As Politico's Keach Hagey notes:
Candy Crowley, host of CNN's "State of the Union," thought the myth persisted because of "the lack of any kind of evidence to the contrary," noting that President George W. Bush was often seen going to church while Obama goes less often.
OK, one more point about Howard Kurtz's fact-checking segment yesterday. Earlier, Eric Boehlert noted that Kurtz seemed to go out of his way to find a reason to slap a Democrat on the wrists, and I showed that his "fact-checking" of Bill Clinton and Tim Geithner wasn't actually a fact-check. So how did Kurtz do with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell? Not well.
On the April 18 CNN broadcast of State of the Union With Candy Crowley, McConnell reiterated his contention that Senate financial reform legislation is "a bailout fund that sort of guarantees in perpetuity that we will be intervening once again to bail out these big firms."
Candy Crowley made a clunker of a claim in her profile of Sarah Palin on the April 11 edition of CNN's State of the Union. After noting that, as part of her "safe and lucrative" role as a Fox News commentator, Palin has "put her brand" on the show Real American Stories, Crowley said of the show: "The normal Fox News audience is reported to have doubled in the time slot."
While coming in first in its time period -- beating the Total Viewer average of the 10pm programs on MSNBC, CNN and HLN combined -- FNC's "Real American Stories with Sarah Palin" was down substantially versus the performance of "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" last Thursday as well as that program's Thursday average for the month of March. "Real American Stories" delivered 2.073 million Total Viewers and 472k A25-54 viewers, down 10% versus last Thursday among Total Viewers and down 28% in A25-54. For all Thursdays in March 2010, the "Stories" premiere was down 10% among Total Viewers and down 19% in A25-54.
Looking at quarter hour data, "Real American Stories" shed viewers from start to finish -- down 18% among Total Viewers (2.319mm vs. 1.895mm) and down 22% in A25-54 (533k vs. 418k) from the program's first to its final quarter hour.
Losing audience in the time slot is not the same as "doubling" it.
Lack of diversity on the all important Sunday morning political talk shows is nothing new. As Media Matters noted back in a 2007 report on the subject, "Not only are the Sunday morning talk shows on the broadcast networks dominated by conservative opinion and commentary, the four programs -- NBC's Meet the Press, ABC's This Week, CBS' Face the Nation, and Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday -- feature guest lists that are overwhelmingly white and overwhelmingly male."
At the time of the report's release, not one of the Sunday shows was helmed by a woman or ethnic minority. How did the guests stack up? Not well at all.
Keep in mind, these programs help shape beltway conventional wisdom for the week to come and wield a disproportionate amount of influence over the political chattering class. The lack of a seat at the table for women and ethnic minorities spoke directly to the old boys club that has long dominated Washington politics and media.
The 2007 report didn't take into account the less influential Sunday morning political talk shows on cable networks like CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC but the results -- at least when it comes to hosts -- would have been much the same. All white. All men.
This year things have changed a bit.
In February when it was announced that long-time senior political correspondent Candy Crowley would be taking over as host for John King on CNN's State of the Union it was hard to find a story that didn't make prominent mention of her recent post-campaign weight loss.
It is one thing to be critical of Crowley's past work, just as we have been from time to time. It is quite another to fixate on her physical appearance. Asked about the subject, Crowley was quoted as saying, "Would I have gotten the job without having lost the weight? I don't know. That's an X factor... Does the refrigerator light stay on when you close the door? We'll never know." She went on to say, "I readily admit I'm not the most obvious pick, from a purely cosmetic point of view... I'm not going to argue that when you turn on the TV, you basically get young, blonde, thin women. This is changing."
I certainly hope it is changing but only time will tell.
Similarly, earlier this month word came down that CNN's Christiane Amanpour would be leaving the cable network to helm ABC's This Week - the first woman ever with full-time hosting duties on a broadcast network Sunday show.
Cue the back-biting and second guessing, much of it anonymous.
As Mediaite's Steve Krakauer noted:
Then there's CNN's John King who felt the need to throw out some questions about Amanpour's selection during a recent interview stating, "There are a lot of questions. Christiane does not have a lot of experience covering American politics and so how does she fit in on ABC on Sunday morning? I'll leave that to them to figure out. It is an interesting pick, it is an unorthodox choice, I think that's just self-evident...I'll watch how it plays out with everyone else."
Get that? There are lots of questions. She's not experienced covering American politics. But I'll leave ABC News to answer these questions...questions I've just thrown out to you like red meat to the media circus lions in my best impersonation of a Fox News chyron.
Regardless of what you think of these recent hirings, they are a long overdue step in the right-direction. Women and ethnic minorities bring a different world of experience to the table. They need not be booked solely for the purpose of discussing issues important to women and ethnic minorities as is far too often the case.
The Washington press corps is change averse. It's a stodgy, self-perpetuating, conventional wisdom driven world. It could use a little more, dare I say a great deal more, change.
With Candy Crowley set to take over CNN's Sunday State of the Union broadcast, let's take a moment to review some of her most memorable moments.
And the time Crowley claimed Democrats "message" was "we don't support the troops and we're not tough on national security."
That's the kind of track record that gets you a high-profile gig hosting a Sunday political talk show on CNN.
News came down over the weekend that Candy Crowley will replace John King as host of CNN's Sunday political talk show, State of the Union.
Few in The Village have taken to bolstering conventional wisdom at the expense of real, truth-seeking journalism like Crowley. It looks like she'll fit right in on Sunday mornings. After all, the all-important network political chat shows could use another host with a penchant for allowing glaringly false misinformation to go unchallenged.
More on Crowley, here.
Newsbusters' Matthew Balan complains:
CNN's Candy Crowley neglected to include sound bites from conservatives during a report about Sarah Palin on Tuesday's American Morning, other than from the former Alaska governor herself. While Crowley did acknowledge the widespread support that Palin has among conservative Republicans, she only used clips from moderate commentator David Frum, Democrat Bill Owens, and colleague Wolf Blitzer. [Emphasis added]
David Frum has worked as a speechwriter for George W. Bush, a senior fellow at the right-wing Manhattan Institute, and an editor for the right-wing editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. He has been an advisor to Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign and a contributing editor to National Review. He is a resident fellow at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, and serves on the board of directors of the Republican Jewish Coalition. He supported John McCain's presidential campaign, and has written books titled "Dead Right," "What's Right: The New Conservative Majority and the Remaking of America," "The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush," "Comeback: Conservatism that can win again." And he co-wrote a book with Richard Perle.
But Newsbusters' Matthew Balan says Frum isn't a conservative; he's a moderate, and that CNN's report therefore failed to fearture any soundbites from conservatives. Oh, except Sarah Palin.
Another, more sane, way to look at the report would be to say it featured clips of two conservatives, Frum and Palin, and only one progressive, Democrat Bill Owens.
Oh, and that Owens clip? Here it is, in its entirety:
CONGRESSMAN-ELECT BILL OWENS: Thank you very much.
Oh, the bias!
Media figures including Candy Crowley, Carl Cameron, Brian Kilmeade, and Gretchen Carlson have mischaracterized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's comments that recent "anti-government rhetoric" reminded her of "the late '70s in San Francisco" when "it created a climate in which violence took place," to claim that she was criticizing opponents of health care reform. In fact, Pelosi was directly responding to a question not about health care reform, but one that explicitly noted "people talking about anti-government rhetoric and so on and the possibility of violence."
CROWLEY: Republicans are also encountering angry voters but Democrats seem to be getting the worst of it and they accuse Republican operatives of sending protesters to their Town Hall meetings, but even if there is any truth to that charge the reality is that poll after poll shows that Americans are divided about Obama-style health care reform.
Well, first, of course there is "truth to that charge." Right-wing groups are sending around memos telling people how to "artificially inflate" their numbers and "be disruptive early and often." That memo was revealed four days ago. Has Crowley been paying any attention at all?
And second: No, Americans are not "divided" in any meaningful way on "Obama style health care reform." By large margins, Americans want significant health care reform. By large margins, they favor Barack Obama's approach over the GOP's approach. They favor a public option.
Yes, it's true, polling also shows things like public concern that they wouldn't be able to choose their own doctor under proposed reforms. But that concern is not based on reality -- it is based on an aggressive disinformation campaign waged by enemies of reform. If Candy Crowley spent her time producing news reports that correct that disinformation rather than hyping the results of it, things would be going a lot more smoothly -- and more importantly (from her perspective) she'd also be performing actual journalism.
CNN's Candy Crowley and CQ Politics' Jonathan Allen reported Newt Gingrich's claim that "I am not a citizen of the world. I think the entire concept is intellectual nonsense and stunningly dangerous," saying the line was a jab at President Obama. Neither reported however that President Reagan made similar remarks.
Media figures have used President Obama's second overseas trip to Europe and the Middle East to stoke fears that he may be too close to the Muslim world or harbors a secret, anti-American agenda.
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Candy Crowley claimed of the Making Work Pay tax credit: "The average tax cut is somewhere between $10 and $13." But Crowley did not explain that those figures apply per week, adding up to an annual tax credit of $400 per individual and $800 for families.
Candy Crowley claimed that Republicans may find "fertile political ground" on the issue of taxes, citing a Gallup poll on taxes as evidence. However, Gallup said of the results of that poll: "Gallup finds Americans' views of their federal income taxes about as positive as at any point in the last 60 years."
On Anderson Cooper 360, Candy Crowley asserted: "The polls nationwide and in the battlegrounds suggest if the election were held today, Barack Obama would win. They feel it in the crowds, and he feels it, too." Crowley then aired a clip of Obama stating, "I feel like we've got a righteous wind at our backs." But Crowley left out the rest of Obama's statement: "[B]ut we're going to have to work. We're going to have to struggle. We're going to have to fight for every single one of those 13 days to move this country in a new direction."