From time to time, our analysts at the Media Research Center have compiled in one location the research we have in our files on a major news celebrity. By pulling all of the worst quotes and video clips into a single Web page, we hope that these “Profiles in Bias” can be a useful resource for anyone looking into the topic of media bias or looking for background on a network news personality.
This summer, we’re pulling together reports on the big morning news anchors. MRC’s Kyle Drennen, who watches The Early Show for us, has assembled all of the worst bias from CBS’s Harry Smith, who has co-hosted the show since 2002. Previously, Smith co-hosted CBS’s This Morning from 1987 to 1996; he also occasionally fills in as host of Face the Nation and anchor of the CBS Evening News.
The package Kyle assembled, “A Smattering of Harry Smith’s Liberal Smugness,” contains the worst quotes from the past 20 years. A sample of what he uncovered in his research follows the jump; for the full package, including nearly a dozen video clips, visit www.MRC.org.
UPDATE: Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin read this piece in nearly its entirety last night. His on-air stylings can be found here.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced a new "Chief Diversity Officer," communications attorney Mark Lloyd.
But Doctor of Jurisprudence Lloyd is far more than merely a communications attorney. He was at one time a Senior Fellow at the uber-liberal Center for American Progress (CAP), for whom he co-wrote a June 2007 report entitled "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio."
Which rails against the fact that the American people overwhelmingly prefer to listen to conservative (and Christian) talk radio rather than the liberal alternative, and suggests ways the federal government can remedy this free-market created "problem."
Restore local and national caps on the ownership of commercial radio stations.
Ensure greater local accountability over radio licensing.
Require commercial owners who fail to abide by enforceable public interest obligations to pay a fee to support public broadcasting.
These last two get perilously close to the use of "localism" to silence conservative (and Christian) radio stations, about which we have been warning for quite some time.
UPDATE: Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Sean Hannity read Bozell's statement on the air on August 6th. The audio can be found here.
Liberal Democrats have launched a war of outrageous hate speech directed at Americans who haved dared to express opposition to Obama's health care "reform."
First, the Democratic National Committee launched a Web video charging "desperate Republicans and their well-funded allies" with "organizing angry mobs" to "destroy President Obama." Then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) accused town hall protestors of "carrying swastikas."
In response this morning, MRC President Brent Bozell called on the mainstream media "to report on this hate speech, who is behind it and how vicious it has become."
Mr. Bozell's full August 5 statement is printed below:
Today NewsBusters' parent organization, the Media Research Center (MRC), revealed that ABC News is not the only network guilty of giving Democratic-donating medical doctors a microphone to "report" on President Barack Obama's government health care proposal.
CBS and NBC medical physician correspondents have also chipped in their own cash to Democratic - but never Republican - candidates.
"ABC, CBS and NBC have no excuse for the applause these doctors have given to promote the largest expansion of government-run healthcare our country has ever seen," MRC President Brent Bozell said in a statement. "There's nothing benign about giving a megaphone to doctors who have a financial stake in the success of liberals' most aggressive platform in decades," he added.
"The more these things are made public, the more the American people run like hell from them," Media Research Center President Brent Bozell told the hosts of "Fox & Friends", referring to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that shows Democratic health care proposals will balloon in costs over their implementation. [audio available here]
Indeed, as the Washington Post reported this morning, the latest polling data from Washington Post/ABC News shows that President Obama's approval rating on the health care issue "has dropped below the 50 percent threshold for the first time."
"Here's something else that isn't being reported. The entire health care debate is predicated on the premise that we're having a crisis," Bozell added, referring to new polling data by Zogby International showing that "84 percent of Americans are satisfied or very satisfied with their present health care." What's more, "46 percent without insurance are satisfied, they don't want it, for whatever reason. So there is no crisis."
In addition to media coverage of the health care debate, the NewsBusters publisher also appeared in a second segment of the July 20 "Fox & Friends" to discuss the labor union card check issue, as well as to announce the MRC's new tongue-in-cheek request for a federal bailout:
Spreading the Word Media Research Center President and NewsBusters.org Publisher Brent Bozell today responded to a poll conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Zogby International that finds that 84 percent of Americans, including 46 percent of Americans without health insurance, are "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with the health care they currently receive.
Released on Wednesday, the poll was glaringly absent from most news reports late last week and over the weekend.
Bozell today called on the media to stop reporting on the American health care system as a "crisis" situation, as the facts simply belie the claim.
Katie Couric provided some comic relief on this morning's Early Show, preaching the importance of objectivity in reporting. As evidence of her impartiality, the CBS Evening News anchor cited the fact that, as did Cronkite, she has gotten "grief from both sides of the aisle."
Now I suppose some of the more radical elements of the Red Army Faction might have found something to quibble with in Couric's coverage over the years. But how can the woman who has come to epitomize MSM liberal bias suggest with a straight face that criticism has come in comparable degree from the left and right?
Couric appeared as part of CBS's continuing coverage of Cronkite's passing and career. Her description of a dinner she had with him at the time she took over as Evening News anchor included this gem.
NBC, ABC and CBS all aired exclusive interviews with President Barack Obama last night discussing his sweeping plans to assume government control over the nation's health care industry. But none of the networks seemed aware of the bombshell easily discovered by Investor's Business Daily and confirmed by the House Ways and Means Committee: a provision in the bill that severely limits private health insurance choice.
Page 16 of the House bill, IBD reported, appears to make it illegal to "enroll any individual in such [private health insurance] coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.
Media Research Center President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell called on anyone reporting on the bill read it before making the same mistake:
Reacting to Media Research Center (MRC) analysis showing the deaths of seven U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan recently has received just 1/20th of the network coverage devoted to Michael Jackson, NewsBusters Publisher and MRC President Bozell Bozell released the following statement earlier today:
This is a prime example of why network television news audiences are disappearing before our eyes. There is no justification for determining that the death of a celebrity over a week ago merits 20 times more news coverage than the tragic deaths of American soldiers in Afghanistan.
For anyone to say - with a straight face - that such a disparity was an ‘editorial judgment' only further insults the collective intelligence of the audience these newscasts claim to serve. In fact, it's just more evidence that network ‘news,' for all practical purposes, no longer exists.
New polling data released today from Gallup and Rasmussen caused Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell to issue a challenge to the liberal media, report the facts:
The media are obsessed with polling and public opinion data - unless, of course, it goes against their narrative. The cause and effect is clear: the more America learns about Obama's radical agenda, the more they are galloping in the other direction.
"Americans, by a 2-to-1 margin, say their political views in recent years have become more conservative rather than more liberal, 39% to 18%," noted Lydia Saad in a July 6 news release at Gallup.com.
In fact, Saad noted, "more members of all three major partisan groups indicate that their views have shifted to the right rather than to the left." Last month, Gallup revealed that "40% of Americans call themselves conservative," the highest level since 2004.
In the week since South Carolina’s Republican Governor announced he had flown to Argentina to carry on an extra-marital affair, the broadcast morning and evening news shows have gone full bore on the scandal, cranking out 49 stories even in the midst of other major stories like Michael Jackson’s death and the continuing repression in Iran.
The morning after Sanford announced his affair, on the June 25 Good Morning America, longtime correspondent Sam Donaldson used the scandal to broadly charge Republicans with being “sanctimonious. They thump the Bible. They condemn everyone else, and when they [act] human, they don’t have much credit in the bank for forgiveness.” Unlike when New York Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer was caught consorting with a prostitute in March 2008, all three broadcast networks immediately identified Sanford’s party ID.
A number of top Democrats are enmeshed in embarrassment or facing allegations of wrongdoing, but the networks have far less interest in publicizing those cases. A rundown of ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening coverage so far this year:
For the Matador Media, One Side Fits All As the media walk hand-in-hand with the Left towards their fantasy-addled government medicine Utopia, they routinely forget that there is another perspective out there as to whether or not the government should commandeer the nation's private health care system. A perspective on which they, had they not already chosen sides on the issue, would (and should) be reporting.
The most recent high-water mark in media health care bias was last Wednesday, when ABC broadcast on four separate occasions from the White House during what they said was a day of their "moderating" a health care "conversation" with President Barack Obama. Good Morning America, World News and Nightline all satellite-beamed their video images from within the confines of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
And all of that was in addition to a one hour prime time special entitled Questions for the President: Prescription for America. During which the queries posed to Obama were for the most part fairly difficult, but given the home-field advantage format he was able to deviate from the intent of each question as much as he wanted, filibuster as long as he wished and in every instance had the last word on each issue.
This all-day Obama domination of the "conversation" ABC was claiming to "moderate" inspired in us a notion. After all, one doesn't "moderate" a "conversation." What IS moderated - and what is certainly called for on something as important as the decision whether to allow the government to shanghai nearly 20% of the private sector (and arguably it's most important portion) - is a DEBATE. And ABC wasn't having one.
So we decided to offer up the other side of the deliberation in which ABC - and the media as a whole - aren't engaging. Working with Americans for Tax Reform and the Health Care Freedom Coalition, we put together a rock star panel of legislators and health care experts to put forward free market-based health care reforms. And to identify the myriad problems with and debunk the many myths and canards about government medicine - which the Left repeatedly offer up and the Matador Media let go by them with barely a wave of the cape.
"ABC News has more than earned the title of the All Barack Channel, they have recklessly fought to achieve it," Media Research Center President Brent Bozell stated in a press release today.
The network had promised to deliver a health care presentation that would "not be ‘slanted' in any way - much less a ‘day-long infomercial' or ‘in-kind free advertising'," but not a single expert was offered to counter President Obama's plan to nationalize the nation's health care industry.
Instead, ABC News "balanced" itself this morning by having Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on today's "Good Morning America" to discuss his health care ideas - for a 3 minute 5 second segment. Ryan got less than 2 minutes (1 minute, 47 seconds) to respond to questions. Obama received 25 times that much time last night.
On Capitol Hill today, the Media Research Center along with Americans for Tax Reform and the Health Care Freedom Coalition sponsored an event showcasing Sen. Jim DeMint, Rep. Tom Price and key health care experts who discussed the alternatives to and the pitfalls of President Obama's health care proposal.
Sen. DeMint explained what he would have said if he had been invited by ABC to participate in this evening's health care special:
MRC President Brent Bozell sat down in the Fox News DC bureau on June 17 to record his reaction to ABC News's planned special at the White House on health care.
During the 1 p.m. EDT hour, correspondent Mike Emanuel aired one small portion of his comments [audio available here]:
Just try to imagine a world wherein ABC would give George W. Bush a two-hour opportunity to have a quote-unquote "discussion with the American people" on the war on terror. They didn't even cover some of his press conferences.
Calling it an "all-day home field advantage play for Obama and his position on health care," MRC's Seton Motley noted on the June 17 Fox News Channel program "America's Newsroom" that an upcoming ABC network special hosted at the White House will fail to include the other side of the complex policy argument. [audio available here]
Although there will also be a question and answer section with participants picked by ABC News, the planned special will not include a response from Republicans or government-run health care critics.
ABC "has a history of going as far left as possible with these specials and yielding time to Democrats when they won't yield to Republicans," Motley argued. The MRC Director of Communications pointed out that Linda Douglass, White House Director of Communications, served as an ABC News correspondent from 1998 to 2006.
Concerned that “we know little or nothing” of President Obama’s nominee to head the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Media Research Center President (MRC) Brent Bozell sent an open letter on June 15 to the Senate Commerce Committee urging the members to thoroughly query Julius Genachowski.
The panel, headed by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) , will hold hearings today on Genachowski’s nomination for the chairmanship of the FCC and for Commissioner Robert McDowell’s reconfirmation.
Commissioner McDowell “has been and remains a bulwark against a return of the Censorship Doctrine – also mis-known as the “Fairness” Doctrine. We know where he stands,” Bozell noted, adding that Genachowski’s views on “critical issues” like censorship, “localism” and “diversity” requirements are unknown.
“Mr. Genachowski must be asked about all of these issues. It is imperative that you - and the American people - get answers to these questions,” Bozell urged the senators on the Commerce Committee. Listed below are a few of the questions the MRC president would like asked:
Last night's "apology" to Gov. Palin by comedian David Letterman "is slippery and Clintonian" but Gov. Sarah Palin "was right to rise above it and accept it," Media Research Center President Brent Bozell noted in a statement released today.
While the CBS "Late Show" host issued what many are calling a full and complete apology to Gov. Palin, Mr. Bozell argued it is far from an unequivocal apology:
Letterman's ‘apology' is slippery and Clintonian. He talked about the ‘perception' of his joke three times in his statement. He then goes on to say twice that he was ‘misunderstood.'
There's no perception, no misunderstanding. The public understood exactly what he said - joking about statutory rape - and was outraged. It was David Letterman who misunderstood who was in the audience, as if making a degrading joke about an 18-year-old girl is much more acceptable than taking the cheap shot at her 14-year-old sister.
Media Research Center Director of Communications Seton Motley appeared Sunday morning on Fox News Channel's "America's News Headquarters" to discuss comedian David Letterman's inappropriate joke about Gov. Sarah Palin's 14-year-old daughter Willow.
Motley noted a marked difference with the now infamous Don Imus joke about the Rutgers women's basketball team.
While both Letterman and Imus made crude and inappropriate jokes, conservatives like Gov. Palin do not have the benefit of the mainstream media's outrage as did the Rutgers basketball players [audio available here, see embedded video at right]:
MRC President Brent Bozell appeared on FNC’s America’s Newsroom this morning to weigh in on CBS late night host David Letterman’s tasteless jokes about Sarah Palin’s teenage daughters. Bozell said Letterman’s explanation -- that he was really referring to Palin’s 18-year-old daughter, not the 14-year-old who actually went to Yankee Stadium with her mother -- was “worse than the joke.”
