Journalistic Issues

By Ryan Robertson | December 13, 2012 | 5:21 PM EST

There has been no shortage of deceptive ads, factually-distorted statements, and outright fabrications from the political left over the campaign year to choose from, but leave it to the Tampa Bay Times's PolitiFact to give its "Lie of the Year" award to the Romney campaign. The now infamous "falsehood" in question was Romney's claim that Jeep was planning on moving production of some of its vehicles to China. This was in fact technically true, but PolitiFact trademarked it as its "Lie of the Year."

In a fit of glee, multiple left-leaning news outlets have promoted the proclamation, including of course, MSNBC. [video below, MP3 audio here ]:

By Matt Vespa | December 13, 2012 | 3:30 PM EST

Finally, Grover Norquist was the featured guest on the PBS NewsHour’s segment on the fiscal cliff.  After previous editions of the program featured softball interviews with Paul Krugman and Max Richtman -- two members of the far left who oppose entitlement reform -- as well as moderate conservative Republican Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the NewsHour saw it fit to give time to the anti-tax activist who heads Americans for Tax Reform.

Of course the December 12 interview proved to be an occasion for liberal anchor Judy Woodruff to push back hard against Norquist on taxes, firing every possible liberal talking point at him she could. Norquist was adamant that the problem in Washington is spending, not taxation -- giving the president all the tax hikes he wants would generate about only two weeks worth of revenue, after all. But it didn’t take long for Woodruff to argue that the Clinton era tax cuts were the basis for strong economic growth.  Norquist stood his ground and noted the role a conservative Republican Congress played in policies that helped fuel economic growth in the 1990s:

By Ryan Robertson | December 11, 2012 | 3:57 PM EST

Right-to-work legislation has passed in Michigan, despite the vociferous protests of bused-in union protesters in Lansing and sympathetic coverage from the liberal media, who have portrayed right-to-work as a blow to "union rights" as well as a "politically unnecessary" and "divisive" move by Republicans who control the state legislature and governor's mansion in a state that went strongly for Obama last month.

But there is another side of the story, which the liberal media outlets are seemingly ignoring. The Michigan-based conservative think tank called the Mackinac Center for Public Policy has not only published persuasive and thoroughly-researched reports advocating for the right-to-work policy, they are doing their best to inform the public with the facts and figures that the majority of the media refuses to acknowledge, much less verify.

By Ryan Robertson | December 10, 2012 | 6:25 PM EST

Michigan may very well become the 24th state to adopt right-to-work legislation on Tuesday, and liberal media outlets have given its opponents ample opportunity to state their case. While proponents have not been allowed to defend the law at all, MSNBC's Chris Jansing was more than happy to briefly play "devil's advocate" with her guest on Monday -- newly elected state representative Tim Greimel who called right-to-work "too divisive and too extreme for the state."

Following his lengthy diatribe on the subject, in which he also called right-to-work the "surest path to poverty that anybody could pursue here in Michigan," Jansing invited  the Washington Post's Dana Milbank and Jackie Kucinich -- daughter of retiring liberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) -- of USA Today back on the program to reinforce the argument Greimel made. Hardly a balanced analysis of legislation designed to safeguard an individual's right not be coerced into a union or into financially supporting a union in which he/she is not a member [ video and transcript below ]

By Matt Vespa | December 10, 2012 | 1:02 PM EST

As Colonel Kurtz said at the end of Apocalypse Now: “the horror, the horror.”  That sentiment encapsulated New York Times Republican David Brooks and syndicated columnist Mark Shields’ reactions to the rejection of the UN treaty on the rights of the disabled in the Senate last week.  Brooks called it “embarrassment for the country” – while Shields called it “a profile in cowardice.”  Regardless, it seems that both men forget that we have a similar bill called The Americans with Disabilities Act, which was passed under George H.W. Bush.

