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Last week we debuted the first installment of "Five for Five," a set of five top five lists comprising the best NewsBusters posts of our first five years.
Last week we began on a light note with The Top Five Media Flubs Caught by NewsBusters.
We continue on the lighter side of things with the Top Five Times NewsBusters Embarrassed the Media. (Also check out a short video-cast with NewsBusters bloggers talking about how they embarrased the journalists)
They are, in no particular order...:
- ...that time we blinded a CNN anchor with science ["Rick Sanchez: 'Too Cold' in Iceland 'To Have a Volcano There'" from April 15, 2010]
- ...when we noted a U.S. soldier in Iraq telling Matt Lauer, "I'd be depressed too if I got my news from the newspapers" [August 17, 2005]
Conservative author Ann Coulter was Rick Sanchez's guest on the prime time edition of "Rick's List" Friday, and the sparks were flying.
After showing a clip of Coulter earlier in the week claiming that Andrew Breitbart was set up with that partial video of Shirley Sherrod speaking at an NAACP function in March, Sanchez asked, "Look, doesn't Breitbart deserve to lose his credibility for this?"
This wasn't edited to make it look like she was discriminating against a white farmer. She was admitting that she was discriminating against a white farmer...It wasn't a doctored tape. It wasn't an edited tape. It was an excerpted tape.
When Sanchez replied, "You're playing games. You're playing semantics," the battle was on (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The CNN anchor began his criticism of his network's competitor eight minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour, focusing on Fox News's coverage of the Shirley Sherrod story. Sanchez's focused on Fox News's separation between their news operation and their opinion programming, such as Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity's shows, as he gave his version of the timeline of how the network apparently covered the story:
Rick Sanchez, who hosts his Rick's List program for two hours during the afternoon on CNN, will be taking on the network's 8 pm Eastern hour slot for several weeks between Campbell Brown's departure on Wednesday and the start of the ex-Democratic Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer (the infamous Client #9) and sometime-conservative Kathleen Parker's new program.
Sanchez will likely bring his two-year record of liberal bias to his temporary gig. Some of the worst examples from the Media Research Center's archives:
Targeting Fox News and Conservative Talk Radio
In late 2008, the CNN anchor gained the 3 pm Eastern time slot of CNN's Newsroom, which would evolve into his Rick's List program. Over the past year and a half, he has consistently targeted conservative media outlets.
"That weekend tragedy involves a man who allegedly shot and killed three police officers in cold blood. Why? Because he was convinced, after no doubt watching Fox News and listening to right-wing radio, that quote, 'Our rights were being infringed upon.'"
-From CNN Newsroom, April 8, 2009. Sanchez blamed conservative news outlets for the murder of three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The anchor, who misidentified the Galapagos Islands as Hawaii during CNN's live coverage of the February 27, 2010 Chilean earthquake, and "joked" that it was too cold in Iceland for volcanoes on April 15, brought on correspondent Jessica Yellin to discuss Greene's speech. Twenty-one minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour, Yellin mentioned how she had "talked to the audience [at the speech] beforehand....Every single person I spoke to was a skeptic before, and almost all of them said they'd vote for him afterwards or support him."
That's how NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell characterized ABC's Dan Harris for his unbalanced coverage of the NAACP's anti-Tea Party resolution.
"For ABC to be giving aid and comfort to these lies is absolutely disgraceful," Bozell argued on the July 16 "Media Mash" segment on FNC's "Hannity."
Also discussed on Friday's appearance was how the media persistently insisted that ObamaCare would not allow for federal funding of abortion and that conservative critics were misleading the public by claiming as much. Now, months after Democrats strong-armed generally pro-life Democrats into scuttling their objections and voting for the health care overhaul, MRC's CNSNews.com is reporting on how abortion will be covered on health insurance in at in at least two states under ObamaCare provisions.
"The reality is Doug Johnson and the National Right to Life Committee nailed this one right on the head.... It was true, it's perfectly true," Bozell noted of conservative warnings of taxpayer-subsidized abortion under ObamaCare.
The left-leaning CNN anchor brought on Martin and Memphis, Tennessee Tea Party founder Mark Skoda just after the bottom of the 4 pm Eastern hour to discuss the NAACP's recently-passed resolution condemning the tea party movement's "racism." As you might expect, Sanchez singled out two isolated examples of racially-tinged signs at tea party rallies: a birther tea party protester who held a "sent Obama back to Kenya" sign while carrying a stuffed monkey, and a sign from the 9/12 rally in Washington, DC in 2009 that depicted President Obama as an African witch doctor.
Martin treated Skoda in a confrontational manner from almost the beginning. The Memphis tea party leader brushed aside Sanchez's citation of a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll which apparently found that "49 percent of Americans saying that they believe the tea party movement is based in some part on racial prejudice." The pro-Obama contributor then pounced: "Well, actually, he didn't actually answer your question. He danced around your question because I don't- he obviously did not want to answer it. So I will let him have a second opportunity, Rick, to actually answer the question."
On Friday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez attacked conservative economic policy, singling out the right's support for lower tax rates, and complained that "we in America are so easily led to go against our own interests.... you would find that at least half...[are] pulling for the rich guy." Sanchez also belittled conservative talk show hosts: "Many...don't even have a college degree" [audio clips available here].
The anchor led the 3 pm Eastern hour with a rant against "these guys on talk radio, some of whom make hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars" and their defense of "the money guys...the super-rich, night in and night out- you know who I'm talking about- you will hear this and you have heard this consistent narrative. We're being held back by high taxes in this country, high tax rates- cut taxes on the wealthy and, zoom, there it goes. Our economy is going to be back with a vengeance. Get the government off our backs and all our problems in this country are going to be solved."
Sanchez then caricatured the conservative take on the present economic situation and, unsurprising, introduced race into the issue. He also targeted CNBC personality and Tea Party hero Rick Santelli:
On Tuesday's Rick's List, CNN's Jessica Yellin harkened back to her college days at Harvard as she defended Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan against charges by conservatives that she is anti-military: "When I was at Harvard, a full decade before she was dean of the law school, there was already institutional opposition to 'don't ask, don't tell'....it steeps the whole university."
Yellin, actually, was a key left-wing student agitator during her time at the university, as revealed in several interviews with The Crimson, the student newspaper at Harvard. She was labeled a "prominent feminist activist in her own right" in a June 10, 1993 profile of Sheila Allen, her first-year roommate and self-proclaimed "dyke of the Class of '93." The then-student certainly earned this label, as she helped resurrect Harvard-Radcliffe Students for Choice after a "relatively inactive period," was a women's studies major, and, in an April 10, 1992 interview, bemoaned how Harvard was apparently opposed to her feminist agenda: "For people interested in women's issues or gender studies, this is an overtly hostile environment."
In a May 1, 1992 article, Yellin expressed how the acquittal of the four police officers involved in the controversial Rodney King arrest was "the most blatant evidence of the indelible racism... in this country."
Comedian Jon Stewart Wednesday pointed out an inconvenient truth about this week's General Stanley McChrystal incident: the media "kind of suck" for getting scooped by Rolling Stone magazine.
As "The Daily Show" host addressed the day's events involving the General and President Obama, he showed clips of various press members expressing disgust that Rolling Stone would get such access to McChrystal and staff.
These included CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper as well as MSNBC's Chris Matthews.
After the final clip of CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr asking, "What on earth was he thinking giving an interview to Rolling Stone," Stewart quipped, "At approximately 11:04 Eastern Standard Time, the American news media finally realized they kind of suck" (video follows with more highlights and commentary):
On Wednesday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez twice highlighted how "several Republicans want to keep the cap on what oil companies pay for spills at $75 million" and how apparently that's about "how much they [oil companies] spend on campaign contributions to politicians each year," but omitted that President Obama was the top recipient of money from BP during the 2008 election cycle.
Sanchez first made those statements during a segment just after the beginning of the 3 pm Eastern hour, as he reported on left-wing organization Code Pink's interruption of a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee earlier on Wednesday. Before playing a clip of the protest, the CNN anchor stated how Diane Wilson "disrupted a Senate hearing this morning by pouring oil all over herself." He continued that Wilson "was arrested, but not before she interrupted Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, who is tied, many would argue, to big oil in Alaska."
Sanchez didn't mention that the protester is one of the co-founders of Code Pink. However, CNN.com's article on the protest did acknowledge that Code Pink released a statement from Wilson on her publicity stunt.