Oct
21
2011

John McCain, Libya Expert

As one would expect, corporate media reacted to the developments in Libya by turning to one of their favorite sources: Republican Sen. John McCain. He was on CNN this morning (and last night as well), and odds are that he'll be on a Sunday show. McCain's line on Libya is that the White House should have waged a more aggressive war. If any of these outlets wanted to challenge him on his record on Libya, all they would need to do is talk about this ancient newspaper article from August 2009: Or perhaps this item from Politico, from way back […]

Oct
20
2011

NPR, Lisa Simeone and Biased Opera Reporting

There's quite a controversy brewing over freelance radio host Lisa Simeone for her participation with an activist group occupying a park in Washington, D.C. It's a worth a look at how this unfolded– especially since it appears to have cost her one of her jobs. A report at the Roll Call website (10/18/11) noted that Simeone was acting as a spokesperson for the group, which goes by the name October 11. Roll Call wondered if this violated NPR ethics guidelines, since Simeone acts as a host on two programs that air on some NPR affiliates: the long-running documentary series Soundprint […]

Oct
19
2011

O'Reilly as Paul Revere: '1 if by Land, 17 if by Sea'

The country is on the brink of bankruptcy, Fox host Bill O'Reilly warned last night–all because Barack Obama is spending too much money. Drastic cuts are required, but "the far-left loons want to spend more." And he's got the number to prove it: In 2007, during the Bush administration, federal deficit spending was $161 billion, despite the Iraq and Afghan wars. Four years later under President Obama, the deficit spending is $1.3 trillion, eight times as much. To be fair, the economy collapsed on Bush's watch, and both Republicans and Democrats committed almost a trillion dollars to prop up the […]

Oct
19
2011

Newsweek's Funny Numbers on Green Jobs

An article in the new issue ofNewsweek (10/24/11)–"Obama's Big Green Mess: How the White House lost its Eco-Mojo"–presents White House policy as a series of failures. It starts off with federal inspectors finding serious problems with various weatherization projects. That's just the tip of the iceberg–from Solyndra to stimulus, things aren't looking good. But writers Daniel Stone and Eleanor Clift seems to want to give White House critics an assist with things like this: Overall, as the $787 billion economic stimulus–the primary engine for the green-energy agenda–came to an end September 30, it is clear that the program created far […]

Oct
18
2011

Anti-Obama Media Bias? Not Quite

Liberal writers are zeroing in on a new study from Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism that found Barack Obama has been subjected to far more "negative" coverage than any of the Republican presidential candidates. The graphic accompanying the study is dramatic: Slam dunk, right? One of Eric Boehlert's blog items at Media Matters is headlined "So Much for the Liberal Media." In another post he acknowledges that there have been criticisms of the Pew methodology in the past, but the real issue here is how right-wing critics will react to the numbers. Steve Benen at Washington Monthly makes a […]

Oct
18
2011

Inevitable Presidential Nominees, Then and Now

With all the chatter about the inevitability of Mitt Romney winning the Republican nomination, it might be useful to recall the last time the media were sending the same message about an early favorite, at least according to the national polls: Democratic Nomination Preferences Oct. 4-7, 2007 Gallup Poll Candidate % Support Hillary Clinton 47 Barack Obama 26 John Edwards 11 Bill Richardson 4 Joe Biden 2 Dennis Kucinich 1 Chris Dodd 1 Mike Gravel * Other 1 No opinion 5

Oct
18
2011

Tea Party Makes News–Even With Nonsense

Today the New York Times (1/18/11) reports a big scoop. A "Tea Party commission" convened by Freedom Works is set to announce its crowd-sourced $6 trillion debt reduction plan–"A copy of the preliminary findings was provided to the New York Times," Kate Zernike reports. The story's second paragraph critiques the plan from the right for not doing enough about Social Security and Medicare, which Zernike asserts "are two of the biggest contributors to the nation's deficit." This is not true, especially when it comes to Social Security–but corporate media prefer to have discussions of the deficit that bash Social Security. […]

Oct
18
2011

Attention Fox News, Reuters: Mitt Romney Is Funding OWS!

The New York Times has an interesting profile today (10/18/11) of a retired Wall Street trader named Robert Halper who, it turns out, made an early donation to Adbusters to help with the Occupy Wall Street movement: Mr. Halper, who lives on the Upper West Side, had long been a supporter of the magazine, donating by his estimate $50,000 to $75,000 over the last 20 years since he was first attracted by the magazine's spoofs on corporate logos and advertisements. So he wrote a check for $20,000 and returned to his life in New York. Interesting. But the Times clearly […]

Oct
18
2011

When Meet the Press Met Martin Luther King

On his MSNBC show (10/15/11), Chris Hayes went through the NBC archives to look at Martin Luther King's appearances on Meet the Press. He was struck by the tone of the questions King was asked–and the show put together this clip reel (apologies for the ad you're likely to be forced to watch before the clips play; it's mercifully brief):

Oct
17
2011

Fox Coverage of OWS: Now Even Beckier!

Fox's coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement has often looked and sounded like Glenn Beck were still working there. On Friday's broadcast of the O'Reilly Factor (10/14/11), Beck was there to show how wild conspiracy-mongering is done: O'REILLY: What's the George Soros factor here? BECK: George Soros is connected with this through the Tides Foundation. The Tides Foundation, his Open Society and Code Pink are involved in what is called the Wall Street Journal… Occupied Wall Street Journal. And it is a–it's a full color newspaper. O'REILLY: Right. BECK: You know what it costs to print a newspaper. O'REILLY: […]

Oct
17
2011

Hundreds of Worldwide Occupy Protests Occupy One Inch of Front Page

Squint or you'll miss it–the Sunday front page of the Washington Post: In case you're having trouble finding it, it's in the lower right-hand corner: a blurb approximately one column inch long, directing people to page A20 to find news about protests in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street in "more than 900 cities in Europe, Africa and Asia." It wasn't just the Post that was having trouble finding the news in hundreds of protests around the world. NBC's Meet the Press featured Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, former Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty and Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. New […]

Oct
14
2011

Time: Public Oddly Unfazed by Bongo Drums

The new Time poll that found the public more favorably inclined towards Occupy Wall Street protesters than the Tea Party has been making the rounds. From the magazine's write-up of the poll: A new Time/ABT SRBI poll finds 54 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the new protest movement, despite the images of bearded and shirtless youth playing bongo drums, rolling cigarettes and painting their bodies in Zuccotti Park. Huh. Perhaps when the public looks at a protest movement, it pays more attention to substance than the media, who aremore focused onlocating shirtless bongo players.

Oct
14
2011

Great Moments in Fox News Assassination Plotting

Last night's O'Reilly Factor (10/13/11), with guest Megyn Kelly, talking about how to deal with Iran: BILL O'REILLY: What do we do? MEGYN KELLY: It's a political question for President Obama and a military question for him, but it's not really much of a legal question because legally he can do it. O'REILLY: OK. KELLY: If he wants to do it…. O'REILLY: Let me stop you there. So there's no difference between killing bin Laden, Al-Awlaki with a drone? OK. Just today they killed another big terrorist guy in Pakistan with a drone. We could drop a drone right down […]