An overwhelming majority of Americans prefer freedom of the press to outdated models of journalism, according to a new Rasmussen poll. The survey comes in the midst of discussions in the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission to intervene on behalf of Old Media.
Eighty-five percent of respondents in the Rasmussen poll said they believe maintaining press freedom is more important than financially supporting the newspaper industry. Only six percent said the latter is more important. Just 14 percent said they would favor a bailout of the newspaper industry.
Respondents worried that government involvement in the industry would compromise press neutrality. Indeed, this sentiment reflects the findings of a number of studies over the past few years. As with any bailout, a bailout of a newspaper would inevitably mean at least some say in that newspaper's content.
Jonathan Alter of Newsweek once again blamed Bush and the Republicans for creating the mess that Obama is now cleaning up, preventing the President from accomplishing his agendas.
Alter, appearing Wednesday on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown,” called the BP oil spill crisis “the perfect metaphor” for Obama’s presidency so far. “It’s been cleaning up a lot of the messes left to him by his predecessors,” he stated.
Alter added that Obama is trying to stop an economic depression “that, you know, began to happen on George Bush’s watch.”
“It is a distraction from Obama’s own agenda,” Alter added about the oil spill, “and in that sense, it irritates him.”
Editor's Note: The following originally appeared at NewsBusters sister site CNSNews.com.
The fallout from Helen Thomas’ controversial comments about Israel and Jews, which led to her immediate retirement on Monday, has prompted journalists covering the White House to re-evaluate the role of an opinion columnist in the White House press corps.
Thomas, 89, the so-called dean of the White House press corps, covered the White House as a news reporter for United Press International (UPI), beginning with the Kennedy administration in the early 1960s. In 2000, she left UPI to become an opinion columnist for Hearst Newspapers. She has a front row seat at the White House press gallery with her name on it.
On Friday, June 4, a video surfaced of Thomas saying (on May 27) that Israel should “get the hell out of Palestine” and that the Jews should “go home” to “Poland, Germany,” and to “America and everywhere else.” After initially apologizing for the comment, Thomas announced her immediate retirement on Monday.
For over seven minutes this morning, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” panel expounded on the racial overtones of Matt Drudge’s Tuesday morning headline and other criticisms of the Obama administration.
It started when Time magazine’s senior political analyst Mark Halperin brought up the Drudge Report headline, “Obama Goes Street: Seeking ‘Ass to Kick’,” and alleged that it spun Obama’s comments to NBC’s Matt Lauer and portrayed Obama unfairly as a gangster.
“One of the problems Barack Obama faces in public life... is he cannot get angry and be an effective communicator as an African-American,” Halperin commented on the interview.
“So Matt Drudge takes the Matt Lauer quote, and he casts it as ‘Obama Goes Street.’ And it includes this photo of an angry-looking Barack Obama,” Halperin complained. “ I think it’s all pretty clear. It’s pretty clear to all of us what’s going on there.”
Because, you see, it's "hate speech" - according to CCAM. And therefore, KMJ should "alter their programming" (read: change their content by silencing conservatives) "in order to curtail practices that we believe to be damaging to our social fabric and to civility in public discourse."
It would seem the residents of Fresno do not believe that Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and others on KMJ are "damaging to our social fabric and to civility in public discourse." But that could not matter less to CCAM.
This local "community group" has organized a press conference for today at 11AM PT to publicly call on KMJ to dump these conservative hosts, who according to them:
At which Mayor Censor designated the absence of the mis-named "Fairness" Doctrine and the free market radio choices made by the American people that resulted as in part contributing to the passage of Arizona law 1070, which calls on state law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has grown tired of a media double standard on politicians who use "combative tones" and made sure the reporter demonstrating the double standard knew it. Watch as Christie slams the reporter:
In the latest example of a pattern of opacity, the White House has cut off the press's access to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Kagan has extensive ties to journalists, which only serves as a testament to this administration's determination to control the message on its major initiatives, including Kagan's nomination.
"Tell her we're deeply frustrated," one reporter told White House press secretary Robert Gibbs of the administration's refusal to grant Kagan a traditional interview with the press. Kagan did do a short interview with a White House staff member released only online, in what CBS White House correspondent Peter Maer called "Kagan 'in her own words' without anyone else's words."
Washington Examiner White House correspondent Julie Mason was harsher in her criticism. The White House interview "doesn't count toward the administration's 'accountability' totals," she wrote on the paper's Beltway Confidential blog. "It's just another campaign commercial, masquerading as openness."
As first reported by Matt Cover at the Media Research Center's news wing CNSNews.com, Kagan offers up this gem:
"If there is an ‘overabundance' of an idea in the absence of direct governmental action -- which there well might be when compared with some ideal state of public debate -- then action disfavoring that idea might ‘un-skew,' rather than skew, public discourse."
So if talk radio suffers from an "overabundance" of conservative voices, government action to "un-skew" this particular public discourse is just fine by her.
Hello so-called "Fairness" Doctrine. Not to mention Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd's liberally "skewed" interpretations of FCC "media diversity" and "localism" rules.
On today's Rick's List, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez brandished those reportorial skills for which he's so famous. He and national political correspondent Jessica Yellin discussed Tuesday's primaries and the "Sarah Palin and the Tea Party influences." Not surprisingly, they agreed they had little impact:
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yesterday's elections showed that there was very limited turnout. One of the things we have heard is that the Tea Party movement was going to energize the base, stoke up turnout, especially on the Republican side. And in the key Republican races -- there were two in Indiana especially -- the incumbents won. Now, their margin of victory was more narrow, but the Tea Party movement didn't throw the bums out, as you said.
YELLIN: So, it's still to be determined whether they will have a huge influence in November.
SANCHEZ: Well, I know, but we got one of the first runs where we get to -- where we get to take a look at something like this, the...
SANCHEZ: ... and the -- the -- the polls showed that the turnout was way, way underwhelming. Not only that. The three guys -- or five guys, whatever the number is, the number of guys who actually won last night...
The Washington Post is making the transition from a powerhouse liberal newspaper to a network of powerhouse liberal blogs. While the paper's Old Guard is worried that the move will tarnish the Post's supposed reputation for political neutrality, it should be seen more as a embrace of the agenda the Post has evinced for years.
"Traditionalists," wrote Politico today, "worry that the Post is sacrificing a hard-won brand and hallowed news values." One such "traditionalist," Rem Rieder of the American Journalism Review, said a more openly-liberal approach to reporting, mostly done online in the form of various blogs, would be "a danger to the brand."
To the extent that the Post still pretends to be objective -- and to the extent that its readers believe that claim -- then yes, an opinion blog-centric approach is tarnishing the brand. But for those who acknowledge the Post' consistently liberal approach to the news, the only change is the way that that news is delivered.
It took a while, but MSNBC President Phil Griffin has finally admitted and embraced his cable network's hard-left slant. He told the Chicago Tribune that he will try to carve out a niche on the left, hoping some day to rival the Fox News Channel's record-setting ratings.
Not so long ago, Griffin insisted that MSNBC was not "tied to ideology" -- unlike Fox, which simply could not be trusted, he claimed. Griffin even knocked FNC President Roger Ailes's business model, criticizing him for "creat[ing] an ideological channel… I give them total credit. I tip my hat to them. They scored. But it was ideological and opportunistic. It was a business plan."
Griffin has apparently abandoned his disdain for that business plan. He spoke glowingly of Ailes in an interview with the Tribune, saying the FNC president "changed the world" with his wildly successful business model, which went beyond just reporting to create brand loyalty and provide viewers with commentary that speaks to their views and preferences. MSNBC will now be (openly) emulating that model.
