History

By Brent Baker | November 18, 2013 | 8:32 AM EST

Lee Harvey Oswald was far-left defector to the Soviet Union, but you’d never know that from Sunday’s ABC This Week which focused on Dallas as a cauldron of segregationist hate for President Kennedy without any mention of the political orientation of the actual assassin.

Using Dan Rather as his expert, ex-CBS and current ABC reporter Byron Pitts perpetuated the myth that right-wing hate was somehow responsible for what occurred in Dallas: “Nowhere in Texas did the jagged edge of segregation cut deeper, anti-Kennedy sentiment spew any stronger. This flyer [“Wanted for Treason”] greeted the President when he arrived.”

By Cal Thomas | November 14, 2013 | 4:39 PM EST

Corrected from earlier (see below) | Three famous men died on Nov. 22, 1963. The one getting the most attention, understandably, is John F. Kennedy. Less so the other two: Aldous Huxley, author of the futuristic novel "Brave New World," and Clive Staples Lewis.

Of the three, it was Lewis who not only was the most influential of his time, but whose reach extends to these times and likely beyond. His many books continue to sell and the number of people whose lives have been changed by his writing expands each year.

By Tim Graham | November 8, 2013 | 9:53 PM EST

CBS wouldn’t invite Dan Rather to remember the JFK assassination for its 2013 anniversary coverage. “No loss,” said former CBS producer Michael Rosenblum in a guest column at The Hollywood Reporter. Rosenblum was Robert Pierpoint’s producer at “Sunday Morning.”

“As Rather was not invited to participate in the 50th anniversary, Bob Pierpoint was not invited to participate in the 25th anniversary,” despite being at the center of the story that dark day in Dallas for CBS. Someone sitting in the anchor chair in 1988 was an egotistical jerk, brushing his colleague out of CBS history's frame.

By Tim Graham | November 4, 2013 | 3:16 PM EST

Washington Post Magazine humorist Gene Weingarten is a fairly routine basher of conservatives, but when he brings in his feminist friend Gina Barreca, he can end up looking like some kind of Giuliani moderate. Last year, Weingarten brought in Barreca to trash Mitt Romney after the election as a woman-hater, a "terrible, terrible date."

At the start of his "Chatological Humor" webchat last week, Weingarten brought in Barreca to trash an article by Emily Yoffe on Slate.com that suggested women should avoid getting drunk at frat parties The jaw drops at how this somehow brought Barreca to declare that frat parties are somehow the segregationist drugstore lunch-counters of the modern age. What? Yes (Emphasis mine):

By Tim Graham | November 3, 2013 | 9:25 AM EST

Longtime Los Angeles Times political reporter Robert Shogan died this week at 83. The Times appreciated him with the GOP consultant Mike Murphy's  title "the Colombo of American political journalism."

The Washington Post obituary noted Shogan "leavened some of his books with accounts of newsroom irreverence that did not appear in the next day's paper." For example, this line about JFK:

By Tim Graham | October 30, 2013 | 8:57 AM EDT

Craig Shirley, author of several large tomes on Ronald Reagan's political history, is merciless on Real Clear Politics toward MSNBC star Chris Matthews and his new book on "Tip and the Gipper."

This isn't a book about Reagan or Tip O'Neill, he writes. "It is the history of Chris Matthews before he became the Chris Matthews we see on cable television today. It falls into the category of micro personal history, but is so elfin as to be inconsequential." You can't find Matthews even mentioned in the index of Tip O'Neill's memoir, he reports.

By Tim Graham | October 24, 2013 | 9:31 AM EDT

Chris Matthews was deeply satisfied by the New York Times publishing an op-ed Wednesday they titled "The Cry of the True Republican" by John G. Taft, a descendent of our fattest president, William Howard Taft. "The body blows to the Republican Party just keep on coming," Matthews announced on Wednesday night's "Hardball."

This "stalwart Republican" suddenly sounds like a Xerox copier of the half-witticisms of Chris Matthews, as if Matthews was quoting himself on the air: "There is more than a passing similarity between Joseph McCarthy and Ted Cruz, between McCarthyism and the Tea Party movement." This is not the same John G. Taft as the guy who wrote for Forbes just last December that our spending addiction needed fixing:

By Tim Graham | October 10, 2013 | 10:15 PM EDT

George Will’s column on Thursday recounted the end of liberalism in how The New York Times began blaming John F. Kennedy’s assassination on the “far right,” in complete denial that Oswald was a communist. James Reston wrote in a front-page story that Kennedy was a victim of a “streak of violence in the American character,” noting especially “the violence of the extremists on the right.” 

That attempt to deny reality is still happening. On Wednesday night’s All Things Considered, NPR put on Bush-bashing author Bill Minutaglio, who strenuously tries in a new book to blame the “far right” in Dallas for somehow manipulating Lee Harvey Oswald’s crime:

By Brent Baker | October 5, 2013 | 9:17 PM EDT

“After the President vetoed several spending bills, not one story blamed him for the shutdown, but nearly two dozen declared the GOP culpable. Furloughed workers and other ‘victims’ were featured in half the stories.” Sound familiar? That’s from a 1996 Media Research Center study on the battle between Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich. Yes, the current shutdown showdown is deja vu all over again in who gets blamed.

To help illustrate the very familiar media tone and approach, I’ve put three clips together out of the MRC archive, starting with Bob Schieffer anchoring the Saturday, December 16, 1995 CBS Evening News: “Well, they’ve done it again. Nine days from Christmas, Republicans have forced another partial shutdown of the government because they cannot come to an agreement with the White House on how to balance the budget.”

By Tim Graham | September 25, 2013 | 11:02 PM EDT

TV Newser reported NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel is the 2013 recipient of the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism. “From the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the Arab Spring and the West Bank, Richard Engel’s courage and integrity inform his reporting,” said Steve Coll, Dean of the Columbia Journalism School and a former editor of The Washington Post.

This is almost poetic: Engel routinely bad-mouthed U.S. wars in the Bush years, and as an NBC commentator after during the first Gulf War, Chancellor infamously announced in 1992 that it was “embarrassing” that more Americans didn’t die from Iraqi fire:

By Tim Graham | September 11, 2013 | 11:43 AM EDT

On Monday’s edition of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, fake conservative Stephen Colbert mocked the “fan-fiction foreign policy” of Reagan admirers. He ran clips of Bill O’Reilly telling James Carville that Reagan would have gone to war in Syria, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen saying Reagan "would stand up to this...he would say chemical use was unacceptable."

Then Colbert claimed Reagan “looked the other way when Saddam gassed his own Kurdish citizens.” Wrong. Get out the Pinocchios. It's true Reagan didn’t go to war in Iraq -- if you want to call that "looking the other way" --  but Reagan did denounce the gassing of the Kurds in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly in 1988. Colbert doesn't care about accuracy. He just wants to mock his "fellow" conservatives:

By Tim Graham | August 27, 2013 | 1:02 PM EDT

Michael Reagan appeared on Fox & Friends to elaborate on his argument that the new film "Lee Daniels' The Butler" reinvents history to make Ronald Reagan a racist.

Fox showed a clip of Jane Fonda's Nancy Reagan telling the butler that she would talk (backward) Ronnie into letting the butler be a guest at a White House state dinner instead of a servant.