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Gibson vs. the New York Times

Reported by Chrish - January 17, 2008 -

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla

For the first time in a long while I watched last night’s (January 16th) Big Story with John Gibson and his newsbabe sidekick, Heather Nauert.. Except for the addition of hot Heather, nothing has changed since the last time I endured the less than Big Story. It’s still the same old tabloid trash with a scattering of politics and Gibson’s perfunctory closing right wing polemic (or is it screed?)

Last night didn’t fail to disappoint. Politics (short interview with John McCain, some polling results for the upcoming primaries, and several mentions of how Michigan African Americans didn’t vote for Clinton in the primary) took a back burner to tabloid which covered OJ Simpson, Drew Peterson, American Idol, and the murder case of the woman Marine. There was some political discussion in the form of Michelle Malkin over-talking Kirsten Powers about Hillary Clinton and race. Powers asserted that the race controversy was a “media event” while Malkin claims that the Clinton campaign sent a message that if Obama “gets uppity, she will send her old guard Civil Rights leaders to smear him and liken him to Sidney Poiter.” (Comment: Clinton has apologized to Senator Obama about the comments that BET founder, Robert Johnson made) In commenting about the “truce” between the candidates, Malkin said that “Obama is going to accept the truce and the media is too and that’s unfortunate.” (Comment: Malkin does seem to love the personal attack style of politics and journalism).

Gibson’s “interview” with Newt Gingrich was basically an opportunity for Gingrich to plug his new book. As usual, no questions were asked about comments that were debatable such as the “change” that Americans want is about national defense, taxes, and a mandate that requires English as the official language. (Comment: the polling data based on primary voting would indicate, “It’s the economy, stupid.”)

Gibson’s final “My Word” segment hasn’t changed as it’s still the same old, same old right wing talking points. Last night’s diatribe was about those New York Times reading liberals who just don’t appreciate Bill Kristol having been hired by the paper. According to Gibson, Kristol (a “steady hand at Fox”) is causing the left wing blogs to “have a cow.” (Word to Gibson, that old Simpson phrase is way past its prime). Gibson twisted the truth when he claimed that “a week ago, Clark Hoyt, the public editor, wrote that it was a mistake of Times management to hire Kristol, because of “all of Kristol's many offenses against the left.” Hoyt’s argument is that Kristol’s desire to see the NY Times prosecuted for revealing what Kristol thought were classified government secrets “smacked of intimidation and disregard for both the First Amendment and the role of a free press in monitoring a government that has a long history of throwing the cloak of national security and classification over its activities.” (Comment: The First Amendment is not popular with the Bush administration and Fox News)

Forgetting the role of Judith Miller in the run up to the Iraq War, Gibson referred to the NYTimes as “avowedly liberal." (Comment: Media Matters has numerous instances in which the NYTimes has taken a less than left stand; but accepting the premise, doesn’t Fox News have a certain bias?) Not mentioned by Gibson is Kristol’s first error, in a Times column, of attributing a quote from Michael Medved to Michelle Malkin.

Gibson says the “left blames Kristol for a number of offenses…Iraq War… yadda, yadda, yadda." (Comment: Excuse me, John; but a war that has resulted in too many American and Iraqi casualties and billions of dollars in contract fraud all based on invisible WMD’s and pimped by Bill Kristol, his fellow neo-cons, Murdoch’s Weekly Standard and Murdoch’s Fox News is hardly yadda, yadda. Tell that to the young soldier who will never walk again, has PTSD, traumatic brain injury or is homeless. Yadda, Yadda indeed.)

And in a stunningly bizarre statement, Gibson asks how the NYTimes can “face down” Al Qaeda if it can’t take an argument from Kristol. (Comment: Newspapers shouldn’t be “fighting” Al Qaeda; but reporting about it.)

The last sentence, though, truly revealed that spiritual connection between Fox and the Bush administration: “And there you have it. When it comes to newspapers, the Bush doctrine still rings true: You're either for us or against us.”

Comment: No, John, when it comes to newspapers it’s about objective reporting and analysis based on fact - “fair and balanced.” Something not practiced in the black and white world of Fox News where, once again, partisan politics trumps all.

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla