Tuesday’s front-page of The Washington Post offered a positive profile of Comcast’s chief lobbyist (and Democrat) David Cohen, the “wonk rock star.”
The story’s central idea was the notion that Cohen’s offering of a low-income Internet service was a crucial part of Obama’s FCC approving Comcast’s merger with NBC Universal....as if the massive campaign cash for Democrats didn’t help seal the deal. Kang began:
Having spent a considerable portion of their first episode skewering Romney last week, the folks at Saturday Night Live's special "Weekend Update Thursday" program decided to lampoon President Obama, although in doing so, the mockery wasn't as full-throated and nasty as it was against Romney, who was portrayed as a plutocratic racist.
Comedian Jay Pharaoh portrayed the president as overconfident and somewhat delusionally optimistic about the nation's economic outlook, but Obama was spared mockery of his many gaffes. Romney, you will recall, was mercilessly taken to task last week for the comments he made at a private fundraiser, and made to look like a out-of-touch bigot in the process (see video below, MP3 audio available here)
In light of the tragic events that just transpired in Egypt and Libya on Sept. 11, both presidential candidates felt obligated to host separate press conferences that aired just 30 minutes apart. In yet another example of the ‘journalistic integrity’ that saturates the MSNBC network, the Jansing and Co. hostess and guests openly showed favoritism to President Obama, who was glaringly devoid of any time for questions from the media.
Anchor Chris Jansing engaged in a conversation with NBC’s Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd that continued off and on throughout the allotted hour. Republican challenger Romney was taken to task for sharing his opinion on the matter without the benefit of “any foreign policy experience,” or as they described it as “launching a political attack” after the murder of an ambassador.
That it’s entirely possible there were dangerously incompetent policies in place regarding diplomatic security in both Cairo and Benghazi were not even considered.
Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today to promote her new USA series Political Animals, actress Sigourney Weaver admitted that her character, a former first lady turned secretary of state, was based in part on Hillary Clinton: "Elaine Barrish Hammond is this very gifted politician with a very strong moral compass....we are inspired by Mrs. Clinton, who's such a remarkable woman and a great secretary of state. She was a great senator for New York State." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Herman Cain has been ahead of Mitt Romney in the most recent GOP presidential candidate polling average at Real Clear Politics by a microscopic margin since late last week.
Readers might be surprised to know that the wordings of the presidential preference questions at the various polling organizations differ significantly. In my view, the same person might given a different answer depending on which organization's polling question was asked. Here are the examples, with the Cain-Romney split identified in each instance (links are to fairly large PDFs in some instances):
The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association held their annual convention this weekend in Philadelphia, and the keynote speakers were CNN's Don Lemon and NBC's Ann Curry. Their pictures were featured under the motto "Creating a Revolution." The group says it's "working from within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues." (That often means censoring conservative views, not just correcting errors.) Comcast, the majority owner of NBC Universal, is a top financial backer of the convention.
The plan was for Curry to be interviewed by Javier Morgado on "How does she see network news evolving?" And "does she believe in the ‘greater good’ of the work that journalists do?" Morgado, a gay activist, spent 11 years at NBC, including five years as Senior Producer at the Today show, and he managed the network's political coverage for the 2004 presidential election and the 2006 midterm elections as Senior Political Editor.
The NBC Universal-owned cable channel Bravo has earned a pro-gay reputation since the reality show "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." But on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles, it will be raising money for the gay censorship group called the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). The event is a "Bravo Top Chef Challenge," after the hit cooking show:
Enjoy the BRAVO Top Chef challenge, delicious tasting stations from incredible Los Angeles high-end restaurants and caterers, entertainment, and an amazing food & wine-themed silent and live auction. Join us and help GLAAD raise funds to amplify the voice of the LGBT community!
In December of 2007, a conservative organization known as Freedom Watch created an advertisement with a message of support and thanks to America’s troops serving around the world. They were rejected by NBC.
