NewsBusters Associate Editor Noel Sheppard appeared on the March 10 "Glenn Beck" program on CNN Headline News to discuss the left-wing Web's recent smear of the radio host. Beck was taken out of context for comments he made about Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). [See Sheppard's related March 8 blog entry here.]
GLENN BECK, host: Noel Sheppard is the associate editor of newsbusters.org, a conservative watchdog of the liberal blogs. Noel, you apparently did a Google search on this story. How out there is my bigotry?
NOEL SHEPPARD, Associate Editor, NewsBusters.org: Well, I Googled "Glenn Beck," "Obama" and "Anti-Christ," and I got 744,000 hits. Now, that doesn't mean that there's been 744,000 articles already written about this. That`s a little bit nuts.
Employing children in military units, much less terrorist outfits, is a slam dunk case of human rights abuse. But not to Reuters, Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs notes:
Just when you think the mainstream wire services can’t possibly debase themselves any further, they release a photograph like this one, taken by Reuters Palestinian propagandist Ibraheem Abu Mustafa, with an unbelievably sick and distorted caption:
Just days after the Street of Dreams arsons suspected to be at the hands of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), a federal jury found one Briana Waters guilty for her role in a 2001 ELF arson that destroyed the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture.
NewsBusters has noted that the Seattle Times has avoided calling ELF a terrorist or eco-terrorist organization, preferring to call the group simply a "radical environmentalist" organization. Today the paper made some progress as staff writer Mike Carter slapped Waters and her co-conspirators with the label "ecosaboteurs."
But the term sabotage, however, lends the impression of activity engaged in to thwart the military or any commercial enterprise essential to equipping national defense. UW academics studying urban agriculture are fundamentally civilian in nature. Here are some definitions of sabotage available at Answers.com.:
At their 2001 convention, the SPJ urged “tak[ing] steps against racial profiling in [the]coverage of the war on terrorism." It reminded journalists to stopusing "inflammatory" language and condescendingly said to “help audiences understand the complexities of the events in Pennsylvania, New York City and Washington, D.C.” Story guidelines are (all bold mine):
— Cover the victims of harassment, murder and other hate crimes as thoroughly as you cover the victims of overt terrorist attacks.
— When writing about terrorism, remember to include white supremacist, radical anti-abortionists and other groups with a history of such activity.
Poynter Institute's Scholar for Journalistic Values Bob Steele must not plan on bending an elbow at a British pub anytime soon. Not only did Steele scold the journalists who agreed to keep Prince Harry's Afghanistan deployment secret, he condescendingly dismissed Harry's honorable service to his country (emphasis mine):
But even if one accepts that news reports might heighten a danger, there are other logical challenges to this secrecy about Harry the soldier. To the best of my knowledge, there was no compelling reason for Prince Harry to go to Afghanistan as an army officer. There was nothing essential that he, personally, brought to the battlefield. He had no specific duty or skill that was irreplaceable. Praise him, if you will, for his spirit or his patriotism. But it's certainly not justification for the risks taken or the journalistic principles sacrificed.
Former Navy signalman Hassan Abu-Jihaad was convicted today on charges "of leaking information about the movements and vulnerabilities of ships in his battle group to suspected terrorism supporters" in spring 2001, months before 9/11. These secrets were sent via e-mail to a pro-Taliban Web site.
But in reporting the story, MSNBC.com ran an Associated Press story that failed to note Abu-Jihaad is an American born convert to Islam, arguably germane to his terror conviction given the recipient of the classified material he leaked in 2001. By contrast, CBSNews.com ran an AP story that mentioned Abu-Jihaad's convert status:
The American-born Muslim convert formerly known as Paul R. Hall faces up to 25 years in federal prison when he is sentenced May 23. His attorneys said they were disappointed, and that an appeal was likely.
Markos "Kos" Moulitsas has bought into the latest loopy conspiracy theory spinning around the left-wing Web.: that the Hillary Clinton campaign deliberately darkened a photo of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to make him appear darker in skin tone than he actually is.
...morons are hyperventilating over videos they are watching via the internet, and assuming that the orangey color of Obama’s face in one video is somehow “genuine,” while the desaturated color and slightly different aspect ratio in the Clinton video is a nefarious racist plot.
That sounds about right. Here at NewsBusters, we often make basic color and contrast adjustments for video captures from network TV. If we posted photos from TV screen captures without doing so, everyone would appear darker, regardless of their race or ethnic background.
Besides, Johnson points out, following Kossack logic, the Associated Press would be playing the race card too while oddly enough the Black College Wire is making Obama whiter:
Microsoft is taking all of that unnecessary thinking out of the process by pre-chewing your news and spitting it on your plate.
The software giant is developing a new kind of news-aggregator that doesn't just collect news; it determines news stories' ideological bias and “emotional charge.” No longer will you need to wonder if Maureen Dowd has a liberal bias or if NPR injects “emotional charge” into a story about gun control. BLEWS figures it out, so you don't have to!
While typical news-aggregation sites do a good job of clustering news stories according to topic, they leave the reader without information about which stories figure prominently in political discourse. BLEWS uses political blogs to categorize news stories according to their reception in the conservative and liberal blogospheres.
Looks like Pinch Sulzberger is facing some stiff carping from the NYT's shareholders and there are rumors of the dynastic family being pushed to move the paper's Internet migration at a faster pace. The Telegraph reports "outside investors" are also trying to loosen the iron grip the long time owners have had on the Gray Lady. The feelings of these outsiders is that the Times will fail if it doesn't realize that the times they are a changin'.
The Sulzberger-Ochs family has controlled what is arguably America’s most influential newspaper since 1896. Next month outside investors will try to make the family loosen its grip. It is shaping up to be a spectacular battle.
Of course the reason is that the NYT is lagging too far behind in their attention to the Internet. Some of you may recall the abject failure the paper's premium content program was, this being an example of its failed Internet ideas. As the Telegraph reports: "Dissident shareholders and other critics say Sulzberger is moving too slowly into the digital age and putting one of the world’s great news brands in jeopardy."
Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft shares the news of another possible election year meltdown at CBS News.
"60 Minutes" recently aired the claim that former Alabama governor Don Siegelman went to jail not for corruption, but because he belong to the wrong political party, and that the investigations that landed him in jail for bribery were politically motivated.
One of the most explosive claims made was that Karl Rove was involved in an attempt to entrap Siegelman:
In the same vein as MSNBC's Chris Matthews, liberal Chicago Tribune blogger Eric Zorn paid tribute to the late Bill Buckley in a February 27 blog post by noting that he idolized the National Review founder when in junior high:
He was one of my idols when I was in junior high. I found his patrician bearing, devastating eloquence and understated, scornful wit thoroughly captivating. His quiet confidence and penetrating intellect were exactly what I aspired to, and it probably helped that very few other kids in the liberal bastion of Ann Arbor were allowed even to utter the man's name in their houses.
My romance with his political outlook was shortlived, though I always found him curious, fair, funny, occasionally surprising and about as open-minded and truly engaging as pundits get. If he was ever a shouter or a name-caller or a race baiter or a taunter, I missed it.
The New York Times's attempt to insinuate a romantic relationship between John McCain and a lobbyist has apparently backfired. In a poll released today by Rasmussen Reports, the American public holds a strongly negative view of the story and of the paper that released it:
Just 24% of American voters have a favorable opinion of the New York Times. Forty-four percent (44%) have an unfavorable opinion and 31% are not sure. The paper’s ratings are much like a candidate’s and divide sharply along partisan and ideological lines.
By a 50% to 18% margin, liberal voters have a favorable opinion of the paper. By a 69% to 9%, conservative voters offer an unfavorable view. The newspaper earns favorable reviews from 44% of Democrats, 9% of Republicans, and 17% of those not affiliated with either major political story.
"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."
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.
The dean of journalism at Northwestern University seems to have gotten himself in a bit of a sticky wicket, as it were. Apparently, John Lavine, the dean of the Medill School of Journalism, has been indulging in the use of unattributed and unnamed sources in his columns for the Medill alumni magazine and 16 NU journo instructors aren't very happy about it. Not only are they not happy about it, but according to the Chicago Tribune they are demanding that the dean prove that he didn't make his quotes up out of whole cloth.
You know the journalist's favorite source, don't you? It's the "unnamed source," the "anonymous quote" and the famed "deep throat" sources that journalists make out to be "protecting" from discovery. This sort of source has a long history in the kind of journalism of whistleblowers or muckrakers that have been increasingly popular since Watergate. But, everyone knows that you cannot base a factual story solely on the anonymous source. There must be other things, other sources, other proofs backing up these unnamed sources or the fact in question becomes an allegation instead of a proven truth. Naturally, employing unnamed sources too often damages the veracity of any story -- as well it should.
A conservative Christian group yesterday criticized a large Methodist church in the District for planning to offer services that recognize gay and lesbian relationships, saying they violate the United Methodist ban on same-sex unions.
Foundry United Methodist Church, which Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton attended when he was president, decided last month to support its senior pastor's decision to lead services that "recognize and honor" committed gay relationships. Foundry clergy, however, do not perform union ceremonies, the local bishop said.
CNN has fired producer Chez Pazienza after the network brass realized he had been blogging at his own left-wing site and several others over a period of years:
In a phone interview this morning, Mr. Pazienza, 38, said he joined CNN as a senior producer in January 2004 and has consistently received positive performance evaluations of his work. He spent his first year at CNN at the network’s headquarters in Atlanta, then moved to New York to work on “CNN Daybreak,” which has since been canceled, then “American Morning,” which is shown Monday through Friday, from 6 to 9 a.m.
