On Monday’s Fox and Friends, FNC judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano summarized the implications for the Supreme Court when President of liberal ideology is elected in a way rarely seen in the media. As he explained the goals that Republicans will have during this week’s confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Napolitano contended that electing a liberal President can lead to the appointment of judges with some of the "strange" and "odd" views and rulings exemplified by Sotomayor. Napolitano:
The Republicans want to accomplish making the country aware of the fact that when you elect a liberal Democrat as President, you get a judicial nominee with these strange ideas. Like, if you take a test, and you pass the test and you're supposed to get promoted, well, you won't get promoted because not enough people from another race passed the test. A lot of Americans will reject that attitude which she embraced. ... If they can show her as embracing odd attitudes like that, they can show up the President for being the liberal that we know he is and that the American people might not be willing to accept.
In light of recent reports that Vice President Cheney had ordered the CIA to withhold information about a counterrorism program that was being planned during the Bush administration, on Sunday ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on both Good Morning America and on This Week suggested that the revelations may be "vindication" for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, or that they at least "bolster" her claims about the CIA lying to her. Stephanopoulos even seemed to be pushing Pelosi to claim "vindication" even while the Speaker’s office was reluctant to do so. Stephanopoulos, from Good Morning America: "I spoke with Speaker Pelosi's office about that, and they don't want to use the word "vindication," but, clearly, it does bolster their case that on several occasions, they were either misled or not given relevant information that the Congress was supposed to have."
During the roundtable discussion on This Week, after conservative columnist George Will brought up the danger of leaks by members of Congress, since congressional members leaked the current story, Stephanopoulos again suggested the story helps Pelosi: "And part of the reason they wrote those letters was in defense of the Speaker, Nancy Pelosi ... they said that they had been misled, and, of course, the Speaker had said the CIA has lied to us on many occasions. I think she said they lie all the time. So this is a measure of vindication, I suppose, for the Speaker, even though she doesn't want to claim it."
During the roundtable discussion, it was left to Will to point out not only that the program "remained in the planning stages," but that the law Democrats are alleging may have been broken has a loophole, suggesting that withholding information on the program may have been legal. Will:
As President Obama headed to Russia, the American news media highlighted the negative views many Russians feel toward America, and left the impression that this trend started during the Bush administration. But conveniently forgotten was that Russian views toward America were just as negative toward the end of President Clinton's time in office. Even recent poll numbers on Russian public opinion are similar those measured in 1999.
In the June 23, 1999, Washington Times article, Janine Wedel wrote:
On Saturday’s broadcast network evening newscasts, the CBS Evening News uniquely gave attention to the tea parties that were inspired by the Tax Day Tea Parties from April. Anchor Jeff Glor set up the report: "In scores of communities tonight, people spent their Fourth of July not celebrating but protesting. Taking a cue from the 1773 Boston Tea Party, they rallied against federal tax and spending policies. "
Correspondent Terrell Brown ran clips of several protesters who attended one of the rallies complaining about excessive taxation and spending by government. But, while the previous tea parties from April 15 were known to attract not only Republicans upset about federal taxes and spending but also Democrats, Brown did not speak of there being any Democrats at the rally he attended. But he did relay the complaints of a disaffected Republican toward the Republican party. Brown also managed to tie in Fox News as he showed a brief clip of FNC hosts Glenn Beck and Neil Cavuto talking on air:
As the broadcast network evening newscasts on Friday reported on Sarah Palin's decision to resign as Alaska's Governor, they gave little attention to the toll taken on the Governor by the onslaught of frivolous lawsuits from her political enemies. But, by contrast, FNC gave much of the credit for Palin's decision to these lawsuits that have tied up the Governor's time and forced her family to spend a fortune in legal expenses.
On Friday's Fox Report, FNC correspondent Carl Cameron informed viewers: "Those ethics complaints have all been dropped or dismissed, and yet they've taken a toll and she acknowledged as much earlier." Then came a soundbite of Palin from her news conference, which was partially played on the CBS Evening News but not on ABC or NBC. Palin:
Todd and I, we’re looking at more than half a million dollars in legal bills just in order to set the record straight. And what about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn't cost them a dime. ... My staff and I spend most of our days, we're dealing with this stuff instead of progressing our state now.
As the broadcast network evening newscasts reported Friday on Sarah Palin's decision to resign as Alaska's governor, some of the negative wording on the CBS Evening News sounded eerily similar to the partisan statement attacking Palin that was released by the Democratic National Committee, which was quoted the same evening on FNC's Fox Report, and on Special Report with Bret Baier.
