Last night the rhetorical attack on Avandia was fierce.
"We're starting with a story that affects hundreds of thousands of Americans because a new study out today says a drug they take increases their chances of having a heart attack and dying," warned CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric.
On the CBS News website Public Eye, newly minted CBS man Jeff Greenfield saw no danger that the 2008 campaign will be drenched with a liberal bias, even though he admits that "most members of the so-called mainstream media, undoubtedly, in the voting booth, vote Democratic." He pulls out a familiar argument: when liberal losers lose, it’s easy to argue that they weren’t beneficiaries of liberal media bias: "But in my view the danger of bias does not lie in political coverage. I mean, ask Al Gore and John Kerry if they were the beneficiary of a poodle press. They were treated very critically – appropriately."
Before we address Gore and Kerry coverage, let’s make an obvious point: the Public Eye site was developed to help undo the damage that CBS’s horrendous and sloppy anti-Bush bias on the "draft dodging" charge in the fall of 2004. Greenfield ought to at least tip his skeptic’s hat toward that example before serving up his pooh-pooh platter.
Well before the Media Research Center was conceived in 1987, the Gipper was watching the media's liberal biases and recording his "frustration with the press," Allen noted:
One of the dominant themes is his frustration with the press.
April 22, 1982: “Last night CBS did a special 1 hour documentary (Bill Moyers) on 4 cases of poverty and illness they laid to our ec. program. It was a thoroughly dishonest, demagogic, cheap shot.”
March 11, 1983: “Lou Cannon’s story in the Washington Post. It was a vicious series of falsehoods and I was mad as h—l.” (The lead of the front-page story, written with David Hoffman, was: “The resignation of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Anne M. Burford was carefully orchestrated by White House and other administration officials who had to persuade a ‘stubborn and defiant’ President Reagan, as well as Burford, that her departure was politically essential, administration sources said yesterday.”)
Oct. 30, 1983: “Watched the Sunday talk shows – subject Lebanon & Grenada. The press is trying to give this the Vietnam treatment but I don’t think the people will buy it. They’re still whining because we didn’t take them on a guided tour the 1st day we were on Grenada. No mention of the fact that we’ve flown 180 of them onto the Island today.”
On Friday, both CBS and ABC skewed their coverage of the Senate’s immigration bill to the left. Neither network featured a conservative talking head that opposed the legislation, instead "The Early Show" and "Good Morning America" simply referred to the "critics" who believe the bill would amount to amnesty for those who came to the country illegally. However, while both networks also interviewed Senator Ted Kennedy, ABC anchor Diane Sawyer actually pressed the liberal legislator with several conservative points.
GMA used flowery language to discuss the Senate’s action, describing the legislation as "landmark." Co-host Sawyer asserted, "It was a historic day to see Republicans and Democrats coming forward on something together." ABC even queried illegal aliens as to what they think of the Senate’s action:
Diane Sawyer: "Everyone taking sides. [sic] But sometimes it’s good to hear the voices from the people who are at the center of the debate. And some of these illegal 12 million have been phoning in to Talk Back, which is our website. Here's one woman who partially hid her face."
CBS News producer/blogger Greg Kandra opened the e-mailbag today to relay to "Couric & Co." readers some negative reaction to the network's coverage of Rev. Jerry Falwell's death. In particular, Kandra quoted from a female Liberty University graduate and vascular surgeon who took issue with historian/guest pundit Douglas Brinkley's assessment of Falwell's views on women.
In an appearance on the May 15 "Evening News," Brinkley dismissed Falwell as a reactionary who (emphasis mine) was "opposed to some of the
progressive liberal high watermarks of the 1960s, and certainly he
wanted--his returning to family values was returning to women being in
the kitchen, in many ways."
Those are not exactly words you'd expect to hear an American journalist use to refer to a Latin American dictator who has been seizing American-owned property this month. Yet Barbara Walters used all three to describe Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, in various ABC broadcasts on March 16.
Even though Chavez has recently assumed "control" of oil fields that were run by Chevron, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, ABC, NBC and CBS haven't even reported it. Chavez also plans to takeover private Venezuelan media soon. That hasn't been reported either, let alone criticized.
Despite the fact that Chavez seized power and shut down his opposition in Venezuela, the media rarely portray him as a dictator, preferring kinder words like “controversial” and “populist.” Walters even talked about how "beloved" he is.
“President Hugo Chavez is so beloved by some of his supporters that they hang pictures of him in their living rooms in the poor barrios that ring the city,” Barbara Walters gushed on ABC’s “Nightline” March 16.
Katie Couric, was not warning parents about sexual predators when she said "They're after your children and grandchildren." No, the “Evening News” anchor was talking about corporations “spending nearly $17 billion a year trying to sell their products to our kids.”
The one-sided May 14 segment blamed “far-reaching tentacles” of business for obesity and youth sexual activity, among other problems.
One critic, Dr. Susan Linn from the Campaign for a Commerical-Free Childhood said:
“Advertising and marketing is a factor in childhood obesity, in eating disorders, precocious irresponsible sexuality, youth violence, underage drinking, underaged tobacco use.”
Liberals are engaged in an amazing display of myth-building and revisionism concerning the establishment media’s performance before the war, and it’s not just Bill Moyers. As NewsBuster Tim Graham noted yesterday, the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz revealed on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday that “everybody at every news organization I’ve talked to said that the media were not aggressive enough during the run-up to war.”
Appearing on the same program, ex-CNNer Bill Press went even further, alleging that the press “gave us this war.” He told Kurtz, “the media, in large part, gave us this war, because they went along and repeated everything that George Bush said without asking tough questions....If they had asked the questions and more — and American people knew what the truth was, as opposed to the propaganda we were getting from the White House, I think there would not have been the support for the war.”
I'm not a fan of Jerry Falwell, who died today
shortly after being found unconscious in his office at Liberty
University at the age of 73. That said, I am quite disgusted with the
pathological hatred displayed by liberal bloggers in their reactions to
"Early Show’s" cheery weatherman Dave Price used his forum to feature Dan Lewis, Starbucks regional marketing manager, and Matt Petersen, the CEO of, Global Green USA, a left wing environmental group.
While much of the story focused on what individuals can do to save the planet, Petersen noted that "global warming is a serious issue, and we need our leaders in Washington to act, our corporate leaders to act." Petersen also encouraged the viewers to "send a message to Washington" about what viewers "think they should be doing about global warming."
The May 13 edition of "60 Minutes" ran a generally positive piece on former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Correspondent Mike Wallace’s toughest questions were on topics where conservatives expressed concern, such as Romney’s inconsistent stances on social issues. However, one aspect of the interview involved Wallace’s question of Mitt Romney’s five sons with a less than subtle implication.
The veteran CBS journalist asked if any of them decided to "put on a uniform and go to war." When they admitted to not serving, a shocked Wallace noted, "not one agreed or thought about serving in the military." Wallace then asked Mitt Romney if he ever served. After Romney admitted to not serving, Wallace emphasized that the former governor’s "very high lottery number" never came up.
If television news were covered the same way the media covered Iraq, Katie Couric would surely be out of a job by now. I can imagine the New York Times lede:
The news just keeps getting worse for the administration. After spending millions of dollars and manpower to sell a leadership transition, the situation continues to deteriorate. External critics are stepping up their attacks and cracks within the administration's iron-clad discipline are beginning to show as dissenters leak secrets, express discontent and demand an exit strategy to an eager press.
That, of course is not a lede you'll ever see in any American newspaper but it is dead-on accurate as far as the facts go. The "CBS Evening News" continues to sink in the ratings despite the fact that former "Today" star Katie Couric was brought in to save the show from oblivion. Here's the actual New York Times:
Years ago, my great-aunt Annie Goodman was named Mother of the Year in New Hampshire. She was the mother of 13 children, and despite the family's very limited financial resources, saw to it that 12 of them made it to college and went on to be productive members of society. That's the kind of story that, in the good old days, the CBS Evening News might have featured on Mothers Day.
But times have changed. A lot. So where did the Evening News send its video bouqets during the Mother's Day edition? To the draft-Al-Gore movement, and to growers of eco-friendly roses.
The May 11 edition of "The Early Show" ran a relatively fair piece on Rudy Giuliani and his stance on abortion. However, there were clear issues of a labeling double standards. In the set up story Jeff Greenfield noted Giuliani’s stance on social issues "moderate to liberal" despite the former mayor’s support of partial birth abortions.
During the course of Harry Smith’s interview with CBS News political analyst Nicolle Wallace, Smith used the term "religious conservatives" to describe the voters who express concern over Giuliani’s abortion rights support. Smith then described California, a state that Kerry defeated Bush by nine percent, as "more moderate" than Iowa and New Hampshire, two states that were decided by about one percent of the vote.
The CBSNews.com blog "Public Eye" reported today that a retired general who has appeared in anti-Bush TV ads has been dismissed as a CBS News military analyst due to his political activism. Yet the CBS executive who defended the move seemed to almost blame CBS's at-home audience for the personnel decision.
Maj. Gen. John Batiste (US Army, Retired) may still be quoted on CBS's newscasts, he just won't get paid for it.
"We might still go to the general to ask about things, but not as a consultant to CBS News," CBS News Senior Vice President for Standards Linda Mason was quoted by editor Brian Montopoli.
Montopoli quoted Mason's rationale for asking Batiste to leave (emphasis mine):
Anyone whose remote control wandered past an ABC, CBS, or NBC morning "news" show on May 5 probably found the "news" hounds barking enthusiastically over this supposed "news" scoop: Paris Hilton was sentenced to Los Angeles County jail for 45 days. She violated parole after repeated episodes of reckless driving. This was news of national concern.
The morning anchors interviewed legal experts and professional Hollywood celebrity-stalkers to lament this heiress being brought low, complete with bad jokes about the jail being a "one-star Hilton." But they all wondered out loud: Who is to blame for this human train wreck?
Paris, being the thoughtless egotist that she is, blamed her publicist for telling her she could drive to work. That’s baloney. You don’t assign the "help" to read your legal documents for you.
The three major networks covered news of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s resignation with the left-wing "Bush’s poodle" line. On "Good Morning America," ABC’s David Wright demonstrated the most bias stating, "Bill Clinton’s sidekick became George Bush’s poodle, or so they see it here." On "Today" NBC’s Dawna Freisen noted, "he became, of course, America’s closest ally but that came at a price here at home. He was eventually derided here as America’s poodle."
The May 10 edition of "The Early Show" was no exception as CBS’s Sheila MacVicar stated: "But at home, Blair has been labeled Bush's poodle, at too willing ally who led his country into Iraq." In their generally negative story "The Early Show" relied on the expertise of Simon Hoggart of The Guardian, a left wing British publication and hardly an objective source.
Imagine for a moment that one of the leading Republican presidential candidates said that 10,000 people had been killed by the recent tornado that destroyed Greensburg, Kansas, Saturday.
Do you think this would have been easy fodder for the broadcast television news divisions that always seem fascinated with gaffes made by folks on the right?
If your answer is an unequivocal “Yes,” then why did ABC, CBS, and NBC completely ignore Sen. Barack Obama’s statement Tuesday wherein he accidentally exaggerated the death toll from the Greensburg tornado by 9,988?
While the liberal media tries to make over a Kansas tornado to resemble their perfect media bias storm over Hurricane Katrina, the floods in Missouri may be a more analogous comparison. But the CBS Evening News wasn't going to allow local residents to blame the federal government without a rebuttal -- if the president was Bill Clinton.
On Wednesday night's newscast, CBS reporter Cynthia Bowers reported that residents were upset the feds didn't shore up the levees, as they failed to do after "the historic flood of 1993, which killed 48 people and did nearly $20 billion worth of damage to nine waterlogged states." But that shouldn't be associated with Clinton, Bowers implied: "Actually, it's not the federal government's responsibility to maintain every levee. Most of the hundreds of levees along the Missouri and Mississippi River are built and kept up by the people who live next to them."
Back in 1993, CBS Evening News reporter Vicki Mabrey didn't use the words "Clinton" or "Democrats" when locals began complaining about the government response, but ended the story on a sad note: "But the government has no way of keeping towns from asking for federal assistance, just like there's no way to guarantee the Mississippi will never flood again."
The Katie Couric as “CBS Evening News” anchor experiment appears to be failing, and failing miserably.
As TV Week reported Tuesday (h/t TVNewser): “The news is not good for third-place ‘CBS Evening News With Katie Couric,’ which in the week of April 30 hit its lowest total viewership since at least 1987.”
According to TVNewser’s Brian Stelter, the “at least 1987” qualifier refers to Nielsen ratings not going back any further.
The news wasn’t any better for one of Couric’s competitors either:
With Rosie O’Donnell’s announced departure of "The View" other networks such as NBC and CBS are apparently interested in the very controversial comedienne. Broadcastingcable.com reports that Rosie may offer commentary on "The Early Show" in an effort to boost its third place ratings.
"Sources say O'Donnell will meet with CBS brass soon to discuss its offer, which could open the door to regular guest appearances on The Early Show. Her views have generated the type of buzz that could allow CBS to finally lift the perennial third-place program out of the morning-show cellar."
Last night, CBS "Evening News" and ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" hyped rising gas prices, saying that the national average price was "just two cents short of the record."
Too bad they were both wrong because they didn't factor in inflation. The national average on May 7 was actually 17 cents below the inflation adjusted record high price from March 1981: $3.22 per gallon.
Anthony Mason's CBS report also proved he needs a calculator and possibly a math tutor.
Mason interviewed Mike Gorgia of Staten Island who regularly tracks his area's gas prices for GasBuddy.com. Mason said Gorgia saves a whopping $500 a year by shopping around for his gasoline.
Hold on -- $500? That doesn't exactly sound like a representative example.
The average American uses 500 gallons of gas each year, according to the Energy Information Administration. So if Gorgia is an "average American" he must be saving a full dollar on every gallon of gasoline.
But when CBS and U.S. News & World Report’s Gloria Borger calls for a “moratorium on invoking the memory of Ronald Reagan” in a column about the recent Republican presidential debates held at a library named in his honor, this Gipper envy has clearly gotten way out of hand (emphasis added throughout):
Former CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer told Columbus Dispatch writer Tim Feran that the gossip was untrue that he was trashing Katie Couric in the press. "I was not the source for that story, period. I had nothing to do with it...and I don't know who did." Schieffer also took exception to the Bill Moyers theory that the national media were enablers to President Bush's runup to war in Iraq.
Q: In his recent PBS report about the run-up to the Iraq war, Bill Moyers said: "The press has yet to come to terms with its role in enabling the Bush administration to go to war on false pretenses." Do you agree?
A: I don't think we enabled them to go to war, although there's no question we should have asked harder questions. But I think the Democrats should have asked harder questions, the CIA should have asked harder questions, the people within the administration should have asked harder questions. Somewhere along the way, the decision to go into Iraq somehow became the fault of the press.
Now that Rosie O’Donnell has announced she’s leaving "The View," her left-wing rhetoric seems to have gotten even more extreme. This week, the liberal comedienne smeared U.S. troops by saying they only join the military because they’re mostly uneducated and poor. (This isn’t true, but why bring facts into the debate?)
This week, "Good Morning America’s" weatherman (and liberal environmentalist) Sam Champion touted the left-wing advocacy of actor Robert Redford. Oddly, he tried to persuade GMA viewers that Redford’s positions were somehow new.
One-third of Americans say
they have a negative view of Katie Couric, her personal popularity
lagging behind rivals Charles Gibson and Brian Williams just as her
evening news program trails in the ratings.
A “promising” new drug could save lives of people fighting osteoporosis, but neither ABC “World News with Charles Gibson,” nor CBS “Evening News” even mentioned the drug’s manufacturer - Novartis Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: NVS) - in May 2 broadcasts.
Zoledronic acid “may be just what the doctor ordered,” according to Katie Couric. The broadcasts cited a new study that found a 70-percent decline in spine fractures and a 41-percent decline in hip fractures among the patients studied.