Two CNN programs ran news briefs on a new study on movie popcorn from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, but omitted its left-wing affiliation. Anchor John Roberts mentioned the group by name on Wednesday’s CNN Tonight, but didn’t mention its liberal politics. His colleague Kiran Chetry didn’t even mention CSPI by name during her brief on the study on Thursday’s American Morning.
Roberts read his news brief on the CSPI study 12 minutes into the 7 pm Eastern hour: “[W]e all know how expensive popcorn and soda is at the movie theater, but you may not know the cost to your waistline. The Center for Science in the Public Interest tonight says it has the answer. The group analyzed how much fat and calories are in a medium sized popcorn from Regal, which is the country’s largest movie chain.” He continued that “an astonishing 1,160 calories and 60 grams of fat- that is three days worth. Add a soda to the mix, and the combination is equal to eating three McDonald’s quarter-pounders plus 12 pats of butter. The calorie and fat count was far more than claimed by the movie theater company.”
On Thursday’s CBS Early Show, after Rudy Giuliani suggested the Obama administration was trying to “satisfy left-wing critics” by trying 9/11 terrorists in civilian court, incredulous co-host Harry Smith saw no such connection: “But Hang on. So it’s – so the idea of them being tried in open court is a left-wing political agenda?”
Smith began the interview with the former New York City Mayor by skeptically wondering: “You said yesterday that this was a political decision. How is it – do you think it’s a political decision?” Giuliani responded: “Well, it’s a political decision because I believe that this is being done to satisfy left-wing critics....After all, it was lawyers in Attorney General Eric Holder’s law firm that challenged the military tribunal, challenged the habeas corpus, fought these cases all throughout. So I think this is a political agenda.”
After Smith was taken aback by the charge that liberal politics was involved in the decision, Giuliani began to explain: “Of course. Because they could be tried in military courts. As everyone else was up until now. And it would add-” Smith cut him off: “So as the attorney general yesterday, ‘we need not cower in the face of this enemy’” Giuliani shot back: “Please let me finish what I was saying. I didn’t get a chance to complete my thought.”
Citing an interview the President gave to White House correspondent Chip Reid, at the top of Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith declared: “An outraged President Obama says heads may roll when he returns from Asia, telling CBS News he’s furious over leaks about Afghanistan.” The leaks in question have highlighted the administration’s inaction on the war.
Rather than press the President on why he has failed to make a decision on Afghanistan, in the taped interview, Reid explained: “I asked the President if he’s as angry as Defense Secretary Robert Gates about all of the leaks coming out of his administration about the Afghanistan deployment decision.” Obama replied: “I think I’m probably angrier than Bob Gates about it....For people to be releasing information during the course of deliberations, where we haven’t made final decisions yet, I think, is not appropriate.” Reid followed up: “Is it a firing offense?” Obama responded: “Absolutely.”
After the interview clip, co-host Maggie Rodriguez was glad to see the President putting his foot down: “Good to hear that he has a zero tolerance policy on the leaks. That is no joke.”
The latest CBS News poll shows that Obama only has a 38 percent approval rating on his handling of Afghanistan, perhaps that is why the network is running defense for him.
CNN's Rick Sanchez hosted a forum of 'average joes' yesterday in a sort of focus group on Sarah Palin. CNN did not feel, however, that it needed to invite any Palin supporters. Despite claims that the group accurately represented American opinion, its responses demonstrated a total disconnect from actual public sentiment.
Sanchez, shown right in a file photo, asked the group to inform viewers of their political and party affiliations, concluding that there was "a pretty good cross-section" of Americans participating. He then asked about Palin. None of the viewers said they would vote for her in a presidential run, and none said they plan on purchasing her new book (video and transcript below the fold - h/t Townhall).
A screening of the show's guests would hardly be a surprise given Sanchez's history of playing fast and loose with the facts when conservatives are involved. He touted one of the quotes falsely attributed to Rush Limbaugh, and later apologized for his mistake, adding to his long list of retractions. He has blamed the murder of a police officer on "right wing radio" and berated Fox News for alleged bias while ignoring CNN's.
