Journalists love to preen as human rights watchdogs, congratulating themselves publicly for their roles – real or imagined – in securing the life and liberty of the downtrodden. That is, as long as it’s the right sort of downtrodden.
Take, for example, NBC’s coverage in the run up to the Sochi Winter Olympics. Because of Russian restrictions on gays’ free speechfor homosexuals, the official Olympic network repeatedly fretted about gay “human rights.” NBC speculated about the rights and safety of gay athletes and visitors to Sochi, reported extensively on Russia’s gay community, talked to every gay athlete in the NBC phone book and hyped President Obama’s appointing of prominent gays to the U.S. Olympic Delegation. Network hosts also tried to encourage athletes to make pro-gay statements while at the Games, at the risk of disqualifying themselves from competition. Video after the break.
Just when it seemed that NBC's Meet the Press couldn't sink any lower, ratings for the last three months of 2013 for the Sunday morning news/interview show fell to its lowest level since the third quarter of 1992. That development has added to the speculation that liberal David Gregory might be on his way out as host.
From October through December, NBC's program came in third place for total viewers -- behind CBS's Face the Nation and ABC's This Week -- and the numbers among viewers in the important demographic from 25 to 54 years of age collapsed to their lowest level in the program's history.
Right now, the White House press corps is in a shouting match with the Obama Administration over the White House's refusal to allow media photographers to take pictures of various presidential events. While the left-leaning journalists are tossing around words like "propaganda" to describe the official photos which are being released, the recent trip President Obama took to South Africa for the funeral of Nelson Mandela illustrates that the media elite really isn't interested in news so much as it is in preserving its institutional power.
Perhaps the most-discussed news item out of the Mandela funeral trip was a picture that was taken of Obama, British prime minister David Cameron, and Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt taking a “selfie” -- a self-portrait usually shot with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone -- a moment that was caught by Roberto Schmidt, a photographer for the French Press Agency. Now, Schmidt says that the overwhelming interest in the shot makes him “ashamed of mankind.”
Identity theft. Government corruption. Ineffective solutions and broken promises. All of these problems have stemmed from electronic storage of medical records, but the United States is still moving forward with President Obama’s initiative he set in motion three years ago.
On July 13, 2010, President Obama mandated that hospitals and doctor’s offices convert all their paper medical records into a government-approved and regulated electronic system under the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act.
During Saturday’s NBC Nightly News coverage of recent weather phenomena, like the flooding in San Antonio, heavy snowfall in Vermont, and tornado aftermath in Oklahoma, correspondent John Yang posed the question, “Why all this severe weather?” and then stated that “government scientists say it’s partly the result of manmade climate change.” That statement was followed by a clip of Kenneth Kunkel, a NOAA scientist, who claimed that our continued contribution to greenhouse gases “will warm the globe and … increase the risks of certain types of extremes” in weather occurrences. [Link to the audio here]
We saw similar reporting tactics months earlier after Hurricane Sandy devastated seaside resorts in New Jersey, as many networks have interviewed “experts” who claim that anthropogenic, or manmade, contributions to the production of greenhouse gases have caused global warming, which they claim is the cause of the recent happenings in nature.
In another case of advocacy journalism by NBC, the network's NBCNews website published an article pushing for greater gun control, citing the work of a pediatrician trade group. NBCNews.com senior writer Maggie Fox began her story by approvingly gushing that "to pediatricians, gun control is a public health issue, not a political one."
The entire article is full of quotes portraying the American Academy of Pediatrics' "renewed push to try to get Congress to pass gun control measures" at odds with the NRA and other pro-gun groups.