From the moment word got out that Rupert Murdoch had offered billions to buyout The Wall Street Journal, the media have cried foul.
Journalists and media critics charged that a Murdoch takeover would turn the prestigious business newspaper into a journalistic joke, that the media mogul would page six-ify the Journal.
An art director at The New York Times, carried those complaints a step further by creating a mock-up of what the Journal would look like under Murdoch. According to The Washington Post, the image has been circulating Journal and Times newsrooms for about a month.
The tabloid style page (See below) reveals the anti-Murdoch bias that exists even in the Times art department.
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.
Who would have thought that chivalry would still be alive at the liberal Associated Press? Yet in its story on the split between Larry and Laurie David, the venerable wire agency states the age, 59, of the creator of Seinfeld, but not that of his activist wife, producer of Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth."
Isn't the feminist AP the home of strong women, proud of every wrinkle?
For the record, Laurie hits the half-century mark next March . . . unless of course a global-warming catastrophe stops the clock for all of us before then.
Someone at the AP must really like Stephen Colbert. A bait-and-switch June 3 article was supposedly about a new book by Afghanistan-born author Khaled Hosseini, but gave readers stealth fanboy journalism that wrote a play by play of Colbert’s shtick without discussing the book. From the reporting, the BookExpo America breakfast was more like a segment of the “Colbert Report” than a national book fair discussion. Instead of any information about the book, it was line after line of Colbert coverage, "That Stephen Colbert sure is funny, and he sure has some funny ideas about books. Just ask "The Kite Runner" author Khaled Hosseini."
Joke of the week: A long time ago, Britain and France were at war.
During one battle, the French captured an English major. Taking the Major to
their headquarters, the French general began to question him.
The French general asked, "Why do you English officers all wear red coats?
Don't you know the red material makes you easier targets for us to shoot at?"
In his bland English way, the major informed the general that the reason
English officers wear red coats is so that if they are shot, the blood won't
show and the men they are leading won't panic.
From that day forward, the French army decreed its officers should wear brown pants.
Ah, live television--where chipper interns can embarrass even the most self-important anchor types.
Earlier today, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer cited the anti-Bush parody web site Whitehouse.org as if it were the official web site of the president. Later in the show, she corrected her mistake, but tried to make it seem she mentioned the phony site on purpose.
It was a really bad error, too, since, as Allahpundit points out, Whitehouse.org is quite over-the-top in its "tribute" to Falwell, having the fictional reverend speak warmly of his "foot-high stack of mostly gay hardcore pornography" on the same page that Brewer quoted from.
CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric is profiled in More magazine this month by Amy Wilentz in a piece called, “Katie’s Leap Year” highlighting the “challenge” of Couric’s gender in a male-dominated profession.
The challenge is so great, according to the author, that it leaves Couric, “walking a transgendered tightrope” and “It’s surprising that [Couric] doesn’t have a baritone voice or whiskers by now.”
The story begins with “significant role model” Couric speaking before a group of “hopeful young women” for National Women’s History Month, trumpets “black-and-white photographs of women who achieved milestones: Amelia Earhart, Sally Ride and Margaret Sanger”, and reveals Couric’s intention to be viewed, “as a relatively intelligent person who deserves to be at the helm” of the "Evening News." Yet by the end of the story, Wilentz reveals little more than three references to Couric’s legs including, "famously shapely legs", "legs crossed Indian-style" and Couric’s own, "I’m still getting my sea legs."
Mankind is “acting like a virus,” according to Paul Watson, the founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which fights to save the whales. Apparently, Watson doesn't think that policy should extend to humans.
“We are killing our host the planet Earth,” said Watson who called for reducing the world’s population to less than 1 billion people. That’s gonna be tough considering the census estimates the current world population to be more than 6.5 billion.
Sometimes when you're surfing through the web or watching TV, you come across a story that's so ridiculous it makes you wonder if the reporter who filed it even bothered for a second to think how stupid they sound.
That's definitely the case with this piece from Los Angeles Times reporter Tina Daunt:
Ronald Reagan became president even though he worked with chimps in
Arnold Schwarzenegger played a murderous robot,
and that didn't keep him from becoming governor.
So can "Law & Order" actor and former Sen. Fred
Thompson (R-Tenn.) become the first presidential candidate
with this credit? Thompson played a white supremacist, spewing
anti-Semitic comments and fondling an autographed copy of "Mein
Kampf" on a television drama 19 years ago.
Yes, apparently you can fondle a book. Daunt continues:
Or call it the liberal wince of the day. From Laurie David, wife of someone and producer of the Academy Award-winning mockumentary An Inconvenient Spoof Truth.
2 What was it like to work with Al Gore?
By the time I was done working with him, I was begging him to adopt me. He's like a father figure to me,
one of my heroes. He's so charming and lovely and smart and funny. He
makes fun of himself; he's got a great sense of humor. He's dry and he
laughs at other people's jokes.
