ABC's Good Morning America didn't sugarcoat the Democratic debate in favor of Hillary Clinton on Wednesday morning. Reporter David Wright sounded a little weak: "At times Clinton gave answers so carefully calibrated, she seemed to contradict herself." Seemed? But news anchor Chris Cuomo did attempt one lame pro-Hillary spin -- that Barack Obama didn't look presidential by dancing on the Ellen DeGeneres talk show. Even George Stephanopoulos wasn't biting on that spin.
We know that the mainstream media love to report on all of the following: 1) the mass firing of prosecutors for political reasons; 2) anything about New Orleans; 3) and race issues in Lousiana. So what happens when you have one story that covers all three topics? The answer is almost nothing when the story involves an embattled Democratic official.
According to a new study, those news organizations that hold themselves up as the most neutral and professional — big newspapers, the broadcast networks and taxpayer-subsidized National Public Radio — are actually producing campaign stories that are the most tilted in favor of Democrats, while online news and talk radio have actually been the most balanced.
The study, released Monday from the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) and Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, found newspapers and broadcast TV outlets devoted far more time to covering the Democratic candidates than the Republicans and that the tone of those stories was much more favorable to the Democrats, mirroring the results of a Media Research Center study released in August.
ABC's George Stephanopoulos highlighted adversarial quotes and characterizations for an interview with 2008 Republican candidate Mike Huckabee on Tuesday's "Good Morning America." The former Clinton operative quoted conservative Phyllis Schlafly as saying, "[Huckabee] destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas" and Betsy Hagen of the Eagle Forum who compared the GOP contender to Bill Clinton and labeled him a liberal. In a previous piece, ABC reporter Jake Tapper highlighted an American Spectator article that derided Huckabee as "a guy with a thin skin, a nasty vindictive streak and a long history of imbroglios about questionable ethics."
Now, one could argue that Stephanopoulos's critique hit Huckabee from the right and, by quoting Schlafly, questioned whether the former governor is conservative enough to be the GOP nominee. However, just two weeks ago ABC medical expert Dr. Tim Johnson conducted a fawning interview with Hillary Clinton over her health care plan. He lauded the Democrat for knowing "health care better, I think, than any other candidate" and gushed over how impressed he was with the New York senator's "knowledge base." She certainly didn't face any adversarial quotes about temperament and "questionable ethics."
Two weeks after seeming to take the side of a "sexual educator" who advocated giving birth control to middle school children, "Good Morning America" co-anchor Diane Sawyer exhorted the same position on Monday's show. Sawyer discussed the case of a Maine school system voting to allow contraceptives to be given to children as young as 11 with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. The GMA journalist operated from the assumption that such activity can't be stopped. She asked O'Reilly, "Yes, but if they're sexually active anyway, at some point, don't you have to address the reality of what is going on in the schools?"
The ABC co-host tried to minimize the fact that parents won't be told specifically when birth control is given by claiming, "Well, but they've told the parents birth control pills may be given as part as the overall health." O'Reilly mocked that justification as "insane." On October 17, Sawyer discussed the issue with conservative commentator Glenn Beck and lectured, "You may not like it. You may want parents to go in and take care of their own children and make sure that they're not sexually active that young, but it's happening. It's happening."
Do you find it amazing that the same media doing everything possible to ignore global warming skeptics whilst almost exclusively focusing attention on entities advancing climate change hysteria (i.e. Al Gore) are constantly accusing the Bush administration of censorship regarding this issue?
The most recent example of such absurdity transpired when assertions were made about nefariously edited Senate testimony given last Tuesday by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Julie Gerberding.
Though many in the media credited the Associated Press for breaking the story, it appears this conspiracy theory might first have been hatched by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Cal.), as according to LexisNexis, the following announcement posted at the website of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works was published by US Fed News at 2:46AM EST Tuesday:
According to the media website TV Week, "most TV news operations" deemed Arnold Schwarzenegger's grabbing of "Good Morning America" reporter Claire Shipman's hands during an interview to be "inappropriate." The exchange, which was first reported last Wednesday on NewsBusters, occurred after Shipman repeatedly tried to get the California governor to admit that some efforts to combat the state's wildfires were going poorly. At that point, the former actor seized the journalist's hands and proclaimed, "...You're looking for a mistake and you won't find it because it's all good news, as much as you maybe hate it, but it's good news." Apparently, Shipman found Schwarzenegger's actions "bizarre and amusing."
According to TV Week, the physical touching amounted to applying "force to a female reporter" and an attempt to "muscle" her. TV Week's Michele Greppi cited the MRC for highlighting the story: "The Media Research Center, founded by Brent Bozell to wage a war against liberal bias in journalism, posted a transcript of the interview....The headline was 'Arnold Grabs ABC’s Shipman, Demands: Stop Spinning Fire Coverage.'" TV Week also explained how the elite media reacted to the governor's grabbing. Greppi wrote, "At most TV news operations, the Schwarzenegger move was regarded as inappropriate on his part and smoothly handled on hers."
On Wednesday's "Early Show," Harry Smith gushed over Bill and Hillary Clinton and how two "idealistic kids" transformed themselves into "political rock stars." Smith also took pains to point out that the Clintons are a "still-young couple." Over on ABC, Clinton-fan Kate Snow fawned over Bill and Hillary for being "masters at turning bad news into good." In general, she seemed to be impressed with the 2008 candidate's ability to spin the American public.
NBC, predictably, kicked off the media blame game and assigned the cause of the California fires to, you guessed it, global warming. "Nightly News" host Brian Williams wondered, "Are these fires somehow a result of climate change?" CBS echoed a similar theme on "60 Minutes." CNN also used the tragedy in California to speculate about global warming. A CNN special, "Planet in Peril," which aired this week, failed to mention that one of the climate change scientists featured also happened to be funded by George Soros.
The Nazi comparison is often cited too casually particularly on "The View" where Joy Behar compared former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to Hitler. The October 26 edition was no exception.
In an unusually deep and interesting conversation about forgiveness, Whoopi Goldberg, who took the redemption side, pulled the Nazi comparison to 21st century America. Apparently those who want an aggressive War on Terror and wish to crack down on illegal immigrants are no better than those who tried to wipe out an entire race. (Video available here.)
GOLDBERG: Well, I think because one of the things that happens when you get nationalism whipped up in a country is people start going "yeah it's them, it's not us, it’s them, it’s not us, let's go get them!" We saw it happen. We saw it happen here.
According to former Bill Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos, one reason the United States wouldn't start a war with Iran is because the Bush administration doesn't possess the "troops or the allies or the credibility that it would take to launch a war right now." Stephanopoulos, who is now the host of ABC's "This Week," slipped that bit of bias into a discussion on Friday's "Good Morning America" of new sanctions the White House is imposing on Iran. Would the network journalist ever casually assert that his old boss is lacking in credibility? Perhaps if the issue was inappropriate relationships in the workplace? It seems unlikely.
A few minutes earlier, guest co-host Deborah Roberts could hardly refrain from gushing while she reported the details of Hillary Clinton's 60th birthday party on Thursday night. The ABC correspondent lauded, "And a lovely touch from former President Clinton who said at 60, his wife looks very beautiful. Isn't that nice?...Isn't that sweet?" Fellow guest co-host Elizabeth Vargas swooned over the "beautiful" birthday song that rocker Elvis Costello serenaded the 2008 candidate with. GMA regular Chris Cuomo enthused, "She definitely enjoyed it. I can guarantee you that."
To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter with more than 100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years. To wrap up this week’s posts, I thought I’d list a few of the most outrageous or moronic quotes we’ve come across since 1987.
For sheer wackiness, it’s hard to top then-CNBC anchor Geraldo Rivera, who sang his disdain for independent prosecutor Kenneth Starr during the height of the Lewinsky scandal, July 21, 1998, on his Rivera Live program, to the tune of “Twinkle, twinkle, little star.”
In early October, ABC reporter Kate Snow sprang to the defense of Senator Hillary Clinton's much maligned laugh. On Thursday's "Good Morning America," the correspondent marveled over Bill Clinton's successes and also how his wife is able to make turning 60-years-old a good thing. While an ABC graphic wondered if the Democratic power couple are "masters of spin," Snow gushed, "The Clintons have always been masters at turning bad news into good..."
Snow's piece focused on the Clintons' ability to, essentially, spin the American public. The GMA reporter featured comments exclusively from liberals such as Gail Sheehy (author of the sympathetic book "Hillary's Choice") and the Washington Post's Sally Quinn. Quinn asserted that the Clintons ability to "pretend to have a wonderful marriage" "works" for them, as well as other political couples. Snow continued this theme by credulously repeating, "...On the eve of this birthday, Hillary is trumpeting the strength of their marriage." The correspondent rhapsodized over a money-raising birthday party the senator is throwing and marveled that "instead of facing gray hair and retirement, for Hillary Clinton, being a member of AARP is fund-raising gold."
To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter with more than 100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years. Earlier this week, I presented quotes showing the media’s hostility towards Ronald Reagan and other conservatives, and sycophantic coverage of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Today’s installment: America the Awful. On Monday, I recounted how many journalists offered sympathetic coverage of totalitarian communist regimes. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, too many journalists opted to take a harsher approach with their own country. In a commencement address at the State University of New York at New Paltz back on May 21, 2006, New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., exposed his extreme left-wing agenda as he railed against everything he saw as wrong with America:
Comedian George Carlin blames the victims on the Southern California wildfires. Appearing on the October 24 edition of "The View" Carlin said, because many of these home owners "overbuild" and "put nature to the test," "they get what’s coming to them."
This rant was too much even for noted left-wing co-host Joy Behar who felt his statement was "a little harsh." Carlin continued that he "can’t wait for the sea levels to rise" and "for some of these cities to disappear." Carlin added that these people who "do all this moron stuff" are selfish and "want their toys."
Carlin should note that these homeowners who "do all this moron stuff’ were let down by their government who did not properly manage their own forests.
As wildfires rage throughout Southern California, media have predictably begun to blame this awful natural disaster on President George W. Bush much as they did almost exactly two years ago when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.
On Tuesday evening, MSNBC's Dan Abrams set up an interview with California Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Cal.) thusly:
But the fire storms in California`s raising tough questions about what the National Guard is extended too much to handle emergencies at home. Back in May, before the fire started, "The San Francisco Chronicle" reported that the California National Guard was down a billion dollars worth of equipment. Two hundred and nine vehicles in Iraq, including 110 humvees and 63 military trucks. According to report the California guard should have had 39 diesel generators on hand. They say it had none. The Kansas governor raised similar concerns earlier this year when she said the deployment of National Guard troops to Iraq hurt the emergency response to a deadly tornado in her state. The question -- is this another unanticipated cost of a prolonged and expensive war effort?
On Wednesday morning, CNN's John Roberts asked a similar question of FEMA Administrator David Paulison:
Reporter Claire Shipman did her level best to get California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to say the efforts to combat the state's wild fires were going poorly. Shipman interviewed the governor on Wednesday's "Good Morning America" and wondered about "the comparison to Katrina that everybody's making in the back of their mind..." At one point, Governor Schwarzenegger cut off Shipman's pleas for negative assessments of the effort by grabbing her arm. He bluntly scolded, "Trust me when I tell you, you're looking for a mistake and you won't find it because it's all good news, as much as you maybe hate it, but it's good news."
Earlier, the ABC correspondent attempted to deflate Schwarzenegger's sunny optimism by mentioning unnamed officials in Orange County who asserted the state doesn't have enough resources, including firefighting aircraft. The former actor simply wouldn't go along with this premise of victimization. He firmly retorted, "Anyone that is complaining about the planes, just wants to complain because it's a bunch of nonsense." Schwarzenegger then proceeded to point out that the state has 90 planes and only wind has hampered their use.
As much as liberals decry major corporations that act as if they’re above the law, there’s always quiet when the subject is Planned Parenthood, America’s number one corporate provider of abortions. During its 2005-2006 fiscal year, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America performed a record 264,943 abortions, reported a tidy profit of $55.8 million – and received a record high in taxpayer funding of $305.3 million.
This is one corporation the media hold in the highest regard. They’re not "merchants of death." That would be the tobacco companies, or gun manufacturers, or hamburger joints. These are the heroic "providers" of "a woman’s right to choose."
They’re also sleazy in their business practices. In Aurora, Illinois, Planned Parenthood planned to build the biggest abortion clinic in the country, but they lied by omission to the city. Throughout the construction process, the McDonald’s of the abortion industry applied for permits by listing the owner as "Gemini Office Development," not as Planned Parenthood.
As NewsBusters reported Friday, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Cal.) made some rather disgusting comments on the floor of the House last week about kids being sent "to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president`s amusement."
On Tuesday, Stark took to the floor once again, this time remarkably to apologize for his previous statement.
As the broadcast networks almost completely ignored Stark's comments Thursday - not one of the evening news programs bothered to report it all - one wonders whether the Congressman's statement today will get any more attention.
After all, what left-thinking media outlet is going to want to report a Democrat Congressman actually apologizing to a Republican President this way (video available here, h/t Hot Air):
On Tuesday's "Good Morning America," reporter Brian Ross continued his critical series of investigations into Republican presidential candidates. Just two weeks after he slammed Fred Thompson for his role in the 1973 Watergate investigation, the ABC correspondent looked into the fact that Rudy Giuliani's consulting firm has employed a priest that has been accused of molesting children in the '70s.
Of course, neither Ross, nor "Good Morning America" have seen fit to investigate Hillary Clinton's hiring of Sandy Berger, a man who has been convicted of stealing documents from the National Archives and stuffing them down his pants. Ross has similarly ignored the growing scandal of poor Chinese workers donating large sums of money to the Hillary Clinton campaign
To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter with more than 100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years.
Yesterday, I wrote about the liberal media’s softness when it came to totalitarian communism. Today’s installment: The liberal media vs. Ronald Reagan and the GOP. TV reporters regularly condemned Reagan for his supposedly ruinous conservative policies, but it’s still astonishing to hear then-ABC reporter Richard Threlkeld castigate the Gipper on his last day as President, January 20, 1989.
America should export generosity and hope instead of bombs and fear. Host Robin Roberts quoted these sentiments from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and columnist Thomas Friedman to Laura Bush on Monday's "Good Morning America." Roberts was traveling with the First Lady through the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern countries as part of a tour to increase breast cancer awareness in that region. And while the ABC host mostly stuck to discussing the honorable nature of the trip, she couldn't resist a few pointed barbs.
The GMA anchor first cited New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman's suggestion that the U.S. "should export hope instead of fear."Roberts then regurgitated another bumper sticker slogan by mentioning a discussion with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. She recounted, "Desmond Tutu went even farther, saying the generosity of Americans, that's what we should export instead of our bombs." In a follow-up interview with Middle Eastern women who survived breast cancer, Roberts awkwardly asked, "Does it help with Mrs. Bush and the United States coming here?...Or is it seen as, 'Okay, the Americans are, again, trying to force something on us?'"
This week's column on entertainment and culture issues from Brent Bozell focused on how King Middle School in Portland has agreed to allow its health center to offer contraceptives -- even pills and the patch -- to middle-schoolers without parental knowledge or consent. Brent borrowed from the Good Morning America debate segment Scott Whitlock blogged where the anything-goes blond hottie favoring sex among children (Logan Levkoff) said she would draw no limits at grade-school contraceptive distribution. She said you had to buy "protection" for the kids when they're bombarded with sexual messages. (Like "Desperate Housewives"? Or even the Geico Caveman comedy?)
Glenn Beck was great in mocking the Permissives in that debate: "The library is outdated, why don't we have a copulation room for the kids?"
On Friday night, CNN viewers were treated to the special "Keeping Them Honest: The Truth About Global Warming," which took time to examine nine "alleged inconsistencies or exaggerations" in Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," as enumerated in a ruling by a British judge. Host Miles O'Brien also interviewed a member of the IPCC, the group which shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Gore, in the form of a scientist who has challenged Gore's views on global warming. O'Brien, who a week earlier had tagged dissenters with such labels as "dead-enders" and "a very small fringe," on this show suggested that people who are "skeptical" about global warming are "in the dark," and presented what he called "surprising" polling data showing a substantial number of Americans have doubts about global warming theory. (Transcript follows)
On Friday's "20/20," ABC's John Stossel presented the views of scientists who dissent from the Al Gore view of global warming, including two former members of the IPCC – the committee which shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Gore. These scientists disagreed with the selection process of the committee's members and some of its conclusions. The ABC host disputed some of the claims in "An Inconvenient Truth," and even presented the view that increased carbon dioxide levels are the result of global warming, rather than the cause, as he took on Gore's famous graph from the movie. Stossel: "But the real inconvenient truth is that carbon increases came after temperature rose -- usually hundreds of years later. Temperature went up first. I wanted to ask Mr. Gore about that and other things, but he wouldn't agree to talk about this." Video of the segment can be seen here. (Transcript follows)
It would be quite the understatement to say that members of the media approved of Al Gore's Nobel Prize win. Sam Donaldson lauded Gore for doing something "very important." Cokie Roberts justified the former vice president's inaccuracies by claiming that even if it was propaganda, Gore made an important issue popular. Over on CNN, reporter Miles O'Brien, once again, declared that the debate over the subject is over.
Speaking of CNN, Margaret Carlson, a former panelist for the cable network, declared Gore's victory to be a "wonderful thing." The former Deputy Washington Bureau Chief for Time magazine also complimented the former VP for doing "a great thing" and referred to him as a "prophet." Just how do these journalists maintain such professional objectivity?
What's rarer than Al Gore flying commercial? An honest media discussion about Cuba's devastating problems, especially the barely functional medical system.
In the week since the October 10 “Hannity & Colmes” (video Pt. 1 & Pt. 2), other than some conservative blogs, the media ignored the disturbing images that revealed the truth about Cuba's much-vaunted health care system.
The hosts interviewed Cuban expat George Utset and showed pictures from his website The Real Cuba as well as the exclusive footage that he obtained from Cuban physician Darsi Ferrer Ramirez.
The images showed dilapidated and crumbling hospitals with patients covered in flies, broken windows, laundry hanging from open windows, filthy bathrooms with holes in the floor and insect-infested rooms (view footage here). Since this disgrace is hidden behind the Castro Curtain, the media don't seem to care.
Hillary Clinton is smart and clearly knows health care better than any other 2008 candidate. That's according to ABC's medical expert, Dr. Tim Johnson. On Friday's "Good Morning America," the network contributor gushed, "She certainly knows health care better, I think, than any other candidate....I'm very impressed with her knowledge base." Johnson lauded Clinton for "offering a wide range of options" and regurgitated the candidate's use of the word choice in relation to her health care plan. He also failed to ever mention taxes or how the government would pay for universal health coverage.
Johnson may be a respected medical expert, but he's clearly a Clinton cheerleader. He has a long history of backing Bill and Hillary, as well as other liberal politicians. On Friday, the doctor casually asked Mrs. Clinton, "You have said that providing health insurance for everyone is a moral issue. Do you think the Republicans who are against it are immoral?" The ABC contributor also praised the 2008 contender for speaking "eloquently" on issues related to health care and, after noting that America has only had male presidents, sycophantically wondered, "Do you think being a female president would make any difference in leading the health care reform debate?"
On "The View" facts apparently don’t matter. After all, on the ladies chat show, a co-host claimed "fire can’t melt steel." The show’s October 18 edition was no exception. During a conversation about Vice President Cheney’s relation to Senator Obama co-host Joy Behar smeared the vice president with this false assertion.
"I think Cheney can do whatever he wants. His daughter is a lesbian. Nobody even calls him on that, and he’s anti-gay in many, many ways."
A quick search will reveal to Behar that Cheney’s only public disagreement with the president involves the Marriage Amendment, which the vice president said repeatedly he opposes.
Endorsing Hillary Clinton for President at a Tuesday night rally in New Hampshire, former ABC News anchor/reporter Carole Simpson exclaimed, an NBC News blog reported, that “it's very freeing now that I'm not a journalist, that I'm able to speak my own mind.” But Simpson hardly hid her liberal political views during her years at ABC. “Long Live Hillary” read the headline over an online tribute from Simpson, then anchor of World News Tonight/Sunday, following Clinton's 2000 senatorial victory. At about the same time, she denounced Clarence Thomas as the “cruelest” Supreme Court justice “because he has consistently voted against human rights.” If Bush names more like him, she groused, “God help us.” The 1994 GOP congressional victories upset her: “I would like to think that the American people care about poor people, about sick people, about homeless people, and about poor children. I am shocked by the new mean-spiritedness.”
Most infamously, in a 1999 interview with President Bill Clinton at an Arkansas tomato processing plant, Simpson made the story all about herself and her glory: “I have to bask in this moment, for a moment, because I am here talking to the most powerful man on the planet, who was a poor boy from Arkansas....I am an African-American woman, grew up working class on the south side of Chicago, and this is a pretty special moment for me to be here talking to you. How does it feel talking to me? That I made it, too, when people said I wouldn't be able to?” Clinton: “It's a great country.”
Video clip of the exchange on the November 7, 1999 World News Tonight/Sunday (40 secs): Windows Media or MP3 audio