“It’ll probably work politically,” The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes observed of President Obama’s “fairness”-based “Buffett Rule” tax hike quest, “but don’t reporters have a job to do here?” On FNC’s Special Report on Tuesday night he noted the 30 percent income tax rate on capital gains “would raise less than six percent of the total cost of the stimulus” and “would raise roughly the same amount in one year” as “the U.S. government accumulates in debt in a single day.”
Declaring it “totally meaningless,” Hayes asserted “there’s nothing serious about” Obama’s economic plan and so, he suggested in an idea with little chance of occurring, “reporters should do their job and put this in perspective.”
ABC’s Sunday night tribute to Mike Wallace, who passed away Saturday night, highlighted several swipes at Ronald Reagan, thus, inadvertently or not, painting the “legendary” 60 Minutes correspondent as something less than an impartial journalist. Or maybe ABC News just enjoyed re-playing those hits on the late conservative President.
World News anchor David Muir began with a clip of Wallace, from either 1976 or during the 1980 campaign, demanding of Reagan: “How many blacks are there on your top campaign staff, Governor?” Reagan replied: “I couldn’t honestly answer you now.” To which Wallace snapped: “That speaks for itself.” Unsaid: At the time, 60 Minutes didn’t have any non-white reporters.
When ABC’s Jake Tapper held up Andrew’s Sullivan’s “Forget the Church, Follow Jesus” Newsweek cover story on how, as Tapper described Sullivan’s premise, “American Christianity is in a ‘crisis,’ it’s too focused on politics and policy, too little on spirituality,” Pastor Rick Warren took the opportunity to air “a little personal gripe.”
He contended: “I think it’s disingenuous that magazines like Newsweek know that their circulation goes up at Christmas and Easter if they put a spiritual issue on the cover, but it’s always bait and switch. They never tell the stories, never tell the stories of what good the church is doing.”
Catching up with what The Weekly Standard dubbed “the prize for unhinged emotionalism” in reaction from within the liberal bubble to the Supreme Court’s oral arguments on ObamaCare, back on Friday, March 30, Andrew Cohen, the “chief analyst and legal editor for CBS Radio News,” wrote on The Atlantic’s Web site:
“The arguments in the Care Act cases may be funny to Justice Antonin Scalia, the bully that he is, but they aren’t funny to the single father who will avoid bankruptcy because of the law.”
NBC anchor Brian Williams on Monday night used Republican troubles with women to trumpet how “a former candidate, who now happens to be Secretary of State, is speaking out.” Andrea Mitchell claimed Republicans spurred “a national debate over contraception and women’s rights. Now it’s produced a huge gender advantage for President Obama.” She insisted, without naming a single Republican, that “across party lines, American women are fired up, including Hillary Clinton...”
Mitchell cued up Clinton: “Did Rush Limbaugh go too far this time?” Mitchell then laid out the case for the former First Lady, relaying how “she’s the most popular woman in America” and, as if it should matter, “Meryl Streep recently delivered what sounded like a nominating speech for Clinton.” She pressed Clinton: “There is a growing expectation that you will run for President.” When she didn’t get an immediate affirmation, Mitchell pleaded: “Why not?”
An embarrassing performance Sunday for CBS’s Bob Schieffer in the debut of the new hour-long format for Face the Nation. At least he should be embarrassed by the contrast in how he played sycophant to Vice President Joe Biden, treating him as an oracle of wisdom, while not being nearly so coddling with Newt Gingrich who he corrected and challenged. Schieffer cued up Biden to pontificate:
What’s your take on that?
What did you mean by that?
What do you make of all of that?
What’s your take on that?
To Gingrich, however, he argued with the former Speaker’s points.
Reeling from the possibility the Supreme Court might undermine ObamaCare, two members in good standing of the liberal media elite, both with the New York Times, took to the Sunday shows to lament the lack of public recognition for the great benefits of the law. “On health care,” columnist Tom Friedman rationalized on NBC’s Meet the Press, “that’s partly a failure of communication.”
A befuddled Friedman advanced the liberal narrative that blames communication, not facts, as he wondered: “How do you go a year and a half where so many Americans don’t even understand the benefits of this legislation when they apply to them? And that gets to this administration, which I think has been abysmal at communicating some of its most important agenda items.”
Filling in for Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation, Norah O’Donnell hit Republican Congressman Paul Ryan from the left, using White House talking points to contend his budget plan helps the rich and hurts the poor, but with her next guest, liberal Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, she simply cued him up to react to Ryan and ruminate on whether ObamaCare will be a campaign issue.
“The current tax rate for the wealthiest Americans is 35 percent, you would reduce it to 25 percent and the White House says, that under your plan, you would give millionaires in this country a 150,000 tax cut,” CBS’s chief White House correspondent asserted. Ryan reorted: “Those numbers obviously are not credible.” Not dissuaded, O’Donnell cited “$810 billion in cuts to Medicaid” and demanded: “How can you guarantee people that you’re not giving tax cuts to the wealthiest and taking away aid to the poor?”
If only President Barack Obama were a Republican, then the public would realize he has been “a very successful” President, but Democrats, actor/activist George Clooney fretted, “are just very poor...at explaining” their accomplishments. The assessment from Clooney, who also declared “the President that I voted for, I’m very proud of,” came in a Meet the Press online “Press Pass” sit-down with David Gregory aired on the real Meet the Press. Clooney imagined that if he and Obama were Republicans:
Another example of how out of touch the Washington press corps is with what is common knowledge amongst conservatives. On Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer was flummoxed by Mitt Romney’s contention that Obama officials desire high gas prices:
Mitt Romney said...that the President actually wanted gas prices to go up when he was running for President. He also said the President should fire his three top energy people because they were trying to get the price up. What’s that about?
Guest David Axelrod of the Obama campaign assured Schieffer: “Well, I think it’s about nonsense is what it's about.” Minutes later, when RNC Chairman Reince Priebus pointed out “the President’s own energy czar said -- and this is undisputed -- that he wanted gas prices to go to European levels,” a clueless Schieffer talked over Priebus, demanding: “When did he say that?”
Obama administration officials in the Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday they would pull all of Medicaid’s funding for Texas’ Women’s Health Program because the state decided to no longer pass those funds along to abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood. Instead of holding the Obama officials accountable for putting the interests of a favored liberal group ahead of the poor women of Texas, right on cue the CBS Evening News turned it into another tale of woe with women as victims in the loss of “free” services provided by the sacrosanct Planned Parenthood.
“A fight over Planned Parenthood could leave thousands of women without health services,” anchor Scott Pelley ominously teased Thursday night, before introducing the report on how the “a growing dispute...could leave thousands of Texas women without access to health care.”
Catching up with an unintentionally funny moment from Tuesday night’s (March 13) Republican primary coverage, MSNBC political analyst Karen Finney, who was off-camera at the moment, noticeably exhaled and then loudly groaned “ugghh!” upon hearing the exit poll determined a plurality of women in Alabama voted for Rick Santorum. Video below.
A very believable moment in Game Change, HBO’s derogatory movie portrayal of Sarah Palin in the 2008 campaign. In a scene at a hotel bar in Phoenix on election eve, McCain-Palin senior campaign strategist Steve Schmidt, played by Woody Harrelson, tells campaign manager Rick Davis and senior adviser/speechwriter Mark Salter the state of John McCain’s mood:
He’s the most depressed I’ve seen him in the entire campaign. I can’t get him to stop watching MSNBC, which only makes him more miserable.
Isn’t that a common malady from watching MSNBC? Video below:
Mitt Romney can’t close the deal with Republican primary voters because too many don’t trust that he’s a real conservative, but on Sunday’s This Week, host George Stephanopoulos pressured Romney to move left to win in November. “How does Mitt Romney manage to continue to try to get conservatives over to his side,” Stephanopoulos wondered in acknowledging that shortcoming, “while reaching out to independents?” He soon fretted during the roundtable:
Does he have the freedom at this point to do what a lot of people are recommending, find a place to pick a fight, show some distance from the base of the party?
A “lot of people” in Stephanoploulos’ liberal Manhattan news media orbit. Mary Matalin fired back: “That’s a ridiculous kind of pundit strategy.”
Those who have seen HBO’s Game Change come away with a more sympathetic view of Sarah Palin, Time magazine’s Mark Halperin, co-author of the book on which HBO based its production set to air Saturday night, contended Wednesday night on CNN. Erin Burnett interviewed Halperin and co-author John Heilemann and Halperin told Burnett:
We’ve seen a few screenings with people and uniformly – every screening we’ve attended – people who came in, didn’t like Sarah Palin, weren’t fans of Sarah Palin, almost every one of them has said to us afterwards, “you know what, I now understand what she went through more, I have more sympathy for her, I have more appreciation for what she accomplished.”
