Media Scandals

By Ken Shepherd | November 17, 2010 | 12:34 PM EST

Last month I noted the October 1 arrest of CBS Radio's Howard Arenstein on marijuana possession charges. The Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist allegedly grew pot in his Georgetown backyard.

But just yesterday D.C. Magistrate Judge Kimberley Knowles dropped the charges against Arenstein and his wife, Israeli newspaper reporter Orly Azoulay Katz, after a witness for the prosecution failed to show in court.

By Cal Thomas | November 12, 2010 | 5:48 PM EST

If MSNBC were consistent, Keith Olbermann would not have been the only on-air personality disciplined for making political contributions.

For those who don't watch his "Countdown" program (which would be most of the country), Olbermann was suspended "indefinitely" after it was learned he donated money without approval from management to three Democratic congressional candidates. The problem for MSNBC was not only Olbermann's failure to get permission, but that he anchored part of the network's Election Night coverage. Apparently at MSNBC, the chair you sit in matters more than the content of your journalistic character.

By Ken Shepherd | November 11, 2010 | 6:15 PM EST

"Think of a caged rat, a cornered rat. What does a cornered rat do? It instinctively goes for the jugular. That's where the media are going right now," following the November 2 elections, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Ernest Istook in a radio interview.

The  Media Research Center founder appeared by telephone on the November 11 edition of Bill Bennett's Morning in America, where Istook was substitute hosting.

[Link to audio below page break]

By Brent Bozell | November 5, 2010 | 4:33 PM EDT

Editor's Note: MRC President Brent Bozell issued the following statement in reaction to news that MSNBC had suspended Countdown host Keith Olbermann "indefinitely" for donating to three Democratic candidates in violation of NBC's policy. In October, Olbermann had blasted political donations from Fox News owner News Corp, slamming Fox as "a media outlet that has now put its money where everybody has known its mouth has always been."

Keith Olbermann is officially the Worst Hypocrite in the World. He rails about a ‘national cable news outlet’ that ‘starts to donate to partisan groups of one party,’ then does exactly that.

But it begs a bigger questions: why did it take NBC so long? This man has been using his perch as a newsman at MSNBC to promote a radical left-wing and hate-filled agenda for years. And they fire him over three contributions? NBC needs to review its own policies.”

(Video below page break)

By NB Staff | October 27, 2010 | 1:42 PM EDT

The National Public Radio (NPR) executive who fired Juan Williams is behind an effort lobbying for a new tax to be levied on private media outlets in order to finance a BBC-style state media, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center Brent Bozell told viewers of Fox Business Network's "Varney & Company" at 10:45 a.m. today.

NPR president Vivian Schiller is "part of a group which wants to essentially tax existing media companies... and use that tax money to create a national network of public broadcasting companies to put out a news broadcast on a national basis, like an American BBC," Varney noted.

"Let's put it another way, the attack on Juan Williams... wasn't really an attack on Juan Williams," Bozell replied.

By Ken Shepherd | October 26, 2010 | 6:31 PM EDT

Last night Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly aired an ambush interview that "O'Reilly Factor" producer Jesse Watters sprung on Vivian Schiller, National Public Radio's president.

Last week, Schiller fired Williams over the phone in reaction to a comment the Fox News contributor made on the October 18 edition of O'Reilly's eponymous program.

Schiller, no stranger to cable news -- she used to head up CNN's documentary division --  also put her foot in her mouth last week by flippantly dismissing Williams's comments on the "Factor" as something he should have kept between himself and his psychiatrist.

By NB Staff | October 22, 2010 | 9:03 AM EDT

Juan Williams's firing from National Public Radio (NPR) earlier this week was not only animated in part by the liberal George Soros-backed radio network's disdain of Fox News, it also reeks of a double standard, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told viewers of Friday's "Fox & Friends" program.

"If [Juan Williams] had said those words on the Charlie Rose show, it would have been seen as provocative or thoughtful.... This is the same network that featured Nina Totenberg hoping that Senator Jesse Helms would die or one of his grandchildren would die of AIDS because of his position on gay rights and nothing ever happened to her."

By Michelle Malkin | October 22, 2010 | 12:00 AM EDT

In the wake of commentator Juan Williams' feckless firing by National Public Radio, supporters on the Internet sounded a cheeky rallying cry: "Free Juan!" But Williams has now been liberated from the government-funded media's politically correct shackles. It's taxpayers who need to be untethered from NPR and other state-sponsored public broadcasting.

Public radio and public television are funded with your money to the tune of some $400 million in direct federal handouts and tax deductions for contributions made by individual viewers, not to mention untold state grants and subsidies. Supporters argue that this amounts to a tiny portion of state-sponsored media's overall budget, and an even tinier portion of the overall federal budget.

If it's so negligible, why do NPR's government-subsidized "journalists" cling so bitterly to the subsidies? Leverage. The government imprimatur gives NPR and PBS a competitive edge, favoritism with lawmakers and the phony appearance of being above the fray.

 

By Brent Bozell | October 21, 2010 | 11:57 AM EDT

Managing Editor's note: National Public Radio (NPR) has fired longtime analyst Juan Williams for admitting he gets nervous on a plane when he sees a person dressed in Muslim garb. What follows is a statement from NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell.

Juan Williams has done nothing wrong. What he said echoes what the vast majority of Americans believe. It’s their tax dollars that fund NPR. But NPR is ignoring them. Instead, they are kowtowing to the agenda of radical anti-Americans like CAIR, and doing the bidding of George Soros, who hates Fox News with a passion.

And since when did NPR have standards? Here are just three examples of left-wing statements 100 times more outrageous than what Juan Williams said, with no reaction from NPR:

By Ken Shepherd | October 14, 2010 | 1:41 PM EDT

Although experts from plenty of liberal-leaning news agencies agree that the Obama administration's complaint about the Chamber of Commerce allegedly spending foreign money on campaign issue ads is overblown, Time's Joe Klein is dead set on griping about the non-scandal.

From his Swampland blog post yesterday:

Karl Rove is a great American patriot, a genius, a statesman, even. And now he has proven his phenomenal, overflowing patriotism by setting up a secretive finance group, in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce--that's right, our very own, United States Chamber of Commerce--to run sleazy political ads, funded by foreign investors. I can't imagine why all these foreign companies are just itching to hook up with Rove and influence American politics...can you?

I'm sure Klein's die-hard groupies found that wickedly witty. But even writers further to the left of Klein and the center-left mainstream media, like the folks at Mother Jones magazine, think the complaint is just plain lame.

By Ken Shepherd | October 13, 2010 | 11:12 PM EDT

Lee Abrams, the eccentric chief innovation officer for Tribune newspapers -- and no stranger to NewsBusters criticism  -- has reportedly been suspended for sending co-workers a not-safe-for-work (NSFW) e-mail.

Phil Rosenthal and Michael Oneal of the Chicago Tribune reported the story this afternoon (story accessed here via the Los Angeles Times):

By NB Staff | October 2, 2010 | 11:56 PM EDT

Edward R. Murrow Award-winning radio journalist Howard Arenstein was arrested Friday by the Metropolitan Police Department for growing marijuana plants in his Georgetown backyard. 

Arenstein is the manager for the Washington, D.C. bureau of CBS Radio.

CBS network officials have declined to comment, but feel free to leave yours below.