PBS’s Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill provided a tag team of Obama idolatry in their interview with President Barack Obama at the White House following Wednesday’s March on Washington anniversary event, gently pressing him from the left and treating him as a victim of racist opposition as Gwen Ifill forwarded the theory “you are a victim of partisan racial gridlock.”
When, in the session carried on the PBS NewsHour, Obama fretted “we have increasing inequality in this society,” Judy Woodruff buttered up Obama by first hailing how “you’ve been able to do -- help the country in many ways,” yet problems – remarkably – still remain, so “how much does it weigh on you that your policies haven’t made more of a difference in those areas?”
Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, who oversees the IRS, made the rounds of four Sunday morning TV talk shows (all but CBS’s Face the Nation) to promote President Obama’s latest “pivot” to the economy, but ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and CNN’s Candy Crowley failed to take advantage of the opportunity to press him on the IRS scandal.
NBC’s David Gregory squeezed a question in at the very end of their session, but then didn’t follow up on Lew’s insistence “there’s no evidence of any political involvement.” Gregory: “Mr. Secretary, I’ll leave it there. Thank you as always.”
Once again obscuring any line between MSNBC and NBC News, Brian Williams brought frequent MSNBC contributor Joy-Ann Reid aboard Friday’s NBC Nightly News to praise President Obama’s comments on the Zimmerman-Martin case while he failed to mention she spent 2008 working for the Obama presidential campaign.
Between hailing Obama’s remarks as “extraordinary” and “brave,” Reid painted Obama as the victim of racism: “Everything about the Obama presidency, race has been a subtext to all of it. From the Tea Party which saw differently the Obama bailout of the auto industry from George W. Bush’s and suddenly became a movement, to him being called a liar in the well of the Congress, to him having to show his birth certificate...”
HBO’s The Newsroom debuts its second season tonight (Sunday) at 10 PM EDT/PDT. The preachy and sanctimonious left-wing dialogue from creator/writer Aaron Sorkin often came across as unintentional near-parody of MSNBC’s old Countdown with Keith Olbermann, none more so than in the self-righteous commentary delivered by anchor “Will McAvoy,” played by Jeff Daniels, in the first season finale.
“McAvoy” went on a diatribe about the evils of the Tea Party, a particularly alien from reality plot line given what we’ve learned since that Tea Party groups were victims of government abuse by the IRS.
See no scandal, report no scandal. Jill Abramson, Executive Editor of the New York Times, came down to DC on Sunday to defend President Obama on the scandals and the economy, stressing the leaks cases is the only supposed scandal she cares about as she contended “I’m just not sure” the leaks cases, IRS and Benghazi “come together and create, you know -- quote, unquote -- ‘an atmosphere of scandal.’”
An atmosphere the New York Times is working to prevent.
Pivoting to the downside for President Obama of the swirling scandals, Meet the Press host David Gregory fretted over “a bigger issue that the President faces, which is where is his agenda left in all this?” Citing a poll showing the public thinks fixing unemployment should be a higher priority than investigations, Gregory despaired: “The President’s coming under fire for losing his scope, effectively, in a second term to rebuild America, to usher in economic restoration.”
“Well, that’s the tragedy for him. It’s a tragedy for all of us,” New York Times columnist Tom Friedman agreed.
Noting “local news stations often don’t have the resources that national stations do,” back on Monday, May 6, FNC’s Bret Baier ended his program with a clip from WJW-TV “Fox8” in Cleveland which made a creative, if not convincing, effort to recreate an event on camera.
The story was about a bear sighting in the Cleveland suburb of Moreland Hills, but, Baier explained, “unfortunately, out affiliate, WJW, did not get a shot of the bear, so instead they improvised.”
Though he had no idea what it was, the annual “Bush Center Warrior 100K” mountain bike ride, which took place over the Memorial Day weekend, upset Bill Maher. “I guess they walked or ran or something on their prosthetic limbs,” Maher sneered about George W. Bush’s ride around his Texas ranch with 20 servicemen, “and I found this to be nauseating. I mean, first he sends them off to war to get their limbs blown off and then he has them over for a barbecue.”
Maher then equated the former President with Ariel Castro, the kidnaper who held captive multiple women for a decade and murdered their un-born babies: “This is like the Cleveland guy having a pizza party for those girls he had in his basement.”
Once again demonstrating the NBC Nightly News is the broadcast arm of MSNBC, anchor Brian Williams – matching what has animated MSNBC hosts – devoted a segment to former Senator Bob Dole railing against the modern Republican Party; ie: conservatives.
With “Fighting Words” on screen, Williams on Tuesday night highlighted comments neither the ABC nor CBS evening newscasts found newsworthy, how the 89-year-old “made it clear in a rare interview this weekend the GOP of his day is unrecognizable. He thinks they should pause, rebuild and start over.”
Not a syllable Friday or Saturday night on ABC, CBS or NBC about any of the several Obama scandals, but on Saturday night ABC’s World News trumpeted President Obama’s role as “consoler-in-chief.”
With “Consoler-in-Chief” on screen, anchor David Muir announced: “President Obama will be in Moore, Oklahoma tomorrow. ABC’s Reena Ninan already there tonight as the President prepares to fill the role he so often has in the last few months.”
“Liberal media bias is an old complaint,” the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto noted in his “Best of the Web Today” column this past Monday on responses to the Obama scandals, before warning: “The Obama presidency has given it a new and dangerous form. Never has the prevailing bias of the media been so closely aligned with the ideological aims and political interests of the party in power.”
He recognized “the American media remain free and independent, or you would not be reading this column,” but zinged, “to a large extent they have functioned for the past few years as if they were under state control.”
Already moving on from the IRS scandal? On Thursday night, only the CBS Evening News of the broadcast network evening newscasts bothered to note how Lois Lerner, the IRS official in charge of the division which processes tax-exempt applications, was put on administrative leave after she took the Fifth and refused to answer questions at a House hearing the day before. Anchor Scott Pelley squeezed in 20 seconds on it.
Yet, ABC World News and the NBC Nightly News made room to highlight a photo of a 17-year-old Barack Obama and his prom date along with a friend and his date.
Monday’s CBS Evening News took one break from Oklahoma tornado coverage – to run a piece on how an IRS manager who recently retired from the Cincinnati office, where 501 (c)(4) applications were processed, declared “politics and religion were things that people generally didn’t talk about at work.”
Reporter Dean Reynolds focused on the assurances by Bonnie Esrig, who was also featured in a Saturday Washington Post article on how politics had nothing to do with the targeting of conservative groups: “She never heard anyone say the words ‘the President wants this done.’”
The Hollywood Left just can’t resist shoving its anti-conservative invective into prime time TV shows, even an over-the-top, melodramatic soap-opera with ludicrous plots like ABC’s Washington, DC-set Scandal, which has its season finale at 10 PM EDT/PDT tonight.
On last week’s episode, a lead character ominously warned that if the current Vice President, a conservative woman Republican, made it to the Oval Office, she “and her conservative overlords” will impinge on “the rights” of African-Americans and raise the specter of the devil.
Asked on Sunday’s Reliable Sources if the wider media dismissed the Weekly Standard story, by Stephen Hayes about the Benghazi talking points getting altered to take out any references to terrorism, because of his affiliation with conservative media, The Hill newspaper Managing Editor Bob Cusack agreed.
Then he turned his criticism on his colleagues: “If you look at the time line of how this administration dealt with Benghazi, there’s been a lot of contradictions from the get go. So, the media hasn’t looked at it as extensively as they should have.”
My alternate headline for this item: “NBC’s Today Show on Benghazi: ‘There Are So Many Issues the Country Faces. This Is One of Them.’” That dismissive attitude came from ABC News veteran Mark Halperin, now MSNBC’s senior political analyst who also toils for Time magazine, putting the burden on Republican to make an issue of Obama administration dishonesty on Benghazi.
Failing to see any role for the news media after months of malfeasance, Halperin put the burden on a political party: “I think the events of this week mean Republicans now have a chance to make the case to the American people. There are so many issues the country faces. This is one of them.”
Fox News Channel analyst and former anchor Brit Hume asserted Monday night that for Benghazi “to become the scandal it surely deserves to be will require another ingredient: Relentless news coverage of the kind the media typically avoid when the subject is someone or some cause they favor.”
He explained: “That’s why the Gosnell abortion horrors were played down for so long and that’s why the now discredited Benghazi talking points were treated as just an honest mistake.”
NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday brought aboard another lefty whose far-left views are usually only heard on MSNBC, but Joy-Ann Reid, Managing Editor of TheGrio.com, the NBC News site aimed at African-Americans, perfectly reflected the true liberal view of how to boost the economy. It’s not a “balanced” approach of budget cuts and tax hikes. She urged higher taxes and more spending.
“When you look at the economy and the fact that it isn’t growing more strongly, we’ve been trying to force ourselves to do austerity,” Reid ludicrously asserted in the midst of ever-increasing federal spending. She fretted the inability “to do a robust agenda from Washington that does smart spending and smart tax increases,” regretting that “without being able to do sane policy in Washington,” you can’t expect Obama to fix the economy.
Proof Sunday morning that Republicans can use their power to hold House hearings to force media coverage of topics journalists have shown little interest in probing. CBS's Face the Nation led with an “exclusive” which Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committe on Oversight and Government Reform, gave host Bob Schieffer about the upcoming testimony from Greg Hicks, the second in command in Libya at the time of the Benghazi attacks.
“Today,” Schieffer touted, “there is new information raising questions about whether there was a cover-up by the State Department to deflect criticism that it had ignored requests for more security for its people in Libya.”
In a new low for David Letterman – on both a professional and comedic level – each night this past week he devoted a Late Show “Stooge of the Night” segment to a Senator who dared to oppose the gun control bill, a law which would have done nothing to have prevented the Newtown tragedy.
Nonetheless, Letterman got very political in putting a picture of each Senator on the screen, yet the audience at his Manhattan theater remained befuddled, nearly silent after each announcement with, at best, scattered nervous laughter before Letterman followed up with a lame crack at their personal appearance. Those shots (Jeff Flake: “Reminds me a little of Gomer Pyle”; Ted Cruz: “How about a background check on his barber?”) generated a little laughter.
NBC synergy in action. Saturday Night Live opens with a skit hitting President Barack Obama from the left for celebrating picayune progress on gun control and, the next morning, Meet the Press host David Gregory uses that clip to illustrate his liberal point about how the “problem” is insufficient action on gun control.
After playing a bit of that comedy video, in which an “Obama” impersonator trumpets “I am so excited to announce that this week the Senate voted 68-31 to begin debating the idea of discussing gun control,” Gregory fretted: “Isn’t that really the problem? Despite all the emotion, despite the push, despite the public opinion polls, not a lot is about to be accomplished here.”
Bill Maher just can’t resist denigrating those who choose to join our military forces. Catching up with a comment from his Friday night show on HBO, when discussing what motivates soldiers to want to re-join their units and what they miss when back in civilian life, war correspondent Sebastian Junger explained: “The soldiers aren’t psychopaths, they don’t miss killing, they don’t miss getting killed, but what they miss is that sense of meaning and the bond...”
To which, Maher countered: “Well, some of them are psychopaths. I mean, let’s be honest. Some people join the Army because it’s the one place where you can kill people for free. Where you’re not charged with murder.”
Does journalistic insistence on catapulting President Barack Obama into historic greatness and relevance know no bounds? CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley on Tuesday night insisted upon trumpeting Obama’s proposal, to spend $100 million to map the human brain, through the hagiographic maneuver of putting Obama into a trilogy with the triumphs of Thomas Jefferson and John Kennedy:
"Finally tonight, for Thomas Jefferson it was the Louisiana Territory; for John F. Kennedy, the moon. Well today, as Bill Plante reports, President Obama announced a mission to explore and map another frontier filled with mystery and possibility."
Tonight’s episode of NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will showcase failed Republican Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s infamous remark that “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down” so the woman would not get pregnant.
NBC’s promo for the March 27 episode touts a storyline “ripped from the headlines” with “words that set off a national controversy.” In the promo run at the end of last week’s show, a man on a witness stand, who is sporting a flag lapel pin, declares: “It’s nearly impossible for a victim of legitimate rape to become pregnant.” [UPDATED with a summary of what aired]
Another episode airs tonight of FX’s The Americans. Last week, the historic drama set in 1981, portrayed a successful KGB effort to discredit a Polish priest, who is leading an anti-Soviet liberation movement, by smearing him as a rapist during his visit to New York City. (“The Reagan administration doesn’t want a rapist leading the movement to push the Soviets out of Poland.”)
The March 13 installment of the series also featured an actual real-life clip of President Ronald Reagan hailing the people of Poland: “We, the people of the free world, stand as one with our Polish brothers and sisters.”
A lengthy – 3,500 word – anguished expose on the front page of Sunday’s Washington Post, “Hungering for a new month to begin,” about how people in Woonsocket, Rhode Island race to the grocery stores on the first of the month to spend their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payment, yet run out of food long before the month ends, didn’t offer a word about President Obama’s responsibility for the poor economy.
Deep in it, however, reporter Eli Saslow undermined his case when he sympathetically cited “a series of exhausting, fractional decisions” a couple with two toddlers face over having to choose between food “or the $75 they owed the tattoo parlor.”
The Obama administration in 2009 dropped the Bush administration’s plan to add missile interceptor capability against North Korea, yet on Friday, when Obama’s Pentagon realized their error and scrambled to announce a reversal to implement the Bush plan, ABC, CBS and NBC failed to mention Obama’s dereliction. (Below: Krauthmmer zinged “Democratic resistance” to missile defense. “Reagan was right.”)
ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel sent a producer out to Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles to ask passing pedestrians a nonsensical question: “What do you think about President Obama’s decision to pardon the sequester and send it to Portugal?”
Hilarity ensued in the very sure answers given by the very ill-informed low information potential voters in the “Confusing Question of the Day” segment aired on this past Monday’s (March 4) Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC.
Charles Krauthammer credited President Obama’s charm offensive toward Republicans to his losing the news media which couldn’t any longer abide his ridiculous sequester “cut” exaggerations.
“Obama’s strongest constituency, which is not the left, it’s the mainstream media, could no longer cover for him without being entirely embarrassed,” Krauthammer observed Friday night on FNC, “It had to expose the one exaggeration after another on the sequester.”