Gainor Misleads on Inauguration Rights Topic: Media Research Center
In a Jan. 18 appearance on Fox News, the MRC Business & Media Institute's Dan Gainor complained that HBO paid $5 million for the rights to broadcast the inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial, calling it "pay for play." Gainor added: "If he's such a news-making rock star, and I think we all agree the media are treating him that way, well then, if he's a newsmaker, this is news, and that means shared video for a major event, not exclusive." A Jan. 19 NewsBusters post on Gainor's appearance by Matthew Philbin adds that HBO's rights deal "meant that only HBO subscribers and the 37 percent of cable customers that have digital cable could watch."
Both Gainor and Philbin appear to be wrong. As TPM has noted, HBO descrambled its channel during the presentation itself, so basic cable subscribers still got to see it. Further, the Presidential Inauguration Committee owns the rights to the concert; HBO merely owns the broadcast rights for six months.
Newsmax bade farewell to President Bush in surprising fashion -- by heavily criticizing him and his legacy. From a Jan. 19 "Newsmax.com Editorial":
Today, Bush’s legacy to his successor is two unresolved wars, a global image that is deeply tarnished, and the greatest economic crisis in modern times.
Conservatives who backed Bush in two successive elections have little to show for their efforts. Bush, in fact, has decimated the Republican brand.
Bush oversaw the greatest increase in discretionary social spending in history as the federal government usurped new powers in its war on terror. He placed the United States on a global interventionist path for the elusive goal of “democracy.” Ronald Reagan would not be able to recognize the party he knew, which espoused limited government, protection of personal liberty, and the idea that the U.S. should lead globally by example rather than by force.
The best that can be said of President Bush is that he kept America’s homeland safe. During his watch, we did not experience another terror attack on U.S. soil after Sept. 11.
It is a laudable fact, but one that came at enormous financial cost and an erosion of personal freedoms. Still, for all the talk about al-Qaida’s weakened state, Osama bin Laden remains at large despite Bush’s pledge to capture him “dead or alive.”
And if a major terror attack were to take place under the new Obama administration, his supporters will be quick to pin the blame on the Bush regime.
This is followed by a lengthy diatribe against Bush's "dreamy plan of creating a democracy in Iraq," his "refus[al] to offer a practical exit strategy"and for refusing to withdraw troops from Iraq to boost Republican political fortunes at home. The editorial concludes: 'The bottom line is that Bush’s overriding focus on Iraq — and his refusal to readjust course as circumstances and facts warranted – became the touchstone of an administration that, in so many areas, seemed unaccountable to principles or good sense."
This criticism is not entirely surprising -- Newsmax chief Christopher Ruddy was editorializing in favor of a troop withdrawal from Iraq as early as 2005 -- but the strong tone of it is, given that Newsmax has historically been one of Bush's biggest supporters. It declared after 9/11 that "Real Americans support [Bush] 100 percent," and after Bush's 2004 re-election with a bare-majority 51 percent of the vote, Ruddy proclaimed, "Yesterday the American people voted decisively to re-elect President Bush."
And unlike Newsmax writer Ronald Kessler, which is still clinging to the idea that Bush "kept us safe" and whose criticism of Bush is much more tempered (unsurprising since he also brags that "I have written more positive material about Bush and the first lady than any other journalist"), there's no attempt to blame that dastardly liberal media for this situation.
That's a nice bit of evolution that other conservatives can learn from.
WND Still Hiding Border Agents' Cover-Up Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's not surprising that WorldNetDaily is elated that President Bush commuted the prison sentences of former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean -- after all, it devoted by its own count at least 228 news stories and 51 commentaries to it. It's also not surprising that WND is still whitewashing the facts of the case.
WND has framed the story of Ramos and Compean as one in which the agents were unfairly imprisoned for, as one WND article put it, "shooting and wounding, in the line of duty, a fleeing illegal alien drug smuggler trying to bring almost 800 pounds of marijuana into the U.S." and because "they didn't report the shooting as regulations required." That oversimplifies the case to the point of distortion.
