Countdown Clocks

Countdown Clocks

Tweets by @JGibsonDem
Posts tagged "CBS News"

mediamattersforamerica:

Watch and learn, mainstream media: CBS anchors get an oil industry tycoon to admit “you’ve proven me wrong” on fracking dangers.

From the 07.08.2014 edition of CBS’ CBS This Morning:

CBS This Morning hosted its political analyst Frank Luntz to discuss House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s Republican primary loss to Dave Brat. An upset Luntz said that Cantor’s defeat was “a great loss not just for Virginia, but for the country.” But at no point did CBS News or Luntz disclose a major conflict of interest: Cantor has paid Luntz’s firm thousands of dollars for consulting.

Frank Luntz is the CEO of the political consulting firm Luntz Global (Luntz sold his majority stake in the company in January, but continues to serve as an executive). According to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission, Luntz Global has received over $15,000 in consulting fees since 2012 from Cantor for Congress: On February 27, Cantor paid Luntz Global $2,353 for “seminar expenses”; on December 12, Cantor paid Luntz Global $5,000 for “speech consulting”; on April 9, 2012, Cantor paid Luntz Global $8,000 for “speech writing.”

CBS This Morning hosts Norah O’Donnell and Charlie Rose did not note the CBS News political analyst’s financial connections to Cantor. Luntz hailed Cantor as a hero to the country whose loss shatters the “cooperation” between House Republicans and the White House. From the June 11 edition of CBS’ CBS This Morning

LUNTZ: Well you had Eric Cantor, who had a very good relationship with Joe Biden. Had open lines of communication. I think for the GOP it’s going to be very dangerous now for a Republican to talk to Democrats, as it was Democrats to talk to Republicans a few years ago. That this a blow for conversation. This is a blow for some sort of cooperation and I think it’s bad for the country, not just bad for the Republicans.

[…]

LUNTZ: I think this is such a great loss not just for Virginia, but for the country. Eric Cantor had the ability to negotiate. Eric Cantor had the ability to sit toe to toe and make concessions and make agreements. And maybe that hurt him in the primary, but that’s exactly what we need in Washington, and now we’re losing him.

After Rose noted Cantor “was a pipeline to Wall Street too in raising money,” Luntz replied, “He was also a pipeline to Americans who just wanted people to get things done. And we’ve lost that leadership in Washington.” 

In his book Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives, Robert Draper reported that Luntz orchestrated a 2009 meeting where prominent Republicans, including Eric Cantor, formulated a plan to win back Congress and the White House. He wrote: “Luntz had organized the dinner — telling the invitees, ‘You’ll have nothing to do that night, and right now we don’t matter anyway, so let’s all be irrelevant together.’ He had selected these men because they were among the Republican Party’s most energetic thinkers — and because they all got along with Luntz, who could be difficult.”  

CBS News has repeatedly had disclosure problems with Luntz, who was hired by the network in 2012. When it first began hosting him, CBS couldn’t decide whether Luntz was an active Republican or a “former Republican” pollster and strategist (he’s active). Luntz also appeared on CBS during the 2012 campaign to discuss Republican vice presidential candidate and Rep. Paul Ryan without disclosing Luntz Global received money from Ryan’s congressional campaign.

Luntz’s lack of disclosure may violate CBS Corporation’s standards of conduct. The CBS Corporation Business Conduct Statement on conflicts of interest informs CBS employees, “including those employed on a temporary, freelance, intern, or per diem basis,” that “in all cases” they “must disclose all potential conflicts of interest” to CBS. 

H/T: Eric Hananoki at MMFA

crooksandliars:

Former Bush Speechwriter: President Obama 'Provoked' Members Of Bergdahl's Unit Into Attacking Him

Former Bush speechwriter turned Washington Post op-ed writer Michael Gerson wants the viewers of CBS’ Face the Nation to believe that the members of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s unit that have been coming out in droves to attack him in the media would not have been doing so if the Obama administration hadn’t called his service “honorable.’

Never mind that Fox regular and former Bolton and Romney adviser, Richard Grenell’s PR firm is behind coordinating their media interviews, which I suspect had to be in the works well before President Obama or Susan Rice made any statements about the release and prisoner swap to the press, given how quickly they were ready to get them on the air.

No never mind that, the president made them do it.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You know I must say that I— I do agree with Tom when he says, you know, we always have to go and get our people. We can never leave our people behind. But what happened after that is the part that I— I kind of have a problem with is this Rose Garden ceremony and all that. Michael, you were at the White House—

MICHAEL GERSON: Sure.

BOB SCHIEFFER: —how did that strike you?

read more

Lara Logan is reportedly back at work at CBS News’ 60 Minutes after a six-month leave of absence, even as questions linger over the network’s investigation of her botched Benghazi report.

Logan and her producer Max McClellan took leaves of absence in November following an internal review into their October 27 report on the 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, which the network was forced to withdraw. Logan’s report was based on the unreliable testimony of an “eyewitness” named Dylan Davies and crumbled once it became clear that he had lied about being present at the besieged diplomatic compound during the attack, telling the FBI he had never been there. That triggered a firestorm of coverage, with media observers suggesting that the debacle had permanently damaged the brands of CBS News and 60 Minutes. The CBS internal review found that Logan’s story “was deficient in several respects.”

According to the Associated Press on June 4, “CBS News spokeswoman Sonya McNair said Wednesday that Logan is back. She had no details on when the correspondent resumed work and what stories she is working on.”

In a statement, Media Matters founder David Brock said:

The flawed 60 Minutes report on Benghazi permanently damaged the credibility of both the show and of CBS. A New York magazine report made clear that a lion’s share of the blame for massive errors in that report belongs to Lara Logan. CBS indicated that they were serious about rebuilding its brand and taking accountability. Having Logan back on 60 Minutes shows the exact opposite.

Indeed, the May 2012 article in New York detailed how the Benghazi story got on the air, ultimately finding that internal CBS office politics allowed Logan’s personal credibility to stand in for standard fact-checking and basic reporting. New York also revealed new details about the process, many of which were inconsistent with CBS’ internal review, raising questions about the validity of that review and its scope. These inconsistencies include:

  • While CBS’ internal review found that the 60 Minutes team interviewed State and FBI sources related to Davies’ story, New York reported that “no calls were made to the State Department or the FBI specifically to vet Davies’ claim.”
  • While CBS’ internal review stated that reporters “with better access” to the FBI could have learned that Davies had told the agency he hadn’t witnessed the attack, New York revealed that one of Logan’s own sources on the story had access to that information.
  • While CBS’ internal review found that a speech Logan gave criticizing the Obama administration’s tactics toward Al Qaeda had conflicted with “CBS News standards,” New York reported that Logan’s bosses had helped arrange the speech and that the president of CBS News was in the audience.

As Media Matters has documented, the New York article raised significant new questions that were not answered by the review, including why the review did not address the role played by executive editor Bill Owens, who reportedly vetted the piece, and whether CBS News was aware that Republican Senator Lindsay Graham was a major source for Logan as she developed the story. 

h/t: Matt Gertz at MMFA

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Lexis Nexis deleted the transcript from a 60 Minutes piece on the terror attack in Benghazi, Libya at the request of CBS News.

On October 27, 2013, CBS News correspondent Lara Logan ran a story on the popular television news program in which a former security contractor claimed he was at the U.S. diplomatic outpost when it was attacked, had himself attacked a supposed al-Qaeda operative and saw U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens’ dead body.

However, within days, various news outlets had not only discredited the contractor’s story, but also highlighted other false and misleading claims from Logan’s report. She subsequently apologized for the errors and the network asked Logan and a colleague who worked on the story to take a leave of absence.

