Former Newsweek editor Jonathan Alter appeared on The Ed Show, Tuesday, to lobby for more boycotts of the "racist" Rush Limbaugh. The radio host's crime, according to the writer, is making a few joking comments about the shoe-throwing incident involving Hillary Clinton. On his show, Limbaugh mused, "I can totally relate to people who think that everything the Clintons do is staged...I just don't attach much genuineness to them."
Limbaugh allowed, "Maybe it's because in my subconscious, I think it was staged." Alter railed against Limbaugh, assailing, "When do more boycotts of Rush Limbaugh's sponsors come? You know, there's been some racist garbage over the years. He's been racist on any number of occasions. " Alter lamented that there has only been " a little bit of a boycott" over past incidents.[UPDATED with video. MP3 audio here.]
Tax Day, April 15, is a perfect day for a news organization to publish stories about tax reform debates, including the notion that perhaps we should do away with a national income tax and replace it with a national sales tax. Perhaps instead we should have a flat tax with very few, if any, deductions, credits, and all kinds of other exemptions which gum up the tax code.
A sensible news organization would throw open the doors to such a spirited discussion. But the folks at MSNBC? Well, let's just say they found an occasion to promote their desired goal of nationwide state recognition of -- as well as the licensing for -- same-sex marriage.
Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich made a very curious statement on Monday’s Morning Joe. During a roundtable discussion on income inequality, former congressman Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) asked Reich what policies, besides raising the minimum wage, the government should employ in order to improve economic mobility and increase middle class purchasing power. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Reich, who is significantly to the left on economic issues, signaled his support for expanding the earned income tax credit, but then added that we should also “spread ownership,” asserting, “ [W]e really do have to spread, seriously, ownership because if most of the gains are coming from stock rate gains, the whole country ought to be part of that.”
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's John King hyped the Congressional Budget Office's projection about ObamaCare – that "yes, ObamaCare is expensive, but less expensive than they thought – by about $104 billion over 10 years. That's a decent junk of change." King asserted that the health care issue is "the big domestic challenge for the President and for Democrats this election year: that is...trying to defend it – you could say now, maybe, bragging – about ObamaCare."
The journalist then expressed his bewilderment that Democrats weren't playing up this CBO projection: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Bergen claimed that “white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology.” He cited a New America study which counted 34 people killed by right-wing extremist acts and just 23 people killed by Al Qaeda-linked terrorism, after 9/11. Why start there? Wouldn’t the 2,977 people killed that day by jihadists skew those findings somewhat?
In the first of a series of tweets sent out Tuesday morning, NBC senior political editor Mark Murray complained: "Why ObamaCare's (un)popularity is probably going to continue: ACA opponents have sole control over the airwaves." In a follow-up tweet, Murray cited the Campaign Media Analysis Group: "Per CMAG's Elizabeth Wilner, number of anti-Obamacare commericials since March 31: 32 Number of pro-Obamacare commercials: 0"
In a third tweet minutes later, Murray explained: "Political scientists believe TV ads have an impact on public opinion when one side has unilateral control over the airwaves." What the NBC journalist failed to acknowledge was the massive pro-ObamaCare push his network and others have engaged in over recent months.
Barack Obama may have given Chris Matthews a "thrill" up his leg, but the MSNBC host is pretty excited about Hillary Clinton in 2016. Matthews was so worked up on Monday night that he wondered if Republicans have "given up on beating" Clinton. Unsurprisingly, the cable anchor is unimpressed with the current crop of Republican contenders.
After discussing Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, he derided, "Have Republicans on the right given up on beating Hillary Clinton in the center? Have they given up on beating her altogether?" Speculating as to whether Republicans think voters will follow them "all the way to the ticked off outskirts" of where Paul and Cruz live, Matthews disbelievingly questioned, "Do they really think America is ready for a dance in the moonlight with one of those guys?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The host later speculated that 2016 could be like the landslides of 1964 and 1972.
The New York Times has made a front-page push for higher taxes and stringent regulation in the name of "climate change" two days in a row (the Washington Post had the self-control to leave its own related stories off the front page).
Monday afternoon at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Andrew Taylor predictably described the House's passage of the Ryan Budget in shrill terms (in order of appearance): "A slashing budget blueprint"; "Sweeping budget cuts"; balances the budget "at the expense of poor people and seniors"; "sharp cuts to domestic programs"; "staking out a hard line for the future"; and "tough cuts." Naturally, he failed to disclose that the Ryan budget increases the federal government's total outlays in each and every fiscal year from 2015 to 2024, with the final projected year coming in at $4.995 trillion, or 42 percent above the $3.523 trillion in spending the Congressional Budget Office predicted yesterday for fiscal 2014.
In the process of performing the AP's usual hatchet job, Taylor let loose with a howler about the federal government's ability to continue on its current financial path. The AP reporter may also have inadvertently let something slip into his narrative about the viability of a cherished government program, something which is a deep, dark secret to most Americans, but is quite well-known to those who watch things more closely:
In the battle for balanced news, score one each for Univision and Telemundo. Unlike the CBS, NBC and ABC evening news, both Noticiero Univision and Noticiero Telemundo on Friday night included soundbites from conservative leaders on the resignation of President Obama’s HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius.
On Univision, correspondent Lourdes Meluzá ran a clip of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who noted that Sebelius has been the principle face of “the disaster that has been, is and will continue to be ObamaCare.” Even more noteworthy, Univision’s report also featured Tea Party Patriots President Jenny Beth Martin, who called ObamaCare the former Secretary’s “legacy of shame” and said Sebelius “could go down in history as one of the most incompetent Cabinet secretaries in the history of the Republic."
Days after labeling comedian Stephen Colbert a "darling of the far left" and "ideological fanatic," on Monday, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly again called out the David Letterman replacement: "Colbert has built an entire career on pleasing the left. And if you don't believe me, check out the reportage on his ascension, the far-left web sides and writers are thrilled." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
O'Reilly predicted the Comedy Central host would have a tough time drawing viewers to the CBS Late Show: "So he has to compete with Fallon and Kimmel who are basically high-energy guys who want to have a good time on their shows. Be hard to fathom that 40% of Americans who describe themselves as conservative will watch Colbert, and that's a lot of folks to lose from the jump."
On April 15, 2013, one year ago, two Muslim extremists planted bombs at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring 264 others. This tragic event was sadly exploited by some in the media who quickly speculated that "extreme right" and "anti-government" individuals could be responsible for the mayhem.[See below for a round-up, including video, of the worst examples of journalistic malpractice.]
The morning after the attack, Good Morning America's Pierre Thomas narrated a segment with an on-screen graphic wondering, "Could this be homegrown terror?" Thomas noted that April 15th was only four days before the anniversaries of the bloody end of the Branch Davidian standoff and the Oklahoma City bombing. Regarding the date the attack occurred, GMA guest Mark Potok linked, "The real Patriots Day is April 19th. That is the date that counts for people on the extreme right in the United States." [MP3 audio here.]
The federal tax filing deadline has arrived. Tax season, when H&R Block commercials are as inescapable as news how-to segments about filing taxes, is nearly over.
But there’s one big tax story the broadcast networks practically ignored this year: the Obamacare taxes that just took effect. The network evening news shows have aired 40 stories or news briefs that mentioned “Obamacare” or the “Affordable Care Act” between Jan. 1, 2014, and April 13, 2014. But 87.5 percent (35 of 40) of those ignored the taxes associated with the legislation by failing to mention any taxes or penalties related to Obamacare. (Video is available after the break)
Reason.tv and libertarian comedian Remy have teamed up for another great parody video out in time for Tax Day. Remy reworked the Pharrell Williams hit, "Happy," to detail all the "Crappy" ways big government blithely wastes our hard-earned dollars.
At this point it might take a dead body to get the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks to give the IRS-Tea Party scandal any sort of real coverage. Huge developments in the last week – like IRS official Lois Lerner receiving a criminal referral from the House Ways and Means Committee and e-mails proving she fed tax information on a targeted group to the staff of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D) – were completely censored by ABC and NBC news. Only a 90 second report on Thursday’s CBS This Morning kept last week’s revelations from being totally blacked out on the Big Three networks.
In the last seven days the following IRS scandal developments have emerged:
The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky has an unfortunate habit of making outlandish statements to attack the GOP. In his latest piece, the liberal columnist used recent comments made by Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) to argue that “You’re in denial to think Steve Israel is wrong about GOP racism.”
As a refresher, Congressman Israel argued that “not all” GOP lawmakers are racist but “to a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism.” In typical Tomasky fashion, the frequent MSNBC guest jumped on the comments and used to attack the entire Republican Party.
Q. How do you know when Barack Obama has set a dubious new record for presidential weakness? A. When Jimmy Carter's former top adviser mocks his anemic response to an international crisis.
On today's Morning Joe, Zbigniew Brzezinski argued that the US needs to discuss with Ukraine the provision of defensive weapons in the face of the Russian threat. He then mockingly observed: "the Ukrainians did ask us for help in that regard. Do you know what our answer has been? We offered them prepackaged food for their soldiers. Well, you can't win a military conflict by throwing pancakes at somebody." The laughter on the normally Obama-friendly set should still be ringing in the President's ears. View the video after the jump.
One of the tender mercies of Stephen Colbert's ascension to the "Late Show" set at CBS is his shedding of the faux-conservative "high-status idiot" character. To conservatives, this "Colbert" has never seemed authentic or sustained cleverness -- how many times can you say you don't read or even like books? It mostly marks the deep ruts of liberal arrogance in their own mental superiority. Colbert has perpetually had trouble staying inside this character, always winking at and mocking it more than inhabiting it.
To liberals, abandoning this thin charade is far too much sincerity for an ironic age. They love their idiot conservative, and aren't dealing well with its departure. Hendrik Hertzberg at The New Yorker, a former Carter speechwriter and Newsweek reporter, is putting on a black armband in mourning. He sincerely believes "The Character" is a "miraculous and unparalleled intellectual and political achievement." Break out the smelling salts:
On Thursday, Christopher Rugaber's assignment at the Associated Press was to cover that day's release of Uncle Sam's Monthly Treasury Statement for March.
If the AP economics writer had limited the scope of his coverage to the statement itself, his coverage would have been passed muster. But, as he and his AP colleagues so often do, Rugaber felt it was duty to offer what he must have thought was helpful analysis. He wrote that March's reported $37 billion deficit, an admitted significant improvement over the March 2013 result, even after adjusting for timing differences in end-of-month receipts and outlays, was "the latest sign of improvement in the nation's finances." The last time I checked, running significantly in the red is not an improvement. It really signifies less rapid deterioration, especially since fiscal 2014 in full is still expected to end with deficit of over $500 billion.
On Friday, Erik Wemple -- a blogger for the Washington Post -- announced that the “renowned investigative reporter” Michael Isikoff was leaving the “Peacock Network” that day because “it was increasingly clear" that the news division “was moving in directions in which there were going to be fewer opportunities for my work,” Isikoff told the New York Times.
After 33 years, NBC investigative reporter Lisa Myers left the network in January. In a statement later on Friday, Richard Esposito -- the senior executive producer of the shrinking NBC News investigative unit -- praised Isikoff by asserting: