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Are Late Innings the Time for a Relief Pitcher?

The big question on the mind of certain New York Times reporters is one that has been repeatedly answered over and over with a resounding “No.” Well we can dream, can’t we?

Longtime "60 Minutes" correspondent Mike Wallace has finally announced his retirement. His son, Chris Wallace, is host of "Fox News Sunday." On Wednesday both men appeared on "Larry King Live" to discuss the father's retirement and the son's ongoing career.

In leading his Countdown show on Wednesday night, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann pegged “the day in 1988 when the first George Bush sandbagged Dan Rather during a live interview on CBS as the moment” when “the process of blaming the messenger became an essential ingredient in American politics,” raised Joe McCarthy's name in noting the location of President Bush's criticism of press coverage of Iraq and railed against the “unforgivable” criticism of the media by radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, whom he described as someone “that I've known socially.” And that was all before he brought aboard Helen Thomas.

Olbermann asserted that the war of “the government versus the news has just escalated anew, and it is approaching a carpet bombing stage. Exhibit A, Wheeling, West Virginia, where Joe McCarthy started his string of the most memorable speeches, today's stop on the George W. Bush 'I am nothing if not deeply misunderstood ' Express.” After playing clips of Ingraham on Tuesday's Today show urging reporters in Iraq “to actually have a conversation with the people instead of reporting from hotel balconies about the latest IEDs going off," Olbermann presumed that meant she had no concept of journalists who have given their lives: “That hotel balcony crack was unforgivable. It was unforgivable to the memory of David Bloom, it was unforgivable in consideration of Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt...”

Video clip of Olbermann castigating Ingraham, and a little more of his insults (55 secs): Real (1.7 MB) or Windows Media (1.9 MB). Plus MP3 audio (330 KB). Bonus video of the 1988 Bush 41-Rather confrontation, cited by Olbermann, at the bottom of this posting.

When a conservative book comes out, the author usually spends some time talking about the media. The NewsBusters Book Review will provide excerpts from these passages and/or interview authors to learn what they think of the media and explain what they wrote.

Best job market since 2001 goes unnoticed as major media still not convinced that 4 ½-year economic expansion is for real. Free Market Project

It seems you can’t turn on your TV without hearing a new poll claiming how poorly Americans feel about the economy. Dean Reynolds of ABC said on the March 10 “World News Tonight” that “57 percent of Americans in our ABC polling say this economy is bad,” with an exclamation point that “only 17 percent say it’s getting better.” Similarly, CBS’s Bill Plante proclaimed February 28 on the “Morning News” that “People aren’t feeling as good about the economy.”

Yet, despite these claims, the good economic news is almost overwhelming.

At a forum with President George W. Bush Wednesday at the Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling, West Virginia, Gayle Taylor, the wife of a member of the military recently returned from Iraq, was drowned out by a standing ovation when she told Bush: "It seems that our major media networks don't want to portray the good. They just want to focus-" Neither the CBS Evening News or NBC Nightly News found the criticism of the news media to be newsworthy. NBC's David Gregory instead decided to assert that “in a state he won twice...many here now wonder whether the sacrifice of American lives has been worth it.” NBC viewers then heard from one Mountain State resident, Donna Neptune, whom Gregory described as “a Republican." She maintained: “Those people don't want our help. Our people's being killed over there for nothing."

ABC's World News Tonight, however, was unique amongst the broadcast evening newscasts and highlighted the contention from the woman anchor Elizabeth Vargas described as “the wife of a military journalist who was just back from Iraq." Vargas set up the brief soundbite: “There has been criticism from the Bush administration and others that the media has been ignoring the good news in Iraq, distorting what's really going on there.”After the clip of Taylor, Vargas acknowledged that “it is certainly true that many of the stories from Iraq involve violence, and fear,” but she argued “it is also true that we cover all kinds of stories in Iraq. The last story Bob [Woodruff] filed before” the attack which severely wounded him, “was about a Baghdad ice cream parlor” and “when I was in Iraq in December, we spent time at this ballet school for children.” (Transcripts follow)

On tonight's edition of Countdown, host Keith Olbermann took a brief moment to bash Laura Ingraham on account of her remark that reporters intentionally report only the negative news from Iraq:

OLBERMANN: A note about Laura Ingraham's comments: I've known her for a long time. I'll in fact give you the caveat that I've known her socially. But that hotel balcony crack was unforgivable. It was unforgivable to the memory of David Bloom, it was unforgivable in the consideration of Bob Woodruff and Doug Voigt, it was unforgivable in the light of what happened to Michael Kelly and what happened to Michael Weiskopf. It was unforgivable with Jill Carroll still a hostage in Iraq. It's not only unforgivable, it was desperate and it was stupid.

Keith Olbermann would know a lot about being desperate and stupid. His ongoing War on FOX on the O'Reilly front is absolutely disgusting and shows how desperate he is for ratings

However, the larger point here is the hypocrisy of challenging others. Olbermann's motto is "challenge everything Bush says", yet when it happens to his liberal media friends, he gets mad. It's now the game of the liberal elite to cry "the right is blaming the media" when anyone dares to question their reporting.

If anything is unforgivable, it's Olbermann's attack on Laura Ingraham.

Video link follows.

Is Chris Matthews making a profound point about self-determination and democracy, or has he gone off an end deeper than even Cindy Sheehan has so far ventured into?

Discussing the Iraqi insurgency with Pat Buchanan on this evening's Hardball, Matthews had this to say:

To mark the third anniversary of launching the war to depose Saddam Hussein, the manufacturers of the “news” have established their usual template, Realistic Media vs. Pollyanna Bush. It’s not pessimism versus optimism, but reality versus hallucination.

During the 11pm hour of the March 21 Anderson Cooper 360, Cooper moderated a discussion on the media’s coverage of Iraq. Among those featured in the debate was Baghdad bureau chief for Time magazine, Michael Ware, who asserted that the "main winners" in Iraq were al-Qaeda and "superstar of international jihad" Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Cooper started off the debate by asking conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt why he believes that the public is only hearing bad news out of Iraq. Hewitt slammed the media:

"Anderson, I think the coverage of the Iraq invasion right from the start, all the way through to the present day, has been abysmal in the mainstream media...A lot of new media that goes to Iraq, whether it’s Michael Totten, whether it is Michael Yon, Bill Roggio, whether it’s Victor Davis Hanson or Laura Ingraham or, especially, Robert Kaplan, whose book, Imperial Grunts, is must reading on this, report back enormous progress being made in the country."

Ware sounded defensive as he went after those who dared to criticize the media:

"All of these critics who are saying that we’re not telling the good news stories, I’d like to know just how many of them have spent any time here on the ground? Or any of these people who are reporting the good news from within the belly of the U.S. military, how much time have they spent on the Iraqi street?"

VH-1 watchers enjoying the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction concert Tuesday night received some perhaps unsurprising political commentary along with the music. When rock singer Elvis Costello came on stage to perform with New Orleans music legend Allan Touissant, he took a few shots at the Iraq War and the Bush administration's apparent inability to handle Hurricane Katrina because of that war:

Time magazine celebrates an exclusive interview with Mel Gibson, described as an "ultraconservative Roman Catholic" with a Holocaust-denying Dad, as he prepares his new film, "Apocalypto," based on the Mayans and performed in the old Mayan language (more subtitles).

Dan Gainor of the MRC's Free Market Project alerted me to the potentially left-wing plot of the episode of Law & Order set to air tonight (Wednesday) on NBC at the show's new time of 9pm EST/PST, 8pm CST/MST. The NBC Web site page for the program provides this preview:

Romenesko noticed an item from Washington Post White House reporter Peter Baker's online chat. Despite Bush's combative behavior at a recent press conference, Baker says Bush "isn't particularly thin-skinned." But that doesn't mean he likes the president.

CNN: the network that doesnt just report. It makes things up.