So, why did the Old Media seem to miss the John Edwards Love Affair story? Well, maybe it was because the Old Media hadn't deigned to decide for us that it was "news" until after the New Media had chewed up and spit out the story for days and days? Apparently, that is what David Carr of The New York Times thinks, anyway. In an interview with CNN he alludes to the fact that he is used to the Old Media deciding when something is officially "news" and that maybe he and his contemporary journalists have lost that level of control they were used to enjoying. This fall from grace is being seen most readily in the Edwards story that the New Media had digested for a week before the Old Media got to it
The CNN piece cites many factors from the fact that the Old Media has a disdain for National Enquirer stories to a claim that the Old Media is reticent to exploit sex stories. The former is a sensible precaution and the later an outright laugher. After all, the Old Media had no problem whatsoever in exploiting the rumors of George H.W. Bush's affair, Newt Gingrich's affair, Newt's successor to be Bob Livingston’s affair, the John McCain affair story, Larry Craig's restroom stall story, or Mark Foley's Page Scandal... but then again, THOSE are Republican sex scandals. The same delicacy the Old Media handles sex stories with as claimed by CNN does not exist for those sorts of stories.
Yesterday, in a stinging indictment of his Old Media colleagues' la-la-la treatment of the story of John Edwards's affair with Rielle Hunter, Los Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten asserted that Edwards "may have ended his public life but he certainly ratified an end to the era in which traditional media set the agenda for national political journalism."
I'll get to Rutten's mostly perceptive points in a bit.
That's because recent developments indicate that Edwards may still be believe he can eventually re-enter public life, and they are relevant to Rutten's assertion:
Profanity, those taboo words banned from the broadcast airwaves, is a feature of many people's daily lives. It's much less so in the establishment media world. TV and radio broadcasts are legally prohibited from using it, most newspapers have traditionally refrained from its usage.
That's not the case with the Web, where bloggers and readers face no such restrictions. That likely comes as no surprise; what may be surprising, however, is to what degree profanity seems to be a feature more common on one side of the political blogosphere than the other.
Which side is that? For answers, I turned to the search engine Google to see how common swearing is in the right and left blog universes by looking up the late stand-up comic George Carlin's "seven dirty words" in the most popular blog communities.
The results showed that online liberals tend to use profanity a lot more than online conservatives.
Be with you in a sec. Gotta finish this bag of Cheetos. Man, what a mess down here in Mom's basement. Let's see, where were we? Barnicle. Right. Bloggers. Doesn't think much of us. On this evening's Hardball, decrying the decline of bi-partisanship, Barnicle put much of the blame on the blogosphere.
Subbing for Chris Matthews, Barnicle had as his guest historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. The jumping off point was a clip of Obama saying he could imagine naming McCain as his head of Homeland Security. Barnicle wondered whether that was feasible in what he sees as a hyper-partisan age, and pointed the finger largely at bloggers. Kearns Goodwin suggested that despite the difficulties, she could imagine either of the candidates reaching out to his opponent. That prompted Barnicle to let loose on bloggers, casting them as largely a bunch of loons with too much time on their hands.
If these allegations are true, the danger isn't their potential to gather secrets. Instead, it's their ability to quietly shape opinion and influence public policy on Cuba through powerful academic groups, frequent media statements and slanted analyses as they maneuver within elite academic-think tank circles--and even brief government agencies and the military.
It appears something else that isn't tolerated at the ultra-left-leaning website Daily Kos is too much discussion about the extra-marital sexual escapades of Democrats the Netroots hold in high esteem.
At least, this appears to be the case given Saturday's banning of Lee Stranahan, a liberal blogger and video producer who's been writing diaries at DKos since at least April 2007, and has had his work featured at the Huffington Post.
My colleague P.J. Gladnick referenced Stranahan's HuffPo piece about Edwards back on July 27:
"There are things you can do individually, though, to save energy," Obama said. "Making sure your tires are properly inflated - simple thing. But we could save all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling - if everybody was just inflating their tires? And getting regular tune-ups? You'd actually save just as much!"
Yes, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) actually suggested on the campaign trail that inflating your tires will save as much oil as can be procured by expanding domestic oil drilling, a suggestion that is downright laughable and mathematically impossible (see below the page break for more on that).
