As Kathleen Sebelius was sworn in as Secretary of Health and Human Services on April 28, the media continued its biased coverage of her controversial appointment. News outlets ignored the reason GOP senators had delayed her confirmation - her pro-abortion extremism - and focused instead on the importance of having the Secretary in place to combat swine flu.
But the media failed to note that since the creation of The Department of Homeland Security epidemic-fighting efforts are no longer headed up by HHS. Homeland Security is supposed to work with the Center for Disease Control. The CDC is led by Acting Secretary Richard E. Besser since the Obama Administration has yet to nominate anyone for the top job, something the media, with exception of CNN's Ed Henry, haven't reported.
An interview with Former Secretary of HHS Donna Shalala on "Fox and Friends" April 29 asks if having no director at the department had an impact on the swine flu crisis. Shalala said, "If you remember we transferred the emergency powers for this kind of outbreak to the Department of Homeland Security when it was created. So that power is no longer in HHS. There is no question though that the CDC plays a lead role here and it's very important to get a CDC director as well as the Secretary sworn in."
With the G20 meeting in London, there have been raucous protests - clashes with police in riot gear, destruction of property at nearby banks and even the death of one man from a heart attack. And the media have gone out of their way to cover every sordid detail.
"Look, I got a note from a friend of mine in Orlando who pointed out there were more people at a taxpayer tea party in Orlando a week ago than there are in London," Gingrich said on Fox News Channel's April 1 "On the Record with Greta van Sustren." "They just didn't get any coverage out of the media. There were more people recently in Cincinnati at a taxpayer tea party than there have been demonstrating in London. But the London demonstrators are breaking windows, they're being violent, and you know, the media is always happy to cover the anarchic and violent left."
CNN’s Headline News (or HLN) figured out a liberal angle as it replayed clips of the Fox News interview with Bristol Palin: she’s "glamorizing teen pregnancy." Anchor A.J. Hammer repeatedly promoted this assertion during his show Showbiz Tonight on February 17, including this boast: "Also, new tonight: Sarah Palin’s teenage daughter, Bristol, giving her very first TV interview since becoming a teen mom. But Showbiz Tonight dares to ask, is Bristol Palin glamorizing teen pregnancy?"
Hammer’s two guests, CNN and CBS legal analyst Lisa Bloom and Tanika Ray of the syndicated show Extra, both hammered the Palin points from the left:
HAMMER: Some people might say that by going on television to talk about being a teen mom, 18-year-old Bristol Palin is somehow glamorizing teen pregnancy. Lisa, is that how you see it? Or do you think perhaps she is giving teens a well-needed reality check on what it is like to be a teen mom?
Fox News personalities Bill O'Reilly and Greta Van Susteren got into a heated debate on the former's radio program Monday concerning whether or not Carl Cameron should have reported gossip about Sarah Palin last Wednesday that emanated from unnamed McCain campaign staffers.
Van Susteren felt that since these sources refused to be named or stand up and make their accusations in front of the camera, their assertions were basically "schoolyard trash."
O'Reilly felt Cameron's report was valid because the folks he spoke to were "primary sources."
Audio of this interesting difference of opinion between two colleagues with great respect for one another is available below the fold courtesy our dear friend Johnny Dollar (file photo):
As NewsBusters has been reporting since we were at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has been a strongly outspoken critic of how the mainstream media have covered Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin since she was first announced as John McCain's runningmate.
On Wednesday, appearing on Fox News's "On the Record," Gingrich called recent press reports involving the Republican vice presidential candidate "factually wrong, intellectually dishonest, totally biased, worthy of the Polish state news media attacking Lech Walesa back in the 1980s."
Moments later, he put an exclamation point on his criticism: "This is like watching Pravda. This is a one-sided, vicious, unending and dishonest campaign."
What follows is a partial transcript of this delicious exchange (video embedded right):
One would assume that the Old Media would have a phalanx of intrepid mushing, journos swarming about Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin's hometown. One would think that every single person that lives within 100 miles of Wasilla would have been contacted by at least one journalist by now. That the media's due diligence would have been dilagenced to death at this point. I mean, it's been two weeks! Well, according to Greta Van Susteren, the media is curiously absent in Wasilla.
Greta posted a quickie blog entry on September 12 wondering where the heck everyone was?
During FNC’s Republican Convention live coverage, former Dukakis campaign manager and liberal FNC analyst Susan Estrich voiced her disapproval of the "vicious and mean-spirited attacks" on Sarah Palin by the media as she appeared late Tuesday/early Wednesday night with anchor Greta van Susteren. Estrich: "I’ve never seen anything this bad in my life ... I was with Geraldine Ferraro in ‘84 – and this is worse. ... I have never seen from some of my friends such vicious and mean-spirited attacks on her most personal choices, which is what they are."
A bit earlier at about 12:05 a.m., conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham had also complained of Palin’s treatment. Asked by van Susteren if Palin was getting "fair treatment," Ingraham argued that Palin is being "reviled and hated" because she is conservative and pro-life. In response to van Susteren’s question of "who’s reviling her," Ingraham elaborated: "Did you read the New York Times today? Have you read some of the left-wing blogs about her? Have you heard some of the comments on our competitor networks? It’s vile, it’s nasty, it’s vicious."
Did you know that if you have a negative view of Michelle Obama, it's all Fox News's fault?
Such seems to be the opinion of Barack Obama who told the magazine Marie Claire, "I think that if you've been watching Fox News then probably she's misunderstood, because I do think there's been a fairly systematic attempt by the conservative press to paint her in a completely false way."
Fox News's Greta Van Susteren heard about this statement by Obama, and took issue with it during an interview she did Monday with the magazine's editor (video embedded right, h/t NBer Thomas Stewart):
Greta Van Susteren is quickly becoming one of Fox News's most ardent defenders against attacks from the ultra-left.
Writing about Netroots Nation -- the gathering in Austin, Texas, of the most liberal people in America -- Greta bashed her former network CNN as well as MSNBC, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, and all those in attendance.
Fasten those seatbelts tightly, for Greta, in a blog posting Friday morning, wasn't taking prisoners (emphasis added, h/t TVNewser, photo courtesy FNC):
Whether or not you like her program on Fox News, you gotta love Greta Van Susteren's spunk.
After all, even though it's Independence Day, the host of "On the Record" has taken the time to respond to the somewhat childish taunts of "Anderson Cooper 360's" executive producer David Doss who told TVNewser on Tuesday:
We're a news program — ["On the Record"] is not a news program. It's missing-person-of-the-day. There's an audience for that, but it's not what we do. We're covering the world, not just covering who's missing today.
Van Susteren wasn't taking this lying down (emphasis added, h/t TVNewser, picture courtesy FNC):
I debated whether to tell you this or not…but I did promise behind the scenes information here on GretaWire….so here it is…yesterday at 9:00am I personally booked Reverend Sharpton to appear ON THE RECORD at 10pm eastern to discuss Don Imus. At 8:12pm, less than 2 hours before we were to begin our 10pm news show, I received a call in my office from Reverend Sharpton…he said that Senator Obama’s campaign had called and asked him to appear on CNN at the same time he was due to appear on ON THE RECORD and thus could not make our show at the top. I told him that our first segment was the one he had been booked for almost 12 hours earlier and which we had discussed …he said Senator Obama’s campaign called and wanted him on CNN and that he was sorry.
So…here is my question: is Senator Obama’s campaign booking CNN now?
On her Tuesday evening "On the Record" program, Greta Van Susteren interviewed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The cost of gasoline was the first topic discussed. The speaker told of actions the Democrat-controlled Congress has taken. Charitably, these are marginal at best, yet Van Susteren didn't challenge Pelosi. Then the host asked about assigning blame for high gas prices:
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you assign all of the blame for the high prices on the Bush administration, or do you look back historically to a number of factors, including appetite by the American people, other administrations, other Congresses?
PELOSI: No, I don't assign blame to the Bush administration, I accuse them. I am more direct than that. I accuse them of ignoring something that was becoming apparent over time.
Ten years ago the price was under $11 in 1998--under $11. Two weeks ago, the cost of oil went up in one day nearly $11. So the policy decisions made by this administration in terms of energy have contributed to this oil crisis by not accepting early on the need for us to have renewable and other alternatives.
Last week Newsweek reporter Allison Samuels defended Barack Obama's decision not to leave the church of Rev. Jeremiah Wright whose America-hating sermons have become a big political issue on the campaign trail. Responding to questions from host Greta van Susteren on the Fox News show "On the Record" May 5, Samuels goes easy on Obama, excusing his decision to stick with Wright for years after Obama supporter Oprah Winfrey quit the Trinity United Church of Christ (apparently) in disgust. (Video here, transcript here, Samuels article on the same subject in May 12 Newsweek here)
But what Samuels didn't disclose to TV viewers was that she is no neutral observer standing on the sidelines making a good faith effort to objectively chronicle the truth for posterity. More on that in a moment.
Brent Bozell's culture column on Thursday reported on Joe Francis, the brains behind "Girls Gone Wild" videos featuring college-age women flashing their breasts (and other body parts) at the camera during Spring Break. But filming two underage girls in Florida led to time in jail, and then the feds indicted him for tax evasion, which is why he's in jail now in Reno, Nevada. Francis thinks all this misfortune couldn't have happen to a nicer guy. He compares himself to Steven Spielberg, even Jesus:
Francis was taken into custody in Florida, where he tells a hellish story of being mistreated like he was in Abu Ghraib. Then he told Greta van Susteren about being taunted by other inmates there. He says the chaplain asked, "Son, have you thought about Jesus Christ?" Francis quickly says Yes. Since he’s just like Jesus: "Every day! Because this is what they did to him."