The same network newscasts that hyped the 2005 "alleged massacre" by U.S. soldiers in Haditha are so far ignoring the acquittal on all charges of Lieutenant Andrew Grayson on Thursday. Grayson was accused of attempting to cover up details of the events surrounding a raid that lead to the death of 15 Iraqis. However, Grayson's acquittal was skipped by ABC's "Good Morning America," CBS's "Early Show" and NBC's "Today" show. (CNN's "American Morning" covered the story only as a news brief.)
In contrast, the morning shows seemed much more interested in the subject back when dark allegations were made about the actions of U.S. solders in Haditha. On Memorial Day 2006, then-GMA host Charles Gibson intoned, "America honors its fallen war heroes, but troubling new information about Marine misconduct in Iraq. A new eyewitness on what could be a mass murder of civilians. Was there a cover-up?" On the March 20, 2006, "Nightly News," host Brian Williams touted the "disturbing new allegations" made by Congressman John Murtha about Haditha. (It should be noted that, so far, five of the eight originally charged with murder or cover-up have been acquitted.) On May 25, 2006, referencing the massacre of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians in 1968, "Nightline" host Terry Moran speculated, "Will Haditha be the My Lai of the Middle East?" On June 7 of that year, reporter Andrea Mitchell opined on "Today" that Haditha was a "black eye for American policy."
For well over a year, NewsBusters has been reporting the media's almost romantic obsession with Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama.
This unprofessional infatuation eventually became so obvious that press members themselves have been openly discussing it for the past couple of months.
With this in mind, conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin absolutely skewered two of the most obvious Obama lovers during his program Wednesday, describing the "slobbering" that happens when "the news in this country is turned over to politicians, or the staffers of politicians."
Playing audio clips of NBC's Tim Russert and MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Levin accurately demonstrated how the sycophantic adoration exhibited by the press for the junior senator from Illinois during this campaign is a bias and a journalistic disgrace likely worse than anything Americans have ever witnessed concerning a presidential candidate.
On the day after Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination, NBC's "Today" show invited on Kerry Kennedy to promote her book about her father, Robert F. Kennedy, but during the interview viewers were subjected to an anti-Republican rant.
Asked by NBC's Matt Lauer if there can be "unity in the Democratic Party," Kennedy responded by listing a series of grievances against the Bush administration -- from health care to Iraq to Guantanamo -- that would rally the Dems behind Obama.
MATT LAUER: You, you're obviously politically active. You supported Hillary Clinton, your uncle Ted supported Barack Obama. In many ways your family is representative of what happened in this country. There was a split down the middle. So are you confident, are you hopeful that there can be unity in the Democratic Party?
"Fox and Friends" called out left wing anchor Keith Olbermann on his own lies. The co-hosts on the June 4 edition of "Fox and Friends" discussed the TV Newser story that NBC veteran Tim Russert is reportedly taking orders from Olbermann. Steve Doocy noted Olbermann’s rising in the ranks at NBC and also a blogging for the hard left site, "Daily Kos."
After Gretchen Carlson responded to Olbermann’s intelligence insult, Doocy noted Olbermann’s claim he does not go after public figure’s children, but named Doocy’s own son "Worst Person in the World." Doocy fumed "So next time you see Keith Olbermann on TV, just remember he is somebody who picks on people’s children. And he is a liar."
Olbermann also named Doocy’s son "Worst Person in the World," after issuing an apology for David Shuster’s Chelsea Clinton "pimped out" comment.
During MSNBC's live coverage of Tuesday's Democratic primaries in Montana and South Dakota, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw appeared visibly annoyed at a crack made by MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann at Hillary Clinton's expense -- ironic given the timing of reports that Chris Matthews and Tim Russert are not happy with the ultra-left face Olbermann is giving MSNBC. Shortly before 8:00 p.m., after Brokaw finished describing what he called the "very strong credentials" and "remarkable stories" of Barack Obama and John McCain, Olbermann chimed in: "And a third one trying to shoe-horn her way into those, the coverage of the first two."
After flashing for a moment a disapproving frown, Brokaw chided Olbermann for disrepecting Clinton: "Well, I think that's unfair, Keith. I don't think she shoe-horned her way in." Brokaw then went on to recount her electoral accomplishments, contending that she "will have some real bargaining power" on behalf of blue-collar workers and women. (Transcript follows)
A “high level source inside MSNBC” tells the TVNewser blog that network stars like Tim Russert and Chris Matthews are “upset” and “pissed” that the far-left Keith Olbermann is tainting the network’s credibility with his “activism,” such as blogging for the hard-left Daily Kos site.
“What’s it going to be like in the general election now that everyone knows we’re the in-house network of Barack Obama,” TVNewser’s Steve Krakauer quoted the MSNBC insider as fretting. The source suggested Olbermann was allowed to get away with his activism because the network fears the Countdown host would quit:
“They are convinced that he will walk. He behaves like a man who has nothing left to lose. He is not central to MSNBC, he is the center of the MSNBC ratings strategy. We hang the entire schedule on him."
Invited on to promote his new book, "War Journal," NBC's Middle Eastern correspondent Richard Engel claimed, on Tuesday's "Today" show, that it wasn't "an opinion piece." However, in the book, Engel reveals a definite anti-war bias as he called the Iraq war "a war of opportunity," and charged, "the U.S. invaded the wrong country."
Engel tried to deny the book's slant in the following exchange with "Today" co-host Meredith Vieira:
MEREDITH VIEIRA: You know this is not a political treatise, but you do take a position about the war. You call it "a war of opportunity." And you write, "The problem was that the U.S. invaded the wrong country, destroying an odious government that was not responsible for 9/11. I don't know how you recover from invading the wrong country, no matter how you spin it." As a journalist, did you worry that you were crossing a line when you said that?
If the Speaker vilifies U.S. soldiers and praises their Iranian killers, and the Jurassic Press doesn't report it, does it make a sound?
Last Thursday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, third in line to the Presidency and currently the highest ranking Democrat on Planet Earth, sat down for an 80-minute chat with reporters and editorial board members of her home district's San Francisco Chronicle. 62 minutes in, Madame Speaker, pontificating on the Iraq surge, offered up the following:
"Whatever the military success and any progress that may have been made, the surge didn't accomplish its goal. ... And some of the success of the surge is that the goodwill of the Iranians -- they decided in Basra when the fighting would end, they negotiated that cessation of hostilities -- the Iranians."
In a hard economic times story by NBC's Kevin Tibbles on Monday's "Today" show there was a not-so-subliminal pro-Obama message on display as several times pro-Obama signs found their way into the background. Reporting on the increased traffic to pawn shops by the desperate to make ends meet in the "rocky economy," Tibbles, didn't mention Obama by name but the Illinois senator's name or image popped up in the background several times.
Tibbles, or at least his cameraman and/or producer, seemed to be sending the not-so-subtle message that the presumed Democratic presidential nominee could be the savior from these tough economic times.
The following is the full story as it occurred on the June 2, "Today" show:
On Thursday's The O'Reilly Factor, after discussing Scott McClellan's views on invading Iraq with FNC contributor Karl Rove, Bill O'Reilly turned the discussion to McClellan's comments on Rove's role in the CIA leak probe. Rove complained that while the media were obsessed with him during the investigation, Richard Armitage, who was the actual leaker, was virtually ignored, and argued that if Armitage had publicly admitted earlier that he had leaked Valerie Plame's identity, "this would have all gone away. You'll notice when it came out that Richard Armitage was the source of the leak, the media rapidly lost attention." Rove also accused Joe Wilson of making untrue claims about his trip to Niger.
After playing a clip of McClellan from his Today show interview in which he complained that Rove and Scooter Libby had claimed they were not involved in the leak, Rove contended that it was Armitage who leaked Plame's identity: "The identity of Valerie Plame was leaked to Robert Novak by Richard Armitage. What I told Scott was I didn't know her name, didn't reveal her name, didn't reveal, didn't know what she did at the CIA, and that I wasn't the source for the leak." (Transcript follows)
On Thursday's The O'Reilly Factor, during his opening "Talking Points Memo," FNC host Bill O'Reilly responded to Scott McClellan's contention, from that day's Today show, that he "felt like we were rushing into" war with Iraq in the run-up to the invasion, by showing a clip of former CIA Director George Tenet saying that before the war he "believed it in my core" that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. FNC contributor Karl Rove further quoted a number of Democrats who proclaimed in the fall of 2002 the danger posed by Saddam Hussein, as they saw it.
After O'Reilly mentioned that Saddam Hussein deceived his generals into believing he possessed WMD, Rove recounted that, according to the Duelfer report and the Kay report, Saddam Hussein "was spending vast sums of money to keep together the experts and the dual use facilities so that when the West lost interest in this and the UN sanctions failed, he could reconstitute easily."
O'Reilly played the following clip of McClellan from the Thursday, May 29, Today show:
NBC's "Today" show gave Scott McClellan two segments, on Thursday morning, to slam the Bush administration and promote his book What Happened and while Meredith Vieira repeated his charge that the administration was "shading the truth," in the run up to the Iraq war, that wasn't enough for the "Today" co-host as she pressed McClellan to go further and accuse the White House of "lying" America into the Iraq war:
MEREDITH VIEIRA: Let's go back in time now.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN: Sure.
VIEIRA: Because in the book you say the Bush administration made a decision to turn away from candor and honesty and you point to the war in Iraq as the prime example. These are your words now, "Bush and his advisers knew that the American people would not support a war launched primarily for the ambitious purpose of transforming the Middle East. Rather than open this Pandora's box, the administration chose a different path, not employing out and out deception, but shading the truth." And you say, "In an effort to convince the world that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, the administration used innuendo and implication and intentional ignoring of intelligence to the contrary." Innuendo, implication, shading the truth. You seem to stop just short of saying that President Bush and his administration flat out lied.
MCCLELLAN: Well actually, I say in the book, I say that this was not a deliberate or conscious effort to do so. What happened was that we got caught up in the excesses of the permanent campaign culture in Washington, D.C.
VIEIRA: What does that mean when you say that?
MCCLELLAN: Well what it means is that, that everything is centered on trying to shape and manipulate the narrative to one's advantage. Each party, or each side is trying to do that. That's what Washington has become today. They're trying to manipulate the narrative to their advantage. And that's the way the game is played. It's, it's a battle over power and influence. And how can we gain, or how can we win those battles, how can we win over public opinion instead of, you know what it should be more on, which is bipartisan, deliberation and compromise. That's become a distant second. And so--
VIEIRA: But however you word it, isn't it lying, Scott? Isn't that what they were doing?
The following is a complete transcript the first interview segment with McClellan as it occurred on the May 29, "Today" show:
Is it possible to discuss teen birth rates without attacking abstinence-only education? Apparently not for NBC's Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman.
During a May 28 "Today" show discussion of high schools providing birth control to teens without parental notification, Snyderman cast doubt on abstinence-only education, saying, "I don't think there's any healthcare professional who says [abstinence education] is the magic bullet and it's really working."
School-provided birth control is a hot topic again due to the rising number of teenage pregnancies at Gloucester High School in Massachusetts. Pregnancies at Gloucester High soared from 4 to 17 in one year, spurring some school health officials to propose offering free birth control to students without parental notification. Dr. Brian Orr, the school's clinic director, resigned last week after the Addison Gilbert Hospital, which funds the clinic, opposed the idea.
Host Meredith Vieira gave Snyderman a second opportunity to bash abstinence when she asked "Teen pregnancy is up for the first time in 15 years, why is that?" Snyderman responded:
Was George Soros behind the publication of Scott McClellan's book? Meredith Vieira had the perfect opportunity this morning to find out—but chose to punt. The Today co-anchor certainly had the time: her much-touted exclusive interview with the author of What Happened ranged over the show's first two half-hours. But even when McClellan himself put the issue on the table—citing his publisher by name and alluding to its philosophy—Vieira failed to pursue a line of questioning that could have put matters in an explosive new light.
is part of the Perseus Books Group, which also owns Nation Books, “a project of The Nation Institute” which publishes the magazine of the same name, and Vanguard Press, whose home page now features The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, a new book by Vincent Bugliosi that “presents a tight, meticulously researched legal case that puts George W. Bush on trial in an American courtroom for the murder of nearly 4,000 American soldiers fighting the war in Iraq.”
