On the Wednesday "Today" show, Ted Koppel joined NBC's Matt Lauer in refusing to expose the lie behind the Media Matters and Democratic attack on Rush Limbaugh over "phony soldiers", choosing instead to write the controversy off as just another "foolish" thing the talk show host had said. However when asked about Dan Rather's lawsuit of CBS, the former longtime host of ABC's "Nightline" expressed sympathy: "I feel great pain for Dan."

Koppel's compassion wasn't just reserved for Rather but he extended it to criminals too, as he was invited on "Today" to promote his latest Discovery Channel documentary on overcrowded prisons. During the segment, Koppel criticized "three strikes" laws and griped about the state of prisons in this country:



Now, here we have a very interesting debate about journalism, racism, crime and the new media on the internet. The Sacramento Bee has been forced to revisit a long standing, 15-year-old policy this week. It seems that for years the Bee has, for the most part, avoided mentioning the race of a suspected criminal in their crime coverage. They claimed that they only mentioned race when the story was "accompanied by a detailed physical description or when reporting a serial crime or when using police sketches of suspects." Critics of the paper, however, claim this policy is merely a paean to PCism and this refusal of the paper to mention the race of a suspect makes the Bee's coverage less than informative and has made it practically useless as a tool of assistance to the police.

As the Bee states in their editorial, "the issue's volatility has ebbed and flowed, sometimes lying dormant for months only to arise anew in the wake of a particularly heinous crime."

I am sure that "ebbed and flowed" is an understatement.



When members of the Duke University lacrosse team were falsely accused of raping a black stripper last year, media focused great attention on the woman in the middle of the controversy, and the supposed crime.

Yet, as pointed out Thursday by NewsBuster Matthew Balan, as the press report activities in Jena, Louisiana, the name of the white boy who was beaten by the "Jena 6," Justin Barker, is rarely mentioned, and the assault which precipitated the arrest of the "6" is either ignored, or downplayed.

Such was certainly the case on Thursday's "Nightly News" which led with the day's civil rights protests in Jena, but, for all intents and purposes, ignored the assault which precipitated the arrests of the six students in question.

Ironically, NBC's Brian Williams began the broadcast:



In the September 20 presidential press conference, CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux sought to blame President Bush and the GOP for a perceived nationwide deterioration in race relations. In doing so, Malveaux raised the plight of the so-called Jena Six, a group of black Louisiana teenagers charged in the beating of a white student.

Video (1:56): Real (1.41 MB) and Windows (1.18 MB), plus MP3 audio (904 kB).

Media outlets covering the controversy have generally skirted around reporting on the victim of the "Jena Six" assault, focusing more on the political dimensions of the controversy, particularly Thursday's Al Sharpton-led protests in the small Louisiana town. For example, in a separate post, NewsBusters contributor Matthew Balan notes how news outlets like CNN.com and USAToday are burying or ignoring details about victim of the Dec. 4, 2006 beating, Justin Barker.

Below are the questions Malveaux asked, as well as a separate "Jena Six" question posed by Michael Fletcher of The Washington Post, who the president referred to as "Fletch":



The websites of CNN and USAToday joined their "Big Three" network brethren in covering the march in Jena, Louisiana to support the so-called Jena 6, while at the same time, either burying mention of the teenager who was beaten by the six high school students, or not mentioning him at all.



On Sunday, law professor Jeffrey Rosen reviewed for the New York Times the new book "Until Proven Innocent -- Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case," by Stuart Taylor & KC Johnson, which, among bringing other injustices surrounding the case to light, also excoriates the mainstream press's shoddy coverage, much of which presumed the guilt of the three white lacrosse players.



Video (2:26): Real (4.00 MB) and Windows (4.58 MB)

On Wednesday, all three cable networks broke from their regular coverage to feature a press conference with O.J. Simpson’s lawyers. Standing to the left of attorneys Yale Galanter and David Cook was a man wearing a hat reading "I [Heart] Famous People" and a shirt with Simpson’s picture and the words "O.J. ‘07." This unidentified individual created several "must-be-seen-to-be believed" moments. He constantly interrupted, offered high fives to the bewildered lawyers and generally seemed to be enjoying himself.

Update 13:35 | Matthew Sheffield. The man in the video seems to be one Tony Barbieri, a comedian with a character named Jake Byrd who loves to insert himself into live events such as his earlier attempt to free Paris Hilton.



The blogs and MSM sure paid a lot of attention to Senator Craig, his wide stance, and restroom etiquette.  I wonder why they are not paying as much attention to the ACLU chief getting seven years for child porn?

I wonder, especially, when it involves sexual torture of infants and toddlers....why isn't this getting any coverage?



New York Times reporter Gretel Kovach reported on the tragic shooting death in Dallas of Jeffrey Carter Albrecht, the keyboard player for Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians, in "Musician Is Killed For Banging On a Door." But unwittingly or not, that headline (killed for banging on a door -- talk about harsh Texas justice!) suggested the shooting was an overreaction, and Kovach's article further politicized the issue from the second sentence on.



On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," anchor Chris Cuomo talked to the authors of a new book about how liberals in the media allowed their politically correct biases to color coverage of the accused students in the Duke lacrosse rape case. Critiquing the media, Cuomo acknowledged, "It was difficult to report on this story fairly because there was so much pressure about pushing the angle that something had to happen. Something had to happen. It couldn't be nothing." He even proclaimed a lesson of the case to be "what people have always suspected, which is be careful what you hear from the media."

Video (1:35): Real (2.61 MB) or Windows (2.95 MB) or MP3 audio (739kB).

Stuart Taylor, co-author of "Until Proven Innocent," indicted liberal journalists who hold an obsession with race and sex. He derided the media’s gleeful handing of the case, saying, "The New York Times loved it, or a lot of people at the New York Times loved it. USA Today loved it. Nancy Grace on CNN loved it." However, while Cuomo did engage Taylor and his co-author K.C. Johnson on the subject of the media’s failing, the GMA anchor ignored an example from his own network. In April of 2007, ABC reporter Terry Moran blogged on the network’s official site that Americans shouldn’t feel too bad for the Duke students because of their wealth. He also claimed that the women of Rutgers basketball team suffered more from Don Imus:



Leftist uber-funder George Soros's group America Coming Together has been slapped with a $775,000 fine by the Federal Election Commission - the third largest fine in FEC history, but really only a minor fine considering the crime.

According to the FEC, ACT used tens of millions of dollars of unregulated cash to boost Democratic candidates during the 2004 elections. The Politico reports that, according to the FEC, ACT raised $137 million for its get-out-the-vote effort in 17 states in the 2004 elections, but the FEC found most of that cash came through contributions that violated federal limits or were otherwise barred by campaign rules.

Besides big money from Soros, ACT also got a lot of money from the Service Employees International Union.

A liberal activist merely alleges that Fred Thompson's breaking the rules by campaigning as a candidate while claiming merely "testing the waters" status with the FEC and it makes the news. Now we have a liberal organization hit with the third largest fine in FEC history for illegally raising and spending tens of millions of dollars to influence an American election. And ACT isn't the only group Soros funded to try to influence the election.

So ... do you think this story will be on the national news today or tonight?



A Kansas court of appeals has ruled that it's illegal for an illegal alien to enter the country, but not illegal for an illegal alien to be in the country if the illegal alien can illegally make it past the Border Patrol without getting caught.

Huh? What? I like to think I can wield the mighty power of semantics with the best of them - but, huh? What? I thought the "illegal" in illegal alien spoke for itself. Apparently not.