From a February 6 Politico article:
A Fox spokesperson rejected the suggestion that the network promoted the tea party movement, and differentiated the network's news coverage from the treatment given the movement by some of the network's opinion commentators, who have actively encouraged participation in protests.
Media Matters' archive of Fox News and the tea parties.
As Gawker notes:
Fox News has generously placed the full, unedited conversation between Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart online, so we can see precisely how unfairly and deviously Fox edited the interview in order to weaken Stewart's case: A lot!
You be the judge. Watch the entire video below and be sure to check out the post from Gawker in its entirety.
Boy, they don't make NYT, A1, above-the-fold pieces like they used to. Today, the Times sets aside that prime real estate to ponder the fact that (I kid you not) Sarah Palin is "becoming increasingly vocal and visible"! And that, Sarah Palin posts stuff on Facebook! And that, people say Sarah Palin might run for president some day!
Ground-breaking stuff, I know. But just how thin was the piece? Look at this `graph, which details how Palin talks with her advisors about current events:
People with knowledge of the daily briefings say they are conducted by phone or e-mail. They typically include information on the day's news, material that could be relevant to an upcoming speech, or guidance about a candidate Ms. Palin might endorse.
Fascinating stuff, indeed. (Love the hush-hush, "people with knowledge" tone used to describe utterly mundane events.)
And oh by the way, the Times article does not include a single sentence regarding Palin's continued polling woes, which indicate that even a majority of Republicans don't want her to run for president.
I'm getting the feeling that if Tea Party conventioneers told the Times' Kate Zernike that the earth was flat she'd run with it.
As noted earlier, she referenced Tea Party organizers who claimed "millions" had marched at Tea Party protests within the last year; a figure that appers to be fabricated.
Now in a follow-up piece, Zernike writes [emphasis added]:
Susan and Gil Harper from Cushing, Me. — she a lawyer who telecommutes to New York, he a furniture maker — said they had limited their political involvement to voting. But Mr. Harper said the bank bailout outraged them, and pushed him to his first Tea Party rally.
By Christmas, he told his wife that what he wanted was a ticket to the Tea Party Convention. When she gave it to him, she said she would go along, but only incognito, wearing a hat and sunglasses.
"Because of Nancy Pelosi calling people who believe in the Tea Party movement Nazis," she explained. "My grandfather's family, as Polish Jews, escaped Nazism. To call us Nazis is an abomination."
Fact: Nancy Pelosi never called Tea Party supporters "Nazis." Period. But the Times quotes a conservative making that slanderous claim. The Times treats the outlandish allegation as fact.
This was Andrew Breitbart's message to journalists at the Tea Party convention last night [emphasis added]:
"It's not your business model that sucks, it's you that sucks."
Breitbart thinks you suck. He thinks you're corrupt, lazy losers who are purposefully ruining this country and have "contempt for the American people." So yeah, by all means, keep publishing cushy profiles of Breitbart, because that's working out just great for your guys.
As the Beltway Media turn their attention to the latest snowstorm to hit the nation's capital, no matter how much snow ultimately falls, one story is threatening to get buried.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has put a "blanket hold" on several of Obama's nominations for the executive branch. The move has the effect of requiring 60 senators to vote for cloture to break it. Shelby's office would not confirm that the senator is blocking all of Obama's nominees, but did confirm he was blocking "several."
TPMDC's Evan McMorris-Santoro has been on the story and reported Friday:
"Sen. Shelby has placed holds on several pending nominees due to unaddressed national security concerns," Shelby spokesperson Jonathan Graffeo said in a statement. "Among his concerns" are the progress on multi-billion dollar defense contract that would see planes built in Mobile, AL and Obama's decision to scrap a $45 million FBI improvised explosive device lab Shelby secured an earmark for in 2008.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs fired back at Shelby Friday, the New York Times reported:
"I guess if you needed one example of what's wrong with this town, it might be that one senator can hold up 70 qualified individuals to make government work better because he didn't get his earmarks," Mr. Gibbs told reporters today. "If that's not the poster child for how this town needs to change the way it works, I fear there won't be a greater example of silliness throughout the entire year of 2010."
One can only imagine the outrage that would ensue over at Fox News if a Democrat were holding up several nominations because of unfulfilled earmarks. Indeed, one will have to imagine Fox's ire over the Shelby story as well, because as of Friday night, according to Nexis, Fox's major shows had yet to discuss the story...
Tucker Carlson -- sporting a single Windsor knot -- took over hosting duties for Sean Hannity Friday night, suggesting that all the other possible Fox guest hosts were snowbound or we can expect to see more of Carlson on Fox.
