Dec
14
2009

Kurtz Covers for Post, Palin

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz spends his Sunday mornings as the host of Reliable Sources, the media criticism show on CNN. Yesterday (12/13/09), one segment concerned the Washington Post's decision to print an op-ed (12/9/09) on "Climategate" by Sarah Palin. It prompted this exchange with guest John Aravosis of Americablog: ARAVOSIS: What newspapers aren't supposed to do is present an issue that's already decided as being a he said/she said of, hey, half the people say yes, half the people say no. KURTZ: So you say it's already decided. ARAVOSIS: Ninety percent of scientists believe global warming is manmade. KURTZ: […]

Nov
20
2009

Sarah Palin in the No Spin Zone!

Sarah Palin's highly anticipated visit to Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor saw the famously tough-as-nails host ask the tough questions of the right-wing leader: O'REILLY: OK. The latest poll has you with a 23 percent favorable, 37 percent don't know. You do the math, OK. And you're up at 60 percent of people who could like you. You are the biggest threat because you are a star, media star, whereas you're the only Republican. There aren't any other Republicans who are media stars but you. Now, that's why they're attacking you so vehemently. Do you know that? In other words, […]

Oct
19
2009

Sarah Palin, Health Policy Expert

A bit of NBC Nightly News last night, from reporter Mike Viqueria: But now Mr. Obama faces more friendly fire. After a key committee passed a plan to pay for reform with a tax on high-cost policies, major unions, normally Obama allies, took out full-page newspaper ads complaining that the tax will hit labor hardest and vowing that, without changes, they say, "We will oppose it." And late last night opposition from a more familiar foe, Sarah Palin posting on her Facebook page and echoing insurance industry claims that the latest plan will mean higher premiums, writing, "Unintended consequences always […]

Jul
10
2009

News on Female Pols 'Insulting, Irrelevant… Drivel'

Jennifer L. Pozner has a version of her new NPR commentary on the Women In Media & News website she founded (7/8/09), in which she asks you to "think carefully: Can you remember any passionate TV news debates about whether journalists or voters might want to get naked with former vice president Dick Cheney?" If you're answer is no, that's not only unsurprising, but also, says Pozner, "good. Because such an insulting, irrelevant topic would–and should–never be considered newsworthy." She then calls attention to the fact that, "unfortunately, this sort of drivel frequently passes for journalism when the politician at […]

Jun
23
2009

Right Media Darlings as Racist Double Murderers

A posting on Timothy Karr's Media Citizen blog (6/17/09) contrasts Crooks & Liars' collection of cable news pundits like Lou Dobbs and Bill O'Reilly likening the anti-immigrant Minutemen to a giant, friendly "neighborhood watch" organization with the "chilling double-murder" Minutemen leader Shawna Forde is accused of–describing "the 911 recording of the mother as she witnessed the execution of her 9-year-old daughter and husband. But what's even more infuriating is the way many prominent right-wing media pundits have made this group the darlings of 21st century patriotism": Frank Rich's most recent New York Times column explains how crimes of this sort […]

Apr
01
2009

The 'Serious Journalistic Conflicts' of Fox's Van Susteren

Blogging on "Greta Van Susteren's defensive response" to reports "saying that one of the reasons that Sarah Palin has been caught up in a 'series of public relations gaffes' is because she is 'taking advice from Greta and her husband,'" major GOP booster John Coale, the Huffington Post's Geoffrey Dunn (3/29/09) thinks the Fox News host "Doth Protest Too Much": Let me give Van Susteren her due. This is a serious charge of direct professional misconduct, and there should have been more than a throwaway line from an unnamed source to back it up. The allegation begs further questioning. But […]

Mar
20
2009

Fox News and Sarah Palin, Like Family. . . Really

Upon seeing that, "on her show Tuesday night, Fox News' Greta Van Susteren devoted an entire segment to criticizing David Letterman" for having "made jokes about Sarah Palin and her family," Political Animal blogger Steve Benen (3/19/09) notices that there seems to be a pattern here. In fact, it's hard not to notice that Van Susteren seems to enjoy closer ties to Palin than most media professionals. Matt Corley explained, for example, "In September, she hosted a one-hour 'documentary' on the GOP vice presidential candidate, titled Governor Sarah Palin–An American Woman…. After the election ended, Palin chose Van Susteren for […]

Nov
13
2008

If There's One Thing They Can't Stand, It's Disarming Candor

The "media bias" against Sarah Palin is a key ingredient of the conservative victimology of 2008, even though when you see negative reports about Palin these days, they're generally sourced to her erstwhile Republican colleagues–and corporate media sometimes go to absurd lengths to give the attacks a semi-positive spin, as in this Alessandra Stanley piece from the New York Times (10/11/08): Ms. Palin could be turning to television to restore her tarnished image, jumpstart a 2012 presidential bid, or both. But so far, viewers have mostly witnessed some of the very traits–disarming candor and staggering presumption–that drove some McCain campaign […]

Oct
18
2008

The Hazards of Reporting on Palin Rallies

Via TPM, we read about a reporter (Capital Beat, 10/16/08) who got knocked down at a Sarah Palin rally in North Carolina because he tried to interview an Obama supporter. This seems like the natural progression from the earlier report of Palin inciting her followers to hurl obscenities and racist insults at journalists. And, you know, maybe if your crowds are already shouting abuse at reporters, you should refrain from distributing songs that begin, "The left-wing liberal media have always been a real close-knit family/But most of the American people don't believe them anyway, you see." In a related story, […]

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 […]