L. Brent Bozell, founder of Media Research Center, NB's parent, made an appearance on today's "Morning Joe." Brent is the author, with MRC/NB's Tim Graham, of the recently-released "Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell you About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will."
Look for comprehensive coverage of Brent's appearance from my colleagues at MRC and NB during the day. But for present purposes, let's focus on one point Brent made that speaks volumes about the depth of the MSM's partisanship -- that for broadcast networks, promoting liberal ideology trumps even the bottom line.
It might be highly predictable than the media elite would favor a green sheen on Time's Person of the Year debate, but Brian Williams has taken his "Mother Earth" campaign to a whole new level of goo on his Daily Nightly website:
I made my annual pilgrimage to the Time magazine luncheon designed to narrow down the nominees for "_____ of the Year" on the cover of Time. Forgive the blank, but over the years it's been a noun, a pronoun, a proper noun -- it's been a lot of things. My nominee was a woman -- a victim of abuse. A strong, resilient woman who is a constant topic of discussion these days: Mother Earth.
On Sunday's "NBC Nightly News," correspondent Pete Williams previewed details of a new book, The Terrorist Watch: Inside the Desperate Race to Stop the Next Attack, by Ronald Kessler, in which Kessler revealed information obtained by the an FBI agent who extensively interviewed Saddam Hussein and found, among other things, that the former Iraqi leader had deliberately tried to "fool the U.S." into believing he had weapons of mass destruction because "he wanted Iranian leaders to believe that he had nuclear and biological weapons." The FBI agent, named George Piro, also reported that Saddam Hussein "hoped the post-Gulf War sanctions on Iraq would dissolve, allowing him to pursue a nuclear capability." (Transcript follows)
How overmatched were the two lukewarm-at-best Republicans that "Today" tossed in against two partisan Dems this morning? If NBC scheduled this unfair a fight for Sunday Night Football, Al Michaels would be calling the play-by-play between the New England Patriots and the proverbial Little Sisters of Mercy.
The Today show's farce of a "voter panel" was invited to discuss politics and the state of the country this morning. With tens of millions of voters to choose from, NBC can of course contrive any cross-section it wants. So the views expressed by the participants say relatively little about the mood of the country -- but a lot about the network's own political bias.
You'd better strap yourself in tightly before proceeding, for the following story and video will likely shock you more than anything you've seen in quite some time.
On Thursday, in the middle of NBC's "Green is Universal" campaign, an ABC affiliate in Tyler, Texas, broadcast a segment during one of its news programs focusing exclusively on positions skeptical of man's role in climate change.
In fact, one of the meteorologists involved actually referred to this whole issue as "the manmade global warming myth."
During the piece, not only did the two anchors express a viewpoint contrary to the current media meme, but also the reporter, Molly Reuter, and the station's three meteorologists, unanimously spoke against the view held by Nobel Laureate Al Gore and his sycophant devotees (video available here):
On Thursday, all of NBC's entertainment programs pushed liberal environmental themes, but "30 Rock" -- a satirical take on the inner workings of NBC -- was the pushiest, featuring a scene in which Al Gore suggested to fictional NBC executive Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) that the network go green for a week (as NBC has done in real life). "If your network really wants to demonstrate a commitment to the environment, why don't you start by, for example, having an entire week with nothing but environmental themes on all the programs," Gore recommended. "Use entertainment for substance. You could have a character in prime time making a passionate argument to the American people that we need CO2 taxes to replace the payroll taxes. Your parent company could lobby congress and the President to pass the treaty and save the climate."
In the past six years, any time someone wrote a tell-all book about George W. Bush or a member of his administration, they were given the royal treatment by the press with lavish interviews offering them the perfect platform to market their work as well as their politically charged opinions.
Consider for example all the attention given to Valerie Plame Wilson just recently when her book "Fair Game" was released, or the focus on George Tenet and his "At the Center of the Storm" exposé back in April.
With this in mind, if a former female White House aide published a new book implicating a former president -- whose wife just so happens to be the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2008 -- in rape and other possible crimes, shouldn't she be welcomed with open arms by evening television magazines like "60 Minutes" and morning shows like "Today?"
After all, given Kathleen Willey's shocking statements about her new book "Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton" to WOR radio's Steve Malzberg Thursday, one would think such programs would be all over this like white on rice, assuming of course their goal was journalism and not political activism (audio in two parts available here and here, highlights of the interview follow):
On Monday, "Today" kicked off Green Week with an Al Gore interview in which he proclaimed there was no room for dissenting voices on global warming. Over at MSNBC the same day, an NBC environmental "correspondent" urged viewers to vote for candidates with an environmentalist agenda.
But this morning, "Green Week" at "Today" went out on a mysteriously innocuous note. Gone, at least during the crucial first-half hour, was the environmentalist crusading, replaced by little more than a travelogue. Instead of global warming, the focus was Ann Curry's personal accomplishment in Antarctica [note the screen graphic].
"Do as I say not as I do," says Rosie O’Donnell. One week she raises the global warming alarm, the next she reportedly demands a carbon burning clause in her contract. First, on appearing on Martha Stewart’s Halloween show on October 31 of course, Rosie the climatologist explained why she "knows" global warming is such a big problem.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: What do you think of global warming?
MARTHA STEWART: I think global warming is a real problem.
It seems that no bad Hillary Clinton deed goes unresponded to.
As we are in the midst of a presidential campaign, this by itself is not an issue. That it is the national media that is leading this charge is. One need focus on but the latest corners of the Clinton pantheon to come to light to see the full court press the press puts on when their girl needs them.
In an October 10 Boston Globe interview, Senator Clinton let her socialism slip a bit, saying "I have a million ideas. I can't do all of them. I happen to think in running a disciplined campaign - especially when it comes to fiscal responsibility, which is what I'm trying to do - everything I propose I have to pay for. You know, you go to my website, you'll see what I would use to pay for what I've proposed. So I've got a lot of ideas, I just obviously can't propose them all. I can't afford them all. The country can't afford them all." (Emphasis ours.)
A Pew Research Center poll released late last month found that while four out of five American adults (81%) could name one of the Democratic presidential candidates, far fewer (just 59%) could recall any of the GOP candidates. Even among self-described Republican voters, Pew found “Clinton and Obama are much more visible than Giuliani or any other GOP presidential candidate.”
One reason may be that the big broadcast networks have treated the Democratic frontrunners like celebrities worthy of intense coverage, while the Republican candidates have received far less TV time. A new Media Research Center study of the ABC, CBS and NBC morning news shows has found that in the first 10 months of 2007, the networks spent more time covering the Democratic race and spent far more time interviewing the Democratic candidates than the Republicans. And those interviews were much friendlier to the Democrats, with the morning show anchors emphasizing a predominantly liberal agenda.
Shirley MacLaine appeared on the Wednesday "Today" show to promote her new book Sage-ing While Age-ing, and after host Matt Lauer finished talking to the actress about her belief in UFOs and reincarnation, he asked if there was anything she feared in life, the author responded: "Mad men who say they're at the head of democracies scare me."
Now while MacLaine didn't mention George W. Bush by name it's not a stretch to assume the sister of liberal actor Warren Beatty was referring to the current president. In fact Lauer, earlier in the interview, noted MacLaine was the godmother of the daughter of fellow UFO witness Dennis Kucinich.
O’Reilly also dispelled the false "New York Times" story that "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" (O’Reilly only said "MSNBC" without mentioning Olbermann by name) is competitive with "The O’Reilly Factor." In fact, "The Factor" dominates the 8:00 PM slot dwarfing "Countdown."
Bill O’Reilly also poked fun at NBC’s hard left turn noting "it is not true that Sean Penn will be co-anchoring the NBC ‘Nightly News’...that Hugo Chavez will become their chief foreign correspondent."
Will Joe Scarborough be sent to NBC's environmentalist re-education camp and subjected to an endless loop of "An Inconvenient Truth"? The "Morning Joe" host gave a number of hints today that he is less-than-thrilled by the doctrinaire environmentalism the network is imposing on viewers and employees alike during its "Green Week."
Scarborough's show-opening line was a not-overly-subtle dig at the seemingly endless greenery.
One sure sign the media are taking global warming alarmism too far is when fellow press members begin eviscerating green reporting.
