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A day after NBC's Matt Lauer asked on Today, "why are there so many hurricanes this year and is global warming to blame?" and Robert Bazell ominously concluded an NBC Nightly News story by asserting that "many experts say" hurricane-fueling global warming "results partly from humans releasing greenhouse gases possibly creating even more violent storms in the future," ABC and CBS aired stories which largely dismissed global warming as a culprit. On Thursday's World News Tonight, ABC's Ned Potter featured a soundbite from National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield, who in little-reported congressional testimony Tuesday, discounted global warming as a factor. CBS's Russ Mitchell, on The Early Show, featured a scientist who "says hurricane activity comes in cycles that can last several decades. It seems Mother Nature has mood swings." Mitchell explained that "hurricane cycles are primarily driven by rainfall patterns in Africa and the Amazon basin." As for hype about hurricanes on the rise, Mitchell admonished: "The experts will tell us back in the '50s and '60s we saw some monster hurricanes, but we just have very short memories."

(Viewers of ABC's PrimeTime Thursday, however, heard more hyperbolic lunacy on global warming as Barbra Streisand exclaimed to Diane Sawyer: "We are in a global warming emergency state and these storms are going to become more frequent, more intense, there could be more droughts, dust bowls, you know it's amazing to hear these facts, I mean, the Andes have no ice caps on the mountains in winter. The glaciers are melting. I mean, for the United States not to be part of the Kyoto treaty is unforgivable.")

Full transcripts and CBS's 1950-'60s hurricane graphic follow.

Sigh. The day after Times Watch gave the paper an "attaboy" for delivering a somewhat balanced front-page story on the battle over a proposed left-wing museum at Ground Zero, comes a Friday editorial, "Freedom or Not?" It accuses those who don't want anti-American sentiments enshrined at the site of being "censors."

In an op-ed in today’s New York Times, former president Jimmy Carter and former secretary of state James Baker answered their critics – one of them being the Times itself – concerning voter reforms they have proposed.

As reported by NewsBusters on Tuesday, the Times came out strongly against Carter and Baker’s proposals largely due to a requirement for voters to have proper identification to cast ballots.  The Times’ contention was that this would have a discriminatory impact on the poor, the elderly, and minorities. 

Carter and Baker don’t agree:

Dozens of readers were horrified when The Patriot-News decided to run a front page picture of a man convicted on drug charges sticking up his middle finger at the camera.

How do you justify running this picture where nearly every child at a breakfast table will see it?

Executive Editor David Newhouse: "We believed that this photo powerfully drove home the true impact of drugs."

A few weeks ago, the Washington Post newsroom forced the Post to back out of sponsoring a "Freedom Walk" on September 11 sponsored by the Pentagon, since that would compromise their appearance of neutrality.

In its Katrina coverage, the MSM made hay at President Bush's expense in suggesting that the government's sluggish response was the result of racism.

Given the early and energetic preparations of government at all levels for Rita, you might think that it would impossible for the MSM to recycle the racism canard. But that didn't stop the Today show from giving it the old college try this morning.

There are some who would argue journalists don't do serious stories about religion. The respect for a higher power cherished by the majority in this country is not a voice represented in the newsroom. Some might think that even when religion is approached in a story, it is treated like wacky antics of the criminally insane.

Well that just isn't true. You obviously don't care about black people and want to send the children of others to die in Iraq funded on the lunch money of the poor if you believe that.

Take this local CBS News story from the network's San Francisco affiliate. Sure it didn't bump Cindy Sheehan off the front page, but it did pay respect to religion with this hard hitting investigation titled "Interview with a Vampire".

  • It starts off with the US military purging evil spirits from a New Orleans building with holy water, in the name of Jesus Christ.
  • It has a US soldier talking about New Orleans being "ingrained in voodoo, cannibalism, and witchcraft."
  • The reporter herself sees a ghost, but apparently doesn't consider it worthy of getting on tape.
  • US soldier says "We're bringing the light. Wherever soldiers go, there goes the word of God."
  • US soldiers cite Hurricane Katrina as prophecy from Revelations. Twice.

Is it sweeps already, or are the haunted houses, crusades and voodoo just the 'diversity' angle of religion coverage?

Watch the whole segment here.

In reporting on a Chinese company marketing condoms under the brand names Clinton and Lewinsky, USA Today notes that Clinton "was accused of having a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, a former White House intern."


On the Thursday, September 22, 2005, 4 pm PDT broadcast of the National Public Radio (NPR) news, newscaster Corey Flintoff appeared to give Cindy Sheehan's forthcoming anti-war demonstration a free plug. After playing an audio clip of President Bush from a press briefing at the Pentagon, Flintoff tagged the clip with the following (audiotape on file):

Declaring that the Media Research Center “is a much more biased organization than any institution in the MSM," CBS Evening News Executive Producer Jim Murphy, on the CBS News “Public Eye” blog on Thursday, criticized two MRC CyberAlert articles I wrote which were first posted this week on NewsBusters. Public Eye Editor Vaughn Ververs asked Murphy to comment on a September 20 NewsBusters item, “CBS: Bush Should 'Wake Up and Smell the Coffee.'” Murphy seemed befuddled by the article: “Please explain to me what's WRONG with pointing out the President spoke from an air-conditioned tent, which to most people on the gulf would be a more than welcome relief from their existence. It was not gratuitous, it was an interesting note” and the CBS reporter's “use of the well-known phrase, 'wake up and smell the coffee,' was attributed to the restaurant owners as THEIR feeling, NOT hers. It's just good, colorful, pointed writing.” (The MRC's Michelle Humphrey tracked down a still shot of Murphy from a May of 2004 appearance on CNN.)

Murphy was similarly flummoxed by the September 21 NewsBusters article, “CBS Trumpets Carter's Criticism of Bush Administration,” contending that “we simply reported it because the former President SAID it.”

But Murphy's reasoning is a tautology. I was criticizing the judgment of CBS News on what is news. Other outlets did not choose to highlight Bush's air-conditioned surroundings, how one woman at a French Quarter restaurant assailed him for not experiencing their suffering or what Jimmy Carter said. Carter makes comments nearly every day. CBS chose to report this particular comment on this day. CBS decided that the restaurant owner's comment was more newsworthy than any number of other soundbites they could have run. The story reflected an agenda. By Murphy's reasoning, my articles should be beyond criticism since they accurately quoted what CBS reported.

Public Eye Editor Ververs conceded the NewsBusters/MRC piece on Bush had a point about CBS's "attitude." That and a bit more from Murphy follows.

Last night I, along with many millions of others, was treated to the live broadcast of an emergency landing by JetBlue flight 292. The flight had departed from Burbank, CA bound for New York City and experienced an unusual problem with it's nose landing gear. The wheels were cocked 90 degrees to the right and wouldn't retract.

The former movie star, now Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, told the Sacramento Bee that he would "kill" anyone who took one of his minor daughters for an abortion without telling him.

Today (22 September) the NY Times has a story from the Associated Press entitled “Afghan Count Reveals Kabul Indifference.” This article demonstrates that the AP and the Times are either mind readers, or are the original definition of the word "bigot."

The story recounts that turnout in Kabul in the midterm election just conducted was slightly over one-third of eligible voters. The writers and editors of this article then conclude:

SPOILER ALERT: For those of you who intend to see the movie, I guess it's only fair to mention the heart of this post is based on a spoiler for the film. You've been warned.

[Hat tip to Rotten Tomatoes]

If your local movie reviewer seems snippier than usual in his/her take on the latest romantic comedy vehicle for Reese Witherspoon, Just Like Heaven, well, it might have a bit to do with the writer's politics.

One kudo for the New York Times today for the front page story by David Dunlap on the important ideological battle over a proposed museum at the site of the Twin Towers ("Freedom Museum Is Headed For Showdown at Ground Zero").

Critics of the International Freedom Center, including many relatives of the victims of 9-11, contend that the proposed museum would slight the victims in favor of liberal history lessons.