Is President Obama incapable of dealing with journalists who question his policies? The White House press corps is becoming increasingly agitated with an administration that reacts particularly strongly to criticism, and even skepticism.
The White House has adopted a pugilistic attitude towards the press, lashing out at journalists who criticize the president, shutting others out, and adopting a deferential attitude towards the press corps that has some journalists reminiscing about the openness of -- gasp -- the George W. Bush presidency.
The Obama administration "came in with every reporter giving them the benefit of the doubt," one journalist told Politico's Josh Gersten and Patrick Gavin. "They’ve lost all that goodwill." It seems that the press corps's offense is questioning the administration's positions.
Based on what I observed at Mary Taylor's Lieutenant Governor announcement in January, it seems that veteran Columbus Dispatch reporter/columnist Joe Hallett at least occasionally gets to ask the first question at press conferences based on respect for his longevity. This has led me to refer to Hallett as "Ohio's Helen Thomas." (Thomas was allowed to ask the first question at White House press conferences and press briefings for many years.)
Hallett's politics may not be identical to Thomas's far-leftism, but they appear to be in the same neighborhood. More relevant to his journalistic duties, he's wearing a very similar set of blinders. "Clueless Joe" would be an appropriate nickname.
How else can you explain how the supposed dean of Ohio political reporters can display the incredible ignorance shown in the first paragraph of his column today without feeling utterly embarrassed?
Here is that paragraph, followed by the detail served up in Paragraph 7:
In a sign of just how deep the MSM is in the global-warming tank, the White House Correspondents Association [WHCA] has announced that it is buying carbon credit offsets for travel connected with its big annual dinner [h/t Mike Allen's Politico Playbook].
WHCA president Ed Chen of Bloomberg announced the move, along with the dinner menu that included at least one "organic" item, then boasted [emphasis added]:
"The menu is consistent with our greening of the entire event -- a first in the 96-year history of WHCA. It includes WHCA buying carbon offsets for Leno's travels (air and ground) and POTUS motorcades to and from; ditto for WHCA board members and staff travel."
Fox News contributor Bernie Goldberg hit back at Jon Stewart today, saying the "Daily Show" host was "throwing spitballs at a battleship" by attacking the Fox News Channel.
The back-and-forth between Stewart and Goldberg began when the former leveled accusations of hypocrisy, claiming Goldberg criticized others for generalizing while doing so himself. Stewart responded to Goldberg's retort with a musical number presumably titled "Go F--k Yourself."
Goldberg said he had "no problem with what [Stewart] did last night," and was "flattered" that he "devoted half of his show last night to me." But Goldberg went on to call a group of Stewart's most devoted fans "sewer rats" for trolling his site with vulgarity during the past couple days, and told Stewart to "man up."
It's pretty obvious that oftentimes the media and the Democratic Party work in concert to marginalize opposition of a common goal. ABC's George Stephanopoulos working with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was just one example. The question is, how far will the media and Democrats take it?
According to Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., if the passage of ObamaCare is evidence, they're willing to take it to achieve Draconian financial regulation and ultimate censorship of the Internet. On his April 19 Fox News Channel program, host Sean Hannity asked Bachmann if there were a double standard, or a coordinated attack as the "echo chamber" of the Democratic Party, including the media, seem to "singing from the same hymnal." And according to Bachmann, the attacks on former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and conservative talkers Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh over the weekend for so-called sedition were the latest evidence.
"Well, they are," Bachmann said. "If you look at all of the news shows over this last weekend, they used practically the identical language. They are talking about a war of words. They specifically identified Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin and they were, as you said, they're singing off the same hymnal. But essentially it is whoever they see as an effective voice, that's who they go after and attack right now."
One of the things taught in journalism schools, at least when it comes crime reporting, is that when someone charged with a crime, you carefully craft your rhetoric because in the United States, you're presumed innocent until proven guilty.
But what if you're journalist and you're making accusations of crime where there's not even a charge? On NBC's April 18 "The Chris Matthews Show," Time magazine's Joe Klein accused former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Fox News host Glenn Beck of rubbing "right up close to being seditious," which according to the U.S. Code is rubbing right up close to being a crime. And even after the fact, Klein has stuck to his guns and didn't back down from that accusation.
"On the Chris Matthews Show Sunday, I said that some of the right-wing infotainment gasbags--people like Glenn Beck etc.--were nudging up close to the edge of sedition," Klein wrote in an April 19 post on Time.com's Swampland blog. "This has caused a bit of a self-righteous ruckus on the right. Let me be clear: dissent isn't sedition. Questioning an Administration's policies isn't sedition. But questioning an Administration's legitimacy in a manner intended to undermine or overthrow it certainly is."
UPDATE (below the fold): The Washington Examiner's Byron York just posted a piece - Andrew Breitbart's coin challenge for evidence of the "N" word has been verbally answered by AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka.
Editor's Note: Video of conservative being beaten down below the fold.
The media and the Left (please pardon the redundancy) continue to insist that TEA Party participants are engaged in racist and violent behavior - at the surreptitious and stealth "hate speech" urging of talk radio hosts and Republicans.
These have almost all been phantom charges. They are leveled by liberals and Democrats, and the media immediately report them as if they were true. They rarely bother to look for evidence, which works out because most times there isn't any.
On the weekend that health care passed, Democrat Congressman Andre Carson of Indiana asserted that the "N" word was shouted fifteen times at him and fellow black Congressman John Lewis.
The media went right to print with it, reporting it as if it were true. But several videos of the encounter between the Congressmen and the TEA Party-ers surfaced soon after. And on NONE of them could the word be heard once, let alone fifteen times in the chanted fashion that Carson claimed.
Internet media mogul Andrew Breitbart offered $10,000 to the United Negro College Fund - and then later upped it to $100,000 - for any evidence that the word was used at all. He's still got his coin.
And of course, no correction or apology was forthcoming from the media. In fact, some are still reporting it as if it actually happened.
There is hardly a more fitting figure to trumpet Old Media's fear of Internet-powered citizen journalism than Helen Thomas. The 89-year-old reporter has covered every president since Jack Kennedy. But when it comes to the inevitable decline of her brand of journalism, her fears are unfounded and misplaced.
"Helen Thomas," reported Lloyd Grove for the Daily Beast, "is worried that all the downsizing at media outlets will result in less-reliable coverage of the president." Thomas went on to lament the rise of new media as a viable alternative to traditional journalism.
With all due respect to Thomas and her distinguished career as a reporter, it is not at all clear that someone with views as liberal as hers -- placing her as they do well outside the mainstream of American political opinion -- is at all preferable an intermediary to a pajama-clad blogger or iPhone photographer.
Last Thursday, on his unwatched and unwatchable MSNBC television program, Equine Ed Schultz stepped into his Leftist Wayback Machine for a little retro-censorship. With the intent of bringing it back to the future.
Having first called for a reimposition of the alleged "Fairness" Doctrine the week prior on his unlistened to and unlistenable radio show, Schultz took his censorious intentions to his tens of viewers on the tube. (He is doing all of this after making fun of us in 2008 for concerning ourselves with the Doctrine's return.)
Schultz made his latest call for "fairness" by citing the patently absurd 2007 "report" The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio. Which was co-published by the George Soros-funded Leftist "think" tanks Center for American Progress and (the Marxist-founded) Free Press.
We have in fact dismantled this "report"for its deep-seated and inherent fraudulence. It asserts that talk radio is too conservative - and that we need oppressive government regulations aplenty to remedy the situation.
However, it cooked the books from the outset - excluding uber-liberal National Public Radio (NPR) from their analysis pool and then drawing their fraudulent conclusion.
When it comes to socially-conservative groups media outlets like to cover the scandals instead of the celebrations.
That's exactly what NBC did to the Boy Scouts of America which had its 100th anniversary Jan. 25. NBC "Nightly News" completely ignored the anniversary, but did remember to cover Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day during that broadcast.
But NBC will find time for scandal. On April 1, NBC's "Today" reported that the Boy Scouts are at the center of a $25 million lawsuit tied to an alleged cover-up of thousands of sexual abuse cases.
The same network that found the group so unimportant it couldn't even muster one word about their one-hundred year anniversary, found two minutes and twenty-seven seconds to spend on the abuse scandal.
The lawsuit is based on so-called "perversion files," or thousands of secret files the Boy Scouts kept about "thousands of alleged molesters."
CNN's ratings woes continue. The cable news network trails its three competitors in every prime time slot. The Fox News Channel, meanwhile, is enjoying record ratings.
Even Joy Behar, HLN's pseudo-newscaster at the 9 pm slot, beat CNN's Larry King Live 21 times during the first quarter of 2010. King suffered the worst ratings of his CNN career.
Anderson Cooper, who used to rely on King's historically impressive viewership for a ratings boost of his own, dropped 42 percent of his viewers. All this despite his coverage of major news events this year such as the Haiti earthquake and the health care battle on the Hill.
They Know Nuh-Think It was the 2008 Talkers magazine New Media Seminar - June 6 and 7 in New York City. I was there to hob nob with the elite of talk radio.
And Ed Schultz.
I was there also to curry support for our then latest effort to keep the radio airwaves free from tyrannical and censorious government regulation. At that time it was against a return of the ridiculously mis-named "Fairness" Doctrine. Given the talent pool in which I was swimming - those whose livelihoods would be destroyed by it's reinstatement - many were graciously willing to assist.
Not Ed Schultz.
Word of my efforts made its way to him. And he sought me out and approached me so as to ridicule us for fighting the good fight. He rigidly insisted that no Democrat - no one in fact - was seeking a return of the Censorship Doctrine.
"Who talks to Nancy Pelosi more - you or me?" he angrily asked. I replied "Have you talked to Nancy Pelosi - ever?" Because if he had, once, ever, he had done so more than me. (And more's the pity for him.)
He responded "Well I just spoke to her, and no one wants to see (the alleged "Fairness" Doctrine) brought back."
I tried to persuade him that there were plans in the works but he remained, as always, impervious to facts.
ABC News correspondents Brian Rooney and Laura Marquez “are among the ABC reporters whose contracts will not be renewed as the network looks to shed anywhere from 300-400 jobs by the end of the year,” TV Newser reported in a Wednesday afternoon post. (Earlier item from The Enterprise Report.). The names of the two California-based correspondents (Rooney in Los Angeles and Marquez in San Francisco) should ring familiar to NewsBusters readers. During the fires last summer, Rooney featured a resident who affirmed “he would gladly pay more taxes.”
Multiple offender Marquez last year used her World News platform to express frustration at the difficulty of raising taxes in California and on January 2 of this year described the demise of the death tax as “a big gift from Congress” to “America's wealthiest families” as she saw a loss for “all of us” who aren’t so rich as she lamented the reduction of revenue for the federal government:
Just one percent of American families are wealthy enough to pay the estate tax, but if they don't pay, it affects all of us because the federal government will lose billions of dollars in revenue.
“He believes networking in the nude to be an absolute moral good.” Talk about the incestuous relationship amongst sources, policy-makers and members of the Washington press corps, a front page Washington Post story on Thursday, “A Hot Spot for Diplomacy,” uncovered how DC-insiders get together for a weekly sauna session in the basement of Finland’s embassy – with Wolf Blitzer on the TV beforehand as they sip vodka and munch on “a buffet of red gravlax and white trout, shrimp and Finnish meatballs.”
The Post’s Jason Horowitz revealed the activities of “the Diplomatic Finnish Sauna Society of D.C.” which “counts among its 150 members the operatives who make Washington spin: Capitol Hill staffers, public-policy wonks, lobbyists, administration officials -- and reporters eager to pick up some off-message analysis.” The March 18 article named four participants from DC’s press corps: “Rick Dunham, the Hearst Newspapers bureau chief,” “Eve Conant, a Newsweek correspondent,” “Mark Landler, the New York Times diplomatic correspondent” and “Wall Street Journal correspondent Jay Solomon.”
Do you believe that extending unemployment compensation benefits encourages some people to remain out of work longer than necessary? Don't let CNN anchor Ali Velshi find out. He'll characterize you as unsavory.
On a segment of CNN Newsroom today, Velshi spoke with an economics professor who's examined multiple studies reporting that many people find work shortly before their unemployment checks lapse:
VELSHI: Hey, complicated, complicated question that is at the root of our recovery as a nation; it is about jobs. The average person on unemployment is on it for about six months. You can get up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, with the certain extensions that we have passed these days. But the average person is on for about six months.
The question here is are long-term jobless benefits actually leading people to stay unemployed longer? I have somebody here who has actually crunched a few numbers for us. Robert Shimer is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, and inadvertently has gotten himself piled in with a bunch of unsavories who say -- who like to make the argument that people are choosing not to get jobs. And Robert, you have heard it said. This is the US Chamber -- not the US Chamber of Commerce. I'm sorry, the Club for Growth has said it on this show that it is causing people -- that it's a disincentive for people to go back to work because of unemployment benefits, which I think is a little bit insulting to the millions of people on unemployment. Your argument is it a little bit more nuanced than that.
Old Media's fatal conceit is the belief that it's not news unless it's reported by a major newspaper, magazine, or television station. Reports from new and alternative media, in Old Media's eyes, are tainted, and not to be believed...unlike, of course, the reliable, factual, and always objective mainstream media.
NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd, at right in a file photo, has been a leading critic of what he now has dubbed "Drudge-driven journalism," perhaps better described as journalism emanating from somewhere outside of Old Media's newsrooms and television studios. "I just don't think that that's the proper way for us to decide what's news," he told Mediaite's Tommy Christopher of the Drudge Report's influence and agenda-setting ability.
"There's no worse crime in journalism these days than simply deciding something's a story because Drudge links to it," he added. Apparently he still feels that NBC and its Old Media counterparts are qualified and capable of deciding what is and is not a story.
Define hypocrisy: Arianna Huffington claiming that Fox News President Roger Ailes plays off of Americans' fear and paranoia.
Indeed, while Huffington Post columnists call American political leaders criminals, terrorists, and Nazis and occasionally fantasize about their deaths, Huffington has the gall to claim, "If you’re looking for the usual flame-throwing, name-calling, and simplistic attack dog rhetoric....don’t bother coming to The Huffington Post." She then turns around and criticizes Ailes for appealing to paranoia. Unbelievable.
But Ailes has never been one to shrink from a fight. He noted Huffington's arrant hypocrisy on Monday's segment of "Uncommon Knowledge", a webshow produced by National Review Online (video and transript below the fold - relevant portion begins at 0:52):
It turns out that the "grassroots" organizer of the "progressive alternative" to the Tea Parties, the Coffee Party, has been exposed as an Obama political operative. If you had read the profiles of the Coffee Party founder Annabel Park (photo) in the Washington Post or New York Times you wouldn't have had a hint as to her extensive political activity in the 2008 Obama campaign. So how did William A. Jacobson of Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion discover this "deep secret" that the two major newspapers with their vast resources were unable to find? Well, it required the "tremendous effort" of tapping a few keys and a whole mouse click to find this subject matter as Jacobson explains:
In fact, a simple internet search (which the NY Times apparently is not capable of doing) reveals that Park organized the Coffee Party for the specific purpose of undermining the Tea Party movement.