According to ABC, CBS and NBC, an athlete involved in a three-month-old sex scandal is more newsworthy than a statement of principles signed by more than 80 conservative leaders.
Not just more newsworthy. The broadcast network morning shows devoted more than 30 minutes of coverage about Tiger Wood's statement to the press on his sexual "indiscretions" scheduled for Feb. 19. By contrast, the Feb. 17 signing of the Mount Vernon statement by 80 prominent conservative leaders received zero coverage. Both CBS and NBC sent camera crews to the event.
ABC provided the lion's share of the Tiger coverage, giving more than 17 minutes of airtime to the Woods story. A crisis management professional, a family therapist and two sports writers were brought on to speculate about the impact his expected apology would have on Woods' image and career, as well as the pros and cons of his wife Elin appearing alongside him.
Woods coverage on CBS clocked in at more than nine minutes while NBC, currently covering the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, gave Woods only four-and-a-half minutes.
Vice President Joseph Biden's very public wearing of ashes, a Lenten practice for Catholics, on Wednesday led to several befuddled reactions from the mainstream media. Sky News's Kay Burley had to apologize after confusing the ashen mark for an injury. More egregiously, ABC News's Karen Travers omitted the past controversy over his support for legalized abortion, and portrayed him as a devout Catholic.
The Vice President bore the ashes on his forehead as he introduced President Obama at a White House event celebrating the one-year anniversary of the so-called Recovery Act. Burley asked Greg Milam, Sky News's US correspondent, about the mark as they monitored Biden's remarks: "What's happened to his head? I'm sure that's what everybody's asking at home." After a short pause, Milam replied, "Yes, I don't know. It's a simple answer. Maybe we'll get a chance to find out a little later." Burley then remarked, "It looks like he walked into a door, doesn't it? I'm sure that's one of the questions that the networks will be asking him." (video clip above is from Thursday's Morning Joe on MSNBC; audio available here).
On Feb. 19, 2009, one year ago tomorrow, Rick Santelli lost his temper while reporting from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The CNBC reporter was angry about bailouts of businesses and homeowners.
His passionate free market rant spoke to many Americans equally distressed about the direction of the nation. The Tea Party movement was born.
On Feb. 16, she appeared (appropriately enough) on Headline News Network's "The Joy Behar Show" to promote as much of herself as humanly possible: her recently released stand-up DVD "She'll Cut a Bitch," her appearance in an upcoming Law & Order episode as a lesbian rights activist (which she claims will garner her an Emmy), and her live comedy act at Madison Square Garden where she'll be "worse than she's ever been."
On the one-year anniversary of the Obama administration's “stimulus” spending bill, ABC, CBS and NBC all eagerly corroborated the White House's claims about how it “saved or created” many jobs and staved off economic disaster, though they all offered a range of numbers and definitions (ABC: “800,000 to 2.4 million new jobs,” CBS: “about 1.8 million” jobs “saved or created” and NBC: “1.6 to 1.8 million jobs have been created so far.”)
ABC and CBS touted anecdotes about companies and government agencies which asserted the spending had prevented layoffs or allowed them to hire new staff. ABC's Jake Tapper cited buses for Santa Monica, construction jobs in Baltimore, “63,000 green jobs” (with a solar panel-maker's CEO declaring “it is working and we're proof of that”) and a school system superintendent who told Tapper the funding “ helped save 61 jobs and create 73 new ones.”
On CBS, Chip Reid began with how “this highway paving equipment company in California canceled plans to lay off 40 workers because of demand created by stimulus projects,” before trumpeting how “in Washington, D.C. about 20 people are working on this road project” where “manager Matthew Johns calls the stimulus a lifesaver.” [audio available here]
Though “many independent economists put the number of jobs saved or created at about 1.8 million,” Reid relayed that “to the great frustration of the White House, most Americans simply refuse to believe it. In a recent CBS News/New York Times poll, a mere 6 percent said the stimulus has created jobs.” Reid's culprit: “That skepticism due in part to a relentless campaign by Republicans who say the stimulus is a bloated, big-government failure.” (The online “Political Hotsheet” echoed Reid's theme: “On Stimulus, Perception Doesn't Match Reality.”)
It's no surprise that Democratic National Committee chair Tim Kaine would agree with the Obama administration about the effectiveness of last year's stimulus packages. That's why CNN's "American Morning" should have at least included a single critical guest Feb. 17.
Kiran Chetry began the interview by citing a CNN poll that showed public skepticism regarding the stimulus.
"What do you say to Americans who feel that this $862 billion was basically wasted?" Chetry asked.
