Matthew Sheffield

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Former NewsBusters editor


Latest from Matthew Sheffield

In remarks that are sure to dismay the race-baiting crew at MSNBC, President Obama admitted in an interview yesterday that he does not think that his conservative critics are racially motivated.

Obama made those remarks in a very flattering discussion with PBS NewsHour hosts Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff after he gave an address commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.


While HBO’s “Newsroom” is surely today’s leading liberal fantasy news show, it is following in a format pioneered by the overwrought crime drama series “Law and Order” and its various clone shows.

The producers of “Law and Order: SVU” reminded everyone of that recently by actually writing and filming an episode in which a character based on Paula Deen kills a Trayvon Martin character.


Billionaire philanthropists and conservative donors Charles and David Koch are not interested in purchasing newspapers currently owned by the Tribune Company.

A spokeswoman for Koch Industries confirmed this officially Thursday after the Daily Caller filed an item based upon anonymous sources saying the brothers did not wish to purchase the newspapers which include the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune.


Following major electoral defeats, it has become a bit of a tradition for people on the losing side to try and figure out what went wrong and how to return back to political favor. Oftentimes, these books tend to devolve into laundry lists of issues rather than explore some of the broader themes of politics itself.

Last week, I spoke to one author who avoids those problems, I’m pleased today to offer a conversation with another one, Donald Devine, a man who has spent decades in public service in academia, in government in the Reagan Administration, and outside as a conservative commentator.


Now that the takeover of the Washington Post by Jeff Bezos is beginning, the Amazon.com billionaire is being deluged with unsolicited advice. One such uninvited adviser is Patrick Pexton, the paper's former ombudsman who wrote up an "open letter" urging Bezos to do a number of things.

Not all of it is bad advice but what stands out is his personal animus against the Post's sole conservative blogger, Jennifer Rubin whom he urges Bezos to fire. "Not because she’s conservative," he insists, "but because she’s just plain bad."


After decades of submitting to biased questioning from liberal journalists in their presidential debates, the Republican National Committee is now considering allowing conservative media figures like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin to host such affairs.

This move is now being considered in light of the ongoing media campaign that RNC chairman Reince Priebus has been conducting against two films about likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The chairman has called on NBC and CNN, the producers of the two films, to cancel them or risk not being allowed to host debates at all.


In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about the expense of the welfare state. There has not been much discussion about the effects of its expansiveness and generosity on those who qualify for its assistance, however. There also does not seem to be much of a realization of just how much more today’s beneficiaries receive.

Since the American establishment media are so utterly uninterested in asking questions that might undermine left-wing beliefs, we must turn instead to a new television series airing in the UK called “Benefits Britain 1949.”


Sports cable channel ESPN has fired commentator Hugh Douglas for his alleged behavior at a convention for journalists where he showed up drunk at two public events and insulted a black colleague in gross racial terms.

According to several published reports, Douglas became angry at Michael Smith, his former co-host, insulting him as a “house n-----” and an “Uncle Tom.”


Oftentimes on the Right, there is a tendency to see a tension between being strategic and being principled. Primarily, this is because many of the people who often speak of strategy have evinced a willingness to jettison principle too readily. But is there necessarily a conflict between these two objectives? Not really.

One person who understands this point very well is W. James Antle III, the author of a new book called Devouring Freedom: Can Big Government Ever Be Stopped? There have been many books written in recent years pondering the question of what conservatives can do to better succeed in the political marketplace, Jim’s work is one of the few that provides a high-level look at what has worked in the past for the Right and puts it into a broader strategic framework for today’s challenges. I had the pleasure of discussing it with him at length recently. A transcript of our conversation follows.


During the Wednesday edition of his program, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, not known as any sort of conservative, attacked the government for being dishonest and witholding critical information from Americans while at the same time also undertaking highly invasive surveillance programs.

“I don’t believe much of anything they say anymore. Because I can’t figure out which parts to believe, so I choose not to believe any of it,” Smith said in an interview with Fox News legal analyst Mercedes Colwin.


Actor Alec Baldwin is famous for his uncontrolled rage and far left political views which is why, if a report from Mediaite is to be believed, he's decided it's time to showcase them for the moonbat audience of MSNBC.

According to the site's Joe Concha, Baldwin will soon be hosting a show each Friday night at 10pm, a comparative deadzone for television. But hey, why not? It's not like Baldwin ever got any viewers on the corny "30 Rock" show that he formerly appeared in opposite Tina Fey. More details below:


That darned Byron York. If it hadn’t been for his meddling, the Huffington Post and its allies on the left would have really created quite a mess for themselves spreading a false story that former Republican senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum somehow thinks that liberals are out to make pro-lifers feel uncomfortable taking a shower in public places.

While it is true that Santorum did mention the subject very briefly in a speech recently to the group Students for Life, the context in which he did was completely left out by the rabidly left-wing website. Eager to smear Christian conservatives, the Post ran with this breathless headline: “Rick Santorum: Liberals ‘Make It Uncomfortable For Students’ To Shower At The Gym.”


Former Philadelphia Eagles lineman and current ESPN commentator Hugh Douglas is in hot water for allegedly insulting his colleague Michael Smith with racial slurs while at a party last Friday in Orlando, Florida.

According to the sports blog Deadspin, Douglas has grown increasingly uncomfortable being paired with Smith and Jemele Hill as co-hosts of ESPN’s “Numbers Never Lie” statistics show as the only former athlete on the show.


Amid the hubub yesterday over the sale of the Washington Post, a decidedly smaller media business item got lost: the sale of Newsweek magazine to the owners of the International Business Times website.

At the present, no details on the terms of the deal were announced. In 2010, Newsweek was sold by the Washington Post to a left-leaning stereo equipment billionaire named Sidney Harman for $1 plus the assumption of outstanding debts, said at the time to number in the tens of millions of dollars. Harman then proceeded to merge the ailing magazine's operations with the general interest news website, the Daily Beast.


The Boston Globe newspaper has been sold by its owner, the New York Times Company, for $70 million in cash to investor John W. Henry. Included in the deal were the Times’s stakes in two other smaller papers, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and Metro Boston, a free tabloid.

The Times had purchased the Globe company in 1993 for $1.1 billion. Adjusted for inflation, the New England Media Group operation sold for just under 4 percent of the original sale price. The all-cash deal did not include an assumption of the company’s pension debts of about $110 million which will remain with the Times Company.


On his program last night, Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly applauded President Obama for speaking out about the George Zimmerman verdict but argued that Obama, and the self-proclaimed civil rights leadership have been avoiding the larger issues facing black Americans.

Instead of just focusing on how people felt about Zimmerman shooting Trayvon Martin, O'Reilly urged Obama to talk about illegitimacy, drugs, and how the violent "gangsta" culture encourages young black men to committ crimes.


In a Tuesday interview, actor and comedian Bill Cosby said that it was impossible to prove George Zimmerman was a racist and that as a result, he was uninterested in trying to discuss the killing of Trayvon Martin in that context.

“Let’s not go into a racial discussion unless we really have something there,” he told radio hosts Domenick Nati and Nate Foutz.


Back when various Tea Party groups were holding rallies across the country on a regular basis, the left-wing press was eager to mischaracterize them as violent, racist or some combination of the two. It didn't matter even if the allegations were true or not (as in the case of Obama Hitler signs or left-wing fakers pretending to be Tea Partiers).

That former attitude is a dramatic contrast to how the media are responding to rioters "protesting" the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. In an article describing a rally that featured both law-abiding protesters and also violent thugs, the Los Angeles Times was at pains to characterize the proceedings as "peaceful," using the word four separate times.


The Associated Press, the most powerful and widely used wire service in the world, decided last week to lend its support to the extremist views of Texas state senator Wendy Davis by utlizing a Twitter hashtag #StandWithWendy used by her supporters.

After pro-life bloggers called attention to the tweet, AP deleted the tweet from its official timeline but the wire service has still not apologized for its action.


On his radio show yesterday, Rush Limbaugh heaped high praise on Brent Bozell and Tim Graham's new book Collusion calling it "essential" and pointing out how the book is more than just "somebody's opinion."

Limbaugh also pointed out the very important truth that even though journalists receive low trust ratings in polls of the general public, the information they report is still believed, something many conservatives who see the reality of media bias often forget.