In the first of a series of tweets sent out Tuesday morning, NBC senior political editor Mark Murray complained: "Why ObamaCare's (un)popularity is probably going to continue: ACA opponents have sole control over the airwaves." In a follow-up tweet, Murray cited the Campaign Media Analysis Group: "Per CMAG's Elizabeth Wilner, number of anti-Obamacare commericials since March 31: 32 Number of pro-Obamacare commercials: 0"
In a third tweet minutes later, Murray explained: "Political scientists believe TV ads have an impact on public opinion when one side has unilateral control over the airwaves." What the NBC journalist failed to acknowledge was the massive pro-ObamaCare push his network and others have engaged in over recent months.
Barack Obama may have given Chris Matthews a "thrill" up his leg, but the MSNBC host is pretty excited about Hillary Clinton in 2016. Matthews was so worked up on Monday night that he wondered if Republicans have "given up on beating" Clinton. Unsurprisingly, the cable anchor is unimpressed with the current crop of Republican contenders.
After discussing Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, he derided, "Have Republicans on the right given up on beating Hillary Clinton in the center? Have they given up on beating her altogether?" Speculating as to whether Republicans think voters will follow them "all the way to the ticked off outskirts" of where Paul and Cruz live, Matthews disbelievingly questioned, "Do they really think America is ready for a dance in the moonlight with one of those guys?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The host later speculated that 2016 could be like the landslides of 1964 and 1972.
The New York Times has made a front-page push for higher taxes and stringent regulation in the name of "climate change" two days in a row (the Washington Post had the self-control to leave its own related stories off the front page).
Monday afternoon at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Andrew Taylor predictably described the House's passage of the Ryan Budget in shrill terms (in order of appearance): "A slashing budget blueprint"; "Sweeping budget cuts"; balances the budget "at the expense of poor people and seniors"; "sharp cuts to domestic programs"; "staking out a hard line for the future"; and "tough cuts." Naturally, he failed to disclose that the Ryan budget increases the federal government's total outlays in each and every fiscal year from 2015 to 2024, with the final projected year coming in at $4.995 trillion, or 42 percent above the $3.523 trillion in spending the Congressional Budget Office predicted yesterday for fiscal 2014.
In the process of performing the AP's usual hatchet job, Taylor let loose with a howler about the federal government's ability to continue on its current financial path. The AP reporter may also have inadvertently let something slip into his narrative about the viability of a cherished government program, something which is a deep, dark secret to most Americans, but is quite well-known to those who watch things more closely:
In the battle for balanced news, score one each for Univision and Telemundo. Unlike the CBS, NBC and ABC evening news, both Noticiero Univision and Noticiero Telemundo on Friday night included soundbites from conservative leaders on the resignation of President Obama’s HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius.
On Univision, correspondent Lourdes Meluzá ran a clip of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who noted that Sebelius has been the principle face of “the disaster that has been, is and will continue to be ObamaCare.” Even more noteworthy, Univision’s report also featured Tea Party Patriots President Jenny Beth Martin, who called ObamaCare the former Secretary’s “legacy of shame” and said Sebelius “could go down in history as one of the most incompetent Cabinet secretaries in the history of the Republic."
Days after labeling comedian Stephen Colbert a "darling of the far left" and "ideological fanatic," on Monday, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly again called out the David Letterman replacement: "Colbert has built an entire career on pleasing the left. And if you don't believe me, check out the reportage on his ascension, the far-left web sides and writers are thrilled." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
O'Reilly predicted the Comedy Central host would have a tough time drawing viewers to the CBS Late Show: "So he has to compete with Fallon and Kimmel who are basically high-energy guys who want to have a good time on their shows. Be hard to fathom that 40% of Americans who describe themselves as conservative will watch Colbert, and that's a lot of folks to lose from the jump."
On April 15, 2013, one year ago, two Muslim extremists planted bombs at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring 264 others. This tragic event was sadly exploited by some in the media who quickly speculated that "extreme right" and "anti-government" individuals could be responsible for the mayhem.[See below for a round-up, including video, of the worst examples of journalistic malpractice.]
The morning after the attack, Good Morning America's Pierre Thomas narrated a segment with an on-screen graphic wondering, "Could this be homegrown terror?" Thomas noted that April 15th was only four days before the anniversaries of the bloody end of the Branch Davidian standoff and the Oklahoma City bombing. Regarding the date the attack occurred, GMA guest Mark Potok linked, "The real Patriots Day is April 19th. That is the date that counts for people on the extreme right in the United States." [MP3 audio here.]
The federal tax filing deadline has arrived. Tax season, when H&R Block commercials are as inescapable as news how-to segments about filing taxes, is nearly over.
But there’s one big tax story the broadcast networks practically ignored this year: the Obamacare taxes that just took effect. The network evening news shows have aired 40 stories or news briefs that mentioned “Obamacare” or the “Affordable Care Act” between Jan. 1, 2014, and April 13, 2014. But 87.5 percent (35 of 40) of those ignored the taxes associated with the legislation by failing to mention any taxes or penalties related to Obamacare. (Video is available after the break)
Reason.tv and libertarian comedian Remy have teamed up for another great parody video out in time for Tax Day. Remy reworked the Pharrell Williams hit, "Happy," to detail all the "Crappy" ways big government blithely wastes our hard-earned dollars.
At this point it might take a dead body to get the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks to give the IRS-Tea Party scandal any sort of real coverage. Huge developments in the last week – like IRS official Lois Lerner receiving a criminal referral from the House Ways and Means Committee and e-mails proving she fed tax information on a targeted group to the staff of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D) – were completely censored by ABC and NBC news. Only a 90 second report on Thursday’s CBS This Morning kept last week’s revelations from being totally blacked out on the Big Three networks.
In the last seven days the following IRS scandal developments have emerged:
The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky has an unfortunate habit of making outlandish statements to attack the GOP. In his latest piece, the liberal columnist used recent comments made by Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) to argue that “You’re in denial to think Steve Israel is wrong about GOP racism.”
As a refresher, Congressman Israel argued that “not all” GOP lawmakers are racist but “to a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism.” In typical Tomasky fashion, the frequent MSNBC guest jumped on the comments and used to attack the entire Republican Party.
Q. How do you know when Barack Obama has set a dubious new record for presidential weakness? A. When Jimmy Carter's former top adviser mocks his anemic response to an international crisis.
On today's Morning Joe, Zbigniew Brzezinski argued that the US needs to discuss with Ukraine the provision of defensive weapons in the face of the Russian threat. He then mockingly observed: "the Ukrainians did ask us for help in that regard. Do you know what our answer has been? We offered them prepackaged food for their soldiers. Well, you can't win a military conflict by throwing pancakes at somebody." The laughter on the normally Obama-friendly set should still be ringing in the President's ears. View the video after the jump.
One of the tender mercies of Stephen Colbert's ascension to the "Late Show" set at CBS is his shedding of the faux-conservative "high-status idiot" character. To conservatives, this "Colbert" has never seemed authentic or sustained cleverness -- how many times can you say you don't read or even like books? It mostly marks the deep ruts of liberal arrogance in their own mental superiority. Colbert has perpetually had trouble staying inside this character, always winking at and mocking it more than inhabiting it.
To liberals, abandoning this thin charade is far too much sincerity for an ironic age. They love their idiot conservative, and aren't dealing well with its departure. Hendrik Hertzberg at The New Yorker, a former Carter speechwriter and Newsweek reporter, is putting on a black armband in mourning. He sincerely believes "The Character" is a "miraculous and unparalleled intellectual and political achievement." Break out the smelling salts:
On Thursday, Christopher Rugaber's assignment at the Associated Press was to cover that day's release of Uncle Sam's Monthly Treasury Statement for March.
If the AP economics writer had limited the scope of his coverage to the statement itself, his coverage would have been passed muster. But, as he and his AP colleagues so often do, Rugaber felt it was duty to offer what he must have thought was helpful analysis. He wrote that March's reported $37 billion deficit, an admitted significant improvement over the March 2013 result, even after adjusting for timing differences in end-of-month receipts and outlays, was "the latest sign of improvement in the nation's finances." The last time I checked, running significantly in the red is not an improvement. It really signifies less rapid deterioration, especially since fiscal 2014 in full is still expected to end with deficit of over $500 billion.
On Friday, Erik Wemple -- a blogger for the Washington Post -- announced that the “renowned investigative reporter” Michael Isikoff was leaving the “Peacock Network” that day because “it was increasingly clear" that the news division “was moving in directions in which there were going to be fewer opportunities for my work,” Isikoff told the New York Times.
After 33 years, NBC investigative reporter Lisa Myers left the network in January. In a statement later on Friday, Richard Esposito -- the senior executive producer of the shrinking NBC News investigative unit -- praised Isikoff by asserting:
Democratic Congressman Steve Israel, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, charged on Sunday that some of his GOP colleagues, as well as a "significant extent" of the GOP base, are racist, yet none of the broadcast networks picked it up on Monday evening.
On Sunday's State of the Union, CNN host Candy Crowley played a clip of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi accusing GOP obstruction of the immigration bill as partly based on race. She asked Israel if he thought Republicans on Capitol Hill were racist. "Not all of them, no, of course not," he replied, before attacking the GOP base. [Video below the break.]
On the Monday, April 14, PoliticsNation, host Al Sharpton squeezed more mileage out of President Obama's Friday visit to the MSNBC host's National Action Network as Sharpton devoted another segment to the President's words criticizing new laws against voter fraud, with Sharpton accusing Republicans of "waging a war on voting rights." The PoliticsNation host had previously highlighted Obama's speech on Friday's show.
Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post soon joined Sharpton in going over the top as he accused Republicans of engaging in a "concerted effort" to "disenfranchise a vast block of voters," and of "trying to make" voting "illegal."
After a clip of President Obama addressing Sharpton's National Action Network on Friday, the MSNBC host recalled:
MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams blurred the lines of reality while arguing with Republican strategist Ron Christie on Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt. The two men were sparring over the desire among some Republicans to impeach Attorney General Eric Holder. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Witt asked how Holder can work with Republicans when some of them are calling for his impeachment, and Christie responded with an example from the George W. Bush presidency:
Hyping the latest alarmist global warming study on Sunday's NBC Nightly News, fill-in anchor Carl Quintanilla proclaimed: "A new U.N. report out today warns the world must act now to address climate change to avert disaster." In the report that followed, correspondent Anne Thompson fretted: "The report says time is running out to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Melting ice sheets that will raise sea levels and swamp coastlines. Stronger heat waves and droughts that could put the world's food supply at risk....The U.N. panel says the world must act now." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
A soundbite was included of the report's lead author, Leon Clarke: "If we wait for more than about ten or fifteen years, we really make it extremely difficult for us to keep climate from changing substantially, and really, exposing ourselves to some substantial harms." Thompson followed: "To protect itself, the report says the world must reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 to 70% by the year 2050 and be near zero by 2100."
View co-host Jenny McCarthy is now attempting to backtrack on her anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. The former Playboy model has repeatedly promoted the danger of vaccines and asserted, despite a total lack of evidence, that they can cause autism. In an op-ed for the Chicago Sun Times on Sunday, she proclaimed, "I am not 'anti-vaccine.' This is not a change in my stance nor is it a new position that I have recently adopted."
However, in 2009, she claimed of her own son's condition: "Without a doubt in my mind, I believe that vaccinations triggered Evan's autism." She is also on record as saying, "So, you ask any mother in the autism community if we'll take the flu, the measles over autism any frickin' day of the week -- So, I think they [pro-vaccine doctors] need to wake up and stop hurting our kids." As noted by the National Geographicin 2013, "In April, researchers published a study that looked at nearly 1,000 children and concluded that exposure to vaccines during the first two years of life was not associated with an increased risk of developing autism."