ABC on Monday night rebuked the Republican presidential field for not adequately condemning Rush Limbaugh for his “slut” characterization of Sandra Fluke, for which he apologized on his Monday radio show. “The Republican presidential candidates still tried to dodge having to make tough comments about the power broker,” anchor Diane Sawyer announced in framing the World News story.
Reporter Dan Harris contended, without identifying who is making such a complaint, that “leading Republicans are essentially being called cowards for their tepid criticism of America’s most powerful conservative radio host.” After a bite of Mitt Romney saying “it’s not the language I would have used,” Harris snidely asserted: “Not exactly Profiles in Courage material.”
No love on the Sunday morning television talk shows for Rush Limbaugh, not even a mild defense as the unifying theme was disappointment in Mitt Romney for not denouncing the leading national conservative talk radio host. “The problem with Rush Limbaugh,” NBC News White House correspondent Savannah Guthrie complained in pretending to care about the fate of Republicans, “is that he re-framed the debate on Democrat’s terms” and “Romney lost an opportunity there to speak out forcefully against” Limbaugh which “would have shown some political courage, some backbone and ultimately,” she argued, “that would help him with conservatives.”
Meet the Press host David Gregory jumped in to assert “Sister Souljah’s not just a rap reference, it’s a political reference.” He cued up Republican strategist/Romney backer Mike Murphy: “Was this a ‘Sister Souljah Moment’ that Romney missed?” Murphy, naturally, agreed as he added in a snarky shot at Limbaugh: “It could have been and it should have been. The big myth about Rush Limbaugh is he can’t deliver a pizza let alone a vote.”
A week from tonight (Saturday, March 11) HBO will debut Game Change, which promos
strongly suggest will present a disparaging portrait of Sarah Palin, but Thursday night on the Tonight Show, during a segment with actress Julianne Moore who plays Palin, Jay Leno contended the movie “humanizes” Palin and is not “some kind of slash and burn job.”
“Whether a Republican or a Democrat,” Leno urged, “don’t watch it for the politics. It’s just a human piece. I think it kind of humanizes Sarah Palin. I thought it was really, really good.” He soon added: “I highly recommend it. If you’re an ardent Republican and you think this is some kind of slash and burn job, it’s not. It’s really what a campaign does to a person.”
Serving as the arm of MSNBC which actually has a significant audience, Thursday’s NBC Nightly News promoted a left-wing effort to impugn and silence Rush Limbaugh. “A firestorm of outrage from women after a crude tirade from Rush Limbaugh and as the battle over birth control takes another turn,” anchor Brian Williams ominously teased his newscast.
Picking up a crusade pushed all day by MSNBC, Williams warned “some may find some of the comments in this next story offensive.” He claimed “there is a growing firestorm over comments made by Rush Limbaugh,” about a woman, Sandra Fluke, who testified in favor of forcing her Catholic college to pay for her contraception, and so “a lot of women are expressing their outrage.”
CBS’s Bob Schieffer, on Sunday morning’s Face the Nation, pressed Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over how Republicans have moved “too far to the right” to win before cuing up Maryland’s Democratic Governor, Martin O’Malley, to agree while fretting “we’ve spent the last couple of weeks here talking about running against birth control for goodness sake” – as if the media have nothing to do with that. Schieffer twice falsely credited President Obama for having “backed away” from requiring religious institution cover birth control.
Schieffer also marveled over Obama’s presumed success and so wondered: “How do you go after Barack Obama, though, right now? I mean, the stock market is up. It looks like the unemployment is going down. David Axelrod in his campaign said the other day Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive. It’s going to be a tough job for you, is it not?”
Occupy Wall Street earned a shout-out Sunday night on a CBS drama, the kind of Hollywood affirmation the Tea Party could never dream of receiving. “Before we begin,” a judge announced in a Chicago courtroom on The Good Wife, “I want to take a few minutes to talk about something that is happening a mere one hundred yards from this courthouse: Occupy Wall Street!”
“Judge Charles Abernathy,” played by Denis O’Hare, continued to pay tribute to the leftist cause celebre: “Yes, these amazing young men and women are braving 36-degree weather, with the grit in their eyes of a shared cause, and all to challenge the system. And I, for one, I salute them.”
“GOP says HHS mandate is about liberty, not contraception. Dems say it’s about contraception, not liberty. Media accept and amplify Democratic framing.” So the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes adroitly tweeted noontime Sunday in an accurate observation demonstrated by Meet the Press where host David Gregory opened the roundtable: “I want to start with...a big theme in this race so far. And Politico, I thought, captured the headline here with this theme, ‘2012: The year of birth control moms?’”
Later, Gregory touted how “I see this bumper sticker,” which, he insisted, “we’ve heard everybody talk about,” that proclaims “GM’s back on top, and Osama bin Laden is dead.” Cuing up New York Times White House correspondent Helene Cooper, Gregory noted the obvious: “That’s the record that this President wants to run on.” Cooper affirmed: “That’s absolutely the record that he wants to run on.”
“Did President Obama save General Motors?” CBS’s Dean Reynolds asked General Motors Chairman and CEO Daniel Akerson as both sat inside a GM plant. On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, Akerson affirmed he did and “the Obama administration did a good job.”
Reynolds pointed out how Mitt Romney “argued the bailout was unnecessary, and that the regular bankruptcy process would have made GM and Chrysler stronger companies. Would that have happened?” Akerson rejected the notion, insisting if not for the bailout “you could have written off this company, this industry, and this country.”
Previewing the Michigan primary, ABC’s David Muir found three Chrysler workers to boast of how the Obama administration’s auto bailout “worked” and “it would have been devastating” if Mitt Romney had his way and it didn’t occur. Muir cued up the workers to confirm “all of you had your jobs saved?”
Muir did note that “Romney says it’s the billions in government bailout money that came with it that was a sweetheart deal for the unions,” but countered with a sympathetic “Michigan mother” who declared: “It worked. The results show for themselves. We are on our way back. We are being profitable again.” Muir proceeded to a man who, he relayed, “says it wasn’t just his job saved, it was the police officer, the teacher...”
The prospect of Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008 was “pretty terrifying” to actress Julianne Moore, who plays Palin in HBO’s upcoming Game Change movie about the 2008 campaign, but not because she feared Palin’s policies. Instead, the self-described “longtime liberal” dreaded Palin might allow the GOP ticket to win: “I really felt like, ‘Oh my gosh, the Republicans might have this election’” since “she was so electrifying.”
In Tuesday’s “Yeas and Nays” column in the Washington Examiner, Nikki Schwab relayed Moore’s comments expressed in an interview for the upcoming March issue of Capitol File magazine.
“I was struck looking at this,” Washington Post columnist and former foreign editor David Ignatius expressed on ABC’s This Week in admiring how Barack Obama on Friday adjusted the contraception mandate, hailing “the ability to do a do-over quickly” since the administration was not “done deaf” and “they did make changes and this is now a policy that you can defend.”
Unaddressed, how it’s just an accounting gimmick and Catholic institutions would still be required to cover what they morally oppose, to say nothing of what gives the government the right to require private insurers to offer a service for “free.”
Over on NBC’s Meet the Press, when Peggy Noonan noted how Obama picked the leftist position over the First Amendment, another Washington Post columnist and former reporter, E.J. Dionne Jr. fired back: “Barack Obama is a moderate progressive with the emphasis on moderate. Most socialists are insulted when Barack Obama is called a socialist.”
The downward slide of media credibility continues. A Pew survey released a few days ago found 67 percent of Americans see “a great deal” or “fair amount” of “political bias” in the news media, a record high for the poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press which pegged the level at 63 percent just four months ago. Specifically:
Currently, 37 percent of Americans say there is a great deal of bias in news coverage and 30 percent say there is a fair amount of bias. Far fewer see not too much bias (21 percent) or none at all (10 percent). The percentage saying there is a great deal of bias has increased six points, from 31 percent to 37 percent, since 2008.
Bush Derangement Syndrome, then Palin Derangement Syndrom and now...Santorum Derangement Syndrome?
Friday night on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, Zanny Minton Beddoes, the economics editor for the Economist magazine, expressed dread that the possibility Rick Santorum could win the Republican presidential nomination “completely terrifies me. I mean, how many decades back, how many centuries back does he want to take us?” She proceeded to relay the derogatory charge “Santorum would be a fine mind for the 13th century.”