The New York Times' quest for social justice knows no out-of-bounds, judging by the front-page placement Wednesday of "Study of N.B.A. Sees Racial Bias in Calling Fouls" by sportswriter Alan Schwarz. Years after failing to secure Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor the right to golf at Augusta National Golf Club, the Times has now turned to the plight of multimillionaire NBA players who get bad foul calls.
"An academic study of the National Basketball Association, whose playoffs continue tonight, suggests that a racial bias found in other parts of American society has existed on the basketball court as well.
"A coming paper by a University of Pennsylvania professor and a Cornell University graduate student says that, during the 13 seasons from 1991 through 2004, white referees called fouls at a greater rate against black players than against white players.
CBS’s Bob Schieffer offered commentary on Senator and presidential candidate Joe Biden, but one would think he was describing former President Bill Clinton. On the May 2 edition of "The Early Show" host Harry Smith and Schieffer were ironically discussing a recent gaffe by Senator Biden, when Schieffer stated the Delaware Senator "has a habit of making these boners." Presumably Schieffer meant to say "blunders." For the record, Senator Biden’s gaffe was video of him telling a prospective voter that Democrats were "going to shove [the president’s veto] down his throat."
On Tuesday, well known Bush hater Frank Rich appeared on liberal Stephanie Miller radio show. (Miller is being given a test run this week on MSNBC in the departed Don Imus’ spot.) Proving that there’s nothing the New York Times columnist can’t use to slam the President, Rich attacked Bush for not telling jokes at the White House Correspondents Dinner and members of the media for not rebelling against it:
Frank Rich: "The, uh, the general play where Bush stand up and says he is not going to do his usual comedy routine because of Virginia Tech, that’s outrageous and the press sits there and applauds."
The Federal Communications Commission defined broadcast indecency in 1987 as "language or material that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory organs or activities."
Brent Bozell’s culture column this week reports that ABC’s "According to Jim" had an entire plot revolve around the gag (and "gag" is probably the right word) that the Jim Belushi character ate his wedding ring and his wife waited to catch him in the act of pooping it out. It apparently lands with a "clank." His wife and her siblings then pop out of the shower with an a-ha. Brent writes: "This is certainly a plot based on (implied) excretory activities, but it’s certainly not what the regulators had in mind. I suspect that when these rules were written there wasn’t a soul at the FCC who believed ‘humor’ would ever come to this."
The mini-scandal got buried by the Imus flap, but a few weeks ago CBS fired a Couric producer for plagiarizing from a Wall Street Journal column. The offending item was the vlog script she wrote for Couric's April 4 "Notebook," wherein Couric waxed nostalgic for childhood and worried that today's kids aren't as enamored with the public library as she was.
I was reminded of Katie's ghostwritten blog when I saw the April 26 edition of "Dilbert." In it, Dilbert's buffoonish pointy-haired boss announced to his long-suffering secretary that he was starting his own blog. Of course, he expected her to write it up herself by noon, cooing that he "can't wait to see what I'm thinking."
On his HBO show that aired over the last week, Bill Maher joked that last Friday, "President Bush spoke at a Catholic prayer breakfast, and you could tell this was a Catholic prayer breakfast because [Maher laughs] it was in the morning and he said 'I'm dying for a little joe' and they brought him an altar boy." The crowd laughed and applauded, and Maher said, "See, I'm not afraid!"
Aside from the fact there are craven bishops who still deserve this joke, isn't this show supposed to be "topical"? Isn't this a little like cracking jokes about that wacky Senate Majority Leader, Tom Daschle?
A week after we heard endless lectures about how hard-working ethical heroes like the Rutgers women in no way deserve the humor Don Imus dished out, can't we also suggest that hard-working ethical heroes like the nation's Catholic priests in no way deserve Maher's line of "ho" humor?
Mother Nature must have a wicked sense of humor. She forced ABC's Sam Champion to report on anti-global warming initiative . . . . while standing in a field of snow in late April.
Champion was there as part of Good Morning America's "Planet Earth 2007" segment, in which reporters chimed in from around the globe on various environmental initiatives. Diane Sawyer [badly alarmed by a warm spell in January] introduced the segment with a little bit of enviro-alarmist cheerleading, declaring it was "good news" that as per a recent Stanford poll 94% are ready to make a change to help the planet and that 73% are already taking steps to reduce energy consumption.
Here's a little lighthearted item to punctuate the serious news of the past day.
"The View" co-host Joy Behar appeared on today's "Martha Stewart Show" to help the program's host make piñatas from scratch. The final product: a piñata emblazoned with Rosie O'Donnell's photographic image.
For what it's worth, Behar insisted in a Q&A session with the audience that the heated discussion on-set doesn't translate to off-camera animosity.
Tucked in the back of Sunday's Washington Post Magazine was the usual humor column by Gene Weingarten, devoted this week to allegedly feeling sorry for George W. Bush's low standing in public opinion, then relishing the idea of anti-Bush feeling in every single area of the newspaper, such as the horoscope:
Cancer (June 22-July 22)
Hold your head high. It is not your fault that you share an astrological sign with the president of the United States, who is, appropriately enough, a malignancy.
It's a satire, but there are days when it almost matches the bias of The Washington Post in weird sections like Food or Travel. Weingarten also borrowed from CBS's Charles Osgood in using Dr. Seuss as a model for conservative-bashing, as he imagined a Bush-bashing children's book:
On the April 10 "Tonight Show," host Jay Leno joked about Democrats boycotting the Fox News Channel/Congressional Black Caucus Institute debate. Wondered Leno, "How are you going to stand up to terrorists when you're afraid of Fox News?"
Maybe Jay should ask Time magazine's Joe Klein, who called the Fox News debate a "sordid event" that was a clever ploy to "pander" to a Democratic interest group.
Johnny Hart, the wildly successful comic-strip artist of "B.C." and "The Wizard of Id" has died at his drawing board at 76. (We should add the tiny footnote that Hart was a three-time judge of the MRC’s "Best of Notable Quotables" in the mid-1990s.) In his Monday obituary in the Washington Post, Adam Bernstein noted Hart’s success, but focused like a laser beam on how Hart’s religion-themed strips were sometimes censored by the Post and other newspapers with "insensitive and at times offensive themes."
The Post story did not note that often liberal editors perceived the mere expression of Hart's Christianity as offensive, that somehow religion didn't belong in cartoons, even as liberal newspapers used Christian themes against Christians. In 1996, we noted how Hart's strips were pulled for "religious overtones," and how that compared to other images of Christianity in those papers:
It appears that “Doonesbury” isn’t the only political comic strip in America. Now, cartoonist Brian Basset has begun spreading the word of man-made global warming to the funny pages via his "Adam@Home” series.
Below is his most recent installment as offered by Go Comics:
UPDATE/retraction (April 2 | 14:48 EDT): So re-reading and re-reading again Rogers' posts, I've realized he was cleverly playing with and playing up both April Fools pranks by Google. It is notable, of course, that Rogers does regularly blog about all things Google on a regular basis and that his posts, dated March 31 shortly before midnight, were not explicitly marked as satirical or as April Fools writeups. My apologies for not double checking.
ZDNet blogger Garrett Rogers appears to have fallen for not one but two April Fools gags by Google. Happens to the best of us, I suppose, but it's still amusing. One had to do with Google offering a broadband Internet access via the toilet, the other with Google offering to snail mail you any and all emails in your account that you want a hard copy of.
On Monday, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) got a "town hall" meeting with a hand-picked audience on "Good Morning America."
But the royal treatment Clinton receives in the mainstream media isn't shared by even some staunch liberals who make ink in the nation's newspapers everyday. Including at least one who pays the bills with the cartoonist's pen, generally liberal artist and blogger Darrin Bell, creator of "Candorville."
It's not the first time Bell has lampooned Clinton, but check out the March 30 installment, where he makes fun of Hillary's penchant for trying to be all things to all constituents, envisioning Clinton trying to pander to a Palestinian-American and an Israeli-American at the same time.
Bell's cartoon follows two days after the March 28 "'South Park," in which Clinton was portrayed unflatteringly, sporting rather large hips (calling to mind radio host Mark Levin's label "Her Thighness" ) and speaking in a faux Southern drawl.
On this morning's "Today," NBC's Pete Williams engaged in slip that would have made Sigmund proud, so let's bring in the father of modern psychotherapy to analyze it. After all, he's only been dead for 68 years, plenty fresh enough for purposes of punditry.
Williams had scored quite a journalistic coup, an exclusive sit-down with embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Later, Williams chatted live from DC with Matt Lauer back in the New York studio. Discussing the decision by a senior aide to Gonzales to invoke the Fifth Amendment should she be called to testify before congress regarding the firing of the U.S. attorneys, Williams said:
"Congress could try to force Monica Lewinsky -- uh, Monica Goodling, rather, to testify by giving her immunity. But it's more likely they'll simply use her reluctance to testify as another reason to wonder what really happened. Matt."
Matt managed to control his mirth, as did Williams in signing off, but you sensed a nervous chuckle was just below the surface on both ends of the conversation.
Hillary Clinton finally meets Cartman! South Park Studios and Comedy Central announced that the March 28 episode of the culturally satirical cartoon "South Park" is called "The Snuke" and involves a "24" parody where Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton visits the cartoon town of South Park, Colo., for a campaign rally. Ubiquitous entertainment reporter Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood describes the ep:
Mixing it up with those foul-mouthed brats this Wednesday, Hillary is in town for a big campaign rally. But Cartman suspects the new Muslim student is behind a terrorist threat. The clock is ticking as the citizens of South Park prepare for the Clinton rally. Every minute counts as Cartman uses his own methods to interrogate the suspect. But could the plan to target Clinton be just the tip of the iceberg? Comedy Central's website messsage board had this to say about upcoming episode: "Is there nowhere she won't campaign?"