Journalistic Issues

By Matthew Sheffield | October 7, 2008 | 7:07 PM EDT

Checkbox iconFact-checking politicians seems to be the journalistic "in" thing to do this campaign season. Aside from the self-aggrandizing nature of such pronouncements, there isn't anything necessarily wrong with the concept.

The devil is in the details, however. Over at the Wall Street Journal, James Taranto notes that these esoteric fact check stories too often end up as opinion pieces criticizing the policies or rhetoric of politicians.

In more cases than not, it's Republicans who bear the brunt of such "corrections," simply because truth in politics is often a highly subjective thing. Taranto focuses on one particular fact check by USA Today criticizing a John McCain ad for quoting Barack Obama out of context:

By Warner Todd Huston | October 6, 2008 | 11:17 PM EDT

In the latest news from the actions have consequences department, Brian Williams recently told David Letterman that the McCain camp is punishing him by not allowing him to interview Sarah Palin because the McCain camp is mad at MSNBC's extreme leftism as evinced by Chris "Thrill up my leg" Matthews and Keith Olbermann. Is Brian crying? There's no crying in broadcasting!

During his visit on The Late Show with David Letterman, Brian Williams admitted that he is the only network anchor that has yet to be granted an interview with Governor Palin but that he "cannot wait" to interview her.

By NB Staff | October 6, 2008 | 5:29 PM EDT

The Media Research Center's Director of Communications and NewsBusters.org Contributing Editor Seton Motley appeared on Friday after

By Warner Todd Huston | October 5, 2008 | 12:22 PM EDT

Talk about an idiotic assertion, but the Associated Press just claimed that Governor Sarah Palin is a racist for saying that Obama used to "pal around with terrorists." According to the AP's Douglass K. Daniel, Palin is a racist because the word "terrorist" is construed now-a-days to mean a "dark-skinned radical Muslim" so that makes her a "racist" in his blinkered view.

See, it isn't overt, according to Daniel, but there is a "subtext," don't you know? And, yes, he's serious with this absurd claim, sadly. This Olympics award winning back stretch has to be seen to be believed.

By Warner Todd Huston | October 5, 2008 | 11:05 AM EDT

So, instead of merely reporting the news, now reporters are the news? Apparently Charlie Gibson thinks he is, anyway. He gave an interview to the Toledo Blade on October 5 as if his opinions of the race for the White House are somehow more important than the news of the candidates. You remember the candidates, don't you Chuck? You know, those guys who are actually going to be elected, the ones that you are supposed to be reporting on?

Gibson spoke to the Toledo Blade's TV beat reporter Kirk Baird about an upcoming visit to Ohio's Bowling Green State University and he said a few pretty revealing things to the Blade about how the media are treating the campaign.

Like many of his ilk, he appears in this interview to show a disdain for small town America, he obviously pretends not to see any bias among his comrades, he excuses that bias he does see and interestingly he claimed it was the duty of the media to "expose" Sarah Palin -- an interesting choice of words, for sure.

By Seton Motley | October 5, 2008 | 10:57 AM EDT

Update: The techincal error is resolved. Please, enjoy. Thank you very much.

Tuesday's Presidential debate is now looming in our headlights. It will be moderated by the very liberal Tom Brokaw of the very liberal NBC.

The Media Research Center, Newsbusters.org's parent company, wanted to take this opportunity to remind one and all why Brokaw's colleague, the very liberal Chris Matthews, will not be moderating the debate. And why he was removed as co-anchor of the very liberal MSNBC's 2008 campaign coverage.

Why he was ever ensconsed in that lofty journalistic position remains light years beyond us.

So we now humbly present to you an MRC Cinematic Production entitled "Chris Matthews: Building the Thrill."

We sincerely hope you enjoy.

By Warner Todd Huston | October 5, 2008 | 6:10 AM EDT

Ben Kamin: In Year 2024 Palin's Grandchild a 'Bastard,' Loser Palin Operates a 'Lenscrafters,' Hates Grandson

Apparently, Rabbi Ben Kamin thinks he's a funny guy. Yes, he must be auditioning for SNL with his latest column on the Examiner.com, a Denver based, Internet news service. You see, to devise the newest way to smear Governor Sarah Palin, the "Rabbi" thought it would be hilarious to wonder what the life of Palin's grandchild, son-to-be of Palin's daughter Bristol, will be like in the year 2024. This odious attack piece imagines the boy being called "bastard" by everyone, imagines Palin to be a washed up, loser who fakes her love for the boy, presents Todd Palin as distant, disgruntled, loveless and depressed, and pits the boy in the role of a downtrodden, suicide risk without a father. All these smears against a child not yet even born!

Despite his obscene attempt at political analysis, this Kamin fellow somehow achieved the title of "Spiritual Life Examiner" with the Internet news outlet. I guess this so-called Rabbi is the Jewish version of Jeremiah "God damn America" Wright, because it just goes to show that claiming to be a man of God and actually living that charge are not necessarily one and the same.

By Warner Todd Huston | October 4, 2008 | 5:12 AM EDT

One of CNN's citizen reporters on their new iReport service caused a bit of panic for Apple's stock prices this week when one of those reports featured a false claim that Apple CEO Steve Jobs had suffered a heart attack. With rumors swirling the stock price fell until official news from Apple quashing the rumor calmed investors' fears.

By Jacob S. Lybbert | October 2, 2008 | 6:30 PM EDT

This morning, Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, appeared on Fox News's Fox & Friends to answer a few questions about tonight's vice presidential debate between Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Delaware Senator Joe Biden.

Grabbing the headlines the past few days has been the news that Gwen Ifill, debate moderator, has written a book subtitled "The Age of Obama" which is set to be released on the day of the inauguration of the next president in January. A win by Barack Obama could positively impact book sales and have caused some to question the impartiality of Ifill.

By Warner Todd Huston | October 2, 2008 | 9:55 AM EDT

A 15-year Detroit radio reporter was fired for wearing an Obama T-Shirt while on the job covering an Obama rally. As a result of this major breach of ethics, WWJ Newsradio 950 showed reporter Karen Dinkins the door -- that's right, she was fired.

I must say that it is pretty amazing to see a media outlet uphold ethics like this, especially in Detroit. But there you have it.

By Warner Todd Huston | October 2, 2008 | 5:37 AM EDT

Well, I guess the McCain campaign really did get tough on the New York Times. Yesterday, leftist columnist Maureen Dowd was told she was no longer welcome on McCain's campaign plane and had to go home with her tail between her legs. Tim McNulty of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that Mo's parting shot was a charge that because of this incident McCain is somehow against the First Amendment like she imagines Dick Cheney is.

Rather amusingly, she was dumped in the middle of Pennsylvania, too. After an August 30 rally in Washington, PA, she was told she could not get back on the plane. The rest of the press corps loaded up and off they flew leaving poor Mo standing there in shock.

By Warner Todd Huston | October 1, 2008 | 11:37 PM EDT

Granted the focus of today's news is overwhelmingly on the bailout and the presidential race, but there is also big news on how Americans are now seeing the war effort. The pendulum has swung from despair to hopeful belief and this is important news that impinges on the elections.

Rasmussen released new data on September 30 that shows that more Americans are now viewing the war as a success and a growing number think that things will get even better in the near future. This is the highest support that Rasmussen has seen since they began to report on this issue. Curiously, news of the war has completely dropped off the radar of the Old Media.