As she began her report, correspondent Nancy Cordes used words with a negative connotation -- "abandoning her job" -- to describe Palin's departure from office. Cordes: "Surrounded by family at her home in Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin said she was abandoning her job because she has no interest in being a lame duck."
Similarly, the statement issued by DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse also used the word "abandon" to refer to Palin's resignation: "Her decision to abandon her post and the people of Alaska who elected her continues a pattern of bizarre behavior that more than anything else may explain the decision she made today.”
On the Saturday Early Show on the morning of July 4, CBS anchor Priya David mocked Sarah Palin’s famous phrase, "You betcha," as she introduced a report by correspondent Nancy Cordes on the Alaska governor’s decision to resign from office. David: "Resign from office? You betcha. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin dropped a political bombshell Friday, announcing that she's leaving her post, but her future plans remain a mystery."
Unlike her report on the CBS Evening News from the previous night, this time Cordes refrained from referring to Palin’s speech as "rambling" and "confusing," but she did run a soundbite of the Politico’s Mike Allen calling Palin’s decision "odd." Allen: "If you’re trying to promote yourself as a steady leader, this is an odd way to run for President." On Friday night, Cordes had run a soundbite of Allen calling the announcement "bizarre." Allen: "This is very unusual, even bizarre. Governors just don't stop in the middle of their terms when there’s no clear reason."
Below is a complete transcript of the relevant report from the July 4 CBS Early Show:
On Tuesday’s Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC, substitute anchor Megyn Kelly read a brief story informing viewers that now more people oppose the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor than support it. According to a new Rasmussen poll, those in opposition outnumber supporters by 39 to 37 percent, in contrast with its poll from two weeks ago which found she was favored 42 to 34 percent.
Kelly: "Well, public support for Judge Sotomayor appears to be slipping. A new Rasmussen Reports survey indicates just 37 percent support her confirmation now, while 39 percent oppose it. Compare that to two weeks ago, when her confirmation was favored by a 42 to 34 percent margin."
On Monday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Lara Logan relayed to viewers concerns that U.S. troops may be pulling back too quickly for the sake of security in some parts of Iraq. As Logan filed a report about the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Mosul, as part of the security arrangement supported by the Iraqi government, the CBS News correspondent reported that some Iraqi military officers would have preferred U.S. troops stay a while longer to help in the fight against al-Qaeda.
After quoting Iraqi civilians who voiced their beliefs that things would improve after American troops left, Logan continued: "But this city is also where the main fight against al-Qaeda and their allies is still being fought. And off camera, several senior Iraqi officers told us they would have liked to have U.S. soldiers on the city streets with them for another six months."
Below is a complete transcript of the story from the Monday, June 29, CBS Evening News:
Apart from several reports on FNC, and a few on CNN, the mainstream television news media have ignored the controversial firing of former Inspector General Gerald Walpin, who had recently battled for tougher penalties against Obama friend and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson after an investigation by Walpin found Johnson had misused hundreds of thousands of tax dollars granted by the AmeriCorps program to the Johnson-founded St. Hope charity. Over the past weeks, there have been a number of developments, including the opening of an FBI investigation into the St. Hope charity, further casting doubt on the White House's decisions and bolstering Walpin's case that he was wrongfully booted.
On Wednesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann crossed a line that political commentators and other partisan public figures normally do not traverse as they criticize political figures with whom they disagree -- he engaged in name-calling against the average voters who elected his political targets. During the show's regular "Worst Person in the World" segment, Olbermann referred to voters as "idiots" and "buffoons" who voted into office two Republican legislators – Congressman Randy Neugebauer of Texas and State Representative Cynthia Davis of Missouri, whom he also called an "inhuman monster" for expressing her views in opposition to government welfare.
Because Neugebauer -- who is co-sponsoring a bill requiring future Presidents to present a birth certificate to prove legal U.S. citizenship -- answered with uncertainty when he was asked whether he believes President Obama is a U.S. citizen, Olbermann recounted the Congressman's response and snapped: "The people who elected you are obviously idiots. That does not mean everybody else is."
On Monday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, as host Keith Olbermann and NBC News correspondent Richard Engel discussed the apparent murder of 27-year-old Neda Agha-Soltan by Iranian government forces as part of the crackdown against pro-democracy protesters, and the possibility that she will become the visual symbol for her country’s pro-democracy movement because her death was recorded, Engel brought up the infamous Mohammed al-Dura video clip from September 2000 and claimed that the Palestinian boy was shot and killed by Israeli troops – as if this story were not in dispute – even though many who have examined the case closely over the years believe not only that the boy was not hit by Israeli bullets, but that the video purporting to document his shooting and death was likely a hoax.
