Archive for the ‘MSNBC’ Category

One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex

November 30, 2008

In the spring of 2007 a tiny military contractor with a slender track record went shopping for a precious Beltway commodity.
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The company, Defense Solutions, sought the services of a retired general with national stature, someone who could open doors at the highest levels of government and help it win a huge prize: the right to supply Iraq with thousands of armored vehicles.

Access like this does not come cheap, but it was an opportunity potentially worth billions in sales, and Defense Solutions soon found its man. The company signed Barry R. McCaffrey, a retired four-star Army general and military analyst for NBC News, to a consulting contract starting June 15, 2007.

Four days later the general swung into action. He sent a personal note and 15-page briefing packet to David H. Petraeus, the commanding general in Iraq, strongly recommending Defense Solutions and its offer to supply Iraq with 5,000 armored vehicles from Eastern Europe. “No other proposal is quicker, less costly, or more certain to succeed,” he said.

By DAVID BARSTOW
The New York Times

Above: Barry R. McCaffrey is among the retired military officers working as network analysts.
Artwork by the New York Times

Thus, within days of hiring General McCaffrey, the Defense Solutions sales pitch was in the hands of the American commander with the greatest influence over Iraq’s expanding military.

“That’s what I pay him for,” Timothy D. Ringgold, chief executive of Defense Solutions, said in an interview.

General McCaffrey did not mention his new contract with Defense Solutions in his letter to General Petraeus. Nor did he disclose it when he went on CNBC that same week and praised the commander Defense Solutions was now counting on for help — “He’s got the heart of a lion” — or when he told Congress the next month that it should immediately supply Iraq with large numbers of armored vehicles and other equipment.

He had made similar arguments before he was hired by Defense Solutions, but this time he went further. In his testimony to Congress, General McCaffrey criticized a Pentagon plan to supply Iraq with several hundred armored vehicles made in the United States by a competitor of Defense Solutions. He called the plan “not in the right ballpark” and urged Congress to instead equip Iraq with 5,000 armored vehicles.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/washin
gton/30general.html?_r=1&hp

MSNBC Ran Anti-Palin Story With No Check Out, Verification

November 13, 2008

MSNBC was the victim of a hoax when it reported that an adviser to John McCain had identified himself as the source of an embarrassing story about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the network said Wednesday.

David Shuster, an anchor for the cable news network, said on air Monday that Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, had come forth and identified himself as the source of a Fox News Channel story saying Palin had mistakenly believed Africa was a country instead of a continent.

Eisenstadt identifies himself on a blog as a senior fellow at the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy. Yet neither he nor the institute exist; each is part of a hoax dreamed up by a filmmaker named Eitan Gorlin and his partner, Dan Mirvish, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081113/ap_en_tv/
palin_hoax;_ylt=ApmXbBdfbMaI.KksFZN6Kwas0NUE

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Above: Dan Mirvish, who with Eitan Gorlin created an elaborate Internet hoax complete with a fake policy institute and a phony adviser to Senator John McCain. Photo: Axel Koester for The New York Times

MSNBC Caught by Hoax on Palin

By Richard Perez-Pena
The New York Times

It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.
Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. “Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,” Mr. Shuster said.

Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow — the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy — is just a Web site. The TV clips of him on YouTube are fakes.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/13/arts/
television/13hoax.html?hp

MSNBC host now guarded by 7-second delay

November 12, 2008

After an F-bomb dropped on “Morning Joe,” the MSNBC news-talk show has installed an early-warning system.

A seven-second delay was added with Tuesday’s broadcast, to protect against future eruptions such as that of host Joe Scarborough, who seemed to surprise even himself with his verboten utterance.

This  March 30, 2006 file photo shows  MSNBC on air personality ... 
This March 30, 2006 file photo shows MSNBC on air personality Joe Scarborough in New York.(AP Photo/MSNBC, Carig Blankenhorn,File)

By FRAZIER MOORE, AP Television Writer

Scarborough slipped Monday while attempting to describe the rawboned manner of Rahm Emanuel, incoming White House chief of staff for President-elect Barack Obama.

Amid his many on-air apologies, Scarborough said, “My wife is going to kill me when I get home” and spoke of washing out his mouth with soap.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081112/a
p_on_en_tv/msnbc_tape_delay;_ylt=Ajk1
ZQab36sdrvs9W1.yHtWs0NUE

Republicans and Democrats Rip MSNBC Coverage as Too Political

October 28, 2008

In a room full of television industry executives, no one seemed inclined to defend MSNBC on Monday for what some were calling its lopsidedly liberal coverage of the presidential election.

The cable news channel is “completely out of control,” said writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, a self-proclaimed liberal Democrat.

By Paul Bond
THR.com

She added that she would prefer a lunch date with right-leaning Fox News star Sean Hannity over left-leaning MSNBC star Keith Olbermann.

Olbermann was criticized by many who attended Monday’s luncheon sponsored by the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The event was dubbed “Hollywood, America and Election ’08.”

Bloodworth-Thomason and others seemed especially critical of the way MSNBC — and other media — has attacked Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin while demeaning her supporters.

“We should stop the demonizing,” she said, adding that Democrats have been worse than Republicans as far as personal attacks on candidates are concerned. “It diminishes us,” she said of her fellow Democrats.

Bloodworth-Thomason even suggested a defense of Palin and her supporters should be written into TV programming, just as she went out of her way to portray Southern women as smart in her hit TV show “Designing Women.”

Attendee Michael Reagan, the radio talk-show host and son of President Ronald Reagan, said he no longer will appear as a guest on MSNBC because “I actually get death threats.”

“I’ll stop sending them,” joked Larry Gelbart, the writer, producer and director best known for the “M*A*S*H” television series and such movie screenplays as “Tootsie” and “Oh, God!”

Read the rest:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_
display/news/e3i28df3fc9f6707d1478700b7bc78273ae