Mark Thompson, a former director-general of the British Broadcasting Corporation, began his new job Monday as president and CEO of The New York Times. The lack of embarrassment was remarkable. Thompson claimed he was the worst kind of ignorant buffoon, knowing nothing about the massive sex-abuse scandal – and then its censorship – that’s rocking the BBC.
Scotland Yard has been conducting a criminal investigation into allegations of child sex abuse by the late disc jockey and TV personality Jimmy Savile over six decades, describing him as a "predatory sex offender.” In mid-October, the metropolitian police stated they were pursuing over 400 lines of inquiry based on the testimony of 300 potential victims. Chris Patten, the head of the BBC’s government body called it “this great tsunami of filth.” BBC’s “Newsnight” was about to broadcast an expose last December – but BBC bosses spiked it, and incredibly, aired Christmas tributes to Savile instead.
On everyone's mind this morning was the resignation of CIA Deputy Director David Petraeus on Friday. Liberal radio talk show host Bill Press did his best to catch his listeners up on the details of the scandal, but then went on a rant asking why it's even an issue.
At no point in his defense of the former Army general and CIA chief did Press bring up the impending hearing concerning Libya on Capitol Hill that Petraeus was scheduled to appear before, nor did he think an FBI investigation was necessary -- despite the confidentiality agreement Petraeus submitted to before accepting one of the highest, if not the highest-level security clearance job there is in the federal government [ video below, MP3 audio here ]:
Thirteen Catholic church abuse articles made the front page; just one BBC piece did
Lead sentence linked Pope to scandals 20 times; linked new Times boss to BBC scandals just once.
It’s a horrifying and tragically familiar story: A beloved and trusted institution is rocked by allegations of sexual abuse of minors over many years. Intrepid reporters dig to learn how the crimes could have gone on so for so long, who knew about them, and if officials kept it quiet. Story after newspaper story leads with speculation that corruption may be systemic and the cover-up may go all the way to the man at the top.
Earlier today, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell accurately noted that the Big Three TV news networks are "as guilty in ... (the Benghazi) cover-up as is the administration." He did so based on the fact that "For the sixth night in a row, ABC World News, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News refused to give one single second of coverage to a Fox News report that the Obama Administration denied help to those attacked and killed by terrorists at the US consulate in Benghazi on September 11."
Not that it mitigates the legitimacy of Mr. Bozell's outrage, but one can take some comfort in the fact that fewer people are tuning in to the three nightly news broadcasts than were doing so a year ago, and that their ratings in the 25-54 demographic in the past five weeks are down by almost 20 percent from the same five-week period during the 2008 presidential cycle. A table containing individual results from the past two weeks and the average results from the past five is after the jump (a previous NewsBusters post on the first three weeks is here).
While President Obama's record-breaking pace to raising a total of $1 billion earlier this month received significant media attention, there was little if any curiosity among the traditional press about how he was on track to achieve such an unprecedented milestone in presidential fundraising. The broadcast networks in particular have not bothered to mention the growing scandal that is being scrupulously pieced together by alternative media outlets.
An independently-owned website Obama.com (redirects to official site here) has been suspected of accepting millions of dollars worth of illegal foreign donations for months now. Despite all the speculation and accusations coming from a nonprofit organization known as the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), no action had been taken until recently.
Just before 1 p.m. ET, Rush Limbaugh said the following about CNN's Candy Crowley and her performance as "moderator" last night in the second presidential debate: "In the real world, she would have committed career suicide last night."
Debate moderator Candy Crowley admitted on CNN's Debate Night in America that Governor Romney was “right in the main” but “picked the wrong word” on the Obama administration’s immediate response to the terrorist attack in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.
Immediately following the second presidential debate, Crowley was repeatedly asked for her thoughts on what she had just witnessed first-hand at Hofstra University. On everyone's mind was the foreign policy discussion between the two candidates, in which Crowley defended the president for what he said in the Rose Garden on Sept. 12 about the Benghazi consulate attack that occurred the day before. [ video below, MP3 audio available here ]
Imagine if an employee at a college or university was suspended from her duties for signing a ballot petition that is for same sex marriage, the media outrage would be predictable and the person would become a household name. And the media would have good reason for doing so: no one should suffer employment consequences for their political convictions. But you probably haven't heard of Dr. Angela McCaskill, because she's on the 'wrong' side of the same-sex marriage debate.
In an incomprehensible move that is being criticized by even advocates for same-sex marriage, Gallaudet University put their Chief Diversity Officer on administrative leave until further notice. Why, you ask? Because McCaskill had the audacity to sign a petition at her church that supported a reversal of Maryland's relatively new same-sex marriage law.
As of 2 PM ET, various searches at the national web site of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press (on "furious"; on "Univision"), Reuters ("furious"; "fast and furious"; "univision"), and United Press International ("furious"; "Univision") indicate that the three wire services have given no coverage to reports from Univision exposing the wider geographic scope and far more fatal fallout of the deliberately untrackable guns-to-cartels operation known as Fast and Furious.
I wonder how the leading U.S. Spanish network's broadcasters and audience feel about getting the same treatment the establishment press gives center-right blogs? (A lengthy yet partial transcript of Univision's broadcast with details which will shock all but those who have immersed themselves in the evolving scandal follows the jump.)
MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal on Saturday morning to discuss the letter MRC president Brent Bozell and more than 20 other conservative leaders and media personalities wrote to executives of ABC News, CBS News, CNN and NBC News.
"I would simply say we have a news media that doesn't hold the Obama Administration accountable. It's trying to destroy the Mitt Romney presidential campaign," Graham said. "That is not what ‘objective’ news media does." (See video and transcript below, MP3 audio available here).
For CNN's Ashleigh Banfield, complete opposition to abortion equals a "very far right" position, as she insisted on Tuesday about the new Republican Party platform. For context, CNN used the same "far right" label to describe Sikh shooter Wade Michael Page's racist skinhead band.
"[T]he platform, for the most part, was crafted by the very far-right wing of the party and then if you combine that with the timing of all this ugliness that's going on with Mr. Akin...does that besmirch this platform that so many people agree with?" she asked, framing the completely pro-life stance as extreme and possibly damaging to the GOP. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
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."
Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how the Associated Press's Steve Peoples and Politico's Juana Summers could only find hundreds of people attending GOP vice-presidential pick Paul Ryan's Wednesday appearance at Oxford, Ohio's Miami University. Perhaps even more troubling is how they somehow chose an odd angle for their coverage, namely that Ryan has supposedly avoiding talking about Medicare in his stump speeches -- and both wrote "that changed" in describing its first mention.
It seems more than a little odd that two establishment press reporters from supposedly separate and independent media outlets both apparently focused for four days on when Ryan would mention the word "Medicare" on the campaign trail. Summers even made it her headline, while Peoples seemed to want to convey the impression that Ryan has been afraid to mention the word:
On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN host Howard Kurtz lashed out at CNN’s own host Fareed Zakaria for committing plagiarism in a gun control article for Time magazine. Kurtz gave credit to us: “A conservative watchdog site Newsbusters, acting on a tip from the NRA, broke the story that Fareed's column was not entirely his own work.”
Kurtz put the two passages side by side on the screen to underline Zakaria’s copycat routine and pounded Zakaria for committing a “cardinal journalistic sin,” and the “latest case study of an insidious journalistic disease.” It’s too bad journalists aren’t this upset about sloppy bias. (Video and transcript below)
Brian Ross is not the only blameworthy party in the irresponsible smear of a 52 year-old Tea Party activist as the possible perpetrator of the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre early Friday. Everyone on the set of ABC's Good Morning America could have said "wait, this is premature and irresponsible" -- and didn't.
GMA co-host and former Bill Clinton advisor George Stephanopoulos's response to Ross's identification of 52 year-old "Jim Holmes" as perhaps the same "James Holmes" who had been arrested earlier that morning arguably added legitimacy to Ross's speculation: "OK, we'll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much." As if they would actually find more of a tie-in, which of course they didnt. In his column yesterday, the underappreciated John Kass at the Chicago Tribune succinctly described Stephanopoulos's likely mindset, as well as how ABC was originally hoping to blame "social media" for Ross's GMA team-assisted smear (bolds are mine):
Barack Obama’s adoring cheerleaders at NBC are back in the editing room distorting the truth, and, not surprisingly, Andrea Mitchell has the gall to make no apologies for it.
First it was their vile attempt to make George Zimmerman sound like a racist to gin up racial conflict, and now they’ve set their sights on Mitt Romney who they’re desperately trying to paint as an out-of-touch, silver spoon Republican wowed by Wawa sandwiches. [Attached below page break: Our side-by-side comparison of the edited video plus video of Mitchell's non-apology]
If this is how Dan Rather at peace looks like, wonder what he's like when angry and embittered . . .
On Morning Joe today, Rather emphatically alleged that he was "at peace" over the Memogate fiasco that led to the end of his career. But he couldn't help himself from suggesting that his reputation had been destroyed by anonymous partisans employing "lies." View the video after the jump.
Earlier this week, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell announced he was calling on Congress to investigate Comcast, the parent company of NBC, given the network's malfeasance in the Zimmerman 911 audio editing.
Comcast's "continued silence on how to prevent such malfeasance in the future constitutes a serious breach of public trust," Bozell noted in letters sent to Congress on Tuesday. As the cable giant is "in the midst of a business deal with Verizon requiring approval" by the FCC and DOJ, "the public policy issues related to the approval of this deal are so critical" as to require congressional hearings, Bozell wrote in his April 10 letter to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Subcommittee. A similar letter was simultaneously transmitted to the chairman and ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet. You can read those letters here and here.
In a statement totally disconnected from the reality of media coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting, on Thursday's Today show, NBC chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman proclaimed that the case, "...underscores the fact that we don't talk about race enough in this country and that race does matter, it's always under the surface."
NBC alone – not to mention the other networks or MSNBC – made race so much of a central issue to the tragedy that the network aired a story that dishonestly edited a 911 call from accused shooter George Zimmerman to make it seem as if the neighborhood watch volunteer singled out the black teenager for his race.
While the network issued an apology on paper and fired the producer responsible for the false editing, NBC News has yet to apologize on air for the report, which appeared on Today.
While most everyone in political circles has condemned Hilary Rosen's slam of Ann Romney, rank-and-file liberals on Twitter apparently haven't read the memo.
Twitchy has an excellent post documenting all the bile, complete with requisite leftist slams of Mrs. Romney as a c*nt, b*tch, and whore. As Michelle Malkin, no stranger to left-wing hate, tweeted, "Some are baptized by fire. On Twitter, outspoken conservative women are baptized by vile."
When NBC's "Today" show played the audio of George Zimmerman's call to a Sanford, Fla., police dispatcher about Trayvon Martin, the editors made him appear to be a racist who says: "This guy looks like he's up to no good. He looks black." What Zimmerman actually said was: "This guy looks like he's up to no good or he's on drugs or something. It's raining, and he's just walking around, looking about." The 911 officer responded by asking, "OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?" Zimmerman replied, "He looks black." NBC says it's investigating the doctoring of the audio, but there's nothing to investigate; its objective was to inflame passions.
In his Associated Press article titled "Old photos may be deceptive in Fla. shooting case," Matt Sedensky pointed out that the photos carried by the major media were several years old and showed Zimmerman looking fat and mean and Martin looking like a sweet young kid.
NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) founder Brent Bozell announced earlier this morning that the MRC is calling upon Congress to investigate Comcast / NBC News for the intentional editing of the George Zimmerman audio that was broadcast multiple times and subsequently flamed the fires of racial hatred and animosity
“NBC is laughing at the public. Last week we said we would have more to say if their behavior in this matter didn’t change. Given their continued irresponsibility, today we open up a new front," Bozell noted in a press release available here.
Breitbart.com has noted that it took about 17 hours before the dam broke, but now the Associated Press and United Press International both have stories on NBC's decision to fire a Miami-based producer over the editing of George Zimmerman's 911 call.
The AP story, which has a time stamp of 12:03 p.m. at the Wall Street Journal, plays it pretty straight (posted in full because of it relative brevity; the item's author, as shown here, is Television Writer Frazier Moore):
Editor's Note:Last week, NBC’s Today show doctored George Zimmerman’s 9-1-1 call so that his motive for shooting Trayvon Martin appeared racial. Over the weekend, NBC reported to The Washington Post that an investigation would be forthcoming after the Media Research Center (MRC) exposed their fraud. It appears NBC’s investigation has been completed.
Last night, NBC issued a two sentence explanation on it. NewsBusters publisher and MRC president Brent Bozell argues that the network's "apology" is as dishonest as the original piece and that Comcast, which owns NBC and MSNBC, needs to clean house at the network:
We reject this fraudulent apology. We're not surprised. After all, NBC "investigated" itself. We again call on Comcast, not NBC, to investigate this matter -- thoroughly, honestly, and professionally.
The Society of Professional Journalists's lifetime achievement award that was named in her honor has been "retired" but Helen "Thank God for Hezbollah" Thomas can console herself with her latest trophy: high praise from the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
In the aftermath of the Gabby Giffords shooting, the liberal media were quick to harangue conservative Republicans for a campaign website that had depicted tiny images of crosshairs on different points of the continental U.S.. They represented targeted districts in the 2010 midterm race, including Rep. Giffords' seat.
But now in light of the ongoing coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting, there's a different infamous set of crosshairs, this one over a picture of George Zimmerman, the Sanford, Florida man who claims to have killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense last month. That image is the avatar for a Twitter profile established on March 24 with the handle @KillZimmerman. Despite conservative bloggers and Twitter users' complaints, as of press time the Twitter handle is still live. What's more, the liberal media have thus far been strangely silent on the matter.
While journalists were tripping over themselves last week to leave Obama's daughter Malia alone on her fancy school's trip to Mexico, and everyone remembers the great media blackout of Chelsea Clinton (including the removal of Saturday Night Live jokes), the liberal site Slate.com held a caption contest on their "Browbeat" blog.
Heather Murphy chose a picture of Santorum's daughters Elizabeth (born in 1991) and Sarah Maria (born in 1998). Sadly, liberal commenters predictably started mocking how these daughters -- yes, including the middle-schooler -- are on contraceptives, or wearing chastity belts, or touching themselves:
"It took the networks nine months before one of them made a mention of" the time that MSNBC anchor and left-wing radio host Ed Schultz slammed conservative radio talker Laura Ingraham as a "slut," and it was just "one story" compared to "46 [stories] in ten days" on the Limbaugh/Fluke controversy, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on the March 23 Hannity.
The Media Research Center founder and president appeared as a guest on the "Language of the Left" special to unveil some numbers that the MRC had crunched contrasting the liberal media's obsession with Limbaugh with their silence on left-wing media personalities like Schultz and HBO's Bill Maher, who called former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin a c**t. The liberal comedian donated $1 million to an Obama Super PAC, and yet the media have been silent on the matter, failing to press the president on whether his Super PAC should give the money back. Watch the full Hannity segment in the video embed below.
On March 7, Newsweek assistant culture editor Marlow Stern went after "right-wing actress" Patricia Heaton of ABC's "The Middle" in an article headlined "Patricia Heaton's History of Outbursts:Sandra Fluke No Anomaly." He complained "right-wing actress Patricia Heaton unleashed a Twitter tirade against Fluke. But Heaton, best known for playing the caring, cerebral housewife Debra Barone on the hit CBS television sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, is no stranger to controversial political statements." He didn't interview her. He just "exposed" her.
Nine days later, Stern is lauding hard-left actress Susan Sarandon as "brilliant" and "masterful," and setting her up to make outrageous left-wing attacks on Rush Limbaugh and "the wacky GOP." Despite this, she is not labeled as a liberal: "The seemingly ageless actress is, at 65, also not afraid to speak her mind." Stern didn't so much ask questions as offer please-trash-them softballs:
Editor's Note: What follows is a letter sent by Mr. Bozell to Comcast Chairman Brian L. Roberts earlier today.
Dear Mr. Roberts,
By now, you are well aware of the Media Research Center’s (MRC) concerns with MSNBC. Last week, I wrote letters to both you and Mr. Griffin asking for Ed Schultz’s termination because of highly controversial and deplorable comments he routinely makes about women and conservatives. Yesterday, I posted an open letter to Mr. Griffin about equally controversial and appalling comments made by Al Sharpton; comments that are blatantly racist and xenophobic, and which in one instance led to the death of an innocent bystander.
Because of these well documented instances of unacceptable comments made by both Sharpton and Schultz, I have called for their termination. I have also called for Mr. Griffin to resign as president of MSNBC. In my March 15 letter I called on you to clean house at MSNBC.