On Tuesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, during a segment about foreign policy challenges involving Russia and the turmoil in the Middle East, MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe oddly suggested that President Obama finds it to be a "satisfying challenge" because it is "intellectually rigorous" to deal with such substantial foreign policy problems.
He also not surprisingly took a jab at former President Bush, blaming him for the chaos in the Middle East, and asserted that "there's a lot of cleanup there."
Host O'Donnell wondered about what things are like inside the White House as he posed:
On Tuesday, the Brookings Institution, with a David Leonhardt column at the New York Times serving as its de facto press release, published a study (full PDF here) entitled, "Is a Student Loan Crisis on the Horizon?" Unsurprisingly, their finding, in one word, was "No." Their more qualifed finding: "[I]n reality, the impact of student loans may not be as dire as many commentators fear." Their underlying "logic": "typical borrowers are no worse off now than they were a generation ago."
It's bad enough that much of the data presented by Beth Akers and Matthew M. Chingos, the study's authors, directly contradicts the sunshine they're trying blow up our keisters. What's even worse is that you don't even need to dig into the detail once you learn which year's data they used — 2010. For heaven's sake, guys, total student loan debt has grown by between 50 percent and 60 percent since then.
In November of 2002, Washington Post reporter-editor Bob Woodward unveiled excerpts of his latest book, "Bush at War," and caused a big stir by revealing that Fox News boss Roger Ailes had sent a confidential memo to the Bush White House after September 11 insisting the president stay tough against the terrorists.
NBC “Meet The Press” host Tim Russert, who revolved into TV news from Mario Cuomo’s office, spoke for his industry when he asserted “I would not recommend that behavior for any practicing journalist.” One can only imagine the furor had Fox News hosts actually entered the White House gates to participate in a Bush administration publicity event designed to promote public policy.
Once again, Chuck Todd, NBC News Political Director, Chief White House Correspondent and host of MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown, did his best to explain away a gaffe by a Democrat, this Hillary Clinton’s claim that they were "dead broke" after leaving the White House.
Appearing on NBC Nightly News on Tuesday, June 24, Todd proclaimed that "Bill Clinton tried to do what he does best today, explain away a thorny political problem. This time, making the case his wife is not out of touch." [See video below.]
By contrast, the competition over at CNN on Erin Burnett OutFront featured a panel discussion in which the participants made light of Mr. Clinton's defense of his consort and forecast that Bill Clinton might end up being a net negative for his wife on the campaign trail, as he was in the 2008 primaries. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
It would have been shocking if the abortion comedy Obvious Child hadn’t been celebrated on Melissa Harris-Perry’s weekend show on MSNBC. But the spin on Sunday morning’s program could not have been expected.
“MHP” wanted to know if abortion opponents just couldn’t handle the uncomfortable truth about women’s sexuality and how women’s bodies operate. She asked Obvious filmmaker Gillian Robespierre if her abortion comedy could be a good educational “tool” for mothers to share with their daughters as they mature, and the answer led to the term “laminated uterus.” (Video below)
On June 23 and 24, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held multiple hearings surrounding the revelations that the hard drive of former IRS executive Lois Lerner had been destroyed containing thousands of emails pertinent to the investigation of their targeting of conservative groups.
Despite the new details and the subsequent congressional hearings, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley has been the only network evening news program to cover the revelations, with ABC and NBC ignoring the story altogether. [See video below.]
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton told ABC's Diane Sawyer on June 9 that when she and her family left the White House in 2001, they were “dead broke.” The reaction to that remark took an interesting turn on Tuesday, when her husband and former president Bill Clinton leaped into the fray by asserting that his wife's comment “is factually true” and the potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate is “not out of touch.”
The former Democratic occupant of the White House made his remarks during an interview with David Gregory, host of NBC's Meet the Press Sunday morning program, as part of an event for the Clinton Global Initiative in Denver.
Liberals love to mock conservatives for imbuing Ronald Reagan with godlike power -- and yet liberal radio host Thom Hartmann apparently believes Reagan was capable of altering the time-space continuum.
On a recent radio show rant about economic policies pushed by Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Hartmann made an assertion about Reagan that is impossible to have occurred, unless and until someone invents a way to change the chronology of history. (Audio after the jump)
Yes, a handful of reporters, like Mark Halperin, have spoken out, which is commendable, but "[t]he reality is that this story is still by and large being ignored," Bozell argued. "This is serious, serious stuff going on," but the liberal media "are headed for the tall grass" because they "just don't want to know" the extent of the Obama administration's corruption. [Watch the full segment below the page break]
In a discussion on the June 24 edition of The Cycle regarding the heated Mississippi GOP Senate runoff between U.S. Senator Thad Cochran and state senator Chris McDaniel, MSNBC’s Toure immediately expressed skepticism of the tactics being deployed by the two candidates to appeal to voters.
Toure criticized Thad Cochran for reaching out to Democratic black voters at a time of political convenience because “he hasn't really been reaching out to [them] before now, now that he's fighting for his electoral life, now he's reaching out to them.” While the senator has been widely known for bringing home the bacon to Mississippi voters, those dollars only seem to reach white voters in the eyes of Toure. Then, The Cycle co-host warned that this runoff represented a return to Jim Crow era voter suppression [MP3 audio here; video below]:
Ronan Farrow opened his MSNBC program Tuesday with these words: "Who can steal Magnolia State voters?" The opening words on the screen behind him were: "Mississippi Mud," followed by a chyron reading "Stealing the Magnolia State." Farrow's reporting quickly emphasized, several times, that the primary was a Republican one, and that it had gotten "nasty."
Several minutes followed, with NBC's Kasie Hunt reporting live from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, detailing the "really hard fought, really nasty" campaign between U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, portrayed on the whole as a doddering figure, and strongly conservative challenger Chris McDaniel, portrayed as an insensitive extremist.
The Daily Signal's Ken McIntyre broke the news on Tuesday that the Internal Revenue Service conceded that it illegally released the tax return and donor list of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). McIntyre reported that the IRS, which has been under fire for months over its targeting of conservative groups during the 2012 presidential race, "agreed to pay $50,000 in damages" to NOM for the "unlawful release of the confidential information."
The writer spotlighted that the social conservative group's 2008 return and donor list ended up in the hands of the left-wing Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which posted the information on its website, and "that information then was published by the Huffington Post and other liberal-leaning news sites." He also outlined the results of an investigation during the civil lawsuit:
Acting as a cheerleader for the White House "Summit on Working Families" on Tuesday's NBC Today, 9 a.m. ET hour co-host Natalie Morales hailed: "A lot of good talk at the White House yesterday. You know, the whole conversation about managing work-life balance." She teed up a clip of President Obama speaking at the event: "He spoke about the importance...of having that balance in his own life and how much Michelle has had to pinch hit for him. And vice versa." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In part, Obama observed: "You look at something like workplace flexibility. This is so important to our family....that flexibility made all the difference to our family. But a lot of working moms and dads can't do that." As the soundbite ended, Morales and weatherman Al Roker agreed that it was "so true."
It turns out that Vice President Joe Biden’s claim that he’s not wealthy and does not own any stocks, bonds, or a savings account isn’t entirely true. Unfortunately, only one network did the work to debunk his statement from a speech at the White House Summit on Working Families yesterday.
CBS This Morning was the only broadcast network show on Monday evening or Tuesday morning that looked into Biden’s claims, which CBS News Senior White House correspondent Bill Plante found to be partially false. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Dark Knight star Gary Oldman excoriated liberal Hollywood in an interview with Playboy. The actor slammed the Obama administration, complaining, "I feel we need some real leadership, and it’s nowhere in sight. Look at what’s happening right now. John Kerry going off to China to talk about North Korea? What’s that going to do? The ludicrousness of it." The actor also went on a profanity-laced tirade to describe Nancy Pelosi. [Warning: vulgar language below the jump.]
Asked about the possibility of Hillary Clinton assuming the presidency in 2016, Oldman referenced a conservative character he played in a movie from 2000: "As far as Hillary, I guess I feel like my character in The Contender, Shelly Runyon. He doesn’t want Joan Allen to become president; he just believes she isn’t the right person for the job. It’s nothing to do with the fact that she’s a woman."
Sounding a familiar theme at the Associated Press ahead of awful economic news, Christopher Rugaber and Martin Crutsinger prepared a column in advance of tomorrow's final report on the economy's first-quarter economic contraction reminding us, with far more certainy than is justified, that "A GRIM US ECONOMIC PICTURE IS BRIGHTENING."
Guys, before you "brighten," you first have to step out of the darkness. According to the wire service's dynamic duo of reporting on the economy (I guess I could add Josh Boak and call them "the three amigos"), tomorrow's report on the nation's first-quarter Gross Domestic Product is expected to show that it contracted by "nearly 2 percent" on an annual basis. AP reports a week ago didn't include "nearly." Bloomberg News is currently predicting a contraction of 1.8 percent. I'd like to be wrong, but I'm concerned that it might be significantly worse. But Rugaber and Crutsinger say, "Don't worry, be happy; the rest of the year will probably be fine" (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Even if the Republicans win the Senate this year, it's still bad news, according to New York Times congressional reporter Carl Hulse. Hulse, whose reporting reliably supports Democratic wishful thinking, found a potential dark cloud for Republicans if they take over the Senate in 2014 in Tuesday's "Congressional Memo, "Mavericks Could Fracture a G.O.P. Senate Majority."
When it comes to big money in politics, there’s only one name the broadcast networks dwell on – the Koch brothers.
Billionaires David and Charles Koch are major contributors to both conservative and Republican causes. Democrats are “placing them at the center of their midterm election strategy,” according to Daniel Schulman, a senior editor at the George-Soros funded Mother Jones.
Slate's Mark Joseph Stern could have been mistaken for the mother from A Christmas Story, after slamming the classic Looney Tunes cartoon franchise on Tuesday for its comedic gun violence. Stern hyped that "the antics of Bugs Bunny and co. were a lot more brutal than you remember," and bewailed the shorts' "blasé approach to gun suicide."
The liberal website boosted the writer's article with a Tweet that asserted that "the rampant gun violence in Looney Tunes would be unthinkable today." Stern, who normally "covers science, the law, and LGBTQ issues" for Slate, led his lament by noting how the Supreme Court rebuked California's attempt to restrict the sale of gory video games to children by citing the violent humor of the Warner Brothers features: