In the recent dust up between Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and CNBC’s Jim Cramer, TVNewser inserted itself into the controversy with an anonymously sourced item that asserted that MSNBC was told to refrain from stories on the matter. TVNewser’s Steve Krakauer did not reveal who told MSNBC to do this, nor who told him about the instruction.
Keith Olbermann responded to Krakauer’s claim in a posting on Daily Kos. He denied that any restrictions were placed on him, and he noted Krakauer’s and TVNewser’s reputation for partisanship and for regurgitating Fox News PR:
“Frankly, the guy who posted this, the site’s Associate Editor, Steve Krakauer (‘SteveK’), is well known around the industry as being entirely in Fox’s pocket […] Rachel [Maddow] could get the cover of Newsweek and he wouldn’t link to it.”
Well, this morning TVNewser is featuring two stories on its front page on Glenn Beck (both by Krakauer), including one that links to a Beck interview by The Daily Beast. But no mention that Rachel Maddow was on David Letterman last night.
Good call, Keith. I have previously documented other incidents of blatant bias by TVNewser. In one story about the marital infidelity of politicians Krakauer cited Hillary Clinton (who has never engaged in infidelity) and John Edwards (who, at the time, was the subject of unsupported rumors in the National Enquirer). He didn’t bother to mention the multiple marriages and notorious philandering of John McCain, Fred Thompson, and Rudy Giuliani. The other story offhandedly referred to Al Franken as “a rabid leftie.”
Krakauer is not only in Fox’s pocket, he is a former Fox News employee. The evidence of TVNewer’s bias is all over its web site. It’s apparent in what they chose to cover and what they chose to ignore. And, most of all, its community of commenters posting remarks to their articles is a buzzing hive of partisans so far to the right they would make RedStaters nervous. They congregate in items referencing Fox News and are devotedly defensive of anything and everything Fox does and says. Their boards are thoroughly useless as a forum for media discussions. Any comment that is contrary to the rightist hive-think is pounced on and assaulted in overtly personal terms.
TVNewser may eventually put up some notice of Maddow’s Letterman spot, but that will not resolve the larger problem that the site is infected with slanted coverage and lunatic rantings. It’s a shame, because there is a real need for a web site that offers balanced media news and informed discourse.
Update: Well, TVNewser did get around to posting a brief notice that Maddow appeared on Letterman. But they also followed it up immediately with a ridiculous Krakauer composed hit piece on Jon Stewart (more on that here).