I’m not sure what derangement syndrome Bill Moyers is currently suffering from, but on Friday’s “Bill Moyers Journal” broadcast on PBS, the outspoken host went into an invective-filled tirade about media tycoon Rupert Murdoch that frankly was one of the most disgraceful exhibitions of liberal bias so far this year.
In his closing monologue, Moyers compared Murdoch to the Marquis de Sade, Imelda Marcos, and Satan himself.
I kid you not.
For those that can stomach it, what follows is a full transcript of this piece of…detritus. Those with a healthier GI tract can watch the video available here. And, more information concerning the press' biased coverage of Murdoch is available at the MRC’s Business and Media Institute.
Without further ado (h/t Dan Gainor, emphasis added, better fasten your seatbelts!):
The Dow Jones Company and News Corp reached a major milestone today, an agreement to preserve the independence of DJ's news publications. Looks like Rupert Murdoch just might get to buy the Wall Street Journal after all:
Dow Jones & Co. and News Corp. have agreed in principle on a set of editorial protections for Dow Jones, according to people familiar with the matter.
While there remained some "open items" to be resolved, the two sides had essentially finalized the last points on the agreement Tuesday morning, these people said. The accord paves the way for the sale of the publisher of The Wall Street Journal to Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate for about $5 billion.
Reporting on yesterday’s “Take Back America” liberal conference, CNSNews.com’s Randy Hall shows how the organized Left is mounting a full-fledged campaign to delegitimize Fox News and other non-liberal media outlets. The Leftists are especially gleeful that they managed to persuade Democratic candidates to boycott any debates that would be aired on the Fox News Channel, with MoveOn.org’s Adam Green boasting about how the successful scuttling of Fox debates provides "a blueprint for things that we can continue to do now and in the future, which is finding key leverage points to achieve victories against our opponents."
Next up on the agenda, according to these Leftists, is an attempt to block the sale of the Wall Street Journal to NewsCorp’s Rupert Murdoch.
Sam Zaramba, in a subscription-only op-ed column in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, gives the next Woodward or Bernstein a hot story to follow up on:
..... malaria ..... is the biggest killer of Ugandan and all African children. Yet it remains preventable and curable. Last week in Germany, G-8 leaders committed new resources to the fight against the mosquito-borne disease and promised to use every available tool.
Now they must honor this promise by supporting African independence in the realm of disease control. We must be able to use Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane -- DDT.
..... Today, every single Ugandan still remains at risk. Over 10 million Ugandans are infected each year, and up to 100,000 of our mothers and children die from the disease.
No one could possibly be conspiring to prevent the eradication of malaria, could they?
Well, yes they could. And they are, as Zaramba notes:
Longtime readers of The Wall Street Journal's editorial pages know three things:
The paper's editorials and opinion columns are usually among the best anywhere -- and not just on business and economics.
The Journal has for years had every reason to be proud of the fact, as the late Robert Bartley noted, that it is one of the few papers readers would buy for its opinion pages.
The Journal has, for 23 years, held an uncompromising "liberal" viewpoint on immigration that almost all conservatives have long since abandoned. The Journal's point of view can be summed up in five words it used in a July 3, 1984 editorial -- "There shall be open borders."
A copy of that editorial, posted for fair use and discussion purposes only, can be found here (the title is "In Defense of Huddled Masses") in a post about Journal columnist Peggy Noonan's effective break on June 1 from The Journal's doctrinaire stance.
The 1984 editorial's defining sentence is:
If Washington still wants to "do something" about immigration, we propose a five-word constitutional amendment: There shall be open borders.
From the moment word got out that Rupert Murdoch had offered billions to buyout The Wall Street Journal, the media have cried foul.
Journalists and media critics charged that a Murdoch takeover would turn the prestigious business newspaper into a journalistic joke, that the media mogul would page six-ify the Journal.
An art director at The New York Times, carried those complaints a step further by creating a mock-up of what the Journal would look like under Murdoch. According to The Washington Post, the image has been circulating Journal and Times newsrooms for about a month.
The tabloid style page (See below) reveals the anti-Murdoch bias that exists even in the Times art department.
You haven't heard of Robert E. Murray? That's not surprising.
