PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler has to be getting uncomfortable for calling out unbalanced liberal programs on the taxpayer-funded network. After he agreed with critics last week that a pro-Kerry editorial was wildly out of place on the show "History Detectives," now he has noticed the incredibly one-sided Bill Moyers Journal hour on impeaching Bush and Cheney and mildly noted it could have used a smidgen of balance. Despite Nancy Pelosi’s promise to avoid impeachment hearings, he wrote, "I would argue that it is still a newsworthy topic. So, as a viewer, I'm grateful that it is being addressed....On the other hand, there was almost a complete absence of balance, as I watched it, in the way this program presented the case for impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney."
The Kennedy political dynasty has certainly been blessed with blue-collar friends awaiting them at the start of their political careers. There never seems to be a shortage of horny-handed sons of toil to assure fledgling Kennedys that being rich is no impediment to being a friend of the working man.
In the course of Times reporter Robin Toner's web-only column absolving rich Democrats from feeling guilty for preaching about poverty while making millions, Toner delivered the better-documented version of the Kennedy family folk tale.
As the story goes, Ted Kennedy was campaigning for his first Senate seat in 1962 when he was confronted by a blue-collar worker who provided the future senator his absolution.
Fox and Friends anchors Gretchen Carlson and Steve Doocy, along with author C. David Heymann (there to discuss his new book on the death of JFK Jr.), fawned over the eighth anniversary of the plane-crash death of John F. Kennedy Jr. Meanwhile, by comparison, CBS, CNN, NBC, and ABC were silent about JFK Jr. Monday morning.
On his page on the PBS website, PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler agreed with e-mailers on an episode of gratuitious liberal bias – a seemingly out-of-nowhere attack on the 2004 ad campaign against John Kerry by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth – on the show "History Detectives." In a brief commentary, Wes Cowan denounced how the group known as "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and funded by a wealthy Republican campaign donor smeared Kerry's military record and possibly cost him the election." When Getler asked the executive producer Christopher Bryson about the claim, he shot back: "In stating that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ‘smeared Kerry's military record’ we carefully and believe accurately summarized and characterized a great deal of objective reporting by established media organizations, respected media watchdog groups, and an official Pentagon investigation."
Those "objective" reporters included The Washington Post, and the Annenberg Center’s Factcheck.org, which also relied on the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and a Kerry pal’s commentary in the Wall Street Journal. But the "objective" label gets more hilarious when Bryson also cited John Kerry’s incredibly sympathetic liberal biographer and pop-historian Doug Brinkley, and the left-wing Center for Media and Democracy’s online Sourcewatch encylopedia. CMD puts out paperback books with obviously left-wing and partisan titles such as Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush’s War on Iraq and Banana Republicans: How the Right Wing Is Turning America Into a One-Party State.
Bruce Fein was a member of the Reagan Administration, but during the Dubya years, Fein sounds a lot like your typical "Bush hater," comparing the president to a long list of historical villains, which makes him a more acceptable guest for Bill Moyers or NPR’s Diane Rehm show. Here are the actual places in the Friday Bill Moyers Journal interview where squeaky-voiced Fein took Bush to the historical dark alley and tried to rough him up:
– Today’s Japanese Internment Camps?
FEIN: Take World War II. We locked up 120,000 Japanese Americans, said they were all disloyal. Well, we got 120,000 mistakes. They lost their property. They lost their liberty for years and years because we made a huge mistake. And that can be true after 9/11 as well.
Just when you think the loony left can't get any more deranged and hateful toward George W. Bush, someone comes along and further lowers the bar.
Former Washington Post sportswriter, "Seinfeld" writer and executive co-producer Peter Mehlman did just that today in a Huffington Post article (h/t Ace) which said that President Bush is actually worse than Hitler because at least the German dictator meant well when he was trying to exterminate Jewish people.
Yahoo has a copy which I reproduce here in full just in case someone yanks it from both sites. As is often the case with liberals, Mehlman is incapable of expressing himself without using profanity:
June 19 edition had an interesting web-exclusive “Mind Matters”
column by Wray Herbert called “Toothless
which was about social psychologists Carol Tavris and Elliot
Aronson's new book, “Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me).” The
book and the column concerned the “psychological process known as
cognitive dissonance.” Sound like an unlikely candidate for bias?
Cognitive dissonance is “the extreme
emotional discomfort we feel when two important beliefs, attitudes or
perceptions collide. Humans cannot tolerate dissonance for long, so
they ease the tension by making a change in belief or attitude—and
justifying the change.”
Newsweek and Herbert, a fellow at the [Jimmy] Carter Center for
mental health journalism still managed to somehow throw in a little
liberal bias, with a vague reference that does not make clear whether
Newsweek or the study's authors named only Republicans (surprise!) as
examples of public figures with cognitive dissonance. After naming a
series of recognizable GOPers, Newsweek also got in dig at Bush and
those who still support the “misbegotten war”(emphasis mine):
Kudos to Associated Press (via Yahoo!) for noting the death toll (and the toll in chaos) of the Maoist Shining Path/Sendero Luminoso terrorists in Peru in a story on how another of Hollywood's leftist political dilettantes thinks she's in solidarity with the masses, when she's in solidarity with a slaughterer of the masses:
Actress Cameron Diaz appears to have committed a major fashion faux pas in Peru. The voice of Princess Fiona in the animated "Shrek" films may have inadvertently offended Peruvians who suffered decades of violence from a Maoist guerrilla insurgency by touring here Friday with a bag emblazoned with one of Mao Zedong's favorite political slogans.
Yesterday, OpinionJournal featured an fantastic essay (found via Ace) from critic James Bowman about the faulty paradigm that modern journalism has embraced, the idea that "getting the facts right" ought to be the foremost goal of government.
It's a ridiculous premise, Bowman argues, because that isn't what government is supposed to do. In an imperfect world populated by imperfect humans, mistakes and errors are inevitable. What ought to matter most is how governments learn from miscalculations and their will to pursue the important tasks we expect them to.
This odd prejudice may be partly owing to the huge social premium we put on intelligence in the era of the cognitive elite. People who have no idea on earth what to do about the war or any of the problems we face as a nation think it is some kind of program to ridicule the intelligence of the President. Even the political opposition has fallen into this trap by making mere perspicacity in the anticipation of evils rather than the determined effort to combat them its test of political success. Thus in Sen. Jim Webb's reply to the president's State of the Union Address in January, he had no alternative to suggest to the measures for dealing with Iraq that had been proposed, but he was full of indignation on the grounds that the mistakes of the administration had been foreseeable. He knew that they were foreseeable because he himself had foreseen them. The implication was that he was much cleverer than President Bush--as if that was all that need be said to the credit of the former and the discredit of the latter.
Chris Matthews grew "verklempt," he said, on Wednesday night’s Hardball, as he pondered how a class reunion made plain for him that some people watch him every night, and trust him like people trusted Walter Cronkite. From there, Matthews and his guests took up the subject of objectivity in journalism:
Ana Marie Cox, Time.com: "I also want to say that this idea about voice being very important to the current viewer and, and Eugene’s right that it’s true, that this idea that we should be aiming for objective truth in, in journalism is a relatively new thing for us."
Chris Matthews: "I agree."
Cox: "And I think what’s important is that people trust, they could trust an unbiased [sic], they could trust a biased source."
Matthews: "Okay, this country was built on biased reporting."
Today, MiamiHerald.com needed to explain a picture appearing in yesterday's newspaper:
A photograph of Bill Clinton and Officer Alan Davis on Page 3B in Monday's local section did not intend to imply that the former president had involvement in a sexual solicitation case against the officer. Davis and Clinton were photographed together when the officer did bomb checks during a visit by Clinton. Davis was arrested Sunday and charged with solicitation and transportation with the purpose of prostitution.
What a sad commentary it is that we have a former president whose reputation is so shabby that a newspaper believes clarification is required. Still, I can see where it would be necessary whenever Bill Clinton is involved.
Big tip of the hat to Scott Johnson at Power Line for tipping me off to an excellent op-ed in the New York Times which makes one of the few correct comparisons of Iraq to Vietnam: that withdrawal before the task is done diminishes American credibility abroad.
