Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.
Lives in Oak Island, North Carolina
Pilot, parrots, dogs, tennis.
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Discussing the Alito hearings on this morning's Today show, Matt Lauer and Tim Russert sounded less like host and analyst and more like two disappointed teenaged boys, griping as they exit the theater that the movie didn't deliver enough exploding cars and train wrecks.
Lauer's opening question sounded the theatrical theme: "did the event live up to its billing?"
Much as the MSM likes to bury stories inimical to Democratic interests, there was no way the Today show could ignore Mrs. Alito's tears. Not only was it clearly the political story of the day, but the footage of Mrs. Alito's distress was much too riveting not to run.
As we detailed here, on yesterday's Today show Matt Lauer yesterday blurted out in the midst of an interview "let's face it, [Alito] is an ultra-conservative."
If that weren't slur enough in the liberal mindset, Dem strategist James Carville continued the assault on this morning's Today, accusing Alito of being: "completely enamored and impressed with power."
By all appearances, Lauer was headed for a genial stroll in the park with affable former GOP Sen. Fred Thompson, in to discuss the Alito hearings. Thompson had been the successful 'sherpa' for John Roberts in his confirmation process.
What do you think the odds are that in the very first minute of its segment on Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the morning her confirmation hearings were set to begin, the Today show twice described Ginsburg - former chief counsel of the ACLU - as a "liberal" and spoke of her confirmation "moving the court to the left"?
Pat Robertson has no one to blame but himself for the criticism he's attracted in reaction to his latest looniness, in which he suggested that Ariel Sharon's recent stroke was divine retribution for dividing the land of Israel. For that matter, on the all-publicity-is-good-publicity theory, Robertson might be reveling in the notoriety.
Once in a while, it happens. TV serves up human drama in real time. So it was on this morning's Today show, when the bereaved son of one of the Sago miners confronted the governor of West Virginia over allegedly lax safety enforcement in the mine.
Katie Couric's just-completed interview with NY Times Reporter James Risen, who broke the NSA surveillance story and is now publishing his book on the matter, 'State of War,' offered a window on the MSM view of the matter. For her questioning of Risen, give a gentlelady's 'C' to Couric, who earned the bulk of her grade by asking:
Much as the folks at Today revel in reporting soaring gas prices and plunging Bush poll numbers, pesky facts - in the form of a recent Bush poll rise - can get in the way.
Ring in the gloom year!
Imagine you're a guest on the Today show on New Year's Day, and the host asks you to predict the top stories for the year to come.
What are the odds you choose as your two top stories for 2006: job-loss anxiety among white-collar workers, and white-collar crime?
Yet that is precisely what Marcus Mabry, Newsweek's Chief of Correspondents [pictured here], did in his just-completed interview with host Lester Holt.
When in 2003 Rush Limbaugh suggested that the media, hoping for a black-quarterback success story, had over-rated Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, he was subjected to a firestorm of criticism and ultimately resigned his post on an ESPN pre-game football show.
Can you imagine what the media would have done to Rush had he dared to employ the classically racial "feets don't fail me now" line, immortalized by black actor Mantan Moreland in the '30s-'50s?
I can now confirm what I've long suspected: Neal Gabler and I inhabit different planets.
I inhabit the one in which the MSM coverage of the Iraqi war is a virtually-uninterrupted drumbeat of the negative. From headline coverage of every IED that goes off, to the beatification of Cindy Sheehan, the liberal media's treatment of the war has been decidedly downbeat.
In their heart of hearts, do the liberal media believe we are at war? The answer is a resounding 'no', judging by liberal Newsday columnist Ellis Henican's performance on this morning's Fox & Friends Weekend. Thankfully, fellow Newsday columnist Jim Pinkerton was there to remind his colleague of some cold, hard facts.
As anti-terror techniques go, the one announced this week by the TSA - that of chatting with airline passengers to see if they exhibit tell-tale signs of nervousness - seems relatively unlikely to result in racial or ethnic profiling, since it focuses on behavior rather than superficial characteristics.
According to the note at the bottom of his column, "John Merrow . . . reports on education for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS." [Emphasis added]
"Reports"? Then what was Merrow [pictured right] doing writing an op-ed opinion column distributed nationally by the Christian Science Monitor?
Conservatives rightly complain that MSM shows such as Today have a paucity of guests from the right, and that those who do appear are treated with skepticism if not outright disdain.
Anyone who thought Hardball with Chris Matthews couldn't get any more antagonistic to the Bush administration should have watched the show with Norah O'Donnell substituting tonight. Not that Matthews is exactly Mr. Fair & Balanced, but Norah didn't even attempt to disguise her disdain for all things Republican.
You know the old challenge: try to describe a spiral staircase without using your hands.
This evening's Abrams Report on MSNBC managed to pull off an equally impressive feat: describing a gay porn and sexual exploitation ring without mentioning that it was just that, or indeed even that males were involved.
What the Today show probably intended as an ecumenical, warm-'n-fuzzy holiday segment just veered wildly off course when a rabbi spoke some unvarnished truth.
The topic was "December Dilemma: Interfaith Holidays," and dealt with the issue of celebrating the holidays in families with children where the parents are of different religions.
In reporting what it called a "big win" for Senate Democrats in killing off drilling in ANWR, this morning's Today show aired footage of gorgeous snow-capped mountains, similar to the file photo to the right.
There's only one little problem. The drilling in ANWR won't take place anywhere near those mountains.