Media Distortions

Conservative Site Slams Roberta Flack & Soledad O’Brien For ‘Obama Bump’ At Whitney Funeral

Oh for goodness sake!

Mediaite

Conservative media watchdog Newsbusters has turned making a left-wing bias out of a molehill into a fine art form, but their working of the ref hit something of a low today. The site is accusing CNN’s Soledad O’Brien of “overt partisanship” for accepting an “Obama Bump” from R&B legendRoberta Flack (“Obama Bump” was Flack’s term) as the network’s coverage of Whitney Houston‘s funeral tossed to a commercial break.

Here’s a clip of the “scandalous” moment, with a little bit extra of the completely apolitical context:

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/conservative-site-slams-roberta-flack-soledad-obrien-for-obama-bump-at-whitney-funeral/

A few weeks ago, Newsbusters‘ Noel Sheppard keyed off on a Mediaite item about Roland Martin’s idiosyncratic exit from O’Brien’s stage, and interpreted their shared high-five as an indication of bias against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. O’Brien responded on Twitter that Sheppard’s accusation was false, and Martin feuded with Sheppard at length via Twitter.

Earlier today, Soledad O’Brien provided an apparently irresistible opportunity to grind that ax some more. From Newsbusters: (emphasis mine)

After CNN’s Soledad O’Brien took some heat a few weeks ago for accepting a high five from Roland Martin as congratulations for skewering Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, you’d think she be careful not to demonstrate such overt partisanship while on the air.

Just to be clear, Soledad O’Brien “took some heat a few weeks ago” from Noel Sheppard. He goes on to say:

After Houston’s funeral, Morgan and O’Brien interviewed Jesse Jackson and Flack.

Before breaking for a commercial, Jackson got up to shake Morgan and O’Brien’s hands saying, “We’re going to the cemetery.”

Flack then held out her fist saying, “Let’s have an Obama bump here.”

Morgan and O’Brien obliged with the latter saying, “Absolutely.”

Let me get this straight: R&B legend Roberta Flack is wrapping up a segment of remembrances at Whitney Houston’s funeral, offers Soledad O’Brien a pound, rather than a handshake, and Ms. O’Brien is supposed to do what? Spit on Roberta Flack because she called it an Obama Bump? Perhaps launch into negotiations? “I will gladly accept your departing gesture, provided you re-moniker it in a less partisan fashion.”

The next line would be comical if the entire exercise wasn’t so irreverent, so misplaced in its priorities:

As if the President and the First Lady originated this practice.

That’s a great point. How on Earth did the fist bump become so closely associated with President Obama? Oh yeah, here’s how

Hmmm, so maybe Roberta Flack and Soledad O’Brien were making some kind of coded tribute to Fox News! Paging Media Matters!

Posting a flimsy blog item isn’t, itself, a high crime, but allowing partisan bitterness to intrude needlessly into a solemn occasion is shameful. Newsbusters should have given it a rest today.

Poynter’s Biggest Media Corrections Of 2011

The Huffington Post

Poynter’s Craig Silverman released his annual roundup of the year’s biggest media errors and corrections on Sunday.

The President Obama/Osama Bin Laden gaffe topped Silverman’s list for the biggest typo of 2011. In the wake of Obama’s Sunday night announcement on May 1st, media organizations scrambled to break news of Osama Bin Laden’s death. For reasons Silverman described in a piece for Columbia Journalism Review, anchors became tongue-tied and repeatedly said “Obama” when they meant to say “Osama.” Editors also committed the Obama/Osama typo, with “Obama Bin Laden” appearing in print and online media publications.

The false reporting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ death was Silverman’s “media error of the year.” According to Silverman, news broke that Giffords was dead afterNPR tweeted that the congresswoman and six others were shot and killed. The news spread on Twitter like wildfire, creating a lot of confusion shortly after news of the shooting broke.

View the rest of Silverman’s list at Poynter, including some lighthearted, mistakenly profane gaffes. Remember this one?

WBBM Distorts Child Interview: Chicago CBS Outlet’s Misleading Editing Of Kid’s Remarks (VIDEO)

This is not only unethical, it’s degrading and insulting in its implications…

Huffington Post

WBBM-TV, the CBS affiliate in Chicago, has come under fire in recent days for broadcasting an interview with a four-year-old boy, and deliberately taking his quote out of context to completely pervert its meaning.

The story aired on June 30, as part of a package about overnight violence around the city.

(Scroll down to watch the distorted interview.)

It first describes the shooting death of 16-year-old Juan Batista, then reports on two other teens who were shot but not killed in the city’s Park Manor neighborhood on the South Side.

“Kids on the street as young as four were there to see it all unfold, and had disturbing reactions,” then-anchor Steve Bartelstein said, leading into video of an interview with the four-year-old boy.

When asked, “What are you going to do when you get older?” the boy responds: “I’m going to have me a gun!”

“That is very scary indeed,” Bartelstein adds.

Only problem is, CBS edited out the rest of what the young child said.

According to video obtained by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, the full interview went like this:

Reporter: “Boy, you ain’t scared of nothing! Damn! When you get older are you going to stay away from all these guns?”Boy: “No.”

Reporter: “No? What are you going to do when you get older?”

Boy: “I’m going to have me a gun!”

Reporter” “You are! Why do you want to do that?”

Boy: “I’m going to be the police!” (emphasis added)

Continue reading here…

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