Earlier today, Newsbusters' Noel Sheppard pointed out the media's hypocrisy regarding their treatment of Jeri Kehn Thompson, wife of Republican presidential candidate-in-waiting Fred Thompson, and Jackie Clegg Dodd, wife of Democrat presidential candidate Chris Dodd. Both women are considerably younger than their husbands, and both couples have young children together. Yet the media seems to be targeting Mrs. Thompson as a stereotypical trophy wife, a term that has unflattering connotations, while Mrs. Dodd has been treated with courtesy and respect. Of course, part of the reason may be because Chris Dodd's official candidacy has not gained the traction of Fred Thompson's unofficial one, but it's interesting to note the differences that Noel discusses in his post.
"The campaign of presidential hopeful John Edwards has a ready answer for all the criticism about his expensive haircuts and expansive home: A man can be wealthy and care about the poor, too.
Just look at a Democratic hero Robert F. Kennedy." [sic]
Bobby Kennedy, of course, is still remembered warmly by much of the mainstream media for his expressed concern for poor people. What isn't so well remembered is that Kennedy himself couldn't explain exactly why this issue was of such importance to him.
In 1968 a Time Magazine piece covered Kennedy's foray into poverty-stricken eastern Kentucky. A pertinent excerpt:
"Why, Kennedy was asked in the township of Pippa Passes, was a man reared to a multimillionaire's comforts concerned with the plight of Kentucky's poor? 'I can't answer that question,' Bobby confessed. 'Sorry.'
On his Political Punch blog, ABC correspondent Jake Tapper is calling out the media who have misquoted Ann Coulter -- but he also suggests Coulter has mischaracterized leftist comedian Bill Maher:
Conservative provocateur Ann Coulter is often unfair, and cruel. But that doesn't mean we in the media are allowed to treat her with equal dishonesty.
Coulter on Monday's Good Morning America, asked about the time she used an anti-gay slur to impugn former Sen. John Edwards, D-NC, said: "I did not call John Edwards the F-word. I said I couldn't talk about him because you could go into rehab for using that word. But about the same time, you know, Bill Maher was not joking and saying he wished Dick Cheney had been killed in a terrorist attack. So, I've learned my lesson. If I'm going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot."
Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to ban interest groups from running issue ads close to an election. The McCain-Feingold Act bans any issue ads by interest groups that mention a candidate running for reelection from airing within 60 days of a general election (and 30 days before a primary), even if the ad does not expressly advocate voting for or against the named candidate.
The way Ariane de Vogue of ABCNews.com reports it, the ruling is not a victory for free speech and political participation, but a blow to "reform." (emphasis mine):
Reigniting the debate over campaign finance regulation, the Supreme
Court struck down a part of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act on
That legislation, also known as the McCain-Feingold law,
restricts corporations and labor unions from broadcasting ads at
election time using general funds. Proponents of campaign finance
reform fear Monday's ruling will create a major loophole in the
legislation and cause an influx of so-called "sham issue" ads that
McCain-Feingold was created in part to combat.
ABCNews.com's The Blotter has an update on their exclusive story of the recent Taliban "graduation ceremony":
The Taliban military commander [Mansoor Dadullah] who led the "graduation ceremony" for 300 suicide bombers was one of five men released from an Afghanistan prison earlier this year in exchange for a kidnapped Italian journalist.
Journalist Daniel Mastrogiacomo was kidnapped along with his interpreter and driver by Taliban fighters in early March.
A hostage trade was negotiated, in part by an Italian-run hospital organization, for his release in exchange for the release of five senior Taliban commanders that were in the custody of the Afghan federal government.
ABC’s Brian Ross broke an exclusive story Monday, first at his blog “The Blotter,” and then on “World News with Charles Gibson,” concerning teams of well-trained al Qaeda suicide bombers supposedly heading to the United States and Europe.
To ABCNews.com, defining marriage the traditional way is a radical “redefinition” of the institution. Is it any wonder that a majority of the American people, according to the National Cultural Values Survey, believe the news media are a major factor in America’s moral decline? (hat tip to Matt Barber at Concerned Women for America)
As NewsBusters reported Thursday, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin did an interview with NPR wherein he stated, “I am not sure that it is fair to say that [global warming] is a problem we must wrestle with.”
Friday, ABC News’ Bill Blakemore wrote a piece for that network’s website asserting, “NASA administrator Michael Griffin continues to draw the ire of preeminent climate scientists inside and outside of NASA, as well as members of Congress, after apparently downplaying the need to combat global warming.”
In the article, Blakemore and co-author Clayton Sandell chose not to interview anyone that agreed with Griffin’s views, even as a press release was being distributed by “scientists from around the world who came to Griffin's support”:
It seems almost a metaphysical certitude that the following will not be raised in this evening’s nightly newscasts, or the headlines of tomorrow’s papers.
Regardless, Dr. Michael Griffin, the Administrator of NASA since April 2005, told NPR Thursday morning, “I am not sure that it is fair to say that [global warming] is a problem we must wrestle with” (audio available here).
As ABCNews.com reported Thursday, this has drawn “the ire of his agency's preeminent climate scientists,” in particular, global warming alarmist James Hansen (h/t NBer Sick-n-Tired).
More on that later. First, here are some of Griffin’s remarks as reported by NPR.com (emphasis added throughout):
ABC’s Bill Blakemore wrote an article posted at the network’s website Tuesday citing global warming alarmist and NASA scientist James Hansen as stating that the earth is at a tipping point “with dangerous consequences to the planet” (emphasis added):
With just 10 more years of "business as usual" emissions from the burning of coal, oil and gas, says the NASA/Columbia paper, "it becomes impractical" to avoid "disastrous effects."
Unfortunately, Blakemore chose to completely ignore decades of hysterical predictions by Hansen that have already proven wrong, and that this is not the first time the NASA scientist has referred to ten years before disaster strikes.
For instance, here is what the Washington Post reported last January (emphasis added):
Actor and former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson is close to forming a presidential exploratory committee, according to numerous media outlets, citing people close to the TV star. Reporting that news, CBSNews.com ran with a less-than-flattering AP photo of Thompson, pictured at right.
"Former Sen. Fred Thompson attends the Prescott Bush Awards Dinner in Stamford Conn., on May 24, 2007," read the caption.
By contrast, ABCNews.com ran an AP photo that features a stern-looking Thompson. With skyscrapers in the background, it evokes his current TV character incarnation, New York County District Attorney Arthur Branch on NBC's long-running court drama "Law & Order." You can see that screen cap pictured below:
For the past 20 years, every Memorial Day weekend, tens of thousands of motorcyclists join together as Rolling Thunder to honor the military, particularly the dead and MIA. The coverage is usually positive and focuses on the patriotic bikers and their interesting-looking bikes. On May 27, ABC News went a different direction for this year’s ride. Instead of covering Rolling Thunder and their military and veteran-related issues, the way the Washington Post and the Washington Times did in their articles, ABC turned it into advocacy journalism to inform people about the importance of--wearing helmets while riding motorcycles. After four rather bland sentences about the the event, ABC slipped into lecture-mode (emphasis mine thoughout):
At his blog Political Punch, ABC reporter Jake Tapper has been reading Al Gore's new book The Assault on Reason. He has an online analysis going through the "liberal red meat," and perhaps the knee-slapping funniest line -- coming from a man who stood silently in support of Bill Clinton every day of his scandalous presidency, except when he was honoring him as "one of our greatest presidents" minutes after he was impeached for lying in a sexual harassment lawsuit -- is his claim about the Bush administration: "I cannot remember any administration adopting this kind of persistent, systematic abuse of the truth and the institutionalization of dishonesty as a routine part of the policy process."
This could be the funny Who Are You To Talk? runner-up: "It is love of power for its own sake that is the original sin of this presidency."
But Tapper finds "For me the most surprising part of the book was Gore's implication that if a more competent person had been president during 9/11 -- like, say, him -- 9/11 might not have happened." He underlined:
In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards rejected the “metaphor” of the “war on terror” that America has been fighting since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
But appearing on ABC News on September 11, 2001, just a few hours after the attacks occurred, Edwards left no doubt how he felt the country should respond to al Qaeda’s terrorism, declaring “We should treat it as an act of war.” Video: Real (398 KB) or Windows (442 KB) plus MP3 (65 KB)
The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABC News.com.
Why should a country go to the effort of spying on America when all they have to do is follow the US media? USA Today reported a database of phone calls and the New York Times publically exposed the SWIFT banking transaction database; both were used to combat terrorism. Now on the May 22 edition of ABC News’ the Blotter, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito revealed another national security-related secret (my emphasis throughout):
The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.
But how courageous was Murrow? Did he save the Republic from a man whose vicious tactics silenced any criticism?
There was already massive media opposition to the Wisconsin senator. Edwin Bayley’s 1981 book, “Joe McCarthy and the Press,” catalogs newspaper coverage after Joe launched his anti-Communism crusade in February, 1950.
A new study by my alma mater, the University of Maryland, looked at the online divisions of 19 major traditional print and broadcast media:
... to see
which ones gave the users of their RSS feeds the same number of
stories, the same range of news sources, in as timely a fashion as
could be gotten if those users went to the individual website.
The Los Angeles Times, ABCNews.com, and Foxnews.com fared among the best RSS providers while the New York Times was among the worst. But the bottom line, the study concluded, was that:
... if a user wants
specific news on any subject from any of the 19 news outlets the
research team looked at, he or she must still track the news down
website by website.
The main reason? The paucity of information RSS feeds give the reader:
The Greensburg tornado disaster was just the perfect excuse for another global warming item on ABCNews.com.
After all, the Associated Press and CNN have focused on an Iraq angle to devastating tornado damage, but finding an Iraq angle to everything is so, I dunno, 2004.
At any rate, on his "Science and Society" blog at ABCNews.com yesterday, reporter Ned Potter set out to find why tornado touchdowns have increased in the past few years.
I called the National Weather Service, which says that as of today it
knows of 69 dead in tornadoes since Jan. 1, compared to 49 up to this
point last year, and 38 deaths for all of 2005. It's worth looking
around NOAA's Storm Prediction Center site; find it HERE.
there a reason? Shifting weather patterns? Shifting population
patterns? Global climate change? Clayton Sandell was asked to put
together some notes.
"Man Who Claims to Be Prophet Muhammad Alive and Well in Hoboken, Says It's Cool to Eat Pork"
Imagine that headline on ABCNews.com. And imagine the story included no Muslim imams or scholars to denounce the charlatan. Well, that's pretty much what ABC did today on an old story front-paged on its Web site today (see screencap on the right), only the religion in question was Christianity (and the fake Jesus in the story lives in Houston).
Here's the headline for the March 6, 2007, story by Jim Avila (yes, the dateline is correct, this story is over a month old):