Media Scandals

By Tom Blumer | May 31, 2015 | 6:12 PM EDT

One doesn't know what to do with the rubbish which follows beyond noting it and hoping that the ridicule which results will somehow and in some way have some kind of impact.

Despite 6-1/2 years of horrid governance and dozens of acknowledged scandals, several of which a few of the credible remaining outposts of liberal thought have actually agreed are scandals, David Brooks, the New York Times's resident fake conservative, asserted on Friday's PBS NewsHour, as if it's an indisputable fact, that "President Obama has run an amazingly scandal-free administration, not only he himself, but the people around him."

By Tom Blumer | May 28, 2015 | 5:16 PM EDT

As noted in my previous related post, one of the authors of a late-2014 study which made the nonsensical claim that “a single conversation (can) change minds on divisive social issues, such as same-sex marriage,” causing "a cascade of opinion change," issued a retraction last week, because the data supporting it was faked. Since it was published in Science Magazine — and because it conveniently fit a leftism-advancing agenda — numerous press outlets ran stories on the study's results.

Now they're all having to run retractions and corrections. Besides the obvious problem that the lies have gotten a long head start, let's look at how the seven original publishers identified by Retraction Watch, as well as the Associated Press, have handled the matter. All too often the answer has been: "Not very well."

By Tom Blumer | May 28, 2015 | 2:37 PM EDT

"Science" has a problem — or more accurately stated, those who produce and publish "scienitific" studies — have a problem. Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, one of the leading weekly peer-reviewed general medical journals, caused quite a stir last week when he said that "much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue." That may be an underestimate.

One of the more recent such examples involves a paper published late last year in Science Magazine, which calls itself “The World’s Leading Journal of Scientific Research, Global News and Commentary."

By Kyle Drennen | May 22, 2015 | 3:20 PM EDT

In a Thursday column, PBS ombudsman Michael Getler took NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff to task for failing to disclose a 2010 donation to the Clinton Foundation: “It is always a bad idea for a journalist to give money to a political campaign or anything even remotely connected to the activities of a politician or party, or an organization that they might cover. You just shouldn’t do it.”

By Mark Finkelstein | May 18, 2015 | 8:57 AM EDT

On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski criticized George Stephanopoulos for covering the story of the Clinton Foundation without disclosing that he had donated to it.  But Brzezinski's biggest blast was reserved for ABC, which had hired the hyper-partisan Clinton adviser in the first place.

Brzezinski hit the "lack of judgment of the people who are hiring him to think that he can just erase [his close Clinton ties] from his brain."

By Tom Johnson | May 17, 2015 | 5:22 PM EDT

In the wake of the furor over his gifts to the Clinton Foundation, George Stephanopoulos has taken himself out of the running to moderate a Republican presidential debate set to air on ABC next February. That development gave Salon’s Jim Newell a peg for his Friday argument that GOPers are off-base in their recent push for conservatives (or at least non-liberals) to moderate their party’s debates.

“The mainstream media moderator serves a useful function in Republican presidential debates,” wrote Newell. “If [he or she] asks a difficult or uncomfortable question, the Republican candidate can simply badger the moderator for pursuing a stealth liberal agenda. Whenever the candidate is on the verge of embarrassing him or herself, he or she can lash out at the moderator for trying to embarrass the cause of conservatism as a whole. All of the Republican voters in the audience are conditioned to hoot and holler with approval whenever this happens.” Newell added that if the moderator is a bona fide righty, however, “it eliminates [the candidates’] escape hatch. It’s much harder to yell at a Fox News host or a Hugh Hewitt about how they’re protecting Democrats.”

By Clay Waters | May 15, 2015 | 11:34 AM EDT

ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, who helped President Bill Clinton juggle various scandals during the 1992 campaign and as White House communication director, has apologized for failing to disclose a total of $75,000 in donations to the controversial Clinton Foundation, even before grilling Peter Schweizer, the author of Clinton Cash. The New York Times ran a surprising front-page story , "Stephanopoulos Gifts Reinforce G.O.P. Doubts," which actually touched on examples of Stephanopoulos bias against the GOP, though claiming that such bias had previously been only "circumstantial." Oh really?

By Tom Johnson | May 15, 2015 | 10:38 AM EDT

In the uproar over George Stephanopoulos’s hefty, long-undisclosed contributions to the Clinton Foundation, New York magazine blogger Jonathan Chait casts himself in a role similar to that of the child in the tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes” who, after so many have admired their ruler’s supposedly magnificent outfit, points out that the monarch actually is wearing nothing at all.

“Everybody agrees this is terrible,” wrote Chait in a Thursday post. “But…why? [Rand] Paul accuses Stephanopoulos of harboring a ‘conflict of interest.’ But donating money to a charitable foundation is not an interest…It’s true that some donors have an incentive to use the Foundation to get close to the Clintons in a way that might benefit their business interests…But none of those problems reflects poorly on Stephanopoulos.”

The Clinton Foundation, Chait remarked, “is, after all, a charity. It used to have non-partisan overtones…Stephanopoulos’s defense — that he just wanted to donate to the Foundation’s work on AIDS prevention and deforestation — seems 100 percent persuasive. He is the victim of the ethical taint of the Clintons’ poorly handled business dealings, combined with an underlying right-wing suspicion of the liberal media, but what his critics have yet to produce is a coherent case against him.”

By Kyle Drennen | May 14, 2015 | 2:38 PM EDT

Talking to Bloomberg Politics correspondent Joshua Green on Wednesday, Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer said he was "really quite stunned" by the revelation that ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos gave $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Schweizer called it a "massive breach of ethical standards" for the Bill Clinton operative turned journalist.

By Kyle Drennen | May 1, 2015 | 12:20 PM EDT

In a scathing article for Politico Magazine on Thursday, senior media writer Jack Shafer wrote an obituary for the career of suspended NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams: "At this point, Brian Williams knows he's dead: He's simply negotiating the terms of his burial."

By Kyle Drennen | April 26, 2015 | 4:31 PM EDT

As reported by The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi on Saturday, “A months-long internal investigation of Brian Williams by NBC News has turned up 11 instances in which the anchorman publicly embellished details of his reporting exploits, according to a person familiar with details of the probe.”

By Ann Coulter | April 16, 2015 | 6:44 PM EDT

Usually liberals have the decency to wait a few months after one of their rape fantasies collapses to start citing the case as "unresolved" -- it was a tie, the game was rained out, we'll never know what happened. But with the apocryphal University of Virginia gang rape, lefties started in right away with the "I guess we'll never know what happened" rewrite.