During his Monday briefing with reporters in the White House, press secretary Jay Carney was asked several times how president Barack Obama would respond to a partial government shutdown. The most interesting query came from Cable News Network's senior White House correspondent Jim Costa, who asked if the Democrats have been using heightened rhetoric to attack Republicans and “trying to taunt” the GOP into doing a shutdown.
“In the last couple of weeks, Democrats including the president have -- and he has not used all these words but I’ll throw out some of them -- have referred to Republicans as arsonists, anarchists, extortionists, blackmailers, hostage takers,” Acosta noted. Even Dan Pfeiffer, assistant to the president and senior advisor to the president for strategy and communications, “talked about bombs being strapped to chests.”
As NewsBusters reported last week, America's media were in total swoon mode over Hillary Clinton following her testimony before Congress.
On Saturday, syndicated columnist Cal Thomas said of their behavior on Fox News Watch, "They're going to part the waters like Moses did the Red Sea to give her a clear path to be the first woman president...They treated [Barack Obama] as a Messiah, they’re going to treat her as the Virgin Mary" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Liberal columnist Kirsten Powers on Saturday made an observation about Barack Obama's same-sex marriage flipflop that few media members would dare.
During a Fox News Watch discussion about how differently the press handle the President's changes of heart versus Mitt Romney's, Powers observed, "This is less evolution and more intelligent design" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The show business publication "Variety" reports "40-plus programs expected to commemorate 10th anniversary of (9-11) attacks." And those are just the specials. They don't include reports within news programs, or overseas TV memorials, which began last month.
How we love our anniversaries. Whether it's "the Maine," "Pearl Harbor" or "9-11" we choose to remember, the question is "Why?" Why remember? To honor the dead? Yes, that is a good reason. How about to remember loved ones and survivors? That, too, is commendable.
Arson, destruction, thievery, beatings and even murder – they’re the inevitable reaction to increased college tuition fees?
To hear the broadcast news networks spin the violence and looting convulsing English cities in August, the riots were clashes between the “haves and the have-nots” (a term used by NBC reporter Martin Fletcher) in British society. According to the networks, an oppressed minority unleashed pent-up rage against a conservative government hell-bent on cutting government spending and creating economic inequality in the process.
Greta Van Susteren on Sunday took issue with CNN's Howard Kurtz for a report he did on "Reliable Sources."
In it, Kurtz falsely accused Fox News of going "out of its way to avoid a lot of reporting on its parent company's troubles" involving the British tabloid "News of the World" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Alan Colmes and Cal Thomas had a humorous exchange about the media's love for Obama on Saturday's "Fox News Watch."
After Thomas asked when the press will come to their senses and admit they were wrong about the messiah-like powers of the former junior Senator from Illinois, Colmes replied, "You keep presuming the media is supporting this guy and they're not" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters has been reporting since Monday's Republican presidential debate, MSNBC's Chris Matthews is suddenly a big fan of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.).
On Saturday's "Fox News Watch," syndicated columnist Cal Thomas said, "Chris Matthews praises her, which is sort of like getting a civil rights affirmation from David Duke" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
With “Cal’s High Honor” as the on-screen tag, the Fox News Channel on Saturday highlighted video of Fox News Watch panelist Cal Thomas receiving the Media Research Center’s “William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence” at the MRC’s May 7 annual Gala featuring the “DisHonors Awards.”
After the jump: Video of what Fox News Watch showed of MRC President Brent Bozell introducing Thomas and some remarks from Thomas.
You'd think the MSNBC "Hardball" host would be a shoo-in for the Media Research Center's annual "Obamagasm Award," but the 2011 prize went to Evan Thomas of Newsweek for declaring the president "stand[s] above the country, above — above the world. He’s sort of God."
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, columnist and author Ann Coulter, radio host Neal Boortz, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Red State blogger Erick Erickson were among the conservative heavyweights participating in the festivities.
[For a lengthy excerpt of the Gala that includes Neal Boortz announcing the Obamagasm Award nominees, click play on the first embedded video below the page break]
On Saturday’s Fox News Watch, liberal FNC analyst Alan Colmes asserted that the Tea Party was a "bunch of angry white guys who went around and put up racist signs." As a debate ensued pitting Colmes against the other three panel members, he later defiantly asked, "How many blacks did they elect?" leading Jim Pinkerton of the New America Foundation to fire back: "The Tea Partiers elected two - Allen West and Tim Scott, Florida and South Carolina."
Host Jon Scott began the segment by assuming that the liberal Colmes would not have any complaints about the mainstream media’s coverage of the elections. After Colmes voiced his approval of the media, Scott sarcastically posed: "For instance, the Tea Party. Tea Party always got favorable coverage, right? Or fair coverage?"
Colmes then unleashed on the Tea Party: "Oh, they got, look, the Tea Party was a bunch of angry white guys who went around and put up racist signs at these at, these events on lawn chairs who had nothing better to do on weekends than sit on lawn chairs with signs suggesting Obama was a Muslim who wasn’t born in this country."
CNN fired an editor for expressing "a lot [of] respect" for a Hezbollah leader the US had designated a terrorist. So how has ABC dealt with someone with similar views? By hiring her and awarding her the prestigious plum of host of This Week.
So what's the difference between Octavia Nasr and Christiane Amanpour? Not much, says Cal Thomas, when it comes to their views. It's just that Amanpour is too smart and sophisticated to stick her views on a Tweet.
Thomas shared his insight on this weekend's editon of Fox News Watch.
On Saturday's Fox News Watch, while discussing media coverage of environmental issues on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, host Jon Scott cited a special report from the Media Research Center's Business and Media Institute: "The Media Research Center posted a special report this week claiming networks generally hide the decline in credibility of claims of climate change."
Scott went on to add that: "48% of Americans, according to a March 2010 Gallup poll, think the threat of global warming is greatly exaggerated." Show panelist and Democratic strategist Kirsten Powers admitted: "It probably is exaggerated by some people....I know some very smart environmentalists who think that Al Gore has exaggerated it too much and has made it to a point where it's losing credibility." However, she quickly added: "it's still a very serious threat and so, just because it's exaggerated, doesn't mean it's not a serious threat."
Earlier in the discussion, Powers argued that environmentalists warning of global warming is similar to calls to stop using toxic lead paint: "people who believe in global warming, like myself, you know, are called 'doom and gloom people.' Well, guess what they used to be called when they were talking about lead paint and they were talking about the water being polluted, 'doom and gloom people.'"
In the Thursday edition of their every other week “Common Ground” discussion for USA Today, Cal Thomas and Bob Beckel took up the liberal charge the Fox News Channel is out of bounds. Neither found any credence or efficacy in the efforts to discredit the channel. “The White House had been essentially stiff-arming Fox reporters in a very Nixonian way until someone at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue wised up,” the liberal Beckel noted in the March 25 back-and-forth titled “Crazy Like a Fox?” He observed:
In fact, the president sat down with Bret Baier last week to discuss the health care legislation, and though the interview was seen as testy, no one can say Baier did anything except ask tough questions on behalf of his viewers. By any definition, that's journalism. And the president reached millions he might not have otherwise. That's a problem?
The conservative Thomas pointed out: “The left criticizes Fox for being biased, but the other cable and broadcast networks are loaded with liberal reporters and commentators who have a history of political activism.” He named names:
While it is not uncommon to see those who are climate change skeptics challenged in the media for having a pro-business financial interest in voicing their views, on Saturday's Fox News Watch, conservative columnist and regular panel member Cal Thomas made an observation that cuts in the opposite direction rarely given attention in the mainstream media -- that there are financial incentives that can also pressure scientists to voice agreement with the climate change theory that blames human activity for affecting climate patterns.
After panel member Judith Miller argued that Climategate should have inspired more public debate among scientists -- which could then have been covered by the media -- Thomas responded:
Well, one of the reasons it didn’t happen, of course, is because of the oppression of much scientific opinion. I’ve talked to scientists who say they can’t get the grants if they don’t toe the line. And many in the media don’t ask those kinds of questions, and so they feel, you know, shut out and shut up.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Saturday, December 12, Fox News Watch on FNC:
It's a night and day difference between the media's scrutiny of former President George W. Bush and the current command-in-chief, President Barack Obama. And the coverage of three Navy SEALs now facing a court martial that captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq, who allegedly was the mastermind of the murder of four Blackwater contractors in Fallujah in 2004, is proof.
John Scott, host of "Fox News Watch" noted this story on the show's Nov. 28 episode and asked why there hasn't been more coverage about it.
"Pretty outrageous story came out, in my view, this week," Scott said. "These three Navy SEALs who were involved in capturing one of the most wanted bad guys in Iraq - the guy supposedly responsible for planning the execution of those four Blackwater contractors. The SEALs are now facing charges because the guy somehow wound up with a bloody lip. Is the media paying attention?"
The Culture & Media Institute’s report on network coverage of Major Nidal Hasan and the Ft. Hood murders continues to gain media attention. On Nov. 14, Fox’s “News Watch” program led off with CMI’s findings.
“The Culture & Media Institute noticed something about the news coverage,” said host John Scott said of the Ft. Hood shooting. “Until President Obama spoke on Tuesday at a memorial service for the victims of the Ft. Hood attacks, 29 percent of evening news reports mentioned that Major Nical Malik Hasan was a Muslim. 93 percent of the stories ignored any terror connection. But after the president hinted at what ABC called ‘Islamic extremist views,” all three networks mentioned terrorism.”
There's little doubt that at hand is an ongoing effort by the Obama White House to marginalize the Fox News Channel - especially after the administration attempted to leave Fox out of the White House pool last week. That is something conservative columnist Cal Thomas said is eerily comparable to Cold War tactics of the old Soviet Union.
On the Fox News Channel's Oct. 24 "Fox News Watch," Thomas alluded to an Oct. 21 column he wrote, which he compared what the Soviets did with radio signals that penetrated the Iron Curtain to deliver a message of freedom from Western Europe - they jammed them.
"I wrote a column on this, this week - if I can promote myself and my own column," Thomas said. "I likened it to what happened during the Cold War, when the Soviet Union especially tried to jam the signals of the Voice of America and Radio Europe, other entities that were trying to pump truth into the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc countries, the so-called captive nations."
To the extent the MSM has been willing to report on the disadvantage under which the Big Three automakers operate compared to their non-union competitors, the focus has been on the huge wage differential.
On this evening's Fox News Watch, conservative columnist Jim Pinkerton highlighted another issue which has gone largely unreported in the liberal media: the onerous union work rules that add literally thousands of positions to the job rolls compared to those of the foreign transplants.
One of the finest examples of media bias this campaign season occurred last Sunday when Democrat vice presidential candidate Joe Biden guaranteed an international crisis would befall our nation in six months if Obama is in the White House, and the American press almost completely ignored his warning.
To give you an idea of just how absurd the lack of coverage concerning this event was, the entire panel on Saturday's "Fox News Watch" agreed that this shows just how in the tank the press are for the junior senator from Illinois.
Even the left-leaning Kirsten Powers said "if there's any doubt there was a double standard in this race, it is completely laid to rest by this because there is no way that this can be ignored."
ST. PAUL, Minn.-- "Hate is a terrible thing, and it has a way of metastisizing in the soul, so I think the better she [Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin] does tonight, the greater the attack" the media will level on John McCain's running mate, syndicated columnist Cal Thomas told NewsBusters in a spot interview on Radio Row at the Republican Convention.
We spoke to Thomas this afternoon on his way from a radio interview and also asked the "Fox News Watch" panelist for his thoughts on MSNBC:
Saturday's Fox News Watch devoted a few minutes to the controversy, which was documented previously by the MRC's Geoffrey Dickens, over NBC's Matt Lauer claiming during an interview for the Today show that "some very high percentage of the people in China are happy with their lot in life, something around 80 percent," but that in America, "only about 25 percent." Liberal panelist Patricia Murphy of Citizen Jane stated her belief that Lauer simply made an "error" in misstating a Pew Research poll which found that, when asked if they were "satisfied with the direction of the country," 86 percent of Chinese respondents said yes, but when asked about "personal satisfaction," that "the number was much, much lower."
Conservative columnist Jim Pinkerton theorized NBC was being soft on China because the network is making money off the Olympics: "Could it be because NBC paid China a billion dollars to cover the Olympics? And they can't afford to have their reporters and sportscasters kicked out for telling the truth about China. So they have no choice but to cover up." (Transcript follows)
Why would the New York Times divulge information that could prove harmful to the national security of the United States? Because, so consumed is it by hatred of President Bush, that the paper actually wants America to lose. Such is the considered opinion Jim Pinkerton expressed on yesterday's Fox News Watch. The case in point was an article the Times published on June 30, 2008, Amid U.S. Policy Disputes, Qaeda Grows in Pakistan, which quoted from a "highly-classified Pentagon order" describing internal disputes at the Pentagon over plans to capture Osama Bin Laden and defeat al Qaeda.
JIM PINKERTON: We endanger national security when you leak sources and methods. For example, the story that Cal [Thomas] alluded to before, about the wiretaps across the world.
JANE HALL: That's a different deal.
PINKERTON: OK. I think—just a hunch—that the New York Times hates the Bush administration so much that they want us to lose, that's what I think.
Saturday's Fox News Watch featured a discussion on revelations that CNN staff were sent a memo advising them to make positive claims about Fidel Castro to balance out the regime's critics, crediting the communist dictator as a "revolutionary hero" to leftists who established "free education and universal health care." FNC's liberal contributor and NPR correspondent Juan Williams took exception:
I don't know what was going on there. ... what news man is at work and saying here is what we want to say nice about a man who was an oppressive force in his culture, in his society? A man who long ago left the heroic stance, the Che Guevara time period, and became somewhat of a hard hand that has left his people living at a low quality of life. I don't get it.
Should I be worried? I just agreed with something Neal Gabler said. On yesterday's Fox News Watch, the liberal media critic opined that the MSM is backing Benazir Bhutto over Pervez Musharraf in the current Pakistan crisis -- and not for the loftiest of motives.
And could Hillary fall prey to the scenario that brought down Michael Dukakis?