On last Friday’s Washington Week, PBS moderator Gwen Ifill brought in a panel of four liberal journalists to dissect the three scandals that have plagued the Obama administration the past couple of weeks. Predictably, most of the panelists attempted to downplay the seriousness of the Benghazi fiasco.
Midway through the Benghazi discussion, Ifill turned to The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe and posed the question that has surely been on every left-wing reporter’s mind for months: “But Ed, why is this -- why is this stuck? Why is this a story that never went away?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On the Wednesday, May 22, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell show on MSNBC, host O'Donnell called for the defeat of a "vicious" Senate amendment pushed by Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter which would bar people convicted of some violent crimes from receiving welfare benefits.
The MSNBC host complained that the children of a criminal would "pay for his crime by going hungry," and called for "human decency" to defeat the measure. O'Donnell began the short segment:
While Thursday's NBC Today completely ignored Wednesday's dramatic congressional hearing on the growing IRS scandal, the network morning show did manage to find time to gush over Barack Obama's 1979 prom picture, with fill-in news reader Tamron Hall exclaiming: "Well, now thanks to Time magazine, we have proof that even the commander-in-chief once donned the white dinner jacket. There he is, that's 17-year-old Barry Obama...at his senior prom in Hawaii...." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Hall provided another important detail to viewers: "President Obama's classmate Kelli Alman released the pictures to Time, complete with the President's yearbook inscription to her, calling her, quote, 'extremely sweet and foxy.'" The news brief prompted a thirty-second discussion on the topic.
Pope Francis made waves on Wednesday when he said that atheists can do good; but some media headlines jumped on the chance to portray the new pontiff as bucking Church teaching.
Preaching on Christ’s words that “Whoever is not against us is for us,” Pope Francis emphasized that Christ died to redeem all men, “even atheists,” and insisted we can’t assume non-believers cannot do good. Such people can do good, he said, and “must,” because of “this commandment at heart: do good and avoid evil.”
As the Obama staff labors to deny they’re waging what’s being called “Obama’s war on journalism,” it might not help to have journalists mocked as fussy “figure skating judges.”
In today’s Washington Post that’s what we read from David Plouffe as he defended the White House from the “minutiae” that the White House counsel urgently wanted to keep Obama clueless about a Treasury Department inspector general’s report on the IRS scandal:
On Wednesday's Erin Burnett OutFront, lefty radio host Stephanie Miller tried to be funny while downplaying Anthony Weiner's Twitter scandal as just an eighth-grade stunt and a "guy thing."
"Which middle school did you go to, Stephanie?" conservative CNN contributor Reihan Salam shot her down. And host Erin Burnett wouldn't have Miller's hackery, either: "I got to say, Stephanie, I beg to differ with you. This is pretty bizarre." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
While the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal this morning gave front-page coverage to yesterday's grisly beheading of a British serviceman on a London street in broad daylight, the New York Times placed their 20-paragraph story by London correspondent John F. Burns on page A7. Editors slapped on the headline, "'Barbaric' Attack in London Renews Fears of Terror Threat," with "barbaric" in scare quotes.
While the Post, Journal, and Times all ran quotes from one of the attackers as transcribed from a cell phone video filmed by a bystander, the Times curiously left out a portion of the rant where the attacker boasted, "We swear by the almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone."
The Big Three networks coverage so far of the Justice Department's questionable investigation of Fox News' James Rosen has followed a similar pattern to that of their coverage of the Kermit Gosnell case. Jan Crawford's report on Thursday's CBS This Morning was the first full report on growing controversy on ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts. NBC briefly covered the investigation on Tuesday's Today, and ABC has yet to mention it.
Crawford pointed out how the DOJ's "unprecedented" surveillance of Rosen has "really just set off a firestorm of criticism from the left and right. For the first time ever, a presidential administration is treating news reporting like a crime, and a reporter like a criminal suspect." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Joe Scarborough seems to have an obsession with conservative and Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz. Scarborough and his Thursday Morning Joe panel bashed the freshman Texas senator for at least the fourth time in a few months, berating the Lone Star Republican for his distrust of Congressional leadership. The MSNBC host suggested Cruz has “no interest in working with any of his colleagues,” and accused the senator of using the Senate “as a branding vehicle.”
Scarborough went as far as to wishfully pronounce Cruz’s political career dead, suggesting that his criticism of Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress on the Senate floor Wednesday would "blow up in his face” and “hurt the great people in Texas":
As my colleagues at NewsBusters have documented, the liberal media have already jumped on the bandwagon to defend an 18-year old Florida woman with unlawful sexual conduct with a 14-year old girl, saying authorities are only pressing charges because she's a lesbian. On Wednesday evening, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes joined the media frenzy by declaring this case an example of “LBGT Injustice.”
On the May 22 edition of "All In," Hayes featured 18-year old Kaitlyn Hunt, her mother Kelly Hunt-Smith and their attorney Julia Graves to hype what Hayes remarked was an “incredible story.” With the on-screen graphic titling the segment, “LGBT Injustice.”
Recent college grads are in a tough spot, with student loans that need repayment and an economy that is leaving many of them underemployed or worse. But the network news media have exaggerated individual burdens of student debt by using examples of enormous rather than average debts. They’ve also often ignored systemic problems that have led to the “crisis” of student loan defaults, at the same time that the left has called for bailouts.
When network news stories include college students who talk about how much they owe for their education, the average amount was a whopping $66,833. But the 2012 average student loan debt, was much lower: $27,253.
While the three network morning shows on Thursday all promoted President Obama's "renewed focus on transparency" in an upcoming national security speech, none of the broadcasts made any mention of the administration's deception in the ongoing scandal surrounding the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
On NBC's Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander declared that Obama would be "highlighting new efforts to bring about transparency and even new restriction in the so-called hidden war" while citing "evidence of that renewed focus on transparency" in the form a Justice Department letter to Congress officially acknowledging the already widely-reported fact that drones were used to kill American citizen and terrorist cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki.
What does a murderous jihadist terrorist have to do to get some recognition for his cause? You hack a British soldier to death in broad daylight on a London street while shouting “Allahu akbar” and then “swear by the almighty Allah” that you’ll never stop fighting, and the U.S. broadcast networks still can’t bring themselves to utter a word about Islam.
True, the ABC CBS and NBC evening broadcasts called the attack “terrorism,” but for all the information they gave viewers, the attackers might have been Basque separatists or animal rights zealots.
With each passing day, it's becoming clearer and clearer that many of the current White House resident's followers in the media are really angered by his attack on the Associated Press and Fox News's James Rosen.
On MSNBC's Morning Joe Thursday, the National Journal's Ron Fournier said of this issue, "You can't make journalism a conspiracy...The irony here is that President Obama, by raising a jihad against the press, has now made it more likely that we’re going to have what he called 'dumb wars'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"Let's face facts: the American media is in an abusive relationship with Obama."
So marvelously said Dennis Miller on Fox New's the O'Reilly Factor in a discussion about the Internal Revenue Service scandal Wednesday (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
You can take the flack out of the DNC but you can't take the DNC out of the flack, especially it's MSNBC regular and newly-minted weekend host Karen Finney, who today said that Mitt Romney should have made a bigger deal out of the IRS scandal on the campaign trail. The only problem, of course, is that no one knew about the IRS's malfeasance until well after the election.
On Wednesday's Now with Alex Wagner, Ms. Finney claimed that, "Everybody knew about this investigation long before the election. So, if they were that freaked out, why didn't Romney make more of a big deal of it during the election?" Fortunately for viewers at home, former AP reporter Ron Fournier, now with National Journal, corrected Finney's ridiculous speculation. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, open Obama supporter Gayle King strongly hinted to Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn that he would face voter backlash for seeking cuts in the federal budget to pay for tornado disaster relief: "You voted against relief plans for Hurricane Sandy, and it sounds that you would do the same if it was raised in Oklahoma. Do you worry about alienating your constituents?"
The Republican politician shot back that he didn't want the next generation to foot the bill for the recovery from the EF-5 tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma on Monday, and then strongly criticized the multi-billion dollar Hurricane Sandy relief package audio available here; video below the jump]:
The signs keep accumulating that the IRS scandal is worse than liberals are willing to concede.
On Bill Press's radio show yesterday, a reporter with left-leaning Politico told Press that the Internal Revenue Service dragging its feet on applications for tax-exempt status from tea party groups probably affected the outcome of last year's election. (Video after the jump)