The night after the four-hour, two-night season premiere of Fox's 24 ended with a “suitcase nuke” being set off by Middle Eastern terrorists in a Southern California warehouse, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann saw a nefarious plot to aid President Bush: “Is 24 just entertainment or is it propaganda designed to keep people thinking about domestic terrorism to keep us scared?” He demanded Tuesday night: “Gripping drama or thinly veiled propaganda?” Leading into reciting a posting on NewsBusters by Noel Sheppard (Mark Finkelstein's post with video of Olbermann quoting from NewsBusters), Olbermann recounted how 24 “featured a mall attack, a would-be suicide bomber on a subway, and a successful suicide bombing on a passenger bus. Not in places where these things have already happened, but in a country called the United States of America. In case you missed the point, the show finished up with a nuclear weapon detonating in a major American city, literally conjuring up the administration's imagery for the war in Iraq, the good old mushroom cloud.”
Olbermann then posed a series of absurd questions to Robert Greenwald, producer of the comically anti-FNC movie, Outfoxed. His options for Greenwald: “Is 24 propaganda? Is it fearmongering? Or is it a program-length commercial for one political party?” Olbermann soon proposed that “if the irrational right can claim that the news is fixed to try to alter people's minds or that networks should be boycotted for nudity or for immorality,” then “shouldn't those same groups be saying 24 should be taken off of TV because it's naked brainwashing?” Suggesting some sort of Fox-White House conspiracy, Olbermann tossed up: “But does this not begin to look at this point like the blurring of the lines here,” between fact and fiction, “is deliberate?”
Keith Olbermann is scared. Not by the threat of terrorism in the United States. But at the notion that "24" might be raising Americans' awareness of the threat. And he has singled out NewsBusters for the role it has played in highlighting the issue.
Olbermann devoted a Countdown segment this evening to "24", suggesting that its two-night, four-hour season opener should have been sufficient to "scare or outrage you." Incomprehensibly, Olbermann complained that the show depicted various terrorist suicide attacks "not in places where these things already happened, but in a country called the United States of America." Is it possible that Keith Olbermann has forgotten 9-11?
In a gratuitous insult to all intelligent Conservatives everywhere, Mr Kane has declared you all to be slobbering Neanderthals who would rather beat your enemy to death with a club than use diplomacy and that the law obviously means nothing to you.
Some speculate one reason "24" is such a favorite of the Bush crowd is that Bauer is presented as a guy with no qualms about torturing his prisoners in order to get information as quickly as possible. In light of criticism the Bush administration gets for its torture policies, it doesn't take a think-tank expert to see why some hail the show as a breath of clean air.
Geraldo Rivera had it in for both businesses big and small as he attacked them and conservatives over minimum wage and compensation packages on last night's Geraldo At Large. During his final commentary, on the Fox News syndicated program, Rivera found conservatives' resistance to a minimum wage increase, "deeply troubling," and claimed it exposed "a cancer at the very heart of capitalism," compared to the "obscene fortunes" made by "mediocre business executives." Rivera then proclaimed his "belief in free enterprise," but invited on Rep. Barney Frank to spew this socialistic propaganda: "We are talking about a very real inequity in our society where a very small number of people are monopolizing almost all the increased wealth and most people are getting none of it." To expose inflated compensation packages Rivera singled out former Home Depot exec Robert L. Nardelli, calling him a "loser," but perhaps Rivera shouldn't be so quick to attack the overpaid given that his own employer, Fox News, just axed his show.
Today is the beginning of Hanukkah, so can't let this one pass just in case you missed it...
Just when you think you’ve heard it all—FOX News reports: “An artist who was forced to remove his Nazi gingerbread men from the window of a hardware store has set up the display in an empty storefront in another town. “The Secret Lives of Gingerbread Men” depicts a small gathering at a Nazi rally. Keith McGuckin set up the display in this northeastern Ohio city Thursday night, a day before the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins at sundown…
This morning, NBC’s Today led the broadcast by highlighting Fox’s decision not to air their smarmy interview with O. J. Simpson about how he “would” have killed his wife “if” he had committed the crime, which, of course, most Americans believe he did, only to escape a double-murder conviction in a circus of a trial. But while NBC seemed to be enjoying Fox’s pain today, back in the ’90s, their Today show was perhaps O.J.’s most sympathetic venue on TV.
