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The saying goes that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Along the same vein, NBC’s Tim Russert never misses an opportunity to denounce a tax cut or pass along arguments in favor of raising taxes. And NBC anchor Brian Williams didn’t even have to mention taxes to lead Russert, a few minutes after President Bush finished his State of the Union address Tuesday night, to fret about how Bush hasn’t raised them.


Before President Bush’s Tuesday State of the Union address, at least three network reporters seemingly read from the same talking points as they described the public mood with the exact same word: “sour.” As noted in an earlier NewsBusters item, on World News Tonight, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos insisted that “the country is just in a sour mood.” About 90 minutes before Bush’s address, CNN’s Jeff Greenfield wondered “whether the President c


In the article, "Sheehan Arrested in House Gallery", CNN.com completely ignored the facts of Cindy Sheehan's meeting with President Bush in June 2004. Instead of reporting Cindy's own words to David Henson, staff writer for the Vacaville Reporter, CNN relied on talking points from Cindy's public relations team.

According to CNN:



It turns out that media coverage of the nation’s economic growth can vary a lot depending on how strong or weak the economy is doing. Strong numbers are downplayed or undermined and weak numbers like the fourth-quarter results are highlighted in some of the major media.

The Commerce Department released the fourth-quarter Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”) January 27, and the 1.1 percent growth was well below the 2.8 percent analysts had predicted. Though the stock market rose by 98 points and the dollar rallied strongly against most other currencies, much of the news was strongly negative. Articles over the weekend had phrases like “The economy slowed to a near crawl in the final quarter of 2005, a listless showing that was the worst in three years,” and “Those numbers suggested that the economy is slowing – and an end is in sight to free spending.”

One of the most bearish reports came from that evening’s “NBC Nightly News.” Reporter Anne Thompson began her segment in a similar vein:



Well, we've now got the AP's analysis on the President's State Of The Union address tonight, and it is nothing if not predictable. Frankly, one wonders whether Ron Fournier even bothered to wait until the speech had started, never mind ended, before producing this news analysis.


Of the three broadcast network evening newscasts on Tuesday, ABC’s World News Tonight delivered the most downbeat take on the public attitude facing President Bush as he delivers his State of the Union (SOTU) address.


What do you get when you cross a so-called editorial cartoonist with a person that hates the Military, Republicans, President Bush and America?  If you answered “Ted Rall”, you hit the nail on the head.



According to MSNBC blogger Eric Alterman, the U.S. detaining Iraqi women who may have information about suspected terrorists is very similar to the kidnaping of journalist Jill Carroll. Alterman, best known for writing books such as "What Liberal Media," wrote the following in his MSNBC blog on January 31st:



Conservatives should be happy to see Reuters running a story headlined "Abortion rights groups say battle being lost." But reporter Carey Gillam conducts an almost perfect lesson in how not to label the opposing sides. Not only is one side "pro-choice" or "abortion rights activists," while the other side are "anti-abortion advocates," but Gillam finds "conservatives" on the pro-life side four times, but never finds an L word for the abortion-on-demand folks:



The Free Market Project has noticed of late how the media are warming back up to the notion of a "windfall profits" tax on oil companies. The windfall profits tax was a hotter topic in the months after Katrina, but the idea didn't stick then. But now with a new session of Congress, a State of the Union address on the way, and 2005 profit reports running over the wires, the push to soak "Big Oil" is on again. [see more below the fold]



Tonight President Bush will deliver his annual State of the Union Address, and Harry Smith of the "Early Show" previewed the speech this morning. Smith interviewed Dan Bartlett, Counselor to the President in the 7:00 half hour and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) in the 7:30 half hour. There were stark differences in the tone Smith took with each of his guests, and in the amount of time allotted to each.



If you thought Teddy Kennedy’s pratfall over Samuel Alito’s membership in a conservative Princeton alumni group was embarrassing (quoting magazine satire articles as if they were real), you should see what ABC’s “Nightline” tried to pull last week.



This past Sunday on Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, viewers were treated to an interview of former President Jimmy Carter conducted by reporter Rita Braver. Most of the subject matter that was covered was fluff, what President Carter does to keep himself busy, trips he’s taken, elections he’s overseen and so forth.



New York Times "continuous news desk" reporter David Stout posted a story at 1:23 Tuesday afternoon marking the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court by a Senate vote of 58-42.

The teaser sentence: “The vote is a triumph for President Bush and conservatives who have longed to tilt the balance of the court to the right.”

Stout’s text emphasizes Alito’s conservatism again and again:



Quarterly economic numbers typically get ignored, downplayed and hyped.