Blog | Page 2311 | Media Matters for America


  • The Brent Bozell Correction Watch, Day 1

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    In his most recent column, Media Research Center's Brent Bozell made an egregious factual error while (cough, cough) chastising the press for not doing its job properly.

    Specifically, Bozell was hyping the incorrect story that Obama's inauguration cost much, much more than Bush's bash in 2005:

    For the record, the 'lavish' Bush inaugural cost $43 million. Final tallies are not complete, but according to some sources, like the Guardian newspaper, the Obama inaugural will cost more than $150 million.

    That's not accurate. The final tally of Bush's inauguration, including all the money the federal government spent on security and logistics, was $157 million. Bush supporters raised $43 million, and then taxpayers spent $115 million more. From the New York Times, January 6, 2008:

    In 2005, Mr. Bush raised $42.3 million from about 15,000 donors for festivities; the federal government and the District of Columbia spent a combined $115.5 million, most of it for security, the swearing-in ceremony, cleanup and for a holiday for federal workers.

    While highlighting how much (supposedly) less expensive Bush's inauguration was in 2005 as compared to the estimates for Obama's, Bozell wrote that Bush's inauguration cost $43 million. It did not. It cost $157 million.

    So the question now becomes, will Bozell correct his error? Will a man who makes a living criticizing the press admit to his own obvious factual error?

    We're waiting Brent....

    P.S. Does Brent really think that the government spent $0 on security for Bush's 2005 inauguration? Because the $43 million he cited didn't cover security. Does Brent think that the 6,000 law enforcement and 7,000 troops that were deployed throughout Washington, D.C. for the 2005 swearing-in, the armed Coast Guard boats that patroled the Patomac River, didn't cost taxpayers a single penny? That they were there voluntarily? Either Brent doesn't understand how the government works (i.e. its money goes toward paying military and law enforcement costs), or Brent made a rather enormous factual error in his column.

    Which one is it Brent?

  • It's like GOP Reefer Madness, cont'd

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    The phony Fairness Doctrine fever overcomes National Review Online: "Will Obama Revive the Fairness Doctrine?"

    We love the fact that the Michael Franc item (please not the headline again) never mentions the fact that Obama has stated specifically he won't try to revise the Fairness Doctrine.

    Ah, NRO journalism. (Hmm, oxymoron?)

  • It's like Dawn of the Dead at the White House press room

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    After eight years of zombie-like behavior, where members didn't even care when the Bush White House waved in a former male prostitute using an alias so he could ask phony questions at press briefings, on Day One of the Democratic administration it's a whole new vibe.

    And oh man, are reporters pissed at how Dems are running things. I mean, it's a disaster:

    There have been a handful of rocky moments so far. Some press staffers found their name cards misspelled on Wednesday and phone lines weren't properly hooked up. Reporters trying to reach the press staff got emails bounced back.

    Also, press aides informed reporters that the doors of the lower press office will be locked until 8:30 am, an inconvenience for those on the early shift. Following a USA Today blog item, there was confusion about whether the site would regularly publish pool reports since there was a "pool report" link on the site. And in the hours before Gibbs' briefing, the northwest gate of the White House started running out of temporary passes.

    No wonder Chuck Todd compared it to Gitmo!

  • WaPo, please define "double standard"

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    Anne Kornblut in today's paper writes:

    With her abrupt exit this week from consideration for the Senate, Caroline Kennedy added her name to a growing list: women who have sought the nation's highest offices only to face insurmountable hurdles. Like Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sarah Palin before her, Kennedy illustrated what some say is an enduring double standard in the handling of ambitious female office-seekers. Even as more women step forward as contenders for premier political jobs, observers say, few seem able to get there.

    Um, the fact that a woman has been selected to replace Clinton, herself a woman, would seem to undercut Kornblut's point about "insurmountable hurdles" surrounding the New York senate seat, no?

    And just for the record, it's laughable to think that Kornblut, or anybody at the WaPo, is in a position to pontificate about the double standard Hillary Clinton had to endure from the press during her White House run. Since, of course, the Post was among the worst offenders in attacking Clinton in creepy, sexist ways.

  • Forbes, please define "liberal"

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    Forbes magazine, that well know bastion of liberal thinking, just published its list of the The 25 Most Influential Liberals In The U.S. Media. And surprise! At least some of them are actually liberal. (Glenn Greenwald, Ezra Klein, Rachel Maddow, etc.)

    But a bulk of the list is made up of Beltway insiders who wouldn't be caught dead at the Netroots Nation. Either that, or the progressive movement in America today is suddenly being represented in the media by the pro-Iraq war Kurt Andersen, the pro-war Andrew Sullivan, the pro-war Christopher Hitchens, the pro-war Thomas Friedman, and the pro-war Fred Hiatt.

    And not to mention--according to Forbes--the Clinton/Gore-hating Maureen Dowd and the Clinton/Gore-hating Chris Matthews.

    Note to Forbes: stick to what you know. (And it ain't liberalism.)

  • New York Post forgets to source its story

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    Big shock, we know. But it's almost comical to read this headline "DAVE PICKS GILLIBRAND AS LIBERAL DEMS HOWL," and then read the Fredric Dicker article and realize the right-wing Post provided no facts, quotes, or hard evidence to back up its reporting about how liberal Democrats supposedly feel.

    Must be nice to practice journalism at a newspaper that requires very little actual journalism.

  • Chris Matthews and the blogs

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    I'm slightly torn over this one. One the one hand, it's a good thing if Matthews attempt on Hardball Thursday night was to make clear that his show didn't want to traffic is personal rumors that swirled around Caroline Kennedy in light of her withdrawing from pursuing Hillary Clinton's U.S. senate seat.

    The problem was the way Matthews did it. Specifically, by suggesting the rumors were a blog thing, and that he practiced journalism and that blogs, in general, did not. Because, let's be honest, that's just not the case. Or did I miss the blog coverage from Inauguration Day that read like this:

    I gave Val Kilmer a ride home last night. I met—let's go through the names of who I met, John Cusack. I love—I always wanted to meet him. He said he always wanted to meet me. That's kind of cool. And Ed Harris. And Robert De Niro, I met him last night. …

  • How many mistakes can The Atlantic's Megan McArdle make?

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    Glenn Greenwald counts the ways:

    Despite the fact that it's only 74 words, one could spend hours highlighting the factual inaccuracies in McArdle's "uncomfortable question." The point isn't that what she said is wrong. Everyone makes factual errors. There's nothing wrong with that. It's that there is no way to think or write any of what she wrote if one has been paying even the slightest attention to these matters, and if one hasn't been, then one shouldn't be writing about them