Archive for media bias – Page 11

Why I didn't watch the Sunday talk shows today


yell at tv

I made the mistake of turning on "Meet the Press" today. I lasted about seven minutes before screaming at the Tee Vee Machine and turning it off. The entire seven minutes was similar to what happened here: “Does this open the president up for criticism? Will critics have new ammo? Well, will they, huh? Huh?” #LibrulMediaMyAss

All I heard was Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi, criticism of the president over the Boston bombings, and then more hyperventilating about anything else that ever existed within the vast political scope of all things Obama. BAD Obama. FAILURE Obama. INEPT Obama. LEAD FROM BEHIND Obama. BLAME Obama.

I'm fine with healthy, constructive criticism, but this is out of control. There is no more news. News died when it was swept into the greedy, self-serving world of commercialization. What we have now is any excuse to create controversy, to even create a non-existent news story, in order to ramp up the ratings.

What better way for corporate-owned media to achieve higher Nielsens for their beloved corporate sponsors than to bash Obama, ignite passions, beat the drums for war, and scare viewers so that they'll glue themselves to the screen to catch the next BIG, SCARY CHYRON!

chyron syria cnn

chyron syria abc

But back to the Benghazi Noise Machine. Today, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) claimed that President Obama's administration is threatening and intimidating witnesses, but he couldn't even back up his claim:

But hey, that's okay, people watched, some pointed and laughed, and some even mistook his warped opinion for fact. Key word: Watched. What more could a news program hope for? Oh wait, that was Fox, not news.

I previously posted a video of a segment in which Chris Hayes said this on his "All In" show:

“Question mark.” You know, there is this thing we do in cable news. Sometimes magazines do it too. You want to grab someone’s attention but the thing you want to say is just too irresponsible to get away with or stand behind. So, for example, maybe I want to say, in discussing Lindsey Graham’s demagoguery in constitutional due process, “Lindsey Graham, comma, Constitution hater.” So no, instead what we would say is, “Lindsay Graham, Constitution hater?” Since you are asking a question, you don’t have to stand behind what you are asserting.

And then, as if on cue, MSNBC displayed a chyron only a few minutes ago that read, "Lame duck already?" Since they asked, allow me to respond: "Idiotic question chyron?" Question mark?

chyron blitzer dept of jihad

chyron fox question scott brown


"Does this open the president up for criticism? Will critics have new ammo? Well, will they, huh? Huh?" #LibrulMediaMyAss


bias liberal media my ass smaller

When I opened my Los Angeles Times this morning, I saw an article about how the Boston bombing is affecting policy on student visas. The Times is reporting that Homeland Security will be tightening oversight for foreign students entering the U.S.

One of the friends, Azamat Tazhayakov, 19, was allowed to reenter the U.S. on a student visa even though he was no longer attending the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev also studied.

Congressional Republicans have questioned how the government has dealt with visa security issues. In a three-page letter this week, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for details about student visas and how Tazhayakov was able to reenter the U.S.

In a statement this week, the Homeland Security Department said that Tazhayakov entered the United States on Jan. 20 using a student visa with an expiration date of Aug. 30. Customs, which is part of Homeland Security, had not been notified that Tazhayakov had left school on Jan. 4, so he was permitted entry.

An hour later I was watching MSNBC, and the anchor substituting for Alex Witt was asking her guests about this very topic. And by "asking her guests" I mean falling all over herself to get them to slam President Obama. Here is how she posed her questions (paraphrased, but not all that much):

"Does this open the president up for criticism? Will President Obama be under fire for this? Will his critics have new ammo? Well, will they, huh? Huh?"

Okay, I made up that last question. Here is how it sounded to me:

Ooo! THIS is exactly what I needed to create some controversy, because so far, this show has been really dull. If ratings dip while I'm covering for Alex, I'm toast!

SO. Guests! WTF is up with Obama? Shouldn't he be in a big ol' pot of hot water for this? Isn't the bombing all his fault anyway? Well, isn't it? Let's make this into more of a story, stat! Is his goose finally cooked? Will you go on the record saying that his presidency a big fat epic FAIL now? Boyoboy was he negligent, right? RIGHT?

I cannot WAIT to hear your answers to my leading questions! GO!

BENGHAZI! Oh, sorry, that just slipped out.

1. Note to Ms. SubbingForAlex: You must be more than aware that nobody needs to encourage anyone to clobber the president. He has been barraged by smears since he announced his run back in 2007. He's been blamed for everything from Bush's recession to personal bad hair days since forever. So stirring that pot is overkill to say the least.

2. What happened to objectivity in the media? Oh, sorry, did I say "objectivity"? My bad.

3. Not everything has to be hyped up to entertain viewers. Sweartogod.

4. Did you, or anyone, ask questions like those when GW Bush was in office and lied us into a fraudulent war?

Now, I'm sure this host is a very nice person, professional, and just trying to do her job by keeping the conversation interesting and lively, but come on.

By the way, in their statement, part of what the Homeland Security Department said was, "At the time of reentry there was no derogatory information that suggested this individual posed a national security or public safety threat." I didn't hear that mentioned.


Another Sunday. More outrage to report.


ignoring you talk

In what seems like another lifetime ago, our old pal and brilliant colleague Cliff Schecter used to write a Friday “Cliff’s Corner” post at AMERICAblog that always started out with, “Another week. More preposterousness to report.”

As I said in a previous post, I am tempted to take it from there on a weekly basis: Another Sunday. More outrage to report. I can’t and won’t watch all the Sunday talk shows, and sometimes I refuse to watch any of them. However, today I caught some of “This Week” and a few minutes of the"Meet the Press" panel.

Big mistake on my part.

I listened as the commentators praised George W. Bush for (paraphrasing) being a terrible president but a (not paraphrasing) "good man." A good man? Really? To repeat, a "good" man would not have:

  • Ignored clear warnings in a memo about the impending 9/11 terrorist attacks, resulting in the single largest loss of life from a foreign attack on American soil
  • Tortured people
  • Lied us into a fraudulent war or invaded a country that never attacked us
  • Embraced people like Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, FEMA director Mike Heckuva Job Brownie, Scooter Libby, Alberto Gonzalez, John Yoo, Jay Bybee, to name a few.
  • Joked about WMDs while troops were dying in his illegal war
  • Ignored Katrina victims
  • Lied about the link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda

I left out a few items from the other post because some of his policies were not due to his being an unethical guy, but because he is a Republican and disagrees with Democratic positions. I can't hold that against him personally; that doesn't necessarily make him a "good" or "bad" man. Torture, on the other hand...

Moving on. I then wasted minutes of my day that I'll never get back watching as most members of the panels lit into President Obama and their criticisms were virtually unchallenged. That despite the inaccuracies and misinformation being thrown around. And their TV audience was, again, being fed propaganda and opinion as if it were fact.

The most positive-- come to think of it, the only positive-- thing that was said about the president was that he killed it last night at the White House Correspondents' Dinner and should think about a career in stand-up comedy.

To recap, Bush is a "good man," President Obama is a good comic.

Nearly every week I post about media bias and how Sunday after Sunday, Republican talk show guests (often conservative) outnumber Democratic ones, and how real Progressives are rarely represented at all. Today the split was more even, but there were still very, very few authentically liberal liberals. Maybe one.

And week after week, propaganda and lies are disseminated, and Americans who rely on these shows receive a limited, and often biased, view of current events.

bias liberal media my ass smaller


Toilet Paper Will Be More Credible Than the Chicago Tribune Newspapers if Kochs Buy Them



As I posted the other day, the Koch brothers are trying to take control of what we see, hear, and read in the Los Angeles Times and about seven other media outlets. They actually said that they want to “make sure our voice is being heard” and that “they see the conservative voice as not being well represented.” I wish I were kidding.

I've written about this a couple of times, and now my pal Mark Karlin has his own piece about it in Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout:

The creditors apparently want to sell the unprofitable newspapers but keep the lucrative television stations, radio stations, real estate and other profitable and potentially profitable divisions of the Tribune Company. [...]

Harold Meyerson writes in the Washington Post a virtual R.I.P. to the Los Angeles Times, in which he laments:

... Their purchase offer won’t be buttressed by a record of involvement in or commitment to journalism on their part. But it will come complete with a commitment to journalism as a branch of right-wing ideology….

The bankers’ men on the Tribune board likely view the sale of the papers as a financial transaction, pure and simple. But Times readers (and the Koch brothers themselves) would view a sale to the Kochs as a political transaction first and foremost, turning L.A.’s metropolitan daily into a right-wing mouthpiece whose commitment to empirical journalism would be unproven at best. A newspaper isn’t just a business; it’s also a civic trust. [...]

Indeed, the sale isn't final. In fact, negotiations are in the hush-hush/leak-leak stage. [...]

Furthermore, like the News World Media Development (a Unification Church affiliate) corporation-owned Washington Times and the Murdoch-owned New York Post, the Kochs can afford to run the papers at a loss in order to achieve their political goals through public influence. [...]

But there will be no question that with at least four major US papers potentially under the control of the Kochs, the national discourse will move even further to the right. And the Kochs can absorb the further financial losses incurred by increased cancelled subscriptions and the likely continued hemorrhaging of advertising dollars. Think of it as their "Americans for Prosperity" of the Fourth Estate. [...]

Just look what Americans for Prosperity and the recently shaken-up FreedomWorks accomplished: They put the House of Representatives under the control of a radical posse of Tea Party zealots in 2010, who block any legislation that can move the United States forward. Uh, that's about as big a return on investment as one can get – and the Kochs got it.

Please read the entire post here.