MRC Director of Communications Seton Motley appeared on Fox News Channel's "Fox News Live" this morning.
FNC's Megyn Kelly was the interlocuter.
Mr. Motley was brought on to discuss the media's negative and borderline hostile reaction to Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell's having the audacity to point out their bias over the weekend at a hallowed gathering of journalists.
He also discussed the ongoing biased (the Governor is of course correct) coverage of the Democratic Convention.
The Democratic National Convention hasn't even begun, and the protestors are out trying to Recreate 68.
For those unfamiliar, the group "was created for all the grassroots people who are tired of being sold out by the Democratic Party," and are gathering in Denver to "resist a two-party system that allows imperialism and racism to continue unrestrained."
High profile activists such as Cindy Sheehan and Cynthia McKinney have already joined the festivities.
On Sunday, Fox News's Griff Jenkins tried to speak to these folks as they marched in Denver, but was instead verbally assaulted (video embedded below the fold courtesy of our friend Johnny Dollar, vulgarity warning, photo courtesy Rocky Mountain News):
Barack Obama, who boasts about his alleged "post partisan" philosophy, can not seem to resist appeasing the left wing blogosphere by making cheap shots at Fox News. Obama, who enjoys overwhelmingly positive coverage from the mainstream press, blasted Fox News for daring to interview an author critical of him.
"I don’t find myself particularly scary or particularly risky. But, but, you know, I mean they’re good at it. So they got these ads with Paris and Britney. They’ve got some guy who just wrote a book. He’s just making stuff up. Just make stuff up. But it gets a lot of play on Fox News."
The co-hosts of "Fox and Friends" responded to this attack on the August 21 edition. Gretchen Carlson and Steve Doocy acknowledged that Jerome Corsi, author of "Obama Nation," did appear on "Fox and Friends," but to debate Democratic partisan Bob Beckel.
Steve Doocy also noted Fox News was not the only venue that gave Jerome Corsi air time. Both CNN and C-SPAN interviewed Corsi.
Did you know that if you have a negative view of Michelle Obama, it's all Fox News's fault?
Such seems to be the opinion of Barack Obama who told the magazine Marie Claire, "I think that if you've been watching Fox News then probably she's misunderstood, because I do think there's been a fairly systematic attempt by the conservative press to paint her in a completely false way."
Fox News's Greta Van Susteren heard about this statement by Obama, and took issue with it during an interview she did Monday with the magazine's editor (video embedded right, h/t NBer Thomas Stewart):
Saturday's Fox News Watch devoted a few minutes to the controversy, which was documented previously by the MRC's Geoffrey Dickens, over NBC's Matt Lauer claiming during an interview for the Today show that "some very high percentage of the people in China are happy with their lot in life, something around 80 percent," but that in America, "only about 25 percent." Liberal panelist Patricia Murphy of Citizen Jane stated her belief that Lauer simply made an "error" in misstating a Pew Research poll which found that, when asked if they were "satisfied with the direction of the country," 86 percent of Chinese respondents said yes, but when asked about "personal satisfaction," that "the number was much, much lower."
Conservative columnist Jim Pinkerton theorized NBC was being soft on China because the network is making money off the Olympics: "Could it be because NBC paid China a billion dollars to cover the Olympics? And they can't afford to have their reporters and sportscasters kicked out for telling the truth about China. So they have no choice but to cover up." (Transcript follows)
This doesn't qualify as any kind of surprise, but it should be noted nonetheless.
Thursday, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama gave a stunningly downbeat assessment of the nation's overall situation in a response to a seven year-old girl who asked him why he is running for president. Obama's media water-carriers have virtually ignored his very telling response, one that is reminiscent of Jimmy Carter's gloomiest, malaise-based assessments of America during his awful presidency.
Chicken and egg question: which came first, Obama supporters or pro-Obama media coverage?
Such seems important given a new Rasmussen Reports study that found people who watch CNN, MSNBC, and the broadcast network evening news programs largely support Obama for president, while those watching Fox News are more likely to say they're voting for McCain.
Though certainly not surprising, is this a function of the various channels' biases impacting their viewers, or people opting for news sources that are friendly to the candidate they support?
While you ponder, here are the relevant numbers (h/t NBer Schnikeys, photo courtesy MSNBC.com):
Rich Noyes, the MRC's Director of Research, appeared on FNC's Fox & Friends program earlier this morning. He disucussed how the news media are all too eager to publicize anti-Bush administration books with harsh allegations, such as the much hyped 'The Way of the World' by Ron Suskind and the recent book by former Bush administration spokesman Scott McClellan.
"They certainly do have a lot of promotion. This book by Ron Suskind -- he was on the Today show two days this week, he was on NBC Nightly News. He was on MSNBC. CNN's had him."
On Monday's The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly and FNC analyst Bernie Goldberg discussed the media's reluctance to report the National Enquirer's claims about John Edwards fathering a child with a mistress. O'Reilly expressed his own hesitance to delve into the matter, which he only vaguely referred to as "a difficult personal deal," contending that "I can't verify the story," and expressed concerns about the distress public exposure would cause the Edwards family. He further suggested that after more facts could be verified, that "I'll mention it, but I won't dwell on it."
Goldberg spoke of the double standard employed by the New York Times in its reluctance to cover the 2001 story of Jesse Jackson fathering a baby with an employee, while the Times more blazenly printed less solid allegations this year against John McCain. Goldberg: "The National Enquirer broke that story [about Jesse Jackson]. And when the New York Times finally decided to run it, they put it on page 21 under a one-column headline. Compare that to a story with two unnamed sources that think that maybe that I'm not sure, but I think that John McCain was having an affair with a lobbyist. That winds up on page one of the New York Times."
In light of Keith Olbermann's recent mockery of elderly television viewers as being in the "65 to dead" demographic, two years ago on MSNBC's Countdown show, Olbermann seemed to rejoice at the prospect of O'Reilly's audience members "dying off," as Olbermann bragged about his viewing figures which had increased during the previous year, especially among viewers in the age range of 25-54 years, while O'Reilly's overall ratings had dropped. Olbermann, on the June 28, 2006, Countdown: "Bill, seriously, it's slipping away from you. You don't know what to do. You can't even lie well anymore. Seriously, I understand, it's called panic. ... It's terrifying. You begin to see the audience dying off and the creases deepening in your forehead and the loofahs drying up. You make mistakes, you trust the wrong people, you blame Al Franken, you yell at somebody, you yell at everybody. It feels like the ladder is teetering, you're tired, you're depressed, you're anxious, you're balding. Let me give you three words of advice, Bill-O: Keep it up!" Video of Olbermann's rant can be seen here. (Transcript follows)
On Friday's Countdown, during the show's "Worst Person in the World" segment, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann tried to characterize the ratings of his show as more admirable than than those of FNC's highly watched O'Reilly Factor by narrowly citing viewing figures among younger demographics. Olbermann, who has a history of quoting the viewing figures for those 25-54 years old -- citing their value to advertisers -- to make himself appear more competitive with O'Reilly, on this occasion dismissively referred to older viewers as "65 to dead." Olbermann: "But don't worry, Bill, you're still dominating that important demographic, 65 to dead." Notably, in June 2006, Olbermann gloated that O'Reilly's viewers are "dying off."
And, although Olbermann vaguely claimed that Bill O'Reilly "crows about the ratings and then gets them wrong again," the MSNBC host in no way contradicted O'Reilly's numbers as Olbermann merely cited the statistics for the specific younger demographics, which did not disprove anything the FNC host stated.
TVNewser reported on the July figures: ""The top rated program was again The O'Reilly Factor at 8pmET(2,252,000 viewer average). For MSNBC, the top program was Countdown with Keith Olbermann at 8pmET in 9th place (959,000) and for CNN it was Larry King Live tied for 10th (940,000)." The TVNewser report can be seen here. (Transcript follows)
MRC’s Director of Communications and NewsBusters Contributing Editor Seton Motley discussed how the media are blaming McCain for playing the race card on today's "Your World" program. Audio available here. Video available here.
If former White House press secretary Scott McClellan had any credibility left, he certainly lost it on Tuesday when he admitted to Fox New's Bill O'Reilly that he was not aware of talking points being sent by the Bush administration to the "Factor" host.
This of course was a flat out contradiction of statements made by McClellan on last Friday's "Hardball" with Chris Matthews.
Not only did McClellan retract his accusation that while he was in the White House talking points were being sent to O'Reilly, but under what turned into almost a cross-examination on Tuesday's "Radio Factor," the former press secretary apologized (audio available here, h/t Hot Air via NBer Thomas Stewart, photo courtesy TVNewser):
Q. How can Scott McClellan tell he's pushed his turncoat trip a tad too far?
A. When even leading media liberals suggest his reputation's in tatters.
Say what you will, but I like Joan Walsh, editor of Salon.com. Liberal? No doubt. But also a grownup. On this evening's Hardball, Walsh had the integrity to acknowledge that by accusing Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly of regurgitating Bush White House talking points, McClellan was looking "worse for wear."
Sitting in for Chris Matthews, Mike Barnicle [who I must say does a more "fair 'n balanced" job than the regular guy] rolled video from the this past Friday's show in which McClellan leveled his accusation.
On Thursday's Special Report with Brit Hume, during the show's "From the Political Grapevine" segment, FNC host Hume gave viewers another glimpse at the admiration offered terrorists in the Middle East as he reported that the Al-Jazeera network threw a birthday party for Samir Kuntar, a notorious terrorist recently released by Israel, who had previously been greeted by thousands of adoring fans when he returned to Beirut. Hume: "The Arab news network Al-Jazeera celebrated the birthday of released Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar with a cake and fireworks. The Middle East Media Research Institute reports that Kuntar, who shot an Israeli child's father in front of her, and then beat her to death with his rifle back in 1979, was given a hero's welcome on the network. One interviewer said, quote, 'You deserve even more than this. I think that 11,000 prisoners, if they can see this program now, are celebrating your birthday with you. Happy birthday.'" (Transcript follows)
When the Israeli government and the terrorist group Hezbollah carried out a prisoner release agreement in which Israel released five Lebanese prisoners while Hezbollah released the bodies of two Israeli soldiers who had been killed, there was a substantial contrast in the way the broadcast network evening newscasts reported the story. While ABC’s Charles Gibson and Simon McGregor-Wood reported on World News that one of the prisoners, Samir Kuntar, had been convicted of the "vicious murder" of an Israeli man and his four-year-old daughter, and that upon release he was "greeted in Beirut as a returning hero," NBC and CBS both skipped over any details of Kuntar’s crime, and CBS’s Katie Couric even listed the prisoner exchange as one of several "glimmers of hope" in the conflict between Israelis and Arabs. Couric: "For the first time in years, there are some glimmers of hope in the Arab-Israeli stalemate -- a virtual cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, a prisoner exchange with Hezbollah, and the beginning of low-level talks between Israel and Syria."
CNN and FNC further detailed the brutality of Kuntar’s crime, and FNC noted his popularity among many in Lebanon. FNC’s Morton Kondracke: "What’s most disgusting is that the Lebanese performance, tens of thousands of people turning out to welcome home a terrorist who had killed a policeman, a civilian, and then bashed in the head of the civilian's four-year-old daughter. And he's being welcomed home as though he’s a national hero, with the president there, the prime minister there, the speaker of the parliament. This is supposed to be an ally of the United States, Lebanon. What it indicates is that Lebanon, that Lebanese politics is now owned by Hezbollah ... they have veto power over whatever the Lebanese government does, you know. Lebanon is close to being lost." (Transcripts follow)
It seems Barack Obama had a "senior moment" on Wednesday during his trip to Israel regarding which Senate committees he is a member of. On the same day's Special Report with Brit Hume, during the "Fox All Stars" segment, the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes called out Obama for his claim, which the Illinois Senator made while trying to impress Israeli reporters, that he is a member of the Senate Banking Committee, as he took credit for the passage of legislation regarding Iran. Barnes: "[Obama] was trying to brag about how tough he was on the Iranians, and he said his committee, the Senate Banking Committee, had passed a resolution ... that would have caused American firms to divest of Iranian interests. And the trouble is, he's not on that committee. ... And he didn't vote for it. That would be a senior moment if McCain did it."
Indeed, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs membership roster does not list Obama's name. But during a news conference, which aired live Wednesday morning during CNN Newsroom, Obama seemed to embellish his resume: "Now, in terms of knowing my commitments, you don't have to just look at my words, you can look at my deeds. Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon." (Transcripts follow)
MRC Director of Media Analysis and NewsBusters Senior Editor Tim Graham appeared on FNC's "Your World w/Neil Cavuto" earlier this evening. The topic: modern liberal campaign bias and how the public often goes against the media's favorites. [audio available here]
"Notice they're not attacking Obama, they're attacking Obama's biggest base of support," Graham noted of the latest John McCain Web videos about Sen. Obama, which lampoon the media's love affair with the Illinois Democrat.
You need "go back no further than four years ago" to find a similar political love affair that backfired, Graham added of the MSM's support of Sen. John Kerry in 2004.
Even so, this election cycle reminds Graham of Clinton '92, one occasion where the media's favorite won, even though he "barely skated by" to election, helped in part by a strong third-party ticket.
When the Bush administration reported that 15 of 18 political benchmarks set for Iraq had been met, which is nearly twice as many that were met last year, only Fox News reported on the story. And during his July 2report, Brit Hume predicted that the story wouldn’t gain much traction elsewhere:
I suspect that this broadcast tonight -- and maybe some others on this channel -- are the only ones who are going to make a headline out of this. This is not going to be a big story elsewhere.
As Hume predicted, CBS’s “Evening News,” NBC’s “Nightly News” and ABC's “World News Tonight” did not mention the story in their broadcasts that night.
Once again MSNBC president Phil Griffin is claiming that his cable outlet is not liberal on purpose. (I know what you're saying, if you believe that he has a bridge to sell you) In an interview with a TV reviewer for the Kansas City Star, Griffin once again made the claim that the extreme leftward tilt that MSNBC has taken over the last few years was a complete accident and that they aren't "tied to ideology" like Fox News is. Griffin also attacked Fox News saying that, "you can't trust a word they say."
It all started when Aaron Barnhart of the Star asked Griffin for his reaction to statements made by Fox News executive John Moody who said that MSNBC only gained their current market share because of the "messianic ranting" of its anchors, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews. This set Griffin off at the outset of the interview.
On Wednesday, presumptive Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama blamed his wife's high negative ratings on "the conservative press—Fox News and the National Review" as well as "rants by Sean Hannity."
He also said, "And you know, the problem is that rarely do these folks have the guts to say it to your face."
On Thursday, Hannity struck back (video embedded right):
Senator Obama, here is my invitation. Anything I've ever said about you, you can sit right here, and I will say it to your face. Do you have the guts to come on this program and take some tough questions?
As you might imagine, Sean said a lot more on Thursday's "Hannity & Colmes," but before we get there, here's the quote from Glamour's Glamocracy blog which set this whole thing off (emphasis added):
What do people on the ultra-left hate more: George W. Bush or Fox News?
The question stems from an incident Friday at the Netroots Nation conference in Austin, Texas, when former Democrat Congressman Harold Ford Jr. was booed for saying that he has great respect for his former colleagues at Fox News.
This was so newsworthy that the Huffington Post's Sam Stein actually wrote about it (emphasis added, video of Ford's comments embedded right):
Greta Van Susteren is quickly becoming one of Fox News's most ardent defenders against attacks from the ultra-left.
Writing about Netroots Nation -- the gathering in Austin, Texas, of the most liberal people in America -- Greta bashed her former network CNN as well as MSNBC, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, and all those in attendance.
Fasten those seatbelts tightly, for Greta, in a blog posting Friday morning, wasn't taking prisoners (emphasis added, h/t TVNewser, photo courtesy FNC):
MRC Director of Research and NewsBusters Senior Editor Rich Noyes appeared on the July 17 "Election HQ" program on Fox News Channel. Noyes appeared opposite liberal columnist Ellis Henican to discuss whether there was a double standard by the media in covering Sens. McCain and Obama and their foreign trips. [Audio available here.]
The Big Three network news anchors are planning on traveling to Iraq with Sen. Obama, whereas McCain's Iraq trip in March was all but ignored. For example, Noyes noted, Katie Couric gave John McCain's Iraq trip a grand total of 10 seconds of coverage on the "Evening News," and yet she and her competitors are all hopping the press plane for Obama's visit as though they were groupies following a rock star.
For background, read Kyle Drennen's July 17 blog post here. An excerpt of that blog follows:
While Thursday's New York Times reported that the anchors from all three network newscasts will be joining Barack Obama on his trip to Iraq, they showed no such interest in following John McCain during his visit to Iraq in March. During the week of March 16, McCain's trip received only four full-length stories during the combined ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news program coverage. Three of those stories were on NBC's "Nightly News," one of which focused on McCain's mistaken comment about Iran funding Al Qaeda in Iraq. ABC's "World News" did only one full-length story on McCain's Iraq trip, which mentioned the gaffe. The CBS "Evening News" was by far the worst, devoting only 31 words, a grand total of 10 seconds, to the Republican nominee's Iraq visit during the entire week of evening news coverage. Read Media Research Center press release here.
Following the November elections, Brit Hume, longtime host of "Special Report" on Fox News Channel and one of its guiding lights, will step down from his anchor post and as managing editor for the Washington bureau.
The news broke this afternoon via Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz who reports that Hume will not be leaving the channel entirely--he will be retaining his role as a panelist on "Fox News Sunday."
No decision has been made by FNC chief Roger Ailes about the future of "Special Report."
Days after former Sen. Phil Gramm told the Washington Times that "We have sort of become a nation of whiners" when it comes to the economy, Ben Stein claimed, "It's the media that is whipping us into this frenzy."
Deliciously, this came just minutes after a Democrat strategist actually said, "We are in the toughest economic time we have ever been in this country."
As such, I would make the case that it is media AND Democrats doing the whipping.
But before we get there, here's what Stein said Saturday on Fox News's "Cavuto on Business" (photo courtesy BenStein.com)
It's now been widely reported that during what Jesse Jackson thought was an off-mic moment from Sunday's "Fox and Friends," the reverend stated he would like "to cut [Senator Barack Obama's] nuts off." However, a look at the on-air conversation shows that the FNC hosts had to prompt Jackson to say anything positive about Barack Obama's plans for faith based initiatives, the subject that drew his wrath in the first place.
During the July 6 segment, Jackson was discussing health screenings for African Americans and the need to have a low blood pressure. Quite unprompted, during an unrelated question, he suddenly shifted topics from screenings and blurted, "And so, while I'm very concerned about the focus now on faith-based, I'm concerned about a government-based commitment to give us structure and equality whether it is education or health care, because we know unemployment is a factor in people's health." Co-host Ainsley Earhardt later brought the subject up again and queried, "Barack Obama thinks that the government should oversee how these faith-based organizations are using their money, who they are hiring. Do you agree with him on that?" Jackson replied "yeah," but then immediately shifted towards listing all the limitations of faith-based initiatives.