As this column has oft chronicled, for the MSM gas prices are on a one-way escalator, a moving Stairway to Heaven in which prices are always "soaring." Fairness thus obliges us to report an exception to the rule on today's Good Morning America. An ABC expert actually informed us that gas prices are steadying and might even - ready? - go down.
MRC's Business & Media Institute has been tracking the MSM's slanted coverage of oil and gas. Here's a recent example. Hat tip to MRC's Ken Shepherd.
Even in its tease at the top of the show, GMA hinted that this might not be your typical gloom-'n-doom gas-price story: "Coming up, we have pain at the pump. Gas prices. With all this unrest in the Middle East and now new terror threats what will this do to the price of gas? You might think that prices automatically go up. Butyou may be surprised."
Fresh from his recent absurdly obvious public-relations flackery for Senator Hillary and the "dramatic sign" of her declaration that Donald Rumsfeld is incompetent and should resign, The Saturday "Names & Faces" gossip column in The Washington Post reported:
A casually dressed George Stephanopoulos, Hillary Clinton mouthpiece Phillippe Reines, and another pal enjoyed a looong dinner (three hours!) at Cafe Milano on Thursday evening. Stephanopoulos munched on beef carpaccio and an anchovy appetizer between rounds of Moet & Chandon with his buddies. Why all the bubbly? A source says the crew was celebrating the Washington correspondent's decision to extend his contract at ABC, despite serious offers from other networks.
Matt Lauer, Diane Sawyer and Harry Smith aren't dumb, they know a potential roadblock to Democratic success when they see one, and that's why all three of them collectively told Sen. Joseph Lieberman to drop out. Lieberman appeared on all three network morning shows and received identical reactions from all three hosts.
NBC's Matt Lauer on this morning's Today show: "Senator is there any phone call you could receive, is there anyone in the Democratic Party who could call you today and ask you to drop out that you would listen to?" ABC's Diane Sawyer on this morning's Good Morning America: "Senator, I heard you say I'm a Democrat. But you're talking about running as an independent and there are members of the party who've already said, commentators, that this is a selfish decision. How can you run against the party? What will happen?" CBS's Harry Smith on The Early Show: "A final quick question. You will run as an independent at risk of losing the seat to the Republicans? You understand that risk? By splitting the Democratic vote."
Howard Dean's 2004 presidential primary run was largely fueled by internet-driven support orchestrated by campaign manager Joe Trippi. That campaign fell famously short in the echoes of Dean's Iowa caucus-night scream. But with Ned Lamont's win, the left wing blogosphere can this morning claim perhaps its first major victory . . . at least in a Democratic primary if not in a general election.
And that, in turn, raises the real question. Does the same left-wing blogosphere that can influence the outcome of Dem primaries foist on the party candidates so extreme that they stand little chance of winning in November? We are about to see a test case in CT, and indications are that by appealing to moderate Dems and Republicans, Joe Lieberman might well defeat Lamont and Republican Alan Schlesinger [perceived as a less-than-A-list candidate].
Remember when Cokie Roberts said on Sunday’s “This Week” on ABC that a Ned Lamont victory in Connecticut would be a “Disaster for the Democratic Party” not once, but twice as reported by NewsBusters here? Well, on Monday, in an interview on NPR with Steve Inskeep (audio link here, hat tip to American Thinker), she reversed her position -- or what many conservatives like to refer to as a “flip-flop” -- and said that this “is going to be hard for all incumbents, but it's especially hard for the party in power.”
That would be the Republicans, wouldn’t it? Inskeep, maybe aware of what Roberts said on Sunday, then asked:
Imagine if you will a conservative writer with links to Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) posting a picture at his blog of Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) in black face. Days later, Santorum goes on ABC’s “This Week” to discuss the campaign. How much do you think Santorum would be grilled over this issue? Probably rather intensely, yes?
Well, on Sunday, Ned Lamont, the Connecticut millionaire that is trying to defeat Sen. Joe Lieberman in Tuesday’s senatorial primary, was Stephanopoulos’ guest (hat tip to Hot Air with video link available here). Although the host challenged Lamont about his knowledge of the blogs that are backing him, he never actually mentioned the blogger in question, nor did he refer to the picture. Instead, the following is the actual transcript of this exchange:
Something amazing happened on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday: Cokie Roberts practically floored host George Stephanopoulos with the political truth that most impartial individuals already know (video to follow). The discussion centered on what it would mean for the Democratic Party if Ned Lamont beat Joe Lieberman in Connecticut next week. Stephanopoulos asked Roberts, “How did this happen?” After a somewhat lengthy explanation, Roberts said, “But it's, I think, a disaster for the Democratic Party, and it's going to be very interesting to see what happens as a result of it.”
Stephanopoulos looked stunned, and asked: “Disaster for the Democratic Party? Why?” Roberts elaborated:
An ABC Good Morning America story by Claire Shipman reports on the $150 billion in tax revenue that the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations says is lost because of the wealthy who figure out ways to avoid paying taxes.
That's enough money to cover the budgets for the Department of Education, the State Department, the Justice Department, and the Department of Homeland Security.
Or to purchase 60 Virginia-class nuclear subs. Or enough to give $500 to every American.
As required, Republicans have to be trashed in this story and not Democrats. First she quoted a Democratic Senator who moralized about the situation, not any Republicans, which fit in nicely with the next principle, which is to only cite Republicans who are doing the immoral thing in question.
"Something smells here. … Something is rotten here," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who sits on the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.
"The abuse of offshore tax havens by U.S. individuals are shifting the tax burden to all of us," Levin said. "The report blows the lid off tax haven abuses."
Former ABC reporter and host of "This Week," Sam Donaldson, was called a "has been" by President Bush during a news briefing today. Donaldson was famous for harassing past presidents, especially Reagan, with embarrassing questions.
He was joined by seven former press secretaries: Joe Lockhart, Dee Dee Myers, Marlin Fitzwater, Tony Snow, Ron Nessen, James Brady and his wife Sarah Brady. Rush Limbaugh has the video.
On Wednesday’s Good Morning America, ABC’s Diane Sawyer hyped the release of yet another book attacking Christian beliefs. During the 8am half hour, Sawyer interviewed Kathleen McGowan, author of The Expected One. Like The DaVinci Code, The Expected One is premised on the theory that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene had children together, and that their bloodline lives on in the present day. It should also be noted that McGowan believes that she herself is a descendant of Christ, which she and Sawyer discussed at length.
When Sawyer asked the author for proof to bolster her "facts" about Jesus and Mary Magdalene, the author had no hard evidence to provide :
Sawyer: "For everybody who says, a novel, fine, write a novel, promote a novel. But there’s no proof here. There’s really no proof either of Mary Magdalene and Jesus being together."
McGowan: "That’s absolutely untrue, there’s all kinds of proof."
Sawyer: "Tell me."
McGowan: "It’s just not the traditional academic proof."
As news organizations update their obituaries of ailing Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, it’s worth recalling how many liberal journalists have fallen under Castro’s spell over the years, sounding like paid Cuban government propagandists as they touted the “great success stories” of Castro’s decades of communist rule. A new report from the Media Research Center offers some of the most egregious pro-Castro quotes of the last couple of decades.
For example, back in 1988, then-NBC reporter Maria Shriver let Castro himself lead her on a tour of Havana. “The level of public services was remarkable: free education, medicine and heavily-subsidized housing,” Shriver marveled on Today. The following year, ABC’s Peter Jennings trumpeted how “health and education are the revolution’s great success stories.”
ABC explains that it's "currently producing a report on global warming and want[s] to find out if you've seen differences in your daily environment that you think are caused by climate change." Note that the photo displayed here is taken from the web page. Subtle, eh?
Assures ABC: "We hope to hear from you."
Actually, that's not entirely true. Apparently ABC only wants to hear from you if you can vouch for global warming. Others need not apply. These avatars of objective journalism want you to know that 'the differences can be large or small — altered blooming schedules, changes in plants or animals in your community, erosion or droughts.'
There was a feeling of surreality this morning in watching the segment on Good Morning America. There was Chris Cuomo [son of Dem ex-NYS Gov. Mario, brother of Andrew, current Dem candidate for NYS Attorney General] chatting with former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos.
Was this an ABC 'news' interview between two of its employees - or had I mistakenly tuned to a CSPAN broadcast of a DNC coffee klatsch?
Cuomo had a fine line to walk. With brother Andy running for office in New York, being too critical of Israel could be impolitic. Chris focused on what came naturally: accusing the Bush administration of 'failure.'
Cuomo's opening question for Stephanopoulos: "The Secretary [of State Condi Rice] is in the air and she's heading to the U.N. Was this situation a failure for her and what needs to change when she hits the ground?"
Over at the MRC's BusinessandMedia.org today I wrote about ABC's Lisa Stark picking up a Kaiser Fmily Foundation study of how food companies mix advertisements in with kid-friendly online games as marketing gimmicks on their Web sites.
Here's a taste:
than presenting the development as a safer Internet pastime for
children then chatting with complete strangers or looking up
pornographic Web sites, Stark suggested the advertising development is
a danger to children that needs to be regulated.
television, there are regulations on marketing to kids, a limit on the
amount of ad time on a children’s show for example, but online, it’s
wide open,” complained Stark, who went on to conclude her story
lamenting the trend was “only likely to get worse.”
Calista Flockhart, formerly star of the 90s Fox hit "Ally McBeal" is set to return to television as a Republican pundit. Amazingly, she doesn't seem to be particularly conservative:
ABC reportedly has huge hopes for a new series to
air this fall called "Brothers & Sisters," which will follow the
hit "Desperate Housewives" on the schedule. Calista Flockhart, best
known as Ally McBeal, plays a conservative radio host turned TV pundit. [...]
Flockhart recently explained, "I really want to go back to work. It just seemed like the perfect time and the perfect project."
Asked to describe the pundit, producer Ken Olin
(formerly a star of “Thirty Something’) said, "She's not Ann Coulter.
She's not insane."
Writer Jon Robin Baitz added, "No, I think she's a
thoughtful conservative. She's ideologically, in some respects, very
much in mind with the older parts of the party, the sort of Eisenhower
Republican, the William Buckley conservative. She's also a humanist."
Is Harry Smith's goal at every stage of every war to stop it? If he had been around on June 6, 1944, would he have been asking what could be done to stop D-Day? The question arises in light of Smith's questions on this morning's Early Show to Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution.
Right out of the box, cease-fire seemed to be on Harry's mind: "We have Hezbollah content to fire rockets into Israel, just as we heard a couple of minutes ago from [CBS reporter] Sharyn Alfonsi. We have Israel intent on squashing Hezbollah. Is there any country in the world, any group of countries, for that matter, that can compel either side to stop?"
O'Hanlon didn't think so, noting that at this stage neither side shows the remotest interest in a cease fire.
President Bush is an even greater threat to our civil liberties than that bête noire of the left, Richard Nixon. That's Morton Halperin's conclusion in a Los Angeles Times op-ed of today, Bush: Worse Than Nixon.
Halperin was once a name in the news. In 1969, then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger named Halperin to the NSA. But soon thereafter Kissinger suspected it was the dovish Halperin who leaked to the NY Times the fact that the US was secretly bombing Cambodia. The FBI began tapping his phone, and Halperin was soon gone from NSA. Perhaps Halperin's biggest claim to fame is the fact that Pres. Nixon put him on his 'Enemies List.' A red badge of courage, no pun intended, off which a person can no doubt eat for a lifetime in liberal circles.
Halperin remains active politically, serving as a senior fellow at the 'Center for American Progress.' As detailed by the invaluable Discoverthenetworks, CAP is a George Soros-funded organization founded on the risible notion that American colleges and universities are dominated by . . . conservatives."
"It's hard not to notice the clear similarities between then and now. Both the Nixon and Bush presidencies rely heavily on the use of national security as a pretext for the usurpation of unprecedented executive power.
Surely, no one in the U.S. media could have a kind word to say about Hezbollah, the radical Palestinian terrorist group that decades ago seized southern Lebanon as a base for anti-Israeli operations — including the rocket attacks now indiscriminately harassing Israeli towns and cities — and which has killed hundreds of Americans in various hijackings, kidnappings and bombings over the years.
Well, in fact there have been those in the American press who’ve tried to downplay Hezbollah’s perpetration of terrorist acts, including the 1983 bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks that killed 241 Marines. Even since September 11, 2001, a few journalists have tried to argue that Hezbollah could plausibly be seen as freedom fighters resisting Israeli authority.
Quiz time: When is a political ad that features pictures of deceased, flag-draped American heroes controversial? Apparently, the answer is only when Republicans produce such a commercial. The Democratic Campaign Committee has posted a 60 second spot on their Web site, and it shows images of the coffins of American military personnel, as well as a soldier standing in front of a makeshift grave marker. (Update, 5:40pm EDT July 14: The ad has now disappeared from the DCCC Web site, replaced by one calling for a hike in the minimum wage.)
Unsurprisingly, ABC, NBC and CBS expressed no outrage over the Democrats attempt to politically exploit America's fallen. NBC'sToday show,ABC's Good Morning America, and CBS's The Early Show this morning all completely ignored the issue.
President Bush announced some great news about the economy Tuesday, but the media weren't in any mood to celebrate. Though the budget deficit for 2006 looks to be significantly lower than forecast just five months ago, TV news outlets were quick to rain on the president's parade.
CNN's Ed Henry cynically compared this announcement to the president declaring an end to major combat operations in Iraq in 2003. Meanwhile, NBC's Brian Williams downplayed the good news by stating “administration critics say the White House has deliberately inflated its own deficit projections in the past few years to score political points when the actual numbers came in lower.”
If you're not acquanted with a DVR, it's a machine that lets you record your favorite shows when you're not able to watch them live. It's like a VCR but with many more hours of storing capacity, all recorded digitally on its own hard drive.
While it's still in its infancy (owned by 10 percent of consumers), an executive for ABC television wants all DVR manufacturers to disable one of the machine's most prized functions: fast-forwarding the commercials.
ABC HAS HELD DISCUSSIONS ON the use of technology that would disable the fast-forward button on DVRs, according to ABC President of Advertising Sales Mike Shaw, with the primary goal to allow TV commercials to run as intended.
Barbara Walters, fresh from firing Star Jones off The View, took the ABC talk show back to what it does best, promoting liberal issues. Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife Tipper appeared on the June 29 edition of the show. At the start of the program, The View's announcer previewed the paranoid, frightened tone that the segment would take:
"Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife Tipper are telling you about an inconvenient truth that could destroy the entire planet."
Barbara Walters, at 11:17AM EDT, described Mr. and Mrs. Gore this way:
"Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife Tipper have been forces of nature in the fight to save the planet. And there is a wonderful movie you all have to see called An Inconvenient Truth. And in it, the Vice President, the former Vice President, lays out a compelling, horrifying, but ultimately hopeful case for finding a way to save an Earth that's on the brink of disaster. And that means saving our lives and our children's lives."
ABC’s John Stossel was a guest on MSNBC’s “Scarborough Country” Wednesday, and it is quite safe to say that he’s not buying into any of the recent alarmism concerning global warming. As a result, he and host Joe Scarborough had a lot of fun at Al Gore’s expense (video link to follow).
Scarborough began: “…for Al Gore and Bill Clinton to say it`s causing flooding and causing hurricanes and it may have caused Hurricane Katrina, that`s just ridiculous, isn`t it. There is no proof of that, is there?”
“No. And the serious scientists scoff at that. The warmer water can encourage hurricanes, but they run in cycles. But the alarmists always want you to think it`s man`s fault so you will turn your life over to them and they can tell you what to do.”
Scarborough responded: “I remember being warned in Florida five years ago about the next cycle, that from 1900 to 1945, we didn`t have a lot of hurricanes. We had a lot of hurricanes and it slowed down for the next 60 years and they said there is a time where the water will heat up again and yet the A.P, other news agencies seem to give Al Gore a free pass.”
As you may have heard, Star Jones has been fired from The View. Numerous media outlets reported on the behind-the-scenes drama that has engulfed the ABC show. Several reasons have been given for the departure. Many speculate it was due to her feud with incoming View host Rosie O’Donnell or that it’s related to her sudden weight loss. Whatever the truth is, one thing is certain: Throughout the years, Ms. Jones, a former legal correspondent for Today and NBC’s Nightly News, has been a constant source of liberal bias.
Just prior to the 2004 presidental elections, Ms. Jones recounted, on-air, her campaign appearances with Democratic candidate John Kerry. Her comments appeared in the November 2, 2004 edition of the CyberAlert:
"But I was with Senator Kerry on Friday night in Florida because you know that's a battleground state [video of her at a podium with a Kerry campaign sign and a still shot of Kerry with his arm draped around her]. And everybody is down there, I got a chance to give a speech to talk about why I believe what I believe. And then, we went from Miami to Fort Lauderdale and into Pensacola. And, Barbara, to me, your talking about South Africa reminded me of the people in Pensacola. People don't realize just how much poverty is in our own country. And there are people with no jobs, there are people with no health care, people who can't afford to buy their drugs, and I'm talking basic prescription drugs you might need, like insulin, every single day."
As a veteran Couric watcher, I've recently come to follow [without actually watching] doings at The View, since Katie's replacement Meredith Vieira was for years a member of the show's cast. For those unfamiliar with it, The View is an all-female televised coffee klatsch and gabfest of which Barbara Walters is the creator, partial owner and a co-host.
The View has a distinct liberal tint to its patter. And as we know, one of the tenets of feminist theology is that women have a right to whatever body size they want, free of societal restraints.
How ironic - some might say hypocritical - that one reason for the recent firing of co-host Star Jones is that . . . she refused to stay fat! As you'll note from the before and after pics here, Star has undergone a dramatic physical transformation. According to this AP article:
ABC’s Jake Tapper had an interesting -- if not entirely dismissive -- take on the recent panel discussion of the Fox TV series, 24 hosted by Radio’s Rush Limbaugh.
Calling it a “love-fest”, Tapper was in the audience at the Heritage Foundation’s 24 discussion panel and wrote about it on his ABC blog as well as doing an on-air report on Nightline (June 23rd) and an ABC News “webcast” report.
He seemed amazed at the interest the show has generated, but he was not as surprised by the general public’s reaction to the show as to that of a specific segment of that fan base.
“The oddity of it all? It was the GOP power structure hosting the love-in.”
What is this supposed to mean, anyway? Should the “GOP power structure” not be allowed to like a TV show? Should they not be allowed to be a “fan” of something like “normal” people might?
Tapper asks the actress that plays Chloe O’Brien, Mary Lynn Rajskub, a question that further explores how “odd” Tapper feels it is that conservatives like the show.
NRO Media Blog has passed along a column at Townhall.com by author and military expert W. Thomas Smith Jr. that describes an interview with an ABC News reporter who's overwhelmed with anti-war fervor:
So I receive a phone call from a reporter at ABC News. They are working on a story about Haditha, and the reporter’s comments to me go something along the lines of; “I am particularly interested in your recent pieces on Haditha in which you say that in order to understand what happened, we must first understand the men involved, the dynamics of the system in which they operate, and the realities of ground combat.”
The reporter’s referencing of my own comments are somewhat paraphrased, but his following questions are clearly etched in my mind verbatim:
On the roundtable of Sunday's edition of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Newsweek columnist and Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria declared he was going to say "something controversial," that he favored amnesty for Iraqi insurgents. ABC White House correspondent Martha Raddatz said she didn't see why that was controversial, just a required step. When Stephanopoulos suggested amnesty "makes sense," CNN anchor Lou Dobbs said the idea "sticks in my craw."
Zakaria knows the idea is "controversial" because it will rub the American public the wrong way, but also because the Democrats on television (like Sen. Durbin minutes earlier on "This Week") have made a strong pose against amnesty for insurgents. Here's how it unfolded, as the segment began:
I ran out of time Friday to post the other transcript MRC's Brian Boyd did on global warming on Friday's "Good Morning America." To set up Bill Weir's fawning interview with Al Gore, ABC brought in their resident global-warming panic salesman, Bill Blakemore, calling him the "resident expert."
So does Blakemore have a background in meteorology, or at least science in general? It doesn't look like it from his ABC biography. He's been a religion specialist, an education specialist, a war correspondent, and now he's a world-going-to-Hell specialist. As the bio suggests, "Blakemore coined the word 'spotcraft' to describe what he did for a living." That's not to say he doesn't have passion, as he's already acknowleged the "admittedly vain thrill" of being one of the first to be right on the approaching catastrophe. Here's the Friday story: