We continue on the lighter side of things with the Top Five Times NewsBusters Embarrassed the Media. (Also check out a short video-cast with NewsBusters bloggers talking about how they embarrased the journalists)
Editor's Note: For the list of NewsBusters T-shirt contest winners, skip to the end of this post.
As we approach our 5th anniversary at NewsBusters, our celebration would not be complete without a recap of our best posts. It was a tough call, but we came up with the top 25, broken down evenly into five categories of five each.
We call it our Five-for-Five.
Each Friday through August 13 we'll publish a Five-for-Five list.We've saved the very best for last: On Monday, August 16, we'll publish the Top Five Outrageous Outbursts.
But we start today with a much lighter note. The first category for Five-for-Five is The Top Five Media Flubs Caught by NewsBusters.(Also check out a short video-cast with NewsBusters bloggers talking about how they caught the flubs.)
Last week, Matt Robare at NewsBusters noted the fact that the Big 3 networks' combined year-over-year audience fell by a bit more than 1 million during the second quarter.
Last week's showing appears to be to a slight pickup over the previous week, but it may have been much worse.
Here, per Media Bistro, is how the the week of June 28 as reported by Nielsen compared to the week of June 21, the last reporting week of the aforementioned dismal quarter:
June 21 -- NBC - 7,190,000; ABC - 6,740,000; CBS - 5,230,000; Total - 19,160,000. June 28 -- NBC - 7,800,000; ABC - 6,740,000; CBS - 4,970,000; Total - 19,510,000.
So how did NBC attract over 600,000 additional viewers during the week of June 28, increasing its audience by over 8%? The answer, according to Media Bistro's Kevin Allocca, is that the network probably didn't:
The GOP as the party of obstructionism: it's a tried and true media meme, but very often falls a tad short of the truth. Yet on occasion, even stubborn facts are not enough to dispel such accusations.
Some in the media have taken President Obama's recess appointment of Donald Berwick to the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as an occasion to bash purportedly obstructionist congressional Republicans. Just one problem: the GOP didn't hold up the nomination.
In fact, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which would have had jurisdiction over Berwick's appointment, said he "requested that a hearing take place two weeks ago, before this recess." Presumably, Grassley wanted to shine light on some of Berwick's more controversial positions, such as support for the rationing of care and his advocacy of the use of the health care system to redistribute wealth.
Matt Drudge is currently linking to the YouTube version (also carried at Real Clear Politics) of Milwaukee TV station WISN's report on Vice President Joe Biden's visit to a Greenfield, Wisconsin custard shop. In it, you can hear the following exchange between Biden and the Kopp's Custard manager:
Biden: What do we owe you? Manager: Don't worry. It's on us. ... (inaudible) ... Lower our taxes and we’ll call it even.
Reporter: A few minutes after the Kopp's manager's comment on "Lower our taxes," there's another exchange. Biden: Why don't you say something nice instead of being a smart-ass all the time? Say something nice.
That's the theme of author John S. Cohoat's new book "No Thank You, Mr. President," which tells the story of 10 private companies in Elkhart County, Ind., that made their own way to economic recovery without government handouts.
"My hope is that these stories provide some inspiration for you or make you remember why our capitalist economic policies and truly American way of life is the answer," Cohoat wrote in his first chapter, titled ‘Why This Book? Why Now?'
Cohoat characterized Elkhart County, in the northern part of the state near South Bend, as a hard-nosed area able to take care of itself. His portrayal stands in contract to the national media's portrayal of the county as the "poster child for all that is bad with our economy."
With all the major news stories and developments out there, the editorial board at the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman in Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin's hometown, is bemused, bewildered, and somewhat befuddled at the national media's interest in a privacy fence (HT Michelle Malkin) on residential property.
The just-built fence is on Palin's property. Its purpose is to frustrate the prying eyes of author Joe McGinnis, who has moved into a house next door for what is said to be the next five months.
The Palins are understandably none too pleased at the orchestrated attempt at privacy invasion that appears to either be funded by or will ultimately be reimbursed by publishing giant Random House. Readers here will share that feeling once they see who is expending precious newsroom resources trying to follow the McGinnis v. Palin saga instead of dealing with legitimate news stories.
