First, the magazine provides readers with the Top 10 easiest things they can do to stop global warming like switch to a hybrid car, ride a bicycle and use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Humorously, number seven was "Buy Energy-Saving Things." Apparently the words: appliances and electronics are too-big for Glamour, which makes me wonder how they managed "intergovernmental" in the introductory paragraph.
Advisers for the special section were a who's who of green activists from the National Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace, Environmental Defense, Waterkeeper Alliance, Earth Day Network, stopglobalwarming.com, and treehugger.com.
What do you do when you're a liberal columnist and there's a pet issue of yours the media aren't being biased about (stem cells) because they haven't covered it, because, well, they're too busy being biased about other stories (Alberto Gonzales, Iraq)?
If you're Slate founding editor and former "Crossfire" host Michael Kinsley, you hack out a blog post about it.
Mucking around Time's "Swampland" political blog, Kinsley expressed frustration at a new development in the stem cell funding issue he thinks has gone underreported in the mainstream media:
Elias Zerhouni, the head of the National Institutes of Health,
testified to a Senate committee that he favors a lifting of Bush's
limit on stem cell research. It leaves us fighting disease (and foreign
competition) "with one hand tied behind our back," Zerhouni said.
Clearly prepared to say what he said, Zerhouni offered a vivid
metaphor: he called stem cells the "software of life."
story did not seem to make the paper editions of either the New York
Times or the Washington Post. (The Wall Street Journal had a very short
blurb on page one and no longer story.) All the papers had it on-line,
of course. But isn't this a pretty big deal?
"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar," Sigmund Freud is purported to have once said, cautioning that not everything has a deeper, hidden meaning to it. Well, sometimes a blockbuster blood-soaked action flick is just that, a blood-soaked, special effects-laden action flick.
Just try telling that to cynical, left-wing European journalists.
According to Entertainment Weekly, everyone from gay interest groups to foreign journalists have engaged in armchair psychoanalysis of director Zack Snyder's screen adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel "300.":
NBC Nightly News anchor, Brian Williams graces the cover of Men's Vogue this month and is profiled by Deputy Editor Ned Martel as being an anchor who, because of "today's debunking culture" (Wink Wink Newsbusters.org), is both "in the know and in on the joke."
Martel panders to Williams as an anchor who is "affable", "witty", and even "an unapologetic throwback to the era of Cronkite".
Martel says that viewers can relate to Williams because he, "has a vast interest in so many of their passions." He further says that Williams "embraces his regular-guy status" and "trumpets his middlebrow tastes".
Williams apparently considers his "instinctive understanding of Middle America" to be a payoff for Nightly News. That understanding must be a tall order for someone who wears a "black-faced Rolex and Supreme Court cufflinks" and splits his time between a "pied-a-terre in a new Upper East Side tower" and a "restored farmhouse in Connecticut".
Time magazine is not going to play to the stereotype of only praising Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. They can find obscure Democratic presidential campaigns to praise. The infamous Joel "I Don't Support Our Troops" Stein has filed a piece praising fringy Dennis Kucinich, the candidate who would create a Department of Peace. Stein acknowledges he's on the outer edges of political feasibility, and yet there's something so right in his "progressive" idealism:
"And yet the universe has been going his way lately. Even his old kooky ideas are looking pretty good these days. His decision to allow Cleveland to default instead of selling its electric-utility company cost him re-election and landed him in a book about the worst mayors in American history, but he was later honored by the city council for refusing to sell, a move that saved customers nearly $200 million over 10 years. More inconceivable, less than two years ago, his office was visited by a stunning 6-ft.-tall Julianne Moore look-alike 31 years his junior, a Brit who was working for the American Monetary Institute. After some smooth wooing on his part ("I gave her a copy of my Department of Peace legislation and my e-mail address") and one date (at MacLaine's house), she agreed to marry him. If that happened to you, you'd think you could be President too."
A Democratic senator has just announced his presidential candidacy. On the next morning's "Fox & Friends," a Fox News reporter who recently denied that Fox has any conservative leanings or that Sean Hannity is a conservative narrates a segment on the announcement. To analyze the Democrat's candidacy, she plays clips of two reporters, one from the National Review and the other from the Weekly Standard. Host Brian Kilmeade follows, schmoozing about the senator's prospects with a former senior aide to a conservative Republican governor.
Total lack of balance! Couldn't Fox News have found at least one Democrat to discuss a Democrat's candidacy? Outrageous, isn't it? Well, yes, it would be. Except it didn't happen. But the mirror-image did. Here's how this morning's "Today" covered John McCain's announcement of his candidacy on last night's Letterman:
Here's a headline sure to spook any investor or economist: "Greenspan warns of likely U.S. recession." That was the headline right near the top of the widely surfed Drudge Report yesterday afternoon and this morning, referring to a speech that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan made the other day via satellite to a business conference in Hong Kong. Many market watchers are blaming those comments– along with a weak durable goods report and the plunge in the Chinese stock market – for today's stock market sell-off. But despite the inflammatory Drudge headline – which, in all fairness, linked to an Associated Press story with that same title – the Maestro was hardly so definitive as Drudge made him out to be. Here is what Greenspan said, according to AP:
If there were any doubt as to the degree to which the MSM loathes and distrusts President Bush, it should be dispelled by the performance of Sy Hersh on today's Hardball and the way he was applauded by Chris Matthews. At the end of Hersh's appearance, Matthews put this question to the investigative reporter:
"What's your biggest worry in the world? Is it Iran? Is it this administration going to war with Iran? Is it a civil war in Iraq? Is it Musharraf's inability to fight the Taliban on his own soil? What's your biggest worry?"
The answer, in part, photoshopped models. And no, I'm not referring to Katie.
...thanks to technology, often not even the models themselves can compare to their portfolios. Increasingly, photos for print are enhanced and perfected to an astonishing degree. Not only are moles, acne and subtle facial hair erased from already pretty faces, but retouchers are routinely asked by editors and advertisers to enlarge eyes, trim normal-size ears, fill in hairlines, straighten teeth and lengthen the already-narrow necks, waists and legs of 18-year-old beauties. "We're always stretching the models' legs and slimming their thighs," says a photo retoucher who works for a high-end Manhattan agency. In some cases, hands, feet or even legs are replaced in photos when the subject’s parts don’t add up to a perfect whole.
But the bigger danger, the Newsweek reporters insist, is that twiggy models are actually leading American women to bulk up:
The amazing liberal vapors over President Bush’s use of the word "Democrat" to describe, er, Democrats, continues. In an NPR interview with Juan Williams, President Bush claimed it was a simple mistake in his State of the Union speech, but liberals quickly found more of these grievous offenses in searching speech texts at the White House website. Certain left-wing media critics who lay face down in worship at the feet of Hillary Clinton are now insisting that the word "Democrat" is a "smear" and an "oft-used Republican slur." The Washington Post and The New York Times each produced stories on Bush's denial of this microscopic scandal. (Clay Waters handled it at Times Watch here.)
But my favorite fuss comes from former Newsweek reporter and Carter speechwriter Hendrik Hertzberg at The New Yorker, who says the plain D-word is "jarring verging on ugly. It fairly screams ‘rat.’" He then imagined Republicans want to destroy the Democrats like Israel’s enemies want to wipe out Israel, and compared them to a street gang:
Let's play one of our favorite parlor games: "WIARHSI?" You know: "What if a Republican Had Said It?" In today's game, let's imagine what would happen if a Republican presidential candidate had said that Barack Obama was the first "clean" and "articulate" African-American presidential candidate?
Which paper would be first to call for the Republican's withdrawal from the race: the NY Times, Boston Globe, WaPo, other?
How soon until Jesse Jackson, Carol Moseley-Braun and Al Sharpton turned up on TV to be asked how they felt about being insulted in this way?
How many hours of MSM musing over the GOP's "history of racial insensitivity"; how many replays of Trent Lott making his statement about Strom Thurmond, of George Allen's 'macaca' moment, etc., would we be subjected to over the ensuing week?
How long until the hapless Republican did indeed withdraw from the race?
But when it's a Democrat . . . count on Chris Matthews, for one, to circle the wagons.
Matthews had Anne Kornblut of the Washington Post and Jay Carney of Time magazine in as guests. The trio didn't even broach the Biden comments until a full ten minutes into their gab fest, after batting around a number of other issues. How long would Chris have waited to launch had it been a Republican on the hot seat?
In his profile of John McCain for the February issue of Vanity Fair, Todd Purdum notes that "the constituency that McCain sometimes jokingly refers to as his base" is -- wait for it -- "the press."
Purdum goes on to acknowledge in so many words that McCain's remark, regardless of how humorously he delivered it, expresses the basic truth that reporters tend to be fans of Arizona's senior senator, which in turn may explain why, during a recent visit to Wisconsin, McCain defended the media's coverage of the Iraq war:
[T]hat afternoon, at a roundtable with more Republicans in Appleton, McCain gets testy with a woman who says that her grandson and granddaughter have served in Iraq and that things there are going better than the American media say.
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."
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"
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!
The Iraq Study Group's recommendations are about to be released. Think about it: what should be the media's focus? I'd say attention should center on what those recommendations are, and whether if implemented they would advance - or impair - US interests in Iraq.
But that's not the MSM's focus at all. From the cover of Newsweek to the Today show, the concern is not whether the recommendations are good, but only whether President Bush will accept them.
In the course of Matt Lauer's interview of former Bush chief-of-staff Andy Card, 'Today' flashed the Newsweek cover shown here. When Card began
Jon Meacham, editor of "Newsweek," compared journalists to MTV’s teen morons Beavis and Butt-Head for the demands they make on public officials, and portrayed himself as understanding of negative public sentiments of the media:
"One of the things people don’t like about journalists, reasonably, is that we’re kind of like Beavis and Butt-Head. You know, we demand people change, and then when they change, we kick ‘em in the shins and say ‘well, you didn’t change quick enough.'"
Meacham's comments came in the 6:00 hour of Monday’s "Imus in the Morning." Yet, if one were to read the latest issue of "Newsweek," it is apparent Meacham’s words are not followed by action. An article by Evan Thomas, criticized the White House for not changing course quick enough and being hostile to change. It rekindled the story of President Bush’s alcoholism, and his decision to quit drinking twenty years ago and asserted that this was the last "midcourse correction" of the current president:
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 . . . "
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!
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.
In today's Media Notes column, Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz reported just how far Rolling Stone is willing to go on its ultraliberal-hippie crusade against social conservatism: it's hired Matt Taibbi, the writer infamously published by the New York Press for "The 52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of the Pope." (As in, "Beetles eating dead Pope's brains." ) Oh, and he wasn't sorry, whatever he says today. He left the Press shortly after his editor, Jeff Koyen, was fired for lack of sense.
The most over-the-top writer by far is Taibbi, 36, the son of NBC correspondent Mike Taibbi. The younger Taibbi's style is such that he often seems to be channeling the late Hunter Thompson. "I used to do a lot of drugs, and I'm a humorist," Taibbi says in acknowledging the comparison.
The midterm elections are approaching and some members of the media are revving up their bias. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann recently suggested that President Bush might be as big a threat as the terrorists. This was only a day after referring to conservative talk show hosts who visited the White House as the "Legion of Doom." CNN’s Jack Cafferty wondered if Karl Rove is planning an "October surprise" to salvage the Republicans’ chances in the midterm elections.
The print media have also offered unrestrained attacks from the left. A "Washington Post" report described House Speaker Dennis Hastert appearance as "a cross between Wildford Brimley and Jabba the Hutt." Nothing quite like objectivity, huh? A former "New York Times" bureau chief recently characterized the Christian right as "fascist." Perhaps he’d been chatting with "Newsweek" columnist Jonathan Alter. Alter told Don Imus he hoped the country has seen the last of "values voters."
The "Today" show fawned over Barack Obama, describing him as "electrifying" and a "rock star." This was on the same day that they giddily predicted a "perfect storm" to wipe out the Republicans in the midterms. Another early AM program, CNN’s "American Morning"encouraged author David Kuo to call for Christians to boycott the upcoming election.
Imagine you're a leading news magazine. You've published a major story claiming that Afghanistan is a brewing disaster in which Al-Qaeda can once again roam with impunity. So bad is the situation, say you, that for purposes of your article you've dubbed the country "Jihadistan."
Now comes the Pentagon, and in painstaking, point-by-point fashion, refutes so many of your article's assertions as to call its overall validity into question. How do you respond?
A. In a rigorous, systematic manner, you contest the Pentagon's arguments and prove that you were correct in the first place.
"General Pelosi, I'm Matt Lauer, and I'm reporting for duty!"
OK, Matt didn't quite say that as 'Today' kicked off its 'The War at Home' three-part series this morning on the lives of American veterans once they return home from war. But judging from the opening episode and the tease for what's to come tomorrow, he might just as well. NBC is clearly doing its part to tend the Dems' Victory Garden.
Of all the reporters in the NBC News stable, 'Today' tapped for this segment Jonathan Alter, a regular guest on Al Franken's Air America show and a consistently liberal columnist at Newsweek. And of all the hundreds of thousands of veterans, Today just happened to choose Tammy Duckworth, who lost both legs while co-piloting a Black Hawk helicopter in Iraq, and who now just happens to be . . . running for Congress as a - give me a sec here, OK, got it - Democrat.
In all the media fuss about whether the GOP House leadership knew about former representative Mark Foley's behavior, hardly anyone in the press seems interested in whether Democrats knew about the story and declined to expose Foley's conduct, thus "putting at risk" the congressional pages in the way we constantly hear that Speaker Hastert and others did.
Turns out, Democrats did know about Foley's antics. According to Ken Silverstein, a writer for the liberal Harper's magazine, he was approached with the story way back in the month of May--by a Democrat.
House Majority Leader John Boehner has charged that the release of
the Foley documents so close to the elections “is concerning, at a
minimum.” Meanwhile, accounts I've heard about the FBI's initial
inquiries suggest the bureau is as interested in uncovering how the
story came to public attention as it is in investigating Foley's
While Democrats and the MSM have revelled in stressing the tough sledding in Iraq, they had been constrained to acknowledge that the mission in Afghanistan - from the overthrow of the Taliban to the fostering of democracy leading to the election of President Karzai to efforts aimed at rebuilding a country mired in medieval poverty - has been largely successful.
But in recent weeks, Democrats and the MSM have sought to paint a more negative portrait of the situation in Afghanistan, culminating in an article in the October 2nd edition of Newsweek "The Rise of Jihadistan."
The article's sub-title states its thesis in these terms: "Five years after the Afghan invasion, the Taliban are fighting back hard, carving out a sanctuary where they—and Al Qaeda's leaders—can operate freely." And in his famously finger-pointing interview with Fox's Chris Wallace, Bill Clinton claimed that "if I were still president, we'd have more than 20,000 troops there trying to kill [Bin Laden]."
When Newsweek likes a book, it can give it good play. Take former Republican Sen. John Danforth's brand-new book attacking the religious right, titled "Faith and Politics: How the 'Moral Values' Debate Divides America and How to Move Forward Together." Newsweek plugged it in the magazine's print edition (with the headline "'St. Jack' Examines His Conscience -- And His Party"); published an excerpt on its website; and even conducted a Live Talk with readers to give him more exposure. But newly minted Newsweek editor Jon Meacham went beyond that. He's the top celebrity plugging the book on the back cover.
Talk about your Dubious Distinction Awards. In his recently-released videotape, Adam Gadahn, né Pearlman, a nice boy from California turned Al-Qaeda spokesman, names Sy Hersh as a “sympathetic” personality, along with British MP George Galloway and Brit journalist Robert Fisk. As per the Counterrorism Blog, Gadahn "asks . . . Hersh to 'reveal more' than what was published in a New Yorker article on the war."
The New Yorker article in question was one of a series Hersh has written critical of the Bush adminstration's Iraq policy. In a speech last year Hersh claimed that the US government is being taken over by a neo-con "cult":