Blog Archives

Is there really a liberal media bias? The stats don’t think so…

 

We’re always hearing the conservative right complain about the “liberal media bias.” The truth of the matter is, however, that it doesn’t seem to exist (maybe with the exception ow MSNBC.)

Take a look:

It sure looks like the conservatives have it pretty fine…not to mention the fact that they also seem to be getting more coverage.

So don’t let the complaints of the right fool you. They know where their advantage lies.

 

So… do we have a new McCarthy in Congress?

Suppose we had a Congressman who started accusing the representatives that didn’t agree with him as being Communists? Well, apparently we do.

Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., has said “he’s heard” that up to 80 House Democrats are members of the Communist Party, but, of course, he has denied to name names.

His office says West was referring to the Congressional Progressive Caucus when he made his remark at a town hall meeting Tuesday night.

Here’s the statement his office sent to the CBS affiliate in Miami:

The Congressman was referring to the 76 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The Communist Party has publicly referred to the Progressive Caucus as its allies. The Progressive Caucus speaks for itself. These individuals certainly aren’t proponents of free markets or individual economic freedom.

Asked to comment on these charges, Libero Della Piana, a vice chairman of the party, stated that there were no Congressional lawmakers who were party members and that West’s comment is a “sad ploy.”

And now some folks like Sarah Palin are suggesting West as a potential VP candidate. Who would have thought?

The Idols of My Generation are Passing: Mike Wallace Dies at 93.

This from CBS:

(CBS News) CBS News legend Mike Wallace, the “60 Minutes” pit-bull reporter whose probing, brazen style made his name synonymous with the tough interview – a style he practically invented for television more than half a century ago – died last night. He was 93 and passed peacefully surrounded by family members at Waveny Care Center in New Canaan, Conn., where he spent the past few years. He also had a home in Manhattan.

“It is with tremendous sadness that we mark the passing of Mike Wallace. His extraordinary contribution as a broadcaster is immeasurable and he has been a force within the television industry throughout its existence. His loss will be felt by all of us at CBS,” said Leslie Moonves, president and CEO, CBS Corporation.

“All of us at CBS News and particularly at ’60 Minutes’ owe so much to Mike. Without him and his iconic style, there probably wouldn’t be a ’60 Minutes.’ There simply hasn’t been another broadcast journalist with that much talent. It almost didn’t matter what stories he was covering, you just wanted to hear what he would ask next. Around CBS he was the same infectious, funny and ferocious person as he was on TV. We loved him and we will miss him very much,” said Jeff Fager, chairman CBS News and executive producer of “60 Minutes.”

A special program dedicated to Wallace will be broadcast on “60 Minutes” next Sunday, April 15.

If all you knew Mike Wallace from was 60 Minutes which he did from 1968 to 2008, then you only knew half of his amazing television career. He hovered between entertainment and news in the 40s and 50s, got his first network presence on ABC’s Mike Wallace Interview – which was based on his earlier NYC interview program called Night Beat, where he developed his browbeating interview style.

CBS News producer Don Hewitt took Wallace’s hard-charging style as a counter to the avuncular Harry Reasoner and on September 24, 1968, Wallace and Reasoner introduced “60 Minutes” to the 10:00 p.m. timeslot, where it ran every other Tuesday. While critics loved it and awards followed. it had a hard time building an audience. After seven years trying various nights, “60 Minutes” went to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, where it remains today.

Mainly because of Wallace’s tough style, it made the top 20 shows in 1977 and the top 10 in 1978, then became the number-one program in 1980.

Myron Leon Wallace was born in Brookline, Mass., on May 9, 1918. He attended Brookline High School and was graduated from the University of Michigan in 1939 with a B.A. degree in liberal arts.

Mike, we salute you.

Andy Rooney Dead at 92…

One of our favorite commentators has died of complications from surgery at age 92.

Andy Rooney, who delivered 1,097 commentaries on 60 Minutes beginning in July of 1978, worked right up to the end of his life, as his colleague Steve Kroft said:

“Andy always said he wanted to work until the day he died, and he managed to do it, save the last few weeks in the hospital.”

