The Clinton and McCain victories in New Hampshire were topic A on the network morning shows today, so I thought we'd compile a montage video of the teases that the "Early Show," "Good Morning America," and "Today" ran.
The horserace coverage and media spin about Clinton's comeback notwithstanding, she actually trails Barack Obama right now where it really counts, in the number of delegates (her 24 to his 25) to the Democratic Convention.
John Hinderaker at Powerline notes the delegate count, numbers that the media rarely discuss when the dust settles on hyped primaries:
New Hampshire was a big win for John McCain and a serious setback for Mitt Romney. But do last night's results mean that Romney is finished? Not at all. In fact, he is the current leader on the Republican side in delegates, as tabulated by CNN.
Turns out on the Republican side, McCain has a meager 10 delegates compared to Huckabee's 18 and Romney's 24.
Given that and the fact that McCain was helped by crossover votes from liberal independents that he cannot count on in closed primary states, the media would do well to note McCain's challenge to run to the right in order to sew up the nomination, rather than take his victory in New Hampshire as a sign that's he's the new front-runner.
Chicago Tribune Public Editor Timothy J. McNulty addressed reader discontent over his paper's decision to include in its January 6 paper that week's syndicated Parade magazine insert featuring an outdated cover story and interview with the late Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto. The story was written and the magazine published days before Bhutto's murder.
McNulty shared some reader e-mails as well as feedback from Tribune editors, making a point to emphasize that the Trib has no control over Parade's editing nor publication schedule and that the Trib did include an editor's note in the paper about the outdated nature of the Parade insert.
But while McNulty did a good job dealing with this particular controversy, he failed to look at a larger issue that the Parade incident fleshes out: the logistical and editorial weaknesses of traditional print media in a 24/7 news cycle, and how that could push more news consumers away from print and towards online media.
Forget the label "old media," the Parade distribution model in this case seems jurassic, woefully outdated given the nature of the modern news cycle, and particularly so if the Sunday magazine wishes to report on anything of global political import rather than say Hollywood fluff.
Because the Trib's handling of the matter seems ham-handed, it also calls into question the relevance and reliability of newspaper print editions in an unforgiving, 24/7 media universe that's becoming more and more dominated by Internet-based media.
Pollster Frank Luntz has some 'splainin' to do writes Michelle Malkin, who has a post with video about one Granite State gentleman who's shown up in more than one Luntz focus group.
New Hampshire's a small state, but c'mon:
Yep. I think Frank Luntz, not any of the campaigns, is the one who needs to answer the questions about who Mr. Undecided is–and how he managed to end up in both focus groups. Transparency about how all of the people in the room ended up there would be wise.
A frequent lament I've heard in conservative circles is that we're not as good at using the Internet to promote our message as the Left is. Of course, that fear may be a bit overblown to begin. After all, 2007 saw some marked success in conservative blogs growing in readership while liberal ones stagnated according to Simon Owens of Bloggasm:
It has long been understood that the largest liberal blogs have generally produced more web traffic than the largest conservative blogs. But I have noticed a general trend over the past few months that I didn’t want to write about until the end of the year. After surveying the traffic stats of many major political blogs, I found that web traffic for several major liberal blogs either declined sharply or stayed the same while major conservative blogs saw a sharp increase in traffic.
Journalists often fret about Big Business. Yet their coverage leans so pro-union that they won't give the business side of the story - even when they ARE the business.
The writers' strike has cost the networks millions in lost ad revenue from the lack of new primetime and late-night shows. But now that late night lives again, the coverage is all about "awareness" of the writers' guild and the strike.
Once the late-night comedy shows returned January 2, a new controversy arose: guests who dared to cross the picket line to appear on the writer-less shows. One of those was Baptist preacher and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
"I don't think Jesus would cross the picket line, no, I'm almost positive Jesus would be on our side," one striking writer said to CBS's January 3 "Early Show."
Honest, I'm not looking for trouble. Just hanging out on Christmas afternoon, watching the Heat vs. the Cavs on ABC, when a State Farm Insurance commercial comes on. Funny stuff. A guy on a treadmill gets so distracted by a shapely young woman on a hamstring machine that he slips and falls off.
Then a trim man, identified by a screen graphic as Dr. Ian Smith, comes by to help him to his feet, and says:
Go on, laugh. But it's not easy getting back in shape. That's why we created the 50-Million Pound Challenge. It's a new way to help our community get healthier together. Get started at 50-Million Pounds dot com.
Was This the Slipping Digit?Found within the confines of the Los Angeles Times "Top of the Ticket" blog -- actually in its URL address -- is an interesting bit of a slip of the thumb (or finger, as I have no idea how Mister Andrew Malcolm types).
The entry is entitled "Is (Hillary Rodham) Clinton now planting people in campaign forums?" (we at MRCwould neverinsinuatesuch a thing), and is the average, tepid writing one has come to expect from Hollywood's ideological twin of New York's Times.
It is their web address that is more than a bit amusing:
Isn't it often the case that over-confident braggarts are typically insecure types masking their own short-comings with undeservingly cocky bravado?
After all, one would think the president of the cable news network whose ratings in virtually every time slot have plummeted for years would be a little humble when referring to his competition in the industry.
Quite the contrary, in an interview with the New York Observer, CNN's Jonathan Klein behaved like he was running the Yankees, and Fox News Channel was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (emphasis added throughout):
Quoth Wes Craven: NevermoreMessage for Chris Matthews: Hollywood 1984 called, and it wants its sweater back.
On location today in Hanover, New Hampshire, Matthews climbed out of the Wardrobe Wayback Machine - Slasher Flick Edition sporting a Halloween-shaded version of Freddy Krueger's trademark "A Nightmare on Elm Street" pull-over.
As Eat the Press has reported, NBC Nightly News has a famous new voice pitching Brian Williams at the program's introduction every night. It’s the actor Michael Douglas, best known as Aaron Sorkin’s liberal "American President" and as the evil Gordon Gekko character in the Oliver Stone Decade of Greed movie "Wall Street."
Douglas announces: "From NBC News world headquarters in New York, this is NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams."
It seemed a little under modulated on Debut Night, or maybe it just doesn’t match up to the James Earl Jones "This....is CNN" sonorous standard. But it’s easy to remember how much all the networks loved the Gordon Gekko line to sum up those greed-head Ronald Reagan 1980s, as we wrote in our newsletter at the time:
Imagine for a moment that the FBI raided televangelist Pat Robertson's office for any reason whatsoever, much less say his 1988 presidential campaign. It'd be a story in the broadcast evening news programs, right?
So why the utter lack of interest in the December 12 federal probe into Al Sharpton's 2004 campaign? A review of Nexis for ABC, NBC, and CBS network news stories for December 12-18 yielded nothing on a December 13 FBI raid.
Here's an excerpt from the AP's reporting from December 13:
What is it with Hollywood liberals and their penchant for messing with my childhood heroes by making them shills for liberal storylines. First "GI Joe." Then "Knight Rider." What's next, "The A-Team"? Maybe. (h/t Perez Hilton)
Variety reported yesterday that John Singleton is on board to direct a silver screen adaptation of the 1980s TV action drama "The A-Team." This time it sounds like oil company executives may end up being the bad guys.
For those unfamiliar with the term, this is when you take a sentence or two out of a report or article divining a meaning or intent clearly different than that the author or speaker was quite obviously conveying.
In this case, the target of TP's disaffection was me. More deliciously, research associate Matt Corley chose not only to cite just fifteen words out of a 41-word sentence inside of a 2500-word article of mine, but also totally ignored the relevant subsequent question posed in the piece in order to present to his readers a completely different conclusion than that offered by moi.
Of course, this is what TP and the other Clinton front organization Media Matters for America do all the time. This is just today's example of deceit and chicanery the couple from Arkansas and all associated with them are infamous for:
Better stow all potables and sharp objects, for the ratings of America's top four broadcast networks are so bad that one is giving refunds to advertisers while the other three are offering what is known in the industry as "make-goods."
Even better, the problem began before the writers strike.
Honestly, you can't make this stuff up.
As deliciously reported by Reuters moments ago (emphasis added):
There is one current story in Iraq that has attracted the full attention of the Associated Press, and that is the case of Bilal Hussein, an AP photographer and terrorism suspect. The AP report on Hussein's hearing yesterday leaves out the fact that Hussein was arrested with a known al Qaeda terrorist... one of but many troubling aspects of the news organization's decision to forego objective news reporting in favor of self-serving advocacy in a clear and pervasive conflict of interest.
The Associated Press, as an involved party in this case, should recuse themselves from reporting on Hussein's trial.
MRC Director of Research and NewsBusters Senior Editor Rich Noyes appeared Monday night on the "O'Reilly Factor" to discuss his findings in the December 4 Media Reality Check, "Good News = Less News on Iraq War."
As we previously noted, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly cited the MRC study in his December 6 "Talking Points Memo" segment. Video (2:35) from that "Factor":Real (1.91 MB) and Windows (1.60), plus MP3 audio (1.19 MB).
I highly doubt that readers of the Washington Post enjoying the morning paper over a steaming cup of coffee deserve to flip to the Style section only to be greeted by a huge photo of Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich making out.
Of course the front page photo -- unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, I couldn't find it online -- wasn't the only sloppy wet one the Post planted on Kucinich in the page C1 article, "The Love Song of Dennis J. Kucinich." Staff writer Libby Copeland gave readers of the December 5 Post an article sopping wet with the magical fairy tale of the Kuciniches' unlikely romance, sprinkled with the Ohio congressman's political ramblings.
While Copeland did paint Kucinich as dopey and eccentric, in the process she puffed up Kucinich's far-left politics, as seen by the adoring eyes of equally left-wing better half Elizabeth, the statuesque redhead that joined Rep. Kucinich at the altar two years ago.
What's more, staff writer Libby Copeland spilled some ink to given ear to relay Kucinich's rant about "corporate media," and how he believes it's conspiratorially biased against him:
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly interviewed Media Research Center president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell on the December 3 "America's Newsroom" program about a reality dating show in the works in which the contestants are immigrants (some potentially in the U.S. illegally) seeking to gain permanent resident status by marrying a U.S. citizen.
Al Gore must've gotten to the Associated Press and introduced to them his invention, the Internet, because they have announced a refit for the new news age. The New York Times spins some coverage for the venerable news wire service's newest venture, even taking the chance to extend a compliment for AP's creation of the "24-hour news cycle" (I know, that one made my head turn, too). So, at last the AP has decided the world has changed... took 'em long enough.
First off, let's dispense with the Times' claims that the AP invented the "24-hour news cycle."
CNN is defending its job in vetting questions for last night's debate, reports Politico's Kenneth Vogel:
The retired general who quizzed Republican presidential candidates about gays and lesbians in the military was not the only person linked to a Democratic presidential candidate who got to ask a question at Wednesday’s CNN/YouTube debate.
Conservatives examining whom to support in the primary elections might do well to welcome an examination of both candidates and how they have departed from GOP orthodoxy on numerous social and fiscal issues. And while Rudy and Mitt aren't the only candidates being grilled by conservative activists for less-than-conservative positions, it's a good starting point, even if much of Romano's piece is snarky in tone (which it is).
Mary Katharine Ham briefly chatted with CNN's Anderson Cooper and David Bohrman about tomorrow's CNN/YouTube debate and concerns about the agenda of questions that will be picked. For the whole thing, go here, but I just had to share this priceless gem (my emphasis in bold). First Ham's question, then Cooper's answer:
Q: There’s been a bit of scandal about the screening that CNN did on its “undecided voters” for the last Democratic debate. The diamonds-and-pearls question was attacked by the questioner herself. There were some allegations that several of the voters were in fact liberal activists on quite a few issues (and one Democratic Party operative). What’s the process for checking these YouTube questioners and their affiliations?
AC: “Well, campaign operatives are people, too. We don’t investigate the background of people asking questions…that’s not our job...
National Public Radio's arts-and-culture show "Fresh Air" recently displayed how its leftist ideology trumps artistic judgment, especially when it comes to movies designed to get America out of Iraq before our crazed soldiers senselessly kill more civilians. Film critic David Edelstein lauded Brian De Palma's new movie "Redacted" as a "laudable artistic response to an unpopular war," even as he conceded the movie is terrible as a work of art.
Edelstein knew some people hated the exploitative display of Iraqi corpses at the film's end, noting that De Palma thinks rubbing Americans' faces with the collateral damage will get us out of Iraq: "I think most Americans are immune to those techniques, but I respect his impulse. 'Redacted' is a crude piece of work but it's the kind of outright agitprop that rarely makes it to the big screen."
Edelstein also claims the movie centered around savage rape and murder by American troops isn't anti-troops: "But it's an act of sympathy to suggest that soldiers on their third tours of duty in a place where they have no knowledge of the culture, where they can't tell who's on their side and who wants to blow them up, stand a good chance of losing both their moral compass and their minds." Here's the transcript from the November 16 review:
Team Edwards, both eminently coiffed candidate John and his designated political hitter bride Elizabeth, on Wednesday, Novemeber 21st cancelled their scheduled appearance on The View, doing so, according to the UnDynamic Duo, to “honor the members of the Writers Guild of America”, who are currently on strike.
Not to be outpandered, Michelle Obama, wife of the incredibly audacious Barack, later that same day pulled out of her December 5th guest co-hosting duties.
Obviously, sucking up is more important than being sucked up to in Democratic presidential politics.
This is related to nearly every Donkey candidate promising to not participate in a scheduled December 10th CBS debate (moderated by the ratings Juggernaut Katie Couric) should their news writers decide to join their union brethren and sistren (one must be, in this age of PC, all-inclusive) and abandon that foundering network vessel to the waves unscribed.
Teasing a story about the Supreme Court agreeing to hear an appeal concerning the Washington, D.C. handgun gun and whether it violates the 2nd Amendment's protection of an individual's right to keep and bear arms, CBSNews.com employed an ominous-looking graphic on its home page.
Pictured at right is the CBS/AP graphic showing in the foreground a right hand grasping a handgun, with an outline of the continental United States overlaid atop an American flag. Superimposed on the map and flag are the concentric circles of a shooting target. The corresponding story can be found here.
By contrast, ABCNews.com chose for its front page and story a graphic depicting a handgun beneath the seal of the United States Supreme Court (shown below the fold):
When a MSM dinosaur like Tom Brokaw says he thinks print newspapers won't be around in 10 years, that's probably an indication the industry in trouble. (Click for audio.)
The former NBC "Nightly News" anchor appeared at the Sixth & I Synagogue in Washington, D.C. on November 19 to promote his new book, "Boom!" Brokaw said he envisioned a major newspaper going completely digital in 10 years.
"I was at The Washington Post earlier today," Brokaw said. "And in the lobby they've got a wonderful graphic describing how the printing press works and where it is ... 75,000 copies an hour it can turn out. Its last run is at 2:15 in the morning and [has] an automatic paper roll that comes when they run out of paper and the ink is recharge and I looked at all that and I thought - ‘Ten years from now, will it be here?' I don't know. Probably ... if you would do a hardcore analysis - probably not. It'll be probably digital 10 years from now."