Such was the case Monday when TV and radio writer Tom Jicha published a scathing review of NBC's "Green is Universal" campaign.
Rather than focus on the inanity of the cause - which Jicha did eventually address - the piece began by illustrating the delicious hypocrisy inherent in a major television network pretending to be environmentally friendly (emphasis added throughout, h/t NB reader Stu):
Not that there was any doubt about the ulterior motives behind NBC's "Green Week," but we didn't expect the Peacock Network to be quite this brazen. This morning on MSNBC, an NBC environmental "correspondent," who as you'll see has an impressive resume as a left-wing activist, openly urged viewers [on the eve of Election Day] to vote for politicians with an environmentalist agenda.
Meterologist Jackie Meretsky was in NYC, reporting live 67 stories up at the "Top of the [NBC] Rock," overlooking Central Park. At 10:12 AM ET, she interviewed Simran Sethi [shown on the right], whom she described as the "brand new environmental correspondent for NBC" and "the greenest person in the organization."
Back in the 1990s, TV journalists worried that Bill Clinton wasn’t getting enough credit for the wonderful things that happened while he was President. NBC’s then-White House correspondent Andrea Mitchell whined on CNN’s Larry King Live back on August 18, 1994 that her fear was that Clinton “doesn’t get credit for a lot of the good, positive things he’s done.... The economy is in better shape....He should be getting some credit for the economy.”
Now that a tax-cutting Republican is in the White House, however, big media types are working to bury the news of America’s strong economy. Today’s Investor’s Business Daily has a fine summary of recent good news in an editorial headlined, “The Media’s Blackout on the Boom.” Here’s a key excerpt:
Friday's employment report, showing a much-higher-than-expected increase of 166,000 in nonfarm payroll jobs, was only the latest in a spate of remarkable reports showing the economy's stunning resilience.
Did Al Gore win his Nobel for "peace," or did it perhaps come in a new category: comedy? I ask in the wake of his rib-tickling routine on this morning's "Today." Al, that inveterate card, actually claimed that the MSM's coverage of global warming is . . . too balanced.
There's nowhere to hide from NBC's omnipresent "Green Week," of which NB readers are sure to be hearing plenty in coming days. NBC's eco-activism even made its way into what you'd normally hope would be a refuge from MSM politics: football.
"Green Week" reared its head during NBC's broadcast of last night's NFL game between Dallas and Philadelphia, played in the City of Brotherly Love.
TV Newser sums up the Brian Williams gig on Saturday Night live here. NB fans probably would have found it interesting (if not so funny) that Williams opened a presidential-debate skit by telling the Democratic also-rans several times that Sen. Hillary Clinton will appear in the center of the stage, since "all of us in the media want her to be the nominee!" The joke also included that she would get a 15-minute interview to herself before the event started, since the media so favored her.
Inside the media, the reviews were chummy. Tom Shales of the Washington Post offered a thumbs up:
Brian Williams neither took nor gave a pie in the face when he made history this weekend as the first network anchor to host NBC's "Saturday Night Live." Williams is NBC's, too, and the gig was supposed to help loosen up and polish up his image, making him not just an anchor but a friend.
The United States is not the only country turning out spoiled children, ungrateful for the blessings of life in their land. Cuba is suffering from the same affliction, to judge by "My father's 'crime'" by Yan Valdes Morejon, which appears in today's Boston Globe.
Morejon's column turns out to be just one long complaint. Rather than giving proper thanks for all the wonders of the workers' paradise, like members of our MSM regularly do, it's filled with this kind of kvetching:
Well, viewers are in for a treat on NBC this coming week. Okay, maybe not.
NBC is taking a “green” gamble to boost sagging ratings as sweeps month begins, by weaving environmental plotlines throughout its programming lineup including many primetime shows throughout “Green Week,” November 4-9.
Eco-programming will kickoff, literally, as “Football Night in America” goes dark for the final minute on November 4. Yes, because turning off those studio lights for one minute will somehow remedy the stadium lights that will burn brightly over the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles game for the next three hours.
Talk about talking down the economy! No fewer than three times today, Matt Lauer invited Barack Obama to declare that the U.S. economy is headed into recession. At the end of a "Today" interview that focused largely on Hillary-related issues and Iran, Lauer turned to the economy and pressed Obama to predict the worst.
Like the latest runway trend, "green is the new black" according to the media. At least where business is concerned. But it turns out that companies are finding "going green" is an easy way to put themselves in the red.
Back in 2003 FedEx announced it would begin switching to hybrid trucks and won an award from the Environmental Protection Agency, but at $70,000 more per truck the costs got in the way. Four years later, the company has fewer than 100 hybrid trucks, according to the October 29 BusinessWeek.
Other companies like PepsiCo and Caterpillar could face problems with the bottom line because of their support for more government regulation, said Steve Milloy on CNBC's "Street Signs" October 12.
According to a new study, those news organizations that hold themselves up as the most neutral and professional — big newspapers, the broadcast networks and taxpayer-subsidized National Public Radio — are actually producing campaign stories that are the most tilted in favor of Democrats, while online news and talk radio have actually been the most balanced.
The study, released Monday from the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) and Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, found newspapers and broadcast TV outlets devoted far more time to covering the Democratic candidates than the Republicans and that the tone of those stories was much more favorable to the Democrats, mirroring the results of a Media Research Center study released in August.
A billionaire and a receptionist walk into an IRS bar. They each order a beer. The IRS bartender charges the receptionist $2.50 and the billionaire $2,260. Who got undercharged? If you're Warren Buffett or Tom Brokaw, the answer is . . . the billionaire.
As NB Editor Brent Baker has noted, the NBC Nightly News "decided Monday night to base a story on a four-year-old contention by a professor that the middle class is worse off now than in the 1970s, followed by a piece promoting Warren Buffett's claim the rich don't pay enough in taxes."
NBC was back at it again this morning, with a "Today" segment featuring Brokaw's interview with Buffett and his gripe that the rich are undertaxed. Brokaw seconded Buffett's notion, introducing the segment this way:
When you're the world's third-richest man, you can break some rules. Warren Buffett, the "Oracle of Omaha," is going after a fundamental injustice he says touches all Americans [cut to clip of Buffett]: the taxation system has tilted toward the rich and away from the middle class in the last 10 years. It's dramatic and I don't think it's appreciated."
NBC Universal’s “Green is Universal” initiative is sending staff across the planet to either cover or cause global warming. That effort “takes an unprecedented look at Planet Earth.” Three members of the ‘Today’ crew – Matt Lauer, Ann Curry and Al Roker – will emit 24.9 tons of carbon to go to the ends of the earth to show viewers climate is affecting the planet. That number is more than three times what a typical American emits in a whole year. (See video here.)
“Well, the journey has begun,” “Today” co-host Matt Lauer said on the October 29 broadcast. “‘Today’ is going to the ends of the earth to report on the changing climate and examine the limits of human exploration in an unprecedented simultaneous broadcast from the top, the bottom and the middle of the world.”
As NBC's "Meet the Press" continues its "Meet the Candidate" series leading up to the 2008 elections, it is infinitely clear that some guests will receive different treatment than others.
Such was unquestionably apparent Sunday when host Tim Russert mercilessly pounded Democrat presidential candidate Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) on a number of issues including his vote in favor of the October 2002 Iraq War resolution.
Russert presented statement after statement made by Dodd in support of the war before he became a presidential candidate, and continued to probe why the Senator's position changed so dramatically actually asking if it was due to political expediency.
Yet, five weeks ago when Russert had Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) on as his guest, her ever-evolving position on this matter wasn't nearly exposed or explored. For instance, here's the text of Russert's Dodd interview concerning Iraq (video available here, relevant section begins at 6:30):
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it -- George Satayana.
Well and good. But becoming a prisoner of the past presents dangers, too. Stay tuned for an example of how reliance on a corollary of Satayana's rule went horribly wrong for the U.S.
Maureen Dowd's column of this morning "W.M.D. in Iran? Q.E.D." is the latest example of what passes for MSM wisdom on Iran. The argument, in a nutshell: we attacked Iraq over ill-founded concerns about WMD and got bogged down. So perish the thought of using force to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.