The most remarkable thing about Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's New Years Day gym accident story is the complete incuriosity on the part of the mainstream media about it. Three months after the accident, Reid still can't see out of his injured eye, so why doesn't a reporter ask Reid when he will be suing the exercise equipment company or at least give us the brand name of the equipment that supposedly caused that accident. Speculation on talk radio and in the blogosphere about Reid's accident story heated up last week when he announced he won't be seeking re-election to the Senate. But from the MSM, continued silence on this topic.
By Tom Blumer | March 30, 2015 | 10:27 AM EDT
The government's report on consumer spending released this morning was another disappointment. Seasonally adjusted spending increased by just 0.1 percent, falling short of modest expectations of a 0.2 percent jump, following 0.2 percent declines in both December and January.
The opening paragraphs of coverage at Bloomberg News and the Associated Press contrasted sharply. Longtime readers can probably guess which wire tried to portray the news more positively. Predictably, both outlets broke out the bad weather excuse.
By Mark Finkelstein | March 30, 2015 | 9:44 AM EDT
Not even a lifeline could have helped her . . . There was a telling moment on today's Morning Joe when Joe Scarborough challenged April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks to cite some of President Obama's foreign-policy successes.
Ryan was reduced to replying "that's kind of tough. Hmm, that's a tough one . . . I have to really ponder that."
By Tim Graham | March 30, 2015 | 6:58 AM EDT
In exploring the blooming career of Monica Lewinsky as an anti-cyberbullying activist, it’s not only Lewinsky that’s trying to rehabilitate or reinvent hereself. It’s also a chance for the liberal media to revise feminist history. See The New York Times, with an article last week “Monica Lewinsky Is Back, But This Time on Her Terms.” Reporter Jessica Bennett lauded Lewinsky for “a biting cultural critique about humiliation as commodity.”
She even turned to Gloria Steinem for commentary. “It’s a sexual shaming that is far more directed at women than at men,” Steinem wrote in an email, noting that in Lewinsky’s case, she was also targeted by the “ultraright wing.” She thanked Lewinsky “for having the courage to return to the public eye.”
By Tom Blumer | March 29, 2015 | 11:39 PM EDT
One of the first rules of genuine comedy is that to be funny, a joke or skit needs to have some basis in truth.
On that primary measurement, the cold open on "Saturday Night Live" last night failed miserably on so many fronts, it's hard to know where to begin. Its most offensive aspect is its portrayal of a Democrat inflicting violence on three Republicans to the audience's pleausre. It is impossible to imagine the program putting on a skit showing Ronald Reagan doing to the same thing to Ted Kennedy — who, in an objectively treasonous act, sought the Soviet Union's help in the 1984 presidential election for the purpose of defeating Reagan.
By Tom Blumer | March 29, 2015 | 9:32 PM EDT
In Chicago, incumbent Mayor and longtime Democrat fixture Rahm Emanuel floated the idea of renaming one of its airports after President Obama. After all, according to Emanuel, both of Chicago's major airports, O'Hare and Midway, are "named after battleships." No they're not, as will be seen after the jump.
The Chicago Tribune's Bill Ruthhart failed to recognize Emanuel's startling gaffe until the fifth paragraph of his story. Even then, he treated his breathtaking ignorance as some kind of routine, unimportant mistake. If you have a hard time imagining the Trib giving a Republican or conservative committing a similar whopper such an easy time of it, join the club.
By Tim Graham | March 29, 2015 | 6:12 PM EDT
The Wall Street Journal editorial page had some fun with a leftist actor on Friday: “We’re about to do the meanest thing this newspaper could do to Tim Robbins: Agree with him.” It was titled "Tim Robbins, Capitalist Tool."
In a Los Angeles Times op-ed, Robbins argued against an attempt by the actors union, the Actors’ Equity Association, to impose the minimum wage on small theaters – “and we’re with him all the way,” the Journal wrote.
By Tim Graham | March 29, 2015 | 4:02 PM EDT
In the rarefied air of “American letters,” as scored by The New York Times, radical gay activist and playwright Larry Kramer must be front-page material of the Weekend Arts section. Kramer has a new “historical novel,” which abuses history energetically. The Times headline was “Retelling History to Prove A Point.” Online it was “Larry Kramer Retells History With Passion.”
But it’s not “retelling.” It’s smearing a pile of American historical figures (printed on bills in your wallet) as raging homosexuals
By Jeffrey Meyer | March 29, 2015 | 3:29 PM EDT
Appearing on Fox News’ MediaBuzz on Sunday, Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker demonstrated a complete 180 degree change of heart surrounding Senator Ted Cruz’ presidential prospects. At first, Parker argued that “he’s obviously not going to win the presidency” before insisting that when it comes to Cruz “the Washington media are really out of touch with real America.”
Writer Garry Wills: Right-Wing, Anti-Francis Catholics ‘Are Not Used to Having a Pope Who Is a Christian’By Tom Johnson | March 29, 2015 | 3:27 PM EDT
In a Sunday blog post on the New York Review of Books site, historian Wills, who’s written extensively about both the United States and Catholicism, rebuked conservative Catholics who’ve “suggested that [Pope Francis] is not truly Catholic,” asserting that such critics of the pope “are right to be in a panic. They are not used to having a pope who is a Christian. They call Francis a radical because he deplores the sequestration of great wealth for a rich few and deprivation of the many poor. But Francis is a moderate. Jesus was the radical.”
Wills, who is Catholic, noted that Francis is hugely popular among rank-and-file Catholics and commented that any “perception of great resistance to the pope in his own church” is “largely the product of noise. Extremists get more press coverage than blander types.”
By Jeffrey Meyer | March 29, 2015 | 2:10 PM EDT
On Sunday, This Week moderator George Stephanopoulos interviewed Indiana Governor Mike Pence and repeatedly pressed him for defending his state's religious freedom bill, and touted the argument that it was an anti-gay law. Throughout the combative interview, the liberal ABC anchor repeatedly wondered “if a florist in Indiana refuses to serve a gay couple at their wedding, is that legal now in Indiana?”
By Tim Graham | March 29, 2015 | 1:45 PM EDT
The Sunday-newspaper supplement Parade magazine lards on the Kennedy love today. The cover shows two of Teddy’s sons, Teddy Jr. and Patrick with the words “The Kennedy Legacy: The next generation carries on the family’s exuberant mission of public service.”
Parade even touted their deep religious faith, with the headline inside: “Guided by the Beatitudes and the notion that helping others is both a duty and a pleasure, the next generation of Kennedys carries on the family’s public service legacy.”
By Jeffrey Meyer | March 29, 2015 | 12:27 PM EDT
Appearing on Meet the Press on Sunday, Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough celebrated the announcement that Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) will retire at the end of 2016 by declaring it a “big trade-up not only for the Democratic Party but for America and I’m dead serious.”
By Jeffrey Meyer | March 29, 2015 | 11:15 AM EDT
On Saturday and Sunday, the “big three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) networks vigorously condemned a new Indiana law that would protect private businesses from government infringement on their religious freedom. Rather than provide balanced coverage of the Indiana bill, the networks eagerly trashed the legislation as opening “the door to discrimination against gays and lesbians.”
By Mark Finkelstein | March 29, 2015 | 10:38 AM EDT
Two days ago I ordered online a used copy of Milton & Rose Friedman's classic "Free to Choose," hoping a liberal loved one would be willing to read it. That doesn't look like it's going to happen, so now I'm tempted to send the book to Barney Frank—since it's apparent that, like many liberals, he doesn't understand the most basic notions of how free markets work.
On Steve Kornacki's MSNBC show today, Frank described business creators as being "given privileges." Barney then added this mind-boggler: "there's only a limited amount of space, there's only a limited amount of businesses. Your being there means somebody else wouldn't be."