Media Scandals

By Ryan Robertson | October 17, 2012 | 2:31 AM EDT

Debate moderator Candy Crowley admitted on CNN's Debate Night in America that Governor Romney was “right in the main” but “picked the wrong word” on the Obama administration’s immediate response to the terrorist attack in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.

Immediately following the second presidential debate, Crowley was repeatedly asked for her thoughts on what she had just witnessed first-hand at Hofstra University. On everyone's mind was the foreign policy discussion between the two candidates, in which Crowley defended the president for what he said in the Rose Garden on Sept. 12 about the Benghazi consulate attack that occurred the day before. [ video below, MP3 audio available here ]

By Ryan Robertson | October 12, 2012 | 3:06 PM EDT

Imagine if an employee at a college or university was suspended from her duties for signing a ballot petition that is for same sex marriage, the media outrage would be predictable and the person would become a household name. And the media would have good reason for doing so: no one should suffer employment consequences for their political convictions. But you probably haven't heard of Dr. Angela McCaskill, because she's on the 'wrong' side of the same-sex marriage debate.

In an incomprehensible move that is being criticized by even advocates for same-sex marriage, Gallaudet University put their Chief Diversity Officer on administrative leave until further notice. Why, you ask? Because McCaskill had the audacity to sign a petition at her church that supported a reversal of Maryland's relatively new same-sex marriage law.

By Tom Blumer | October 2, 2012 | 2:44 PM EDT

As of 2 PM ET, various searches at the national web site of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press (on "furious"; on "Univision"), Reuters ("furious"; "fast and furious"; "univision"), and United Press International ("furious"; "Univision") indicate that the three wire services have given no coverage to reports from Univision exposing the wider geographic scope and far more fatal fallout of the deliberately untrackable guns-to-cartels operation known as Fast and Furious.

I wonder how the leading U.S. Spanish network's broadcasters and audience feel about getting the same treatment the establishment press gives center-right blogs? (A lengthy yet partial transcript of Univision's broadcast with details which will shock all but those who have immersed themselves in the evolving scandal follows the jump.)

By Ryan Robertson | October 1, 2012 | 12:49 PM EDT

MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal on Saturday morning to discuss the letter  MRC president Brent Bozell and more than 20 other conservative leaders and media personalities wrote to executives of ABC News, CBS News, CNN and NBC News.

"I would simply say we have a news media that doesn't hold the Obama Administration accountable. It's trying to destroy the Mitt Romney presidential campaign," Graham said. "That is not what ‘objective’ news media does." (See video and transcript below, MP3 audio available here).

By Matt Hadro | August 21, 2012 | 4:01 PM EDT

For CNN's Ashleigh Banfield, complete opposition to abortion equals a "very far right" position, as she insisted on Tuesday about the new Republican Party platform. For context, CNN used the same "far right" label to describe Sikh shooter Wade Michael Page's racist skinhead band.

"[T]he platform, for the most part, was crafted by the very far-right wing of the party and then if you combine that with the timing of all this ugliness that's going on with Mr. Akin...does that besmirch this platform that so many people agree with?" she asked, framing the completely pro-life stance as extreme and possibly damaging to the GOP.

By Tim Graham | August 16, 2012 | 5:15 PM EDT

Time magazine just e-mailed Newsbusters with an announcement: Fareed Zakaria's column will return early, in the September 7 issue. His offending plagiarism-soiled column appeared in the August 20 edition, so the one-month suspension became a one-week slap on the wrist. (Update: CNN also announced today that their suspension of Zakaria would end on Sunday, August 26.)

"We have completed a thorough review of each of Fareed Zakaria’s columns for TIME, and we are entirely satisfied that the language in question in his recent column was an unintentional error and an isolated incident for which he has apologized. We look forward to having Fareed's thoughtful and important voice back in the magazine with his next column in the issue that comes out on September 7."

By Tom Blumer | August 16, 2012 | 11:51 AM EDT

Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how the Associated Press's Steve Peoples and Politico's Juana Summers could only find hundreds of people attending GOP vice-presidential pick Paul Ryan's Wednesday appearance at Oxford, Ohio's Miami University. Perhaps even more troubling is how they somehow chose an odd angle for their coverage, namely that Ryan has supposedly avoiding talking about Medicare in his stump speeches -- and both wrote "that changed" in describing its first mention.

It seems more than a little odd that two establishment press reporters from supposedly separate and independent media outlets both apparently focused for four days on when Ryan would mention the word "Medicare" on the campaign trail. Summers even made it her headline, while Peoples seemed to want to convey the impression that Ryan has been afraid to mention the word:

By Tim Graham | August 12, 2012 | 8:29 PM EDT

On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN host Howard Kurtz lashed out at CNN’s own host Fareed Zakaria for committing plagiarism in a gun control article for Time magazine. Kurtz gave credit to us: “A conservative watchdog site Newsbusters, acting on a tip from the NRA, broke the story that Fareed's column was not entirely his own work.”

Kurtz put the two passages side by side on the screen to underline Zakaria’s copycat routine and pounded Zakaria for committing a “cardinal journalistic sin,” and the “latest case study of an insidious journalistic disease.” It’s too bad journalists aren’t this upset about sloppy bias. (Video and transcript below)

By Tom Blumer | July 21, 2012 | 8:46 AM EDT

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):

By Brent Bozell | June 19, 2012 | 1:41 PM EDT

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]

By Mark Finkelstein | May 2, 2012 | 9:52 AM EDT

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.

By NB Staff | April 12, 2012 | 5:52 PM EDT

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.