Sep
30
2013

Dems and GOP Agree: Independent Journalism Is Bad News

Filmmaker Charles Ferguson announced that he was no longer going to make a nonfiction film for CNN about Hillary Clinton. The reasons why he's pulling out of the project are interesting–and disturbing.

May
23
2013

Yes, You Can Be for Press Freedom and Still Think Journalists Ought to Do Their Jobs Well

Kirsten Powers

The reality is that it is possible to both protest government intrusions on press freedom and to condemn bad journalism of the sort practiced by Jonathan Karl. It's important for protect journalism from official control for the same reason that it's important for media outlets to do a good job.

Sep
25
2012

Ted Koppel's Terrible Media Criticism

koppel

TV news veteran Ted Koppel has done two pieces on NBC's Rock Center that attempt to critique the partisanship of today's media system. But what the reports really illustrate is that some people aren't very good at playing media critic–especially when they feel obligated to suggest that "both sides" are equally at fault. Koppel's first report (9/13/12) looked at right and left watchdogs, "an industry out there on both sides monitoring and recording anything that could hurt the political opposition." That "industry" consists of the liberal¬† Media Matters for America and the right-wing Media Research Center. As Koppel explains, "You […]

May
04
2012

Matthews Remembers Mission Accomplished (Some of It)

On Wednesday (5/2/12), MSNBC host Chris Matthews played a long clip from the Daily Show, where Jon Stewart mocked Republicans who are complaining about Barack Obama's celebration of the killing of Osama bin Laden. Stewart naturally recalls George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" photo op stunt from 2003.¬† Stewart points out that if Republicans are angry about Obama "spiking the football," Bush was spiking the ball before the game started. So the clip played, and then we cut to Matthews, chuckling away. Of course Stewart's point is right on–anyone who listens to this whining from the right is bound to recall […]

Mar
23
2012

The New Campaign to 'Silence' Rush Limbaugh

Conservative talker Rush Limbaugh used to tell his listeners that the government was trying to silence him, based on a completely bogus tale about what the Fairness Doctrine would do. This time around, it's an ad campaign by the liberal group Media Matters for America directed at some of the stations that air Limbaugh's show. The group is encouraging citizens to contact stations and let them know they object to Limbaugh's degrading, sexist comments about Sandra Fluke. So what's the controversy? Fox News host Bill O'Reilly thundered (3/22/12) that "the far-left is a primary source of censorship in America." He […]

Jul
15
2011

Fox's Eric Bolling Fans on Terror Facts–Twice

Glenn Beck's temporary replacement in the 5 p.m. slot on Fox News, Eric Bolling, has started out with a bang. On the July 13 edition of his new show the Five, the host declared: "America was certainly safe between 2000 and 2008. I don't remember any attacks on American soil during that period of time." After Bolling's error, erasing 9/11 and several other deadly terrorism attacks from the Bush record, was pointed out by outlets including Media Matters and Huffington Post, the host returned to the air Thursday to issue a correction that sounded more like a retaliation against those […]

Sep
15
2009

Tea Party News Proves MSM Still 'Wired for the GOP'

In citing how Talking Points Memo creator Josh Marshall "has talked many times about the ways in which the Washington establishment is 'wired for the GOP,'" Steve Benen (Political Animal, 9/13/09) notes that "the Washington Post offers a helpful example today"–as posted on Media Matters: "Behold the media's glaring double standard. Today, the Post puts the 'tens of thousands' of Obama-hating tea bagger protesters on A1; makes it the lead story as a matter of fact." Compare and contrast. And just so there's no doubt in people's mind, the blanket coverage the mini-mobs are lapping up (i.e., the mobs are […]

Aug
21
2009

Fox Still Leads in Misinforming Viewers

Think Progress' Matt Corley (8/19/09) has the depressing, if predictable, news that recent polling shows "'all the misinformation out there' about health care reform proposals in Congress is taking root with many Americans." Corley is discouraged to see that, "for instance, 45 percent believe the false claim that legislation includes 'death panels' while 55 percent believe the false claim that coverage will be extended to illegal immigrants"–and an MSNBC passage says that, in particular, self-identified viewers of Fox News are disproportionately misinformed": In our poll, 72 percent of self-identified Fox News viewers believe the health-care plan will give coverage to […]

Aug
16
2009

Advertisers Black Out Liberal Radio, Pay Up for Haters

Media Matters research director Jeremy Schulman (8/12/09) writes that "Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaughand Lou Dobbs have used their radio and television shows to incite hatred and push wild conspiracy theories, leading several of Beck's advertisers to reportedly pull out of his broadcasts"–one of the hazards inherent in for-profit media. But "many advertisers have nonetheless sponsored these hosts' hate speech in recent weeks, including major corporations and organizations that, in 2006, reportedly requested that ABC Radio Networks not air their advertisements during any Air America programs": At the time, ABC subsequently provided a statement to Media Matters, which read: "It is […]

Jul
16
2009

Swine Flu 'a Case Study in Reckless Journalism'

Writing that "the swine flu outbreak that wrecked Mexico's economy this spring, and that the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic last month, may become a case study in reckless journalism," Miami Herald Latin America correspondent Andres Oppenheimer (7/8/09) admits that he "had taken it for granted that the disease had started in Mexico" since "that's what most press reports said." But he "recently found myself scratching my head" over a "Pan American Health Organization press release that 'the new virus, which emerged in Mexico and the United States in April,' has spread to 74 countries." Follow-up questions put […]

Apr
26
2009

Bill O'Reilly Constructs Imaginary Intelligence 'Wall'

Demonstrating his trademark ability to move effortlessly from belligerent grandstanding to completely fictive political commentary, Fox star Bill O'Reilly claimed on April 22 that current and former attorney generals "Eric Holder and Janet Reno put the wall up between the FBI and the CIA, which led to the 9/11 attacks." But Media Matters points out (4/23/09): in fact, the 1995 Justice Department memo and guidelines to which O'Reilly referred only addressed communications among divisions within DOJ, clarifying longtime unwritten restrictions on the sharing of information between the FBI's intelligence arm and DOJ's criminal division. They had no impact on communications […]