The National Public Radio (NPR) executive who fired Juan Williams is behind an effort lobbying for a new tax to be levied on private media outlets in order to finance a BBC-style state media, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center Brent Bozell told viewers of Fox Business Network's "Varney & Company" at 10:45 a.m. today.
NPR president Vivian Schiller is "part of a group which wants to essentially tax existing media companies... and use that tax money to create a national network of public broadcasting companies to put out a news broadcast on a national basis, like an American BBC," Varney noted.
"Let's put it another way, the attack on Juan Williams... wasn't really an attack on Juan Williams," Bozell replied.
As I noted yesterday in my NB Extra piece, in an October 26 editorial listing endorsements for the Montgomery County [Md.] Council, the Washington Post erroneously stated that the incumbent County Executive Isiah "Ike" Leggett (D) was unopposed in his reelection bid.
That simply is not true, and the Post today issued a correction noting that Leggett does indeed face a challenge, from Republican Doug Rosenfeld.
Yet in today's correction notice, the Post noted that it will print an "editorial on that contest... in the coming days."
The Post most certainly has a right to make such an endorsement, but considering its gross negligence in the first place, should the paper opt simply to refuse to make an endorsement?
A search of the Nexis database from September 15 (the day after the primary election) through October 27 found just two mentions of Rosenfeld. The second was today's correction notice and the first was the very last paragraph of Metro section reporter Michael Laris's September 15 roundup of local primary election results:
Last night Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly aired an ambush interview that "O'Reilly Factor" producer Jesse Watters sprung on Vivian Schiller, National Public Radio's president.
Last week, Schiller fired Williams over the phone in reaction to a comment the Fox News contributor made on the October 18 edition of O'Reilly's eponymous program.
Schiller, no stranger to cable news -- she used to head up CNN's documentary division -- also put her foot in her mouth last week by flippantly dismissing Williams's comments on the "Factor" as something he should have kept between himself and his psychiatrist.
Juan Williams's firing from National Public Radio (NPR) earlier this week was not only animated in part by the liberal George Soros-backed radio network's disdain of Fox News, it also reeks of a double standard, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told viewers of Friday's "Fox & Friends" program.
"If [Juan Williams] had said those words on the Charlie Rose show, it would have been seen as provocative or thoughtful.... This is the same network that featured Nina Totenberg hoping that Senator Jesse Helms would die or one of his grandchildren would die of AIDS because of his position on gay rights and nothing ever happened to her."
In the wake of commentator Juan Williams' feckless firing by National Public Radio, supporters on the Internet sounded a cheeky rallying cry: "Free Juan!" But Williams has now been liberated from the government-funded media's politically correct shackles. It's taxpayers who need to be untethered from NPR and other state-sponsored public broadcasting.
Public radio and public television are funded with your money to the tune of some $400 million in direct federal handouts and tax deductions for contributions made by individual viewers, not to mention untold state grants and subsidies. Supporters argue that this amounts to a tiny portion of state-sponsored media's overall budget, and an even tinier portion of the overall federal budget.
If it's so negligible, why do NPR's government-subsidized "journalists" cling so bitterly to the subsidies? Leverage. The government imprimatur gives NPR and PBS a competitive edge, favoritism with lawmakers and the phony appearance of being above the fray.
"In this country, we don't stand still, we don't lean, we move forward," goes the tag line for one. Another promo spot declares, "We don’t stand around, we don’t lean against a wall, we break the wall down. We move… Forward."
Fox's move is a "study in pointlessness," media and advertising blogger Catharine P. Taylor groused today at Bnet.com, the website for the CBS business interactive network:
Managing Editor's note: National Public Radio (NPR) has fired longtime analyst Juan Williams for admitting he gets nervous on a plane when he sees a person dressed in Muslim garb. What follows is a statement from NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell.
Juan Williams has done nothing wrong. What he said echoes what the vast majority of Americans believe. It’s their tax dollars that fund NPR. But NPR is ignoring them. Instead, they are kowtowing to the agenda of radical anti-Americans like CAIR, and doing the bidding of George Soros, who hates Fox News with a passion.
