New York Times political reporter Adam Nagourney appeared on the Charlie Rose show on PBS on June 27 to demonstrate how reporters have noticed Barack Obama trying to dance away from the hard-left positions he took in the primaries, but they still want to paint him as a special politician, not a typical one. John McCain, on the other hand, has a muddled message:
ROSE: Adam, what have you noticed about the Obama campaign? Where is it tacking?
ADAM NAGOURNEY: The candidate himself has tacked noticeably to the center on a whole bunch of issues this week, you know, whether it's his reaction to the gun control case by the court or by the surveillance vote in Congress. I mean, he`s clearly taking positions now that he would have not have taken during the primary.
That tends to happen in most races. I`m not saying it`s a good thing or a bad thing. He has more freedom to do it, because I think that Democrats are so intent on winning that they`re giving him some latitude. You have not seen him come under much criticism.
PBS's Bonnie Erbe hosts that network's weekly news analysis program, "To the Contrary with Bonnie Erbe," is a weekly columnist for Scripps Howard Newspapers, and blogs at USNews.com.
Erbe called for the impeachment of George Bush in February 2006. Anyone looking through her Scripps Howard archive will conclude that she can't possibly be labeled a conservative ideologue -- which is why her take on the attempt by CNN's John Lewis to make it appear as if both the Obama and McCain campaigns are equally hampered by flip-flops is so compelling.
Here's how "A battle of accused political 'flip-flops'," the CNN report at which Erbe takes umbrage, begins:
Days after both men reversed course on major issues, the presidential campaigns of Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain spent much of Sunday's talk-show circuit working to ensure accusations of "flip-flopping" don't stick.
Is Barack Obama beginning to wear out his welcome with some of the mainstream media's old guard, or are the nation's more seasoned journalists just getting fed up with the obvious love affair most press members are having with the Democrat presidential nominee?
Before accusing me of drinking the Kool-Aid, consider that two of the country's most venerable and high-profile liberal pundits -- the Washington Post's David Broder and syndicated columnist Mark Shields -- turned on the junior senator from Illinois in a fashion that would have been unthinkable before Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race.
For instance, here's what Shields said on Friday's "News Hour" (video embedded right, h/t Hot Air):
Best-selling author Tom Wolfe made some statements about American journalism last week that would raise a lot of eyebrows in newsrooms around the country if anyone cared to notice.
For instance, he believes "newspapers are declining rapidly," that when a television news outlet does "a big story it`s always wrong," and that Dan Rather and his "60 Minutes" crew were "idiots" for airing the totally erroneous piece in August 2004 about George W. Bush and the National Guard:
They should have looked at the piece of paper. Obviously not written by a typewriter.
What follows is the relevant section of Wolfe's discussion with PBS's Charlie Rose last Wednesday (video available here, relevant section at 33:30, h/t and photo courtesy NY Post):
For conservatives who would like to think the whole government should be handed over to the liberals for a few years until the Reagan wing of the Republican Party can get its act together, a quick look at a monstrosity under consideration by Congress is in order. Liberal Democrats and "green" Republicans are proposing a massive reorganization of the American economy to fight so-called global warming. Worse yet, proponents of this bill are attempting to sell this eco-socialism as a "market-based" policy, and their allies in the national media are going along with the charade.
For decades now, the media have shoved down our throats the idea that Planet Earth is in grave peril of catastrophic global warming. Now that Washington’s elites feel confident that everyone from McCain to Obama agrees that doom is imminent, it’s time to push something they call "cap and trade." Put an emphasis on the "cap." That means that the federal government is aspiring to dictate for every individual and business in America the absolutely perfect level of carbon-dioxide emissions. Once the government mandates how much emission will be allowed, then it will allow the public to "trade" on the rights that remain.
In his tours at ABC (particularly the weekend versions of Good Morning America) and CNN, anchorman Aaron Brown was fond of liberal editorializing. So it's no shock that when New York magazine interviewed him as he takes on anchoring the PBS series Wide Angle, he declared he was a big fan of Keith Olbermann's show:
How about Keith Olbermann? It’s a good television program. No, it’s a very good television program. That’s how I want to put that.
This matches his shout-out earlier in the month to TV Newser: Keith Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly "are both larger-than-life figures," he says, but Olbermann is "smarter, funnier, better read and eminently more talented."
Some suspect Brown would like an hour next to Keith's on MSNBC. They certainly sound alike. On November 10, 2004, for example, Brown lamented poor, losing John Kerry as he looked at pictures in the military newspaper Stars and Stripes:
In America, you need to show identification to buy alcohol, get into a bar, or apply for a job. Yet, for some reason, liberal media members think that Republicans who advocate voter ID laws do so exclusively to prevent Democrats from going to polling booths.
Such was clearly evident Friday evening when Bill Moyers discussed some recent Supreme Court rulings with CNN and New Yorker magazine's legal affairs analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Better strap yourself in tightly, for the following from "Bill Moyers Journal" on PBS is guaranteed to offend all that actually believe voter identification should be required in every state (video embedded right):
For several weeks, NewsBusters has been reporting the changing media tide concerning ethanol.
On Thursday, PBS's "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" joined the growing chorus of press outlets pointing fingers at biofuels as being partially responsible for the growing international food crisis:
The cost of food has soared as more and more corn is being produced for fuel, not food...[I]t is the government's mandate for ethanol that has doubled the demand for corn and sent prices soaring.
Sadly, the segment ignored Nobel Laureate Al Gore's involvement in this matter, as well as his biofuel investments, but still went where few mainstream media outlets would have gone just two months ago (video available here):
Bill Moyers appeared not only on The Daily Show Tuesday, but on the Tavis Smiley show on PBS, where he repeated all his lines in defense of Jeremiah Wright. Moyers also declared that while "I believe in capitalism...the tension between capitalism and democracy is that capitalism breeds inequality while democracy aims for more equality," and the media serves only the rich. When Smiley asked if were "witnessing the fall of the American empire," Moyers said yes, and that "it's probably a good thing that our empire has reached the extent of it -- has extended itself so far that it's beginning to have to have some second thoughts about it."
The talk of America's "empire," as if America were no different than ancient Rome, came near the end of the segment:
SMILEY: How would you respond if I said to you, Bill Moyers, that we are witnessing the fall of the American empire? You are a student of history. You know that every empire eventually falls. And what if I said to you that our democracy is so dysfunctional that it is irreparable, and that what you and I are witnessing, sad to say, is the fall of the American empire?
PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers appeared on Tuesday’s edition of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, and delivered a long-winded defense of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who he said was "assassinated by soundbites." Moyers regurgitated the original, discredited Obama line, that out of 200,000 minutes from the pulpit, "His whole life, his whole ministry, his whole career was being summed up in sound bites that added up to no more than 20 seconds endlessly played through the media grinder of our national press." Wright was just making a few errors, like most of us do, he argued: "All of us have made absurd statements. I know that Rev. Wright, whom I had never met before this, was no doubt, had misspoken and made some erratic statements and all that. Most of us do." [audio available here]
PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers was interviewed on the radical taxpayer-subsidized Pacifica Radio network's Democracy Now program on Wednesday, and declared that Hillary Clinton wishes the worst on Barack Obama -- "she keeps hoping for every day, is that lightning will strike him" and insisted "She can only win in a way that would leave the Democratic Party in shambles." Even so, Moyers complained that all three candidates are failing to correct a "dysfunctional" capitalist system.
Moyers also made excuses for Jeremiah Wright's wild sermons about 9/11 and AIDS, and brushed off suggestions that his interview could have been tougher. "I’m not a very adversarial fellow. I’m not a gotcha kind of journalist," he claimed. "I knew that they were going to be asking all of these questions. I leave that to those people whose job it is for the commercial media." He decried the ABC debate questions to Obama as "a great exercise in irrelevance."
“Mainstream media coverage of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright has drawn a round of barking from some of their own in-house watchdogs,” FNC's Brit Hume noted in his Monday night “Grapevine” segment. Hume started by highlighting how PBS ombudsman Michael Getler criticized the soft approach of Bill Moyers in his interview with Wright: “Inflammatory, and inaccurate, statements that Moyers himself laid out at the top of the program went largely unchallenged” and “there were not enough questions asked and some that were asked came across as too reserved and too soft.”
Hume next turned to New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt's disappointment in the paper for putting a review of Wright's performance in appearances ahead of checking what Wright contended against the reality, scolding his employer: “It was a performance strangely lacking in energy at a potential turning point in the election.”
When Washington Post writer Sally Quinn came on the Charlie Rose show Wednesday night to discuss the Reverend Wright controversy, the accusations against whites flew wildly. Obama’s distancing from Wright was "so incredibly sad," and happened because "we are still a racist country," where "so many white Americans...have absolutely no idea what goes on inside black churches on a Sunday morning...and I think it brought out a lot of latent racism." She concluded the interview by insisting that whites "go to their white churches, and you wonder how they can call themselves Christians and still look at other people as though they are inferior."
Sally Quinn came on with Rev. Floyd Flake, a former Congressman from New York, who also discussed this with Rose the first time Wright became controversial. Quinn tried to say that Obama’s greater condemnation of Wright would help Obama, but it was tragic.
In an interesting way, I think it may have helped Obama, because I think that by [Wright] coming out the way he did, he allowed Obama to come out much more forcefully the way he did today. And he had to. He had absolutely no choice.
PBS talk show host Charlie Rose turned to the Reverend Wright issue on Wednesday night. Former New York Times music critic Kelefa Sanneh insisted the fuss over Wright comments like the government inventing AIDS for black genocide were a "red herring," that when you look at Wright’s old speeches and books, "there’s not much in there that’s hugely controversial," and even when he gets political, "he’s not making wildly controversial statements by and large." Sanneh also seemed to insist blacks couldn’t be racists.
Sanneh began by insisting that the Wright issue is being overblown, because there were radical things that Martin Luther King said that "would generate enormous controversy today." (Brent Bozell touched on that, the 1967 King speech at Riverside Church alleging both white and black American soldiers were brutalizing Vietnamese civilians.) But Rose was tough enough to respond: "But I want to know what that [King speech] was that’s equivalent to saying AIDS is a government conspiracy to kill black children?"
It was a hot night of hard-left talk on PBS’s Tavis Smiley show on Thursday night, when Smiley’s guest was radical Pacifica Radio anchorwoman Amy Goodman. The host of the daily Democracy Now program was decrying how American liberties have disappeared under George W. Bush, and Smiley wasn’t asking hostile questions, but softballs: "How do you explain how this Patriot Act has, in fact, crushed so many people? Crushed people, threatened people, put people at all types of unease?" Smiley never named one.
Goodman played up how awful it was, with Big Bad Bush crushing librarians and booksellers: "It is a very big problem. It was written before 9/11; it was just passed after 9/11, and that's the big problem. I travel around the country and we support independent bookstores all over. It's not only the librarians; it's the independent booksellers who also fall under the purview of the Patriot Act. It says that they and the librarians have to hand over information."
Do my tax dollars really have to support the anti-American vitriol that comes out of the mouth of PBS's Bill Moyers every week?
Before you answer, consider that the host of "Bill Moyers Journal" followed up last week's much publicized sycophantic lovefest with Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama's America-hating pastor by going on a six minute defense of the junior senator from Illinois and the reverend this Friday which was filled with Democrat talking points.
Readers are warned to proceed with caution before either reviewing the highly-offensive transcript that follows, or clicking on the embedded video in the upper-right (h/t TVNewser):
The Bill Moyers PBS interview of Barack Obama’s long-time minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, underlined once again that our tax dollars don’t fund programs championing racial harmony. They fund programs that celebrate black radicals, militants, and kooks. Moyers came to Rev. Wright’s side not to condemn him or even challenge him, but to praise him and defend him. As he implored Wright to explain his "God damn America" sermon, Wright at least said he was free in America to denounce America. To which Moyers replied: "Well, you can be almost crucified for saying what you've said here in this country."
Bill Moyers wants us to see Jeremiah Wright as the Jesus Christ of our time?
How bad was Reverend Wright's appearance before the National Press Club this morning? Bad enough that even CNN contributor Roland Martin—who yesterday enthused about Wright's address to the Detroit NAACP, who gave Wright's chat with Bill Moyers an 'A'—flunked it with an 'F.' Bad enough that David Gergen condemned it as "narcissistic almost beyond belief." Bad enough that, introducing a panel discussion of the speech, the palpably distressed CNN Newsroom host Tony Harris let out an audible groan of "ah, boy," and later wondered how much damage had been done.
For a moment, let's step away from the commentary, per se, and focus on the commentators. Liberals love to chide Fox News for its alleged conservative bias. So why don't we see, when it comes to being fair and balanced, how this morning's Fox News Sunday panel stacked up against that of its main competitor, Meet the Press?
Interviewed by Bill Moyers for a PBS show to be aired on the night of April 25, 2008, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. accused people of trying to paint him as "un-American" or "some sort of fanatic" for purposes of harming the candidacy of Barack Obama. (AP Photo/PBS, Robin Holland, HO)
It is NBC Green Week, after all, so who can blame Andrea Mitchell for recycling two dilapidated defenses of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright?
Mitchell's heart didn't seem wholly in it, but like a burned-out public defender going through the motions, Andrea apparently felt constrained to mount some kind of defense of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial remarks. And so she trotted out two hoary chestnuts:
that's the way it's done in African-American churches, and
Some of the toughest competition American businesses face comes not from other companies, but from the media. Journalists often exaggerate an issue to make a story sexier. Other times, "consumer groups" work with the media to advance an anti-business agenda.
All too often, those exaggerations or manipulations result in lost jobs, lost revenue, unfounded health scares, unnecessary government intervention or even the death of millions of innocent victims.
The Business & Media Institute has compiled a lit of the Nine Worst Business Stories. The list illustrates the lengths to which the media have gone in the last 50 years to attack agriculture, restaurants, the automobile industry, chemical manufacturers and health care.
It also details the ill effects of those stories, which range from "Oprah's Beef with Beef" to Connie Chung's silicone scare to Wendy's "Finger Food" to the infamous "Dateline" exploding trucks, to coverage that resulted in a ban on DDT. Relive foul Food Lion, rolling Jeeps, accelerating Audis and Alar on apples with video from most of the reports!
Check out the list, then come back to NewsBusters to add your comments and suggestions for other bad business coverage!
A liberal bias is always easy to discern in newspaper writers when they tout liberal programs as informative and more conservative programs as deceptive. Take, for example, Kevin McDonough, a TV critic for the United Feature Syndicate (photo from UFS), touted by his bosses as lively and comprehensive in previewing TV seven nights a week with his "witty, insightful and occasionally offbeat approach to TV commentary." On Monday, he began:
Television has many powers. Its ability to distract (VH1), enter tain (“The Office”), inform (“The NewsHour”), deceive (“The O’Reilly Factor”), anger (ditto) and sell (QVC) are well documented.
But the moments when television reaches for the sublime, the beautiful, the poetic and transporting are few indeed.
Ted Turner was not only interviewed, but celebrated on PBS – on April Fool’s Day. The prank was apparently on PBS. It was as if Turner had a subversive mission, to prove that PBS isn’t just for smart people. True to form, Turner walked off a cliff of rhetorical excess on the "Charlie Rose" show, charging that global warming was going to grow so severe, that in a few decades, most of humanity would be extinct. "We'll be eight degrees hotter in ten -- not ten, but 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals."
Some activists at the Public Broadcasting Service seem jealous that CNN is alone in offering yet more free debate time to the Democrats. Last year, PBS offered a liberal debate forum to both parties, hosted by black activist Tavis Smiley. Cornelia Dean reports on The Caucus blog at The New York Times that some PBS producers want a science debate between the Democrats with a group called Science Debate 2008:
Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have turned down a chance to debate science issues next week in Philadelphia, but the would-be organizers, a group of scientists and others called ScienceDebate2008, hope to arrange an alternative in Oregon, which holds primaries May 20.
Ty West, senior producer for the PBS weekly news program NOW, said he has been working with the group in hopes of scheduling a debate either May 2 or May 9 to be broadcast by the Public Broadcasting System from Portland State University. He said the effort was a cooperative effort involving WNET in New York, which produces NOW, WGBH in Boston, which produces the science program NOVA, and WOPB, the public broadcasting station in Portland.
When it comes to media bias, if liberals are not only able to recognize your press organization's lack of impartiality, but also assert such when cameras are rolling, you know you're not fooling anybody.
Such appears to certainly be the case with cable network MSNBC, and, in particular, its "Countdown" host, which both were the targets of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) a few weeks ago when he actually stated three times on PBS's "Charlie Rose," "Keith Olbermann should be on the Obama payroll."
With Olbermann's sycophantic behavior during this campaign, what makes Rendell think he's not?
With that in mind, the following extraordinarily candid discussion on March 26 that somehow slipped under the radar until now is sure to delight all those disgusted with the behavior of MSNBC employees (h/t Olbermann Watch via Hot Air, video embedded upper right):
A longer look at the transcript of Ted Turner's April 1 interview with Charlie Rose on PBS shows that not only did he warn of horrendous climate change, he also pushed relentlessly for dramatic curbs on population growth. People must be limited to one or two children apiece for the planet to survive:
CHARLIE ROSE: What is possible? Tell me what`s possible to do?
TED TURNER: It`s possible that in 15 or 20 years we can completely redo it. If we -- we have to mobilize. This is how important it is, and how important that we do it quickly. We have to mobilize the same way we did when we entered World War II in 1941. We have to fully mobilize everything we have and put it into changing the energy system over, and not just here in the United States, but all over the world.
It`s going to be the biggest business project in the history of world. Fortunes, billions of dollars are going to be made. Hundreds of thousands of people are going to be employed.
We`re going to have clean air. We`re going to have so many benefits from it. It`s not going to cost us anything once we get going with it. It`s not going to cost us anything.
You’ve seen the Ted Turner quote from the April 1 Charlie Rose show about global warming turning what’s left of us into cannibals, but the point should still be made that PBS and Rose treated him as a statesman and a scholar. The host oozed all over him at the show's end: "You're a remarkable man..I enjoy your company. I think the life you've lived with passion, independence, a sense of great, great, and deep concern about the world we live in is remarkable."
What Turner said in reply was highlighted by Rose at the beginning of the hour: "I love this planet. It's worth saving. I mean, it's worth saving.You know, I know we're the same people that did the Holocaust, but we also did the Mona Lisa and Beethoven`s Fifth Symphony. I mean, there is so much -- this world -- we can't turn it into a cinder. We've got to protect it for ourselves and for our children. And it's worth fighting for. And that's all I'm doing, is trying to fight to help save humanity."
Rose was so indulgent of Turner that he goaded him into singing "Over the Rainbow" and "My Old Kentucky Home" and told him "it was good."
After the cannibalism talk, it was more amusing to see this exchange about his feud with Rupert Murdoch, and how he hasn't been caught saying anything stupid:
Interviewed Tuesday for Charlie Rose's PBS show, CNN founder Ted Turner argued that inaction on global warming “will be catastrophic” and those who don't die “will be cannibals.” He also applied moral equivalence in describing Iraqi insurgents as “patriots” who simply “don't like us because we've invaded their country” and so “if the Iraqis were in Washington, D.C., we'd be doing the same thing.” On not taking drastic action to correct global warming:
Not doing it will be catastrophic. We'll be eight degrees hotter in ten, not ten but 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals.
Turner ridiculed the need for a big U.S. military, insisting “China just wants to sell us shoes. They're not building landing craft to attack the United States,” and “even with our $500 billion military budget, we can't win in Iraq. We're being beaten by insurgents who don't even have any tanks.” After Rose pointed out the Iraqi insurgents “have a lot of roadside bombs that kill a lot of Americans” and wondered “where do you think they come from?”, Turner answered:
I think that they're patriots and that they don't like us because we've invaded their country and occupied it. I think if the Iraqis were in Washington, D.C., we'd be doing the same thing: we'd be bombing them too. Nobody wants to be invaded.
PBS can be satirized easily as the network where people display their satisfaction with their own intellectual sophistication, as opposed to those rubes who rely on other networks for their information. On Tuesday night’s Charlie Rose show, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham warned Rose to prepare for an anti-Obama onslaught in the wake of the Jeremiah Wright video clips, a gathering ‘partisan narrative’ from Republicans that is crude, xenophobic, and increasingly racialized. The new code word for Obama will be "exotic," code for black and foreign and perhaps Muslim.
Meacham, like many others, was wowed by the sophistication of the Obama speech. "I hope that translates," he said, because the Democrats are apparently the Party of Sophistication. "We should feel good about the country in the past few months because we've had a pretty serious political conversation about what we -- at least on the Democratic side -- about the nature of things. But it is sophisticated and it is nuanced," which means "most people" with simpler minds will just conclude "there's some crazy minister that Obama had to distance himself from who said these outrageous things."