Mr. Pazienza said he started his blog in May 2006 as a way to keep his mind occupied while he was on a medical leave of several months after an operation to remove a brain tumor. He got noticed by blogs like Drew Curtis’s FARK, a popular news-aggregation site, and Pajiba, a left-wing blog of movie and book reviews. [...]
In another example of the belt-tightening of the old media, NBC has announced that they will be closing two of their long standing news bureaus. Gone will be the Chicago and Dallas bureaus to be replaced by "regional hubs."
Insiders tell TVNewser the current NBC News global news gathering system is in for an overhaul. Sources tell us a 9am ET conference call among News division execs and the bureau managers will announce that the current system will be replaced with regional hubs covering large areas of the U.S. and, in some cases, the world.
TVNewser reports that the Chicago office will now answer to the New York office and Dallas will report to Atlanta. No word on how many jobs are to be lost, but it is certain that some will go away.
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!
Jon Meacham is frustrated. After taking over Newsweek in 2006 as editor, he hasn't managed to get it out of its long-term rut as the second-best in the newsmagazine business. He also seems to have developed a severe case of Economist envy:
After about an hour, there seemed to be no more questions for him, so Newsweek editor Jon Meacham turned to his audience—about 100 graduate students at Columbia journalism school—and said he had a question for them: Did anyone in the room read Newsweek or Time? There was a small, awkward rumbling before finally, a man shouted, "No!"
Kudos to the guy for standing up and telling the obvious truth: Newsweek isn't read by anyone short of Grandma and dental office patrons.
The bad news just keeps coming for the old media, this time for major newspaper publisher the Tribune Company which may see its corporate bonds relegated even lower in the "junk bond" category.
Standard & Poor's Corp. put Tribune Co.'s already junk-rated debt under review for possible downgrade Friday, saying the Chicago-based media company's newspaper publishing group is likely to face further erosion of advertising revenue.
In placing Tribune's corporate credit rating on CreditWatch with negative implications, the debt-rating concern cited "our expectation that the rate of decline in advertising revenue at Tribune's newspaper publications may not improve appreciably and may worsen over the intermediate term."
Although MSNBC representatives make disgracefully offensive comments about President George W. Bush on a daily basis, it appears there is something the network won't tolerate: over-the-top remarks about Chelsea Clinton.
Such appears to be the case as MSNBC correspondent David Shuster has apparently been suspended for comments he made about the former first daughter on Thursday's "Tucker."
*****Update at end of post: Hillary's front-group, Media Matters, is absolutely thrilled by this announcement.
Conservative bloggers embody the political and patriotic spirit of Ronald Reagan argued Ace, winner of the 2nd Annual CPAC Blogger of the Year Award (read his blog Ace of Spades HQ here), as he accepted the honor earlier this afternoon at the conservative gathering.
Heritage Foundation blogger Robert Bluey introduced Ace, who lamented that while it may take another generation for another Reagan to rise to the presidency, everyday Americans can and should work to hold the political classes to account no matter the political climate.
Ace offered the recent debate over immigration/amnesty as one issue where bloggers were crucial in derailing a legislative compromise worked out behind closed doors on Capitol Hill and being foisted on the American public without the details being fully disclosed to the American people.
Speaking at a news conference in Oklahoma, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee floated the idea that the reason the vast majority of America's conservative talk radio hosts aren't endorsing him or John McCain is because Mitt Romney's investment firm owns a significant share of Clear Channel Communications, the nation's largest radio syndication company.
"Some suggest that the fact that Bain Capital owns a major stake in Clear Channel is on Sean's network, maybe there's a correlation. I don't know."
The Sean he was referring to had to be none other than Sean Hannity, America's number-two talk radio host behind Rush Limbaugh.
Will the Writers Guild of America strike end soon? Possibly:
Informal talks between representatives of Hollywood’s striking writers and production companies have eliminated the major roadblocks to a new contract, which could lead to a tentative agreement as early as next week, according to people who were briefed on the situation but requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak.
A deal would end a crippling writers strike that is now entering its fourth month.
The agreement may come without renewed formal negotiations between the television and movie writers and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, though both sides still need to agree on specific language of key provisions.
Business & Media Institute Director Dan Gainor appeared on the Fox Business Network January 31 to discuss reasons why The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) revenue numbers decreased recently - saying that its product is the problem.
"People have lost confidence in the media according to most studies...Most Americans understand that the...mainstream media are overwhelmingly liberal, overwhelming out of touch with a lot of their issues," Gainor said.
Gainor cited an instance where the Times was ran a story about veterans being more violent when they come back to the United States - turning "anecdotes into a loosely connected story and when you do that you alienate readers. They're the people that the Times work for. Journalists forget that."