The Dixie Chicks and their marketing gurus clearly know publicity. They asked themselves: How can we get ourselves featured on the cover of Time and hailed on CBS’s “60 Minutes” just before the new CD comes out? Easy. Trash George W. Bush again.
Harry Smith, co-host of CBS’s "The Early Show," has spent the last few days reporting from Baghdad. On Friday, he reported the security situation was such that he couldn’t go out and get ice cream. But today, he decided to look for a success story. He found one, but he proved that while he can report a bad news story without mentioning any good news, he can’t report a success story without finding negative items to talk about. Reporting from Baghdad, Harry Smith began his piece, which profiled the work of the U.S. Army 4th Infantry Division’s work in the town of Sababor, talking about the violence in Iraq: "Yeah, good morning. I'll tell you what, just an illustration of how much bad news there is here. A friend of mine here in Iraq told me the other day 'the busiest people in this town are the terrorists.'" Later, he talked of a bombing in Sababor which occurred a month ago: "It hasn't been easy. Just a month ago, a bomb here killed 15 people."
And at one point, "The Early Show" co-host appeared surprised to learn that people in Sababor view Americans positively. And Smith seemed even more shocked when one of the boys told him his name was "Bush" after Smith had an apparent James Bond like moment in introducing himself to the boy.
On May 22, the Federal Trade Commission released a report finding no systemic price gouging resulting from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The following day, USA Today -- which has carried a "nation's gas gauge" item in its front page sidebar for a few weeks now -- assigned the story below-the-fold treatment in the Money section.
Another story, on how average gas prices have dropped 6.4 cents in the past week, was relegated to the sidebar of the Money section page as well.
In 2003, country music stations around the country boycotted the music of the Dixie Chicks, a group of three women that originated as a country ensemble. One of the members, Natalie Maines, told a London group in 2003 that she was ashamed to be from the same state as President Bush because of his starting of the Iraq war.
Since NewsBusters first broke the story about Google News capriciously terminating its relationship with conservative e-zines and web journals, and followed (with the help of writer and software developer Marc Sheppard) with a detailed analysis
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Tom Hallman apparently has a hard time nailing down the truth. In a profile of math guru Mark Provo, Hallman took vast liberties with the truth without actually picking up a phone to verify any of it. The subject of the story has listed about 30 facts that are not actually factual.
Hallman paints wild pictures of non-existent hills, phantom hotel rooms, even the thoughts that run through people's heads. He writes about the subject "glancing at the clock" and how "in that moment the turmoil of his past would disappear" which were both complete fabrications. As Provo correctly points out, these are the things of screenplays and novels. These are not accurate representations of the truth.
You can still win a Pulitzer Prize for writing a fictional play, so why do these reporters even bother with journalism? And why do newspapers fail to mention that falsities and fabrications paint their pages?
The monthly magazine Vanity Fair is still a Hollywood-crazed chronicler of the rich and famous, but in the past few years it's also become an increasingly shrill anti-Bush voice -- sort of a more elegantly written, hard-copy version of the Huffington Post.
Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, following are some of the Chicken Little writings of the New York Times and Time Magazine over the years.
Time, Sept. 10, 1923: "The discoveries of changes in the sun's heat and the southward advance of glaciers in recent years have given rise to conjecture of the possible advent of a new ice age."
NYT, Sept. 18, 1924: "MacMillan Reports Signs of New Ice Age."
NYT, March 27, 1933: "America in Longest Warm Spell Since 1776; Temperature Line Records a 25-Year Rise."
Time, Jan. 2, 1939: "Gaffers who claim that winters were harder when they were boys are quite right ... weather men have no doubt that the world at least for the time being is growing warmer."
Time, June 24, 1974: "Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age."
NYT, May 21, 1975: "Scientists Ponder Why World's Climate is Changing; A Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable."
Time, April 9, 2001: "(S)cientists no longer doubt that global warming is happening, and almost nobody questions the fact that humans are at least partly responsible."
NYT, Dec. 27, 2005: "Past Hot Times Hold Few Reasons to Relax About New Warming."
Anyone who says the Earth will get (circle one) hotter/colder is right, given enough time. We've had ice ages, little ice ages, as well as warming periods. None of them were caused by humans.
Why is this any different?
Former Democratic vice presidential nominee Lloyd Bentsen has died. The ex-Senator from Texas was Secretary of the Treasury (under Bill Clinton), a World War II veteran and, in 1988, the running mate to Michael Dukakis.
But as a frequent fill-in on World News Tonight and on Good Morning America, Gibson has rarely tinkered with the media elite’s liberal template:
Sometimes you just want to throw up your hands. Interviewing another big oil exec this morning, Katie Couric's proposed solution to high gas prices was to repeal the laws of supply and demand . . . just a little bit.
Whereas Matt Lauer took a while in his interview of another oil exec to get around to his price-cutting point, Katie wasted no time. Interviewing Shell Oil President John Hofmeister, Katie's opening salvo was