During the segment, which aired on December 7, NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff decided to end her interview with Brooks and Shields on this point:

By Matt Vespa | December 7, 2012 | 6:47 PM EST

The PBS NewsHour has yet to invite a strong conservative on the program to talk about the fiscal cliff.  Tuesday night they had New York Times columnist, left-wing economist, and Obama cheerleader Paul Krugman to detail his view.  Wednesday night they had moderately-conservative Sen. Bob Corker ( R-Tenn), but last night was the most interesting. PBS invited the Norquist of the left, Max Richtman, of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, who insisted we shouldn’t be in a rush to reform our entitlement spending. 

After all, when the unfunded liability of both programs is around $100 trillion dollars, what’s the big hurry? Where’s the fire? Suffice it to say, none of Richtman's claims were met with skepticism by anchor Judy Woodruff.  She continued with her interview, as if what Richtman said was fact.

By Randy Hall | December 6, 2012 | 5:15 PM EST

On Wednesday morning's edition of “Fox & Friends,” Sen. Orrin Hatch vented his frustration on the way the press has covered the impasse between President Obama and members of Congress as they try to resolve the “fiscal cliff” financial crisis.

By Ryan Robertson | December 5, 2012 | 4:10 PM EST

Founded by Roy Beck in 1998, Numbers USA is a grassroots organization and an influential lobbyist group that concerns itself with immigration reform and the threat of mass amnesty. As the unemployment rate among the citizenry continues to grow, over one million permanent work authorizations are handed out each year to immigrants -- further saturating an already stagnant labor market.

Beck sat down for an interview with MSNBC.com's Jane C. Timm recently, only to find himself labeled as the "Grover Norquist of the immigration debate." With no intention of portraying him in a positive light, Timm argued that the 1.3 million grassroots members of Numbers USA will not allow Republican congressmen to moderate their stance on immigration reform.  And rather than consider it an anti-amnesty organization, in predictable fashion she presented the group as "racist" in motivation.

By Matt Vespa | December 5, 2012 | 12:48 PM EST

During the December 4 edition of the PBS NewsHour, anchor Gwen Ifill decided to give a lofty eight minute and forty second interview to Obama cheerleader and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman so he can try to convince us that the fiscal cliff isn’t that big of a deal.  Of course, in his estimation, Democratic proposals for higher taxes and higher spending were serious, while Republican alternatives to tackle the deficit were trivial.  In fact, according to Krugman, “Obama is actually very serious in the real sense. It's just the notion he hasn't done anything on entitlement reform is totally unfair. He's done more than anyone has ever done before.” 

And that’s why he needs $1.6 trillion dollars in tax hikes and $50 billion in additional stimulus spending to be "serious" about reining in deficit spending?!

By Seton Motley | December 4, 2012 | 8:40 AM EST

To paraphrase the estimable Yogi Berra - it’s like deja vu all over, and over, and over, and over again.

The Jurassic Press media is enraptured with a certain story.

By Randy Hall | December 3, 2012 | 9:36 PM EST

The campaign season is now over but Vice President Joe Biden is still making his usual near-daily gaffe, and, unsurprisingly, the self-described “mainstream” media is continuing to cover them up.

On Nov. 19, the vice president sent a congratulatory letter to Eric Bodenweiser, a Republican state Senate candidate who withdrew from Delaware's 19th District race in October after he was charged with 113 felony counts of raping a boy 39 times between 1987 and 1990.

By Randy Hall | December 3, 2012 | 3:58 PM EST

Now that former NBC News president Jeff Zucker is set to take over as president of CNN, the fate of the cable news network is an open question. In a Sunday discussion about the transition, CNN media critic Howard Kurtz and his guests passed over the network's left-of-center reporting, implying instead that CNN is somehow devoid of bias compared to its primary competitors, MSNBC and Fox News.

During a segment on “Reliable Sources,” panelist David Zurawik -- media critic for the Baltimore Sun newspaper -- asserted that the news organization is “the nation's last bastion of television journalism.”