If there were an open dialog instead of continual blather about "settled science" when it comes to supposedly human-induced "climate change" and "global warming" (two concepts I like to collectively refer to as "globaloney"), Murray would have visibility. But, as Strassel writes, a different "climate," the political one, appears to be keeping him largely out of the public eye, despite his best efforts to break through.
You see, Robert Murray is a coal-company executive who has first-hand experience with what will happen on a much broader scale if the radical changes envisioned by Al Gore and others (whom I like to refer to as "globalarmists") ever get enacted:
Time magazine came out swinging last week against Rupert Murdoch for his offer to buy the Wall Street Journal. In an article titled "Murdoch vs. Family-Owned Newspapers", Time painted a picture of Murdoch as a "controversial genius" who used his company for power and profit, swooping in to take over a family business where the owners "have made use of dual-class stock structures that allow them to take Wall Street's money while attempting to resist its pressures".
How noble, they resisted the pressures of money while "Murdoch has treated News Corp. not as a trust but as a vehicle to get richer and more powerful."
Wait, so using dual-class stock options that allow more votes for select family members in an aristocratic fashion is somehow more noble then expanding one's coporation by traditional methods?
Business is business. Time shouldn't paint one method as better than another, the market will decide.
Perhaps you read this week that in April, the US Treasury reported all-time-record tax collections of $383.6 billion.
If you did, you didn't read it in the dead-trees version of the New York Times. The Old Grey Lady did not deem Thursday afternoon's news "fit to print" on Friday (requires free registration), even choosing not to carry the related Associated Press report that is the main topic of this post (even though the Time posted it online Thursday evening). A Times search on "April treasury" (not in quotes) shows no evidence of any other coverage since then, nor does Sunday's Business home page.
So, unless you happened to read a brief report from MarketWatch (requires registration) or subscribe to the Wall Street Journal (requires subscription), odds are that anything you read or heard about April's Monthly Treasury Statement came from the aforementioned AP report, written by good old Martin Crutsinger (some previous examples of Crutsinger's demonstrated bias and ignorance are here, here, here, and here).
Crutsinger's full report is here. Before I get to his biggest oversight, here are the report's relatively minor (I'm not kidding) shortcomings:
On his must-read "Best of the Web Today" column for Opinion Journal, the online home of the excellent Wall Street Journal editorial page, James Taranto did a nice analysis on Associated Press reporter Mark Sherman:
Rupert Murdoch, founder of the Fox network and Fox News Channel and CEO of media giant News Corp has the ability to make grown journalists cry. A quick survey of liberal media blogger Jim Romenesko's Media News page shows an industry in a panic over Murdoch's $5 billion offer to purchase Wall Street Journal parent company Dow Jones.
Why all the fear and loathing?
To put it simply, Rupert Murdoch is one of the few powerful individuals on the right who realizes the importance of the mainstream. Over the years, the right has had success building up an alternative infrastructure of think tanks, magazines, and web sites. Murdoch, however, has been one of the very few to understand that there is no need to "ghettoize" the libertarian and conservative viewpoints. That is why he is feared even though his committment to the right politically is often quite tenuous (he's hosted fund-raisers for Hillary Clinton and is uncompromising in his desire to do business with the Chinese commies).
Imagine a conservative congressperson doing something this unhinged and not getting raked over the coals in the press (Wall Street Journal link requires subscription):
Tuesday was Africa Malaria Day, and Michigan Representative John Conyers marked the event by inviting something called the Pesticide Action Network to Capitol Hill to denounce DDT as an unsafe malaria intervention. What was he thinking?
Malaria, which is spread through mosquito bites, kills about a million people annually, mostly children and pregnant women in Africa. We're not sure where the House Judiciary Chairman got his medical expertise, but he won't reduce that death toll by promoting disinformation about DDT and malaria prevention. And at taxpayers' expense, no less.
PAN and a shrinking band of other activist know-nothings insist that employing DDT against malaria is "especially dangerous for developing infants and children," but there is no scientific basis to the claim. Zip.
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]:
Brian Wesbury, whose previous writings have been blogged on many times by yours truly (including here, here, here, and here), is very tired of the dissing the current economy is taking, and especially how it is unfavorably compared to the economy of the 1990s:
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.
