Media Business

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."

By John Nolte | July 8, 2010 | 5:57 PM EDT

Deadline Hollywood Daily's Editor-In-Chief Nikki Finke has declared a Red State Alert over the news that documentary filmmaker and Oscar-winner Michael Moore has just been elected to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Board of Governors. She writes, Hollywood-hating conservatives are going to have a field day with this (And predictably the L.A. Times' Patrick Goldstein knee-jerks with this: You could hear the outcry in conservative quarters from a million miles away.)

If for no other reason than she saves me from having to spend money on a "Variety" subscription, I love Nikki, but this conservative has no problem whatsoever with Michael Moore being elected to the Academy's prestigious Board of Governors, because this conservative believes Michael Moore has earned it.

Yes, Michael Moore is a liar, a shameless propagandist and an anti-American leftist of the highest order. But he's also one helluva talented filmmaker and it would be wildly hypocritical for me to believe or argue that anyone should be blacklisted from AMPAS due to their political beliefs. And that's the only reason I could possibly use to argue against this appointment.

By Ken Shepherd | July 8, 2010 | 2:54 PM EDT

Reporting on CNN's firing of Octavia Nasr, AP's David Bauder buried the lede in his 7-paragraph July 8 story.

Here's Bauder's fourth paragraph wherein he described the Lebanese cleric that Nasr had praised as "[o]ne of Hezbollah's giants [she] respects a lot" (emphasis mine):

Lebanon's Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah died Sunday after a long illness. He was staunchly anti-American and linked to bombings that killed more than 260 Americans, a charge he denied. 

Here's Bauder's lead paragraph:

NEW YORK -- Octavia Nasr has been fired. CNN fired the editor responsible for Middle Eastern coverage after she posted a note  on Twitter expressing admiration for a late Lebanese cleric considered an inspiration for the Hezbollah militant movement. 

Wouldn't a better lede incorporate elements of the fourth paragraph? Something like:

By Brent Bozell | July 7, 2010 | 11:32 PM EDT

Editor's Note: What follows is a statement NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell released earlier this evening upon learning that CNN had fired its senior editor of Mideast affairs Octavia Nasr, who had expressed via her Twitter account sadness at the

By Kyle Drennen | July 7, 2010 | 10:43 AM EDT
In part two of her interview with TVNewser editor Kevin Allocca on's Media Beat, MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer discussed a incident last year in which she mistakenly introduced Reverend Jess Jackson as Al Sharpton: "...those things make me crazy.... I really hate that something like that can paint your whole career."

Brewer specifically called out blogs for reporting the gaffe: "...when I was younger in my career, if I had made a mistake like that, there were no blogs to keep it perpetuity." Allocca replied: "Are you looking at me? I do have a blog that keeps things in perpetuity." Brewer responded: "Whether you do or not, there will be someone else to pick up that slack, so I won't hold it against you in particular." The TVNewser blog did indeed report the incident on October 21, 2009, as did NewsBusters.
Brewer explained: "...the best thing I can do at the point is just to apologize and the Reverend has been very gracious and accepted my apology." She then added how the gaffe "turned into a great opportunity to develop a relationship with someone that I admire," referring to a subsequent meeting with Jackson.
By Kyle Drennen | July 6, 2010 | 11:15 AM EDT
In an interview on's 'Media Beat,' MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer told TVNewser editor Kevin Allocca about the cable network's high standards in its audition process: "'s got to be like the Marine Corps obstacle course in order to land this job." She later complained about "difficult" guests: "When someone comes on with an agenda and their agenda is to take you down."

Allocca asked Brewer about some her toughest interviews. She responded by describing certain guests who "come on and they are prepared to be challenging and to be difficult." Two examples came to her mind, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Republican Senator Judd Gregg.

In recalling a January interview with Gregg, Brewer whined about how "it was a difficult interview to conduct." In reality, Gregg simply pointed out Brewer's liberal bias on the issue of government spending, after she equated Republican calls for less spending with cutting off funding for schools. Gregg pointed out that she was "being fundamentally dishonest" in her reporting.    

During the Media Beat interview, she said of guests like Gregg: "...when you have guests on who are difficult or if they're – if they're sticking they're heels in the ground and they're really – you just end it, you move on."