Guess we folks at NewsBusters and at our parent organization, Media Research Center, can go home. Our work is done. Not only is the media not controlled by liberals, it's actually . . . dominated by the right wing. For that matter, it has been for decades! If only we had known, we could have saved ourselves all this trouble.
How did I learn this? From Arshad Hasan, of Democracy for America, the group Howard Dean founded at the end of his candidacy, and that has as its stated goal "to rebuild the Democratic Party." Dean's brother Jim serves at its chair.
Arshad was nice enough to send me an email this morning [OK, I signed up for their list], informing me of the exciting news that DFA is working "to take back our media" and that for such purposes will be conducting online 'DFA Night School' sessions to cover the following subjects:
At the beginning of each TV season, the cable and broadcast television networks trot out their new lineups for an ever-jaded and cynical bunch, the nation's TV critics. Despite their grousing about shows, Aaron Barnhart writes, tv crix realize they shouldn't be complaining because in many ways, entertainment television has never been better in this country than it is now. So why is it that news television fails to inspire much enthusiasm? My thoughts follow this excerpt from Barnhart's piece:
Here inside the Ritz-Carlton ballroom, we may be suffering from chills,
bloggerhea and other work-related ailments, but we're not kidding
ourselves: We know our jobs are great.
And that's because it's a pleasure to write about TV shows that, on
the whole, are now better made and better written than movies are.
Every day, thousands of people walk out of the store with a home
theater and soon discover the joys of staying at home as opposed to the
cineplex, where their choices have dwindled thanks to the
divide-and-conquer demographic madness that has gripped Hollywood. (If
only the Caribbean pirates would wear Prada, as my friend Gary Dretzka recently joked.)
Prime time television is more entertaining, more satisfying and -- as Stephen Johnson convincingly argued in his book Everything Bad Is Good For You -- more challenging than it has ever been. We're living in a golden age for TV entertainment.
So why is it that the situation for TV news is trending in exactly
the opposite direction? Why is it more insipid, sensational and facile
than ever? Why are Americans who rely on television as their main
source of information less informed than ever? [...]
If you're not acquanted with a DVR, it's a machine that lets you record your favorite shows when you're not able to watch them live. It's like a VCR but with many more hours of storing capacity, all recorded digitally on its own hard drive.
While it's still in its infancy (owned by 10 percent of consumers), an executive for ABC television wants all DVR manufacturers to disable one of the machine's most prized functions: fast-forwarding the commercials.
ABC HAS HELD DISCUSSIONS ON the use of technology that would disable the fast-forward button on DVRs, according to ABC President of Advertising Sales Mike Shaw, with the primary goal to allow TV commercials to run as intended.
The MRC Business & Media Institute's latest study is getting notice in the media.
The Washington Post's Frank Ahrens did a write-up below-the-fold in the business section today.
"Bad Company," the first of a three-part study series on media coverage of the American businessman is available here.
Here's a bit of what Ahrens wrote:
On the heels of last month's conviction of top Enron Corp.
executives comes this nugget from the Media Research Center, a
conservative television watchdog group that examines programming to
determine how certain groups are portrayed. In this study, the group
claims that Hollywood unfairly and overwhelmingly casts businessmen and
women as "criminal CEOs and murdering MBAs."
Mark Twain once said, "It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native criminal class except Congress."
Today's Hollywood TV executives would beg to differ. To them there's no distinctly native criminal class except American businessmen.
The Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute is out with our latest study, the first of a three-part series looking at the media's bias against businessmen.
Almost 10 years ago, the Media Research Center’s
Business & Media Institute published “Businessmen Behaving Badly,”
which found that businessmen on TV committed more crimes than any
other demographic. In this new study, BMI looked at 129 episodes
from 12 top-rated dramas on the four networks: ABC, CBS, FOX and
NBC. These broadcasts were picked from two “sweeps” months in 2005 –
May and November – when networks try to attract the largest
audiences to maximize ad dollars.
