On Friday's "Countdown" show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, while condescendingly chastising FNC's Bill O'Reilly for erroneously remarking that the "Book of Revelation" was written 5,000 years ago, made a mistake of his own in explaining O'Reilly's error, as the "Countdown" host claimed Jesus Christ "died roughly 2007 years ago." Olbermann: "Now, he [Christ] was supposed to have died roughly 2007 years ago, which is where we get the number on the calendar thing with the years in it. It's A.D., Anno Domini, Year of Our Lord, it's sort of dated back to the death-" [Stops talking and sighs] (Transcript follows)
The Anchoress, a three-time Weblog Awards finalist and 2007 Catholic Blog Awards Winner (congratulations!) in the Best Political/Social Commentary category (scroll down at link to see it), delivered a cold but necessary shower earlier this evening to those of us who are tempted to exaggerate or overstate the impact New Media is having on most Americans.
I'll bet that a lot of us can relay similar stories to the ones she referred to in her very perceptive post ("Good news leaks past the embargo on good news…"; links that contradict the Old Media-driven beliefs described and bolds/italics were included in her original):
Unfortunately, it is still true that until a new president is installed in the WH, preferably one with a D after the name, only the downsides are newsworthy, and that holds true in every subject. Every subject. My elderly family members are convinced that everything, everywhere, is going to hell, and they are fretful and terrified. They think everyone is out of work, the economy is in a recession, the war in Iraq is lost and there are no real terrorist threats - that’s just made-up stuff. They’re sure America is dying. They are sure the world is headed for famine. They are depressed and do not want to send out Christmas cards, because how can you do that when so much is bad in the world?
Would the Democrats have been better off if Fox News had run their debate? The candidates are boycotting Fox as a way to please their far-left base, but Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace on this morning’s Fox & Friends criticized how CNN’s Wolf Blitzer repeatedly interrupted exchanges among the candidates last night (“It reminded me of Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon 2.”) and forced candidates like Joe Biden and Dennis Kucinich to beg for airtime.
“Fox, I have to say, I think we’re smarter,” argued Wallace, who has moderated a couple of GOP debates this year and would presumably play a role in a Democratic debate on FNC if the candidates dropped their boycott. “We let the guy talk for a minute. At the end of the minute, the bell rings, and that’s it. You’ve got a minute, and you can do with it what you want. But instead we have Wolf Blitzer every 30 seconds going, ‘Okay, okay, okay.’ It reminded me of Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon 2.”
Former NBC "Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw appeared on the November 14 edition of Fox News’ "Hannity and Colmes" to discuss his new book "Boom!" Through the course of the interview, Brokaw rehashed the 1960's and its impact today. Brokaw admitted he dressed his daughters up as hippies, marched in some rallies, declined an offer for Nixon’s press secretary, and puffed Hillary Clinton.
Co-host Alan Colmes asked Brokaw if he was "tempted...to be sucked in" to the culture of the 1960's. Brokaw admitted that to a large degree he was.
"Now, as I say in the book was, you know, it was entertaining to be in Southern California, and so on weekends, sure, I'd put on bell bottom trousers and take my little girls dressed in their little hippy outfits, go out to the Renaissance Fair, we had a friend who was a hippy potter, and we’d hang out with him, and then Monday mornings I'd put back on my button down collared shirt, and my suit and tie."
Brokaw also admitted to participating in some demonstrations, but also denied buying into the more extremist rhetoric.
TVNewser has an item today about MSNBC's David Shuster blasting Rudy Giuliani and Fox News brass while announcing a lawsuit involving the rival news channel (h/t Ian Schwartz):
This is how MSNBC's David Shuster, who once worked for FNC, reported the story in the 9amET hour:
"This is bad news, perhaps not just for Rudy Giuliani, but also for Fox News Channel. Roger Ailes who is in charge of Fox News, a close friend of Rupert Murdoch, he's been close friends with Rudy Giuliani for 20 years. Fox News commentator Sean Hannity led a Giuliani fund-raiser."
"Here you have a $100 million lawsuit in which Judith Regan is alleging that there was a smear campaign against her to protect the political agenda of Fox News of News Corp. and that that political agenda was to protect Rudy Giuliani"
Barbara Walters wanted "The View" audience to understand that she normally disagrees with Bill O'Reilly. But when it came to his views on child-rearing, Walters had to admit that she largely agreed with the Factor host. And that depressed her.
O'Reilly, the father of two young children, appeared on today's View to promote his new book on child-rearing and related issues, Kids Are Americans Too.
An interesting discussion occurred on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday when host Howard Kurtz raised the issue of MSNBC intentionally moving to the left politically, as well as its failed attempt to hire Rosie O'Donnell.
Maybe most shocking was conservative radio talk show host Michael Medved saying of the recent events at MSNBC, "I think itshows that they're getting smart."
Coming in a close second was Jennifer Pozner of Women in Media and News stating with a straight face "the majority of the people who host shows on MSNBC are either centrists or conservative," and that Keith Olbermann "is a liberal host, but he doesn't necessarily promote liberal candidates or promote liberal projects."
Deliciously, that might not have been the most absurd statement from Pozner this day (partial transcript follows with emphasis added for your entertainment pleasure):
Should I be worried? I just agreed with something Neal Gabler said. On yesterday's Fox News Watch, the liberal media critic opined that the MSM is backing Benazir Bhutto over Pervez Musharraf in the current Pakistan crisis -- and not for the loftiest of motives.
And could Hillary fall prey to the scenario that brought down Michael Dukakis?
In the past six years, any time someone wrote a tell-all book about George W. Bush or a member of his administration, they were given the royal treatment by the press with lavish interviews offering them the perfect platform to market their work as well as their politically charged opinions.
Consider for example all the attention given to Valerie Plame Wilson just recently when her book "Fair Game" was released, or the focus on George Tenet and his "At the Center of the Storm" exposé back in April.
With this in mind, if a former female White House aide published a new book implicating a former president -- whose wife just so happens to be the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2008 -- in rape and other possible crimes, shouldn't she be welcomed with open arms by evening television magazines like "60 Minutes" and morning shows like "Today?"
After all, given Kathleen Willey's shocking statements about her new book "Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton" to WOR radio's Steve Malzberg Thursday, one would think such programs would be all over this like white on rice, assuming of course their goal was journalism and not political activism (audio in two parts available here and here, highlights of the interview follow):
As NewsBusters reported, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann went on a ridiculously disgraceful rant during Monday's "Countdown" claiming, amongst other things, that "[T]he presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush."
On Wednesday, Fox News's John Gibson, during his radio program, took issue with Olbermann's tirade, and actually called the former sportscaster a liar for misrepresenting what former acting Attorney General Daniel Levin wrote about the interrogation procedure known as waterboarding.
My October 20th item, "Obama: No Hand on Heart for National Anthem," focused on a "Time" photo of Barack Obama in Iowa in September at Sen. Tom Harkin's steak fry. In contrast with the other candidates, Obama was shown not placing his hand over his heart during the playing of the national anthem. A reproduction of the photo is seen here, as displayed on today's "Morning Joe." Video from November 5 "Morning Joe" (2:02):Real (1.50 MB) and Windows (1.26 MB), plus MP3 audio (952 kB).
I believe I may have been the first person in the blogosphere to discuss the story. Fox News subsequently made reference to the matter on a couple shows, but to my knowledge no other major news shows picked it up. Yet the story took on a life of its own. The item here continued to attract thousands of new readers every day [over 107,000 hits at last count], dozens of other sites picked it up, and emails began circulating that included the photo. I've received far more email about it than for any other item I've posted. Although some people have written to criticize the item, the great majority of the messages are critical of Sen. Obama. This story has clearly touched a nerve with many Americans.
O’Reilly also dispelled the false "New York Times" story that "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" (O’Reilly only said "MSNBC" without mentioning Olbermann by name) is competitive with "The O’Reilly Factor." In fact, "The Factor" dominates the 8:00 PM slot dwarfing "Countdown."
Bill O’Reilly also poked fun at NBC’s hard left turn noting "it is not true that Sean Penn will be co-anchoring the NBC ‘Nightly News’...that Hugo Chavez will become their chief foreign correspondent."
I spent a small smidgen of time on Monday at Fox News discussing the Oprah Winfrey struggle with sex abuse allegations at her South African school for girls. Why is this story so big? In part, it's because Oprah made it so big, inviting massive coverage of her philanthropy, as I said to Martha McCallum on her show Live Desk:
Part of the problem is the way she built it up in the first place. As you have just described, she put an enormous amount of money in here, built this thing, hand-picked the students, and when you have that much involvement in it, when something goes wrong, people are going to look right at you. They're not going to look at, "well, she was just the billionaire philanthropist who paid money and did not have anything to do with it." Now the media can turn around and say everything that goes wrong to these -- with the students that she selected becomes her problem, and she is obviously getting very aggressive in trying to meet it head on.
So what can she do to remedy the abuse allegations? She's obviously aggressive in her PR, but I suggested she was overpromising:
Update (Nov. 8 | 13:00 EST): International and Beijing Olympic officials are denying any such Bible ban exists. Click here for the story.
"Olympic agencies of the free world shouldn't tolerate this kind of intolerance. But will the media notice?" NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham asked in a Sunday blog post, referring to a November 2 Catholic News Agency article reporting the Communist Chinese government's plan to bar athletes from bringing Bibles along with their other personal effects in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Unfortunately, a full four days after the CNA article, it seems major print and television media have ignored the story. A Nexis search of major newspapers from November 2-6 yielded no stories on the matter. Ditto with a search of ABC, CBS, and NBC news transcripts, as well as a search of MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News.
A notable exception to the general media silence: Fox News Channel's Neil Cavuto. Just after the half-hour mark to his November 6 program the host of "Your World with Neil Cavuto" covered the controversy as he interviewed evangelist Bill Keller, who is urging the United States government to boycott next year's Summer Games should China not repeal the policy.
Cavuto and Keller noted that the Koran, unlike the Bible, was not similarly on the censorship list.
Even liberal Bush administration critics are, as Hillary Clinton would say, "piling on" the Senator from New York and Democratic presidential candidate. George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, a regular guest on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," who suggested that President Bush "could well have committed a federal crime...30 times" with the NSA wiretapping program, offered harsh words for Senator Clinton on the November 6 "Fox and Friends."
Turley opined that the Clintons "seem to want" documents being released "at a glacial pace." Turley noted that "it’s not just health care stuff" but also "things like pardons, controversies involving Hillary Clinton’s brothers."
As NewsBusters previously reported, Rosie O’Donnell is reportedly negotiating a talk show with MSNBC, the same Rosie O’Donnell who did not last a full season on "The View" with her left wing ravings. The co-hosts on the November 6 edition of "Fox and Friends" discussed it. Gretchen Carlson predicted that "it probably won’t last because Rosie doesn’t stick too long with any particular show."
The co-hosts proceeded to play two inflammatory clips of Rosie O’Donnell, previously documented by NewsBusters. First, was Rosie O’Donnell comparing radical Islam with "radical Christianity" and then her September 11 conspiracy rant that for "the first time in history, that steel was melted by fire."
After all, what could be better than three consecutive hours of leftwing invective starting with Chris Matthews, followed by Keith Olbermann, and ending with Rosie's ridiculous rants replete with repugnantly rude ruminations such as only she can regurgitate?
It's a liberal cable network's dream.
As reported by the New York Times Monday (emphasis added throughout, h/t NBer motherbelt):
Besides the illegal immigrant driver’s license controversy, Hillary Clinton’s biggest stumbling point during last week’s debate involved communications between her husband regarding health care. Senator Clinton’s defense is "that’s not my decision to make."
Documents uncovered by "Newsweek," however, revealed that in 1994, President Clinton named his wife along with his adviser Bruce Lindsey in charge of the former president’s papers. Senator Clinton’s spokesman said "we don’t control their process. We’re not holding anything up."
Senator Clinton also claimed that "all of the records, as far as I know, about what we did with health care, those are already available." However, "Newsweek" also reports that most records relating to the health care task force have not been released.
All of the networks, and CNN have thus far ignored the story. However, "Fox and Friends" discussed the story on the November 5 edition. The transcript of the discussion is below.
The networks and the newspapers that compose the "mainstream media" "don’t care" if they’re biased towards liberals according to former CBS reporter and best selling author Bernard Goldberg. Appearing on the November 1 edition of "The O’Reilly Factor," Goldberg responded to the recent Harvard study, cited by NewsBusters, that Democrats do get more positive coverage and less negative coverage than their Republican counterparts.
Goldberg also opined that "if another study came out about another kind of bias against women or against minorities, they’d establish a blue ribbon panel to investigate it. But bias against Republicans, they don’t care."
People that don't foolishly depend on the mainstream media for current events are painfully aware of the most recent round of racially insensitive statements made by Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.).
As is typical, this went largely ignored by press outlets that would have been all over the remarks had a Republican presidential candidate made them.
