One of the most embarrassing yet telling exchanges (using the term loosely, as will be seen) in the history of presidential press secretaries occurred on Thursday. Connie Lawn, described here as longest-serving White House reporter, asked Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney what should have been a really easy question: "What city does this administration consider to be the capital of Israel -- Jerusalem or Tel Aviv?"
Carney wouldn't answer it, and accused Lawn and relentless national treasure Les Kinsolving of WND.com of asking about something they already knew. Carney's contemptible behavior has been virtually ignored in the establishment press. Here is the complete exchange as relayed at the White House's web site, complete with an asterisk, which I will explain (I have added names of the questioners where needed; a YouTube of part of what follows is here; bolds are mine):
As NewsBusters reported Friday, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh caught MSNBC's Rachel Maddow in a bald-faced lie about him.
Later that evening, Maddow apologized for her error but blamed it on- wait for it! - the conservative website World Net Daily and then accused Limbaugh of racism (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A number of the conservative movement's prominent online figures are battling to be the right's equivalent of Talking Points Memo or Huffington Post--political organizations that report hard news. Many believe that to truly harness the power of the Web, political organizations must report their own news, rather than comment on reporitng from traditional outlets.
"The left needs Daily Kos, but they also need the Huffington Post," Politics Daily columnist Matt Lewis told Politico. He praised the roles of activists and opinion commentators on the right such as Red State's Erick Erickson, but noted that the conservatives have not yet matched the left's capability for original reporting.
Though HuffPo, TPM, and other politcally stilted but journalism-oriented sites, liberals "have the ability to amplify stories into the mainstream media conversation," according to Politico. Conservatives have a large void to fill when it comes to producing original content, rather than solely commenting on what is already out there. There are conservative sites providing original reporting, but there are so far no center-right equivalents to the left's powerhouse online news operations.
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
The back-and-forth over Jerome Corsi's book, "The Obama Nation," has been heated, largely unfair to the author, and predictably marred by attacks from allegedly "objective" journalists as well as Democratic mouthpieces (but I repeat myself). Blatant examples of media bias have been noted by several NewsBusters posters, including Tim Graham (here, here, and here), Geoff Dickens, Mark Finkelstein, and Clay Waters.
But that doesn't mean there haven't been moments of humor. A delicious one comes at the expense of the Associated Press's Nedra Pickler.
They were a little slow on the pick up but “CBS Evening News” gets credit for finally acknowledging a report that shows serious side effects associated with the vaccine Gardasil, which protects against HPV, a sexually transmitted disease the can cause cancer.
The report, by Sharyll Attkisson, aired July 7 a full week after WorldNet Daily reported the findings. As CMI’s wonderful intern Julia Seward reported, earlier in the day both the “Early Show” and NBC’s “Today” reported on Gardasil but glossed over the serious side effects contained in the report.
On Sunday, NewsBusters' Brent Baker noted how unhappy actress Laura Dern is with the 2000 presidential election ("Dern 'Devastated' by Florida 'Because There Were Uncounted Votes'"). Dern plays then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in HBO's "Recount," which first aired on Sunday.
Dern's displeasure has an apparently limited focus.
A review of the CNN program transcript (the interview with "Reliable Sources" host Howard Kurtz, Dern, and "Recount" director Jay Roach begins about 80% of the way through) confirms Dern's selectivity. "Somehow," the "devastated" Dern and the other interview participants never got around to talking about other votes that Democratic operatives throughout the Sunshine State worked feverishly to disqualify.
The Military Ballots
That CNN interview did not deal with matters that Big Media, which put thousands of hours of time and lots of money into recounting ballots -- only to find that George W. Bush really did win Florida -- has not investigated:
“OMFG” is text-speak for the unspeakable. It's also the tag line for a new ad campaign aimed at teens and featuring a jumble of sexual situations, including teens undressing each other and two girls kissing. The campaign blitz is appearing in print and television, all aimed at drumming up eyeballs for the CW network's teen-themed soap "Gossip Girl."
For the uninitiated, “OMG” translates to “Oh My God” in the language of email and text messaging. The addition of the “F” means … well, it’s the word that can cost broadcasters a hefty government fine if someone actually says it on TV.
Now, of course, executives at the CW could never admit that they were actively targeting teens with such a "provocative" ad. Nor would they ever admit they were intentionally dodging an FCC fine by using the letter "F" instead of the unspeakable word. Nor would they ever consider that "F" used next to "G," which stands for "God" would be blasphemous. In fact they've gone out of their way on these subjects. But reality has a way of well, keeping it real.
High food prices may be affecting middle-income families, but an anecdotal report on CBS's "The Early Show" April 28 made the situation seem as if one family's use of a food bank was "the new face of hunger."
CBS reporter Priya David highlighted Pablo and Ada Melecio, a couple who recently lost their jobs and have elected to use a food bank to make ends meet. Ada Melecio said their "mortgage payments started falling behind and all the interest on that plus all the credit cards" were making their situation even worse.
“If you toss the bulbs in the trash, they're likely to break, potentially exposing workers to mercury or releasing it into groundwater and soil from landfills,” Hartman wrote in the October 7 Washington Post.
Whether or not one agrees with the political views of Markos Moulitsas, there's no getting around the fact his website has become not just a powerful force in the blogosphere, but is also shaping the Democrat Party.
This raises an important question: Why isn't there a conservative website like Daily Kos?