Topic: MSM Bias
In an effort to help Representative Betty Sutton (D-OH) break her streak of relentless profligacy with her constituents' money (including stimulus packages for terrorists), I invite her to take a look at a Federal Trade Commission scheme to prop up failing newspapers with revenues from taxes on internet news sites, cell phone bills, iPads, Kindles, and computers.
C'mon, Betty. This one's a no-brainer. Be brave.
Gee, when do I get to tar all Democrats as violent egg-throwing nutjob loonies? The left relishes smearing all Tea Party activists and conservatives and Republicans as violent bigots based on scanty evidence, after all.
As for proof of a Tea Partier shouting the racist epithet "ni**er" at a black congressman ... well, we're all on pins and needles waiting for it. I'm sure that any day now, someone's gonna jump on that $100,000 challenge. Yup. Real soon.
Cue the crickets.
10:30 PM Update: A little perspective would seem to be in order, don't you think?
The Other McCain has several good points:
The people who control access to Republican leaders go out of their way to prevent their bosses from ever having direct contact with any rank-and-file conservative who wants to help. It's a tragically familiar story.
A key reason the [George] Allen campaign couldn't fix the "macaca" problem was because they had no friends in the MSM -- and this by design, rather than accident. Republican campaign operatives routinely and habitually treat reporters as the enemy. Somewhere, I believe, there must be a boot camp where GOP staffers are trained in an attitude of hostility and suspicion toward the press.
Republican leaders habitually blame media bias for all their woes, but rank-and-file Republicans need to start asking to what extent this media bias is fomented and exacerbated by the cluelessness of GOP leadership and the insulting arrogance of GOP political operatives.
So, whose fault was it that the MSM portrayed Sarah Palin as a ditzy bimbo? You can blame the press all you want, but at some point -- if the Republican Party wishes to present itself as representing the principles of accountability and personal responsibility -- the role of GOP campaign staffers in mishandling the media needs to be examined.
Read the rest. It's quite thought-provoking.
Washington Post reporter Alec MacGillis doesn't like the power wielded by U.S. Senators from states with small populations. He writes:
The Senate Finance Committee's "Gang of Six" that is drafting health-care legislation that may shape the final deal -- without a public insurance option -- represents six states that are among the least populous in the country: Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, Maine, New Mexico and Iowa.
Between them, those six states hold 8.4 million people -- less than New Jersey -- and represent 3 percent of the U.S. population. North Dakota and Wyoming each have fewer than 80,000 uninsured people, in a country where about 47 million lack insurance. In the House, those six states have 13 seats out of 435, 3 percent of the whole. In the Senate, those six members are crafting what may well be the blueprint for reform.
Climate change legislation, which passed in the House, also faces daunting odds. Why? Because agriculture, coal and oil interests hold far more sway in the Senate. In the House, the big coal state of Wyoming has a single vote to New York's 29 and California's 53. In the Senate, each state has two. The two Dakotas (total population: 1.4 million) together have twice as much say in the Senate as does Florida (18.3 million) or Texas (24.3 million) or Illinois (12.9 million).
Was this really what the founders had in mind? One popular story tells of Thomas Jefferson asking George Washington what the Senate's purpose is. "Why did you pour that coffee into your saucer?" Washington asked in return. "To cool it," Jefferson replied. To which Washington said, "Even so, we pour legislation in the senatorial saucer to cool it." A nice tale. But what if the coffee gets so cold that no one bothers to drink it? Or if the Senate takes its coffee black in a country that opted overwhelmingly for sugar and cream?
Kent Conrad, Democrat from North Dakota (pop. 641,481, third smallest), chairman of the Budget Committee and one of the Gang of Six, does not see any problem. Asked whether it is appropriate that his vote counts as much as those of senators from states 20 times as large, he was flummoxed. "One would hope that people would support the Constitution of the United States," said Conrad, who was reelected with 150,000 votes in 2006, when Virginia's Jim Webb needed 1.2 million votes to win. "This was the grand bargain that was struck when the Founding Fathers determined the structure and form of the United States Congress." He added: "Are you proposing changing the Constitution?"
Well, maybe. Regardless, there's nothing wrong with taking a closer look at how things came to be the way they are. The fact remains that, hallowed as it is, the Senate is as much a product of bare-knuckled, self-interested politics as last week's fight over military earmarks.
This is so damn simple to refute that my head hurts (probably due to banging it on my keyboard after reading this garbage). Apparently, neither MacGillis nor his trusty fact-checking editors bothered to read Article V of the U.S. Constitution, which sets forth the rules for changing that Constitution:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
Mr. MacGillis, your entire essay was an exercise in futility. To answer your question, yes, the Founding Fathers did actually construct the Constitution with ironclad protection for each State's equal representation in the Senate, even if every other State wants to strip it away through the amendment process.
This ain't rocket science.
Hat tip: This Ain't Hell
If this unethical tactic for pushing an immoral policy doesn't justify a full-throated attack, what does? Via Drudge:
On the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push government run health care -- a move that has ignited an ethical firestorm!
Highlights on the agenda:
ABCNEWS anchor Charlie Gibson will deliver WORLD NEWS from the Blue Room of the White House.
The network plans a primetime special -- 'Prescription for America' -- originating from the East Room, exclude opposing voices on the debate.
Hey, Ohio Republican Party bigwigs! What in the world are you waiting for? Blast this! Get aggressive. This is a no-brainer in at least two ways. 1) Americans don't want socialized medicine. 2) Americans hate biased media outlets that claim to be unbiased.
Couple that with cratering support for Obama's policies and you guys have a perfect opportunity to contrast the statist path of the Democrats with the traditional GOP values of rugged individualism, independence, and capitalism. Yes, Obama's popular. So what? Attack his policies and his plans, not him.
Stop worrying about being treated badly by the media. You lost that war in the 1960s. They'll never like you. Use it to your advantage. Say things that they can't afford to ignore, things that they'll have to cover. Call ABC "a wholly owned subsidiary of ACORN and the Democratic Party." Draw comparisons to Joseph Goebbels' "Big Lie" strategy. Remind people of what Pravda used to publish. The media and the statists on the Left have just exposed their weakest point of vulnerability to you. Hit it with a sledgehemmer!
Learn from Sun Tzu:
You may advance and be absolutely irresistible, if you make for the enemy's weak points; you may retire and be safe from pursuit if your movements are more rapid than those of the enemy.
Military tactics are like unto water; for water in its natural course runs away from high places and hastens downwards.
So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak.
Get off your asses and attack!
For the record, what Susan Roesgen does is anything but objective reporting.
What a shock ... the New York Times covered Obama's butt during the 2008 election, preventing an unfavorable October surprise:
A lawyer involved with legal action against Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) told a House Judiciary subcommittee on March 19 The New York Times had killed a story in October that would have shown a close link between ACORN, Project Vote and the Obama campaign because it would have been a "a game changer."
Heather Heidelbaugh, who represented the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee in the lawsuit against the group, recounted for the ommittee what she had been told by a former ACORN worker who had worked in the group's Washington, D.C. office. The former worker, Anita Moncrief, told Ms. Heidelbaugh last October, during the state committee's litigation against ACORN, she had been a "confidential informant for several months to The New York Times reporter, Stephanie Strom."
Ms. Moncrief had been providing Ms. Strom with information about ACORN's election activities. Ms. Strom had written several stories based on information Ms. Moncrief had given her.
The New York Times articles stopped when Ms. Moncrief, who is a Democrat and a supporter of the President, revealed that the Obama Presidential Campaign had sent its maxed out donor list to Karen Gillette of the Washington, DC ACORN office and asked Gillette and Ms. Moncrief to reach out to the maxed out donors and solicit donations from them for Get Out the Vote efforts to be run by ACORN. Upon learning this information and receiving the list of donors from the Obama Campaign, Ms. Strom reported to Ms. Moncrief that her editors at the New York Times wanted her to kill the story because, and I quote, "it was a game changer". That's when Ms. Moncrief telephoned me on October 21, 2008. Ms. Strom never wrote another article about ACORN for the New York Times for the remainder of the period before Election Day, i.e. November 4, 2008.
Can you say "illegal coordination"? I knew you could.
12:10 AM Update: NixGuy has more.
Brit Hume wrapped up his career as a full-time journalist tonight when he signed off at the end of Special Report. The guy's a no-b.s., fair, balanced, unafraid reporter who has earned his retirement.
America needs more reporters like him. I'll miss watching him in the evenings.
Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan recently pandered to überlefty Keith Olbermann, claiming that Fox News parroted talking points sent to them by the White House ...
... but retracted his claim when confronted by Bill O'Reilly:
Just listen to this guy frantically try to avoid admitting his falsehoods. He's not a very good spin doctor, and O'Reilly flat out pins McClellan's hide to the wall, vaporizing the last shreds of credibility this flack still had.
Hat tip: Thespis Journal
He does if you're a member of the mainstream media.
If you'd like to hear from the front-line troops in Iraq, go browse the listings at MilBlogging.com and decide for yourself whether General Petraeus is telling the truth.
Also be sure to read the work of independent journalists embedded with the guys out on the bleeding edge: Michael Yon, Bill Roggio, Michael J. Totten, Bill Ardolino, Austin Bay, JD Johannes, and Pat Dollard. These guys are out in the thick of it, and they're not beholden to the Bush administration or to anybody else but the thousands of donors who fund their work.
UPDATE: Yon on Petraeus
On Wednesday afternoon, shortly after helping U.S. Central Command improve its news distribution from the war zone, I sent the following e-mail to CENTCOM's Public Affairs Office:
Your CENTCOM podcast feed at ...
... is broken. You've been uploading new podcasts all the way through 31 AUG 07, but the podcast feed has nothing new after 26 JAN 07. Just go look at ...
... and you'll see. Please fix this ASAP. CENTCOM needs this podcast to function if America is to win the information war against the jihadis.
Incidentally, the following feeds are also woefully outdated (perhaps dead?):
Yesterday afternoon, CENTCOM replied:
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. I have contacted our web masters and you should see something new within the next couple of days. Thanks again for your support.
Master Sgt. S. Crumes
Public Affairs Operations NCO
US Central Command
CENTCOM's three dead feeds disappeared this morning, but the two good ones remained. That leads me to believe that somebody's working on the problem. Unfortunately CENTCOM's entire site dropped offline this afternoon. I'll be watching to see what happens.
With General Petraeus' progress report on Iraq almost upon us, it's time to revisit the propaganda war (and our military's lack of success therein).
Last year Tom Blumer wondered why CENTCOM's news releases weren't showing up in key places online. I suggested solutions and followed up on Tom's excellent work. Since then, CENTCOM has taken some steps to put out some news feeds and make them available online, but their publicity effort's still woefully lacking.
Enough dilly-dallying. I dug around CENTCOM's site, found 5 feeds, and did their public affairs work for them ... and it took me all of 45 minutes.
Those five feeds are now hooked into several search engines and feed-publicizing web services, so whenever CENTCOM posts a new item, everyone will know. Google Blog Search, My Yahoo, Technorati, Bloglines, Apple's iTunes, Syndic8, FeedBlitz ... it's all covered. You can even subscribe to any feed by e-mail, if you want.
Here are the five feeds:
Please spread the word far and wide. I'm only one voice.
9/6 Update: If you don't know what a "feed" is (nor why you should care) here's a one-page answer.
Imagine you're in the military and your unit is in Iraq, facing an angry mob made up of both civilians and terrorists ... and you can't tell one from the other. Would it be better to disperse the crowd by using a non-lethal heat ray, or would it be better to open fire and risk civilian casualties? Which approach would cause the western media to scream the loudest? Would the career-conscious/prison-averse commander be wise to retreat rather than try to break up the mob?
No doubt you've heard about this.
Folks, Limbaugh does not produce videos. He didn't create this. It's not available on his site. It was posted on YouTube and was apparently created by some web site called politicalpartypoop.com, got it?
For Heaven's sake, look at the text that opens the video. Read. The. Text.
The SONG is posted on Limbaugh's site, but not the VIDEO. Rush Limbaugh DID NOT CREATE THIS VIDEO.
Morons taken in by the video:
USAToday's Mark Memmott and Jill Lawrence
KOVR Channel 13 (CBS affiliate in Sacramento)
DiversityInc Magazine's Aysha Hussain
Tennessee Guerrilla Women
BlogHer's Laina Dawes
Dr. Marc Lamont Hill
This is priceless.
Feel the schadenfreude. Remember this?
It's been almost a week since I suggested simple solutions to CENTCOM's difficulties in spreading good news from Iraq and Afghanistan. CENTCOM has seen my post, but as far as I can tell they've done nothing. The solutions I suggested are free and easy to implement. CENTCOM has three people dedicated full time to getting out the news online. I'm no tech geek, and it only took me one hour to tweak my site in the way I recommended to them. It's taken CENTCOM 295 hours and counting.
What's the hold up, CENTCOM? You don't have to get General Abizaid's permission to change the way your news feeds work, nor do you need his permission to e-mail Yahoo News and Google News with a request to include your feeds in their search engine results. I was once a junior officer myself, and I know a top-heavy staff structure can stifle your initiative ... but only if you let it. Ask forgiveness, not permission. I identified your problem and gave you a free and simple solution. By failing to take action you are derelict in your duties.
You are fighting a war in the news media, where enemy propaganda has already severely eroded public support for our military's efforts. Without public support, our government will pull our troops out of Iraq before we achieve victory. For the public to support the war, they must hear the truth about our successes. Your mission is to get the truth out. You are failing to accomplish your mission.
UPDATE: BizzyBlog's Tom Blumer is still waiting for a response from Google News.
Two days ago, the Los Angeles Times reported that an American airstrike in Ramadi killed 30 Iraqi civilians, including women and children. That's a horrible tale of woe, isn't it? But there's one little detail that's missing from the story: it's a complete fabrication.
Congrats to Bizzyblog for spotting more photo fraud from Lebanon, this time in the New York Times.
If you want photographs proving that Hezbollah fights from within heavily-populated civilian areas, look no further than Australia's Herald Sun. Keep this in mind when you think of the tragedy at Qana, and never forget which side is evil.
It's always fun to watch James Carville come out on the losing end of a collision with facts. This time, Laura Ingraham administers the thrashing when the Today Show's David Gregory quizzes Carville and Ingraham about the Bush Administration's honesty on the war in Iraq.
A large part of the anti-military and anti-war bias of the mainstream media stems from the typical journalist's stubborn ignorance about basic military matters. Jack Kelly offers new yet familiar examples.
If you're wondering whether the mainstream media has yet begun to report accurately on conditions in Iraq, here's more proof that they haven't.
Here's a succint summary of CNN executive Eason Jordan's career-ending slander, exposed by bloggers.
First a Senate Majority Leader, then a presidential candidate, then a Senate Minority Leader, then a network news anchor, and now a cable news executive ... all were cut down by bloggers exposing their misbehavior. Looks like accountability's back in effect, eh?
Courtesy of Captain's Quarters, a bold attempt by ABC News to throw mud on President Bush's Inauguration ... discovered on their website by bloggers:
For a possible Inauguration Day story on ABC News, we are trying to find out if there any military funerals for Iraq war casualties scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20.
If you know of a funeral and whether the family might be willing to talk to ABC News, please fill out the form below[.]
Disgusting. Any spin trying to downplay this is demolished by the fact that ABC deleted the web page once they'd been exposed. Captain's Quarters cached a copy before ABC could destroy the evidence.
CBS News is seeking a replacement for Dan Rather, and they're getting desperate:
"We have to try and reinvent that," he said. "One of the ways we're looking at is making it younger and more relevant, something that younger people can relate to as opposed to that guy preaching from the mountaintop about what we should and should not watch."
Asked twice, Moonves wouldn't rule out a role on the evening news for Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, whose "The Daily Show" skewers politicians and the news media each night. Moonves is co-chief executive of Viacom, which owns both CBS and Comedy Central.
Well, at least CBS' anchor would be openly peddling fake news, so I guess it would be a step up.
We're eyeball to eyeball and the other fellow just blinked.-- Dean Rusk
Hugh Hewitt spent a good part of the day (and all of his radio show) prodding conservative bloggers and asking why we haven't made a bigger fuss over the CBS News report on Rathergate. If you read through Hugh's blog entries today, you'll see that Hugh sees the report as a whitewash, and that he thinks the big guns of the Blogging Right appear overly concerned about their reputations among the mainstream media. Hugh thinks we ought not show mercy in this case. I agree, and here's why.
This situation strikes me as a kind of negotiation. We of the center-right blogosphere expected CBS News to offer something like this:
- report released on a Friday (to bury it)
- report released after announcing Rather's successor (again, to bury it)
- a weak non-apology
- thinly-veiled contempt for bloggers
- support from ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, etc.
- denial of any pro-Kerry motivation, much less any actual coordination
- Mary Mapes fired
We were hoping for several results from this episode, including:
- report released on a Monday
- report released without a Rather successor announced
- an admission from CBS News that the Killian memos were forgeries
- due credit given to the blogosphere for unearthing this mess
- Dan Rather fired
- Mary Mapes fired
- top CBS News executives fired (including the president, Andrew Heyward)
- an investigation into possible coordination between CBS News and the Kerry/Edwards campaign
- help from CBS' competing news networks in devouring it (motivated by fear)
To our surprise, CBS started off by offering us numbers 1, 2, and 6 on our wish list. Better still, they offered big chunks of numbers 3, 4, 5, and 7.
Think about it. The bigwigs at CBS News are clearly not bargaining from a position of strength, and it's obvious they know it. Now keep in mind that in a negotiation, you never ever reveal your true position right up front. If this is where they've started from, imagine where we could push them to. By giving CBS News (and by extension, all of MSM) a pass on this baldfaced charade they called "news", we'd be letting them return to lie another day.
Another thing: have you noticed the deafening silence among the lefty bloggers today? They tried very hard to ignore the CBS News report, hoping we'd lose interest. If they thought they could win the argument on the merits, they'd be in full cry instead. So the only thing standing between us and resounding vindication is ... us.
Fellow conservative bloggers, stop worrying about what the other side thinks of us and go for the whole wish list, because they'll tut-tut about "blogger triumphalism" no matter what we do. Learn from the GOP, which only climbed out of the electoral gutter after it stopped trying to play footsie with the Democrats. Rather, Mapes, and CBS News are scattered and fleeing. Let's show some spine and mop 'em up.
UPDATE: Looks like my chance discovery turned out to be timely. Michelle Malkin's got a budding roundup of posts on Google's apparent bias. Amy Ridenour's speculation about Google's screening algorithms sounds plausible to me, but I don't forsee Google letting us in on anything revealing about their search algorithms. Ater all, that's what made them so popular as a search engine to begin with, and their popularity drives their ad revenues.
Mick Stockinger at Uncorrelated observes that algorithms don't conspire to slant the news. Granted. But algorithm writers certainly can. I'm not saying that Google did any such thing ... I am saying that Democratic Underground's presence in Google News' search results strikes me as a bit odd given Free Republic's absence.
I keep picking out interesting nuggets from the CBS Report, starting with page 14:
CBS has finally posted a PDF copy of their report on the now-infamous 60 Minutes II segment where they tried to pass off forged memos as real, only to have the blogosphere expose their anti-Bush agenda masquerading as "news."
So far the report has no appendices. Appendices and exhibits here.
UPDATE: CBS fired Mary Mapes, producer of the 60 Minutes II segment. Three news execs were also asked to resign ... but not CBS News' President, Andrew Heyward. His desk is buck-free, Buckhead be damned.
UPDATE 2: The CBS report can't even get basic facts about blogs right. Footnote 86 on page 153 says "Powerline is a Minnesota-based blog run by John Hinderaker and Scott Johnson, both of whom are attorneys." There's a third blogger there, you dingalings. Ever heard of Paul Mirengoff, who blogs from Washington, DC? Try checking the three bios right at the top left side of the blog's home page. You did actually go there and look at the site, right? Time Magazine managed to get the basics right (then again, Time is known for reporting actual news). And it's "Power Line", not "Powerline." Geez, with this kind of attention to detail, how are we going to trust this report's conclusions?
Power Line reprints an e-mail dialogue between Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman and a reader named David, arguing over Coleman's recent column that claimed Mary and Joseph were homeless when Jesus was born. Coleman's responses get progressively wackier as David makes his point.
Now poor Coleman needs a new example to drive his "homelessness crisis" meme.
Bill Bennett has a piece up on RealClear Politics mulling over the ongoing mutations in the news delivery business.
People now get their news and opinion on the Internet and relay it to talk radio. They then think about it, research it further, and discuss it on the Internet, in email, and in the national conversations that take place on shows like mine all the time -- shows that cannot simply be marginalized as "right wing radio," because they are not "right wing." Some are, in part, national dialogues. Yes there is right wing radio, and yes there is left wing radio but there is radio of another sort too, and too few elites have the first clue about what it is or what is happening there.
Empowered, the people are changing talk radio. Speaking as a host of a three-hour talk show, it is evident that the public, which is checking assertions of fact as they are being made, is not sitting back and merely absorbing pontification. On talk radio, the lecture is fading, and it is being replaced by the interactive national seminar, where callers inform the host and audience as much as the host is informing listeners.
I'll be listening to Rush Limbaugh with Bennett's idea in mind. Rush is more of a pontificator than a conversationalist, so I'm wondering if he's a big enough "institution" that he needn't worry about keeping closer tabs on what his listeners are interested in. CBS News is a big institution, and a handful of bloggers toppled its credibility. Will left-wing bloggers (or even we right-wingers) be Rush's undoing?
Lots of food for thought here.
For The Record (IPT Blog)
Force Majeure Farm
Gates of Vienna
Right Scoop, The
Spirit of America
U.S. Naval Institute
Center for Bioethics
Ctr for Bio-Ethical Reform
Dawn Treader, The
Do No Harm
Int'l Task Force on Euthanasia
Life Training Institute
Stand To Reason
Stand To Reason podcasts
World Religions Index
Day By Day
Looking Spoon, The
People's Cube, The