Although President Obama's former IRS chief refused to answer questions about the IRS scandal she is at the center of, NBC's Brian Williams instead lamented the behavior of GOP congressman Darrell Issa at Wednesday's hearing.
"In Washington today, a public and startling example of the kind of behavior Congress has become known for and Congress has become gridlocked over," Williams began. NBC played a clip of the fiery exchange between Issa and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Mary.) where Cummings cried foul over the hearing followed by Issa cutting his microphone.
In an obvious back-handed compliment, Rachel Maddow started her eponymous Tuesday night program on MSNBC by supposedly praising the Cable News Network, which she said “once upon a time” was the “only cable news network, and they really did have a singular role in keeping people informed.”
However, while the network once had a reputation for providing information “about what was going on, not only around the country, but around the world” in the 1990s, she claimed “CNN today is not what it used to be.”
Ed Schultz's brief rebellion against liberal orthodoxy is over. The MSNBC anchor in February announced his support for the Keystone oil pipeline, telling his audience to "confront reality." Ever since, Schultz has been slowly retreating. On Wednesday, Schultz caved, "Mr. President, say no to this project. I turn this night, on this program. I was wrong." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The host explained his reversal, insisting that "after researching both sides and listening to all the experts and seeing what's out there, I don't think America needs to take this risk." Schultz offered other reasons, such as suggesting that if Fox News anchors support the pipeline, that would "bring me to the conclusion that it's a really bad idea." Perhaps the real reason for the shift grew out of anger the MSNBC star faced from his audience.
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough got rather self-righteous on Wednesday’s Morning Joe, chiding Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and others who have criticized President Obama’s weak-kneed response to the crisis in Ukraine. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Scarborough asserted his belief that “politics should really end at the water's edge” during international crises like this, proclaiming, “I'm old-fashioned enough to believe that harshly criticizing the commander-in-chief during dangerous international crises, whether it’s with the likes of Saddam Hussein or Vladimir Putin, well, that provides comfort to nation-states who choose to be our enemies.”
The Obama administration is preparing to put in place yet another delay in ObamaCare, forestalling a wave of insurance policy cancelations that are mandated by law in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In doing so, some of the negative repercussions of ObamaCare will be delayed until well after the November 2014 midterm election.
The political journalists at the Washington Post are no fools, they must surely realize the nakedly political nature of the move, but the reader would not get that from Amy Goldstein's coverage in March 5 print article, which editors buried at the item at the bottom of page A6 with the bland headline, "Americans may be able to keep old health-care plans longer under rewrite of rules."What's more, Goldstein waited until the eighth and final paragraph to give a fleeting, misleading account of Republican criticism:
You don't even need to know the specifics to realize that today's economic reports were weak. All you need to know is that there was no mention of them in the Associated Press's list of Top 10 business stories as of 3:35 p.m. Among stories considered more important: a product review of Apple's tiny market-share program called iWork and three dozen passengers suing Carnival Cruise Lines.
This morning's release from ADP on February private-sector employment growth reported 139,000 jobs added; the previous four months were revised down by a total of 138,000. The Institute for Supply Management's Non-Manufacturing Index came in at 51.6%, showing relatively slow expansion (anything above 50% indicates expansion) compared to January's 54.0%. The reports missed expectations of 155,000 jobs added and 53.5%, respectively. AP coverage of these two reports somewhat understated their weakness, one quantitatively and the other qualitatively.
Only CBS This Morning on Wednesday bothered to cover yet another delay of ObamaCare. NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America both skipped the news. On Tuesday night, all three networks ignored the topic.
CBS co-anchor Charlie Rose explained, "This morning, critics of the President's health care law have a new target for anger, another major delay." He added, "The Obama administration will allow insurers to continue offering bare-bones plans, even if they don't comply with the minimum standards." Journalist Jan Crawford described the move as one that would avoid more cancellations near the 2014 midterm elections. She opined, "...The administration will allow insurers to offer the substandard plans." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Wednesday, CNN's Daniel Burke gave liberal-tinged spin/extrapolation about Pope Francis's answer to an Italian newspaper's question about secular civil unions. Burke asserted in a CNN.com article that the pontiff "reaffirmed the Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage...but suggested in a newspaper interview that it could support some types of civil unions."
However, the journalist left out that despite the Bishop of Rome's generalized answer, he concretely opposed a proposed civil unions bill in Malta near the end of 2013. More recently, the Pope's spokesman lashed out at the Italian media in January 2014 for spinning a separate remark from the native of Argentina as "an opening to legal provision for civil unions for gay couples, a subject of debate in Italy."
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, NBC has been the only Big Three broadcast network to look back to President Obama ridiculing Mitt Romney for calling Russia a U.S. "geopolitical foe" in 2012. On Wednesday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander reminded viewers: "Republicans have repeatedly attacked President Obama's Russia policy as weak and naive....Helping fuel that criticism, this moment from the 2012 campaign, where President Obama mocked Governor Mitt Romney for calling Russia America's number one geopolitical foe." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Neither ABC's Good Morning America nor CBS This Morning managed to work that into their coverage of the unfolding international crisis on Wednesday.
Lois Lerner, the IRS figure at the center of the Tea Party targeting scandal, once again pleaded the Fifth on Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In more than 20 minutes of testimony the former director of IRS exempt organizations refused to answer Committee Chairman Darrell Issa on nine different occasions. The hearing also ended with a bit of fireworks between Issa and Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings.
So now that networks have dramatic footage of a government official repeatedly taking the Fifth and a heated clash between congressmen, will they actually report on the IRS scandal? [Video after the jump]
Even when attempting to say something nice about a conservative, MSNBC somehow managed to stick its foot in its mouth. Resident MSNBC.com voter-ID conspiracy theorist Zachary Roth sickeningly blared in a March 5th piece that “No One Pushes Greg Abbott Around” with an accompanying picture of Mr. Abbott waiving to supporters from his wheelchair.
Roth spent the first three paragraphs in a fairly tame manner, describing how Abbott was left paralyzed at age 26 from a freak accident the Republican sustained while running, before launching into an all-out attack on the Texan. Roth promoted how Abbott “likes to point out that he’s filed 30 lawsuits against “Barack Obama”—never President Obama—and his administration.”
Journalists and networks hyped the so-called Republican "war on women" during the 2012 election. But ABC and CBS on Wednesday skipped the claim that liberal Congressman Alan Grayson committed domestic abuse against his estranged wife. Only Today show journalist Kristen Welker on Wednesday revealed, "Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson is denying allegations that he shoved his wife, Lolita Grayson." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
She continued, "According to court documents filed Monday and obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, Ms. Grayson accused her husband of showing up at her Florida home unannounced over the weekend and then deliberately and with force pushed her very hard against the door, causing her to fall to the ground." CBS This Morning and ABC's Good Morning America ignored the accusations. Tuesday night's evening newscasts did as well.
Editorial Note/Correction: We mistakenly affixed an incorrect. NewsBusters byline earlier Our deepest apologies for the error | Edwin Lyngar was upset that many retirement-age Americans, including his father, have in their golden years run for the shadows of Fox News Channel -- so much so that this past Thursday, Lyngar published a February 27 piece in the liberal online magazine Salon in which he lamented at length those oldsters' descent into Fox-induced "despair and rage."
Lyngar asserted that his 67-year-old dad and other senior-citizen FNC buffs are "terrified by the idea of slightly more affordable healthcare and a very moderate Democrat in the White House" and commented, "I’ve read accounts of people my age — 40 or so — losing parents to cancer or Alzheimer’s, but just as big a tragedy are the crops of grandmothers and grandfathers debilitated by Fox News-induced hysteria."
After Russia invaded Ukraine, demonstrating how Vladimir Putin has zero fear of Barack Obama, Fox News anchor Bret Baker reran a snippet from the third presidential debate in 2012, showing who felt Russia was a geopolitical threat, and who thought that sounded silly.
Obama mocked Romney for being concerned about Russia. “When you were asked ‘What’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America?’ you said Russia. Not al-Qaeda. You said Russia, and the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the cold war has been over for 20 years.”
Here's another entry for the "name that party" file. Ambulance-chasing lawyer cum melodramatically hyper-partisan Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson (Fla.) has been accused by his estranged wife of violently shoving her during a dispute.
The Orlando Sentinel has the story. The paper buried the party affiliation at the tail-end of the article, but they at least mentioned the "die quickly!" demagogue's party affiliation. The Daily Beast website picked up on the item for it's "Cheat Sheet" digest [screen capture follows page break], but omitted any party reference in its 75-word brief [excerpted in full below the page break]:
"It’s been discovered that secret hidden camera video was taken during oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court," NewsBusted's Jodi Miller noted in the latest edition of the original NewsBusters comedy short. "[I]f you watch the video closely, you can see Chief Justice Roberts ignoring the Constitution on ObamaCare."
It appears that Aron Heller at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's press, might have been applying lessons learned from the wire service's U.S. business and economics writers in his coverage of Israel's settlement activity. Heller also seems strangely fond of this mythical thing known as the "international community."
AP business and economics writers like Martin Crutsinger and Christopher Rugaber have regaled us with the wonders of the alleged housing recovery during the past two years, but haven't been quite as good at telling us that over 4-1/2 years after the recession officially ended, new home sales and construction activity is still only about 60-65 percent of what is seen as healthy by most economists and analysts. Heller pulled an analogous trick in his report; fortunately Evelyn Gordon at Commentary (HT Powerline) was astute enough to catch his misdirection, one in which President Obama has also engaged.
President Obama will be enacting yet another delay for ObamaCare, but the networks were silent about the prospect of it on Tuesday night. The administration is set to allow insurers to keep offering health plans that don't meet ObamaCare standards, and the delay will be tailored around the November Congressional elections.
The Hillclearly saw the move as political – "easing election pressure on Democrats" – since it would avoid the "firestorm" of many health plans being cancelled right before the November elections. CBSNews.com reported the news, but none of the network evening news casts touched the story on Tuesday.
On Tuesday evening, ABC again skipped its own poll showing voter disapproval of both President Obama and Senate Democrats up for re-election.
Obama's approval rating was underwater at 46 percent, while voters preferred Republican senate candidates to Democrats 50-42. The poll noted that "Anti-incumbent sentiment is largely economic in nature; as such, while there's dissatisfaction with both parties, it's pointed more at the Democrats, given their control of the big chair at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave."
Today is the seventh anniverary of Barack Obama’s 2007 speech from the civil rights scene of Selma, Alabama. Many conservatives remember Hillary Clinton’s patronizing black-speak “I don't feel no ways tired” recitation from black minister James Cleveland.
But Obama’s Selma speech shamelessly invented his life story, and the media failed to call him on it. It was an early signal that honesty and accuracy were not high on the media’s list of values in that campaign.