Hannity & Colmes, Fox News Channel's primetime debate show, figures prominently in the network's campaign to market its right-leaning programming as "fair & balanced." Actually, the program exemplifies the way Fox jiggers the balance to favor conservatives.
The director of "The Reagans" complained Monday that CBS butchered his made-for-TV movie, ultimately making it too incoherent for the network to air. According to Robert Ackerman, CBS expressed no problems until after a "rough cut" was hurriedly delivered in October. At that point, the network ordered changes to the dialogue that were "nonnegotiable," he said. "What they were doing with the structure of the film, I thought, was making it incoherent," Ackerman said.
"James Glassman and TCS have given birth to something quite new in Washington: journo-lobbying. It's an innovation driven primarily by the influence industry. Lobbying firms that once specialized in gaining person-to-person access to key decision-makers have branched out. The new game is to dominate the entire intellectual environment in which officials make policy decisions, which means funding everything from think tanks to issue ads to phony grassroots pressure groups.
Now that Private Jessica Lynch has told the truth about the conditions of her capture and rescue in Iraq, right-wing telebabbler Joe Scarborough is complaining that she "started whining about the Pentagon PR machine and the fact that they told parts of the stories that may have made her more of a hero than she considered herself to be. ... Well, Jessica, I've got bad news to break to you. It was because of the Pentagon PR machine that turned you into an American hero -- that got book publishers interested in paying you $1 million to tell your story. It was the Pentagon PR machine that told America how you were a hero that got NBC interested in doing a movie about your story. It was the Pentagon PR machine that's turned you into a millionaire."
"Shirley and Banister Public Affairs has been selected to promote Harper Collins' Because Each Life is Precious, the account by Iraqi lawyer Mohammed Odeh al-Rehaief of Pfc. Jessica Lynch's capture and rescue during the Iraq invasion," O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports.
A gay-bashing, right wing student newspaper at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island offers a fresh example of the conservative media's strategy of "publicizing censorship of their papers" so they can "cast themselves as the little guy up against the leftist establishment." The Hawk's Right Eye provoked the university administration into clamping down by running nasty attacks on Judy Shepard, whose son was beaten to death in Wyoming for being gay.
Cindy Hunter and her husband, Sam Nickels, opposed Bush's war against Iraq and put a sign on their front porch showing the number of Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers who have been wounded or killed thus far in the war. An anonymous arson responded by setting fire to the sign, endangering their lives and causing an estimated $50,000 in damages to their home.
Charlie Reina, a former producer for Fox News, has posted a letter to the Poynter Institute's online journalism forum, explaining how the network deliberately slants the news. "Editorially, the FNC newsroom is under the constant control and vigilance of management," he writes. "The pressure ranges from subtle to direct. First of all, it's a news network run by one of the most high-profile political operatives of recent times. ... The roots of FNC's day-to-day on-air bias are actual and direct.
The student editor of the California Patriot, a right-wing student newspaper at the University of California-Berkeley, claims that conservatives are the true heirs to the university's free speech movement of the 1960s. "The conservatives on Berkeley's campus have employed various strategies in order to insert their views -- whether they're wanted or not -- into campus debates," writes Michael Gaworecki.