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.
A Google alert this morning brought an article about a speech in which NBC's Lester Holt claimed that he and his MSM colleagues "are perfectly capable of putting [their] personal bias aside." Holt went to state that "the level of organized attacks against news organizations from the blogosphere and even from competitors in recent years is unprecedented and disturbing."
Less than an hour later there was Holt on the Today show . . . which proceeded to run a segment typifying the very kind of bias he claims the MSM is "perfectly capable" of putting aside.
Former NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw took the publicity tour on his book on the 1960's to PBS’s Tavis Smiley show, where he discussed how he was "in a rage" when a friend of his died in Vietnam, although he initially believed in it when John F. Kennedy insisted in a domino theory in southeast Asia, a premise that "quickly came apart." Brokaw agreed with Smiley that there were many parallels between Iraq and Vietnam, and also agreed that Martin Luther King is the most important figure in American history. But he also agreed when Smiley insisted no one has ever been able to detect a bias in his reporting and anchoring: "I've been comforted over the years that people on the far left and people on the far right have said to me, ‘What party are you in, anyway?’ I have never been able to figure it out."
For those who have any doubt that Brokaw fit the mold of the liberal media elite, see MRC’s Media Reality Check on twenty years of Tom Brokaw tilt. Here’s the exchange from PBS:
SMILEY: As I sit and listen to you talk, Tom, now about all of these issues that you've covered in your career and lived through in your life, I always thought that as a newsman, you, Tom Brokaw, kept your feelings, kept your politics out of what you -- I know on paper you have to do that or you don't have a job. [!]
NBC’s Today called the Democratic debate a "Vegas slugfest" at the beginning of the Friday morning show, but the story that followed by NBC reporter and Hillary pal Andrea Mitchell made it look like a TKO for Hillary. "She proved she can take a punch," oozed Mitchell, and "she denied playing the gender card." Mitchell noted her husband did, but she made no attempt to rebut the falsehood that Hillary's campaign in general never did.
If the "pal" language sounds strong, find Andrea Mitchell’s recent memoir Talking Back and see the gal-pal, smiley-faced Hillary-autographed picture from the 1995 Beijing summit for women that’s in the book's photo section in the middle. That’s either true feminist sisterhood or just an eagerness to be pictured arm in arm with the powerful. "Talking back" is not something she’s done to Hillary on NBC. Matt Lauer introduced Mitchell’s story of Hillary vanquishing her brutish male rivals:
Former NBC "Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw appeared on the November 14 edition of Fox News’ "Hannity and Colmes" to discuss his new book "Boom!" Through the course of the interview, Brokaw rehashed the 1960's and its impact today. Brokaw admitted he dressed his daughters up as hippies, marched in some rallies, declined an offer for Nixon’s press secretary, and puffed Hillary Clinton.
Co-host Alan Colmes asked Brokaw if he was "tempted...to be sucked in" to the culture of the 1960's. Brokaw admitted that to a large degree he was.
"Now, as I say in the book was, you know, it was entertaining to be in Southern California, and so on weekends, sure, I'd put on bell bottom trousers and take my little girls dressed in their little hippy outfits, go out to the Renaissance Fair, we had a friend who was a hippy potter, and we’d hang out with him, and then Monday mornings I'd put back on my button down collared shirt, and my suit and tie."
Brokaw also admitted to participating in some demonstrations, but also denied buying into the more extremist rhetoric.
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.