NewsBusters has reported for years how the ultra-left wing website Daily Kos will publish all kinds of hateful articles about conservative politicians and figures without ever deleting or editing them.
On Sunday, it was made infinitely clear to the Kossacks that although attacks on right-leaning figures are encouraged -- even if they've just passed away, such as the recent disgraceful posts about Jesse Helms' death -- you're not allowed to say anything bad about their hero, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann.
UPDATE at end of post: Kos denies the allegations.
Although frequent DK poster The Baculum King's "Keith Olbermann Stooping to Fox's Level Now??" has been deleted, Google still has the cached version for all to see (h/t NBer Thomas Stewart, vulgarity alert):
NewsBusters has learned that presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama has cancelled plans to visit two U.S. military bases while in Germany, this despite having all kinds of time to speak to gushing Berliners as well as getting in a workout at the Ritz Carlton.
One of the bases, The Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, "is an overseas military hospital operated by the U.S. Army and the Department of Defense...[that] serves as the nearest treatment center for wounded soldiers coming from Iraq and Afghanistan."
Yet, as Ed Morrissey's Hot Air reported a few hours ago, Spiegel Online claimed at 1:42 PM local time (picture courtesy Chicago Tribune):
Besides coming to grips with the lukewarm presidential candidacy of Sen. John McCain, there are few questions roiling the online Right more than what the future holds.
Get the average conservative or libertarian talking, and you'll hear a variety of explanations for what went wrong. For the most part, most discussants seem to break down into two camps, one believing things are bad because allegedly conservative politicians have gone astray following the siren call of big government.
The other group blames the current state of affairs on technological ineptitude.
Both have some reason to their arguments, and yet both get it wrong. During the Bush era, the Republican Party at both the presidential and congressional levels seems to have acted less conservatively than before. This has been a great disappointment to many on the right. Unfortunately, they draw the incorrect conclusion that the sole reason the GOP's electoral fortunes look dim is because it hasn't been sufficiently conservative.
Keith Olbermann is notorious for filching stories from the blue blogs, particularly ones that attack the eeevil Bill O'Reilly. But now his sloppy, unprofessional practices have come back to bite him. He aired an out-and-out falsehood tonight as fact, ripping and reading from the most unreliable source in existence.
On "Countdown" tonight Olbermann assailed O'Reilly over his segment on Rep. Robert Wexler. After some crack about altering the color of Wexler's lips (a confirming clue as will be seen), he then turned the indignation up to '11' and ridiculed Bill for not knowing that Florida doesn't have a state income tax:
OLBERMANN: The Frank Burns of News then speculated that Wexler was somehow trying to cheat Florida out of income tax. Fund had to inform him that Florida doesn't have an income tax. "No income tax? This is where my argument falls to the ground!"
The Washington Times is debuting a new weekly column today by NewsBusters editor Matthew Sheffield. His first piece is on the left-wing Netroots Nation conference and its new counterpart, RightOnline:
With the general election a long way off and much of the general public still tuning out the presidential race, you'd think the online activist corps that have injected unprecedented amounts of cash to fuel this campaign season might want to take a few weeks off.
You'd be wrong.
As I write this, thousands of political webheads are gathering in searing-hot Austin, Texas, with the intent to amplify their collective voices and influence their preferred candidates. Like moths to a flame, many of these candidates are here as well, trying to press the flesh but also to get a handle on what makes bloggers and their readers tick. Lots of political nonprofit types are there as well, each eager to start their own fires.
Erick Erickson and our friends at RedState are marking their fourth birthday today. We wish them all the best. They're celebrating by unwrapping a great new web site design so check it out when you get a chance.
The hiring of Howard Wolfson as a political contributor to Fox News has resulted in the ritual outrage from blue blogs and Fox haters. When they aren't smearing Wolfson ("sell-out", "right-wing Zionist", etc) the alternate tactic is used: diminish Fox by lying about its influence and reach.
Conservatives across America mourned at the news of the death of Senator Jesse Helms, a man credited with impeccable conservative credentials in the U.S. Senate, a conscience of a movement devoted to the defeat of communism abroad and the defense of liberty at home. He was the staunchest of social conservatives as well, unflinching in his opposition to the abortion lobby and the gay agenda.
To liberals he was "Senator No," which meant only that he would strongly oppose everything they wanted to impose on America. Their badly disguised loathing of Helms, well-expressed over the decades, only endeared him to conservatives all the more.