Today, in Iraq, there should be no illusion that defeat would come
at an acceptable price. George Orwell wrote that the quickest way of
ending a war is to lose it. But anyone who thinks an American defeat in
Iraq will bring a merciful end to this conflict is deluded. Defeat
would produce an explosion of euphoria among all the forces of Islamist
extremism, throwing the entire Middle East into even greater upheaval.
The likely human and strategic costs are appalling to contemplate.
Perhaps that is why so much of the current debate seeks to ignore these
As in Indochina more than 30 years ago, millions of Iraqis today see
the United States helping them defeat their murderous opponents as the
only hope for their country. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have
committed themselves to working with us and with their democratically
elected government to enable their country to rejoin the world as a
peaceful, moderate state that is a partner to its neighbors instead of
a threat. If we accept defeat, these Iraqis will be at terrible risk.
Thousands upon thousands of them will flee, as so many Vietnamese did
Earlier today, Mark Finkelstein found that NBC thought the reaction to President Bush in eastern Europe was "over the top," which suggests their own dismissive judgment of his worth. "Over the top" was not a designation NBC used when President Clinton was hailed by large, adulatory crowds in eastern Europe. On June 22, 1999, as Brent Baker noted at the time, the NBC Nightly News featured the late reporter David Bloom touting how Clinton was greeted as a "liberator" – unlike President Bush?
BLOOM: In a refugee camp filled with mud and misery, but also today, hope, President Clinton, with his wife and daughter, walked hand-in-hand with children who escaped Kosovo's hell, but who cannot escape their own nightmares. 'The children,' Mr. Clinton says, 'have a glazed-over look in their eyes, full of hurt and terror and loss.' This woman tells the president, "My little boy has seen people killed. He's still afraid." But with the war over, these refugees, many still afraid to go home, fearing the unknown, greet the president like a liberator.
A really marvelous video was posted at YouTube today depicting a somewhat fictional press outlet – the People’s News Network – reporting on the American invasion at Normandy as if it happened today with the present antiwar media.
Update: Links to other blogger reactions at bottom of post.
Bernard Shaw, the former CNN reporter and Washington, D.C. anchor, told WTTW Channel 11 in Chicago that he's "very, very disappointed with the way news management" at CNN "has gone," reports TVSpy.com. He further complained that Fox News Channel is "the ratings leader ... and what Fox puts on the air is not news." Fox, in Shaw's view, is "commentary, personal analysis."
"I don't want to hear an anchor's personal opinion about anything. Just report the news," said Shaw. "But CNN continues to ape many of the on-air mannerisms of the Fox News Network, and I don't like that." This doesn't match his record. More on that in a moment.
At the MRC, we work to make bias history. In the media, they’ve learned to bias history – even Military History.
The magazine by the same name has gone left. How far, as Johnny Carson fans would say? So far that the June issue included several letters skewering it for the “outrageous” switch from a balanced historical publication to another left-wing political outlet.
On a weekend where we honor our warriors past and present, it’s important to note that the left does not. And now they have taken their propaganda to a whole new audience and are trying to alter not just the future, but the past.
I’ve read MH for more than a decade and was infuriated with the magazine’s April issue. It included a Q&A with left-wing Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), a piece mocking the lessons learned from the Alamo, and an article about Napoleonic Spain that somehow included a discussion of the current war in Iraq.
Today's funny headline, from The Washington Post: "Bush Is 'the Worst in History' In Foreign Relations, Carter Says." The AP doesn't not seem to see what's funny in these remarks: this clown couldn't manage a hostage rescue in the desert, and he's denouncing this president? The article had no reference to Carter's foreign policy failures as president.
AP reported "The denunciation of a sitting president was unprecedented for Carter, a biographer said." That biographer was Douglas Brinkley, who wrote a very favorable book on Carter's post-presidency years. But the tone doesn't sound all that different from Carter's 2004 speech to the Democrat convention, when he kvetched that all the post-9/11 good will "has been squandered by a virtually unbroken series of mistakes and miscalculations."
