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.
For those too young to remember, invoking a "long, hot summer" was a favorite pastime of the establishment press and so-called "civil rights leaders" after the race riots of the 1960s (example here). The message: Get that federal money flowing to us, or there will be violence in the streets.
At CBS News, reporter Bill Whitaker wrapped his coverage of the teen unemployment situation as follows: "For many teens with no jobs and no money, it could be one long, hot summer." Perhaps Whitaker was unaware of how loaded those words once were (and still may be). But he shouldn't get a pass for failing to mention three minimum-wage increases enacted late last decade as potential contributors to the 2007-2010 rise in teen unemployment. Whitaker also mentioned "cuts in federal funding" as affecting summer jobs programs, but "somehow" forgot to tell readers and viewers that the funding consisted of so-called "stimulus" dollars that everyone knew was going to go away (see the reference to "the end of Recovery Act funding that might have helped create some public jobs" at this link). Whitaker's omission leaves an implication that meanies in the current Congress must have done something to reduce funding, which isn't so.
Update: Reaction from NB publisher Brent Bozell below the break.
For some time now, it's been painfully obvious that objectivity in political reporting is a farce. So it should come as little surprise that when asked who they trust most for political reporting, many Americans draw a blank.
That, at least, is what pollsters at Suffolk University have discovered. A 36 percent plurality of respondents to a recent Suffolk poll, asked who they most trusted for political news, answered "not sure" or "none." Fox News's Bill O'Reilly came in third with 9 percent.
In fact, 22 percent said they trusted some Fox News personality most, compared with only 16 percent who said they trusted a network news anchor most. Only six percent said an MSNBC host was most trustworthy on political issues (h/t TV Newser).
The following is cross-posted from Human Events, where Mattera serves as editor.
Christian conservatives often decry the silencing of faith by major network television.
But Sunday night on CBS’ hit reality TV series “Undercover Boss,” people of faith had their breath taken away by what they witnessed, sparking a Facebook and Twitter avalanche of support and praise.
On Facebook, Kini Se remarked, “Loved the episode of 'Undercover Boss' last night. It is the BEST one yet. It is great to see you praising the Lord on National television. The entire time, I had tears running down my face. It was real, it was true and inspirational. God bless you and your family.”
One sign that the broadcast networks aren’t vigorously opposed to President Obama’s air strikes in Libya is the utter lack of polls. There were no ABC/Washington Post or NBC/Wall Street Journal polls touted before Obama’s Libya address, and a Gallup poll showing only 47 percent support for military action has been barely mentioned.
CBS News did a poll (without The New York Times) and briefly touted its results on March 22. Katie Couric offered one sentence on the Evening News: “A CBS News poll out tonight finds most Americans are following the events in Libya closely and nearly seven out of ten approve of the air strikes.” But the question was phrased in a way to encourage support for a coalition effort protecting innocent civilians:
"As you may know, the U.S. military and other countries have begun cruise missile and air strikes in Libya in order to protect civilians from attacks by Qaddafi's forces. Do you approve or disapprove of the U.S. and other countries taking this military action in Libya?"
While looking into the News Media Guild's positions in the current standoff between it and the Associated Press, I came across the most recent contract (large PDF file) between the two. It expired this past November; unionized AP employees are continuing to work under the old contract's provisions.
Many people don't know that the AP is a "not-for-profit news cooperative" which is "owned by its contributing newspapers (over 1,000), radio and television stations (over 5,000) in the United States." It would appear to be exempt from paying federal, state, and local income taxes (and perhaps others), and as such would seem to have a competitive advantage over any person or entity which might consider competing with it.
I thought readers might be interested in certain of the expired 65-page Editorial Unit contract's provisions, and consider how often such arrangements are available in the private sector (56 other pages which follow relate to Technology Unit, whose contract provisions are very similar; bolds are mine):
Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's federal minister for minorities and that government's only Christian, was assassinated yesterday on the streets of Islamabad. Bloomberg News is reporting that the Pakistan Taliban is claiming responsibility for the shooting:
As many as four men ambushed Shahbaz Bhatti, a 42-year-old Christian, yesterday as he left home without a security escort, Geo television reported, citing a police official, Bin Yamin. Bhatti was dead when brought to the city’s Al-Shifa Hospital, the institution’s spokesman, Azmatullah Quraishi, said by telephone.
Television channels showed leaflets found at the scene in which the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for killing Bhatti. They said he was targeted for heading a government- appointed committee to review the blasphemy law, which prescribes the death penalty for anyone convicted of insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
Bhatti, a Roman Catholic and former leader of Pakistan’s main minority-rights group, was killed eight weeks after Salman Taseer, governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, was shot to death by one of his bodyguards. Both men had called publicly for changes to the [nation's blasphemy] law.
A sitting congressman admitted earlier this week to seeking psychiatric treatment after news broke that he had sent bizarre photos of himself in a tiger costume to staff members and taken prescription pain killers given to him by an unnamed campaign donor.
Seven of Oregon Democrat David Wu's staff members reportedly quit after the 2010 campaign due to his bizarre behavior. The second largest newspaper in Wu's state has called for him to resign.
But apparently some of the largest news outlets in the country, including two of the three news networks and two of the three cable news channels, don't think a mentally unstable congressman and all of his bizarre activities merit even an on-air mention. Nearly a week after the story broke, ABC is the only network to give the story on-air coverage, and Fox is the only cable channel to mention it on-air.
The other night while watching the Super Bowl, I became increasingly aware that the Angry Left might have a point about the Giant Corporations. Not that the game was not exciting. It was. Those quarterbacks can really heave the ball. Suddenly it is in their hands, and suddenly it is in a receiver's outreached arms, having passed through a forest of opposing players' arms. Both teams were composed of players who apparently were made of rubber. They hurled themselves at one another and occasionally at the hard turf and simply bounced. Occasionally they did not. Sometimes they were injured, occasionally rather badly. But for the most part, they seemed amazingly resilient. It was a hell of a battle, and doubtless the better team won, but I cheered for both teams. They were great.
Had I only to watch the game, I would have been happy, though even happier had I lowered the volume of the inane commentary. Possibly the networks have an agreement to hire garrulous, loud, excessively male commenters who have very little to say but say it repetitiously. Unfortunately, it hardly adds to the excitement of the game. Rather, it adds to the confusion of the programming, and there was a great deal of confusion Sunday night. For whole stretches, I sat there stupefied by the confusion, most of it provided by the ads and by the garrulous commentators. Not much can be done about the ads, which seem to get more stupid and incoherent every year, but something can be done about these excessively virile loudmouths.
To add an exclamation point to Brad Wilmouth's great post last night ("ABC Pushes for Tax Hike on Capital Gains, Ignores Likelihood of Tax Revenue Loss") -- in ignoring the likelihood that raising the capital gains tax rate would reduce capital gains tax collections, the network also "somehow" forgot now-retired World News Tonight anchor Charles Gibson's aggressive questioning on the topic during an April 2008 Democratic Party presidential debate.
That night, ABC, represented by Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, who was then the host of ABC's Sunday morning news show, drove leftists crazy (noted at the time in NewsBusters posts here and here), because, as NB's Brent Bozell noted, "For once it veered from liberal orthodoxy."
One of Gibson's "veers" consisted of questions he asked presidential contenders Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton about capital gains taxation. The now-defunct New York Sun characterized it as "Gibson's Finest Hour" (I would suggest that it might really have been "Gibson's Only Fine Hour"), and wrote it up thusly (internal link added by me; bolds are mine):
A recently-released analysis by the Pew Research Center reveals some interesting facts about the online conversation regarding the Tucson massacre. Most notably, it lends statistical weight to the claim that the left accused its ideological opponents of fostering a "climate of hate" to a far greater degree than did the right.
Though that may not be altogether surprising, the Pew study also revealed that the three news networks - the self-styled objective and responsible journalistic gatekeepers - were far more likely to blame conservatives alone for the tone of the national debate than even liberals in the blogosphere and twitterverse.
Noel Sheppard posted the news about J. Eric Fuller's arrest at NewsBusters earlier this evening:
According to the website of ABC-TV affiliate KGUN, J. Eric Fuller was arrested and charged with threats, intimidation, and disorderly conduct.
Demonstrating impressive prescience, John Hayward at Human Events predicted on Friday that Fuller would attempt to capitalize on his being among the injured in last Saturday's Tucson murders. After the jump, you'll get a sampling of Fuller's full feelings from Hayward:
President Obama has taken an admirable stand for fiscal austerity, and blasted attempts to yet again raise the debt ceiling, which currently stands at $14.3 trillion (with a T) - or roughly the GDP of the United States. Said the president:
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
Just kidding. That was Senator Obama in 2006, when debt was apparently a far larger problem - even though the ceiling was only(!) $9 trillion at the time.
In the video at the ABC link, George Stephanopoulos's intro at Good Morning America describes Holder as "a pretty circumspect man," but that on the subject of domestic terror threats, "he doesn't seem to be pulling any punches."
Really? If that's the case, Holder must have said a lot of things which got left on ABC's cutting-room floor. That's because in the entire three-page story at ABC (it's easiest to prove the following by looking at the print version, which can only be obtained at the link), the following words never appear:
Is Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps trying to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine through what he calls a "public value test" for broadcasters? The short answer is no, and Copps is adamant about that point. He points out that while the Fairness Doctrine regulated political speech by mandating equal time for all views on a given topic, the "public value test" will only require that broadcasters serve the "public interest", whatever that may be.
Copps is correct in a narrow sense. The federal government will not be policing political opinions. It will simply be ensuring that content meets a standard for public value.
What Copps fails to grasp is that "public value" is such a subjective term that it is almost unavoidable for political factors to play into a determination of whether or not certain content satisfies the definition. In other words, there is not official regulation of political speech, but such speech will almost surely be regulated indirectly.
When candidate Obama bragged of campaigning in 57 states, or Pres. Obama suggested that the national language of Austria is "Austrian," we all remember how ABC flaunted those embarrassing flubs. Or not.
But let Sarah Palin momentarily mention North rather than South Korea as our ally, and ABC finds it newsworthy. Check out the video after the jump, containing the news scroll from today's Good Morning America.
By the way, as Ben Smith has pointed out at Politico, Palin actually correctly identified South Korea as our ally earlier in her Glenn Beck radio interview.
Along with the cheerful news that Fox News trounced its cable news competitors on Election Night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), those longing for more fairness and balance in television news coverage can take some comfort in the fact that the Big Three Networks' evening news shows came in with audiences almost 20% lower during the week before and the week of the 2010 midterm elections compared to the same two weeks in 2006.
As seen below, NBC took the smallest hit of the three networks, losing an average of "only" 1.2 million viewers in the two comparative weeks involved. ABC got hit harder, while CBS lost nearly 3 in 10 viewers (Sources: MediaBistro -- Nov. 1, 2010; Oct. 25, 2010; Nov. 6, 2006; Oct. 30, 2006):
Samuels made her complaint in light of NBC's cancellation of it's ratings-plagued spy series, "Undercovers," which featured a black actor and actress in the lead roles as glamorous and deadly CIA agents: