While Sean Hannity was providing first-hand coverage of the struggle between Israel and Hamas over the Gaza Strip, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert edited the Fox News Channel host's reporting to make it seem that he used the word “literally” constantly and compared that to a five-year-old boy who has become an Internet sensation after his live television where he often used the word “apparently.”
“Apparently,” the host of The Colbert Report asserted during his Wednesday night program, “that five-year-old child could replace Sean Hannity … literally.” That led the Fox News anchor to declare: “Terrorism isn’t funny,” and “Colbert needs to come over here and get a dose of reality.”
For the week of May 27, the Big Three networks' evening news broadcasts declined, both compared to the previous week and the same week last year, and garnered an average combined daily audience of just under 20 million.
Somehow, Chris Ariens at Media Bistro apparently wasn't looking at the same numbers his readers were when he did his post, and wrote the following while linking back to the related post from last year which contradicted what he wrote (bolds are mine; link is in original):
As the presidential contest enters its final weeks, one loser is clear: the Big Three television networks' evening newscasts, home of some of the worst examples of ongoing and still influential media bias.
Chris Ariens at Media Bistro noted this on October 2 in covering the results for the week of September 24: "Leading into a presidential election, one might think the tune-in to the evening news programs would increase. But one would be wrong." The trend continued during the following week, as will be seen in the graphic following the jump.
Clay Waters at NewsBusters addressed this item earlier today, but I want to emphasize one particular quote in the related New York Times piece which also caught the (possibly gullible) attention of Chris Ariens at Media Bistro's TV Newser: "In private meetings with columnists, he has talked about the concept of 'false balance' — that reporters should not give equal weight to both sides of an argument when one side is factually incorrect. He frequently cites the coverage of health care and the stimulus package as examples, according to aides familiar with the meetings."
Wow. Where do you start? I'll cite just one example in each area Obama cited. I suspect readers will have more.
UPDATE, May 18: NewsBusters commenter "dreamsincolor" has pointed out that CNN "somehow" forgot Democratic New York Congressman Eric Massa, who resigned in 2009 to avoid "an ethics investigation into alleged misconduct toward a male staff member."
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Chris Ariens filed a report today at MediaBistro's TVNewser that opened with a reader's Tweet, which plaintively asked: "Did CNN really exclude Spitzer from Malveaux package on Sex Scandals & Politics? Hmm.."
Earlier this month, my colleague Tim Graham wrote about "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams self-congratulatory five-year anniversary as the newscasts's anchor, followed hours later by actress Jane Krakowski of the network's "30 Rock" show heralding Williams as a "towering figure in the world of news" during the network's Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting special.
Williams, who has had cameo appearances on "30 Rock" and the "Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien," doesn't seem to be stopping his forays into the network's entertainment division anytime soon.
Insiders tell us that beginning today, Morning Joe will air on a slight delay. Yesterday, host Joe Scarborough sort of forgot he was on live TV and said, "They don't go around flipping people off or screaming 'Fuck You' at the top of their lungs," when describing how members of Pres.-elect Obama's inner circle work. The delay will allow producers to "drop" the audio so expletives aren't heard over the airwaves.
This is not new for MSNBC morning TV. When I worked there, Imus in the Morning always aired on a seven-second delay.