News Media Sensationalism and Dishonesty

Just reporting the news (if there is any) won't generate ratings as effectively as reporting news items with an emotional twist.  For example, shootings, fires, train derailments, and police standoffs always seem to be "dangerously close" to a school.  With schools only a quarter of a mile apart in the big cities, there's always one near enough to make that connection.

I recall an occasion a couple of years ago when there was a gang-related shooting in east Dallas just after midnight one night, right next to an elementary school, and the next morning there was a reporter on the scene fretting about how the shooting took place "dangerously close" to the school.  But logically, that was the best possible place for a shooting in the middle of the night — when nobody's at school!

Reporters often use meaningless one-dimensional statistics; for example, "Texas leads the nation in big-rig accidents."  (That's a quote from a recent story designed to drum up support for some new state law.)  That makes it sound like the truck drivers on Texas highways are more dangerous than anywhere else.  But Texas has more highway mileage than most other states, and lots of really bad drivers on the road.

But there are more subtle components of media sensationalism that the average viewer hardly notices, at least consciously.  Major market stations spend millions of dollars every year on futuristic news sets, lighting, catchy music, sound effects, visual effects, character generators and various kinds of electronic graphics.  TV newscasts are staged and choreographed as thoroughly as a small-town play.  In the old days, a middle-aged white man sat behind a plain old desk and reported the news.  That's not enough in today's TV market.  The happy news team — representing all race and gender combinations — sits behind a Star Trek desk and reads whatever comes up on the TelePrompter.  They rarely use words that are longer than three syllables.  The high-priced news readers are really good at putting on a phony "concerned" look at just the right time, if Botox permits.  And if you'll notice, they are usually just stating the obvious, and only rarely does anyone speak on a single subject for more than five or ten seconds.



Sensationalism



Media Should Stop Lecturing Americans About Their Ebola Concerns.  The very moment that the news was confirmed about Dr. Ebola, various reporters started telling everyone to calm down.  But nobody was panicking.  I mean, expressing interest in an unbelievably deadly disease that has spread quickly is not panicking.  Panicking is loading up your car like a prepper who just won the Lottery and heading to your cabin in West Virginia.  I mean, maybe there's someone who has done just that.  But there is no evidence that we have any serious problem with people panicking.

Race-Baiting CNN Falls For Another Trayvonesque Hoax.  Desperate to frame the shooting death of Michael Brown in racial terms, CNN has bitten hard on what appears to be faked evidence.  The network did the same thing during the Trayvon Martin case.

Ebola Optics and Questionable MSM Smiley Narratives.  Conservatives can be forgiven if, after having carefully reflected upon a sampling of MSM Ebola narratives, they conclude that something seems a bit askew.  Certain optics and associated stories appear to put a giant smiley face on the Ebola situation.  Nothing to worry about here.  Move along.  However, certain omissions raise troubling questions in regard to what we have been told — especially when the omissions are conjoined with scientific findings on Ebola. [...] The MSM is obviously populated by many people whose mouths are as big as their brains are tiny.  It is therefore no surprise that many such people do not know how to recognize when a question is really statistical in nature and, if it is, how to analyze it.

About That 'World-Ending' Solar Storm....  News of a devastating solar storm 'just missing' Earth in 2012 made the rounds last week.  Turns out that storm was nowhere near us, and similar storms have happened before.

Taliban sets oil tankers on fire in Afghanistan.  Television footage showed black smoke billowing above the site of the attack, with the charred wreckage of dozens of trucks scattered around a vast parking space.  The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the trucks carried fuel intended for U.S.-led NATO forces.

The Editor says...
The sensational headline would lead most readers to believe that somebody had set fire to two or more ocean-going oil tankers.  In reality, only a few thousand gallons of oil — in ordinary trucks — appear to be involved.

The new oil crisis: exploding trains.  Communities throughout the U.S. and Canada are waking up to the dark side of North America's energy boom:  Trains hauling crude oil are crashing, exploding and spilling in record numbers as a fast-growing industry outpaces the federal government's oversight.

The Editor says...
The article immediately above is one of those "We need more legislation" commercial for Big Government.  Big Oil is outrunning "the federal government's oversight."  Railroad companies apparently don't care if trains derail, you see, but if the government takes over, there will never be another train wreck.

U.S. passenger jet nearly collided with drone in March: FAA.  An American Airlines Group Inc aircraft almost collided with a drone above Florida earlier this year, a near-accident that highlights the growing risk from rising use of unmanned aircraft, the U.S. air safety regulator said.

The Editor says...
Don't be deceived by the sensational headline.  It was a small plane, a small drone, no collision, very small story.

Barbara Walters is TV personality, not a journalist.  Walters broke into the media business as a behind-the-scenes writer at NBC, eventually working her way up to be co-host of "Today."  She entered the network news world with no journalistic credentials, a fact that bothered the grizzled news veterans of the day.  She made history in 1976 when ABC hired her to be the first woman to co-anchor a network evening newscast.  The gimmick of hiring a "Today" host to do a serious newscast never worked.  Walters had built her career as a morning gabber, and that didn't translate to the serious news anchor desk.

Dateline producer suing NBC.  Women working at NBC's Dateline show are regularly asked to pose as 'sexual bait' for stories about prostitution, sex trafficking, and sexual deviants according to a female producer who is now suing the network.  New York-based Kimberly Lengle, 33, says she quit the program last April after a senior HR director failed to follow-up on her complaints about the practice.

Logic Gets Sucked into the Polar Vortex.  North America is presently experiencing the kind of abnormally cold temperatures that can wreak havoc on computer climate models.  The mainstream media is overflowing with headlines about coldness raging unexpectedly across Canada in January, Jack Frost nipping at people's noses, and other signs of the Apocalypse.  Naturally, then, it was only a matter of time before these media outlets — aka the global Ministry of Propaganda — let the other shoe drop, and explained how all this routine winter weather is the result of man-made global warming, and therefore can only be halted by international totalitarianism.

Obama portrayed as victim.  Some may think reporters and editors are simply clumsy or indifferent writers, and sometimes they are.  But much of the time they choose their words (and photos) with exquisite and subtle care.  They also realize that most people only look at the headlines and photos of most articles, and that those are therefore the most important elements, and that even people who do read the article often read only the first few paragraphs.

The media war over George W. Bush's stent.  From Benghazi to the health of former President George W. Bush, wild unsubstantiated assertions by the news media take the place of real reporting.  Fox News is left to set the record straight, yet frequently it doesn't get the credit it deserves.  The stent placement in President Bush's coronary artery is the latest example of the world of Fox News versus wild speculation.

Media Coverage of Benghazi Leans Toward Political Theater.  First, we learned from the Obama Administration that it was a YouTube video that sparked the protests — a false narrative gladly perpetuated by the media as long as possible.  Currently, the media and the administration are pushing the story that attempts to investigate Benghazi constitute a Republican vendetta, the perpetuation of a "phony scandal" to incite the populace against the President and former Secretary of State — and presidential hopeful — Hillary Clinton.  To this end, it is not surprising that key details of the recent congressional hearings on Benghazi went largely unnoticed by the mainstream media.

Art Horn Letter to Connecticut State Department of Agriculture.  Hurricane Sandy was not a "Super Storm".  This label was assigned by the news media.  Those who called Sandy a Super Storm did so because they liked the sound of "Super Storm."  Having worked in television news rooms for 25 years I am well acquainted with these exaggerations.  The term "Super Storm Sandy" sounds much more dramatic than "Sandy is a category one Hurricane on a scale of one to five" which is what it was.

Breaking News! Seventh First Climate Refugees Discovered!  BBC, your climate reporting is pathetic.  Doesn't anyone there think to check up on some dewy-eyed reporter gushing on about the tragic fate of the latest batch of pseudo-refugees?  Missing the facts in this story would have been understandable a decade ago, but in 2013, you guys are a running joke.

The Media's Moral Decline: Standards, Story Selection Now Tabloids On Steroids.  For those who don't live in New York and aren't familiar with the Daily News, it should be noted that while it sometimes reads like a tabloid, it is a legitimate news source and is mentioned in the same breath as The News York Times and New York Post one of the city's top newspapers.  In fact, the Daily News has won ten Pulitzers and is the fourth-most circulated newspaper in the United States.  To that end, these headlines aren't too different than what we see dominating national or local cable news today, and by extension (since we cover this stuff), Mediaite as well.

An Abortionist's Unglamorous Victims.  He's allegedly killed more people than Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy combined, but most Americans have never heard of him. [...] We have wall-to-wall coverage of Jodi Arias, a lone nut who admits to killing her boyfriend in Arizona, but a blackout on Kermit Gosnell.  And why wouldn't we?  The Arias trial involves nude pictures, kinky sex, and an attractive woman.

The 10 Absolute Worst Media Reactions To The Boston Marathon Bombings.  In the media business, what's the one thing you can consistently expect from reporters, pundits, "experts," and anchors on the day of a major news event?  Speculation.  Wild, unabashed speculation.  Oftentimes, their conjecture is based on their own political beliefs and agendas.  And this can lead to some particularly ugly comments while the wounds are still fresh during major tragedies like the Newtown and Aurora massacres... and Monday's Boston marathon bombings.

The Media's Privacy War.  Sensationalizing the news and publicizing the story non-stop allows advertisers to count on human nature.  The public tunes in and/or buys the newspaper.  Media networks bet that if you get hooked on the drama, the personalities of the reporters, you will keep watching or buying the particular outlet for your news.  High viewership and readership increases the likelihood of advertising sales.  The media wages a privacy war for money.

Woodward-Sperling Flap May Turn Tide.  The more superficial the brouhaha the bigger its impact.  What public figures say is more important than what they do, because cable TV and political blogs can cover a mud fight more cheaply and more easily than they can a real story.

Geraldo Rivera and Common Decency.  There are those who will dismiss Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera's announcement that he is considering running for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey in 2014 as a Republican as just one more publicity stunt in a career replete with them.  Rivera's public record is mixed, as it has combined serious advocacy on a number of issues with the sort of foolish excess that has given a bad name to tabloid journalism.  If people think of him more as a celebrity than a journalist, it is his own fault and not something that he has seemed to mind very much.

The media love maniacs.  The same media that pointedly ignore frequent life-saving defensive uses of firearms consistently pours hours and days and weeks of attention upon the latest maniac who chooses a firearm as his tool of mass murder, so that the next potential insane villain cannot fail to notice the easy path to fame and immortality that the misuse of a gun can bring.  But the greatest fame will only attach if they can beat the previous body-count record, a number constantly and loudly broadcast, so that no one can fail to hear it.  The message to the unstable is clear:  Come on, you crazy guys, can't you at least murder your way to thirty?

Newtown is the Latest Example of Media Overkill.  On behalf of all us, I beg the media:  Please go away.  Please stop cold calling my friends who live in Sandy Hook for potential news nuggets.  Please stop harassing people like my mother as they leave funerals.  Please stop parking on people's lawns without permission.

CBS presents hype as news.  Does anyone remember when CBS used to be a respected news organization that did its own research — or at least quoted independent experts?  Or even conducted interviews?  When it comes to health and science news, alas, it seems like they've been reduced to rewriting alarmist or sensationalist press releases.

The 'Screw Science' Media and Super Storm Sandy.  When science departs from the scary-story script, journalists are the first to dismiss its importance.

Newsweek's 'Muslim Rage': A sickening piece of shock journalism that cheapens a once great magazine.  Sensational covers now seem to be the only way to keep selling the magazine, whether it's declaring Obama to be the first gay president or a recycled picture of asparagus spears and a juicy pair of lips to tease customers into parting with their change.

A Tsunami of Exaggeration.  One of the current obsessions is how much debris from the tsunami in Japan last year — some of it possibly radioactive!!! — will be washing ashore in North America.  Usha Lee McFarling writes in the Los Angeles Times that we should all calm down.

When 'Minority' is a Trick of Definition.  When the Census Bureau this month issued a press release headlined "Most Children Younger Than Age 1 are Minorities," the media snapped to attention.  News outlets nationwide covered the announcement, hailing it as a "historic demographic milestone" (CNN), as the "dawn of an era in which whites no longer will be in the majority" (Washington Post), and as an "important turning point for the nation" (McClatchy) that would "starkly ... change the face of America's next generations" (Time).  None of that was true.  None of that was new, either.

Mike Wallace, Entertainment, and Journalism.  On the back nine, Mike liked to think of himself exclusively as a journalist.  The network might have plucked him from daytime television — but taking the shill out of the entertainer was another matter.  Wallace was the quintessential barker, an ambulance-chaser with press credentials.  He perfected the art of "ambush" journalism at CBS.  With such tactics, copy led only when it bled.  Indeed, Mike Wallace's career echoes some of the more predatory traditions of broadcast journalism.

Journalism's Eroding Integrity.  The ABC News product increasingly ceases to be journalism.  It is sensationalism.  It is reprehensible.  It's time to let ABC News feel the sting of public disapproval.

Journalists don't have good grasp of religion.  Evidence of big media's bias against religion that doesn't advance the secular and liberal agenda of the Democratic Party is beyond dispute.  Any faith attached to a conservative agenda is to be ridiculed, stereotyped and misrepresented.  Islam is a notable exception.  The media appear to bend over backward not to offend Muslims.

ABC News' reporting on the Aurora shooting is even worse than we thought.  Apparently this story isn't horrible enough already.  The people we used to count on to tell us the news keep doing [everything they can] to make it even worse.

Police called in because of disruptive MEDIA members harassing employees at Hollywood Chick-Fil-A 'kiss-in'.  Apparently, in Hollywood, CA police had to be called in because of disruptive people.  The police weren't called in because of the protesters doing anything wrong, but rather for the pink slime media members who were harassing the employees!

Upon Further Review?  How the media does love its monsters.  The media got an early Christmas gift from Jerry Sandusky, who fills the hideous monster vacuum that had developed after Osama Bin Laden was slain.  How the media does love its monsters.  After Bin Laden, the monster niche was neatly filled by Dominique Strauss-Kahn (almost forgotten now, relegated to media monster purgatory.)  Prior to DSK we had folk villain Bernie Madoff, after which Michael Vick's head was served to us on a platter.  Prior to Vick came loony monster Mel Gibson, preceded by Timothy McVeigh, the Unabomber and, to be sure, O.J. Simpson, a sort of monster emeritus.  Qadaffi was October monster of the month, giving way to Sandusky.

What is Poverty in the United States Today?  [Scroll down]  Mainstream news media also present poverty in America as severe material hardship. ... The ongoing use of examples of severe hardship in TV news should not be surprising.  TV news thrives on drama, and reporters naturally seek out the starkest and most sympathetic examples of poverty to build the most compelling stories.  By contrast, a realistic portrayal of the living conditions of the typical poor family in America would not make compelling viewing.  In fact, the audience would be unlikely to regard such a family as seriously deprived.

Payday Loans.  The mindset of the left was recently displayed in a big, front-page story in the October 30th issue of the San Mateo County Times.  It was an investigative reporter's expose of the "payday loan" business and its lobbyists.  According to the reporter:  "In California lenders charge up to $45 in fees on a maximum $300 loan.  This amounts to an interest rate of 460 percent, trapping some borrowers into a never-ending cycle of debt." ... Using this kind of reasoning — or lack of reasoning — you could quote the price of salmon as $15,000 a ton or say a hotel room rents for $36,000 a year, when no consumer buys a ton of salmon and few people stay in a hotel room all year.  It is clever propaganda, but do people buy newspapers to be propagandized?

The 'Hunger' Hoax.  Twenty years ago, hysteria swept through the media over "hunger in America." Dan Rather opened a CBS Evening News broadcast in 1991 declaring, "one in eight American children is going hungry tonight."  Newsweek, the Associated Press and the Boston Globe repeated this statistic, and many others joined the media chorus, with or without that unsubstantiated statistic.

Jackie, Oh No.  Is there a more empathetic person in the world than Diane Sawyer, the top newsreader at ABC TV?  I'm sure there must be — around seven billion of them, probably.  But is there anyone who looks more empathetic than Diane Sawyer?  Not a chance.  When she peers at you through the camera she has the look of someone who's just seen your lab results and is trying to figure out how to break the bad news.

The Editor says...
Bill Curtis of WBBM-TV has perfected the "phony concerned look".

Understanding Poverty in the U.S..  Poor Americans, on average, live in larger houses or apartments than does the average, non-poor individual living in Sweden, France, Germany or the United Kingdom.  The media cry with alarm that "nearly one in four kids" in the nation are hungry.  Again, government data show otherwise.  Fully 96 percent of poor parents stated that their children were never hungry at any time during 2009, despite the severity of the recession, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A Weather Newsgasm.  [Scroll down]  The incessant "news" coverage reflects the way television (and print) news professionals tend to regard viewers as too stupid to make decisions as basic as preparing for the hurricane or evacuating before its arrival, nor do they just report the news, i.e., the facts.  So far as Irene was concerned, they engaged in massive speculation and endless predictions.

Here's an example of news media alarmism:
Atop TV Sets, a Power Drain That Runs Nonstop.  Those little boxes that usher cable signals and digital recording capacity into televisions have become the single largest electricity drain in many American homes, with some typical home entertainment configurations eating more power than a new refrigerator and even some central air-conditioning systems. ... One high-definition DVR and one high-definition cable box use an average of 446 kilowatt hours a year...

The Editor's rebuttal:
Do the math.  446 kWh a year, consumed by an appliance that runs 24 hours a day, is an average power consumption of only 50 watts.  Is that more power than your "central air-conditioning system" uses?  Nobody put a gun to your head and forced you to get a high-def DVR and a cable box.  If that's how you want to spend your money, that's your business.

Exploiting the Japanese.  For the left, no crisis is too terrible to go unused.  So it is with the horrific suffering that has taken place in Japan. ... In [an] appearance on the NBC Nightly News, Edward Lyman of UCS stressed the ominous situation in Japan while at the same time stressing that "it can happen here."  The "safety bar is set too low," Lyman insisted.  We need more restrictions — presumably the sort that would slow down further nuclear power development or shut it down entirely.  Suddenly, the media was full of the "worse than Three Mile Island" scenario — the worst nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl.  Come to think of it, has there been a nuclear "catastrophe" since Chernobyl?  Is the situation in Japan, however serious it may be, a Chernobyl-scale accident?  Not likely, but the media seems to be licking its lips, hoping it will come close.

Fear the Media Meltdown, Not the Nuclear One.  Relax:  this is not another Chernobyl or Three Mile Island, and I'll tell you exactly why.  The only thing to fear is the sensationalist reporting that has the world panicked.

The Media's Deadly Sin.  Last year I was listening to the radio and heard that our area had experienced an earthquake during the night.  I took the reporter's word that it happened; it had been so mild that I slept right through it.  In December 1995, if one weren't visiting a national park or applying for a passport, the government shutdown had the same impact as that earthquake.  In other words, if it hadn't been for the media caterwauling, the majority of us wouldn't have even known the shutdown had happened.

Journalists' sob stories block reform.  Now that budget battles have begun in earnest all around the country, those advocating spending cuts, Democratic and Republican, had better not expect any help in furthering their cause from the mainstream news media.  In fact, the news media might be their most formidable foe.  How so?  Well, now that we know the targets of the cuts, the news media, suckers for a sob story, are already throbbing with carefully orchestrated, heart-rending tales about what devastation those cuts will cause:  Children who won't be fed; students unable to afford college; classrooms bursting at the seams; cancers that will not be treated; trains that won't run; roads that won't be built; families becoming homeless or freezing in their unheated homes; single mothers who will lose child care and job training; food that will not be inspected; water and air that will be more polluted; farmers who will be forced from their land; playgrounds, parks, museums, libraries and health clinics that will be closed.  You know the drill.

The Toyota Death Panel.  The Toyota scare was just the latest in a long series of orchestrated crises, in the tradition of the Alar scam of the 1980s, or DDT hysteria before that.  It's very easy to provoke a media stampede against a large corporation.  The narrative plays into the anti-business biases of reporters, whose ears are hungry for the distant cry of trumpets calling them to battle in a populist crusade.

The Anti-Cop Trend That Isn't.  [Scroll down]  Dig into most of these articles, however, and you will find there is no real evidence of an increase in anti-police violence, let alone one that can be traced to anti-police rhetoric, gun sales, disrespect for authority, or "don't tread on me" sentiment.  (CNN is one of the few media outlets that have covered the purported anti-police trend with appropriate skepticism.)  Amid all the quotes from concerned law enforcement officials in MSNBC's "War on Cops" article, for example, is a casual mention that police fatality statistics for this month are about the same as they were in January 2010.

The Media's Debacles.  Without an analysis of the significance of an event, the news becomes an arena in which to compete for attention and the most outlandish, shocking, offensive or bizarre becomes "newsworthy".  Competition for sensational news is no less intense today than it was when the so-called "yellow press" in the United States, largely under the control of editor William Randolph Hearst, found Spain guilty for the disaster of the sinking of the U.S. battleship "Maine" in Havana harbor and provoked the Spanish-American War in 1898. ... A viewing audience unequipped with basic background information is likely to take at face value the absurd, shocking and grotesque if portrayed often enough and presented as "news".

IPCC Distortion Of Weather And Climate Is Reinforced By Media Hyperbole.  It's pathetic to watch the US mainstream media yearn for a hurricane, especially one that will threaten people.  They anxiously scan the weather maps off the coast of West Africa for any low-pressure system that might develop into a news making, life threatening, normal event.  It is another measure of how the media is not about news but editorializing, speculation and sensationalism.  Sadly, they are joined in this or at least not dissuaded or counteracted by government agencies.

Jacksonian America.  On September 11th 2001, about an hour after the planes hit the twin towers, Jo Moore, a senior advisor to Britain's Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, turned away from the TV and fired off a departmental e-mail:  It's now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury.  I'm not sure where Ms Moore is these days, but June 25th and all the following week were even better days to get out anything you want to bury.  The House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey "cap-and-trade" bill ... And nobody cared.  Because Michael Jackson had died.

