Perhaps the year-over-year metric is an unfair comparison, because during the same week in 2011 the Japanese tsunami drew in ordinarily uninterested viewers. Compared to two years ago, the combined audience was slightly higher (by 2.1%). NBC and ABC were both down slightly, while CBS, recovering from the Katie Couric era and still in a distant third place, showed a double-digit gain. But the three networks were down in the advertiser-prized 25-54 demographic, with CBS eking out a much smaller gain which did not offset losses at NBC and ABC. Here are the numbers:
Yesterday was sort of "Pick on Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press Day." So when I came across a particularly reprehensible report he filed last night whining about the difficulty the economy may face in meeting heightened expectations -- with yet another reference to the wire service's obsession with its relevance to President Obama's approval ratings and reelection -- I let it go.
That changed when I learned about and then read Kyle Drennen's NewsBusters post today about CNBC's Carl Quintanilla, Friday's fill-in Today show host. Carl Q spoke of how "...we're in a situation where we're sort of managing expectations, especially for the White House." "We" are "managing expectations ... especially for the White House"? What Carl Q said seems to have been influenced by what Rugaber wrote yesterday. Especially note the last excerpted paragraph (bolds are mine):
A man in Berkeley has died as the result of a violent crime. A contributing factor to his death was a failure by the police to respond to a 911 called which was deemed a "non-emergency." The police were in a posture of only responding to "emergency" calls because "were preparing for an Occupy protest headed to UC Berkeley from Oakland."
It will be interesting to see if this gets covered by the establishment press outside of Northern California, especially now that Drudge had it in his headlines during much of the day. Here is part of the original report from KCBS in San Francisco:
In his pre-Super Bowl interview with Matt Lauer on Sunday, President Obama was asked the following question about Iran in light of the heightening tensions over its nuclear program and the possibility of an Israeli air strike: "(In repsonse) Do you fear that they will wage attacks within the United States on American soil?" Obama responded as follows: "We don't see any evidence that they have those intentions or capabilities right now."
Really? The President's statement directly goes against statements made recently by other government officials, up to and including Attorney General Eric Holder. Lauer, who is paid to look good while delivering the news and conducting interviews but not necessarily to deliver on substance, especially if it might disturb the American people before the Big Game, totally missed the contradiction. Fortunately, Ed Lasky at American Thinker didn't (internal links added by me):
Editor's Note: What follows is a letter that NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell sent to the presidents of the news divisions of ABC, CBS, and NBC as well as to CNN president Jim Walton. It has also been carbon copied to 10 leaders representing various Catholic and Protestant faith organizations.
The broadcast and cable television networks need to report the current, unprecedented assault against freedom of religion in this country, as well as the millions of Americans who would be left out in the cold by the Obama administration if it does not rescind HHS’s recently issued insurance mandate requiring contraceptive coverage. As our statistics and analysis below outline, they are not, and it’s a glaring double standard.
On Wednesday, Kyle Drennen at NewsBusters noted how NBC news anchor Brian Williams, chief environmental correspondent Anne Thompson, and old reliable global warming proponent Dr. Gerald Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research took advantage of this year's mild winter in the lower 48 U.S. states as an excuse to argue that "our warming world is shifting the odds against a traditional winter, winters as we have known them."
Well folks, winterize this report about Eastern Europe's deadly serious cold spell carried at a German web site (HT Expatica; bolds are mine):
It seems media outlets only care about reporting on Planned Parenthood when its funding is threatened. When that happens, the liberal press goes ballistic.
When cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure cut funding to Planned Parenthood, the abortion mill reacted swiftly, with a press release that rallied its allies in the media to create a ruckus about losing more than $600,000 in funding. The liberal media echo chamber began ringing with howls of rage that the cancer charity would dare to say no to funding the abortion giant. Strangely, the three broadcast networks seemed to have difficulty locating Komen supporters to interview.
