The notion that MSNBC is now the most controversial gaffe-a-minute cable news network has been ratified by the Associated Press. AP media reporter David Bauder wrote a story headlined “Loose lips give ammunition to MSNBC foes.”
“Since MSNBC is in the political ring, its opponents are always on the lookout for things to attack,” Bauder wrote. “Lately, NBC's left-leaning cable news sister has offered plenty of ammunition.”
In an AP profile of Fox News White House reporter Ed Henry, longtime ABC News vet Sam Donaldson said he considers Henry "one of the best" on the beat now. "It's not that they are all afraid and cringe, because they don't," Donaldson said. "But it's so much tougher to do it in every way."
As a young reporter, Henry said, he looked up to Donaldson, best known for shouting questions at Ronald Reagan. "Now if you shout a question at Obama, you're somehow seen as a bad guy," Henry said. "I think some people have been cowed." AP’s David Bauder also turned to former CNN bigwig Frank Sesno, who naturally is still pretending Fox News is an opinion channel, unlike the Piers and Soledad Network:
An executive producer at Good Morning America was forced to defend ABC's skimpy convention coverage, huffing that the network stressed quality over quantity. The Associated Press on Monday picked up a report by the Media Research Center pointing out that ABC had the least amount of convention coverage, less than half than that of CBS.
When pressed on it by the AP's David Bauder, Good Morning America executive producer Tom Cibrowski defended, "We're not going to get into the game of minute to minute in political coverage." He chided, "We want to make sure we have the best political coverage."
In an interview with the AP, MSNBC President Phil Griffin bragged about life after Keith Olbermann, touting the cable channel as "really the place to go for progressives."
Griffin didn't bother denying the liberal bent of the network. He highlighted left-wing anchor Rachel Maddow, hyping, "She really has elevated the discussion and is in many ways the model that we want for cable news."
Here's Bauder's fourth paragraph wherein he described the Lebanese cleric that Nasr had praised as "[o]ne of Hezbollah's giants [she] respects a lot" (emphasis mine):
Lebanon's Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah died Sunday after a long illness. He was staunchly anti-American and linked to bombings that killed more than 260 Americans, a charge he denied.
Here's Bauder's lead paragraph:
NEW YORK -- Octavia Nasr has been fired. CNN fired the editor responsible for Middle Eastern coverage after she posted a note on Twitter expressing admiration for a late Lebanese cleric considered an inspiration for the Hezbollah militant movement.
Wouldn't a better lede incorporate elements of the fourth paragraph? Something like:
Associated Press media reporter David Bauder has noted that Glenn Beck returns to Fox News from vacation on Monday with a total of 33 advertisers now unwilling to advertise on his program, including Wal-Mart, CVS, Clorox, and Sprint.
Bauder explained it was a campaign to target Beck’s advertisers after he claimed President Obama was a racist, but Bauder failed to define the campaigners as liberals or Obama supporters, but merely as "a group that promotes political action among blacks." Later in the story, Bauder did make it quite clear this group wants Beck removed from television:
ColorofChange.org quickly targeted companies whose ads had appeared during Beck's show, telling them what he had said and seeking a commitment to drop him. The goal is to make Beck a liability, said James Rucker, the organization's executive director.
"They have a toxic asset," Rucker said. "They can either clean it up or get rid of it."
Have the broadcast networks gone too far with their obvious infatuation with presumptive Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama?
If the Associated Press is starting to think so, maybe the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz was right on Sunday when he warned "Reliable Sources" viewers that "there could be a big backlash against news organizations if this trend continues."
On the other hand, wouldn't it be nice if the repercussions Kurtz presaged came from other media members similarly disgusted by what is passing for journalism this election cycle?
Consider what the AP's David Bauder had to say about this issue in an article published moments ago with the headline, "Is Media Playing Fair In Campaign Coverage?" (emphasis added throughout, h/t NBer nkviking75):
The anti-American bias at Al Jazeera English became “so stereotypical, so reflexive” that former “Nightline” reporter David Marash quit his job with the Qatar-based channel, in part over that attitude. What was even more interesting was Marash's assertion that the anti-American attitude came more from the British administrators than the Arabs at AJE.
Former "Nightline" reporter Dave Marash has quit Al-Jazeera English, saying Thursday his exit was due in part to an anti-American bias at a network that is little seen in this country.
Marash said he felt that attitude more from British administrators than Arabs at the Qatar-based network.
Marash was the highest-profile American TV personality hired when the English language affiliate to Al-Jazeera was started two years ago in an attempt to compete with CNN and the BBC. He said there was a "reflexive adversarial editorial stance" against Americans at Al-Jazeera English.
"Given the global feelings about the Bush administration, it's not surprising," Marash said.
But he found it "became so stereotypical, so reflexive" that he got angry.
Apparently, AP's television writer David Bauder just noticed that the Iraq war has been canceled as TV fare lately. Maybe Mr. Bauder should have been reading Newsbusters because our own Rich Noyes noticed how the war had vanished from TV all the way back on Feb. 28th.
Of course, Bauder is trying to spin this neglect as mere "fatigue," as if the war were a fad that people have just grown tired of as opposed to TV losing interest because the war no longer fits the we-can't-win template that the media had been used to following with their coverage.
In fact, the surge has gone so well that even Bauder had to give the campaign its due.