Rooney won 4 Emmy awards, one for a piece on whether there was a real Mrs. Smith who made Mrs. Smith’s Pies. As it turned out, there was no Mrs. Smith. His commentaries, however, were often marked as “complaints” beginning with the first one he did. He complained about people who keep track of how many people die in car accidents on holiday weekends. In fact, he said, the Fourth of July is “one of the safest weekends of the year to be going someplace.”

It was “A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney,” his weekly 60 Minutes segment, that made him one of the most popular broadcast figures in the country.

Leonard Harris dies at 81…

When I told my wife that Leonard Harris had died last Sunday, she said “Who?”. I guess if you weren’t from Connecticut where you watched CBS, Channel 3, you might not have recognized Harris by name, but from 1966 to 1974 he was our television film critic, eventually reporting nationwide. Prior to that he spent eleven years writing book reviews for The Hartford Courant.

What you might recall Harris for, however, is his role as Senator Charles Palantine, the Presidential Candidate in Scorcese’s “Taxi Driver” (1976). He also appeared in a couple of other movies.

Later he wrote three novels… wrote three novels. His first, “The Masada Plan,” was called “gripping, fast-moving, expertly engineered” by the novelist Meyer Levin in The New York Times Book Review.

Although he lived in Manhattan, he died of pneumonia in his old stomping grounds in Hartford.

The Unions Are Coming Out To Make A Final Push…

From John Case’s Morning mailing:

90,000 union members hit the street in final election push

by John Wojcik on 10/28/10

Breaking all records for labor participation in mid-term election efforts, 90,000 union members will campaign during the final four days before Election Day, Nov. 2, out of 1,200 staging areas across the nation.

Beginning Friday, Oct. 29 and ending Tuesday, just before polls close, they will make 5.6 million phone calls, knock on 4.1 million doors and pass out 1.9 million flyers.

The AFL-CIO says that the massive push will, in effect, build a “firewall” that will hold the line on expected Republican gains and allow Democrats to retain control of both houses of Congress.

“One-on-one grassroots contact will be the key for this election,” declared AFL-CIO Political Director Karen Ackerman. “Union families trust and rely on the information their union provides and it cuts through the noise of unprecedented corporate cash being spent on false ads.”

If the labor movement achieves its goal this weekend, a wrench will have been thrown into wheels already set in motion by people like GOP Rep. Davis Camp, who would, if Republicans take over Congress, become chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Corporate lobbyists have already been camping out in his office with instructions on how he should rewrite tax laws.

The “final four” push by the labor movement builds on what has already been the largest mid-term election effort ever by the country’s unions. The immense Labor 2010 grassroots persuasion program involved 200,000 union volunteers who reached 17 million union voters in 26 states. They made 23.6 million phone calls, handed out 17.5 million flyers at workplaces, knocked on over 1.3 million doors and sent 18.6 million pieces of mail.

“This resulted,” said Ackerman, “in an increase in the generic congressional ballot among union members from plus 8 points to plus 25 points for the Democrats and doubling the lead for the Democratic Senate candidates among union members.”

Labor’s efforts fit into a broader campaign effort. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reports ground operations in over 65 congressional districts and Organizing for America, the successor organization to the Obama campaign, is integrated into state party operations around the country. They also have been knocking on doors, calling voters and sending out mailings.

There has been a strong focus on African American voters, with more of them having been contacted in September than during the entire 2006 midterm elections.

The Republican get-out-the-vote effort, by most reports, is not as strong. GOP congressional staffers are being required to go out into the districts to try to match Democratic Party and union ground troops.

While there are a big number of House Democrats fighting off strong GOP challenges, many who were extremely vulnerable before the boots were put on the ground are now running very close races. CBS reported in the final weeks that even Democrats in conservative districts that the GOP
should win are doing pretty well. Patrick Murphy in Pennsylvania and Dina Titus in Nevada, both of whom should, by conventional wisdom be far behind, are now deadlocked with their GOP opponents. What the CBS report did not say is that unions have been active in both those races.

The fact that the Democratic Senate candidates in Pennsylvania and Illinois are closing strong is also attributed, in large part, to labor’s ground game.

“This election is as important as anything we did two years ago,” President Obama told thousands of union activists on a teleconference call Oct. 26. “The labor program you guys have put into place is the backbone of the program.”

It’s not just the members of the country’s unions who are mobilizing the last four days of the campaign. The AFL-CIO’s top officials are fanning out for a series of get-out-the-vote events, concentrating on Midwestern states where there are hotly contested Senate and gubernatorial races.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will spend Oct. 29 in Chicago, leafleting work sites and phone banking, and Oct. 30 through Election Day in Pennsylvania with Rep. Joe Sestak.

AFL-CIO Secretary Liz Shuler will phone bank Oct. 29 in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 30 in Colorado and will spend Nov. 1 and 2 in Illinois.

Arlene Holt-Baker, the federation’s Executive Vice President, will spend the last four days of the campaign in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Connecticut.

Kentucky Stomper wants an Apology from the Stompee…

As the world gets even more weird, we get a new point of view on honesty, truth and integrity. Like, it doesn’t exist. 

From Talking Points Memo:

clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com
Tim Profitt — the former Rand Paul volunteer who stomped on the head of a MoveOn activist — told told local CBS station WKYT that he wants an apology from the woman he stomped and that she started the whole thing.
“I don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” Profitt said. “I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you.”
“She’s a professional at what she does,” Profitt added, “and I think when all the facts come out, I think people will see that she was the one that initiated the whole thing.”

Tim Profitt

Profitt also blamed the incident on his back pain. Footage shows that Profitt stomped down on Lauren Valle’s head, neck and shoulder while she was being restrained by another man with her shoulder on the street and her head on the curb.

After Profitt was identified as Paul’s Bourbon County coordinator, he was fired by the campaign. Police issued a criminal summons for him yesterday.

You know… it is amazing what some people will say or do for a brief moment of National fame.

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I am so mad at CBS…

I absolutely hate Sunday nites when the creeps at CBS schedule 60 Minutes (which I wait for all week) at 7:00 PM and I make plans for my evening around it … then they let Football run over it’s time and change the schedule by one hour at the last minute!

The trick, of course, is that they think I’ll stay with CBS all night... so I’d like to tell them that a.) I don’t like football and b.) I have no problem turning off CBS and watching other Networks or Cable stations. I do feel very unsatisfied when my 8:00 PM plans have to be put in a “choose or die” mode if I have to watch 60 Minutes out of sequence (tonite I chose to watch Once Upon A Mattress on the Ovation Channel… and I didn’t feel like breaking away from it. It’s one of my favorite musicals.)

I think they should program football earlier in the afternoon since they ho it will, as it always does, breach the 7:00 PM deadline. I am not the only person who thinks so…I’ve brought this up before over coffee with friends and they feel the same way. So if you are listening, CBS, don’t turn off your audience of you don’t have to. It is unappreciated.

Why you didn’t see Christine O’Donnell on the Sunday Talking heads…

…and you are probably not likely to in the future.

This clip from Talking Points Memo:

clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com
Christine O’Donnell, the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate from Delaware, had been set to appear on CBS‘ “Face the Nation” and “Fox News Sunday” tomorrow, but has scrapped both appearances to attend campaign events, including a picnic, the AP reported.

O’Donnell’s planned appearance on the Sunday shows would have put her in the position of answering tough questions about her track record of attention-grabbing statements on pre-marital sex, Joe Biden allegedly tapping her phone and her own dabbling in witchcraft.

The cancellations, just four days after her stunning win in the Delaware GOP primary, comes on the heels of O’Donnell’s positive reception at the Values Voters Summit on Friday.
The “Fox News Sunday” website was still promoting O’Donnell’s appearance as of Saturday afternoon. Karl Rove — who had been critical of O’Donnell’s “nutty” views but later backed the candidate — was also scheduled to be on the program.
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Don Hewitt Dies at 86

Don HewittCBS just put out a notice that Don Hewitt, the creator of 60 Minutes has died of pancreatic cancer.

After stepping down as the 60 Minutes producer in 2004, he was Executive Producer at CBS. He spent 60 years working for a single network.

Hewitt was famous for producing the Kennedy-Nixon Debate in 1960, which many credited Nixon’s loss to.