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.
Keith Olbermann is a man of little integrity. Yet from a journalistic aspect, he does exude an air of intelligence, and is a very well spoken, albeit lame, excuse for an anchor.
Olbermann, who clearly and cleverly picks descriptive terms from a vast ranging vocabulary to convey his thoughts, has placed one well thought out phrase in his recent ‘Special Comment’ piece on Countdown: Republicans Hijacked 9/11.
As well crafted as his words are, there is little doubt that Olbermann intentionally used the word ‘hijacked’ for the title of this segment.
Such choice wording at a time when the nation is mourning the seventh anniversary of the attack on America is appalling, even by Olbermann and MSNBC standards. And simply demoting him from the networks election coverage, more a symbolic gesture of their attempts to offer ‘candid analysis,’ is simply no longer enough.
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
Conservative blogs led the way in raising questions about Barack Obama's home church, but for months on end the MSM ignored the story until incendiary video of Rev. Jeremiah Wright made the rounds earlier this year and the story was too juicy to ignore.
Not so when it comes to Sarah Palin and her former church, the Wasilla Assemblies of God, as media outlets try to find juicy "controversial" video to prove Palin was poorly vetted.
MSNBC's First Read blog picked up on a Huffington Post item in a September 2 post.:
Mainstream news anchors covering the Democratic National Convention are getting more impatient by the day as the McCain campaign broadcasts ads using Hillary Clinton's own words against Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.
MSNBC anchorman Keith Olbermann was visibly annoyed not only with the Democrats' lack of counter-punches to the McCain campaign but also angry at the McCain campaign for "stealing" Hillary Clinton's primary campaign ads for the GOP senator's current ad campaign.
The Friday evening version of Joe Biden's Wikipedia entry remains firmly ensconced in a Firefox tab on my desktop, so it can be compared to its current form as Obama-Biden's busy bees brush it up. I'm doing comparisons as time allows, and there isn't much of it at the moment.
One thing is quickly obvious -- a section heading for a whole year has disappeared:
Amazing. Where did 2004 go?
You'll just loooooove what got moved to a different and less logical section of the entry, while the section "2004" went away (Note: I originally believed that the text in the "2004" section had been deleted; also see my comment below):
The media have been barking up the wrong tree for while, insisting the economy is in recession when we’ve yet to have even one quarter of negative GDP growth.
But of course the mainstream media keep digging around for more reasons to say the economy has gone to the dogs. NBC’s “Nightly News” recently claimed that pets are the “silent victims of this whole economic downturn” because they were given up by their owners whose homes were foreclosed.
Now, a July 28 article on MSNBC.com claims that the economy is to blame for a rise in pet thefts.
Interestingly, the article by MSNBC contributor Kim Campbell Thornton also notes that “Police reports don't make a distinction between pet theft and other property theft, so there's no way to pinpoint the exact number of stolen pets each year, but anecdotally, officers say that pet theft is increasing this year.”
Before moving on from “Barack Obama's Magical Media Tour” of the past week, a look at an Associated Press story so over the top that the Washington Posts's Howard Kurtz on Friday cited it as an example of coverage which “bordered on gushing,” though in this case there really was no “bordered.” In the July 22 dispatch in advance of Obama's arrival in Berlin, “Obamamania in full flight ahead of tour of Europe,” the AP's Matt Moore and Melissa Eddy hailed how Obama's “superstar charisma” will meet “German adoration” with a promise to “redeem” America (as posted by Google, by Yahoo):
Europe is about to give Barack Obama one of the grandest of stages for statesmanship. In this city where John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton all made famous speeches, Obama will find himself stepping into perhaps another iconic moment Thursday as his superstar charisma meets German adoration live in shadows of the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate. He then travels to Paris and London where he can expect to be greeted with similar adulation.
It's not only Obama's youth, eloquence and energy that have stolen hearts across the Atlantic. For Europeans, there have always been two Americas: one of cynicism, big business and bullying aggression, another of freedom, fairness and nothing-is-impossible dynamism.
If President Bush has been seen as the embodiment of that first America, Obama has raised expectations of a chance for the nation to redeem itself in the role that — at various times through history — Europe has loved, respected and relied upon....
On July 16, Andrew Malcolm at the Los Angeles Times's Top of the Ticket Blog wrote the following (bold is mine):
When President Bush ordered the surge in January 2007, (Barack) Obama said: "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse," a position he maintained throughout 2007. This year he acknowledged progress, but maintained his position that political progress was lacking.
This YouTube video (different from the compare/contrast video at the bottom of the LAT's link) shows Obama reciting the lines just quoted.
The LAT Blog notes earlier in its entry that "The parts (of Obama's web site) that stressed his opposition to the 2007 troop surge and his statement that more troops would make no difference in a civil war have somehow disappeared."
Something else disappeared this week. Team Obama, for all its posturing, probably saw something like this coming -- which explains their web site scrubbing.
Hopefully this event will repeat itself frequently. You have to get all the way to the end of an apparently weekly routine Associated Press report to see it, but there it is:
Earlier this month, former senator and John McCain economic advisor Phil Gramm was widely excoriated for his remarks about America being a "nation of whiners," discouraged by negative media reports fueling fears of recession.
As my colleague Nathan Burchfiel noted, the context of Gramm's remarks were the media's role in accentuating the negative in economic news and hence ginning up the public's economic fears and complaints.
Of course, the media has done little to prove Gramm wrong. Take, for instance MSNBC.com's "My Miserable Summer" series, which, among other things, takes tales of woe from readers and publishes them on the Web site (h/t NewsBusters tipster Jeff Williams).
The Associated Press has shown it has difficulty stating just what a terrorist is -- a terrorist. In an article today at MSNBC.com (which may or may not have created/edited the headline) titled "Palestinian 'terrorist' in earth-mover rampage," we see how the term "terrorist" has quotes around it -- which signifies, in this case, the loathsome notion that "one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter." Not only are said quotes used in the headline, but in the article as well:
A Palestinian man plowed an enormous construction vehicle into cars, buses and pedestrians on a busy street Wednesday, killing at least three people and wounding at least 45 before he was shot dead by an off-duty soldier.
If an elected official in the United States, at any level, promises to "rip apart" six year old rape victims, then describe in vivid detail how their lives would be ruined, one would assume such a statement would lead the news. But it did not.
Following up on D.S. Hubes post on the local media coverage, Massachusetts State Representative James Fagan (D) voiced his opposition to Jessica’s law requiring stiff mandatory sentences to child rapists. As a defense attorney, Fagan promised if such a law were in place and victims assume the stand "I’m gonna rip them apart." Fagan continued "I’m going to make sure that the rest of their life is ruined, that when they’re 8 years old, they throw up; when they’re 12 years old, they won’t sleep; when they’re 19 years old, they’ll have nightmares and they’ll never have a relationship with anybody."
An article at CBSNews.com and MSNBC.com utilizes the claims of a scientist with some very questionable ideas and theories. In this case it's "seismic activity is five times more energetic than 20 years ago" and the reason is due to -- you guessed it -- global warming.
The research proves that destructive ability of earthquakes on Earth increases alarmingly fast and that this trend is set to continue, unless the problem of "global warming" is comprehensively and urgently addressed.
The analysis of more than 386,000 earthquakes between 1973 and 2007 recorded on the US Geological Survey database proved that the global annual energy of earthquakes on Earth began increasing very fast since 1990.
Dr. [Tom] Chalko said that global seismic activity was increasing faster than any other global warming indicator on Earth and that this increase is extremely alarming.
Today Democratic presumptive nominee Barack Obama issued a statement that he will forego the public financing system for the general election. His announcement goes back on a pledge to use public financing if the Republican candidate would do the same.
All three broadcast networks' Web sites have the story, but only ABCNews.com noted in its front page tease that Obama is going back on a previous campaign promise.