Jun
05
2014

Botching the Prisoners 'Returning to the Battlefield' Story

ABC-talbian

In their Bowe Bergdahl coverage, some media outlets are stoking fears about freed Guantanamo prisoners 'returning to the battlefield.'

Apr
14
2014

The Most Revealing Sunday Talk Show McCain Moment of All Time

ftn-mccain

CBS host Bob Schieffer wanted an expert on Ukraine, so he woke up John McCain.

Jun
10
2013

On Sunday Shows, NYT Mostly Misses the Point

nyt-sundayshows

The remarkable thing about the Sunday shows is not that they have the same guests over and over–it's that they have the same Republican and conservative guests over and over.

Mar
01
2013

Republican Pals and Their 'National Security' Passion

mccain-graham

Time magazine has a profile this week of Senate Republican buddies John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and one passage really stands out–not for what it reveals about them, really, but about the media. Michael Crowley writes: Graham and McCain have been friends for more than a decade, a partnership born of their shared passion for national security (McCain was a Navy pilot, Graham is still an Air Force Reserve lawyer), a willingness to poke their party's base in the eye and an uncanny knack for attracting the media's attention. More surprising and quotable than bland party leaders like Mitch McConnell […]

Jan
29
2013

Raddatz Misreports Raddatz on Syrian Weapons

raddatz

The implication of Martha Raddatz's quotation of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is that Syria has loaded chemical weapons at the ready, and that it would take a matter of hours for the Assad government to use them. But that's not what Panetta told…well, Raddatz herself.

Nov
27
2012

NYT Waves Goodbye to Three Amigos of Militarism

John McCain and Joe Lieberman (photo: Talk Radio News Service)

Not every politician gets a warm and fuzzy retirement profile in the New York Times. But not every politician is Joe Lieberman.  Jennifer Steinhauer's piece (11/27/12) is a tribute mostly to Lieberman's close bond with Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham. The "Three Amigos" traveled the world together, advocating for one hawkish foreign policy idea after another: Their hawkish world views often placed them at odds with their respective parties, but together they secured a place at the center of every major foreign policy debate. That's mostly true of Lieberman, but it's hard to figure how McCain and Graham much […]

Nov
19
2012

The People Have Spoken: Benghazi, Not Afghanistan

Martha Raddatz (photo: Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne)

At the end of ABC's This Week (11/18/12), Martha Raddatz presented a brief viewer-mail segment: And finally, "Your Voice This Week." Today's question comes from Cheryl Robinson, who writes, "What happened in Benghazi was terribly tragic, and now we're hearing of another Middle Eastern war on the brick. Let us and you, the media, not forget about the war that our own kids are fighting for us in Afghanistan. Why is there so little coverage?" Well, because, unfortunately, very few people feel the way you do, Cheryl. There is a war-weariness with the public, and outside of campaign season, the […]

Jul
30
2012

Pundit Accountability: What an Idea!

Writing in Newsweek, Peter Beinart has a pretty good idea: America's foreign-policy debate desperately needs some measure of accountability. I'm not suggesting that politicians and pundits who got Iraq wrong be banished from public life. (This standard would leave me looking for other work.) But neither should they be able to flee the scene of the disaster. Imagine if every time Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton or John Bolton or John McCain or William Kristol was interviewed about military intervention in Iran or Syria, the interviewer began by asking what they've learned about the subject from their experience supporting the […]

Jul
30
2012

Never Maverick McCain Back to Still Not Being Much of a Maverick

Political reporters, for whatever reason, have always had a lot invested in John McCain. Reporters were enthralled by McCain the "maverick" 2000 presidential candidate, advancing the campaign's theme that McCain was a different kind of Republican. There was never much to this act; McCain had a solidly conservative record before being lionized as a maverick. He briefly tacked to the middle after losing the Republican nomination in 2000, then was soon back to being one of the most reliably conservative Republicans in Congress. But the press that made the maverick storyline stick is stuck with it, and every so often […]

Oct
21
2011

John McCain, Libya Expert

As one would expect, corporate media reacted to the developments in Libya by turning to one of their favorite sources: Republican Sen. John McCain. He was on CNN this morning (and last night as well), and odds are that he'll be on a Sunday show. McCain's line on Libya is that the White House should have waged a more aggressive war. If any of these outlets wanted to challenge him on his record on Libya, all they would need to do is talk about this ancient newspaper article from August 2009: Or perhaps this item from Politico, from way back […]

Jun
02
2011

Sunday Mornings Lurch to the Right

Of the 24 members of Congress who have appeared three or more times in 2011 on any of the five Sunday morning shows (i.e., CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox or CNN), according to Roll Call's ongoing tally, 16, or two-thirds, have been Republicans. Just seven, or 29 percent, have been Democrats. (The other one was Sen. Joe Lieberman.) We've looked at the right-wing slant on Sunday morning before (Extra!, 9-10/01, 12/10), but this more-than-2-to-1 bias is extreme. For the record, Democrats control one of the two houses of Congress. You can probably guess who the Sunday shows' favorite congressional guest is.

Mar
08
2011

Hawks vs. Hawks: Debating U.S. Military Intervention in Libya

The New York Times has a piece today (3/7/11) about the debate over U.S. military intervention in Libya. The paper reports that there are persistent voices–in Congress and even inside the administration–arguing that Mr. Obama is moving too slowly. Reporters David Sanger and Thom Shanker contend that there is too much concern about perceptions, and that the White House is too squeamish because of Iraq. And who are those persistent voices? The most vocal camp, led by senators John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee for president, and Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut independent and another hawk on Libyan intervention, say […]

Jan
24
2011

John McCain: TV Talk's Indispensable Man

A few laughs on CBS's Face the Nation yesterday (1/23/11): BOB SCHIEFFER: And we begin this morning welcoming back to Face the Nation for the first time in exactly one year Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the person who, by the way, has been on this broadcast more than any other politician now in office. Well, senator, you haven't been here in a year. What were you doing? Were you busy back in Arizona or what? JOHN MCCAIN: Busy and thanks for having me back on. And it's probably the longest absence in all these years too. So I'm glad […]