Journalistic Issues

By Warner Todd Huston | September 15, 2008 | 4:03 AM EDT

You... yes, you reading this right now. McClatchy wants you to know you are mean to them, your mistrust of them is merely egged on by a sly political tactic, and you fall for it because you only get your news from an "ideologically tailored" source. In other words, they are telling you that you are misinformed, mean-spirited, easily led... well, they are telling you that you are stupid. And then they wonder why people don't trust them!

In "McCain campaign systematically targets the news media," McClatchy writers Steven Thomma and Margaret Talev decided to try and explain why the Republicans are attacking the media with their basic conclusion being that it is an unfair convention that the GOP has employed at least since Spiro T. Agnew (of "Nattering nabobs of negativity" fame) was VP. But, despite the truth staring them in the face, they explain away the ire Americans have with the Old Media.

By Mike Bates | September 14, 2008 | 9:52 PM EDT

On Saturday, CNN presented the special "Joe Biden Revealed." 

Anchored by Abbie Boudreau, the show touched on why Biden dropped his 1988 presidential bid. 

Discussing it with Boudreau was Senior Biden adviser Ted Kaufman (Kinnock spelled incorrectly throughout transcript):

By Warner Todd Huston | September 13, 2008 | 10:28 PM EDT

Did ABC use particular camera tricks to make Governor Palin look small and powerless in their Charlie Gibson interview? I've been pointed to a blog that makes a compelling case that they did just that. Using still shots of the Gibson interview with Palin compared to similar Gibson interviews with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, it seems this blogger has proven it to be an open and shut case of manipulation of the viewer. The writer shows how ABC used special camera placements and lenses to make Governor Palin seem small and Charlie Gibson seem overpowering and large by comparison.

By now, just about everyone is aware of Hollywood's special effects and camera techniques. There have been so many TV shows explaining them, so many DVD extras laying out the techniques that most Americans are at least a little familiar with the effects and techniques that filmmakers use to heighten and enhance their work. The anonymous blogger is familiar with these special effects, claims to work in the business in Hollywood himself, and does a great job explaining and pointing out where such effects were used to belittle Governor Palin.

By D. S. Hube | September 13, 2008 | 9:05 AM EDT

What do you do when a rival network scoops you in getting the first sit-down interview with a relatively unknown vice-presidential candidate? Why, you get someone to analyze said veep candidate's body language, that's what! That's just what CBS did on its "Early Show" yesterday, and the network's website reports on the segment with the tantalizing headline "Expert: Palin Didn't Look Confident."

Almost two weeks after John McCain announced she was his choice for a running mate, portions of Sarah Palin's first network television interview aired Thursday night. How did she do in her talk with ABC News anchor Charles Gibson?  On The Early Show Friday, body language expert Jo-Ellan Dimitrius said Palin rated about a five on a scale of ten during the interview. As Dimitirius put it, "There were some aspects that could have been better and some that could have been worse."
By Warner Todd Huston | September 13, 2008 | 8:46 AM EDT

Dontcha ya hate it when Old Media outlets beat up on other Old Media outlets? (Well, maybe you don't hate it, exactly) It's like Old Media on Old Media violence. In this case we have the United Press International (UPI), struggling lesser known news wire service, giving the big smack-a-roo to ABC. UPI is warning that Charlie Gibson's gruff handling of Governor Sarah Palin may "backfire," and that the interview revealed a "double standard" of harsh treatment for Republicans compared to the softballs they've thrown to Democrats in past interviews.

Who can disagree with that assessment?

UPI's Martin Sieff's one sentence assessment of the interview seems to be the general consensus of all dispassionate observers. "There were no surprises, no knockout zingers," Sieff says, "but also no bloopers Thursday night in Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's first TV interview since becoming the Republican vice presidential nominee."

By Matthew Vadum | September 12, 2008 | 9:35 PM EDT

Johanna Neuman of the Los Angeles Times yesterday misrepresented First Lady Laura Bush's words to make it seem like she was backing away from GOP veep candidate Sarah Palin's criticism of Senator Barack Obama's community organizing days.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 12, 2008 | 9:26 AM EDT

<p><b>**Video Below the Fold**</b></p>

<p><img height="116" hspace="0" src="http://www.blogdecine.com/archivos/images/MattDamon.JPG" width="90" align="right" border="0" />As if we needed another reason to think that the excitable Maureen Dowd and the empty headed Matt Damon are... well, excitable and empty headed... we get the newest raindrop in their river of blather as proof that their "research" into a subject seems to consist of hearing an unsupported claim and deciding it represent gospel truth. Our latest proof is that they both seem to have been taken in by a nutrooter lie, a fake quote that claims Sarah Palin said, "dinosaurs were here 4,000 years ago." </p>

Both seem to have fallen for a <a href="http://unbearablebobness.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/08/governor-sarah-pa... of Governor Palin</a> invented by a blogger who's post seems to have been taken literally. The following self-identified "fake Governor Sarah Palin Quote" was posted on August 30: "God made dinosaurs 4,000 years ago as ultimately flawed creatures, lizards of Satan really, so when they died and became petroleum products we, made in his perfect image, could use them in our pickup trucks, snow machines and fishing boats." </p>

By Warner Todd Huston | September 12, 2008 | 2:44 AM EDT

This one has got to take the cake for stupidity and lack of journalistic integrity. The Old Media has been gyrating in ever widening circles to find new and unheard of ways to destroy Governor Sarah Palin and now from the Hartford Courant (Connecticut) we find the most ridiculous one yet. With this Robert Thorson column we have now gone from slandering Gov. Palin herself, to attacking every last member of her family -- including her Down Syndrome child, Trig -- to this latest stop on the smear Palin express: attacking Palin's hometown Wasilla, Alaska. Thorson seriously tries to make us believe that Wasilla is an "angry" town! Why? Because of its "geography." And because of something that happened in 1976.

Yes, Wasilla is filled with "disappointed" and "angry" people and this is what "scares" Thorson about Governor Sarah Palin. And Thorson knows that everyone in Wasilla is foaming at the mouth mad because of his intimate knowledge of Wasilla and it's people, right? He knows this because of his extensive research into Wasilla's newspapers, or TV reports, or interviews with citizens all of whom are telling him about their mental perturbation, right? Uh, no. He "knows" this because of an Encyclopedia entry and little else.

By Jacob S. Lybbert | September 11, 2008 | 4:12 PM EDT

What if you could download a program that would scan, magically, any article written anywhere and expose the spin, bias, and misinformation? Would that interest you?This is what a new program--SpinSpotter--coming to you from Seattle, WA, purports to do. Business Week reports:

The application's algorithms work off six key tenets of spin and bias, which the company derived from both the guidelines of the Society of Professional Journalists' Code Of Ethics and input from an advisory board composed of journalism luminaries.
By Rusty Weiss | September 11, 2008 | 10:09 AM EDT
Keith Olbermann is a man of little integrity. Yet from a journalistic aspect, he does exude an air of intelligence, and is a very well spoken, albeit lame, excuse for an anchor. Olbermann, who clearly and cleverly picks descriptive terms from a vast ranging vocabulary to convey his thoughts, has placed one well thought out phrase in his recent ‘Special Comment’ piece on Countdown: Republicans Hijacked 9/11.
By Warner Todd Huston | September 10, 2008 | 5:31 AM EDT

Mario Cattabiani of the Philadelphia Inquirer wants you to know that Governor Sarah Palin's selling of her state's plane is no big deal. Why? Well, because Democrat Governor Ed "Fast Eddie" Rendell sold his state's plane, too, and he got a better deal. So, Palin's plane purveying pales next to Rendell's according to Cattabiani. Only, there are quite a few facts that Cattabiani seems to have skipped in his story. So, apparently, the only way for the Philly Inquirer to pooh pooh Palin's efforts is to mislead us about Rendell's. Unfortunately for Cattabiani, his piece ends up being just another way to lie about Palin's record.

Starting out suitably flippant, Cattabiani takes a sarcastic jab at Palin telling her that she should "take a lesson from the Rendell administration on how to sell a state airplane," and then goes on to relate how Rendell sold his state plane at a profit. And Cattabiani then quotes a Rendell crony to the effect that Palin is "inexperienced" because of it all. Naturally, there is no investigation into what sorts of planes the two Governors sold, nor what they were worth because it turns out the Pennsylvanian plane was worth more than the Alaskan plane in the first place -- nor does Cattabiani give the Palin camp any space to reply to the political jab.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 9, 2008 | 6:54 PM EDT

As NewsBusters reported on September 5, the celebrity gossip magazine "Us Weekly" got inundated by angry subscribers demanding their subscriptions be cancelled after the slick published an issue bashing McCain VP pick Governor Sarah Palin, her family and litle baby Trig.

Well, now it looks like "Us Weekly" is desperate to stem the tide of angry cancellations by offering free issues to anyone upset over the Palin-Bashing issue. Michelle Malkin is reporting that the magazine is sending subscribers an email begging them not to cancel and offering a groveling apology.