Journalistic Issues

By Robert Knight | October 29, 2008 | 10:08 AM EDT
Barack Obama photo, Jeff Fusco, Getty Images | NewsBusters.orgIf a picture is worth a thousand words, then the Nov. 3 edition of Time magazine just gave Barack Obama 13,000 words to a few hundred for John McCain. Starting with a corner shot on the cover, Obama is pictured 13 times throughout the magazine.

The only photo of his opponent in this election-eve issue is a goofy thumbnail of McCain under the Gaffes section of the Campaign Scorecard. Sarah Palin is featured exactly once, also, in the letters section under a quote from a reader who compares her to impersonator Tina Fey and says "They are both better entertainers than politicians."

As a well-documented member of Obama's adoring media paparazzi, Time seems to be competing with the TV networks for "most obsequious." According to a new CMI study, CBS, ABC and NBC ran 69 segments about Palin around the time of the vice presidential debate, of which only two were positive, 37 were negative and the rest neutral. But Time seems intent on outdoing them. This edition is so pro-Obama that it verges on a Mad magazine parody. The Obama pics are scattered through the first half of the magazine, amidst fawning features such as Joe Klein's "Why He's Winning." That piece, which was thoroughly crunched by MRC's Tim Graham in an Oct. 23 Newsbusters post, has a page and a half color photo of Obama surrounded by an adoring crowd. The next page shows Obama in a helicopter, with the facing page a portrait of Obama, chin in hand, looking positively regal.

By Warner Todd Huston | October 29, 2008 | 4:58 AM EDT

John Hollenhorst, reporter for KSL TV in Salt Lake City, Utah, wants you to forget about all those gosh darn Internet rumors. In fact, forget the Internet altogether and just rely on the "established news organizations" to tell you what is what. After all, it's just too darn hard for the common folks to figure it all out. Alarmingly the "21st Century is putting a higher responsibility on voters to seek out the truth and ignore the ridiculous." Imagine? Requiring citizens to go to all the trouble of actually seeking out the truth and learning about what a candidate really stands for? What a bother.

But, reporter Hollenhorst and his "expert" have the solution: Don't bother and just make the Old Media your source for news. After all, the Old Media is the only one to be believed because they've got "the greatest credibility." Right Dan Rather?

By Danny Glover | October 28, 2008 | 3:17 PM EDT

Here's a video contrast for you: Joe Biden being grilled by a professional news anchor vs. Biden being tossed a softball by a charming fifth-grader who said after his interview that the Democratic vice-presidential candidate "is now my homeboy."

Biden has refused any further interviews with Barbara West of WFTV in Orlando, Fla., or anyone else at the station, but the odds are good that he would chat at length with fifth-grader Damon Weaver any time.

Cross-posted at Video Done Right

By Warner Todd Huston | October 27, 2008 | 6:11 AM EDT

If you want to see an example of the media employing a subtle undercurrent of disdain for Republicans and praise for Democrats, you can't get any better example than the masterful effort at left leaning propaganda that the Boston Herald unleashed on October 26. Even the headline is artful for the negative image in which it casts McCain’s actions while simultaneously presenting Obama as the innocent victim. The subtlety is amazing and really must be seen to be believed.

With the very headline we see that nasty McCain and the obviously innocent Obama as the Herald sternly informs us that, "John McCain keeps swinging socialist hammer at Barack Obama." That mean, "hammering" McCain "swinging" that obviously absurd claim that the Marxist is a socialist! Imagine. The negative image of McCain being an aggressor is painfully obvious.

By Warner Todd Huston | October 26, 2008 | 5:38 AM EDT

Well, last week we discovered that saying Obama is a socialist is racist code. For quite a while we've been told that saying his middle name is racist. Saying he pals around with terrorists is racist. Not voting for him is racist. Wanna know what else is racist? Dressing as Obama for Halloween.... but only if you're a white kid. So says the Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), anyway.

This'll break the hearts of little Obamatons and their sycophantic parents all across the nation for this Halloween season, sadly enough. But, if you don't want to be considered a low-down, four-flushing racist, you little Obamites better not do it. Just say nO, kids. The Dispatch's Kathy Lynn Gray has saved the day, though. She's warned us ahead of time that Dressing like The One is racist as all get out.

By Matthew Sheffield | October 25, 2008 | 1:51 PM EDT

OpportunityPart of the reason that liberal bias in the elite media exists is that not enough conservatives and libertarians decide to get involved in journalism, especially straight news reporting.

One of the best organizations on the right trying to combat this is the Phillips Foundation which has a program that pays generous amounts of money to encourage people to get involved in producing high-quality journalism that can really make a difference.

If the idea of this appeals to you, consider applying for the 2009 Phillips fellowships. Full-time fellowships pay out $50-75,000 to successful applicants. Part-time ones pay $25,000. 

By Warner Todd Huston | October 25, 2008 | 10:25 AM EDT

Well, that mean ol' Sarah Palin ruined everything for the St. Louis Blues hockey team, darn it all. That's right the media's newest Cheney replacement must have been planning this monstrous attack on the Blues' goalie for weeks. Her next trick: world domination. At least this seems to be how MSNBC and the Associated Press feel about it all.

What am I talking about? Well, Palin visited the Blues' arena to see a game on October 24 and it seems that Blues goalie Manny Legace tripped on the carpet that the team laid on the ice so that Palin and her family could walk safely out to address the crowd. Because of that injury, the AP and MSNBC both decided that this accident was all Palin's fault. Really.

By Warner Todd Huston | October 25, 2008 | 6:21 AM EDT

Students that belong to a pro-life campus group called Cornell Coalition for Life (CCFL) spent weeks and hundreds of dollars organizing a pro-life display to be featured on the Cornell University Engineering Campus in Ithaca, New York. This was no guerilla campaign, either, because the CCFL applied for and received permission for its display. Yet, scarcely an hour had passed before an associate dean for the university summarily decided on her own to support the removal of the display by an administrative assistant despite that the display was approved by the college. This incident happened on October 22, yet the media has completely ignored this troubling story.

The CCFL had erected its "Elena Campaign" signs in the Engineering Quad to raise awareness among students of the earlier stages of fetal development, stages when many falsely imagine that a fetus is just a "lump of cells." As the CCFL says, its "Elena Campaign" is "a series of light-hearted educational signs with pictures and text detailing the biological development of an unborn child."

The CCFL reports that regardless of approval, the dean and her assistant removed the display.

By Warner Todd Huston | October 24, 2008 | 6:26 AM EDT

Someone at The Phoenix, a small Boston weekly, is off his medication. It's hard to believe sanity is a familiar state, at least, when reviewing the silliness passed off as serious political analysis, anyway. For the lead editorial in The Phoenix this week is a fantastic display of hyperbole filled with "truther" propensities. The editorial, you see, is all worried that John McCain will make himself a "dictator" if he wins the election next month. No, they are serious, so quit laughing.

And how is it that he will become a "dictator"? Why, it's because he will be able to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice, you see. Yes, that is the only proof posited for this idiotic theory.

The "argument" this editorial pushes on an unsuspecting reader is that if McCain appoints another eeeevil conservative Justice, then the Courts will turn over all the power in the land to the president. After that, I suppose the writer of this schlock posing as analysis imagines that the rest of the government will just turn off the lights and go home, or something.

By Brent Baker | October 23, 2008 | 5:23 PM EDT

“Voters overwhelmingly believe that the media wants Barack Obama to win the presidential election,” a Pew Research Center for the People and the Press survey released Wednesday discovered. Specifically: “By a margin of 70%-9%, Americans say most journalists want to see Obama, not John McCain, win on Nov.

By Warner Todd Huston | October 23, 2008 | 3:43 AM EDT

Wendi C. Thomas, a black journalist that has written for such media outlets as the Charlotte Observer, the Indianapolis Star and the Nashville Tennessean, was recently asked by what she called a "white man in Memphis" if blacks would riot if Barack Obama should lose the upcoming general election. The question made her angry, and I can't blame her for that anger. But, after a brief flash of sanity, Thomas turned the tables and went on to decide that it will be whites, rather, that will riot if Obama wins, not blacks if he loses.

At first Thomas had the absolute right answer for that "white man from Memphis." She wrote at that ascribing to "blacks" the actions of rioting from some blacks is not a logical exercise. Even if some blacks rioted after an Obama loss, it is illegitimate to decide that all 40 million blacks in America would agree with that lawlessness. Who could disagree with this sensible comment?

By Warner Todd Huston | October 23, 2008 | 2:25 AM EDT

As if we didn't know already by the evidence of the left-wing media establishment's work, Pew Research unveiled a new survey that showed that John McCain has been on the receiving end of "heavily unfavorable" coverage. In fact, according to Pew, McCain's media coverage has become more negative over time with unfavorable stories about him outweighing favorable ones "by a factor of more than three-to-one." Pew finds that McCain's negative stories are the highest from among all four major candidates.

First of all, we should remember that the Pew survey was drawn from news coverage -- opinion pieces were not included. So, if we were to add all the opinion editorials emanating from the Old Media, the unfavorables for McCain and Palin would soar to unprecedented heights. But, Op-Eds aside and with the fact that we are talking "news," it is still amazing to note the highly negative tone leveled at McCain.