As we'venoted, WND has long been reluctant to tell its readers the pertinent facts that the drug smuggler was unarmed and that Ramos and Compean fired 15 rounds at the smuggler, hitting him once. (When WND mentions that the smuggler was indeed shot, they are quick to add that it was "in the buttocks," as if that doesn't qualify as actually shooting someone.) Further, the agents didn't merely fail to "report the shooting as regulations required"; they actively covered it up by disposing of their shell casings. As prosecutor Johnny Sutton told WND's Jerome Corsi in January 2007:
The behavior is egregious. I think once people find out the facts that you have two agents who shot at an unarmed guy running away who they knew was unarmed, and lied, covered up the evidence, threw away the shell casings, and filed false reports – I think most people will say, "Yeah, that's outrageous. That needs to be prosecuted.
As far as WND's suggestions that Ramos and Compean were unfairly convicted, Sutton also told Corsi:
It's really important that the American people understand that the facts that they're hearing on some of these radio programs are just not true. There's so much more to it. Common sense will tell you that Border Patrol agents do not go to prison for doing their jobs; they only go to prison for committing crimes.
And juries, especially in El Paso, are very sympathetic to Border Patrol; they give them the benefit of the doubt time and time again, because they live in that community, they protect that community, and they are heroes in that community. And in every other case where Border Patrol have used their weapons, at least as long as I have been U.S. attorney, the Border Patrol have been cleared for using their weapons.
I'm trying to get that message out to Border Patrol. And I think the rank and file of Border Patrol when they learn the facts of this case, they will understand that this was a big problem and that these agents committed big crimes. That's all we can do and hopefully the truth will get out. And hopefully we'll get a chance to let the American public hear what the jury heard.
Joseph Farah unsurprisingly perpetuates the distortion in a Jan. 20 column asserting that "amos and Compean were actually incarcerated for the 2005 incident in which they fired on a drug smuggler who had brought a load of some 750 pounds of marijuana into Texas." Farah makes no mention of the cover-up, yet insisted: "The continued incarceration of these two men represented nothing less than a human rights abuse – a miscarriage of justice perpetrated at the highest levels of our government in broad daylight."
Newsmax followed in WND's footsteps; a Jan. 19 article by Dave Eberhart similarly framed the case as the agents "shooting and wounding a self -admitted illegal alien drug smuggler" and that they "fail[ed] to report the incident properly" without noting the agents' efforts to cover up the shooting. Eberhart did note, however, that "It is illegal for federal agents to fire upon fleeing felons or suspects." Meanwhile, a Jan. 19 AP article published by Newsmax notes what Eberhart didn't, stating that Ramos and Compean "tampered with evidence by picking up several spent shell casings."
UPDATE: A Jan. 20 CNSNews.com article by Fred Lucas similarly leads off by claiming that Ramos and Compean were imprisoned for "shooting an illegal alien drug smuggler in the buttocks." While Lucas later notes that the smuggler "suffered a shattered urethra from the shooting" and that "the agents shot an unarmed man and did not realize he was carrying drugs at the time they shot him," he does not mention the fact that Ramos and Compean tried to cover up the shooting.
More Right-Wing 'Experts' At Newsmax Topic: Newsmax
Last week, Newsmax promoted an article by Ken Timmerman citing "tax experts" claim that treasury secretary-designee Tim Geithner should withdraw because of an issue over non-payment of taxes (which he has since paid) while employed by the International Monetary Fund. The only problem: All those alleged "experts" are right-wingers.
Newsmax does the same thing in a Jan. 18 article (credited only to "Newsmax Staff") asserting that, according to "financial experts," Barack Obama's proposed stimulus package "is little more than a checklist for funding the pricey social-services agenda that he promised during his campaign" and is a "Trojan horse of pork and welfare spending" that "will ultimately worsen the recession and drive the nation deeper into debt."
But as before, all the "experts" Newsmax cites are right-wingers with a presumed agenda:
Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee.
Arthur Laffer, "an economic advisor to President Reagan"andpromoter of the Laffer Curve.
Steve Horwitz, an economist at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y.
J.D. Foster, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
At no point does Newsmax identify these "experts" as conservative, even though they all are. Lewis, Laffer and Foster's affiliations are clear, Horwitz's less so. In an "Open Letter to my Friends on the Left" written last September, Horwitz places himself among those "committed to free markets" (code for right-wing economist) and takes the conservative line that the financial crisis was "caused by the very kinds of government regulation that you [leftists] now propose." Horwitz falsely links the subprime mortgage crisis to the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977; in fact, the vast majority of subprime loans were made by institutions not subject to CRA regulations.
Obama Hate Central Watch: WND Still Hiding Truth on Birth Certificate Topic: WorldNetDaily
With all the recent back-and-forth targeting Joseph Farah's refusal to admit the truth about WorldNetDaily's coverage of the Obama birth certificate non-controversy, you'd think that WND from now on would admit the simple fact that last August, WND declared the birth certificate released by Obama's campaign to be authentic.
Well, not so much.
A Jan. 18 WND article by Bob Unruh fails to acknowledge that simple fact of WND's own reporting, still pretending that there are legitimate questions about Obama's "eligibility." Unruh could have explained why WND no longer stands by its earlier reporting, as Farah has hinted is the case, but he doesn't do that either.
Instead, Unruh uncritically repeats all previous claims by Obama foes regarding his eligibility without permitting anyone to respond to them. No evidence is offered that the certificate released by Obama's campaign -- which, FactCheck.org points out, "has all the elements the State Department requires for proving citizenship to obtain a U.S. passport" -- is insufficient proof his eligibility to be president.
Noel Sheppard, Proudly Propagandizing the Ignorant Masses Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard has a cow in a Jan. 18 NewsBusters post about Rachel Maddow criticizing Fox News despite claiming that she has never watched the channel, which Sheppard then quickly devolves into a rant against the "liberal media" and liberal media critics:
Isn't that classic liberalism as well as fundamental to the leftist indoctrination and propagandization she and the mainstream media are involved in?
After all, to really manipulate public opinion, you have to be able to instill impressions on the masses without them having any real knowledge of the subject matter.
If you can make people hate something they actually haven't experienced be it a person, a movie, a book, or a television network, you can totally create a groupthink that is tremendously powerful.
Of course, besides the liberal press, at the heart of this brainwashing are groups like MoveOn.org, Media Matters for America, and ThinkProgress who disseminate their own biased and uneducated opinions to the masses as well as media outlets to aid in the creation of the groupthink.
In the end, that is the reason these organizations exist: to create a belief system in the part of the population that isn't interested in doing any real research or investigation of their own.
Sheppard might have a point if he wasn't on the payroll of an organization that does the exact same thing.
The MRC has similar goals of instilling impressions on the masses without them having any real knowledge of the subject matter. It blames "liberal bias" for every problem up to and perhaps including the heartbreak of psoriasis, even though reality provides other, more logical and easily demonstrable evidence to the contrary. Just the other day, for example, Sheppard's fellow NewsBusters bloggers were blaming the bankruptcy of the Minneapolis Star Tribune on its purportedly "overbearing leftist" bias; in fact, the paper leans to the right, and its bankruptcy was a direct result of its debt-laden balance sheets.
Sheppard himself has perpetuated this kind of right-wing groupthink. He uncritically repeats every morsel of information that purports to contradict the idea ofglobal warming, apparently ignorant of the right-wing agenda of many of those hucksters. He even embraced a 9/11 conspiracy theorist whose work is published in the former Soviet Communist party organ Pravda -- just because he followed right-wing anti-global warming dogma by predicting a coming ice age. When that was pointed out to him, Sheppard reveled in his ignorance: "How delicious that an America-hating Truther who contributes to Pravda has a firmer grasp of climatology than Nobel Laureate Al Gore, James Hansen, Gavin Schmidt, and most of the folks at the IPCC. Now THAT'S entertainment!!!"
It's quite rich for Sheppard to accuse liberals of trying to "disseminate their own biased and uneducated opinions to the masses" when he's doing the exact same thing.
UPDATE: Farah's readers are just as bile-filled as Farah himself. WND's poll of the day asks, "Do you think we should pray for Obama's failure as president?" The top answer by far: "Yes, but also implore God's protection for our nation while Obama personally goes down to defeat."
Obama Hate Central Watch: Farah Prays for Obama to Fail Topic: WorldNetDaily
The headline is correct. From Joseph Farah's Jan. 19 WorldNetDaily column:
Many American Christians believe, as an article of faith, that we are to pray for the success of our leaders.
Many a coward has been bolstered in his conviction against challenging tyranny by not reading too deeply into the Scriptures. Yet, nowhere does the Bible ever suggest evil rulers are to be obeyed. When the rule of men conflicts with the commands of God, the Bible leaves no doubt about where we should stand.
That's why I do not hesitate today in calling on godly Americans to pray that Barack Hussein Obama fail in his efforts to change our country from one anchored on self-governance and constitutional republicanism to one based on the raw and unlimited power of the central state.
It would be folly to pray for his success in such an evil campaign.
I want Obama to fail because his agenda is 100 percent at odds with God's. Pretending it is not simply makes a mockery of God's straightforward Commandments.
So you will not see me joining in the ritual of affirming Obama and his mission in public or private prayer this week – or any other week.
Nowhere in the Bible does it teach us to obey evil rulers. Nowhere.
This is a time for principled biblical resistance, not phony Christian appeasement.
Despite the recession, Barack Obama’s inauguration will be the most expensive ever and could approach $160 million — nearly four times what George Bush’s inauguration cost four years ago.
Rich Noyes, Jan. 14 NewsBusters post and Jan. 15 MRC CyberAlert item:
Four years ago, the Associated Press and others in the press suggested it was in poor taste for Republicans to spend $40 million on President Bush’s inauguration. AP writer Will Lester calculated the impact that kind of money would have on armoring Humvees in Iraq, helping victims of the tsunami, or paying down the deficit. Lester thought the party should be cancelled: “The questions have come from Bush supporters and opponents: Do we need to spend this money on what seems so extravagant?”
Fast forward to 2009. The nation is still at war (two wars, in fact), and now also faces the prospect of a severe recession and federal budget deficits topping $1 trillion as far as the eye can see. With Barack Obama’s inauguration estimated to cost $45 million (not counting the millions more that government will have to pay for security), is the Associated Press once again tsk-tsking the high dollar cost?
Brent Bozell, on the Jan. 16 edition of Fox & Friends:
According to the Guardian newspaper, he could spend as much as $150 million. That would be three times more than George Bush spent. ... In other words, it's a wonderful thing to spend $150 million if you're Barack Obama, but you need to be condemned if you spend $43 [million] and you're George Bush.
Bush’s second inaugural was met with far more hostility, with reporters attacking the $40 million price tag as obscene. “In a time of war and natural disaster, is it time for a lavish celebration?” ABC’s Terry Moran doubted. The AP’s Will Lester calculated that the money spent on Bush’s inaugural could vaccinate “22 million children in regions devastated by the tsunami....Do we need to spend this money on what seems so extravagant?” (Obama’s inaugural committee will spend $45 million, but the total price tag could exceed $150 million.)
But there are two problems with the comparison being made, as Eric Boehlert details. Not only is the $150 million figure never authoritatively sourced to anyone, it's an apples-to-oranges comparison because the higher Obama number includes security costs while the lower Bush number does not.
Indeed, the Washington Post reported in January 2005 that the $40 million spent on Bush's second inaugural "does not include the cost of a web of security, including everything from 7,000 troops to volunteer police officers from far away, to some of the most sophisticated detection and protection equipment."
The MRC, at least, is making no efforts at correction -- in fact, it's taking credit for promoting it. A Jan. 18 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard pushes the idea that the Associated Press was inspired (or shamed) by the MRC's Noyes to publish an article "that not only questioned the rationale behind President Barack Obama spending huge sums of money on his inauguration while the economy is in the middle of the worst recession in decades, but also noted how critical some were four years ago of how much President Bush was spending on his second inauguration." At no point does Sheppard note that, according to that very same AP article, attempts have been made to hold down costs while trying to allow as many people as possible to take part in the activities:
Obama's inauguration committee says it is mindful of the times and is not worried people will see the four days of festivities as excessive.
"That is probably not the way the country is going to be looking at it," said committee spokeswoman Linda Douglass. "It is not a celebration of an election. It is a celebration of our common values."
Douglass said the campaign sought to keep costs down by having the same decorations at each of the 10 balls, eliminating floral arrangements and negotiating prices on food.
"Those at the Obama administration are trying to be reflective of the climate," McDermott's spokesman, Mike DeCeasar, said Saturday.
Still, Sheppard insists that the AP is "applauding Obama's extravagance" -- while providing no actual evidence of "extravagance."
Remember, such false stories and bogus criticism comes while Obama isn't even in office yet. If the ConWeb is this hateful now, imagine the shitstorm they will stir up when Obama actually is president.
Clinton Derangement Syndrome Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Sure, Bill Clinton has been out of office for eight years, but that doesn't mean that right-wingers can't still blame events of today on him.
Craige McMillan, in a Jan. 8 WorldNetDaily column, has declared that the Bernie Madoff scandal is all Clinton's fault:
The media told Americans that lying was OK.
"I did not have sex with that woman!" Enter the semen-stained dress, and the mainline media's terribly original defense of President Clinton: "Well, everybody lies about sex ..." Perhaps that's due to its popularity? Hmm ... I wonder if there might conceivably be anything more popular among aging baby boomers than sex?
Money, perhaps? No, couldn't be. Odd, though; I haven't seen the same mainline media personalities defending Mr. Madoff and his $50 billion Ponzi investment plan with the line, "Well, everybody lies about money ..." As it turns out, however, at least as many people lie about money as lie about sex. Maybe more. Maybe lots more.
So I wonder, why does the mainline media seem to think it's OK for the nation's chief law enforcement officer (that would be the president) to lie to a court of law about his sexual activities in the Oval office – but it's not OK for Bernie Madoff to lie about his financial proclivities with a few deviant electrons in a back room at the stock and bond trading desk? "I did not have financial relations with that derivative!" No, of course not, Sir, but do have a look at the ink smear on this trading statement.
If McMillan is so concerned about lies accepted by the media, he might want to have a little chat with his boss.
In her recent syndicated column, published Jan. 17 at WorldNetDaily, Star Parker, in the midst of denying that Barack Obama is anything like Abraham Lincoln, stated that Lincoln's speech in which he declared "A house divided against itself cannot stand" was made "after accepting the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1858."
There was no presidential race in 1858. Lincoln's speech was made upon his nomination as a U.S. Senate candidate.
WND's Ellis Washington: Obama's A Fascist Topic: WorldNetDaily
We know Ellis Washington loves to smear Barack Obama as a Nazi. So it's no surprise that he would smear Obama as a fascist, too.
Washington does exactly that in his Jan. 17 WorldNetDaily column, claiming that "I see Barack Obama mimicking the fascist and socialist policies of President Wilson."
Huh? Woodrow Wilson was a fascist? Washington has been reading Jonah Goldberg, it appears. We'll concede the point since the New York Times seems to agree, but it's a desperate stretch for Washington to claim that Obama is acting like Wilson.
Washington is even less convincing when he references "the fascist and socialist legacy of Wilson, FDR, LBJ, [and] Carter." More Goldberg influence apparently. At this point, though, the Times diverges from agreeing with Goldberg:
Is something missing here? Goldberg races from Wilson to Roosevelt to Kennedy and on to Bill Clinton with barely a glance at what happened in between. The reason is simple: for Goldberg, fascism is strictly a Democratic disease. This allows him to dispose of the politics of the 1920s in a single sentence. “After the Great War,” he writes, “the country slowly regained its sanity.” What Goldberg may not know — or is afraid to tell us — is that the 1920s were anything but sane. This was the decade, after all, that contained the largest state-sponsored social experiment in the nation’s history — Prohibition — and it lasted through three Republican administrations before Franklin Roosevelt ended it in 1933. The 1920s also saw the explosive spread of the Ku Klux Klan in the Republican Midwest, a virtual halt to legal immigration under the repressive National Origins Act and an angry grass-roots backlash against the teaching of evolution in public schools.
Goldberg briefly enters the Eisenhower 1950s to tease liberals for whining about the supposedly trivial impact of McCarthyism. “A few Hollywood writers who’d supported Stalin and then lied about it lost their jobs,” he says. What’s the big deal? For the Reagan 1980s there is near-silence — hardly a word. I had entertained the slim hope that Goldberg might consider the “fascist” cult of personality surrounding Reagan’s 1984 “Morning in America” hokum (“Prouder, Stronger, Better”). But, alas, such scrutiny is reserved only for the Clinton presidential campaign of 1992, with its “Riefenstahlesque film of a teenage Bill Clinton shaking hands with President Kennedy.” Indeed, even George W. Bush’s spectacularly staged landing on an aircraft carrier in full battle regalia to declare “mission accomplished” in Iraq escapes notice here. It doesn’t take a village for Goldberg to play the fascist card; a single Democrat will do.
Funny that Washington doesn't mention that, isn't it? Indeed, Washington dismisses George W. Bush as merely having "utopian tendencies." Nope, he's not a fascist at all.
But Goldberg gives Washington cover to smear Obama as a fascist -- never mind that Goldberg's book has been soundlydismantled -- and that's good enough for him.
In October 2006, WorldNetDaily published an article on a bipartisan plan to repeal the 22nd Amendment, which limits presidents to two terms. Its headline: "Should presidents be allowed to serve more than 2 terms?"
This despite the fact that Zahn notes that the congressman who introduced the current resolution, Jose Serrano, introduced a similar resolution in 2003, and is named as being a supporter of the idea in the 2006 WND article.
Thus, the headline is a lie since it claims a view that is never advanced in the article -- that the bill was introduced solely to keep Obama in office. But then, lying about Obama comeseasy to WND.
Zahn makes his own factual error in the lead paragraph:
As Inauguration Day approaches and Barack Obama prepares to assume his first term as president, some in Congress are hoping to make it possible for the Democrat to not only seek a second term in office, but a third and fourth as well.
In fact, Obama can seek a second term regardless of whether the 22nd Amendment is repealed.
MRC's Double Standard on Presidential Farewells Topic: NewsBusters
In a Jan. 15 NewsBusters post (and Jan. 16 MRC CyberAlert item), Brent Baker takes issue with Chris Matthews' critique of President Bush's farewell address, calling it a "crass and petty rant" containing "cheap shots" in which Matthews "raged."
If Baker was really bothered "crass and petty rants" containing "cheap shots," he would use his powers as NewsBusters editor-at-large to tone down those traits in MRC's own writers.
A Jan. 15 post by P.J. Gladnick on MSNBC's plans to broadcast Obama's inauguration in theaters is one example. Gladnick writes that "MSNBC is also making sure you can see the source of Chris Matthews' leg tingle for free at the theaters," mocked " inauguration of The One," people "with the need to worship Barack Obama non-stop" and concludes:"Will MSNBC also be playing Handel's Messiah as background music at the movie theaters?"
A Jan. 16 post by Ken Shepherd is another. It references "latte liberal[s]," "The Obama leg-thrill network," and adds that "sitting next to Chris Matthews in a dark room watching Obama sounds a little sketchy to me."
As far as Baker's claim that "Democrats and Republicans have the class to allow a President to deliver his farewell address without having it immediately countered by a crass and petty rant from a political opponent trying to settle old scores while issuing cheap insults," he forgets how his boss, Brent Bozell, said goodbye to President Clinton in 2001.
As we detailed, Bozell hosted a $125-a-plate dinner for the purpose of gathering his conservative buddies to hurl abuse at the Clintons before they left office, claiming, "It's our way of celebrating the fumigation of Washington," and adding, "We have two days before we have to become compassionate." Bozell offered a mock invocation, a takeoff on the Lord's Prayer; one line was, "Her socialist agenda got runneth over." A CNSNews.com account of the dinner noted: "A bagpiper played Amazing Grace as Bozell, flanked by standing candelabras and arrangements of funeral flowers, began to eulogize the Clinton era. Beside him was an enlarged photo of the president surrounded by a mourning wreath."
Bozell also celebrated the election of Hillary Clinton as senator from New York, if only in anticipation of using her as a useful bogeyman: "We need fund-raising fodder. ... They left her behind for us."
If Bozell can't lead by example -- and his writers can't be bothered to check their elitist contempt of Obama -- they have forfeited any right to criticize behavior that they themselves have engaged in.
UPDATE: The petty rants continue: In a Jan. 18 post, Gladnick calls the inauguration "Barack Obama worship services" and refers to "the Obamessiah."
Speaking of Not Liking Debate ... Topic: NewsBusters
In a Jan. 16 NewsBusters post critiquing Fareed Zakaria's appearance on "The Daily Show," Tim Graham notes that "back in 2004, Zakaria was completely in [Jon] Stewart's corner as he attacked the CNN debate show Crossfire for 'hurting America' with its bickering," adding: "These men don't like debate shows. They like one-sided Bush-bashing shows with no rebuttals, just lots of loud liberal laughter, applause, and cheers."
That's an interesting observation coming from the employee of an organization whose TV appearances are largely limited to Fox News, where its representatives find their views unchallenged and even encouraged by their hosts, and where they are rarely subjected to anything remotely resembling "debate."
The Resident Know-Nothings At NewsBusters Topic: NewsBusters
Why oh why does NewsBusters allow people to post items about things they know nothing about?
Warner Todd Huston writes of the bankruptcy filing of the Minneapolis Star Tribune in a Jan. 15 post: "Many in the Minneapolis area call the paper the RedStarTribune for its often overbearing leftist point of view." Not only does Huston offer no evidence of this being true, describing the paper as "overbearing leftist" ignores its current ideological slant under which the bankruptcy was declared: The Star Tribune endorsed Republican Norm Coleman over Democrat Al Franken in the Minnesota Senate race, and its news coverage has been similarly pro-Coleman (and pro-Republican) and anti-Franken (and anti-Democrat).
Tom Blumer then follows up with a similarly ill-iniformed post: "As the once mighty continue to fall (the latest being Minneapolis Star Tribune), what will the history books say about the relationship between the perilous condition of most of print media outlets and the seven years or so many of them spent suffering from full-blown Bush Derangement Syndrome?" Not only does Blumer buy into the right-wing myth that liberal bias is the only possible explanation for the problems newspapers are currently facing (not to mention the fact that the Strib hasn't exactly been exhibiting "full-blown Bush Derangement Syndrome"), he ignores the actual facts of the Star Tribune bankruptcy, as outlined by an actual economist with expertise on the subject and no partisan ax to grind:
Avista Capital Partners says slumping revenue in a brutal climate for newspapers everywhere forced the bankruptcy of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune -- but media economist Robert Picard isn't buying it.
It wasn't the economy, but Avista's own business decisions that brought the Strib to bankruptcy, Picard argues.
"They're blaming the changes in the industry, they're blaming the economy, they're blaming the unions -- when clearly the blame belongs in New York with the managers of Avista," Picard told E&P today.
"This is a company that's still making a profit," he said. "They can't withstand (economic conditions) now because their debts are so high. It was almost all debt in the financing of the acquisition."
Any chance NewsBusters writers will do a little, you know, research on the media the next time they put fingers to keyboard? Naah -- it's so much easier ranting about the "liberal media," and they write for a place that thinks ranting about liberals equals "media criticism."