Aug
31
2012

For Brokaw, It Doesn't Get Better Than Global Warming Denial

Tom Brokaw

NBC's Tom Brokaw from the Republican National Convention last night (8/30/12): The best line, I think, in the speech was the one in which he said: "President Obama wants to slow the growth of the oceans, I want to help you and your family." Yeah, wasn't that great when Romney pretended we weren't facing an ongoing global catastrophe, and made fun of people who thought we should do something about it? How can you top that?

Aug
31
2012

FAIR TV: Paul Ryan, Bill O'Reilly's No Spin RNC and NPR "Truth Telling"

Aug
31
2012

Burying the Most Important News on Iran's Nuclear Program?

The release of a new International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran was greeted as an ominous development by some major outlets. But are they playing down what could be the most important news in the report? The IAEA's latest made it to the New York Times (8/30/12) under the headline, "Inspectors Confirm New Work by Iran at Secure Nuclear Site." Reporters David Sanger and William Broad write: Iran has installed three-quarters of the nuclear centrifuges it needs to complete a site deep underground for the production of nuclear fuel, international inspectors reported Thursday, a finding that led the White […]

Aug
31
2012

Factchecking the Minnows and Letting the Whales Swim Away

Mitt Romney at the RNC

In an attempted factcheck of Mitt Romney's acceptance speech at the Republican convention, AP's Calvin Woodward (8/30/12) takes on Romney's big laugh line: President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet.  My promise is to help you and your family. Woodward looked into it and found that, indeed, Obama had said something like that. But aren't the important factual questions here whether ocean levels actually are rising, and if so whether it's possible to do anything about them? (The answers are "yes" and "yes," as it turns out.) The Washington Post […]

Aug
29
2012

He Didn't Say It: The RNC's Bogus Theme

One of the main themes of the Republican convention is "We Did Build It," a dishonest twist on something Barack Obama said about public spending on infrastructure. We've already gone through this, in part to point out that many outlets chose to repeat the dishonest manipulation of Obama's words instead of explaining what he had actually said. But Republicans are undeterred, and as Bill Keller of the New York Times  (8/28/12) pointed out in a blog post, they found a way to take that dishonesty even further, unveiling videos where Obama is heard saying this: If you've been successful, you […]

Aug
29
2012

Hilarious Bill O'Reilly Spoof Site…. Right?

It appears someone has posted a hilarious send-up of Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. On his site there's a Talking Points commentary so wrong-headed and contradictory that it has to be a joke–and a pretty convincing one. "As you may know, we cover politics a bit differently here. We are not much on party propaganda or political bloviating," the guy who looks just like Bill O'Reilly explained. He went on to say that his coverage from the Republican convention will not be the Republicans are good and Democrats are bad or vice versa. We are not in the business of […]

Aug
27
2012

If NYT 'Overloved' Occupy, It Had a Funny Way of Showing It

Arthur Brisbane

In his farewell column (8/26/12), New York Times ombud Arthur Brisbane writes: Across the paper's many departments, though, so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism–for lack of a better term–that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of the Times. Well, maybe we need a better term. Brisbane provides two examples of this supposed progressive bleeding: As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in the Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects. The Occupy Wall Street movement "seem[ed] almost to erupt in the Times"? Actually, when […]

Aug
24
2012

Pointing Out How the Magician Does His Tricks Would Just Be Rude

Buddy the Bunny in a Top-Hat

In a New York Times story (8/24/12) about Mitt Romney's energy proposals, reporters Eric Lipton and Clifford Krauss make this observation: With gasoline prices again approaching $4 a gallon, Mr. Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, is also trying to merge energy and economic policy in a way that will make voters see increased energy production as a pocketbook issue. Note that Lipton and Krauss don't say that increased U.S. energy production will actually affect the $4-a-gallon price of gas and hence the voters' pocketbooks; that would be inaccurate, since oil is a global commodity and it's impossible for the U.S. […]

Aug
24
2012

Paul Ryan and Jesus Christ

Jesus/Tony Unruh

Flipping open the new issue of Time (9/3/12), a piece by Michael Crowley begins: Paul Ryan may be America's most famous budget wonk. Oh good grief. Crowley's point is not just to praise Ryan's devotion to spreadsheets. No, this piece is about the influences that made Paul Ryan the wonk he is today: But he's more than a number cruncher. Ryan's budget math is drawn from the political and economic theories of his many intellectual idols. And you get what you'd expect: Ayn Rand, Jack Kemp, Friedrich Hayek. But it's the passage about Ryan and Catholicism that is especially bizarre. […]

Aug
23
2012

Politicians Lie–and Reporters Can't Report That

There's an interesting Politico story (8/22/12) about Andrea Seabrook, who until recently was a Capitol Hill reporter for NPR. She's moved on to a new independent reporting project, but it's what she said about her previous gig that's most revealing: "I realized that there is a part of covering Congress, if you're doing daily coverage, that is actually sort of colluding with the politicians themselves because so much of what I was doing was actually recording and playing what they say or repeating what they say," Seabrook told Politico. "And I feel like the real story of Congress right now […]

Aug
23
2012

Missing From LAT Report on Romney's Energy Plan: Journalism

"Mitt Romney Sees Path to Energy Independence," an L.A. Times piece by Seema Mehta (8/22/12), doesn't mention climate change at all. It also doesn't mention tar sands, the Canadian oil deposits whose extraction would devastate the environment, even though that's what Romney's talking about when he says that approving the Keystone pipeline will be one of the keys to energy independence for "North America." Nor does it mention the ongoing ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, even though that's surely relevant to Romney touting offshore drilling as the other major piece of his energy plan. The story also leads […]

Aug
22
2012

NY Times and the Myth of 'U.S. Ideals'

Meles Zenawi

There's nothing quite like the demise of a U.S-allied dictator to get the Paper of Record talking about the "clash" between U.S. "ideals" and the actual policies the country carries out. Today's New York Times (8/22/12) carries the headline "Ethiopian Leader's Death Highlights Gap Between U.S. Interests and Ideals," under which Jeffrey Gettleman lays out the case that the United States kept Ethiopian leader Meles Zenawi, who died early this week, in the "good guy" column despite our normally idealistic approach to world affairs. Gettleman writes that Zenawi extracted prized intelligence, serious diplomatic support and millions of dollars in aid […]

Aug
22
2012

Another Liberal Media Hit Job on Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan/photo by Marco Grob

Time magazine's Michael Crowley, from the new issue: In naming Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate on August 11, Romney chose someone as deep as Palin was shallow, a studious wonk known for his mastery of that most substantive of all issues: the federal budget. For Crowley, this is actually toning down the Ryan praise. Just last year, he co-wrote a piece for Time that went like this: Just 41 years old, with jet black hair and a touch of Eagle Scout to him, the House Budget Committee chairman unveiled an ambitious package of huge budget cuts designed to […]