Latest from Mike Bates
NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard did a fine job of analyzing today's Associated Press story "Poll: Racial misgivings of whites an Obama issue." I found this passage from the AP story particularly provocative:
Friday on CNN's American Morning, network correspondent Alina Cho conducted a "reality check" of a John McCain ad that labels Barack Obama the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate. These "fact checks" are increasingly popular in the mainstream media this presidential year. Cho started:
On PBS's Web site today, ombudsman Michael Getler writes of complaints over an incident during last Sunday's pledge drive. He describes the cheap shot taken by actor Mike Farrell against vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin:
According to Joseph Campbell, vice president of fundraising programs, here's what happened:
Updated with correction below.
CNN's Situation Room today featured a Wolf Blitzer interview with former Defense Secretary William Cohen. As a lead in to the interview, White House correspondent Elaine Quijano reported on President Bush's actions to quiet the country's financial jitters. She wrapped up:
KVOA, the NBC television affiliate in Tucson, boasts on its Web site that we're reading "Balanced News You Can Count On." That may be true. What's indisputable is, in at least in one instance, it doesn't provide all the news.
Today's case in point is the story, "Congressman's son caught smuggling immigrants," which begins:
So what do you do if you're reporting on an MSNBC interview with McCain adviser Carly Fiorina in which she states that neither of the major party presidential candidates nor their vice presidential running mates qualify to run a major corporation? If you're the folks at CNNPolitics.com, you headline the story "McCain adviser Fiorina: Palin not ready to run a corporation."
With Barack Obama losing his lead in a variety of polls, CNN anchor John Roberts on American Morning today decided to look elsewhere for encouragement. He and CNN London correspondent Becky Anderson, with the bottom of the screen announcing, "The world wants Obama," looked at a BBC poll showing that, at least among foreigners, Obama is still a superstar:
On Saturday, CNN presented the special "Joe Biden Revealed."
Anchored by Abbie Boudreau, the show touched on why Biden dropped his 1988 presidential bid.
Discussing it with Boudreau was Senior Biden adviser Ted Kaufman (Kinnock spelled incorrectly throughout transcript):
"Palin should be laughingstock to all feminists" is the title of Mary Mitchell's column in today's Chicago Sun-Times. In that calm, detached tone readers have come to expect, Mitchell begins:
Sarah Palin makes me sick. I hate that she was able to steal Barack Obama's mojo just by showing up wearing rimless glasses and a skirt.
On ABC News's Political Punch blog, senior national correspondent Jake Tapper writes "Why Wasn't Michelle Obama at the 9/11 Ceremony?"
Some readers have asked me why it was that Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was without spouse at the 9/11 commemoration ceremony today in New York City.
After all, they point out, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was accompanied by his wife Cindy.
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
A favorite tactic of the mainstream media is to cite supposedly nonpartisan organizations to advance the point they're trying to make. An example of that was shown on CNN's American Morning today. Anchor John Roberts set up the segment:
ROBERTS: Coming up now at 18 minutes after the hour. Sarah Palin returns to Alaska today. But her homecoming bittersweet as her eldest son, Track, deploys for Iraq tomorrow. And since Palin was nominated for vice president, her career and her personal life have been under the microscope.
CNN's Jessica Yellin joins us live this morning from Anchorage, Alaska.
Yellin, the network's Capitol Hill correspondent, spoke of how Palin juggles family responsibilities with her career. She wrapped up the piece:
John McCain's ad denouncing Barack Obama for supporting sex education for kindergartners when he was in the Illinois Senate hit a nerve. Today, in a posting titled "Does the Truth Matter Anymore?," Columnist E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post expresses outrage on the newspaper's Web site:
And now comes a truly vile McCain ad accusing Obama of supporting legislation to offer "'comprehensive sex education' to kindergartners." The announcer declares: "Learning about sex before learning to read? Barack Obama. Wrong on education. Wrong for your family."
Margaret Talev of McClatchy newspapers called the ad a “deliberate low blow.” Here’s what she wrote in an excellent fact check: “This is a deliberately misleading accusation. It came hours after the Obama campaign released a TV ad critical of McCain's votes on public education. As a state senator in Illinois, Obama did vote for but was not a sponsor of legislation dealing with sex ed for grades K-12. But the legislation allowed local school boards to teach ‘age-appropriate’ sex education, not comprehensive lessons to kindergartners, and it gave schools the ability to warn young children about inappropriate touching and sexual predators.”
Is McCain against teaching little kids to beware of sexual predators?
The subject of Obama's support has come up before. In July of last year, MSNBC's "First Read" reported:
Today's Chicago Sun-Times boasts "Is attack dog's bite even worse than her bark?" by columnist Mary Mitchell. The attack dog, of course, is Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. Mitchell writes:
After hearing Palin speak, I'm afraid she's going to take McCain someplace he doesn't really want to go.
During her debut, Palin electrified the Republicans, but she also shook up every registered voter in the 'hood.
Mainstream media complicity to destroy the candidacy of Sarah Palin is obvious. Numerous instances have been cited here at NewsBusters, some outrageously blatant. Slightly more subtle bias was evident in today's print edition of the Chicago Tribune. Nine letters to the editor were printed; eight of them were overtly anti-Palin and/or anti-Republican. The remaining letter was a plea for "the birth control education and access" that kids "so obviously need."
A few opinions expressed in today's "Voice of the People:"