Sometimes, leftists make arguments that are just too odd to take seriously. On the blog News Corpse (an appropriate location to discuss whack-Bush movies, perhaps), there's great gnashing of teeth over CNN and NPR deciding not to air commercials (oops, that would be "enhanced underwriting" at NPR) for the Bush-assassination film "Death of a President."
CNN issued a brief statement that virtually admits its intention to censor, saying that…
“CNN has decided not to take the ad because of the extreme nature of the movie’s subject matter.”
By basing their decision on the movie’s “subject matter”, they have installed themselves as the public’s nanny. They believe that they are in the best position to decide for us which subjects matter. While they are a couple of yards further over the line than NPR, the public radio network’s excuse is not much better:
Those who are familiar with my economic analyses know that I have maintained for some time that the left and their media minions exercise a peculiar brand of arithmetic whereby one plus one sometimes equals one, two, or three depending upon the result required to fit the agenda of the person in question. Well, White House advisor Karl Rove was Robert Siegel’s guest on NPR Tuesday, and a rather lively discussion ensued over polling data and how to read such statistics culminating in Rove making a similar point about fuzzy liberal math (audio available here).
The exchange in question was precipitated when the host stated that Rove was on the “optimistic end of realism” concerning the upcoming elections. Rove quickly responded, “Not that you would be exhibiting a bias.” Siegel rebutted, “I'm looking at all the same polls that you're looking at every day.”
Media Life magazine had two media experts answer why Air America went south. Nancy Haynes said exactly what I've said from the beginning, that taxpayer-funded radio was the big obstacle, over 700 affiliate stations, a very established network:
Air America has had an especially tough time growing its audience because its affiliates must take listeners almost entirely from other, more-established stations, and the most likely source for Air America to “steal” audience would be from NPR affiliates. Yet NPR's isteners are among radio's most loyal. That's bad news for Air America.
Andrew Ettinger added the other obvious point, that radio dynamos like Limbaugh and Hannity built slowly, from the commercial ground up, not from the philanthropy-driven top down:
If you're looking for some fair-and-balanced commentary on the situation in Iraq, there's nothing like relying exclusively on a scholar with two degrees from Berkeley - particularly if that same person is a frequent NPR guest.
That was Good Morning America's approach this morning. The only expert invited to comment on the situation in Iraq was Shibley Telhami of the Brookings Institution. Predictably, he painted matters in the bleakest possible light:
"I believe that the United States has lost the ability to control events in Iraq. And it lost them long ago."
A quick Googling reveals that Telhami has both a doctorate and masters from Berkeley. He was an undergrad at Queens College in NYC, another liberal hotbed. According to his Wikipedia entry, Telhami was born into an Arab family in Israel and is a regular guest on NPR.
National Public Radio is so liberal that even the weekend game shows ooze liberalism. On Saturday, the show "Whad'Ya Know" from Wisconsin Public Radio (heard on 260 stations) interviewed New York Times columnist Frank Rich on his new Bush-bashing book "The Greatest Story Ever Sold on Earth" for almost half an hour. Near the end (about 27 minutes into the first half-hour), host Michael Feldman went on a tear against the use of the term Islamo-fascism" to define the terrorists:
Feldman: "Also, that 'Islamofascism' thing they keep saying, which is so annoying, first of all because none of these governments are fascist, really. But the government is acting in a way which is quite fascistic, really, because it’s corporate, it’s authoritarian, it’s you know, it’s anti-liberal. That’s the definition of fascism, but they’re using this, this is a phrase they’ve decided to use."
There still is a Blame America First lobby. On Friday's edition of "Inside Washington" on PBS affiliate WETA, National Public Radio reporter Nina Totenberg couldn't simply deplore Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez's remarks that President Bush was "the devil." She had to put the blame on the United States government for paying excessive attention to him. After Colbert King of the Washington Post dismissed Chavez as a "class clown," Totenberg went into her spin cycle:
Nina Totenberg: "I want to see -- say one thing about him. He is the class clown, but we have made him. We should have ignored him long ago. We were demonizing him at the beginning, trying to get him overthrown."
Here's a few tidbits from the Style section of Friday's Washington Post. Paul Farhi reports that NPR has a new CEO. It's executive vice president Ken Stern, who will replace Kevin Klose on October 1. Only at the end of the short article are we told Stern "was deputy general counsel for President Clinton's 1996 reelection campaign." Stern's official NPR bio also notes he was "chief counsel for the 53rd Presidential Inaugural Committee," Clinton's second inauguration.
Book reviewer Carolyn See has taken a strong liking to Arianna Huffington. She even claimed sexism was responsible for people disliking her: "She's that social climber with the funny accent who married some rich Republican who tried to buy a Senate seat. When that failed, they separated, and she switched political sides. Then she gave many Gatsby-style parties, invited everyone, got a newspaper column and set up a blog called the Huffington Post. Groan. People don't care much for women who think, and it's not only men who get creeped out: If a woman like that disagrees with you -- and has the nerve to say so out loud -- it's more than possible that she may be right." See is wrong.
Sorry, this item is a bit dated. On last weekend's edition of "On The Media" on National Public Radio, host Bob Garfield devoted a segment to the utter, outrageous waste of public broadcasting. Oops, no, not that public broadcasting, but U.S. propaganda broadcasts to Cuba. (Forgive me for chortling whenever a government-funded news outlet denounces another government-funded news outlet. It ought to come with a disclaimer. "We here at National Public Radio believe deeply in biting the hand that feeds us -- hard.")
Garfield began by reporting on TV Marti's satire show, "The Office of the Chief," that mocks Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. In the chair normally occupied by El Jefe was his brother Raul Castro, "waxing about his 59 luxury homes and barking orders at his staff." After a clip, Garfield instructed:
Talk about your culture clash! A hip hop music site juxtaposes a report on Bill Cosby's condemnation of that musical genre with news of the latest criminal doings of hip hop stars. AllHipHop.com bills itself as 'The World's Most Dangerous Site.' Currently up on the site is an article reporting a recent speech in which Cosby . . . "went on the offensive against rap music."
States the article:
"'They put the word 'nigga' in a song, and we get up and dance to it,' Cosby said.
"The two-hour Coppin State University-hosted event dubbed 'Fatherhood Works,' was the last stop on the entertainer's day-long visit to the city.
"In addition to hip-hop, Cosby expressed his views on teenage pregnancy, re-emphasized the importance of a good education and urged fathers to take a more active role in raising their kids, as he visited three West Baltimore elementary schools and the church."
So here was AllHipHop respectfully passing along Cosby's message. Meanwhile . . . to the right of the Cosby article is a column with links to the latest news from the hip hop world. But while reports of new record deals and other doings were mixed in, much of it read like a 'rap' sheet of an altogether different sort. Examples:
Foxy Brown Misses New Jersey Court Date, Must Attend Next Hearing
Estate of Slain Man In CCC Club Files Lawsuit Against Proof Estate
of the photographer's comment (it appears that Denton's original is
gone, but that another commenter reposted it within his own comment;
scroll down to "Andy Levin Fri Aug 11 09:54:08")
i have been working in lebanon since all this started,
and seeing the behavior of many of the lebanese wire service
photographers has been a bit unsettling. while hajj has garnered a lot
of attention for his doctoring of images digitally, whether guilty or
not, i have been witness to the daily practice of directed shots, one
case where a group of wire photogs were coreographing the unearthing of
bodies, directing emergency workers here and there, asking them to
position bodies just so, even remove bodies that have already been put
in graves so that they can photograph them in peoples arms. these
photographers have come away with powerful shots, that required no
manipulation digitally, but instead, manipulation on a human level, and
this itself is a bigger ethical problem.
Remember when Cokie Roberts said on Sunday’s “This Week” on ABC that a Ned Lamont victory in Connecticut would be a “Disaster for the Democratic Party” not once, but twice as reported by NewsBusters here? Well, on Monday, in an interview on NPR with Steve Inskeep (audio link here, hat tip to American Thinker), she reversed her position -- or what many conservatives like to refer to as a “flip-flop” -- and said that this “is going to be hard for all incumbents, but it's especially hard for the party in power.”
That would be the Republicans, wouldn’t it? Inskeep, maybe aware of what Roberts said on Sunday, then asked:
In a Tuesday USA Today article on the 90th birthday of NPR's left-wing commentator, Daniel Schorr, Peter Johnson revealed the ignorance of NPR producers about modern history. Johnson began his July 25 puff piece on the CBS News veteran, “60 years later, NPR's Schorr is still a 'precious resource,'” with some anecdotes about how NPR producers turn to him for basic facts:
Daniel Schorr is used to producers popping into his Washington, D.C., office at National Public Radio to ask, on deadline: Which war came first, Korea or Vietnam? (Answer: Korea.)
But when one asked, "You covered the Spanish-American War, didn't you?” Schorr couldn't help but respond, matter-of-factly: “That was 1898.”
“Oh, sorry, of course,” the younger man said, excusing himself.
Guess we folks at NewsBusters and at our parent organization, Media Research Center, can go home. Our work is done. Not only is the media not controlled by liberals, it's actually . . . dominated by the right wing. For that matter, it has been for decades! If only we had known, we could have saved ourselves all this trouble.
How did I learn this? From Arshad Hasan, of Democracy for America, the group Howard Dean founded at the end of his candidacy, and that has as its stated goal "to rebuild the Democratic Party." Dean's brother Jim serves at its chair.
Arshad was nice enough to send me an email this morning [OK, I signed up for their list], informing me of the exciting news that DFA is working "to take back our media" and that for such purposes will be conducting online 'DFA Night School' sessions to cover the following subjects:
The On Point radio show on WBUR public radio in Boston (no liberal leaning there!) featured host Anthony Brooks and several panelists chewing over the NYT's bank spy story, including reporter Eric Lichtblau, the reporter responsible (or should we say irresponsible) for coauthoring the piece.
Joining Brooks by phone, Lichtblau offered this lame defense in response to a question from fellow guest Heather Mac Donald, who wrote critically about the Times' report for the Weekly Standard: “The idea that we’re alerting terrorist to the idea that their finances may be tracked I think is misguided. I think they’ve been alerted to that for the last four-and-a-half years by President Bush and by numerous aides, including former Treasury Secretary Snow and others. That drumbeat has been constant from the administration, and it’s such a poorly kept secret, if you can call it even that.”
I caught a snippet of an NPR game show in the car today, and even the game shows remind you that the liberals take the taxpayer money of conservatives and smear them with it. On the game show titled "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," a game show asking trivia questions about the news of the week, host Peter Sagal not only joked that Karl Rove ordered the killing of Rep. Jack Murtha, but that Rove's rear end is Dick Cheney's undisclosed location.
The show is a weekly co-production of Chicago Public Radio and NPR. About twenty-nine minutes into this weekend's show (just after NBC anchor Brian Williams was a guest guesser), host Peter Sagal turned back to the panel:
"Charlie, as you know, as the debate about the Iraq war goes on, it’s getting nastier. This week Representative Jack Murtha, who was the first to call for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, decided to make an issue out of Karl Rove’s what?"
Not that there's been any doubt as to the politics of NPR and PBS - home to world-class Republican haters such as Bill Moyers. Still, it's instructive to see just who has launched a massive organizing effort to ensure continued taxpayer funding of the two organizations. Turns out . . . it's none other than the far-left MoveOn.org.
Here's a mass email sent out today by Move-on:
From: Noah T. Winer, MoveOn.org Civic Action Sent: Monday, June 12, 2006 12:27 PM To: Subject: Deadline tomorrow! Re: Save NPR and PBS (again)
Rick Klein at the Boston Globe reported Thursday that Republicans in the House are proposing a cut for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) again, which completely failed last spring:
On a party-line vote, the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees health and education funding approved the cut to the budget for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which distributes money to the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio. It would reduce the corporation's budget by 23 percent next year, to $380 million, in a cut that Republicans said was necessary to rein in government spending...
A similar move last year by Republican leaders was turned back in a fierce lobbying campaign launched by Public Broadcasting Service stations and Democratic members of Congress, in a debate that was colored by some Republicans' frustration with what they see as a liberal slant in public programming.
Friday’s New York Times profile of NPR star Garrison Keillor (well, American Public Media, to be exact, but heard on many NPR stations) underlines how public broadcasting can be a very lucrative business. On the cusp of Keillor’s "Prairie Home Companion" movie coming out in a week, Times writer Joyce Wadler traveled to St. Paul to do the feature "At Home with Garrison Keillor," which truly underlines the Keillor wealth.