Kaine defended the stimulus by citing a New York Times piece saying that the stimulus "has pretty much done exactly what it was intended to do." The former governor gave the stimulus credit with getting the economy growing again. Kane also said it saved or created 2.4 million jobs.
CPAC, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference begins Feb. 18. Conservative leaders will rally the troops before the mid-term elections in November and discuss the future role of conservatives in politics.
One person who will not be in attendance is Meghan McCain, despite the year-long media attempt to make citizens believe she is somehow representative of conservatives. She tweeted on Feb. 11, "I have no idea where this weird rumor I am speaking at CPAC came from, it isn't true and I will not be attending or speaking."
McCain, the 25-year-old daughter of former Republican presidential nominee John McCain and a writer for The Daily Beast, has taken it upon herself to tell the GOP what needs to be fixed within the party. Because she calls herself a Republican, media outlets have perpetuated the notion that she is also conservative. By doing that, they've pushed a liberal social agenda that directly conflicts with conservative values.
Writer Kathleen Parker, herself no stranger to conservative bashing, praised McCain last spring as "one smart cookie" who "in a matter weeks ... has created a brand, presenting herself as a fresh face of her daddy's party and voice of young conservatives."
Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post and a contributor to MSNBC, suggested last summer that "maybe what the Republican Party is going to have to do is skip a generation and wait for the Meghan McCains to come of age so they can run for office and take over the mantle of the party."
Either Bill Maher was doing his best effort to impersonate Mel Brooks as King Louis XVI in "History in the World, Part I" or he has a complete and utter disregard for the intellectual competency of the American people.
Maher, a perennial bomb thrower with a hard left ideology appeared on CNN's Feb. 16 "Larry King Live," facing the king of softball interviews, Larry King, and let it be known he thought alleged terrorism plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should be tried in New York City and that health care should be forced through by the Obama administration, despite the wishes of the American people.
And why should the American people's wishes be ignored? They're "not bright enough."
"But what the Democrats never understand is that Americans don't really care what position you take, just stick with one," Maher said. "Just be strong. They're not bright enough to really understand the issues. But like an animal, they can sort of sense strength or weakness. They can smell it on you."
Poor Barack Obama. Hasn't put a foot wrong. Policies just fine. It's just that he's been dealt the cruel fate of . . . being President of the United States.
That was the essence of what Jonathan Capehart, WaPo editorialist, whistled past the liberal graveyard on Morning Joe today. Confronted with the prez's crumbling poll numbers [by 52-44 margin people don't think PBO deserves to be re-elected], Capehart blamed anti-incumbent fever. It's not that Americans are opposed to the Dems' policies, suggested Capehart: they're just frustrated by how little has been accomplished.
Why don't we play a little game of political prognostication? Imagine that, far from being ineffective, Obama/Pelosi/Reid had managed to push through their entire agenda in the last year. Let's focus on three matters:
USA Today just can't move on. It's been over a week since the pro-life Tebow ad aired during the Superbowl - and it wasn't nearly as controversial as the liberals said it would be. Tim Tebow's mom said nice things about her son; Tim hugged her, both of them smiled, and that was it. Most people shrugged and forgot about it. But not USA Today. On Feb. 15, it's Faith & Reason section touted the headline "Tebow pro-family ad leads to surprising 'choice' message."
The article gave the tired argument that even if you're choosing life, it's still a choice. Pam Tebow "chose to ignore doctors" but she still had options open to her. Author of the article Cathy Lynn Grossman, however, painted Tebow's choice as both ignorant and selfish, since the pregnancy could have left her first four children motherless.
Back to back Washington, D.C. blizzards prompted conservatives to mock the global warming crowd last week.
Grandchildren of Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., built an igloo on the National Mall and christened it "Al Gore's New Home." Fox News anchor Glenn Beck employed his trademark sarcasm to make fun of the "disappearance" of warming priest Al Gore and devotee Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. since the snowfall. Beck picked on Kennedy because of a 2008 op-ed lamenting that global warming had changed the D.C. climate leading to "anemic winters."
Left-wingers online at place like Huffington Post and Daily Kos, as well as members of the national news media were furious that the "wingnuts" were using the blizzard to make fun of them. They rushed to defend their theory of man-made global warming (anthropogenic global warming or AGW) by claiming that the snowpocalypse was, in fact, caused by global warming.
"Science Guy" Bill Nye was so upset by it he attacked "unpatriotic" climate skeptics on Feb. 10 during the "Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC.
If Rachel Maddow's MSNBC gig doesn't work out, why not a career in stand-up? Earlier today, Tim Graham highlighted a Howard Kurtz WaPo article on Maddow. Although she has persistently focused on the gays-in-the-military policy, inviting gay soldiers on to tell their stories, Maddow insisted that she is not "mounting a crusade" or "explicitly pushing for change."
That same "lady doth protest too much" routine is echoed in the latest MSNBC promo for Maddow's show, in which the host looks into the camera and proclaims: "I'm not trying to push an agenda."
On the eve of the Winter Olympics four years ago, Bryant Gumbel couldn't resist taking a racial shot at the Republican Party in a commentary at the end of his Real Sports magazine show on HBO. The former NBC and CBS morning news host concluded by telling viewers that as for the Winter Olympic games, “count me among those who don't like 'em and won't watch 'em.”
He condescendingly suggested viewers “try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention.”
Gumbel's remarks came on the February of 2006 edition of Real Sports, a monthly sports news magazine show which includes Bernard Goldberg amongst its correspondents. It first aired on Tuesday night, February 7, a few days before the Olympics opened in Torino, Italy.
Even though his cable TV news network may not have that many viewers in relative terms to his competitors, MSNBC's David Shuster apparently has some clout when it comes to getting things done in Washington, D.C. - at least on a municipal level.
Shuster, making effort to give his viewers some "perspective" of his personal experience with the reason record-breaking snowfall in Washington, D.C., showed pictures of scenes near his Washington, D.C. home - complete with unplowed snow and a downed tree on MSNBC Feb. 12.
"And to give you some perspective on what it's been like for all of us here in Washington, D.C., on residential streets that don't get plowed," Shuster said. "First up, this is a picture my wife took on Sunday in front of our house looking north of 32nd Street," Shuster explained. "This was after the first storm that dumped about 23 inches and before the second drop of another 12. And here's a photo from the same angle last night, the weight of the second storm caused one of the trees to fall down yesterday morning breaking windows in that apartment building on the right. We have street parking and here's what 35 inches of unplowed snow does to cars."
After taking time out of his last few broadcasts to try to clarify his Feb. 8 remarks that the "snowpocalypse" was because of global warming, one would hope MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan would have learned his lesson.
Ratigan spent a portion of his Feb. 10 and now a portion of his Feb. 11 shows trying to clarify his statement - that "these ‘snowpocalypses' that have been going through D.C. and other extreme weather events are precisely what climate scientists have been predicting, fearing and anticipating because of global warming," as he said - but that he didn't necessarily believe that premise.
"Now, in addition to that being completely wrong on so many levels, it's also a total misrepresentation over the climate change theory that I was attempting to explain," Ratigan said. "Let me be very clear - I do not believe that this storm is proof of climate change. And I do not believe that this storm is not proof of climate change. But I do believe that you, Mr. Beck, did a tremendous disservice to your viewers by bastardizing the most basic science behind the theory, period. That's not very good."
We're not looking to give Bill Clinton a hard time on a day when he's undergone heart surgery. But our forbearance doesn't extend to Tom Brokaw when he misstates history . . .
On this evening's Hardball, responding to Chris Matthews' question as to what motivates Clinton nowadays, Brokaw surmised that he is trying to improve his place in history given that, as president, impeachment proceedings had been "initiated" against him.
The once-Disney princess Anne Hathaway recently announced to a cheering media that she was leaving the Catholic Church due to its "limited view" on her homosexual brother. Even though the media haven't stopped clapping, Michelangelo Signorile, a gay activist and talk radio host, warned on "The Joy Behar Show" that Hathaway may be temporarily sidelined by the conservative bigwigs in Hollywood.
"I think that it's the powers that be that has the problem," Signorile said to Behar on Feb. 9. "Hollywood, ya know, it's the money. The conservatives - the money is always conservative, and they're always afraid."
The case of a murdered woman who turned out to be an abortionist gave "Law and Order: SVU" writers the opportunity to frame the abortion debate as "pro-choice or no choice" during the Feb. 10 episode.
Ultimately, Audrey Hale's profession had nothing to do with her death but the twist allowed writers to get in a few shots against pro-life activists (calling them "fanatical nuts") and portray the doctor as an unsung hero committed to her job.
Detectives John Munch and Tutuola, played by Richard Belzer and Ice-T, questioned the lead suspect, Dalton Rindell, about his beliefs regarding abortion.
"Which are you, pro-choice or no choice?" asked Tutuola.
Immediately after taking shots from some conservative voices for his Feb. 8 remarks that heavy snowfall in the Mid-Atlantic is "reportedly" a result of global warming, MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan fired back at his detractors on his Feb. 10 program.
The once seemingly rational host of CNBC's "Fast Money" voiced his frustration with the entire global warming debate as it stood in the wake of this record-setting winter weather event. Ratigan suggested neither side should use the crippling snowfall as evidence to further their respective arguments. However he did direct the lion's share of his criticism at conservatives.
