Brian Ross is not the only blameworthy party in the irresponsible smear of a 52 year-old Tea Party activist as the possible perpetrator of the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre early Friday. Everyone on the set of ABC's Good Morning America could have said "wait, this is premature and irresponsible" -- and didn't.
GMA co-host and former Bill Clinton advisor George Stephanopoulos's response to Ross's identification of 52 year-old "Jim Holmes" as perhaps the same "James Holmes" who had been arrested earlier that morning arguably added legitimacy to Ross's speculation: "OK, we'll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much." As if they would actually find more of a tie-in, which of course they didnt. In his column yesterday, the underappreciated John Kass at the Chicago Tribune succinctly described Stephanopoulos's likely mindset, as well as how ABC was originally hoping to blame "social media" for Ross's GMA team-assisted smear (bolds are mine):
Barack Obama’s adoring cheerleaders at NBC are back in the editing room distorting the truth, and, not surprisingly, Andrea Mitchell has the gall to make no apologies for it.
First it was their vile attempt to make George Zimmerman sound like a racist to gin up racial conflict, and now they’ve set their sights on Mitt Romney who they’re desperately trying to paint as an out-of-touch, silver spoon Republican wowed by Wawa sandwiches. [Attached below page break: Our side-by-side comparison of the edited video plus video of Mitchell's non-apology]
If this is how Dan Rather at peace looks like, wonder what he's like when angry and embittered . . .
On Morning Joe today, Rather emphatically alleged that he was "at peace" over the Memogate fiasco that led to the end of his career. But he couldn't help himself from suggesting that his reputation had been destroyed by anonymous partisans employing "lies." View the video after the jump.
Earlier this week, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell announced he was calling on Congress to investigate Comcast, the parent company of NBC, given the network's malfeasance in the Zimmerman 911 audio editing.
Comcast's "continued silence on how to prevent such malfeasance in the future constitutes a serious breach of public trust," Bozell noted in letters sent to Congress on Tuesday. As the cable giant is "in the midst of a business deal with Verizon requiring approval" by the FCC and DOJ, "the public policy issues related to the approval of this deal are so critical" as to require congressional hearings, Bozell wrote in his April 10 letter to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Subcommittee. A similar letter was simultaneously transmitted to the chairman and ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet. You can read those letters here and here.
In a statement totally disconnected from the reality of media coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting, on Thursday's Today show, NBC chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman proclaimed that the case, "...underscores the fact that we don't talk about race enough in this country and that race does matter, it's always under the surface."
NBC alone – not to mention the other networks or MSNBC – made race so much of a central issue to the tragedy that the network aired a story that dishonestly edited a 911 call from accused shooter George Zimmerman to make it seem as if the neighborhood watch volunteer singled out the black teenager for his race.
While the network issued an apology on paper and fired the producer responsible for the false editing, NBC News has yet to apologize on air for the report, which appeared on Today.
While most everyone in political circles has condemned Hilary Rosen's slam of Ann Romney, rank-and-file liberals on Twitter apparently haven't read the memo.
Twitchy has an excellent post documenting all the bile, complete with requisite leftist slams of Mrs. Romney as a c*nt, b*tch, and whore. As Michelle Malkin, no stranger to left-wing hate, tweeted, "Some are baptized by fire. On Twitter, outspoken conservative women are baptized by vile."
When NBC's "Today" show played the audio of George Zimmerman's call to a Sanford, Fla., police dispatcher about Trayvon Martin, the editors made him appear to be a racist who says: "This guy looks like he's up to no good. He looks black." What Zimmerman actually said was: "This guy looks like he's up to no good or he's on drugs or something. It's raining, and he's just walking around, looking about." The 911 officer responded by asking, "OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?" Zimmerman replied, "He looks black." NBC says it's investigating the doctoring of the audio, but there's nothing to investigate; its objective was to inflame passions.
In his Associated Press article titled "Old photos may be deceptive in Fla. shooting case," Matt Sedensky pointed out that the photos carried by the major media were several years old and showed Zimmerman looking fat and mean and Martin looking like a sweet young kid.
NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) founder Brent Bozell announced earlier this morning that the MRC is calling upon Congress to investigate Comcast / NBC News for the intentional editing of the George Zimmerman audio that was broadcast multiple times and subsequently flamed the fires of racial hatred and animosity
“NBC is laughing at the public. Last week we said we would have more to say if their behavior in this matter didn’t change. Given their continued irresponsibility, today we open up a new front," Bozell noted in a press release available here.
Breitbart.com has noted that it took about 17 hours before the dam broke, but now the Associated Press and United Press International both have stories on NBC's decision to fire a Miami-based producer over the editing of George Zimmerman's 911 call.
The AP story, which has a time stamp of 12:03 p.m. at the Wall Street Journal, plays it pretty straight (posted in full because of it relative brevity; the item's author, as shown here, is Television Writer Frazier Moore):
Editor's Note:Last week, NBC’s Today show doctored George Zimmerman’s 9-1-1 call so that his motive for shooting Trayvon Martin appeared racial. Over the weekend, NBC reported to The Washington Post that an investigation would be forthcoming after the Media Research Center (MRC) exposed their fraud. It appears NBC’s investigation has been completed.
Last night, NBC issued a two sentence explanation on it. NewsBusters publisher and MRC president Brent Bozell argues that the network's "apology" is as dishonest as the original piece and that Comcast, which owns NBC and MSNBC, needs to clean house at the network:
We reject this fraudulent apology. We're not surprised. After all, NBC "investigated" itself. We again call on Comcast, not NBC, to investigate this matter -- thoroughly, honestly, and professionally.
The Society of Professional Journalists's lifetime achievement award that was named in her honor has been "retired" but Helen "Thank God for Hezbollah" Thomas can console herself with her latest trophy: high praise from the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
In the aftermath of the Gabby Giffords shooting, the liberal media were quick to harangue conservative Republicans for a campaign website that had depicted tiny images of crosshairs on different points of the continental U.S.. They represented targeted districts in the 2010 midterm race, including Rep. Giffords' seat.
But now in light of the ongoing coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting, there's a different infamous set of crosshairs, this one over a picture of George Zimmerman, the Sanford, Florida man who claims to have killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense last month. That image is the avatar for a Twitter profile established on March 24 with the handle @KillZimmerman. Despite conservative bloggers and Twitter users' complaints, as of press time the Twitter handle is still live. What's more, the liberal media have thus far been strangely silent on the matter.
While journalists were tripping over themselves last week to leave Obama's daughter Malia alone on her fancy school's trip to Mexico, and everyone remembers the great media blackout of Chelsea Clinton (including the removal of Saturday Night Live jokes), the liberal site Slate.com held a caption contest on their "Browbeat" blog.
Heather Murphy chose a picture of Santorum's daughters Elizabeth (born in 1991) and Sarah Maria (born in 1998). Sadly, liberal commenters predictably started mocking how these daughters -- yes, including the middle-schooler -- are on contraceptives, or wearing chastity belts, or touching themselves:
"It took the networks nine months before one of them made a mention of" the time that MSNBC anchor and left-wing radio host Ed Schultz slammed conservative radio talker Laura Ingraham as a "slut," and it was just "one story" compared to "46 [stories] in ten days" on the Limbaugh/Fluke controversy, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on the March 23 Hannity.
The Media Research Center founder and president appeared as a guest on the "Language of the Left" special to unveil some numbers that the MRC had crunched contrasting the liberal media's obsession with Limbaugh with their silence on left-wing media personalities like Schultz and HBO's Bill Maher, who called former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin a c**t. The liberal comedian donated $1 million to an Obama Super PAC, and yet the media have been silent on the matter, failing to press the president on whether his Super PAC should give the money back. Watch the full Hannity segment in the video embed below.
On March 7, Newsweek assistant culture editor Marlow Stern went after "right-wing actress" Patricia Heaton of ABC's "The Middle" in an article headlined "Patricia Heaton's History of Outbursts:Sandra Fluke No Anomaly." He complained "right-wing actress Patricia Heaton unleashed a Twitter tirade against Fluke. But Heaton, best known for playing the caring, cerebral housewife Debra Barone on the hit CBS television sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, is no stranger to controversial political statements." He didn't interview her. He just "exposed" her.
Nine days later, Stern is lauding hard-left actress Susan Sarandon as "brilliant" and "masterful," and setting her up to make outrageous left-wing attacks on Rush Limbaugh and "the wacky GOP." Despite this, she is not labeled as a liberal: "The seemingly ageless actress is, at 65, also not afraid to speak her mind." Stern didn't so much ask questions as offer please-trash-them softballs:
Editor's Note: What follows is a letter sent by Mr. Bozell to Comcast Chairman Brian L. Roberts earlier today.
Dear Mr. Roberts,
By now, you are well aware of the Media Research Center’s (MRC) concerns with MSNBC. Last week, I wrote letters to both you and Mr. Griffin asking for Ed Schultz’s termination because of highly controversial and deplorable comments he routinely makes about women and conservatives. Yesterday, I posted an open letter to Mr. Griffin about equally controversial and appalling comments made by Al Sharpton; comments that are blatantly racist and xenophobic, and which in one instance led to the death of an innocent bystander.
Because of these well documented instances of unacceptable comments made by both Sharpton and Schultz, I have called for their termination. I have also called for Mr. Griffin to resign as president of MSNBC. In my March 15 letter I called on you to clean house at MSNBC.
Editor's Note: What follows is a letter that NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell sent to MSNBC President Phil Griffin early today.
Dear Mr. Griffin,
Last week, in my open letter to you I called for Ed Schultz’s termination. I also called for you to resign as President of MSNBC because you hired Ed Schultz. Today, I have yet another reason you should step down - one which some might argue is even more compelling than Schultz. His name is Al Sharpton.
Are left-wing hatemongers like Ed Schultz sullying the NBC brand? How do legitimate, albeit left-leaning, journalists like Matt Lauer or Tom Brokaw feel about NBCUniversal's cable news outlet, Fox News's Sean Hannity wondered during last night's "Media Mash" segment with NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell.
"You have to wonder about that. When you think of Tom Brokaw, when you think of the late Tim Russert... these are liberals... but there was almost always a level of civility, and although you could continue disagreeing with one another, it was an honest disagreement," Bozell noted. Unfortunately, "radicals that far exceed anything Tom Brokaw ever did" dominate on MSNBC. [see video below]
Your network, working on marching orders from Media Matters, is on a mission to take Rush Limbaugh off the air. Far from being an independent journalistic enterprise, MSNBC is the very essence of a political lapdog of the far left.
Just last night on MSNBC, Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton, and Lawrence O’Donnell all devoted time on their programs attacking Rush. In each case, they grabbed at thin air looking, looking, looking for the opportunity shamelessly to keep the story alive.
Andrea Mitchell is no newbie to journalism. In fact, in 2010, she was given the Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism by the National Press Foundation. She's in good company with Brit Hume and the late Tim Russert among previous recipients of the award. But alas, the MSNBC anchor displayed no "excellence in journalism" with her brief, softball interview today with Robin Morgan of the liberal Women's Media Center.
Mitchell brought Morgan on to discuss her group's petition drive to request the FCC to ban Rush Limbaugh from the airwaves. The WMC's argument is that Limbaugh engages in "hate speech" which is not in the "public interest" and hence cause to push him off the air. Below the page break I've listed in bullet points the questions Mitchell posed to Morgan, which, as you can see, are all softballs meant to advance Morgan's talking points:
Updated at bottom of post | This morning, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell sent letters to Jay Farner and David Friend, the presidents of Quicken Loans and Carbonite, respectively, addressing the hypocrisy of how their companies pulled out of the Rush Limbaugh program over comments for which the conservative talker has since apologized, even as they continue to advertise on the programs of hateful left-wing radio hosts.
For example, Carbonite continues to advertise on Ed Schultz's radio program, although he maliciously slammed conservative author Laura Ingraham in May 2011 as a "right-wing slut" and "a talk slut."
I'm sorry Rush Limbaugh called 30-year-old Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a "slut." She's really just another professional femme-a-gogue helping to manufacture a false narrative about the GOP "war on women." I'm sorry the civility police now have an opening to demonize the entire right based on one radio comment — because it's the progressive left in this country that has viciously and systematically slimed female conservatives for their beliefs.
We have the well-worn battle scars to prove it. And no, we don't need coddling phone calls from the pandering president of the United States to convince us to stand up and fight.
Continuing her network's anti-Limbaugh drumbeat today, MSNBC's Tamron Hall interviewed a little-known feminist activist by the name of Shaunna Thomas of the equally unfamiliar group UltraViolet, which is campaigning to deprive Rush Limbaugh of all of his sponsors. UltraViolet, apparently, is famous for pushing the specious and ultimately discredited claims about a supposed anti-abortion clinic bias by the iPhone 4S's speech recognition software.
To her credit, Hall noted that liberals like Bill Maher have said equally if not more offensive things than Limbaugh and not been called out on it, citing a tweet by none other than former White House aide Austan Goolsbee. "What do you make of this back and forth of, well he did it, but so did he?"
During his first hour today, Rush mentioned the reaction of Peter King at Sports illustrated in King's "Monday Morning Quarterback" collection to a paragraph in the magazine's cover story on Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks' point guard who has broken through from obscurity to phenom during the past two weeks. What King wrote is indeed an interesting giveaway of what I believe is a common but unsupportable media perspective, namely that students at and graduates of elite upper-echelon universities like those in the Ivy League are presumptively free of overt racism, because, well, they're all so enlightened.
UPDATE: James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute's blog has more, including the possibility that the original story misidentified "Bain Consulting," as well as a theory as to the story's original source.
It looks like someone ran with something they thought was too good to check.
A retraction described as a "Correction" currently on CNBC's web site tells readers: "A previous story incorrectly reported that Mitt Romney's former firm, Bain & Co., was part of a team of consulting companies that advised President Barack Obama on a decision to shutter car dealerships during the auto bailout. Bain & Co. said it has no connection to the "Bain Consulting" firm referenced in government documents." Several bloggers excerpted the original report, including Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Some of what he captured follows:
Imagine if it were discovered that free-market think tanks were caught vetting scripts of Fox News programs, intervening to prevent free-market sceptics from receiving air time, and consulted with the network about how it should alter its programing in a free-market direction. The howls of outrage would be loud, long and unrelenting from other news networks, the wire services, and leading U.S. newspapers.
What I have just described, and more, characterizes a decade-long relationship between the British Broadcasting Corporation and UK-based climate scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) -- except that the BBC is government-funded and disproportionately controls the flow of broadcast news in the UK. What the UK Daily Mail has revealed today as part of its ongoing review of the second set of Climategate emails released before Thanksgiving has caused Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation to write that the BBC is "in cahoots with Climategate scientists." What follows are excerpts from the David Rose's Daily Mail story (bolds are mine):
Five weeks ago, Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center's Culture & Media Institute thoroughly documented (at NewsBusters; at MRC) how "two separate news unions, including the newspaper guild, the recognized union for many print and online journalists, and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) are fully behind the radical message of Occupy Wall Street."
Now that the Occupy encampments are largely being put out of their disease-infested, crime-plagued misery by big-city mayors finally recovering a tiny bit of their sanity, a visit to the home page of The Newspaper Guild, which, as Dan noted, is part of the CWA (Communications Workers of America) and represents workers at the Associated Press and many individual publications, indicates that they are fully behind what the Occupiers hope is the next stage of their disorderly incoherence. The graphic currently at the top of the guild's home page, which is the same as the one currently found in an entry at OWS's main site, follows the jump:
When CBS's Steve Kroft recently asked House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) some penetrating questions about stock purchases she and her husband made, the internet was abuzz with rumors about an upcoming 60 Minutes installment about the wealthy couple that have been known to use her political interest for their mutual benefit.
Unfortunately, this Sunday's 60 Minutes piece about Congressional insider trading cherry picked from author Peter Schweizer's soon to be released book "Throw Them All Out" to make it look like this is largely a Republican scandal (video follows with commentary):