Even after all the e-mails and information has come out over the past few weeks proving dissembling by President Obama himself and other administration officials on what they knew about the Benghazi attack and how their public pronouncements did not match reality, NBC’s Brian Williams, on Thursday’s Rock Center, treated President Obama as a victim of bad intelligence who is struggling to find the truth.
Incredible. The perfect definition of “in the tank.”
Williams spent a couple of days with Obama for campaign travelogue pieces which consumed the first 25 minutes of the prime time hour. In Colorado with Obama on Wednesday afternoon, Williams posed this obsequious question:
A night after NBC’s Brian Williams used a series of interview sessions with President Barack Obama to express bewilderment Obama is not running away with the presidential race, the anchor touted Colin Powell’s endorsement, pressed Obama from the left to go further in denouncing Republicans on abortion and cued up the President to decry the high level of campaign spending.
It was Williams’ “third interview with him in the past 24 hours” leading up to multiple segment on tonight’s (Thursday) Rock Center at 10 PM EDT/PDT, 9 PM CDT.
“The high point of that debate for Romney is when he devastatingly leveled the charge of Obama going around the world on ‘an apology tour,’” Charles Krauthammer asserted on the Fox News Channel following Monday night’s third presidential debate. But what Krauthammer saw as so powerful for Mitt Romney, ABC and CNN tried to discredit based on the flimsy reasoning that Obama didn’t use the word “apologize.”
ABC’s Jonathan Karl insisted: “The President didn’t apologize for America...there’s no way you could really call it ‘an apology tour.’” With a big “False” on screen, CNN’s John Berman decided: “Our verdict here is it is false to call the President’s speeches ‘an apology tour’ even if he was critical of past U.S. foreign policy. He issued no apologies.”
New York Times foreign affairs columnist Tom Friedman, who three weeks ago derided Mitt Romney for how he “acts...as if he learned his foreign policy at the International House of Pancakes,” on Sunday’s Meet the Press dismissed concerns over how the Obama administration handled Benghazi before and after the attacks. “To me,” he declared, “this is an utterly contrived story in the sense that ‘this is the end of,’ you know, ‘Obama’s foreign policy.’”
Over on ABC’s This Week, host George Stephanopoulos ludicrously argued: “Hasn’t the White House been relatively transparent?”
The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto on Thursday offered a plausible explanation for why President Barack Obama, during Tuesday night’s debate, felt confident he could count on moderator Candy Crowley of CNN to back him up on how he had uttered the phrase “acts of terror” the day after the Benghazi attack.
On her CNN State of the Union show back on September 30, Crowley interviewed David Axelrod and during that segment she was as incredulous as Mitt Romney was at the debate that Obama had initially referred to “acts of terror” in any relationship to Benghazi.
A not so undecided “undecided voter.” At 10:12 AM EDT Wednesday on CNN, faux “undecided voter” Susan Katz, who had asked Mitt Romney at the debate the night before how he’s different from George W. Bush, told Carol Costello she voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and plans to do so again this year because “I saw in President Obama someone who has ripened with time who deserves another four years to see his vision through.” (“Ripened”?)
A little more than eight hours later, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, on Nightly News, looked at debate reaction from “undecided voters chosen to ask questions” who “were not entirely happy with what they heard,” starting with Susan Katz whom Mitchell showcased trashing Romney for liking “to be in charge,” as if that’s a bad thing for a President.
A gratuitous shot at Rush Limbaugh is coming in tonight’s (Wednesday) episode of ABC’s Modern Family sit-com.
In a promo clip played during the network’s post-debate coverage Tuesday evening, “Jay,” played by actor Ed O’Neill, tells a female character: “You’re huge and you’re loud. It’s like sleeping with Rush Limbaugh.”
With New York Times political reporter Jeff Zeleny sitting next to her on the Fox News Sunday set, radio host Laura Ingraham demanded: “I would hope that the New York Times, as they camped outside of Scooter Libby’s house, during the whole Valerie Plame thing -- are you guys camped out of the Susan Rice residence?” After reciting the administration’s dissembling, she concluded: “This is ridiculous and I think the press is partly culpable here.”
Zeleny avoided her point and instead contended Mitt Romney has an opening at the next debate to question President Obama, conceding Obama “hasn’t really explained himself and they have a lot of questions to answer.”
“Ideologically, the P-D is similar to the New York Times, but it’s so knuckleheaded that it almost makes the Times look sophisticated,” the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto observed the next day, passing along how “we had some good laughs at the P-D’s editorial yesterday endorsing Obama’s re-election.”
An Obama voter who assumes if he can lower the seas then local transportation departments can get deer to obey highway signs? A woman called a Fargo, North Dakota radio station last month to complain about how she’d hit three deer with her car over the years and wants deer crossing signs moved so the deer will cross less busy roads – as if deer read and follow roadside signage! Is she for real? Listen and judge for yourself.
“Why are we encouraging deer to cross at the interstates?” She insisted: “They can direct the deer population anywhere they want to by moving the deer crossing sign.”
Bill Maher likes to deride conservatives for living “inside a bubble” where they consume news from only those with whom they agree and so are unaware of the “facts,” but he could just as well be describing the insular world of himself or others in the liberal media.
Case in point: An NPR and Washington Post contributor who spends her days reading left-wing magazines and watching MSNBC, to the exclusion of any conservative news sources, so much so that she conceded: “My 14-year-old daughter can rattle off the entire MSNBC line-up, so that should tell you something about our household viewing habits.”
ABC’s Diane Sawyer spent a solid four minutes of her interview with President Barack Obama, as excerpted at the top of Wednesday’s World News, channeling liberal angst over Obama’s debate performance – and that’s before she allocated more than a minute to cuing up Obama to denounce a Mitt Romney comment on abortion. She prompted Obama with a harsh assessment of Romney: “Is it a lie?”
“Libya” was not even uttered in the Sawyer-Obama segment. Viewers had to wait until the next story, by Jake Tapper, on the House hearing which laid out the administration’s dissembling on what happened in Libya when Ambassador Chris Stevens was murdered. Then viewers got 20 seconds -- more than half of that consumed by Obama’s defense and assurance he’ll “fix” anything that wasn’t done properly.
Liberals, Peggy Noonan noted on Sunday’s This Week roundtable, want Mitt Romney “to be more specific so that you can rouse people against” budget cuts to any program. Indeed, earlier in the program, host George Stephanopoulos cited Romney’s wish to end the federal subsidy for PBS, pointing out how PBS “only takes about 1/100th of one percent of budget” and asking if “it a mistake to target” Big Bird?
On Friday night, NBC’s Brian Williams provided a full brief in defense of PBS’s subsidy, misleadingly suggesting the end of the federal subsidy would mean the end to children’s television programming and forwarding its small share of the federal budget as a justification for it, but if you can’t eliminate the small stuff how will you ever take on the big stuff?
Catching up with an item from Wednesday, add actor Henry Winkler to the long list in Hollywood of those wishing for President Obama’s re-election, taking a swipe at Mitt Romney in the process. “I hope that the man who actually cares about 300 million Americans as opposed to very few is re-elected,” Winkler told Nikki Schwab for the Washington Examiner’s “Yeas & Nays” column.
In DC to promote medical research on upper limb spasticity, Winkler informed Schwab that’s he’s never met Barack Obama, but “I would like to get his autograph one day.”
A revelatory humorous moment on Friday night’s Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO: A single member of his studio audience supports Mitt Romney. How’d he get in?
When Republican political consultant Frank Luntz predicted Barack Obama would win re-election, loud applause broke out from those in the studio at CBS Television City in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles. “How many of you out there support Mitt Romney?” A single person clapping could be heard, prompting Luntz to quip: “That’s the sound of one percent.”
All Clint Eastwood wanted to convey at the Republican convention “is that maybe our government would be as fiscally responsible as he is,” comedian/actor Tom Dreesen, a friend of Eastwood’s, explained Friday night on CBS’s Late Show. “And that’s all he came to say.”
David Letterman asked Dreesen, who has a role in Eastwood’s new movie, Trouble with the Curve, about Eastwood’s much-ridiculed by the media monologue with an imaginary President Obama. Dreesen declared the acting icon “has more integrity than almost any man I’ve ever met.”
For the second week in a row, on Sunday morning CBS’s Bob Schiefer identified Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s problem as not that’s he’s been too timid in laying out an alternative to President Obama but, in the tired media mantra of many election cycles, that he’s too conservative. He pressed guest Newt Gingrich: “Do you think that Mitt Romney’s got to move a little bit more toward the center here as we come toward the election?”
Last Sunday, in discussing Romney’s challenge in connecting with voters, Schieffer wondered: “Does any of this go back to the fact that what if, in the beginning” he “had said, ‘Look, I’m a moderate. You know, I know we have conservatives in this party and I know we have the Tea Party, but the fact is I’m a moderate...’”
Demonstrating that he would have made the same news judgments hostile to Mitt Romney as those who succeeded him at ABC News, in an address Thursday night to students at Quinnipiac University, Charles Gibson declared “the Republican Party has done Romney no favors by forcing him so far to the right that he may not be able to scramble back by November 6th,” castigated Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge as “absurd, absolutely absurd” and denigrated as “silly” the point that 47 percent don’t pay federal income tax.
He fretted, yet “it becomes a legitimate subject for debate for a lot of people who are Governor Romney supporters.”
Repeating a common mythology that a person’s federal income tax rate equals the effective tax rate they actually pay after deductions, ABC’s Jonathan Karl on Friday night forwarded the canard that Mitt Romney’s 14.1 percent rate is lower than what a $75,000 earner pays. NBC’s Peter Alexander, however, correctly noted “the average middle class American family pays roughly 13 percent.”
On World News, Karl reported that Mitt Romney “made $13.7 million last year and paid nearly $2 million in taxes. His effective tax rate, 14.1 percent.” Then, without citing any source, Karl asserted: “That’s a lower rate than an auto mechanic who made $75,000 in pay.”
Mitt Romney on Wednesday put into play newly uncovered video of Barack Obama in 1998 advocating redistribution of wealth, but of the broadcast network evening newscasts, only the NBC Nightly News bothered to inform viewers of the display of Obama’s far-left economic philosophy. And that only came inside the newscast’s first of two stories on media-fueled fallout from Romney’s observation that 47 percent don’t pay income taxes.
“These are tough days for the Romney campaign,” NBC anchor Brian Williams led his program, declaring: “Inside 50 days to go now until the election, and they are dealing with something of a public relations disaster.”
NBC and CBS felt compelled Tuesday night to fact check Mitt Romney’s assertion “47 percent of Americans pay no income tax” and both had to acknowledge his accuracy, but then tried to undermine Romney’s point. Noting the statistic had become “Tea Party mantra,” NBC’s Andrea Mitchell allowed “it’s true that approximately 47 percent of Americans do not pay federal income taxes, as Mitt Romney said, but,” she quickly added, “not because they are living off of the 53 percent.”
Over on CBS, Anthony Mason relayed how “Roberton Williams with the non-partisan Tax Policy Center says, to be precise, 46.4 percent of Americans pay no federal tax. But,” Mason insisted, “it’s more complicated than that.”
President Barack Obama will appear on tonight’s Late Showwith David Letterman for the second time during his presidency. Below, a reprint of my short rundown of his first appearance on the CBS show back on Monday, September 21, 2009:
David Letterman, who still regularly ridicules former President George W. Bush – and has even accused him of committing “war crimes” and lacking “humanity” – didn't hide his affinity for Barack Obama during his Monday night Late Show interview of the President, while remaining unable to contain his disgust for Bush. “I can't tell you how satisfying it is to watch you work,” a beaming Letterman gushed to Obama at the conclusion of the program.
Once again serving as the broadcast arm of MSNBC, Monday’s NBC Nightly News devoted a full segment to the supposed outrage over what Mitt Romney said in a surreptitiously-recorded video promoted by the left wing Mother Jones magazine, remarks which Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow put at the top of their MSNBC shows. And CNN soon joined in the hysteria with Anderson Cooper 360 treating it as “Breaking News.”
Of course, Romney had simply provided an obvious assessment of the state of the electorate where many have an “entitlement” mentality and nearly half avoid the income tax.
“Listen for it,” CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley urged viewers Friday night in trumpeting what he hailed as “a remarkable moment of candor” from President Barack Obama “when he told us the sacrifices he makes being President wouldn’t be worth it except for one thing.”
Viewers soon heard from Obama how all the sacrifice he must suffer through as President, such as “the inability to just take a walk,” is all “worth it” when he hears about how an ObamaCare provision has saved someone from dying of cancer. Yes, it takes “remarkable candor” to tout yourself as magnanimous, but you’d think a journalist of Pelley’s stature wouldn’t be so excitedly gullible.
Mitt Romney was correct in his critique of President Barack Obama’s “Arab Spring” policies but, on the timing, The Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes cautioned on FNC’s Special Report, Romney should have known the media would use it against him:
You knew the media were going to obsess on this and obsess on it they did. They’re so now fascinated by this process story, using this process story to beat up Mitt Romney rather than taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture question about the policies.
David Gregory teased Sunday's Meet the Press by highlighting a clip of himself pushing Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to upset conservatives in getting a budget deal, presumably by agreeing to raise taxes. “We go behind the scenes and on the record with Governor Romney less than two months before the election to press him on how he will turn around the economy and solve the nation’s debt crisis.”
NBC then showed Gregory pressing Romney: “Are you prepared to cut a deal with Democrats that would cause conservatives to revolt? Is it that important to get a deal to get us away from this fiscal cliff?”
How would the media – which barely noticed the platform dispute at the Democratic convention in which the chair clearly didn’t get the required two-thirds majority from the floor to revise embarrassing platform gaps by adding a reference to God and identifying Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – react if such an incident occurred at the Republican convention?
On FNC’s Fox NewsWatch, Jim Pinkerton (his Twitter) on Saturday outlined his theory of how the news media, particularly the Today show and the New York Times, would have jumped on such an event if it had happened to Republicans.
“Writers have been bowing to the ‘fact checkers’ as submissively as Barack Obama upon meeting some anti-American dictator,” the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto quipped in a devastating take-down of the rise of the news media’s so-called “fact checkers.”
In “The Pinocchio Press: The bizarre rise of ‘fact checking’ propagandists” posted on Tuesday, the author of the daily “Best of the Web Today” noted “the usual conservative complaint about all this ‘fact checking’ is the same as the conservative complaint about the MSM’s product in general: that it is overwhelmingly biased toward the left.” But, he concluded, “the form amplifies the bias. It gives journalists much freer rein to express their opinions by allowing them to pretend to be rendering authoritative judgments about the facts.”
Last week in Tampa, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley and NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, both hit Ann Romney with a pointed political contention from the left, but tonight (Thursday) in Charlotte, neither challenged Michelle Obama with any political argument forwarded by conservatives.
Williams posed a long-winded question about the Obama daughters and cued up the First Lady to assess a New York Times reporter’s take that President Obama is “‘a proud yet humbled President, a confident yet scarred President, a dreamer mugged by reality.’ Does that resemble the man you know?”