Here is some of what the Frontiersman had to say on Saturday (bolds are mine):
In the May 26 issue of Rolling Stone, Taibbi's article, "Wall Street War," lamented the impact lobbyists in Washington, D.C. have had on the legislative process of the financial regulation reform. And in order to keep readers interested, he painted Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., as a villain with a degree of insult:
Five weeks ago (covered at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the Big Three Networks' combined evening news audiences dropped to below 20 million -- an audience about 5% less than what Matt Drudge in the summer of 2006 headlined as “TV’s Lowest Week.”
Three weeks ago (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), their combined audience came in at 19.61 million, down over 12% from the previous year.
For the week of May 3, the combined total fell further, to the point where they're one more really bad week away from hitting an all-time low -- a low that was "achieved" in mid-June of last year (Source -- Media Bistro, week of May 3, 2010; week of May 4, 2009):
It’s no secret that reality shows on television can sometimes promote less than ideal values. From “Tila Tequila” to “The Jersey Shore,” viewers are often subjected to the culture of hookups and nonstop partying. But a new reality show is actually going to auction off virgins to the highest bidder.
According to the New York Post, two women and one male virgin will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. The show will air in Australia, but will be filmed in Nevada, where prostitution is legal. Another reason the show will be filmed in Nevada is because the show’s filmmaker, Justin Sisely, was threatened along with the virgins to be charged with prostitution if it was filmed in Australia.
Liberal political pundits frequently remind Americans that words matter, which makes broadcast network reporters' coverage of Arizona's new crack down on illegal immigrants so appalling.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a law on April 23 that would make it a misdemeanor for immigrants to not carry documentation proving they are in the country legally. The bill gave state law enforcement the power to determine the immigration status of any person during "any lawful contact." Amid allegations that this law would lead to "racial profiling," Brewer later amended it to allow law enforcement to only check the immigration status of those involved in a "lawful stop, detention or arrest."
Reporters on ABC, NBC and CBS misled the American people about the law by calling it "anti-immigration" twice as often as correctly identifying the law as "anti-illegal immigration" and reporting, as ABC's Bill Weir did on the April 24 "Good Morning America, "Police [in Arizona] now have the power to stop anyone and make them prove they are legal."
With the release of the Department of Defense's report on the November Fort Hood massacre, two trends are becoming increasingly clear: the administration does not want to talk about Islam's violent elements, and the mainstream media is more than willing to play along.
The administration's position clear to anyone examining official documentation. The Fort Hood report, the FBI's counterterrorism lexicon, and the 2009 National Intelligence Strategy do not even use the words enemy, jihad, Muslim, or Islam. The original 9/11 Commission Report, in contrast, used those words a combined 632 times.
The media's attitude towards radical Islam's role in this particular attack is evident in its reluctance to attribute Maj. Nidal Hasan's motives to jihad. The members of the media who share this attitude obfuscate the threats facing the nation.
For nearly a year, the allegations of scandalous activity in former Rep. Eric Massa’s office were kept quiet — by the congressman, by male aides who accuse him of sexually harassing them and by other congressional staff.
But with two aides coming forward last week to announce that they had filed harassment claims against the New York Democrat, charges and countercharges are exploding into full public view, ensuring that the Massa saga will not simply go away.
Instead, it will raise old questions about whether Congress is able to effectively police its own members and staff, and the degree to which staff members are responsible for — or even capable of — reining in lawmakers who are accused of abusing their power.
Of course, while I've no doubt that more sordid details of the scandal will drip out into the public consciousness between now and Election Day, I'm not anticipating that the mainstream media, at least the broadcast networks, are that interested in making hay of this matter, which doubtless may reflect poorly on the Democratic Party's management of the House of Representatives.
Must be nice being a leftie and NEVER having to worry about some childish television creator taking a gratuitous shot — from completely out of nowhere — at what you believe in. Not so for we righties. When all we want after a hard day of gay bashing, cross burning and kitten punting is to get lost in mindless entertainment, we always have to worry about stuff like this (see video embed at right).
This is why I stopped watching television over a decade ago. Tired of being insulted. Tired of being disappointed. And you can practically feel the people behind the childish political shot laughing at your Charlie Brown as they once again pull the football away.
“Glee” spent all of last season building up buzz and an audience, and as soon as they get one: POW!
Screw you, righties. We don’t like you and we think you’re stupid for liking Palin.
After a bit of a respite primarily due to NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics, the audience desertion from the Big 3 networks' evening news broadcasts has again resumed.
Not that the first quarter of 2010 was all peaches and cream. Last week, Media Bistro noted that ABC's "World News Tonight" had "its lowest-rated first quarter ever."
But the results for the first week of the second ratings quarter are beyond awful. The total audience for all three evening news shows came in under 20 million. For context, recall that during a traditionally low-audience summer week in 2006, Drudge headlined ("TV's Lowest Week") a disastrous drop -- to 21 million viewers. Now it appears that what was once considered a really bad summer week four years ago (noted at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) might be a typical week during 2010's prime spring viewing season.
A lefty columnist for the Huffington Post believes that the media's coverage of the health care debate was sorely lacking. NewsBusters wholeheartedly agrees. Yes, we agree with the Huffington Post.
You see, we were under the impression that columnist Allison Kilkenny was less than honest after she used the staged homicide of a census worker to claim that conservatives were fomenting violence. In fact, the death was ruled a suicide.
But today Kilkenny echoed NB's complaints when she wrote of the "shoddy journalism" and "low-quality gutter-dredging techniques" that "successfully brainwashed millions of readers and viewers." Yes, the public really was let down by those substandard journalists at…wait a minute. The Wall Street Journal? Fox News? She must have meant ABC, NBC, and CBS, right?
With the recently announced end of Fox's hit series "24," many liberal pundits are parading the show as a false depiction of the notion that "torture works." Contrary to their accusations, the Jack Bauer interrogation methods bear exactly zero resemblance to any actual interrogation techniques used by American military, law enforcement, or intelligence agents.
"On '24,' torture saves lives," the New York Times's Brian Stelter writes, disapprovingly. James Poniewozik, writing on a Time Magazine blog, attributes the show's supposed approval of harsh interrogations to the "conservative politics of co-creator Joel Surnow."
Any American who has serious doubts that our military and intelligence officials would allow interrogators to, say, directly threaten the lives of a terrorist's family (let alone inflict tremendous physical pain) to elicit information has a better grasp of interrogation techniques -- and the integrity of our men and women in uniform -- than most of the liberal media.
The problem with the liberal mindset is that it sees government solutions, even when there isn't really a problem. Case in point: broadband internet.
Roughly 200 million Americans have broadband internet at home. Millions of others have access to it at work, school, the public library or on smart phones. Only about 5 percent of Americans lack broadband internet access according to The Wall Street Journal.
That night not one of the network evening shows mentioned the enormous government proposal - instead all three reported Tiger Woods' return to golf at the Masters Tournament, ABC and CBS covered Michael Jackson's posthumous record contract and NBC warned against kids going to Mexico for spring break.
UPDATE: Fantastic video analyzing two weeks in the life of Keith Olbermann and his (nearly all white) guests below the fold. From February 4 through February 18, Keith had 48 guests - and TWO were black. One, actually - the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson appeared twice. 4% - now THAT'S diverse. Bravo and kudos to Broliath for said stellar production.
The Place for Race-Baiting
MSNBC hosts Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow and the egregiously stentorian and officious Keith Olbermann have made their warped interpretation of the conservative and TEA Party movements as racist a staple of their oft-ridiculed and rarely watched television programs.
These three (and other MSNBC hosts) have engaged in this slander with regularity and fervor.
Reporting on an August 18, 2009 Arizona TEA Party, white host Contessa Brewer fretted "there are questions about whether this has racial overtones....(with) white people showing up with guns" (Arizona is an open-carry state). The only problem was, one of the men they showed packing was black, and they edited out of the video any show of his melanin so as to carry further their fraudulent narrative.
The Dallas (Texas) TEA Party created a video mocking Olbermann (and Company) for these serial assaults, showing people of color attending TEA Parties and contrasting it with the prevailing whiteness of MSNBC's line-up. To which Olbermann responded with a list of black participants in the alleged news making of his network (and that of parent NBC).
Well Olbermann's explanation, and all of the race-baiting "reporting" done by his vile network, apparently wasn't nearly good enough for Congresswomen Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) and Maxine Waters (D-California), two members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared on FNC's Fox & Friends Feb. 17, to discuss how the networks have covered President Obama's $787 billion stimulus package in the year since its passage.
Using research from MRC's Business & Media Institute, Bozell told cohost Gretchen Carlson that, of 172 stories ABC, CBS and NBC have run on the stimulus, just 90 of them (52 percent) included any criticism of the massive spending program.
Asserting that the media have failed in their responsibility to cover the stimulus, Bozell said, "Remember, the president said very simply - he said we needed $787 billion because we needed to create jobs, jobs, jobs. That's what he said this was all about. He said if we didn't do this, we were going to have - we were going to go from 8 percent unemployment, to 10 percent unemployment."
Holding up for the camera a paper reading "7.7%," Bozell said, "This is where we stood at unemployment when this bill was signed. We spent $787 billion. This is where we stand today." He produced a second paper that read "9.7%."
"So two things are true here," Bozell said. "No. 1: This bill bombed. No. 2: What happened to the $787 billion, and where are the national news media?"
The Business & Media Institute's Dan Gainor appeared on Stuart Varney's Fox Business program on Feb. 12 to discuss a new BMI report about network news coverage of last year's $787 Billion stimulus package. The report found that ABC, CBS and NBC did their best to put a positive spin on the stimulus.
"All three networks were close to 3 to 1 in picking supporters to comment on stories, as opposed to anybody who might be critical," Gainor told Varney.
Asked about the new $15 billion "jobs bill" under consideration in the senate, Gainor told Varney, "Now the problem we've got is that the government solutions the New York Times and, frankly, the network news shows have always been backing, trying to make look good, are all these big government solutions that hire people for government programs. America has one of the highest business taxes on the globe. You fix that problem, and businesses will be able to hire again."
Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon bashed the media's coverage of the tea party movement with unsubstantiated claims of bias during a panel on "Fox News Sunday."
"Unsubstantiated claims" of media bias against the TEA Party movement? Really? Seriously?
It may be time for Calderone to move off the media beat. He clearly hasn't been paying attention to major details of a major story for nearly a year.
I would offer he could be moved to Obituaries, but that too would entail coverage of the "MSM."
How has Calderone missed completely the now nearly ubiquitous presence of the sexually-explicit, derogatory term used by members of the "MSM" to describe the participants in said Movement? The in-person attacks on Party participants by the likes of CNN's Susan Roesgen (now no longer with the firm)? The over-arching denigrating words and deeds by people throughout the "MSM?"
There is so much "MSM" anti-TEA Party venom to substantiate Sammon's assertion, one hardly knows where to begin. So we will simply list, with links and dates, documentation aplenty below.
(Cursory glance result: 52 NB stories.)
We hope Calderone avails himself hereof, and repents. In writing. Today.
The gubernatorial race in Illinois is heating up. Conservative Republican candidate Adam Andrzejewski has, according to some reports, surged from relative obscurity to within 2 points of the lead for the GOP nomination. And last week Andrzejewski was endorsed by Lech Walesa, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and former President of Poland.
If you live in the Chicago area, however, may be unaware that such an important historical and political figure was just in your town, endorsing a candidate for governor of your state. The only local television coverage the endorsement event received was from Chicago's ABC News station, which showed Walesa and Andrzejewski on stage while covering a Tea Party rally at the event, but never even mentioned the former president by name (see video below the fold).
The only print coverage in local newspapers the event garnered was from the Tribune, which ran a 113-word AP story, and the Sun-Times, which mentioned Walesa in a 2-sentence caption, right below a blurb headlined "Family of boy found hanged sues schools" and above one headlined "New Schools Expo today". So the latter paper decided the death of a child in a local suburb was more important than a political endorsement from a man at least partially responsible for the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe. The former decided it couldn't spare a reporter for such a monumental figure (h/t Founding Bloggers and Race 4 2012).
Earlier this month, my colleague Tim Graham wrote about "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams self-congratulatory five-year anniversary as the newscasts's anchor, followed hours later by actress Jane Krakowski of the network's "30 Rock" show heralding Williams as a "towering figure in the world of news" during the network's Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting special.
Williams, who has had cameo appearances on "30 Rock" and the "Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien," doesn't seem to be stopping his forays into the network's entertainment division anytime soon.
Perhaps there is something obstructing the view overlooking Rockefeller Plaza, where MSNBC broadcasts "Countdown" nightly because the show's host, Keith Olbermann fails to see the existence of a news media with a liberal bias.
On MSNBC's Dec. 14 broadcast of "Countdown," Olbermann came to the defense of NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" executive producer and noted left-winger Dick Wolf. The Dec. 9 episode of Wolf's program featured a killer who targeted the children of illegal immigrants and in that episode, one of the characters, played by John Larroquette, blamed conservatives "like Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck" for inciting violence against immigrants. That prompted O'Reilly on Dec. 10, the next broadcast of the Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor," to fire back at Wolf.
And that led Olbermann to respond to O'Reilly, five days later, which deteriorated into Olbermann making the seemingly laughable assertion there is no such thing as the liberal media. Olbermann began his tirade by attacking Andrew Breitbart, who is launching a Web site called "Big Journalism," which will take on "the Democratic-media complex."
Managing Editor's Note: The following is a reprint of Michael Moriarty's original December 14 post to Big Hollywood. Moriarty, you may recall, played a prosecutor in the first few seasons of the long-running NBC drama "Law and Order."
Well, I think I’ve been fairly calm and forgiving of "Law and Order" for about fifteen years. Living outside of the U.S. has certainly helped in more ways than one. Out of sight, out of mind. "Law and Order" has, for years, been just a press of the remote away from non-existence.
However, recent events have "Law and Order" just begging for my reassessment. I hardly expected my old television series to be the clown act that leads the American viewing audience into an increasingly predictable pile of hard left propaganda.
To coincide with the many changes at ABC News that begin today with George Stephanopoulos accepting the offer to replace Diane Sawyer as co-host of Good Morning America, NewsBusters's parent organization the Media Research Center (MRC) has unveiled their freshly updated Profiles in Bias of both left wing icons, as Sawyer will step into the World News anchor shoes of Charles Gibson later this month.
These profiles document the 12 years that Stephanopoulos has dedicated to left wing advocacy and more than 10 years Sawyer has delivered on-camera at ABC. From lavishing praise to liberals like Nancy Pelosi, the Clintons and President Obama to undermining conservatives and pushing their personal policy agendas, both anchors have provided endless of examples to cite. These Profiles in Bias also include more than a dozen videos of on-camera lowlights.
"This is nothing more than a pathetic game of lefty musical chairs," MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell scoffed. "The All Barack Channel has managed to keep all their liberal blood in the family, rotating anchor chairs and ensuring the same left-wing cheerleading and conservative bashing will continue in their network morning and evening hours for years to come."
"Well, NBC, ABC and CBS finally got around to reporting on ClimateGate" but it "wasn’t worth the wait," Media Research Center President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell said in a statement today. [Click here for the full press release]
"NBC and ABC’s reports were so biased, they left their audiences as ill-informed afterwards as they were before. And CBS came about as close to blacking out their own coverage as possible," Bozell added, referring to how the network reported the story on a program blacked out in much of the country in favor of college football.
ABC finally reported on ClimateGate on Sunday. But they provided no specifics from the reams of emails and data from East Anglia University that caused the scandal, and concluded their report with the flatly incorrect assertion: “The science is solid, according to a vast majority of researchers, with hotter temperatures, melting glaciers, and rising sea level providing the proof.”
An earlier version of this blog post incorrectly stated that John Harris and Mike Allen of Politico declined to ask former vice president Al Gore about controversial emails from climate scientists who support the idea of anthropogenic global warming after knowledge of those emails was publicly disclosed.
In fact, the interview with Gore occurred before the emails were public knowledge, therefore Messrs. Harris and Allen could not have asked Gore about them. NewsBusters regrets the error.