Journalistic Issues

By Andrew Lautz | July 16, 2013 | 4:19 PM EDT

New York Times Magazine correspondent Mark Leibovich has made waves in Washington, D.C. recently with the release of This Town, his tell-all account of the “universally disliked” culture in our nation’s capital. Leibovich appeared on Tuesday’s Morning Joe to promote his controversial book, and to discuss the breakdown of Washington journalism with co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

Leibovich suggested he wrote This Town to “hold a mirror to the culture” of the nation’s capital, and that the ultimate takeaway of his work is that “everyone fundamentally is disappointed with Washington.” But Leibovich’s history of partisanship, as documented by NewsBusters, suggests that the reporter is very much a part of the dysfunction inside the Beltway. Leibovich has a history of praising Democrats and bashing Republicans, all in a day’s work at the left-wing New York Times.

By Matthew Sheffield | July 14, 2013 | 6:47 PM EDT

Now that he has successfully defended himself from criminal charges brought against him by the state of Florida for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman is going to resume a lawsuit he filed several months earlier against NBC News.

Launched in the midst of the state prosecution against him by a separate civil team, the lawsuit is a defamation claim alleging that NBC deliberately altered an audio recording so as to make Zimmerman appear to be racist.

By Matt Vespa | July 10, 2013 | 3:37 PM EDT

In Texas, it’s only a matter of hours until abortions are banned at 20 weeks.  It’s a popular bill amongst those residing in The Lone Star State – with 62 percent supporting the law.  Nationally, 50 percent of women and 52 percent of Millennials also want abortions to be banned at 20 weeks.  Overall, only 14 percent of Americans support late-term abortions.  The public is not with them, so pro-aborts vent their rage.

How do they do that?  By salivating over women who don’t care they had them in the first place – and celebrating their courage in carrying out the dirty deed.  On Tuesday, MSNBC featured New York Times op-ed contributor Beth Matusoff Merfish, who was “incredibly proud” of her mother’s abortion.  Today, Jessica Grose of the Washington Post-affiliated Slate news site, who now writes a monthly column for the "Motherlode" blog at the New York Times, wrote that we need to hear more unapologetic voices for abortion because that’ll influence the fight “leftward.” 

By Matt Vespa | July 9, 2013 | 5:11 PM EDT

The July 9 broadcast of Now with Alex Wagner wouldn’t be complete without a panel discussing Texas State Senator Wendy Davis – and the abortion battle in Texas. Yet, it reached a new level with New York Times op-ed contributor Beth Matusoff Merfish declaring that she was “proud” her mother underwent an abortion since “she had the wisdom and the courage to know that her own potential would be cut short by a pregnancy and to terminate that pregnancy and I think many of our mothers have similar stories and it is really important to talk about that.”

The MSNBC network is known for two things: A lack of dissent and touting the official Obama line. So, it's not surprising that the show's panel included Ben LaBolt, a former press secretary from Obama’s 2012 campaign, and Karen Finney, former DNC Communications Director and board member of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

By Matthew Sheffield | July 8, 2013 | 5:40 PM EDT

In addition to trying to redefine the Second Amendment as not protecting anyone's right to bear arms, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin is now excited about how to redefine the First Amendment.

As with guns, Durbin is trying to limit constitutional freedoms so that they cannot be used by people of whom he disapproves. In an opinion essay published in the Chicago Sun Times last week, Durbin argued it was "time to say who's a real reporter," so that no one else can be given First Amendment protections.

By Matt Vespa | July 3, 2013 | 11:01 AM EDT

As Texas State Senator Wendy Davis continues to be fawned over by liberals for her filibuster of SB 5, Texas’ latest abortion law, the media have also given her political cover by omitting key details about the bill. It would have banned abortions at 20-weeks and forced clinics to undergo modifications to be reclassified as a surgical centers. After all, a late term abortion is surgery at that point. 

Instead, ABC and NBC decided to focus on how this bill will shut down abortion clinics. CBS opted to settle with Davis’ opinion about the bill’s impact on women’s health. You can guess how she thought about that angle.

By Matt Vespa | July 1, 2013 | 3:05 PM EDT

Well, it’s Washington Post official: the sequestration wasn’t all that bad after all.  In fact, you could classify it as a dud, according to none other than Ezra Klein, a favored pet pundit of many a liberal MSNBC panel.

