There's no question Fox News is killing its competition in the ratings. And the reason is quite simple according to Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWSA), the parent company of Fox News.
On Fox News Channel's May 4 "Your World with Neil Cavuto," Murdoch credited the success of Fox News to the void it fills as people are concerned about the political direction of the nation. He explained with that, his network draws viewers since other networks lean liberal, which is the dominant view of those in power in Washington, D.C.
"Well, I think as Fox News goes, it's very simple," Murdoch said. "You know, it's very powerful, it's very good and it's very balanced. And you know, everybody else, every newspaper, every - maybe an over-generalization, but by far the most newspapers and certainly the other television networks sort of are all on one side, the liberal side of things and we're - I think the population of this country is pretty worried about its direction and they turned to Fox News."
"Your World" host Neil Cavuto asked Murdoch if he welcomed those critiques on Fox News, to which Murdoch admitted he did because it was good for ratings.
Our friends at CNSNews.com -- which is owned by NewsBusters parent organization the Media Research Center -- have a story today about ABC "The View" co-host Sherri Shepherd's reaction to Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law.
When asked, in the context of Arizona's new immigration law, about a Justice Department report showing that one-out-of-five American teenagers uses illegal drugs and that most of those drugs come out of Mexico, Sherri Shepherd, a co-host of ABC’s “The View,” said she did not care. Arizona’s new law against illegal immigration is “very unfair,” she said, and America has got to do better.
Shepherd spoke with CNSNews.com at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner on May 1 in Washington, D.C. CNSNews.com asked her, “A lot of celebrities have come out against the Arizona immigration law recently, what’s your stance on it, do you have an opinion on the law?”
On Tuesday's American Morning, CNN's Jim Acosta sympathized with the suspect in the failed Times Square terror plot, Faisal Shahzad, citing how a guest claimed that his family's house in Connecticut went into foreclosure in 2009: "One would have to imagine that that brought a lot of pressure and a lot of heartache on that family" [see video here].
Acosta remarked on Shahzad's familial difficulty at the end of an interview of Brenda Thurman, one of the suspect's former neighbors, which began 47 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour. During the interview, the CNN personality, who was filling in for anchor John Roberts, asked Thurman about her foreclosure claim: "What sense did you get from the family? I mean, you just said a few minutes ago, I think- that it's pretty significant that this house that he apparently owned was foreclosed on in Shelton, Connecticut....Did you get a sense from the family as to- I mean, that must have been extremely difficult on them."
Although to ask this question is to invite with a good degree of criticism, it is still worth asking: Is Obama administration's approach to publicly reprimanding private industry cause for concern?
On CNBC's May 4 "Squawk Box," host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera raised this point and asked Washington correspondent John Harwood if White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' recent statement BP was a little overboard.
"The spokesperson says, quote, ‘We're going to keep our boot on the throats of BP,'" Caruso-Cabrera said. "How is the Business Council going to react to that when they see President Obama?"
Harwood, who often goes easy on the Obama administration, wasn't so quick to criticize Gibbs for this. His explanation was that it was a little "hostile," but repeated Gibbs' suggestion it was just a regional saying.
Hosting a debate segment this morning between Republican strategist Alex Conant and Democratic strategist Mo Elleithee that examined the political dimensions of the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill, MSNBC's Tamron Hall played soundbites from two politicians with rather divergent views on offshore drilling.
The first was liberal Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) opposing expanding offshore drilling to California, the second was conservative Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), who gave a rather dopey comment where he downplayed the devastation of the oil spill by comparing its appearance to "chocolate milk."
After playing those clips back-to-back, Hall asked for Conant's reaction, mistakenly referring to Taylor as a Republican.
We at NewsBusters quickly tweeted Hall about her error and she promptly issued an on-air correction, albeit mistakenly tagging Taylor as a "Michigan Democrat" [MP3 audio available here]:
Pres. Obama so badly wanted to claim credit for stopping the Times Square attack, that he led himself up a rhetorical box canyon in remarks this morning. Check it out:
BARACK OBAMA: This incident is another sobering reminder of the times in which we live. Around the world and here at home, there are those who would attack our citizens and who would slaughter innocent men, women and children in pursuit of their murderous agenda. They will stop at nothing to kill and disrupt our way of life, but once again an attempted attack has been [awkward pause] failed.
You just know PBO wanted to say that the attempted attacked had been "stopped" or "thwarted." There was just one little problem . . .
With Katie Couric drawing him out, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg agreed the Times Square car bombing was likely “homegrown” as he proceeded, in an interview excerpt run on Monday's CBS Evening News, to speculate it could have been placed by “somebody with a political agenda who doesn't like the health care bill or something. It could be anything.”
Could be “anything,” but the first thing Bloomberg thinks of are those who don't like ObamaCare, presumably conservatives or Tea Party activists.
A lot of the media have been very willing to declare President Barack Obama's monologue at the White House Correspondents' Dinner on May 1 a smashing success. And even though that is a fair assessment, perhaps that's a clue the President chose the wrong occupation.
On Fox News Channel's May 2 "Geraldo at Large," in a segment dedicated to Obama's grand performance, Rev. Al Sharpton praised Obama for the job he did.
"You know, I thought he was very good," Sharpton said. "I was there. At one point I was sitting at a table that Michael Steele was right across the table. And I think the surprise of everyone in the room was that the President was that edgy and he was coming off with it. His timing was good. It was a very good evening."
Pure genius, I tell you. With an estimated half a million illegal immigrants residing in Arizona according to the Pew Hispanic Center, questions are being raised about what this means for the United States and its national identity. But according to Newsweek contributing editor Eleanor Clift, it's a "happy" thing with lots of upside.
On the May 2 airing of "The McLaughlin Group," show moderator John McLaughlin raised the issue about the country's identity, particularly when it comes to English as the United States' primary language.
"The bedrock is national identity," McLaughlin said. "If the national identity suffers by reason of multiple languages, then the bedrock of our society, which is our identity, being an American is an American. English preserves that."
At the White House Correspondents Association dinner Saturday night, President Barack Obama mocked CNN’s Rick Sanchez for saying Iceland is “too cold” for a volcano, a remark launched into the blogosphere by NewsBusters (April 15 NB post with video) and which prompted Sanchez, who insisted he was joking, to put NB post author Matthew Balan at the “very top” of his “List U Don't Want 2 Be On.” (April 19 NB post with video)
Obama’s joke centered on his bad opening day “first pitch” at the Washington Nationals game. He displayed how FNC described his pitch, “President Panders to Far Left of Batters Box,” and MSNBC’s on-screen graphic under Keith Olbermann: “President Pitches No-Hitter.” The President then played the real video from CNN of Sanchez, and then, generating laughter from the DC audience, quipped: “I guess that’s why they’re the most-trusted name in news.”
“Angry backlash from coast to coast,” ABC’s David Muir teased Saturday’s World News, “huge rallies across this country tonight against that new controversial immigration law.” On CBS, Jeff Glor teased: “May Day Message. Immigrant right groups rally from coast to coast against Arizona's controversial new law.”
ABC reporter Eric Horng touted how “this is the fifth year in a row that nationwide immigration rallies have been held on May 1st, but this year emotions are particularly raw. They came by the thousands. A sea of demonstrators armed with a message.” He soon claimed “the state has been lampooned by comedians” and as evidence played the very same clip from the left wing Jon Stewart as had NBC’s Andrea Mitchell earlier in the week when she asserted Arizona had become “a laughing stock.”
From Phoenix, CBS’s Bill Whitaker began with how “the many citizens here say that if the politicians don't hear their voices today they might hear them at the ballot box a little louder in November,” but moments later in his story Whitaker showcased an admitted illegal:
Gerardo, who asked us to conceal his identity, crossed illegally from Mexico to Arizona four years ago. With the new law he knows there's a greater chance he’ll be arrested and deported...He has a daughter, a state job, a home which his an American born partner Jessica is packing up, fearing they might have to flee...So they joined the protest in Phoenix, fighting to overturn the law. [video below, MP3 audio]
Former United Nations ambassador John Bolton had one of the best lines on Friday's "Real Time" when after he got some scattered applause from the typically liberal audience in attendance, he said to Bill Maher, "You let Republicans in."
