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The 2,471st CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
11:55am EDT, Tuesday August 21, 2007 (Vol. Twelve; No. 144)

 
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1. NBC's Today Show Champions Global Warming Alarmist
On Monday's Today show, NBC's Bob Dotson profiled Will Steger, a polar explorer who is indoctrinating America's youth about "collapsing" ice shelves and global warming. Dotson never doubted the explorer's theories, instead he chose to portray Steger's crusade as nothing short of much needed charity work: "Pitching back in between and forth between the Poles, Will began to notice our warming world, wrote one of the first books about it. Now the old explorer has set himself a new challenge. Here in his home of the great northern Minnesota woods he's teaching the next generation how to rally support and solve the problem." Dotson didn't ask any skeptical questions or air any soundbites from global warming critics, preferring to set up Steger to pontificate about climate change: "All those years in the wilderness gave Will time to think deeply about why the world is in trouble."

2. ABC Covers Wikipedia Scandal But Ignores NYT and BBC Bush Slams
On Monday, Good Morning America reporter John Berman ignored any role that journalists might have in the developing scandal of anonymous individuals altering Wikipedia entries. On the ABC program, Berman alerted viewers to the fact that companies such as Wal-Mart and Starbucks have changed sections in their Wikipedia bios. However, he skipped the recent revelation that both the BBC and New York Times have been linked to derogatory, childish alterations in President Bush's entry. Berman began the segment by asking viewers how they would feel if they knew "the entry on Wal-Mart was edited by someone inside Wal-Mart? The Starbucks entry? By someone inside Starbucks." He also noted that the CIA has changed its section. However, the ABC reporter failed to explain that a new computer program, which can determine who alters Wikipedia information, traced the culprit behind the addition of the words "jerk, jerk, jerk" to President Bush's Wikipedia profile. The source? A New York Times computer. There was also no discussion of a similar incident involving the insertion of the word "wanker" to Bush's entry from a BBC computer.

3. NBC, Which Touted Fonda's Liberal Talk Radio Net, Skips Its Flop
Almost a year ago, Today went out of its way to promote the "legendary" Jane Fonda's new liberal radio network, but since its final broadcast on Friday, Today has yet to mention the failure of yet another liberal talk radio experiment.

4. CNN's 'God's Warriors' Equates Christian Activists with Taliban?
CNN's Tuesday-Thursday mini-series, "God's Warriors," hosted by Christiane Amanpour, looks like it will play the old liberal game of moral equivalence. Amanpour reportedly compares Christian chastity advocates to the Taliban. Even the promos for the mini-series which have been running on CNN for the past few weeks demonstrate the probable "game plan" that Amanpour and CNN have in mind, grouping together pro-life Christian college students protesting in front of the Supreme Court, Jewish settlers on the West Bank, and Islamic radicals. To paraphrase an old children's jingle, "two of these things are not like the other."

5. NBC Decides to Air Olbermann's Countdown Show Live Sunday Night
NBC announced Monday that the broadcast network will greatly expand the potential audience for MSNBC's far-left nightly ranter Keith Olbermann, airing a live edition of his Countdown show this Sunday night at 7pm EDT/PDT, 6pm CDT, before a pre-season NFL game. TVNewser on Monday highlighted an August 20 NBC press release: "MSNBC's Keith Olbermann will bring his unique take on the day's events, from politics to pop culture, to a primetime network audience this Sunday night. A special edition of Countdown with Keith Olbermann will air on Sunday, August 26th at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT on NBC, leading into the network's Sunday Night Football pre-season NFL matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers, live at 8 p.m. ET. Olbermann is joining the network's Football Night in America studio team this season. The special edition of Countdown will be broadcast live from MSNBC's studios."


 

NBC's Today Show Champions Global Warming
Alarmist

     On Monday's Today show, NBC's Bob Dotson profiled Will Steger, a polar explorer who is indoctrinating America's youth about "collapsing" ice shelves and global warming. Dotson never doubted the explorer's theories, instead he chose to portray Steger's crusade as nothing short of much needed charity work: "Pitching back in between and forth between the Poles, Will began to notice our warming world, wrote one of the first books about it. Now the old explorer has set himself a new challenge. Here in his home of the great northern Minnesota woods he's teaching the next generation how to rally support and solve the problem."

     Dotson didn't ask any skeptical questions or air any soundbites from global warming critics, preferring to set up Steger to pontificate about climate change:

     Dotson: "All those years in the wilderness gave Will time to think deeply about why the world is in trouble."
     Will Steger, environmentalist: "The real problem was that America is socially disconnected. And the solution lies in connecting socially."
     Dotson: "What's tougher? Battling the elements or people's attention spans?"
     Steger: "You know it's really the attention span. For 20 years we've been battling the public opinion on global warming but now it's really putting a human face on global warming."
     Dotson: "Like Chris Anderson's. He volunteered to help Will but his friends?"
     Chris Anderson: "I don't see them out here."
     Dotson: "That, of course, is the problem, getting the message to stick. What keeps you going when the circle of caring expands so slowly?"
     Steger: "You have to go where, you know, where there's resistance. That's where the adventure lies and that's where, that's where you make changes."
     Dotson: "As Will Steger has done in his 62 years. Many preach about saving the planet, Will just puts his boots on and goes. For Today, Bob Dotson, NBC News, with an American Story at the edge of the world."

     After the piece the Today cast continued the exhortation of Steger:
     Ann Curry: "Sobering message about our beautiful planet. When I see a glimpse of it."
     Lauer: "Impressive guy." Curry: "Yeah very..."
     Natalie Morales: "A beautiful piece too. A beautiful story."

     [This item, by Geoffrey Dickens, was posted Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, Newsbusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     The following is the full segment as it aired on the August 20th, edition of the Today show:

     First up, Curry teased viewers at 8:49am with a story of impending danger to the Earth:

     Ann Curry: "Up next we'll be talking about a man who travels to the ends of the Earth and now he's raising a red flag about what he's seeing out there. We're gonna meet him in just a moment but first this is Today on NBC."

     Then at 8:55am Lauer introduced the Dotson segment:

     Matt Lauer: "And Today's American Story with Bob Dotson takes us to the top of the world to meet a man who blazes a trail in frigid surroundings with an eye on the future. Will Steger hikes across continents of ice, so far, more than 40,000 miles and counting."
     Bob Dotson: "There is still some land that hasn't felt footsteps. Where the north wind bullies and temperatures cower to 70 below. Into this vast wilderness near the North Pole comes a figure oddly out of place, plodding carefully through massive ice, alone."
     Will Steger: "I try to piece together what areas haven't been crossed before."
     Dotson: "Will Steger has explored the unknown, a foot at a time, for 40 years." Steger: "It's only by walking on it and skiing on it, day after day, month after month, that you can get a sense, really, a planetary sense of what's, what's happening here." Dotson: "He leads legendary polar expeditions." Steger: "Every ice shelf I've ever been on is collapsing into the ocean. It shows you how fast the climate is changing."
     Dotson: "Pitching back in between and forth between the Poles, Will began to notice our warming world, wrote one of the first books about it. Now the old explorer has set himself a new challenge. Here in his home of the great northern Minnesota woods he's teaching the next generation how to rally support and solve the problem."
     Steger: "This one went on the North Pole, 86." Dotson: "Steger doesn't give lectures, he gives himself."
     Steger, digging: "See how deep this is here."
     Dotson: "Working alongside small groups of kids who want to save the planet."
     Steger: "I really believe that this generation is gonna take, take on this. This is gonna be their issue." Dotson: "Will designed this center where they can talk out solutions."
     Steger: "That's a great building stone."
     Dotson: "Built it by hand, deep in the woods."
     Steger: "And we dog-sledded a million pounds of gravel. Three miles, three hills, all the way to our place."
     Dotson: "He approached all this like he did his explorations. A little dreaming, a lot of planning."
     Steger: "I bought this land when I was 19."
     Dotson: "Made the down payment with a $20 travelers check and a $5 bill, left over from his first expedition. His parents insisted he pay for his adventures." Steger: "I used to cut lawns, caddied, baby sit my brothers and sisters."
     Dotson: "Eight of them."
     Steger: "One bathroom, I should add.
     Dotson: "They grew up in the Minneapolis suburbs."
     Steger: "My parents never camped out a day in their life."
     Dotson: "But they gave him the freedom to work for his dream."
     Steger: "I put myself through college."
     Dotson: "Then taunt himself to survive on the trail. All those years in the wilderness gave Will time to think deeply about why the world is in trouble." Steger: "The real problem was that America is socially disconnected. And the solution lies in connecting socially."
     Dotson: "What's tougher? Battling the elements or people's attention spans?"
     Steger: "You know it's really the attention span. For 20 years we've been battling the public opinion on global warming but now it's really putting a human face on global warming."
     Dotson: "Like Chris Anderson's. He volunteered to help Will but his friends?"
     Chris Anderson: "I don't see them out here."
     Dotson: "That, of course, is the problem, getting the message to stick. What keeps you going when the circle of caring expands so slowly?"
     Steger: "You have to go where, you know, where there's resistance. That's where the adventure lies and that's where, that's where you make changes."
     Dotson: "As Will Steger has done in his 62 years. Many preach about saving the planet, Will just puts his boots on and goes. For Today, Bob Dotson, NBC News, with an American Story at the edge of the world."
     Ann Curry: "Sobering message about our beautiful planet. When I see a glimpse of it."
     Lauer: "Impressive guy."
     Curry: "Yeah very..."
     Natalie Morales: "A beautiful piece too. A beautiful story."

 

ABC Covers Wikipedia Scandal But Ignores
NYT and BBC Bush Slams

     On Monday, Good Morning America reporter John Berman ignored any role that journalists might have in the developing scandal of anonymous individuals altering Wikipedia entries. On the ABC program, Berman alerted viewers to the fact that companies such as Wal-Mart and Starbucks have changed sections in their Wikipedia bios. However, he skipped the recent revelation that both the BBC and New York Times have been linked to derogatory, childish alterations in President Bush's entry. (CNN covered the story on August 16: newsbusters.org )

     Berman began the segment by asking viewers how they would feel if they knew "the entry on Wal-Mart was edited by someone inside Wal-Mart? The Starbucks entry? By someone inside Starbucks." He also noted that the CIA has changed its section. However, the ABC reporter failed to explain that a new computer program, which can determine who alters Wikipedia information, traced the culprit behind the addition of the words "jerk, jerk, jerk" to President Bush's Wikipedia profile. The source? A New York Times computer. There was also no discussion of a similar incident involving the insertion of the word "wanker" to Bush's entry from a BBC computer. See: littlegreenfootballs.com

     Berman closed the report by quoting from Wikipedia's founder, Jimmy Wales. He intoned, "Wales says, 'People should understand you are not necessarily as anonymous as you think,' not even the CIA." Apparently liberal journalists with a grudge against President Bush aren't anonymous either.

     [This item, by Scott Whitlock, was posted Monday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     A transcript of the segment, which aired at 7:17am on August 20:

     Robin Roberts: "Now to Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that's quickly becoming a household name, a favorite of anyone looking for an obscure fact or just some help with their homework. It is written entirely by anonymous authors, anonymous until now. Because those shadowy Wikipedia authors are being thrust out into the open and their identities may surprise you. John Berman has the story."

     John Berman: "Wikipedia has more than 10 million people visiting its site every day looking for the truth. But what if you knew that the entry on Wal-Mart was edited by someone inside Wal-Mart? The Starbucks entry? By someone inside Starbucks. Even the CIA is in the game. Most people know that anyone can edit Wikipedia entries. But now, for the first time, we're learning where some of the changes are coming from. 24-year-old Virgil Griffith wrote a program, Wikiscanner, that can match edits to Wikipedia entries to the computer networks they come from. We spoke to him by web phone."

     Virgil Griffith, Wikiscanner creator: "Companies are trying to manipulate things if they can. As for the CIA, they, they added very large sections. Another one is congressmen whitewashing all their pages so they will remove things like campaign promises."
     Berman: "His program found that someone at a Wal-Mart computer apparently changed this line. It used to say, 'Wages at Wal-Mart were 20 percent less than other stores.' The new entry says, €˜The average wage at Wal-Mart is double the minimum wage.' Or how about this one? What happens when someone from a Democratic Party computer edits the entry on Rush Limbaugh? He goes from 'a popular' entertainer and talk show host to an 'idiotic' one. Last year I spoke to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales."
     Jimmy Wales: "We value openness. We value participation, but openness and participation can take a lot of different forms."
     Berman: "Wales says, 'People should understand you are not necessarily as anonymous as you think,' not even the CIA. For 'Good Morning America,' I'm John Berman, ABC News."

 

NBC, Which Touted Fonda's Liberal Talk
Radio Net, Skips Its Flop

     Almost a year ago, Today went out of its way to promote the "legendary" Jane Fonda's new liberal radio network, but since its final broadcast on Friday, Today has yet to mention the failure of yet another liberal talk radio experiment.

     The following is an excerpt from the announcement by GreenStone Media's CEO, Susan Ness. Ness blamed the network's demise on, what she believed, was the ignorant perception that they were "too feminist.":

We developed fabulous shows, but we were not successful getting station carriage. Perhaps it was because we were ignorantly perceived as being too "feminist" or too "political." (It is odd that radio executives consider Rush Limbaugh entertainment and not political, but women -- well, that's another story.) All they had to do was listen!

     END of Excerpt

     For the entire announcement, go to: greenstonemedia.com

     [This item, by Geoffrey Dickens, was posted Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, Newsbusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     For more on Today show's initial promotion of Fonda's liberal network, check the September 13, 2006 CyberAlert, "Today Invites 'Legendary' Jane Fonda to Promote New Radio Network," online at: www.mrc.org

 

CNN's 'God's Warriors' Equates Christian
Activists with Taliban?

     CNN's Tuesday-Thursday mini-series, "God's Warriors," hosted by Christiane Amanpour, looks like it will play the old liberal game of moral equivalence. Amanpour reportedly compares Christian chastity advocates to the Taliban. Even the promos for the mini-series which have been running on CNN for the past few weeks demonstrate the probable "game plan" that Amanpour and CNN have in mind, grouping together pro-life Christian college students protesting in front of the Supreme Court, Jewish settlers on the West Bank, and Islamic radicals. To paraphrase an old children's jingle, "two of these things are not like the other."

     An "unprecedented six-hour television event," the mini-series will examine "God's Jewish Warriors" on Tuesday night, "God's Muslim Warriors" on Wednesday night, and "God's Christian Warriors" on Thursday night -- all from 9 to 11pm EDT. A preview of "God's Christian Warriors," which ran on Friday's The Situation Room, featured an interview of Jerry Falwell, which was conducted a week before the evangelical pastor's death. As one might expect, Amanpour asked Falwell about his much-publicized connection of the 9/11 attacks with secularism in America, in particular, the legalization of abortion.

     The preview also juxtaposed clips from the Falwell interview with file footage of the bombing at a Birmingham, Alabama abortion clinic in 1998, and other attacks on abortionists from the 1990s that, in Amanpour's words, were conducted by "radical opponents [who] had long waged their holy war against abortion clinics," which also "terrified many women."

     Amanpour also claimed that this violence "not only frightened a number of abortion clinics into closing, it also caused a public backlash," presumably against the wider pro-life movement, which is a debatable claim, given the continued viability of the pro-life movement. It is not clear from this preview whether Amanpour mentions in her documentary the fact that all mainstream pro-life leaders and organizations have repeatedly condemned violence against abortion providers.

     [This item is adapted from a Monday posting, by Matthew Balan, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     The AP's David Bauder wrote positively of Amanpour and the upcoming mini-series in an article on Monday. Bauder mentioned Amanpour's treatment of a "fundamentalist Christian group" called BattleCry in the mini-series. The following excerpt is another clue which supports the theory that Amanpour and CNN have their "moral equivalence" hat on: "The segment on Christians explores BattleCry in some depth, digging at the roots of an organization that fights against some of the cruder elements of popular culture and urges teenagers to be chaste. In noting how girls at some BattleCry events are encouraged to wear long dresses, Amanpour asks the group's leader how it is different from the Taliban." See: news.yahoo.com

     Encouraging modest dress is the same as forcing girls out of school, beating women who don't wear burkhas, and publicly-executing offenders?

     CNN's page on the "God's Warriors" shows, with video excerpts: www.cnn.com

 

NBC Decides to Air Olbermann's Countdown
Show Live Sunday Night

     NBC announced Monday that the broadcast network will greatly expand the potential audience for MSNBC's far-left nightly ranter Keith Olbermann, airing a live edition of his Countdown show this Sunday night at 7pm EDT/PDT, 6pm CDT, before a pre-season NFL game. TVNewser on Monday highlighted an August 20 NBC press release: "MSNBC's Keith Olbermann will bring his unique take on the day's events, from politics to pop culture, to a primetime network audience this Sunday night. A special edition of Countdown with Keith Olbermann will air on Sunday, August 26th at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT on NBC, leading into the network's Sunday Night Football pre-season NFL matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers, live at 8 p.m. ET. Olbermann is joining the network's Football Night in America studio team this season. The special edition of Countdown will be broadcast live from MSNBC's studios."

     It sounds like a test to see how many viewers Olbermann's brand of left-wing harangues can capture in prime time on a real network, though maybe in his Sunday night broadcast debut he'll limit the politics and stick to his "Oddball" and celebrity segments. Given that the Football Night in America highlights show will air in the same time slot once the NFL season begins, we should at least be spared any further Sunday night airings of Countdown until after the NFL season ends.

     [This item was posted Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     The NBC.com schedule page still lists Dateline NBC as airing this Sunday night at 7pm EDT: www.nbc.com

     The press release trumpeted Countdown's second place finish weeknights at 8pm EDT on MSNBC: "Countdown's network debut comes on the heels of the program's stellar performance this year. According to Nielsen Media Research, the program attracted 721,000 viewers in July, up an incredible 88% over July 2006. Countdown continues to be the number two cable news program at 8 p.m. ET, beating CNN by a 20% margin for the year."

     NBC's press release: www.nbcumv.com

-- Brent Baker

 


 


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