Media Literacy/Bias

National Urban League policy chief takes on 'Hateful' talk shows

Pharoh Martin, Black Press USA

The gatekeepers of political opinion on cable are doing nothing to curb the increasingly incinerate and oft times blatantly false rhetoric coming from their political hosts and commentators against political figures of color such as President Obama and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Therefore, advocates are going for the jobs of conservative pundits like CNN's Lou Dobbs and FOX's Glenn Beck, who have made some of the most inflammatory statements.

“In recent months, we've seen a ramping up of the most hateful rhetoric,” said Stephanie Jones, executive director of the National Urban League Policy Institute. “And also, complete misinformation about President Obama and a bunch of other issues.”

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Latinos to CNN: Dump Dobbs now

Roberto Lovato, Huffington Post

This week, Lou Dobbs is broadcasting his radio show from a national lobbying conference sponsored by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an organization founded by a white nationalist and designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. At a time when studies document the growing link between anti-immigrant hate speech and increased violence against Latinos, Dobbs' appearance at FAIR generates especially profound concerns among those targeted by his almost daily attacks: immigrants and Latinos.

For years, Dobbs and CNN banked on the fact that many of the Latinos who bear the brunt of his systematic media assaults--Spanish-speaking immigrants--were unaware of the threat that Dobbs posed. But all of that is changing; Latinos are increasingly making the connection between racism in the media and discrimination in their hometowns, and coming to a simple, yet historic conclusion: Lou Dobbs is the Most Dangerous Man for Latinos in America. That's why is joining with Latino organizations throughout the United States demanding that CNN get rid of Dobbs. And we are not alone. In the coming weeks, CNN President Jon Klein will be inundated by a growing national chorus of calls to stop promoting Dobbs' brand of "news."

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Let's debate real issues

Wade Henderson, Poltico

As President Barack Obama and members of the Senate and House returned from their vacations to grapple with health care reform, energy and climate change legislation, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of the nation’s shouting heads were concentrating on other issues.

Fresh from successfully targeting then-White House green-jobs adviser Van Jones, right-wing talk show host Glenn Beck Twittered his followers to “find everything you can on Cass Sunstein (the regulatory czar), Mark Lloyd (Federal Communications Commission diversity czar) and Carol Browner (energy czar).” He later added White House science adviser John Holdren to the lengthening list of Obama administration staffers whom he calls “radical” or “revolutionary.”

Meanwhile, Obama himself came under attack for addressing the nation’s schoolchildren, as had Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush before him, about the importance of studying hard and not giving up or dropping out. Jim Greer, chairman of the Republican Party in Florida, said the speech would “indoctrinate America’s children to his socialist agenda.” Oklahoma state Sen. Steve Russell declared, “This is something you’d expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.”

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Michael Moore: "Capitalism killed the newspaper"

Mark Medley, National Post

Michael Moore gave his "two cents" on the state of the daily newspaper at Monday morning's press conference for his latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story. Moore revealed an earlier cut of the film explored the hard times facing the industry, but ultimately decided the issue was too large to fit into the film, adding it may warrant a film of its own down the road.

"If you want to give me 90 seconds," he told the press, "I'll give you my two cents about why I think a year from now, or two years from now, we're not going to have daily newspapers, and that we're in the last year of reading the daily newspaper. And for those of you who are from daily newspapers, I thought about, before I came here, I though this the last time I'm going to talk to some of these papers, which is kind of a sad feeling - that I won't see you again unless you're on the Internet after this. This is it. So, do you want to hear that?"

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Study: public trust in US media eroding

Agence France-Presse

Public trust in the US media is eroding and increasing numbers of Americans believe news coverage is inaccurate and biased, according to a study released on Monday.

Just 29 percent of the 1,506 adults surveyed by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press between July 22-26 said news organizations generally get the facts straight.

Sixty-three percent said news stories are often inaccurate, up from 34 percent in a 1985 study, Pew said.

Sixty percent of those polled said the press is biased, up from 45 percent in 1985. Just 26 percent in the latest survey said that news organizations are careful their reporting is not politically biased.

Seventy-four percent said news organizations tend to favor one side in dealing with political and social issues. Eighteen percent said they deal fairly with all sides.

Pew said Republicans tend to be more critical of the news media than Democrats although negative attitudes toward the news media were also increasing among Democrats.

Fifty-nine percent of those who identified themselves as Democrats said news organizations are often inaccurate, up from 43 percent just two years ago.

Two-thirds of the Democrats polled said the press tends to favor one side rather than to treat all sides fairly, up from 54 percent in 2007.

Just 20 percent of those polled said news organizations are independent of powerful people and organizations and only 21 percent said they are willing to admit their mistakes.

The poll found television remained the dominant news source for the public, with 71 percent saying they get most of their national and international news from television.

