I count Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace among the fairest and most incisive interviewers in the business, and hope his tenure at Fox News is a long one. Anyone who can relentlessly cross-exam Mitt Romney on his changed position on abortion the way Wallace did a while back, then turn around and have Bill Clinton near the point of taking a poke at him, is doing his job and playing no favorites. But should Wallace ever wish a change of venue, never fear: MSNBC apparently can find a place for him.
Wallace made some news when, appearing on this past Friday's Fox & Friends, he criticized the hosts for dwelling longer than Chris thought appropriate on Obama's comment that his grandmother was a "typical white person."
On this evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews devoted a segment to the exchange. Eugene Robinson, the affable WaPo columnist and MSNBC political analyst, suggested that refuge awaited Wallace should he need it.
Earlier today, Democratic Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick conducted a news conference with his lawyer wherein he gave a brief statement pledging to stay in office and fight the perjury charges leveled against him. As Detroit Free Press columnist Bill McGraw noted today, Kilpatrick has the dubious honor of being the first Detroit mayor to be charged with a crime while in office.
That news conference happened shortly before 1 p.m. At the time I channel-surfed through CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News and I later reviewed the video from all three to confirm my observation: Of all three news networks, only CNN tagged Kilpatrick with its onscreen graphic as a Democrat (see screencap at right).
Fox News Channel labeled Kilpatrick as "Kwame Kilpatrick, Detroit Mayor." MSNBC opted for "Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Detroit." CNN tagged the alleged perjurer onscreen as "Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, (D) Detroit."
It would be enough to make Rev. Jeremiah Wright's accusation that the government created AIDS for purposes of perpetrating a black genocide sound almost rational. OK, scratch that. Nothing will render reasonable that morsel of moonbattery. But has the Rev. Wright's replacement suggested that NPR is . . . a Republican front operation?
As per this Fox News article, the theme of today's Easter sermon at the Trinity United Church of Christ was “How to Handle a Public Lynching,” the victim in question being the Rev. Wright. The controversial pastor's successor, the Rev. Otis Moss III, lit into the national media, coming up with a string of plays on their names to express his contempt:
Imagine for a moment Tim Russert, George Stephanopoulos, or Bob Schieffer being interviewed on their respective network's morning show, and scolding the co-hosts for excessive George Bush or John McCain bashing.
Wouldn't happen in a million years, right?
Well, Fox News's Chris Wallace was the guest of "Fox & Friends" Friday morning, and before allowing any of the co-hosts to ask him a question, he actually admonished them for spending too much time in the first two hours of the show on Barack Obama's "typical white person" remark (h/t Politico):
On Wednesday, Fox News became the first news network to pick up on the contradiction between claims made by Senator Hillary Clinton about her 1996 trip to Bosnia and the reality reported by journalists at the time. In a speech on Monday, Clinton asserted that “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”
But no news outlet mentioned sniper fire at the time, and TV news footage from the day of Clinton’s visit, which was first posted Tuesday on NewsBusters, shows Clinton and her daughter walking around without helmets, greeting various people including the acting President of Bosnia and a Bosnian child who read a little speech for the then-First Lady.
Since the Rev. Jeremiah Wright revelations first shook the Obama campaign, one of America's so-called foremost civil rights leaders has been conspicuously silent about the subject.
With this in mind, Fox News producer Griff Jenkins went to the Take Back America convention in Washington, D.C., Wednesday to get Jesse Jackson's opinions about the controversy that virtually everyone in America is talking about.
One of the criticisms of the media's coverage of Sen. Barack Obama's candidacy - both from his opponents on the right and on the left, has been that he's been given a free pass on a lot of issue.
The latest in particular had been the recently uncovered of Obama's former church minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who had made several incendiary remarks about race and the government.
Eleanor Clift, known for her defense of Bill and Hillary Clinton on the syndicated show, "The McLaughlin Group," came to the defense of Obama in a March 17 appearance at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Fox News's Chris Wallace was once again Steve Malzberg's guest on WOR radio Thursday, and the host of "Fox News Sunday" made some comments about Eliot Spitzer, Geraldine Ferraro, and the current Democrat campaign for president that are guaranteed to raise eyebrows on both sides of the aisle.
In an interview that covered many subjects, Wallace said of Spitzer, "Gosh, what an idiot," while strongly disagreeing with Geraldine Ferraro's recent statements about Barack Obama, and concluded by saying that the "identity politics" the Democrats have been playing for years "is now coming back to bite them, big time" in such a fashion that it could "tear the Party apart."
To get things rolling, Malzberg asked his guest about the Spitzer resignation (15-minute audio available here):
Geraldo Rivera of Fox News keeps proving the ideological diversity of the FNC staff on his book tour attacking opponents of illegal immigration. On Tuesday night, he appeared on the Comedy Central show The Colbert Report, where liberal comic Stephen Colbert pretends to be a conservative, played heavily over the top for laughs. Rivera repeatedly punched away at what he called "right-wing talk show thugs." He was so enamored of the phrase that he inserted it strangely into Irish-hating episodes from 100 years ago, and into his 2005 defense of Michael Jackson against charges of child abuse. MRC’s Melissa Lopez did the transcript. It began like this:
COLBERT: "Your book, it fascinates me. I'm a little torn here. Umm, it's called HisPanic: Why Americans Fear Hispanics in the U.S., does it really matter why we fear Hispanics? Isn't it more important that we fear Hispanics? Isn't that really the goal right now?"
RIVERA: "Driven by the right-wing talk show thugs, there’s a campaign against Hispanics and immigrants that has been very distressful."
COLBERT: "Campaign against them? They’re invading our country, sir."
Obama begins with a broad assessment of life in America in 2008, and life is not good: we're a divided country, we're a country that is "just downright mean," we are "guided by fear," we're a nation of cynics, sloths, and complacents. "We have become a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day," she said, as heads bobbed in the pews. "Folks are just jammed up, and it's gotten worse over my lifetime. And, doggone it, I'm young. Forty-four!"
Sheppard said that "Given how (the) media made excuses for her comments in Wisconsin (She said, "for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country." -- Ed.), it will be quite interesting to see just how much of (the) interview ..... will be reported in the next 24 hours."
Well, Noel, I looked at the next 72 hours, and the answer is, with one enjoyable exception, "precious little":
It happens from time to time, believe me. You're going over your Web site and what do you see but a product or service advertised that, to be charitable, conflicts with your mission, or otherwise is just plain embarrassing. It's the nature of having third-party advertising arrangements, and usually you can get these things resolved with an e-mail or two to your Web ad provider.
So it struck us as humorous when anti-Fox News blog News Hounds -- slogan: We watch FOX so you don't have to. -- was caught with an ad for FoxBusiness.com. (h/t Tim Graham)
Oh, it gets better. On the right-hand sidebar, there's another Fox Biz ad and, wait for it, it comes above an "Advertise Liberally" logo:
As conditions in Iraq improve to the point where even adamant Iraq War opponents concede the surge has worked, the press seems less interested in questioning the Bush administration on the war. On the March 6 edition of "Fox and Friends," co-host Brian Kilmeade asked White House press secretary Dana Perino when she last received a question about Iraq. Perino responded that she does not remember "having sustained questions about Iraq...since probably early December," and added "I think that’s as a result of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker in conjunction with the Iraqis really making some progress on the ground."
Does the media only want to report the bad news in Iraq? A recent MRC study suggests just that, noting "their zeal for reporting on Iraq declined as the violence and casualties did." The MRC documented that the number of stories declined in 2007 from 178 in September, 108 in October, to 68 in November.
The Fox & Friends crew welcomed both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on their airwaves on Wednesday morning. The Fox hosts were cheerful, but a bit tougher than in previous interviews this year. Here's the most interesting part of the Hillary interview, where she sends Rush Limbaugh a message:
STEVE DOOCY: Let me ask you, let me ask about this. Over the last week or so, Rush Limbaugh has been suggesting to his listeners, Republicans, conservatives mainly, to go ahead in Texas and Ohio to vote for you. What’s your message to Rush Limbaugh today?
HILLARY CLINTON: Be careful what you wish for, Rush.
Appearing on the March 5 "Your World" program with guest host Brenda Buttner, MRC Director of Media Analysis and NewsBusters Senior Editor Tim Graham lambasted the mainstream media for its gauzy treatment of Democratic frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.):
It's really sad that at this point in the presidential campaign, when we're in a situation where they are saying now that the math is impossible for Hillary Clinton to get the Democratic nomination, that now suddenly the media is going to try to vet Barack Obama's record. And really, obviously, the media itself are saying, 'Well, obviously the Saturday Night Live skit had something to do with this.'