Yesterday I noted that the New York Sun reported Melissa McNamara to be the producer CBS fired for plagiarizing the Wall Street Journal in a script she wrote for Katie Couric's April 4 "Notebook" vlog. For its part, CBS News refused to publicly release the name of the fired producer. As of publication of this blog post, CBS's ombudsblog "Public Eye" has not addressed the Sun's reporting. Now there's another development in the story.
Yesterday, the New York Observer reported that McNamara was slated to teach journalism courses offered by Media Bistro.
I checked the course Web site today and it notes that the course has been postponed with a new start date to be announced. These development have not been covered by CBS's "Public Eye" blog.
Yet here's how "Public Eye" envisions its mission within CBS News and as a service to CBSNews.com readers:
Ben Franklin once said, "In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes."
That truth is even more painful for the increasing number of people who fall into a separate tax structure called the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Those qualified for the AMT face a flat tax rate of as much as 28 percent.
Lately, a number of politicians have been crying out for AMT reform to save the middle-class, but the media has a faulty memory when it comes to who is responsible for the AMT monster.
“House Democratic leaders, in an effort to upstage Republicans on the issue of tax cuts, are preparing legislation that would permanently shield all but the very richest taxpayers from the alternative minimum tax,” reported The New York Times on April 9. “Democrats Seek to Lead the Way in Tax Overhaul,” was the headline.
A week ago, I posted a snarky item about a Katie Couric vlog entry at CBSNews.com. In an April 4 page from her "Notebook," the "Evening News" anchor worried that kids entering college were unable to use a library for something as basic as locating a book needed for class. In doing so, she erroneously suggested colleges use the Dewey decimal system, when in fact most use Library of Congress Classification to arrange the bookshelves.
Now it turns out that not only did Couric not exactly do her homework, but that the producer who did it for her lifted some of the script from a Wall Street Journal column. That producer has since been fired.
CBS's Brian Montopoli explained how the vlogs are written and produced in a post today at CBS's "Public Eye" blog:
Imagine if you will that in September 1996, just days after America launched a missile strike on Baghdad to expand the “no fly zone,” Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich met with Saddam Hussein to discuss foreign policy matters without the permission of President Clinton.
Would the media have vociferously discussed the possibility that Gingrich had violated federal law in doing so?
If the answer is a resounding “Yes,” then why have extremely few press outlets broached this issue as it pertains to current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-California) recent potentially law-breaking trip to Syria?
To best understand the issue, a little history is necessary. The Logan Act was created in 1799, and reads as follows:
Call it a flying-pig moment, or chalk it up to his concern for Dems' long-term best interests if you will. But there's no denying that on this morning's "Today," Matt Lauer absolutely unloaded on Nancy Pelosi and her ill-conceived venture into foreign policy.
The segment was entitled "Democratic Diplomacy: Has Pelosi Gone Too Far?", virtually answering the question by its very asking. In the set-up piece, David Gregory rolled two telling clips. The first was of VP Cheney's comments on the Rush Limbaugh show yesterday to the effect that Pelosi's statement regarding her trip was"nonsensical." The second was of former congressman Lee Hamilton, warning that if his fellow Dems box in the president on foreign policy, Americans might conclude that the Democrats have gone "too far."
Interviewing Tim Russert at 7:06 AM ET, Lauer came out guns ablazin'.
LAUER: Vice-President Cheney called Nancy Pelosi's trip to Syria "bad behavior," a Washington Post editorial on Thursday called it "counter-productive and foolish," and op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this morning goes a step further and suggests her trip may actually have been a felony, that it may have violated something called the Logan Act. Tim, is this the way the Democrats wanted to get off the mark in terms of foreign affairs?
Over at Opinion Journal, Mark Lasswell has an article about how ABC seems to be competing with The Daily Show for political comedy, at least when George Stephanopoulos talks about U.S. Attorney firings:
How else to explain those hilarious skits when Chief Washington Correspondent George Stephanopoulos reports on the brouhaha over the Justice Department's firing of eight U.S. attorneys while the proverbial elephant in the room is lurking just off-camera?
Mr. Stephanopoulos doesn't mention his own valuable expertise on the subject of fired federal prosecutors, the kind of expertise that might help place the current mess in context. Mr. Stephanopoulos was the Clinton White House communications director in 1993 when the Justice Department cleaned its slate of all 93 U.S. attorneys, and he was central to the administration's finessing of the episode--just the sort of insider experience, presumably, that prompted ABC News to hire Mr. Stephanopoulos fresh out of the White House in 1996.
"Low-nitrosamine smokeless tobacco poses 10% or less of the health risks of cigarettes, according to various studies, including a 2004 National Cancer Institute-funded article," the Journal wrote.
The Journal quoted Michael Thun of the American Cancer Society who said, "There's no question that switching to spit tobacco and quitting tobacco altogether are both far less lethal than continuing to smoke."
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift complained on Friday's Diane Rehm show on NPR that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has drained all the independence out of his office, that he's acting too much like the president's "personal lawyer." In 1993, when Janet Reno announced the mass dismissal of all 93 U.S. Attorneys, no one demanded her resignation for her lack of independence from the White House. In fact, it could be because someone else was coordinating with the White House on how to run the Justice Department, the felonious Webster Hubbell. At that time, the Wall Street Journal editorial page found a "fascinating exchange" in an interview Reno granted to NBC anchor Tom Brokaw just after the Waco debacle on April 19:
BROKAW: Once the fire broke out, what did you tell President Clinton?
"It's surreal to have pre-eminent scientists tell us very seriously that civilization as we know it is over."
No, it was not a politician, or a celebrity. It was, in fact, ABC reporter Bill Blakemore who has been covering global warming for the network for more than two years. His remark was made at the American Bar Association's environmental law conference and printed in The Summit Daily News (Colo.) on March 13.
Another reporter, John Fialka of The Wall Street Journal proclaimed basic global warming science to be "third-grade" stuff at the conference.
Blakemore also called out Exxon and Peabody Coal by name as groups that have spun the debate. There was only one journalist on the panel who had a different view: Sean Paige of the Colorado Springs Gazette. Paige mentioned the extreme costs to the economy of global warming policies.
If ABC was going to provide a platform for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to express her moral outrage over the firings of the eight US Attorneys and call for AG Gonzales' resignation, didn't the network have an obligation to let viewers know that her husband's administration had itself peremptorily fired more than ten times that many US attorneys -- and that a close personal associate of Hillary's was intimately involved?
Senior national correspondent Jake Tapper scored the exclusive with Hillary. In the excerpts aired, Hillary in high dudgeon declared that "the Attorney General, who still seems to confuse his prior role as the president's personal attorney with his duty to the system of justice and to the entire country, should resign."
On January 9, at this December 7, 2006 post on asbestos lawsuit double-dipping ("the process by which lawyers file claims at many different bankruptcy trusts on behalf of a single plaintiff"), I received this comment from Brayton Purcell (#11 if your browser doesn't take you directly to it), the law firm that attempted a fifth dip on behalf of one of their clients, and was caught in the act of doing so by Judge Harry Hanna of the Cuyahoga County (OH) Court of Common Pleas.
Chris Matthews and John Fund had something of a nuclear showdown on this afternoon's Hardball. Matthews' current kick is worrying that President Bush might launch an attack on Iran without congressional authorization. In that context, talk turned to Saddam's nuclear program and that of North Korea.
I know there's only so much space, but today's subscription-only editorial in the Wall Street Journal missed a BIG chance to tell people something that the formerly Mainstream Media never gets around to telling people -- Social Security, contrary to popular belief, is a "progressive" tax system in its own right. Though the payroll tax taken in isolation is "regressive" because it is not assessed above a certain income level (at annual earnings above roughly $90,000), the fact that the more you make, the less you get in retirement benefits (compared to what you earned while you were working) more than offsets any nominal "regressiveness."
You doubt? Though the below from my classroom presentations changes every year, and still needs to be updated for the benefit increase announced in November, it makes the point (Warning: Mood-swing alert for upper-middle and greater income earners -- Ed.):
Maybe our liberal friends are onto something. They keep saying the rich should pay more taxes, and it turns out the rich already are! That's one of the valuable lessons from the IRS's annual study of income tax data, just released for 2004.
Americans who earned more than $1 million in adjusted gross income paid $178 billion, or an average of $740,000 per filer, in income taxes in 2004. That's up about one-third from 2002, the year before the Bush tax cuts in marginal income-tax and dividend and capital gains rates. The wealthiest 1% of tax filers paid a remarkable 35% of all individual income-tax payments that year.
I love the following analogy, but WSJ could have gone further with it: