Now that times are difficult in Iraq, it’s easy for the media to claim they are simply reporting the bad news that is obvious to everyone. But how did networks such as CNN and MSNBC report more positive events? According to a new study by the MRC, overall, Fox News generated the most balanced coverage of news on the ground, while the other two cable networks consistently emphasized negative stories. FNC also displayed the highest enthusiasm on days such as June 8, when U.S. air strikes killed al-Qaeda in Iraq mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Over on MSNBC, while the anchors generally reported the event as good news, the network also chose that day to broadcast four stories on military deserters. On this seemingly happy occasion, CNN aired two reports on the already heavily hyped Haditha case.
Some have speculated that the "a--holes" CNN anchor Kyra Phillips referred to in her ladies'-room chat might have been President Bush and other Republicans. The folks at the liberal group Media Matters for America, however, don't view Phillips as a GOP-basher. In fact, Media Matters has posted on its web site several items taking Phillips to task for supposed conservative bias. For example:
Sitting in the CNN green room in Washington today and staring at the tube during "Live From" at about 2:10, I noticed a promo for a big show this weekend starring President Bill Clinton. On Saturday and Sunday night at 8 PM Eastern, CNN will air a special edition of "CNN Presents" hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Shortly after yesterday’s announcement of Rep. Tom DeLay’s (R-Tex) indictment for alleged campaign finance violations, the mainstream media began doing reports on the subject with largely similar content. A memo written by Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean posted at the Democratic Party’s website almost immediately after the announcement was made contained virtually the same “hotbuttons” as those subsequently raised in media accounts of the story.
What follows is a copy of that memo, along with comparisons to what has since been reported by leading media outlets on this subject:
On this afternoon’s “Live From...”, CNN’s Candy Crowley did a not-so flattering report on the newly indicted House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay (R-Tex). Crowley interviewed a variety of Democratic foes in the report who have some pretty damning words for the embattled Congressman from Texas. Yet, some of the harshest criticisms came from Crowley herself:
“Someone once called him a cross between a concierge and a Mafia don, a guy who delivered.”
“They call him ‘The Hammer,’ pounding money out of donors... pounding votes out of colleagues. Pounding the Democrats.”
What follows is a full transcript of this report, and a video link.
In a report on the United Nations summit during the 1pm hour of CNN’s Live From, anchor Kyra Phillips confused the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton, with another well-known Bolton:
Kyra Phillips: "Now, I've seen Michael Bolton sitting behind the President. Obviously not now, we're looking at different live pictures. Are we going to hear from him? Or have we heard from him?"
Richard Roth: "Well, you may -- you're not going to hear him sing. I think you said Michael Bolton, John Bolton the US ambassador-"
Phillips (embarrassed): "John Bolton. Richard, thank you so much. You're taking me back now to, what, the early '80s? My goodness."
Roth: "Yes, and this ambassador has much shorter hair."
Phillips: "And no relation, right? Maybe we should make that clear."
Roth: "No relation. Though some of his remarks has -- have caused some hair-raising reaction from advocates for some groups...."
At 1:41 EDT, CNN's Kyra Phillips interviewed Brooks Jackson, former CNN reporter and current director of the Annenberg Center's Political Fact Check, on his latest issue of Fact Check, which categorizes the anti-John Roberts ad by NARAL Pro-Choice America currently running on CNN during commercial breaks as patently false. Phillips expressed concern over lack of federal laws against false political attacks ads, but failed to ask Jackson whether CNN bore an obligation to cancel the ads altogether.
Jackson noted that NARAL's ad, unlike most campaign ads his group has analyzed recently, was completely false, not just spun here and there to massage the truth to a particular political viewpoint.
Kyra Phillips: “Well, the ad is airing on CNN and other networks and already has some people crying foul. Brooks Jackson of FactCheck.org took a close look at the ad and the facts. He joins us now from Washington. Brooks, great to see you. Well, let’s talk about the ad. You checked the facts, you say it’s false.”
Brooks Jackson, FactCheck.org: “That’s right, and we don’t characterize things as false very often, more often ads are misleading or twisted or distorted or out of context, but, uh, this one is absolutely false...”