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.
Now that times are difficult in Iraq, it’s easy for the media to claim they are simply reporting the bad news that is obvious to everyone. But how did networks such as CNN and MSNBC report more positive events? According to a new study by the MRC, overall, Fox News generated the most balanced coverage of news on the ground, while the other two cable networks consistently emphasized negative stories. FNC also displayed the highest enthusiasm on days such as June 8, when U.S. air strikes killed al-Qaeda in Iraq mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Over on MSNBC, while the anchors generally reported the event as good news, the network also chose that day to broadcast four stories on military deserters. On this seemingly happy occasion, CNN aired two reports on the already heavily hyped Haditha case.
Some have speculated that the "a--holes" CNN anchor Kyra Phillips referred to in her ladies'-room chat might have been President Bush and other Republicans. The folks at the liberal group Media Matters for America, however, don't view Phillips as a GOP-basher. In fact, Media Matters has posted on its web site several items taking Phillips to task for supposed conservative bias. For example:
July 12, 2005: "...Philips [sic] responded to a call by Democratic senators for President Bush to fire White House senior adviser Karl Rove for his alleged role in the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame by saying [that there is] 'definitely a major smear campaign going on [against Rove].'"
Sitting in the CNN green room in Washington today and staring at the tube during "Live From" at about 2:10, I noticed a promo for a big show this weekend starring President Bill Clinton. On Saturday and Sunday night at 8 PM Eastern, CNN will air a special edition of "CNN Presents" hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. It's titled "The Poverty Trap: A Conversation With President Clinton." The Turner press release is headlined "CNN and President Clinton Search for Solutions To Global Poverty." How chummy. The release continued:
From Detroit, Michigan to Mexico and rural Arkansas to Rwanda, CNN explores poverty in communities around the world in places where the statistics are staggering and on the rise. In THE POVERTY TRAP: A CONVERSATION WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON, Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks to former President Bill Clinton about how these communities and others can break out of the poverty trap.
Shortly after yesterday’s announcement of Rep. Tom DeLay’s (R-Tex) indictment for alleged campaign finance violations, the mainstream media began doing reports on the subject with largely similar content. A memo written by Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean posted at the Democratic Party’s website almost immediately after the announcement was made contained virtually the same “hotbuttons” as those subsequently raised in media accounts of the story.
What follows is a copy of that memo, along with comparisons to what has since been reported by leading media outlets on this subject:
On this afternoon’s “Live From...”, CNN’s Candy Crowley did a not-so flattering report on the newly indicted House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay (R-Tex). Crowley interviewed a variety of Democratic foes in the report who have some pretty damning words for the embattled Congressman from Texas. Yet, some of the harshest criticisms came from Crowley herself:
“Someone once called him a cross between a concierge and a Mafia don, a guy who delivered.”
“They call him ‘The Hammer,’ pounding money out of donors... pounding votes out of colleagues. Pounding the Democrats.”
What follows is a full transcript of this report, and a video link.
At 1:41 EDT, CNN's Kyra Phillips interviewed Brooks Jackson, former CNN reporter and current director of the Annenberg Center's Political Fact Check, on his latest issue of Fact Check, which categorizes the anti-John Roberts ad by NARAL Pro-Choice America currently running on CNN during commercial breaks as patently false. Phillips expressed concern over lack of federal laws against false political attacks ads, but failed to ask Jackson whether CNN bore an obligation to cancel the ads altogether.
Jackson noted that NARAL's ad, unlike most campaign ads his group has analyzed recently, was completely false, not just spun here and there to massage the truth to a particular political viewpoint.
Kyra Phillips: “Well, the ad is airing on CNN and other networks and already has some people crying foul. Brooks Jackson of FactCheck.org took a close look at the ad and the facts. He joins us now from Washington. Brooks, great to see you. Well, let’s talk about the ad. You checked the facts, you say it’s false.”
Brooks Jackson, FactCheck.org: “That’s right, and we don’t characterize things as false very often, more often ads are misleading or twisted or distorted or out of context, but, uh, this one is absolutely false...”