ABC's Sawyer Frets: Press Using 'Boxing Gloves' on Hillary? --2/29/2008
2. McCain: Disqualified at Birth? Latest Flaky NYT Hit on McCain
3. Only 24% Have Favorable View of NY Times, 44% Unfavorable
4. FNC's Fox & Friends: Global Cooling Erases All Warming
ABC discovered media bias Thursday morning as Good Morning America took up not liberal bias against conservatives but Hillary Clinton's complaint that the media are too tough on her and too soft on Barack Obama. Diane Sawyer fretted: "Have all of us in the media used boxing gloves on Clinton and kid gloves on Obama? Have we been unfair?" The segment featured a group of liberals talking about whether the press favored one liberal over another liberal and several leftist journalists were cited as proof as co-host Diane Sawyer continued the program's self flagellation over whether the media are biased in favor of Barack Obama and against Hillary Clinton.
The ABC anchor discussed the issue with Arianna Huffington, editor of the extremely liberal Huffington Post web page. But, in a perfect example of actual bias, the GMA host never mentioned either Huffington or her site's leftist affiliation. Instead, Sawyer worried about the Clinton campaign's charges that the media have been unfair. Co-host Robin Roberts teased the segment as a brave example of self examination: "The media. Too tough on Clinton? Not tough enough on Obama? We'll take up that debate." For more on the extreme liberalism of the Huffington Post, see a 2007 MRC study on the topic: www.mediaresearch.org
[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Thursday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
This type of introspection is not something that Good Morning America engages in when a Republican or conservative makes a charge of media bias. But, in reference to Clinton's public complaint about the press during Tuesday's debate, Sawyer wondered: "Is it possible that what she says is true?"
In fact, the entire discussion, which stretched over two segments, was a conversation by liberals and about liberals. In addition to Huffington, Sawyer read from a column by New York Times writer Paul Krugman in which he complained that statements "by the Clintons, no matter how innocuous, are treated as proof of evil intent." Sawyer also featured a clip of lefty comedian Jon Stewart.
ABC correspondent Chris Connelly spun press favoritism of Senator Obama as nothing more than Obama appealing "to the media's eternal thirst for the new and the now, while Clinton has been poured over for some 16 years." He did allow, in more than a slight understatement, that "during Bill Clinton's 1992 run, some felt the press used contrasting words and images to favor him over President Bush."
Long time ABC journalist Sam Donaldson also appeared in the second segment, along with Huffington. He saw the media's coverage as a way of making up for previous soft reporting on the Clintons. "I think there's been a feeling that the Clintons may have gotten away with a lot of stuff over a good number of years and we're not going to let her get away with something now if it deserves being recorded and talked about," Donaldson claimed.
In reality, many journalists have been both pro-Obama and pro-Clinton. Just last week, Sawyer herself soothingly suggested Clinton could still accomplish all her goals even without winning the White House. ABC reporter David Wright, during a February 20th segment for Nightline, rhapsodized that Obama rallies are like Springsteen concerts, but free. For more on Diane Sawyer's comments, see a February 25 CyberAlert posting on the subject: www.mrc.org
To read about journalist David Wright's pro-Obama Nightline piece, see the February 21 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
A transcript of the first February 28 segment, which aired at 7:10am, and a portion of the second, follow:
7am tease, DIANE SAWYER: And we turn the tables on ourselves. Have all of us in the media used boxing gloves on Clinton and kid gloves on Obama? Have we been unfair?
7:05, ROBERTS: But a little bit later, we're going to talk about ourselves. The media. Too tough on Clinton? Not tough enough on Obama? We'll take up that debate.
7:10am, DIANE SAWYER: We turn now to back to the race to '08 and Senator Hillary Clinton's accusation that the media have been tough on her while giving her rival, Senator Barack Obama, a free pass. Is it possible that what she says is true? Well, we asked Chris Connelly, who covers media and culture for ABC to take an objective look at the accusation by the Clinton campaign.
7:12, SAWYER: All right. Let's see what we have to say about ourselves. Joining us now from Washington is ABC's Sam Donaldson. And from Chicago, Arianna Huffington, editor in chief of the Huffington Post website. And it's great to have you both with us. Okay. Sam. True, not true? Media softer on Obama than on Clinton?
In just the latest flaky, negative story on McCain since he apparently clinched the GOP nomination, congressional reporter Carl Hulse reported a story on Wednesday on an apparent controversy over whether John McCain's birthplace (the Panama Canal Zone, where his Navy officer father was stationed in 1936) makes the Arizona Senator ineligible for the presidency. Article II of the Constitution declares that only a "natural-born citizen" can serve as President.
In "McCain's Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out," Hulse reported the McCain campaign is researching the question due to "mounting interest" and "Internet buzz." (Interestingly, most of that "buzz" seems to have originated not among liberals, but on right-wing and Constitution-fundamentalist Web sites that the Times would not normally acknowledge the existence of.)
