Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis. His career at the MRC began in February 1989 as associate editor of MediaWatch, the monthly newsletter of the MRC before the Internet era.
Graham is co-author with MRC president Brent Bozell of the books Collusion: How the Media Stole the 2012 Election and How To Prevent It From Happening Again in 2016 (2013) and Whitewash: What The Media Won’t Tell You About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will (2007). He is also the author of the book Pattern of Deception: The Media's Role in the Clinton Presidency (1996).
Graham is a regular talk-radio and television spokesman for the MRC and has made television appearances on MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, and the Fox Business Channel. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, National Review, and other publications.
Graham left the MRC to serve in 2001and 2002 as White House Correspondent for World, a national weekly Christian news magazine. He returned in 2003. Before joining the MRC, Graham served as press secretary for the campaign of U.S. Rep. Jack Buechner (R-Mo.) in 1988, and in 1987, he served as editor of Organization Trends, a monthly newsletter on philanthropy and politics by the Washington-based Capital Research Center.
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How far would a New York sportswriter get in his career if he mocked a black liberal football player for sounding like he was playing without a helmet (brain-damaged)? New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica certainly feels safe trashing former NFL wide receiver David Tyree for opposing gay marriage:
On the sports pages we get the ex-Giant, David Tyree, who once made the greatest catch in Super Bowl history pressing a ball against his helmet one night against the Patriots in Glendale, Ariz. and now sounds as if he might have occasionally played without one. A helmet. And this isn't because Tyree says he would give up his Super Bowl win to prevent gay marriage from becoming the law in New York.
Journalists in Washington don’t want just to write. They want the top government officials to take their advice, to use their wisdom to govern. Here’s what happens next: a dance between journalist and government official to build a mutually beneficial relationship. The official provides access, makes the journalist feel important and consulted, and then the journalist announces that the official is wise and is making all the right moves.
This is exactly what CNN host and Time columnist Fareed Zakaria has been doing with President Obama. He’s advising Obama (informally, of course) and then going on CNN and declaring the president’s speeches are quite good. In an interview with Keach Hagey of Politico, Zakaria tried to deflect critics:
CNN founder Ted Turner took his UN Foundation show on the road to the northernmost point of Norway -- islands halfway between the Norwegian mainland and the North Pole -- on his latest stop to convince the world it’s going to fry in dramatic global warming without massive government intervention.
In a conversation with reporters, Turner tried to be generous with the “deniers” of his apocalyptic vision, which has included a future of major die-offs and cannibalism for the unfortunate few left behind: “It's really easy to understand how some people don’t get it because it’s so complex, and complicated.
If if is Friday, that means New York Times columnist David Brooks is hammering conservatives on the PBS NewsHour. On Friday, he condemned Grover Norquist and the entire no-new-taxes contingent as "completely wrong" in the current budget battle:
JIM LEHRER: David, how do you see the Republican divide on taxes?
DAVID BROOKS: Tom Coburn is completely right, and Grover Norquist is completely wrong.
Kaili Joy Gray at the Daily Kos obviously subscribes to the tired old theory of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz that the Republicans are waging a "war on women." On Thursday, she mocked the idea that GOP women like Rep. Kristi Noem of South Dakota could speak for the fairer sex.
Noem told the AP "The Republican agenda is indeed pro-woman. It is pro-woman because it is pro-small business, pro-entrepreneur, pro-family and pro-economic growth." Gray wouldn't tolerate that:
Rep. Keith Ellison, ultraliberal Democrat of Minnesota, appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal Thursday morning, and was asked about his Gopher State colleague Michele Bachmann. What unfolded was a classic elaboration of today's liberal creed -- which Ellison dressed up as "liberty and justice for all" -- and then insisted Bachmann was opposed to that concept down the line:
PETER SLEN, C-SPAN host: Your district borders Michele Bachmann’s.
Who on Earth would claim the next election matchup is Pragmatic Democrat vs. Radical End-of-All-Regulation Republican? Time’s Joe Klein would, in Time’s June 27 cover story on the GOP candidates. He ended the piece like this:
Some presidential campaigns - 1960, 1980, 1992, 2008 - are exhilarating, suffused with hope and excitement. This is not likely to be one of those. It is likely to be an election that no one wins but someone loses. It will be a reversal of politics past: a pragmatic Democrat will be facing a Republican with all sorts of big ideas, promising an unregulated, laissez-faire American paradise.
Reid Epstein at Politico rounded up the blogosphere reaction to former Washington Post reporter Jose Antonio Vargas proclaiming he's an illegal alien (including Billy Hallowell, Meredith Jessup, and NewsBusters yesterday). On the left, he found, Vargas "has become the embodiment of the American dream." His examples:
Vicki McKenna, the conservative radio talker in a very liberal town (Madison, Wisconsin), alerted us to how the Wisconsin State Journal carries a very obvious torch for the leftist rabble that trashed the state Capitol earlier this year to protest conservative Gov. Scott Walker's collective-bargaining proposal. They're touting as "news" a protester's persistent Mylar balloon:
The tens of thousands of protesters have left. The metal detectors are gone.
But a small reminder of the massive demonstrations that rocked the state Capitol for weeks on end remains. A mysterious heart-shaped red balloon still floats inside the Capitol dome, where it has hovered high over the rotunda since mid-February.
Since we disposed with the notion that the networks had a feeding frenzy on the Anthony Weiner scandal, what about the news magazines? They began with a whimper, but then that week’s magazines were summer double issues. After the week off, what happened in their June 27 issues? Not much.
Newsweek didn’t offer a down arrow in their “Conventional Wisdom” column, but they gave an up arrow to “GOP Fringe,” arguing “Perry, Bachmann, and Paul show screwballs’ strength.”
This shocker just in: Bill Maher's one of those left-wing die-hards for Obama's re-election. In an interview with Thomas Rozwadowski of the Green Bay Press-Gazette promoting his forthcoming comedy appearance in nearby Appleton, Maher proclaimed this is the GOP's fault for driving out all the sensible people:
Nothing could sway you from voting for Obama in 2012, correct?
I cannot imagine. Certainly there is no Republican on the horizon who would tempt me away from Obama no matter how unsatisfactory he performed.
As much as liberals might complain the Anthony Weiner scandal was some sort of feeding frenzy, the networks did not attack it, especially the evening news. They seemed to agree with just-departed CBS anchor Katie Couric, who asked on Twitter: “I’m curious if anybody thinks this Anthony Weiner Twitter scandal is a legit news story or just fodder for late-night comedians.”
That’s not the way the networks acted in the fall of 2006, when the MRC demonstrated a real feeding frenzy in the case of Republican Rep. Mark Foley, who quickly resigned after ABC’s Brian Ross reported he’d sent lewd AOL instant messages to former congressional pages. In the first 12 days of that story, the networks “flooded the zone” with 152 stories (55 evening stories and 97 morning stories or segments).
By contrast, Democrat Weiner’s weeks of trying to avoid resignation didn’t draw a similar flood. In the first 12 days of the Weiner scandal (from May 29 through June 9), the networks filed only 56 stories (just 11 in the evening, 45 in the morning).
Former Washington Post reporter Jose Antonio Vargas has written a long piece for The New York Times Magazine declaring that he’s an illegal alien and that he’s created a new advocacy group called Define American (“a project of the Tides Center”) to push for the DREAM Act that would provide permanent residency to illegal aliens brought to America as children.
Vargas, 30, lied to a string of media outlets about his immigration status with a fake driver’s license from Oregon. He came over from the Philippines at age 12. (Vargas told the truth to Post editor Peter Perl, a mentor, but he wouldn’t comment now.) In the Post story on this by Paul Farhi, Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti offered a no-comment on Vargas’s employment at the paper: “We will not comment on individual personnel matters out of respect for the privacy of our employees.”
Time writer Michael Grunwald unloaded on leftists on the Swampland blog on Tuesday -- for not being supportive enough of Barack Obama. The post was titled: "Earth to the Left: Obama Is Into You."
Grunwald was furious that the "disillusionment addicts of the left" would suggest abandoning the Democrat ship. He began with gays-in-the-military activist Dan Choi, who was handed an Obama flyer and "Choi dramatically ripped up the flyer and declared that he wouldn't support Obama."
The "Yeas & Nays" gossip column at the Washington Examiner captured the latest Ann Coulter fighting with the media "mainstream" on Tuesday:
When Ann Coulter stopped by the Heritage Foundation Friday, Yeas & Nays reported that she called CNN's Piers Morgan "stupid." "But I don't mind stupid people," she added. (Coulter was annoyed that Morgan asked her about her personal life during an appearance on "Piers Morgan Tonight" in early June.) On Monday, Morgan caught wind of the story and shot back at the acid-tongued blond via Twitter. "Ann Coulter calls ME 'stupid,'" he wrote, followed by the sarcastic hashtag #LikeBeingCalledRecklesslyLustfulByWeiner.
Sometimes, it can be heartwarming to listen to the radio and hear the sound of the Seventies. That's not true for the Thom Hartmann radio show. On Friday, Hartmann parlayed some classic 1971 socialist economics about who should get credit for the economic recovery:
The job creators are the people on welfare. The job creators are the people who are on unemployment. They’re the people who are working. Because what creates jobs is when people take money out of their pocket and buy something. And when enough people buy enough things that creates demand in the economy and somebody’s got to make the stuff that’s being bought and in order to make that stuff they have to hire people who can make it for less than it costs to sell it so that they can make a profit on that. It’s a very very simple concept.
In Broadcasting & Cable magazine's latest issue, columnist Ben Grossman joked that he'd just returned from a fishing trip in Sitka, Alaska, and is almost a redneck. But his contempt for rednecks came through loud in clear. The column was titled: "Steal This Idea, The Redneck Channel." (It's not online.)
Grossman suggested the redneck Fox fans he met demonstrated "This demo largely has no interest in fair and balanced." As if brie-and-Chablis PBS liberals don't want their news delicately slanted all to one side? The Minnesota-based columnist really mocked this "type of people" and their strange habits:
Consider this one the next time Sean Hannity tells a caller (or a caller tells him) "You're a great American." Over at the Daily Kos, a poor, confused liberal has decided that a "good American" is apparently some cross between the Tea Party and the cast of MTV's "Jersey Shore." The diarist Dr. Zombie (or to use his byline, "xxdr zombiexx") rains rhetorical fire on the purveyors of patriotism and/or American exceptionalism.
And he has a thing about white men, that America is about whiteness and fat white men exploiting the health care system:
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd is a nominal Catholic. She doesn’t believe at all in the church’s teaching that homosexuality is a sin. When Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, opposes “gay marriage” in New York, the best Dowd could do in her Saturday column was call him the “Starchbishop” and drag out (repeatedly) the sexual abuse scandal of the 1960s and 1970s. If this kind of knee-jerk thinking is annoying at the dinner table, who'd enjoy it in the newspaper?
Archbishop Dolan was born in 1950. Maureen Dowd was born in 1952. Can Dowd really blame Dolan for something that she was “equally” as responsible for in the Catholic church of their childhood? Dolan didn't become a priest until 1976 and didn't get a bishop's responsiblities until 2002. But Dowd is offended that the prelate would dare intervene or speak out on a matter of sexuality:
On Sunday's Meet the Press, Sen. Lindsey Graham said “Congress should sort of shut up and not empower Qaddafi” by discussing the possibility of cutting off funding for military operations there. He also said it was a boo-boo for Republican candidates to think that getting “to the left” of Obama on war is a path to victory in the GOP primary. At National Review's The Corner, Mark Steyn joined Mark Levin in disparaging Graham. (Levin calls him "Goober.") Laura Ingraham has also mocked his previous "shut up" comments:
Daniel, re Lindsey Graham’s suggestion that everyone should just “shut up” about the Libyan Non-War, you’ll recall that the last time the Senator attracted any attention in these parts he was also telling everyone to shut up – this time about Islam. Maybe it would be easier if he just issued the rest of us with an approved list of conversational topics. Alternatively, here’s a suggestion for Senator Graham: Why don’t you shut up? Not permanently, but just long enough to: