Mooch-a-mas grassas! That was Ted Kennedy -- the man who brought you "Mike McGwire and Sammy Sooser" -- thanking a California crowd. View here. Now we know why he paid someone back at Harvard to take that Spanish exam.
John McCain might want to borrow that snippet of smashed Spanish from his amnesty bill buddy to thank Today. The NBC show this morning depicted the Republican primary race as all but over with the GOP establishment coalescing around the Arizona senator. And for good measure, weekend co-host Lester Holt threw in some campaign consulting, gratis, counseling McCain against moving right to appeal to the conservative base.
After months of improving security in Iraq, the big network morning shows on Friday cited one horrific suicide bombing as proof that “mayhem and misery are back in Baghdad,” as CBS correspondent Mark Strassmann put it. But over the last five months, the broadcast networks have consistently reduced their coverage of Iraq, as if the story of American success in Iraq is less worthy of attention than their old mantra of American failure in Iraq.
Media Research Center analysts tracked all coverage of the Iraq war on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts from September 1 through January 31, and we documented a steady decline in TV coverage of Iraq that has coincided with the improving situation in Iraq. Back in September, the three evening newscasts together broadcast 178 stories about the war in Iraq; in January, that number fell to just 47, a nearly fourfold decrease. (See chart.)
To recap the previous night’s Democratic debate, "Today" featured two liberal commentators to analyze it. It might be fair had "Today" interviewed two conservatives the previous day to analyze the Republican debate. They did not. Instead, they went to former Carter speechwriter and Obama supporter Chris Matthews.
The February 1 edition of the NBC morning show turned to known liberals Paul Begala and Rachel Maddow. Host Matt Lauer did identify Begala as a Democratic strategist and called Maddow’s radio network, Air America, "liberal." However, "Today’s" bias is obvious giving air time to two liberals and none to conservatives.Perhaps, in the elite media world, former Democratic staffer Matthews is "conservative" because of recent left wing blog attacks for his anti-Hillary comments.
Whenever a Republican gets caught in a sex scandal the GOP party affiliation is permanently affixed to that person's name in the media - think most recently of Larry Craig and Rudy Giuliani. However when it comes to labeling Democratic politicians caught in affairs, reporters often suffer from brief bouts of amnesia. Such was the case on the Thursday "Today" show where co-host Ann Curry forgot to note the party affiliation of the Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in her report on his recent ordeals:
See if you can spot the (D) label in the following January 31 "Today" show story:
There were at least two completely sickening moments for conservatives on the Monday Today show. At the show's open, all the excitement about Ted Kennedy endorsing Barack Obama bubbled over after talk of co-host Meredith Vieira touring London with the royals. Ann Curry proclaimed: "We'll be checking in with Meredith in London in just a moment. Good morning, Meredith. But let's begin with American royalty - the Kennedys."
I'm sure conservatives would like that to be a trap-door phrase or a Nerf ball-pasting phrase -- the Kennedys as America's royal family. Obama being endorsed by Ted Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy, and Caroline Kennedy? Obama should say "Only Caroline is allowed to drive me." Then there's Paul Begala with his usual embarrassing over-praise of Bill Clinton, who's now Tom Brady:
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, the mainstream media in general have shied away from truly examining the racist campaign strategy recently being employed by the Clintons in their effort to defeat Barack Obama for the Democrat presidential nomination.
One huge exception is NBC's "Meet the Press," which on Sunday, with the assistance of guests Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, Chuck Todd of NBC News, and Byron York of the National Review, went a long way towards possibly ending this disgraceful race baiting by a man that used to fashion himself as being the first black president.
Regardless of what folks might think of the political leanings of Russert and Dowd in particular, all present and associated with this segment are to be enthusiastically applauded and thanked for going where few media outlets dare (partial transcript follows, video available here, relevant section begins at minute 27:25):
Have the recent race baiting antics of the Clintons left you wondering whether the former first couple has lost its collective mind, especially now that this tactic seems to be at least partially responsible for Barack Obama's landslide victory in Saturday's South Carolina primary?
Or, like most conservatives, do you believe that nothing this pair ever does is spontaneous and without advanced political calculus, and that South Carolina went exactly as Bill and Hill planned?
For those undecided, a conversation I had on Friday with a very liberal albeit astute friend of mine might shed some light.
As the subject of the current presidential race surfaced, my friend indicated that he was supporting Hillary. Knowing him to be very concerned about civil rights, I asked why he wasn't backing Obama.
Be careful where you shop for groceries, for behind every canned soup display may be lurking "Today" show host Matt Lauer, ready to corner you on camera and demand to know whether you're using plastic, paper, or "environmentally-friendly" canvas bags.
That's what Lauer did for a January 25 segment to wrap up the four-day "Today Goes Green" series, which showed the hosts carpooling to work (once), changing one light bulb in one of their homes, and canceling unwanted catalog subscriptions online.
But for the grand finale, Lauer got in the face of the American grocery shopper in a segment filmed in a New York City Food Emporium. He pestered shoppers with tidbits about the environmental destruction caused by plastic and paper grocery bags.
"I'm on the prowl for victims, converts in our growing movement," Lauer said shamelessly, as if bothering people while they're shopping is cute. "Do you have any idea how many plastic bags you accumulate in the average month?" he asked one unsuspecting female shopper.
The biggest news out of last night's GOP debate could be the hit taken by John McCain's reputation for straight talk.
For whatever reason, McCain chose to deny the undeniable: that on more than one occasion he has admitted not understanding the economy as well as he should. When the debate ended it took MSNBC no time to document the record. And a bit later, in the post-debate coffee klatsch, Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman unloaded on the Arizona senator for his fudging.
Tom Brokaw says his most conservative friend has told him he might vote for Hillary Clinton. I for one believe the former NBC News anchor. Hillary supporters might indeed constitute the rightmost fringe of his friend set.
What is it about liberal reporters that they can deliver slanted pieces about conservatives time and time again but when it comes to a mass-murdering terrorist they feel compelled to give the other side? On Tuesday's "Today" show, NBC's Ned Colt decided he needed to balance out the views of Osama Bin Laden, as he rhetorically asked about the al Qaeda leader: "Murderous fanatic or hero of radical Islam?" Colt even went on to relay a soundbite from the editor of Al-Quds who painted Bin Laden as the "little David" with the U.S. playing the role of "the mighty Goliath."
The following is Colt's set-up piece and the full interview as they occurred on the January 22, "Today" show:
MATT LAUER: He is the most wanted man in the world, Osama Bin Laden. The al Qaeda leader has been on the run for years now but his son Omar is speaking out. The 26-year-old says he wants to bring peace to the world. We'll talk to him in a moment but first NBC's Ned Colt on public enemy #1.
Playing off the popularity of its "Ends of the Earth" jet-setting extravaganza in November, the "Today" show on January 22 kicked off a four-day series called "Today Goes Green" to encourage viewers to be more environmentally friendly.
In a segment supposedly meant to encourage carpooling, Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, Ann Curry and Al Roker submitted to the degradation and humiliation that is a carpool - even if it is chauffeured. Vieira later admitted they carpooled only once, and Lauer never seemed too happy about it.
And unfortunately for environmental types (and Lauer), the crew would have to carpool every work day for more than eight years to offset the estimated carbon footprint left by November's "Ends of the Earth" series, when hosts jetted to the far reaches of the earth to show the alleged effects of global warming.
That series pumped an estimated 25 tons of carbon into the atmosphere. If the hosts lived an average of 10 miles from the office (Vieira reportedly lives 30 miles away in White Plains, N.Y., while the others live much closer) and it were perfectly efficient for them to carpool, they might save
ABC correspondent Nick Watt conducted a softball interview with the son of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden on Tuesday's "Good Morning America" and he credulously repeated Omar bin Laden's goals of being an "ambassador for peace." Host Diane Sawyer called the idea a "very curious proposal," while Watt announced that the younger bin Laden "wants to meet with President George W. Bush" and labeled the idea "astounding."
Watt expressed no skepticism over the proposed meeting. This, despite the fact that bin Laden lauded his father, responsible for countless thousands of deaths, as a "very kind man" and stated that he would not turn his dad over to American authorities, were he to know the location. Apparently, it didn't occur to Watt that this might not be the kind of person who would be best qualified to be an ambassador for peace or someone that President Bush would meet with. However, the GMA correspondent did find time to notice bin Laden's "glamorous, English wife."
Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw dismissed Rush Limbaugh as wrong-headed on Sunday’s Meet the Press. Not only did Brokaw pound the narrative that Reaganism is dead or dying within the Republican party, with a "nomadic herd" of voters "rejecting dogma," but he said Limbaugh trying to debate which candidate is truly conservative "is not going to help the Republican party." As if Tom Brokaw was really interested in that goal. He said the country is "hungry for solutions," as if "solutions" and "conservatism" were antonyms.
Brokaw tried to claim the "nomadic" search for the non-dogmatic is "going on in the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party." Where on Earth would he get evidence for that? As Clinton, Obama, and Edwards all lurch left to secure the MoveOn/Daily Kos vote, they’re rejecting "dogma"? Here’s the exchange from a pundit’s-roundtable segment of the NBC Sunday chatfest:
Of course, Cramer is a regular on NBC's "Today" and "Nightly News" as an expert on the economy. On December 19, Cramer appeared on "Today" and was very critical of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke for not cutting interest rates more than a quarter point. In another "Today" appearance on January 17, he declared the economy was in a recession, a 180-degree change from his comments earlier in the month when he declared "sunny skies" were ahead for the economy.
Class warfare seeped into the January 18 edition of "Today." Upon interviewing Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on the Bush administration’s proposed economic stimulus package and rebates, Matt Lauer pitched the liberal "tax cuts for the rich" line inquiring "you're not going to give rebates to the rich here, correct?"Secretary Paulson declined to answer the question saying he does not "want to get ahead of the president."
Just as he did yesterday, Matt Lauer asked again if the media’s gloomy economic news is a "self fulfilling prophecy."
"Do you ever worry that the media, we get the ‘r’ word on our lips, recession and we chant it and that eventually it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, the consumers of TV and the media hear it and they are also consumers of the economy and they spend themselves into a recession or don't spend themselves?"
"Today" anchor Matt Lauer told Cramer, "People come up to me and say on the street ... they say, ‘Why don't you stop talking about recession? Because simply by talking about it, you're going to freak out consumers and definitely push us into one.' Is there any logic to that thinking?"
"The answer," Cramer said, "is that we have to point out the positives with the negatives." What a novel concept!
In the first two weeks of 2008, the media have focused heavily on fears of a recession in spite of the fact that two surveys of economists put the chances of recession at less than 50 percent. The media have focused on the likelihood of a recession by a ratio of
What's wrong with this picture: a young, prominent, liberal blogger gets a respectable and highly-coveted position with a leading, leftwing magazine, and for some reason, can't shake himself from the vulgarity and vitriol prevalent in his past writing?
Such appears to be the case for Ezra Klein, a virtual rising star in the liberal blogosphere, who despite being on the staff of The American Prospect, still feels the need to drop an f-bomb now and again while attacking one of the nation's leading television journalists.
As reported by new blogger Unpopular Front (vulgarity warning!):
ABC, CBS and NBC reported "more signs of a looming recession," "deepening troubles," "new fuel for recession fears," "rattled consumers," "an economy on edge" and "bracing for recession," or some scary variation a total of 32 times just in the first two weeks of 2008.
The segments predicted a recession or reported fears of a looming recession four times as often as they reported optimism about the New Year, even though recent surveys of economists put the chance of recession at 40 percent to 42 percent.
"And the major concern heading into 2008 is that big ‘R' word, recession," David Muir ominously reported on January 1. "When does the mortgage mess, the housing market, lead to that?" he asked, assuming that a mortgage "mess" inevitably leads to recession.
ABC reported "growing concerns the economy may be heading toward recession." CBS mentioned that "when companies stop hiring, it's often a sign we're slipping into a recession." NBC noticed that in a speech about the economy, President Bush
Is the "Today" show obsessed with the Democratic race? Judging from Monday's show it appears so. On the day before an important primary for Republicans in Michigan, NBC's "Today" devoted almost seven minutes to the fight between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton compared to just 33 seconds to the GOP race. In fact "Today" devoted almost eight more minutes to the Detroit Auto Show in Michigan, than they did to the Republican primary in that same state.
On Friday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Jim Maceda reported that Europeans have an unusually high interest in this year's presidential election as "they say they'd be very happy with anyone who makes a clean break with the past eight years. In a word, change." Maceda also suggested that Hillary Clinton reminds some of President Bush because of her "talking tough on Iran and terrorism." Notably, while liberals have long criticized Bush for his "You're either with us or against us" line after the September 11th attacks, according to USA Today, Senator Clinton, a week before Bush's speech, used similar words as she argued that Bush should articulate "to every nation in this world, you're either with us or you're not, and there will be consequences." And, appearing on the CBS Evening News the same day, she spoke approvingly of Bush's plan to "make it clear that every nation has to either be with us or against us." (Partial audio available here.)
NBC’s "30 Rock" has always been a left-leaning show and manages to insert a joke or negative generalizations at the expense of Republicans into many episodes. Thursday night's episode was no different.
When conservative GE executive Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) and his liberal Congresswoman girlfriend, Celeste Cunningham (Edie Falco) blow off a day of work; Cunningham misses an important vote on a bill to "legalize recreational whale torture."
This might seem like a harmless little joke attributable to either party; however, it is a clear reference to Republicans in the next scene as it cuts to C-SPAN live on the floor of the House with the caption "Lott-Specter passes by one vote."
The morning after appearing with NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham at the National Press Club (pictures and audio from that event posted below) to discuss the media's lack of interest in Hillary Clinton's role in Clinton administration scandals, MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell appeared on the January 11 "Fox & Friends" to discuss NBC's gauzy treatment of Barack Obama.
In fact, by Tuesday night, there were a total of 74 nationally televised media reports concerning Hillary's weepy moment (un-audited LexisNexis count), with CNN leading the way with 28, Fox News with fifteen, MSNBC and ABC News tied at eleven, NBC News with seven, and CBS News with two (all also un-audited).
Here's one of the first reports concerning the matter from the 3PM EST installment of "CNN Newsroom" Monday:
To know what's on a morning-show anchor's mind, it's often easy to read between the lines. Katie Couric famously employed the "some say" technique to put her own views in the mouths of unidentified others.
But it's relatively uncommon to hear an anchor flatly express an opinion in the way Matt Lauer did this morning. The topic was whether there were racial overtones to Bill Clinton's "fairy tale" tirade directed at Barack Obama in the closing days of the New Hampshire campaign. Matt's guests were radio talk show host Michael Smerconish and former Clinton advisor Paul Begala.
On a Wednesday blog entry on The Daily Nightly, NBC anchor Brian Williams candidly admitted the media screwed up in expecting a massive Obama wave, but then said "virtually everyone got it wrong." He also said "Give us a few weeks – we will promptly forget the lessons of this debacle in polling, predictions and primary politics" and "live to screw up another day."
But then, Williams went back to swooning over the historic moments of Obama touching voters in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and his "beautiful, soaring concession speech." He even defended Obama for thinking he was going to win big: "A colleague of mine contends Obama got caught up in the history he was making. I don't think that's quite fair. The candidate didn't change his message as much as Iowa changed the way we heard it. That day, I saw people embrace Obama the way people embrace loved ones returning from foreign battlefields."
Doesn’t Williams see that once again, he’s only underlining his utter lack of objectivity and identifying himself as Swooner-in-Chief? (Another sign he doesn’t care about the appearance of objectivity: he allows this swoon to be cross-posted for the trendy Left at The Huffington Post). It seems more plausible that he wants fellow liberals to know that he is one of them and yes, he, too, is caught up in the magic.
The Clinton and McCain victories in New Hampshire were topic A on the network morning shows today, so I thought we'd compile a montage video of the teases that the "Early Show," "Good Morning America," and "Today" ran.
On his blog The Daily Nightly, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams took offense at "spinning" about his Obama-swooning patter on MSNBC about how reporter Lee Cowan admitted they've found it hard to remain objective about the Obama phenomenon. NBC, biased? Williams said "rival political efforts" (the Clintons?) charged him with bias and that's "just ridiculous." The anchor demanded viewers look at NBC against and judge the "quality and fairness of our journalism." But isn't that a little like Gary Hart challenging reporters to look for Donna Rice? Exhibits of Cowan's liberal bias on the campaign (not to mention NBC's) have been posted here at NB. From the anchor's blog:
Lee admits "...it's almost hard to remain objective..." which as he implies is our goal in our work every day. He's referring to what all of us who have covered campaigns have felt from time to time: it's impossible to get the long view...the view from 40,000 feet...while operating at sea level, and inside the bubble.
Lee was talking about the swirl of excitement that has hit the Obama campaign after Iowa -- the crowds, the hoopla -- all of it. Today we learned that rival political efforts were spinning this as some kind of "bias" on the part of either Lee, or me, or this News Division, and that's just ridiculous. My response is as it always is in these situations: look at it again, listen to what's being said, and judge us by the quality and fairness of our journalism.