The night before CBS's Katie Couric will sit down with Sarah Palin to discuss foreign policy and just under two weeks after ABC's Charles Gibson got three interview sessions over two days with Palin in Alaska, the NBC Nightly News, the only broadcast network evening newscast snubbed so far by Palin, devoted a full story to how reporters were initially barred from her photo-ops with foreign leaders and her general lack of availability to the press.
“The McCain campaign has been launching something of a campaign against the news media these days, and when things heated up for a time today, we almost didn't see those pictures” of her in Manhattan with Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai, Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe as well as Henry Kissinger. Reporter Savannah Guthrie explained how “campaign officials invited the media to attend the beginning of the meeting but at the last minute banned reporters, a departure from the usual practice, saying only photographers would be allowed. When news organizations threatened to pull the cameras if reporters were banned, the campaign relented.” Guthrie rued:
In the month since Palin joined the ticket, she’s granted just two major interviews, appeared at one joint town hall and held no news conferences. Reporters on the trail rarely see her.
Earlier today I noted how AP reporter Sara Kugler painted the McCain/Palin campaign as having "banned" print reporters from asking the Republican vice presidential candidate questions as she met with foreign leaders. This despite no concern by the AP or other print outlets back in July when Barack Obama conducted closed-door meetings with European heads of state.
Now a NewsBusters tipster has brought to my attention that Kugler shelled out a few benjamins to a liberal 527 during the 2004 campaign.
Discussing Bill Clinton’s appearance the previous on the September 23 edition of "The View," Sherri Shepherd expressed her joy at meeting the former president. Recounting her picture with Clinton Sherri Shepherd exclaimed "we were grinning, Bill Clinton and his women" and added "we love you."
After Shepherd’s praising remarks, Barbara Walters addressed the daytime show’s very soft treatment of Bill Clinton versus the women’s grilling, some would say sandbagging, of John McCain. Walters expressed she has "the utmost respect for John McCain." Whoopi Goldberg responded "Bill Clinton’s not running for president."
Whoopi Goldberg then proceeded to invite all of the remaining major party presidential and vice presidential candidates, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Sarah Palin. Whoopi pledged "we are going to ask the same questions that people are asking." How many Americans are worried a McCain administration will appoint pro-slavery Supreme Court justices?
Channeling Chris Matthews’ "thrill up my leg" remarks, "View" co-host Joy Behar described acquiring "a little tingle" when former President Bill Clinton appeared on Monday’s show. On the September 22 edition of "Larry King Live" Joy Behar described the former president as "charming," "charismatic," "he touched me a little," and "I got a little tingle."
When questioning why Barack Obama holds the elitist label and Bill Clinton does not, despite a perceptively similar background, Behar concluded that it must be racism. "The View" co-host seemed to forget that the elitist label primarily stems from Obama’s recorded conversation, at a posh San Francisco fundraiser, describing small town Pennsylvanians and midwesterners as "bitter" "clinging to guns and religion."
Hyping Obama’s background Behar declared Obama "has no sleaze." (Has she also forgotten about Obama’s relationship to Tony Rezko?) Echoing a "what’s the matter with Kansas" talking point, Joy hoped those racists voters would "come to their sense" and vote "their needs."
CNN’s Ed Henry introduced a new and odd adage about Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s trip to the United Nations on Tuesday’s American Morning. Instead of trying something similar to the "education" line that CBS’s Julie Chen used, the White House correspondent focused on how the McCain campaign was "trying to cram a lot in for Sarah Palin over the next two days in New York:" "It's like speed dating with world leaders. In the span of just 30 hours in New York, Sarah Palin will meet with nine major international players during the U.N.'s General Assembly meetings, from the presidents of Iraq and Afghanistan, to Henry Kissinger and the rock star Bono -- all aimed at beefing up Palin's thin foreign policy chops" [see video at right].
Without going into the grouping of a mega-rock star like U2 front-man Bono with Hamid Karzai, Henry’s "speed dating" line might raise some eyebrows over possible sexism in the media, given how the female Alaska governor is meeting with these nine world leaders, all of whom are men. Katie Couric could be consulted with this matter, given what she said about the coverage Hillary Clinton received during the Democratic primaries.