Diane Disney Miller, the only surviving child of Mickey Mouse creator Walt Disney, condemned a Palestinian rip-off that has been used to glorify terrorism and murder to children. She called the character, named Farfur, "pure evil." (h/t LGF)
Diane Disney Miller said she was disgusted that a rip-off of her father's iconic cartoon character was being used on a new Hamas TV show to encourage Palestinian children to take up arms against Israel and America.
"Of course I feel personal about Mickey Mouse, but it could be Barney as well,'' Ms Miller, 73, told the New York Daily News.
"It's not just Mickey, it's indoctrinating children like this, teaching them to be evil,'' said Ms Miller, who owns a winery in northern California.
Pham Xuan Am served on the staff of Time magazine during the Vietnam War – and he also served as a communist spy for the Viet Cong. This should have been the cause of great embarrassment for liberal media outlets like Time. Instead, in 1990, former Time reporter H.D.S. Greenway wasn’t irate at his colleague, but expressed his anger in the Washington Post at the "right-wingers [who] seized on the An story to say that the press had fallen victim to a fiendish disinformation plot."
On Saturday’s Weekend Edition, NPR anchor Scott Simon interviewed Larry Berman, author of a new book on Pham Xuan Am called "Perfect Spy: The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An, Time Magazine Reporter and Vietnamese Communist Agent." Simon might have been trying to help the author out, but the question he asked seemed like a no-brainer: "Did he give information that resulted in the deaths of South Vietnamese or American soldiers?"
As Rich Noyes mentioned yesterday, American "mainstream" media accounts often seemed to give Mikhail Gorbachev more praise and more glory in the decline of the Soviet Union than they ever gave Boris Yeltsin. On the front page of today's Washington Post, under a positive headline ("Rough Hewn Father of Russian Democracy"), Post editorial writer Lee Hockstader authored a fairly severe obituary, which even within the first few paragraphs was strangely claiming Yeltsin was more comparable to Stalin than was Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and Gorbachev:
Like Peter the Great, the 18th-century czar he once mentioned as his model, Yeltsin was no towering democrat. In launching a war against the breakaway southern region of Chechnya in 1994, he was responsible for the violent deaths of more Russian citizens than any Kremlin leader since Joseph Stalin. As president, he tolerated -- even authorized -- the excesses of a system in some ways as corrupt and morally adrift as the one it replaced.
Undoubtedly, Boris Yeltsin’s finest moment was the courageous defiance he showed in the face of an old guard communist coup in August 1991. Yeltsin was the focal point of those who rallied to defeat the coup, triggering the chain of events that led to dissolution of the Soviet Union just a few months later.
Yet the establishment media in this country tended to sniff at Yeltsin as an unpolished buffoon. U.S. journalists could not conceal their lack of regard for the man who helped bury Soviet communism, favoring Mikhail Gorbachev, the failed leader who futilely attempted to reform communism.
Here are just a few quotes from the Media Research Center’s Notable Quotable archive, illustrating the media’s preference of the communist Gorbachev over the rebel Yeltsin
Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot…while prisons filled and bodies piled up in Communist-ruled paradises around the globe, members of the America Communist Party partied on.
The Tamiment Library at New York University recently received the complete records of the American Communist Party, including 20,000 books and every pamphlet the party ever published -- and National Public Radio is positively giddy.
How many times have you seen Civil War rants about the "backward" nature of the South or Southerners – all linked to the failed attempt at secession? But now secession has to be looked at in a credible way, thanks to The Washington Post, because liberals want to do it.
In an appropriately April Fools Day Outlook column called “The Once and Future Republic of Vermont,” the authors complained about the American “empire” and said “Some of us therefore seek permission to leave.”
Ian Baldwin, publisher of Vermont Commons, and Frank Bryan, a political science professor at the University of Vermont, remind readers that “Vermont was once an independent republic, and it can be one again.” They are unhappy, as are many lefties, because the nation isn’t as left-wing as they want it to be.
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift complained on Friday's Diane Rehm show on NPR that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has drained all the independence out of his office, that he's acting too much like the president's "personal lawyer." In 1993, when Janet Reno announced the mass dismissal of all 93 U.S. Attorneys, no one demanded her resignation for her lack of independence from the White House. In fact, it could be because someone else was coordinating with the White House on how to run the Justice Department, the felonious Webster Hubbell. At that time, the Wall Street Journal editorial page found a "fascinating exchange" in an interview Reno granted to NBC anchor Tom Brokaw just after the Waco debacle on April 19:
BROKAW: Once the fire broke out, what did you tell President Clinton?
NBC may no longer employ Kennedy family journalist Maria Shriver, but NBC's favorite historians can still be accused of being big Kennedy fans. A new book from RFK's daughter Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who lost a run for governor of Maryland to Bob Ehrlich in 2002, slams the religious right and warns of mixing God and politics. In a book ad in the Book World section of Sunday's Washington Post, her book boasts three promotional blurbs: one from Bill Clinton, one from perennial NBC/MSNBC guest Doris Kearns Goodwin, and one from Michael Beschloss, listed in the ad as "bestselling author and NBC News' presidential historian."
The book's title is "Failing America's Faithful: How Today's Churches Are Mixing God wth Politics and Losing Their Way." I doubt Mrs. Townsend would ever write a book about Martin Luther King Jr., lamenting how he mixed God with politics. But if the cause is conservative, then the religion is spoiled. The book summary on Amazon explained:
Reuters reporter William Maclean wrote in his article, "Gaddafi says fear drives world economic system", that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was shunned by the international community for much of his rule because the West "accused him of terrorism."
In the article, Maclean glossed over one Gaddafi linked terrorist act--the 1986 bombing of a passenger plane over Lockerbie, Scotland. He neglected to report that there were 270 deaths involved in the attack though.
Gaddafi wasn't just "accused of terrorism". He has been linked to terrorists and terrorism for more than 30 years.
Several national newspapers praised the four-hour PBS Frontline series beginning Tuesday night titled "News War," on how Team Bush (and Team Nixon before that) undemocratically waged war on the press. There's not much on whether the press was undemocratically waging war on the elected president in those cases. (Who, pray tell, voted for the New York Times to run the country?) The man setting the table for the first two hours is Arun Rath, who the South Asian Journalists Association website jokingly notes "acquired a semi-classical education at Reed College in Oregon ('Atheism, Communism and Free Love')." What a surprise for an NPR/PBS producer.
In a new interview on the SAJA website, Rath explained how he was somehow completely incapable of tracking down conservatives to comment on the show's arrogant liberal thesis, namely that the press is crucial to save democracy from freedom-crushing Republicans:
Washington Post arts reporter Jacqueline Trescott reports on the front page of the Style section today that the Smithsonian Institution (with its fresh new contract with the Showtime cable network) is shutting Oliver North's Fox News Channel cameras out:
The Smithsonian Institution rejected a request from Oliver North to film a stand-up in front of the Enola Gay, the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb. This is the latest flap in the Smithsonian's development of programming for a cable television network.
North, who hosts a Fox News Channel series called "War Stories," returned fire, condemning the Smithsonian's decision. He said in an opinion column that the museum's action raises questions about the propriety of the contract between Showtime Networks and the Smithsonian, which limits access of film crews.
Trescott's story is a reasonable recounting of the battle -- first revealed in North's column in Sunday's Washington Times. (Be sure that the Post hates following in the wake of the conservative Times.) But she omits a crucial fact: the Smithsonian institution is private, but receives most of its funding from the federal government.
Ralph de Toledano, long-time conservative commentator and author died Saturday, Feb. 3, at the age of 90. See The Washington Times article here. For the young conservatives out there, go get Mr. De Toledano's books and read them! They are filled with excellent, detailed information about many of the major issues that have dominated the conservative movement, U.S. and world politics, and the media.
Mr. De Toledano's book, "Seeds of Treason," is an excellent primer on the Alger Hiss-Whittaker Chambers case, which in many ways helped to define the conservative movement in post World War II America. Other excellent books by Mr. De Toledano include: The Greatest Plot in History; J. Edgar Hoover: The Man in His Time; Spies, Dupes and Diplomats; RFK: the Man Who Would Be President; Notes from the Underground; and Nixon.