TV news is often not all that informative. Sometimes that's because the reports are so short–a few hundred words. But then there are TV reports that manage to use their short space to garble the details of a story completely. ABC correspondent Jonathan Karl's piece about the Senate confirmation hearing for Obama's CIA pick John Brennan fit into the latter category.
FAIR TV: Big Papers Withhold News, Curious 'Confirmation' of Israeli Gov't Claims, 60 Minutes Plays Softball
This week on FAIR TV we take a look at the the "informal arrangement" between several media outlets–including the New York Times and the Washington Post– to not report news about a CIA drone base.
We also talk about the curious standard for "confirming" news from Israeli government officials, and we take a look at the 60 Minutes softball interview with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Bill O’Reilly– whose network is known on-air fantasies about murdering public figures, jokes about the assassination of the president, and is the only network named by more than one spree killer as having helped to inspire their murderous designs–is worried that the country is becoming too disrespectful.
The early headline on a New York Times story (2/7/13) by Adam Nagourney was, "Millionaires Consider Leaving California Over Taxes." At some point they changed the headline, probably because there's nothing in the article that would support it. But the problems with the piece remain. The story it's trying to tell is about a new tax increase on income over $1 million. Combined with federal/state taxes, the tax bill can really start to add up for the super wealthy–an "unpleasant surprise for the rich." I feel as bad for them as you do, no doubt. The point of the article, [...]
The Washington Post reported some news that it's known for years, but had decided not tell us until now: The CIA has a drone base in Saudi Arabia. Their rationale for withholding this information was simple: The government didn't want them to. And from what the Post is telling us today, they weren't the only ones.
Last night, MSNBC's Chris Matthews hosted a discussion on the Obama administration's recently disclosed "white paper" justifying its policy of using drones to strike at U.S. citizens. Matthews ultimately deciding that the policy was defensible–on the grounds that the CIA director Leon Panetta goes to church.
At the top of his 60 Minutes interview with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Steve Kroft declares, "The White House offered us 30 minutes, barely enough time to scratch the surface of their complicated personal and professional relationship, let alone discuss their policies." Apparently what that meant was, "So I didn't bother to ask them about that policy stuff."
NBC's Richard Engel report that "what we've been able to confirm" is that a Syrian convoy attacked by Israel "was packed with fairly sophisticated Russian anti-aircraft missiles." It is highly doubtful that Engel could "confirm" any such thing–unless by "confirm" he means that NBC is confirming that government sources are claiming what they are claiming.
This week on FAIR TV, we look at the bubble that Joe Scarborough and David Gregory live in– where the government must make "big" spending cuts, and Paul Krugman doesn't know economic. Also, does ABC's Martha Raddatz understand what the government is telling her about Syria? And Reuters grants a U.S. government official anonymity to complain about Iran meddling in other countries.