Keillor, to put it in a Midwesterner’s terms, is a lutefisk-and-lefse limousine liberal. His latest political book, Homegrown Democrat, proclaims his love for the Donkey Party and was summed up by one critic as "a masterful diatribe against the Republican party and narcissistic, greed-driven, mean-spirited ‘conservatism.’" (Brent Bozell pegged Keillor’s odd mix of socialist theorizing and capitalist merchandising here.) Minnesota Public Radio, the parent company of American Public Media, hasn’t been a pioneer in disclosing financial particulars, but Wadler brings it into some focus:
NPR’s Nina Totenberg claimed that the United States was becoming East Germany on the program "Inside Washington" which airs on some PBS affiliates, and in the Washington D.C. market on News Channel 8 as well as the local ABC affiliate.
Host Gordon Peterson, opened a discussion segment regarding a report by ABC News Investigative reporter Brian Ross, who asserted that a federal law enforcement officer advised him and his producer to get new cell phones because the government was tracking the phone numbers dialed in an effort to root out confidential sources. Peterson wondered what effect this would have on reporters:
"He says the official told him ‘it's time for you to get some new cell phones quick.’ Reporters are going to start functioning like al Qaeda operatives? Go to a pay phone if the can find one?"
NPR ombudsman Jeffrey A. Dvorkin defends two NPR correspondents who go on Fox News regularly, Mara Liasson and Juan Williams. Many NPR fans, especially those inflamed by Media Matters, complain to NPR that for their reporters to go on FNC is merely to provide a fig leaf for Fox News's claim to be "fair and balanced."
Dvorkin says it's okay for NPR people to go on Fox because of "NPR's commitment to free speech and free inquiry," although reporters "have to stay reportorial -- not become editorial writers or opiners."
Nothing riles some public-radio listeners like NPR journalists appearing on FOX News television programs. Two prominent NPR correspondents, Mara Liasson and Juan Williams are regular panelists on FOX. What bothers those NPR listeners who complain to me is that the cable television network openly espouses conservative opinions as expressed by outspoken hosts. The FOX slogan, "fair and balanced" is deemed by many of the complainants as ironic, to say the least.
That's because NPR makes every effort to remain nonpartisan, and FOX, it appears, does not. Frustrated public-radio listeners tell me that the NPR presence only serves as cover for FOX's claim that it is "fair and balanced." And that frustration is further pumped up by some political blogs, seeking to trash both FOX for being conservative, and NPR for looking like FOX's willing agents whenever its news representatives participate on FOX's programs.
For months, the media have blamed virtually anything but free market forces for the rise in oil and gas prices. NBC’s Lisa Myers attributed these increases to greed on a recent Nightly News report stating almost disgustedly “Exxon earned 9.5 cents on every dollar of gasoline and oil sold, cashing in at every stage of the process.”
Imagine the nerve of ExxonMobil actually making a profit. Oh the humanity.
A few days earlier, CBS’s Russ Mitchell, clearly concerned about price gouging, asked one of his guests on the Evening News, “How easy is it for a gas station, for an oil company to just jack up the price of gas?"
I bet you can’t guess the response.
Yet, in the midst of all this hysteria, a highly unlikely source – National Public Radio’s Internet website – published an article entitled “Q&A: What’s Behind High Gas Prices?” In it, author Scott Horsley adroitly cut through the hype, and
National Public Radio offers a natural book-buying audience for ultraliberal Sen. Ted Kennedy as he sells his new tome, titled "America Back On Track." On yesterday's nationally syndicated "Diane Rehm Show," NPR reporter Andrea Seabrook sat in for Rehm. The show should have been called "The Senate Floor," since Kennedy's answers routinely went beyond two minutes and started sounding like floor speeches, as Seabrook deferentially waited for Kennedy to come up for air.
For example, Seabrook's second question was simple: "How did America get off track?" Kennedy offered a windy two-minute attack/answer about George Bush and Karl Rove's "politics of fear," as well as darkness, division, and personal destruction, just to round it out:
On Tuesday's edition of "Fresh Air," the daily one-hour interview show on National Public Radio, airing on hundreds of NPR affiliates across the country, host Terry Gross interviewed Paul Weitz, director of the new Bush-mocking movie "American Dreamz." Gross helped Weitz to explain his point that "dreams are sometimes delusions," like democracy in Iraq. Weitz expressed sorrow that John Kerry lost to Bush in 2004 because "he was able to look at both sides of an issue, which seems to be the hallmark of intelligence."
Weitz began by suggesting his movie was a way of dealing with how America has been paralyzed by irrational fear since 9/11, so paralyzed it's almost impossible to have a rational thought in George Bush's America:
On Wednesday, NPR's "Fresh Air With Terry Gross," which airs on hundreds of NPR stations across America, interviewed long-time New York Times foreign correspondent Stephen Kinzer on his new book, "Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change From Hawaii To Iraq." To Kinzer, every American intervention is a nightmare, one he compared to child abuse:
These interventions abroad, these overthrows of foreign governments, not only plunge whole regions of the world into instability and turn them into places from which undreamed threats emerge years later, but they undermine American security. They are not just bad for the countries where we intervene. You cannot violently overthrow a foreign regime and then expect that that won't have any long-term effect. It's like beating your child every day. You cannot expect that that child is going to grow up normal.
As the Meredith Vieira incident shows us, network anchors and talk show hosts can display their biases off the air by where they go and speak...or march. At the tail end of "Hardball" Thursday night, MRC's Geoff Dickens found MSNBC host Chris Matthews promoted Rosie O'Donnell and her new HBO documentary on her gay-family cruises. But the real eye-opening part for media watchdogs was Matthews admitting he spoke at an event for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay-left lobbying group, in Philadelphia. (Sure enough, here's a picture, with the Matthews mane in a frostier phase. And wow! See another media speaker, NPR "Fresh Air" hostess Terry Gross, whose show originates from Philly.) Matthews explained:
We saw in the 2000 election cycle that one way national reporters protected Democratic presidential contender Al Gore was to ignore wild or embarrassing things he said in public. The RNC and other Gore critics would play up his gaffes, but the media said "what gaffes"? If they did report the remarks, they didn’t find them overstated or wrong.
It’s not exactly 2008 yet, but the same trend looks to be happening with Sen. Hillary Clinton. She can claim that Republicans would need a "police state" to round up illegal immigrants, and then claim that Republicans would "literally criminalize the good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself" in their anti-immigration zeal, and some media outlets didn’t notice either one of these outrages. On the hear-no-Hillary-gaffe list: CBS, NBC, National Public Radio, and USA Today. (Nexis search of "hillary and police state" and "hillary and jesus" through March 29.)
On Tuesday, National Public Radio's "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" interviewed Fred Barnes of FNC and the Weekly Standard on his new book "Rebel In Chief." Gross began by asking Barnes if after the anti-Bush books by old Bush officials like Paul O'Neill and Bruce Bartlett, he set out to be a pro-Bush counterweight to those. (He said no.) NPR's website also posted an excerpt of the book, including Barnes reporting on an afternoon meeting with network anchors before the 2005 State of the Union address:
For now, though, the president has to attend an off-the-record lunch in the White House study adjacent to the State Dining Room. "Why do I have to go to this meeting?" Bush asks his communications director, Dan Bartlett. "It's traditional," Bartlett explains. Indeed, for years, the president has hosted the TV news anchors for lunch on the day of the State of the Union address. It's an invitation the anchors eagerly accept. Peter Jennings and George Stephanopoulos of ABC, Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams of NBC, Chris Wallace and Brit Hume of Fox, and Wolf Blitzer and Judy Woodruff of CNN will be there. So will Dan Rather of CBS, magnanimously invited in spite of having sought to derail the president's reelection campaign by spotlighting four documents (later proved to be fabrications) that indicated Bush had used political pull to get into the Texas Air National Guard and avoid Vietnam duty, and that he had been honorably discharged without fully completing his service. (At the lunch, Rather will suddenly appear solicitous of Bush. "Thank you, Mr. President," he will say as he leaves. "Thank you, Mr. President." Bush will betray no hint of satisfaction.)
The national media was full of broken hearts last week when Dana Reeve died at 44, after nearly a decade of caring for disabled “Superman” star Christopher Reeve. It was obvious from the coverage that this woman had won hearts and made friendships in the media elite. But something strange happened in all the laudatory waves of coverage. Someone shrunk her activism.
It’s common for reporting on embryo-destroying stem cell research to leave out the embryo-destroying part. But the tear-stained accounts of Reeve’s sudden end often left out the words “stem cell” as well. This week’s Newsweek has a two-page article, largely about lung cancer, headlined "A Legacy of Love and Hope: Dana Reeve dedicated her life to finding a cure for spinal-cord injuries, only to fall victim to lung cancer."