BiasAlerts

The Washington Post and New York Times published similar Supreme Court "analysis" pieces on their front pages Wednesday offering the theme that the court under Chief Justice John Roberts is moving boldly to the right, and the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor will have no effect on this bold shift. It sounded like two newspapers trying to cool down the controversy over judicial liberalism as the Sotomayor hearings approach. The Post headline was "Term Saw High Court Move to the Right: Roberts-Led March Likely to Continue." Reporter Robert Barnes argued: The court's term avoided the blockbuster decisions that at one point... continue reading
The New York Times' lead editorial Wednesday proudly flew the liberal flag, calling the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Ricci v. DeStefano (aka the New Haven firefighter case) "a blow to diversity in the American workplace." The case made news because Obama's Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, as part of a three-judge appeals court panel, had curtly dismissed the discrimination claim of white firefighter Frank Ricci. The Supreme Court overturned ruled the New Haven Fire Department had been wrong to throw out the results of a promotion exam after black firefighters did poorly on it, only white and Hispanic firefighters... continue reading
ABC medical expert Dr. Tim Johnson, a fervent fan of universal health care, actually talked to the other side on Wednesday, featuring Newt Gingrich for what an onscreen graphic labeled a "debate" on the merits of a government-run program . It might seem odd for the network to tag a segment of a conservative talking to one of its journalists as a debate, but Johnson is certainly a partisan on this issue. On June 24, he participated in ABC's White House-based, primetime town hall forum on the subject. Responding to criticism of the event from the Republican National Committee, ABC... continue reading
"Another case of Sarah Palin derangement syndrome has reared its ugly head," FNC's Bret Baier announced Tuesday night in citing Todd Purdum's lengthy piece in the August issue of Vanity Fair magazine, " It Came from Wasilla ." Purdum, a New York Times reporter for 23 years until leaving the paper in 2006, is married to ex-Clinton White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers. In the "Grapevine" segment, Baier recounted how Purdum was appalled by "a public official who often seems proud of what she does not know is not only accepted but applauded," quoted "an anonymous friend of presidential... continue reading
On Monday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Lara Logan relayed to viewers concerns that U.S. troops may be pulling back too quickly for the sake of security in some parts of Iraq. As Logan filed a report about the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Mosul, as part of the security arrangement supported by the Iraqi government, the CBS News correspondent reported that some Iraqi military officers would have preferred U.S. troops stay a while longer to help in the fight against al-Qaeda. After quoting Iraqi civilians who voiced their beliefs that things would improve after American troops left, Logan continued: "But... continue reading
Following up on Monday's Supreme Court ruling in favor of New Haven firefighters who were denied promotion after no black applicants passed a written exam, ABC's Bob Woodruff on Tuesday's Good Morning America approached the decision from a liberal perspective, wondering if "the ruling really make future workplace discrimination harder to prove" - as opposed to wondering whether the ruling will protect workers from discriminatory tactics from employers seeking to achieve nebulous goals such as workplace "diversity." Woodruff also asked correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg whether the ruling could "tarnish" the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who was part... continue reading
In the midst of pretty balanced ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscast stories on the Ricci reverse discrimination case involving New Haven firefighters, who were victorious, one quibble: CBS's Wyatt Andrews framed the ruling as issued by the Supreme Court's "conservative" justices and opposed not by liberals but by "civil rights leaders," as if the majority of justices who ruled against the racial discrimination were not advancing civil rights. Andrews announced that "in a close 5 to 4 decision, the court's swing vote, Anthony Kennedy, sided with conservatives," before he set up a soundbite from a representative of the NAACP:... continue reading
During breaking news coverage of the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of the New Haven firefighters who accused their city of reverse discrimination, CNN's Jeffrey Toobin on Monday's Newsroom labeled Justice Anthony Kennedy and the other four justices in the majority as "conservative," but had no labels for the Court's liberals. And Toobin assured viewers that it would be "tough" to describe Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, whose federal appeals court decision was overturned today, as "out of step" because "her views are clearly in-step with four justices on the Court, including the justice she will be replacing." When news... continue reading
Chris Matthews, on his syndicated The Chris Matthews Show, over the weekend, wondered if the Mark Sanford scandal will make the GOP a more tolerant party as he asked his panel: "Have Republicans finally embarrassed themselves out of calling themselves the family values party?" His guest panel, for the most part, agreed with the premise as Dan Rather opined: "The Republican Party was already in the process of trying to make a bigger tent with more tolerance. This will, in some ways, help that movement." The New York Times' Helen Cooper admonished: "I think the one thing the Republican Party... continue reading
MSNBC's Carlos Watson on Monday provided a friendly forum for New York Times opinion writer Charles Blow to link red states and social conservatism with the hypocrisy of sex scandal-ridden politicians like South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. In his June 26 column, Blow attacked right-leaning voters, " And this kind of hypocrisy isn't confined to the politicians. It permeates the electorate. " Talking with Blow on MSNBC Live, Watson cited a questionable study finding the highest rates of online pornography correlate with Republican states. The cable host highlighted this connection and Census data finding that eight of the ten states... continue reading