Morning Joe On Media Bias: Deutsch Bashes White House; Mika Talks CBS

joe_10-19There was another discussion of Glenn Beck and the Fox News vs. White House battle today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and disagreement on the set brought some new angles to the debate.

Donny Deutsch talked about message – and the White House’s mishandling of it. And Joe Scarborough brought up some unnamed liberals who went after the Bush administration.

“They are elevating Fox,” said Deutsch. “Think about this, it’s the President of the United States, the commander of the free world, versus a television network with a couple million viewers. It’s a ratings bonanza, it’s insane. They should just be dismissive about it.”

Co-host Mika Brzezinski disagreed with the assessment, but then Scarborough made a Bush administration comparison while discussing the charge that Beck and others like him are “dangerous”:

I heard that about certain TV people on the left, every day, from Republicans. What did the Bush White House do when they were compared to Nazis or Fascists? We heard every day that they hated the constitution, that they were evil people. The Bush white house did nothing, they were quiet. They didn’t elevate them.

(Fascists? I wonder who Scarborough could be referring to…)

Newsbusters reports on a different part of Morning Joe, when Brzezinski got very real about bias. Even though she said NBC and CBS (her former employer) “try their best to be objective,” she could only “think of one” fan of George W. Bush out of all the producers and anchors she encountered during 10 years at CBS News. Check out the clip on Newsbusters.

Scarborough took to Twitter to defend Brzezinski’s comments today.

Here’s the Deutsch segment:

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Newsweek: “Fox News Un-American;” Calls For Journalist Boycott

weisberg_237-thumb7With Fox News and the White House at each other’s throats, it’s tough to get a word in edgewise. Fox, with its typically boisterous hosts and collected anchors, seems to be guiding the conversation, while much of the administration’s talking points are being viewed as whiny. But it’s the result of an echo chamber, according to Jacob Weisberg in Newsweek.

The network’s coverage of the White House’s remarks proves their leanings, he writes, in “a textbook example of a biased journalism.” In his view:

Any news organization that took its responsibilities seriously would take pains to cover presidential criticism fairly. It would regard doing so as itself a test of integrity. At Fox, by contrast, complaints of unfairness prompt only hoots of derision and demands for “evidence” that, when presented, is brushed off and ignored.

Weisberg continues to call the debate “phony,” because “five minutes’ random viewing of the channel at any hour of the day demonstrates its all-pervasive slant.” He cites the usual cast of characters including Glenn Beck and Karl Rove, and insists that sloppy swine flu coverage leaves Fox “to become the first network to actively try to kill its viewers.”

What’s to love about the American press is its independence, Weisberg claims — “that it serves the public interest rather than those of parties, persuasions, or pressure groups.” His solution? A boycott of Fox News:

Respectable journalists—I’m talking to you, Mara Liasson—should stop appearing on its programs. A boycott would make Ailes too happy, so let’s try just ignoring Fox, shall we? And no, I don’t want to come on The O’Reilly Factor to discuss it.

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Good Question For WH: ‘Are You Worried That You’re Helping Fox?’ (Update)

Picture 11White House senior adviser David Axelrod joined George Stephanopoulos on This Week today to follow-up on WH communications director Anita Dunn’s remarks last weekend on Reliable Sources that Fox News isn’t really a news station.

After playing a clip from Rupert Murdoch in which he said that attention from the White House has been great for his Fox News ratings, Stephanopoulos really cut to the bone, asking Axelrod “Are You Worried That Your Strategy is Fortifying Your Enemy?” The enemy, of course, is Fox News.

Axelrod responded with the same White House talking points we heard from Dunn last weekend, and encouraged Stephanopoulos to not treat them like a legitimate news organization.

This knife, however, cuts both ways. Former President H. W. Bush’s remarks at the end of the week that Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann are “sick puppies” will only make liberals love them all the more. What’s the take-away here? Cablers should continue to arouse the ire of politicians with slanted coverage if they want good ratings.

Update: Mediaite has received the following statement — a response to David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel’s television appearances this morning — from Michael Clemente SVP of News at Fox News:

Surprisingly, the White House continues to declare war on a news organization instead of focusing on the critical issues that Americans are concerned about like jobs, health care and two wars. The door remains open and we welcome a discussion about the facts behind the issues.

David Axelrod this morning with George Stephanopoulos:


Juan Williams Fires Back Uncontested After ‘House Negro’ Slur

Picture 6Earlier this week on The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News’s Juan Williams and activist/radio host Warren Ballentine — both black men — squared off about the fall-out from Rush Limbaugh’s attempt to buy a minority stake in the St. Louis Rams. Things turned ugly when Ballentine told Williams to “go back to the porch, Juan.”

Well, Williams was the guest host of The O’Reilly Factor last night — the perfect chance to embarrass Ballentine and articulate his problem with his remark uncontested:

Williams: When you think things are being falsely said about [Limbaugh], and you stand up as a black man to say it — well, god help you, god help me becuase now we are the targets of attacks, and we’re made out to be less than faithful to all that happened to black people in America … we’re made out to be house slaves.

Rev. Ken Hutcherson, a former NFL player, a preacher and coincidentally a close friend of Limbaugh agreed with Williams on the show. “What Warren Ballentine said to you,” Hutcherson said to Williams, “was one of the most racist statements you can get: The man just flat out called you a house negro.”

Meanwhile, Ballentine is asking why he hasn’t been invited back on Fox to clear up his remarks.

Picture 7

We for one wish that Ballentine had another chance on Fox. It seems like the two of them going back and forth about the ‘house negro’ insinuation would make great cable, as long as it didn’t just turn into a shouting match.

Juan Williams discusses Ballentine’s slur as hosts of The O’Reilly Factor on Friday Night:


Shep Smith-Anchored Fox News Wins Balloon Boy Ratings

Cable news ratings, October 15, 2009: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

• The one bad thing about Office Hours yesterday was we didn’t get to watch Fox News’ Shepard Smith anchor coverage of the balloon saga. But many people did. Smith, who recently became the only news anchor to make AskMen.com’s Most Influential Men list, anchored his usual 3pmET hour for FNC, and the network had the best cable news ratings in the A25-54 demo and total viewers. CNN was 2nd, MSNBC 3rd.

• Here’s a breakdown of the 3-5pmET averages: (total viewers; demo)
Fox News- 2,431,000; 653,000
CNN- 1,736,000; 521,000
MSNBC- 768,000; 255,000

• But the top cable news show came the next hour – Glenn Beck had exactly 1,000,000 in the demo – good for the top spot. Bill O’Reilly was #1 in total viewers.

Check out all the ratings below, and leave your own thoughts in the comments:

TV NEWS RATINGS: 25-54 DEMOGRAPHIC (L +SD)
Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
5 pm Beck

 

1000

Blitzer

 

607

Matthews

 

151

Prime

 

265

6 pm Baier

 

773

Blitzer

 

414

EdShow

 

165

Prime

 

289

7 pm Shep

 

613

Dobbs

 

166

Matthews

 

142

Issues

 

208

8 pm O’Reilly

 

889

Brown

 

191

Olbermann

 

291

Grace

 

235

9 pm Hannity

 

778

King

 

290

Maddow

 

214

Behar

 

180

10 pm Greta

 

557

Cooper

 

208

Olbermann

 

202

Grace

 

225

11 pm O’Reilly

 

493

Amanpour

 

171

Maddow

 

184

Showbiz

 

215

TOTAL DAY 513 237 152 195
PRIME TIME 745 230 235 212
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.
TV NEWS RATINGS: TOTAL VIEWERS (L +SD)
Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
5 pm Beck

 

3222

Blitzer

 

1914

Matthews

 

663

Prime

 

568

6 pm Baier

 

2570

Blitzer

 

1256

EdShow

 

652

Prime

 

702

7 pm Shep

 

2271

Dobbs

 

719

Matthews

 

642

Issues

 

545

8 pm O’Reilly

 

3562

Brown

 

752

Olbermann

 

1039

Grace

 

882

9 pm Hannity

 

2608

King

 

1064

Maddow

 

894

Behar

 

543

10 pm Greta

 

1657

Cooper

 

728

Olbermann

 

593

Grace

 

429

11 pm O’Reilly

 

1320

Amanpour

 

565

Maddow

 

439

Showbiz

 

382

TOTAL DAY 1720 804 484 403
PRIME TIME 2614 848 842 607
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


Liberal Analyst Marc Lamont Hill Fired From Fox News

hill_10-16Mediaite has confirmed Marc Lamont Hill has been fired from Fox News Channel. The liberal commentator was a regular on the network, most recently appearing as a guest on The O’Reilly Factor one week ago, according to TV Eyes.

Interestingly, the news was broken by News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch at the companies stockholders meeting today, reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

Murdoch made the announcement after a shareholder asked about Hill’s “reputation of defending cop killers and racists.”

Hill, who is also currently a professor at Columbia University, recently got into a nasty back-and-forth with conservative author David Horowitz, who called him a “an affirmative action baby.” At the time, I wrote:

There are two ways this can go: either FNC can embrace the feud or they have to publicly shun Horowitz. On one level, Hill and Horowitz debating the premise of Horowitz’ original column would be incredible television.

Well it looks like the network has gone an entirely different, somewhat surprising direction – firing him. Hill’s profile has been on the rise at the network, as his appearances on Bill O’Reilly’s show and others in prime time have increased. We’ve reached out to both Fox News and Hill for more information. There is likely more to this story somewhere.

> Update: That may have been Hill’s last appearance on Fox News, but he was on Fox Business Network yesterday, for a short interview during the 1pmET hour (h/t J$).

Here is Hill’s appearance on The Factor last week:

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Soundbite: The Problem With Glenn Beck Is That America Is Stupid

beck-glenn2“The problem with Beck, then, is not his narrative, which is entertainingly foolish to anyone who actually knows anything about anything. The problem is the size of the audience in the United States that actually knows nothing about nothing. This mass (my guess, about 12 percent of the electorate) is easily moved, the past summer and its continuing silly rhetoric on all kinds of issues indicate. They wear know-nothingness like a badge.”

Charles M. Madigan, presidential writer in residence at Roosevelt University, opining on the real reason behind Glenn Beck’s surging popularity.

Also included is a rather disgusting description of what one might actually learn from a dog if one were to take Beck’s advice that “we should learn a lesson from dogs, then. Listen to your fear!” Madigan’s column was apparently inspired by Tom Friedman’s recent piece, which worried that the atmosphere in the States right now resembled that in Israel right before Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated.