The women of ABC’s The View quickly pounced on the Cheney shooting story. The Monday, February 13 edition featured co-host Joy Behar, who stated that the incident shifted Cheney’s image "from Dr. Evil to Dr. Stupid." She added, "So, in a way, it’s kind of like, hey, I’m not so evil anymore. I’m just dumb." Behar then finished her critique when she quipped, "It’s in the historical context of Dan Quayle."
Barbara Walters also participated in the segment, airing at 11:18AM EST. She wasn’t interested in the shooting accident, but preferred to convict Cheney for involvement in the CIA leak case:
"I mean, I think he’s possibly in more trouble because his chief of staff, Scooter Libby, who has been indicted for releasing information about a CIA agent, which is against the law, has said that it was his superiors, or superior, who said that he could do this. Who is his superior? Richard Cheney."
With regards to the war on terror, what is the focus of the mainstream media? Is it fighting and winning? Or are they more concerned with embarrassing the Bush administration? Fran Townsend, a White House Homeland Security advisor, appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN and Fox News on Friday, February 10th. The contrast could not be more stark. CNN, CBS and ABC focused on warrants, wiretaps, and whether the mayor of Los Angeles was properly informed of the President’s speech regarding a foiled attack. All of these networks, except FNC, failed to ask Townsend about the prison break of 23 terrorists, including 13 members of Al Qaeda, which one would assume is an important story.
Ms. Townsend appeared first on the CBS Early Show at 7:10AM EST. Harry Smith seemed skeptical about the timing and the subject of the President’s speech. He started by asking, "Why did the President choose yesterday to reveal this information about a plot that’s almost four years old now?" Ms. Townsend patiently explained that the members of the cell had been arrested and the leads exhausted, therefore this case was one that the President could freely discuss. Smith then went on to question whether there was an actual threat:
In part of their coverage of the Coretta Scott King funeral this morning, ABC focused on the attention paid to Hillary Clinton and her 2008 presidential prospects and how "Republicans are scared." ABC's Jake Tapper was able to bring in RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman suggesting on "This Week" that she wouldn't do well because she's an "angry candidate" and then former NPR reporter Mary Ann Akers (now of the Capitol Hill paper Roll Call) fussed that dredges up old Hillary stereotypes. His most colorful language is that everything Hillary does is "dissected like a cadaver on CSI." His evidence was a New York Daily News story focusing on a new ring her husband gave her.
But Tapper did not focus on another New York paper whose coverage of Hillary has been ignored by most. Even I missed the chance to harp on her appearance in San Francisco at the end of January in that "interview with Jane Pauley" fundraiser for the local bar association. The New York Sun reported she had some nasty things to imply about Republicans and black voters (which might have been MORE topical after the King funeral yesterday). Apparently, Team Bush is delaying hurricane aid for political gain, a "deliberate policy of neglect," she claimed:
Today's (Tuesday February 7, 2006) tasteless anti-Bush digs at Coretta Scott King's memorial service by Rev. Joseph Lowery and Jimmy Carter, a former President (!), are certainly newsworthy, but one place you didn't hear about them was during the 5 pm PST (8 pm EST) top-of-the-hour headlines on ABC News Radio. Instead, the announcers highlighted the fact that several Atlanta schools had the day off to make the day "educational."
It looks like additional education was delivered today through a lesson in classic media bias-by-omission.
The Tom Toles political cartoon depicting a soldier as a quadruple amputee appeared in the Washington Post on January 29. Since that day, less than a week ago, there has been a continuing drumbeat by the media defending their right to place such hurtful and denigrating political commentary in print.
Strong objections have also been registered from readers, advertisers and the general public, but it has not altered the Washington Post position. There was even a strongly worded letter from General Peter Pace, Chairman Of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the members of that body.
Hand me a tardy pass, but Cam Edwards, radio host for NRANews.com (also on Sirius satellite radio), relayed earlier this week on his new three-amigos blog that an ABC Radio executive (please note: not an "objective" news guy) was an anti-Alito activist on the side:
The email was started by a KaufNYC@aol.com, with the message “forward away, my liberal friends”. One of those who received the message was a guy named David Kaufman, a Vice President of Affiliate Relations for ABC Radio. He forwarded on the email with his own message: “Help stop the craziness!”
One thing you can count on in life is that if your vulnerability is caught on tape, the news media is going to use it. If you get caught after a hurricane shirtless, they'll use it whether you like it or not. If a police dog rips off your clothes -- even if you're innocent -- they're going to use it. If a carjacker beats you up in the most humiliating way and it is caught on tape, watch the news because you'll be on it.
The dignity of others is of no consequence when you have advertising minutes to sell and ratings to get, and a personally embarrassing video is pure gold to a struggling news room because everyone can identify with it.
Bob Woodruff and his camera operator, Doug Vogt, were hit by an IED today while recording a stand-up. Godspeed to their recovery, but I have to wonder why this video hasn't aired yet. If it were anyone else it would be exploited with a constant loop. No doubt someone at ABC is rethinking the concept of privacy, unfortunately that concept of privacy will never be extended to any of us.
ABCNEWS executives have made the controversial decision to hold off airing video footage that was being taped when anchorman Bob Woodruff was injured by an explosive in Iraq, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned... MORE...
A conversation took place at ABC to discuss whether that tape should air. Do you think the network has ever called the family of a soldier to ask if they wanted the tape of their loved one getting killed or maimed aired on network TV?
Picking up on President Bush’s assurance, in his Tuesday night State of the Union address, that military decisions in Iraq will be made by military leaders, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough rejected the notion of any such military independence, but during ABC’s coverage, when Charles Gibson similarly questioned if the military will be able to determine troop levels, retired General Jack Keane, Vice Chief of Staff of U.S. Army from 1999-2003, maintained that the feared political pressure is an illusion. Matthews asserted that the Generals in Iraq were not “really given the freedom to say how many troops they needed because when Shinseki said this is going to take a couple of hundred thousand troops, not a hundred thousand troops, he was cashiered. So this idea that these guys are free to think out loud, I thought, has been yet to be proven." Scarborough echoed: “They parrot, for the most part, the Generals and the Admirals, 99 percent of them parrot” the Pentagon. Keane contended on ABC that the idea that “the military commanders are under some kind of pressure from the administration” is false and military commanders will “call the shots as they see them.” (Transcripts follow.)
If you thought Teddy Kennedy’s pratfall over Samuel Alito’s membership in a conservative Princeton alumni group was embarrassing (quoting magazine satire articles as if they were real), you should see what ABC’s “Nightline” tried to pull last week.
The subject was the ethics of judicial travel. As investigative reporter Brian Ross explained in the middle of the piece, “Justices at all ends of the political spectrum take plenty of these trips to lots of nice places, all paid for by somebody else." But this was no expose on justices “at all ends of the political spectrum.” It was a shameless hit piece on conservatives, complete with hidden-camera cheap shots.
In the past few months, conceivably the greatest attention given by the antique media to any subject has been to quash the confirmation of Samuel L. Alito to the Supreme Court. According to a LexisNexis search, CBS News has done 156 stories on this nominee's background along with objections to his confirmation. ABC News has done 174. NBC News has done 133. CNN has done a staggering 679.
As for the print media, the Washington Post has done 257, while the New York Times has done an extraordinary 339.
Yet, despite all the efforts by the antique media to block it, Mr. Alito was just confirmed in the Senate by the vote of 58 to 42. It appears that the losing streak of the antique media continues unabated.
ABC News is reporting that Bob Woodruff, one of the just-named anchors of "World News Tonight," who has traveled intensely in the new job, has been seriously injured in Iraq, as was his cameraman. The tone does not sound good. It would be a good day for prayers.
"World News Tonight" co-anchor Bob Woodruff and his cameraman, Doug Vogt, were seriously injured and are in serious condition after their convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device in Taji, Iraq, today.
Woodruff and Vogt are undergoing surgery at the U.S. military hospital in Balad. Both men suffered head injuries. Woodruff sustained shrapnel wounds and Vogt was hit by shrapnel in the head and suffered a broken shoulder.
In a recent Nightline episode that aired January 27, 2006, Vicki Mabrey presented what some call a controversial program happening within the prison walls of Lawtey Correctional Institution. The issue at hand – faith in prisons, and not just Christianity.
Mabrey contends that even though officials cite success with their program it isn’t really sufficient because there aren’t any scientific studies that prove that these types of faith based programs help lower disciplinary actions or lower recidivism rates.
On Sunday, as reported by NewsBusters, Newsweek did a cover story on what it referred to as a “Boy Crisis.” The article detailed “why” girls are doing so much better than boys in school. In an interesting twist, the Associated Press reported this Wednesday evening (hat tip to the American Thinker):
“A senior boy at Milton High School has filed a federal civil rights complaint contending that his school discriminates against boys by making it easier for girls to succeed academically.
“Doug Anglin, in his complaint filed last month with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, claimed girls faced fewer restrictions from teachers and boys are more likely to get punished.”
Today's Oprah Winfrey program featured her interviewing James Frey, author of "A Million Little Pieces." The book has come under fire for being much less than accurate. Greatly due to Ms. Winfrey's endorsement of the book, even after its inaccuracies and fictions had been detailed, "A Million Little Pieces" enjoyed incredible success.
This morning Ms. Winfrey told Frey, "I really feel duped." Reuters reports: "In 19 years in television 'I've never been in this position before,' said Winfrey. . ."
The talk show host was being disingenuous She's been duped before. Journalist Michael Fumento notes one example from 1987, when the talk-show host asserted:
Just two and a half years ago -- after the September 11 attacks had supposedly made the U.S. a bit more sensitive to the plight of Israelis under constant pressure from terrorist groups -- ABC's World News Tonight benignly described the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas as “a political and social welfare organization with a military wing that has launched terror attacks against Israel.”
Now that Hamas has apparently won the Palestinian elections, will reporters stress their history of killing innocent civilians? On last night' World News Tonight, anchor Bob Woodruff wouldn't go so far as to brand Hamas as a terrorist group, calling them a "militant" group "which the U.S. calls a terrorist organization."
David Boaz of the libertarian Cato Institute spotted an undeniable pattern of media unease in the network and newspaper coverage of the nomination of conservative Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, compared to how those same outlets treated Bill Clinton's 1993 nomination of liberal ACLU lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Cato's executive vice president asked rhetorically, in an article last Thursday for Reason Magazine:
"Remember all those news stories in 1993 about how the nomination of former ACLU lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg to replace conservative Justice Byron White on the United States Supreme Court would 'tilt the balance of the court to the left?' Of course you don't. Because there weren't any. In the past three months, the major media have repeatedly hammered away at the theme that Judge Samuel Alito Jr. would 'shift the Supreme Court to the right' if he replaced retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. According to Lexis/Nexis, major newspapers have used the phrase 'shift the court' 36 times in their Alito coverage. They have referred to the 'balance of the court' 32 times and 'the court's balance' another 15. 'Shift to the right' accounted for another 18 mentions. Major radio and television programs indexed by Lexis/Nexis have used those phrases 63 times.
Brent Baker's dispatch on ABC's "Nightline" showed a dramatic liberal bias, with ABC providing left-wing comedians Kathy Griffin and Al Franken a platform to mock more conservative performers like Mel Gibson and Rush Limbaugh for not doing their part to entertain troops on the USO circuit.
Author and blogger Alan Skorski is America's most determined Al Franken watchdog, author of the new book "Pants On Fire: How Al Franken Lies, Smears, and Deceives." In December, Skorski noted on his blog one angle that ABC has yet to explore: whether the allegedly troops-loving Franken should be allowed to entertain the troops when behind their backs, he laughs at them as prisoner abusers. He reported in December there is a brief clip from a song called "Sorry," an Abu Ghraib-ish parody of our marauding troops from his "Very Best of The O'Franken Factor" CD.
President Bush went to Kansas yesterday to discuss a number of important issues facing the nation including the war in Iraq, and terrorist surveillance. Yet, what seems to have most captured the attention of America’s media is a question asked of the president by a reporter in attendance yesterday concerning whether or not he has seen the controversial film “Brokeback Mountain.” In fact, the media found this such an important issue that all three broadcast networks addressed it during their morning news programs today.
The “Today Show’s” Matt Lauer ended his segment with guest Bill O’Reilly this morning by playing a video clip of the exchange between President Bush and this reporter at Kansas State University, after which he asked O’Reilly: “So, O'Reilly, have you seen it? Should it be given the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year?”
As Harry Belafonte proclaimed at Duke University that American policies were based on "the demise of the poor," and Sen. Barack Obama declared on ABC that the GOP has "a very narrow agenda that advantages the most powerful," what about their own cozy fortunes?
Laura Ingraham noted today a report from the Wall Street Journal. Belafonte’s suffering from declining millionaire real-estate values:
Belafonte Cuts His Price
ENTERTAINER Harry Belafonte last month cut the price of his Manhattan apartment by $2 million, to $13 million. The Upper West Side co-operative, which he's owned for more than 40 years, went on the market last August. The 17-room home, facing Riverside Park on the western edge of Manhattan, has seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a library and four fireplaces.
Last September Mr. Belafonte, 78, sold his Mediterranean-style house in the Caribbean for $2.2 million. He bought that 3.3-acre property, in the French-administered part of St. Martin, in 1982. It has four bedrooms, gardener and caretaker cottages and a pool. Maria Pascal and Richard Mortimer of Prudential Douglas Elliman have the Manhattan listing. The price cut comes as the Manhattan real-estate market is showing signs of cooling...
This year’s Martin Luther King Day celebration was a wild and woolly collection of left-wing blather.
In Washington, showing remarkable feats of amnesia that he was ever vice president in a corrupt administration, Al Gore gave a speech claiming President Bush was a law-breaking president and his illegal actions a threat to the survival of our democracy, an extraordinary accusation for even this man to make, given the same policies were executed by the Clinton-Gore administration.
In New Orleans, Mayor Ray Nagin announced that God wanted New Orleans to be a “chocolate” city again. When challenged that this might make him sound like a little racist, he dug a deeper hole by claiming whites were the milk in his milk-chocolate shake.
Even in this stew of silliness, Hillary Rodham Clinton still managed to draw headlines for herself by marching into a Baptist church with Al Sharpton in Harlem and giving a fiery speech. First, Hillary sounded the same Clinton-amnesia notes as Gore, charging that President Bush’s team was historically filled with corrupt cronies, that his presidency "will go down in history as one of the worst.” But with Sharpton proudly looking on, she threw the race card on the table with a big, noisy thwack. “When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation, and you know what I'm talking about.” Bush is not only incompetent. Dennis Hastert is a slave master. Laura Bush was right. It was “ridiculous.”
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos invited former presidential candidate John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) on “This Week” yesterday to discuss a variety of pressing issues facing the nation. Primary amongst them was how the senator felt about domestic spying, and current revelations revealed in a New York Times article last month. During the discussion, Kerry made a rather glaring contradiction (hat tip to reader “JDW”) that should have set off alarm bells in any investigative reporter. Instead, Stephanopoulos gave Kerry a pass.
As the discussion moved in the direction of NSA wiretaps, Stephanopoulos played a clip of Karl Rove saying: “President Bush believes if al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they're calling and why. Some important Democrats -- some important Democrats clearly disagree.” Stephanopoulos said: “He must have had you in mind. You've called the program a clear violation of the law.” To which Kerry replied: ‘We don't disagree with him at all. It is a violation of law and we don't disagree with him at all and this is exactly what Karl Rove does.”
It’s become a cliche to note that the Golden Globe Awards voter pool is an extremely small clique for such a big-buzz awards show. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) boasts “about 90" members, many of them Europeans. But their influence over the Oscars, and then the culture, is enormous. And what they are asking us to celebrate, with increasing regularity, are standards that echo the decadent culture of Old Europe, in love with illicit sex, drugs, dysfunctionality – and even anti-Western political weirdness.
In addition to George Clooney’s supporting actor award for his conspiracy-theorizing, anti-war-for-oil flick “Syriana,” the Best Foreign Movie award went to “Paradise Now,” a lyrical German-funded film about “heroic,” yet conflicted....Palestinian terrorists blowing up buses. The HFPA even officially claimed the film was from “Palestine,” as if Israel had already been wiped off the map.
The Wall Street Journal’s Sarah McBride wrote an article in today’s edition addressing the increasing number of network news “stars” leaving television to become a part of National Public Radio. In an environment where ratings for most news programs are declining, and newspapers across the country are reducing staffs amid shrinking circulations, NPR’s audience is continuing to grow. As a result, as reported previously by NewsBusters, the largely government sponsored radio station has been attracting folks like former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite and former ABC “Nightline” host, Ted Koppel. Potentially the most fascinating aspect of this article is what it said about the current state of television media:
“Network news is increasingly generating prospects for NPR in part because some broadcast journalists think the networks are veering away from serious, in-depth reports. Many television journalists say they are fed up with the move toward consumer-friendly news-you-can-use and away from weightier subjects like foreign affairs and government. And many also see news of any sort as an increasingly low priority for their employers. For example, ‘Nightline’ came close to losing its perch in a humiliating 2002 episode when ABC brass unsuccessfully tried to lure in David Letterman's nightly comedy show to replace it.”
On "Good Morning America" today, the 8 AM newscast had a few embarrassing errors. News anchor Kate Snow stumbled as she explained that today's NASA mission to Pluto will be powered by "24 pounds of plutonium" -- "I'll have to check that," she said as she read through it. (Doesn't she read through the news a time or two before taking the newscast on air?) At newscast's end, she said my bad, yes, it's 24 pounds. Obviously, Kate Snow is literally not a rocket (or nuclear) scientist. At least she didn't highlight the liberal angle of anti-nuke protesters.
Then entertainment critic Joel Siegel arrived on the Golden Globe beat, noting that Philip Seymour Hoffman, Reese Witherspoon, and Joaquin Phoenix all won awards last night for playing real people whose last name starts with C. He then suggested it could mean Oscar magic for the actors, since Jamie Foxx won last year for playing, he claimed -- "Johnny Cash." Oops. That would have been a real actor's challenge. But he didn't correct it to Ray Charles. ABC whistled past it.
Kudos to ABC reporter Jake Tapper, whose "Down and Dirty" blog carries an interview with Dinesh D'Souza, an editor for the magazine of Concerned Alumni of Princeton from 1983 to 1985, the time frame in which Sam Alito claimed membership in CAP when applying for a job in the Reagan Justice Department. As Brent Bozell noted, the network coverage of CAP has skipped over the responsible step of checking with the accused. Maybe the story was just too good to check. D'Souza said humorless Ted Kennedy actually made a boo-boo: one quoted article in the CAP magazine was a satire, not a serious argument:
First off, D'Souza says, one of the two stories from Prospect that Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-MA, read this week at the confirmation hearings was intended as a satire.
ABC and NPR are acting like kissing cousins. Ted Koppel, now retired from "Nightline," will provide commentaries for NPR, about once a week, the report suggests. He professes his love for NPR and how he's stolen many ideas from them. (This might explain some of the liberal bias on ABC.) His producer Leroy Sievers has been working at NPR in recent months, too. In recent years, commentaries on NPR have been less political than you might expect, but I don't think Koppel will record chats about making icea tea in the sun. I'd bet on John Chancellor-style pompous-windbag political commentaries. (You can see the genre is you scroll down here.) Koppel will also write (liberal) editorials for the New York Times. Oh goody.
ABC News’ Martin Bashir last evening on “Nightline” brought on an Arkansas “abortionist” to sell America the virtues of this oftentimes ghastly procedure, while making a political statement against the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Bashir even suggested that those who have abortions are “born again.” The piece began with Bashir sharing some abortion statistics – with graphics – to demonstrate how commonplace it is in our society (ABC News video link to follow):
MARTIN BASHIR: (Off-camera) For anyone who thinks that abortion is not a daily ritual of American life, then consider these statistics.
GRAPHICS: 1 IN 4 PREGNANCIES END IN ABORTION
MARTIN BASHIR: (Voiceover) One in four pregnancies ends in abortion. And at current rates, a third of all American women will have an abortion by the age of 45.
GRAPHICS: ONE THIRD OF AMERICAN WOMEN WILL HAVE AN ABORTION BY AGE 45
ABC's Terry Moran, a new Nightline co-host who was until recently a dogged attack-questioner of the Bush White House -- and of course, an even more recent attack-questioner of Dick Cheney -- sent a very sensible note to the new World News Tonight blog about the Jack Abramoff scandal and how lobbying has grown because the size of government has grown. Now let's see if he sounds like this on Nightline:
The real reason there's so much power for sale in Washington is that there's so much power in Washington. The British newspaper The Independent said today that President Woodrow Wilson could not have imagined today's $4 billion lobbying industry. They are quite right -- but Mr. Wilson could hardly have imagined today's $1 trillion-plus federal government, whose powers reach into every nook and cranny of American life. When the federal government can influence what happens in your business or your backyard or your bedroom -- you are quite properly going to want to influence it right back. That's not corruption; that's self-government. And while it would be swell if that dialogue happened in a pristine, college-seminar-style setting -- or maybe a private club -- free of the grubbiness of real-world interests, it doesn't. This, after all, is America. And we grub.
As Bob Woodruff and Elizabeth Vargas debut tonight as the co-anchors of "World News Tonight," the traditional liberal bias promises to continue. On today's "Good Morning America," Woodruff reported from Iran, and made sure to equate conservatism with oppression: "One more indication of the growing conservatism here: this week the government closed down a daily newspaper and banned a women’s magazine. It has happened many times before but these are the first to be targeted since the new President was elected in August." Earlier in his 7am half-hour report, Woodruff asserted: “There is a new ultra-conservative President here, who is causing worry both inside and outside this country.”