They're taking their cues on when to be a professional journalist based on comedy sketches?!
In the past couple of months, two journalists -- the Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman and Fox News's Bill O'Reilly -- have gotten themselves in trouble for making a seemingly innocent remark that involved the word "lynch."
On Sunday, a Democrat Congresswoman from Ohio innocently accused the Obama campaign of trying to put a noose around Hillary Clinton's neck.
Think this will stoke equal if any outrage?
While you ponder, Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio), a Hillary Clinton supporter, was talking to Fox News's Shepard Smith about NAFTA as a campaign issue on Sunday when she said the following (h/t and video available here courtesy our dear friend Ms Underestimated):
On Thursday's The O'Reilly Factor, FNC analyst Karl Rove quoted an AP story by Christopher Wills from September 18, 2004, which had reported not only that Barack Obama had previously been open to a U.S. troop increase in Iraq when he was running for Senate, but had warned against a premature troop withdrawal as a "slap in the face to the troops fighting there" which could make Iraq "an extraordinary hotbed of terrorist activity." (Transcripts follow)
After devoting his "Talking Points Memo" to debunking Obama's recent claim that "there was no such thing as Al-Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq," Bill O'Reilly started his interview with Rove by asking why it is "bad strategy for Obama to go out and say that the Bush administration fouled it all up and we need to get out."
With new data out of the earth’s significant cooling, at least one morning show picked it up, predictably "Fox and Friends." On the February 28 edition, co-host Brian Kilmeade noted that worldwide snow cover is the highest it has been in over forty years. Steve Doocy quoted a meteorologist in California who noted that the temperature has dropped by "a value large enough to erase nearly all the global warming recorded over the last 100 years" and "it’s the single fastest temperature change ever recorded up or down."
"You know, Steve, I just wrote a book about the naked fawning for Hillary Clinton by the media over the past 15 years. I picked the wrong subject," MRC president Brent Bozell joked to "Fox & Friends" co-host Steve Doocy.
Bozell appeared on the February 26 program to discuss media coverage of the Democratic primary contest, including the latest dustup: a controversy about a photo of Sen. Obama (D-Ill.) from a 2006 Africa junket allegedly leaked by a Clinton staffer. Bozell noted that the Clinton campaign's tactics are "just goofy" and are "backfiring on them, every single time."
Bozell argued that Clinton's desperation is in part due to Obama's soft treatment by the press although, "there's no way you can say that the media have treated her [Sen. Clinton] poorly overall."
Saturday's Fox News Watch featured a discussion on revelations that CNN staff were sent a memo advising them to make positive claims about Fidel Castro to balance out the regime's critics, crediting the communist dictator as a "revolutionary hero" to leftists who established "free education and universal health care." FNC's liberal contributor and NPR correspondent Juan Williams took exception:
I don't know what was going on there. ... what news man is at work and saying here is what we want to say nice about a man who was an oppressive force in his culture, in his society? A man who long ago left the heroic stance, the Che Guevara time period, and became somewhat of a hard hand that has left his people living at a low quality of life. I don't get it.
Count Fox News's Chris Wallace in the group that believes the New York Times recent hit piece about John McCain might end up helping the GOP presidential candidate woo disgruntled conservatives in time for this November's elections.
Wouldn't it be just exquisitely delicious irony if it turned out the Times spent 3,000 words to diminish McCain's candidacy only to end up furthering it?
According to Wallace, who was interviewed Thursday by WOR radio's Steve Malzberg, such is definitely possible (11-minute audio available here):
At least when the National Enquirer prints unsubstantiated garbage, they go with new stories, MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued today on the Fox News Channel. Bozell was referring to the New York Times publishing a front page article on a 10-year old rumor regarding presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and lobbyist Vicki Iseman.
With the New York Times smear on likely Republican nominee John McCain and his alleged inappropriate relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman, Fox News political correspondent Carl Cameron called in to add his take. Cameron revealed on the February 21 edition of "Fox and Friends," that Fox News came across these rumors last fall. Cameron stated that they were "unable to substantiate any of it."
In regards to the alleged affair with lobbyist Vicki Iseman, Cameron asserted that they "were able to find precisely nobody who would go on the record or even suggest off the record that there was truth to the suggestion that there had been any sort of an inappropriate personal relationship."
If you were to write an article about how the three cable news networks are covering a story, would you address the one with the highest ratings first, or the also-ran?
At the Washington Post, the answer is "the also-ran."
On Tuesday, in a piece about how political pundits are "overpopulating the news networks," staff writer Paul Farhi first highlighted what was going on at third-place MSNBC, and even gave Keith Olbermann the first crack at commenting on the matter (emphasis added throughout):
Former CBS correspondent and best selling author Bernard Goldberg noted the clear double standard NBC and MSNBC has on liberal versus conservative commentators. On the February 11 edition of "The O’Reilly Factor," Goldberg discussed the corruption at NBC News after the fallout from the David Shuster "pimped out" comments.
Goldberg alluded to left wing partisan commentator Keith Olbermann, without mentioning him by name, and noted that has anchored the election night coverage and moderated a presidential debate. Goldberg posed the question "would NBC News have Rush Limbaugh anchoring their election night coverage on MSNBC? Would they have an angry, ideological right winger like Michael Savage anchor their election night coverage on MSNBC?" He then answered his own question "of course not!" And added that "they do have a left wing bomb thrower doing it."
As reported by Politico Monday evening, John Harris interviewed the presidential candidate, producing the following delicious exchange (emphasis added, h/t NB reader Thomas Stewart and Inside Cable News):
Now, this is how we expect the more "civilized," more "caring," more "intelligent" folks over at CNN to act, isn't it? The Page 6 column in the New York Post found that CNN has instituted a "a blanket boycott" of anyone from Fox News from appearing on their precious airwaves, even though Fox has had several CNN folks on their shows when those CNNers were flogging their books and side projects. It seems civility is something that CNN just cannot muster these days.
THE folks at Fox News Channel are magnanimous enough to put their rivals from CNN on air, but CNN isn't big enough to return the favor. Geraldo Rivera - who has a new book coming out, "His Panic: Why Americans Fear Hispanics in the U.S." - was booked to appear on Nancy Grace's CNN show on Feb. 28. But then he was disinvited and told CNN had "a blanket boycott" against anyone from Fox. " 'The Most Trusted Name in News' just chickened out," Rivera told Page Six. "This reveals a corporate insecurity." Fox has had on as guests both Wolf Blitzer and Glenn Beck. A CNN rep denied any boycott and blamed a scheduling conflict.
It's bad enough that CNN is so anti-social that they won't return Fox's kindness, but even worse that they went ahead and booked Geraldo and then pulled the rug out from under his invite after all the plans were made!
MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham appeared on "Hannity & Colmes" on Friday night to discuss the David Shuster suspension over his suggestion that Chelsea Clinton was being "pimped out" by Hillary. Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes insisted both that Shuster was (a) dreadfully wrong and yet (b) over-punished for a verbal miscue. (FNC's transcript is here.)
Both hosts suggested that Tim was defending Shuster, which he denied. "Chelsea Clinton now is 27 years old. She is not the 13-year-old that moved into the White House. And the problem that — we have a much greater problem in the United States today — that she's been treated....with such an adoring tone. They really treat her like Saint Chelsea." Tim also said MSNBC had a double standard between Shuster and far wilder comments from Keith Olbermann: "Keith Olbermann could come on and say that Bush is responsible for killing 3,500 Americans. Or remember when he called Chris Wallace a monkey posing as a newscaster?"
Chris Matthews went off on one of his patented tirades on today's Morning Joe, imagining how conservatives would relish going after a President Hillary Clinton with a vengeance. Might Matthews, understandably, be short on sleep? He also bit Mika Brzezinski's head off for a harmless statement.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well you know a lot of Republican talk show people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, I think authors, successful authors, I must say, like Ann Coulter, they wouldn't be so unhappy to have Hillary Clinton to beat up for four or eight years, especially four years. And Mr. DeLay would probably love to have Hillary to beat up for two years and then win back the house in '10. I mean I could see the strategy -- sometimes in bad weather you let the other team have the ball. You elect to kick rather than receive. Let them have the ball in the Ice Bowl. Let them try to move it past the second or third yard while you come down hard on them. The people like Bill Kristol out there, the neo-conservatives. Imagine Hillary Clinton as president for a couple of months with about a one-point advantage coming into office? They will crash around her, hitting her with everything they've got.