Couric Uses Bad News to Tout 'Stimulus' Bill 'Is Creating' Jobs --3/9/2009
2. Kurtz: 'Outrage' Media Ignored CNN Host Who Called Repubs 'Nazis'
3. Phony Soldiers II: Limbaugh Smear Over 'Kennedy Memorial' Bill
4. Newsweek's Wolffe: Limbaugh Is GOP's 'Jeremiah Wright' w/ Hate
5. CNN: Rush the 'Anti-Obama' Since He's Not 'Slim or Well Schooled'
6. FNC's Baier Apologizes for Not Using 'Illegal Alien' Description
7. Saw It Here First: FNC Highlights Journalists 'Rooting' for Obama
CBS anchor Katie Couric on Friday night used the jump in the unemployment rate to 8.1 percent to cheerlead for how the "stimulus" bill is "creating" jobs, an impact her newscast illustrated with two full stories after reporter Anthony Mason declared: "It's the government that's going to have to pull us out of this recession." (On ABC's World News, Betsy Stark similarly saw salvation in the stimulus spending. Citing predictions of even higher unemployment, she contended: "That's why the stimulus plan is so important. If it's successful, those huge job losses should slow down.")
Couric teased the CBS Evening News: "The recession has now cost nearly four-and-a-half million Americans their jobs. We'll show you the new jobs his stimulus plan is creating." She then led by promising: "In a moment we'll be telling you about all the jobs the stimulus plan is creating, but first, why those jobs are so desperately needed."
Following Mason's story on the rise in the unemployment rate, Couric championed how the government spending is coming to the rescue: "Some of the $787 billion in stimulus money designed to create new jobs is already flowing through the pipe line. At the other end of it, millions of people are waiting hopefully for work. We have two reports tonight..."
Jeff Glor highlighted 5,000 Philadelphia transit system jobs generated by $191 million in stimulus bill funding and concluded : "For blue collar workers, the checks can't come quickly enough."
Next, Ben Tracy checked in from a medical clinic in Los Angeles, where he trumpeted: "The money here will help treat the growing number of working poor needing subsidized health care. These overwhelmed doctors have already seen 5,000 more patients in just the past year. The stimulus money will give them what they need most -- more co-workers. All white collar."
Tracy ended with how "approximately 1.1 million traditionally white collar jobs are expected to be created by the stimulus package, everything from financial services to education and health care."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Friday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
ABC's Betsy Stark wrapped up her World News piece on unemployment: "One economist calculated today that if Americans continue to lose jobs at the pace we've been seeing over the last six months, the unemployment rate will top ten percent by June and over 12 percent by the end of the year. That's why the stimulus plan is so important. If it's successful, those huge job losses should slow down."
Highlights from the Friday, March 6 CBS Evening News:
Katie Couric's tease:
Tonight, the President calls it "astounding." The recession has now cost nearly four-and-a-half million Americans their jobs. We'll show you the new jobs his stimulus plan is creating...
Couric opened the program:
And good evening, everyone. In a moment, we'll be telling you about all the jobs the stimulus plan is creating, but first, why those jobs are so desperately needed. The government reported today that the unemployment rate has jumped another half point to 8.1 percent. Now that's the highest rate in more than a quarter century. Another 651,000 jobs vanished in February, which means that since the recession began, we have now lost 4.4 million jobs. The President calls that astounding. Anthony Mason begins our coverage tonight...
Following Mason's report, viewers heard this exchange:
COURIC: I know the government is going to be creating jobs as we mentioned through the stimulus package and health care, as you just told us, is another promising sector. Are there any other jobs to be had, any other areas that are programming?
Couric soon set up her promised look at all the jobs the federal spending is creating: "Some of the $787 billion in stimulus money designed to create new jobs is already flowing through the pipe line. At the other end of it, millions of people are waiting hopefully for work. We have two reports tonight..."
After Glor on blue collar jobs, Ben Tracy showcased the benefits to a Los Angeles medical clinic:
The money here will help treat the growing number of working poor needing subsidized health care. These overwhelmed doctors have already seen 5,000 more patients in just the past year. The stimulus money will give them what they need most-- more co-workers. All white collar. Just three weeks ago, this clinic laid off 20 people. Now with the stimulus money, they're hoping to rehire ten, everything from doctors to technicians to the medical assistants working the front desk.
[A]pproximately 1.1 million traditionally white collar jobs are expected to be created by the stimulus package, everything from financial services to education and health care. But right now, any job is a big boost for a community, no matter the color of the collar.
In the midst of a segment on Rush Limbaugh on Sunday morning's Reliable Sources portion of CNN's State of the Union, host Howard Kurtz scolded his journalistic colleagues for a remark which "totally got missed by the media," how CNN host D.L. Hughley charged "that the Republican convention 'literally looks like Nazi Germany.' I don't understand how he can get away with saying that. I think that is an outrage."
Kurtz, the Washington Post's media reporter, interjected his criticism after guest Amanda Carpenter of the Washington Times, and formerly with TownHall.com, had defended RNC Chairman Michael Steele's characterization of Limbaugh's rhetoric as "ugly," a slam on Limbaugh he made on Hughley's show, D.L. Hughley Breaks the News, last weekend. She guessed Steele was thinking of "Rush Limbaugh's interpretation of 'Barack the Magic you know what,' so when he said 'ugly,' that was ugly, that was a very ugly part of the discussion that was in the run up to his election."
(Of course, "Barack the Magic Negro" was a song parody inspired by a black writer who used that term in a Los Angeles Times op-ed about Obama. Details in the May 22, 2007 CyberAlert: www.mediaresearch.org )
Carpenter's comments reminded Kurtz: "In that interview with D.L. Hughley, who coincidentally his show has now been dropped by CNN, Hughley said -- this totally got missed by the media -- that the Republican convention 'literally looks like Nazi Germany.' I don't understand how he can get away with saying that. I think that is an outrage."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Sunday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
(Joan Walsh of Salon and PBS's David Brancaccio joined Carpenter in the three-guest panel.)
The March 3 CyberAlert item (posted with video), "CNN's Hughley: Republicans 'Literally Look Like Nazi Germany,'" reported:
For the March 3 CyberAlert post: www.mrc.org
"Demonstrating that not even weekends are safe from Democratic Party-sponsored anti-Rush Limbaugh attacks," Brian Maloney observed on the Radio Equalizer blog on Saturday, "the talk titan is now under fire for a relatively mundane (and actually quite accurate) reference to the shameless political exploitation of Ted Kennedy's illness."
Some media outlets readily picked up on the effort to discredit Limbaugh. The AP jumped in Friday, "Democrats blast Limbaugh for comment on Kennedy," and MSNBC's Chris Matthews played a clip on Hardball as he prompted guest Bob Shrum to smear Limbaugh: "It's outrageous, it's typical of him. He's a tasteless guy. He'll say anything. He appeals to haters." Saturday's Boston Globe joined in: "Kennedy cheered at summit; Limbaugh remarks sour to some."
Limbaugh's supposedly outrageous remark: "Before it's all over, it'll be called the Ted Kennedy Memorial Health Care bill."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Saturday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The AP story: news.yahoo.com
Boston Globe article: www.boston.com
On Friday's program, Limbaugh had pointed out: "The failing health of Senator Kennedy is, as I told you way back when, the driving force here. The failing health of Senator Kennedy is already being used as an inspirational effort, or technique, to get national health care on the fast track."
Indeed, at Thursday's health care summit at the White House, President Barack Obama highlighted the presence of "Sir Edward Kennedy," a reference to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's announcement earlier in the week that the Queen had bestowed honorary knighthood on Kennedy. To rousing applause, the Senator proclaimed: "I'm looking forward to being a foot soldier in this undertaking. And this time, we will not fail."
That evening on the NBC Nightly News, reporter Chuck Todd appropriated the coach who inspired "win one for the Gipper" by touting how "the President's drive to pass health care got a Knute Rockne-like boost with a surprise appearance" by Kennedy. More in the March 7 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
Back to Limbaugh on Friday, he simply took note of how Obama had enlisted Kennedy in the PR effort to advance his drive to pass his nationalized health care plan:
Maloney explained: "As can be seen, the reference is to the Obamistas and their use of Kennedy's cancer to impose socialized medicine. It's NOT an attack on Kennedy himself."
Radio Equalizer's rundown: radioequalizer.blogspot.com
Tim Graham's Saturday NewsBusters post, "Chris Matthews Runs Rush's 'Liberal Lion' Kennedy Clip, Shrum Denounces His 'Appeals to Haters,'" recounted:
On Friday night's Hardball, Chris Matthews showed how willing he was to carry Democrat water on their manufactured outrage at Rush Limbaugh for mentioning "that great liberal lion" Ted Kennedy. Matthews played the Democrat clip and came out with a sour face -- an odd pose, given Matthews tastelessly mocked Ronald Reagan in 1995 after his Alzheimer's letter on ABC for forgetting he left the country with a big national debt. He let Democrat strategist Bob Shrum roll out the talking point:
MATTHEWS: What do you make of it? SHRUM: It's outrageous, it's typical of him. He's a tasteless guy. He'll say anything. He appeals to haters. MATTHEWS: Yeah. SHRUM: And he is the face of the Republican Party right now, because no one else is doing a very good job and because he went to CPAC. This is not like the 1990s: Gingrich at his worst was massively popular compared to Rush Limbaugh. And stuff like this is just going to make it more difficult.
Matthews not only ran the audio clip and standard Rush picture of Media Matters for America -- MSNBC also added the Media Matters logo on screen for 10 or 11 seconds....
On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe of Newsweek compared Rush Limbaugh to rapper Sister Souljah and Barack Obama's racist former minister, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, as Wolffe advised the Republican party to "kill some sacred cows" by denouncing "extremist" Limbaugh. Wolffe: "What they first of all need to do is to kill some sacred cows here. ... for President Clinton, it was Sister Souljah. For President Obama, he had to confront Reverend Wright. This is their Reverend Wright. And unless they deal with extreme voices within their own party, within their own movement, they're not going to reach those independent voters..." And after showing a clip of Limbaugh bouncing up and down on stage at CPAC, host Keith Olbermann cracked that "killer clowns from outer space is less disturbing for children."
[This item, by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth, was posted Friday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
On Monday's show, Wolffe had charged that Limbaugh was trying to "corner the market" on people who "hate" President Obama: "There is a marketplace out there for people who hate this President, and he's trying to corner it." And on Tuesday's Countdown, Wolffe seemed to suggest that Limbaugh was "terrorizing" people as Wolffe made a play on President Bush's "you're either with us or you're with the terrorists" declaration from September 2001.
After Olbermann had remarked on Tuesday that, regarding reluctance by Republicans to criticize Limbaugh, that it looks like "you're either for Limbaugh or against the Republicans," Wolffe responded: "It does sound like that first Bush Doctrine, you're either for them or you're with the terrorists, I guess. And it`s clear who's doing the terrorizing here. You have a party that ran no less than four elections on being tougher and stronger than anyone else, and they can't say 'boo' to a radio talk show guy?"
Wolffe soon charged that Limbaugh was "hijacking" the Republican party: "And here they don't have the freedom to say what they really feel, which is that he's hijacking their party and their message. You know, this is, this is a sorry state of affairs for, for even the Republicans."
Wolffe from the Thursday, March 5 Countdown on MSNBC:
KEITH OLBERMANN: Not that Democrats are not having fun at the GOP's expense. I mean, who isn't? The DNC now running a contest, soliciting ideas on its Web site for the slogan it will put on a billboard near Boss Limbaugh's home in West Palm Beach, Florida. Ten words or less, please. Time now to call in our own political analyst, Richard Wolffe. Richard, good evening.
RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Good evening, Keith.
CNN International's Jonathan Mann labeled Rush Limbaugh the "anti-Obama" in a CNN.com article on Friday, and condescendingly listed the reasons why the talk show host is the antithesis of the President: "Rush Limbaugh isn't black, slim, stylish or well schooled." He later described why Democrats are so eager to portray Limbaugh as the leader of the Republican Party: "They think that Limbaugh, 58, is the very personification of an ugly Republican stereotype: he's a small-town college drop-out, an angry white man, who they believe offends the ethnic, urban and educated Americans the Democrats want to attract."
Mann, a native of Montreal, Canada, seemingly wrote the article with an overseas audience in mind. He began with the assumption that the whole globe is familiar with President Obama and that his major domestic opponent on the airwaves needed to be introduced: "It seems like the whole world knows all about Barack Obama, so let me introduce you to the anti-Obama, the second most interesting man in American politics." After giving his "black, slim, stylish or well schooled" line, the CNN anchor went on to describe Limbaugh further, repeating some other common liberal characterizations of the talk show host: "He's a Republican with no elected office but a powerful hold on his party and a place in the news once again. Limbaugh is the host of a radio show heard across the United States, a big-bellied man who bellows into the radios of millions of people. He's confident, uncomplicated and almost always on the attack against Democrats, feminists and anyone on the Left." In so many words, the impression Mann gives is that Limbaugh is a right-wing, overweight simpleton.
[This item, by the Matthew Balan, was posted Friday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
For CNN.com's biography of Mann: edition.cnn.com
The anchor devoted the second half of his article to giving an oversimplified synopsis of the Democratic strategy to make Limbaugh out to be the de facto leader of the GOP:
As Republicans adapt to the role of an opposition party and search for a new opposition leader, Limbaugh may be emerging as their champion.
The Democrats would love it.
They think that Limbaugh, 58, is the very personification of an ugly Republican stereotype: he's a small-town college drop-out, an angry white man, who they believe offends the ethnic, urban and educated Americans the Democrats want to attract.
His latest headline: even in the midst of a profound economic crisis, with millions of Americans waiting for help, Limbaugh says he hopes President Obama's recovery plan fails.
"What is so strange about being honest and saying, 'I want Barack Obama to fail, if his mission is to restructure and reform this country so that capitalism and individual liberty are not its foundation?' Why would I want that to succeed?"
Obama reportedly told Republican leaders they would have to decide. "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done."
But abandoning Limbaugh hasn't been easy.
This week, the Republicans new party chairman, Michael Steele, called Limbaugh's brand of politics "incendiary" and "ugly."
Congressman Phil Gingrey told Limbaugh that "you don't have to try to do what's best for your people and your party. You know you're just on these talk shows and you're living well."
Limbaugh attacked them both on the air and they quickly offered public apologies.
END of Exerpt
Note how Mann omits the role of Democratic operatives like White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in perpetuating the Limbaugh affair. On the other hand, he at least gave the full context of Limbaugh's "I hope he fails" remark.
The CNN anchor concluded his piece by portraying the conservative radio host as a mere novelty: "The next time you're in the U.S., turn on the radio or check out Youtube.com from home, on your computer. The big man with the booming voice that you're bound to find is the anti-Obama. He's something to hear."
For Jonathan Mann's full article, see the March 6, 2009 CNN.com article, "Anti-Obama retains radio power," at: www.cnn.com
FNC's Bret Baier did something Friday night you rarely, if ever, hear from a journalist: He apologized for incomplete reporting, specifically for failing to identify as an illegal alien the man charged with murdering Chandra Levy. Picking up on a Friday Washington Times article which quoted media coverage information reported Tuesday night on NewsBusters (and Wednesday on MRC.org), Baier noted in his "Grapevine" segment: "The Washington Times reports CBS, CNN and the Associated Press described Ingmar Guandique either a 'Salvadoran immigrant' or a 'laborer from El Salvador.'" He then acknowledged: "Fox News is not escaping criticism on this. Although Bill O'Reilly has referred to Guandique as an 'illegal alien,' the report points out that Fox newscasts, including this one, have used the term 'Salvadoran immigrant.' We apologize for not being more precise."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Saturday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The Wednesday CyberAlert item, "National Media Avoid Identifying Levy Murder Suspect as an Illegal," recounted:
CBS, CNN, FNC and the AP on Tuesday all failed to identify Ingmar Guandique, for whom an arrest warrant was issued for the 2001 murder of Chandra Levy, as an illegal alien. In a full story on the CBS Evening News, reporter Bob Orr described him simply as a "Salvadoran immigrant." During CNN's Situation Room, Zain Verjee benignly called him "a laborer from El Salvador" and later, on Anderson Cooper 360, news reader Erica Hill referred to him as "a U.S. prison inmate from El Salvador." (In between, the contrarian Lou Dobbs did identify Guandique as "a criminal illegal alien.")
FNC's Bret Baier, on his 6 PM EST show, cited the new charge against "a Salvadoran immigrant" while multiple dispatches from the AP's Brian Westerly described Guandique as "an imprisoned Salvadoran immigrant."...
Full rundown: www.mrc.org
An excerpt from the top of the March 6 front page Washington Times article, "To be 'illegal' or not to be: Newsroom question; Levy suspect's status stirs debate," by Jennifer Harper:
It has become the dreaded "I-word" at many news organizations.
Much of the press has shunned the terms "illegal alien" or "illegal immigrant" to describe Ingmar Guandique, recently charged by police and federal prosecutors in the 2001 slaying of Washington intern Chandra Levy.
The designation of Guandique -- who entered the U.S. illegally in 2000, was convicted of two nonfatal attacks on women and incarcerated -- has reignited a debate over whether a person's immigration status is relevant to the story. Journalists also are debating whether the words "illegal" and "immigrant" are too loaded to use in an already emotionally charged story. And maybe even racist.
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists has long cautioned journalists against using the word "illegal" in copy and headlines. The practice is "dehumanizing" and "stereotypes undocumented people who are in the United States as having committed a crime," said Joseph Torres, the group's spokesman.
That has not prevented Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly from repeatedly calling Guandique an "illegal alien," though Fox used plain old "Salvadoran immigrant" in its news coverage. Guandique has been called "Salvadoran immigrant," "incarcerated felon," "suspect" and "jailed attacker" in assorted accounts.
"Too many journalists don't want to provide ammunition to those who want stricter immigration laws, so avoid connecting illegal immigrants to evidence which will bolster the argument that illegals cause harm," said Brent Baker of the Media Research Center.
"So, when police charge an illegal immigrant with murdering Chandra Levy, reporters for CBS, CNN and AP benignly describe him as a 'Salvadoran immigrant' or as simply 'a laborer from El Salvador,' " Mr. Baker said.
USA Today, the Washington Examiner and The Washington Times, however, referred to Guandique as an "illegal immigrant."
"We aspire to give our readers as much accurate and relevant information as possible. Ingmar Guandique's immigration status and his entire criminal history fell within our definition of reporting as near as possible the whole truth. We saw no reason to censor ourselves or deny information to our readers," said Michael Hedges, managing editor of the Examiner.
"The suggestion that immigration status somehow is irrelevant or should be treated like race in a crime story seems flawed. Being white or black or Hispanic or Asian isn´t a crime. Entering the country illegally is," said John Solomon, executive editor of The Times....
END of Excerpt
For the article in full: www.washingtontimes.com
Baier's item in the March 6 "Grapevine" segment on Special Report:
It seems much of the media is not referring to the man accused of killing Capitol Hill intern Chandra Levy in 2001 as an "illegal alien" or "illegal immigrant" even though he is in the country illegally. The Washington Times reports CBS, CNN and the Associated Press described Ingmar Guandique either a "Salvadoran immigrant" or a "laborer from El Salvador." Other media accounts call him an "incarcerated felon," "suspect," or "jailed attacker."
Fox News is not escaping criticism on this. Although Bill O'Reilly has referred to Guandique as an "illegal alien," the report points out that Fox newscasts, including this one, have used the term "Salvadoran immigrant." We apologize for not being more precise.
You Read It Here First: FNC Highlights Journalists 'Rooting' for Obama. On FNC's Fox Newswatch aired Saturday night, host Jon Scott cited an observation reported in CyberAlert: "ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper caught the attention of the Media Research Center in their Tuesday CyberAlert. The Washington Post reports Tapper believes 'Obama's attractive qualities prompted some editors and producers to 'root for him.'" Scott continued: "Some? Or most, or almost all?" asks the MRC. Well at least somebody is asking that question."
The March 3 CyberAlert item, "ABC's Jake Tapper Laments Some Producers 'Root' for Obama," recounted:
Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz profiled ABC White House reporter Jake Tapper on Monday, who has stood out a bit for suggesting his colleagues are too soft: "Tapper, who has already clashed publicly with press secretary Robert Gibbs, has been outspoken in his view that many in the media have been too soft on Barack Obama. 'Certain networks, newspapers and magazines leaned on the scales a little bit,' he says over a vanilla latte at Starbucks. Obama's attractive qualities, he says, have prompted some editors and producers 'to root for him.'"
Some? Or most, or almost all?
The entire previous CyberAlert article: www.mrc.org
-- Brent Baker