A day after CBS's Katie Couric delivered a softball interview with Democratic Congressman John Murtha, in which she skipped questions about his ethical improprieties, painted him as a victim of attacks after he called for withdrawal from Iraq and cued him up, “Did you feel vindicated last Tuesday?" (NewsBusters item), NBC Nightly News looked at Murtha's possible abuse of his office. NBC's story by Lisa Myers, however, aired only after Democrats favoring Steny Hoyer over Murtha for House Majority Leader, raised Murtha's past. Myers cited how Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi promised “the most honest and open Congress in history,” but Myers noted how “some Democrats and ethics experts say that promise was undercut when Pelosi endorsed this man, John Murtha, for the number two leadership position in the House." Referring to liberal speech suppression activist Fred Wertheimer, Myers relayed how “critics claim Murtha has amassed power in part by handing out taxpayer money to special interests, including to clients of defense lobbyists who give him big campaign contributions." In addition, Myers raised ABSCAM as she showed 1980 video of Murtha saying he was “not interested -- at this point” in a $50,000 bribe from an undercover FBI agent.
Myers concluded with Murtha's “Swift Boat” defense: "Murtha has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and says these charges amount to Swift-Boating, the same kind of unfair charges that helped defeat John Kerry. Murtha also now supports ethics reform.”
NBC anchor Brian Williams didn't exactly strike a tone of toughness with new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after she was elected, asking her softball questions on NBC Nightly News about what "drain the swamp" meant, and what she would say to the president, and how "history was riding along with her," and what her thoughts were on her family at the historic moment.
But twelve years ago tonight, one week after Newt Gingrich's big win, on November 15, 1994, NBC anchor Tom Brokaw hammered Gingrich in a snide and negative ten-minute "Dateline NBC" hit piece. Brokaw pushed every negative button. Gingrich had a "long streak" of "casually reckless" remarks. He admitted "he smoked pot" and "got a marriage deferment" to avoid service in Vietnam. He went to first wife Jackie's hospital room "the day after her cancer surgery" to discuss divorce terms. He made a "very ominous" charge that FDA chief David Kessler threatened to ruin businesses. And his "well-heeled admirers," called "Newt Incorporated," showed he was already ethically compromised, since voters would think donors "were trying to buy his heart if not his vote, at the least."
After ignoring for months how Democratic control of the House and Senate would put left-wingers in charge of key committees, on Thursday night the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts acknowledged that reality as they sprinkled the “liberal” label in their stories. On Wednesday night, the three newscasts featured interviews with likely House Speaker Nancy Pelolsi (NewsBusters post), but only ABC applied an ideological tag, with Charles Gibson describing her as a “liberal Democrat.” Prompted by Senator George Allen's concession, thus meaning a Democratic takeover of the Senate as well as of the House, the networks looked at the new make-up of Capitol Hill. None, however, mentioned the far-left John Conyers, who has advocated impeaching President Bush, assuming the Chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee.
CBS's Sharyl Attkisson noted how "the agenda will be largely set by the powerful congressional committees with some of the longest serving liberals in charge" and she cited how “Republican Tom Davis on Government Reform will be replaced by liberal Democrat Henry Waxman, who's known for tough oversight of corporations and government." On screen, by a picture of Waxman, CBS put a laudatory-sounding quest: “Corporate oversight?”ABC's Jake Tapper stuck only to the Senate as he referred to the "liberal lion, Senator Ted Kennedy" at Health Education and Labor and concluded with how “complicating the Senate math for the President is the fact that seven Democratic Senators are harboring serious presidential ambitions for 2008 -- meaning many of them are going to try to appeal to the party's liberal base." NBC's Chip Reid only managed one liberal label -- “Vermont liberal Pat Leahy” -- as he recited a litany of new House and Senate committee chairmen.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sat for interviews Wednesday with reporters for all the networks. NBC's Brian Williams and CBS's Katie Couric put the most emphasis on her presumed “history-making” ascension to House Speaker and allowed her to offer the most-benign descriptions of the policies she will pursue. “Our conversation with Nancy Pelosi, a woman on the verge of making American history,” Williams trumpeted in teasing the NBC Nightly News. Over video of President Bush, with Vice President Cheney and House Speaker Hastert behind him at a State of the Union address, Williams relayed how Pelosi “says she is most excited to change this picture, to put a female face in this frame of three male faces for the very first time." Williams sycophantically gushed to her: "Let's talk about history because I know history was riding along with you as you watched the results last night. I know you have thought today about your mother. I know you have thought today about your father, your own children and grandchildren."
A smiling and spellbound Couric wondered: "A lot has been made of the fact that you, if elected, and it appears that you will be, that you will be the first woman Speaker of the House and the highest ranking woman in the United States government. What does that mean to you?" Pelosi replied: "It's pretty exciting, I have to say. I'm just so excited that a Democrat will be Speaker of the House." To which Couric oozed: "So you're a Democrat first, a woman second?" (Transcripts follow)
Even before any results were known, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw already had his template for the mid-term elections: The people are tired of “far right” Republicans and pleased by the emergence of Democrats who are “moving toward the center.” Brokaw, who will be part of the NBC News election team, was asked by Brian Williams, on Monday's NBC Nightly News, what “trends” he sees emerging. Though a Democratic takeover of the House would likely put the far-left Nancy Pelosi into the Speaker's chair along with several other hard-left Congressman into committee chairmanships, Brokaw applied an extremist ideological tag only to Republicans as he saw an end to a “polarized” nation ahead:
“The country is sending a signal to both parties: We want you guys to work together to solve problems. You've got Republicans running from the far right much more toward the center. You've got a new breed of Democrats this year in Jim Webb in Virginia and Bob Casey in Pennsylvania, moving toward the center. So we may be working our way toward the end of a deeply polarized country politically at the national level.”
In Monday's Media Notes column in the Washington Post, Howard Kurtz found the media are attracted to polls like crack cocaine, and they've "grown addicted to the GOP-in-trouble narrative." Kurtz says it isn't about liberal bias, but the desire for a change in story line. Riiight. Journalists confirm that Democrats have been boasting of a takeover:
"If you mention something enough times, you make it seem as if it must be so," says NBC's Williams. But, he says, "if the media are guilty of beating the Democratic House takeover drums, the media share that guilt with prominent Democrats, who in on- and off-the-record settings have indeed been all but measuring the drapes."
In an interview with Vice President Dick Cheney excerpted on ABC's World News on Friday night, George Stephanopoulos cited the “exceptionally low” 4.4 percent October unemployment rate announced earlier in the day -- down two-tenths from September to the lowest since early 2001 -- and wondered: “Why don't you think the President's getting more credit for that?" Cheney blamed the media: “Well, you guys don't help. The fact of course is that what's news is if there's bad news and that gets coverage. But the good news that's out there day after day after day doesn't get as much attention.”
Indeed, Cheney was prescient. On Friday night ABC limited coverage to the Stephanopoulos question and 15 seconds from anchor Charles Gibson nearly 19 minutes into the newscast while CBS, and NBC to a lesser extent, spun the good news into bad. NBC's Brian Williams gave it just 20 seconds as he reported “employers added 92,000 jobs in October,” but added how “that was below expectations.” Williams skipped how the August and September job numbers were revised to show 139,000 more jobs created. And though wages have grown by 3.9 percent over the past 12 months, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric used the lower unemployment news as a segue to ask: “But do the jobs out there pay enough? A big issue in the battle for Congress this year is how much the lowest-paid workers make.” Viewers then saw a full story on the plight of minimum wage workers and how raising it is "resonating" with voters. (Transcript follows)
On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams gave air time to dismissing a flimsy charge of liberal media bias based not on any content, but simply on the planned location of the newscast. From Memphis, Williams noted that “emotions are running so high,” in the Tennessee Senate contest between Republican Bob Corker and Democrat Harold Ford, “that we must tell you, even our choice of cities for this broadcast tonight has become controversial because Memphis is the hometown base of the Democrat in this race.” Williams then read from an e-mail sent by “Butch,” who complained: “There is one reason and one reason only that Briansama is coming to Memphis...for his obvious attempt to promote Ford...This is the liberal media at its very lowest." Williams easily discounted the theory: “The truth is, nothing so sinister. We chose Memphis because it is the largest city in the state and happens to be home to a great NBC television station.”
