Talking Points

The Media, the Black Panthers and President Obama

By Bill O'Reilly

As we reported last week, the mainstream media has largely ignored the Justice Department failing to prosecute some Black Panthers who allegedly intimidated voters in Philadelphia. Well, after being exposed, the establishment press is now trying to recover.

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HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "RELIABLE SOURCES": It's not hard to tell when Fox News is pushing a story. It shows up hour after hour after hour. And Fox is pushing hard on allegations that the Justice Department dropped the case against the New Black Panther Party because of racial politics.

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Pushing the story? Well, here's a memo to Howard Kurtz, who works for the The Washington Post in addition to CNN.

On Sunday, Howard, The Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander wrote: "National editor Kevin Merida, who termed the [Black Panther] controversy significant, said he wished The Post had written about it sooner. The delay was a result of limited staffing and a heavy volume of other news on the Justice Department beat."

So while Fox News reported this story responsibly, Howard, The Washington Post did not and now regrets it. What say you?

Then Mr. Kurtz interviewed CBS correspondent Bob Schieffer, who failed to ask Attorney General Eric Holder anything about the Black Panther controversy.

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KURTZ: Why did you not ask Eric Holder in that interview about this former Justice official's allegation that a case against the New Black Panther Party was dropped because of racial politics?

BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS NEWS: Frankly, had I known about that, I would have asked the question. I was on vacation that week. This happened -- apparently it got very little publicity. And, you know, I just didn't know about it. I mean, you know, God knows everything, but I'm not quite that good.

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Are you kidding me? Mr. Schieffer didn't know about the story? Where was he vacationing, Venus? Does Mr. Schieffer not have a staff? Were they all on Venus, too?

Sadly, I believe Bob Schieffer. He didn't know about the Black Panther story or the Justice Department lawyer quitting over it because in his world, that's not important. But believe me, had the Klan been intimidating voters, Mr. Schieffer and CBS News would have been all over it. Or am I wrong?

Then Howard Kurtz went on to ask Mr. Schieffer this:

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KURTZ: One last point on this Black Panther case. Fox's Bill O'Reilly making the point that none of the network newscasts have covered this story. He says the network newscasts are not being honest about news because their agenda is to protect President Obama. Your thoughts?

SCHIEFFER: Well, I think the reason that there hasn't been much coverage on it is there is a question about how significant this really is. I think it is, you know, the coverage or lack of coverage has to do with editors' news judgment. It doesn't have anything to do with protecting President Obama.

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Well, that might be true, but the facts raise doubt.

According to a Pew study last year, in his first two months in office, President Obama received far more favorable network news coverage than Presidents Bush and Clinton did in their first two months. And if anyone thinks the network news did not root for Barack Obama to defeat John McCain, they need a drug test.

Mr. Kurtz then switched the questioning, asking Mr. Schieffer why he misstated the Arizona illegal immigration law in his interview with Mr. Holder.

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KURTZ: In the interview, you also asked Eric Holder about the new Arizona immigration law. And you said that police, if they think somebody might be in this country illegally, gives them a right to stop and ask them to produce papers. But that was amended to say that police had to already be in the process of stopping somebody for something else and then asking to produce papers. So could you have been more clear on that?

SCHIEFFER: Oh, perhaps. But, you know, I have to tell you, Howie, even at the Justice Department, there is an argument about exactly what this law says.

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Well, let me clear it up for you, Bob. The law clearly says, clearly, that in order for anyone in Arizona to be asked about their nationality, they have to be involved in another police matter. Anyone who actually reads the law would know that, even if they're on vacation.

Now, "Talking Points" is not in business to denigrate Bob Schieffer or Howard Kurtz, but apparently there is a growing split about how the news is covered in this country. The old guard mainstream media makes decisions based upon ideology, race and elitism. The new media, of which Fox News is a part, covers what Americans believe is important to them. That's why we are a dominant No. 1, and I submit we have far more influence than the network news does.

Believe me, President Obama, every senator, every congressperson know exactly what we are reporting here, even if Bob Schieffer does not.

This indicates there is a changing of the guard as far as news flow is concerned in the USA. If you want to know what's really happening in America, you have to come here because you will not get it in much of the mainstream media.

That being said, Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander was gutsy in his admission that The Post botched the story. There are some very skilled people working in the establishment media. Problem is, there aren't enough of them.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

As you may know, comedienne Kathy Griffin recently called Sen. Scott Brown's young daughters "prostitutes." Well, that caused our pal Barney Frank to write a letter directly to Ms. Griffin. Of course, he released it to the press, as well.

Says Frank: "I wanted to make it very clear that I thought what you did was wholly unfair and inappropriate; the kind of thing that makes it less likely that I or others can cooperate with you in the future."

Is Mr. Frank a patriot for writing the letter? You make the call.

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On the pinhead front, the young actress Ellen Page is starring in the big hit movie "Inception" with Leo DiCaprio. While promoting the movie, Miss Page was asked which people she would like to implant ideas into.

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ELLEN PAGE, ACTRESS: Dick Cheney, maybe. Sarah Palin, maybe a little more -- a little seed of compassion or some holistic intelligence, some -- and maybe a little expansion of mind. Maybe get rid of some of that fear that seems to be creating a lot of ignorance.

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Whatever! Is Miss Page a pinhead? Again, you make the call.