Even though Carlson has said "I'm not a huge fan" of Fox, unfortunately for him, it's his last hope for relevance given that CNN and MSNBC have booted him.
Fox hired Carlson even after he seemingly had burned bridges with the network. First, while defending telemarketers on a Crossfire segment, Carlson said he'd give out his home phone number -- only it was the number to Fox's Washington bureau. Fox retaliated by publishing Carlson's unlisted home phone number. Carlson then reportedly called Fox "a mean, sick group of people."
But that was nothing compared to the verbal smackdown he laid on Fox and Bill O'Reilly in a 2003 Salon interview.
Carlson was asked about the "demagoguery" that was "fueling a big part of the success of Fox." Carlson responded: "I don't like partisanship because it abets lying. And I think you burn out fast when you demagogue."
He was also asked if he could ever see himself working for Fox. He replied:
It's hard to imagine. CNN has been really nice to me. Also, I like foreign travel. And I'm always struck that if you're in Gambia, as I was this summer, or if you're in Peshawar, they're not watching Fox News Channel, they're watching CNN. I know it sounds trite, but I love the fact that CNN is engaged with the world.
Wonder how Carlson is adjusting to partisanship and demagoguery.
But Carlson was most critical of Fox's biggest star.
Carlson said that O'Reilly was talented and understands the medium, but said that "his shtick is a really dangerous one."
It gets better.
Carlson went on to call O'Reilly a "humorless phony" and said of the Fox suit against Al Franken:
Yeah, but I'm not sure how much that hurts him [O'Reilly]. What did we learn about that? We learned that Bill O'Reilly is a thin-skinned blowhard? Well, I think we knew that. The potentially damaging charge -- that he's a liar -- now that is a big deal.
Of The O'Reily Factor, Carlson said: "I don't know who would want to watch that shit. Do you?"
Needless to say, it's unlikely Carlson will be taking over guest-hosting duties for O'Reilly anytime soon...
It's a talent Jeremy Peters reveals here [emphasis added]:
In an apparent effort to court a voting bloc in her home state, Senator Kristen E. Gillibrand is preparing to introduce legislation that would withhold funding to enforce the "don't ask, don't" law.
And yes, that's the article's first sentence. Which means even before Peters explains what the Democratic senator is doing, Peters, via his mind-reading skills, explains why she's doing it. (i.e. For purely political reasons.)
This is just wrong [emphasis added]:
Six hundred advocates had gathered for the convention at the Gaylord Opryland here, a small fraction of the millions that Tea Party advocates say turned out for protests over the last year.
Really, according to Tea Party advocates, millions of people took part in protests within the last year, and the Times has no problem reprinting that is fact? So what, is it like 4 million who have protested over the last year? Eight million? Fourteen million?
I'd sure love to know, because I don't see proof that any "milliions" have participated in Tea Party protests over the last year. We all remember that at their largest event last September in Washington, D.C., advocates claimed 2 million people protested. But in the end that estimate was off by roughly 1.9 million. (Oops!)
So if the biggest Tea Party even drew approximately 60,000 people, and most of the other very, very large events attracted say 10,000 people, that means that either A) the Tea Party movement hosted hundreds and hundreds of huge, five-figure events that I never heard about in order to reach the "millions" tally, or B) Tea Party advocates are, once again, making up numbers.
I'll go with B. And given the Tea Party's history of lying about the size of their protests, you'd think the Times would think twice before reprinting Tea Party claims as fact.
From a caption at washingtonpost.com [emphasis added]:
Six hundred tea party leaders arrived Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010, for the first-ever three-day National Tea Party Convention. Organizers announced the creation of a political action committee called Ensuring Liberty Corp.
"Leaders"? Wasn't the Tea Party convention open, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to whoever wrote checks to cover the nearly $600 convention costs? How does that make them "leaders" of a political movement?
UPDATED: Oops, from the accompanying article:
It's a critical moment for a movement that is unmistakably people-powered, that has been deliberately left leaderless to give voice to all frustrations.
If the movement is leaderless, than how did its leaders arrive at the convention?
UPDATED: More WashPost oddities:
The 600 delegates at the National Tea Party Convention feel taxed to death, ignored by their elected representatives and the media, and appalled at the federal government's spending -- and there are millions of Americans just like them. Their anger has helped claim some political scalps, and they vow to "take back America."
Really? Tea Party conservatives feel "ignored" by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the Weekly Standard, National Review, Michael Savage, Drudge, Towhnall.com, WND, the WSJ, and the NYPost?