Jesse Helms relished that opposition. In 1990, the media declared him politically dead, his re-election an utter impossibility. On election night, a thousand cheering supporters were made to wait before their man finally emerged to declare victory, 20 minutes late. He opened his remarks by apologizing for his tardiness. "Ah was up in mah room," he explained, "ah had to watch the grievin’ face of Dan Rathuh when he had to say we’d won agin." The crowd went wild.
NewsBusters readers are likely aware of my frequent appeal for civility in our comments sections due to my unwavering belief that despite political differences, when the sun sets, we're all Americans.
Such reverence should be crucial on the day someone that has tirelessly served this nation for thirty years passes away.
Apparently devoid of such human decency, the folks in the Netroots, within minutes of Friday's announcement concerning the death of Jesse Helms, began publishing virulent and vulgar epithets directed at the former senator, with some actually voicing a desire to dance on his grave.
Here are but a few examples, beginning with some truly disgusting diaries posted at Daily Kos (readers are warned that the following contains possibly offensive graphic and vulgar content, h/t LGF):
The media might not be overly concerned with presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama's incessant campaign flip-flops, but the leader of the Netroots, Daily Kos proprietor Markos Moulitsas, is so disturbed by the junior senator's recent changes of heart that he has decided to hold back his financial contribution (file photo).
As NewsBusters has been reporting the past few weeks, this disillusionment with Obama from the ultra-left has been quite vocal of late, and growing.
However, such publicly expressed disheartenment from someone like Moulitsas, coming just weeks after Hillary Clinton's concession, could be quite a problem for the Democrat candidate that media seem to be ignoring; a Google news search identified very little coverage of Kos's 2:05PM post on Tuesday (emphasis added, h/t Hot Air):
Exit poll after exit poll in election after election shows the Democratic Party is staunchly supported by an overwhelming majority of African-American voters, many of whom are much more socially conservative on issues like abortion than their party leadership. The Democratic Party is also staunchly supported in primary battles and in fundraising drives by hard-core pro-choice liberals -- we're talking the same people who fought tooth-and-nail the federal ban on Partial-Birth Abortion.
So when a group of black ministers conducted a protest march in Washington, D.C., last week to raise awareness of its criticism of Planned Parenthood, media outlets had the recipe, instantly, for stories about possible conflicts that could divide the Democratic Party coalition on substantive, hot-button issues.
To perhaps no one's surprise here at NewsBusters, while the media covered the much hyped "Unity" rally in New Hampshire, the cable networks failed to even show up to shoot B-roll of Thursday's pro-life march on the DNC and RNC headquarters. Washington Times staffer Julia Duin covered the march and found no TV cameras present to record it:
It looks like Google has officially joined the Barack Obama campaign and decided that its contribution would be to shut down any blog on the Google owned Blogspot.com blogging system that has an anti-Obama message. Yes, it sure seems that Google has begun to go through its many thousands of blogs to lock out the owners of anti-Obama blogs so that the noObama message is effectively squelched. Thus far, Google has terminated the access by blog owners to 7 such sites and the list may be growing. Boy, it must be nice for Barack Obama to have an ally powerful enough to silence his opponents like that!
It isn't just conservative sites that Google's Blogger platform is eliminating. For instance, www.comealongway.blogspot.com has been frozen and this one is a Hillary supporting site. The operator of Come a Long Way has a mirror site off the Blogspot platform and has today posted this notice:
I'm still trying to figure out who died and made Joe "Anonymous" Klein Time magazine's foreign policy expert-in-residence. The sometime presidential primary fiction writer apparently thinks John McCain's statement on the Bush administration's nuclear deal with North Korea is too "grudging":
...Congratulations to George W. Bush for finally making the correct choice--diplomatic engagement, regional talks that enabled quiet unofficial contacts with the North Koreans, which then led to direct negotiations--in resolving this dispute. Wonder what John Bolton is thinking this morning?
Update: John McCain has just released this statement, which is a bit too grudging for my taste, but does raise the appropriate questions going forward
So let's see: Klein praises Bush but takes a mild swipe at Sen. McCain for having the gall to suggest that North Korea might not live up to its word, which it clearly has a history of doing.
It seems not everyone in the liberal blogosphere is smitten with MSNBC's Keith Olbermann.
Take for example Huffington Post editor Rachel Sklar who on Thursday called out the insufferably arrogant and pompous "Countdown" host for naming CBS's Katie Couric his "Worst Person in the World" previously reported by NewsBuster Brad Wilmouth:
Olbermann accused Couric of taking out of "context" comments by NBC correspondent Lee Cowan, who, as he covers the Barack Obama campaign, has said he finds it "hard to be objective," as she, not naming him, suggested he "find another line of work." Olbermann, who has attacked Hillary Clinton on several occasions while being softer on Obama, declared Cowan's reporting to be "utterly objective and accurate," and castigated Couric for "her own promulgation of the nonsense that Senator Clinton was a victim of sexism."
Here's an interesting little experiment from Vanity Fair: A guide to the blogosphere that isn't broken down by left and right but by news/opinion and high/low-brow.
Click image above to view it. You'll find NewsBusters around the middle of the right side. The descriptions skew leftward as you might expect from VF, but the chart itself is pretty accurate. Your thoughts?
Called Fight the Smears, the website was apparently inspired by unfounded rumors that a recording exists of Obama's wife Michelle ranting about "Whitey" at the pulpit of the radical Trinity United Church of Christ, which the Obamas attended for 20 years until Barack Obama came under fire for the anti-American raving of Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Showing early signs of a bad habit, the Times strongly implied that the rumor originated with conservative bloggers, even though all evidence suggests that it first broke in the blogosphere in mid-May at the blog of a Hillary Clinton supporter.
U.S. corn futures topped out at record highs on June 11 on the news that the impact of flooding in the Midwest would hurt this year's corn crop, but the June 11 "CBS Evening News" left out one significant detail in its reporting about the crisis.
"[A]gricultural disaster aid has been requested for Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan," CBS correspondent Cynthia Bowers said on the June 11 "Evening News." "The federal government estimates that this year's corn crop will be 10 percent lower than last year's. That's down 1.4 billion bushels, and it's too late to do much about it."
According to a Reuters story, corn prices on the Chicago Board of Trade have shot up 80 percent in the last 12 months, with almost 17 percent of that just this month. But Bowers didn't explain how the prices got so high before the floods, which put consumers of corn products in this vulnerable position. Corn futures were already priced high because of a heightened demand - artificially stimulated by federal government subsidies for ethanol produced from corn.
Chicago Tribune religion reporter and blogger Manya Brachear echoed a familiar liberal media meme about orthodox Christianity in her latest "The Seeker" blog post, "Have Southern Baptists lost their way?" (emphases mine):
As a number of conservative Protestant denominations now face decline, leaders have chosen to batten down the hatches, endorse orthodoxy and herald the importance of sharing their faith with others.
But if these denominations narrow their theology at the same time they widen their outreach, is anybody going to listen?
Franklin, being one of the most influential founding fathers, had a powerful understanding of the ability to communicate persuasively to a wide audience Cook explained in an interview.
Although he was known worldwide for his inventions and experiments, Franklin's most enduring legacies may have been in the realm of philosophy and politics, Cook said.
"He would be one of the smartest, wittiest and clever writers on the blogosphere," she said. "The ability to instantaneously express his opinion would be irresistible to him. Blogging would thrill a man with his ability and creativity."
The overspending on Capitol Hill and the high consumption lifestyle of many contemporary Americans would probably figure into Franklin's commentary in light of his parsimonious lifestyle, the book suggests.
Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz put Huffington Post blogger Mayhill Fowler on the front page Monday to illustrate how blogs are changing the nature of campaign coverage, but the funniest part came at the end, as Fowler explained she's much more skeptical and distanced now, like a traditional journalist.
Excuse me? Through exposing both Barack Obama's "bitter clingers" comment and last week's Bill Clinton "scumbag" rant against Todd Purdum, Fowler has shown much more skepticism and distance than the parade of Obama-maniacs in the "objective" media this cycle.
In an e-mail, Fowler says she has come to realize that her presence "flummoxes some longtime journalists -- because suddenly here I am, unpaid but as a consequence with much more freedom to find out what's going on out there, and writing for a new and encroaching media that is a Wild Wild West of lawlessness." But she has also had to reexamine her own beliefs.
"Over time, I've become more like a traditional journalist," Mayhill says. "I'm now much more skeptical and much more distanced."