When the news broke that Dan Rather was suing CBS News for $70 million for somehow destroying his reputation, the most noticeable reaction came from the media establishment itself. From the first story in the New York Times, it carried a different tone between the lines of the breaking news. Rather’s former colleagues think he’s lost his marbles.
The Times story by Jacques Steinberg said Rather’s career came to an “inglorious end” and now he’s taking “vehement issue” with CBS’s soft-scrub internal investigation. Rather claimed “to be reduced to little more than a patsy” in the story, and now works for an “obscure cable channel.” The implication between the lines? Gunga Dan’s picked one battle too many.
Early this summer, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for president learned that the men’s magazine GQ was working on a story the campaign was sure to hate: an account of infighting in Hillaryland. So Clinton’s aides pulled a page from the book of Hollywood publicists and offered GQ a stark choice: Kill the piece, or lose access to planned celebrity coverboy Bill Clinton.
Despite internal protests, GQ editor Jim Nelson met the Clinton campaign’s demands, which had been delivered by Bill Clinton’s spokesman, Jay Carson, several sources familiar with the conversations said. Source
There's a fabulous column by Ed Driscoll (HT to NixGuy in an e-mail) about the evolution of media and reporting from the invention of radio to our current circumstances.
It's the title of Driscoll's work, "Atlas Mugged: How a Gang of Scrappy, Individual Bloggers Broke the Stranglehold of the Mainstream Media," that misses the mark a bit.
Ed has the "stranglehold" part nailed:
By the early 1970s, mass media had reached its zenith (if you’ll pardon the pun). Most Americans were getting their news from one of three TV networks’ half-hour nightly broadcasts. With the exception of New York, most big cities had only one or two primary newspapers. And no matter what a modern newspaper’s lineage, by and large its articles, except for local issues, came from global wire services like the Associated Press or Reuters; it took its editorial lead from the New York Times; and it claimed to be impartial (while usually failing miserably).
"As a public relations effort, I mean, this is like the litigation equivalent of a suicide bombing. It just doesn't make any sense," noted MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham about former "CBS Evening News" anchor Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS. The NewsBusters senior editor was interviewed shortly after 5:30 p.m. Eastern on Thursday's "Big Story" by Fox News reporter Heather Nauert.
Video (3:04):Real (2.24 MB) and Windows (1.87 MB), plus MP3 audio (1.39 MB). [related links listed below fold]
In the September 20 presidential press conference, CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux sought to blame President Bush and the GOP for a perceived nationwide deterioration in race relations. In doing so, Malveaux raised the plight of the so-called Jena Six, a group of black Louisiana teenagers charged in the beating of a white student.
Media outlets covering the controversy have generally skirted around reporting on the victim of the "Jena Six" assault, focusing more on the political dimensions of the controversy, particularly Thursday's Al Sharpton-led protests in the small Louisiana town. For example, in a separate post, NewsBusters contributor Matthew Balan notes how news outlets like CNN.com and USAToday are burying or ignoring details about victim of the Dec. 4, 2006 beating, Justin Barker.
Below are the questions Malveaux asked, as well as a separate "Jena Six" question posed by Michael Fletcher of The Washington Post, who the president referred to as "Fletch":
Every now and then you read something that is accepted in the MSM, or better yet, perpetrated upon its readers that literally leaves you speechless. The Gawker Jew bashing articles were my most recent examples. Until now.
The Washington Post has gone on a fact bashing mission over a stump speech that Presidential candidate Fred Thompson made in Iowa. The anonymous writer of 'the claim' zeros in on the following statement made by Thompson.
"You know, you look back over our history, and it doesn't take you long to realize that our people have shed more blood for other people's liberty than any other combination of nations in the history of the world.''
In a September 18 entry on the Washington Post's Maryland Moment blog, two of the paper's writers spend most of their digital ink criticizing Tuesday's Maryland Court of Appeals ruling upholding the state’s marriage law.
Even the opening sentence reflects the Post’s bias, describing Maryland’s marriage law as “the state’s ban on gay marriage” and “the controversial law.”
For starters, the marriage law is not controversial, at least outside homosexual activist circles. All 50 states have laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman (even Massachusetts, which has no business issuing same-sex marriage licenses without a change in the law). What is controversial is the lower court ruling in January by Baltimore Circuit Court Judge M. Brooke Murdock striking the law down.And what about the Post describing Maryland’s marriage law as “the state’s ban on gay marriage?”
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," ABC anchors and reporters spun the editing of Sally Field’s profanity laced anti-war rant at Sunday’s Emmys as an example of political censorship by Fox, a right-wing network. Reporter Dan Harris ominously observed, "Some saythe Fox network, owned by well known conservative Rupert Murdoch, was engaged in political censorship."
However, during the ceremony, "Sopranos" creator David Chase, extolled the values of gangsters. In a halting speech, he asserted, "And hell, let’s face it, if the world and this nation was run by gangsters-- [Pause] Maybe it is." Mr. Chase’s political statement was not censored, nor were any of the numerous anti-Bush and Republican-slamming jokes that aired on the awards show. But rather than accept the explanation that Field’s comments were cut because she used an expletive, Harris claimed, "...It’s the Sally Field case that is provoking the real cries of political censorship because Fox cut off not only her expletive but also her entire thought." The argument is somewhat self defeating because, as Harris noted, Fox also censored comedian Ray Romano’s off-color joke. In fact, the ACLU is attacking the edit on the grounds of vulgarity, not politics.
Is Cuba threatening ABC News? Why won't the media report that ABC's John Stossel stated the Cuban government's Central Committee “called members of the ABC Cuban bureau in for questioning?” (emphasis mine throughout)
After Stossel challenged “Sicko” director Michael Moore's claims that Cuba's health care system is superior to America's, which resulted in a stammering Moore reversing years of crowing about the island's excellent “free” universal health care, Cuba showed its true totalitarian colors.
In an entry entitled, "Protest du Jour," Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Candace Heckman let the paper's "The Big Blog" readers know that, "[c]oast to coast, Sept. 12 has been declared National Call-In Day to End the Iraq War by a conglomeration of advocacy groups."
Oh how nice.
Today's protest is expected to take place all day over the telephone. The idea is to call your congressman or congresswoman (or any congressman or congresswoman) to express displeasure in the United States' continuing involvement in Iraq.
Heckman proceeded to give out the phone numbers for the state of Washington's delegation to the 110th Congress. The P-I blogger noted that "as with all demonstrations, war and troop supporters are also expected to counter-protest, also by telephone."
A few days ago I wrote about how blogger Flip Pidot of Suitably Flip found that while the Hillary Clinton campaign vowed to give the Norman Hsu campaign contributions to charity, his name still appeared in a list of "HillRaisers," top-dollar fundraisers and bundlers for the Hillary Clinton 2008 presidential race.
Now reporter and blogger Robert Stacy McCain has an interview on the Washington Times Web site with Pidot. Below are some questions pertaining to Hsu and Pidot's research and blogging about the Clinton contributor:
Q: You actually went to the New York address listed on Norman Hsu's [Federal Election Commission] forms. ... Did you see anything?
I have been following the strange (and mostly unreported) case of fugitive criminal and major Democratic Party fundraiser Norman Hsu since September 5. Paul Mirengoff of the Power Line blog has a post today wherein he notes that the mainstream media, led by the Wall Street Jornal, are finally taking the time to look into Hsu's attempted flight from justice. However, as Mirengoff pointedly notes,
I think the pertinent questions are: Where did the money come from?
On September 7th we noticed that the scandal in the Democrat Party over illegal campaign donations was barely getting any coverage in the print media and the internet. Well, apparently, TV news isn't doing any better still. It's so obvious, even the juggernaut of the left, The New York Times, has taken note of how few network news reports have aired on the Hsu scandal... though not making a big deal of it, naturally. The news media is doing their level best to deep six the story to benefit Hillary, it seems. If the Hsu fits, anyway. (Do I have to explain that his name is pronounced "Shoe" in Chinese for that joke to work? I sure hope not.)
Also in a shocking move, in the Times' story revealing Hillary Clinton's decision to return an additional amount of Hsu's contributions, some strong words were used to describe the fugitive -- strong for the Times, anyway.
The “La Raza” organization of Hispanics could hardly be more racist. “La Raza” means “The Race” — the Mexican race. But are they ever criticized for that? Not that I have heard. In fact, we read below in the left-leaning Associated Press that “La Raza” is “a mainstream advocacy group”.
“Charlie Norwood, a congressman from Georgia who died earlier this year, appeared to accept the conspiracy at face value, accusing the National Council of La Raza, a mainstream Washington advocacy group, of acting as a front organization for the “radical racist group” MEChA, or Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan.
Persistent Bush critic and recurring Sunday morning talk show fixture Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) is announcing his retirement from the U.S. Senate. Reporting the story in the Sunday paper, the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman and Chris Cillizza described the Iraq war critic as a "mainstream conservative who raised his profile nationally through his fierce opposition to President Bush's Iraq policies."
While it is true that Hagel has a respectable 85.2 (out of a possible 100) lifetime score from the American Conservative Union, the Associated Press's Anna Jo Bratton more colorfully described the senator as "a thorn in his party's side when it comes to Iraq." The characterization is apt but perhaps a bit charitable given the retiring politician's suggestion that President Bush could be impeached over the war.
While both the Bratton and Post accounts focused on Hagel's retirement as another obstacle in the uphill battle for control of the Senate in 2008, neither article mentioned that Hagel made an oblique reference in March to the potential to impeach President George W. Bush over the Iraq war:
Hillary Clinton fundraiser and recently-captured fugitive from justice Norman Hsu is STILL listed as a major "HillRaiser" on Hillary Clinton's campaign Web site, reports blogger Flip Pidot:
While Clinton has pledged to turn over some of this money (only Hsu's direct contributions, representing roughly 13% of her total haul from Hsu's network) and has professed bewilderment at the man's colorful legal history and recent behavior, she hasn't yet taken the one very easy (and admittedly fairly meaningless, but nonetheless advisable) step of removing Hsu from her list of vaunted HillRaisers.
At least she hadn't as of 2:50 pm on September 6th. What gives? If Hsu turns himself in (again) and heads off to prison, is that sufficient contrition for Clinton to welcome him back into the fold? Is this failure to fully sever Mr. Hsu from the campaign deliberate or just careless (and mildly comical)?
On the eve of the August 29 second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina striking the Mississippi-Louisiana Gulf Coast, as the American news media prepared to do a slew of anniversary-update stories, the non-partisan Political and Economic Research Council released a hefty study of how the region's small-business sector is doing.
Fugitive Democratic Party donor Norman Hsu was arrested today in Colorado, according to the Associated Press. However, while discussing the fact that many of the politicians to whom Hsu gave money are returning it or giving it to charity, the AP seems strangely reluctant to discuss the mysterious sources of Hsu's contributions. The story talks about several Democrats who are returning Hsu's gifts, and states,
The growing flap over Hsu's contributions prompted Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd to release a statement Thursday vowing "to refuse to accept or possess campaign contributions raised, solicited, or delivered by fugitives from justice."
"Growing flap". That's nice. But it would be even nicer if one of the so-called professional media organizations would devote some time to digging into the actual source of Hsu's large contributions.
Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu, whose many large contributions to Democratic coffers, including Hillary Clinton came from an apparently non-existent source, has jumped bail yet again. As reported by the Associated Press,
Hsu, a Hong Kong native, was also supposed to turn over his passport Wednesday. Hsu's prominent Silicon Valley criminal defense attorney Jim Brosnahan said Hsu failed to give the passport to the legal team on Monday. "Mr. Hsu is not here and we do not know where Mr. Hsu is," Brosnahan said outside court. Brosnahan said that "there was some contact" with Hsu a few hours before the scheduled 9 a.m. court appearance, but he declined to say how and who talked to Hsu. Hsu pleaded no contest in 1991 to a felony count of grand theft, admitting he'd defrauded investors of $1 million after falsely claiming to have contracts to purchase and sell Latex gloves. He was facing up to three years in prison when he skipped town before his 1992 sentencing date.
Chicago, like Washington, D.C., has a stringent gun ban. So naturally the move by the District to defend the ban before the Supreme Court will be big news in the Windy City. Yet that doesn't excuse the Chicago Tribune's James Oliphant for breezing over gun rights advocates in his article, "D.C. gun case may hit Chicago."
Oliphant began by telling his readers that gun rights advocates would come gunning for Chicago's gun ban if they succeed before the high Court.:
The District of Columbia is going to the Supreme Court to protect its 1976 law that effectively disarmed its crime-plagued law-abiding civilian populace. In addition to an editorial cheering on the appeal, Washington's largest broadsheet is all to happy to skew its front-page coverage accordingly.
In their September 5 article "D.C. Case Could Shape Gun Laws," reporters Robert Barnes and David Nakamura quoted from gun ban proponents Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) and D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer as they laid out their arguments for the gun ban. Only one opponent of the gun ban was quoted, and even then his ink was wasted on explaining his next move:
Led by a number of conservative bloggers (including, full disclosure, me), some of Tennessee's news media outlets have begun to report on the connections of convicted felon and big-time Democratic fund-raiser Norman Hsu to the Tennessee Democratic Party and the failed Senate campaign of former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., who now heads the Democratic Leadership Council.