This morning, co-host Matt Lauer talked to the late Nicole Brown’s sister Denise in both the 7am and 7:30am half-hours about the awfulness of Fox’s deal with O.J., which News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch scuttled on Monday, saying it was an “ill-considered project” — perhaps the understatement of the decade.
Fox News' Geraldo Rivera cheered the Democrats' victory last night as he railed against the "anti-immigration" GOP, called Rush Limbaugh, "snot-nosed," and campaigned for a minimum wage increase. On the syndicated Geraldo At Large, Rivera said of Republicans who opposed illegal immigration, "I am delighted to say that they got their butts kicked!" Rivera then mocked Limbaugh as he declared Claire McCaskill "was propelled to victory when snot-nosed Rush Limbaugh made fun of Parkinson patient Michael J. Fox's symptoms." Rivera also implored the Democrats to raise the minimum wage: "The incoming 110th Congress must also work in a bipartisan way finally to raise the national minimum wage. It has been a pathetic $5.15 an hour for almost 10 years."
Fox News' Geraldo Rivera did his part to feed the gas price election conspiracy theory on last night's Geraldo At Large. Rivera pondered about the lower prices, "Is it gas pump pimping?" and "Doesn't it make you even a little suspicious that the cost to fill ‘er up dropped almost a dollar a gallon and the elections are just two weeks away?" Rivera asked those questions and then proceeded to tick down several nutty theories during his final commentary on his October 25th show. Now the commentary wasn't completely without skepticism but it wasn't enough to keep his end of show rant from sounding utterly ridiculous.
From the opening and throughout the show Rivera tantalized the conspiracy nuts in his audience with the following teases:
h/t to MsUnderestimated
A small aircraft crashed into a high-rise on the Upper East Side, setting off a fire and startling New Yorkers, police said. There were conflicting reports on whether the aircraft was a small plane or a helicopter.
Fire Department spokeswoman Emily Rahimi said an aircraft struck struck the 20th floor of a building on East 72nd Street. Witnesses said the crash caused a loud noise, and burning and falling debris was seen. Flames were seen shooting out of the windows. Video from the scene showed at least three apartments in the high rise fully engulfed in flames.
“There’s huge pieces of debris falling,” said one witness who refused to give her full name. “There’s so much falling now, I’ve got to get away.”
In today's Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan sounds a
pessimistic note about today's media landscape. Sparked by former
president Bill Clinton's contentious interview with Fox's Chris
Wallace, she hails the demise of the liberal elites who monopolized
America's political agenda through control of the media but bemoans
what she believes to be the proliferation of cultural detritus. I'll
have more on this later but I thought it's worth putting out right now.
Do you think she's right or wrong?
The new media did not divide us.
The new media gave voice to our divisions. The result: more points of
view, more subjects discussed, more data presented. This, in a great
republic, a great democracy, a leader of the world in a dangerous time,
is not bad but good.
But nothing comes free. All big changes have unexpected
benefits and unanticipated drawbacks. Here is a loss: the man on the
Forty and 50 years ago, mainstream
liberal media executives--middle-aged men who fought in Tarawa or
Chosin, went to Cornell, and sat next to the man in the gray flannel
suit on the train to the city, who hoisted a few in the bar car, and
got off at Greenwich or Cos Cob, Conn.--those great old liberals had
some great things in them.
One was a high-minded interest in
imposing certain standards of culture on the American people. They
actually took it as part of their mission to elevate the country.
Fox News president Roger Ailes blasted former president Bill Clinton in an interview with AP reporter Dave Bauder:
Fox News chief Roger Ailes says former President Clinton's response
to Chris Wallace's question about going after Osama bin Laden
represents "an assault on all journalists."
Ailes said Clinton had a "wild overreaction" in the interview,
broadcast on "Fox News Sunday." Hundreds of thousands of people
subsequently watched clips over the Internet, with Fox foes rallying
"If you can't sit there and answer a question from a professional,
mild-mannered, respectful reporter like Chris Wallace, then the hatred
for journalists is showing," Ailes said in an interview with The
Associated Press on Wednesday. "All journalists need to raise their
eyebrows and say, `hold on a second.'"
