Thursday, April 09, 2009

A New Low Point, Even For The Mainstream Media

I got an email this morning from John Ziegler, referencing the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Journalism that Katie Couric will be presented with on April 15th, honoring her for the interview she did with Governor Sarah Palin. If you haven't already had the opportunity to see Ziegler's newly released video, Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected And Palin Was Targeted, I highly recommend you do so. It is an eye opening documentary about the mainstream media, and to what lengths they will go to dupe the American people. In the video, you will see just how bad the Katie Couric interview was, and how much was left on the editing room floor. This documentary simply sites the facts. That Katie Couric is being honored for ANYTHING, given her ratings, is astonishing...but that she is being honored for this interview is just one more reason why I know that mainstream journalism, as we know it, is dead, and why I know Sarah Palin is a huge threat to the liberal left.  

For Ziegler's op-ed piece on the subject,  read below or see this link

by John Ziegler, Documentary Filmaker
Posted on The Fox Forum, April 8, 2009

On April 15th, the “prestigious” (and apparently now openly liberal) USC Annenberg School for Communication will be presenting CBS “Evening News” anchor Katie Couric with the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Journalism.

Now, for there to even be such a thing as an prize for “Excellence in Television Journalism,” in an age where a desperate thirst for ratings has caused most TV “news” to become little more than glorified infotainment, is a bit like passing out awards for fiscal responsibility to members of Congress. But for Katie Couric, the poster child of news as “infotainment,” to be the recipient of such an “honor” is like giving John Murtha or Barney Frank a trophy for frugal spending in Congress.

But what makes this situation so particularly galling is the specific reason why Couric is being honored for her “excellence in journalism.” Couric is being presented with the award for “Special Achievement for National Impact on the 2008 Campaign.”

What was it that Couric did that was so “special”? The judges singled her out solely for “her extraordinary, persistent and detailed multi-part interviews with Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.”

Of course, there is no disputing the fact that the perception created by Couric’s interview and the ensuing media and entertainment coverage of it clearly had an enormous impact on the 2008 presidential election. But is this the kind of “achievement” that journalism is supposed to be honoring? (If it is, shouldn’t the award really go to Tina Fey?) And is there any doubt that if Couric asked Palin the exact same questions and she had been viewed as performing well (or if one of her softball interviews with Barack Obama had brought down his candidacy) that there would be no awards for her from USC or anyone else of note?

It is obvious that Couric is being rewarded for the political result of her interview –the shooting down of a conservative superstar just in time to save the Obama campaign. It’s not about the “journalism” at all. But even that truth is not the most outrageous aspect of this absurdity. What’s even more absurd is that not only shouldn’t Couric be getting rewarded for her Palin interview, if we lived in a world where journalistic standards still mattered at all, she would have been roundly condemned for it.

How do I know this? Because I have devoted most of the last eight months of my life to telling the real story behind the media coverage of the 2008 election with my documentary
“Media Malpractice…How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted.” The focal point of my film is the exclusive interview I did with Governor Palin from her home in Wasilla where she reveals more than enough evidence to completely discredit Couric’s USC award.

Even though my Palin interview has gotten a ridiculous amount of media coverage, nearly every TV “journalist” has somehow missed the most important revelation regarding the Couric-Palin showdown. That dealt with how Couric’s agenda -driven obsession with trapping the governor on the abortion issue convinced Palin that she was in enemy territory and that nothing Couric asked was to be trusted or taken on face value.

Here are two clips on this specific topic from my interview with Palin.

Palin on Couric’s questioning of her about the abortion issue

Palin on disagreement with Couric over abortion

Abortion was not the only issue where Couric’s intentions were clearly not “journalistic” in nature. Here, Katie bizarrely asked Palin to give her an example of when John McCain had ever been in favor of tighter regulation in the financial realm other than his outspoken efforts with regard to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — which is was kind of like inquiring, “other than that Mrs. Lincoln how was the play?”

Couric’s question to Palin

But it wasn’t just the very odd tactic of taking by far the most important answer off the table (rendering the question meaningless except for its “gotcha” quality) that put this episode into the level of “Media Malpractice.” The way that the exchange between Palin and Couric was played on TV made it seem to many people (including at least one prominent FOX News reporter) that Palin could not answer the question at all and was only able to meekly respond, “I’ll have to get back to you on that one.”

Here, Palin says the false notion that she hadn’t cited the obvious “Fannie and Freddie” example wasn’t the only misimpression left by the editing of the CBS interview.

Palin on how the Couric interview was edited

Selective editing also left the impression (thanks to an in artful Palin attempt to actually answer the question the way Couric asked it) that the governor mistakenly thought that the Wall Street bailout bill was actually about “health care.”

Here is what really happened there:

Palin on being taken out of context

The most infamous moment of the Couric-Palin interview was the unforgettable, “What do you read?” question (and the very quick and not nearly as innocent as it might appear, “but which ones specifically, I’m curious…” Couric follow up). Here is Palin’s perspective on why her non-answer was so misunderstood:

Palin on the ‘what do you read' issue

Other than the abortion answer — which is key to unlocking the context of the Couric interview –the two Palin clips from my interview that have been vastly under-reported (obviously because they couldn’t possibly compete with the “substance” of the “catfight” clips involving Plain taking on Couric, Fey and Caroline Kennedy) deal with the overall magnitude of what transpired here and why anyone who cares about the truth or the nature of our news media should be open to the overwhelming evidence in my film, regardless of their political persuasion.

Palin on media’s “seek and destroy” mission against her candidacy

Palin on the state of the media

USC and Walter Cronkite should be embarrassed by this award to Katie Couric. Of course, it is quite possible they just don’t know the facts of why that is so obviously the case. I hope to take care of that ignorance (although I can’t do anything about the corresponding liberal agenda) on the day of the awards ceremony. While I was not able to get a ticket, I plan to be at the event handing out copies of “Media Malpractice” to any of the attendees who want to know the facts.

I am sure I will be received warmly. After all, isn’t getting the facts what journalism is supposed to be all about?

John Ziegler can be reached at and you can find out more about the film at


Susy said...

Tami, I am a liberal democrat and while I disagree with you on many things, I'm really coming to agree with you about the media's treatment of Sarah Palin. And not just the media's treatment of her, but not coincidentally, her own political party's. John McCain proved to be a "fair-weather" running mate, and the party seems to be following suit, not wanting to be "soiled" by association.

Seeing this now, hindsight is showing me just how dirty the media can be. While I can see why you believe the media to be "liberal" for the most part, I think the truth is that it's just dirty, and now that the Republicans are outnumbered in the White House and in both the Senate and House, it's a "kick 'em when they're down" mentality. They want ratings, not truth. Sadly, the truth is usually far less sensational.

If Sarah Palin were not a woman (and an attractive one, which I think has made the media even harder on her) I KNOW she would not be getting this treatment.

Tami said...


Thank you for your comments. While I disagree that most of the MSM are not liberals (most of them admittedly so), I do agree that what they are fighting is "truth". It seems that somewhere along the line those in the media got the idea that truth doesn't matter. Doesn't matter whose life they destroy, or what consequences follow.

I absolutely agree that if Sarah Palin were a. an ugly female, or b. a man, the media wouldn't have gone after her nearly as ferociously as they have. However, I believe their treatment of her goes much deeper. She is a Christian--they hate Christianity. She's a conservative--they hate conservatism and try to paint us as a bunch of nutjobs. She calls them on their lies--they hate her for it. They are trying to destroy her because of who she is and what she stands for, not just because she's a woman, but I do get what you meant.

I also agree that her own own party...has been less than honorable in its treatment of her. McCain has my respect for his service to our country, but that is where my respect for him ends. He did himself NO favors by being such a wimp--and it's why he lost the election.

Thanks again for your honest comments on the subject!

Mary said...

Tami and Susy,
I am a registered Independent, and I find myself agreeing with comments that you both have made. I am concerned that the waters get muddied with the labels: "Democrat","Republican", "Conservative", or "Liberal". What I want to see is honest debate of ideas. I'm old enough to remember reporting before the days of the sound byte. I don't care whether the media is liberal or conservative, although I'm certain the mainstream media is NOT conservative. What I care about is honest reporting of the facts. I don't want a spin put on it. I don't think I'm unusual in my belief that the American electorate is smart enough together to make wise decisions for the future of our country, if we are given the unvarnished truth.

Susy said...

To be honest, the only "news" shows I tune into are CNN (which, whether they acknowledge it or not, is liberally inclined), MSNBC, which is admittedly liberal, and occasionally FoxNews even though I know they are conservatively inclined. I watch it in order to see that perspective against the biases from the other perspective.

Alternately, I sometimes tune in to live or recorded House/Senate hearings. If I watch that stuff, (and don't fall asleep), I usually end up learning something I didn't know about our Constitution, a certain representative, etc., and as I said in my first post, the truth is usually far less sensational, and that stuff just doesn't sell to the mainstream. People love a good fight, and the mainstream media is happy to deliver.

I hadn't thought about SP's Christianity as being a reason to attack her. But I kind of see that now, and I think it all goes to wanting to tear down the "mighty". Here we have a powerful woman (that's one strike) who happens to be attractive (that's an exponential strike when combined with power) who is also a Christian? What a perfect opportunity to see the mighty fall. It's also an excuse to hold her to a higher level of accountability than other candidates.

While I agree that the MSM is ruthless and would not hesitate to steamroll anyone (and back up, and steamroll them AGAIN), I honestly don't see SP "goin' down." She's too committed and too strong. I don't agree with her politics, but good on her for that.

Finally, I'd like to say that I think "a good fight" is exactly what the MSM wants, and we as citizens would do well not to take the bait. We can disagree, we can and should present our positions without fear of retribution. But that does not mean we have to roll around in the mud like little pigs. I think it's great that you're not publishing rude comments anymore (at least not in your regular comments section, but in "Bellvue", because that just fuels more viscious people from both sides to come over here and polarize us. If people want to hit below the belt, they can start their own blogs and do it there.

Tami said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tami said...

Mary and Susy,


PLEASE just give us HONEST reporting! I don't know about you, but I don't care which side it favors! The truth would be nice, and really, is it so much to ask? I think not.

Thanks to you both for your input!