The world of entertainment is in a world of hurt. With the massive diversification of entertainment offerings these days, older forms of media -- like movies, TV and newspapers -- are finding a dwindling number of customers as NBC is finding out this month. NBC has found itself in the lamentable position of giving their advertisers refunds because of poor performance in its ratings. The promised number of eyes that NBC promised that advertisers would reach didn't materialize, so NBC has to refund their advertisers for the over estimate of viewers that might see the ads placed on their airwaves. Of course, NBC is trying to keep a lid on this damaging story, but the Genie is out of that bottle. We can surely say that the network's News arms ain't helpin' sales a whole lot, in any case!
The Associated Press is reporting a second Hillary Clinton campaign volunteer has been shown the door for furthering rumors about rival Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) being a "Muslim possibly intent on destroying the United States.":
The Clinton campaign has decried the rumors as offensive and outrageous, and last week forced volunteer Jones County coordinator Judy Rose to resign after learning that she forwarded a such an e-mail on Nov. 21. But it turns out Rose wasn't the only one.
Linda Olson, a volunteer coordinator in Iowa County, had forwarded a similar version on Oct. 5, without comment, to 11 people. One of the recipients was Ben Young, a regional field director for Democrat Chris Dodd's campaign, who provided a copy to The Associated Press on Sunday.
As NewsBusters editor Brent Baker noted in an October 31 post, NBC "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams tossed Obama a softball at an interview on the matter of the Illinois Democrat being subtly "swift-boated" about his religion.
Williams hinted that Republicans were most likely to unfairly smear Obama, but given the fact that TWO Hillary Clinton workers have been given the boot thus far, what are the chances Williams will apply the left-wing "swift-boating" canard to Hillary Clinton? (emphasis mine):
Looking to head off even more controversy, NBC announced Saturday that it has reversed its decision to not show ads supporting the troops during the holidays.
Yet, that didn't seem to please the Associated Press which in its article concerning this u-turn chose to depict Freedom's Watch as "a group backed by wealthy Republican fundraisers" that is "critical of liberals."
Was this the appropriate moment to so categorize this organization? If the situation was somewhat reversed, would the AP have characterized MoveOn.org or Media Matters for America as a group backed by wealthy Democrat fundraisers that is critical of conservatives?
Before we get there, AP reported Saturday (emphasis added throughout):
As NewsBusters reported Friday, television network NBC has decided not to run ads thanking and supporting America's troops stationed overseas during the holidays.
*****Update: Drudge is reporting that NBC has capitulated due to "pressure from outraged viewers." Stay tuned...
The sticking point according to NBC's head of standards and policies Alan Wurtzel was that Freedom's Watch "insisted that the spot contain the URL address of its Web site."
Yet, such didn't seem to be a problem a few years ago when MoveOn.org created an antiwar ad entitled "How Many More" that, according to the organization's website, ran during NBC's "Today" show (video available here, h/t NB reader Blair Lovern):
The mainstream media have been fawning over the atheist inspired film "The Goldan Compass" and ignoring the fact that the author (upon which the movie is based), Phillip Pullman, has bragged about killing God in his novels. Well, according to CNN, the real focus should be on the fact that the film raises "awareness" about the plight of polar bears. No, really.
In 2007, ABC's investigative reporter Brian Ross has provided hard-hitting looks at Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani. He's focused only one such segment on a Democrat, Hillary Clinton. And, unsurprisingly, each of his investigations into a GOP candidate has been accompanied by snarky, sarcastic comments.
When the widow of the slain police officer killed by Mumia Abu-Jamal appeared on the Thursday "Today" show to promote her new book, NBC's Matt Lauer seemed to take up the cause of the convicted cop killer as he asked Maureen Faulkner mostly skeptical questions like: "Do you ever allow yourself to consider the fact that perhaps he didn't do this?"
Appearing on the December 6, "Today" show, Faulkner, along with her co-author, conservative radio talk show host Michael Smerconish, were subjected to questions about the legitimacy of Abu-Jamal's guilt by the "Today" show host. Lauer repeatedly aired claims from the Abu-Jamal defense team as he displayed new photos meant to prove Abu-Jamal's innocence, repeated charges that Smerconish was helping Faulkner for "personal gain" and even took time out to show pro-Mumia supporters in the "Today" show crowd:
It must be wonderful to be a Democrat and know that your indiscretions are very unlikely to get much attention by media minions only willing to cover the crimes and shortcomings of folks on the opposite side of the aisle.
Take for example James Michael McHaney, an aide to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) who NewsBusters reported had been arrested last Friday for trying to lure a thirteen-year-old boy into a sexual encounter.
Not only did this get buried on Friday so as likely not to take focus away from Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) looking regal and presidential during that day's hostage crisis in New Hampshire, but also once the Associated Press deigned to actually inform subscribers on Monday that something potentially nefarious had occurred, press outlets either continued to ignore the subject, or buried it nicely so that precious few would be made aware of it.
On the television side, according to LexisNexis, the only outlet which felt this newsworthy was CNN which aired its only report on this matter during the 6:00 AM EST "American Morning" Tuesday:
I'll be live-blogging the press conference (mostly just the questions from the journalists as we're focused on the bias) and if a video update is warranted, we'll post one shortly after the conference concludes:
10:44 closes press conference, leaves podium.
10:41: Mark Silva, Chicago Tribune, says reading Bush's body language he can tell he's "somewhat dispirited." Then he says "the facts have failed you" on things he's telling the American people. Quotes Harry Reid. "Are you feeling troubled... credibility gap?"
10:37: unid'd reporter "Wolf" asks about if Bush's personal relationship with the Democrats in Congress is affecting getting legislation through.
10:35: another unid'd reporter named "Wolf" asks Bush to react to 2008 U.S. presidential race
10:35: reporter asks if he discussed Russian elections with Putin
10:33: unidentified reporter asks Bush if in his conversation with Putin if he asked him to not sell uranium to Iran.
10:30: Baier, Fox News: "What does the vote in Venezuela mean for the U.S.? .... What's your reaction to Chavez opponents winning?"
Even as scientific advancements on stem cell research have vindicated George W. Bush's resistance to destroy actual embryos, Michael J. Fox refused to give the President any credit on Monday's "Today" show, instead choosing to indirectly insult him as he declared that after the next election "the chances are very good that there's gonna be a new attitude towards science."
When asked by NBC's Maria Menounos, whether the ability to reprogram ordinary cells to mimic those of embyronic stem cells changed his view on the issue, Fox refused to abandon the practice of embryo destruction as he warned: "At the same time too we don't want to discontinue the embryonic stem cell research that's being done because one begat the other and, and it all becomes part of a broad canvas that we want to continue to work on."
The following is the full segment as it aired on the December 3, edition of "Today":
There was a truly fascinating event on Sunday's "Meet the Press" that could definitely have lasting meaning on the 2008 presidential campaign.
Not only did host Tim Russert bring up former President Bill Clinton's flip-flop on his support of the Iraq war, but also NBC's David Gregory said, "It's a reminder of what some people who don't like Hillary Clinton don't like."
Maybe Bill shouldn't have complained about how his wife was treated by Russert and Gregory during the October debate in Philadelphia.
Possibly recalling the former president's criticism, Russert started this fascinating exchange (video available here courtesy Allah):
Who's Hollywood's latest Big Bad Villain? Private military contractors--giving rise to a new version of Derangement Syndrome: Blackwater Derangement Syndrome or BwDS.
Echoing lefty rage at Blackwater, TV shows from “Boston Legal” to “Jericho” have turned contractors into the bad guys.
NBC's upcoming two-hour movie/backdoor pilot “Knight Rider” is no different, but this time Michael Knight and KITT the talking car are "counteracting and preventing the damage done by private, covert military contractors.”
According to the November 29 Hollywood Reporter, television's latest venture into contractor bashing is this sequel to the campy '80s David Hasselhoff show. In the new movie, Michael Knight's son Mike Tracer (what, was Mike Gunn or Mike Bullitt too obvious? Was Mike Stone not manly enough?) is now driving KITT and fighting the real threat to the world—private military contractors (bold mine):
Are U.S. journalists missing the news right in front of their eyes? Even as the violence ebbs and Iraqi refugees are returning home by the thousands, a new survey of Iraq war correspondents finds most are still deeply pessimistic about conditions in Iraq, with one in six (15%) saying that they believe news coverage "makes the situation look better than it is," compared to just three percent who think news reports have been inordinately negative.
The poll of 111 U.S.-based journalists who are now covering the Iraq war or who have been posted there over the past four-and-a-half years was conducted over the past several weeks by the Pew-funded Project for Excellence in Journalism, which promises to release a content analysis of the media's Iraq war coverage later in the year. At the same time, polls show the public is having growing faith in the success of the war effort.
On his Daily Nightly blog, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams sent his happy-birthday wishes to liberal comedian Jon Stewart. In a Wednesday blog post playfully titled "Where Have You Gone, Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz?", Williams mourned how the writers' strike has taken Stewart away from his "vital comedic work" trashing Bush. Just like Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams thinks Stewart is an American treasure:
The serious fact is that Jon Stewart and his colleagues in comedy -- along with the writers who support them -- serve an invaluable purpose by skewering the pompous and deflating the egos of the high and mighty. They function almost as a separate branch of government. We need them, and we miss them.
Wednesday's editions of the CBS "Early Show" and NBC's "Today" show both ignored Bill Clinton's incredible assertion on Tuesday that he opposed the Iraq war from its inception. Only "Good Morning America" correspondent Jake Tapper pointed out the obvious fact that Clinton was no vocal critic of the military action. Filing a report on the subject, Tapper incredulously wondered, "Bill Clinton opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning?"
After acknowledging that the ex-President did call for the U.N. weapons inspectors to have more time, Tapper clarified the record: "...[Bill Clinton] was hardly, at least publicly, an opponent of going to war against Saddam Hussein." The ABC journalist then read from a 2003 speech on the Clinton Foundation's website that featured the former Commander in Chief asserting, "I supported the President when he asked the Congress for authority to stand up against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq." So, despite the fact that ample information exists calling into question the validity of Clinton's recent statement, only GMA covered the story.
In the musty but hallowed halls of the Old Media, the first item for target practice is often the New Media, the ones formed and made popular by the atrocious biases of their predecessors. The Old Media continue watching their numbers bleed away; continue to paint themselves as fair and balanced, despite the preponderance of evidence to the contrary; and continue to smear the New Media, especially talk radio, as the divisive haters and fact-manglers ruining civil discourse in America.
Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw is on the publicity tour for his new book "Boom!" about the 1960s. On the November 26 Laura Ingraham show, when he was challenged with his soundbite broadsiding talk radio as "instantly jingoistic and savagely critical" of war protesters, Brokaw quickly put his anti-radio rant back into rotation.
He suggested incivility was a "big cancer" on America, and talk radio is the number one tumor. Front and center in Brokaw’s pathology was Limbaugh: "My problem with the whole spectrum is there is not -- you know what Rush’s, what his whole drill is. He doesn’t want to hear another point of view. Except his."
When you have the following meeting of the minds in a public forum - NBC News White House Correspondent David Gregory, former "CBS Evening News" anchor Dan Rather, New York Times White House correspondent David Sanger, and former White House bureau chief and correspondent for United Press International Helen Thomas - there's a near certainty something outrageous will be said.
And that was the case on November 26 at The National Press Club when this roundtable discussion occurred for the taping of "The Kalb Report," a public affairs program broadcasted on various television stations throughout the country.
On Tuesday's "Today" show NBC's Washington bureau chief, Tim Russert, scoffed at President Bush's attempt to broker Middle East peace at the Annapolis conference, as he derided it as a "Hail Mary pass." However, nine years ago, when Bill Clinton made a failed attempt at Mideast peace, in the midst of his impeachment, Russert praised the former President on the October 23, 1998 "Today" show: "As the impeachment hearings grind on, could you have a situation where next year the President cannot go to the Judiciary Committee on a particular day because he's receiving the Nobel Peace Prize? That's the kind of irony the White House looks at as they look at the success of President Clinton on this day."
The following exchange, that occurred on the November 27, "Today" show, stands in stark contrast to Russert's overly optimistic analysis of Clinton's bungled Mideast peace attempt in 1998:
On this morning's Today show, Matt Lauer discussed with Tim Russert the Middle East peace conference that began today. After years of MSM criticism of President Bush for not getting more involved in the Israeli-Palestinian situation, how does Lauer react when the president undertakes an historic initiative bringing together leaders of all the area's countries for the first time? You guessed it.
Left-wing NBC éminence fou Keith Olbermann is well-known for playing fast and loose with the facts when it comes to politics. Apparently he is ignorant of American geography as well.
On yesterday's "Sunday Night Football," the Ed-Murrow-wannabe, who is fond of pointing out the slightest error on the part of Republicans as proof of their "stupidity," incorrectly told viewers that Colorado's capital, Denver, is west of the Rocky Mountains.
I have to agree with Bryan Preston, this incident is just the latest example of how Olbermann is a pale imitation of Dennis Miller.
During an appearance on CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday, former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw pointed out that before the invasion of Iraq, even "people who were critical of the war" thought that Saddam Hussein "had weapons of mass destruction," as he responded to criticism that the media were not aggressive enough about challenging President Bush before the Iraq invasion. And while commenting on racial issues, giving his view that "we need to have a dialogue in this country" about race, Brokaw lamented the problems posed by "political correctness" which means "you're in danger of being a racist if you go against the merits of some issues and just try to look at it objectively." Brokaw added: "Within the black culture, there's a fear about speaking out, about what some people see as wrong, because they say, don't go there, you know, it will only hurt our people." (Transcript follows)
Before Thanksgiving, the Laura Ingraham show had great fun with a Today segment on November 16. As part of a series on "Today Gives Thanks," news anchor Ann Curry expressed her deep love and appreciation for Maya Angelou, the liberal black poetess who delivered the mawkish "rock, river, tree" poem at Bill Clinton's first inauguration.
NATALIE MORALES, co-host: This morning we wrap up our special series "Giving Thanks Today" with Ann's turn to show her gratitude to a great woman. Ann.
ANN CURRY: That's right. You know, words can change your life, and listening to the words of Dr. Maya Angelou in 2002 changed mine. If you're not familiar with Dr. Angelou, you need to stop what you're doing and sit down and listen.A renaissance woman, she is a writer, performer, teacher and an American Poet Laureate...
In the past couple of days, you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting an hysterical press report concerning an excerpt of former White House press secretary Scott McClellan's soon to be released book seemingly implicating President George W. Bush in lying about the Valerie Plame Wilson affair.
Those guilty of premature emasculation will likely be distraught over statements by the book's publisher indicating the media overreacted to the 121 words posted at Public Affairs Books.com Monday which were part of a marketing campaign to rollout upcoming spring printings.
I was the recipient today of several emails from well-intentioned people, telling me I was being attacked in parts of the blogosphere for something I wrote and said on the air in last night's broadcast. It was a closing piece about Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip celebrating their 60th anniversary. I noted this accomplishment, especially in this era when, as I put it, marriage seems "under attack" as an institution. My meaning? Our national divorce rate, which is currently somewhere between 40 and 50 percent. Others took it upon themselves to decide that I was somehow attacking gay marriage. The simple fact is that nothing could have been further from my mind, as many others easily understood. In fact, one comment shared with me today came from a respected member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, who said, "It seemed to me he was talking about the sky-high heterosexual divorce rates. Marriage IS under attack -- by straight people. It had nothing to do with the gay marriage movement."
The amazing discovery that apparent embryonic stem cells can be made in the laboratory without destroying human embryos could be spun as a victory for pro-lifers, who have been mercilessly mocked as the Antonym of Science for suggesting any delay in crushing embyros in the hope of finding other methods that would be less destructive of human life. That media spin hasn’t happened. But look at how some reporters are still skirting around the hard, cold fact of embryo destruction for research. Here’s NBC on Wednesday morning, courtesy of MRC’s Justin McCarthy:
ANN CURRY: There is a potential breakthrough in stem cell research to report this morning. Scientists have found the way to create stem cells without using human embryos. NBC's chief science correspondent Robert Bazell has more now....
ROBERT BAZELL: Many people, including President Bush, are thrilled with the research, because it does not use embryos, which have been the only source of embryonic stem cells.
NBC News White House correspondent David Gregory, accused of being a partisan, made a false statement about the "Scooter" Libby case. In reporting former White House press secretary Scott McClellan’s charge that the Bush administration fed false information, Gregory claimed Libby "went to jail for obstructing the leak investigation."
Although Libby was sentenced to 30 months of prison, Libby never actually went to jail as Gregory claims. President Bush commuted Libby’s sentence, eliminating the prison term yet still upholding a hefty fine and probation.
"Today," however, did not spend a lot of time on the McClellan charge, just a brief story. The transcript is below.
As the first anniversary of its grand declaration fast approaches, does NBC continue to believe that Iraq is in a state of civil war? Readers will recall that as we described here, Matt Lauer opened the Today show on November 27th, 2006 with these words:
Good morning. Civil war. A bloody weekend of sectarian clashes in Iraq and no sign it's letting up.
A bit later, Lauer portentously declared:
For months the White House rejected claims that the situation in Iraq has deteriorated into civil war. For the most part news organizations like NBC hesitated to characterize it as such. After careful consideration, NBC News has decided the change in terminology is warranted and what is going on in Iraq can now be characterized as civil war.