"Forgive my skepticism -- all right, I guess you can call it cynicism -- but the more I look at Obama's return, the more it strikes me as being a much more a political document than a financial document," Fortune magazine senior editor Allan Sloan noted in a column in today's Washington Post.
"Despite Obama having significant net worth, his return shows not a penny of tax-advantaged capital gains or dividend income" which stands in "striking contrast to the 2010 return and projected 2011 return of Mitt Romney," Sloan added. Yet while Sloan ostensibly is annoyed with the cynical class warfare gamesmanship of Obama's tax return, he spent most of his column blasting Mitt Romney for being tone-deaf to how liberal opponents (and by extension the liberal media) would scrutinize his finances:
April 15, Tax Day, fell on a Sunday this year. American taxpayers get a two-day reprieve on the deadline this year thanks to Monday being a public holiday in the District of Columbia. But all the same, it was the perfect occasion for the Washington Post's On Faith feature to give readers a liberal homily on taxes.
Liberal theologian Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite had the honors. "There’s nothing more hypocritical today than the kind of political gamesmanship we have about paying taxes," the former Chicago Theological Seminary president groused, explaining:
So it's no surprise that Mitchell joined forces with liberal Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus at the top of her program today to spin for Democratic activist and PR flak Hilary Rosen, who stepped in it earlier this week with her ill-advised attack on Ann Romney.
Using the Trayvon Martin tragedy as their hook, liberal lobby groups have set their sights on the conservative-leaning American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and its corporate donors, blaming the Sanford, Fla., shooting on the Sunshine State's Stand Your Ground law. ALEC supports conservative legislative efforts at the state level such as Stand Your Ground, as well as pro-business legislative priorities of interest to many food and drink companies.
But in reporting on recent victories by liberal groups in pushing companies like PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, and McDonalds to drop their support of ALEC, the Washington Post's Tom Hamburger failed to clue readers into the liberal allegiances of "advocacy groups" attacking ALEC and its corporate donors.
While most everyone in political circles has condemned Hilary Rosen's slam of Ann Romney, rank-and-file liberals on Twitter apparently haven't read the memo.
Twitchy has an excellent post documenting all the bile, complete with requisite leftist slams of Mrs. Romney as a c*nt, b*tch, and whore. As Michelle Malkin, no stranger to left-wing hate, tweeted, "Some are baptized by fire. On Twitter, outspoken conservative women are baptized by vile."
The presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of Anglo-American jurisprudence, so surely well-educated British citizen Martin Bashir knows better than to declare in his closing "Clear the Air" commentary on his April 11 MSNBC program that with charges pending against Sanford, Florida resident "George Zimmerman will have to justify his actions in a court of law." "From the very outset, virtually every aspect of this case has raised serious questions about Mr. Zimmerman's actions and the story that followed," Bashir added, before rattling off the as-yet-unproven but widely reported notion that Zimmerman continued to pursue Trayvon Martin on foot after the 911 dispatcher counseled him not to.
But wait, there's more, as Bashir used the opportunity to not only convict Zimmerman but virtually finger gun rights groups that have lobbied for Stand Your Ground laws as unindicted co-conspirators:
A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that 2/3rds of Americans want at least a part of the ObamaCare overhaul tossed by the Supreme Court when it decides HHS v. Florida in June. Thirty-eight percent of respondents in the poll want the entire law thrown out while 29 percent say just a part of it being thrown out would suffice.
Yet rather than lead with these numbers in their story today, Washington Post reporters Robert Barnes and Scott Clement chose a question from the April 5-8 poll that shows 50 percent of Americans think the Court "will rule on the health-care reform case mainly on the basis... of their partisan political views."
"Gas prices are soaring again in 2012, yet the auto industry is booming, and drivers, while annoyed, are mostly taking rising fuel costs in stride. What’s changed?" Time magazine's Brad Tuttle asked in an April 10 TIME Moneyland blog post. Tuttle offered numerous explanations but failed to consider the media's coverage as one explanation for why Americans seem to not be seething angry about high gas prices.
As our colleague Julia Seymour of the Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute noted earlier this month (emphasis mine):
As the Academy Award-nominated actor's Twitter feed shows, he has no use for liberal media outlets distorting the news through selective editing. Cheadle isn't buying NBC's lame excuses and half apologies for its edits of the Zimmerman 911 call, as the folks at Twitchy have noted, documenting Cheadle's tweets on the matter.
Liberal pundits, journalists, and yes, the president of the United States seem to be in a full-blown panic about the prospects of ObamaCare going down in flames when the Supreme Court rules on HHS v. Florida in two months. Doing so would be the sort of judicial activism that conservatives decry, President Obama complained ludicrously earlier this week.
But have no fear, liberals, for law professor and Daily Beast/Newsweek contributor David R. Dow -- who previously wrote a book defending judicial activism -- has your solution. The Yale-educated lawyer suggests that President Obama's congressional defenders could try something last attempted in 1805: the politically-motivated impeachment of a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Here's how Dow opened his April 3 Daily Beast post:
It doesn't take a special occasion or a holiday on the Christian calendar for Washington Post's On Faith feature to pound the pulpit for liberal political positions, but it certainly doesn't hurt. Take for instance how regular On Faith contributor and liberal theologian Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite used her April 1 blog post as the occasion to insist this Holy Week that Christians everywhere should put away their guns.
Brooks Thistlethwaite is no stranger to using holy writ to preach liberal political views --as our archive on her writings illustrates -- and she returned to the well once again to twist Scripture to service her political agenda:
The Society of Professional Journalists's lifetime achievement award that was named in her honor has been "retired" but Helen "Thank God for Hezbollah" Thomas can console herself with her latest trophy: high praise from the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
"President Obama used conservative arguments against judicial activism to urge justices to uphold the law," a teaser headline on the bottom of today's Washington Post front page notes, directing readers to page A4 for the story by staffer David Nakamura.
Nakamura dutifully opened his story noting that Obama said in a Rose Garden press conference yesterday that if the Court overturns ObamaCare in the HHS v. Florida case, that it would "amount to an 'unprecedented, extraordinary step' of judicial activism." Yet nowhere in the 18-paragraph story did Nakamura lay out exactly how Obama's argument was conservative in nature nor did he cite a single conservative constitutional or legal expert to agree with Obama.
As Politico's Dylan Byers reported on March 22, MSNBC insists that its programming from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern is straight news, rather than "point-of-view" programming. Clearly Alex Wagner of the 12 p.m. Eastern Now with Alex Wagner program hasn't gotten the memo.
Take today's program, for example, where Wagner mischaracterized a bill working through the U.S. House aimed at curtailing the interstate transportation of minors for the purpose of evading a state's parental consent/notification laws on abortion.
Spike Lee erroneously tweeting the address of an unrelated elderly couple, rather than George Zimmerman, was a "mean, boneheaded, thoughtless and harmful thing to do." But alas, he's shown, and tweeted contrition, Washington Post's Erik Wemple blogged approvingly yesterday. Heck, Lee even "repeated the apology in a phone call, a conversation that left the couple feeling better about the ordeal," Wemple gushed in his 8-paragraph March 30 blog post, "Spike Lee apologizes, atones for screwup."
Yet in the midst of effusively praising Lee for his apology and financial settlement with the McClains, he failed to consider what, if any, apology Lee was willing to extend to Zimmerman and his family for wishing to set him in harm's way. Isn't Lee's apology simply self-serving as it was extended to a party he never intended to harm in the first place?
"Current TV said Friday afternoon that it had terminated the contract of its lead anchor, Keith Olbermann, scarcely a year after he was hired to reboot the fledgling channel in his progressive political image. Current indicated that he had failed to honor the terms of his five-year, $50 million contract, giving the channel the right to terminate it," New York Times's Brian Stelter reported this afternoon. For his part, Olbermann trash-tweeted Al Gore and the suits at Current on the way out the door, no doubt in an inspired manner kinda like this.
Let us have a brief moment of silence, followed by hours of exultation. Leave your comments below. Here's a topic starter, borrowed from a Twitter hashtag game (#nextjobforkeith), what will Olbermann's next job be?
Openly gay MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts wore his bias on his sleeve on Wednesday during a segment in which a conservative guest, Maggie Gallagher, failed to show up to defend the National Organization for Marriage in a segment entitled "Anti-Equality Agenda Exposed." "Documents expose ugly anti-LGBT marriage plot," blared the on-screen graphic. Roberts groused about Gallagher's no-show, showing viewers her empty chair in the Seattle studio. "As you can see, she is missing in action, although we did confirm an hour ago that she was supposed to be in that studio. I would say, 'Hi, Maggie,' but you're not there," Roberts snarked.
Closing that interview, Roberts again showed the empty chair and complained that "Maggie Gallagher... decided not to show up for this interview." But today, in a debate segment on the same issue, Roberts informed us, Gallagher's no-show was a simple booking error. Roberts acknowledged the mix-up but failed to stipulate it was MSNBC's error, not Gallagher's. What's more, Roberts failed to apologize for trying to shame Gallagher two days earlier on the presumption that it was she who backed out. [MP3 audio here; video embedded below page break]
In the aftermath of the Gabby Giffords shooting, the liberal media were quick to harangue conservative Republicans for a campaign website that had depicted tiny images of crosshairs on different points of the continental U.S.. They represented targeted districts in the 2010 midterm race, including Rep. Giffords' seat.
But now in light of the ongoing coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting, there's a different infamous set of crosshairs, this one over a picture of George Zimmerman, the Sanford, Florida man who claims to have killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense last month. That image is the avatar for a Twitter profile established on March 24 with the handle @KillZimmerman. Despite conservative bloggers and Twitter users' complaints, as of press time the Twitter handle is still live. What's more, the liberal media have thus far been strangely silent on the matter.
On today's edition of MSNBC's Now with Alex Wagner, ObamaCare apologist and Rahm Emanuel sibling Zeke Emanuel insisted that the lack of a "severability clause" in the health care overhaul legislation was simply an "oversight, not an intention." Neither host Alex Wagner nor any panelist interjected to correct the record.
In fact, severability was not inserted into the ObamaCare legislation as part of a legislative strategy by the Democrats who shepherded it through Congress. Boston Globe's Noah Bierman explained as much in the March 29 paper (emphases mine):
With the two-year anniversary of the law's signing and this week's marathon set of hearings before the Supreme Court about ObamaCare, it's a good time to examine just another area where the media have failed to report on a little-reported liberty-infringing aspect of the health care overhaul.
No, I'm not talking about not the individual mandate. I'm talking about a provision that forbids the formation of new physician-owned hospitals (POHs) and severely restricts the expansion of existing ones.
Just when you thought Occupy D.C. was dead and gone and, with it, the Washington Post's gauzy coverage, the paper has resurrected it's puffery of the leftist movement just in time for Easter.
This time, the Post fondly remembered the left-wing squatters' camp by awarding its sixth annual Easter Peeps Diorama Contest to Cori E. Wright of Falls Church, Va., for her "OccuPeep D.C." display. Wright, a decorative painter who works for the Architect of the Capitol told the Post that she "[doesn't] necessarily agree with the occupiers, but I agree with the right to occupy." [see photo of diorama below page break]
A few days ago, left-wing director Spike Lee, who has 248,000+ followers on Twitter, retweeted an item bearing what was supposed to be the address of George Zimmerman, the man who claims to have shot Miami teen Trayvon Martin in self defense a month ago in Sanford, Florida. But the address was incorrect and the occupants of the residence are an elderly couple who bear no relation to Zimmerman. As a result of Lee's retweet, they've received hate mail and, fearing for their safety, have fled their home.
Yet when it came her turn to report the development today, MSNBC's Chris Jansing did her level best to spin the news in such a way as to absolve Lee -- who directed some of the network's Lean Forward promo spots -- of any culpability for putting the couple in jeopardy. Here's the relevant transcript. Video follows the page break (MP3 audio here):
Update/correction (30 March 2012, 16:12 p.m. EDT): Brewer is no longer employed with MSNBC. I was going off of outdated information on her Facebook fan page. The post below is corrected accordingly.