Writing in today’s Wall Street Journal and National Review Online, Ethics and Public Policy Center senior fellow Stanley Kurtz traces Barack Obama’s partnership with former domestic terrorist William Ayers when the two collaborated at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a charity established to help Chicago’s public schools that was commandeered by Ayers to promote his radical agenda.
The association between Obama and Ayers has received virtually no attention from the three broadcast networks, with the conspicuous exception of a primary-season debate sponsored by ABC when George Stephanopoulos asked Obama about his relationship with Ayers. Out of 1,365 broadcast evening news stories about Obama prior to the end of the primaries, only two mentioned Ayers — one a brief mention of the debate question on the April 17 Nightly News, and the other a World News Sunday story about McCain raising the Ayers issue on This Week.
With just 42 days left until Election Day, the broadcast networks have not presented a single in-depth report on Obama’s relationship with Ayers. But Kurtz’s review of the documents at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) shows the two “worked as a team to advance the CAC agenda,” which “flowed from Mr. Ayers’s educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism.”
Associated Press reporter Sara Kugler pounded out a 7-paragraph article today on how McCain running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), has "[Banned] reporters from meetings with leaders" from around the world. Palin is in New York City for the open of the United Nations General Assembly. A review of media coverage from Obama's behind-closed-doors chats with European heads of state, however, shows no such complaint by the media about a lack of access.
Kugler complained that Palin "has not held a press conference in nearly four weeks of campaigning, on Tuesday banned reporters from her first meetings with world leaders, allowing access only to photographers and a television crew." The reporter noted that her news agency objected to the terms of media coverage the McCain campaign set for Palin's meetings with Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai and Colombia's Alvaro Uribe (emphases mine):
Those sessions and meetings scheduled for Wednesday are part of the Republican campaign's effort to give Palin experience in foreign affairs. She has never met a foreign head of state and first traveled outside North America just last year.
The campaign told the TV producer, print and wire reporters in the press pool that follows the Alaska governor that they would not be admitted with the photographers and camera crew taken in to photograph the meetings. At least two news organizations, including The Associated Press, objected and were told that the decision was not subject to discussion.
At the top of Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Julie Chen teased an upcoming segment on Sarah Palin meeting with world leaders at the United Nations by declaring: "The education of Sarah Palin. The Alaska governor has her first meetings with world leaders as they gather at the U.N. How will she do?" While Chen wondered about Palin’s understanding of foreign policy, on May 22, she thought Hawaii was located in the Atlantic Ocean. [see embedded video of that after the page break]
In a later report correspondent Bill Plante proclaimed: "Palin, who got her first passport just last year, is here and will get a crash course in international affairs. The Alaska governor will be meeting with the leaders of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Georgia and Ukraine, as well as with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and U2's Bono."
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.
On Thursday’s Nightline, ABC co-anchor Terry Moran offered up a nearly seven-minute-long hit piece on “John McCain 2.0,” about how the GOP nominee has, according to Moran, dramatically changed his basic message, his campaign style, his policy positions and launched a dirty ad campaign.
“The old John McCain repeatedly promised voters a different kind of campaign — nobler, less nasty, better,” Moran argued. “That was then, this is now.” After running a clip from an ad criticizing Obama for voting in favor of sex education for kindergartners (“called, quote, ‘simply false’ by the non-partisan Annenberg Center’s FactCheck.org,” Moran scolded), Nightline offered a condemnatory soundbite from ABC analyst Matthew Dowd: “I think the McCain campaign wants to have a campaign in the mud.”
In some of the strongest criticism of the media yet during this campaign, John McCain's senior adviser Steve Schmidt on Monday blasted the New York Times for being an advocate for Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama.
In a scathing attack, Schmidt said the Times had "cast aside its journalistic integrity and tradition to advocate for the defeat of one candidate, in this case John McCain, and advocate for the election of the other candidate, Barack Obama."
During a press conference call, after CNN's Dana Bash asked campaign manager Rick Davis about a Times article accusing him of getting paid for doing advocacy work that benefitted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Schmidt jumped in to absolutely lambaste the Gray Lady for its clearly biased reporting during this election cycle (audio available here, picture courtesy New York Times/AP):
New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt evaluated two tough political stories in the Sunday Week in Review, one anti-McCain, the other anti-Palin. While he found the McCain piece fair, he faulted the anti-Palin piece.
In both cases, Times reporters and editors rallied to the defense of the pieces, finding McCain guilty of "demonstrable falsehoods" and Palin of"sometimes petty, peremptory" political leadership in Alaska.
When a newspaper like The Times takes a tough, critical look at a candidate in this year's presidential election, it has to give readers enough solid evidence to make up their own minds about whether it is being accurate and fair. Consider two front-page articles last weekend: I think one delivered the goods and one fell short.
If Katie Couric is to be consistent and treat Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whom Couric is scheduled to interview this week, as gently as she did Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden in her day with him Thursday in Ohio which became a story on the Monday night CBS Evening News, she will (Couric quotes from the Biden story in the parentheses):
♦ Not apply any ideological label: (“We decided to take a closer look at the 65-year-old Senator from Delaware.”)
♦ Hail her outspokenness: (“You say what's on your mind and I think people appreciate that.”)
♦ Ignore obvious factual/historical flubs: (Biden: “When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on television...”) FDR was not in office at the time of the 1929 crash and his "fireside chats" were on the radio.
♦ Relay as reality positive campaign spin about her attributes: (“Relating to the fears of the average American is one of Biden's strong suits.”)
♦ Cue up campaign rally attendees to praise her: (“What was it about what he said that really resonated with you in particular?” Answers: “I think he expressed what most working Americans feel at the moment. He seems to relate to our pain.” and “I want him in office because I believe he will do things for women.”)
♦ Empathize with the challenge she faces at the upcoming debate: (“Are you worried you're going to have to pull your punches a bit because of her gender and you don't want to seem like you're bullying her? It's a different dynamic when it's a male/female thing, isn't it?”)
Borrowing from the nickname for a federal earmark that would have built a multi-million dollar bridge for an Alaska town of 50 people, Newsweek's Mark Hosenball offers readers of the September 29 print magazine a look at "[Gov. Sarah] Palin's Pipeline to Nowhere."
Hosenball suggests that Palin's $500-million "principal achievement" as governor "might never be built after all." But while the headline evokes images of the "Bridge to Nowhere," this isn't a case of government waste as much as it is of the endless red tape of lawsuits.:
Approximately half of the proposed pipeline would run through Canada; native tribes who live along its route complain they haven't been consulted about it and are threatening to sue unless they are compensated. Representatives of the canadian tribes, known as First Nations, say Palin and other pipeline proponents are treating them with disrespect. The tribes' lawyers warn that the courts are on their side and say the Indians have the power to delay the pipeline for years-or even kill it entirely by filing endless lawsuits.
On Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez interviewed BET Tonight host Ed Gordon about a recently released Associated Press-Yahoo! poll which found that forty percent of white Americans and one-third of Democrats and Independents harbor negative feelings about African Americans. The segment did not include any critique of the poll or the suggestion that such a large amount of people hold these negative feelings. Instead, Rodriguez asked Gordon questions such as, "In a race as tight as this one is, do you think race could be the or a deciding factor?"
To identify the percentage of certain demographic groups who have "negative feelings" about African Americans, inferences were made about how respondents feel towards the minority group from the answers they gave to certain questions. Some of the possible answers to certain questions, however, may suggest more of a disagreement with liberal policies like Affirmative Action and welfare rather than negative feelings towards African Americans.
For example, one of the questions asked respondents to indicate how much they agree or disagree with certain statements. One of these statements said, "Most blacks who receive money from welfare programs could get along without it if they tried."
On Monday’s American Morning, CNN correspondent Jim Acosta tried to throw a bit of cold water on the news that tens of thousands showed up in central Florida for a Sarah Palin camapign rally on Sunday. When co-host John Roberts asked about the high turnout, Acosta replied, "[T]his was an enormous crowd out here in Florida. She is still very much on script, John -- still very much on that teleprompter, talking mainly in generalities."
Roberts, besides asking about the Palin rally, asked if the Alaska governor had mentioned the proposed financial bailout during her speech, since the two of them had discussed Barack Obama and John McCain’s responses to the proposal and how it may affect how the two will campaign on the issue of the economy. Besides mentioning the "enormous crowd," he referenced how the campaign stop was located in "that central Florida -- critical I-4 corridor area," and how Palin played up McCain’s credentials with economic issues.
Washington Post staffer Christopher Twaroski's 18-pargraph September 21 story on how John McCain was "Seeking Minority Groups' Support" in Northern Virginia quickly morphed from a rehash of former Sen. George Allen's "macaca" moment to a gauzy focus on Sen. Barack Obama's campaigning efforts in the Old Dominion.
Twaroski opened his article noting that the former Republican senator from Virginia was the featured guest speaker at a Saturday GOP "ethnic unity rally" held in Alexandria, but quickly shifted focus to a disruption by two Democratic protestors:
When he first reached the podium to speak, Allen was greeted by a shrieking whistle and two women screaming: "George Allen is a racist! Shame on the Republican Party for having him speak!"
The outburst referred to remarks by Allen in his 2006 reelection campaign against James Webb, in which he used a slur to refer to one of Webb's campaign volunteers, a college student of Indian descent.
Three Sundays ago, in a 60 Minutes interview CBS's Steve Kroft cued up Barack Obama with Sarah Palin's presumed lack of qualifications compared to him: “Does the fact that he chose as his Vice President someone who has less experience than you take that weapon out of his arsenal?” But on Sunday night, in a 60 Minutes devoted to new interviews with both Obama and John McCain, Scott Pelley also hit McCain from the same angle on Palin's qualifications, telling him “the criticism of Governor Palin is that she was a brilliant marketing choice for the campaign, but she's not well versed on the economy or foreign affairs,” before he demanded: “In your judgment, can you see her as President of the United States?” When McCain replied “Absolutely,” Pelley's voice betrayed astonishment as he fired back: “As President of the United States?”
Steve Kroft again got the sit-down with Obama and when Obama contended that if he loses, his race will not be the cause, Kroft countered that he knows “for a fact...there are a lot of people out there...who won't vote for you because you're black.” Kroft declared as the two sat in Elko, Nevada:
I know, for a fact, that there are a lot of people out there, there are a lot of people right here in Elko, who won't vote for you because you're black. I mean, there's not much you can do. But how do you deal with it? I mean, are there ways that, from a political point of view, that you can deal with it? And how do you fight that?
When I saw the headline at WashingtonPost.com "Closing the Whopper Gap" with columnist Ruth Marcus's name next to it, I naturally assumed this had to be another hit piece on John McCain akin to what my colleague Mark Finkelstein reported last week.
Yet, upon closer examination, it turned out Marcus's target of disaffection this time was -- wait for it! -- Barack Obama.
And, she even defended Rush Limbaugh.
I'm not kidding.
In fact, Marcus went after the junior senator from Illinois in such an aggressive fashion that she not only will likely be eviscerated by her typically adoring fans in the liberal blogosphere, but also could end up being named Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World" next week (emphasis added throughout):
At a Tuesday night fundraiser for Barack Obama held at the Regent Beverly Wilshire, donors heard Barbra Streisand sing, but as ABC's Jake Tapper noted in his “Political Punch” blog, “the press was not permitted (inflicted?) with permission to hear her.” So, there's no video of it, which reminded me of how back in 2002 the Fox News Channel played a brief clip from her appearance at a September 29, 2002 fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, video we played in “The I’m Not a Geopolitical Genius But I Play One on TV Award” category at the MRC's 2003 DisHonors Awards where we added Streisand's lyrics at the bottom of the screen along with a bouncing ball to help the audience follow along.
The customized stanzas from her 'Miseries' adaption of the 'Way We Were' as played on the October 2, 2002 Special Report with Brit Hume:
Scattered pictures Of the House we left behind. Lovely Democratic mem'ries Of the way we were.
Unprecedented growth in the economy. The Dow was up, the deficit was down. As long as Democrats were the majority, I could sleep nights, Not weep nights.
(This item contains a vulgarity. It also overlaps with an earlier posting by Noel Sheppard, but I wrote this up last night and even had the video ready to go, then fell asleep, so here's a different angle with video.)
