NBC News demonstrated again Thursday night it has become little more than the more-watched broadcast arm of MSNBC, advancing the same left-wing attacks on conservatives as first trotted out on the cable side. While ABC and CBS managed to refrain from airing entire stories and interviews aimed to discredit Paul Ryan, NBC did not.
In packaging Obama campaign talking points, however, Chuck Todd had to concede the accuracy of what Ryan asserted in his Wednesday night convention address, humorously leading Todd to conclude that “what he said many times was technically factual” but, “by what he left out,” he “actually distorted the actual truth.”
NBC anchor Brian Williams reprimanded Ann Romney for saying “I believe in my heart that Mitt is going to save America,” suggesting it would have been incendiary if Michelle Obama had made such a promise.
As the two sat in the NBC News booth at the Republican convention, Williams told Mrs. Romney the phrasing “jumped off the screen to me” and maintained, without identifying the supposed source, that “someone who knows you conceded that if Mrs. Obama used words like that...there’d be all kinds of hubbub.”
“A lot of women look at the Republican platform on abortion, contraception, a number of issues,” CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley told Ann Romney, “and ask the question whether Republicans have women’s best interests at heart?”
Pelley’s loaded question came just after he held up his smart phone so Mrs. Romney could see how the Obama campaign “is starting a tour called the ‘Romney-Ryan: Wrong for Women’ tour, and that’s the logo.”
Defending President Obama to guest Dennis Miller, Jay Leno admired Obama for how “he has compassion for regular people” that’s “missing” from the Republican Party which is carrying out “this sort of war on women.” When, on Monday’s Tonight Show, Miller mocked the idea of such a Republican “war on women,” Leno insisted: “I think it is.”
Revealing his true political views usually obscured by his monologue pokes at Obama, Leno proceeded to argue that Todd Akin is “an idiot but he was saying what the platform is. And that’s what many believe.” Mitt Romney, NBC’s late night host allowed, “is a a good guy and a decent man” who, Leno rued, has “had to go all the way right.”
“Some Republicans wonder whether Romney is too moderate for the increasingly conservative party,” CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley refreshingly asked Monday night in veering from the media portrayal of Romney as a far-right ideologue. However, Pelley soon delivered the usual media line that presumed the party is too conservative. “The platform does not allow for exceptions on abortion with regard to the health of the mother or rape or incest,” Pelley told Romney in relaying a Democratic talking point.
Pelley next fretted “this Republican Party that you’re leading is not your father’s Republican Party,” recalling how “he opposed Barry Goldwater in 1964” and was “a passionate advocate for government support for housing for poor people.” Pelley queried: “I wonder how you would explain this Republican Party to your father?”
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos opened his Sunday show: “Good morning and welcome to This Week. Storms brewing. The GOP convention threatened by Tropical Storm Isaac and that political hurricane from Todd Akin...”
Over on CBS, guest Haley Barbour scolded Bob Schieffer who had wondered how Republicans get the focus “back” onto the economy? Barbour called Schieffer out for his obsession on Akin: “If your first four questions are about it [Akin], it’s kind of hard getting the subject back on the economy when you want to talk about Todd Akin.” Oblivious to his role in deciding what is newsworthy, Schieffer lamely pleaded: “I want to talk about the news.”
What happens when campaign donors get the chance to have dinner with President Obama and the check comes? NBC’s Tonight Show imagined one scenario in this video run last November – but it's still reflective of Obama’s deficit spending policies – at the end of FNC’s Special Report.
Last week when President Barack Obama raised the old tale of how Mitt Romney once put his dog in a car top carrier, the NBC Nightly News gave a sentence to how Obama “took a dig at Romney” and the CBS Evening News didn’t mention it, but on Friday night both newscasts pounced on Romney for daring to make a birth certificate joke.
“Was it a joke?” fill-in NBC anchor David Gregory demanded, teasing a full story: “What Mitt Romney said on the campaign trail today that immediately erupted in controversy.” Reporter Peter Alexander recalled Donald Trump’s tie to Romney and highlighted how “the Obama campaign quickly cried foul, insisting ‘Romney’s decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across America.’”
Chuck Todd has chutzpah. Jake Tapper has some integrity. For decades, journalists have aided liberals by mischaracterizing proposed slight reductions in the rate of spending hikes on a program as a “cut” or “slash” to it, so many trusting people, naively presuming the words have meaning, thus assumed there’d be an actual reduction.
NBC’s Peter Alexander repeated this fallacy on Monday’s Today when he described Paul Ryan as “the architect of a politically polarizing budget plan to slash trillions in federal funding, including cuts to Medicare...” NBC’s chief political correspondent, Chuck Todd, however, had the gall to correct Mitt Romney over a “cut” claim while ignoring Alexander’s falsity.
Advancing a false narrative about how the wealthy are paying a lower tax rate than the middle class, CBS Bob Schieffer used his 60 Minutes session with the Republican ticket to push Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to agree “fairness” means the rich should pay higher taxes. “A lot of people,” Schieffer contended, “think corporations and rich people are getting all these breaks and they’re getting stuck with paying the bills. They see some of the wealthiest paying the lowest tax rates. How are you going to fix that?”
Schieffer next insisted: “Doesn’t fairness dictate that the wealthiest people should not be paying the lowest taxes because that’s what happening many times?”
“Why do these rich people need another tax cut?” Schieffer demanded of Ryan on the April 17, 2011 program. Conveying his no-so-profound economic reasoning, Schieffer saw a pot of money to be absconded: “I mean, they’re already rich. They seem to be doing pretty well as it is now. Why cut their taxes some more?” After Ryan explained his proposal would maintain current tax revenue levels while eliminating deductions and loopholes used by the wealthy, a baffled Schiefier ruminated:
“On our broadcast tonight,” Brian Williams teased his lead story Wednesday night, “extreme heat, but more than that: the official confirmation that came today that it has never been this hot in America.” Citing a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report which pegged the average July temperature in the lower 48 at 77.6 degrees fahrenheit, Williams proceeded to hyperventilate over the “official word that arrived today that” July was “the hottest of all time since they started keeping records.”
Yet, as fill-in CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer noted in a short item deep in his newscast, the “previous record for a single month [was] 77.4 in July 1936 during the dust bowl.” [jpg]
“I’m in over my head” and “The economy’s bad, it’s all my fault and I can’t fix it.” Those are two pretty accurate campaign slogans for the Obama-Biden campaign as formuated, via some creative editing done by TBS’s Conan, from Obama’s speeches.
In playing the video at the end of his program on Thursday night, FNC’s Bret Baier explained: “With just a few weeks left until the Democratic convention, one late night show insists President Obama and Vice President Biden are continuing to try out and search for the perfect general election campaign slogan.”
“Harry Reid is disgrace. But you expect this from Harry Reid,” The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes zinged on FNC’s Special Report Friday night before turning his ire on a certain Washington, DC-based anchor for CNN for advancing Reid’s baseless allegation that Mitt Romney didn’t pay any income tax for ten years.
“The disappointing cohort in this, to me, is journalists,” Hayes contended as he recalled how “I saw another network anchor ask a Romney supporter about this accusation, saying Harry Reid is a really honorable man.”
“A conservative Republican was beaten by an even more conservative Tea Party candidate,”CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley announced Wednesday night in reporting Ted Cruz’s victory in the Texas Republican primary. Sharyl Attkisson relayed how the candidate Cruz defeated, David Dewhurst, “is considered a very conservative Republican,” yet “Cruz spent months tacking even further to the right.”
CBS, however, was unwilling to apply any ideological label in their obituary piece on hard-left writer Gore Vidal, though in that story Martha Teichner did issue one tag: She referred to the “televised confrontation between Gore Vidal and conservative commentator William Buckley.”
Journalists are quite eager to undermine Mitt Romney’s trip. “A new diplomatic dust-up,” CBS anchor Scott Pelley teased Monday night, citing how “Mitt Romney in the Middle East says culture makes Israelis economically superior to Palestinians.” NBC’s Peter Alexander declared upsetting Palestinians meant Romney’s “day began in Israel with another diplomatic misstep” as ABC’s David Muir saw “another overseas controversy in a trip with missteps already.”
Muir also discovered, without citing any evidence, “fallout today from a question we asked Romney during our one-on-one last night on World News,” specifically Muir’s demand to know: “Was there ever any year when you paid lower than the 13.9 percent” income tax rate?
A left-wing writer for a liberal magazine wrote an article trying to undermine the Republican presidential candidate, a cover story which featured an insulting characterization. But instead of treating the attack as irrelevant, CBS’s Face the Nation decided to showcase it. “I just got a copy of the Newsweek cover that’s going to be hitting the newsstands tomorrow that calls you a ‘wimp,’” reporter Jan Crawford told Mitt Romney in Israel. “Have you seen this?”
In the next segment, host Bob Schieffer put the cover on screen as he cued up DNC chair Deborah Wasserman-Schultz:
I’m going to ask you about this new edition of Newsweek. They have on the cover Mitt Romney and it says “The Wimp Factor.” Now this is reminiscent of a sort of an infamous Newsweek cover back when the first George Bush was running for, running and it said -- they put out a cover that said “Fighting the ‘Wimp Factor.’” Is Mitt Romney a wimp?
CBS and NBC on Friday night aired full stories on the very weak 1.5 percent second quarter GDP rate, down from an anemic two percent in the first quarter, yet – incredibly – ABC’s World News, which had time to champion how First Lady Michelle Obama brought her “Let’s Move” campaign to London where she “indulged in some Olympic daydreaming,” didn’t consider newsworthy the bad news for President Obama.
Instead of relaying the bad news about Obama-nomics, fill-in World News anchor Josh Elliott trumpeted: “Now to your money and the giant rally on Wall Street. The Dow up nearly 200 points, closing above the all important 13,000 mark. Something that hasn't happened in nearly three months.”
Correcting a common media refrain repeated moments earlier on CBS’s Face the Nation, CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen offered “to bring a little Western perspective to this issue of gun control,” pointing out that what Easterners (ie: journalists) see as an unusually large ammunition purchase of six thousand rounds is really not all that noteworthy:
In the West, you need guns to, literally, protect yourself sometimes against wild animals. The amount of ammunition that he bought, six thousand rounds, somebody said is really not that unusual if you are an avid target shooter. You would buy that much in a month. You’d go through it.
Joe Biden has started a new tour, a “VP of Comedy Tour,” FNC’s Bret Baier noticed Thursday night in ending his show by playing a compilation put together by ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. Kimmel’s announcer promised Biden’s “every laugh” and “every gaffe.”
That would be impossible to contain to a short montage – or really one of any length -- but this is an entertaining packaging of Biden at his most-embarrassing.
“I’m a total bumbling idiot” – Barack Obama. “Both parties continue to search for catchy campaign slogans for the general election,” FNC’s Bret Baier noted on June 26 in setting up a bit from TBS’s Conan. Baier cited “Forward,” “Believe in America” and “Our Best Days are Ahead” before, at the end of Special Report, cuing up some creative video editing: “One late night show insists it’s spotted an effort to try out others.”
Showing a renewed concern for the interests of taxpayers, CBS put “Cost to Taxpayers” on screen Wednesday night as CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley worried not about the cost of ObamaCare, but “how much it cost taxpayers for the House to repeal the law again and again?” Pelley relayed how “the Congressional Research Service tells us that the House of Representatives costs us $24 million a week. So with two weeks spent repealing the law, that comes to a little under $50 million.”
What a meaningless point. As if that $50 million wouldn’t have been spent in any event since the cost of operating the House would not have disappeared from federal outlays if the body dealt with other issues.
$150 billion. That’s “the cost to taxpayers” for President Barack Obama’s proposal to not increase the income tax rate for those earning less than $250,000, White House correspondent Norah O’Donnell bizarrely asserted on Monday’s CBS Evening News. As for Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s desire to keep rates the same for all permanently, O’Donnell fretted: “The cost to taxpayers? An additional $850 billion over the next ten years.”
So, not increasing the amount a person pays in federal income tax is a “cost” to them? That’s just surreal, but reflects the media’s conflation of taxpayers and the government.
How cozy. Former Democratic operative turned television news host George Stephanopoulos used his ABC News platform on Sunday to celebrate, with Vicki Reggie Kennedy, ObamaCare’s Supreme Court victory. Stephanopoulos excitedly plugged his “special exclusive guest” on This Week, announcing: “We begin with something special. The first reaction on the ruling from Vicki Kennedy, the widow of Senator Ted Kennedy who fought for universal health care...”
A giddy Stephanopoulos conveyed how he’s vicariously living in the glory of the liberal triumph: “I can only imagine what it must have been like for you, at the moment you heard that the Supreme Court had decided.”
Some creative spin in favor of President Barack Obama from Chuck Todd on Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News. Recounting the results of a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll which puts Obama ahead of Mitt Romney by 47 to 44 percent, Todd declared Obama’s “strongest positive was a surprise, ‘health care,’” though it actually was the third-most common positive reply to the question: “What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Barack Obama as President?”
Citing Obama’s negatives, Todd relayed how they “include the ‘economy’ and ‘unemployment’” – skipping over the second most-common reply – “lack of experience/incompetent” – and how more listed ObamaCare as a negative than a positive. [UPDATED below with Todd's later more accurate recitation.]
The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the law requiring Arizona law enforcement to check the immigration status of those they suspect are illegal is “very disappointing and very dangerous,” represents “a very sad day for the Hispanic community” and “will only create more persecution and discrimination” while “the last hope is gone.”
So contended not a left-wing activist, but a “news anchor” in the guise of one given a platform on Monday’s ABC World News.
Unintentionally defining irony, in the midst of trying to rationalize news media disinterest in the “Fast & Furious” scandal by maintaining “it’s not a political scandal” but “a scandal of government,” Washington Post columnist and former reporter Dana Milbank claimed on CNN's Reliable Sources: “It’s not an ideological thing. I think the media would love to have an Obama scandal to cover.”
Writer/producer Aaron Sorkin, whose new drama, Newsroom, about a cable news anchor -- which debuts this Sunday night on HBO -- proved in a USA Today piece he lives in a fantasy world. First, he maintained that when watching broadcast network news “I don’t see the liberal bias — and I’m trying to — that I hear about,” insisting: “What I do see is a bias toward fairness, a bias toward neutrality...”
Second, in the imaginary world he created for HBO, he inserts liberal bias by having his lead character castigate the Tea Party from the left, which – implausibly – upsets network executives. USA Today recounted how cable news anchor “Will McAvoy,” played by Jeff Daniels, “goes after the Tea Party activists and billionaire Koch brothers who helped fund it for seizing control of the Republican Party, earning the ire of the network’s parent company, led by...”
“About twenty years after a conservative leaves the scene or dies, he becomes acceptable,” to the media-left, George Will observed on Sunday’s This Week. “They say, if only people were more like Ronald Reagan and that wonderful libertarian curmudgeon Barry Goldwater.” Will recalled: “I worked for Bill Buckley, voted for Barry Goldwater and knew Ronald Reagan and no one talked about them on the left that way at the time.”
Will was responding to Jeb Bush’s media-embraced scolding of the GOP, which George Stephanopoulos helpfully displayed on screen. “Since Ronald Reagan,” Will pointed out, “the Republican Party has given its presidential nomination four times to the Bush family. Other times to Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney. Where is the extremist in that lot?”