Archive for the ‘Media Bias’ Category

WaPo perplexed by Hunter Biden cover-up … say, what?

April 6, 2022

Paper mulls: Why was the Hunter Biden story buried in the run-up to the 2020 election?


Let’s recap the story…

In October 2020 (i.e. a month before the election), the NY Post broke a story that a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden had surfaced which contained emails and other documentation that Hunter had “earned” millions of dollars by trading on his father’s name and political clout … with the Ukrainians and Chinese.

The story was conveniently ignored or dismissed by Biden-supporting media (i.e. all but the NY Post and Fox) as “Russian misinformation”.

A couple dozen “intelligence officials”  lent credence to the disinformation claim in an open letter …   though many of them admitted they had no evidence of Russian involvement.

So, the story was effectively blacked out … Twitter banned the NY Post and squashed posts that referenced the laptop story … Facebook’s algorithms buried the story.


But, last month — a year and a half after the NYP’s story broke — the New York Times published an article indicating that they had confirmed that the laptop story was essentially true … and that there was hard evidence that Hunter had been profiting by trading on his father’s position as then-VP.

Holy Smokes, Batman … America’s self-proclaimed newspaper of record says there’s fire under the smoke.

Following the Times’ authentication, the Washington Post apparently felt some need to dig into the story and “discovered” evidence of Hunter’s misdeeds.


Apparently, those revelations stirred some ethical angst at WaPo … whose editors wrote a mea culpa of sorts:


A “reckoning”?

The editorial fessed that the essence of the laptop story was true … but, it threw shade, arguing that Joe was oblivious to Hunter’s alleged misdeeds … and, articulated a journalistic dilemma:

The lesson learned from 2016 was evidently to err on the side of setting aside questionable material in the heat of a political campaign.

The lesson learned from 2020 may well be that there’s also a danger of suppressing accurate and relevant stories.

Who could have ever imagined that suppressing accurate and relevant stories might pose a danger?

What kind of danger?

Tilting an election to the media’s candidate of choice? Away from a candidate that they loathed?


For the record

After the election, Democrats who voted for Biden were polled.

> More than 1/3 (36%) said that they didn’t know about the Hunter laptop and his influence peddling

> Of the “know nothings” about 1 in 8 (12.7%) said that they “would not have voted for Joe Biden had they known this story”.

> Doing the math, that means that 4.6% of all Democrats wouldn’t have voted for Biden if  they were aware of the story


Remind me: What was Biden’s margin of victory in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin?

And WaPo — channeling George Costanza — asks: Was it wrong to to bury a story that might have turned an election?

How to tell when the world has gone mad?

October 25, 2021

Great moments on TV: CNN host gets schooled.


First, some background…

Bari Weiss was an op-ed editor for the NY Times from 2014 to 2017.

Her resignation letter made a pretty big splash in 2017.

It read, in part:

It is with sadness that I write to tell you that I am resigning from The New York Times.

I joined the paper with gratitude and optimism three years ago.

I was hired with the goal of bringing in voices that would not otherwise appear in your pages: first-time writers, centrists, conservatives and others who would not naturally think of The Times as their home.

The reason for this effort was clear: The paper’s failure to anticipate the outcome of the 2016 election meant that the paper didn’t have a firm grasp of the country it covers.

But the lessons that ought to have followed the election — lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society — have not been learned.

Instead, a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else. Full letter

Soon after she resigned from the New York Times, Weiss began a Substack newsletter called “Common Sense”, built on a straightforward premise:

There are tens of millions of Americans who aren’t on the hard left or the hard right who feel that the world has gone mad.

Obvious truths are dangerous to say out loud.

This newsletter is for those people.


OK, now to the punch line…

Weiss was invited on a CNN show called Relative Sources with a sketchy host named Brian Stelter.

The how & why of the invitation is a mystery to me, but I figured the interview would be worth watching.

Was it ever.

A full takedown!


Stelter dropped the puck by asking what turned out to be a loaded question:

“In what ways has the world gone mad?”

Weiss lowered the boom:

Where can I start?

Well, when you have the chief reporter on the beat of COVID for The New York Times talking about how questioning or pursuing the question of the lab leak is racist, the world has gone mad.

When you’re not able to say out loud and in public there are differences between men and women, the world has gone mad.

When we’re not allowed to acknowledge that rioting is rioting and it is bad and that silence is not violence, but violence is violence, the world has gone mad.

When you’re not able to say that stories like the Hunter Biden laptop is a story worth pursuing, the world has gone mad.

When, in the name of progress, young school children, as young as kindergarten, are being separated in public schools because of their race, and that is called progress instead of segregation, the world has gone mad.

There are dozens of examples.”


Stelter then asked Weiss “who is to blame”?

People that work at networks like, frankly, like CNN – the one I’m speaking on right now.

They try to claim that it is racist to investigate certain topics.

CNN’s actions amount to “disinformation by omission.”

It’s delusional to think otherwise.

Well said, Ms. Weiss


click to see a 2-minute video

CNN: “Trump has no earthly clue what the average person is dealing with day to day”

August 3, 2018

That’s what Jen Psaki, a CNN political commentator says.

The silly talk (and bias) is getting sillier and sillier.

Here’s the backstory…

At a campaign rally this week, President Trump was pitching the need for voters to show a photo ID.

To illustrate the point, he rattled off a list of places that require IDs: airports, bars, gun shops … and he slipped in: grocery stores.

Obviously out of touch says CNN’s Psaki. Source



Let’s drill down on that, Jen.


Hey, McCabe: You’re fired !

March 17, 2018

Here’s what you need to know …

Last might, around 10 p.m., AG Sessions issued a press release indicating that Andrew McCabe was being fired.

Here’s Session’s statement (with my emphasis added):

After an extensive and fair investigation and according to Department of Justice procedure, the Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) provided its report on allegations of misconduct by Andrew McCabe to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).

The FBI’s OPR then reviewed the report and underlying documents and issued a disciplinary proposal recommending the dismissal of Mr. McCabe.  Both the OIG and FBI OPR reports concluded that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor − including under oath − on multiple occasions.

The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability.  As the OPR proposal stated, ‘all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand.’

Pursuant to Department Order 1202, and based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.

The key points:

1) Inspector General Horowitz – applauded by all (before last nite) as a straight arrow – found that McCabe committed serious transgressions.

2) The IG forwarded some of his conclusions to the OPR – an internal watchdog group with a reputation for cutting transgressors a lot of slack.

3) The OPR recommended to AG Sessions that McCabe be fired for his transgressions.

4) Sessions  – acting on the OPR’s recommendation – fired McCabe.

Note:  It was the OPR that recommended that Sessions recuse himself from the Russia probe.


I flipped between Fox ,CNN and online news sites when the announcement came down.

Talk about different worlds and different views …

A couple of headlines tell the story:


Newser: Now, this is funny …

December 12, 2017

CNN goes from the sublime to the ridiculous.


MSM reporting has had a bad couple of weeks …

Off the top of my head:

  • ABC’s Brian Ross caused a 350 point drop in the Dow by reporting exclusively that “Candidate Trump” instructed Flynn to make contact with the Russians. Turned out to be “President-elect Trump” and the contacts were completely legal
  • It was revealed that the FBI did, in fact, tell Sessions he didn’t have to report his Senatorial meetings and incidental contact with Russians.
  • CNN scooped that Donald, Jr. was emailed an encryption key to open purloined DNC emails before they were publically released.  Wrong. It was after they had been posted to the internet. Oops.

Now, CNN has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Yesterday, a mere hour after the Port Authority bombing, CNN started headlining another breaking news story.



Note that the times on the 2 screen shoots are identical … then glance at the headlines.

Fox was still on the bombing story.

CNN, not so much.

They were reporting leaked information that President Trump drinks up 12 Diet Cokes every day … and, on the campaign trail, would often down a couple of Big Macs every day.

They  failed to present some exculpatory evidence: To keep his svelte physique, Trump doesn’t eat the Big Mac’s buns.

You just can’t make this stuff up …



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President Trump arrives in Washington …

March 1, 2017

Press scrambling to find negative angles.


Let’s cut to the chase …

This is all that people will remember about President Trump’s speech last night.



Even Van Jones – former Obama Czar of Something and now a far-left CNN commentator – conceded:


Here’s the essence of Jones’s musings as reported in the Washington Post …:

That was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics, period. And he did something extraordinary.

And for people who have been hoping that he would become unifying, hoping that he might find some way to become presidential, they should be happy with that moment.

For people who have been hoping that maybe he would remain a divisive cartoon, which he often finds a way to do, they should begin to become a little bit worried tonight, because that thing you just saw him do, if he finds a way to do that over and over again, he’s going to be there for eight years.

He did something tonight that you cannot take away from him.

He became president of the United States.

With that as a starting point, the media has a challenge on its hands … how to do some reverse alchemy and turn the gold back into straw?


Where do you get your news?

February 20, 2017

Your answer says a lot about you.


Before you look at the chart below, jot down the  channels/shows or web pages that you trust as your primary sources for news.

No cheating.



OK, now check where your news sources fall along this ideological continuum crafted by Pew Research.

confirmation bias - media ideology
Your news sources align with your political ideology, right?

It’s a psychological dynamic called “confirmation bias” … soliciting and internalizing information that is consistent with one’s current beliefs.

Said differently, confirmation bias is a natural stress-reduction tendency to avoid or resist any information that is contrary to or inconsistent with one’s current thinking.

One of the major solidifiers of our current political polarization is the “echo chamber effect” … we all tend to consult sources and hang with people who share, reinforce and exaggerate our ideological leanings.

So what to do?


About the fake news flap …

December 22, 2016

 Maybe folks should consider the source.


Big frenzy these days about fake news.

Though Facebook CEO Zuckerberg says that less than 1% of news postings are fake, the company is setting up a special truth-checking squad.

I find that interesting in a couple of respects.

First, getting one’s news via Facebook.


I find that scary.

But, not surprising since The WaPo reports a  recent poll that “more than one in 10 young adults (ages 18-29) say they rely on “The Daily Show” or its now-departed spinoff, “The Colbert Report” for news about what’s going on in the world.”



Pew Research reports similar findings … right around 10%.



This raises as obvious questions …


Where do you get your news?

December 21, 2016

Your answer says a lot about you.


Before you look at the chart below, jot down the 3 or 4 web pages or channels/shows that you trust as your primary sources for news.

No cheating.



OK, now check where your news sources fall along this ideological continuum crafted by Pew Research.

confirmation bias - media ideology
Your news sources align with your political ideology, right?

It’s a psychological dynamic called “confirmation bias” … soliciting and internalizing information that is consistent with one’s current beliefs.

Said differently, confirmation bias is a natural stress-reduction tendency to avoid or resist any information that is contrary to or inconsistent with one’s current thinking.

One of the major solidifiers of our current political polarization is the “echo chamber effect” … we all tend to consult sources and hang with people who share, reinforce and exaggerate our ideological leanings.

So what to do?


Smoking Gun: CNN anchor:“We’re helping her (Hillary) as much as we can”

August 13, 2016

This isn’t exactly new news , but for those who cling to belief that CNN is an unbiased source of news …


Speaking of Hillary Clinton’s campaign –- specifically her fund-raising from fat cats – CNN anchor Chris Cuomo (son of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo) blurted out the usually veiled truth:

We couldn’t help her any more than we have.

She’s got just a free ride so far from the media.

We’re the biggest ones promoting her campaign.

So, it had better happen.

As Gomer Pyle would say:

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

The media bias may not be new news, but the explicit admission by one of the players sure is.


Watch it for yourself.

The clip is less than a minute … Cuomo starts about 25 seconds in.

Click to view video



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The most outrageous things said about the San Bernadino terrorist massacre …

December 7, 2015

The terrorist murders in California last week were a horrendous tragedy.

Can you imagine being one of the family or friends of the innocent victims?




For me, it evokes the feelings I had when attending the funeral wake of one of my former students who was killed on 9-11.

I will never forget the look on his mother’s face as she tried to stay strong while standing in front of her dear son’s coffin.

That scene permanently framed my reaction to terrorists and their cold-blooded murderous actions.

With that as a backdrop, I was stunned by some of the outrageous (and dumb) things that were said following the killings ….


How badly did the CNBC moderators shoot themselves (and their network) in the foot?

November 2, 2015

My view: the debate debacle was career-limiting for the moderators, a serious blow to CNBC’s brand image and competitive standing, and a financial hit to NBC.

There seems to be a broad consensus across the political spectrum that the CNBC debate was a disaster.

Even a leaked internal CNBC email called it a train wreck.

NBC execs admonished “news” folks at NBS, MSNBC and CNBC not to “pile on”.



Let’s do a quick damage assessment …


Nums: Who trusts TV news?

June 21, 2013

According to a new Gallup poll, not many people … less than 1 in 4

That’s down from 46% in 1993 … twenty years ago.




Old folks (30%) cut the most slack; college educated folks (15%) cut the least.

Not surprising, liberals (26%) trust TV news more than conservatives (18%)




All of which leads to a bigger question: if folks don’t trust government, corporations, media … what’s left?

Who to trust?

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Media leans left, leans right …

November 5, 2012

Interesting tidbit from Pew

OK, Fox leans right … 46% of its Obama coverage is negative …

… but, 71% of MSNBC’s coverage of Romney is negative.

Pew says that “These skews made MSNBC & Fox unusual among channels or outlets that identified themselves as news organizations.”


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An indicator of voter enthusiasm … and network cred.

October 22, 2012

What people watch is – in my opinion – an indicator of their preferences … since folks tend to read & watch stuff that is consistent with their beliefs.

And, the numbers of people watching is a rough indicator of intensity – how many folks are on the wavelength.

So, let’s look at recent cable news ratings …

Fox primetime averages about 3.5 million viewers … MSNBC about 1.5  … and CNN under 750k.

Note that Stewart & Colbert get  categorized as news shows (which still makes me scratch my head) … outdraws MSNBC and creams CNN.

Fox drawing more than double MSNBC has got to be good news for Romney … Comedy Central’s draw must be good news for Obama.

My prediction: Candi Crowley’s debate performance – interjecting herself into the Benghazi challenge, interrupting Mitt 26 times, giving Obama 9% more air time – will hurt her credibility as a newsperson and certainly won’t help CNN’s constant claim of being an unbiased source of news. That network’s slide will continue.

Reprinted from Drudge

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Cable news ratings … some reasons to fret.

October 2, 2012

The below chart — jacked from Drudge – caught my for a couple of reasons:

  1. No surprise, the top 6 spots go to much maligned Fox
  2. Comedy Central – Stewart & Colbert – are categorized as “news” … say, what?
  3. Stewart & Colbert outdraw MSNBC’s big 3 – Maddow, Schultz, O’Donnell
  4. CNN is practically off the charts … down around free access viewer  levels

A couple of things trouble me …

Though I’m a Fox fan,  it’s sad to see CNN tank. I think they tend to have the best analyst panels and the most mature discussions. It’s too bad that they surrendered their neutrality.  Veering left of center has, in my opinion, cost them.

Drudge probably has the networks properly categorized.  The fact that a big swath of folks get their news from Comedy Central can’t be good.

All of the numbers – even O’Reilly – are miniscule as a percentage of total adult population.  That suggests that the vast majority people who get news – get it from the major networks via their local channels. Since, for example, the networks haven’t been covering the Libyan terrorist attack cover-up, that’s problematic.

Oh well ..


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Divorce: MS splits from NBC … opts to be fair & balanced

July 16, 2012

According to Reuters

Microsoft is pulling out of the joint venture that owned, freeing the world’s largest software maker to build its own online news service.

The online divorce stemmed from the two partners’ desire to gain greater control over their digital destinies as the Internet becomes an increasingly important part of their businesses.

Microsoft, in particular, had grown frustrated by contract terms requiring it to exclusively feature content aimed at an audience with a liberal viewpoint.

The strategy fed a perception that material from MSNBC’s website was politically slanted, too.

“Being limited to content was problematic to us because we couldn’t have the multiple news sources and the multiple perspectives that our users were telling us that they wanted,”

Anybody remember Air America — Al Gore’s liberal radio network?


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Obama’s a genius, Bachman’s a dunce … oh, really?

June 29, 2011

The mainstream media had a field day on Monday when Rep. Michele Bachmann kicked off her presidential campaign on Monday in Waterloo, Iowa, and in one interview surrounding the official event she promised to mimic the spirit of Waterloo’s own John Wayne.

How stupid can she be?

Everybody knows that John Wayne grew up in Winterset, Iowa … not Waterloo.

According to various sources, Waterloo is where his parents met and married, not where The Duke was raised.  He grew up in another Iowa town.

How could anybody with a brain get the facts so wrong?

* * * * *

Now let’s compare that to a gaffe that was largely buried by the mainstream media.

Visiting troops at Fort Drum last week, President Obama confused two of his Medal of Honor recipients, referring to one of the soldiers’ comrades who was killed in combat in Afghanistan as being alive.

Speaking to the 10th Mountain Division Obama reflected on the time he spent with members of the Division.

“First time I saw the 10th Mountain Division, you guys were in southern Iraq. When I went back to visit Afghanistan, you guys were the first ones there. I had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously,”

The mainstream media’s explanation: the President simply misspoke.

To put the gaffe in perspective: the Medal of Honor is the highest award in the country, and Obama has only bestowed 6 Medals of Honor.

I guess even a genius can get confused when he’s trying to remember 6 award winners and trying to keep his place on the teleprompter.

Imagine if Bachman (or Bush) had made that mistake …

* * * * *

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