Bret Baier on Thursday rebutted Rachel Maddow's claim to David Letterman that Fox News intentionally tries to show images of "scary black people" in order to frighten white folks into voting for conservatives.
As NewsBusters previously reported, the MSNBC host was a guest of the CBS "Late Show" Tuesday, and made some pretty disgusting comments about a competing cable news network.
Speaking with WOR radio's Steve Malzberg, the host of FNC's "Special Report" countered that because Fox addresses stories that other outlets don't, that "doesn't mean that there's political motivation behind covering actual news."
This, of course, is a huge factor in liberal media bias, and is what folks that analyze news reports refer to as bias by omission (transcript follows with commentary, audio available here with relevant section at 10:00):
Chris Matthews and Howard Dean on Thursday got into a heated argument about what was included in the controversial video excerpts Andrew Breitbart published at his website last Monday involving former USDA official Shirley Sherrod.
In the opening segment of the 5PM installment of MSNBC's "Hardball," Matthews was discussing with the former Vermont Governor as well as Salon Editor-in-Chief Joan Walsh the announcement that Sherrod intends to sue Breitbart.
After playing both videos posted at BigGovernment.com back on July 19, Matthews noted, "That part in there about redemptive revelation was actually in the initial tape."
He then asked Dean, "Why do you think if this was a complete slime job, why do you think Breitbart kept that in there?"
The Governor's absolutely absurd answer started the fireworks (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Bret Baier took on former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean for accusing Chris Wallace of lying about Fox News's coverage of the Shirley Sherrod affair.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Dean pointed his pathetically biased and accusatory finger at FNC while a guest on "Fox News Sunday" only to have it marvelously slapped down by Wallace.
The following day in the friendly confines of MSNBC's "The Ed Show," the former Vermont governor said, "I happen to like Chris Wallace, but he was really not being exactly accurate when he talked about 'We didn`t say one word about this before the secretary of Agriculture fired her.' The fact of the matter is they were pushing this story very, very hard all day."
On Wednesday's "Special Report," Baier struck back and struck back hard using a time lapse video to prove Dean completely wrong (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t our friend Johnny Dollar):
On Tuesday’s Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, as host Maddow complained that a video clip of former USDA official Shirley Sherrod had been edited to make it appear that she currently has a tendency to discriminate against white farmers at USDA – a clip that led to her firing by the Obama administration – the MSNBC host not only incorrectly claimed that FNC coverage of the clip had helped incite her firing, but she also suggested that FNC would never show her side of the story even though, by that time Tuesday night, several FNC shows had already informed viewers of some of the details in Sherrod’s favor. And, in fact, Sherrod had already been forced to resign before the O’Reilly Factor became the first FNC show to report the story of her comments on Monday night, although host Bill O’Reilly at the time did not realize she had already been fired.
Maddow’s show even chose to only present to her viewers clips from FNC that ran Monday and Tuesday morning which portrayed Sherrod’s comments as racist, without airing any of the clips from shows later Tuesday which showed FNC personalities conveying more of her side of the story. As Maddow filled in her viewers on some of the details in Sherrod’s favor, the MSNBC host used such phrases as "you would never know this if you got all your information from Fox News," and, after explaining that Sherrod, in fact, helped the white farmers in question, she added: "That`s what happened – unless, of course, you watch Fox News." FNC had already reported most of those same details hours earlier, and O’Reilly even informed his viewers Tuesday that Sherrod had declined an invitation to appear as a guest on his show, so liberal FNC analyst Alan Colmes appeared in her place.
All three network news shows on Tuesday skipped a report that eight of 15 experts consulted by the Obama administration opposed the government's plan to halt deepwater oil drilling for six months. Only Special Report With Bret Baier covered the story.
FNC reporter James Rosen noted a federal judge's decision to overturn the plan: "The judge also rebuked the Obama administration for filing a quote 'misleading misrepresentation' in the case by suggesting an expert panel supported the moratorium when a majority of its members do not."
ABC's World News, CBS's Evening News and NBC's Nightly News (as well as Good Morning America, Early Show and Today) all highlighted the ruling, but none of them mentioned the opposition from a majority of the panel.
On Tuesday’s Special Report with Bret Baier, FNC correspondent Dana Lewis filed a report in which he noted some of those on board the Gaza-bound ships that were boarded by Israel were from a Yemeni group that has "murky links to al-Qaeda," and others from an extreme group in Turkey believed by Israelis to have terrorist links: "But among the hundreds, these three parliamentarians from Yemen's Islah Party, a group known to have murky links to al-Qaeda, and others from Turkey's IHH organization. The Israeli government says they're extremists with documented connections to terrorist organizations." The report also recounted that anti-Semitic attacks were chanted by those who attacked Israeli commandos: "In an interview with Fox News, Israel's ambassador to the U.S. said those on the ship were chanting, ‘Death to Jews.’"
On the same day’s Fox and Friends, FNC’s Peter Johnson, Jr., recounted that the Israelis allow much humanitarian aid into Gaza on a regular basis, and that they had also offered to screen and deliver aid from the flotilla of ships before the confrontation: "We know that 15,000 tons of humanitarian aid goes to Gaza every week that's sanctioned by Israel. They do check it for explosive materials, they check it for concrete that's being used to build tunnels. But if the real purpose of the mission was to bring humanitarian aid to the folks in Gaza, Israel said, ‘Listen, bring these six ships to this port in Israel, we will inspect it, unload it, and we will bring the permitted materials to the people of Gaza.’ If the real goal was humanitarian aid, then why was it necessary to state before these horrible deaths that we intended to run this gauntlet no matter what the costs?"
The broadcast networks ABC and NBC have only given brief attention to the flotilla’s links to terrorist groups, while CBS has ignored such connections.
NPR's Mara Liasson on Thursday made a truly astonishing and frightening comment: the crisis in Greece, with the government slashing spending and raising taxes in such a fashion that people are rioting in the streets, could happen in America.
"Greece, whose debt is now I think 115 percent of GDP, ours is about 84 now, and they had to impose some tough austerity measures which means tax hikes and spending cuts, and the people of Greece as you can see didn't like it one bit and rioted," Liasson said on Thursday's "Special Report" on Fox News.
"This in a much more horrific way, much bigger way, is our problem," she continued.
"We have unsustainable deficits that are going to have to be cured with something similar" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
NewsBusters contributor Scott Whitlock's May 4 item, "MSNBC's Contessa Brewer 'Frustrated' That Times Square Bomber Is a Muslim" was noticed by Fox News Channel "Special Report" anchor Bret Baier, who included a reference to the story and the underlying controversy in his May 5 "Grapevine" segment.
On Thursday's Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC, correspondent Steve Centanni filed a report updating viewers on the case of one of the Navy SEALs facing charges in military court following accusations of prisoner abuse by the terrorist who planned the notorious murder of several American contractors in Fallujah in 2004.
Centanni relayed the acquittal of one of the accused troops: "Julio Huertas is one of the three Navy SEALs charged in connection with the arrest of a terror suspect last September in Iraq, and he was the first to stand trial. Today, just outside Baghdad, Huertas was found not guilty by a jury of six men who deliberated for two hours."
The FNC correspondent later raised the possibility that the prisoner in question, Ahmed Hashim Abed, may have caused injury to himself to support false accusations, as a soundbite of a defense attorney for one of the accused Navy SEALs was shown:
When interviewing White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Sunday's edition of Reliable Sources on CNN, host Howard Kurtz suggested Bret Baier's interview with President Obama was an "interrupt-a-thon," as if the proper role of a journalist is to allow 90 seconds for each answer. It sounded like a CNN host attacking the other team, or simply like a softball question:
KURTZ: Let me ask you about Fox. The White House campaign against Fox News, did that end when Fox's Bret Baier was invited into the Oval Office, who a lot of people have called the interrupt-a-thon interview?
GIBBS: Well, I'll let Fox determine whether or not they got out of that interview what they wanted to get out of it based on the fact that -- I mean, I think the uniqueness of having an interview with the president is getting a chance to sit as close as we are and getting that insight. I mean, he could -- this was the last interview the president did before something as historic as health care passed.
However, former Fox News "Special Report" anchor Brit Hume, now a senior political analyst for network, said there was a possibility the VAT could be pushed into law during a lame-duck session of Congress, if loss for the Democratic Party are steep enough to force them to relinquish their control following the 2008 cycle.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer gave a very ominous prognosis of health care in the United States, assuming House Democrats have finally mustered up votes to pass particular legislation.
On a special broadcast of the Fox News Channel's "Special Report with Bret Baier" on March 21, Krauthammer announced upon passage of health care reform legislation in the House of Representatives, we will have a different country and on the road to nationalized health care.
"Nonetheless, it will be the law of the land as of tonight and we're going to be a different country," Krauthammer said. "We are on our way, there is absolutely no chance we are not going to end up with national health care."
The mainstream media are carping about Bret Baier's "contentious" interview when in fact "he did nothing unlike what Tim Russert did in all the years that Tim Russert interviewed Republican presidents," argued Media Research Center President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell on today's "Fox & Friends." [MP3 audio available here; WMV format video available here]
Just as the late "Meet the Press" host would push interview subjects to reconcile contradictory positions, Baier asked the same of President Obama, who "showed up [to the Baier interview] prepared to give a speech with his talking points, which is what he always does and always gets away with" when interviewed by other journalists, Bozell noted.
Later in the interview, former Bush White House press secretary Dana Perino noted that Obama currently has a 46 percent approval rating and asked Bozell what the poll numbers would look like if the media were actually tougher on Obama.
"If the press were, not tough on Obama [but] fair, fair with this president... I think among other things, health care would be dead. This whole charade would be dead," Bozell concluded.
Near the end of the 10AM ET hour on MSNBC Thursday, anchor David Shuster criticized Fox News anchor Bret Baier for having "interrupted the President numerous times" in a "contentious" and "heated" Wednesday interview. Shuster later accused the network of bias: "Fox is far more – far more conservative overall than MSNBC could ever be liberal."
Shuster brought on left-wing Mother Jones editor David Corn and David Freddoso of the Washington Examiner to discuss Baier's interview with Obama. He asked Corn if Baier's questioning was "inappropriate," Corn didn't think so, but joked: "I was just disappointed overall, though, because there were no questions about where the President was born." Freddoso thought Baier got "bogged down" asking the President about the controversial 'deem and pass' procedure possibly being used to pass ObamaCare.
Turning to Freddoso, Shuster cited former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn claiming that Fox News is the "communications arm of the Republican Party." Freddoso discounted that criticism: "You can call names and sling mud. I mean, Fox News definitely – it has more of a center-right perspective than MSNBC, which generally has more of a center-left, political perspective." Prompting Shuster to reply: "But the difference is that – and I've worked at both places – and you can find this from every sort of media analyst who's objective, Fox is far more – far more conservative overall than MSNBC could ever be liberal. It's not a question of their – one's five points to the right and one's five points to the left. It's not like that at all."
Finally! A reporter who stands up to the media's Chosen One and isn't afraid to ask the tough questions.
Kudos to Bret Baier. He prepared for a difficult interview and came right out of the gate asking the questions that matter most to the millions of Americans protesting government takeover of health care. Other networks have had this opportunity in innumerable interviews, but Fox has proved itself to be the only network willing and capable of showing backbone and doing their journalistic duty.
How have the left-wing media reacted? While they should hang their head in humiliation for making the fair, hard questions in this interview monumental, they have instead criticized Baier's interview as ‘contentious,' as if it's unprofessional for a journalist to deviate from lapdoggery.
And we wonder why America has chosen Fox News Channel over the competition time and time again.
Contrary to how most of the President's sycophants saw his interview with Bret Baier Wednesday, a media critic from the Baltimore Sun felt it was "a textbook encounter of how the press should engage the executive branch of government."
"As much credit as I give Obama for taking his healthcare message to Fox News and staying on point, I also praise Baier for being thoroughly prepared and hitting a very difficult tone of being appropriately aggressive without being hectoring or rude," wrote David Zurawik Wednesday.
"Think of it as the antidote to NBC anchorman Brian Williams' bow to Obama in his prime-time White House special last year" (video of part one of the interview embedded below the fold, h/t TVNewser):
When did Larry O'Donnell rip the "Question Authority" bumper sticker off his old Volkswagen van?
Liberals normally love to celebrate those who "speak truth to power." But Larry O'Donnell is bent out of shape that Fox News' Bret Baier had the chutzpah to challenge and, yes, interrupt, Pres. Obama when interviewing him today about ObamaCare. Larry displayed his sudden deference to high-office on this evening's Countdown, subbing for Keith Olbermann.
Amusingly, one of my liberal faves declined to subscribe to Larry's script . . .
CBS and NBC, which have delivered very friendly interviews with President Barack Obama (link below the jump to examples), on Wednesday night characterized Bret Baier's sit-down with Obama for the Fox News Channel as “contentious,” while ABC decided to devote nearly two minutes of World News (1:50) to Obama's college basketball tournament choices.
Anchor Diane Sawyer teased at the start of the March 17 newscast, “Top picks: Stream of consciousness as the Fan-in-Chief completes his college basketball bracket.”
On the NBC Nightly News, Kelly O'Donnell referred to the “contentious interview with Fox News.” Chip Reid, on the CBS Evening News, added a modifier as he saw “a very contentious interview.”
