Apparently the sight of George W. Bush surrounded by cute babies is enough to make Time's Joe Klein "want to throw up." On this weekend's syndicated Chris Matthews Show, the panel discussion turned to Bush's veto of expanded stem cell research and his appearance with "snowflake babies." For Time magazine's Joe Klein it was too much to take: "That photo-op, this week with all of those babies made me want to throw up.It is so transparently political and cynical."
Substituting for Chris Matthews, NBC's David Gregory teased the segment at the top of the show: "Most voters favor full-speed ahead on stem cells but the President hit the brakes. Could this be political disaster in November?" Gregory opened the panel discussion with a soundbite from Nancy Pelosi declaring: "In vetoing the legislation, the President will be saying no to 75 percent of the American people." NBC's Andrea Mitchell then noted that while the veto will energize some in Bush's base it also: "Doesn't track at all politically with people in his own party, with, you know, the soccer moms, with other constituencies that Republicans have been trying to court. It flies in the face of that." Gregory then threw it to Klein:
Do you want to know the real reason there is global warming now? It's because people in 1974 panicked about news that humans were actually causing "global cooling." To remedy the situation, countries upped their pollution and cut down more trees. But now it's gotten too hot again.
Entertainment Weekly said that Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" had done the "inconceivable," it "made Al Gore cool." If Al Gore can save us from the next crisis, and make world temperatures be as "cool" as he is, maybe a future leader who is "hot" can save us from the next "global cooling" catastrophe.
From the Jun 24, 1974, Time Magazine, entitled: "Another Ice Age?"
Guess we folks at NewsBusters and at our parent organization, Media Research Center, can go home. Our work is done. Not only is the media not controlled by liberals, it's actually . . . dominated by the right wing. For that matter, it has been for decades! If only we had known, we could have saved ourselves all this trouble.
How did I learn this? From Arshad Hasan, of Democracy for America, the group Howard Dean founded at the end of his candidacy, and that has as its stated goal "to rebuild the Democratic Party." Dean's brother Jim serves at its chair.
Arshad was nice enough to send me an email this morning [OK, I signed up for their list], informing me of the exciting news that DFA is working "to take back our media" and that for such purposes will be conducting online 'DFA Night School' sessions to cover the following subjects:
The line between old-fashioned objective reporting and opinion writing is blurry enough on the big subjects like the war on terrorism and the economy, but in entertainment journalism, it’s becoming nearly impossible to differentiate between the two, especially since those who deliver this product don’t, and won’t.
Take it from me: This is a rough neighborhood to work in if you are lobbying for decency and family-friendly programming on television and regularly deal with the entertainment press. In the daytime, you’re working with reporters you assume are dedicated to telling the story in an objective and balanced manner. But when they go moonlighting on more opinionated Internet web logs, entertainment reporters often make it clear that the concept of upholding decency is a bad joke.
Time magazine has hired another liberal blogger in its ongoing effort to make the balance of its conservative vs. liberal bloggers as balanced as its news reporting. Not only that, their new blogger is a fan of Bush conspiracy theories.
This makes three bloggers writing for Time now: Marshall, Wonkette, and of course St. Andrew.
St. Andrew being the “conservative.”
Remember when WaPo hired Ben Domenech and the left wet its pants for days over the fact that they hadn’t hired a left-wing blogger to balance him out? When does Time sign Captain Ed or Josh Trevino to balance out Marshall?
Give the Ragin' Cajun credit: the man works fast. In a Today show appearance lasting only six minutes, and shared with former Bush administration official Dan Senor, Carville managed to work variations on the word 'failure' into his comments no fewer than six times.
At the same time, I defy anyone to read the transcript or watch a replay of Carville's comments on Pres. Bush''s foreign policy and find one solitary instance in which he proposes an alternative or even offers constructive criticism. His rap was utterly bereft of any notion of what the Democrats would do, and do better, if they regained power.
A Republican senator who makes a remark with insensitive racial connotations? Toast. Ask Trent Lott. A Democrat? Hey, no problem! Then again, woe betide the Republican senator who offers an awkward description of the workings of the internet. It will 'haunt' him.
That's the world according to Wonkette-turned-Time columnist Ana Marie Cox, who appeared on last evening's Scarborough Country. For those who might have missed the Biden flap, on a recent campaign swing to New Hampshire, Biden told an Indian political activist: “You cannot go into a Dunkin Donuts or a 7-Eleven unless you have a slight Indian accent.”
Here's a few tidbits from this week's news magazines.
1. Newsweek's predictably liberal "Conventional Wisdom Watch" box is clearly unhappy with the good-news-for-Bushies trend. Bush and Rove each get an up arrow. Each also get incredibly whiny blurbs. Bush: "Surprise Baghdad trip boosts troops' morale -- and his own. But he still had to sneak in, three years after invasion." Rove: "Being cleared in CIA leak probe clears his to go back to attacking Democrats as pansies. To the well once too often?"
Answer: No, not when you're pushing withdrawal from Iraq by the end of the year.
The blog Sweetness & Light has done excellent legwork exposing Time magazine's reporting on the Haditha incident. Sweetness & Light wants to know why it took so long for the incident to be reported by the media (four months) and who were the shadowy figures who gave the material to Time.
The Washington Times wrote an excellent summary of the work done by Sweetness & Light.
Time first broke the story on Haditha in March, four months after the incident -- a delay which too few of the Marines' more ardent accusers (such as Rep. John Murtha) failed to question. One of Time's key sources who had taken footage of the aftermath was represented only as a "journalism student." It has since been learned that this eyewitness was Taher Thabet al Hadithi.
Here's how Time reporter Aparisim Ghosh described Mr. Hadithi: "[H]e's a young local man ... He brought the tape to Hammurabi Human Rights... and they brought it to us once they found out that we were inquiring about this."
Stephen Spruiell at NRO's Media Blog rightly whacks Slate's John Dickerson -- formerly a White House reporter for Time magazine and the son of pioneering network TV reporter Nancy Dickerson -- for his assertion Monday that liberal bloggers merely want the press to improve, but conservatives can't stand that the press exists, that they want them.....dead?
One of the healthiest things about the left-wing blogosphere is its confrontational dislike of the mainstream media. There's a distinction here with the media's critics on the right. At some level, the right doesn't much like that the press exists. They don't want to fix it, they want to drive a stake through its heart. The left, on the other hand, just wishes the establishment press would do a better job.
Howard Kurtz this morning invited National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, The New Republic’s Michelle Cottle, and Time’s Karen Tumulty on to discuss Ann Coulter’s new book, and her recent appearance on NBC’s “Today” show (hat tip to Ian Schwartz of Expose the Left with his video link to follow). The quartet actually did a spectacular job of dissecting this event that is well worth the eight-minute view.
Conceivably one of the most salient points made was that the mainstream media know full well what is going to happen when they invite Ann on their programs, or put her on the covers of their magazines, and that they are doing it to sell their wares like any other corporate entity. Here’s what Jonah Goldberg said of this:
One hopes this Time mag profile of leftist blogger Markos "Kos" Moulitsas from ex-pseudo blogger Ana Marie Cox (occasionally formerly of wonkette.com), is not allowed into the magazine lest more innocent people will be exposed to its fatuousness.
Compact and wiry, Moulitsas, 34, exudes quivering intensity. He speaks
in staccato paragraphs, punctuated by intense stares and a raised
eyebrow. His eyes bulge slightly outward, as if reacting to the
pressure of all the ideas inside his head. Many of those ideas find a home on Daily Kos. A
clearinghouse for liberal screeds and progressive perspective on the
news, the site claims to get more than 500,000 unique visitors daily
and more than 10,000 members maintain their own sub-blogs (called
"diaries") within its reaches.
In other words, he's nuts but it's in a good way. The nonsense hardly stops there, though:
Moulitsas’s rhetoric and passion have made him a posterboy
bomb-thrower. He's the left's own Kurt Cobain and Che Guevera rolled
into one, dripping sex appeal for progressives for whom debate has
become synonymous with losing, who need a muscular liberal answer to
the cowboy swagger adopted by the Bush Administration and its fans.
The national media are completely allergic to associating the anti-war movement with communist groups, even as Trotskyites like International ANSWER organize the big rallies. But protest illegal immigration, and it becomes an occasion for the media to find every faction and fraction of the Klan and the Nazis. Time's Jeffrey Ressner became this week's publicity agent for liberal "anti-hate" groups. The headline was "Rousing the Zealots: Neo-Nazis, white supremacists and militiamen are revivified by the furor over illegal immigration."
Translation: shut up, border enforcers. You're bringing out the kooks. Ressner began associating the Minutemen to the hate groups:
With immigration perhaps America's most volatile issue, a troubling backlash has erupted among its most fervent foes. There are, of course, the Minutemen, the self-appointed border vigilantes who operate in several states. And now groups of militiamen, white supremacists and neo-Nazis are using resentment over the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. as a potent rallying cry. "The immigration furor has been critical to the growth we've seen" in hate groups, says Mark Potok, head of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Just as last week's Dixie Chicks (ahem, with balls) cover story in Time magazine was expanding on an earlier plug in their Time 100 issue, in this week's editions, reporter Karen Tumulty expands on her earlier "movie star" plug for Al Gore. The headline for this four-page package is "Lights, Camera, Al Gore!" (Yes, an exclamation point.) And: "The ex-president is enjoying an unlikely heyday as a movie star. All that buzz invites the question: Will he audition again for President?"
A "movie star"? May we remind Time's headline writers that the Gore movie debuted in just four theaters and grossed $281,330? (Nice pre-screen average, but c'mon, it's a political event.) May we remind Time that almost no one is going to say "hey, kids, get your popcorn, it's time to watch the Al Gore global warming slide show"? By this standard, we could look up the weekend box-office charts and claim Michael J. Pagan was a "movie star."
The Dixie Chicks and their marketing gurus clearly know publicity. They asked themselves: How can we get ourselves featured on the cover of Time and hailed on CBS’s “60 Minutes” just before the new CD comes out? Easy. Trash George W. Bush again.
Time’s cover had the three women framed in black with the celebratory title “Radical Chicks.” They were famous not because of their music, but because “They criticized the war and were labeled unpatriotic.” That’s a bit off. They criticized George W. Bush, with lead singer Natalie Maines telling a London audience the band so despised him they were ashamed to be from the same home state. That isn’t exactly a brilliant anti-war policy statement that Madeleine Albright would crib. It was an insult.
It's a spicy set of covers on the news magazines this week. U.S. News asks how low Bush can go in the polls. Newsweek is having another agnostic's crush on Mary Magdalene. But Time magazine wins the liberal-bias award for promoting the Dixie Chicks on its cover with the words "Radical Chicks." (Cover copy: "They criticized the war and were labeled unpatriotic.") Josh Tyrangiel's cover story begins predictably by hailing the lead singer:
Natalie Maines is one of those people born middle finger first.
As a high school senior in Lubbock, Texas, she'd skip a class a day in an attempt to prove that because she never got caught and some Mexican students did, the system was racist.
Illustrating the far-left composition of the faculty at one of the most prestigious journalism schools, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism professor Sandy Padwe called the dismissal by Time magazine, for budget reasons, of investigative reporters Donald Bartlett and James Steele, “a disgrace. Two of the best investigative reporters ever, and they're on the street? It's a f---ing travesty." In fact, at both the Philadelphia Inquirer and Time, Bartlett and Steele delivered shoddy, ideologically-driven left-wing “journalism” which should have embarrassed any journalist with pride in their profession. Nonetheless, in the Thursday CJR Daily posting which quoted Padwe, veteran journalist Steve Lovelady gushed: “Barlett and Steele came to be regarded by many as the premier investigative team in the business, and one that consistently met benchmarks to which others could only aspire.”
Yesterday I noted that Richard Stengel, the recently crowned managing editor of Time magazine, had a documented history of media bias. The Washington Post confirmed that fact today with a brief profile (registration required) on Stengel. He told the Post’s Howard Kurtz that he’d like the magazine to "have a stronger point of view about things." Regarding his own politics, the new managing editor described himself as "a flaming moderate." Stengel also discussed his work as a speechwriter and advisor for 1996 presidential candidate Bill Bradley. The former Senator from New Jersey was Stengel’s idol "from the time I was 9 years old." It’s interesting that a "flaming moderate" would idolize someone who had a lifetime American Conservative Union score of 11. Bill Bradley may be many things, a great basketball player, sure, but he was no moderate.
Stengel, who has written and edited Time magazine for several years, already knows something about giving the magazine a "stronger point of view." On January 12, 2001, he wrote an editorial in the magazine about the inauguration of George W. Bush. In it, he compared the various galas to a "party worthy of British royalty," called it a "coronation" and a "Princess Diana-ish royal spectacle."
Richard Stengel, a former adviser and speechwriter for presidential candidate Bill Bradley, has been named the Managing Editor of Time magazine. Stengel has written and edited for the magazine in the past and has a long history of attacking Republicans and conservatives. The Media Research Center has been documenting his bias through the years. One of his more famous comments, recounted in the June 14, 1999, edition of Notable Quotables, was the assertion that the Communist-exposing Whittaker Chambers may have been right, but he sure was mean:
"Whittaker Chambers was mostly right about communism and Alger Hiss, but he was a nasty piece of work and nobody likes a snitch. Even Joe McCarthy may have been on to something, but he was a crude and cruel man who ruined people's lives for 48-point type. You might call this the When Bad People Spoil Good Things school of history."- Time's Richard Stengel on "Dubious Influences," June 14 issue.
Time magazine performed a wee bit better than Newsweek on the Patrick Kennedy front this week. They carry an actual (albeit brief) article by Karen Tumulty in the "NoteBook" section up front. But they also have to spend several pages lionizing ex-President Clinton (in this case, for the "Landmark Soda Agreement.") Tumulty’s piece on Patrick has that familiar poor-wasted-promise theme to it. It concluded:
Kennedy told TIME in 2001 that while privacy would be his "ultimate luxury," there were advantages to having the details of his life be public grist. "It makes you honest about your frailties because – guess what? – you’ve got to get to a place where you can deal with them," he said. "There’s no running away from them in this business." Certainly not if you’re a Kennedy.
The story hasn't been on the media radar much of late, but the legal
team of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former Bush admin official at the
center of the Valerie Plame Wilson leak investigation, came out
swinging this week, landing a number of blows against reporters and
news organizations in a court filing defending Libby's desire to compel
them to submit evidence he deems essential to his defense.
After the Libby team began poking holes in the stories of journalists
Tim Russert, Judith Miller, and Matt Cooper and others, the press
hasn't been especially interested in following the story. There are a
few blogs doing a good job of chronicling the battle between Libby and
special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. One such blog is JustOneMinute,
which has provided a PDF version (and some cogent
analysis) of Libby's most recent filing in two parts, here
The American Thinker has a great
summary of the filing by attorney Clarice Feldman:
been granted a window on the struggle between Lewis
“Scooter” Libby and
the elite media over his access to their internal documents. Libby is
charged with federal crimes because his versions of conversations with
reporters differ from the accounts of the media people. He seeks
evidence from their files about what they knew and what they privately
wrote at the time. In a “he said/she said”
confrontation, access to
supporting evidence becomes critical to the ability to mount a
I told her the Gingrich revolution was a fraud. Arianna had signed on for the part of the revolution that wanted to unravel the social safety net and replace it with faith-based programs. She took the mission very seriously but soon discovered that the Gingrich Republicans did not. "Effective compassion" was just a fig leaf for closing down the Department of Education, cutting Medicare and getting rid of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Time's special issue on the 100 most influential people is a bit of promotional popcorn, allowing celebrities and statesmen to praise each other for their brilliance and good works (for example, Les Gelb flatters Condi Rice, Condi Rice flatters Oprah, Oprah flatters author Elie Wiesel). So it shouldn't be surprising that the magazine that made endangered Earth its "Planet of the Year" and used to beg routinely for punishing gas tax hikes allowed Al Gore to both be praised and offer praise on planetary matters. "There could hardly be a more opportune time for the country to be giving Gore another look," cooed the magazine.
Remember former Time contributor Nina Burleigh? She won our Quote of the Year award in 1998 for proclaiming to the Washington Post: "I would be happy to give him [Clinton] a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs." She also was a runner-up in a Hillary-worship category in 2000. (Screen shot is from an October 15, 1998 appearance on CNBC's Hardball when, as detailed by the MRC CyberAlert, Chris Matthews asked her why she had proclaimed she "would give the President the kind of sex that he got from Monica Lewinsky.")
Burleigh has written a piece for Salon.com (a liberal site, yes, but still viewing a corporate commercial is required) about how her son was molded into a little patriotic clone in small-town New York and how she learned that she, too, could love America, if only Bush wasn't ruining it with that vile war in Iraq:
It's not clear what writer Tim Padgett is hoping to accomplish by the article, although it's possibly meant to put pressure on Jamaica and drive down tourism. Recently the BBC did a report claiming Iraqi homosexuals were better under Saddam. Now Time has an article sounding the alarm about Jamaica with the title: "The Most Homophobic Place on Earth?"
Perhaps Padgett hopes he can start a movement to boycott Jamaica as a tourist location. Starting a new drumbeat or a new consensus is the dream of all journalists. "How many drumbeats have you started in your career?" is the ultimate benchmark of journalistic accomplishment.
Time magazine decided to rank "America's Ten Best Senators" for their April 24 edition. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Massimo Calabresi and Perry Bacon proclaim that they consulted all sorts of pundits and academics, but they mostly picked ultraliberal Democrats and moderate Republicans. Even the Republicans with more conservative voting scores (think John McCain) are seen by the media as more centrist, willing to frustrate the Bush White House.
Over at the "Right Angle" blog at Human Events Online, Rob Bluey did the work of checking these Senators' ideological scores, their lifetime American Conservative Union ratings:
You really couldn’t script this any better: Three prominent liberal media members (the third is a player to be named later!) challenging another over what Democrats stand for. And, the beauty is that these folks are actually blogging their disgust with one another for all to read. Go get some popcorn, because this is literally a three ring circus!
Our story begins on Tuesday, April 11 at a breakfast sponsored by HBO and the Council on Foreign Relations. Early the following morning, the Nation’s Eric Alterman posted at his TIME blog his discontent with something TIME’s Joe Klein said at the affair: “It was a useful discussion with many useful tributaries and give and take with the audience and we all felt better for it. That is right up until the very last moment when, after someone brought up the question of the whether the Democrats will be able to present an effective alternative to Bush in the next election, Joe Klein shouted out, ‘Well they won’t if their message is that they hate America—which is what has been the message of the liberal wing of the party for the past twenty years.’”
Seems like a sound and impartial observation by Klein. However, Alterman wasn’t pleased: “Excuse me, but I think this is worth some attention. It’s not about Klein per se, who after all, is best known to most Americans as the guy who lost his job at both Newsweek and CBS News for purposely misleading editors, readers and viewers in order to increase his own personal profit as the allegedly ‘anonymous’ author of ‘Primary Colors.’” Get the sense that this is going to get good? It does:
Chris Matthews welcomed conservative radio host Laura Ingraham – straight from her knockout victory over NBC’s David Gregory on the “Today” show a few weeks back – to his panel on the Sunday program bearing his name. Given how well Ingraham did against one liberal foe, NBC must have felt better about its chances with a panel of CBS’s Gloria Borger, TIME magazine’s Joe Klein, and the New Republic’s Andrew Sullivan. Unfortunately for NBC’s producers, they were wrong (partial video link to follow).
The conversation began with illegal immigration. After an introduction, with salient points made by Klein, Ingraham, and Sullivan, one could sense the coming imbroglio when Sullivan implied that the whole problem was caused by Republicans. Matthews asked: “Why is there such fear on the side of the people who really want action on illegal immigration?” Sullivan rather ineptly responded: “Because part of the real base, the Republican base, regard any attempt to integrate these 11 million illegals into a guest worker program or anything else as amnesty and therefore they go off the minute you even mention it, and that is Bush's problem.” Rather facile, don’t you think Andrew?
Borger entered the discussion: “I think Americans don’t want to reward people who break the law. But I think more and more Americans understand assimilation is part of what we are.”
When Hillary Clinton charged that the House Republican immigration bill would "criminalize...Jesus himself," there was national-media notice – if not criticism. Even Hillary’s "hometown" newspaper The New York Times reported on March 23 that Senator Clinton intensified her criticism of Republican immigration proposals, albeit on page B-5. But no one in the story criticized Hillary for her harsh attack. Instead, reporter Nina Bernstein noted only critics to Hillary’s left: "Mrs. Clinton had been criticized by some immigrant activists for saying little about the issue until March 8, and then speaking at an Irish-only rally, rather than at a forum more representative of immigrants. But yesterday all seemed forgiven." Bernstein’s story, headlined, "Mrs. Clinton Says GOP Immigration Plan Is At Odds With The Bible," began:
The problem with advocacy journalism is that once one has switched from “mediator” to “advocate,” the other side becomes the “adversary” — and news stories have all the fairness of campaign commercials.
On the issue of global warming, the media are cursed with a surplus of advocates and a paucity of real journalists. This week’s Timecover story, for example, begins with the kind of fear-mongering that liberals find so offensive when it crops up in debates about the war on terror. Time’s cover screams: “BE WORRIED. BE VERY WORRIED,” with the word “VERY” in bright red letters, in case anyone missed the point.
Imagine if Vice President Cheney asked us to “be worried, be very worried” about al Qaeda or the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Time would be at the front of the liberal media mob, hissing for an end to politically-motivated scare tactics.