Baker also notes that PublicAffairs is the publisher of no fewer than six books by Soros himself, and that McClellan's editor, Peter Osnos, who acknowledges having "worked very closely" with the author, is a liberal pundit in his own right.
Finally, Little Green Footballs has documented that there are several Perseus companies that actually include "Soros" as part of their name, as in Perseus-Soros Management, LLC.
Put it all together, and there's every reason to wonder whether Soros isn't behind McClellan's manifesto. But given the golden opportunity to pursue the matter, Meredith chose to move on. Here's the relevant exchange, which came during the second half-hour of this morning's Today.
When France 2 TV helped stoke a new wave of anti-Semitism and anti-Western sentiment and violence by presenting the world footage it claimed to show the Israeli military targeting and killing a Palestinian boy, Mohammed al-Dura, a scene that has been invoked by Osama bin Laden and many other terrorists and suicide bombers, the American news media also ran the story, showing the footage numerous times on major television news shows. But evidence has mounted over the years that Israeli troops likely were not the ones producing the gunfire seen in the video. And the sources of the footage at France 2 TV are under increasing fire for their role in the matter, last week losing a court battle to media critic Philippe Karsenty, who goes so far as to charge that the al-Dura footage was actually a staged scene, and that the boy may still be alive, part of what has become a reportedly common practice of Palestinian film makers as they record scenes of fake violence to be used as propaganda. A look at such filmmaking and acting has been examined in the documentary Pallywood, complete with a corpse in a fake funeral procession that gets up on its own after falling off the stretcher after the "Jenin massacre" hoax, and an ambulance that arrives immediately next to the body of a man literally two seconds after he is supposedly shot. CBS's 60 Minutes was among those accused of being duped into using scenes of staged violence as if they were real. (Transcripts follow)
Before Scott McClellan was President Bush’s Press Secretary, there was Ari Fleischer, and when Fleischer left the White House he wrote his own book, “Taking Heat: The President, the Press, and My Years in the White House.” Unlike McClellan, Fleischer did not take pot shots at his former employer, but did include some telling examples of the liberal bias of press.
Perhaps not surprisingly, then, while McClellan’s yet-to-be-officially-published book has already become the liberal media’s favorite story of the day, a Nexis search shows that Fleischer’s memoir generated virtually no broadcast or cable news coverage, and no front-page coverage in the nation’s newspapers.
Indeed, TV coverage the week after Fleischer’s book was released was limited to just eight interviews, none given that much prominence: one on NBC’s Today (7:43am), one on CBS’s Early Show (last half-hour), one on MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, two on CNN (Lou Dobbs Tonight and Anderson Cooper 360) and three on FNC (Big Story, Special Report, and Hannity & Colmes).
On Wednesday’s CBS "Early Show" evening news anchors, ABC’S Charles Gibson, NBC’s Brian Williams, and CBS’s Katie Couric, were all on to promote an upcoming cancer research telethon, but near the end of segment, co-host Harry Smith asked about former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan’s new book in which McClellan claims the media did not ask tough questions leading up to the Iraq war and Couric agreed:
I think it's a very legitimate allegation. I think it's one of the most embarrassing chapters in American journalism. And I think there was a sense of pressure from corporations who own where we work and from the government itself to really squash any kinds of dissent or any kind of questioning of it. I think it was extremely subtle but very, very effective. And I think Scott McClellan has a really good point.
Perhaps a better example of "one of the most embarrassing chapters in American journalism" would be Couric’s predecessor, Dan Rather, using fraudulent National Guard memos to attempt to smear President Bush just prior to the 2004 election.
NBC's "Today" show, on Wednesday morning, led with former White House press secretary Scott McClellan's book as Matt Lauer declared it a "bombshell," and Tim Russert built up McClellan's credibility as he trumpeted, "This is not Moveon.org."
After a breathless accounting of the "scathing" and "searing" revelations in the McClellan book from David Gregory, Lauer and Russert dismissed Karl Rove's criticism of the former press secretary and underlined the impact the book would have on the election:
TIM RUSSERT: Karl Rove was out last night, basically relegating his position as unimportant. That he was not in the loop. He was not a key adviser. But the fact is, it's gonna be very difficult to diminish someone who was in that room, who was in that position for as long as he was.
MATT LAUER: And here we've got a president with historically low approval ratings, he can't run for reelection so this, is this just a parting shot on, on a departing president or will this have some impact on the fall election between Barack Obama, it seems, and John McCain?
RUSSERT: It will fuel the debate about the war in Iraq, whether or not we should have gone into Iraq. John McCain said yes, Obama said no. I believe that this will be expert testimony used by the Democrats against their incumbent president.
It's Memorial Day, and the good folks at the New York Times thought it appropriate to not only attack the President's position on a new G.I. Bill, but also to despicably lambaste him for "[h]aving saddled the military with a botched, unwinnable war," and"having squandered soldiers’ lives and failed them in so many ways."
On Memorial Day!
Thankfully, White House press secretary Dana Perino has already issued a written statement concerning this deplorable act by the Times on a sacred day when our nation commemorates its fallen heroes.
But before we get there, here are some of the atrocities the Times editorial staff felt were appropriate to offer their readers on this solemn holiday (emphasis added throughout, h/t FishbowlDC):
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd said Sunday that Hillary Clinton blaming her campaign woes on gender bias is "poppycock" that is "very damaging to feminism," and that the former first lady "has a history of covering up her own mistakes behind sexism."
As this appears likely to be an important issue for Democrats to resolve in the months before Election Day, Sunday's "Meet the Press" devoted a great deal of time to the matter during its most recent installment (file photo right).
After showing some video clips of the Clintons separately discussing how sexism has been a part of the campaign, host Tim Russert said, "Maureen Dowd, misogynist, gender bias, it seems as though the Clintons are being, trying very hard to lay that out as a premise for Hillary Clinton's difficulties in this primary contest."
According to Marc Ambinder of theatlantic.com, former ABC News Capitol Hill correspondent Linda Douglass, also a former correspondent for CBS and NBC News, will be leaving her position at National Journal to join the Barack Obama presidential campaign as a senior strategist. Ambinder quotes Douglass: "I see this as a moment of transformational change in the country and I have spent my lifetime sitting on the sidelines watching people attempt to make change. I just decided that I can't sit on the sidelines anymore."
Ambinder's article, which can be seen here, further describes Douglass as having grown "disillusioned with the partisanship she saw first hand" during her journalistic career.
Media Research Center Director of Research and NewsBusters Senior Editor Rich Noyes appeared on Fox News's "America's Election HQ" program shortly before 6 p.m. EDT today. The topic: The Bush White House's complaint about NBC's misleading editing of President Bush's interview with correspondent Richard Engel.
You can find an excerpt of the transcript below the page break, or the full segment by clicking the play button on the embed at the right. [audio available here]
For more of NB's archive on Engel's reporting, click here.
You'd think gas prices are high enough as it is. But for some reason, the NBC "Today" show needed to make prices seem even worse by showing a picture of a gas station with above-average prices.
Co-host Ann Curry reported that "gasoline prices are up again. Today AAA said the average price for regular gas hit $3.80 a gallon."
But a viewer with the television on mute would have seen only video of a station with regular gas priced at $4.15 - 35 cents higher than the national average. Curry also added that, "in some cities it is much higher than [$3.80]."
During an exclusive interview with George W. Bush, on Monday's "Today" show, NBC's Richard Engel seemed to blame all of the Middle East's problems on the President's policies as he charged that, "Iran's position in the world is rising because of your actions in Iraq," and that the war on terrorism "has not made the world safer."
This exchange was typical of the tone of the entire interview where virtually all of Engels' questions to the President were from the left.
RICHARD ENGEL: If you look back over the last several years, the Middle East that you'll be handing over to the next president has, is deeply problematic. You have Hamas in power, Hezbollah empowered, taking to the streets, Iran empowered, Iraq still at war. What region are you handing over?
GEORGE W. BUSH: Richard, Richard those folks were always around. They were here. What we're handing over is a, is a Middle East that one recognizes the problems and the world recognizes them. There's, there's clarity as to what the problems are.
ENGEL: The war on terrorism has been the centerpiece of your presidency. Many people say that it has not made the world safer, that it has created more radicals, that, that there are more people in this part of the world who want to attack the United States.
Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz reported on Monday’s front page that the on-screen feud between FNC’s Bill O’Reilly and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann has spurred high-level calls between the top executives at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and NBC: "What began four years ago as a colorful feud between rival commentators, instigated by Olbermann as a way of drawing attention, has become a tale of bruised egos and secret maneuvering at the highest levels of two multinational giants."
Murdoch, FNC boss Roger Ailes, NBC boss Jeffrey Zucker, and General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt have all been involved:
Ailes called Zucker on his cellphone last summer, clearly agitated over a slam against him by MSNBC host Keith Olbermann. According to sources familiar with the conversation, Ailes warned that if Olbermann didn't stop such attacks against Fox, he would unleash O'Reilly against NBC and would use the New York Post as well.
Both Fox and the Post are owned by Murdoch, who complained about Olbermann's conduct in separate calls to Zucker and Immelt.
Throwing gas on the firestorm between Senator Obama and President Bush, the May 16 edition of "Today" sounded almost like an Obama campaign press release. Host Matt Lauer kicked off the segment rhetorically questioning if Bush is "the campaigner in chief."
Reporter Andrea Mitchell basically said "yes" stating without doubt that "President Bush did inject himself directly into the presidential campaign." Mind reader Mitchell claimed Bush’s speech to the Israeli Knesset "could hardly have been an accident" and used the opportunity "to fire a shot at Barack Obama."
Mitchell admitted the president did not mention Obama’s name but he somehow still managed to compare the Senator from Illinois to "the politicians who appeased Hitler." Displaying journalistic irresponsibility, Mitchell did not even report the White House’s denial that President Bush referred to Senator Obama.
"Gas prices hit yet another record high this morning and as you suffer, the oil giants are making billions," co-host Meredith Vieira teased at the top of the "Today" show. Well, with an introduction like that, viewers should expect a fair interview, right?
In the last presidential election, leftist special interest groups and socialist billionaires like George Soros waged war with an unprecedented tsunami of negative TV attacks on the Republican incumbent, suggesting he was a draft dodger that knowingly lied us into war. Adding fuel to the fire, Hollywood uncorked nasty – and equally distorted -- documentaries like "Fahrenheit 911." The Bush-bashing wave was so big Byron York wrote a whole book about it called "The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy." This year, our "objective" media turned their eyes on the November race, but they’re seeing only one negative side of the street – a right-wing conspiracy to lie, cheat, and smear their beloved Barack Obama.
A truly fair and balanced media might foresee a really tough election contest – on both sides. But instead, we have a partisan chorus, whining in four-part harmony. They’re not waiting for Hillary Clinton to discover her Titanic has sunk. They are getting their general-election assault on the "Republican attack machine" under way.
Toeing the "Green is Universal,"corporate line, MSNBC's Chris Matthews seemed shocked that anyone would dare question whether climate change was real. During a discussion about John McCain's eco-friendly rhetoric the "Hardball" host was dismayed when conservative radio talk show host Heidi Harris called it a move "to the left," as Matthews decried: "You think climate change is an ideological issue?!"
The following exchange occurred on the May 13 edition of "Hardball:"
Interviewed for the "View from the Top" feature in the May 9 Financial Times, NBC Universal chief executive Jeff Zucker praised CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric, formerly with NBC's "Today" show. Zucker also dismissed any notion that he regretted not buying the Wall Street Journal.
Here's an excerpt (portion in italics to denote questions by Financial Times):
You worked with Katie Couric [host of NBC's Today for 15 years, now CBS Evening News anchor] for a long time. Would you take her back?
I don't know that Katie's available so it's not really my place to say, but Katie remains one of the most talented journalists of her generation and somebody who would be an asset to whatever news division, whatever organisation she worked in. So we would always welcome somebody of Katie's ability and stature, but that's not . . . on the cards any time in the near future.