Halfway through the Wednesday edition of her eponymous program this evening, CNN's Erin Burnett turned to her colleague Joe Johns for breaking news regarding a fresh development in the IRS scandal: email evidence suggesting Lois Lerner may have pushed for an audit of Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley.
Immediately afterwards, in a panel discussion, CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin endorsed calls coming from Republicans for a special prosecutor to look into the IRS scandal.
Today a unanimous Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, ruled that police may not search the contents of an arrested individual's cell phone without first obtaining a warrant. While all three broadcast networks reported on the Riley v. California decision in their June 25 evening newscasts, only CBS's Janet Crawford directly referred to the "Obama administration" as having "argued cell phone searches were like a search of a suspect's wallet, briefcase, or coat, which don't require a warrant."
ABC's Terry Moran skirted around a reference to the Obama administration, saying simply that "the government" made the argument that searching a cell phone was akin to searching a wallet. NBC's Pete Williams likewise failed to describe the Obama administration's involvement in the case, to which it was not a party, but in which it took great interest.
By contrast, the competition over at CNN on Erin Burnett OutFront featured a panel discussion in which the participants made light of Mr. Clinton's defense of his consort and forecast that Bill Clinton might end up being a net negative for his wife on the campaign trail, as he was in the 2008 primaries. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
"Why do people want to be fooled?!" Matthews groused moments earlier to his guests Nia-Malika Henderson of the Washington Post and Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post. "Why do the people want to be victims of fraud?" he added, seemingly hurt that Mrs. Clinton is facing scrutiny -- particularly within her party -- over her wealth and connections. "Why don't we accept them as they are, and stop making them like us?" Yes, this is the same Matthews who gleefully skewered Mitt Romney in 2012 after the leak of a video from an exclusive private fundraiser where Romney made the now-infamous 47 percent remark. As my colleague Scott Whitlock noted on September 18, 2012, Matthews gleefully opened his program that day trashing Romney's elitism (emphasis mine; listen to MP3 audio; videos follow page break):
Josh Rogin of The Daily Beast has an arresting exclusive today: an interview with the woman whose rapist Hillary Clinton successfully defended as a criminal defense attorney in the mid 1970s. "In a long, emotional interview with The Daily Beast, she accused Clinton of intentionally lying about her in court documents, going to extraordinary lengths to discredit evidence of the rape, and later callously acknowledging and laughing about her attackers' guilt on the recordings," Rogin noted. "Hillary Clinton took me through Hell," the woman, who was 12 years old when she was sexually assaulted, told the Daily Beast. To read the full story, click here.
As we have noted, the liberal media thus far have largely ignored recent reporting by the Washington Free Beacon's Alana Goodman, who unearthed the audiotapes in question and which have resulted in a University of Arkansas official -- who is, by the way, a Clinton donor -- banning Free Beacon employees from accessing more materials at the library's Clinton archives.
The Washington Post has assigned reporter Jenna Portnoy to follow Republican nominee David Brat's campaign for the U.S. House seat for the 7th District of Virginia. In Portnoy's latest story, published in Friday's paper on page B4, the staff writer slammed Brat for having "largely ducked media exposure since his [primary] win," noting that after a brief press statement on Thursday which lasted eight minutes, he "retreated inside" his campaign headquarters, "ignoring questions shouted by reporters." A few days earlier, Portnoy insisted that an unprepared Brat had "stumbled" during a phone interview with MSNBC's Chuck Todd
Of course, as Politico's Sarah Wheaton has noted, Brat's Democratic opponent, fellow Randolph-Macon College professor Jack Trammell, "offered few policy specifics during his first public appearance as a candidate on Saturday." Last Friday, Wheaton reported that "Trammell has declined multiple interview requests" and that "[l]ike Brat, who virtually no one thought had a shot at toppling Cantor, he’s gone into something of a lockdown." Yet a search for "Jack Trammel" on the Washington Post website reveals no such critical reporting about the Democrat's unwillingness to have free-wheeling interactions with reporters. What's more, Trammel received fawning coverage in, of all places, a June 16 Style blog entry by book reviewer Ron Charles. The topic was Trammel's yet-unfinished vampire novel (excerpt below, emphasis mine):
Anti-American commandos from Iran are already helping the Iraqi military by doing the sort of logistical coordination that President Obama promised from the U.S. Army today, NBC's Richard Engel noted in a June 19 Nightly News report from Baghdad. "The image I've had in my head all day, Brian, is of this driver's ed car with two steering wheels, with one with the U.S. Army now about 300 people on one steering wheel and the Iranian Quds Force-- which is often hostile to the United States at the other wheel -- and I'm not sure that Iran and the U.S. have any intention of driving this car in the same direction," the network's chief foreign affairs correspondent told viewers at home.
"Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s crashed hard drive has been recycled, making it likely the lost emails of the lightning rod in the tea party targeting controversy will never be found, according to multiple sources," Politico's Rachael Bade reported Wednesday evening.
Although the revelation has congressional Republicans understandably furious and at least one prominent IT expert trashing the IRS's digital documents-retention policy as "mind-boggling", the Big Three broadcast networks all ignored the latest developments in the IRS saga on their Thursday evening newscasts, even as they had time for Harrison Ford's broken leg (NBC), a new technology for police car chases (ABC), and comedian Tracy Morgan's car accident (CBS).
But now it seems a friend of the Clintons has taken it upon herself to ban Goodman and other Free Beacon employees, using "intellectual property" considerations as the legal pretext for what obviously is a rather impolitic maneuver. From Goodman's June 19 Free Beacon story on the ban (emphasis mine; you can read the full story here):
MSNBC's Chris Matthews put his pro-Hillary puffery on the back-burner this evening to lead off Hardball with a screed against his favorite archnemesis Dick "it's pronounced CHEE-knee, by the way" Cheney.
Chris failed to disappoint with his loopy, nonsensical rant against the former vice president, at one point comparing him to a pitch man for the website Diedinhouse.com. Matthews even inspired a little nuttiness in the Huffington Post Media Group editorial director Howard Fineman, who insisted Cheney's hat-wearing was devised by the former vice president as a subtle sartorial dig at Obama's manliness or lack thereof. You cannot make this stuff up (LISTEN to the MP3 audio here; WATCH the video clip below the page break):
Fifty-four percent of respondents in a brand new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll believe that President Obama "can't lead, get the job done," contrasted with 42 percent who say he can. What's more, a healthy plurality, 41 percent, also answered that "the performance of the Obama administration" has "gotten worse" in the past 12 months. Yet the NBC Nightly News ignored those stunning numbers in its June 18 broadcast. [Anchor Brian Williams additionally failed to tease the poll in his opening preview of the night's stories.]
While chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd did touch on how "57 percent disapprove of the job he's doing on foreign policy," that factoid was buried in a story centered on blaming former Vice President Dick Cheney's with stoking yet another inside-the-Beltway partisan "blame game" over Iraq. You can read the full transcript below the page break (listen to the full segment via mp3 audio here; watch video excerpt below page break):
Hillary Clinton hit a "home run" with her performance in a live CNN "townhall"-style interview hosted by CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Chris Matthews enthused at the opening of his June 17 Hardball program.
But none of the Big Three network evening newscasts even mentioned the development tonight, even as they had time for stories on the 20th anniversary of the OJ Simpson freeway chase (NBC), a rare postage stamp up for auction (CBS), and how dogs have and enforce a sort of social etiquette when they play with each other (ABC). [MP3 audio here; video montage follows page break]
Yet on the June 16 Hardball program -- on MSNBC, the nation's premiere "War on Women" network -- neither Henneberger nor Hardball anchor Chris Matthews nor Politico's Roger Simon broached the topic at any time during their discussion about the former secretary of state's rocky rollout of her Hard Choices memoir. Here's an excerpt of the June 15 story from Goodman (emphasis mine):
Did you ever want to do a Bible study with Martin Bashir?
I ask because a few days ago the former MSNBCer, who once fantasized on air about former Gov. Sarah Palin being forced to eat human excrement, shared his observation in a tweet about one way in which the president can give his Amen to a lament of the biblical King David.
All three major broadcast networks devoted stories to the opening of the World Cup today in Rio de Janeiro, but ABC's business interests arguably got in the way of objective reporting. ABC and her sister ESPN networks are, after all the exclusive "media rights licensees" to carry World Cup matches in the United States.
Reporting from Rio, ABC's Paula Faris devoted just one fleeting reference to the unrest in the streets (emphasis mine):
The story came right on the heels of Williams relaying how former President George H.W. Bush today made a parachute jump to celebrate his 90th birthday [MP3 audio clip here; video embed follows page break]:
Comparing Hillary Clinton's book tour to an "out of town play getting ready in New Haven," MSNBC's Chris Matthews tonight dismissed the former secretary of state's tone-deaf "dead broke" line from her interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer as a "small kind of gaffe, or even a half gaffe." [MP3 audio here; video embed follows page break]
"Once she said we were $12 million in the hole, I think people should have understood what she meant," Matthews asserted to his guest, NBC's Cynthia McFadden, whose fawning interview was aired on Tuesday's Nightly News. Indeed, the former first lady is quite capably "tuning up" her performance as her book tour rolls along. For her part, McFadden seemed to agree, replying:
Do MSNBC producers think all conservative Republican legislators look alike?
In a segment featuring the Washington Post's Robert Costa handicapping the forthcoming campaign by various House Republicans to fill outgoing Majority Leader Eric Cantor's leadership post, producers aired B-roll of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) in lieu of Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas).
But a review of the full interview [listen to the mp3 audio here] shows that Brat had already and seemingly quite gladly answered a few policy questions on such hot issues as the minimum wage, immigration reform, and his stance on Wall Street's influence on the business wing of the GOP.
Troubled by a recent poll number showing 52 percent of independent voters approve of a select congressional committee investigating the Benghazi fiasco, MSNBC's Chris Matthews offered former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton his messaging advice on the matter during a segment of the June 10 Hardball.
It boiled down to: "sometimes you get killed, and that's part of the business." The relevant transcript follows the page break (emphasis mine; MP3 audio here; video follows page break):
ABC's Diane Sawyer missed a prime opportunity to try to pin down former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on a major economic issue -- whether or not to approve the Keystone XL pipeline -- CNBC senior contributor Larry Kudlow noted in an interview with Brian Wilson and Larry O'Connor on WMAL radio's June 10 edition of Mornings on the Mall. [listen to the full interview by clicking play on the embed below the page break]
"I want to know what her positions are on a variety of issues... For example, I want to know what her position is on Keystone," Kudlow insisted, noting that "her department has signed off three times on Keystone" while she personally "has not said a word about it." What's more, Kudlow noted, a new study published by the Obama-Kerry State Department found that:
Twice Matthews mentioned Ernst's memorable ads in which she mentioned how she castrated pigs when she was growing up on a farm and tied that in to her pledge to cut pork in Washington, D.C. Of course, Matthews failed to make that connection for his viewers and twice mentioned the hog castration as though it were some odd disqualifier in a state the chief industres of which are agriculture and food processing (particularly pork). [Watch the video and read the transcript below the page break]
Having opened his hour of Hardball Monday night with a segment devoted to bashing an attack ad against Hillary Clinton, MSNBC host Chris Matthews devoted significant attention later in the program to blasting prospective 2016 GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz as the leader of the "hate wing" of the GOP.
Matthews took aim at the freshman senator with a guilt-by-association charge, citing new language in the Texas GOP's platform regarding controversial reparative therapy for gays and lesbians who wish to be straight. [video update follows page break]
Liberal stand-up comedian Dean Obeidallah jumped right on top of the latest isolated incidents of disturbed nutjobs on shooting sprees to call out his fellow anti-gun liberals as way too timid in the gun rights vs. gun control debate.
And so, in a Daily Beast piece headlined "It’s Time to Think Big or Shut Up on Gun Control," Obeidallah proposed four concrete steps that liberals should make to fight back against the widespread cultural and political acceptance of the notion that Americans enjoy a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. His fourth and final action item, naturally, involved getting the unelected branch of government, the federal courts, to "Rewrite the Second Amendment" by:
The Obama administration has given a fresh explanation to justify its secret deal with the Taliban to exchange five Guantanamo Bay detainees for Bowe Bergdahl: the radical Islamists who held the Army sergeant would execute him if the terms of the exchange were made public before the handover was carried out.
Yet among the Big Three network evening newscasts tonight covering developments in the prisoner-swap saga, only NBC's Nightly News hammered home the point that the Obama White House's story has significantly changed and that without a sufficient explanation from White House aides. What's more, only NBC's Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski pointed out that the administration did give a heads up to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) prior to the deal going down -- which, logic dictates, unnecessarily risked a leak which could have endangered Sgt. Bergdahl's life [Listen to MP3 audio montage here; Video follows page break]:
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]: