Journalistic Issues

By Jacob S. Lybbert | August 20, 2008 | 12:25 AM EDT

When will the University of Illinois (Chicago) release the Annenberg Challenge documents? This is the question Stanley Kurtz asked in his column yesterday at NRO. Since then, the call has been taken up by various conservative blogs and radio shows. Today, U of I News Bureau Director, Bill Burton, issued a press release.

The University Library supports the teaching, research, and service missions of the University by acquiring, organizing, preserving, and providing access to information. The Library is open to the public and dedicated to free inquiry. The University has not received ownership rights to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge collection. The university is aggressively pursuing an agreement with the donor, and as soon as an agreement is finalized, the collection will be made accessible to the public.

Ok, fair enough. But why the secrecy over the donor of the documents? And more importantly, can the university guarantee in the interim that nothing will be removed or altered?

By Brent Baker | August 19, 2008 | 11:20 AM EDT
“Over the last 10 years,” the just-released biennial news consumption survey from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press determined, “virtually every news organization or program has seen its credibility marks decline” and “Democrats continue to give most news organizations much higher credibility ratings than do Republicans.”

Based on past Pew polls, CNN touts itself as “the most trusted name in news,” but the percent who “believe all or most” of what CNN reports has fallen 12 points, to 30 percent, since Pew first posed the question in 1998. Yet, in a sign of how far the news media have fallen in the eyes of the public, that puts CNN at the top of the 12 television news outlets analyzed, as well as above all the newspapers and online sources. Believability for ABC News, CBS News and NBC News is down six points over the past ten years, to 24 percent for ABC and NBC, 22 percent for CBS, but that's still better than the mere 18 percent who “believe all or most” of what they read in the New York Times.   

The extensive polling conducted in May also discovered that the audiences for CNN and MSNBC, “which were heavily Democratic two years ago, have become even more so: fully 51 percent of CNN's regular viewers are Democrats while only 18 percent are Republicans. MSNBC's audience makeup is similar -- 45 percent of regular viewers of MSNBC are Democrats, 18 percent are Republicans” and “the regular audience for nightly network news also is now about two-to-one Democratic (45 percent vs. 22 percent Republican).”
By Warner Todd Huston | August 18, 2008 | 6:45 PM EDT

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

<p><img src="http://conservablogs.com/publiusforum/wp-content/themes/art/obamaposter_... align="right" border="0" hspace="10" vspace="10" />Question: Isn't it big news when a leading candidate for president of the U.S. admits that since 2003 he has been lying about a vote he once made? Even more to the point, isn't it big news when the candidate himself was on TV not long before that admission saying that everyone else is the liar? So, why is the media silent on the 180 degree about face that the Obama campaign has just made concerning Obama's BAIP vote? </p>

<p>As NewsBusters <a href="http://newsbusters.org/blogs/warner-todd-huston/2008/08/13/obama-lied-ab... on August 13</a>, the media pretty much ignored the great work by Jill Stanek in uncovering the truth that contradicted nearly 6 years of claims that Obama made concerning his vote on the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act when he was in the Illinois State Senate. Obama claimed that the Federal "neutrality clause" wasn't in the Illinois bill and that if it were he would have voted for the bill instead of against it. Stanek proved that the exact same clause Obama said wasn't in the bill was actually placed in the bill by the very committee Obama chaired. Yet he still voted against it.</p>

By Mark Finkelstein | August 18, 2008 | 2:00 PM EDT

As NewsBuster Brad Wilmouth has noted, over the weekend NBC News political director Chuck Todd, previewing the Saddleback forum, suggested it represented an opportunity for Obama to forestall "personal hatred" of him by evangelical Christians.

Todd has now contacted NewsBusters to express regret over his choice of words.  

Todd's initial remark was made to Andrea Mitchell during a pre-game special edition of Hardball on Saturday:  

CHUCK TODD: It's just not, it's just not his comfort zone. So it's a huge opportunity for Obama tonight to at least not be hated by the evange-, look, these folks are not going to ever support him. They know what kind of judges he's going to appoint. It's going to be judges that evangelicals aren't going to be happy with. But they're not going to, if they don't have a personal hatred of him, then that's a good thing for Obama.

Todd today contacted NewsBusters, acknowledging:

By Warner Todd Huston | August 18, 2008 | 5:08 AM EDT

Many of you are aware of the kerfuffle surrounding the "cone of silence" complaint being ginned up by the Obama campaign after the recent Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency on Saturday, August 16. The claim made by Obama and his willing accomplices in the Old Media (like Andrea Mitchell, not to mention the DailyKos) is that John McCain "cheated" by hearing the questions proffered to Obama, who was first up to be questioned by moderator Rick Warren. McCain's answers were just too glib, the Obama meme posits, so he must have heard the questions ahead of time instead of being placed in an area off stage where he could not hear the proceedings. Yes, they are saying he cheated.

On Sunday, August 17, The New York Times did its level best to assist the Obama campaign to further that mistaken conception -- well, all right, that outright lie -- even as they debunked the story. How? By making their headline seem to support the Obama claim that McCain cheated, that's how.

By Warner Todd Huston | August 17, 2008 | 4:53 AM EDT

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

<p><img height="157" hspace="0" src="http://www.nydailynews.com/img/2008/06/24/amd_kobebryant.jpg" width="120" align="right" border="0" />In a recent interview with USA Olympics basketball team member Kobe Bryant, NBC Sports reporter Chris Collinsworth seemed to question Kobe's patriotism when the player said that he was proud to wear the team USA uniform. Wondering if it was "cool" to be proud of being on Team USA, Collinsworth seemed to surprise even Bryant with the temerity of the question. Why Collinsworth wouldn't think it would be "cool" to be proud of being on the American Olympic basketball team is anyone's guess.</p>

<p>In a portion of the interview, Kobe began to say how thrilled he was to get his Team USA uniform and that he "just stared at it" for a while in awe. Collinsworth followed that heartwarming display of patriotism with a jaw dropping series of questions. Worse, he asked these questions with an absurd smirk stealing across his face, seeming to think that he was about to join Kobe in cynicism over the evil America with his doubting Thomas questions.</p>

By Warner Todd Huston | August 16, 2008 | 7:53 AM EDT

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

<p><img height="170" hspace="0" src="http://forthardknox.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/howard-dean.jpg" width="150" align="right" border="0" />Barack Obama has been fond of playing the race card in this campaign telling his enraptured audiences that Republicans will attack him because he's black, even though no GOP candidate or campaign has done so to date. But, Obama is a newcomer to the racemongering game when compared to Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. True to form, <a href="http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2008/08/mccain... a recent interview</a> Dean has once again called the GOP a "white party" attempting to make this campaign about race issues instead of candidates and platforms.</p>

<p>This is the sort of cynical, hate-filled garbage that Democrats have universally parlayed as campaign rhetoric since the 1960s. As recently as the August election in <a href="http://newsbusters.org/blogs/warner-todd-huston/2008/08/01/obamas-medias... 9th District</a>, for instance, a black challenger to a white, Jewish incumbent featured both racial and religious epithets thrown at the Congressman by the black, Democrat challenger. That obscene campaign barely rated a mention in the Old Media. The response by the Old Media to the ease with which Democrats resort to race baiting, though, also shows the impunity that Democrats enjoy on the issue. That Dean knows he can say such a thing and not feel he'd be taken to task for it proves not only that the Democrats are dividers and not uniters, but that the Old Media can be relied on to give them a complete pass on their divisiveness.</p>

By Jacob S. Lybbert | August 15, 2008 | 2:19 PM EDT

"The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 55% believe media bias is more of a problem than big campaign contributions." As Tom Blumer pointed out when first reporting on this poll on Monday,

By P.J. Gladnick | August 15, 2008 | 9:34 AM EDT

Although the mainstream media has finally started to report on the John Edwards scandal now that he has admitted to an affair on ABC's Nightline following several reports by the National Enquirer, they continue to fall way behind in investigative reporting compared to the blogosphere.

By Warner Todd Huston | August 15, 2008 | 7:24 AM EDT

Another day another "study" of dubious worth. This time it is Science Daily letting us know that "Latinas" in the United States have high rates of depression because of that dreaded "Americanization" they apparently unfairly face. So now, just the gall-darn, odiousness of becoming "Americanized" is enough to send "Latinas" to the funny farm, I guess. But, it seems to me that this "study" tends to say that it is single motherhood and out of wedlock pregnancies causing the depression not the fact that they are "Latinas" that have become acculturated to American ways.

Just look how horrible it is for Latinas to become Americans:

A study of 439 U.S. and Mexican-born Latinas seeking pregnancy and postpartum services at public health clinics in San Antonio uncovered elevated levels of depression among the more "Americanized" women, report researchers from The University of Texas School of Public Health and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

By Matthew Sheffield | August 14, 2008 | 12:52 PM EDT

Over the past 10 years or so, one of the most commonly asked questions in media circles is why the public seems to be increasingly tuning out and unsubscribing from America's establishment media.

Various reasons have been offered, including the emergence of interactive media, increased work hours, more commuting - all of which aren't without merit. One explanation that usually isn't discussed is that, just maybe, the public is sick of the media picking and choosing what they think is news.

And while it is amusing to see journalists who oppose government media intervention on behalf of the public (FCC) arrogating that privilege to themselves, we'd all be better off without the laughs because the hypocrisy is frustrating the national discourse. Instead of reporting the news, far too many journalists have now taken it upon themselves to protect the public from it.

By Warner Todd Huston | August 14, 2008 | 5:14 AM EDT

Rush Limbaugh killed some church goers in Tennessee last July. That is the message from a Newsday.com columnist for a local New York newspaper chain. Now, I've listened to Rush Limbaugh many times. Because of my schedule, I cannot listen every day, so certainly I have not heard every word the man has ever uttered, but I am sure that you won't be able to find a time when he told people to go out and kill liberals. Neither have I ever heard Sean Hannity advocate murder. Michael Savage.... well, I haven't heard it but I almost wouldn't be surprised, almost. Still, even Savage is smart enough not to do so I am sure. Regardless of a complete lack of such incitement to murder made by these "right-wing Shock jocks," as she puts it, Jenna Kern-Rugile is sure that the killings of the members of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville last July is the fault of Limbaugh, Hannity and Savage.

Her premise is that the "rhetoric of extreme right pundits" such as Limbaugh, Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly "might" have caused shooter Jim D. Adkisson, 58, to gather up his guns and perpetrate a murder spree on July 27 at the Unitarian Church in Knoxville.