NPR's new TV critic Eric Deggans took to NPR’s “race, culture, and ethnicity” page to complain “Who Will Replace Letterman? Probably Another White Guy.” Deggans asked (his italics): “Why are there so many white guys dominating late night talk show television?”
It’s the target audience, he said: “So daytime TV is bursting with Ellens and Oprahs, Latifahs and Katies, Barbaras and Julies, while nighttime runneth over with Jons, Jimmys, Davids, Conans, Stephens, Craigys and even a Carson or two.” Deggans utterly ignored the actual black late-night host on broadcast TV, Arsenio Hall, even though his show was just renewed for a second season and beat Conan's ratings recently with Prince in the house.
On CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday, new host Brian Stelter turned to President Obama the press critic. At the end of his cakewalk “Hardball” interview last week, Obama called out the media for being divisive. “The American people are good and they are decent. And yes, we get very divided partly because our politics and our media specifically tries to divide them and splinter them.”
Stelter asked a decent question about whether that was an odd statement to make on divisive MSNBC. NPR television critic Eric Deggans shot that down, insisting MSNBC was a “great place” to attack cable news and plugged his book "Race Baiter" on the subject:
Eric Deggans of National Public Radio sat in the guest-host chair on CNN's "Reliable Sources" show on Sunday, and pressed Amy Holmes of TheBlaze TV several times on how she should be more forgiving of Martin Bashir's outrageous remarks about Sarah Palin. First, he suggested, "Martin Bashir apologized for his comments. He reached out to the Palin family.Is there really a problem here? Or are competitors and partisan people try to make an issue being made out of something that has already passed?"
One doesn't have to be a partisan to suggest an on-air apology might seem like a weak punishment. Holmes cited that MSNBC removed David Shuster from the air (never to return) for suggesting Hillary Clinton "pimped out" her daughter Chelsea on the campaign trail. So Deggans turned the issue to Glenn Beck, who Holmes works for: [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
MSNBC obliterated the notion of separating cable-news hosts and their political activism when the network brass gave Rev. Al Sharpton a nightly show two years ago. It was just another day at the office when Sharpton held a rabble-rousing rally for Trayvon Martin in the afternoon, and then covered it on his show hours later.
But Saturday's rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington was the most dramatic conflict of interest yet. Sharpton organized the rally (with Martin Luther King III) and MSNBC aired huge chunks of it live, including all 20 minutes of Sharpton's screaming keynote speech. An MSNBC press release said they'd be promoting the rally from 11 am to 9 pm.
Eric Deggans, the TV and media critic for the Tampa Bay Times, made a bold statement Sunday guaranteed to anger liberals and their minions in the press.
Hosting CNN's Reliable Sources, Deggans finished with a message about the media's role in stoking racial tensions in America saying, "I'm convinced one aggravating factor is media outlets that profit by playing off prejudice and encouraging people's fears about race difference" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NPR doesn’t interview authors who find liberal bias in the news media. But it does interview its own contributors when they attack Fox News and media that feeds "fear and prejudice." On Thursday’s Talk of the Nation, host Neal Conan welcomed on Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times to discuss his new book for a half hour. It's titled "Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation."
Deggans opens the book by talking about his verbal battles with Bill O’Reilly, and explained his title “comes from the fact that Bill O'Reilly called me a race-baiter on his show years ago for the articles I've written criticizing the way he talks about race, and also talking about conservative voices like Rush Limbaugh and other people on Fox News Channel.” Conan began the segment by talking about America’s increasing racial prejudice (which they must think is Fox-based):
Long past the time when it was debunked that Tucson shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner might have been motivated by talk radio or TV, NPR was still entertaining the "vitriol" attack line, as anchor Scott Simon interviewed liberal St. Petersburg Times TV critic Eric Deggans on Saturday morning's Weekend Edition. Simon even bizarrely claimed that this kind of violence didn't happen when "63 million people watched Walter Cronkite every night."
First, that exaggerates Cronkite's nightly audience (it's more likely the networks might have attracted 63 million between the three of them). But does Simon really believe that in the Sixties and Seventies, there was never a mass shooting with six deaths in America? Or say, a Jonestown mass suicide of Americans (preceded by a congressman being shot there)? Or the shootings of JFK, RFK, MLK, Malcolm X, George Wallace, or two attempts at Gerald Ford? Facts were being mangled:
SIMON: People have observed over the past few years, for example, that, you know, this just didn't happen when 63 million people watched Walter Cronkite every night. But I don't know, hasn't colorful and even intemperate speech been a part of politics and journalism?
A journalist with a political agenda is not necessarily a dishonest one, and a journalist who claims to be objective is not necessarily honest. These are useful facts to bear in mind as media liberals call for Andrew Breitbart's head.
Breitbart posted video of recently-fired USDA official Shirley Sherrod claiming she considered race in allocating federal agriculture funds. The apparent racism was debunked when the entire video surfaced, showing that Sherrod had actually discouraged such actions. "This is what happens" wrote Eric Deggans for the St. Petersburg "when ideologically-focused noise machines are treated like real news outlets."
Conspicuously absent in Deggans's screed is any mention of the recently-discovered attempt by liberal commentators to maliciously - and falsely, by their own admission - brand their ideological opponents as racists. Also absent: any mention of the litany of instances of dishonest and counter-factual reporting from the purportedly "objective" media.
St. Petersburg Times media critic and Huffington Post contributor Eric Deggans offered a tribute to departing ABC World News anchor Charles Gibson, but it came with a very typical liberal slant on the 2008 campaign. Gibson had a "theatrical seriousness" in grilling Sarah Palin, but it was a "surprise" that he lowered himself in a Democratic debate to "gossipy questions like Obama’s supposed ties to William Ayers."
Since when is a man who blows up police stations and bathrooms in the Capitol qualify as a "gossipy" subject, like he’d be grist for TMZ? Deggans merely called him a onetime "radical" without any acknowledgment of his bombings. Here’s how he put it:
When he took apart vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in a series of interviews, he could look a bit like a stern college professor -- John Houseman from Paper Chase, for anyone old enough to get the reference -- scowling over his reading glasses with a theatrical seriousness.
A seventeen year veteran of CNN claimed Sunday that Lou Dobbs' surprising exit from the network was because "his opinions are out of lockstep with the rest of the mainstream news media."
Discussing the issue with Howard Kurtz on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Chris Plante, a former CNN correspondent and current talk radio host, said Dobbs, as "the last conservative voice on the channel," no longer fit in.
"They had Glenn Beck, he's gone. They had [Dobbs], now he's gone," claimed Plante.
When Plante said CNN hosts Campbell Brown, Anderson Cooper, and Larry King weren't "completely neutral," Kurtz asked, "Are you suggesting that those hosts lean to the left?"
Plante marvelously responded, "Yes, I am" (oftentimes contentious video embedded below the fold with full transcript, file photo):