In April of this year, a Muslim organization known as the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) created an advertisement with a message to counter Islamophobia from the ‘conservative right’. They are currently running on NBC Universal media networks.
The alleged difference?
NBC claimed their reason for rejecting the Freedom Watch ad was because “the group insisted that the spot contain the URL address of its Web site.” However, the new ICNA ads clearly contain the groups WhyIslam.org website.
The real difference?
Freedom Watch is an organization that supports the war on terrorism. The ICNA simply supports terrorism.
When liberal investor George Soros gave $1.8 million to National Public Radio, it became part of the firestorm of controversy that jeopardized NPR's federal funding. But that gift only hints at the widespread influence the controversial billionaire has on the mainstream media. Soros, who spent $27 million trying to defeat President Bush in 2004, has ties to more than 30 mainstream news outlets - including The New York Times, Washington Post, the Associated Press, NBC and ABC.
Prominent journalists like ABC's Christiane Amanpour and former Washington Post editor and now Vice President Len Downie serve on boards of operations that take Soros cash. This despite the Society of Professional Journalist's ethical code stating: "avoid all conflicts real or perceived.
Beginning on April 17, NBC-Universal and all of its television news and entertainment shows will launch into seven days of environmentally-themed programming titled "Earth Week." If this Earth Week is anything like those past, it will once again raise the issue, highligted on numerous occasions at this website, of the symbiotic relationship between Earth Week's political implications and the financial interests of General Electric, which owns a large stake in the media company.
The conflict of interest apparent in Earth Week also points to a double standard: while the political activities of Fox News's parent company News Corporation were touted by numerous commentators - both partisan and "objective" - as evidence that Fox itself has a political bent, few to this day seem concerned that NBC is advancing a liberal environmental agenda that could potentially enrich GE, which spends millions (more than $230 million on lobbying alone since 1991, more than any other private company by far) advancing the same agenda through political channels.
Elections have consequences. In the realm of media regulation, the 2008 election meant increased influence for proponents of so-called media "localism." The increased influence of localism at the FCC bore itself out in the recently-approved Comcast/NBC merger.
As a hypothetical, "localism" is relatively innocent. But in practice, it essentially amounts to a back-door mechanism for media regulation, which is why the FCC's most left-wing member, Michael Copps, has been an outspoken advocate of localism as part of his proposed "public value test."
Do a media company's political activities affect the way its subsidiaries report the news? The folks at MSNBC sure think so. That channel's hosts have insisted ad nauseum that Fox News parent company News Corporation's political actives compromise the ability of Fox to report the news fairly and accurately.
But MSNBC has, as I have noted before, shilled for policies that would enrich its parent company, General Electric, under the guise of "environmental awareness." Today the Washington Post exposed yet another such conflict, reporting that GE took $16 billion in loans from the Federal Reserve during 2008 and 2009.
On Sunday, NBC Universal launched its annual "Green Week," as part of the company's "Green is Universal" environmental awareness campaign.
As NBC embarks on yet another week of "environmentally themed programming," it falls to media watchdogs to point out the massive conflict presented by NBC parent company General Electric's significant financial interests in the policies "Green Week" indirectly advances.
GE stands to make millions from Democrats' "clean energy" agenda. The company has invested massive amounts of money in technology that can only be profitable through government intervention or subsidization.
NBC-Universal is getting ridiculous with its shameless courting of President Obama. On the morning of September 27, NBC’s Matt Lauer interviewed Barack Obama for a half-hour with no commercials. But it wasn’t just on NBC. Their devotion to El Jefe is so transparent they aired it live on most of their other cable properties, including MSNBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, Oxygen, Chiller, Sleuth, Uni HD, and Universal Sports.
The announced topic was education, but Lauer also turned to politics, and that’s where the NBC host just regurgitated the current liberal complaint: Obama is apparently too calm and not tough enough toward Republicans. Lauer noted Obama’s recent declaration that "The Republicans, they're treating me like a dog." He didn’t ask for proof for that bizarre and whiny claim. He underlined it like it was the gospel truth.
Then he begged for ratcheting up the “rigor” in Obama’s attacks on opponents: “Former President Clinton said he doesn't think the Democrats, and you included, have been rigorous enough in pushing back against some of the Republican attacks. Over these next five weeks, Mr. President, do you intend to change your tone or your emotion in terms of your pushing back?”
We've heard the knocks on NBC and the institutional bias that exists in its network - from the subtle spin in its flagship network's news coverage at NBC to the over-the-top bias at its cable news channel MSNBC. So maybe the man behind the curtains at NBC Universal would like to be more overt with his opinions - as a politician?
On MSNBC's Aug. 25 "Morning Joe," Jeff Zucker, president and CEO of NBC Universal, addressed both his possible political aspirations and bringing back one of the network's former star personalities. Host Joe Scarborough asked Zucker where his political interests were at this stage.
"You know Joe - look, politics is something I've always had an interest in," Zucker said. "It is something I've always thought about. It is not something that is on my current radar. It's not something I'm thinking about in the next few years, but it is something that I would always consider. I think - I love politics. I would love to give back. I would love to serve. I would love to do something, but it is not imminent. It's nothing now."
Earlier today, NB's Lachlan Markey covered Bill O'Reilly's interview with the Fox Business Channel's Charles Gasparino.
In that interview, Gasparino confirmed what the New York Post reported in April of last year, namely that "GE Execs Encouraged CNBC Staff to Go Easy on Obama."
The suits at GE, including Chairman Jeff Inmelt, had a clear motivation for encouraging their reporters to lighten up, namely that "General Electric at the time was hoping to profit handsomely from policies that would benefit a few companies, including GE, at the expense of the majority of the economy"-- specifically cap and trade.
But speaking of motivation: What about former CNBCer Gasparino's?
The easy answer would be that sometime in the past two years he has seen the light and realizes his past reporting at CNBC was lacking in fairness and balance. Despite his move to Fox, there's reason to doubt that.
On last night's 'O'Reilly Factor,' Fox Business Network reporter Charlie Gasparino claimed that during his time at CNBC, General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt suggested to senior CNBC staff that they were being too hard on President Obama.
Gasparino did not say that it became official CNBC policy to tone down criticism of the president. But he claimed that "the question of whether they were being fair to the president was brought up" and that he had "never heard that before." Keep in mind that at the time GE stood to make a whole lot of money from some of Obama's key policies. NBC and its affiliates have conspicuously shilled for such policies before.
Even absent an official NBC or CNBC policy on criticizing the president, the incident demonstrates a profound lack of journalistic neutrality. There has always been a looming conflict of interest at GE's television arm. The possibility that higher-ups suggested reporters go easy on the president raises all sorts of questions about the abilities of NBC, CNBC, and MSNBC to fairly and accurately report the news (video and transcript of Gasparino's statement below the fold).
The surprise box-office boom for the cartoon “Despicable Me” is making it clear again to Hollywood this summer that family films are the most likely to be top-grossing films. “Toy Story 3” is number one for 2010, not only among the critics, but among the people as well. “Despicable Me” already has broken into the top ten box-office hits for the year to date with almost $130 million in ticket sales.
It happens over and over again. And still the “executives” are caught off guard. It shouldn't be that hard to figure out. Nobody needs a graphing calculator. Bring out the whole family, and you bring out a bigger audience. It’s summertime, and the kids are bored. If the whole family doesn’t go, the driving-aged teenager gets assigned to take the young ones to the movies, sometimes more than once.
(Memo to Hollywood: Really, truly, this is how it works.)
You would think that in the midst of the liberal media's fight to rip Arizona's Immigration Law, that the phrase ‘illegal immigrant' would be fairly easy to use in an appropriate manner. Yet that is seemingly only the case when the phrase is used to cast common-sense immigration enforcement as discriminatory. But when it comes to a story that could shed light on why enforcement is a necessity for the safety and security of a nation and its people, then the phrase - no matter how accurate - is quickly forgotten.
One high profile case, the murder of Chandra Levy, highlights this fact. It has been quite some time (over a year) since Ingmar Guandique was charged with Levy's murder, and much longer since he was identified as being an illegal immigrant from El Salvador.
And while Guandique's illegal status isn't necessarily news to those having actually followed the case, you would think it was still an unproven fact based on media reports past and present.
As a recent update reveals, attorney's working on behalf of Guandique argued that he would not get a fair trial in Washington, though a judge has now determined that the trial will indeed stay in DC. Coinciding with this news, is the recent release of a book covering the case entitled, Finding Chandra. With these updates, one has to wonder how far the media has come in their willingness to report the truth. How far have they come since Michelle Malkin noted a perfect record of going 115 for 115 in reports failing to mention the suspect's illegal status back in 2002? As it turns out, not far at all...
After hearing the wit and wisdom of Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., one has to wonder how modern media corporations could stay in business without the expertise and guidance of those elected to the U.S. Senate.
Sarcasm aside, Franken did admit during a Feb. 4 hearing he didn't necessarily have legal expertise to address the Comcast-NBC Universal merger, but he could more than make up for that shortcoming through his experience in show business. Franken, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Antitrust Subcommittee, explained he was bothered by the merger.
"As some of you may know, I'm on the Judiciary Committee, I'm not a lawyer," Franken said. "But I used to be in show business. In fact, I worked for years for NBC and I really feel that I owe a lot to NBC. But what I know from my previous career has given me reason to be concerned - and let me phrase that, very concerned about the potential merger of Comcast and NBC Universal."
Executives at Comcast, the media behemoth looking to buy a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal, have given large sums of money to presidential candidate Barack Obama and Democrats in recent years The Hill reported Saturday:
Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts made more than $76,000 in political contributions to Democrats since 2006, compared to $13,500 in contributions to Republicans. Comcast vice president and top lobbyist David Cohen made about $180,000 to Democrats in the same period, compared to $12,000 to Republicans, according to OpenSecrets.org.
Critics love David Letterman. They love him because he’s mean and liberal and does everything they demand: further the leftist agenda through the brutal use of humiliation to target any public figure (or their child) who might derail Leftist causes.
And contrary to conventional wisdom, Letterman’s not edgy. In fact, he’s just the opposite. Doing exactly what those who can criticize you want you to do is not edgy. Kissing the big Manhattan/Los Angeles bi-coastal [rear] of the elite is not edgy. He’s their jester; their puppet. Worse, he’s about as funny as watching your old, half-deaf Uncle intimidate, humiliate and demean your Aunt and then smile at the rest of the family as though he’s just reaffirmed his manhood. Letterman reminds me of the Jason Robards character in “Parenthood” in more ways than you can imagine. In other words, he’s a jerk, but in a sad end-of-his-life kind of way.
Oh, and how the elite critics resented nice ole’ Jay Leno for cleaning Letterman’s ratings’ clock all those years. And now that Jay’s back eating up primetime, they couldn’t wait to jump all over him with sniffing disapproval fed through a filter of wrist-flicking dismissal.
There's no doubt the so-called mainstream media turned their collective noses up at the Sept. 12 march on Washington, D.C. to protest the policies of Democratic-controlled federal government - whether in the form of denigration, downplay or outright ignoring the event.
However, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has suggested a different tactic. On his Sept. 14 show, Limbaugh proposed a future round of these grassroots protests not take place at the seats of power in government, but instead the headquarters and outposts of the local and national media.
"There have been hundreds and thousands of protests by conservative groups that haven't been covered, and tiny turnouts by the left that are covered," Limbaugh said. "You know all this as well as I do. What about this? We're looking for a force multiplier. Yeah, the protest in Washington on Saturday was great, two million people, but imagine what a force multiplier would be if the next one were held outside of local and national television networks and their headquarters where they can't miss it?"
General Electric (NYSE:GE) is the parent company of the major media conglomerate NBC Universal, which owns media outlets NBC, MSNBC and CNBC. At times that has led to the lines between corporate advocacy and journalism being blurred.
That was certainly the case when GE's CEO Jeff Immelt appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Box" May 20 to discuss the White House meeting of President Barack Obama's 16-member Economic Recovery Advisory Board headed by former Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker.
Immelt used his platform at CNBC to make the case for a cap-and-trade program to curb emissions - something Obama has called for and one Congressional committee is debating this week.
NBC Universal and its networks have been criticized for the global warming alarmism it parades on a regular basis. However, now the criticism is coming from its own affiliates.
Prior to its April 26 airing on MSNBC, shows on NBC had been promoting the first part of the climate special "Future Earth" - an MSNBC program that used computer animation to show the possibilities of a polar icecap melting. That prompted Bill Steffen, a meteorologist for NBC's Grand Rapids, Mich. affiliate, to call out MSNBC for that special.
At a time when Americans increasingly aren't buying into the theory of anthropogenic global warming according to a recent Rasmussen poll, NBC and its cable news network MSNBC are bringing out the big guns to slow the rise of that mentality down.
On NBC's April 26 "Today," anchor Lester Holt previewed his special "Future Earth: Journey to the End of the World," slated to appear on MSNBC on the night of April 26. According to the preview shown by Holt, the TV special is remarkably similar to Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," forecasting several doom-and-gloom scenarios.
"With the Arctic possibly ice free as soon as the summer of 2013, the world will warm even faster as the Arctic's waters absorb the sun's rays rather than being reflected by ice," Holt said. "The result unfortunately might bring on a doomsday scenario befitting a Hollywood disaster film. But this will be no movie - the likelihood of super storms picking up strength from warming ocean waters, oceans on the rise."
Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz reported Monday on President Obama’s "more inclusive" press strategy (with black and Hispanic media outlets), which naturally led to Obama assuring Hispanic radio hosts and TV anchors that amnesty for illegal aliens (or "comprehensive immigration reform") is still an important item on his agenda.
Kurtz noted that Obama granted an interview to the Spanish-language TV network Telemundo after they complained about being excluded in a round of interviews with ABC, CBS, and NBC. Kurtz failed to note that Telemundo has been NBC-owned since 2002, but his reporting surely reminded opponents of illegal immigration how Telemundo sounds more like a lobbying group than a news outlet:
And [anchorman Pedro Secvec] noted that "our network, Telemundo, is starting a big campaign for Hispanics to make sure that they are counted in the next census. A lot of them are afraid, you know, of participating, because they think, 'I don't have the papers to live in this country.' " The president responded by encouraging Latinos to participate and saying it has been "true historically" that such information has not been shared with immigration authorities.
NBC won’t accept “issue advocacy” commercials for its Super Bowl broadcast on Sunday, February 1. Apparently, the network that “went green” for an entire week last fall, and that did an environmental stunt on a football show the year before, wants to stay away from politics. Or maybe just some politics.
NBC has rejected an ad sponsored by the Catholic group Fidelis “after days of negotiation,” according to an article on LifeNews.com. The ad, which can be seen at the LifeNews site or on Fidelis’ Web site, shows an ultrasound image of a fetus while it tells of the hardships the child will face in life, only to become the first black U.S. president, Barack Obama. As Fidelis President Brian Burch told LifeNews, “There is nothing objectionable in this positive, life-affirming advertisement. We show a beautiful ultrasound, something NBC’s parent company GE has done for years."
NBC’s claim that it demurs from issue advertising rings particularly false in light of its recent rejection of a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ad. The PETA ad, said the network, “depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards.” It was rejected as being to sexually suggestive, not because of its clear advocacy. And LifeNews reported that NBC had suggested edits to make the PETA spot acceptable.
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested today. The Associated Press's Mike Robinson actually identified "Blago's" party in the third paragraph of his 10:27 a.m. report (link is dynamic; cited report is also here for future reference; underlying news HTs to an e-mailer):