On June 17, my colleague Kyle Drennen reported a CBS "Evening News" segment wherein "correspondent Lara Logan touted what was essentially a press release from a key terrorist leader in Afghanistan."
CBS News.com headlined the article on this segment as (emphasis added) "Exclusive: Afghan Warlord Talks Resistance; Notorious Terrorist Tells CBS News' Lara Logan About Evading Capture and What He Thinks Of George Bush."
This aroused the curiosity of the good folks at ERS News, who promptly identified that Logan never interviewed this terrorist:
When she's not using her vlog to further a biased take on the news, I've noticed that Katie Couric often complains about rather trivial nuisances in her Notebook segments posted on her Couric & Co. blog. Couric's June 18 edition sounds like a shorter and perkier version of an Andy Rooney rant on the topic of the decline of the wrist watch's popularity with the kids these days.
You see, with more and more people owning cell phones, fewer whippersnappers people see the need for wearing a wrist watch.
Well, I'll let Katie explain, if you care to watch, here. Here's an excerpt:
Could this have been an, "Oops, we messed up" moment for CBSNews.com?
On June 18, CBS.com posted a story claiming that global seismic activity on Earth is now five times more energetic than it was just 20 years ago because of global warming. [see related NB story by D.S. Hube here]
An article at CBSNews.com and MSNBC.com utilizes the claims of a scientist with some very questionable ideas and theories. In this case it's "seismic activity is five times more energetic than 20 years ago" and the reason is due to -- you guessed it -- global warming.
The research proves that destructive ability of earthquakes on Earth increases alarmingly fast and that this trend is set to continue, unless the problem of "global warming" is comprehensively and urgently addressed.
The analysis of more than 386,000 earthquakes between 1973 and 2007 recorded on the US Geological Survey database proved that the global annual energy of earthquakes on Earth began increasing very fast since 1990.
Dr. [Tom] Chalko said that global seismic activity was increasing faster than any other global warming indicator on Earth and that this increase is extremely alarming.
Today Democratic presumptive nominee Barack Obama issued a statement that he will forego the public financing system for the general election. His announcement goes back on a pledge to use public financing if the Republican candidate would do the same.
All three broadcast networks' Web sites have the story, but only ABCNews.com noted in its front page tease that Obama is going back on a previous campaign promise.
"Republicans Block Taxes on Big Oil Profits" blares the teaser headline on the front page of CBSNews.com. Under a graphic of the Capitol dome and a fuel gauge nearing empty, the caption reads "Senate GOP Stops Dems' Effort To Rein In Profits Of Largest Oil Companies As Gas Prices Soar."
That's a lot of bias packed into 24 words, and that's before the reader gets to the actual article. Notice the lack of cynicism as to the motive of the Democrats, who are painted on the side of consumers against industry, although the primary beneficiary of a windfall tax would be, well, the Democratic Congress.
There are limits to what you can properly communicate in a headline, but a more neutral treatment might have been: "Republicans Block Advance of Oil Profit Tax: Democrats say tax will encourage alternative fuel research, Republicans argue it will worsen energy problems."
In the AP/CBS article itself, oil industry claims that a windfall tax is counterproductive were summarily dismissed with a populist soundbite by a Democratic politician:
Seeing dead people in the audience wasn't Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama's only gaffe on Monday, for it has now been revealed that he also spoke about an uncle "who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps."
American troops didn't liberate Auschwitz; Soviet troops did.
Hasn't the MSM learned anything from the unfortunate episodes of John "stuck in Iraq" Kerry and Stephen "if you don't read you've got the Army" King? Apparently not. Once again, the liberal media, this time in the form of the AFP, has perpetrated the canard that the our military is the last resort of the poor and uneducated. An AFP article of May 16 reported the story of Army sergeant Matthis Chiroux, who has refused deployment to Iraq, claiming he considers it "an illegal war."
Chiroux has said that he was "from a poor, white family from the south, and I did badly in school."
And how did AFP describe such young people? As:
[T]he kind of young American US military recruiters love.
BS, I'd say, based on everything I know about military recruiting. But let's let Bill Carr—the Dep. Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel Policy [pictured here]—respond, as he has in a NewsBusters exclusive.
In a rare case of balance, Wednesday’s CBS "Early Show" highlighted both sides in the debate over declaring the polar bear an endangered species due to global warming as correspondent Daniel Sieberg declared: "They're at the top of the food chain at the top of the world, but their future is at the center of a political tug-of-war over drilling for oil versus protecting their habitat."
