Investigative journalist Robert Parry writes that "the U.S. news media's reaction to Ronald Reagan's death is putting on display what has happened to American public debate in the years since Reagan's political rise in the late 1970s: a near-total collapse of serious analytical thinking at the national level. Across the U.S. television dial and in major American newspapers, the commentary is fawning almost in a Pravda-like way, far beyond the normal reticence against speaking ill of the dead. ...
"Acting has been a stepping-stone to political careers for numerous Republicans. In addition to Arnold Schwarzenegger examples include Ronald Reagan the former governor of California and two-term president of the United States. There are several reasons for this disparity. One is that the Republican Party has actively recruited and supported candidates from the entertainment world. Another is that Republicans often run as 'anti-government' or 'non-politician' candidates, so that an actor's lack of political experience can actually be an advantage for his campaign.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting funded two new right-leaning shows - "one hosted by Tucker Carlson, who speaks for conservatives on CNN's 'Crossfire'" and "one moderated by Paul Gigot, editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal" - while cutting "NOW with Bill Moyers" from an hour to 30 minutes.
The media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) looked at on-air sources for four National Public Radio news shows in June 2003, and think tanks and regular commentators on NPR from May to August 2003.
Last year, as the debate over a Medicare prescription-drug bill heated up, the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) sided with the Republican plan, which marked a major step toward the party's goal of privatizing Medicare and decimating employer-based health coverage. Why did AARP support the plan, which will cause millions of seniors to lose more generous employer and state-coordinated drug benefits while providing only limited help to others? Barbara T.
Bush-Cheney campaign chair Marc Racicot announced "the formation of a natural resources coalition ... to counter environmental groups' grass-roots effort to turn out anti-Bush voters" in Oregon, a swing state. "We believe President Bush has a very strong environmental record," said Racicot.
Eric Boehlert, citing Media Matters for America observations, writes: "Between March 15 and April 29 'Limbaugh used the term "femi-Nazis" eight times; he suggested that women want to be sexually harassed; he repeatedly equated Democrats with terrorists'...
Salon.com has published an excerpt from former right-wing journalist David Brock's new book, The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy. In an accompanying interview, Brock talks about how the conservative media "sets a climate and helps set parameters and helps form impressions. ...
Former right-wing attack journalist David Brock blasted the conservative movement in his 2002 confessional, Blinded by the Right. Now he has launched Media Matters, a "Web-based, not-for-profit progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S.
"It's easy to complain about the press -- I've been doing it for a good part of my career," Vice President Dick Cheney told tens of thousands of Republican supporters in a conference call. "It's part of what goes with a free society. What I do is try to focus upon those elements of the press that I think do an effective job and try to be accurate in their portrayal of events.