Noel Sheppard was full of indignance in a June 24 NewsBusters post. A "Meet the Press" panel, he declared, was "the usual twenty minutes of Bush-bashing, Hillary sycophancy, and attacks on all politicians with an 'R' next to their names."
The problem? He doesn't support his claim that the people on the panel were motivated by liberal bias -- or even that they were liberal.
Sheppard started off by asserting that "Tim Russert stocked his panel exclusively with liberals: David Broder of The Washington Post, John Harwood of The Wall Street Journal and CNBC, Gwen Ifill of PBS’ Washington Week, and syndicated columnist Roger Simon." But he offers no supporting evidence that any of these folks are liberals; in fact, there is much evidence to support the idea that Broder is not liberal, and Harwood and Simon are not necessarily the kneejerk liberals Sheppard wants you to think they are.
Sheppard then claimed that "after Russert read an article published by the Associated Press which was somewhat critical of Hillary Clinton (D-New York), the panel felt compelled to defend her." Judging by what Sheppard highlighted, the panel made several observations about Clinton that can be easily supported by observation, from stating "Mrs. Clinton has done extremely well in every appearance that I’ve covered" to "after eight years of George Bush, the American people want competence this time, not likability." Sheppard proved none of the statements he highlighted to be incorrect, yet he insisted this was "Absolutely disgraceful Hillary sycophancy that wasn’t present three weeks ago when there were conservatives on the panel to refute these overtly liberal sentiments." If these statements were so egregious, shouldn't Sheppard himself disprove them?
This was followed by, according to Sheppard, "uninterrupted bashing of every Republican presidential candidate." Again, he makes no attempt to disprove anything said. For instance, Russert noted that one state official for Rudy Giuliani's campaign is "headed to prison on charges of distributing cocaine." Is Sheppard denying that? Does he think it's not relevant to discuss? How about the revelation that Giuliani didn't bother to show up for meetings of the Iraq Study Group, of which he was a member, in order to rake in cash making speeches? Not true or irrelevant?
What Sheppard seems to be saying -- with his regular disregard of facts that get in the way of his narrative -- is that all praise of Democrats by anyone on TV is liberal bias, as well as all criticism of Republicans. Is this any way to run a media watchdog group?