Sanchez's coverage of Palin herself has not exactly been stellar. He suggested after she stepped down as governor that she might be pregnant.
At the top of Monday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric teased a story on the President’s trip to China by casting him as Reaganesque: “Mr. Hu, tear down that firewall. President Obama challenges China’s government to allow unfettered access to the internet.”
Couric introduced the segment that followed by continuing to play up the idea that Obama took a hard line on Chinese censorship: “In China today, he challenged leaders of the communist government to give people greater access to the internet.” Correspondent Chip Reid reported that the President’s actual statement on the matter was hardly so dramatic: “It’s one of the touchiest topics in China and the President’s long answer took on the tone of a polite lecture.”
A clip was played of Obama declaring: “I have always been a strong supporter of open internet use. I’m a big supporter of non-censorship....I have a lot of critics in the United States who can say all kinds of things about me. I actually think that that makes our democracy stronger...” Reid described those comments as a “rebuke” that “was aimed at China’s leaders.” However, He went on to admit: “...if they were watching it on TV, most Chinese were not, because the government allowed it to run on only one local channel in Shanghai. In the rest of China, they aired a soap opera.”
CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin fretted in a column in the November 23, 2009 edition of The New Yorker that “abortion, as the academics like to say, is being marginalized,” and even turned his ire on some in his left-wing camp, including President Obama. He accused “many modern pro-choice Democrats,” including the President, of ceding “the moral high ground” to pro-lifers.
Toobin began his “Not Covered” column by outlining the history of abortion, particularly in the U.S.: “Abortion is almost as old as childbirth. There has always been a need for some women to end their pregnancies. In modern times, the law’s attitude toward that need has varied....Throughout this long legal history, the one constant has been that women have continued to have abortions.” The analyst continued with his lament that the legalized murder of an unborn child isn’t more accepted, given the “constant” he had outlined: “It might be assumed that such a common procedure would be included in a nation’s plan to protect the health of its citizens. In fact, the story of abortion during the past decade has been its separation from other medical services available to women. Abortion, as the academics like to say, is being marginalized.”
His state voted Democratic in the 2008 presidential contest for the first time in 44 years, he's personally popular with voters, and he's currently the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Yet not once in her November 17 11-paragraph story did Washington Post's Rosalind Helderman raise the notion that Gov. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) might share blame for his party's gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds getting thoroughly trounced in the voting booth 14 days earlier.
Helderman's story, "Democrat Deeds ran without his base, Kaine says," was based on Kaine's recent "meeting with editors and reporters of The Washington Post." Helderman's reporting makes clear, however, that the paper was only interested in dutifully relaying Kaine's spin on the 2009 gubernatorial election, not in challenging any of his claims.
Twitter has announced that it will end a list service that blatantly favored Democratic politicians by attracting viewers to their profiles while excluding GOP officials from the service.
The list service provided new Twitter users with lists of prominent message-posters they might like to follow. Watchdog groups discovered late last month that Democratic officials were prominently listed by the service, and gaining large swaths of followers as a result, while many prominent GOP politicians were excluded.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who has since withdrawn his bid for Governor, was one suggested user, and had roughly 1.2 million followers when the Associated Press reported the story on October 27. His opponent in the race for the Democratic nomination also appeared on the lists, and garnered 960,000 followers.
But none of the GOP's gubernatorial contenders appeared on the lists, and all three had fewer than 5,000 followers.
Former CNN host Lou Dobbs stuck to his guns when questions were raised if he was forced out at CNN in an interview with Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly.
However, Dobbs did make one distinction - how his detractors decided to pile on when he was critical of President Barack Obama instead of former President George W. Bush. He elaborated on this on Fox News Channel's Nov. 16 "The O'Reilly Factor."
"I discerned more of a difference between then, which was under the Bush administration, whom I was criticizing and now when it is the Obama administration and an entirely different tone was taken, not so much in the case of CNN management certainly, because there is no - my contract is very explicit. I have absolute editorial control. What I reported is what I chose to report."
On CBS’s Sunday Morning, New York Daily News Washington correspondent James Meek related President Obama’s visit to the graves of Iraq and Afghanistan war dead at Arlington National Cemetery: “Now, cynics may say this was just an Obama photo-op. But they weren’t there looking him in the eye. I saw a man fully carrying the heavy burden of command on a weighty day.”
In an article Meeks wrote for the Daily News on Thursday, he used harsher terms to denounce any “cynics” critical of Obama’s visit: “If they’d been standing in my boots looking him in the eye, they would have surely choked on their bile. His presence in Section 60 convinced me that he now carries the heavy burden of command.” To use such a personal experience to promote the current administration and attack critics seems rather cynical.
In the Sunday Morning piece, Meek almost poetically described the President’s appearance at the section of the cemetery reserved for Iraq and Afghanistan war dead: “I was in Section 60 that morning when he made an unscheduled stop before huddling with his war council on sending more GIs into harm’s way. In a bone-chilling drizzle, he and the First Lady walked through the rows of gleaming white headstones. I saw the President embrace grieving widows, mothers, and battle buddies tending to the graves of loved ones. He asked about each one.”
Too often "objectivity in journalism" is code for agreeing with the left. The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz demonstrated this sentiment in his profile of Fox News Channel's Shep Smith.
Kurtz lauded Smith as an "outspoken newsman at the network defined by high-decibel conservatives, a stance that has earned him respect even from some Fox-hating liberals."
But was it really his "newsman" status that has earned him this respect, or is it the numerous instances in which Smith has agreed with the left? Kurtz documents a number of such instances, intended to demonstrate Smith's purported objectivity.
Liberal radio host and MSNBC bobblehead Ed Schultz deserves credit -- he's that rare left-winger willing to throw political correctness to the wind and describe accused Ft. Hood killer Nidal Hasan as a terrorist.
After finding such clarity unsettling, however, Schultz quickly reverts to form.
SCHULTZ: We've gotta stop being so damn academic about what a crime is. I think you could easily make the case that the guys that stepped on the planes on Sept. 11, 2001 had the exact same motivation as this guy did, vice versa. And I'm not afraid to take nasty email from people who think that I'm leaning to the right. There's no left, right, center, blue, green on this. You know, we're gonna get hung up on definitions on what a terrorist act is. There's 13 people dead! What was the motivation for that? It was hate. It was ideological. It was religion. It was faith-based, all of that, and we missed it. And now people are dead and many injured.
The pesky thing about abortion for pro-choice stalwarts is that when it comes to the will of the people through their legislatures, they often lose more battles than when the voters in question are black-robed judges in a courtroom.
Just ask Newsweek's Eleanor Clift, who is bummed about the Stupak-Pitts Amendment and its effect on the Democrats' hopes for a health care reform bill that puts in place a government-run health care "option" (emphasis mine):
When health-care reform passed the House by just two votes late Saturday night, I assumed Speaker Nancy Pelosi had several more votes in her pocket from Blue Dogs who would be there if she needed them. After all, that's how Washington works. I also figured I shouldn't get too worked up about the restrictive amendment on abortion that was added at the last minute because it would be stripped from the legislation when it went to conference and was merged with the Senate bill.
It took just a little reporting for me to discover how wrong my initial assessments were.... [D]itching the amendment advanced by pro-life Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak is unlikely.
Just over a week after using the term “far right” three times in a row in one night, CNN’s Larry King used the term “right wing” three times during an interview of Al Gore on his program on Thursday. King first questioned Gore about “the rise of the right wing” and “right wing radio” in the context of the health care debate, and later asked the former vice president, “ Is the right wing bigger than its bite?”
The CNN host lead his hour-long interview with Gore with a ringing endorsement of the Democrat’s new book: “We are so honored to welcome back Al Gore to the show, the former vice president of the United States and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the best-selling author, all in one person. His new book is ‘Our Choice.’ There you see it. It’s a plan to solve the climate crisis, and it is brilliantly put together.”
Thirteen minutes into the 9 pm Eastern hour, King raised the issue of the Tea Parties with Gore: “What do you make of the rise of the right wing, these rallies and dealing with health care- we’ll move to health care in a minute. Right-wing radio- they take you on pretty good.” As you might expect the “green godfather” (as Katie Couric put it) hinted the anti-ObamaCare activists were being unreasonable: “Well yeah, it’s not entirely new in American politics. We have had a strain like this in our politics for a long time, and there are extreme voices all along the ideological spectrum. And we just have to focus on building the health and strength of our democracy and hope that the voices of reason and deliberation will prevail.”
Appearing on Friday’s CBS Early Show to discuss the release of Sarah Palin’s book, ‘Going Rogue,’ author Ann Coulter told co-host Harry Smith: “[John] McCain...was the media’s favorite Republican. So any criticism his side made of Palin was instantly printed and now we finally get the pay back. And I’m looking forward to it.”
Coulter made the comment after Smith asked about “the tension and the conflict between” the former vice presidential candidate and the McCain campaign. He went on to remark that Palin “represents a kind of orthodoxy within the Republican Party.” Coulter replied: “I’d put it a little differently....I would say she is an authentic American the way most members of the media are not, that certainly Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd do not represent the average American.”
Referring to the left-wing New York Times columnists who frequently attacked Palin, Coulter continued: “She can go and be comfortable in very many parts of the country where Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich would never deign to visit, much less be comfortable.” Smith clarified: “These are the people who might necessarily be critical of some of the things she has to say.” Coulter responded: “Yes, they certainly were.”
It's one thing to avoid the "terrorist" label when reporting on Ft. Hood suspect Major Nidal Hasan. It's quite another to say that those who do use it are making a political calculation to "paint the Democrats as soft terror." Yet that's what MSNBC's Rachel Maddow insisted on her Nov. 11 broadcast.
Maddow launched into a minute-and-a-half soliloquy on why it is bad for the Democratic Party when commentators label Hasan a "terrorist." She even attempted to make the case on Hasan's behalf against a terrorism label. Who needs a legal team when you have friends like Maddow and Chris Matthews, who fretted over the legality of Hasan's al Qaeda communications?
"Remember this one? Yes, it is the old ‘paint the Democrats as soft on terror' routine," Maddow said. "But in order to play that politicizing terrorism, anti-Democratic greatest hits, the Fort Hood case has to be terrorism. Now, regardless of how you feel about the political issue of politicizing terrorism, it's worth asking was Fort Hood, technically speaking, terrorism? It's not just a political question. It's not just a judgment call. It's not just a matter of taste. It's a question to which there is an answer, a legal answer."
Here is the latest episode of NewsBusters’ Notables Quotables show, featuring the liberal media’s most outrageous sound bites.
In this week’s episode we have Chris Matthews wondering what’s wrong with a quick phone call to terrorists, Matt Lauer worried about America getting a big head, and Actor Scott Wolf revealing the inspiration behind his role as a sell-out journalist in a new TV series.
Enjoy the show and to see current and past episodes in a larger format, visit the ‘Notable Quotables Show’ channel on the Media Research Center’s video sharing website, Eyeblast.
We've come to expect intellectual dishonesty from the media elite, and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, a columnist for the New York Times, never disappoints.
Krugman, in a Nov. 11 post on his NYTimes.com blog titled "The agony of Fox Business," made it clear he was a subscriber to the left-wing fairy tale that Fox News, and by extension the Fox Business Channel, are not pro-business. Instead - they're "pro-Republican."
"Clearly, the Fox Business crew is having a very hard time," Krugman wrote. "They bill themselves as being truly pro-business - not like those leftists at CNBC. But they aren't really pro-business; they're pro-Republican. They'd like you to believe that it's the same thing; but there's this awkward fact that markets have, you know, gone up under Obama."
Leave it to that bastion of grace and class that waxes poetically on a nightly basis about the wrongdoings of Republicans or conservatives ad nauseum known as MSNBC host Keith Olbermann to do Lou Dobbs resignation from CNN up just right.
Olbermann on his Nov. 11 "Countdown" broadcast honored Dobbs 30-year CNN career by naming him his "third worst person in the world."
"The bronze to Lou Dobbs, who tonight, as of tonight, has just quit his CNN show," Olbermann said.
Although it isn't quite clear why Olbermann decided to bestow that honor upon Dobbs, if for no other reason than for his decision to resign, Olbermann cherry-picked portions of Dobbs resignation speech from the Nov. 11 broadcast of "Lou Dobbs Tonight" and even ad-libbed in his comments (actual transcript of Dobbs here).
New York Times reporter Peter Baker questioned whether President Obama’s soaring rhetoric ("the most gifted orator of his generation") was still getting through in his Sunday Week in Review piece "The Words That Once Soared," and even let Obama aides suggest the president's Cairo speech"was responsible for Iranians taking to the streets of Tehran to protest a disputed election."
As the most gifted orator of his generation, President Obama finds speechmaking perhaps his most potent political tool. It propelled him to national prominence in 2004 and to the White House in 2008. And whenever he needs to calm economic fears or revive stalled health care legislation, he takes to the lectern.
The Times finds the Democratic party to be a veritable symposium of “gifted orators.” Obama’s already been called that three times before in the Times, the first instance coming all the way back on March 19, 2006 in a story by Anne Kornblut, before he was even running for president.
This from the side of the aisle always prattling about sensitivity.
Radio show and MSNBC host Ed Schultz yesterday provided further evidence that deep down he's shallow, talking about the Army missing warning signs of Major Nidal Malik Hasan's radical Islamic views (click here for audio) --
SCHULTZ: When somebody's down at the mouth and when somebody is not with the program, why does the military keep him and expect him to do things? Because you don't do that in private business. Well, (voice turning sarcastic) this is the military, well, wait a second now! You know, if they're absolutely our finest and we support them to the max, it would seem to me that there was a chink in the armor somewhere. Right? That's how I feel about it! That the vetting process of the military personnel was, maybe I'm totally wrong on this one, totally off-base and everything else. But, I don't know.
It just seems to me that if this guy didn't want to go, put him in a place where he can still help out. (pause) I just had to get that off, I've been thinking of that all weekend long. I been thinking about, I been thinking about that all weekend long, about where this is all going and what's happening. And then when I think about Joe Lieberman, I get even more depressed.
According to The Huffington Post, Michelle Malkin, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck and other right-of-center stars that regularly dominate the New York Times Hardcover Non-Fiction Bestsellers List are - or should be - in a league of their own.
No, that isn't Arianna Huffington's blog heaping praise on conservative authors. It's a literal suggestion. With right-leaning books and authors holding so many spots on the list, and more to come - former Sarah Palin, former Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush all have books due out -Huffington Post suggests conservatives should have their own category to differentiate from other works of non-fiction.
In a Nov. 9 entry on The Huffington Post that laments Fox News host Glenn Beck pulling a feat not done before - holding the number one spot on The New York Times' four lists: hardcover fiction, hardcover non-fiction, paperback non-fiction and children's - they suggest a separate category altogether, not for political non-fiction, but conservative non-fiction.
Wanda Sykes debuted her new comedy show Saturday on Fox. That critics met the show with reviews of varying degrees of mediocrity is hardly surprising, as Sykes simply recycled years of Bush-bashing and Obamamania into her monologue, which set the mood for the show.
Sykes is well known in political circles for proclaiming "I hope his kidneys fail" in reference to Rush Limbaugh at this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner. She went on to make fun of Limbaugh's former drug addiction, liken him to terrorists, and call for him to be waterboarded.
So it came as little surprise that Sykes kicked off her new show with attacks on Ann Coulter, discussions of environmentally-friendly sex toys, accusations of racism leveled against Rush Limbuagh, and an anti-Bush, Obama-crazed diatribe (video and partial transcript below the fold).
Insisting that her opinion was not influenced by her views on abortion, MSNBC's Dr. Nancy Snyderman went on a tear shortly after 12:30 p.m. EST on her November 9 "Dr. Nancy" program, denouncing the "infuriating" Stupak Amendment to the Democratic health care bill passed on Saturday.
As a consequence, women seeking to have insurance pay for abortion procedures under the would need to pay out-of-pocket for additional coverage for abortion procedures.
Snyderman hinted that she was annoyed that pro-life Democrats even thought it necessary to press for the Stupak Amendment in the first place. After all, Snyderman complained to MSNBC correspondent Kelly O'Donnell, she and her colleagues at MSNBC had done their level best for months to calm fears of pro-lifers about ObamaCare:
Saturday's vote to pass ObamaCare out of the House of Representatives was a nail-biter, passing with two votes to spare over the bare-minimum majority of 218. The final vote, 220-215, had 39 Democrats join all but one Republican in voting no.
Yet while a solid 15 percent of the Democratic caucus bucked the party leadership with their no votes, the media have latched on to the sole Republican defector: pro-life, social conservative Catholic Rep. Joseph Cao (R-La.), who has a tenuous hold in a solidly liberal Democratic district once held by the corrupt William Jefferson.
Time's Jay Newton-Small made much of the solitary Republican defection in Swampland blog post on Saturday, painting it as an abject failure of House GOP Whip Eric Cantor's "promise" to keep the opposition unified. Newton-Small had to add an update later clarifying Cantor made no such explicit promise:
Very often criticism of journalists is actually criticism of journalism. Effective investigative reporting entails asking the tough questions and demanding answers. Powerful Democrats, including White House officials, have derided Fox News for this reason. But even conservative bloggers are not immune to the "extension of the opposition" charge for simply asking the tough questions.
Late last month Congressman Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., held a conference call on the administration's reform efforts. Pomeroy reiterated his support for the House health care bill. Rob Port, of the center-right blog SayAnythingBlog.com, asked a question during the Q and A period, in which he displayed open skepticism that the "public option" would increase consumer choice in the health care market (audio and transcript below the fold).
When in doubt, cite the need for more government funding of health care. You won't find an argument on MSNBC.
Among the guests offering their perspectives about the Fort Hood massacre on Rachel Maddow's show last night was Salon.com national correspondent Mark Benjamin, who tried to downplay growing evidence that suspected assailant Nidal Malik Hasan was motivated by a jihadist's hatred of America --
BENJAMIN: There are people that believe that this is a person that was suffering some sort of secondary post-traumatic stress from treating soldiers and there are people that believe he was somehow influenced by Muslim extremism. I think it could be a combination of both. I certainly have met mental health care providers in the military who after sitting all day long and listening to some really disturbing tales, you know, when they're treating these soldiers coming back from Iraq, and in combination with the fact that they're overwhelmed, overworked, don't have the resources to do their jobs, become extremely stressed and frazzled. And there's no reason to not think that this could, this could ultimately lead to that kind of a conclusion.
For those who missed it last week, here's another chance to catch the October 30 episode of NewsBusters’ Notable Quotables comedy show, featuring some of the most outrageous sound bites from the liberal media.
In this episode, we have CBS fawning over Michelle Obama frolicking on the White House lawn, CNN psychoanalyzing Rush Limbaugh listeners, and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews in need of some psychiatric help of his own.
After Olbermann and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson all but declared Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., organizer of the "House Call" event, an enemy of the state, they predictably came to the conclusion the event was racist. However to overcome that hurdle, Olbermann suggested organizers "pay" minorities to show up to make the cause look more diverse.
"On an associated point with this, how do the organizers of this not realize, ‘You know what, we had better get somehow, even if we have to pay them to show up, some black faces, some brown faces, some Asian people or somebody in this crowd other than the crowd we were seeing?'" Olbermann said. "Every piece of videotape I looked at looks exactly the same. This is otherwise going to look like a pro-Apartheid rally in South Africa 35 or 40 years ago."