The law, sponsored by freshmen senators Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) provides for an online database of federal appropriations. The bill passed through Congress with relative ease, but had been blocked for a bit by long-time pork barrel spending champions Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).
Among the panelists was veteran Cox Newspapers Washington reporter Rebecca Carr who marveled that she "couldn't get over how effective" the coalition of left- and right-wing bloggers had been in providing the political pressure and alternative media coverage of the legislation's progress.
Heritage's Mark Tapscott was not as surprised, pointing out that blogs bring to bear "the wisdom of crowds" to news gathering and political activism.
To you and me that may not exactly be earth-shattering news, but it is a bit surprising to hear admitted by liberal Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz. After all, this is the same guy who was "agnostic" about whether Keith Olbermann aims to forward a liberal agenda on his MSNBC program.
Veteran Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz admitted recently what many conservatives have long argued: taxpayer-funded National Public Radio (NPR) leans heavily to the left politically.
“With the rise of Fox News and conservative talk radio and NPR on the left and certain liberal cable programs, there is, polls have shown, that people like hearing opinions that reinforce their own,” Kurtz said on the September 30 edition of CNN’s “In the Money.”
I must caution readers that the hypocrisy in the following is so delicious nothing on your desk or couch is safe from sudden hysterical outbursts: the New York Times published an article Monday (hat tip to TVNewser) analyzing a new Democrat strategy to appear on and attack the Fox News Channel. Deliciously, the writer, Lorne Manly, consistently suggested that FNC was a biased, propaganda arm of the Republican Party without recognizing that the overwhelming majority of Americans see the Times as a biased, propaganda arm of the Democrat Party.
The fun began early: “Though Fox News maintains that its reporting is down the middle, Democrats have long complained that the news channel operates like a public relations outpost of the Bush White House.” And, the fun came often:
This one’s really good, folks. Writing in Friday’s FrontPage Magazine, Professor Emeritus at Brooklyn Law School Henry Mark Holzer made the case for why the New York Times should be indicted for violating the Espionage Act (hat tip to American Thinker):
It is an article of faith on the Left and among its fellow travelers that the Bush administration stole two elections, made war on Iraq for venal reasons, tortured hapless foreigners, and conducted illegal surveillance of innocent Americans. A corollary of this mindset is that the press, primarily the Washington Post and The New York Times, has a right, indeed a duty, to print whatever they want about the administration—even if the information compromises national security.
Holzer marvelously responded to this absurd notion:
The Brussels Journal reported today (via FreeRepublic) that the third day of rioting in the Marollen district of Brussels commenced today, events which were sparked by the apparent murder of a Moroccan prisoner in a Brussels prison. What makes this story unusual is that so far, there has only been one report issued across the newswires (by Reuters) covering the events, and even though the rioting is entering its third day, not a single photographer has been dispatched to document the activities of the Muslim mob.
The establishment news media places too much emphasis on the negative events happening in Iraq, so Defense Department employees need to side-step the media and get a positive message out to the American people, said Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
According to an article by www.CNSNews.com, Pace was asked by a soldier what the department is doing to confront what the soldier called the "negativity in the press [that] is absolutely detrimental to the morale of our forces."
He said the limited coverage now tends to focus on what "captures people's attention" and "not the schools being built."
He said the military is finding ways to have soldiers bring good news about the war directly to the American people. "One of the things we've changed," Pace said, "is as troops come home ... they are given the opportunity to take an extra day or two of leave if they will stay at home and just talk to their local communities, not from a script ... [but] tell the people in their hometown what their experience was like."
Soldiers and others from DoD, according to Pace, have the responsibility "to be very open, forthright about not only the bad, but the good and to present it in a way that our fellow citizens can understand and accept."
Back when I was in college, I was involved in journalism in various capacities, in the classroom and at student newspapers. I couldn't help but notice in each place I went, women far outnumbered men. The Star-Tribune of Minnesota has picked up on a similar trend in the television industry. Men seem to be disappearing:
In TV news these days, a good man is hard to find.
networks, men still rule -- Katie Couric notwithstanding -- but at the
local level, women have taken the lead. Nationally, they account for 57
percent of TV news anchors. [...]
The male disappearing act
starts in the classroom. At the University of Minnesota this fall,
women outnumber men 227 to 125 in the professional journalism major,
which includes broadcasting. Ken Stone, a broadcast journalism
professor who spent 20 years working in radio and TV news, has 10 women
and six men in his advanced reporting class; he said that's as balanced
as it gets.
Stone traces the trend to the 1970s, when women and
minorities protested about domination of the airwaves by white men. One
of his first journalism professors asked the men in his class to stand
up, then told them, "Get a new career, there are too many of you." [...]
