Think President Barack Obama has thin skin? How could one not, after the attacks on media personalities like Rush Limbaugh or his on-the-record comments about the liberal blogs and Fox News?
On PBS’s Oct. 2 broadcast of “Inside Washington,” NPR’s Nina Totenberg pointed out the left-wing blogosphere has been critical of Obama, yet she chalked it up as just being “whiny.” “Inside Washington” panelist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer responded, and pointed out the president’s “thin skin,” in the wake of his remarks about his cable channel in a recent Rolling Stone interview.
“You would think that the presidency is slightly higher than the left blogosphere, but it is not, and that is what the problems,” Krauthammer said. “The president has an unbelievably thin skin, left or right. His obsession with Fox is a good example of that.”
With what appears to be a devastating election looming for his party, is President Obama attempting to follow in the footsteps of one of his predecessors and moderate toward the center?
Not if choosing Pete Rouse to replace chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is any indication, according to CNBC’s Larry Kudlow. On the Oct. 1 broadcast of “The Call,” CNBC Washington correspondent John Harwood predicted Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wasn’t going anywhere, but Obama would take a pro-business tack with the leadership of Department of Commerce. However, Kudlow, citing a “deep political insider,” had a different forecast.
“The Commerce thing is a great idea and you're probably going to be right, but I know that you don't hear this,” Kudlow said. “But I had dinner last night with a deep political insider who told me that Michael Bloomberg is the next Treasury secretary. I heard that. All I'll say is this is a serious insider who said the deal has been done and that Bloomberg is the next Treasury secretary.”
Check out the treatise on the state of “white America” from the Village Voice’s Steven Thrasher. In a long-winded Sep. 29 piece full of invective, Thrasher contends that the “white brain, beset with worries, finally goes haywire in spectacular fashion.” Why? He insisted it was because of the election of Obama and a realization “white America” had lost grasp of the control power in the United States. (h/t @DLoesch)
“About 12:01 on the afternoon of January 20, 2009, the white American mind began to unravel,” Thrasher wrote. “It had been a pretty good run up to that point. The brains of white folks had been humming along cogently for near on 400 years on this continent, with little sign that any serious trouble was brewing. White people, after all, had managed to invent a spiffy new form of self-government so that all white men (and, eventually, women) could have a say in how white people were taxed and governed. White minds had also nearly universally occupied just about every branch of that government and, for more than two centuries, had kept sole possession of the leadership of its executive branch (whose parsonage, after all, is called the White House).”
As we near the midterm elections, left-wingers will be reading from the same tired playbook – the attempted marginalization of the Tea Party movement, but just more of it. But more and more, they are discovering the tactics are tougher to defend, as their side has their own fringe, loose-cannon elements.
KERNEN: I want to talk to you about something, later about -- you're calling Tea Party people wing nuts and fruit loops? RENDELL: Not all of them. KERNEN: Not all of them? You saw the president, the president basically said that most of them, most of the Tea Party “are directed and financed by powerful and special interests lobbies,” this is in the Journal today. That's most of them and the rest of them are bigots. So you're either directed by special interests … RENDELL: I don't believe it. KERNEN: Seventy-one percent of Republicans, according to this poll today in the Journal identify – so, you've just trashed the entire half of the country. CARUSO-CABRERA: He says slowly but surely, the GOP is taken over by whackos. RENDELL: There’s no question about that.
Lately the Fox News Channel’s overnight program “Red Eye” has offered a plethora of media criticism – much of it dead-spot on. Last week during this his “Gregalogue” segment, host Greg Gutfeld took on the so-called “Rally to Restore Sanity” offered up by Comedy Central hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
“So President Obama was just interviewed in Rolling Stone magazine -- that thinning pamphlet for our country's dwindling supply of pony-tailed pensioners,” Gutfeld said. “When asked about Fox News, this is what our Commander-in-Chief had to say.”
If Arianna Huffington, an admitted “progressive,” announces she’s offering transportation to individuals that desire to participate in Comedy Central hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s “million moderate march,” can it really be described as “moderate?”
