Jul
15
2011

Fox's Eric Bolling Fans on Terror Facts–Twice

Glenn Beck's temporary replacement in the 5 p.m. slot on Fox News, Eric Bolling, has started out with a bang. On the July 13 edition of his new show the Five, the host declared: "America was certainly safe between 2000 and 2008. I don't remember any attacks on American soil during that period of time." After Bolling's error, erasing 9/11 and several other deadly terrorism attacks from the Bush record, was pointed out by outlets including Media Matters and Huffington Post, the host returned to the air Thursday to issue a correction that sounded more like a retaliation against those […]

Jul
15
2011

McHistory: Fox Launched to Counter Nonexistent Leftism of MSNBC

The headline of Al Neuharth's column in USA Today (7/15/11) summed up his case: "Murdoch Media Give You What You Want." That sort of depends on who "you" is. Neuharth explains: Murdoch has an uncanny knack for figuring out what a sizable segment of readers and viewers want and giving it to them. Straight or slanted. His Fox News television network is as blatantly right-wing as Murdoch intended it to be when he started it in 1996 to counter the left-wing MSNBC. Oh, so that's what explained the launch of Fox News Channel in October 1996–the rampant left-wing bias of […]

Jul
15
2011

USA Today Debunks Once Again the Myth of the Bloody Border

USA Today published a useful investigation today (7/15/11) finding that "rates of violent crime along the U.S./Mexico border have been falling for years," that U.S. border cities are "statistically safer on average than other cities in their states" and "border cities, big and small, have maintained lower crime rates than the national average, which itself has been falling." The USA Today report is not the first to dispel what it calls the "bloody" picture of the U.S. border with Mexico. But while it cites politicians, including Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, for spreading the myth, the piece lets right-wing media, including […]

Jul
15
2011

The Brave World of Boehner/Obama Bipartisanship

Media love the "middle" in politics–where leaders of the two major parties come together to find common ground, renew the national spirit and/or live up to the ideals of the Founders. Time magazine (7/14/11) has a soppy piece about Barack Obama and Republican leader John Boehner's attempt to reach a budget deal. Those efforts–some of which happened in secret–are, according to reporters Jay Newton-Small and Michael Scherer, the story of two self-described dealmakers in a town where dealing is often a synonym for surrender, who ran up against the limits of their roles, their powers and their colleagues. Boehner and […]

Jul
15
2011

Media Malpractice on the Debt Debate

The convention in mainstream journalism is that the new stories give you the facts, and the columnists give you their opinions (hopefully backed by facts). But in the coverage over the debt ceiling and budget debates sometimes you're better off heading straight to the columns. Today offers a good example. In the Washington Post (7/15/11), Ezra Klein lays out the political dynamic that is rarely explained. As Klein writes, the White House has decided to offer Republicans a deal that is not only much farther to the right than anyone had predicted, but also much farther to the right than […]