If you were to write an article about how the three cable news networks are covering a story, would you address the one with the highest ratings first, or the also-ran?
At the Washington Post, the answer is "the also-ran."
On Tuesday, in a piece about how political pundits are "overpopulating the news networks," staff writer Paul Farhi first highlighted what was going on at third-place MSNBC, and even gave Keith Olbermann the first crack at commenting on the matter (emphasis added throughout):
On the Feb. 17 "American Morning," Veronica De La Cruz showed how two Web sites, operated by "the same owner," sold products to the shooters in both the Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University tragedies. She said it was "pretty shocking to figure this out." Anchor Kiran Chetry agreed, calling it an "eerie connection."
But De La Cruz was just getting started. She was even upset at the sympathy banners on the site because they were near banners that still advertised the company's business. "I want to show you the strange juxtaposition if you move down the page. Here's the NIU shooting and then ‘Save big on rifles and handguns' right underneath. You know, something that kind of turns your stomach, if you will," she added.
I'm not sure what got into Howard Kurtz Sunday morning, but the Washington Post/CNN media analyst, and "Reliable Sources" host, really laid into the press for their horrible coverage of the presidential campaign.
Maybe more surprising, Kurtz voiced his displeasure with both print and television news coverage, as well as what was being written and said about the candidates on both sides of the aisle.
So go get some popcorn, and prepare yourself for a media bashing guaranteed to put a smile on your face:
Eyeblast has the video: On CNN's The Situation Room on Friday, former NBA star (and current TNT basketball analyst) Charles Barkley trashed conservatives as "fake Christians." You could tell how much CNN was going to enjoy this. At the top of the hour, anchorman Wolf Blitzer promised: "Plus, he's rooting for Barack Obama and he's taking shots at Republicans and the religious right. You're going to find out who NBA great Charles Barkley is calling fake." The screen graphic also read: "Barkley Takes on the Right: Blasts 'Fake' Christians." Blitzer made no attempt to ask the basketball star how a "real" Christian can whole-heartedly support Obama's liberal social agenda.
Ted Turner may no longer own CNN and TNT, but his spirit -- "Christianity is a religion for losers" and pro-lifers were "bozos" and "idiots" -- is still strong in his former properties. Does TNT really want to invite all this political and religious controversy to turn people away from watching their basketball broadcasts?
CNN has fired producer Chez Pazienza after the network brass realized he had been blogging at his own left-wing site and several others over a period of years:
In a phone interview this morning, Mr. Pazienza, 38, said he joined CNN as a senior producer in January 2004 and has consistently received positive performance evaluations of his work. He spent his first year at CNN at the network’s headquarters in Atlanta, then moved to New York to work on “CNN Daybreak,” which has since been canceled, then “American Morning,” which is shown Monday through Friday, from 6 to 9 a.m.
Mr. Pazienza said he started his blog in May 2006 as a way to keep his mind occupied while he was on a medical leave of several months after an operation to remove a brain tumor. He got noticed by blogs like Drew Curtis’s FARK, a popular news-aggregation site, and Pajiba, a left-wing blog of movie and book reviews. [...]
Three voices of the Clinton campaign, three distinctly different takes on its fortunes. James Carville is candid about the pickle Hillary's in. Hillary, true to form, utterly evades the question. Ah, but there's always Terry McAuliffe. The proud graduate of the Baghdad Bob School of Flackery this morning declared that he's "more confident than he's ever been" about winning the nomination.
Carville, appearing on last night's Larry King, couldn't have been more succinct.
LARRY KING: If Hillary loses Texas or Ohio, is it over?
The Democratic presidential nomination process isn't even over, yet on Tuesday CNN's Wolf Blitzer raised the media's favorite shorthand for vicious Republicans never forgotten from 1988, a name journalists can be counted on to resurrect every election season in order to discredit criticism of a liberal candidate, as he asked a guest how “worried” he was about Republicans energizing “elements of racism” by producing “Willie Horton kind of commercials...potentially against Barack Obama?” This, just a week after possible racism by Democratic voters was suggested by Obama's ten-point loss in California's primary after polls showed him up by 13 points. Columnist Bob Novak observed: “The way Obama lost California raises the specter of the dreaded Bradley Effect.”
