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Archive for the ‘GOP/Media Complex’ Category

FTNYT, those FFs

Posted by Charles II on July 25, 2015

Kurt Eichenwald, Newsweek:

What the hell is happening at The New York Times?

In March, the newspaper published a highly touted article about Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email account that, as I wrote in an earlier column, was wrong in its major points. The Times’s public editor defended that piece, linking to a lengthy series of regulations that, in fact, proved the allegations contained in the article were false. While there has since been a lot of partisan hullaballoo about “email-bogus-gate”—something to be expected when the story involves a political party’s presidential front-runner—the reality remained that, when it came to this story, there was no there there.

Then, on Thursday night, the Times dropped a bombshell: Two government inspectors general had made a criminal referral to the Justice Department about Clinton and her handling of the emails. The story was largely impenetrable, because at no point did it offer even a suggestion of what might constitute a crime. By Friday morning, the Times did what is known in the media trade as a “skin back”—the article now said the criminal referral wasn’t about Clinton but about the department’s handling of emails. Still, it conveyed no indication of what possible crime might be involved.

In our hyper-partisan world, many people will not care about the truth here. That the Times story is false in almost every particular—down to the level of who wrote what memo—will only lead to accusations that people trying to set the record straight are pro-Hillary. I am not pro-Hillary. I am, however, pro-journalism. And this display of incompetence or malice cannot stand without correction.

And to other reporters: Democracy is not a game. It is not a means of getting our names on the front page or setting the world abuzz about our latest scoop. It is about providing information so that an electorate can make decisions based on reality. It is about being fair and being accurate. This despicable Times story was neither.

I’m not pro-Hillary either. But I wish the NYT would expose her role in Honduras, or her corporate coziness, or any of the many ways in which she has put the comfort of the wealthy above the needs of ordinary people. Framing her for something that never happened is something from the McCarthy Era.

Posted in GOP/Media Complex, Hillary Clinton, liars, Media machine, mediawhores, pseudoscancals | 1 Comment »

Yet More Evidence Of Conservative Control Of Mass Media: CBS Hires GOP Spin Artist Frank Luntz

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 6, 2012

As Eric Alterman’s book asked a number of years ago, “What Liberal Media?” There’s certainly none in America — at least, not where most Americans will ever encounter it.

This was proved yet again by this bit of news:

CBS News has reportedly hired Frank Luntz, the Republican strategist and pollster best known for helping Republicans craft often-deceptive messaging to torpedo liberal policies. In his post announcing the move, Politico media reporter Dylan Byers writes that Luntz will “make a number of appearances across the network between now and Election Day.” Luntz’s hiring comes only a few months after New York Times Magazine contributor Robert Draper reported that Luntz orchestrated a 2009 meeting where prominent Republicans formulated a plan to win back Congress and the White House.

In his book Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives, Draper reported that Luntz “organized a dinner” on Obama’s inauguration night featuring a handful of “the Republican Party’s most energetic thinkers.” The attendees — which included current vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan — reportedly emerged from the nearly four hour dinner “almost giddily” after having agreed on “a way forward.” 


Luntz’s influence in GOP politics isn’t limited to organizing high-level strategy dinners — he’s been credited with coining some of the most infamous lines from conservative media figures and politicians.


Luntz has been a regular fixture on Fox News for years. His appearances have featured him praising dishonest conservative ads and asking focus groups questions about whether Obama is a socialist. During a 2010 appearance on The O’Reilly Factor, Luntz praised the Chamber of Commerce for having “done some of the best advertising across the country” without disclosing that the Chamber was one of his corporate clients.

This, kiddies, is why I talk so much about the GOP/Media Complex. It exists. It is real.

Posted in GOP/Media Complex, working the refs | 1 Comment »

US Media’s Submission To Republicans: Romney And Krauthammer Edition

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 28, 2012

The US press has by and large been trying to defend presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney from the attacks of the British press, trying to obscure that it’s not just the allegedly-oh-so-much-more-vicious British press, but UK politicians and people of all parties and creeds attacking Mittens for his combined arrogance and ignorance.