The Price Of A Porcine Panic.  There's panic in the streets over a flu outbreak.  "Projections are that this virus will kill 1 million Americans," the nation's top health official has warned.  The virus is swine flu.  But the date is 1976.  And the projection, it turns out, is off by 999,999 deaths.  Direct ones, that is.  The hastily developed vaccine killed or crippled hundreds.

Figuring How to Terrify Us Over Swine Flu.  "U.S. health officials say swine flu could strike up to 40 percent of Americans over the next two years and as many as several hundred thousand could die."  So declares an Associated Press article, the writer of which you can picture trying to catch his breath as he pounds away at the keyboard.

A pandemic of panic — are we dead yet?  We were all supposed to be in the graveyard by now, done in by AIDS, SARS, bird flu, poisoned peanut butter, Hong Kong flu, killer tomatoes, global warming and strangulation by kudzu.  But here we are, proof that there really is life after death.

The Great Liberal Pandemonium Machine.  The Mexican swine flu pandemic?  Oh, that's soooo yesterday.  Global Warming?  All those confident "scientific" predictions are falling apart around the world, even as greedy politicians still try to squeeze the last little drops of power and money out of them.  Human flesh-eating bacteria?  SARS?  Ozone holes?  Mad Cow?  The Curse of the Killer Tomatoes?  Water torture?  CO2?  Bee Colony Collapse?  It never ends.  As long as scare stories sell, as long as millions of indoctrinated suckers fall for them they will never end.

After salmonella, bird flu, the Millennium Bug... should we actually be scared this time?  Don't we have the sense that we have seen this kind of panic before, which eventually turned out to have gone way over the top?  The moment which more than any might have set off a severe attack of deja vu came when the BBC Today programme wheeled on an expert from the World Health Organisation to tell us that '40 percent' of us in Britain may catch swine flu — while another unnamed expert was quoted predicting that '1.2 million' Britons could die.

Yellowcake and Yellow Journalism:  On MSNBC they're covering the [Scooter Libby] trial like it's the Normandy Invasion, starring Elvis Presley, as told by Joseph Goebbels.  MSNBC's "reportage" consists of endless repetition of arbitrary assertions, half-truths and thoroughly debunked canards.  No one else cares about the trial — except presumably Scooter Libby — so the passionate left is allowed to invent a liberal fable without correction.

Yellow Science:  Man has always had a healthy desire for knowledge, and it is the feeding of this hunger that ennobles journalism.  Hearst and Pulitzer were acutely aware that man has a less healthy but no less voracious desire to believe that he has knowledge, particularly knowledge of something sensational.  It is the feeding of this hunger that irreparably disgraced journalism, and a century later now threatens to do the same to science.

The Fog of Breaking News:  Why you should take reports from the scene of a massacre with a grain of salt.

Paris, Lindsay and A-Rod?  We Don't Care!  Apparently, the causal relationship between the media's supply of celebrity gossip and the public's demand for it is a two-way street.  America's seemingly insatiable appetite for celebrity scandal is a troubling sign, but here's an even more alarming truth:  Our enemy — facing the most powerful military force in history — has never concealed its belief that its ultimate triumph, as well as our ultimate demise, will come about because Americans are too fat, lazy and decadent to care enough to fight for their civilization and their values.

Movie shows photo fraud involved in wartime journalism.  Numerous examples of Photoshop embellishment and throw-down toys carefully arranged by news photographers to evoke emotion.

Amped-up storm coverage may become the norm.  Nearly a year later, hurricanes Katrina and Rita are still fresh on Gulf Coast minds, and Houston's television stations are trending toward more aggressive storm coverage.

The Editor continues to rant...
How can someone report current events aggressively without dishonest hype?  What does "aggressive coverage" really mean anyway?  It means the poorly educated masses in Houston will be drenched, if you will, with sensational, pessimistically speculative, tabloid television.  This style of "journalism" benefits only the TV stations and their advertisers, not the viewers.

How a New York Times reporter's passion for Castro led him astray:  Aha!  Finally we've discovered the missing ingredient in American journalism, the vitamin deficiency that's been shrinking newspaper circulation and TV newscast audiences all these years.  What Americans clamor for is not information but passion.  The heroes of the coverage of Katrina were not the reporters who got the most accurate stories but the ones who shouted the loudest or cried the hardest.

TV News Meets the Vast Wasteland:  Those amusing, though sadly depressing man-in-the-street interviews are an indication that the American hoi-polloi get whatever knowledge they may have only from TV newscasts, not printed material.  For this reason, national TV news has become increasingly more dependent on the sensationalism that their entertainment brethren can provide to attract viewers.  It's sometimes hard to determine where news coverage leaves off and entertainment begins, but the signs have been around for a long time.  The O.J. Simpson day-by-day trial was the most egregious example, but John Kennedy Jr.'s fatal flight coverage was a close second in televised excess.  Aging stalwarts like Barbara Walters think they can alternate between slobbering celebrity interviews and interrogating prominent political figures without suffering a lack of credibility.

Barbara Walters is not a role model.  She's written a tell-all autobiography.  And she's promoting it on ABC, which continues to employ her.  Once upon a time, legitimate news organizations would not have allowed a conflict of interest like this.

ABC Even Complains About Charity.  No good deed goes unpunished — that was the theme of an ABC Christmas day segment about donating clothing to charity.  "World News Tonight with Charles Gibson," took "A Closer Look" at charities and gave the appearance of dishonesty.

RIP:  protest films, e-porn and bimbos.  Year's end is a time of many media traditions.  For example, the tearing away of the last page of the calendar is all the excuse TV producers need to recycle hours of sensational video footage of dubious news value on the pretense that viewers need to relive the last 365 days. ... And then there's the practice of "spotting trends" from the year.  Trend-spotting has become something of an obsession with today's journalists, particularly at newspapers coping with the fact that they don't "break" news the way they did in the past.

Long Winter for the Media.  It is an unsettling time to be a journalist.  You are either on the edge of extinction or in charge of the universe.  The newspaper industry is condemned to write piecemeal its own obituary without knowing when or how — or, truth be told, if — the end will come.  Broadcast media now possess a self-inflated importance that they rarely bother to deny.

The L.A. Times's Human Wrecking Ball.  Great newspapers take decades to build.  We are discovering that they can be dismantled in relatively short order.

Fence fiasco:  Or Feliz ano nuevo.  The decline of American sovereignty would typically be a big story in any year, but with all the news coming out of Hollywood this year, maybe it was a bit overshadowed by more significant events.  I mean, how can the virtual surrender of a 231-year-old nation to the Pollyanna-ish forces of political correctness possibly compete with the dramatic real-life struggles of Britney Spears, Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, and the nation's hot new nymphet, Britney's baby sister, Jamie Lynn Spears?

Summertime, and the news is so cheesy.  Last year's Great August Story was left-wing activist Cindy Sheehan's absurd campout near the president's Texas ranch, which, much to the dismay of Mrs. Sheehan, was interrupted only after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast.  Remember the Summer of the Shark?  That was 2001, when the media hyped shark attacks, despite the widely acknowledged fact that the season's attacks were no higher than previous seasons'.

Bigotry and Sports:  Although not too many years ago, sports-writing was considered the "toy department" of journalism, the boys and girls in the press box have been eager to catch up to their counterparts in the "real" world.  And so, they are also no longer content with merely reporting the scores, trades and what have you; they must now generate the news.  And, similar to the mainstream media, they need divisive issues in order to push the agenda of all J-school graduates:  to change the world.

Hurricane Hype Clouds Warming Debate.  ABC's Jeffrey Kofman sounded the alarm about storms so bad scientists "are now considering adding a fearsome category 6.  That's hurricanes of more than 175 miles an hour.  Something no one would want to meet head-on."  No one did.  Category 6 wasn't even added, and the chorus of media hype about another deadly season of storms turned into so much hot air.  That's right -- forecasts for the 2006 hurricane season, which ends November 30, have proven entirely wrong.  Instead of 17 tropical storms and hurricanes, we got only nine.

Frivolous politics:  In these grim and foreboding times, our media have this year spent incredible amounts of time on a hunting accident involving Vice President Cheney, a bogus claim that the administration revealed Valerie Plame's identity as a C.I.A. "agent" — actually a desk job in Virginia — and is now going ballistic over a Congressman who sent raunchy e-mails to Congressional pages.  This is the frivolous media — and the biased media.

9/11 Myths, Debunked.  Trust that conspiracy theorists will attempt to exploit the fifth anniversary of 9/11 to spread sensational claims and sensational lies.  Moreover, it's a fair bet sensationalist media will collaborate, not because the squawk show host or headline scribbler believes the poisoned foolishness, but because anger, fear and trembling sell.

Shepard Smith Smears Swift Boat Vets.  While some press attention has been focused on the seeming odd-couple of Rupert Murdoch raising money for Hillary Clinton, another fascinating relationship has apparently been developed between Fox News and Hugh Hefner's Playboy.  Fox News' Neil Cavuto aired an interview with Hugh Hefner on May 4, on the grounds that the announcement of his "Playmate of the Year" was "business news," and Fox News anchor Shepard Smith is interviewed in the June issue of Playboy magazine.

Al Gore and the Global Warming Scare.  People are naturally prone to worry about dangers that are invisible: radioactivity, for one spectacular example.  The media know this, and are forever trumpeting the discovery of new perils to scare us with.  Hardly a week passes without someone announcing that some familiar food or other useful substance has just been discovered to cause cancer (though usually only when administered in huge doses to mice).  Dangers associated with weather are special favorites because they are usually so difficult to cope with.  In recent decades, we have been treated to alarmist reports about impending disasters to be caused by nuclear winter, acid rain and the ozone hole.  But the Big Daddy of all such scare stories is "global warming."

Did someone mention Global Warming?

TV Jumps on Stale NSA Database Story.  Like the TV coverage, USA Today's story insinuated that the existence of the database was a major violation of Americans' privacy rights and evidence that the President was lying last December when he described the NSA's eavesdropping on suspected terrorist communications as limited and targeted.

Simply Put, the US Mainstream Media Provides an Inferior Product.  They may have the most advanced technology for delivering the news and the flashiest sets, graphics and promotional tactics; they may have scoured the earth for the "prettiest" people who can read Teleprompters and those with the most important sounding voices, but they have sacrificed their credibility at the altar of the almighty advertising dollar and because of that the public's trust in the mainstream media is shattered.

Drivin' and Not Cryin'?  When it comes to gas prices, the media too often know the price of everything and the value of nothing.  Flip open a paper and turn on the TV and you'll learn that gas prices are rising again.  "Stormy 6 Weeks Ahead" says CBSNews and warns consumers to expect "pain at the pump."

Digging for the truth:  Too many journalists fail to dig deeply enough to get to the real story.  They breathless hype the latest scare about everything from pesticides and "road rage" to cell phones and irradiated food.  Deadly dangers lurk everywhere, and your Intrepid Reporter is all that stands between you and certain disaster.

