Here's an interesting little experiment from Vanity Fair: A guide to the blogosphere that isn't broken down by left and right but by news/opinion and high/low-brow.
Click image above to view it. You'll find NewsBusters around the middle of the right side. The descriptions skew leftward as you might expect from VF, but the chart itself is pretty accurate. Your thoughts?
ABC's Marcus Baram is reporting that Democratic Senators Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Kent Conrad (N.D.) "had their home loans handled by [Countrywide Financial's] VIP desk, where a team of loan officers would work out favorable terms in conjunction with [CEO Angelo] Mozilo, according to two former Countrywide executives."
The story made the "top headlines" lineup for the afternoon of June 13, along with a headline tease for recent video from Fox News Channel where an onscreen graphic labeled the mother of two as Sen. Obama's "baby mama." Online slang lexicon urbandictionary.com defines a baby mama as "The mother of your child(ren), whom you did not marry and with whom you are not currently involved."
The "Michelle Obama 2.0" article begins by regaling readers with a look at life in the Obama household as given by Barack and Michelle on a campaign stop in Columbus, Ohio. The Illinois senator joked about his wife speaking more endearingly of him on the campaign trail than she does behind closed doors:
"She never says such nice things about me at home!" he smiles. "I really enjoy listening to her praise me like that because when I get home she'll remind me that I didn't make the bed."
The article then continued by contrasting the domestic bliss of the young Obamas with those mean ol' conservatives dead-set on stopping the presumptive Democratic nominee by gunning for Mrs. O.:
A new study shows women and minorities are more satisfied in general with their jobs than white men in the military and that military women are generally much more positive about their career and career prospects than their civilian counterparts, according to a new study.
Newsweek's Sarah Kliff has the story in a Web exclusive (emphasis mine):
MSNBC has been criticized as being in the tank for Barack Obama. And so today, when the Obama campaign launched its own rumor-squelching website, MSNBC was all-too-eager to promote the site through several news bits.
But there was just one problem. For a time this afternoon, MSNBC mistakenly promoted a prank site (UPDATE: site has since been pulled and url removed from this post), as opposed to the actual Obama site http://fightthesmears.com.
While the Obama site denies and denounces the viral internet rumors, the gag site satirically perpetuates and builds upon them! Fair warning: the gag site deserves a bad taste alert.
Chicago Tribune religion reporter and blogger Manya Brachear echoed a familiar liberal media meme about orthodox Christianity in her latest "The Seeker" blog post, "Have Southern Baptists lost their way?" (emphases mine):
As a number of conservative Protestant denominations now face decline, leaders have chosen to batten down the hatches, endorse orthodoxy and herald the importance of sharing their faith with others.
But if these denominations narrow their theology at the same time they widen their outreach, is anybody going to listen?
I've ripped ABCNews.com recently for some of their stories and story selection -- 'pregnant man' photos, need I say more? -- but I have to give the site kudos today for putting in its top headlines rotation a story about Georgia mother Cindi Cook, convicted of forging a signature on a parental consent form for her son's pregnant girlfriend.
What's more, rather than resorting to the more clinical term "fetus" which subtly denies the sanctity of the unborn life taken by abortion, ABCNews.com editors used the term baby in the headline, "Mom Broke Law to Abort Teen Son's Baby."
Reporter David Schoetz noted that the Northside Women's Clinic may soon be the target of a lawsuit, and quoted from the teenage girl's lawyer who alleged the clinic may well be actively counseling teenage clients on how to circumvent the parental notification law (emphasis mine):
Last week I noted how Time.com posted an unscientific poll on its Web site asking readers to vote whether "gas and heating oil [should] be rationed until prices come down." At the time I lamented that it "serves to further the MSM's fear-mongering about the economy while banging its left-wing drum beat about oil and gas prices."
Today the magazine's Web site is asking another gas price question, with two options that play to extremes. "Is $4-plus gas" either a "disaster for the economy" or a "boon for environmentalism" asks the poll.
What, no third option for "both"? After all, a disaster for the economy resulting in a steep recession would surely do wonders for reducing America's carbon footprint!
So far nearly 6-out-of-10 respondents have said it's a "disaster" for the economy, which must be bad news for global warming alarmists that our friends at the Business & Media Institute have documented.
What's more, as BMI archives show, media bias in favor of high gas prices isn't anything new.
Blame do-nothing Republicans for high gas prices. That was the impression visitors to ABCNews.com got this afternoon.
Among the "top headlines" lineup Web site editors included a story on "Fueling Anger" with the teaser headline: "Rejected! Big Oil Tax Gets Shelved." [see related post about CBSNews.com's bias here]
The accompanying caption to the ABC photo illustration read, "With prices soaring, GOP halts Democrats' wide-ranging energy plan."
The article itself, by writer Z. Byron Wolf, was front-loaded with bias, slamming Republicans for their filibuster of a new windfall profits tax measure while dismissing the GOP's energy plan as ineffective in the short term (emphases mine):
Inspired by featured CNN.com video of a McCain gaffe -- wherein the Arizona senator says he'd veto every beer -- I decided to search the CNN.com Web site for video of Obama gaffes.
I got a grand total of two.
Now, to be fair, searching "McCain gaffe" yielded no videos of McCain gaffes, but one from November 2006 entitled "Kerry's gift of gaffe," referring to the liberal Massachusetts senator and 2004 Democratic nominee and his suggestion that American troops were stupid.
All the same, given Sen. Obama's numerous gaffes, it is notable that only two videos surface when one does a search for them:
"Republicans Block Taxes on Big Oil Profits" blares the teaser headline on the front page of CBSNews.com. Under a graphic of the Capitol dome and a fuel gauge nearing empty, the caption reads "Senate GOP Stops Dems' Effort To Rein In Profits Of Largest Oil Companies As Gas Prices Soar."
That's a lot of bias packed into 24 words, and that's before the reader gets to the actual article. Notice the lack of cynicism as to the motive of the Democrats, who are painted on the side of consumers against industry, although the primary beneficiary of a windfall tax would be, well, the Democratic Congress.
There are limits to what you can properly communicate in a headline, but a more neutral treatment might have been: "Republicans Block Advance of Oil Profit Tax: Democrats say tax will encourage alternative fuel research, Republicans argue it will worsen energy problems."
In the AP/CBS article itself, oil industry claims that a windfall tax is counterproductive were summarily dismissed with a populist soundbite by a Democratic politician:
Imagine, if you will, that former Arkansas Gov. Mike "majored in miracles" Huckabee had won the Republican nominating contest and in the rapture of exhuberance at the historic moment, a Republican congressman who is also the son of a famous religious right clergyman exulted that "the event itself is so extraordinary that another chapter could be added to the Bible to chronicle its significance."
That would certainly get widespread attention in the MSM, being so over-the-top and messianic pronouncement about a Republican presidential figure. Not so much when the hallelujah chorus is coming from the son of famous left-wing preacher Jesse Jackson. (h/t Michele at Reformed Chicks Blabbing)
Aside from some blogs picking up on the item as originally reported by Politico's Josephine Hearn on June 5, I'm aware of no media scrutiny about Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s hosannas song of praise over fellow Illinois Democrat Sen. Barack Obama (emphasis mine):
I mean really, that must be the only explanation why ABCNews.com keeps showing us pictures of the so-called pregnant man. It must be a way for us to save gas. Why drive to the carnival in town to see the Bearded Lady when she's just a few clicks away on your computer?
This isn't the first time the Disney-owned network thought fit to put pictures of transsexual woman Thomas Beatie on its "top headlines" lineup. Back on May 21 the Web site teased pictures of Beatie as she "Labors... In Yard."
Perhaps as a peace offering or palette-cleanser, ABCNews.com is also featuring in its "top headlines" pictures of attractive Hollywood starlets in so-called Band-Aid dresses.
What say you? Slow news day, or is ABC just following the maxim that "sex sells"?
Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz put Huffington Post blogger Mayhill Fowler on the front page Monday to illustrate how blogs are changing the nature of campaign coverage, but the funniest part came at the end, as Fowler explained she's much more skeptical and distanced now, like a traditional journalist.
Excuse me? Through exposing both Barack Obama's "bitter clingers" comment and last week's Bill Clinton "scumbag" rant against Todd Purdum, Fowler has shown much more skepticism and distance than the parade of Obama-maniacs in the "objective" media this cycle.
In an e-mail, Fowler says she has come to realize that her presence "flummoxes some longtime journalists -- because suddenly here I am, unpaid but as a consequence with much more freedom to find out what's going on out there, and writing for a new and encroaching media that is a Wild Wild West of lawlessness." But she has also had to reexamine her own beliefs.
"Over time, I've become more like a traditional journalist," Mayhill says. "I'm now much more skeptical and much more distanced."
Mary Katharine Ham, a friend and fan of NewsBusters and the Media Research Center, is working her last day at Townhall.com today. She starts her new job as online editor for the Washington Examiner on Tuesday.
On her way out the door, Ham is leaving her peeps with the last and perhaps funniest-ever edition of her "HamNation" vlog. Called "Obama on Your Shoulder," the music video mocks the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee as an all-wise angel-on-the-shoulder who knows how to live your life better than you do.
Is it merely a slow news day for Time.com, or perhaps the latest example of the media's agenda to present Barack Obama as a breath of fresh air in American politics?
Using a now-famous fist-bump between Sen. Barack Obama and wife Michelle as the news hook, Time magazine's M.J. Stephey sought out yesterday to explore the history of the greeting. The story is now teased on the magazine's Web page as a top story (see screencap at right).
Stephey gives a few plausible theories, including one involving the lamest cartoon superheroes ever:
Freshly posted to Robert Cox's Olbermann Watch blog: news of a FIFTH tax warrant surfaces for MSNBC's bombastic uber-liberal Keith Olbermann.:
Olbermann Watch has confirmed that the New York State Department of Labor filed an Industrial Commission Warrant against Olbermann Broadcasting Empire on April 1, 2008 for $1,039.15 with the New York County Clerk's office.
An Industrial Commission warrant is a remedy available to the Labor Department after all administrative procedures have been exhausted - the employer had been given notice of the claim, had an opportunity to contest it, and the time for all appeals has lapsed. It creates a lien on all property of the corporation within the county and gives the county sheriff the right to execute the warrant by, among other things, attaching and selling the employer's property within the county. There are various procedures that the sheriff has to go through before selling the property.
As of 11:05 p.m. EDT I found quite different play among some major newspaper Web sites regarding the verdict handed down by a Chicago jury against former Obama fundraiser Tony Rezko today. Both the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times gave prominent play to the story on their Web sites, and the Los Angeles Times similarly teased the story on its front page, four headlines down the left-hand column. But the New York Times downplayed the story while the Washington Post failed to tease it at all on the Web site's front page.
"Ex-Obama Fund-Raiser Is Convicted of Fraud" read a teaser headline under the "More News" menu on the NY Times Web page, about a quarter of the way down the page. A search through the Washington Post's online edition -- looking for keywords "Obama" "Rezko" and "Blagojevich" -- found no links to articles regarding Rezko's conviction, however.
Today's Web poll on Time.com asks "Should gas and heating oil be rationed until prices come down?"
It's a non-scientific Web poll of course, so in some sense it's just mindless, fluffy filler. But on the other hand, including this only serves to further the MSM's fear-mongering about the economy while banging its left-wing drum beat about oil and gas prices.
Since taking that second screencap earlier today, more votes have been cast by readers, with the numbers shifting slightly in favor of gas rationing to 39 percent of respondents.
Earlier this morning the Associated Press's Beth Fouhy reported that Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) is gearing up to concede the Democratic nomination contest to Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) in a speech following primary election returns tonight.
Not so fast, Clinton aides said, scrambling in short order to protest that Hillary is not going to throw in the towel tonight.
"A Meltdown for Argentina's Hillary" blares the teaser headline in the Top Stories slideshow on Time.com's front page.
"The fortunes of Argentina's new leader are falling even faster than those of the former First Lady she's been compared to," continues the caption on the front page.
The June 2 article in question by Uki Goni delves into how President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has seen her approval ratings plunge "into George W. Bush territory barely six months into her administration," due in large part to concerns over inflation.
Yet while Goni noted frustration over her policies, Fernandez's ideology was curiously left out of the article.
Just as a quick follow-up to both Terry Trippany and Warner Todd Huston's posts, at least one major political reporter is chagrined by the MSM's penchant for selecting photographs of Sen. Barack Obama that make him appear rather, um, messianic.
[Update (16:33 EDT): The AP has changed its lede to read "The Vatican insisted Friday that it is properly following Christian tradition by excluding females from the priesthood as it issued a new warning that women taking part in ordinations will be excommunicated." (h/t Damian G. of Conservathink).]
According to the Associated Press, the Vatican is "slamming the door on attempts by women to become priests in the Roman Catholic Church." But it's rather hard to slam shut a door that was never open, which is what Catholic Church teaching holds about women serving in the priesthood.
From a May 30 article entitled "Vatican: excommunication for female priests" (paragraph break removed):
VATICAN CITY - The Vatican is slamming the door on attempts by women to become priests in the Roman Catholic Church. It has strongly reiterated in a decree that anyone involved in ordination ceremonies is automatically excommunicated. A top Vatican official said in a statement Friday that the church acted following what it called "so-called ordinations" in various parts of the world.
Yet far from "slamming" shut the possibility of female priests, the Catholic Church holds that God, speaking to His people through the words of Scripture -- not the Pope or the Church -- bars women from clerical office. This, however, by no means diminishes the role of women in the life of the church, as Catholic apologist Jason Evert explains (emphasis mine):
Los Angeles Times staff writer James Rainey has an article today taking a look at the lack of love for John McCain on YouTube compared to the multiple hosannas found when searching for videos of the Obamessiah:
Search "John McCain" on YouTube and you'll find the latest broadside, by Brave New Films of Culver City, and a lot more that's not good for a candidate who's built his reputation on constancy and authenticity.
Six of the top 10 videos returned by a "John McCain" YouTube search Thursday pegged the 71-year-old as inconsistent, extreme, wooden or a combination of the three. (The one clearly favorable piece came from the McCain campaign and focused on his Navy service.)
Have the media fallen down on the job in pressing Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) about her war on terrorism bona fides? If silence over the 1999 pardon of 16 FALN terrorists is any indication, yes.
A Google News search for "Clinton FALN clemency" yielded but one result, this May 24 item from Politico's Ben Adler (emphasis mine):
[Y]ou have to look back roughly a decade to find the last time Puerto Rico played a starring role in mainland politics - the summer of 1999, when President Bill Clinton drew sharp criticism by offering clemency to 16 imprisoned Puerto Rican nationalists who belonged to an organization responsible for more than 100 bombings in the U.S. and Puerto Rico between 1974 and 1983.
At the time, Clinton was accused of attempting to curry favor with the large Puerto Rican community in New York, where Hillary Rodham Clinton was preparing to run for an open Senate seat. In response, the Republican-controlled House overwhelmingly passed a resolution stating, "President Clinton should not have offered or granted clemency to the FALN terrorists." The political backlash proved severe enough that Mrs. Clinton, then the first lady, ended up publicly opposing her husband's offer, saying she had nothing to do with it.
Over the course of this presidential campaign, we've released a number of studies showing how the Democratic presidential candidates have received softer coverage compared to Republicans, it's refreshing to see however, when a left-leaning journalism foundation admits the truth as the Project for Excellence in Journalism did in a comprehensive study released today:
If campaigns for president are in part a battle for control of the master narrative about character, Democrat Barack Obama has not enjoyed a better ride in the press than rival Hillary Clinton, according to a new study of primary coverage by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Joan Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University.
From January 1, just before the Iowa caucuses, through March 9, following the Texas and Ohio contests, the height of the primary season, the dominant personal narratives in the media about Obama and Clinton were almost identical in tone, and were both twice as positive as negative, according to the study, which examined the coverage of the candidates’ character, history, leadership and appeal—apart from the electoral results and the tactics of their campaigns.
May 27: Paul R. La Monica for CNN Money reporting on Warren Buffett's belief that "we are already in a recession." Notice the lede:
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- It's getting harder and harder to deny that the economy is in recession.
May 29: The federal government releases an upward revision of the first quarter GDP growth. The ever-pessimistic AP reporter Martin Crutsinger grudgingly admitted that the new numbers could bolster the view that "the country can dodge a full-blown downturn":
The economy plodded ahead at a 0.9 percent pace in the first quarter - slightly better than first estimated - but still underscoring caution on the part of consumers and businesses walloped by housing, credit and financial problems.