As we've been telling you for months, NBC News taking a dramatic turn to the left, believing weakness in the Bush administration would translate into more liberal viewers for their news programs.
Well, it hasn't turned out that way.
Yesterday, NBC News and the liberal New York Times announced a partnership in covering the 2008 presidential election. Now there's nothing wrong with that, sharing resources can get you publicity, save money. But obviously, NBC News and The Times are a good fit. Both organizations are run by liberals and their marching orders are quite clear, promote the left.
For example, last night Charles Gibson and Katie Couric both ran stories about an improving military situation in Iraq. July 's casualties are down significantly. Brian Williams ignored the story, even though The New York Times did run it on the op-ed page. Well, good for them.
The problem in American journalism today is the blurring of editorial positions with hard news. "The Factor" is a commentary program. We give opinions here. Shepard Smith anchors a hard news broadcast. He delivers straight information. Again, there's nothing wrong with NBC News editorializing left. But when their liberal views dictate what hard news stories they cover, you have a problem.
Based on ratings evidence, you would think General Electric's CEO Jeffrey Immelt would be concerned about the left-hand turn NBC News has taken because GE is the parent company. The Williams program consistently runs behind Gibson. And the cable news networks are disasters.
Last Thursday, "The Factor's" rerun at 4:00 in the morning beat everything on CNBC and MSNBC all day long in the key demographic. And we beat them by hundreds of thousands of viewers at 4:00 in the morning.
Also, the projected advertising revenue of FOX News next year dwarfs the NBC property. So again, the liberal strategy is hard to figure out as far as economics is concerned.
As far as news coverage is concerned, any alert person now knows what they're getting from NBC News and The New York Times. And as Americans, we're free to take it or leave it.
"Talking Points," however, likes a level playing field. And we'll be watching how all the media cover the upcoming election. Fairness and factual accuracy will be required. If not, we'll point it out. And that's the “Memo.”
Most Ridiculous Item
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." Our pal Frederic Von Anhalt, husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor, says he was robbed by three women, stripped naked, tied to the wheel of his car, and he has a picture to prove it.
Not clear who took the picture or why the robbers left the prince with his hat. Apparently, there were no witnesses to the robbery.
Anhalt, you may remember, said he fathered Anna Nicole Smith's baby. That turned out to be false, but hey, anyone can make a mistake.
Did anyone let the prince out of the car, or is he still there? Might be ridiculous.
—You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org