My 14-year-old daughter informed me that the many of the young teens in her school are dressing up as Sarah Palin for Halloween. Given that she attends school in very blue Northern Virginia, I asked her if the girls were dressing up as Governor Palin because they thought she was "scary."
"Oh, yes," she replied.
Well, at least they'll be dressed conservatively. A few less skankily-clad kids parading through the neighborhood.
Yes, Cruella, it's Halloween, the time for costume makers to make their annual contribution to the premature sexualization of young children.
"I hear that they were originally going to do an hour of just glowing media clips from major talking heads, but they couldn't pare it down to a half hour," MRC Director of Communications Seton Motley quipped to Fox News Channel's Steve Doocy about Sen. Barack Obama's Oct. 29 half hour-long paid advertisement that ran on NBC, CBS, and Fox network stations.
"I didn't see anything new that really needed to be told last night.... To see if it's effective, let's see what the 'Pushing Daisies' ratings were," Motley added, referring to the program in the 8 p.m. Wednesday time slot on ABC, the one broadcast network which didn't carry the Obama informercial.
Here's a video contrast for you: Joe Biden being grilled by a professional news anchor vs. Biden being tossed a softball by a charming fifth-grader who said after his interview that the Democratic vice-presidential candidate "is now my homeboy."
Biden has refused any further interviews with Barbara West of WFTV in Orlando, Fla., or anyone else at the station, but the odds are good that he would chat at length with fifth-grader Damon Weaver any time.
Prohibitions against profane and obscene language in television broadcasts will be at issue on November 4th when the U.S. Supreme Court reviews a legal challenge to the enforcement practices of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The Parents Television Council (PTC) has filed an amicus brief in the case of FCC vs. Fox Television Stations asking the justices to reject a lower court ruling that concluded government enforcement standards have been "arbitrary and capricious."
Fox Broadcasting filed suit after the FCC reprimanded the network for allowing vulgarities to be aired during live broadcasts of music award shows in 2002 and 2003. One incident involved a singer used a four letter word to rebuke her critics.
In 1978 the Supreme Court did rule in favor of allowing the FCC to police radio and television broadcasts during time slots when children were most likely to be in the audience. FCC v. Pacific Foundation involved broadcasts of the late George Carlin's "seven dirty words" monologue.
MRC Director of Communications Seton Motley appeared on Fox News Channel on October 26 to discuss the Obama campaign's pushback against the little media scrutiny it does receive:
MOTLEY: You had the American Issues Project in Houston run an ad about Obama's connection to Bill Ayers and they wrote a letter to the Justice Department asking that the American Issues Project and their contributors be investigated. So it makes you worry going forward if they're writing letters to ask the Justice [Department] now, what will an Obama administration do when they are in control of the Justice Department with people who ask questions they don't like?
Fox News anchor Eric Shawn asked Motley about the Obama campaign's pushback against a Florida TV station for an interview conducted by WFTV's Barbara West, whom Shawn noted once worked under Peter Jennings.
Matt Drudge, with some apparent glee, given the black and white picture he used, reported something yours truly has followed for some time: The Big Three networks' evening newscasts continue to lose viewers.
Three weeks out from Election Day, surely more Americans are tuning into the Big 3 networks' evening newscasts, right?
In the past two weeks, Big 3 evening newscast viewership has actually declined by 360,000, or 1.6%. What's more, in percentage terms, viewership among "The Demo" of ages 25-54 has declined even further (220,000, down 3.1%).
There's a theory floating around the right side of the blogosphere that NBC removed a "Saturday Night Live" skit from the Internet because the network had second thoughts about making fun of liberals or caught too much heat for doing so.
But a new theory has surfaced in the mainstream media. Advertising Age is reporting that the skit may have been pulled for apolitical reasons. "A good guess: The clip, a fake C-SPAN news report, identifies [former bank owners Herb and Marion Sandler] ... as 'people who should be shot' in a graphic."
A story on the San Franciso Chronicle Web site seems to buttress that view. It is headlined "Herb Sandler Takes On SNL After Snark Attack" and quotes Sandler as saying, "We are being unfairly tarred" for problems in the mortage industry.
The Media Research Center's Director of Communications and NewsBusters.org Contributing Editor Seton Motley appeared on Friday afternoon on the Fox News Channel's American Election HQ to discuss how Bill O'Reilly handled his interview of Rep. Barney Frank, as well as how ABC's The View routinely abuses Gov. Sarah Palin.
Motley expressed thanks and gratitude that FINALLY someone in the media was asking Rep. Frank about his extensive history of blockading, stonewalling and grandstanding against attempts to reform Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, O'Reilly's righteously indignant questioning notwithstanding.
Motley also cautioned that "there is no diving in The View's thought pool," and pointed out that their panel make-up is biased in typical media fashion: three liberals and one conservative.
Update's Update: I have been assured by IT that we are FINALLY ready to go with this.
The American people in poll after poll and in greater and growing numbers are railing against the egregious liberal bias of the press. And nowhere are the media more horrendously slanted than in their coverage of the presidential campaign of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. They are (to say the least) very, very sweet on him.
The MRC has put together this college basketball tournament-style bracket event, the Sweet-On-Obama Sixteen Media Bias Tournament, so that you, the angered members of the media’s audience can vote for who gives Sen. Obama the most loving and fawning coverage of all.
If Old Media can cook their numbers to make their favored candidate look good, they will.
Earlier today, I covered two cooked AP-GfK polls (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog). The pollster dramatically changed the party-ID makeup of the second poll to include a much higher percentage of Democrats, and watered down the strong-GOP component of the Republicans sampled. As a result, the two poll results, taken together, fabricated an illusion of Barack Obama momentum, and John McCain decline. The results couldn't be more bogus; holding the mix constant from one poll to the next would have caused John McCain's lead from three weeks ago to shrink by about 1%.
Its also seems that if Old Media can't use a poll to fabricate its way to the result it wants, it simply ignores it. Two examples from the same poll will demonstrate this.
On Wednesday, NewsBusters' Scott Whitlock noted that ABC ignored its own national poll conducted with the Washington Post that showed a 4% national edge for Barack Obama -- down from 9% the previous week.
Yesterday, the Washington Post's Jon Cohen and Jennifer Agiesta didn't totally ignore the poll (full results are here). Like ABC, they ignored the topside result just mentioned, which is pictured below:
Sex education for kindergartners is certainly a hot topic. It's also the subject of a McCain campaign ad that many in the media have called a "lie." In the Hot Topic segment of ABC's The View on Monday (Sept. 22), token conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck explained that the ad is NOT a lie and Barack Obama did in fact support legislation establishing sex education for kindergartners.
There is an adage that says being a parent is like being pecked to death by a duck. Perhaps the same can be said of Hasselbeck with regard to her fellow View hosts, all liberals who think they are smart. As if on cue, the left-leaning ladies picked apart the points Hasselbeck made in order to continue to defend their favorite candidate, Barack Obama.
The Culture and Media Institute recently addressed the ad issue and detailed the bill's content (click here and here) but the mainstream press has been reluctant to get the word out on the actual facts. Recognizing this, Hasselbeck took the opportunity to use her platform to dispel the "lie" rumor.
Here's the related report from CBS2 in New York (note that this is not a transcript of the video report; the full vid has reax from Congressman Peter King of New York, a spokesman for the disabled who points out that FDR was "disabled," and the McCain campaign):
"Throughout the long primary campaign, NBC was just embarrassing," MRC Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham told Bill O'Reilly in a segment aired on the September 18 "O'Reilly Factor" about the network's pro-Obama bias in the presidential campaign.
The Fox News host opened the segment featuring thewhy the peacock channel had drawn "the ire of the McCain campaign"
"Brian Williams did two interviews with Barack Obama where his idea of a tough question" for the freshman senator from Illinois "was to show the latest adoring Time or Newsweek cover and ask Obama what his late mother would have thought," the NewsBusters Senior Editor added.
For video of the interview, click on the embedded video at right. An audio version is available here.
On The Situation Room today, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer made a surprising admission to, of all people, real estate entrepreneur Donald Trump:
BLITZER: What do you think of his (Obama's) decision to pick Joe Biden as his running mate?
TRUMP: I really don't know Senator Biden but I know one thing. He's run a number of times for president. He's gotten less than 1 percent of the vote each time. And that's a pretty tough thing. You know, he's also been involved in pretty big controversy like plagiarism in college and various other things. That's a pretty big statement. So perhaps you change over a period of time. But when you plagiarize, that's a very bad statement. That hasn't been brought up yet, but I'm sure at some point it will. I'm sure that Sarah Palin will bring it up in a debate or somebody's going to bring it up.
BLITZER: Are you talking about plagiarism when he was running for president?
TRUMP: No, I'm talking about when he was a college student as I understand it, and this was a big issue originally but he supposedly plagiarized as a college student. That's a pretty serious charge.
BLITZER: I don't remember that. We'll check it out. But maybe you obviously have a better memory about that.
How interesting that ABC's Charles Gibson, as noted in this Associated Press dispatch, focused on Sarah Palin's foreign-policy bona fides when he interviewed her (a transcript is here). Also note the biased AP evaluation (bolds are mine):
John McCain running mate Sarah Palin sought Thursday to defend her qualifications but struggled with foreign policy ..... acknowledging she's never met a foreign head of state.
..... She also said she had never met a head of state and added: "If you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you."
Indeed. Palin's contention gains more support if you look at the prior experience of at least a couple of presidents and vice-presidents during the past few decades:
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
On September 3, an Asian Times writer known only as "Spengler" described a radically different scene at Invesco Field during the final night of the Democratic Convention from that conveyed by the networks and pundits. If Spengler's take is accurate, it reveals a media elite more in the tank than even its harshest critics have imagined.
Rush Limbaugh mentioned Spengler's column during his show today (see Item 9 at the link; page will go behind Limbaugh's paid subscription wall in a week). As usual, Rush is right; it's a read-the-whole-thing item. Here's one important point Rush noted:
This guy thinks (Barack) Obama is going to lose because he has no character, he has no friends, all he has are people that he has used and stepped on as rungs of a ladder to get where he goes. He has no room for a real friendship because his angry wife, Michelle, crowds them all out.
If you think that's something, wait until you read some of Spengler's description of the atmosphere at Invesco Field on the night of Obama's Greco-Roman Oration. Rush says that what Spengler has written confirms what an unnamed friend of his relayed to him from another final-night attendee:
It remains to be seen whether this turns out to be Barack Obama's "Christmas in Cambodia" untruth, his Dukakis-in-tank hilarity -- or both.
Regardless, what follows is a pretty obvious "misstatement" that would not possibly be ignored if it were uttered by a conservative or a Republican.
In his hilariously titled post ("Mighta Joined If He Coulda Capped Some Cong") on Barack Obama's interview in a barn this morning (not kidding) on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, fellow NewsBuster Mark Finkelstein reported on Obama's answer to a viewer's question about whether he ever considered military service. You can read Mark's post for his overall thoughts, but I want to focus on something the Illinois senator said that several commenters at the post took exception to (photo courtesy DayLife):
You know, I had to sign up for Selective Service when I graduated from high school. .... But keep in mind: I graduated in 1979.
It seems that media and Obama surrogates' (but I repeat myself) trash-talking and demonizing have lowered expectations of Sarah Palin's speech tonight to the "Can she get out a complete sentence?" level.
My sense is that this will work to her advantage, bigtime.
The ultimate objective in journalism is to deliver fresh information to the audience, to break heretofore unshattered stories.
Last night, ABC's Terry Moran did exactly that.
To get there, you must first wade through an extraordinary amount of Moran-Goo, as he slathers it liberally all over his reporting of the official nomination vote. But this is hardly groundbreaking. What comes next is.
The excited media throngs have already long hailed Illinois Senator Barack Obama for being the first bi-racial candidate ever to secure a major Party's nomination for President.
Moran yesterday added to the historic aura surrounding the Senator's parents.
The ratings for the Democratic National Convention for ABC, CBS and NBC fell by a million viewers compared to the opener for the 2004 convention with headliner Bill Clinton TVWeek is reporting. On the other hand, the cable newsers saw a ratings jump from their 2004 convention ratings. This reveals the further decline in the old paradigm with the big three networks steadily losing their news influence bit by bit to cable outlets.
ABC, CBS and NBC brought in 12.1 million viewers in the 10 p.m. hour, down one million from 2004, according to preliminary, fast-national data from Nielsen Media Research. NBC scored the largest audience.
Cynthia McFadden didn't exactly say John McCain had no character, but she certainly implied it. In an interview with Pastor Rick Warren on ABC's "Nightline," McFadden was trying to get Warren to indicate if he would counsel his flock on who to vote for, and what he would say to people who say "forget character," pick the pro-lifer.
The feature on Warren came after the pastor's Civic Forum on the Presidency held over the weekend at his 22,000-member church in southern California. McFadden asked Warren if he "owed" it to "people who look up to you" to tell them for whom he was voting .
Yesterday, in a stinging indictment of his Old Media colleagues' la-la-la treatment of the story of John Edwards's affair with Rielle Hunter, Los Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten asserted that Edwards "may have ended his public life but he certainly ratified an end to the era in which traditional media set the agenda for national political journalism."
I'll get to Rutten's mostly perceptive points in a bit.
That's because recent developments indicate that Edwards may still be believe he can eventually re-enter public life, and they are relevant to Rutten's assertion:
Self-censorship toward radical Muslims continues to be a problem in corporate America. The latest casualty: a book by author Sherry Jones about Aisha, the favored wife of Islam's founder Mohammed, whom he is said to have betrothed when she was less than ten years old.
Writing in today's Wall Street Journal, Asra Q. Nomani tells how the book, "The Jewel of Medina," got canceled by would-be publisher Random House thanks to a politically correct professor of Islamic studies named Denise Spellberg:
In an interview about Ms. Jones's novel, Thomas Perry, deputy publisher at Random House Publishing Group, said that it "disturbs us that we feel we cannot publish it right now." He said that after sending out advance copies of the novel, the company received "from credible and unrelated sources, cautionary advice not only that the publication of this book might be offensive to some in the Muslim community, but also that it could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment."
After consulting security experts and Islam scholars, Mr. Perry said the company decided "to postpone publication for the safety of the author, employees of Random House, booksellers and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the novel."
The networks suggest Obama is driving the narrative, but it's the liberal press themselves doing the driving for Obama
(Editor's Note: This essay originally appeared today in Human Events.)
Just Another Clown Delivering the News
The Big Three networks just foisted a week long Obamathon upon the American people, a political, "journalistic" perversion of Jerry Lewis's annual televised good deed.
Mr. Lewis raises money for a very worthy cause. CBS' Katie Couric, NBC's Brian Williams and ABC's Charlie Gibson attempted to raise the Presidential credibility of an inexperienced candidate by dutifully following Illinois Senator Barack Obama to the Middle East and Europe for six days and five nights of wall-to-wall slavish and adoring reporting.
This was an unprecedented media extravaganza. Never before have all three evening news anchors been drawn out of their chairs and all over the world together and on behalf of a candidate. Their coverage of Sen. Obama was as glitteringly positive as it was all-encompassing: the primary season without the Clinton distraction.
By week's end, the voters back here Stateside could well have forgotten that Senator Obama has an opponent.