One of the things taught in journalism schools, at least when it comes crime reporting, is that when someone charged with a crime, you carefully craft your rhetoric because in the United States, you're presumed innocent until proven guilty.
But what if you're journalist and you're making accusations of crime where there's not even a charge? On NBC's April 18 "The Chris Matthews Show," Time magazine's Joe Klein accused former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Fox News host Glenn Beck of rubbing "right up close to being seditious," which according to the U.S. Code is rubbing right up close to being a crime. And even after the fact, Klein has stuck to his guns and didn't back down from that accusation.
"On the Chris Matthews Show Sunday, I said that some of the right-wing infotainment gasbags--people like Glenn Beck etc.--were nudging up close to the edge of sedition," Klein wrote in an April 19 post on Time.com's Swampland blog. "This has caused a bit of a self-righteous ruckus on the right. Let me be clear: dissent isn't sedition. Questioning an Administration's policies isn't sedition. But questioning an Administration's legitimacy in a manner intended to undermine or overthrow it certainly is."
UPDATE (below the fold): The Washington Examiner's Byron York just posted a piece - Andrew Breitbart's coin challenge for evidence of the "N" word has been verbally answered by AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka.
Editor's Note: Video of conservative being beaten down below the fold.
The media and the Left (please pardon the redundancy) continue to insist that TEA Party participants are engaged in racist and violent behavior - at the surreptitious and stealth "hate speech" urging of talk radio hosts and Republicans.
These have almost all been phantom charges. They are leveled by liberals and Democrats, and the media immediately report them as if they were true. They rarely bother to look for evidence, which works out because most times there isn't any.
On the weekend that health care passed, Democrat Congressman Andre Carson of Indiana asserted that the "N" word was shouted fifteen times at him and fellow black Congressman John Lewis.
The media went right to print with it, reporting it as if it were true. But several videos of the encounter between the Congressmen and the TEA Party-ers surfaced soon after. And on NONE of them could the word be heard once, let alone fifteen times in the chanted fashion that Carson claimed.
Internet media mogul Andrew Breitbart offered $10,000 to the United Negro College Fund - and then later upped it to $100,000 - for any evidence that the word was used at all. He's still got his coin.
And of course, no correction or apology was forthcoming from the media. In fact, some are still reporting it as if it actually happened.
There is hardly a more fitting figure to trumpet Old Media's fear of Internet-powered citizen journalism than Helen Thomas. The 89-year-old reporter has covered every president since Jack Kennedy. But when it comes to the inevitable decline of her brand of journalism, her fears are unfounded and misplaced.
"Helen Thomas," reported Lloyd Grove for the Daily Beast, "is worried that all the downsizing at media outlets will result in less-reliable coverage of the president." Thomas went on to lament the rise of new media as a viable alternative to traditional journalism.
With all due respect to Thomas and her distinguished career as a reporter, it is not at all clear that someone with views as liberal as hers -- placing her as they do well outside the mainstream of American political opinion -- is at all preferable an intermediary to a pajama-clad blogger or iPhone photographer.
Last Thursday, on his unwatched and unwatchable MSNBC television program, Equine Ed Schultz stepped into his Leftist Wayback Machine for a little retro-censorship. With the intent of bringing it back to the future.
Having first called for a reimposition of the alleged "Fairness" Doctrine the week prior on his unlistened to and unlistenable radio show, Schultz took his censorious intentions to his tens of viewers on the tube. (He is doing all of this after making fun of us in 2008 for concerning ourselves with the Doctrine's return.)
Schultz made his latest call for "fairness" by citing the patently absurd 2007 "report" The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio. Which was co-published by the George Soros-funded Leftist "think" tanks Center for American Progress and (the Marxist-founded) Free Press.
We have in fact dismantled this "report"for its deep-seated and inherent fraudulence. It asserts that talk radio is too conservative - and that we need oppressive government regulations aplenty to remedy the situation.
However, it cooked the books from the outset - excluding uber-liberal National Public Radio (NPR) from their analysis pool and then drawing their fraudulent conclusion.
