Saturday, July 09, 2005

the mann report

courtesy of dkos, we find this piece in the nation analyzing fred mann's report to tomlinson:

The Mann report reads as if dictated by Cookie Monster while chewing on a mouthful of lead paint chips. Names of famous political figures and celebrities are chronically misspelled. PBS guests are categorized by labels--"anti-DeLay," "neutral," "x"--for often bewildering reasons. Mann appears to have spent endless hours monitoring programs with no political content, gathering such insights as that Ray Charles was blind.

Mann begins each of his PBS program summaries with a chart showing guests' ideological leanings. An "L" denotes guests he judges to be liberal; "C" beside conservatives; "N" beside those who are neutral. Among those Mann designated as conservative is the ex-rapper and actor Mark "Marky Mark" Wahlberg, best known for his role as a well-endowed porn star in the film Boogie Nights. While Wahlberg used his June 2, 2004, appearance on The Tavis Smiley Show to promote juvenile justice programs--a liberal hallmark--he also said in passing, according to Mann, that Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ "was a good thing."

actually, just about every movie i've seen with mark wahlberg in it had a liberal bent: what about three kings or i ♥ huckabees? conservative actors don't repeatedly take these kinds of roles by accident.

Another Tavis Smiley guest, Everlast, the rock-rapper who once fronted the Irish-American rap trio House of Pain, was dubbed a "C" for his opinion that some rap music is "sending a bad message to youth." And Henry Rollins, the former singer for the legendary hardcore-punk band Black Flag, was labeled conservative for stating, in Mann's words, that "people who have problems with the war should support the troops." Apparently, feeling sympathy for American servicemen and women is strictly "C."

Mann's liberals are an equally curious bunch. Senator Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, garnered his "L" after speaking glowingly of Ronald Reagan in a discussion with Tavis Smiley. Hagel is, of course, that comsymp who earned a 100 percent rating from the Christian Coalition last year. Another Rehm guest, Washington Post reporter Robin Wright, earned her "L" by articulating an analytical point Mann apparently had not heard expressed before. "Ms. Wright's viewpoint was that U.S. intelligence was geared to fight the Cold War and did not adapt to the new threat of terrorism," Mann writes, describing why he put the "L" word beside her name. For investigating three of Tom DeLay's associates for illegal fundraising in Travis County, Texas, District Attorney Ronnie Earle, who was interviewed on NOW, was dubbed "anti-DeLay." Dr. Arthur Bodette was slapped with an "L" after discussing on Diane Rehm's show "the unlimited possibilities of new advances in DNA chips to screen for birth defects, cystic fibrosis, and mental retardation."

Another unintentionally hilarious aspect of the Mann report is its sloppy typos. Apparently Tomlinson's budget didn't include a proofreader. Former Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr appears as "Ken Staff," former Assistant Secretary of Defense Dov Zakheim as "Doug Zukheim" and former Congressman Newt Gingrich as "Next Gingrich."

and there's a bit more about fred mann's history:

Who is Fred Mann? For all we know, he could be a werewolf with supersensitive hearing that detects liberal bias inaudible to the average human's ear. But since he and Tomlinson have not provided the same level of accountability they are demanding from others, it is impossible to know. Reporters who have attempted to locate him, including NPR, have all failed. Perhaps only Van Helsing could uncover Mann's tracks. What is known is that in 1980, Mann worked on the senatorial campaign of Dan Quayle. Then, during Reagan's second term, Mann went to work at the Virginia-based National Journalism Center as its job bank and alumni director until he retired last year. The National Journalism Center is directed by M. Stanton Evans, a former editor of the conservative Indianapolis News, and a founder in 1960 of the right-wing youth group Young Americans for Freedom. Through the center, Evans nurtured movement activists like Mann and trained aspiring young media players, including Ann Coulter and Maggie Gallagher, the conservative Catholic columnist who took federal money from the Bush Administration to promote its policies.

when i previously blogged about mann's past i wasn't aware of the connection to the indy news, which was years ago swallowed up into the indy star. the heyday of the news was mostly before my time (though when i was in jr high i had an afternoon paper route delivering the news).

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