Latest from Danny Glover
Liberal journalism professor Jay Rosen was puzzled when Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin wondered aloud whether he and other journalists should be skeptical of Barack Obama. Conservative blogger Jon Henke was downright flabbergasted:
I'm not sure I understand why this is even a question. Indeed, it would seem to me that it would be grounds for immediate dismissal.
"Immediate dismissal" is an overreach, but Jon is right to call Froomkin out for his bizarre musings about how to cover Barack Obama. No journalist should ever wonder whether skepticism of politicians is warranted; it always is.
The problem these days is that few mainstream journalists are the least bit skeptical of Obama. And the fact that the Post columnist tasked with covering the Obama administration is even thinking of giving Obama a pass, if only for an extension of the honeymoon that began with his candidacy, doesn't bode well for future coverage of "The One."
YouTube is promoting as its "citizen news report of the day" a video of an alleged attack on Greenpeace activists at a coal plant in Poland. There are two problems with the news judgment behind this video selection.
First, both the initial report on the video and YouTube's description of it overstate what actually happened. Watch the video for yourself and see. Aside from some unjustifiable shoving, kicking of snow and grabbing of signs, there is no attack.
In one instance, the pushing is to get protesters out of the way of an oncoming bulldozer. Another clip appears to show a coal miner helping up a protester who fell, and the Greenpeace activists eventually are allowed to display their "Quit Coal" banners without interference -- presumably on private property where they had no right to be.
But the bigger problem with the news judgment in this case is the blatant double standard at work. Why is YouTube helping to publicize an obscure, pro-environmental protest in Poland while ignoring citizen journalism reports of recent bad behavior by protesters that are far more noteworthy and much closer to home?
This is the debut video in an occasional series called "Softball Spotlight," which will showcase the softball questions that Barack Obama-loving reporters ask the future president. E-mail your tips to me: dglover-at-mediaresearch-dot-org. Or upload your own videos to Eyeblast.tv.
NBC reporter Lee Cowan was quite infatuated with Democrat Barack Obama on the campaign trail.
Cowan went so far as to confess on camera with NBC anchor Brian Williams that "it's almost hard to remain objective" because Obama is so "infectious." Weeks later in an NBC print promotional, Cowan acknowledged that "my knees quaked a bit" when he learned that he was being tasked with covering Obama.
Editor & Publisher has a tally of presidential endorsements by college newspapers that puts the count at 63-1 in favor of Democrat Barack Obama. The only paper to endorse Republican John McCain: the Daily Mississippian at the University of Missippi.
On the one hand, the overwhelming pro-Obama majority tracks with the long-running media narrative that Obama is king among young voters. If even young people who have no votes are going for Obama, then it makes perfect sense that college papers are going publicly for the candidate Oprah Winfrey dubbed "The One."
On the other hand, are we really supposed to believe that there are only 64 daily and weekly college papers in a country that has 50 states?
Here's a video contrast for you: Joe Biden being grilled by a professional news anchor vs. Biden being tossed a softball by a charming fifth-grader who said after his interview that the Democratic vice-presidential candidate "is now my homeboy."
Biden has refused any further interviews with Barbara West of WFTV in Orlando, Fla., or anyone else at the station, but the odds are good that he would chat at length with fifth-grader Damon Weaver any time.
Cross-posted at Video Done Right
Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher has had his 15 minutes of fame, capping it off with an unplanned appearance as the poster boy of populist tax policy in last night’s presidential debate. So now it’s time for the press to turn its sights on him not as a human-interest story but as an investigative subject.
Jonathan Martin of The Politico was among the first out of the gate, with blog posts noting that Wurzelbacher, affectionately known by most of America as “Joe The Plumber,” has a tax lien against him and doesn’t have a plumber’s license. Martin conveniently forgot to mention that the law doesn’t require one.) Bloomberg also has a story on the tax lien, and AP and The Washington Post did their part to make a story out of the “unlicensed” non-story.
A Barack Obama supporter in Ohio with deep roots in Democratic politics -- and a 2001 sex-related felony conviction to his name -- is behind two new confrontational videos that bait ignorant people into calling Barack Obama a terrorist.
The first video was released Wednesday and has gone viral. It currently has more than 1.1 million views on YouTube. Part II went online a day later and is well on its way to viral status, with more than 145,000 views.
The John McCain and Sarah Palin supporters in the videos are characterized as “The McCain-Palin Mob.” The videos selectively feature voters who, upon being asked antagonistic questions, make some outrageous statements about Obama.
There's a theory floating around the right side of the blogosphere that NBC removed a "Saturday Night Live" skit from the Internet because the network had second thoughts about making fun of liberals or caught too much heat for doing so.
But a new theory has surfaced in the mainstream media. Advertising Age is reporting that the skit may have been pulled for apolitical reasons. "A good guess: The clip, a fake C-SPAN news report, identifies [former bank owners Herb and Marion Sandler] ... as 'people who should be shot' in a graphic."
A story on the San Franciso Chronicle Web site seems to buttress that view. It is headlined "Herb Sandler Takes On SNL After Snark Attack" and quotes Sandler as saying, "We are being unfairly tarred" for problems in the mortage industry.
When interviewed by Eyeblast.tv last month, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that YouTube, the video-sharing site owned by his company, is "pretty serious" about removing the "strange" videos that keep popping up on the site, especially videos "that can be used to incite bad outcomes." Apparently videos designed to incite Catholics don't fall into that category.
A YouTube user who goes by the moniker "fsmdude" has posted more than 30 videos under the title "Eucharist Desecration." Each video features an attack on a symbol that Catholics consider sacred -- by blow gun, nail gun, boiling, sword and cigarette in a few recent episodes.
The creator of the videos isn't subtle about his intent. He was angered by reports of a college student allegedly receiving e-mail threats from "fanatical Catholics" after the student snatched a wafer at mass, so "fsmdude" decided to repeatedly profane the Eucharist on camera for all to see.
When media personality Tim Russert, once a top adviser to leading Democratic officeholders in New York, died of a heart attack in June, editors at YouTube rightly paid tribute to him by promoting videos that celebrated his work and life.
They didn't extend the same courtesy to conservative journalist Tony Snow over the weekend. Instead, YouTube chose to mark Snow's passing by featuring a liberal rant that blamed Snow for "hundreds of thousands of deaths," including those of innocent children, because he briefly served as President Bush's spokesman.
The video was one of two promoted in YouTube's news and politics section after Snow died of cancer at age 53. The first clip, from an interview with White House counselor Ed Gillespie on CBS' "Face The Nation," gave Snow his much-deserved due as "one of the good guys."
But in an apparent and twisted attempt at balance, the second Snow-related clip that YouTube chose was headlined "Tony Snow Job." Here's how it began:
Today is Earth Day, and you don't have to look any further than the home pages of the top Internet companies to see it. Green is the politically correct color of choice for firms that want to score cheap environmental points online.
The bias is most blatant at Google and its video-sharing subsidiary, YouTube. Google's logo has gone completely green, and the television screen within YouTube's logo is a snapshot of the earth.
YouTube also has turned over the prime real estate on its home page to earth-friendly videos, with headlines like "5 Easy Ways To Save The Planet" and "Veggie Cars." Oh, and don't forget, "Paris Hilton Is Greener Than You."