Of course, these same media members are also hesitant to share any good news from Iraq.
With that in mind, "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace was WOR radio Steve Malzberg's guest Thursday afternoon, during which time he made some observations about media bias that few in the industry would dare.
What follows is Wallace's marvelous view of what would have happened to a Republican presidential candidate if he had made similar racist comments as Biden's, as well as bonus coverage you will surely enjoy (audio available here):
Boxing enthusiasts saw quite a barnburner Tuesday evening when conservative author Ann Coulter took on liberal media member Alan Colmes on Fox News's "Hannity and Colmes."
As this was the first time the pair met since Coulter's now famous "Jews need to be perfected" comment, it was a metaphysical certitude this issue would surface.
Not surprisingly, Colmes did not disappoint, as irrespective of any other pressing matters facing the nation, this was the first topic he raised with his guest, and in so doing, set off quite a firestorm when he said Coulter was using "the classic language of anti-Semitism."
As this is just too marvelous to interrupt with needless commentary, what follows is a partial transcript of this delicious battle between right and left with a video available here for your added entertainment pleasure (h/t Hot Air):
According to a new study, those news organizations that hold themselves up as the most neutral and professional — big newspapers, the broadcast networks and taxpayer-subsidized National Public Radio — are actually producing campaign stories that are the most tilted in favor of Democrats, while online news and talk radio have actually been the most balanced.
The study, released Monday from the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) and Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, found newspapers and broadcast TV outlets devoted far more time to covering the Democratic candidates than the Republicans and that the tone of those stories was much more favorable to the Democrats, mirroring the results of a Media Research Center study released in August.
In other words, the media is both slanted to the left and under performing in terms of public expectations on election coverage. The notable exception on left leaning bias is in talk radio; the one media outlet that is under attack by certain Democrats in Congress for emphasis on “fairness”.
One of O'Reilly's staffers confronted Rosie O'Donnell during a book signing last Friday night. The person appeared to be Jesse Watters, longtime "Factor" producer who is known to track down celebrities and news makers who refuse to appear on O'Reilly's show. Watters wanted to know why Rosie would not respond to numerous requests for her to come on the "Factor." Rosie told Watters that if O'Reilly wants her on his show, he should personally call her.
When asked about her controversial views of 9/11, Rosie denied saying the terror attack was an "inside job." Rosie decided it was time to throw out Mr. Watters when he wanted to know her thoughts on WTC Building 7. Watters was removed from the book store at that point. Click here to view the video.
Fox News, just as Glenn Beck previously, picked up on an observation that the rest of the mainstream media largely ignored: brush left in place under environmental groups’ pressure fueled much of the fires in southern California. While all of the network’s morning shows ignored this angle (NBC’s "Today," ABC’s "Good Morning America," and CBS’s "The Early Show") the October 25 edition of "Fox and Friends" contained this report from Adam Housley.
An Iraq War widow called out the mainstream media’s anti-military bias, and the only national news outlet to pick it up was Fox News Channel’s "The O’Reilly Factor." Appearing on the October 24 edition of the mentioned show, Ginger Gilbert, whose husband died providing infantry cover and sparing Iraqi civilians, spoke out against the media running an Al Qaeda video of her husband’s downed plane, but not focusing on his heroism.
Mrs. Gilbert called it "heartbreaking and upsetting and frustrating" that "this is what American journalists would chose to show and there was never a mention of the 22 lives he saved." Gilbert continued that airing such a video is "lending credibility" and "just furthering terrorism propaganda."
As wildfires rage throughout Southern California, media have predictably begun to blame this awful natural disaster on President George W. Bush much as they did almost exactly two years ago when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.
On Tuesday evening, MSNBC's Dan Abrams set up an interview with California Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Cal.) thusly:
But the fire storms in California`s raising tough questions about what the National Guard is extended too much to handle emergencies at home. Back in May, before the fire started, "The San Francisco Chronicle" reported that the California National Guard was down a billion dollars worth of equipment. Two hundred and nine vehicles in Iraq, including 110 humvees and 63 military trucks. According to report the California guard should have had 39 diesel generators on hand. They say it had none. The Kansas governor raised similar concerns earlier this year when she said the deployment of National Guard troops to Iraq hurt the emergency response to a deadly tornado in her state. The question -- is this another unanticipated cost of a prolonged and expensive war effort?
On Wednesday morning, CNN's John Roberts asked a similar question of FEMA Administrator David Paulison:
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."