On Monday’s CBS "Evening News," correspondent Sandra Hughes highlighted "trend-setting California" for "tackling ground-breaking issues the federal government won’t touch." She listed liberal policies enacted by California, such as funding embryonic stem cell research, raising the minimum wage, providing discounts for prescription drugs, and for enacting "the nation’s most restrictive law on greenhouse gas emissions." Hughes further noted that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s "saving grace" has been his decision to work with Democrats instead of against them.
"Evening News" anchor Katie Couric introduced the segment calling the Congress do-nothing, and portrayed California as a trail blazing state:
The New York Times sure doesn't like it when Republicans fail to give proper respect to Democratic politicians. Here's Mark Leibovich in his Tuesday story from the home district of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, "Controversy Gives Hastert Time at Home."
"Mr. Hastert is also fueled by what appears to be a genuine dislike of Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, who would be speaker if Democrats gained 15 seats next week. To invoke Ms. Pelosi as speaker is a Republican talking point, but when Mr. Hastert does it, it smacks of disdain.
On this morning's Today show NBC's David Gregory interviewed Michael J. Fox in what was essentially a campaign ad for Democrats and embyronic stem cell research. Gregory went "on the trail," with Fox in Columbus, Ohio in a segment that, with the exception of a very brief soundbite from the President, played like one of those Democratic Convention PR videos.
Gregory let Fox preach for embryonic stem cell research without contradiction as Fox declared: "By most polls 70 percent of Americans are in favor of this issue so, in a way it's put up or shut up time. I mean if you really believe this, we're waiting for you." And while it's perfectly fine and expected to have sympathy for Fox, it's quite different for Gregory to cheer on Fox's agenda, as NBC's White House correspondent seemed to do when he left viewers with these final words:
Want to know just how dirty a word “liberal” is? Well, the blogger who posted a blackfaced abomination of CNN host Wolf Blitzer on Sunday has responded to the blogosphere’s outrage by asking folks to stop referring to him as a liberal. In fact, he’d rather be called a racist, a hypocrite, a communist, or a lunatic. I kid you not.
In his Monday evening post on the subject, Whiskey Bar blogger, aka Billmon, an alumnus of Daily Kos, stated the following to his faithful readers:
One thing that really annoys me about the reaction to blackface Blitzer is the number of right-wing attack artists -- like this one -- who insist on referring to me as a "liberal" and Whiskey Bar as a "liberal" blog.
This is slander. I'm not exactly sure how to describe myself politically these days, but liberal is definitely the wrong word.
In the Katie Couric gravitas debate, it's always easy to point out that Tom Brokaw held the same job as Couric, but never dressed up in drag as J-Lo on Halloween like Matt Lauer did. Katie was Mae West and Donald Trump, among others.
This morning was typical -- Lauer and Al Roker were Pirates of the Caribbean -- Lauer was Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow, Roker was Davy Jones. Ann Curry was Cher, except as a Cher with no dance moves. But the sleazy kicker was news anchor Natalie Morales as Madonna -- complete with 1990-era cone bra. Not only did she have breasts that could put an eye out, she was shimmying and shaking and pelvis-thrusting like it was midnight at the dance club. Eek, were children watching? (I'd have a better shot, but she was a constant blur as she vamped.) And is this someone we can take seriously when she now reads the latest on housing starts? Or are we going to hear the disco beat of "Express Yourself" in the background?
The Pasadena Star News yesterday reported on a rally for failing California Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Phil Angelides, at which John Kerry warned students in the audience that if they didn't get an education they would have no other alternative than to be forced into the US Armed Forces.
"Kerry then told the students that if they were able to navigate the education system, they could get comfortable jobs - 'If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq,' he said to a mixture of laughter and gasps."
Rahm Emanuel missed his calling in life. Rather than heading the Dem congressional campaign committee, he should have become a professional in the sport of freediving - holding your breath and diving without any breathing apparatus. Judging by his performance on today's Good Morning America, there's no doubt Rahm would have been a world champion.
In the closely-controlled world of the first half-hour [really 22 minutes] of the morning news shows, hosts keep a tight rein on their guests. Even notorious gabbers like Joe Biden are lucky to get in 15 seconds in before being cut short. Katie Couric, for all her liberal leanings, was a master of the technique.
Who doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong? Yet that essential knowledge, generally assumed to come from parental teaching or religious or legal instruction, could turn out to have a quite different origin.
What follows is several slaps at religion, the Times asserting that religion has nothing to do with morals short of serving as "social enforcers of instinctive moral behavior".
But the Times seems not to understand the entire point of morals and the claims religions make about them. Few religions claim to have created morals by their practices and tenets but are merely re-enforcing what God has already given us. So, contrary to what the Times assumes, no religion, Christian ones especially, claims to have somehow invented morals with their religious ideals. They attribute creation of such to God.
The gossip site Gawker reports CBS is trolling on Craigslist for that reliable species of American weirdo, the traditional family-values Christians who have Islamophobia:
Do you get nervous when you see a Muslim on an airplane? Have your opinions about Muslims changed since September 11? Do you have family or friends that get nervous around Muslims?
A NEW CBS SHOW SEEKS New York families who have traditional family values but are uneasy around Muslims.
The show will profile families in different communities across the country. This one hour documentary-style series from the producers of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and "Deal or No Deal" will take a look at the people and cultures that make up America.
Depending on how the election turns out next week, the story by Dean Reynolds on Monday's World News on ABC will be proven eerily prescient about the impending GOP setbacks or an illustration of a news media too eager presume disgust toward Washington, DC amongst Republicans. Anchor Charles Gibson set up the story by noting how Republican congressional incumbents “are fighting to hold three seats” in Indiana “against strong Democratic challengers” and that from LaPorte, Reynolds “reports that Republican voters are quite disillusioned." Reynolds featured a bunch of local Republicans who expressed how they are “frustrated," “confused," “concerned” and have “disgust." Reynolds recalled how "President Bush won Indiana's second congressional district by 13 points two years ago, but today:" Susan Resteau, Republican candidate for sheriff asserted: "A lot of people are just fed up with everything in general." Reynolds pointed to Iraq and the leading culprit, but added: “Worse for the GOP is that when Iraq isn't topic number one, corruption in the Republican Congress is."
Over at the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Blog, I’ve floated an idea I believe could help journalists and editorial writers be more accurate – even when they’d rather not.
I suggested that online versions of newspaper and magazine articles include footnotes.
I conceded that footnotes in the paper version of publications would be distracting and costly, but the major impediment to including them in online editions would probably simply be resistance by the writers themselves. Footnotes are a hassle for writers -- but they do have a way if helping to keep writers honest.
Blogger and Washington Examiner editorial page editor Mark Tapscott had a few thoughts in response:
This is turning into the gift that keeps on giving. Not only did CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer get totally schooled by the Vice President’s wife last Friday in front of the whole nation, but now he’s actually saying that he was surprised by Lynne Cheney's behavior.
On CNN’s Late Edition Sunday, Blitzer set up a replay of the now famous interview with the following (video here):
I've been covering the Cheneys for many years, including on a day-to-day basis, when he was the defense secretary during the first Gulf War and I was CNN's Pentagon correspondent.
Mrs. Cheney has been a frequent guest on my programs. In recent years, I've often invited her to discuss her new children's books, but she always is open to discussing the news of the day.
In Keith Olbermann's latest contribution to the 2006 Democratic Party campaign, the MSNBC host on Monday accused President Bush of "lying" on the campaign trail as he relayed that the President was making campaign appearances without charging admission. Olbermann: "The state of play for the Republicans is such that the President is no longer charging admission for each of his campaign appearances. That's right. He's now lying for free."
The Countdown host further ridiculously claimed that Bush was accusing Democrats of being responsible for problems in Iraq, playing a clip of Bush in which the President merely charged that Democrats lack a plan of their own to win in Iraq. Olbermann: "And earlier in Statesboro, Georgia, billed as a victory rally, and yet Mr. Bush somehow making the claim not only that the Democrats are the ones jumping the gun, but that the minority party is somehow responsible for the mess that is the war in Iraq." (Transcript follows)
In an eye-opening exchange on The O'Reilly Factor this evening (Monday, October 30, 2006), liberal Fox News analyst Juan Williams agreed with host Bill O'Reilly that CNN "is in the tank for the Democrats." The topic of the segment was Friday's testy exchange between Lynne Cheney and CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
O'REILLY: ... But the bigger picture is that Lynne Cheney asserts that CNN, in its election coverage, Juan, is in the tank for the Democrats. You buying that?
Bill Blakemore, the ABC News reporter in charge of making sure global warming gets covered fairly, said this in front of a group of journalists:
Of course [skeptics] play on the idea that we have to be ‘balanced,’” he noted. “It was very lazy of us for 10 years when we were asked for balance from the [climate skeptic] spinners. We just gave up and said ‘Okay, okay – I will put the other side on, okay are you happy now?’” he said. “And it saves us from the trouble of having to check out the fact that these other sides were the proverbial flat earth society.”
Columnists often remind us how they don't have to be fair, balanced, or impartial in their products because they are paid to give their opinions, not to provide balanced or even honest coverage of topics like their news-breatheren. That is, unless you're a conservative radio host. Says NPR host Ben Merens:
Over the weekend Chris Matthews and crew ruminated about a Nancy Pelosi speakership and praised Barack Obama for his candid position on marijuana. In his intro to the October 29th, syndicated Chris Matthews Show, Matthews compared Pelosi to an all-time great: "Pelosi at the bat. Not since DiMaggio has San Francisco offered such a stylish player. But can she hit homers once she's at the plate?" Then later in the show, as if to assuage any fears undecided voters may have of a Democratic House run amok, NBC's Chip Reid assured viewers there would be no talk of impeachment. However he did note there would be plenty of investigations into the war and Halliburton but as Matthews asserted, "Who doesn't," want that?
Matthews: "What do you think, Chip? Will she try and impeach the President?"
Vice President Dick Cheney was Neil Cavuto’s guest on Fox News Monday, and he responded to his wife’s stellar performance on CNN’s the Situation Room last week (hat tip to Ian at Hot Air). Cheney told Cavuto that they refer to the interview “around the house as the ‘slapdown.’” The Vice President said his wife “was very tough, but she was very accurate and very aggressive.” After she was done, Cheney told his wife he “thought it was a sterling performance.”
What follows is a full transcript of this segment. Those interested can watch the video here.
Viewers of the Maryland Senate debate between Michael Steele and Ben Cardin on Sunday's "Meet the Press" might not have been surprised that the soundbite that "Today" plucked out the next day was the one showing the Republican being pressed about being a Bush-lover. But wait: did Tim Russert balance out that line of questioning with asking Cardin about his fervent support for Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton or Ted Kennedy or even Barbara Mikulski? Why, no. Two weeks ago in a Minnesota Senate debate, Russert caused Republican Mark Kennedy to distance himself from Bush, then pressed Democrat Amy Klobuchar to distance herself from Hillary Clinton. That balance didn't occur yesterday. Here's the snippet of Russert that Meredith Vieira offered Monday:
Lynne Cheney was right. The Vice President’s wife recently attacked a CNN pre-election special as straight out of Democratic talking points. The program in question, "Broken Government: Power Play," aired on October 26 and discussed presidential power. Reporter John King introduced his special that night on location at Independence Hall, Philadelphia. Close your eyes and it sounds like an ad straight out of the DNC:
John King: "Justice, on Mr. Bush's terms, would mean challenge after challenge, test after test of the balance of powers laid out in the Constitution, adopted here in Philadelphia's Independence Hall 219 years ago, written by men, who, for all their brilliance, could not have imagined jet aircraft, let alone jet aircraft used as weapons. Nor could men determined to find the lasting antidote to tyranny have imagined the Internet, spy satellites, other technological advances now so central in the war on terror. But they did warn, in this hall, time and time again of too much presidential power, creating a careful system of checks by the Congress and the courts, lines the Bush administration, in the name of protecting Americans from another attack, has repeatedly stretched, rewritten, and sometimes just ignored."