HelenK2 just found this news from BusinessInsider.com, and it’s a must to add to this post about the media. I haven’t read Niall Ferguson’s article yet but, unless he let Newsweek‘s editors “adjust” his writing, it should be a damning story. Here’s the link to Ferguson’s story and you can also click the image:
Original: CNN’s Soledad O’Brien blows. I’ve grown fond of Anderson Cooper’s shows — especially when he sincerely attempts to be objective — but what in the hell was CNN thinking in giving O’Brien the guest host spot while Cooper is off? O’Brien’s contempt for Republicans (accompanied, for emphasis, by her curled lips and haughty attitude) is too obvious. The only part of O’Brien’s biased Friday night segment attacking Paul Ryan that was EVEN worse were the incomprehensible defenses by the intellectually-challenged Erick Erickson, a “conservative blogger” hired by CNN.
Here’s O’Brien’s scoop: Paul Ryan voted for the stimulus bill but, while he protested taking stimulus money for his own district, he did it anyway. On a radio show, he said, “No, I’m not one who votes for something, then writes to the government to ask them to send us money.”
But, O’Brien claims, Ryan did seek money: “In 2009, congressman Ryan wrote to the departments of energy and labor seeking stimulus money for a pair of local green energy companies. One ended up with more than $20 million.” My take? Paul Ryan is an ambitious guy, and every House member does the same thing. Similar stories fill the honest biographies of every hard-core politician (and are the meat and poatoes of Starz’ “Boss,” about a fictional (?) Chicago mayor*). O’Brien quizzed Erickson (sigh), who replied:
You know, I think it’s a little bit of a problem for Paul Ryan. But I remember writing about this at Red State back in 2010. I’m surprised it’s coming up now. It was so out there then. With a number of the Republicans who voted against the stimulus plan wanted it. [sic]
Look, Paul Ryan is not as conservative as the Democrats would like him to be so that they can paint him as the term and he voted for TARP, the General Motors bailout, capping CEO pay. He voted against the stimulus in 2009. But he voted for the 2008 stimulus, Medicare part D and no travel up behind [sic].
Conservatives may not like it but it’s a little bit surprising the Democrats are pushing these attacks. I guess on the hypocrisy angle. They seem to not really have a cogent argument on Paul Ryan yet. And I think painting him as more of a moderate really doesn’t help them with the other rhetoric for pushing endorse him [sic].
Next, the tawdry story of how those press pool reports get made:
This isn’t an issue that makes or breaks news but, since the “pool reports” determine the stories that get emphasized in the 24-hour news cycle, it matters a great deal WHO controls the reports. Howard Kurtz, whose CNN show, “Reliable Sources,” I respect, discussed the controversy today:
KURTZ: Just briefly, Jonathan. You wrote this week about Vice President Biden and his team trying to influence on the trail the pool reports that are filed —
KURTZ: These are initial reporters who get in and share their findings with the larger groups of reporters who can’t get into small events. What did they do?
MARTIN: Right. They — well, myself and colleague, they attempted to edit some of what was being put in the pool report. And that’s just a no-no because those are — of and for the journalist.
KURTZ: They tried to offer their suggestions about what should go on there — is perhaps the kinder way to put it.
And those pool reports belong to us. The only reason that the White House is involved with them is because they — they’re the ones that sent them out to the rest of the press corps.
Look, the Romney campaign has set up a way where it’s the journalists who send them out. There’s a Google group or whatever, that’s probably the way it should go forward.
The technology nowadays allows us basically to put them out amongst ourselves. I don’t know why the White House is still involved putting them out anyways.
KURTZ: All right. Jonathan Martin, Steve Roberts, Erin McPike — thanks very much.
I’ll be darned. The Romney campaign is running the press pool system ethically. We already know that there’s nothing the Obama administration will not do to shape the stories that the press report about. It just never occurred to me that they’d mess with the press pool reports.
By the way, Kurtz’s top story this morning? How the liberal media bashed Paul Ryan. Yup. It’s true:
Paul Ryan got quite a media honeymoon when he was picked. You know, he works out, he goes hunting. He makes his own Polish sausage. It lasted for, oh, a long weekend.
Then, the coverage turned skeptical and sour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS: Tonight, Ryan is on the defensive over whether he asked for millions in stimulus money despite voting against President Obama’s stimulus package while calling it wasteful spending.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: “Roll Call” and “The Hill” and “Politico” all featuring articles right now about Republicans freaking out about what Paul Ryan’s addition to the ticket means for every other Republican on the ballot in November.
(END VIDEO CLIP). … (Full transcript.)
*About “Boss,” an original series starting its second season on Starz: For some reason, my local cable company gave me a free year of Starz and Encore. I just wish I had more time to watch all the movies, especially the classics that fill Encore’s calendar. “Boss” is not the greatest TV ever, but it is very entertaining and accomplishes what every TV show should do: It makes you anxious to see the next episode. If you get Starz, or its “on demand” episodes of “Boss,” give it a try — from the beginning (Season One). The acting is great, especially Kelsey Grammer as the mayor. Even Daniel J. Travanti of “Hill Street Blues” fame has a recurring role. And Troy Garity, who plays the by-any-means reporter out to get the mayor, is the son of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden, a fun fact I soon forgot because he’s a great actor.