BiasAlerts

During the 'Early Wrap' segment on Friday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith discussed the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan with a panel of media pundits: "The almost unknown, practically under the radar, the Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, before committees this week being funny. She was downright funny." GQ Magazine's Washington correspondent Ana Marie Cox agreed with Smith and added: "...a Saturday Night Live skit made live , in part because she looks exactly like Rachel Dratch. And it's perfect because Al Franken is on the committee. And I kept on watching like waiting for someone... continue reading
To mark the one year anniversary of Sarah Palin stepping down from her duties as governor of Alaska, NBC's Norah O'Donnell, on Friday's Today show, recounted for viewers what the former vice presidential candidate is doing, namely "cashing in." Accompanied by a "cha-ching" sound effect O'Donnell ran down Palin's various TV and book deals. And while O'Donnell also noted Palin has been very effective stumping for GOP candidates in the primaries she was careful to note that the "polarizing" Palin had "limits to her appeal," as she cited an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll saying 52 percent view her political... continue reading
On Thursday's The Dylan Ratigan Show, MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan went after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and complained about the lack opposition to the conflicts: "Why isn't there an alarm that we've been perpetrating this war?... there aren't enough people in this country that honestly give a damn. No one really cares." His solution to the supposed apathy? A draft. [Audio available here ] Ratigan began his rant by describing the financial and human toll of the wars. He particularly highlighted "the innocent civilians that our bombs are killing. As many as 105,000 dead in Iraq, the number... continue reading
Chris Matthews, on Thursday's Hardball, invited on AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to comment on Barack Obama's immigration policy speech, but the segment ended in typical fashion as the two blamed the Republicans for thwarting true reforms with Matthews accusing them of playing the race card as he boiled down their efforts as merely "pandering to angry white people." Matthews also went on to say the GOP was "locking themselves in" to alienating the Latin-American voter as he asked Trumka: "How can the Republican Party kiss them off?" For his part the AFL-CIO president claimed the GOP was also on a... continue reading
Two stories in Thursday's New York Times featured the paper avoiding pinning liberal labels on two media organs: the liberal newsmagazine Newsweek and the far-left political blog Daily Kos. Reporter Jeremy Peters insisted in Thursday's Business Day that the left-leaning magazine Newsweek was "apolitical," yet easily spotted a right tilt in two potential purchasers of the struggling weekly: " 2 Suitors for Newsweek Are Said to Be Ruled Out ." A photo caption made the easily refutable claim that Newsweek "strives to be apolitical." The Washington Post is looking for a bidder who will be a good fit for the... continue reading
In covering Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings, CNN and MSNBC have repeatedly lauded the Supreme Court nominee for her "flashes of humor" and "disarming ease." In tune with the reverberations of the network morning shows' echo chamber , correspondents like CNN's Dana Bash and anchors like MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Tuesday praised Kagan for her ability to inject humor into otherwise "hollow and vapid" hearings and charm hostile Republican senators into docility. "But just on a color note, what struck me, Candy, has been the way Elena Kagan has tried to use a sense of humor to really disarm the senators,... continue reading
Wednesday's evening news shows and Thursday's morning programs continued to minimize or leave out important moments of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings. ABC's Good Morning America, for instance, has offered only 67 seconds of coverage over three days. Today and The Early Show each provided a single ten second news brief on Thursday. It's not as though the second day of testimony lacked interesting developments. The New York Times on July 1 reported the intense questioning by Senator Orrin Hatch on an abortion memo written by then-Clinton White House Counsel Kagan. Hatch demanded, "Did you write that memo?...But... continue reading
Wednesday's evening news shows and Thursday's morning programs continued to minimize or leave out important moments of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings. ABC's Good Morning America, for instance, has offered only 67 seconds of coverage over three days. Today and The Early Show each provided a single ten second news brief on Thursday. It's not as though the second day of testimony lacked interesting developments. The New York Times on July 1 reported the intense questioning by Senator Orrin Hatch on an abortion memo written by then-Clinton White House Counsel Kagan. Hatch demanded, "Did you write that memo?...But... continue reading
CBS and NBC took time Wednesday night to showcase Democratic Senator Al Franken's artistry - not to scold Franken's frivolity, but to luxuriate in it. As CBS displayed Franken's drawing of Republican Senator Jeff Sessions next to a picture of the Alabamian, fill-in anchor Scott Pelley admired what Franken had created during the hearing for Supreme Court nominee Elana Kagan: A look over Franken's shoulder reveals his talent. On his pad is a sketch of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee. Not bad. Suitable for framing. Over on the NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams relayed,... continue reading
The morning programs of the Big Three networks all sang the praises of CNN host Larry King after he announced on Tuesday his upcoming retirement from his program, while overlooking his liberal bent at times. Both Willie Geist on NBC's Today show and CBS's Harry Smith labeled King " legendary ," while ABC's George Stephanopoulos heralded how he was " on top of his game " for most of his career. NBC correspondent Peter Alexander reused Geist's "legendary" label, and chronicled the CNN personality's "perch in prime time" during his 25 years on his Larry King Live program, spotlighting how... continue reading