Media Matters

Media Matters

CNBC Does the Impossible, Unites Crowded GOP Field

By 11.1.15

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had a standout moment early in Wednesday night’s Republican debate when he went after, not other Republicans, but the CNBC moderators, none of whom appeared to have “any intention of voting in a Republican primary.” CNBC’s Jim Cramer and Rick Santelli later asked questions a conservative would ask, but the event began with questions from moderators John Harwood, Becky Quick, and Carl Quintanilla that reinforced Republicans’ belief that the network is in the Democrats’ pocket. The biggest loser of the night: CNBC’s credibility.

Media Matters

The Situation Room, With Wolf Blitzer

By 10.16.15

This is Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room. And we have BREAKING NEWS. Three more Republican congressmen have said the Benghazi investigation is a sham, just to bring down Hillary Clinton. Live with reaction is Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee. Mr. Priebus…

Priebus: Wolfe, I’m here to talk about the next Republican debate at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, not to comment on the upcoming Benghazi hearings. I didn’t even know…

Blitzer: But this is BREAKING NEWS. Here on CNN. So you won’t answer questions about these three members of Congress. Yet, you at the RNC, along with the Chamber of Commerce and special interests, backed their election. Trey Gowdy says these three have a low IQ.

Priebus: Their IQ is within range of the caucus. I support all Republican officials, regardless of IQ, marital infidelity, sexual orientation, or anything else. We are a big tenth. I mean, tent. And don’t forget Ronald Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment.

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The Taranto Principle Does Vegas

By 10.15.15

The Taranto Principle strikes again.

A Republican debate this was not. Thus far the GOP has held two debates: the Fox debate in Cleveland and the CNN debate at the Reagan Library. And whether the immediate audience was huge (with those thousands in Cleveland) or small and intimate (as it was with a few hundred at the Reagan Library), Republican candidates were in a fighting mood. They turned on Donald Trump, and they turned on each other. If there were not a single additional GOP debate the nation’s memory book has already etched Donald Trump scalding Jeb or Carly or Rand or Marco. And getting it dished back. There were Chris and Rand getting it on. And so on.

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Jorge Ramos Gets Trumped

By 8.27.15

Jorge Ramos played the race card in an Iowa press conference.

Donald Trump would have none of it. Bravo.

So as the scene unfolded on CNN, there is Donald Trump in Iowa, holding a press conference.

And from off screen comes this insistent voice — barely heard as there was no microphone for the unidentified speaker. But even barely heard it was clear whoever it was had a cause to promote — an agenda. Trump, the anti-Hillary who repeatedly talks to reporters of all stripes, all networks, all publications, was clearly in the process of calling on another reporter. The speaker was having none of this. He demanded attention from Trump — right NOW! 

As it came clear that Trump — no Bernie Sanders he — was not going to be bullied by whomever and would actually run his own press conference — the cameras pulled back to reveal the rude guy.

Media Matters

A Debatable ‘Debate’

By 8.11.15

The so-called “debates,” among too many Republicans to have a debate, are yet another painful sign of how much words and ideas have degenerated in our times.

No one expects these televised sound bites and “gotcha” questions to be anything like the historic Lincoln-Douglas debates on the momentous national issue of slavery.

But the mob scene of candidates on stage that began with the 2012 campaign, and is now being repeated, is a big step down from the modern one-on-one debates between presidential candidates that began with John F. Kennedy versus Richard Nixon in 1960.

We still have momentous national issues. In fact, the threat of a nuclear Iran with intercontinental missiles is a threat to the survival of America and of Western civilization. The issue could not be bigger.

But this issue did not get even half the attention as was lavished on Donald Trump. Even in the earlier “debate” among the second-tier candidates, where Trump was not present, the first question asked was about Donald Trump.

Nothing could more plainly, or more painfully, show what is wrong with the priorities of the media.

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Radical Islam Is Radical Islam

By 7.22.15

When radical Islam strikes as it did last week in Chattanooga where four Marines and a Navy sailor were murdered by Mohammed Youssef Abdulazeez at two military facilities, it never ceases to amaze how the mainstream media so eagerly to minimize what is staring us right in the face.

Enter Brian Ross of ABC News. 

You might remember that it was Ross who, in the wake of the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado three years ago, said that the suspect Jim Holmes was listed as a member of the Colorado Tea Party. Yes, there was a Jim Holmes who was active with the Tea Party in Colorado. Only he was a 52-year old Hispanic male who, other than sharing his name, bore no resemblance to the 24-year old white male ex-medical student who was ultimately charged with the crime. As I wrote at the time:

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Careful in the N.Y. Times’ Red Light District

By 6.8.15

Consistent with the mainstream media’s policy of shining bright light on ephemera, the nation has lately been treated to a full-court examination of Senator Marco Rubio’s driving record in his home town of Miami. Also, so as not to be sexist, that of his wife. Apparently, the need for speed and impatience with the inconvenience of red lights are the Rubios’ Miami vices.

As another Miami-area resident, Dave Barry, might introduce a column on this subject: “I’m not making this up.”

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Bruce Bartlett Brainwashed?

By 5.28.15

I’ve always liked Bruce Bartlett, and I still do.

In addition to his service in the Reagan administration, he later wrote a superb book that I have referred to many times: Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party’s Buried Past.

But I have to say when I learned that Mr. Bartlett had appeared on CNN to say that conservatives were “self-brainwashing”? Well, I laughed.  Here’s what he said

Many conservatives live in a bubble where they watch only Fox News on television, they listen only to conservative talk radio — Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, many of the same people. When they go onto the Internet, they look at conservative websites like National Review, Newsmax, World Net Daily.

And so, they are completely in a universe in which they are hearing the same exact ideas, the same arguments, the same limited amount of data repeated over and over and over again. And that’s brainwashing.

Media Matters

The Myth of Objectivity

By 5.20.15

The self-appointed guardians of journalism often deny the existence of liberal media bias. The problem is wildly exaggerated, they have long said, even as Democratic aides like George Stephanopoulos have become reporters and reporters like Jay Carney have become Democratic aides.

The scandal of George Stephanopoulos donating to the Clinton Foundation while covering it is one more confirmation that conservatives have not overstated the problem of media bias. An equivalent offense by a Republican aide turned reporter would result in a hasty firing. But Stephanopoulos can count on his bosses to defend him to the hilt.

He has now apologized for making the donation, but the apology’s emphasis on his failure to go the “extra mile” in disclosing it indicates that he considers the matter minor. By putting his apology in those terms, he is suggesting that the real problem lies in the quickness of conservatives to perceive bias. In other words, he should have gone the “extra mile” in anticipation of that criticism but in a better world, a disclosure about donations to such a worthy “charity” wouldn’t be necessary.

Media Matters

Study Says: You Can’t Argue With a Feminist

By 5.1.15

Another day, another “study” utterly loaded with ideological baggage somehow being defined as a carry-on; i.e. actually newsworthy.

This time it hails from the innocuous-sounding PsyPost, whose editor, Eric Dolan, also heads up the very progressive Raw Story. The research, published in the feminist journal Affilia, examined attitudes toward abortion from students of both sexes across six universities, and was launched on the premise of so-called “Ambivalent Sexism Theory.”

And in the parlance of modern day Clickbaitese, what it found will shock you. Why? Because while everyone knows of the hostile sexism of the Andrew Dice Clay variety, far fewer are privy to the “benevolent” sexism that acts a mind virus for so many well-intentioned people. Indeed, well-intentioned women.

Here, let Dolan explain: