Tag Archives: Media Watch

News & Comment

You Think Ebola Is Scary? Check Out How Many People Die from Plain Old Flu Every Year

Be afraid: The influenza virus kills thousands of Americans each year
Be afraid: The influenza virus kills thousands of Americans each year
Five cases of Ebola have been treated in the United States so far this year. Three were contracted in Africa. Two of these victims were Americans who were flown home for treatment. The other was the Liberian national, Thomas Duncan, who developed symptoms after he arrived in Texas from Africa. The last two were healthcare workers who treated Duncan in Dallas. Of the five, only one patient has died — Thomas Duncan.

Tragic as these cases are, the hysteria they have unleashed in the media and among Republican politicians is beyond over the top. The Ebola “crisis” has topped the hour on cable news channels for days. The lowest point, so far, was when news choppers tracked an ambulance for an hour or so one early evening last week as it transported one of the nurses to a hospital, bringing to mind the infamous “slow speed chase” on L.A. freeways that kicked off the O.J. Simpson murder scandal in 1994.

Meanwhile, with the midterm elections a few weeks away, Republicans have worked nonstop to blame the Ebola outbreak on Pres. Obama and, by extension, the Democrats. They have also incorporated the outbreak into their get-out-the-vote strategy by fanning the flames of fear to get their easily terrorized followers to the polls. Their unified message on Ebola — a call to ban flights into the United States from the affected areas in Africa — is typically anti-scientific and counterfactual. Experts say such a ban would likely create a bona fide crisis here, and there is the embarrassing fact that there are no direct flights into the United States from the affected countries.

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News & Comment

On Fox: Republican v Republican on Marriage Equality

On Fox News Sunday, Ted Olson, the Republican on the legal team that argued for marriage equality in California’s Prop 8 case — but who led the witness-bribing, anti-Clinton “Arkansas Project” in the 1990s, and who represented Bush/Cheney in the 2000 Bush v. Gore case in which Republicans on the Supreme Court appointed George W. Bush as president — debated Tony Perkins, one of the grand wizards of the anti-gay hate movement. Transcript follows:

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Verbatim

Not Sold on Hillary? It Wouldn’t Be the First Time

The air of inevitability surrounding Hillary Clinton is unlike anything we’ve ever seen – since 2008, that is — when she was also considered inevitable. Then a first-term Senator from Illinois came along, and we know how that story ended.

— Gwen Ifill, anchor on the PBS Newshour, in a blog post titled, “Beware The Clickbait (Or Why There’s Always More To The Story), which is pretty self-explanatory.

Enumerati

U.S. Ranks Behind Romania in Press Freedom Index

46th

The United States’ ranking out of 180 nations in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index.
Conor Friedersdorf
: “Countries that scored better include Romania, South Africa, Ghana, Cyprus, and Botswana. And 40 others. Put simply, it’s an embarrassing result for the country that conceived the First Amendment almost 240 years ago.”

News & Comment

Terror on Bullshit Mountain! Daily Show Takes on Media Lies about CBO Report on Obamacare

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News & Comment

Fox News Ignores Christie’s Bridgegate Scandal – Until Shep Smith Mentions It Briefly, Invites Viewers to ‘Google It’

This is how propaganda works, Fox News-style.

Nearly six hours after the story first broke — and well after both CNN and MSNBC first covered it in detail — Fox News finally devoted a short segment to the bridge scandal during Shepard Smith Reporting.

While declining to delve into the details of the damning emails — Shep Smith informed viewers that “they’re an easy Google away if you want to take a look” — Smith nonetheless concluded that, “the emails will be trouble for Governor Christie at least in local politics for quite some time. And if he decides to run for president, rest assured they’ll end up in campaign ads. There’s no question about it.”

News & Comment

Misinformer of the Year: CBS News

In 2013, CBS News, once the home of giants in journalism like Edward R. Murrow and Walter Conkrite, was caught deliberately misinforming its viewers about a series stories in the news — the Benghazi attacks, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the NSA. For these other Fox News-worthy exercises in propagandizing for the right wing, Media Matters has named CBS News its 2013 Misinformer of the Year:

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News & Comment

GOP 2016 Frontrunner Chris Christie Bullies a Constituent at a Rally — Again

Pundits all seem to agree that when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wins reelection today, he will automatically become the Republican frontrunner for the presidency in 2016. That may be so, but most of these pundits live in the Northeast where a sarcastic, bullying style, of which Christie is the examplar, is part of everyday life.

To live in the Tristate Region is to deal with bombastic, aggressive smart asses at every turn — at the DMV, the supermarket checkout, at work and behind the wheel. This is the world in which the political opinionistas live. The fact that their lives are filled with blowhards like Christie blinds them to the fact that the bully-boy persona that is so common in the Northeast is considered ridiculous and repulsive outside the region.

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News & Comment

News Anchor Asks Tea Party Rep: ‘Do You Hate Obamacare More Than You Love Your Country?’

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

A member of the Fourth Estate finally asked a tea party Republican a question that cuts to the heart of their latest manufactured crisis. The exchange occurred today when MSBNC’s Thomas Roberts interviewed the eternally unctuous Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn:

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News & Comment

Daily Caller Queries House Members on Forgoing Salaries During Shutdown – Including GOP’s Dan Lungren, Who Was Defeated in 2012

Top: Rep. Ellmers; bottom: former Rep. Lungren
Daily Caller, the gay-hating, climate-change denying website published by Swanson Foods heir Tucker Carlson, conducted a non-scientific (naturally) survey of House members asking if whether they would be willing to forgo their salaries while the government was shut down.

Result were skewed to make Democrats look feckless (naturally!), even though no Democrats voted to shut down the government. The Daily Calling reporting also produced a couple of unintentional bloopers, however — one that made a North Carolina tea bagger look like a wanton hypocrite and another that exposed the Daily Caller’s apparently casual approach to fact checking and out-of-date knowledge of who actually serves in the 113th Congress.

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