The suggestion that talking about Sarah Palin is not important, sent HBO Real Time guest panelist Andrew Sullivan, a media veteran who now writes the “The Daily Dish” blog for The Atlantic, into an angry rant about Palin (reflecting PDS: Palin Derangement Syndrome) that was so much of an over-reaction, though it earned loud applause from the audience, that host Bill Maher, who agreed with Sullivan's perspective, called it a “shit fit” as he tried to calm him down and finally had to mimic an ape as he held up his fists by his head and yelled “grrrrrr!” to silence Sullivan.
Leading into Sullivan on the Friday night show, left-wing journalist Naomi Klein called Palin “Bush in drag” and “when you add the hunting you got Cheney,” prompting musician William Adams, who goes by “will.i.am,” to complain: “You know what scares me about Palin, is that we're talking about Palin and we're not talking about how to get out of the hole.” That set off Sullivan, the British born and raised frequent contributor to Time magazine and the New York Times, his voice getting louder and his hands gesticulating more as he proceeded:
We have to talk about Palin. Bill, let me just say, I don't want to go this far in talking about her. She is a farce. This nomination, the nomination of this person to be potentially President of the United States next January – that's the possibility, technically speaking she could be President next January – is a joke. It is absurd! It is something that should be dismissed out of hand as the most irresponsible act any candidate has ever made, ever!
Notes on Friday night coverage of the Wall Street bail out:
On the NBC Nightly News, the always hyperbolic Jim Cramer saw “Great Depression II” avoided by the rescue effort, anchor Brian Williams raised 9/11 as he contended “this was the kind of jittery week in New York a lot of people had to go back to 9/11 to remember how they felt then,” prompting an “oh, wow” from CNBC's Maria Bartiromo, and Williams passed along how “a Democratic politico said to me this week, if the Democrats do their job, they'll make this 'fundamentals of the economy' quote to McCain what 'mission accomplished' was to President Bush.”
ABC's World News brought up Iraq as David Muir referred to how a man in Manhattan “asked today what about the more than $600 billion already spent on Iraq?” Muir also read an e-mail: “Why make the little people bail out these companies?” Of course, the “little people” won't since they barely or don't pay any income tax. One-third of those who file pay nothing or get money back while the bottom 50 percent ($32,000 down), who earn 12 percent of the total income, pay less than 3 percent of taxes collected. The top 25 percent ($65,000 up) pay 86 percent and the top 1 percent ($389,000) pay 40 percent, so maybe the wealthier will get something for all they put in.
On Friday's CBS "Early Show," Laura Schwartz, a former Clinton administration official and adviser to Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of former Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, appeared for a segment on Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's fashion style and the clothes she wore during her speech at the Republican National Convention. While Scwartz and co-host Harry Smith talked about the popularity of "Palin paraphernalia," they also attached a high price tag to Palin's outfit as well as the outfit and jewelry Cindy McCain wore during her appearance at the Republican convention.
Schwartz also appeared on the Early Show on August 26, the day after Michelle Obama's speech to the Democratic National Convention, to talk about the way the potential First Lady dressed for her speech, but did not put a price tag on it. Instead, Schwartz stated, "I thought she was very simple, very understated last night, which might be a good idea, Harry, because in this era of attack ads, the McCain people are really saying, `Hey, the Obamas are elitist. They're caught up in celebrity.' If she came out in a real fancy dress, that would just be more fodder for them."
In a companion piece to his hot radio talk on the matter, Rush Limbaugh has an op-ed in Friday’s Wall Street Journal titled "Obama is Stoking Racial Antagonism." In addition to providing a full explanation of the clips inaccurately manipulated by the Obama ad-making team, he lets Team Obama have it for their intentional distortions:
Mr. Obama's campaign is now trafficking in prejudice of its own making. And in doing so, it is playing with political dynamite. What kind of potential president would let his campaign knowingly extract two incomplete, out-of-context lines from two radio parodies and build a framework of hate around them in order to exploit racial tensions? The segregationists of the 1950s and 1960s were famous for such vile fear-mongering...
The malignant aspect of this is that Mr. Obama and his advisers know exactly what they are doing. They had to listen to both monologues or read the transcripts. They then had to pick the particular excerpts they used in order to create a commercial of distortions. Their hoped-for result is to inflame racial tensions. In doing this, Mr. Obama and his advisers have demonstrated a pernicious contempt for American society.
On Thursday's "Nightline," co-anchor Terry Moran trashed John McCain for running a hypocritical, dishonest campaign against Barack Obama. He accused the Republican of doing "the kind of thing that George W. Bush and his supporters did to McCain in South Carolina in 2000." The segment, which featured no examples of sleazy campaigning by Barack Obama, began with co-anchor Cynthia McFadden complaining, "Make no mistake, John McCain very well may defeat Barack Obama. But to do so, has he compromised principles in the style that got him this far?"
She also whined, "With just 47 days to the election, is the Straight Talk Express shifting course? Will the real John McCain please stand up?" Moran's tone dripped with sarcasm as he ripped into the Arizona senator's supposed hypocrisy. The ABC journalist fretted that McCain "clearly decided he's got to change. Change a lot, in some ways, in order to win this thing." As old and new clips of the candidate were spliced together, Moran added, "John McCain meet John McCain."
"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.
On Friday, "Good Morning America" concluded its week long train trip to election battleground states and ended up devoting 28 minutes to high profile Democrats and just over 14 to Republicans, a disparity of two-to-one. The tour, which was designed to see what average Americans think about the presidential election, featured mostly Democratic guests. Senator Barack Obama appeared on Monday, Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, Joe Biden on Thursday and Michelle Obama and Jill Biden on Friday. The only GOP representation came in the form of a short interview with John McCain on Tuesday and another on Wednesday with the senator and Cindy McCain.
Additionally, while Senator McCain appeared jointly with his wife on Wednesday, Barack Obama alone received two segments on Monday, totaling nearly eight and a half minutes. Michelle Obama was featured, along with Senator Biden's wife, on Friday for another five and a half minutes. (McCain's brief appearance on Tuesday was not originally announced in the ABC schedule, lasted less than three minutes and only dealt with the financial problems on Wall Street.)
Over the next 46 days, as the candidates trade charges and counter-charges, the self-appointed media umpires will act as if they are the ultimate fact-finders in Campaign ’08. Writing for tomorrow’s National Journal, columnist Stuart Taylor says that the media’s track record thus far makes him just as skeptical of the press.
Taylor declares: “Many in the media have been one-sided, sometimes adding to Obama’s distortions rather than acting as impartial reporters of fact and referees of the mud fights.” Rather than cleaning up the record, Taylor reports several instances when the media are themselves guilty of perpetuating partisan disinformation.
Thursday night's edition of E!'s risque, celebrity gossip driven Chelsea Lately half-hour variety and talk show opened with a skit of host Chelsea Handler as a “dodgeball addict” pelting balls at her helpless staff members. Throughout the four-minute skit, Handler delivered a product placement for Hollywood's presidential favorite as she wore a white shirt emblazoned with “Obama 08."
E Online's description of the show, produced in Los Angeles, which runs at 11:30 PM and again at 2:30 AM EDT: “E!'s late-night half-hour sensation Chelsea Lately features quick-witted commentary and a refreshing pop-culture perspective from comedian, TV personality and author Chelsea Handler.”
CBS News reporter Chip Reid, who was general counsel in 1987 for Joe Biden's short presidential run, on Thursday night, unlike his colleagues on ABC and NBC, highlighted how Republican Senator Chuck Hagel denigrated the qualifications of Biden's VP competitor, Sarah Palin. Reid concluded his CBS Evening News story by noting how “Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican, says it's a 'stretch' to say 'Sarah Palin is qualified to be President,'” and, with matching text on screen, Reid read how Hagel told the Omaha World-Herald: “You get a passport for the first time in your life last year?”
Reid did at least acknowledge that “Hagel has split with his party on a number of issues” (and, though Reid didn't get specific, traveled with Obama to the Middle East in August), but Reid saw Hagel as emblematic of wider concern, asserting “he's one of a number of prominent Republicans who have questioned whether Palin has enough experience in foreign policy.”