Feb
23
2009

The Erratic Bernard Goldberg True to Form on Reliable Sources

Howard Kurtz had Bernard Goldberg on his Reliable Sources show (CNN, 2/22/09), weeks after the erratic right-wing media critic blew off his show. You could have had a better conversation about pro-Obama media bias with the drunk on the next barstool. For example, when Kurtz says: I think sometimes you're selective in your evidence. For example, you write about Deborah Howell; she's the former ombudsman at my newspaper, the Washington Post. You say, "She waited until after the election to write about the tilt on the Post op-ed page toward Barack Obama." But–and she did, but on August 3, Deborah […]

Dec
01
2008

Globe Pursues Media's Corporate Democratic Dreams

Noam Chomsky points out that a Boston Globe analysis (11/9/08) of the Obama victory claims that the president-elect owes nothing to "traditional Democratic constituencies" like labor, women, ethnic minorities and the peace movement, because a "grassroots army of millions"–seemingly unconnected to such constituencies–"propelled" Obama's win. It's worth noting, however, that this idea of a Democratic Party set free from the voting blocs that support it is a longstanding dream of corporate media and the political establishment–represented in the Globe piece by corporate Democrat Steve McMahon and conservative think-tanker Norman Ornstein. Ornstein, in fact, offers the same argument in the paper […]

Oct
28
2008

Chuck Todd and Tom Brokaw Know Latinos

Tom Brokaw, the interim host of NBC's Meet the Press, and NBC analyst Chuck Todd expressed bafflement on last Sunday's Meet the Press (10/26/08) at how Latinos had "turned on the Republican Party" and their "friend" John McCain: TODD: I mean, this, this Hispanic–one of the things we–underreported story of the cycle is how Hispanics have just turned on the Republican Party, hurting John McCain. Frankly…. BROKAW: Who is a friend of theirs. TODD: Who is a friend of theirs. BROKAW: Right. TODD: You know, this is a Shakespearean–you know, the S… BROKAW: Right. It's hard to know exactly where […]

Oct
23
2008

Media's Election Profits

Analysts have projected that Barack Obama's ad spending would this week "surpass the $188 million Mr. Bush spent in his 2004 campaign." During the last two weeks of the election, the Obama campaign has budgeted $30 million for ads in contested states, according to MSNBC. Last week alone, he also spent about $12 million on national networks and national cable channels. While Obama's ad spending has far outpaced McCain's, McCain and the RNC have also been doing their bit to line corporate media coffers. Last week, McCain spent $9.4 million on ads in key battleground states, and this week MSNBC […]

Oct
21
2008

Halperin and Kurtz Invent a Double Standard

On CNN's Reliable Sources (10/19/08), host Howard Kurtz and Time magazine's Mark Halperin had the following exchange: KURTZ: Mark Halperin, we learned this morning that Barack Obama in the month of September raised $150 million…. If a Republican had not taken public financing and had raised all that money, and the Democrat was struggling financially, wouldn't we see a lot of stories about one candidate essentially trying to buy the election? HALPERIN: We would. We'd also see a lot of stories about his going back on his word saying that he would accept the public money and would reach out […]

Oct
09
2008

Palin Smiles, Winks – Pundit 'Mesmerized'

Any lingering hope you may have harbored for corporate pundits to rise above their infatuation with John McCain running mate Sarah Palin will surely be dashed by Rich Lowry's titillated take (National Review Online, 10/3/08) on her debate performance–quoted in full: A very wise TV executive once told me that the key to TV is projecting through the screen. It's one of the keys to the success of, say, a Bill O'Reilly, who comes through the screen and grabs you by the throat. Palin too projects through the screen like crazy. I'm sure I'm not the only male in America […]

Oct
07
2008

Pundit Projection Syndrome

The affliction that causes national political commentators to project their own perceptions onto the public– let's call it Pundit Projection Syndrome–is affecting David Gregory's ability to come to grips with the fact that the public just wasn't as into John McCain's and Sarah Palin's debate performances as he was. Last night on his MSNBC show, Race for the White House With David Gregory (10/6/08), the anchor demonstrated his confusion in a discussion with liberal-leaning pundit Laurence O'Donnell: GREGORY: Yes. Lawrence, let me show you another number here, which pertains to the debates in particular. Which ticket is doing better in […]