News + comedy + bias = comedy. The conservative blogosphere rattled with revelations that CNN went to great lengths to “fact check” a parody of President Obama on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” The serious news segment featured anchor Wolf Blitzer, correspondent Kareen Wynter and Bill Adair, an analyst at PolitiFact.com.
Wait. It’s a comedy show, not, say, PBS’ “Frontline.” But the analysis machine was in motion, and the segment was rife with solemn pronouncements, graphics, cut-aways; Mr. Adair intoned that “SNL” “missed the mark” and “glossed over progress” of the Obama administration. Greg Hensley of Townhall.com and Salem Radio Network producer Lee Habeeb were the sharp-eyed sages who first noticed this ironic cultural moment, and then demanded to know why CNN did not “fact check” the now-infamous Tina Fey impressions of Sarah Palin.
And where there is a cultural moment, mirth may follow. This went viral — picked up in print, broadcast and online — and on an instant Twitter topic, CNNfactcheck. The Tweets continue to pile up by the minute, suggesting other CNN fact-checkin’ headlines. Among the many:
“This just in: Wolf Blitzer not really a wolf,” “Rhett really did not give a damn. Confirmed,” “David Letterman is, in fact, not attractive,” “Just in: Pepe Le Pew was really a cat that smelled like a skunk,” “CNN Report: Despite widespread claims, few actually ‘scream’ for ice cream,” “CNN Nautical reporting that Captain Crunch neither is or has been an actual captain of any vessel,” “CNN Report: President Obama never actually used phrase ‘diddly squat.’ ” tion, 269 words in the Gettysburg Address and approximately 13,500 words, in five different federal agency manuals, on the handling of cabbage,” Mr. Emmrich points out.
“We add that the Lord created the Earth in 50-something words, a jot and tittle that Washington Times editor emeritus Wesley Pruden pointed out to his reporters on numerous occasions.” 47 Chinook helicopter cradled in the arms of his master. Yes, the dog had an oxygen mask and a nifty jumpsuit. We assume he got a biscuit, hopefully lots of them.
Sgt. Lalonde is assigned to Company D, 701st Military Police Battalion. And Sgt. Fasco? We suggest a nice little medal, with T-bone clusters.
Indeed, the children are intoning these lines on a multimilliondollar advocacy-ad campaign from the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit research group, now airing on CNN, Fox News Channel and CNBC. And you may have seen their 17 raggedy costumed Uncle Sams wandering through Washington, begging. Too much? They don’t think so.
“This campaign is all about getting people to understand the frightening reality of the massive federal debt,” says the group’s executive director, Richard Berman. “People do not realize just how much $12 trillion is, and what it will take for our country to get out from under that level of debt.” Obama has already envisioned the day when he could welcome the world to his hometown, never mind that small matter of reelection,” the Times said.
All of it disappeared in an updated story, but not before the nimble “Zips” posted the before and after.
“Unfortunately, this is not the first time the New York Times has scrubbed an article to shine a more favorable light on this administration,” a Weasel Zippers spokesman tells Beltway. “In the article last week by the Times’ public editor, the director of the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism Tom Rosenstiel was quoted as saying, ‘If you know you are a target, it requires extra vigilance. Even the suspicion of a bias is a problem all by itself.’ It is quite obvious that the reporters for the Times do not read their own paper.”
U.S. Army Sgt. Chris Lalonde (center), holds his militar y working dog, Sgt. Maj. Fasco, while civilian jumpmaster Kirby Rodriguez, behind them, deploys his parachute during the military’s first tandem jump from an altitude of 12,500 feet, onto Gammon Parade Field at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.