At the end of panel discussion, just before 7:30 PM EST Tuesday night about conservative opposition to John McCain, CNN analyst Roland Martin recognized his next comment -- about how only “extremists” in the GOP afraid of losing power are opposed to McCain -- might well upset conservatives and so cited NewsBusters in putting a warning up front:
I have something for NewsBusters.org for tomorrow. These are the extremists of the party who want to continue to hold on to their power. The bottom line is you're losing it. Your party is changing. Deal with it.
Now, this is how we expect the more "civilized," more "caring," more "intelligent" folks over at CNN to act, isn't it? The Page 6 column in the New York Post found that CNN has instituted a "a blanket boycott" of anyone from Fox News from appearing on their precious airwaves, even though Fox has had several CNN folks on their shows when those CNNers were flogging their books and side projects. It seems civility is something that CNN just cannot muster these days.
THE folks at Fox News Channel are magnanimous enough to put their rivals from CNN on air, but CNN isn't big enough to return the favor. Geraldo Rivera - who has a new book coming out, "His Panic: Why Americans Fear Hispanics in the U.S." - was booked to appear on Nancy Grace's CNN show on Feb. 28. But then he was disinvited and told CNN had "a blanket boycott" against anyone from Fox. " 'The Most Trusted Name in News' just chickened out," Rivera told Page Six. "This reveals a corporate insecurity." Fox has had on as guests both Wolf Blitzer and Glenn Beck. A CNN rep denied any boycott and blamed a scheduling conflict.
It's bad enough that CNN is so anti-social that they won't return Fox's kindness, but even worse that they went ahead and booked Geraldo and then pulled the rug out from under his invite after all the plans were made!
Andrea Koppel, who left CNN last July after 14 years as an on-air correspondent, has joined M+R Strategic Services, a Washington, DC-based public relations firm with a long list of left of center and solidly left-wing clients, as chief of its Communications Division. Amongst the clients listed on the firm's Web site: Environmental Defense, Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, Turner Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, People for the American Way, Campaign for America's Future, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, National Organization of Women - New York State, NARAL Pro-Choice New York, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, as well as the radical left Center for Constitutional Rights and George Soros' Open Society Institute.
Koppel, the daughter of Ted Koppel, served as an international correspondent for CNN, then covered the State Department before spending her last months at CNN covering Capitol Hill. She proclaimed in the firm's press release that she wants to fight for “the voiceless in our society” as she embraced the “impressive roster of clients” and promised to help them “achieve their goals.”
Here's a belated item for your media-bias talking points: after rummaging through the media coverage of the typically large March for Life on Tuesday, January 22, I have the following scorecard:
-- ABC, CBS, and NBC had absolutely nothing on the March, and absolutely nothing on the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Put the word "abortion" into Nexis and you get a black hole for that day, and the next day.
-- By contrast, Fox News Channel at least had a fair-and-balanced report on the March (complete with abortion advocates like Vicki Saporta of the National Abortion Federation) on Tuesday night's Special Report with Brit Hume.
-- National Public Radio offered several segments on the Roe anniversary, but no mention of the March for Life (with the asterisk that news breaks on the hour are not loaded into Nexis.)
During CNN's Super Tuesday election coverage, both liberal and conservative commentators took shots at conservatives as liberal Paul Begala declared that Mike Huckabee "don't believe in evolution or photosynthesis or gravity or anything," and liberal Carl Bernstein declared that Republican candidates were "trying to satisfy Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham rather than the people of the country." Conservative Bill Bennett quipped that conservative opposition to John McCain is a "kind of Trotskyism," and a "purification" of the Republican party. (Transcript follows)
Yesterday, NewsBusters' Kyle Drennan noted how CBS used the news of two coordinated and related suicide bombings in Baghdad to declare that "the new Baghdad feels a lot like the old Baghdad," and as a platform for a far-left guest to declare that "the surge isn't working."
Drennan's first commenter noted the mentally impaired state of the women who blew themselves up -- something CBS "somehow" failed to report.
CBS was not alone in ignoring or downplaying that important aspect of the story, as blogger Confederate Yankee reports (links are in his original; bold is mine):
Two suicide attacks on pet markets in Baghdad today have left approximately 100 killed and twice as many wounded. Both attacks used women "with Down's syndrome" according the the Daily Mail and less specifically, they were described as "mentally disabled" according to CNN.
Both bombs appear to have been remote detonated. These women probably did not know they were carrying explosives at all, and it would probably be fair to include them among the victims.
CNN’s "American Morning" co-host John Roberts and CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley gushed over the "historic" nature of the Obama and Clinton race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Roberts seemed almost giddy over the coming primaries on Super Tuesday. "Yeah, it is going to be a transformational primary here on the Democratic side of things. Do you get a sense that people are recognizing this idea of the grandeur of history involved here?"
Roberts echoed his colleague at CNN Wolf Blitzer, who began the debate Thursday night by declaring, "This is truly an historic moment for the Democratic Party. It's the first time that we will see a woman and an African-American vying for the Democratic presidential nomination."
Doyle McManus, Washington Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times, and one of the three members of the mainstream media who asked questions at Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate on CNN, neglected to mention Hillary Clinton’s previous waffling on the subject of driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants when he asked the former First Lady about the issue. "Senator Clinton, Senator Obama has said that he favors allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses, and you opposed that idea. Why?"
As CNSNews Editor-in-Chief Terry Jeffrey noted after the November 15, 2007 Democratic debate (where Clinton answered that she did not support licenses for illegal immigrants), Clinton, with that answer, contradicted what she had said in an interview with the Nashua [N.H.] Telegraph on October 17, 2007, almost a month earlier. In the interview, Clinton voiced support for New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s plan to give illegal immigrants driver’s licenses, stating that "it makes a lot of sense." When Tim Russert asked Clinton about the issue at the Democratic presidential debate in Philadelphia two weeks later on October 30, she gave, as Jeffrey put it, "a long and apparently contradictory series of answers about whether to give illegals driver's licenses."
On Wednesday's The Situation Room, CNN's Jeffrey Toobin bizarrely objected to Rudy Giuliani's choice of words in his speech endorsing John McCain when the former mayor argued that McCain should be the next "Commander-in-Chief of the United States," instead of "Commander-in-Chief of the military," as the CNN analyst called the former mayor's statement "pretty outrageous." Toobin further contended that Giuliani's words were an example of his "militaristic, authoritarian approach that I think is just not right. ... That's not what the President does. He doesn't run the country." (Transcript follows)
At about 6:40 p.m. on the January 30 show, host Wolf Blitzer led Toobin, Gloria Borger and Jack Cafferty in a discussion that included reaction to Giuliani's speech, which had run live earlier that hour. After Borger gave a positive review of the speech, Toobin responded:
You can tell a lot about how the news media feel about conservatives by watching how they talk about Rush Limbaugh. They want his influence curbed. They pine for the day his career hits the skids. They’re constantly looking for a moment where they can declare that conservatives no longer have – that Rush Limbaugh no longer has -- the Grand Old Party in a menacing trance. They don’t want Republican candidates seeking a Limbaugh endorsement.
CNN’s John Roberts, in the course of two interviews of presidential candidates in the month of January, directed substantive questions to both candidates, but was tougher on the Republican candidate. On Tuesday’s "American Morning," Roberts questioned Rudy Giuliani on the decision during his tenure as mayor of New York City to locate the Big Apple’s primary emergency command center in the 7 World Trade Center, which was destroyed on 9/11, an issue that has turned up regularly in the course of Giuliani’s campaign. This contrasted with Roberts’ January 8 interview of Hillary Clinton, in which he didn’t press the former first lady on any controversial decisions from her past.
Roberts quoted from the New York Times as he asked Giuliani about the 7 World Trade Center issue.
Over the course of at least nine months, CNN’s John Roberts has regularly labeled the troop surge in Iraq, the amassing of 28,000 additional troops in the country, the "so-called surge." Liberals, such as George Lakoff, have objected to the term "surge" in the past, since using the term would "subscribe to Bush’s misleading frame." Roberts' latest use of the phrase took place on Monday’s "American Morning." He posed the following question to White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. "The President is also going to be talking about Iraq tonight, Dana. He'll be talking, I guess, about the so-called surge, progress that's been made in terms of security and safety there. But there still has been little political progress. What's the President's message to Nouri Al-Maliki and the people who are in charge there in Iraq going to be tonight?"
This isn’t the first time Roberts has used the "so-called surge" phrase in an interview with Perino. In an April 20, 2007 interview with then-Deputy White House Press Secretary, Roberts asked, "You say that this so-called surge is working, that things are getting better. There are 182 people killed the other day in Baghdad, is that really getting better?"
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann was Howard Kurtz's guest on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday, and unfortunately, viewers were treated to a litany of hypocrisies from both media personalities, so much so that it seemed like a lengthy advertisement for the controversial "Countdown."
Although Kurtz did present his guest as being mostly liberal and decidedly anti-Bush, he never once mentioned "Countdown's" actual ratings, or how Olbermann is often in last place in his time slot behind "The O'Reilly Factor," "Nancy Grace," and whatever is being offered by CNN.
You would think that since Kurtz works for CNN, he might have mentioned this.
But that wasn't the only hypocrisy Sunday morning, for when Olbermann made clear just how biased he is, Kurtz seemed to be totally oblivious (video available here, liberal website warning):
Carl Bernstein isn't just, on the basis of his Watergate-busting fame, a liberal icon. He's also a certified Hillary Clinton expert, having devoted years to researching and writing a definitive biography of her, A Woman in Charge. So his comments tonight on Hillary's graceless reaction to her stunning defeat at the hands of Barack Obama carry special weight, and are likely to reverberate through Dem circles. Here's Bernstein's brutal take, appearing on CNN .
CARL BERNSTEIN: One of the worst nights of Hillary Clinton's life. She had a chance at the end of the evening to be magnanimous, to say something about where her campaign is going to go. Instead she was shopworn, tired; it's exactly what they don't need, the Clinton campaign, and she's going to have an uphill fight from here in.
View the video here, not only to hear Bernstein's remarks, but to watch a Hillary acknowledge Obama's victory only in passing while spending most of the same sentence speaking of primaries to come.
CNN correspondent Carol Costello’s report on Thursday’s "The Situation Room" would have you believe that Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio have "lost influence," and the supposed proof is John McCain’s success up to this point in the Republican race for the presidential nomination.
During the report, which aired at the bottom of the 5 pm Eastern hour, Costello proclaimed that Republican primary voters have "betrayed" conservative talk show hosts, and the evidence that this is the case is John McCain’s primary victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina. She used a sound bite from former Republican Congressman Bob Barr to reenforce her point. Barr opined that McCain’s success is "a sign that no one or two talk show hosts really wield the influence that they did two or three [election] cycles ago."
The Establishment Media hailed the study's lead "finding" -- 935 false statements by Bush Administration officials in the two-year period leading up to the launch of the War. The Associated Press, CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post and -- of course -- the New York Times were all exhilarated to once again climb aboard the "Bush Lied - People Died" Express.
Cafferty, who commented on the study during his regular "Cafferty File" segment eight minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, bluntly referred to the supposed "false statements" made by these officials as "lies." He also repeated a line from the study that the "lies" "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses." With that last phrase, one cannot doubt the political leanings of these "nonprofit journalism groups," as Cafferty referred to them.
Since the media have promised the anti-war left really do support the troops, wouldn't it be news that an anti-war, self-described "radical leftist" was in court on Friday for angrily keying the car of an Iraq vet because he didn't like the military plates and USMC stickers?
Jay Grodner keyed a $2400 side-to-side gash into Sgt. Mike McNulty's car. When confronted, Grodner berated McNulty, who was getting ready to redeploy to Iraq, with anti-military epithets, even telling the Marine he was too “small” to be a “soldier" (sic).
Milblogger Blackfive wrote about the lack of media coverage (bold mine throughout):
Mike Huckabee’s declaration that we need to amend the Constitution to be in line with God’s standards easily drives secular liberals into a frenzy. On CNN’s Late Edition on Sunday, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called that statement in conflict with "all of American constitutional history." Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria was more blunt: "It frankly made him sound more like Ahmadinejad of Iran."
MIKE HUCKABEE: But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do, is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards, rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.
WOLF BLITZER: He wants constitutional amendments, just to be precise, that would ban abortion and same-sex marriage.