While some sectors of the American economy have changed allegiances this presidential cycle in terms of their donations to the major political parties, one industry that hasn't changed its allegiances is media.
That probably doesn't come as a surprise to readers of this site but the numbers are still interesting nonetheless:
After expanding their nightly coverage of the major political party conventions in 2008, the nation’s broadcast networks have decided to cut back this year. As a result, Ann Romney, wife of Republican candidate Mitt Romney, will be completely ignored when she speaks at the GOP convention next Monday in Tampa, Florida.
Between them, the broadcast nets still attract a significant plurality of American television viewers. While online news consumption has grown drastically, the vast majority of video, 94 percent, consumed by Americans is via their television sets, meaning that Romney will have a harder time introducing himself to non-political voters than President Barack Obama did four years ago.
A new poll by Rasmussen shows that 51 percent of voters think the media will, for the most part, attempt to help reelect President Obama rather than work to accurately and fairly report on the campaign. Only 9 percent of respondents believe the media are in the tank for Romney. That same poll found 59 percent of likely voters "believe Obama has received the best treatment from the media so far."
Filling in for Bill O'Reilly last night, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham discussed this poll and other evidence that the American public are wary of the media's liberal bias with NewsBusters senior editor/Media Research Center research director Rich Noyes. You can watch the full segment below the page break.
Can we stop calling the hosts of the presidential debates "moderators"? They're left-erators. It's time for the old media godfathers to end the pretense that they're fair and neutral observers of the American political scene. And it's time for the GOP to stop perpetuating these rigged exercises in futility.
Last week, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced the names of 2012's chosen referees: CNN's Candy Crowley, PBS's Jim Lehrer and CBS's Bob Schieffer will preside over the three presidential debates; ABC's Martha Raddatz will host the sole vice presidential debate. While the debate panel trumpeted the gender diversity of its picks, the chromosomal diversity is far outweighed by the political uniformity, class conformity and geographical homogeneity of the group.
Although the Obama/Biden campaign has plenty of gaffes and erroneous statements to answer for from the past five-and-a-half months -- the last presidential press conference was March 6 -- Associated Press White House correspondent Jeff Kuhnhenn opted to toss a softball to President Obama today as he was selected by the president to ask the first question at the chief executive's impromptu session with reporters in the White House press briefing room.
"You are no doubt aware of the comments that Missouri Senate candidate, Republican Todd Akin made on rape and abortion. I wondered if you think those views represent the views of the Republican party in general. They have been denounced by your own rival and other Republicans. Are they an outlier or representative?" Kuhnhenn asked, having obviously answered his own question. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
When women complain about men who can't commit, they can thank -- or blame -- two people: Playboy magazine publisher Hugh Hefner and the former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, Helen Gurley Brown, who died this week at age 90.
Brown was the flip side of Hefner, offering women permission, even encouragement, to embrace a female version of Hefner's freewheeling "Playboy philosophy" of unrestrained sexual pleasure. Brown and Hefner offered one-way tickets to fantasyland, a journey supposedly without cost to a destination seemingly without consequences.
A Washington Post poll published on Monday shows that 74 percent of Americans favor requiring photo ID to vote. Significant majorities of African-Americans and the elderly -- two groups liberals claim are likely to be "disenfranchised" by such requirements -- support a photo ID requirement.
But as Mediaite editor Noah Rothman noted yesterday, in the 19 segments on voter ID that the liberal MSNBC cable news network aired on the issue between Monday morning and Thursday evening, none of them noted the results of the poll (my emphasis added):
Generally when a broadcast journalist interviews an activist about a hot-button political issue, it's customary and in accord with sound journalistic practice to interview someone from the other side of the issue for balance. Except, of course, if you work for MSNBC, which has essentially become DNC-TV.
On the August 17 MSNBC Live program, news anchor Thomas Roberts interviewed his fellow MSNBC colleague Al Sharpton, who openly and shamelessly continues to work as an activist on issues that his program reports on. Roberts failed to ask tough questions of Sharpton, nor did he bring on a defender of voter ID laws. What's more, although Sharpton is portraying the voter ID issue as one with strong racial dimensions, Roberts failed to note a recent poll that shows nearly 2/3rds of non-white voters support photo ID requirements to vote.
Time magazine just e-mailed Newsbusters with an announcement: Fareed Zakaria's column will return early, in the September 7 issue. His offending plagiarism-soiled column appeared in the August 20 edition, so the one-month suspension became a one-week slap on the wrist. (Update: CNN also announced today that their suspension of Zakaria would end on Sunday, August 26.)
"We have completed a thorough review of each of Fareed Zakaria’s columns for TIME, and we are entirely satisfied that the language in question in his recent column was an unintentional error and an isolated incident for which he has apologized. We look forward to having Fareed's thoughtful and important voice back in the magazine with his next column in the issue that comes out on September 7."
Imagine if, God forbid, this exact same thing had happened at a Planned Parenthood or the Southern Law Poverty Center, which labeled both Chick-fil-A and FRC hate groups. We’d be hearing an endless loop of stories about the danger of militant, hate-filled right wing wackos.
Shortly before 11 a.m. this morning, 28-year-old Floyd Corkins opened fire on a security guard at the conservative Family Research Center, located in downtown Washington, D.C. Local news stations, including NBC's Washington station, devoted resources to cover the developing story, as did CNN and Fox News, which regularly updated viewers with progress in the investigation.
But MSNBC devoted a scant 17 seconds to the story, in a news brief at 2:51 p.m. Eastern by News Nation substitute anchor Jose Diaz-Balart, and ignored noting that it may well be classified as an incident of domestic terrorism [MP3 audio here; video contrasting coverage follows page break]:
Affirmative-action lovers were thrilled that CNN's Candy Crowley would be the first female to moderate a presidential debate since Carole Simpson's sneering turn in 1992. Crowley deserves the opportunity after being in the field of political news for decades, and is the closest thing the current crop of moderators has to a Tim Russert type in being able to question firmly both sides of the aisle.
However, Crowley still fits within the CNN media-elite mold of liberalism, and not just with her unfortunate channeling of "some Republicans" on Saturday who anonymously felt the Paul Ryan pick "looks a little bit like some sort of ticket death wish." Below are a list of some of Crowley's more liberal moments on the CNN airwaves:
"Since when does serving up junk food give someone a license to preach?" carped Petula Dvorak as she opened her August 14 piece, "Now featuring filet o' fracas."* Gee, I dunno, Petula, maybe 1791, when the First Amendment -- you know, that pesky little document that guarantees freedom of speech and religion among other things -- was ratified.
"We've got the Papa John's pizza guys weighing in on the health-care debate, while the burger slingers out West at In-N-Out can't serve up a cheeseburger without a Bible verse," Dvorak carped. Later in her Metro section column, she essentially compared the pizza chain to drug-running terrorists.
While USA Today and other liberal media outlets today were spinning the snap Gallup poll about Mitt Romney's pick of Paul Ryan in a negative light, data within the poll itself show that Ryan fared better with Republicans than Biden did with Democrats in 2008 in a similar snap Gallup poll in August 2008 just after Obama's announcement of his running mate.
I sometimes wonder how far some Americans are going to stick their heads in the sand and pretend that the policies Obama is putting in place will actually bring the American economy back to prosperity. I wonder if some people even really care about what we have already done to the generations to follow, what kind of future they will have, burdened with the debt being left to them.
I can't help but ponder why people are still gullible enough to totally blame the ruinous state of the economy on George W. Bush after three and a half years of Obama's total and abject fiscal failure even after holding power over the White House and both houses of Congress for two full years.
Incredible. CBS News has an anti-Romney "fact check" article up this morning supposedly debunking statements made by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan during yesterday's introduction of the veep pick. At the end, CBS actually snuck in the hyper-partisan, DNC-talking-point assertion that it was "clear" that when President Obama utttered his infamous "you didn't build that", he was talking about "teachers and infrastructure."
CBS claims that in criticizing "you didn't build that," Republicans "seized on only part of Obama's quote." In fact, it is CBS itself that edited out another, most telling, part of Obama's comments. The network omitted the following Obama lines which make irretrievably clear that he was indeed disparaging the achievements of entrepreneurs. More after the jump.
[UPDATED below page break: TIME magazine, CNN have suspended Zakaria.] When CNN host and Time editor-at-large Fareed Zakaria wrote a new piece called “The Case for Gun Control,” it ended with a bang: “So when people throw up their hands and say we can't do anything about guns, tell them they're being un-American--and unintelligent.”
Here’s something that suggests a lack of intelligence: plagiarism. Cam Edwards at NRANews.com suggested to me that Zakaria seemed to plagiarize a paragraph from an April article in The New Yorker magazine -- with a modicum word-usage changes and interjections (Texas!) in an attempt to paper it over. Here’s a paragraph from his Time piece:
You will probably be able to count on one hand the number of times the liberal media will wring their hands this campaign season about the national Democratic Party being beholden to the abortion lobby. To her credit, Melinda Henneberger of the Washington Post will be one of those reporters.
In her page August 8 "She the People" feature on page A2, "Democrats' Big Tent is a cold place for antiabortion advocates," the Post columnist lamented that while a Gallup poll shows a significant plurality of Democrats -- 44 percent -- "said abortion should only be legal 'in a few circumstances,'" that chances are incredibly slim that the party will alter its platform plank on abortion to soften its absolutist stand.
On the Saturday Washington Post “On Faith” page, columnist and Newsweek religion editor Lisa Miller insisted it was not a news story that black ministers came to the National Press Club and insisted Obama’s support for gay marriage “might cost him the election.”
It’s not a story, Miller insisted, because Rev William Owens is “enough to make a cynic blush...He’s a figurehead in what political operatives call an ‘Astroturf’ campaign...and his threat is not a threat.” Miller complained about the news sites that somehow found this “nearly empty” press conference newsworthy:
Today, ATR Tax Policy Director Ryan Ellis issued a strong critique of Politifact's analysis and unfair conclusion, explaining how it is fundamentally flawed (portions bolded and underlined reflect my emphasis):
Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, has said that we are “inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’” How this unremarkable statement, which never mentions homosexuals, can be labeled anti-gay is astounding. But according to the editorial board of the New York Times, it can be. After quoting Cathy, the Times says, “Antigay remarks like these are offensive.”
