Media Business

By NB Staff | July 23, 2010 | 11:25 AM EDT
Appearing on the Fox News Channel "Hannity" program last night, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell tackled the media's bewilderment that Obama's legislative successes aren't translating into healthy job approval numbers ahead of the upcoming November midterm congressional election.

"Yes, [President Obama is] getting his legislative agenda accomplished, the problem is, this is a socialist legislative agenda the American people didn't bank on, and the more they see it, the less they like it," the Media Research Center founder and president argued in a recurring segment devoted to media bias entitled "Media Mash."

Also discussed on the July 22 program, "Good Morning America" host and former Bill Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos downplayed terrorist threats against the United States, insisting that "if you set aside the Fort Hood bombing in Texas and the failed Christmas bomber, there has not been a major attack that has been anything close to successful on American soil."

By Ken Shepherd | July 22, 2010 | 4:13 PM EDT

My colleagues Brad Wilmouth and Lachlan Markay have catalogued how Fox News hosts played no role in the forced resignation of former USDA bureaucrat Shirley Sherrod over perceived racist remarks.

But why let the truth get in the way of a good screed? Just ask Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, who published a postmortem yesterday to the magazine's The Gaggle blog on "[h]ow the administration mishandled a manufactured scandal":

How could the White House have screwed up so badly in the case of Shirley Sherrod, the Georgia USDA official who Wednesday received an apology from the Obama administration (through Robert Gibbs and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack)?

Sherrod was the victim of a smear by the right-wing agent provocateur Andrew Breitbart and his fellow travelers at Fox News. (Yes, that side has adopted some Leninist tactics, as conservative antitax activist Grover Norquist has admitted over the years.) They took a two-and-a-half-minute clip from Sherrod's address to the NAACP and used it to depict her as a black racist who discriminated years ago against a white farmer. It turns out the farmer thought Sherrod had been a terrific help, and a full review of Sherrod's speech suggests that, far from being a racist, she had honestly (and successfully) worked through the complex racial preconceptions we all carry around in our heads.

Later in his post, Alter added more spin and half-truths by noting that:

By Brent Bozell | July 22, 2010 | 12:18 PM EDT

Managing Editor's Note:  NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell today reprimanded members of the press in light of the recently exposed e-mails from the now-defunct JournoList that show a blatant, deliberate campaign to smear conservatives. That statement is published below. Click here for more background on JournoList.

The revelation of these e-mails simply proves that we have been right all along.  The liberal media have no interest in being fair or unbiased.  In fact, they are deliberately violating any sense of journalistic ethics.

There is no excuse – none- for the attitudes and lack of professionalism these so-called journalists displayed not only in these e-mails but in their reporting.  Any member of the media that was privy to these Journolist emails, and remained silent, is just as much to blame as the folks that crafted these e-mails. Their silence indicts them. 

We said in 2008 that the media were making excuses for Jeremiah Wright and now we have the proof. Just today we learned from the Daily Caller that these people went so far as to say that Rush Limbaugh ‘deserves’ their hate.  Sadly, I am not surprised, as this is what we have been exposing year after year about the media.  And it’s exactly why Americans refuse to trust them.

By Tim Graham | July 21, 2010 | 8:28 AM EDT

Jonathan Strong of the Daily Caller has more shocking e-mails from liberal journalists today. He starts with an NPR producer who admits flaming hatred for Rush Limbaugh:

If you were in the presence of a man having a heart attack, how would you respond? As he clutched his chest in desperation and pain, would you call 911? Would you try to save him from dying? Of course you would.But if that man was Rush Limbaugh, and you were Sarah Spitz, a producer for National Public Radio, that isn’t what you’d do at all.In a post to the list-serv Journolist, an online meeting place for liberal journalists, Spitz wrote that she would “Laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out” as Limbaugh writhed in torment.In boasting that she would gleefully watch a man die in front of her eyes, Spitz seemed to shock even herself. “I never knew I had this much hate in me,” she wrote. “But he deserves it.”

So much for the idea that NPR is an oasis of civil discourse in a desert of vituperation. Spitz is a producer for trendy-hot NPR station KCRW and its nationally distributed talk show Left Right & Center (which could be called Three Leftists and Tony Blankley). But Spitz has also done stories for NPR's evening newscast All Things Considered.

By Tim Graham | July 20, 2010 | 8:14 AM EDT

The Daily Caller has another scoop on the leftist JournoList e-mails today, recalling when liberal scribes all wanted the Jeremiah Wright story to be dead and buried in the spring of 2008. Jonathan Strong explained "Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage."

Stephanopoulos asked, “Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?”...The tough questioning from ABC left many of them outraged. “George [Stephanopoulos],” fumed Richard Kim of the Nation, is “being a disgusting little rat snake.”

In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”

By Tim Graham | July 18, 2010 | 5:56 PM EDT

While liberals like Randi Rhodes are nastily comparing Rush Limbaugh to Rev. Fred Phelps of “God Hates Fags” infamy, as if Rush would picket a military funeral, the liberal media are standing side by side with Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church in a demonstration of First Amendment fundamentalism. They've filed a “friend of the court” brief in favor of the right to infuriate families of the fallen with those vicious funeral protests.

The list includes the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the E.W. Scripps Company, the Hearst Corporation, NPR, The New York Times, and the Tribune Company (parent of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times). Jeff Schogol of the military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported these companies joined other free-press advocates in supporting these hateful incitements:

ARLINGTON, Va. — Twenty-two media organizations have sided with a radical church against the father of a fallen Marine who is trying to sue it for picketing his son’s funeral.

