My bottom line analysis (11:25): The two R's of bias from this Rose Garden presser: Martha Raddatz on Syria and numerous reporters on the dreaded R-word, recession. Of course a recession is two consecutive quarters of NEGATIVE economic growth, and we've yet to see one quarter of negative growth, much less two. But all the same, NY Times's Stolberg made it sound like Q1 numbers on GDP tomorrow will show a recession.
The questions below will be posted in reverse chronological order:
Well, sports fans, the highly-anticipated, years in the making interview of Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama on "Fox News Sunday" is over, and it's certain that folks on both sides of the aisle -- as well as all three remaining campaigns -- will find positives and negatives to glom on to.
In fact, some well-known liberal bloggers have already expressed their displeasure with Obama, wondering why he didn't attack Fox News as had been advertised.
This week's Fox News Watch was a mix of the candid, the intriguing and the downright comical. Let's start with the humor. Well-intentioned liberal panel member Jane Hall, wringing her hands over the fact that the Wright matter has injected race into the campaign, got off this bit of unintentional comedy.
JANE HALL: Unfortunately, this is going to be what's going to be associated [with Obama]. I mean, it's like Willie Horton, except that Obama knew Reverend Wright,* and on Fox and other networks he is visually linked, it gives one more excuse to run this incendiary footage. I really regret that race, which Obama tried to transcend, is now going to become a very ugly subject in this race.
So it's unfair to pin this Wright stuff on Obama, except for the fact that, well, it's . . . fair. Moreover, whose fault is it that race has been injected into the race? If Obama were really the kind of person to transcend race, he wouldn't have been hanging around with Rev. Wright for 20 years.
Friday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC gave attention to revelations which first surfaced last February that employees of some Planned Parenthood clinics expressed a willingness to accept donations from callers who expressed the blatantly racist motivation of wanting to see more black children aborted, with a couple of the Planned Parenthood employees even seeming to express agreement with the racist statements. O'Reilly interviewed conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham about the attention she has given to the issue on her show, and played a clip of one of the phone calls. (Transcript follows)
In February, a conservative student publication at UCLA, The Advocate, revealed that it had called a number of Planned Parenthood clinics pretending to be interested in donating money to the organization while feigning a racist intention of wanting to reduce the number of black children. O'Reilly played one clip:
AUDIO OF UNIDENTIFIED MALE DONOR: Hello, Autumn. I'm interested in making a donation today.
AUDIO OF FEMALE PLANNED PARENTHOOD EMPLOYEE: Fantastic!
DONOR: I want to specify that abortion to help a minority group. Would that be possible?
MSNBC's Dan Abrams and the folks in the liberal blogosphere are going to be very disappointed tomorrow when they witness what Chris Wallace says was "a very friendly exchange" between the "Fox News Sunday" host and Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama.
In fact, despite what Talking Points Memo reported Friday concerning Obama doing the program to "take on Fox," as well as Jonathan Kim's ("Fox Attacks") recommendation on MSNBC's "Verdict" that the junior senator from Illinois should "[go] on and just [attack] them," it appears Chris and Barack had an exceedingly civil and informative discussion about the campaign and the issues facing the nation.
As he was driving home from his meeting with Obama, Wallace called in to give a preview of the interview to FNC's "Weekend Live" (h/t Johnny Dollar):
Honestly, the hypocrisy of liberal media members knows no bounds.
On Friday, Dan Abrams of MSNBC voiced extreme displeasure with the announcement that Democrat Presidential candidate Barack Obama is finally going to be interviewed by Chris Wallace on this weekend's "Fox News Sunday."
This from a man whose very network has hosted numerous presidential debates despite moderators Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann being clearly in the tank for Obama.
Amazingly, this contradiction continues to elude the good folks at MSNBC as demonstrated by the following partial transcript of Friday's "Verdict" (readers are cautioned to have a trash receptacle handy in case of involuntary retroperistalsis):
The "Obama Watch" on "Fox News Sunday" will officially come to an end this weekend when the Democrat presidential candidate finally allows himself to be interviewed by Chris Wallace.
Sadly, the junior senator from Illinois appears to be doing this kicking and screaming while planning to enter the ring with much the same agenda as former President Bill Clinton did in September 2006.
As reported by the liberal website Talking Points Memo on Friday (emphasis added):
MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared opposite liberal radio talk show host Mike Papantonio on the April 24 "Fox & Friends" program in two short segments in the 8 a.m. half-hour. Topics included the cancellation of a planned CBS North Carolina Democratic primary debate and the recent Los Angeles Times's article hinting that John McCain "may face "fitness questions" in light of his U.S. Navy disability pension. [see video here; audio available here]
In the first segment, Bozell applauded ABC for a hard-hitting Pennsylvania debate and lamented that the primary debates up to it had mostly been "a farce." In the second, the MRC president slammed the April 22 Ralph Vartabedian article in the Times as worse than being a mere "cheap-shot," it's just merely "stupid" and nonsensical.
Is this the network all of the Democrats were afraid of just months ago? Glowing from her victory in Pennsylvania, Senator Hillary Clinton braved the April 23 edition of FNC’s "Fox and Friends" to face a barrage of...softball questions. This is not new for the Fox News morning show as they've already given Senator Clinton two other easyinterviews.
Co-host Gretchen Carlson started the segment asking "May I call you ‘Rocky’ this morning, Senator?" Carlson and fellow co-host Steve Doocy allowed Clinton to answer any way she pleases and did not interrupt the New York senator. At one point, it appeared as if Doocy was setting up a tough question, recounting some of the many Clinton scandals, but gave Clinton a tee-ball, opining "I thought Barack Obama wasn’t going to run that kind of a campaign." [audio available here]
Gainor told viewers of the Saturday morning broadcast April 19, "Time magazine basically tried to co-op an icon of American heroism to push their global warming agenda. They're trying to claim that their war against global warming is similar to what our veterans endured during WWII."
He went on to say that there were 28,000 casualties and more than 6,000 people killed at Iwo Jima, exclaiming, "That's real war."
A liberal bias is always easy to discern in newspaper writers when they tout liberal programs as informative and more conservative programs as deceptive. Take, for example, Kevin McDonough, a TV critic for the United Feature Syndicate (photo from UFS), touted by his bosses as lively and comprehensive in previewing TV seven nights a week with his "witty, insightful and occasionally offbeat approach to TV commentary." On Monday, he began:
Television has many powers. Its ability to distract (VH1), enter tain (“The Office”), inform (“The NewsHour”), deceive (“The O’Reilly Factor”), anger (ditto) and sell (QVC) are well documented.
But the moments when television reaches for the sublime, the beautiful, the poetic and transporting are few indeed.
Fox News has canceled its long-running show "The Big Story:"
Fox News Channel, tinkering for the first time in eight years with its popular early evening lineup, is replacing its 5 p.m. news broadcast, "The Big Story," with an election-theme program for the foreseeable future. The network confirmed this week that "America's Election HQ," a program that displaced "The Big Story" temporarily last month, would continue indefinitely. The program's hosts, Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly, also anchor the network's mid-morning newscast and are seen as rising stars on the channel. The change was first reported by the blog TVNewser.com. John Gibson, the longtime host of "The Big Story," will continue to have a role on television, the network said, although it appears that his future for now lies mostly on radio.
A former MSNBC host, Gibson has become known for semi-frequently attacking his former employer, particularly its left-wing host Keith Olbermann, whom Gibson refers to as "Bathtub Boy." The reference is to Olbermann's extreme reluctance to cover the Monica Lewinsky scandal of then-president Bill Clinton. According to Gibson, Olbermann preferred to stay at home and sit in the bathtub rather than come in to work.
For those interested in a political giggle this fine Saturday, I recommend a cute sketch done by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart Thursday evening (embedded right).
First, Stewart lampooned Chris Wallace for placing a "24"-style ticker on the screen to illustrate how long it's been since the host of "Fox News Sunday" challenged Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama to come on his program.
Next, Stewart went after "Hardball's" Chris Matthews for his shameless cheerleading for Obama.
Yet, in the end, Obama had the last laugh, deliciously at Matthews' expense (viewers are cautioned about mild vulgarity in the clip):
In an e-mail conversation today with Greg Gutfeld, the Fox News Channel "Red Eye" host pointed out to me that he joked about cannibalism as a solution to environmental woes, and this, mind you, months before Ted Turner came out clucking about how global warming will make us all cannibals.
Some might say Gut is a voice crying in the late night wilderness, but maybe he actually is a prophet. From his July 20, 2007 item at HuffPo (emphasis mine):
Many of our most thoughtful environmentalists are telling us that our planet is facing an unfathomable calamity. The combination of unbridled overpopulation and increasing greenhouses gases puts us on a path to destroy Mother Earth...unless we do something now. [...]
I have examined this problem closely and realize there is a simple answer to this dilemma. If overpopulation and consumption of animals cause major harm to our planet, then we can simply eradicate both threats through cannibalism.
Mort Kondracke got one thing right: Rush Limbaugh would go Krakatoa . . .
The resident moderate of The Beltway Boys has counseled John McCain to offer the VP slot to Christie Todd Whitman. Mort made his move during last evening's show-ending "Buzz" segment.
MORTON KONDRACKE: Two new McCain Veep ideas: first, he should offer the Vice-Presidency to Colin Powell, who may well not take it. If not Powell, then Christie Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey. Rush Limbaugh would go Krakatoa but independents will like it, women will like it, and so will African-Americans, the whole package.
Just how obvious is it that the media's economic and business coverage is so negatively skewed that it has to be part of a political agenda in an election year?
Obvious enough for the folks at Fox News to do an entire segment Saturday morning asking the extraordinary question: "Media ‘Talking Down' the Economy to Get a Dem Elected?"
Despite my surprise seeing "Cavuto on Business" begin with such a question framed at the bottom of the screen, I was almost enraptured by the comments from Neil's guests which not only included regular assertions that this is clearly about getting a Democrat in the White House, but also that media are "committing a crime against the general public" by creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that will end up costing people their jobs in the long run.
More importantly, "if we have a serious recession, a great deal will lie at the media's feet."
Who's the best political talk show host on television every Sunday? Tim Russert? George Stephanopoulos? Bob Schieffer? Wolf Blitzer?
Get real! There's nobody on the television landscape that comes close to Fox News's Chris Wallace. And, there's nobody on Fox News that better exemplifies and understands what the network's slogan "fair and balanced" means.
[This was first posted on January 1, 2008] On the Tuesday, January 1 Fox and Friends, Democratic strategist and FNC contributor Bob Beckel found amusing Hillary Clinton's contention that her trip to Bosnia in 1996, which Clinton has been accused of exaggerating as a dangerous mission despite the presence of daughter Chelsea and comedian Sinbad on the plane as she mentioned the need for a "corkscrew" landing and running on the tarmac in case of sniper attack, was evidence of her foreign policy experience. Clinton's comments, which were a response to Barack Obama's charges that her foreign policy experience consisted only of talking and "having tea" with foreign dignitaries, evoked an amused and cynical reaction from the liberal Beckel: "It's almost too hard to say this straight. I mean, I've had a few corkscrew landings myself, but I was not, well, it had been a long night before I did it. I mean, I don't know what that gives you in terms of foreign policy experience except a bad case of heartburn. I probably would have thought of something else besides that. I wonder what Sinbad did during that landing. I wonder if she hid behind him or not. Dangerous that would probably be." (Transcript follows)
I count Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace among the fairest and most incisive interviewers in the business, and hope his tenure at Fox News is a long one. Anyone who can relentlessly cross-exam Mitt Romney on his changed position on abortion the way Wallace did a while back, then turn around and have Bill Clinton near the point of taking a poke at him, is doing his job and playing no favorites. But should Wallace ever wish a change of venue, never fear: MSNBC apparently can find a place for him.
