May
30
2014

Brian Williams Frantically Tries to Prove He's No Glenn Greenwald

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Before NBC aired its Edward Snowden special, its evening newscast presented a lengthy report presenting the case against the NSA whistleblower.

Apr
22
2014

Obama's 'Manhood Problem'–and Media's Humanity Problem

David Brooks says the Middle East thinks Obama has a "manhood" problem.

Mar
03
2014

Russia, Ukraine and 'US Prestige'

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Pundits worry about US 'prestige' and the weakness of Barack Obama.

Feb
03
2014

Obama's Keystone Moment: Will He Finally Be Nice to Republicans?

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NBC news personalities Chuck Todd and David Gregory wondered if Obama would seize the Keystone XL decision as an important historical moment. Not to take a stand against climate change and the burning of untapped fossil fuels–but to do something Republicans might like.

Oct
17
2013

The Media's 'New American Center' Is Well to the Left of the Media

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Media don't tend to define The Center as "Things Most People Support," because letting people know that most Americans support raising taxes on the wealthy, cutting military spending or providing single-payer healthcare would make the elite political debate seem like it's well to the right of the public.

Sep
24
2013

David Gregory, Health Law Fact Injector

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Meet the Press host David Gregory tried to take a different approach from his colleague Chuck Todd. Unfortunately, his attempted factcheck didn't really clarify much.

Sep
18
2013

Inform the Public? Not My Job, Says Chuck Todd

NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd's declaration that it's not his job to inform viewers when politicians spread misinformation was noted by several progressive blogs today, including Talking Points Memo. Appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe today (9/18/13), Todd responded to Ed Rendell's claim that Obamacare opponents are full of misinformation about the program by explaining that this was because Republicans  "have successfully messaged against it." But wasn't journalism's job to expose misinformation? No, Todd insisted; if the public was misinformed about the Affordable Care Act, it was the president's fault for not pushing back: What I always love is people […]

Sep
09
2013

On Syria, Sunday Morning TV Journalists Don't Need Proof

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The public doesn't seem to support going to war in Syria–but some high-profile Sunday morning TV journalists are declaring their support for the war, or professing faith in the case for going to war.

Aug
30
2013

On Syria, Intelligence and Evidence

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One would hope that the lessons of Iraq might inform more of the coverage of Syria. But that's not always the case. Over the course of the past week, the White House and various officials have been adamant that they have evidence that shows the Syrian government was responsible for the horrific attack last week that likely killed hundreds, and very well could have been a chemical or gas attack of some sort. But too many journalists were treating what the government said it knew as if it was already actual evidence. On NBC Nightly News (8/27/13), Andrea Mitchell reported […]

Jun
24
2013

David Gregory Doesn't Understand David Gregory's Snowden Question

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NBC's David Gregory didn't just "ask a question." The question as posed assumed that the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald was involved in a crime–aiding and abetting–and the question Gregory was pondering was the extent of his wrongdoing.

Apr
01
2013

Did the Public Really Give Up on Gun Control?

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On two Sunday shows this weekend, the hosts made the same point about the White House's plan for modest gun control efforts: The public isn't going along. Oddly, they both ignored their own networks' polling that would have undermined their argument.

Sep
28
2012

Romney's Latest Gaffe: Telling the Truth on Taxes

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We're familiar with campaign reports that don't do enough factchecking. But here's a  strange one from ABC World News (9/25/12), which seems to be complaining that Mitt Romney departed from his usual misleading claims about how Obama's been raising your taxes. Pointing this out would be a good thing. The problem is that you have a hard time figuring out what the facts are, because the truth doesn't seem to be the primary concern of the segment. Here's what correspondent David Muir said: MUIR: Today, something from Romney about the President we haven't heard before. Romney has long argued the […]

Aug
07
2012

Presidential Campaign as Olympics: Chuck Todd's Tired Routine

Coverage of national political campaigns is generally pretty bad–a parade of polls, horesrace analysis and fundraising tallies, with pundits doing their best at pretending they're campaign strategists. Can it actually get worse than that? Maybe. NBC reporter Chuck Todd made that case with a full page article in the Washington Post on August 5 that compared the Obama/Romney contest to Olympic gymnastics. The concept behind it is corny, but even Todd seems to think so. Apparently this is supposed to be, well, kind of fun: "At NBC, to say we have Olympics fever is an understatement," he writes at the top. […]