The media organizations filed a friend-of-the-court brief on Wednesday with the Supreme Court in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church, which protests near servicemembers’ funerals because it believes that troops’ deaths and other national tragedies are divine revenge for America’s tolerance of gays and lesbians.

By Lachlan Markay | July 16, 2010 | 3:07 PM EDT
"I've been scratching my head over this for the past year," Washington Post media commentator Howard Kurtz wrote Friday morning. "Does President Obama get credit for the things he does right?" Here are a couple of more pertinent questions over which to scratchy your head: does Obama do things right, and how do we measure his success?

The questions need to be posed, since Kurtz and scores of other prominent reporters seem to be taking it as a given that success should be measured in political terms, and therefore that Obama has succeeded tremendously. This attitude -- a product of an insulated and academic media universe -- renders all real world consequences of legislative victories irrelevant for the purpose of judging the president's record.

"With Thursday's Senate vote to approve sweeping new regulation of the banking industry," states Kurtz without providing a single corroborating fact, "the president has now delivered on his promise to clean up the Wall Street practices that nearly imploded the economy."
By Matt Robare | July 15, 2010 | 11:56 AM EDT
Daily Caller A1 7/14/10Tucker Carlson is now the proud owner of a slightly used Keith Olbermann.

With a large-print headline announcing "We own you" and a picture of ol' Keith looking bemused whilst he adjusts he glasses, The Daily Caller promoted their newest acquisition:

It's just the latest shot across the bow in the escalating feud between Olbermann and Carlson, which will one day be featured on a list of the top eight inconsequential personal feuds the media chose to cover instead of events that were actually newsworthy.

By Tim Graham | July 14, 2010 | 2:52 PM EDT

Most networks skipped over the story of their own corporate advocacy of broadcast profanity last night when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals shredded the FCC’s broadcast decency regulation. (All the major broadcast networks signed on, with Fox in the lead). NBC’s Brian Williams offered 94 words, but erred in claiming "When a curse word has slipped out in the past, the FCC has imposed heavy fines on networks." There were no fines for NBC when Bono said "f—ing brilliant" at the 2004 Golden Globes, nor were their fines for Fox when Cher and Nicole Richie for profanity at (respectively) the 2002 and 2003 Billboard Music Awards.

ABC and CBS aired nothing. Fox News had no story in the transcripts offered to Nexis for searching. Fox’s corporate brethren at The Wall Street Journal had a story, but reporters Amy Schatz and Jess Bravin wrote a 727-word article with absolutely zero space for critics of the judges’ decision (including the Brent Bozell-founded Parents Television Council).

The story did make explicit that Fox "led the case against the FCC and that "Fox is a division of News Corp., which also owns The Wall Street Journal."

Other newspapers offered small scraps for anti-profanity groups. The Washington Post’s front-page story by Cecelia Kang offered 50 words out of 771, in paragraph eight:

By Lachlan Markay | July 13, 2010 | 2:13 PM EDT
The confluence between the Obama administration and the journalists who cover it can leave news consumers wondering if they're getting the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Two prominent media personalities -- liberal Fox News Channel commentator Bob Beckel and media mogul Mort Zuckerman, owner of the New York Daily News -- have recently let slip that they have worked closely with the Obama administration. Neither disclose this fact with regularity. Indeed, their recent admissions were revelatory.

Zuckerman, a self-described Obama supporter, has written at least one speech for the President. Beckel, who worked with David Axelrod during the campaign, is now an adviser in some capacity to the White House.
By John Nolte | July 12, 2010 | 12:51 PM EDT

The timing of today’s announcement from the Swiss that fugitive director Roman Polanski will not face extradition to the United States coming just a couple days after we all witnessed Hollywood’s reaction to the audio tape of Mel Gibson’s raging, racist rant is fitting. What an interesting opportunity for a side-by-side look at Leftist Hollywood’s values.

It’s unlikely that anyone who’s considered a serious part of the Hollywood community will openly work with Mel Gibson again for a long, long time — if ever. WME, his agency, announced they had dropped him as a client within minutes of the release of the recording, and courtesy of the L.A. Times, the warning has already gone out making clear that anyone foolish enough to work with Gibson again will pay a heavy price:

There’s little chance he’ll land at another agency anytime soon — signing would bring down a horrible avalanche of bad PR to any agency that got within smelling distance and, more to the craven point, any agent that signs him has little hope of booking him any roles anyway since there isn’t a studio in town that will hire Gibson.

So toxic is the “Braveheart” director that the L.A. Times also “suggested” that now would be a “good time” for Tinseltowners to loudly and proudly condemn the former superstar, and a special point was made to single out his longtime friend Jodie Foster (who just finished directing a film that stars Gibson):

By NB Staff | July 9, 2010 | 10:51 AM EDT
"You would think that if you are NASA, your mandate is return us to the moon, take us to Mars.... No, according to the President of the United States, the mandate of NASA is to make Muslim people feel better about themselves," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell quipped this morning on "Fox & Friends."

The Media Research Center founder was referring to the under-reported story of how NASA administrator Charles Bolden told Arab news network al-Jazeera in an interview that President Obama had tasked him with outreach to the Muslim world to "find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering."

"We have to hitch a ride with the Russians if we want to go to outer space, but the mandate of NASA is to make Muslims feel better about themselves. You figure that one out," Bozell complained, adding, "You'd think that might be a news story."