Tag Archives: media bias

Mueller Findings’ Blow to Media Worth Its Own Probe: Part II

BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON  |  APR 1, 2019

“The end of the collusion illusion should also cause the media to do some soul searching about rushes to judgment. For two years, with the help of ex-Obama officials, they spun anecdotes of contacts between Russians and Trump campaign advisors into a conspiracy. With few exceptions they went well beyond First Amendment oversight into anti-Trump advocacy. But it was always odd that those individual Russia-Trump contacts never added up to anything or went anywhere, which is why we warned about waiting for the facts.”
Wall Street Journal Editorial, March 25

The initial wave of reaction to the Mueller investigation has produced a powerful undertow of criticism over the performance of the press. It should be addressed forthrightly, introspectively, and very thoroughly. Public trust in one of our most vital institutions and the ability of that institution to meet its constitutional obligation as a reliable witness to history are at stake.

The media are in a state of denial of any lapse in their professional judgment or work product. It’s an easy state to be in when the face of the criticism is President Donald Trump. Credible critics have difficulty being taken seriously because, until now, they have been branded as pro-Trump and dismissed as defenders of his faith and creed. Continue reading

Institutions Part V: News Media Lapses in Modern Times

BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON  |  JAN 28, 2019

The news media in America are spinning out of control, caught up in a powerful funnel cloud of self-righteousness, self-interest, a loss of journalistic identity, and wild-eyed illusions of grandeur about saving the planet from evil.

The media are not the enemy of the people; not by a long shot; but they are their own worst enemy, exhausting their credibility and abandoning the character and measured judgment that not too long ago was the hallmark of American journalism.

The free press is just one of several institutions absolutely fundamental to our system of self-government and our open society experiencing decline, from the Legislative and Executive branches of government to public and private education, organized religion, community, charity, and the family unit. Continue reading

Dinner in Praise of Press? Not Really

BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON  |  MAY 3, 2018

Her monologue was repugnant, full of vitriol and vulgarity, a slew of lewd terms most of the audience would never repeat in front of their parents or children.

Yet Comedian Michelle Wolf got some laughs anyway. She was performing at the fundraising dinner for the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) last week.

Something she said, however, got no laughs, only deafening silence. In the avalanche of coverage following the event, there was scarce mention of her closing words, except in Politico and by the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake, who honed his craft at the Minneapolis Tribune. Wolf talked about what Blake called the media’s “codependent relationship” with President Trump. Continue reading

First Lady, Knuckleheads, & the News

BY JOHN FEEHERY
Reprinted from TheFeeheryTheory.com

Young people are knuckleheads. That’s what the First Lady said on Jimmy Fallon last night.

Thanks for the clarification.

Michelle Obama was making the case that younger Americans need to wise up and sign up for her President’s health care plan. They don’t know how to cook and often slice their fingers on sharp knives. That is why young people need Obamacare.

Or they could buy Neosporin and a band-aide. Continue reading

News Media and Making Government Work

BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON

“This is so asinine, the Washington Post should be embarrassed it wasted anyone’s time with it.”

Those are the words of Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner reacting recently to a Post thing—I’m not sure what to call it– by Juliet Eilperin and Zachary A. Goldfarb fantasizing about Boehner becoming a bipartisan coalition speaker.

Buck’s understated reaction underscores a troubling reality in media today. They, the infotainment media complex, are as dysfunctional and as lacking in meaningful contributions to public governance as the politicians who they spend so much time second-guessing and ridiculing.

Now, when we need responsible, dependable media more than ever they just aren’t there. Continue reading

It’s the Sun Flares, Stupid

BY WILLIAM F. GAVIN

I awoke this morning to learn from the TV news that there are gigantic sun flares on the sun, among the largest ever recorded.

Then I turned to the Washington Post editorial page.  The lead editorial was a scathing condemnation of the IRS for its treatment of conservative political groups. But it was the op-ed page that really surprised me.

The left-hand column, written by Charles Lane, criticized an energy scheme by Rep. Ed Markey, Massachusetts arch-liberal (or do I repeat myself?). In the middle of the page were two columns, one by George Will, the other by Michael Gerson. Each, in its own way, condemned the administration for the IRS scandal and President Obama for his recent (and all too typical) speech at Ohio State University  in which he  sneered at conservatives who “warn that [government] tyranny is just around the corner”. Continue reading

Rosen, Women, and Media Bias

BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON

The media coverage of the 2012 political campaigns continues to flood the airwaves, like the Mississippi River in Spring time with inaccuracies, hyperbole, exaggerations, innuendo, and outright falsehoods.

It is too bad the media doesn’t have a Fact-Check.com that does such an excellent job correcting the same drivel from the campaigns and the candidates. Keeping the media honest is more than Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz can handle.  There’s too much to cover.

Just this week for example, there was the saga of Hillary B. Rosen, the liberal Democratic strategist and mouthpiece, who criticized Mrs. Romney for being a stay-at-home mom and condemned Mitt Romney for inequality toward women. Here is what she has been quoted as saying: “His (Romney’s) wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why we worry about their future.”   Continue reading

Media Commits ‘Comment Creep’

BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON

“This was Romney’s moment to make the case, that he is the substantive one, the electable one…But he didn’t. Instead he queued up his talking points…”

Who would you think made a comment like that? A cable news show talking head or a political consultant from the camp of the opposition? A newspaper columnist or a blogger? Not this time.

The opinion, not factual reporting or even analysis– was that of Philip Rucker, reporter for the Washington Post and it appeared in a Page 1 story under the opinion-rich headline: “Up close and way out of his comfort zone; On campaign trail Romney boggles chance to make connection with voters.”

The headline and the story violated what I, and I assume other consumers of American journalism, consider  one of the sacred standards of reporting: objectivity.

Rucker’s opinions weren’t confined to the first couple of paragraphs. Most of the piece was opinion or at best subjective analysis. But it wasn’t labeled commentary or analysis or opinion. It was presented as a straight-up news story, on the front page, no less. Continue reading

Media Focus Flounders…10 Tips for Improvement

BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON

The media made another contribution to the ‘dumbing down’ of American politics this week in their coverage of the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas.

If you saw the debate, ask yourself a question. What piece of information conveyed during the debates will be most important to you in making a decision at the polls in 2012? The discussion of Herman Cain’s tax proposal? Foreign aid to Israel? Cutting defense spending? Securing our borders?

Not to Carl Cameron of Fox News or Brian Williams of NBC or Scott Pelley at CBS or the Washington Post or the Washington Times.

The most important piece of information in the debate for the media was the exchange between Gov. Rick Perry and former Gov. Mitt Romney about a meaningless lawn mowing incident four years ago. Apparently, back in 2007, Romney hired a lawn-mowing company that employed an illegal alien. Yep. Romney didn’t hire the worker and when a reporter exposed his employment, Romney ordered the company to fire him. When the company failed to, Romney fired the company. We weren’t told whether Romney had to mow his own lawn. Nothing in the exchange was new. The incident had been thoroughly vetted and reported years ago. Continue reading