Media eat up absurd rape story.  I called it back in April.  When a black stripper claimed three white Duke University lacrosse players gang-raped her at a party, I knew instinctively it was a lie.  The tale reeked of Tawana Brawley-like fabrications.

Movie shows photo fraud involved in wartime journalism.  Numerous examples of Photoshop embellishment and throw-down toys carefully arranged by news photographers to evoke emotion.

Hold that opinion.  Opinion journalism — the business not of reporting what happened, but of commenting on it — tends to place a premium on speed.  When that story breaks on Tuesday, members of the pundits' guild spring into action as well.  Editorial writers and columnists tell their readers what the news means.  TV talking heads and radio pontificators pass judgment.  Internet bloggers — the commentariat's newest, increasingly influential players — scramble to weigh in.

CBS Whips Up Worry about Hurricane Season:  The first day of spring [2006] proved perfect timing for the CBS's Jim Acosta to resurrect global warming as the villain behind last year's hurricane season, downplaying how hotly debated the matter is in the scientific community.

NASCAR Furious With NBC Over 'Dateline' Segment.  "It is outrageous that a news organization of NBC's stature would stoop to the level of going out to create news instead of reporting news," [NASCAR spokesman Ramsey] Poston said [4/5/2006].  "Any legitimate journalist in America should be embarrassed by this stunt.  The obvious intent by NBC was to evoke reaction, and we are confident our fans won't take the bait," he said.

ABC Hatches Weeklong Series on Bird Flu:  In 2003, ABC questioned government's bioterrorism warnings, but now emphasizes the latest concerns on bird flu.

Are You Satisfied With Your TV News?  Sound bites!  They may be the death of Western civilization!  The triviality of our network and local TV news is well known.  Locally, so much of the local channels give us a steady diet of blood and guts that is debilitating.  All the accidents, the murders, the court appearances of sordid criminals, the crimes of all descriptions seem to be their main focus.

The propaganda broadcasting network:  The definition of propaganda describes ABC News' decision to enlist the services of actor and teenage heartthrob, Leonardo DiCaprio, to interview President Clinton about the environment:  "the spreading of ideas, information or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause or a person."

Cool Britannia:  Sometimes, during what are called "slow news periods," newspapers and magazines struggle to fill pages.  In America at least, they solve this problem several ways:  by printing what are generously called "puff pieces", by covering tabloid trash stories, or by recycling old items to try to get more mileage out of them.  We seem to be in one of those times nationally, even with the so-called "war on terrorism."  When George W. Bush choking on a pretzel is the big story of the week, you know it is a slow news time.

How CNN Creates The News:  CNN's "Compound" Interest:  Their interest is in ratings and sensationalism, not in accuracy or justice.

What is the media thinking by ignoring the Medal of Honor?  "If it bleeds, it leads" is a canon of today's mass media, so bad news usually trumps good news for editors and producers.  But this week proves there is an even more powerful maxim:  "Trivial celebrity news beats all."  The carefully choreographed royal pronouncement pushed at least two other events — far more important to Americans — well into the background of U.S. print and broadcast media.

Soft News Erodes Audience The rise in "soft news" and "critical journalism" could be turning off traditional news audiences, according to a Harvard University study.  Soft news was defined as being typically more sensational, more personality-centered, more entertainment-oriented and more incident-based than traditional public affairs news.

Christmas with Hef:  They claim that she gets "the big stories."  But MSNBC's Rita Cosby continues to dig in the bottom of the barrel to attract an audience.

Our most destructive kind of racism.  Paula Zahn devoted two of her hour-long CNN shows this week to the topic "Skin Deep: Racism in America."  After taking the time to watch, the question I walked away with was:  "What was the point?"  In my view, the shows told us little that most of us don't already know — strong racist sentiments exist in the country — and really never asked the deeper and more important questions about what this means and why we should care.

O.J., "Kramer" and limits:  This "If I Did It" book and TV interview monstrosity was deliberately planned for the last week of the November sweeps, and Simpson reportedly was to be paid a cool $3.5 million for his efforts.  It was a disaster.  Fox News Channel discussed the story relentlessly, obviously promoting both the book and the upcoming interview, but it backfired and open revolt ensued.

Celebrities At The End.  The surrealism of celebrity pop culture erupts when a major celebrity dies.  The sudden, mysterious death of Michael Jackson caused a near-total eclipse of the real news.  The cable-news channels blurred into 24-7 wailing walls for the so-called "King of Pop."  Television ratings surged with a big ka-ching.  So much for the "news" business.

You Know The Real Reason Why Time Mag Is Going Down the Drain?  The Content!  For all the tears that get shed over the beginning of the middle of the end for Mr. Luce's mag and newsweeklies in general, one obvious explanation generally gets glossed over:  They are mostly written by conventional-wisdom mongerers who can barely finish shipping an issue of "Why Dinosaurs Believed in God" and "The Mother Mary Holy Water Diet" before rushing out something like this time-waster by esteemed historian David M. Kennedy.

The Michael Jackson funeral.  In their rush to pander to the lowest common denominator, the major media, especially television, have fallen for their own hype, in a self-reinforcing cycle of Jackson mania.  They believed the importance of their coverage was revealed by the fact that all their peers and competitors regarded Jackson as equally important.  The public has even less reason to place their confidence in the antique media that brought us the sensationalistic coverage of the funeral of a celebrity whose career and life have been falling apart for many years.

The 12 Days of Michael.  There's no doubt about it.  Celebrity is the media's top priority.  Michael Jackson's June 25 death overshadowed all other news for almost two weeks.  Nightly news programs on ABC, CBS and NBC featured at least one story each night about Jackson since his death.  More than half of those broadcasts aired since June 25 lead (sic) with a story about Jackson.

What ever Happened To The Erupting Iceland Volcano?  The Eyjafjallajokull volcano continues to erupt in Iceland, but the story has fallen off the very small mainstream media tabletop. ... A brief examination of climate history shows how much it changes naturally and how those changes are a great influence on nature and human history.  The planes may be flying again but the fallout from the eruption is just beginning.  The mainstream media ... quickly lurch on to the next hysteria leaving the outcome and fallout of previous hysterias unreported.

The Lies of Duke:  "She was black, they were white, and race and sex were in the air."  That's how a Washington Post columnist described the atmosphere that led to the brutal gang rape of Crystal Mangum by a group of Duke University lacrosse players in 2006.  You remember, right?  That was the violent, racially motivated hate crime that never happened.

Journalists become 'self-reverential' celebrities.  Newsmen have become the news.  And the gossip.  One may run for office.  Many are vying for a single plum job.  Another is suing his old network for millions.  It is a long way from the austere days of Eric Sevareid, when staid anchormen left stardom to Hollywood.

The national news media provide publicity for every crazed gunman who goes out with a bang.
Dial CNN for Murder.  The same dangerous pattern has been repeated again and again.  The disturbed man who took hostages at Sen. Clinton's headquarters in New Hampshire told loved ones to "watch the news tonight."  The shooter who terrorized an Omaha shopping mall by mowing down total strangers has achieved his goal (and I will not add to the problem by publishing his name).  He left a suicide note in which he predicted "at least now I'll be famous."  His picture is featured in every newspaper and is flashed on television hourly.  His miseries are being dissected and analyzed. ... And other disturbed people are watching and taking note.

The Media Has Declared... WAR!  Newsrooms and hospitals have one major thing in common:  the "hush" is the loudest thing anyone ever hears.  The "hush" is the moment when normal activity stops cold for an announcement of major events that will entirely reshape any usual activity.  While both newsrooms and hospitals stop on that kind of news — and then, following it, race into a whirlwind of overdrive — the similarities end there.  Hospitals gird for the incoming and the flood of bad news to follow; most newsrooms do not.  In a newsroom, tragic events are met with a different vibe:  an electric jolt that energizes the room with a sense of self-importance.  The shot of adrenaline that surges through a newsroom is fascinating to watch.

Media madness:  The Virginia Tech story.  There seems to be just one template for the media in covering tragedies like that which just occurred at Virginia Tech:  Discussion of further regulation of guns and so much coverage of the perpetrator that copycats are sure to be impressed. … Seeing the glorification of the latest mass murderer, the next Cho may be already getting some ideas about how to take follow in his footsteps.

Reducing the risk of copycat killers:  The way the media cover an event influences whether there will be repetitions.  For example, if a fan runs onto the field during a baseball game, the broadcast cameras usually avoid showing pictures of the fan.  The TV producers know that the fan on the field is seeking attention, and that, presumably, getting his picture on television will reward him.  Moreover, broadcasting the man's antics would encourage copycats.

Five Questions about Shootings at Universities.  The day after the mass murder of students at Northern Illinois University (NIU), the headline in the closest major newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, was:  "6 Dead in NIU Shooting."  "6 dead" included the murderer.  Why wasn't the headline "5 killed at NIU"?  It is nothing less than moronic that the media routinely lump murderers and their victims in the same tally.  This is something entirely new.  Until the morally confused took over the universities and the news media, murderers were never counted along with their victims.

In time of tragedy, media are at their worst.  The press, particularly television news networks … [are] competing with each other like starving dogs for the slightest new morsel of information they can then put on a permanent loop on cable TV, until the next fragmentary detail is pried loose by a reporter desperate to be first, for 15 minutes.  Because there isn't enough new information to fill the infinite void allotted to these stories, the press quickly succumbs to a kind of emotional vampirism, feeding off the grief, fear and anguish of victims clearly incapable of understanding their own feelings….

Murder by media?  Did the non-stop playing of the Virginia Tech killer's twisted thoughts help to push a fragile mind in Houston to walk the same grisly path?  Has the airing of that video set in motion other killers and imitators who may not carry out their copy-cat crimes for months or years?

Autism Fraud Just the Tip of the Iceberg.  The lead author of that anti-vaccine study, which also appeared in one most respected medical journals, The Lancet, was British physician Andrew Wakefield.  And its consequences include millions of terrified and confused parents, large drops in vaccination rates and death.  Yet while this "deliberate fraud" has been exposed, others continue to go unchallenged, or worse, get trumpeted by reporters who should know better.  Regarding Wakefield, many people, including me, have spent years puncturing his claims and those of his acolytes in the anti-vaccine movement.  But a media that thrives on sensationalism instead played up the phony link.

Hooked on trivia.  We try to hear and see no evil, but it's not far-fetched to suggest that future world events could quickly change the lives of millions.  So why then fixate on Anna Nicole, Rosie, Imus and Alec?  Simple — they are the modern equivalents of grotesque carnival freak shows that used to provide a perverse sense of escapism from what people dare not face.  Yet as our dependency on such tabloid distraction grows, so, too, do the real dangers that we ignore.

The Lines Between News and Entertainment are Blurring.  An on-screen NBC News identifier for a fictional debate on "The West Wing" and a "news conference" by a fake Boston Red Sox executive on ESPN show how fuzzy the lines between news and entertainment have become.

Too much TV drama over storms.  We are now celebrating the anniversary of the Katrina hurricane and if one did not know better, one would think it was a fantastic event. … The hurricane season started a couple of months ago, and when watching TV, reading the papers or listening to the radio, it was obvious that the media was waiting with bated breath for the next disaster.  The season is half over and we can report no disasters.  They really are disappointed.

Like the wind, hurricane predictions keep shifting.  Hurricane forecaster William Gray's team downgraded its predictions again for the 2006 Atlantic storm season Friday [9/1/2006], saying 13 named storms are likely to form this year instead of 15. … Before hurricane season began June 1, Gray's team called for 17 named storms.  He trimmed that to 15 early last month.

Weather has become bogeyman, news staple.  It began as a mass e-mail in a certain Seattle office building on December's first day.  A cold front was arriving!  Snow!  Ice!  Untold inches for the city and surrounding area! … The cautious drove home after lunch.  The brave stayed behind.  And the snow never came.  Not even an inch.

Global Warming to Blame for Hot Weather Hyperbole.  A heat index of more than 100 degrees for days on end not only drains the body and spirit, but it also takes its toll on the thesaurus.  There is a limit to the number of ways to describe the heat and still sound relatively intelligent.

Silly Talk:  How many times have you heard a weatherman say that the sun will try to come out later in the day?  Sometimes their prediction turns out to be false and I wonder whether they would explain it by saying the sun didn't try hard enough.  But it's not just weathermen who use teleological explanations, ascribing purposeful behavior to inanimate objects.

The Media Rush to Duke's Defense.  Usually, reporters breathlessly take everything prosecutors and the police say at face value, often to devastating effect upon criminal defendants.  The "perp walk," in which a suspect is paraded publicly in handcuffs from place to place, often after officials have told television producers where to place their cameras, is only the most visible example of this practice.  The reporters get their shot.  The police get to portray the defendant, innocent or not, as dangerous (i.e. guilty) in the eyes of potential jurors.

All the news is a stage.  As they spin the Saddam trial and deride our soldiers in Iraq, the lesson is clear:  These media masters of theater are incapable of delivering real drama and good news unless they control the script.  Fortunately, you control the remote.

What's Right About America!  Last Sunday when I returned from church services I opened my hometown newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and settled in with a cup of coffee to review the day's news.  It was a good thing I had already received my inspiration at church, or I could have easily become downright depressed over the negative headlines in nearly every section of the paper.  The majority of headlines on the front page of each section promised a story that would focus on the negative aspect of an event or issue, rather than the positive contributions people are making to fix the biggest problems we face.

Don't put much stock in the TV experts.  Stocks go up and down, but eventually, most go up.  So if you invest and hold on, odds are you'll do quite well.

Ending a losing streak:  The left is on another losing streak today, and so their intellectual leaders in the liberal media have gone back to the old playbook for an easy win that will get their team out of its slump.  This time, it is the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, which has been working for them since the days of Karl Marx.

Fred Barnes Calls Sheehan a "Crackpot," Rues Media Focus on Her.  Barnes criticized both her and the media's treatment of her:  "This woman wants to go in and tell the President that the war is about oil because the President wants to pay off his buddies.  She's a crackpot, and yet the press treats her as some important protestor."

The Brawley Case of the South:  [Scroll down] Reluctance to change a popular story line helps account for the strange press coverage of Cindy Sheehan.  That line pitted moral mom versus stone-hearted president.  When Ms. Sheehan's outbursts grew stranger, the press stayed with the soft line about a mother's grief and simply omitted her increasingly bizarre comments that American troops were "being sent to kill innocent people" in Iraq and that President Bush was "a filth spewer" and "an evil maniac" guilty of "blatant genocide."  The insurgents who killed her son Casey, on the other hand, were "freedom fighters."

Did someone mention Cindy Sheehan?

Let's keep arguing.  It's true that we have more semistructured "Crossfire"-style debates than ever before.  But much of this is rigidly preprogrammed sniping (I was once chastised by a TV producer for not interrupting other speakers more.  What a failure!)  Even when the sniping is downplayed, TV demands sharp sound bites, which pushes all talking heads toward more vehemence and simplemindedness.  Instant certainty becomes mandatory, a delivery style many talking heads start to regret before they're even out of the studio.  Where is the real debate?

None Dare Call It Fascism.  After Johnson's War on Poverty, Nixon's War on Drugs, and Carter's Energy Crisis, then came the premier liberal crisis of modern times, the Environmental Crisis.  The media predictably plays an enthusiastic accomplice in these schemes, not just because its members are mostly liberal, but more importantly, crises generate more readers, viewers, and listeners.  This is why the principal product American media sells to its customers is crisis, not information.

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2014 by Andrew K. Dart



Dishonesty

Bias is one thing, but sometimes newspaper and TV reporters are just overtly dishonest.

NBC's Snyderman faces credibility issues.  NBC must now decide whether Snyderman's credibility is too damaged for her to continue reporting on Ebola or other medical issues and, if so, for how long.

Chuck Todd: Eric Holder is a 'Very Non-Political Person'.  [Meet the Press host Chuck] Todd says this of the man who openly talked about serving "my people" as attorney general.  He made that comment in connection with the New Black Panther case — a racially-tinged case that Holder's DOJ dropped even after the government had won it.  Eric Holder desperately wants to treat al Qaeda terrorists as criminals rather than non-state illegal combatants.  That's a political choice, and one for which he has been roundly criticized.  When Holder attempted to move trials of al Qaeda terrorists from military tribunals to civilian court — in New York — he lost.  Big.  Being obtuse to the viewpoints of others, and being unable to comprehend that the things that you say and do offend and anger others, is not the same thing as being "non-political."

Best of facts-free reporting hands-down... I mean up.  I began to lose interest in Ferguson, Mo., when it was first reported that the late Michael Brown was an "aspiring rapper."  Hadn't heard that one yet?  It was in the LA Times, under the headline:  "Michael Brown's raps: Money, sex, drugs — and a vulnerable side."  Of course he had to have a vulnerable side.  That's why he was known as "the Gentle Giant."  He didn't look terribly gentle in that closed-circuit video, shoving the owner of the Ferguson Market when he was stealing the box of Swisher Sweets just before he got shot.  But the demonstrators could see right through that — "the man" had photoshopped the video, or so they said live on national TV.

The Media Are Buying Hillary's Foreign Policy [Prevarication] — And Selling It To You.  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — the most senior foreign policy official in the United States, aside from President Barack Obama himself, for four years — is now attempting to differentiate herself from her old boss, now that his hapless leadership has become a liability to her presidential ambitions.  And the media are buying it, then re-selling it to the public as if it represents an authentic split instead of opportunism and lies.

5 Reasons Not to Trust the 'What Me Worry' Media About Ebola.  [#5] The mainstream media lies.  It lies all the time.  The mainstream media is a degenerate, habitual, serial liar that exists only to serve the government and the noxious little career-climbing bubble it exists in.  I always assume the media is lying — that way I'm right more than I'm wrong.  The mainstream media is a wretched institution populated with wretched people and only a handful of exceptions.  If you're foolish enough to believe the mainstream media will put what's morally good, right, and true above The Club Rules, you obviously haven't watched CNN's coverage of the war in Gaza.

The Self-Inflicted Hamas 'Massacre' Blamed By the Media on Israel.  According to the Hamas version of events — widely promulgated in the media by ITN, the Telegraph and the Belfast Telegraph — an Israeli airstrike on a crowded market place during a partial ceasefire in the Shijaiyah neighbourhood of Gaza City on July 30th, 2014 was responsible for the deaths of 17 people, including blue-helmeted photojournalist Rani Rayan.  However as Thomas Wictor has incontrovertibly demonstrated using close analysis of film footage of the incident, the deaths were not caused by Israeli shrapnel but by secondary explosions from a vast cache of Hamas rockets.  Oh, and the market wasn't 'crowded' either:  it had been closed for the day.  And this particular area wasn't included in the ceasefire zone, either, because Hamas was continuing to fire rockets from it.

Gallup: Public Confidence in TV News at All-Time Low.  Public confidence in television news is at an all-time low, according to a survey released today [6/19/2014] by Gallup. [...] In the latest survey, conducted June 5-8, only 10 percent said they had "a great deal" of confidence in T.V. news, and 8 percent said they had "quite a lot" of confidence.

Gallup: Public Confidence in TV News at All-Time Low.  Public confidence in television news is at an all-time low, according to a survey released today by Gallup.  Only 18 percent of the Americans surveyed expressed either a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in that news medium.

Dana Milbank's Heritage disaster.  Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank set off a flurry of outraged tweets on Monday night [6/16/2014] after posting a highly critical recap of a panel event at The Heritage Foundation that, he says, "deteriorated into the ugly taunting of a woman in the room who wore an Islamic head covering."  Video of that panel has since surfaced and — in my view — Milbank grossly misrepresented the nature of that exchange.

Friends Don't Let Friends Read Dana Milbank.  Dana Milbank is a columnist for the Washington Post who serially exaggerates or distorts what he writes about.  It's just what he does.  This has been established so many times by so many people that it's disappointing to see he is still given prominent perch in his paper and that people who made it past their sophomore year in high school take him seriously.

What Dana Milbank Does Not Tell You.  [Scroll down]  But what's more, Milbank relies on the account of "Saba Ahmed, an American University law student," who is the aggrieved victim of his piece.  She's a moderate, caring Muslim girl targeted by the group because she is Muslim.  What Milbank does not tell you is that Saba Ahmed is a family friend of Mohammed Osman Mohamud, the convicted Islamic bomber who tried to blow up Portland, OR in the name of jihad.  Milbank also does not tell you Saba Ahmed has been arrested for stalking and her family claims she was diagnosed with a mental disorder.  She's also been active at Occupy rallies denouncing American war efforts.  She has made opposition to the American war against terrorism a key part of what she does.  And she took to Heritage to hijack a conversation on Benghazi, turning it to her issue, which had not even been a topic of conversation.

Washington Post Lets Columnist Dana Milbank Lie About Heritage Foundation.  Writing for a Washington Post that apparently decided his column was too good to check, columnist Dana Milbank attacked the conservative Heritage Foundation for bullying a female Muslim woman who expressed concern about Muslim stereotyping during a panel Monday night.  The only problem with Milbank's charge is that it's a smear — it never happened.  And of all places, it is video from the left-wing Media Matters that debunks Milbank's entire column.

MSNBC.com Deceptively Edits Dave Brat to Suggest He Was 'Dodging' Questions.  Editors at MSNBC.com trimmed down Republican congressional nominee Dave Brat's June 11 phone interview with MSNBC's Chuck Todd in order to paint him as dodging questions from the Daily Rundown host.  But a review of the full interview shows that Brat had already and seemingly quite gladly answered a few policy questions on such hot issues as the minimum wage, immigration reform, and his stance on Wall Street's influence on the business wing of the GOP.

ABC Apologizes for Story That Connected Mozilla CEO to Hateful Westboro Baptist.  ABC News Vice President Jeffrey Schneider has apologized for a story on his network that connected a CEO who supports traditional marriage to the Westboro Baptist Church and their offensive [...] signs.  Mr. Schneider contacted the Media Research Center on Thursday after our social media department requested members call and complain about the comparison.

CBS dubs sound for quiet electric car.  CBS News says an editor made an "audio error" in dubbing the sound of a loud traditional car engine over footage of the much quieter Tesla electric car in a story that aired Sunday [3/30/2014].

Six Lies The Leftist Media Tells About The Contraception Mandate Cases.  This week, the Supreme Court will consider whether businesses and their owners must choose between paying millions of dollars in fines and violating their religious beliefs.  [...] The leftist papers do not mention the substantial monetary burden put on religious business owners to violate their consciences.  The papers do not mention that contraception was both inexpensive and widely available before the contraception mandate, and still is.  The papers omit to mention that it isn't the businesses who have radically changed, but the mandates from government.  Quite simply, if you read a newspaper to find out about the contraception mandate cases, you will read lies.

Jacksonville Channel 4 falsely portrays black on white hate crime attacks as having a white perpetrator.  For years we have talked about how the media censors black crime.  Many major media outlets now openly admit to having a policy of censoring black crime perpetrators.  However, an even more sinister form of censorship is rising.  This is what we call Stage 2 censorship of black crime.  Where the media purposely leads you to believe that a black crime perpetrator was actually a white guy.

Appalling: NY Times editorial distorts, misleads, and lies to readers on HHS Mandate.  With many political debates, I try to give opponents the benefit of the doubt on intentions.  Sure, raising taxes is a bad thing, but some politicians and pundits believe higher taxes will benefit society.  Some people think we need to spend more, and others really fear climate change.  When it comes to the HHS abortifacient/contraception/sterilization mandate, however, I've almost stopped being that generous with the left's media and thought leaders.  [A recent] New York Times Magazine editorial is a prime example as to why.  Almost from start to finish, the piece misleads and misdirects readers about the mandate, its opponents, and religious freedom.

Yet Another Journalist Says Lying Is A-OK.  It's a relatively new development for journalists to admit that lying to the public isn't a bad thing, but it's a rapidly growing phenomenon, as sophistry becomes an increasingly accepted practice in the MSM, to the point where it's openly talked about by those who employ it.

Radio DJs spark outrage after admitting they made up story about a homophobic RSVP to a party.  Two radio DJs in Long Island who caused an uproar last week by posting the homophobic RSVP to a birthday party for a 'little girl with two gay dads' admitted on Saturday that the whole thing was a hoax.

Cybersecurity Expert Accuses NBC of '100% Fraudulent' Hacking Story, NBC Fires Back.  Earlier this week, NBC's Richard Engel filed a report warning travelers to Sochi about the danger of getting hacked, but one cybersecurity expert took serious issue with the story, which he described on his blog as "100% fraudulent."  In the report, Engel brought some brand-new laptops and a new phone just to test how secure people's devices would be in Sochi, and he concluded that he was hacked "almost immediately."  But Robert Graham pointed out a few reasons why all is not as it seems.

CBS's Mellody Hobson, Whose Husband George Lucas Is Worth $7 Billion, Slams Rich CEOs.  CBS analyst Mellody Hobson, whose husband George Lucas is worth $7.3 billion, appeared on This Morning to slam excessive salaries for corporate bosses.

NBC News Fails to Disclose Soros Connection In Shriver Report on Women.  The Media Research Center reports that a report promoted heavily by NBC News Special Anchor Maria Shriver was funded by a ultra-left political group funded by George Soros.  Earlier this week Shriver was all over NBC News and MSNBC to talk about a study titled "The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Pushes Back From the Brink."  The promotion of the report also allowed Shriver and NBC News to portray President Obama as "sympathetic to working mothers."  This push focusing on women we see throughout the media, not just on NBC, is nothing more than the media prepping the battlefield to elect Hillary Clinton.

Five Years of Falsehoods at NBC News.  Everyone acted surprised when we learned yesterday that after a couple of disastrous months, MSNBC is defiantly refusing to change their editorial process.  But why would they?  For years now, MSNBC and NBC News have both become a culture of left-wing hate and fraudulent editing.  The only thing new, as you will see [in this article], is that the frequency of the fraud and hate is increasing.  What I've assembled here isn't anything close to comprehensive, but it is a revealing top ten: [...]

Ripping Off the "Progressive" Mask.  It is a sad fact that telling a lie these days has become more convenient than telling the truth.  This is a terrible commentary on those with access to our major media.  Consider the coverage of the inauguration of Bill de Blasio as New York City's mayor.  The term "progressive" is used in most accounts to describe him and his backers.  De Blasio accepts that term.  Yet, by any objective measure, he is a dedicated Marxist, and has been for most of his life.  For example, he never disavowed his support for the communist Sandinistas in Nicaragua.  He claims to have honeymooned in communist Cuba, when such a trip was illegal.  His wife was a member of a Marxist collective.

NBC News' Happy Obamacare Customer is a Dem Candidate, Operative.  NBC News senior health reporter JoNel Aleccia told the story of a woman described as "Joyce Moore, a Pennsylvania financial planner" who "runs her own retirement and estate planning business."  NBC said Moore was actually happy her existing insurance was canceled due to Obamacare. [...] What NBC News Senior Health Reporter JoNel Aleccia failed to mention is that Joyce Moore is a longstanding Democratic activist who, in November 2013, ran as a Democratic candidate for Upper Milford Township Supervisor in Pennsylvania.

10 Forms of 2013 Media Malpractice.  [#1] Pretend that "no one" is saying something, when they really are.  Carol Costello of CNN claimed in January that "no one is talking about overturning the Second Amendment or confiscating guns in America."  In the three preceding weeks, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had said that "confiscation could be an option"; an Iowa state representative had "said governments should start confiscating semi-automatic rifles and other firearms"; and Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California had suggested a gun-buyback program which "could be compulsory."  In early December, New York City's police department sent out "letters telling gun owners to turn over their rifles and shotguns — or else face the consequences," i.e., confiscation.

Journalistic malpractice over Benghazi.  The Times' report misconstrues known facts and simply sweeps under the table mountains of evidence of al Qaeda's ties to Libyan jihadi groups.  In June 2012, for example, more than a dozen different jihadi groups put the black flag of al Qaeda on parade in Benghazi in what they hoped would be a three-day show of force.  Thousands of jihadi fighters, many of them in Pakistani and Afghan dress, paraded through the streets of Benghazi with hundreds of gun trucks.  For The New York Times, though, the black flags were merely "the black flags of militant Islam" and apparently bore no relation to al Qaeda.  "Benghazi was not infiltrated by al Qaeda," The Times flatly asserted.

House Intel Chairman on NYT's Benghazi Report: 'That Story Is Just Not Accurate'.  The New York Times on Sunday [12/29/2013] published a highly controversial report claiming the September 2012 attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, did not involve al Qaeda, and was as the Administration originally stated a spontaneous demonstration in response to an American-made anti-Islamic video.  Appearing on Fox News Sunday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) completely refuted the article saying, "[T]hat story is just not accurate".

Denver Post Stealth Edits Out 'Socialist' from Profile of Arapahoe School Shooter.  In a profile on the shooter in the Denver Post which focused on his "strong political beliefs," several of Pierson's classmates offered their impressions of the shooter.  One of the shooter's classmates described him as a "very opinionated socialist."  Shortly after that post was published, however, that description was edited out.  The current copy simply describes him as "very opinionated."

Mika Suggests Obama 'Too Smart' For The Job.  Too smart to be President.  Is that really Barack Obama's problem? Mika Brzezinski thinks so.  On today's [11/4/2013] Morning Joe, as Mike Barnicle and John Heilemann kicked around the notion, as others have before, that President Obama doesn't much like politics and the people in it, Brzezinski piped up with a different explanation for his aloofness:  he's "too smart for the job," she suggested.

The Editor says...
I can provide copious evidence that Barack H. Obama is not all that bright.

WashPost's Milbank: 'Couldn't Be the Case' That Some Lost Insurance Because of ObamaCare.  On Monday's PoliticsNation, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank claimed that it "couldn't be the case at this time" that ObamaCare is already causing people to lose their current health insurance plans, in spite of all the documented cases insurance companies canceling plans as they struggle to comply with ObamaCare regulations.

The Shutdown that Ruined Christmas?  [Scroll down]  On the very first night, Oct. 1, NBC already sounded like a DNC campaign commercial.  Reporter John Yang highlighted an EPA worker in Chicago, Elizabeth Lytle, who had already filed for unemployment benefits. [...] Despite her $52,000-a-year salary, Lytle is an experienced "victim."  Back in March, the eco-news site Greenwire also focused on her suffering from sequestration. [...] Here, too, was ethical fraud:  NBC and other outlets didn't say so, but Lytle had been previously featured in the media by her union, the American Federation of Government Employees.

The AP Misreports the Debt Ceiling.  I wrote here that no matter what happens with the debt limit, the federal government will not default on its debt obligations.  I also noted here that Moody's — which certainly ought to know — agrees that there is zero chance of default on Treasury bonds.  In recent days, many more commentators have made the same point.  The government is legally obligated to recognize its debt obligations, and the existing $17 trillion debt can be serviced on less than ten percent of federal revenue.  So there simply can't be a default.

The Planned Destruction of America.  One world is where the television and radio pundits sanctimoniously scold us into believing that all is normal, and everything we see taking place today is merely the result of a growing acrimonious relationship between two political parties.  They sit behind the microphones, in front of the TV cameras, write the newsprint, and dominate the internet with their matrix of mendacity.  They are well-paid for keeping the public in the dark, and by confining public discourse to the limitations of mere political theater.  Regardless of their political bent, they bully and mock those who disagree, and sneer at those who dare threaten the illusion of normalcy.  The other world is what is really taking place behind the scenes.

Limbaugh Bashes 'Journalistic Malpractice' Attacking GOP Over Gov't Shutdown.  Rush Limbaugh took the media to task Monday [9/30/2013] for foisting all the blame of a potential government shutdown on Republicans.  Limbaugh predicted in the next few days the media would write piece after piece about all the programs getting shut down during the shutdown and blaming Republican intransigence on the whole thing.  He referred to the AP article above as "basically a press release from the Democrat party" that accuses Republicans of hating Obama so much they're willing to let millions of people go without health care.

CBS's Bob Schieffer Falsely Claims 'Polls Say That Most People Favor' ObamaCare.  In defiance of reality illustrated in numerous polls, on Sunday's Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer scolded Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn when she correctly asserted "there is only partisan support" for ObamaCare.  Schieffer cut her off:  "Well now Congresswoman, that's not entirely true.  The polls don't suggest that.  Polls say that most people favor it."

Little Media Lies About ObamaCare.  [Scroll down]  Obama signed House bills to kill a costly ObamaCare reporting rule, terminate its long-term care insurance program and repeal the "free choice voucher" program.  He also signed bills cutting funds for the so-called CO-OP program, a public health slush fund and other ObamaCare programs.  Two other House-passed bills — one to end the Independent Payment Advisory Board and another terminating the medical device tax — have strong bipartisan support.  Another simply codified the employer mandate delay Obama himself had already ordered.  Yet the media pretend these things never happened.

BBC claims Tamerlan Tsarnaev motivated by "right-wing" literature, not radical Islam.  With all the efforts to tie the Tea Party and "right wing" to violence committed by others, it wouldn't be long before the Islamic radical Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was tied to "right-wing" causes.  With the slenderest of proof, The BBC goes there.

Politico: Media Didn't Ignore Benghazi.  Politico's Dylan Byers, in a piece for his buddies in the MSM, declares that conservative criticism of the mainstream media is overblown. [...] Let us enlighten Byers to the scope of the MSM's betrayal of the public trust, with some added help from the Media Research Council.

How the Media Has Distorted a Tragedy.  [Scroll down]  This narrative has perpetuated the lie that Zimmerman's history of calls to the police indicates obsessive racial paranoia.  Thus, discussing the verdict on the PBS NewsHour, University of Connecticut professor and New Yorker contributor Jelani Cobb asserted that "Zimmerman had called the police 46 times in previous six years, only for African-Americans, only for African-American men."  Actually, only six calls — two of them about Trayvon Martin — had to do with African-American men.

Defending American Principles Is Now a Revolutionary Act.  The [George Zimmerman] case was a joke, but you wouldn't know that if you only listened to the mainstream media.  The media's rank speculation, mischaracterization of the evidence and outright lies were designed to replace the strict adherence to law and the rules of evidence that for a thousand years have protected the accused from the mindless fury of the mob.

More lies from the main stream media about the Zimmerman case.  The claim that Zimmerman was at fault because he pursued Martin after being told not to has absolutely no basis in fact.  It is a made up assumption that has been repeated so many times by the media that people actually believe that is what happened.  The 911 call that was placed by Zimmerman is on the web in both audio and written transcript form.  It was played numerous times at the trial.  There is no excuse for continuing to lie about the evidence.  The Chicago Tribune should know better than to continue to perpetuate lies that have fueled so much anger over this case.

Just report the news, don't generate it.
TX Lt. Gov: Reporters Tried To Inflame Pro-Abortion Protesters.  Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst told HotAir's Ed Morrissey that his office received reports that reporters were actively encouraging and rallying pro-abortion protesters during State Sen. Wendy Davis' fillibuster last week.

Media misreporting rampant in Trayvon Martin case.  A combination of pressure through social media and poor journalism led to the trial of George Zimmerman, who is accused of second-degree murder in last year's shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.  Immediately after the shooting in Sanford, Fla., which is 20 miles northeast of Orlando, the media described Mr. Zimmerman as white, setting up the racially divisive meme of a white man killing a black teenager — a characterization that proved to be wrong.

Number Seven: NBC News Again Caught Selectively Editing Video.  Deceptive journalistic practices at NBC News show no sign of slowing down.  This latest attempt to selectively edit audio/video in order to benefit Barack Obama represents the seventh such act of willful, intentional journalistic malpractice.  NBC News is already being sued over one instance involving George Zimmerman.

WaPo Quietly Changes Key Details in NSA Story.  The gist is that the Washington Post has quietly made major edits to its initial story about the NSA's PRISM program, without acknowledging that any changes have been made at all.  Many of the changes are stylistic, but many are factual.

Update:
Busted Again: Washington Post Stealth Edits Obama/Africa Story.  For the second time in a week, The Washington Post has been caught editing a major story without noting publicly that the story has been changed.

CNN Launches Dishonest Attack On Clarence Thomas — To Protect Voter Fraud.  CNN published an article by John Blake entitled "Three questions for Clarence Thomas" that allows them to not only distort the black conservative judge's opinions, but also to tip-toe on the edge of racism, referring to Justice Thomas as a "sellout" and "Uncle Thomas" while hiding behind the cowardly journalistic trick of "Hey, we're just reporting what other people say!"

Propaganda: NPR Incorrectly Claims IRS Has Nothing to do With Obamacare.  During the May 22 broadcast of National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation," host Neil Conan repeatedly contradicted a guest by claiming that the IRS has nothing at all to do with Obamacare.  NPR's Conan is, of course, completely incorrect.  The IRS is up to its Tea Party harassing neck in Obamacare.  The guest Conan contradicted was Kellyanne Conway, a Republican strategist and pollster.  Conway was on to discuss the various scandals in which Obama is mired and close to the end of her segment she questioned how the American people can trust the IRS to implement Obamacare.  Conan initially pressed her on the claim saying that she must have "misspoken."

CNN's Crowley Admits Obama Didn't Call Benghazi a Terror Attack.  On the May 19 broadcast of CNN's State of the Union, host Candy Crowley said that Obama was late in identifying the attacks in Benghazi as terrorism quite contrary to what she said during the Presidential debates late last year.

Politico Quietly Edits Story Claiming Tea Party Supports Immigration Bill.  Politico deceptively edited its lead story from Tuesday, "Immigration's new ally: Tea partiers" that originally erroneously argued the Tea Party was an "ally" of the "Gang of Eight" immigration bill.  The changes came after Breitbart News caught the site red-handed in a number of factual errors.  Politico made several substantive changes to its piece and the only notification it gave to readers of those corrections was an updated time stamp next to the authors' bylines.

CNN Anchors Fake a Satellite Interview in the Same Parking Lot.  "Sorry, we're experiencing a delay in the broadcast while we both wait for this bus to go by."  Yes, those are all the same cars.  Apparently they thought we wouldn't notice because Nancy is on the right side of the screen, when in reality she is to Ashleigh Banfield's left.

NBC News Again Caught Selectively Editing Video.  I had hoped this nonsense would end with the reign of Steve Capus, but once again we have NBC News forced to apologize for yet-another dishonest edit meant to push the left's agenda.

News Media Keep Peddling Their Bush Vs. Gore Lie.  When Sandra Day O'Connor said she regretted her decision in Bush v. Gore, the press threw another fit about the "stolen" election.  They seem to forget their own studies proved the court's ruling didn't matter.

Newspaper caught photoshopping injuries out of Boston Marathon photograph.  A US newspaper has admitted that it digitally altered a front-page photograph of a Boston Marathon bombing victim so that the woman's pants covered her horrific leg wounds.  The woman's gory wounds had vanished on the large image that wrapped around the New York Daily News on Tuesday [4/16/2013], despite the photograph appearing unedited online and in other publications in the US.

The Top 50 Liberal Media Bias Examples.  [#12]  Fake Exploding GM Trucks:  In 1993 on its Dateline NBC program, NBC News was determined to smear trucks made by General Motors.  The TV newsers wanted to show America that the gas tanks in GM trucks were prone to exploding.  Dateline aired footage of just that causing a PR nightmare for GM.  Ultimately, NBC had viewers convinced that GM's "sidesaddle" gas tank was a hazard.  But in its zeal to destroy GM, NBC forgot to mention one little thing to the viewing public.  Its video of an exploding gas tank was little else but Hollywood special effects.

False Media Narrative: Hagel Filibuster 'Unprecedented'.  You'll hear it all over cable news and the networks and in every lede paragraph from the Washington Post to the LA Times:  Republicans are conducting an unprecedented filibuster of Chuck Hagel.  Where did the media get this buzz word that's repeated breathlessly by the obedient servants of the White House?  From the White House, of course.

Steve Capus Oversaw 'Erosion of Journalistic Values'.  You would think five documented instances of outright journalistic fraud from a single news division would result in a little more outrage from our journalistic overlords.  You would also think that those who believe in the ethics of their profession would speak out, or that those with competitive instincts would leap at the opportunity to ding a competitor.  But media has its own version of a the Blue Code of Silence.

AP Gives False and Conflicting Information on Potential Voter Fraud Case.  In a move that serves to discount the severity of voter fraud in the US, the Associated Press' Gary Fineout posted two conflicting reports regarding a voter fraud investigation.  Strangely, after posting inaccurate information in an article, the heavily left-leaning AP staff writer then posted an update — one that conflicted with the first false posting, yet was still false in itself.

Cape Cod Times says reporter fabricated sources in dozens of stories.  A Massachusetts daily newspaper apologized to its readers after an internal investigation concluded that a veteran reporter wrote dozens of stories that included people who don't exist.

$1.2 billion examples of ABC News' bias.  The slimiest news coverage of 2012 has nothing to do with the presidential election.  It concerns a massive ABC News campaign against an American beef company.  Led by national correspondent Jim Avila, the network bombarded a South Dakota firm with a seemingly endless barrage of stories claiming that its lean beef was — it doesn't get uglier than this — "pink slime."  According to that company, ABC's reports cost it hundreds of millions of dollars, and cost more than 700 people their jobs.  Now that company is suing ABC — for $1.2 billion.

Cutter: Yeah, we've been lying about the $5 trillion we said Romney's lying about.  As soon as Team Obama realized its excuse-making was getting embarrassing after the president's debate performance, they pivoted to a replay of the response to Rep. Paul Ryan's convention speech in Tampa.  They can't call either of them dumb, so they have to call them liars.  In the service of that narrative, they either present mere philosophical disagreements as "lies" or they dishonestly represent parts of Mitt Romney's plan to make him into a "liar."

Chris Matthews Says 'Unemployment Was Well Past 10%' When Obama Took Office — It Was Only 7.8%.  "When your guy left town, Dubya — who nobody asked him to come back by the way at the Republican convention — unemployment was well past ten percent and skyrocketing."  So falsely said MSNBC's Chris Matthews to conservative talk radio host Roger Hedgecock on HBO's Real Time Friday [9/21/2012].

Are the Media Telling the Truth About Romney's "Lies"?  [Scroll down]  Many reports have documented examples of stimulus money wasted on dubious projects or that benefited well-connected firms.  And [Paul] Ryan's overall complaint was that the money was "borrowed, spent, and wasted."  That may be hyperbole, but by Obama's own standards, the stimulus was hardly a success.  Just before he signed the stimulus, Obama promised it would "ignite spending by businesses and consumers," unleash "a new wave of innovation, activity and construction," and produce 4% economic growth this year.  None of which happened.

Report: Journalists Using Fake Names to Buy Obama Merchandise.  Several journalists have reportedly used fake names to buy Obama campaign merchandise inside media-only areas of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.

Were journalists using fake names to make Obama donations at the convention?  [Scroll down]  So the next time you hear a "journalist" pitching in with the sort of in-kind campaign contribution that Democrats love, even though they are very upset by the idea of other types of corporation participating in political speech, remember that he or she might be driving home in a car with a "Democrats Are Hot" bumper sticker, purchased under a fake name at the Democratic National Convention.

MSNBC's Chris Matthews claims to live in 'black majority' DC, but actually lives in Md. suburbs.  MSNBC host Chris Matthews might have exaggerated his abilities to hear dog-whistle racism at this week's Republican National Convention in Tampa, Newsbusters' Jack Coleman noted.  During Tuesday night's [8/28/2012] coverage, Matthews made the case that he is well-positioned to judge racial issues because of where he lives, after having repeatedly insinuated that Republican figures are racist.

Isaac Shows Media Bias Of Hurricane Proportions.  As Isaac bore down on New Orleans, the administration's media toadies preferred to talk not about substantive issues, but on how the "shadow of Bush and Katrina" hung over the delayed GOP convention in Tampa.

WaPo's Glenn Kessler Has Fact-Checking Tantrum Over 'You Didn't Build That'.  Glenn Kessler is The Washington Post's laughably biased fact checker, and when you think of Kessler, remember this — remember the "fact" checker who called Romney a liar for saying a president who didn't go to Israel didn't go to Israel.  This guy is utterly shameless, and this morning he's having a full-blown tantrum.

Mark Brown Declares Obama is not a Chicago Politician.  In a curious column the Sun-Time [sic] Mark Brown denies that President Obama has much to do with Chicago Politics.  Curious because the preponderance of evidence that Brown offers is that President Obama is a typical Chicago politician, working in league with donors and other politicians to fleece their consituents and taxpayers. [...] If being Emil Jones point man in Springfield, married to the daughter of a Precinct Committeman/water department employee, and having David Axelrod as a constant flack for many years doesn't qualify you as a Chicago politician, just what does?

Cutter: I'm Just Going to Make [Stuff] Up about Jobs.  Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for Obama's reelection effort, seems more a character out of fiction than a real person.  A high-octane spokesman, she is willing to say anything to win the 30-second sound byte cycle.  She will lie, contradict herself and make up stats on the fly to get through any single cable news appearance.  Its something real people, with a credibility gene, wouldn't do.  Fortunately, she's a Democrat, so the media will never really hold her statements to account.

Hey, Fareed, You've Got a Paragraph; You Didn't Write That.  In penning his recent piece "The Case for Gun Control," Time editor and CNN host Fareed Zakaria actually made the case that he needs to focus on pen control.  Because he plagiarized part of his work from a New Yorker article written by one Jill Lepore.  Zakaria was busted by NewsBusters, a feat that probably wasn't too difficult since Lepore's piece was published less than four months ago.

Will Yale Fire Fareed Zakaria?  There is now little question that Fareed Zakaria is guilty of plagiarism.  He has admitted copying a portion of a New Yorker essay and apologized.  Time, where Zakaria works as a columnist, has suspended Zakaria for a month, and CNN — owned by the same parent company — has suspended him pending an investigation.  This represents a mere slap on the wrist for someone whose standard speaking fee is $75,000.

A few days later...
Fareed Zakaria's suspension lifted by CNN and Time.  All is forgiven for Time magazine writer and CNN host Fareed Zakaria, who last week was suspended by both outlets for apparent plagiarism.  CNN said on Thursday [8/16/2012] that Zakaria's weekly "GPS" public affairs program will return to the air on 26 August.

NBC accused of deliberately editing footage of the women's team gymnastics.  Controversy over the coverage of the Olympics on American television deepened today when NBC was accused of deliberately editing footage of the women's team gymnastics in order to create what critics called "fake suspense."  Russian world champion Ksenia Afanasyeva's unexpected fall during the floor exercises, which effectively handed a gold medal to Team USA during an early stage of the contest, was inexplicably removed from the time-delayed version of events that NBC presented to its prime-time television viewers.

Faking and enhancing the sounds of the Olympics.  Ah, there's nothing quite like the serene "swoosh-swooshing" of oars in the water, as Olympic rowers glide along the water.  There really isn't, because those sounds spectators are hearing on their TVs are not live from the event, The Atlantic reported.  In order to keep sight of the boats, broadcasters must follow them with chase boats and a helicopter.  The result is that the sound of the rowing is drowned out by that noise.  So, NBC elected to replace the live audio with a recorded soundtrack of rowing practices to deliver more accurate depiction of what the sport sounds like in its pure form.

Media Invents Story That Chick-fil-A President Condemned Gay Marriage.  Last week, reports emerged that Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy had condemned gay marriage.  It's no secret that the company is run by devout Christians, but this still caused an uproar.  Boston's mayor threatened to deny the company business permits, celebrities condemned the company, and the Muppets announced fast food chain wouldn't be able to license any new toys for their kids meals.  One small problem:  The president of Chick-fil-A never actually said anything condemning gay marriage.

TV Station Fires Anchor After He Fails to Disclose Connection to Atheist Group He Was Covering.  Jason Volentine, a former anchor for WXMI, a television station in Michigan, found himself without employment after failing to tell his employers about a relationship he had with the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).  FFRF, an atheist activist group, is a non-profit that advocates for the separation of church and state, while fighting faith in the public square.  It wasn't Volentine's relationship, in itself, that was problematic — it was the fact that he had covered the non-profit group, but had purportedly failed to tell his employers and viewers about the relationship beforehand.

Nuts to Nutting: Under Obama, Real Spending Has Exploded.  On Tuesday, Rex Nutting of MarketWatch, who per his Linkedin profile is the site's Washington bureau chief, published a column titled "Obama spending binge never happened."  This column will show that it did, but that clever accounting has largely concealed its existence.

The Decline of The Washington Post.  [Scroll down]  The [WashingtonPost is running paid ads from the Russian and Chinese governments that are made to look like news sections of the paper.  The ads, some of them six pages long, even carry a facsimile of The Washington Post masthead.  In relatively small print it says they are paid supplements and have nothing to do with the paper's news or editorial departments.  But The Washington Post masthead or logo is more prominently featured. [...] Readers are thus given the impression that the propaganda has the approval of the Post.

Boston Globe Takes Credit for Breitbart Scoop.  Today the Boston Globe has a front-page, below-the-fold story titled "Filings raise more questions on Warren's ethnic claims."  It's a well-written take on documents and information first brought to light here at Breitbart News two weeks ago.  Unfortunately, it's presented as a scoop with no link or reference to the fact that the information has appeared previously in another publication.

Washington Post Admits to Bogus Quote.  Veteran Washington Post reporter Daryl Fears, part of a two-person writer team, unmistakably wrote that filmmaker John O'Keefe had "said" he "targeted" ACORN, the advocacy group, for his candid-camera expose, because it registered voters to defeat Republicans.  O'Keefe said no such thing.  It was a non-quote made out of whole cloth by reporter Fears, and published as fact on Sept. 17.  Making the falsehood exponentially worse, the Post story then was retailed worldwide by the Associated Press.

Fox News Has a Van Jones Problem.  In the same way that Van Jones was exposed originally by New Zealand blogger Trevor Loudon by using Internet search engines to look into his controversial background and writings, over the course of just a few days Accuracy in Media has been able to determine the following about [Marc Lamont] Hill from public sources.

This is what passes for journalism these days:
ABC Fakes Muslim Prejudice, Unsurprisingly Finds 'Islamophobia' in America.  Apparently to prove that the US is filled with Muslim hating yahoos, ABC went on the hunt to find "Islamophobia" in America and the result is "Witness to Discrimination:  What Would You Do?"  Since they didn't really know where to find any, ABC News decided to create their own prejudice against Muslims by hiring an actress to put on Muslim dress and get "confronted" by a Muslim hating coffee store server — also an actor hired by ABC.

It's Not Just Scott Beauchamp.  Scott Beauchamp was the last straw.  I realized that I need a scorecard to keep track of all the fallen journalists, journalistic mistakes and major and minor screw-ups in the media. … Offenses include lying and fabricating, doctoring photos, plagiarism, conflicts of interest, falling for hoaxes, and overt bias.  Some are hilarious, such as an action figure doll being mistaken for a real soldier.  Some are silly, such as reporting on a baseball game watched on TV.  Some are more serious.

It's Not Just Scott Beauchamp — Part Two.  Without too much extra effort, it was fairly easy to add 21 more names to the "Media Hall of Shame" list, bringing the total to 83.  With more effort, I'm sure the total list could easily double.

In part three, the list grows to 101.
Media Dishonesty Matters.  Did you know that Time magazine and other news organizations had a Vietnamese communist on full-time staff in Vietnam during that war?  Do you remember that ABC, CBS and NBC have all rigged cars or trucks with explosives or other devices to make them look dangerous on TV, or that Consumer Reports lied about the Suzuki Samurai enough to put it out of business?

Is 'Journalistic Ethics' an Oxymoron?  The Founding Fathers thought a free and skeptical press was essential to the preservation of our political and economic liberties.  The First Amendment is first for just that reason.  What would they think of today's generation of reporters who hide from the truth, parrot the slogans of left-wing advocacy groups, fail to do their own research, and routinely give politicians a free ride?  My guess is they would be stunned.

Is news just the facts?  Not anymore.  When I entered the field the ideal was to "... tell it like it is."  Not what I would like it to be, but simply lay out the facts.  If one fact strongly supports a point of view we were obligated to seek other facts that would dispute it.  Unfortunately, many of today's instructors teach what is called, "advocacy journalism."

Fake News from CBS.  In 2002 the Guerilla News Network published a piece written by staffers from a group called PR Watch.  They said that "For years CBS (and all the other networks) have run fake news stories in the form of video news releases."  What's more, the article, "CBS sells fake news," went on to announce that CBS also had gone into the business of creating, producing and distributing so-called "fake news."

'48 Hours' apologizes for altered image.  The executive producer of CBS's "48 Hours Mystery" has apologized for airing an altered image of the front page of the Tribune in an episode about the murder trial of Ryan Ferguson that aired Saturday night [2/18/2006].

Playing with the numbers:  A UPI story a few months back reported that nearly 300,000 veterans are homeless on any given night.  If so, as blogger Megan McArdle pointed out a few weeks ago on Asymmetrical Information, that would mean that every single homeless person in America must have served in the armed forces, since 300,000 is about the total number of the homeless.

Opinion masquerading as journalism:
The Liberal media are living in cocoons.  Whenever you read the headline, "some say," you know you are reading the opinions of the reporter.  Some say the moon is made of green cheese, but what's the difference?  The story is only worth telling when "some say" what the reporter wants them to say.

Paper Uses Global Warming Activist's Press Release as News Story.  The Palm Beach Post was caught in a bit of deception by one of its readers over the weekend. ... Unfortunately for the reputation of Dara Kam and that of the paper, this "article" was merely a rewording of the press release of an environmentalist group calling themselves, Environment Florida.  An alert reader who wrote in calling them on it also exposed several other papers across the country that did the very same thing.

A Phony Tale Of Woe.  The story currently making the rounds about the guy who robbed a bank for $1 to get free jailhouse health care is supposed to expose how terrible our medical system is.  It actually exposes something worse.  It's a story tailor made for the news media. ... The fact that not one reporter trafficking this story bothered to point these facts out is an example of gross dereliction of duty or extreme bias — or both.

WaPo Author who Tied Romney to KKK Resigns over Plagiarism Scandal.  When Washington Post journalist Elizabeth Flock wrote a post last year falsely accusing Mitt Romney of using a Ku Klux Klan slogan in his campaign speech, she was not fired or disciplined.  But when Flock stole from the work of another mainstream organization and did not properly attribute, she abruptly "resigned" from the Washington Post conveniently and coincidentally before another editor's note went up on her post that described it as having "serious factual errors" and "a significant ethical lapse."


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Updated October 28, 2014.

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