Media Malpractice re-release: six questions for John Ziegler

posted at 6:00 pm on November 7, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Now that the 2010 midterm election cycle is over, people have a new opportunity to reflect on the 2008 election and its media coverage.  In February 2009, John Ziegler released his documentary, Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted, a two-hour review of the difference in coverage between Obama at the top of one ticket and Palin at the bottom of another.  Now Ziegler has a new, expanded version of Media Malpractice and a brand-new distribution strategy that puts the documentary in almost every household in America beginning tomorrow morning.

I interviewed John via e-mail about his new video-on-demand strategy, media coverage during the midterms, and the Keith Olbermann controversy:

HA: How did you and your team develop the idea of Video On Demand marketing for the film? It’s a rather unusual strategy. Does this fit better for independent documentarians than the “traditional” (so to speak!) method of Internet sales and Amazon.com?

JZ: The first release was really forced to target the conservative base other than someone I might reach via being a guest on the Today Show and The View, but even when I made those appearances Obama”s approval rating was in the 70s so the “mainstream” wasn’t exactly open to the message. We also had some problems with the first release which hindered its reach. As a conservative in the film industry your options are extremely limited but I was simply unwilling to let this film and its incredibly important message die without really getting a chance to change minds. Finally, I signed a deal with a non-political distributor who specializes in VOD and in store DVD releases.and they have been surprisingly successful in getting the film and its new material on the DVD, into a position where it has the opportunity to be seen by people who don’t always watch Fox News or read Hot Air.

HA: How many households will get access to the film with VOD distribution? Who are the major carriers/cable systems that will offer it?

I am told that up .to 80 million subscribers have access to the film via VOD as of [tomorrow]. Virtually every major VOD provider in the country is carrying it in some way. This includes Time Warner, Comcast, Cablevision,Cox, AT &T, Verizon, Direct TV and Dish Network. It would be nearly impossible for us to have a wider VOD release and I am unaware of any film of this type getting this kind of mainstream release.

HA: You’ve added 45 minutes to the film in updates. Is that primarily from media coverage during the 2008 election (the focus in the first version of Media Malpractice), or afterward?

JZ: There are at least 45 minutes of special features which focus on coverage on the film itself, which, by extension, essentially deals with how the media coverage of Palin and Obama has evolved. I include commentary of some of my major interviews for the film and reveal some pretty interesting stuff. For instance, I talk about the technical problem which totally altered the Matt Lauer interview, the shocking thing Barbara Walters told me she mistakenly thought Palin had said during the campaign, the “bitchy” thing Joy Behar did to me backstage, what really happened behind the scenes my arrest at USC’s Katie Couric journalism award ceremony and me telling Norah O’Donnell that she should have been fired, while on camera, twice, while on MSNBC.

HA: Did media coverage in the midterms with some of the Republican women running for office constitute the same kind of “malpractice” that your film documents from 2008 and Palin? Do you plan a Media Malpractice sequel about the midterms?

JZ: Obviously a lot of people have compared the negative coverage of Christine O’Donnell to that of Sarah Palin and there are some similarites. There is no question that both are attractive, female conservatives and that worked against both of them in the media (with the attractiveness also causing a ratings driven media obsession). However, I am of the belief that O’Donnell was less qualified for the position than Palin was and that the attacks were a bit more substantive. I would love to do a sequel for the midterms, but frankly because of the results and the fact that everything is old news in like two days I am not sure it is marketable and the margin of error for a filmmaker like me is so small that it would be really tough for me to pull the trigger on a project like “Media Malpractice” again. I have $350,000 of my own money into this film and without the media’s continuing Palin obsession I would be bankrupt.

HA: Has Palin started getting more respect from the national media after the past year of campaigning for conservative candidates?

JZ: There is no doubt that the coverage of Palin has evolved in her favor and she deserves credit fot that. In the ultimate karate move she now gets stronger every time one for the usual suspects with nothing else to complain about levies an unfair attack on her. Of course, the ultimate irony here is that since the media covers nearly everything she does, it gives her infinitely more power, and the reason they do that is not because they like/respect her, but because she is great for ratings. At this point the media REALLY wants her to run for President so I think that may also play a role here. I also think in a weird way, having Bristol do so well on Dancing With The Stars has also had a positive effect. But make no mistake, if Palin runs for President, especially if she wins the nomination, the media bias against her will be beyond extreme.

HA: Do you think MSNBC should have suspended Keith Olbermann for donating to Democrats he was interviewing on his show? Would Olbermann’s actions be more malpractice, or a more honest way of understanding the bias of America’s journalists?

JZ: I am actually in your camp on this Ed. Of all things that Olbermann has said that should have gotten him kicked off the air, it is amazing that one of the most honest things he has ever done is what finally does it. I am a big believer in freedom and disclosure. No one is totally objective and we shouldn’t pretend that that are. Of course I am still waiting for Keith to formally respond to my year long standing offer to give $100,000 to his favorite charity if he debates me for his whole show about Sarah Palin. Looks like that is, unfortunately, not going to happen. The guy is an ass and a coward.

I just hope that conservatives (especially those in the media who constantly complain about media bias) understand what an incredible opportunity this mainstream release is for the cause. If we take advantage of it this release actually has the rare chance to change minds of people who we usually can’t reach about what really happened in 2008 and how wrong the current mainstream narratives of President Obama and Sarah Palin really are. If we don’t take advantage of it and learn from history, I fear that 2012 may be a needless repeat of 2008.

Note: John will join me tomorrow in bonus minutes on The Ed Morrissey Show to talk more about the new release.

Update: Tommy Christopher also interviewed John for Mediaite.


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Comments

Geez, even John Ziegler is forcing me to double-dip with another release of his DVD. I thought only the greedy Hollywood studios did that.

I’m joking of course(mostly). I don’t plan on repurchasing Media Malpractice. The original documentary was very good(and infuriating to watch). My main gripe with it was actually technical rather than about the content itself. In 2009, a non-anamorphic transfer should not be happening, even on an independent release. If he fixed that on this new version, then I might be inclined to get it.

Doughboy on November 7, 2010 at 6:08 PM

John will join me tomorrow

I’ll be tuning in………….

GarandFan on November 7, 2010 at 6:24 PM

In February 2009, John Ziegler released his documentary, Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted, a two-hour review of the difference in coverage between Obama at the top of one ticket and Palin at the bottom of another.

Two years ago, HotAir editor threads smeared Ziegler’s work as immature Palin personality-cult mush.

It takes some longer than others to make cogent distinctions. What has Allahpundit to say differently now than then?

maverick muse on November 7, 2010 at 6:25 PM

the media bias against her will be beyond extreme.

precisely, they may well try to set her up as the underdog with the hope that she wins the nomination…and the take her down, like they did with the “favorite” R, John McCain

the key is to always assume Obama’s palace guard-dogs, aka washington press corps, will run at you like a pack of pit bulls if you are anywhere to the Right of, well, Barack Obama.

r keller on November 7, 2010 at 6:31 PM

maverick muse on November 7, 2010 at 6:25 PM

we’d love to see the thread!

blatantblue on November 7, 2010 at 6:34 PM

….non-anamorphic transfer….

Doughboy on November 7, 2010 at 6:08 PM

You forced me to add to my vocabulary today.

TugboatPhil on November 7, 2010 at 6:34 PM

You forced me to add to my vocabulary today.

TugboatPhil on November 7, 2010 at 6:34 PM

Ideally, that term should never be needed again at this point in time. Neither should “pan & scan”.

Doughboy on November 7, 2010 at 6:39 PM

Uh, Ed… I’m a fat, white, stupid, conservative, gun-owning, Bible-believing, evangelical Christian male. Can you explain REEEEEAALL slow and in single syllables how we might be able to view this item?

Thank you.

oldleprechaun on November 7, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Every passing day I respect Sarah’s choice to resign as Governor a Alaska and go on the hunt as a sniper. Every time she whacks the media… I love her more.

But make no mistake, if Palin runs for President, especially if she wins the nomination, the media bias against her will be beyond extreme.


He is so right. And I’m still not sure if she can overcome this in the general. If she runs she will need everyone… even Rove, to get behind her and help nullify the msm onslaught. Otherwise, it’s Obama’s game.

