Category Archives: media bias

GE Fights Back…In the Comments Section

keith_olbermann_101Fox News has managed to make the suits at GE fairly unbalanced after their recent report covering the bias at NBC and the outrage expressed by shareholders who are watching the stock, and their 401ks, tank. Was it was the exposure of GE’s connection to billions in a cap-and-trade windfall, which would only be made possible under a President Obama, and how that has figured into their over-the-top pimping of his candidacy the last two years? Or was it was the Fox correspondent’s intrusion into a contentious shareholder meeting? Whatever the motive, the folks at General Electric are hacked off, spooked, or both.  

 

So irritated are they that they have Gary Sheffer, their executive director of corporate communications & public affairs, posting comments beneath a Politico article like a regular blogger, detailing what really transpired at a recent shareholders meeting.

 

According to the Hollywood Reporter, cited in the Politico article, here’s what happened at the meeting:

 

Just before GE re-elected board members, company brass were hit with questions from shareholders critical of an alleged leftward political slant at MSNBC.
 

 

But one of those questions came from Jesse Watters, a producer on “The O’Reilly Factor” whose criticisms were cut short when his microphone was cut off, according to several attendees.

 

According to the article, other shareholders, and yes the reporter is a shareholder, had their microphones cut as well.

 

And here is what GE’s Sheffer, if that was really him, wrote in response underneath the Politico piece:

 Gary Sheffer from GE. I was at the meeting and this account of what happened is wrong. We let shareowners have their say — that’s what the meeting is about –and yesterday’s meeting was nearly three hours of sometimes tough criticism, including on MSNBC. But be clear, Mr. Watters and his Fox News friends had full opportunity to make their points. Mr. Watters made his statement, sat down and then departed before the meeting was concluded. If he felt he had been “cut off” he could have simply returned to the microphone (several shareowners spoke multiple times). The meeting was not concluded until there was no one left standing at the microphones seeking to speak.
Posted By: Gary Sheffer | April 23, 2009 at 10:52 AM     

Unfortunately, he takes umbrage at the Fox correspondent Jesse Watters, not at the possibility that NBC is skewing news to boost the President, thus ensuring future billions in revenues for GE. Shouldn’t NBC offer a disclosure of some nature? I mean the two viewers left watching MSNBC and NBC will be fascinated to learn that unlike Santa Claus, their conspiracy theories do exist. Only, unfortunately, it’s the libs holding the bag on this one.

Who Attacked India? Terrorists or Insurgents

India ShootingDuring the last few days, newspapers from around the world have been headlining with the tragic story unfolding in India. Beyond the details of the story, newspapers from the Middle East have characterized the attackers as ‘insurgents’ and ‘gunmen’. Al Jazeera’s Arabic edition left out the word ‘terrorist’ altogether, unless quoting an Indian source, and their English version repeated the same non-indicting labels. The English version of Al Arabiya described how ‘gunmen’ and ‘attackers’ were terrorizing Mumbai, without using the dreaded ‘t’ word, even in a verb capacity.

To the Arab world, the perpetrators are ‘gunmen’, ‘attackers’ and ‘insurgents’, all labels which could be positive, depending on whose side you’re on; ‘terrorist’ carries only negative connotations. In the west, these innocuous attackers are terrorists. From France’s Le Monde and Le Figaro to the leftist newspapers in Italy (Corriere della Sera), the UK (the Guardian) and, gulp, the New York Times, these ‘attackers’ are ‘terrorists.’

Until Muslims in the Middle East and around the world believe that the men currently hunting British and American innocents are terrorists, not simply valiant insurgents, tragedies like Mumbai are doomed to recur.

Obama’s Silent European Majority

Presuntuoso. Arrogante. Even if you don’t speak Italian, you can probably guess their English equivalents. Those were the first words my in-laws used to describe their reaction to the Democratic nominee for President. You won’t hear regular Europeans interviewed or their impressions discussed in the American press, but I can tell you, there are many more anti-Obamans present and unaccounted for in the old continent.

Presumptuous and arrogant. He already talks like he’s the President.

Their hunch is spot on. By finishing his world tour at a pep rally in front of 200,000 mostly German Berliners, Obama demonstrated his ability to tear down more than just racial walls. Apparently, protocol is another target. In the past, no other candidate for President has ever given a campaign speech in front of a foreign audience, called himself a ‘citizen of the world’, or lamented America’s misdeeds world-wide.

While most of the American press is drooling over the groundbreaking aspect to Obama’s run, in terms of race, and generalizing Obama’s European reception, they should instead focus on his revolutionary assault on what is acceptable conduct by a candidate for President of the United States.

Wesley Clark: The Audacity of Stupid

From the Politico :

“He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn’t held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded — that wasn’t a wartime squadron,” Clark said.
“I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president.”

Had the above criticism come from former Secretary of State Powell or Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf instead of a failed NATO chief whose chronic addiction to Presidential runs has proven tedious, the foolish outburst might have been taken more seriously. But given the erstwhile General’s track record, the disrespectful remarks just fit right in with his arrogant profile and his affection for fantasy.

In 2003, Rush Limbaugh gave us a history lesson, when he compared Clark to another wartime officer in Civil War General McClellan. It was a great psychological dissection, but I was more interested in Clark’s achievements as a prominent military figure in the 90’s.

As NATO chief, Gen. Clark, on the other hand, urged his Pentagon bosses to let him introduce ground troops into the war against Serbia, and he even was willing to use military force to stop the Russians from occupying an airport at Pristina, Kosovo.

But Gen. Clark was badly wrong on both counts. If he had not been overruled by his superior, there would have been unnecessary casualties resulting from the deployment of ground troops. And if his subordinate, British Gen. Sir Michael Jackson, had not refused Gen. Clark’s order to confront the Russian troops–who wound up cooperating with NATO peacekeeping efforts–the outcome could have been disastrous.

In 1994, while nearly one million Rwandans were being slaughtered, Gen. Clark advised President Clinton against America’s intervention, despite the U.N.’s unwillingness to stop the holocaust. But Gen. Clark speaks glowingly of NATO’s success in stopping Milosevic’s ethnic cleansing, for which Mr. Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And now, he dismisses the liberation of nearly 25 million Iraqis from Saddam Hussein’s murderous rule as a Bush foreign-policy failure.

He reportedly circumvented both Secretary of Defense William Cohen and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Henry Shelton on numerous occasions in speaking directly to the media and the president. In fact, the situation got so bad that Gen. Clark was relieved of his NATO position several months before his term ended, and in a major snub, neither Mr. Cohen nor Gen. Shelton attended his retirement ceremony.

Mr. Clark should take a moment of self-reflection before making any further ill-advised attacks. Does he honestly think anyone with an iota of intelligence would believe him over the scrappy, sometimes maddening, but always sincere, war hero who just might defy all odds to become President?

Something positive did result from the interview, however. ‘Face the Nation’, the Sunday show no one watches, might have three viewers next week instead of two.

Obama’s Secret Weapons

Tiger Woods dons a red shirt on tournament Sundays. Michael Jordan never forgot to put on his North Carolina Tarheel shorts underneath his Bulls uniform. The long-standing relationship between athletes and their superstitions, good-luck charms and pre-game rituals is considered largely innocuous by sports fans, rather a side-note to the victories and defeats. Sure they might get a mention during a half-time feature, but for the most part, their pre-match voodoo goes unnoticed and unreported.

We might not care if our athletes or next door neighbors are superstitious, but our Commander-in-Chief, the nuclear passé-partout daddy, carrying around lucky stones, golden monkeys and little eagles for luck?

Are American voters aware that the “yes we can” candidate, is so unsure that he can, he is jiggling some stones in his pocket hoping that he will?

The Global Scelto: Barack Obama

Like I explain in my book, The Absentee Ballot, recognizing traits unique to the United States and Americans became easier after I had been abroad for a while. I didn’t notice our idiosyncrasies because they bombarded me daily.

One of the most glaring American deficiencies is our obsession with acceptance. We are consumed by wearing the latest trend, living in the most beautiful house and driving the best car. I was reminded yesterday when I parked outside of a golf shop and sat in the car while my husband went inside. I watched a man exit the store and open the car door of a late model black Mercedes, with shiny rims and windows with a gangster tint, sitting in the spot adjacent mine. His hair was perfectly coiffed, his clothes spiffy and a diamond encrusted Rolex sparkled on his wrist. My mind then drifted to a Milanese Rolex dealer who once told me that Rolex only makes the diamond face for the American market; Europeans would never wear them. Sure, they might buy a watch costing five-hundred thousand Euros, but it wouldn’t contain diamonds and no one would ever know.

