Aug
16
2011

If Bachmann Is Gasping for Media Oxygen, What Do You Say About Ron Paul?

One of the strangest comments post- Iowa straw poll came from reporter Kelly O'Donnell on NBC Nightly News (8/14/11): Both Pawlenty's exit and Perry's launch consumed political oxygen that typically would have gone to the straw poll's actual winner, Congresswoman Bachmann, who appeared on all five Sunday morning talk shows, including Meet the Press. I'm having trouble imagining how someone could put those two thoughts together. Bachmann was merely on five national TV shows Sunday morning. That's being overshadowed? If that's oxygen deprivation, one has to wonder what you'd call the media treatment of Ron Paul, who finished one percentage […]

Aug
24
2010

Fox News Finds 'Ground Zero Mosque' Financier…Close to Home

Starting about a minute in,this clip from last night's Daily Show is must-see media criticism. On the Fox News morning show Fox & Friends, it is revealed thatthe Kingdom Foundation is a dangerous Saudi organization that, according to guest Dan Senor, funds radical madrassas and has also funded Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam at the heart of the "Ground Zero Mosque" controversy. Unmentionned by Fox, but revealed by Jon Stewart, is thatthe Kingdom Foundation is run by Al-Waleed bin Talal, who also happens tobe…one of theNewsCorp's largestshareholders (Fox's parent company). Theclipincludes a hilariousdebateover whether Fox'scoverage of this storymakes them evil, […]

Jun
19
2009

Will Officials Take the Fifth Unless the Daily Show Is Muzzled?

Do they still teach the First Amendment in law school? That's what you have to wonder when you see a lawyer for the Obama administration's Justice Department arguing that statements made by former Vice President Dick Cheney in the Scooter Libby probe ought to be kept secret because a future vice president might refuse to speak to a future investigation out of concern "that it's going to get on the Daily Show" (Washington Post, 6/19/09). Really? That's how we're going to ensure that officials cooperate with criminal investigations, by using government secrecy to guarantee that their statements will never be […]

Mar
18
2009

Glenn Beck Offers New Fox Slogan

Jon Stewart (3/17/09) has found Glenn Beck expressing his philosophy in what may be its purest form: Believe in something! Even if it's wrong! Believe in it!

Mar
17
2009

Richard Cohen on Jon Stewart's 'Cheap Shot'

Many observers praised the Daily Show's Jon Stewart for his hard-hitting interview with CNBC's Jim Cramer. Columnist Richard Cohen (Washington Post, 3/17/09) begs to differ. Actually, Stewart was "wrong" to go after Cramer, Cohen wrote–it was a "cheap shot at business media." His main argument is that Stewart charged that Cramer "knew all the time what was happening" at game-playing financial companies, but Cohen has a list of CEOs at such firms who lost money on their own company's stock, so even they must not have known what was really going on: "When someone puts his money where his mouth […]

Mar
16
2009

'Wall Street Hubris' as Orwellian Comedy

Writing on CounterPunch, former Wall Street insider Pam Martens notes (3/16/09) that the academics and economists (none of whom ever worked a day on Wall Street) have been telling us in op-eds and speeches and testimony before Congress that the crumbling Wall Street structure results from bundled subprime mortgages, collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps and asset-backed securities. Meanwhile, "in a week's time, [the Daily Show's Jon Stewart] has zeroed in, like a heat-seeking missile, on the core of Wall Street's malady…. The core of Wall Street's corruption might well be the same core that it has drawn the darkest […]

Mar
13
2009

Jim Cramer–Calm, Sober Wild Man

During his well-publicized appearance with Jon Stewart (Daily Show, 3/12/09), CNBC's Jim Cramer tried to present himself as a rational financial journalist, dismissing his on-air wild man persona as entertainment. But if you listened to his calm, sober pronouncements, they really weren't all that rational. For instance, he said by way of apology, referring to the current financial crisis, "I got a lot of things wrong because I think it was kind of [a] one-in-a-million shot." Well, no–if you build a financial system on the idea that assets are going to keep rapidly increasing in value forever, the system's eventual […]

Mar
13
2009

There's Nothing Funny About CNBC

Economics writer David Lieberman (USA Today, 3/11/09) previews a Today show interview with CNBC's Mad Money host Jim Cramer by pointing out that Cramer will "have to answer for misguided stock predictions–including some last year urging investors to buy and hold Bear Stearns just before the investment bank collapsed." But the ironic bit comes after Cramer's dismissive quote–"Oh, oh, a comedian is attacking me!"–when business journalism academic Andrew Leckey "says that while CNBC wants to be seen as serious, 'The best ratings go to a wacky guy.' Cramer often bellows and uses sound effects to highlight his stock picks." As […]

Mar
05
2009

Media Keep Faith in Dow Jones as Oracle

Prefacing a Daily Show segment (3/4/09) with his version of current big-media reporting: "Recent opinion polls indicate that six weeks into Barack Obama's administration, the American public thinks they approve of his performance–but it turns out they're wrong," Jon Stewart runs clips of celebrity news figures like Fox's Sean Hannity asking, "How did the market react to this latest liberal spending spree? Well, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped almost 400 points," and of Fox Business Network's Neil Cavuto asking, "The Dow is down more than 1,500 points, nearly 3,000 since Election Day, now is this a vote of no […]