Well sports fans, the plot is getting so thick you can drive a truck over it. TV Newser is reporting that Bill Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time” who went on quite a rant Friday night about being denied his free speech rights by CBS, might be mistaken. According to the New York Daily News (emphasis mine): “‘If I or my representatives got it wrong about how the 'Free Speech' segment of the 'CBS Evening News' is, sorry, our bad,’ Maher said yesterday in a statement. ‘I'm ready, willing and able to speak about the topic I originally suggested.’"
Isn’t that special? In fact, according to Vaughn Ververs at CBS’s “The Public Eye,” the “Evening News” is in no way opposed to addressing religion:
With the election now less than 50 days away, I thought it might be fun to highlight some late evening/morning news items that the media might chose to ignore. After all, in the past three business days, the press have chosen to mostly ignore plummeting natural gas and heating bills as reported here, and plummeting gas prices as reported here. What might represent their most absurd negligence today?
Well, here are two obvious candidates; you decide. First up has to be the just released results of a USA Today/Gallup poll indicating that President Bush’s approval rating has risen to 44 percent (highest in a year), and that likely voters are now evenly split between Democrats and Republicans in the upcoming elections (details to follow).
The plot thickens. After Bill Maher claimed on the Friday evening installment of HBO’s “Real Time” that CBS prevented him from discussing religion on the “freeSpeech” segment as reported by NewsBusters, the executive producer of the “Evening News” has now denied this. As reported by TVNewswer (hat tip to reader Tracheostomy):
In an e-mail to TVNewser, CBS responds to Bill Maher:
"Bill Maher was never told that he couldn't discuss religion in a 'Free Speech' segment," Rome Hartman, executive producer of the CBS Evening News, said. "In fact, 'Free Speech' has already addressed religion and we expect others will in the future."
This obviously goes counter to Maher’s statements on Friday:
Reuters reported on Saturday (hat tip to Drudge) that the controversial British film about the assassination of President Bush actually won a critics’ choice award at the Toronto Film Festival. I imagine you’re all surprised:
"Death of a President," which stirred controversy in the days ahead of the festival, took home the Fipresci prize, which is chosen by international critics. The film, a fictional documentary showing the assassination of President Bush, was noted by the jury "for the audacity with which it distorts reality to reveal a larger truth."
See, now that’s exactly what moviegoers want these days: a film that distorts reality to reveal a larger truth. Of course, in a disturbing sort of way, that’s better than the normal media blathering which distorts reality to reveal a tapestry of lies in order to further the goals of one of the nation's major political parties. But, I digress:
To hear the establishment media tell it, the American public is unanimously against U.S. troops being in Iraq and the war against terror. We hear about every ragtag, fly-by-night anti-war group’s activities, no matter how small the turnout or ineffectual the impact.
Conversely, three Conservative activist groups unite to announce that they’ll converge on Washington, D.C., Sept. 22-23 to show their support for the war in Iraq and the soldiers fighting it, and it’s virtually impossible to find media coverage of the event.
Not exactly media bias but worth noting: Dan Rather is hard at work on producing his new HDNet show. The report comes from the same Freeper, MindBender26, who correctly announced the departure of Dan Rather from CBS.
Rather is working overtime on his new satellite-fed dinky cable show.
Editors who have seen first drafts of story treatments say it is WAY
over the top, sort of a "Howard Beale on LSD reading Rolling Stone
straight to camera, with a Texas accent" concept.
In other media business news, Sean Hannity is apparently set to leave his perch at ABC Radio.
Rich Muslims of the world need to unite and buy up various parts of the global media in order to force them to become more friendly to Islam. That's the message coming out of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference being held in Saudi Arabia.
As you might expect, Reuters has a reporter there who couldn't help but insert an anti-Fox News remark into the story:
Muslim tycoons should buy stakes in global media outlets to help
change anti-Muslim attitudes around the world, ministers from Islamic
countries heard at a conference in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
ministers and officials meeting under the auspices of the 57-nation
Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the world's largest
Islamic body, said Islam faced vilification after the September 11
attacks, when 19 Arabs killed nearly 3,000 people in U.S. cities in
It hasn't taken Katie Couric long to tailor the CBS Evening News to her liking. The New York Observer reports the Perky One has replaced medical correspondent Elizabeth Kaledin with Dr Jonathan LaPook, Ms. Couric's gastroenterologist.
What makes that move even more interesting is that the good doctor's father-in-law is longtime liberal activist Norman Lear. According to the Web site Newsmeat, the physician has contributed to the presidential campaigns of John Kerry, Wesley Clark, and Al Gore.
Don't be surprised if the CBS Evening News begins reporting on stories relating to matters such as the health dangers of global warming and the desirability of socialized medicine.
In the middle of all the controversy surrounding ABC’s upcoming docudrama “The Path to 9/11,” something very important has been lost: Regardless of the protestations of the left, there were indeed some missed opportunities to capture or kill Osama bin Laden before our nation was attacked. In fact, on March 16, 2004, the NBC “Nightly News” did a report on one such chance the Clinton administration passed on.
What follows is a full transcript of this report, with emphasis given to draw attention to statements that are quite relevant to the current controversy. Those that are interested can watch the video here courtesy of GOP Video.
I guess we all should have expected that mere changes to the story weren’t going to placate Team Clinton, for another letter was sent to ABC President and CEO Robert Iger on Friday, this one asking for “The Path to 9/11” be cancelled. For those that are interested, and can tolerate yet another example of extraordinary political hypocrisy, here it is:
This sad episode in American history continues, folks. Now, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean, is requesting that ABC reveal “who funded this $40 million dollar slanderous propaganda.”
Of course, he’s talking about “The Path to 9/11.” What else?
As reported by the left-wing blog Raw Story on Friday: "It's deeply disappointing that ABC would put something on the air that has been proven to have factual inaccuracies about one of the most important events in our nation's history," said Dean in the press release. "ABC should not air this distortion of history."
Why wasn’t Dean so concerned with the reporting of “factual inaccuracies about one of the most important events in our nation's history” back in 2004 when Michael Moore released “Fahrenheit 911”? Why has the Democratic Party’s seemingly universal support for that piece of propaganda as addressed here been totally forgotten by its members?
The following is the actual text of the letter sent to Bob Iger, the President and CEO of ABC, by folks representing former president Bill Clinton et al asking for “The Path to 9/11” to be re-edited (hat tip to TPM Café):
September 1, 2006
As you know, ABC intends to air a two part miniseries, “The Path to 9/11,” which purports to document the events leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. ABC claims that the show is based on the 9/11 Commission Report and, as Steve McPherson, President of ABC Entertainment, has said: “When you take on the responsibility of telling the story behind such an important event, it is absolutely critical that you get it right.”
MRC president Brent Bozell appeared on Friday's "Fox and Friends" in the 8am hour beginning at 8am Eastern. The topic discussed was the censorship campaign mounted by Democrats against the ABC miniseries, "The Path to 9/11."
Undoubtedly, the anger fomenting as a result of a television docudrama about the most serious attacks on America since Pearl Harbor has to be confounding the most seasoned of cynics.
After prominent House Democrats sent a letter Wednesday to Disney President and CEO Robert Iger requesting a re-editing of “The Path to 9/11” even though they admitted that they “have not yet seen this program” (as reported by NewsBusters here), another such request came from Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Charles Schumer, and Senator Byron Dorgan on Thursday.
Did you hear that sound Thursday afternoon? That was the Constitution weeping as one of the nation’s major political parties trampled all over the First Amendment. Remember what that is…that right bestowed upon us by our Founding Fathers guaranteeing freedom of speech?
Well, if what was reported by NewsBusters here, and the Ostroy Report here (hat tip to Hot Air) are correct, and ABC really has caved into political pressure from Democrats – in particular, former President Clinton – to edit the miniseries “The Path to 9/11,” such rights have changed forever. At the very least, this would demonstrate that these rights – which Jefferson said were inalienable, by the way! – apply differently to Democrats and Republicans.
The liberal blogosphere is going nuts over a miniseries about to air on ABC dealing with 9/11. Why are they so angry? Well, because just as the 9/11 Commission concluded, this program entitled “The Path to 9/11,” chronicles some of the missteps by the Clinton administration that pertain to Osama bin Laden. And, to be sure, folks on the left never want any blame for anything to be given to one of their own.
From what I can uncover, the shouting began at the Democratic Underground on August 27 in a post entitled “ABC docudrama will blame Clinton and Dems for 9/11”:
I think it's safe to say that Kyra Phillips's bathroom break embarrassment was not entirely her fault. But you do have to wonder why it took so long for someone to cut off her mic. On his radio show yesterday, Rush Limbaugh wondered if perhaps the whole affair was due to someone not liking the CNN anchor:
What was the techie at the CNN control booth doing for 90 seconds? It's
obvious they weren't listening to the Bush speech. It's obvious that
nobody at CNN was listening to this. Somebody caught her. Oh, the
anchor that was on, Daryn was on, and she finally, when this
conversation finally started getting into sisters and brothers and
control freaks and so forth, while Bush was speaking, "And you're
listening to President Bush, who is talking from New Orleans today,"
and then apparently Kyra came back, she's going to take over at one
o'clock, Daryn is still sitting there and she comes back and her mic is
still live when she approaches the set, because she says, "Well, I'm
here. I'm ready," and that went out.
It got me to thinking.
Does somebody there not like Kyra Phillips? I mean how does this just
happen? How in the world can audio and video go out when nobody intends
for it to? But then when it does, you can imagine... I mean, look, I
know broadcasting and broadcasting is me, and these accidents can
happen. Somebody can bump into a switch. But for 90 seconds nobody knew
it in the control booth at CNN, which means they we were the listening
to what was on their own, quote, unquote, air, which was a Bush speech.
I mean Kyra Phillips is innocent in this. I mean, she just had her
whole personal conversation in a bathroom broadcast all over cable news
yesterday afternoon for a minute and a half.
Will Thoretz is the company spokesman for VNU Media, the company that owns Editor & Publisher and employs Editor Greg Mitchell, a man that has something of a "truth problem" according to Michael Silence, and seems to be on the wrong side of an example of "journalistic malpractice" according to Stephen Spruiell.
Mary Katharine Ham of Townhall.com attempted to contact Mitchell at Editor & Publisher for comment several times yesterday, but Mitchell has thus far decline to respond. Ham also tried to contact Will Thoretz of Editor & Publisher's parent company, VNU Media, and while she was able to speak to his assistant, Thoretz has not responded to Ham to date.
Color me skeptical, but evidence indicating that one of your editors
has severe ethical issues should demand an immediate response of some
sort, unless, of course, the decision has been made to stonewall the
story and hope it goes away.
Faking news photos isn't just for Islamic propagandists any more.
A TVNewser reader has caught CBS in the act, altering a photo to make new anchor Katie Couric's waistline appear slimmer than it really is.
Question: Is CBS doing better now that it's only faking news to make its anchor look skinny, or is it doing worse now that it's making phony pictures instead of relying on nutjobs to do it?
UPDATE 11:21. Commenter 1sttofight correctly points out that Couric's face is also slimmer. It seems her arms are, too.
UPDATE 08:30 by Mark Finkelstein: CBS has now admitted that it "retouched" Katie's photo, but claims it was done "without the knowledge of Katie Couric or CBS news management," and Couric is quoted as claiming "she prefers the original photo 'because there's more of me to love.'"
Former veep Al Gore continues to get slavishly great press (the kind
a Republican could only get by switching parties à la Jim Jeffords),
for a speech he gave in Scotland claiming that "democracy is under
attack" from media consolidation. I'm doubtful that he mentioned
similar dangers from ultrarich leftists like George Soros trying to buy
their own governments in various countries.
The first few grafs from AP reporter Jill Lawless are relatively straightforward (minus the fact that she did not ask other media thinkers to counter Gore):
is under attack," Gore told an audience at the Edinburgh International
Television Festival. "Democracy as a system for self-governance is
facing more serious challenges now than it has faced for a long time.
is a conversation, and the most important role of the media is to
facilitate that conversation of democracy. Now the conversation is more
controlled, it is more centralized."
I usually wouldn't make a big deal out of something like this, but today's just the wrong day for the gratuitous slam of FOX News as "fake news." You know, because two of it's journalists were just freed from the very real experience of being kidnapped while on the job and then held hostage for 13 days.
Here's a story you're not likely to see covered by today's MSM TV: the story of a Palestinian boy band who made it big...by writing up a song praising Hezollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah. (Click here for an MP3 of it.)
The song, "Hawk of Lebanon," is mostly a 10-minute repetition of the phrase "Yallah, Nasrallah" along with other delightful lyrics such as "I hope we can destroy your life and make you worry, Zionism and Zionists are the biggest poison in Arab land."
It's taken the Palestine by storm. AP reporter Sarah El Deeb has more:
They were struggling in a boy band, working the West Bank wedding circuit and dreaming of stardom.
Now the five singers who make up the Northern Band have come a little
closer to their goal, with help from an unwitting ally — Hezbollah
guerrilla chief Hassan Nasrallah.
At the height of the
Israel-Hezbollah war, the band wrote new lyrics, in praise of
Nasrallah, for an old tune. The Hawk of Lebanon song tapped into
Nasrallah's huge popularity among Palestinians and became an instant
The song is being played on Arab TV networks, used as a
ring tone for cell phones, passed around on e-mail and distributed on
pirate CDs and tapes.