2012 Convention Watch

By Kyle Drennen | September 6, 2012 | 12:42 PM EDT

On Thursday, the hosts of NBC's Today could barely contain their glee over former President Bill Clinton addressing the Democratic National Convention, with Savannah Guthrie proclaiming: "Life of the party. Former President Bill Clinton delivers a powerful and partisan speech....blasting Republicans, and in the throes of a bad economy, making the case for four more years." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Moments later, Matt Lauer gushed that President Obama had "a really tough act to follow after what was an enthusiastic and powerful endorsement" from Clinton. In a later report, Meet the Press host David Gregory joined in the Clinton lovefest with his own rave review: "Bill Clinton simply owned the room here, stayed longer than he was supposed to, but nobody seemed to mind....it was an appearance that was the height of political stagecraft."

Gregory excitedly added: "Here was one of the party's biggest heros leveraging his enormous popularity to vouch for President Obama..." And observed that Clinton "was happier than ever in the spotlight."

By Scott Whitlock | September 6, 2012 | 11:51 AM EDT

ABC on Wednesday and Thursday buried coverage of the embarrassing spectacle of Democratic delegates booing the reinsertion of God and Jerusalem to the party's platform. World News, Nightline and live coverage of Wednesday's convention completely ignored the gaffe. Good Morning America's Jake Tapper on Thursday breezed by it with a single sentence: "Lots of infighting about the party platform."

What was the problem, exactly? Tapper didn't say. (He did explain it online.) NBC's Nightly News and the CBS Evening News both covered it, Wednesday night. On Thursday, CBS This Morning's Nancy Cordes observed that "earlier in the day," the "party had to publicly rework the Democratic platform because they forgot to put a mention of God in there and a mention about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel." The program then featured video of convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa trying to force through the additions of God and Israel. Boos rained down. [See video below. See MP3 audio here.]

By Matt Vespa | September 6, 2012 | 6:31 AM EDT

During early Thursday morning's coverage of the Democratic National Convention, CNN’s Piers Morgan interviewed Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), liberal activist Sandra Fluke, and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.  It turned out to be a massive pandering to Fluke and nice vehicle for Rep. Israel, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), to disseminate falsehoods that Morgan allowed to skirt by.  

By Ken Shepherd | September 6, 2012 | 2:18 AM EDT

I guess when Chris Matthews stays up past his bedtime, he gets really goofy. In a chat with former Saturday Night Live star Darrell Hammond -- best known for his skits impersonating Bill Clinton -- Matthews gushed of Clinton that he's such a natural politician and conversationalist that you could put him on Mars and he'd find a way to quickly seduce the Martians.

"I always figured that if Bill Clinton landed on Mars, he would know how to do it with them, he would know how to reproduce, he would know everything. He'd just instinctively know how to talk to people," Matthews gushed. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]

By Matt Hadro | September 6, 2012 | 1:21 AM EDT

Piers Morgan couldn't contain himself on Wednesday night as he adulated President Clinton as an "oratorical genius" who is "right up there with Churchill, Kennedy, MLK, and Mandela." CNN wasn't called the "Clinton News Network" for nothing.

"[T]hat was pound for pound, dollar for dollar, one of the great modern political speeches I have ever heard," sounded Morgan later on his show. He even asked on Twitter if Clinton could be British prime minister.

By Matt Hadro | September 6, 2012 | 12:20 AM EDT

After hyping that Bill Clinton might deliver "his patented rocket fuel" to the DNC on Wednesday night, ABC swooned over his "perfect tone" and compared him to an "old pro."

"Strikes me, George, like one of those movies where the old pro comes out of retirement, filled with vitality, and does he know how to ride the waves inside this arena," gushed Diane Sawyer. Former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos called it "the best nomination a man could hope for."

By Matt Hadro | September 5, 2012 | 11:29 PM EDT

A day after CNN salivated over Michelle Obama's DNC address, ABC hyped the enthusiasm at the Democratic Convention as hitting unprecedented levels on Wednesday night.

"Look, I have never seen a Democratic convention like this," insisted commentator Cokie Roberts. "When the President, the former President, comes out, they – it is going to be a moment like no moment you've seen."

By Matt Vespa | September 5, 2012 | 10:26 PM EDT

If you have tickets for the Democratic National Convention and wanted to see President Barack Obama deliver his acceptance speech this Thursday at Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium, you’ll be greatly disappointed.  Despite the official excuse of severe weather -- forecasters put the chance of storms at 20-30 percent -- the change in venue really seems to be because Obama campaign officials fear they can't fill the 74,000-seat stadium.

Reporting that, of course, is unfathomable for the lapdog broadcast media, but some print and online reporters are skeptical.

By Matt Hadro | September 5, 2012 | 9:26 PM EDT

When CNN's Piers Morgan argued that President Obama needed time to fix the economy, Paul Ryan answered him on Wednesday that Obama slowed what should have been a quick recovery.

"You have to give President Obama a bit of time just to get things back on track," the liberal CNN host pushed. Ryan countered that "usually when we have a deep recession in America, we come bounding out of it with fast economic growth and quick job creation," before adding "We're limping out of this recession right now."

By Ken Shepherd | September 5, 2012 | 8:47 PM EDT

MSNBC's Chris Matthews this evening finally got the chance to interview Julian Castro, the Democratic mayor of San Antonio, Texas, whom Matthews insisted had given one of the "greatest" political speeches he ever heard Tuesday night.

It was, of course, a thoroughly softball interview, but it concluded on an odd note, with Matthews delving into his unhealthy obsession with "birtherism" to ask Castro why his home state is so chock full of people who don't believe President Obama is a natural-born citizen [MP3 audio here; video follows page break].

By Matt Vespa | September 5, 2012 | 7:44 PM EDT

Shortly after 5 p.m. Eastern today, it took three attempts for Democrats to reinstate the words "God" and "Jerusalem" into their party platform, drawing some reactions of despondency from the more liberal members of the party. Over on MSNBC, for example, Chris Hayes called it a "craven capitulation."  

This shift from the original platform that omitted God and did not explicitly express support of Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital wasn’t mentioned once during ABC World News September 5 broadcast. Below is video from C-SPAN of the actual vote on the matter, which, you can tell was unlikely an actual 2/3rd vote for the rule change.

By Kyle Drennen | September 5, 2012 | 4:45 PM EDT

During the Today's Professionals panel segment on Wednesday's NBC Today, fill-in co-host Tamron Hall promoted an online petition to get 90-year-old actress Betty White to appear at the Democratic National Convention, noting that the creator of the petition, "is concerned that Clint Eastwood gave elderly people a bad name with what he did" at the Republican convention.

Advertising executive Donny Deutsch declared that "Republicans still have egg on their face from the Clint Eastwood thing" and urged the Democrats not to do it. NBC medical editor Nancy Snyderman added: "I would not counter something that didn't go well." Attorney Star Jones rounded out the discussion by calling on Democrats to "Let the stench stay over there," meaning on the Republican side.