Chinese divers won a record seven gold medals during the 2008 Olympics. But even they didn't leap as headlong into the Beijing tank as did NBC. That's how you might describe the collective verdict of the Fox News Watch panel this evening on NBC's regime-friendly coverage. The subject arose as part of the show's Year in Review, and began with a clip of Matt Lauer unctuously questioning a ChiCom official:
MATT LAUER: There's a recent poll that said some very high percentage of the people in China are happy with their lot in life. Something around 80%. You compare that with the polls in the United States that say only about 25% of Americans are. What's the root of their happiness here?
View video here. The panel lit into the network's coverage, with even the liberal-leaning Jane Hall and Kirsten Powers joining the NBC-scorching consensus.
As some of you may have heard, New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress carried an unlicensed handgun into a New York nightclub (is there any other kind of handgun for a private citizen in New York?), and put himself on the disabled list by shooting himself in the leg.
This is the latest in a series of gun-related, ah, fumbles by NFL players in recent months, and Feinstein uses it as an excuse to call for repeal of the 2nd Amendment, and to launch a broadside at those who might disagree.
Peripatetic New York Times columnist Tom Friedman was in China for the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, and his Wednesday column "A Biblical Seven Years" praised the host country for the Games' "magnificent $43 billion infrastructure," built over the past seven years while the U.S. has been stuck fighting Al Qaeda. Friedman also praised the Communist nation's "planning, concentrated state power" and "national mobilization." Don't those words have more than a little echo of Stalinism?
After attending the spectacular closing ceremony at the Beijing Olympics and feeling the vibrations from hundreds of Chinese drummers pulsating in my own chest, I was tempted to conclude two things: “Holy mackerel, the energy coming out of this country is unrivaled.” And, two: “We are so cooked. Start teaching your kids Mandarin.”
Jay Mariotti, a firebrand sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, announced he is quitting the print biz loudly proclaiming that newspapers are "dying" and that he didn't want to go down with the ship of the struggling industry. Naturally, the management of the Sun-Times is not amused.
Mariotti told Chicago's CBS 2 news that newspapers are in serious trouble and he wanted out before he was forced out. "It's been a tremendous experience, but I'm going to be honest with you, the profession is dying,'' Mariotti told CBS 2, "I don't think either paper [Sun-Times or Chicago Tribune] is going to survive.
Keith Olbermann has forgotten the figure-skating judge's cardinal rule: be sparing in the marks you award early contestants, to leave room for the favorites who perform at the end. After his gushing appraisals of Michelle Obama's and Hillary's convention speeches, how can Olbermann possibly top it in his praise of Biden's and Obama's to come?
Mixing metaphors here, let's compare the baseball scoring the Morning Joe crew gave Hillary's speech at show-opening today with Olbermann's assessment of last night. As you'll see, they range from solid single to Keith's grand slam. As for utility infielder Mark Warner's "keynote": has he considered giving up baseball and taking up knitting?
Orlando Magazine (FL) published the amazing life's story of Florida artist Mark Pulliam in their August issue. It was an amazing story of a man who seemingly did everything. Played Major League Baseball, hobnobbed with the likes of Paul McCartney, Madonna, and Tiger Woods as well as finding great success as a local artist. Oh, it seemed a whirlwind life. One little problem. Little of it was true and Orlando editor Mike Boslet want you to know he's sorry.
Unfortunately for Orlando Magazine, they simply took Mark Pulliam's word for it all, ran with the story, and were informed by readers that many of the details didn't seem to pan out. So, on second look, the editors of Orlando sent an investigator to track down the various factoids that Pulliam told them about his personal history. It turned out little of what Pulliam claimed was true.
In a recent interview with USA Olympics basketball team member Kobe Bryant, NBC Sports reporter Chris Collinsworth seemed to question Kobe's patriotism when the player said that he was proud to wear the team USA uniform. Wondering if it was "cool" to be proud of being on Team USA, Collinsworth seemed to surprise even Bryant with the temerity of the question. Why Collinsworth wouldn't think it would be "cool" to be proud of being on the American Olympic basketball team is anyone's guess.
