In a column which went up this morning, Fox News Political Analyst Kirsten Powers, whose political positions certainly lean left and is a self-described liberal, ripped into President Obama and his administration for what she correctly characterizes as their "strategy to delegitimize a news organization" -- hers.
Her column is about far more than Obama's recent complaint to the New Republic's Chris Hughes (covered by Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters) that "If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you'll see more of them doing it." What Powers recounts is a strategy first employed in 2009 and apparently being revived, now that Obama no longer has to answer to America's voters, to marginalize the only U.S. network which still tries to be fair and balanced (bolds are mine):
The Portland, Maine, Press Herald and the American Bridge 21st Century SuperPAC are accusing Maine Governor Paul LePage of Operating a vehicle Under the Influence (OUI) even though the GOP official never drives since a state trooper always transports him in a state vehicle.
According to the Maine Wire website, liberal hedge-fund billionaire S. Donald Sussman recently spent $4 million to purchase an ownership share in the daily newspaper, while the Political Action Committee was founded by Media Matters President David Brock.
Books, newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, websites and cutting edge videos. The pieces of the George Soros media empire are as diverse as the nations of the world and just as widespread. From nakedly partisan left-wing media like Think Progress, the blog for the Center for American Progress, and a TV show on MSNBC, to the supposedly impartial National Public Radio, Soros has impact on the flow of information worldwide.
It gives him incredible influence. Every month, reporters, writers and bloggers at the many outlets he funds easily reach more than 330 million people around the globe. The U.S. Census estimates the population of the entire United States to be just less than 310 million.
That's roughly the entire population of the United States with the population of Australia thrown in for good measure - every single month.
This information is part of an upcoming report by the Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute which has been looking into George Soros and his influence on the media.
Just counting 13 prominent operations of the 180 media organizations he has funded equals 332 million people each month. Included in that total are big players like NPR, which received $1.8 million from Soros, as well as the little known Project Syndicate and Public News Service, both of which also claim to reach millions of readers.
George Soros on Sunday likened Fox News and Rupert Murdoch to Nazis while claiming that Tea Partiers are being deceived and misled by a force they can't understand.
Appearing on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS," the financier of far-left propaganda outlets such as the Center for American Progress, Media Matters for America, and MoveOn.org was not shy about his distaste for conservatives (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Lila Rose's LiveAction.org went into overdrive yesterday.
LiveAction videos released earlier this week (with both edited and unedited versions) exposed personnel at Planned Parenthood clinics in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and Richmond, Virginia as all too willing to help provide abortions, birth control, and other "reproductive health services" to underage hookers in a pimp's employ while getting around laws requiring notification of law enforcement and/or parents. On Friday, the self-described "youth led movement dedicated to building a culture of life and ending abortion, the greatest human rights injustice of our time" released three more videos showing visits to Old Dominion State clinics in Falls Church, Charlottesville, and Roanoke.
Left-wing "bloggers" have swung into frantic action. Not to see how widespread the abuse of underage girls might be at Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide. No-no-no. As Dana Loesch reported yesterday at BigGovernment.com, they are plotting how they can most effectively defend the rogue organization (links are in original):
"Follow the money," the left insisted when News Corporation donated $1 million to the Republican Governor's Association. The implication was that since News Corp. gave lots of money to Republicans (nearly 10 times as much as it did to Democrats), Fox News coverage that casted the GOP in a positive light could fairly be seen as a direct result of that contribution.
By the standard much of the left advanced, National Public Radio's firing of Juan Williams can fairly be presented as a direct result of liberal billionaire George Soros's $1.8 million contribution to NPR two days before Williams's firing.
If you were wondering just how far to the left Joy Behar's political views skew, wonder no more.
Discussing National Public Radio's firing of Juan Williams, Behar pitched the tired line that NPR is actually a middle of the road news organization. Her logic (I use the term loosely): "NPR has been vetted by objective Media Matter-type people and they have found that…NPR is very balanced."
You know it's time to recalibrate your metrics for political neutrality when the far-left blog Media Matters earns the label "objective" (video and transcript below the fold).
On Wednesday night's "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin claimed that the federal judge in the Arizona immigration case doesn't possess "a strong political profile one way or another," which is a sign the decision is well-supported by the law.
Cooper asked Toobin if Judge Bolton, who decided the case, was a liberal, noting that she was appointed to the post by President Clinton."She's a Clinton appointee, but she was recommended by Jon Kyl," Toobin responded, "who is a very conservative senator from Arizona."
"She's clearly not a strong partisan, but we are a long way from the last word on the constitutionality of this law," Toobin added. "This is a hard case. You are going to see other judges come out other ways on this."
Toobin's points were also echoed by liberal blogs such as Media Matters and ThinkProgress, a liberal blog.
On Thursday's CBS Early Show, fill-in co-host Erica Hill discussed the firing of Shirley Sherrod with left-wing Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson, who used the opportunity to slam conservatives: "...there's unfair pressure on the Obama administration, Mr. Obama himself, from, I think, the far right wing, which perceives black gain at the expense of white security."
Dyson used the phrase "right wing" a total of eight times throughout the five-minute segment. He lamented how the White House "caved into duress and stress from the right wing" and later pushed the false claim that Fox News had pushed the Obama administration to fire Sherrod: "And it does show that Andrew Breitbart and other right-wing bloggers have an intense power, this is focused at Fox News, that then forces the mainstream media to pay attention and the White House itself got roped into this."
At one point, Dyson remarked: "...it's not just a matter of 'oh, those right wing guys over there are horrible,' there's liberal enlightened racism as well." Hill responded: "The NAACP initially jumped on this and said – and condemned – condemned Sherrod as well. So, I mean, this is coming from all sides. This is not just a right wing issue or a left wing issue." Dyson admitted that he thought the NAACP acted "dishonorably," but quickly moved back to conservatives: "...why do we take the word of a right-wing media on the issues and practices and behaviors of people in the broader mainstream? I think we have to be very careful here."
CNN's Rick Sanchez returned to attacking conservative talk radio on Wednesday's Rick's List program, lamenting that "a lot of people in this country...think that Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are legitimate news organizations." Sanchez also brought on liberal CNN contributor Roland Martin to do the same: "The Glenn Becks of the world...use the race-baiting...Rush Limbaugh and his racist language" [audio clips available here].
The left-leaning CNN anchor brought on Martin and Memphis, Tennessee Tea Party founder Mark Skoda just after the bottom of the 4 pm Eastern hour to discuss the NAACP's recently-passed resolution condemning the tea party movement's "racism." As you might expect, Sanchez singled out two isolated examples of racially-tinged signs at tea party rallies: a birther tea party protester who held a "sent Obama back to Kenya" sign while carrying a stuffed monkey, and a sign from the 9/12 rally in Washington, DC in 2009 that depicted President Obama as an African witch doctor.
Martin treated Skoda in a confrontational manner from almost the beginning. The Memphis tea party leader brushed aside Sanchez's citation of a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll which apparently found that "49 percent of Americans saying that they believe the tea party movement is based in some part on racial prejudice." The pro-Obama contributor then pounced: "Well, actually, he didn't actually answer your question. He danced around your question because I don't- he obviously did not want to answer it. So I will let him have a second opportunity, Rick, to actually answer the question."
It's an archaic way of thinking - unless it's imposed upon conservatives, then it's OK. It's this notion that commentators that are right-of-center should know their place - that place being only in the realms of talk radio or on the Fox News Channel. Otherwise, it is unacceptable.
At issue is Erickson's claim he would pull a shotgun on an American Community Survey (ACS) worker, an organization that is part of the U.S. Census Bureau, if he attempted to approach his home. However, Erickson's statement has been framed by his critics that he is attempting to prevent the Census Bureau from fulfilling a constitutional requirement, and that has been deemed "threatening" by Andy Barr of Politico in an April 2 post.
How can journalists possibly claim to be "objective" (in the Old Media, I-have-no-opinions sense of the term) when they get their news only from hyper-partisan sources on one side of the political spectrum? To do so should make any reporter blush.
But David Shuster, apparently, has no issue with undertaking such objective journalistic endeavors as "fact checking and analyzing", while gathering information from the left's most prominent online talking-point repositories.
Not content with simply relaying those talking points to his viewers, he makes sure to direct them (via Twitter) to websites where they can get their fills of the latest lefty banter. Johnny Dollar took the liberty of compiling a chart of the sites to which Shuster directed his Twitter followers throughout the month of January. The results are striking:
Update - 1/28, 10:25 AM | Lachlan Markay: Law enforcement officials have clarified that O'Keefe is not being charged with an attempt to wiretap phones. Will Shuster issue a retraction?
It's often said that bias shows through in what journalists decide to cover or not cover. So it was telling when Politico's Michael Calderone tweeted today, "@DavidShuster just said he's off to New Orleans to report on the O'Keefe arrest." "He's giddy," added Mediaite's Steve Krakauer.
Shuster's Twitter account, meanwhile, was lighting up with scorn for activist filmmaker James O'Keefe, who was arrested yesterday after an alleged attempt to tamper with phone lines in an office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.). After O'Keefe tweeted, "I am a journalist and the truth will set me free" yesterday, Shuster responded: "a) you are not a journalist b) the truth is you intended to tap her phones c) it's a felony d) you will go to prison."
So Shuster is personally invested in O'Keefe's fate and convinced not only that he tried to tap Sen. Landrieau's phones--a contention that the affidavit does not support, not that that has stopped others in the mainstream media from reporting it as fact--but that he is, without a doubt, guilty.
Given the well documented "revolving door" between the media and the Democratic Party (particularly the Obama administration), it's hardly surprising that MSNBC "The Ed Show" host Ed Schultz has been approached about a run for the Senate from North Dakota. But it's still hard to swallow the left's hypocrisy concerning who can make the jump from journalism to politics.
"After talking over how he arrived at this decision to retire, he did ask me one question," Schultz said. "That was, how old am I. I thought, uh oh, here we go. Then, this morning, I got a phone call from a good friend, Merle Boucher. Merle is the House Democratic leader in North Dakota. He officially asked me to consider to run for the U.S. Senate seat in North Dakota. All right. I'm flattered and I'm honored and I can't say I'm even considering it right now. I've worked, as many people know, very hard to get where I am in my career. To go from Fargo to 30 Rock is a dream come true for any broadcaster. I've invested a lot of years, a lot of time and effort, as an opportunity to use the microphone to advocate for the middle class in this country." [Emphasis added]
The scandal surrounding the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now has provided a number of case studies in liberal media bias. The initial silence of the vast majority of media outlets on the story, the attempts by leftist commentators to excuse ACORN and discredit the group's critics, and Andrew Breitbart's strategy of rolling out video exposes periodically to counter those commentators, all speak to the liberal media paradigm, and activists' efforts to combat it.
Breitbart and his filmmaking proteges James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles have released another video showing an ACORN employee volunteering her help in establishing an underage prostitution business. This employee, Lavelle Stewart, had been trumpeted by liberal pundits as a shining example of ACORN's refusal to aid in criminal deeds. Stewart, they claimed, had refused to help Giles and O'Keefe as many other employees had.
But the new videos (Part 1 video embedded below the fold) tell a different story. "There are ways, people do it all the time," Stewart told O'Keefe when asked if he could launder prostitution money into his congressional campaign. "Yeah there are ways, especially out here in California," she added. Stewart, who works in an ACORN office in Los Angeles, was the latest staffer of the organization to volunteer her services in smuggling underage girls into the country, setting up a prostitution ring with those girls, and laundering the proceeds into a political campaign.
"Lou Dobbs, the longtime CNN anchor whose anti-immigration views made him a TV lightning rod, plans to announce Wednesday that he is leaving the network, two network employees said," Stelter and Carter wrote. "A CNN executive confirmed that Mr. Dobbs will announce his resignation plans on his 7 p.m. program. His resignation is effective immediately; tonight's program will be his last on CNN. His contract was not set to expire until the end of 2011."
However, will they be so eager to echo the sentiment of David Brooks in the wake of President Barack Obama's Nobel Prize announcement? On PBS's Oct. 9 "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," the Times columnist had some disparaging words for Obama's award - despite a sentiment from some liberals that those who question it were somehow un-American.
"Well, my first reaction is he should have won all the prizes because he has given speeches about peace, but also he's give economic speeches. He wrote a book - that's literature. He has biological elements within his body. He could win that prize. He could have swept the whole prizes," Brooks said tongue-in-cheek before delivering the knock-out blow. "Now - it's sort of a joke."
And, on Fox News Channel's Oct. 5 "Glenn Beck" program, Beck addressed that and some of the gripes he had about the media for not doing their job.
"I tell you all the time, I'm not a journalist," Beck said "I'm not. I joked that I'm a rodeo clown, but you know what - I take that back. I no longer am a rodeo clown. I am a dad, and quite frankly, I'm a little pissed off right now. You can call me names. You can make fun of me, whatever. I'm doing what I believe is right. I am doing a job as a private citizen right now."
The New York Times announced today that it would appoint an editor to monitor 'opinion media'. In an attempt to respond to criticism that it has been too slow to pick up on stories first reported by conservative blogs and talk show hosts, the Times acknowledged poor coverage, but denied a political agenda.
The self-proclaimed 'paper of record' was extremely slow in picking up on two recent stories. The first, the 'trutherism' of former White House Green Jobs Czar Van Jones, was initially reported by Pajamas Media, and later by Glenn Beck on his Fox News talk show. The Times did not cover the story until after Jones had resigned.
Later, the Times neglected to report on the undercover sting operation that exposed ACORN for offering assistance in a bogus child prostitution ring. The Times reported on Congress's votes to de-fund ACORN, but neglected to mention the sting operation that inspired the votes.
Over the last several weeks, no one has been the target of the left-wing media and blogosphere more than Fox News host Glenn Beck, even more so than his radio host counterpart Rush Limbaugh.
Although conservatives have decried the daily ad hominem attacks, some voices on the left are starting to realize that's not an effective strategy for championing their cause, especially when it comes to the hot-button issue of the day, health care.
And that is really starting to bother Air America host Lionel - that is the daily repetitive nature of attacking Glenn Beck and/or Rush Limbaugh by giving a litany of complaints about what they said, as he laid out in a nearly three-minute tirade on his September 14 Air America radio show.
His show has usually been Fox News third-highest show, behind Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. And since Fox News host Glenn Beck has come on the scene, he has been a thorn in the side of the left-wing machine.
MSNBC host David Shuster on Thursday relied on the liberal group Media Matters to help him as he tried to "sift through the spin and get at the truth" of a Republican-created chart purporting to show government-run health care as a confusing maze of bureaucracy. Shuster began by complaining, "Is the conservative media deliberately trying to avoid any fact-checking when it comes to Republican talking points?"
The cable anchor appeared incensed that the graph, released by congressional Republicans, has been featured on Fox News and the Drudge Report. Introducing Karl Frisch, Senior Media Fellow at Media Matters, Shuster attacked its reliability and fumed, "Is this another example of, at least with some of the conservative media, it’s to their strategic benefit not to bother checking things out?"
You'd expect to see this in the liberal blogosphere or possibly some of the national mainstream media outlets with an obvious agenda. But now some of the preemptive strikes against Republican senators leading up to the Senate confirmation hearings and eventual vote to confirm President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, are finding their way into local newspapers.
An op-ed published in The Anniston (Ala.) Star on May 28 by Ari Rabin-Havt, the managing director of the left-wing Media Matters Action Network, attacked the new ranking Republican of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. He alleged that if Sessions and other Senate Republicans didn't commit to taking a filibuster off the table for Sotomayor's confirmation, they would be guilty of hypocrisy.
Keith Olbermann, who in March scolded Fox News's Brit Hume for admitting that he often used information provided by the Media Research Center in his "Special Report" program, has once again channeled material taken directly from the far-left, George Soros funded, Clinton front-group Media Matters for America.
Even better, the story was actually precipitated by an article read on the air Friday afternoon during -- wait for it!!! -- Rush Limbaugh's radio show.
But before we get there, embedded below the fold is the video and partial transcript from Friday evening's "Countdown" on MSNBC:
Since former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean stepped down as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he has ventured into other opportunities.
One of those opportunities was to be a business pundit for the financial news channel CNBC, even though Dean's background prior to politics was in medicine. But just over a week later, in an e-mail dated April 2 to MoveOn.org mailing list subscribers, Dean wrote he was leaving Washington to hit the campaign trail "to help President Obama win health care for all."
The Washington Post published an extensive investigative piece about Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Friday which was a collaboration with the far-left media outlet ProPublica (h/t Carter Wood).
As NewsBusters executive editor Matt Sheffield and I reported last September, ProPublica was founded by Herb and Marion Sandler, the California billionaires that have contributed millions to liberal causes and entities such as MoveOn.org and the Clinton front-group Center for American Progress.
Readers might recall the Sandlers being lampooned by "Saturday Night Live" last October for having a hand in the financial crisis. NBC later caved to pressure from the couple and edited out any reference to them in the video of the skit posted at the network's website (Pat Dollard still has the full video here).
In October 2007, shortly after the Sandlers announced their new media venture, Slate's Jack Shafer expressed concern:
Throughout George W. Bush's presidency, insults were doled out repeatedly about the commander-in-chief and that was just a fact of life for the highest-ranking public official in the land. However, now there's a new president, there seems to be a different standard on how you talk about a president.
CNN's Rick Sanchez, the host of the 3 p.m. hour of "CNN Newsroom" on April 2 took offense to conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh described a flowery praise of President Barack Obama by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
"Well, some folks are naturally graceful, some not so much," Sanchez said. "By that measure alone, radio yacker Rush Limbaugh is the polar opposite of our Commander-in-Chief, Barack Obama. Now, you can just disagree with Barack Obama on his leadership, perhaps his policies. But it's hard not to at least acknowledge the ease with which America's 44th president handled himself in London on a global stage, even among royalty."
A health policy expert who Keith Olbermann eviscerated during Thursday's "Countdown" (video embedded below the fold) has officially challenged the disgraceful MSNBC personality to a debate concerning provisions in the soon to be enacted stimulus plan.
If Keith Olbermann of MSNBCcould defend the health provisions slipped into the stimulus bill on their merits, he wouldn't be resorting to personal attacks on me. Olbermann calls me a shill funded by the drug industry (2-12-2009). That's not true...If Keith Olbermann has the courage, I invite him to debate me on his program...Mr. Olbermann, do you have the backbone (and the facts) to debate me?
Our story began last Monday when McCaughey published the following at Bloomberg:
The Obama economic adviser who doesn't want infrastructure "stimulus" spending to only benefit "white male construction workers" is angry at Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Michelle Malkin for having the nerve to report his racist remarks the mainstream media compliantly boycotted for several weeks.
In an open letter posted at his blog Saturday, former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich accused the trio of "manifestly distorting [his] words and pulling them out of context."