CNN's scrutiny of the Obama administration's scandals has fallen sharply from last week. From 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. ET on Monday, CNN spent about as much time on Obama's "triple trouble" of controversy as it did on Saturday's Powerball-winning ticket.
CNN spent 12 full minutes reporting that one single ticket won the $590 million Powerball jackpot over the weekend, and had yet to be claimed. In comparison, three Obama administration scandals merited about the same coverage, 12 minutes, 21 seconds. Yet over three minutes of that coverage focused on the President's rising approval ratings amidst the controversies.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is under fire for soliciting donations from health care companies to underwrite ObamaCare PR efforts to increase enrollment but you wouldn't know that if you only got your news from ABC and NBC or skipped Sunday's edition of CBS's Face the Nation.
The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have effectively buried the scandal that was first broken by the Washington Post on May 10.
Appearing on Sunday’s edition of C-SPAN’s Washington Journal program, Huffington Post correspondent Jennifer Bendery dismissed the Benghazi scandal, telling host John McArdle that “there’s really not a whole lot of ‘there’ there” when it comes to the September 2012 attacks.
It’s offensive enough that Bendery abandoned any sense of objective journalism in her interview with McArdle. It’s even worse that she repeated nearly verbatim a phrase used by President Obama in his press conference last Monday (transcript of the May 13 press conference via The Wall Street Journal):
The IRS scandal is an absolute fiasco, and we're already witnessing the media doing their level best to downplay its significance. Unfortunately, part of that concerted effort will include the attempt to shoehorn racial, religious, and ethnic victimology narratives into the mix.
Submitted for your consideration is a May 15 post on CNN's Global Public Square (GPS) blog by Sahar Aziz headlined "Muslims to Tea Party: Welcome to our world":
Yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I took apart Espo's claim that there is a "lack of evidence to date of wrongdoing close to the Oval Office" by showing that in at least five situations -- Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS targeting, AP phone snooping, and HHS's shaking down of insurance companies to fund ObamaCare promotions -- have all been known by people who directly report to the President, and are thus just one step away from him. On Sunday evening, the Wall Street Journal reported that in the case of the IRS targeting, it's a lot less than one step (bolds are mine):
Now that the race for Virginia’s next governor has kicked into high gear, NBC News’ Chief White House Correspondent has decided to be partisan and sharply criticized the Republican ticket.
On his May 20 edition of The Daily Rundown, the MSNBC anchor hammered the GOP’s nominee for Virginia Lieutenant Governor, African-American pastor E.W. Jackson, as extreme and someone who “might make Todd Akin look like a moderate.” "Can the GOP win in 2013 with a ticket of candidates who are best known for being very conservative and very outspoken on social issues?" Todd rhetorically asked before playing several clips of Jackson in a manner worthy of a liberal attack ad. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
On Sunday's NBC Nightly News, White House correspondent Peter Alexander led off with Obama team spin on the scandals rocking the administration: "...the White House is aggressively responding, calling accusations of mismanagement 'offensive and absurd.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
A sound bite played of Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer ranting: "There is no question that we want to – that Republicans are trying to make political hay here....What they want to do when they're lacking a positive agenda is try to drag Washington into a swamp of partisan fishing expeditions, trumped-up hearings, and false allegations. We're not gonna let that happen."
While the the front page of today's Washington Post is actually reporting significant developments in two of Barack Obama's trifecta of scandals, the Washington Post Company-owned free tabloid the Express is busy lamenting if the president will ever get "A Break from the Storm?"
Perhaps, as "advisers say," he "should stage a major economic speech to drown out the noise[emphasis mine] of recent scandals," Express editors helpfully offered in a caption for their front-page photo illustration, which depicted a grimacing President Obama getting drenched in a downpour [see image below page break].
Jeffrey Lord at the American Spectator has reviewed the White House logs looking for a relationship between meetings listed there and the timeline found in the Inspector General's report on the targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups issued last Tuesday. Lord's work represents yet another example of alternative media scooping a lazy or negligent establishment press.
What Lord has found (single-page print version) is that President Barack Obama met with the President of the National Treasury Employees Union Colleen Kelley, on March 31, 2010. The NTEU is "the 150,000 member union that represents IRS employees along with 30 other separate government agencies." The Inspector General's report, blandly titled "Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review," indicates that the IRS, in Lord's words, "set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America" the very next day. Lord's work is a mandatory read-the-whole-thing item. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Former Obama press secretary and campaign advisor Robert Gibbs had some harsh words for New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd Monday.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Gibbs said, “I don’t normally read Maureen...largely because it’s sort of largely the same column for the last like eight years” (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Of all the scandals plaguing the Obama administration, the one involving the Internal Revenue Service appears to be the one that even liberal news outlets deem serious.
Count Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler amongst the concerned, for on Monday he actually gave the IRS's Lois Lerner "a bushel of Pinocchios" for statements she has made about her organization's targeting of conservative groups.
Obama-loving leftists really can’t stand anyone questioning Obama. On Sunday morning on the Democratic Underground, they were circulating a new Change.org petition to “Fire Jon Karl” of ABC News.
“DOJ could look at Jonathan Karl’s phone records,” cracked one DU poster. The petition expresses the peculiar thought that anti-Obama journalism is too ideological to deserve First Amendment protection:
The Washington Post on Monday reported that Obama’s Department of Justice was investigating journalists before they started wiretapping the Associated Press – for one, Fox News correspondent James Rosen in 2010. Their headline wasn't "Obama Team Also Spied on Fox News." Fox wasn't in the headline, on A-1 or on A-12, where the story continued.
Newly obtained court documents “reveal how deeply investigators explored the private communications of a working journalist — and raise the question of how often journalists have been investigated as closely as Rosen was in 2010.” Reporter Ann Marimow began:
When a reporter makes an assertion about someone else's beliefs or motivations, he or she is supposed to offer something up as evidence, say a direct quote, something that person has written, or even something someone else close to him or her has said.
Politico's Josh Gerstein offered nothing of the sort in his coverage of Eric Holder's "you can't touch me" attitude, though he provides plenty of evidence to support my characterization of Holder's outlook. Gerstein, without a shred of support, wrote the following in describing what he believes Republicans and conservatives are trying to accomplish in pursuing the myriad scandals in the Obama administration which have burst forth during the past two weeks, along with others, including but not limited to Operation Fast and Furious, which occurred during the Obama administration's first term (bolds are mine throughout this post):
As NewsBusters has been reporting this week, even comedians that have been almost universally squeamish about telling jokes about Barack Obama have begun to do so with all the scandals now surrounding this White House.
Jumping on the bandwagon Saturday was political satirist Andy Borowitz who published a piece deliciously titled "Obama Denies Role In Government":
“Marketplace” is a popular nightly public-radio business newscast distributed on hundreds of NPR stations by Public Radio International. But the anchor, Kai Ryssdal, wasn’t about to interview former Bush defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld without demanding apologies for the "Bush wars" in a book interview for “Rumsfeld’s Rules.”
Forget the business-show rules. It was Bush-bashing time. Ryssdal began: “Let’s start with this one. It’s easier to get into something, you say, than get out. And I can’t help but wonder where we would be in this country today if you guys had been thinking of this one ten years ago.”
Do you remember Candy Crowley back in October, while acting as a presidential debate moderator, defending Barack Obama's claim that he had called the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, an act of terror the day after the attack?
Crowley apparently doesn't, for on CNN's State of the Union Sunday, she actually challenged Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer about this asking, "Why didn't the president just say, yeah, it was a terrorist attack?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters reported two weeks ago, CBS’s Bob Schieffer is fed up with the White House’s talking points concerning what happened at our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last September.
His impatience continued on Sunday's Face the Nation when Obama senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer gave stock answers to questions about the three crises facing the President leading Schieffer to first accuse his guest of taking "exactly the approach that the Nixon administration took" and finally scolding him by asking, "Why are you here today? Why isn't the White House Chief of Staff here to tell us what happened?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
By virtually any measure, with three scandals exploding on the White House, last week had to be the worst of Barack Obama's presidency.
Despite this, CNN - the self-described most trusted name in news - released a poll Sunday finding the current White House resident's job approval rose two points since April and a full six points since March.