Watching the latest installment of CNN’s The Seventies documentary series, I learned President Gerald Ford was a “conservative” and President Jimmy Carter was a victim the misperception that he made mistakes, endured bad luck and inherited an “unmanageable” nation and world.
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center (MRC), the publisher of NewsBusters. He’s been the central figure in the MRC’s News Analysis Division since the MRC’s 1987 founding and in 2005 spearheaded the launch of NewsBusters.
Baker oversees the selection of the award nominees and “winners” for the MRC’s “DisHonors Awards,” presented at an annual gala, and each week he helps the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard select a “Mainstream Media Scream.” Those picks are added, on a one week delay, to NewsBusters. (Archive for 2012-2014 on MRC.org)
In 2001, Weekly Standard Executive Editor Fred Barnes dubbed Baker “the scourge of liberal bias.”
For 13 years he compiled and edited the daily CyberAlert e-mail and online report. In late May of 2009 the CyberAlert became an e-mail-only product based on BiasAlert postings on the MRC's Web site. BiasAlerts since early 2012. (In February 2015, the MRC discontinued posting BiasAlerts on MRC.org and began feeding the newsletter via CyberAlert posts on NewsBusters).
An avid fan of the Washington Capitals NHL hockey team, in January of 2009 the Washington Post's "DC Sports Bog" took note of Baker's attendance at a Caps game with John Kerry: "The Caps, John Kerry and a Scourge."
Baker lived in Massachusetts through high school, whereupon he fled the liberal commonwealth for George Washington University in DC and, since graduation, a life in Northern Virginia. Full bio on MRC.org.
A barren week for fresh humor with all but one late night show dark the past week and half off the week before too, so I’ve dug back to a clip from September of last year which stands the test of time. HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver put together a self-explanatory compilation of clips titled: “60 Minutes Anchors Prompting People to Deliver the Exact Soundbite They Need.”
Reviewing Reagan: The Life, by historian H.W. Brands, USA Today White House reporter Gregory Korte recited tired anti-Reagan cliches favored by liberals as he complained about “some notable omissions” in the book. In his piece which appeared in the “Life” section of Thursday’s newspaper, Korte regretted that “Brands makes no mention of Reagan’s 1980 ‘states rights’ speech in Philadelphia, Miss.” and, Korte rued, “Also missing: Any mention of the apocryphal ‘welfare queens,’ the epidemic in homelessness during his presidency, or hot-microphone threats to start bombing Russia in five minutes.”
Lee Greenwood sang his iconic “God Bless the USA” between periods of the NHL’s 2015 “Winter Classic” outdoor game in Washington, DC on New Year’s Day, but the real treat came off-stage in a concourse at Nationals Park. Fortunately, it was recorded on a smart phone, so you can enjoy it this Independence Day. Intern Gabrielle Dube posted it with this description: “After Lee Greenwood’s performance during the intermission, he met with the Military Choir to take pictures and it sparked an impromptu a cappella version of ‘God Bless the USA.’ Amazing!”
Following Senator Ted Cruz’s “Center Seat” session on Wednesday’s Special Report, FNC’s Bret Baier ended his program with some YouTube clips showing Cruz “has a hidden talent on the campaign trail, apparently.” Cruz watched along with the audience and, afterward, offered an assessment of his talent.
From Tuesday’s Special Report on FNC, Jimmy Fallon’s take on where CNN placed the state of New York on a map the cable network displayed the week before.
Jimmy Kimmel plugged it as “what is maybe the best bucket list item to have ever been crossed off a bucket list.” From the Wednesday night Jimmy Kimmel Live, video of the 91-year-old Walter “Wally” Thomas, of Woodstock, Illinois, fulfilling the “first and last” item on his bucket list.
Picking up on comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s concern “there’s a creepy PC thing out there” on college campuses in which comedians are condemned for jokes which convey stereotypes, Bernard Goldberg called out Seinfeld for failing to recognize liberals are behind the “authoritarian” speech code.
The second edition of FNC’s new show starring funny man Greg Gutfeld will run Sunday night, reminding me he ended his inaugural show last Sunday by taking on the “vacuous” who “pawn stupid stuff as cool” and create the “snickering dismissal of an intellectual class trained by the Comedy Central applause sign.”
“Transitions between” serious and not so serious stories “can be a bit rocky at times,” FNC’s Bret Baier noted in setting up a clip, at the end of his Tuesday night show, of just such a transition from HLN’s Morning Express. ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live called the video its “Segue of the Day.”
Congress was in recess this past week and, FNC’s Bret Baier suggested Tuesday night, some officials and politicians “might want to use this time to catch up on their sleep.” Viewers were then treated to an amusing collection, put together by ABC’s, of sleeping politicians “caught on tape.”
“If a Republican, any Republican candidate wrote an essay like this,” Bloomberg’s John Heilemann predicted on Friday’s With All Due Respect, “whether they were 16 years old and high on dope or whether it was weeks ago, it would be a huge scandal.” Calling for some media consistency in covering the revelation that socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, now a Democratic presidential candidate, once wrote that women fantasize about rape, Heilemann urged: “So I think we need to hold Bernie Sanders to the same standard.”
One last fun video from the Late Show with David Letterman which ended on Wednesday night. From its last Monday night program, a clip from Vice President Biden’s commencement address the day before at Yale University. The Late Show tagged it “Joe Biden: What?” And watching it will certainly induce a “what?” – at the very least. Biden is the gift who keeps on giving.
David Letterman may have grown more liberal over the years, but days before his last show this Wednesday, he aired a cute anti-Obama video imagining how mothers Obama called on Mother’s Day reacted to getting a phone call from the President. It’s just what you’d dream of doing if Obama ever called you.
“There’s three things I tell people that the Russians were afraid of: AIDS, Jewish people and Ronald Reagan.”Question: “In that order?” Reply: “I think Ronald Reagan took the top spot. They thought he would push the button.” One more reason to love Reagan.
Liberal media bias lives beyond the borders of the United States. As Michael Wolff noted in a front page article for Monday’s USA Today: “Many popular media notions of what a restless electorate is against (bankers, corporate power, tax dodgers, economic austerity) and what it is for (fundamental change, leveling the powerful, taxing the rich and big social program promises) came a cropper in the British election last week.”
Eight years after Barack Obama launched his presidential campaign, national media journalists have changed their tune and discovered an interest in experience and accomplishments in those running to occupy the Oval Office. To wit, on Sunday’s Meet the Press, Ruth Marcus, the veteran Washington Post reporter turned columnist, dismissed Republican Carly Fiorina: “I don’t think we would be taking her seriously at all if she weren’t a woman.”
FNC’s Bret Baier ended his show this past Monday with a clip the Tonight Show featured of President Obama at an event the previous Thursday with middle schoolers at a library in Washington, DC, to promote reading. Baier explained that “when the President began to ramble a bit, the moderator gave him what those of us on live TV know as ‘the hard wrap.’”
Appearing on Bill Maher’s HBO show Friday night, actor/comedian Billy Crystal delighted in recounting a phone call he supposedly received from the late Robin Williams on the day of Ronald Reagan’s funeral in 2004. Crystal, now a star of FX’s The Comedians, impersonated Williams impersonating Reagan calling from Heaven and wondering why it was so hot.
A great third season ending Wednesday night on FX’s The Americans, as the episode juxtaposed then-President Ronald Reagan’s “evil empire” speech with two undercover KGB agents in the U.S. distraught by the charge as their frantic teenage daughter, who just recently learned their true identity, gets on the phone to tell her pastor that her parents are Russians. Plus, a cameo of the voice of Chris Wallace.