Skip to comments.Couric: Arenít ďLiberals Controlling the Mainstream Media?"
Posted on 05/19/2004 12:40:23 PM PDT by pookie18
Every time David Brock writes a book bashing conservatives, NBCs Today gives him a platform to promote it as they did on Tuesday to discuss his latest book, The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy. But this time Today added a twist: Katie Couric didnt fully buy into his premise and she actually suggested there is credence to the idea that the mainstream media tilts left.
Couric contended that most people, I think, on the street would say the media it tends, tend to be more liberal than conservative" and she proposed: Aren't most people in journalism, primarily, except for say on Fox, and in certain conservative publications, aren't they for the most part, and of course the media is, are not monolithic, but pro-choice, you know, against prayer in school, probably favor affirmative action? I mean don't you think that's, that's fairly typical? And if so is it, why isn't it fair to say that liberals, sort of, are controlling the mainstream media?"
A lot of journalists, who see no bias in any mainstream media outlet, are magically able to see bias on the Fox News Channel. Couric may be the first to recognize bias beyond FNC.
But Couric also fretted: Why does the Democratic Party seem unable to fight fire with fire?"
And Brock got plenty of time to claim that right-wingers created a false notion of liberal media bias and that, unlike Bill OReilly, Dan Rather does not lie: They took that concept, they invented it, they marketed it, they funded it of tens of millions of dollars to convince people of this notion of bias. But here's the question Katie. It's not about bias, it's about the facts. They are professional news organizations. If Dan Rather was doing the kind of lying that Bill O'Reilly does every night on the Fox News Channel he'd be out of business, he'd be off the air."
Brock also impugned conservatives in general, and Sean Hannity in particular, as he asserted that there's always been a market for lies and deceptions and I show in this book, going back to the 1950s, there were racist newsletters circulated in this country. It's the same market. You take a Sean Hannity. And I've got all the information on him. How he built his career on gay-bashing, on racism.
Two years ago, on March 14, 2002 Today gave a forum to David Brock to plug his book, Blinded by the Right. Matt Lauer noted how Brock "made a living as a right-wing hatchet man," and he now "exposes how...the GOP tried to destroy the Clinton presidency through a series of well-plotted smear campaigns." Lauer cued up Brock to endorse Hillary Clintons insight into the "vast right-wing conspiracy."
Even though Brock had renounced his writing critical of liberals, Lauer set up the segment during the 7:30am half hour by treating Brocks claims bashing conservatives as fully credible. Lauer bought Brocks allegations as beyond dispute: "You were posing as a journalist when you were really a political operative."
Interestingly, because he worked for an "ultra-conservative" magazine, The American Spectator, back in 1993 when he wrote his book undermining Anita Hills charges, Today didnt then consider him to be credible. On the May 3, 1993 Today, Katie Couric asked Brock: "The American Spectator is an ultra-conservative magazine, and it seems as if you are an advocate for Justice Thomas in the book. Is it really fair to call yourself an objective journalist?"
But when he started denouncing conservatives, Today considered him fully credible. Lauer did not once question any of Brocks claims as he prompted him to elucidate on how wealthy conservatives who directed the anti-Clinton conspiracy allowed him to smear people.
For a full rundown of Brock on Today in 2002: www.mediaresearch.org
Back to Tuesday morning, May 18, this week, Katie Couric plugged the upcoming session: "And coming up in this half-hour, for those who disparage the so-called liberal media here's a shot across the bow. A former conservative says they've got it all backwards. It's actually the right wing that's making all the noise and setting the agenda these days. We'll hear how when we talk to David Brock about his new book in just a few minutes."
At least this time Today relegated Brock to a later hour as his interview aired just after 9am, in Todays third hour. MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens took down the entire session:
Couric set up the segment, in which Brock appeared in-studio with Couric, sitting in a chair across from her: "Much like the nation, bookstores are also seemingly divided into red and blue with a lot of new books taking a very sharp partisan edge. A recent entry is called The Republican Noise Machine. It's written by David Brock who describes himself as a former right wing journalist. Hi, David, good morning."
David Brock: "Good morning, thanks for having me back."
Couric: "Let's sort of put this in context and give people some perspective. You wrote, you were part of the right wing-"
Brock: "That's right."
Couric: "-I guess in terms of your political views and your job. Right?"
Brock: "Yes for 10 years I worked in the conservative movement at the Washington Times, at the Heritage Foundation, at the American Spectator, a right wing magazine-"
Couric: "You wrote-"
Brock: "-I wrote a book attacking Anita Hill back in 1993."
Couric: "And, and also Hillary Rodham Clinton. And, and, and basically they vilified both of these individuals. And then somehow you had what might be described as an epiphany, depending on your political views where you either went to the dark side or saw the light, depending on how people view your views now."
Couric: "What, what created that change in you?"
Brock: "Sure well actually it was doing the research on the Hillary Clinton book I could start to see through the Republican attack machine that I describe in my new book The Republican Noise Machine. In other words I saw all the lies that were being propagated. The right wing was going crazy in the mid-1990s with Clinton hating and I was able to see my way through that. And I know how the system works. As I said I was in it for 10 years. But it's not just a 10-year thing. They've been working on this for 30 years. And in The Republican Noise Machine I describe a very well-financed attack on journalism to move this country to the right. To skew American politics to the right. I name all the names and I go back 30 years. I name the funders, the Rupert Murdochs, the Reverend Moons and I show exactly how it works. And I show what a distorting effect it's having on our politics because people are getting, and I did this, people are getting false and wrong information drummed into their heads everyday. There's an important election this year. Voters need to know what's true and what's not."
Couric: "The Republican Noise Machine, how did it come to be so effective in your view? You talk about it being well-financed, obviously run by very experienced political operatives."
Brock: "Right, right."
Couric: "But why did it find such a captive audience if you think it's so full of lies and deceptions?"
Brock: "Well I think there's always been a market for lies and deceptions and I show in this book, going back to the 1950s, there were racist newsletters circulated in this country. It's the same market. You take a Sean Hannity. And I've got all the information on him. How he built his career on gay-bashing, on racism. This is something people need to understand. And I've also started an organization, as you know, Media Matters for America which launched two weeks ago, which posts now, everyday on a Web site at mediamatters.org, all these smears and lies that are coming out of the right wing media. Because it's not enough to just describe it. I've described in this book, people really need to read it. But also we have to push back, we have to stop it. Rush Limbaugh's comments on the Iraqi prisoner abuse. We posted those on our Web site where he was comparing it to a college fraternity prank." [Photo of Limbaugh shown]
Couric: "Let's talk about why the Democrats haven't been able to counter this."
Couric: "Obviously the Republicans are doing something right."
Brock: "Sure, absolutely."
Couric: "They've made significant gains as a result of these efforts. Why does the Democratic Party seem unable to fight fire with fire?"
Brock: "Right. Well I think a couple things. I think that part of it is, if people read this book with all the money, I mean we're talking well over a billion dollars, it's overwhelming. I think Democrats and liberals have been in denial about the impact of all of this. They think these are fringe characters. That's not the case. Our organization released a poll showing that people go to Rush Limbaugh for information. It's a news source. Talk radio in this country, 310 hours a day of right wing talk and five hours of liberal talk just in the top 50 markets, Katie."
Couric: "What about the allegation that liberals really do kind of control the mainstream media and, and the airwaves. You dispute that notion. But most people, I think, on the street would say the media it tends, tend to be more liberal than conservative."
Couric wondered: "Why is that perception out there, do you think? And, and aren't most people in journalism, primarily, except for say on Fox, and in certain conservative publications, aren't they for the most part, and of course the media is, are not monolithic-"
Brock: "Sure, right."
Couric: "-but pro-choice, you know, against prayer in school, probably favor affirmative action? I mean don't you think that's, that's fairly typical? And if so is it, why isn't it fair to say that liberals, sort of, are controlling the mainstream media?"
Brock charged: "Well first of all the right wing, and I have a whole chapter in the Republican Noise Machine that people really need to read. Because you're right, most people do believe there's liberal bias. They took that concept, they invented it, they marketed it, they funded it of tens of millions of dollars to convince people of this notion of bias. But here's the question Katie. It's not about bias, it's about the facts. They are professional news organizations. If Dan Rather was doing the kind of lying that Bill O'Reilly does every night on the Fox News Channel he'd be out of business, he'd be off the air." [Photo of Bill O'Reilly]
Brock: "So we have to return to questions of fact and forget about bias and forget about opinion. People are entitled to their opinions. That's not what the issue is."
Couric: "You also talk about, you talk about 24 hour news networks, cable networks and how this created a huge vacuum, needed to be filled by talking heads and most of those talking heads, you claim, are conservative. People like Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter. But aren't there plenty of liberal writers out there, in fairness, like Eric Alterman or Jonathan Alter or Paul Krugman. We were talking about Molly Ivins, Eleanor Clift."
Couric: "I mean it's not as if the other side isn't represented at all. Do you feel like you're going overboard here a little bit?"
Brock: "I don't. I mean first of all the amplification system and this is what I detail in Republican Noise Machine it is what mediamatters.org is trying to fight back against. The talk radio amplification system, liberals do not have that. They, they do not have a dedicated cable channel like the Fox News Channel."
Couric: "They're trying though. What about Al Gore's cable channel?"
Brock: "They are, they are trying."
Couric: "What about Al Franken's Air America?"
Brock: "We don't know what that will be. But let me tell you this. Whatever Al Gore does it will not be what Roger Ailes is doing. This is a right wing Republican henchman at the head of a news channel. This is inconceivable Katie."
Couric: "David Brock. It's an interesting book. It's called The Republican Noise Machine. And people can read an excerpt on our Web site at today.msnbc.com. Thanks for coming in, nice to see you."
