MSNBC Takes Incendiary Hosts From Anchor Seat September 8, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Chris Matthews, Democratic Party, feminism, gender, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John McCain, Keith Olbermann, media bias, MSNBC, Sarah Palin, sexism, Uncategorized.
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Here’s another story about MSNBC getting rid of Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews from anchoring their pathetic election coverage. What a humiliating day for MSNBC. That’s what you get when you put two mysogynistic, partisan, and neurotic buffoons as the face of your election coverage and try to pass it off as unbiased, real news coverage. It’s the same garbage that Fox News tries to pull. MSNBC is matching Fox News in its lack of journalistic integrity and evenhandedness. If Bill O’Reilly is the narcissistic bully on the right, then Keith Olbermann plays that same role for the left. And if Chris Matthews has grand designs to make a run for the Senate from Pennsylvania, which has been rumored, you can just forget that. There are alot of Hillary Clinton supporters in Pennsylvania ready to make sure he doesn’t even come close to getting to the US Senate.
On another note, one of my pet peeves is when a news anchor will interview two people from opposing political points-of-view and they will ask a question to two both of them and let one person speak freely, while bombarding the other one with interruptions and opposing talking points. I’ve noticed that this happens most frequently on CNN, but also on MSNBC and Fox News as well. If you’re a news anchor, just ask the questions. You are not a commentator. If you want to show your bias, please be upfront about it. Don’t hide behind your news chair and act like you are impartial and fair.
The New York Times; by Brian Stelter; September 7, 2008
MSNBC tried a bold experiment this year by putting two politically incendiary hosts, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, in the anchor chair to lead the cable news channel’s coverage of the election.
That experiment appears to be over.
After months of accusations of political bias and simmering animosity between MSNBC and its parent network NBC, the channel decided over the weekend that the NBC News correspondent and MSNBC host David Gregory would anchor news coverage of the coming debates and election night. Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Matthews will remain as analysts during the coverage.
The change — which comes in the home stretch of the long election cycle — is a direct result of tensions associated with the channel’s perceived shift to the political left.
“The most disappointing shift is to see the partisan attitude move from prime time into what’s supposed to be straight news programming,” said Davidson Goldin, formerly the editorial director of MSNBC and a co-founder of the reputation management firm DolceGoldin.
Executives at the channel’s parent company, NBC Universal, had high hopes for MSNBC’s coverage of the political conventions. Instead, the coverage frequently descended into on-air squabbles between the anchors, embarrassing some workers at NBC’s news division, and quite possibly alienating viewers. Although MSNBC nearly doubled its total audience compared with the 2004 conventions, its competitive position did not improve, as it remained in last place among the broadcast and cable news networks. In prime time, the channel averaged 2.2 million viewers during the Democratic convention and 1.7 million viewers during the Republican convention.
The success of the Fox News Channel in the past decade along with the growth of political blogs have convinced many media companies that provocative commentary attracts viewers and lures Web browsers more than straight news delivered dispassionately.
“In a rapidly changing media environment, this is the great philosophical debate,” Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, said in a telephone interview Saturday. Fighting the ratings game, he added, “the bottom line is that we’re experiencing incredible success.”
But as the past two weeks have shown, that success has a downside. When the vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin lamented media bias during her speech, attendees of the Republican convention loudly chanted “NBC.”
In interviews, 10 current and former staff members said that long-simmering tensions between MSNBC and NBC reached a boiling point during the conventions. “MSNBC is behaving like a heroin addict,” one senior staff member observed. “They’re living from fix to fix and swearing they’ll go into rehab the next week.”
The employee, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity because the network does not permit its people to speak to the media without authorization. (The New York Times and NBC News have a content-sharing arrangement exclusively for political coverage.)
Mr. Olbermann, a 49-year-old former sportscaster, has become the face of the more aggressive MSNBC, and the lightning rod for much of the criticism. His program “Countdown,” now a liberal institution, was created by Mr. Olbermann in 2003 but it found its voice in his gnawing dissent regarding the Bush administration, often in the form of “special comment” segments.
As Mr. Olbermann raised his voice, his ratings rose as well, and he now reaches more than one million viewers a night, a higher television rating than any other show in the troubled 12-year history of the network. As a result, his identity largely defines MSNBC. “They have banked the entirety of the network on Keith Olbermann,” one employee said.
In January, Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Matthews, the host of “Hardball,” began co-anchoring primary night coverage, drawing an audience that enjoyed the pair’s “SportsCenter”-style show. While some critics argued that the assignment was akin to having the Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly anchor on election night — something that has never happened — MSNBC insisted that Mr. Olbermann knew the difference between news and commentary.
But in the past two weeks, that line has been blurred. On the final night of the Republican convention, after MSNBC televised the party’s video “tribute to the victims of 9/11,” including graphic footage of the World Trade Center attacks, Mr. Olbermann abruptly took off his journalistic hat.
“I’m sorry, it’s necessary to say this,” he began. After saying that the video had exploited the memories of the dead, he directly apologized to viewers who were offended. Then, sounding like a network executive, he said it was “probably not appropriate to be shown.”
In an interview on Sunday, Mr. Olbermann said that moment — and the perception that he is “not utterly neutral” — restarted months-old conversations about his role on political nights.
“I found it ironic and instructive that I could have easily said exactly what I did say, exactly when I did say it, if I had been wearing a different hat, and nobody would have taken any issue,” he said.
“Countdown” will still be shown before the three fall debates and a second edition will be shown sometime afterwards, following the program anchored by Mr. Gregory.
The change casts new doubt on what some staff members believe is an effective programming strategy: prime-time talk of a liberal sort. A like-minded talk show will now follow “Countdown” at 9 p.m.: “The Rachel Maddow Show,” hosted by the liberal radio host, begins Monday.
Mr. Griffin, MSNBC’s president, denies that it has an ideology. “I think ideology means we think one way, and we don’t,” he said. Rather than label MSNBC’s prime time as left-leaning, he says it has passion and point of view.
But MSNBC is the cable arm of NBC News, the dispassionate news division of NBC Universal. MSNBC, “Today” and “NBC Nightly News” share some staff members, workspace and content. And some critics are claiming they also share a political affiliation.
The McCain campaign has filed letters of complaint to the news division about its coverage and openly tied MSNBC to it. Tension between the network and the campaign hit an apex the day Mr. McCain announced Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. MSNBC had reported Friday morning that Ms. Palin’s plane was enroute to the announcement and she was likely the pick. But McCain campaign officials warned the network off, with one official going so far as to say that all of the candidates on the short list were on their way — which MSNBC then reported.
“The fact that it was reported in real time was very embarrassing,” said a senior MSNBC official. “We were told, ‘No, it’s not Sarah Palin and you don’t know who it is.’ ”
Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams, the past and present anchors of “NBC Nightly News,” have told friends and colleagues that they are finding it tougher and tougher to defend the cable arm of the news division, even while they anchored daytime hours of convention coverage on MSNBC and contributed commentary each evening.
Mr. Williams did not respond to a request for comment and Mr. Brokaw declined to comment. At a panel discussion in Denver, Mr. Brokaw acknowledged that Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Matthews had “gone too far” at times, but emphasized they were “not the only voices” on MSNBC, according to The Washington Post.
Al Hunt, the executive Washington bureau chief of Bloomberg News, said that the entire news division was being singled out by Republicans because of the work of partisans like Mr. Olbermann. “To go and tar the whole news network and Brokaw and Mitchell is grossly unfair,” he said, referring to the NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell.
Some tensions have spilled out on-screen. On the first night in Denver, as the fellow MSNBC host Joe Scarborough talked about the resurgence of the McCain campaign, Mr. Olbermann dismissed it by saying: “Jesus, Joe, why don’t you get a shovel?”
The following night, Mr. Olbermann and his co-anchor for convention coverage, Mr. Matthews, had their own squabble after Mr. Olbermann observed that Mr. Matthews had talked too long.
Some staff members said the tension led to the network’s decision to keep Mr. Olbermann in New York for the Republican convention, after he ran the desk in Denver during the Democratic convention. MSNBC said that he stayed in New York to anchor coverage of Hurricane Gustav. But some workers say there were other reasons — namely, that Mr. Olbermann was concerned about his safety in St. Paul, given the loud crowds at MSNBC’s set in Denver.
NBC Universal executives are also known to be concerned about the perception that MSNBC’s partisan tilt in prime time is bleeding into the rest of the programming day. On a recent Friday afternoon, a graphic labeled “Breaking News” asked: “How many houses does Palin add to the Republican ticket?” Mr. Griffin called the graphic “an embarrassment.”
According to three staff members, Jeff Zucker, chief executive of NBC Universal, and Steve Capus, president of NBC News, considered flying to the Republican convention in Minnesota last week to address the lingering tensions.
Up to now, the company’s public support for MSNBC’s strategy has been enthusiastic. At an anniversary party for Mr. Olbermann in April, Mr. Zucker called “Countdown” “one of the signature brands of the entire company.”
Just last year, Mr. Olbermann signed a four-year, $4-million-a-year contract with MSNBC. NBC is close to supplementing that contract with Mr. Olbermann, extending his deal through 2013 — and ensuring that he will be on MSNBC through the next election.
MSNBC Drops Olbermann, Matthews as News Anchors September 8, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Chris Matthews, Democratic Party, feminism, gender, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Keith Olbermann, media bias, MSNBC, sexism, Uncategorized.
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The Obama News Network – aka MSNBC finally removed Obama worshippers and cheerleaders, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews! Their convention coverage was pathetic. Olbermann was especially harsh on Sarah Palin never missing a moment to make patronizing comments about her. After Palin’s speech, he smugly compared Palin to Tracy Flick, the annoying know-it-all teenage girl from the movie, “Election.” Olbermann made the same comment about Hillary Clinton during the primary season. I think he has issues with strong women, especially the ones who had the audacity to be critical of his messiah, Obama. Anyways, I guess MSNBC and Fox News will continue to compete to see which network has the least journalistic integrity.
By Howard Kurtz Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 8, 2008; Page C01
MSNBC is removing Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as the anchors of live political events, bowing to growing criticism that they are too opinionated to be seen as neutral in the heat of the presidential campaign.
David Gregory, the NBC newsman and White House correspondent who also hosts a program on MSNBC, will take over during such events as this fall’s presidential and vice presidential debates and election night.
The move, confirmed by spokesmen for both networks, follows increasingly loud complaints about Olbermann’s anchor role at the Democratic and Republican conventions. Olbermann, who regularly assails President Bush and GOP nominee John McCain on his “Countdown” program, was effusive in praising the acceptance speech of Democratic nominee Barack Obama. He drew flak Thursday when the Republicans played a video that included a tribute to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, saying that if the networks had done that, “we would be rightly eviscerated at all quarters, perhaps by the Republican Party itself, for exploiting the memories of the dead, and perhaps even for trying to evoke that pain again. If you reacted to that videotape the way I did, I apologize.”
Matthews, who has criticized politicians in both parties, drew less criticism for his convention role but became a divisive figure during the primaries when he described how he was inspired by Obama’s speeches and made disparaging remarks about Hillary Clinton, for which he later apologized.
In May, MSNBC President Phil Griffin said in an interview that during live events Olbermann and Matthews “put on different hats. I think the audience gets it. . . . I see zero problem.”
But NBC News journalists, who often appear on the cable channel, did see a problem, arguing behind the scenes that MSNBC’s move to the left — which includes a new show, debuting tonight, for Air America radio host Rachel Maddow — was tarnishing their reputation for fairness. Tom Brokaw, the interim host of “Meet the Press,” said that at times Olbermann and Matthews went too far.
Olbermann and Matthews will remain as analysts during major political events, and officials at both networks, who declined to be identified discussing personnel moves, said Olbermann had initiated the discussions to clarify his role. They said Olbermann’s influence at MSNBC would in no way be diminished and that the shift would enable him and Matthews to offer more candid analysis during live coverage. Olbermann confirmed yesterday he had initiated the discussions.
“Phil and I have debated this set-up since late winter/early spring (with me saying, ‘Are you sure this flies?’ and him saying, ‘Yes, but let’s judge it event by event’) and I think we both reached the same point during the RNC,” Olbermann said by e-mail.
Olbermann was involved in several on-air incidents during the conventions that drew unwanted attention. He told morning host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, to “get a shovel” as Scarborough was defending the McCain campaign. And when GOP strategist Mike Murphy was debating Matthews, Olbermann could be heard saying, “Let’s wrap him up.”
These and other clashes fueled a sense that conservative voices are less than welcome at MSNBC as it has tried to position itself as a left-wing alternative to Fox News Channel. Olbermann disputes this view, calling the incidents “overblown.” Still, the network canceled Tucker Carlson‘s show in March and has diminished his role. And Dan Abrams, the veteran NBC legal analyst and former MSNBC general manager, had his program dropped last month to make room for Maddow, an Olbermann protege.
MSNBC’s more liberal outlook has boosted its ratings, though it remains the third-place cable news channel. But both parties began castigating its coverage last spring. Steve Schmidt, McCain’s top strategist, called the network “an organ of the Democratic National Committee,” and Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe said Matthews was “in the tank” for Obama.
Rendell: Obama coverage was embarrassing August 25, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Chris Matthews, Democratic Party, feminism, gender, Hillary Clinton, Keith Olbermann, media bias, MSNBC, sexism, Uncategorized.
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POLITICO; by Michael Calderone; August 24, 2008
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell was supposed to give “closing remarks” during this afternoon’s Shorenstein Center-sponsored panel discussion with all three Sunday show moderators — NBC’s Tom Brokaw, ABC’s George Stephanopoulous and CBS’s Bob Schieffer — but instead, he opened up a can of worms about bias in 2008 election coverage
“Ladies and gentleman, the coverage of Barack Obama was embarrassing,” said Rendell, in the ballroom at Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel. “It was embarrassing.”
Rendell, an ardent Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter during the primaries, now backs Obama in the general election. Brokaw and Rendell began debating campaign coverage, including the on-air comments by Lee Cowan, and when MSNBC came up, Rendell went after the cable network.
“MSNBC was the official network of the Obama campaign,” Rendell said, who called their coverage “absolutely embarrassing.”
Chris Matthews, Rendell said, “loses his impartiality when he talks about the Clintons.”
At that point, PBS’s Judy Woodruff, who was moderating the moderators event, said: “Why don’t we let Governor Rendell sit down.”
That was met with applause from the crowd of big-time media figures, which included Arianna Huffington, Gwen Ifill, Al Hunt, and Chuck Todd.
Woodruff allowed Brokaw to respond, and in defending the network, he said that Matthews and Keith Olbermann are “not the only voices” on MSNBC.
Stephanie Tubbs Jones: September 10, 1949 – August 20, 2008 August 21, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Chris Matthews, Democratic Party, feminism, gender, Hillary Clinton, media bias, MSNBC, sexism, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Uncategorized.
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U.S. Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio tragically died earlier today after suffering brain hemorrhaging caused by an aneurysm.
She was born and raised in Cleveland and worked her way through law school and eventually to being the first ever African American woman elected to Congress from the state of Ohio. She was a vocal advocate for working people and a vocal opponent to the war in Iraq. She was also the first African American woman on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
She was one of Hillary Clinton’s strongest advocates in the 2008 Democratic primary race. She helped spearhead Clinton’s blowout win in Ohio. She went on various media outlets to fight for Clinton, including putting pro-Obama MSNBC anchors and commentators in their place, including the unabashed misogynist and Obama cheerleader, Chris Matthews, the host of “Hardball”.
When pressure was mounting on her to ditch Clinton and go to the Obama side, including having her blackness questioned because she didn’t support Obama, she courageously resisted and stayed with Clinton till the end. While some of her colleagues were jumping ship for political expediency when things got tough for Hillary Clinton, she was a testament to the value of loyalty and integrity. When she was constantly badgered about abandoning Hillary Clinton, by the pro-Obama media, she defiantly responded:
“With all due respect to my colleagues, whoever you are, I firmly believe if you don’t have loyalty and integrity, what do you have? … I am a woman of my word. I will not leave her,”
You will be missed, Stephanie Tubbs Jones!
Hillary Clinton’s statement on the passing of Stephanie Tubbs Jones:
Yesterday, we lost a colleague, a friend, an inspiration, and a champion
for all of us. I am deeply saddened by the death of Congresswoman
Stephanie Tubbs Jones. She was my friend and my sister. She made me
laugh, smile and fired up my spirit when I needed it most.
She had a light that shone for the world to see within her and a fighting
spirit safely stowed behind her disarming smile. Stephanie had so much
integrity and a fiery intelligence that enabled her to become a one-woman
force for progress in our country.
Stephanie was a tireless worker, giving a voice to the voiceless and
always combating injustice. Stephanie spent much of her life fighting for
all Americans and to ensure that everyone had the most precious right -
the right to vote.
All of us who were lucky enough to know her and love her can only strive
to be as much like her as we can — to be as passionate, as loyal, as
hard-charging, and as joyful every single day.
Stephanie was one of a kind, and we will miss our friend forever.
My family’s deepest condolences are with Stephanie’s son, Mervyn, her
family, and her many loved ones, friends, supporters, and her beloved
Ohioans. It is during this tough time that we look back and remember all
the memories and blessings that Stephanie brought into our lives. If you
have a thought, a story, a prayer, or condolences you would like to
share, you can visit our website today so we can rejoice together in the
friendship and love that we have for Stephanie. All the notes and
memories we gather will be sent to her family on behalf of our extended
It’s No Longer Just About Hillary August 19, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Chris Matthews, Democratic Party, feminism, gender, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, media bias, MSNBC, sexism, Uncategorized, women's vote.
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Real Clear Politics; by Froma Harrop; August 19, 2008
After hearing her name placed in nomination at the Democrats’ convention next week, Hillary Clinton will no doubt urge her followers to support Barack Obama. What good that gesture will do for the Obama candidacy remains to be seen. Clinton has already made it several times, but a new Pew Research Center poll shows that 28 percent of her primary voters do not intend to vote for Obama, a number virtually unchanged from June.
Of special concern are women, particularly older ones, whom in the past could be counted on to vote for whatever Democrat was running for president. Many remain scandalized by the sexist attacks on Clinton during the recent campaign. A stubborn 18 percent of Clinton’s female voters vow to back McCain, according to a poll for Lifetime television networks. Another 6 percent plan to support neither major-party candidate.
Perhaps Clinton does not possess the magic wand to move her troops. The storyline goes that many women disappointed by Clinton’s loss or angry at the nasty campaign just needed time “to heal.” Once Hillary gave them the nudge, they’d get with the program.
Thing is, it’s no longer about Hillary for many of them. I sat in on a group of high-powered Clinton supporters gathering in New York last week to create a nonpartisan group called The New Agenda. There was little discussion of the current campaign.
The New Agenda’s agenda is to look out for women’s political interests where the Democratic Party and old-line feminist organizations had failed. The attendees reserved special fury for the Democratic National Committee and its passivity before the misogynistic carnival. One of their specifics is getting MSNBC jester Chris Matthews fired — and if he intends to run for the Senate from Pennsylvania, to end that idea.
Every member has her own plans for November, including for a few, voting for Obama. Co-founder Amy Siskind, a former Wall Street exec and Clinton fundraiser, told me, “I won’t vote for Obama, but I’m not sure what I’ll do.” Cynthia Ruccia, a Democratic activist from Columbus, Ohio, who twice ran against Republican John Kasich, is supporting McCain — and organizing other Democrats in her swing state to do likewise.
The McCain camp has noticed. Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and McCain’s adviser, met with Siskind in New York. She flew to Columbus to confer with Ruccia, Nancy Hopkins, another New Agenda founder, and 75 other miffed Democratic women. (Hopkins is the MIT biologist who famously protested a suggestion by then-Harvard University President Lawrence Summers that boys might be innately better at science than girls.)
DNC chairman Howard Dean has called Ruccia twice. “He was just waking up to the thought that women around the country were upset over the treatment of Hillary,” she told me. Ruccia tends to doubt that putting Clinton’s name to a roll-call vote will mollify many of the female holdouts. “The train left the station a long time ago,” she said.
The New Agenda wants to become a women’s-voice alternative for the National Organization for Women and NARAL, which they see as moribund and appendages of the Democratic leadership. Members note that when rapper Ludacris sang a pro-Obama ballad calling Hillary “an irrelevant b-,” the president of NOW didn’t get out of bed to complain.
For many of these women, whatever nice things Clinton says about Obama in Denver won’t matter much. They have decided that they can live with McCain, and they’re already inoculated against the crude anatomical references that left-wing bloggers will send their way. (There’s not one they haven’t heard.) Hillary can’t do much to change their feelings — even if she wanted to.
Media Charged With Sexism in Clinton Coverage June 13, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Chris Matthews, Democratic Party, feminism, gender, Hillary Clinton, Keith Olbermann, media bias, MSNBC, sexism, Uncategorized.
