There are occasions when HBO star Bill Maher is unintentionally funny, like when he claims to stand for decency in our politics. Maher has been one of America’s leading champions of nasty insults and rhetorical indecency, not to mention sexual indecency. Even last night, as he stood for civility, it came right after he insisted the Republican convention crowd was a mob of mentally challenged fascists.
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis. His career at the MRC began in February 1989 as associate editor of MediaWatch, the monthly newsletter of the MRC before the Internet era.
Graham is co-author with MRC president Brent Bozell of the books Collusion: How the Media Stole the 2012 Election and How To Prevent It From Happening Again in 2016 (2013) and Whitewash: What The Media Won’t Tell You About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will (2007). He is also the author of the book Pattern of Deception: The Media's Role in the Clinton Presidency (1996).
Graham is a regular talk-radio and television spokesman for the MRC and has made television appearances on MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, and the Fox Business Channel. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, National Review, and other publications.
Graham left the MRC to serve in 2001and 2002 as White House Correspondent for World, a national weekly Christian news magazine. He returned in 2003. Before joining the MRC, Graham served as press secretary for the campaign of U.S. Rep. Jack Buechner (R-Mo.) in 1988, and in 1987, he served as editor of Organization Trends, a monthly newsletter on philanthropy and politics by the Washington-based Capital Research Center.
PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff was awarded an interview with Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence for Thursday night's newscast, and she questioned Pence from the right about whether Trump can be someone social conservatives can support. But what really stood out was Woodruff's repeated protests against "pretty harsh criticism" of Hillary Clinton. She said "Last question," and then asked the same question three times, insisting the Republicans were just too harsh.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, appeared in live PBS/NPR convention coverage on Wednesday night and walked into a barrage of liberal questions designed to shame him and separate him from Donald Trump, who they implied was a terrible Christian. “Conservative” PBS David Brooks not only suggested Trump has no Christian virtues, he told Perkins that social conservatives should sit out the election – obviously making it easier to elect Hillary Clinton.
For the second day in a row, The Washington Post ran a front-page story on the expected departure of longtime Fox News boss Roger Ailes. The headline was “A big divide for Fox News chief, sons of Murdoch.”
Conservatives spewed coffee and/or laughed at the fourth paragraph, where business reporters Ana Swanson and Steven Mufson pretended that most networks – ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, PBS – huddled tightly around centrism:
One of the liberal media’s greatest hypocrisies is its opposition to rhetorical excess. Journalists claim to favor a civil discourse where everyone acknowledges the decency and humanity of their opponents. But in reality, they think conservatives are the forces of inhumanity, and liberal heroes are “iconic,” even comparable to divinity. CNN weekend host Michael Smerconish became the poster boy for this hypocrisy on Wednesday night, proclaiming the Republicans have “overplayed” their rhetoric against Hillary Clinton “in poor taste” – as he unabashedly compared her plight in Cleveland to the crucifixion of Jesus.
The one-time ABC Sunday hosting duo of Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts appeared together on Tuesday morning on NPR's Morning Edition to discuss convention history. Roberts is still an NPR analyst. They began with the 1964 GOP convention, and Donaldson said "I think this was the first convention of the modern Republican hard-right conservatism." Roberts said "Absolutely right," noting "Nelson Rockefeller got booed."
Roberts said after 1964 and the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the Republican Party "became much more racist" and Donaldson joked in his usual way that Lyndon Johnson's fight for desegregation gave the South to the Republicans "forever!"
Tuesday was the second night in a row where Republican convention speakers launched strong criticism of Hillary Clinton, which the Hillary-boosting media cannot stand. Anything that's negative is cast as hyper-negative. The quote of the day came from MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who wildly re-imagined Chris Christie's speech on her terrible foreign policy mistakes as some kind of gladiator movie where the crowd would root for Mrs. Clinton to be eaten by lions or something.
HBO star Bill Maher is unleashing his usual sleazy insults on Twitter during the Republican convention, and the targets this time are Trump's sons Donald Jr. and Eric, that they "look like the date rapist in every after school special ever."
When FBI director James Comey came before the press to deliver his bizarre proclamation that Hillary Clinton had lied relentlessly about her private e-mail server, but shouldn't be prosecuted because no prosecutor would ever dare take her to court, except prosecutors all over the country rose to say they'd do so immediately, many were shocked and angered. One industry was thoroughly embarrassed: the media-elite "fact checker" websites and projects, from PolitiFact.com to FactCheck.org to the "Fact Checker" column at The Washington Post.
But GQ basketball writer Bethlehem Shoals (real name: Nathaniel Friedman) took the liberal ardor to a new low on Twitter on Monday night, after grieving Benghazi mom Patricia Smith spoke to the Republican convention.
PBS covered the Republican convention for three hours of prime time on Monday night, in association with its pubcasting buddies at NPR. But they were allergic to showing any Hillary-scandal films that were offered on the convention floor. As a mini-documentary ran about Benghazi, PBS anchors Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff clumsily talked over it, and NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson had a wide-eyed freakout at what she claimed was a historically “intense animus” against an opposing candidate.
To offer an overview of how the national media are twisting the convention coverage, we're awarding a Quote of the Day to the journalist or pundit who offers the most outrageous quote or best summary of the night's media theme. Former NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw provided the first Quote of the Day for calling out Donald Trump and his supporters for not being unifying people....as if liberals unify the country by championing angry black and Latino activists who rail against the country as a hive of racists.
On ABC's Good Morning America on Monday, Daily Show host Trevor Noah presented the Republican convention as a huge and dangerous joke: “We're here in Cleveland for a reason. We're experiencing this, we’re like storm chasers but we chase jokes and this is going to be one of the biggest joke stages in the country. It's a dangerous joke, but a joke nonetheless.”
It’s not hard to see the late-night comedians lean to the left. But just as The New York Times pretends the national media isn’t 97 percent liberal, it writes even less credibly about TV comedians, pretending as if they don’t’ project a noticeably leftist point of view.
While pundits start to evaluate how Donald Trump and Mike Pence performed on 60 Minutes over the weekend, let’s focus on how Lesley Stahl did. As one might expect, it was a lively debate (with all kinds of interruptions), and not a softball interview. That’s quite a contrast with how the same Lesley Stahl interviewed the Democratic ticket of John Kerry and John Edwards in 2004, and then brought in their wives for more soft soap. The major topics were their "energy" on the campaign trail and how they were singing songs.
They say it’s the Republican convention, but the press will be happy to make it the Anti-Republican convention. On the home page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s website on Sunday was a large picture with the headline “National Convention of the Oppressed marches in Cleveland.” It doesn't matter how many attend. The crowd was estimated at “about 100.”
Secular liberal journalists with a sensitivity toward Islam get very reluctant to cover "honor killings," when Muslim men kill the women in their families for bringing "dishonor" on their name. On Saturday, USA Today reporter Nick Penzenstadler penned an article on a Pakistani social-media celebrity being strangled by her own brother. The first headline caused Twitter outrage. It was "Pakistani model killed after offending conservatives."
MSNBC just keeps turning to disgraced CBS anchor (and phony document presenter) Dan Rather as a grand expert on modern American political history. On Monday night’s All In, host Chris Hayes bowed to Rather’s very long career (in liberal bias). But at least Rather suggested that Hillary Clinton’s platform concessions to the Bernie Sanders followers could become an ideological problem. Most liberal reporters step around or deny that impression.
Jeff Mason of Reuters and Carol Lee of The Wall Street Journal are the incoming and outgoing presidents of the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA), and drew a load of negative attention from liberal media critics for implying -- in a USA Today op-ed -- an equivalence between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in their attempts to control and manipulate reporters.
Michael Calderone of The Huffington Post (and as he mentioned, Erik Wemple of The Washington Post) insist Donald Trump is far worse for restricting access to reporters he doesn't like.