On CBS’s Sunday Morning, host Charles Osgood teased a story on politician Harvey Milk, who was the first gay man elected to San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors in 1977: "The story of a rebel with a cause is being retold in the form of a just-released motion picture. And as it happens, the timing could hardly be more appropriate." The movie, starring left-wing actor Sean Penn, is set to come out just after the 30th anniversary of Milk’s murder, as correspondent John Blackstone explained: "He became the first openly gay man elected to office in the United States. A breakthrough that ended with assassination. Harvey Milk served less than a year here on San Francisco's Board of Supervisors but it was a year that changed history."
Blackstone, who has done numerous stories on Californians efforts to legalize gay marriage, made a comparison between Milk’s election and the current battle over Proposition 8: "In California, the renewed battle over same sex marriage has echoes in a new movie about triumph and tragedy in San Francisco 30 years ago...It is an accident of timing. Just as gay right activists have taken to the streets, angry over the ban on same sex marriage in California, the struggle for gay rights has also moved to the big screen."
On CBS’s Sunday Morning, correspondent Martha Teichner decided to try to define patriotism: "In reality, there may be no more loaded concept in the American political lexicon...The election will be a referendum on patriotism. One of campaign '08's central and most contentious issues." Teichner talked to liberal Brookings Institution analyst William Galston about the history of that "loaded concept": "It wasn't a question of one party or the other. It was President Truman, after all, who revived the idea of loyalty oaths and the legitimacy of imposing them." In the spirit of bipartisanship Teichner added: "Then there was Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy. His extremist views on loyalty and patriotism made his name synonymous with the political witch hunts of the 1950s."
Teichner went on to conclude: "Each side's arguments have hardened over time and become weapons in partisan battles." Her example: "Look at the damage the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth did to Senator John Kerry's presidential ambitions in 2004. Over the question of his patriotism." Teichner then examined a different take on patriotism: "Steven Johnston teaches political theory at the University of South Florida. He is outnumbered, but not alone, in believing that patriotism is actually a bad thing, harmful to democracy."
On The Situation Room today, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer made a surprising admission to, of all people, real estate entrepreneur Donald Trump:
BLITZER: What do you think of his (Obama's) decision to pick Joe Biden as his running mate?
TRUMP: I really don't know Senator Biden but I know one thing. He's run a number of times for president. He's gotten less than 1 percent of the vote each time. And that's a pretty tough thing. You know, he's also been involved in pretty big controversy like plagiarism in college and various other things. That's a pretty big statement. So perhaps you change over a period of time. But when you plagiarize, that's a very bad statement. That hasn't been brought up yet, but I'm sure at some point it will. I'm sure that Sarah Palin will bring it up in a debate or somebody's going to bring it up.
BLITZER: Are you talking about plagiarism when he was running for president?
TRUMP: No, I'm talking about when he was a college student as I understand it, and this was a big issue originally but he supposedly plagiarized as a college student. That's a pretty serious charge.
BLITZER: I don't remember that. We'll check it out. But maybe you obviously have a better memory about that.
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.
On CBS’s Sunday Morning, correspondent Tracy Smith reported on the news that John Edwards had cheated on his wife, but wondered: "I guess my question is, okay, sure, so it's going to be reported...But does America care at this point?" After political analyst Jeff Greenfield replied to her question with "sometimes," Smith cited poll numbers on the issue: "Yes, only sometimes. In a 2007 poll, 56 percent said it wouldn't matter to them if a presidential candidate had an extramarital affair."
Earlier in the discussion with Greenfield, Smith explained how "In a statement Friday, Edwards said that running for office made him feel special, egocentric; in effect, that the campaign made him do it." Greenfield then described: "If you're running for president, you get -- you get on a pedestal. You know, they -- motorcades happen for you and you get the adulation of crowds." However, he also asserted: "The one thing you probably can't do is to cheat."
On CBS’s "Sunday Morning," correspondent John Blackstone reported on the beginning of legal gay marriages in California starting Monday: "Even for people used to earthquakes, the California Supreme Court's decision last month to legalize same-sex marriage was a jolt. But even as gay couples make plans to wed this week...Opponents say tradition should and will be restored."
Blackstone went on to talk to one such opponent: "Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage is confident Californians will vote to again ban same sex marriage. On the ballot, in November...Brown says the state supreme court improperly overturned the will of the people. In 2000, California voters approved a measure declaring that only marriage between a man and woman is valid or recognized in California."
Out of a total of 8 minutes and 50 seconds of coverage during the show, 2 minutes and 14 seconds was given to highlight opponents of gay marriage. By Sunday’s "Evening News" the total coverage had shrunk to 2 minutes and 35 seconds with 27 seconds given to opponents. Total coverage on Monday’s "Early Show" was 5 minutes and 12 seconds, however, time given to opponents of gay marriage was only 41 seconds, with no mention of Brown or his organization.
Religion and the military shouldn't mix. That's the take away message that both CBS and ABC touted when their Sunday morning news programs publicized the plight of an atheist who is suing the Army for religious discrimination.
On April 27th CBS's Sunday Morning and ABC's Good Morning America Sunday each featured the story of Jeremy Hall, an Army specialist who claims he was denied promotion and persecuted because of his atheism. Both interviewed Hall and Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a co-plaintiff in Hall's lawsuit.
Weinstein was described as a loyal patriot (by CBS) and a defender of the religiously oppressed (ABC). Neither network bothered to mention that on the Military Religious Freedom Foundation's Web site American military members are compared directly to Islamic jihadists. A video runs on the homepage of the site which juxtaposes a suicide bomber holding a rifle and Koran with a group of American soldiers holding rifles and Bibles.
On yesterday’s CBS "Sunday Morning," reporter Steve Hartman demonstrated why illegal immigration is actually a good thing: "Good news about an illegal immigrant...By all accounts this man they call Dr. Q is one of the best up-and-coming neurosurgeons in the country." Interestingly, this story was actually first aired on the May 18 "Evening News." Apparently CBS is really going green, it even recycles its own biased reporting.
The segment began by Hartman actually admitting to the mainstream media’s usual doom and gloom reporting: "Because it never leads the news...because war and scandal and planet melting always make for catchier headlines...It's easy to forget all the good stories that happen every year." Hartman decided to focus on three "good" stories for a change, which included a brief profile of Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa:
Clinically brilliant, relentlessly charming. His patients say it's almost like he was born to be a doctor. If they only knew...Just 20 years ago this renown neurosurgeon was about as anonymous as a human being can get in America. An illegal immigrant working the fields of California's San Joaquin Valley...after he jumped the U.S.-Mexico border and took up residence in this leaky old trailer, Alfredo says the moon seemed closer than medical school.
In what began as a Veterans Day tribute to African-American military veterans, a segment on Sunday’s CBS "Sunday Morning,"soon became a rant against the Bush Administration as reporter Bill Whitaker exclaimed:
The concerned Department of Defense has studied why black enlistment has plummeted and found that many of the so-called "influencers" in the black community, parents, teachers, clergy, feel in general, that Bush Administration policies have hurt African-Americans. And more than any other group, they oppose the war in Iraq.
Whitaker then examined the case of Macio Sheffield, an African-American high school student in Los Angeles who was a member of the Junior ROTC. After Sheffield explained his reason for being in ROTC: "I enjoy learning about respect and discipline. I like the Army. I love America," Whitaker followed with, "But first Macio will have to get past his parents, Macio senior and Terry Craten, who, like the majority of the blacks in the survey, oppose the Bush Administration and this war." Whitaker then talked to Sheffield’s parents:
Last fall, CBS granted Arianna Huffington two softball interviews promoting her book "Fearless," one on "Sunday Morning" with Rita Braver, and another two days later on "The Early Show" with Hannah Storm. Arianna counseled from her book that people need to "Identify the Obnoxious Roommate" in their own head to grow fearless. Our new MRC report on "Huffington's House of Horrors" demonstrates that Arianna’s blog the Huffington Post can be identified as the Obnoxious Roommate of the Liberal Media Elite. Here’s our summary:
When she founded her blog two years ago, Arianna Huffington made a pledge that was quoted by Newsweek: "If you’re looking for the usual flame-throwing, name-calling, and simplistic attack dog rhetoric....don’t bother coming to The Huffington Post." But an MRC review of the first two years of the HuffPost’s content reveals that flame-throwing, name-calling, and hate speech against conservatives are all on the Web site’s everyday menu.
As the stock market has continued to regularly make new highs in 2007, how many times have you heard or read a media report carping about how the rich are getting richer?
Quite a bit, right?
If you feel bombarded with such inanities, consider that a completely unaudited LexisNexis search of major American media outlets identified 234 reports which included phrases like “rich get richer,” “income inequality,” “wealth disparity,” etc., since January 1.
Add it all up, and that’s almost two a day.
A fine example of this nauseating mantra was demonstrated by CBS’s Charles Osgood on “Sunday Morning” April 15:
Anyone remembering the ascent of Newt Gingrich to House Speaker in 1995 surely noticed a difference between media coverage of that historic event and Nancy Pelosi taking the gavel back for the Democrats in 2007. One had all the joy of a child’s funeral. The other was New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.
CNN even had a countdown clock to the Democrats regaining the majority. All that was missing was a lighted crystal donkey that would descend down a pole on the top of the Capitol dome. CNN’s Dana Bash called Pelosi’s gavel grab a "moment to savor," surely true for her supporters, but the bitterest of pills to swallow for those who worked their hearts out last year to keep Pelosi and her liberal army from retaking the House. CNN left no doubt where it stood on this divide.
The liberal media despised Newt, and adore Nancy. They’ve demonstrated this by the way they played up the Gingrich threat in the weeks after the ’94 GOP tsunami, while virtually ignoring Pelosi and her radical agenda for the last two months.
On the September 10 episode of "Sunday Morning," Katie Couric talked with the "Jersey Girls," the 9/11 widows who endorsed Senator John Kerry for President in 2004 and have been highly critical of the Bush administration. However, there was no balance or features of 9/11 families who support President Bush such as Debra Burlingame, who lost her brother in the terror attacks. In the piece, Couric just barley touched on the groups endorsement of John Kerry in 2004, while she picked out select quotes from Rush Limbaugh, (no date given for his supposed remarks) and a quote from Ann Coulter's book "Godless" that present the views of those who disagree with the 'Jersey Girls' as being unsympathetic to their loss:
CBS’s "Sunday Morning" claimed the rights of Muslims in America have been trampeled since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. "Sunday Morning" ran a story narrated by Elizabeth Kaledin, a reporter who normally discusses health issues, that featured three Muslims complaining about American policy since 9/11 and offered no voices of Muslims who disagree. One of the three, Mohammed el Filali claimed:
"There is liberty and justice for all, except if you're Muslim."
This past Sunday, on CBS’s morning show Sunday Morning, Nancy Giles offered commentary on the foiled terror plot in London, and noted that she takes no comfort that this plot was foiled. Additionally, she used her segment to opine that news of the terror plot is just a "distraction" from what she considers more important issues, and offers scathing criticism of the Department of Homeland Security.
"Thank God for Scotland Yard and the people of Great Britain, because I feel more protected by them than the agencies here at home..."
Scotland Yard indeed deserves credit for infiltrating this terror cell and disrupting the plot to blow up airplanes bound for the United States. But what about foiled terror plots here at home? Or the fact that there has not been a terrorist attack here in the U.S. since the tragedy of September 11, 2001? Giles never mentions the U.S. successes in the war on terrorism. Given these facts, it would seem the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, the CIA and the entire intelligence community, and all others charged with protecting America from terrorism are doing a remarkable job in keeping us safe and are just as deserving of praise as Scotland Yard.
Yesterday, on CBS’s "Sunday Morning" reporter Martha Teichner narrated a piece sympathetic to Hispanic immigrants, and in particular, illegal immigrants. She profiled three Hispanic people, two of whom initially came to the country illegally. One illegal immigrant she profiled was defiant of his status, and sounded almost threatening when he said:
Alex Vega, Illegal Immigrant. (Pictured): "In 20 years, we are going to run the country. Right now we're running the cities. So little by little, we're running the show. Little by little. So this sleeping giant is already awakened."
And, as noted by Ms. Teichner, the strategy for illegal immigrants is:
MRC intern Eugene Gibilaro found that on CBS’s Sunday Morning yesterday, movie critic David Edelstein politicized his movie review of "The Lake House." Edelstein discusses time travel movies and describes the plot of "The Lake House," as:
"I even loved the incredibly dumb time travel romance "The Lake House," where Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock send letters back and forth between 2004 and 2006."
Seems Edelstein couldn’t resist the opportunity to interject his political philosophy into the review as he alluded to the 2004 election and the fact that he believes George Bush and the Republican Party stole Ohio:
This past Sunday on Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, viewers were treated to an interview of former President Jimmy Carter conducted by reporter Rita Braver. Most of the subject matter that was covered was fluff, what President Carter does to keep himself busy, trips he’s taken, elections he’s overseen and so forth. Yet, Braver eventually delves into the realm of politics, stressing Carter’s criticism of the Bush administration, but whitewashing over his own shortcomings.
Though the fact that the economy tanked and hostages were held in Iran during President Carter’s term, Braver only mentions that in passing:
"The economy floundered but what really doomed his Presidency was when Iranian radicals took over the US Embassy in Tehran and held dozens of Americans hostage for more than a year."
The media’s pessimistic holiday shopping forecasts fail to register with reality.
Don't miss my latest at the Free Market Project: Contrary to the media’s pessimistic forecasts for the Christmas shopping season reported by the Free Market Project in late October, strong retail sales this Thanksgiving weekend got the annual end-of-the-year buying bonanza off to a bang. In fact, the economic data available prior to this weekend looked so strong that the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, actually raised its sales forecast for 2005 holiday shopping from a 5 percent year-over-year increase to 6 percent.
Regardless of this upgrade in expectations by retailers themselves, and the fabulous start to the shopping season, the media continued to rain on everybody’s parade.
MRC analyst Mike Rule reported the liberal commentary of actress/comedienne Nancy Giles appeared again on CBS's Sunday Morning with that old reliable liberal target, the Rev. Pat Robertson. (I doubt Ben Stein will appear on CBS for a rebuttal on this topic.) To Giles, there were only two approaches to teaching evolutionary theory: teaching Science, or "dumbing down young minds" with a little time exploring the intelligent-design theory:
"According to Pat Robertson, televangelist,God got mad when those good citizens of Dover, Pennsylvania voted out their school board for wanting to teach intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in the school's science classes. Those citizens decided they want science taught in those science classes, not religious theory. So Pat Robertson says, no more God in Dover, and he beamed that message on his show, 'The 700 Club,' to an audience of about 1 million people in the United States and in 70 different languages around the world. Nice. Why does Pat Robertson's God want to keep American students way behind the world in learning Science? Dumbing down young minds in an area in desperate need of bright, innovative thinking."
In the days and weeks following the disaster in New Orleans, many in the media suggested that the federal government’s “slow” response to Hurricane Katrina was caused by the race and economic condition of those impacted. President Bush had to regularly answer the questions of reporters concerning this, while media members opined at will.
Most famous of such assertions was reported by NewsBusters when rapper Kanye West said during a televised Katrina relief fundraiser that, "George Bush doesn't care about black people." Earlier that day, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer said, “Almost all of them that we see, are so poor and they are so black.” And, as also reported by NewsBusters, CBS News’s Nancy Giles said: “[Bush] has put himself at risk by visiting the troops in Iraq, but didn't venture anywhere near the Superdome or the convention center, where thousands of victims, mostly black and poor, needed to see that he gave a damn."
Criticism for budget deficits has been replaced by calls for big government
As quickly as the water started rising in New Orleans, America’s media began blaming Hurricane Katrina-related damages on the president’s 2001 and 2003 economic stimulus packages. The overriding theme the first week after Katrina hit was that the levees of Louisiana failed due to a lack of federal funding stemming from “tax cuts for the rich.” However, a closer look at the federal budget reveals that funding for departments and agencies administering U.S. “Physical Resources” – Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Transportation, Environmental Protection, etc. – increased by 35 percent during George W. Bush’s first term.
But the media have claimed that tax cuts reduced our nation’s ability to protect New Orleans from a natural disaster.
Stephen Spruiell at NRO reports that among the new features on CBS's Public Eye blog are a defense of "Sunday Morning" commentator Nancy Giles. Some have asked how she would know about hurricane rescues, given her biography at NancyGiles.com. (And don't miss the "Press Clips" page for TIME critic Richard Corliss agreeing to watch her more now that he sees their politics agree.) In addition to her one-woman shows like "Notes from a Negro Neurotic," she played "girl GI Frankie Bunsen" for three seasons on ABC's "China Beach," as well as "hostile waitress Connie" on the short-lived ABC comedy "Delta" (with Delta Burke). Those shows haven't been on since Clinton was elected president. Her page on the Internet Movie Database is here. Producer Rand Morrison replies:
CBS News Sunday Morning “contributor” Nancy Giles, in the only commentary aired on the show on Sunday, delivered a blistering diatribe in which she charged that racism was behind the slow response to the hurricane victims in New Orleans, rationalized looting, claimed the real war is the one on poverty that’s being lost thanks to tax cuts, and mocked President Bush for visiting Iraq but skipping the Superdome -- thus showing he doesn’t give “a damn” about black people.
Giles asserted that “if the majority of the hardest hit victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans were white people, they would not have gone for days without food and water” and insisted that “the real war is not in Iraq, but right here in America. It's the War on Poverty, and it's a war that's been ignored and lost.” She complained that “we've repeatedly given tax cuts to the wealthiest and left our most vulnerable American citizens to basically fend for themselves." Giles scolded Bush for finding photo-ops with some “black folks to hug” while he skipped “the messy parts of New Orleans.” She castigated Bush for how he “has put himself at risk by visiting the troops in Iraq, but didn't venture anywhere near the Superdome or the convention center, where thousands of victims, mostly black and poor, needed to see that he gave a damn."