UPDATE: Linked at Memeorandum and Red State, and Vodka Pundit suggests "that vacuous Anderson Cooper guy" is worse than Roesgen. I'm sorry, but when you send a reporter to cover a protest, and the reporter launches into a political argument with one of the protesters -- on live TV -- that's a new nadir of shameless bias.
UPDATE II: Let's take a moment to talk about bias and protests. Journalists are human beings and all human beings have opinions. When a journalist is assigned to report on an event, this is different than offering to comment on an event.
I am one of a very few people in the news business who thinks that a journalist can do both -- reporting and commentary -- without impairing his precious "objectivity," because I agree with the late Hunter S. Thompson that a lot of what passes for "objective journalism" is bullshit. The key to Thompson's "gonzo journalism" was that he was honest with himself, and with his readers, about what he was doing.
The reason so many Americans hate the news media is because so many supposedly "objective" journalists are transparently dishonest in what they're doing. Media bias is therefore not about a lack of objectivity (no one is strictly objective) but rather about a lack of honesty.
I've been involved in protests as a citizen, I've covered protests as a reporter, and I've shared my opinion of protests as a commentator. When people complain about bias in reporting, what they're talking about is news coverage that pretends to be objective -- neutral, balanced, neither condemning nor endorsing -- but really isn't. Bias takes many forms. One form of bias I observed in coverage an anti-globalization protest in 2000:
Something about the protests in Washington against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that didn't get much press was the Commies.Only a blatantly biased and dishonest reporter, profoundly sympathetic to the objectives of the anti-IMF demonstrators, could have failed to report the massive socialist/communist presence at that protest. And all of the other reporters did exactly that: They ignored it.
I say they "didn't get much press," but in fact, the presence of the Communist Party USA at the anti-IMF rally didn't get any press at all -- except for a couple of paragraphs in The Washington Times, courtesy of yours truly. . . .
Finally arriving at the Ellipse, I am immediately set upon by guys hawking the Socialist Worker newspaper for 50 cents. This was why the media silence about the heavy Red presence at A16 was so puzzling to me. No one could enter the Ellipse without walking past three or four of these Socialist Worker vendors and yet I was the only journalist who thought this worth reporting.
Once you got past the Socialist Workers, there were still more entrepreneurial leftists, hawking the Worker's Vanguard. Then there was the guy selling yellow "Mumia Must Live" buttons for a buck each. Yeah, save the cop-killer, $1. . . .
The place was positively brimming with rage against corporate capitalism, from T-shirts ("Mean Corporations Suck") to handmade signs ("Corporate Press Is Not Free"). At the International Socialist Organization table, you could get a nice blue-and-white sign reading, "Workers of the World Unite and Fight." Another group distributed red T-shirts lettered in black: "Abolish the World Bank! End the IMF! Dissolve the WTO! Socialist Party USA."
These lying liberal journalists obviously knew that the Ordinary American despises socialism and communism. To ignore the socialists and communists at the anti-IMF protests was, therefore, to conceal from the reader very significant information that might have caused the reader to say, "Ah! A bunch of Bolsheviks engaged in their usual demonization of capitalism! Bring back the Smith Act!"
Now, consider in this light Jane Hamsher's vehement insistence that the Tea Party protests are illegitimate because of the involvement of FreedomWorks, Fox News, et cetera. And consider how the Tea Party protests were covered (or not covered) by the MSM. The same JournoList media that ignored the anti-IMF commies has revealed -- by their editorial decisions vis-a-vis the Tea Party movement -- that they are no more neutral and objective than Jane Hamsher.
The dishonesty is what rankles. I have far more respect for Jane Hamsher than I have for the editors of The Washington Post or the New York Times. Jane may be a crazy Bolsehvik, but she is at least reasonably honest about it.Michael Palmer of the Tuscaloosa News: Alas, the Tea Party organizers in Tuscaloosa didn't have "Mack the Knife" on the karaoke track, so I had to sing a capella. More good stuff at the Hot Air Green Room. UPDATE V: Alabama Republican leader Shana Kluck has more "Sweet Tea" updates at The Liberty Papers, and Michelle Malkin has delicious video of James Wolcott, that paragon of pretentious journalistic mediocrity.