Examples of how the media distorts the news
Home  -  TOC


- Senate Republicans block heating aid bill - 7/26/2008
- The Washington Post Traitors - 3/14/2005
- Media Bias Is killing Our Troops -- Proof is available -- Vietnam all over again - 3/24/2008
- ABC, CNN conducting private, daily phone briefings with Obama chief of staff - 1/31/2009 - Yet they want you to believe they are not BIAS
- MRC Study: How the Broadcast Networks Spun the Shutdown Obama’s Way - 10/17/13

 MRC Study: How the Broadcast Networks Spun the Shutdown Obama’s Way

ABC, CBS and NBC Touted Victims of Government Closure and Invariably Blamed Republicans


October 17, 2013 - 10:29am


For millions of Americans, big political contests such as presidential elections and pivotal congressional hearings are still largely witnessed through the lens of ABC’s, CBS’s and NBC’s evening newscasts. According to Nielsen Research, more than 20 million viewers tuned in over the past two [1] weeks [2] for the Big Three’s take on the shutdown drama.   What those viewers heard, according to a just-completed Media Research Center study, was a version of the shutdown story that could easily have emanated from Barack Obama’s own White House.

The broadcast networks invariably blamed Republicans for the impasse; spotlighted dozens of examples of how Americans were being victimized; and ran scores of soundbites from furloughed federal workers and others harmed by the shutdown —
even as they ignored examples of how the Obama administration and Senate Democrats were working to make the shutdown as painful as possible.

■ Blaming Republicans. MRC analysts reviewed each broadcast network evening newscast from the first day of the shutdown (October 1) through the last night before a deal was announced (October 15). Of the 124 full stories and brief items about the shutdown or the pending debt ceiling deadline, 41 blamed Republicans or conservatives for the impasse, 17 blamed both sides, and none specifically blamed Democrats.

This is an acceleration of the same trend the MRC documented [3] during the two weeks prior to the actual start of the shutdown (September 17 through September 30), when those same broadcasts ran 21 stories blaming Republicans, four blaming both sides, and none blaming Democrats.

 

Network reporters and anchors repeatedly instructed their audiences to blame Tea Party extremism for the consequences of the shutdown. “This current showdown and this current government shutdown traces its history back to a determined core of GOP House members who are vehemently against ObamaCare and were willing to shut down the government because of it,” NBC anchor Brian Williams asserted on the October 14 Nightly News.  

The next night, ABC’s Diane Sawyer similarly explained Fitch’s warning of a possible downgrade of the U.S. government’s AAA debt rating: “A major agency now threatening a downgrade, lowering America’s sterling financial status in the world, and all because hardline members of Congress have brought the U.S. to the brink.”


■ Soundbites. In 15 days, the networks ran soundbites from 23 federal workers (most of them furloughed), 47 individuals whose lives had been hurt by the shutdown, and 56 ordinary citizens condemning the shutdown.   While most of the negative opinion was directed at Washington in general, 17 singled out Republicans for blame, vs. only three castigating Democrats, a nearly six-to-one ratio.

On October 1, for example, ABC’s World News used a man on the street to spank conservatives: “I think the whole ‘holding the government hostage of ObamaCare’ is just ridiculous.” The next night, the same network featured a woman scolding: “It’s a crime and most of it is the Tea Party.”

Within hours of the start of the shutdown, the networks championed the plight of furloughed federal workers, who at that point had been out of work for only a few hours. On the October 1 CBS Evening News, furloughed Treasury worker Peter Gamba complained: “It’s a nightmare for me financially. Actually, it causes me a lot of anxiety and stress. I don’t sleep well at night.”

Over on the NBC Nightly News that same evening, reporter John Yang highlighted an EPA worker, Elizabeth Lytle, who had already filed for unemployment benefits. Lytle told NBC: “Right now, I’m terrified. I’m terrified to the point where, okay, what’s going to happen?”

Three days later, when the shutdown was less than a week old, NBC correspondent Miguel Almaguer profiled another out-of-work federal employee: “Wendy Robinson has been furloughed. A single mom with three mouths to feed, today she got her last paycheck. Robinson blames Congress.” Moments later, NBC viewers heard Robinson complaining: “I’m at a loss for words, really, about it because I’m not used to not giving my kids a Christmas.”

Four days out of work, and Christmas is cancelled?

■ Negative Consequences. During the first 15 days of October, the network evening newscasts highlighted 127 examples of ways the shutdown was hurting Americans — from closed national parks and furloughed workers, to children denied medical treatment for life-threatening illnesses and the suspension of death benefits for the families of U.S. soldiers and Marines killed in Afghanistan.

The drumbeat of negative stories cast the shutdown (and, by implication, those responsible) as downright scandalous. NBC’s Brian Williams described the consequences as nearly criminal on the October 8 Nightly News: “All kinds of people are getting cheated out of salaries, benefits, medical treatment.”

Virtually absent from the coverage was any questioning of the Obama administration's tactics in implementing the shutdown. Eight stories talked about the barricading of the open-air World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., a site that is normally accessible 24 hours a day. None of the networks questioned why that particular memorial needed to be barricaded.

Similarly, CBS anchor Scott Pelley opened the October 2 Evening News by saying “no one was more lonely on this second day of the partial government shutdown than the President — President Lincoln. His memorial, one of the many national park sites, forced to close.” The steps of the Lincoln Memorial were not off-limits to visitors during the Clinton-era shutdowns, yet none of the networks challenged the Obama administration’s decision to ban the public this year.

All three networks emphasized the tragedy of how furloughs at the National Institutes of Health meant patients with potentially fatal illnesses — including children — would not be admitted to new trials. On October 11, for example, ABC’s Jim Avila highlighted for World News viewers the heart-breaking story of an eight-year-old leukemia victim, Maddie Major, including a soundbite from the girl’s mother, Robin: “It’s the most devastating thing in the world to know that there could potentially be a cure for her, but because of a stalemate in the government, we can’t research those options. It’s mind-blowing.”

Avila then theatrically confronted a Republican congressman, Steve Womack, explaining: “He’s on the House committee that oversees the NIH budget and he voted for the shutdown.” Of course, Republicans never voted “for” a shutdown, but passed a series of bills ensuring continued funding, but with amendments the Democratic Senate rejected. Avila did not similarly put a Democratic Senator on the spot for the failure to fund NIH.

Earlier, on October 3, NBC correspondent Tom Costello showcased how “the mother of an 18-month-old has been told her rare sarcoma could be terminal. But without funding, any new NIH clinical drug trials are on hold.” NBC Nightly News ran three additional stories mentioning the deferral of NIH trials and the gravely-ill patients affected, but never once told viewers the House had voted on October 2 to restore that funding, only to be rebuffed by Senate Democrats.

Indeed, only the CBS Evening News bothered to mention — just once — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s dismissive comment about restoring funding to enable life-saving medicine to resume. On October 2, correspondent Nancy Cordes told anchor Scott Pelley, “Reid was asked if he’d be open to funding cancer research for kids only, and his response was, ‘Why would I do that?’”

For its part, the CBS Evening News on October 7 devoted an entire story to the plight of the “thousands who work for Head Start early education programs” and the families they serve. Correspondent Michelle Miller talked to Danielle Smith, who works for the program in Bridgeport, Connecticut: “I had parents who told me ‘I’m going to lose my job. If I don’t have child care, I can’t go to work.’ They were asking for help and we said — I couldn’t help them.” As the story ended, Pelley reflected: “Real consequences, for real people.”

The next day, the House passed a targeted funding bill that would have immediately restored Head Start. But Pelley’s Evening News never brought that important follow-up to viewers. If the interruption of Head Start’s services was deemed nationally important news, how come the attempt to resume those services was not treated as equally important?

As the shutdown neared its end, the networks’ polls found the American public more critical of the GOP than either Democrats or the White House. While some blame can perhaps be assigned to Republicans’ lack of a unified conservative message, the incessant drumbeat of hostile, and slanted, media coverage surely took its toll as well.

Source URL: http://www.mrc.org/media-reality-check/mrc-study-how-broadcast-networks-spun-shutdown-obamas-way


 Brent Bozell, Founder and President Media Research Center

Received Jan 31, 2009

Edward G,

I've just received shocking news that demands immediate action by every member of our MRC Action team.

Tuesday, Politico broke the news that ABCNews' George Stephanopoulos is currently conducting private, daily phone briefings with Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. CNN's Paul Begala, James Carville and pollster Stan Greenberg are also involved.

Imagine the liberal media's reaction if Brit Hume or Rush Limbaugh had been conducting daily strategy briefings with George Bush's chief of staff!

This is the height of irresponsible journalism!

What could be worse than the liberal media's sycophantic coverage of President Barack Obama? ABC's George Stephanopoulos actively helping design and deliver the administration's strategy and message - which he is then charged with reporting. Will he be critical of the White House's plans when he spends mornings helping to craft them?

+ + Urgent Action Item

Clearly, journalistic lines have been crossed -- especially by Stephanopoulos who presents himself as a credible journalist and not a partisan commentator.

That is why I am asking every member of the MRC Action team to take immediate action right now.

Here's how you can directly impact this breaking situation:

++ Call ABC News

Edward G, take a moment to contact ABC News and express outrage that one of their so-called journalists is involved in daily planning meetings with the White House. Demand that he recuse himself from any reporting involving the Obama Administration.

Here is the number to call the contacts below: 202-222-7700

George Stephanopoulos
Ariane De Vogue, News Producer
Mary Walsh, News Producer
Toni Wilson, News Producer

After making your phone calls, please click here so that I can count your calls. I'd like to be able to report on our efforts.

http://www.mrcaction.org/r.asp?U=15909&CID=500&RID=19309335

++ Alert your Friends

Edward G, we can't allow this outrageous affront to go unchallenged!

That's why, after making your calls, I'm urging you to forward this message to 25-30 conservative friends and family members, urging them to follow your lead by calling as well.

As always, thank you for taking immediate action with me.

Sincerely,

Brent Bozell

Email: MRCAction@mediaresearch.org

+ + + + +

The Media Research Center is a research and education organization operating under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Contributions are tax-deductible for income tax purposes.

To help the MRC, go here:

http://www.mrcaction.org/r.asp?U=15910&CID=500&RID=19309335
 

 Senate Republicans block heating aid bill

7/26/2008    By MATT YANCEY

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans on Saturday blocked the Senate from considering a bill next week that would nearly double federal aid to help the poor pay heating and air-conditioning bills.

Although a dozen Senate Republicans support the measure, most voted with GOP leaders who would rather spend the time trumpeting their call to expand offshore oil drilling before Congress takes six weeks off for vacation and the presidential nominating conventions.

"The American resources on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts contain 14 billion barrels at a minimum ... more than we have imported from the Persian Gulf in the last 15 years," said Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M.

Democrats needed 60 votes to substitute the measure on heating and air-conditioning aid in place of the debate on an expansion of offshore drilling championed by President Bush and GOP presidential candidate John McCain. They got 50 votes Saturday, with 35 Republicans voting against changing the topic.

"Do we vote to keep the old, the sick and kids alive when the weather gets cold or very, very hot, or do we spend money on people who make huge campaign contributions? That is part of what this debate is about," said Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont.

The government is devoting $2.6 billion in subsidies for helping people with low incomes pay heating and air-conditioning bills this year. Sanders' bill would nearly double that to $5.1 billion.

While Senate Democrats said they hoped to pass it next week, Democrats in the House were looking at the popular subsidies for anchoring a second economic aid bill they want to push in September, closer to the November election.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is vehemently against letting the House vote on offshore drilling. She and Democratic leaders in the Senate also have shut down normal summer work on spending bills to prevent offshore drilling from getting a legislative footing in the appropriations committees.

On the Net:
Information on the heating aid bill, S.3186, can be found at: http://thomas.loc.gov/

Comments:

Notice the article header from the original AP article "Senate Republicans block heating aid bill"

Now notice the article header used by the Jax Times-Union of the exact same article: "Offshore drilling trumps heating aid" while the sub header reads "Senate Republicans block measure to help the poor".

And into the article we get:

"Do we vote to keep the old, the sick and kids alive when the weather gets cold or very, very hot, or do we spend money on people who make huge campaign contributions? said Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent [yeah sure] from Vermont.

What taxpayers are already stuck with:

The government is devoting $2.6 billion in subsidies for helping people with low incomes pay heating and air-conditioning bills this year. Sanders' bill would nearly double that to $5.1 billion.


At $1.24 trillion, entitlement spending is just below the gross domestic product of Canada ($1.27 trillion) -- the 13th-largest economy among 231 ranked by the U.S. government.

This is your money, your kids money, even your grandkids money - but the AP and the Jax Times-Union and the Democrats want you to think Republicans are the problem.

I point out the last paragraph:

 "Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is vehemently against letting the House vote on offshore drilling. She and Democratic leaders in the Senate also have shut down normal summer work on spending bills to prevent offshore drilling from getting a legislative footing in the appropriations committees."


 Negative U.S. media linked to increased insurgent attacks
 
March 24, 2008

By Shawn Waterman - UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL

Researchers at Harvard say that publicly voiced doubts about the U.S. occupation of Iraq have a measurable "emboldenment effect" on insurgents there.

Periods of intense news media coverage in the United States of criticism about the war, or of polling about public opinion on the conflict, are followed by a small but quantifiable increases in the number of attacks on civilians and U.S. forces in Iraq, according to a study by Radha Iyengar, a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in health policy research at Harvard and Jonathan Monten of the Belfer Center at the university's Kennedy School of Government.

The increase in attacks is more pronounced in areas of Iraq that have better access to international news media, the authors conclude in a report titled "Is There an 'Emboldenment' Effect? Evidence from the Insurgency in Iraq."

The researchers studied data about insurgent attacks and U.S. media coverage up to November, tracking what they called "anti-resolve statements" by U.S. politicians and reports about American public opinion on the war.

"We find that in periods immediately after a spike in anti-resolve statements, the level of insurgent attacks increases," says the study, published earlier this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a leading U.S. nonprofit economic research organization.

In Iraqi provinces that were broadly comparable in social and economic terms, attacks increased between 7 percent and 10 percent following what the researchers call "high-mention weeks," like the two just before the November 2006 election.

Erica Chenoweth, a postdoctoral research fellow studying terrorism and insurgency at the Belfer Center and a specialist in the statistical analysis of violent events who has read the study, told UPI that it was "a good one."

"They have picked up some important and interesting data," she said. "I would say the findings are preliminary, and they need to be made more robust."

Ms. Chenoweth said the study could be improved if the authors included what she called "pro-resolve statements" as well.

She said this would help to control for "the possibility that insurgent violence was provoked by [anger at] declarations of U.S. intent to stay in Iraq," as well as fueled by any encouragement gleaned from statements suggesting U.S. forces might be leaving.

She added that the authors had submitted the study to the Quarterly Journal of Economics, a peer-reviewed academic journal published at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and she expected it would be accepted. "It is good enough to pass peer review," she said.

The study also found that attacks increased more in parts of Iraq like Anbar province, where there is greater access to international news media, measured by the proportion of households with satellite TV, which its authors say increases the credibility of their findings.

The researchers conclude that the increases in attacks are a necessary cost of the way democratic societies fight wars and say they are concerned that the research may be seized upon by the Iraq war's supporters to try and silence its critics.

"We are a little bit worried about that," Mr. Monten said in an interview. "Our data suggests that there is a small, but measurable cost" to "anything that provides information about attitudes towards the war."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080324/FOREIGN/259963993/1001
 

 The Washington Post traitors

March 14, 2005  -  By Joseph Farah  -  © 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

Should an American newsman be so "objective" he ceases to be an American?

This is one of a series of questions raised in an astonishing interview given by the managing editor of the Washington Post, Philip Bennett, to a "reporter" for China's official government paper, People's Daily.

In the interview, Bennett says: "I don't think U.S. should be the leader of the world."

He also says he tried to keep opinions out of the news columns of the Post. If that's true, why is it that most Americans reading the Post knew all along that the paper wants U.S. government officials to consult with foreign leaders and the United Nations before taking actions in the best interests of this country? It's not just because we read the editorials of the Post – which I don't and most Americans don't.

It's because we read the Washington Post news columns and because those news columns help set the agenda for so much of the establishment, corporate, "mainstream" media elite – which, Bennett admits, is losing its hammerlock of influence on the American people with the advent of the Internet.

For a newspaper that is not supposed to care much about opinions – just the news – this guy sure is opinionated.

  • He said, for instance, that he does not see much evidence that the United States is really trying to spread freedom around the world.
  • He suggested strongly that the United States is really motivated by old-fashioned colonialism and imperialism.
  • He said that even in wartime, his paper takes great pride in telling the world about matters of national security.
  • He admitted that his paper and the rest of the elite media are out of touch with America's religious and patriotic values.
  • He seemed concerned that the "American people are more conservative, nationalistic and religious and more closed off to foreign influence than the media."
  • He was quick to instruct his interviewer that his paper never characterizes totalitarian China as a dictatorship.

Just what were Bennett and his paper hoping to achieve by sucking up to the brutes in Beijing, who, even as this interview was being published, were laying the "legal" foundation for a future invasion of Taiwan?

Are they hoping to replace the readership they are losing in the United States with readership in the largest marketplace in the world?

Are they hoping to secure better access to news in the closed society of China by sending a message of solidarity with the communists?

Not since Walter Duranty of the New York Times covered up the crimes against humanity of Josef Stalin in his Pulitzer Prize-winning reports from the old Soviet Union has as American journalist betrayed the aspirations of freedom-loving people on such a massive scale.

The truth is that 1.1 billion people in China are held in bondage and slavery by their military government. Yet, Bennett suggests the situation in China is "complicated." Never before in the history of the world, he says, have so many people been lifted out of poverty so quickly. That claim sounds reminiscent of those of Duranty – those that overlooked the massive deaths in the gulags, the firing squads, the millions of people who got in the way of this economic "progress."

What was Bennett thinking when he gave this interview to a "reporter," who is actually a paid agent of the totalitarian regime in China?

Was that a service to his profession?

Does Bennett view his work as an American journalist as comparable with the propaganda program of the Chinese government? If so, he may not be that far off. In many ways they both serve the same masters.

If America was anything remotely like the America Bennett portrays in his interview with the Chinese government apparatchik posing as a "reporter," the Washington Post editor would be summarily brought up on treason charges.

Of course, he won't be.

Because America is nothing like China, the secretive, imperialistic, colonialistic monster he describes.

But just because Bennett and the paper he represents won't be charged with treason doesn't make them any less traitors for what they have done and what they do on a daily basis – twisting, distorting and manipulating the news through their prism of moral relativism.

Joseph Farah is founder, editor and chief executive officer of WND and a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. He is also the founder of WND Books. In addition to his daily column in WND, he writes a nationally syndicated weekly column available to U.S. newspapers through Creators Syndicate.

To view this item online, visit http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=43286

Home  -  TOC  -  Top