Sieberg began his report with a dire prediction: "There are an estimated 20,000 - 25,000 polar bears in the Arctic region, but environmentalists warn that rising temperatures and disappearing sea ice will cause a 30 percent decline in their population over the next 50 years." He also played clips of liberal California Senator Barbara Boxer and John Kostyack from the National Wildlife Federation.
However, Sieberg also provided perspective from the Heritage Foundation:
An April 7 CBS Evening News report on the health care monetary burden of illegal aliens on American taxpayers has just now drawn the ire and the fire of the two largest Hispanic grievance groups -- the National Council of La Raza (translation: "The Race") and the Mexican American Legal and Educational Fund (MAL (not Mos) DEF).
Byron Pitts' piece is fairly mild and pretty much down the middle of the fairway, and CBS News and their (for now) flagship girl Katie Couric deserve kudos for at least addressing the issue.
But the Latino Intolerance Duo (LID -- as in flipped their's) can not let stand unchallenged the reporting of the costs of the invasion. Pitts pointing out that someone somewhere (that would of course be us) must pick up the tab -- when the likes of Fabiola (the illegal alien mother featured in the story) does not -- is to them an "anti-Latino falsehood". They do not offer how or why something so obvious as this is either "anti-Latino" or a "falsehood" -- we are left to assume that their asserting it empirically makes it so.
On our end, there was bit of a bone to be picked with the Tiffany Network's numbers.
A lot of bias can be packed into six little words. Take, for example, this April 30 headline on CBSNews.com: "'Hostile' Iran Sparks U.S. Attack Plan." Hostile with the quote marks coupled with "U.S. attack plan" without them suggests belligerence on the part of American military authorities who might be overly suspicious of a "hostile" Iran.
The term "attack plan" might even evoke in readers the notions that an imminent, perhaps large scale offensive military action or war with Iran, a favored bogeyman of left-wing anti-war activists.
But the term "hostile," as we see in the story's lede, is taken from one unnamed military officer's description of Iran's "increasingly hostile role" in backing insurgents in Iraq who are the primary threat to the safety of American GIs.:
(CBS) A second American aircraft carrier steamed into the Persian Gulf on Tuesday as the Pentagon ordered military commanders to develop new options for attacking Iran. CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports that the planning is being driven by what one officer called the "increasingly hostile role" Iran is playing in Iraq - smuggling weapons into Iraq for use against American troops.
What's more, the article itself lays out that the "attack plan" is more or less an upgrade and revision of plans to address an existing Iranian threat, more than a master plan for another war.:
Looking for a "carbon karma" guru? Didn't think so. But in case you were, you can always ask CBS's Hari Sreenivasan, who has anointed himself equal to the task. From an April 23 post to CBSNews.com's Couric & Co. blog:
The simple idea with carbon offsets is that you are trying to clean up the earth a bit for the damage you feel you might be doing – whether it be from the carbon emissions of driving your car, flying in a plane, leaving your plasma TV running all night or the mother of all barbeque pits smoking all day. Travel Web sites such as Orbitz, Travelocity, and Expedia – as well as several major airlines – offer the chance to pay an additional fee right when you book a ticket with them. Companies like DrivingGreen offer opportunities to cleanse your travels on the road.
But I have yet to find a BBQ carbon offset calculator. I'm sure one will pop up if there isn't one.
E-mail tipster Mike Huggins pointed out to NewsBusters that as of 4:30 p.m. EDT today, he found but one media mention of Obama backer Sen. Jay Rockefeller's (D-W.V.) smear of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) among the seven major online news sources he checked. Rockefeller's comment, which he now regrets, is also arguably a smear of U.S. military fighter pilots past and present.
"McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they (the missiles) get to the ground? He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues," Rockefeller said.
Huggins noted that while he searched the Web sites for the Washington Post, L.A. Times, New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, ABCNews.com, and CBSNews.com, he found but one story on the incident and that on ABC's Web site.
Wall Street saw a 391-point rally on the Dow today, the first day of the second quarter. ABCNews.com saw the development worthy of a "Breaking News" tag towards the top of its Web page and put the story in the top headlines rotation.
But it appears that ABCNews.com was alone among its competitors in trumpeting the news. I checked numerous Web sites shortly after 5:30 and found ABC's to be the only one to give the rally top billing. [see the screencaps below the page break]
Al Gore has made a lot of money and publicity with his crusade against global warming. I have written in the past how this whole crusade seems to be based on a Big Lie, and its real purpose appears more intended to get global government so the rest of the world (ie. the United Nations) can gain control over the United States' many assets without having to go through the awkward exercise of actually getting a their authority recognized by the US Congress.
However, there has been a backlash against the Gore Warming crusade (fueled partly by Gore's own hypocrisy in using large motorcades, private jets and his lavish lifestyle- none of which are designed to show others that he is serious about the entire issue. Not that the press has bothered to do any real reporting- they have fallen in line with Gore's crusade lock, stock and barrel- refusing to report on critics and making statements equating said critics with Nazis and other undesirables. However, the evidence is mounting that Gore and his global warming friends are no more accurate in their claims than Newsweek was in its new ice age campaign in the 1970s.
A few days before Eliot Spitzer went down in flames, a highly-connected Barack Obama* [Update: Kilpatrick has not committed to Obama] superdelegate was mired in accusations of corruption, bid-rigging and a dead-stripper sex scandal. Usually the media love to report the downfall of party bigwigs, but not in the case of Detroit's youngest mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Much of the media downplayed the mayor's scandals and did not report his party, let alone his status as a Democratic power player who can influence the election.
Kwame, who is the son of Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI), is not just any mayor. He was a Democratic rising star, who spoke at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and is the superdelegate to the 2008 convention thanks to his position as Vice President of the Conference of Democratic Mayors.
But now “The First Hip Hop Mayor” is in serious trouble, with members of the city council calling for his resignation. Controversy has engulfed his two terms, and the latest bout involves a report that his wife assaulted a now-dead stripper whose shooting is still unsolved. At the same time, the mayor's longtime pal Bobby Ferguson won at least $45 million in city contracts while reportedly receiving inside information from Kilpatrick and his chief of staff.
Former Navy signalman Hassan Abu-Jihaad was convicted today on charges "of leaking information about the movements and vulnerabilities of ships in his battle group to suspected terrorism supporters" in spring 2001, months before 9/11. These secrets were sent via e-mail to a pro-Taliban Web site.
But in reporting the story, MSNBC.com ran an Associated Press story that failed to note Abu-Jihaad is an American born convert to Islam, arguably germane to his terror conviction given the recipient of the classified material he leaked in 2001. By contrast, CBSNews.com ran an AP story that mentioned Abu-Jihaad's convert status:
The American-born Muslim convert formerly known as Paul R. Hall faces up to 25 years in federal prison when he is sentenced May 23. His attorneys said they were disappointed, and that an appeal was likely.
Leftist Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez is threatening neighboring Colombia with war after that country successfully killed via airstrike FARC terrorists in a camp in Ecuador. Yet in reporting the story, CBSNews.com and the AP downplayed the terroristic nature of the leftist rebel movement.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has been on a Comprehensive List of Terrorists and Groups since November 2, 2001, yet in a March 2 AP filing on the CBSNews.com Web site, the Associated Press waited 30 paragraphs before hinting that FARC was an internationally-maligned terror organization:
[Venezuelan dictator Hugo] Chavez has increasingly revealed his sympathies for the FARC, and in January asked that it be struck from lists of terrorist groups internationally.
Instead, AP preferred to label FARC as a "rebel" force and put in dismissive quote marks the term "terrorists" to refer to FARC militants. For good measure, AP gave ink to former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, who insisted Colombia was acting as a puppet of Washington:
You can mark this as news from a moonbat's fantasy land, but the AP has made a howler of a Freudian slip in their headline about a low level Bush aide who has resigned because he plagiarized a newspaper article he wrote. Instead of saying that a Bush aide resigned, AP headlined their report "Bush Resigns Because of Plagiarism." (Image as it appeared on the CBS website)
Me thinks that the AP's headline writer revealed his unconscious desires in this goofup. AP's parapraxis merely describes what they wish was true, I'm sure. The headline topped an AP story about the aide's resignation on the 29th of last month.
Lumping Rush Limbaugh in with Michael Savage, CBS News Washington Producer Ward Sloane lamented in a Wednesday afternoon CBSNews.com “Couric & Co.” blog entry how “it’s sad that people like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage are today’s mouthpieces for conservatism” when “Buckley was not a hate monger” like them. Sloane then contended:
The conservative movement in this country is badly in need of somebody who can make a point without demeaning and demonizing liberals and moderates. Surely there are better “uniters” than Ann Coulter or Bill O’Reilly. Are there any conservatives who think that the Limbaugh-ization of conservatism may have something to do with its fractiousness? After all, one man’s hate is not necessarily another’s. This is not William F. Buckley’s conservatism.
Liberal hack CBS legal analyst Andrew Cohen is at it again, resharpening his knives for former Bush adviser Karl Rove. In a February 26 Couric & Co. blog post at CBSNews.com, Cohen pointed back to Sunday's "60 Minutes" story alleging malfeasance on Rove's part in urging the federal prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman (D).
Yet for a man trained in the law and supposedly concerned with the discovery of truth in open court, Cohen erroneously smeared Rove with responsibility for the Valerie Plame leak:
Former White House advisor Karl Rove has made a career out of “smearing” his political opponents. Just ask Joseph Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame. Indeed, a litany of Rove’s targets would fill up the rest of the column. So why is this smear different from all other smears?
Pop quiz, hotshot: If you win more states and more delegates than your competitor on Super Tuesday, is this a tie?
It is if media say so.
Consider if you will Barack Obama winning thirteen of the 22 states up for grabs Tuesday (New Mexico being still too close to call), and, according to multiple sources, taking home the most delegates. Isn't that a win?
The mainstream media are hard at work ginning up economic fears and class envy storylines. One need only look at CBSNews.com and two articles teased on the front page to get how the media are making the economy a melodrama scripted in favor of liberal Democratic talking points:
Granted, that is far more subtle than other economic coverage we've noted at NewsBusters, but the media have a clear interest in furthering news items that fit into liberal Democratic talking points about the economy and the ever-so-evil oil companies.
In a "Notebook" entry at her blog on the CBS News Web site Wednesday, "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric boasted of the media's ability to predict a recession.
In spite of the fact that no one knows for sure if the U.S. economy is in a recession, Couric seemed sure the nation is facing economic hard times, and she's proud to say the media called it.
"The economy's going through one of its roughest patches in years," Couric said. "Stocks are plummeting, the Fed is slashing interest rates and the president is looking for ways to fight off a recession. But are we already in a recession?"
The results aren't in yet, but most Cubans agree; the most famous candidate in Sunday's parliamentary election - Fidel Castro - has won overwhelmingly.
If that is true, and there is little reason to doubt it, the Cuban leader sidelined by emergency intestinal surgery nearly 18 months ago is now eligible for election to the Council of State, which in turn elects the nation's president from among its members.
It's the biggest question in Cuba: Will Fidel Castro return - if not as before, at least in title? Or, will his younger brother, First Vice President Raul Castro, who "temporarily" assumed the presidency as provided for by the Cuban Constitution, officially fill the post?
I don't know about you, but the suspense is killing me.
Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to summit Mt. Everest, died last week. CBS's Katie Couric noted the passing in her January 11 "Notebook" at her Couric & Co. blog, but in doing so made a gauzy reference to New York Senator Hillary Clinton (D). Curiously, Couric failed to note that the latter once falsely claimed her parents named her after the New Zealand adventurer. In fact she was born years prior to Sir Edmund's famous climb.
TVNewser has learned the CBS News blog PublicEye, once described as a "de facto ombudsman" of CBS News, has ceased operations. CBS Interactive cut several staff members last month, including Matthew Felling who was editor of the site.
A spokesperson for CBS Interactive tells TVNewser, "We weren't able to find a sustainable business model for Public Eye. We are exploring ways to maintain a similar spirit of public discourse by engaging the CBSNews.com audience and building a community around multiple voices."
Launched July 12, 2005, PublicEye stated its "fundamental mission" was "to bring transparency to the editorial operations of CBS News."
The return to opacity is unfortunate just as election '08 heats up. After all, it was former anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes and their obsessive adherence to discredited phony National Guard memos in 2004 that set the wheels in motion to provide CBS News consumers an advocate and watchdog in the form of PublicEye.
That's not to say, however, that Public Eye has exactly lived up to its defined mission. A review of NewsBusters archives yields evidence of that:
The "Midwest Teen Sex Show" -- a video blog that advises teens to use abstinence (the condom, not the practice) -- is being praised by a blogger at CBSNews.com as "good for a laugh" while being informative.
"[T]he creativity and humor of these three young people really shines through," Irregularly Scheduled Programming (ISP) blog contributor Tony Maciulis enthused in his December 11 blog post. Elaborating on that point, Maciulis mused that "Sex and the City" was nothing more than a younger, urban spin on "The Golden Girls":
Teasing a story about the Supreme Court agreeing to hear an appeal concerning the Washington, D.C. handgun gun and whether it violates the 2nd Amendment's protection of an individual's right to keep and bear arms, CBSNews.com employed an ominous-looking graphic on its home page.
Pictured at right is the CBS/AP graphic showing in the foreground a right hand grasping a handgun, with an outline of the continental United States overlaid atop an American flag. Superimposed on the map and flag are the concentric circles of a shooting target. The corresponding story can be found here.
By contrast, ABCNews.com chose for its front page and story a graphic depicting a handgun beneath the seal of the United States Supreme Court (shown below the fold):