2. WashPost Columnist Trashes Gumbel's "Inane" Olympics Racial Rant
3. Washington Examiner "Face to Face" Displays Face of CyberAlert
4. Tickets Now on Sale Online to the MRC's Annual "DisHonors Awards"
All the broadcast network evening newscasts on Thursday led with fears of "civil war" in Iraq, a topic of much cable focus too during the day, but unlike ABC and NBC, the CBS Evening News decided to highlight a slam at the Bush administration from a liberal hero, crusading anti-war Democratic Congressman John Murtha. After presenting the administration's view that Iraq is not falling into civil war, CBS White House correspondent Jim Axelrod showcased how, over still shots of Murtha, in uniform, getting a medal and in Iraq: "Democratic Congressman John Murtha, a former Marine colonel who's among the most outspoken critics of the war, says the administration is misjudging." Viewers then saw a soundbite from Murtha: "It's not going to get better. They've been overly optimistic. This is a civil war where two participants are fighting with each other trying to win supremacy, and our troops are caught in between."
[This item was posted Thursday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To post your comments, go to: newsbusters.org ]
The February 23 CBS Evening News led with Kimberly Dozier in Iraq on the tense situation there, followed by Jim Axelrod on the domestic take on the situation. Picking up Axelrod mid-way through his story:
The CBS Evening News with Bob Schieffer has previously stood up for Murtha. A November 21 CyberAlert item, "CBS Portrays Murtha as Victim of Unfair Attacks on His Patriotism," began:
For more, see: www.mediaresearch.org
For the rest, go to:
In Friday's paper, Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise took apart Bryant Gumbel's racial trash-talking about the Winter Olympics. As recounted in the February 16 CyberAlert, Gumbel couldn't resist taking a racial shot at the Republican Party in a pre-Winter Olympic games commentary at the end of the February 7 edition of his Real Sports magazine show on HBO. The former NBC and CBS morning news host concluded by telling viewers that as for the Winter Olympic games, "count me among those who don't like 'em and won't watch 'em." He condescendingly suggested viewers "try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention."
For the text of the entire commentary, as well as video of it in both Real and Windows Media formats, go to: www.mediaresearch.org
Wise began by noting that in sports TV, Gumbel was a racial pioneer in a pretty white sportscasting bastion, much like speed skater Shani Davis or bobsledder Vonetta Flowers, and then followed up:
Gumbel has a right not to like the Winter Olympics. He can trash curlers, lugers and snowboard-crossers all he wants. But who made him arbiter of all things culturally diverse? Superimposing your own idea of diversity upon athletes from 80 different nations, essentially equating diversity with only race, is just inane.
Of those 80 nations, eight are Asian. There is not a paucity of Japanese, Chinese and Koreans at the 20th Winter Games. Or don't Asian nations represent diversity to Gumbel? Let's not be so focused on the disguise that race becomes a mask. Just because Gumbel doesn't see the ethnicity and diversity he wants to see here does not mean it does not exist. Have you ever met someone from Azerbaijan, a country represented in figure skating? In the world community, Azerbaijan is a minority.
Moreover, Gumbel's implication is that the Games are not worth watching because of the abundance of, well, white people.
Never mind that if Bob Costas, who is anchoring NBC's prime-time coverage from Turin, said he no longer watched the NBA because it was "too black," he would be forced to apologize to keep his job. And that might not even work....
Gumbel should also know: Eight non-white Americans in 2002 helped the United States to its greatest medal haul ever (34). At least 23 of the 211-member U.S. team in Turin have Hispanic or non-white backgrounds. That is nearly four times the number on the U.S. teams that competed in 1998 in Nagano and 1994 in Lillehammer.
If his point is that different races and ethnicities are not here because of the exclusionary culture of the Games, that's also myopic. The Winter Olympics are exclusionary based on geography more than race. This is going to sound crazy, but most sub-Saharan countries I know don't have snow! It is why the crowd at each Winter Games' Opening Ceremonies goes berserk when the lone cross-country skier from Ethiopia with a delegation of, uh, two, marches into the stadium. It's why the Jamaican bobsledders became a Disney movie. There are no ski slopes in Africa. There are no tunnels of ice in the Caribbean. It is amazing they qualified and came.
There are not a lot of African-Americans at the Winter Olympics, acknowledged. Access to these sports in an economic and a societal context is a real dilemma, especially in urban America. That's the point. For every kid tethered to the idea that merely basketball and football are his athletic ticket to glory, along comes a guy from the South side of Chicago to put on some ice skates and prove otherwise....
You don't have to like the Winter Games. But Asian, Hispanic or from Azerbaijan, Bryant Gumbel should at least embrace diversity in all its forms.
END of Excerpt
For Wise's analysis in full: www.washingtonpost.com
Ever wonder what CyberAlert Editor Brent Baker (that would be me) looks like from about a foot away from the side of his (my) head? Now you can find out, thanks to the Washington Examiner, which on Thursday printed a nearly full page high color picture of my head. It accompanied a "Face to Face" feature between myself and David Brock of Media Matters for America. The topic: "Press coverage of Vice President Dick Cheney's ill-fated hunting accident."
To see the picture in the February 23 Washington Examiner, a free daily tabloid, follow these steps to access the page in PDF format. First, go to: ee.dcexaminer.com
Second, from the "Current Edition" drop down menu (at the top of the PDF frame area), select: "Feb 23rd, 2006." Third, from the page numbering drop down box, on the same line as the date drop down menu, pick "18-opinion."
The questions Brock and I answered:
# "Why do you think the White House press corps was upset about the White House's press strategy with regards to Vice President Dick Cheney's accidental shooting of Harry Whittington?"
# "What do you make of the vice president's decision to empower a private citizen -- ranch owner Katharine Armstrong -- to act as the vice president's spokeswoman?"
# "What did this episode reveal about the press? About the vice president?"
For the text of the feature, sans photos: www.dcexaminer.com
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. New, lower price: Seats are now $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