When it comes to socially-conservative groups media outlets like to cover the scandals instead of the celebrations.
That's exactly what NBC did to the Boy Scouts of America which had its 100th anniversary Jan. 25. NBC "Nightly News" completely ignored the anniversary, but did remember to cover Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day during that broadcast.
But NBC will find time for scandal. On April 1, NBC's "Today" reported that the Boy Scouts are at the center of a $25 million lawsuit tied to an alleged cover-up of thousands of sexual abuse cases.
The same network that found the group so unimportant it couldn't even muster one word about their one-hundred year anniversary, found two minutes and twenty-seven seconds to spend on the abuse scandal.
The lawsuit is based on so-called "perversion files," or thousands of secret files the Boy Scouts kept about "thousands of alleged molesters."
CNN's ratings woes continue. The cable news network trails its three competitors in every prime time slot. The Fox News Channel, meanwhile, is enjoying record ratings.
Even Joy Behar, HLN's pseudo-newscaster at the 9 pm slot, beat CNN's Larry King Live 21 times during the first quarter of 2010. King suffered the worst ratings of his CNN career.
Anderson Cooper, who used to rely on King's historically impressive viewership for a ratings boost of his own, dropped 42 percent of his viewers. All this despite his coverage of major news events this year such as the Haiti earthquake and the health care battle on the Hill.
They Know Nuh-Think It was the 2008 Talkers magazine New Media Seminar - June 6 and 7 in New York City. I was there to hob nob with the elite of talk radio.
And Ed Schultz.
I was there also to curry support for our then latest effort to keep the radio airwaves free from tyrannical and censorious government regulation. At that time it was against a return of the ridiculously mis-named "Fairness" Doctrine. Given the talent pool in which I was swimming - those whose livelihoods would be destroyed by it's reinstatement - many were graciously willing to assist.
Not Ed Schultz.
Word of my efforts made its way to him. And he sought me out and approached me so as to ridicule us for fighting the good fight. He rigidly insisted that no Democrat - no one in fact - was seeking a return of the Censorship Doctrine.
"Who talks to Nancy Pelosi more - you or me?" he angrily asked. I replied "Have you talked to Nancy Pelosi - ever?" Because if he had, once, ever, he had done so more than me. (And more's the pity for him.)
He responded "Well I just spoke to her, and no one wants to see (the alleged "Fairness" Doctrine) brought back."
I tried to persuade him that there were plans in the works but he remained, as always, impervious to facts.
ABC News correspondents Brian Rooney and Laura Marquez “are among the ABC reporters whose contracts will not be renewed as the network looks to shed anywhere from 300-400 jobs by the end of the year,” TV Newser reported in a Wednesday afternoon post. (Earlier item from The Enterprise Report.). The names of the two California-based correspondents (Rooney in Los Angeles and Marquez in San Francisco) should ring familiar to NewsBusters readers. During the fires last summer, Rooney featured a resident who affirmed “he would gladly pay more taxes.”
Multiple offender Marquez last year used her World News platform to express frustration at the difficulty of raising taxes in California and on January 2 of this year described the demise of the death tax as “a big gift from Congress” to “America's wealthiest families” as she saw a loss for “all of us” who aren’t so rich as she lamented the reduction of revenue for the federal government:
Just one percent of American families are wealthy enough to pay the estate tax, but if they don't pay, it affects all of us because the federal government will lose billions of dollars in revenue.
“He believes networking in the nude to be an absolute moral good.” Talk about the incestuous relationship amongst sources, policy-makers and members of the Washington press corps, a front page Washington Post story on Thursday, “A Hot Spot for Diplomacy,” uncovered how DC-insiders get together for a weekly sauna session in the basement of Finland’s embassy – with Wolf Blitzer on the TV beforehand as they sip vodka and munch on “a buffet of red gravlax and white trout, shrimp and Finnish meatballs.”
The Post’s Jason Horowitz revealed the activities of “the Diplomatic Finnish Sauna Society of D.C.” which “counts among its 150 members the operatives who make Washington spin: Capitol Hill staffers, public-policy wonks, lobbyists, administration officials -- and reporters eager to pick up some off-message analysis.” The March 18 article named four participants from DC’s press corps: “Rick Dunham, the Hearst Newspapers bureau chief,” “Eve Conant, a Newsweek correspondent,” “Mark Landler, the New York Times diplomatic correspondent” and “Wall Street Journal correspondent Jay Solomon.”
Do you believe that extending unemployment compensation benefits encourages some people to remain out of work longer than necessary? Don't let CNN anchor Ali Velshi find out. He'll characterize you as unsavory.
On a segment of CNN Newsroom today, Velshi spoke with an economics professor who's examined multiple studies reporting that many people find work shortly before their unemployment checks lapse:
VELSHI: Hey, complicated, complicated question that is at the root of our recovery as a nation; it is about jobs. The average person on unemployment is on it for about six months. You can get up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, with the certain extensions that we have passed these days. But the average person is on for about six months.
The question here is are long-term jobless benefits actually leading people to stay unemployed longer? I have somebody here who has actually crunched a few numbers for us. Robert Shimer is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, and inadvertently has gotten himself piled in with a bunch of unsavories who say -- who like to make the argument that people are choosing not to get jobs. And Robert, you have heard it said. This is the US Chamber -- not the US Chamber of Commerce. I'm sorry, the Club for Growth has said it on this show that it is causing people -- that it's a disincentive for people to go back to work because of unemployment benefits, which I think is a little bit insulting to the millions of people on unemployment. Your argument is it a little bit more nuanced than that.
Old Media's fatal conceit is the belief that it's not news unless it's reported by a major newspaper, magazine, or television station. Reports from new and alternative media, in Old Media's eyes, are tainted, and not to be believed...unlike, of course, the reliable, factual, and always objective mainstream media.
NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd, at right in a file photo, has been a leading critic of what he now has dubbed "Drudge-driven journalism," perhaps better described as journalism emanating from somewhere outside of Old Media's newsrooms and television studios. "I just don't think that that's the proper way for us to decide what's news," he told Mediaite's Tommy Christopher of the Drudge Report's influence and agenda-setting ability.
"There's no worse crime in journalism these days than simply deciding something's a story because Drudge links to it," he added. Apparently he still feels that NBC and its Old Media counterparts are qualified and capable of deciding what is and is not a story.
Define hypocrisy: Arianna Huffington claiming that Fox News President Roger Ailes plays off of Americans' fear and paranoia.
Indeed, while Huffington Post columnists call American political leaders criminals, terrorists, and Nazis and occasionally fantasize about their deaths, Huffington has the gall to claim, "If you’re looking for the usual flame-throwing, name-calling, and simplistic attack dog rhetoric....don’t bother coming to The Huffington Post." She then turns around and criticizes Ailes for appealing to paranoia. Unbelievable.
But Ailes has never been one to shrink from a fight. He noted Huffington's arrant hypocrisy on Monday's segment of "Uncommon Knowledge", a webshow produced by National Review Online (video and transript below the fold - relevant portion begins at 0:52):
It turns out that the "grassroots" organizer of the "progressive alternative" to the Tea Parties, the Coffee Party, has been exposed as an Obama political operative. If you had read the profiles of the Coffee Party founder Annabel Park (photo) in the Washington Post or New York Times you wouldn't have had a hint as to her extensive political activity in the 2008 Obama campaign. So how did William A. Jacobson of Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion discover this "deep secret" that the two major newspapers with their vast resources were unable to find? Well, it required the "tremendous effort" of tapping a few keys and a whole mouse click to find this subject matter as Jacobson explains:
In fact, a simple internet search (which the NY Times apparently is not capable of doing) reveals that Park organized the Coffee Party for the specific purpose of undermining the Tea Party movement.
Upon further research and examination into the Army's complete findings on the Fort Hood shootings, in a February 22 report, the Boston Globe's Bryan Bender conceded that politically-incorrect conservatives were right all along - just not in those words of course.
Immediately after Major Nidal Malik Hasan murdered 13 U.S. soldiers November 5, major news networks and publication bent over backwards to omit Hasan's Islamic identity or to excuse the killing of 13 soldiers as a result of stress or psychosis.
Report after report, interview after interview, and press conference after press conference, reporters, politicians, and government officials warned against jumping to conclusions - in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
On February 14, CNN aired both segments of its special series “Black in America," and used the opportunity to perpetuate a harmful racial myth.
In the first installment, reporter Soledad O’Brien took viewers to Project Brotherhood, a clinic in the south side of Chicago offering free medical care and advice to its black residents.
“We are seeing an increasing amount of men with resources, who are just reluctant to access services elsewhere,” Dr. Pete Thomas, a clinic doctor told O’Brien.
“Why the reluctance? Dr. Thomas says black men are afraid of being exploited – a fear caused by history and the revelation that for forty years unsuspecting poor black men were used as medical guinea pigs in the infamous Tuskegee experiments,” O’Brien said.
Sometimes it gets frustrating when the liberal media refuses to admit that it is just that--liberal. But every now and then, some light shines in on its true ways.
It should hardly be a surprise that a newspaper called the Atlanta Progressive News would be the one to lift the veil of objectivity. But it is nice to see at least one liberal media outlet admit that--in the words of David Axelrod--it has a perspective.
The Progressive News recently fired one of its veteran reporters. The reason given: he was simply too objective, and refused to give the news a liberal bent. Now, the newspaper is openly liberal, so the move wasn't a sacrilege against traditional standards of journalism.
But it was a refreshing departure from the traditional media's self-deception when it comes to reporting the facts. The Progressive News obviously has no illusions about its "perspective," and is not hesitant to share it:
The New York Times has apparently discovered its inner patriot. The paper decided after a request from the White House to hold off publishing key information about the war effort in Afghanistan for fear of alerting the enemy to key U.S. intelligence.
The Times and its executive editor Bill Keller, who defended the decision, have left the nation collectively uttering, "It's about time." Now that's change we can believe in.
Keller told WNYC radio today that two Times reporters had a story ready to go on Thursday about the capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban's top military commander in Pakistan. The paper decided to hold off on running the story until today, the date the White House requested.
The National Security Council, Keller recalled, "thought it had been a clean snatch and they were afraid once the word got out, other Taliban officials would go deeper underground or take measures to cover their tracks. So they asked us to hold off for a while."
Salon columnist Max Blumenthal continues to get flak for his slanderous, factually-challenged hit piece on conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe last week. The column, premised on a host of omissions and baseless assumptions, contended that O'Keefe's is a racist.
Blumenthal's latest critic is Columbia Journalism Review, Old Media's paragon of journalistic elitism. CJR has requested that he correct but one of the many errors that comprise his column.
But CJR really has a problem, it seems, that Blumenthal has given ammunition to critics who claim Old Media is rife with liberal bias. CJR contributor Greg Marx lamented that Blumenthal and other quasi-journalists, in ignoring facts to support their agendas,give "ready-made ammunition for that broader campaign."
Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon bashed the media's coverage of the tea party movement with unsubstantiated claims of bias during a panel on "Fox News Sunday."
"Unsubstantiated claims" of media bias against the TEA Party movement? Really? Seriously?
It may be time for Calderone to move off the media beat. He clearly hasn't been paying attention to major details of a major story for nearly a year.
I would offer he could be moved to Obituaries, but that too would entail coverage of the "MSM."
How has Calderone missed completely the now nearly ubiquitous presence of the sexually-explicit, derogatory term used by members of the "MSM" to describe the participants in said Movement? The in-person attacks on Party participants by the likes of CNN's Susan Roesgen (now no longer with the firm)? The over-arching denigrating words and deeds by people throughout the "MSM?"
There is so much "MSM" anti-TEA Party venom to substantiate Sammon's assertion, one hardly knows where to begin. So we will simply list, with links and dates, documentation aplenty below.
(Cursory glance result: 52 NB stories.)
We hope Calderone avails himself hereof, and repents. In writing. Today.
For much of the liberal media, President Obama operates in a vacuum. In their minds, if he says he will do something, he will most likely do it, even if he has a blatant record of not following through on similar promises.
Take Obama's lobbyist rhetoric, for instance. When the President claimed the White House has "excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs" he was telling the truth, sort of. He did not mean, and his staff has confirmed this, that they've excluded all lobbyists from the process, as, you know, a reasonable person would gather. He just meant that some lobbyists that applied for jobs in his administration didn't get them.
As it turns out, there are over 40 former lobbyists working in the White House or some branch of the executive (see chart below the fold).
The New York Times today ran a glowing story on President Obama's upcoming crackdown on lobbyists, never once mentioning his duplicitous statement during the State of the Union.
The left is up in arms over the Supreme Court's recent decision in "Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission". But few voices have been louder than those emanating from the echo chamber at MSNBC. It seems that the cable network's talking heads feel that their parent company, General Electric, deserves a special exemption to what should be a blanket ban on unrestricted corporate speech.
First a bit of background for those unfamiliar with the Supreme Court decision. The court struck down in a 5-4 ruling a ban on corporate (or union) spending on political speech specifically endorsing or attacking a candidate for office within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election. It ruled that the ban violated the First Amendment.
Few liberals seemed to notice that in attacking corporate speech they were also effectively undermining their own employers, media corporations who employs them for the express purpose of engaging in political speech. Surely Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow would defend MSNBC's right to speak (and spend) freely without interference from the federal government--especially in the run-up to an election when free speech is most important and must be protected.
When Apple CEO Steve Jobs put the New York Times at the center of the ceremonious unveiling of his company's iPad tablet device, the implication was clear: this is the future of the news--or at least Jobs wants us to think it is. He stands to gain not only financially but politically as Apple becomes a major gatekeeper for information.
The news media industry itself is divided on whether e-readers like the iPad and the Amazon Kindle can revitalize the news business. Newspaper sales are, after all, at historial lows. Over 90 newspapers failed last year.
While there are scores of competing theories for why newspapers (and books to a lesser extent) are seemingly on the decline, a prominent and plausible one seems to be that they have lost control of their content. Aggregators like Google News have provided news consumers with faster, more reliable sources for news. The proliferation of the blogosphere has loosened Old Media's grip on that news.
Some in the liberal media continue to insist that James O'Keefe and his three cohorts were trying to "bug" or "tap" Sen. Mary Landrieu's phone lines when law enforcement officials have clearly said that they were not. Since the left doesn't like O'Keefe, the liberal media seems to think standard practices of journalistic integrity don't apply here.
According to MSNBC, one law enforcement official, who was not named, said "the four men arrested for attempting to tamper with the phones in the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) were not trying to intercept or wiretap the calls." This statement comports with the affidavit filed in court after O'Keefe and company were arrested, which did not mention wiretapping or bugging, and only referred to the "tampering" of phone lines (h/t Patterico).
But the Boston Globe parroted this false accusation this morning in a gossip blog post about one of the alleged perpetrators, Joe Basel. The Globe--the same Globe that complained about ACORN's "trial-by-video"--called him a "political dirty trickster who was busted in a Watergate-style bugging operation earlier this week," and said again a couple paragraphs later that Basel was "bagged by the feds allegedly trying to bug the phones" in Landrieu's office. At least the Globe writers said "allegedly" the second time.
If Ellie Light is indeed a Democratic operative, she is only the proverbial tip of the party's astroturfing iceberg. Patterico's investigative work, which was also at the forefront of the blogosphere's efforts to expose Light, have revealed an even greater effort at manufacturing the appearance of public support for Democratic policies.
Organizing for America and the Democratic Party each have forms on their websites for supporters to write letters to the editors of their local papers. Both have suggested "talking points" next to the submission form. Both advise supporters to use their own words, but talking points from both of the sites have appeared in letters to the editor in a multitude of newspapers nationwide.
There are times when speaking in a stream of consciousness is a good and wholesome thing. None occur in front of a camera, as evidenced by the public escapades of MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch.
The former ad-man took to today’s “Morning Joe” set yesterday morning to offer the following wisdom in reference to the impending Massachusetts electorate:
He is a traditional-looking middle-aged white male. We’re going back to basics, we’ve obviously had our first African American president we’ve had the female candidates and what-not – you look at him, he looks like the candidate, the traditional view of the candidate, and is there a visceral comfort in that for people? I’m just curious from real kind of sociological point of view.
Coming back from commercial this morning at the MSNBC Clown Kingdom, the bump-in video clip was one of Sarah Palin’s interview with Glenn Beck. Palin stated that it took all of the Founders to come up with the Constitution, but that George Washington (as the leader) would necessarily rise to the top.
A brief (and humorous) hypothetical: What would the reaction of the mainstream media be if Sean Hannity took the video of President Obama’s obeisant greeting of the Japanese Prime Minister, and turned it into a video loop to be played in the corner of the screen whenever Obama was the subject du jour?
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow did a very similar thing with Republican National Chairman Michael Steele on Friday’s edition of ‘The Rachel Maddow Show.’
You may remember the mildly irritating pop-up starring Steele that inhabited the redesigned GOP.com at its first launch. It would launch in the upper corner, helpfully explaining the features of the site like the infamous Microsoft Word paper-clip assistant. Maddow revived this animation for use as a ‘bug’ in the corner.
MADDOW: Also, I‘m very proud that for the first time ever, we had a little dancing Michael Steele as the bug in the corner of our segment there.
By and large, most journalists don't criticize each other. It's probably a mixture of professional courtesy and ideological agreement (as the media's incessant criticisms of the Fox News Channel show). Still, as much as we like such media self-scrutiny, it is probably best if the publications doing it try to make sure that they aren't engaging in the behaviors for which they criticize others.
For instance, the New York Times recently criticized the Washington Post for running an article written by the Fiscal Times, which quoted as its primary source an individual from the Concord Foundation, without disclosing that Peter Peterson, chief financier of the Fiscal Times, is also a co-founder of the Concord Foundation (h/t nytpicker).
The article highlighted calls from a number of groups, including the Concord Foundation, for a commission to look into ways to reduce the national debt. The Times's coverage of the issue characterized the Fiscal Times as having a "relatively narrow focus on issues that are also pet causes of its sponsor"--i.e. balanced budgets and restrained government spending.
Update - 9:25 AM | Lachlan Markay:David Gergen commented on Brown's response. His comments below.
The death of Ted Kennedy hit the liberal media particularly hard. NBC's Andrea Mitchell caught the mood of the nation's pundits when she said the "heavens were weeping" during Kennedy's funeral. Now that Kennedy is dead, some pundits feel as if Democrats are entitled to the seat he left vacant.
CNN senior political analyst David Gergen had to be reminded of this fact Monday as he moderated a debate between the two candidates for Massachusetts's open Senate seat. He asked Republican candidate Scott Brown whether he'd be willing to "sit in Teddy Kennedy's seat and [say] I'm going to be the person who's going to block it [liberal health care policy] for another 15 years."
But Brown, refusing to take for granted Gergen's blatantly left-wing premises, responded instead: "Well, with all due respect it's not the Kennedys' seat, and it's not the Democrats' seat, it's the people's seat." (video and transcript below the fold - h/t Kerry Picket)
"Not in sync with the current program" is how former CNN host Tucker Carlson describes his new website, the Daily Caller, which is scheduled to launch Monday. Designed as a conservative answer to the Huffington Post, the Daily Caller will do what few center-right blogs have attempted: report hard news.
Carlson and his partner, former Dick Cheney aide Neil Patel, have raised $3 million in startup capital for the site, according to the Washington Independent. That impressive sum is enough to keep the Daily Caller operating for about a year. The site will employ a reporting staff or 21 in its Washington, D.C. office.
With Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism, which launched earlier this week, Carlson hopes to be on the cutting edge of a new effort on the right to circumvent major media outlets--and overcome the significant obstacles to conservative news of traditional media outlets.