Lyndsi Thomas


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Tamron Hall with Jill Zuckman and Kevin Merida, MSNBC News Live | NewsBusters.orgDuring the noon hour of the July 8 "MSNBC News Live," host Tamron Hall discussed McCain's new TV ad with Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman and Washington Post’s Kevin Merida. The ad focused on McCain's time as a POW as demonstrative of his love of country and Hall questioned how Obama could compete with such a story.

Zuckman claimed:

Well, look, Senator McCain's got this great story about what he survived and what he endured and his campaign wants to tell that story as much as possible because they think that that's something voters respect and it gives them a sense of what he’s made of. But Senator Obama’s got a great American success story, too, and it’s just a different one and I think voters are equally impressed with what he’s all about.

So, the story of a man who never served in the military but was a community organizer and graduated from Harvard Law is "different" but just as impressive as the story of a man who was a prisoner of war, tortured by his Communist captors and refused special treatment in order to stay with his fellow servicemen in prison?



Thomas Beatie, ABC Mixed in with stories on cooking for the Fourth of July and how soldiers deployed in Iraq were spending their Independence Day, the July 4 "Good Morning America" managed to give nearly two full minutes to a story on Thomas Beatie, more commonly known as the "pregnant man," and "his" newly born daughter on Friday.

Unsurprisingly, the segment featured only a positive take on the situation, offering no sound bites questioning the normalcy of the child’s life. Reporter Ryan Owens touted, "The little girl's conception may have been complicated, but her parents insist her life now will be normal."

The designated "expert" of the segment, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, claimed:



Thomas Beatie, the transsexual "man" who was really born a woman, has garnered a lot of news coverage over the past few months because he is the first "man" to become pregnant.



Sharyn Alfonsi, ABC Thursday’s "Good Morning America" used the Fourth of July holiday to exaggerate the effects that food prices are having on consumers. In its "Hitting Home" segment, reporter Sharyn Alfonsi reported on the price increases of certain Fourth of July barbecue staples, claiming that "Americans are gonna eat 110 million pounds hot dogs and that could take a big bite out of their wallets."

Alfonsi claimed:



Tamron Hall, MSNBC During the 11:00 a.m. hour of MSNBC’s News Live, host Tamron Hall discussed possible developments late in a presidential campaign such as an October surprise or a terrorist attack. After Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus claimed that Bush would be remembered for his leadership after 9/11, her Democratic counterpart Keith Boykin tried to insist that Bush was to blame:

You know, I disagree with what Cheri said too about 9/11. 9/11 was a failure for George Bush. He was asleep at the switch on 9/11. He had a memo, he had a memo a month before.

Jacobus, expressing shock, chimed in:



Michelle Obama has made a lot of news with her now infamous soundbite about how America is “downright mean” and that “for the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country.”

But the mainstream media feel that they must defend the potential first lady and show her “softer side.”

During the 1 PM hour of Monday's MSNBC News Live, host Andrea Mitchell interviewed Susan Page, USA Today Washington Bureau Chief, about the newspaper’s interview with Michelle Obama. During their discussion of Obama, Mitchell gushed: “She’s Princeton, she’s Harvard, she’s so smart and so beautiful and, you know, a mom and a wife and a partner and yet people get caricatured.”

Page followed up with even more gushing:



McClatchy Newspapers won the MRC’s 2008 Dan Rather Award for the Stupidest Analysis for its article spinning the success of the troop surge in Iraq as bad news for Iraqi gravediggers. Apparently the editors are aiming for a repeat performance at next year’s program.

In his June 26 article, writer Stephen Thomma, on the recently released debate proposal by the Commission on Presidential Debates, found a stature problem for the Illinois senator should he agree to sit-down townhall debates.

Here’s the relevant excerpt from "Under Debate Plan, Obama Loses Height Advantage":



Screen Shot from Chicago Tribune Shortly after Michelle Obama’s appearance as a guest host on ABC’s the View, her choice of clothing began attracting media attention, turning political and general assignment journalists into fashion critics. NBC’s Today show claimed that "fashion icon" Obama had started a "frock frenzy." Before that, NBC's Lee Cowan, who has said covering Barack Obama makes his "knees quake," gushed that "Michelle Obama had always been there, dressed as brightly as her husband's smile."

Well today, Chicago Tribune fashion columnist .



San Francisco Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci dutifully dusted off the same liberal talking points we hear every four years about Republican nominees: the women in their own party hate them.

In her front page article, Marinucci found no conservative Republican women to defend McCain or critique him from the right, but she found three Republican, including Obama backer Susan Eisenhower, and two Democratic women to slam McCain.

But as might be expected in the liberal media, the largest reason these liberal Republican women won’t vote for McCain was chalked up to "women’s rights," code words for abortion. The article devoted a special section to McCain's stance on abortion. Of course this ignores the fact that millions of socially conservative Republican women backed equally pro-life candidates such as Mike Huckabee or Mitt Romney in the primaries.



The Obama campaign is trying to re-create Michelle Obama after her stumbles on the campaign trail, and the mainstream media are more than willing to pitch in.

Earlier today, NewsBusters contributor Clay Waters, director of the MRC’s Times Watch project, critiqued a New York Times story, written by Michael Powell and Jodi Kantor, which helped Obama soften her image and suggested that her "proud of my country" remarks were unfairly covered.

Powell reprised his work spinning Michelle Obama on MSNBC today.

The Times staffer sat down with MSNBC's Tamron Hall during the 9 AM hour of the June 18 "MSNBC News Live." During this time, Powell claimed that the potential first lady’s harsh image has "certainly been imposed on her," as though Mrs. Obama’s statements do not reflect who she really is and that those who criticize her public pronouncements are somehow putting words in her mouth.



A liberal-leaning organization has produced a report on the 2008 presidential candidates’ tax plans and, accordingly, the Associated Press has jumped on it.

In her June 17 article, AP’s Liz Sidoti used a recent study by the Tax Policy Center -- a project of the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution and Urban Institute -- to advance the notion that Obama’s tax policies favor the middle class while McCain’s policies favor the wealthy:

Overall, the Tax Policy Center said people with very high incomes would benefit the most under McCain's proposal, while low- and middle-income taxpayers would see larger tax breaks under Obama's plan and wealthy taxpayers would see their taxes increase.



Michelle Obama could be considered a liability to Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, especially with her controversial "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country" remarks. As such, the liberal media are trying to work against the potentially negative effects of her comments by portraying Michelle as a victim of those evil conservatives and Republicans, even though a prominent Hillary Clinton blogger floated a nasty rumor about Obama using a racial slur.

A June 12 article by Chicago Tribune’s Christi Parsons entitled "Whispers Get Loud Around Michelle Obama" follows this trend. Parsons wrote: "[Michelle Obama] is emerging as an enticing target for conservative critics." So, it’s only conservatives and Republicans who would criticize Michelle Obama?



With all of the videos of Barack Obama’s pastor problems and gaffes, it’s no wonder the liberal media are afraid of what conservative 527 groups will do with them.

A June 9 article entitled “Decency in D.C.” and featured in the “local news” section of the Boston Globe, columnist Kevin Cullen decried the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT) – the group which ran ads against Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004 – as liars and all that is wrong with Washington, D.C.

Perhaps still sore from the 2004 election, and taking a cue from Media Matters, Cullen claimed, “And, the best part is, if [the Swift Boat Vets] can't find any videotape in which [Rev.] Wright actually says anything remotely as outrageous, they'll just make it up.”



"Change We Can Believe In" is the new "I Have a Dream," that is, if you ask the crew at CNN.

During Tuesday’s live election coverage, CNN reporters and analysts gushed over Barack Obama’s speech, comparing it to those of Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln as well as praising Obama for his graciousness towards Hillary Clinton.

Leading up to Obama’s speech, Anderson Cooper announced: "An extraordinary moment for Barack Obama, for his wife, Michelle Obama, for all of those supporters, not only gathered in that, in that stadium tonight, but people watching around the country, even those who may not support Barack Obama certainly taking this moment to reflect on the historic nature of what is happening on this evening."



In the midst of reports on the historic nature of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s candidacy and as speculation roils about whether he will ask his bitter rival Hillary Clinton to join the ticket, the Boston Globe also found time to take a few jabs at presumptive GOP nominee John McCain and former rival Mitt Romney.

Local politics writer Yvonne Abraham, in a June 4 article titled "McMitt Picking," sought to discuss the potential pairing of McCain and Romney for the presidential and vice presidential spots on the Republican ticket. However, her column was a little less than friendly.



The 9a.m. hour of Friday’s MSNBC News Live featured only slanted coverage of President Bush’s remarks to Israel's Knesset including "Hardball" correspondent David Shuster’s characterization of the President’s remarks as “clearly an intellectually grotesque and dishonest statement.”

Shuster also argued that Bush’s remarks were offensive to "a lot" of people because "when you talk about Adolf Hitler in the context of the Middle East, it diminishes the atrocities and just how horrific the Nazi regime really was."

The hour long broadcast featured two segments which focused on Bush’s remarks with guests David Shuster and Barack Obama supporter Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), both of whom criticized the President’s statements and went along with the Democratic spin that Bush’s statements were an attack on Obama.



In a May 15 article, Associated Press writer H. Josef Hebert practically cheered the addition of polar bears to a federal “threatened species” list thought of the subjectively positive effects this could have on the global warming debate: “The massive and powerful furry creature that lumbers across the Arctic ice may accomplish what 20 years of environmental activism has not done: force the issue that global warming already is having an effect and there is a price for both action and inaction.”

In his story, “Analysis: Polar Bear's Impact on People is Felt,” Hebert explained that the polar brings a “face” to the global warming debate. Whereas scientists have “long have talked of the visible damage that global warming has done to sea coral” this has “escaped the notice of the average person.” However, the polar bear, according to Wildlife Conservation Society President Steven E. Sanderson as quoted in the article, is different because it is “big, it's charismatic and it's powerful. It's beautiful and it generates sympathy. If it blinks out, you'll notice.”



Over a graphic which read “Pres. Bush Invokes Nazis While Criticizing Obama’s Foreign Policy,” MSNBC sought to hype Democratic reaction to President Bush’s speech in Israel.

During the 9a.m. hour of Thursday’s “MSNBC News Live,” host Mika Brzezinski reported: “President Bush issued a stinging criticism of Barack Obama today suggesting that his plans to hold talks with Iran is the same as trying to appease the Nazis on the eve of World War II.”

Brzezinski began the broadcast with “breaking news” of President Bush’s comments and repeatedly came back to it, making for a total of six references to the “controversy” in the hour-long broadcast. The host also quoted the reaction from the Obama campaign three times and continually referred to the President’s remarks as a “swipe at Obama.”



Amid talk among the mainstream media of a sinking economy in which the elderly must live in vans and others cannot afford to drive 35 miles to church on Sundays, the Associated Press did note a drop in unemployment from 2006 to 2007. But even that news was buried in a story about the military and was used to explain trouble had in meeting recruiting goals.

On May 13, an AP story by writer Anne Flaherty used this drop in unemployment to explain that the military is having difficulty recruiting young people. But just a day before, the Associated Press reported that every branch of the military met its recruiting goals for the month of April, some branches even surpassed them. As Warner Todd Huston noted, AP’s Pauline Jelinek reasoned that the military was successful in its recruitment efforts because “other job possibilities” are limited.

Don’t you just hate it when newsrooms can’t agree over which biased meme should rule the day?



Years before she admitted her own affairs with married men, ABC's Barbara Walters pressed Monica Lewinsky about her affair with a married Bill Clinton: "Did you ever think about what Hillary Clinton might be feeling?" [audio available here]

At the time, the public wasn’t yet aware of Walters’ own affairs. Now, more than nine years later, Barbara Walters has come forward with stories of her affair in her new book "Audition" something former "The View" co-star Star Jones has publicly denounced saying, "It is a sad day when an icon like Barbara Walters in the sunset of her life is reduced to publicly branding herself as an adulterer, humiliating an innocent family with accounts of her illicit affair […] It speaks to her true character."

This new information on Walters sheds some interesting light on her 1999 "20/20" interview with Monica Lewinsky regarding her affair with President Clinton. As MRC Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham said, "It might have helped viewers process that interview with some on-screen graphics that said 'Barbara Walters has been a mistress just like her interviewee.'"