The Logan saga was renewed on Sunday when New York Magazine published a lengthy story on Logan and the affair surrounding her Benghazi report. Notably, the piece reports that Logan met with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — who has led the charge in politicizing Benghazi, himself advancing numerous falsehoods about the attack — “two or three times to talk about the Libya attack.” Graham reportedly told Logan that “it was ‘a fair thing to say’ that there was a ‘build-up of Al Qaeda types’ in the area — a major talking point for the right in arguments that the Obama White House tried covering up alleged terrorist links.”

Soon after the report, Graham trumpeted it as a “death blow” to the White House’s Benghazi narrative.

But what did Logan’s report say about al-Qaeda’s role in the attack? CBS deleted the story and transcript from its website and searching the Lexis Nexis database will yield no results for a transcript of the report — that’s because, according Lexis Nexis, both the introduction to the story and the report itself have been “deleted at the request of CBS News due to legal or copyright reasons.” Here are screen shots from the search result for Logan’s report:

lexis 60 minutes benghazi

CREDIT: LEXIS NEXIS

logan benghazi lexis 2

CREDIT: LEXIS NEXIS

However, according to a web archive of the CBS News transcript, Logan reported last October that “it’s now well established that the Americans were attacked by al Qaeda in a well-planned assault.” But the accuracy of that statement is still unclear. The New York Times reported in December that “Benghazi was not infiltrated by Al Qaeda, but nonetheless contained grave local threats to American interests. The attack does not appear to have been meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs.”

Moreover, a Senate report released in January found that the attackers had links to some al-Qaeda groups, such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, but it’s still unclear whether high level al Qaeda operatives planned the Benghazi operation.

Both 60 Minutes and Lexis Nexis did not respond to emails and phone calls regarding this matter at press time.

Source: Ben Armbruster for ThinkProgress

h/t: Joe Hagan at NYMag.com

h/t: Ben Dimiero at MMFA

h/t: Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress Health

Former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson is augmenting her campaign to paint herself as a victim of liberal media bias with conspiratorial and false attacks on Media Matters.

Earlier this year Attkisson, who had been celebrated by conservative activists for her often shoddy reporting on the Obama administration, ended her two-decade career at CBS News. She has since made numerous media appearances, often on Fox News, claiming that her reporting had been curtailed by CBS managers who opposed critical reporting on the administration. As Media Matters noted last week, Attkisson has provided little to no evidence to support her broad claims that politics, rather than newsworthiness, was keeping her stories off CBS’ air.

Attkisson responded during an April 20 appearance on CNN’s Reliable Sources. After Attkisson claimed that there is a “campaign by those who really want to controversialize the reporting I do,” host Brian Stelter asked, “Media Matters has been campaigning against you and saying you’ve been inaccurate in your reporting, is that what they’re doing? They’re just trying to controversialize the issue?” Attkisson responded that she had been “targeted” by Media Matters and hinted at a motive, saying, “I don’t know if someone paid them to do it or they just took it on their own.” After Stelter asked her whether she really believed Media Matters had been paid to target her, she responded, “Perhaps, sure. I think that’s what some of these groups do, absolutely.”  

Attkisson’s claims quickly found a ready audience on Fox News.

But Attkisson’s claims are false. Media Matters has never taken contributions to target her or any other reporter. We have published research on her reports on green energy and Obamacare, among other topics, when those reports have been inaccurate or misleading — the same standard to which we hold any other reporter.

Attkisson decided to float this conspiracy theory without any evidence during an appearance on a news program, suggesting that she doesn’t believe she needs to prove her contentions before bringing them to a national audience. If that was the reporting standard she sought to uphold at CBS News, it’s no wonder that her managers were unwilling to let her promote half-baked conspiracies on their airwaves.

From the 04.20.2014 edition of CNN’s Reliable Sources:

Stop whining, Sharyl! 

h/t: Matt Gertz at MMFA

Marsha Blackburn defends blocking equal pay law: GOP ‘led the fight for women’s equality’ (via Raw Story )

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) asserted over the weekend that the Republican Party was the party of “women’s equality” days after Senate Republicans blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act. In a party line Senate vote last week, Republicans refused to…



 

In a stunning exercise in false equivalence, Fox News accused CBS News of maintaining a disciplinary double standard after it suspended correspondent Lara Logan for her botched 60 Minutes Benghazi report but continues to employ an analyst that Fox erroneously suggested was part of a Benghazi talking points conspiracy to provide political cover to President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

On April 2, according to ABC News, former CIA deputy director, Michael Morell testied again before the House Intelligence Committee regarding the 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

Fox News used today’s hearing as a launching point to spin its latest already-debunked Benghazi conspiracy, hosting Lt. Tony Schaffer on the April 2 edition of Fox & Friends to push allegations that Morell deliberately omitted the truth about the Benghazi attacks from talking points later used by the administration in return for a consulting position with a firm ostensibly close to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 

Fox used the trumped up allegation to call for Morell’s suspension from his position as an analyst for CBS, citing suspended CBS correspondent Lara Logan’s botched and retracted 60 Minutes Benghazi report as a comparison. Fox co-host Steve Doocy accused CBS of maintaining a “crazy double standard” for disciplining Logan but not Morell:

DOOCY: Also what’s interesting is Mike Morell also works for CBS. He’s a consultant. Lara Logan, as you will recall, was fired or suspended from 60 Minutes for simply interviewing somebody who told a story that was not accurate. 

[…] 

Mike Morell is a consultant an analyst on CBS and it looks like he lied to congress. It looks like CBS has got a crazy double standard.

Doocy’s attempt to equate a Fox conspiracy theory about Morell’s actions and motivations with Logan’s now-infamous breaches of ethics and journalistic standards is staggering, as the two circumstances bear no resemblance. The allegations against Morrell have been repeatedly debunked, while Logan’s 60 Minutesreport on Benghazi that featured questionable source, Dylan Davies, whose credibility has since crumbled, led to an internal investigation resulting in the retraction of the report, an apology from Logan, and the subsequent leave of absence of Logan and her producer, Max McClellan. 

This most recent groundless attack from Fox will surely be added to the network’s Benghazi hoax parade to push for further costly hearings into the tragedy.

h/t: Michelle Leung at MMFA


(via On CBS’s Face The Nation, Marco Rubio Accuses Obama Of ‘Emboldening The Taliban’)

WASHINGTON — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Sunday charged President Barack Obama with “emboldening the Taliban,” citing details from a new book by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates that harshly criticizes the president’s leadership in the war in Afghanistan.

"I don’t think we can ignore what’s in that book, and I think for many of us it confirms our worst fears," Rubio said on CBS’ "Face the Nation." "And that is that this is an administration full of people that either have the wrong convictions or, in the case of former Secretary Clinton, lack the courage of her convictions."

Rubio pointed to parts of Gates’ book that suggest Obama didn’t feel that the war in Afghanistan was his war, and that his decision to pull out troops was political.

"You saw that reflected in the decision that [Obama] made," Rubio continued. "At the same time that he announced the surge, he also announced an exit date and strategy, thereby emboldening the Taliban to believe they could wait us out.”

The Florida senator, whose name has been floated as a 2016 presidential contender, said Obama’s actions on Afghanistan have had international repercussions.

"Our allies see us as unreliable, and our enemies feel emboldened," Rubio said. "I think that this confirms our worst fears, that this is an administration that lacks a strategic foreign policy and, in fact, is largely driven by politics and tactics."

Things continue to get worse for 60 Minutes' already retracted Benghazi report and its discredited “eyewitness” Dylan Davies. Gawker's J.K. Trotter reports that CBS News and Simon & Shuster may have failed to properly vet significant “discrepancies” in Davies’ accounts of his military background.

60 Minutes' October 27, 2013, segment about the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya, collapsed after it was revealed that Davies had given conflicting accounts of his actions that night. CBS News eventually pulled the segment and released a “journalistic review” finding that the report was “deficient in several respects” and “did not sufficiently vet Davies’ account of his own actions and whereabouts that night.” Correspondent Lara Logan and producer Max McClellan were put on a leave of absence.          

Two days after the 60 Minutes report aired, Simon & Schuster imprint Threshold Editions — which is owned by CBS Corporation, a blatant conflict of interest — released The Embassy House under the Davies pseudonym Morgan Jones. The book was pulled from shelves shortly after CBS retracted its segment, but a number of inconsistencies in the book have raised questions about whether Davies’ publishers and CBS Newsadequately vetted Davies before promoting his dubious story.

Gawker’s J.K. Trotter has uncovered further discrepancies in Davies’ account, this time related to claims about his military service. Trotter notes that while Simon & Schuster highlight the rank of “Sergeant Morgan Jones,” “there is zero evidence Davies obtained the rank of sergeant in the British Army.” Furthermore, “Davies and his editors seem to disagree about the length of his military service.” During the book Davies claims to have served for fourteen years, but the book’s jacket and website both say he served for only twelve — “So either Davies is lying about his enlistment date, or Threshold Editions is lying about their own author.”

Trotter also revealed that no one at Threshold Editions or 60 Minutes appears to have verified Davies’ claim that he worked on the security detail of U.S. Major General James T. Conway. 

h/t: MMFA


h/t: Queerty

A six-part series by New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick destroyed several myths about the September 11, 2012, attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, myths often propagated by conservative media and their allies in Congress to politicize the attack against the Obama administration.

Since the September 2012 attacks, right-wing media have seized upon various inaccurate, misleading, or just plain wrong talking points about Benghazi. Some of those talking points made their way into the mainstream, most notably onto CBS’ 60 Minutesearning the network the Media Matters' 2013 "Misinformer of the Year" title for its botched report.

Kirkpatrick’s series, titled "A Deadly Mix In Benghazi," debunks a number of these right-wing talking points based on “months of investigation” and “extensive interviews” with those who had “direct knowledge of the attack.” Among other points, Kirkpatrick deflates the claims that an anti-Islamic YouTube video played no role in motivating the attacks and that Al Qaeda was involved in the attack: 

Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.

Fox News, scores of Republican pundits, and Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC), among others, dragged then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice through the mud for citing talking points that mentioned an anti-Islamic YouTube video on Sunday morning news programs following the attacks. Despite right-wing media claims to the contrary, however, Kirkpatrick stated that the attack on the Benghazi compoundwas in “large part” “fueled” by the anti-Islamic video posted on YouTube. He wrote (emphasis added):

The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.

[…]

There is no doubt that anger over the video motivated many attackers. A Libyan journalist working for The New York Times was blocked from entering by the sentries outside, and he learned of the film from the fighters who stopped him. Other Libyan witnesses, too, said they received lectures from the attackers about the evil of the film and the virtue of defending the prophet.

Another talking point that right-wing media used to accuse the Obama administration of a political cover-up was the removal of Al Qaeda from Rice’s morning show talking points. Kirkpatrick, however, affirmed in his NYTimes report that Al Qaeda was not involved in the attack in Benghazi (emphasis added):

But the Republican arguments appear to conflate purely local extremist organizations like Ansar al-Shariah with Al Qaeda’s international terrorist network. The only intelligence connecting Al Qaeda to the attack was an intercepted phone call that night from a participant in the first wave of the attack to a friend in another African country who had ties to members of Al Qaeda, according to several officials briefed on the call. But when the friend heard the attacker’s boasts, he sounded astonished, the officials said, suggesting he had no prior knowledge of the assault.

Kirkpatrick also dispelled the notion that the attack on the compound was carefully planned, writing that “the attack does not appear to have been meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs.” 

h/t: MMFA

The NYT investigation on the Benghazi story is yet more proof that the right-wing was using scaremongering tactics about what happened there as a tool to attempt to get Romney elected President in 2012, smear President Obama (and Democrats by extension) with impunity, and to deliberately harm Hillary’s reputation for the 2016 elections.