Washington Post Metro reporter Aaron Davis has an excellent story in today's paper about ethically-deficient D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) attending a reelection campaign fundraiser at the home of an "incarcerated real estate mogul" who is guilty of having "prey[ed] on homeowners facing foreclosure." Said home, by the way, is $36,000 in arrears on D.C. property taxes. Last year some of Davis's colleagues reported on how the Gray administration had moved to evict elderly residents from their houses for paltry sums of backpaid taxes, many times in cases where they had not been properly notified that they owed the District any money.
Unfortunately for Davis, and more importantly, for Post readers, his editors decided to shuffle his story off to page C5 in the Sunday paper. By contrast, they plastered the front page of Metro with an above-the-fold headline scolding the Virginia state legislature -- the lower house of which is dominated by Republicans -- for not going far enough in its ethics reforms: "Va. moves to tighten ethics rules -- but not too much."
No one should ever argue that when a morning show like ABC's "Good Morning America" doesn't cover serious news events -- from Obama scandals to boring debates about the farm bill -- it's because it has too many important stories to cover.
In the second hour of Thursday's show, ABC wasted three minutes promoting its own Oscar show for Sunday night with parody trailers of the Best Picture nominees. They plopped George Stephanopoulos into "The Wolf of Wall Street," but most of the time was devoted to the film "American Hustle," with anchor Josh Elliott in the Bradley Cooper role and badly man-dressed Lara Spencer in the Christian Bale role:
Governor Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.) just vetoed SB 1062, and ABC’s This Week hyped the “spirited nationwide debate” that surrounded the governor’s decision. The bill would have allowed private businesses to deny service to certain individuals, such as baking a wedding cake for a gay wedding, on religious grounds.
Despite the cases across the nation where private businesses have been sued over the issue, the media was overwhelmingly biased in their coverage of the bill, portraying SB 1062 as an anti-gay bill without ever giving the religious freedom argument consideration.
Ben Affleck, an actor who himself admitted that he was “not a Congo expert” was given star treatment on Sunday’s This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos. Earlier this week, the liberal actor testified before Congress on the war-torn nation of Congo, and the folks at ABC couldn’t have been happier to obtain an exclusive interview with him.
Host George Stephanopoulos cheered how “Ben Affleck scored some bipartisan praise on Capitol Hill this week...The Oscar winner’s traveled there nine times for his Eastern Congo initiative. And as he told Martha Raddatz, that mission has changed his life.”
In the Washington Post’s free commuter tabloid Express on Thursday, writer Kristen Page-Kirby wrote a little “Film Riffs” feature about Jesus movies headlined “Jesus Is Magic” (yep, also a title of a snide Sarah Silverman special).
Page-Kirby explained that “In ‘Son of God,’ out Friday, Diogo Morgado plays Jesus of Nazareth, a homeless rabbi who spent a chunk of his childhood as a refugee. Jesus can be quite the box-office draw.” She then listed five movies, none of which were the massive Mel Gibson box-office hit we all remember from 2004. Guess what topped the list instead?
They love MSNBC at the hard-left magazine The Nation. Their writers – Ari Melber and Melissa Harris-Perry – have become MSNBC “talent.” Still, in an article on "MSNBC And Its Discontents," former Village Voice advertising critic Leslie Savan admitted there that “The daily, hour-long format, often featuring hosts from other MSNBC shows and a familiar rotation of guest pundits can be mind-numbing,” as with other cable-news stations. She wasn't a fan of the Ronan Farrow debut, which she found dull.
But Savan has a confession: she watches MSNBC too much, and she’s amazed a network “can be so unabashedly left-liberal and survive in the corporate media”:
Bret Baier opened a panel segment on his show Friday night with a flashback to President Barack Obama’s snide ridiculing, of Mitt Romney’s now seeming prescient concern about Russia’s “geo-political” threat, during the October 22, 2012 presidential debate. “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the cold war has been over for 20 years,” Obama lectured.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, GOP Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin made what has turned out to be a prescient remark about the relevance of a U.S. president's resolve and its potential impact on Russia's posture with the old Soviet Union's satellite states. She observed: "After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama's reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia's Putin to invade Ukraine next."
Many in the press ridiculed that notion. Among them was Blake Hounshell, who was then blogging at Foreign Policy Magazine. Characterizing Palin's notion as "strange," he wrote: "As we've said before, this is an extremely far-fetched scenario." Hounshell, now a deputy editor at Politico Magazine, has handled Palin's self-effacing Facebook "I told you so" ("I could see this one from Alaska") and pile-ons by center-right blogs too numerous to mention with tweets demonstrating the class, dignity, and good sportsmanship you would expect from the high-brow commentariat, i.e., none (HT Twitchy).
You might have missed this -- hey, we can't blame you, we watch so you don't have to -- but, "MSNBC's Ed Schultz said on the air last week that his favorite president is Barack Obama," NewsBusted anchor Jodi Miller noted on the latest edition of the NewsBusters original comedy production. "'Stay away from my man!' snapped an angry Chris Matthews."
For Jodi's funny takes on everything from Starbucks to nutty environmentalists to the dopey radical Muslim fatwa against living on Mars, watch the February 28 edition of NewsBusted in the video embed after the page break. You can watch more NewsBusted by visiting the YouTube channel here.
NPR celebrates political anniversaries – when it likes them. They celebrated the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, when when it had already faded away. This week, NPR aired five stories discussing the fourth anniversary of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative to get kids to eat better and exercise.
But there was no story on the fifth anniversary of the Tea Party. The closest thing was a Mara Liasson analysis on Thursday of how the Senate races look tough for Democrats this fall – if the Republicans can keep the Tea Party extremists at bay:
This past Thursday in a Capitol Hill hotel ballroom, the group Tea Party Patriots marked its fifth anniversary with a event that featured speakers such as Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. On Friday, Daily Kos writer Hunter celebrated the occasion in his own way with a post containing plenty of snarky comments about what was said at the gathering.
For example, after quoting a story from CNN.com's Political Ticker blog which noted that "many speakers...hit back against the charge that the tea party has racist elements," Hunter sniped, "If your anniversary commemoration needs to be punctuated by repeated assertions that you're not racists, you're probably doing something wrong."
The Page Six gossips at The New York Post reported the other day that newly minted MSNBC host Ronan Farrow could not be asked any sticky personal questions -- mostly about his warring family over charges of sexual abuse by Woody Allen against his sister Dylan Farrow -- at an event where he was winning a "Cronkite Award" after being a journalist for three days.
Who demanded the brand-new journalist not be asked tough questions by journalists? In an update after the event, the group honoring Farrow, Reach the World, first told Page Six it came from Farrow’s publicists, then completely flip-flopped and claimed it wasn’t Farrow’s publicists:
Perhaps because President Obama is looking pitiably weak in his mano a mano with Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine, ABC News chose to bury the story during today's Good Morning America. Incredibly, the show-opening teaser didn't mention the Ukraine--but did highlight the latest on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. As the program unfolded, and before saying a word about the Ukraine, GMA inexcusably chose to air segments on rain in California, snow in the North, a laser being shined into a plane's cockpit, an airplane bird strike, the arrest of a Mexican drug lord, the cause of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, and Mardi Gras in Brazil.
When GMA finally got around to the most serious story in the world right now, it did its best to protect President Obama. Two nights ago on FNC, Charles Krauthammer did a devastating take-down on President Obama's feeble statement, saying “the Ukrainians, and I think everybody, is shocked by the weakness of Obama’s statement. I find it rather staggering.” So how did GMA's reporter Alex Marquardt describe the Obama statement? As a "harsh warning." Gag me with a kalashnikov, and view the video after the jump.
Sen. Mark Warner is running for re-election this fall, and despite having an (undeserved) reputation as a pro-business Democrat, he’s no fan of the Tea Party. Apparently, they’re dummies.
NPR’s game show “Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!” interviewed him briefly on February 22 -- let's make the geeky millionaire Democrat look cooler -- and when comedian Alonzo Bodden compared the Tea Party to devoted fans of troubled teen idol Justin Bieber, Warner shot back they’re “both about equally informed.” Here’s the setup:
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion conglomerate, did an interview Thursday on the new Fusion network with anchorman Jorge Ramos.
The section sparking everyone’s attention came when Ramos – self-respecting enough to offer more than the piffle a Ronan Farrow offers on MSNBC – asked when life begins for Richards. She labored mightily not to answer, since abortion advocates eschew science and believe that women should be able to abort even AFTER a child is born:
Steve Hartman had trouble holding back his own tears on Friday's CBS Evening News, as he profiled the beyond kind act of an eight-year-old boy in Ohio. Myles Eckert, whose father was killed in Iraq when he was just a baby, enclosed a $20 bill he found in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant in a note, and gave them to a member of the Ohio Air National Guard who was having lunch there.
Hartman interviewed both Eckert and Lieutenant Colonel Frank Dailey, who received the heartfelt message from the Gold Star son (text of Eckert's note, and video of Hartman's report below the jump):
There those damn conservatives go again, trying to pass a bill to regulate abortion clinics and maybe save unborn lives in the process. Don't they know that sensible, moderate Republicans like Arizona governor Jan Brewer have had it with their shenanigans and want to get on to business that is less, well, controversial?