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Eric Boehlert is the author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (Free Press, 2006). He worked for five years as a senior writer for Salon.com, where he wrote extensively about media and politics. Prior to that, he worked as a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. Boehlert has a bachelor's degree in Near Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts and is a Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America.
Obama, Race, And The Right-Wing Media's Heckler's Veto
It's fine for pundits to yearn for open dialogue and rhetorical leadership from the White House. It's less helpful for them to ignore the unpleasant realities of nasty partisan politics in the age of Obama. It does no good to pretend race baiting hasn't become a badge of honor and a professional path to success for lots of right-wing pundits.
Friday, May 9, 2014
From Vince Foster To Benghazi: How Fox News Has Mainstreamed The Fringe (1 comments)
Today's Fox News would have eagerly endorsed the sordid Foster affair, relentlessly demanding that "unanswered questions" be addressed and that sweeping investigations be launched. That in turn, would have forced Republicans into action, which would have sparked endless mainstream news coverage. Today the megaphone's much bigger, much louder, and in many ways much more dangerous.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Ted Nugent and How the Conservative Press Can't Hide Its Hate Streak (4 comments)
Increasingly reliant on bad fringe actors like Nugent to connect with their far, far-right audience, the conservative media have built up Obama-bashing personalities who no longer occupy any corner of the American mainstream. Yet Nugent enjoys deep ties with Republican campaigns all across the country. When those ties receive media scrutiny, they cannot be defended.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Campaigns in Waiting: The Press Loved Bush's But Dumps On Clinton (4 comments)
For what other politician would editors at CNN look at astronomical polling results (an 89 percent favorable rating in Iowa), and then assign an article on that person's "Iowa problem"? For no other politician, of course, because it defies logic. That kind of fact-free campaign analysis didn't make sense when Bush ran for president, and it doesn't make sense now.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
WMD Guilt? With Obamacare, The Press Keeps Trying To Minimize Iraq War (2 comments)
An American city drowned in slow motion following Hurricane Katrina? The United States launched a senseless, pre-emptive war that will drain the U.S. Treasury for decades to come? Well, Obama's Healthcare.gov website doesn't work very well! This is the mother lode of false equivalency. By suggesting the temporary health care woes are like Iraq, the press is doing its best to wash away the Iraq War stain.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
CBS Still Ducking The Tough 60 Minutes Questions
After Benghazi, 60 Minutes allotted 90 seconds at the very end of its broadcast in order to apologize (in addition to the earlier apology on This Morning). Also, there's no indication that any CBS employees will be reprimanded for the Benghazi mess. The message from CBS News, following the high-profile implosion of its October 27 Benghazi report? We're sorry. But we're not that sorry.
Monday, November 11, 2013
How CBS Could Have Avoided The 60 Minutes Benghazi Fiasco
If Fager was so "proud" of CBS's work, why wasn't the veteran journalist willing to discuss the Benghazi issue with a reporter who can ask follow-up questions, rather than Fager issuing a one-way statement and dodging the details? That's not how a "proud" chairman deals with a newsroom crisis. That's how a nervous chairman deals with one.
