2. Do You Have a Bad-News Bias If Your Iraq Book Is Titled 'Fiasco'?
3. The View's Star Jones: Nearly Ten Years of Liberal Advocacy
4. "Top Ten Things Overheard Backstage at 'The View'"
[This item, by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth, was posted Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
For the Media Reality Check study released on Tuesday, "The 'Worst' of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann: 3rd Place Cable Host Uses 'Worst in the World!' Segment to Savage Conservatives & His Competitors," go to: www.mrc.org
As Olbermann vaguely described the MRC's "Worst Person" study, he omitted the central finding that Olbermann's attacks on conservatives outnumbered attacks on liberals by a staggering 174 to 23 margin, or more than 8 to 1. Instead, he argued that "only" 174 out of 600 targets were conservative, refusing to reveal that a mere 23 were liberal, and, employing his own brand of loopy logic, argued that because 71 percent of the nominees were not conservative, that the study proves the segment is "apolitical."
But just 20 minutes after his insistence that Worst Person is "apolitical," Olbermann delivered an all-conservative lineup when he recited the day's Worst Person nominees, including conservative radio host Glenn Beck, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, and, as "Worst Person in the World," the MRC's Brent Bozell.
After tagging the Media Research Center, for a second time, as a "rabid right spin machine" (though he twice misidentified the MRC as the "Media Research Council"), Olbermann relayed that he had received "impotent emails that make everybody here laugh," and again insisted that, regarding WMD in Iraq, "there weren't any." He also attacked Senator Rick Santorum's integrity and branded those who believe him as "sheep." Olbermann: "There weren't any, Rick Santorum tried to pretend there were, and if you believed him, you may actually be a sheep. Thanks for writing!"
Below are transcripts of relevant portions from the Wednesday, June 28 Countdown show:
# Olbermann, at 8:28pm: "Here are Countdown's 'Top Three Newsmakers' of this day. Number three, the rabid right-wing spin group, the Media Research Center, which studied our 'Worst Persons in the World' segment for the last year and discovered that of approximately 600 nominees, only 174 of them were conservative. That means roughly 71 percent of the Worsts are not conservative. I'd like to thank the MRC for confirming my point that the segment is apolitical."
# Olbermann, during the Worst Person segment: "But the winner, Brent Bozell. Red Beard. Again. From the rabid right spin machine, the Media Research Council. He has targeted this show now for his latest 'MRC Action Alert.' You know, sending us impotent emails that make everybody here laugh. Our inbox now has literally dozens of them demanding that we, quote, 'tell the truth about the WMD that were found in Iraq.' Okay, we'll do it again. There weren't any, Rick Santorum tried to pretend there were, and if you believed him, you may actually be a sheep. Thanks for writing! Brent Bozell of the Media Research Council, today's 'Worst Person in the World'!"
Washington Post defense reporter Thomas Ricks is one of several Post reporters with Iraq books hitting the market. But the title of his book, coming out in July, sticks out. It's Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. I wonder if Post readers might not think in the day-to-day reporting on Iraq that Ricks is going to display a pronounced bad-news bias. The book description on Amazon suggests "caustic" is a word that fits this book's tone.
[This item, by the MRC's Tim Graham, was posted Wednesday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
From Amazon's page for the upcoming book by Ricks:
The definitive military chronicle of the Iraq war and a searing judgment on the strategic blindness with which America has conducted it, drawing on the accounts of senior military officers giving voice to their anger for the first time.
Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post senior Pentagon correspondent Thomas E. Ricks's Fiasco is masterful and explosive reckoning with the planning and execution of the American military invasion and occupation of Iraq, based on the unprecedented candor of key participants.
The American military is a tightly sealed community, and few outsiders have reason to know that a great many senior officers view the Iraq war with incredulity and dismay. But many officers have shared their anger with renowned military reporter Thomas E. Ricks, and in Fiasco, Ricks combines these astonishing on-the-record military accounts with his own extraordinary on-the-ground reportage to create a spellbinding account of an epic disaster.
As many in the military publicly acknowledge here for the first time, the guerrilla insurgency that exploded several months after Saddam's fall was not foreordained. In fact, to a shocking degree, it was created by the folly of the war's architects. But the officers who did raise their voices against the miscalculations, shortsightedness, and general failure of the war effort were generally crushed, their careers often ended. A willful blindness gripped political and military leaders, and dissent was not tolerated.
END of Excerpt
The Amazon page: www.amazon.com
The Amazon page with the quoted review: www.amazon.com
Star Jones has been fired from ABC's daytime show run by Barbara Walter, The View. Numerous media outlets reported on the behind-the-scenes drama that has engulfed the ABC show. Several reasons have been given for the departure. Many speculate it was due to her feud with incoming View host Rosie O'Donnell or that it's related to her sudden weight loss. Whatever the truth is, one thing is certain: Throughout the years, Jones, a former legal correspondent for Today and NBC's Nightly News, has been a constant source of liberal advocacy.
For more on the behind-the-scenes contentions: www.nydailynews.com
[This item, by Scott Whitlock, was posted Wednesday afternoon on our blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Just prior to the 2004 presidential elections, Jones recounted, on-air, her campaign appearances with Democratic candidate John Kerry:
For more, check the November 2, 2004 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
That wasn't the first time Jones rhapsodized about supporting Democrats. The June 22, 2004 edition of USA Today featured this quote about Bill Clinton: "I'm a big supporter of President Clinton. And if there wasn't such a thing as the Constitution, I'd vote for him a third time."
Perhaps we can all be glad that there is, in fact, such a thing as the Constitution. Conversely, the (now) former ABC host expressed a distaste for Republicans as evidenced by the hectoring tone with which she greeted View guest Rudy Giuliani during the 2004 Republican convention in New York:
That's from the September 1, 2004 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
On January 22, 2003, Jones appeared yet again in the CyberAlert. Pro-life actress Jennifer O'Neill visited The View and Star did not hold back:
More recently, on June 5, 2006, commenting on The View, Jones dismissed those who support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage: "It's just something about taking the Constitution and playing around with it -- and this is a game right now. Because you know you can't pass it. You're going to spend all the money, spend all the time, generate the rhetoric...."
According to published reports, Star Jones has no new immediate projects lined up. Perhaps this is her opportunity to go back to the world of hard journalism? She certainly has the "proper" world view for such an endeavor.
From the June 28 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Things Overheard Backstage at 'The View.'" Late Show home page: www.cbs.com
10. "Is it worth pawning the crap she left in her dressing room?"
9. "And we thought the loud one would give us all the trouble"
8. "How about we say Star had to leave because she tested positive for steroids?"
7. "I haven't been this upset since Debbie what's-her-name left"
5. "Easy on the gin, Barbara"
4. "Is Hugh Downs still alive?"
2. "If any straight men watched this show, they'd really enjoy the catfighting"
1. "If I want to watch a couple of old hags whine, I'll watch Dave and Paul"
-- Brent Baker, in Long Beach, California