Mar
18
2010

All Smart People Are Centrists–and Other News From PBS

Broadcasting & Cable (3/17/10) spoke with the head of PBS's flagship New York station about the recent hire of Newsweek editor Jon Meacham and former MTV and NPR host Alison Stewart for PBS's forthcoming program Need to Know, which is replacing Now and the Bill Moyers Journal: WNET.org president Neal Shapiro did not rule out the possibility of future synergies between Newsweek and Need to Know. "We haven't talked about anything specific," he said. "But I think all kinds of natural synergies may happen." Shapiro said he is not concerned that Stewart and Meacham, who has been a frequent guest […]

Mar
18
2010

NYT Exposes Amazon's Fiendish Plot to Sell Books for Less Money

Boy, the folks at Amazon.com sure are mean–to hear the New York Times tell it. A March 18 story by Motoko Rich and Brad Stone begins: Amazon.com has threatened to stop directly selling the books of some publishers online unless they agree to a detailed list of concessions regarding the sale of electronic books, according to two industry executives with direct knowledge the discussions. It's very clear who's the villain in the story, tabbed on the website as "Amazon May Impede Access to Some Publishers' Books": The story talks about how the online bookseller is "pressuring publishers" with its "hardball […]

Mar
17
2010

Blog: NYT Science Section Doubts Science on Climate Change

Via Climate Progress (3/16/10), Scientific American guest blogger John Horgan (3/16/10) makes a disturbing claim: Two sources at the Science Times section of the New York Times have told me that a majority of the section's editorial staff doubts that human-induced global warming represents a serious threat to humanity. Now, reviews of climate research literature show universal support for the notion that human-caused climate change is happening (Nature, 12/3/04), and surveys of climate scientists find the same unanimity (Science Daily, 1/19/09). Major scientific organizations around the world have endorsed the consensus of the climate research field, and have expressed alarm […]

Mar
17
2010

Bill O'Reilly's (Totally Bogus) Healthcare Stunner!

Last night on the O'Reilly Factor (3/16/10): What I'm about to tell you is simply stunning. A new survey published by the New England Journal of Medicine, a prestigious magazine, says that nearly half of primary care doctors in America could leave the medical profession if Obamacare is passed. According to the Journal, 63 percent of physicians feel that healthcare reform is needed but should be done in a more gradual way. And an astounding 72 percent of doctors believe a public option, that is a government-run health insurance company, would have a negative impact on medical care in the […]

Mar
16
2010

Action Alert: CNN Hires Erick Erickson

FAIR has a new Action Alert out on CNN's newest political commentator: Red State's Erick Erickson. For some indication of why this is perhaps the creepiest move by a cable network since MSNBC hired Michael Savage–and for an email address to communicate your feelings–click here. Please leave copies of your messages to CNN, or comments on the alert, in the comments thread here.

Mar
16
2010

Dana Milbank's Equal-Opportunity Mockery

Washington Post columnists Dana Milbank and David Broder are both committed guardians of the establishment center, but they don't always interpret their role in the same way. Milbank led the cheers for White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel as chief dragger to the right (FAIR Blog, 3/2/10), whereas Broder saw his blame-the-boss disloyalty as unseemly (3/4/10); on the other hand, it was Broder who thrilled recently to the "pitch-perfect populism" of Sarah Palin (2/11/10), while Milbank's column today (3/16/10) finds a similar spiel by Dick Armey to be as worthy of ridicule as, say, single-payer advocates (FAIR Blog, 6/12/09). […]

Mar
16
2010

11 Out of 12 Pundits Agree: Obama Must Move to the Right

On his weekend NBC show, Chris Matthews regularly posts a question to 12 regular pundit/journalists–what he calls "The Matthews Meter." This Sunday (3/14/10), the question was: "Should Obama Move to the Center Instead of the Left as a Reelection Strategy?" Matthews explained it on the show: Let's go to the bottom line. We took it to The Matthews Meter, 12 of our regulars. What's the smartest political route for Obama right now, play to the center or to the left? Well, no contest here. Eleven say play to the center; just one says go left. That's about asclear a statement […]

Mar
15
2010

Douthat: Green Zone Was Fictional, But Not in the Right Way

Offering a critique of the Iraq War drama Green Zone, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat (3/15/10) offers a "narrative of the Iraq invasion, properly told," that ends with: And you had Saddam Hussein himself, the dictator in his labyrinth, apparently convinced that pretending to have WMD was the best way to keep his grip on power. The idea that Saddam Hussein fooled the U.S. into thinking he still had chemical and biological weapons is a very popular myth that has no real evidence behind it. (See Extra!, "Saddam's 'Bluff'" by Peter Hart, 1-2/04; "From Speculation to History" by Seth […]

Mar
15
2010

Fox Reporters Worried About Their 'Credibility'

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz turns in a profile of Glenn Beck today (3/15/10)that includes a few interesting anecdotes.He reports that "Fox staffers note that veteran producer Gresham Striegel left the network after clashing with Beck and say the host has surrounded himself with loyalists" from his own radio company, and that "a vice president was assigned 'to help keep an eye on that program' and review its content in advance–a full-time job." Kurtz also notes that some Fox reporters aren't crazy about what his new fame is doing to them: Beck has become a constant topic of conversation among […]

Mar
15
2010

Why Isn't Brookings Labeled 'Liberal'? Maybe Because It Isn't

New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt has not had a chance yet to respond to questions about his commentary on the ACORN hoax (FAIR Action Alert, 3/11/10), instead devoting his Sunday column (3/14/10) to a discussion of political labeling. It included this question: Why is the American Enterprise Institute almost always called "conservative" in the Times, while the Brookings Institution seldom gets a label, although it has been described as a Democratic government in exile during Republican regimes? First off, the right-wing AEI (Extra!, 3-4/99) is not "almost always called 'conservative' in the Times"; a Nexis search of the […]

Mar
15
2010

Karl Rove, Still Lying on TV About Iraq

Former Bush adviser Karl Rove is making the rounds to promote his new book Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight. He landed on NBC's Meet the Press yesterday (3/14/10), interviewed by Tom Brokaw. Brokaw asked him about his book's discussion of the Iraq War: BROKAW: And in it, you acknowledge when weapons of mass destruction were not found, everyone was startled and not very happy about that. If that had been the case before war began, you couldn't have gotten congressional authorization. ROVE: Nor in all likelihood U.N. approval, as we had as well. BROKAW: […]

Mar
12
2010

CounterSpin: Lynn Paltrow on Utah Miscarriage Law, Susan Linn on Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

This week on CounterSpin: A new law in Utah says some women who miscarry should go to jail. You may have seen some coverage, but are journalists asking the right questions about the law's implications, and is there a bigger story here that's being missed? We'll hear from Lynn Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women. Also on CounterSpin this week: With a name like the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, you'd expect such a group is going to upset some big corporations. And they have, including launching a very successful campaign against media giant Disney. Well, maybe […]

Mar
12
2010

L.A. Local News: Next to None

The Los Angeles Times reports(3/12/10)on a new study of local news from theUSC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism's Norman Lear Center. The findings are hardly surprising: There is almost no local political coverage on TV news. As the Times notes, "An average half-hour newscast devoted just 22 seconds to government issues, including city budgets, healthcare, layoffs and law enforcement." Coverage of local politics works out to just under 2 percent of the "news hole"; on the other hand, crime stories make up closer to three minutes ofa givennewscast. While that's terrible, the L.A. Times waits until the end of […]