On Monday, the CBS Evening News with Bob Schieffer (but anchored by Harry Smith) aired a new promo for the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric in which Couric promised a newscast that will not just explain “what happened,” but also what the news “means to you.” That sounds just like a plug for the worst of gimmicky local TV “news you can use.” Couric maintained, of providing what the news “means to you,” that “I'd like to see more of that and I think viewers would too." For Couric's portion of the 15-second promo, CBS made her image fuzzy, as well as the knick-knacks and flowers in the background. Could the Martha Stewart-like stage be the new “news” set? Beside her you can see a phone and what looks like the top of a computer screen. Maybe the blurry image is intended to convey warmth and softness.
It’s not just the doctored photos. Apart from the most recent travesty of journalistic ethics, it's worth recalling how Reuters has also tilted its words in favor of those who promote terror and misery around the world.
For example, Iraqis compelled to vote for Saddam Hussein back in 2002 were “defiant” and in a “festive mood,” while Saddam’s capture by U.S. forces a year later was marked by “resentment...of life under U.S. occupation.”
For Reuters’ editors, the first anniversary of 9/11 was a reminder that “human rights around the world” have been a “casualty” of the war on terror, while the second anniversary was a time to point out how “sympathy [for America] soured” as the U.S. actually fought back against the forces of darkness.
It appears that the leftist investigative-reporting duo of Donald Barlett and James Steele now will publish its numbingly long articles in Vanity Fair. Katharine Seelye writes in Monday's New York Times that B&S "have accepted an offer from Graydon Carter, [VF's] editor, to sign a multiyear contract, agreeing to write two articles a year. Both will have the title of contributing editor at the glossy monthly."
Barlett and Steele have been a reporting team since 1971, first at the Philadelphia Inquirer and then at Time magazine. They probably are best known for their 1992 book, America: What Went Wrong? The book, based on a series of stories the two had written for the Inquirer, sought to portray the economic boom of the 1980s as a case of the rich prospering at the expense of the middle class and the poor. (Brent Baker explores B&S's methodology here.)
Elian Gonzalez sent a note Sunday wishing a speedy recovery to "my dear grandpa Fidel," ...Gonzalez, the Cuban boy at the center of an international custody battle with family members in Miami six years ago, published a letter in the Communist Youth newspaper Juventud Rebelde signed with "little kisses" from him and his half-siblings and cousins.
"We send you this letter to let you know that we are worried about your health," Elian, now 12, wrote. "We hope for your speedy recovery and take the opportunity to wish you a happy birthday, may you have many more."
Last night's report by Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs that a "Beirut burning" photo that was clearly and clumsily doctored with Photoshop editing tools had made it way onto the wires from Reuters has morphed into what must be considered a full-blown scandal that should, by rights, shake the news service and other "Mainstream" Media outlets to their very foundations, and force them to reexamine how they conduct and control their photojournalistic efforts around the world.
Consider just some of what has happened in the 24 hours or so since my NewsBusters post very early Sunday morning:
Reuters has "dropped" the freelance Lebanese journalist after the image in question was shown to be doctored:
The wire service offered perhaps the lamest excuse ever offered in the history of photojournalism for Adnan Hajj, the photographer involved --
Neal Gabler might not look like an athlete, but don't be surprised to see him lining up for the long jump at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. For on this evening's Fox News Watch, Neal made a logical leap of Beamonesque proportions.
According to Gabler, the fact that a drunken Gibson made anti-Semitic remarks retroactively proves that his 'Passion of the Christ' was anti-Semitic too.
Here's how the liberal media critic put it:
"The interest here is 'The Passion.' It made something like $400 million. It was accused of being anti-Semitic. The mainstream press didn't really want to touch it. Because they were afraid of being clobbered from the right.
Mega-blogger Markos Moulitsas Zúniga of the Daily Kos talking down the blogs' influence on the Connecticut Dem primary? John Fund of the good old Wall Street Journal talking it up?
