• Fox, AP hype Duke coach's purported criticism of Obama, ignore praise

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Fox and the Associated Press are hyping a statement by Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski that President Obama should focus on fixing the economy, not trying to predict NCAA tournament results:

    "Somebody said that we're not in President Obama's Final Four, and as much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said from the Blue Devils' first-round site in Greensboro, N.C.

    But Krzyzewski was smiling as he said that, and his very next words -- not reported by the AP or Fox -- were "Why would I care about that? I love the guy, and I think he's gonna be great."

  • Still waiting for Bloomberg News to update its 'Obama Bear Market' reporting, cont'd

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    We noted earlier this week that it might be a good idea for the biz news outlet to revisit its heavy-handed report from March 6, which announced an Obama Bear Market, and quoted lots of Wall Street insiders claiming Obama's agenda was driving the market down. That it was punishing investors and the new White House just didn't get The Street.

    Since Bloomberg's Drudge-friendly report, the Dow, as of today's opening bell, has climbed nearly 900 points. Yet we're still hearing crickets from Bloomberg about the Obama Bear Market.

  • At Fox News, guilty until proven innocent

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Back on its ACORN hobby horse, Fox News attacks the community organizing group and its possible role as a national partner with the Census Bureau to recruit more than one million temporary workers to go knock on doors for the upcoming census.

    Fox stresses ACORN has "a history of voter fraud charges." Actually, that's how the headline is worded. In the actual online article, Fox News insists ACORN has a "history of voter fraud." (The pesky ref to "charges" gets dropped.) But does ACORN have a history of voter fraud? An ACORN rep tells Fox the organization has never been convicted of any crime, and the Fox article doesn't produce any evidence to the contrary.

    It's true Republicans, amplified by Fox News, aired endless unproven charges against the group last fall and painted the understaffed outfit as an all-powerful cabal. But there's no proof ACORN's done anything wrong. But now Fox News claims that because unproven charges have been waged in the past (amplified by Fox News), that the group is suspect.

    That's a nifty Noise Machine trick.

  • The Red Scare Index: 16

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    Here is today's daily Red Scare Index -- our search of CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, MSNBC and CNBC for uses of the following terms: Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic, Communism, Communist, Communistic, Marxism and Marxist.

    Here are the numbers for yesterday, Tuesday, March 17, 2009:

    TOTAL: 16
    Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 10
    Communism, Communist, Communistic: 5
    Marxism/Marxist: 1

    By Network:

    CNN: 3
    Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 1
    Communism, Communist, Communistic: 2
    Marxism/Marxist: 0

    CNN Headline News: 0
    Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 0
    Communism, Communist, Communistic: 0
    Marxism/Marxist: 0

    Fox News Channel: 10
    Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 7
    Communism, Communist, Communistic: 2
    Marxism/Marxist: 1

    Fox Business Network: 0
    Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 0
    Communism, Communist, Communistic: 0
    Marxism/Marxist: 0

    MSNBC: 3
    Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 2
    Communism, Communist, Communistic: 1
    Marxism/Marxist: 0

    CNBC: 0
    Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 0
    Communism, Communist, Communistic: 0
    Marxism/Marxist: 0

    The above numbers are the result of a power search for these terms on these networks.

  • CNBC turns to Bush aide for economic analysis

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Steve Benen notes that despite the Right's whining about the fact that a few ex-reporters have gone to work for the Obama administration, as though this proves their theories about the "liberal media," there have been quite a few Republican operatives signed on by major news organizations recently:

    And yet, for those keeping score at home, the number of "loyal Bushies" getting hired by major news outlets keeps going up. I know of at least eight prominent examples: Michael Gerson (Washington Post), Sara Taylor (MSNBC), Tony Snow (CNN), Frances Fragos Townsend (CNN), Nicole Wallace (CBS News), Dan Bartlett (CBS News), Jeff Ballabon (CBS News), and, of course, Karl Rove (Fox News, Newsweek, and Wall Street Journal).

    If there's a "revolving door" between government service and the media, there are quite a few Republicans taking a spin.

    Benen's post was prompted by CNBC's announcement that it has signed former Bush administration spokesman Tony Fratto as a contributor. Think about that for a moment: CNBC, under fire for missing the financial collapse that was occuring right under its nose, turned to a former Bush administration aide for help. Interesting approach.

  • David Frum: "What the hell is going on at Fox News?"

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    David Frum is not amused by Glenn Beck:

    The audience for Beck's Friday night special were each given copies of two books. One of them was Cleon Skousen's Five Thousand Year Leap. Skousen, who died in 2006, is one of the legendary cranks of the conservative world, a John Bircher, a grand fantasist of theories about secret conspiracies between capitalists and communists to impose a one-world government under the control of David Rockefeller.

    There's always been a market for this junk of course. Once that market was reached via mimeographed newsletters. Now it's being tapped by Fox News.


    It's not a new message of course. In fact, big parts of it seem almost self-consciously copied from Peter Finch's legendary declamation in the movie Network.

    Of course, Finch was only pretending to be crazy. He was an actor performing a role. Then again – so probably is Glenn Beck.

    But what about Fox News? What's their excuse?

    Frum seems to be under the impression that Glenn Beck's blend of stupid and crazy is some sort of departure from Fox's previously high standards. If only that were so.

  • Something you can't un-hear: O'Reilly's naughty audio-book

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    I couldn't resist bringing attention to this post from The Village Voice's Runnin' Scared blog which brings to light the audio book version of Bill O'Reilly's 1998 novel, Those Who Trespass.

    From Runnin' Scared:

    Last week, when your Crap Archivist got all aghast about the inexcusable creepiness that is The O'Reilly Factor For Kids, I failed to point out something important: horrifying as it is, The O'Reilly Factor For Kids is far from Bill O'Reilly's worst - or creepiest -- book.

    That honor goes to Those Who Trespass, his 1998 novel about an O'Reilly-esque TV journalist who is trained by an Irish Republican Army terrorist to kill the people who deserve it the most: the broadcast news bastards who interfered with the O'Reilly character's career. It's personal on the political level, too -- his victims includes a powerful "bitch" named Hillary and a fat "slob" named Martin Moore.

    Before the clips, a bit of context.

    The murderer, Shannon Michaels, is pursued by an O'Reilly-esque cop, Tommy O'Malley. These two Irish-Americans share their author's tough-talk, lust for power, and (alleged!) belief that the best way to seduce a woman is to seize her breasts, preferably as she showers.

    Head on over to the original post and scroll down to listen to the audio. But be forewarned, you won't be able to un-hear it once pressing play. If you want more on Those Who Trespass, you can read more here and here.

  • VIDEO: Tell CNBC the economy is no game…

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    Tell CNBC the economy is no game…

    Yesterday, I noted that Media Matters president Eric Burns had joined prominent writers, economists, journalism professors and other progressive leaders in signing a letter demanding CNBC take substantial steps towards fixing their broken network. If you haven't yet seen the letter be sure to check it out here.

    Today, Media Matters is up with a new video (also available on YouTube or QuickTime) and a call to action:

    In today's call to action, Burns writes in part:

    Rather than fulfill its crucial role as a journalistic outlet seeking the truth, CNBC instead abdicated its responsibility to the American people in favor of years of uncritical repetition of spin by Wall Street CEOs. This denied the public accurate information about the causes of the current economic crisis, its consequences, and the effectiveness of proposed solutions.

    >> Sign the petition and demand CNBC stop acting like a PR firm for Wall Street and instead fulfill its journalistic obligation to the truth.

    CNBC should publicly declare a drastic change of direction, committing to responsible journalism in an effort to hold Wall Street accountable in the future. As a first step, it should bring new economic voices on the air with a focus on those who were right about this crisis in the first place.

    The stakes are too high for CNBC to continue acting as the unofficial mouthpiece of Wall Street. This is not a game. Together we can bring about the much-needed change we seek. That is why it is so important that you sign this petition today and then encourage your friends, family and co-workers to do the same.

    If you haven't done so already, please take a moment and sign the petition today then ask your friends, family and coworkers to do the same.

  • The Daily Beast's Shapiro on "How the Media is Screwing Obama"

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    The Daily Beast's Walter Shapiro wonders "if the media's hyperactive coverage give the president a chance to, you know, do something."

    Says Shapiro:

    Now that we have created this 86,400-seconds-a-day expectation of instant political news, it is virtually impossible to return to prior laid-back ways of thinking about Washington. The problem, of course, is that successful governing requires far more than merely winning a particular morning's news cycle. But our foreshortened attention span gets in the way of long-term perspective. As a result, it is easy to get caught up in the fiction that the fate of Obama's presidency rides with the short-term direction of the stock market, the cleverness of Robert Gibbs' putdowns of Dick Cheney, or even the pace of appointments to the sub-Cabinet.


    No president could live up to the oversized expectations that surrounded Barack Obama back in January. Not since Harry Truman has a president taken office at a more parlous moment. Two wars and the incredible shrinking economy would test a president with the temperament of Franklin Roosevelt, the intellect of Bill Clinton, the charm of Ronald Reagan, and the deviousness of Richard Nixon. Patience may be an outmoded concept in the media environment of 2009, but it is what Obama deserves in the months ahead. There is, after all, a reason why the Constitution gives a president a four-year term.

  • Will media apply the Dukakis standard to McCain?

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    For twenty years, the media has told us that Mike Dukakis was a wimp and an unfeeling automaton because he didn't show outrage when asked how he would react if his wife were raped and murdered. The question was absurd, and the commentary about Dukakis' reaction nearly as bad -- but given that the punditocracy hasn't changed its view of the matter in the past twenty years, one wonders if the same standards will apply to another politician who fails to demonstrate what the press deems to be sufficient outrage.

    Today, John McCain was asked about the ongoing feud between his daughter and right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham, which has included Ingraham criticizing Meghan McCain's voice and weight. Rather than express outrage at Ingraham's comments, McCain merely said "I'm proud of my daughter and she has a right to her opinions." Asked if he agreed with his daughter, who has said such things as "stop talking about my body," McCain responded "like any family we agree on some things and disagree on others."

    Anyone think the media is going to criticize McCain for failing to speak out against Ingraham's attacks on his daughter? Anyone?