The Conversation

Media Bias: Media Bias of all kinds.

Even Vox's Max Fisher Finds Muslim Support for Killing Apostates 'Disturbing'

Oct 14, 2014 4:30 PM PT

Vox's Max Fisher continues to claim that Islamophobia is unfairly painting Muslims with a broad brush, but just last year Fisher himself said he found the data on what Muslims around the world actually believe "disturbing."

Fisher's most recent effort to combat media stereotypes is headlined, "The perfect response to people who say all Muslims are violent, in one tweet." Fisher never identifies exactly who is claiming "all Muslims are violent," probably because no one has actually said that. However, Fisher does link to an earlier piece in which he singles out Bill Maher as "The leading voice of American bigotry against Muslims." 

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MSNBC's Ratings Just Hit a New Low and That's a Good Thing

Oct 13, 2014 10:29 AM PT

The "lean forward" channel has fallen on its face. MSNBC's ratings in the third quarter of 2014 hit new lows even for established programs like Rachel Maddow.

Since the departure of Keith Olbermann, Maddow is MSNBC's biggest draw. But a NY Times review of the station's third quarter ratings show Maddow posted "her lowest quarterly ratings ever." An unnamed TV news executive told the NY Times, "In terms of Rachel, everybody knows every night what she’s going to say."

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NY Times: Republicans Playing Politics with Secret Service Mistakes

Oct 1, 2014 9:32 AM PT

The NY Times' Peter Baker posted a piece yesterday in which he struggles to suggests the current Republican concern over lapses in security at the White House is politically motivated.

Although the target of the legislative scrutiny is the Secret Service, not the president, the furor over security has left the White House on the defensive. At Tuesday’s Capitol Hill hearing and at the daily White House news briefing, the questions fueled an air of scandal: Who knew what when, and was there a cover-up?

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Melissa Harris-Perry and Guests: Islam Not Relevant to Oklahoma Beheading

Sep 29, 2014 3:34 PM PT

MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry hosted a roundtable discussion last week which eventually turned to the topic of the beheading of a woman in Moore, Oklahoma on Friday. Harris-Perry and her guests Dean Obeidallah and Negin Farsad argues that it was merely a case of workplace violence to which Islam had no particular connection.

"It is a story that I read as a workplace violence," Harris-Perry said to open the topic (video below). Dean Obeidallah was upset that the incident was being connected to Islam. "We're seeing right-wing media use this, continuing the narrative. Look, Muslims are here in America; they're committing jihad. The man just converted last year. There was over 500 workplace. We don't know about the religion of any of those murderers, but if someone is Muslim it's got to be a terrorist," Obeidallah argued.

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Vox Got the Mariam al-Mansouri Story Wrong

Sep 29, 2014 10:35 AM PT

Vox's Max Fisher wrote a scolding piece critical of the media's coverage of Major Mariam al-Mansouri, the first female fighter pilot for the U.A.E. In fact, Fisher's criticism is mostly based on his own wishful thinking: about the status of women in the middle-east and about the beliefs of ISIS fighters that Maj. al-Mansouri helped bomb last week.

Fisher's piece is a bit of a mish-mash. He wants to scold the American media for giving too little credit to Arab nations respect for women's rights while simultaneously faulting the media for giving too much credit to the U.A.E. for the same. Here's Fisher's complaint:

There are two sets of American misconceptions here. The first is to play up Mansouri as representative of the UAE as a champion of gender equality, when in fact the UAE is objectively quite bad on women's rights, and the fact that we allow them such a lowered bar represents a soft bigotry of lowered expectations.

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Fear and loathing in the Clinton restrooms

Sep 26, 2014 8:50 AM PT

In response to Clinton Minder Followed NY Times Reporter into the Bathroom:

Matt Continetti has an inspired rant about Hillary's bathroom minders and the willingness of the media to put up with this passive-aggressive crap, in which Hillary alternately poses as either a helpless victim of media meanies, or the head of the East German secret police.  The funniest passage is where he summarizes the combination of pleading, bullying, whining, and fellowship dumped by Clinton aides on the press at a recent gathering:

I am not entirely without sympathy. Mainstream journalists are under pressures that we are not. They have to pretend for example that David Brock is a serious person. They are implicated in the liberal Democratic project through family or sympathy or ambition. They have to take angry calls from the White House and congressional Democrats and candidates. One of Alana Goodman’s scoops involved a meeting at the D.C. bureau of the New York Times at which Hillary Clinton’s top lieutenants complained about the paper’s coverage of their boss, saying it was too intrusive and critical and that Clinton is not a public figure but an expectant grandmother. Leave Hillary alone, she’s under a lot of stress right now, she still has to wear those glasses at night, we have long memories, all she wants to do is swim, she hasn’t made up her mind about 2016, she’s putting the finishing touches on her book, dinner last Saturday was a lot of fun we should do it again sometime, she’s really a private person and doesn’t like all of this attention, why do you have to be so mean to her, I’m not going to write that recommendation letter for Sidwell Friends, Chelsea’s afraid the bad press may affect the baby, yes I’ll be at Hilary Rosen’s on Friday, we are totally uninteresting and unaffected and blameless and prosaic and apolitical but cross us and we’ll cut your f—ing knees off … Could you have been at that meeting and not laughed?

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Clinton Minder Followed NY Times Reporter into the Bathroom

Sep 25, 2014 10:18 AM PT

It sounds like a scene from North Korea. A NY Times reporter recounts her visit to the Clinton Global Initiative conference where she was assigned a minder who even followed her into the ladies room.

Amy Chozick, who covers the Clintons for the NY Times writes, "for me, perhaps the person who stands out is the friendly 20-something press aide who the Clinton Global Initiative tasked with escorting me to the restroom. She waited outside the stall in the ladies’ room at the Sheraton Hotel, where the conference is held each year." Chozick adds that for reporters at CGI, "an escort is required wherever we go."

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There is no 'anti-war' movement to speak of, just anti-Bush

Sep 11, 2014 8:30 AM PT

In response to MSNBC Viewers Vote For Obama To Bypass Congress On Military Action Against ISIS:

88% of the MSNBC audience pronouncing itself comfortable with unilateral Obama war, with a symbolic nod toward the Bush congressional authorization of force that Obama campaigned on voting against, is mildly amusing, but it shouldn't be surprising.  They're not being hypocritical now; they were being dishonest back then.  

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MSNBC Viewers Vote For Obama To Bypass Congress On Military Action Against ISIS

Sep 10, 2014 7:44 PM PT

In a poll tonight on MSNBC, viewers of the Ed Show voted overwhelmingly against allowing Congress to have a vote on military action against ISIS. 

These would be the same people who squawked for five years about Bush's "illegal", and "unilateral" Iraq War.

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Jeffrey Goldberg Shills for Obama's Foreign Policy--Again

Sep 10, 2014 5:45 AM PT

Ahead of President Barack Obama's prime time do-over about ISIS, Jeffrey Goldberg has laid down some cover fire, insisting that Obama has a long list of achievements in the Middle East for which he gets no credit. En route to this "Rodney Dangerfield" defense, Goldberg actually claims that Obama is responsible for removing Syria's chemical weapons, and that he is "the greatest terrorist hunter in the history of the presidency."

The first claim is simply untrue, and ludicrous--not only because the Assad regime has likely retained many of its weapons, and not only because it is using different kinds of chemical weapons, but also because the Obama administration failed to do anything at all to stop the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Syrians by conventional means. The Syria deal saved face and little else, and boosted Russia's power at America's expense.

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