Standard-free journalism on parade all day on NBC's Sunday
Forgotten But Not GoneIt was another do-as-we-say, not-as-we-do day for the National Broadcast Company this past Sabbath.
Over the weekend NBC offered up their latest versions of Tim Russert's Meet the Press and the Chris Matthews Show -- the latter being political television's answer to Jerry Springer. In them we were treated to two more glittering examples of all that is wrong with the Jurassic Press.
That being the woeful lack of journalistic ethics demonstrated by those at the heights of the media mountain, and the utter shamelessness they and their colleagues exhibit upon their being outed as amoral hacks.
At NewsBusters we've been noticing the reticence the media are showing in characterizing the Castro Brothers regime in Cuba as a Communist dictatorship. Today's Miami Herald came a bit closer with its February 26 article ("Old-style socialist takes the No. 2 job in Cuba"), although it painted Raul Castro's deputy as a "devout socialist" and results-oriented problem-solver.
Of course, there are "devout socialist" politicians in numerous countries the world over who abide by the results of free and fair elections and respect the rule of law, two things sorely lacking in Cuba.
No matter, the Herald's Frances Robles seemed more interested in painting Raul Castro's number two as though he were Che Guevara with a hearing aid (emphasis mine):
So much for Washington Post staff writer Manuel Roig-Franzia waxing poetic about the tech-savvy younger generation of Communists in Cuba. "Party Elders Triumph in Cuba," as Raul Castro has been formally named the new dictator, a February 25 Post headline informs readers. Party elders?! That's language suitable for a story about the role of superdelegates in the presidential nomination process for the Democratic Party, not when describing window-dressing "elections" in one-party Communist dictatorships.
Roig-Franzia opened his article with a lament that a "younger generation" of Communists has been "bypassed" by the Geritol crowd:
HAVANA, Feb. 24 -- Cuba's revolutionary old guard consolidated its hold on power Sunday when the National Assembly bypassed a younger generation of politicians and named Fidel Castro's brother, Raúl, president and a hard-line communist first vice president.
You tell me that you need me Then you go and cut me down, but wait You tell me that you're sorry Didn't think I'd turn around, and say...
It's too late to apologize, it's too late I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late
I don't know about you, but the lyrics for "Apologize" by OneRepublic came to mind as I read this item from Newsweek.com about a new chill in the air separating the generally press-friendly Arizona senator and the Third Estate:
Cheap Shots Fit to PrintThis would make even the Daily Kos and MoveOn.org blush.
Well, maybe not. But still, ... .
The New York Times on Wednesday evening went to the web with "For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk", an innuendo-filled and fact-deprived 3,000 word ramble on the 1999 professional interactions between now virtually certain Republican Presidential nominee John McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman. They then extrapolated the unproven impropriety of this alleged "relationship" into a broader questioning of McCain's ethics.
Both McCain and Iseman flatly deny the affair. Their refutation, and the Times' protracted inability to gather any evidence to the contrary, should in no way have served to prevent them from levying the accusation in long form print, apparently.
At least when the National Enquirer prints unsubstantiated garbage, they go with new stories, MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued today on the Fox News Channel. Bozell was referring to the New York Times publishing a front page article on a 10-year old rumor regarding presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and lobbyist Vicki Iseman.
The New York Times has launched a full-scale attack campaign against John McCain and in so doing, revealed their liberal agenda for all to see! It’s the clearest example of their bias since they published MoveOn.org’s "General Betray Us" ad...Why wasn’t this story published previously?
If you're infuriated by this failing liberal news organization’s desperate attempt to tar and feather the Republican front-runner by dredging up 8 year-old allegations, take quick action and do something about it
Join our MRC Action Team and help bury the NY Times with thousands of angry emails and phone calls.
Los Angeles Times's L.A. Now blog today picked up on reporter/former L.A. mayoral mistress Mirthala Salinas:
Her rise through the ranks at Telemundo was swift. Her fall following the disclosure of an affair with Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of our fair city, was a spectacle. And now she's back - on the radio this time. Hoyinternet.com is the first with the news:
Update 14:16 | Matthew Sheffield. The level of excusing and tip-toeing around the truth about Castro is staggering. As of 2:13 ET when you do a Google News search for "Fidel Castro" you come up with 7,520 results. Add the word dictator after it and you come back with 1,417. That's 81 percent less.
Just a few headlines from major newspapers as Fidel Castro has called it quits as dictator:
Castro resigns, ending era in Cuba (LATimes.com front page)
None of those articles directly referred to Castro as a dictator. Here's how AP's Anita Snow danced around the matter of Fidel's autocracy, conceding that "detractors called him a dictator" while throwing in the favored defense leftists often throw up for Castro (emphasis mine):
Fans of NewsBusters are quite familiar with how we track instances of labeling bias: where the media don't label liberal activists or employ double standards in labeling conservatives vs. liberals, Republicans vs. Democrats, etc.
Noting Sen. Barack Obama's recent statement that he considers the Second Amendment an individual right -- setting aside for a moment his pro-gun control record and defense of the D.C. handgun ban -- ABC's Jan Crawford Greenburg dismissed private gun ownership as constitutionally protected, holding instead that the "orthodox" view defends only a state's right.
Here's the relevant portion from a February 15 entry at Greenburg's Legalities blog (emphasis mine):
Sure, it's garden variety AP labeling/double-standard bias, but it bears busting anyway.
At KnoxNews.com (h/t NB reader coffee260), one can read the tale of Nashville, Tennessee, state representative Rob Briley, who "has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and property damage prior to leading authorities on a high-speed chase last September." Briley is a Democrat, but his party affiliation was not mentioned in the 6-paragraph story.
Yet another AP dispatch on another state politician, this one from Maryland, had a quite different treatment of that legislator's political affiliation.
The February 13th New York Times online contained fifteen "Pictures of the Day". Their #1, lead photograph was what you see to the right, with the following description (emphasis added):
Security officials in Lebanon said Imad Mugniyah, 45, a senior Hezbollah military commander, was killed by a car bomb on Tuesday night in Damascus, Syria. Mr. Mugniyah had been accused in a series of bombings, hijackings and kidnappings during the 1980s and 1990s, including the 1983 bombing of a Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 American service members. Mr. Mugniyah's father, Fayez, left, and grandfather held each other during a wake in Beirut.
The Bush administration has once again proposed cuts in scheduled spending for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in his latest budget. No conservative should hold his breath that proposal would pass. But that doesn't mean lobbyists for PBS on the left won't fight the cuts with dishonest claims. Credo Mobile Action, a project of the the "progressive" Working Assets telephone company, offers this clunker:
Many families do not have access to cable and depend upon PBS for kid-friendly programming that is not offered by the major networks, especially in the prime time hours. Cuts to public broadcasting would threaten such programming.
Since when does Sesame Street run in prime time?
The message has the usual GOP-hates-Big-Bird line in it: "In his last year in office, don't let Bush pull the plug on Bill Moyers, the NewsHour, Big Bird, and the Cookie Monster."
I was offered the privilege on Friday of introducing Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana at CPAC, who gave a nice, staunch speech about conservatism and urged John McCain to "embrace the Right and the Right will embrace you." In my introduction, I noted that Brent Bozell said it used to seem like many Republicans on the Hill were conservative leaders when Reagan was president, since they were carrying out Reagan's work. But now, when Republicans are back in the minority and conservatives are discouraged, there might be five people you can identify as conservative leaders on the Hill. You might debate the other four, but nearly everyone nods their head at the mention of Mike Pence. You can see the Pence video at TownHall.
On one of our issues in Medialand -- the reimposition of a "Fairness Doctrine" to clamp down on conservative talk radio -- Pence has been a stalwart. He received several standing ovations, including these lines on freedom of speech:
Non-naturalized immigrants, especially illegal ones, can't vote in federal elections. Nonetheless, the day before the so-called Potomac Primary (D.C., Md., and Va.), the Washington Post devoted a 22-paragraph Metro section story to "The Frustration of Being Illegal."
The story, by staff writer Marcela Sanchez, aims at tugging at the heart strings by recounting the plight of one immigrant who fears her deportation will separate her from her children. Here's an excerpt:
Celia Llanes came to the United States 4 1/2 years ago with typical immigrant aspirations. She hoped to provide for her family, earn enough to buy a patch of land back home and perhaps take her girls to Disney World. Today, her wish is far simpler: that when she is deported her girls will be deported with her.
Gross's February 6 story was the third in a slideshow lineup on the magazine's front page today (see screencap at right). But far from merely offering a prognosis on the Bush tax cuts, Gross weaved in his own opinion about how a President McCain letting them sunset would be fiscally responsible:
Here's an oldie but a goodie. Well, not a goodie, but this is instructive when it comes to examining liberal bias in the Associated Press: Ron "Authenticity" Fournier from June 2007 defending his liberal biases as "accountability journalism." (h/t NewsBusters fan motherbelt)
In an Associated Press newsletter, Fournier defended what he called "Accountability Journalism" as a news reporting format that "[liberates] reporters and the truth." (emphasis mine):
On the verge of foisting McCain on the Republican Party-- and then turning viciously upon him
Straight Talk The media’s long love affair with the maverick, Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, may be finally about to bear presidential primary fruit.
The Straight Talk Express has taken a circuitous route to the precipice of the Republican nomination and -- throughout the journey -- its co-pilot has been the national media, who rarely have loved a Republican more.
In the February 4 USA Today, Richard Wolf treated news of Bush's last budget proposal by alternating between liberal Democrats attacking the president and Wolf's own stark language in characterizing the spending blueprint. What's more, Wolf cited two Democrats attacking the spending plan, compared to one Republican depending reductions in spending in the final Bush budget.
Remember when the media was concerned about the tone of the Presidential discourse?
About how it had fallen to new lows when an audience member, in querying Republican Senator and aspirant John McCain on November 13th of last year, referred to Democrat hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) as a female dog? CNN's Rick Sanchez tried desperately to create a scandal out of whole cloth, insisting that Senator McCain was obligated to lash said woman verbally and with a wet noodle in defense of HRC's honor.
One major flash-point in the January 21 Democratic debate was when Hillary Clinton slammed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for ties to Tony Rezko, an indicted real estate developer. Shortly thereafter a photo from the Clinton administration depicting Sen. Clinton with Rezko and her husband came to the fore, and Clinton subsequently denied knowing Rezko.
Fast forward to today and the Associated Press reporting that Hillary Clinton booster L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took campaign contributions from Rezko. The question remains how much the media, outside the Associated Press, will care:
Heaping praise on moderate Republican Rep. Tom Davis (Va.), the Washington Post devoted not one but two articles in the January 31 paper to the congressman. The Post lauded Davis for his centrism, but particularly for angering the Virginia GOP's conservative base. Yet left unmentioned was any analysis suggesting moderation was what felled his wife's 2007 state senate reelection campaign.
Staff writer Bill Turque penned a Metro section front pager ("In Va., Congress, Davis Has Ruled From the Center") that began by noting Davis's Republican Party family pedigree before adding that Davis "crushed" his first political opponent in a 1979 election "by placing himself firmly in the center."
"Uncivil Discourse: Bush pressures Dems to fall in line for his final year."
That's how Newsweek.com teases a Richard Wolffe Web Exclusive analysis of President George W. Bush's final State of the Union address. Wolffe lamented the bitter partisanship in Washington, noting that the Bush-Pelosi-Boehner agreement on an economic stimulus plan was "the rare exception" of "respect and cooperation" that "is hard to find in the halls of Congress at the end of the Bush era."
Too bad, Wolffe gripes, that President Bush used his final State of the Union to chide Congress for failing to make tax cuts permanent (emphasis mine):
"How would you like to get the terrorists' perspective on tonight's State of the Union address?" asks Red State's Erick Erickson, noting the prime real estate -- "just three to four steps away from the House Democratic Whip's Office"-- that the al Jazeera network is getting to cover the State of the Union and the corresponding Democratic response tonight.
Romney struck first on the day before the winner-take-all Florida primary. He attacked the Arizona senator for his legislation reducing the role of money in politics, for his position on immigration and for his support of an energy bill that Romney said would have driven up consumer costs.
Funny, seems to me political campaigns are flush with cash and that campaign finance has grown, not shrunk, since 2002. What McCain's bill did do, however, was to enact a ban on so-called soft money, as well as institute bans on third-party issue ads airing 60 days prior to a general election. The issue ad ban was overturned in a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, despite McCain's wishes to the contrary:
Well, now Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D) is facing mounting pressure to resign for pretty much the same thing: lying about sex under oath in a legal proceeding. While I'm personally curious whether any Democrats, particularly those supporting Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) for president will come forward and defend Kilpatrick -- you know, urging him to stay in office and fight to "work for the people of Detroit" -- the more immediate concern here at NewsBusters is, are the media noting or ignoring Kilpatrick's Democratic Party affiliation?
The answer so far? No, at least not the Associated Press. Reporter Corey Williams failed to mention Kilpatrick's party affiliation, although Williams did note Kilpatrick faces similar legal problems as Clinton:
The Establishment Media hailed the study's lead "finding" -- 935 false statements by Bush Administration officials in the two-year period leading up to the launch of the War. The Associated Press, CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post and -- of course -- the New York Times were all exhilarated to once again climb aboard the "Bush Lied - People Died" Express.