Jun
01
2011

SoundBites

June 2011

NPR McNews NPR’s Morning Edition (4/5/11) reported on the efforts of a major company to burnish its image—a company whose major owner happened to have left NPR $225 million in her will. “Yesterday, McDonald’s launched a McJobs campaign, with the goal of recruiting 50,000 workers,” anchor Renee Montagne reported. “It’s aiming to recast its jobs not as dead-end work, but in ads starring its own happy employees as desirable employment.” When she closed with “I’m Renee Montagne,” her co-host Steve Inskeep joked, “Don’t you mean Renee McMontagne?” before signing off himself with “And I’m Steve McInskeep.” McMontagne (4/20/11) returned to […]

May
01
2011

Soundbites

NBC’s Dodgy Coverage of GE’s $0 Tax Bill When General Electric paid no taxes to the U.S. government in 2010 on worldwide profits of $14 billion (New York Times, 3/25/11), the news was at first ignored by NBC, the network that GE owns 49 percent of. On cable’s MSNBC, also co-owned by GE, host Lawrence O’Donnell (3/25/11) did criticize his employer’s tax avoidance—but the much larger audience for NBC’s broadcast news was left in the dark, though Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb on the Today show (3/24/11) found time to mention that GE was offering a special Prince William/Kate […]

Apr
01
2011

SoundBites

Not Too Far Right—or Hef Larry King replacement Piers Morgan was interviewed about his new job by Broadcasting & Cable (2/28/11): B&C: What kind of feedback have you gotten from CNN? Morgan: They’re thrilled. They just tell me not to forget it’s an intelligent audience. And to remain independent. And being independent right now is a really good thing. Being too far right or left right now is a bit dangerous, given what’s going on in the Middle East. What Americans need is facts. The night before this interview was published, Morgan (2/27/11) had on as his guest Hugh Hefner […]

Mar
01
2011

SoundBites

Biden Rules David Gregory: Mitch McConnell says [WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange]’s a high-tech terrorist, others say this is akin to the Pentagon Papers. Where do you come down? Vice President Joe Biden: I would argue that it’s closer to being a high-tech terrorist than the Pentagon Papers. —NBC’s Meet the Press (12/19/10) Jim Lehrer: Should [Egypt’s Hosni] Mubarak be seen as a dictator? Vice President Joe Biden: Look, Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things and he’s been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interests in the region.... I would not refer to him as a […]

Feb
01
2011

SoundBites

Judge’s Conflicts Stricken From Record Under U.S. law, a judge must disqualify himself “in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned,” or in which the judge “has a financial interest in the subject matter in controversy or in a party to the proceeding.” But the conflicts of federal Judge Henry Hudson were little noted when he struck down as unconstitutional the healthcare law’s requirement that individuals buy private insurance. Sam Stein of the Huffington Post reported last July (7/30/10) that Hudson was a major shareholder in Campaign Solutions, a Republican political consulting firm counting healthcare reform opponents […]

Jan
01
2011

SoundBites

Bush’s Choice of an Interviewer Was a Slam Dunk Interviewing George W. Bush about his new book, NBC’s Matt Lauer (11/8/10) remarked: “He says he eventually decided to go to war based on Saddam Hussein’s defiance and what seemed to be rock-solid intelligence. On the subject of WMD, George Tenet famously said, ‘It’s a slam dunk.’” Defiance of what, Lauer didn’t say—U.N. weapons inspections were underway and were finding little support for U.S. claims about hidden WMDs, though Bush repeatedly misrepresents this bit of history (FAIR Action Alert, 12/2/08). Lauer went on to say that “not everybody thought you should […]

Dec
01
2010

SoundBites

December 2010

Heads GOP Wins, Tails Dems Lose The Sunday after the midterm elections (11/7/10), Meet the Press featured two conservative Republican guests, Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.). That’s only natural, right, because the GOP did so well in the elections? Flash back to November 12, 2006, when Meet the Press’s then-host Tim Russert announced: Our issues this Sunday: The voters send a loud and clear message to the White House, and give the Democrats control of the House and the Senate for the first time in 12 years. What now for the Republicans? We’ll ask a man […]

Oct
01
2010

Soundbites

O’Reilly Sticks Up for Scapegoating When a Pakistani-American suspect was arrested in the Times Square attempted bombing, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (USA Today, 5/7/10) declared that this should not lead to scapegoating by religion or ethnicity: “We will not tolerate any bias or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers.” Who could argue with that? Well, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, for one, who opened his show (5/4/10) with the retort, “Well, maybe somebody should remind the mayor that Muslim fanatics have been threatening New York City and the entire country for almost 20 years.” It’s hard not to read […]