Jul
17
2013

Bradley Manning Is Not a Royal Baby

nbc-sharknado

"With a Royal Baby Due, News Outlets Are on High Alert" reported the New York Times (7/14/13) in a piece detailing the extensive planning that TV networks have done in order to cover the any-day-now arrival of the child of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The Times said it "will be a spectacle unlike any other in the modern media age"; the ABC website has a special section ("sponsored by NestlĂ©"), while "NBC News has a site called RoyalBabyGuess.com, asking for predictions about name, birth time and weight. To make it more fun, the people whose guesses come closest might […]

Apr
01
2010

Will Face the Nation Factcheck Guest's Healthcare Lies?

Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann made two false claims about healthcare on CBS's Face the Nation last Sunday that went unchallenged by host Bob Schieffer. CBS did, however, post an article on their website challenging her claims. FAIR has a new action alert encouraging Face the Nation to debunk Bachmann's lies on its upcoming April 4 broadcast. Read the alert here and post your letters to CBS below.

Oct
13
2009

Is Engel Too Opinionated–or Does He Have the Wrong Opinion?

When NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Richard Engel recently returned from Afghanistan, he told MSNBC's Morning Joe, "I honestly think it's probably time to start leaving the country." Engel added, "I really don't see how this is going to end in anything but tears." Engel's comments caused Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz (10/12/09) to raise an eyebrow at a reporter stating an opinion: "That sounds awfully opinionated for a working reporter," wrote Kurtz. But we had to wonder if what really attracted Kurtz's scrutiny was Engel's stating of an opinion, or the opinion itself? After all, for years FAIR […]

Aug
18
2009

CBS Re-Airs Drone Propaganda

Back in May, CBS' 60 Minutes aired a terrible report on the Air Force's use of drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan– see FAIR's action alert for all the details. CBS never responded to the criticism, but they did re-air the segment this past Sunday, without any major changes. To let CBS know how you feel about this one-sided reporting, here's the contact info: CONTACT: CBS 60 Minutes 524 West 57th St. New York, NY 10019 Email: 60m@cbsnews.com Phone: (212) 975-3247

Jul
15
2009

PR Successfully Sicced on 'Sicko'

Former PR agent Wendell Potter's stories of how he helped the health insurance's industry's campaign "to discredit Michael Moore and his film Sicko" calls to mind just how successful that campaign was. Corporate media coverage of the debate raised by the film's expose of the for-profit insurance system went out of its way to demonize Moore. USA Today ran an editorial tied to the film against a single-payer healthcare plan, which was paired with an "Opposing View" from an insurance executive that denounced single-payer even more harshly. CBS News' Jeff Greenfield distinguished himself with his (inaccurate) claim that the U.S. […]

Jun
24
2009

Billy Graham Gets Cleaned Up by CBS

Blogger Jonathan Schwarz (A Tiny Revolution, 6/24/09) has noted that when "CBS ran a story about the latest batch of Nixon tapes made public… they included a section of a February 21, 1973 conversation with Billy Graham that showed Nixon at his psycho best," addressing anti-Semitism thus: "This has happened to the Jews, happened in Spain, it happened in Germany, it's happening, and now it's gonna happen in America if these people don't start behaving. It may be they have a death wish." But the real problem comes in CBS's quote of the Graham response: "Well, they've always been through […]

Mar
30
2009

Woman Journalists: Last In, First Out

Author and journalist Sheila Gibbons has some regrettably foreseeable news (Womens eNews, 3/30/09) on how female reporters who "worked hard to establish themselves in what had long been a male-dominated field" are faring in a time of massive media cutbacks and layoffs: By the end of 2009, a quarter of all the newsroom jobs that existed in 2001 will be gone, says the Project for Excellence in Journalism. This outgoing tide is taking away the reporting, editing and producing jobs of seasoned journalists, many of them women. I'm thinking of investigative reporting ace Roberta Baskin of WJLA-TV in Washington, who […]

Feb
27
2009

Nothing Personal About CBS's Affinity for the G.O.P.

Ira Forman set off a furor in the blogosphere this week when he reported that CBS's pick for senior VP of communications, Jeff Ballabon, had once suggested "that Democrats are inherently bad people." (Forman–who is the executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council–maintains that this is what Ballabon had stated during a debate between Republican and Democratic Jews in New York ten years ago, while Ballabon has denied the charge.) Yet for the billionaire who owns the controlling shares of CBS, the question of whether or not the Democrats are "bad people" was ruled a moot point years ago. […]

Feb
04
2009

Move Over, Taliban–CBS Is the Real Master of Manipulation

CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric (1/27/09) introduced a segment on civilian casualties in Afghanistan by saying, "Our Elizabeth Palmer spoke with the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, who says the Taliban have become masters of manipulating public opinion." That commander, Gen. David McKiernan, was CBS's sole on-camera source for the segment, making assertions like "we try to avoid [killing civilians]. The insurgent does it on purpose." The U.S. military also served as an off-camera source for Palmer as well, cited for claims like "80 percent of Afghan civilians are killed by the Taliban…. But there's huge frustration that anytime […]

Dec
18
2008

Does CBS Think the CBS Poll Doesn't Count?

Discussing the failed auto bailout on CBS Evening News (12/12/08): KATIE COURIC: And it's almost, meanwhile, turning to Washington, Bob, impossible to figure out just what happened to this auto bailout in the Senate. There's all this finger pointing going on. What is your take? Can you explain it to us in simple terms? BOB SCHIEFFER: I think frankly what happened, Katie, is that this is overwhelmingly unpopular, bailing out these auto companies with the public in general. And every poll suggests that. These leaders of the auto industry came to town first in their jet planes and now you […]