Friday's CBS This Morning played up the "vocal opposition" of liberal activist groups who are railing against the possible sale of several newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, to the libertarian Koch Brothers. Charlie Rose trumpeted that "critics fear politics could get in the way of journalism" if Koch Industries purchases the media outlets.
Jan Crawford underlined how "the rumors are causing anxiety and protests from unions, and liberal groups are seeking to block any sale to the Koch brothers. Some newspaper staffers also avowed they would quit, fearing the Koch brothers could impose their conservative slant to the news."
"Mainstream media" are alarmed by reports that billionaires Charles and David Koch are considering the purchase of Tribune Company's eight daily newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times.
When Warren Buffett spent $344 million to purchase 28 newspapers, there were mostly sighs of relief from journalists glad to keep their jobs. However, reaction to reports of the Koch brothers' interest in buying the Tribune papers was quite different. Charles and David Koch, you see, are conservative libertarians, not liberals. Will the Kochs, gasp, force their conservatism on readers? Will they sully journalism's good name? Truth is, no one knows what the Kochs plan to do.
Today, The Newspaper Guild & Communications Workers of America issued a statement which began as follows: "Recently you’ve seen many petitions asking that Warren Buffett and his executives not be allowed to buy the Tribune Company’s newspapers. We understand why Buffett's group breeds this distrust. They are active political proponents of harsh left-wing positions. We’re also not certain that Tribune will listen to anything but money when the final decision is made."
Bob Herbert: columnist from the Planet Benzar? Seriously, what the former New York Times op-ed writer had to say this morning is enough to make you wonder whether he occupies the same orb as the rest of us. Appearing on Melissa Harris-Perry's MSNBC show, Herbert literally laughed out loud at the notion that American media leans liberal. According to Herbert, the bias in the American media is "overwhelmingly" to the right.
Herbert's snicker came in response to a statement by New York Times reporter Amy Chozick, also an MH-P guest. Chozick recently wrote an article reporting on the Koch brothers' possible interest in buying the Tribune Company, which among other media outlets owns the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. According to Chozick, the brothers' interest was in part sparked by their outrage in seeing the liberal bias when they pick up American newspapers. View the video after the jump.
Well that didn’t last long. In fact, it barely happened at all. After a month of ignoring the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist accused of murdering one woman and seven infants, it looked like the media had been shamed into covering the story.
Barely. Even after the most gruesome detail in a trial full of them came out – a baby who survived an abortion “swimming” in a toilet and “trying to get out” – the silence resumed. In fact, the only major news outlet that bothered to report on that testimony was The Chicago Tribune. CNN.com mentioned it, it got no air time. Video after the break
The Los Angeles Times is up for sale, and there are super-wealthy conservative bidders. Get out the popcorn and watch the liberals squeal. The hilarious kickoff came when two leftist collectives – the Daily Kos website and the California-based Courage Campaign Institute – set out to buy an ad in the the L.A. Times to protest the Koch brothers pondering a bid.
I kid you not, the ad began: “WE NEED NEWS, NOT MORE SPIN.” This would assume that today’s Los Angeles Times – which just endorsed Obama’s re-election – is an oasis of objectivity in a desert of media bias. They expressed outrage when the Times wouldn't publish the ad -- but then they did.
The Chicago Tribune has less of a problem with a politician being a crook while in office than an ex-con running decades later for office, just so long as the former is a Democrat and the latter a Republican.
Take a look at what Bill Ruthhart of the Chicago Tribune did to Paul McKinley, who could be the possible GOP challenger to Democratic Illinois State House Rep. Robin Kelly. The Tribune focused more on McKinley's decades-old rap sheet than what he would do if elected to former Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr’s old congressional seat:
In anticipation of Jesse Jackson Jr.'s indictment on Friday afternoon, Jonathan Allen and John Bresnahan at the Politico seemed all too willing to hand out sympathy cards to Jackson and his wife, both of whom stand to do time in prison for offenses relating to their raid of the congressman's campaign funds.
Specifically, the Politico pair wrote: "It’s a story of a Chicago power couple that lost track of the line between campaign cash and personal funds in a spiral of money troubles." Gosh, I didn't know that line was so blurred. Excerpts from the write-up follow the jump:
Jesse L. Jackson Jr. was indicted on Friday, February 15, the final day before a three-day weekend, even though the information necessary to indict appears to have been in place for some time. Though it may be out there and I'm certainly willing to stand corrected, from what I can tell, the U.S. Department of Justice made no formal announcement when it filed its charges (10-page PDF). Based on the 12:55 p.m. ET time stamp at a Politico story reporting what "the government will allege" and the 1:03 p.m. Pacific Time (i.e., 4:03 p.m. ET) of what appears to have been the first breaking news story from the Associated Press, the government appears to have waited until well into the afternoon to file its charges.
The reporting on Jackson's indictment mostly deferred identifying his party affiliation for several paragraphs, and in some instances, including the aforementioned AP breaking news item, omitted it entirely.
At one time, newspapers were America’s source for news and current events. Today it’s a completely different story. While President Obama has declared a push to ban or limit types of guns, the nation’s major newspapers are nearly unanimous in their support of gun control. The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and other most-popular papers led the list.
The consistent theme of almost every gun editorial from Dec. 15, 2012 to Jan. 11, 2013, was that stricter gun laws were needed, and semi-automatic rifles should be completely banned from civilian use. Some newspapers were even more aggressive.
President Barack Obama's campaign may well be in trouble in the United States, but he still is adored by many foreigners. The mainstream media want us to know that and today's Chicago Tribune print edition carries two separate pieces to emphasize it. One, appearing on page 3, is "The American way, seen through English eyes," an interview with a British reporter covering the election from Chicago. Asked who Brits favor, Laura Harding replies:
It's probably a pretty safe bet to say that we're much keener on Obama than on Romney, just because he seems far more in line with general British politics than Romney. Things like Obamacare are very much in line with the kind of health care system we have in the U.K.
Less than 48 hours from now, Chicago's teachers, whose union head insists, as quoted by the Associated Press, that "we are here to negotiate for better schools in Chicago," may walk off the job, leaving the children entrusted to them to languish in half-days of activities unrelated to learning "staffed by non-union and central office workers."
There seems to be an unwritten rule that news coverage of these matters not discuss the current earnings of those who are threatening to strike. In a writeup of over 900 words, AP writers Tammy Webber and Don Babwin stuck to that script, and also failed to tell their readers the size of the raise union negotiators initially requested. Those two figures follow the jump.
Brian Ross is not the only blameworthy party in the irresponsible smear of a 52 year-old Tea Party activist as the possible perpetrator of the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre early Friday. Everyone on the set of ABC's Good Morning America could have said "wait, this is premature and irresponsible" -- and didn't.
GMA co-host and former Bill Clinton advisor George Stephanopoulos's response to Ross's identification of 52 year-old "Jim Holmes" as perhaps the same "James Holmes" who had been arrested earlier that morning arguably added legitimacy to Ross's speculation: "OK, we'll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much." As if they would actually find more of a tie-in, which of course they didnt. In his column yesterday, the underappreciated John Kass at the Chicago Tribune succinctly described Stephanopoulos's likely mindset, as well as how ABC was originally hoping to blame "social media" for Ross's GMA team-assisted smear (bolds are mine):
This week the Los Angeles Times's Web site carries the story "Kirk Douglas on the blacklist: Why Hollywood showed so little courage," referencing the actor's recently released memoir. The article also appears in today's Chicago Tribune print edition, titled "How Douglas took on blacklist with 'Spartacus.'" Author Patrick Goldstein reports Douglas is particularly proud of hiring former Communist and unrepentant member of the Hollywood Ten Dalton Trumbo to write the movie "Spartacus."
John McLaughlin on the PBS show bearing his name asked his guests this weekend, "Has America done more to spread peace and prosperity than any other power in human history, yes or no?"
The conservatives on the panel - syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan and the Washington Examiner's Tim Carney - were quick to say "Yes" as their liberal colleagues - Newsweek's Eleanor Clift and the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page - both equivocated (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Today on the Chicago Tribune's front page, above the fold, is the headline "Pricey gas seen as good, in a way." The story also appears on the Los Angeles Times's Web site with the title "Gas prices' jump attests to upbeat economy." Yes, happy days are here again and much of the mainstream media are feeling glad all over, hoping the purported much-improved economy will enhance President Barack Obama's re-election bid. The article notes:
The U.S. recovery has solidified through the fall and so far this year, as shown by strong job reports and last week's news of 1.1% increase in retail sales in February.
On the Chicago Tribune's Web site and in its print edition today, columnist Clarence Page asks hopefully "Could this be the end of Limbaugh?"
Seizing on the usual Democratic points regarding Rush Limbaugh's comments about law student Sandra Fluke, Page writes that Limbaugh wasn't suspended, "despite his breathtaking assault against a private citizen whose only crime, after all, was to testify before a congressional committee hearing in support of mandatory health insurance for contraception."
Saturday morning, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appeared alongside Rev. Jesse Jackson on his weekly Rainbow PUSH program, prior to her endorsement of Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) in this month's Democratic primary. The Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, WLS AM, and the local affiliates of NBC and ABC all covered the the event.
Moments after saying it's "a badge of honor" for President Barack Obama to be known as the food stamp president, Pelosi made an incredible assertion (video here):
On the Chicago Tribune's Web site today, columnist Clarence Page writes of "The umbrage card trick." Page lights into GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for assorted misdeeds, one of which is calling Barack Obama a "food stamp president":
On the Chicago Tribune's Web site today appears Breaking News with the headline "Corruption sentencing delayed for Rezko, fundraiser for Blagojevich." Tony Rezko, convicted on corruption charges, did indeed raise money for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-IL). More significantly, however, he also raised many dollars for President Barack Obama in Obama's earlier political contests.
Trying to put his past with Antoin "Tony" Rezko behind him, presidential candidate Barack Obama on Friday said he never thought the now indicted Chicago businessman would try to take advantage of him because his old friend had never asked for a political favor.
But in a 90-minute interview with Tribune reporters and editors, Obama disclosed that Rezko had raised more for Obama's earlier political campaigns than previously known, gathering as much as $250,000 for the first three offices he sought.
When Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman wrote for last Sunday's paper that Barack Obama "might do his party a big favor" and step aside and take the blame so "someone less reviled could replace him at the top of the ticket," the column went viral on the Drudge Report. It was also cited by Jay Leno in a monologue on NBC.
But the Tribune seemed huffy that anyone would think this opinon was an official nod of the Chicago Tribune, the president's hometown paper. That might carry more weight, since the Tribune aggressively smoothed out Obama's path to the Senate in 2004 by suing to acquire his opponents' divorce papers and reporting the tabloidish parts. Obama walked over former Democratic front-runner Blair Hull and Republican Jack Ryan dropped out, leaving as his Republican general-election opponent the carpet-bagging Alan Keyes. James Janega reported:
Tonight in Iowa, Republican presidential candidates will debate before a national audience. But, at least on page 14 of today's Chicago Tribune, a much bigger story concerns a little known homosexual activist, not in this evening's debate, who also seeks the GOP nomination. He admits to a childhood crush on Chuck Connors of TV's "The Rifleman," and stands about as much a chance of winning the GOP nod as the late Mr. Connors does.
The story, "Debate is gay candidate's primary aim," runs 25 paragraphs and approximately 1,200 words. Excerpted from an even longer article on the Chicago Tribune's Web site, it centers on an understandably less than optimistic candidate:
Chris Matthews on Thursday claimed Franklin Delano Roosevelt saved capitalism in the 1930s.
This deliciously came during a "Hardball" segment wherein he mocked the intelligence of Tea Party members saying they "need to read history, and especially Michele Bachmann" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Bob Woodward thinks the world doesn't hold the United States in very high regard anymore.
Appearing on the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show" this weekend, the Washington Post's most recognizable journalist said, "I’m not sure the United States has been looked at as the grown-up nation for a long time...You travel around the world a little bit, and, and there’s, there’s not even tough love for the United States" (video follows with transcript and commentary):