In a portion of the interview, Kobe began to say how thrilled he was to get his Team USA uniform and that he "just stared at it" for a while in awe. Collinsworth followed that heartwarming display of patriotism with a jaw dropping series of questions. Worse, he asked these questions with an absurd smirk stealing across his face, seeming to think that he was about to join Kobe in cynicism over the evil America with his doubting Thomas questions.
While the Washington Post's Beijing-based Ariana Eunjung Cha should be commended for her reporting on Beijing's restrictions on the exercise of religion by Olympic team chaplains, the paper's headline editors clearly dropped the ball in titling her August 14 headline: "Some Olympians Dissatisfied With Religious Center."
The casual reader might say, "so what," and breeze past the article. After all, any Olympic Games is bound to garner a host of logistics and aesthetics complaints from athletes, coaches, media, and tourists on a whole host of things. But the substance of the story is not so much on the subjective and sometimes picayune complaints of athletes and coaches but rather in the tightly-restricted manner in which the Communist Chinese government is providing for the spirital welfare of the Olympians.
Could the NBC honchos be a tad touchy about criticism of the Beijing Olympics—especially when it comes from its own talent pool? Was there a kernel of truth in Mika Brzezinski's light-hearted warning that MSNBC's Morning Joe crew would "get a call" if it persisted in its mocking of the games for whose broadcast rights the Peacock Network has over the years paid billions?
When the subject of the Olympics arose during the opening segment of today's show, the panel went into an extended coughing fit, coupled with cracks about tanks in Tiananmen Square. Mika joined in the joshing for a while, before finally putting her foot down . . .
The Cornell golf club championship is next weekend, and I had been planning [brag alert] to defend the senior men's title I won last year. But now, I just might have to think about entering the women's division instead. The field is much smaller, not nearly as tough, and playing from the red tees should give me quite an advantage. But what if tournament organizers balk at my entry, you ask? No problem. I'd just toss down a copy of Jennifer Finney Boylan's New York Times op-ed column of today. The thesis of The XY Games is that "gender is malleable and elusive," and that since "most efforts to rigidly quantify the sexes are bound to fail," the Olympic authorities [and surely the Cornell golf club] shouldn't really bother to try.
Finney Boylan goes so far as to assert that the Olympic medals Stella Walsh won in women's sprint events shouldn't be stripped posthumously despite an autopsy revealing that Walsh had male sex organs [and an ambiguous set of chromosomes.]
Writes Finney Boylan of Walsh [emphasis added throughout]:
She should be celebrated for her accomplishments as an athlete, not turned into an asterisk because of a condition beyond her control.
The triumphant fact of a life lived as a woman made Walsh female, and the inexact measurements performed by strangers cannot render her life untrue.
There's no political bias here, but given the interest many of our loyal readers have for college football, the relatively slow news week we're having, and the fact that's it's fun to beat up on Newsweek, here goes.
In a recent "CW Look at Summer Fashion Trends" Newsweek's Conventional Wisdom feature promised a look at "what's hot for this year's hot weather." Among the nods of approval, an up arrow to jean shorts:
They're back like Indiana Jones. Tuck a T shirt into a high-waisted pair.
While it sounds facetious, could this be a subtle ploy to boost readership by University of Florida alumni? [click here, watch intro] If so, isn't that a poor move that could alienate other readers in the SEC?
For more background into the "Gators Wear Jean Shorts" taunt, check here.
Hey, did you know that Barack Obama is young and energetic? Also, he's a real go-getter with a drive to win. Did I mention that he's young? That's the underlying message of lowered expectations and hipness from the June/July Men's Fitness article, "25 Fittest Guys In America." MF lumped Obama in with elite athletes, such as an Olympic boxer, an Ironman triathlete, three mixed martial artists and several professional sports stars in its annual list of “25 Fittest Men in America.”
MF revealed that Obama was “a bit of a baller” in his youth and stays in tip-top shape with hotel weight machines or a “brisk” 45-minute run as well as “mostly” avoiding fatty foods. Wow. That sounds like a brutal regimen of moderate daily exercise and a reasonable diet. How does he do it? What, no kudos for eating his vegetables or walking up stairs instead of taking the elevator? Obama was even credited for giving up smoking, which he didn't exactly do.
MF's article may be stealth campaigning, but it still managed to raise the hopes of schlubs everywhere by including Obama on a “fit" list with top-ranked athletes (bold mine):
In the wake of the infamous (and illegal) antics of the New England Patriots, having admitted they repeatedly and blatantly broke the rules and cheated during their Super Bowl run of the early 21st century, a story appeared in the Boston Herald newspaper that the Patriots had taped the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough prior to beating the heavily favored Rams in the 2001 Super Bowl. Since the Patriots are admitted cheaters, this was not a stretch of the imagination, especially since a member of the Patriots' video staff- one who illegally taped other team- was setting up while the Rams were walking through their game plan. However, the story has not been corroborated by anyone, and the member of the Patriots' staff who did most of the illegal taping told the NFL commissioner that he had no knowledge of anyone doing said taping, and that he certainly did not. Following this, the Herald and its reporter, one John Tomase, have apologized- and on the front page, no less. Tomase wrote on the HErald's website today
"First and foremost, this is about a writer breaking one of the cardinal rules of journalism. I failed to keep challenging what I had been told," wrote John Tomase in Friday's editions of the newspaper. Tomase explained what led up to the publication of the Feb. 2 story, which appeared one day before the Patriots' 17-14 Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants. The Herald on Wednesday apologized for the story, after former Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh told NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that he did not tape the walkthrough and did not know of anyone who had.
Aren't southern gentlemen supposedly chivalrous? Yet Joe Scarborough, son of the Florida Panhandle, today exploited Mika Brzezinski's less-than-encyclopedic knowledge of sports to lure his Morning Joe colleague into agreeing that the famous former coach of the Indiana University basketball team was none other than . . . Bear Bryant.
The jumping-off point was Joe's wearing of a red sweater today, which as a running gag he claimed was in solidarity with the workers of the world on this, May Day. But when Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, a Hillary supporter, came on toward the end of the show, Scarborough pressed the sweater into double duty.
Cindy Brunson's report on Lorena Ochoa's winning streak wasn't a mere double-bogey. Think of it as a shank into the lake, or better yet, that most inept stroke of all: a total whiff. Apparently desperate for a feminist angle on Ochoa's success, the ESPN News anchor decided to drag Title IX and the ERA into her account.
Ochoa's victory at the Ginn Open was her fourth LPGA win in a row. Here's how Brunson reported it during the 5 AM ET edition of ESPN News:
CINDY BRUNSON: It's been 45 years since we've seen someone on the LPGA Tour win four straight tournaments in as many weeks. Back when Mickey Wright pulled off the winning quartet in 1963, both Title IX and the Equal Rights Amendment were still ideas, not laws. And to world's #1 Lorena Ochoa, admittedly feeling fatigued after winning in her native Mexico last week, but poised to rewrite the record books in Tigeresque fashion Sunday.
New York Times reporter Katie Thomas embraced radical chic near the end of her front-page story Tuesday on the prospect for political protests at the 2008 Olympics, hosted by China.
Perhaps the best-known examples are the American sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith, who at the 1968 Games in Mexico City raised their clenched fists on the medal podium during the playing of the national anthem in a salute to black power. The action enraged the Olympic organizers, and Mr. Carlos and Mr. Smith were soon ushered out of the country. Now, 40 years later, their action is celebrated as heroic.
Raising a "Black Power" fist in defiance of the national anthem qualifies as heroic in the mind of the Times?
Radical Pan-African activist Stokely Carmichael, who coined the phrase, said of his movement:
When you talk of black power, you talk of building a movement that will smash everything Western civilization has created.
On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," while covering Roger Clemens’ testimony before Congress, co-host Maggie Rodriguez talked to sports radio talk show host, Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, who said of the hearing: "I thought the panel for the most part did a pretty good job on the Democratic side. And I'm not really a party politic guy, but the Republicans did a terrible job." Russo went on to bash Republicans and praise Democrats "...they let Clemens off the hook. Waxman was great, Elijah Cummings was great from Maryland."
Without challenging that assessment, Rodriguez asked: "Why do you think, real quick, that they did a terrible job? There's some talk that maybe they were star struck?"
Russo then made this accusation:
I don't think they were star struck. I don't know why all of a sudden, maybe Clemens is friends with the Bush family, he's a Republican, whatever it might be, this came across on party lines. The Republican guys here did an atrocious job because they directed all their questions at Mcnamee and talked about his terrible job with credibility and laid -- let Clemens get off the hook. Terrible job.
Maybe they should have added a few carbon credits to this Super Bowl bet.
NBC's "Today" co-anchor Meredith Vieira lost a bet to fellow co-anchor Matt Lauer for the New York Giants 17-14 win over the New England Patriots. But it wasn't exactly a carbon-neutral endeavor.
"[Y]ou know, let's check the traffic chopper, chopper four for Meredith - to see how traffic is over the West Side [of New York City] - and you can see, it's still clear," "Today" meteorologist Al Roker said on the February 4 show. "It's still clear, the traffic and in fact, it's perfect for planes flying overhead, ‘Giants Rule, Meredith drools.'"
With the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act that would ban the export of US horses for slaughter before Congress, the Times dove right into this activist Thunderdome. The NYT revealed after the state bans, unwanted horses face “more grueling travel” and are shipped to Canada or worse, “gruesome deaths” in Mexico, where their spinal cords are severed with knives (bold mine).
The American slaughterhouses killed horses quickly by driving steel pins into their brains, a method the American Veterinary Medical Association considers humane. Workers in some Mexican plants, by contrast, disable them by stabbing them with knives to sever their spinal cords, said Temple Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University..
Welcome to the 2007 Top Ten Lowlights of The New York Times. As usual, the year brought a cornucopia of biased behavior by the nation's paper of record, from sliming innocent Duke lacrosse players to defending illegal immigration to yet another liberal rant from a high-level Times executive (this year it was Executive Editor Bill Keller who did the honors). Times Watch has whittled down the absolute worst from another liberally slanted year from the New York Times. For the full report, visit Times Watch. Here are the headlines for a taste:
10. Bill Keller Unleashed in London -- "War Going Very Badly in Iraq"
9. The Haditha "Massacre"
8. Doubting the Fort Dix Six Terror Plot
7. France's Fearsome Nicolas Sarkozy
6. Gee, Why Is Dick Cheney So Secretive?
5. Reporter Chastised for Saying "Surge" Worth a Shot...
4. Blaming the Victims in the Duke "Rape" Hoax
3. Loving the (Illegal) Alien
2. Deep Discount for MoveOn.org's "Petraeus-Betray Us" Ad
I hope this doesn't throw you out of your chair, but the LA Times was wrong in an article. The difference between this day and every other day is that this time they admit it. The story in question was one that ran 18 months ago about baseball players on steroids named in court documents which by now you've probably heard plenty about. The LA Times, using anonymous sources of course, (do you see a pattern here?) named Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Jay Gibbons, and Miguel Tejada as steroid abusers. Fast forward to the actual affidavit being unsealed, and those players are in fact not among those listed.
Times spokesman Stephan Pechdimaldji said "We regret our report was inaccurate and will run a correction." which I'm pretty sure will be also be known as 'exhibit A' in the libel suits to come. U.S. District Court Judge Edward C. Voss referred to the Times this way: "At best, the article is an example of irresponsible reporting. At worst, the 'facts' reported were simply manufactured." Judge, I believe this makes you an honorary Newsbuster.
In an interview with New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, Couric questioned his new record-setting contract. The deal includes $275 million over 10 years and another $30 million in incentives, according to ESPN.
"Your new contract is worth $300 million-plus," Couric told Rodriquez, asking, "Are you worth it? Is any player worth that kind of salary?"
A-Rod could have pointed out that Major League Baseball works like any other market - players' services are priced according to what the market will pay for their skills and experience. Someone in the Yankees organization felt $275 million over 10 years was a fair price to pay for Rodriguez.
Rodriguez could have pointed out that he's a two-time Gold Glove winner, a two-time Silver Slugger winner, and a three-time American League Most Valuable Player. He could have mentioned that last season he led the American League in runs, home runs and runs batted in - 143, 54 and 156 respectively.
Or he could have turned the question around on Couric by asking, "Well Katie, you're paid $15 million a year and have seen steady declines in your ratings on the ‘Evening News,' with some weeks reaching record lows. Are you worth it?"
NewsBusters readers are likely familiar with Jason Whitlock, the outspoken sportswriter for the Kansas City Star whose views on race relations in America typically go quite contrary to most in the mainstream media.
On Wednesday, Whitlock wrote an article for Fox Sports.com concerning the recent shooting of Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor.
True to form, Whitlock spoke of truths few press representatives and even fewer black leaders dare to today (emphasis added, h/t Larwyn, reader is cautioned that some of the language is a tad raw at times):
It's not every day you read an article in a major newspaper stating unequivocally that media radically misreported a current event that made national headlines, especially one with a racial component.
However, that's exactly what happened Wednesday when the Christian Science Monitor published an article written by the assistant editor of the Jena Times about how press outlets "got most of the basics wrong" concerning the beating of a white student by six black students in Jena, Louisiana.
In fact, the author, Craig Franklin, was by no means shy with his criticism of just how poorly media behaved (emphasis added, h/t Glenn Reynolds):
The gist is that it was selfish of Jones to elbow her way onto the 2004 4x100-meter Olympic relay team. Since she knew she had been taking steroids, she must also have realized that any medal the team won was in danger of being forfeited. Good point.
But then, from out of left field, this gratuitous shot [emphasis added]:
Figures. Who else would Mika Brzezinski's ink-stained doppelganger be but Maureen Dowd?
"Morning Joe" has apparently introduced a new feature, "Three Things to Read Today," in which each of the panelists recommends an item from that morning's newspaper crop. Willie Geist went first today, and being the pop-culture maven he is, suggested the New York Post's coverage of the sexual harrassment lawsuit that a former female New York Knicks employee has brought against coach Isiah Thomas.
A popular San Francisco news anchor inexplicably made a joke on a Wednesday evening newscast suggesting NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. “should marry his stepmother.”
First, some background: Preceding the quip by KPIX news anchor Dana King was a flawed report from sports anchor Dennis O’Donnell about the unveiling of the stock car Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be racing with his new team next season. Dale Jr., son of the late NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Sr., is in his final season with Dale Earnhardt Inc., the racing team his father founded and left to Dale Jr.’s stepmother, Teresa Earnhardt. Dale Jr. and Teresa have been publicly at odds about the direction and management of DEI.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is NASCAR’s most popular driver, and his millions of fans have purchased merchandise emblazoned with his #8, which is the property of DEI. Negotiations with Teresa to allow Dale Jr. to race under #8 on his new team broke down, forcing him to choose a new number. 88 is the number he selected (he purchased the right to use the number from another driver).
On Sunday, law professor Jeffrey Rosen reviewed for the New York Times the new book "Until Proven Innocent -- Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case," by Stuart Taylor & KC Johnson, which, among bringing other injustices surrounding the case to light, also excoriates the mainstream press's shoddy coverage, much of which presumed the guilt of the three white lacrosse players.
Rosen called the book "riveting," but devoted just two sentences to the frequent passages that rip apart the Times's shoddy coverage of the case, taking particular aim at reporter Duff Wilson and columnist Selena Roberts.