A report carried at CBS News in St. Louis from Jim Anderson of the Illinois Radio Network (IRN), which appears to be a private entity, tells readers that a research study (summary; PDF of relevant chapter) published by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) at the University of Illinois has identified "a combination of tough policies (which) could bring the state into fiscal balance by the end of the decade." To be clear, the end of the decade is seven years and eleven months from now.
Predictably, the "tough policies" include "maintaining increased income tax rates after they are scheduled to expire." On the spending side, what IGPA describes as "extreme austerity" means "keeping the growth rate of all spending down to 2.1 percent per year." Those who would rather not look at IGPA's detail can be forgiven, because the opening paragraph of the linked chapter above, which IRN did not cite, gives away the researchers' detachment from reality:
I guess what follows shouldn't be a total surprise, given that the Obama administration was perfectly comfortable ruining hundreds of thousands of perfectly good cars during the Cash For Clunkers program in 2009.
The video which follows from CBS News in San Francisco last Thursday (full transcript here) tells viewers what is happening to valuable parts at the main manufacturing plant of the now-bankrupt Solyndra. At the risk of belaboring what longtime readers here already instinctively know, it's not news based on searches on the company's name at at the Associated Press and the New York Times.
ABC News's Marianne Gingrich interview has "that awful, awful taint of Rathergate to it," timed as it was "to do the most amount of damage it possibly could to Newt Gingrich's career," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell complained in an interview with Washington, D.C. news-talk station WMAL's Morning Majority program.
While Marianne Gingrich may be "entirely honest" in her claim, she is "lashing out at her ex-husband" and her story is an unconfirmable account. "I think it was a mess of a story, I think it hurts the media," the Media Research Center (MRC) founder added. [interview embedded below page break]
It is not necessarily inappropriate for a news outlet to interview a candidate’s former wife. However, three conditions must be met: 1) Is it newsworthy? 2) Is it fair and respectful to the families involved? 3) Is the timing appropriate?
On the timing issue alone it is clearly inappropriate for ABC to run this interview on the eve of the South Carolina primary. This smacks of an October Surprise of the worst sort, for which so many in the left-wing press have become so infamous. There is no reason it couldn’t run next week.
In 1998, we learned that Al and Tipper Gore made $353 in deductible charitable contributions against income of $198,000 the previous year. In the decade from 1998-2007, Joe and Jill Biden averaged $369 per year in such reported contributions. Bill and Hillary Clinton were infamous for taking charitable contributions for used underwear.
The aforementioned facts are generally not known by people who don't closely follow the news, because not much was made of them. But from the point of view of ABC News, particularly the hatchet men disguised as investigative reporters Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross, Mitt and Ann Romney have a much bigger problem than the Gores, Bidens, and Clintons: They, and particularly Mitt through Bain Capital (dubious, as we'll see), have given too much money to a particular charity. Because the reporters apparently want readers and viewers to see this as something underhanded, they describe charity as "sending" instead of "giving":
Even fair-minded liberals, of which there must be a few, should acknowledge that the Saturday-Sunday "blitz" of the Republican presidential candidates by ABC and NBC correspondents looked like a play designed by the left wing of the Democratic Party.
Clearly the questions by ABC's George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer about contraception and same-sex marriage were asked to trap the GOP candidates into delivering sound bites that the Obama re-election campaign could use against the eventual nominee and the party at large. These were the types of accusatory questions that would never be asked of a Democratic president. One would not expect to hear, for example, a question like this to President Obama: "Mr. President, millions of babies have been legally aborted in this country since 1973; how can you so callously dismiss unborn children, many of whom would now be productive, taxpaying citizens, by taking a pro-choice stance on abortion?"
On Tuesday's edition of The View on ABC, the ladies once again held a completely unanimous liberal discussion on gay marriage, with the alleged conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck leading the denunciation of social conservatives, including Pope Benedict. On Monday, Pope Benedict spoke up for the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman, but nowhere in the address did he actually discuss the concept of gay marriage. It was more of a pro-life message.
But no one at The View reads original transcripts. "Someone wasn't invited to Elton John's wedding," Joy Behar joked. “Someone’s ticked off.” Hasselbeck chimed in. "I think a big mistake that people make, in saying that something works against humanity to me seems quite inhumane. I was raised Catholic, I consider myself Christian now, but I’ll probably get some letters after today," Hasselbeck said. [Video follows]
What does Planned Parenthood have to do for a mention on the network news? The group provides services abhorred by much of the American population and it has been riddled with scandal recently. But according to the abortion group's latest figures, its intake of federal tax dollars up by more than a third, and that 90 percent of its government funding comes from federal money.
Sounds like a controversial story. Too bad ABC, CBS and NBC haven't been paying attention.
Blogger John at Verum Serum has unmasked yet another instance where initial claims by "leaders" at an Occupy site claiming non-involvement with crime fell apart after a short while. Even worse, after his post went up, a subsequent report on the same incident a few hours later scrubbed the truth to again make Occupiers appear not culpable .
After the jump, readers will see the initial and then revised stories about what happened at Occupy Orlando on Monday, each via Local TV station "News 13."
Earlier today, Matthew Balan at NewsBusters noted how the "Big Three Nets Trumpet Wall Street Protesters 'Proclaiming Victory.'" HIs report concentrated on the morning shows, but a Media Research Center Reality Check showed the that the fawning has also been present in evening news coverage.
Evening show network executives, however, may be less than thrilled about the "Occupy Wall Street" crowd coverage, and secretly hoping for the whole thing to wind down. That's because their shows, which have generally seen their ratings rise during the past twelve months, saw their combined audience fall below 21 million during the week of October 3, with CBS suffering a particularly sharp drop (comparisons are to previous week):
Since conservative talk-radio star Laura Ingraham confronted NBC morning co-host Matt Lauer on NBC about the sleazy acts the Peacock Network booked for its summer concert series, Ingraham applied the same scrutiny when she interviewed ABC Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos on the first hour of her radio show Thursday. She asked about their booking the group LMFAO for today. (That's short for "laughing my f-----g a-- off.") George touted they "scrubbed their lyrics" for the ABC show.
The ABC host was more contrite about Nicki Minaj, who had too much of a breast pop out on the August 5 edition of the morning show. Stephanopoulos said GMA has a delay button, but the producers "missed" their opportunity to keep ABC decent. It sort of a made a mockery out of the song Minaj sang. It's called "Where Them Girls At." (One of them girls was breaking out.)
Arson, destruction, thievery, beatings and even murder – they’re the inevitable reaction to increased college tuition fees?
To hear the broadcast news networks spin the violence and looting convulsing English cities in August, the riots were clashes between the “haves and the have-nots” (a term used by NBC reporter Martin Fletcher) in British society. According to the networks, an oppressed minority unleashed pent-up rage against a conservative government hell-bent on cutting government spending and creating economic inequality in the process.
We've just spent the past month or so having politicians and the press tell us that if there was no debt-ceiling deal by August 2, the government might default on its debts (of course, Tim Geithner and Barack Obama could indeed have strategically defaulted if they had wished, but work with me here).
But Sunday on Meet the Press, in a remark I expect will not be relayed much if at all by the rest of the establishment press, Alan Greenspan said that default is impossible -- which puts him directly at odds with the rest of Washington's elites and Ben Bernanke, his successor as Federal Reserve chairman. On July 14, Bernanke said: "A default on ... (U.S. Treasury) securities would throw the financial system ... potentially into chaos."
Wait until you see the reason why Greenspan says default is impossible, as carried at CNBC's web site in an item by Patrick Allen:
NBC's going to have a tough time with critics from both directions on its new show "The Playboy Club." Radical feminist Gloria Steinem casually dismissed the series in a panel discussion at the Television Critics Association confab in Los Angeles. Steinem, who once went undercover as a Playboy bunny, strongly suggested the show was exploiting the past to feed the male need for nostalgia in tough economic times.
TV critics weren't buying NBC's claim the show was female-empowering. “I hear someone use the word ‘empowering’ but I’ve heard from my female readers that a show centered on Playboy…they don’t see it as empowering,” said one TV critic. “And your central story involves a woman who needs to rely on a man to get through the crisis that she in the middle of. How is this show empowering and how are you going to be able to sell female viewers on this show -- a show centered on a nudie magazine -- as empowering?”
Note to TV networks: Don't even think about downsizing the disproportionate airtime you give gay characters and issues. The bean-counters at GLAAD are watching.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), in its fifth annual "Network Responsibility Index," recently ranked 15 networks based on their inclusion of LGBT characters on original primetime shows that aired nationally.
Saturday night in Cincinnati, Fox 19's Kimberly Holmes Wiggins interviewed Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown from Washington about the state of the debt-ceiling debate. A full transcript follows.
Contained therein readers will see the untruthful establishment press memes which have dominated their coverage, and all too typical disgraceful and predictable demagoguery by Brown. Similar reports involving other Democrats likely played on stations across the nation this past weekend.
Strap on the duct tape. Here goes (bolds and numbered tags are mine; link is to the station's video home page):
For the past few days, everyone has relished the opportunity to pounce on the lack of media ethics by Rupert Murdoch affiliated tabloid News of the World, but are neglecting to recognize the lack of media ethics by much more mainstream media outlets on this side of the Atlantic.
Over the past three years, often to the chagrin of TV news audiences, Casey Anthony has been the star of the airwaves. Casey, a resident of Orlando, Florida, was indicted on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter, and aggravated child abuse following the death of her daughter, Caylee. Last week, Casey was found not guilty of these charges, and thanks to her previous good behavior in prison, is scheduled to go home Sunday. With her imminent release, brazen media outlets will soon begin duking it out to land the coveted first interview with the newly free Casey. Thanks to the thousands of dollars they put towards helping her throughout the trial, though, it seems that ABC News might already have a head start in the competition.
Nearly ten years ago, Elizabeth Smart became a household name when she was abducted from her family's home in Utah and sparked a nationwide media frenzy. As a 23-year-old, she has just inked a deal with ABC to cover missing person cases on a number of programs, including "Good Morning America" and "Nightline."
... which helps explain why conservative radio continues to dominate the airwaves while Air America Radio, uh, went kaput.
During a recent appearance on Tavis Smiley's PBS show, enviro lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose "Ring of Fire" show ran on Air America, made what reasonable souls among us might construe as a questionable claim.
Here's Kennedy responding to a question from Smiley on how liberals can better hone their message (video clip after page break) --
Alleged comedian Kathy Griffin can't seem to get enough of the Palin family, this time mocking Bristol Palin's recent chin surgery in her standup act "Gurrl Down," which aired on Bravo at 9 pm on Wednesday. "I swear to god, she looks like Jay Leno" said Griffin. She then mocked Palin's statement that the surgery was medically necessary by making a crude reference to oral sex.
On Friday, Cass Sunstein, the White House's 56 year-old Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (pictured at right), attempted to disavow a 42-page paper he wrote called "Lives, Life-Years, and Willingness to Pay," which recommended that the government reduce resources directed at benefitting the elderly in favor of increasing what goes to young people, because young people have more years of life ahead of them. His statement, as carried at CNS News:
“I’m a lot older now than the author with my name was, and I’m not sure what I think about what that young man wrote,” he said. “Things written as an academic are not a legitimate part of what we do as a government official. So I am not focusing on sentences that a young Cass Sunstein wrote years ago.
So, dear readers, before you go to the rest of this post, guess how "young" Sunstein was when he engaged in his de facto "death panels" advocacy.