In a fit of partisan pique, national Republican leaders like RNC chairman Reince Priebus are whipping up a "lynch mob" against Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl that threatens the soldier's right to due process.
That's the latest Obama-shielding spin hitting the airwaves on MSNBC courtesy of NationalMemo.com editor-in-chief Joe Conason, who made such a charge on the June 5 edition of The Reid Report towards the conclusion of a segment with host Joy Reid and Salon.com's Joan Walsh. The relevant transcript appears below the page break [Listen to MP3 audio here; Watch the video below the page break]:
It's the latest viral video burning up the Internet, the talk of watercooler conversation all over the country today: President Obama looking positively goofy strenuously working out with a set of dumbbells. [I'll pause to let you write your own punchline]
It was video too good to ignore for both ABC's World News and CBS's Evening News, while NBC Nightly News decided to take a pass. Of course, both networks worked in a relatively positive spin for the president, with ABC worrying about and subsequently dismissing the notion of the video being a "security breach" while CBS's Maurice DuBois hailed the president as an disciplined athlete who sleepily hit the gym while on a grueling overseas trip. [See the relevant transcripts below the page break; Listen to MP3 audio here; Video follows page break]
It's not scientific, of course, but a reader poll at the bottom of an MSNBC.com piece headlined "Is Bowe Bergdahl the GOP’s new Benghazi?" seems to indicate that not even fans of the Lean Forward network are falling for the network's absurd pro-Obama spin on the prisoner swap.
By a nearly 2-to-1 margin (65 percent), readers answered "no" to the poll question, "Do you support Obama’s decision to release 5 Taliban prisoners in exchange for Bergdahl?" You can see thescreen capture taken at 9:09 p.m. Eastern below the page break
On his June 3 Hardball program, MSNBC's Chris Matthews expressed his disapproval of the president having broken federal law in the process of securing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release in exchange for transferring five high-level Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Qatari government custody.
Of course, it took a liberal Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) complaining about the matter to register with Matthews as a problem for the president, but all the same, the Hardball host seemed angry that President Obama violated a law which he signed into effect. The relevant transcript appears below the page break [emphasis mine; Listen to the MP3 audio here or watch the video below the page break]:
In order to press through with the five-for-one POW exchange to return Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, "the White House overrode an existing interagency process charged with debating the transfer of Guantanamo Bay prisoners and dismissed long-standing Pentagon and intelligence community concerns based on Top Secret intelligence about the dangers of releasing" the five high-level Taliban detainees, Time magazine's Massimo Calabresi reported this afternoon at Time.com.
Indeed, "Obama’s move was an ultimate victory for those at the White House and the State Department who had previously argued the military should 'suck it up and salute,' says the official familiar with the debate," Calabresi reported. Appropriately, Time editors ripped that "suck it up and salute" line and made it the teaser headline on the Time.com front page [see screen capture below page break]. Aside from delving into the internal debate in the intelligence community and the administration over the release, Calabresi also reported how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was given a heads up, even as it seems everyone else in Congress on both sides of the aisle were kept in the dark [emphasis mine]:
President Obama's newly-announced EPA regulations on coal-fired electric plants are engendering opposition from red-state Democrats hoping to win crucial Senate elections this November. For her part, Senate Energy Committee Chairman Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who says she favors "reduc[ing] carbon in the atmosphere," criticized the president's end-run around the legislature. "Congress should set the terms, goals and timeframe" for the policy, she insisted in a statement quoted by The Hill newspaper.
But you'd know nothing about this if you only got your news from MSNBC's Hardball, where on his June 2 program, host Chris Matthews used the new EPA regs simply as an excuse to team up with two liberal guests -- Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Center for American Progress's Neera Tanden -- to blast Republicans as know-nothings on climate change who are motivated sheerly out of partisan animus in opposing the president's push for curbing carbon dioxide emissions. Matthews also worked in a swipe at the Left's favorite fraternal bogeymen, assailing the Koch brothers as moral monsters for "hurting the planet's health so they can have more money." [Listen to MP3 audio here; Watch video below page break]
NBC News's Luke Russert is a self-described former "addict to carbohydrates" who lost a lot of weight when he cut back heavily on added sugars in his diet. Now, apparently, he thinks his epiphany about junk food needs to take root all across the fruited plain.
"I now look at one of those supersize Cokes and a bag of chips like I would cigarettes, so that mindset needs to be all around America," Russert enthused on the June 2 MSNBC program The Cycle. The substitute co-host made the pronouncement as he thanked his guest Ellen Gustafson, a self-described "sustainable food system activist," for coming on the program to promote her book "We the Eaters: If We Change Dinner, We Can Change the World."[Listen to MP3 audio here; watch the video below]
We just had to pass this on for your amusement. Time magazine's Zeke Miller has a piece documenting House Democrats' overwrought, melodramatic fundraising emails. You can check them out here.
As you read through them, you realize these sort of emails are ripe for late-night comedy and maybe for snarky treatment on shows like Morning Joe or The Five. Of course, as Miller explains, this catastrophic sky-is-falling fundraising copy, well, it's actually working for the Democrats:
A group of prominent journalists -- including former Washington Post executive editor Len Downie -- met yesterday with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder but walked away from the meeting disappointed that the Obama administration's top cop won't amend vague Justice Department guidelines which, they argue, make it far too easy for the administration to hound a reporter with the threat of criminal prosecution for protecting his or her sources in a leak investigation.
Yet in covering the story, Post editors shoved Paul Farhi's reporting on the matter to the front page of Style, rather than the A-section, and slapped on a yawn-inducing headline guaranteed to entice only the wonkiest of readers: "Media group, Holder meet on leak cases." "U.S. rules on warrants and subpoenas targeting reporters are challenged," noted the subheader. According to Farhi, the group of journalists want to see DOJ policy amended so that the attorney general must personally get involved in a subpoena request for a journalist's records (emphasis mine):
Actor Seth Rogen and director/producer Judd Apatow are hitting back at a Washington Post film critic for strongly suggesting that the sort of movies churned out by the duo are partly to blame for Elliot Rodger's deadly killing spree on Friday. For his part, Apatow effectively blasted Ann Hornaday for, well, trolling.
The Washington Post's Jenna Johnson reported yet another black mark against Maryland's rollout of ObamaCare. It seems the "board that oversees Maryland's troubled health insurance marketplace repeatedly violated a state law that requires such groups to fully explain their reasons for meeting behind closed doors" according to a ruling issued Tuesday by the Maryland Open Meetings Compliance Board.
So it should be interesting to see the coverage, or lack thereof, for Mr. Aiken having tweeted a while back, "Anyone else watching @piersmorgan want to punch Ann Coulter in the face?" What's more, reports blogger Sooper Mexican, Aiken once all but urged fans to call Coulter a c**t.War on women, anyone?
The Washington Post's John Kelly rarely gets political in his Metro section columns, but when he does, they can be real doozies. So it's not all that surprising that Kelly found it irresistible to attack the late President Ronald Reagan in today's column in which he opposed a new bipartisan proposal by Missouri's U.S. senators Claire McCaskill (D) and Roy Blunt (R) to rename the federal city's iconic Union Station railway terminal as the Harry S. Truman Union Station.
"[T]here's the irony of naming an airport after the guy who broke the air traffic controller's union," Kelly huffed. "It's like renaming Atlanta 'Shermanville,'" he groused, nursing a 16-year-old grudge against Democratic President Clinton and a Republican Congress over a 1998 law which renamed Washington National Airport after the Gipper.
Facing a respectful if at times skeptical panel as he promoted his just-released book, One Nation, on ABC's The View today, world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson described his prescription for fixing health care in America, which revolves around market-oriented changes which empower consumers rather than bureaucrats.
Asked about his presidential aspirations, Carson made clear he doesn't desire to seek office and hoped a solidly conservative candidate would enter the race, but, failing that, "as a patriotic American, I certainly have to think about" running. Carson received a rousing round of applause from the audience after his brief appearance, which you can watch in its totality by clicking play on the video below the page break [h/t The Right Scoop]
At the end of a live radio interview earlier today on WMAL's Mornings on the Mall, Benghazi whistleblower attorney Joe diGenova was asked by co-host Brian Wilson to "help poor Chuck Todd out and maybe give him one question that you think has not been answered?"[listen to the full interview by clicking play on the embed below the page break; the relevant portion begins at 7:15 in]
DiGenova, obliged, rattling off a handful of questions [see transcript below page break] while noting occasions where administration officials lied, including in the Obama/Clinton State Department's Accountability Review Board (ARB), which, you may recall, failed to interrogate Mrs. Clinton. What's more, the former federal prosecutor promised the WMAL audience:
Much has been made in the liberal media about Michael Sam's NFL Draft party smooch with his boyfriend Vito Cammisano. And while there's little doubt about the emotion of the moment, it would be fair to say it was choreographed in no small part for the cameras, and not just those for news outlets.
Apparently well before the draft, Sam was working with Oprah Winfrey's producers on the filming of a reality TV program, and Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) cameras were present, naturally, for the phone call. Jessica Chasmar of the Washington Times has more:
"Feisty campus dissent is back. And it’s winning," exulted msnbc.com's Aliyah Frumin in her May 15 story, teased on the main page with the header, "Commencement speakers drop like flies." [see screen capture below page break]
"In the last few weeks alone, campaigns at three schools forced commencement speakers to pass up significant speaker fees rather than face angry campuses," Frumin noted, adding that "[t]he last-minute cancellations have proved embarrassing to school leaders" and conceding that in turn they "have raised concerns about free speech and exposure to opposing views in settings designed to foster free thought." Although Frumin did not thread the needle on this point, it's pretty clear from her reporting that it's left-wing pressure groups forcing speakers to drop out on the basis of liberal complaints, while left-leaning speakers seem to face little or no pressure to back down from a speaking gig and/or have the full-throated backing of the campus administration in the event conservatives would protest [emphasis mine]:
"Faith first, government second for GOP candidate," blares a teaser headline on MSNBC.com. They say that like it's a bad thing.
Of course, to MSNBC it is, when religious freedom objections stand opposed to ObamaCare, so MSNBC.com writer Morgan Whitaker sought to explain to Lean Forward partisans all the ways that Ben Sasse is supposedly a danger to civil society, including a ludicrous suggestion that his views could allow for establishment of Sharia law (excerpt below; emphasis mine):
Vozzella didn't get around to the objections of McAuliffe's critics until the ninth paragraph of her Tuesday, May 13 front-pager, "McAuliffe moves to lift clinic rules." What's more, she buried in the 23rd paragraph -- of a 30-paragraph story -- the fact that "McAuliffe, elected with help from abortion rights groups, [has] made no pretense of ignoring the litmus test [for his new appointees to the state Board of Health], stating flatly that his appointees reflected his views." What's more, it wasn't until paragraph 27 that Vozzella noticed that (emphasis mine):
Among other things, Cain talked about his political leanings -- socially liberal but conservative on foreign, military, and economic policies -- as well as his disagreements with the Obama administration. "A president's job is supposed to be to enforce our laws, which, it seems to have gone by the wayside at this point in time," Cain observed. After Bevan asked what Cain's biggest "gripe" was with the Obama administration, the actor replied [emphasis mine; watch video below page break]:
Smartphone makers like Apple are partially to blame for violent muggings and the murder of at least one teenage girl young woman. While not explicitly stated on air, that was the logical implication of a segment of today's NewsNation program on MSNBC, guest-anchored by Craig Melvin and featuring Daily Beast special correspondent Michael Daly.
"If you're walking around with a smartphone in your pocket, then you're walking bait for thieves in this country who last year zoned in on the smartphones like never before," Melvin noted as he opened the segment, adding:
So the New York Times has found an onerous, creativity-stifling regulation it abhors. Naturally, they want a carve-out so it still impacts everyone else but, well, journalists and the corporations which hire them.
Jack Nicas of the Wall Street Journal reported today that the New York Times Company is joining other journalistic enterprises like the Associated Press and Tribune Co. in "a joint brief in a high-profile legal case that is testing the FAA's legal authority to regulate drones":
"The nation’s largest veterans group called Monday for the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and two top administrators due over alleged issues with quality of care and cover-ups at some VA medical centers," staff writer Josh Hicks reported in the May 6 edition of the Washington Post. "His patriotism and sacrifice for this nation are above reproach....However, his record as head of the Department of Veterans Affairs tells a different story. It's a story of poor oversight and failed leadership," Hicks quoted the American Legion's National Commander Daniel Dellinger.
But alas, Post editors shoved the story to the very bottom of page A2. By contrast, however, Post editors saw fit to trumpet the outrage of local diehard Lady Gaga fans -- who call themselves Little Monsters -- at the prospect of a concert being canceled so that the Washington Wizards might host a playoff game against the Indiana Pacers (assuming the series gets to a game 6). Here's how Dan Steinberg opened that 19-paragraph page A1 story:
Claiming that the District of Columbia's ObamaCare exchange is just too darn small in size to pay for itself, Mayor Vince Gray (D) is proposing the city council "approve legislation granting the District's exchange board broad new power to tax any health-related insurance product sold in the city -- regardless of whether it's offered on the exchange," Washington Post staffer Aaron Davis reported this morning.
"If Gray and exchange officials get their way," Davis noted, a new "1 percent tax on more than $250 million in insurance premiums paid annually" by D.C. resident. Of course, Davis's story was buried on page four of the Metro section and slapped with a snoozer of a headline, "Council to vote on new tax power for health exchange,"* rather than something which would arrest the readers attention like say, "Mayor calls for new tax on health plans."
The USA Today-Pew Research Center poll conducted April 23-27, found strong frustration by respondents with President Obama and Democrats, with 65 percent of Americans "want[ing] the president elected in 2016 to pursue different policies and programs than the Obama administration." What's more, "registered voters are inclined to support the Republican candidate over the Democrat in their congressional district by 47%-43%. Yes, "[t]hat edge may seem small," Page and Breitman conceded, but (emphasis mine):
The liberal media all too often confuses temperamentally "low-key" red-state Democrats for moderates when their voting record is anything but.
The latest example comes today in Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold's 40-paragraph front-page profile for Sen. Mark Pryor, who is facing a tight reelection battle against the "sharply conservative" Tom Cotton. Pryor's "personality matches his politics: He is low-key and averse to big changes," Fahrenthold offered a few paragraphs after uncritically allowing Pryor to insist he's:
Attorneys for NBC News are feverishly working to get a judge to toss out a defamation lawsuit filed by George Zimmerman, claiming, oddly enough, that Mr. Zimmerman's prior work seeking to get justice for a homeless black man made him a "limited purpose" public figure. Nevermind that that's a side of Zimmerman's community involvement which the peacock network didn't really care to report as its skewed reporting suggested he was a racist.
The May-June edition of Politico magazine is out, complete with what it boasts is "the most comprehensive survey yet of [the] unique group of journalists" who comprise the White House press corps. The picture painted by the honest answers therein are not altogether flattering. For instance, we see just how much a self-congratulatory, conventional wisdom-spewing echo-chamber the group is with these two questions (see screen captures below the fold):
The supposed newspaper of record for the nation's capital did not find fit to print a story this morning on the newly-released White House Benghazi emails and the White House's fevered attempt to dismiss the story.