It would be nice if Williams some night would give air time to a serious charge of liberal media bias based on content analysis, not silly idle speculation about atmospherics.
Another campaign, another opportunity for the mainstream media to discredit a Republican campaign ad as racist. On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams declared: “Tonight some are saying that one commercial in particular in one very close Senate race has now crossed a racial line.” Andrea Mitchell proceeded to critique the RNC ad attacking Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford and in offering a second example of how the “mid-year elections are getting rough,” Mitchell castigated Rush Limbaugh, ignoring the inaccurate Democratic ad he had criticized. The Tennessee ad made fun of how Ford once attended a Playboy party. In it, a white female recalls how “I met Harold at the Playboy party" and the ad ended with her whispering: "Harold, call me." Mitchell pounced: "The NAACP said the ad, quote, 'plays to pre-existing prejudices about African-American men and white women'” and “advertising experts like Jerry Della Femina, a Republican, says it is a blatant racial appeal."
Mitchell moved to Limbaugh: "Take a look at what Rush Limbaugh is saying about Michael J. Fox, the actor who suffers from Parkinson's disease and is campaigning for Democrats who support stem cell research. Limbaugh said Fox was acting, exploiting his illness, when he taped this ad for the Democratic Senate candidate in Maryland." Viewers saw a clip of Limbaugh: "He is moving all around and shaking, and it's purely an act." But Mitchell ignored how Fox was injecting politics into medical research funding policy, how Fox has admitted going off his meds in order to look worse and that Limbaugh was also criticizing Fox's anti-Talent ad in Missouri in which Fox made the distorted claim that “Senator Talent even wanted to criminalize the science that gives us the chance for hope." Plus, it's worth noting that Fox was a lot more steady in a clip of him responding to Limbaugh. (Transcripts from NBC and Limbaugh follow, as well as from ABC)
Video of Mitchell's hit on Limbaugh with two clips of Fox in different conditions -- see screen shots below (1:00): Real (1.7 MB) or Windows Media (2 MB), plus MP3 audio (350 KB)
A night after ABC led with the supposedly “remarkable reversal” by Senator Barack Obama to think about running for President, and a full story on the NBC Nightly News, both network evening newscasts were back again with full stories Monday night on Obama the “rock star.” Remarkably, given how he decides what is newsworthy, at the top of World News Charles Gibson asked: “Why does he get so much attention?” ABC's puff story for Obama -- reporter Kate Snow gushed about how “his base is growing. Even Oprah seemed to endorse him" -- followed the lead story about dour poll numbers for Republicans.
With “Overnight Sensation” on screen, NBC anchor Brian Williams hailed in his teaser: “Tonight, the overnight sensation surrounding a Senator with real star power, may have changed everything for the Democrats in the run for the White House.” Williams later cited how Obama has “rocked the political world” and cued up Tim Russert with how “they say here's a guy who could actually cause excitement over American politics to break out again.” Russert championed how “he's getting rock star treatment all across the country.” (CBS, and transcripts for ABC and NBC, follow)
Back in 1994, the last time Democrats had majorities in the House and Senate, the broadcast networks tried to suffocate the Republican challenge with negative spin. NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw scoffed at the GOP's Contract with America: "It is long on promises, but short on sound premises."
No Republican got worse press that year than the man who would be Speaker, Newt Gingrich. ABC's Jim Wooten slammed Gingrich as "the national poster boy for the politics of resentment and rage." CBS's Eric Engberg skewered Gingrich as "bombastic and ruthless....the family values candidate who divorced his ailing first wife."
Fast forward 12 years, and now Republicans are defending their House and Senate majorities in a tough election. But the broadcast networks have so far refused to scrutinize the Democrats who wish to lead the next Congress.
Aren’t reporters supposed to nail facts down for the public? On Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, reporter Chip Reid explored the U.S. Senate race in New Jersey, but could not explain to viewers whether or not Sen. Bob Menendez is under federal investigation. "It’s not entirely clear who’s right," Reid claimed. As Menendez denounced Republican opponent Tom Kean Jr. for "the politics of smear," Reid seemed unable to declare a basic fact local media outlets have repeated for weeks: federal investigators subpoenaed a Menendez tenant’s leasing agreement with Menendez. NBC doesn’t even seem to trust its own New York affiliate WNBC to locate the facts, even though it broke the subpoena story in September.
How much of a network newscast depends on anonymous sources? And isn't it more suspicious when the anonymous sources all agree on the liberal-media thesis (actually, the John Kerry thesis) that the best we can hope for in Iraq is a stable dictatorship? Friday night's NBC Nightly News led with a British general saying all is lost, and notice how Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski presents Pentagon opinion constantly through anonymous sources (and a couple of prominent and regular Bush war critics). Apparently, all the finest military minds are unanimous, and a debate is unnecessary:
Brian Williams, beginning the show: "It was the shot heard around the world, and it came from the commander of the British Army. He is on the record as saying British troops have no business in Iraq and should come home. While he has since changed his stance a bit, his words sent shock waves through British forces. It wasn't what American forces needed to hear, either, as they are already facing an unraveling and violent situation on the ground, counter to their goal of democracy taking hold. We begin here tonight at the Pentagon with our Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski. Jim, good evening."
Gerry Studds had to die for NBC Nightly News to inform viewers of how the former Democratic Congressman had a sexual relationship with 17-year-old male congressional page, misconduct for which the House in 1983 censured him, but did not prompt Democratic House Speaker Tip O'Neill and other leaders to force his resignation -- nor raise calls for O'Neill's resignation. Despite the Democratic hypocrisy given their current calls for Speaker Hastert's resignation and investigations of who knew what and when about Mark Foley, Saturday night -- two weeks into the media-fueled scandal -- was the first time, according to Nexis, any NBC News program mentioned Studds' name. Anchor John Seigenthaler, who called Studds “Gary,” relayed how “from Massachusetts comes word of the death of former Democratic Congressman Gary Studds, the first openly gay Member of Congress.” Seigenthaler then gave the gentlest of descriptions as he avoided the word “sexual” in his one sentence on the matter: “In 1983 the House of Representatives censured Studds for his relationship with a teenage page.”
Friday's broadcast network evening newscasts (6:30pm EDT feeds for ABC and CBS, 7pm for NBC) delivered contradictory reports on whether U.S. officials believe North Korea conducted a nuclear test last weekend. On the CBS Evening News, Jim Axelrod reported from the White House lawn: “The first tests on air samples from near North Korea have been completed and U.S. intelligence agencies now appear ready to confirm this was indeed a nuclear test.” NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams similarly relayed: “American officials say the very first tests of air samples from the skies above do show some indication of increased radiation, but they say it will be more days now before all the tests are completed.”
On ABC's World News, however, anchor Charles Gibson asserted: “There is still a question tonight as to whether North Korea did or did not conduct a nuclear test. Monitoring of the air over North Korea by the U.S., by the Chinese and by the Japanese has come up negative.” Over a matching graphic, Gibson reported: “No radioactive particles have been found.” Jonathan Karl suggested “that it may have been a failure and they have not ruled out the possibility that it could be a fake. There will be more tests coming, Charlie, it may be several days before we have anything definitive.” (Reid v Foley below)
Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw returned to the Nightly News set on Thursday night to forecast big trouble in Big Sky country for Montana’s Republican Senator, Conrad Burns: "This campaign sums up a lot of the Republican problems nationwide." Brokaw theorized that the country’s just tired of less-than-honest GOP majority rule: "For Burns and other GOP candidates across the country, their toughest opponent may be their own party, after six years of White House and Congressional rule."
He touted Montana’s Democrat governor, Brian Schweitzer, as popular, and projected a Democrat win: Schweitzer "could help pull independents and Republicans across the line for Jon Tester on Election Day and that in effect would change Montana from a red to a blue state. It would be a big change." Brokaw’s two local pundits on the race both blasted Bush and the GOP for misleading the country into war in Iraq. Brokaw ignored how Tester’s getting major support from far-left outlets like the Daily Kos website and is calling for the outright repeal of the Patriot Act, which is currently the buzz in Montana.
The ABC and NBC evening newscasts on Thursday ran full stories on the testimony, before the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, from Kirk Fordham, former Congressman Mark Foley's Chief of Staff. But ABC had no time for anything about a late Wednesday AP disclosure of how “Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid collected a $1.1 million windfall on a Las Vegas land sale even though he hadn't personally owned the property for three years.” The NBC Nightly News at least, after two minutes on Foley, managed to squeeze in 30 seconds about Senator Reid, but only a very benign description of the matter.
George Stephanopoulos touted how “ABC News has learned that behind closed doors, Fordham told the ethics committee that he warned Speaker Hastert's office, about Congressman Foley's inappropriate behavior with pages, more than three years ago.” NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams elevated Foley to the top of his newscast by teasing: "Who knew what and when in the Foley scandal involving teenage congressional pages? Foley's former Chief of Staff testifies that he raised red flags many times." Following a story from Chip Reid, Williams asked: "What's behind this increased scrutiny for the top man for the Democrats in the Senate, Harry Reid?" NBC's Reid explained how the AP reported “he may have violated Senate ethics rules by not reporting some of the intermediate steps along the way” in a land deal and Senator “Reid says it's all perfectly legal” and “he says if technical changes, as he calls them, need to be made, he will do so.”
Oops. Back in 2004, then-ABC White House correspondent Terry Moran argued President Bush’s tax cuts were building debt, not prosperity: “Most experts say that making those tax cuts permanent would cause gigantic deficits virtually as far as the eye can see.” Early last year, CBS’s Bob Schieffer suggested it would be impossible for the federal budget deficit to be cut in half before 2009 without raising taxes: “The government has just got to find some money to finance these programs.”
Well, the tax cuts haven’t been repealed, and there have been no big new tax increases. But yesterday the White House announced that final tallies for the federal government’s fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, the budget deficit had shrunk from $413 billion two years ago to $248 billion. The federal government collected $2.407 trillion in taxes in FY2006, $122 billion more than originally forecast back in February.
Despite how the estimate of 665,000 Iraqi deaths caused by violence since the war began -- a number forwarded in a new report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health -- represents quadruple the highest monthly rate as tracked by the UN and is 13 times larger than the total compiled by the Iraq Body Count group, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric set up a Wednesday story on the guesstimate by declaring as fact: “Now we're learning that the war has been a lot more deadly than we knew.” David Martin proceeded to treat the number as perfectly reasonable as he put the blame on the U.S.: "A new and stunning measure of the havoc the American invasion unleashed in Iraq. A study published in the British journal Lancet estimates 655,000 Iraqis -- 2.5 percent of the entire population -- have died as a consequence of the war. To understand how large, consider this: The same percentage of the much larger American population would be 7.5 million dead.”
Martin noted how, at his press conference, President Bush disputed the accuracy of the estimate, but that treated it as merely a political spat. Martin, as well as ABC and NBC, failed to note the imprecision of the number extrapolated from interviews with about 1,800 Iraqi families, or expert doubters of the methodology, some of whom were cited in the Wednesday New York Times story which featured this pull-out statement in the middle of the printed article: "It's not a precise count, and the margin of error is wide." In a larger story, NBC's Jim Miklaszewski gave an air of authority as he relayed: "An independent study released today by Johns Hopkins University claims that more than 650,000 Iraqis have been killed in the war...”
A new CBS News/New York Times poll discovered, that despite day after day pounding from the news media, two-thirds said the Foley matter will make “no difference” in how they vote -- with 72 percent of independents saying so as well as a majority of Democrats (51 percent). But, Monday's CBS Evening News ignored that response as Katie Couric and Bob Schieffer found plenty of other bad news for the GOP to highlight. Couric asserted that Mark Foley's “tawdry story continues to unfold just 29 days before the midterm elections,” as if she and her media colleagues are not active participants in fueling it, and the “poll tonight indicates the GOP is in big trouble.” Schieffer declared: “This poll is about as bad as it can get for Republicans” because it suggests “that more and more Americans just don't believe them anymore, whether they are in the White House or in Congress.” Specifically, “a sizable majority, 57 percent, believes the President had warnings before 9/11 of a terrorist attack,” “nearly half, 47 percent, believe Democrats are more likely to share American moral values compared to 38 percent for Republicans” and “by two to one, Americans now believe Republicans are more corrupt than Democrats.”
Over on ABC, George Stephanopoulos listed a lot of bad news for Republicans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, but anchor Charles Gibson began with how the fresh survey found “just 18 percent of voters consider the scandal an important issue.” NBC's Martin Savidge undermined the premise of how GOP voters are disillusioned. For the NBC Nightly News, he traveled to Tennessee where he learned that “Christian conservatives blame former Congressman Foley, not the party. Everyone we talked to said they'll be there come election day.”
It takes a lot of effort to miss 810,000 new jobs. The Labor Department managed it, but at least they corrected the problem. The networks have over-reported job losses and now this huge piece of good news got lost in the shuffle.
The October 8 Washington Post highlighted the incredible revision. “Unemployment is down to 4.6 percent, the lowest in five years, the Labor Department reported, adding with some embarrassment that it had suddenly discovered an estimated 810,000 net new jobs that it had somehow overlooked in the year ended in March,” wrote Steven Pearlstein.
Liberal comedian Jon Stewart regularly analyzes and criticizes the cable and broadcast news programs. When someone tries to do the same to his "Daily Show," however, the Stewart says he's just a comedian doing "fake news."
That used to be true back in the day when "Daily" was primarily comprised of spoof reports and fake interviews. But since Iraq war started, "Daily" has largely turned into a nightly bash-Republicans program, with the news of the day as the cudgel. In so doing, Stewart has evolved his show into a news program, despite his protestations to the contrary.
Here at NB, we've long thought that "Daily" should be treated as a news show, even if its host is too timorous to want that kind of scrutiny. Now, a new study has come out confirming our point of view:
Friday's CBS Evening News led again with the Foley/page scandal, even though the two stories aired offered virtually no fresh information, as anchor Katie Couric justified the news judgment by declaring the issue is “still the talk of the town,” “is not going away” and “is overshadowing every other election issue for the moment” -- all self-fulfilling assessments sustained by the decisions of Couric and her media colleagues. Couric then moved on to Republican Senator John Warner's warning that Iraq is drifting “side-wise,” a comment trumpeted by Brian Williams at the start of the NBC Nightly News, which also led with the page scandal: “When a key Republican Senator comes home from Iraq and says the U.S. has to re-think its strategy, is this a new turning point?”
Buried: The drop in the unemployment rate. ABC's World News, which unlike CBS and NBC, led with something other than the Foley fallout (the fire at a chemical plant in North Carolina), ignored it. CBS Evening News viewers only heard of the positive trend from a clip of President Bush in the middle of Gloria Borger's lead story on how the parties are reacting to the Foley matter: “Today we got more good news: National unemployment rate is down to 4.6 percent." Only NBC offered an actual news report, 20 seconds in length, on the latest numbers.
File this story under media hero worship. The liberal media establishment just cannot get enough of the Kennedy clan and the whole Camelot myth that surrounds them, viewing them as America's unofficial royal family. It seems every time a member of that family so much as has a closet cleaning the media makes a huge deal of the ensuing exhibits or auctions. Such was the case on last night's NBC Nightly News report on the Kennedy Presidential Library unveiling Rose Kennedy's old personal items. Okay, sure, JFK's golf clubs were the inspiration for a classic Seinfeld episode but does it really need a story on a major network's nightly newscast? NBC's Brian Williams described Rose Kennedy in positively regal terms opening his October 5th story:
All three broadcast networks last night reported on the Dow record high, pointing to falling oil prices as a reason for the latest market rally.
