Wednesday, May 04, 2005

NY Times glossed over existing conservative presence in public broadcasting

NY Times glossed over existing conservative presence in public broadcasting

In an article documenting efforts by the Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to correct perceived "liberal bias" at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR), The New York Times failed to mention the presence of conservative media figures with a record of misinformation on these outlets.

Media Matters for America previously noted that the May 2 Times article on efforts by Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, CPB's Republican chairman, "to correct what he and other conservatives consider liberal bias" at CPB, omits key facts about CPB's two new ombudsmen. But in addition, the Times focused heavily on conservative allegations of "liberal bias" without noting that CPB has itself funded several PBS programs that feature conservative commentators with extensive histories of inaccurate and misleading statements.

Specifically, Media Matters has documented evidence of conservative misinformation by Paul A. Gigot, the Wall Street Journal editorial staff, David Brooks, and Tucker Carlson.

Paul Gigot and The Wall Street Journal

Gigot, who previously wrote for the National Review, is the editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page. He is a former political commentator on PBS' The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and is the host of the CPB-funded PBS program The Journal Editorial Report. According to CPB, the show incorporates "reports from the field" by members of the Journal's editorial board, as well as "a panel discussion of either the field piece or a recent news story with members of the Journal's editorial board who represent a diverse range of expertise, interests and backgrounds."

Media Matters has documented the Journal editorial page's distortions and misstatements:

* WSJ editorial falsely claimed Abu Ghraib report absolved senior officials
* WSJ editorial page again wrongly attacked DeLay aides' prosecutor Ronnie Earle as a "partisan Democrat"
* WSJ editorial claimed Clinton pioneered Bush rendition policy, revived bogus accusation that Clinton declined Sudan's offer of Bin Laden
* WSJ provided false cover for Rumsfeld, falsely asserted that vehicle armor production is at "full capacity"
* Wall Street Journal falsehood: Bush would've won under every recount scenario

In addition, Media Matters has documented Gigot's own distortions, as well as one by senior editorial page writer Kimberley A. Strassel, who has appeared on The Journal Editorial Report:

* Gigot's wishful thinking: that Clinton thinks "[I]t was right for President Bush to go into Iraq"
* On PBS, WSJ's Strassel exaggerated significance of potential ANWR oil production

David Brooks

Brooks is senior editor at The Weekly Standard and began writing a column for The New York Times in September 2003. He is currently a political commentator on PBS' The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Media Matters has documented numerous distortions and misstatements by Brooks:

* Kerry Tora Bora comment ripped out of context (Brooks later apologized for the misrepresentation)
* NYT's David Brooks, in NewsHour panel, falsely claimed Kerry said "Republicans don't value their families"
* NY Times' Brooks cited defender of eugenicists in touting new political constituency
* Brooks, Gaffney cut and run from the truth on Kerry speech

Tucker Carlson

Carlson is the former co-host of CNN's Crossfire and soon-to-be host of a public affairs show on MSNBC. He is also a regular contributor to The Weekly Standard. He is the host of the weekly PBS series Unfiltered. (WETA, the Washington, D.C., PBS affiliate that produced the show, has announced that its yearlong run will end in June.) Media Matters has documented numerous Carlson distortions and misstatements:

* Carlson, Wash. Post misinformation on Social Security's 'solvency' furthered Bush administration's crisis rhetoric
* Conservatives distorted DNC manual to accuse Dems of dirty tricks
* Tucker Carlson lied about Bob Dole's lies; Dole falsely claimed that '96 campaign didn't promote his war record
* Tucker Carlson's amnesia: "Nobody prevented anyone from voting' in Florida"

Media Matters has also documented several inflammatory remarks by Carlson:

* Tucker Carlson: "grouchy feminists with mustaches" control the Democratic Party
* Conservatives equated Mary Cheney's sexual orientation with abortion, adultery, alcoholism, and now obesity
* Carlson to Brazile: Dems "keep track of racial data more assiduously than Himmler ever did"

— J.K.

Posted to the web on Tuesday May 3, 2005 at 2:05 PM EST