The ABC story on Obama's basketball picks consisted of highlights from corporate cousin ESPN's session with Obama as he filled out a big bracket chart, and World News included Obama's spelling challenge. “Should be an R in there,” ESPN's Andy Katz corrected Obama upon spotting how the President had misspelled “Syracuse” as “Sycacuse.”
File under: you read it here first. “The Washington Post ignored a few historical facts when it proclaimed in a front page article Wednesday that President Obama is quote, ‘a rare President who comes from the middle class,’” FNC’s Bret Baier pointed out during his Thursday “Grapevine” segment. Baier explained what escaped Post reporter Eli Saslow:
There have actually been many Presidents who hailed from the middle class. Lyndon Johnson was born in a small farmhouse and worked his way through college. Harry Truman worked for the railroad and lived in hobo camps. Richard Nixon's parents ran a grocery store. Ronald Reagan was born in a small apartment above a bank in Northern Illinois. His father was a salesman. And Bill Clinton was born to a widow in Hope, Arkansas.
On Sunday, I noted the U.S. Air Force Academy was making a public space for pagan worship, and wondered if the media would notice. Fox’s Special Report noted it on Monday, quoting a Catholic priest who disapproved. CNN and NBC noticed it briefly on Wednesday. CNN’s Rick Sanchez found its promoter "Today’s most intriguing" person. NBC’s Brian Williams relayed there had already been a "desecration incident."
To consult the dictionary, NBC was saying someone "violated the sacred character" of an object or place. What if the viewer at home doesn’t consider a pagan circle to be "sacred"? Here’s the entirety of the Williams brief on Nightly News:
The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs has now set aside a new outdoor worship area for followers of earth-centered religions. That includes pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans. It's a double circle of stones on a hilltop. One of the chaplains there, a lieutenant colonel, calls it, quote, "Another example of celebrating the freedom we enjoy as well as the freedom we, as airmen, have pledged to defend." There has been one desecration incident since its opening, and officials are repeating that message of tolerance on campus.
Sanchez suggested paganism is somehow a brand new idea during his show Rick's List:
Last Sunday, NewsBusters reported that the United Nations might be about to retract a claim its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made back in 2007 concerning Himalayan glaciers being completely gone by 2035 as a result of global warming.
On Wednesday, the IPCC issued a statement concerning the matter:
It has, however, recently come to our attention that a paragraph in the 938-page Working Group II contribution to the underlying assessment refers to poorly substantiated estimates of rate of recession and date for the disappearance of Himalayan glaciers. In drafting the paragraph in question, the clear and well-established standards of evidence, required by the IPCC procedures, were not applied properly.
Despite the seriousness of this apology and its implications for the veracity of the entire manmade global warming myth, the announcement was completely ignored by America's major television news outlets EXCEPT Fox News (partial transcript of January 20's "Special Report" below the fold):
It was a year ago this weekend that the Israeli military halted its three-week campaign, Operation Cast Lead, against Hamas militants in Gaza, during which Israel had responded to thousands of rockets and mortars launched from Gaza over several years. During Israel’s military campaign, on a number of major stories, many American television newscasts were more inclined to report accusations made by U.N. or Palestinian officials that the Israeli military had acted improperly than they were to update viewers after the military held investigations and released reports disputing the accusations made against it. At one point, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric went so far as to claim that the Israelis "may have used a banned weapon."
Below is a compilation of NewsBusters postings which document how the morning and evening newscasts on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FNC, and PBS reported a number of major stories from the Gaza War, highlighting examples of the media either engaging in distortion or omitting relevant information that would have cast Israel in a more favorable light, including several times when the broadcast and news networks even ignored reports issued by the Israeli military after it had taken time to investigate and dispute accusations made against its troops which had previously been reported by the media.
Yesterday, Fox News Channel's Bret Baier picked up on a statement NewsBusters Publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell made about "60 Minutes" failing to note Harry Reid's controversial "Negro dialect" remark, even as the news magazine program devoted plenty of time to other revelations from the just-published book "Game Change".
It's utterly shameless for CBS to cover this book, and ignore the scoops about the racially charged comments of Harry Reid and Bill Clinton, but devote a very slanted 10 minutes to more of the same old McCain aides slashing Sarah Palin.
On January 6, 2009, there was an infamous explosion near the U.N.-run Fakhura school at the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza, as the Israeli military did battle with Hamas fighters. The Israeli military’s official account of the incident, released in February 2009, contended that 12 people died outside the school, nine of whom were identified as Hamas members. But, as ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FNC, and PBS reported the incident early on, all cited a substantially higher account of the death toll which was claimed by Palestinian officials and the U.N. as being "more than forty" or "dozens,"claiming that many civilians – who were sheltering inside the school to escape the danger of Israeli airstrikes – were among the dead. While most news shows did relay the Israeli account that the explosion occurred because their troops were battling Hamas members, these news shows never reported to viewers the official Israeli account that nearly all who died were Hamas members. In fact, some earlier reports had cited the number of Hamas members in the group as being as low as two.
A year ago today, when U.N. officials accused the Israeli military of killing the driver of a vehicle delivering relief aid to Gaza during the Israeli campaign against Hamas, all the broadcast and news networks reported the accusation on January 8, 2009, noting the U.N.'s resulting cessation of relief aid deliveries. But, after the Israeli military conducted an investigation and charged that Hamas was responsible for the killing, very few of the shows that reported the initial charges by the U.N. updated viewers on this important development. An examination of the morning and evening newscasts on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FNC, and PBS – including American Morning and The Situation Room on CNN; as well as Fox and Friends, the Fox Report, and Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC; and PBS's NewsHour – between January 8 and January 12, 2009, found that all these shows – with the exception of ABC’s Good Morning America – reported on the truck driver’s death at least once, with nearly all shows also directly relaying the U.N.’s charge of Israeli military culpability.
But only CNN's The Situation Room, on the January 9 show, took the time to briefly inform viewers that the Israeli military had denied responsibility for the incident as correspondent Nic Robertson related: "[The U.N.] said that two of their workers were killed by Israeli tank and machine gun fire. Israeli Defense Forces say they have investigated it. Now, they say it wasn't them, which implies that it must have been Hamas."
Fox News's Brit Hume Monday said the growing ClimateGate scandal suggests manmade global warming may be a fraud.
As NewsBusters has been reporting since e-mail messages from the British Climatic Research Unit were first revealed ten days ago, the only television news network that has been regularly informing viewers about this matter has been the Fox News Channel.
On Monday, Fox's "Special Report" continued this trend, and brought Hume on to offer his thoughts (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t Story Balloon):
But after the dust settled some, the White House shifted its focused to so-called health care reform. And additionally, leaked emails surrounding the recent event known ClimateGate have put the entire premise of anthropogenic global warming in doubt. Thus, the likelihood of congressional Democrats getting a bill to the President's desk and signed into law has somewhat dimmed.
And that's a topic a special Thanksgiving Nov. 26 broadcast of Fox News "Special Report" took on. Host Bret Baier explained that there's pending legislation put forward by Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., with some rigid guidelines for carbon emissions.
Not so fast says Charles Krauthammer, columnist for The Washington Post and Fox News regular. Krauthammer on the Nov. 20 broadcast of Fox News "Special Report with Bret Baier" explained that a certain provision put into to the Senate version of health care legislation to favor undecided Democratic senators, specifically Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., represents a different brand of politics from what Obama advertised (emphasis added).
"You asked what [Sen.] Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas will ask for," Krauthammer said. "Well, after watching Louisiana get $100 million in what have some have called 'The Louisiana Purchase,' she ought to ask for $500 million at least. And that's because Obama said he would end business as usual in Washington. If you look at the sections, it is 2006 in which the Louisiana money, it looks as if it is provision for all states which have had a proclamation of a disaster area in the last seven years, and then the fine print inside eliminates all the others except Louisiana. So it's a new kind of business as usual. I think that Steve [Hayes] is right. There is almost no way imaginable that the vote will fail tomorrow. If it is, it is the ultimate humiliation. It's the rejection of the debate even before it starts."
"Special Report" host Bret Baier thinks Tuesday's election results changed the White House's view of the Fox News Channel.
He further believes that Obama senior adviser David Axelrod's interview with Fox's Major Garrett Wednesday was a sign "they’re gonna start playing ball on the news side."
During his Thursday chat with WOR radio's Steve Malzberg, Baier also agreed that Fox's ratings domination on election night had to be an eye opener for the folks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (15-minute audio available here, relevant section at 8:50):
Almost six years since he coined the phrase Bush Derangement Syndrome, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer is accusing Barack Obama of having the same malady.
On Fox News's "Special Report" Tuesday, Krauthammer called out the President's constant negative references to his predecessor saying, "There is something truly disgusting about the way he cannot refrain from attacking Bush when he is being defensive about himself."
The topic under discussion at the time was the rising casualties in Afghanistan, and how Obama seems intent on deflecting blame to someone who has been out of office for ten months (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t Hot Air):