The odd couple, guests on this evening's Hardball, engaged in some serious media gender-bending. With Mike Barnicle sitting in for host Chris Matthews, Fund went first, and overflowed with praise for the role the blogs have played in the race.
Fund: "I think [the blogs' impact has] been very significant. I offer a tip of the hat to them. They have taken the former vice-presidential candidate and created a single issue around the war, and this is is a man who opposed George Bush on tax cuts, and many things, and they have turned him into the perception as George Bush's lackey, and they are on the verge of knocking off a senator. That's happened only twice before. It's remarkable."
If the Israeli "massacre" at Qana turns out to be yet another fraud, you can count on the media to quietly let the story slip away, a contrast from the media fireworks that were present when the story was announced. A simple "we were wrong" is is much more embarrassing than hoping everyone will forget the original hype.
Besides the disgraced ex-CBS Evening News anchor, HDNet has announced just one hire for “Dan Rather Reports,” tapping a longtime CBS veteran producer, Wayne Nelson, who will be the Executive Producer for new “investigative news” program. (Wasn’t “investigative news” what got Rather into trouble in the first place?) Nelson’s career highlights include stints at CBS’s Dallas bureau, the CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes.
Appearing on FNC's The O'Reilly Factor Wednesday, former CBS News anchor Dan Rather conceded there's a "problem" with America's media in its treatment of Hezbollah and Israel with "moral equivalence," even including himself as part of the problem. As host Bill O'Reilly brought up the topic, stating his criticism that "Some networks give moral equivalency to Hezbollah in the reporting of this war," Rather voiced agreement and went on to acknowledge the media's reluctance to label Hezbollah as a "terrorist organization." Rather: "It's a problem that those of us in journalism have been reluctant to address -- I do not exclude myself from this criticism -- reluctant to address that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. It's committed to the destruction of Israel. It isn't committed to trying to just gain territory. It's committed to its destruction." (Transcript follows)
Right there on their web page linking us to their story it blares. "Lawmakers almost giddy over Castro's illness", the headline trumpets. Later in their story they repeat the negligently emotive rhetoric.
"Another Cuban-born U.S. politician, Sen. Mel Martinez, was almost giddy over the report of Castro's surgery.
"My hope is that there will be an opportunity for voices of freedom to be heard in Cuba, that this could begin a moment of transformation and transition to a better life and a better day," the Republican from Florida told reporters.
Martinez described his reaction to Monday's report that Castro is ill as "intensely emotional."
Ms. Magazine is inviting girls and women who’ve had abortions to submit their names for publication, to sign a pro-abortion petition to the president that the magazine will deliver and – of course – to donate money to the publisher’s pro-abortion advocacy campaign. If that’s not media bias, what is?
The magazine’s promotion celebrates 33 years of abortions since Ms. Magazine first printed a petition in which “53 well-known U.S. women declared that they had undergone abortions—despite state laws rendering the procedure illegal.”
For nearly all of his presidency, George W. Bush has been on the receiving end of mainly negative — sometimes highly negative — coverage from the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts, according to a new report from the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA), a nonpartisan research group. The only time the TV networks gave Bush mostly (63%) positive coverage was during the three months following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and even then nearly four-in-ten on-air evaluations (37%) of the President were critical.
The findings are included in the latest issue of CMPA’s Media Monitor newsletter, which reached my (snail) mailbox on Friday. So far, it has yet to be posted on CMPA’s Web site, which appears to make this NewsBusters posting a World Wide Web exclusive.
Isn't it generally assumed that when two countries are at war, that it is the right and duty of those countries actually in the conflict to decide when that war might be over and how it is prosecuted? Certainly other nations might attempt to diplomatically intervene to help resolve the crisis but, when all is said and done, isn't it still the duty of the warring parties to arrive at their own conclusions?
Not according to The New York Times. The Times has pronounced it the duty of the "World Powers" to end Israel's security measures in Lebanon as if neither Israel nor Lebanon have a thing to say about it.
Naturally, it's all the USA's fault that they couldn't agree on a policy, too.
According to Major General Lewis MacKenzie, Canadian Army, retired, one of the Canadian soldiers killed by Israeli bombs in Lebanon had written emails home complaining that Hizbullah terrorists were using his UN post as a shield, expecting that Israel wouldn't target them if they were close to the UN post.
Canadian killed from UN force complained his position shielding Hizbullah
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 26 July 2006
"...the tragic loss of a soldier yesterday who I happen to know and I think probably is from my Regiment. We've received e-mails from him a few days ago and he described the fact that he was taking within - in one case - three meters of his position "for tactical necessity - not being targeted". Now that's veiled speech in the military and what he was telling us was Hizbullah fighters were all over his position and the IDF were targeting them and that's a favorite trick by people who don't have representation in the UN. They use the UN as shields knowing that they can't be punished for it."
Retired Canadian Major General Lewis MacKenzie interviewed on CBC Toronto radio 26 July 2006 For recording see this REALAUDIO file: http://cbc.ca/metromorning/media/20060726LMCJUL26.ram
I wonder how many UN supporting MSM outlets will pick this report up?
It would be doubtful if many do as the MSM are all agreed upon the cry of how evil the Jeeeews are for bombing a UN outpost. Of course, this shows how useless the UN outposts are in the first place if they just serve as shields for further terrorists strikes against innocent Israeli citizens.
When Fox News Channel Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes spoke to TV critics on Monday night, about two-thirds of the group of 150 walked out in protest, with several “voicing their scorn for what they say is Fox News’ conservative spin,” the Miami Herald’s Glenn Garvin reported on Wednesday. (Updated 6:02pm EDT)
Can you imagine 100 TV critics, upset by CBS’s liberal bias, walking out on Les Moonves or Sean McManus? Or even a dozen critics turning their backs on the scandal-scarred Dan Rather? Such open disdain for Fox News Channel’s uniquely non-liberal approach speaks volumes about the media elite’s arrogant belief that it’s journalistic malpractice to give a fair shake to conservatives.
But, Garvin noted, Ailes had his own tweaks for the critics, citing their articles from a decade ago predicting “a quick and painful death for Fox News when it first went on the air in 1996.” Thwarting the critics’ desires, FNC has topped cable news ratings charts for more than four years, with CNN, Headline News and MSNBC trailing far behind.
"'Over the line?' Where was Roger when O'Reilly defended the Nazi SS stormtroopers from Malmedy in World War II? The SS shot 84 American POW's there in 1944, and three different times in the last year, Bill called has called those dead Americans war criminals.
Bill O'Reilly's down to his last strike. As noted here, on his radio and TV shows yesterday, Bill propounded the theory that the big-city newspapers have tread lightly in the current Middle East conflict for fear of alienating their liberal Jewish readers. As Bill put it, liberal Jews "are all the papers have left" when it comes to significant market niches.
While Bill singled out the NY Times as the paper most loath to offend its liberal Jewish readers, he also mentioned the Boston Globe by name on his radio show. As discussed here, the NY Times came out this morning guns ablazin', so to speak, for an immediate cease-fire.
Turns out the Boston Globe has done the same thing. Excerpts from its editorial of today, While Lebanon Burns:
Bill O'Reilly got his show off to a surprising start this afternoon, with a novel theory as to why the big-city newspapers have tread lightly in criticizing Israel for its role in the current conflict. During his opening monologue O'Reilly theorized that the papers are fearful of turning off liberal Jewish readers.
As per Bill's hypothesis, papers such as the NY and LA Times, Boston Globe and Washington Post have been taking big hits in readership and profitability. With Fox News Channel's ED Hill in the studio, O'Reilly continued: "liberal Jewish readers are all [those newspapers] have left" as a significant market segment. If the papers were to be too critical of Israel, it could alienate their last remaining readership niche.
