Archive for ‘media bias’

May 11, 2009

The Left won’t let it go, will they?

When William Jacobson started blogging about “DijonGate,” my reaction was one of amusement — which, in case you haven’t noticed, is my reaction to pretty much everything, including the Barack Obama dildo.

But, as I pointed out, DijonGate drove more than 100K visits Thursday and Friday for Professor Jacobson — nearly an average month’s worth of traffic in just two days — mainly because the Left has gone wacko over this story. And they won’t let it go.

Today, Pandagon’s Jesse Taylor is back at it, arguing whether a $7 hamburger is a typical American lunch. Look, Jesse: I can get a junior cheeseburger, fries and a soft drink at Sheetz for about $4, total. But it’s not about the burger price. It’s not about the burger or the condiments or anything else.

It’s about the fact that NBC News was afraid to let its viewers hear Barack Obama say “Dijon mustard,” like he’d asked for a side order of Beluga caviar or something. As with their “reporting” on the economy, it’s about elite journalism’s obsession with safeguarding Obama’s image.

So now there’s a whole new Memeorandum thread, and Vox Day weighs in:

If you think that little of your potential audience’s intelligence, you shouldn’t be surprised that no one watches you; they clearly aren’t capable of finding the on-switch.

Exactly. The producers who edited out “Dijon mustard” think Americans are stupid. Here’s Ed Driscoll:

Obama and Biden’s trip to Ray’s Hell-Burger in Arlington is remarkably reminiscent of Kerry and Edwards’ campaign photo-op at an New York State Wendy’s. Mark Steyn’s August 2004 Telegraph article is the definitive take on that classic faux-populist debacle. Much like the dangers of being photographed while wearing silly hats on the campaign trail, perhaps elitist politicians might want to think twice before slumming it at the local fast-food joint.

And here’s Jehuda at the Rhetorican:

In this media environment it’s easier than ever to point at the man behind the curtain, especially when the curtain isn’t even hanging anymore.

What we are seeing on the Left is a fanatical devotion to the Politics of Perception. It doesn’t matter that millions of Americans — including lots of us who didn’t vote for Obama — share his preference for a burger topping that is neither exotic nor particularly expensive.

Dijon mustard can be purchased at any Safeway or Food Lion at a cost only modestly higher than the plain yellow variety. And, as Jesse Taylor accurately points out, lots of Ordinary Americans eat at Applebee’s — or TGI Friday’s or similar chain restaurances — where the appetizers are $7 and the entrees are $15 or more.

However, as regards DijonGate, none of this does matters. We’ve gone from DijonGate to Dijongeddon because what matters, at least in the minds of TV news producers and left-wing bloggers, is the careful maintenance of Obama’s positive image.

The same is true of their reporting on the economy, where the question for elite journalists is not how many Americans are losing their jobs, but rather if Obama will be blamed for the job losses. We await the headline in the entertainment section of the New York Times:

‘Star Trek’ Breaks Box Office Record;
Film Helps Obama With Sci-Fi Voters

Is everything political now? Is news only relevant insofar as it causes people to vote Republican or Democrat? Will we soon see the TV weatherman telling us how the latest high-pressure system in the Midwest affects Obama’s popularity? Will ESPN discuss the political impact of the Cardinals-Mets game?

Allow me the self-serving observation that when Professor Jacobson gets more traffic for a mustard story than I get for “Carrie Prejean nude,” the politicization of news has gone too far. If Rush Limbaugh can’t be allowed a laugh at the president’s expense — and if Bush-Cheney jokes are the only laughs allowed at the White House Correspondents DinnerProfessor Jacobson’s remarks about an Obama “cult of personality” may foretell a humorless future for American political culture.

UPDATE: At least the folks who make Grey Poupon haven’t lost their sense of humor:

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Dear Mr. President:
We applaud you, Mr. President, for exercising your freedom of taste when recently ordering a burger with Dijon mustard. We’re always happy to see people use Dijon mustard to add flair and flavor to their favorite foods. The right to choose condiments freely is quintessentially American and embodies the spirit of our democracy.
So we urge you to respond to “Dijon-gate” by issuing a “pardon” to any American who has ever been criticized for putting a liberal spread of Dijon mustard on a burger or a conservative dollop on a ham & cheese sandwich. These “Pardon Me for Loving Dijon” proclamations will empower the millions of Dijon mustard-loving Americans to ask for their favorite condiment with pride.
Respectfully yours,

See? Greedy capitalists have a sense of humor. Hat-tip to Legal Insurrection via Instapundit, who also links the latest on yellow — or is that spicy brown? — journalism.

May 11, 2009

President Obama Remains Popular; Women, Minorities Hit Hardest

Over at The American Spectator blog, I noted that elite journalists now view everything through an Obama prism:

The Jobless Rate, Slow to Improve, Tests Obama
On the economy, President Obama has a timing problem. Congressional Democrats may have a bigger one.
Nearly four months into his presidency, Mr. Obama has begun to describe a pivot from economic crisis to economic recovery. From stabilized consumer spending to higher construction spending, he said last week, “the gears of our economic engine” are “slowly turning once again.”
The problem is that those gears are unlikely to churn out many new jobs anytime soon. . . .

“The problem,” as the New York Times sees it, is purely about politics, and politics is now about a single person. Never mind the nearly 2 million Americans who’ve lost their jobs since Jan. 20. There is only one person in the world who really matters, and his name is Obama.

May 2, 2009

‘You report, we deny’

Sweet how the White House denies — and everyone in the WH press corps except ABC’s Jake Tapper ignores — the accusation by an attorney that “Steve Rattner, the leader of the Obama administration’s Auto Industry Task Force, threatened . . . an investment bank, that if it continued to oppose the administration’s Chrysler bankruptcy plan, the White House would use the White House press corps to destroy its reputation.”

Glenn Reynolds has a roundup, including a link to Nick Gillespie of Reason. Also, Jimmie Bise at Sundries Shack is on it, and there’s lots more at Memeorandum.

Just imagine the outrage if the Bush administration had threatened to sic Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity on its political opponents. But the obedient steno clerks in the White House press corps just do as they’re told nowadays. If Robert Gibbs needs a shoe shine, there are at least three network correspondents who’ll be happy to do the job.

UPDATE:First they came for the businessmen . . .”

UPDATE II: Newt Gingrich says “it’s embarassing to watch” how the White House press corps has “taken a dive” for Obama. It’s embarassing to me as a journalist, particularly remembering how Gingrich was demonized by the media in 1994-95.

That was clearly not a Change They Could Believe In.

UPDATE III: Welcome, Instapundit readers! Sorry it took me nearly an hour to realize I’d been ‘Lanched, but I’ve been busy pondering the economy, and also trying to find new ways to offend feminists.

Also linked by Dad 29 and the Rhetorican. Thanks! If nothing else, the Obama administration seems to be working hard to fix my linky-love recession.

UPDATE IV: When it rains it pours: Linked at! Also linked by Paco and at The Macho Response.

April 18, 2009

Bill Whittle: The Cost of Media Bias

by Smitty

Susan Roesgen gets her bias handed to her more effectively on PJTV than anywhere else. He also points to some Founding Bloggers footage that is worth your time.

April 16, 2009

The World’s Worst TV Reporter


Via Michelle Malkin and Hot Air.

Ace of Spades offers some important biographical info on CNN’s Susan Roesgen. NTTAWWT.

UPDATE: Linked at Memeorandum and Red State, and Vodka Pundit suggests “that vacuous Anderson Cooper guy” is worse than Roesgen. I’m sorry, but when you send a reporter to cover a protest, and the reporter launches into a political argument with one of the protesters — on live TV — that’s a new nadir of shameless bias.

UPDATE II: Let’s take a moment to talk about bias and protests. Journalists are human beings and all human beings have opinions. When a journalist is assigned to report on an event, this is different than offering to comment on an event.

I am one of a very few people in the news business who thinks that a journalist can do both — reporting and commentary — without impairing his precious “objectivity,” because I agree with the late Hunter S. Thompson that a lot of what passes for “objective journalism” is bullshit. The key to Thompson’s “gonzo journalism” was that he was honest with himself, and with his readers, about what he was doing.

The reason so many Americans hate the news media is because so many supposedly “objective” journalists are transparently dishonest in what they’re doing. Media bias is therefore not about a lack of objectivity (no one is strictly objective) but rather about a lack of honesty.

I’ve been involved in protests as a citizen, I’ve covered protests as a reporter, and I’ve shared my opinion of protests as a commentator. When people complain about bias in reporting, what they’re talking about is news coverage that pretends to be objective — neutral, balanced, neither condemning nor endorsing — but really isn’t. Bias takes many forms. One form of bias I observed in coverage an anti-globalization protest in 2000:

Something about the protests in Washington against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that didn’t get much press was the Commies.
I say they “didn’t get much press,” but in fact, the presence of the Communist Party USA at the anti-IMF rally didn’t get any press at all — except for a couple of paragraphs in The Washington Times, courtesy of yours truly. . . .
Finally arriving at the Ellipse, I am immediately set upon by guys hawking the Socialist Worker newspaper for 50 cents. This was why the media silence about the heavy Red presence at A16 was so puzzling to me. No one could enter the Ellipse without walking past three or four of these Socialist Worker vendors and yet I was the only journalist who thought this worth reporting.
Once you got past the Socialist Workers, there were still more entrepreneurial leftists, hawking the Worker’s Vanguard. Then there was the guy selling yellow “Mumia Must Live” buttons for a buck each. Yeah, save the cop-killer, $1. . . .
The place was positively brimming with rage against corporate capitalism, from T-shirts (“Mean Corporations Suck”) to handmade signs (“Corporate Press Is Not Free”). At the International Socialist Organization table, you could get a nice blue-and-white sign reading, “Workers of the World Unite and Fight.” Another group distributed red T-shirts lettered in black: “Abolish the World Bank! End the IMF! Dissolve the WTO! Socialist Party USA.”

Only a blatantly biased and dishonest reporter, profoundly sympathetic to the objectives of the anti-IMF demonstrators, could have failed to report the massive socialist/communist presence at that protest. And all of the other reporters did exactly that: They ignored it.

These lying liberal journalists obviously knew that the Ordinary American despises socialism and communism. To ignore the socialists and communists at the anti-IMF protests was, therefore, to conceal from the reader very significant information that might have caused the reader to say, “Ah! A bunch of Bolsheviks engaged in their usual demonization of capitalism! Bring back the Smith Act!”

Now, consider in this light Jane Hamsher’s vehement insistence that the Tea Party protests are illegitimate because of the involvement of FreedomWorks, Fox News, et cetera. And consider how the Tea Party protests were covered (or not covered) by the MSM. The same JournoList media that ignored the anti-IMF commies has revealed — by their editorial decisions vis-a-vis the Tea Party movement — that they are no more neutral and objective than Jane Hamsher.

The dishonesty is what rankles. I have far more respect for Jane Hamsher than I have for the editors of The Washington Post or the New York Times. Jane may be a crazy Bolsehvik, but she is at least reasonably honest about it.

UPDATE III: Welcome RealClearPolitics readers! Please feel free to hit the tip jar, or perhaps I should ask you to report to Gunnery Sgt. Hartman.

UPDATE IV: Thanks to Michael Palmer of the Tuscaloosa News:

Alas, the Tea Party organizers in Tuscaloosa didn’t have “Mack the Knife” on the karaoke track, so I had to sing a capella. More good stuff at the Hot Air Green Room.

UPDATE V: Alabama Republican leader Shana Kluck has more “Sweet Tea” updates at The Liberty Papers, and Michelle Malkin has delicious video of James Wolcott, that paragon of pretentious journalistic mediocrity.

March 31, 2009

There is only one word . . .

. . . to describe the New York Times’ latest disgrace to the profession of journalism:


It’s almost Tuesday. How long until Easter?

March 27, 2009

JournoList: ‘People with the skill’

Nice to know that Matthew Yglesia, who has argued that “what the right lacks are people with the skill to do the job” of news reporting, has nothing better to do than to respond to a JournoList thread like this:

From: Matthew Yglesias Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 14:00:31 -0400 Local: Tues, Mar 24 2009 2:00 pm Subject: Re: [JournoList] BREAKING: Marty Peretz is a Crazy-Ass Racist . . .

The subject of discussion there is a Marty Peretz item from The New Republic about narco-terrorism and governmental dysfunction in Mexico. Ergo, unless you avert your eyes to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Mexico and pretend that Ciudad Juarez is like Disney World (except happier), you are a “Crazy-Ass Racist” like the venerable liberal publisher of TNR. The other major “revelation” about JournoList is described by Jeff Goldstein:

Think “Woodward and Bernstein bring down Nixon,” only replace “Woodward and Bernstein bring down Nixon” with “A bunch of guys who were beaten up daily in junior high show why they almost certainly had it coming.”

(Hat-tip: Jimmie Bise Jr. at Sundries Shack.) Indeed, a “plague of neurasthenia.” At almost the exact same hour that Yglesias was on JournoList discussing the “news” about Marty “I Hate Beaners” Peretz, a real journalist, Dave Weigel, was breaking a scoop. (“Scoops” — what a concept!)

March 26, 2009

Ann Compton earns her knee pads

“Yours is a rather historic presidency. And I’m just wondering whether, in any of the policy debates that you’ve had within the White House, the issue of race has come up or whether it has in the way you feel you’ve been perceived by other leaders or by the American people? Or has the last 64 days before a relatively color-blind time?”
Ann Compton, question at Tuesday’s presidential press conference

Right. The economy’s on life support, and this drive-by drool-bucket wants to ask about whether race has anything to do with “the way you feel you’ve been perceived.” Gag me with a teleprompter.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin is all over ComptonGate, and I just got a phone call from Monique Stuart, who points out that she blogged about Compton’s softball question at 2:05 p.m.:

So, Ms. Compton, this is what we should expect from a “distinguished and highly respected veteran of the White House press corps?” What if he would have told you that you couldn’t have asked him about race? See, I might have found that amusing.
I realize why Obama would pick this question, it gives him a chance to play the race card and pretend he’s not playing the race card. We get it, already! The first black president (I thought Bill Clinton already had that title?). In that sense, everything you do is historical. Get over it! We all are, as is evidenced by your dropping poll numbers.

You’ve got to know Monique to know why she’s so utterly fearless. She’s a blue-collar ex-Democrat who smokes Marlboro Red (NTTAWWT) and thus is not intimidated by political correctness the way so many “cradle Republicans” are.

March 25, 2009

Naked Tea Party??

At least one young activist is considering the Lady Godiva approach to this situation.

Via Dave, we see the press is ignoring the Tea Party movement. But can they ignore a naked Tea Party? Ah, the sacrifices that patriots must make for the cause of freedom . . .

UPDATE: I don’t know if famous super-model Cindy Crawford is angry about her taxes, but she is definitely naked, and I’m not going to name the esteemed and learned blogger who called that Rule 5 to my attention.

UPDATE II: In the comments, Dave makes clear that Lady Godiva has been invited to the Richmond, Virginia, Tea Party, April 15 at Kanawha Plaza.

UPDATE III: Stephen Gordon adds historical perspective to the “Going Godiva” meme.

UPDATE IV: Going viral: Moe Lane (crossposted at Red State) and now Monique “HotMES” Stuart jumps in.

UPDATE V: And now Godiva gets the ‘Lanche. I was informed of the ‘Lanche by Dave, who said the traffic roll-off to his SiteMeter has already equalled his daily average. Meanwhile, roll-off at HotMES nearly tripled her daily average by noon.

Do the eager young padwans see how this demonstrates the effectiveness of Rule 2? If you can build a nucleus of bloggers who regularly link each other, and who otherwise follow the Rules, then — assuming that they strive to improve the style and content of their blogging — when eventually one of them gets a big hit, the residual benefits will emanate throughout the cell.

Meanwhile, our volunteer referee has thoughts on proper attire for Jello wrestling.

March 22, 2009

MSNBC omits facts on AIG protests

Turned on MSNBC this morning and watched Alex Witt anchor a story about the protests at the homes of AIG executives (which turned out to be a pathetic farce, with more media than protesters).

What struck me was that Witt never mentioned who organized the protests. In fact, the organizers were The Connecticut Working Families Party, an ACORN front group. An uniformed MSNBC viewer would not have learned that from Alex Witt, who said nothing — zero, zilch, nada — about who organized the protests.

How many other news organizations reported the anti-AIG protests without reporting who the organizers were? And how many people understand the propaganda purpose of this omission? To explain briefly: The point of the protests is to make AIG execs the scapegoats for the idiocies of the bailout bill that ACORN’s Democratic allies supported. Blaming the AIG execs takes the heat off the politicians. But in order to convey that propaganda message effectively, media must pretend that there is no political ulterior motive to the protest, and thus no politically-connected organizing force behind it. To have mentioned CWFP or ACORN — and especially to have identifed those as left-wing groups allied with Democrats — would have destroyed the propaganda value of the story.

Meanhile, as scads of media turned out to cover one busload of anti-AIG protesters in Connecticut, some 300 turned out for a Tea Party demonstration in Ridgefield, Conn., that the major media ignored, just as they are trying to ignore the Tea Party movement nationwide. Try this: Switch off Fox News sometime and turn on NBC, ABC, CBS or CNN to see how much coverage they’re devoting to the Tea Party protests. The answer is, almost zero.

It’s almost as if there were a list or something . . .

UPDATE: Gahrie’s Grumbles also notes the glaring disparity of coverage between the AIG protests and the Tea Party movement. (Full disclosure: Gahrie is a first-time Rule 5 Sunday participant, which is a different kind of list.)