During an election night discussion of the Missouri embryonic stem cell debate, CNN analyst Paul Begala slammed Rush Limbaugh as a "drug-addled gasbag who is self discredited." Bill Bennett, also on the panel with James Carville and J.C. Watts, chastised Begala: “Well, it's a nasty comment.”
The discussion, with Democratic strategist Begala's insult, began at about 8:08pm EST Tuesday night on CNN:
CNN's Wolf Blitzer made a point of saying his network would refrain from calling any of the races in Pennsylvania, where polls remain open in two areas where there were problems earlier in the day.
But in an 8pm EST CBS News break-in, new anchor Katie Couric couldn't wait to share the good news with her fellow liberals, announcing that Bob Casey, Jr. had beaten Rick Santorum.
UPDATE, 8:40pm EST: Most of the networks have joined CBS in declaring Casey the winner, and Howard Dean just told Chris Matthews that he would personally invite Senator Casey to speak at the Democratic Convention despite being pro-life (Casey's father, the late Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey, Sr., was excluded from the 1992 Democratic convention that nominated Bill Clinton). But CNN's Web site lists Pennsylvania as "still voting," so hasn't yet called Casey the victor.
CNN’s Bill Schneider reported tonight that the veteran vote went for Republican Senator George Allen. The anchor seemed baffled as to how such a thing could happen. During election night coverage, he mentioned that Webb was a "veteran" or "decorated hero" three times in four sentences:
Bill Schneider: "These are veterans. Now they could be voting for James Webb because James Webb was the Secretary of the Navy. James Webb is a decorated hero and a veteran of the Vietnam War. He might have done very well with veterans. But this is– If women were a breakthrough for Webb, the veteran vote was a breakthrough for George Allen. George Allen, the Republican, carried 57 percent of the veterans vote in Virginia, despite the fact that Webb is a decorated veteran and a former Naval Secretary."
Around 7:10EST, CNN's Wolf Blitzer continued to frame his coverage from a Democratic perspective, stating, "the Democrats need just 7 seats to become the majority party in the U.S. Senate" he did the same for the House as well.
That is the standard fare for the press, frame things from what the Democrats can do to get things going.
Update 19:20. CNN is highlighting its coverage of its blog party. Each time the network listed liberal bloggers first. Liberal bloggers interviewed: 1. Conservatives: 0.
Update 19:24. Paula Zahn and Bill Schneider surprised that Iraq was not the #1 issue. Schneider pronounces as well: "voters are not rewarding the Republicans for the economy."
19:31. CNN cuts to a live feed of Democratic National Committee. The TVs are tuned into CNN. Blitzer: "Which is encouraging that people are watching."
19:34. John King, asked if he was surprised by an apparent GOP loss of Ohio governorship "I'm not surprised because Ohio is a cesspool--this year. The current governor, the Republican incumbant Bob Taft, has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, that's where Bob Ney the congressman pleaded guilty to corruption charges--"
Anderson Cooper: Bob Taft was term-limited though so he had to --
King: Yeah so he couldn't. Yeah but the whole environment is just horrible--anti-Republican.
20:23. CNN continues pushing things from Dem perspective in calling India House race for Dem Ellsworth. "One down fourteen more to go," Jeff Greenfield pronounces.
CNN’s Jack Cafferty, who recently called Donald Rumsfeld a war criminal, chose Election Day to accuse the President of going to war in Iraq for oil and of condoning torture. He also wondered if George Bush was "elected at all." A transcript of the November 7 "Cafferty File" segment is below:
Wolf Blitzer: "Jack Cafferty is here with ‘The Cafferty File.’ Jack?"
Jack Cafferty: "Thank you, Wolf. However today’s election turns out, it’s a safe bet it’s going to be a good long while before anyone successfully pedals a neo-conservative agenda to the American electorate again. George Bush was elected twice by the thinnest of margins, if, in fact, he was elected at all.
Not waiting for voters to finish their work, at least one CNN producer has begun referring to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi as "Madame Speaker." CNN's Dana Bash revealed at about 4:20 on the Situation Room how "Nancy Pelosi came into the Capitol this afternoon. Our producer Ted Barrett bumped into her and jokingly said 'How are you, Madame Speaker?' She smiled ear to ear and said 'I like the title,' but quickly caught herself and said 'Not yet.'"
Bash added that Democrats are busy high-fiving themselves and measuring the drapes: "Now in public Pelosi may be cautious, but we understand that in private she and her staff are already talking about whether or not they should move their office suite into the bigger space now occupied by the Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert. And there was not a lot of caution in a briefing just a short while ago from the two chairmen of the Democratic House and Senate campaign committees. They were actually bubbling with optimism, Wolf."
NBC's Today correspondents on Tuesday made sure to underline that Republicans were seen as racist in the Senate campaigns in Tennessee and Virginia. Reporter Tom Costello began his report:
"Matt, good morning. This has been a hard fought race. It's been injected with advertisements viewed by many as being racist by the Republican National Committee. The Corker campaign repudiated those ads, as did the Ford campaign, of course."
By many? Try "by many Democrats," at least. From there, David Shuster (usually assigned to Chris Matthews on MSNBC), also underlined the alleged-racist angle on the Virginia race:
"Meredith, good morning. A statistical dead heat is not at all where the incumbent Republican George Allen ever thought he would be. Allen had been talked about being a presidential contender in 2008 but his campaign has been set back by a series of missteps including his use of the term macaca and allegations about his use of the N-word to describe blacks, but the key issue in this race has been the Iraq war...
Nasty and bitter is how the Virginia and New Jersey Senate races were described on Monday’s "Early Show" on CBS. No not necessarily the campaigns in general, but the Republican candidates and Republican ads. Additionally, Harry Smith highlighted that while Northern Virginia is "Webb country," the rest of Virginia "clings to its conservative roots." Notice how Smith omits the phrase "liberal" while commenting on Northern Virginia.
Smith noted how the Virginia race is "mean" and "nasty" before remarking on Allen’s gaffes and how they have kept this race close:
As Chris Matthews sees it and decrees it, if voters in Maryland decide to go for Republican Michael Steele today it will be because they prefer African American candidates who are “unthreatening” or “almost...castrated,” and that the “funny” “lighthearted” Steele strikes voters as “a guy I would like to have living next door” — although he quickly added that “that may be pushing it in some cases.”
As Joe Scarborough, one of the rotating anchors of MSNBC’s continuing election coverage tried to interrupt, Matthews justified his comments by insisting that, “I have to tell you, we have an ethnic problem in this country. And it’s coming to the fore, this race problem we have.”
On Monday night’s edition of Nightline, just hours before the polls opened for Tuesday’s midterm election, ABC’s Terry Moran prematurely promoted a potential 2008 Democratic presidential contender. Moran went along with Illinois Senator Barack Obama as he campaigned for Democrats across the country. Moran’s piece was full of praise for the "American political phenomenon," whom, according to Moran, millions see as "the savior of the Democratic Party."
Terry Moran: "You can see it in the crowds. The thrill, the hope. How they surge toward him. You're looking at an American political phenomenon. In state after state, in the furious final days of this crucial campaign, Illinois Senator Barack Obama has been the Democrat's not-so-secret get-out-the-vote weapon. He inspires the party faithful and many others, like no one else on the scene today...And the question you can sense on everyone's mind, as they listen so intently to him, is he the one? Is Barack Obama the man, the black man, who could lead the Democrats back to the White House and maybe even unite the country?"
In his Election Day essay on this morning's Today show, NBC's Tom Brokaw found a shaky Republican in Montana, a squishy GOP senator on the war and thought the Ted Haggard and Mark Foley stories would turn independents the Democrats' way. Running down the various issues voters face today, Brokaw did highlight some positives in the economy but then turned negative as he noted: "But there's so much wrong and a fierce debate about the road ahead. And many more think this country is headed in the wrong direction than in the right direction...Gas prices, health care, housing cost, immigration, gay marriageand the war, always the war." Brokaw then scared up three even Republicans:
One of the most routine (and inaccurate) tics of news coverage of Missouri's cloning amendment and other medical-research stories is to describe the controversy over embryo-destroying stem cell research as simply a fight over "stem cell research." To declare that a pro-life politician is "against stem cell research" is quite inaccurate (since they favor research on adult stem cells and from umbilical cord blood). But Kevin Tibbles did that twice this morning to Sen. Jim Talent on Today, and never once even used the word "embryo" or "embryonic" to describe the specific human lives being destroyed in the research process.
Co-host Meredith Vieira: "You know Kevin we heard a lot about the race after Rush Limbaugh criticized those ads that Michael Fox did supporting stem cell research and the Democratic candidate Claire McCaskill. How much do you think that controversy will play into the voters' minds today when they go to the polls?"
In the 6:00 AM hour of CNN's American Morning on Tuesday, reporter Allan Chernoff singled out Republican New Jersey Senatorial Candidate Tom Kean Jr of engaging in brutal attacks against his Democratic counterpart, Senator Robert Menendez. Chernoff stated in his first report.
Allan Chernoff: "Good morning Soledad. Talk about a dirty race. I think the whole state of New Jersey will want to take a shower tonight after this election is all done with. And certainly Senator Menendez has endured brutal attacks. He's scheduled to vote here in about ten minutes. He'll be glad to have this whole campaign done with because the Kean campaign has consistently been accusing him of corruption, claiming he's under federal investigation."