But the market's been heading on an upward trend for years, throughout climbing oil prices and the media's persistent pessimism on the economy.
Of the three networks, I found CBS had the most negatively-slanted coverage, and NONE of the big three gave any thought to the Bush tax cuts being a catalyst for economic growth.
For my full story, check out the MRC's BusinessandMedia.org.
Here's an excerpt:
While CBS’s Anthony Mason offered qualified praise for the market’s recent rally, he sowed seeds of doubt about the market’s strength. Mason highlighted a retiree who “doesn’t trust this new rally” and then warned that “some Wall Street analysts see another bubble in the economy” with real estate.
In the midst of a period when the news media have been aggressively delivering bad news for Republicans and conservatives, NBC News decided to take a poll which found the news agenda has had an impact. On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams indirectly acknowledged the media's role, asking Tim Russert: “On the big issue of Iraq, since we last polled on it, we had that Defense intelligence report come out and now this Woodward book. It's all over the media. What are the findings in the numbers?" (Indeed, Williams was so enthused about Woodward's book that he led his newscast last Thursday by plugging CBS's interview with Woodward a day before the CBS Evening News got to it.) Russert relayed how the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey found that when asked “what effect is the war in Iraq having on war on terror?”, only 32 percent said “helping” while 46 percent replied “hurting.” Russert emphasized: “Measure that to one month ago and look at the change: A 14 percent increase in the number of people -- from 32 to 46 -- who believe the Iraq war is hurting the war on terror.” On job approval, Bush's is down to 39 percent in the poll.
NBC anchor Brian Williams was criticized for skipping out on the Congressional Medal of Honor ceremony that he had agreed to MC. He had another engagement: a two-minute appearance on Saturday Night Live.
“NBC Nightly News” nabob Brian Williams came under fire yesterday after he reportedly beat a hasty retreat from his MC duties at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society soiree in Boston to appear on “Saturday Night Live.”
One event participant griped to the Track that the newsie “was there for the reception, then kicked off the program around 7:30 and was out of there by 8:30.”
The latest "Media Myth" study from the MRC's Business & Media Institute is out. BMI deputy editor Amy Menefee and researcher Julia Seymour found that the media were quick to hype rising gas prices but slow to recognize the ground-rocketing they've been taking lately.
In 35 straight business days of falling gas prices, evening news shows emphasized “high” or “rising” gas prices more often than falling prices.
In half the stories where journalists mentioned falling gas prices, they undermined the news with warnings of future price increases.
It took NBC three weeks to report falling prices on the "Nightly News." By that time, the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline had fallen 24 cents.
Is NBC News the publicity agency for CBS News? While Thursday's CBS Evening News had nothing on Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward's new book, for which he sat for an interview with Mike Wallace set to air on this Sunday's 60 Minutes, the NBC Nightly News led with the “explosive new book” about the Bush administration's “deception” on Iraq. NBC anchor Brian Williams hyped: “It alleges that attacks by insurgents on coalition forces in Iraq are worse than Americans have been led to believe. It also alleges a kind of campaign of deception on the part of the Bush administration.”
Reporter Jim Miklaszewski read aloud how Woodward “tells CBS's 60 Minutes 'it's getting to the point now where there are eight, nine hundred attacks a week. That's more than 100 a day. That is four an hour attacking our forces.'” Not until the very end of his piece did Miklaszewski relay how “military officials are strongly disputing Woodwards's figures on attacks against Americans in Iraq and just as strongly deny there is any attempt to hide the truth about the war.” But that didn't dissuade Williams from presuming Woodward's accuracy, as Williams proposed to retired General Barry McCaffrey: “Is this now the accurate portrait emerging of what's going on over there?" (Transcript follows)