We reported last October the story of reporter Rebecca Aguilar of Fox 4 in Dallas, Texas who confronted and badgered an elderly victim of several robberies who responded to his attackers with deadly force. Aguilar was seen in her interview keeping the poor fellow from shutting his car door as she accusingly asked the man if he was "a trigger happy person" because he had killed the robbers who accosted him.
Well, we have an update on this pushy, unfeeling reporter, It seems she's been fired.
Topics in today's "NewsBusted" episode: John McCain and the Panama question, Barack Obama's wardrobe malfunction, ABC fakes anti-Islamic hatred, and Nicholas Cage getting in trouble with the IRS.
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Business & Media Institute Vice President Dan Gainor told viewers of the Fox Business Network that stewardship of the environment "doesn't mean you have to embrace every bit of global warming lunacy that comes down the pike."
In his March 6 appearance, Gainor discussed BMI's new report, "Global Warming Censored," showed that network news shows routinely shut out debate on climate issues, even from scientists' perspectives. In fact, in 80 percent of the stories studied an alternate viewpoint wasn't even mentioned.
And when network news shows did feature dissenting views, those people were often branded as "deniers" or "flat Earthers." Scott Pelley, a reporter for CBS, continued to report on climate change for that network despite his 2006 comparison of global warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers.
A couple at the "cross roads" of a "complicated" love story. That's how Diane Sawyer set up the feature on a transgendered Microsoft executive, his/her wife, and their son in the 8:00 half-hour on "Good Morning America."
The socially progressive bent of GMA was evident in the lack of context or perspective given to the family's story. No consideration was given to the glaring social issues raised. It was reported as just another human-interest story.
The five-minute feature, reported by Neal Karlinsky, explained the conflict Michael Wallent had with his identification as a male, his decision to become a female and the ramifications of that decision in his workplace and at home.
Appearing on the March 5 "Your World" program with guest host Brenda Buttner, MRC Director of Media Analysis and NewsBusters Senior Editor Tim Graham lambasted the mainstream media for its gauzy treatment of Democratic frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.):
It's really sad that at this point in the presidential campaign, when we're in a situation where they are saying now that the math is impossible for Hillary Clinton to get the Democratic nomination, that now suddenly the media is going to try to vet Barack Obama's record. And really, obviously, the media itself are saying, 'Well, obviously the Saturday Night Live skit had something to do with this.'
They're taking their cues on when to be a professional journalist based on comedy sketches?!
Obama still has his fans in the MSM, or Hillary her detractors . . .
Appearing on this afternoon's Hardball, the seemingly mild-mannered Evan Thomas of Newsweek took a surprisingly tough shot at Clinton, disputing the very premise of her now-famous "it's 3 AM" ad. Discussing Hillary's comeback, Evans offered his blunt assessment with no real prompting.
EVAN THOMAS: What I don't get about this ad, the whole idea about 3 AM is you want coolness and detachment, right? She's not cool and detached. She's either really hot and angry, or she's icy cold and tough. But I don't think of her as cool. I think of Obama as being the cool, detached guy. Now maybe he doesn't have the experience, but I think if you peel this onion, there's something about it that just doesn't make sense to me. She doesn't strike me as the person who's the cool, detached, steady person at the other end of the phone.
The last time I wrote about Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, I described her as "ever-smiling." Scratch that. The Dem congresswoman from Ohio and Hillary co-chair just jabbed at MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell during a discussion of who is responsible for circulating the story about the Rezko trial: the media or the Clinton campaign.
At one point, things got heated enough for Tubbs Jones to tell O'Donnell "you know what? I'm enjoying talking to you but you can't talk on top of me in order for me to answer your question."
"The socialist media - maybe they will just never get it," Stossel said. "Their world view is anti-capitalist. [Ludwig] von Mises wrote about it in 1972 and it's just very hard to change. I would also argue the scientific community is as well."
Barack Obama was clearly off his game on Wednesday's "Today" show as he not only confused David Gregory with Matt Lauer but even worse proclaimed that he "won Michigan." Gregory, substitute hosting for Matt Lauer, did remind Obama that it was he and not Lauer that was conducting the interview, but failed to correct the more egregious error of Obama claiming a victory in a state where he wasn't even on the ballot.
The following is the complete interview as it occurred on the March 4, "Today" show:
DAVID GREGORY: How is Senator Barack Obama feeling about his campaign this morning? He joins us now from San Antonio, Texas. Senator good morning to you.
BARACK OBAMA: Good morning, Matt.
GREGORY: It's, it's David today Senator. The reality--
When Christopher Hitchens came on today's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough began by inviting him to comment on "last night's" results. Quipped the famously hard-living Hitchens: "I'm still thinking of it as this morning's result. I hope it doesn't show." Unfortunately for Christopher, it did. See screencap.
But whatever price Hitchens was paying for indulgences of the night before did nothing to blunt his acerbic wit. The quondam Englishman turned naturalized American offered acid observations about both Dem contenders. Hillary was first in his sights. He described as "slightly sinister" her listing during last night's victory speech of Florida and Michigan among her primary wins, since by DNC rules those contests counted for nothing. By his lights, her inclusion of the two states portends nasty arm-twisting to come.
Then there was this: "Anyone who like me when they think about the Clintons thinks about zombies, thinks about the undead, thinks about stakes through the heart, silver bullets and so on, has just received confirmation. It's as bad as we thought it was going to be."
Barack Obama had a rough night in Texas and Ohio, and some are even taking a contentious press conference he recently endured as a sign the MSM might be turning on him. But the junior senator from Illinois can still count on one MSMer in his corner: Robin Roberts. A few weeks ago, as I noted here, the GMA co-anchor conducted a softball session for the ages with Obama.
Today, Hillary Clinton made the rounds of all the morning network news shows. The toughest questioning by far came from Roberts, in this exchange.
ROBIN ROBERTS: What do you think the negative ad factor, how did that help you in this race? Because leading up, you did have some negative attack ads, and can we expect to see more of that in the days and weeks ahead?
Palpably stung by Ken Blackwell's observation that Republicans had lost their way by running like Reagan but governing like Carter, Chris Matthews -- former speechwriter to the president from Plains -- cracked back by playing the Abramoff card and claiming Republicans are more corrupt than Dems.
Blackwell, the impressive former Secretary of State of Ohio and past candidate for Buckeye state governor, was Matthews' guest during this evening's MSNBC election coverage. Blackwell was discussing what it would take for Republicans to win in 2008.
KEN BLACKWELL: My view is this, Chris, that we got off track. We started to campaign like Ronald Reagan and at times govern like Jimmy Carter. And as a consequence, people, people really questioned whether or not we were true to our message . . .
Ken's comment clearly cut Chris to the quick. He tried to parry.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I just don't think Jack Abramoff worked for the Carter administration, Ken, did he?
Monday’s NBC psychic crime drama "Medium" featured a plot line in which an Arizona senator and former POW is discovered to be a two-time murderer and a cannibal. While it is safe to assume that the story was written before the Hollywood writers’ strike, and before the rise of John McCain to front-runner status for the GOP presidential nomination, the blatant use of McCain’s personal history, as a politician and Vietnam POW, as grist to feed the murderous plot is obvious.
In Monday’s episode, titled “Aftertaste”, the medium (“Allison DuBois,” played by Patricia Arquette) suspects an ex-POW Arizona state senator is involved in a murder she sees in her dreams. Through a series of psychic flashbacks, she discovers that the senator (“Jed Garrity,” played by Gregory Itzin), as a young Army captain held by the North Vietnamese, proposed to his cellmates that they kill and eat a dying American soldier rather than starve to death. “Garrity” drew the short straw and committed the actual murder himself by strangling the dying soldier.
If Rush Limbaugh, in promoting his radio show, said we must "ignore partisanship," would anyone take those words seriously? Limbaugh did not air that ad, but left wing MSNBC host Keith Olbermann did. In an MSNBC "Decision 2008" ad, Olbermann spoke of the need to "ignore partisanship" under inspirational music and prominent American flag displays.
"We as citizens must at some point ignore partisanship, not that we may prosper as a nation, but that merely we may function as a nation."
The ad then displayed a large photo of Olbermann followed by a brief slideshow of all of the MSNBC/NBC political correspondents. The Daily Kos blogger should explain when his highly partisan show will "ignore partisanship."Olbermann has called President Bush a "fascist" "engaging in terrorism," a "liar" and "idiot in chief." He even asked if there is an element in the Republican party that wants to re-segregate America.
Also of irony, was MSNBC’s prominent American flag displays. Back in 2002, then NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw explained that he does not wear an American flag on his lapel pin because he feels it’s an implied endorsement of the Bush administration.
Has the Clinton campaign been caught engaging in ethnic stereotyping of Latinos? Jake Tapper suggests it has. ABC News' Senior National Correspondent reported from Texas this morning. After airing footage of Hillary on the stump reminiscing about her days in Texas back in 1972 working on the McGovern campaign, Tapper continued.
JAKE TAPPER: That experience may the reason why Clinton's campaign asks supporters in Spanish-language TV ads to show up at tonight's caucuses 15 minutes earlier than it asks supporters in English ads, suggesting to some Hispanic political observers that the Clinton campaign thinks Latinos might be a little tardy.
"We'll deal with him later." -- Clinton co-chair Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, on Mark Penn.
"It's disgusting for him to do this . . . that's just disgusting." -- Clinton supporter Hilary Rosen.
Mark Penn sleeps with the fishes. Metaphorically speaking only, of course.
On this evening's Tucker, Clinton's chief campaign strategist came in for some industrial-strength opprobrium from two prominent members of Team Hillary for his attempt to flee what might be a sinking ship.
This one is just too funny not to post. On his show last night, Larry King had pop singer Janet Jackson for the whole hour. At the end, he decided he wanted to learn one of her dance moves. What happened is in the video below:
BMI Vice President Dan Gainor took to the Fox Business Network Thursday to explain the difference between "depression," "recession" and "slow growth," terms the mainstream media has blurred.
Economists "don't even agree that we're in a recession yet," Gainor said. "But then if you watch the network news shows, we're already up to eight times this year - that's once a week where they've made a comparison to the Great Depression."
If you haven't gotten to check out the Business & Media Institute's new weekly video blog, The Biz Flog, this week's topic is the media's shift from reporting on "recession" to all-out "depression."
Complete with old-timey piano music and grainy film, this week BMI gives you our take on the many instances when reporters have compared the current economy to a time when soup lines and the Dust Bowl carried headlines.
They're starting to get it. The media are figuring out government meddling in U.S. energy policy is taking a toll on the American economy.
On February 20, the Labor Department reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a key inflation reading, rose 0.4 percent in January, matching December's rise. Why? Increased food costs because corn is being used for ethanol.
"Farmers are replacing wheat fields with corn to meet the demand for alternative fuel, but that means higher flour prices - and in one Pennsylvania pizza shop, more expensive pies," NBC News correspondent Chris Jansing said on the February 27 "NBC Nightly News."
What follows is coverage of the February 28 presidential news conference. I focused mostly on the questions posited by the media. Video of the most biased questions should be posted shortly thereafter. [Update: White House transcript available here.]
Bottom line: Most of the really biased questions came down on the economy, particularly with regard to gas prices. Other than that and a question by Bill Plante about FISA immunity for telecom companies, most of the questions were fine, although the reporters often tried to draw Bush into handicapping the 2008 presidential contest or commenting on how his policies affect Sen. John McCain's chances:
Not that Time's in the tank for Obama or nuthin'. Not that its new cover merely depicts Barack with an other-worldly aura, asks the question whether experience matters and answers it largely in the negative.
No, it gets much better. The magazine's editor goes on Morning Joe and cites a study comparing a new nurse with a nurse who has 35 years of experience. And he lets us know that not only did the experienced nurse not perform any better than the rookie, she actually wound up . . . killing the patient faster!
Time editor Rick Stengel [a former Bill Bradley speechwriter] today made his regular Thursday-morning Morning Joe appearance to tout the mag's new cover story. This week's, as you'll see from the screencap, is "How Much Does Experience Matter?", with that ethereal glow surrounding Obama's noggin.
Of all the qualities Hillary might have emphasized to her advantage, can you imagine basing her campaign on her "warmth" and "likability"? Chris Kofinis can. The former communications director of the John Edwards campaign appeared on Tucker Carlson's show this evening.
Kofinis offered his only-slightly premature post mortem of the Clinton campaign.
In the course of offering a tribute to William F. Buckley, Jr. on this afternoon's Hardball, Chris Matthews made a surprising revelation: that he came to political consciousness as a WFB conservative.
You'll find the transcript of the Hardball host's remarks below, but I'd encourage you to view the video, here. See if, like me, you're struck by the heartfelt nature of his comments.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: If you want to influence someone, get to him or her in high school. It's my experience that people at that age are the most impressionable, the most searching for guidance, for example, for purposes. It was in high school that I came under the charm and the influence of William F. Buckley, Jr., the dashing, charismatic young conservative who wrote God and Man at Yale, McCarthy and His Enemies, and founded the wistful, precocious, companionable monthly, National Review. As a high schooler, I could tell you which drugstore got National Review first. I went to hear Bill Buckley at a meeting of the Montgomery County Young Republicans. It was from National Review that I gained my early affection and appetite for political philosophy and argument.
Advice to Camp Clinton: if it's not too late, remove all sharp objects before viewing the tape of this morning's Early Show. The CBS program served up a thorough trashing of Hillary's debate performance, capped by the unkindest cut of all from a Dem/MSM perspective: analogizing Hillary to Bill Cunningham, whose tough talk about Barack Obama in introducing John McCain yesterday prompted the Arizona senator to disassociate himself from the conservative radio talk show host.
CBS White House correspondent kicked off the avalanche of bad press for Hillary by offering this debate review:
JIM AXELROD: Clinton tried new ways to knock him off stride . . . But Obama seemed to slip nearly every thing she threw at him . . . Obama had the easier job than Clinton. All he had to do was avoid a major gaffe. And it what may very well be the last debate of this campaign, heseemed to handle that job breaking very little sweat.
Not only does it represent the epitome of good-natured cool, it comes in stark contrast to the patented glare that Hillary aims at those who draw her ire. We've often illustrated the death-ray genre here at NB; you'll find a representative image after the jump from last night's debate.
Obama's gesture speaks largely for itself, but let's don our amateur body-language expert hat:
Tuesday night's Democratic debate brought an unexpected political analogy to mind: Hillary Clinton has become Bob Dole.
That point became eminently clear in the debate multiple times but especially during her attempt to rebuke NBC debate moderators Tim Russert and Brian Williams by evoking a recent "Saturday Night Live" episode which accused the press of being "in the tank" for Barack Obama.
"In the last several debates I seem to get the first question all the time," Clinton said. "I don't mind. I'll be happy to field it. I just find it curious if anybody saw 'Saturday Night Live,' maybe we should ask Barack if he's comfortable and needs another pillow."
Those remarks, while slightly better phrased, are strikingly similar to Bob Dole's "where is the outrage" lament while running against Bill Clinton in 1996. Both candidates:
What is it with these Hillary surrogates putting themselves in the limelight? Bill has famously turned the focus on himself, in effect giving Hillary's concession speech on a recent losing night and more recently exhorting people to elect "me."
Today it was Madeleine Albright's turn. Speaking with Wolf Blitzer on this afternoon's Situation Room ostensibly for purposes of promoting Hillary Clinton, Madame Secretary managed to use the "I" word 20 times in under four minutes. Throw in one "my" and another "myself" and that's more than a score of self references.
Given his penchant for comparing Republicans to Hitler, using such phrases as "slinging crap," and stating that the Bush presidency "has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush," you would think that Keith Olbermann, the buffoonish left-wing sportscaster-cum-newsreader would refrain from giving lectures on political civility or the limits of comedy. Not so, however.
On last night's edition of his program, the Obama-supporting anchor was horrified that Jon Stewart, the man he apes, dared to make a joke about the Illinois Democrat's unusual middle and last names. The hypocrisy is thick enough to cut with a knife and serve—assuming you could stand the stench.
Olbermann began the segment comparing Stewart to Ann Coulter (horrors!):