Not everyone at the NBC Universal umbrella of networks got the gag order memo about the Sept. 12 march on Washington, D.C.
Rick Santelli, who has been a target of the Obama White House and is credited with being the inspiration for the 2009 tea party movement, spoke out about how the media ignored the march. But, a year after the fall of Lehman Brothers, he was making the larger point that the government's intervention to thwart a financial crisis had been an ineffectual and potentially dangerous maneuver at the expense of taxpayers.
"I think this one-year anniversary is great, but I think it's great for another reason," Santelli said on CNBC's Sept. 14 "Squawk Box." "I think someday we'll learn that we didn't need to do very much, that time heals all wounds and you don't have to go broke in the process."
With the health care debate getting loud and furious, you have to wonder why Hollywood has been so remarkably silent. Maybe the Celeberati don’t care whether citizens have health care, or maybe they are happy with the generous coverage they get from SAG and AFTRA, and believe the President who tells them they will get to keep their current coverage.
It can’t be accidental. Certainly there must be one celebutard who has an opinion on the debate. I long for a wonderful bit of wisdom from Sheryl Crow, perhaps a suggestion to save costs and the environment by washing and re-using band-aids.
Where is Barbra Streisand? Barbra has been noticeably absent from all political debate lately. Probably not coincidentally, she just released a new album. Perhaps her handlers advised Babs to tone it down; that her target audience is composed primarily of senior sitizens now, a demographic that has a tendency to skew conservative and worry greatly about their health care. (The profit motivation is an awesome force, strong enough to restrain torrents of wisdom from the Great Barbra Streisand.)
Even Mike Farrell, a frequent advocate of government health care, has been silent lately. Mike is a fortunate celebrity, whose name would be unrecognizable to anybody, if Wayne Rogers hadn’t stormed off the set of M*A*S*H 35 years ago. Farrell is still making an incredible living based on those eight years of work he did more than a quarter century ago; he gets a little bit of change every time you watch a re-run of M*A*S*H.
He is one of those who believes in a “right” to healthcare. The flaw in his thinking is that health care does not exist without the labor of others, and you have no “right” to the labor of others. I wonder if Mike Farrell believes that access to free reruns of M*A*S*H is a basic human right?
Since the 1940s, an appearance on The New York Times Best Sellers List has been the mark of commercial success for any book. Authors with titles on the list can count on media attention to help sell even more copies. Unless they are conservatives.
Conservative books and authors have been very successful recently, as evidenced by their showing on the best sellers list. Since January 2009, conservatives enjoyed 95 total weeks on the list, compared to just 80 weeks for liberal books and authors. At this writing Michelle Malkin’s “Culture of Corruption” is at No.1, and several other conservative titles have prominent berths on the list.
But as the Culture & Media Institute discovered, viewers of ABC, CBS and NBC might never know of the popularity and commercial success of conservative books.
Who says the media are monolithic in their thinking?
Yesterday we informed you of the media's serial misuse of an Obama-as-Hitler poster from esoteric left-winger Lyndon LaRouche's website, as outlets like NBC (on their Nightly News and Meet the Press), CNN and MSNBC all ascribed the poster to sentiments roiled up by talk radio host Rush Limbaugh specifically and conservatives generally.
We were entertained by the fact that all of these highly trained, keen-eyed journalists missed the words "LaRouchePAC.com" - in fairly large type - printed at the bottom of every one of the placards they used for their little reporting projects.
Well apparently CBS hasn't yet learned the lesson we had hoped to impart. In fact, last night they did the other networks one worse.
For the words "LaRouchPAC.com" are prominently visible three times (screen captures below the fold) on two different Obama-as-Hitler posters during reporter Ben Tracy's segment, yet that doesn't stop him from blaming it on right-wingers.
As the second Obama-as-Hitler poster is shown, with LaRouchePAC.com clearly visible front and center, Tracy offers up:
The media have repeatedly stated how "angry," "hostile" and "ugly" town hall meetings across America are becoming. They are of course largely ascribing the nastiness to conservatives voicing their opposition to (among other things) President Barack Obama and Congress' proposed government takeover of the health care system.
The press has been particularly offended by the "extreme" use of references to Adolf Hitler specifically and Nazis generally. One image they have repeatedly used as an example of this alleged right-wing extremism is a poster of President Obama - on whose face a Hitler mustache has been Photo Shopped - bearing the caption "I've Changed."
We have compiled a video montage (at right) of just some of the recent news programs that have ascribed this Obama-with-Mustache poster to conservative town hall attendees. (The Obama-with-Mustache image itself appears just below the fold.)
Today NewsBusters' parent organization, the Media Research Center (MRC), revealed that ABC News is not the only network guilty of giving Democratic-donating medical doctors a microphone to "report" on President Barack Obama's government health care proposal.
CBS and NBC medical physician correspondents have also chipped in their own cash to Democratic - but never Republican - candidates.
"ABC, CBS and NBC have no excuse for the applause these doctors have given to promote the largest expansion of government-run healthcare our country has ever seen," MRC President Brent Bozell said in a statement. "There's nothing benign about giving a megaphone to doctors who have a financial stake in the success of liberals' most aggressive platform in decades," he added.
So Democrats don’t like all those ads for prescription drugs on T.V. – the ones for high cholesterol, enlarged prostates, dry eyes and, yes, ED. On C-Span recently, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D., Calif., said “a lot of people start thinking they have medical problems because they’ve seen too many of these commercials. I don’t think that’s doing the public a lot of good. It’s certainly making the drug companies richer, but it’s not doing a lot of good for the public.”
That statement tells us an awful lot about Waxman, President Obama and the other liberals currently trying to cram socialized health care down the throats of a reluctant citizenry.
Waxman assumes that there is something inherently wrong with citizens knowing that these drugs exist. Waxman is a statist ideologue, so perhaps he really believes information should be rationed (he certainly believes health care should be rationed). Maybe what bothers him in this case is that the state has not yet managed to insert itself into this transaction. A drug company speaking directly to a consumer smacks too much of liberty.
The congressman must have a low opinion of the medical profession, to imply that consumers need only ask their doctors for prescriptions and they’ll get them. Physicians pay massive malpractice insurance premiums and the Democrats refuse to cap malpractice tort awards. So in violation of the universal law of CYA, doctors can’t be trusted to give cursory exams to verify the presence of the maladies in question.
The much anticipated list finally arrived. Many hard working producers, writers, and actors waited with baited breath to hear the possibly career-changing announcement; hoping that their dedication to their craft and the constant effort to produce quality television had paid off. And then they realized, "Oh wait, the Emmys have ignored us for years..." It's a point driven home this year with the surprise (but not really) nomination of "Family Guy."
Family Guy has been nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Unlike previous years, these nominations were decided by popular vote. Essentially, the Academy decided not to have a panel make the final decision, instead the vote lay solely on the members. Continuing with the Emmy tradition of validating shows that bash family, religion, and moral values, the Academy put the icing on the cake with "Family Guy."
Last Tuesday, NewsBusters Editor-at-Large Brent Baker noted that seven soldiers who had been killed the week prior in Afghanistan received just 1/20th of the evening newscast time that ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted to the passing of pop star Michael Jackson.
The same day, NewsBusters Publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell slammed the broadcast networks in a statement: "There is no justification for determining that the death of a celebrity over a week ago merits 20 times more news coverage than the tragic deaths of American soldiers in Afghanistan."
Perhaps in some measure reacting to the criticism, CBS's "Sunday Morning" program yesterday aired a nearly 3-minute-long opinion segment featuring Martha Gillis, whose nephew, 1st Lt. Brian Bradshaw, was killed on June 25 in Afghanistan.
In the video, Gillis criticized the media for its lack of coverage [audio available here]:
Reacting to Media Research Center (MRC) analysis showing the deaths of seven U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan recently has received just 1/20th of the network coverage devoted to Michael Jackson, NewsBusters Publisher and MRC President Bozell Bozell released the following statement earlier today:
This is a prime example of why network television news audiences are disappearing before our eyes. There is no justification for determining that the death of a celebrity over a week ago merits 20 times more news coverage than the tragic deaths of American soldiers in Afghanistan.
For anyone to say - with a straight face - that such a disparity was an ‘editorial judgment' only further insults the collective intelligence of the audience these newscasts claim to serve. In fact, it's just more evidence that network ‘news,' for all practical purposes, no longer exists.
Clearly, the most important takeaway from ABC's low-rated White House forum on health care was President Barack Obama's admission that he would go outside the constraints of a nationalized system to get the "very best care" if necessary for his own family.
A House vote on Waxman-Markey’s American Clean Energy & Security Act to cap-and-trade emissions was imminent June 26. Some Republicans have called the bill “the largest tax increase in American history,” but despite the enormous burden to taxpayers the three major networks failed to cover the bill the night before.
ABC, NBC, and CBS instead devoted June 25 evening news programming to recently deceased celebrities, Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. While the deaths of such iconic figures was certainly newsworthy, failing to provide coverage over legislation that would cost every American family $1,241 a year in higher energy bills was irresponsible.
The lack of network coverage on the cap-and-trade issue isn’t new (only 13 stories between Jan. 20 and May 25) and has contributed to ignorance and confusion about the issue.
Earlier today, Julia A. Seymour of the Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute (BMI) pointed to a fact-check done by her group showing that "from January 20 to June 16 those quoted in health care stories on ABC's morning and evening news shows favored ObamaCare by a 3-to-1 margin (55 supporters to 18 critics)."
You think that margin is bad; wait until you see the ratio at ABC of Obama vs. McCain campaign contributions.
During his opening monologue on ‘Real Time’ Friday night, Bill Maher, couldn’t resist piling on to the David Letterman controversy and the sex jokes made by him earlier in the week regarding Sarah Palin’s daughter.
In defending his friend, Maher thought Republicans had over reacted and this was just a case of ‘fake’ outrage. Much ado about nothing. He then went on talking about how Letterman had invited Sarah Palin and her young daughter, Willow, to appear as guests on his show but the Governor declined because she thought it would be wise to keep her daughter away from him. Said Maher, “…that’s right, he’s 62 years old, he’s gonna f*** her right there on stage…it would be very wise to keep her, very wise, yes. You know, I’d worry a little more about the 18-year old hockey players who knock up your daughters.” To which his audience of trained seals laughed and clapped and had a good old time.
I sat there stunned. Much like his pal Letterman, as far as I was concerned, Maher had crossed the line. Big Time. What is it with these guys?
Most nurses are ethical, right minded, and honest, but not Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie.” All of these qualities were disregarded. In the new show, nurses are instead portrayed in a negative light – something Showtime tried to capitalize on by screening it to an audience of nurses.
The pilot episode that aired on June 8 featured serial misconduct by Nurse Jackie, played by Edie Falco. She forged an organ donor card, flushed a patient's ear down the toilet, and then stole his wallet to give to a pregnant women. Jackie also snorted pills that she received from a pharmacist with whom she’d had sex in the lab room. But at the end of the episode Jackie went home to two daughters and a husband, only slipping her wedding band on after arriving home.
On the June 15th episode, “Chicken Soup,” Jackie continued her affair with the pharmacist and her addiction to painkillers.
The Big 3 networks' evening newscasts probably turned in their worst ratings week since TVs became a household staple during the week of May 18.
Last week (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), based on the ratings for the week of May 11, I noted that the shows' combined audience had plunged a stunning 25% from their late January post-inauguration peak to a level barely above the 20 million mark.
At the time, I thought that we wouldn't see a sub-20 million week until sometine during the summer.
Well, it's not summer yet, and they're below a combined 20 million already. What's more, the results are even worse in the coveted 25-54 demographic.
Ann Coulter and James Carville went head-to-head on Good Morning America this morning. Incredibly, James Carville survived.
At least, it sounds incredible until you read the transcript. A total of nine questions were asked of the two pundits, seven of which went to Coulter. Carville, on the other hand, was simply allowed to respond to Coulter without questioning - an unfiltered rebuttal, with free airtime provided by ABC.
This, however, was not the most egregious point of controversy. Carville was allowed, with no challenge from the host, to provide ad-hominem attacks against conservatives – as well as irrelevant, non-sequitur praise for Judge Sonia Sotomayor. The transcript speaks for itself:
ABC’s new series "The Goode Family" poking fun at liberalism and political correctness has predictably been greeted with disdain by the establishment media.
The running theme in reviews of the series is that it is unoriginal, flat, and not funny. Not that the folks at the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle are able to laugh at themselves, anyway…
But the show feels aggressively off-kilter with the current mood, as if it had been incubated in the early to mid-’90s, when it was possible to find global-warming skeptics among even the reasonable and informed. Who really thinks of wind power — an allusion to which is a running visual gag in the show — as mindless, left-wing nonsense anymore?
I hate to pull an "I told you so," but... well, I told you so. Remember just three days ago I showed how an unsubstantiated rumor becomes political "fact" in the Old Media? I reported that CNNs Peter Hamby found one woman that wondered if actor Gary Sinise might make a great GOP candidate and based an entirely fictional run for office on that wild speculation. Also you'll recall that at the end of my piece I said that it won't be long until this one person's rumination will suddenly turn into the "fact" that Gary Sinise is running for president. You may have laughed at that. But now I present to you this I told you so moment.
You might ask upon what basis this CBS report claimed that Gary Sinise is now running for president in 2012? Was it an interview with Sinise? How about a statement by any group representing Sinise? How about some statements from a PAC or fundraising group or other draft Sinise effort? Nope, none of those. It was the same ONE person that CNN's Hamby used for his false claim that Sinise is a sudden candidate for office.
Today's Los Angeles Times has a story about freelance comedy writers who get paid for their jokes submitted to late night comics that actually make the cut and air in a monologue. Times staffers Matea Gold and Richard Verrier report that "For some late-night hosts, the laughs come cheap."
But alas, it's actually a violation of labor contracts for late night shows to pay freelancers. What's more, with Conan O'Brien acceeding to Leno's throne in June, the practice is expected to stop altogether for NBC's "Tonight Show."
O'Brien is one of the few late-night hosts to refuse freelance jokes, and East Coast guild officials usedhis move to privately remind their California counterparts of the prohibition.
"Conan is one of the key players in this industry, and we knew he was pure on this issue," said Lowell Peterson, executive director of the WGA, East. "This was just an opportunity to let the West know that this was a culture that was moving west. We just want to encourage that culture."
Watching “24” this week, I realized that our number one threat is multi-national corporations with battalions of hired killers on the payroll. Similarly, “Michael Clayton,” “The International,” the new “State of Play” and many others have taught me that big companies assassinate their rivals, whistleblowers, policemen and random passersby with astonishing regularity.
I wish. But then, I’m a trial lawyer and I could use a new house.
Sadly, the real world is much more esoteric than the portrait Hollywood paints, and the real threat is not quite so picturesque. Instead of corporate death squads composed of hardboiled mercenaries with high tech assault rifles, the real killers are boring jihadi doofuses with dusty AKs, booby-trapped Fiats and the occasional boxcutter.
Let’s stop and check the numbers. Real terrorists, counting the victims of 9/11 and American losses in Iraq and Afghanistan: Over 7900 murdered. Victims of corporate murder: Zero. Nada. Zip. I would add in the number of Iraqis and Afghanis murdered by these folks, except that toll is beyond counting. And to many liberals, their lives don’t seem to count anyway.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Lamestream Media The media coverage of the more than 800 Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party protests that took place in all fifty states on April 15 ranged from disdainful dismissal of their nature, significance and import, to outright hostility towards the events and individual participants, to sexual innuendo-based full-on ridicule.
In this summary, we focused on the three major networks - NBC, ABC and CBS, the two left-of-center cable news networks - CNN and MSNBC and the three major "national" newspapers - the USA Today, the New York Times and the Washington Post.
While not an exhaustively comprehensive oeuvre of TEA Party bias, it contains many, many examples which serve to illustrate the broader antipathetic themes.
A grisly late 2007 quadruple-murder case in the Cincinnati suburb of Sharonville has apparently been solved with the arrest of Santiago Moreno.
Moreno apparently brutally stabbed his four other apartment mates with near-surgical precision.
It is horrible that these men died. It is great news that the monster who did it has apparently been caught.
What is hard to understand is why after nearly 1-1/2 years, it's finally okay to use a certain "I-word" to describe the victims' immigration status that was almost never used when the original stories broke:
Here’s a quick informal poll:Who has heard news of Russia’s recent troop buildup in the South Ossetia region of Georgia?
Most of our readers would immediately think of the Russian invasion of that region last summer, during the presidential contest, but the Russians are arguably saber rattling again with a fresh buildup of boots on-the-ground ahead of planned NATO exercises.
Last August, the media coverage immediately took the angle of breathless anticipation on how each presidential candidate would react to such a situation.John McCain’s position was easily established from his record over many years in the Senate.Then-Senator Obama’s position was much more difficult to ascertain – but the media gave him ample time to figure it out, helping the candidate defer those questions to the September 26 debate.In fact, a good example of such activism was shown in the Washington Post’s Jim Hoagland, who in his August 31 op-ed insisted:
ABC's Sam Donaldson let a little of his inner-conspiracy theorist out this morning on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
In a discussion of President Barack Obama's lessening the sanctions on Fidel Castro's Cuba, Donaldson began his analysis with one of a number a Kennedy-Truther notions that have been knocking around ever since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.
Ever since Lee Harvey Oswald first squeezed the trigger, there have been numerous others for whom he was the alleged fall guy. The Grassy Knoll, the Zapruder films, etc.
Then-Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson has been mentioned, as has the Mafia, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, Howard Hunt and the Eastern Bloc of Soviet States, or some cabal of some or all of the above.
Another wild card in this crazy deck was Cuba's El Presidente, Castro. The theory being that Castro was upset with JFK's woefully planned and executed Bay of Pigs attempt at ending his nascent dictatorship, and therefore exacted his revenge by executing the 35th President.
Donaldson's buy-in for this house-of-cards game is apparently the Castro connection.
I could of course be commenting on the poor quality of the alleged journalism. But in this case I'm talking about their ratings, which is of course largely caused by said poor journalism.
Three weeks ago (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that the Big 3 networks' evening newscasts' combined ratings had dropped about 17% since the collective high they achieved during the week of January 26, the first full week after Barack Obama's nomination.
Make that 21%. In the 25-54 demographic, the drop has been 30%. And it's not just a seasonality thing. The collective drop compared to last year is over 4%, continuing a long-term decline the nets surely hoped they might prevent if they could just get their guy elected to the White House. No dice, guys.
Here is an updated week-by-week graph for each network since the first of the year, followed by some demographic and overall info (based on info found at the Evening News Ratings Category at Media Bistro's TV Newser):
All that cheerleading for Obama-Biden, and all they got was a continuation of their lousy long-term ratings drop.
Perhaps one reason why Big 3 network coverage of the 2008 presidential election was so heavy on fawning favoritism towards Barack Obama and Joe Biden combined with all-out attacks on John McCain and Sarah Palin was that the belief that an Obama presidency might revive interest in their declining evening newscasts.
If so, that strategy has spectacularly failed. Nine weeks into Obama's presidency, it's clear that after a short-lived revival, the audiences for NBC's Brian Williams, ABC's Charles Gibson, and especially CBS's Katie Couric are smaller than ever, and that (with the exception of NBC's Williams) the remainder who are still tuning in are older than ever.
After a significant post-election rise that peaked during the first full week after Obama's inauguration, the viewership drop at all three networks has been steep, to the point where all three have fewer people tuning in than they did a year ago at this time (source: the Evening News Ratings page at Media Bistro):