The Today show’s very belated attack on Rush Limbaugh on Monday, complete with Hillary’s minions comparing the hilarious Al Sharpton parody to a "minstrel show" (complete with blackface film clip), reminds me: how did NBC cover the last blackface controversy? That would be leftist blogger Jane Hamsher Photo-shopping Joe Lieberman in blackface on The Huffington Post last August 2 as she claimed he was an "integral part of the GOP’s bully machine for the last six years."
NBC didn’t. A Nexis search for terms like "minstrel show" and "blackface" found no mention of the blogger who stepped over the line. On the August 6 edition of Meet the Press, in a segment featuring Lanny Davis for Lieberman and Jim (brother of Howard) Dean for Ned Lamont, host Tim Russert ended with a very weak tip to the bloggers in that race:
Trying to stir trouble for Rush Limbaugh this morning over his "Magic Negro" parody about Barack Obama, "Today" relied on misleading comments from a left-wing outfit without bothering to mention its highly-partisan orientation. NewsBuster Noel Sheppard had given readers a heads-up about the story on Saturday.
NBC's Michael Okwu narrated the segment, aired during the second half-hour of this morning's show. He began by harkening back to Don Imus's MSNBC career-ending comments about the Rutger's women's basketball team. Fretted Okwu: "which leads some to wonder: has Limbaugh been getting a free pass?" Okwu described the creator of the parody [Paul Shanklin] as a "white" political satirist.
I know. It’s only a cartoon. However, could these folks have been any more obvious about who they support for president?
NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” showed an animated short on May 19 depicting every possible 2008 presidential candidate, from both sides of the aisle, sitting down and having a tell-all chat with Oprah Winfrey.
As the frontrunners one by one told Oprah secrets that would surely cost them votes in the election, one thing became perfectly clear: Hillary Clinton was the only serious candidate that avoided saying anything even remotely embarrassing (video available here, h/t Allah at Hot Air).
By far the biggest target was Rudy Giuliani, Hillary’s main foe, who spoke up a total of ten times (the reader is warned that some of this stuff is pretty raw):
Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh reported on air and at his website Friday that NBC’s “Today” show is going to do a segment Monday regarding his musical parody “Barack the ‘Magic Negro’” (audio available here, subscription required):
Now, this first aired on March 21st. This is May 18th. By the time they get around to doing their profile, it will be two months old as a story.
A television program came out strongly against the war on terror and the war in Iraq Thursday evening, but Katie, Charlie, Brian, and Wolf weren’t involved.
Video (1:42): Real (1.23 MB) or Windows (1.04 MB), plus MP3 (1.12 MB).
In this instance, it was NBC’s hit series “ER,” and the show – about doctors, nurses, and patients in a hospital emergency room if you couldn’t guess – didn’t wait very long to take a jab at the White House (h/t NBer SpinyNorman).
In fact, the episode began with the staff being informed by desk clerk Frank Martin: “Homeland Security raised our threat level to orange this morning.”
Leading character Dr. Neela Rasgotra asked, “Well what does that mean exactly?”
On this morning's Today show NBC's Ann Curry revealed her green-streak as she pedaled her way on a "people-powered blender" to save the environment. Appearing with the co-founder of Ben&Jerry's Ice Cream, Jerry Greenfield, Curry gushed over the company's liberal causes and even mounted a stationary bike to blend smoothies and boasted: "You see, you can save the environment! It is possible!"
Video (1:24): Real (2.32 MB) or Windows (2.65 MB), plus MP3 (1.24 MB).
In the unlikely event John Edwards is elected the next president of the United States, don't look for Dee Dee Myers twirling on the dance floor with him at the Inaugural Ball. Appearing on this morning's "Today," the former Clinton press secretary took some serious shots at the former senator from North Carolina.
At about 7:08 am EDT this morning, Meredith Vieira began a tour of the presidential horizon with Myers and conservative commentator and radio talk show host Laura Ingraham. Talk turned to Edwards, and Vieira framed the issue in a manner not particularly flattering to the ex-trial lawyer.
What does it say when porn-peddler and sex-shop owner Larry Flynt treated Jerry Falwell’s death with more class than CNN? As Newsbusters reported yesterday, during “Anderson Cooper 360,” CNN used a still from an old protest video that had a large illustration of Jerry Falwell next to a large illustration of Hitler.
Despite being courtroom and media adversaries that was kicked into overdrive when Flynt ran a fake ad in “Hustler,” which claimed that Falwell’s first sexual experience was with his mother in an outhouse and resulted in a lawsuit producing a landmark First Amendment ruling by the US Supreme Court, allowing the parody of public figures, Flynt issued this surprisingly generous and thoughtful statement to "Access Hollywood" on May 15 (emphasis mine):
Those are not exactly words you'd expect to hear an American journalist use to refer to a Latin American dictator who has been seizing American-owned property this month. Yet Barbara Walters used all three to describe Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, in various ABC broadcasts on March 16.
Even though Chavez has recently assumed "control" of oil fields that were run by Chevron, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, ABC, NBC and CBS haven't even reported it. Chavez also plans to takeover private Venezuelan media soon. That hasn't been reported either, let alone criticized.
Despite the fact that Chavez seized power and shut down his opposition in Venezuela, the media rarely portray him as a dictator, preferring kinder words like “controversial” and “populist.” Walters even talked about how "beloved" he is.
“President Hugo Chavez is so beloved by some of his supporters that they hang pictures of him in their living rooms in the poor barrios that ring the city,” Barbara Walters gushed on ABC’s “Nightline” March 16.
Liberals are engaged in an amazing display of myth-building and revisionism concerning the establishment media’s performance before the war, and it’s not just Bill Moyers. As NewsBuster Tim Graham noted yesterday, the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz revealed on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday that “everybody at every news organization I’ve talked to said that the media were not aggressive enough during the run-up to war.”
Appearing on the same program, ex-CNNer Bill Press went even further, alleging that the press “gave us this war.” He told Kurtz, “the media, in large part, gave us this war, because they went along and repeated everything that George Bush said without asking tough questions....If they had asked the questions and more — and American people knew what the truth was, as opposed to the propaganda we were getting from the White House, I think there would not have been the support for the war.”
Interviewing Shell Oil's president on this morning's Today show, NBC's Meredith Vieira cited Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer's "Big Oil" conspiracy theory, worried America's "addiction to oil" was "dangerous," and altogether added fuel to the fire that oil company execs, "were a bunch of thieves." Appearing in the 7am half-hour, Shell Oil president John Hofmeister, for the most part, explained the basic economics of the oil business to viewers but that didn't stop Vieira from throwing out conspiratorial charges from left-field.
After asking if Hofmeister thought the price of gas was "reasonable," Vieira launched into the conspiracy theories:
Vieira: "Let's talk about the refineries for a minute because there's been a lot of controversy about them. Maintenance problems at refineries around the country. There are some people, consumer activists, some analysts and even some politicians like Senator Schumer here in New York, who believe that the oil companies are basically holding back the production of gas, they're slow on repairs of their refineries, to keep the price of gas high. Senator Schumer has not gone so far as to say that the oil companies are in collusion but he did say, quote, 'that they wink at each other and do the same thing.' First I'd like your response to that."
Regardless of what you might think of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, his syndicated Sunday talk show is a must-see due to the unscripted statements that often emanate from those not used to being so unfettered.
Such was certainly the case Mother’s Day when NBC’s Chief White House correspondent David Gregory made some extraordinary assertions about the “big bad threat of Islamic fundamentalism” and that “George W. Bush did not get that part of it wrong, that the [Middle East] needed to be transformed after 9/11.”
The discussion had moved in the direction of the Iraq war, and what position the Republican presidential candidates should take. Gregory suddenly took total control of the conversation, making the following statements that seemed to shock Matthews as well as the BBC’s Katty Kay sitting to his right:
Anyone whose remote control wandered past an ABC, CBS, or NBC morning "news" show on May 5 probably found the "news" hounds barking enthusiastically over this supposed "news" scoop: Paris Hilton was sentenced to Los Angeles County jail for 45 days. She violated parole after repeated episodes of reckless driving. This was news of national concern.
The morning anchors interviewed legal experts and professional Hollywood celebrity-stalkers to lament this heiress being brought low, complete with bad jokes about the jail being a "one-star Hilton." But they all wondered out loud: Who is to blame for this human train wreck?
Paris, being the thoughtless egotist that she is, blamed her publicist for telling her she could drive to work. That’s baloney. You don’t assign the "help" to read your legal documents for you.
The three major networks covered news of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s resignation with the left-wing "Bush’s poodle" line. On "Good Morning America," ABC’s David Wright demonstrated the most bias stating, "Bill Clinton’s sidekick became George Bush’s poodle, or so they see it here." On "Today" NBC’s Dawna Freisen noted, "he became, of course, America’s closest ally but that came at a price here at home. He was eventually derided here as America’s poodle."
The May 10 edition of "The Early Show" was no exception as CBS’s Sheila MacVicar stated: "But at home, Blair has been labeled Bush's poodle, at too willing ally who led his country into Iraq." In their generally negative story "The Early Show" relied on the expertise of Simon Hoggart of The Guardian, a left wing British publication and hardly an objective source.
Imagine for a moment that one of the leading Republican presidential candidates said that 10,000 people had been killed by the recent tornado that destroyed Greensburg, Kansas, Saturday.
Do you think this would have been easy fodder for the broadcast television news divisions that always seem fascinated with gaffes made by folks on the right?
If your answer is an unequivocal “Yes,” then why did ABC, CBS, and NBC completely ignore Sen. Barack Obama’s statement Tuesday wherein he accidentally exaggerated the death toll from the Greensburg tornado by 9,988?
As you'll see from the screencap, the cast of "Today" was really yukking it up this morning at George Bush's expense, recycling his "1776" gaffe on the occasion of the Queen's visit and updating the story with the Queen's retort. Between a show-opening tease and the subsequent smirk-a-thon, the show devoted no less than 1 min, 43 seconds of its opening 21-minute 7:00 AM half-hour to the matter.
But, at least during that crucial first half-hour, "Today" somehow couldn't find a second to report on either of two stories with negative implications for Dem presidential candidates Barack Obama and John Edwards.
Speaking in Virginia yesterday, Obama claimed that "ten thousand people died" in the Kansas tornado. He was only off by a factor of 1,000. Since we all know that Obama is brilliant, a Harvard law grad, why bother to pass along a story which doesn't fit the template?
The Katie Couric as “CBS Evening News” anchor experiment appears to be failing, and failing miserably.
As TV Week reported Tuesday (h/t TVNewser): “The news is not good for third-place ‘CBS Evening News With Katie Couric,’ which in the week of April 30 hit its lowest total viewership since at least 1987.”
According to TVNewser’s Brian Stelter, the “at least 1987” qualifier refers to Nielsen ratings not going back any further.
The news wasn’t any better for one of Couric’s competitors either:
With Rosie O’Donnell’s announced departure of "The View" other networks such as NBC and CBS are apparently interested in the very controversial comedienne. Broadcastingcable.com reports that Rosie may offer commentary on "The Early Show" in an effort to boost its third place ratings.
"Sources say O'Donnell will meet with CBS brass soon to discuss its offer, which could open the door to regular guest appearances on The Early Show. Her views have generated the type of buzz that could allow CBS to finally lift the perennial third-place program out of the morning-show cellar."
On Friday's Today show, MSNBC's Chris Matthews defended his ludicrous decision to ask the GOP candidates if it would "be good for America to have Bill Clinton back living in the White House?" Matthews explained the sociological insight: "They all sort of guffawed. Well, that's a particularly Republican response. If I offered that same question up to Democrats...they would be cheering like mad."
So Matthews proved that the ten Republican debaters are not Democrats — was there any doubt? The weird Clinton question was symptomatic of how MSNBC and debate co-sponsor ThePolitico.com spent valuable time asking the GOP candidates questions that reflected the agenda of far-left bloggers, not the concerns of GOP primary voters. A week earlier, while moderator Brian Williams did pose a few right-leaning questions to the Democratic field, most of that debate reflected issues that rate high with Democratic voters. In other words, both debates were dominated by liberal agenda questions.
Support for the actions of the Dem leadership continues to flow in from America's enemies around the world.
Last week, Al Qaeda's #2, Ayman al-Zawahri, said a Dem-sponsored bill calling for a troop withdrawal from Iraq was proof of America's defeat.
Now the leader of Syria's thugocracy has weighed in, defending House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) against criticism of her recent tête-à-tête with him.
NBC's Ann Curry has followed ABC's Diane Sawyer's footsteps to Damascus, interviewing Bashir Assad. An excerpt of the interview aired during the first half-hour of this morning's "Today." It included this exchange.
NBC CORRESPONDENT ANN CURRY: The Bush administration harshly criticized Nancy Pelosi for meeting with you last month. Vice-President Cheney accused her of having "bad behavior." You're smiling. Why do you smile?
SYRIAN RULER BASHIR ASSAD: It's a funny description to say it's bad behavior, because I think the other way: she was doing her job as an American official in a very high position. She wants to know what's going on.
Now that Rosie O’Donnell has announced she’s leaving "The View," her left-wing rhetoric seems to have gotten even more extreme. This week, the liberal comedienne smeared U.S. troops by saying they only join the military because they’re mostly uneducated and poor. (This isn’t true, but why bring facts into the debate?)
This week, "Good Morning America’s" weatherman (and liberal environmentalist) Sam Champion touted the left-wing advocacy of actor Robert Redford. Oddly, he tried to persuade GMA viewers that Redford’s positions were somehow new.
Romney won, Rudy lost. That's Chris Matthews' take on the GOP presidential debate he moderated on MSNBC last night. Matthews made his views clear during his appearance on this morning's "Today." Meredith Vieira, who interviewed Matthews at 7:09 EDT, seemed to share her colleague's assessment.
TODAY CO-HOST MEREDITH VIEIRA: Winners and losers in your assessment?
MSNBC HOST CHRIS MATTHEWS: Oh, come on. Well, let me just say I thought that just factually, Giuliani stood out on the issue of abortion rights, clearly. At one point I asked if they would be happy, if it would be a good day for America, if the courts struck down Roe v. Wade, the court decision back in '73 that gave a woman the right to an abortion, and he said 'that would be OK,' Very tentative. And then later on he reasserted his position that he is for abortion rights. So I think that separated him on a big issue.
VIEIRA: Yeah, but Chris, he also said it would be OK if a strict constructionist judge upheld Roe v. Wade. It sounded like he was talking out of both sides of his mouth there.
On April 25, 2007 the Dow soared to another record close, this time above 13,000. As Newsbusters reported here, here and here, the networks did anything but cheer. In fact, network broadcast reporting of the Dow's recovery since 2003 has been marked by pessimism.
Katie Couric introduced the April 25, 2007 CBS "Evening News" report with this dismal statement:
"Even as investors are making money in the market, Anthony Mason reports there are concerns tonight about the rest of the U.S. economy."
Mason made good on Couric's tease, with a class warfare remark that "Wall Street and Main Street appear to be headed in different directions" because of housing and gas prices.
With baseball season underway, Tony Snow today used a metaphor from America's pastime to knock out of the park NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell's allegation that the U.S. is to blame for Cuba's economic woes.
As I noted here earlier today, Mitchell reported on MSNBC from Havana on the occasion of Cuba's May Day celebrations. Describing conditions in Cuba, as the country transitions from Fidel Castro to brother Raul, Mitchell claimed:
There have been no major problems, other than the continuing economic difficulties that of course this country faces because of the U.S. embargo, the economic embargo.
This NewsBuster participated in a conference call today with White House Press Secretary Tony Snow. Asked by me to comment on the Mitchell claim, Snow, flashing midseason form, observed:
Using the newly released George Tenet book and four year anniversary of the President's "Mission Accomplished" speech as a backdrop, NBC's Today show invited on Congressman John Murtha to talk about a troop pullout and even impeachment. During her interview Today co-host Meredith Vieira asked Murtha if the Democrats had a "fallback plan" against a Bush veto of their troop withdrawal bill and then followed that query by bringing up the ‘I' word as she pressed: "Is impeachment really on the table?"
The following questions came during a segment in the first half-hour of the May 1st Today show:
Vieira: "Well let's, let's look forward sir because there is a war funding bill that is gonna be before the President, that the, the Congress has handed him, and he has said he is going to veto it because it sets a timetable for the removal of troops from Iraq. So what is your plan when he does, indeed, veto this? What is your fallback plan?"
There's really only one problem for Cuba: those yanqui imperialists and the embargo they slapped on the country. Just ask Andrea Mitchell. The NBC correspondent is in Cuba today for the May Day festivities. Here's an excerpt from her conversation on MSNBC at 9:07 EDT this morning with host Contessa Brewer.
MSNBC HOST CONTESSA BREWER: Is there an expectation among the crowd there, a sense that Castro will return to power at some point?
NBC CORRESPONDENT ANDREA MITCHELL: Officials are pointing out, and it's certainly true from my visits here that the government runs, it's business as usual, that they have managed this succession rather well. Raul Castro is here today, he and other leaders are very much in charge. There have been no major problems, other than the continuing economic difficulties that of course this country faces because of the U.S. embargo, the economic embargo.
In the wake of NBC's and MSNBC's embarrassment over the firing of Don Imus for his racial insensitivity to black women on the Rutgers basketball team, NBC News promoted Lyne Pitts, a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), to be vice president of NBC News. Mrs. Pitts, the wife of CBS correspondent Byron Pitts, has ascended rapidly since she arrived to produce the Weekend Today programs in February 2006.
It's not hard to imagine this has a lot to do with assuaging the roiling internal rage over Imus that boiled over in that meeting NBC News President Steve Capus had with Al Roker and the gang before Imus was canned. Don't miss this sentence in her job description: "She also serves as the division's point person on diversity issues."
NBC's Today show loves to promote former administration officials with scathing tell-alls, so long as they're criticizing a Republican president. Tom Brokaw's prodding of George Tenet to criticize the Bush administration's path to war was just the latest example of Today show's love of former GOP administration officials with an ax to grind.
Back in 2004, then Today co-host Katie Couric praised former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's book for its critiques of President George W. Bush. However if the tell-all slights a Democratic administration, as George Stephanopolous did with his book, Today takes a decidedly more skeptical tone. Of his 1999 tome, All Too Human, Couric called Stephanopolous' revelations "creepy" and wondered if he was "a turncoat."
The Bush administration: a bigger threat to national security than a foreign spy. That was Tom Brokaw's implicit assumption in his interview with former CIA Director George Tenet on this morning's "Today." Along the way, Brokaw accused former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld of running a "rogue" intelligence operation.
BROKAW: In the opening passage you describe conversations in the Clinton administration between the Palestinians and the Israelis attempting to get some sort of a new peace arrangement. But the Israelis were demanding the release of Jonathan Pollard, a United States military intelligence analyst who had been selling them secrets, who's in jail for life. You said if you release Jonathan Pollard, I'll resign from the CIA. And yet when you were the head of the CIA, you had Condi Rice ignoring your warnings, Vice-President Cheney exaggerating the threats repeatedly, Don Rumsfeld in the Pentagon running what effectively was a rogue CIA, his own intelligence operation, and you didn't threaten to resign then.
According to MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani committed "terrorism" when he suggested that the country would be "playing defense" if a Democrat was elected president in 2008. And this is the network that’s hosting a Republican presidential debate?
On Monday, an ABC graphic provided a shining example of media bias. Co-host Diane Sawer was discussing the recent surge by the stock market. During the segment, a graphic below her read, "Will Dow Hit 13,000 Today? Is Unstoppable Market Good or Bad?"
"Good Morning America" reacted to the departure of Rosie O’Donnell this week by claiming that the left-wing comedienne was a pioneer for women. (The morning program also ignored her 9/11 conspiracy theories.)