Asked how Iowans view President Barack Obama, Michael Gartner, the President of NBC News from 1988 to 1993, insisted on this weekend’s Bloomberg TV’s Political Capital: “I think people have a fondness for him and I don’t think people blame him for anything that’s wrong in this country,” except, that is, “the far-right of the Republican Party.”
Another entry in my semi-regular series of Saturday night humor postings for NewsBusters drawn from the clips Bret Baier runs at the end of FNC’s Special Report which he and his staff usually select from video montages picked up off the late night comedy shows.
With few to draw on from the past week since Iowa coverage meant Baier only ran a humor clip on a couple of nights, for this one a jump back to mid-July for a clip which got a lot of Web play at the time, but if you didn’t see it then here’s your chance to watch a TV anchor dealing with putting the wrong guest on air.
Friday night’s CBS Evening News examined Rick Perry’s record in Texas, citing his claims his policies led to job creation but then pivoting to how “Perry's bedrock pledge to never raise taxes also had a reckoning this year.”
Reporter Wyatt Andrews relayed liberal claims that “with taxes not an option, the state cut deeply into health care and so deeply into education, some 49,000 teachers are being laid off.” He prompted a teacher: “Do you see a Texas miracle?” She retorted, “No, I see a Texas tragedy” as Andrews related that she “calls her layoff the cost of low taxes.”
ABC’s Jake Tapper on Thursday night scolded Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for a “gaffe” over his assertion that “corporations are people” since “everything corporations earn ultimately goes to the people.”
That common sense observation came in reaction to a bunch of hecklers, from a left-wing activist group, who confronted Romney in Iowa, yet neither ABC or CBS acknowledged their agenda. The CBS Evening News, in fact, put “Voter Anger” on screen over one of the screaming leftists as anchor Scott Pelley declared “voters are angry about the economy.”
Recalling how he was raised in “heavily Democratic Providence, R.I.,” New York Times columnist Joe Nocera revealed: “It wasn’t until I moved to Washington after college that I got to know any Republicans. Not until I was nearing 30, and living in Texas, did I see how conservative most of the country truly is.”
With outrage from right to left over Newsweek’s “Queen of Rage” cover story photo of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann in which she looks crazy, or at least empty-headed, a look back at how during the last campaign the magazine, under previous ownership, made sure candidate Barack Obama always looked presidential.
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, who the week before last cited “the debt ceiling, which rational people agree needs to be raised,” on Monday evening again seemed to take a shot at Tea Party members of Congress as he urged President Barack Obama to fulfill a “leadership moment” in order “to force Congress into a sudden breakout of sanity.”
TV Newser just posted the news that David Bohrman, the long-time Washington Bureau Chief for CNN, has been hired by Al Gore’s Current TV, the cable home of Keith Olbermann which is transforming itself into a far-left news service. In Current TV’s press release, Gore trumpeted how Bohrman shares the “vision” to create a “progressive voice in the news and political commentary arena.”
The press release touted how Bohrman “will also work closely with Current’s Chief News Officer Keith Olbermann, who is host of Current’s centerpiece program, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, as the network expands its primetime line-up and election coverage.”
Back in late June I introduced a new series of Saturday night humor postings for NewsBusters drawn from the clips Bret Baier runs at the end of FNC’s Special Report which he selects from video montages picked up from the late night comedy shows. Well, vacations and busy news weekends sidetracked me, but here’s a fresh one, my first in about a month.
From Baier’s Wednesday night (August 3) program, a clip from Comedy Central’s Colbert Report making fun of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for musing about missing the pomegranate and fig trees at his home in Nevada.
A reminder this week Hollywood moguls aren’t just enthralled with Barack Obama. They are also ideological liberals who have disgust for conservatives and are especially enraged by the Tea Party’s success.
Explaining his $2 million donation to a left-wing political action committee, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg told USA Today he was motivated by how “outside Republican spending in 2010 led to the election of ‘Republican extremists.’”
Running through the findings of a new CBS News/New York Times poll, on Thursday’s CBS Evening News Chip Reid highlighted how, after weeks of media hostility the Tea Party has lost popularity, as he also located people to illustrate how more wanted, and still want, taxes raised over spending cuts alone.
Reid ignored, however, how far more – Republicans, independents, and even Democrats – believe the spending cuts “didn’t go far enough” over “went too far.”
Framing a shortcoming in the debt deal as a liberal would and does, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley on Tuesday night regretted the how “the last time the President and the Congress compromised on a major spending bill, Republicans got tax cuts and Mr. Obama won an extension of unemployment benefits,” but this time “there are only budget cuts and no relief for those suffering in this economy.”
Two network anchors, 24 hours apart, cued up House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to despair from the left how the debt ceiling deal, presumably because of some future potential slight reductions in the projected rate of spending increases, will “hurt real people” as NBC’s Brian Williams asked her to confirm her “fear” that “the poor are gonna get hurt and the rich are gonna get by without harm.”
On Monday’s World News, ABC’s Diane Sawyer inquired (video below): “You think this is really going to hurt real people?”
Three noteworthy spins, charges and/or claims made on the Sunday morning interview shows.
> ABC’s This Week, with “ALL CUTS, NO TAXES?” on screen: George Stephanopoulos hit White House senior adviser David Plouffe from the left on how “this enforcement mechanism would not include revenue increases, would be just across the board spending cuts.” He fretted the deal “all but guarantee that the final product is all spending cuts and not the balanced approach the President wants.” Christiane Amanpour despaired President Obama “has moved all of the way to the language and the ideals that the Republicans espouse.”
> CBS’s Face the Nation: Bob Schieffer insisted “some people say that the Republican Party has been held hostage by the Tea Party” and he discerned “some truth” in an allegation he saw on Facebook that allowing House freshmen “‘to control this debate’” is “‘like letting the teenager in the family run the family budget.’”
The broadcast network evening newscasts on Friday night noted the very anemic second quarter GDP growth rate at 1.3 percent, but instead of stressing how it showed the weak economic state well before the debt ceiling showdown, they submerged it into warnings of how the delay in getting a deal is hurting the economy.
On ABC’s World News, Bianna Golodryga, aka Mrs. Peter Orszag, the wife of Obama’s former OMB Director, helped her husband’s ex-employer by failing to even mention the worst news of the day: the revision of the first quarter GDP down to a flat line 0.4 percent from the original 1.9 percent estimate. At least CBS and NBC considered that newsworthy.
Running a brief excerpt from his Sunday night Dateline special, “Taking the Hill: Inside Congress,” Brian Williams on Thursday evening showcased one and only one question he posed to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. He demanded: “Why shouldn't rich folks pay more?”
Williams insisted on NBC Nightly News that’s “a hot topic, no tax increase in any of these plans being discussed” in “what has become a big charge from the left that in any of these debt ceiling deals the poor are likely to get hit while the rich are likely to get a pass.”
Acting as if he were trying out for a MSNBC gig, Piers Morgan used his half hour of CNN’s prime time, following President Barack Obama’s 9 PM EDT speech on the debt ceiling and House Speaker John Boehner’s response, to hit his guests from the left, presuming Obama holds the reasoned moral high ground while Boehner represents an obstinate and selfish position.
“A lot of people blame the financial crisis on Bush tax cuts and expensive wars,” Morgan told GOP Senator Rob Portman of Ohio in repeating a liberal talking point, demanding: “Isn't it time you guys took one for the team, the team being America?”
Adopting the spin of President Barack Obama -- who on Friday insisted “one of the questions that the Republican Party is going to have to ask itself is: Can they say yes to anything?” – on Sunday’s Face the Nation CBS’s Bob Schieffer demanded of Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl: “Is there a problem for Republicans that might emerge as just the party of no? The party that can't say yes to anything?”
House Republicans have a budget-cutting proposal that stands no chance of getting by President Obama while some Senators have a big tax-hiking plan which stands no chance of passage in the House, but CBS, in illustrating the larger media take, framed the conservative plan as a distracting waste of time while cheerleading the Senate’s “Gang of 33” plan in the name of “bi-partisanship.”
Barf. “We sometimes forget just how in the tank much of the press is for Obama,” the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto observed last week in catching an effusive, to put it mildly, love letter to Barack Obama published in the August edition of Hearst’s Esquire magazine.
“2011 is the summer of Obama,” gushed Stephen Marche, genuflecting “‘I am large, I contain multitudes,’ Walt Whitman wrote, and Obama lives that lyrical prophecy.” More sophistry: “Barack Obama is developing into what Hegel called a ‘world-historical soul,’ an embodiment of the spirit of the times. He is what we hope we can be.”
A couple of Sunday interview show hosts again forwarded White House talking points about the necessity to include taxes, I mean “revenues,” in any debt ceiling increase deal with ABC’s Christiane Amanpour focusing on a single poll she highlighted for ammunition the public is on her side while ignoring how, by two-to-one, the public opposes raising the debt ceiling at all.
CBS’s Bob Schieffer touted how President Obama has made “concessions” but, he sputtered, “I don't hear any concessions from people on the other side. They just say no taxes, and that’s their negotiating posture.” He demanded of Senator Marco Rubio: “Can you have meaningful reform here without increasing revenues in some way?”
In a relatively inoffensive interview with President Barack Obama for Tuesday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Scott Pelley implied the Tea Party (and maybe congressional liberals too) should be blamed for blocking a debt ceiling deal (“Isn't the problem that a large number of the Members of Congress will not follow your leadership or the Republican leadership?”) and fondly recalled how “it wasn't that long ago when compromise in Washington was considered a virtue, not a vice.”
Pelley touted how “Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill were on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but they respected each other, they liked each other and they got things done.” That allowed Obama to use Reagan to scold conservatives: “If Ronald Reagan could compromise, why wouldn't folks who idolize Ronald Reagan be willing to engage in those same kinds of compromises?”
Two eastern European nations last week debuted commemorations to thank former President Ronald Reagan for playing an instrumental role in freeing them from communism. I only found sparse television coverage of the two “Reagan Centennial” events in Hungary and the Czech Republic, but thought I’d share what I located since the events didn’t earn much air time.
The accompanying video first shows a brief item on Wednesday’s Special Report where FNC played some video of a life-size statue of Reagan being unveiled in Freedom Square in front of the U.S. Embassy in Budapest. Second in the video, a short item from MSNBC on Saturday morning about a block of a street in Prague getting named for Ronald Wilson Reagan.
Last Saturday night I introduced my new Saturday night humor posting drawn from the clips Bret Baier runs at the end of FNC’s Special Report which he selects from video montages picked up from the late night comedy shows.
Tonight, the second edition, taken from NBC’s Tonight Show, of some pretty funny confusion on a British newscast which played the wrong soundbites at the wrong time -- turning an unidentified blonde woman, and the network’s own weather woman, into the Nazi leader Rudolph Hess. Watch below the jump for what Baier played on his Monday, June 27 program.
“The problem is this issue with the House Republicans,” NBC’s Chuck Todd declared Wednesday night in naming the culprit blocking help to Americans whom anchor Brian Williams asserted “are hurting every day and hoping for a result to make their lives better.”
In a story on President Barack Obama’s press conference, Todd maintained Obama and the Senate could come together, but he blamed the conservatives for preventing a debt ceiling deal, fretting over “that new conservative, the Tea Party caucus” which rejects “anything that even remotely looks like a tax hike on anybody.”
All three broadcast network evening newscasts awarded full stories Monday night to Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign announcement, with ABC and NBC unable to resist pouncing on Chris Wallace’s “are you a flake?” question to frame their stories. ABC’s Jonathan Karl highlighted how she’s “been accused of being loose with the facts, saying, for example, that the President's last trip to India was costing taxpayers $200 million a day. That's why Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace says he asked her” the “flake” question.
On NBC, Kelly O’Donnell also played the Wallace clip before focusing on how Bachmann “has been embarrassed by a string of factual errors, like placing the battles of Lexington and Concord in the wrong state. She missed the mark again in our interview, bringing up an unrelated and incorrect claim about her hometown.” (That would be about John Wayne’s birthplace.)
On Sunday’s This Week, ABC’s Christiane Amanpour repeatedly hit Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with the White House’s plea for “revenue raising” measures, often the new euphemism for tax hikes, but when she talked to Democratic Congressman Jim Clyburn, the Assistant Minority Leader in the House, she failed to press him about agreeing to GOP spending cut proposals and instead only asked him about prospects for a deal.
Amanpour began with how reasonable President Obama and Democrats, who “need revenue,” are acting: “Democrats are saying they’re not putting, for the moment, tax hikes on the table, but they need revenue, they’re talking about closing loopholes, subsidies for wealthy corporations. Is that out of the question for you, or are you willing to entertain that?”
At the MRC’s “DisHonors Awards” last month I got a pretty good reaction to a compilation of those humorous clips Bret Baier plays at the end of his FNC show, usually drawn from funny takes and edited news video produced by the late night comedy shows. (For that “funny clips” compilation, scroll down on this page.)
So, I thought I’d bring the concept to NewsBusters with occasional weekend postings of the “best” of Baier’s choices. For this inaugural edition, I went back to Baier’s June 15 program for Jimmy Kimmel’s mash-up of a certain term used over and over during CNN’s June 13 Republican presidential debate, a mash-up which ends with a different phrase from Herman Cain. Watch below the jump. It’s short and funny.
The ABC and NBC evening newscasts have focused stories on Billy Bulger, the long-time Massachusetts Democratic political hack who is the younger brother of just-captured reputed mass-murdering Mobster Whitey Bulger, but both refused to identify Billy Bulger’s party affiliation. (The CBS Evening News has, so far, not even mentioned Billy.)
“While Whitey Bulger was running a gang, his brother was a celebrated star of Massachusetts politics,” ABC anchor Diane Sawyer trumpeted on Thursday night. On Friday night, NBC forwarded MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell to vouch that Billy had no information about the whereabouts of his fugitive brother while Jeff Rossen marveled: “Just as investigators say Whitey was ordering hits, his brother, Billy Bulger, was rising in state government, President of the Massachusetts state senate and later President of U Mass.”