Wallace made some news when, appearing on this past Friday's Fox & Friends, he criticized the hosts for dwelling longer than Chris thought appropriate on Obama's comment that his grandmother was a "typical white person."
On this evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews devoted a segment to the exchange. Eugene Robinson, the affable WaPo columnist and MSNBC political analyst, suggested that refuge awaited Wallace should he need it.
Earlier today, Democratic Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick conducted a news conference with his lawyer wherein he gave a brief statement pledging to stay in office and fight the perjury charges leveled against him. As Detroit Free Press columnist Bill McGraw noted today, Kilpatrick has the dubious honor of being the first Detroit mayor to be charged with a crime while in office.
That news conference happened shortly before 1 p.m. At the time I channel-surfed through CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News and I later reviewed the video from all three to confirm my observation: Of all three news networks, only CNN tagged Kilpatrick with its onscreen graphic as a Democrat (see screencap at right).
Fox News Channel labeled Kilpatrick as "Kwame Kilpatrick, Detroit Mayor." MSNBC opted for "Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Detroit." CNN tagged the alleged perjurer onscreen as "Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, (D) Detroit."
It would be enough to make Rev. Jeremiah Wright's accusation that the government created AIDS for purposes of perpetrating a black genocide sound almost rational. OK, scratch that. Nothing will render reasonable that morsel of moonbattery. But has the Rev. Wright's replacement suggested that NPR is . . . a Republican front operation?
As per this Fox News article, the theme of today's Easter sermon at the Trinity United Church of Christ was “How to Handle a Public Lynching,” the victim in question being the Rev. Wright. The controversial pastor's successor, the Rev. Otis Moss III, lit into the national media, coming up with a string of plays on their names to express his contempt:
Imagine for a moment Tim Russert, George Stephanopoulos, or Bob Schieffer being interviewed on their respective network's morning show, and scolding the co-hosts for excessive George Bush or John McCain bashing.
Wouldn't happen in a million years, right?
Well, Fox News's Chris Wallace was the guest of "Fox & Friends" Friday morning, and before allowing any of the co-hosts to ask him a question, he actually admonished them for spending too much time in the first two hours of the show on Barack Obama's "typical white person" remark (h/t Politico):
On Wednesday, Fox News became the first news network to pick up on the contradiction between claims made by Senator Hillary Clinton about her 1996 trip to Bosnia and the reality reported by journalists at the time. In a speech on Monday, Clinton asserted that “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”
But no news outlet mentioned sniper fire at the time, and TV news footage from the day of Clinton’s visit, which was first posted Tuesday on NewsBusters, shows Clinton and her daughter walking around without helmets, greeting various people including the acting President of Bosnia and a Bosnian child who read a little speech for the then-First Lady.
Since the Rev. Jeremiah Wright revelations first shook the Obama campaign, one of America's so-called foremost civil rights leaders has been conspicuously silent about the subject.
With this in mind, Fox News producer Griff Jenkins went to the Take Back America convention in Washington, D.C., Wednesday to get Jesse Jackson's opinions about the controversy that virtually everyone in America is talking about.
One of the criticisms of the media's coverage of Sen. Barack Obama's candidacy - both from his opponents on the right and on the left, has been that he's been given a free pass on a lot of issue.
The latest in particular had been the recently uncovered of Obama's former church minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who had made several incendiary remarks about race and the government.
Eleanor Clift, known for her defense of Bill and Hillary Clinton on the syndicated show, "The McLaughlin Group," came to the defense of Obama in a March 17 appearance at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C.