In this look at primetime, BMI found:
Negative toward Business: Negative plots about business and
businessmen outnumbered positive ones by almost 4-to-1. Of the 39
episodes that included business-related plots or characters, 30
(77 percent) cast businessmen and commerce in a negative light.
In a cautionary signal for the future of American media, an online poll conducted by Bolt Media indicates some interesting changes in viewing behavior as a result of the Internet. AdAge.com reported on Monday (hat tip to Drudge): “Only one in four 12- to 34-year-olds can name all four major broadcast networks: ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox."
The poll also asked what respondents’ favorite activities were. The number one answer? “That would be surfing the Internet, which 84% said they did during their idle periods.” By contrast, TV viewing got a 69 percent response. Their favorite TV Networks:? “Fox, Comedy Central, ABC, MTV and Cartoon Network.”
The article continued: “‘There's a massive movement going on in people under 30 and how they spend their media time,’ said Bolt President Lou Kerner, who once upon a time was a cable analyst on Wall Street before leaving to run TV.com and then Bolt. ‘Our audience spends lots of time on net, creating their own media.’"
Kerner believes this is a sign of a significant change in media usage habits:
Honestly, I can't believe I'm even having to write this. The moonbat programming director at KRON Channel 4 in San Francisco, along with station management, changed the address of the station from 1001 Van Ness Avenue to 1001552 after consulting with a numerologist who said the evil number 1001 needed to be "patched."
This is what San Francisco will do to a person. But I guess you'll try anything when you lose $91 million a year.
In a fit of conflicting interest, they booked Swami #1 on their weekend talk show and are currently looking for a permanent spot for him. No wonder, because this cat is also clairvoyant. Two of his predictions: "The flu epidemic will cause havoc in many Asian countries," and "Senator Hillary Clinton will be in the forefront of the Democratic Party."
The Free Market Project has noticed of late how the media are warming back up to the notion of a "windfall profits" tax on oil companies. The windfall profits tax was a hotter topic in the months after Katrina, but the idea didn't stick then. But now with a new session of Congress, a State of the Union address on the way, and 2005 profit reports running over the wires, the push to soak "Big Oil" is on again. [see more below the fold]
On the Jan. 19, "NBC Nightly News," introducing a story on Google's refusal to comply with a subpoena for Web search records, anchor Brian Williams alerted viewers to "a developing story in this country tonight that involves the collision of technology and privacy...The giant and successful search engine company has been subpoenaed by the Justice Department. They want to see exactly what people are searching for."
Fifteen additional reports graced the newscasts of the broadcast networks since then, according to a Nexis search, most of these focusing on the concerns of privacy advocates who fear overreaching by the Bush administration.
Five days later, the Associated Press reported that Google will censor Web sites the Chinese government deems objectionable:
Ford Motor Company's recently-announced layoffs are the result of years of declining market share coupled with rising labor costs. But while the media have relayed information on Ford's declining market share, they've avoided discussing the role labor unions have had in driving up costs.
One such burden the media have ignored are "jobs banks" which companies like Ford and GM created in the mid-80s as a concession to the United Auto Workers. The Detroit Free Press reports that Ford pays out about $140 million per year from Ford's job bank, Guaranteed Employment Numbers (GEN), to some 1,100 presently-unemployed workers.
None of the Jan. 23 network newscasts mentioned the costly GEN program nor an alternative severance package Ford has for workers which would pay $15,000 per year in tuition for each fired worker.
Did you know that a brave Navy Chaplain by the name of Gordon Klingenschmitt has been on a fast since December 20th? Probably not because the coverage in the mainstream media has been very limited, if not at all. An examination of the websites of ABC News, CBS News, and NBC News all come up with nothing. Cable news has also barely covered this story. Fox News has one short story, MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson had Klingenschmitt on as a guest, while CNN has completely ignored the story.
However, this story is one that needs to be shouted from the rooftops because if you’re a Christian and you believe in praying in the name of Jesus, and you believe that those military chaplains who are Christians have the right to pray in the name of Jesus, then you need to be aware of the blatant hostility and intolerance going on in the United States Navy.
[This article was reprinted at length and with favor in "Inside Politics" in the Washington Times today (Thursday).]
A poll by Rasmussen Reports today (Wednesday) illustrates the pervasive dishonesty of the American press in dealing with the NY Times story about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) intercepts of international communications. There are both minor dishonesties and major ones in this story as first reported by the Times and later a gaggle of reports throughout the media.
The major dishonesties are demonstrated by the two questions asked in the Rasmussen poll just reported. Here’s the first, and the responses:
Should the National Security Agency be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States? Yes 64% No 23%
The key fact is that these conversations cross international boundaries. Many parts of the MSM persist in calling this “domestic” spying. This is a lie. These calls are international, not domestic.
Here’s the second question and the responses:
Is President Bush the first President to authorize a program for intercepting telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States? Yes 26% No 48%
The gift of a common tongue is a priceless inheritance and it may well someday become the foundation of a common citizenship—Winston Churchill
Much has been made of words in recent years, and we can lay every outcry at the feet of Political Castration. Every single one.
The first has to do with language itself. We live in a nation where approximately 215 million people speak English. That’s right; out of the approximately 300 million in America, the vast, vast, vast majority speaks English, and in case you’re retarded or liberal—a bit redundant, I know—the majority is the rule in this nation, and has been since its inception.
I have just watched the orgy of press coverage on the Southwest plane that ran off the runway and into the street from Midway Airport in Chicago, last night. Despite the fact that the investigators said repeatedly that they would "get all the facts" and "review all possible causes to rule them in, or out," reporters persisted in questions demanding that the investigators guess about the cause of the accident.
When the experts could not be bullied or tricked into guessing about the cause of this accident, the press jumped into the breach of irresponsibility, with both feet. On Fox, CNN and MSNBC, there was speculation that "the plane never should have landed in that weather at that time." The same speculation sprouted up in the print media as well, per Google News. The press have even played clips or used quotes from ordinary citizens who raised this precise question.
The lead story today is Rep. John Murtha's call for US troops to be pulled out of Iraq. The media is trumpeting this as a huge blow to the Bush Administration since Murtha was one of the Democrat's "hawks". According to the AP:
"Murtha's shift from an early war backer to a critic advocating withdrawal reflects plummeting public support for a war that has cost more than $200 billion and led to the deaths of more than 2,000 U.S. troops."
According to an article in Roll Call from May 6, 2004, Murtha's bring them home now stance is nothing new.
Oh the beauteous words we use to describe freedom! And she is indeed worth it, or at least used to be. The bitch of it is, in order for the words to carry any weight, you must back them up with action, lest you look like a wretched lip-server. And action is where we have—of late—fallen terribly, terribly short.
There was a day when traitors were hanged, not honored. There was a day when a treacherous hand was removed, not salved. There was a day when a coward hung his head in shame instead of strutting arrogantly before crowds and contingencies.
Gary Hall passed along yesterday that MoveOn.org is telling their members on their E-mail list that the media are failing to give enough publicity to the 2,000-dead "milestone" in Iraq:
"Dear MoveOn member, Yesterday we reached the sad milestone of 2,000 killed in Iraq. But for the most part, the national media are ignoring this tragic milestone."
MRC's Rich Noyes rebutted this strange idea yesterday (with data from Brent Baker's CyberAlert) in a Media Reality Check. While the networks downplayed the Iraqi government's announcement that 79 percent of Iraqis had voted in favor of a new constitution, they played up the 2,000 "milestone."
I’m sick of always saying "my Muslim contact," so from now on I will refer to him as “Alex.” It’s vague enough to keep him protected from the wrath of Islam, and given what he continues to tell the non-Islam world about Islam intentions, he needs protecting.
Alex doesn’t live in America. His observations come from a childhood raised in Islam, carefully studying us from a distant vantage point and applying a genius-level IQ to define what he sees; and what he sees is a nation on the brink, and an enemy ready to shove.
On Saturday, millions of Iraqis walked with determination to the polls to vote for a new constitution. The turnout was high. The violence was down dramatically from the triumphant elections of January. But the network found all this boring. On the night before the historic vote, ABC led with bird-flu panic. CBS imagined Karl Rove in a prison jumpsuit. NBC hyped inflation.
They say that news is a man-bites-dog story. In the Middle East, how common is a constitutional referendum? Have they had one in Egypt? Saudi Arabia? Syria? Jordan? Until the last few years, the phrase "Arab constitutional democracy" sounded like a pipe dream or an oxymoron. But today the reporters can only kvetch. NBC’s Richard Engel growled online that the new constitution was "a deeply flawed document, peppered with religious slogans, and leaves plenty of room for Shiites and Kurds to govern themselves." Engel says Iraqis disagree on the constitution, but "with the daily pressures of the insurgency, power cuts and lawlessness, there might not be enough time to start over before this country and the people lose hope -- along with many of their lives."
The title is, of course, an ancient joke from the vaudeville circuit. It’s an appropriate way to praise, rather than attack, one particular article – and in the process to attack ten thousand others.
Here is the lede from “Show Me the Risk!” by Deroy Murdock in NRO (National Review Online) on 19 October 2005:
“According to The Archives of Internal Medicine, pharmaceutical companies market a drug that kills some 7,000 Americans annually. These people don’t die instantly, but instead expire after slowly suffering gastrointestinal bleeding. Oddly enough, TV-news producers are ho-hum about this deadly medicine. The Food and Drug Administration has yet to prohibit it. Personal-injury attorneys aim their crosshairs elsewhere. No one seems much concerned about a lethal substance called aspirin.”
For two days, all parts of the American press have been reporting a "constitutional compromise" which has "gained the support of a main Sunni political party." With this compromise, it is expected that upwards of half the Sunnis (a 20% minority in Iraq) will support its new Constitution, and it will be ratified in the vote on Saturday.
All well and good. But hasn't anyone in the press recalled certain adventures of James Madison? (He was in all the papers.) We in the United States have been through exactly the same process. But NO ONE in the American press has, so far, remembered and mentioned that fact.
There was a bitter fight between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists in Philadelphia in 1787, whether we would have a new Constitution. And if so, what would be the powers of the new federal government. When the Constitution was submitted to Congress for its review, and afterwards to the states for their ratification, that same fight spilled out to the state capitols.
My favorite supporting character in the legendary strip, “Peanuts,” is Pigpen. His unique trait is raising a cloud of dirt everywhere, even on a clean, dry sidewalk. Pigpen came to mind when I saw the White House Press Corps’ question President Bush Wednesday on his nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.
First, the status of the nomination. Monday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid held a nearly unprecedented press conference with Harriet Miers, just hours after her nomination. Reid said that she was an “exceptional” candidate, and “the sort of person who should be nominated.”
In short, the leader of the opposition all but endorsed the nominee.
What’s the consequence of that? Slam dunk. A home run in the bottom of the ninth. Game, set and match.
Broadcasters turn news into 24-hour speculation cycle about $5 per gallon post-hurricane gas prices.
Broadcast journalists have been the only ones bidding up gas prices lately. While they foretell a horizon of $4 and $5 gas, consumers on U.S. streets are paying an average of $2.81 – up just 6 cents since hurricane Rita.
ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and Fox News all covered the constant speculation about Gulf refinery damage and subsequent gas price spikes before and after Hurricane Rita’s September 24 impact. CNN used its 24 hours each day to raise fears about higher gas prices with show after show. A Nexis search of CNN transcripts around Rita’s landfall (from September 21 to 25) showed more than 20 mentions of the possibility of $4 or $5 gas from at least 12 different reporters in just five days on that network.
Last night I, along with many millions of others, was treated to the live broadcast of an emergency landing by JetBlue flight 292. The flight had departed from Burbank, CA bound for New York City and experienced an unusual problem with it's nose landing gear. The wheels were cocked 90 degrees to the right and wouldn't retract.
After circling near Catalina Island for nearly 3 hours to burn off fuel, the flight finally made its way in to Los Angeles International Airport and made what can only be described as a textbook emergency landing. The pilot greased the main gear on the runway, held the nose up as long as he could, and then eased the plane down onto the damaged nose gear. After some smoke and not just a little bit of flame, the plane came to stop with the damaged nose gear right smack in the middle of the runway's centerline. Not bad with the nose steering gear ground off. There was no fire, and after a few minutes, the relieved passengers departed the aircraft without a physical scratch on them. I'm sure some will be shook up a bit after the experience, but they walked away and that's always the best result.
Inflation is a dirty word in business reporting – except when it’s the journalists themselves doing the inflating.
In the recent Katrina-driven gas scare, network news shows pumped up actual gas prices an average of 75 cents — higher than any state’s gas taxes. Prices shown on the screen were up to $3.25 higher than the national average for the day’s gas. On the other hand, when prices started dropping after Labor Day, the networks’ daily price patrols were scarce.
NBC was the worst offender, with prices shown averaging $1.01 higher than the national price. The network’s Anne Thompson said on the August 31 “Nightly News” that “no matter what kind of gas is sold, today it’s now unbelievably expensive.” Though the national average that day was $2.62, Thompson showed the “unbelievably expensive” backdrop of $3.49 for regular.
This year's national Emmy awards (set to air Sunday night) are scheduled to include a salute to the three anchormen of yesteryear, Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, and Tom Brokaw. Quoting the Hollywood Reporter:
The end of an era in television news will be commemorated during Sunday's Primetime Emmy Awards telecast with a lengthy segment that will pay tribute to the careers of long-serving news anchors Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather and the late Peter Jennings.
Ken Ehrlich, producer of the Primetime Emmy telecast, to be telecast live on CBS, said plans for the salute to the trio of newsmen were in the works long before 40-year ABC News veteran Jennings died in August of lung cancer at age 67. [...]
"These are the guys through whose eyes we've watched the world change,"
Ehrlich said, noting that the intense news coverage of the aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina during the past two weeks has only underscored how
much the TV news landscape has changed amid the changing of the guard
among the Big Three news anchors.
Columnist Matt Towery, writing today on townhall.com, lays out a compelling – and, once you see the time line, plainly true – case that Big Media, stuck in its Eastern coastal elite attitudes, failed to provide anything like proper coverage of Hurricane Katrina.
"…If New York City were underwater, and thousands were presumed dead with countless others' lives still hanging in the balance, these same networks would have suspended regular programming to cover every developing second of the disaster's unfolding events."
That was the case in New Orleans by Wednesday. Yet most networks continued regular programming.
Network execs, Towery says, "just can’t get a handle on the South."
The economy is doing well -- the federal deficit is shrinking, unemployment has fallen to 5.0%, and America has enjoyed more than two straight years of job growth and 3.5 million new jobs. That hasn't stopped the media from describing the economy as “dicey,” “volatile” and “slow.” The Media Research Center's Free Market Project analyzed all of the broadcast network's economic stories since the start of President Bush's second term, and we found that a big majority (62%) cast the economy in negative terms.
Even when good news made it to viewers, journalists undermined it with bad news 45 percent of the time. For example, on World News Tonight back on March 4, Dean Reynolds presented an upbeat report about strong job growth, but stuck a knife in at the end: "While job growth is up, wage growth is not. And the question now is how long consumers will keep spending and fueling the economy without a raise in pay.”