As characteristically strange and bizarre as Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS is, chances are high that CBS is going to give him some kind of concession, monetary and otherwise.
Neil Cavuto, host of FNC's "Your World" made this point earlier this week stating that CBS has no real alternative other than a long, dragged out court case that will rehash its worst corporate moment. He's right:
Dan Rather is going to win.
I don't know if he's going to get the 70 million bucks he's demanding from CBS.
On CNN’s Larry King Live Thursday night, Dan Rather insisted that his $70 million lawsuit against CBS was an attempt to save “our democracy” from “big government interference and intimidation in news;” claimed once again that his 2004 60 Minutes story on President Bush’s National Guard service was correct “and I think most people know by now that it was correct;” and charged that CBS’s investigation was “a fraud. It was a setup.”
And when Larry King asked him about Peter Arnett — whose career at CNN ended over a fraudulent 1998 report alleging the U.S. murdered defectors and used nerve gas in Vietnam, and who was last seen making propaganda films for Saddam Hussein during the 2003 invasion of Iraq — Rather embraced him: “Peter Arnett is a great reporter. He was then and he is now.”
Earlier today I noted that in her HuffPo column, ex-CBS producer Mary Mapes continues to cling to the delusion that the Memogate documents were authentic. In an inteview on "Morning Joe," Dan Rather has now made a comparable reality-defying claim.
Mika Brzezinski, who, as was repeatedly pointed out, used to work at CBS and has friends on both sides of the issue, conducted the interview. Bubbles didn't have the gumption to challenge Rather regarding the forged documents at the heart of the story. Interestingly, Rather chose to raise the issue himself, and in doing so demonstrated his tenuous grip on reality and some twisted journalistic standards.
How can I put this nicely? Mary Mapes [file photo] has reality "issues." Three years after the Memogate producer was exposed for having perpetrated one of the worst frauds in the history of presidential-campaign journalism, she continues to paint herself as the victim of a right-wing conspiracy. And incredibly, despite a mountain of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, she clings to the notion that the blatantly forged documents at the heart of Memogate were authentic.
Mapes's meltdown-in-the-guise-of-a-column appeared in yesterday's Huffington Post. Excerpts from the metaphor-gone-wild "Courage for Dan Rather" [emphasis added]:
"I'm a Dan Man myself, so I tend to look at this from his viewpoints [sic]." -- WaPo media critic Tom Shales, on today's "Morning Joe."
It's a morning for candor on "Morning Joe." Earlier, Mika "Bubbles" Brzezinski had admitted that "the SATs were not my strong suit." Later in the show, the notoriously tough-on-conservatives [see, e.g., MRC item #3 here] Tom Shales acknowledged that he has a soft spot for Dan Rather, calling himself a "Dan Man."
I'll say. Despite the overwhelming mountain of uncontroverted and incontrovertible evidence, Shales refuses to admit the obvious: that the documents at the heart of Memogate were the most transparent [literally] and amateurish of forgeries.
Substitute anchor Willie Geist interviewed Shales at 8:30 A.M. EDT this morning.
In an August 19 post at PajamasMedia, journalist and bestselling author Richard Miniter delved into the question of "How the New Republic Got Suckered" in the case of the fabricated stories of military blogger Scott Thomas Beauchamp. Among the questions Miniter raised was if TNR's fact-checking operation is "structurally flawed":
Let’s go into the fact-checking department. Elspeth Reeve was one of three fact-checkers at the magazine.
Did she fact-check her husband’s articles? While it is hard to believe that an established magazine would make such an elementary error, so far no one at the magazine has bothered to address the question. That’s an interesting omission.
Randall Hoven at American Thinker has a catalog of over 60 instances of journalistic malfeasance and takes to task journalist Marvin Kalb's famous lament from 1998 that the Internet would usher in an era of damage to the media's ability to put forward "reliable, substantiated information." Below are 10 of the 62 Hoven cites:
Offenses include lying and fabricating, doctoring photos, plagiarism, conflicts of interest, falling for hoaxes, and overt bias. Some are hilarious, such as an action figure doll being mistaken for a real soldier. Some are silly, such as reporting on a baseball game watched on TV. Some are more serious. I leave it to you to judge whether the internet damaged "journalism's ability to do its job professionally", as Marvin Kalb accuses, or if the internet has in fact helped expose an already damaged "profession".
Bryan at Hot Air lets loose on the New Republic's Peter Beinart for his magazine's silence on the Scott Thomas Beauchamp scandal, even as Beinart appeared on an National Review Online vlog to defend the leftist fabulist.
I’ve tried to keep all emotion out of the TNR’s Scott Thomas Beauchamp scandal, but frankly, Peter Beinart’s defense of TNR in today’s What’s Your Problem (on NRO) made my blood boil a bit.
He professes shock, shock that anyone on the right would seek ideological causes for the scandal in an ideological magazine such as The New Republic.
He calls Beauchamp a “good writer,” which is obviously untrue. The man writes with more purple than Prince.
In an e-mail message, Mr. Foer said, "Thus far, we've been provided no evidence that contradicts our original statement, despite directly asking the military for any such evidence it might have," adding, "We hope the military will share what it has learned so that we can resolve this discrepancy."
The Los Angeles Times reports in the August 3 paper that "Los Angeles television newscaster Mirthala Salinas was suspended without pay for two months — but not dismissed — Thursday from KVEA-TV Channel 52 for covering Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa while they were romantically involved, a relationship that journalism experts said damaged the station's credibility."
But wait, there's more. The Telemundo reporter (pictured at right with Villaraigosa*) apparently has a history of dating Southern California Democratic politicians:
Her affair with Villaraigosa was an open secret in KVEA's Burbank newsroom and in the mayor's office at City Hall. Salinas also had dated Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles) when he was divorced — and before he remarried his wife — as well as former Los Angeles City Council President Alex Padilla, now a state senator.
It appears the BBC condones faking...audience phone calls, that is.
In a not so stunning revelation, the BBC admitted to allowing employees to call in to shows either asking for audience involvement, or offering prizes, when the network wasn't receiving enough real feedback.
Gotta love it.
One truly delicious example occurred during Comic Relief back in March (emphasis added, h/t Tim Graham):
Michael Yon doesn't have an answer (HT to NewsBuster reader "acumen") as to why Old Media won't cover the Al Qaeda massacre of a small village near Baqubah, Iraq that he reported earlier this week (related NewsBusters posts are here and here):
Coordinates to the area of the gravesites are MC 679 381.
In my dispatch, I reported that six people were killed, but mentioned that Iraqi soldiers were still digging out bodies when I left. A few hours ago, Colonel Hiduit put the number at 10-14, and said the search for bodies had ended. I made video of the graves, bodies and of interviews with Iraqi and American soldiers while we still were at the scene and have been working to make material from this available on this website.
..... But for those publications who actually had people embedded in Baqubah when the story first broke and still failed to cover it, their malaise is inexplicable. I do not know why all failed to report the murders and booby-trapped village: apparently no reporters bothered to go out there, even though it’s only about 3.5 miles from this base. Any one of the reporters currently in Baqubah could still go to these coordinates and follow his or her nose and find the gravesites.
NB contributor Bob Owens has a great piece over at Pajamas Media on how he helped spot yet another instance of the Western press getting snookered by a fake news story promulgated by terrorists in Iraq. Once again, the media's desire to portray Iraq as a total disaster let them get tricked:
On Thursday, June 28, The Associated Press—and to a lesser extent,
Reuters, and a small independent Iraqi news agency—ran stories claiming
that 20 decapitated bodies had been found on or near the banks of the
Tigris River in Um al-Abeed, a village near Salman Pak, southeast of
By 8:10, Thursday morning, I’d fired off the first of a series of
queries to Multi-National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I) Public Affairs and
current and former liaisons with the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior
Civilian Police Assistance Training Team (CPATT) Public Affairs Office,
asking what they knew of this claim. I was immediately suspect because
of the dubious sourcing prominently noted in one version of the
original Associated Press story:
Tim Graham appeared on "Live Desk w/Martha MacCallum" today to discuss what appears to be NBC paying for a post-incarceration interview with hotel heiress Paris Hilton. He joked: "It just sounds like a bad MTV reality show called Pimp My News."
As we've documented at NewsBusters, last year the media, particularly the Washington Post, raked then-Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) over the coals for his infamous "macaca" insult, and his ensuing profuse apologies for same. We've also documented that Democratic politicians' jokes about India and Indian-Americans have been largely ignored (see below the jump).
The latest racial incident kicking up dust on the 2008 campaign trail is yet another Democratic gaffe, dubbed by some, "Punjab-gate," after an Obama presidential campaign research memo cheekily described rival Hillary Clinton as a Democrat from Punjab, a province in India.
Of course, as the oppo memo itself notes, and as John McCormick of the Chicago Tribune reported in the Trib's "The Swamp" blog, Obama's staff were referring to another "lame attempt at humor" (my emphasis, see below jump) by the junior senator from the Empire State about her electoral chances were she to decide to relocate to India:
Al Roker was one of the villagers with torches who stormed the castle demanding that Don Imus be fired, but now the foot is in the other mouth. On the June 7 edition of the “Today” show, during a segment discussing London's truly horrible 2012 Olympic logo, which was said to have driven people into epileptic seizures upon viewing, Roker cracked a joke about the disorder. Without turning inflecting a politically correct tone or blowing the situation out of proportion, the New York Post reported his comments and next-day apology (hat tip: Insignificant Thoughts):
"Remember that controversial Olympic logo for the 2012 Olympics in London? Some folks have complained that the campaign actually sent them into epileptic seizures," Roker said on Thursday's show.
"Well, we asked you to weigh in on our Web site in an informal poll; those of you who could get up off the floor after shaking around were able to actually log in…"
I guess things have changed since Roker wrote in his blog that he was sick of the “ 'humor' at others expense” and “the cruelty that passes for funny” (bold mine throughout):
THIS is CNN in 1998; the link is to a story debunking the network's Peter Arnett and April Oliver, who accused Vietnam soldiers of war crimes in Operation Tailwind.
This is from 2003. The network's Eason Jordan confessed that the network twisted the news out of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, thereby giving false impressions of the regime to the world so that it could maintain its access to the country (the article is posted at the author's web host for fair use and discussion purposes).
Then there's this from 2005. Eason Jordan accused the US military in Iraq of targeting journalists, and ultimately resigned in the wake of the outcry. "Somehow" the actual video footage of Jordan's accusations, made at the World Economic Forum in Davos, never surfaced.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough contacted NewsBusters a few moments ago with the relevant transcript from his June 1 "Morning Joe" program, lamenting in an e-mail that our "follow up blog on Newsbusters... actually omits fact that there was a long discussion started by female athlete re pole exercising. Transcript shows whole thing taken wildly out of context."
Here's the transcript, as forwarded by Scarborough to us after receiving same from Christopher Licht, executive producer of "Scarborough Country":
An update to my earlier post that I figured would do just as well as a fresh item.
USA Today's "On Politics" blog, "TV Newser," and The New Republic's "The Plank" contain explanations from Joe Scarborough's people of how they believe the Friday "Morning Joe" banter between the MSNBC host and guest Craig Crawford about potential GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson's wife was taken out of context.
Noted USA Today's Mark Memmott:
A spokesman for the news network said this afternoon, though, that the
comment has been taken out of context and that it is "irresponsible" to
suggest Scarborough was employing sexual innuendo. "Works the pole"
could have been a reference to poles that some strippers use in their
acts. MSNBC says it was a reference to an exercise routine that a
growing number of women are performing.
Conservative blogs are abuzz with a controversial remark MSNBC's Joe Scarborough made on his Friday "Morning Joe" program about Jeri Thompson, the wife of former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), who is mulling over a White House bid.
XM Radio announced today that radio shock jocks Opie & Anthony will be suspended for 30 days. The news release excerpted below makes a nondescript reference to a crude May 9 radio bit with a homeless man in which said man suggested he'd like to rape Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Here's an excerpt:
Radio deplored the comments aired on "The Opie & Anthony Show" last
week. At the time, the company strongly expressed its views to Opie and
Anthony, and they issued an immediate apology.
Comments made by
Opie and Anthony on yesterday's broadcast put into question whether
they appreciate the seriousness of the matter. The management of XM
Radio decided to suspend Opie and Anthony to make clear that our on-air
talent must take seriously the responsibility that creative freedom
requires of them.
Patrick Ishmael of NewsBuckit notices that XM didn't find the rape references worthy of discipline but rather that the shock jocks may "appreciate the seriousness of the matter." Ishmael also points out CBS Radio plans to keep airing O&A, even though it quickly canned Imus shortly after MSNBC killed his simulcast:
For those that missed it, Friday night’s debate on Fox News’ “Hannity & Colmes” between “Imus in the Morning” producer Bernard McGuirk and Rev. Al Sharpton was a fireworks-filled extravaganza (video in three parts available here, here, and here; full transcript follows).
Without question, McGuirk came prepared to take on the man conceivably most responsible for his termination by CBS Radio, as well as his boss’s, Don Imus.
In fact, with McGuirk’s first words, it was made infinitely clear that viewers were in for quite a barnburner: “Let's get ready to box on FOX, I guess, huh?”
After the first question was posed to McGuirk, he tried to explain to the audience that Imus was an equal opportunity offender (readers are warned that some of the language is a bit graphic. As such, proceed with caution):
The CBSNews.com blog "Public Eye" reported today that a retired general who has appeared in anti-Bush TV ads has been dismissed as a CBS News military analyst due to his political activism. Yet the CBS executive who defended the move seemed to almost blame CBS's at-home audience for the personnel decision.
Maj. Gen. John Batiste (US Army, Retired) may still be quoted on CBS's newscasts, he just won't get paid for it.
"We might still go to the general to ask about things, but not as a consultant to CBS News," CBS News Senior Vice President for Standards Linda Mason was quoted by editor Brian Montopoli.
Montopoli quoted Mason's rationale for asking Batiste to leave (emphasis mine):
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:
After stating on the air
that the death of a conservative talk show host's mother in a tragic fire
was "the vengeance of God", you would think that liberal talker Michael
McGee would be apologizing in an attempt to keep his job.
He has merely stepped up his ridiculous attacks. In his recent followup interview with the local Fox 6 news, he compared Charlie Sykes to Satan and Hitler and then said
the only thing that he regretted was that “his stringy haired ho son
wasn’t layin’ there with her” when Katherine Sykes died in a tragic
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?
Over the weekend, blogger Jim Hanson (aka "Uncle Jimbo" at Blackfive) appeared on CNN's "This Week at War" where he asked about how the U.S. military was going to improve its response to the pretty sophisticated usage of the media that Islamic terrorists have begun to develop.
Of course, the fact that the terrorists have gotten good at using the media isn't simply a deficiency of the Pentagon. It's also one of the western media. Hanson pointed this out and mentioned CNN's airing of a tape of an al Quaeda sniper killing an American soldier as being part of the problem.
"You force me to point
out you guys did put out a pretty heinous video of snipers, of the
insurgents killing U.S. troops on CNN, so you guys to some extent
helped them with their own propaganda."
Full transcript of the segment available at Blackfive. Click below the fold to watch the video.
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.