Media Scandals

By Tom Blumer | July 15, 2011 | 3:31 PM EDT

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.

By Ken Shepherd | July 15, 2011 | 1:28 PM EDT

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):

By R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. | July 14, 2011 | 5:20 PM EDT

Do we need any other evidence that the Kultursmog exists and that it is international — at least in the English-speaking world — than the fact that the biggest news story in the United Kingdom today is also the biggest news story here. I have in mind the story that News of the World reporters in London listened in on private conversations and possibly bribed Scotland Yard. The Kultursmog is that set of ideas and tastes that are utterly polluted by left-wing values and carried by the liberal news media to pollute people's minds.

Every day, the money-losing New York Times and its subsidiaries throughout mainstream media hammer away at the story of a scandal in faraway England, and of course, they have located Rupert Murdoch at the very heart of the story. Over the weekend, he flew to London. He meets with top aides. The News of the World is killed off. Now a deal for BSkyB is being pulled. What comes next? Well, what comes next, reports Reuters, is that the American Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are looking into Murdoch's company, News Corp., on this side of the Atlantic for criminal behavior. Or maybe they are not. No one would go on the record and say they are investigating. Oh, yes, and by the way, we have a constitution here with a First Amendment. The Founding Fathers, in their infinite wisdom, did not want to see the press harassed by innuendo.

By Kyle Drennen | July 14, 2011 | 11:48 AM EDT

Appearing on Thursday's NBC Today, MSNBC host Martin Bashir shared his thoughts on the tabloid phone hacking scandal in Britain and proclaimed that News Corporation owner Rupert Murdoch was "...a combination of Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist, and someone like James 'Whitey' Bulger, the mobster." [Audio available here]

Despite Bashir's outrageous comparison – Abramoff was convicted on corruption charges and Bulger is accused of 19 murders during his time as the head of the Irish mob in Boston – co-host Matt Lauer offered no objection to the claim.

View video after the jump

 

By Kyle Drennen | July 13, 2011 | 6:13 PM EDT

On Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Stephanie Gosk reported the latest details on the phone hacking scandal in Britain involving a Rupert Murdoch owned tabloid and declared: "Damage to the company [News Corporation] may have already been done. And some say it is about time."

Gosk noted that included, "actor Hugh Grant, who in recent months has led his own campaign against the tabloids." A sound bite was played of Grant: "we're talking about pretty nasty people." Gosk went on to speculate that the scandal may spread and put "pressure on Rupert Murdoch's worldwide media empire," which of course includes Fox News. She also argued that in Britain, Murdoch's "political support...has all but disappeared."

By Tim Graham | June 30, 2011 | 11:19 AM EDT

Via TV Newser, we learn that MSNBC has "suspended indefinitely" its senior political analyst Mark Halperin for stating on Morning Joe that President Obama was "kind of a [male appendage]." This is not exactly what the "No Labels" crowd at Morning Joe were expecting. The official MSNBC statement:

Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable. We apologize to the President, The White House and all of our viewers. We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air.  Therefore, Mark will be suspended indefinitely from his role as an analyst.

 

By Tim Graham | June 19, 2011 | 6:48 PM EDT

One might expect the reader’s advocate at a major newspaper to have some respect for the readers. Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton thinks anyone who complains about “crowdsourcing” Sarah Palin’s e-mails is ridiculous. With copy as spiky as his white hair, he began his Sunday column with a swipe:

If you read the mail to the ombudsman last week, you would think The Post organized a vigilante mob to burn Sarah Palin at the stake. That interpretation is complete balderdash.

By NB Staff | June 10, 2011 | 10:37 AM EDT

"I've never seen the news media do this, and it is beyond reproachful for them to have done this," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell complained on the June 10 "Fox & Friends" regarding the New York Times and Washington Post calling for readers to volunteer to help them comb through the archive of Sarah Palin's official gubernatorial e-mail correspondence.

For the full segment, click the play button on the embed below the page break

By Ken Shepherd | June 9, 2011 | 3:25 PM EDT

Both the Washington Post and the New York Times are looking for readers to help them comb through every jot and tittle of Sarah Palin's official gubernnatorial e-mail correspondence.

By Brent Bozell | May 16, 2011 | 11:55 AM EDT

The President’s secret meetings with Fareed Zakaria – the same reporter who openly used a CNN network broadcast to promote Obama in 2008 – show a clear and disturbing double standard at CNN.

For decades, the liberal media have repeatedly condemned conservatives in the media who communicated privately with Republican presidents. They furiously attacked George Will in 1980 when he advised candidate Ronald Reagan, and trounced on Roger Ailes when he sent President Bush a note about the new war on terror in the wake of September 11th.  Neither of them was a reporter.

By Tom Blumer | April 13, 2011 | 2:16 PM EDT

This is about as weak as it gets.

This morning as seen here (saved here at my web host for future reference), an unbylined 90-word Associated Press report at 9:57 a.m. told readers the following, in part:

By Clay Waters | April 5, 2011 | 7:04 AM EDT

For “Secrecy in Shreds,” his latest column for the New York Times’s Sunday magazine, Executive Editor Bill Keller conducted a surprisingly affable conversation with conservative journalist Gabriel Schoenfeld of Commentary magazine, who last year published “Necessary Secrets,” a book highly critical of Keller and the Times revealing details of and thus wrecking two successful terrorist-fighting programs -- the National Security Agency’s secret eavesdropping,, and SWIFT, a Treasury Department program that screened international banking records for suspicious activity.

Last year, Gabriel Schoenfeld, a veteran of the conservative magazine Commentary, published a book that explained how The New York Times could be prosecuted under the Espionage Act. The book said a lot of other things too, but you’ll understand why that particular proposition stuck in my mind. At one point Schoenfeld conjured an image of authorities “frog-marching a shackled Bill Keller into court.”