Extra! Update February 2005

    The Real Lessons of 'Memogate'

    Judging by the amount of coverage it has received, you'd think that the CBS's investigation into its flawed report on George W. Bush's National Guard service was the most important media issue facing the country. Shortly after the report about Bush's Guard service aired on 60 Minutes last September (9/8/04), right-wing commentators and internet bloggers claimed that the documents supporting the CBS report were fraudulent, and predictably pointed to the episode as evidence of "liberal media" bias. The fact that the segment was presented by CBS anchor Dan Rather, long a target of the right for his supposedly liberal political ...


    SoundBites

    Journalistic Brown-Nosing: Then.... National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger: Now you know I'm going to be sitting there waiting. ABC's Barbara Walters: You're so full of baloney. How can you be so marvelous, so fantastic, so interesting, so brilliant and so full of.... That's the first question I'm going to ask you. Kissinger: Only if you complete the sentence. Walters (Laughter): I'm glad you're back. --Transcript of a conversation (2/21/73) discussing an upcoming interview (Chicago Tribune, 1/18/05) ...And Now Neil Cavuto, Fox News: But let me talk a little bit about what you think your message is leaving. Many people say ...


    Pentagon Disinformation Should Be No Surprise

    The Los Angeles Times revealed last year (12/1/04) that the U.S. military lied to CNN in the course of executing psychological warfare operations, or PSYOPS, in advance of the November attack on Fallujah. In an October 14 on-air interview, Marine Lt. Lyle Gilbert told CNN Pentagon reporter Jamie McIntyre that a U.S. military assault on Fallujah had begun. In fact, the offensive would not actually begin for another three weeks. The goal of the psychological operation, according to the L.A. Times, was to deceive Iraqi insurgents into revealing what they would do in the event of an actual offensive. The ...


    No Children in Palestine

    On January 4, NPR’s Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep noted that Palestinian presidential candidate Mahmoud Abbas had described Israel as the "Zionist enemy." But the NPR anchor didn't tell listeners the context of Abbas' remark: Seven Palestinian children working in their families' strawberry fields had just been killed by Israeli forces. Abbas referred to the children as "martyrs who were killed today by the shells of the Zionist enemy in Beit Lahiya." NPR reported Abbas’ comment, but did not report on the killings themselves. Media critic Ali Abunimah of the website Electronic Intifada wrote to NPR about the piece, and ...


    Struggling MSNBC Attempts to Out-Fox Fox

    His CNN show Crossfire was canceled, but conservative pundit Tucker Carlson already appears to have a new cable news home lined up: a primetime show on MSNBC (USA Today, 12/20/04; Daily Variety, 12/21/04). With the departure of host Deborah Norville, MSNBC is reportedly considering Carlson to fill the 9 p.m. timeslot. His show would lead into Scarborough Country, hosted by former Republican congressmember Joe Scarborough. This pairing, not balanced by any avowedly liberal or progressive hosts, would arguably make MSNBC's primetime line-up more right-wing than Fox News Channel. This follows a pattern at MSNBC. In 1999, the struggling cable channel ...