Bozell called the joke “disgusting,” and said “If David Letterman were a man — and he’s not a man, he is a coward — if David Letterman were a man, he would stand up and he would say, ‘We royally messed up on this one. I apologize to Sarah Palin, I apologize to Willow.’”
[UPDATE: Late this morning, Bozell issued a press release repeating his demand for an apology: "David Letterman needs to be a real man and apologize unequivocally, like a real man."]
Here’s some more of the segment, which aired shortly before 10:15am ET on June 12, and began with co-anchor Megyn Kelly playing a clip of Palin from earlier that day on NBC’s Today:
FNC's Bret Baier on Wednesday night highlighted how the former top editor at the hardly conservative San Francisco Chronicle wrote a blog entry (Tuesday morning NB post by Noel Sheppard), “Love or Lust, Obama and the Fawning Press Need to Get a Room,” in which Phil Bronstein suggested “the Obama-press dance is a more consensual seduction where, in the old-fashioned sense, we're the girl” and asked: “Is there an actual limit to the number of instances you can be the cover of Newsweek?”
Using that as a segue, Baier picked up on a quote first reported by NewsBusters as he related how Newsweek's Evan Thomas “provided yet another example of the mainstream media's presidential crush” when Thomas oozed: “In a way Obama's standing above the country, above, above the world. He's sort of God.”
On his FNC show Wednesday night, Bret Baier looked at how the murder of an abortion doctor on Sunday has earned much more media attention than Monday's murder by a politically-motivated killer of a serviceman in Arkansas, a disparity matched by the condemnation of the first killing by an Obama administration which has ignored the second. Baier reported:
In the media, [George] Tiller was a top story for almost three days. Several liberal analysts blamed pro-life groups for inciting the murder [video from MSNBC]. In contrast, there has been relatively little coverage about the killing of Army Private William Long and the wounding of Private Quinton Ezeagwula outside the recruiting center in Little Rock, despite the fact that the alleged shooter was a convert to Islam who police say probably had political and religious motives for the attack.
After outlining how the Obama administration has failed to condemn the murder of the Army private, Baier related how “conservative media analyst Brent Bozell says the different responses come down to politics.” Viewers then heard this soundbite from the President of the Media Research Center: “Politics dictated that they be outspoken on the murder of Doctor Tiller, but be silent when American servicemen are gunned down.” [audio available here]
Appearing on the June 3 "America's Newsroom" program, Graham discussed Newsweek economics columnist Robert Samuelson's gripe that the media's "Obama infatuation is a great unreported story of our time."
Samuelson "is a reasonable guy" who "has got to know that we've had years of pro-Obama bias, and certainly in the pages of his own magazine, where there are syrupy pictures of Barack and/or Michelle almost weekly," Media Research Center (MRC) Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham told "America's Newsroom" host Bill Hemmer. [audio available here]
Media Research Center (MRC) President and NewsBusters.org Publisher Brent Bozell yesterday recorded a video thanking the MRC Grassroots Action Team - made up of more than 600,000 individual activists - for their signing nearly 400,000 Free Speech Alliance (FSA) petitions which were delivered yesterday to the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The petition in part "urge(s) members of Obama's Federal Communications Commission (the FCC) and everyone in Washington to reject any and all efforts to censor, limit, or restrain conservative or Christian talk radio."
Mr. Bozell also discusses the MRC's Four Day Call-A-Thon to the offices of Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid - which is taking place right now and runs through close of business Thursday - where MRC Action Team members, many, MANY members of the FSA and a whole host of individual radio stations and hosts are having their grassroots/members/listeners place calls to their offices demanding a full, fair stand-alone vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act (BFA), which would prohibit the FCC from reimposing the Censorship Doctrine, also mis-known as the "Fairness" Doctrine.
And we are asking you to join in the festivities. Please, in true Chicago voting fashion, call early and often. Speaker Pelosi's number is (202) 225-4965, and Leader Reid's is (202) 224-3542.
We humbly suggest you say something along the lines of:
Today the Media Research Center’s Free Speech Alliance (FSA) will deliver nearly 400,000 petitions – combined with thousands of calls and faxes - to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urging them to allow a full, fair stand-alone floor vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act (BFA).
"Free speech on the radio airwaves remains in peril so long as the FCC is just a 3-2 vote away from reinstating the mis-named 'Fairness' Doctrine," MRC President Brent Bozell argued in a June 1 statement. What's more, the doctrine "remains a threat to free speech as long as elected officials like Pelosi and Reid... refuse to give the Broadcaster Freedom Act a vote."
The Free Speech Alliance (www.FreeSpeechAlliance.us) is made up of sixty-seven (67) organizations representing millions of Americans dedicated to defending free speech against a return of the Censorship Doctrine or any other assault on the First Amendment and talk radio. National talk show hosts Lars Larson and Rusty Humphries have also been heavily involved in the petition effort.
Today’s (Friday’s) Washington Times picks up on a recent report from the Media Research Center (you can read it here) documenting the outpouring of positive coverage for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. The piece, by reporter Jennifer Harper, quotes NewsBusters senior editor Rich Noyes, but also included a quote from Democratic operative Dan Gerstein claiming, “If President Bush had appointed someone with the same background — working class, an up-by-the-bootstraps story — the coverage would have been exactly the same.”
As TimesWatch editor Clay Waters pointed out yesterday, the press had a far more cynical reaction to the “up-by-the-bootstraps” story of Clarence Thomas, elevated to the Supreme Court by the first President Bush back in 1991.
The Upside Down Ratings World of NABOB On April 9 we wrote of an asinine assertion made about the new Arbitron radio ratings system by soon to be transferred Democratic Federal Communications Committee (FCC) Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein. Well now President Barack Obama has put the imprimatur of his FCC and Administration on Adelstein's addled notion.
Since the inception of tracking those who listen to Guglielmo Marconi's marvelous invention, Arbitron had relied on a personal pen-and-paper diary system and the journal-keepers' honor and memory as to what they had listened and for how long they had done so. The potential for misremembering and book-cooking was simply staggering.
So Arbitron came up with a pager-esque device called the Portable People Meter (PPM). This gadget automatically tracks to where the radio dial is tuned, thereby virtually eliminating human error and the ability to cheat.
Obviously, this is far more accurate way to establish who is listening to whom, right? If you do find this to be a self-evident truth, you are not a master of the obvious, you are - according to the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) - a racist bigot.
How so? Because the ratings under the new regime revealed that the numbers for hip-hop, urban and other racial minority stations had long been incorrectly inflated (and conversely the listenership of talk radio had long been underreported).
And this, you see, is not the better results of technological advancement, this is racism.
Acting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael Copps insists that the so-called Fairness Doctrine is "long gone" and "not coming back." But liberal legislators such as socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Democratic presidential aspirants Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) have recently called for a return of the anti-free speech.
That's why Media Research Center (MRC) President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell is calling on FCC Chairman Copps to call for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to bring the Broadcaster Freedom Act to the floor for an up-or-down vote:
When this many high-powered elected officials are calling for a return of the mis-named ‘Fairness’ Doctrine, and are actively opposing a vote on the bill to prevent the FCC from reinstating it, it isn’t a conspiracy theory. It’s a determination to shut down free speech on talk radio.
The solution is simple: Chairman Copps should call on Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to allow a full, fair stand alone vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act. That way we will know once and for all how each member of Congress thinks – are they for free speech, or are they for the ‘Fairness’ Doctrine?
In a letter dated today and a press teleconference held at 9:30 EDT this morning, Media Research Center president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell joined other conservatives in calling on President Obama to withdraw Harry Knox from the presidential Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.:
Harry Knox is the hate-filled antithesis of this noble objective. Knox is a virulent anti-Catholic bigot, and has made numerous vile and dishonest attacks against the Church and the Holy Father. He has no business on any Council having to do with faith or religion.
Co-signers to the letter include lay Catholic and conservative leaders such as Judie Brown of the American Life League, Kate O'Beirne of the National Review Institute, American Spectator publisher Al Regnery, Chuck Donovan of the Family Research Council, and Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.
A list of some instances of Harry Knox's anti-Catholic bigotry is available at MRC.org here. Knox's virulent hatred of Catholics extends from the top down, from Pope Benedict XVI to the rank-and-file member of the Knights of Columbus:
During his first 100 days as President, Barack Obama has pushed an audaciously liberal agenda which, if enacted, would have radical consequences for America for decades. With Democrats enjoying monopoly control of the House and Senate, the news media have a professional duty to scrutinize those policies, and give audiences both sides of the story — not just the perspective of a powerful Chief Executive.
Unfortunately, a Media Research Center analysis of ABC, CBS and NBC evening news coverage of President Obama’s first 100 days in office shows network reporters have failed as watchdogs. The networks have raised few doubts about Obama’s left-wing agenda and showered each of Obama’s major policy initiatives with positive press.
MRC analysts looked at all 982 broadcast evening news stories about Obama and his administration from Inauguration Day (January 20) through April 29. Key findings: