And Now, How A RIGHT Wing “Watchdog” Views The World…


In commenting on today’s early post about Mediaite inexplicably neglecting to mention that the “ethics watchdog”now accusing Rep. Louis Gohmert of skimming off his campaign funds is in fact part of the Media Matters left-wing hit squad, commenter Steve-O-in-NJ observed…

“As has been pointed out many, many times on this site both by yourself and others, most Americans have some shade of partisan goggles on that makes it harder to see ethical violations by those they are sympathetic to and easier to see them by those they are not. It doesn’t help that there are any number of partisan dyes (racism, sexism, patriotism) we can release to further cloud the waters we swim in with these goggles on. Eventually there’s so much dye in the water and the lenses become so tinted that everyone forgets what clear water actually looks like.”

Truer words were never uttered. To prove Steve’s point from the other side of the political spectrum, I present Newsbusters, which holds a higher level of esteem from me than CREW by being transparent about its skewed perspective: the site, part of arch conservative Brent Bozell’s empire, acknowledges that it exists to show liberal bias in the news media, and Lord knows, there is plenty to show. Unfortunately, Newsbusters is addicted to the same silly routine its counterpart Media Matters employs, the “X spent this much time on this story but only this much time on this story that exposes the rank incompetence and corruption of a politician/program/party we hate” bit. The complaint has legitimacy when the news media is deliberately burying an important development and hiding facts from the public, as the mainstream media has done with the IRS scandal and attempted to do with Jonathan Gruber’s revelations, or as Fox did with results of the Congressional investigation of Benghazi. More often, however, the real complaint is “Why don’t the biased news sources adopt our biases instead of their biases?”

Today brings a classic example on Newsbusters:

On Thursday night, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC each covered the news that the United States-backed government in Yemen had fallen after rebels stormed the capital city of Sana’a and surrounded the presidential palace on Tuesday.

While the networks gave this story airtime, they only gave it to the tune of one minute and 59 seconds and avoided any mention of how President Obama had, just months prior, declared Yemen to be a success story for the United States in fighting terrorism.

In comparison, the three networks devoted 11 minutes and 16 seconds on Thursday evening to the growing controversy surrounding the NFL’s New England Patriots and their use of deflated footballs during the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.

The Fox News Channel’s Special Report did mention this element on Thursday, with anchor Bret Baier noting at the top of the program’s broadcast: “Yemen was one of President Obama’s examples of where the U.S. was getting it right on foreign policy. That’s what he said a little more than four months ago, but the situation in Yemen has gotten progressively worse.”

Oh, come on, Newsbusters…

1. Of course Fox News pointed up the collapse of the President’s narrative: it lives to make sure anything Democratic is presented in the worst possible light. To Fox, the real news isn’t Yemen’s collapse, and how it affects the U.S.; the story is, “See? Once again, we see the failure of that incompetent fool in the White House!”  But the collapse of the Yemen government is news; the “gotcha!” that the President had been crowing about Yemen in the fall is conservative punditry.

2. Fox’s audience wants to hear that punditry. Most Americans couldn’t find Yemen on the map, and doesn’t care. Would competent reporting point out why Yemen’s problems are relevant to the U.S.? Absolutely, but noting the Obama claimed the nation as a foreign policy success is not essential news.

3. I’m pretty sure Newsbusters knows that the Super Bowl is the U.S. biggest sports and media event of the year, and that the average American cares so much more about the game than Yemen that the comparison is ludicrous. Gee, would it be nice and responsible if Americans didn’t like their sports and pop culture so much, and wanted to be conversant in the hard specifics of foreign policy? I don’t know: I don’t think a United States where everyone says, “The hell with Tom Brady, what’s happening to Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi?” would be much fun to live in, or, for that matter, the United States.

4. Of course the networks give a lot more time to an NFL scandal affecting the Super Bowl! The audience cares about it, billions of dollars—the NFL, merchandizing, the networks, advertisers, Buffalo wings, muchies–depend on it, and it’s essentially a national holiday. The networks covering Inflategate more thoroughly than Yemen isn’t bias, you hypocrites, it’s survival: “Jeez, honey, they’re blathering about Yemen: change the channel to ESPN so I can hear about those squishy balls!” This is capitalism, Newsbusters—you know, the stuff your side loves and supports? The Superbowl! The NFL! The national sport! VIOLENCE! Head-bashing! Luxury car ads! BEER! Luscious babes in bikini tops, gyrating for all the potential rapists Senator Gillibrant and Sandra Fluke deride!  DE-fense! DE-fense! All the stuff that those Chablis-sipping, pansy libs who think Rush is Satan hate…and you’re complaining that the news media is paying too much attention to it?




3 thoughts on “And Now, How A RIGHT Wing “Watchdog” Views The World…

  1. Newsbusters does get a bit tedious, with the to-the-second coverage comparisons, and very predictable bias. They get kudos from me for being dead honest about who they are; they say, on their masthead: “Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias”. Much of the liberal media pretends to present unbiased coverage, and Newsbusters calls them on it. Propaganda involves an element of deceit that Newsbusters simply avoids; there is no pretense. Also, they seem to be fairly prompt with factual corrections when their admitted bias leads them astray.

  2. It’s one of my favorite times of year over at newsbusters – the analysis of the March for Life coverage. It’s consistently received some of the most biased coverage across the media. However, as for complaining about the super bowl coverage… you’re right. The super bowl is always a huge story, and with allegations of cheating glaring around, it only makes sense that it’s on everyone’s lips.

    • The Super Bowl is a big event, I agree.

      But look at other stuff that gets coverage. I mean, how is this Doomsday clock thingie supposed more newsworthy than when Miss Samantha Justine Rice posed naked for some web site (which was not reported on NPR, CNN, USAToday, or the Washington Post)?

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