Archive for the ‘impartiality’ Category

Obama Picking Media Haves, Have Nots More than Predecessors?

February 12, 2009

About half-way through President Obama’s press conference Monday night, he had an unscripted question of his own. “All, Chuck Todd,” the President said, referring to NBC’s White House correspondent. “Where’s Chuck?” He had the same strange question about Fox News’s Major Garrett: “Where’s Major?”

The problem wasn’t the lighting in the East Room. The President was running down a list of reporters preselected to ask questions. The White House had decided in advance who would be allowed to question the President and who was left out.

Presidents are free to conduct press conferences however they like, but the decision to preselect questioners is an odd one, especially for a White House famously pledged to openness. We doubt that President Bush, who was notorious for being parsimonious with follow-ups, would have gotten away with prescreening his interlocutors. Mr. Obama can more than handle his own, so our guess is that this is an attempt to discipline reporters who aren’t White House favorites.

Few accounts of Monday night’s event even mentioned the curious fact that the White House had picked its speakers in advance. We hope that omission wasn’t out of fear of being left off the list the next time.

From The Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12
3431418276770899.html

White House, Limbaugh Show Blurring Media and Government

January 30, 2009

As soon as President Obama was inaugurated, his White House pledged transparency and said this would be the most open and ethically correct administration ever.

Free press, unbiased sharing, fair coverage and disclosure, right?

But within hours, the White House was under attack for not honorings its transparency pledge and had apprently launched an attack of its own on Republican media giant Rush Limbaugh.

Last I heard, Rush Limbaugh was a private citizen with a radio show.  The President of the United States has to criticize him?

Ever hear of free speech?

Meanwhile, in Britain, the BBC denied it was the “Bararck Broadcasting Channel” and drew the line on unbiased reporting — and got attacked by anti-Israelis because the “BEEB” refused to air a biased Gaza charity video.

NBC never did deny it was the National Barack Channel….

Today we learn that the White House Chief of Staff has a daily phone conference call with selected members of the media — bypassing the White House communications director Robert Gibbs and the rest of the White House media.

Fair?  Balanced?  Transparent?

We aren’t talking an off the record interview with a reporter or a “Deep Throat” moment — we’re talking about the White House Chief of Staff conducting a daily round table with media opinion shapers like ABC news host George Stephanopoulos of “This Week,” frequent CNN talking head Paul Begula and James Carville.

So, President Obama and the Democratic Party were swept into power in the White House and Congress with a largely compliant if not an adoring media.  But the White House still feels the need to potentially manipulate opinion through Mr. Stephanopoulos, Mr. Begula and Mr.  Carville while they trash and attack Mr. Limbaugh.

Related:
 White House, ABC News, Media Talking Heads In Daily Conference Call?

 BBC Insists It Is Not The “Barack Broadcasting Channel”

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Limbaugh challenging notion of new politicsAssociated Press

 

For all the talk of new politics and a new start with a new administration, the media person who has emerged as the chief voice of opposition during the first week of Barack Obama’s presidency—Rush Limbaugh—has been doing this for 20 years.

The talk-radio titan said, days before Obama was sworn in, that he hoped Obama failed because he didn’t believe in the incoming president’s policies.

It’s kept him in the headlines ever since, to the point where MSNBC on Thursday asked: “Is Rush running the GOP?” The day before, every Republican House member voted against Obama’s economic stimulus plan, a bill Limbaugh has ridiculed as the “porkulus” plan.

“Obama was trying to marginalize me,” Limbaugh said. “His hope was that the House and Senate Republicans would join him in denouncing me. Didn’t work.”

When Rep. Phil Gingrey, a Georgia Republican, tried to praise his House leadership this week by saying it’s easy for talk-show hosts to stand back and throw bricks, the headline on the Politico Web site read: “House GOP member to Rush: Back off.” Gingrey was so bothered by the phone calls of complaints that he visited four conservative talk-show hosts, including Limbaugh, the next day to apologize.

Limbaugh, he said, was a conservative giant and one of the “voices of the conservative movement’s conscience.”

Can it get any better for a personality whose business is built on buzz?

“Rush Limbaugh is first and foremost a radio performer,” said Michael Harrison, publisher of the trade journal Talkers magazine, which notes that Limbaugh has been the most listened-to talk-show host since at least the mid-1990s. “He’s not a political leader. He doesn’t make more money by turning elections. He only exists to gather large audiences and raise more advertising revenue and he does it terrifically.”

(Limbaugh is heard on some 600 radio stations across the country, and more than 14 million people listen to him at least once a week.)

Yet count columnist Michael Wolff, writing in the Huffington Post, as one who believes Limbaugh is “being played.”

He could prove valuable to the president, who has sought bipartisan support for many of his plans and romanced Republicans in his first week in office. Being able to point to an opponent like Limbaugh could help him with the millions of Americans for whom the message of ending partisan bickering rang true on Election Day.

Obama even cited Limbaugh in seeking support for his economic plans.

“You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done,” he said. “There are big things that unify Republicans and Democrats. We shouldn’t let partisan politics derail what are very important things that need to get done.”

A liberal advocacy group, Americans United for Change, said Friday it was using Limbaugh’s words in radio ads it was launching against three Republican senators: Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, George Voinovich of Ohio and John Ensign of Nevada. The ads, supporting Obama’s economic plan, urges voters in those states to call their senator and “tell him he represents you, not Rush Limbaugh.”

Wolff wrote that he believed the dinner Obama had with conservative columnists before his inauguration was a pointed snub to Limbaugh.

“He’s tried to make it out to be a political point ever since,” he wrote, “but mostly he sounds like a guy who’s hurt he didn’t get invited to the hot party.”

Asked about Wolff’s comments, Limbaugh said, “Who?”

Read the rest:
http://www.breitbart.com/article.ph
p?id=D961JE5G0&show_article=1

Daily Conference Call: Emanual, Carville, Stephanopoulos, Begula

January 30, 2009

The American media is independent, unbiased, and impartial, right?

And the American Government is watched, questioned and sometimes even criticized by the independent American media, right?

Now Fox News is reporting that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, ABC news host George Stephanopoulos of “This Week,” frequent CNN talking head Paul Begula and James Carville  are engaged in a daily conference call. 

They’ve apparently been doing this for more than a decade.

So, the White House is daily in the postion to give inside, secret, information to ABC News and CNN, without other media even knowing or overhearing.

Does that sound unbiased?  Impartial?  Does that sound kosher?  Transparent?

Related:
On Transparency, Lobbyists, So Far President Obama Is “All Talk”


At the top of the U.S. government we have this guy, Rahm “Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste” Emanuel.(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)

Georgestephanopoulosbarackobama.jpg

Free, Unbiased Media Under Fire: U.N. Chief Boycots Network

January 28, 2009

Free speech and free press and media are cornerstone of any well functioning free and democratic society.  In China and Vietnam, two remaining communists nation, these basic human rights don’t exist; and efforts to promote free media and free press often come under fire.

But the media can be persuaded and pressured too; and this is a much more subtle destruction of the media right to preserve its own unbiased view…..

The BBC is currently under fire for electing not to air a charity plea to help people in Gaza.  The BBC says the video uses the same images used by the network to depict the news.  The BBC also says the video is not impartial and has a clear bias — that the BBC would like to keep at arms length.  The result has been huge protests in London, the closing by Iran of BBC’s Persian network, and now a top U.N. official has cancelled his scheduled interviews on BBC….

BBC director general Mark Thompson had said airing the appeal would compromise the BBC’s impartiality.

Protesters demonstrate in London against the BBC. The BBC is ... 
Protesters demonstrate in London against the BBC. The BBC is facing more pressure to broadcast a charity appeal for funds for people in Gaza, as the Archbishop of Canterbury joins the row and more than 50 MPs sign a motion condemning the move.(AFP/Frantzesco Kangaris)

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The head of the UN atomic watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, has cancelled planned interviews with the BBC in protest at the British broadcaster’s refusal to air a Gaza charity appeal, the IAEA said Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the International Atomic Energy Agency said that the “director general has cancelled his scheduled BBC World Service TV and radio interviews because of the BBC management’s refusal to broadcast the DEC’s (Disasters Emergency Committee) humanitarian appeal for Gaza.”

“He believes this decision violates the rules of basic human decency which are there to help vulnerable people irrespective of who is right or wrong,” said spokeswoman Melissa Fleming.

Both the BBC and Sky News refused to air the appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee, an umbrella group of 13 charities including Oxfam and the British Red Cross, which kicks in with coordinated fundraising after disasters such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

ITV, Channel 4 and Five, Britain’s three other terrestrial television broadcasters beside the BBC, have all aired the appeal.

And top Church of England archbishops, government ministers, opposition spokesmen, more than 11,000 viewers and 50 lawmakers have called for the BBC to reconsider its decision.

But BBC director-general Mark Thompson insists that the corporation will not change its mind.

Egyptian-born ElBaradei, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for his work at the IAEA, is scheduled to step down in November after three terms as the UN nuclear watchdog’s chief.

–AFP

Related:
 Gaza Fight Thunders Across Middle East, Britain, France, Media

Sky News joins BBC in not broadcasting Gaza aid appeal

BBC Insists It Is Not The “Barack Broadcasting Channel”

BBC In Hot Water; Accused Of Not Helping Victims

Internet: Do You Really Believe China Cares About Porn, Public Morality?

Media Censorship, Criminalization of Free Press In Vietnam Needs Action

http://bernielatham.wordpress.com/2009/0
1/28/bbcsky-refusal-to-air-appeal-for-gaza-st
ill-causing-anger-and-debate/

BBC Insists It Is Not The “Barack Broadcasting Channel”

January 25, 2009

News media have found rough waters in the sea of impartiality lately.

Swept up into the tidal wave of pro-Obama news, some channels, networks and news organizations were criticized as too pro-Obama.

In the United States, more than a few pundits took aim at MSNBC for its pro-Obama bias.

In Israel, it is Channel 10 taking the heat as the “Obama Channel” after it aired the American President’s inauguration Tuesday while Israel troops were on the move.

But in the London media, the venerated BBC took a few hits which caused the media giant to reassert its impartiality in all things.

BBC logo

The result of that impartial rigor was seen today from another media mobilizing tidal wave: the Pro-Hamas and anti-Israel faction.

Today the BBC was surrounded by protestors trying to convince the BBC to air a charity video for those harmed or killed in the fighting in Gaza with Israel.

The “BEEB” says it still refuses to show the film and will try to remain unbiased….

Related:

BBC In Hot Water; Accused Of Not Helping Victims

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/e
urope/01/25/bbc.gaza.advert/index.html

Iran Shuts BBC Persian After Network Critical of Cowardice Among Hamas

Obamelation: Some Israelis Worry, Fear “Messianic Fervor” of “Obama’s Media”

Palin Assassinated by the Media, MSNBC In Particular?

BBC Report:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7849943.stm