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:
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:
One would think the writers of The Onion satirical newspaper snuck into the offices of The San Francisco Chronicle after reading a report about a pizza shop owner who saved the lives of his family by killing a gun wielding robber that was attempting to rob his store, a store with the owner's whole family inside. The Chronicle calls the meeting of the thief and would be killer and the innocent pizza shop owner "tragic" and the report is filed as if the whole story was all just some unfortunate accident instead of a crime stopped cold.
The lives of the two men intersected tragically at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday when Hicks, armed with a pistol and joined by two other men, tried to rob Piedra inside the popular pizzeria at 89th Avenue and International Boulevard. Fearful that the assailants might hurt him, his wife and three children -- all of whom were inside the restaurant -- Piedra pulled out his 9mm semiautomatic pistol and opened fire, killing Hicks, police said.
The Chronicle made the story as an excuse at a morality play revealing how friends are remembering the robber as one who "...always had a smile on his face", that the shop owner "took no satisfaction in taking Hicks' life", and the police "...by no stretch of the imagination" were they "agreeing with or justifying what the owner did." We are even treated to a telling of our "tragic" robber's happy little "rap artist" name; "Boonie".
Obviously the San Francisco Chronicle has decided that this story is going to be their platform to show how guns "traumatize" everyone when the real focus of the story should be on how a shop owner protected himself and his family inside the shop from an armed criminal.
'One-Third Probability' in '07, Former Fed Chief Says
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said yesterday that there is a "one-third probability" of a U.S. recession this year and that the current economic expansion won't have the staying power of its decade-long predecessor.
"We are in the sixth year of a recovery; imbalances can emerge as a result," Greenspan said in an interview at his District office. "The historically normal business cycle is much shorter" than a decade and is likely to be this time, he said.
Greenspan's outlook contrasts with the prediction of his successor, Ben S. Bernanke, who told Congress last week that the economy might strengthen this year. Bernanke's upbeat assessment helped steady stock markets on Feb. 28 after a plunge the day before that some traders attributed partly to Greenspan's musing that a recession could not be ruled out.
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:
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.
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.
Leave it to a liberal to claim that Americans are "cheapskates" because our government does not spend enough money on foreign aid. In the L.A.Times for April 13th, that is just what we are treated to with Rosa Brooks' screed titled, "To the rest of the world, we're cheapskates" and subtitled, "The U.S. international affairs budget -- which helps fight AIDS, poverty and more -- is just 1% of total spending." But, by attacking our country over its record on charity and foreign aid spending, Brooks proves that she neither understands the nature of American generosity, nor the American character.
OVERVIEW: I believe that the sale of The Tribune Company last week to investor Sam Zell is an unrecognized low-water mark in the newspaper publishing business. In fact, after subtracting the value of the Tribune's non-newspaper properties from the deal, what little value remains indicates that the value of having access to a newspaper's readers is a mind-boggling 70% less than it was a mere seven years ago.
Is it possible that Tribune Company investors are paying the price of many years of relentless misreporting and biased reporting at its newspapers, especially those it acquired when it bought Times Mirror in 2000? While the numbers presented here of necessity involve a fair amount of approximation, it's hard to avoid concluding that the answer is "yes."
Eric Alterman recently got his dander up over at the Nation about many of the MSMs political pundits today, calling them "lazy" and blasting them for their near universal refusal to address Blogger's critiques of their work. Obviously he isn't happy over the treatment he received at the hands of Time Magazine's Joe Klein who dealt him a series of "schoolyard insults", as Alterman phrased it, after he criticized some of Klein's work. But, this personal vendetta aside, Alterman is on to something.
Alterman is filled with disgust at many Pundit's arrogance as they ignore the ankle biting leveled at them by Internet opinionists and Bloggers. And I cannot say that I disagree with him over his contention that the MSM is trying so hard to ignore rising Internet pundits and the influence they are garnering that they have damaged their own credibility in the process by overlooking substantive critical analysis offered at lightening speed by Internet writers.
The New York Times Co. has been taking a beating over their increasing steep decline in the company's share price, extravagant executive compensation and the dual roles of Class B shareholder Arthur Sulzberger Jr. who acts as both the Chairman and Publisher of the company. These factors have prompted influential wall street investment advisor Institutional Shareholder Services to advise Class A shareholders to withhold votes for 4 directors who are up for election this month. A virtual vote of no confidence by one of the most influential investment advisors in the business according to the Gawker Manhattan Media News and Gossip website.
I have been waiting for the MSM to start the drumbeat against Fred Thompson that they so often and so boringly used (and still do) against Ronald Reagan; the refrain of "He's just an actor." Now, Rebecca Sinderbrand of the New York Observer has used the general theme for her latest piece, The Mysterious Appeal of Fred Thompson. Subtitled "Actor, Senator, presidential candidate... but what G.O.P. gap is he filling?", Sinderbrand makes liberal use of Thompson's "roles" as a foil for his seriousness as a candidate and seems to be saying that the only reason anyone is considering him is because he looks the part as a result of his "camera presence."
Sinderbrand's entire piece is dismissive and shallow in its approach to the Senator with constant allusions to his being an actor playing a role and treats the Senator as if his candidacy is an effort at bait and switch, or at the very least a silly proposition. Throughout, Sinderbrand constantly mentions the acting aspect of the Senator's life as if that is all there is to him just like they have always done with Reagan.
Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill. The Boston Globe reports on the "push" to draft Al Gore to run for president in 2008 in the April 4th edition of the paper. The story's starry-eyed subjects launching Gore for president websites and sponsoring web petitions are in for the best fluff treatment lending their claims of a "surge" in support for a Gore candidacy far more legitimacy than it deserves.
The sunny representation of these Gore for president campaigns the Globe gives is almost pathetic in it's obvious wishful thinking. The only qualifying language to downplay the efforts used in the piece is an understated "How big is the effort? Hard to say."
No, it's not really that hard to say even when assessing the fluff the Globe reported. In fact, it's pretty easy to say that there is little interest -- at least far from enough interest to show a "surge" in support for a second Gore run for the White House. Far from "heating up" it seems more likely that there is a flaming out in the offing.
As Newsbsuters has brought you many times (see here and here among others), the MSM's focus on Bush's firing of a handful of U.S. Attorney's is wonderfully empty of any balanced treatment whatsoever. Not only has the MSM ignored the Clinton story -- where he fired EVERY one of them -- but they have also ignored the fact that Jimmy Carter also fired a U.S. Attorney for "political reasons." Not to be left behind, the Boston Globe today reports an uncritical story about Senator Edward Kennedy's (D, Mass) recent statement about the issue.
In a short report by Globe Staffer, Rick Klein, the Globe finds no room for any discussion of Clinton or Carter's firings -- par for the course for this shallowly reported story.
The New York Times cannot make up their mind if Dennis Hastert should be despised or laughed at, apparently. Neither can they decide if he is "rumpled and weary" or if he is "healthier and more relaxed" -- they confusingly say both in the very same article. But one thing is sure, their underlying sentiment toward the former Speaker of the House seems to be one of pity. And this article was simply an opportunity to kick someone they think is down.
But Dennis Hastert is neither seeking nor requiring such special attention or emotion to be wasted upon him. Furthermore, he never has. The pity party thrown for him by the Times is a pointless jab at a man who has given his life to the community. Hastert should be celebrated, not pitied. Least of all from as cynical an organization as the New York Times.
On March 18th, the New York Times published a piece titled "The Women's War". It was a feature of great length (18 pages on the Internet) centered around the plight of several female Veterans of the war in Iraq. It detailed the mistreatment they suffered by the US Military, sexual harassment they received at the hands of army officers, and their PTSDs (post traumatic distress disorders). A shocking expose is what the Times was going for, it is sure. These women certainly deserved better treatment and the story should be well publicized, of course. It might have had more impact but for the fact that the Times knew that one of the subjects featured in the article wasn't even in Iraq and that her story was a complete lie.
Worse yet, the Times published the story knowing full well that one of their subjects had lied to them. Finally, a whole week after their initial story was published on the 18th, on March 25th, the Times published a mea culpa, correcting the story.
Among the biggest possible conflicts of interest a newspaper can enter into is to have the same people involved in news coverage running opinion pages. I am proud of the fact that Jeff Johnson, Dean Baquet and I fully separated the opinion pages from the newsroom at the Times. I accept my share of the responsibility for placing the Times in this predicament, but I will not be lectured on ethics by some ostensibly objective news reporters and editors who lobby for editorials to be written on certain subjects, or who have suggested that our editorial page coordinate more closely with the newsroom's agenda, and I strongly urge the present and future leadership of the paper to resist the cries to revisit the separation between news and opinion that we have achieved.
What I don't get is why the Times' news reporters even feel the need to influence the paper's editorial page content. Based on Martinez's observation/acknowledgment that the newsroom has an "agenda," those reporters already have their own editorial pages, which just happen to be known as "the rest of the newspaper."
It is always interesting to me how a story can be published as if it is serious work, a story that almost seems plausible until you step back from it to realize that not a shred of proof to support the supposition was ever offered. After you're done reading it you realize that all you ended up with were empty phrases like "some say" or "many are" instead of any statistics, studies or other proof. Such is the case with the Washington Post's story titled, "War Causing Split Among Evangelicals". In fact, writer Julie Sullivan flat out admits that there is no proof for her supposition that “many” evangelical Christians are turning away from the war... but she postulates the premise any way.
No polling data show conclusively that opinion has shifted among conservative evangelicals.
This is only the fourth paragraph (the previous three being one sentence affairs) so you'd think she could just retire the piece right there. But, no we have to start right up with the "some say" routine.
So how many Gathering of Eagles (GoE) counterprotesters were in Washington yesterday, and how did their numbers compare to the Answer Coalition's protest count?
The New York Times (may require registration) reported "several hundred counterdemonstrators" (HT Michelle Malkin, who has the priceless quote of the day -- ".... the NYTimes relied on 'several veterans of the antiwar movement' to give them crowd estimates of the Gathering of Eagles. It's the domestic equivalent of MSMers relying on dubious Iraqi stringers to provide them with war coverage...." -- THWAP!)
The Washington Post, in its article about the protest, wrote of "thousands of counter-demonstrators."
Why is it every time I see a newspulper headline about Barack Obama I envision the editors in near orgasmic delight over the "multiculturalism" they perceive in Obama, or the "connection" he has with all the peoples of the world? Or the near hero worship of his "clean and articulate" abilities they wallow in, for that matter? And how come I get a corresponding feeling that all I am getting is delightful puffs of air but no substance when I'm done reading the piece that goes with the sweetness and honey that is the headline?
I wonder if the MSM ever gets tired of trying to make evil look good? And if they aren't trying to make evil look like good, they are trying to soft peddle evil with a they-are-really-just-like-us analysis of evil’s actions. Such is the case today in the Boston Globe wherein writer H.D.S. Greenway equates Iraqi insurgents to being just like America's founding revolutionary generation.
In 'Surge' doomed to final failure, a badly garbled reading of history is foisted upon an unsuspecting reading public that culminates with H.D.S. Greenway boiling down the entire American Revolution to the claim that British soldiers were a "conquering force" in the Colonies and the Colonists were mad at them for it.
This USA Today piece from Wednesday is a pretty important one. That's because it showcases so much of what is wrong with the FORMERLY Mainstream Media, and why the uppercase letters in FORMERLY will almost undoubtedly become larger in the coming years.
You see, many, if not more, reporters in the FORMERLY Mainstream Media don't seem to want to do their basic jobs any more. Their main tasks should be to:
First, objectively decide what is worthy of coverage.
Second, go and observe what happens, and where needed, ask questions about what's happening (the old who, what, where, when why).
Third, take thorough notes of what you have found, observed, and discussed.
Finally, tell your audience what happened in a complete, accurate, thorough, and yet engaging manner.
Anyone who thinks that the above four tasks are "easy" probably isn't doing the job well.
Even though doing the job a reporter should be doing is anything but easy, it would appears that it's too boring. Today's reporters want the excitement of being "advocates":
As I have in the past, to be a fair and honest reporter, I'll bring the good news about the MSM to the fore right along with the bad. Today I have some good in the form of a piece in Editor & Publisher's Shop talk section titled Who's a Journalist These Days? This is an interesting piece that takes journalists to task who share, as E&P puts it, the "big ego disease" that seems woefully prevalent throughout the MSM.
In fact, Mark A. Phillips doesn't at all mince words when taking to task his fellow journalists, not sparing their feelings a bit. He even identifies by name one of the journalistic comrades of whom he is scolding. That being one Debra J. Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle.
As has been well detailed here at Newsbusters, Mitt Romney has recently been the object of the MSMs attack dogs (see here, here, here... and many others.). But it seems that, with the recent polls showing it is Rudy Giuliani, rather than Mitt, who leads in the polls, the MSM attack dogs have turned their attention to the nation's Mayor.
Apparently it isn't enough to just go after Rudy, though. Now the Boston Herald is going after his bigoted and obviously stupid potential Conservative voters -- stupid at least as far as the Herald is concerned.
The same day the MRC's Culture and Media Institute (CMI) released its study [pdf available here] dealing with the media's preference for "secular progressive" values over those of those of orthodox religious faiths, evangelical magazine Christianity Today noticed that many newspapers are losing their religion [sections].
The CMI study concluded that:
Americans have clearly identified the media as primary culprits in the
nation’s moral decline. If the media continue to singularly promote
Progressive values and a secular worldview, while undermining Orthodox
faith and values, reversing America’s moral decline will be very
In her March 7 article, writer Sarah Pulliam noticed a mixed bag on the media's handling of religion coverage. Apparently even as many newspapers end or severely restrict religion coverage in print, religion news-oriented newspaper blogs prove popular with readers:
The double standard of Leftists who are ignoring the outrage of Bill Maher -- who alluded to his wish that Vice President Dick Cheney was assassinated – while at the same time are wildly fanning themselves in mock outrage as if they had the vapors over Ann Coulter -- for calling Democrat John Edwards a bad name -- was on full display in the MSM over the weekend.
If you are a conservative who stays up on the "happenings" in conservative news, you'd have by now heard that firebrand Columnist Ann Coulter called Democratic Candidate John Edwards a "faggot" at the CPAC convention the other day. You are also probably aware of all the lefty types wading into the waters of high dudgeon over her typically button-pushing remark and you'll have seen Democrats and their supporters coming out of the woodwork to claim astonishment at Coulter's comment, demanding that conservatives distance themselves from her.
What was the refrain so often hurled at the right by the "good hearted" and "more civilized" left when Chelsea Clinton was brought into the campaign discussion in the 1990s? Didn't they all solemnly shake their heads in disgust over those eeevil Conservatives who were attacking the president's kid? Didn't they scold the right saying that a candidate's children should never be an issue? Well, apparently the New York Times has abandoned that genteel notion.
I sure remember the left wagging their fingers in the nation's face over this point repeatedly, don't you?
Yes, here we have, in Saturday's edition of the New York Times, an article dragging Rudy Giuliani's recently strained relationship with his two children into the public debate on his candidacy. Here we have the bastion of leftism trying to get at a candidate through his children in stark contrast to the tsk, tsking that the left indulged in during the Clinton years.