As the subject turned to America's military operations abroad, the HBO host told his guest, "You can't really believe that radical Muslim terrorists...need Afghanistan to launch an attack on us."
"I think there are plenty of alternative places," replied Bolton. "And I would say the bigger strategic interest going forward is keeping those nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists."
This produced some scattered applause from the crowd leading Bolton to marvelously say, "You let Republicans in" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. must be having trouble remembering who is president these days. Kennedy spent much of his April 30 CNN interview attacking the previous administration for last week's Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster and subsequent oil spill.
In an appearance on "Rick's List," Kennedy opined that as a nation "we should be moving away from our deadly addiction to oil. Not only because of the damage it's doing in the Gulf, but we are exporting, we are borrowing a billion dollars a day in our country mainly from nations that don't share our values."
But then Kennedy attacked President George W. Bush and the oil industry as a whole for the tragic spill still being dealt with off the Louisiana coastline. The founder of Waterkeeper Alliance, a left-wing environmental group, told Sanchez that his organization filed a class-action lawsuit on the behalf of Louisiana fishermen.
Host Rick Sanchez asked "What did these guys do wrong? Were they careless?"
Kennedy replied affirmatively and went on to attack not merely the single company (British Petroleum) responsible for the drilling platform, but the entire oil industry and the Bush administration:
"But because of the oil industry's influence on the Bush administration -- the Bush administration waved that requirement [for acoustic regulators used in Europe]. So it made the oil spills intrinsically much more dangerous," Kennedy claimed.
Picking up on a story from Louisiana about a bill to allow concealed carry for firearms in houses of worship, MSNBC's Tamron Hall asked viewers of the network's live coverage shortly before 3 p.m. EDT today if the legislation was "Crossing the Line."
True to the segment's formula, only one side of the controversy was represented in the form of a guest to discuss the matter, in this case, an opponent of the bill, State Rep. Barbara Norton (D). [full interview audio here; click play button on embed at right for video]
While Hall did ask Norton to react to a quote by bill sponsor State Rep. Henry Burns (R), she failed to ask Norton why she believed it was proper for the state to issue a top-down one-size-fits-all gun ban for houses of worship, as dictated by current law.
After all, as New Orleans Times-Picayune capital bureau staffer Ed Anderson reported yesterday, the bill does not require churches to allow parishioners to carry concealed and parishioners must be notified by church officers prior to any move to adopt a security force or allow concealed carry by worshipers:
Joy Behar, along with three guests, continued to crusade against the new Arizona immigration law on April 29.
Guests included Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon, actress Rosie Perez and singer Jon Secada who all joined Behar in bashing the law.
Liberal Behar attempted to link immigration reform to attacks on gays saying, “You know I was thinking of how it's similar to gay bashing in a way. Because, you know, they'll come in from other parts of the country or wherever and they'll attack some gay guys in the Village here and Chelsea in New York City based on the way they look. It's a very similar thing that's going on. We're going to judge you on how you look, we’re gonna throw you in jail, and also they’re gonna throw these people in jail for six months?”
How should MSNBC supplement its income? Have the DNC underwrite part of Norah O'Donnell's salary. She's certainly earning it . . .
Yesterday, as noted here, a giddy Norah enthused that Charlie Crist's vote-splitting independent run gives the Dems "a real shot" to win the Florida Senate seat.
O'Donnell was back on the Dem ramparts this morning on Morning Joe, defending Janet Napolitano's execrable record on border security, leading Joe Scarborough to mock the Homeland Security secretary with some effervescent imagery . . .
A $787-billion stimulus. Liabilities of $356 billion for the TARP bailout on the federal government's balance sheet. And that's in addition to other unfunded liabilities from federal entitlements like ObamaCare, Medicare, and Social Security.
But that doesn't mean the U.S. is heading down the path toward socialism because they were one-time expenditures, according to CNBC senior economics reporter Steve Liesman.
On CNBC's "Squawk Box" April 29, as jobless claims for the week was being released on the floor of the CME Group in Chicago, co-host Joe Kernen asked for Liesman's opinion.