What makes this dutiful, servantlike rush to defend the man really interesting is that Romney has been treating the US press corps a bit like he treated Seamus the dog:

*** Romney’s press-corps faux pas: During his meeting with Miliband, according to the pool report, Romney answered questions from British reporters but did not take any questions from the American reporters, which isn’t protocol. In fact, it’s considered a bit of an insult to the U.S reporters who are following the presumptive GOP presidential nominee overseas. Even bringing this up will lead some to say, “There goes the media, whining again.” But folks, those of us that have traveled overseas and been involved in these VERY limited press avails have rarely seen heads of democracies TOTALLY ignore their own press corps but answer ANOTHER press corps’ questions. Sure, it would have looked REALLY bad had Romney ignored the U.K. questions. But is the campaign so intent on limiting media access that the candidate won’t call an audible when standing next to a leader from another country who DOES want to take questions?

Meanwhile, let’s count up the number of establishment mass-media outlets (like ABC News and the WaPo, where known serial liar Charles Krauthammer gleefully got to repeat it) that have unquestioningly passed along the right-wing lie that Obama dissed the Brits by sending the Churchill bust to the British Embassy. What Krauthammer won’t tell you is that there were two Churchill busts in the White House, and that the British Embassy one was a loan, not a permanent gift:

The one in the White House residence was a gift to the White House from the British Embassy during the Johnson administration.

The other one was loaned to President George W. Bush by British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Says James Barbour, press secretary and head of communications for the British Embassy, “The bust of Sir Winston Churchill, by Sir Jacob Epstein, was lent to the George W. Bush administration from the U.K.’s government art collection, for the duration of the presidency. When that administration came to an end so did the loan; the bust now resides in the British Ambassador’s Residence in Washington D.C. The White House collection has its own Epstein bust of Churchill, which President Obama showed to Prime Minister Cameron when he visited the White House in March.”

And yet the US establishment media, so submissive to the concerns of the Big-Business-backed right-wing frothers, won’t be giving Tapper’s debunking of this lie very much coverage — so the lie will be yet another Republican Zombie Lie, kept artificially alive by right-wing bloggers and lazy (or submissive) press scribes.

Posted in GOP/Media Complex | Tagged: | Comments Off on US Media’s Submission To Republicans: Romney And Krauthammer Edition

Same GOP/Media Complex That Freaked Over Hillary’s Cattle Futures Barely Notices Romney’s $100 Million IRA

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 15, 2012

Dave Johnson at Seeing the Forest makes a good point:

Back when Bill Clinton was President there was a huge media-swarm controversy because a decade before her husband was elected Hillary Clinton had made $100,000 over ten months by investing in cattle futures. Now, skip forward to 2012. Report after report circulates about a candidate for President who owns a secret company in Bermuda, Swiss and Cayman Islands bank accounts and an IRA containing as much as $100 million — and who may have filed SEC documents containing false information (a felony). Huge media swarm this time? Not so much.

As Johnson points out, the feeding frenzy against Hillary took place in the early and middle 1990s — mostly before the rise of the internet, in other words — yet online searches for articles on Hillary Clinton and cattle futures turned up over 350,000 hits; if all the stories written about this subject were put online, the total would likely be significantly boosted.

Those of us who have followed the story of conservative and Republican bias in US media are not a bit surprised by this. Earlier this year, to note a recent example, we saw the FAIR study showing that the guest lists of Sunday talk shows are skewed heavily in favor of conservative and Republican viewpoints.

Posted in GOP/Media Complex, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Right-Winger Julie Mason Doesn’t Like It When People Point Out Right-Wing Media Bias

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 16, 2011

So here we have Julie Mason, who covered the White House beat for the Houston Chronicle since the first term of Bill Clinton, but who after being laid off in October of 2008 went to the extreme-right-wing Washington Examiner to continue her White House coverage, and has now since February of this year been writing for Politico, which is known for being funded and run by Reagan Republicans and other right-wingers.

Which is why it’s a little amusing (and by “amusing” I mean bile-inducing) to see her get all shirty when one of her targets points out that a lot of US media is biased towards the right wing and/or Republicans:

President Obama’s remark to Ed Henry of Fox News on Thursday that, “I didn’t know you were the spokesperson for Mitt Romney” set off heated discussions this week around the White House briefing room.

Henry declined comment on the matter. But reporters were left wondering — is this how the administration is going to respond to criticism from Republican opponents going forward — by casting aspersions on journalists who ask questions?

That’s right, folks: Pointing out what everyone knows about right-wing bias in American media is “casting aspersions”. Charming, eh?

This isn’t her first slapback at politicians and other media critics who she obviously sees as insubordinate. Check out her snotty comments on the media obsession with ridiculous (and usually right-wing-planted) non-stories such as the “flag pin” bogosity:

To many in the press corps, Obama is just naïve for characterizing things like flag pins, the patriotism of his former pastor, and subversive activities committed 40 years ago by a guy he sort of knows as “distractions.” When he noted that the debate was nearly half over before an actual policy issue was mentioned, they were dismissive. Appearing on MSNBC the next day, Julie Mason of the Houston Chronicle said with a mocking tone, “It seems like he wants to live in this sort of perfect, high-minded political world where things like flag pins don’t matter, but they really do. These things create perceptions. Everyone is saying he didn’t do well. I have to agree. I don’t think he did much for himself at all.” The “everyone” to whom she was referring was no doubt the rest of the political reporters.

Better adjust that tiara a little bit, Miss Desmond, so you can be ready for Mr. DeMille’s closeup.

Posted in beat the press, eedjits, GOP/Media Complex | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Right-Winger Julie Mason Doesn’t Like It When People Point Out Right-Wing Media Bias

NBC Nightly News Won’t Mention Parent GE’s $0 Tax Dodge

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 31, 2011

File this under “Things That Do Not Surprise Me”:

In spite of robust profits of $14.2 billion worldwide, GE has calculated a corporate tax bill for 2010 that adds up to zero, via a creative series of tax referrals and revenue shifts.


The curious thing about this year’s tax story is that it turned up in many major news outlets, with one key exception: NBC News. As the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi notes, the network’s “Nightly News” broadcast, hosted by Brian Williams, has not mentioned anything about its corporate parent’s resourceful accounting, even though the story has been in wide circulation in the business and general-interest press for nearly a week.

Not surprising at all that GE/NBC would ignore this story. What is surprising is that other corporate news outlets are covering it; they usually try not to do overt digs at one another — a sort of “honor among thieves”, if you will.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, GOP/Media Complex, taxes | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

The Tice Tribune Strikes Again, This Time On Teaching

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 22, 2011

The War on Teachers is in full swing over at the Tice Tribune. Marshall Tanick (via Rob Levine over at The Cucking Stool) has the details:

The editorial told only half of the story, and got that part wrong. As the attorney for the prevailing principal, I feel obliged to correct those mistaken impressions…

…The court ruled against the superintendent because she consciously and deliberately bypassed the notice and hearing requirement for no apparent reason, stripping Murphy of significant job responsibilities that she carried out well for many years…

The editorial opined, as did the school district in the lawsuit, that the reassignment was a mere trifle because Murphy retained her same salary….[but] The law currently defines a “demotion,” which triggers a right for a notice and hearing, to consist of a “reduction in rank,” defined as a diminution of duties or a decrease in compensation. Both occurred in this particular case.

The principal’s duties were changed from overseeing a facility and its staff to more menial duties, including lunchroom supervision. The offense in this case was not merely a matter of modifying a “title,” as the editorial suggested, but a major reduction of the educator’s role that could affect her if seeking a job elsewhere as well as promotional opportunities internally.


Posted in education, GOP/Media Complex, StarTribune, The smear industry | 3 Comments »

Annals Of Media Stupidity: Wisconsin Protests Edition

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 3, 2011

A by no means complete listing of media atrocities concerning the protests in Wisconsin:

Sally Jo Sorensen shares with a piece from Rusty Lear, a fellow who grew up on a Wisconsin farm with horses, explaining how his horse sense, coupled with his knowledge of the area plant life and climate, helped him determine that the footage of rioting people being dispersed from a palm-tree-decorated area by mounted cops could not have been taken in Madison during the ongoing protests as FOX claimed it was. (Seems that the Madison police force has four (4) horses, none of which look like the horse in the video.)

— Speaking of horse sense and the GOP/Media Complex’s near-complete lack thereof, Abe Sauer of The Awl addresses several instances of media malpractice: The Paunch Punking, CNN’s weird refusal to cover any groups of marchers that might undermine the corporate-advertiser-pleasing anti-union storyline, and the fact that A.G. “Paunch” Sulzberger was sent by the New York Times to Madison when their best labor reporter, Steven Greenhouse, was already there.

Media Matters focuses on the worst media offender, FOX, with a comprehensive run-down of its offenses against journalism on this story.

Posted in GOP/Media Complex | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

NYT Punk’d By Anti-Union Plant: Paunch’s Scoop Is Poop

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 1, 2011

Remember last week when the New York Times, with Arthur G. “Paunch” Sulzberger commanding both the byline and the front page with an article whose thesis, “Union Bonds in Wisconsin Begin to Fray”, was a consummation that Paunch oh-so-obviously (and devoutly) wished? The story that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker loved so much he even talked it up to the guy he thought was his owner, David Koch?

Keith Olbermann has the true scoop — and it’s that Paunch’s scoop is poop. Turns out Paunch wished for it so much, he let himself, and his daddy Pinch’s and grandpa Punch’s paper, get bamboozled by a non-union guy pretending to be a union guy who hated unions:

We know about this Times disaster from last Tuesday because the paper finally got around to correcting it in Saturday’s edition. The mistake got page 1A. The correction got a little box “below the fold” (somebody explain that term to Mr. Sulzberger, too) on 2A, which is read about as thoroughly as the drug interaction warnings that come with aspirin:

A front-page article on Tuesday about reaction among private-sector workers in Wisconsin to Gov. Scott Walker’s effort to cut benefits and collective-bargaining rights for unionized public employees referred incorrectly to the work history of one person quoted, and also misspelled his surname. While the man, Rich Hahn (not Hahan) described himself to a reporter as a “union guy,” he now says that he has worked at unionized factories, but was not himself a union member. (The Times contacted Mr. Hahn again to review his background after a United Auto Workers official said the union had no record of his membership.)

This clear picture of a bunch of agendas happily coinciding – ‘Sulzberger! Find me a Wisconsin union guy who agrees with the Governor!’ – and to hell with the facts or the fact-checking or the spelling, with the truth coming to light only from – gasp! – an actual union guy (from the devil UAW itself!), has been reduced to a “PS, the publisher’s kid kinda screwed up on the most important domestic news story of the moment” instead of serving as the springboard for something fair, or even useful – maybe a front-page piece about the disinformation war being waged by Governor Walker and the Koch Brothers and the Tea Party in Wisconsin and whether or not this Hahan/Hahn was part of it, intentionally or inadvertently.

Go run along and play, Paunch. You make your daddy Pinch look good, and he’s notoriously gormless.

Posted in GOP/Media Complex | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on NYT Punk’d By Anti-Union Plant: Paunch’s Scoop Is Poop

Payola Man Armstrong Calling Others ‘Peculiar’? That’s Hilarious

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 22, 2011

Wow, the Republican Party sure is providing a lot of good belly laughs lately.

The latest one comes courtesy of none other than Armstrong Williams, who you may remember from his being caught acting as a secretly paid scribe for the Bush administration while pretending to be an independent voice. (Hmmmm, now why does that sound familiar? Oh, that’s right — Michael Brodkorb and James “Jeff Gannon” Guckert. But anyway.) You may also remember him, he who is publicly celibate and conspicuously unmarried, as having been sued for sexual harassment by Stephen Gregory, and for having tried to make a pass at David Brock. Any of these things would have served, were he an ordinary human, to keep him banned from public life forever, especially if the political payola had been done on behalf of a Democratic administration. But since he’s a Republican, well, it’s OK for them, you know.

Anyway, this charming human being, this Armstrong Williams, has decided that Minnesota’s governor is “peculiar“.

What, has he sexually harassed someone and had to settle out of court? No. Has he pretended to be an independent journalist whilst serving as a right-wing partisan puke funnel? No.

Well, then, what has he done? Oh, he wants to make the rich pay for the decades-long free ride they’ve had. That of course is a terrible, horrible, no good very bad crime as far as the millionaires paid to shill for billionaires are concerned.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, GOP/Media Complex, Media machine, mediawhores | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

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