Despite Thursday's unanimous Supreme Court ruling that so-called "buffer zones" banning pro-life protests near abortion clinics was a violation of the First Amendment, all three network evening newscasts hyped assertions by abortion advocates that such unconstitutional measures "prevent violence at clinic entrances." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC Nightly News, correspondent Pete Williams began his report on the high court's decision by proclaiming: "Massachusetts was trying to avoid scenes like this – patients at abortion clinics confronted and hassled, sometimes even violence." Footage ran of pro-life protesters being held back by police barricades and one unidentified man shouting: "They're lying to you and they're gonna kill your baby!"
Jon Stewart fell back to his partisan comfort zone on the Thursday, June 26 edition of The Daily Show. Despite Tuesday’s brief respite into the realm of poking fun at his own party, the Comedy Central host spent the opening monologue of his show blasting Republicans for being “warfare queens.”
Stewart ended his rant by telling Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to “go f*** yourself.” Classy. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
So it turns out that Gov. Scott Walker was not a target of a criminal investigation nor is there any evidence that the Wisconsin Republican "engaged in a criminal scheme." Indeed, there "is not such a finding" in recently unsealed documents, Randall Crocker, an attorney representing special prosecutor Francis Schmitz noted on Thursday, according to reporting by the Washington Post's Matea Gold in a June 27 article, "Wisconsin governor wasn't a target of probe, prosecutor's attorney says." The story was buried at the bottom of page A8 on Friday's paper. A similar article by Monica Davey in the New York Times was buried in Friday's paper on page A15.
During Thursday’s edition of The Situation Room on CNN, host Wolf Blitzer committed an act of journalism in grilling IRS Commissioner John Koskinen with question after question about the growing IRS e-mail scandal. His questioning included one where he asked (via a Twitter follower), “[w]hy shouldn’t taxpayers use the crashed hard drive excuse when undergoing an IRS audit?”
The interview, which lasted 13 minutes and 47 seconds, is more time than ABC and NBC spent on the IRS e-mail scandal combined on both their morning and evening news programs since the outrage surrounding lost emails of IRS employees, including former employee Lois Lerner, broke on June 13. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
An excited George Stephanopoulos on Friday recounted his flight on Air Force One and the thrill of watching the U.S. World Cup with Barack Obama. In the 8am hour, Stephanopoulos bragged to co-host Robin Roberts: "You were teasing me earlier about my trip yesterday on Air Force One. So, I'm just going to rub it in."
At the top of the show, he trumpeted, "ABC News exclusive: My day with the president on Air Force One, watching Team USA." The host enthused, "The President invited us up to his conference room to watch with his team onboard." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The GMA co-anchor then showed video of himself watching the soccer game with Obama and staff.
Slowly but surely, the confident assurances of a fantabulous second quarter for the U.S. economy — one which is supposed to make the serious first-quarter contraction reported on Wednesday a distant memory — are crumbling.
Yesterday at the Associated Press, Martin Crutsinger, who just a couple of weeks ago had been relaying confident second-quarter predictions of annualized 3.5 percent and even 4 percent growth, quoted a still-optimistic economist who, in Crutsinger's words, "said strength in other areas (besides yesterday's weak consumer spending report — Ed.) should still lift economic growth to around a 3 percent annual rate in the current quarter." Today, in covering the University of Michigan's consumer confidence report, Christopher Rugaber, Crutsinger's dynamic duo buddy at the AP, brought the growth figure down to a level which won't even offset the dreadful first quarter:
On the June 27 edition of CNN Newsroom, a panel discussed new calls from Ted Cruz that the IRS scandal needs a special prosecutor. John Avlon of The Daily Beast wasn’t buying it, trashing the Texas senator for leading a supposed witch hunt. He also argued that the root of the problem was the Citizens United ruling, and that the real solution is more campaign finance reform.
When host Carol Costello questioned Avlon about the necessity of a special prosecutor, he rushed to dismiss the issue: “I think probably a special prosecutor is at this moment not necessary as is calling for the impeachment of the Attorney General of the United States...Whenever Ted Cruz or Darrell Issa walks into the matter it immediately turns into a partisan hackathon as opposed to a search for the truth.” Thankfully, Will Cain of The Blaze was there to counter Avlon, and offered quite the opposite perspective [MP3 audio here; video below]:
On Thursday’s Today, NBC host Matt Lauer walked into trouble with the feminists by asking GM CEO Mary Barra if she could be a mother and a CEO and do both jobs well – causing every liberal to pull out the card “You don’t ask the males that.”
Charlotte Alter at Timeasked: “How’s this for a question: Can Matt Lauer be a good dad and host the Today Show? Let’s discuss.” (Video below)
Apparently journalists are happy to forgive when they agree with their former opponents.
Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush, wrote an op-ed in The New York Times on June 22, warning of the financial risks of climate change. Soon afterward, Paulson was publicly joined by billionaire liberal donors Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg in the “Risky Business” campaign to highlight the alleged “economic risks of climate change in the United States.”
In an exclusive interview with Barack Obama, George Stephanopoulos on Friday hinted that the President is disappointed in the American people. The overall interview actually included some tough questions on subjects such as Iraq and the crisis of illegal immigration. But the Good Morning America co-host sympathized with Obama when discussing his crumbling poll numbers and noted that "the public is blaming" the President.
Stephanopoulos then worried, "More than half of the Americans have lost confidence in your ability to lead the country and get the job done. That must have been stunning to you. Disappointing?" The journalist optimistically wondered, "How do you turn it around?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
A staple of establishment press reporting is to attribute a contention to a limited group of people to either place the truth of a statement into doubt, or to make it appear that only the group involved holds that opinion. Examples taking this to the absolute extreme could include: "Conervatives say the sun rises in the east and sets in the west," and "Republicans believe that abortion takes a human life."
Note that I didn't write that such extreme examples never occur in establishment press reporting. That's because they sometimes do, even to the point where the reporter(s) involved don't recognize how utterly ignorant and contradictory their content is. Take the following two bolded paragraphs from the Associated Press's terse, "Let's make this story look boring, and tell them as little as we possibly can" story about the National Organization for Marriage's court victory over the IRS in the release of its donor list (report produced in full because of its brevity, and for fair use and discussion purposes):
Following the death of former Senator Howard Baker on Tuesday, all three major broadcast networks praised the influential former White House Chief of Staff during their June 26 evening newscasts for his ability to compromise with Democrats. Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News even went so far as to describe him as “a Republican so moderate it might make him a Democrat today.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
On the June 27 edition of CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O’Donnell lamented "there’s a lot of people who miss the Howard Bakers of the world. We could use more of them in the Senate for sure."
On Friday's Morning Joe program, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough complained about the absence of media attention to the fact that IRS commissioner John Koskinen, in charge of an organization currently embroiled in an investigation into whether it has unfairly targeted conservative groups during the Obama administration, is himself a "big Democratic donor" who has donated to President Barack Obama twice and, over the years, almost $100,000 to various Democrats.
Regular panel members Mark Halperin of Time magazine and John Heilemann of New York magazine joined in as Scarborough called out the New York Times in particular and imagined how the Times would have reacted if the roles had been reversed during the George W. Bush administration. Scarborough asked:
Liberal comedian Whoopi Goldberg clumsily deployed the race card in an argument with conservative guest co-host Will Cain of The Blaze on Wednesday's The View about comedian Russell Brand comparing Fox News to ISIS. Cain had criticized Brand, pointing out the ludicrousness of describing a news channel he disagrees with politically to violent, predatory terrorists.
Tackling how absurd American society's obsession with a virtual right to not be offended by someone else's words, Goldberg snapped back that he had “[s]poken like a true white guy.” Goldberg insisted that people “absolutely have the right” to ask people to stop using words that make them “uncomfortable.” Cain countered that “you have to be bigger than words.” In response to Goldberg arguing that people “do have the absolute right” to tell people not to use certain words Cain replied “We’d all be out of business. Everyone’s offended all of the time!”
MRC president Brent Bozell appeared on The Kelly File on Fox News Channel on Thursday night to discuss the ongoing media effort to downplay or ignore Obama scandals.
Kelly began by showing video of the president claiming in Minneapolis that the scandals are fabricated: “Sometimes the news that's being reported on is really important. I mean what's happening in Iraq is relevant. But sometimes the news that's coming off, these are just Washington fights. They're fabricated issues, they're phony scandals that are generated. It's all geared towards the next election of ginning up a base.” Bozell called him shameless, and the most press-pampered president in history. (Video below)
The evening newscasts of all three broadcast networks tonight reported on the unanimous decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning in which the U.S. Supreme Court found that President Obama overstepped his constitutional authority in making recess appointments when the U.S. Senate was technically in session. Rather than couching the ruling as a stunning rebuke of presidential overreach by Mr. Obama, however, coverage on CBS and NBC made it sound like an intrusion on presidential prerogative. ABC's Terry Moran described the ruling as the Court saying "no, no president has [the] power" to make recess appointments when the Senate declares itself to be in session (no matter how sparsely attended).
By contrast a search of Nexis transcripts reveals that on June 28, 2004, when the Supreme Court reached a 6-3 decision in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld -- a Fifth Amendment due process case regarding an American citizen captured in Afghanistan as an enemy combatant -- the network evening newscasts hailed the ruling as "a real blow to the Bush administration" (ABC's Charles Gibson), a ruling that "struck at the very core of the way President Bush has been conducting the war on terrorism" (ABC's Manuel Medrano), with "the justices... say[ing] the Bush administration cannot expect the courts to stay on the sidelines in the war on terror" (NBC's Pete Williams).
Only MSNBC’s token failed congressional candidate can make Ronan Farrow seem less partisan. On the June 26 edition of Ronan Farrow Daily, guest host Kystal Ball did everything she could to downplay the latest unanimous Supreme Court decision which corrects executive overreach by President Obama while simultaneously demonizing Republicans.
When Republican strategist John Feehery called the verdict “a significant victory for the legislative branch,” Ball replied that “it's important to remember the context of where this case and this decision came from.” She agreed with Democratic strategist Rodell Mollineau that the case “starts and ends with Senate Republican obstructionism” and emphasized that the new filibuster rules mean that as long as “the Democrats are in power in the Senate, this isn't going to have such a large impact on the president directly.”[See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
CNN’s Carol Costello seemed unable to comprehend why Hobby Lobby opposes the federal mandate in ObamaCare to cover emergency contraceptives and abortifacients. On the June 26 edition of CNN Newsroom, the host continually suggested that such exemptions only make sense for actual churches, rather than practicing Christians.
Costello stated in her introduction of the story that critics – they remained unnamed – claim that if Hobby Lobby prevails it could mean “tomorrow’s civil rights disaster.” Costello noted that Catholic bishops are also opposed to the federal mandate, but then questioned her guest, CNN Vatican analyst John Allen, with an exasperated voice if Hobby Lobby is really the “same as the Catholic Church, though.” Costello did not back down from this assertion either; later in the segment she pushed the same argument [MP3 audio here; video below]:
My, those "this quarter's really, really going to be great" predictions can disappear so quickly these days.
Yesterday, in the wake of the government's third revision to gross domestic product showing that the economy shrunk by an annualized 2.9 percent during the first quarter instead of the previously reported 1.0 percent, commentators, analysts, and economists fell all over themselves insisting that the second quarter and the rest of the year will be fine. The reaction at Goldman Sachs was — get this — to raise their estimate for second-quarter growth from an annualized 3.8 percent to 4.0 percent. Today, in the wake of a particularly weak consumer spending report for May, the backpedaling — well, partial backpedaling — is under way, particularly at the Associated Press (bolds are mine):
The press, even in the wake of yesterday's awful reported 2.9 percent annualized first-quarter contraction, continues to regale us with noise about the economy's "recovery" during the past five years.
As P.J. Gladnick at NewsBusters noted yesterday, CNNMoney.com's Annalyn Kurtz, in giving readers "3 reasons not to freak out about -2.9% GDP," concluded her report by telling readers that "This recovery is underway, but it's choppy and still very slow." Actually, it may have resumed this quarter. At the Associated Press yesterday, Martin Crutsinger all too predictably wrote that"the setback is widely thought to be temporary, with growth rebounding solidly since spring." After almost five years of this nonsense, it's long past time that they start telling readers, listeners, and viewers that this economy bears more resemblance to the 1930s economy under Franklin Delano Roosevelt than it does any post-downturn economy we've seen since the end of World War II. Hard proof follows the jump.