On Monday’s "Lou Dobbs Tonight," host Lou Dobbs took aim at Katie Couric and Bill Moyers for "silly public statements" they’ve made regarding the practice of wearing an American flag lapel pin. "CBS's Katie Couric, of all people, taking exception to an American journalist saying 'we,' when referring to the United States.... I'm sorry, Katie Couric, but who could possibly be offended by acknowledging those troops who have sacrificed so much for us and ours?... PBS's Bill Moyers says the flag's been hijacked and turned into a logo, the trademark of a monopoly on patriotism. Oh, please, Bill Moyers, you're too smart for this kind of babble."
If George W. Bush's approval rating hit a low point for any president in 33 years, do you think the network evening news programs would have reported it?
Maybe as the lead story, right?
Well, a new Gallup poll was released on Tuesday stating that the approval rating for Congress tied the lowest point since Gallup began tracking such a thing, and none of the broadcasts networks thought it was newsworthy last night.
The likely reason for the boycott, beyond the obvious fact that the Democrats are now in control, is that much of the recent decline in this favorability has come from Democrats and Independents (emphasis added):
On February 28 (second item at link), New York Times business reporter David Leonhardt infamously wrote the following:
For Manufacturing, a Recession Has Arrived
The nation’s manufacturing sector managed to slip into a recession with almost nobody seeming to notice. Well, until yesterday.
To this day, Leonhardt appears to be the only one to "notice" a recession in manufacturing -- because it doesn't exist. In fact, the latest related report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed that the manufacturing sector expanded for the fourth straight month. That would include February, when Leonhardt made his "recession" call. The ISM reading of 55.0 (any reading over 50 indicates expansion) actually inched up a bit from the previous month's 54.7.
Though it's not possible to tell for sure because of the TimeSelect subscription wall, a Times search on "manufacturing recession" (not in quotes) shows no apparent retraction of Leonhardt's call, but does include plenty of references to other reasons why a recession might be possible.
Leonhardt's "less than perfect" reporting has apparently continued.
Update: Video, audio links for interview below the jump.
It is rare for a mainstream media journalist to openly criticize the media’s coverage of a particular issue. But that is exactly what CNN’s Lou Dobbs did on Tuesday’s "American Morning." In an interview with co-host Kiran Chetry, Dobbs blasted the media’s coverage of illegal immigration, saying "They're selling an agenda. And they're not applying critical judgment. And critical judgment and skepticism is our job as journalists. We're talking about comprehensive immigration legislation as reform. We're using the word 'reform' as if it were true. There's no skepticism."
Dobbs’s interview was part of "American Morning’s" coverage of pro-illegal immigration rallies on May Day, the traditional socialist workers’ holiday. When asked if any progress had been made in the past year concerning illegal immigration, Dobbs said that "we're making, at the margin, progress, but it's at the margin, " and that there was some better enforcement at the border. He then criticized one of the Congressional immigration reform proposals, the Flake-Gutierrez immigration bill, calling it "an absurdity."
To listen to Harry Smith, you'd think Mickey was drowning.
ABC, NBC and CBS were so busy with their hysterics about global warming as the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) summary report was released that they missed downward revisions to predictions of rising sea levels.
“Do people here [South Beach, Fla.] know that very likely in the next – well several decades – all of this is going to be underwater?” CBS “Early Show” anchor Harry Smith asked in an interview about the appeal of Miami, Florida.
It's a few days old now, but still timely given today's release of the IPCC report on global warming. It's CNN's Lou Dobbs conceding that while there are scientists who disagree with the premise that global warming is anthropogenic, he's tired of their voices in the debate. So he's picking a winner. No word on if Lou is on the invite list for Al Gore's Oscar night after-party.
I clipped the relevant portions. Total run time of 0:55
While Sylvester included one sound bite from USC's Dr. Joel Hay, she left out his chief complaint with the Democratic plan to institute de facto drug price controls in the guise of Medicare "negotiating" with drug companies to lower prices for seniors on Medicare.
What's more, Sylvester quickly dismissed Hay -- an expert in pharmacoeconomics, the study of the economics of
drug development and distribution -- saying that "common sense" dictates that government "negotiation" can lower drug prices.
In its rush to anger viewers about private company “ownership” of public roads, the January 9 “Lou Dobbs Tonight” presented only one proponent of privatized toll roads, and then misrepresented his position on the issue, cutting out his defense of private investment.
Anchor Lou Dobbs sounded the alarm about federal highways “now being sold to the highest bidder” as he introduced a story by Lisa Sylvester. Sylvester began by suggesting that “Wall Street is paving the road to highway privatization” and that far from being sound policy, “states are eyeing privatization as a quick fix.”
Sylvester, who earned her master’s degree from the distinguished Medill School of Journalism, then aired a clip of the Reason Foundation’s Robert Poole. The sound bite featured the transportation policy expert observing that while “people are frustrated” with congested roads and that “nobody really wants to raise gas taxes.”
Those sound bite selections left viewers with the impression that Poole favors more taxes and government spending on highways, which is far from true. Yet when asked by the Business & Media Institute (BMI) about his reaction to Sylvester’s presentation, Poole assured BMI that he “addressed all their concerns in the material we taped.”
“I was afraid they would selectively use what I said,” Poole lamented in an e-mail, adding he’d “debated whether even to be interviewed” given the show’s previous biased presentation on transportation.
Filling in for Lou Dobbs on Friday night, CNN's Kitty Pilgrim highlighted a case of bias at the “supposedly objective” Associated Press, which led a dispatch about the federal roundup Tuesday of workers at meatpacking plants, by referring to how “hordes of police” had “stormed” the plants, but “the illegal workers arrested may not have been the only victims.” Pilgrim marveled: “That's right, the Associated Press calling illegal aliens -- including some charged with stealing the identities of hundreds of Americans -- it called them 'victims.'"
Indeed, in a Friday morning AP dispatch as posted by Yahoo, "Immigration raids may affect meat prices," the AP's Roxana Hegeman led her Wichita-datelined story: “When hordes of police and immigration officials stormed meatpacking plants in six states this week, the illegal workers arrested may not have been the only victims. Consumers and the industry itself may be feeling the repercussions in a shortage of meatpackers, higher wage costs and, ultimately, higher prices for the beef that lands on America's tables at home and in restaurants....”
On his November 28 program, CNN's Lou Dobbs accused a major American corporation of sponsoring terrorism. But in leveling his charge, Dobbs didn't bother to give viewers a balanced perspective on American exports and business dealings in foreign countries that, to say the least, are not the nicest neighbors on the geopolitical block.
But while it's understandable to be critical of American companies doing business in Syria or Sudan, how exactly does selling cars and trucks to civilians in those countries amount to "bankrolling" terrorism?
My full article is available at the MRC's BusinessandMedia.org Web site. Before the election we documented Dobbs's bias in favor of liberal Democratic policies in his self-appointed defense of the average Joe in what he believes is the Bush administration's "War on the Middle Class."
It was yet another overblown fear that the media latched onto but have not revisited since Democrats won last week's election.
At the MRC's Business & Media Institute, we don't forget so easily.
Check out the story by my colleague Julia Seymour over at businessandmedia.org.
Now that the votes have been cast and counted, Republicans
lost, and the silence of the national media has been deafening.
The idea was that somehow the company Diebold had programmed the machines to let Republicans win. The theory, perpetuated by left-wingers posting on Daily Kos and The Huffington Post and Bev Harris’ book, “Black Box Voting,” was embraced by all three broadcast networks, as well as CNN and MSNBC.
Was it an innocent scratching of the nose, or a classic Goose moment right out of the movie “Top Gun?” I report, you decide.
In a question and answer session at Kansas State University on Thursday, outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was posed the following: “If you were going to give yourself a letter grade for your performance as Secretary of Defense, what grade would that be?”
As he answered, "Oh, I'd let history worry about that," Rumsfeld used his middle finger to scratch his nose. Coincidence, Freudian slip, or something much, much more? And, did CNN intentionally show this clip on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” to discredit the former Secretary? Regardless, I hate it when it does that.
For your analysis and viewing pleasure, the incident in question is at the tail-end of the following video.
“Victory is mine,” he seemed to gloat to viewers as with smug delight CNN populist gadfly and resident protectionist applauded the passage of six minimum wage increases in states ballot booths across the country.
Before the election, Dobbs was quite active in pushing such an increase both on his show and in his book, “War on the Middle Class.” Dobbs had a pre-election one-hour special by the same title, biased in favor of more taxation and regulation of the economy.
Following Christine Romans’ report on the initiatives, Dobbs chose to lecture the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and The Heritage Foundation for what he sees as their wrong-headed opinion on the matter.
Last night Lou Dobbs hosted a one hour-long "War on the Middle Class" special on CNN. The biased town hall forum shares a title with Dobbs's big-government-friendly book that bears the same title.
Dobbs is part of CNN's ramped-up pre-election coverage that, surprise, surprise, has been gloomy and pessimistic about the economy, the war in Iraq, and pretty much everything else touching on the Bush administration or Republican Congress.
Dobbs has two more evening specials before the election and CNN's Jack"X-Files"Cafferty has a special tonight which, I'm sure is also a must-TiVo.
Here's an excerpt of the take my colleague Julia Seymour and I had on Dobb's program after reviewing it. You can find the full article here:
CNN's Lou Dobbs eagerly promoted PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers on Tuesday's Lou Dobbs Tonight, describing him as a "distinguished journalist" and "certainly one of this country's most respected journalists." Not as one of the country's most liberal journalists. Dobbs not only promoted his Wednesday PBS show "Capitol Crimes," those words were also the graphic for the segment. Dobbs and Moyers agreed that campaigns today are merely the exchange of bribes, and Moyers added that the McCain-Feingold crackdown on campaign speech is a mere "fig leaf" of regulation.
Dobbs began: "Let's hear what one of the people you chronicle and hear from in the special says, R.G. Ratcliffe, the Houston Chronicle reporter."
R.G. Ratcliffe, Houston Chronicle: "Just the kinds and ways that dollars have flowed into the system in recent years have led to something of a form of institutional corruption. And the kind of thing that you want to watch for, it is not a very big step from a campaign contribution to a bribe."
Yet another case of a reporter not giving you all the facts.
CNN's Christine Romans tried to pass off a Boston area woman, Abby Subak, as merely a "mother of two" concerned about the death of the American Dream.
I thought it fit all too neatly into Romans's story, which hyped the findings of a liberal think tank critical of the Bush economy. Well, sure enough, an Internet search showed that this woman just so happened to have worked before for Ralph Nader's PIRG.
On Thursday night, CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, anchored by Kitty Pilgrim, featured a full story on the MRC's study by Tim Graham released on Monday, “Election In the Streets: How the Broadcast Networks Promote Illegal Immigration.” Pilgrim announced that “this nation's major newscasts are being accused of being blatantly sympathetic to illegal aliens.” Reporter Casey Wian explained how “a study released this week by the conservative Media Research Center...claims ABC, CBS, and NBC News have been promoting illegal immigration." After a soundbite from Graham, Wian relayed how “the study examined network news coverage of the issue from March 24th through May 31st. Among the findings, illegal alien amnesty advocates appeared in about twice as many soundbites as supporters of border security.” In addition, “networks routinely ignored polls showing the vast majority of Americans favor stronger border security. And the study concluded: 'The networks seemed to offer honorary citizenship to anyone crossing the border.'” (Transcript follows)
“Senator Byron Dorgan is no protectionist. In point of fact,
he is calling for expanded markets for U.S. exports,” Dobbs insisted, praising
Dorgan for his “critical examination of what this country is doing to itself,”
with tax and trade policy.
But Dobbs is confusing his viewers, if not outright
insulting their intelligence by insisting Dorgan isn’t for protectionist
policies. Dorgan supports various tariffs, including one on foreign sources of
ethanol, a fuel additive mandated for gasoline by the EPA.
President Bush announced some great news about the economy Tuesday, but the media weren't in any mood to celebrate. Though the budget deficit for 2006 looks to be significantly lower than forecast just five months ago, TV news outlets were quick to rain on the president's parade.
CNN's Ed Henry cynically compared this announcement to the president declaring an end to major combat operations in Iraq in 2003. Meanwhile, NBC's Brian Williams downplayed the good news by stating “administration critics say the White House has deliberately inflated its own deficit projections in the past few years to score political points when the actual numbers came in lower.”
CNN anchor Lou Dobbs has experienced huge growth with his focus on illegal immigration. Reports TVNewser:
Lou Dobbs "continues to exhibit explosive growth," according to CNN. In May 2006, Dobbs' 6pm program was up 85 percent in the demo and 94 percent among total viewers compared to May 2005.
This month, Dobbs averaged 207,000 demo viewers, compared to 112,000 a year ago. FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume averaged 229,000 demo viewers, down from 276,000 a year ago. In May 2005, there was a 146 percent gap between CNN and FNC at 6pm -- and now the gap stands at just 11 percent, CNN noted...
Christian Science Monitor reveals what most economists have known for years. Free Market Project
For years, the media have been telling Americans the economy, though growing, is not producing good jobs. From Lou Dobbs’ continuous rant at CNN about “The War on the Middle Class” to the Washington Post’s E. J. Dionne claiming in a February 21 op-ed that “The decline of manufacturing employment means the economy is producing fewer well-paying jobs,” the media mantra has been that wage gains during this recovery have been very disappointing.
“Now Democrats have argued, though, that under the Bush administration, Americans have seen wages remain flat, also high health care costs and high heating oil and gas prices,” CNN’s Elaine Quijano reiterated on an April 15 “CNN Live” report.
After a longtime “Chicken Little” media view of the labor markets, The Christian Science Monitor finally broke from the pack in an April 11 article by Mark Trumbull stating the “Newest job numbers show that businesses are expanding opportunities in high-wage fields.”
Just two days earlier, however, The New York Times asserted that “New technology and low-cost labor in places like China and India have put downward pressure on the wages and benefits of the average American worker.”
Who’s right? Well, the Monitor used some highly-regarded economists to support its assertions:
It was a fleeting victory, but one nonetheless. By taking a conservative tone with his constant broadside against illegal immigration, Lou Dobbs managed to beat Brit Hume in the 25-54 demographic last week.
A tipster asks: "Did you notice that Lou Dobbs beat Special Report with Brit Hume last week in the Demo?" Well, no I didn't, but thank you for pointing it out! Using TVNewser's daily scoreboard, here's a 6 p.m. ratings track from the week of April 3:
On Tuesday's Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN, Dobbs scolded “this country's major daily newspapers” for how they “misled” readers in their coverage of immigration rallies since “their headlines failed to tell the truth about what the rallies are all about: Rallies in favor of illegal immigration, and amnesty for illegal aliens.” Dobbs showed the front pages of four newspapers, starting with the New York Times' headline of “Immigrants Rally in Scores of Cities for Legal Status,” followed by the Washington Post's description of “Immigration Rights Rallies,” USA Today's “Historic rallies voice a 'dream'” and the Wall Street Journal's “Immigration-Policy Protests Draw Huge Crowds of Workers.”
Dobbs, however, offered praise for one newspaper's “astute” take, quoting approvingly from a Tuesday Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial which contended: “Organizers wanted the marches to be more about people and less about policy. Most television stations swallowed the bait and delivered news reports soft enough to follow Sesame Street on PBS.” (Transcript, of the comments from Dobbs, follows.)
Here is an incomplete exchange printed in the NYT between Dobbs and a representative of the racist and separatist organization known as La Raza, or “The Race.” That translation is omitted by the NYT, replaced instead by the nicer sounding phrase “civil rights organization:"
This followed by just a day a confrontation between Mr. Dobbs and a guest on his own program, Janet Murguia, the president of the Hispanic civil rights group National Council of La Raza, during which he lectured her on immigration policy.
"I want you to look me right in the eye, and I want you to hear me loud and clear," Mr. Dobbs said to Ms. Murguia, who replied, "I'm right here."
The New York Times reports that CNN's Lou Dobbs is gaining viewers with his unceasing crusade against illegal immigration.
The nation's most prominent opponent of current immigration policy began his day yesterday on the "Today" show on NBC, debating a Hispanic defender of illegal immigrants. He moved on to "American Morning" on CNN to denounce a bill passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday as "an amnesty program."
By nightfall he was on a plane headed to Mexico, where he intended to assess critically the planned discussions on the issue between President Bush and President Vicente Fox of Mexico.
In all its cacophony and moments of absurdity, this morning's Today show segment on immigration was a supremely edifying example of the confusion, high emotion and complexity of the immigration debate. Matters reached their Alice-in-Wonderland apotheosis when Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California was shown arguing that illegal immigrants are good . . . 'citizens.' Said Feinstein:
"They pay taxes, their children are Americans, they go to schools, they're good citizens and they're needed."
This was in line with the fait accompli argument advanced by La Raza representative Janet Murguia. She referred to what she estimated as the 11-12 million illegal aliens in the country as "people are working in backbreaking work that nobody else wants to do in this country. We need to . . . understand that they are already part of this country."
So what do longshoremen, the unionized men and women who offload and onload cargo ships at our nation's ports, feel about the Dubai Ports World acquisition of port terminal operations in six U.S. ports? Depends whom you ask.
CNN's Lou Dobbs, long a crusader against the "exporting of America" on his Feb. 28 program presented longshoremen as monolithicly opposed.
DOBBS: The hard-working men and women at our nation's ports
know better than anyone about the dangerous gaps in our nation's port security.
And these workers say unquestionably that the Dubai Ports World deal will leave
our ports more vulnerable to terrorist attack.
On Monday’s installment of “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” Dobbs claimed that officials from Dubai Ports World, the company in the middle of the current port controversy, are putting pressure on CNN to silence him and CNN’s coverage of this issue (video link to follow):
“Dubai Ports World tonight is making what I consider to be a rather astonishing new attempt to silence me and our coverage of this ports deal and our reporting of what at least I consider to be legitimate national security concerns about this transaction. Dubai Ports World has actually refused to grant CNN anymore interviews from Washington or London, and it's refused to allow CNN to videotape its operations in the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong if we were to show you the video on this broadcast.”
Dobbs stated that such pressure has happened before: