BiasAlerts

On Thursday, MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer reported on Meghan McCain calling Joe the Plumber a "dumb ass" for his views on homosexuality and remarked: "Is that name calling? Or, you know, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and looks like a duck. Just asking, folks. I'm just asking." [audio available here ] In the brief report, during the 2:00PM ET hour, Brewer explained: Let's go to the war of words between Meghan McCain and the man known as Joe the Plumber. In a recent interview, the daughter of the former GOP presidential contender railed against... continue reading
As the media mark the tenth anniversary of the death of John F. Kennedy Jr., it's worth recalling the overwrought coverage of ten years ago. Here is an op-ed I wrote (of which the MRC's Rich Noyes reminded me) originally published in Human Events on August 6, 1999 detailing the media elite's reaction to Kennedy's demise . The sudden death at too early an age of the only son of an assassinated President is certainly a major news story, but the television networks wouldn't leave it at a few stories reviewing the good works of John F. Kennedy's Jr.'s life... continue reading
At the top of Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith marked the ten-year anniversary of the death of JFK Jr. by declaring: "He was such an icon in the city [New York], and we're going to remember JFK Jr. a little bit later on this morning." In the later segment, Smith described Kennedy as "a paparazzi magnet" who was "crowned the sexiest man alive." Smith went on to exclaim: "Now ten years after his tragic death, the public fascination continues. People magazine has just released these never before seen photos." In addition to touting Kennedy's tabloid popularity, Smith alluded... continue reading
ABC's Chris Cuomo and Claire Shipman on Thursday marked the tenth anniversary of the death of " the prince of Camelot ," John F. Kennedy Jr., lamenting the loss of such strong presidential talent. Reporter Claire Shipman mournfully proclaimed that JFK Jr.'s "very existence had somehow come to represent a critical link to our fairy tale past . And always, always the possibility of another chapter." [audio available here ] And yet, this seems to be a case of selective anniversary journalism. July 18, 2009 will be the 40 th anniversary of the death of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick,... continue reading
The White House's decision to offer interviews with the President to the medical doctors who are correspondents for ABC, CBS and NBC paid off Wednesday night with stories that embraced the assumption health care must be reformed; and interviews on CBS and NBC which put Obama's efforts in the best light. Ironically, ABC's Dr. Tim Johnson, a long-time advocate for government-directed universal coverage , didn't presume Obama's prescription is benign. Anchor Katie Couric led the CBS Evening News by making the underlining case for Obama's view that government intervention is needed: They've been talking about it for decades. President Obama... continue reading
Leave it to Chris Matthews, a former speechwriter to Jimmy Carter, to actually commemorate the 30th anniversary of the former president's infamous "malaise" speech. On Wednesday's Hardball, Matthews invited on his former bosses from the Carter White House, former speechwriter and now New Yorker senior editor Hendrick Hertzberg and former aide Gerald Rafshoon to mark the event and claim that Carter was vindicated by history as Matthews proudly asserted Carter was "Dead on," about "putting on a sweater, lowering the thermostat," to solve the energy crisis. And Hertzberg did Matthews one better by proclaiming Carter a "prophet." CHRIS MATTHEWS: Rick... continue reading
ABC's Brian Ross on Wednesday investigated a subject that has been skipped by CBS and NBC's morning shows, the more than $1 million spent by the Social Security Administration for its employees to attend lavish retreats, complete with a motivational dance company performing for the government bureaucrats. Host Chris Cuomo asserted that Social Security may be "on the brink of financial ruin. But, you would never know it from a recent luxurious retreat paid for by your tax dollars." Good Morning America's Ross, who has spend much of 2009 delving into whether or not Wall Street executives should fly on... continue reading
NPR's Nina Totenberg, on Monday's Charlie Rose, told the PBS host that Supreme Court nominee Sonya Sotomayor actually has "a pretty conservative record." Totenberg claimed Sotomayor's record is "very much in the mainstream," and that "you could say that she's more conservative than some members of the Supreme Court, including Justice Scalia, perhaps." Of course Judge Sotomayor's decision to uphold the New Haven firefighter case, Ricci v. DeStefano, which was overruled by the High Court this May, and whose majority included all four of the "conservative" justices, clearly illustrates that Sotomayor is in no way, shape, or form a conservative... continue reading
Two months ago, as President Obama was contemplating a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter, many in the media elite - particularly NBC News reporters and anchors - sycophantically touted Obama's credentials as a constitutional law professor as evidence of his deep experience when it came to the judiciary. At Tuesday's hearing, however, Obama's pick for the Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, explicitly repudiated Obama's belief that judging should be based on "empathy" or "the heart." Sotomayor told senators: "I don't, wouldn't, approach the issue of judging in the way the President does." None of the broadcast networks juxtaposed... continue reading
Reporting on Sonia Sotomayor responding to questions about her "wise Latina" comments during Tuesday's confirmation hearing, CBS's Wyatt Andrews glossed over the multiple times she made the remark: "What did she mean in her 2001 speech to Hispanic law students at the University of California that "a wise Latina woman...would reach a better conclusion than a white male?" In addition to the Evening News story, Andrews similarly reported on Wednesday's Early Show: "She said it in a speech to a mostly Hispanic audience at the University of California in 2001." In reality, Sotomayor made some version of that controversial statement... continue reading