Friday, November 1, 2013
Called On To Explain Big Story, Media Botches Obamacare
The Beltway press rarely bothers to explain, let alone cover, public policy any more. With a media model that almost uniformly revolves around the political process of Washington (who's winning, who's losing?), journalists have distanced themselves from the grungy facts of governance, especially in terms of how government programs work and how they affect the citizenry.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
For Rush Limbaugh, The Damage Is Done (2 comments)
Of course, Limbaugh and Clear Channel could hold their ground, refuse to budge on Cumulus' demands and walk away from the radio giant with AM stations from coast to coast. That is an option, but it's also an unpleasant one in terms of what it would mean to Limbaugh's once unvarnished reputation as the AM talk gold standard.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Boston and the Right-Wing Media's Collapse
any in the far-right media worked to set news standards in mindless, awful behavior in the wake of the Boston attack. Faced with covering the most important American terror news story in a decade, too many players opted to just make stuff up. Prompting witch hunts, they cast innocents as would-be killers and then couldn't be bothered with apologies.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
GOP Rebranding? Roger Ailes Isn't Buying It (4 comments)
There's been little public acknowledgement that there can be no effective rebranding of the Republican Party if Ailes doesn't sign off. Meaning, the GOP can turn itself inside out if it wants, but if Fox News, the self-appointed face and voice the GOP, doesn't change, none of it matters because Fox will still be pounding home every negative stereotype that party leaders now want to erase.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
How "Liberal Media" Keep Blaming Obama for GOP's Radical Behavior (15 comments)
For four years this nonsensical narrative about how it's up to Obama to change the GOP's conduct has been promoted and celebrated inside Beltway newsrooms. And now all the savvy pundits agree: Republicans' obstinate ways created the sequestration showdown, so that means it's Obama's fault. By failing to lead, by failing to change Republican behavior, Obama must shoulder the blame.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Woodward Does Duty With Phony Outrage Machine (1 comments)
Woodward remains the most famous journalist of the Baby Boomer generation. His often methodical, behind-the-scenes reporting can provide real insights. But by signing up for duty with the Phony Outrage Machine and by parading around on Fox News wringing his hands over a fictitious threat, Woodward does serious damage to his reputation.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
The Bush Years And What A "Lapdog" Press Really Looked Like (5 comments)
During long stretches of his first term, Obama was hammered with "unrelentingly negative" press coverage. By contrast, the lapdog era of the Bush years represented nothing short of an institutional collapse of the American newsroom. And it was one that, given the media's integral role in helping to sell the Iraq War, did grave damage to our democracy.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Palin, Fox And The End Of An Era
At Fox, Palin represented a particularly angry and juvenile wing of the conservative movement. It's the part that appears deeply obsessed with Obama as a person; an unhealthy obsession that seemed to surpass any interest in his policies. Fox News got steamrolled by Obama's re-election. Palin's departure from the Fox payroll serves as a useful exclamation point to that fact.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Is Conservative Media One Big "Racket"?
In the business of media self-promotion, and particularly the carnival barker variety that powers so much of the conservative movement via Fox News and AM talk radio, it's inevitable that the goals of the "conservative entertainment complex," as writer David Frum dubbed it, would collide with the retail politics of the Republican Party.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
The Media Myth Surrounding Obama's Negative Campaign (1 comments)
The topic of Obama's supposedly negative campaign has become something of a media obsession, while at the same time the press has shown very little interest in detailing how the Romney campaign is running almost an entirely anti-Obama sales pitch to American voters.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Why Media's Health Care Reform Coverage Was Even Worse Than You Thought
The news coverage of the health-care debate provided by the "liberal media" represented a godsend to the Republican Party and the larger conservative movement. Coverage was stacked overwhelmingly in their favor in terms of the volume of GOP talking points stressed. The net results from the skewed coverage? Less than 20 percent of Americans say they have a clear understanding of what's actually in the health-care law.
Friday, June 22, 2012
From "Racist," To "Dick," To Heckling: How The Press Treats Obama (4 comments)
The GOP Noise Machine has for years depicted Obama as a lowly, un-American dictator/criminal; as someone unworthy of respect, which is exactly how Munro treated him. The only difference was that instead of doing that in the hothouse confines of Daily Caller's website where openly hating Obama in the expected norm, Munro lashed out in a very public setting.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Birthers, Billionaires and Fox: The GOP Freak Show in Full Effect (1 comments)
With a new breed of conservative media outlets making their presence felt during the 2012 campaign season, the emerging general election is being waged by the right with an unmistakable stamp of irresponsibility and a complete lack of adult supervision. Each passing day draws new revelations and guffaws.
Friday, May 18, 2012
Why Is Roger Ailes Lecturing College Students About Journalism? (1 comments)
Fox has every right to be in the partisan attack business. But for prestigious universities to usher Roger Ailes into their lectures halls under the guise of him being a news executive and letting him spin fantastic tales about how Fox is a fair and balanced news organization is a joke.
The Self-Destruction Of Limbaugh, Murdoch and Beck (4 comments)
Led by the likes of Limbaugh, Murdoch and Beck, the conservative press has adopted a strange brand of radicalism that embraces falsehoods, smears and even law breaking, all of which places their practice well outside the mainstream culture.
How Fox News Is Destroying The Republican Party (15 comments)
Wannabe kingmaker Roger Ailes is facing an open revolt.
More and more despondent conservatives are expressing alarm over the unfolding Republican primary season and what they see as the party's dwindling chances of defeating President Obama in November.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Why Conservatives Can't Do Journalism
The right-wing's online Noise Machine today is populated by people like Andrew Breitbart and Dana Loesch who run websites that crank out borderline incoherent bouts of "journalism" that inevitably whip up their Obama-hating readers and have zero impact on the national discussion.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Touting "Innate" GOP Advantage, Wash. Post Ignores Wash. Post (1 comments)
There's "an innate sense" out there that Republicans are the ones to trust on key issues, such as spending and the debt? Well, that "innate sense" might extend throughout the Beltway press corps, but it doesn't reflect mainstream America. Not according to polling data.
Local Media Covered Monday Union Rallies; National Media Not So Much
In terms of the news pages for national newspapers, USA Today and the Washington Post ignored the King-inspired rallies, according to a Nexis search. The Wall Street Journal's print edition today also contained no mention, while the New York Times devoted 400 words to the union story. But the Beltway press showered attention on last week's Tea Party event that drew "dozens" of supporters to Washington, D.C.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Why Fox News Will Keep Bullying NPR (1 comments)
The brand of radical conservative who has NPR in their sights today is not the same type of conservative critic who tweaked the network's supposedly liberal bias in the past. This new brand of bully is borderline delusional about NPR and sees it as a genuine force of evil; a hub of sinister activity.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Is Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes Going to Jail? (1 comments)
The crime of Roger Ailes, powerful chairman of Fox News is technically the same crime committed by Bill Clinton, for which he was impeached in 1997. It's "subordoning perjury", i.e., urging someone to lie under oath. No one is above the law, said Fox News at the time. And now?
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Did Glenn Beck Turn A Profit At Wilmington Charity Event?
There seems to be an enormous gap between the $300,000 ticket revenues Beck generated and the $44,000 he donated to charity. Beck's Wilmington costs accounted for nearly 85% of ticket sales? If true, that's one poorly run charity event. Keep in mind the Fox News host pocketed $32 million in 2009. Did he not pick up any of the Wilmington expenses himself, or did he deduct every last penny before making his $44,000 donation?
Friday, February 11, 2011
FOX NEWS INSIDER: "Stuff Is Just Made Up" (4 comments)
A former Fox News employee confirmed what critics have been saying for years about Murdoch's cable channel. Namely, that Fox News is run as a purely partisan operation, virtually every news story is actively spun by the staff, its primary goal is to prop up Republicans and knock down Democrats, and staffers at Fox News routinely operate without the slightest regard for fairness or fact checking.
Memo to media: There is no right-wing "smell test"
There is no right-wing smell test. It no longer exists. In fact, there appears to be no sense of smell at all, which is closely related to the right-wing media's lack of common sense and decency. Day in and day out the right-wing noise machine traffics in utter nonsense pretending they're connected with reality and breaking "news."
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Andrew Breitbart's mainstream demise (1 comments)
The so-called "journalism" Breitbart and his bloggers produce is sloppy, unprofessional and unreliable, not to mention weirdly paranoid and more times than not just completely unhinged. And as ABC News discovered, Breitbart himself simply cannot be trusted.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Memo to the media: The Tea Party is coming for you
detaining Hopfinger was a political statement. Just like Miller's announcement a week earlier that he would no longer answer questions from Alaska reporters was also a political statement: "We've drawn a line in the sand. The Alaska "arrest" sent an even more disturbing message from the Tea Party to the press: We're coming for you.
Welcome to a long, hot summer of right-wing race baiting
What's new now is the jaw-dropping notion that Limbaugh's pushing about how Obama's policies, which the AM talker insists are ruining this country, can be explained by the president's burning desire to exact revenge on America for its historical sin of slavery and long-running discrimination against minorities.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
FLASHBACK: When the New York Times ignored gaping holes in candidate Bush's war record (14 comments)
I'm having a tough time buying the Times' sudden devotion to the Blumenthal military topic, considering that during the 2000 presidential campaign, the same Times staff went out of its way not to report on the web of detailed allegations that Republican George Bush had failed to fulfill his military obligation while defending Texas air space as an Air National Guard pilot.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
The Truth About Glenn Beck's TV Ratings (1 comments)
Beck has basically lost all the new viewers he picked up over the last twelve months (blame in on the Massa Moment?), which is why in May of 2010, he's pretty much back where he started in May of 2009. After twelve months of hype, Beck has not significantly grown his TV audience.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Post-Hutaree: How Glenn Beck and Fox News spread the militia message
For anyone who thought the dark, Waco-fueled chapter of domestic extremism in this country was behind us, the Hutaree arrests were a jarring reminder that, with the election of another Democratic president, the violent militia message is back. And it's stronger than ever.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
What if Fox News actually wants mob violence? (6 comments)
Speaking out of both sides of their mouths with astonishing ease, conservatives denounced liberals who protested Coulter's appearance in Canada, and then played defense on behalf of marauding right-wing radicals who unleashed death threats, threw bricks through office windows, and hurled epithets at politicians.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Fox News, health care, and the right-wing nervous breakdown
Listening to Limbaugh, they thought they were dictating the agenda. Watching Fox News, they though they reflected the mainstream. And reading right-wing blogs, they thought they had killed health care reform. Wrong, wrong, and wrong. It was the sudden and rude realization that, instead, they'd spent the past few months trapped inside an echo chamber,
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The media myth of Obama's "falling poll numbers" (2 comments)
Adopting the polar opposite narrative from the Bush era when pundits and reporters seemed obsessed with trying to boost the president's standing, Beltway scribes today have made it plain that when it comes to Obama and polling, good news is no news.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
The Pentagon shooter, insurrectionism, and right-wing bloggers (3 comments)
what the GOP Noise Machine is doing today is embracing, and mainstreaming, the same kind of hate rhetoric and doomsday conspiratorial talk that flourished on the far-right fringes during the '90s. (Think Waco and black helicopters.) And legitimizing that kind of talk is dangerous.
Come back, Bob Woodward. Save us from Game Change journalism
let's look also at Game Change's already infamous "coffee" non-quote from Bill Clinton, reportedly spoken to Ted Kennedy. The authors not only couldn't confirm the inflammatory quote (so they printed it as a paraphrase), but then they went on television and improved the story. Out selling their book, the duo seemed to spike the tale with new information not found in the book.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Stenography 101: How the press let Palin and Cheney rig the system (3 comments)
If Palin steadfastly refuses to engage with journalists and insists on hiding behind her Facebook page, there's simply no reason reporters should give online press releases from a failed VP candidate (and half-term governor) the slightest bit of attention.
Why didn't Washington Post columnists call Cheney a disgrace? (1 comments)
Cheney grabbed top billing following his national security (pro-torture?) speech last week. But the World News Tonight report on Gore's September 23, 2002, anti-war speech was buried mid-broadcast. The dispatch ran 43 words in its entirety. Why? Because Gore, the has-been, was a "disgrace" when he tried to butt in about the Iraq war, according to the press corps--the same pack that awarded Cheney such high marks last week.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
McCain and Palin are laughing at the press -- and it's the press' fault
The press throughout this race has walked away from any semblance of traditional standards, yet journalists seemed oblivious to the long-term implications of their chronic embrace of fluff.
Why their embrace? Because that's what the media feel most comfortable with; that's what they're good at.
But now we're seeing the dire consequences -- when the press wants to inform voters about outrageous campaign conduct...