Meacham appeared on Comedy Central's January 21 "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and told viewers the media gear reporting toward conflict.
"I absolutely believe that the media is not ideologically driven, but conflict driven," Meacham said. "If we have a bias it's not that people are socially liberal, fiscally conservative or vice versa. It is that we are engaged in the storytelling business. And if you tell the same story again and again and again - it's kind of boring."
Isn't it often the case that over-confident braggarts are typically insecure types masking their own short-comings with undeservingly cocky bravado?
After all, one would think the president of the cable news network whose ratings in virtually every time slot have plummeted for years would be a little humble when referring to his competition in the industry.
Quite the contrary, in an interview with the New York Observer, CNN's Jonathan Klein behaved like he was running the Yankees, and Fox News Channel was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (emphasis added throughout):
Ann Coulter's been a naughty girl! She has to go sit a time out in the corner, according to Chris Matthews, who's withdrawing the distinct and high honor of inviting the columnist on "Hardball" as punishment for the Donny Deutsch row, which was hyped by the liberal smear machine Media Matters for America.
And I thought that was only reserved for attractive business reporters who didn't lean into the camera.
Stephen Colbert, the liberal comedian who portrays a conservative TV talk show host, recently launched a similarly fake presidential campaign. Trouble for him and his network, the fact that Colbert's PR stunt is funded by Viacom (Comedy Central) and Doritos may make it illegal:
With its snack-food sponsorship, Democratic and Republican affiliations [MS: isn't that somehow a violation of Colbert's conservative schtick?], and Sen. Larry Craig as a possible running mate, Stephen Colbert's run for the presidency is hardly serious business.
But the joke could be on Colbert if federal election officials decide his candidacy is for real. [...]
As NewsBusters reported Saturday, Neal Gabler implied on FNC's "Fox News Watch" that he wanted the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol to go to Iraq and be killed so that he could attend the conservative writer's funeral.
On Monday, FNC's John Gibson took issue with Gabler's despicable comments during his radio program, calling Gabler a "lowlife," and "a coward" because "he will not come on the air to defend the things he says."
Last night on the Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert took CNN's marketing team to task, pointing out the hypocrisy of putting a "six foot square poster in each of the 2.3 million copies of today's the USA Today. That's 13.8 million square feet of ‘Planetary Peril.'" Planet in Peril a program airing next week on CNN. Colbert who could barely keep himself from laughing went on to say,
"Now the paper is recycled but hopefully that glossy ink isn't going to biodegrade anytime soon, so awareness of this threat is going to be around for centuries. Brilliant marketing CNN, you have strategically insured the planet will still be in peril by the time your special airs next week."
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," ABC reporters offered advice to Dick Cheney on how to resuscitate his "rock bottom poll numbers." The network featured clips from a Bush-bashing cartoon and correspondent Cokie Roberts even suggested that if the Vice President wants to change his image, he needs to do it on "Jon Stewart and maybe talk to Doonesbury."
The Claire Shipman-hosted segment, which played like a media victory lap over Cheney’s unpopularity, also featured snarky comments, such as this dig about the Vice President briefly taking over for George W. Bush during his colonoscopy in July:
Claire Shipman: "He was even acting president for a few hours during the President's recent colonoscopy. Did he dream about taking on Iran? No, he says. He wrote a letter for his grandkids and then made it public."
Correction (July 31 | 14:40): Colbert's wrist was broken. He injured it running around his studio before a show. I regret the error.
Bob Shrum, the Democratic political strategist who has only slightly fewer losses on his resume than the Philadelphia Phillies, appeared on the Colbert Report last night to tout his book, “No Excuses: Confessions of a Serial Complainer,” err, I mean, “No Excuses: Confessions of a Serial Campaigner.”
Colbert, who was pretending to be gravely hurt and wearing a fake cast on his arm, was ushered in by wheelchair. Shrum, not missing an opportunity to shill for the Democrats, quipped:
“I hope all the suffering has made you more inclined to support national health insurance, so everybody can get the same kind of risk care you do.”
Clever as ever Mr. Shrum. But that was only the beginning.
Colbert immediately turned his attention to what Shrum, the Susan Lucci of political campaigning, is best known for, losing.
A transcript of Colbert and Shrum’s conversation follows. Colbert’s show is designed as a satirical homage to Bill O’Reilly and usually makes fun of conservatives and certainly Shrum knows this. Even so, he’s dead serious about his Bush-stole-Ohio charge.
“The Daily Show” often pokes fun at President Bush and his closest advisors and Cabinet members, but isn’t it a little low, even for “The Daily Show,” to mock a Vietnam veteran because he supports the President?
On June 25, the Comedy Central show did exactly that, airing a pre-recorded and what appears to be a heavily edited interview with Bill Thomas, a Vietnam veteran who won four Bronze Stars and three Purple Heart medals. Back in April, Thomas decided to give one his Purple Heart to President Bush, believing that the President is a “a hero by virtue of the fact that he’s shown phenomenal courage in the face of bitter personal attacks on his competence, his integrity and everything else.”
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," reporter David Wright narrated a sarcastic segment about Vice President Dick Cheney and his refusal to hand over classified documents to the National Archives. In order to amplify the portrayal of Cheney as dark and scary, Wright featured clips from liberals such as Jon Stewart, left-wing blogger Ana Marie Cox and the Comedy Central program "Lil Bush." The GMA reporter helpfully added that "the Vice President's noncompliance plays right into the perception that he's some sort of shadowy super villain." Video: Real (1 MB) or Windows (1.25 MB) plus MP3 (176 KB)
Of course, Wright never identified the liberal, anti-Cheney leanings of the above individuals. Instead, he framed the Vice President’s refusal to hand over the documents as indicative of an out of control politician who won’t listen to anyone:
David Wright: "Quick civics quiz for you: Is the Vice President part of the executive branch of government? You might think the answer is obvious, but apparently not to the Vice President. The man who is a heartbeat away from the Oval Office thinks that some of the rules that apply to everyone else who works here do not apply to him."
Comedy Central's new Lil' Bush cartoon show set to debut Wednesday night, in which President Bush and allies are impish little kids in the White House of his father set in present time, is so "borderline-irresponsible" that even the reviewer for Time Inc.'s Entertainment Weekly magazine "begged" readers not to watch it. Whitney Pastorek denounced it and pleaded: "Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Condi Rice are kids! And they're all stupid and evil! Cheney drinks the blood of chickens! And Jeb Bush is retarded! Etc. It's a juvenile pile of manure aching to hit the conservative pundit fan. Thus, I beg those on the right -- and, while I'm at it, everyone else -- not to watch it."
In a Tuesday AP dispatch, Frazier Moore reported that the creator of the cartoon show believes Bush thinks in a "simplistic, cartoony fashion," and in "one episode, Lil' George and his gang protest an unwanted menu change in the school cafeteria by torturing the cafeteria workers a la Abu Ghraib." As for whether Bush supporters will take issue with the show, the creator confirmed his own political prejudice: "The good news is, 68 percent of the country aren't his supporters anymore."
The Global Warmingist-in-Chief was Jon Stewart’s guest on “The Daily Show” Thursday evening. And, right out of the starting blocks, soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore made a statement that marvelously epitomized his career:
Yeah, logic, reason, facts play less of a role now in the way we make decisions in America.
Granted, in his typically smug manner, Gore was pointing fingers at others. However, as veracity has never been his strong suit, this was clearly an inconvenient truth that could have been a mea culpa if he was capable of actually being honest with both himself and his viewers.
That was just the beginning of the insanity on display, and not the last time during his ten minutes in front of the camera that we would be laughing at the former vice president instead of with him (video available here):
The first regular episode of the latest incarnation of Bill Moyers Journal on PBS featured Comedy Central host Jon Stewart (recently hailed by Moyers as "the Mark Twain of our day") mocking Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for appearing to be a "low-functioning pinhead" and comparing the Bush administration to the mobster characters in the movie Goodfellas. He suggested the White House press corps was a joke, suggesting they're the Washington Generals to Bush's Harlem Globetrotters: "the government is just you know, blowing the doors off the media."
