Are Barbara Walters and Anderson Cooper really objective journalists? Ask them, and they will answer in the affirmative, even though Walters did not bother to find a Republican to fill in for the vacationing token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
With Hasselbeck’s absence, Caroline Rhea and Melissa Claire Egan filled in as guests co-hosts. After the "Hot Topics" segments, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper previewed the upcoming presidential election. Walters noted this observation.
BARBARA WALTERS: It’s very difficult. We don't seem to have a Republican on this panel except that nobody knows your opinion or my opinion Anderson [Cooper]. That’s the only saving-
Jebediah Reed at Radar Online interviewed Cindy Sheehan about, among other topics, her treatment on CNN. The woman CNN hailed and promoted as the "Peace Mom" was outraged that anchor Anderson Cooper had the audacity to bring on two men who disagreed with her after an interview: "I just thought that was really uncalled for." Apparently, what’s called for is Cindy Sheehan being awarded an unopposed platform to spew against the Iraq War and President Bush. Here’s an excerpt:
You're also not a fan of Anderson Cooper. What did he do? He came down to Camp Casey to do a hit piece on me. It was just handled very badly. He had me on, and then he brought on some people right afterwards—a father whose son died in Iraq and a Dallas talk-show host—who just said some despicable things about me. I just thought that was really uncalled for.
If anyone in the media blames the Minnesota bridge collapse on "cheap Republicans" who like tax cuts, it would not be the first time. In 1989, after a memorable San Francisco earthquake, an interstate highway bridge collapsed and killed hundreds. Media figures demanded new taxes, and some even suggested the Proposition 13 ballot initiative may have caused unnecessary deaths. We reported in the November 1989 MediaWatch:
As aftershocks rumbled through the San Francisco Bay area, media figures began calling for more taxes. On the October 18 Nightline, Ted Koppel asked an agreeable Democratic politician from California: "We all remember a few years ago Proposition 13 which rolled back taxes. And at the same time the point was made you roll back the taxes, that's fine, but that means there are going to be fewer funds available for necessary projects. Any instances where the money that was not spent because of the rollback of Proposition 13 where money would have made a difference?"
Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani has received plenty of flak from both the Left and the Right for various reasons, but CNN's "American Morning" on Wednesday spent more than six minutes discussing an article critical of Giuliani's wife in the latest issue of the left-wing glossy magazine "Vanity Fair." Co-host John Roberts interviewed the author of the article, Judy Bachrach, as well as got a response from Giuliani friend and campaign aide Randy Mastro. In addition to this, "American Morning" ran a segment from "Anderson Cooper 360" political reporter Tom Foreman on Giuliani's criticism of the universal health care proposals of several Democrat presidential candidates. Foreman, using an overexcited tone in his voice, compared Giuliani to Tony Soprano, and portrayed Giuliani in a pretty unflattering light. (see more including transcript after the jump)
In one of her one-minute "Katie Couric’s Notebook" speeches on her Katie & Co. blog, CBS anchor Katie Couric came lecturing to Hillary Clinton’s defense on August 1 over Robin Givhan’s Washington Post fashion review of her cleavage on C-SPAN2, but she never mentioned the Post, just how the story "dominated cable news for days, and it’s disgraceful." She sounded the feminist alarm: "By focusing on this display of decolletage, it seems we’ve plunged to a new low. What’s next? Studying a candidate’s too-tight jeans?" She said this election was too important for trivia: "If we focus on the issues, we could judge the candidates not on the color of their clothes, but on the content of their character." She acknowledged some fashion issues were "fair game," when the targets were men: the John Edwards $400 haircuts and how "Dick Cheney was slammed for wearing a parka when he visited a concentration camp."
You'd think it was the news media that "got a raise" last week for all the cheering. The federal minimum wage was increased on July 24 by 70 cents to $5.85 an hour and will go up by the same amount in 2008 and 2009.
CNN's Ali Velshi gleefully greeted the change on "American Morning" July 24. He called it "unmitigated good news."
ABC's Claire Shipman also called it "good news for thousands of low-paid workers," on "Good Morning America" the same day.
During the month of July, CNN's "Larry King Live" both began and ended with interviews of vice presidents. On July 5, host Larry King interviewed former vice president Al Gore. On July 31, King interviewed sitting vice president Dick Cheney. The difference between the two interviews is like night and day. King, for the most part, did not press Gore for an answer to his questions, and asked a few light questions (such as, "How did you get Madonna?" for "Live Earth"). On the other hand, King's questions to Cheney pressed the vice president on a number of hot political topics (for example, "General Powell says he would close Guantanamo yesterday. Would you?" and the oh-so-typical follow-up, "You have to torture them when they're there?") and the interview was almost completely serious.
Ken Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon's surprising op-ed in the New York Times on improvements in Iraq may have been ignored by NBC Nightly News on Monday , but CNN's John Roberts thought it was worthy enough to mention the article in an interview of Representative John Murtha on Tuesday morning. Murtha, a frequent guest on CNN when the subject of discussion is the Iraq war, dismissed the Pollack/O'Hanlon assessment. "I dismiss it at as rhetoric. I dismiss it as -- you know, in my estimation, the things that I measure are not -- oil production, electricity production, water. Only two hours of electricity. I don't know where they were staying. I don't know what they saw. But I know this, that it's not getting better. It's rhetorical is what is getting better. It's over-optimist. It's an illusion."
CNN's "Newsroom" apparently can't get enough of Max Blumenthal. Less than four hours after their 5-minute infomercial on Blumenthal latest left-wing hack job on Sunday evening, host Rick Sanchez and correspondent Josh Levs did another segment promoting the "expose" on College Republicans. Sanchez and Levs continued to "conveniently omit" the liberal associations of Blumenthal, not even mentioning Blumenthal's posting of his video on the Huffington Post, as they did in their first segment. Sanchez was even open about where he stood on the issue of young Republican "chicken hawks." "As you watch these guys – and I think most people at home would agree -- there seems to be a certain hypocritical nature to this. I mean, they're so boastful when they talk about supporting the war, and yet sheepish when it comes to actually doing something about it."
Not only did segment reporter Josh Levs fail to identify many of Blumenthal’s left-wing associations (other than the fact that posted his video on the Huffington Post, which is not identified as a liberal website), he tried to cover for Blumenthal by stating that the left-wing writer "really rejects that radical left-wing label" after the co-chair of the College Republicans called Blumenthal part of "a bunch of radical left-wing people." "Newsroom" anchor Rick Sanchez closed the segment with a clip of an earlier interview where he posed Blumenthal’s question to three Republican college students earlier this month.
And that's exactly how the mainstream press treated it. What goes down, must go down further. Even with the sour coverage on NBC and CBS on July 26, there were voices of reason that warrant commitment to the markets.
"So this is not a crash, if anything, it's a correction," said CNN "American Morning" business correspondent Ali Velshi. "It might not even be a correction; it might just be a stop on the way."
Wow, good news, even on CNN.
Others experts point at signs our economy is still in tact and still moving in the right direction as evidence not to panic.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer conducted a hardball interview of White House press secretary Tony Snow on Thursday's edition of The Situation Room about the Democrats' subpoena of Karl Rove and the possible perjury investigation against Alberto Gonzales. Blitzer asked Snow a series of tough questions that you might find on any Democrat pundit's list. Contrast this with Blitzer's colleague at CNN, John Roberts, who earlier the same day, did a softball interview of Sen. Charles Schumer, which helped the New York Democrat echo his talking points. Actually, both Roberts and Blitzer helped forward the Democrat talking points, but the major difference was the approach towards the person being interviewed.
Scanning the columns at Townhall.com is part of my early-morning routine, and it was at about 6 A.M. today that I read Charles Krauthammer's "Obama Bombing." I marveled at how perfectly the Pulitzer Prize-winning author had captured the essence of Hugo Chavez, calling the Venezuelan thug "a malevolent clown."
Krauthammer's words obviously impressed Matt Lauer, too. For barely an hour later, I was pleasantly surprised to find the psychiatrist-turned-pundit's phrase turning up on the screen at "Today," with Lauer clearly seeming to advance the conservative commentator's theory.
Lauer was interviewing MSNBC's Chris Matthews on this week's Hillary-Obama dust-up.
"TODAY" CO-ANCHOR MATT LAUER: Let me ask you about this debate, the issue that came out of the debate, this whole inexperience-versus-change thing, when Barack Obama answered that in the first year of his presidency he would meet with people like Castro and Chavez. Let me read you what Charles Krauthammer wrote in the Washington Post this morning:
Do the Democrats want to risk strike three, another national security question blown, but this time perhaps in a final presidential debate before the '08 election, rather than a midseason intraparty cattle call? The country might decide that it prefers, yes, a Republican -- say, 9/11 veteran Rudy Giuliani -- to a freshman senator who does not instinctively understand why an American president does not share the honor of his office with a malevolent clown like Hugo Chavez.
CNN's John Roberts, co-host of "American Morning," gave nothing but softball questions to New York senator Chuck Schumer on Thursday morning. Prefacing his interview with sound bites from a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where attorney general Alberto Gonzales was testifying on the controversial Terror Surveillance program, Roberts got right to the point that Schumer wanted to get out in the press. "So, did Gonzales lie to you?" Roberts was even brazen about his aid to Schumer with this interview at the close of the segment. "Well, there's your newsy sound bite this morning. Senator Schumer, thanks very much. Good to see you."
Is it just me, or is there something missing in the coverage of the terrible flooding happening in China? Let’s see:
Destruction of life and property? Check.
Daring rescues? Check.
People fleeing their homes? Check.
Floods a result of man-caused global warming? Er…
In all the stories I’ve read from major news outlets about the devastating flooding in China, I have yet to see that the floods have been linked to the phenomenon known as man-caused global warming. Meanwhile, recent flooding in Britain has been connected to it on more than one occasion, as Newsbustershasreported.
Death and taxes may be the only certainties in life, but journalists’ support for higher taxes is almost as predictable.
Actions that liberals dislike, such as smoking, eating the "wrong" food, and spewing carbon earn media support for tax increases.
Right now, the media are promoting a “bipartisan” bill in Congress that would expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) by raising tobacco taxes sky-high.
“Senate Panel Adds Billions For Health,” announced a headline from the July 20 New York Times. The headline sent a positive message that people’s health would be improved, rather than the honest message that the bill calls for a 156-percent tax increase on cigarettes, and a more than 20,000-percent increase on cigars (up to $10 per cigar).
Newsbusters revealed the overwhelming left-wing bias of the YouTube video question clips at the CNN Democrat presidential debate on Monday night. One of the most outrageous questions of the night came from Anne Laird of Pennsylvania (pictured at right), who identified herself as an employee of Planned Parenthood. Laird asked, “My question is, we here at Planned Parenthood support comprehensive sex education, and I'd like to know if any of you as candidates have talked to your children about sex, and used medically accurate and age-appropriate information?” Laird uses the word “we” in the question -- due to the fact that her clip was one of 22 that was submitted by Planned Parenthood and its supporters on one YouTube.com account with the user name PPVotes.
Laird, an Altoona, Pennsylvania native who works for Planned Parenthood in the Pennsylvania state capitol of Harrisburg, asked her question at a recent Planned Parenthood conference in Washington, DC, as revealed by an article in the Altoona Mirror. Other attendees at the conference asked a range of questions which reflect Planned Parenthood’s comprehensive sexual agenda, from “Would you push for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment?,” “Will you repeal the global gag rule?” (referring to the Mexico City policy of the Reagan administration, which was reinstated by the Bush administration), to “Would you protect a woman’s right to control her body?” (an obvious reference to Planned Parenthood’s support for Roe v. Wade).
In today's Washington Post, Paul Farhi asks a question I've wondered: Why is it that every single story you hear about on cable is "developing," "breaking," or a "news alert?" Whatever happened to the regular TV news report?
This just in! There's no more news on TV, at least not on the cable news networks. Plain old news apparently just isn't good enough anymore, so TV news stories have been getting new and improved names.
President Bush's latest news conference? CNN labels it a "Developing Story." A car bombing in Baghdad? The banner on MSNBC reads, "Breaking News." A blown transformer in New York City? Fox News Channel is on it, with a graphic that announces, "Very Latest."
One way you can tell the media roots for liberal Democrats is by how it can’t choose just one for president. They’re all still viable, so...they’re all still fabulous. Trying to say one is better than the others seems just impossible for some reporters. And what about when the candidates fight each other? The fights are minimized, since Democratic party unity is important for their electability.
As Matthew Balan has mentioned, CNN has offered praise to all the Democratic candidates, but to me, political reporter Candy Crowley seemed a perfect example of that telltale Praise Everybody Syndrome. On Tuesday’s American Morning, Crowley asserted, that Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama, "all did really well in getting their points across," even when they were fighting each other. From Crowley, this sounded a bit repetitive – because she also spread praise all over the candidates – and a few candidate spouses – last Friday morning, and even as anchor John Roberts explained their recent spats, she refused to elaborate on the fights and turned the subject back to praising Democrats all around.
Every four years, journalists present themselves as objective questioners in presidential debates only to be roundly, and correctly, denounced by conservatives for being anything but. When, oh when, we ask, will America be able to enjoy a candidate forum free from liberal reporters inserting their slanted worldviews into the discussion? When, oh when, we ask ourselves, will they get out of the way?
It looks like we should be very careful what we ask for.
Unlike their "American Morning" counterparts who liked most of the candidates, CNN legal analyst Jeff Toobin and CNN contributor Roland Martin had clear favorites on who was the best Democrat at the CNN/YouTube.com debate. In the post-debate special on Monday night, host Wolf Blitzer asked Toobin about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's response to a YouTube video questioner who asked whether the candidates would meet with the leaders of rogue counties like Iran, Syria, and North Korea in their first year in office. Toobin gushed, "I thought on this issue, and throughout the debate, this debate was Gladys Knight and the Pips. Hillary Clinton is the dominant figure in the party. She's the dominant figure in the debate. And everybody else was responding to her." About twenty minutes later, Martin took issue with Toobin's comments, and argued that Obama did as well as Hillary in his answer.
CNN "American Morning" co-hosts Kiran Chetry and John Roberts, in a discussion on Tuesday morning on the Democrat presidential candidates' performance CNN/YouTube.com debate, could only offer constructive criticism to one of the candidates, and nothing but praise for most of the others. Roberts gushed, "You know, I think that Hillary Clinton did really, really well last night. I thought John Edwards did well.... Barack Obama, I thought was very good as well. I was a little disappointed in Mike Gravel."
Chetry responded: "You know, and Joe Biden got off a couple of one-liners. Dennis Kucinich also did really do what he is best at doing, which is showing how different he is from some of the other candidates." Neither said anything about Chris Dodd or Bill Richardson, but given they offered praise for all of the others but Gravel, odds are they would have said something positive about them if they were given an opportunity.
Is MSNBC becoming Catfight Central? A few days ago I noted this epic dust-up on the cable network between conservative radio talk show host Melanie Morgan and feminist Naomi Wolf. Today's "Morning Joe" brought more fireworks of a feline variety, as NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd took some serious swipes at Anderson Cooper and his hosting of last night's CNN/YouTube presidential debate.
NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR CHUCK TODD: I thought the questions were good, it was a good candidate forum. The downside was that the moderator [Anderson Cooper] missed opportunities to create a debate. That was my one frustration. Obama tried to take a shot at Hillary about being a Johnny-come-lately when it comes to withdrawal from Iraq, and it just disappeared, the attack disappeared. Obama's way of attacking Clinton sometimes is soft; he softpedals his attacks. Maybe Cooper didn't see it; maybe he needs to be hit with a sledgehammer, but he just immediately went to the next question.
Hmm, what would a Freudian say about Chuck imagining Cooper being hit with a sledgehammer?
In the lead-up to Monday night’s YouTube debate with the Democrat presidential candidates, CNN ran prime-time specials previewing videos that might be featured during the debate, and most of those featured came from the liberal side. It should be no surprise then that video clips featured left-wing clips by almost a 3 to 1 margin versus the conservative clips - 17 liberal clips to 6 conservative clips, out of a total of 38 video question clips.
Video of 10 of the liberal questions (6:20): Real (4.53 MB) or Windows (3.79 MB), plus MP3 audio (2.15 MB).
During the course of tonight's CNN/YouTube Dem debate, Barack Obama got off this zinger at Hillary's expense.
BARACK OBAMA: One thing I have to say about Senator Clinton,s comments a couple moments ago: I think it's terrific that she is asking for [Iraq withdrawal] plans from the Pentagon [A+ for condescension there, Barack!], and I think the Pentagon response was ridiculous. But what I also know is that the time for us to ask how we were going to get out of Iraq was before we went in. And that is something that too many of us [like you, Hillary] failed to do. We failed to do it.
The screencap shows Hillary's reaction. What was going through her mind?
Just a moment ago, radio host Rush Limbaugh was blasting the mainstream media's notion that the YouTube debates represent a revolution in American presidential debates.
Not so, says Limbaugh, at least in terms of the content of the questions asked. They're still as inane and moronic, or brilliant (in rare circumstances) as they've always been because they're the same inance, moronic, or brilliant (rare circumstances) people asking them.
Instead, Limbaugh insists, we are seeing a revolution in media technology being confused for a nascent political revolution.
Now couple that, the notion that "new voices" are being heard in the YouTube debates ,with the wild left-wing skew we've documented at NewsBusters, and you see the media's liberal bias at work in staging the 2008 election in terms of liberal issue battlegrounds.
On the Friday July 20 The Situation Room on CNN, substitute anchor Miles O'Brien insisted that, regarding the role of carbon emissions in global warming, "the scientific debate is over," as he lectured former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts on the subject. In response to Watts' contention that "I don't believe the Earth is melting because of carbon emissions," O'Brien responded: "Well, you're not paying attention to the science, J.C. You're definitely not paying attention. ... The scientific debate is over, J.C., we're done." (Transcript follows)
For those interested, there are currently 2,794 video questions that have been submitted for consideration to be asked at Monday's CNN/YouTube Democrat debate. Those that can stomach it should go here.
However, be forewarned. Some of the submissions are quite absurd.
With that in mind, Bryan at Hot Air has selflessly and admirably taken one for the team so to speak, and actually looked at about 1,100 of these videos reaching the following conclusions (emphasis added):