A dozen Republican members of Congress have formed the “Media Fairness Caucus,” the group’s chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) announced this morning on FNC’s America’s Newsroom. Smith told FNC co-anchor Bill Hemmer that the problem of liberal journalists skewing the information reaching Americans is a worse threat than “a recession or another terrorist attack,” and said his group’s goal would be to “encourage the media to adhere to the highest standards of their profession and to provide the American people with the facts, not tell them what to think.”
Newsmax’ Ron Kessler wrote about the formation of the new group yesterday: “The Media Fairness Caucus will point out unfair stories, meet with members of the media, and write op-eds and letters to the editor to highlight media bias. For the past two years, Smith has conducted his own campaign against unfair coverage in weekly one-minute speeches on the House floor. The caucus is intended to broaden and fortify the effort.”
Here are key excerpts from Smith’s appearance on the Fox News Channel Thursday morning (video here):
It's been a little while since we had a good "Name that Party" story, but leave it to corruption plagued Democrats and their willing accomplices in the Old Media to always find some time in their busy schedules to give us an opportunity to play our favorite game. This time it is a former Speaker of the House in Massachusetts who, along with a cadre of his pals, was indicted on corruption charges. Naturally, the party affiliation is mysteriously absent from many of the stories.
It seems that ex-Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, who resigned from the House back in January at the outset of this scandal, and three "Beacon Hill power brokers" have been indicted on corruption charges involving mishandled software contracts. Of course, DiMasi is a leading Democrat in the state, but you sure wouldn't know that from any of the reports.
Appearing on the June 3 "America's Newsroom" program, Graham discussed Newsweek economics columnist Robert Samuelson's gripe that the media's "Obama infatuation is a great unreported story of our time."
Samuelson "is a reasonable guy" who "has got to know that we've had years of pro-Obama bias, and certainly in the pages of his own magazine, where there are syrupy pictures of Barack and/or Michelle almost weekly," Media Research Center (MRC) Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham told "America's Newsroom" host Bill Hemmer. [audio available here]
In what could be a new record for the Morning Joe crew, Joe Scarborough exploded into an anti-media rant today – a mere six minutes and forty-one seconds into the show. From review of the tape, it is clear that Scarborough had not missed his morning coffee – so that was apparently not the reason for his detonation. What, then, set Scarborough off?
This Scarborough eruption was brought to you by the past (and continuing) failure of the main-stream media to cover President Obama fairly. In Mika Brzezinski’s morning news rundown, there was (what was supposed to be) a short segment on President Obama’s comments yesterday; regarding the latest in a series of auto-maker bailouts:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: How can he say that with a straight face? Seriously. This is one of the things that's troubling about this President is he can say things with a straight face that the media does not call him on.
After arguing the details of the President’s proposal at length (length for a TV show...), Brzezinski provided this gem:
Media Research Center (MRC) President and NewsBusters.org Publisher Brent Bozell yesterday recorded a video thanking the MRC Grassroots Action Team - made up of more than 600,000 individual activists - for their signing nearly 400,000 Free Speech Alliance (FSA) petitions which were delivered yesterday to the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The petition in part "urge(s) members of Obama's Federal Communications Commission (the FCC) and everyone in Washington to reject any and all efforts to censor, limit, or restrain conservative or Christian talk radio."
Mr. Bozell also discusses the MRC's Four Day Call-A-Thon to the offices of Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid - which is taking place right now and runs through close of business Thursday - where MRC Action Team members, many, MANY members of the FSA and a whole host of individual radio stations and hosts are having their grassroots/members/listeners place calls to their offices demanding a full, fair stand-alone vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act (BFA), which would prohibit the FCC from reimposing the Censorship Doctrine, also mis-known as the "Fairness" Doctrine.
And we are asking you to join in the festivities. Please, in true Chicago voting fashion, call early and often. Speaker Pelosi's number is (202) 225-4965, and Leader Reid's is (202) 224-3542.
We humbly suggest you say something along the lines of:
Former ad man turned pundit Donny Deutsch has proclaimed that "positivity" is the new in thing for the media—"the new black" as he puts it.
Deutsch appeared with Tom Brokaw on today's Morning Joe. The former NBC anchor was touting his new USA Network series, "American Character Along Highway 50," featuring encounters with "real Americans" he meets on the road.
