Goldberg attacks Media Matters without addressing falsehoods in A Slobbering Love Affair

››› ››› SIMON MALOY & JEREMY SCHULMAN

Bernard Goldberg twice misfired in responding to two Media Matters items on his new book, A Slobbering Love Affair.

In a January 27 entry on MediaBistro.com's TVNewser blog, Bernard Goldberg twice misfired in responding to two Media Matters items on his new book, A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media (Regnery).

"Five Things You Should Know About Barack Obama"

TVNewser asked Goldberg about the Media Matters item noting that in his book, Goldberg cited as evidence of the media's purported "pro-Obama bias" a trivia-laden segment CBS' The Early Show ran called "Five Things You Should Know About Barack Obama." As Media Matters noted, in the book, Goldberg criticized CBS' airing of the segment while ignoring the fact that days later, the show ran a segment called "Five Things You Should Know" about Sen. John McCain.

From TVNewser:

The organization, self-described as a "progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media," currently features on its website four anti-Slobbering missives.

Among the bones of contention:

> That the book "offers an example of the media's purported 'pro-Obama bias' that collapses on minimal review. In Chapter One, Goldberg cites as evidence the fact that The Early Show ran a segment called 'Five Things You Should Know About Barack Obama' that featured trivia about Obama. But five days later, the show ran a segment called 'Five Things You Should Know' about Sen. John McCain."

Goldberg tells TVNewser in response: "The five things we didn't know about Barack Obama on [The Early Show] included things like he didn't like ice cream and he was competitive when he played board games.

"Now, what were some of the five things we didn't know about John McCain on [The Early Show]? That he finished fifth from the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy, that he crashed his plane not once, not twice, but three times, that his high school nickname was 'the punk,' and that he was called a carpetbagger when he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona.

"And Media Matters -- the left wing group funded by George Soros -- thinks this makes their case? No, this makes my case of how the media treated Obama and McCain very, very differently. Frankly, Media Matters should stick to slandering people and stop being so picky."

Claiming in the TVNewser entry that Media Matters "makes my case of how the media treated Obama and McCain very, very differently," Goldberg suggests that CBS' McCain segment was more negative than its Obama segment in that it noted that McCain "finished fifth from the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy, that he crashed his plane not once, not twice, but three times, that his high school nickname was 'the punk,' and that he was called a carpetbagger when he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona." In fact, CBS presented most of these factoids as evidence of McCain being a "maverick" -- a term McCain has frequently used to describe himself -- and repeatedly featured McCain ally Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) praising McCain in response to them. Moreover, correspondent Jeff Glor's "takeaway" from the segment was: "I would say with John McCain's it's a commitment to country, the idea of service. I mean, this is a man who's done everything, been everywhere all over the world and still there's this desire, I'm not done yet."

Goldberg's badly doctored version of Rose/Brokaw interview

TVNewser also asked Goldberg about a Media Matters item documenting that Goldberg printed badly doctored "snippets" of an October 30, 2008, interview between PBS' Charlie Rose and NBC's Tom Brokaw, which Goldberg cites as purported evidence that Brokaw waited until "just a few days before the election" to "inform us that he knew next to nothing about Obama."

From TVNewser:

Among the bones of contention:

[...]

> That the book offers an edited transcript of a Charlie Rose interview of Tom Brokaw that "falsely suggests...that Brokaw expressed the view that 'there's a lot about [Obama] we don't know,' when, in fact, Brokaw attributed that assertion to 'conservative commentators'..."

Goldberg's response: "The overall point Tom Brokaw is making is that neither he nor others in the media knew as much about Barack Obama as they wanted to know. This is an impression that left not only me but apparently Tom Brokaw feeling uneasy."

In his response, Goldberg completely ignores the fact that Media Matters caught him red-handed badly doctoring -- and, in some cases, essentially fabricating -- what he portrayed as exchanges between Brokaw and Rose. In his TVNewser interview, Goldberg does not explain why the version of the interview in his book repeatedly replaces Brokaw's actual answers to Rose's questions with unrelated and out-of-context statements Brokaw made elsewhere in the conversation. Goldberg does not explain why he often fails to publish Brokaw's actual answers at all -- answers that in some cases make clear that Brokaw knew far more about Obama than Goldberg suggests and in other cases demonstrate that Brokaw (and Rose) had similar unanswered questions about both Obama and McCain.

In other words, Goldberg never explains why -- if he's so certain that Brokaw's "overall point" and Brokaw's "apparently" "uneasy" "feeling" support his argument -- he couldn't accurately relay what Brokaw actually said and instead resorted to inventing dialogue.

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