Journalistic Issues

By Warner Todd Huston | September 5, 2008 | 6:19 AM EDT

Courtney Hazlett over at MSNBC's "The Scoop" is reporting that thousands of "Us Weekly" subscribers have not only called the magazine to cancel their subscriptions -- some reports say up to 10,000 cancellations have occurred -- but have also contacted advertisers and expressed their outrage that they are advertising with the celebrity news magazine that would so blatantly try to destroy Governor Palin.

Hazlett is hearing that the editorial board of "Us Weekly" had thought they pegged it right that media pressure and attacks would see Palin pulled from the McCain ticket even before her debut speech. Because the media had so quickly swarmed to destroy her, they thought she was toast before she even had the chance to accept the nomination.

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

Apparently Ted Anthony of the Associated Press thinks it is somehow "contradictory" of the GOP to show VP candidate Governor Sarah Palin's kids at the GOP convention on TV. He seems to imagine that, since the GOP objected to the media attempting to use the kids against Governor Palin, that the GOP shouldn't be allowed to have the kids attend the convention to see their Mother accept her nomination.

Anthony's "analysis" hit the nets on September 3, the day after Palin's wonderful acceptance speech on night 3 of the proceedings. Naturally, the AP trolls our left leaning universities to find some "expert" to back up its claim that it is all wrong to show the proud faces of Palin's children looking up at their Mother as she speaks to the convention.

By Jacob S. Lybbert | September 4, 2008 | 4:18 PM EDT

At long last, the soon-to-be erstwhile Democratic mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, pleaded guilty and will resign as mayor. The Detroit Free Press reports all of the salacious details--except the singular detail that Kilpatrick is a Democrat.

In a courtroom this morning, Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to two felony counts of obstructing justice by committing perjury. He will spend four months in jail, pay up to $1 million in restitution, and serve five years' probation. [...]

By Warner Todd Huston | September 4, 2008 | 6:12 AM EDT

The Associated Press takes the attacks against Sarah Palin to the next level by saying that in her released bio Palin's religion was "obscured." The AP is suggesting that Palin's ostensibly secret religion is really Pentecostalism which, they note, is a sect that is "derided by outsiders and Bible-believers alike." So, the AP is saying here that the McCain campaign is trying to cover up Palin's past because they must somehow know that her real religion is a cult or some wacko, fringe sect.

Sarah Palin often identifies herself simply as Christian... Yet John McCain's running mate has deep roots in Pentecostalism, a spirit-filled Christian tradition that is one of the fastest growing in the world. It's often derided by outsiders and Bible-believers alike.

But for all of the AP's grave warnings about what it obviously considers wacky Pentecostalism, Palin and her hard working, middle class family have for the last 6 years belonged to the Wasilla Bible Church which is not a Pentecostal Church but describes itself as an independent evangelical church. So, even if she were raised in the Pentecostal Church -- and even if we were to be alarmed at this -- she left it behind 6 years ago. So, where is the "obscuring," where is the secretive past?

By Warner Todd Huston | September 4, 2008 | 3:16 AM EDT

For a Thursday funny, the grown-ups at CNN must have been napping when they allowed a half informed intern to type up their screen graphic on Wednesday. As the CNN "Sky View" camera roamed the audience during the Republican Convention the screen graphic helpfully informed the viewer that McCain "Officially wins Democratic Nomination."

Psst, CNN. It's McCain wins the Republican nomination. Just tryin' to help ya out, there.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 3, 2008 | 8:49 PM EDT

It always comes down to this one, doesn't it? Leftists and fringe politicos calling Republicans "Nazis." Well, the "N" word was once again unleashed against John McCain's Republican Convention on September 2 during CNN's Larry King Live show. Actor D.L. Hughley and Independent former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura both went for that shopworn epithet as King discussed the Convention.

Along with Hughley and Ventura, King had on former Clinton Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers who claimed that Republicans were saying with their convention theme that “only Republicans put their country first” ridiculously saying that Independents shouldn't vote for the GOP because they are insulted so much. "I don't understand why any independent or Democrat would consider voting for the McCain/Palin ticket," Myers partisanly intoned, "after being called all night that only Republicans put their country first."

By Jacob S. Lybbert | September 3, 2008 | 5:20 PM EDT

As Fox News prepares to interview Barack Obama tomorrow night, during prime time, TV journalist Michael Wolff details a meeting between Barack Obama, Fox News president Roger Ailes, and News Corporation president Rupert Murdoch in which the Fox execs promised to lay off the Democratic presidential candidate.

According to Wolff's telling, this was more than a mere tete-à-tete, this was a full-on diplomatic meeting (initiated at Murdoch's request), conducted only after preparation and with preconditions from the Obama campaign.

The apparent purpose? To smooth things over in the event that Obama defeats John McCain:

By Warner Todd Huston | September 3, 2008 | 3:02 AM EDT

John McCain's campaign spokesman is reporting that the media has deluged the campaign with demands that it provide DNA samples to "prove" that baby Trig is the true offspring of vice presidential candidate Governor Sarah Palin. Imagine the effrontery of this demand? Imagine the ignorance and outrageousness of this attack that Governor Palin is receiving at the hands of the Old Media? Worse, realize that this storm has been raised by gutter websites like DailyKos and the DemocraticUnderground! The media is not only indulging in the lowest of attacks they are allowing the most extreme, unhinged of the far left to dictate the direction of their coverage. The Old Media are worse than dancing puppets for the hatemongers on the left.

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz reported that McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt is being buried under an avalanche of these unseemly demands for Palin's DNA by the media establishment.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 2, 2008 | 10:29 AM EDT

For those who say that the Maverick can't learn a new lesson, Bloomberg has a story that proves John McCain has at least learned this lesson; the media is not his friend. Pronouncing that McCain's "longtime love affair" between himself and the media is "on the rocks," Bloomberg reports on how McCain has been distancing himself from the media of late. Naturally, Bloomberg takes a few shots along the way, too.

It seems that, instead of placing the blame on the media where it belongs for its mistreatment of McCain and its sycophancy for Obama, Bloomberg seems to suggest that it is the fault of McCain's new campaign manager who, Bloomberg gravely tells us, was "close to Karl Rove."

By Warner Todd Huston | September 2, 2008 | 3:17 AM EDT

There is an ethics squabble going on in Montana perpetrated by the senior counsel to the Democrat Governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer. It has been revealed that the Governor's "senior counsel," a man named Eric Stern, has been caught trying to "back-door" the judge in a case in which he is involved on behalf of Governor Schweitzer. The ethics violation is bad enough, but it has also been discovered that, even though he is claimed to be an attorney and the Governor's senior counsel, Eric Stern, is not licensed to practice law in the state of Montana. This seems to say that Eric Stern is practicing law without a license, doesn’t it? Strangely, the media have not bothered to report this most important fact.

According to reports, Eric Stern "a senior official in the governor's administration" improperly contacted the commissioner of political practices "outside of official proceedings in an ongoing ethics case." In effect, Stern is accused of trying to "back-door" the judge by discussing the case outside of official proceedings, an extremely blatant ethics violation.

By Jacob S. Lybbert | September 1, 2008 | 2:25 PM EDT

I think I've got it now. These are the MSM rules when dealing with the personal lives of national candidates and/or members of their family:

Given the chance to publicly embarrass and humiliate a Republican candidate's 17 year old daughter, do it.

If it's a moralizing former Democratic candidate for president, well, leave that to the National Enquirer.

Today, to head off the many tawdry rumors being passed back and forth between the Daily Kos diarists and their MSM fellow travelers, the McCain camp announced that Governor Sarah Palin's 17 year old daughter, Bristol, is pregnant.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 1, 2008 | 8:40 AM EDT

Many Americans have a negative image of journalists and it is one that is growing in believability and acceptance every day, especially as the New Media begins to attract more and more attention from the American people. This image of the aloof, even anti-American, journalist is becoming rote with more people all the time. Sadly, the journalists themselves seem to be uninterested in countering this appalling public image, imagining themselves above being considered mere Americans. On this subject, a recent op ed by Mark Fitzgerald of Editor & Publisher warns journalists that perception is often truth and that the penchant that journalists have for not standing proudly and patriotically during the National Anthem does not help their image any -- good advice that will be roundly ignored by journalists the country over.

Fitzgerald starts off with a bit of an untruth of his own, though I am not accusing him of knowingly perpetrating a falsehood. Saying that "There's no cheering in the press box," Fitzgerald goes on to describe journalists are perennially uninvolved and aloof from the subject of which they report. At some level this may be correct. Certainly when journalists, notoriously left-wing, cover conservatives and Republicans there is no cheering. But, as the recent example during the 2008 National Democratic Convention shows, when it is left-wing, journalists have no problem at all cheering. One need not forget the fawning the media lovingly handed to Bill Clinton to prove the cheerleading they are apt to, either.

Still, that quibble aside, Fitzgerald has a great point about how the unpatriotic attitude of journalists damages their profile. Worse, it makes people doubt journalist's work simply because their word isn't trusted not to be coming from an anti-American perspective.