"The weather we know is frightful, but my goodness me, so is the political back-and-forth over climate change in the context of these storms that are hitting D.C. especially," Ratigan said. "Both sides trying to use hometown ‘snowpocalypse' as free advertising for their chosen position on climate change, baby. Conservatives today, using the blizzard to pull a snow job on Al Gore and his liberal brethren. From South Carolina, Sen. Jim DeMint says quote, ‘It's going to keep snowing in D.C. until Al Gore cries uncle.' That was a good one. Meanwhile, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asks ‘Where is Al Gore now?'"
"[T]here's more energy in the atmosphere and this is stirring things up," Nye said. "If you want to get serious about it, these guys claiming that the snow in Washington disproves climate change are almost unpatriotic. It's really, they're denying science. So they're very happy to have the weather forecast be accurate within a few hours, but they're displeased or un-enchanted by predictions of the world getting warmer. It's really, it shakes me up."
There's really little opportunity for the spirit of bipartisanship to exist when you have a part-time operative for the Obama administration/cable network political commentator throwing bombs about the GOP for not catering to the Obama administration's wishes on health care reform.
"Well, it is kind of preposterous," Begala said. "The Republicans bit is, ‘Well, we'll work on health care if you stop and end and scrap all the progress we've made over the course of a year.' Well no, actually. The health care bill already has 213 Republican-sponsored amendments - 213. And for that they got zero Republican votes. I guess they got one in the House, David [sic - Joseph] Cao."
Time after time, the Obama White House has demonstrated a desire to control the message and flow of information, whether it's issues on health care, the economy, bailouts and the latest - climate science.
But AccuWeather.com's chief long-range and hurricane forecaster Joe Bastardi, who appeared on the Fox Business Network's Feb. 9 "Cavuto," warned there are other implications with the government having an expanded role in climate forecasting. According to Bastardi, it could lead to an effort to shut out other opinions.
"Good Morning America" Wednesday broke the news about a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finding Republicans now favored over Democrats in the upcoming Congressional elections in November.
"Republicans are in a dramatically improved position for the midterm elections," said Jake Tapper. "They are much more competitive with Democrats and the President as to who the public trusts to handle key issues."
Tapper, with some help from co-host George Stephanopoulos, then walked viewers through some of the numbers (video embedded below the fold with poll highlights, h/t Glenn Reynolds):
No matter what former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin does, she's not going to win any friends in the mainstream modern feminism activist movement in the United States. But that might not be a bad thing.
On HLN's Feb. 8 "The Joy Behar Show," Eve Ensler, the writer of the infamous "The Vagina Monologues" appeared on the broadcast to promote her new book "I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World." During the interview, she was asked by the show's host Joy Behar what she thought about Sarah Palin, her political prospects and her belief system.
"Back with me is a woman who has done more for the vagina than the Brazilian wax - the talented Eve Ensler," Behar said. "You know, I must talk about Sarah Palin quickly with you because you do mention her in one monologue in the book. And you say a woman running for U.S. vice president believes in creationism but not global warming. What were you driving at there? May I ask?"
With Washington, D.C. buried beneath at least 20 inches of snow, and with more in the forecast, common sense would suggest global warming alarmists look elsewhere to make the argument to raise awareness for their concerns.
But no, Dylan Ratigan thinks it's ridiculous to suggest all the snowfall totals could cast doubt on the theory of anthropogenic global warming. On MSNBC's Feb. 8 "The Dylan Ratigan Show," Ratigan criticized those who would dare express misgivings about climate change based on the so-called "snowpocalypse."
"Here's the problem - these ‘snowpocalypses' that have been going through D.C. and other extreme weather events are precisely what climate scientists have been predicting, fearing and anticipating because of global warming," Ratigan said.
The media's hate parade against the former governor of Alaska hit a disgraceful peak Monday night when comedian Stephen Colbert said on national television, "Sarah Palin is a f**king retard."
In a five minute segment bashing the former vice presidential candidate for her remarks at Saturday's National Tea Party convention, as well as her use of crib notes -- surprise! -- the Comedy Central star ended with the controversy surrounding White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's "retard" comment.
After playing a clip of Palin telling Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" that Rush Limbaugh's use of the word was acceptable because it was satire, Colbert concluded, "It is okay to call someone a retard if like Rush you clearly don't mean it" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, vulgarity alert):
Fox News has a business strategy of seeking to "undermine" the MSM by alleging that it has a liberal bias. That was Chuck Todd's assertion on Morning Joe today.
Todd, NBC's political director and chief White House correspondent, was reacting to Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon's statement on "Fox News Sunday" that "the mainstream media hates the tea party movement almost as much as it hates Sarah Palin."