The polls have only been open for a few hours, and MSNBC is already reporting allegations of voter intimidation in Virginia. Of course, “Hardball’s” David Shuster only discussed Democrat complaints towards Republicans even though the FBI refused to comment (video here). The article on this subject at MSNBC.com stated (hat tip to TVNewser):
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the possibility of voter intimidation in the U.S. Senate race between Sen. George Allen, a Republican, and Democratic challenger James Webb, officials told NBC News.
This just sounds too good to be true: Dan Rather's going to be an election pundit tonight....on the fake-news special on Comedy Central. No, really. (There's no mention if the whole hour is being sponsored by Kinko's Copies.) Gail Shister reports in the Philadelphia Inquirer that the CBS/Viacom offshoot is rolling out the red carpet for the disgraced CBS anchorman:
This is not a joke.
Dan Rather will analyze election results with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert tonight at 11 on Comedy Central's live, hour-long Indecision 2006 special.
"It's a risk, I guess, but what the hell," says Rather, who covered every national election since 1962 for CBS before being drop-kicked in June. Now he's global correspondent for Mark Cuban's HDNet.
"For a combination of reasons -- increasingly bullish prognostications by independent handicappers, galloping optimism by Democratic leaders and bloggers, and polls that promise a Democratic blowout -- expectations for the party have soared into the stratosphere. Democrats are widely expected to take the House, and by a significant margin, and perhaps the Senate as well, while capturing a majority of governorships and legislatures.
As some of our readers know, I'm heading off to Iraq, where I'll be reporting for CNS, the news agency of MRC.
Our focus at NB is of course exposing liberal media bias, and to the extent I have a chance to "cover the coverage" I'll certainly be blogging on that. At the same time, I'm thinking that our NB readers might enjoy experiencing more generally some sights, sounds and impressions from the trip. So, with the indulgence of my editors, I'll maintain an 'Iraq Diary' here with written reports, photos and even some video clips - internet connections permitting.
Here's the schedule, which is of course subject to change:
November 8th - travel commercial from Ithaca to Charleston, SC November 9th - fly from Charleston AFB to naval base in Rota, Spain, near Gibraltar Nov. 10th - arrive Rota Nov. 11 - depart Rota, arrive Balad, Iraq. Nov. 11-13 - International [Green] Zone. Visits with Gulf Reconstruction Divsion of Army Corps of Engineers and military hospital featured in HBO documentary 'Baghdad ER.' Nov. 13th-20th - With Marines in Fallujah. Nov. 21st-23rd - heading home Nov. 23rd [Thanskgiving] - arrive base Dover, DE
Have you heard the brouhaha about so-called “robo-calls”? These are repeat telephone calls by a telemarketing software program that critics claim violate federal communications laws. As you might imagine, the media have been wrongly depicting this as exclusively being a Republican strategy, while ignoring the Democrat campaigns that are doing exactly the same thing.
The New York Times published an article about this subject Tuesday, and CNN reported on this matter during Monday’s “Situation Room” (video here with transcript to follow). Of course, neither outlet chose to inform the public about Democrat candidates utilizing the same telephone strategy as reported here, here, here, and here (hat tip to Michelle Malkin).
CNN’s Jacki Schechner declared: “Wolf, there's an audio clip that's making the rounds online on some of the top liberal blogs and we got the same clip from Tammy Duckworth's campaign, she's the Democrat running in Illinois' sixth district against Republican Peter Roskam. Take a listen.”
Isn't it interesting how CNN these days seems fixated on the propaganda being disseminated at "top liberal blogs?" Keeping with that theme, Schechner continued:
Michael Steele, the Republican candidate in Maryland's Senate race, victim of the Washington Post's desire to keep him out of the Senate tore into the liberal newspaper on "Fox News Sunday."
Transcript continues below the fold. Video available here.
Lieutenant Governor, the Washington Post endorsed your opponent, Ben
Cardin, over the weekend, and they had some very harsh words for you.
Let's put them up on the screen.
"Despite his efforts to construct an image as an independent-minded
newcomer, there is nothing in Michael Steele's past — no achievement,
no record, no evidence and certainly no command of the issues — to
The Post says that as lieutenant governor for the past four years, you have had marginal influence.
I know. Isn't it a shame? Well, you know, Chris, that is pitiful.
government leader in Iraq's Kurdistan region has told Gold Star
Families visiting U.S. troops in the Mideast that the news media's
coverage of the situation in Iraq is terribly biased.
International and Al Jazeera are equally bad in their coverage of the
situation in Iraq," said Nerchivan Barzani, the prime minister of Iraqi
I was in the United States recently and read the negative news in the
Washington Post, New York Times and in the network TV broadcasts, I
even wondered if things had gotten so bad since I had left that I
shouldn't return," he said.