It is understandable, but not forgivable, that business reporters at Old Media newspapers might think that the economy is in bad shape. They first have to get past how poorly most of their employers are doing. The industry as a whole has not been doing well, and it's been that way for quite some time.
This table illustrates that point (September 30, 2007 figures are at this post, which originally came from this Editor & Publisher article, which will soon disappear behind its firewall; March 31, 2005 figures were estimated in reverse using annual percentage changes reported as of March 31, 2006, because older data I thought would remain available no longer is):
As NewsBusters reported, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann went on a ridiculously disgraceful rant during Monday's "Countdown" claiming, amongst other things, that "[T]he presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush."
On Wednesday, Fox News's John Gibson, during his radio program, took issue with Olbermann's tirade, and actually called the former sportscaster a liar for misrepresenting what former acting Attorney General Daniel Levin wrote about the interrogation procedure known as waterboarding.
I'm sure as a concerned social observer, CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric may genuinely think we as a society are too addicted to TV. That said, I can't help but feel that her persistent third-place status in the broadcast evening news race is part and parcel of her Andy Rooney-Lite rant against the boob tube. Here's the November 7 page from Katie Couric's "Notebook" (see video here):
This week in Newsweek, writer Allison Wood complains about seeing television everywhere, and I think we're on the same wavelength.
It's in your living room, the kitchen, the bedroom. Leave home and hail a taxi, it's there too. A lot of cabs now have little TV screens bombarding you with news and weather as you head to wherever you're going.
The Independent Television Service was established by Congress in 1988 with legislation directing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to establish ITVS with "a national coalition of independent producer groups." Currently, CPB awards $15 million a year to ITVS, a one-sided, left-wing "independent" filmmakers’ organizing center. ITVS saw its purpose to be "a catalyst for change, a way for independent producers to participate in and define the cultural dialogue of public television." Today, that "cultural dialogue" is being defined from Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district, at 651 Brannan Street in the city of San Francisco.
When it comes to sexual politics, the tax dollars funneled into ITVS have long been used to promote the libertine left, beginning in the early 1990s with the films of the late Marlon Riggs, a gay black filmmaker and the maker of the explicitly gay film "Tongues Untied," and a liberal darling who drew taxpayer funding from a plethora of government "arts" agencies. That history of left-wing advocacy against social conservatives funded and promoted by ITVS continues to the present:
It's arguably not as explosive as rigging trucks to explode in vintage "Dateline NBC" fashion but it seems ABC News may be using phony gay couples to gin up an incendiary story that plays on the media's preconceived storyline about intolerance and "homophobia" in conservative parts of America, particularly the South. Here's an excerpt from Michelle Malkin:
When you don’t feel like covering the news, you manfacture it. Remember the story I broke last spring about NBC News engineering a sting at NASCAR to try and expose fans as anti-Muslim bigots? Well, it looks like the dinosaur networks haven’t learned from the embarrassing backlash to that pathetic episode. Or Rathergate. Or Shattered Glass. Or Janet Cooke. Or Scott Thomas Beauchamp. Etc. etc. etc.
Update (Nov. 8 | 13:00 EST): International and Beijing Olympic officials are denying any such Bible ban exists. Click here for the story.
"Olympic agencies of the free world shouldn't tolerate this kind of intolerance. But will the media notice?" NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham asked in a Sunday blog post, referring to a November 2 Catholic News Agency article reporting the Communist Chinese government's plan to bar athletes from bringing Bibles along with their other personal effects in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Unfortunately, a full four days after the CNA article, it seems major print and television media have ignored the story. A Nexis search of major newspapers from November 2-6 yielded no stories on the matter. Ditto with a search of ABC, CBS, and NBC news transcripts, as well as a search of MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News.
A notable exception to the general media silence: Fox News Channel's Neil Cavuto. Just after the half-hour mark to his November 6 program the host of "Your World with Neil Cavuto" covered the controversy as he interviewed evangelist Bill Keller, who is urging the United States government to boycott next year's Summer Games should China not repeal the policy.
Cavuto and Keller noted that the Koran, unlike the Bible, was not similarly on the censorship list.
On Monday, President Bush honored a Cuban political prisoner, author Harper Lee, and former congressman Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), along with five others in a Medal of Freedom ceremony. Yet while Washington Post Foreign Service staffer Nora Boustany led her November 6 article with a focus on the Castro-imprisoned Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, Post headline writers slapped a bland headline on the story, "Cuban Doctor Among Eight Honored at White House."
That's hardly an enticing attention grabber for your average Post reader flipping through page A14 while hunched over his corn flakes.
The Audit Bureau of Circulations released circulation numbers for more than 700 daily newspapers this morning for the six-month period ending September 2007. Of the top 25 papers in daily circulation (see chart, separate story), only four showed gains.
All together now - awwwwww.
For your entertainment pleasure, here were some of the declining dinosaur totals:
Helen Thomas is a "stalwart of the White House press corps who wields candor like a weapon of mass instruction," gushed Seattle Post-Intelligencer managing editor David McCumber in a November 2 post at his paper's Big Blog.
In a short video of her Friday appearance, Thomas regales the P-I newsroom audience with her tired left-wing ravings about how the Bush administration lied to get the United States into war with Iraq, and how President Bush must have been utterly amazed at how sheep-like the media were in the lead-up to war. McCumber was so enchanted by her presence that he included what he considered to be a pearl of wisdom from the reporter-turned-front-row-Bush-basher:
Although you likely didn't hear about it, former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow received a Freedom of Speech Award on October 16 from The Media Institute.
During his acceptance, Snow made some statements about liberal bias in the press, as well as the condition of the media industry, which fully explain why this event, as well as his address, went virtually unreported.
Well, viewers are in for a treat on NBC this coming week. Okay, maybe not.
NBC is taking a “green” gamble to boost sagging ratings as sweeps month begins, by weaving environmental plotlines throughout its programming lineup including many primetime shows throughout “Green Week,” November 4-9.
Eco-programming will kickoff, literally, as “Football Night in America” goes dark for the final minute on November 4. Yes, because turning off those studio lights for one minute will somehow remedy the stadium lights that will burn brightly over the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles game for the next three hours.
Ann Coulter's been a naughty girl! She has to go sit a time out in the corner, according to Chris Matthews, who's withdrawing the distinct and high honor of inviting the columnist on "Hardball" as punishment for the Donny Deutsch row, which was hyped by the liberal smear machine Media Matters for America.
And I thought that was only reserved for attractive business reporters who didn't lean into the camera.
CBS's Public Eye blogger Matthew Felling sees curious timing in a controversy CNN reported on an October 31 program, but which took place weeks earlier, involving a stand-up comic and a noose:
Last night on CNN’s “Out in the Open” hosted by Rick Sanchez, he had a lively discussion/debate with an African-American comic who had worn a noose like a necktie as “a fashion accessory.” The segment began:
It appears that Editor & Publisher felt the need to get in front of some really bad news in the newspaper business. In fact, the sampling of numbers reported previews a report that will apparently be worse than others I have tracked (previous posts here, here, and here):
According to industry sources speaking to E&P, daily circulation for reporting papers in the six-month FAS-FAX period ending September is down about 2.5% while Sunday is expected to fall 3.5%. Those types of declines -- in the 2% and 3% range -- have been occurring as far back as the March 2005 period.
As we've noted at NewsBusters before, it's perfectly sporting to liberal reporters to scoff at conservative activism by college-aged Republicans. Just the same, the left-wing activists of kids not old enough to drive is enough to make journalists warm and gushy inside.
Take Linda Ellerbee, formerly of NBC and CNN, who has a new Nick News special on kids engaging in political activism, and yes, it's heavy on left-wing action items from protesting alleged "torture" sanctioned by the Bush administration, to decrying standardized testing in Seattle, Washington, as racist, to aiding PETA in protesting the use of circus animals. (h/t Blackfive)
I had every intention of letting "Cheney Flag-gate" go uncommented upon as a non-story. Vice President Cheney went pheasant hunting at an exclusive preserve in Dutchess County, New York yesterday, and the hunt itself left only pheasants hitting the ground. It was a local interest story for the most part, until a sharp-eyed photographer and a self-promoting blowhard turned this local interest story into a national non-story when it was discovered that the inside of the back door of a garage at the hunt club was draped in a Confederate battle flag.
There is precisely no evidence that Cheney or anyone on his staff saw the flag, but that didn't keep the Daily News from running straight to Al Sharpton. The story ended in lots of hot air being spit by a man in love with the sound of his own voice, and many people fruitlessly wishing they had a way to somehow blame the Vice President.
I only mention this story at all because of the eye for detail it reveals in our media. Consider this a "teachable moment" for media fact-checkers.
Below is the flag photo, as captured by a Daily News photographer.
Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona was indicted "on federal corruption charges stemming from a lengthy investigation into allegations that he had misused his office for financial gain," the Los Angeles Times reported on October 30. Reporters Christine Hanley, H.G. Reza and Paul Pringle noted that Carona was once considered a "rising star" for the GOP.
It's a fair point to make note of Carona's party affiliation, but the Times unevenly applies party labels when it comes to elected officials' scandals.
As NewsBusters contributor Dave Pierre noted on September 11, Democratic Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's (D-Los Angeles) campaign violations and the corresponding punitive fine of $5,200 were buried on page B-4 of that day's Los Angeles Times. The same squib failed to disclose Villaraigosa's Democratic Party affiliation. (more follows after page break)
Do you find it amazing that the same media doing everything possible to ignore global warming skeptics whilst almost exclusively focusing attention on entities advancing climate change hysteria (i.e. Al Gore) are constantly accusing the Bush administration of censorship regarding this issue?
The most recent example of such absurdity transpired when assertions were made about nefariously edited Senate testimony given last Tuesday by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Julie Gerberding.
Though many in the media credited the Associated Press for breaking the story, it appears this conspiracy theory might first have been hatched by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Cal.), as according to LexisNexis, the following announcement posted at the website of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works was published by US Fed News at 2:46AM EST Tuesday:
He's a twice-AWOL serial liar with a pending mental health evaluation who can't write believable military fiction EVEN WHILE IN THE MILITARY. He's powerless, has been tried, found guilty and punished, and at this point, a distraction. We've been focusing on the wrong things.
What matters is the New Republic's advertisers. No, not their editors, their advertisers. [see below the fold for a list of same]
As NewsBusters reported a few weeks ago, Internet behemoth Google banned anti-MoveOn.org advertisements placed by a marketing firm working for Sen. Susan Collins's (R-Me.) reelection campaign.
On Thursday, the Washington Examiner revealed information that raises a lot of questions concerning the influence of this far-left organization and its relationship to one of America's most powerful media companies.
The article ominously began (emphasis added throughout):
Sometimes chronicling media bias and hypocrisy is just too easy. You couldn't have asked for better material than what was provided Wednesday by the New York Times which ran a thousand-word-plus article discussing the alleged nepotism of Commentary’s hiring of John Podhoretz to run the magazine. (Hat tip: Ace.)
I’ll grant that this type of character assassination article is typical when it comes to the liberal press’s normal gorillas-in-the-mist view of conservatism. Still, you’d think that the Times might be a little more inclined to avoid such journalism when its prestige and profits have been on a downward spiral ever since publisher Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger Jr. was handed the reins to the New York Times in 1992 by his father.
Time's Joe Klein, aka the Anonymous who wrote "Primary Colors," painted a very nasty portrait of the crop of 2008 Republican candidates for the presidency on his October 24 appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Particularly of note, Klein referred to the former Republican governor of Massachusetts as a "troglodyte.":
Look at Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney, you know, ran as a liberal against Ted Kennedy in 1994. Then he ran as a moderate for governor, and now he's running as a troglodyte. It's unbelievable.
Romney has come under fire from conservatives, and perhaps quite fairly, for his flip-flopping on key issues over the past two decades. Yet no respectable pundit on the left or right would characterize the affable family man as a "troglodyte."
Even so, Klein's invective went unanswered by host Joe Scarborough, who helpfully added, "And it seems to work in all cases."
As NewsBusters reported Saturday, Neal Gabler implied on FNC's "Fox News Watch" that he wanted the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol to go to Iraq and be killed so that he could attend the conservative writer's funeral.
On Monday, FNC's John Gibson took issue with Gabler's despicable comments during his radio program, calling Gabler a "lowlife," and "a coward" because "he will not come on the air to defend the things he says."
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, the old saying goes. It's certainly applicable to liberal talk show host Bill Maher, who got a taste of venom from the far-left 9/11 conspiracy crowd during a recent taping of his "Real Time" program before a live studio audience.
Major metropolitan newspapers generally gravitate towards bad news, and certainly have no incentive to preach the Good News. So it's a little odd that a Dallas preacher's anti-Mitt Romney sermon got picked up in the October 18 Dallas Morning News, especially since the sermon was a full 18 days old.
Erick Erickson at RedState argues it's no coincidence that Dallas Morning News reporter Gromer Jeffers' story ran the day before the October 19 "Values Voters" forum hosted by the socially conservative Family Research Council.:
That "Mormon Speech." Will Romney give it? You know the one. It's the one Bob Novak said weeks ago existed and is ready to go.
The bad news keeps on coming for the New York Times. When will company chairman Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger announce he's a failure and his ideas should be reversed? Oh wait, I forgot, only Republican presidents are supposed to do that.
Sulzberger sure hasn't been doing well, though. Here's the latest:
Morgan Stanley, the second-biggest shareholder in New York Times Co., sold its entire 7.3 percent stake today, according to a person briefed on the transaction, sending the stock to its lowest in more than 10 years.
The person declined to be identified because Morgan Stanley hasn't made the sale public yet. Traders with knowledge of the transaction said Merrill Lynch & Co. brokered a $183 million block trade of 10 million New York Times shares this morning.
MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell appeared on the October 15 "Hannity & Colmes" to discuss the New York Times ignoring retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez's recent complaints about shoddy, biased, and inaccurate media coverage of the war in Iraq.
Among other complaints, Sanchez hit the media for its "unwillingness to accurately and prominently correct your mistakes and your agenda-driven biases sometimes contribute to this corrosive environment."
Below is the opening exchange between Bozell and liberal co-host Alan Colmes:
Network morning news programs showcase musicians all the time with concert series and the like, and sometimes musicians make political statements in between songs, as Bruce Springsteen did on the September 28 "Today" show. But usually those segments are fluffy revenue raisers meant to hook audiences with popular musical acts. The politics are notable for their general left-wing slant, but otherwise unconnected to the news reporting on the program or the network.
Not so with Michael Stipe's appearance on the October 10 "Anderson Cooper 360," which will give Stipe and his band REM a platform to make a politically correct ecological statement in line with CNN's upcoming special, "Planet in Peril."
According to CNN.com:
(CNN) -- Rock group R.E.M. plans to debut a song from its upcoming album Wednesday on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360°" program.
On September 29, 2007, Baltimore 12-year old Graeme Frost became the Democratic poster child, literally, for SCHIP. Frost read the Democratic Party's official response to the president's weekly radio address, attacking President Bush for his veto of a Democratic-sponsored bill to balloon federal spending on the 10-year old program.
The Baltimore Sun ran a story that morning noting young Graeme Frost's brush with political football history, and two days earlier ran a gauzy profile on Graeme's mom and dad and their push for the Democratic SCHIP expansion here. But now that conservative bloggers have been raising questions about the portrayal by Democrats and the Baltimore Sun of the family's financial plight, the Sun is hitting back by attacking conservatives bloggers as heartless and obsessive, Michelle Malkin noted on her blog.