RalphyBoy on November 7, 2010 at 6:52 PM

Michael Reagan: “The others don’t have the passion that Sarah Palin does”

“If the boys don’t catch up quickly, it could be evening in America for them.”

“Ronald Reagan was probably the original tea party, because they said the same things about him”

Video of interview:

http://www.rightspeak.net/2010/11/michael-reagan-others-dont-have-passion.html

takeamericabackin10 on November 7, 2010 at 6:52 PM

He is so right. And I’m still not sure if she can overcome this in the general. If she runs she will need everyone… even Rove, to get behind her and help nullify the msm onslaught. Otherwise, it’s Obama’s game.

RalphyBoy on November 7, 2010 at 6:52 PM

Not sure if that’s going to cut it. Considering the election cycle is just beginning and the media is still rattled from the mid-terms, they are locked and loaded for two things: criticize every move by Boehner, Cantor and Ryan and poke fun at Palin as the sideshow.

If Obama can gain/fool any independents by moving a couple inches towards the center, it’s going to be a redux of 2008 so maybe it’s best if we have new candidates.

sherry on November 7, 2010 at 7:01 PM

My problem with Olbermann, which should have been MSNBC’s and everyone elses, was he had one of the candidates on his show the day he made the donation. Now, if he’d have said, I donate money to Congressman ——-, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. No one thinks Olbermann would donate money to a Republican anyway.

There’s not a lot of difference between Olbermann and the rest of the LSM. As the President has said, they all voted for him. They all support him. They all will do what they can to make him look good. They all did, what they could, to get him elected. There’s not much difference between that and what Olbermann did, except the donation.

bflat879 on November 7, 2010 at 7:10 PM

You cats worry too much. You know the best way to get Palin (or whoever) elected in 2012?

Get behind them 100% and stay behind them. Work like you’ve never worked before, and work like your life depends on it. (because, well … it does)

Never let a lie ANYWHERE go unanswered.

As Palin said herself, in the incredible NRO op-ed that Hot Air STILL refuses to run, 2012 will take the mother of all get out the vote efforts to win.

Again, none of this is rocket science. We have the right person with the right message. But if we want to win we have to work our butts off too.

gary4205 on November 7, 2010 at 7:20 PM

If Obama can gain/fool any independents by moving a couple inches towards the center, it’s going to be a redux of 2008 so maybe it’s best if we have new candidates.

sherry on November 7, 2010 at 7:01 PM


To be sure… it’ll be tough for anyone fighting the entrenched leftist msm… Even God would be called out for his pro-life stance and that flood thing. Besides, I don’t think Obama will need to shift, or will shift positions. He’ll have plenty of ammo and powerful allies to help him look like the horse you don’t get off of mid-stream.

Point is that Palin has just as much chance as anyone… but she’ll need to match his efforts plus make up for the past 2 years of despicable Media Malpractice. Doable? Uh yeah. Easy… Not hardly.

RalphyBoy on November 7, 2010 at 7:44 PM

As Palin said herself, in the incredible NRO op-ed that Hot Air STILL refuses to run, 2012 will take the mother of all get out the vote efforts to win.

Again, none of this is rocket science. We have the right person with the right message. But if we want to win we have to work our butts off too.

gary4205 on November 7, 2010 at 7:20 PM

It looks like HA’s not interested in this article at NRO about Palin taking on Bernanke either.

NoNails on November 7, 2010 at 7:48 PM

Now Ziegler has a new, expanded version of Media Malpractice and a brand-new distribution strategy that puts the documentary in almost every household in America beginning tomorrow morning.

It would be great if Ziegler or Breitbart or somebody media savvy could setup the MSM before the next election with some predictable red meat type of trap that would expose their corrupt complicity with the Leftists in the Donkey Posse.

Broad distribution of this video is a welcome start, but a contrived hatchet job like Rathergate on larger scale like Journolist-on-Steroids, would expose the “news” propagandists for those voters that are less sophisticated in their information consumption.

ontherocks on November 7, 2010 at 7:52 PM

The MSM went all out after Hillary in the primaries. Bill was a racist. People who didn’t vote for Obama were racist. Ferraro was racist. While Palin won’t be spared, neither will anyone else. The GOP has to stop trying to please the MSM and go with who you think is best. I can guarantee that Palin will handle the MSM better than any other candidate. She’s been doing it for the past two years and is getting better at it.

MrX on November 7, 2010 at 7:56 PM

Werk it, John. <3

I loooove Media Malpractice. I wish it had focused a bit more on the Hillary campaign before crescendoing into Sarah Palin, but que sera sera.

lansing quaker on November 7, 2010 at 7:57 PM

Every thing that H/A discussed about the MSM,
the anger crap of McCain,A to Z on Palin,the
Ambushs of Sarah,and the whole 10 yards of the
2008 election should be illuminated by Zieglars
video.Its going to be enlightening!!

canopfor on November 7, 2010 at 8:15 PM

Palin can beat Obama though. Employment beats unemployment anytime.

Mojave Mark on November 7, 2010 at 8:20 PM

As Palin said herself, in the incredible NRO op-ed that Hot Air STILL refuses to run,

gary4205 on November 7, 2010 at 7:20 PM

Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it run in the HA headlines?

BB, what say you?

Lanceman on November 7, 2010 at 8:29 PM

HA: How many households will get access to the film with VOD distribution? Who are the major carriers/cable sys

Wow, Ed, more questions like this and 60 Minutes will be knocking down your door.

Though I did notice that you failed to ask him about the lawsuit he promised against USC for wrongfully arresting him for “committing journalism.” Why no follow up on that story?

Tom_Shipley on November 7, 2010 at 8:32 PM

Speaking of media malpractice, flip-flops and inconsistencies…I really enjoyed the recently exhumed 2005 clip of Chris Matthews approving of Glenn Beck. If you haven’t seen it, you should. Beck is saying the same things then as now, and Matthews is just digging it.

What changed since then? Oh, riiiiight, The One.

disa on November 7, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Welcome to John Ziegler’s Web Page!

http://www.johnziegler.com/

canopfor on November 7, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Palin can beat Obama though. Employment beats unemployment anytime.

That would mean Obama would beat Palin, right? Obama has chosen employment by the people while Palin chose unemployment instead of working for the people.

Tom_Shipley on November 7, 2010 at 8:47 PM

MrX on November 7, 2010 at 7:56 PM

I would hope the race card is now taken out of the deck like the jokers for the serious card players.

Mirimichi on November 7, 2010 at 8:47 PM

and The View,
————-

Brawl Breaks Out on The View With John Ziegler’s On His Documentary ‘Media Malpractice’

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=77d_1233622944

canopfor on November 7, 2010 at 8:49 PM

That would mean Obama would beat Palin, right?

Tom_Shipley on November 7, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Tom_Shipley:NO,Palin can take down a Grizzly bear,or moose,
then field dress it,then take frozen mooseburger
s out for supper,tend to Trig,and then get into
her at home Fox News Studio and accomplish all
of it without a Teleprompter to tell her what sh
e should be saying!!

Oh,and Sarah might be able to see India,from
her window!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on November 7, 2010 at 8:58 PM

I love my Kindle, my husband got it for me last Christmas and we got our daughter one for her upcoming 19th birthday, she can’t wait!

The Kindle and the Amazon Kindle Store has opened up an entire world of indie authors and free books. Since several publishers decided to alienate readers with their punishing “agency model” and price gouge us, I’ve discovered many great authors at prices either free or under $2.99. Amazon is terrific at promoting indie authors. Amazon also sends out at least 30 free books a month, more than enough to keep any reader busy without ever purchasing an ebook. Not to mention all of the free classics.

I just don’t see the point of an iPad or any tablet. I won’t live in the Apple world, I can’t stand their proprietary nature. iPads are too large, expensive, and hard to read for book readers, and limited in functionality compared to the far cheaper but same-sized netbooks. iPads are also useless for reading in the sun, just like those smart phones.

It’s clear from the lack of inventory in the iBook store that Jobs never intended the iPad to be a book reader, he was just hopping on the book reader bandwagon to make sales.

Nooks are nice, but B&N is struggling financially and can’t compete with Amazon’s Kindle Store. The Kobo, Sony, and some of the other readers are also nice, but again, can’t top the Amazon Kindle Store, plus Borders is also struggling.

One thing that the Kindle does lack is support for the ePub format that would allow Kindle owners to check out ebooks from public libraries.

I still love and cherish my physical books, but nothing can beat having 900 books to choose from on a device that fits in my purse.

Common Sense on November 7, 2010 at 9:08 PM

Problem with this material is that it is only of interest to the type of people that hang out here. Frankly, I don’t need to see evidence of the sun rise. I already know that happens everyday. Same as I know that the media is in the tank for Liberals.

watson007 on November 7, 2010 at 9:27 PM

Here a heads up

The D@#$%^@$d Olbermann Is Back!

Well I guess MSNBC’s temporary moment of sanity is over; they are bring back the mental midget Keith Olbermann — Tuesday Night!

Nearly Nobody on November 7, 2010 at 10:28 PM

It seems rude that you let out a little laugh at the beginning of every question, Ed.

KS Rex on November 7, 2010 at 10:45 PM

LOL!

disa on November 7, 2010 at 11:29 PM

The only reason people have doubts about Palin is because the MSM and RINOs have put those doubts out there in hope of defeating her. They are hoping you will buy into it.

So, as a result, some people are buying into it, I see a posts where people are saying “I love (or like) her but …” To an extent, they have had some success but not so much that it can’t be turned around the same as with Reagan, and Michael Reagan seems to understand that.

Ignore the MSM and RINOs – Go to the center of the crowd and find out who they have flocked to – you will find Palin there at the center every time – then ask yourself why, despite all the attacks on her is she able to inspire and motivate so many people. Does she make you feel good about your country and it’s future? Who else does that quite as well as she does? In a choice between O and Palin you will have a clear choice between positive and negative for the first time since Reagan and Carter. Our candidate in 2012 doesn’t have to be be perfect but they do have to be electrifying, positive, inspiring, smart, tenacious, unafraid to express their vision and able to turn the tables on the MSM. There is only one person who has proven they can do all those things and that is Palin.

While the MSM and RINOs are doing a post election finger pointing, Palin is out there with a positive message for our country moving forward – we are going to need that in our next President. Reagan and FDR both understood that when times are tough a President must stay positive and inspire, it is what Hoover and Carter failed to do. So I can easily see President Palin from my house and it sure looks good to me.

Done That on November 8, 2010 at 6:25 AM

Two years ago, HotAir editor threads smeared Ziegler’s work as immature Palin personality-cult mush.

maverick muse on November 7, 2010 at 6:25 PM

It still is. I watched it last year and it had the production values one would associate with a high school a/v club video. Ziegler’s now adopted a distribution strategy that was popular 10 years ago, but whose #1 virtue is that it guarantees a bigger payout for the video owner despite reaching fewer people. Sure, it COULD reach up to 80 million people on VOD, but how many people sit down for a family movie night and scroll through the options and say, “Hey, kids! Wanna watch a 2 hour political documentary?”

His Palin crusade is so deeply emotional and personal that it is, in fact, pretty creepy.

AngusMc on November 8, 2010 at 7:39 AM

.
AP may not be interested, but the NY Sun took note
.

NoNails on November 8, 2010 at 8:32 AM

So I checked my VOD through Mediacom Cable, and it shows that it’s going for $4.99. That’s more than a movie rental. Why would anybody pay $5 to watch it over a regular movie? I don’t know how much negotiation Ziegler gets in determining price points through the various outlets, but it seems to me that if you want to get more people to watch the film, you’d want to at least price it the same as a physical movie rental. It should be $2.99 or less.

zauriel on November 8, 2010 at 3:22 PM

if Palin runs for President, especially if she wins the nomination, the media bias against her will be beyond extreme.

1) they will for ever GOP candidate

2) At this point unless Palin makes a major gaffe there is no bad crap left they can make up and BE BELIEVED.

There is the big point. The media by their treatment has made Palin teflon. Even if they find a smoking gun they will not be believed.

the attacks on her “cost the GOP the senate” are so funny. they are dying stillborn and people like Bucus and Graham better be prepared for primary battles. because the facts are just not there. Her record of 70% sucess in the midterms, the fact she did not endorse in the primary those they are trying to say she endorsed…..etc

unseen on November 9, 2010 at 2:12 AM