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):
I went to the Associated Press last night to see what the self-described Essential Global News Network would have to say about the murder which took place in Oakland on Thursday afternoon "near" that city's increasingly disgusting and dangerous "Occupy" camp.
Here's what I found, as written by Terry Collins (the report has since been updated and its 7:07 a.m. today version is saved here, but the paragraph which follows was also present last night; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Are we supposed to believe standards of professional journalism are so different in France that when you hear something clearly newsworthy, you don't say or write about it when the government tells you not to because of "tradition"?
That's what Angela Charlton at the Associated Press, which admits to having had a reporter on hand when French President Nicolas Sarkozy told U.S. President Barack Obama that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "is a liar," would have us believe. Though she did note Obama's lack of objection to Sarkozy's assertion, Charlton downplayed Obama's actual and equally broad response -- "You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!" -- by holding it until the eighth paragraph of her report and keeping it out of the story's headline. The first six paragraphs of the report (9:45 a.m. version also saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes), which includes the excuse, follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Discussing the execution of convicted cop-killer Troy Davis on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer asked left-wing activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton if he was "surprised" by most Americans supporting the death penalty. Sharpton declared: "When I'm watching Republican debates and see people cheering...that 234 people were killed in Texas under Governor Perry, it doesn't surprise me." [Audio available here]
Sharpton went on to argue that the United States was guilty of violating human rights: "How do you think we look to the world when a man with this kind of doubt was executed by the state last night and we're lecturing them on human rights?"
According to the Associated Press's Steve Peoples in a Saturday evening report, presidential candidate Rick Perry, speaking at a private reception in New Hampshire (which begs the question of whether Peoples was even there), told those attending: "I don't support a fence on the border." Then, again according to Peoples, "The answer produced an angry shout from at least one audience member."
"Jane" (actually Jane Woodworth) at the YouTooCongress blog (HT Instapundit) says otherwise: "I attended that event, stood about 15 feet from where he delivered those remarks and never heard an 'angry shout.' Either the AP is making it up or it wasn’t much of a shout. Perhaps they can supply the audio." They definitely should.
Probably in response to a firestorm of criticism over their cover photo of Rep. Michele Bachmann, Newsweek today released a slideshow of "outtakes" that they say show that, in essence, the Minnesota Republican is unphotogenic and didn't give them much to work with in terms of a flattering photo.
Liberal shill Arianna Huffington predictably echoed left-wing talking points on ABC's "This Week" Sunday concerning Fox News's coverage of the British hacking scandal being "embarrassing for journalism."
Fortunately for the sake of accuracy, Fox Business Network's Charlie Gasparino was there to set the record straight (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Not content with its front-page drumbeat of stories related to the “News of the World” hacking scandal, the New York Times keeps uncovering multiple angles of attack against Rupert Murdoch’s media empire News Corp.
Media reporter Brian Stelter made the front of Wednesday’s Business Day by relaying threats from the hard left – or rather “progressive activists and public interest groups” – that want to break up Murdoch’s right-leaning stable of newspapers and networks: “Scandal Stirs U.S. Debate On Big Media.”
Keith Olbermann was infamous for his in-house feuds during his MSNBC tenure. But Keith's clearing-off has manifestly failed to transform the network into a land of milk and honey. Witness the nasty little spat on today's Morning Joe between Joe Scarborough and Martin Bashir, host of an MSNBC afternoon show.
At hand was the hacking scandal, and in particular Piers Morgan's possible involvement. Scarborough referenced a Morgan statement indicating that at the time he was editor of a British newspaper, he was aware of a phone-hacking technique. Joe asked Bashir if he was surprised that more hadn't been made of it. Bashir condescendingly responded that he wasn't surprised since, "if you read it carefully, Joe" the statement contained no admission by Morgan of having used the technique. For more on the matter, including the suggestion that Morgan's paper in fact used the hacking technique to break a sex scoop, click here.
That set Scarborough off and the two continued to exchange barbs till the end of the segment.
Tuesday’s CBS Evening News poked fun at 80-year-old Rupert Murdoch being nearly hit by a pie as the show led with the News Corp founder’s appearance in front of the British parliament to discuss the News of the World phone hacking scandal. During the opening teaser, after playing a clip of Murdoch exclaiming that "This is the most humble day of my life," Schieffer made a quip about "humble pie." Schieffer: "Elizabeth Palmer and Anthony Mason on the News Corp chief getting a taste of humble pie."
After Schieffer opened the show recounting the Murdoch story and introduced correspondents Elizabeth Palmer and Anthony Mason, Mason could be seen with a big grin, presumably in response to the CBS anchor’s opening. Schieffer summed up the day’s events:
On Tuesday’s World News on ABC, correspondent Jeffrey Kofman asserted that News Corporation founder Rupert Murdoch was a "man infamous for his ruthlessness and his arrogance" as he filed a report on Murdoch’s testimony in front of the British parliament.
Kofman also seemed to mock the News Corp founder as he remarked that "he's the boss, but the buck does not stop with him, and he is not planning to step aside."
On Saturday’s Good Morning America on ABC, after anchor Dan Harris recounted that News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch met and apologized to the family of the 13-year-old murder victim whose phone messages were hacked by a News of the World reporter, correspondent Jeffrey Kofman commented that Murdoch reminded him of Ebenezer Scrooge approaching Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol, rather than a character from a Shakespearean tragedy. Kofman:
I've been trying to resist taking satisfaction in David Cay Johnston's utter humiliation on his first assignment at Reuters. Y'know, there but for the grace of God, etc. I do wish him well, though I question whether the feeling is mutual. More important, I hope he recognizes the need to go into journalistic rehab. My guess is that he doesn't.
The former New York Times journalist/reporter (whatever, David) and yours truly had an extended online dustup four years ago when I demonstrated Johnston's in my view sloppy, foundation-limited, and biased reporting at the Old Gray Lady (graphic of first few paragraphs as originally presented; current link) in an item about what had happened to Americans' incomes between 2000 and 2005 (errors summarized here in "Top Six Errors Committed by David Cay Johnston and/or the New York Times in Their Income Growth Report"; I noted a seventh later).
Let's go through the development and destruction of Johnston's maiden effort at Reuters.
While some leftist bloggers are positively delighted that the FBI has opened an investigation into NewsCorp regarding possible hacking of 9/11 victims' voicemail accounts -- dreaming of an existential threat to Fox News -- Time's Massimo Calabresi is perplexed as to what could justify the investigation other than political pressure (emphasis mine):