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Crony journalism at the NewsHour

DCblogger's picture

Check out this transcript from a show run on November 16th of this year:

JIM LEHRER: In the worst-case scenario, the panel says courts could block foreclosures. Banks would be left holding bad mortgage loans that cost them billions of dollars. That in turn would deepen disruption in the housing market.

But, in the best case, the Oversight Panel acknowledges, concerns about mortgage documents may prove to be overblown, a view embraced by the financial industry. This afternoon, executives from two major lenders, J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America, appeared before the Senate Banking Committee.

Bank of America is an underwriter of the NewsHour. The committee pressed them on today's report and their plans for managing foreclosures going forward.

Yes indeed, if the courts block foreclosures, that would deepen the disruption in the housing market, unlike say, turning entire neighborhoods brown by rocket-docket foreclosure railroading.

And concerns about the paperwork are overblown. No guest appearances by Matt Taibbi or Marcy Wheeler on the Bank of America show.

At least Lehrer disclosed that Bank of America is a NewsHour sponsor.

So follow me closely. Senator Jay Rockefeller votes for the bailout, Bank of America takes part of that money and sponsors the news show that is produced by his wife's TV station which then has the effect of suppressing all discussion of foreclosure.

During the whole of December there has not been a single story on the foreclosure crisis, despite the fact that WETA's home viewing area is one of the worst hit.

That is how Versailles works. All kleptocracy all the time.

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letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

was structured just perfectly to make the point.

Submitted by Hugh on

From its wiki:

In October 2006, the progressive media criticism group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) accused the NewsHour of lacking balance, diversity, and viewpoints of the general public, in favor of Republican Party and corporate viewpoints.[11] FAIR studied the NewsHour's guest list for 6 months, from October 2005 to March 2006. Republicans outnumbered Democrats 2:1 (66% to 33%), and people of color made up only 15% of U.S.-based sources. Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales accounted for 30% of Latino sources, while former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accounted for 13% of African-American sources. Additionally, Hurricane Katrina victims made up 46% of all African-American sources. Public interest groups made up 4% of sources. Current and former government and military officials made up 50% of sources. Regarding the Iraq War, sources that supported an extended occupation outnumbered pro-withdrawal sources 5:1, and this ratio continued even after polls favored a withdrawal from Iraq. During this time, not a single peace activist appeared.[11] NewsHour's Executive Producer Linda Winslow responded to many aspects. "FAIR seems to be accusing us of covering the people who make decisions that affect people's lives, many of whom work in government, the military, or corporate America. That's what we do: we're a news program, and that's who makes news" and she also took issue with FAIR's characterization of each guest stating "I take issue with the way the FAIR report characterizes each guest, which they have obviously done very subjectively. Witness the trashing of Mark Shields and Tom Oliphant (in the full report), who are not liberal ENOUGH for FAIR's taste. When you get down to arguing about DEGREES of left-and-rightness, I think you undermine your own argument."

The NewsHour's idea of presenting a balanced discussion is to have a corporatist Democrat on opposite a corporatist Republican. As for Mark Shills, the show's joke liberal, he reminds me of the dormouse in Alice in Wonderland. He always looks like he just woke up and hasn't got his thoughts together, is more than a little confused and worried about where he is, and hopes he will be able to fall asleep again soon.

I also found the show's "journalistic" principles at wiki:

Do nothing I cannot defend.
Cover, write, and present every story with the care I would want if the story were about me.
Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story.
Assume the viewer is as smart and as caring and as good a person as I am.
Assume the same about all people on whom I report.
Assume personal lives are a private matter until a legitimate turn in the story absolutely mandates otherwise.
Carefully separate opinion and analysis from straight news stories, and clearly label everything.
Do not use anonymous sources or blind quotes except on rare and monumental occasions.
No one should ever be allowed to attack another anonymously.
And finally, I am not in the entertainment business.

With principles like these is it any surprise that the show produces nothing but boring recitations of Village CW?

Submitted by libbyliberal on

It breaks my heart that Newshour is so lost to the crony political matrix.

The most incredible moment for me was when Carol Browner was assuring Judy Woodruff re the BP oil crisis that was it 80% of damage was repaired by BP with Mother Nature taking care of the rest. Facially Woodruff was incredulous, but she let her get away with such extraordinary mendacity.

Mark Shields used to be effective or I was so less informed then when I thought he was. David Brooks gets away with such incredible supercilious and elite-biased generalizations he is so rarely called on.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

to "Democracy Now". When I started paying attention to politics again I thought "The News Hour" was liberal. Ha. Ha. I moved from "NPR" to Dave Marsh's socialist radio show "Live from the Land of Hopes and Dreams." The more I read on the internet and in magazines, the more I started to catch on. Now I get shocked looks when I say that I stopped listening to NPR years ago and would never waste my time with "The News Hour". That's when I get labeled "a purist" or "too left" by my yuppie liberal friends.

But now some of those same "friends" have told me that they are now also monitoring NPR and see what I mean. So a little progress.

Thanks DC. I sent you something.