The exchange from Monday's Countdown show, in which both Engel and Olbermann assumed the al-Dura story to be undisputed:
KEITH OLBERMANN: To the point of Neda Soltan, I don’t know that there’s ever been a revolution, or even a near revolution, that did not have an identifiable face, a martyr, you think of everything from Tiananmen Square to Lexington and Concord-
RICHARD ENGEL: I was thinking more, remember Mohammed al-Dura, the boy who was shot in Gaza-
OLBERMANN: Yes, yes.
ENGEL: -in his father’s arms-
ENGEL: -and who became a symbol of injustice? I think this is a similar moment.
On the Wednesday, June 10, Hannity show on FNC, host Sean Hannity showed a pre-recorded interview with actor Craig T. Nelson, who repeated his recent suggestion that taxpayers should refuse to pay as long as their money is being spent by the government irresponsibly, and this time tied in Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's failure to pay thousands of dollars in taxes. After recounting the government’s lack of "fiscal acuity," Nelson continued:
And I'm saying to myself, "Wait a minute. What if each of those withheld as much as Timothy Geithner withheld? You know what? We're not going to pay that." ... It would say to the government, you know, we're protesting the way you're doing it. I didn't know I was responsible for this bailout. I really didn't know. I wasn't asked about it. There were companies that went under. Aren't we a capitalistic system? Aren't we free to do that?
Below is a complete transcript of the interview from the Wednesday, June 10, Hannity show on FNC:
On the Wednesday, June 10, Beck show on FNC, during an interview with host Glenn Beck, actor John Voight informed viewers that he decided to abandon his left-wing past partly because he blamed the "Marxist" anti-war movement of the Vietnam War era for causing the "slaughter" in South Vietnam and Cambodia after America pulled out of the region. After recounting that "I was surrounded by people who were very heavily programmed Marxist, and I didn't even realize it at the time that this was communist-based stuff, you know, that the communists were behind organizing all of these rallies and things," Voight continued:
And then I saw the end of the war. I saw us pull out, and then I saw the communists move in and slaughter 2 1/2 million people in South Vietnam and Cambodia. And I saw the left that had precipitated this turn away, just walk away from it. ... They didn't take seriously the blood that they had been directly causing. And it didn't – but I must say programming is very, very deep. And I didn't really pull out of it for quite a while afterward. But that's where the dime dropped and things started to happen. And then I , you know, then 9/11, of course.
Below is a complete transcript of the interview from the Wednesday, June 10, Beck show on FNC:
On Thursday’s Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN, host Dobbs interviewed former inspector general Gerald Walpin to talk about his suspicious firing by President Obama after he headed an investigation that uncovered the misuse of over $800,000 in tax dollars by Obama friend Kevin Johnson, while the White House had initially given only vague reasons for his dismissal. After explaining that Walpin is "technically on administrative leave" currently, Dobbs pointed out that Senator Claire McCaskill "straightened the White House out on requirements of the law" in giving "30 days notice to Congress." Dobbs:
Of, well, of 64 total offices of inspector general, three fired. You among them, one of the most prominent. The White House did not respond to your firing in explanation beyond the perfunctory until Senator Claire McCaskill straightened the White House out on requirements of the law, which is to give 30 days notice to Congress, which had not been done at that time.
After quoting the most recent White House explanation that Walpin had been "confused, disoriented," and "unable to answer questions," Walpin charged that that statement by the White House was "given only as the third reason" for the action:
On Thursday evening, the CBS Evening News and the NBC Nightly News presented opposite takes on whether Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi is really a moderate, or whether he is actually about as extreme and dangerous as current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. CBS’s Mark Phillips argued that Mousavi is merely more moderate in "tone" than Ahmadinejad while taking similar policy positions, while NBC’s Richard Engel played up Mousavi as a real alternative to Ahmadinejad. CBS News substitute anchor Maggie Rodriguez introduced Phillips’s report: "Mir Hossein Mousavi insists he won the presidential election there, only to have it stolen from him. He's been cast as an outsider, anxious for reform. But as Mark Phillips reports, that's not exactly the case."
After beginning his report contending that "Mir Hossein Mousavi is neither a champion of democracy as we know it, nor an advocate of great change within Iran's mullah-dominated government," Phillips further argued that Mousavi would bring little substantive policy difference to the presidency:
On Wednesday, several FNC shows recounted the latest developments in the case of President Obama's suspicious, and possibly illegal, firing of former inspector general Gerald Walpin, after an investigation headed by Walpin found Obama friend and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson guilty of misusing over $800,000 in funding intended for the AmeriCorps program. Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity pointed to apparent inconsistencies in the story so far.
Beck, who had previously interviewed Walpin on Monday, interviewed him again on Wednesday, and informed viewers of a claim by the White House that Walpin had shown up at a meeting "disoriented," leading the President to dismiss him. Walpin charged that the administration was engaging in "an amazing slinging of mud" against him, and later added:
Tuesday's Fox and Friends on FNC gave attention to the case of former inspector general Jerry Walpin, of the Corporation for National and Community Service, who was abruptly dismissed from his position, after he headed up an investigation of one of President Obama's political allies for misuse of AmeriCorps funds, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. Co-anchor Steve Doocy also brought up the possibility that Obama had broken the law in firing Walpin without just cause. As he was interviewed by co-hosts Gretchen Carlson and Doocy, Walpin summed up his agency's findings against Johnson:
We found out that Johnson had misused the members of the AmeriCorps volunteers for his own personal purposes, had used them in political campaigns, had used them to wash his car, and had even taken them to New York to lobby for him, and they're supposed to be working tutoring students in Sacramento. He took them to New York to lobby for him to get a charter school charter here in New York.
Walpin also charged that Johnson was never required by the Obama administration to reimburse the $800,000 he owed the government:
On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann slammed Jonah Goldberg of the National Review during the show’s "Worst Person in the World" segment because Goldberg complained about the treatment of neoconservatives by liberals, as the National Review Online editor recently charged that "mainstream liberalism and other outposts of paranoid Bush hatred have portrayed neoconservatives – usually code for conservative Jews and other supporters of Israel – as an alien, pernicious cabal."
Olbermann, who has a history of blaming conservatives like Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly for violent acts by extremists, accused the "far right" of "enabling" recent murders, and then claimed not to have ever heard the term "neocons" associated with a particular "religious or ethnic group." He went on to suggest that the word "neocon" may really be code for "belligerence, pig headedness, stupidity, wasteful, indifference to human life," and "paranoid."
On Friday's Special Report with Bret Baier, FNC correspondent Jennifer Griffin informed viewers that the Obama administration has once again snubbed the British government, as the administration transferred a group of detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the British protectorate of Bermuda without first consulting the British government as protocol requires. Substitute anchor Chris Wallace raised the issue:
Let's talk about the Bermuda part of the story because Bermuda is a British protectorate. We supposedly have a special relationship with the U.K., but we didn't talk to them, we didn't inform them about our deal to put the Uighurs there.
Griffin described the administration's faux pas as "stunning":
On Thursday's The O'Reilly Factor, FNC host Bill O'Reilly gave attention to threatening tactics from some on the far left, as he focused on the case of a Bishop from the D.C. area who became a target after speaking out against same-sex marriage. O'Reilly began the interview:
For example, if you oppose gay marriage, some far-left people will try to hurt you, as Bishop Harry Jackson is finding out, and the Bishop joins us now from Washington, D.C. Now, since you made the gay marriage issue a centerpiece of your commentary, because you are a traditional guy and you believe in traditional man-woman marriage, what's happened to you?
On World News Sunday, ABC News anchor David Muir read a brief story relaying to viewers an attack on former Vice President Cheney by CIA Director Leon Panetta which appeared in the New Yorker magazine. In the interview, Panetta suggested that Cheney may desire to see terrorists hit America again for his own benefit. Muir recounted:
On Tuesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann suggested that President Obama’s speech in Cairo may have been responsible for the defeat of Hezbollah in Lebanon’s parliamentary elections which occurred a few days after the speech. But as Olbermann discussed the possibility that Obama had a hand in the results, he neglected to inform viewers that the apparent 71 out of 128 seats won by pro-Western candidates in 2009 is nearly identical to the 72 won in the last such round of elections in 2005.
During the show’s opening teaser, Olbermann brought up Obama’s speech: "The Cairo effect: Did this already pay off practically?"
After a clip of Obama’s speech, the MSNBC host continued: "Three days later, voters in Lebanon elected an American-backed coalition instead of a Hezbollah-backed coalition."
Saturday’s NBC Nightly News aired a report filed by NBC News correspondent Lisa Myers in which she looked into President Obama’s tendency to award lavish jobs as ambassadors to some of his top campaign fund-raisers – whose qualifications in foreign policy are questionable – and in which she noted that Obama had criticized President Bush for appointing donors to positions in government. Myers: "It's worth noting that candidate Obama criticized President Bush for rewarding his donors with ambassadorships."
Anchor Lester Holt introduced the story: "Now to NBC News ‘In Depth,’ and another tradition still going strong in Washington: rewarding major fund-raisers with plum positions as foreign ambassadors. It's a custom apparently embraced by President Obama. One-third of his nominees raised big money for his campaign."
Actor Jon Voight, who recently spoke critically of President Obama at a Republican fundraiser, appeared on Tuesday's The O'Reilly Factor to reiterate his problems with Obama. After recounting that America was "warned" by Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden during the Democratic primary season that Obama "had no experience" and was a "novice," the conservative actor reminded FNC viewers of the unheeded warnings about Obama's connections to questionable figures like Bill Ayers and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright:
Look, he was a fellow who was associated with all the wrong people. The signs were up. His associations with Bill Ayers, Alinsky, with ACORN, with Pfleger, with Wright. But no one seemed to take the warnings. And his inexperience was quite evident.
The network evening newscasts on Thursday gave positive reviews to President Obama's speech in Cairo, with the NBC Nightly News the most glowingly positive, and ABC giving the most attention to skeptics in the Muslim world. NBC focused on positive reactions to the speech, quoting one observer who got "goose pimples," and another who compared the speech to that of President Kennedy in Berlin. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell seemed to have the most elevated expectations of what will result from Obama’s speech. After acknowledging that Obama risked alienating Jews for his criticism of Israel, she suggested the "rewards" may be worth it: "That said, the reward is huge. This was a transformational speech potentially, by reaching out to the Islamic world, by using the language, as Richard pointed out, by saying "As-Salamu ‘Alaykum," he has transformed the view of America among 1.5 billion people, and that is potentially the biggest, biggest benefit of all. This could change the Obama presidency."
All three made a point of characterizing Obama’s use of the Arabic phrase "As-Salamu ‘Alaykum," or, "Peace be with you," as a gesture that would greatly impress the Muslim world. CBS’s Lara Logan talked about the "excitement" in Cairo over Obama’s "historic" speech, and highlighted Obama’s personal popularity there: "This is a first in Cairo – the name of an American President on T-shirts and souvenirs on sale here. It's a sign of Barack Obama's personal popularity and how much is resting on his shoulders."
On Tuesday's Hannity show on FNC, while interviewing author Brigitte Gabriel, host Sean Hannity suggested that, rather than make apologies for America in the Muslim world, that President Obama should point out that Muslims have benefited from America's assistance in various countries, and Gabriel pointed out that the United States sided with Muslims against Christians in the former Yugoslavia.
Hannity posed the question: "Shouldn't the President be highlighting, for example, the sacrifice of America to help save some Kuwaiti Muslims and in Somalia and in Afghanistan and in Iraq and in other parts of the world?"
On Friday’s The O’Reilly Factor on FNC, host Bill O’Reilly interviewed liberal civil rights attorney Bartle Bull about the Justice Department’s recent decision to drop charges against Black Panther members who engaged in voter intimidation in Philadelphia polling place last November. Bull – who worked for both Robert F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter – was an eyewitness to some of the intimidation, and charged that Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision not to pursue the case was "100 percent politically motivated."
Below is a complete transcript of the interview from the Friday, May 29, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC:
On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann placed blame on FNC host Bill O’Reilly for inciting the recent murder of Dr. George Tiller, widely known for performing late-term abortions in Kansas. After showing a number of clips of O’Reilly and other FNC personalities attacking Tiller, Olbermann encouraged his viewers to request that businesses like restaurants that run FNC on their televisions change the channel because "Fox News Channel will never restrain itself from incitement to murder and terrorism – not until its profits begin to decline, when its growth stops." Referring to O’Reilly, he also declared that "the goal here, to get this blindly irresponsible man and his ilk off the air," and that "we must again make the world safe for people condemned by the Fox News Channel."
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Monday, June 1, Countdown show on MSNBC:
UPDATE: MRC's Times Watch site tackled the Times's strange omission of the Muslim extremism angle last week: TimesWatch.org
On Saturday's Fox Newswatch, host Jon Scott led the panel in a discussion of the New York Times's coverage of the terror plot against synagogues in New York City, as the paper downpayed the extreme Muslim beliefs of the plotters. Even liberal analyst Jane Hall took the New York Times to task, arguing that the conversion of the plotters to Islam while serving time in prison was "an important part of the story."
Scott opened discussion of the topic:
Coverage of the stories in the New York Times seemed to gloss over the group's openly expressed desire to commit jihad, even though the police commissioner mentioned it at a news conference. Why did the New York Times decide to shy away from mentioning the suspect's extreme Muslim beliefs?
Conservative analyst Andrea Tantaros complained about a trend toward oversensitivity in talking about Muslim extremism to the point of omitting key facts in a story: