Since the announcement of Nelson Mandela's death Thursday, the media have been in a virtual wall to wall tribute to his life and legacy. Yet not everyone thinks they're painting an accurate picture of the man.
Quite the contrary, Cornel West told CNN's Jake Tapper Friday, "We are witnessing the Santa Clausification of Nelson Mandela" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Mark Levin laid into Chris Matthews on his national radio show Friday night over the MSNBC host oozing on Now with Alex Wagner that South African F.W. deKlerk was more patriotic than Republicans because he "had treated Nelson Mandela so different than the way Mitch McConnell handled the election of Obama." Sharpton hailed the wisdom of Al Sharpton for saying the wisest thing in five years.
"The big dummy hasn’t heard something as smart in five years as something that came out of Reverend Al Sharpton’s mouth," shot back Levin. "Does that show you what a moron he is?" Levin couldn't stand the way media figures are trying to compare Obama to Mandela and the Republicans to apartheid-era racists:
Katie Couric put herself on the wrong side of liberals Wednesday with a show questioning the safety of the Gardasil vaccine to prevent the Human Papilloma Virus that causes cervical cancer.
Liberals have pushed parents of junior-high girls to get the vaccine with the assumption that they’ll be sexually active at 12. The Los Angeles Times reported former Newsweek media reporter Seth Mnookin was the first journalist to get upset:
The media's determination to pin anything negative on Texas Senator Ted Cruz apparently knows no bounds.
Even as the establishment press, with Politico's Reid Epstein being one of the more recent examples, attempts to give President Obama the Mother of All Free Passes for the disastrous rollouts of HealthCare.gov and Obamacare in general, Cruz, currently perceived as a strong 2016 presidential prospect, somehow deserves to be associated with comments left at his Facebook post on Nelson Mandela's death. At least that's what Anneta Konstantinides at ABC's "The Note" seems to want readers to believe; otherwise, why would she engage in the effort at all? Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine; HT Twitchy):
The rapper Kanye West is known as one of the Western world’s largest egotists, which is really saying something in the boastful world of rap. He’s appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone in a crown of thorns, and if that wasn’t obvious enough, his last album was titled “Yeesus.” On one song, he said Jesus was “the most high,” but he was “a close high.”
Now he’s offending the Jews. In a radio interview with MTV personality Sway Calloway in New York, he came to Barack Obama’s defense by asserting “Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people. Black people don’t have the same connection as oil people.” Still no mention from liberals – except to maintain that criticism of West is driven by racism.
The ongoing effort to insulate President Barack Obama from the negative consequences of his "signature achievement," not only with the HealthCare.gov web site but also his false "If you like your plan-doctor-provider, you can keep your plan-doctor-provider" guarantees, is a sickening sight to behold.
Reid Epstein at the Politico contributed one small chapter in that exercise. He decided to "report" on the portion of the President's interview with MSNBC sycophant Chris Matthews (some related NewsBusters posts are here, here, and here) concerning whether Obama's "management style" contributed to "problems with the Obamacare rollout." The predictable answers: Of course not, he doesn't need to change anything, and there's no reason why a reporter should even be the least bit skeptical. Oh, and it's really all Congress's fault (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
“It’s a leak Barbara Walters doesn’t want you to know about,” the New York Daily News gossip column “Confidential” promised on Wednesday. “The ABC News doyenne pushed hard to have NSA leaker Edward Snowden at the top of her list of 10 most fascinating people of the year — but in the end was overruled by network brass,” said a source. Snowden did not cooperate.
“She had a particular fascination with the former NSA contractor, we’re told, because at one point she believed he would be chosen as Time magazine’s Person of the Year.” Snowden is on the list of 10, but the number-one pick remains unknown until the show airs, which is on December 18. Then there were the Clintons:
When Rush Limbaugh caused a stir with his comments about feminist activist Sandra Fluke, the media were whipped into a frenzy, with the Big Three broadcast networks devoting 32 stories to the row in two weeks' time. Yet there were a grand total of zero stories devoted to former MSNBC host Martin Bashir expressing on his November 15 program that he would like to see someone defecate into the former Alaska governor's mouth.
"It was 100-fold more serious than anything Rush Limbaugh has ever said about anyone in 30 years on his show. Yet [there were] 32 stories, which is a tsunami, on Rush Limbaugh, nothing, crickets about Martin Bashir," Media Research Center founder and president Brent Bozell told Fox News host Megyn Kelly on the December 6 edition of The Kelly File. Bozell added that Bashir was symptomatic of "a real misogyny" at MSNBC against conservative women [WATCH video below page break; LISTEN to MP3 audio here]:
Ryan Glasspiegel at Romenesko drew out more details from writer Charles Davis about his article for Vice.com on the trend of unpaid internships and left-wing media outlets that profess to abhor exploitative employers. It was called "The Exploited Labor of the Liberal Media." (Our summary is here.)
When Davis peeked at the comments his article drew, "Only a few people took the bosses’ sides." A few tried to suggest that a boss at Mother Jones or Pacifica Radio making upwards of $150,000 isn't "rich," and Davis said tell that to an unpaid intern:
With the passing of Nelson Mandela yesterday, it was a metaphysical certainty that the media would draw parallels between the legendary South African leader and Barack Obama. So it was not a surprise when it happened during a tribute package at the beginning of Friday’s Morning Joe.
As triumphant footage of Mandela rolled on the screen, co-host Mika Brzezinski read a scripted narrative: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
After he conducted a fawning interview with Barack Obama on Thursday, Chris Matthews turned to his liberal journalist friends for adulation. Former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman fawned over Obama and, at the same time, sympathized with the President: "Now, he's gone from Superman to Sisyphus. He's talking about rolling a boulder up the hill." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
What kind of metaphor is the journalist trying to make? Sisyphus had to roll a bolder up a hill as punishment for deception. Surely, that's not the liberal reporter's point? Speaking of the President, Fineman, who now is the editorial director for Huffington Post, lectured, "[Obama] has a much more mature view, but he has a moral view. I thought he made the moral case for ObamaCare."
On Friday's CBS This Morning, former Time magazine managing editor Richard Stengel unexpectedly zeroed in on a part of Nelson Mandela's legacy that apparently wasn't sufficiently left wing. Moments after he lionized Mandela as "the George Washington of South Africa", Stengel asserted that "he [Mandela] had not been very progressive about HIV and AIDS when he was president".
Veteran 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon also sang Mandela's praises, to the point that he made an eyebrow-raising comment about the supposed extent that the former South African president stands apart in recent history: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Filling in for host Chuck Todd on Thursday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, Luke Russert suggested liberal calls for a hike in the minimum wage had created a "tough issue for Republicans" and that by opposing the idea, the GOP would "risk looking like Grinches over the holiday season." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson pushed back: "In a way, but remember, who was president last time a minimum wage increase was signed into law? It was President Bush. And the way they got their was by saying, 'You need to have some tax cuts for small businesses embedded in this law in order to get it through because there are going to be some businesses that if these cuts aren't included are gonna switch to not hiring these folks.'"
With the recent high profile dismissal of hosts Alec Baldwin and Martin Bashir, you would think MSNBC executives would have warned their on air employees to tone down the inflammatory rhetoric.
Apparently not, for on Now with Alex Wagner Friday, Chris Matthews actually said that South Africa's last apartheid era leader F.W. de Klerk was more of a patriot than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Friday morning CNN hosted Richard Stengel, an Obama administration nominee, to discuss the President's connections to the late Nelson Mandela without disclosing Stengel's pending State Department position.
Stengel is the former managing editor of Time magazine and hailed Obama's "eloquent" words: "I thought the President was very eloquent yesterday, talking about what President Mandela meant to him. I think, in many ways, Mandela was partially responsible for Barack Obama's own political awakening."
On Thursday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter played the liberal caricature by actually suggesting that, in light of former South African President Nelson Mandela's passing, Americans should practice "forgiveness" toward "hundreds of thousands of people" who are serving life prison sentences. Speaking to host Al Sharpton, Alter suggested:
An irritated Barbara Walters on Thursday touted the importance of the separation of church and state. The View hosts discussed a new ad by Democratic Senator Mark Pryor, under fire for supporting ObamaCare, in which he labeled himself a Bible-believing Christian. Walters declared, "The basic tenet in America is the separation. And it's very important. And it's very important, the separation of church and state." Of course, "separation of church and state" is nowhere in the Constitution. Walters didn't mention this.
She added, "We talk about the separation between church and state and almost every president ends up saying so help me God." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Walters recounted, "Now, most presidents swear on a Bible before taking office, even though we have the separation between church and state."
On Thursday night's Media Mash on Fox News Channel, Sean Hannity and MRC president Brent Bozell were quick off the mark, denouncing Chris Matthews for failing to press Barack Obama about the broken promises and lies of Obamacare.
Both men lined up questions they would have asked. "Let's say little old Sean Hannity gets to interview the president. What, at this moment, you have an audience of kids, what are the main questions that you think, that you would ask the president?" (Video, transcript below)
Amid the tributes looking back at the life of former South African President Nelson Mandela following his death on Thursday, Friday's NBC Today and ABC's Good Morning America both managed to take shots at Ronald Reagan for not being supportive of Mandela during Apartheid. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Today, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell proclaimed: "The U.S. wasn't always on Mandela's side. In the 1980s, President Reagan supported the Apartheid regime, a cold war ally, even as protests broke out on college campuses across America demanding that the U.S. punish the regime....Finally, Congress, including key Republicans, overrode Reagan's veto, imposing the economic sanctions that helped break the Apartheid regime."