Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a fellow in Maryland who sent a letter to Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. It was an ugly letter, from a politician with an ugly anti-gay history. The politician, a state legislator (and Baptist minister) who answered to the name of Emmet C. Burns, had noticed that Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayabedejo was campaigning against a ballot initiative in Maryland aimed at overturning the state’s law allowing for same-sex marriage. He didn’t like that very much. When he wrote that ugly letter, it was to demand that the Ravens owner make Ayabedejo shut up, and not talk about this anymore. As he sat on the state legislature’s committee charged with regulating the Baltimore Ravens, this letter was rather threatening.
Less than a week ago, Ken Shepherd got his wires royally crossed and penned a brief whine about the very little coverage this story was receiving. Shepherd had become so lost in a persecution fantasy (his view was that the story would be getting lots of coverage if the state legislator had been a Republican, rather than a Democrat) that he never seemed to realize the extent to which this lack of coverage worked so violently against Newsbusters’ central premise of a “liberal press.” An anti-gay state legislator tried to silence a same-sex marriage advocate, and the press, for the most part, didn’t care.
A few days went by, and National Public Radio did cover the story. Is Newsbusters happy?
Nope. Newsbusters is complaining.
This is what it means to not be a journalist or, at least, showing respect when talking about our President.
In a September 16 piece about President Obama’s interview with Time Magazine, Tim Graham had the nerve to call him on his faith (which is usually a private matter you handle yourself), without explaining why he would bother addressing it (emphasis theirs):
Jaws should drop as Obama said he appreciates Romney’s commitment to participating in church, just as Obama…..does? He likes that Romney “walks the walk,” and no one questions if Obama does a lot more walking on the golf course than at church:
OBAMA: I think he takes his faith very seriously. And as someone who takes my Christian faith seriously, I appreciate that he seems to walk the walk and not just be talking the talk when it comes to participation in his church.
Tim Graham, today, makes an effort at taking issue with a pair of Washington Post articles detailing the evolution of the respective platforms of the Democratic and Republican parties over the last 52 years, but though he puts on the standard Newsbusters show of being Angry And Offended by them, he doesn’t offer any real basis for this reaction.
The core of his complaint is that Marc Fisher, who authored both articles, gave disparate treatment to the evolution of the two platforms:
But last Wednesday’s piece on the GOP was headlined “Over the past half-century, a strong shift to to the right.” And for the Democrats, a strong shift to the left since 1960? The headline today was “In search of a balance between ideals and realities.” (bolding by Graham)
Has there been any “strong shift to the left” by the Democrats, though? The idea forms the core of Graham’s objection, but Fisher’s article on the Democrats does a fairly solid job of debunking this notion, showing how the party has shifted back and forth between liberal and more conservative language on issues over the years. By contrast, Fisher writes, Republicans “moved in fairly linear fashion to ever-more conservative stances” on a broad range of issues. Both the Fisher articles offer a broad overview of the evolution of the two parties, but Graham, to support his own premise about a sharp Democratic turn to the left, singles out only a few right-wing hot-button issues; abortion, gay marriage, “bringing ‘undocumented immigrants out of the shadows.’”
After mentioning that last one, Graham doesn’t touch it again, from which we can assume Newsbusters readers are simply supposed to understand that brown-looking foreigners with funny accents but without proper paperwork are supposed to be regarded with contempt by anyone except extremist liberals.
As if it has anything to do with the news media… for the pleasure of the MRC’s anti-gay readership, Tim Graham reported this anyway:
Chris Johnson at The Washington Blade reported the National Stonewall Democrats have identified 470 “openly LGBT delegates” out of 5,963 delegates expected in Charlotte today. That’s almost eight percent of the total, but Stonewall Democrats executive director Jerame Davis said “We’re finally getting to the point where we get closer to appropriate measure of representation as compared to the population at large, although we’re not quite to that point.” The pro-gay Williams Institute estimated this year that four percent of the adult population is “LGBT.”
This one was too easy.
In a July 31 post, Tim Graham can’t stay silent while Ann Romney’s dressage horse, Rafalca, is used in the context of a joke:
The Bill Press radio show returned to mocking Ann Romney and her dressage horse on Friday. Dave Zirin, a sports writer for The Nation began with “Dressage, a word so many of us didn’t even know before a few months ago.” Bill Press replied, “And Thursday here poor Ann Romney is there with Rafalca…Doesn’t get to dance until Thursday and Mitt Romney is not even going to be there.”
Then came a rude joke about putting the horse on the roof of an airplane:
ZIRIN: Unbelievable and the decision to strap Rafalca to the roof of their private plane I just thought was very tacky. Horrible for the horse’s training.
PRESS: Especially all the way across the Atlantic.
In an April 19 post, Tim Graham went after Current TV host Cenk Uygur for his “Nazi tantrum“, which was characterized as “a guy who’s had too many drinks at the end of the bar“:
Both TV Newser and TV Week have picked up on Al Gore-led Current TV’s campaign to “distinguish” itself in cable talk by promoting a clip of Cenk Uygur, the MSNBC-refugee host of “The Young Turks,” attacking Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday night as a “g–damn Nazi.” This might match the Current motto of “Politically Direct,” but it’s not correct.
ConWebBlog’s Terry Krepel (also of Media Matters) breaks down Brent Bozell’s hilariously hypocritical near heart attack over the recent news of NBC’s “Today” editing the 9-1-1 call made by George Zimmerman, who admitted to shooting and killing 17-year old Trayvon Martin in late February of this year. Bozell, President of the Media Research Center, a parent organization of NewsBusters, sent out several press releases demanding over-the-top apologies, condemnations and investigations of NBC News. Krepel gives the details:
On April 3, the MRC issued an indignant press release demanding an investigation:
The Washington Post has reported that NBC will be investigating who at NBC was responsible for dishonestly airing a doctored 9-1-1 conversation between George Zimmerman to make it look like Zimmerman’s intent was racially motivated. Media Research Center President Brent Bozell stated this is not enough.
“This is a massive breach of the public trust. NBC is guilty of dishonestly fanning the flames of racial hatred in America by doctoring tapes. NBC cannot be trusted with the investigation. It’s like Nixon investigating the Watergate tapes. NBC is guilty of deliberately lying to the viewing public, and NBC is going to be in charge of investigating itself? NBC’s parent company Comcast needs to investigate the intentional editing of George Zimmerman’s 9-1-1 call. Comcast needs to come clean. Everyone involved needs to be held accountable.”
Yes, Bozell likened an edited audiotape to Watergate.
In a December 3 post highlighting an interview promoting his new show on Current called “The Young Turks” (same name as the online program on YouTube), Tim Graham missed the analogy Progressive host Cenk Uygur was using when describing the goal of his new show:
Naturally, the question on the minds of the Left is can we please dismantle the myth of objectivity that the “objective” media clings to oh so ferociously? In other words, they’re asking Uygur if he will pledge to provide only “news” and informtion [sic] that pleases and encourages the Left without any troublesome conservative guests or any nods to the idea that the Left may be growing increasingly unpopular along with President Obama
In a July 29 article, Senior Editor of NewsBusters, Tim Graham, made a petty post complaining about actor Paul Giamatti playing the role of founding father John Adams in an HBO mini-series program, then deciding to play Soviet dictator Nikita Khruschev in a separate mini-series, as well. I found no real surprise from this, because you can always find the typical NewsBuster complaining about anything and everything that has no legitimate relation to the “liberal media” they claim to “expose and combat“, but in their own paranoid manner, they think they found something to expose. But, this day was different. Instead of getting cheered on in the comment’s section, he was chided by some of his usual adoring fans, ridiculing him for his frivolous criticism. This a rare occasion at NewsBusters… the commenters there are typically belligerent wing nuts who love to cheer on their fellow paranoid nut jobs when they see what they think is a customary objection. Graham kicked off the complaint seeming offended:
Actors love to display their “range,” but it might be sad for fans of HBO’s John Adams miniseries to see Paul Giamatti go from Founding Father to Soviet dictator. Tom Hanks and his PlayTone Productions, who made the Adams project, are now preparing a film on Nikita Khruschev’s 1959 trip to America.
In a February 4 post, Tim Graham took issue with long-time (fairly moderate) conservative columnist Kathleen Parker of The Washington Post for applauding 2008 Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps because he chose to smoke marijuana from a bong:
Parker called Michael Phelps an “involuntary hero” (Captain Toke!) for ignoring the drug laws of America. Parker’s affection for legalized marijuana may finally explain her wigged-out column suggesting John McCain picked Palin because he was besotted by her hotness.