Given the contentious debate over the proper role of religion in American public life, you'd think an important Supreme Court ruling on the issue would be a big story to the network news. But the Court's April 28 finding regarding a cross on a World War I memorial in the Mojave Desert elicited a yawn from CBS's "Evening News," a 78-word report from NBC's "Nightly News," and a one-sided segment from ABC's "World News with Diane Sawyer" that fretted if the Court "move[d] the bar on the separation of church and state."
The cross in question is part of a memorial built in 1934 in the federal-owned Mojave National Preserve to honor fallen WWI veterans. Lower courts ruled the cross unconstitutional and had it covered with a box, despite efforts taken in recent years by Congress to avoid constitutional questions over it by transferring that portion of the Preserve to private owners.
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled this was not a clear-cut violation of the separation of church and state.
"The goal of avoiding governmental endorsement does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion. Kennedy noted specifically about this cross that it "evokes far more than religion. It evokes thousands of small crosses in foreign fields marking the graves of Americans who fell in battles, battles whose tragedies are compounded if the fallen are forgotten."
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that so-called payday loans probably aren't the most reasonable option when it comes to short-term borrowing. But according to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, it takes the federal government to let you know.
On her April 28 program, Maddow charged that these lenders engage in unscrupulous practices, despite offering a service that their clientele is willing to buy.
"Last week we did our best to explain payday lenders - who they are and who they are, who they - what they do and who they are, excuse me," Maddow said. "Payday lenders are basically loan sharks with nice store fronts. They specialize in turning what look like short-term loans into ongoing obligations that rollover every two weeks, piling up fees until they're ultimately collecting 400 percent annual interest."
If you try to sweep your problems under the rug, they'll go away, right? Michael Mann, a Penn State professor and a central figure in the Climategate scandal and best known for his "hockey stick graph" hopes so.
On Fox News Channel's April 28 broadcast of "Your World with Neil Cavuto," Elmer Beauregard of Minnesotans for Global Warming appeared to explain the reasoning behind a video that drew the ire Mann. The video mocked the Penn State professor's alleged attempt to cover up data from tree rings that would indicate there was no global warming.
"Well, I don't know if you remember, but last fall, Obama was pushing the no cap-and-trade to go through the Senate because he wanted to have something to bring to Copenhagen," Beauregard said. "And just then Climategate broke and the mainstream press really wasn't covering it, so the coalition got together and we tried to think of a way to kind of bring this into the forefront of the American public. And I said I could make a funny YouTube video. And so, I did it to the tune of ‘Draggin' the Line' by Tommy James and The Shondells and put it up on YouTube and it went viral. And then Rush [Limbaugh] played it on his show and it went supernova."
Shortly before 11 a.m. this morning, a sympathetic Monica Novotny interviewed anti-obesity activist Meme Roth about a new law in Santa Clara County, California, banning the distribution of free toys in kids meals at fast food restaurants.
That's right, the food police have a warrant out for Ronald McDonald.
But rather than include a voice of dissent to challenge Roth on the government-expanding, free enterprise-attacking nature of the law, Novotny tried to tinker around the edges, wondering if it might be better to encourage restaurants to put free toys in healthier kids meal options. [full interview embedded at right, click here for MP3 audio]
Roth dismissed that notion as a "bribe" to get kids to adopt healthier eating habits, although she also absurdly argued that:
The possibility of a suit was the topic on Fox News April 27 "America Live," hosted by Megyn Kelly. Kelly asked ClimateDepot.com executive editor Marc Morano if Mann would be able to prove that this so-called YouTube spoof wasn't true and therefore win his lawsuit.
On her April 26 broadcast, HLN's Joy Behar suggested the new Arizona immigration law that would allow local law enforcement to arrest immigrants unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the U.S. is comparable to "World War II Germany."
"Well, Arizona has a new immigration law and to call it controversial would be to underestimate it. It requires police to stop an individual if there is reasonable suspicion that he or she is in this country illegally," Behar said. "Critics say the law will make Arizona feel more like World War II Germany than a part of the United States."