A group of senators is asking for more broadcast coverage on climate change, following a Media Matters analysis which found that Sunday shows aired only scant coverage on the issue last year.
On Thursday, January 16, a letter spearheaded by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was sent to the top executives of four major television networks, expressing “deep concern” about the lack of coverage on global warming, deeming it a “serious environmental crisis” which “poses a huge threat to our nation and the global community.” The letter cited findings from a recent Media Matters study, which revealed that Sunday news shows dedicated merely 27 minutes of coverage to the issue of climate change throughout all of 2013. They wrote that “this is an absurdly short amount of time for a subject of such importance.”
The senators concluded with a call to action: “We urge you to take action in the near term to correct this oversight and provide your viewers, the American public, with greater discussion of this important issue that impacts everyone on the planet.”
The other senators that signed the letter were Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Christopher Murphy (D-CT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
When Tucker Carlson Thought A Senator Soliciting Prostitutes Was "None Of Our Business" | Blog | Media Matters for America
Tucker Carlson has defended The Daily Caller’s reporting on Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) patronizing prostitutes in the Dominican Republic as “traditional, straightforward journalism” as that story has come under fire. But when Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) was accused of patronizing prostitutes in 2007, Carlson defended Vitter and lambasted the media for digging into what he described as private matters that were no business of theirs.
In their initial much-hyped pre-election bombshell, the Caller reported on allegations from two Dominican prostitutes that Menendez had paid them for sex. Menendez has repeatedly denied the allegations, and the FBI has reportedly found no evidence of their veracity.
This week the story has unraveled after the Washington Post and ABC News reported that one of the prostitutes who alleged that she had sex with Menendez has recanted her story in an affidavit and claimed that she was paid to lie about the senator. ABC further reported that they also looked into the story last year but decided not to run it because they doubted the women that they and the Caller had spoken to were telling the truth.
As Carlson comes forward to defend the journalistic value of his publication’s deteriorating story, it must be pointed out that after Vitter was linked to prostitution and admitted to a “very serious sin”, he had no more strident defender in the media than Tucker Carlson, who dismissed Vitter’s personal life as immaterial to his performance as a senator and attacked the media for invading Vitter’s private affairs and “destroy[ing] his life.”
On the July 11, 2007, edition of his since-canceled MSNBC program Tucker, Carlson attacked Michael Rectenwald of Citizens for Legitimate Government, the group that first published the phone records linking Vitter to Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called “DC Madam,” demanding of Rectenwald: “How could you justify doing something like this? Why is it your business?”
Carlson said Rectenwald was taking a “sleazy shortcut” and insisted that if it were then-Senator Russ Feingold in Vitter’s place, he would be “making the same argument that Russ Feingold`s personal [life] ought to be off limits from creeps and scandal mongers like you who profit from digging into other people’s sex lives. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.”
Two days later, on the July 13, 2007, edition of Tucker,Carlson again insisted he’d defend a Democratic senator in the same position as Vitter, saying: “I wish David Vitter were a Democrat. I wish he were a liberal Democrat. I wish he were Russ Feingold, because then I would defend him every bit as zealously as I am defending not what David Vitter did, but his right to be unbothered by the rest of us for something that’s none of our business.” Carlson also specifically targeted the media for hyping the Vitter story:
CARLSON: It’s not really the Democrats who are doing it; it’s the press. It’s us. It’s the media. After humiliating David Vitter, putting his wife’s picture on television, as many of us have, which is almost indefensible in my opinion, because she did not do anything — the guy has four kids. We have helped destroy his life. We publicized this thing he did.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama announced after a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Friday that he will lay out some of his plans for immigration reform on Tuesday in Las Vegas.
Members of the caucus who were present at the meeting said Obama assured them that he shares the group’s basic beliefs about immigration reform, most notably that making a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants — which some Republicans oppose — is an absolute must as they push for legislation.
"The President was pleased to hear from CHC members and noted that they share the same vision, including that any legislation must include a path to earned citizenship," the administration in a statement. "The President further noted that there is no excuse for stalling or delay."
Seven members of Congress were present at the meeting, including Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Immigration Task Force Chairman Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) and Chairman of the Democratic Caucus Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.).
Obama told the group that his plans for immigration reform align with their own, especially with regards to the need for a pathway to citizenship, Becerra said after the meeting.
The Associated Press reported that the White House will launch an effort on immigration next week, as will a bipartisan group of senators, likely the so-called"gang of eight" — four Republicans, four Democrats — who have already begun to work toward a deal.
A pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the United States is considered a non-negotiable for many Democrats and immigrant advocates, who argue anything else would result in a huge group of second-class residents. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Wednesday that advocates for a pathway to citizenship will have to cave and accept temporary status instead, with no special road to citizenship.
Meanwhile, senators plan to move ahead on other piecemeal immigration bills. The Hill reported Friday that Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida are teaming up with Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Chris Coons of Delaware to introduce a bill next week that focuses on visas for high-skilled workers.
Obama administration officials have said they believe piece-by-piece reform would be less productive, but Hatch told The Hill he thinks his bill could aid in the broader legislative effort.
H/T: Huffington Post
President Barack Obama has chosen U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts to be the next Secretary of State, a source has told Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed.
His replacement as head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be Democrat U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the Sneed source said.