After a few days of reports by blogger Terry Frank, myself and other Tennessee conservative bloggers, and discussion on the popular Steve Gill radio show, following publication of a long list of Hsu's money recipients, the story has begun to appear in the mainstream Tennessee media, including the Nashville City Paper, the Knoxville News-Sentinel, and NashvillePost.com, so far, not in The Tennessean, which serves the capital city of Nashville, or the Memphis Commercial-Appeal.
CNN has an article up about the Sky Eagle drone that flew over Haditha that dreadful day in November 2005. Attached to the story are actual snips from the drone video. Not content to let the drone video speak for itself, CNN spliced in scenes from the video made famous by TIME's Tim McGirk.
The footage of the bodies wrapped in blankets is labeled "Hammurabi Human Rights Association." There is no such "association" - only two men who have documented ties to terrorist/insurgent activities per Marine Intelligence Reports from the Haditha testimony. CNN failed to note that the bodies were removed from the morgue and the body bags replaced with blankets. The bodies were then put on display in one of the Haditha homes. The scene was a staged production - similar to the lurid photos from Qana II.
As NewsBusters has recorded, Snow has tangled with biased journalists in his role as the White House's chief spokesman. Perhaps one of the most memorable was an episode in June 2007 reported by NewsBusters contributor Justin McCarthy:
This one makes you want to say, "Captain Kirk to the Starship AP. Beam us up, there's no intelligent life in the AP News Room." on August 29th, the AP published a story scolding the U.S. Military for refusing to use a non-lethal "ray gun" to control crowds in Iraq and they quote a few military sources who claim they issued an "urgent request" for the system. It takes over half the story before the reader is finally told that this system is still experimental and that this "ray gun" has never been put into production, so "urgent requests" or no, the Pentagon couldn't ship the weapon even if it wanted to because it doesn't really even exist in a field ready state. And, even as the AP admits this, the fact that this weapon doesn't really exist is never developed well enough in the story for a casual reader to easily grasp this fact. The net effect of the story causes a reader to imagine we have a warehouse filled with these life saving, non-lethal weapons and that the Pentagon refuses to release them to desperate commanders in Iraq. But the truth is that we do not even have any such stash of these experimental crowd control devices anywhere.
Worse than misleading the public into assuming that the Military has non-lethal weapons at its disposal that it refuses to use, AP presents its story as if the Military simply prefers to just randomly kill people. And, in keeping with the AP's anti-American stylebook, Iraqi insurgents are treated as mere loiterers that the US military indiscriminately sprays with bullets, bullets that also kill untold numbers of civilians.
I recently recieved a review copy from Simon & Schuster's "Free Press" imprint of a new book, written by U.S. Army Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, now retired from the Army and a co-founder of Vets for Freedom. The book, House to House: An Epic Memoir of War, is Bellavia's personal account of the Second Battle of Fallujah.
At times horrifying and at times deeply moving, House to House is a book of astonishing power and inspiration as Bellavia comes face to face with both the savages of al Qaeda and the terrorist "insurgency" and with his own soul.
Leftist uber-funder George Soros's group America Coming Together has been slapped with a $775,000 fine by the Federal Election Commission - the third largest fine in FEC history, but really only a minor fine considering the crime.
According to the FEC, ACT used tens of millions of dollars of unregulated cash to boost Democratic candidates during the 2004 elections. The Politico reports that, according to the FEC, ACT raised $137 million for its get-out-the-vote effort in 17 states in the 2004 elections, but the FEC found most of that cash came through contributions that violated federal limits or were otherwise barred by campaign rules.
Besides big money from Soros, ACT also got a lot of money from the Service Employees International Union.
A liberal activist merely alleges that Fred Thompson's breaking the rules by campaigning as a candidate while claiming merely "testing the waters" status with the FEC and it makes the news. Now we have a liberal organization hit with the third largest fine in FEC history for illegally raising and spending tens of millions of dollars to influence an American election. And ACT isn't the only group Soros funded to try to influence the election.
So ... do you think this story will be on the national news today or tonight?
To those who may not be familiar with the case, this is essentially a test case as to whether the United States government has the legal authority to perform secret surveillance on anyone. The plaintiff is a Muslim organization called Al-Haramain that has been linked to a variety of Muslim terrorist organizations and has been shuttered in many countires for its unabashed laundering of money to said terrorists. Even the United Nations has placed Al-Haramain on its list of banned organizations.