That book excerpt is at: www.msnbc.msn.com
For Brocks Web site, with rants against the conservative views of conservatives commentators, but zilch about actual news coverage: mediamatters.org
Well, some of us have known for some time that Al-Querty leans way left, and carries a certain junior senator from New York and her water!
Stupid Katie Couric. I could feed an entire Somoli village on what she spends on Cosmetics and niptucks.
No where in her "analysis" is the obvious question: "If there's no left-wing bias on the tele, then WHY did conservatives start up AM talk radio formats to express themselves?"
If you haven't eaten recently, I suggest going to http://mediamatters.org/ and looking at this guys website. He's a typical kook. He rants about OPINION shows and supposedly "exposes lies." It's the same circular nonsense that you always see. No evidence of lies.
Sorry, I've just started dinner & even if I hadn't I'd probably hurl...
Couric allowed the flawed premise to pass unchallenged.
Dan Rather's show claims to be news. Sean Hannity makes no such claim. The difference between these 2 positions is obvious to me, why not to her?
yes it is LOL...
do not have a dozen or more dedicated cable channels like the Fox News Channel."
Couric: "What about Al Franken's Air America?"
Al can't compete with the likes of Rush, Laura and Hannity. His show is already DOA.
Oh good. This should make O'Reilly mad. I like it when they make him mad. LOL!
ABC,CNN, MSNBC all had Rick Caplan extreme liberal - golfing buddy of Bill Clinton. "Inconceivable Katy"
Po' David Brock, he's got sand in his vagina.
(What really cranks me off about Brock is that whenever Gary Aldridge's name or his book, "Unlimited Access" comes up, the normal lib response is that, "Aldridge was discredited by other Conservatives!". The only discrediting 'conservative' was none other than nancy-boy Brock)
I thought it was the name of Orin Hatch's band.
Actually, I believe her age has eclipsed her IQ a long time ago.........
Larry Kaplan, FOB (Friend of Bill) and (former) head of CNN is "inconceivable"?
What a joke this guy is. At best, he is showing that there is some conservative media out there. And they have a fraction of the share that biased liberal media has. HE CALLS DAN RATHER OBJECTIVE? wrong.
That sentence should be taken out back and shot.
|Based on an amused spectator's list
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"David Brock" - don't quote this for fact, but I seem to remember that he was very anti-Clinton in the early 90's and contributed to several negative stories about them. The rumor was that he "fell in love" with another homosexual that coincidentally worked FOR the Clintons in the White House and changed his outlook on things.
Maybe I'm thinking about someone else...
There is NO mention of CNN, the NY Times, USA Today, or any of the biggest media players. Funny how the media has a right-wing bias supported solely by FNC and talk radio.
I think it was Brock, too.
Huh? Didn't Ms. Couric graduate from Columbia J-School? It appears that English is her second language.
Hard-hitting interview there, Katie. It's as if she's being watched by Big Brother.
When I read a transcript of a Katie Couric interview, I get this mental image of a Valley-girl twirling her hair and popping her chewing gum as she's delivering her "hard-hitting" questions.
I really can't stand this idiot woman, she is the worst of the morning offering. Watching her and that Lauer dude is like the morning after a strong laxative.
Well, since you like it so much, I'll make sure I e-mail it to him...just in case he's unaware...
May I recommend a semi-decent laxative called Fox & Friends...if you get FoxNews...
And all of Somalia with her salary.
Oh, I don't watch that! I haven't watched Perky Katy in some 12 years. My comment was to that 12 years.
"Republican Noise Machine is a good name for a band"
A few of my favorites:
The Bad Livers
Bordering On Retarded
Bovine Stomach Contents
Cream of Whoop-Ass Soup
The Dancing French Liberals of 1848
Disgruntled Postal Workers
Exploding Head Trick
The Fat Chick from Wilson Phillips
Five Fat Guys Who Rock
Jehovahs Witness Protection Program
Many more, no time right now...
She needs to joint a 12-step program: On-and-On-and-ON-Anon. Did you see Brit Hume last night? Apparently Joe Biden has this same affliction. One question lasted TEN MINUTES in the quest to get national face-time.
I happend to pass by the wife's TV when this staged interview was taking place--did you see Commie Katie's lipstick? Looked like clown make-up to me. Appropriate for the level of serious journalism being practiced by both parties in that "interview".
May he have big time bowel trouble later in life.
You are correct, the Trooper Stories. It launched him to a would be courtier in D.C.
I stopped watching O'Reilly when he "lied" about "assault weapons" being machine guns. I sent an email but never received a response. I am not aware of O'Reilly having corrected this lie.
Somehow it is hard to classify this as a "right-wing" bias, though. It seems more like left-wing ignorance.
LOL! Got news for you, David - Danny Rather is working his way off the air as we speak.
Dan's hourglass is the actuarial tables for the Roosevelt New Deal dhimmicrats.
Tick-tock, tick-tock. ;-)