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.
MSNBC entertainment editor Courtney Hazlett spent all of two minutes on "Morning Meeting" with Dylan Ratigan and still managed to get her facts wrong.
Noting former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's scheduled November 16 appearance on "Oprah," Hazlett told viewers that the former Alaska governor "famously said no to appearing on Oprah" during the 2008 presidential campaign, because Palin knew "you get more publicity rejecting Oprah than possibly going on."
What's more, while Hazlett seems to portray Oprah as doing Palin a favor, Washington Post TV columnist Lisa de Moraes today noted that the scheduling move may serve Oprah's best interest by reaching out to disaffected conservative women who used to be fans of her program:
Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan are Democrats. Is it okay to write that? Apparently, it's not in an establishment media report, based on the last six months of coverage of these two corrupt Pennsylvania judges.
In February (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that the Associated Press ran a story about two Pennsylvania judges "charged with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers," and and initially told readers that "Both are Democrats."
But AP removed the judges' party affiliation from a subsequent version of the story (graphic proof comes later in the post), even though the later rendition added many other details in the case. This of course begged the question of why AP did what they did, especially since the wire service's Stylebook says the following about identifying party affiliation:
Here's a particularly noteworthy "Name That Party" follow-up.
In a February post ("AP’s ‘Name That Party’ Twist: Disgraced PA Judges’ Dem Party ID Disappears After Initial Inclusion"; at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that the Associated Press had originally identified the party of two Democratic judges involved in a shocking scheme that pushed thousands of juvenile offenders into detention centers for minor offenses in return for millions in kickbacks.
However, in longer subsequent reports, the AP dropped the party affiliation of Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella (pictured at left) and Michael Conahan.
This evening, in a 5-paragraph story (as of 7:47 p.m.; story could change over time) about a federal judge's refusal to accept plea agreements from the pair, AP Writer MaryClaire Dale stayed consistent with the wire service's see-no-Democrats approach to developments in this grisly story:
On July 15, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared before the Council on Foreign Relations, the much maligned organization often at the center of many global conspiracy theories.
We won’t talk about the merits of the CFR itself, here, but what made me curious is the treatment that MSNBC gave the Clinton speech. It appears that MSNBC edited out Clinton’s opening statement thanking the CFR for having her. When reading what she said at the outset of the speech one might become suspicious that MSNBC was trying to provide cover for the Secretary of State whose comments opened her up to the tongue wagging of conspiracy buffs.
Surprise, surprise. Despite the overwhelming negative reaction to the President’s statements regarding the Iranian election demonstrations, Washington Post writer Glenn Kessler could not find more than one foreign policy expert that was vaguely critical. In fact, the sole expert they did find to criticize the President added a caveat – a caveat of praise.
In the section titled ‘Approach generally praised’, Kessler writes:
The president's approach has generally been praised by foreign-policy experts, with one exception.
He then cites the lone dissenting voice (emphasis mine):
Last night at about 8 p.m., the Associated Press's Roxana Hegeman became an early purveyor of the myth that abortion clinic-related violence and violence against abortionists has been a frequent and consistent occurrence during the past two decades when she wrote the following about the murder of Kansas abortionist George Tiller (saved here at host for future reference; bold is mine):
There was no immediate word of the motive (of) Tiller's assailant. But the doctor's violent death was the latest in a string of shootings and bombings over two decades directed against abortion clinics, doctors and staff.
But a look at the actual history of such violence accumulated by a pro-abortion group demonstrates that Tiller's murder is correctly seen as a horrible, isolated incident following a long, sustained decline in violence.
Here is the "History of Violence" accumulated by the National Abortion Federation (NAF), broken down into four categories:
Brian Alexander, an MSNBC.com contributor with his Sexploration column, has apparently delved into the world of political commentary with this new piece which ties conservatives to viral racism in the media.
The title itself is a little misleading:
Amid swine flu outbreak, racism goes viral
Anti-immigrant hatred spreads on talk radio, Web sites
If we're targeting conservative talk radio, and Alexander is, then the term ‘anti-immigrant' should be corrected. Conservatives aren't anti-immigrant, they're anti-criminal, much like liberals are anti-tax filing. Loving your country enough to request that anyone who wishes to be a member abide by their immigration laws, is not anti-immigrant, and making such an assessment by accusing the entire conservative philosophy as being racist is... well ... anti-intellectual. But then, that is the norm for commentary presented by MSNBC.
Further down in the column, Alexander explains that the real problem isn't just talk radio and Web sites in general. No, the main problem is actually racist conservatives (emphasis mine throughout):
NBC Universal and its networks have been criticized for the global warming alarmism it parades on a regular basis. However, now the criticism is coming from its own affiliates.
Prior to its April 26 airing on MSNBC, shows on NBC had been promoting the first part of the climate special "Future Earth" - an MSNBC program that used computer animation to show the possibilities of a polar icecap melting. That prompted Bill Steffen, a meteorologist for NBC's Grand Rapids, Mich. affiliate, to call out MSNBC for that special.
As readers here know from Noel Sheppard's report last night, at yesterday's annual GE shareholder meeting, CEO Jeffrey Immelt was challenged on the subject of media bias at GE-owned NBC, CNBC and MSNBC.
The story is far from over.
I encourage those interested in it to watch the O'Reilly Factor tonight for additional in-depth reporting, including the airing at least part of an audio recording of the Q&A session inside the stockholders' meeting made by Tom Borelli and shared with Fox News. (As of this writing, Fox has also made a tiny portion of the tape, the part featuring Fox reporter Jesse Watters asking about about Keith Olbermann's handling of the recent infamous Janeane Garofalo interview, and the shareholders booing when GE cut off Jesse Watters' mike, available on its website now here, and it has been linked to by Drudge.)
When a former Alabama judge is indicted on 57 felony counts, including sodomy, kidnapping and paddling jail inmates, that's news. If the judge is a Democrat once under consideration for the Federal bench by Bill Clinton, that part isn't news.
Former Mobile County Circuit Judge Herman Thomas has bonded out of the Mobile County Metro Jail after he was arrested Friday afternoon. Before his arrest, Thomas was indicted by a grand jury on 57 felony counts, accusing him of, among other things, sexually abusing Mobile County inmates in exchange for favors in his courtroom. Thomas is charged with ethics violations, kidnapping, extortion, sexual abuse and sodomy. The indictment against him includes graphic details of alleged paddling and other sexual favors. Eight victims are named in the indictment. All of the alleged victims are men.
Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC's “Morning Joe”, showed her father's aptitude for foreign policy this morning.
The daughter of one of the Carter administration's chief foreign policy wonks started by scolding Robert Gibbs' knee-capping response to former Vice President Dick Cheney's CNN interview, saying that:
BRZEZINSKI: I would have probably wanted to take that on in a big way because many would argue that Cheney made the country more dangerous. Cheney is the one who put us in the position we're in and now has al Qaeda reconstituting around the world. There's some good answers to what Cheney said.
Many would, and they would be proven wrong by that very statement. It was Cheney's policies that destroyed Al Qaeda to the point that they had to “reconstitute” at all. It was Cheney's policies that stopped a long string of al Qaeda attacks. It was indeed Cheney's policies that put us in the position we're in - winning, and safe at home. Apparently, Brzezinski's idea of a better response would have been to attack the policies that have made us safe in the first place.
MSNBC took the occasion of a triple homicide on Chicago's south side to push its own anti-"assault rifle" meme on February 27 by including the words "assault rifle" in the headline of its story on the incident. No other media source, however, took this unusual step. So, here we have some old fashioned bias by MSNBC.
MSNBC's version of the story clumsily screams "Man charged in assault rifle killings of 3 teens" over the top of its AP wire feed. Yet, while every story in the news and certainly every AP story mentions that the killer used an "assault rifle," only MSNBC put the words in the headline. This befits MSNBC's anti-gun agenda, presumably.
“Oh, god,” why did he have to use that word? According to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the GOP “outsourced” the Republican response to a young, successful Indian-American governor who “had nothing to do with Congress.”
They had to outsource the response tonight, the Republican party. They had to outsource to someone who had nothing to do with Congress because the Republicans in Congress had nothing to do with the programs he was talking about tonight or the record he referred to.
First of all, one might point out that Piyush “Bobby” Jindal was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2004 to 2006. Furthermore, Republican governors are quite important members of the party. The idea that the GOP was bringing in an outsider is flat out wrong.
This "Name That Party" situation has many of the usual elements. There are several stories about two Democratic judges involved in criminal behavior in Pennsylvania, and, with one exception, they "somehow" don't get around to identifying their party.
But this saga is different for two reasons:
The crimes to which the judges have pleaded guilty involve "thousands" of juveniles.
In one lonely exception, the Associated Press's coverage prominently identified the judges' party. But in what was apparently a subsequent longer revision, their party identification disappeared.
What follows is a side-by-side picture of the first four paragraphs of a February 11 AP story carried at topix.com (also saved at my host for future reference), and of the five paragraphs of the story as it now appears at MSNBC (also saved at host; red and green boxes are mine; portions of the Topix link were moved from their original locations on the page for demonstration purposes; MSNBC graphic is of the printer-friendly version):
The main stream media is continuing a fervent assault on Sarah Palin, covering the mundane, the non-existent, and the factually devoid news stories of the day. Problem being, when those dramatic news stories become less sensational due to the latest revelations, the media is not as excited to report the correction.
There's been no secret that the media has been salivating over the chance to link Palin to the Sherry Johnston drug arrest. The latest opportunity came in the form of an e-mail from Kyle Young, an Alaskan drug investigator, in which he insinuates that the investigation and arrest of Johnston were stalled for political reasons. Young wrote that the case ‘...was not allowed to progress in a normal fashion, the search warrant service WAS delayed because of the pending election.'
Well-known atheist Michael Newdow is old news. Few mainstream media outlets are covering the suit he filed Dec. 30 in U.S. District Court to strip prayer and any mention of God from the inaugural ceremony of President-elect Barack Obama. Of those that are reporting on the suit, however, the Washington Postand MSNBC gave Newdow and his fellow litigants a largely unchallenged platform to argue their case.
Newdow has long fought to impose a tyranny of the minority, failing in attempts to remove God from inaugural ceremonies in 2001 and 2005, and losing a U.S. Supreme Court battle in 2004 to remove the phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. He was joined in the current suit by the American Humanist Association (AHA), the Freedom From Religion Foundation and others. The suit names U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Rev. Rick Warren, liberal California senator Dianne Feinstein and several other individuals associated with the inaugural events as defendants in their case.
In her Dec. 31 article, Postreporter Nikita Stewart cited a portion of the lawsuit that labeled the prayers "completely exclusionary, showing absolute disrespect to Plaintiffs and others of similar religious views, who explicitly reject the purely religious claims that will be endorsed, i.e., (a) there exists a God, and (b) the United States government should pay homage to that God."
Stewart also quoted Bob Ritter, staff attorney for the AHA, saying, "the group could win ‘as long as the judges uphold the Constitution.'"
Obama is starting to feel a bit of pressure from members of the far left of his own party who are beginning to raise their eyebrows over the fact that he hasn't shown any desire to institute any "change" thus far with his staff and cabinet picks even though they had "hope" that he would. Obama went so far as to address the situation today as MSNBC reported on its FirstRead blog.
Obama explains away his lack of "change" and his picking of a plethora of out-of-work Clintonites by saying that who he puts on his staff and cabinet don't matter. It's because he is the change we seek, you see? But, wait, you might ask. If the press were paying attention, they might remember that during his acceptance speech he said this whole thing wasn't about him, it was about us? Wasn't it that we were the change we were waiting for... right?
Is the press going to let him get away with dropping that hoary rhetoric only to say now it's suddenly all about him? Would they let such arrogance, such a flip-flop, from a Republican pass so easily?
How is it that in this time of historic change and euphoria, the media can remain so pessimistic?
The messiah has been elected, ACORN and Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie are stealing an election in Minnesota, conservatives are going to be silenced via the Fair-Less Doctrine, and gay marriage activists are assaulting the elderly. It is a time of hope and optimism in this, our liberal country.
So, why so negative?
The answer of course is, certain news might be perceived as a positive point in the waning days of the Bush Administration.
Well, that mean ol' Sarah Palin ruined everything for the St. Louis Blues hockey team, darn it all. That's right the media's newest Cheney replacement must have been planning this monstrous attack on the Blues' goalie for weeks. Her next trick: world domination. At least this seems to be how MSNBC and the Associated Press feel about it all.
What am I talking about? Well, Palin visited the Blues' arena to see a game on October 24 and it seems that Blues goalie Manny Legace tripped on the carpet that the team laid on the ice so that Palin and her family could walk safely out to address the crowd. Because of that injury, the AP and MSNBC both decided that this accident was all Palin's fault. Really.
Halloween can be an especially eco-unfriendly holiday. There’s the single-use plastic of red devil costumes, countless candy wrappers (not to mention the refined sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial color of the candies themselves) and disposable decorations. According to the National Retail Federation’s Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, Americans will spend more than $5 million on Halloween paraphernalia this year. That’s more than $5 million worth of stuff that ultimately ends up impacting the earth.
Fortunately for us, Belger has some handy tips, such as "organic treats." But before you egg her house, kids, she insists she doesn't mean fruit is the only alternative to candy:
There's a theory floating around the right side of the blogosphere that NBC removed a "Saturday Night Live" skit from the Internet because the network had second thoughts about making fun of liberals or caught too much heat for doing so.
But a new theory has surfaced in the mainstream media. Advertising Age is reporting that the skit may have been pulled for apolitical reasons. "A good guess: The clip, a fake C-SPAN news report, identifies [former bank owners Herb and Marion Sandler] ... as 'people who should be shot' in a graphic."
A story on the San Franciso Chronicle Web site seems to buttress that view. It is headlined "Herb Sandler Takes On SNL After Snark Attack" and quotes Sandler as saying, "We are being unfairly tarred" for problems in the mortage industry.
Did you happen to catch the candidate who handled her heckler with grace, poise, and dignity? It’s created quite a buzz in the media…
The Boston Globe spoke of her ‘snappy comeback.’ The Consortium for Independent Journalism reveled in ‘her deft reaction.’ MSNBC reported from the scene that there was ‘roaring cheers and applause from the stunned crowd.’ USA Today remarked about her ‘deadpanning.’ The New York Times noted that ‘Her words were drowned out by a cheering, now-standing crowd.’
Yes, the media was all sorts of in love with the quick retort to a crazed heckler.
But, if you thought that was in response to Sarah Palin’s excellent handling of an anti-war heckler, you’d be sadly, mistaken. Rather, those were all quotes in response to Hillary’s handling of the ‘Iron My Shirt!’ incident, nearly a year ago. It was all the MSM rage once upon a time.
In the latest news from the actions have consequences department, Brian Williams recently told David Letterman that the McCain camp is punishing him by not allowing him to interview Sarah Palin because the McCain camp is mad at MSNBC's extreme leftism as evinced by Chris "Thrill up my leg" Matthews and Keith Olbermann. Is Brian crying? There's no crying in broadcasting!
During his visit on The Late Show with David Letterman, Brian Williams admitted that he is the only network anchor that has yet to be granted an interview with Governor Palin but that he "cannot wait" to interview her.