Journalistic Issues

By Mark Finkelstein | March 20, 2014 | 8:51 AM EDT

You're MSNBC.  That hurts I know, but work with me.  So, what would you like to feature: President Obama getting Putinized?  Syria flouting the WMD agreement?  Iran's inexorable march toward nukes?  The ongoing Obamacare debacle?

Not so much.  Say: why not make like CNN and go all in on MH-370? Which is precisely what Morning Joe did today.  The first 103 minutes were devoted exclusively to the story of the missing plane, as an endless series of experts and panelists speculated to no particular avail. Rare that we agree with Madeline Albright. But long into the second hour, during—finally—a Ukraine segment, Albright said "I know we're all focused on the airplane," but suggesting that Ukraine is by far the more critical issue.  Mika Brzezinski reacted defensively.  View the video after the jump.

By Mark Finkelstein | March 18, 2014 | 8:01 AM EDT

The line between liberal political punditry and outright, unapologetic, liberal political activism at MSNBC has faded to the very vanishing point.

In the latest promo for his All In show, Chris Hayes boasts "I'm not just a passive witness. I am not there to just tell you a story. I'm there to act out: to do it in real time—to do politics, not talk about it."  There's something comic about Hayes' delivery.  He speaks with all the manic strength and conviction of President Obama laying down a red line to Vladimir Putin.  View the video after the jump.

By Seton Motley | March 4, 2014 | 9:13 AM EST

The Washington Post Editorial Board has long had a government agriculture policy position that is actually grounded in Reality. 

Going back at least half a decade - to the passage of the last terrible Farm Bill - they have been rightly pointing out that the Crony Socialist, picking-losers-at-the-expense-of-winners matrix of taxes, subsidies and quotas is simply a disaster.

By Kyle Drennen | February 20, 2014 | 2:39 PM EST

Despite the disturbing news on Wednesday that the Federal Communications Commission had developed a controversial plan to investigate television and radio newsrooms across the country, the broadcast networks of NBC, ABC, and CBS completely ignored the potential threat to press freedom.

In a February 10 Op/Ed for the Wall Street Journal, current FCC commissioner Ajit Pai warned: "Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its 'Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,' or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run."

By Mark Finkelstein | February 3, 2014 | 9:11 AM EST

Could the GW bridge scandal be causing internal friction at MSNBC?  On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough upbraided Chuck Todd for "wild speculation" in the matter.  

Scarborough's slap at Todd came in response to the NBC political director's suggestion that, based on a photo showing Christie and Wildstein together at a September 11 event--it was "very likely" that Wildstein--in an effort to curry favor with Chris Christie--had told the governor what he had done with the lane closures.  View the video after the jump.

By Kyle Drennen | December 17, 2013 | 6:00 PM EST

Getting a glimpse of the kind of real reporting that can occur on NBC Nightly News when Brian Williams isn't in the anchor chair, on Sunday's edition of the program, weekend anchor Lester Holt informed viewers that "official photo releases" from the Obama administration were "at the center of an escalating battle between the White House and the news media over access and image control." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

In the report that followed, White House correspondent Kristen Welker cited National Journal's Ron Fournier calling "images like these pure propaganda, arguing the Obama White House consistently blocks journalists from events they routinely covered in previous administrations." A sound bite followed of Fournier warning: "The White House is getting most of the control. That's not healthy for democracy."

By Seton Motley | November 7, 2013 | 9:11 AM EST

The New York Times has been notoriously biased and wrong for a long, long time.  On things large and small.  The Old Shady Lady is at least consistent - if they want to advance Leftism, no facts shall impede them.

Their Ron Nixon is part of a century-plus-old pathetic tradition.

By Matthew Sheffield | October 25, 2013 | 7:05 PM EDT

The media world is abuzz today with an inside-baseball story about a reporter claiming that Fox News deliberately tried to embarrass him by feeding him a false story which he then went ahead and published based on a single unverified source.

Yet somehow instead of the incident being an indictment of the reporter, Matthew Flamm of Crain’s New York Business, the media critic world is spinning it as an indictment of FNC--even though the basis of doing so appears to be on a single anonymous source of another reporter. Click past the break to travel down the rabbit hole.

By Paul Bremmer | August 29, 2013 | 4:10 PM EDT

MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski vehemently criticized Miley Cyrus’s lewd display during Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” at the MTV Video Music Awards, but Brzezinski herself has blurred the lines between morning show anchor and social activist. On today’s Morning Joe, broadcast from a Ford assembly line near Detroit, the co-host openly declared her support for the nationwide fast food workers’ strike that was planned for today, even threatening to join the protesting workers.

Brzezinski introduced the story about halfway through the show, and she just couldn’t manage to hide her opinion: “Thousands of workers are set to stage walkouts in 35 cities around the country, including Detroit. As part of a push to get chains such as McDonald's, Taco Bell and Wendy's to increase their pay, as they should.

By Seton Motley | August 20, 2013 | 11:11 AM EDT

The Gray Lady on Sunday packed a tremendous amount of bias into the opening sentence of their “Most of U.S. Is Wired, but Millions Aren’t Plugged In.” 

Brace yourself - here goes:

By Matt Vespa | August 13, 2013 | 3:52 PM EDT

While NewsBusters really doesn’t target op-eds, especially ones that are printed in the New York Times, egregiously absurd arguments merit exposure and ridicule. Enter Frank Bruni's August 14 column, wherein the Times scribe discussed how our culture facilitates the objectification of women. 

Curiously, Bruni buried longtime Democratic politician Bob Filner, who saw women as objects he could grope, towards the end of his column.  The decay occurring in our popular culture is a valid point Bruni makes, but he hurtled off the rails when he had this to say about ultrasound laws:

By Matt Vespa | August 11, 2013 | 7:46 PM EDT

The Washington Post’s August 9 front-page story about the brutal murder of Vanessa Pham is missing a critical detail.  The young woman's alleged murderer is an illegal immigrant; a fact that is omitted entirely from Justin Jouvenal's story, even as Jouvenal mentioned Julio Miguel Blanco Garcia has a prior criminal record. It's not like Jouvenal was unaware of Garcia's being in the country illegally. This has been covered in other local news outlets previously.

What makes the story particularly of interest is that Pham was being a good Samaritan, giving Garcia and his infant daughter a ride to the hospital when Garcia allegedly flipped out and murdered her in cold blood in a fit of paranoia induced from PCP: