CBS's "Public Eye" editor Brian Montopoli punted yet another golden opportunity to press a CBS News executive (Linda Mason pictured at right*) on why the network won't name the producer it fired in early April for plagiarizing a Wall Street Journal column.
You will recall that the New York Sun reported on April 12 that Melissa McNamara, who also edited CBSNews.com's "Blogophile" blog, was fired for basing her script for a Katie Couric vlog entry on a Jeffrey Zaslow column.
On April 13, I wrote that Montopoli appeared "to have given up the fight with the execs in his network" after he failed to press CBS executives over their secrecy. Montopoli concluded an April 10 entry by merely accepting the company line:
Despite its huffy, self-righteous editorial page, the New York Times never has been anywhere close to a paragon of moral consistency. The latest example of the Grey Lady's hypocrisy is on the subject of data-mining, a subject which the editorial side of the paper repeatedly condemned last year. Data-mining is basically a fancy way of compiling user data in an advanced manner. According to the Times, data-mining is wrong when it is done to help fight terrorism. When it's done to fatten the wallets of fatcat liberal newspaper execs then it's ok.
Barely a year after their reporters won a Pulitzer prize for exposing
data mining of ordinary citizens by a government spy agency, New York
Times officials had some exciting news for stockholders last week: The
Times company plans to do its own data mining of ordinary citizens, in
the name of online profits.
... long live citizen journalism!
I ran across this article from the Guardian last week on Lightstalkers, and didn't really get a chance to sit down and read it through until this morning.
Is photography really dead? Andrew Brown, an accomplished English journalist in his own right, says it is. He points to the ease-of-use of modern photographic equipment, and lamenting the fact that it is "so easy" for the Everyman to take a photograph now, claims that the overall quality of pictorial stock is in decline.
In some ways, Andrew seems to be on the right track. It is infinitely easier to take a photograph today than it was, say, 50 years ago. The equipment necessary to take high-quality photographs even through the 1970s was cumbersome, difficult to use, and required a great attention to detail in order to get a professional picture. Of course, the Polaroid camera existed back then for the amateurs, so it's not like "easy to use" is really all that new.
A new study by my alma mater, the University of Maryland, looked at the online divisions of 19 major traditional print and broadcast media:
... to see
which ones gave the users of their RSS feeds the same number of
stories, the same range of news sources, in as timely a fashion as
could be gotten if those users went to the individual website.
The Los Angeles Times, ABCNews.com, and Foxnews.com fared among the best RSS providers while the New York Times was among the worst. But the bottom line, the study concluded, was that:
... if a user wants
specific news on any subject from any of the 19 news outlets the
research team looked at, he or she must still track the news down
website by website.
The main reason? The paucity of information RSS feeds give the reader:
Granted, disaster stories are big news, particularly so close on the heels of the Greensburg, Kansas, tornado. But six immigrants, all of whom are suspected radical Muslims and three of whom are here in the United States illegally, is certainly a more compelling story for a top story.
Set your TiVo to CNN Headline News at 9 p.m. EDT tonight. NewsBusters senior editor/MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham will be on the "Glenn Beck" program to discuss how PBS is politicizing a documentary about World War II.
The controversy centers around how documentary producer Ken Burns and PBS have dealt with pressure from activist groups to include more footage on Hispanic Americans' contributions to the war effort.
When a lie makes it into print once, it's happenstance. A mere accident, no doubt, due to a lapse of judgment in editing the news feed. What, then, is it called when a lie is repeated countless times without apology?
Apparently, it's called "businessasusual" for the media.
Whenever a funeral is presented by photographers embedded in the Palestinian territories, we're faced with dozens of photographs of crowds of weeping, screaming, shouting people parading around in the streets. We're also inevitably presented with a caption describing how the Israeli occupiers are responsible for the deaths, and how Israel is pouring out suffering all over the innocent, helpless Palestinian people.
While these photos always make for a powerful statement, and are picked up by news organizations worldwide for their raw emotional appeal, the information presented along with them isn't always what it appears at first glance to be.
One-third of Americans say
they have a negative view of Katie Couric, her personal popularity
lagging behind rivals Charles Gibson and Brian Williams just as her
evening news program trails in the ratings.
The liberal leadership of the leftist media, Columbia Journalism Review, cries because of the column they landed on in some Army person's Powerpoint slide deck. The context, that this is just someone's Powerpoint, is conveniently left out of CJR's complaint.
It looks like it's official: the United States Army thinks that American reporters are a threat to national security... Make no mistake, this is a very big deal, and every American citizen, not just reporters and soldiers, needs to understand the implications of the Army's strict new policy...