First, the "Daily Show" fake anchor expressed amazement on the Friday night show that Gonzales would be so willing to look foolish and wildly incompetent so that Congress would fail in its attempt to impose oversight:
Proving once again how badly the left suffers from BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome), Comedy Central is launching a new animated show lampooning George W. Bush and all surrounding him that was originally broadcast through cell phone networks.
Included in the cartoon attacks will be Vice President Cheney, Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice and a brother JEB who is "dumb as paint".
In what may be a TV first, Comedy Central’s new series Lil’ Bush (which premieres in June) comes to TV by way of mobile devices such as web-enabled cell phones. The property began as mobisodes seen on 2” mobile screens.
I write these words in the wake of the news that MSNBC has dropped Don Imus from its lineup. I fully expect that by the time you read these words, CBS Radio will have fired him as well.
The raging media controversy over the stupid racial insult Imus threw at the Rutgers women’s basketball team – “nappy-headed hos” – has led the usual cast of professional victims, like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the NAACP, to deplore the racist underbelly of the broader American culture.
But where were these people when the subject was gangsta rap? With these arrogant and profane multi-millionaires routinely insulting and deriding people, especially black women, with language one hundred-fold more offensive than anything that ever came out of the I-Man’s mouth?
For all Christians, Easter is an outbreak of joy, a celebration of the resurrection of the risen Lord, marking the full promise of a savior unfolding like a spring flower.
For ABC, it’s just another night to sell sex.
During a Monday night broadcast of “Dancing with the Stars,” ABC promoted its Easter Sunday lineup, starting with an inspirational episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” So far, so good. But that’s where the good ended.
Then came the plug for a typical episode of “Desperate Housewives,” with one catty middle-aged woman saying to another, “I’m this close to seducing my gardener.” The other replies, “Been there, done that.” And at promo’s end, ABC showed another scene of the first woman – fortysomething, surgically altered Nicolette Sheridan – stripping off her blouse and skirt to reveal black lacy underthings as the announcer urged: “This Easter, take off your Sunday best, and turn on your favorite shows.”
On Monday, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) got a "town hall" meeting with a hand-picked audience on "Good Morning America."
But the royal treatment Clinton receives in the mainstream media isn't shared by even some staunch liberals who make ink in the nation's newspapers everyday. Including at least one who pays the bills with the cartoonist's pen, generally liberal artist and blogger Darrin Bell, creator of "Candorville."
It's not the first time Bell has lampooned Clinton, but check out the March 30 installment, where he makes fun of Hillary's penchant for trying to be all things to all constituents, envisioning Clinton trying to pander to a Palestinian-American and an Israeli-American at the same time.
Bell's cartoon follows two days after the March 28 "'South Park," in which Clinton was portrayed unflatteringly, sporting rather large hips (calling to mind radio host Mark Levin's label "Her Thighness" ) and speaking in a faux Southern drawl.
Brent Bozell's culture column is early this week, since the MRC HQ is buzzing and bustling toward our big 20th anniversary gala on Thursday night. If you want to see it live, we will have a webcast. Brent's column mocks a new compilation of essays titled "South Park and Philosophy," edited by Robert Arp, a professor at Southwest Minnesota State University. You know the drill: take a crude and simplistic pop-culture phenomenon and try to make it sound philosophically deep. It's like standing in a mud puddle and pretending it's the Pacific Ocean. Here's a sample:
How do professors like this stoop to the bizarre idea that children can be enlightened by a show that labors to fit 160 uses of the S-bomb into a half-hour? A show that delights in having Jesus Christ defecate on President Bush with his “yummy, yummy crap”? How can you elevate that into the idea that watching “South Park” should really be seen as a correspondence course, like Newt Gingrich’s “Renewing American Civilization” series?
Katie Couric was a guest on Thursday night's "Colbert Report" on Comedy Central. Her answers seemed rehearsed, just as if her Hillary-hand-me-down media consultant Matthew Hiltzik prepared her for the mock-hardballs. Two questions stood out as the most insulting: whether she had a "new hatchet" for anti-Bush hatchet jobs, and which job prepared her better for the anchor desk, being a cheerleader or a sorority sister. First, the hatchet exchange:
COLBERT: You're in -- you're in the desk. This is the -- in my opinion -- this is the news desk of news desks, CBS Evening News. Are you literally in Dan Rather's old chair? Do you sit in that chair?
COURIC: I sit in it, and I usually smell it before the show.
If Stephen Colbert is going to pretend to be a conservative, perhaps he shouldn’t play along when a guest compares President Bush to a genocidal dictator like Adolf Hitler. On the March 13 edition of "The Colbert Report," the Comedy Central host had University of Missouri professor Dr. Donald Shield on to discuss the (media generated) controversy over the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys.
Shields was appearing to tout a study claiming that federal prosecutors investigated Democrats over Republicans by a five-to-one margin. However, the discussion quickly degenerated into Nazi comparisons with Colbert happily joining in:
Stephen Colbert"...The Republicans are in power so they're using the full force of the federal government to target the Democrats specifically to make sure they get all the corrupt ones out of there. I mean, that's government efficiency."
Dr. Donald Shields: "Well, that's kind of the way Hitler started out in Nazi Germany, isn't it?"
Colbert: "Well, I mean, he started out efficiently. He got bad later. But first it was about making the trains run on time. You gotta give me that. You gotta give me that!"
As reported by NewsBuster Ken Shepherd Wednesday, America’s newspapers are getting rid of their religion sections like bad habits.
Speaking of losing one’s religion, Comedy Central Wednesday evening featured the star of the “Sarah Silverman Program” having sex with God, and disparagingly tossing him out of bed in the morning using the lame excuse that she had to help her friend move out of her apartment (video available here).
On Wednesday, Ralph Nader continued his media adulation tour, this time stopping by "The Daily Show." Just as with his appearance on "Late Edition," the only tough questioning Nader received was on the issue of the 2000 election and whether he placed George Bush in the White House. Stewart once again made clear exactly why conservatives view him as a not a political humorist, but a partisan, liberal comic. At one point, he told the consumer advocate that he was always right. And when Nader attacked President Ronald Reagan, the Comedy Central host joined right in:
Jon Stewart: "Please welcome back to the program, Ralph Nader! Ralph! Come on! Nice to see you again. Thanks for joining us. So they say they’re going to make a film about you, ‘An Unreasonable Man,’ and they come to you, and you say, ‘I'm in.’"
Ralph Nader: "What are you going to do? ( Laughter ) Everything– You know, you want air bags in cars and seat belts in cars so you lose the freedom to go through a windshield. Reagan didn't like that. He liked the freedom to go through a windshield."
Stewart:: "Exactly. So he was considering you an anti-liberty–."
Nader: "Yeah. Right."
Stewart: "Exactly. Ralph Nader. Tear down that belt. That sort of thing?"
Appearing on Thursday’s "Colbert Report," former "60 Minutes" anchor Mike Wallace mostly discussed innocuous subjects such as the joys of smoking. However, after being prompted by host Stephen Colbert to share his "doubts about our system of government," Wallace segued into an odd digression about how a parliamentary system would give Americans an easier way to get rid of its leaders. In other words, don't wait for Bush to go back to Crawford, kick him out now:
Stephen Colbert: "Now, you say you, you have some doubts about our system of government. I agree with you. Should we get rid of the Congress or the judiciary first? What, what do you mean by that?"
Mike Wallace: " I'm not kidding."
Colbert: "Okay. I know you’re not."
Wallace: "Forget– Forget impeachment. What you– Forget impeachment? Good luck. The– The– A representative government in which you can vote no confidence in a president or the leader and get rid of him."
As reported by NewsBusters, Bill O’Reilly and Stephen Colbert squared off Thursday evening in well-publicized meetings on each other’s popular programs. According to the Los Angeles Times, this was a ratings bonanza for both:
Colbert helped O'Reilly draw more than 2.9 million viewers, a boost of 46% over last quarter and a hike of 67% among 25- to 54-year-old viewers.
With O'Reilly on his show, Colbert garnered 1.64 million viewers, up 50% over last quarter, and his biggest audience ever.
As many folks are aware, Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly and Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert decided to finally meet one another and be interviewed on each other shows Thursday night.
Strangely, the segment on the “O’Reilly Factor” was actually much funnier than “The Colbert Report,” as Stephen began: "Iwant you to know that I spend so much time in the world that is spinning all the time, that to be in the no spin zone actually gives me vertigo."
According to ex-CNN reporter Judy Woodruff, both her former network and PBS are "God-fearing, America loving" organizations. The veteran journalist, who is now promoting a documentary on young people for public television, appeared on the Thursday, January 11 edition of Stephen Colbert’s "Colbert Report." Before discussing Ms. Woodruff’s new investigative report, the Comedy Central host shifted into his faux-conservative mode and attacked CNN and PBS. This exchange followed at 11:50pm:
Stephen Colbert: "Now, you used to work for CNN. Now, you're doing this documentary, which sounds fascinating, for PBS. Is that– Is it– But, you've gone from, you know, an organization that clearly hates America to an organization that is proto, like, commie. Is it possible to go further left then PBS on television?"
Judy Woodruff: "Now, no. Absolutely not. You know that's not true."
Colbert: "I do not not know that’s true. I do not not know that’s true? Yes. Bill Moyers is, like, got his Mao’s little red book in his back pocket, right? You're wearing a pink outfit."
Woodruff: "PBS is a God-fearing, America-loving organization. Just like CNN."
In his weekly "Critiquing the Press" chat at washingtonpost.com, Post media reporter (and CNN "Reliable Sources" host) Howard Kurtz oddly suggested that when bar patrons insist on turning off Fox News, a nice, less polarizing compromise would be Comedy Central. (When the left-wing Stewart/Colbert "fake news" is on?)
New York, N.Y.: True Story. Recently I am sitting at an airport bar reading my paper. Fox News is on the TV. A couple walk up to the bar, sit down, and tell the bartender that if he wants their business he needs to turn off Fox News. The bartender walks over to the TV when another man at the bar says 'don't turn on MSNBC!' The bartender looks around not sure what to do. He turns the TV off and goes back to serving drinks. I guess this is what we've come to.
The Center for Media and Public Affairs, the long-time shingle of academic media-bias expert Robert Lichter (have you ever read "The Media Elite"?), has a new study out on just how negative "The Daily Show" was in the week leading up to Election Day 2006. CMPA, also the former home of MRC research guru Rich Noyes, has long specialized in studying the political tilt of TV jokes as well as TV news. This study suggests that if negativity is a problem in our political culture, then Jon Stewart ain’t the solution:
Comedy Central’s highly-rated "Daily Show" program covered the 2006 mid-terms with a nearly unanimous negative tone, according to a new study released by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA). While the show bills itself as ‘fake news,’ their reporting prior to the election was 97% negative – far more unfavorable than network news coverage of the Mark Foley scandal, and even of Saddam Hussein – though equally harsh towards Republicans and Democrats.
Say what you will about the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, but he is certainly a good sport. On Tuesday, the well-known conservative set himself up as a witting punching bag for the liberal comedian Jon Stewart on the “Daily Show,” and in between low-blows and kidney punches, Kristol got some good jabs in of his own (video available here).
Stewart’s focus predictably was how poorly the Iraq war is going in his view, and just how wrong President Bush and folks like Kristol were in their predictions for this incursion. As Kristol sat and took the comedic beating with grace and aplomb, he made a marvelous observation about how much differently he was being treated by Stewart as opposed to liberal guests like Barack Obama, and, just the night before, Iowa Governor and presidential candidate Tom Vilsack. What follows is a rough transcript of Kristol’s views concerning Stewart’s interview biases: