Matt Sheffield's post over at Ace's place ("The Attempted Crucifixion of Frank Luntz") noted the heat PBS had received for having GOP pollster Frank Luntz participate as an analyst at last Thursday's Democrat debate:
The blog left's puppet master, David Brock, sends out an "alert" informing them that someone who might possibly be conservative is going to be allowed to report as a "mainstream" journalist.
..... Thankfully, PBS has not backed down. Luntz, who is a respected pollster and is often quoted in liberal publications is not getting the shaft, making him one of the very few Republicans that has (so far) managed to escape the assault of the conservaphobic left.
Mr. Brock and his Media Matters (MM) organization are being quite selective.
In August 2006, longtime "Friend of Bill" Clinton Vinod Gupta's Info USA, which had spent its entire corporate history in "data collection and distribution," made what should have been seen as an eyebrow-raising acquisition:
I’m not sure what derangement syndrome Bill Moyers is currently suffering from, but on Friday’s “Bill Moyers Journal” broadcast on PBS, the outspoken host went into an invective-filled tirade about media tycoon Rupert Murdoch that frankly was one of the most disgraceful exhibitions of liberal bias so far this year.
In his closing monologue, Moyers compared Murdoch to the Marquis de Sade, Imelda Marcos, and Satan himself.
I kid you not.
For those that can stomach it, what follows is a full transcript of this piece of…detritus. Those with a healthier GI tract can watch the video available here. And, more information concerning the press' biased coverage of Murdoch is available at the MRC’s Business and Media Institute.
Without further ado (h/t Dan Gainor, emphasis added, better fasten your seatbelts!):
On the Friday edition of "Good Morning America," "This Week" anchor George Stephanopoulos appeared to discuss the June 28 Democratic debate in Washington D.C. Stephanopoulos alternatively described Senator Hillary Clinton as giving a "solid debate performance," "spirited performances," and "solid performances."
Considering that the ABC host is a former top aide to Bill Clinton, his objectivity might be somewhat suspect. Additionally, Stephanopoulos appeared to go out of his way to attack obscure Democratic candidate Mike Gravel as "the skunk at the party." Perhaps not so coincidentally, Gravel has been a strident critic of Senator Clinton, among others, at recent debates.
Barbara Walters, who sometimes plays an objective journalist on TV, chose this week to endorse "Sicko," Michael Moore’s left-wing screed about the health care industry. The veteran news anchor enthused, "Everyone should see it." Conservatives shouldn’t be surprised by this type of propagandizing, however. Last year, Walters endorsed Al Gore’s "An Inconvenient Truth." (See blog for link.)
Speaking of the "The View," an ex-host from that program, Meredith Vieira, gushed on Monday’s edition of "Today" that Hillary Clinton is "unbeatable" and a "teflon candidate." Later in the week, Matt Lauer, a co-anchor on the NBC program, touted Mrs. Clinton’s "Sopranos" parody. He declared it "a hit" and "clever." The other network morning shows were similarly impressed.
The supposedly “free speech” left are out in force trying to silence all voices in the media with views different than their own just in time for the 2008 presidential campaign.
Potentially more worrisome, one liberal advocate in the middle of this debate has close ties to the Clintons, although it is quite unlikely the press will convey such when its recommendations are disseminated with their predictable stamp of approval.
With that in mind, the left-leaning Center for American Progress published a report Thursday detailing how conservatives dominate the talk radio dial, and exactly what needs to be done legislatively for liberals to wrest control over this medium (emphasis added throughout):
This may come as a surprise to many religious Americans in the country: PBS this month is broadcasting a documentary presenting both sides of the controversial issue of the “separation of church and state.”
As many of you know, this has been an ongoing debate for decades as to when this term first appeared, and what the Founding Fathers’ intent truly was concerning government involvement in organized religion.
The documentary’s goals are described thusly at the PBS website (emphasis added throughout):
MRC intern Michael Lanza reports that late-night PBS talk show host Charlie Rose is nothing if not complimentary toward the glitterati of the left. On the June 12 show, he had to insist that leftist hedge-fund philanthropist George Soros was a "promoter of democracy" when a guest who worked for him started noting he was a socialist. On June 4, during his interview with Carl Bernstein on his Hillary biography, Rose oozed that the impeached former president was "the most curious human being on the planet." Rose also asked Bernstein if there was a "vast right-wing conspiracy" against the Clintons:
ROSE: Is this something like a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy?
BERNSTEIN: The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy I think existed.
This is something that must truly be seen to be believed. "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith concluded an interview with former Vice President Al Gore by attempting to pin a Gore ‘08 button on the politician. Why stop there, Harry? Why not slap a bumper sticker across your suit? (Be sure and check out the NB video clip.)
Sometimes the media make it very clear what they would like you to believe. On Tuesday’s "Today" show, various NBC reporters described senatorial candidate and former liberal radio host Al Franken, as "smart," "Harvard smart" and a "smart guy." Now, try and imagine if Ann Coulter ran for elected office. Think Meredith Vieira would laud her intellect?
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program featured an extensive segment on the root causes of why Rosie O’Donnell left "The View." They covered every angle of the story. Well, except for the fact that the comedienne insinuated that American troops are terrorists.
Demonstrating the insular liberal world of New York public television, PBS late-night talk show host Charlie Rose hosted an interview for Al Gore in front of a very supportive draft-Gore-for-president audience at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan and then made it his Friday night national television broadcast. He asked Gore if the election was stolen in Florida, if Gore would consider running in 2008 now that he's speaking his mind freely without consultants, and how the network news elite has played a part in "The Assault on Reason."
The whole thing had the air of Bravo's Inside the Actors Studio, with Charlie Rose playing James Lipton and a supportive audience bathing the guest in adulation. Rose began with an effusive tribute, reading purple prose about how right he is on the issues and how graciously accepted defeat in 2000 (apparently leaving out the six weeks of desperate pleading and lawyering?) from two liberal columnists from The Washington Post and a liberal venture capitalist:
Frank Gaffney's film "Islam vs. Islamists" -- ripped out of PBS's post-9/11 film series "America At The Crossroads" like unsightly hair off PBS's back -- has now found a distributor in Oregon Public Broadcasting. Is that good news? It might be good that more of the public might have a chance to see it. But its new distribution deal with OPB means it's completely optional for PBS stations to air it, and whenever they want -- like 3 AM on a Monday morning. That's a far cry from the prime-time national PBS feed, with all the public-relations weight that the "Crossroads" series managed.
In The Washington Post, Paul Farhi framed the tale with a narrative of bald-faced intervention by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which is supposed to just hand over the money to PBS and shut up, like a kid who gets his lunch money stolen daily. The PBS elite talks a phony game of artistic integrity and independence, but it's a liberal sandbox, and if you don't have something liberal to say, your ball gets taken away. We might offer some kudos to the Post for noting the deal, and letting Gaffney speak:
On May 4, Bill Maher appeared on the PBS talk show Charlie Rose to denounce Bush's handling of the war in Iraq. Speaking of being greeted as liberators, Maher said America will get back its global reputation almost instantly once Bush is gone and the Carter-Clinton people are back in charge of foreign policy:
CHARLIE ROSE: Now, we`re at a low ebb in terms of our respect around the world. In your judgment, and people you talk to -- Madeleine Albright and the whole range of people -- Zbigniew Brzezinski, who come there [to Maher's show in L.A.], how long does it take, if there`s a change in administration -- which there clearly will be -- and if it is somebody that has the same belief that you do, will it take to get America back?
PBS won't let the general public watch "Islam vs. Islamists," however blogger Roger Simon has seen it and was quite impressed:
I have to admit the first thing that attracted me to Martyn Burke’s
“Islam vs. Islamists” was that PBS had suppressed it. As is now well
known, the Public Broadcasting network rejected Burke’s documentary -
produced with Frank Gaffney and Alex Alexiev for the network’s
“American Crossroads” series - on the film’s completion. PBS’ initial
explanation for this blackballing was that the film was not good
In a blog at The Huffington Post, PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers displayed the crackling synapses of the liberal mind. He quickly zig-zagged from Queen Elizabeth being greeted at the White House to Prince Harry going to Iraq (the poor, deluded sitting duck) to pampered plutocrats who received tax cuts in a time of war. "War should be the great equalizer...Instead, mostly folks from the working class and professional soldiers are doing the dying in Iraq, while the rich spend their tax cuts."
I do hope multi-millionaire Moyers channeled the tax savings from his government-TV gains back into the federal Treasury. ("Dear IRS: I will show the fortitude our president lacks. Here is my entire tax cut returned to where it belongs, in the government's superbly efficient hands.") Here's how his logic unfolded in greater detail:
Former CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer told Columbus Dispatch writer Tim Feran that the gossip was untrue that he was trashing Katie Couric in the press. "I was not the source for that story, period. I had nothing to do with it...and I don't know who did." Schieffer also took exception to the Bill Moyers theory that the national media were enablers to President Bush's runup to war in Iraq.
Q: In his recent PBS report about the run-up to the Iraq war, Bill Moyers said: "The press has yet to come to terms with its role in enabling the Bush administration to go to war on false pretenses." Do you agree?
A: I don't think we enabled them to go to war, although there's no question we should have asked harder questions. But I think the Democrats should have asked harder questions, the CIA should have asked harder questions, the people within the administration should have asked harder questions. Somewhere along the way, the decision to go into Iraq somehow became the fault of the press.
Set your TiVo to CNN Headline News at 9 p.m. EDT tonight. NewsBusters senior editor/MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham will be on the "Glenn Beck" program to discuss how PBS is politicizing a documentary about World War II.
The controversy centers around how documentary producer Ken Burns and PBS have dealt with pressure from activist groups to include more footage on Hispanic Americans' contributions to the war effort.
Here is the kind of debate that's common on taxpayer-subsidized PBS: two liberals arguing over the right degree of rage over President Bush on Iraq. Should it be white hot? Or just hot enough that you don't burn your mouth on it? On Thursday night's edition of his eponymous show, Tavis Smiley interviewed Washington Post columnist David Ignatius.
Ignatius worried out loud about finding some degree of national unity in the Iraq end game, and suggested Bush hatred is running contrary to the national interest: "People are so angry in Washington. The debate is so intense that I just worry that we're just slipping a gear as a country. People are almost so angry at George Bush that they want to see this thing fail to spite him, and that should be. That's wrong." Smiley tried to suggest he was asking "devil's advocate" questions, but his angry tone and finger-pointing body language gave his personal opinion away:
SMILEY: Far be it for me to argue with you, but let me just take the devil's advocate position on this, just to press you a little bit more on this. Why shouldn't we be outraged? Why shouldn't we be angry with George Bush?
IGNATIUS: We should be...
SMILEY: Why shouldn't this be the issue around which we will throw down a gauntlet and be angry? We're losing lives every day, why not this, if any issue, to be just outraged about?
The first regular episode of the latest incarnation of Bill Moyers Journal on PBS featured Comedy Central host Jon Stewart (recently hailed by Moyers as "the Mark Twain of our day") mocking Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for appearing to be a "low-functioning pinhead" and comparing the Bush administration to the mobster characters in the movie Goodfellas. He suggested the White House press corps was a joke, suggesting they're the Washington Generals to Bush's Harlem Globetrotters: "the government is just you know, blowing the doors off the media."
First, the "Daily Show" fake anchor expressed amazement on the Friday night show that Gonzales would be so willing to look foolish and wildly incompetent so that Congress would fail in its attempt to impose oversight:
A few years ago, the Left pulled several muscles exerting itself with the strange theory that the Public Broadcasting Service was lurching dangerously to the right. When Corporation for Public Broadcasting chairman Kenneth Tomlinson had the audacity not only to speak internal profanities (“fairness” and “balance”), but to try and build on them, it became clear to them that he was out of control and needed to be stopped.
Tomlinson made several small but significant steps toward balance on our taxpayer-subsidized airwaves, nudging the creation of two right-leaning talk programs – “Tucker Carlson Unfiltered” and “The Journal Editorial Report” – and both suffered from the TV equivalent of crib death. Liberals really erupted when they learned Tomlinson secretly hired someone to assess the political balance of some PBS and NPR programs. This initiative was doomed, not only because the internal bureaucracy would never tolerate it, but because proving liberal bias at PBS is beyond easy. It’s like proving Rosie O’Donnell has a liberal bias: is it really necessary to conduct a study?
One argument at the beginning of the Bill Moyers PBS special on our alleged Bush-polishing press corps centered around a White House press conference just before the Iraq war began on March 6, 2003. Within hours on that night, leftists were complaining that reporters weren't harsh enough.CBS Radio's White House reporter Mark Knoller made a rare protest against the Moyers charge on their Public Eye site. I'm a little surprised that Knoller is the only White House reporter to challenge Moyers on the idea that they were all Bush patsies, just as I'm surprised that no one in the White House press corps really challenged Helen Thomas when she called them all Bush patsies.
The formulation Moyers used -- that reporters failed to "challenge the president" that he was lying about WMD -- is trumped up, and suggests that reporters should not have merely suggested that war protesters and other countries had doubts. Apparently, Moyers wouldn't have honored a reporter as challenging unless they rhetorically punched the president in the face, suggesting his case for Iraq was crawling with lies. Moyers obviously and sleazily skipped the case of ABC's Terry Moran, who insulted all his colleagues as "zombies" after the press conference. He, by contrast, should have earned an A from Moyers from challenging Bush as leading the world in arrogance:
As part of his tour of public-broadcasting publicity spots, PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers appeared Wednesday morning on radical-left Pacifica Radio’s "Democracy Now" program with Amy Goodman, a show Moyers celebrated at a radical "media reform" conference in January by suggesting he had a private "fantasy" about Goodman, that every PBS station would put her on their air. They referred to him as "legendary." Goodman played large chunks of the Moyers PBS special "Buying the War" in advance, and Moyers uncorked a series of left-wing howlers for her.
The mainstream media were cheerleaders for Bush. "Pro-war pundits" need to be banned from TV, put in a "penalty box." Implausibly, he claimed his documentary "talks to people on all sides of the story." Jon Stewart is the "Mark Twain of our day." Dan Rather is an "honest man" but at CBS, he was a "good man caught in a rigged system," contained by corporate owners at Viacom who voted Republican. And, weirdest of all, Moyers claims he and PBS "serve a sort of centrist role," and PBS needs to break free of control from Congress. Let’s take the Moyers claims one at a time.
If PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers wanted to cultivate an appearance of fairness and balance, he's not doing a very good job of it. On the PBS talk show Tavis Smiley on Monday night, Moyers compared Team Bush to a "burglar in the basement" that the watchdog media didn't bark at, or if you prefer, the media was the fire department, and Team Bush was the "arsonist." In fact, he charged "the press was in cahoots with the arsonist."
When Smiley pressed Moyers on whether his show is fair and balanced, he slammed Fox News Channel: "Fox News has so poisoned the meaning of fair and balanced that I can't even understand those terms anymore, but anybody who watches this documentary will see that we lay out the evidence." Smiley also catered to Moyers by asking him if the Bush adminstration was the most secretive in American history.
PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers returns his series "Bill Moyers Journal" to taxpayer-funded PBS stations on Wednesday night. On Monday, National Public Radio’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross offered Moyers a very favorable interview to promote the show. Near the end, Gross asked Moyers about charges of liberal bias bandied about when Kenneth Tomlinson headed the board at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Moyers said "He singled out Now with Bill Moyers for a bias that didn’t exist."
Moyers didn’t try in this comfortable liberal forum to pretend completely that he was non-ideological or a "Thomas Paine radical." He proclaimed "There's no hiding the fact that I believe that collectively we can do things that we can't do individually. I don't think markets solve all of our problems. If that makes me a liberal, I'm a liberal." But he claimed his journalism was about seeking the "verifiable truth."
Brent Bozell, President of
the Media Research Center, which publishes
NewsBusters, appeared Tuesday night on FNC's "Hannity & Colmes"
to criticize PBS for returning left-winger Bill Moyers to the
taxpayer-funded network just weeks after PBS spiked Frank Gaffney's
documentary, "Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center,"
which was intended to be part of last week's 11-part America at a
Crossroads series. Wednesday night, most PBS stations will run Moyers's
left-wing screed, "Buying
the War," about how the news media was supposedly complicit
in the Bush administration's false contentions that got the U.S. into
the Iraq war. (More below on the segment and topic)
Video clip (5:58): Real
(10.2 MB at higher-quality 225 kbps) or Windows Media
(3.8 MB at lower-quality 81 kbps), plus MP3
audio (2.1 MB)
The American press is so encumbered by political correctness and ignorant of Islamic doctrine that it is allowing extremist Muslims in this country to mask a hard-core ideology in minority politics. So says M. Zuhdi Jasser, a moderate American Muslim leader (h/t: LGF).
This pandering on the part of the American press (I would add international as well), is preventing the emergence of a pan-Islamic consensus to marginalize extremists like Osama bin Laden, Jasser argues. Instead, the reverse happens--criticism of Islamists gets suppressed by naive liberals who misguidedly think it's racist:
Dennis Wagner of the Arizona Republic broke the story on April 10, 2007 about PBS's censorship of the documentary, Islam vs. Islamists from its America at a Crossroads series which debuted this week. The film's producers, Frank Gaffney, Alex Alexiev and the veteran filmmaker, Martyn Burke of ABG Films, Inc. have since presented in shocking detail their painful protracted experiences trying to navigate the censors at PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which funded the film with $675,000 of the taxpayers' monies but now has chosen to shelve it. In just the last week of public debate, there has been a firestorm of outcry from the public who are demanding that oppressive methods of editorial content control by power brokers at PBS be investigated and the real story behind the shelving of Islam vs. Islamists be exposed. PBS's exploitation of the public dime and the public airwaves for the narrow point of view of the Islamist sympathizers with the exclusion of the anti-Islamist Muslims is just now beginning to be understood.
PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers is winding up for another series of left-wing propaganda broadcasts on our taxpayer-supported PBS stations. On April 25, we're subjected to the film "Buying the War," which quite typically argues that the liberal media weren't liberal enough, that they were weak-kneed pawns for the Bush war machine. Moyers gave an interview to Eric Bates of Rolling Stone magazine, which posted some audio on its "Rock and Roll Daily" blog explaining how Moyers "gets ill talking about how the Big Red Hype Machine, i.e. Fox News and its conservative bedfellows, makes headlines by criticizing unbiased news reporters."
Moyers declares that one special presence in the new film is disgraced CBS anchor Dan Rather. He says the program begins with footage of Rather crying on the David Letterman show a week after 9/11 proclaiming he would go "wherever the president tells me to line up." But in this film, Rather and Moyers are denouncing a right-wing "slime machine." That's a rich characterization coming from someone who tried to use bogus National Guard documents to ruin President Bush's reputation. Here's how Moyers promised he would denounce conservatives from coast to coast:
You know you must be watching PBS when Good Friday is a time to interview promoters of gnostic gospels and leftist preachers who equate the persecutors of Christ with "rugged individualism." On this Good Friday, April 6, Charlie Rose interviewed Princeton professor Elaine Pagels and Harvard professor Karen King, who explored with Rose how the "Gospel of Judas" shows parallels between early Christian martyrs and modern-day Islamic suicide bombers. Leftist Rev. James Forbes of New York’s Riverside Church carried the anti-individualist message.
Rose began with the professors by promising "some fascinating new information about Judas and Jesus. The New Testament presents Judas’ actions towards Jesus as the most infamous of betrayals. The long-lost Gospel of Judas tells a very different story. It shows Judas as Jesus` favorite disciple and willing collaborator."
In 1992, Republican chairman Rich Bond oafishly suggested in public that he was arguing the media had a liberal bias because he was "working the refs," cynically complaining about harsh coverage to get better coverage. But many candidates try to work reporters this way, and on the slightly dated April 4 edition of the PBS talk show Charlie Rose, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter said Bill Clinton's trying that tactic against Barack Obama, who he feels hasn't been challenged or critiqued by reporters:
JONATHAN ALTER: He`s working the refs, as we say.
CHARLIE ROSE: He`s doing what?
ALTER: He`s working the refs....Basketball players understand that.
An American tax-funded documentary, titled Islam vs. Islamists, a film on how moderate Muslims feel about the corruption of their religion by Wahhabi extremists and their experiences in facing those extremists, was axed by PBS for the very reason that it puts some Muslims in a bad light, says the film's producer in Tuesday's edition of the Arizona Republic. Rampant PCism is the charge, and it is hard to deny the claim once the whole story is put out there.
The producer of a tax-financed documentary on Islamic extremism claims his film has been dropped for political reasons from a television series that airs next week on more than 300 PBS stations nationwide.
Producer Martyn Burke claims that PBS, in order to be allowed to continue with the project, tried to make him fire some of his associates on the film because they belong to a Conservative Think Tank and that they still axed his film anyway when all was said and done.
One of the nice things about having a television and newsletter archive at MRC is being able to bring up the old newscasts and recall how very different the tone and approach of the news was when a Democrat was in the White House. The U.S. Attorney-firing scandal is a strong example of how the network news can on one hand, sell a scandal as incredibly damaging for a political party it does not support, but downplays scandal as damaging to democracy and the people when it affects the political party it favors. Our latest Media Reality Check reminds readers of how different the news sounded ten years ago, when a Republican Congress investigated illegal foreign donations, mostly to national Democratic Party accounts. Take NBC:
NBC theorized that the media were too Clinton-scandal obsessed in 1997. On June 17, 1997, Today co-host Katie Couric asked reporter Bob Woodward: “But are members of the media, do you think, Bob, too scandal-obsessed, looking for something at every corner?”
Last Tuesday, in a blog suggesting the PBS Frontline documentary on 'News War' would be biased, I added: "Suffice it to say PBS has not contacted the news watchers at the MRC." Frontline executive editor Louis Wiley protested that they had. I asked our publicists, and they located an e-mail from April, requesting a 90-minute interview with MRC president Brent Bozell, which was refused. I was not aware of the request, and I was incorrect. Here is the e-mail I received from Wiley of PBS:
As our producer Arun Rath said, we had wanted to interview O'Reilly and Limbaugh in person to ask them questions about this topic, but they turned us down. It didn't, however, stop us from doing our best to represent their views as our commitment to professionalism requires.