On Saturday's Fox News Watch, panel member and FNC correspondent Douglas Kennedy referred to Tea Party members as the "Tea Bag movement," prompting admonishment from host Jon Scott who pointed out that he was using the "pejorative" term. In the next segment, Kennedy went on to accuse Tea Party members of anti-Semitism and linked Obama/Hitler posters to Tea Party members, leading panel member Jim Pinkerton to remind viewers that an Obama/Hitler poster sometimes attributed in the media to conservative Tea Party members had actually been brought to a protest by left-wing supporters of Lyndon LaRouche – who ran for President in the past as a Democrat:
DOUGLAS KENNEDY: You know, just tell them to leave the swastikas home and the pictures of Hitler, and the, you know, they might gain a little more popularity.
JIM PINKERTON: The pictures of Hitler brought in by Lyndon LaRouche people, you know, who are actually, Lyndon LaRouche ran as a Democrat seven times.
KENNEDY: Yeah, but there's anti-Semitism and-
Panel member Judy Miller then jumped in and predicted that the Tea Party movement would help liberals by splitting the Republican party, prompting Kennedy to divulge some over-the-top wishful thinking:
As unusually cold temperatures in America of late have been making liberals scramble to fit the conditions into global warming theory, viewers of Friday’s CBS Evening News were informed by host Katie Couric that Britain is also enduring record winter conditions as the United Kingdom is experiencing "its longest cold spell in nearly three decades." The news brief was accompanied by a satellite image of the currently snow-covered island nation.
Below is a complete transcript of the item read by Couric from the Friday, January 8, CBS Evening News:
Appearing as a guest on Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC to discuss Obama's latest speech on terrorism, Newsweek’s Howard Fineman charged that, referring to Republicans, "they’re about division and they’re about fear."
At one point, Fineman even made it sound as if President Bush had been obsessed with leaving office before the next terrorist attack just so he could "claim he kept us safe," as if he were more worried about his legacy than keeping America safe in the long term. Fineman said: "And George Bush, even George Bush said that, you know, we could be attacked tomorrow. He didn`t like to talk about it. I knew him well and knew that he was counting the minutes and the days until he got out of there and could claim he kept us safe."
Crediting Obama with "cool, calm, and collectedness," and a "broad gauge and deep sense of the country," Fineman also voiced agreement with Keith Olbermann’s contention that, unlike President Bush, Obama treats Americans like "grownups" by talking to them realistically about the likelihood that some future terror plots will inevitably be successful:
A year ago today, when U.N. officials accused the Israeli military of killing the driver of a vehicle delivering relief aid to Gaza during the Israeli campaign against Hamas, all the broadcast and news networks reported the accusation on January 8, 2009, noting the U.N.'s resulting cessation of relief aid deliveries. But, after the Israeli military conducted an investigation and charged that Hamas was responsible for the killing, very few of the shows that reported the initial charges by the U.N. updated viewers on this important development. An examination of the morning and evening newscasts on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FNC, and PBS – including American Morning and The Situation Room on CNN; as well as Fox and Friends, the Fox Report, and Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC; and PBS's NewsHour – between January 8 and January 12, 2009, found that all these shows – with the exception of ABC’s Good Morning America – reported on the truck driver’s death at least once, with nearly all shows also directly relaying the U.N.’s charge of Israeli military culpability.
But only CNN's The Situation Room, on the January 9 show, took the time to briefly inform viewers that the Israeli military had denied responsibility for the incident as correspondent Nic Robertson related: "[The U.N.] said that two of their workers were killed by Israeli tank and machine gun fire. Israeli Defense Forces say they have investigated it. Now, they say it wasn't them, which implies that it must have been Hamas."
