You've got to love the sheer hypocritical chutzpah of Al Gore. The former U.S. vice president and global warming alarmist is going to make the rounds on the TV networks to hawk his new book which, wait for it, blasts network media as corporate tools of Big Oil and other capitalist bogeymen.
Nevermind, of course, that Gore sold his Current TV network to Al Jazeera, which is owned by a wealthy sheikh in oil-rich Qatar. Here's how Alex Weprin reported the item today at TVNewser:
While the U.S. economy is still sour and things are even bleaker in may corners of the journalism industry, it seems that Al Jazeera, fresh from acquiring Al Gore's Current TV network, has plenty of job openings stateside, particularly in the New York bureau and several in the nation's capital.
In a January 23 interview at MediaBistro, MSNBC NewsNation host Tamron Hall addressed the (accurate) perception that her program is not exactly objective journalism. Asked by MediaBistro about whether CNN's attempt to be "objective" was dragging it down in the ratings or if the left-leaning MSNBC was simply a better news network, Hall insisted that the primetime news coverage was definitely opinion based but that "That's not what we do on NewsNation.... [F]or me, our show is not an opinion show, but it's not a show that's afraid of opinions." [h/t TV Newser]
Hall is unafraid of divergent opinions? That's a good one. Someone should tell conservative columnist Tim Carney, whom Hall chewed out on air on her May 11, 2012 program, ultimately cutting off his microphone for daring to challenge the network's liberal bias. As my colleague Scott Whitlock reported at the time (emphasis his):
Matt Damon’s much hyped anti-fracking film “Promised Land” has failed to make the impact that its producers and environmental groups had hoped for. As of January 20, “Promised Land” has raked in a whopping total of $7,542,000 since it opened on December 28, according to Box Office Mojo. According to The Hill, the movie cost $15 million to make. Box Office Mojo ranked it 139 out of all movies from Jan. 23, 2012 to Jan. 21, 2013.
Matt Damon said that he didn’t make a biased movie and claimed to have just wanted to start a conversation on the subject. “Nobody wants to go see a movie where they get a message at the end. That really wasn't our intent. It was just to show this moment in time in our country, and what happens when big money collides with real people, people who are struggling on the back end of a recession.” he told The Morning Call, a Lehigh Valley, Pa., newspaper. Apparently Damon was right about nobody wanting to go see his movie.
While the mainstream media has been transfixed with the Manti Te'o fake girlfriend story, it seems many outlets in the gullible liberal media were biting on another hoax, this one involving Florida Gov. Rick Scott and a band of Satanists supposedly set to stage a rally expressing their support for the Florida Republican.
Among the journalists taken in by the fake story was MSNBC's Martin Bashir, who could not wipe the devilish grin off his face as he reported what he thought to be a legitimate news story on his January 14 program, in a segment entitled "Dread Scott." [MP3 audio here; video embedded below]
In an interview with media reporter Dylan Byers, Piers Morgan has admitted what has become painfully obvious to observers of his program: the CNN host is desperate to save his job by ginning up any sort of controversy he can to attract attention to himself.
Even though he freely admits he’s seeking ratings, it appears that pointing out Morgan’s pathetic ploy is very irritating to him. In the interview, he lashed out at his predecessor Larry King who said that Morgan has made his show more about himself more than his guests: “I think he just slightly needs to button it, because he’s talking nonsense. The reason we’re different is, I’m a journalist and he’s not. Larry isn’t a journalist, never has been.”
CBSNews.com promoted a restaurant attack by the pro-regulatory food police group the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) Jan. 16, without noting the agenda of the group or providing other points of view.
The online story that regurgitated CSPI’s annual “Xtreme Eating” report released that day, favorably called the group a “watchdog” and essentially ran the group’s entire report with no industry response. The CBS article included a slideshow (with CSPI’s own images) depicting each food item that CSPI criticized, with its nutritional content. Both the article and the slideshow linked back to the original CSPI report.
CSPI’s director Michael F. Jacobson accused the chains of intentionally making people obese or diabetic. "It's as if IHOP, The Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano's Little Italy, and other major restaurant chains are scientifically engineering these extreme meals with the express purpose of promoting obesity, diabetes, and heart disease," said Jacobson. (Emphasis added)
"The far left is making [the average American gun owner and NRA member] a villain for abiding by your Second Amendment rights," and they're finding willing accomplices in supposedly objective journalists like Bob Schieffer, Brent Bozell argued on the January 17 edition of Fox News Channel's Hannity. The Media Research Center president was reacting to a soundbite in which the CBS anchor compared the political challenge of President Obama taking on the NRA to defeating the Third Reich in World War II.
"Surely passing civil rights legislation as Lyndon Johnson was able to do, and before that, surely defeating the Nazis was a much more formidable task than taking on the gun lobby," Schieffer noted on January 16 shortly after President Obama's press conference on gun control. "This is a turning point in this country.," Schieffer insisted, concluding, "Unless we figure out a way to make sure that something like Newtown never happens again, we're not the country that we once were." [watch the full Hannity "Media Mash" segment below the page break]
Before too much time passes away, I wanted to catch up on an interesting discussion that happened last Thursday on Fox News Channel’s The O'Reilly Factor between the eponymous host and media impresario Glenn Beck. During the discussion, the former FNC host confirmed reports that he had attempted to purchase the failed cable television channel Current, which was started by former vice president Al Gore.
Beck and his company, Mercury Arts, got in touch with Current staff but were almost immediately rebuffed by Gore on account of the fact that he was one of those evil, nasty conservatives. “We never got to the table. We weren’t allowed to the table,” Beck said.
On his January 10 program, pro-gun control Hardball host Chris Matthews was utterly perplexed at the very notion of gun shows themselves, going further than the call to close the so-called gun show loophole regarding background checks. " I'm a suburbanite city mouse. I generally have lived in urban -- suburban areas, but I don`t know why you need a gun show. I mean, if you want to buy a gun, you buy a car, you go to a dealer. Why do you have to have a show?" Matthews griped.
Well, now it turns out that Matthews's employer, NBC Universal, is actually sponsoring a massive three-day-long gun show in Las Vegas. The Washington Free Beacon's C.J. Ciaramella reported shortly after 6 p.m. Eastern on Friday:
Former vice president Al Gore, newly flush with cash from his sale of his Current TV to Al Qaeda's favorite TV channel, Al Jazeera, did not even bother to show up for the first meeting between the Current staff and the new ownership.
New York Post TV critic Linda Stasi has the story:
NBC's David Gregory interviewed President Barack Obama on "Meet the Press" Sunday, and a conversation ensued that would have been more fitting for a show called "The President Meets One of His Many Mainstream Media Enablers."
Let's take a look at just some of the exchanges and fantasize how different the nation's political and electoral climate might be if the liberal press were doing its job as watchdog instead of taking sides.
America has a debt problem, driven in part by huge entitlements. The liberal solution? Make them bigger. “An expansion of Social Security not only would be good for America's retirees, it also would be good for the broader macroeconomy” argued New America Foundation political writer Steven Hill, in an article for “The Atlantic.”
According to Hill, the problem with Social Security is not the lack of money going into the system, but rather that there aren’t enough benefits coming out of it. “The bigger problem is that Social Security's payouts are so meager -- far too low for the program's new role as America's de facto national retirement system. It only replaces about 33 to 40 percent of a retiree's average final wage, which is simply not enough money to live on.”
ABC’s Good Morning America barely talked about the upcoming fiscal cliff on Wednesday but found time for another Obama-promoting fluff piece. Previewing Barbara Walters's upcoming interview with Mr. and Mrs. Obama on Wednesday evening’s Nightline, GMA picked a clip of Walters fawning over the couple's romance.
Walters touted "the most-shared photograph in the history of Twitter" of the President and his wife hugging. She later asked, "How do you keep the fire going?" [See video below jump. MP3 audio here.]
Gabriel Sherman of New York magazine is a media writer with a flaw. He wrote about Fox News without seeming to think he had to watch it. On Monday night, he wrote an article hotly claiming that Fox News hosts were ordered not to talk about gun control after the Newtown shooting (except for Fox News Sunday).
Jeff Poor at The Daily Caller unloaded a painful box of facts on Sherman about all the examples of gun-control talk over the weekend. Sherman’s report was anonymously sourced and loose on the facts:
Every year a panel of leading expert conservative media observers picks the most-biased media quotes for the Media Research Center's annual awards for the year's "worst reporting." We will announce those results on Monday, but first, the readers of NewsBusters and MRC.org have spoken, and the results of our "public ballot" are in.
After Karl Rove disagreed with other Fox News Channel contributors that President Obama had won re-election on the night of Nov. 6, a reporter for the New York Magazine website has claimed that network president Roger Ailes was “angry” at the GOP strategist's “tantrum,” which led to Rove being “benched” from the cable channel for 27 days.
In a story on the subject, Gabriel Sherman relied on many anonymous “sources” to claim that “Rove's meltdown” resulted in his banishment by Ailes, who sought to “reposition” the news channel “in the post-election media environment.” In truth, according to Fox officials who spoke on the record, Rove has been less of a presence on the channel because the election has ended.
Things have really come full circle for the perpetually troubled liberal magazine Newsweek, since it infamously smeared Newt Gingrich on its cover as "the Gingrich who stole Christmas." Eighteen years later, Newsweek is literally doing that to more than 50 employees it fired on Friday.
The pink-slipped staff for the Newsweek/Daily Beast Company received a letter from Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown and Chief Executive Officer Baba Shetty on Friday that can be summed up in four words: “Happy holidays. You're fired.”
Slanted lefty “journalism” at HuffPo? Say it ain’t so!
Walmart complained about an article written by the Huffington Post, according to the online news outlet Politico. Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove told Politico that the story, entitled “Walmart’s New Health Care Policy Shifts Burden To Medicaid, Obamacare,” was “riddled with inaccuracies.” Hardly shocking, given that it was a hit piece offering writer Alice Hines a chance to quote left-wing academics critical of the company.
Hines wrote that a new change in Walmart’s policy would end healthcare coverage for many of its workers, and possibly leave workers in states like Texas, which has threatened not to implement the Obamacare expansions to Medicaid, without health care coverage altogether.
Now that former NBC News president Jeff Zucker is set to take over as president of CNN, the fate of the cable news network is an open question. In a Sunday discussion about the transition, CNN media critic Howard Kurtz and his guests passed over the network's left-of-center reporting, implying instead that CNN is somehow devoid of bias compared to its primary competitors, MSNBC and Fox News.
During a segment on “Reliable Sources,” panelist David Zurawik -- media critic for the Baltimore Sun newspaper -- asserted that the news organization is “the nation's last bastion of television journalism.”
As I argued yesterday, the Washington Post is already at work with its spin operation to tar Virginia Republican gubernatorial contender Ken Cuccinelli as a right-wing radical in advance of the 2013 race. The spin operation continued apace, today on the front page of the paper's Metro section, where Richmond correspondent Laura Vozzella described for readers how Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling concluded that "the path to GOP nomination looked too steep" to venture.
In her 19-paragraph story November 30 story, Vozzella hailed Bolling as the "state's multi-tasker in chief" who "has been juggling the part-time job of Virginia lieutenant governor with running for governor and working as a private insurance man." But alas, Bolling, "who shares many of [Attorney General Ken] Cuccinelli's conservative views but has a more conciliatory style" was no match for the attorney general's forces, who "pulled off something of a coup" when they "[took] control of the Republican State Central Committee."
If former Baptist minister turned former presidential candidate turned Fox News Channel host Mike Huckabee ran a non-profit organization that was a) deeply in debt b) owed Uncle Sam years in back taxes and c) was in dispute with a conservative trade organization in D.C. over unpaid rent, it's hard to imagine Huck's competitors at MSNBC wouldn't gleefully note those financial woes from time to time.
Fox News, however, will most certainly restrain their schadenfreude at the latest news regarding MSNBC's resident Baptist minister turned presidential candidate turned bloviating host. Today's Washington Post reports that the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) is upset with Sharpton's National Action Network (NAN) for failing to pay months of back rent as well as failing to tender payment for rented office furniture:
Last Tuesday night, Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio of ABC 7 out of Bangor, Maine, resigned on air. The Bangor Daily News's Andrew Neff reported that the duo told him that they resigned in part because senior management at their TV station wanted them to deviate from objectively covering the news to bearing a decidedly more editorial slant (see MRCTV video of the on air resignation below; emphasis mine):
Our good friend Brian Maloney of the Radio Equalizer blog appeared on Wednesday's edition of Hannity to discuss left-wing radio hosts and their hateful rhetoric about conservatives.
Even though their ratings are paltry compared to conservative talk radio, it's vitally important to shine a light on their hate and criticize it, Maloney argued. "Pay attention to what they're saying, because often times what you hear on these shows ends up on the smear left websites, etc." and motivates the left-wing base to show up on election day. [watch the full segment below]:
Over at the American Spectator, NewsBusters editors Matthew Sheffield and Noel Sheppard have a lengthy piece on how the right must confront its inferior cultural and media reach if it wishes to become more relevant in the political realm. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent by conservatives on politics, where is the money being spent on media institutions? Click here to read the whole thing.
Over the past week, the media have been obsessively attributing the GOP’s election loss to the party’s embrace of conservatism. It began with a predictable assault on the standard bearer of conservative thought over the airwaves, Rush Limbaugh. On election night, NBC’s Brian Williams opined that Rush was a liability for the GOP. And it didn’t stop with Williams.
The shocking revelation of CIA Director David Petraeus's adultery has rocked Washington and has thrilled the media, perhaps a little too much.
Forget the pain that adultery causes and which Holly Petraeus must be feeling right now. For the Daily Beast/Newsweek's Lizzie Crocker, the whole situation is the perfect news peg to offer aspiring philanderers lessons they can learn from the ex-CIA chief's "rookie mistakes."
Part of the reason that liberal bias in the elite media exists is that not enough conservatives and libertarians decide to get involved in journalism, especially straight news reporting.
One of the best organizations on the right trying to combat this is the Phillips Foundation which has a program that pays generous amounts of money to encourage people to get involved in producing high-quality journalism that can really make a difference.
It's no secret that the liberal media have boosted Obama with bias by commission, going out of their way to treat him with gauzy coverage, softball interviews, and by hyping his celebrity status, but bias by omission played an even larger role in the media's part to ensure the president's reelection, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Stuart Varney this morning. [see video below page break]
Appearing on the November 7 edition Fox Business Network's Varney & Co. shortly after 10 a.m., Bozell, also the founder and president of the Media Research Center, told the audience that the media simply "stopped reporting the news" on things that would, if covered, make Obama look bad. The only questions which remain, Bozell added were:
So the meme is supposedly set. Final pre-election expectations are that the popular vote in the 2012 presidential contest will come in roughly deadlocked. Rasmussen and Gallup show Republican nominee Mitt Romney up by one point. Other polls show either a tie or slight lead for incumbent Democrat Barack Obama.
Set against this expectation, don't be surprised if someone in the press, perhaps even at one of the big networks, gets overexcited and projects Barack Obama the winner based on Tuesday's early exit polls without realizing that their scope and design have changed from previous presidential elections in two fundamental ways.