New on November 23: NBC Meet the Press host Chuck Todd slapped Republican presidential candidates for pushing the “politics of fear” and “Islamophobia” after the ISIS attacks in Paris.
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center (MRC), the publisher of NewsBusters. He’s been the central figure in the MRC’s News Analysis Division since the MRC’s 1987 founding and in 2005 spearheaded the launch of NewsBusters.
Baker oversees the selection of the award nominees and “winners” for the MRC’s “DisHonors Awards,” presented at an annual gala, and each week he helps the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard select a “Mainstream Media Scream.” Those picks are added, on a one week delay, to NewsBusters. (Archive for 2012-2014 on MRC.org)
In 2001, Weekly Standard Executive Editor Fred Barnes dubbed Baker “the scourge of liberal bias.”
For 13 years he compiled and edited the daily CyberAlert e-mail and online report. In late May of 2009 the CyberAlert became an e-mail-only product based on BiasAlert postings on the MRC's Web site. BiasAlerts since early 2012. (In February 2015, the MRC discontinued posting BiasAlerts on MRC.org and began feeding the newsletter via CyberAlert posts on NewsBusters).
An avid fan of the Washington Capitals NHL hockey team, in January of 2009 the Washington Post's "DC Sports Bog" took note of Baker's attendance at a Caps game with John Kerry: "The Caps, John Kerry and a Scourge."
Baker lived in Massachusetts through high school, whereupon he fled the liberal commonwealth for George Washington University in DC and, since graduation, a life in Northern Virginia. Full bio on MRC.org.
Demonstrating there’s no space between liberal politicians and major media figures – once they feel free in retirement to express their true views which guided their news judgments during their careers – long-time ABC News correspondent and anchor Charlie Gibson on Wednesday afternoon dismissed the relevance of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails or Benghazi: “I don’t think there’s anything to Benghazi and I don’t think there’s anything to the e-mails.”
Previewing last Monday’s episode of FX’s Fargo, set in 1979, I highlighted a promotional clip in which a man declared “I’m not shaking” Ronald Reagan’s hand because Reagan “made a movie with a monkey. It wouldn’t be dignified.” In fact, the November 9 episode presented Reagan as a charismatic figure whose “shining city on a hill” speech, at a campaign stop in Minnesota, moved the man to tears. And, when Reagan later approached the man, he eagerly shook Reagan’s hand.
A promo run at the end of last week’s Fargo, to plug tonight’s (Nov. 9) new episode on FX, showed Ronald Reagan, in 1979, shaking hands at a campaign stop as a character out of his earshot declared: “I’m not shaking his hand.” Asked why not, the man explained: “Because the man made a movie with a monkey. It wouldn’t be dignified.”
Another Hollywood liberal infatuated by Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Actress Jill Hennessy, best-known for starring roles in NBC’s Law & Order and Crossing Jordan, hailed Hillary Clinton: “I just think she has accomplished more than most people accomplish in about five lifetimes.” But she was quick to also trumpet Bernie Sanders: “I find him really inspiring. I think he’s tremendous.”
Comedian Amy Schumer got a surprise during Saturday Night Live when the Manhattan audience didn’t display much enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton. In her monologue, she set up a series of jokes by relaying how “I just met Hillary – yeah, I was pretty psyched about that.” After a smattering of applause, she noted her disappointment with the audience: “A little discouraging, the amount of applause.”
On the Monday night debut, with a new host, of Comedy Central’s Daily Show, Trevor Noah didn’t display previous host Jon Stewart’s obsession with the Fox News Channel, but he did continue Stewart’s liberal politics. Noah, who promised at the top of the show that he would “continue the war on bullshit,” soon delivered a line favorably comparing socialist Bernie Sanders with the Pope before offering very unoriginal ridicule of “radical conservatives” over the departure of House Speaker John Boehner.
Proving he’s a liberal first and a comedian second, Stephen Colbert, who had a very friendly session last Friday with socialist Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, was more hostile on Monday night to the political positions of Republican presidential contender Senator Ted Cruz, whom he described as “far right.” Colbert pushed him to match Ronald Reagan by agreeing to raise taxes and offer amnesty before challenging him on gay marriage.
NBC’s Jimmy Fallon began his Wednesday night sit-down with Hillary Clinton by contrasting her supposed vast experience with the leading Republicans who, he declared, “have no experience.” Fallon told her “the two leaders over there on the Republican Party, one is a real estate mogul. The other guy is a neurosurgeon.” He then touted her: “You were a Senator, you were First Lady, Secretary of State. Is it possible that you have too much experience to become the President of the United States?”
Three days before CNN’s Republican presidential candidates debate, Jake Tapper, the moderator of it, predicted at least one of those on stage will try to distract from the real issues by attacking him. “I anticipate that at some point somebody is going to take a shot at me as the straw man, as the stand-in for the media writ large,” Tapper forecast Sunday morning from the site of the debate, the Reagan Presidential Museum and Library.
TBS’s Conan commissioned a song on behalf of Rhode Island’s leading candidate for President, Democrat Lincoln Chafee. FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier made a clip of that parody song, “Let’s Get Lincoln Chafee to One Percent!” its end of show kicker this past Monday night where fill-in host Shannon Bream facetiously pleaded: “One percent. You want a man to have a fighting chance.”
At the end of an interview with Vice President Joe Biden centered around the loss of his son, Beau, CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert made clear where his political interests lie as he cited Thomas Jefferson is imploring the liberal Democrat to join the presidential contest. After Biden recalled how his mother told him “everybody’s equal,” Colbert chimed in: “There’s another person who said that and that’s Thomas Jefferson and this is why I think people want you to run for President.”
Stephen Colbert largely kept his liberal politics in check on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS, at least in the Tuesday night debut, not producing the highly political program conservatives feared would emerge after Colbert rid himself of the conservative buffoon act he offered on Comedy Central. Overall, a much sillier and artificial program than David Letterman’s old show.
A Tuesday USA Today preview of the movie Truth, which presumes Dan Rather’s 2004 “Memogate” hit piece against President George W Bash was accurate, conveyed the hostility of actor Robert Redford, who plays Rather, toward Bush. But Redford also undermined the “truth” premise by relaying that “loyalty” was Rather’s main motivation in defending his flawed story.
From Thursday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC, an imaginary Trump for President ad – playing off Donald Trump's constant vague promises of delivering all things “great” and “best.”
Lieutenant Clay Higgins, of the St. Landry, Louisiana Parish Sheriff’s Department, delivered a tough video message to a thief who, FNC’s Bret Baier noted, had “targeted his favorite restaurant.” Baier ended his show this past Tuesday night with the “crime stoppers” video Jimmy Fallon had played on the Tonight Show.
“CBS News contributor Jane Pauley will fill in for Scott Pelley on tonight’s CBS Evening News,” TV Newser reported Wednesday afternoon.” Brian Flood noted “Pauley has previously filled in as a co-host on CBS This Morning, but this is her first time anchoring the Evening News.” In a 2008 interview with WISH-TV in Indianapolis, Indiana, about her campaigning for Barack Obama, she declared: “I want to see the cool, steady hand of Barack Obama on that Bible on Inauguration Day.”
FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier wrapped up its Thursday “center seat” session, with Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, by playing for him a clip of Jon Stewart ridiculing a New York Times hit piece about how Rubio had received a few traffic tickets.
What you know you want to see, but didn’t want to spend two hours to catch: Ann Coulter’s scenes in Wednesday night’s SyFy channel debut of Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! She’s the Vice President serving with the President played by Mark Cuban. A tour de force.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker tells an anecdote, on the presidential campaign trail, about buying a shirt at the Kohl’s department store. NBC’s Tonight Show, on Wednesday night, used some simultaneous video to show how he repeats the story using the very same sentences. A mildly amusing display of synchronized C-SPAN video.