Appearing as a guest on the Thursday, January 7, Late Show with David Letterman on CBS, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow praised President Obama claiming that "he’s kind of quietly put together the most legislatively accomplished first year of any President in a generation," right after she referred to Obama’s "opposition" like Sarah Palin and the Tea Party activists as being "crazy." Maddow went on to credit Obama with preventing a Great Depression:
On Thursday’s World News, ABC correspondent Kate Snow filed a report that avoided portraying Tea Party activists as extremists, instead conveying the movement’s growing appeal and the fact that even some former Barack Obama supporters have signed on. Snow: "The majority of supporters are long-time Republicans like Danita, but there are growing numbers of independents, and even some former Obama supporters."
After recounting the movement’s recent successes in bringing down moderate political figures for not being conservative enough, Snow related that "moderates are scrambling to show their support." The piece also included a soundbite of ABC News contributor Matthew Dowd who suggested that Democrats are making a mistake in "trying to marginalize" the movement. Dowd: "I think Republicans definitely dismiss this at their peril. I also think Democrats, by trying to marginalize it, underestimate the anger out there."
Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Thursday, January 7, World News on ABC:
Appearing as a guest on Thursday’s Your World with Neil Cavuto on FNC, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch – known for being a relatively centrist Democrat – chided President Obama for being reluctant to use terms like "war on terrorism" or "Islamic extremists," and, when host Cavuto pointed out that Obama had managed to improve attitudes toward America in the Muslim world, Koch sarcastically shot back: "Isn`t that nice? Did they stop trying to kill us?"
Even while declaring himself to be a supporter of the Obama administration, the former New York mayor still voiced his frustrations about the "attitude" of the White House – citing an article by right-leaning columnist Charles Krauthammer – and came out in support of profiling Muslims at airports:
For CBS News viewers following the first week of the Israeli military’s war against Hamas in Gaza, which news shows began reporting the morning of Saturday, December 27, 2008, one could easily have gotten the impression that Israel was starving the people of Gaza by barring food entry as part of its blockade, as the network’s newscasts – The Early Show and the CBS Evening News – not only ignored news of aid shipments being allowed to cross Israel’s border into the Gaza Strip – which did receive a little attention from evening and morning newscasts on the other broadcast and news networks – but CBS also ran reports about the Israeli military blocking food and other aid into the territory. On the December 29 Evening News, correspondent Sheila MacVicar claimed: "But the violence was not one-sided. Israel carried out targeted killings, and more importantly, for the people of Gaza, imposed and tightened an economic blockade that cut off supplies of food, medicine and even electricity." During the second week of the war, on the January 7 The Early Show, correspondent Richard Roth even gave the impression that aid had not been allowed into Gaza in weeks as he reported on the humanitarian ceasefire: "Trucks full of food, water, medical supplies and fuel started moving after waiting for weeks on Israel's side of the Gaza border."
On Tuesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann twice claimed that FNC contributor and former anchor Brit Hume’s public recommendation that Tiger Woods convert to Christianity to help solve his personal problems amounted to trying to "threaten" Woods into conversion. Previewing a segment focusing on Hume’s Monday appearance on The O’Reilly Factor to clarify his words from Fox News Sunday, Olbermann teased the show: "Brit Hume and the attempt to threaten Tiger Woods into converting to Christianity. He does it again."
Olbermann also plugged the segment before a commercial break: "Brit Hume has tried to force Tiger Woods into becoming a Christian again. That in a moment."
The Countdown host introduced the segment, contending again that Hume had tried to "threaten" Woods into becoming a Christian: "Brit Hume of Fox News has not only not apologized for his bizarre on-air attempt to threaten Tiger Woods into converting to Christianity, he`s actually gone further."
Notably, in December 2005, Olbermann distorted the words of former FNC host John Gibson from Gibson's radio interview on the Janet Parshal Show and compared the program to "an Al-Qaeda show on Al-Jazeera talking about infidels."
On Tuesday's The Ed Show, MSNBC host Ed Schultz fretted that NBA players who own firearms are setting a bad example for impressionable young people who may be inspired to emulate their athletic heroes and purchase guns of their own as he called on NBA commissioner David Stern to impose a rule that, "If you want to play in the NBA, you can`t own firearms because with the visibility comes the responsibility..."
Schultz conveyed his fears about young people being influenced by athletes who own guns (video below page break):
I`ve often wondered, why doesn`t David Stern, who`s been the commissioner of the NBA for a long time, just put his foot down and say, "If you want to play in our league, you can`t own firearms. We are in the image business. We`re not in the thug business. We`re in the business of making sure that we send a good message to the youth of this country"? And I`ll guarantee you that there’s probably some kid out there saying that, well, gosh, I can own a handgun because my favorite player on this NBA team does. That's how kids think.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, January 5, The Ed Show, on MSNBC:
On Monday’s The O’Reilly Factor, FNC host Bill O’Reilly seemed to pick up on a NewsBusters posting by the MRC’s Brent Baker which highlighted New Yorker magazine writer Rebecca Mead’s commentary from the January 3 CBS Sunday Morning in which Mead touted President Obama as a "certified intellectual," while accusing President Bush of giving terrorists a "partial victory" by creating "infringements of civil liberties." The FNC host took on Mead during his show’s regular "Reality Check" segment, as he introduced clips of her as evidence that network news organizations "skew left big time," and concluded that her analysis should have been "accompanied by a more conservative point of view."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, January 4, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC:
On the December 30, 2008, The Early Show, anchor Jeff Glor reported on former Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s presence on a ship attempting to violate the Israeli blockade by delivering supplies to Gaza as the ship was "rammed" by the Israeli military. Glor notably misidentified McKinney as if she were a current member of Congress – which could make her appear to have more credibility – and did not inform viewers of Israel’s account of the incident or of McKinney’s controversial history, which includes links to anti-Semitic figures. Glor: "A relief ship carrying a Georgia Congressman, Cynthia McKinney, clashed with the Israeli navy this morning. The aid boat carrying activists and medical supplies destined for Gaza was reportedly rammed by an Israeli gunship. There were no casualties."
On the same day’s Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC, anchor Jim Angle reported on the boat collision during the show’s regular "Political Grapevine" segment, and passed on the Israeli response: "But an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman says the naval vessel made physical contact only after the supply ship failed to respond to repeated radio transmissions."
On the second day of a new feature on Keith Olbermann’s Countdown show, called "Quick Comments," the MSNBC host turned his attention to Neal Boortz -- whom he called a "hate radio host" and referred to as being "dehumanized" -- and others who oppose the implementation of ObamaCare, accusing them of "killing 45,000 people every year," and suggesting that those who seek to block universal health care are as bad as terrorists. As Olbermann cited a dubious study which claimed that 45,000 people die in America each year because they lack health insurance, the Countdown host charged:
What would you do, sir, if terrorists were killing 45,000 people every year in this country? Well, the current health care system, the insurance companies, and those who support them are doing just that. ... Those fighting health care reform – not those debating its shape or its nuance – people who demand the status quo, they are killing 45,000 Americans a year.
Olbermann concluded by comparing ObamaCare opponents to terrorists: "Because they die individually of disease and not disaster, Neil Boortz and those who ape him in office and out, approve their deaths, all 45,000 of them – a year – in America. Remind me again, who are the terrorists?"
On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann picked up on an item posted by the far-left Media Matters for America, and slammed Media Research Center founder and President Brent Bozell as "Worst Person in the World" because the MRC founder recently criticized MSNBC host Ed Schultz for accusing Republicans of wanting people to die. Schultz, from the Ed Show last September: "The Republicans lie! They want to see you dead. They'd rather make money off your dead corpse. They kind of like it when that woman has cancer and they don't have anything for her."
Because Bozell argued in a recent NewsMax article that if "Rush Limbaugh went on the air and said that about a liberal, it would be the end of his career," Media Matters sought to prove him wrong as the group compiled quotes from Limbaugh in which the conservative host had responded to incendiary comments from liberal Democrats like Congressman Alan Grayson, with Limbaugh picking up on the promotion by liberals of abortion and euthanasia, and of liberal support for the kind of socialized medicine plans that in other countries have led to government bureaucracies sometimes denying medical procedures to elderly patients in favor of spending limited tax money treating younger people.
As Olbermann began his attack on Bozell, he incorrectly – or perhaps intentionally – referred to the Media Research Center as the "Media Research Council," and called Bozell "Boze." Olbermann: "But our winner, Brent Bozell, the founder of the Media Research Council. He has given out one of his annual prized-by-the-left, foot-in-his-own-mouth awards to our own Ed Schultz because Ed said, ‘The Republicans lie, they want to see you dead, they’d rather make money off your dead corpse.’"
After reading several quotes from Limbaugh collected by Media Matters, Olbermann mocked the MRC and its founder as he concluded:
On Monday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann slammed FNC's Brit Hume for advising Tiger Woods to convert to Christianity while appearing on yesterday's Fox News Sunday panel, where Hume has regularly appeared for years and contributed his opinions to the discussion in a way that differs from his manner of moderating discussions in a more neutral way when he used to host Special Report with Brit Hume. Although Olbermann later backed away from likening Hume to radical Muslims, during the show's opening teaser, Olbermann did make such a comparison: "An organization proselytizing, trying to force others to convert to its faith alone, you know, just like Islamic extremists."
At one point as the Countdown host plugged a segment in which he discussed Hume with author Dan Savage, the words "Hume's Holy War" were shown at the bottom of the screen as Olbermann spoke: "So Brit Hume tells Tiger Woods he can be forgiven, but only if he converts to Christianity. Fox has given up all pretense, hasn’t it?"
As Olbermann and Savage went on to make fun of Christianity, the MSNBC host at one point quipped: "'WWJDIHS,' which is: What would Jesus do if he strayed?" Savage brought up fringe religious figure Fred Phelps, who has become infamous for holding protests at the funerals of American soldiers, and lumped him in with Hume, Pat Robertson and Gary Bauer. Savage:
On the December 26 Saturday Today, as NBC anchor Amy Robach brought up Sarah Palin during a segment on people who made the news in 2009, Robach sounded as if she might have had a wish that Palin disappear from public view as she asked if Palin would "ever just go away?" Robach: "And, Brian, another big political story, the rise and fall of Sarah Palin, and yet she continues to grab headlines. Her new book came out. Will she ever just go away? Do you think she's going to be a big force this next year?"
Comedian Brian Balthazar seemed to want Palin to remain in public to be fodder for jokes as he contended that "when she opens her mouth, people pay attention. And, in fact, when she opens her mouth, often she doesn't stop, so it, there's so much to work with with Sarah. She's not going away."
Robach, possibly hinting that she also sees Palin as either a good source for humor or for the news industry which she is a part of, followed up by posing a question to NBC contributor Toure. Robach: "And, Toure, do we really want her to go away? Probably not."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the December 26 Saturday Today show on NBC:
Appearing as a guest on CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday, TVNewser’s Gail Shister, who was inducted into the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Hall of Fame in 2008, made a sexual joke about new World News anchor Diane Sawyer that a male guest likely couldn’t have gotten away with. After the Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik had finished discussing the visual effect of ABC zooming in the camera so Sawyer appears closer to the viewer than previous hosts, Shister began her response with a sexual joke about Sawyer:
Well, first of all, Howie, I personally have no problem being right on top of Diane Sawyer, so that was not a problem for me. I think when you’ve got somebody that classy and visually attractive, why not get up close with her? I don’t think they’re going to stay that close every single newscast. I thought she made a seamless transition. I was pleasantly surprised at how seamless it was.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, December 27, Reliable Sources on CNN:
Saturday’s Fox News Watch gave attention to a couple of entries in the MRC’s "Best Notable Quotables of 2009: The 22nd Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting." Returning from a commercial break, a clip of CBS’s Katie Couric began the segment as Couric was shown expressing awe at President Obama’s confidence as she interviewed him last July. Couric: "You’re so confident, Mr. President, and so focused. Is your confidence ever shaken? Do you ever wake up and say, ‘Damn, this is hard’?"
FNC host Jon Scott then jumped in to credit the MRC:
That’s Katie Couric earlier this year with President Obama. Her performance there garnered the Media Research Center’s "Let Us Fluff Your Pillow Award for Obsequious Obama Interviews." The MRC acknowledging more achievements in its annual awards for the year’s worst reporting. The "Master of His Domain Award for Obama Puffery" goes to Time’s Joe Klein for his May 4 cover story on Barack Obama’s first 100 days as President.
Even liberal panel member Ellis Henican of Newsday thought Couric’s words were "icky," and contended that "I wouldn’t want to be caught on tape saying either one of those things."
Catching up on the Sunday, December 20, syndicated Chris Matthews Show – during which the panel weighed in on who should be granted various dishonors for the year – panel member Howard Fineman of Newsweek charged that independent Senator Joe Lieberman, formerly a Democrat, had "kicked [Democrats] n the teeth time after time after time and behaved in a completely self-righteous way about it," as the panel discussed Lieberman’s insistence on making Senate Democrats negotiate on universal health insurance. After host Chris Matthews introduced the show’s "Chutzpah Prize" for the year – with nominees being Republican Congressman Joe Wilson, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Bristol Palin boyfriend Levi Johnston, and Senator Joe Lieberman – Fineman voiced his belief that Lieberman deserves attention. Fineman:
On Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams took a moment to remember Vietnam War veteran, retired Colonel Robert Howard, who was awarded many honors for his heroic service, including the Medal of Honor, eight Purple Hearts, four Bronze Stars, and two Dinstinguished Service Crosses. Williams began his tribute: "We have a brief special word tonight about a very special man whose story you should know about, in part because his story will be told for generations to come. Robert Howard might have been the toughest American alive while he was among us. Bob was the only man ever to be nominated for the Medal of Honor three times for three separate acts of staggering heroism in combat."
After recounting some of the honors bestowed upon Colonel Howard, Williams related: "It's believed Bob Howard was the most heavily-decorated American veteran of the modern era, period."
The NBC anchor further recounted: "In one 54-month period he was wounded 14 times. He served five tours of duty in Vietnam. And in recent years, he loved his trips to Iraq and Afghanistan to visit the men and women in uniform and in the fight there."
On Wednesday’s Good Morning America on ABC, after she talked about her latest film, It’s Complicated, actress Ali Wentworth subjected husband and new GMA anchor George Stephanopoulos to some jabs as she and co-anchor Robin Roberts spent a few minutes talking about him. Wentworth joked that as they were about to meet for the first time for a blind date, "I knew who he was and wasn’t interested ... I don't even think I took a shower that day, honey, sorry."
She further teased her husband by revealing that he cried at the end of the film Enchanted, and by recounting that the entire family sleeps together with the family dog. Wentworth: "We all sleep in the same bed. There, I'm just going to say it. Parent magazine can come after us. So, it's me, George, the two girls, and our dog, Charlie. And so, when we wake up in the morning, we're usually covered in pee, and we don't know whose it is."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, December 23, Good Morning America on ABC:
Imagine the outrage if any Republican President went on vacation during a recession and spent $4,000 a night on accommodations. On ABC’s Good Morning America Wednesday, correspondent Yunji de Nies seemed to suggest that President Obama’s family will be spending such an amount renting expensive living space at an estate house in Hawaii for a two-week Christmas vacation. De Nies: "Christmas trees here aren't cheap – neither is staying in this $8.9 million house, which runs $4,000 a night. The Obamas rented this one and the two next door for family and friends. When you spend that kind of money, people pay attention to detail."
De Nies did not specify exactly how much is being spent or where the money is coming from, though the amount may even be significantly more than $4,000 a day as she related that "the two next door" were also being rented for family and friends of the Obamas. The ABC correspondent also recounted that the estate house overlooks a beach popular with royalty: "But it's the master bedroom and its breathtaking view that is the crown jewel. Kailua Beach has been ranked the island's best, a favorite of Hawaiian royalty."
Anchor George Stephanopoulos gushed over Obama's plans for a two-week getaway to Hawaii as he introduced the report:
Thursday's Today show on NBC showed an excerpt from Tom Brokaw’s upcoming documentary, "American Character Along Highway 50," during which the former NBC Nightly News anchor plugged Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson – a friend of President Obama -- and delivered a puff piece on Johnson’s life and political goals, giving Johnson several soundbites to promote himself without being challenged, with Johnson proclaiming that he ran for mayor partly because "there’s a lot of inequality in our country."
But, even though at one point Brokaw recounted that Johnson founded the St. Hope foundation to help provide education, the former NBC anchor did not bring up Johnson’s history of corruption, specifically the finding that he misused $800,000 in AmeriCorps funding at St. Hope.
Last June, in an interview on FNC’s Fox and Friends, former inspector general Gerald Walpin of the Corporation for National and Community Service – who had just been fired by the Obama administration – recounted his findings against Mayor Johnson and theorized that Obama had fired him because of his aggressive stance against the President's political ally. Walpin:
On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent John Blackstone gave attention to the danger for small businesses if the final version of health care reform requires employers to provide health insurance for their employees as he highlighted two business owners – one who fears health care reform could close down his night club business while the other is more optimistic about how her business would be affected. Substitute anchor Jeff Glor set up the report: "As we mentioned earlier, the health care bill passed by the Senate today would extend coverage to 30 million Americans. A key element is a mandate forcing many companies to pay for their workers' insurance or pay a fine – a very difficult choice for struggling small business owners."
Blackstone related that "the prescription for change includes some bitter medicine, mandates requiring companies to pay for health insurance or pay a fine." While Blackstone at one point argued that small business owners are likely to benefit "from insurance exchanges in the reform plans which should hold down premiums in many cases by helping small businesses join together for greater buying power," the CBS correspondent also gave substantial attention to nightclub owner Jay Siegan’s fears that " the music will go silent if he's required to provide insurance."
On Thursday's World News, ABC anchor Diane Sawyer took the time to devote an entire story to 92-year-old Democratic Senator Robert Byrd’s vote for the Democratic health care bill, which the West Virginia Democrat dedicated to former Senator Ted Kennedy, whom the ABC anchor described as "health care champion Ted Kennedy." Sawyer recounted that Byrd had to be brought into the Senate chamber in a wheel chair several times recently to cast votes related to the bill.
Sawyer informed viewers of Byrd’s long Congressional career and 98 percent attendance record, and then quoted his declaration that "I do what duty tells me to do" as he arrived to vote for the bill. After recounting the Democratic Senator’s emotional reaction and declaration of love for Senator Kennedy when he learned of Kennedy’s illness, Sawyer concluded: "Old comrades, old friends – one gone, one carrying on."
On Saturday, NBC News host Lester Holt seemed to lament the fact that the climate change conference in Copenhagen did not result in greater regulation of carbon emissions as, on the NBC Nightly News, Holt passed on that "many" called the agreement that was reached "weak and disappointing," and he seemed to accept the premise that more regulations would affect the climate as he relayed that President Obama "admitted a lot more needs to be done to achieve significant changes in global warming." Holt: "President Obama, who took the lead on getting that deal, calls it a breakthrough. But even he admitted a lot more needs to be done to achieve significant changes in global warming."
During the same morning’s Today show, as he introduced correspondent Mike Viqueira, Holt recounted that the conference "fell far short of what many hoped for." Viqueira passed on complaints by environmental activists: "But a lot of people say it falls short. It will monitor emissions cuts, would this agreement, but it sets no target for curbing greenhouse gases, and that has left a lot of people – particularly in the environmental community – very disappointed."
Below are complete transcripts of the relevant stories from NBC’s Today show and the NBC Nightly News from Saturday, December 19:
On Thursday’s Stossel show on Fox Business Network, host John Stossel got to do the kind of show he was not able to do earlier this year when he was at ABC, as he devoted an entire show to the debate over access to health care, and gave attention to the market-based plan utilized by most employees of Whole Foods, which uses health savings accounts and encourages employees to shop around for health care, and to conserve their money for use in future years. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, who has been the target of attacks from socialized medicine advocates despite the popularity of his company’s program with its employees, was the featured guest on Stossel's show, though he and Stossel at one point did get to debate socialized medicine advocate Russell Mokhiber. When Mokhiber cited the dubious statistic that 45,000 Americans die yearly from lack of health insurance, and contended that "zero Canadians die from lack of health insurance," Mackey charged that in Canada, "They oftentimes die from a lack of health care as they wait for services that are rationed by governmental bureaucrats."
While Stossel argued that too much involvement by a third party like insurance companies or government programs have caused health care prices to increase because consumers shop around less, Stossel and Mackey also charged that government regulations that forbid health insurance companies to compete across state lines, and that require insurance companies to cover procedures in their plans that are not desired by many customers, have helped create the problem of high insurance prices:
On the Sunday, December 20, syndicated Chris Matthews Show – during which the panel weighed in on who should be granted various dishonors for the year – Matthews seemed to lump conservatives like Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh in with what Matthews saw as "white tribalism" as he also fretted over the "birthers" who promote the fringe conspiracy theory that President Obama was not born in America. Matthews had notably expressed frustration about "white tribalism" being stirred up by "idiots" in America at the end of last week’s show.
Matthews seemed to compare Glenn Beck and Limbaugh to swine flu as he introduced the award titled "A Plague on Both Our Houses." Matthews played a clip of Beck going over the top in calling President Obama a "racist" on FNC’s Fox and Friends, but he did not specify any particular quote from Limbaugh. A bit later, after the BBC’s Katty Kay tied Palin to the "birthers," prompting Matthews to interject that "I think it’s white tribalism," Matthews brought up the new book of panel member John Heilemann of New York magazine, and set up Heilemann to blame Palin for "activating" racism against Obama during the 2008 campaign.
Matthews: "Was this something that was simmering, this sort of tribalistic resentment of Barack Obama being what he is?"
On Saturday’s Fox News Watch on FNC, regular panel member Jim Pinkerton of the conservative New America Foundation corrected fellow panel member Douglas Kennedy – an FNC correspondent and son of former New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy – as Kennedy asserted that "you don't have to be a scientist to know that the world is getting hotter," and that "that's objective reporting to say that the world is getting hotter."
Pinkerton responded: "Actually, it’s inaccurate reporting to say that. The world has been cooling since 1998."
Earlier, Pinkerton also seemed to pick up on a Newsbusters posting by the MRC’s Geoffrey Dickens as he cited a polar photographer who appeared as a guest on Thursday's Today show on NBC and declared that the debate over global warming is over. Pinkerton also alluded to a story by ABC's Jake Tapper which ran on Thursday's World News in which clips of drought and flooding were shown during a soundbite of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown talking about climate change.
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Saturday, December 19, Fox News Watch on FNC:
On the Sunday, December 13, syndicated Chris Matthews Show, as he ended the show with words of praise for Morgan Freeman’s latest film, Invictus, and its depiction of Nelson Mandela uniting blacks and whites in South Africa in the 1990s, host Matthews referred to "white tribalism" having been stirred up in America, and showed clips of anti-Obama protesters.
Matthews: "In this world of ours today, it seems that any idiot – almost any idiot can rally the forces of tribalism, including white tribalism in this country. You can do it with a frown or a smile – easiest thing in the world to rile people back to their roots, get them thinking with all the rage of their grandparents."