On Monday night's syndicated Geraldo At Large, Geraldo Rivera compared George Allen to Mark Fuhrman. Rivera, in his final commentary, aired the allegations of racism by Allen critics but never quoted Allen supporters. Teasing the segment Rivera made the Fuhrman comparison:
"Stand by everybody. What does the senator from Virginia have in common with the cop in the O.J. Simpson case? We'll be back in a flash with what may be the beginning of the end of a promising political career."
The following is the entire transcript of Rivera's segment from the September 26th edition of Geraldo At Large:
Rivera: "Do you remember the moment, the very moment that O.J. Simpson beat that murder rap, despite the mountain of evidence against him? I'll give you a hint it had nothing to do with the murders but everything to do with a lie. Watch."
All the buzz generated by Chris Wallace's explosive "Fox News Sunday" interview with former president Bill Clinton surely came as great news to the Fox News publicity staff and management. "Sunday" has long lagged behind its competitors and this was just the kind of press it needed.
Part of the reason the interview got so much attention was the internet. But because Fox hasn't provided an easy way for its visitors to link to videos, all the web traffic for the interview went to sites which did make it easy to view, YouTube, Hot Air, and others. This must've upset someone in the legal department over at Fox Television because yesterday, YouTube users who used the keywords "fox news" in their descriptions of the Clinton-Wallace exchange received cease and desist letters from YouTube which said Fox News had lodged copyright claims against it. (h/t USS Neverdock)
Viewers of this morning's Today expecting a balanced panel discussing Bill Clinton's outburst at Fox News were greeted with James Carville debating...Paul Begala? Meredith Vieira, for the most part, sat back as Carville and Begala pumped up Clinton, rallied the Democratic base and attacked everything from the administration's war on terror to Condoleezza Rice, to Fox News. There was no Michael Smerconish or any other vaguely right-of-center counterpart to make points against Clinton's outburst.
The following is a transcript of the entire segment:
Meredith Vieira: "Norah O'Donnell, thanks. Democratic strategists James Carville and Paul Begala worked closely with former President Clinton, their book, Take It Back: A Battle Plan for Democratic Victory is now out in paperback and updated with new material. Good morning to both of you gentlemen. I want to start with you James."
I happened to catch Chris Wallace on the Sean Hannity radio show, and heard something new: Two weeks ago DNC chief Howard Dean told Wallace he was "tough but fair." This is an entertaining contrast to Dean's current statement characterizing Fox News as part of the right-wing propaganda machine.
I don't have a recording, but I took brief notes.
Wallace said that two weeks ago, he got lots of emails from conservatives raging about how harsh he was in his questioning of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. Dean followed Rice in a separate appearance, and according to Wallace, Dean told him "I can't believe you questioned her that tough." After his segment, Dean signed the guestbook with the comment Tough but fair.
In his rant against Chris Wallace of Fox News on Friday, former president Bill Clinton claimed that (bold is mine):
I tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke.
You would wait forever for someone in The 527 Media to do what blogger Patterico did earlier today. In the course of a longer entry dispelling other myths and falsehoods in the Clinton-Wallace interview, Patterico busted the Clinton claim about the anti-terror transition from his administration to the incoming Bush Adminstration. He located this interview of Richard Clarke in early 2002 that was cleared for distribution by the White House in 2004 and published at Fox News' web site in March of that year.
On the August 28th edition of Fox New's syndicated Geraldo At Large, Geraldo Rivera advocated for an illegal immigrant single-mother trying to fight deportation with the help of a Chicago church. The piece cast illegal immigration foes as almost heartless as Rivera asked Pat Buchanan: "Isn't it impossible almost, not to be sympathetic to this mom and her son?" and "Pat isn't it a kind of bait and switch? We lure the illegals here with the promise of work and now we're telling them, either leave or be arrested?"
Rivera noted the deportation stems from a 2002 arrest of her using a fake social security number but then tried to justify it by saying she paid the taxes: "One quick note about using a fake social security number. The tax is paid into the federal government but it's never paid out. So Elvira was paying taxes." Rivera then went further saying that some compare her "to Rosa Parks and other icons of the civil rights movement."
Hallelujah! Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig are FREE AT LAST! I'm so overjoyed to report that Centanni & Wiig have been released, and are now confirmed to be safely in Jerusalem. For extensive reporting, see MsUnderestimated's post.
Thank you, God, for delivering these men from evil.
From BOB LAURENCE, TV critic, San Diego Union-Tribune: I'd like to offer a couple of possible reasons for the lack of attention given to the kidnapping of the two guys from Fox:
One is that, sadly, they are far from the first to be kidnapped, injured or killed. They are, alas, only the most recent two of many. The kidnapping or targeting of journalists in Iraq isn't the story it once was.
According to the AP, two Fox employees, one being reporter Steve Centanni, were kidnapped by Palestinians in Gaza earlier today. Fox is barely speaking about this at all, and I'm tending to think it's to keep it out of the spotlight while negotiations are on-going. Only Jennifer Griffin would mention this as she was interviewed from Kiryat Shmona (video link by MsUnderestimated) this afternoon. God speed and I hope for a quick release of these hostages. My prayers are with the entire Fox family now, even though the lunatics over at DU are voicing their "wishes" about who they wanted it to have been.
Fidel Castro is a brutal dictator but you wouldn't know it from listening to many of the current reports about his health. Time and time again members of the U.S. media fall over themselves in describing Castro in poetic terms. On last night's Geraldo At Large, Fox News' Geraldo Rivera went over board in his final commentary about Castro's legacy with such flowery descriptions of the man as: "the iron man of revolutionary rhetoric,""romantic revolutionary," and "charismatic commie."
Oh to be sure Rivera acknowledged "to some" he's "a ruthless and absolute dictator," but when he counters that he is also "Loved and admired by many," Rivera engaged in that game of moral equivalency so often played by liberal reporters where, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."
At a press conference for TV critics, FNC and Fox affiliates chief Roger Ailes announced he will be unveiling a syndicated morning news show next January. Now Fox fans will be able to get their fix without cable:
Ailes and Fox are gearing up for a yet-to-be
named morning show that will air after the local news broadcasts. Mike
Jerrick and Juliet Huddy of the Fox News Channel will host the 9 a.m.
offering, which will focus on light, entertaining fare when there's
little hard news.
The morning show will
launch in January and will go up against the final hour of a
Couric-free "Today" and newly formatted "Regis and Kelly," with a
little less Regis Philbin. Since September, Philbin has been doing four
days a week instead of five.
The MRC Business & Media Institute's latest study is getting notice in the media.
The Washington Post's Frank Ahrens did a write-up below-the-fold in the business section today.
"Bad Company," the first of a three-part study series on media coverage of the American businessman is available here.
Here's a bit of what Ahrens wrote:
On the heels of last month's conviction of top Enron Corp.
executives comes this nugget from the Media Research Center, a
conservative television watchdog group that examines programming to
determine how certain groups are portrayed. In this study, the group
claims that Hollywood unfairly and overwhelmingly casts businessmen and
women as "criminal CEOs and murdering MBAs."
Mark Twain once said, "It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native criminal class except Congress."
Today's Hollywood TV executives would beg to differ. To them there's no distinctly native criminal class except American businessmen.
The Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute is out with our latest study, the first of a three-part series looking at the media's bias against businessmen.
Almost 10 years ago, the Media Research Center’s
Business & Media Institute published “Businessmen Behaving Badly,”
which found that businessmen on TV committed more crimes than any
other demographic. In this new study, BMI looked at 129 episodes
from 12 top-rated dramas on the four networks: ABC, CBS, FOX and
NBC. These broadcasts were picked from two “sweeps” months in 2005 –
May and November – when networks try to attract the largest
audiences to maximize ad dollars.
In this look at primetime, BMI found:
Negative toward Business: Negative plots about business and
businessmen outnumbered positive ones by almost 4-to-1. Of the 39
episodes that included business-related plots or characters, 30
(77 percent) cast businessmen and commerce in a negative light.
