Over the past week, the media have been obsessively attributing the GOP’s election loss to the party’s embrace of conservatism. It began with a predictable assault on the standard bearer of conservative thought over the airwaves, Rush Limbaugh. On election night, NBC’s Brian Williams opined that Rush was a liability for the GOP. And it didn’t stop with Williams.
Two of the women who anchor hour-long news programs on the MSNBC cable TV channel have stated that "the guys get paid more," but they are nevertheless "lucky" to be paid half of what a male co-host earns.
During an interview on Thursday, Mitt Romney senior adviser Barbara Comstock told the host of "Andrea Mitchell Reports" that "we know here at MSNBC, the guys get paid more," and Mitchell replied: "We certainly do."
NBCNews.com reported its old Seinfeld star Jason Alexander appeared as a surrogate for Barack Obama in the small town of Adel, Iowa last week and told the crowd of “about 50" he has a "man crush" on Obama, “who he said he has met several times.” Alexander then went to Twitter and incorrectly thanked people in "Arel" and "Neceda" for meeting him. (He was in Nevada, Iowa, as well as Adel.)
Alexander insisted he wasn’t some snobby rich Hollywood guy that mangles the names of small towns, but is still "hardcore middle class":
Chris Matthews was on Hardball tonight covering the Republican National Convention with guests Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post and John Heilemann of New York Magazine. In what is seemingly the natural progression of things these days with Matthews, the subject of the 'otherization' of the President was being discussed. Because, if you weren't aware already, Barack Obama is black, and any time a Republican chooses to discuss the failure that is his administration, the media will be there to quickly remind you that they only feel that way because of his skin color.
But tonight's episode of race-baiting with Chris Matthews was a bit odd in that the panelists somehow came to the conclusion that reminding people of the President's roots in Chicago politics is racist. In fact, simply saying Chicago is racist. (Video below).
In an article for NBCNews.com's First Readon Monday, Domenico Montanaro eagerly proclaimed to readers: "Mitt Romney has criticized President Obama for his 'you didn't build that' line, when it came to businesses....But in 2002, during his speech at the Opening Ceremonies at the Winter Olympics....Romney made a similar argument about Olympians."
Romney simply told the Olympic athletes – many in their teens and twenties – that they achieved their individual success with help of parents, coaches, and their local communities. However, by Monday night, The Washington Post's Ezra Klein, filling in for MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, wildly misconstrued the comment to slam Romney: "Got that, Olympians? You didn't build it....It's like David Axelrod went back in time and put the precise words he needed into Mitt Romney's mouth."
After being criticized, MSNBC.com restored the proper context but never posted a retraction, correction notice, or an apology for doing so. Originally, the story quoted from Zimmerman's call to 9-1-1 and edited the text to say the following: "'This guy looks like he’s up to no good … he looks black,' Zimmerman told a police dispatcher from his car."
On today’s edition of Morning Joe, MSNBC gave a significant amount of coverage to the Obama administration’s federal mandate that religious colleges and hospitals cover contraception in their health insurance plans, regardless of whether doing so would violate their church’s teaching. To no surprise, co-host Mika Brzezinski was prepared for the discussion having talked it out with her handlers in the White House. [MP3 audio here]
Yet another episode being reported from the totalitarian nightmare that is North Korea is getting short shrift in most of the world's press, namely "criticism sessions" (i.e., rat out your neighbor, coworker, etc.) identifying North Koreans who allegedly weren't sufficiently grief-stricken over the December death of Kim Jong Il (pictured at right), weren't sufficiently demonstrative about it, or didn't attend enough mourning events, as well as the punishments for such transgressions which have reportedly followed.
The source is the Daily NK, a South Korea-based web site described by AFP as "an Internet website run by opponents of North Korea." The opening paragraphs from Wednesday's Daily NK report read as follows (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The war on Christmas music has taken a strange turn, with the mainstream media finally up in arms at the overly PC handling of the holiday’s song lyrics. But it isn’t the constant barrage from uber-sensitive atheists trying to eliminate every reference to Christmas from our schools and public places that has them fired up.
No, it’s an elementary teacher in Michigan that has raised their ire.
The flurry of controversy arose when the teacher, weary of hearing her students giggling every time they had to sing the words ‘gay apparel’ during their rendition of Deck The Halls, decided to replace the word ‘gay’ with ‘bright’.
The reception from the media, as you may have heard, was rather chilly.
The morning shows of ABC, CBS, and NBC on Tuesday devoted just 19 seconds to the arrests of 75 people in northern California, after police evicted Occupy Oakland from their encampment in front of city hall there. The Early Show devoted a news brief to the story during its last half hour, noting the violent reaction from some of the protesters. Good Morning America and the Today show both punted.
News anchor Jeff Glor gave the news brief 35 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour, and reported that "police are confronting 'Occupy Oakland' protesters this morning in northern California...Officers were sent before dawn to kick out about 300 demonstrators who have been camped out in downtown Oakland. Some protesters threw rocks and bottles. Police responded in some cases by making arrests, tearing down tents, and firing tear gas."
For a second straight day CNN ignored the newest phone hacking accusations made against its 9 p.m. host Piers Morgan. Major media outlets, including Bloomberg News, msnbc.com, and CBS have reported the story, but Morgan's current employer, CNN, has remained mum on the allegations.
On Wednesday, the ex-wife of Paul McCartney accused a journalist from a British newspaper group of hacking her phone back in 2001, while CNN's Piers Morgan was the editor of one of the group's papers. That prompted a statement by Morgan labeling her claims as "unsubstantiated" and again denying that he hacked phones or ordered anyone else to do so during his time as editor.
Perhaps using a preemptive strike to help combat the May jobs report to be released on Friday, MSNBC has already found an excuse for lost jobs, and an increased unemployment rate – storms, tornadoes and flooding. According to a business report:
“…homes or places of business have been destroyed in this year's wave of storms, tornadoes and flooding. That means thousands of workers in the South and Midwest could be out of work for some time, potentially pushing up the nation's jobless rate and further taxing financially strapped state unemployment funds.”
Yet in 2004, when reporting on an October jobs report in which hiring had increased at the fastest pace in seven months, MSNBC somehow managed to find analysts who said the jump in hiring was due mainly to another form of natural disaster – hurricanes. The business report at that time read:
“Some analysts were skeptical about the latest surge of hiring, pointing out that much of the unusually large jump in October stemmed from cleanup and rebuilding in Florida and other states that were ravaged by four hurricanes…”
That assessment is buoyed by an accompanying CNBC video (seen below) in which Senior Economics Reporter, Steve Liesman, asks President Bush’s economic advisor, Gregory Mankiw, about the ‘Hurricane Effect’ on a jobs report.
Last week, the media rightfully crowed over U.S. success in killing Osama Bin Laden, an unquestioned bad guy in the war on terror. They noted that intelligence gathered from that raid may have led to an unsuccessful U.S. Predator drone attack on Anwar Al Awlaki, leader of Al Qaeda in Yemen. Unfortunately, while Al Awlaki is very much as bad as Bin Laden, the media haven’t always known it.
The mainstream media have recently described this America-born terrorist as a “central figure” of Al Qaeda and the New York Times, ABC News, and MSNBC have all called him “radical” when reporting on the recent attempted drone attack. Al Awlaki has been linked to the 2009 Christmas Day Underwear bombing attempt in Detroit, the Fort Hood Shooting and the failed Times Square bombing.
But just 10 years ago they claimed he was a “moderate” a bridge-builder, and a “prayer leader.”
It defies explanation for a major network to avoid performing a background check on the individuals they interview for their segments. MSNBC however, has done it not once, but twice, in a single article.
In a piece published earlier today by reporter, Kari Huus, two individuals with questionable ties are interviewed in an attempt to show that Muslim-Americans are indeed celebrating bin Laden’s death. While there are plenty of spotlights placed on the backlash against Muslims, requisite accusations of Islamophobia, and even a mention of a ‘war on ignorance’, the report mentions nothing of the questionable backgrounds of Mohamed Magid and Yasir Qadhi.
Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), states that “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.” And speaking of mass murderers, the ISNA in 2008 admitted in a federal district court in Dallas to holding ties with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Magid goes on to say that, “(Bin Laden’s) demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.” This has to create quite the contradiction for Magid, considering the Muslim Brotherhood has recently taken the opposite route, condemning the killing of bin Laden.
In an interview with CNSNews.com last week, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) referenced President Obama's African-American heritage last week and "found it remarkable" that he could be pro-abortion. Santorum, later clarifying his comments under media scrutiny, said he meant he is dismayed that a President who "rightfully" fights for civil rights ignores the civil rights of the unborn in America.
Santorum, speaking of President Obama's position on abortion, said in the interview "the question is--and this is what Barack Obama didn't want to answer--is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well, if that person, human life, is not a person, then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, no, we are going to decide who are people and who are not people."
The media picked up on the comment and, without publishing what Santorum said leading up to the segment, questioned if he had racial motivations. Jennifer Epstein's Politico piece was headlined "Rick Santorum plays race card on President Obama." Epstein labeled Santorum's remark "eyebrow-raising."
MSNBC.com reported Thursday that Julian Assange was hiding out in the Frontline Club, a club for journalists in London, where reporters "closed ranks and kept his whereabouts to themselves." That Assange "knew…he would be well-fed and, more importantly, safe" at the Frontline club demonstrates the bizarre affinity that journalists have for the Wikileaks founder.
Assange's mission is not journalism's mission. He sees no inherent value in truth; information is simply a means to his (very political) end. He doesn't want transparency; by his own admission, Wikileaks's endgame is opacity. He is not a reformer, he is a destroyer.
A hacker who styles him "th3 j35t3r" -- The Jester in plain English -- has made quite a name for himself disabling jihadist websites and, more recently, the U.S. national security-threatening site WikiLeaks.
While his methods are technically illegal, The Jester's motivations are patriotic, aimed at saving American lives on the battlefield.
MSNBC suspended Keith Olbermann indefinitely … after news broke that he had given the maximum allowable contribution to three Democrats without disclosing it to his employers.
With Olbermann out, MSNBC needed a fill-in, so in steps Chris Hayes, editor of the liberal magazine, The Nation. MSNBC pegged Hayes to fill in for the suspended Countdown host on Friday. His gig was short-lived however.
Several hours after the announcement, Hayes had been dropped. (h/t Weasel Zippers)
For a series of donations to Democratic campaigns in recent years.
It seems that not even the truth can possibly overturn the narrative that President Obama and the Democrats in Congress have brought transparency to Washington.
Last Wednesday I wrote about how the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill Obama signed into law last month contains a provision exempting the Securities and Exchange Commission from Freedom of Information Act requests. Such an exemption would surely have been grounds for a media outcry during the Bush administration, yet apart from The Wall Street Journal and CNN, only blogs have been following the developments. The latter opted simply to parrot the administration's claims without challenge.
Other media ouetlets, such as National Public Radio and MSNBC, completely ignored the controversy, in stark contrast to their extensive coverage of the Bush administration's attempts to curtail the scope of the Freedom of Information Act. NPR's Don Gonyea said "When conflicts arise over what should or should not be open, the administration does not hesitate to invoke the memory of 9/11. And while it's true that 9/11 changed the security landscape, it's also true that the administration was tightening the control of information much earlier . . ."
The top headline on MSNBC.com on Saturday morning declared "The granddaddy of all gushers? Not this spill." They touted a New York Times story:
President Obama called the leak in the Gulf of Mexico "the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced." But scholars are debating that description.
It's a good idea for reporters to question politicians' bluster about history. But it certainly sounds to Obama critics like an "It's not so bad quite yet" spin. The Times story goes off the spill question and into other disasters. It's certainly true that the Johnstown flood (with 2,200 deaths) trumps an oil spill in its human toll. Reporter Justin Gillis grew more conceptual:
You would think that in the midst of the liberal media's fight to rip Arizona's Immigration Law, that the phrase ‘illegal immigrant' would be fairly easy to use in an appropriate manner. Yet that is seemingly only the case when the phrase is used to cast common-sense immigration enforcement as discriminatory. But when it comes to a story that could shed light on why enforcement is a necessity for the safety and security of a nation and its people, then the phrase - no matter how accurate - is quickly forgotten.
One high profile case, the murder of Chandra Levy, highlights this fact. It has been quite some time (over a year) since Ingmar Guandique was charged with Levy's murder, and much longer since he was identified as being an illegal immigrant from El Salvador.
And while Guandique's illegal status isn't necessarily news to those having actually followed the case, you would think it was still an unproven fact based on media reports past and present.
As a recent update reveals, attorney's working on behalf of Guandique argued that he would not get a fair trial in Washington, though a judge has now determined that the trial will indeed stay in DC. Coinciding with this news, is the recent release of a book covering the case entitled, Finding Chandra. With these updates, one has to wonder how far the media has come in their willingness to report the truth. How far have they come since Michelle Malkin noted a perfect record of going 115 for 115 in reports failing to mention the suspect's illegal status back in 2002? As it turns out, not far at all...
The unofficial website of the soon to be released movie “I Love You Phillip Morris” explains how the movie tells the story of two gay men who fall in love. But even though the movie is about the romance between the men, the media surprisingly failed to label it as a gay movie and it took one of the stars, Ewan McGregor, to point it out.
Steven Russell, played by Jim Carrey, was once a married man. But after some con work, he lands in jail where he meets Phillip Morris, played by Ewan McGregor. Morris is a gay man and the two fall in love, according to the plot. After Morris was released from prison, Russell escapes jail so he can be with Morris.
MSNBC reported on McGregor’s frustrations that the media were ignoring that it was a gay movie, writing McGregor, “thinks it’s ridiculous when the media attempts to pretend like ‘Philip Morris’ is not a gay movie.” McGregor even stated he’s, “very keen that it’s a gay movie.”
It is hard to imagine the movie not being described as a gay movie by the media, who normally promote gay marriage. But by downplaying the homosexual theme, the media in turn treat the gay lifestyle as normal. McGregor stated that at the film festival, Sundance, people were describing it as being, “not a gay movie. It’s a film about guys who happen to be gay.”
Luckily, McGregor was there to help along the media who ignored the obvious. He said, “And I was thinking, it’s nothing but a gay movie. It’s about a gay couple, about a man’s sexuality, and he comes out. It’s not the point of the film, but let’s not pretend it’s not a gay film.”
McGregor, who has played other gay men before, did go on to add, however, “‘I like kissing boys on screen. As a straight guy, it’s quite an interesting proposition,’ he explained. ‘Anything on a film set that takes you by surprise like that, that gets your blood up, is good.’”
The left is up in arms over the Supreme Court's recent decision in "Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission". But few voices have been louder than those emanating from the echo chamber at MSNBC. It seems that the cable network's talking heads feel that their parent company, General Electric, deserves a special exemption to what should be a blanket ban on unrestricted corporate speech.
First a bit of background for those unfamiliar with the Supreme Court decision. The court struck down in a 5-4 ruling a ban on corporate (or union) spending on political speech specifically endorsing or attacking a candidate for office within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election. It ruled that the ban violated the First Amendment.
Few liberals seemed to notice that in attacking corporate speech they were also effectively undermining their own employers, media corporations who employs them for the express purpose of engaging in political speech. Surely Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow would defend MSNBC's right to speak (and spend) freely without interference from the federal government--especially in the run-up to an election when free speech is most important and must be protected.
MSNBC.com’s Steve Adubato went so far to compare Sarah Palin’s notoriety to a reality show during a segment on Wednesday’s Today show on NBC. Adubato acted as an apologist for Levi Johnston’s move to open his child custody dispute with Bristol Palin: “Sarah Palin’s reality show that she’s been on for the past couple years...It has an impact on this baby as well....and it’s not good for the kid either.”
The MSNBC.com “media analyst” and former Democratic politician appeared with former prosecutor Wendy Murphy just after the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour for a panel discussion about the Johnston-Palin custody case. After asking Murphy about Johnston’s move to open the case, substitute anchor Erin Burnett turned to Adubato for his take. “Steve, what’s your point of view? I mean, it’s pretty clear he [Johnston] wants it open because he sort of wants to build his brand and his name and a reality TV career but that’s a high standard. I mean, why should they allow it to be open?”
Adubato almost immediately set his sights on Sarah Palin and her apparent role in the custody dispute: “Listen, Sarah Palin is a major figure in this...she’s said things about this kid. The daughter Bristol has said things about this kid. Here’s the problem: you can’t have it both ways. You can’t be Sarah Palin, use your public platform to trash this kid in certain cases, and then say- you know, for the right of the kid , who’s one, let’s make sure that we keep it private....I understand this kid’s smart enough- his lawyers are smart enough to take advantage of the fact that they’ve trashed him publicly. It’s his only platform.”
Today is World AIDS Day, on which we reflect on the global epidemic that has taken so many millions of lives and ponder ways in which we can improve world health by combating the terrible illness. In honoring the day, however, some news outlets have neglected to note the tremendous contributions to the AIDS effort undertaken by our last president.
MSNBC noted on its website a recent U.N. report that found that new cases of the syndrome are "stabilizing." "There are now 4 million people on lifesaving AIDS drugs worldwide, a 10-fold increase in five years," the article noted, adding that those drugs have saved roughly 3 million lives, according to the report (h/t NB reader Tom M.).
Yet MSNBC makes no mention of President Bush or his tremendous efforts to combat the global AIDS epidemic. It's not as if his contribution to the fight is ambiguous. U.S. News reports that the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is credited for saving roughly 2 million lives.
For several days NewsBusters has been chronicling media outrage over Catholic bishop Tom Tobin asking pro-choice Patrick Kennedy to refrain from the sacrament of communion.
In all of their indignation over a church being involved in politics, they must have forgotten about the recent past when President Obama asked churches to help him push government-mandated healthcare. When ministers stepped into the politicial discussion back then, media outlets were more than willing to celebrate it.
In late August of this year, President Obama held a meeting with left-leaning religious leaders to convince them that government mandated healthcare was a "moral imperative," and that ministers should be involved in educating their fold on the issue.
The media protrayed the meeting as a great idea and praised the ministers who attended. MSNBC ran an article from CQ writer Jane Norman that gushed with excitement over sermons laced with politics and prayer meetings aimed at congressional districts:
Following in the wake of CNN last week, MSNBC.com ran an Associated Press dispatch from Rachel D’Oro somehow finding headline news in the months-old Southern Poverty Law Center’s guesstimate that 50 new right-wing militias have been formed since Barack Obama became president.
Could this recycled storyline be an attempt to shift the focus from the Fort Hood attack? The SPLC is identified not as a left-wing group founded by a George McGovern fundraiser, but simply as a "nonpartisan civil-rights organization." The AP article plays up Janet Napolitano’s report on the coming right-wing terrorist threat, and then D’Oro plays up another (unlabeled) leftist expert:
In the first five months of Obama's presidency, racist, right-wing extremists killed at least nine people, according to Chip Berlet, senior analyst with Political Research Associates, a Somerville, Mass., think tank.
"This is a largely white -- almost no minorities in this crowd," reported MSNBC's O'Donnell live from the scene.
Matthews reiterated, "Well, they look like a white crowd to me," later claiming, "I think there is a tribal aspect to this thing, in other words, white vs. other people."
Here are pics from the left's Code Pink's latest march on Washington D.C. I don't see ONE face of color. Go ahead and look through their photo stream back into the Bush years and the protests then. Still a sea of white faces. Here are a few anti war protest pics from that time when I pointed this out back in April.