And since when did NPR have standards? Here are just three examples of left-wing statements 100 times more outrageous than what Juan Williams said, with no reaction from NPR:
Karl Rove is a great American patriot, a genius, a statesman, even. And now he has proven his phenomenal, overflowing patriotism by setting up a secretive finance group, in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce--that's right, our very own, United States Chamber of Commerce--to run sleazy political ads, funded by foreign investors. I can't imagine why all these foreign companies are just itching to hook up with Rove and influence American politics...can you?
I'm sure Klein's die-hard groupies found that wickedly witty. But even writers further to the left of Klein and the center-left mainstream media, like the folks at Mother Jones magazine, think the complaint is just plain lame.
"I've been looking for years to find a man like him.... I've combed the whole goddam country. There are lots of good journalists around, but they're all cockeyed left-wingers."
That's how publisher Eugene C. Pulliam praised M. Stanton Evans in 1960, when he tapped the 26-year-old conservative Yale graduate and close friend of National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr. to edit the Indianapolis News.
Lee Abrams, the eccentric chief innovation officer for Tribune newspapers -- and no stranger to NewsBusters criticism -- has reportedly been suspended for sending co-workers a not-safe-for-work (NSFW) e-mail.
Why are Americans not being bombarded with sermons on the irresponsibility of blogs and new media generally? After all, the White House's attacks on the Chamber of Commerce originated with a salacious, factually-erroneous report on a highly partisan left-wing blog. Shouldn't we be hearing about the dangers of relying on new media for political news?
We were inundated with such talk after the video that led to the Department of Agriculture's fired of Shirley Sherrod turned out to have misrepresented her words. The story - that Sherrod made race-based decisions in her capacity as an Ag Department employee - was based on faulty evidence. It would never have made it into the mainstream were it not for the lax journalistic standards of digital reporters - in this case, Andrew Breitbart.
Yet for its coverage of the 10 year anniversary memorial service in today's paper, the Washington Post elected to go with an 11-paragraph article by Newport News [Va.] Daily Press's Hugh Lessig rather than assign a Post staffer to the story.
The Obama administration gave corporate giant General Electric—the parent company of NBC--$24.9 million in grants from the $787-billion economic “stimulus” law President Barack Obama signed in February 2009, according to records posted by the administration at Recovery.gov.
Howard Kurtz quoted MSNBC president Phil Griffin in two stories in Monday's Washington Post, and both quotes seriously strained credulity. In a front-page story on how politicians campaign on cable news, Griffin tried to argue that they're not simply a Democrat talking-points factory and promoter of Democrat candidates. Oh no, claimed Griffin, just because Republicans choose to decline their invitations doesn't mean they're in the tank for the DNC:
The reality, said MSNBC President Phil Griffin, is that "politicians want to hit their base." But "we're different than Fox," he added. "We ask for people to come on from both parties all the time. We can't control who comes on. A lot of people choose not to, and they choose to go to Fox....We have so many different voices. We're not trying to push Democratic talking points, as some people accuse us of."
Kurtz didn't mention that Keith Olbermann never has Republicans on his show, or note how a host like Ed Schultz can have a leftist candidate like Bill Halter on repeatedly, and plug his web site. Then there was a mention of MSNBC's lame "Lean Forward" motto in Kurtz's Media Notes column:
Fired CNN anchor Rick Sanchez was granted an online Q&A Monday on The Washington Post website. Sanchez still finds it unfair that he would be knocked for noting knowing how many feet are in a meter. Hasn't someone pulled him aside and told him that audiences expect an anchor to at least fake that they've taken the time to figure out feet to meters? When he was asked about why Jon Stewart mocked him so often, Sanchez replied:
I have taken to heart some of Jon Stewart's criticisms and I asked Jon about that last week. He said, "Rick, I'm a comedian and the only reason I focused on you was because I like you."
Maybe I just never saw it that way. Maybe I was too thin-skinned. I blamed it on Jon's prejudice and that was wrong. But here is my point: Oftentimes the ridiculing was simply baseless. I was ridiculed for not knowing how many inches or feet in ten meters. I didn't think that was fair, because it happened during a breaking news story and frankly I'm not good with the metric system.
On Tuesday, Fox Chicago News anchor Bob Sirott suggested that Rick Sanchez might land at the Fox News Channel. In his "One More Thing" commentary, Sirott pointed out that most people had never heard of Sanchez until CNN fired him last week. Still, Sanchez could bounce back:
Some believe Rick Sanchez's career is is over, but others think it's just beginning, and now that he's a nationally known hot button subject a network that likes controversial personalities will hire him. Can you say FOX News Channel?
Calling the liberal mainstream media the "'shock troops' of the Obama administration," NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell has “declared war on the liberal media” with a new $2.1 million campaign to demand they stop lying and “Tell The Truth!” about Obama, the damage his radical policies have caused, and to cease immediately the character assassinations launched against the Tea Parties.
MRC President Brent Bozell provided these remarks in the live webcast launch of the campaign:
What would have been the reaction of the American people if on Election Day 2008, they had gone to the polls knowing that in electing Barack Obama, they were electing the single most radical socialist in the history of this country? I submit to you he never would have been elected. That's the power of the left-wing media ... I call the news media the ‘shock troops' of the Obama administration because they're the ones doing all the dirty work - for him - so that he doesn't have to do it.
The national campaign -- accessible online at www.TellTheTruth2010.org -- will reach millions of people each week through end of 2010 and includes:
When news broke in August that News Corporation, the media conglomerate owned by Rupert Murdoch, had donated a million dollars to the Republican Governors Association, liberals howled that Murdoch's personal political views - reflected in that donation - compromised the neutrality of News Corp's subsidiaries. The same arguments are being offered today, as news emerges that Murdoch's company gave another million to the Chamber of Commerce.
But Murdoch testified before a congressional subcommittee on Thursday in support of amnesty for illegal immigrants. Almost immediately, the left began asking why Murdoch had not incorporated his own views on the issue into Fox News's programming.
So now that liberals may have some common ground with Murdoch on the immigration issue, they are pleading for him to do exactly what they criticized when it benefitted Republicans: inject his own personal political views into reporting by News Corp. outlets.
The following is NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) founder Brent Bozell's statement regarding news of James O’Keefe’s sting operation attempt to embarrass CNN.
The MRC unequivocally denounces James O’Keefe for his attempted assault on CNN. It isn’t just childish and immature; it’s ugly, dishonest and filthy. There is no place in the conservative movement for this type of behavior and that’s exactly what I warned about in a commentary piece I submitted to CNN.com just two days ago.
"Could the Citizen Journalist abuse the public trust?" I wrote in this piece that should run in the next few days. "Hypothetically, of course. Conservatives must all guard against this. Let there be scrutiny, by all means." And I repeat: there must be scrutiny.
Bottom line: We want nothing to do with O’Keefe or his dirty antics.
Are you one of the many Americans who can't stand Newsweek Magazine's unending tripe of liberal condescension? Good news: you may not have to put up with it much longer - at least not in its print form.
Outgoing Newsweek columnist Howard Fineman, who recently announced he would exit the sinking ship for the Huffington Post, gave the magazine's print edition five years. "My guess is that there will be several years of a fond embrace of the traditional magazine," he said. "But that stuff is going because the economics are too difficult." Pressed for a specific time frame, Fineman gave his five-year prediction.
Since it was sold for a dollar to media mogul Sidney Harman, Newsweek has shed some of its most prominent names. The Business Insider reported that "of the roughly two dozen Newsweek journalists who have run for the door in recent months, some of the most high-profile names have joined news outlets without dead-tree versions."
The Poynter Institute welcomed disgraced former CBS anchor Dan Rather to share his thoughts on his long career and on the media in general this week. In an interview with Poynter's Mallary Tenore, he complained "So often, particularly covering politics, enterprises that describe themselves as journalistic enterprises, and journalists who describe themselves as journalists, in fact just become transmission belts."
That's exactly what Poynter's interview was, a transmission belt for Rather's lamest hits, including how the press needs a "spine transplant" and his shameless insistence that his phony-documents Texas Air National Guard story is still true. If Poynter cared about the reputation of journalism, why continue to entertain and spread doubt about the falsehood of Rather's most atrocious "scoop"?
The only thing fresh here is Rather's growing socialism, as he insists (just like Bill Moyers) that money is corrupting politics and the government needs to break some alleged media monopoly where only four mega-corporations distribute most of America's news:
For some in the White House Press Corps, literally thanking God for the existence of a terrorist organization is less controversial than being owned by a company that gives more money to one political party than the other. That, at least, is the standard former WHCA president Edwin Chen has set forth. In an interview with the far-left blog Media Matters, Chen dubbed "a travesty" the WHCA's decision to award a front-row seat in the briefing room to Fox News. His objection? "The vacancy was created because of an ideological conflict," and would be filled by "another cloud of ideological conflict." The first ideological conflict to which Chen referred was Helen Thomas's retirement, forced by a video showing her making anti-Semitic comments. The second: the political contributions of Fox's parent company, News Corp.
It was inevitable that someone with enough time on their hands would compile a list of the best viral campaign video ads of 2010. There sure have been some doozies this year, so I can't fault Time magazine for including hits like "Demon Sheep" and the Dale Peterson ad in their top 20 list.
That said, of the 15 Republican ads in the list, most were panned by Time staffers. By contrast, two Democrats' ads -- Rep. Tom Perreillo (Va.) and Sen. Pat Leahy (Vt.) primary opponent Dan Freilich -- were panned, yet neither candidate's Democratic affiliation was mentioned in the blurbs about the ads.
In an unusual move, the Associated Press has publicly released an advisory memo to its reporters on how to cover the Ground Zero mosque story - and the first rule is that journalists must immediately stop calling it the "Ground Zero mosque" story.
"We should continue to avoid the phrase ‘Ground zero mosque' or ‘mosque at ground zero' on all platforms," reads the advisory, which was issued by the AP's Standards Center.
Instead of the "Ground Zero mosque," AP recommends that reporters use the terms "mosque 2 blocks from WTC site," "Muslim (or Islamic) center near WTC site," "mosque near ground zero," or "mosque near WTC site."
The AP suggests that it might "useful in some stories to note that Muslim prayer services have been held since 2009 in the building that the new project will replace." In addition, the news service offers a "succinct summary of President Obama's position" on the mosque, but doesn't include the positions of any other politicians.
Back in September 2008, MSNBC's Chris Matthews floated a specious allegation that then-Governor Sarah Palin had ties to an advocate of Alaskan secession named Joe Vogler. Although the charge was roundly discredited, it was one of the many early attempts to smear Palin as a wacky extremist.
Two years later, it appears at least one writer for a liberal magazine thinks Alaskan secession would be a fun little topic to bat around the Web.
While Newsweek's David Graham is hard at work defending President Obama's summertime leisure -- "A Short History of Presidential Vacation Outrage" -- by insisting that the press corps always complains about any president's vacation habits, it's instructive that he failed to indict his own magazine.
"War on terrorism stalled, economy on precipice, time for a month on the Crawford ranch."
Accompanied by a disapproving down arrow, that's how the August 5, 2002 Newsweek feature "Conventional Wisdom" derided President Bush's working vacation a mere three months before midterm elections in his first term.
Elsewhere in Newsweek's coverage at the time, writers put the term working vacation into derisive quote marks, and otherwise presented President Bush's time away from Washington, including a quasi-campaign swing called the "Heartland Tour," as a nakedly political move to bolster his sagging approval numbers.
From Martha Brant's August 7 "Web exclusive" entitled "Look Who's Back":
On Thursday, instead of showing the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, the network's Washington DC affiliate, WUSA-TV, decided to continue with live storm coverage. The last time the CBS broadcast was preempted by local coverage occurred during the massive winter blizzards, which buried the region in a few feet of snow.
The Evening News has consistently ranked third among the network evening newscasts during Couric's tenure. During the week of August 2, the Evening News was around 2 million viewers behind competitors ABC Worlds News with Diane Sawyer and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Couric is about to mark her 4th anniversary in the anchor chair.
On last night's 'O'Reilly Factor,' Fox Business Network reporter Charlie Gasparino claimed that during his time at CNBC, General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt suggested to senior CNBC staff that they were being too hard on President Obama.
Gasparino did not say that it became official CNBC policy to tone down criticism of the president. But he claimed that "the question of whether they were being fair to the president was brought up" and that he had "never heard that before." Keep in mind that at the time GE stood to make a whole lot of money from some of Obama's key policies. NBC and its affiliates have conspicuously shilled for such policies before.
Even absent an official NBC or CNBC policy on criticizing the president, the incident demonstrates a profound lack of journalistic neutrality. There has always been a looming conflict of interest at GE's television arm. The possibility that higher-ups suggested reporters go easy on the president raises all sorts of questions about the abilities of NBC, CNBC, and MSNBC to fairly and accurately report the news (video and transcript of Gasparino's statement below the fold).