For the fifth straight year, America's biggest newspapers (especially the left-leaning ones) have experienced big drops in circulation.
The Audit Bureau of Circulation released its annual numbers today. Among the findings: Two of the three national newspapers (USA Today and the Wall Street Journal) gained circ while the New York Times fell 2 percent on weekdays and nearly three-and-a-half percent on Sundays.
The biggest loser was the Dallas Morning News which was off 14 percent on weekdays and 13 percent on Sundays. The Miami Herald lost 10 percent on Sundays and 5.5 percent on weekdays.
Let's imagine for a moment now what types of stories we'd be hearing about these bad numbers if liberal journalists applied the same standards to themselves as they do to Republican presidents.
Now that you're done laughing, let me say that I don't think that liberal bias is the sole reason for these drops. It's also old thinking. The proof is that some papers like the New York Post and the Indianapolis Star have gained circulation. It can be done in an age of mass alienation from mass media. (h/t Stephen Spruiell)
Assume for a moment that a prominent Republican’s uncle that happened to be a former state senator was convicted of accepting bribes. Do you think:
This would have been headline/front-page news
The family relationship would have been in the lede and/or headline
His party affiliation would have been in the lede and/or headline?
Well, on Friday, the uncle of former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. (D), former Tennessee State Sen. John Ford (D), was convicted of accepting bribes totaling $55,000. Yet, many media outlets buried the connection to his much more popular nephew, as well as the fact that he was a Democrat.
For instance, this is how the New York Times handled the story Saturday coincidentally on page A14 (h/t NB reader Joe Easley):
The reader is formally cautioned to prepare his or herself for an alternate reality. You have been warned.
I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked to find the New York Times asking the following question on a Sunday morning:
But is the carbon-neutral movement just a gimmick?
Is this possibly a sea change in media coverage on this issue, or just an olive branch cynically tossed to create the illusion of balance?
Regardless of the answer, although Andrew C. Revkin’s “Carbon-Neutral Is Hip, but Is It Green?” fell short of exposing all the hypocrisies concerning this matter, it was nonetheless surprising to see a Times writer offer the following opinions about such a controversial and polarizing subject (emphasis added throughout, h/t Glenn Reynolds):
Journalists in Washington are supposed to be public watchdogs. But when it comes to the crisis facing Social Security, they act more like lapdogs for politicians determined to shirk their responsibility.
The Washington Post, New York Times and Associated Press all led off their stories on the latest Social Security and Medicare trustees' projections by pointing out that Social Security isn't expected to deplete its trust fund reserves until 2041. This supports the contention of Democratic politicians and the AARP that the day of reckoning is more than three decades away, so reform is not an urgent need .....
Frank Rich is from Venus; NewsBusters is from Mars.
NewsBusters documents the way that, day-in and day-out, the MSM slants its coverage against conservative principles in general and the Bush administration in particular. Frank Rich looks at the same coverage and complains that the press is too Bush-friendly.
In his p.p.v. New York Times column of today, All the President’s Press, Rich takes the occasion of the recent White House correspondents dinner to complain "how easily a propaganda-driven White House can enlist the Washington news media."
The press has enabled stunts from the manufactured threat of imminent “mushroom clouds” to “Saving Private Lynch” to “Mission Accomplished,” whose fourth anniversary arrives on Tuesday.
No one in the Bush administration ever spoke of "imminent mushroom clouds." Rich flatly misstates the truth. Lynch's criticism of the way the military presented her story was all over the MSM this week. And how incalculably many times over the last few years has the MSM run mocking coverage of President Bush's "Mission Accomlished" moment?
Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali immigrated to the US from Holland in 2006 after her controversial views of Islam (she called it “backwards”) resulted in serious death threats and the eventual murder of a friend. An April 24 Reuters article by Alexandra Hudson (picked up by the Washington Post website) stressed the theme that the Muslim women of Holland were relieved that she left for America. It also engaged in a slick game of “blame-the-victim” and minimized the agonizing childhood violence she experienced by describing her flight from “an arranged marriage and abusive family who had her circumcised as a child.”
“Circumcised.” It may sound similar to male circumcision, but it is not. A more appropriate term is “female genital mutilation” or FGM. “Female circumcision” is what the practitioners call it. Reuters didn’t go into the details of this “circumcision,” but Hirsi Ali did in her most recent book, “Infidel.” Aussie newspaper, the Australian, excerpts the portion that describes what the local “expert,” who was likely a blacksmith, did to her with no anesthetic or disinfectant at the request of her own grandmother (emphasis mine throughout)[editor's note: graphic descriptions ahead]:
Rubin's piece reads more like one of the Times' liberally slanted "news analysis" pieces then straight reporting, and sounds a lot like the Times' hand-wringing coverage of another protective "wall," the one separating Israelis from Palestinians who threaten suicide bombings. And Rubin brought some Steven Erlanger-style moral outrage to her story -- the horror of waiting in line.
"The unexpected outcry about the proposed construction of a wall around a Sunni Arab neighborhood has revealed the depths of Iraqi frustration with the petty humiliations created by the new security plan intended to protect them.
To show the feeding frenzy that is the MSM -- as well as the constant inaccuracy -- reports abounded yesterday with rebukes to Rudy Giuliani from Democratic candidates for the 2008 Presidential election over something they all merely assumed he said at a campaign appearance.
Every single paper out there quoted the stern rebukes of each of the front running Dem. candidates and nearly every source of MSM news, from TV to the internet, repeated what it was that Rudy "said" to force the rebukes.
Unfortunately for all concerned, it appears that Rudy never said the phrase attributed to him.
Yet, not a soul in the MSM (except Fox's Brit Hume) took the time to do the research necessary to fact check and assure the story was correct.
On his blog at National Review, talk-show host and longtime conservative legal eagle Mark Levin reports that New York Times reporter William Glaberson called him for comment, but couldn't seem to abide putting conservative counterpoints in his story on attempts to limit the attorney-client communications surrounding terrorist suspects at Guantanamo: "Apparently my comments didn't fit his scenario." Levin described his conversation with the Times reporter:
I told him that prior to 2004, unlawful enemy combatants held outside the United States had no access to federal courts; that if these lawyers had access to classified information they would be ethically compelled to discuss it with their clients in order to properly and zealously represent them; that they were constantly trying to move the bar by expanding the supposed due process rights of the detainees; and many other things. Of course, none of this made it into his story. I could tell when he interviewed me that he was basically carrying water for the terrorists' lawyers when he took exception to my calling them "defense counsel." I said, "If they're not defense counsel, then what are they?" He had to concede the point, which seemed rather obvious to me.
New York Times political reporter Adam Nagourney is typically hyper-sensitive to any hint of a Republican "attack" on a Democrat (not so much the other way around). So it was refreshing to read him actually having a little fun needling Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards on Friday as "The Breck Girl" for his preening over his hair and looks when he thinks he's off-camera (most notoriously in a widely seen YouTube video set to "I Feel Pretty")
Nagourney on Friday wrote about the mini-flap over Edwards' two $400 haircuts and brought up the YouTube video while suggesting a perception of hypocrisy.
"John Edwards, the North Carolina Democrat, announced on Thursday that he was reimbursing his campaign $800 to cover what his aides said was the cost of two haircuts -- yes, you read that correctly -- by a Beverly Hills barber, though, perhaps, the word stylist is more applicable….Mr. Edwards has presented himself in the Democratic field as an advocate of working-class Americans, lamenting the nation’s growing economic disparity."
The MRC's TimesWatch division has an excellent analysis of the NYT's grossly shoddy and biased coverage of the Duke lacrosse "rape" case. In this latest item, the student newspaper at Duke, The Chronicle, actually went out and interviewed former NYT reporters and critics and asked their opinion about the paper's coverage of the Duke case. The Chronicle -- a student paper! -- did what the so-called professional media should have done long ago. Concerning the NYT's coverage of the Duke case, "it showed everything that's wrong with American journalism," said Daniel Okrent, a former public editor of the NYT. For more, click here
The left-wing press is notorious for its hypocrisy and double-standards, especially when it comes to itself. No news organization is a bigger case in point than the New York Times, the so-called paper of record which touts itself as holding the Bush administration accountable, all the while engaging in unprofessional and unethical behavior and never being held accountable for it.
Well today, some accountability came.
Investors in the New York Times have been outraged as the paper continues to lose market share and bleed money faster than Rosie O'Donnell at a hamburger stand. This has been going on for years and nothing's been done to stop it, in part because the people who own most of the Times stock actually have no control as to who runs the company since their shares can't vote on a majority of the board of directors. That position is reserved for the uber-leftist Sulzberger family (headed by Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr.) who has been running the paper into the ground financially and off a cliff when it comes to bias, all the while stuffing its own pockets.
Fed-up investors finally had enough. Earlier today, they gave the Times a loud vote of no confidence by refusing to vote at all for the small number of director seats that they can vote on:
Does it give the Dem leaders of Congress pause to realize that the enemies of the United States in Iraq, the people killing our troops, are banking on their political success? Reid and Pelosi might be tempted to dismiss this as the raving of a right-wing blogger. They shouldn't. It is in fact the considered view of someone they surely see as a respected, nay, an authoritative source: no less than the Baghdad bureau chief of the New York Times, John Burns.
Burns was a guest on this morning's "Today." In the set-up piece, NBC White House correspondent Kelly O'Donnell rolled a clip of precisely the kind of politics to which Burns later alluded, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-NV] fumed: "No more will the Congress turn a blind eye to the Bush administration's incompetence and dishonesty." When's the last time Reid spoke with such vitriol about al-Qaeda? Just wondering.
Moments later, Matt Lauer asked Burns: "By its very nature a surge is a temporary dynamic. What is the biggest factor in your opinion as to whether they can have success in the near term and the longer term?"
NYT BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF JOHN BURNS: Well, the number of troops, that's finite. The amount of time they can stay, we think that's probably finite, too. And the calculations of the insurgents, who, as one military officer said to me, will always trade territory for time. That's to say, they will move out, they will wait. Because they know the political dynamic in the United States is moving in a direction that is probably going to be favorable to them.
When three white Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of raping a black stripper were finally declared innocent by the attorney general of North Carolina earlier this month, New York Times critics focused on the paper's lousy coverage of the case, including Times Watch (citing research by law writer Stuart Taylor Jr.) and most prominently Fox News anchor Brit Hume on his April 12 "Special Report."
Even as the case fell apart and other liberal media outlets backed away, the Times issued a notorious 5,000-word portrait of the case on August 25, 2006, in which reporter Duff Wilson concluded that there was enough evidence against the players for local prosecutor Michael Nifong the case to trial.
As usual, company man Calame lets the Times off easier than it deserves, but his mild, overly faithful criticism does tease out a few nuggets of insight.
Undoubtedly, Boris Yeltsin’s finest moment was the courageous defiance he showed in the face of an old guard communist coup in August 1991. Yeltsin was the focal point of those who rallied to defeat the coup, triggering the chain of events that led to dissolution of the Soviet Union just a few months later.
Yet the establishment media in this country tended to sniff at Yeltsin as an unpolished buffoon. U.S. journalists could not conceal their lack of regard for the man who helped bury Soviet communism, favoring Mikhail Gorbachev, the failed leader who futilely attempted to reform communism.
Here are just a few quotes from the Media Research Center’s Notable Quotable archive, illustrating the media’s preference of the communist Gorbachev over the rebel Yeltsin
ABC’s weatherman, Sam Champion, continued his crusade to get every American to adopt liberal environmental polices. While standing in front of a massive bank of televisions, he lectured viewers on their contribution to global warming: "If you think you have nothing to do with global warming, think again. From the car you drive, to the house you live in, it all contributes to the problem."
New York Times columnist Tom Friedman appeared on the "Today" show to announce that America’s best shot at winning the war on terrorism is by going green. NBC, of course, promoted the segment as "save energy, save the world."
Several major media players, including print icons, are losing money. An April 20 article in the New York Times reported that the New York Times Company (NYT and the Boston Globe) and the Gannett Company (USA Today) declined in first-quarter revenue while the Tribune Company (the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times) actually lost money.
The Times has recently been rocked by major scandals such as Jayson Blair’s plagiarism and fabrication and Rick Bragg's plagiarism. Newsbusters and Times Watch have documented the Times’ leftward-tilting reporting and an inability to acknowledge reporting mistakes in stories like the Duke lacrosse hoax, the story about rape in the military that was printed when known to be false and the recent article which wrongly claimed an El Salvadoran woman was jailed for an illegal abortion. Radar Online noticed the lowering of journalistic bar at the paper and ranked their ten worst reporters. It’s no secret that the print media are in dire straits, and even the NYT wrote that the “disappointing results underscored the increasingly tough economic times faced by the industry as advertisers continued to shift their focus away from print to the Internet.” The Times gave the numbers for the downturn:
Paul Schneider, a contributor to the Times' Friday Travel section, visits the quaint Southern town of Flippin, Ark., the center of the first of many Clinton administration scandals, in "Remember Whitewater? The Place Is Still There."
Though his story is mostly concerned with hiking, fishing and caving (and occasional cracks about the South), Schneider opened with liberal conventional wisdom:
"It's hard now to remember those shiny days before 9/11 when Congress seemed to believe that the greatest threat to the republic lay in an obscure land deal in northwestern Arkansas called Whitewater. Given all that has passed under the bridge, there’s something quaint and nostalgic about so much froth and fury over something that in the end went nowhere, like a slightly gonzo Norman Rockwell cover showing democracy in action.
four papers included descriptions of the gruesome abortion procedure,
although none described the suctioning of the unborn child's brain from
the skull as the manner of ending the fetus's life, and the NY Times
failed to mention the brain suction at all. While all four papers also put "partial-birth abortion" in quotes or chalked the label up to pro-life rhetoric, the NY Times's
Linda* Greenhouse piled on, calling the label "provocative" and describing the ruling as a shift from a focus on the
"rights" of women to the "fate of fetuses."
If one were to contemplate all the horrible results of the actions of this murderous psychopath in Virginia, if one were to wonder how hard and emotional have become the lives of the survivors of those whom this sick individual killed, it would seem axiomatic that the Mainstream Media would be the last group such a reflection would see as a recipient of the "tough decisions" resulting from the murders . We would naturally feel pain at the loss of the families of the VT victims. Our hearts would go out to the turmoil that surviving students would face upon trying to resume their education schedules after this monumental outrage. We would even feel bad for residents of the surrounding Virginia communities as they attempt to cope with the crime. Yes, there are a lot of people to empathize with and to feel sorry for.
"Conservation is a cause that has been espoused by some thoughtful Americans at least since the days of Thoreau, a cause whose time has come because life is running out," the New York Times editorialized on the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970.
Media support for environmentalism is not waning since the first Earth Day, in fact uncritical coverage of green rallies and protest is the norm nearly 37 years later.
There are so many green events this year you just might need a separate calendar to keep track. Just make sure it's printed on post-consumer recycled paper.
"What can Al Gore expect now that he is organizing a concert to save the entire planet from a global warming disaster," asked the Los Angeles Times on February 16. Noting that Bob Geldof earned a knighthood for Live Aid, a previous fundraising concert, the paper asked:
If Arnold Schwarzenegger, nominal Republican, wants to be allowed to run for president, why shouldn't Moktada al-Sadr be considered for a spot on the Dem ticket? After all, his views on U.S. withdrawal from Iraq put him firmly in the mainstream of the party of Pelosi The thought occurred to me while reading Moktada al-Sadr’s Gambit, an editorial in this morning's NY Times regarding the resignation of six members of al-Sadr's party as ministers in the cabinet of Prime Minister Maliki.
And what, according to the Times, was the gambit's goal?
"Mr. Sadr had his cabinet ministers resign in an attempt to bully the government into setting a timetable for the departure of American troops from Iraq."
Hmm. "An attempt to bully the government into setting a timetable for the departure of American troops from Iraq." Bullying the government? You mean like threatening to withhold funding for the military?
The latest Pulitzer Prize awarded to the New York Times wasn't so honored when it originally came out -- by conservatives or even by some liberals. Andrea Elliott's three-part series exploring Islam in America through the imam Reda Shata of the Bay Ridge mosque in Brooklyn was powerfully critiqued by Washington Times columnist Diana West:
Both the New York Post and the New York Sun have already pounced on the most egregious flaw of omission: not a mention, in 11,000-plus words, of the day in March 1994 when a man walked out of that same Bay Ridge mosque and, inspired by the anti-Jewish sermon of the day (delivered by a different, unidentified imam), armed himself and opened fire on a van carrying Hasidic Jewish children. Ari Halberstam, 16, was killed. The Times series, as it happened, concluded on the 12th anniversary of his death.
The April 17 New York Times did not focus on the "tremendous number of potential conflicts" of the AARP's decision to start offering health insurance while continuing to lobby the government.
The obvious conflict is regarding what AARP will lobby for once it begins providing private insurance to individuals.
But the Times didn't try hard to find that conflict. Only four people were quoted in the 700-word article including two AARP executives, liberal Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Judith A. Stein of the Center for Medicare Advocacy.
Conservatives often ponder why more young conservatives don’t go into journalism. Here’s one easy reason: the path to prizes and prestige doesn’t come from fierce investigative probing into liberal sacred cows or sharp-eyed conservative commentary. It comes from pleasing liberals with stories which advance their agenda.
The 2007 Pulitzer Prizes must have been a sad affair, what with no major prize for exposing and ruining an anti-terrorism program, and no major natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina to blame on President Bush. But that doesn’t mean the Pulitzers weren’t typically political. After all, the panels of judges are stuffed with long-standing figures in the liberal media establishment.
Let’s start with the Commentary prize, which was awarded to Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The official Pulitzer Prize Board’s press release hailed Tucker’s “courageous, clear-headed columns that evince a strong sense of morality and persuasive knowledge of the community.” Translation: she’s liberal, and she hates George Bush.
As noted by Matthew Sheffield and Tim Graham, elements of the left run a massive campaign to destroy major media figures that do not ideologically march lockstep with them. This story appeared on the April 16 edition of "The O’Reilly Factor" when former Los Angeles area NOW president, and self proclaimed liberal Tammy Bruce appeared to expose that agenda.
Host Bill O’Reilly noted that he is investigating with Sean Hannity how leftist distortions and smears find their way into the mainstream media. Tammy Bruce noted that elements of the left take phrases out of context to demonize not only conservatives, but anyone who is not a complete liberal ideologue and they started with a test case on Dr. Laura Schlessinger.
In the aftermath of the Duke lacrosse rape hoax, New York Times columnist Peter Applebome spoke out against the "socially conscious left" that was ready to convict the innocent Duke lacrosse players without evidence. Was fellow Times columnist Selena Roberts listening?
"The rape case that cost three Duke University lacrosse players a year of their lives and much more of their youth finally ended on Wednesday, when North Carolina Attorney General Roy A. Cooper said what many people have long known: all three were totally innocent of the charges against them.
"Ron Maloney, a National Guard lieutenant, returns from a 22-month tour in Iraq to his neat, welcoming house on Long Island and tends to his garden. There is a robust-looking lawn, and there are pretty flowers on a vine. The peace and comfort of such luxuries are unfamiliar to so many people outside the United States, he suggests.
For the last few weeks I have been watching two stories that, were they about Conservatives or Republicans, would have been scandals that would have shaken the rafters of the MSM. But, since these stories are about two favored Liberals, one old and one newly minted, we have seen no faux outrage, no shocked commentary, no calls for heads on pikes to be posted at the entrance to Congress, and no calls for resignations. Oh, the stories were reported all right, but all sensationalism was eschewed with the usual extrapolation to the level of a “culture of corruption” cast aside for a straight, newsy style atypical to their normal means against Republicans.
These two stories and the lack of passionate coverage of them by the MSM shows that the MSM employs as much liberal bias in what they chose not to cover as they do in what they chose to go ahead and focus upon.
Thursday's New York Times was the only major newspaper to lead with the big news out of North Carolina -- the state's attorney general is dropping all charges against the three former Duke University lacrosse players falsely accused of the sexual assault of a stripper at an off-campus house.
The story by Duff Wilson and David Barstow, "Duke Prosecutor Throws Out Case Against Players," noted:
"North Carolina’s attorney general declared three former Duke University lacrosse players accused of sexually assaulting a stripper innocent of all charges on Wednesday, ending a prosecution that provoked bitter debate over race, class and the tactics of the Durham County district attorney."