Anyone remembering the ascent of Newt Gingrich to House Speaker in 1995 surely noticed a difference between media coverage of that historic event and Nancy Pelosi taking the gavel back for the Democrats in 2007. One had all the joy of a child’s funeral. The other was New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.
CNN even had a countdown clock to the Democrats regaining the majority. All that was missing was a lighted crystal donkey that would descend down a pole on the top of the Capitol dome. CNN’s Dana Bash called Pelosi’s gavel grab a "moment to savor," surely true for her supporters, but the bitterest of pills to swallow for those who worked their hearts out last year to keep Pelosi and her liberal army from retaking the House. CNN left no doubt where it stood on this divide.
The liberal media despised Newt, and adore Nancy. They’ve demonstrated this by the way they played up the Gingrich threat in the weeks after the ’94 GOP tsunami, while virtually ignoring Pelosi and her radical agenda for the last two months.
Have the brain-trust at Time magazine stepped out of a cold pool to recognize that their publication is not the brand it used to be, or are they finally wising up to political and technological shifts in the population they market to? Regardless of the answer, New York Times media critic David Carr had some harsh words Monday for the incredibly shrinking periodical that recently named “You” as the Person of the Year (emphasis mine throughout, hat tip to Drudge):
Time Inc. management, with the help of air cover from the consultants from McKinsey, is trying to cut costs to reflect brutal realities in the mass magazine business. At the end of the month, there will be significant layoffs at the magazine division, and it will not end with Time’s 280 editorial employees.
According to Carr, this is just the beginning of changes in store for Time:
The new year may have just begun, but members of the media are relying on time-tested bias to attack conservatives and Republicans. Chris Matthews recently slimed Fox News host Bill O’Reilly by linking him to such despotic leaders as Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
During the funeral of President Gerald Ford, Katie Couric attacked the Reverend Billy Graham for being "remarkably partisan." A "Time" magazine correspondent slammed the departed Ford for not criticizing the Iraq war publically, calling it "unpardonable."
The passing of President Gerald Ford drew a dignified, even warm farewell from the national press. There was near-consensus that he would be remembered for his decency and the risk he took, pardoning Richard Nixon from Watergate prosecutions in an effort to heal the nation. It is proper that the press is kind today. It ought to be remembered, however, that the press was not of this opinion when Ford took office.
For example, Time magazine’s cover story on the pardon in September 1974 declared that "Ford's first major decision raised disturbing questions about his judgment and his leadership capabilities, and called into question his competence." The cover carried suggestive sub-headlines like "Squandered Trust" and "Premature and Unwise." Such was the media’s mood toward this man’s actions in office.
Time’s Cartoons of the Year for 2006 certainly have a liberal tilt. None of them mock American liberals. Two promote them. The list starts with a Kerry-defending serious cartoon, "I’d rather be insulted by a botched joke than die in a botched war." It ends with Nancy Pelosi arriving in the Capitol to "Clean the House."
Republicans and conservatives are mocked. A joke mocks that Dick Cheney should invite Valerie Plame on a hunting trip, that Dennis Hastert is getting his "just desserts" in Foleygate for pursuing the Clinton sex scandals, and the Verizon guy is on the line with an NSA wiretapper who’s thrown the Constitution in the garbage can. John Wayne seems to be in cardiac arrest in Heaven after learning the plot of "Brokeback Mountain."
On Sunday's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Time magazine Washington Bureau Chief Jay Carney called “unpardonable” the late President Gerald Ford's failure to share with the nation, as well as Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld -- who worked for him as Chief of Staff and Secretary of Defense, respectfully -- his discomfort with the decision to go to war in Iraq. "Had he spoke out at the time,” Carney sighed, “it would have had an impact.” This Week opened the roundtable with audio of Gerald Ford in a 2004 interview with Bob Woodward: "I don't think I would have ordered the Iraqi war. I can understand the theory of wanting to free people. I just don't think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people unless it is directly related to our own national security."
Carney's wife, ABC's Claire Shipman, echoed what she expressed on Thursday's Good Morning America (NewsBusters item by Megan McCormack) as she scolded Ford for cowardice since “he could have made a real difference” if he had spoken out: “If this was a man who was unafraid to take the hit on something like the pardon [of Nixon], this was a man who had the experience of Vietnam, presiding over the end of the Vietnam war, he clearly felt strongly about what was happening in Iraq, he could have made a real difference if he had decided to speak out."
Time magazine's website had an online poll recently to help (supposedly) determine who should take home its 'Person of the Year' designation. Radical-lefty Hugo Chavez fans are upset that they loaded up on the online poll for a victory, but the poll was not definitive. The folks at the Hands Off Venezuela blog do have this amusing take:
Interestingly, the present issue of Time carries another article called "Power to the People" (read it here), which starts by saying:
"Meet 15 citizens-including a French rapper, a relentless reviewer and a real life lonely girl-of the new digital democracy"
Why isn't Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, who first broke the "fauxtography" scandal out of Lebanon, among Time's "digital democracy" change agents?
After looking at the weak collection of candidates available to vote for as Time's Person of the Year last week (based on what they did in 2006, which wasn't much), I wrote:
Perhaps YouTube, online forums, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and online media should be the Thing of the Year: The Shadow Media. Of course, Time would be writing about its own likely eventual demise, but it would fit.
That's essentially what Time has done in its mostly (in my opinion) good decision to name "You" as Person of the Year:
..... for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, TIME's Person of the Year for 2006 is you.
Time named as "You" everyone trying to influence the world just a bit from their keyboard. That would include, to a miniscule degree, yours truly, and, again of course, many people who are reading this post.
Oh-so-predictably, two of the three "hard-news" members of the magazine's "15 citizens of the digital democracy" are influencers from the left side; none are from the right -- sorry, libs, a milblogger is not presumptively "conservative" (direct links may not work unless you have already visited Time's web site):
This one caught me quite off guard: a major American magazine recognizing that all of the problems in the Middle East can’t be tied directly to the never-ending standoff between Israel and the Palestinians. This was even more shocking given the recent suggestions by the Baker-Hamilton commission that the problems in Iraq would be lessened by a resolution of this seemingly extraneous conflict.
Yet, there it was in a Time magazine op-ed by assistant managing editor Lisa Beyer entitled, “The Big Lie About the Middle East,” with a subheading, “Tell James Baker: Arab nations don't care about the Palestinians” (emphasis mine throughout): “In lumping the Iraq mess in with the Palestinian problem--and suggesting the first could not be fixed unless the second was too--the Baker-Hamilton commission lent credibility to a corrosive myth: that the fundamental problem in the Arab world is the plight of the Palestinians.
Ana Marie Cox of "Time" magazine asserted that the pregnancy of Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, shames the White House and pondered whether it was a "...genetic experiment to extend the lineage," on Tuesday’s "Imus in the Morning." Cox, appearing in the 6:00 hour, alluded to Ms. Cheney’s sexual orientation on several occasions and emphasized that she is the vice president’s "gay daughter."
Cox claimed that the Bush administration is "falling apart" because the news of Mary Cheney’s pregnancy is the best they’d received recently:
"This administration’s really falling apart though, I do agree. I think, you know, you know times are bad when the best news the White House has had recently is, you know, Dick Cheney’s gay daughter is pregnant. Like, he’s going to be a granddad, that’s pretty much it."
Proving that Time Magazine never understood a single thing about John McCain, Time writer, Karen Tumulty, is all worried about the "cost" of McCain's purported run for the 2008 GOP nomination for the presidency.
The head and sub-head lines alone are so filled with misconstructions, assumptions and laments that one doesn't have to read the rest of the story to know how far off they are in analysis.
John McCain was a straight-talking upstart in the 2000 presidential election. Now he's poised to be the G.O.P. favorite for 2008, but at what cost?
First of all, the "maverick" label is one the press created and drove McCain ever more toward with their fawning attention. This assumption of "front runner" now is also a figment of their imagination.
Then, they belie their supposed objectivity and reveal how much they loved the claimed maverick status of their hero, McCain, by claiming there now is a "cost" to be incurred with his attempt to get the '08 nomination. Tumulty's article reveals her bad feelings that he will have to try harder this time to court the base as opposed to imagining that the independent and moderate vote will catapult him past all comers in a GOP primary -- a woefully mistaken belief from the 2000 run that the press seems to have encouraged for McCain, an encouragement that doomed his candidacy.
Slim pickings indeed. Perhaps we need to start looking for inanimate objects (e.g., 1982 - The Computer; 1988 - Endangered Earth), symbolic people (1950 - American Fighting Man; 1956 - Hungarian Freedom Fighter; 2003 - The American Soldier), or groups of people (1960 - US Scientists; 1966 - 25 and Under; 1969 - The Middle Americans; 1975 - American Women; 1993 - The Peacemakers; 2002 - The Whistleblowers). The list of all previous winners is here.
Perhaps YouTube, online forums, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and online media should be the Thing of the Year: The Shadow Media. Of course, Time would be writing about its own likely eventual demise, but it would fit.
What is it about leaving a network gig that makes news anchors even more biased? Ex-host Tom Brokaw told a "Harball" audience that Barack Obama is a "rock star," lavished praise on Jon Stewart, and claimed that Ronald Reagan neglected "Mother Earth."
Speaking of NBC stars who suck up to environmentalists, Matt Lauer recently encouraged Al Gore to run for president and "save the planet." Way to stay objective, Matt!
The "Today" anchor continued his global warming obsession in another segment, lauding actor Leonardo DiCaprio for "standing up to get people thinking" about the issue. (Funny, I don’t recall the "Today" host complimenting many pro-life activists for "standing up.")
Lobbying for global warming can be tiring work, as NewsBusters editor Matthew Sheffield noted when he pointed out that CNN host Miles O’Brien fell asleep during recent hearings on the subject.
This week, the "mainstream" media continued lobbying for a complete acknowledgment of total failure in Iraq. "Time" magazine likened the Iraq Study Report to a drug intervention. Discussing the same subject, "Hardball" guest host Mike Barnicle wondered if President Bush is "delusional," " isolated" or "stubborn." Those are certainly some great options to chose from!
When the MSM wants to be particularly nasty toward President Bush, it breaks out the references to his dissolute younger days. Witness this week's 'Time' cover story 'Can Bush find an exit?,' which manages a two-fer in the genre: a reference to W's hard-drinking past and an allusion to him as nothing less than a drug addict.
The story's very first lines:
"George Bush has a history of long-overdue U-turns. He waited until he woke up, hung over, one morning at 40 before giving up booze cold. He fought the idea of a homeland-security agency for eight months after 9/11 and then scampered aboard and called it his idea. But Bush has never had to pull off a U-turn like the one he is contemplating now: to give up on his dream of turning Babylon into an oasis of freedom and democracy . . . "
It's a competitive bout of conservative-bashing out of the Michael Richards N-word rant at the Laugh Factory. Newsweek had two columns from black staffers, both mentioning George Allen and "Macaca." Time just had one, by the white TV critic James Poniewozik, but in referring to Richards, Mel Gibson, and the canceled O.J. Simpson special, he works in Allen, the RNC Harold-Ford-mocking ad, and Rush Limbaugh's alleged hate for Michael J. Fox:
All this followed an election whose lowlights were the macaca incident, an ad playing off miscegenation fears and a radio host mocking a disabled man. It's as if the U.S. were experiencing collective Tourette's, regurgitating decades of dutifully sublimated hate--Borat, with real people. As disturbing as the bigotry was the role of the people expressing it. Politicians and entertainers, after all, succeed by knowing our hearts and minds. We are, in a real way, implicated in their achievement and their disgrace. So you'd think this explosion of public ugliness might spur some kind of national soul searching. Did we somehow encourage their bigotry, by ignoring softer forms of it in our pop culture? Did they think on some level, conscious or not, that they spoke for us? Were they right?
Time magazine has an online poll to get an unscientific idea of how their annual Person of the Year should be. It breaks down into American Republicans (President Bush, Secretary of State Rice), American Democrats (Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore), the Axis of Evil (Kim Jong Il, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and unofficial new member Hugo "Bush Is Satan" Chavez), and just to be trendy, the "YouTube Guys."
As of Friday morning, it seems the Time crowd understands that this isn't a popularity contest as much as a measure of who made the most waves in 2006: Ahmadinejad is ahead with 32 percent, and the YouTube Guys are far behind at 15 percent; Bush is at 13, Pelosi at 12, Al Gore at 11, and Rice at 8.
This past week saw The Washington Post ask a classically liberal question: Is America more racist or sexist?
Following the lead of this major paper, ABC’s Diane Sawyer asked the same question, adding a surreptitious angle. She wondered, "Is the nation, secretly, I guess, more racist or more sexist?"
The "Good Morning America" host wasn’t through, however. On Tuesday, she offered the query again. This time, Sawyer added a new spin, "secret genderism." The recipient of the question, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, readily agreed. America is guilty, she asserted, it just isn’t "very secret."
Speaking of The Washington Post, ever wonder how many times the paper mentioned "macaca?" According to MRC President Brent Bozell, the paper featured the phrase no less then 112 times!
MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann absurdly linked domestic terrorism to "right-wing blogs."
While Olbermann slimed conservatives, CNN labeled the current low gas prices "a recovery." Why, just a few weeks ago, the falling costs represented a link between "Big Oil" and the GOP. What a difference an election makes!
Now that the Democrats have picked their Majority Leader in the House the outcome gives us (and her) the first hint that Speaker Pelosi is not the powerhouse she thought she was. Her man, Murtha, lost in a landslide: 149 to 86... a thumpin' to say the least.
In my last report on how the MSM covered this little inter Dem fight I pointed out that they were ignoring how distant were the two positions on pulling out of Iraq that is held by the erstwhile candidates for Majority Leader.
I noted how they refused to portray Murtha's position as "extreme", even as he supports pulling out of Iraq immediately to Hoyer's, who does not. I noted that the MSM did not waste much breath contrasting Murtha's position with the far less volatile position held by Hoyer.
It seems strangely inconsistent that the MSM ignored the Iraq war issue in their stories since they made the entire recent election all about Iraq and how it is a mess and that our soldiers should come home. Yet, a guy who does not want an immediate pull out defeated Murtha and this fact went uncommented upon.
In the past week, Time magazine has effectively demonstrated one of the methods of disseminating propaganda in this country. First, one makes a totally unsubstantiated claim about a high-ranking official that your media outlet doesn’t care for. Then, you backtrack, cover your bases, and much like Gilda Radner’s old character on “Saturday Night Live,” say, “Never mind.” The problem is that in many cases, the damage created by your first report is done, and can’t be rectified.
The fauxtography scandal that characterized reporting of the Israeli-Hezbollah war continues. Charles Johnson at little green footballs reports that, according to the photographer who took a dramatic picture that ran in Time and US News & World Report, editors at Time deliberately changed the caption to slant the story against Israel. The caption claimed that the picture showed an Israeli plane burning after being shot down. It actually showed a fire at a Lebanese army base caused by a ground to ground missile that misfired after Israeli bombing.
What neither magazine chose to report is that the presence of the missile and launcher hidden in a civilian truck on the army base is a clear indication of collusion between the Lebanese army and the terrorist group Hezbollah.
So this week’s Time magazine has declared an end to Ronald Reagan’s conservative revolution? It wouldn’t be the first time — the fortune tellers at Time also saw the end of the “bankrupt” Reagan era back in 1993, after novice President Bill Clinton pleased Time’s writing staff by passing a budget that raised personal income tax rates and increased the tax on gasoline. Too bad the “return to the economic orthodoxy of balanced budgets” Time promised wasn’t achieved until voters put budget-cutting Republicans in charge of the House and Senate the following year 1994.
“Overturning the Reagan Era” screamed Time’s cover, which showed an upside-down image of President Reagan. The cover story, by Nancy Gibbs, showed Time’s obvious infatuation with liberals' concept of “fiscal responsibility,” namely, punish the private sector with tax rates high enough to pay for all of the fat government programs that Democrats can dream up (although Gibbs wished for even higher taxes, saying the ones Clinton and the last Democratic Congress pushed through "weren't very brave.").
In the aftermath of the 2006 elections, Time magazine's Joe Klein has declared that the Democrat takeover of Congress may signal "the end of the conservative pendulum swing that began with Ronald Reagan's revolution."
Certainly, we expect this kind of errant speculation without the use of facts or historical reference from a shameless shill like New York Times’ propagandist Paul Krugman as reported by NewsBusters on Saturday. However, for Joe Klein to make such early prognostications, and for Time magazine to make this its cover story, bordered on total irresponsibility and yellow journalism.
But there it was in an article titled “The Realists Take Charge; The election whupping marked the end of George W. Bush's radical experiment in partisan government - and a plea for politicians to get serious about solving problems” (subscription required, CNN.com summary here, hat tip to NB reader Allanf, and emphasis mine throughout):
As the internet becomes more and more a news source for everyone, formerly dominant media outlets have seen news consumers shift online to look for news. Just like radio was harmed by TV but still continues to survive because it changed how it did things, the magazine business is at a similar crossroads.
With more magazines than ever out there to say nothing about the web, older general circulation magazines are having to adapt. Up until just recently, though, there hasn't been anything too drastic. That might be changing as the weekly Time seems willing to start changing things.
On the political side, the magazine has in the past reached out to left-wing bloggers to write for it. Now, it seems the management has realized that, amazingly enough, conservatives read political news online as well. To that end, it's essentially purchased the conservative blog Real Clear Politics.
Well, this certainly didn’t take long, did it? The Time magazine website just published an article about a lawsuit being filed in Germany seeking criminal prosecution for Donald Rumsfeld over abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay (hat tips to Joe Myers and Jay at Stop The ACLU):
Just days after his resignation, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is about to face more repercussions for his involvement in the troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany's top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
On Thursday's O'Reilly Factor on FNC, Bill O'Reilly raised, with former CBS News reporter Bernard Goldberg and Fox Newswatch panelist Jane Hall, “all the softball interviews of Nancy Pelosi” which aired Wednesday night and that a NewsBusters item summarized. O'Reilly cautioned that “I'm not saying you should go after her throat, but surely when you have the person second in line for the presidency and she's the most liberal Speaker of the House in the history of the country, surely you might want to get into a little bit about how she formed her point of view -- or am I crazy?" Goldberg assured O'Reilly, "no, you're not crazy,” and proposed: “Do you think Newt Gingrich would have gotten the same treatment as Nancy Pelosi got? Look, I mean, the bias is never blatant, but they like Nancy Pelosi, they like the fact the Democrats won and she's a woman, the first woman who's going to be Speaker of the House, so they treat her with a certain respect, which they should, that they wouldn't treat a conservative Republican."
Indeed, as the MRC documented back in 1994, the mainstream media greeted Gingrich's victory with hostility. Days before the election, CBS's Eric Engberg treated as newsworthy how the “bombastic and ruthless” Gingrich “was attacked for McCarthyism" and has “a record filled with contradictions: the family values candidate who divorced his ailing first wife, the avowed enemy of dirty politics who bounced 22 checks at the House Bank...” Time magazine snidely declared: "His ideas, which don't often come to grips with the particulars of policymaking, may be less important than his signature mood of righteous belligerence." ABC's Sam Donaldson confronted Gingrich: "A lot of people are afraid of you, they think you're a bomb thrower. Worse, you're an intolerant bigot.”
NPR's weekend program "On The Media" ran several interviews on Obama-mania in their last edition, including a talk with National Journal media writer William Powers. After discussing the many steps of national media hype, Powers suggested Obama was really a black Kennedy:
NPR host Brooke Gladstone: "In this recent round of what a lot of people are calling Obama-mania, would you say that there is now a media consensus about Obama, that he's just a natural?"
William Powers: "Oh, I think there's a consensus that he is The Natural, the most preternatural political figure we have seen since the Kennedys. The Kennedys come up constantly in these comparisons.
Gladstone: "The Kennedys or one particular Kennedy?"
Just in time for election season, Time magazine’s Joe Klein went on MSNBC’s Scarborough Country Tuesday to give Americans a heapin’ helpin’ of some fine hypocrisy. Sorry, Jed. In the space of a couple of minutes, Klein bashed Rush Limbaugh with some (isn’t this stuff getting old?) typical drug references, castigated Vice President Dick Cheney for “[legitimizing] a guy like Rush Limbaugh,” praised Michael J. Fox’s ad for Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), and slammed the ad made in Missouri by famous athletes and actors to counter Fox’s (video link to follow). Of course, Klein also had time to praise what some Democrat candidates are doing to woo voters, while chastising Republicans for doing virtually the same thing.
The festivities started with host Joe Scarborough showing Michael J. Fox’s recent campaign ad for Claire McCaskill, then an audio clip of Rush Limbaugh’s response, and finally asking Klein for his opinion – as if the viewers couldn’t predict what Klein would say:
Writing in Time Magazine for the October 23, 2006 issue, Leslie H. Gelb lamented “To me the relentless mud slide of insurgency and civil war in Iraq is leading to unacceptable strategic disaster for the U.S. There appear to be no viable paths to avoid it.”
This is a common theme used throughout both the print and electronic media today. If the American press were commanding the war in Iraq, we would already have bowed our heads in defeat.
Since that attitude is so prevalent among news outlets and publications, it was refreshing to hear a relatively simple, but thought-provoking suggestion offered on Fox News Live, October 20, 2006. Ghazal Omid, a Muslim scholar was a member of a panel that fielded questions about the war. When asked about the impossible insurgency situation, she suggested we put resolution to that element of the conflict in the hands of Iraq’s religious leaders.
This week’s cover story on "Why Barack Obama Could Be The Next President" is really part of an enormous package offering hope to liberals about defeating the conservative movement, especially the religious right. There is a six-page article by Joe Klein about being dazzled by Obama the "political rocket," a six-page excerpt from Obama’s book The Audacity of Hope, explaining how "progressives" can neutralize religious conservatives, and, just to stay on point, a three-page excerpt from David Kuo’s book Tempting Faith titled "Why a Christian in the White House Felt Betrayed."
Klein's cover story, titled "The Fresh Face," tried to sound detached that Obama’s not "quite ready to answer the tough questions." (As you’ll see, Klein’s tough questions are pressing from the left, and he’s unhappy that Obama’s slow to commit.) Klein began in typical jaunty fashion about how Obama wows a Rockford audience with "sly hipster syncopation" and how his style is "quietly conversational, low in rhetoric-saturated fat; there is no harrumph to him."