"[T]he Clinton campaign in general has a sense of entitlement regarding treatment from the media. I think they're truly shocked by the fact that Russert had the audacity to ask them tough questions," argued Slublog at Ace of Spades in reaction to the Hillary camp's whining about treatment at the hands of NBC's Brian Williams and Tim Russert. Yet as NewsBusters and the MRC can attest, neither Williams nor Russert are even close to being agenda-driven conservatives.
Slublog was reacting to a report at TheHill.com about a Clinton damage control conference call. Reported Sam Youngman in a November 1 article (emphasis mine):
One caller from Oklahoma City said that “the questions … were designed to incite a brawl,” and that Russert’s and Brian Williams’s moderating was “an abdication of journalistic responsibility.”
Of course, we at NewsBusters and the MRC have frequently documented real abdications of journalistic responsibility by both Russert and Williams. For example, Russert, a former Democratic staffer, has a long history of pressing for rolling back the Bush tax cuts (see also here and here).
For his part, we've documented how Williams, as anchor and managing editor for the "NBC Nightly News" conveniently skipped over relatively upbeat assessments about progress in Iraq from a report by the left-leaning Brookings Institution. Noted NewsBusters editor Brent Baker in a July 30 blog post:
NBC Nightly News on Monday ignored a development both ABC and CBS found newsworthy, that after eight days in Iraq, two Brookings Institution scholars who describe themselves has “harshly” critical of Bush's Iraq policy, determined the situation in Iraq is better than they assumed and so the “surge” should continue into next year. Instead of reporting the fresh assessment from Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, NBC anchor Brian Williams, citing “a draft U.S. report,” aired a full story on how “there are disturbing new details about corruption at the very top of the Iraqi government.” But the NBC Nightly News has hardly been reticent before about running soundbites from O'Hanlon with dire warnings about Iraq.