As you may be well aware, MSNBC did not air Democrat-turned-Republican Artur Davis's speech last night. Shortly before 10 p.m. Eastern, anchor Rachel Maddow seemed to offer the network's rationale: Davis was a low-profile Democrat who is just bitter because he was "absolutely destroyed" in his primary race for Alabama governor in 2010.
Yet in the very next breath, Maddow seemed positively giddy that the Democrats had landed former Gov. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) to speak at their convention next week. There was no mention that he too was being so thoroughly and "absolutely destroyed" by Marco Rubio in the primary election polls in 2010 that he dropped out of the GOP primary in order to run as an independent. He of course, subsequently lost to Rubio in the general election by 19 percentage points. [MP3 audio here; video embedded below page break]
Most Americans don't watch the coverage of party nominating conventions, and everyone in the media knows it. So as a public service, "NBC Politics team has curated some of the notable speeches from the first night of the Republican National Convention in Tampa," according to a late night August 28 post on NBCNews.com website.
While NBC has the resources to embed videos of EVERY speech from last night, it decided to judge which ones were "notable." Wouldn't you know it, the speech of Artur Davis -- the former Democratic congressman from Alabama who seconded Barack Obama's nomination for the presidency at the Democratic convention in 2008 -- was not included in the list.
Noting that President Obama is not taking a break from campaigning, despite Hurricane Isaac's imminent landfall, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace noted this morning that the media should "stop all this nonsense about whether or not the Republicans should hold their convention tonight."
President Obama "isn't canceling his campaign. He's continuing to politick, because, guess what, what he's doing has no effect, good or bad, on what's going to happen to those folks along the Gulf Coast," Wallace told America's Newsroom host Martha McCallum. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
Update 22:47 Eastern: Reeve doubles down on his assertion in a piece entitled "Why We Think John Boehner Is Hoping for Low Minority Voter Turnout" | A comment by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that many blacks and Hispanic voters that are traditionally in the Democratic column will not show up to vote for President Obama's reelection because of his poor handling of the economy is being twisted by the Atlantic to suggest that Boehner cynically "hopes" for a depressed turnout by minorities.
"Boehner Says Out Loud He Hopes Blacks and Latinos 'Won't Show Up' This Election," blares the headline for the August 27 story by Elspeth Reeve at TheAtlanticWire.com. Reeve himself got his information from another liberal site:
Appearing on a Now with Alex Wagner segment on voter ID laws today, The Nation magazine's Ari Berman insisted that the push for voter ID laws has been an incredibly recent phenomenon that is most certainly an anti-Obama, anti-Democrat push.
The problem, of course, is that it's simply not true, especially since a baker's dozen of states passed new ID laws prior to the rise of the Tea Party Republicans in state legislatures in the 2010 elections
This should of course be troubling news for any incumbent president, but since that happens to a be liberal Democrat, the media are not making much of it. Indeed, the broadcast networks have completely ignored the story, as a search of our DVR recordings and of the Nexis database confirm.
The Washington Post editorial board today set out to slam Florida's Republican governor for "threaten[ing] the integrity of elections" with his voter "purge" effort and for enforcing the state's new curtailed early-voting hours.
But in their editorial on the matter, the Post misled readers with deceptive language about how the state undertook its voter roll cleanup effort (emphasis mine):
Yesterday a "report by Sentier Research, a firm headed by two former Census Bureau officials," found that "[f]rom June 2009 to June 2012, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 4.8 percent," Michael A. Fletcher of the Washington Post reported today. What's more, the fall in median household income was much worse for blacks, "a staggering 11.1 percent drop." June 2009, you may recall, marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007.
Yet such news was shoved down to page A10 by Post editors, rather than placed on the paper's August 23 front page, which included, among other things, a large photo of a woman working on a large sand sculpture at a resort in Florida, a story about Mitt Romney's campaign 'Mad Men,' and a story about how Lance Armstrong "won't fight doping charges" anymore.
"Democrats aim to be inclusive," blurts the headline in Amy Gardner's 5-paragraph item on how the Democratic convention "will feature a long list of female speakers and a slew of activities designed to make it the most inclusive convention in history, organizers announced Wednesday."
Gardner went on to note that Sandra Fluke and "women from many other walks of life" will take to the podium, such as NARAL Pro-Choice America president Nancy Keenan, Caroline Kennedy, and actress Eva Longoria. Gardner left out that Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood was also announced as a speaker, and that Keenan served on this year's platform drafting committee, which shot down an effort by Democrats for Life of America to add "big tent" language to the platform. Somehow a handful of pro-choice speakers addressing contraception and abortion is diversity to the Washington Post.
"A grand jury indicted Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28, of Herndon, Va., on a federal charge of interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition, and two District of Columbia offenses: assault with intent to kill while armed and possession of a handgun during a crime of violence," reported CBS News and the Associated Press yesterday shortly after 5 p.m. Eastern. CBSNews.com carried the story in the "daily blotter" section of its Crimesider feature. "Corkins' parents told investigators that he was a supporter of gay rights, and he said he didn't agree with the FRC's politics before the shooting, according to the documents," the article added.
Yet last night's CBS Evening News completely ignored the story, as did ABC's World News and NBC's Nightly News. The August 23 editions of those networks' morning shows also ignored the story. A search of our DVR recordings also found no mention of the indictment on the ultra-liberal, fervently pro-gay rights MSNBC network. John Berman of CNN's Starting Point did briefly touch on the story in the 7:00 a.m. news brief:
"A number of local chapters of the National Organization for Women are denouncing the DNC convention rules, saying that they unfairly exclude mothers with young children," Byron Tau of Politico reported on Monday morning, going on to quote feminist icon Gloria Steinem as complaining that "Women are the key to a Democratic victory, and sometimes, children are the key to women. It's both right and smart for the Democratic Convention to behave as if children exist."
Given their penchant for frequently featuring Politico reporters and for hyping the so-called war on women, it would be reasonable for MSNBC to pick up on the story. But alas, they have not, even though National Organization for Women president Terry O'Neill appeared on the Monday edition of the Ed Show and on today's MSNBC Live hosted by Thomas Roberts to discuss the Akin controversy.
"GOP rejects rape exception in platform," blared a Politico headline yesterday. "Even as Mitt Romney sought to quash the furor surrounding Todd Akin’s 'legitimate' rape comments, the Republican platform committee here approved an abortion plank that includes no exemptions for rape, incest or even to save the life of the mother," James Hohmann noted in the lead paragraph of his August 21 story.
"On Tuesday, not one of the 100-plus members on the GOP platform committee introduced amendments. They kept the identical language from 2004 and 2008," Hohmann groused, comporting to the media's quadrennial fixation on how the GOP is supposedly too extremely pro-life. By contrast, as I noted yesterday, the 15-person Democratic platform committee -- one member of which is NARAL Pro-Choice America's president -- earlier this month stubbornly refused to mildly soften their party's stringent pro-choice abortion plank. Politico, of course, failed to cover that controversy.
Every four years, without fail, the liberal media wring their hands over the influence of pro-lifers on the GOP platform, suggesting that the party is too "extreme" in its position on abortion and hence out of step with middle-of-the-road voters. Of course, the same concern is not expressed regarding the Democrats' position on the same issue being too out-of-step with most Americans.
This year, the row over Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin's comments on rape and abortion are being seized upon as a springboard to attack the party. Witness MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts on today's MSNBC Live.
Although the Obama/Biden campaign has plenty of gaffes and erroneous statements to answer for from the past five-and-a-half months -- the last presidential press conference was March 6 -- Associated Press White House correspondent Jeff Kuhnhenn opted to toss a softball to President Obama today as he was selected by the president to ask the first question at the chief executive's impromptu session with reporters in the White House press briefing room.
"You are no doubt aware of the comments that Missouri Senate candidate, Republican Todd Akin made on rape and abortion. I wondered if you think those views represent the views of the Republican party in general. They have been denounced by your own rival and other Republicans. Are they an outlier or representative?" Kuhnhenn asked, having obviously answered his own question. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
As part of her hour-long August 20 special edition of Now about to "women's issues," MSNBC's Alex Wagner devoted a 10-minute-long segment to the so-called pay gap -- women earning on average 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. Wagner's guests, Salon's Joan Walsh, Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Lilly Ledbetter predictably did their parts to help Wagner sell the pay gap issue as one with Republicans in the dark ages and Democrats as the white knights. "Why are Senate Republicans still fighting legislation to account for that gap and to make pay equal," Wagner asked Warren at the start of the segment.
But alas, the so-called pay gap is a "a solid statistic" that has been "described incorrectly" in anti-Republican attack ads, Politifact noted back in June (emphasis mine):
A Washington Post poll published on Monday shows that 74 percent of Americans favor requiring photo ID to vote. Significant majorities of African-Americans and the elderly -- two groups liberals claim are likely to be "disenfranchised" by such requirements -- support a photo ID requirement.
But as Mediaite editor Noah Rothman noted yesterday, in the 19 segments on voter ID that the liberal MSNBC cable news network aired on the issue between Monday morning and Thursday evening, none of them noted the results of the poll (my emphasis added):
Generally when a broadcast journalist interviews an activist about a hot-button political issue, it's customary and in accord with sound journalistic practice to interview someone from the other side of the issue for balance. Except, of course, if you work for MSNBC, which has essentially become DNC-TV.
On the August 17 MSNBC Live program, news anchor Thomas Roberts interviewed his fellow MSNBC colleague Al Sharpton, who openly and shamelessly continues to work as an activist on issues that his program reports on. Roberts failed to ask tough questions of Sharpton, nor did he bring on a defender of voter ID laws. What's more, although Sharpton is portraying the voter ID issue as one with strong racial dimensions, Roberts failed to note a recent poll that shows nearly 2/3rds of non-white voters support photo ID requirements to vote.
As we at NewsBusters have documented repeatedly, MSNBC has done its level best to hype voter ID laws as a "voter suppression" attempt by the GOP to "disenfranchise" voters who traditionally fall into the Democratic column. Today's MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts was no exception.
Roberts informed viewers of ruling by a judge on the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court yesterday -- read the PDF of it here -- that refused to grant a temporary injunction to block the state's new photo ID law. To discuss the ruling and the decision by opponents of the law to appeal, Roberts interviewed Penda Hair of the liberal Advancement Project, a group opposed to new voter ID laws. However, Roberts both failed to bring on anyone who would defend the law nor did he press Hair with any tough questions. Additionally, Roberts let Hair get away with a misleading argument about early voting in the neighboring state of Ohio.
Shortly before 11 a.m. this morning, 28-year-old Floyd Corkins opened fire on a security guard at the conservative Family Research Center, located in downtown Washington, D.C. Local news stations, including NBC's Washington station, devoted resources to cover the developing story, as did CNN and Fox News, which regularly updated viewers with progress in the investigation.
But MSNBC devoted a scant 17 seconds to the story, in a news brief at 2:51 p.m. Eastern by News Nation substitute anchor Jose Diaz-Balart, and ignored noting that it may well be classified as an incident of domestic terrorism [MP3 audio here; video contrasting coverage follows page break]:
Jesus Christ would favor a tax rate as little as 50 percent and as high as 100 percent. So really, President Obama's preferred tax rates are a bargain. That's one of the big "idea" of Erika Christakis's August 14 Time magazine Ideas blog post, "Is Paul Ryan's Budget 'Un-Christian'?"
Christakis has a master's in education but apparently hasn't a clue about exegeting Scripture, nor does she seem to care. Jesus is just a convenient figure to use to make a flawed political talking point:
Rep. Paul Ryan's 100 percent rating by the pro-life National Right to Life Committee and his support of the "Protect Life Act" are evidence of the Wisconsin Republican's extremism on abortion and as such, should hurt the appeal of the Romney/Ryan ticket with women voters, MSNBC's Alex Wagner argued on the August 14 edition of her noon Eastern Now with Alex Wagner program.
Of course the 100 percent pro-choice record that Barack Obama has with NARAL Pro-Choice America might strike centrist voters as equally "extreme," but Wagner failed to note Obama has never deviated from the NARAL line. What's more, as a state senator, Barack Obama voted AGAINST an Illinois state version of the "Born-Alive Act" which was designed to punish abortionists who kill babies who were born before the abortion procedure was finished in utero. Nothing says pro-abortion extremist like voting against a bill to penalize infanticide, especially considering that a federal version of the bill passed the U.S. Congress in 2002 without any votes in the negative. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
"Since when does serving up junk food give someone a license to preach?" carped Petula Dvorak as she opened her August 14 piece, "Now featuring filet o' fracas."* Gee, I dunno, Petula, maybe 1791, when the First Amendment -- you know, that pesky little document that guarantees freedom of speech and religion among other things -- was ratified.
"We've got the Papa John's pizza guys weighing in on the health-care debate, while the burger slingers out West at In-N-Out can't serve up a cheeseburger without a Bible verse," Dvorak carped. Later in her Metro section column, she essentially compared the pizza chain to drug-running terrorists.
While USA Today and other liberal media outlets today were spinning the snap Gallup poll about Mitt Romney's pick of Paul Ryan in a negative light, data within the poll itself show that Ryan fared better with Republicans than Biden did with Democrats in 2008 in a similar snap Gallup poll in August 2008 just after Obama's announcement of his running mate.
A new reality TV show featuring C-list celebrities doing military training exercises to compete for charity was denounced as "empty jingoism" and a modern-day spin on "[a]dding a celebrity quotient to the military-industrial complex," kind of like when Bob Hope entertained the troops during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
That's pretty much the reaction of Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever to the new "Stars Earn Stripes" program, which debuts tonight at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC. "It also feels about five years too late, in both its reality-TV tropes and its message of pride," Stuever huffs. "It harks back to the 'Mission Accomplished!' era of attacks and setbacks in the Middle East":
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will be problematic for Romney as his running mate because "he's been one of the major conductors of the train in Washington, D.C.," Thomas Roberts insisted in an interview on Monday with Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer. The MSNBC anchor also falsely charged that "the polls show that Republicans in Washington are far less popular than the Democrats" and used that assertion to wonder "how does he discount his own record" and appeal to "independents especially, who are just getting tuned into the election."
But as Real Clear Politics notes, congressional Republicans presently have a 0.6 percentage point advantage in its average of polls on generic congressional party approval. What's more, the most recent poll in the average shows the GOP with a two percentage point advantage. The last time Democrats had an advantage in the polling was early July, a 3-point edge in the Quinnipiac poll, but even so, that was still a 43-40 split, hardly evidence that congressional Republicans are "far less popular."
Former ABC News reporter Carole Simpson --who in 2008 insisted Hillary Clinton was the best candidate for president because of her gender -- is hoping that the women of America will rise up and demand that the presidential debate commission make a female journalist the moderator of at least one of the forthcoming presidential debates.
In a telephone interview with Politico, Simpson made perfectly clear her reasons, all but saying that the media-imagined "war on women" has something to do with it, making claims about Romney's positions on the issues that are woefully inaccurate:
A small business owner in a crucial swing state has found herself losing business from loyal customers due to her ad being featured in a Mitt Romney campaign ad. It seems her customers believe she is a Romney backer, but in fact she prefers to keep politics out of her business. And so this business owner demanded that the Romney camp either pull the ad or blur her deli's name from the frames that it's in. The campaign, she says, ignored her pleas.
You didn't hear about that story? Well, you certainly would if it actually happened, but, you see, this is the case of deli owner Debra Krause-McDonnell whose complaint is with President Obama's reelection campaign, reported Jane Prendergast in today's Cincinnati Enquirer:
He's compared Chick-fil-A to apartheid-era South Africa, News Corps chief Rupert Murdoch to an Arab dictator, and called Christianity a death cult. So naturally Time magazine humor writer Joel Stein is the perfect person to appoint himself write a "tongue-in-cheek" Democratic Party platform heavy on snark and equally heavy on hard-left positions on fiscal and social issues. Just as well, I suppose, as left-wing screenwriter Aaron Sorkin is too busy dreaming up fictional biased newscasting that embodies his dream of an even bolder, more transparently liberal media.
Stein noted that he "enlisted the help of Elaine Kamarck, a public policy lecturer at Harvard and former platform author," adding that her take on his seven-page draft was that he "mostly... [has] the tone right" although the actual platform wound doubtless be "a bit drier."
You will probably be able to count on one hand the number of times the liberal media will wring their hands this campaign season about the national Democratic Party being beholden to the abortion lobby. To her credit, Melinda Henneberger of the Washington Post will be one of those reporters.
In her page August 8 "She the People" feature on page A2, "Democrats' Big Tent is a cold place for antiabortion advocates," the Post columnist lamented that while a Gallup poll shows a significant plurality of Democrats -- 44 percent -- "said abortion should only be legal 'in a few circumstances,'" that chances are incredibly slim that the party will alter its platform plank on abortion to soften its absolutist stand.