Tag Archives: Media Bias

Self-described “hack” from Politico e-mails Clinton campaign to approve his story on Hillary

Hillary Clinton look bored about the deaths of 4 Americans who asked for her help
Hillary Clinton look bored about the deaths of 4 Americans who asked for her help

Nobody in the know regards Politico as a genuine news outfit. There have just been too many examples of flagrant media bias from them to benefit Democrats.

Here is the latest example, reported by Power Line blog:

One can debate whether the WikiLeaks documents pertaining to Hillary Clinton and her campaign have produced a “smoking gun.” My view is that they haven’t, not yet anyway. But the leaked documents corroborate important portions of the conservative critique of Clinton and of the mainstream media.

The latest example is an April 30, 2015 email in which Politico’s chief political correspondent Glenn Thrush asked John Podesta to approve his writing pre-publication. Alex Pfeiffer of the Daily Caller has the details.

Thrush’s story, about (get this) Hillary Clinton’s supposed fundraising woes, seems designed to generate sympathy, if not funds, for the Clinton campaign. But just to make sure his article was fine by Team Clinton, Thrush emailed it to Podesta in advance of publication. He asked Podesta to “tell me if I fu*ked up anything.”

Thrush stated: “Because I have become a hack I will send u the whole section that pertains to u.” He added: “Please don’t share or tell anyone I did this.”

Podesta responded that there were “no problems” with Thrush’s story.

By the way, there is a “smoking gun” in the e-mails, as I blogged in my previous post from yesterday afternoon.

If the mainstream news media were doing their jobs, we would be hearing all about what the WikiLeaks e-mails tell us about Hillary Clinton. But instead, we get this:

Let’s review peer-reviewed studies on whether there is any media bias, and which way the media bias goes.

Here’s a UCLA study on media bias.


Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center, with CBS’ “Evening News,” The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ranking second, third and fourth most liberal behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal.

Only Fox News’ “Special Report With Brit Hume” and The Washington Times scored right of the average U.S. voter.

The most centrist outlet proved to be the “NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.” CNN’s “NewsNight With Aaron Brown” and ABC’s “Good Morning America” were a close second and third.

“Our estimates for these outlets, we feel, give particular credibility to our efforts, as three of the four moderators for the 2004 presidential and vice-presidential debates came from these three news outlets — Jim Lehrer, Charlie Gibson and Gwen Ifill,” Groseclose said. “If these newscasters weren’t centrist, staffers for one of the campaign teams would have objected and insisted on other moderators.”

The fourth most centrist outlet was “Special Report With Brit Hume” on Fox News, which often is cited by liberals as an egregious example of a right-wing outlet. While this news program proved to be right of center, the study found ABC’s “World News Tonight” and NBC’s “Nightly News” to be left of center. All three outlets were approximately equidistant from the center, the report found.

“If viewers spent an equal amount of time watching Fox’s ‘Special Report’ as ABC’s ‘World News’ and NBC’s ‘Nightly News,’ then they would receive a nearly perfectly balanced version of the news,” said Milyo, an associate professor of economics and public affairs at the University of Missouri at Columbia.”

Here’s a Harvard University study on media bias.


The programming studied on Fox News offered a somewhat more positive picture… of Republicans and more negative one of Democrats compared with other media outlets. Fox News stories about a Republican candidate were most likely to be neutral (47%), with the remainder more positive than negative (32% vs. 21% negative). The bulk of that positive coverage went to Giuliani (44% positive), while McCain still suffered from unflattering coverage (20% positive vs. 35% negative).

When it came to Democratic candidates, the picture was more negative. Again, neutral stories had a slight edge (39%), followed by 37% negative and 24% positive. And, in marked contrast from the rest of the media, coverage of Obama was twice as negative as positive: 32% negative vs. 16% positive and 52% neutral.

But any sense here that the news channel was uniformly positive about Republicans or negative about Democrats is not manifest in the data.”

And more from a study done by the radically leftist MSNBC.


MSNBC.com identified 143 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 16 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.

The donors include CNN’s Guy Raz, now covering the Pentagon for NPR, who gave to Kerry the same month he was embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq; New Yorker war correspondent George Packer; a producer for Bill O’Reilly at Fox; MSNBC TV host Joe Scarborough; political writers at Vanity Fair; the editor of The Wall Street Journal’s weekend edition; local TV anchors in Washington, Minneapolis, Memphis and Wichita; the ethics columnist at The New York Times; and even MTV’s former presidential campaign correspondent.

Those are the facts.

I presented the two academic studies to a Democrat I know who was complaining about Fox News, and he said that Harvard University, UCLA are biased against progressives. He is an avid reader of Politico, along with the UK Guardian, the New York Times, and MSNBC. I’m sure that they would all agree with him, that those published, peer-reviewed studies are from conservative hacks.

New study: Politifact fact-checker is biased against Republicans

Why do people think that CNN are biased leftist clowns?
Why do people think that CNN are biased leftist clowns?

How accurate is the fact-checking site Politifact, a project of the Tampa Bay Times newspaper?

The Weekly Standard reports on a recent study from George Mason University.


The Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University is out with a new study on media fact checkers, and unsurprisingly, their results suggest that PolitiFact has it out for Republicans. Dylan Byers at Politico summarized CMPA’s findings:

The fact-checking organization PolitiFact has found Republicans to be less trustworthy than Democrats, according to a new study.

Fifty-two percent of Republican claims reviewed by the Tampa Bay Times fact-checking operation were rated “mostly false,” “false” or “pants on fire,” versus just 24 percent of Democratic statements, according to George Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs. By the same token, 54 percent of Democratic statements were rated as “mostly true” or “true,” compared to just 18 percent of Republican statements.

The CMPA looked at 100 statements — 46 by Democrats, 54 by Republicans — that were fact-checked by PolitiFact between January 20 and May 22.

[…]This is also not the first academic study that concluded PolitiFact might be putting their thumb on the scale when it comes to selecting and evaluating political statements. Last year, during the height of campaign season, the CMPA tallied up PolitiFact ratings. That study also showed PolitiFact tends to be much harder on Republicans:

The study examined 98 election-related statements by the presidential candidates, their surrogates, and campaign ads fact-checked by PolitiFact.com from June 1 to September 11. Major findings:

PolitiFact checked the assertions of Democrats slightly more often than those of Republicans (54% vs. 46% of all statements).

However, PolitiFact rated Democratic statements as “mostly true” or “entirely true” about twice as often as Republican statements — 42% true ratings for Democrats vs. 20% for Republicans.

Conversely, statements by Republicans were rated as entirely false about twice as often as Democratic statements – 29% false ratings for GOP statements vs. 15% false ratings for Democrats. (This includes categories labeled “false” and “pants on fire.”)

Further, the University of Minnesota School of Public Affairs looked at over than 500 PolitiFact stories from January 2010 through January 2011. Their conclusion:

Current and former Republican officeholders have been assigned substantially harsher grades by the news organization than their Democratic counterparts. In total, 74 of the 98 statements by political figures judged ‘false’ or ‘pants on fire’ over the last 13 months were given to Republicans, or 76 percent, compared to just 22 statements for Democrats (22 percent).

In other words, they are cherry-picking statements that are false for Republicans and true for Democrats. But maybe that’s just because Republicans lie more than Democrats right before an election? Maybe, just before an election, Republicans suddenly start to lie uncontrollably while Democrats suddenly start to tell the truth all the time?

Let’s take a look at one famous case and see.

This is from Avik Roy, health care policy expert at Forbes magazine.

2008 PolitiFact before the election: ‘We rate his statement True’

Roy writes: (links removed)

On October 9, 2008, Angie Drobnic Holan of PolitiFact published an article using the site’s “Truth-O-Meter” to evaluate this claim: “Under Barack Obama’s health care proposal, ‘if you’ve got a health care plan that you like, you can keep it.’” The article assures us in its headline that “Obama’s plan expands [the] existing system,” and continues that “Obama is accurately describing his health care plan here…It remains to be seen whether Obama’s plan will actually be able to achieve the cost savings it promises for the health care system. But people who want to keep their current insurance should be able to do that under Obama’s plan. His description of his plan is accurate, and we rate his statement True.”

The 2008 Obama plan, among other things, sought to transform the individual insurance market; it proposed to bar insurers from charging different premiums to the healthy and the sick, and to require them to offer plans to all comers, regardless of prior health status. According to PolitiFact, however, there was no need to worry that these provisions would be disruptive to existing health plans.

As per PolitiFact’s usual M.O., Holan didn’t seek out any skeptical health-policy experts to suss out the veracity of Senator Obama’s signature claim. Instead, its sources included Jonathan Cohn, a passionate Obamacare supporter at The New Republic, and various interviews and statements of Mr. Obama. Holan simply took the “keep your plan” promise at face value, dismissing as dishonest anyone who dared suggest that Obama’s claim would be impossible to keep. “His opponents have attacked his plan as ‘government-run’ health care,” she wrote, the scare-quotes around “government-run” being visible to all.

PolitiFact’s pronouncements about Obamacare were widely repeated by pro-Obama reporters and pundits, and had a meaningful impact on the outcome of the election. Indeed, in 2009, PolitiFact won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 2008 campaign.

Here’s the screen capture from 2008:

Politifact caught with its pants on fire
Politifact caught with its pants on fire

2013 PolitiFact after the election: ‘We rate his statement Pants On Fire’

Roy writes: (links removed)

On December 12, [2013] the self-appointed guardians of truth and justice at PolitiFact named President Obama’s infamous promise—that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it”—its 2013 “Lie of the Year.”

[…]So that brings us back to the fall of 2013. As Obamacare’s battle station became operational, and tens of millions of health plans became illegal, PolitiFact was caught with its flaming pants down. Louis Jacobson rapped Valerie Jarrett for tweeting that “nothing in Obamacare forces people out of their health plans”—a claim Jacobson rated as “False,” even though PolitiFact had rated it as “True” and “Half True” before.

On November 4, Jacobson rated as “Pants on Fire” the President’s new claim that “what we said was, you can keep [your plan] if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.” Both pieces were edited by Angie Drobnic Holan, who had initially granted PolitiFact’s seal of approval to Senator Obama’s 2008 promise. Holan delivered the coup de grâce, declaring as PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” the “keep your plan” promise.

“The promise was impossible to keep,” says Holan in her December piece. Now she tells us! But none of the key facts that made that promise “impossible” in 2008 had changed by 2013. The President’s plan had always required major disruption of the health insurance market; the Obamacare bill contained the key elements of that plan; the Obamacare law did as well. The only thing that had changed was the actual first-hand accounts of millions of Americans who were losing their plans now that Obamacare was live.

And the screen capture from 2013:

Politifact says: we were just kidding! Kidding!
Politifact says: we were just kidding! Kidding!

So when Politifact rates a statement by a Democrat as true, what they really mean is that it’s pants-on-fire-false, but it’s election time so they don’t say that.

The Tampa Bay Times. Politifact. It’s a catchy name, isn’t? It’s telling us the Facts about Politics.

I think this case demonstrates how people on the political left allow their emotions to overturn objective reality. You can keep your doctor. You can keep your health plan. Benghazi was caused by a Youtube video. The e-mails and e-mail backups of all the IRS employees were lost. The Department of Justice did not target Associated Press journalists. The assault weapons were not gun-walked to Mexican drug cartels. They will believe anything that makes them feel superior and noble, even when faced with evidence that clearly falsifies their beliefs.

Katie Courie defends deceptive editing in her pro-gun-control documentary


Why do people think that CNN are biased leftist clowns?
Don’t believe the liberal media

This story from the Washington Free Beacon is very useful for explaining what happens when a person relies on the leftist mainstream media to tell them about reality.

It says:

The makers of a new Katie Couric documentary on gun violence deceptively edited an interview between Couric and a group of gun rights activists in an apparent attempt to embarrass the activists, an audio recording of the full interview shows.

At the 21:48 mark of Under the Gun a scene of Katie Couric interviewing members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun rights organization, is shown.

Couric can be heard in the interview asking activists from the group, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?”

The documentary then shows the activists sitting silently for nine awkward seconds, unable to provide an answer. It then cuts to the next scene.

However, raw audio of the interview between Katie Couric and the activists provided to the Washington Free Beacon shows the scene was deceptively edited. Instead of silence, Couric’s question is met immediately with answers from the activists. A back and forth between a number of the league’s members and Couric over the issue of background checks proceeds for more than four minutes after the original question is asked.

It’s impossible to purchase a gun in the United States without a background check, unless it is a person to person private sale. Even if you order a gun on the Internet, it has to be shipped to a store where you pick it up – after the background check has been run. However, people on the left love to lie about gun purchases.

Now, the deceptive editing was pointed out to Katie Couric, and what do you think that she did? Did she apologize and pull the documentary?

Of course not, as David French explains in National Review:

At this point, a responsible documentarian either immediately apologizes, promises to investigate exactly how the deception occurred, and pledges to re-edit the film — or they contest the VCDL’s evidence. Instead, Soechtig issued this statement:

There are a wide range of views expressed in the film. My intention was to provide a pause for the viewer to have a moment to consider this important question before presenting the facts on Americans’ opinions on background checks. I never intended to make anyone look bad and I apologize if anyone felt that way.
The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple’s response was exactly right, saying that he’s “scarcely seen a thinner, more weaselly excuse.” But, as he notes, it’s not just an excuse, it reads as an admission. She’s not contesting the VCDL’s claims.

This is exactly the point where a former network anchor — a person who still enjoys respect in the news business — should step in and impose adult supervision. But in her own comment on the controversy, Couric not only said that she was “proud of the film” she also supported Soechtig’s statement.

Dear Yahoo, let me put this in plain English for you. Your premier news personality is “proud” of lying. She “supports” a statement that purports to justify those lies as a form of creative “pause.” This would be a firing offense at any decent opinion journal, much less an organization that purports to objectively report the news. Americans can no longer trust a single news report or a single interview from Couric. They now know that she will unashamedly and proudly deceive them to advance her own ideological agenda.

Previously, I blogged about studies that actually document how far the media is biased to the left. I understand that people on the left want to be lied to, and they are entitled to consume reports from sources that affirm the lies they want to believe. But those who prefer truth should be wiser.


How Google, Facebook and Twitter brainwash users against conservatism

Why do people think that CNN are biased leftist clowns?
Be careful with the liberal media

Here’s a story from Rachel Alexander, writing at The Stream. I cannot cut and past the whole article, but I can excerpt a sample of what she found.

She writes about Google:

Ever notice when you search for news or politics on Google News that the majority of search results tend to be articles from left-leaning publications? A search on Hillary Clinton today returns almost entirely articles by left-leaning publications on the first page of results. But is that just because liberals are more likely to search for stories about Hillary and are also more likely to prefer liberal sources? Maybe the Google result is just reflecting user preferences. Well, let’s try it for Donald Trump. I just did and got a similar result.

Fox News didn’t show up in either search, never mind that it’s a top ten news website with the most most popular television news network in America, and one that has been covering Trump’s presidential campaign obsessively. Only after clicking “Explore In-Depth” and scrolling well down the page did a Fox News story appear, in the 12th position, just below an article by Bloomington, Indiana’s Herald Times.

It’s well-known that Facebook is biased to the left, as well.

She writes:

Facebook’s Trending News feature is also biased. John Jalsevac at Live Action News observed how the undercover Planned Parenthood videos were featured in Trending News, but not in a way that readers would click and go to the videos themselves. Instead, readers were routed to two articles Planned Parenthood had posted on its Facebook page.

“Someone at Facebook’s headquarters is responsible for coming up with a one-line description of why a particular term is ‘trending,’” Jalsevac writes, “and then (it would appear), choosing which posts to give pride of place when a user clicks on that trending topic.” By now it should surprise no one that the Facebook employee apparently chose to direct people to Planned Parenthood to get the organization’s spin on the videos rather than to the videos themselves or to some news site that was at least attempting to offer an objective description of the controversial videos and Planned Parenthood’s reaction.

Facebook frequently removes conservative posts and bans conservatives, drawing a line where it thinks content is too extreme.

Here’s an example of how Facebook censors viewpoints that conflict with their secular leftist values.

Rachel talks about Twitter, too:

Twitter also frequently bans conservative users, known as “Twitter Gulag.” Left-wing activists target outspoken conservatives and report them en masse to Twitter, claiming they are abusing its policies — usually claiming “harassment” — and Twitter often complies and deactivates their accounts. One conservative who was banned, Todd Kincannon, fought back in 2013 by forming the Twitter Gulag Defense Network and creating a list of tips to avoid being banned. He is still banned from Twitter three years later. Another outspoken conservative, Robert Stacy McCain, was just banned this past week, with no explanation given.

Prominent conservatives Milo Yiannopoulos, tech editor at Breitbart, and John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary, recently lost their verified checks (a blue checkmark that indicates the account of a public figure is authentic), which is considered a step toward eventually banning an account. The conservative actor Adam Baldwin was temporarily banned after joking about #GamerGate, a hashtag he created for gamers fed up with political correctness.

Robert Stacy McCain and I are on each other’s blogrolls. If you want to support him, you can tweet something with the hastag #FreeStacy. I did. He’s a good man, and fearless about what he writes.

But I do have a response to this.

First of all, I don’t recommend that you have a TV in your home, even if the only news that you get is Fox News. TV is a delivery mechanism for the thought of secular leftists. You’re better off just buying or renting the programs you want, rather than uncritically taking in the opinions of uneducated clowns on CNN, MSNBC, the Comedy Channel, etc.

You should instead read a balance of left, center and right news sites. For example, on this blog, I will frequently link to the New York Times and the Washington Post, and sometimes the Los Angeles Times. Those are the sites I read on the left. On the right, I read the Washington Times, the Washington Free Beacon and Investors Business Daily.

Also, it’s a good idea to get yourself set up with conservative voices, that will balance out the liberal garbage that you will undoubtedly be confronted with by co-workers, etc. I recommend listening to the Ben Shapiro podcast and the Dana Loesch podcast. Ben Shapiro has no commercials. Dana has some short commercials. I also like the Weekly Standard podcast, but they are more establishment. And I love Washington Watch with Tony Perkins – president of the Family Research Council. My favorite podcasting app for my phone and tablet is Player FM. It’s free, has no ads, and works really well.

CNN was the first to run the story about Ben Carson’s retreat to Florida

Why do people think that CNN are biased leftist clowns?
Why do people think that CNN are biased leftist clowns?

I didn’t want to write about this, but one of my Democrat co-workers who is always pestering me with any misstep by my favorite candidates (Jindal, Walker, Cruz) brought it up. I doubt he knows what the national debt is, but he is always very aware of all the latest nit-picky issues. Anyway, here we go with the post I did not want to write, and thanks to my friend Kris (who is not my evil co-worker) for encouraging me to write it.

So everyone knows the story. A staffer on the Cruz campaign sent out a message saying that Carson was going to be returning to Florida and skipping New Hampshire and South Carolina. The staffer forwarded this message to Cruz caucus-goers, and they used it to appeal to Carson supporters to vote for Cruz. So where did the story originate? Did the nasty Cruz campaign make it up?

No, it came from CNN.

Here’s the post from Breitbart News containing the timeline, with screenshots of CNN tweets and videos of CNN anchors.

Breitbart says this:

The following is a definitive timeline of events on Monday night. All times are local Iowa time–i.e. Central Standard Time (CST).

6:41-6:43 p.m. CNN’s Chris Moody tweets news about Ben Carson (three tweets)

The part we care about is this:

CNN's Chris Moody starts the story
CNN Senior Reporter Chris Moody starts the story at 6:43 Central / 7:43 Eastern

No word about where the story came from, but the source seems to be Ben Carson, or someone representing his campaign. How else would Chris Moody get this information except from the campaign itself? And that would mean that Carson, who has never run for office before and has a disorganized campaign, just made a mistake. Or someone on his campaign staff did.

Anyway, at 6:44 PM Iowa local time, CNN anchors ran with the story next, based on the tweet of their “Senior Reporter”:

And here’s the transcript:

Tapper: Thanks, Wolf. Well, CNN has learned some news about the man who, at least according to polls, is in fourth place here in Iowa. Now, Dana, a week from tomorrow, we’re all going to be doing this again for the New Hampshire primary. So almost every single candidate is going to be going directly from here to New Hampshire to campaign–except for the man in fourth place, who a few months ago was in first place here, Dr. Ben Carson. What have we learned?

Bash: That’s right. We should say that our Chris Moody is breaking this news, that Ben Carson is going to go back to Florida, to his home, regardless of how he does tonight here in Iowa. He’s going to go there for several days. And then afterwards, he’s not going to go to South Carolina. He’s not going to go to New Hampshire. He’s going to come to Washington, D.C., and he’s going to do that because the National Prayer Breakfast is on Thursday. And people who have been following Ben Carson’s career know that that’s really where he got himself on the political map, attending that prayer breakfast, and really giving it to President Obama at the time. And he became kind of a hero among conservatives, among evangelicals especially.

Tapper: But it’s very unusual–

Bash: Very unusual.

Tapper: –to be announcing that you’re going to go home to rest for a few days, not going on to the next site. Plus, he’s already announced that he’s going to be coming out and speaking at 9:15 local and 10:15 Eastern, no matter whether or not we know the results, because he wants to get home and get ahead of the storm.

Bash: Look, if you want to be President of the United States, you don’t go home to Florida. I mean, that’s bottom line. That’s the end of the story. If you want to signal to your supporters that you want it, that you’re hungry for it, that you want them to get out and and campaign, you’ve got to be out there doing it too. And he’s not doing it. it’s very unusual.

Tapper: Very unusual news that CNN has just learned. CNN’s Chris Moody breaking the story. Wolf, back to you in Washington.

This was reported 16 minutes before the caucuses began. There is a ticker in the CNN video above. This was the origin of the story. The story did not originate with the Cruz campaign, it originated with the radical leftists on CNN.

Carson later tweeted that he was NOT suspending his campaign, that he was going home to Florida to “get fresh clothes”. Oh yes, I always fly home to get fresh clothes. It is just a ridiculous thing to say. It is not at all clear that the Cruz or Rubio campaigns SAW this tweet, which happened at 6:53 PM – their e-mail to their campaign workers came out a mere three minutes later.

In any case, at 6:56  PM, the Cruz campaign e-mails supporters what was reported on CNN, that Carson was “taking time off from the campaign trail”.

So, that’s how it went down, and as you can see, Cruz is innocent, and so is his staff. The guilty party is CNN for running the story that Carson had to correct for them. But before CNN could correct their mistake, the Cruz campaign had already acted on the CNN story. CNN didn’t even try to correct the story until after the Cruz campaign had sent out their messages. CNN did clarify their initial report, but much much later, around 7:30 PM. And this 7:30 PM tweet was the FIRST clarification that the Cruz campaign saw.

By the way, the only report that I have seen about the source of the rumor reported by CNN links the rumor to the MARCO RUBIO campaign, and you can read about that here. The tweet from the Rubio supporter has since been deleted, but the screenshot survives in the post I linked above.

Finally, one last thing. Cruz, being the man who stood up to big ethanol in Iowa and won, has already proved his integrity and character. But there’s more. The most obvious thing to do in the face of a made-up scandal like this is to pick a low-level staffer and punish them. But Cruz looked at the facts that I wrote above, and decided to stick by his staffer. This man always does the right thing – it’s like he doesn’t even care what happens to his whole campaign so long as he does the moral thing. And this is being noticed. Here is a post by a Trump supporter who switched his vote to Cruz, based on Cruz’s decision to stand by his innocent campaign staff.

If you like honor, Ted Cruz is your guy. I’m not going to regret supporting this guy.