Journalistic Issues

By Warner Todd Huston | September 19, 2008 | 11:25 AM EDT

A few weeks ago we wrote about the undue and disingenuous attack led by Barack Obama's Chicago HQ perpetrated against Chicago radio host Dr. Milt Rosenberg. Well, last week they did it again, raising their legions to attack the host and his radio station (WGN) and trying to have the unassuming radio host thrown off the air. And what was his "crime"? Rosenberg had the gall to actually interview two conservative writers who were investigating the life and history of the Obamessiah. I live in Chicago and have listened to Milt Rosenberg many times. His show is one of the most intelligent radio shows in the country, filled with high concepts and serious guests. I also heard both radio shows being protested by Obama's radio brownshirts and there wasn’t a thing wrong with either of the shows. On the first, conservative writer Stanley Kurtz was invited on to speak about his investigation into the ties Obama has with American domestic terrorist William Ayers. In this case, Rosenberg offered airtime to the Obama campaign and it refused the offer. With the second program, Rosenberg had on David Freddoso, author of the recent New York Times best selling book "The Case Against barack Obama." In the later case, Rosenberg even had a lefty Obama apologist on air with Fredoso, there to counter his every anti-Obama comment. Yet, the Obama campaign still tried to destroy Milt Rosenberg’s career by mounting an email attack campaign as well as urging calls to the station.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 19, 2008 | 7:03 AM EDT

A Federal judge from Louisiana is under a cloud of impeachment and if he's convicted it'll be the first federal judge impeached in almost 20 years. The story was covered by the new wire service named ProPublica, a service that claims to be non-partisan. Yet in two stories on this judge there is not one mention of the fact that he was appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton, nor that his corruption was known by the Department of Justice when Clinton made the appointment. I wonder why ProPublica didn't find that relevant, don't you?

A while back, I wrote of a new wire service that was starting up to be called ProPublica. This new service claimed that it was going to be a non-partisan service but the fact that it was being funded by left-wing billionaires made me wonder about the veracity of that claim. I have to admit that I haven't paid much attention to ProPublica since my first look into it, but this judge story piqued my interest. So, I gave ProPublica a look see.

By Jacob S. Lybbert | September 19, 2008 | 3:12 AM EDT

First NPR and now PBS; the publicly funded media outlets are revealing their respective bias in different ways, but the net result is the same: they favor Barack Obama over John McCain.Now available on PBS's NOW segment webpage (not to be confused with the National Organization for Women, subject of my post yesterday) is a poll about Governor Sarah Palin. It asks:

Do you think Sarah Palin is qualified to serve as Vice President of the United States?
By Warner Todd Huston | September 18, 2008 | 5:21 AM EDT

<p><img vspace="10" hspace="10" border="0" align="right" src="http://conservablogs.com/publiusforum/wp-content/themes/art/rushhunting.... />Yesterday, the <a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/09/17/obama_invokes_rush... Post's Ed O'Keefe</a> reported that the Obama campaign was releasing some new Spanish language campaign ads on TV in Florida and other markets that feature Rush Limbaugh making what appears to be anti-Mexican comments. The ads then link Limbaugh to McCain on immigration attempting to smear them both in the minds of voters. The Limbaugh quotes, however, are so out of context that their use constitutes a lie. Unfortunately, too many media outlets are allowing these lies to stand unchallenged.</p>

<p>As O'Keefe reported on September 17, the ads feature quotes from Rush that display a shocking anti-Mexican immigrant feel. Titled "dos caras" -- or "two faces" -- Rush is quoted as calling Mexicans names and telling them to "shut up and get out."</p>

By Warner Todd Huston | September 18, 2008 | 3:17 AM EDT

Jeffery Goldberg from The Atlantic Magazine is reporting that underhanded, leftist photographer Jill Greenberg has just been let go by her Representing Agency, the Vaughan Hannigan photo agency. This is a perfect example of a lesson of consequences. When Greenberg admitted that she lied and tricked John McCain so that she could manipulate his image to slander him and did so in the employ of The Atlantic Magazine, she lost any future work with that magazine for her unprofessional behavior. And now, more consequences have come her way.

No one is, of course, saying that Jill Greenberg isn't allowed to be as bigoted as she wants to be, but she should be ready to accept the consequences if she does so while acting as a representative for someone else. In this case she was representing The Atlantic Magazine when she was assigned to photograph McCain and then used her position to trick him into a situation where she could use his image for political attacks at a later date.

By Jacob S. Lybbert | September 17, 2008 | 11:22 PM EDT

Lazy journalism at NPR typically causes a return to their default position: liberal bias. Such was the case yesterday. In the morning edition, NPR reported on the recent and unsurprising announcement that NOW--the National Organization For Women, an ideological & partisan group--would endorse Barack Obama.

Rarely does the National Organization For Women endorse a presidential candidate. On Tuesday, the group announced it is endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Kim Gandy, president of NOW, talks with Renee Montagne about why the organization is endorsing Obama.

By Jacob S. Lybbert | September 17, 2008 | 1:30 PM EDT

John McCain's early love affair with the press has been well-chronicled. He was a "maverick" most loved because he went against his own party--best loved, in fact, when he produced legislation like McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform.

As Rich Lowry points out, they liked him for more than just that, they liked him because he gave them such extensive access.

Since 2000, John McCain had thrived on his irrepressible chattiness with the press, talking about anything reporters wanted for as long as they would listen. The press loved the access and avoided “gotcha” coverage, letting McCain explain any seeming gaffes. The arrangement worked beautifully for both sides — until McCain became the Republican presidential nominee.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 17, 2008 | 4:06 AM EDT

To show the empty "logic" that Jack Cafferty of CNN employs in his political commentary all one need do is check out his September 16 Political Ticker blog post on why the race for the White House is so tight in the polls. Reason: the country is filled with racists. Yes, folks, if you are voting against Obama (and no matter who or what you are actually supporting and why) it must be because you are a racist. It isn't because you stand against what Obama stands for, it has to be because you are a racist.

This delusional, preconceived notion is becoming the excuse du jour with Democrat supporters that have lately seen a dawning hint that McCain may just win this election. And, that is really all it is, too. An excuse. An excuse that ignores all the warts and obvious problems with Barack Obama, his record, and the fantasy stage show that is his campaign.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 16, 2008 | 9:37 AM EDT

In a follow up to Noel Sheppard's last post on the controversy over the choice of partisan photographer Jill Greenberg to shoot the cover shot of John McCain by Atlantic Magazine, we find that the Atlantic folks have issued an apology for ever having hired her. After it was revealed that she indulged in tricks and lies to ridicule John McCain while she was in a position of representing Atlantic Magazine as its photographer, the folks at Atlantic expressed their disappointment and shock at the photog's unprofessional behavior. They promise not to repeat the error of hiring her again.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 16, 2008 | 9:19 AM EDT

The campaign handlers for Barack Obama have obviously decided that there will be no more failed jokes ala Kerry's "stupid kids get stuck in Iraq" faux pas of the 2006 campaign. Barack apparently blew his chance for ostensible extemporaneous elocution after his failed "lip stick on a pig" joke went over like a lead balloon last week. According to CNN, Obama is suddenly speaking from a teleprompter at outdoor campaign rallies.

One can just imagine how McCain would be eviscerated by the press if he had to start using a teleprompter at the average campaign stop. What sort of "senility" jokes would the press be filled with at that point? One can just guess that this news will be greeted with a yawn even though it seems to be a pretty strong curtailment of Obama's freedom to speak extemporaneously on the stump.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 16, 2008 | 7:26 AM EDT

The racist Reverend Wright wanted God to "damn America." Jesse Jackson called New York City "hymie town." Various Evangelical preachers have been heard to utter some pretty nasty comments here and there, as well. So, flawed as we are, apparently being religious doesn't preclude a venomous diatribe now and again. And now comes hate wrapped as political commentary from another supposed person of faith, this time in Newsweek. Wendy Doniger is a columnist for Newsweek's "On Faith" beat and is also the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago’s Divinity School. But that doesn't seem to have made her less of a venom spewing, wiled-eyed Republican hater, unfortunately. Naturally, like all women such as herself, all her hate is directed at Governor Sarah Palin -- also showing that these sorts of women aren't interested in helping strong women to public influence but only their kind of mindless ideologue is acceptable.

Doniger starts her hate-filled rant in All Beliefs Welcome, Unless They are Forced on Others with what will shortly turn out to be a lie compounded by a blind assumption based on no proof to shore up her claims that Sarah Palin's exclusively allows her religious beliefs to direct her public actions.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 16, 2008 | 3:31 AM EDT

Of course our purpose here at NewsBusters is to shed light on the obscene bias often underlying what passes for journalism here in the United States (and in Canada and Europe sometimes, as well). We here at NB, however, want to stress that we aren't out to "destroy" journalism itself. We understand how important a free and open press is to keep our democratic republic on the straight and narrow. And, with this piece I'd like to present one reason why seeing journalists lose their jobs in such massive numbers should serve as a warning to us all about the health of our system.

Journalists have traditionally been antagonistic toward government, we all know. Certainly, they sometimes take this antipathy too far and become responsible for nearly treasonous actions -- The New York Times is the perfect example of that these days. But this antagonism is not all bad because while in practice it can and does lead to exposing the sort of government corruption that can and should be stopped but won't be unless it becomes public knowledge. The light that journalists shed on these corrupt government officials using open records requests is an integral part of our system and not one we should so blithely forget about while hoping to see the field of journalism get its comeuppance.