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“You’re tired of hearing about it? Imagine how exhausting it is to live it!”

Rep. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stepped up to the podium for a press conference on jobs, Medicare, and the middle class.  When she made it clear that she wasn’t going to talk about Anthony Weiner, all three cable networks broke away.

Ralph Nader says not.

The truth is that the frightened executives at public TV and radio have long been more hospitable to interviews with right of center or extreme right-wing and corporatist talking heads than liberal or progressive guests.

PBS’s Charlie Rose has had war-loving William Kristol on 31 times, Henry Kissinger 55 times, Richard Perle ten times, the global corporatist cheerleader, Tom Friedman 70 times. Compare that guest list with Rose’s interviews of widely published left of center guests — Noam Chomsky two times, William Grieder two times, Jim Hightower two times, Charlie Peters two times, Lewis Lapham three times, Bob Herbert six times, Paul Krugman 21 times, Victor Navasky one time, Mark Green five times, and Sy Hersh, once a frequent guest, has not been on since January 2005.

I think that FAIR and even that famed UCLA study have backed Nader up on the argument.

But while they do tend to interview right wingers and corporate reps more often, are they really trying to appease the right (as they did when they permanently banned Tales of the City from their national programming?), or do they cater to a sophisticated audience of liberals who want to be challenged and are bored with the preaching to the choir offered by Pacifica and other outlets?

NBC – a central pillar of the MSM criticizing the MSM for popular ignorance?  Of course they blame others too, and yes, people who believe that Obama is a Muslim or that the Health Care Reform has been repealed are at best intellectually lazy or illiterate.  But it is nice to see a admission like this one.  Even better a resolve to do something about it, like restoring investigative reporting budgets so you aren’t so dependent on stakeholder press releases.  Of course, people have to want reporters to buck those interests, and apparently many really would rather just not hear about it.

Here’s the passage:

*** The misinformed: You can only shake your head at these numbers: A Kaiser Family Foundation poll “found extensive public confusion about the health care law, with 22% of Americans incorrectly believing it has been repealed and another 26% unsure or unwilling to say.” Folks, the law HAS NOT been repealed. As we said when yet another poll showed a sizable portion of the American public thinking that — incorrectly — President Obama is a Muslim, everyone deserves blame here. The politicians. The citizenry. And especially the news media. We aren’t doing our jobs when the populace is this misinformed. As a collective, look at how the court decisions striking down the health law get covered vs. the decisions to uphold it. And then look at the conservative media outlets and their coverage of this issue.

Yes.  Let’s.

It took all of five minutes for Fox to rise to a pitch over the Brooklyn Bridge shutdown, complete with a Taliban-attack narrative, only to dismiss it as if it hadn’t happened.  No real news service jumped the gun.  Incidentally, the “related story” Pakistani Taliban narrative turned out to be false as well.

You think they were disappointed?

By now most of you have noticed that I get much of my national political news from Talking Points Memo, a blog started by Josh Marshal which has evolved into essentially an online political magazine.  They focus on liberal Democratic politics of course, but they have a large staff as well as a large volunteer submission base and they break stories pretty quickly – often faster than CNN or any of the national new services.  The politics may be a little “mainstream” for many of you, but I find the source invaluable.  They are also very good at fact checking quickly, and they don’t often have to retract stories the way other blogs do.

They’ve compiled a list of their top 10 stories of 2009 based upon hits, which generally means stories they either break or cover because the rest of the media isn’t.  I’m providing only the headline for each story.  You can find the details through the link.

1.  (Gov. Bobby) Jindal Admits Katrina Story Was False

2. GOP Lawmaker’s Graphic Sex-Bragging Caught On Tape

3. Mysterious Private Security Firm Gets Control Of Empty Jail In Small Montana Town

4. Palin: Obama’s “Death Panel” Could Kill My Down Syndrome Baby

5. Conservative Activist Forwards Racist Pic Showing Obama As Witch Doctor

6. Fourth-Grader To Obama: Why Do People Hate You?

7. A Loyal Bushie Burrows Into Obama’s System

8. Franken Cuts Lieberman Off, Won’t Let Him Finish Floor Speech

9. Even Fox News Fact-Checks Palin’s Claims About Dollar Coin

10. Kyl: ‘I Don’t Need Maternity Care.’ Stabenow: ‘Your Mom Probably Did’

Honorable Mention: Sex Scandal Flow Chart


Former Press Secretary Dana Perino (the one who had majored in political science but never heard of the Cuban Missile Crisis) went onto Fox News to make the remarkable claim that there was no terrorist attack on America during Bush’s term.  Nobody on the set contradicted her.

Addendum: Here is a photo study of Fox News’ more blatant errors of late, which has led to something of an internal crackdown.  They don’t list the blatant innacuracies stated by their opinion commentators.

When is Stewart going to win a Pulitzer?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Addendum: Media Matters lists some similar Fox manipulations in the past. Do other networks do this?

Second addendum: In this clip, Hannity apologizes.  But I’d really like to know how 2 month old footage “inadvertently” made its way into the coverage.

It’s been getting a lot of discussion on some forums.  Mickey Kaus, a blogger for Salon, obtained sampling of posts on the list.  If this is some grand left wing conspiracy, the left is in serious trouble!  I’ll let Kaus himself explain.

JournoList Revealed! Inside the Secret Liberal Media Email Cabal

Michael Calderone’s article on the large, secretive liberal media email group JournoList sparked a lot of debate–some of it in this space–on whether this group is a healthy development for coverage of politics. The debate was necessarily speculative because actual JournoList discussions remained secret. But with more than 300 members of this club, virtually all of them with easy access to the media, did you really think a JournoList thread wouldn’t leak? People are rightly interested in learning what goes on behind the scenes at powerful institutions–or wannabe powerful institutions–whose power derives precisely from their decision to exclude the public.

Kausfiles has obtained a copy of one JournoList discussion, focusing on New Republic editor-in-chief Martin Peretz (for whom I once worked.) This is not a parody! It’s the real thing. I don’t know whether or not it is representative. I’ve edited it only to remove potentially defamatory passages–those cuts are marked–and left out various boilerplate links and commands embedded in the thread, such as “Print” and “Report this message.” … I won’t add my own commentary, at least for now. Find your own lede! Reminder to JournoList organizer E. Klein, who likes to take it private: All communications are on the record. …

You can read all the posts through the title link above.  I’m beginning to think the Internet induces some sort of maturity regression effect on our central nervous systems.

If you missed it, go to the Daily Show site and watch tonight’s interview with Jim Cramer.  I expected to be disappointed, with polite fluff and a little lite jabbing.  No.  It’s extremely revealing.  Cramer isn’t an evil man.  He’s feeling guilty as Hell, and pretty much admits that CNBC is a cheerleader squad for lying CEO’s and the double market where long term investors are screwed over by the short term gamers.

Cramer was sweating through the whole thing, and apologetic.  I’ve never seen anything quite like it.  This interview probably deserves some sort of award for journalism.  It did in a half hour what CNBC couldn’t, or wouldn’t, do in a decade.

No kidding.  Stewart does most of the talking, and Cramer is pretty much self-effacing the whole time, and the program was extremely engaging from the intro monologue to the Moment of Zen.

Addendum: Yes, emailers, I agree.  As a debate it was a f—ing slaughter.  But it was much more than that.

And for those wondering what it’s all about, the history is contained in a post below.

Second addendum: This Kos blogger says that Cramer should have canceled and let it go, comparing this event with the Crossfire appearance.

You can access the uncensored and unedited version here.

And, I have no idea why it’s important, but someone wants you all to know that Stewart has a brother who is a big shot on Wall Street.

Lastly, I wasn’t expecting much, but at least one mainstream media source got it.  Sort of.

Third addendum:  Unfortunately I don’t have time to watch the morning shows to see if Scarborough and the others are covering the story with as much intensity as a few days ago.  But note the question on today’s net poll at CNN.

Fourth addendum: The media still does not get it!  The issue is not about Cramer’s “mistakes.”  It’s about CNBC’s wimpiness when it comes to questioning and investigating the claims of CEOs, and their cheerleading without criticism the short term gaming which has jeopardized the long term investments.  They want to make it about Cramer’s bad advice.  It’s like they missed the whole interview.

Are they paid schills or just stupid?

The linked article does contain some links to actual works of journalism.

Fifth addendum: An emailer wants you all to know that Jon Stewart is a socialist, or has socialist leanings.  From an interview:

I read that one of your childhood heroes was Eugene Debs, the five-time Socialist Party candidate for president in the early twentieth century.

Yeah, baby! Actually, more Norman Thomas.

I guess that explains everything.  Or something.

Sixth addendum: Confirmed.  MSNBC producers were ordered to keep the story out of their coverage, including Maddow and Olbmermann.  No mention of the interview on either show tonight.

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