This item, by the MRC's Clay Waters, was posted Thursday on the MRC's TimesWatch site: www.timeswatch.org
An excerpt from the February 28 article:
Mr. McCain's likely nomination as the Republican candidate for president and the happenstance of his birth in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 are reviving a musty debate that has surfaced periodically since the founders first set quill to parchment and declared that only a "natural-born citizen" can hold the nation's highest office.
Almost since those words were written in 1787 with scant explanation, their precise meaning has been the stuff of confusion, law school review articles, whisper campaigns and civics class debates over whether only those delivered on American soil can be truly natural born. To date, no American to take the presidential oath has had an official birthplace outside the 50 states.
"There are powerful arguments that Senator McCain or anyone else in this position is constitutionally qualified, but there is certainly no precedent," said Sarah H. Duggin, an associate professor of law at Catholic University who has studied the issue extensively. "It is not a slam-dunk situation."...
END of Excerpt
For the story in full: www.nytimes.com
Bottom line, Hulse found -- his birthplace most probably doesn't rule McCain out. It's a question of theoretical interest, but the Times' timing must be questioned in the wake of last Thursday's misfired hit piece on McCain and the lobbyist: Yet another blurry, negative story about McCain since he more or less clinched the Republican nomination.
It's no wonder the Times is losing the confidence of the public. The pollsters at Rasmussen Reports clocked the paper's approval rating at 24% (with 44% disapproval), numbers that make George W. Bush a conquering hero in comparison. (See item #3 below for more.)
Highlighting a new Rasmussen Reports poll in his "Grapevine" segment on Thursday night, FNC's Brit Hume reported how "fewer than one-quarter of the people taking part in a new survey have a favorable opinion of the New York Times -- and almost two-thirds think the paper deliberately set out to smear John McCain." Specifically, "just 24 percent of those surveyed approved of the Times" while "44 percent did not." As for last week's hit piece on McCain, Hume relayed that "66 percent said it was an attempt by the paper to hurt the Republican's campaign. Only 22 percent thought the Times was just reporting the news."
Discussing the poll on Thursday's O'Reilly Factor, former CBS News reporter Bernard Goldberg and Bill O'Reilly chuckled over how the New York Times has a lower approval rating than does President Bush.
The survey also confirmed, according to a posting on Rasmussen's Web site, that, no surprise, liberal like the paper a lot more than do conservatives: "By a 50% to 18% margin, liberal voters have a favorable opinion of the paper. By a 69% to 9%, conservative voters offer an unfavorable view. The newspaper earns favorable reviews from 44% of Democrats, 9% of Republicans, and 17% of those not affiliated with either major political party."
An excerpt from Rasmussen Report's "24% Have Favorable Opinion of New York Times," posted on February 27:
Just 24% of American voters have a favorable opinion of the New York Times. Forty-four percent (44%) have an unfavorable opinion and 31% are not sure. The paper's ratings are much like a candidate's and divide sharply along partisan and ideological lines.
By a 50% to 18% margin, liberal voters have a favorable opinion of the paper. By a 69% to 9%, conservative voters offer an unfavorable view. The newspaper earns favorable reviews from 44% of Democrats, 9% of Republicans, and 17% of those not affiliated with either major political story.
The Times recently became enmeshed in controversy over an article published concerning John McCain. Sixty-five percent (65%) of the nation's likely voters say they have followed that story at least somewhat closely.
Of those who followed the story, 66% believe it was an attempt by the paper to hurt the McCain campaign. Just 22% believe the Times was simply reporting the news. Republicans, by an 87% to 9% margin, believe the paper was trying to hurt McCain's chances of winning the White House. Democrats are evenly divided....
That's online at: www.rasmussenreports.com
With new data out of the earth's significant cooling, at least one morning show picked it up, predictably FNC's Fox and Friends. Co-host Brian Kilmeade noted Thursday that worldwide snow cover is the highest it has been in over forty years. Steve Doocy quoted a meteorologist in California who noted that the temperature has dropped by "a value large enough to erase nearly all the global warming recorded over the last 100 years" and "it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded up or down."
Alarmists argue that such a short term temperature change is insignificant compared to trends over the last century. However, they change their tune when temperatures are higher than normal for a day. After a few mild days in January 2007, Good Morning America anchor Diane Sawyer question if global warming wer the culprit. Today co-host Meredith Vieira went further questioning of we are "all gonna die."
[This item was adopted from the NewsBusters post by Justin McCarthy: newsbusters.org ]
The transcript from 8:31 AM EST on February 28:
STEVE DOOCY: Al Gore, this news for you. It is cold, not just in New York City, but, it's interesting. Over the last day or so, all four major global temperature tracking outlets have released data showing that temperatures have dropped significantly over the last year. So while there's all this hysteria about global warming. In fact, perhaps, we should be talking about global cooling.
-- Brent Baker