Archive for the ‘Media Matters’ Category

Look, we can have reasonable debates about whether John McCain is the right person to be president. Many conservatives disagree with his policy positions. But we cannot dispute that McCain is a war hero. Oh, but Media Matters thinks it is beyond the pale to call him so:

In the past week, The New York Times has described John McCain as “a Vietnam hero and national security pro.” The Associated Press has referred to McCain’s “Vietnam War-hero biography.” UPI has referred to him as “the 71-year-old Vietnam hero.” The Boston Globe called McCain “a 71-year-old war hero.” The Buffalo News combined the two descriptions, describing McCain as “a 71-year-old Vietnam War hero.” And Newsweek declared McCain “a war hero who is fun to be around.”

(Such casual invocations of McCain’s war record are far from new. Two examples: In 2003, the Las Vegas Review-Journal sneaked a reference to McCain’s Vietnam service into the beginning of an article about his efforts to ban gambling on the NCAA basketball tournament. In August 2000, the Chicago Tribune shoehorned McCain’s status as a former prisoner of war into a brief article — just 157 words — about his skin cancer.)

Typical of Media Matters, they don’t offer any counter-information that would discredit McCain’s service, and especcially his admirable decision to remain in the Hanoi Hilton when he could have gone free earlier. But by highlighting this fact, they are clearly saying it is wrong for the media to call him a war hero.

Consider how the left considered wrong to question John Kerry’s military service in Vietnam. Even though Kerry served for only a few months before returning to the U.S. to take up the cause of opposition to the Vietnam war.

Consistency, please? Oh, sure, Media Matters eventually confesses that they too agree, McCain is a war hero. Their real problem is that they claim the media is “cheerleading” for McCain.

Really, a front page article in the New York Times insinuating that McCain had an affair is “cheerleading”? Remember that McCain’s denial was then run on a page very far into the A-section the very next day. Then there’s this:

But non-sequiturs like that occur regularly in coverage of McCain. The effect is to constantly remind voters of what may be the most admirable thing about him, enhancing his reputation on security issues.

Right. His war hero status is bad because the media keeps mentioning it. How dare they!

But seriously, how dare Media Matters call into question McCain’s history, and find it controversial that it is mentioned in media coverage of his candidacy.

The Media Matters article has hundreds of more words about how they don’t like McCain.  But I still want to know: Why does Media Matters insist on demanding reporters fail to acknowledge John McCain’s admirable service in Vietnam? They didn’t like it when Kerry’s service was questioned, but they do support questions about McCain’s service? Hmmm. You might almost think it’s a partisan outfit.

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Seriously, look at this:

Print press repeats media mantra of McCain as “maverick”

Summary: Numerous print publications — including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times — continued a longstanding practice of referring to Sen. John McCain as a “maverick” in their coverage of the February 5 presidential primaries and caucuses.

Thanks for reminding us, Media Matters! In related new: Fire Hot!

Lord knows, Glenn Beck has said some outrageous stuff in the past. But I’ll be damned if I can find anything to get hysterical about here:

On the January 28 edition of MSNBC’s Countdown, host Keith Olbermann named CNN Headline News’ Glenn Beck the “runner-up” in his “Worst Person in the World” segment for Beck’s recent comments — documented by Media Matters for America — on Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and race. On the January 25 edition of his show, Beck responded to National Public Radio commentator John Ridley’s statement that “questions about ‘Is Obama black enough?’ ” are “ridiculous” by asking: “[C]an you imagine a white commentator saying that? Can you imagine if I said, ‘Is Barack Obama black enough?’ … I don’t see that man as black. Of course I do, because I’m not blind. I don’t see him as black or white. He just is. He’s an American. He’s a man.”

However, on the February 12, 2007, broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Beck commented that Obama is “very white in many ways,” adding, “Gee, can I even say that? Can I even say that without somebody else starting a campaign saying, ‘What does he mean, “He’s very white?” ‘ He is. He’s very white.” Later on the February 12 show, Beck claimed that Obama “is colorless,” adding that “as a white guy … [y]ou don’t notice that he is black. So he might as well be white, you know what I mean?” After contrasting Beck’s January 25 comments with his February 2007 remarks, Olbermann said, “Sometimes it’s not just the dumb, it’s the hypocritical.”

OK… so, what? If you didn’t know who was supposed to be the good guy and the bad guy, could you tell? After all, Glenn Beck over the course of several statements has accurately illuminated some interesting contradictions about public perceptions of Barack Obama’s race. But Olbermann without substance and extreme hyperbole has just called someone the “worst person in the world.”

Does Media Matters want to encourage a media landscape where people are afraid of discussing matters of race and politics? If they’re conservatives, yes! That’s the whole point.