It won’t work. According to this logic, almost everyone who ever walked the face of the earth has been an anti-homosexual bigot. Such hyperbole relegates real gay bashing to the trash bin, something to be discarded with alacrity.
The Hill reported that National Public Radio has hired the firm Navigators Global to preserve federal subsidies through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The House GOP majority has organized several votes and bills to defund public broadcasting, and Navigators Global is a lobbying shop chock full of Republicans -- the most notable being Mike Murphy, the former Mitt Romney strategist.
NPR chief marketing officer Dana Davis Rehm told the newspaper "It is part of our mission to represent the interests of NPR member stations to Congress, executive, regulatory and judicial bodies." That's in part because NPR gets its funds from member stations sending in money for programming. Rehm sang the usual song about how public radio is such an effective way to spend taxpayer money:
Over the past few weeks, President Obama and his campaign team have launched a furious attack on Mitt Romney's record as head of Bain Capital, a highly successful venture capital firm.
There is clear evidence that the attacks have had some impact. Forty-one percent of voters now see Romney's record in the private sector primarily as a reason to vote for him, but an equal number see that record as a reason to vote against the GOP challenger. That negative perception is up 8 points over the past couple of months.
"A little perspective would inform [Chris] Hayes’ inflated sense of self-worth, particularly when he attempts to demean the notable careers of others."
That's how Mediaite editor Noah Rothman concluded a scathing piece written to address a misleading charge made by the MSNBC host in a recent Talking Points Memo (TPM) interview. Fox News is captained by Roger Ailes, who is "a lifetime, hard-right, conservative ideologue Republican partisan," as opposed to MSNBC's president Phil Griffin who is simply an apolitical "someone who worked in TV," insisted Hayes. Rebutting that charge, Rothman offered a review of Ailes's storied history in the television industry that dates back to the early 1960s, some 20 years before Griffin got his start in TV (emphasis mine)
The gushing praise for Newsroom that HBO is highlighting in an ad campaign just seemed too good to be true to Jeff Bercovici, who noted the new Aaron Sorkin-created series was earning a "distinctly mediocre [score of] 57" on Metacritic.com. "Even those critics who’ve embraced it have generally done so with considerable caveats," the Forbes media critic noted.
So sure enough, upon closer examination, reviews by three major news outlets that HBO excerpted from in an ad in The Hollywood Reporter trade paper "were distinctly negative." With apologies to the Newsroom-philic disgraced former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather, the words were accurate but the tone was fake (emphases mine):
MSNBC host Chris Hayes granted an interview to the liberal blog TPM-DC and dissed most of his MSNBC colleagues. When asked what he watched before he snagged his weekend gig, he admitted “I would say Rachel’s (Maddow) show is the only cable news show that I’ve ever really watched consistently or routinely. Morning Joe sometimes.” Ouch.
Of course, now that he’s on Team MSNBC, he claimed “Our network is on all the time. I’ve learned to appreciate the craft of television hosting much more. Like Martin Bashir’s amazing preternatural equilibrium on set and talking and managing a show.” Hayes also aped Maddow in contending ridiculously that MSNBC has such higher standards than Fox News, with a much higher level of discourse:
Michael Grunwald is doubling down on what many liberals in the media are only hinting at. "[T]here is nothing wrong with politicizing tragedy," the Time senior national correspondent wrote this morning, reacting to the Aurora movie theater shooting. "If advocates or experts or even politicians think their policy ideas can prevent the next Aurora—by preventing potential killers from obtaining guns, by making sure potential victims can carry guns, or by some other method—then by all means, now is the time to spread the word."
Grunwald's callousness on this count has generated criticism, and not just from conservatives. Noah Rothman of Mediaite complained:
Donnie Box, a steelworker in Missouri who lost his job and is the focus of an anti-Mitt Romney advertisement being run by a Super PAC that supports President Barack Obama, now says he will not vote to re-elect the president in November.
"I could really care less about Obama," the lifelong Democrat says in an article written by Mike Elk on the In These Times website before criticizing the president as "a jerk, a pantywaist, a lightweight, a blowhard. He hasn’t done a goddamn thing that he said he would do," he complained, adding:
Media coverage of both the "Fortnight for Freedom" events sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and the competing "Nuns on the Bus" campaign, reveal interesting results.
A total of 141 dioceses, involving tens of thousands of Catholics, participated in the USCCB events; it ended with a crowd of 5,000 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on July 4. Although Bill Moyers wrote that "a bus filled with nuns" participated in the "Nuns on the Bus" campaign, in actual fact a total of two nuns made the entire bus trip; there were never more than six at any one time on the bus. No matter, CNN did eight stories on the nuns, and none on the bishops; MSNBC did six on the nuns, and one on the bishops; and CBS News did two on the nuns and none on the bishops.