“We are getting a Huff Post bus. If there is anybody unsure how to get there, talk to me,” Huffington said. “[J]ust come to the Huffington Post, 560 Broadway in SoHo. The bus will be there. We’ll take you with us.”
It’s a really skewed view of the relationship between citizens and the government – that anything you earn and get to keep by not paying to the government in the form of taxes is a show of benevolence from the government.
“WANT to give affluent households a present worth $700 billion over the next decade?” Thaler wrote. “In a period of high unemployment and fiscal austerity, this idea may seem laughable. Amazingly, though, it is getting traction in Washington. I am referring, of course, to the current debate about whether to extend all, or just some, of the tax cuts of President George W. Bush – cuts that are due to expire at year-end. They’re expiring because the only way they could be enacted initially was by pretending that they were temporary.”
For the past several years, we’ve heard the doom-and-gloom prognostications coming from perma-bear Peter Schiff: The Federal Reserve is the root of all evil. Inflation will be the United States’ undoing. Invest in gold and overseas because the American stock market is toast.
“You know, I have my own gold company and it bothers me what they're going to do,” Schiff said to CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report” fill-in host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on the Sept. 24 broadcast. “I think that companies like, you know, like Goldline, you know that are basically marking up their gold coins 67 percent or whatever – it's outrageous. I mean, most companies mark-up 2 or 3 percent, which is what I do. These type of companies give the whole industry a bad name. What I’m afraid of is we're going to have a lot of regulation.”
An organization once headed by former Obama administration official Van Jones tried it. Other so-called grassroots organizations have given it a shot. Now Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., with the power of Congress in tow, has taken his best shot to shut Glenn Beck down. But so far it isn’t really working.
With congressional hearings, you'd expect the media to be all over this, right? Not exactly, at least thus far. The most attention Weiner’s charade could muster was a segment at the end of MSNBC’s bomb-thrower show, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.” Olbermann asked Weiner on his Sept. 23 broadcast if Goldline was in cahoots with “willing partners like Glenn Beck,” since anyone who suggests gold be a part of someone’s portfolio is up to no good.
For the last several weeks there has been a debate raging over whether the grounds surrounding where the 9/11 attacks in Lower Manhattan are sacred and if it would be an appropriate place for an Islamic place of worship to be built. But if it isn’t appropriate, would it be an appropriate place for a Tea Party rally to be held? Possibly not.
But whether that’s the case or not, Newsweek’s David A. Graham would have you believe there will be a so-called “Election Day Tea Party rally” held at Ground Zero, led by former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, as an effort to shore up support for a 2012 presidential bid.
You have to wonder what Diane Sawyer and her team at ABC’s “World News” are thinking. Is the Huffington Post the best they could do when it comes to reaching out to Americans for their ideas on the economy?
In a Sept. 23 post on the Huffington Post, “World News” anchor Diane Sawyer explains to readers that she and her team in search of “innovative ideas that are helping turn the economy around.”
“And so next week a team at World News is heading out to search for innovative ideas that are helping turn the economy around,” Sawyer wrote. “Real change is often born out of a simple act. One ripple can lead to a powerful transformation. So we are starting with our hometowns, looking for resilience in the places we know best. David Muir to Syracuse; Sharyn Alfonsi to Georgetown, South Carolina; Ron Claiborne to Oakland; and Bill Weir to Milwaukee. Taking you to our homes and out with the people we see making a difference.”
It appears that the Huffington Post isn’t just upsetting people for its often uncouth and liberal take on the day’s news. Now people are getting irritated with its willingness to reprint other outlet’s content while offering minimal credit.
“This follows, in a way, the model of national Internet news aggregators like Huffington Post,” Downie said. “They confine their costs to minimal staffing necessary to operate the websites and edit content.”
“Tonight, free-market capitalism on the comeback trail,” Kudlow said on his Sept. 15 program. “That is one of the messages of the Tea Party power. We saw a lot of that power last night in the primaries. I tell you what folks, that Tea Party power, that free-market capitalist power is so totally bullish for the stock market.”