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The New York Times; by Katharine Q Seelye and Julie Bosman;
June 13, 2008
Angered by what they consider sexist news coverage of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, many women and erstwhile Clinton supporters are proposing boycotts of the cable networks, putting up videos on a “Media Hall of Shame,” starting a national conversation about sexism and pushing Mrs. Clinton’s rival, Senator Barack Obama, to address the matter.
But many in the news media — with a few exceptions, including Katie Couric, the anchor of the “CBS Evening News” — see little need for reconsidering their coverage or changing their approach going forward. Rather, they say, as the Clinton campaign fell behind, it exploited a few glaring examples of sexist coverage to whip up a backlash and to try to create momentum for Mrs. Clinton.
Phil Griffin, senior vice president of NBC News and the executive in charge of MSNBC, a particular target of criticism, said that although a few mistakes had been made, that they had been corrected quickly and that the network’s overall coverage was fair.
“I get it, that in this 24-hour media world, you’ve got to be on your game and there’s very little room for mistakes,” Mr. Griffin said. “But the Clinton campaign saw an opportunity to use it for their advantage. They were trying to rally a certain demographic, and women were behind it.”
His views were echoed by other news media figures. “She got some tough coverage at times, but she brought that on herself, whether it was the Bosnian snipers or not conceding on the night of the final primaries,” said Rem Rieder, editor of American Journalism Review. “She had a long track record in public life as a serious person and a tough politician, and she was covered that way.”
Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, said: “I have not had a lot of regretful conversations with high-ranking media types and political reporters about how unfair their coverage of the Hillary Clinton campaign was.”
Among journalists, he added, the coverage “does not register as a mistake that must not be allowed to happen again.”
Taking aim from the inside, though, was Ms. Couric, who herself has faced harsh criticism as the first woman to be the solo anchor of an evening news broadcast. Ms. Couric posted a video on the CBS Web site on Wednesday about the coverage of Mrs. Clinton.
“Like her or not, one of the great lessons of that campaign is the continued — and accepted — role of sexism in American life, particularly in the media,” Ms. Couric said.
She went on to lament the silence of those who did not speak up against it.
Candy Crowley, covering the campaign for CNN, said that for the most part, she did not see a drumbeat of sexism in the daily reporting, “but I certainly did see it in the commentary.” Still, Ms. Crowley said, “it was hard to know if these attacks were being made because she was a woman or because she was this woman or because, for a long time, she was the front-runner.”
The perception that sexism tainted coverage of the Clinton campaign — a view expressed on Internet postings and in conversations among women — appears to be gaining ground more in political circles than in the mainstream news media.
Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic Party, who says he was slow to pick up on charges of sexism because he is not a regular viewer of cable television, is taking up the cause after hearing an outcry from what he described as a cross-section of women, from individual voters to powerful politicians and chief executives.
“The media took a very sexist approach to Senator Clinton’s campaign,” Mr. Dean said in a recent interview.
“It’s pretty appalling,” he said, adding that the issue resonates because Mrs. Clinton “got treated the way a lot of women got treated their whole lives.”
Mr. Dean and others are now calling for a “national discussion” of sexism.
Mrs. Clinton may have begun that discussion in her concession speech on Saturday when she said that women deserve equal respect, along with equal pay, and that “there are no acceptable prejudices in the 21st century in our country.” She was referring to what emerged as conventional wisdom during the campaign that racism is no longer tolerated in America, but sexism is.
Cable television has come under the most criticism. Chris Matthews, a host on MSNBC, called Mrs. Clinton a “she-devil” and said she had gotten as far as she had only because her husband had “messed around.”
Mike Barnicle, a panelist on MSNBC, said that Mrs. Clinton was “looking like everyone’s first wife standing outside a probate court.” Tucker Carlson, also on MSNBC, said, “When she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs.”
The establishment news media were faulted too. The New York Times wrote about Mrs. Clinton’s “cackle” and The Washington Post wrote about her cleavage.
Ken Rudin, an editor at National Public Radio, appeared on CNN, where he equated Mrs. Clinton with the actress Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction.” “She’s going to keep coming back, and they’re not going to stop her,” Mr. Rudin said. He later apologized.
The cable networks do not reach as many viewers as the broadcast networks — 2.6 million per night for prime-time news programs on cable compared with 23 million for broadcast — but their coverage runs in a continuous loop, is amplified by the Internet and is seen by many people involved in politics.
“Largely, the problem was on cable and in the blogosphere and on the Internet, and that’s a relatively small audience,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. “But while it was limited, it was limited to influential people.”
Still, many in the news media say that sexist episodes had little effect on the outcome of the primaries. Instead, they said, Mrs. Clinton’s problem was a flawed campaign.
Keith Olbermann, the host of “Countdown” on MSNBC, said that while there were “individual, sexist, mistakes,” there was no overall sexism.
Any suggestion that MSNBC “was somehow out to ‘get’ Senator Clinton is false and unfair,” Mr. Olbermann wrote in an e-mail message. “We became a whipping boy.”
He said that after Feb. 5, when Mrs. Clinton went on a losing streak, her campaign strategy was to blame the news media, which he said was “its only fuel.”
Still, he said, there was “constant reflection and analysis at MSNBC, and I must say there was constant good faith in trying to make certain Senator Clinton was not treated unfairly.”
Many in the news media say it is important to look at the coverage of Mrs. Clinton in the context of the coverage of Mr. Obama. While hers was frequently positive, his was even more so — even “euphoric,” said Mr. Rieder of American Journalism Review. That may have added to the impression that the Clinton coverage was negative, he said.
Starting in mid-December, 90 percent of comments about Mr. Obama on the three broadcast networks were positive, and 61 percent about Mrs. Clinton were positive, according to a study by Robert Lichter, a communications professor at George Mason University. But as Mr. Obama became the front-runner, things evened out. The study said that by the time Mrs. Clinton suspended her campaign on June 7, they were getting about the same amount of positive coverage, with Mr. Obama at 48 percent and Mrs. Clinton at 45 percent.
Jeff Greenfield, a political correspondent for CBS News, said that charges of sexism often came through a political prism. “Throughout this campaign, people’s perception of the press has been in line with what they wanted to happen politically,” Mr. Greenfield said. “If my person lost, the press did a bad job.”
For many of Mrs. Clinton’s supporters, the anger over her treatment has not subsided and they are trying to take steps to minimize sexism in the future. “It’s volcanic,” said Allida M. Black, the director of the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers at George Washington University and a founder of WomenCount PAC, a group that ran full-page newspaper advertisements last month urging Mrs. Clinton to stay in the race.
“How do we deal with the media who many, many people feel compounded the missteps by the campaign and robbed her of any shot she might have had at the nomination?” Ms. Black said.
Some are calling for boycotts against MSNBC and CNN, and many are urging Mr. Obama, who addressed racism in a major speech, to address sexism, too.
In response, the Obama campaign directed a reporter to Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrat of Florida, who supported Mrs. Clinton but who is now speaking for the Obama campaign. She said Mr. Obama had no specific plans for a speech on sexism, partly because he already incorporates themes of discrimination as a societal problem into his speeches.
Both the National Organization for Women and Emily’s List, which backs female candidates who support abortion rights, are generating e-mail campaigns to the cable channels when they see sexism. The networks have usually issued on-air apologies.
“We’re certainly not going to take this lying down,” said Ellen Malcolm, the president of Emily’s List. She said her hope was for a national discussion to focus on “what is fair in the new political world of Internet, cable and traditional news coverage.”
NOW is starting a campaign to highlight its “Media Hall of Shame,” an online project in which it points to examples of sexist language.
NOW’s president, Kim Gandy, said her members would remain alert: “We’re going to keep watching because we think Michelle Obama will be the recipient of the same kind of attacks that Hillary was.”
Tom Brokaw Slams Press Drumbeat For Hillary’s Exit: ‘Inappropriate’, ‘Commentary Disguised As Reporting’ June 10, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Chris Matthews, Democratic Party, feminism, gender, Hillary Clinton, Keith Olbermann, media bias, MSNBC, sexism, Tom Brokaw, Uncategorized.
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Clinton exit a preoccupation for reporters
By DAVID BAUDER
AP Television Writer
June 9, 2008
NEW YORK (AP) – Now that Hillary Clinton has ended her bid for the presidency, political journalists are suddenly deprived of one of their favorite stories: When is she going to drop out?
A study shows the only campaign topics that got more attention the past two months were Barack Obama’s talkative former minister, the Pennsylvania primary and the fallout from President Bush’s remarks about appeasement while in Israel.
More time was spent talking about when Clinton might call it quits than about how the candidates might deal with the war in Iraq, the high price of gasoline, home foreclosures or the sputtering economy. Or about anything that presumptive Republican nominee John McCain said or did during April and May, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s analysis of political coverage in newspapers, on Internet sites and on television news.
This doesn’t even count the frenzied days after the Iowa caucuses in January, when there was so much media discussion about whether Clinton’s campaign would end if she didn’t win in New Hampshire that many experts believe a backlash against it was a factor in her victory.
The coverage embittered the Clinton campaign and, in the eyes of one veteran journalist, should provoke some soul-searching.
“It was inappropriate, for journalists especially, to try to cut the process short,” NBC News’ anchor emeritus, Tom Brokaw, told The Associated Press. “It was an appropriate issue for people to report on, in context, but there was an awful lot of commentary disguised as reporting that gave the impression that people were trying to shove her out of the race.”
Brokaw’s old-school attitude often put him at odds with Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann when he joined them for primary night coverage on MSNBC this year. One example was last Tuesday. Brokaw was talking about the contrasts between McCain and Obama when Olbermann interjected about “a third one trying to shoehorn her way” into the coverage.
“Well, I think that’s unfair, Keith,” Brokaw replied. “I don’t think sheshoehorned her way in. When you look at the states that she won and the popular vote that she piled up, and the number of delegates that she has on her side, she’s got real bargaining power in all of this.”
Brokaw called all the discussion about Clinton’s exit a product of “too much time and too little imagination.”
Americans have taken a deep interest in the campaign and the media, particularly cable news, has responded to strong ratings by giving them more, more, more. It encouraged a predictive culture, fueled by opinion polls. It was not enough to report what was happening; people needed to prove themselves by talking with assurance about what will happen.
There was also an overwhelming need for closure, odd for a very close race even in the context of recent history, when Gary Hart and Ted Kennedy took losing nomination fights to the summer conventions. As one veteran political reporter wondered recently: why would journalists seem so eager to see the best story of their life end?
“I’ve always felt that it was not the job of reporters to be like `The Gong Show’ and hoot candidates off the stage,” said John Harris, editor in chief of the Politico Web site.
Between the fascination of many reporters with Obama and constant counting of his slow march toward the required number of delegates for the nomination, the Clinton campaign has some legitimate gripes about the way they were covered, he said.
It was hard for the Clinton campaign to stay off the defensive, when so much time was spent on stories about the hopelessness of her situation, said Lisa Caputo, a former White House aide and an adviser to Clinton’s campaign.
“You can’t count people out before they’re out,” she said. “Let the process play out. There was an awful lot of not letting the process play out on its own merits but trying in some respects to influence the process.”
It’s a variation of a criticism faced by political journalists for a half-century now: too much emphasis on the horse race and not enough on issues. Coverage was issue-oriented at the start of this campaign, but degenerated into a lot of stories about process, said Bob Schieffer, host of CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
“We get criticized for it,” Schieffer said. “But when you come right down to it, that’s what campaigns are about trying to win.”
This is truly the first full campaign of the online age, where something can be old news before it’s printed in a newspaper. Many reporters are overworked trying to follow the story, report for their publications and write for blogs.
This seemed to increase, not decrease, the tendency toward pack journalism.
Other factors inevitably drove the coverage, said Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism. It was a lengthy primary process that was quickly reduced to two candidates who had relatively few differences on the issues, he said.
That was reflected in how coverage essentially became a gaffe watch, he said. The 103 stories on whether or not Clinton should get out were nearly matched by the 100 stories on Obama’s remarks about bitter people turning to guns and religion, according to the PEJ’s index. There were 243 stories about Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
For some time, it was obvious to those counting that Clinton was not going to be able to earn enough delegates to win, Harris said. That’s both hard and wrong for reporters to ignore, he said.
“I don’t see a real remedy for it,” he said, “other than that all of us at this point should try to write original and provocative stories and not try to follow the pack of conventional stories.”
Now that one dependable story is gone, dozens of opinion polls are ready to take its place.
A video that thoroughly shows the media bias and sexism against Hillary Clinton throughout the campaign season June 6, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Chris Matthews, Democratic Party, feminism, gender, Hillary Clinton, Keith Olbermann, media bias, MSNBC, sexism, Uncategorized.
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Do you want to know why Hillary Clinton’s supporters are angry? Watch this:
Below is a “thank you card campaign” for Hillary Clinton that is being initiated by Taylor Marsh. I’m about to send her my “thank you” card and so should all of you!
We are trying to get a “Thank you card campaign” started. We want to flood Senator Clinton’s DC office with thank you cards. On the front of the envelope we are writing “WE ARE ONE OF 18 MILLION” and we are asking her to take it to Denver. We want to reach as many supporters as possible so it can be effective. THE ADDRESS:
THE HONORABLE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON
UNITED STATES SENATE
476 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON
MSNBC, Leaning Left And Getting Flak From Both Sides May 28, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Chris Matthews, Democratic Party, feminism, gender, Hillary Clinton, media bias, MSNBC, sexism, Uncategorized.
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 28, 2008; Page C01
MSNBC, which bills itself as “the place for politics,” is being pummeled by political practitioners.
“It’s an organ of the Democratic National Committee,” says Steve Schmidt, a senior strategist for John McCain’s campaign. “It’s a partisan advocacy organization that exists for the purpose of attacking John McCain.”
Ed Gillespie, President Bush’s counselor, says there is an “increasing blurring” of the line between NBC News and MSNBC’s “blatantly partisan talk show hosts like Christopher Matthews and Keith Olbermann.”
Terry McAuliffe, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, says Matthews has been “in the tank” for Barack Obama “from Day One” and is practically “the Obama campaign chair.”
Why are operatives from across the political spectrum suddenly beating up on the third-place cable channel? Phil Griffin, the NBC senior vice president who runs MSNBC, dismisses the criticism, calling Schmidt’s broadsides “pretty outrageous accusations.”
“To call us an arm of the DNC is a joke,” he says. “We have people with multiple points of view. Everyone is getting a little thin-skinned. We argue and debate every topic.”
The focus of the attacks is MSNBC’s evening lineup, where the channel has clearly gravitated to the left in recent years and often seems to regard itself as the antithesis of Fox News. Schmidt, for instance, says he regards MSNBC’s daytime reporting as fair, but that it would be “delusional” to view its nighttime operation as anything other than a “partisan entity.”
NBC and its cable outlet have become more integrated since MSNBC moved to the 30 Rockefeller Plaza headquarters in New York last fall, a trend accelerated by the sharing of journalistic talent during the campaign. Some top NBC journalists say privately they are troubled by the overlapping identities.
Matthews, the voluble “Hardball” host, appears frequently on NBC’s “Today,” and Tim Russert, NBC’s Washington bureau chief and “Meet the Press” moderator, is an increasingly visible presence on MSNBC. Andrea Mitchell and David Gregory, both well-regarded NBC correspondents, now anchor hour-long programs on the cable outlet. Gregory replaced Tucker Carlson, leaving former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough as the channel’s only conservative host.
NBC News President Steve Capus says the distinctions between reporting and opinion are clear. “We happen to have programs that at times are driven by opinion on MSNBC, and we have a worldwide news organization driven by NBC News,” he says. “The only people trying to lump it all together are people who tend to view these things through a political filter or are our competitors.”
But news and opinion often seem to merge on primary nights. MSNBC’s coverage is anchored by Matthews, a onetime Democratic operative, and Olbermann, the “Countdown” host who recently finished one anti-Bush commentary by instructing the president to “shut the hell up.”
On election nights, Griffin says, Matthews and Olbermann “put on different hats. I think the audience gets it. . . . I see zero problem.” MSNBC, he adds, offers “a little irreverence, entertainment, and sometimes it’s even borderline dangerous.”
Terence Smith, a former correspondent for CBS, PBS and the New York Times, says that “NBC Nightly News,” for example, is far different from cable fare. “I don’t believe Brian Williams’s show reflects the attitudes and positions of Olbermann and Matthews and others on MSNBC,” he says. “But it is potentially a perception problem. The public doesn’t make a lot of distinctions between different arms of an organization.”
As for Matthews and Olbermann, Smith says, “there’s no confusion on ‘Hardball’ or ‘Countdown’ as to where they stand. They are and have been enamored of Obama from the beginning.”
Scarborough, who hosts “Morning Joe,” has been more sympathetic toward Clinton, while often criticizing the Republican Party he once represented in Florida.
The Obama campaign, for its part, has not complained about MSNBC’s coverage. “Has it been too pro-Obama? Absolutely not,” says Obama spokesman Bill Burton. “When the cable news channels had wall-to-wall negative coverage about our campaign for weeks on end, we didn’t think it was particularly fair, but we also didn’t whine about it all the time.”
Gillespie, who raised questions about the overlap between the networks in a letter to Capus, says in an interview: “The president is not covered on MSNBC, he’s talked about on MSNBC,” largely in unflattering terms. “It’s an advocacy network, and they’re free to say what they want.”
Russert drew some flak for declaring on the night of the May 6 primaries in Indiana and North Carolina: “We now know who the Democratic nominee is going to be, and no one’s going to dispute it.” He notes that he made a similar declaration on NBC — that Bill Clinton had the Democratic race wrapped up — in 1992.
As Russert sees it, appearing on the cable channel “enhances” his reputation. “I don’t do anything differently on MSNBC than I do on the network — try to report and analyze as best I can,” he says.
In the bitter battle for the Democratic nomination, MSNBC is widely viewed as being rough on Clinton. Matthews — who said after one Obama speech that he “felt this thrill going up my leg” — apologized in January for saying that Clinton owes her political career to the fact that “her husband messed around.” Correspondent David Shuster, who recently began anchoring the 4 p.m. hour, drew a two-week suspension in February for questioning whether Chelsea Clinton was being “pimped out” by her mother’s campaign.
Griffin maintains that MSNBC has been “very fair” to Clinton, despite what he calls her “baggage.” “Obama had a lot of early success, and that colored people’s thinking,” he says. “That was a newer story, a fresher story, and people locked onto it.”
In a “special comment” Friday — an occasional segment devoted to editorializing — Olbermann denounced Clinton for mentioning the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy while talking about how past primary seasons have lasted through June. “This cannot be forgiven,” Olbermann said, adding: “A politician, a person who can let hang in midair the prospect that she might just be sticking around, in part, just in case the other guy gets shot has no business being, and no capacity to be, the president of the United States.”
Olbermann has also unloaded on the presumed Republican nominee, sometimes with the on-screen headline “Double Talk Express.” When McCain missed a vote on legislation to expand educational benefits for veterans, Olbermann accused him of “political opportunism.” When the Arizona senator suggested that as president he would regularly answer questions before Congress, Olbermann said: “John McCain would last 11 minutes doing it before he swore or punched somebody or stormed out or all three.”
MSNBC’s evening guest lineup adds to its left-leaning image. While Griffin proclaims, with some exaggeration, that “Pat Buchanan’s on every show,” that is in part because the former GOP presidential candidate is the channel’s only regular conservative commentator. Such liberals as Air America host Rachel Maddow (an Olbermann substitute), Washington Post columnist Gene Robinson and Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter make frequent appearances. Olbermann generally does not book conservative or Republican guests, saying he doesn’t want to stage “talking point” debates with liberal pundits.
In a further contrast to Fox, where former White House adviser Karl Rove is often the leadoff guest on nighttime shows, Dan Abrams, the host of MSNBC’s “Verdict,” spent half a program last week on a House committee’s subpoena of Rove in a probe of political influence at the Justice Department.
NBC executives say the ratings growth at MSNBC — up 61 percent this month in prime time, compared with a year ago — has made it a target.
“It used to be people didn’t have to worry about MSNBC because it was an also-ran cable channel,” Capus says. “That’s not the case anymore. With that is going to come more scrutiny, and we’re ready for it.”
Another funny SNL skit about last week’s debate and mocking the media’s infatuation and bias toward Barack Obama March 2, 2008Posted by koreanpower999 in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Brian Williams, debate, Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, media bias, MSNBC, SNL, Tim Russert.
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SNL skit about last week’s presidential debate and the media’s infatuation and bias toward Barack Obama.
This is another SNL skit guest starring Hillary Clinton.
This is SNL cartoon spoof about Barack Obama’s reluctance to be seen in public with other African American leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.