ABC continued the racist-Katrina-response news angle this morning by interviewing two of the witnesses at yesterday's House hearing, requested by Rep. Cynthia McKinney. The taped and edited interview segment (no need for really wild conspiracy theories on air) featured "Good Morning America" co-host Charles Gibson interviewing Doreen Keeler and Leah Hodges. I decided to play the Google game.
New from the Business & Media Institute
With a hat tip to the Drudge Report, here is a November 28, 2005 posting by Barbra Streisand at her blog. It is a letter to Andres Martinez, the editorial page editor of the Los Angeles Times, informing him of her decision to cancel her subscription. Babs' beef?
The October 2, 1981 New York Times provides a window into the media mindset of the time, with a reporter posing this question to President Reagan at a press conference the day before:
A recent report published by the Gallup Organization stated:
“a majority of U.S. investors continue to describe the current economy as being ‘in a slowdown’ or ‘recession’ as opposed to being ‘in a recovery’ or ‘sustained expansion.’”
Regardless of continuously strong economic reports, such bearish assessments have been regularly portrayed by public opinion polls for several years. During this period, economists and politicians – including the Bush administration – have wondered what is responsible for this disconnect between perception and reality.
A detailed look at how unemployment numbers are shared with the public by mainstream media outlets gives us some clues. The Labor Department on Friday announced very strong employment gains for the month of November. In fact, this was the largest number of job creations since April. However, this news was reported to the public in a fashion that largely downplayed its significance. A 3.2 percent annual increase in wages was characterized as employees “basically treading water.” Although energy prices have been steadily declining since September, jobs market stories included references of this still being a “huge concern.” Other news accounts referred to the unemployment rate being “stuck at 5 percent,” as if a 5 percent unemployment rate is a bad thing, while one cable news outlet told viewers to take the numbers “with a grain of salt.”
The New York Times just can't forgive Mel Gibson for making "Passion of the Christ." Editor-columnist Frank Rich assailed it, most amusingly when he predicted it would be "a flop in America" and rather appallingly when he called it "a joy ride for sadomasochists" and accused Gibson of anti-Semitism.
The forces of NBC, in the persons of Matt Lauer and Barry McCaffrey, launched a major attack on the enemy this morning. No, not on Al-Qaida or the Baathist dead-enders. We're talking of a real MSM enemy: Donald Rumsfeld.
Pen gun accident kills budding rap singer
The American people continue to maintain skeptical attitudes toward the press and politicians according to a recent survey:
The annual Gallup Poll asking Americans to rate, on a scale of one to five, the honesty and ethical standards of those in 21 professions again placed nurses at the very top with an 82% favorate score. Journalists, U.S. senators and congressmen trailed badly.
Vaughn Ververs of the CBS News blog “Public Eye” critiqued a NewsBusters post today concerning a report made by the “CBS Evening News” last night about the former 9/11 commission’s newly released report card on the government’s response to homeland security issues. Ververs apparently asked correspondent Robert Orr and producer Ward Sloane for their opinions on the NewsBusters analysis: “The ‘news’ in the former 9/11 Commission's briefing was not that the U.S. is doing a very few things right, but rather that four years after the attacks, the U.S. government is largely failing in its very expensive $100 billion attempt to prevent another one.”
Although this might indeed be what the mainstream media perceived as the “news” in this briefing, the reality is that there were a total of 41 categories that the former commission graded the government on, and this CBS News report only shared some of the the “D’s” and the “F’s,” while totally ignoring all of the “C’s,” “B’s,” and “A’s” that the government received. Aren’t these grades “news” as well? Shouldn’t the public be informed as to what the government is doing properly to protect them from terrorist attacks, or are only the failures “news?”