Forty-two percent said they get most of their news from the Internet compared with 33 percent who cited newspapers.

Fifty-nine percent rated news organizations as "highly professional," down from 66 percent two years ago and 72 percent in 1985.

Sixty-two percent of those polled said news organizations are being fair to the Obama administration while 23 percent said media coverage has been unfair.

Forty percent said the major cable news outlets -- CNN, Fox News and MSNBC -- were their main source for national and international news with 22 percent saying they relied on CNN, 19 percent on Fox and six percent on MSNBC.

Seventy-two percent of Republicans view Fox News positively compared with just 43 percent of Democrats.

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Ad boycott costs Glenn Beck over 50% of ad dollars

Color of Change

The advertising boycott of Glenn Beck has cost the controversial host over half of his estimated advertising revenue since it was launched by a month ago. This according to data analyzed from industry sources.

Estimated advertising revenue [the total amount of advertising money being spent during a block of commercial time for a program] was collected on a week-by-week basis for a period of two months. According to the data collected, the amount of money spent by national advertisers on Beck’s program per week was at its highest at approximately $1,060,000, for the week ending August 2, 2009. launched their campaign at the end of that week and since then, 62 advertisers have distanced themselves from Beck. Data collected for the week ending September 6, 2009 shows Beck’s estimated ad revenue at $492,000, equal to a loss of $568,000.

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CNN's Lou Dobbs problem and the immigration debate

Media Matters

In light of Lou Dobbs' reported plans to help lead the upcoming lobbying campaign of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) -- an organization designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center -- Media Matters for America reviews some of the most egregious conspiracy theories, hate speech, and undisclosed conflicts of interest in Dobbs' immigration reporting.

Dobbs fails to disclose ties to "hate group" FAIR while citing it as credible immigration source

Dobbs has close ties to "hate group" FAIR. In August, FAIR -- an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated a "hate group" -- announced that Dobbs is scheduled to help lead its annual "Hold Their Feet to the Fire" radio host rally. A year earlier, Dobbs broadcast his CNN show from the FAIR rally and announced on the air that "the Federation for American Immigration Reform is to be commended." In addition, the group has given Dobbs an award for "his continued efforts in leading the immigration reform movement through both his talk radio show and his television show." In the past year, Dobbs has cited FAIR as a credible source on immigration issues at least six times and has routinely failed to disclose his close association with the group.

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Will Genachowski help Obama find a heart, brain and courage to face Glenn Beck and his army of flying monkeys flinging poo?

Harold, Tales from the Sausage Factory

There are several rather astounding things about the current campaign of Glenn Beck against various Administration appointees. Most astounding, however, has been the Obama Administration reaction to date: quick capitulation in the face of relatively small pressure. Indeed, one of the reasons there was so little initial defense of Van Jones in progressive circles was because most of us were unaware of the attack until the Van Jone's “resignation.” As compared to previous campaigns in the Clinton years or Bush years to oust various officials, pressure to fire Van Jones had not even approached noticeable, let alone “scary.” Indeed, I am sufficiently cynical wrt the DLC/Rahm Emmanuel faction of the Ds that I cannot help but wonder if the Beck-led anti-Jones campaign was merely a convenient excuse for pushing out a smart and effective progressive.

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Time for Beck's bad-asses to back off of Mark Lloyd

Art Brodsky, Huffington Post

We interrupt our normal discussions of broadband policy, mapping, copyright law, intellectual property and our other topics of interest for a special public service announcement.

"Are you Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, one of the Facebookers who joined the Demand the TERMINATION of Communist Czars in our White House: Mark Lloyd campaign. Are you one of the #firemarklloyd Twitter brigade? If so, this message is for you. Your attacks on Mark Lloyd are groundless, i.e. at variance with actual facts. They are stupid. They are embarrassing. Knock it off. Thank you." We understand the language may be a bit crude and direct, but in order to communicate properly, one must use the language the targets of the message understand and are familiar with.

Think of any number of cowboy movies (The Magnificent Seven) or even motorcycle gang movies, (The Wild One with Marlon Brando but without Brando's attempt at redemption) in which the ignorant, low-rent, know-nothing thugs bad guys ride into town and randomly wreak havoc on a generally peaceful populace for no good reason other than that they can. That's what's happening here.

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Bellingham Mayor offers Daily Show host key to city

Sam Taylor, Bellingham Herald

ount Vernon might be planning to give Glenn Beck the key to the city, but Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike thinks the city to the north can do better.

Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's satirical news program "The Daily Show," is being offered the same honor here, and Pike says he thinks it's appropriate.

Pike and Stewart graduated from the same high school in New Jersey, though they didn't know each other, the mayor said.

The mayor's invitation comes after Mount Vernon Mayor Bud Norris announced that conservative Fox News commentator and radio show host Glenn Beck would come Sept. 26 to receive the key to that city.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey