Journalistic Issues

By Seton Motley | August 18, 2014 | 8:52 AM EDT

It takes a special man to cram so much wrong into a mere 342 words.  Or an Old Grey Lady.

The New York Times utterly ridiculous Editorial Board recently as one addressed Title II Internet regulatory Reclassification and Network Neutrality - and they did so in utterly ridiculous fashion. 

They either have absolutely no idea what any of this is - or they are lying through their printing presses.

By Tom Johnson | August 16, 2014 | 7:01 AM EDT

This week, three of the most prominent liberal bloggers agreed that when it comes to criticizing presidents of either party about their vacations, people really need to, as one of the bloggers put it, “STFU.”

Do they have a point, or should the appropriateness of presidential vacations be evaluated on a POTUS-by-POTUS basis? Check out their thoughts and comment if you’d like.

By Seton Motley | June 16, 2014 | 9:09 AM EDT

So it turns out there that something doesn't have to be true to be funny.

Many a thinking American - who knows media bias - finds the following perversely appropriate.

Young Get News From Comedy Central

Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Dan Rather ... and Jon Stewart?

Readers over 30 might scoff at Stewart's inclusion - assuming they know who he is. For many under 30, the host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" is, improbably, a source for news.

By Seton Motley | May 19, 2014 | 8:44 AM EDT

What at times is worse than the Jurassic Press not covering something?  The Jurassic Press covering something.

The all-encompassing government-Internet-power-grab that is Network Neutrality rarely gets outside-the-Tech-World media attention.  But Thursday the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted in Democrat Party-line fashion to begin its process of imposing it.  This was a big enough deal that it garnered over-the-weekend Big Media coverage from ABC (with a Bloomberg assist) and PBS (with a Washington Post assist). 

By Tom Johnson | May 9, 2014 | 2:40 PM EDT

One of the Indiana University professors who recently found that almost four times as many journalists self-identify as Democrats than as Republicans doesn't believe that that imbalance causes biased reporting.

IU's Lars Willnat remarked to Salon magazine that "we don’t think that our findings reflect a ‘liberal media bias’...Journalists’ political preferences don’t usually translate into political bias in news coverage unless they are working for openly partisan news media. Their professional norms and values, as well as market pressures, prevent most of them from being biased politically.”

By Paul Bremmer | May 3, 2014 | 11:50 AM EDT

You may have seen Bret Baier’s interview with former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor on Fox News Thursday evening. The conversation dealt with the Benghazi attack, and it was combative at times. Vietor spun hard for the administration, even smugly calling Baier “dude” at one point. But Baier appeared to be well-prepared for Vietor’s spin with a wide array of relevant video clips and sound bites.

On Friday, Baier went on Mornings on the Mall, a Washington, D.C. radio program, to talk about the Vietor interview. [See YouTube video embedded below.] He explained to the hosts how he prepared so well:

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By Paul Bremmer | May 1, 2014 | 11:48 AM EDT

Kenneth P. Vogel called attention to an important issue in a Wednesday Politico article – namely, the inherent hypocrisy of super-rich liberal donors who give big bucks to a Democratic party that repeatedly slams wealthy conservative donors like the Koch brothers.

Vogel’s article focused on this week’s annual spring meeting in Chicago of the Democracy Alliance, a club of wealthy Democratic donors. The political journalist apparently tried to ask several attendees about the irony of the Democrats’ position on campaign finance, but he was mostly stonewalled. Here's how Vogel opened his April 30 story:

By Kristine Marsh | April 24, 2014 | 12:30 PM EDT

“I’ll take ‘Explicit Media Bias” for $500, Alex.” On the April 23 “Jeopardy,” a reporter for The New York Times actually admitted that it was part of his job to “annoy” Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

The admission came as a question under the category “Man of the House” about House Representatives. In the video question, New York Times reporter Eric Lichtblau introduces himself and asks:

By Christian Robey | April 17, 2014 | 5:11 PM EDT

In 1996, the  Society of Professional Journalists removed a stipulation in its ethics code holding that “News reports should be free of opinion or bias.” Earlier this year, theSPJ’s Ethics Committee released its draft of a revised ethics code which, alas, does not restore the bright-line rule against opinion and bias in news stories that was removed in 1996

The rule, was on the books for some 70 years before being scotched. What’s more, the 1973version of the code, went on to insist that news reports should “represent all sides of an issue.” That revision of the code  also contained language which emphasized the preeminence of truth and objectivity in the practice of journalism “Truth is our ultimate goal” with “Objectivity in reporting the news”another goal in service of that aim.

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.