Rush Limbaugh is fast becoming a "relic," "as dated as Jazzercise or 'Macarena'" – or so says CNN regular Dean Obeidallah in a new CNN.com op-ed.
Ironically, a CNN contributor is calling someone else irrelevant. But in all seriousness, Obeidallah gloats over Limbaugh's lost ad revenue in the past year and points to his inevitable decline: "Has Limbaugh become as dated as Jazzercise or 'Macarena?' All you need to do is look at the bottom line to see that Limbaugh is in trouble."
Tuesday's front-page New York Times story by Michael Shear and Jonathan Weisman, "Obama Dismisses Benghazi Furor But Assails I.R.S," again emphasized partisan back-and-forth at the expense of journalistic digging into the actual facts of the IRS and Benghazi controversies swirling around the Obama White House.
Weisman's byline is an assurance that the story to follow will be light on details and heavy breathing on Republican partisanship. Tuesday's entry fit the bill, especially the lead sentence, in which Weisman prioritized the partisan angle of "Republican adversaries" over the substantive angle of "new questions about the administration’s conduct."
While sparring with Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday, George Stephanopoulos channeled his inner Hillary Clinton on the issue of the terrorist attack in Benghazi. On the subject of who, specifically, told United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice to use faulty talking points, the Good Morning America co-anchor asserted, "Well, what difference will that make if the White House has already put out the talking points and said that they were written by the CIA with the input of other agencies? " [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In comparison, on January 23, 2013, while testifying in front of Congress about Libya, Hillary Clinton said of the details of the attack: "Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?" Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative, attempted to turn the President into the victim.
MSNBC is well-known for excusing the failures of President Obama, usually by blaming Republican “obstructionism” for Obama’s faltering agenda. If that doesn’t work, they will pretend that the Obama administration is free from guilt regarding any criticism it may receive, essentially living in denial.
Take the Monday May 13 edition of Now w/ Alex Wagner when Time magazine assistant managing editor Rana Foroohar ridiculously asserted in light of the IRS/Tea Party scandal that, “What’s so sad about it is the president has been very rightfully proud of the lack of scandal in his administration so far.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
While Monday's NBC Nightly News was content to accept President Obama labeling the Benghazi scandal as a "political circus" worthy of ridicule, on Fox News Channel's Special Report, chief Washington correspondent James Rosen was actually being a journalist and fact-checking the commander-in-chief's deceptive assertions on the controversy.
Introducing the Nightly News report on Obama attempting to downplay the scandal during a midday press conference, anchor Brian Williams announced: "...the President took the opportunity to hit back hard over accusations of some sort of a cover-up, saying that defies logic."
In his Sunday New York Times column, former White House reporter Frank Bruni took a whack at "America the Clueless" and Republicans in particular, but made a couple of pretty clueless errors of his own (Eighteen percent of AP survey respondents said Obama was Jewish)?
It's been a busy week full of news stories highly damaging to liberals, from the damning testimony about Benghazi to revelations that the Obama IRS targeted the Tea Party to yesterday's conviction of Philadelphia abortionist and infanticidal maniac Kermit Gosnell.
So we at NewsBusters thought we'd show you how some conservative political cartoonists around the country were dealing with these developments in this week's edition of NB's ToonsDay:
“In Philadelphia today,” anchor Scott Pelley said on the May 13 CBS “Evening News,” there was a verdict in a murder trial that got national attention.” He was talking about the murder trial of Kermit Gosnell, and whatever “national attention” it received was given grudgingly by the media – including Pelley’s own network.
In fact, it took 56 days, multiple letters from members of the House of Representatives and a public demand from conservative groups, before all three broadcast networks reported on Gosnell.
The New York Times did some damage control for the Obama administration in its lead editorial Tuesday, defending in part, the IRS's politically motivated audits against fledgling Tea Party nonprofits during the last campaign cycle. The paper ridiculously portrayed the White House as just as outraged as conservatives in a headline: "White House Under Fire: It Condemns I.R.S. Audits of Political Groups."
And the paper's own public editor lambasted the paper's soft-soap coverage of the scandal: "Many on the right – as noted last week in my blog posts about Benghazi – do not think they can get a fair shake from The Times. This coverage won’t do anything to dispel that belief."
CNN gave more coverage to the Jodi Arias trial in one day than it did to the entire Kermit Gosnell trial over the span of eight weeks. NewsBusters already reported how the congressional hearings on the Benghazi attacks disappeared amidst CNN's incessant live coverage of tabloid crime stories.
When the verdict was reached in the Arias trial last Wednesday, CNN's coverage for the day totaled almost a whopping three hours. In contrast, the network gave just under 100 minutes to the Gosnell story in eight weeks since the trial began on March 18.
President Obama knows he's in trouble when Andrea Mitchell—Andrea Mitchell!—proclaims the IRS and AP scandals to be among "the most outrageous excesses I've seen" in all her years in journalism [which pre-date Watergate]. The strength of Mitchell's statement drew gasps from Scarborough and Brzezinski. Then Ron Fournier, former AP editor now with the National Journal, darkly described the White House being "consumed" if it turns out someone there or in the Obama campaign had been aware of the IRS targeting of conservative groups. It happened on Morning Joe today.
But hey, President Obama still has his hangers-on. Take good old Carl Bernstein. As we reported, on yesterday's Morning Joe Bernstein blathered that he "can't imagine" that President Obama coudl be involved in the IRS mess. And there was Bernstein again today. When Fournier spoke of consequences of White House or Obama campaign knowledge of the IRS targeting, Bernstein quickly burped out that "we have no evidence of that whatsoever." Joe Scarborough had to remind the former Watergate reporter: "that's why you have investigations. You know that." View the video after the jump.
When the Obama scandals pile up and Obama's image of integrity starts to enter the shredder, what do the most partisan reporters do to fend off the bad publicity? Try to portray the conservatives as "nutso" impeachers. At The Daily Beast, there was this headline Monday: "The Coming Attempt to Impeach Obama: The idea of impeaching Obama is industrial-strength insane. Republicans will probably try anyway, predicts Michael Tomasky."
Tomasky portrays conservatives as "crazy" and Obama as the most clueless of presidents: he knew absolutely nothing about the Benghazi talking points? Then who elected him expecting a competent executive? Tomasky leads with his heart, with his fervent Obama-loving hope that history does not record these scandals as significant:
On Monday, NPR Morning Edition anchor Steve Inskeep expressed -- in the face of all the evidence of Fast and Furious, Solyndra, MF Global, and so on -- that the first term of Obama's presidency was "remarkably scandal-free." When I challenged him on the factual inaccuracy of this, he tweeted in reply , "Hm, did I say it was scandal-free or that it 'has been described' as such?"
However passively Inskeep expressed it, he certainly agreed with it. Inskeep asked Cokie Roberts, "This administration has been described -- I don't even know how many times- - as remarkably scandal-free. But when you get into the second term of an administration, there's often some dirty laundry that comes out. Is that what's happening now?" Roberts agreed:
In a move which appears conveniently timed to coincide with a wave of other arguably more damaging bad news for the administration, the Associated Press has reported that the Department of Justice informed the wire service on Friday that it had secretly obtained two months of reporters' and editors' telephone records.
In the words of AP's Mark Sherman, in coverage late this afternoon, "the government seized the records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012." Sherman also notes that "more than 100 journalists work in the offices where phone records were targeted, on a wide array of stories about government and other matters," and that those records "were presumably obtained from phone companies earlier this year" (i.e., after Obama was safely re-elected). More from Sherman's report, a comment from yours truly, and several comments by others who have read AP's coverage follow the jump (bolds are mine):
"Many small-business owners worry that a new tax on insurance providers in the health-care law will mean higher premiums for them, undermining the law's capacity to lower their health-care costs," Washington Post staff writer J.D. Harrison opened his 15-paragraph May 13 story, "Small-business owners dread impact of health insurance tax." The website headline was even starker: "Health insurance tax ‘scares the daylights’ out of some small-business owners."
Unfortunately for print edition, readers, Post editors buried this front-page-worthy article on page A15. Yes, today's front page was mostly populated with meaty, hard-news stories, but a large photo from last night's Capital-Rangers hockey game dominated the center of the page while London bureau chief Anthony Faiola's "Letter from Britain" feature, headlined, "Eurovision drought feels like a hard day's night," was published directly beneath that [see image following page break].
Fifty six days after the grisly trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell began, ABC broke its self-imposed blackout and finally offered coverage. World News anchor Diane Sawyer belatedly told viewers that Gosnell was convicted on three counts of first degree murder against newborn babies, as well as on a slew of other charges. Terry Moran explained, "For two months, jurors heard often shocking, grisly testimony." He described the details as a "house of horrors." A house of horrors that ABC took 56 days to notice.
As the Media Research Center has aggressively documented, ABC went from March 18, 2013 (the trial's start) through Monday afternoon with no coverage. Yet during the same time, the network devoted a staggering 187 minutes (or 70 segments) to other shocking criminal cases, such as Jodi Arias and Amanda Knox.
On Friday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes led the show by recounting the news of the "big, bad, scary" scandal of President Obama's IRS targeting conservative groups, but also chided Republicans for continuing to push Benghazi, which he referred to as a "witch hunt" and a "fake, ginned up scandal."
After reading a quote from a Tea Party group which brought up Benghazi in reacting to the IRS scandal, Hayes continued:
On Friday's Politics Nation on MSNBC, which was dominated by coverage of the kidnappings in Cleveland, Ohio, host Al Sharpton took a moment to note the Benghazi scandal as he accused Republicans of a conducting a "cheap stunt" and of pushing a "phony conspiracy theory." Sharpton:
Liberal MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Monday expressed "outrage" over the growing IRS scandal involving targeted audits of conservative groups. At the same time, he fretted that such a controversy would strengthen conservatives who believe the federal government will soon take them to "concentration camps." Worrying about the President's political future, Matthews lectured Obama: "Find a way to get rid of whoever did this, or your enemies will ride this baby right through 2014."
The Hardball anchor sneered that the "right-wing people" "love this story" and "expect the worst." He continued, "Theyget up in the morning figuring, well, they're about to be picked up by the FEMA workers and taken to concentration camps or the black helicopters of new world order, they're coming to take their guns." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The New York Times unsurprisingly stuck by its biased language on the abortion issue as it broke the news that a jury had found Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell guilty of three counts of first-degree murder on Monday. Jon Hurdle labeled the convicted murderer's victims "fetuses" in the second sentence of his article. Hurdle would go on to use the slanted term five more times in his write-up.
The correspondent later acknowledged that the prosecution had referred to the murder victims as babies, but only after using his "fetuses" label.