CBS Hypes Bush at "All-Time Low"; Public Rejects Cheney Obsession --2/28/2006
Newsweek on Abortion: "Hard Right" vs. "Pro-Abortion Rights"
3. ABC Laments Apathy, Lack of Anti-Iraq War Activity at Kent State
4. Tickets Now on Sale Online to the MRC's Annual "DisHonors Awards"
Though President Bush's approval rating, in a new CBS News poll released Monday night at 6:30pm EST, was just one point lower than where it stood in October -- and thus well within the poll's three-point margin of error, Bob Schieffer teased the CBS Evening News by declaring: "There is little to celebrate at the White House where public dissatisfaction, that began with the handling of Hurricane Katrina, has driven President Bush's approval ratings to an all-time low" of 34 percent. It stood at 35 percent in CBS's October 2005 survey. In the subsequent story, Jim Axelrod cited public disapproval of the port deal, declining approval for Bush's conduct of the war on terror and how only 37 percent say things in Iraq are going "well," -- "down nine points" from the fall, but only down one point from 2004. After Axelrod, Schieffer, in New Orleans to mark the six-month anniversary of Katrina, proceeded to recite some Katrina poll numbers.
Left unmentioned: How the poll-takers questioned many more Democrats than Republicans. A PDF posting of poll results lists 409 Democratic respondents versus 272 Republican respondents. CBS "weighted" the results to effectively count 289 Republicans versus 381 Democrats. And while in a couple of minutes of network air time you can hardly be expected to recite every poll finding, CBS managed to skip over several numbers which demonstrated the disconnect between the public and the national press corps. On "media coverage of Cheney hunting accident," for instance, the public overwhelmingly repudiated -- by three-to-one -- the media's obsession: 66 percent said the media devoted "too much time" compared to a piddling 22 percent who thought the press allocated the "right amount of time." Another nine percent, most likely a lot of journalists and the "angry left," believed it got "too little time." Also, by 51 to 47 percent, most "approve of Bush authorizing wiretaps to fight terrorism."
[This item was posted Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To add your comments, go to: newsbusters.org ]
Those surveyed were spilt 46-46 percent on whether "Cheney's explanation for delay in reporting the accident was" either "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory."
A transcript, from the February 27 CBS Evening News, which I created by correcting the closed-captioning against the video of what aired:
From Jackson Square in New Orleans, Bob Schieffer teased: "Good evening, I'm Bob Schieffer in New Orleans where the brave people of this city are managing to celebrate the first Mardi Gras since the hurricane that dealt them such a devastating blow. All this on a day when there is little to celebrate at the White House where public dissatisfaction, that began with the handling of Hurricane Katrina, has driven President Bush's approval ratings to an all-time low."
Schieffer led his newscast by piling on the bad news and employing the "domestic spying" spin terminology: "It has been nearly six months since President Bush stood in this square and made a promise to rebuild this city which had been torn apart by the worst hurricane in American history. But so much has happened since that day. The war in Iraq turned worse, there was a dispute over domestic spying, a dubious deal to allow an Arab company to operate key American ports and somehow, the effort to rebuild New Orleans, has become more than anything an example of government bumbling.
Axelrod, with poll numbers on screen: "Well, Bob, according to that latest CBS News poll, 70 percent of Americans disapprove of a deal that would allow Dubai Ports World to operate ports in half a dozen American cities. And that was before the latest revolution, that is that the Coast Guard had had questions about the deal. An undated Coast Guard intelligence assessment was made public today that said 'there were too many intelligence gaps' to fully assess any threat the deal might pose. This latest news is no doubt troubling to a President who assured Americans there was no security risk from the deal. On the bigger picture, the approval rating for Mr. Bush's handling of the war on terror, his signature issue since the 9/11 attacks, has gone down nine points in tonight's CBS News poll [43 percent from 52 percent in January] with both Americans in general and within the Republican Party [to 78 percent from 87 percent amongst Republicans]. And the fall-off in support from Republicans is driving his all-time low approval rating. Support from his own party has dropped eleven points in the last month [to 72 percent from 83 percent in January amongst Republicans].
The most transparently obvious way of displaying liberal bias is to take an issue like an abortion, and suggest the conservative side is extreme, while describing the liberal, abortion-on-demand side without a label, as reasonable, almost non-ideological. Newsweek's that obvious in this week's issue, carrying the headline: "Reality Check for 'Roe'; With the hard right hoping for reversal, the black-and-white war over abortion finds itself immersed in shades of gray." But where is the "hard left" that's so extreme they would abort a baby that was mistakenly born alive?
For the article in the March 6 edition of Newsweek: www.msnbc.msn.com
[This item, by the MRC's Tim Graham, was posted Monday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To share your comments, go to: newsbusters.org ]
Even as they claim the abortion debate is more ambiguous than either side would like, reporters Evan Thomas and Martha Brant still displayed their labeling imbalance (labels in ALL CAPS):
There's more labeling imbalance, as "conservative legal strategists" suggest South Dakota's new anti-abortion law won't win over the Supreme Court, while:
Even at the story's end, as a "liberal" label surfaces, it's not directed at the abortion advocates, who are merely "old-line" (not "hard-line") believers:
It may be that leftist media-watch groups will complain about this article, too, especially the first line:
You can just imagine the outrage over an "objective" publication like Newsweek using the word "pro-life" and using "partial-birth abortion" without the perennial dismissive modifiers, or even quotation marks. (In fact, that may have spurred the headline writers to go for the "hard right" label.) But it's rather clear as you read through the piece that the writers are rooting for the liberal side, although I'm guessing they felt that this was a pretty tough piece for the "pro-choice" side (they use that old label, too).
You might not want to read the way the abortion clinics try to persuade their clients they're not bad people as they consent to their child's destruction:
Brent Bozell wrote that up a while back when it was celebrated in Glamour magazine: www.mrc.org
Comments from left-wing students dominated Morrell's piece, such as one who charged: "It's an act of modern day imperialism, where America is going to other countries and moving, trying to expand its borders to take over other countries and use them for economic resources." Morrell even found a vet, who "fought in Iraq and Afghanistan," who became "totally disillusioned." The vet-turned-student declared: "I think it's an unjust war." Morrell touted how "the 25 year-old enrolled at Kent State, hoping he could reinvigorate its anti-war movement," but he disappointingly found only apathy.
Anchor Dan Harris, over on-screen numbers from an ABC News/Washington Post poll, set up the February 26 World News Tonight piece:
Geoff Morrell began, over scenes of the Northeastern Ohio campus: "Bitterly cold and covered in snow, Kent State seems a world away from Baghdad. Most students here, and on campuses across the country, are too busy studying, socializing -- even sleeping, to worry much about the war in Iraq."
Tickets are on sale online for the MRC's annual "DisHonors Awards." This year they will be held Thursday, March 30 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, DC. Seats are $250.00 each. Last year we ended up oversold, and though we've moved to a bigger venue this year to accommodate a larger crowd, it would be wise to buy soon.
To place a credit card order via either PayPal or the MRC's own credit card processing system, go to: www.mediaresearch.org
That page also has a order for you can print out and then mail in, as well as the name, phone number and e-mail address for questions.
At each annual gala, we mockingly award the worst reporting of the year and then have a conservative leader accept the award in jest. Cal Thomas will again generously serve as Master of Ceremonies and this year we will feature a "Tribute to the American Military."
Past award galas have featured a who's who of conservative opinion leaders, from Ann Coulter to Laura Ingraham to Sean Hannity. This year we'll have Lawrence Kudlow, Tony Blankley and Mark Levin serving as award presenters. But we always have surprise participants, such as those who accept the awards. Two years ago Rush Limbaugh popped in. The year before, attendees were treated to the Charlie Daniels Band.
But the best reason to attend is to watch the videos of the nominated quotes and enjoy making fun of the media's misdirected left-wing reporting.
This year's award categories: Send Bush to Abu Ghraib Award Slam Uncle Sam Award Aaron Brown Memorial Award for the Stupidest Analysis Cindy Sheehan Media Hero Award The I'm Not a Geopolitical Genius But I Play One on TV Award
If you didn't attend last year, this is what you missed:
Cal Thomas, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Neal Boortz, Zell Miller and T. Boone Pickens highlighted the presentations and acceptances of MRC's "2005 DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2004," which were presented on Thursday night, April 21, before an audience of more than 950 -- the MRC's largest crowd ever -- packed into the Grand Ballroom of the J.W. Marriott in Washington, D.C.
Following the presentation of the DisHonors Awards videos in five categories, a look at the Best of the Worst of Dan Rather and the audience picking the Quote of the Year, we presented a 12-minute video tribute to the Swift Boat Vets and POWs for Truth. MRC President L. Brent Bozell then honored a founder of the group, John O'Neill, with the MRC's Conservative of the Year Award.
DisHonors Awards winners were selected by a distinguished panel of 16 leading media observers, including Rush Limbaugh, who served as judges.
Cal Thomas, a syndicated columnist and host of FNC's After Hours with Cal Thomas, served as Master of Ceremonies. Sean Hannity, co-host of FNC's Hannity & Colmes and a national radio talk show host, was the first presenter of nominee videos and announcement of the winner, followed by author Ann Coulter and then Atlanta-based nationally-syndicated radio talk show host Neal Boortz.
In place of the journalist who won each award, a conservative accepted it in jest. Those standing in for the winners: Colin McNickle of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the target of Teresa Heinz Kerry's "shove it" remark; renowned businessman T. Boone Pickens; national radio talk show host Janet Parshall; Midge Decter, author and conservative intellectual; and former U.S. Senator Zell Miller.
The evening began with welcoming remarks from Cal Thomas, an invocation by Reverend Vincent Rigdon and the Pledge of Allegiance led by MRC Trustee Dick Eckburg.
After the second award category, we paid tribute to Reed Irvine, the founder of Accuracy in Media who passed away last year, and then Ann Coulter narrated a video review of Dan Rather's worst bias. Later, Cal Thomas urged the audience to put Peter Jennings in their prayers. To introduce acceptor Colin McNickle, attendees watched videos of Teresa Heinz Kerry's "shove it" attack of him and, leading into Zell Miller, attendees were treated to video of the Miller/Chris Matthews "duel" exchange from MSNBC's Republican convention coverage.
END Reprint of Summary of last year's event
To watch RealPlayer video of all of last year's nominated quotes and of the award presentations by Hannity, Coulter and Boortz, check: www.mediaresearch.org
-- Brent Baker