Tag Archives: media coverage

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

Cruz & McCarthy: Yes, No, Maybe So

BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON

When Harold H. Velde took the chair of the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1953, he vowed to “weed out the communists and their fellow travelers, the pinkos, as they are called” from the departments of State and Defense and promised to serve as a watchdog for “commies” infiltrating the Eisenhower Administration.

The Committee had already made a name for itself. Five years earlier, a young member of the committee from California named Richard Nixon claimed fame by subpoenaing records that led to the imprisonment of Alger Hiss, the prominent and popular wunderkind of the Roosevelt era, who was accused of turning over government secrets to the Soviet Union.

In fact, since its founding in 1938, the Committee was on the leading edge of the anti-communist movement in the United States, a movement founded on legitimate national and international concerns about the global spread of Marxist-Leninism to China and across Russia into Eastern Europe and beyond. The spread of Communism would have profound, lasting ramifications for the free world and especially for the United States, the post-war protector of democracy and policeman of the planet.  Continue reading

Random Thoughts

BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON

AUGUST RECESS HYPOCRISY
I would guess that most current and former Hill employees get really rankled every August when well-tanned and rested television anchors like Bill Hemmer of Fox News (it is really hard to take that guy seriously), get indignant over Congress leaving Washington for August recess. Hemmer is not alone, of course. August recess wisecracking is a popular sport.

Fox, however, has lowered the bar even more. It just spent a lot of money conducting survey research, which Hemmer reported on August 8. Breaking news, breaking news, stop the presses: “A new Fox news national poll has found that 82 percent of voters think Congress hasn’t worked hard enough to go on vacation for five weeks.”

Hemmer looks like he’s 12, but I wonder why he acts like it? Continue reading

Protest Media Bias

BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON

There is a lot of comparison being drawn between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements. There are some similarities, but more differences between them, especially one: the coverage by news media.

The Occupy Wall Street protesters got their faces on ABC, CBS and NBC 33 times in the first eleven days of October. The Tea Party movement got coverage 13 times in all of 2009. The Media Research Center also found that the protesters got on camera delivering their message 87 percent of the time, compared to eight percent for their critics.

That was not the tea party’s experience, if I recall.

PEW research found that the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) got more coverage quicker than the tea partiers. It took about three months for the media to pay attention to tea party demonstrations; it took less than a month with OWS, and OWS got its own acronym in no time. Continue reading