Lachlan Markay


Latest from Lachlan Markay

This just in, courtesy of Time Magazine: Mother Gaia is dying and your ice maker is the perp. Continue churning out ice with your automated cube-maker, and you'll be contributing to the plight of the 50 million refugees the United Nations insists anthropogenic global warming has caused will cause by 2020.

Time took a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology showing significant energy use by ice makers and ran with it. Want to save the Earth?" the article asked. "Easy, just buy a couple of ice trays." The article goes on to educate "laypeople" (the actual phrase used) on the havoc their refrigerators are wreaking on the planet (h/t Moonbattery).



As NB's Mark Finkelstein reported earlier, Time's Mark Halperin and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough expressed their bewilderment on Thursday's "Morning Joe" that President Obama would invite Rep. Paul Ryan to the unveiling of the president's budget, sit him in the front row, and then essential call him un-American on national television.

Co-host Mika Brzezinski, on the other hand, far from being displeased by the move, touted it as evidence of the president's political courage. Obama isn't cowardly like congressional Republicans, she intimated, since he will call you un-American to your face.

"I don't think it was insulting" for the president to slime Ryan as he did, Mika claimed. "He was tough and clear." Check out the video below the break.



Beginning on April 17, NBC-Universal and all of its television news and entertainment shows will launch into seven days of environmentally-themed programming titled "Earth Week." If this Earth Week is anything like those past, it will once again raise the issue, highligted on numerous occasions at this website, of the symbiotic relationship between Earth Week's political implications and the financial interests of General Electric, which owns a large stake in the media company.

The conflict of interest apparent in Earth Week also points to a double standard: while the political activities of Fox News's parent company News Corporation were touted by numerous commentators - both partisan and "objective" - as evidence that Fox itself has a political bent, few to this day seem concerned that NBC is advancing a liberal environmental agenda that could potentially enrich GE, which spends millions (more than $230 million on lobbying alone since 1991, more than any other private company by far) advancing the same agenda through political channels.



This week marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. But there's another "civil war" of sorts on the horizon, this one between the ultra-liberal wing of the Democratic Party, which has thus far steadfastly refused to accept cuts to entitlement programs in the name of fiscal solvency, and the party's more moderate members (which include, amazingly, President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi) who recognize that such cuts are all-but-inevitable.

But true to form, most of the media, fond of labeling GOP infighting a civil war, has yet to brand Democrats' budget feud with that label. This despite the increasing uneasiness of liberal legislators and organizations who are worried the president has already caved to conservatives on the budget battle.



A freelance blogger on Tuesday filed a class action lawsuit against Arianna Huffington for $105 million. The suit alleges that the Huffington Post's legion of unpaid bloggers are entitled to one third of the revenue from the site's sale to AOL in February.

Jonathan Tasini, who filed the lawsuit, compared Huffington to a "robber baron" in a blog post on Tuesday, and called her site a "blogger plantation - where her slaves work to build her fortune."

Tasini's hard-left perspective came through in his complaint (students of Marx will no doubt recognize his labor theory of value):



Does the New York Times fact-check its editorial pages? A slew of recent errors in Times opinion pieces suggest it does not - or, if it does, that it needs to do a better job.

The most recent bout of falsehoods was, perhaps unsurprisingly, directed at the much-maligned owners of Koch Industries, Charles and David Koch. In a Sunday, April 3 op-ed in the Times, David Callahan, a senior fellow at the left-wing advocacy group Demos, made numerous factual errors regarding the company and its fraternal owners, and about non-profit tax law - together, the two central topics of his piece.

Koch Industries sent a letter to Andrew Rosenthal, the Times's editorial page editor, on Tuesday requesting corrections to the "several errors" in Callahan's op-ed, but as of Monday afternoon, no correction had been issued. Read the full letter below the break.



"In '94 people were elected simply to come here to kill the National Endowment for the Arts," claimed senior Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter at a pro-choice rally on the National Mall Wednesday. "Now they're here to kill women." Slaughter, the ranking Democrat on the Rules Committee, went on to compare proposed GOP proposals on abortion, bizarrely, to "show-me-your-papers" policies in the Third Reich.

It's been two days since Slaughter made these incendiary and baseless remarks, yet there has been a virtual media blackout. So once again we have to ask, as did the Washington Examiner's David Freddoso, what if a Tea Partier had said it? [Disclosure: I also write for the Examiner]

The story was initially reported by NewsBusters sister site CNSNews.com, and aside from the Examiner, no other news organization has reported on Slaughter's absurd statement thus far. It's safe to assume that if a conservative Republican had made similar remarks, coverage would be significantly greater (check out the video of Slaughter's remarks below the break).



NewsBusters and others have, on many occasions, pointed out the apparent conflict of interest in NBC-Universal and its various media affiliates (both news and entertainment) pushing for policies that would benefit General Electric, who until recently was the majority stakeholder in NBC-U, and still retains a large portion of ownership over the company.

Recent events seem to vindicate that concern. Since the New York Times reported last week that GE paid no taxes in the United States, no "straight news" reporter on NBC has yet mentioned the controversy. NBC's silence suggests, to some, that its news-gathering operation is, to some extent, subordinated to the interests of its parent company.

And though many on the left are disposed to label that slant a bias to the right (since many liberals simple assume that corporations are, by their nature, conservative in their politics), many of GE's ventures not only align with liberal policy objectives, but often use the power of the state, enhanced by liberal economic policies, to promote their own economic agenda.



While NB usually focuses on the national news media, sometimes a local news segment is just so brazenly biased that it merits at least a mention.

A local NBC News affiliate in New York decided it would fact-check a National Republican Congressional Committee attack ad aimed at Kathy Hochul, the Democratic candidate for the congressional seat left vacant by former Rep. Chris Lee (R). The segment, which called some NRCC claims "false" and others "misleading," is such a transparent - and poor - attempt to provide cover for Hochul that Townhall's Guy Benson wondered whether it was "the worst 'fact check' ever" (though he decided that honor should go to Politifact).

Check out the ad in question - and NBC2's attempt at rebuttal - below the break.



They won't agree on much, but Fox News host Bill O'Reilly and Medea Benjamin, founder of the far-left anti-war group Code Pink, found some common ground on one fact Tuesday night: MSNBC talkers Rachel Maddow and Ed Shultz are hypocrites.

Both Schultz and Maddow defended President Obama's decision to impose a no fly zone over Libya on their respective shows. Maddow trotted out the "reluctant warrior" line, while Schultz insisted that the president "deserves the benefit of the doubt and our support."

O'Reilly asserted - and Benjamin agreed - that neither MSNBC host would have been so generous had Obama's predecessor engaged in such a conflict. "The word 'hypocrisy' comes to mind," Benjamin quipped (video and partial transcript below the break).



It seems Starbucks is regretting the health care Frankenstein it helped create. The company was a key corporate backer of Obamacare in its legislative stages, but its top executive has raised concerns about the law's economic damage.



Twitter and other social networks have provided social scientists with unprecedented means of measuring human interaction. As it turns out, that fact has implications for the media bias debate.

In a study to be released next month, three Duke University researchers rank politicians and other public figures by political ideology as measured by a formula that incorporates whom they follow on Twitter, and who follows them. "The results dovetailed with ideological ranking systems based on the politicians’ voting records," the New York Times reported on Monday.

If the study is accurate, it demonstrates just how liberal some of America's most prominent journalists really are. Check below the break for some key findings concerning on the not-so-neutral news media.



After penning a number of stories toeing the Democratic line on a variety of issues, Washington Post reporter Shailagh Murray decided to make it official: the Post announced Friday that she has taken a job in the office of Vice President Joe Biden.

Murray marks the 18th journalist to move from a reporting position to a post in Democratic politics or vice versa since President Obama took office. The revolving door between journalism and the Democratic Party underscores the extent to which the ideologies of each overlap.

The bias dossier on Murray is thinner than, say, Katie Couric's, but contains a number of telling items. Let's review a few of the highlights.



There has been quite a bit of hysteria among some major media outlets in the past few days regarding the potential dangers of nuclear power. Some have even suggested that the benefits of nuclear energy do not outweigh its potential dangers to human life.

The dangers of nuclear power, while serious, need to be put in perspective. To that end, here's an interesting fact you won't be hearing from the mainstream press: wind energy has killed more Americans than nuclear energy.

You read that right. According to the Caithness Windfarm Information Forum, there were 35 fatalities associated with wind turbines in the United States from 1970 through 2010. Nuclear energy, by contrast, did not kill a single American in that time.



It took the threat of a defamation lawsuit, but the New York Times finally corrected a story from late February that accused FBI informant Brandon Darby of "encouraging" a plot to bomb the 2008 Republican National Convention, when in fact Darby was integral to law enforcement efforts to disrupt that plot.

The Times was aware of the error as far back as March 3, according to emails included in the brief filed by Darby's attorney. Yet the error remained uncorrected on the Times website until Wednesday.

As I wrote earlier this week, the fact that the Times was aware of the error and yet continued to publish it online may have made it liable. Darby's attorney certainly thought it did, and at least one legal expert concurred.



It seems that some on the left are beginning to notice the epic journalistic malpractice going on in the media's refusal to cover a litany of death threats - some specific and credible - against Wisconsin Republicans for their support of legislation trimming the power of public sector unions.

"Burying the death threat story is a clear example of intellectual dishonesty and journalistic bias," liberal blogger Lee Stranahan succinctly put it in a piece at the Huffington Post on Tuesday. Stranahan wondered "why progressives shouldn't expect more from our media -- and ourselves -- than we expect from our political adversaries."

He even linked to a post by our own Noel Sheppard demonstrating much of the media's - including all three news networks' - apparent lack of interest in death threats against Wisconsin's elected officials.



Actor and filmmaker Harry Shearer, best known for his voice work in 'The Simpsons', blasted the news media in a speech to the National Press Club on Monday.

Specifically, he singled out the media's "myth-making" tendency - its constant desire to fit current events into mostly pre-formed narratives. "What I’m calling a ‘template,’ is based on facts. Some facts. A partial collection. The first dusting," Shearer claimed. "It then becomes adopted as ‘the narrative.' The mental doors lock shut, and no further facts are allowed in."



National Public Radio's continued efforts to present itself as a politically-neutral news operation may suffer a bit from one of the organization's endorsements: that of the far-left activist group MoveOn.org.

MoveOn, which has received significant funding from liberal billionaire George Soros, started a petition recently to push Congress to "protect NPR and PBS and guarantee them permanent funding, free from political meddling." The endorsement is telling, given MoveOn's hard-left ideology. Would it really be pushing for continued federal funding for NPR if it didn't think the organization was serving its agenda somehow?

NPR itself has received $1.8 million in financial support from Soros, so this is not the first sign (beyond its actual news content, of course) that NPR advances - in one way or another, and whether it intends to or not - a leftist agenda. The ideological synergy is evident just in the groups offering NPR their support, MoveOn being the latest.



Retired U.S. Senator Evan Bayh has landed a gig as a Fox News Channel contributor, the Huffington Post reported Monday afternoon. The Indiana Democrat also served as governor from 1989 to 1997.

Bayh's new digs will likely elicit long lists of his departures from liberal orthodoxy from the left's ubiquitous Fox-haters. But another Democrat - and one who agreed with the American Conservative Union only 23 percent of the time - in the channel's lineup certainly won't help in ongoing efforts at, for instance, the New York Times to tar Fox as uniquely partisan.



Sue Schardt, director of the Association of Independents in Radio and a non-board member of NPR's Distribution/Interconnect Committee, has a firm grasp on arguments against the organization receiving federal funding. Criticisms of NPR "do have some legitimacy," she noted, and "we must, as a starting point, take on board some of this criticism."

Scardtnoted during the board's Feburary 25 "public comment" period that "we unwittingly cultivated a core audience that is predominately white, liberal, highly educated, elite."

As a consequence, Schardt added, while the journalism NPR produces may be of high quality, the organization really only serves, by her telling, 11 percent of the United States. In light of that fact, she added, "we need to carefully consider whether we warrant public funding and, if so, what the rationale would be."