Except the strict policy in question says no such thing. The journalists from the esteemed CJR assume as much by interpreting their location on a Powerpoint slide. The bigger question for CJR is why shouldn't the military treat them as the enemy? After all, they work with our enemies to obtain videos of our soldiers being killed, they run terrorist messages without vetting through the military first, and they take every opportunity they can to attack our government officials, they've also proven that they'll run nearly any secret they can obtain.
Michelle Malkin noticed that comedian Roseanne Barr wrote recently on her blog that she's too biased against Israel to be hired for the Barbara Walters daytime gab-fest. Here's what Barr wrote:
In reality, I could never host that show, or any network show, because I have opinions that are not sanctioned by the powers that be who refuse to allow even one dissenting voice over the airwaves of television(in this a "free" country).
I truly believe that millions of jews are not zionists, and that even if they are, they do not support Israeli occupation. I believe that Jews all over this planet choose peace in the middle east over the never ending death machine of hatred and division and terror that exists there now.
For all journalists' talk about political elitism and cronyism, they are probably more inclined to toe the party line when one of their own comes under fire.
Almost always, you can count on an elite media figure to defend another one. Such was the case earlier today when Donald Graham, the Washington Post's publisher defended the second-class status that regular shareholders receive in comparison to a small liberal clique that has almost exclusive control over the money-losing paper. Incredibly, Graham's argument includes the preposterous premise that making Times (or his paper which operates under a similar structure) be accountable to public investors would promote biased journalism.
In an April 30 "Public Eye" entry, CBS ombudsblogger Brian Montopoli wrote about CBS's quandary over CIA director George Tenet has a faulty memory regarding an exchange with Richard Perle that supposedly happened the day after 9/11 at the White House. The problem, Perle was stuck in France. He returned to the country on Sept. 15, 2001. So what to do with Web site transcripts of the April 29 "60 Minutes" segment?
According to the New York Post's Don Kaplan, Roseanne Barr is the early favorite to replace the deposed Rosie O'Donnell.
Barr is no less of a liberal and almost as controversial as O'Donnell. If she were to replace O'Donnell, Barr would continue to tilt the show to the extreme left and fail to bring back the many viewers of "The View" who were offended at the numerous outrageous statements made by O'Donnell.
In a March appearance on HBO's "Real Time," Barr alleged that conservatives "liked Reagan because he's a confederate. [...] They worship him because he dismantled working rights for people."
Barr will bring a left-wing agenda to "The View." She admitted that she had one earlier this year:
For the fifth straight year, America's biggest newspapers (especially the left-leaning ones) have experienced big drops in circulation.
The Audit Bureau of Circulation released its annual numbers today. Among the findings: Two of the three national newspapers (USA Today and the Wall Street Journal) gained circ while the New York Times fell 2 percent on weekdays and nearly three-and-a-half percent on Sundays.
The biggest loser was the Dallas Morning News which was off 14 percent on weekdays and 13 percent on Sundays. The Miami Herald lost 10 percent on Sundays and 5.5 percent on weekdays.
Let's imagine for a moment now what types of stories we'd be hearing about these bad numbers if liberal journalists applied the same standards to themselves as they do to Republican presidents.
Now that you're done laughing, let me say that I don't think that liberal bias is the sole reason for these drops. It's also old thinking. The proof is that some papers like the New York Post and the Indianapolis Star have gained circulation. It can be done in an age of mass alienation from mass media. (h/t Stephen Spruiell)
For those that have forgotten, in September, Broder wrote about “vituperative, foul-mouthed bloggers on the left.”
Months later, as California Democrats gathered in San Diego at their annual convention – with their presidential candidates present and accounted for – an anonymous strategist had rather unflattering things to say about bloggers on the left side of the political aisle (h/t Hot Air, emphasis added):
Although a quick search of the Web draws up the speech, available here (with video and audio links), rare is the online news service that links to President Bush's remarks on May 1, 2003, aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.
Since the media don't reprint excerpts of the speech nor give readers the links to the original source material, here are some comments from May 1, 2003, that point to President Bush warning Americans of an ongoing struggle to establish Iraqi democracy and counter the threat of terrorism (portions in bold are my emphasis):
The mini-scandal got buried by the Imus flap, but a few weeks ago CBS fired a Couric producer for plagiarizing from a Wall Street Journal column. The offending item was the vlog script she wrote for Couric's April 4 "Notebook," wherein Couric waxed nostalgic for childhood and worried that today's kids aren't as enamored with the public library as she was.
I was reminded of Katie's ghostwritten blog when I saw the April 26 edition of "Dilbert." In it, Dilbert's buffoonish pointy-haired boss announced to his long-suffering secretary that he was starting his own blog. Of course, he expected her to write it up herself by noon, cooing that he "can't wait to see what I'm thinking."
Do you remember that Washington Post guy who somehow managed to wiggle himself into the Scooter Libby trial? Well it looks as though someone from NBC has managed to sneak himself into another high-profile trial:
The murder trial of famed record
producer Phil Spector is set to open this Wednesday in a downtown Los
Angeles courtroom. The legendary rock and roll music producer is
charged with killing actress Lana Clarkston at his Alhambra mansion
February 3rd 2003.
presiding Judge, Larry Paul Fidler, has agreed that cameras will be
allowed in the courtroom and the trial will be televised. Judge Fidler
said that he believed it was time to be able move on from the OJ
Simpson murder trial. "We have to get by that case," he said. "There's
going to come a timethat it will be commonplace to televise trials. If
it had not been for Simpson, we'd be there now," Fidler concluded.
Web use has become such a widespread phenomenon that for next year's presidential election, Yahoo is set to host the first-ever online presidential debate.
Unfortunately, all of the web media sources it's chosen to partner up with are liberal leaning. David All explains:
When mega-giant Yahoo! decides to play in the political sandbox, I’m going to pay attention. Yahoo! is currently ranked number one in Alexa.org’s Top 500.
So when it was reported this week that Yahoo! had partnered with Slate, Huffington Post, and PBS's Charlie Rose to host the first-ever online Presidential debate, as a conservative Republican, I immediately felt a curling in my stomach [...]
A troubled newspaper industry is beset with a raging journalistic debate around using the Internet to bolster the bottom line for the nation's broadsheets.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Faced with declining circulation, many U.S.
newspapers are trying to engage readers by allowing them to respond to
news stories online. But the anonymity of the Internet lets readers
post obscenities and racist hate speech that would never be allowed in
the printed paper.
LaShawn Barber lays out her thoughts in an April 26 post to her eponymous blog, suggesting that newspapers are misguided to attempt to co-opt the blog format. Rather than allowing anonymous comments that can encourage trolls that cheapen honest debate and discussion, Barber suggests another strength of the blogosphere that is easily adaptable to newspapers' online versions.:
In the wake of yesterday's announcement that Rosie O'Donnell will be departing "The View," the folks at "Today" had some fun this morning with the notion that Meredith Vieira, the "View" regular who Rosie replaced there, might return to the ABC gabfest.
As Vieira began a tease, in "Today's" opening, for an upcoming segment on the parting of ways at "The View," weatherman Al Roker shouted from off-camera "are you going to go back?"
Vieira went with the flow, announcing tongue-in-cheek: "So yes, I'll be leaving the 'Today' show to rejoin my friends at 'The View.' Sayanora." That's when co-host Matt Lauer, in the image shown here, picked up the phone, said "Barbara, hold on a second," handed it to Meredith, who continued "Barbara, I'm back there."
In an April 25 post, CBS's "Public Eye" editor Brian Montopoli worries that the media are not doing enough reporting on gun control, lamenting that the media are waiting for political players to gin up the issue.
There were reasons not to take up larger issues and assign blame in the
immediate wake of the shootings – those first few days needed to be
about how people were dealing with the horror of what had taken place.
But some time has now passed, and I'm hard pressed to think of a better
time for the media to focus on a huge issue that isn't going away
Where has Montopoli been? Not only have the media been focusing on the gun control angle to the story, they've heavily leaned in favor of more gun control, including featurin gun control advocates in both broadcast and print coverage. While there were a few exceptions, most media coverage has cheerleaded the notion of enacting new gun control laws. Here's a refresher for Montopoli, a list of some of our coverage over the past nine days:
As we've noted in an earlier post, Rosie O'Donnell and ABC couldn't work out a contract renewal for her slot on "The View." But when I read the "exclusive" story this morning by ABC News's Monica Nista, I noticed the reporter left out any mention of Rosie's numerous controversies such as her 9/11 conspiracy theories, her suggestion that the British hostage crisis in Iran was a conspiracy, her "ching-chong" gaffe, or her swipe at "radical Christians" being just as dangerous as "radical Muslims" like Osama bin Laden. Instead Nista focused on an a feud with rival network NBC's "Apprentice" host Donald Trump:
Update at bottom of post: Other bloggers react to Rosie announcement.
Controversial daytime television host Rosie O'Donnell just confirmed rumors on "The View" today that she will be leaving the show.
"I can't come to terms," O'Donnell said, referring to an ongoing contract dispute that she had been having with ABC, the owner of the show.
Despite her departure, O'Donnell will be a "frequent guest host," she said. "View" founder Barbara Walters said she was not involved in O'Donnell's negotiations with ABC and said that she was "sad" that the former solo daytime host was going to be leaving after such an "interesting" year.
O'Donnell's role as co-host of the syndicated talker has come under scrutiny in recent months for injecting her strident brand of left-wing politics into the show.
Ironically, after Rosie made her announcement, Walters made some left-wing remarks of her own, stating that George W. Bush "is the president, not a king" in response to her walk home from the office.
Video: Real (3.3 MB) WMV (3.8 MB), plus MP3 (604 KB)
Full transcript from NB's Justin McCarthy below the fold.
The MRC's TimesWatch division has an excellent analysis of the NYT's grossly shoddy and biased coverage of the Duke lacrosse "rape" case. In this latest item, the student newspaper at Duke, The Chronicle, actually went out and interviewed former NYT reporters and critics and asked their opinion about the paper's coverage of the Duke case. The Chronicle -- a student paper! -- did what the so-called professional media should have done long ago. Concerning the NYT's coverage of the Duke case, "it showed everything that's wrong with American journalism," said Daniel Okrent, a former public editor of the NYT. For more, click here
The left-wing press is notorious for its hypocrisy and double-standards, especially when it comes to itself. No news organization is a bigger case in point than the New York Times, the so-called paper of record which touts itself as holding the Bush administration accountable, all the while engaging in unprofessional and unethical behavior and never being held accountable for it.
Well today, some accountability came.
Investors in the New York Times have been outraged as the paper continues to lose market share and bleed money faster than Rosie O'Donnell at a hamburger stand. This has been going on for years and nothing's been done to stop it, in part because the people who own most of the Times stock actually have no control as to who runs the company since their shares can't vote on a majority of the board of directors. That position is reserved for the uber-leftist Sulzberger family (headed by Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr.) who has been running the paper into the ground financially and off a cliff when it comes to bias, all the while stuffing its own pockets.
Fed-up investors finally had enough. Earlier today, they gave the Times a loud vote of no confidence by refusing to vote at all for the small number of director seats that they can vote on:
Roger Friedman, gossip blogger for FNC has an interesting item about the anti-Katie Couric piece that I blogged about yesterday. According to Friedman, the piece was done partly at the behest of Couric's predecessor, the seemingly avuncular Bob Schieffer.
That wouldn't surprise me, but before I get into why, here's Friedman:
[O]ne of Couric's frequently
mentioned enemies is Bob Schieffer, the lovable, durable veteran
journalist who filled in as anchor of the "CBS Evening News"
between Dan Rather's departure and Couric's arrival.
But sources say that Schieffer has been
unhappy lately, mainly because his airtime, which was prominent when
Couric first started, has dwindled in recent weeks.
It's been suggested that a hit piece on
Couric written by Gail Shister in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer
was inspired by Schieffer as its main source.
"He has a direct line to her,"
one insider said.
This type of thing is hardly unprecedented within the television news business. CBS isn't quite the San Diego of "Anchorman," but it's had no shortage of anchor feuds.
CBS ombuds-blogger Brian Montopoli advises "Taking a Step Back In the Cho Debate" in an April 23 post, as he takes issue with conservatives like Hugh Hewitt who objected to NBC News (and other media outlets) airing the videotaped "manifesto" of the Virginia Tech mass murderer. Montopoli concludes on this note:
If, as a culture, we want to suppress the Cho manifesto, than we have
to ask ourselves what else we are willing to suppress. After all, the
Cho materials at least had some value beyond entertainment; it's harder
to say the same for cultural products like "Grand Theft Auto" or "300."
It seems to me that anyone criticizing NBC News for releasing the
materials – and CBS News and its counterparts for airing them – should
be thinking long and hard about how far down that path they are willing
Arlington, Va.: Okay, what's your take on the Laurie/Karl/Sheryl
dust-up? I understand it was somewhat crazy for Laurie to think she was
going to change Karl's mind then and there, but I also think that
because access to Karl is so limited for "regular" people, I would have
taken advantage of the chance to push my agenda on the nation's top
advisor had I been there. That's why this concept of "no politics
tonight, we're all friends here" for the Dinner seems silly. How often
does Karl return any of these reporter's phone calls?
Kurtz: Having not been there, I don't know whether Sheryl Crow and
Laurie David confronted Rove aggressively, which got him mad, or tried
to engage in a polite discussion of global warming, only to be
tongue-lashed by the White House adviser. Given the speed and the glee
with which they blogged about the incident, I suspect they were not
averse to making a scene.