While it seems like so many of Jon Stewart's adoring fans in the media are elated to see a counter-Tea Party, not many have been willing to call this event what it is - an event to belittle people who are exercising their rights as citizens to protest their government.
"So last week Jon Stewart announced he was going to hold a rally of his own in Washington D.C., to restore reason, sanity or whatever," Gutfeld said. "[N]ow, it's a cute idea - not as good as a gay bar next to a mosque [something Gutfeld had proposed in response to the "Ground Zero Mosque"] - but it's an appropriate, hipster response to the tea parties and Glenn Beck's thing. It's exactly the thing that the bald nerdy guy in glasses from The New York Times subscription commercial might attend and feel totally good about himself afterward - which raises an interesting question: would Stewart have announced his event if those other events had a decidedly liberal tilt?"
A governor forced to resign for patronizing call girls will probably have a hard time landing a job making pronouncements on politics, right? But there, on CNN, is former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
Spitzer will co-host a show with pseudo-conservative Kathleen Parker called "Parker Spitzer," which is set to debut on Oct. 4. But in the meantime, Spitzer has been making regular appearances on CNN programming to offer the liberal perspective on issues. On CNN's Sept. 20 "Anderson Cooper 360," that's what he did, carrying water for the Democratic Party - even though his argument was factually leaky.
In the wake of the GOP's nomination of Christine O'Donnell as the Delaware candidate for U.S. Senate, Spitzer took on conservative talker and blogger Dana Loesch over what issues the Tea Party movement was really interested in taking a stand on - fiscal or social. Loesch argued that the movement isn't just about opposing this Congress' policy endeavors, but is also offering solutions, as was the case with ObamaCare.
Someone's a little full of the power of his network apparently.
On Sept. 20, CNBC hosted a so-called "town hall" meeting on its network about President Barack Obama and how his administration is dealing with business issues. Obama took some criticism from participants and observers said the president was playing defense. However, CNBC's "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer had a different take on the made-for-television event. According to Cramer, Obama's appearance was a net-positive for the stock market.
"Do you know why this market went up and stayed up today, with the Dow voting 146 points, S&P rising one-and-a-half percent?" Cramer said on his Sept. 20 broadcast. "Because today during the fantastic CNBC-hosted town hall with El Presidente, we got the ultimate confirmation that we are seeing a new and improved more pro-business President Obama! And that's change the market can believe in."
Isn’t it odd after the passage of TARP, the stimulus and ObamaCare that left-wing politicians and their cheerleaders in the mainstream media are suddenly worried about budget deficits?
As opposed to reining in deficit spending, the new public policy stance for the Democratic Party going into the 2010 midterm election is to call for a tax hike on the top-income earners by letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those folks. In an interview on MSNBC’s Sept. 17 “The Daily Rundown” with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, co-host Savannah Guthrie pressed the Texas senator on the need to raise taxes in order to lower budget deficits.
Guthrie asked: “Sir, as you know, a lot of the energy in the Republican Party, some of the animating issues have to do with deficit and spending, and I ask you given the concern among Republican voters about deficit spending, how is it that Republicans can get behind allowing the Bush tax cuts to go forward for the wealthiest Americans, something that will cost $700 billion borrowed money deficit spending. How do you square that up?”
The Media Research Center isn't the only ones out there telling folks to be wary of the media and its coverage of the Tea Party movement.
On his Sept. 15 broadcast, Larry Kudlow, host of CNBC's "The Kudlow Report," hit that point. Referring to "Tea Party" primary win in Delaware, New York and New Hampshire, Kudlow explained that this shift to the right was a net-positive for the economy.
"Tonight, free-market capitalism on the comeback trail," Kudlow said. "That is one of the messages of the Tea Party power. We saw a lot of that power last night in the primaries. I tell you what folks, that Tea Party power, that free-market capitalist power is so totally bullish for the stock market."
Kudlow advised his viewers to be skeptical of the media, which has covered the Tea Party movement and their candidates very critically, even sometimes disparagingly. He cited the "Contract FROM America," a document put forth by various conservative organizations calling on elected leaders and political candidates to stand on a number of conservative principles.
After going through a litany of Levin's alleged indiscretions against O'Donnell detractors, Sullivan argues that his so-called "conservative" counterparts had it coming since Levin had been so critical of the pseudo-intellectuals that have masqueraded as conservatives over the years.
Anxiety was pretty high in the heat of battle with the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. However, a lot of that tension exists beyond the state of Delaware and there have been self-proclaimed conventional wisdom wizards critical of how the electoral process in Delaware has worked itself out.
"This is absolutely pathetic," Weigel wrote of Levin's critique. "No, Mark, when reporters investigate female candidates, they are not ‘obsessed,' any more than you're obsessed with Hillary Clinton when you call her 'her thighness' and ‘Hillary Rotten Clinton.' They're reporting. For all of your posing about legal theory and the Constitution, you make it pretty clear here that you're a political hack."
This could confirm what many suspected all along - the corporate heads at General Electric (NYSE:GE) would try to use their media holdings to portray President Barack Obama and his administration in a positive light in order to gain a corporate advantage.
According to Gasparino, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt had "helped his company feast off of the subsidies of Obamanomics," including the green energy initiatives and health care reform. And although Immelt is a registered Republican, Gasparino detailed how Immelt would walk around his company's headquarters saying "we're all Democrats" now at the prospect of government checks going to GE. But later, Gasparino explained how Immelt would use his authority to manipulate the editorial coverage of on Obama for that reason:
Whenever President Barack Obama defends what his presidency to date, specifically on economic issues, he'll speak of inheriting a bad economy from the previous administration, and then assures listeners of his intention to make the economy his top priority.
So why hasn't he done it? Why have there been other distractions like cap-and-trade, ObamaCare, bailouts, etc. and not a push for a real so-called infrastructure stimulus, like the president proposed publicly earlier this week. On CNBC's Sept. 10 "Squawk Box," host Joe Kernen asked NBC "Meet the Press" moderator why the support from the president's own party isn't enthusiastic about Obama's new stimulus proposal.
"I am trying to figure out, where is the Democratic leadership?" Kernen said. "Were you not surprised that after the speech and after the proposals, I don't know of a single person in a leadership position that said, ‘Yes Mr. President, that's a great idea.' All I saw was [Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael] Bennet using the s-word, which he isn't supposed to use and isn't that surreal? I mean it's like - the president almost seems like he's lonely at this point with some of this stuff?"
To many, it's hardly a revelation to most, but when someone keeps taking the same action over and over again, even to his detriment, it can reveal a lot about that individual's belief system.
This was an observation CNBC "Squawk Box" host Joe Kernen made about the Obama administration's willingness to embrace a populist "soak the rich" tactic against the wealthy in the United States, even though it isn't winning him favor with the American people, according to opinion polling. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows more people now think President Barack Obama's policies have hurt the economy than have helped. And Kernen called the unwillingness to change course evidence of the president's ideology - proof he does believe in the redistribution of wealth.
"When push comes to shove, the left wins out with this guy," Kernen said on the Sept. 8 broadcast of "Squawk Box." "Axelrod calls the shots when push comes to shove. And this will make the case for a populist argument that these rich people - soak the rich - they do not need this and we're going to cut for the middle class and we're going to pay for it by soaking the rich. And it's right down - but it also - he said it all along, but to his critics, those critics, it's more evidence of a redistribution that when it all comes down to it, the overriding mandate of this administration - it's a redistribution of wealth."
It is crunch time for President Barack Obama and Democrats. The writing on the wall suggests the president and his party will suffer severe losses and will ultimately lose control of one, if not two chambers of Congress in November. And this was something Obama addressed in a Labor Day speech in Milwaukee on Sept. 6, but he also complained about how he has been personally treated by his critics, suggesting he has been talked about "like a dog." That was something former CNN anchor and syndicated radio host Lou Dobbs said it was time for Obama to get past.
"Megyn when you talk about the lies that are told - that happens in any political arena at anytime as you well know," Dobbs said. "But the lies aren't what are hurting this president. What is hurting this president is the truth. And it is - it's critically important to this administration, this White House, I believe, for this president to quit whining and start leading all of the people - not just groups, not just certain identities but all of the American people."
As the not-so "recovery summer" draws to an end, many are scratching heads, wondering what it will take for the economy to pull out of this recession.
According to Maria Bartiromo, host of CNBC's "Closing Bell," it will be political change in Washington, D.C. In an appearance on NBC's Sept. 7 "Today," she said the best stimulus would be a Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
"This is probably the single most important catalyst for the stock market right now," Bartiromo said. "I think that the perception of confidence, the perception that perhaps we won't see tremendous change in terms of higher expenses in 2011 if we were to see the Republicans gain control of the House, it will probably be a positive for the stock market.
With a 9.6 percent unemployment rate overall in the United States and unemployment rates showing an uptick in states on the Gulf of Mexico that allow offshore oil drilling, one has to wonder what the Obama administration is thinking its Draconian wide-sweeping moratorium halting deepwater drilling in the Gulf after the BP oil spill.
While environmentalists are using today's explosion on a oil production platform in the Gulf to support a drilling moratorium, critics like CNBC's "Fast Money" panelist Jon Najarian have questioned the wisdom of the Obama administration's decision to put up to 75,000 in limbo.
"As far as what was going on in the Gulf, it shows a tone-deafness from this administration," Najarian said on the Sept. 2 broadcast of "Fast Money." "I mean, I'll pound the table for that because I'm not running for office. But I mean, this guy is tone deaf that 75,000 jobs in the Gulf of Mexico that have been idled for no good reason. It's costing all of us and it costs all the places where they would normally spend money as well."
There is something about CNN and the people writing chyrons for the alleged "most trusted name in news" with the "best political team on television." Last week, these geniuses clarified the White House's position on President Barack Obama's religion.
However on CNN Aug. 28 coverage of Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally, which CNN reporters and anchors seemingly held their collective noses up and reported on throughout the event, the chyron on the screen was something likened to one of those parlor games where you circle the numerous errors involved. (h/t Inside Cable News)
First off, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's name was misspelled. Second, she was identified as a former presidential candidate, when she was actually the Republican vice-presidential nominee in 2008. And finally, it's labeling Beck as Palin. Just not a good day for CNN.
Better strap in because we could be on a wild ride if what some economic prognosticators are saying is true - not just on a financial market basis, but politically as well.
Noted economist Nouriel Roubini has upped his forecast the economy could head into a double-dip recession. And CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer is predicting mass panic in the markets after tomorrow's gross domestic product report tomorrow. So based on a lot of this, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer suggested that economic fears have returned to the public. He was asked by Fox News Channel's "Special Report" host Bret Baier what all the negative data meant.
"Historically high and number of unemployed for more than six months also historically very, very high," Krauthammer said on the Aug. 26 broadcast of "Special Report." "I think there is something new happening in terms of the economy, at least the perception of it and that is a return of fear."
It is a curious phenomenon - the way the media have handled the economy since President Barack Obama has taken office. Generally the coverage has been on the optimistic side over the last 18 months. But could this blind optimism come back to haunt people that trade on economic metrics?
According to CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer, it will and in a big way on Aug. 27, when the new gross domestic product numbers are released. On CNBC's Aug. 26 broadcast of "Street Signs," Cramer predicted dismal numbers during his "Stop Trading" segment, which has been contrary to the way the market reacted.
"Look, I'm going to give you my forecast right now - I think we're going to get 0.5 percent GDP, OK?" Cramer said. "But, let's say we get 0.5 percent GDP. Everyone's going to say it's horrible. We're going to go track down economists, Nobel winners who think it's a double dip. And it'll be like shocker - 0.5 percent. And I'm telling you it's going to be 0.5 percent. It's like the housing number. On my show I said it's going to be declined 50 percent. We get 30 percent. It was like shocker. Whoever is making these estimates is just so wrong because you know, you piece these pieces together on a daily basis like I do and come up with something between zero and 1 percent growth."