“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?”
Noting the official Obama-Biden re-election slogan is “forward,” fill-in FNC Special Report anchor Shannon Bream observed back on May 18 how “not everyone thought that it was catchy enough, so the Vice President has been floating some alternative ones.”
Check out the ideas suggested by Joe Biden as captured by TBS’s Conan.
The revelation HBO’s Game of Thrones had a scene with George W. Bush’s severed head on a spike, for which HBO has apologized and maintained was “not a political statement,” reminded me of how five years ago CBS’s Showtime cable network very deliberately portrayed George W. Bush being aborted.
The L Word drama about lesbian friends in Los Angeles, back on Sunday, January 28, 2007, featured the “Unauthorized Abortion of W,” a sculpture of Barbara Bush’s body with an exposed womb displaying George W. Bush’s adult face with each of his hands holding onto a rocket labeled “U.S. Air Force” (angled to suggest they represent forceps) while a vacuum cleaner hose was stuck in Mrs. Bush’s crotch.
Last week, for the third year in a row, the Television Critics Association – which “represents more than 200 journalists writing about television for print and online outlets in the United States and Canada” – nominated MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow for their annual award for “Outstanding Achievement in News and Information.”
The left-wing host is the only consistent nominee in the category over the past three years -- though she has yet to win. CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS hosts and programs have earned nominations over the years, but no one at the Fox News Channel has ever been nominated per the association’s press releases posted back to 2002.
Accurate, but not true. It took 23 years, but on Sunday morning’s Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer contended “everything” in his 1989 book, which provided a derogatory look from the left at the Reagan presidency, was “accurate” – yet “not entirely true.”
The leading title of the book published in January of 1989, when Schieffer held the role of “Chief Washington correspondent” for CBS News, The Acting President: Ronald Reagan and the Supporting Players Who Helped Him Create the Illusion That Held America Spellbound.
In February of 2008, NewsBusters first highlighted MSNBC’s Chris Matthews oozing “I felt this thrill going up my leg” while listening to a speech by Barack Obama. Conservatives reminding him of it has certainly annoyed Chris Matthews ever since, so much so that he lashed out at C-SPAN’s Steve Scully, sinking to including the non-profit cable network’s senior executive producer as amongst the “jackasses” who dare to ask him about his infamous Obamagasm moment.
The confirmation of Matthews’ incredibly thin skin came Tuesday at a panel session during the National Cable and Telecommunications Association’s convention in Boston. “I hope you feel satisfied that you raised the most obvious question that is raised by every horse’s ass right-winger I ever bump into,” Matthews snarled.
NBC anchor Brian Williams on Wednesday night ridiculed Mitt Romney’s quest to reduce the unemployment rate to six percent by 2016, a level enjoyed fewer than four years ago.
“Back when Newt Gingrich pledged $2.50 a gallon gasoline, if elected President, he was called out at the time for an unrealistic number. Today,” Williams charged without naming any source, “some of the same thing happened to Mitt Romney when he made a pledge on unemployment as part of his overall defense of his work at Bain Capital.”
The Sunday interview show hosts all reacted with disbelief toward House Speaker John Boehner’s pledge to demand spending cuts equal to the debt ceiling increase, with CBS’s Bob Schieffer the most derisive as he declared “it was a week when you couldn’t believe your ears” because, when Boehner said the same thing last year, “Congress tied itself in such a knot that America’s credit rating was downgraded, not to mention Congress’ approval rating which hit a new low. And now he wants to fight the same battle? Was he kidding?”
Schieffer rued: “Does this mean we’re headed towards another of those nasty ‘stop everything’ political standoffs in an election year?”
Reacting to Mitt Romney’s discomfort toward proposed independent expenditure ads reminding Americans of President Obama’s connections to Reverend Jeremiah Wright, on FNC Thursday night Charles Krauthammer delivered a rebuke to the media’s presumption raising Wright would be illegitimate. Krauthammer sure didn’t hold back:
I think there is an appalling double standard here. It’s okay for the Washington Post to run a five thousand word front page story on a prank that Romney, at the age of 15, committed. And yet it’s somehow illegitimate, the low road or whatever, for people to bring up the fact that the adult Obama had a 20-year relationship with a racist anti-American preacher whom he considered, spoke about, wrote about as his mentor and spiritual advisor.
In a particularly sleazy allegation, David Letterman on Tuesday night alleged former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney “went soft” on finding Osama bin Laden “because they were worried about upsetting their Saudi Arabian royalty buddies.” Talk about a lack of civility and respect for elected officials.
Letterman’s impugning of the former administration came during a sit-down with NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, just after Letterman charged “we invaded Iraq because Cheney wanted to help out his buddies at Brown and Root and Halliburton.”
What is a ludicrous answer for $800? The response from Chris Matthews when a naive Alex Trebek asked him on Jeopardy!: “Do you approach it from the point of view of I have an opinion about the subject that’s going to be discussed today, or you have your researchers look into that subject and then form an opinion?”
Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball where he consistently spews left-wing views and ridicules conservatives, replied: “Here’s how I try to do it. Ready? Fact, analysis and then opinion. That’s the best way to do it. Report the news, figure out what it means, then figure out your attitude is about it. That’s how I do the show.”
From the end of Wednesday night’s Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC, a Tonight Show rendition of a college-era love letter from Barack Obama which Baier suggested may “shed some light on his early political leanings.”
The Washington press corps always love it when establishment Republicans scold conservatives for trying to “purify” the party, and Time magazine’s Michael Scherer did not disappoint. “Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar did not go quietly, after losing his primary contest Tuesday in Indiana to a Tea Party-backed challenger, Richard Mourdock,” Scherer wrote the next day in a Time “Swampland” blog titled “The Importance of Dick Lugar’s Farewell Warning.”
“If there is one thing the American people need to read today,” the former writer for the far-left Mother Jones directed, “it is his farewell missive, which may prove to be as prescient and long lasting as Dwight Eisenhower’s 1961 exit speech warning of the coming military industrial
CBS’s Bob Schieffer, who in February asked New Jersey Governor Chris Christie whether the Republican presidential candidates “are pushing your party too far to the right to make the nomination worth anything when you get to November?”, on Sunday repeated his mantra, demanding of Peggy Noonan: “Do you think that the Republican Party has moved too far right for its own good?”
As if he cares about the success of Republicans or conservatives.
Schieffer fretted “the situation that’s happened out in Indiana, where Richard Lugar, who’s probably passed more significant legislation than any single member of the Senate right now, I would say -- that I can think of -- he might actually get beat in the primary because they think he’s not conservative enough.”
Catching up with Bryant Gumbel from a couple of weeks ago, on the April edition of his Real Sports show on HBO, the NBC News and CBS News veteran came to the defense of Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, who caused outrage amongst Cuban-Americans when he declared “I love Fidel Castro.” In an end of the program commentary, Gumbel couldn’t resist taking a jab at conservatives, charging:
Whipping up a frenzy over slights real and imagined is a play straight out of a far right handbook and Florida’s electoral cloud has often given Fidel’s critics far more leverage than their arguments merit.
“It's hard to make fun of Obama in general because he’s a cool character,” ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, the “headliner” for this Saturday night’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, told Reuters, insisting that “outside of his ears, there’s not a whole lot” to joke about.
Kimmel, of course, had no trouble coming up with anti-Republican candidate zingers. Reuters reporter Mary Milliken, in a Tuesday dispatch, relayed Kimmel’s “hope is to have a ‘nice mixture of prepared and off-the-cuff comedy’ for the black tie gala.” She passed along “a few hints of the ammunition is in his joke holster,” starting with his take on the presumptive nominee: “Mitt Romney looks like a Sears catalog model.”
On Sunday’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos stumbled into the truth when he told Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that Mitt Romney’s statistic, about how 92.3 percent of all job losses since President Obama took office have occurred to women, “is accurate.”
That, however, contradicted the liberal party line espoused by ABC reporter David Muir on Wednesday’s World News when he stated:”The non-partisan group PolitiFact saying that number right there is ‘mostly false,’ arguing the President can’t be held responsible for the job picture the day he took office.”
Joe Muto, the self-described “weasel,” “traitor” and “sell-out” who for a few days last week was the “Fox News Mole” for Gawker.com until FNC identified him, disclosed on CNN’s Reliable Sources that he tried to leave the network but was unable to get hired elsewhere because the rest of the cable news industry “blackballed” him since they presumed anyone who worked for Fox News is “a nut.” Not very tolerant.
Muto, an associate producer for The O’Reilly Factor until Wednesday, told Howard Kurtz “I sent out dozens and dozens of resumes. CNN must have gotten twenty resumes from me.”
CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley was barely able to contain his laughter Wednesday night after playing a clip of President Obama invoking Ronald Reagan on behalf of his “Buffett Rule” tax hike quest. Nearly breaking into a laugh, a baffled Pelley wondered to CBS News political analyst John Dickerson: “So a vote for President Obama is a vote for Ronald Reagan?!” Dickerson snickered too. (Watch the video to see Pelley’s puzzled reaction.)
Pelley had set up the soundbite: “The President was in full campaign mode today and he even adopted a Republican idol as his own.”
Pathetic. That best describes David Muir’s shoddy reporting on Wednesday’s ABC World News in which he gleefully relayed an obviously ridiculous income tax rate for an office manager for a wealthy hedge fund manager, both of whom served as props for President Obama at a White House event, before disputing as “mostly false” a quite accurate statistic forwarded by the Romney campaign.
“The President appeared in a picture surrounded by secretaries who pay a higher tax rate than their millionaire bosses who were there too by their sides, a direct challenge to Romney, his wealth and his tax rate,” anchor Diane Sawyer conveyed in highlighting the Obama campaign stunt of the day.
“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.