Journalistic Issues

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.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 9, 2008 | 5:39 AM EDT

Back on September 3, the Detroit Free Press ran a feature asking local voters how they felt about Governor Sarah Palin's acceptance speech during the Republican National Convention. However, several of those identified as "independent" voters have turned out to be far from independent but are anti-war activists and members of the radical hate-group, Code Pink. Looks like the Detroit Free Press got snookered big time on this one.

The Free Press published the opinions of Ilene Beninson, 52, and Joellen Gilchrist, 64, as the opinion of "independents" and, naturally, they both hated Palin and her speech. But, as the days rolled onward, it has come to light that neither Beninson nor Gilchrist are as "independent" as they claimed. Even ABC's Jake Tapper got snared by the sham independents. Tapper later apologized for his error.

By Rusty Weiss | September 8, 2008 | 10:21 PM EDT
The Looney LeftThis is to say, not reality at all.

What is the first step in the main stream media’s handbook of liberal bias?  Why, alter the headline to fit your agenda, of course.

In textbook MSM form, liberal news outlets have been altering the planned Tuesday announcement by President Bush that 8,000 troops in Iraq will be home by February. 

Allow me to demonstrate…

By Warner Todd Huston | September 8, 2008 | 4:27 AM EDT

What's in a name? Well, if you'll excuse my Shakespeare, what's in a name is a certain level of respect. And in the pursuit of straight news a person's name should be presented without sarcastic manipulation as well as with proper titles affixed. For instance, Hillary Clinton is properly either Mrs. Clinton or Senator Clinton. On the other hand, calling Hillary "Her Thighness" is not appropriate in a straight news story. It may be funny, of course, but it is not proper nor does it show the respect due the woman. (I know, I'm a killjoy) So, why does the New York Times and the L.A. Times both so often call Governor Sarah Palin Ms. all the time?

Could it be that they wish to subtly bestow as much disrespect as possible in their news stories on McCain's VP pick without going as far as calling her a name like the sarcastic jab "Her Thighness" might serve for Hillary? Could it be these supposedly serious news sources wish to attack Governor Palin and they don't think anyone will notice the slight of her marriage by the misuse of the title Ms.?

By Warner Todd Huston | September 7, 2008 | 9:36 AM EDT

The San Francisco Chronicle published an article on September 7 masterful for its underhanded back slapping of John McCain, Sarah Palin and anyone who would vote for them all while pretending to say how successful the McCain/Palin ticket is in garnering support since the end of the GOP Convention.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 6, 2008 | 9:27 PM EDT

Apparently the media wants to get even for the Swift-Boaters successful torpedoing of John Kerry in 2004 because they are by the dozens every day promulgating lies about the career and life of Governor Sarah Palin.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 6, 2008 | 6:49 AM EDT

Susan Reimer, columnist for the Baltimore Sun, is shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that people took exception to her tactless bashing of Governor Sarah Palin in her September 1 column, "A woman -- but why this woman?" In fact, Reimer is so upset that people where exercised enough to drop her a note, give her a call, or write an email about her baseless smearing of Palin that she says in her September 5 column that she feels "frightened." Do you want some cheese and crackers to go with that whine, Reimer?

On Monday, I wrote a column criticizing the McCain campaign for what I saw as a cynical attempt to gather in unhappy women voters by naming Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin his vice presidential candidate and for exploiting the poignant story of her youngest child to appease the Republican Party's pro-life base... And then the storm began.

Reimer was shocked to find that her substance free, lie filled attack on John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin generated "More than 8,200 comments were posted to the column on The Baltimore Sun's Web site. I received more than 700 personal e-mails and about 50 phone calls."

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.