Fox News Channel's Geraldo Rivera came out in favor of same-sex marriage on the June 5 edition of his syndicated Geraldo At Large. Throughout the show, Rivera teased his final commentary proclaiming: "25 years after the discovery of AIDS is this the time to ban gay marriage?....The gay community takes another hit, 25 years to the very day that AIDS first ravaged their community." At the end of the show, Rivera chastised the President and advocated same-sex marriage as a way to prevent the spread of AIDS:
Rivera: "Exactly 25 years ago today federal officials first warned gay men that five homosexuals in Los Angeles had contracted a rare form of pneumonia. The disease that became AIDS was largely spread initially by the promiscuous, sometimes drug-fueled sex exemplified by the gay bathhouses where an uninformed generation contracted the disease that ultimately killed tens of thousands of them and many millions of others here and around the world. Beginning soon after the outbreak responsible voices began an aggressive campaign to educate young men raised in the era of those anonymous sexual contacts of the grave dangers involved. Public service announcements and information campaigns were launched. Red ribbons were also worn in sympathy as one after another public figure like actors Rock Hudson and Brad Davis, Queen’s Freddie Mercury and tennis great Arthur Ashe were diagnosed, some succumbing to the disease. While they are not all gay and may have contracted the disease in other ways like bad blood transfusions the majority got AIDS through sex. The recognition of that scary fact led to profound changes in social conduct. Most bathhouses were closed or closely regulated. Safe sex became a mantra. And something even more profound happened, marriage, where at least solid, stable relationships began replacing promiscuous sex as the norm in the gay community. Which is why on the 25th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic the current efforts to breathe life back into the amendment to ban gay marriage seems so counterproductive and blatantly anti-social."
Geraldo Rivera slammed the President's immigration policy on the Fox News syndicated Geraldo At Large. Rivera said the National Guard wouldn't be effective in stopping illlegal immigration but warned if they were successful: "Who will mow our lawns, pick our apples, patch our roofs, sew our garments? You can bet it won’t be those screamers demanding the National Guard. What we need is a sensible and humane approach to immigration. What we need is what the President has advocated up until now. The deployment of the National Guard is political baloney. Get ready everybody for $10 artichokes."
Without a doubt the most absurd claim made during all the recent NSA stories has to come from Fox News' Geraldo Rivera when he warned: "If Congress doesn’t stop this guy, General Hayden, next he’ll be peeking in our bedrooms. " The following came from Rivera's final commentary segment on last night's syndicated Geraldo At Large:
Geraldo Rivera: "Now it’s your problem too. Remember when President Bush acknowledged that the super secret National Security Agency was indeed spying on Americans without search warrants by listening in to and taping international phone calls? Remember how the President justified it?"
[George W. Bush: "If they’re making phone calls into the United States we need to know why to protect you."]
In a stunning example of politics making strange bedfellows, conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corporation owns Fox News and the New York Post, is rumored to be about to host a fundraising event for Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY). As reported by the Financial Times: “The decision underlines an incongruous thawing of relations between Mr Murdoch and Mrs Clinton, who in 1998 coined the phrase ‘vast rightwing conspiracy’ to denounce critics of her husband, such as Fox News, the conservative cable channel owned by Mr Murdoch’s News Corporation.”
The article made it clear that this is about Hillary's senatorial ambitions and not those for the White House:
On the April 24th edition of Fox’s syndicated Geraldo At Large, Geraldo Rivera said the bright side of high gas prices is "it may cut down on global warming" and then went on to call oil company CEO’s "pirates," and backed a windfall tax on the companies as "a no-brainer."
The following is Rivera’s entire final commentary from the show:
Geraldo Rivera: "About the only good news is that it may cut down on global warming but exploding gas prices are hurting lots of people along the way."
[Man at gas station: "Gas prices just make you definitely want to take the train all the time."]
When it comes to combining campy, staged video with liberalism nobody tops Geraldo Rivera. On last night's Geraldo At Large, in a story about proposed legislation to lower the hunting age in Wisconsin Rivera, seen holding a rifle outside the Fox studios in New York, crouched down to get a child's opinion on the law: "So get this, there’s a new bill pending in the state of Wisconsin that would lower that state’s legal hunting age, putting loaded guns into the hands of children between the ages of eight and eleven. Kids like William here, making them bonafide gun-toting hunters. So what do you think of that idea William?"
William: "I hate it."
Rivera: "You hate it? Ooh!"
And later in the show Rivera, supposedly on vacation, called for Puerto Rican statehood from the deck of his sailboat: