Just how badly did CNN’s Candy Crowley destroy her first (and hopefully last) attempt as a presidential debate moderator? More than 65 million people saw that she is to debate moderation as CNN is to “news.”
Barack Obama made a fatal mistake when he lied, claiming he’d labeled the Libya attack as an act of terrorism. The look on Romney’s face said it all: Mr. President, here comes checkmate.
Candy Crowley was an utter disaster last night, and was, by far, the worst moderator of the 2012 election.
The Libya cover-up continues, and the national news media need to start asking some tough questions – including questions about one of their own. If Obama was correct that on Day 1 he said it was a terrorist attack, why did his UN ambassador say on five different national interviews that it was a YouTube video that was responsible, and who put her up to it?
Hillary Clinton declared while traveling in Peru – weeks after the 9/11 attacks on our consulate in Benghazi – that she was taking responsibility for the dreadful lack of security that cost the lives of our Ambassador to Libya and three others. But when a CBS reporter asked who’d given false information to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to broadcast nationally via five different Sunday TV interviews, Hillary’s answer was classic Clintonian: You’ll have to ask her.
How’s that for “taking responsibility”? And where, oh where, are the media now?
The book industry seems to be collapsing, at least that hallowed old paper-and-glue industry that promoted serious ideas. Even talk-radio and TV hosts are spending less time with authors. There are exceptions – but they won’t make you feel optimistic about books.
Exhibit A of today’s kind of author: Jenny McCarthy, the former Playboy centerfold who’s parlayed her nudie shots into a long list of TV gigs and six best-selling “humor”/advice books (which absolutely no one might guess were written by someone else). Her latest must be her lamest. It’s called “Bad Habits: Confessions of a Recovering Catholic.” She’s wearing a nun’s habit on the cover. Original, huh?
Martha Raddatz’s friends in the media are swooning over her performance in last night’s Vice Presidential debate. And certainly she deserves a good deal of credit for taking Joe Biden to task for the Obama administration’s failures in Benghazi. She asked the hard, pointed questions that the administration has managed to dodge for weeks. Her conduct during the opening segment was refreshing and professional.
Team Obama came out of that disastrous first debate blaming the debacle on one thing after another, finally settling on the most vicious excuse. Mitt Romney only won because he was a brazen liar. David Axelrod was obnoxious enough to cite as his moral witness one Bill Clinton, who is certainly an authority on lying with a barrel full of chutzpah.
Axelrod pledged in every interview that Team Obama would be holding Romney accountable. Fine. That’s political theater. But is there anyone in the media who holds Team Obama accountable? Most journalists are too busy hounding Romney. Bloomberg News is an exception. It is willing to look at how Obama’s campaign promises are faring.
Anyone in Hollywood who’s dreamed of hosting the Oscars telecast never imagined that the qualifications would eventually include creating cartoon dogs that love "pukesicles" and cartoon babies that eat horse sperm for breakfast.
That crashing sound you heard was the collapse of the final vestiges of taste, civility, respect, decency – whatever you want to call it – as the allegedly classy Oscar-show producers named "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane the host of the 85th annual Academy Awards next February. MacFarlane used to be the highest-paid sleazeball in television. He is now the King of Hollywood.
As even former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw acknowledged today, liberal journalists were loaded and ready to pronounce this election over and Romney’s campaign dead after the first debate: “If it had been Romney performing like the president last night, it would have been over.” But the beating Obama received last night was so complete that virtually no one (the New York Times excepted, as usual) denied it.
But how did they report Obama lost? Therein lies the rub: they -- as well as Democratic operatives -- are pushing the spin that this was all about style and presentation. Obama was "flat," "lackluster," "not himself," and “not firing on all cylinders.” In other words, Obama wasn't Obama last night. Some are going further, pushing the narrative that Romney was somehow mean-spirited and even deceptive in his presentation.
When President Obama came to the U.N. General Assembly on September 25, his arrogance was on full display. He skipped meeting any world leaders, but did find time to sit down and talk about his lover moves on ABC’s “The View.” Topics included how he’s a “romantic husband,” how he “tucks in” his wife at night, and how his first kiss with Michelle is now memorialized by a monument in Chicago.
Meanwhile, Israel is preparing for war against a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. Yawn.
Two weeks ago, Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary “2016: Obama’s America” passed Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” for second place on the all-time box-office money list for political documentaries. It now has a box office gross of more than $32 million. But if you’re an independent or a liberal who’s unplugged from conservative websites and talk radio, you’d never know.
You didn’t see D’Souza on CBS or NBC (although he showed up on ABC’s “Nightline” in late night). There were no cover stories in Time or Newsweek. The film opened on just one screen in Houston when it premiered on July 13, and then spread to 10, and eventually to 1,000 theaters in August and 2,000 theaters in September. A cultural sensation, yes – but somehow not newsworthy.
After watching the national media’s performance since the party conventions, one can only hope that journalism students are out on summer safari or some Third World Peace Corps mission. Anything to avoid this mess of a profession. Sean Hannity is right. The establishment news media are dead. Whatever remains has only one standard. If it helps Obama, it’s “news.” If it doesn’t, reporters should move on; there’s nothing worth covering.
Our media don’t just report “news” unfavorable to Romney. They obsess over it, complete with repetitive and thoroughly unnecessary incantations that Romney’s campaign is hopeless. On September 17, perhaps not accidentally after Team Obama started to struggle over their handling of the outrageous and deadly attack on the American consulate in Libya, the hard-left Mother Jones magazine leaked a secret tape of Romney talking to donors.
The “enlightened” who claim a firm grip on the steering wheel of Western civilization see the future through a lens in which man becomes ever more perfectible as outdated religious creeds fade away. And thus the irony. For all the contempt these cosmopolitans show for religion, there is one faith beyond public rebuke. Call it Islamic exceptionalism.
Public Enemy #1 right now is the man who made a ridiculously shoddy YouTube video titled “The Innocence of Muslims.” This man and his so-called “film” have been blamed with a very broad brush for every riot and protest across the Mideast.
We’ve seen this play out over and over and over again. If it hurts Barack Obama’s chances of re-election, the media ignore it. If it hurts Mitt Romney, they obsess over it night after night.
We saw it in July when Obama disparaged small business and at this point in the cycle the networks had given it ZERO coverage. We saw it last week when the networks relentlessly attacked Romney’s criticism of the Obama Administration’s spineless response to anti-American violence in the Middle East. Now we’re seeing it again this week with this manufactured controversy surrounding the secretly recorded - and edited - Romney tape.
On September 14 at Andrews Air Force Base just outside the Washington Beltway, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton welcomed home the remains of four Americans killed at our consulate in Benghazi, Libya. It was a moment of national mourning. The president was presidential; Mrs. Clinton dignified. But for some journalists, it was, quite strangely and inappropriately, something to view only through the tacky lens of politics.
On “Hardball,” Chris Matthews was tingling away. It was an “amazing ceremony,” he insisted. After an Obama clip, he said “there was a moment in American history right there. Last week, when Obama spoke at the Democratic National Committee down in Charlotte, he said, 'I am the president.' Well, this week, he showed what it means to be president.”
Tonight, Barack Obama will make his seventh appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, his second as Commander-in-Chief.
This is a man who can’t make room in his busy campaign fundraising schedule for critical intelligence briefings, or his jobs council, or even a sit-down with the Prime Minister of Israel while Iran’s uranium centrifuges are whizzing away toward Armageddon. Instead he is on his way to the Ed Sullivan Theater for yet another cutesy campaign infomercial courtesy of his boosters at CBS and Worldwide Pants.
In other words, Emperor Nero is yukking it up with his court jester while the world burns.
Veteran reporter Sharon Waxman knew she’d found a new low. Reporting from the Toronto Film Festival, she revealed the viewpoint of director Nick Cassavetes, which she summarized in a headline: “Who Gives a Damn? Love Who You Want.” The topic was incest.
Hollywood’s march to tear down – to obliterate, really -- every boundary of sexual decency should compel even the harshest accusers of social conservatives like Rick Santorum to apologize profusely. They were wrong to mock conservatives for warning of the extremes, as we’re lurching so quickly and easily into the darkest “love who you want” extremes of the Lifestyle Left.
Barack Obama has morphed into Jimmy Carter before our eyes, but the liberal media have refused to report on the Obama Administration’s failed foreign policy of apologies and appeasement. Terrified to hurt Obama’s chances of re-election, they are shamelessly seizing on this horrific attack on Americans abroad to push their go-to narrative that Mitt Romney is tone deaf.
Romney rightly criticized the Obama Administration for its spineless apology to thugs whose idea of ‘diplomacy’ is intimidation, violence and murder. As the façade of the ‘Arab Spring’ continues to fracture and crumble away, the media have shifted to a strategy of distraction and omission.
The conventions have come and gone, but as always, the TV network “news” coverage of Tampa and Charlotte demonstrated once again that these people have no intention of trying to be equally positive or equally aggressive with the two major parties. Their obvious but unstated agenda is to drag Obama over the finish line to re-election.
Always on pins and needles for his man Obama, NBC anchor Brian Williams told top Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett at the convention season’s end that they will need the "tall order" of "nothing but positive coverage" over the next 60 days.
Some hateful stereotypes never die in Hollywood. The cover of the September 7 edition of Entertainment Weekly featured the 63-year-old actress Jessica Lange, smirking in a nun’s black habit, holding a big, punishing cane in her hands. Lange is returning for a second season on the FX series American Horror Story, but this time with an entirely new plot and characters.
Nuns are now a thing of horror. “Jessica Lange returns, this time as a terrifying nun,” promised the magazine’s cover. They eagerly hyped a new storyline that’s “a macabre mashup of nuns, Nazis, aliens, a serial killer named Bloody Face, and the lead singer of Maroon 5.” Set in Massachusetts in 1964, this nun dominates the inmates of a mental asylum named Briarcliff.
Within minutes of Paul Ryan concluding his convention speech in Tampa, the media attacks were launched. Why, the man is loose with the facts! He only spews vitriol and nonsense!
DNC political director Patrick Gaspard quickly sent out a fundraising appeal: “Paul Ryan's speech to the Republican Convention tonight wasn't grounded in reality.” It was impossible to tell where the Democratic Party ended, and the “news” media began.
I watch some commercials on television and am amazed that the corporate sponsor really signed off on the product. Think about the expressions on the faces of the dark suits in the executive boardroom when they were presented with some of the commercials running on TV right now.
Take Jack In The Box. “Jack Box,” the fast-food chain’s mascot – a man wearing what looks like a ping-pong-ball head or a snowman getup with a clown hat – is sitting playing a game much like Scrabble with a beautiful blonde. He lays out the non-word “swavory,” selling a waffle breakfast sandwich for having savory sausage and sweet maple waffles. The blonde then lays on the board letters reading “No Nookie.” Jack says, “What’s that supposed to....? Oh.” Is sexual slang really necessary to sell breakfast sandwiches during prime time?
The Republican convention was delayed by a day on Monday. It’s not a problem: the national media’s pre-convention spin was timed perfectly, almost as if it was on automatic pilot. In Monday’s New York Times, longtime political writer Adam Nagourney regurgitated the same old, tired political spin that the Republican Party is too conservative and exclusionary on “social issues,” and that their divisive stands will hurt them with “mainstream” voters.
1976. 1980. 1984. 1988. 1992. 1996. 2000. 2004. 2008. Will they ever stop saying this?
As easy as it might be to forget them in the cobwebs of the AM radio dial, the liberal pretenders to the Rush Limbaugh throne are still broadcasting, and they're often utterly, shamelessly ridiculous. Case in point: Even Al Sharpton lamely used his radio show to defend Joe Biden's anti-Republican "they want to put y'all in chains" race baiting in front of a black audience.
Another case in point: Liberal radio hosts adore Harry Reid for making utterly unsubstantiated ugly charges that Mitt Romney evaded taxes for a decade. Bill Press has routinely declared his love for the tactic — even on CNN, where someone might have noticed. On "Reliable Sources," Press taunted the journalists who might want to play by the rules of evidence.
If Ronald Reagan was the "Teflon President," then Joe Biden is the "Teflon Blowhard." He’s spent his entire career with his foot firmly lodged in his mouth, uttering an endless stream of impossibly stupid, vulgar, and insensitive things. And yet the media fall all over themselves to make excuses for blustery "Old Uncle Joe."
The only thing that will ever convince Comedy Central to stop perpetuating its disgusting celebrity roasts are poor ratings. Taste, decency, talent -- none of these has bearing on this network's decisions. Nor do they care about the damage they're inflicting on youngsters. They care only about the numbers. So the good news is that their August 12 roast of Roseanne Barr flopped, bringing in only 2.6 million viewers. That’s almost a million less than their roast of the day before yesterday's news, David Hasselhoff. It came in far below the 6.5 million they drew last fall for their wish-you-were-dead roast of Charlie Sheen, but that was just capturing Sheen’s lightning of insanity in a bottle.
Roseanne Barr was, is and forever will be a pig. The roast did her justice. Let's review the "highlights":
Floyd Corkins, a volunteer for the last six months at the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community, marched into the Family Research Center with a gun and serious ammunition, denounced FRC’s policy positions, and shot a security guard in the arm before being subdued. Another hate crime, but this time against perhaps the pre-eminent pro-family organization in America. CBS gave the story 20 seconds. NBC spent 17 seconds.
Imagine a volunteer for the Family Research Council marching into some gay group’s headquarters with a gun, and after shouting his opposition to the homosexual agenda, opened fire and wounded a guard before being subdued. Never mind evening news. This would be Breaking News! and for days there would be seemingly endless coverage of continued conservative hatred.
Imagine if, God forbid, this exact same thing had happened at a Planned Parenthood or the Southern Law Poverty Center, which labeled both Chick-fil-A and FRC hate groups. We’d be hearing an endless loop of stories about the danger of militant, hate-filled right wing wackos.
Mitt Romney made a smart executive decision selecting Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate. Ryan’s genial personality, serious policy wonkery, and political courage have dazzled conservatives and won respect even in a few liberal circles. Romney scores points for political courage as well. He knew liberal politicians and journalists would talk in punishing terms about Ryan’s budget ideas.
They did not disappoint. It took only minutes for the onslaught to begin. At the same time liberal media outlets acknowledge the country now faces two opposing visions of government, why is only the Romney-Ryan vision “polarizing” and “extreme”?
On August 6, that pseudo-conservative satirist Stephen Colbert utterly failed to pretend to play a right-winger on TV. Colbert invited on "legendary" radical-left folk singer Pete Seeger and treated him with deep reverence.
"It's an honor to have you on. You are a living legend. You are a giant. It's like having Paul Bunyan or Johnny Appleseed on," he oozed. This is the same sultan of snark that exudes zero reverence for his allegedly Catholic beliefs, calling himself the "Pope of basic cable" as he has rudely joked that Cardinal Timothy Dolan uses Viagra and mocked Pope Benedict for having "the face of an angel...that got caught in a food dehydrator."
Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters might as well be located in a sewer. The content of the Priorities USA Obama Super PAC ad blaming a woman's death from cancer on Mitt Romney is almost impossible to believe. The only thing more impossible to believe is that the so-called “news” networks can go two full days pretending that it doesn’t exist.
And even then, only ABC has mentioned it during their evening news broadcast. There’s still nothing from NBC Nightly News or CBS Evening News on this. The networks shouldn’t have to be dragged kicking and screaming into reporting the news.