A major media denigration of Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin as a “wacko right-winger” didn't come on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN or even MSNBC, but on FNC from a regular contributor to the network: Morton Kondrake, who was hostile all last week to Palin in his appearances on Special Report with Brit Hume. Wrapping up the “Ups and Downs” segment on FNC's Beltway Boys this weekend with an “Up” for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's performance during Hurricane Gustav, Kondracke inserted the gratuitous insult into his agreement with co-host Fred Barnes that Hurricane Katrina would have turned out better if Jindal were in charge three years ago:
If Jindal had been Governor of Louisiana in 2005, everything would have been different and he would be John McCain's running mate instead of this wacko right-winger.
MRC President and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell appeared on Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" Thursday morning to discuss the outrageous media bias against Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
For two years Republicans, conservatives, have been saying that Barack Obama was perhaps the arguably the singularly most unaccomplished presidential candidate in the history of the republic, and for two years, the national press corps, the networks, particularly, have absolutely refused to cover his lack of experience. Now, Sarah Palin comes on, and what have we heard all week long from the same reporters? If this isn't a double standard, I just don't know what is.
During FNC’s Republican Convention live coverage, former Dukakis campaign manager and liberal FNC analyst Susan Estrich voiced her disapproval of the "vicious and mean-spirited attacks" on Sarah Palin by the media as she appeared late Tuesday/early Wednesday night with anchor Greta van Susteren. Estrich: "I’ve never seen anything this bad in my life ... I was with Geraldine Ferraro in ‘84 – and this is worse. ... I have never seen from some of my friends such vicious and mean-spirited attacks on her most personal choices, which is what they are."
A bit earlier at about 12:05 a.m., conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham had also complained of Palin’s treatment. Asked by van Susteren if Palin was getting "fair treatment," Ingraham argued that Palin is being "reviled and hated" because she is conservative and pro-life. In response to van Susteren’s question of "who’s reviling her," Ingraham elaborated: "Did you read the New York Times today? Have you read some of the left-wing blogs about her? Have you heard some of the comments on our competitor networks? It’s vile, it’s nasty, it’s vicious."
Appearing on Wednesday’s America’s Election HQ on FNC, the senior editor of US Weekly, Bradley Jacobs, defended the magazines recent cover, which showed a picture of Sarah Palin and the headline ‘Babies, Lies and Scandal,’ by explaining that: "Actually, the lies that we point out are some of the liberal bloggers who were speculating that the daughter was actually -- had given birth, that there was a coverup there. We're one of the few magazines that actually did call to task those liberal bloggers for the news stories over the weekend."
A skeptical Megyn Kelly responded to that claim by asking: "Bradley, do you think the cover in any way suggests to the viewer who's looking at your magazine while standing there in the grocery store that the lies are lies about Sarah Palin, by her attackers?" Jacobs replied: "I don't think we can talk about all that here. It is -- we've gotten a lot of press today, but a lot of people haven't read this story. You may disagree but it is a fairly...It's a very balanced story. We interview strategists on both sides."
As Fox News prepares to interview Barack Obama tomorrow night, during prime time, TV journalist Michael Wolff details a meeting between Barack Obama, Fox News president Roger Ailes, and News Corporation president Rupert Murdoch in which the Fox execs promised to lay off the Democratic presidential candidate.
According to Wolff's telling, this was more than a mere tete-à-tete, this was a full-on diplomatic meeting (initiated at Murdoch's request), conducted only after preparation and with preconditions from the Obama campaign.
The apparent purpose? To smooth things over in the event that Obama defeats John McCain:
Kristen Fyfe of the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center, appears on the Fox News Channel's American Election Headquarters to discuss the media's ongoing assault on Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
Ms. Fyfe talks about what she calls the "Mommy Wars," with the media firing many shots at the Alaskan Governor that they have always before considered out of bounds with regard to a public woman and her family.
Ms. Fyfe appeared yesterday afternoon with FNC's Bill Hemmer.
In the last 48 hours, the establishment media’s bias against Republican Sarah Palin has become a full-fledged feeding frenzy. This morning on FNC’s Fox & Friends, the anchors noted how the pop culture mag Us Weekly is now bashing Palin with a harsh cover story, “Babies, Lies, and Scandal,” when just a couple of months ago the same magazine ran a sappy cover piece featuring Barack and Michelle Obama: “Why Barack Loves Her.”
Co-host Steve Doocy cited NewsBusters’ recent “Quick Study” study of cable news as providing proof of the incredible double standard against Palin: “The Media Research Center did a study of the two hours of prime time after Joe Biden was announced as a Vice President and after Sarah Palin was announced, and overwhelmingly it was so against the Republican.”
Now that the dust has settled on both parties' vice presidential picks, it's time to take a look at how the media treated Joe Biden and Sarah Palin in the crucial early hours after they were announced as running mates.
This analysis is the first of several "Quick Study" reports we'll be running this election season to give a snapshot of press coverage, primarily through the lens of cable television.
Looking at the transcripts of CNN, FNC, and MSNBC during the two "primetime" hours of the day John McCain and Barack Obama announced their running mates, a trend becomes quite clear: The media were much more likely to report negative information about the Alaskan Palin than the Delawarean Biden.
ST. PAUL, Minn.-- Defending his colleagues in the media with their "hard vet" of Gov. Sarah Palin, Fox News Channel's Mort Kondracke told NewsBusters that Republicans should have expected the intense media scrutiny of Palin, a selection he said was "Dan Quayle all over again."
NEWSBUSTERS: Do you feel that the media are vetting Sarah Palin to an extent that they didn't vet Obama in his 19 months of running for office?
TIM GRAHAM: Here's one of these times where ABC is actually trying to get a story that's not all puffy happy, and they're getting shoved into the street.
GRAHAM: There were media there the day before. All over that sidewalk, blocking the doors of the hotel. But somehow I think they felt that because there was not 18 reporters there but one reporter that they could be rough on the one guy. I mean you got to give ABC some credit here that they are trying to do some stories here about campaign finances.
Television journalists were nearly uniformly enthralled with Barack Obama's Thursday night acceptance speech, relieved he showed the toughness to take on John McCain directly, unlike, in their world view, all too-soft past Democratic nominees. Only FNC offered a contrarian view or mentioned the word “liberal” while David Gergen on CNN trumpeted the address as a “symphony” and a “masterpiece” with elements of Lincoln, MLK and Reagan.
ABC's Charles Gibson insisted that “four years ago John Kerry” was “held accountable for not being tough enough on George Bush,” and “Obama was obviously not going to make that mistake.”
On CNN, Gloria Borger decided: “If anybody ever thought that Barack Obama was not tough enough to run against John McCain, this speech should really put an end to that.”
As my colleague Mark Finkelstein reported Tuesday, MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann labelled long-time Hillary Clinton advisor Howard Wolfson a Tokyo Rose-like traitor due to his current affiliation with Fox News.
On Wednesday, during an interview with FNC's Martha MacCallum, Wolfson struck back by mentioning how unfortunate it is "that a news organization with a great tradition like NBC has been taken over by those kind of antics."
That was just the beginning (video embedded below the fold, h/t Johnny Dollar):
Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly cited the Media Research Center's latest special report, "Obama's Margin of Victory: The Media," in the midst of the "Unresolved Problems" segment for his August 26 program.:
There is no doubt that NBC News continues to be in the tank for Barack Obama. According to a Media Research Center study, NBC is the most lopsided network in favor of Barack. Pro-Obama reports outnumber negative Obama reports by 10-to-1 on NBC News, according to the study. Even some NBC News commentators recognize the corruption.
At that point O'Reilly's producers cut to video of MSNBC's Joe Scarborough scoffing at the notion that colleague David Shuster and others at MSNBC are strictly independent and non-partisan in their reporting. [See Mark Finkelstein's related post on that here.]
O'Reilly also cued video of CNN's Lou Dobbs complaining that his colleagues in the media are "in the tank" for the junior senator from Illinois. [See Noel Sheppard's August 25 blog post on that here.]
The ratings for the Democratic National Convention for ABC, CBS and NBC fell by a million viewers compared to the opener for the 2004 convention with headliner Bill Clinton TVWeek is reporting. On the other hand, the cable newsers saw a ratings jump from their 2004 convention ratings. This reveals the further decline in the old paradigm with the big three networks steadily losing their news influence bit by bit to cable outlets.
ABC, CBS and NBC brought in 12.1 million viewers in the 10 p.m. hour, down one million from 2004, according to preliminary, fast-national data from Nielsen Media Research. NBC scored the largest audience.
Saying he's "not gonna take any lectures on how to be a good Democrat from two people who spent the last two years relentlessly attacking Bill and Hillary Clinton," Wolfson has fired back at Matthews and Olbermann. Noel Sheppard has the story here.
Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann put their own feud aside to agree on something tonight. Hillary honcho Howard Wolfson is a puppet, nay, a Tokyo Rose traitor, for going to work for Fox News. It was the McCain campaign's use in its ads of Hillary's anti-Obama statements that triggered the outburst.
KEITH OLBERMANN: Irony upon irony, instead of the commercials designed to destroy Hillary Clinton, [the Republicans] are using Hillary Clinton in commercials designed to destroy the Democratic nominee.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Those are crocodile tears. And you wonder whether an objective person, either rational or post-rational, would be able to appreciate the fact that that's clear politics--nothing wrong with it. But Republicans have no heart in Hillary Clinton's claim to the White House. They villainized her for years. Their commercials, their attitudes are--you go to a Republican hangout, it's all anti-Hillary. That's their point of view. To now hold her up as some victim of some sort of foul play, of unfair politics, is a joke. But the funny thing about it is, they're enjoying it. Fox News, for example, seems to enjoy it. It's no accident, for example, that they hired Howard Wolfson. They use him as some sort of, oh, little toy soldier waiting on the shelf.
OLBERMANN: Tokyo Rose was the thought that came to my mind.
Tuesday’s Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC highlighted recent criticisms from Catholic Church leaders toward Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over her recent claims that "the Doctors of the [Catholic] Church have not been able to make that definition" of whether human life begins at conception. Appearing on Sunday’s Meet the Press on NBC, when host Tom Brokaw turned to the abortion issue and asked her when she believes human life begins, Pelosi responded: "I would say that, as an ardent practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time, and what I know is, over the centuries, the Doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition."
Despite the fact that MSNBC has positioned itself as the far-left cable network, regular Democrats continue to prefer CNN in surveys. Has this preference extended to how the party leaders treat CNN?
In today's Washington Post, reporter Howard Kurtz talks about how the Democratic Party is being accused of favoring CNN by giving it a perfect visual shot during Barack Obama's upcoming speech at the Democratic National Convention:
"A forceful advocate for families and women" is often left-wing code for a politician who strongly supports abortion rights and opposes any restriction on abortion.
It's also how Fox News Channel's Chris Wallace characterized Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) as she sat down shortly after 12:30 p.m. EDT today to discuss Sen. Hillary Clinton's speech this evening and the role of Clinton supporters, particularly women, in making or breaking Democratic Party unity heading into the general election.
Boxer has a solid 100% approval rating from NARAL Pro Choice America and voted in recent years 30 out of 31 times with liberal feminist group NOW.
To be fair to Wallace, his designation of Boxer as an advocate for women and families followed immediately after colleague Jon Scott noted that August 26 marks the 88th anniversary of ratification of the 19th Amendment which secured in the U.S. Constitution a woman's right to vote.
All the same, Wallace could just as warmly welcomed and thanked Boxer for sitting down for a chat without parroting a left-wing euphemisms for the liberal feminist agenda.
MRC Director of Communications Seton Motley appeared on Fox News Channel's "Fox News Live" this morning.
FNC's Megyn Kelly was the interlocuter.
Mr. Motley was brought on to discuss the media's negative and borderline hostile reaction to Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell's having the audacity to point out their bias over the weekend at a hallowed gathering of journalists.
He also discussed the ongoing biased (the Governor is of course correct) coverage of the Democratic Convention.
The Democratic National Convention hasn't even begun, and the protestors are out trying to Recreate 68.
For those unfamiliar, the group "was created for all the grassroots people who are tired of being sold out by the Democratic Party," and are gathering in Denver to "resist a two-party system that allows imperialism and racism to continue unrestrained."
High profile activists such as Cindy Sheehan and Cynthia McKinney have already joined the festivities.
On Sunday, Fox News's Griff Jenkins tried to speak to these folks as they marched in Denver, but was instead verbally assaulted (video embedded below the fold courtesy of our friend Johnny Dollar, vulgarity warning, photo courtesy Rocky Mountain News):
Barack Obama, who boasts about his alleged "post partisan" philosophy, can not seem to resist appeasing the left wing blogosphere by making cheap shots at Fox News. Obama, who enjoys overwhelmingly positive coverage from the mainstream press, blasted Fox News for daring to interview an author critical of him.
"I don’t find myself particularly scary or particularly risky. But, but, you know, I mean they’re good at it. So they got these ads with Paris and Britney. They’ve got some guy who just wrote a book. He’s just making stuff up. Just make stuff up. But it gets a lot of play on Fox News."
The co-hosts of "Fox and Friends" responded to this attack on the August 21 edition. Gretchen Carlson and Steve Doocy acknowledged that Jerome Corsi, author of "Obama Nation," did appear on "Fox and Friends," but to debate Democratic partisan Bob Beckel.
Steve Doocy also noted Fox News was not the only venue that gave Jerome Corsi air time. Both CNN and C-SPAN interviewed Corsi.
Did you know that if you have a negative view of Michelle Obama, it's all Fox News's fault?
Such seems to be the opinion of Barack Obama who told the magazine Marie Claire, "I think that if you've been watching Fox News then probably she's misunderstood, because I do think there's been a fairly systematic attempt by the conservative press to paint her in a completely false way."
Fox News's Greta Van Susteren heard about this statement by Obama, and took issue with it during an interview she did Monday with the magazine's editor (video embedded right, h/t NBer Thomas Stewart):
Saturday's Fox News Watch devoted a few minutes to the controversy, which was documented previously by the MRC's Geoffrey Dickens, over NBC's Matt Lauer claiming during an interview for the Today show that "some very high percentage of the people in China are happy with their lot in life, something around 80 percent," but that in America, "only about 25 percent." Liberal panelist Patricia Murphy of Citizen Jane stated her belief that Lauer simply made an "error" in misstating a Pew Research poll which found that, when asked if they were "satisfied with the direction of the country," 86 percent of Chinese respondents said yes, but when asked about "personal satisfaction," that "the number was much, much lower."
Conservative columnist Jim Pinkerton theorized NBC was being soft on China because the network is making money off the Olympics: "Could it be because NBC paid China a billion dollars to cover the Olympics? And they can't afford to have their reporters and sportscasters kicked out for telling the truth about China. So they have no choice but to cover up." (Transcript follows)
This doesn't qualify as any kind of surprise, but it should be noted nonetheless.
Thursday, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama gave a stunningly downbeat assessment of the nation's overall situation in a response to a seven year-old girl who asked him why he is running for president. Obama's media water-carriers have virtually ignored his very telling response, one that is reminiscent of Jimmy Carter's gloomiest, malaise-based assessments of America during his awful presidency.
Chicken and egg question: which came first, Obama supporters or pro-Obama media coverage?
Such seems important given a new Rasmussen Reports study that found people who watch CNN, MSNBC, and the broadcast network evening news programs largely support Obama for president, while those watching Fox News are more likely to say they're voting for McCain.
Though certainly not surprising, is this a function of the various channels' biases impacting their viewers, or people opting for news sources that are friendly to the candidate they support?
While you ponder, here are the relevant numbers (h/t NBer Schnikeys, photo courtesy MSNBC.com):
Rich Noyes, the MRC's Director of Research, appeared on FNC's Fox & Friends program earlier this morning. He disucussed how the news media are all too eager to publicize anti-Bush administration books with harsh allegations, such as the much hyped 'The Way of the World' by Ron Suskind and the recent book by former Bush administration spokesman Scott McClellan.
"They certainly do have a lot of promotion. This book by Ron Suskind -- he was on the Today show two days this week, he was on NBC Nightly News. He was on MSNBC. CNN's had him."
On Monday's The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly and FNC analyst Bernie Goldberg discussed the media's reluctance to report the National Enquirer's claims about John Edwards fathering a child with a mistress. O'Reilly expressed his own hesitance to delve into the matter, which he only vaguely referred to as "a difficult personal deal," contending that "I can't verify the story," and expressed concerns about the distress public exposure would cause the Edwards family. He further suggested that after more facts could be verified, that "I'll mention it, but I won't dwell on it."
Goldberg spoke of the double standard employed by the New York Times in its reluctance to cover the 2001 story of Jesse Jackson fathering a baby with an employee, while the Times more blazenly printed less solid allegations this year against John McCain. Goldberg: "The National Enquirer broke that story [about Jesse Jackson]. And when the New York Times finally decided to run it, they put it on page 21 under a one-column headline. Compare that to a story with two unnamed sources that think that maybe that I'm not sure, but I think that John McCain was having an affair with a lobbyist. That winds up on page one of the New York Times."
In light of Keith Olbermann's recent mockery of elderly television viewers as being in the "65 to dead" demographic, two years ago on MSNBC's Countdown show, Olbermann seemed to rejoice at the prospect of O'Reilly's audience members "dying off," as Olbermann bragged about his viewing figures which had increased during the previous year, especially among viewers in the age range of 25-54 years, while O'Reilly's overall ratings had dropped. Olbermann, on the June 28, 2006, Countdown: "Bill, seriously, it's slipping away from you. You don't know what to do. You can't even lie well anymore. Seriously, I understand, it's called panic. ... It's terrifying. You begin to see the audience dying off and the creases deepening in your forehead and the loofahs drying up. You make mistakes, you trust the wrong people, you blame Al Franken, you yell at somebody, you yell at everybody. It feels like the ladder is teetering, you're tired, you're depressed, you're anxious, you're balding. Let me give you three words of advice, Bill-O: Keep it up!" Video of Olbermann's rant can be seen here. (Transcript follows)