Tag: media bias

Morning Joe hosts caught on hot mic fawning over Donald Trump

During a commercial break of an edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe in which Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump appeared on the program, hosts Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida, and Mika Brzezinski were caught on a hot microphone fawning over Trump:

In one exchange, Brzezinski calls Trump’s decision to call two men onstage to a rally last week after they confronted a protester a “wow moment.”

“You had me almost as a legendary figure, I like that,” Trump responds.

[…]

At one point, Brzezinski seems to ask Scarborough if they should ask Trump questions about deportation. Scarborough only replies that “we really do have to go to some questions.”

Trump then jokes to Brezinski, “Nothing too hard, Mika.”

If you want proof that the far-right corporate media in this country has bent over backwards to appease Donald Trump, there’s the proof. I find it absolutely disgusting that the media would do whatever it takes to appease someone who compares immigrants to rapists and is running a presidential campaign on full-blown bigotry.

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Bundy Family and militia takes over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters, CNN isn’t reporting about it online

Ammon Bundy, the son of far-right anti-government crackpot Cliven Bundy, two of Ammon’s brothers, and far-right militiamen have taken over the administration building of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon.

As of 9:30 P.M. PST/11:30 P.M. CST, CNN.com, CNN’s website, has reported absolutely nothing about the right-wing militia taking over the Malheur NWR headquarters. There’s nothing on the front page about the takeover, and there’s nothing on the U.S. page about the takeover. In fact, the Wikipedia page on Malheur NWR was edited at 1:57 A.M. GMT/5:57 P.M. PST/7:57 CST to include a one-sentence reference to the Bundy/militia takeover.

This story is clearly of national importance, because right-wing terrorists and members of the Bundy family of right-wing extremists have responded to the legitimate conviction of two Oregon ranchers who set fire to federal land set aside for the protection of wildlife, not for ranching, by an armed takeover of the Malheur NWR headquarters.

Furthermore, some corporate media outlets are trying to claim that the Bundy/militia occupiers are non-violent protesters, when, in fact, Ammon Bundy has openly called for militia members to join the occupation and bring weapons with them. This is clearly not a non-violent protest, although I’ve heard no reports of shots fired or any other acts of violence at this time.

CNN has become an absolute joke of a news organization, and most other corporate media outlets are not much better.

It’s not just a Bernie Sanders media blackout. It’s a Democratic Party media blackout.

If you’re a Bernie Sanders supporter, you certainly know by now that Bernie, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, has received far less coverage from the traditional news media in this country than Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, despite Trump having fewer supporters than Bernie:

(Real Clear Politics’s) average showed Sanders with 32.2% support among voters, and Trump with just slightly more at 33%. But Gallup’s party affiliation numbers showed 44% of those surveyed identify with Democrats, compared to 42% of Republicans, giving a bit more weight to the Sanders supporters.

[…]

Media Matters for America reported that Trump in 2015 had received 234 minutes of coverage among NBC, CBS and ABC evening news broadcasts, while Sanders got only 10 minutes of coverage from the Big Three. ABC gave Sanders the least amount of time, with only 20 seconds of stories broadcast about the Sanders campaign on World News Tonight. Those figures don’t include reports about events such as debates in which all candidates participate.

However, it’s not just Bernie who is largely being ignored by the media. Hillary Clinton, a Democratic presidential candidate who, per recent opinion polling, has more supporters than any other major-party presidential candidate, has also received considerably less media attention than Trump. In fact, as legendary political columnist and author John Nichols noted, most of the media coverage that Hillary has received has been about her responses to Trump’s offensive rhetoric:

Even when Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is covered, the coverage is increasingly focused on her responses to the billionaire’s obnoxious and irresponsible statements. When the Democratic front-runner calls out the Republican front-runner’s crude scheming to bar Muslims from the United States, that’s a story, to be sure. But it should also be a story when Clinton proposes a National Infrastructure Bank and a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s transportation system — as she did Friday in St. Louis.

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley have all proposed interesting ideas to make America a better place to live, yet the corporate media is promoting Donald Trump’s overt racism and offensive remarks. This is roughly 3% the fault of failed Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and roughly 97% the fault of a corporate media that is more interested in ratings than objective political coverage. Many Americans, including me, are sick and fucking tired of the corporate media promoting Donald Trump’s overt hatred, racism, sexism, Islamophobia, bigotry, scaremongering, vindictiveness, and absurd ideas. If Donald Trump were to win, it would be because he’s the corporate media’s preferred presidential candidate.

This isn’t just a Bernie Sanders media blackout. This is a Democratic Party media blackout.

The New York City media is a textbook example of how the corporate media encourages racism in America

The local news media in the New York City television market, the largest local television market in the entire country, is a textbook example of how the local television newscasts in this country encourage racism in America.

Color of Change, an organization noted for its progressive and civil rights advocacy, published this infographic to their Twitter page. The infographic makes these two main points:

  1. While 51% of the people arrested by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for murder, assault, and/or theft are black, a whopping 75% of the people that local television newscasts in the New York City market broadcast as being responsible for murder, assault, and/or theft are black.
  2. The fact that the local television newscasts in the New York City market broadcast instances of black people being responsible for crimes at a considerably higher percentage than the percentage of black people who are arrested by the NYPD for crimes cause many non-black viewers in the New York City area to develop hatred towards black people and drive a stereotype that all black people are criminals that should be avoided at all costs, which is an absolutely false stereotype.

You can view the full report on how local television newscasts in the New York City media market encourage racism in the New York City area here. The report studied local newscasts on four New York City local TV stations: WCBS-TV, WNBC-TV, WNYW-TV, and WABC-TV.

As a resident of the Champaign-Springfield television market in Illinois, I can attest that the local TV stations around here also broadcast instances of black people being accused of crimes at a far higher rate than the percentage of black people in the area covered by the Champaign-Springfield television market. In fact, the fact that local TV stations across the country tend to report instances of black people being accused of crimes at a far higher rate than the percentage of black people in the local television markets they serve is, more than likely, a nationwide problem that is dividing this country along racial lines.

Crisis pregnancy center in my home county in Illinois caught violating patient privacy by local media

The Women’s Care Clinic of Danville (WCC), a crisis pregnancy center located in Danville, Illinois, which is located in Vermilion County, posted pictures of the sonogram of a pregnant woman’s fetus on their Facebook page and stated that the woman had scheduled an abortion and wanted people to pray that the woman would change her mind and not had the pregnancy terminated.

WCIA-TV, the CBS affiliate in Champaign, ran a segment on one of their local newscasts earlier today calling WCC out for violating patient privacy. While I’m not going to directly link to the article about this story on their website, illinoishomepage.net, as the online article includes a video that shows the sonogram in question, and it would be unethical for me to post or link to anything containing the sonogram in question, this is from their online article, titled “Clinic’s post causes privacy concerns” and dated February 11, 2015:

A picture of an unborn baby is causing controversy online. An area clinic posted what leaders say was a picture from a patient’s sonogram. It’s raising the issue of privacy. The clinic took the post down the same day it went up.

The Women’s Care Clinic of Danville says the image was removed because comments were “too negative.” The post shows a sonogram picture stating the baby’s mother had scheduled an abortion and asked people to pray she would change her mind.

But, clinic managers say they don’t know if the picture is an actual sonogram from the patient mentioned in the post. They say they didn’t identify who it was, so it wasn’t an invasion of privacy, adding clients agree any images can be used for promotion or education.

WCIA’s online article went on to describe WCC as an organization that “provides counseling and support groups for post-abortion” and that WCC stated that “asking for prayers for certain clients” is normal operating procedure for them.

Here’s my thoughts about this:

  • WCIA used a considerable amount of anti-abortion framing in their TV report about the WCC posting a sonogram online, which is not surprising given the fact that WCIA’s local newscasts have a heavy right-wing bias. For example, “Picture of an unborn baby” is not the medically correct term for a sonogram of a fetus; “sonogram of a fetus” is the medically correct term for that. Also, the reason why comments on WCC’s Facebook page got “too negative” is because WCC operates in a highly unethical manner, and those who made “negative” comments on their Facebook page were rightfully criticizing them for operating in a highly unethical manner.
  • WCIA is just as guilty as WCC is of violating patient privacy since they showed the sonogram, both on television and online, in fact, one could argue that WCIA is even more guilty of violating patient privacy than WCC is, since I’m guessing that a local newscast on WCIA has a considerably larger audience than WCC’s Facebook page, even though WCIA is located in what I’d call a medium-small local TV market.
  • While WCIA didn’t explicitly refer to WCC as a “crisis pregnancy center”, they did mention that WCC regularly asks people to pray that their patients who are considering whether or not to have an abortion decide not to terminate a pregnancy and offer post-abortion counseling, which is a huge indicator to me that WCC is a crisis pregnancy center, regardless of whether or not they refer to themselves as such. Crisis pregnancy centers are organizations that claim to be legitimate women’s health clinics, when, in reality, they’re actually organizations that are primarily set up to shame pregnant women by, among other tactics, doing everything possible to discourage pregnant women who want to have abortions from getting abortions and spreading false information about women’s reproductive health. While I don’t know if WCC is doing the latter, it’s obvious to me that they’re doing the former.
  • Regardless of whether or not the names of patients are disclosed, it’s still highly unethical and an invasion of medical privacy for a women’s health clinic of any kind to publicly post sonograms or other types of medical records for promotional purposes.

Every effort should be made to shut down these unethical, woman-shaming crisis pregnancy centers across the country and make legitimate women’s health clinics available in areas of this country where women would currently have to travel long distances in order to get to a legitimate women’s health clinic.

Corporate media hack Don Lemon asks a ridiculously stupid question once again

CNN anchor and corporate media hack Don Lemon asked yet another ridiculously stupid question. This time, he asked Arsalan Iftikhar, an editor of The Islamic Monthly and a human rights lawyer, if he supported the Islamic fundamentalist terror group ISIS in a televised interview:

Here’s the transcript of the relevant part of the interview:

Don Lemon: Again, in August, 16 percent of French citizens support ISIS. Would you describe those who support ISIS as Islamic extremists? Do you support ISIS?

Arsalan Iftikhar: Wait, did you just ask if I support ISIS? I just answered your question. I said that obviously these 16 percent of people support the ideology, but again, I don’t think that would necessarily extrapolate to the killing of innocent people.

Iftikhar publicly stated earlier in the interview that he was “shocked and appalled” by the attack on the Paris, France-based satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and condemned the attacks as “something that is against any normative teaching of Islam or any religious teaching” and “a crime against humanity and an act of mass murder”. It’s absolutely clear from Iftikhar’s thoughts and remarks about the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters that Iftikhar does not support terrorism, whether it be from ISIS, al-Qaeda, or any other group or individual.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time that Lemon has asked a downright asinine question to a guest he was interviewing on national television. Just a couple of months ago, Lemon asked Joan Tarshis, one of over two dozen women who have accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault, about why she didn’t bite Cosby’s dick off. Don Lemon is one of many reasons why CNN has gone from a well-respected institution of journalism to total garbage over the past several years.

Charlie Hebdo shooting in France gets more American media attention than Colorado Springs NAACP bombing here in America

The corporate media has turned a blind eye to domestic terrorism here in the United States.

Yesterday, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) office in Colorado Springs, Colorado was firebombed by a person described as a white male who is believed to be approximately 40 years of age and is believed to be balding. While the motive behind the terrorist attack is unknown, it is apparent, but not confirmed, that the attack was motivated by white hatred towards black people.

Earlier today, a mass shooting took place at the headquarters of the Paris, France-based satire newspaper Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people were killed, and, as of this update, two of the attackers are still at large. One of the attackers reportedly bragged that he was part of and/or trained by the Islamic fundamentalist terror group al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Both of these are senseless terrorist attacks that are either apparently or confirmed to have been motivated by hatred by one group of people towards another group of people, yet the terrorist attack that took place in France got far more media attention than the terrorist attack that took place right here in America. The NAACP bombing has received very little coverage by the national news media here in the United States (in fact, I’ve yet to see a single mention of the NAACP bombing on CNN, and the only mention of the NAACP bombing by the media that I know of has been by left-leaning or left-wing internet websites and the traditional local news media in Colorado), yet CNN and other traditional news outlets here in the U.S. have provided extensive coverage of the Charlie Hebdo shooting. I firmly believe that this is because of systematic media bias in the corporate media in this country, specifically, the corporate media in this country is trying to cover-up instances of terrorism perpetrated by white people with far-right political views.

Chuck Todd gives anti-abortion zealots like Joni Ernst political cover

Chuck Todd, the right-wing beltway media hack who is the host of NBC’s Meet the Press, gave supporters of the proposed personhood amendment political cover in a piece about Iowa Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst:

In a profile of Iowa Republican nominee for U.S. Senate Joni Ernst, NBC host Chuck Todd asserted over the weekend that a so-called “personhood” amendment that she supported would protect “unborn human beings.”

On Sunday’s edition of Meet the Press, Todd visited Iowa and noted that the winner of the race would likely decide control of the U.S. Senate.

“Ernst hopes to benefit from the fact that her first name isn’t congressman,” Todd explained. “But what could be holding her back—in what is clearly an anti-Washington year—is some of her very conservative positions, including something called personhood which in some cases would grant all unborn human beings with equal protections.”

The personhood amendment is a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions that would legally define human life as beginning at conception. What the personhood amendment would do is take away a woman’s right to make many reproductive health decisions, including whether or not to terminate a pregnancy and whether or not to use birth control. The personhood amendment would force pregnant women to carry fetuses to term, even if an abortion were necessary to save the life of the mother. That is a downright barbaric idea.

Chuck Todd giving political cover to far-right anti-abortion zealots like Joni Ernst is yet another example of the corporate media in this country being completely in the tank for the far-right Republicans. Iowans should vote for Bruce Braley on November 4 in order to send a message to the corporate media that they’re tired of them giving political cover to far-right extremists like Joni Ernst.