In a June 30 item at his Wonkblog, Klein concluded that the experts were “mostly wrong” concerning the impact of the cuts.  At the same time, conservatives saw from the beginning that the actual amount of cutbacks, which was only $44 billion, would have a de minimis impact on the economy. However, government spending increased over the past year, just at a lower rate of growth than originally planned, so in real terms, there were no real cuts to speak of in real terms.

By Matt Vespa | June 30, 2013 | 5:10 PM EDT

The June 28 broadcast of MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports wouldn’t be complete without some mentioning of abortion and the 11-hour filibuster by Texas State Senator Wendy Davis on Tuesday.  Davis, who worked herself through Harvard Law despite having had the hardship of being a teenage single mother, temporarily killed the bill which would have made it illegal to conduct an abortion after 20 weeks in a pregnancy. Yet, as with other broadcast networks, they excised that critical detail.

Mitchell asked the former Republican governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, about this development.  Pawlenty admitted he didn’t know the details of the bill. For her part, Mitchell simply insisted that the bill violated Roe v. Wade and would close down virtually all "abortion services" in the Lone Star State. Of course, Mitchell failed to go into specific provisions of the bill, which, among other things, requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital in the event that something horrible goes wrong and the patient needs to be admitted.

By Matt Vespa | June 27, 2013 | 5:09 PM EDT

ABC, NBC, and CBS began their Wendy Davis love fest on June 26 during their evening newscasts, but it was also rehashed for their morning shows.  Davis, a Texas state senator, has become a rock star of the left for a filibuster, which temporarily scuttled a bill, which was vociferously opposed by pro-choice advocates, to regulate the state's abortion clinics.

The liberal Democrat became a single mom at nineteen, yet put herself through Harvard Law School.  Those are admirable achievements, of course, but the Big Three networks have egregiously used her life story to mask the extreme agenda she supports with her opposition to the bill.

 

By Matt Vespa | June 24, 2013 | 4:57 PM EDT

As I mentioned last week, ABC’s "news" program “What Would You Do?” features scripted actors dramatizing so-called “real life” events, which call out for ordinary Americans to intervene.  The program's producers love to gin up scenarios, which apparently are designed to bring out bigotry and racism from fellow Americans who are supposed to identify with the actors portraying the absurd scenarios.  Most often the scenarios are played out in the heartland of America, in "red-state" locales where apparently ABC thinks it can find racists, xenophobes, and/or folks willing to gay-bash.

Well, for the program's June 21 broadcast, the network continued to troll for bigoted Americans across the Midwest.  This time the focus was a Hispanic mother and daughter at a restaurant.  The mother, an actress, can’t speak English well – and that irritates one racist patron -- portrayed, again, by an actor. The scenario is completely fabricated.

By Matt Vespa | June 13, 2013 | 1:53 PM EDT

Apparently ABC's news division is not content with reporting the news and spinning it to promote a liberal agenda. It now devotes a whole program to manufacturing fake scenarios in the hopes of pushing a liberal agenda.

Take the program, “What Would You Do?,” (WWYD) which began years ago as an occasional segment on the Primetime newsmagazine program and used actors in hidden camera situations to see how bystanders would react.  Just in time for Gay Pride month, for the June 7 edition, WWYD set up a fake situation involving a basketball player  coming out to his teammates and coach. Of course, the team and the coach were all actors playing out a skit whereby they bashed their now out-of-the-closet teammate before unsuspecting spectators.

By Matt Vespa | June 10, 2013 | 6:00 PM EDT

Time magazine's Zeke Miller, late of that august political journal BuzzFeed, has a brief article up on his magazine's site today heralding Hillary Clinton's joining the social media/microblogging service Twitter. The former First Lady and Secretary of State’s account was verified in less than an hour, and nabbed nearly 23,000 followers in two hours.  Feminist sites, like Feministing, have called it a de facto 2016 declaration.

Of course, Mrs. Clinton dipping her toes in the Twitter waters comes on the heels of new revelations of 'endemic' corruption at the State Department during her watch.  You wouldn't know, however, from Miller's brief item, which enthused that: