Barely 36 hours before Washington State voters go to the polls, CBS News aired a 14-minute unregulated in-kind campaign expenditure on behalf of “Yes on 1098" and its chief cheerleader, Bill Gates Sr, sandwiched by Lesley Stahl hailing rogue Reagan adviser David Stockman as “brave” for advocating the end to the Bush tax rates and imposition of a 15 percent national income surtax. Stahl trumpeted:
One Republican brave enough to go public is David Stockman, President Reagan's budget director. He says all the Bush tax cuts should be eliminated -- even those on the middle class. And he says his own Republican Party has gone too far with its anti-tax religion.
She segued to how “many of the states are in the same boat, facing huge deficits with few prospects for cutting, which is why Washington State is joining the movement across the country to tax the rich,” championing how “Bill Gates Sr., has poured his own money into backing Initiative 1098. The tax would bring in $3 billion a year, to be spent mainly on education, which has suffered cutbacks as the state reels under a massive deficit.”
ABC’s Christiane Amanpour spent her last show before the election mimicking Democratic talking points. She cued up Democratic Senator Robert Menendez with how Americans don’t recognize the realities of Obama’s achievements so the Democratic shortcoming is not liberal policies but “bad messaging,” while she pressed Republican Senator John Cornyn about whether Republicans “will agree with President Obama's plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest and preserve them for the middle class?” She also fretted that it’s been a “very specific-free, substance-free, content-free election” before she scolded Cornyn for a “racist” ad.
Though ABC’s Jonathan Karl on Friday night noted how “a new study of campaign ads finds that more than half of negative Democratic ads [51%] are personal attacks, whereas the overwhelming majority of Republican ads attack Democratic policies [69%],” Amanpour relayed “strong complaints from the Democrats about a lot of the anonymous money that's going on ads.” She then ran a clip of an ad from Republican Senator David Vitter which contended his opponent favors illegal aliens, demanding of Cornyn: “So some people have called that racist. I want to know do you think it's appropriate to finger Hispanics in that way? Do you think it is appropriate?”
This weekend’s Inside Washington put on full display the liberal sensibilities of the Washington press corps as Newsweek veteran Evan Thomas yearned for a win in Colorado for incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet, “a good guy,” wishing “sometimes justice does triumph,” and former Wall Street Journal reporter Jeanne Cummings, now with Politico, was upset Republican Meg Whitman might win the California gubernatorial race: “She’s built a turn-out operation of her own and it worries me.”
Thomas soon hailed Lincoln Chafee, the ex-Republican who campaigned for Barack Obama in 2008 and is now an independent candidate for Governor in Rhode Island, as “a tiny little ray of hope” since he’s the kind of “liberal Republican” which “did the Republican Party a lot of good.” Despite the fact he abandoned the GOP, Thomas trumpeted him as “a voice for reason in the Republican Party.”
Al Hunt ended Friday's weekly Political Capital show on Bloomberg TV by asking his usual pundits, Time magazine veteran Margaret Carlson, now a Bloomberg.com columnist, and Kate O'Beirne, President of the National Review Institute, for their election predictions:
In the span of a mere 50 seconds on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, Andrea Mitchell managed to apply a conservative ideological tag four times to Pat Toomey, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, yet she failed to issue even a single label for liberal Democratic candidate Joe Sestak.
Sitting at the anchor desk with Brian Williams, Mitchell made clear Toomey “is a Republican fiscal conservative who was fiscally conservative before the Tea Party was cool,” soon repeating, in the narration for her story, how “Toomey is a former Congressman and a fiscal conservative” – all before driving home his ideology once more as she recalled that he “led a conservative Washington interest group.”
“We’re so eager to promote ourselves with the smartest take on how President Obama and the Democrats got themselves in this pickle that we haven’t done a good job explaining the stakes,” Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter despaired in a piece in the latest issue of the magazine in which he didn’t even pretend to be a journalist and delivered a political activist’s screed, “Why the Midterms Matter: The GOP's agenda has to be stopped.”
Alter, author of the sycophantic book earlier this year, The Promise: President Obama, Year One, feared a dire fate if Republicans gain more power: “The Tea Party will transform itself from an insurgency into the driving force within the GOP” and “extremist Senators like Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn will move from being irritants on the fringe to players at the center of our politics.” He concluded by scolding those who won’t come out to vote for Democrats:
A right-wing Republican takeover of Congress and state capitals isn’t something to accept with indifference. Midterms matter, and voters tempted to skip this election should have their heads examined.
The Post got ahold of him and related “he said he got frustrated after listening to remarks by Rep. Darrell Issa -- an 'egregious' example, Valeriani said, of 'obstructionists who put party ahead of the country.'” Ironically, emcee Christiane Amanpour, who certainly agreed with his sentiment, “politely dragged him off.”
On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume condemned NPR for its “howling double standard” in firing Juan Williams for expressing an opinion, a standard “manifestly not being applied to other NPR people.” He forwarded the theory that “in the culture of NPR, appearing on Fox is a sin” and “for an African-American man” to “be kind of a Bill Cosby liberal, not a down-the-line liberal, is a sin as well.”
Hume’s assessment came after host Chris Wallace read from a column in which Cokie Roberts denounced Glenn Beck as “worse than a clown. He’s more like a terrorist,” showed a clip of her disagreeing with a court ruling on partial birth abortion and ran a soundbite of Nina Totenberg, NPR’s legal correspondent, attacking a Supreme Court decision. Fortune magazine’s Nina Easton recalled how Daniel Schorr “did a biting, acerbic, liberal commentary regularly on NPR” where “he called the 2000 Supreme Court decision, that gave George Bush the right to take office as President, he described that as a ‘junta,’ as ‘a coup.’”
“So much to dislike about NPR, it's hard to know where to begin,” Bill Kristol later quipped.
“Why is it okay for Nina to express opinions, as she has tartly, sharply, unashamedly and openly” while serving as “an honored correspondent” for NPR, while Juan Williams, “because he expresses his opinions, gets canned from NPR?” So Charles Krauthammer demanded while sitting Friday with Totenberg on the same Inside Washington set. “In fact, the standard ought to be lower in the case of Juan because he’s an analyst, whereas Nina is a correspondent.”
Krauthammer had picked up on NPR CEO Vivian Schiller’s contention that the network had canned Williams because he violated the policy that “news analysts may not take personal public positions on controversial issues; doing so undermines their credibility as analysts, and that's what's happened in this situation.”
An uncomfortable Totenberg asserted “it’s a very, very difficult line to draw. And NPR tries to draw it, in my view, using rules that don’t exist anymore.” To which, Krauthammer wondered: “But what’s the difference between you and Juan expressing opinions? You on this show, and him on Fox?” He condemned NPR: “It’s completely illogical and hypocritical.” (Audio: MP3 clip)
Prefacing his remarks by proposing “you never get into a political discussion unless you bring the word Hitler in. You have to have Hitler, so let's put Hitler out there,” as if that caveat lessened the vulgarity of his impending comparison, on Friday night’s Real Time actor/director/writer Rob Reiner (IMDb page) contended all the Tea Party needs to match Adolph Hitler is a charismatic leader:
He wasn’t a majority guy, but he was charismatic and they were having bad economic times – just like we are now – people were out of work, they needed jobs and a guy came along and rallied the troops. My fear is that the Tea Party gets a charismatic leader, because all they're selling is fear and anger and that's all Hitler sold. “I’m angry and I’m frightened and you should hate that guy over there.”
“Right,” Bill Maher chirped in as Reiner, to applause from HBO's Los Angeles audience, declared: “And that’s what they’re doing.”
(Apparently, that means he at least doesn’t consider Sarah Palin to be a Hitler-like charismatic leader.) Audio: MP3 clip.
Brian Williams touted New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as a “star” on “the rise” in the Republican Party before adding a “however” and haranguing him from left over his opposition to massive spending for a new tunnel from his state to New York, reciting as an oracle the criticism from far-left New York Times columnist Paul Krugman without ever identifying the source of the supposed wisdom beyond “the op-ed page of the New York Times.”
For Thursday’s NBC Nightly News, Williams traveled to the Garden State to sit down with Christie. Williams contended Christie “took a big hit for saying no to New Jersey's share of a new tunnel beneath the Hudson River, a huge public works project designed to ease congestion. His decision exploded on the op-ed page of the New York Times which called it ‘a blow to national hopes of a recovery.’” That was Krugman’s characterization in an October 8 op-ed, The End of the Tunnel.
When Christie explained how his deep in debt state can’t afford the billions more now demanded for the project, Williams pleaded: “But couldn't you find the money? Isn't there a way if you really wanted it, if you really wanted it for long-term investment?” The anchor continued to display his reverence for the New York Times as he, once again, quoted Krugman:
The Times goes on. Here's how you should think about the decision to kill the tunnel: “It's a terrible thing in itself, but, beyond that, it's a perfect symbol of how America has lost its way.” You're being tied to the nation losing its way by dint of this decision.
Thursday's NBC Nightly News led, yes led, with a lame attempt to advance the desperate Democratic spin about the “secret fortune” going into campaign ads leading to “a return to the days before Watergate, Wild West days,” a story anchor Brian Williams touted as containing “exclusive new information,” but which merely passed along stale and vague generalities suggesting some sort of vast right-wing conspiracy in efforts to dare exercise the same unfettered free speech rights practiced by NBC News.
“Tonight, we have exclusive new information about the enormous amount of money, a kind of secret fortune that has been flowing into congressional campaigns in these mid-term elections,” Williams ominously announced at the top of his newscast. Reporter Michael Isikoff, fresh from Newsweek, intoned:
In the last couple of weeks, Brian, money, special interest money has been pouring into a network of outside political groups that are really at really unprecedented levels. This is a network, the primary network is being run by Karl Rove....They are expecting to raise $250 million to flood the airwaves in these last few weeks of the election....And here's what's significant, Brian. Most of this money is coming from big fat cat donors, wealthy donors, and it's not being disclosed. Secret money pouring into American elections.
In broadcast network stories on how Ginni Thomas left a phone message for Anita Hill (“I would love you to consider an apology sometimes and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband”) , a revelation which ABC and NBC decided merited their lead slot, the network journalists couldn't resist scolding her for her conservative political activity.
“Ginni Thomas has long stretched our idea of what a spouse of a non-partisan Supreme Court justice should be,” ABC's Sharyn Alfonsi contended, explaining: “A long-time conservative activist, she now heads Liberty Central, an advocacy group opposing what she characterizes as the leftist tyranny of President Obama.”
On CBS, Jan Crawford declared the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas “has come under scrutiny” because “she formed a grass-roots conservative group and speaks at Tea Party conventions.” NBC's Andrea Mitchell echoed: “Recently, Virginia Thomas has emerged as a high-profile Tea Party activist and skilled fundraiser,” calling that “an unusually partisan role for a Supreme Court spouse, as the New York Times wrote on the 19th anniversary of the hearings, the same morning Mrs. Thomas called Anita Hill.”
A month ago, CBS News hired ex-Bill Clinton and Al Gore campaign operative Jamal Simmons, a self-described “strong supporter of Barack Obama's campaign,” as political analyst, and Tuesday night the CBS Evening News paired him with the more sober in-house analyst John Dickerson. As a result, viewers heard a rational look at the political landscape from Dickerson paired with Democratic talking points, in the guise of political analysis, from Simmons, but not balanced by any GOP veteran tearing down Democrats.
Simmons turned polls showing impending big Democratic losses into a way to deliver anti-Republican demagoguery, as he charged “voters are starting to figure out that if Republicans win, they're going to cut, you know, 21 percent out of education and borrow $700 billion from the Chinese to give tax cuts to rich people, and most voters don't want to do that.”
After Katie Couric raised, as controversial, Christine O’Donnell’s accurate contention “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution, Simmons took the opportunity to deride Republican candidates: “If you look around the country, not just Christine O'Donnell but Sharron Angle out in Nevada, and Rich Iott in Ohio who dresses as an S.S. Nazi for the weekend, you know, these candidates are making Democrats look pretty good in comparison.”
“With just 16 days left, it is getting nasty out there,” ABC reporter David Kerley asserted Sunday night, scolding Republican Senator John McCain because on the campaign trail he “dropped senatorial decorum and viciously attacked a Democratic colleague.” On Saturday, in California, McCain said he’s “had the unpleasant experience of having to serve” with Senator Barbara Boxer.
Kerley, however, expressed less angst over McCain’s daughter, Meghan, insulting Christine O’Donnell as “a nut job.” Kerley simply noted how “the Senator's daughter also went on the attack, but she slammed a fellow Republican, Christine O'Donnell, a Tea Party favorite running for Senate in Delaware.”
ABC’s Christiane Amanpour on Sunday discovered “a long and venerable tradition of conservatism in this country” exemplified by Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley and “all of that sort of intellectual conservatism,” but she only showed respect for that tradition in order to contend “people,” who she failed to name, “are saying that right now, it's really gone to the extreme.” Repeating her “people” generality, she insisted: “People are looking at the Tea Party and saying this is not conservatism as we knew it but it's extreme.”
George Will retorted: “Which is exactly what they said about Bill Buckley and Bill Buckley's candidate, Barry Goldwater, who was supposedly representing the paranoid style in American politics.”
Later, during the October 17 roundtable, Amanpour fretted: “Where is campaign finance reform?” Will called the lack of legislative prospects on that front be “an absolutely wonderful development this year,” to which an appalled Amanpour wondered: “How can that be wonderful for a democracy, I mean not to know where all of this money comes from and who is putting it in?”
NBC's Chuck Todd conceded “the Tea Party has been helpful to the GOP in both re-branding the party away from Bush and giving it a real grassroots component,” but he insisted, “this Tea Party influence in Republican primaries has put a number of Senate seats in play for Democrats that at this point should be out of reach.”
“The bottom line,” Todd declared on Friday's NBC Nightly News in a likely preview of the latest iteration of the news media's bi-annual “Republicans candidates were too far to the right” line:
Because of weaker Tea Party nominees, Democrats have a fighting chance in Delaware, Kentucky, Colorado, yes, Nevada, and even Alaska. Without the Tea Party, all five of those races would be in the bank right now and the Senate majority would definitely be in the Republican sights.
Airing rare stories on a U.S. Senate debate, ABC, CBS and NBC all ran full reports Thursday night on the only race they repeatedly find newsworthy, one in which the Republican is behind by double-digits, as ABC and CBS exploited the Delaware debate to regurgitate ridicule for Sarah Palin.
“[Christine] O'Donnell's toughest moment came when she was asked to name a recent Supreme Court decision with which she disagreed,” asserted CBS's Nancy Cordes, “a question that also tripped up her mentor, Sarah Palin,” back in 2008. On ABC, Jonathan Karl echoed how “O'Donnell got tripped up when asked to name a Supreme Court decision she disagrees with,” which Karl called “a flashback to 2008 when another candidate got asked the same question.”
Seniors prepared to cut back on everything from food to charitable donations to whiskey as word spread Monday that they will have to wait until at least 2012 to see their Social Security checks increase.
If no change means cutting back on food, imagine the media's hyperbole over victims if anyone ever suggests reducing payments in any federal program. That's what the Tea Party will be up against.
As for the threat to the ability of our nation's seniors to imbibe whisky, Sedensky stopped by “St. Andrews Estates North, a Boca Raton retirement community,” where “Bette Baldwin won't be able to travel or help her children as much. Dorcas Eppright will give less to charity. Jack Dawson will buy cheap whiskey instead of his beloved Canadian Club.” Another year without an increase in payments while costs hold even and Dawson will be forced to eat dog food!
Europe isn’t socialist enough for ABC’s Christiane Amanpour, who pushed French’s finance minister about how “prominent” economists are urging Europe to abandon “austerity” since “it needs more stimulus to provide more growth,” and later during the This Week roundtable, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman ridiculed Tea Party candidates as “irrational” and “seriously strange” before he insisted that irrationality is demonstrated by their inability to recognize Barack Obama is a “centrist moderate President.”
Krugman asserted: “If we have a Republican Party that actually takes the White House, actually has control of Congress, but contains a large wing of these people, it's going to be incapable of making real choices. These are people who are as irrational as they seem in these ads.” He soon parodied the views of Tea Party enthusiasts:
Friday’s NBC Nightly News aired a story which went beyond standard liberal bias. It delivered a fabricated case against the peril of unfettered campaign ads as Brian Williams claimed those from “outside political groups...contain outright lies,” yet as proof Andrea Mitchell showed ads, not from “outside” entities, but from Republican party groups and candidates – apparently only Republicans are running misleading ads – with Mitchell focusing on the scandal of how those spots feature actors.
After reciting three examples of the supposed deceitfulness, Mitchell undermined her entire story by admitting: “It's not new that political ads use actors.” She then got to NBC’s real agenda, which she didn’t bother trying to corroborate: “But what is different is the torrent of money from corporations and anonymous outside groups pouring into campaigns this year because of a Supreme Court ruling and other changes in the law.” Following a silly clip of President Obama joking about the innocuous names of groups daring to buy TV time, Mitchell ominously concluded “it's no laughing matter for Democrats, being outspent 7-to-1 by Republicans in the battle for the airwaves.”
A new CBS News poll found the public rejecting President Barack Obama and Democrats – so the CBS Evening News focused its story on discrediting the legitimacy of the Tea Party movement. “Tonight, 26 days til the elections,” Katie Couric teased, “a CBS News poll finds support for Republicans growing, but most Americans don't believe the Tea Party represents them.” Couric proceeded to highlight how “45 percent of likely voters would choose the Republican candidate, 37 percent the Democrat” and Obama's disapproval on the economy is soaring while “two out of three think he's been only an average or poor President so far.”
Couric then pivoted, however, to how “that would no doubt include members of the Tea Party,” and asked: “But do most Americans agree with the movement's agenda?” Reporter Dean Reynolds set up a straw man and shot it down: “While they style themselves as insurgents angry at both parties, the CBS News poll says 81 percent intend to vote Republican next month.” He next tried to discredit the movement for its demographics: “Tea Partiers are overwhelmingly white, male, protestant...” Reynolds demanded of a Tea Party supporter: “ Where would we be today were it not for the stimulus or the bailouts of the banks and the auto industry?”
The Chicago-based Reynolds stressed how “the poll found that only 30 percent of the country believes the Tea Partiers reflect the views of most Americans, 41 percent of the country does not.” A Chicago resident charged: “They represent a very small sliver of Americans who are upset about paying taxes. There's always going to be people who don't want to pay taxes.” Reynolds concluded that “despite all the publicity it's generated, only 22 percent of Americans view the movement favorably.”
It’s okay for the news media to attack a candidate, but not for citizens to join together to buy TV ads criticizing one – especially if more of those ads attack Democrats than Republicans. “Earlier this year, in a very controversial decision, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that outside groups may spend unlimited amounts of money attacking candidates for office,” Katie Couric intoned Tuesday night. Reporter Nancy Cordes noted that as candidates “unleash their most devastating attacks, they're bolstered this year by record expenditures from outside groups, who are often even less constrained by facts than the politicians they support.” But are they less constrained than the MSM?
Presuming it’s a bad development, Cordes highlighted: “So far, outside groups have spent $69 million on these elections, compared to the $16 million they spent on all of the 2006 midterm elections.” But it soon became clear what drove CBS’s despair: “Republican groups are raising the lion's share of that money, outspending Democratic groups 5-1 in the past month and a half.” She then asserted to the head of the Republican-oriented American Crossroads: “Most of your money is coming from millionaires,” before painting a far-left, union-backed, Democrat as a victim: “Double-teamed by his opponent and outside groups, Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold is trying to take them both on.”
Aaron Sorkin (IMDb page) came aboard the Monday premiere of CNN’s Parker Spitzer to promote the new movie, The Social Network, for which he wrote the screenplay, but used more of his air time to spout his anti-conservative and anti-Republican prejudices, starting with Sarah Palin. Prompted by Kathleen Parker for his assessment of Palin, Sorkin, creator of NBC’s The West Wing television drama, insulted Palin:
Sarah Palin's an idiot. Come on. This is a remarkably, stunningly, jaw-droppingly incompetent and mean woman. (Audio: MP3 clip)
Parker jumped in: “Wow. What do you base that on, the meanness part?” Sorkin explained: “When she talks about real Americans versus not real Americans, that's a divisive thing. I'm pretty sure I fall into the category of a not real American.”
“On this first Monday in October, the Supreme Court opened its new term today,” an excited Diane Sawyer announced Monday night, trumpeting how it's “making history for America's mothers, sisters and daughters.” ABC reporter Terry Moran was even more thrilled, marveling that “the most remarkable thing in that courtroom today, on this historic day, was how unremarkable it was.”
Despite the lack anything “remarkable,” however, Moran found new Justice Elena Kagan's performance quite remarkable, trumpeting “the one word that leapt to my mind was 'ready,'” touting how “she was confident and well prepared and fluent and probing” and, at one moment, “you could almost...imagine some of the other justices...looking down the bench at Justice Kagan like a major league scout might say, 'you know, that kid's got some real pop on her fastball.'”
An eager Sawyer wondered: “How was Justice Kagan on her first day?” A giddy Moran expounded:
After two shows featuring six advocates of the Ground Zero mosque, including Iman Faisal Abdul Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan, but not a single guest to counter Christiane Amanpour’s contention opposition “has raised profound questions about religious tolerance and prejudice in the United States,” ABC on Sunday decided to air a pre-recorded and edited “special This Week town hall debate, Holy War: Should Americans Fear Islam?” Amanpour promised: “We air the issue from all sides.”
While twelve guests in total from both sides of the question earned air time (six on stage, three more in the Manhattan studio audience and three via satellite), Amanpour was more hostile to those who answered in the affirmative than she was toward those in the negative, cuing up advocates to correct critics, culminating in Amanpour trying to discredit critics by proposing “you think Daisy Khan is al Qaeda?”
She accused Gary Bauer of “blurring the lines between those who killed and the rest of the religion. Why are you deliberately blurring the lines?” And she charged: “So, Gary Bauer, as you know, a series of politicians have used the Islamic center, have used sort of Islamophobia and scare tactics in their campaigns.” Raising the vandalism at the site of a proposed mosque in Tennessee, Amanpour asserted: “After some of the loaded things that have been said, and we can play you any number of tapes, Mr. Bauer. Do you take any responsibility at all for, for instance, what happened in Murfreesboro?” Bauer was incredulous: “Are you serious?”
Advancing the Democratic-liberal effort to discredit Tea Party-favored candidates as unhinged cads, Thursday’s NBC Nightly News elevated a heated exchange, between New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino and a reporter, into an excuse to denounce “mean” and “angry” candidates. “The mean season in politics gets nastier with charges of infidelity, something close to a fistfight and they're just getting started,” Brian Williams teased. “Tonight,” he soon relayed, “opponents of the GOP nominee for Governor of New York are saying he behaved like a thug in a piece of videotape that rocketed across the Internet today.”
Reporter Kelly O’Donnell asserted: “Carl Paladino has admitted his own infidelity and then just accused his opponent of cheating with no proof. That's what set off this fight. But the bigger picture,” she intoned, “is how many voters and candidates have been losing their cool. Anger management is not required or even expected this year.”
She proceeded to highlight how “in Maine this week, a candidate for Governor lashed out at the President.” Viewers then saw Web video, promoted by a left-wing blog, of Republican Paul LePage promising an audience: “You're going to be seeing a lot of me on the front page saying, ‘Governor LePage tells Obama to 'Go to Hell.'”
Gallup also again confirmed that three times as many recognize a liberal bias than perceive a conservative tilt:
Nearly half of Americans (48%) say the media are too liberal, tying the high end of the narrow 44 percent to 48 percent range recorded over the past decade. One-third say the media are just about right while 15 percent say they are too conservative.
Most telling: While Republicans have the least trust in the news media and are the most-likely too consider the media “too liberal,” independents are much closer to Republicans than Democrats: 61 percent of independents don’t trust the media and 45 percent call the media “too liberal” compared to just 15 percent who say the media are “too conservative.” [Jpg of a table showing the rundown by party and ideology.]
A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll didn’t come up with numbers pleasing to the NBC News staff, though Brian Williams, on Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, did his best to spin the findings as showing “there is really bad news if you're an incumbent officeholder of either party” and Chuck Todd insisted the public wants more from the elections than “just change [in] the color of the jerseys.”
Todd, however, couldn’t avoid reporting that “the change that voters want” includes 54 percent who “hope that this Tea Party enthusiasm in the Republican Party makes them a fiscally conservative party” and “54 percent want to see the repeal of health care.” Plus, “42 percent tell us” the Tea Party movement has “been a good thing” – more than twice as many as see it as a “bad thing.”
Unmentioned by Todd or Williams: Those pro-Tea Party/anti-ObamaCare numbers came from a polling sample dominated by MSM television news consumers. Question 36, in the PDF rundown of the survey, asked from which “television news sources do you get MOST of your information about politics and current events?” From the list offered, 35 percent said “broadcast network news, such as NBC, ABC, or CBS,” 16 percent named “the cable channel CNN” and 8 percent affirmed they rely on “the cable channel MSNBC.” That adds up to 59 percent, compared to 24 percent who cited “the cable channel Fox News.”
Acting as if President Barack Obama is uniquely burdened by the responsibility of protecting the nation from a terrorist attack or overseeing a war, Diane Sawyer and Bob Woodward marveled at how he’s taken on the job despite the terrible world George W. Bush left for him, in awe of his recognition that terrorists setting off a nuclear device in U.S. city would be a “game changer” and how he dictated “a six-page document” outlining Afghan war strategy – a level of presidential engagement never before seen in “American history.”
Setting up an eight-minute segment on Monday’s World News pegged to Woodward's Obama's Wars book (an abridged version ran later on Nightline), Sawyer relayed how “Woodward said, quote, ‘the saber-rattling Bush administration had not prepared for some of the worst case scenarios, ones the new President was handed in the Oval Office.’”
As if the terrorist threat was unknown, Woodward empathized with Obama: “Imagine the high of being elected on that Tuesday and then they come in two days later and say, ‘by the way, here are the secrets. It's a drumbeat. They're coming. They're planning. They're plotting. They're communicating.’”