Posts Tagged ‘MSNBC’

Rush Limbaugh apologizes under fire from Democrats. Where’s their furor over name calling from the left?

March 4, 2012

Rush Limbaugh has apologized for calling Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute for supporting health insurance coverage of contraceptives.

He was immediately swamped with outrage from the Left and from several sponsors of his radio talk show who announced that they would sponsor no longer.

Rush posted an apology on his website yesterday. After explaining his position against insurance coverage of contraceptives, he concluded:

“My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

I’ve written before about the three types of apologies:

Category 1 is the defiant apology:“I’m sorry if you think I did something wrong.”

Category 2 is the evasive apology:“I may have made an innocent mistake, and I’m sorry for it—if I actually did it.”

Category 3 is the real apology:“I did something wrong, and I’m sorry for it.”

Rush gets only provisional credit for a Cat. 3—provisional (more…)

My ten favorite posts of 2011

December 31, 2011

 

There were 112 Ethics Bob  posts in 2011, and 14,000 page views. Here are my ten favorites:

  • Ex-Auburn Prof Jim Gundlach gets a mythical Sam Goldwyn award* for speaking truth to power—to Auburn football http://goo.gl/x3ro4
  • Turks trust strangers, and the trust is repaid http://goo.gl/4UBW6
  • Drew Brees: ethics hero and football hero. He lives by “If not me, who? http://goo.gl/RMzsV
  • Tim Pawlenty announces for President, grabs third rail of Iowa politics, earns mythical Edmund Burke Award. http://goo.gl/yBdXS
  • Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) defends Muslim judge Sohail Mohammed, calls opponents “crazies.” Hooray for an ethics hero http://goo.gl/KtCCQ
  • Three cheers for Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, and Byron York of Fox News, and for Rachel Maddow of MSNBC http://goo.gl/gsXAx
  • Ethics: I’m giving it away http://goo.gl/Rl1jB
  • LSU Tigers Coach Les Miles gets a mythical Chip Kelly Award* for suspending three stars for the big game with Auburn http://goo.gl/rjns5
  • Report from Zuccotti Park, and what’s next for Occupy Wall Street http://goo.gl/Sk5sV
  • Rose Bowl, BCS Bowl, Ethics Bowl http://goo.gl/MxGYu
  • The lesson from Penn State http://goo.gl/Tnn03

 

The liberal media are unethically distorting Michele Bachmann’s views, and are thereby strengthening her candidacy

August 29, 2011

Americans believe in fair play. That’s why we’re outraged when a ballplayer cheats. Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa went from American heroes to pariahs overnight when we discovered that they were juicing. That may be why voters switched from Kerry to Bush when we learned that The New York Times had used a forged document on the eve of the 2004 election to “prove” that President Bush had pulled family stings to escape being drafted for Vietnam.

Unfair play may account for some of Sarah Palin’s popularity, as we see her being treated shabbily by the media. And now the media seem set on building up sympathy for Michele Bachmann by distortions of her words.

Ironically, the disdain many rightfully feel toward Bachmann leads them to heap undeserved scorn on her, on top of the scorn her candidacy deserves. And this is helping her, not only with her right-wing base but also with moderate people who believe she’s being treated unfairly.

So some of the  media are reporting that Bachmann blamed hurricane Irene on the big-government Democrats in—ugh—WASHINGTON, D.C. Here’s how it went at a widely covered campaign stop in Florida. (more…)

Is Obama a militarist, a peacenik, or a political waffler and difference-splitter?

June 25, 2011

Distrust of the President, and of the government in general, divides our society, emboldens our enemies, and diminishes the effectiveness of our Armed Forces. We owe our elected leaders more respect than that.

President Obama’s Afghanistan drawdown announcement has drawn fire from the left and from the right. He was pilloried on Fox News, on MSNBC, and on CNN, and even ridiculed on The Daily Show after he announced that the U.S. would withdraw 10,000 troops by the end of 2011, another 23,000 by “next summer,” with continuing reductions through 2014.

To the right, the President is recklessly ignoring the advice of his military professionals who know what’s needed. To the left, he’s mindlessly sticking to a hopeless and pointless strategy. To both sides he’s sacrificed principle for politics.

But has he? Is there any chance that his decision was based on what he thought best? If we Americans trusted him we’d give him that much. But we don’t, at least not much: the latest Gallup poll says that just 35% of Americans say they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the Presidency; 36% have very little confidence or none at all.

But we do trust the military: 78% of us say they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence. I’d guess the numbers are even higher on the right. But what happens when the military supports the President? Ah, then it’s a different story. (more…)

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow matches Fox News’ distortions about Obama with her distortion about George W. Bush

November 9, 2010

 

Tonight’s Rachel Maddow show ran a clip from Matt Lauer’s interview with George W. Bush, telecast tonight to coincide with the roll-out of Bush’s book. Maddow had an early “teaser” to hook viewers into staying around until the Bush interview ran, near the end of the show. The teaser urged viewers to stay to see Bush’s “whopper.”


Sure enough, here came a whopper. Lauer asked, “Did you ever ask yourself, ‘What more could I have done to prevent this [9/11] from happening?’ “ Bush responded, “We just didn’t have any solid intelligence that gave us some warning on this.”

Maddow followed this clip with video of Condoleezza Rice admitting to the 9/11 Commission that the President’s Daily Briefing for August 6, 2001, was entitled, “Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.” Maddow punctuated the segment this way: “George W. Bush is trying to sell the same kind of spin he tried to sell when he was President.” That is, in her words, “a whopper.” For extra emphasis she repeated the clip of Bush saying no intelligence and Rice reading the title of the PDB.


But the whopper was Maddow’s, not Bush’s. For she had carefully truncated Bush’s answer. Here’s his full, undoctored answer to Lauer’s question: (more…)

Which reporters, commentators, and pundits are objective? “Nobody,” says Mika Brzezinski. “Let’s be honest.”

October 22, 2010

 

In the search for diverse opinions on television I like MSNBC’s Morning Joe, an entertaining roundtable of people you would enjoy having at your next dinner party. Hosts Joe Scarborough—a conservative former Congressman—and Mika Brzezinski—a liberal daughter of President Carter’s National Security advisor—are politically balanced while being friendly and civil. Their guests span the political spectrum, and the conversations are usually spirited. Nobody on the show claims to be objective, they just bounce their opinions off each other. Fun and informative.

Today, in the wake of NPR’s firing of Juan Williams, there was some discussion of objectivity in the media. Mika had a proposal that would improve the credibility of reporters and commentators of all stripes:

“I would argue that nobody is objective in journalism: that we all come from our own world views and our own backgrounds and our own political affiliations, and we’ve voted for Presidents, and you know what! It’s time to be honest [about it}—and then we can be trusted.

Honesty: What a concept!

 

Chris Matthews and Chris Wallace earn Reinhold Niebuhr award for eviscerating Senate candidates of their own persuasion

October 18, 2010

Chris Matthews and Chris Wallace each earned a (mythical) Reinhold Niebuhr award* for bringing good temper and integrity into the political fight. The highest level of political ethics is to call out members of one’s own party, or people whose politics you’re in general sympathy with. We expect to see MSNBC commentators like Matthews ripping Republicans, just as we expect to see Fox News commentators like Wallace ripping Dems. Ho hum, no surprise there, and no contribution to the integrity of the political fight.

But when California Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina came on Fox News Sunday Wallace grilled her about her plan to close California’s huge budget gap, finally exposing her as an empty suit. And when Kentucky Democratic Senate Candidate Jack Conway came on Chris Matthews’ Hardball show, Matthews grilled him about his campaign ad questioning his opponent’s Christianity, exposing Conway’s ad as baseless and scurrilous.

Our civic society is being ripped by the bitter antagonism between left and right, the worst since the bad old days of Senator Joe McCarthy, red hunts, and leftish defenses of Soviet spies. It’s made worse by the ease of getting all one’s news from a kind of “Daily Me,” an assortment of media that reflect only one’s own bias. Fox News Sunday and MSNBC’s Hardball took a step away from the cartoonish view of them as mouthpieces for liberalism and conservatism. The two Chris’s interviews are in the highest traditions of Niebuhr’s goal of a healthy society.

______

*Christian theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote, ‘The temper of and integrity with which the political fight is waged is more important for the health of our society than the outcome of any issue or campaign.”

 

Congressman Bob Etheridge (D-NC) batters questioner, Dems defend the attacker, mainstream media do their job

June 17, 2010

Congressman Bob Etheridge (D-NC) was walking down a Washington sidewalk when a short (half-a-head shorter than the Congressman) young man in a suit approached him with a camera—perhaps in a cell phone—and asked him if he supported the Obama agenda. “WHO ARE YOU?” the Congressman demanded, before he lunged at the camera, grabbed the young man’s arm, and then his neck, before letting go.

My favorite ethics blogger, Jack Marshall, labeled Etheridge an “ethics dunce” in his EthicsAlarms.com. Shamefully, some in the liberal media, including MSNBC’s Chris Mathews the Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza, and the Charlotte Observer, defended Etheridge. Worse, Politico reports that the DNC is blaming the Republican party.

The story on the right from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and their friends, is that the mainstream media don’t cover bad behavior on the left. Not so in this case: The incident was immediately covered by CBS News, CNN, National Public Radio, the Los Angeles Times, the (more…)

Shame on Morning Joe for encouraging obesity

May 26, 2010

My favorite TV program is MSNBC’s Morning Joe. The hosts are conservative ex-Congressman Joe Scarborough, liberal television journalist Mika Brzezinski, and humorist/sports fan Willie Geist. While their politics are very different, they are intelligent and good natured as they talk about the world. They have interesting and nice guests—the kind of people you’d enjoy having over for dinner.

So I was disappointed Wednesday morning when, after Mika introduced a report by NBC reporter George Lewis on the threat to public health posed by super-sized restaurant meals, Joe and Willie and guest Mike Barnicle started clowning and joking about how great it was to eat huge meals at the restaurants identified by the Center for Science in the Public Interest as contributing to America’s epidemic of obesity.

CSPI cited P. F. Chang’s double pan fried noodle combo (1820 calories), California Pizza Kitchen’s tostada pizza with grilled steak (1680 calories), and the king of the gorge plates, Cheesecake Factory’s pasta carbonara with chicken, weighing in at 2500 calories and 85 grams of saturated fat. That’s 250 more calories than the Mayo Clinic recommends for an average fairly active man in an entire day. Clearly such meals consumed regularly are deadly. No joke. Not funny, Joe. (more…)


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