Aug
26
2014

WaPo Bemoans a Climate Debate It Helped 'Devolve'

Sarah Palin (cc photo: David Shankman)

The paper's editorial page has a new focus on fighting climate change. But will it keep publishing climate nonsense?

Sep
19
2011

The Palin Campaign in Mark Halperin's Head

Mark Halperin has a feature in Time magazine every week called "The Big Questions." For a process-obsessed campaign reporter, this means a weekly who's up, who's down scorecard, in an easy to followQ-&-A format. This week's questions: Is Sarah Palin in or out? What could hold her back? When does she have to decide? Part of his answer to question one: "Palin remains more interesting to listen to than any other candidate." Coming from a guy who once said, "I'm ready to cancel my vacation to go cover Rick Perry," maybe this isn't surprising. It is worth pointing out that […]

Jul
29
2011

Where Does Press Set Bar for Bachmann?

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote a rather apoplectic column about presidential candidate Michele Bachmann this week, lamenting the fact that other GOP candidates aren't calling her out for being completely ill-prepared for the job: Bachmann does not deserve to be in the presidential race. Legislatively, she has done little, she knows next to nothing and what she thinks she knows is wrong. He also called her "an ignoramus" and "a bigot when it comes to gays." Straight news coverage obviously isn't going to put things like that. But what's remarkable is how reporters seem to give Bachmann credit for […]

Jul
13
2011

Newsweek Touts Palin's Wonky Insights on the Price of Slim Jims

Will the outrages ever stop? Newsweek's "I Can Win" cover story about Sarah Palin is awful. But Palin fans will have a hard time trying to figure out how to square this puff piece with the notion that the mainstream media is out to get Palin. The premise is that Palin could run for president–and win. Because, well, that's what she says. That's sort of the theme for the whole article, as it is full of quotes and observations from Palin family members and associates who are trying to 'set the record straight' about her political career. Like how she […]

Jun
08
2011

WaPo's False Equivalence on Founder Misquotes

"Senators, congressmen and even President Obama have misquoted the Founding Fathers in recent years," writes Washington Post reporter David A. Fahrenthold in a June 7 piece suggesting that there is a bipartisan trend of misquotation and misrepresentation of historical events. After citing Sarah Palin's recent botched account of Paul Revere's revolutionary ride, Fahrenthold implies that historical distortion comes from a variety of political quarters: But in Washington, nobody should feel too smug, as Palin is hardly the only politician with a habit of helpfully twisting the historical record, accidentally or not, and sometimes with politically handy consequences. If Fahrenthold means […]

Jun
01
2011

Journalists Held Hostage by the Sarah Palin Bus Tour

The Sarah Palin hostage drama continues. In case you haven't heard, Palin is taking a bus tour up the East Coast, visiting various sites of historic interest. Which naturally means that every media outlet is forced to follow along, covering this series of non-events as if they are of tremendous importance, asking the pertinent questions: Is she running for president? Hasshe launched a crafty non-campaign that appears much like a campaign, without really being a campaign? On Sunday (5/29/11), CNN host Howard Kurtz wondered: Is the press in danger of being bamboozled by somebody who, in the end, is probably […]

Jan
20
2011

Don't Joke About Sarah Palin: How to (Maybe?) Get Booted From Fox News

From comedian Joan Rivers' Twitter feed (read from the bottom up if you can): Fox says, for the record, that Rivers wasn't canceled due to the joke; the show was overbooked, and she'llbe rescheduled. As someone who has been booked–andthen canceled–by Fox a couple of times, I'm skeptical of Fox's story here.

Jan
05
2011

New Frontiers in Pretend News About Sarah Palin

This is an actual CNN.com headline: Palin Re-Tweet Raises Questions And the actual lead paragraph: Normally, it's what Sarah Palin tweets that makes news. This time it's what she has re-tweeted. The "substance" is that Palin retweeted a comment promoting Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal. The piece ends: A Palin spokesperson was not immediately available for comment but Rebecca Mansour, a Palin aide, subsequently expressed skepticism on Twitter that the media would take notice of Palin re-tweeting "something that stands [with] gays." The media not taking notice of something that Sarah Palin said? Don't bet on it. This reminds of […]

Dec
21
2010

The Debate Over Whether Obama Loves America

At a press conference in 2009, Barack Obama said, "America has a continued extraordinary role in leading the world toward peace and prosperity." He also proclaimed that America has core values that make it exceptional. Based on those comments, right-wing pundits and politicians reached a conclusion:Barack Obama does not believe in "American exceptionalism." And since they say this all the time, reporters feel obligated to cover it as if it were an actual, serious argument. Hence Susan Page's front-page article in USA Today (12/21/10): Over White House objections, they're accusing him of not embracing the concept of American exceptionalism, saying […]

Dec
17
2010

Mark Halperin's Puppy-Killing Definition of Centrism

Time's Mark Halperin (12/27/10) joins his punditry colleagues in cheering Barack Obama's wealthy-friendly tax plan as a great way for the president to end a rough year: But by ending the year with a bipartisan-compromise tax deal, Obama showed he is capable of delivering the kind of change that was supposed to be the hallmark of his Administration. Indeed– I beta lot of people watching Obama duringthe 2008 campaign werethinking, "I hope he doesn't mean it when he says he'll get rid of those tax breaks for the wealthy." More Halperinian analysis: To avoid seeing the economy stall again, the […]

Jun
07
2010

Sarah Palin's Incomprehensible Press Criticism

Think Progress (6/7/10) claims Sarah Palin's criticism of the press regarding Helen Thomas is wrong, but I can't even figure out what she's trying to say. Here's Palin's Twitter statement: Helen Thomas press pals condone racism? Heaven forbid "esteemed" press corps represent society's enlightened elite; Rest of us choose truth. "Enlightened elite" would seem to be sarcasm–Palin does not actually think the "elite" is "enlightened"–but so would "Heaven forbid," suggesting that she thinks the press corps actually should represent this non-enlightened elite. I honestly can't puzzle out her intended message. As for Thomas' statement itself, the message was all too […]

Jun
04
2010

O'Reilly's Hypocrisy on Sarah Palin & Joe McGinniss

Witless commentary and breathtaking hypocrisy are no strangers to Fox News, but Bill O'Reilly was in rare form on June 1. Discussing Joe McGinniss, the journalist who moved next door to Sarah Palin's family home in Alaska in order to write about her, O'Reilly declared the move "immoral" and maybe even unconstitutional: "He's intruding upon them, all right? Their pursuit of happiness, which is guaranteed by the Constitution, basically has dropped 100 percent because he's there." (The "pursuit of happiness" phrase actually appears in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.) About now, listeners who have followed O'Reilly's sordid career […]

Apr
07
2010

Corporate Media Love to Be Hated by Sarah Palin

New York Times media reporter David Carr wrote the other day (4/5/10) about Sarah Palin's wide-ranging appeal: Ms. Palin still gets a session in the media spanking machine every time she does anything, but the disapproval seems to further cement the support of her loyalists. Ms. Palin may or may not be qualified to represent America around the world, but she certainly represents vast swaths of the American public and has a lucrative new career to show for it. If we donâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢t see why, then maybe we deserve the "lamestream media" label she likes to give us. Mark Halperin of […]