This story does have a point, apart from materialism. The diamonds we wear, the Guccis we carry, and the BMWs we drive aren’t for our benefit. They are for the benefit of the guy at work and everyone else we come in contact with. Like this psychological need to impress, we have become unhinged in our recent desire to re-curry favor in the international community. It’s like there are three hundred million Sally Fields standing on the world stage demanding “like me, really really like me.”

Barack Obama isn’t just the first black American to receive a major party nomination; apparently he’s the only one who can make the world like us again. A Washington Post article starts out by pointing to our tattered reputation abroad. It goes on to explore the global reaction of Obama’s nomination.

From India: Sunila Patel “A black president of the U.S. will mean that there will be more American tolerance for people around the world who are different.”

It’s nice that Ms Patel is concerned about our racial tolerance, but maybe she should worry about the fissures within her own community. Just how tolerant are the Hindus toward the Muslims and vice-versa. And how evolved is a society based on a caste system and one in which males having more value than females.

From Britain. “Obama is the exciting image of what we always hoped America was,” said Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House, a British foreign policy institute.

What were you hoping America was? Tolerant? Racially diverse? Multicultural? Compassionate? One question. Who was the last black, or nominee of Indian or Pakistani descent to become Prime Minister of Britain? Maybe I missed him or her in my history books. Perhaps Mr. Niblett is simply excited at the possibility of having a fellow socialist in the Oval Office.

From Germany: Obama also has strong support in Europe, the heartland of anti-Bush sentiment. “Germany is Obama country,” said Karsten Voight, the German government’s coordinator for German-North American cooperation. “He seems to strike a chord with average Germans.”

Which average Germans would those be? Is she referring to “evolved” citizens like herself who work in think tanks and universities, or the ones desecrating Jewish graves and inciting racial violence throughout the Fatherland?

I voted twice for Bush, and he has proven worthy of a spot in a ‘who is the worst President in the last hundred years?’ debate. The dollar is a shadow of its former self, healthcare costs have skyrocketed, gas prices have ballooned, relations with our allies have suffered, wages have stagnated, and our federal budget has expanded to unprecedented levels. And for all of the Bush apologists who point to an increase in security, try traveling internationally. While machine gun toting and profiling Italian police roam Malpensa airport in Milan, our security asks us to take off our shoes. I’ve smuggled cheese each and every trip and until they catch my cheese, I won’t admit that the country is safer.

Bush’s poor performance aside, when did a President become a reason to celebrate or despise a country? Do we hate Venezuelans because of Chavez? Are Iranians evil because of Ahmadinejad?

It is too simplistic to characterize a nation based on the election of its President. It is also unhealthy for Americans to elect a President based on a desire to be liked.

Clooney, Obama and Veltroni-The Communist Cupola

I just read an interview with George Clooney in Italy’s La Repubblica, a leading Italian newspaper, and about fell out of my chair. In it, he discusses his new movie and a commercial he filmed for an Italian politician, Veltroni, a former communist and foreword writer to the Italian version of Obama’s Audacity of Hope. When I read it, I was surprised, not because he filmed a commercial for a communist, but that he actually said something in Italian considering the fact that he still doesn’t speak it, despite calling Italy “casa mia,” or my home. I know. Amazing. He doesn’t speak the language, he spends less than half the year there, and yet he finds time to film a commercial advocating a candidate, a communist one at that. It’s funny, he advocates a “hands-off” approach when it comes to minding other countries’ affairs, yet he wastes no time violating his own rule.

I was relieved when I looked up the YouTube video of the commie ad. It simply showed his photo along with a quote that read in Italian, “I’m with Obama, I hope that after the many errors, my country will heal. And Italy, it’s my home, and Veltroni (the communist, sorry, reformed communist), he is a good friend.”

If only McCarthy were alive…He’d have a field day with Penn and his admiration for FARC backing Chavez. Oliver Stone, Spielberg, Danny Glover and all of the other thespians that I have neglected to mention who trip over themselves to praise Castro would merit special scrutiny as well.

Clooney? I’m not sure he’s as sinister as he is naïve. And I’m not sure what is more disturbing. Is it loony Clooney, or the fact that we might have the only U.S. Presidential nominee in history that has had a communist pen his introduction?

Clooney supports communist=Clooney is a communist.

Communist supports Obama=Obama is a communist.

Clooney supports Obama=Both are communists.

In my new book, The Absentee Ballot, I discuss how Hollywood affects Europeans’ opinions of the United States. It certainly doesn’t help enhance our image abroad when the most visible Americans are filming spots for communist politicians, while simultaneously indulging in a good dose of self-flagellation.