On Sunday, I examined the causes of the nation's toxic political atmosphere and amongst other things accused the press of fanning the fires of discontent.

Two days later, an ABC News/Yahoo News poll reported by Michael Calderone found 63 percent of Americans believe the mainstream media are more interested in encouraging political division than cooperation between the Parties:

Media reporter Michael Calderone at The Upshot reported on Thursday that National Public Radio officials were surprised the outpouring of attention they drew with a memo insisting reporters shouldn't attend the liberal Comedy Central rallies of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. When Calderone asked NPR senior vice president Dana Davis Rehm why there was no memo for the Glenn Beck Restoring Honor rally or the recent liberal One Nation event, she explained that NPR felt "it was obvious to everyone that these were overtly political events" and staff would surely know not to attend. "It's different with the Colbert and Stewart rallies; they are ambiguous," she continued. "But their rallies will be perceived as political by many, whatever we think. As such, they are off limits except for those covering the events."

Calderone asked other media outlets if they had a policy on the Stewart-Colbert event. ABC said it would follow a similar policy to NPR, to be present only as journalists and observers. An NBC News spokeswoman responded in a statement: "NBC News prohibits employees who function in an editorial role from participating at partisan events, however on a case by case basis we have permitted MSNBC hosts to participate in such events."

The Washington Post sent out a similar-sounding memo to staff about being observers, not participants:

UPDATE II: Politico Executive Editor and Co-Founder Jim VandeHei on Monday appeared on Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor to defend the indefensible (video at right; audio here).

UPDATE (below the fold): Calderone responds to us in electronic print.


The Politico's Michael Calderone on Sunday wrote the following headline and first paragraph. With what would appear to have been a straight face.

Fox's Sammon bashes MSM; Todd calls it 'absurd attack'

Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon bashed the media's coverage of the tea party movement with unsubstantiated claims of bias during a panel on "Fox News Sunday."

"Unsubstantiated claims" of media bias against the TEA Party movement? Really? Seriously?

It may be time for Calderone to move off the media beat. He clearly hasn't been paying attention to major details of a major story for nearly a year.

I would offer he could be moved to Obituaries, but that too would entail coverage of the "MSM."

How has Calderone missed completely the now nearly ubiquitous presence of the sexually-explicit, derogatory term used by members of the "MSM" to describe the participants in said Movement? The in-person attacks on Party participants by the likes of CNN's Susan Roesgen (now no longer with the firm)? The over-arching denigrating words and deeds by people throughout the "MSM?"

There is so much "MSM" anti-TEA Party venom to substantiate Sammon's assertion, one hardly knows where to begin. So we will simply list, with links and dates, documentation aplenty below. 

(Cursory glance result: 52 NB stories.)

We hope Calderone avails himself hereof, and repents. In writing. Today.

NewsBusters.org | Media Research Center
Michael Calderone,
Doing it Right




CORRECTION: I said the Washington Post was on the hook twice on Calderone's list.  H/t to NBer Dean who pointed out it's three - #s 2, 7 & 10.  A thousand apologies, and thanks to The Man from the People's Republic of Maryland.

Politico's staff reporter Michael Calderone has compiled his list of his top ten Media Blunders of 2009.

I for one think he did a fully fair and more than fairly good job of it. Media Research Center Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham for two thinks so as well.

On his list were the likes of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, the New York Times's Maureen Dowd and CNN. And the Washington Post - twice. Targets all for which you'll find a rich environment here on NewsBusters. And he slammed the traditional media in totality for remaining dockside while the Good Ships ACORN and Van Jones set sail on alternative media seas. He hailed the Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck and website mogul Andrew Breitbart by name for captaining those stories when the Jurassic Press stood down.

Calderone clips Fox News for what he calls their "Tea Party Trifecta," but he's hardly bashing meritlessly here either. An FNC producer was caught on tape rallying a Tea Party crowd. That is quite a bit over the top. And Sean Hannity did run B-roll from the wrong rally - a more populous one - and was forced to apologize to the world generally and Jon Stewart particularly.

Though Hannity's probably was an honest mistake. The Pulitzer-winning Dowd's excuse for "borrowing" a paragraph from the liberal website Talking Points Memo - that a "friend" had sent it to her - bends the credibility curve downward quite a bit.

Someone at Politico worn-out horsed (See: Definition #3) Calderone on the photograph composite accompanying his article, however. (Said snapshots appear below the fold.) We don't think Calderone chooses what goes with his pieces. Perhaps he should.

The White House's decision to include prominent left-wing blogs in its reporting pool has some journalists worried. Since members of the rotating pool often base their reports off of reports from outlets that attend, they worry that the presence of openly partisan news outlets could skew coverage of the White House.

“This is really troubling,” New York Times reporter Peter Baker told Politico's Michael Calderone. “We’re blurring the line between news and punditry even further and opening ourselves to legitimate questions among readers about where the White House press corps gets its information.”

The White House has decided to include reporters from the Huffington Post and Talking Points Memo in its rotating group of press correspondents.

Ed Chen, who reports for Bloomberg News, noted that many consumers would not consider mainstream media outlets such as the New York Times or the Washington Times "objective" outlets.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has responded to Newsweek's cover of her, and needless to say she was none too pleased.

As NewsBusters reported Saturday, Newsweek ran a cover story on Palin in its most recent issue, and the picture they decided to use was of her in jogging shorts and sneakers.

"The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now," wrote Palin in a posting at her Facebook page Monday evening:

What a novelty: a political reporter who reports on the remarkable success of a political book.

Michael Calderone of Politico has been just about alone in reporting on the popularity of conservative radio host and author Mark Levin’s book, “Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto.”

In his blog on September 15, Calderone wrote that “Levin has now sold a million copies of his latest book, Liberty & Tyranny, according to a release.” And Calderone noted that “‘Liberty & Tyranny’ spent 12 weeks at the top of the New York Times' best-seller list and remains in the Top Ten.”

Want to know the sordid details of how the press sucks up to staffers at the White House? According to Politico's Michael Calderone it is via a "beat sweetener" article, a concept well known in Old Media circles. A "beat sweetener" is an article meant to flatter a White House staffer so that said reporter might find easier access to the inside stuff later on.

Calderone's piece is an interesting glimpse into the world of Washington political reporters and it isn't one that builds much confidence among us, the readers. Perhaps, like a magician revealing his tricks, Calderone might find a few of his colleagues being a bit miffed at the spotlight he shines on this less than edifying practice.

If "Hardball" host Chris Matthews is indeed going to challenge Arlen Specter for his senate seat in 2010, he must resign his position with MSNBC.

So say a growing chorus of observers from both sides of the aisle.

As reported by Politico's Michael Calderone Thursday:

Less than two hours after Peggy Noonan and former McCain advisor Mike Murphy appeared on MSNBC Wednesday afternoon, a YouTube video appeared of their candid exchange in which they dismissed Sarah Palin’s viability as a VP pick. The speed at which the video appeared indicated that it almost certainly originated from someone inside MSNBC, another favor for the Democrats this election year.

Joshua Micah Marshall’s blog Talking Points Memo and the blog of Michael Calderone of the Politico broke news of Noonan and Murphy’s comments. The exchange started as MSNBC Chuck Todd previewed what was coming up next on the program before a commercial break 20 minutes into the 2 pm Eastern hour, as Noonan and Murphy began a discussion off-camera, picked up by a hot mike. Todd then joined the discussion once the commercial break began. None of their discussion actually made it on the air for this reason.