs like Medicare and Social Security, there would be "poor people all over the place, old people lying in the streets," and the nation would look like "Calcutta."
He made these absurd claims -- and they are absurd -- on yesterday's Hardball, and went on to call for a more robust "social state," complaining that lefty bloggers had not done enough to make it seem more desirable to the American people (h/t GatewayPundit).
CNN political producer Shannon Travis surprisingly acknowledged that the mainstream media has stereotyped the Tea Party movement in a Wednesday article on CNN.com: "When it comes to the Tea Party movement, the stereotypes don't tell the whole story." Travis continued by emphasizing positive aspects of the nascent grassroots movement and noting the presence of minorities.
The producer's article, simply titled "Reporter's notebook: What really happens at Tea Party rallies," recounted what he saw during five days of the Tea Party Express's convoy across the nation. He first summarized the slant often found in the media's coverage of the conservative protests: "Here's what you often see in the coverage of Tea Party rallies: offensive posters blasting President Obama and Democratic leaders; racist rhetoric spewed from what seems to be a largely white, male audience; and angry protesters rallying around the Constitution."
After recounting the alleged racial incidents against Representatives John Lewis and Emanuel Cleaver, Travis contrasted the stereotype with what he actually observed: "But here's what you don't often see in the coverage of Tea Party rallies: Patriotic signs professing a love for country; mothers and fathers with their children; African-Americans proudly participating; and senior citizens bopping to a hip-hop rapper."
In the 2PM ET hour on MSNBC on Tuesday, left-wing Huffington Post writer Ryan Grim commented on the Republican National Committee spending scandal: "You know, what Republican donors do, generally, is pretty obnoxious to the American people. What did they have to cancel? They had to cancel a polo match, some yachting, you know, trips to bondage clubs."
Grim went on to claim: "if you want to get money from rich Republicans, you're going to have to engage in some of these obnoxious activities, so they like that to happen without the entire nation watching. Now that everybody's watching, it makes it a lot harder for them to raise money from these rich Republicans."
While Grim pretended to be a journalist reporting facts, he told Hall: "I actually haven't spoken to any – any big Republican donors the last few days." He simply noted how he was "hearing" things "in general" about RNC donors. Hall even remarked at the end of the segment: "Well Ryan, for a guy who hasn't spoken to any big money donors in 24-48 hours, not bad intel there." Apparently MSNBC now sees liberal ranting against the GOP as "intel."
Good Morning America on Tuesday continued to tout the Republican National Committee's (RNC) strip club scandal, now upgraded to "notorious" status by co-host George Stephanopoulos. The other network morning shows have largely lost interest in the subject, but GMA, clearly, has not.
Stephanopoulos, whose previous profession involved working for the sex scandal-plagued Bill Clinton, hyped, "Now, to the latest on the upheaval at the Republican National Committee, in the wake of a notorious visit to a strip club." CBS's Early Show skipped the controversy on Tuesday. NBC's Today hit the subject only within a larger interview with Newt Gingrich.
Pop quiz: which of the following political candidates would you be less likely to vote for: one who had written things offensive to many women in a master's thesis, or one who was convicted of trying to solicit sex from a minor?
If you think the felony conviction is a more condemnable offense for a political candidate, you may want to give up your dream job as a Huffington Post columnist. In the bizarre world of Arianna Huffington, the master's thesis is apparently the more reprehensible offense.
HuffPo columnists relentlessly attacked now-Va. Governor Bob McDonnell for his "frightening" views on marriage and the family as expressed in his 1989 thesis. But lefty blogger Tim Russo, who is running for office in Cleveland, is just the victim of local media that "want him to pay for [his felony conviction] for the rest of his life," presumably by suggesting that soliciting sex from a minor demonstrates a lack of judgment unbecoming a public servant.
MSNBC on Tuesday announced that anchor David Shuster has been "suspended indefinitely" after filming a pilot at CNN. If this is the end of the liberal host's tenure on MSNBC, he'll leave behind a long legacy of viciously attacking "conservative fear mongering."
During the Obama era, Shuster, supposedly a straight-news journalist, has been quick to deride the opponents of the President. On September 10, 2009, he smeared, "Look at the image of the Republican Party, all white males with short haircuts. They look sort of angry. No women, no minorities, and it looks like they've sort of become unhinged."
On his now-defunct program, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Shuster assailed conservatives and Republicans as totally irrational: "Plus, the nutty rhetoric continues from Rush Limbaugh, Michael Steele and Sarah Palin....How offensive can Rush Limbaugh be?"