In the wake of the recent surge of violence in northern Iraq as well as the potential coup within the government, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams did his best to push the White House line that President Obama’s summer vacation was full of work.
On Monday, August 11, Williams introduced a segment with Chris Jansing, NBC’s Senior White House Correspondent, by promoting how “the White House is taking pains to stress that even though President Obama is on vacation, it’s a working vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.” [See video below.]
Actor and comedian Robin Williams has died, apparently of a suicide. His publicist notes that the Academy Award-winner had battled severe depression of late. He was 63.
Among others reacting to the sad news via Twitter, fellow actor and USO tour compatriot Gary Sinise fondly remembered Williams for [h]is genius as artist & comedian" as well as his support of R troops" which "no doubt was much appreciated by all who serve." Hear, hear, Lt. Dan. Share your favorite memories and your condolences in the comments section.
If a professional analysis demonstrated that Republicans routinely pay campaign staffers who are persons of color significantly less than their white counterparts and are often given less glamorous jobs, articles on the subject would make the front page of newspapers across the country and be the lead story on many television newscasts.
Instead, a study conducted by the New Organizing Institute proves the “ugly truth” about Democrats: If you’re a person of color hoping to get hired by a political campaign, you’ll probably get paid less than your white counterparts, assuming, that is, you’re hired at all. Does anyone believe this would receive equal media coverage if the party in question was the GOP? Daily Beast reporter Tim Mak described the findings in an August 11 article entitled “Democrats Play Black Staffers 30% Less":
In a discussion about the recent unresolved shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow Daily touted the idea that there is a war on black men in America.
Host Ronan Farrow cited a piece from Jonathan Capehart in the Washington Post that discussed the circumstances surrounding the deaths of African-Americans, specifically Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride, and Michael Brown. The article hinted that black people – and particularly black males – are under attack in America. Farrow brought Capehart onto the program to ask the question himself, wondering: “Are black Americans, as you put it, under siege?” Capehart responded without hesitation: [MP3 audio here; video below]
On the August 11 edition of Morning Joe, the MSNBC morning show aired a clip from Obama’s interview with Thomas Friedman that was transcribed in print in the August 9 edition of The New York Times. In the video, Friedman asked the president to comment on “the biggest difference between Democrats and Republicans.” According to Obama, the Democratic “consensus” is “a pretty common sense mainstream consensus” while the Republican consensus is based in “wacky ideological nonsense.”
That’s a heck of a way to reach across the aisle and work for bipartisan agreement on the nation’s pressing issues. Of course, the president’s partisan rhetoric has not been picked up by the Big Three broadcast networks. For its part, MSNBC only devoted 2 minutes and 18 seconds to the clip, 38 seconds of which was just a tease before a commercial break. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Any intraparty criticism of President Obama’s recent foreign policy moves regarding Iraq was nowhere to be found on NBC’s morning or evening news programs as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leveled some criticism at Obama on the subject in an interview with The Atlantic that was published over the weekend.
Both Sunday and Monday mornings’ installments of Today and Sunday night’s NBC Nightly News ignored this angle of disagreement among arguably the two most well-known and influential figures in Democratic politics as Obama authorized U.S. air strikes against ISIS militants in northern Iraq late last Thursday and throughout over the weekend. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
CNN's Jim Acosta ran to the Obama administration's defense in a Monday post on Twitter. Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, replied to Acosta's previous Tweet reporting that Vice President Joe Biden "called Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi to congratulate him." Fleischer wondered, "Why is Biden making these calls? It's POTUS's [President of the United States] job..."
The journalist complimented the Bush administration alumnus for his "good question," and continued by emphasizing Biden's supposed expertise with the Middle Eastern country: [Twitter post below the jump]
No big surprise here but Politico is now reporting that Chuck Todd will probably be replacing David Gregory as host of Meet The Press. It was almost inevitable that NBC News would be ousting Gregory due to the terrible ratings of that Sunday news show while he was hosting. The only question was who was going to replace Gregory and it now seems to be confirmed that the widely acknowledged leading candidate is going to be Todd.
The big question now is if Chuck Todd can put aside his liberal reflexes and provide the Meet The Press audience with some surprises as Tim Russert did or will he follow in the footsteps of David Gregory and treat his job like its purpose is primarily to play defense for the Democrats. Of course, the latter course would be a guarantee of remaining in Meet The Press ratings oblivion. In the meantime, let us read the Politico report which is sure to make Chris Matthews turn green with envy:
Amidst the discussion of ISIS’s offensive and Obama’s failed foreign policy with various political experts on the August 11 edition of Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough took the time to berate his fellow Republicans for refusing to “salute the President for being involved.” The host whined that he is “so sick and tired of the same people bitching and moaning about this President not doing things” and then going “on the Sunday shows and bitch and moan” when Obama actually “does things.”
Scarborough even went so far as to lecture former chief spokesperson for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq Dan Senor: “Will you do what a lot of Republicans didn't do this weekend and salute the President for being involved?” According to the MSNBC host, Republicans should support the President for “doing what we all know, what realists, what neo-con alike understand we have to do, we have to confront ISIS.” [ See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Eager to defend President Obama from criticism of his vacation in Martha's Vineyard amid multiple international crises, both Sunday's ABC Good Morning America and Monday's NBC Today used false spin to downplay the bad optics. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On GMA, co-host Dan Harris tried to deflect from Obama's time on the golf course by claiming that "George W. Bush played his fair share of golf during the Iraq war as well," an assertion that NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein promptly disproved.
Are the folks at CNN abandoning President Obama’s foreign policy? Well, yes, but only to throw praise upon former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ahead of a likely 2016 presidential run. On the August 11 edition of New Day, a panel discussed President Obama’s airstrikes in northern Iraq and Mrs. Clinton’s comments about his often disjointed foreign policy.
Reacting to Hillary telling The Atlantic that “don’t do stupid stuff” does not represent coherent foreign policy, host Kate Bolduan seemed to support Clinton, doubting it was enough. CNN contributor and Daily Beast editor John Avlon agreed with the New Day host, saying it was “not an organizing principle,” and praised Clinton for differentiating herself from the President on issues of foreign policy. He argued, in fact, that Hillary was the kind of Democrat neo-conservatives could support: [MP3 audio here; video below]
After reiterating her support for 9/11 conspiracy theories over the weekend, Rosie O'Donnell insisted she could work with a possible new co-host, despite ties to George W. Bush. Many 9/11 truthers smear the ex-president as having either orchestrated, or failed to stop, the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks.
When asked if she could be civil with Nicolle Wallace, the former communications chief for Bush and a rumored new co-host, O'Donnell responded via Twitter, "i enjoy nicole - am reading her book right now - and i do not know who is to blame [for 9/11]." [See screen shots of tweets below.] The liberal host also offered her opinion on whether the moon landing was a hoax.
To read the Associated Press's Friday evening coverage of a federal judge's refusal to block North Carolina's election law reforms from taking effect in the upcoming general election, you'd think it was an unsuccessful effort on the part of a group of poor Davids to defeat the Tar Heel State's government Goliath.
As J. Christian Adams at PJ Media noted shortly after the decision, it was nothing of the sort. Attorney General Eric Holder's Department of Justice weighed in heavily, and is in fact listed as the plaintiff in one of the three cases Federal District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder decided. Additionally, a prominent national law firm took the case on a pro bono basis for the allegedly aggrieved groups. I'll first look at a bit of what AP's Michael Biesecker and Gary D. Robertson wrote, and follow it with Adams's reality-based rendition.
Okay, I can understand that MSNBC President Phil Griffin would feel terribly embarrassed by a dopey Cinco De Mayo studio stunt in which a pale yanqui dressed in a sombrero staggered across the set while taking swigs of tequila (video after the jump). However what is really bizarre about Griffin's contrition is that it also takes the form of declaring that he now gets nervous while walking by Mexican restaurants and becomes upset at the mere sight of a sombrero. I kid you not. And if you doubt me, Griffin is quoted about his new obsessions in the Huffington Post.
To see why Griffin is so contrite complete with strange side effects, read Mark Finkelstein's description of the Cinco De Mayo boomerang in Newsbusters:
In the wake of the U.S. military launching air strikes to combat ISIS militants in northern Iraq, the entire panel on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace had some harsh words for President Obama’s foreign policy.
While the entire panel that appeared on Sunday, August 10 agreed that Obama has mismanaged the threat ISIS poses to the Middle East, Ron Fournier of National Journal had the strongest rebuke of Obama when he charged that “he's been the Commander in Chief or the underestimator in chief.” [See video below.]
Andrea Mitchell, NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, had some surprisingly harsh words for the Obama Administration in the wake of the militant group ISIS holding thousands of religious minorities hostage near the northern Iraq city of Irbil.
Speaking on Meet the Press on Sunday, August 10, Mitchell proclaimed that regarding Isis “there was intelligence. And to say that they were shocked by the Peshmerga on Saturday night being routed is a farce. The White House wasn't listening.” [See video below.]
On Thursday, August 7, Senator John Walsh (D-Mont.) formally announced that he will not run for a full term in the Senate following revelations that he plagiarized large portions of his master’s thesis from the Army War College.
Despite Walsh’s announcement, the “Big Three” (ABC, CBS, NBC) have yet to cover the story during their 19 hours of air time from Thursday night through Sunday morning. In fact, CBS has been the only network to even cover the initial plagiarism story, giving it a mere 31 seconds during its CBS This Morning broadcast on July 24.
Fore left! Q. Is there any news professional who doesn't know that, out of respect for military families, President George W. Bush gave up golf not long after the Iraq war started? A. Yes. Dan Harris, weekend Good Morning America co-host.
Harris' ignorance—or intentional disregard of the facts—was displayed during a segment today's GMA after Jonathan Karl reported that President Obama hit the links within an hour of landing at Martha's Vineyard and just hours after making a statement about US attacks on ISIS forces. After Karl said that Woodrow Wilson, in office during WWI, had played more golf than any other president, Harris claimed "George W. Bush played his fair share of golf during the Iraq war as well." In fact, as noted above, W renounced golf in August, 2003, saying "I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf . . . I feel I owe it to the families to be as -- to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal." But defending Obama was apparently more important for Harris than the facts. View the video after the jump.
He’s made it this past week onto a couple of late night shows as well as ABC’s World News and Good Morning America, but if you haven’t seen the video of five-year-old Noah Ritter, here’s the version shown Tuesday night by Bret Baier at the end of his FNC show.
The video of the future newscaster came from a report last weekend, by Sofia Ojeda of WNEP-TV’s “Newswatch 16” in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton market, who was covering the Wayne County Fair in Honesdale, Pennsylvania.
Reid Cherlin, an Assistant Press Secretary during the first two years plus of the Obama administration, managed to deliver two laugh-worthy howlers in a piece for Rolling Stone posted this past Monday:
> “Barack Obama never had reporters eating out of his hand the way that right-wingers love to allege.”
> “I...believe he’ll be remembered as an excellent President.”