Both President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney spoke earlier today about the horrendous murders yesterday of U.S. foreign service officials in Benghazi, Libya. Of the two, only Romney took questions from the media. Yet rather than scrutinize the president's failure to be open to inquiry from members of the press, MSBNC's Thomas Roberts and NBC's chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd devoted the top segment of the 11 a.m. MSNBC Live program to focusing on Romney "doubling down" in today's press conference of his criticism of the Obama administration.
For his part, Roberts suggested Romney's press conference today was in response to President Obama's post-convention bounce in the polls:
Earlier today, an angry Cairo mob stormed the U.S. embassy, ripped down the American flag, and flew in its place a black al Qaeda banner. The mob is reportedly angered about a documentary film that supposedly offends Muslim religious sensibilities with critiques of the Prophet Muhammad.
While CNN and Fox News have both mentioned the developing story, MSNBC has not as of the time of this publication, a review of our DVR systems shows.
Reporting from Chicago this afternoon on MSNBC, NBC News reporter Kevin Tibbles described yesterday's teachers union picket lines as "festive" occasions but worried that the mood may sour if an accord is not reached soon.
Yet while other media outlets have reported and confirmed that the Chicago teachers union had requested a 35 percent pay hike, Tibbles completely ignored the issue of pay, insisting the teachers union is concerned most with teacher evaluation policies.
Throughout its morning and afternoon news coverage today, MSNBC has dealt with the hours-old teachers strike in Chicago. NBC reporter Kevin Tibbles did a few standups next to a picket line "outside the Ray Elementary School in Chicago." During his 11:40 a.m. Eastern live report, Tibbles interviewed a union teacher, John Cusick, who said he'd heard from parents, "mostly" who "support us" because "they know we care for their children" and "have their children's best interest at heart."
Immediately after Cusick said that, rather than express skepticism, Tibbles seemed concerned about how the strike could hurt President Obama and the Democrats come November's election:
Suppose there were a Republican state legislator in Georgia, who also happens to also be an ordained Baptist minister, who sent a letter to the owner of the Atlanta Falcons -- on official state legislature letterhead no less -- demanding he keep his players from speaking out in favor of same-sex marriage. The media firestorm would be predictable.
Well, a Democratic state legislator from Maryland did send such a letter in late August to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens, and while there has been media coverage since the story broke in the middle of last week, it's mostly been in print and online sources. A search of Nexis found no reporting by the broadcast network newscasts on this controversy. The New York Times sports page covered the controversy yesterday, but reporter Adam Himmelsbach omitted Del. Emmett C. Burns's party affiliation.
While the liberal media have noted how little foreign policy was raised at the GOP convention and will surely play up President Obama's attacks on Republican opponent Mitt Romney as being weak on that issue portfolio, it's noteworthy how little media attention is being given to the Democratic Party's views on America's most reliable, democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel.
Even as Democrats on Wednesday afternoon hastily re-added language about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel to their party platform, the document is hardly as pro-Israel as its 2008 iteration, Ben Shapiro of Breitbart's Big Government site noted in a September 6 post. "[T]he full language of the 2008 platform is still gone, Shapiro noted, before quoting the 2008 document's Israel plank and then explaining that:
In their pre-game analysis before President Obama's nomination acceptance speech Thursday night, ABC News painted the costly cancelation -- "a hefty six figures" in fruitless set-up costs for broadcast equipment for the networks, reported Dylan Byers of Politico -- of tonight's planned Bank of America Stadium venue as a "lucky break."
"Absolutely a lucky break," political contributor Matthew Dowd told anchor George Stephanopoulos, insisting that while the Obama campaign "could have filled the stadium... there is no way they could have repeated the energy in this crowd." But meanwhile over on CBS, anchor Scott Pelley showed viewers at home the scene at Bank of America stadium, where "it is dark and there is not a drop of rain falling in the vicinity here in Charlotte. [video follows page break]
During a protracted segment tonight devoted to slamming Mitt Romney as a racist because of his campaign ads critical of the Obama administration's recent gutting of welfare reform, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry and Al Sharpton took issue with token Republican panelist Steve Schmidt's complaint that both sides of the political aisle use race-baiting and extreme appeals to prejudicial fears of voters. Schmidt, who advised the 2008 McCain campaign, reminded his fellow panelists of a 2000 anti-Bush ad run by the NAACP which suggested that Bush was in some way to blame for James Byrd's dragging death, as well as a 2008 ad that compared John McCain to segregationist George Wallace. "Both sides, when they use these tactics, and both sides have used these tactics, my view is it's wrong. It doesn't have a place in American politics," he argued.
Immediately after Schmidt made his point, however, the liberals on the panel pounced, starting with weekend anchor Melissa Harris-Perry:
I guess when Chris Matthews stays up past his bedtime, he gets really goofy. In a chat with former Saturday Night Live star Darrell Hammond -- best known for his skits impersonating Bill Clinton -- Matthews gushed of Clinton that he's such a natural politician and conversationalist that you could put him on Mars and he'd find a way to quickly seduce the Martians.
"I always figured that if Bill Clinton landed on Mars, he would know how to do it with them, he would know how to reproduce, he would know everything. He'd just instinctively know how to talk to people," Matthews gushed. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
Earlier today I wrote about how Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was caught lying about a reporter misquoting her. That reporter, Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner, did, in fact accurately quote her and produced the audio of Wasserman Schultz to prove it.
It was, of course, a thoroughly softball interview, but it concluded on an odd note, with Matthews delving into his unhealthy obsession with "birtherism" to ask Castro why his home state is so chock full of people who don't believe President Obama is a natural-born citizen [MP3 audio here; video follows page break].
Last week I noted how the NBCNews.com website considered speeches by Gov. Susana Martinez (R-N.M.), Obama co-chair-turned-Republican Artur Davis, and Staples founder Tom Stemberg to not be "notable" enough for inclusion in their "curated" follow-up posts the day after their respective speeches. Well, today, NBC Politics has a post with "highlights from Tuesday night's Democratic National Convention speeches."
Yet while the Democratic Convention has purposefully sought to play up their pro-abortion rights, pro-taxpayer-subsidized contraception stands, the remarks last night by NARAL Pro-Choice America president -- and Democratic Party Platform Committee member -- Nancy Keenan were omitted from the collection. One of the more striking lines invoked the Divine:
While MSNBC is on an all-out effort to tar GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan as a liar for having leveled completely accurate statements in his nomination speech at last week's convention, you can expect the Democrat-friendly network, along with most other media outlets, to overlook Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's history of a tenuous relationship with the truth.
Hot Air's Ed Morrissey has a story today about how the Florida Democrat was accurately quoted by a journalist for a conservative paper only to then slam the reporter for misquoting her, suggesting it was because he's a conservative journalist. Of course, said reporter, Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner, has the damning audiotape of Wasserman Schultz making the exact same charge he accurately reported her as having made in the first place. Wrote Morrissey (h/t tipster Thomas Stewart):
Last week, MSNBC steadfastly refused to dip into a speech by newly-minted Republican and former Rep. Artur Davis (Ala.), who just four years ago was not only a Democrat but an Obama campaign co-chair.
But on Tuesday night, MSNBC showed in full the speech of Maria Ciano, whom anchor Rachel Maddow tagged a "former Republican talking about her conversion to Democratic politics, particularly on the issue of choice." Ciano launched into a misleading, error-laden diatribe, which of course was NOT fact-checked by MSNBC panelists afterward. Also left unmentioned was that Ciano has been a Democrat since at least two years prior to Obama's election to the presidency. From the conservative Power Line blog [emphasis mine]
"No one's ever going to nominate Joe Biden to be the chairman of MENSA -- he's not Albert Einstein," MSNBC political analyst John Heilemann told Chris Matthews on the Tuesday edition of Hardball. "But what he's always been a master of is applied intelligence," he added, remarking on the vice president's preparation for the October 11 debate with policy-wonky Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Heilemann enthused about Biden's role in 1987 in scuttling President Reagan's nomination of Judge Robert Bork, "supposedly one of the smartest guys in all of the history of conservatism, of conservative legal theory."
"There's not many debates Joe Biden lost in his career," the New York magazine writer added of the Delaware Democrat who "goes to school" by preparing heavily, whether its to take on Sarah Palin or Robert Bork. Completely omitted by Heilemann, of course, was the revelation during the 1988 presidential campaign of Biden's having plagiarized a speech by then-British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, which, of course sank his run for the presidency. [video embed follows page break]
While folks at MSNBC are calling Republican vice presidential nominee a "compulsive liar" for, among other things, his factually accurate statement about then-Sen. Obama's February 13, 2008 visit to a now-shuttered Janesville, Wis., General Motors plant, it's worth noting that, well, the video doesn't lie.
Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com has Obama's pledge on video here [You can also watch the video below the page break.] What's more, a search of the Nexis database reveals that David Wright of ABC News showed Obama's pledge in a story on the February 13, 2008 World News (emphasis mine):
Our good friend Dan Joseph of our sister site MRCTV is in Charlotte to cover the Democratic Convention. Yesterday he walked around Carolina Fest, a free festival in the Queen City preceding the start of the convention, the theme of which is "We make it possible."
Dan talked to street vendors who insisted that, yes, they built their business, without help from the government. Of course there seem to be a few Obama fans in the mix who self-consciously spinned for the president, including one business owner who said that the stimulus package "indirectly" benefited him because it all "trickles down." For the most part, however, the vendors were unwilling to credit the government for their hard work. Watch the video below the page break:
Christian eschatology sees Jesus Christ as the central, salvific figure of all of human history. So it's perhaps blasphemously fitting that MSNBC's Chris Matthews sees his messiah as the object of all of American history.
"President Obama is the product of our turbulent history, all that came before led to him," Matthews insisted in the closing portion of his "Barack Obama: Making History" documentary that aired at 10 p.m. Eastern on Monday. As such, Obama "needs to continue making history," for "the moment he becomes just another incumbent president, bogged down in the status quo, he will lose something vital since we first met him: his historic self."
Last night, at 8:38 p.m. Eastern, Ted and Pat Oparowski -- who attended church with Mitt Romney in the late 1970s -- shared their heartwarming story of how Mitt Romney took time out of his busy schedule to visit their cancer-stricken son David and to help him settle his affair and write his will when it was apparent the cancer would take his life. Both CNN and Fox News Channel carried the moving account by the elderly couple. MSNBC, however, skipped the speech, instead devoting that time to discussing how Romney's religion will play on the campaign trail, if at all.
Fast forward to noon today. MSNBC's Now with Alex Wagner played a few soundbites of Pat Oparowski before showing host Alex Wagner and her panelists Chris Hayes and Karen Finney lamenting that most Americans didn't see it last night. [video update to follow]
Once again the folks at NBC News have "curated some of the notable speeches" from a night at the GOP convention. As I noted here and here, NBC left out some compelling speeches by minority politicians who started out in life as Democrats. This time, among the speeches that didn't make the cut was that of Tom Stemberg, the founder of Staples. Staples is one of the wildest success stories of Bain Capital, the much-maligned private equity firm that Mitt Romney co-founded.
While the Obama acolytes at MSNBC are insisting that the Janesville, Wisconsin, GM plant was "closed" in December 2008 on President Bush's watch, NBC News senior political editor Mark Murray was more nuanced in an appearance with Thomas Roberts on MSNBC shortly after 2:30 p.m. Eastern today. Even so, Murray's reporting was misleading and is easily negated by a Web search turning up reporting by the Janesville [Wis.] Gazette from February 2009.
Once again, the NBC Politics team at NBCNews.com cobbled together what they consider the most "notable" of the speeches from last night's Republican convention. Once again, a dynamic Democrat-turned-Republican speaker was left out of the "curated" selection: Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico, a woman of Hispanic ethnic heritage.
Yesterday I noted how the website omitted video of Artur Davis's speech. In her speech Wednesday night, Martinez noted that although she grew up a Democrat, the daughter of Democrats, her values were always conservative. She shared with convention goers the story of how she came to the realization that the Republican Party, not the Democrats, best shared the values that her hard-working, business-owning parents instilled in her. You can watch Martinez's speech at Breitbart TV here.
This afternoon, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell got his hands on excerpts of the remarks that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was preparing to give this evening. Bound and determined to find racism where it doesn't exist, O'Donnell did not disappoint. Taking to the air on Martin Bashir's eponymous program, O'Donnell laid out his case that McConnell's crack that the president "has been working hard to earn a spot on the PGA tour."
That's just plain racist, even if by two or three degrees of separation, O'Donnell explained. The long and short of it: When you think Obama at the PGA, you think of Tiger Woods, and when you think of Tiger Woods, you think about his cheating on his wife. [You can watch the Breitbart video embedded below page break.]
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):