Today the Media Research Center’s Free Speech Alliance (FSA) will deliver nearly 400,000 petitions – combined with thousands of calls and faxes - to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urging them to allow a full, fair stand-alone floor vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act (BFA).
"Free speech on the radio airwaves remains in peril so long as the FCC is just a 3-2 vote away from reinstating the mis-named 'Fairness' Doctrine," MRC President Brent Bozell argued in a June 1 statement. What's more, the doctrine "remains a threat to free speech as long as elected officials like Pelosi and Reid... refuse to give the Broadcaster Freedom Act a vote."
The Free Speech Alliance (www.FreeSpeechAlliance.us) is made up of sixty-seven (67) organizations representing millions of Americans dedicated to defending free speech against a return of the Censorship Doctrine or any other assault on the First Amendment and talk radio. National talk show hosts Lars Larson and Rusty Humphries have also been heavily involved in the petition effort.
On May 20, ABC's Jake Tapper asked a few salient questions about coverage of an April 27 incident at the White House basketball court, a sort of event after the event that the White House press corps was barred from covering. Tapper wondered then why the president barred the press but it later became clear that Team Obama was creating its own little media report "complete with cuts, interviews, and chyrons identifying who's speaking."
Tapper subtly warned that the president's penchant for controlling the message smacks of an Obama Ministry of Propaganda styled effort that excludes "actual reporters" from covering the White House and leaves the country with faux news that is free of any "uncomfortable questions" asked by probing journalists.
If the cheers of Columbia University's Class of 2009 are any indication, the future of journalism will be looking for a federal bailout.
Washington Times correspondent Christina Bellantoni live-tweeted today's event, noting the remarks from university president Lee Bollinger appealing for more government-owned media outlets. Bollinger also received "big cheers" for his call for increased spending on public broadcasting.
Here are the relevant tweets from Bellantoni's feed in reverse chronological order (emphasis mine):
The Upside Down Ratings World of NABOB On April 9 we wrote of an asinine assertion made about the new Arbitron radio ratings system by soon to be transferred Democratic Federal Communications Committee (FCC) Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein. Well now President Barack Obama has put the imprimatur of his FCC and Administration on Adelstein's addled notion.
Since the inception of tracking those who listen to Guglielmo Marconi's marvelous invention, Arbitron had relied on a personal pen-and-paper diary system and the journal-keepers' honor and memory as to what they had listened and for how long they had done so. The potential for misremembering and book-cooking was simply staggering.
So Arbitron came up with a pager-esque device called the Portable People Meter (PPM). This gadget automatically tracks to where the radio dial is tuned, thereby virtually eliminating human error and the ability to cheat.
Obviously, this is far more accurate way to establish who is listening to whom, right? If you do find this to be a self-evident truth, you are not a master of the obvious, you are - according to the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) - a racist bigot.
How so? Because the ratings under the new regime revealed that the numbers for hip-hop, urban and other racial minority stations had long been incorrectly inflated (and conversely the listenership of talk radio had long been underreported).
And this, you see, is not the better results of technological advancement, this is racism.
Naming a man who wants to levy sin taxes on soda pop to be the head of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) might not be the politically wisest thing for President Obama to do, especially on the heels of massive TEA Party protests. But then again, with media outlets like the Washington Post leaving that controversy unmentioned, perhaps the White House calculated correctly that the risk of staffing the federal government's public health branches with nanny state activists was minimal.
On May 15, President Obama announced in a press statement that New York City health commissioner Thomas Frieden will take the helm of the CDC in June. Reporting the story in the May 16 paper were Post staffers Debbi Wilgoren and Michael D. Shear (along with some help from staffer Ceci Connolly).
Wilgoren and Shear allowed "an industry-funded group" spokesman to slam Frieden as "barely recogniz[ing]" the line between "government's responsibility in regulating health and what is the individual's responsibility," yet they curiously omitted perhaps the clearest example of the same, Frieden's support of a penny-per-ounce soda tax. This even though the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on the idea earlier in the week.
Slate's William Saletan noted Frieden's push for a penny-per-ounce soda tax in early April:
Update #2 (16:15 EDT):Greg Hengler of Townhall.com has video of the interview mentioned in my first update. He notes that while Brewer is hot under the collar, the student she talked to didn't seem to care that Obama was not receiving an honorary degree tonight.
Update (14:45 EDT): A few minutes ago Brewer pressed an ASU student for his thoughts on Obama not receiving an honorary doctorate. As usual, she was quite irate at the perceived snub.
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer is bound and determined to maintain a grudge on behalf of President Obama against a university at which he's honored to give the Class of 2009 commencement speech this evening.
Here’s a shocking statement about the behavior of the White House Press Corps at the Correspondent’s Dinner: “What I saw the other night was like a bunch of teenage girls waiting for a Bay City Rollers concert, ready to scream at their the top of their lungs.”
The content of this statement is not nearly so shocking, however, as who said it – a member of the media, one Joe Scarborough of MSNBC. That’s right, a member of the media is actually talking about media bias. And even more bewildering, he wasn’t the only one. Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, agreed:
BRZEZINSKI: I definitely agree with you, I saw that there, Joe, and even the people running the behind the scenes trying to figure out what shots to put on the air, were like, ooh look at Michelle Obama, she looks so good. Go to him, go to him! What? [...] They were in love. It was weird.
Is this the Democratic Party’s preferred Day of Prayer homage?
Barack Obama may not have attended a ceremony for the National Day of Prayer on Thursday. But the Democratic National Committee’s official blog "Kicking Ass" did celebrate reverence and worship on that day: it reposted a photo of Obama reverently looking up at a portrait of John F. Kennedy.
Surprise, surprise: the networks ignored the National Day of Prayer, too.
The White House Correspondents Dinner has become quite an occasion for Hollywood’s flightiest celebrities to bring their famous (or merely semi-famous) faces to the nation’s capital. WHC Insider has a list. For example, Fox News landed Chace Crawford – of the CW show Gossip Girl – and to balance out up and coming with down and going, they have...Matthew Modine. (Yes, the crazy liberal guy.) They also have Todd Palin for a fair and balanced table.
Thanks to the latest Twitterfest on Larry King Live, CNN is boasting Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, as well as possibly aspiring politician Val Kilmer, Tyra Banks, and Kyra Sedgwick (she’s on TNT, so it’s corporate synergy).
ABC grabbed Jon Bon Jovi and two of their Private Practice stars, Kate Walsh and Taye Diggs. They’ll host Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia and a raft of top Obama folks: David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, budget director Peter Orszag, Leon Panetta, Susan Rice, Valerie Jarrett, and Jackie Norris, Michelle Obama’s chief of staff. ABC also grabbed the media’s favorite new Republican, Meghan "Moon Unit" McCain.
Chris Matthews just can't get it up. The Democratic Party label that is.
On the May 8 "Hardball", the MSNBC anchor noted in his Political Sideshow segment that Reps. Jim Moran (Va.) and Bob Brady (Pa.), are up in arms about erectile dysfunction drug ads running on television and are sponsoring legislation before the House to ban television stations from running ads for drugs like Viagra and Cialis from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Democratic congressmen argue the ads are indecent for children. [get audio for download here]
While the legislation's premise seems prudish at worst and laughably silly at best, Matthews insisted that the congressmen, who are "regular guys" and "both friends of mine" were simply "looking out for the kids." All the same, he failed to give the Democratic Party credit for threatening the cold shower of government regulation on the drug commercials.
President Obama is proposing a measure today to slowly kill the D.C. school voucher program by attrition. Because the liberal National Education Association wants Congress to immediately kill the program, the Washington Post's Bill Turque and Shailagh Murray hailed Obama's plan as "an attempt to navigate a middle way on a contentious issue."
President Obama will propose setting aside enough money for all 1,716 students in the District's voucher program to continue receiving grants for private school tuition until they graduate from high school, but he would allow no new students to join the program, administration officials said yesterday.
The proposal, to be released in budget documents today, is an attempt to navigate a middle way on a contentious issue. School choice advocates, including Republicans and many low-income families, say the program gives poor children better access to quality education. Teachers unions and other education groups active in the Democratic Party regard vouchers as a drain on public education that benefits relatively few students, and they say the students don't achieve at appreciably higher levels at their new schools.
Behold one of the new "Fairness" Doctrines - "media diversity" - coming soon to a radio station near you.
President Barack Obama's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released the names of the thirty-one members of their Advisory Committee On Diversity For CommunicationsIn The Digital Age. This May 7 gathering is made up of a laundry list of left-wing grievance groups, with a smattering of radio and television companies included to break up the monotony.
Not a single conservative organization is taking part in this Commission - more than a dozen Leftist groups are. A little ironic for a "diversity" panel, is it not?
Chairing the meeting is Henry Rivera, a former FCC Commissioner who was (and presumably still is) a strong proponent of the Censorship Doctrine, also mis-known as the "Fairness" Doctrine.
Many, many liberals in Washington have over the last several years called for a reinstatement of the Doctrine. But push-back from people who have read and actually understand the First Amendment led the Left to realize that the political price to bring it back was too high, so they MovedOn.org.
Of course, their desire to silence the lone voices of their opposition had not lessened in the slightest. They're still just as dictatorial, just pragmatically so.
It's bound to be mostly lost in the mainstream media thanks to swine flu and the Obama 100 days hype, but Richard Phillips testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today. In doing so, the captain of the MV Maersk Alabama called on lawmakers to open the way for at least some merchant sailors to be armed as part of a comprehensive anti-piracy policy that includes more military escorts.
The Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva has the story in an April 30 post in that paper's "The Swamp" blog. Silva reports that Phillips has a moderate stance on arming civilian crews -- he wants only the four most senior ranking officers aboard a given ship armed -- and that Phillips hopes for a greater U.S. Navy presence in escorting and protecting U.S. merchant vessels (emphases mine):
"First, I believe it is the responsibility of our government to protect the United States, including U.S.-flag vessels that are by definition an extension of the United States, their U.S. citizen crews, and our nation's worldwide commercial assets.
"So, it follows then that the most desirable and appropriate solution to piracy is for the United States government to provide protection, through military escorts and/or military detachments aboard U.S. vessels. That said, I am well aware that some will argue that there is a limit to any government's resources - even America's.
The morning after the media's "enchanted" evening with President Obama's 100-day press conference, Media Research Center Director of Research Rich Noyes appeared on the April 30 "America's Newsroom" to do a post-mortem of the media's fawning over the nation's 44th president. [audio excerpt here]
The segment began with a discussion of New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny's fawning question about what enchanted Obama the most in his first 100 days.:
MEGYN KELLY, Fox News anchor: So, you know, it's prime real estate when you get to ask one of these questions as a reporter at these White House press conferences. He doesn't call on all the reporters. Every question counts, and the White House press corps sort of relies on one another to get to the heart of the matter so that all the most important things are asked. Does this qualify? How enchanted he was in his first 100 days?!
RICH NOYES, Media Research Center: I'm not sure if it really does. You're right. I cannot imagine the press asking George W. Bush what enchanted him the most about his time in the White House. I believe their mantra kept asking him to define all his mistakes and apologize for them, was sort of the routine question they'd bring up to him.
Nothing in American politics is quite so intriguing as the Central Intelligence Agency. There is a certain mystique surrounding this agency, almost wholly because it has proven to be quite good at keeping secrets.
Thus, whenever the actions of the CIA are widely reported in the media, the story typically becomes a fixation for many news outlets - and any former agent who is able to shed light on these actions are usually well-received. But even here, the media has limits.
But while Scheuer is an equal-opportunity critic of missteps by Democratic and Republican administrations, the broadcast news media seem to draw the line at allowing him on air to find fault with President Obama.
Scheuer wrote a column in Sunday’s Washington Post, daring to claim that the president’s actions in publishing the so-called CIA torture memos were morally reprehensible:
A terse one-paragraph mea culpa by a White House staffer now qualifies as a "profuse apology" at least when it's the Obama White House, and the paper reporting the story is the Washington Post.
That's how the paper's Tomoeh Murakami Tse and Michael D. Shear characterized an apology by White House Military Office director Louis Caldera for Monday's low altitude flyover photo-op of New York Harbor. Here's same 54-word apology in its entirety:
Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision. While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it’s clear that the mission created confusion and disruption. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused.
Say you're the editor of a major U.S. city's newspaper and that sources in the national security community have informed your reporters that waterboarding was a crucial tactic in making a terrorist detainee spill his guts with information that, when followed up by authorities, thwarted a planned terrorist attack on same major U.S. city.
You would probably run the story on the front page with a banner headline to that effect, but at the very least you'd make sure that fact was reported in your paper's coverage.
That is, of course, unless you're the ideologically leftward, politically correct editors at the Los Angeles Times. Patterico has details in an April 27 post at his blog:
No bias here, just some fun at White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs's expense.
"White House Press Secretary began his daily briefing, even though Pres. Obama was speaking at the U.Conn event. Considered a no-no," CBS News correspondent Mark Knoller noted via his Twitter account just shortly after 2:30 p.m. EDT.
Education journalist Dakarai I. Aarons asked Knoller:
@markknoller any precedent for holding a briefing while the president is speaking elsewhere?
To which the veteran journalist answered:
@d_aarons In 30 years of covering the White House - it's just not done. the press secretary waits till the Pres is done, before starting...
Remember how the media told us throughout 2008 that then-candidate Barack Obama had the most "tech-savvy" presidential campaign in U.S. history? And who can forget all the buzz during the transition period about how the president might have to part company with his Blackberry due to Secret Service security worries. To the media, Obama was light years ahead of any Republican when it came to the Web.
Well, with the 100-day mark right around the corner, it seems new media experts are only giving the 44th president a gentleman's C when it come to his communications shop's take on the WhiteHouse.gov Web site and the Obama administration's signature Recovery.gov Web site.
Reports the National Journal's David Herbert, the chief complaints seem to be that the Obama team sees the Web as a propaganda tool, not a way to genuinely engage citizens with their government and its elected chief executive (emphasis mine):
So who died and made Time's Joe Klein the head of Mossad? Because clearly he is a better military intelligence expert than anyone in Israel, judging by his April 22 blog post on "Israel's Iran Game" at the magazine's Swampland blog (emphasis mine):
I have no doubt that Israel is--legitimately--freaked out by Iran, although not so much by the prospect of an Iranian bomb as by Iran's support for Hezbollah and Hamas. (The only plausible use of an Iranian bomb would be as a deterrent against Israel's own nuclear weapons.) But it seems clear that the Netanyahu government's wild overstatement of the Iranian threat, and its linkage to progress on the Palestinian issue, is a subterfuge to allow the continued illegal Israeli settlement of Palestinian areas on the West Bank, which will ultimately subvert a two-state solution.
Whatever should Obama do? Klein would be glad you asked, and even if you hadn't, he'd probably tell you anyway (emphasis mine):
Real Clear Politics reports that the Democrats are heavily talking about newspaper bailouts, no matter how bad that idea sounds. Sen. John Kerry wants to play Superman for The Boston Globe, and Rep. John Conyers held a hearing yesterday (at which MRC exec Dan Gainor testified -- read his statement here.)
It's incredibly rich for Sen. Kerry to insist he must save the Globe or else "there will also be serious consequences for our democracy where diversity of opinion and strong debate are paramount." As if the Globe is a role model for vividly bipartisan news and editorial pages (although we're Jeff Jacoby fans.)
How awful an idea is a newspaper bailout? You can’t fix the newspaper readership problem just by keeping a failing business on life support. But it's especially unfair to burden conservative taxpayers with another pile of bills to fund liberal media outlets that trash them and their ideas and heroes.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Lamestream Media The media coverage of the more than 800 Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party protests that took place in all fifty states on April 15 ranged from disdainful dismissal of their nature, significance and import, to outright hostility towards the events and individual participants, to sexual innuendo-based full-on ridicule.
In this summary, we focused on the three major networks - NBC, ABC and CBS, the two left-of-center cable news networks - CNN and MSNBC and the three major "national" newspapers - the USA Today, the New York Times and the Washington Post.
While not an exhaustively comprehensive oeuvre of TEA Party bias, it contains many, many examples which serve to illustrate the broader antipathetic themes.
Remember when NewsBusters told you about CNN ignoring a report on left-wing extremism? Perhaps you have heard a reference to Timothy McVeigh recently, as an example of right-wing extremism? Well, as it turns out, McVeigh isn’t the only extremist to bomb a building.
Please welcome Daniel Andreas San Diego (shown at right in photos via FBI.gov) to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Most Wanted Terrorists list – notably, the only domestic terrorist on that list. San Diego is wanted by the FBI for “his alleged involvement in the bombing of two office buildings in the San Francisco, California, area.” Apparently, San Diego is suspected of being involved with two explosions at the Chiron Corporation in Emeryville – a corporation which the FBI says has had business ties to Huntingdon Life Sciences. If you’ve read the report on left-wing extremism, that company is a top priority for left-wing extremists.
But the fun doesn’t stop there.
How much damage have these groups caused? According to the FBI’s press release: