On Firday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith began a segment on the controversy over Attorney General nominee, Michael Mukasey’s stance on water boarding with a report from Capitol Hill Correspondent Chip Reid, who exclaimed that:
Water boarding is a highly controversial interrogation technique that simulates drowning...It's been used by interrogators since the Spanish Inquisition. Reportedly, it's been used by the CIA in real life, too, on a small number of Al Qaeda suspects.
In addition to this exaggerated characterization, Reid also made it seem as though the issue of water boarding was a sudden, shocking controversy, rather than an instance of a consensus nominee, well-liked by Democrats and Republicans, being attacked by those who once welcomed him:
Michael Mukasey looked like he was sailing along to easy confirmation as attorney general, until he ran aground on the issue of water boarding...If he is defeated, water boarding will be the issue that made the difference, something no one could have predicted when the hearings began.
Former Atlantic City Mayor Robert Levy (D) pleaded guilty today to lying about his military service in order to obtain financial benefits to which he was not entitled. Levy is a Democrat, but keeping with AP tradition, his party affiliation was not disclosed in Geoff Mulvihill's 8-paragraph article "Former Atlantic City Mayor Pleads Guilty." (h/t NewsBusters reader Martin Edward)
Mindless, publicity-seeking pawns of eeeevil neocons. That's how Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist Robert L. Jamieson Jr. sees College Republicans at the University of Washington. Jamieson's gripe, the recently-observed Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week:
Maybe the stunt was fun and games for the publicity-seeking Republican college group. But it's serious business for the folks behind last week's national event, sponsored by David Horowitz of the Los Angeles-based Freedom Center, a conservative think tank. These right-wingers want to grab power by creating campaigns that spread fear and invoke made-up, hot-button words.
Yup, that's College Republicans alright, mindless stooges of vile neocons bent on ruling the world! [cue evil organ music, lightning clap, mad scientist laugh]
To Jamieson, there's no legitimate concern to be had over radical Islamic terrorism, or if there is, College Republicans were creating controversy solely for publicity, not out of a desire to educate or spark discussion.:
New York Times reporter Michael Luo posted Sunday morning on "The Caucus" blog on his days at the recent Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the social conservative lobbying group Focus on the Family, where his Times credentials didn't exactly open doors of welcome.
Cadging about for interviews, Luo discovered once again that not everyone loves the Times.
"When I first met Mrs. Crowe, she had been wary after I identified myself as a reporter from The Times. She confessed her suspicions, saying she watched Bill O'Reilly and harbored serious reservations about The Times. I had, in fact, experienced this kind of wariness, sometimes outright hostility, from nearly every person I stopped to interview at the summit. It had gotten to the point that I was even a bit nervous of approaching anyone for fear of rejection.
On both Tuesday’s "Evening News" and Wednesday’s "Early Show" CBS gave prominent coverage to Nancy Pelosi’s call for the resignation of the head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Nancy Nord. In an interview with Nord on Wednesday’s "Early Show" co-host Julie Chen asked:
American parents are upset, they're frightened, they feel like their Halloween and their Christmas is now ruined. They don't know what to buy. Members of Congress are calling for your resignation. Are you going to resign?
The "Evening News" featured a portion of Pelosi’s rant against the Bush Administration, "I'm calling upon the President of the United States to ask for the resignation. It is, after all, his administration, his policy, his appointee." That was followed by reporter Chip Reid’s explanation that "Pelosi says it's clear that Nancy Nord, the Acting Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, doesn't understand the gravity of the situation because Nord opposes legislation now before Congress that would double the agency's budget over the next seven years to more than $141 million a year." Later, Reid did present Nord’s perspective that "Democrats...want to change the mission of the agency to less testing of products and more litigation against companies."
However, on the "Early Show" Reid again reported from Capitol Hill, but this time followed Nord’s explanation with "Consumer advocates say what's really going on here is the Bush Administration protecting big business at the expense of consumers, a charge the White House vigorously denies." Why the sudden addition of an attack on the administration?
In the same vein as NewsBusters Warner Todd Huston's earlier blog today about labeling bias, the Associated Press found a Republican politician's alleged episode of gay sex worthy not only of mentioning his party affiliation, but of doing so in the lede.
SPOKANE -- A Republican state legislator from southwest Washington had sex with a man he met at an erotic video store and then told police he had been targeted in an extortion attempt, according to police documents released Tuesday.
State Rep. Richard Curtis, R-La Center, who on Monday declared, "I have not had sex with a guy," told police he was the victim in an extortion attempt by Cody Castagna at the posh Davenport Tower hotel Friday, search warrant documents said.
Curtis' party was also mentioned in the subhead for the article, although that may have been the work of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where I found the article from a link in the paper's Big Blog.
Democrats never get "outed" as Democrats by the MSM if they are accused of crimes and corruption, but if they are Republicans... well, that party affiliation is rarely held back by that same media. Some may have scoffed at this claim that GOPers are always outed while Dems are always shielded, but here is so perfect an example of it that it almost seems that we wrote it ourselves as a Halloween joke. Today we have a case where the party affiliation of a Republican nearly leads the report of a legislator accused of a sex crime. Even more amusingly -- or sadly as the case may be -- our example here is written by the same AP reporter who failed to report the Democrat label in past stories. Nope, no bias here!
On October 4th, we had a Newsbusters piece displaying the "reporting" of one Chet Brokaw, Associated Press Writer, who gave us a little tale about a state Senator from South Dakota who is accused of sexually molesting a legislative Page. One tiny aspect of the facts of that particular story seemed to slip by old Chet Brokaw, Associated Press Writer and that would be that the accused legislator is a Democrat. So, go ahead... ask. What would old Chet Brokaw, Associated Press Writer, do if he should be assigned a story where the eeeeevil sex offender was a Republican lawmaker? Come on, I know you are dying to ask. Well, since you asked, here are the first two paragraphs of a recent piece by my man Chet Brokaw, Associated Press Writer:
Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona was indicted "on federal corruption charges stemming from a lengthy investigation into allegations that he had misused his office for financial gain," the Los Angeles Times reported on October 30. Reporters Christine Hanley, H.G. Reza and Paul Pringle noted that Carona was once considered a "rising star" for the GOP.
It's a fair point to make note of Carona's party affiliation, but the Times unevenly applies party labels when it comes to elected officials' scandals.
As NewsBusters contributor Dave Pierre noted on September 11, Democratic Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's (D-Los Angeles) campaign violations and the corresponding punitive fine of $5,200 were buried on page B-4 of that day's Los Angeles Times. The same squib failed to disclose Villaraigosa's Democratic Party affiliation. (more follows after page break)
On Friday’s CBS "Early Show" co-host Harry Smith and reporter Jeff Greenfield held a Hillary love-fest as they discussed her 60th birthday party and her inevitability as the Democratic nominee. Co-host Hannah Storm previewed the segment at the top of the show with this excited declaration: "Hillary Clinton has turned 60, and ahead, we have the scoop on the star-studded birthday bash and what might be her favorite presents, a ridiculous lead in the polls and a sack full of campaign cash." Presents, a sack -- it sounds like Santa came early this year.
Even more gushing came from Greenfield’s fawning political analysis:
So, she leads big in every poll, she's ahead in the money race, she's practically been awarded the nomination by the pundits, and the question arises -- how did so polarizing and so controversial a figure, come to so dominate her party's race for the nomination?...If Senator Clinton feels like celebrating her 60th birthday, who can blame her? She seems somewhere between uncatchable and untouchable.
It might not be as sexy as an item about an MSM anchor exposing his liberal bias. But if there's one thing I'd encourage conservatives to read, consider and act on in the blogosphere today, it is the Patrick Ruffni column "Information Gaps on the Right" at Hugh Hewitt's blog.
Ruffini's fundamental point is the need for professionalized, conservative "feeder blogs," sites that "tee up" information for other blogs. Ruffini points to Think Progress as a model from the left of what this should be:
Both CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric and "Early Show" co-host Harry Smith portrayed Valerie Plame and her husband, Joe Wilson, as innocent victims, even though Plame admitted to being "partisan" in a "60 Minutes" interview with Couric on Sunday.
On Friday’s "Early Show," Smith opened a segment previewing the upcoming interview by explaining that, "Valerie Plame spent nearly 20 years in the shadows of the CIA. Then suddenly, she became a public figure." He later played a clip of the interview in which Couric exclaimed how "18 years of meticulously crafted cover were gone in an instant." Strangely there was no mention of the "Vanity Fair" photo op that Plame and her husband posed for, which Couric asked about in the "60 Minutes" interview:
The next Republican debate is taking place tonight at 8:00 pm ET on Fox News Channel. Make your pre-debate predictions on this thread, once it starts, head over to NB Chat to discuss it in real time as it happens.
On Friday’s "Early Show," co-host Julie Chen and reporter Chip Reid analyzed the Values Voters Conference in Washington this weekend and how conservative Evangelicals "are deeply frustrated because they can't find a Republican candidate they can coalesce around," according to Reid. He went on to exclaim that "There's one Republican candidate, though, who really has some Evangelicals dispirited. Rudy Giuliani, because of his support for abortion rights."
In order to emphasize the dire circumstances of the Republican Party, Reid continued by discussing how a third party candidate backed by the religious right could, "... allow Clinton to cruise to victory..." and that "Many Evangelicals say forming a third party to oppose Giuliani is a prescription for Republican disaster."
Covering the flap over Rep. Pete Stark's (D-Calif.) assertion that President Bush likes to see American soldiers die for sport, Washington Post reporter Jonathan Weisman tossed in a swipe about Republicans of his own, characterizing a vote to uphold Bush's SCHIP veto as a vote to "deny children health care."
[Video of Stark's comments available on YouTube via the NRCC here]
"If I'm an unborn child and I want the support of the far religious right I better stay unborn as long as possible because once I'm born I'm off the radar screen. No healthcare, no child care, no nothing, " said Jim Wallis, founder of the liberal Christian group Sojourners.
Only he wasn't labeled a "liberal" by Katie Couric. He was called a "progressive."
Wallis got the royal treatment from Couric in the October 18 broadcast. In a piece about the Values Voters Summit being held in Washington, D.C. this weekend, Couric reported a segment on whether evangelical Christians can be counted on by the G.O.P.
She went hard left after the opening statement, in which she said there was "a new kind of holy war" for the hearts and minds of 50 million evangelical voters.
Smiling, she asked Wallis,“Do you believe that evangelical Christians are still the domain of the G.O.P?”
He answered with an emphatic, “No,” adding their votes are "up for grabs."
Perhaps one of the most distorted stories in recent mainstream media history, the Valerie Plame CIA leak controversy, has become even more so with Plame’s upcoming "60 Minutes" interview with CBS Anchor, Katie Couric. On Friday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith talked with Couric about the interview and began by describing Plame as "...beautiful, smart, a covert agent."
Smith then went on to summarize the media-manufactured scandal that ensued after Plame’s name was mentioned in Bob Novak's syndicated column:
Speculation was rampant that the leaking of her name, which is a crime, came from inside the Bush Administration, in retaliation for her husband's column. The leak grew into a scandal that embroiled the political elite in Washington....When it was all over, Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was charged and convicted of lying to investigators and obstruction of justice. President Bush later commuted sentence, no one was ever charged with knowingly leaking Valerie Plame's name.
The problem with this little summary is that it completely leaves out the fact that person responsible for giving Plame’s name to Novak was former Undersecretary of State, Richard Armitage, who mentioned her name in an interview with Novak and was never charged with any crime. Also missing was any indication of her husband, Joe Wilson, being a Kerry Campaign advisor in 2004.
Hardly surprising, I suppose, but "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie "Who made us the boss of them?" Couric has passed judgment on the SCHIP fight between Congress and President Bush, invoking a playground analogy to hit President Bush and the Democratic Congress for "playing politics" instead of working to "put children first."
Said Couric in an October 16 vlog at her online Notebook:
Both sides are using this issue to score points when they need to get out of the sandbox, act like adults, and agree on a compromise.
That's vintage Couric, alright. As NewsBusters editor Brent Baker wrote on Sept. 24, 2006:
The SCHIP Federal healthcare program debate is based on quite serious and substantive issues. The GOP doesn't want this Federal welfare program to be expanded to include families that can easily afford their own health insurance (families earning $83,000 a year for instance) and Democrats want to expand this program to include far more families than the legislation ever covered previously. But, if one were to read Reuters coverage of this Congressional fight, one would come away imagining that the only issue is that the Dems want to "back kids' health care" and Republicans don't. What does their headline say to you? "Democrats dare Republicans to back kids' health." It certainly sets the debate on the Democrat's terms, doesn't it?
On Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show," host Hannah Storm interviewed Democratic Senator Joe Biden and when the subject turned to recent success in Iraq, Storm summed things up in this question to the presidential candidate:
And let's talk about this report in "The Washington Post," that says some of the generals are considering declaring victory in Iraq over Al Qaeda. Now, does it matter if they do or don't? Is this just a matter of semantics?
Storm’s astute observation of what is being fought for in Iraq is as wise as John Edwards assertion that the "War on Terror" is just a "bumper-sticker slogan." Or, it could be compared to actress Cate Blanchett’s analysis of military leaders that she shared in an interview with Harry Smith in the 8am hour about her new movie "Elizabeth: The Golden Age": "And when you think about that moment when she arrived in front of the troops, I mean, where was Bush after 9/11? And here you had a female monarch, arriving at the battle scene."
After Biden responded by saying, "I hope the administration stops this malarkey about that the war in Iraq is about Al Qaeda," instead of challenging such a statement, Storm concurred, "And Al Qaeda wasn't there before the war in Iraq. They've been a presence since then."
As my colleague Tim Graham has noted before, Newsweek's "Conventional Wisdom Watch" is a reliable weekly rehash of liberal conventional wisdom. Indeed, as Tim noted in a March 25 blog entry:
It really would be more honest for Newsweek to call it "Newsweek Consensus Watch." Or "What We Say To Each Other Over Lunch."
It looks like not much has changed in the past six month, as the crew at CW tapped into left-wing blogger outrage over conservative bloggers who smelled something fishy with the Democratic poster family for SCHIP, the Frosts of Baltimore, Md.:
Time's Joe Klein (file photo at right) has a bit of a hypocrisy problem. After earlier saying he wanted to "throw up" after seeing President Bush showcase "snowflake babies," children adopted as frozen embryos, during a ceremony marking his veto of a bill to expand federally-funded destruction of embryos for medical research, Klein professes disdain not at Democratic partisans who used 12-year-old Graeme Frost to plug the vetoed SCHIP expansion, but conservative bloggers who brought scrutiny to bear on Frost's parents, Democratic officials, and a lapdog liberal media that uncritically relayed the Frost family's account.
During an interview by "GQ" magazine's Wil Hylton posted on the magazine's blog on September 20, CNN founder Ted Turner blamed Fox News for pushing America into the Iraq war, tagging the conflict as "Rupert's war," and contended that he is more afraid of America's possession of nuclear weapons than he is of rogue states like Iran obtaining such weapons. Turner: "I'm much more worried about our nuclear arsenal than theirs. Iran, at best, can get a few nuclear weapons. We have tens of thousands. We have to get rid of them." The CNN founder, who has a history of defending North Korea, ignoring the country's problem of starvation, complimented its "thin" citizens as "healthy," and suggested the despotic regime is of no more danger to America than Cleveland, Ohio. Turner: "They were nice to me. There weren't a lot of fat people walking around. They were all thin. And being thin is healthier than being fat. ...
Back in March, liberals tried to make a major controversy out of Rush Limbaugh’s parody of Al Sharpton singing "Barack the Magic Negro" (to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon") even though it borrowed the "magic negro" term from a black writer in the Los Angeles Times. Critics thought it was racist and made Sharpton sound like an idiot. One blogger called for station managers to drop Limbaugh and this "worst kind of vile, demeaning garbage." It even became a news story on NBC.
But what about when the left does a similar kind of satire against Clarence Thomas – and on National Public Radio, no less? On October 1, the first day of the Supreme Court’s new term, NPR’s All Things Considered aired a parody by Bruce Kluger and David Slavin, using ethnic and racial stereotyping for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, and Thomas. Scalia is pitched as the Godfather (complete with notes from the "Godfather" soundtrack) and Thomas is mocked as Scalia’s goon, who repeats everything Scalia says and even calls him "Boss." Fake Thomas also seems well-versed in the signals of public-restroom sex. (You have to hear it to believe it. Audio here.)
On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," host Harry Smith and reporter Jeff Greenfield analyzed the effectiveness of YouTube videos for 2008 presidential candidates.The segment described how a an Edwards campaign video "...says let's get serious about what matters," while Giuliani and Romney are examples of how candidates can "...die by YouTube."
After they described how successful videos were for Democrats, Smith decided it was time to analyze the effect on Republican campaigns: "... but there is a whole other backlash on this, as well, right?"
This is some of the analysis of Democratic candidates:
GREENFIELD: ...for instance, Dennis Kucinich, no money, no organization, so he goes to YouTube, puts out an ad. It's not particularly compelling. He's talking about a peace tower as a way of symbolizing peace. This has been seen about 6600 times, which isn't much, but how many times does a candidate like Kucinich get to talk to 6600 people at virtually no expense?"
On Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show," host Hannah Storm exclaimed that Fred Thompson "has received a lot of criticism...for being underwhelming so far out on the campaign trail." This just hours before Thompson’s participation in his first GOP debate.
The segment began with a report by Nancy Cordes who observed that Thompson’s "...been trying to keep expectations low."Storm then invited on guests Arianna Huffington and Michael Smerconish for political analysis, both of whom bashed Thompson. Smerconish began the attack:
Well, unfortunately, I think the delivery probably matters over substance in this case because he is getting a reputation on the stump so far as being a bit of a dolt. Somebody needs to light a fire under his fanny.
Huffington brought her ususal class to the argument:
And then there are all these stumbles, you know, on the issues too. It wasn't just a matter of being underwhelming in terms of passion and energy...You know, he didn't know much about the Everglades in Florida...he didn't know much about Terri Schiavo. And he thought Hezbollah was in Afghanistan. You know, these are kind of major problems, especially after all these years with George W. Bush. People want a little more competence in the sense of the grasp of the issues.
Republicans facing what is sure to be a liberally-skewed forum moderated by former Democratic partisan Chris Matthews need to take a cue from the host of Comedy Central's "Daily Show," a conservative opinion journalist argues:
Matthews is an over-the-top liberal, a brazen cheerleader for Clinton. He can also be a bully. Remember the incident about two years ago when he reduced Michelle Malkin nearly to tears? And how Zell Miller gained instant hero status for asking Matthews if he wanted to take that discussion outside?
To beat Chris Matthews the candidates don’t need to punch him in the nose. But they need to do two things. First, they need to follow Jon Stewart’s example.
In what left Matthews squealing that it was his worst interview ever, The Daily Show’s hyperactive (but not hyperliberal) Jon Stewart’s interview of Matthews on his new book not-so-gently poked fun at Matthews’ outlook on life. If -- with humor -- any of the candidates can take a few shots at Matthews and the premise of his questions, they can come out as the winner.
Writing the day before the October 9 MSNBC Republican presidential debate, Human Events editor Jed Babbin added that taking on Matthews specifically and media bias geerally is a sure-fire way to electrify the GOP voting base and awaken the general public to what they instinctively know. The media are biased to the left and actively engaged in furthering a left-wing agenda:
MSNBC Interactive News, a Microsoft and NBC Universal joint venture with 27.3 million Web visitors in August, announced Sunday night that it has purchased Newsvine in a deal of undisclosed size. It is the first acquisition in MSNBC.com's 11-year history, one that President Charlie Tillinghast hopes will lead to additional news-sharing features on MSNBC and tap an audience of highly engaged news readers.
Newsvine will continue to operate as a separate business unit and brand under the direction of Davidson, with the team remaining in its Seattle offices.
Were you aware that embattled Idaho Senator Larry Craig has been inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame? If you journeyed over to MSNBC.com, you couldn't miss [this AP] story; their 8:30am EDT update highlights it not once, not twice, not three times, but four times in different sections of their main page. Here's one from the "Inside MSNBC.com" segment:
The Bush administration has "finally been caught in their criminality," MSNBC host and former Speaker Tip O'Neill (D-Mass.) aide Chris Matthews seethed at the 10th anniversary party for his "Hardball" program, the Washington Examiner is reporting.
They're strong and loaded words, of course, but only the latest example of Matthews history of political bias against conservatives and the GOP. Yet coming as it does so close to the October 9 Republican presidential debate that Matthews will host, RedState's Erick Erickson is urging Republican candidates to call Matthews on the carpet for his bias.:
You know, I will be gravely disappointed if the GOP candidates do not make an issue of this at the debate.
If the GOP candidates are too chicken to take on Chris Matthews before a live television audience on Matthew's gross bias, they will have disgraced us all.