With Howard Dean floundering as leader of the Democratic Party and as Daily Kos loses influence with its Blogola scandal (probably making room for the Next Big Thing, as Kos replaced MoveOn), the Left is proving once again that it cannot form a united front against Bush for more than several months.
How could such meager opposition possibly survive? Columnist Peggy Noonan noticed something as she read ABC News' The Note: The political digest inadvertently noted who Bush's true opposition is, and it's not the Democratic Party. Said The Note, "[Mr. Bush] is going to need to be focused and impressive, not easy pickings for the Rich-Krugman-Dowd-Stewart axis."
As I read I nodded: That's exactly true. What was significant is that The Note did not designate as Mr. Bush's main and most effective foes Pelosi, Dodd, Reid, Biden, et al. Mr. Bush's mightiest competitors are columnists and a comedian with a fake-news show.
This is one reason the media is important. (Not "are important." Language evolves; usage changes; people vote with their tongues. It's not the correct "return to normality"; it's the incorrect "return to normalcy." It's not "the media are" it's "the media is." People see the media as one big thing.)
One of the central tenants of professional journalism is the notion that reporters remain objective in their analysis and reporting. Generally, it is the responsibility of a newspaper’s management to ensure that individuals who express a desire to maintain emotional and psychological distance from stories they cover are employed to report news under the title of a “journalist.” If the writer is an opinion writer, this is known as a “pundit.”
That stated, the Washington Posthosted an online “Live from Syria” chat session this past Monday on their website. The forum was conducted by a Syrian writer named Sami Moubayed. The Posts’ description of the writer is “PostGlobal Panelist/Syrian Political Analyst, Journalist and Author.” Flipping to the writer’s website and reading the “About” section, however, shows that Mr. Moubayed has some conflicts of interest when it comes to covering the Lebanon-Israel conflict. From Moubayeb’s profile:
Guess we folks at NewsBusters and at our parent organization, Media Research Center, can go home. Our work is done. Not only is the media not controlled by liberals, it's actually . . . dominated by the right wing. For that matter, it has been for decades! If only we had known, we could have saved ourselves all this trouble.
How did I learn this? From Arshad Hasan, of Democracy for America, the group Howard Dean founded at the end of his candidacy, and that has as its stated goal "to rebuild the Democratic Party." Dean's brother Jim serves at its chair.
Arshad was nice enough to send me an email this morning [OK, I signed up for their list], informing me of the exciting news that DFA is working "to take back our media" and that for such purposes will be conducting online 'DFA Night School' sessions to cover the following subjects:
eye on building audience anticipation, and maybe a little political
gravitas, CBS sent its anchor-in-waiting Katie Couric on a six-city
promotional tour complete with town meetings. AP reporter David Bauder
compared her “listening tour” to Hillary Clinton’s, and like the former
First Lady’s sojourns, these were frantically pre-screened to be safe
and boring. (A blogger in Minneapolis had his pen confiscated.)
Couric told gossip writer
James Brady in Aspen she was going out to see “real people,” but Couric
has been doing something else at tour stops. She’s been raising money
for local cancer charities at $150 a plate. Since her husband Jay
Monahan and her sister Emily Couric died of cancer, Couric has been a
very active fundraiser for anti-cancer causes. Working with a charity
called the Entertainment Industries Foundation (EIF), she is a
co-founder of the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA).
They have built a Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at New
York’s Presbyterian Hospital.
In her sister’s memory, she
has pledged to serve as honorary chairwoman of a campaign to raise $100
million for a new cancer center at the University of Virginia, her alma
mater. In May, Couric gave a short commencement address at the
University of Oklahoma for an eye-popping fee of $115,000 paid by
private donors. The six-figure sum was sent directly to the UVA
charity. Will she do more six-figure speeches for charity cash?
Couric has established an
admirable record of public activism in the fight against cancer and is
to be commended for her efforts. But this also being the first time
we’ve had one of the nation’s leading news anchors have an aggressive
high-profile side career in philanthropy (we’re not counting Dan
Rather’s one-night stand helping raise $20,000 for the Democratic Party
of Travis County, Texas in 2001). Couric's activity triggers the
uncomfortable but necessary question: Is there a political conflict of
interest at play here?
The Chicago Tribune may not be, as its competitor the Chicago Sun-Times can boast, a "proud sponsor of Gay Games VII," but you wouldn't know it by its coverage.
Last Sunday, the Tribune featured eight articles referencing the Gay Games. On Monday there were five and today there are three. In fairness, some of the articles have more to do with the weather than the games, but some pieces leave no question as to where the writer stands.
Columnist Mary Schmich, for example, writes: "It's been a generation since I knowingly met a gay person for the first time. A generation since the Gay Games started. A generation of huge, encouraging changes. And still not enough has changed."
This one is truly delicious (grateful hat tip to Little Green Footballs): The International Federation of Journalists condemned Israel for attacking the headquarters of Lebanese broadcaster Al-Manar. For those that are unfamiliar, this is the television station and website run by Hezbollah, the terrorist group that started this recent conflagration against Israel.
As reported by the Islamic Republic News Agency: “The International Federation of Journalists Friday condemned the Israeli bombing of the Lebanese broadcaster Al-Manar, warning that the attack follows a pattern of media targeting that threatens the lives of media staff, violates international law and endorses the use of violence to stifle dissident media.”
A piece in today’s NYT lets slip a canard that has been increasingly accepted as an article of faith among many talking heads and television news cycles, and reveals that the United States forces are actually helping Iraqis by being there.
And dang it all if it isn’t the Sunnis pleading for the Americans to remain steadfast and strong this time. While this is not necessarily an encouraging development, it does dampen previous notions that the US forces are viewed strictly as occupiers, bloodthirsty killers or as incompetent and unnecessary, and are instead looked upon by the oppressed and victimized as a protecting force (along with the Iraqi police and army).
President Bush is an even greater threat to our civil liberties than that bête noire of the left, Richard Nixon. That's Morton Halperin's conclusion in a Los Angeles Times op-ed of today, Bush: Worse Than Nixon.
Halperin was once a name in the news. In 1969, then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger named Halperin to the NSA. But soon thereafter Kissinger suspected it was the dovish Halperin who leaked to the NY Times the fact that the US was secretly bombing Cambodia. The FBI began tapping his phone, and Halperin was soon gone from NSA. Perhaps Halperin's biggest claim to fame is the fact that Pres. Nixon put him on his 'Enemies List.' A red badge of courage, no pun intended, off which a person can no doubt eat for a lifetime in liberal circles.
Halperin remains active politically, serving as a senior fellow at the 'Center for American Progress.' As detailed by the invaluable Discoverthenetworks, CAP is a George Soros-funded organization founded on the risible notion that American colleges and universities are dominated by . . . conservatives."
"It's hard not to notice the clear similarities between then and now. Both the Nixon and Bush presidencies rely heavily on the use of national security as a pretext for the usurpation of unprecedented executive power.
Is university 'journalism' education anything more than training camp for liberal cadres preparing to join MSM ranks? Take, for example, this morning's op-ed in the Seattle Times by Floyd J. McKay, a journalism professor emeritus at Western Washington University.
He spouts straight-from-the-Gore's-mouth alarmism about global warming, going so far as to propose that high school students be forced to view Al's flick. He also takes predictable shots at the Bush administration and talk show hosts, throwing in a particularly nasty swipe at Christian conservatives in the process. Excerpts below.
"Migrations [from farm to city] in India and elsewhere in Africa and Asia cannot be sustained at today's Western standard of living. Even at one car per family, without air conditioning and supermalls, the world's environment cannot survive the onslaught."
"I'd suggest we start by making Al Gore's slide-show movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," required viewing in every high school in the country."