"A compelling, alarming case against the GOP and its 'War on Women.' Lest you think it can't happen here, just ask Iranian women how conservative, religious fanatics ripped their rights away." [see screen capture below page break; h/t @mattjmobile]
It was as predictable as the sun rising in the east, but today the Washington Post defended as constitutional ObamaCare's individual mandate. The mandate is defended by the administration as being legitimate under the Constitution's commerce clause, a defense the Post editorial board agreed with while conceding that the arguments against the mandate are "serious."
To justify the individual mandate via the commerce clause would fundamentally obliterate any limit on the federal power to regulate, but that doesn't seem to bother the Post in light of the government's "compelling goals of universal coverage and lower costs." But believe it or not, in the past the Post has hailed Court cases that drew limits on the commerce clause, even and especially when the political goals of the legislation invalidated was laudable. Indeed, after the 1995 case U.S. v. Lopez, which struck down a federal penalty on carrying guns near public schools, the Post cautioned Congress that "in the future, [it] will have to demonstrate some modesty in assessing the elasticity of federal power."
Taking the Constitution's limits on federal power seriously is just, well, backwards to liberal journalists. Take Ari Melber of The Nation. Sitting on the panel on the March 26 edition of Now with Alex Wagner, the MSNBC contributor dismissed as "retrograde" the notion that the ObamaCare individual mandate -- the provision forcing Americans to buy private health insurance or else pay a fine to the federal government -- violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Melber, a former John Kerry presidential campaign staffer, made the remark in the midst of comments wherein he suggested the Obama administration could see a stunning victory before the high court, despite the conservative nature of the tribunal:
On Tuesday, Alicia Powe of NewsBusters' sister site MRCTV.org asked Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) about her having described Republican efforts in various states for voter ID laws as "Jim Crow"-like measures. Schultz, who frequently appears on cable news networks in her capacity as Democratic National Committee chairwoman denied that.
But alas, video never lies and we have proof that, well, Ms. Wasserman Schultz is, having told TVOne's Roland Martin back in June 2011 that Republicans want to "literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws." A very charitable explanation is that it's possible Rep. Wasserman Schultz just has a spotty memory. At any rate, you can watch the video in the embed below and judge for yourself:
CBS's Mark Knoller reported Monday evening at CBSNews.com that "The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama's three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency." "The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office," the veteran White House correspondent noted.
But for all their professed obsession with all things inside the Beltway, Politico failed has so far failed to cover the story (h/t email tipster James Harper). Searches of the Politico website for "national debt" or "Bureau of Public Debt" between March 19 and today yield no hits. By contrast, when then-President-elect Obama was gearing up to take office, Politico was certain to skewer Bush for leaving him a massive national debt.
"As President Obama and his allies gear up to defend the landmark healthcare law he signed two years ago, they confront an unforgiving math problem: Just a tiny fraction of Americans has experienced a major benefit from the law," Times Washington bureau correspondent Noam Nevey lamented, adding:
Jeff Burnside of Miami NBC affiliate WTVJ has a brief story accessible on MSNBC.com in which a fellow neighborhood watch volunteer defended George Zimmerman, who claims to have shot teenager Trayvon Martin in self-defense late last month. While the MSNBC network has been keenly following the Martin shooting -- Politics Nation anchor Al Sharpton is even planning to host a protest rally tomorrow at a Baptist church in Sanford, Florida -- it appears the network has not yet aired Burnside's minute-and-a-half long story this morning. [see video after page break]
Burnside's report focused on the perspective of one Frank Taaffe, a neighbor and friend of George Zimmerman's. Taaffe noted that there had been eight burglaries in 15 months, most committed by young African-American males.
Today Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Republicans unveiled a budget and tax reform plan. But for Center for American Progress alumna Alex Wagner, it was Christmas morning, with the Ryan budget as a handy cudgel with which Democrats and MSNBC could bludgeon politically hapless Republicans.
"[S]ome Democrats are calling it Christmas in March," MSNBC anchor Wagner quipped on her March 20 Now program as she presented a quick overview of the "nuts and bolts" of the plan such as "repealing the Affordable Care Act," simplifying the federal individual income tax down to two brackets, 10 and 25 percent, and reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent.