In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Friday, Andrew Breitbart, founder of such center-right online powerhouses as Big Government and Big Hollywood, blasted what he dubs the "Democrat-media complex." He spoke of his most recent exposes on the administration's political malfeasance and the mainstream media's refusal to cover those scandals.
Breitbart rocketed into the national spotlight with his work with James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, the young conservatives responsible for the ground-breaking ACORN sting operations that led to congressional votes to de-fund the community organizing group.
"I had a 20-year-old and a 25-year-old and my integrity on the line if we were going to launch this," Mr. Breitbart says. "It was so obvious that the mainstream media, given this information, would not cover it and would, in effect, attempt to cover it up." So he devised an intricate strategy of rolling out the videos one at a time, anticipating Acorn's defenses and rebutting each in turn with the next video...
The Washington Post's new employee guidelines for the use of online social networks such as Twitter and Facebook have sparked a debate over the proper role of new media for journalists, and the objectivity of major media outlets generally.
The Post's new guidelines, handed down from on high by Senior Editor Milton Coleman, disregard the potential of new media to engage readers in a conversation about the paper's reporting. Rather, the new social media policy attempts to buttress the Post's supposed objectivity, at the expense of journalistic transparency.
The Post's rules forbid employees from "writing, tweeting or posting anything—including photographs or video—that could be perceived as reflecting political, racial, sexist, religious or other bias or favoritism that could be used to tarnish our journalistic credibility" and prohibit "the discussion of internal newsroom issues such as sourcing, reporting of stories, decisions to publish or not to publish, personnel matters and untoward personal or professional matters involving our colleagues."
The New York Times announced today that it would appoint an editor to monitor 'opinion media'. In an attempt to respond to criticism that it has been too slow to pick up on stories first reported by conservative blogs and talk show hosts, the Times acknowledged poor coverage, but denied a political agenda.
The self-proclaimed 'paper of record' was extremely slow in picking up on two recent stories. The first, the 'trutherism' of former White House Green Jobs Czar Van Jones, was initially reported by Pajamas Media, and later by Glenn Beck on his Fox News talk show. The Times did not cover the story until after Jones had resigned.
Later, the Times neglected to report on the undercover sting operation that exposed ACORN for offering assistance in a bogus child prostitution ring. The Times reported on Congress's votes to de-fund ACORN, but neglected to mention the sting operation that inspired the votes.
CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer credits lack of government regulation with a recent market jump in technology stocks. The tech-heavy NASDAQ composite (NASDAQ) shot upward 3 percent, from July 8 through July 23, even defying other market indexes that had down days in the same time period.
"So, now let me explain a pattern that I've discerned that could be incredibly important - important for you to take profits on if President Obama regains his clout and starts pushing hard with the rest of his agenda," Cramer said. "Everyone today wrote him off because of health care. I got to tell you, you can't write this guy off. He's too darn popular."
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.
It seems that the Washington Post will soon be welcoming ultra-liberal hack blogger Ezra Klein to their online operations. Klein has often been the subject of stories by NewsBusters. This is what the Politico reported on the Post's acquisition of Klein (h/t OTB):
The American Prospect's Ezra Klein, one of the top bloggers on politics and policy, is heading to the Washington Post.
Rumors about Klein's upcoming move spread on Wednesday night during a reception thrown by The Nation magazine in honor of D.C. bureau chief Chris Hayes.
A Post spokesperson confirmed to POLITICO this morning that Klein was hired as a blogger at washingtonpost.com and is expected to start in about a month.
The move continues a regrettable trend started with their hiring of Greg Sargent, who formerly worked for the far left Talking Points Memo, to run a blog at one of the Post's websites. The addition of Sargent, an accomplished hack in his own right, was covered by Tim Graham here at NewsBusters. Tim quickly identified it as yet another example of the revolving door between liberal organizations and the mainstream media:
The New York Observer has noticed an interesting new trend at The New York Times. Its something that we have rarely, if ever, seen from The Times in it's long history. In fact, we are used to seeing a defiant and rather confident Times:
There was a time when The New York Times never had to say anything back. If the newspaper caught hell for a story in the popular media, editors at the paper could rely on the time-tested formulation: "The story speaks for itself." When critics carped about the newspapers' editorial vision, business plan, or financial position, it was once enough for Arthur Sulzberger or Janet Robinson to just sort of roll their eyes and move along. At the end of the day, The New York Times was still The New York Times.
No longer. Now, as The Observer chronicled, every criticism leveled at The Times is met with an immediate, if not insecure, defense. The trend seems to have started with the debacle surrounding the famous McCain/Lobbyist article in which The Times incompetently insinuated that Senator McCain had an affair. However, the defensiveness has continued at a more frequent pace since then:
As the downward spiral of old media continues at an ever faster pace many have begun to wonder what's next. Well, PBS's MediaShift blog has been mulling it over in a series of posts. Their thoughts on the current and future state of news are quite insightful and certainly warrant dissection and discussion.
Stephen Strauss starts off by noting the recent downfall of many main stream newspapers, as reported on NB by yours truly, and the resulting end of the "tyranny of reporters". Strauss celebrates the downfall of old media because of increased flow of information it has caused:
In the old print/radio/television world there wasn't much else you could do. Space and time was limited and so many things had to be left out, ignored or radically reconfigured. In ways that I don't think we truly appreciated, the media -- or rather the limitations of the media -- was the message.
One of the most magisterial things the Internet is doing is undermining the previous writer/editor dictatorship. Suddenly, what used to be effectively a one-sided conversation in which the writer did all the talking has been turned into an agora in which a piece is dissected and often reconstructed by the readers -- and if we ever get there, listeners and viewers, too.
In yet another example of flag spamming and poor corporate over sight Facebook decided this week to remove an ad from the conservative group Americans for Prosperity. The group was advertising a petition on their site nostimulus.com which lets people voice their opposition to the near $800 billion stimulus going through congress right now.
After originally screening and approving the ad CNS News, a sister site of NewsBusters and the Media Research Center, reports that Facebook claimed to have received some complaints from users. They then proceeded to put a disapproval notice on it and then yank it from the site all together and notified Americans for Prosperity of their reasoning:
Once the NoStimulus.com Web site started getting a large volume of visitors, Kerpen told CNSNews.com, “they put a disapproval notice on it and they pulled the ad."
SANCHEZ: You know, it's funny, but, as I hear him (President Barack Obama).talk, I'm just thinking, tax cuts are spending, right? I mean, they really are, because you have got to get it from somewhere.
VELSHI: Right. If you think about it, is -- your own budget, right? If you have less money coming in, you have to have less money going out.
The issue is that -- the argument is that, tax cuts, while it brings less money into the government, which means it lowers the amount of money the government has, which makes it the equivalent of spending, it stimulates the economy, because it lets -- people will use that money in another way.
The way tax cuts could be considered spending, a contention with which Velshi agreed, is if one believes that all income belongs not to the individual earning it, but rather to the government. It's then government's option to determine how much people are permitted to keep and if they're using it "appropriately."
Say, how 'bout the news of President Obama lifting the ban on embryonic stem cell research imposed by his predecessor?
What, you haven't heard? With good reason. Former president Bush did not impose this, making it all but impossible for Obama to reverse it.
None of which prevented radio host Ed Schultz from repeatedly claiming on Friday that Obama, all of three days after taking office, had lifted a "ban" on embryonic stem cell research.
Lost on Schultz was what Bush actually did -- prohibited federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, which did not affect privately funded research -- and what Obama has yet to do -- reverse Bush's ban.
Still, it made for provocative fodder to Schultz, all the better to feed the meme of Obama bringing transformative change that includes paraplegics soon shedding their wheelchairs.
Schultz's interest was piqued by news of the FDA approving an application for Geron Corporation to inject embryonic stem cells into patients with injured spinal cords.
Some wag dubbed the Prius the "Pious," for the smug self-righteousness of its greener-than-thou owners. CNBC ran a segment this morning highlighting an even pricier form of conspicuous green consumption: the installation of geothermal wells in Manhattan as an alternative form of HVAC.
Narrating a segment that would have had Veblen nodding in approval, CNBC's Bertha Coombs observed "for many, it represents bragging rights in the pursuit of green luxury." That segued to a clip of New York magazine's Jesse Oxfeld explicitly making the conspicuous consumption point.
A Barack Obama supporter in Ohio with deep roots in Democratic politics -- and a 2001 sex-related felony conviction to his name -- is behind two new confrontational videos that bait ignorant people into calling Barack Obama a terrorist.
The first video was released Wednesday and has gone viral. It currently has more than 1.1 million views on YouTube. Part II went online a day later and is well on its way to viral status, with more than 145,000 views.
The John McCain and Sarah Palin supporters in the videos are characterized as “The McCain-Palin Mob.” The videos selectively feature voters who, upon being asked antagonistic questions, make some outrageous statements about Obama.
One of the hottest Internet videos during the mortgage and banking crisis has been a YouTube clip titled "Burning Down the House," which outlines the untold story of how liberal Democrats pressured banks and lenders to throw standards out the window and give money to people who couldn't pay it back.
Try watching it now, however, and you won't be able to, thanks to the growing problem of "flag spam," the practice of abusing online filter systems to squelch political speech with which one disagrees.
We've all seen spammers at work in our e-mail inboxes. Experts estimate that 90 percent of all e-mail messages nowadays are spam, or unsolicited commercial e-mail.
Luckily for most of us, the majority of it gets filtered out. That's caused the more sophisticated spammers to change course and target a more vulnerable part of the Internet - the hugely popular Web sites like YouTube, Digg and the blogosphere, where anyone can join the discussion by posting videos, essays, reviews and other content.
When interviewed by Eyeblast.tv last month, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that YouTube, the video-sharing site owned by his company, is "pretty serious" about removing the "strange" videos that keep popping up on the site, especially videos "that can be used to incite bad outcomes." Apparently videos designed to incite Catholics don't fall into that category.
A YouTube user who goes by the moniker "fsmdude" has posted more than 30 videos under the title "Eucharist Desecration." Each video features an attack on a symbol that Catholics consider sacred -- by blow gun, nail gun, boiling, sword and cigarette in a few recent episodes.
The creator of the videos isn't subtle about his intent. He was angered by reports of a college student allegedly receiving e-mail threats from "fanatical Catholics" after the student snatched a wafer at mass, so "fsmdude" decided to repeatedly profane the Eucharist on camera for all to see.
Advertising Age magazine reports today that CBS News has gotten "[A] Rude Lesson in Citizen Journalism" with its iPhone application. It turns out the "Eyemobile for iPhone" has become a handy vehicle for amateur pornographers to spam the site:
A visit to CBSeyemobile.com turns up a few photos that walk the line of not-safe-for-work, a jarring juxtaposition with CBS's storied news brand.
What's more, Google is advertising on the clips via AdMob.
The feds are zeroing in on David Kernell, the suspected hacker of GOP veep nominee's Yahoo email account:
The FBI searched the residence of the son of a Democratic state lawmaker in Tennessee over the weekend looking for evidence linking the young man to the hacking of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's personal e-mail account, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press on Monday.
David Kernell, 20, has not returned repeated phone calls or e-mails from the AP since last week. He is the son of state Rep. Mike Kernell, a Memphis Democrat and chairman of Tennessee's House Government Operations Committee. The father declined last week to discuss the possibility his son might be involved in the case.
Thanks to the open-source Drupal software that we run at NewsBusters, we get great search engine placement. I hear from people all the time when they're searching for various topics we write frequently about here that NB often turns up at the top of the results.
In one of those strange coincidences of life, it turns out that because of NewsBusters' high search engine placement that we made a cameo appearance in the Sarah Palin email hacking story.
Our story begins with 4chan, a hugely popular bulletinboard where people can discuss numerous topics. 4chan members are highly interested in Japanese and computer geek cultures. They are also known for their strange and often bizarre taste and love of random acts of disruptive digital pranks.
Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, Ariz., has acknowledged his technological shortcomings, but some in the media continue to portray him as a techno-phobe with no meaningful contributions to that sector of the economy.
The September 16 "NBC Nightly News" examined McCain's rhetoric on the campaign trail in the wake of a serious banking crisis. Correspondent Kelly O'Donnell reported one campaign advisor cited McCain's legislative effort opening the door to technological advancements as evidence of his ability to steer Americans through the turbulent time.
"And Brian, when an adviser today was stressing John McCain's economic credentials, he told reporters that McCain quote ‘helped make this little miracle happen' - the Blackberry or cell phone - citing his work on the Commerce Committee," O'Donnell said.
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.
This week’s Time magazine doesn’t only conclude that John McCain is as un-American as al-Qaeda for mocking Obama’s celebrity. They go on to worry about the old man’s Internet illiteracy, such a contrast to Obama, "well known to be a BlackBerry addict." In an article titled "The Offline American," writer Lev Grossman suggested McCain’s statement that "I don’t e-mail" and relies on his wife for help makes him too clueless to make decisions about the Internet. The liberals have figured out how to use McCain’s age and experience against him, claiming he’s not qualified to rule the Internet: "if you can't grasp that structure, how can you lead the people who live and work in it?"
Time completely ignores McCain's leadership of the Senate Commerce Commitee, a center of Congress's technology policy-making, and McCain's proposed tech agenda. Grossman says McCain’s staff is backpedaling (and some of McCain’s self-deprecating commentary is meant to be jokey and exaggerating), but he asserts McCain is dangerously lacking:
On the grand scale of wired politicians, he's probably somewhere between recently indicted Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, who famously described the Internet as a "series of tubes," and our current President, who once proudly explained to CNBC's Maria Bartiromo how he uses "the Google." (As for Obama, he's well known to be a BlackBerry addict.)
Today on Neil Cavuto, Monica Showalter of Investor's Business Daily was on, speaking about their editorial on Nanny Pelosi called "Feckless to Reckless." It's about Nancy Pelosi's recent reckless call to drain the strategic oil reserves in an attempt to answer our problems and pains at the gas pumps, short term. Needless to say, IBD was not impressed; in fact, the article calls for her resignation. You can read about it and watch the video interview at MsUnderestimated's site here.
When media personality Tim Russert, once a top adviser to leading Democratic officeholders in New York, died of a heart attack in June, editors at YouTube rightly paid tribute to him by promoting videos that celebrated his work and life.
They didn't extend the same courtesy to conservative journalist Tony Snow over the weekend. Instead, YouTube chose to mark Snow's passing by featuring a liberal rant that blamed Snow for "hundreds of thousands of deaths," including those of innocent children, because he briefly served as President Bush's spokesman.
The video was one of two promoted in YouTube's news and politics section after Snow died of cancer at age 53. The first clip, from an interview with White House counselor Ed Gillespie on CBS' "Face The Nation," gave Snow his much-deserved due as "one of the good guys."
But in an apparent and twisted attempt at balance, the second Snow-related clip that YouTube chose was headlined "Tony Snow Job." Here's how it began:
"Actually, you know what I think - the more I think of it, John McCain should not be allowed to hold sharp scissors," Huffington said. "[Y]ou know he wants to make the tax cuts permanent. He wants bigger corporate tax cuts. You know, it's an endless process. You know it's basically, exactly what this country does not need. It's expanding and deepening the last eight years."
Want to see how the mainstream media views Fox News? Look no further than Newsweek's Howard Fineman and the way he thinks the Bush administration uses the network.
Fineman, who is Newsweek magazine's senior Washington correspondent and a regular on MSNBC, told an audience at the Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. on May 1 that if you want to know what the Bush administration has in store for Iran, keep your eye on Fox News.
"Now about Iran," Fineman said. "I think there's no doubt they're [the Bush administration] looking to see what can be done there and I would recommend Fox News to you. I can' believe I'm saying this, but if you want to know what's being thrown out there, what balloons are being floated - that's the place to look, okay. That's why you've got to scan all the media."
"[I] split my time between The Weather Channel and this think tank in Princeton and one of the things we've been trying to do is work with Google Earth essentially. And for me, coming from The Weather Channel, the most powerful tool that exists is Weather.com and you type in your zip code and you get a forecast out five days."
The PC guy finally wins one! No, we're not cheering for political correctness here. I'm talking about those ads for Macintosh computers where the cool Mac guy always gets the better of the frumpy PC fellow.
When two college political leaders out in Iowa appeared on the Good Morning America screen today, I immediately suspected a set-up. I couldn't help but think that ABC had intentionally staged the political equivalent of the Mac ads, with the Dem as the Apple dude and the Republican cast as PC guy.
In the screencap, that's Atul Nakhasi, head of the U. of Iowa Dems, on the left and Greg Baker, Chairman of the U. of Iowa Republicans, on the right. Now, Nakhasi acquitted himself perfectly well, but as the segment unfolded it soon became clear that Baker was the star of this show.
View the video here, and enjoy Baker's good-humor and easy articulation.
Time Magazine will announce its 2007 "Person of the Year" in its December 31 issue and Jobs is listed as one of the candidates. According to Time.com, he has several things going for him, but one glaring thing working against him:
"Pro: The iPhone is a triumph while iTunes expanded its reach as the dominant source of online music. Oh, and Apple stock is up a mere 100% in 2007.
Con: Not exactly a figure of global change. He's a businessman, albeit a great one." (emphasis added)
On Wednesday's "World News with Charles Gibson," host Gibson highlighted a woman suffering from breast cancer who chose to keep her baby instead of having an abortion while opting to be treated during the second and third trimesters when her baby would likely be able to withstand the chemotherapy. Gibson recounted the story of the new mother who "spent her pregnancy fighting to save her baby's life and her own," relaying her choice not to have an abortion. Gibson: "Her doctor told her she could abort the baby, but Linda found specialists who told her there was another choice, that she could treat the cancer and carry her child to term." (Transcript follows)
Below is a complete transcript of the story from the Wednesday November 28 "World News with Charles Gibson" on ABC: