ABC reporter David Wright continued to rail against John McCain's "full-bore attack on [Senator Barack] Obama's character" during Thursday's "Good Morning America." Speaking of the McCain/Palin campaign's references to Obama's relationship with unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, the network journalist complained that the Republicans were suggesting Obama is "yellow, disloyal and doesn't belong." [audio excerpts here]
After asserting that the strategy of talking about an opponent's character has "been around more than 2,000 years" Wright darkly intoned, "But in the past couple of days, the Republicans have been laying it on thick. Chumming the waters. And, not surprisingly, ugly reactions are beginning to surface." Of course, no where in Wright's segment did he mention any of Obama's negative attacks, such as the nasty ad by the Illinois senator which implied that McCain is old and out of touch because he doesn't use the internet. (And Wright himself has made quite a habit of gushing over Obama, once comparing the candidate's rallies to "Springsteen concerts.")
Instead, Wright referenced "conservative" New York Times columnist David Brooks, someone who makes a habit out of bashing other right-wingers. Before playing a clip of Brooks calling Governor Sarah Palin a "cancer," Wright recited that the columnist is "troubled by Sarah Palin's anti-intellectualism, which he fears could embolden the know-nothing wing of his party."
Former Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift was diplomatic, but her message was clear: because Sarah Palin remains doubtful of getting a fair shake from the MSM, she wants to take her message directly to the American people. Swift, speaking on behalf of the McCain-Palin campaign, made the remark in response to a question from this NewsBuster during the course of a conference call this afternoon.
Swift took the question after making opening remarks in which she said that Governor Palin won last night's debate in part because she was able to connect with Americans as "a person from the middle class who [expressed] the real anxieties that families have about our economy right now." After suggesting that Senator Biden didn't connect as well, Swift added that Biden made a significant number of incorrect statements "that kept the fact-checkers busy."
It was then that NewsBusters had the opportunity to pose its question. Listen to audio here.
Networks have given more coverage this year to the 6-year-old collapse of Enron than the role of federal government-sponsored mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the present financial crisis, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell noted in a September 25 interview with the hosts of Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends." The NewsBusters publisher argued that the media's lack of interest was due to its ideological commitment to the liberal social aims of Fannie and Freddie: extending loans to people who otherwise were priced out of owning their homes.
Bozell appeared via satellite from Nashville, Tennessee. A portion of the transcript follows [audio of segment here]:
STEVE DOOCY, co-host: Look at the coverage that the Fannie Mae catastrophe is getting as opposed to say the Enron collapse a number of years ago. Much different.
BOZELL: That's an understatement.... If you look at the height of the crisis during that time period, you know that the word Fannie Mae never appears in an ABC transcript? ABC never reported it. And ask yourself what's bigger, Enron or this? CNN, how about this, CNN gave at the height of this gave Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac three percent the coverage that they gave Enron. Get this statistic: This year, this year, there's been more coverage by the networks on Enron -- which isn't in the news -- than on both of these calamities combined.
Nationalization has its consequences. Just note the rhetoric coming from some prominent voices on the left.
The government's foray into offering services normally provided by the private sector by bailing out aging mortgage giants gives it the power to implement "green" building requirements, according to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.
He suggested Sept. 23 that any construction financed by government-funded mortgages should be certified "green" according to the standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.
Printing an unsubstantiated extramarital affair allegation and questioning John McCain's citizenship status were just two of the more blatant examples of the New York Times's bias against the Republican presidential nominee, MRC's TimesWatch.org Director Clay Waters told FNC's Bill Hemmer on the September 23 "America's Newsroom."
Beyond that, the day-to-day coverage shows a persistent bias on the part of the Times. Waters, a contributing editor to NewsBusters, was on the program to comment on remarks by a McCain communications director Steve Schmidt lashing out at the Times. Below is an excerpt of the transcript [audio here]:
BILL HEMMER, host, "America's Newsroom": Give me some numbers, give me some facts, did you do a percentage breakdown?
CLAY WATERS, director, MRC's TimesWatch.org: I actually did a slight percentage breakdown. I did a month of looking at it, after Obama won the Democratic primaries. I looked at a month of stories, the ratio was pretty stunning. It was three-to-one positive-negative for the Obama coverage.
"Throughout the long primary campaign, NBC was just embarrassing," MRC Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham told Bill O'Reilly in a segment aired on the September 18 "O'Reilly Factor" about the network's pro-Obama bias in the presidential campaign.
The Fox News host opened the segment featuring thewhy the peacock channel had drawn "the ire of the McCain campaign"
"Brian Williams did two interviews with Barack Obama where his idea of a tough question" for the freshman senator from Illinois "was to show the latest adoring Time or Newsweek cover and ask Obama what his late mother would have thought," the NewsBusters Senior Editor added.
For video of the interview, click on the embedded video at right. An audio version is available here.
You'd think Chris Matthews would learn his lesson. First he insulted Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell as "showcase appointments," only to apologize for it later. Then, on Tuesday's "Hardball" he essentially called Sarah Palin an empty "vessel" with no "independent thinking" of her own, just "like a Clarence Thomas." [audio excerpt available here]
Matthews made the following gaffe during a discussion about Sarah Palin's readiness, on the September 16, "Hardball":
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me ask you Paul [Begala], because I know your politics. But is this a, like a Clarence Thomas where they wanted to pick an African-American for the Supreme Court so they picked the kind they wanted, which was in this case, a guy who was very conservative who hued to the, sort of the, the line of the conservative court. They have a person [Sarah Palin] here, who's apparently, to some extent, in terms of foreign policy, tabula rasa. Someone they can fill up with all this neo-conservative thinking, including vocabulary, apparently based upon her performance with Charlie, Charlie Gibson. Is that what they wanted, just sort of a vessel to sell and carry their product, rather than someone with independent thinking on foreign policy?
On Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez interviewed ‘Star Trek’ actor George Takei and his partner Brad Altman about their wedding following California legalizing gay marriage and asked: "George, how was the wedding? Was it everything you dreamed of?" At the end of the segment, Takei declared: "And may sweet equality live long and prosper," making the Star Trek Vulcan hand sign. Rodriguez showed her solidarity, making the hand sign back and replying: "Let me do it. Same to you." [audio excerpt here]
During the segment, Rodriguez asked about the California ballot initiative designed to overturn the state supreme court’s decision to legalize gay marriage: "But there's this proposition on the November ballot, which you're very familiar with, Proposition 8, that may allow California voters to essentially nullify your marriage if they vote for it. George, talk about what that would mean for your marriage and for you emotionally." Takei replied by denouncing the ballot initiative, yet praising democracy:
Well, first of all, we're not going to let it get there, we're going to fight it tooth and nail. Because it's against the basic fundamental ideals of democracy. You know, we're a pluralistic society and there are many, many faiths and beliefs here. Now we respect everybody's faiths, their right to their beliefs. But there's no right for any one faith group to write those -- their own particular beliefs into civil law that applies to everyone. That's not democracy. That's not the way it works in the American way. And we are going to make sure that democracy prevails here.
MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared live in the New York studio on the September 16 "Fox & Friends" to discuss negative campaigning this presidential season, as well as the media's bias.
Bozell noted that the bias in the media often manifests as a bias by omission and/or a double standard:
STEVE DOOCY, co-host: Because everybody in the mainstream media seems to be beating up Sarah Palin, what stories are nobody covering on the Left?
Reacting to photographs of Sen. John McCain taken by a freelance photographer for Atlantic Monthly, MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell took aim at the photographer while noting the magazine has reacted appropriately by denouncing her work. [audio of segment here]
"In this case, I don't know that I blame Atlantic Monthly for this reason. [Jill Greenberg] is a rogue photographer," Bozell told Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes on their September 15 program.
Bozell added that Atlantic's editor denounced Greenberg as "appalling." "This wasn't the [fault of the] Atlantic Monthly, this was the photographer" who is among a segment of the political left that "is just out of control." That doesn't negate that fact that the media have not been biased in this election cycle, Bozell added.:
Where Charles Gibson's 2007 interview with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) "was one part This is Your Life, one part Oprah Winfrey," McCain running mate Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) faced a "harsh interrogation" with the ABC anchor in "total attack mode," MRC Communications Director Seton Motley told Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly on the September 15 edition of "America's Newsroom." [audio available here]
An excerpt from the interview:
KELLY: Let me ask you about the editing process. What exactly was arguably unfair about the way ABC edited the interview with the governor?
Liberal radio host Randi Rhodes made some terribly odd assumptions about GOP vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin on September 12(my emphasis added throughout):
She's the woman that shows up at the kids' birthday party and starts opining about everything from politics to lawn care. This is the woman that knows it all...will shout you down...will get revenge on you. That's who she is. She's friends with all the teenage boys. You have to say no when your kids go, 'Can we sleep over the Palin's?'...'No!, No!'
Brian Maloney of The Radio Equalizer initially found this terribly disturbing monologue of Rhodes. It is one thing for a liberal like Rhodes to critique conservative ideology. However, it is a whole other for a broadcaster to make such outlandish insinuations without any evidence whatsoever.
The legalization of slavery is a big campaign issue. Just ask Whoopi Goldberg. Republican nominee John McCain appeared on the Septemeber 12 edition of "The View." Answering a question about his opposition to Roe v. Wade, McCain insisted that he would support judges who strictly interpret the Constitution. This must have set alarms for Whoopi Goldberg who asked "do I have to worry about becoming a slave again?" [audio available here]
If Goldberg -- who in the past has shown clear ignorance about the Constitution -- would actually read the Constitution, she would know a strict constructionist would not return America to slavery. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution states that "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except for punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
Initially Senator McCain ignored Goldberg's question, but Whoopi expressed her enslavement anxiety again adding "there are certain things in the Constitution that you had to change." The "View" co-host should know that, unlike the legalization of abortion, slavery was abolished through a constitutional amendment, not a Supreme Court decision.
Washington Post staff writer Kevin Merida talked to NewsBusters at a rally for John McCain in Fairfax, VA and denied that the media are biased. He asserted, "I think that most journalists are really conscientious about, you know, really looking at all sides of issues and subjects." However, he did hedge that "there's always some bias in media coverage and some, just, not-terrific journalism."
When asked about intense scrutiny into the life of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Merida didn't see an issue of unfair coverage. "...She's somebody new on the scene and she's getting a lot of, you know, scrutiny, like anyone would, I think, in her position, with her background, her resume and, kind of, bursting onto the national scene in this sudden way." Asked specifically about possible double standards, such as when "Today" reporter Amy Robach speculated on September 3 about whether a Vice President Palin will "be shortchanging her kids or will she be shortchanging the country," Merida declined to comment on other media outlets.
MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared on the September 11 "Fox & Friends" to talk about media coverage of Sen. Barack Obama's lipstick-on-a-pig remark and on the continued fallout from MSNBC's biased convention coverage.
Bozell noted that the liberal media just "don't get it" about widespread anger over the lipstick remark, but cautioned the Fox News anchors from labeling Obama's remark as sexist:
BRENT BOZELL: There are women all over America who are outraged. Whether or not he meant to say it, he did say it. Period.
GRETCHEN CARLSON: And so, do you believe, though, that it was a sexist comment?
Joy Behar, a comedian, made an unintentionally humorous line on the September 10 edition of "The View." Behar believes that "the press is in love" with Sarah Palin. Maybe the "View" panelist holds a warped view of reality because the mainstream media has been anything but in love with the Republican vice presidential nominee. [audio excerpt here]
"The idea to make these guys [Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews] news anchors, I don't know who came up with this idea. It's sort of like people who believe if you add water you get sea monkeys. It just doesn't make any sense that you can add water and make an objective news anchor," NewsBusters Senior Editor Tim Graham quipped on the September 9 "Fox & Friends" program. [audio version here]
Graham questioned in particular the notion that Olbermann once told President Bush "to shut the hell up" on his "Countdown" program.
Co-host Brian Kilmeade asked the MRC's Director of Media Analysis if MSNBC's decision to remove Olbermann and Matthews as co-anchors of election coverage was too little too late:
Chris Matthews, on Monday night's "Hardball," speculated that Republicans were playing the race card, when they made fun of Barack Obama's experience as a community organizer, even going as far to say they're using the phrase like a "bullwhip." In a segment with NBC's Chuck Todd and pollster Stuart Rothenberg, Matthews suspiciously noted that Republicans like Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani, at last week's GOP convention, were "giggling" over the "community organizer" title as he pondered: "Is this the new 'welfare queen?'"
Then a little later in the program, in a segment with the Financial Times' Chrystia Freeland and the Independent Women's Forum's Michelle Bernard, Matthews returned to the subject as he declared: "It seems to me that the use of the word, 'community organizer,' is almost like a bullwhip."
The following exchanges occurred on the September 8 edition of "Hardball" [audio excerpts available here]:
MRC President and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell appeared on FNC's "Live Desk" at 2:55 p.m. EDT, reacting to MSNBC shelving Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann from covering the presidential election. [audio available here]
BRENT BOZELL: I'm not surprised, Martha.... Simply because what you heard was this giant sound of America turning off its TV sets with these two left-wing activists posing as news anchors. They got trounced in the ratings, they came in last in the cable ratings even covering the Democrats. They have no credibility.
You have a man like Keith Olbermann who one day is the anchor covering the Republican Convention, the next day calls John McCain the worst person in the world, says that he is delusional, just insults him as best he can. And as a result MSNBC has no credibility.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani faced liberal lines of questioning from CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Gloria Borger during the 6 PM EDT hour of The Situation Room before the network’s Thursday night coverage of the Republican convention. In particular, Borger pressed Giuliani on his differences with Sarah Palin on social issues: "Last night, you spoke before Sarah Palin, a woman who -- with whom you have very little in common on the social issues, right? She's pro-life.... [L]et's just say she's a heroine to the right wing of this party, and you're not their hero, okay?... [M]y question is, has the big tent of the Republican Party, which you always talk about -- has that gotten a little narrower?"
Just moments after MSNBC aired the Republican convention's video tribute to victims of 9/11, shown at about 8:40pm EDT Thursday night (September 4), Keith Olbermann offered this angry rebuke of his own network for doing so (CNN and PBS also aired it):
I'm sorry, it's necessary to say this and I wanted to separate myself from the others on the air about this. If at this late date, any television network had of its own accord showed that much videotape, and that much graphic videotape of 9/11, and I speak as somebody who lost a few friends there, it, we, would be rightly eviscerated at all quarters, perhaps by the Republican Party itself, for exploiting the memories of the dead and perhaps even for trying to evoke that pain again. If you reacted to that videotape the way I did, I apologize. It is a subject of great pain for many of us still and was probably not appropriate to be shown. We'll continue in a moment.
ST. PAUL, Minn.-- NewsBusters Editor Matthew Sheffield and Associate Editor Noel Sheppard appeared on the Steve Malzberg Show live from Radio Row at the Republican Convention at 4:30 p.m. EDT today. The topic: Gov. Sarah Palin's speech to the Republican convention and the intensely biased coverage of her nomination.
Introducing Sheffield and Sheppard, Malzberg praised NewsBusters as "one of the greatest Web sites of all time" and said he frequently refers liberal friends to the site for documented evidence of liberal media bias.
A few highlights follow below the fold (video embedded right):
During the two minutes between Roland Martin and Jeffrey Toobin’s two attacks on Sarah Palin after her speech at the Republican convention on Wednesday night, veteran journalist Carl Bernstein also criticized Republicans, since in his view, the Alaska governor’s speech demonstrated "that the Republican Right is running this election." CNN correspondent John King then reacted to Bernstein’s assessment, and offered some constructive criticism of the difference in coverage between the two conventions: "...[L]anguage matters in what we do, and I don't necessarily disagree with the point of what Carl was saying -- but we do speak a different language when we talk about this party [the Republican Party], and I think that's why we're often criticized." He then scolded the media in terms of labeling:
KING: To say the Right is running the Republican campaign -- if that means these people are the Right, then Carl's exactly right. But we didn't say, during the Democratic convention... all those delegates down on the floor -- you know, many of them were members of the Left.
Minutes after Republican vice-presidential pick Sarah Palin finished her speech on Wednesday night, CNN’s Roland Martin and Jeffrey Toobin went on the offensive against the Alaska governor. Co-host Anderson Cooper first asked Martin for his reaction. He first stated that "she gave a solid speech" and then focused on Palin’s dig at Barack Obama being a community organizer in Chicago: "...[S]he mocked community organizers, and this audience laughed at them. Don't be surprised if Obama and Biden says, you know what, it's community organizers who are keeping people from losing their homes in [the] subprime crisis.... It's community organizers who are the ones trying to save your job. They're going to say the GOP does not give a flip about community organizers -- it means they don't care about you...."
Two minutes later, co-host Wolf Blitzer went to Toobin for his reaction. The senior legal analyst for CNN first complimented Palin: "Well, let's just start with an obvious point that I don't think anyone has made yet. This speech was a heck of a lot better than Joe Biden's speech. I mean, it just was much more dramatic, much more interesting, much more entertaining." He then continued with a more blunt analysis of the speech: "But it was also, I thought, very smug, very sarcastic, very cutting. And you know what? The Republicans had been trying to portray her as a victim for the last couple days. Well, she's not going to be a victim anymore. She's going to be a target..." As if she hasn’t been a target since John McCain announced her as his running mate?
Appearing on Wednesday’s America’s Election HQ on FNC, the senior editor of US Weekly, Bradley Jacobs, defended the magazines recent cover, which showed a picture of Sarah Palin and the headline ‘Babies, Lies and Scandal,’ by explaining that: "Actually, the lies that we point out are some of the liberal bloggers who were speculating that the daughter was actually -- had given birth, that there was a coverup there. We're one of the few magazines that actually did call to task those liberal bloggers for the news stories over the weekend."
A skeptical Megyn Kelly responded to that claim by asking: "Bradley, do you think the cover in any way suggests to the viewer who's looking at your magazine while standing there in the grocery store that the lies are lies about Sarah Palin, by her attackers?" Jacobs replied: "I don't think we can talk about all that here. It is -- we've gotten a lot of press today, but a lot of people haven't read this story. You may disagree but it is a fairly...It's a very balanced story. We interview strategists on both sides."
CNN’s John Roberts, after briefly alluding to the issue of Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s experience he called into question earlier on Friday’s "Newsroom" program, asked correspondent Dana Bash about how the Alaska governor’s newborn son with Down’s syndrome might be affected if she were elected: "There's also this issue that on April 18th, she gave birth to a baby with Down's Syndrome.... Children with Down's syndrome require an awful lot of attention. The role of Vice President, it seems to me, would take up an awful lot of her time, and it raises the issue of how much time will she have to dedicate to her newborn child?"
Bash deftly answered this question, which has the implication that Palin could neglect her infant son, and made a possible counter-argument the McCain camp would use, that a question like Roberts’ would be sexist: "That's a very good question, and I guess -- my guess is that, perhaps, the line inside the McCain campaign would be, if it were a man being picked who also had a baby, but -- you know, four months ago with Down's Syndrome, would you ask the same question?"
The CNN correspondent continued by briefly describing the Palin’s family situation and the thinking that may have gone into the situation for both McCain and Palin herself. She concluded by reporting on the Alaska governor’s appeal to social conservatives because she is "very staunchly anti-abortion," in Bash’s words.
The full transcript of the exchange between John Roberts and Dana Bash, which began 7 minutes into the 11 am Eastern hour of CNN’s "Newsroom" [audio available here]:
Chris Matthews shook the proverbial fist at this detractors as he delivered the following praise of Barack Obama's acceptance speech on MSNBC's live coverage of the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, earning loud applause from the audience gathered by the channel's outdoor location:
KEITH OLBERMANN: For 42 minutes not a sour note and spellbinding throughout in way usually reserved for the creations of fiction. An extraordinary political statement....I'd love to find something to criticize about it. You got anything?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: No. You know I've been criticized for saying he inspires me and to hell with my critics!
Contrasting how Barack Obama won the nomination of the Democratic Party to how Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell achieved their successes, Chris Matthews insulted the aforementioned as "showcase appointments."
The following excerpt from Matthews occurred about 9:30 PM EDT during MSNBC's live coverage of the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, August 28:
Again he [Barack Obama] carries with him the history of tonight. And it's important to point out, as we have not so far, Barack Obama was not given this nomination, he won it. He was not offered a nice title like Secretary of State, like Condoleezza Rice got from the Republicans. He was not offered the title of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs as Colin Powell was, or Secretary of State. He won the nomination of a Democratic Party voting together. He defeated all other opponents and took the prize and took the leadership. He is the chosen leader of the Democratic Party.
He is not some popular appointment or a showcase appointment. He is the victor here tonight. That's why he dictates the agenda. That's why he says, personally, what the Democratic Party will do if he's elected President. He is the leader of the party. He may be the leader of the country through a democratic process. It is so vital to understand the history being made here tonight. This is not something cute or wonderful. It is something compelling and powerful. This country has changed its history.
Hudson Institute’s Stanley Kurtz was invited on to Milton Rosenberg’s radio show on Chicago’s WGN to discuss what Kurtz had discovered about the William Ayers-Barack Obama connection. After requesting the Justice Department bring about criminal charges to a billionaire who funded an ad that linked Obama to Ayers, the Obama campaign sent out an angry email to their supporters urging them to call into Rosenberg's show. Below is the text of the email :
Is ABC’s love for the Kennedys so blind that they would overlook an unintentional allusion to Senator Ted Kennedy’s most notorious night? On a very soft interview with Senator Kennedy’s son, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Good Morning America anchor Chris Cuomo gushed over the senator’s speech reminding the audience that Patrick Kennedy heard someone label it a "Michael Phelps moment" referencing the Olympic swimmer. Ted Kennedy did have his Michael Phelps moment, but not in Denver 2008, but Chappaquiddick 1969.
Diane Sawyer’s tease and at the end of Chris Cuomo’s interview with Congressman Kennedy both referenced Senator Kennedy’s comparison to Michael Phelps. Diane Sawyer quoted the congressman "Michael Phelps moment" and Patrick Kennedy brought the subject up in his chat with Cuomo. At the end of the interview Cuomo compared Phelps’ Olympic record to Kennedy’s speech editorializing "to a lot of Democrats it meant even more than eight gold medals." [audio excerpt available here]