While discussing the Democrats' latest version of health care reform on Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith asked GOP strategist Ed Rollins: "Are the Republicans better off just saying let the Democrats burn in hell with this, we're going to stay on the sidelines and win the House back this fall?"
The segment also featured disgraced ex-New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who Smith earlier asked about an upcoming health care summit: "...this whole notion that the Republicans were saying 'well, we might not show up, now Mitch McConnell over the weekend, the minority head of the Senate, says 'we're going come, but we think the Democrats are arrogant.' Is this doomed from the get-go?" Spitzer proclaimed: "the Democratic Party and the President know they must get something done. The internal discipline within the Democratic Party will be what makes this a success."
Spitzer later argued: "The Republican Party's been the party of no, the party of nihilism. The President should stand up and say 'here's what's good for America. We have the votes, we're willing to do it.'" Smith followed that logic: "So is this then the real test for the President?...To say 'I have control of the people in my party, I can do this thing and it will benefit the American people.' And in the end, push back to everything that's been pushing up against him?" Spitzer replied: "This is the moment when either he says we are leaders, we will get it done, or if they fail this time, then it really is debacle for the Democratic Party."
In an exclusive interview with First Lady Michelle Obama on Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez fretted over the future of ObamaCare: "Deadlines keep getting missed for passing health care. Obstacles keep mounting....Unfortunately at the moment...health care is being held hostage by partisanship."
Rodriguez introduced the interview by proclaiming that the First Lady: "acknowledges the many hurdles to passing it [health care reform], but insists it will remain a top priority for the President." In her first question to Mrs. Obama, Rodriguez focused on the President's determination to get something passed: "Will your husband ever give up on trying to find a compromise?" After Obama replied that "we can't afford to give up," Rodriguez concluded: "You can't imagine a scenario where he would not finish the job on health care?" Obama declared: "My hope is that the country understands that we need to do this."
Ironically, Rodriguez later focused on political partisanship: "Democrats are losing a lot of legislators, either they're leaving or incumbents are losing. How do you stop the bleeding?...What do you think could help Democrats keep those crucial seats?"
In a February 17 online article entitled "Charity Case," Newsweek's Issac Stone Fish declared: "Whether they like it or not, China has been very good for Tibetans." Fish's outrageous claim came on the eve of President Obama's Thursday meeting with Tibet's religious leader, the Dalai Lama.
While Fish noted how: "Tibetans feel chafed by the restrictions on their political and religious freedoms; many are dissatisfied with Chinese rule....They want self-determination; fair enough." But then dismissed those concerns as he praised Chinese communist rule: "For China's many blunders in mountainous region, it has erected a booming economy there. Looking at growth, standard of living, infrastructure, and GDP, one thing is clear: China has been good for Tibet."
Fish touted China's investment in Tibet's infrastructure: "Since 2001, Beijing has spent $45.4 billion on development in the Tibet Autonomous Region....Infrastructure improvements have not only helped grow the economy but also have aided in modernizing remote parts of the Tibetan plateau." Fish quoted Columbia University Tibetan studies professor Gray Tuttle, who boasted: "Cellphone service in parts of western Tibet is better than in parts of New Jersey."
On Wednesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith teased an interview with the Vice President: "We got a great chance yesterday to spend some quality time with Vice President Joe Biden. He's got a lot to say on a lot of different topics." During the interview, Smith shilled for the failed stimulus package: "The Vice President says the stimulus created or saved 2 million jobs. Many of them green."
At the top of the show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez announced: "Today is the first anniversary of the economic stimulus package." Smith treated it like a celebration, joking: "Where's the stimulus package cake?" Rodriguez replied: "There should be." Smith began the segment with Biden by citing a Pew Research poll showing only 24% Americans actually think the stimulus plan has improved the economy, but rather that challenge the VP on its failure, he simply asked if taxpayers "got their bang from the buck from the stimulus." That allowed Biden to argue: "Absolutely. But I don't think they realize it....The job creating portions are really loaded at the second half here....they have gotten their money's worth."
Traveling with Biden in Saginaw, Michigan on Tuesday, Smith touted one employer who was helped by the stimulus: "At Fuzzy's Diner, a local businessman, Paul Furlo, told us government-backed loans helped him expand and add hundreds of new employees." No critics of the stimulus were featured in the segment.
On Tuesday, MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan suggested Sarah Palin was hypocrite for criticizing a Sunday episode of the Fox show "Family Guy," that tangentially mocked her son with Down Syndrome, but not quitting her job as a Fox News contributor.
Featuring Palin in the "Busted" segment near the end of his 4:00PM ET show, Ratigan acknowledged her rightful anger over a girl with Down Syndrome on the animated series claiming her mother was the former governor of Alaska. However, Ratigan then observed: "If Palin really wanted to make a statement, she would reject her paycheck from Fox and remove herself from the network, wouldn't she?"
Of course, Fox News has no connection to the Fox broadcast channel or any of its entertainment programming.
NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard eariler reported on Palin's Facebook message regarding "Family Guy" and Entertainment Weekly's Jennifer Armstrong defending the offensive episode.
On Tuesday, both CBS Early Show co-host Maggie Rodriguez and ABC Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos lamented the announced retirement of Democratic Indiana Senator Evan Bayh and proclaimed that his reelection would have been a virtual certainty. Rodriguez described it as "a lock," while Stephanopoulos asserted that it was "almost assured."
In reality, A January 25 Rasmussen poll showed Bayh losing to Republican Congressman Mike Pence, 44% to 47%. While Pence has since decided against running, the poll also showed former Republican Congressman John Stutzman, who has formerly announced his candidacy, getting close at 41% to Bayh's 44%. Numbers like that certainly do not suggest Bayh's reelection was anywhere close to being "a lock."
Both Rodriguez and Stephanopoulos made those comments in interviews with Bayh on their respective shows. Only a brief sound bite of the Senator was featured on NBC's Today on Tuesday.
On Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos almost pleaded with Bayh not to retire, claiming that if "centrists" like him leave, "doesn't that make the problem [of partisanship] worse? Why not stay and fix it?" While Rodriguez did not label Bayh as centrist, she did fret over his decision to retire: "What do you say to critics who say you did leave the Democrats high and dry at a time when they can't afford to be losing anymore seats?"
On Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez reported on a 7-year-old boy who tried to hand deliver a get well card to former President Bill Clinton: "When Bill Clinton returned home from the hospital after a heart procedure on Friday, there were lots of reporters waiting, and one second grader named C.J. Williams, who just wanted to get a get well card to him and some candy."
Throughout the fawning segment, a headline on-screen read: "Get Well Soon, Mr. President; 2nd Grader Attempts To Deliver Message to Clinton." However, while the story suggested that C.J. came up with the idea on his own, when Rodriguez asked "Was that your idea, C.J.? Did you want to do it?," the boy replied: "No, Dad." Rodriguez added: "Oh, it was Dad's idea." The father, Chip Williams, was in studio and had explained: "...we thought it would be a good idea to maybe swing by his house and drop off a card, a little get well card."
Both Rodriguez and co-host Harry Smith lamented C.J.'s inability to deliver the card personally, but Rodriguez did inform viewers it was a Snoopy card and read it aloud: "Would a happy little dance make you feel a little better? In that case, maybe I should do a great big happy dance." Smith was in awe: "Wow."
On Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith wondered if there was any credibility to Dick Cheney's criticism of the Obama administration's handling of the Christmas Day bomber: "...the point that he seems to be trying to make...that this administration, the Obama administration, is not taking terrorism seriously enough. Is this theater or is there a real point to be made?"
Smith directed that question to former Bush advisor Dan Bartlett, who observed: "...it's very salient going into this midterm election and I think the Republicans like the fact that the former Vice President's out there slugging away." Smith also spoke with former Democratic Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr. and incredulously asked: "Can an actual argument be made, though...that the Obama administration is weak on terrorism?" Ford argued: "It's hard to....under President Obama and Vice President Biden, great strides are being made all across the globe."
Ford went on to attack Cheney for daring to voice objections to Obama's handling of terrorism: "Why would Dick Cheney suggest to the country and suggest to the world that the President Obama and Vice President Biden administration are weak on terrorism?...other than to be – play cheap politics at this moment?"
Touting the latest CBS News/New York Times poll on Friday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith and Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer concluded that Americans were upset with President Obama and Congress simply over the influence of "special interest groups," without mentioning massive government spending or ObamaCare as other possible reasons.
After reporting that 70% of Americans were "dissatisfied or angry about the way things are going in Washington," Smith focused on the poll question about special interests: "8 in 10 say Congress is more interested in serving the needs of special interest groups rather than the people they represent." Schieffer explained: "In order to raise that money you've got to sign off on so many special interest groups before you get to Washington that it's very difficult to compromise once you do get here."
However, neither Smith nor Schieffer brought up the part of the poll that showed the desire by a majority of Americans for smaller government: "59% of Americans think the government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals....56% would choose a smaller government providing fewer services over a bigger government providing more services, up from 48% last spring and the highest percentage in more than a decade."
On Monday’s ‘The Dylan Ratigan Show’ on MSNBC, host Dylan Ratigan began the program by ranting: “The tea party has a bit of an integrity problem, as everybody from birthers, to open racists, to outright Nazis are actually on the team. And no one involved, including its leadership, seems to mind that fact.”
To justify his outrageous smear of the political movement, Ratigan cited one woman who attended the weekend tea party convention in Nashville, Tennessee: “I just couldn’t sit down anymore and not do anything. Because it reminded me of what happened during the rein of Hitler.” Ratigan then went on to describe Sarah Palin writing notes on her hand during her convention appearance as futher evidence of the movement’s “integrity problem”: “Even Palin being caught a little less than honest...saying she wouldn’t use a teleprompter at the event, but she didn’t rule out scribbling notes on her hand during a scripted Q & A.”
The supposed point of Ratigan’s rambling at the beginning of the show was to condemn both Republicans and Democrats for playing “political football” instead of dealing with issues. However, he decided to just bash conservatives and the GOP: “After eight years of dropping the ball, voters decided they didn’t want the elephants picking it up again for a while.... After a crushing defeat of the elephants last November in a huge game, America thought true change was on the way and that points were going to be scored for this country, finally.”
In a story on American charitable giving on CBS’s Sunday Morning, correspondent Mark Strassmann cited liberal Princeton University bio-ethics professor Peter Singer on how much people should give: “[He’s] worked up a giving guide. The more you make, the more he believes you should give....He believes it’s within our power to virtually end world poverty.”
A clip was played of Singer arguing: “Well I think we should be giving something quite substantial....the right thing to do in this situation, where there are millions of children and adults, of course, dying from avoidable poverty related causes is to give something pretty significant. Something that makes a difference to how you live.”
While Strassmann simply introduced Singer as a bio-ethicist, in reality, the professor has a history of promoting radical ideas, such as justifying infanticide. In an excerpt of his 1993 book Practical Ethics, entitled “Taking Life: Humans,”Singer concluded: “Killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Very often it is not wrong at all.” CBS certainly picked an odd person to lecture Americans on caring for those less fortunate.
While discussing Sarah Palin’s Saturday Tea Party Convention speech with political analyst John Dickerson on Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez remarked: “She was really scrutinized because she wrote those notes on her hand during her speech....I want to show real quick....boy, are her critics having fun with that one.”
As Rodriguez mentioned the incident, a headline on screen read: “Helping Hand? Palin Seen Glancing At Notes On Palm.” Dickerson was forgiving: “Well, we all face a little difficulty getting our words together in public moments,” but added: “I think this will be the kind of thing the Democrats will use to pick at her, you know, the notion is that basically she doesn’t have the capabilities to be president.” Dickerson concluded: “I don’t think in the long term, though, this is – will cause her too much trouble.”
While Rodriguez made sure to point out Palin’s gaffe to viewers, during an interview last February, Rodriguez glossed over an obvious gaffe made by Vice President Joe Biden.
On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric lamented the impact ClimateGate and other recent scandals involving fraudulent global warming data have had on the climate change debate: “Experts insist the overall conclusion remains the same, that climate change is real, but...such errors provide ammunition to skeptics.”
In a report that followed, correspondent Mark Phillips cited accusations of data tampering against Penn State University climatologist Michael Mann, but explained: “An academic board today cleared Mann, saying his science holds up, but the damage may have already been done.” Phillips went on to detail other data errors, including a false United Nations climate panel report on melting Himalayan glaciers and the ClimateGate scandal at Britain’s East Anglia University.
Phillips observed how the “series of gaffes by climate change scientists,” has created “a frustrating time for those who believe the basic science in global warming remains true.” A clip was then played of Imperial College London climatologist Brian Hoskins fretting: “it appears the whole edifice has been undermined by these couple of bricks that are flaking a bit.”
Phillips concluded his report by explaining the real problem facing global warming advocates: “The scientists may still believe they’re winning the scientific argument, but they’re in danger of losing the public relations war.”
In an interview with Florida Governor Charlie Crist on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez turned to the hotly contested Senate race: “your opponent in the primary, fellow Republican Marco Rubio, and you...are in a dead heat in this race. Critics say that it’s because he is a true conservative and you are...a RINO, a ‘Republican In Name Only.’ How do you respond to that criticism?”
As Rodriguez spoke, the latest Quinnipiac University poll of the primary appeared on screen, showing Rubio with 47% among Republican voters and Crist with 44%. Crist defended his conservative credentials: “Well, if I’m a RINO, then so is Ronald Reagan.” At the same, time he seemed to attack conservative Rubio for being an “ideologue”: “...we do things a little differently here in Florida, we actually work together to get things done for the people. And I think that’s exactly what the American people want. They don’t want bickering and some ideologue on one end or the other to sort of be a standard bearer.”
While Rodriguez mentioned conservative criticism of Crist, she did not bring up the Governor’s well known hug with President Obama last year and staunch support for the stimulus package. In contrast, back in 2006, CBS correspondent Trish Regan labeled Democratic Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman’s embrace with President Bush as an “infamous kiss.” On the August 8 Early Show she touted how Lieberman’s left-wing primary challenger “Ned Lamont has used this now infamous kiss to his advantage on campaign buttons and television ads, suggesting Lieberman is just too cozy with the President.” Apparently CBS isn’t interested in Crist being “cozy” with Obama.
In the 8:30AM ET half hour on Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez teased an upcoming animal segment: “...we have some visitors to the studio of the animal variety. Some of them are cute and cuddly....But they’re all in trouble due to climate change and you’re going to see these animals from the San Diego Zoo and hear about their precarious situation ahead this morning.”
Rodriguez later introduced the segment by declaring that “climate change is affecting some of the world’s most beautiful animals.” She spoke with senior animal keeper at the San Diego Zoo, Rick Schwartz, who brought out the first guest, an arctic fox. Rodriguez asked him: “How is this animal in danger now?” Schwartz explained:
Well, the problem that we’re having up in the north, mainly with the polar bears. There’s not enough ice forming up there, so the time for them to hunt for their food is being diminished.... If the polar bears can’t hunt and bring food out in the winter time for the arctic fox, we’re going to see them probably – either their numbers decreasing also or possibly moving south and interfering with other species that would rely on the foods that they would be using.
Quoting from the film A Few Good Men, on Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith asked openly gay Army Lieutenant Dan Choi if the U.S. military was prepared for the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy to be overturned by the Obama administration: “Older members of the military are not very interested in seeing this policy changed at all....Do you think the military can handle the truth?”
The policy, created by Bill Clinton’s administration in 1993, allows homosexuals to serve in the military as long as they do not publically come out. Choi, who is facing discharge from the Army for doing just that, replied to Smith’s movie reference: “Well, I think that there are some people in the military that might have grown up in a different era, and they have fear, obviously, with the change they might think that it’s too difficult for them....Don’t assume that because you might be uncomfortable or certain people might be uncomfortable that that translates to unprofessional or lack of discipline.”
Smith began the segment by proclaiming “the beginning of the end” of the policy as Defense Secretary Robert Gates began to reexamine it. A headline on-screen read: “Do Ask, Do Tell? Pentagon Plan To Be Unveiled Today.”
On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith introduced a bizarre story designed to show how desperate the situation is for people lacking health insurance: “A California woman has launched a unique online search for a husband. Not for love, but for health care.”
Earlier, co-host Maggie Rodriguez teased the story by proclaiming: “I don’t know if you would think it’s sad or if you would think it’s admirable – but it’s definitely a position no one wants to be in. It’s an extreme to get health insurance.”
Correspondent Randall Pinkston later reported on the situation:
45-year-old Terri Carlson says she does not care what you look like, she will marry you, but only if you have good health insurance....She is divorced and has one year left under cobra health coverage, but after that, she will have nothing to help pay for numerous doctors’ appointments and dozens of medications....[she] suffers from a rare genetic disorder....And because of her disorder, insurance companies have denied her coverage.
At the top of Friday’s Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC, the show announcer teased a story on President Obama speaking a meeting of House Republicans in Baltimore: “What will Republicans do with President Obama’s olive branch? He’s reaching out to the GOP yet again, despite a year of push backs and criticisms. Is he being naive or crazy like a fox?”
Moments later, host Dylan Ratigan made a biblical reference to explain Obama’s supposedly gracious gesture: “We begin today with a biblical story of Noah and the floods....he sent a dove....To look for dry land after a great flood had wiped out the Earth. The dove returned with an olive branch.” Ratigan then observed: “the President tried the same approach. Especially...with the Republicans.”
After playing a clip of the President calling for bipartisanship in the State of the Union speech, Ratigan argued: “So if the President thought that meant Republicans would start jumping onboard his boat? He thought wrong. They’ve taken his olive branch and are now using it to hit back against his agenda.”
At the top of Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith declared: “President Obama meets with GOP leaders as he tries to tackle the growing employment problem. Will it be a monologue or a dialogue?” White House correspondent Bill Plante later reported: “The President is also reaching out to Republicans today, speaking to the GOP House retreat. But it could be a tough crowd.”
In Plante’s report, only brief a clip of Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner was played, making Republicans seem unwilling to negotiate: “We’re not going to vote for things that we believe will hurt our country.” Plante concluded: “And the Republicans have already signaled that the President’s new temporary tax cut for small businesses is not where they’re going to find that common ground. So it may be a tough crowd indeed.” The brief Early Show segment made no mention of legitimate Republican criticism of President Obama’s own stubborn partisanship.
In contrast, on ABC’s Good Morning America, while correspondent Jon Karl referred to the House GOP as a “skeptical” and “hostile” audience, he also took the time to highlight Republican efforts to reach out to the administration: “Most Republicans in Congress doubt the President really wants to hear their ideas....Longtime Republican Frank Wolf says he’s written the White House several ideas on Homeland Security.” Karl asked Wolf about the letter: “So, you present these ideas to the White House and what happens?” Wolf replied: “Nothing. It’s like writing a letter to somebody and nobody ever answers.”
On the soon-to-be canceled ‘It’s the Economy’ program on MSNBC on Thursday, co-host Contessa Brewer grilled Republican New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg on his calls to reduce out-of-control government spending: “Which programs are you willing to cut? Are you willing to tell schools, no money for you?” Gregg shot back: “What an absurd statement to make. And what a dishonest statement to make.”
Gregg called out Brewer for her unfair framing of the issue: “...nobody’s saying no money for schools....On its face you’re being fundamentally dishonest when you make that type of statement.” He went to explain the kinds of budget cuts he would make: “I would freeze discretionary spending, a real freeze, not a – not a freeze plus inflation. I would eliminate the T.A.R.P. money....I would end the stimulus spending effective in June of this year, if not sooner....reform our entitlement programs....I’ve made very specific proposals and I’m willing to stand by them.”
Gregg was far from finished, he described the big government mentality shared by the Obama administration and the liberal media: “The problem is that this administration’s view of governance is that economic prosperity is created by growing the government dramatically. And then it gets misrepresented by people like yourself who say they’re going to – that if you do any of this stuff you’re going to end up not funding education.”
Immediately following President Obama’s State of the Union address Wednesday night, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos got reaction from Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, who observed: “There were at least three moments where he expressed explicit humility. ‘I’m not – I know that people aren’t sure I can deliver this change. I take my share of the blame for not explaining health care.’”
At the same time, both Stephanopoulos and Meacham agreed that Obama’s speech was Reaganesque. Stephanopoulos argued: “What I saw there is the President not being contrite like Bill Clinton in 1995, much more defiant, more like Ronald Reagan in 1983.” Meacham replied: “There was a lot of Reagan here.”
On NBC’s Today on Thursday, Matt Lauer cited Obama’s “humility” to press former Florida Governor Jeb Bush on Republicans not supporting the President’s agenda: “...you said about the President quote, ‘if he does show humility and does try to find common ground, there are Republicans who will sign up for that.’ He showed humility....will you now get behind this president and will other Republicans?” Bush rejected the notion that Obama was humble: “I don’t think it’s humble to say that you didn’t communicate a message and that’s the reason why people opposed the health care plan in front of Congress right now by a dramatic margin.”
Previewing the State of the Union on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith spoke with former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, who claimed the GOP “made a decision a year ago that they weren’t going to cooperate on anything.” Smith replied: “I don’t think you can say what you just said and look at what happened with health care, especially in the last month, and be honest about it.”
Dunn, who just recently stepped down as communications director to the Obama White House, disregarded Smith’s challenge:
Harry, I disagree with that, mostly because I was working at the White House for most of this time. And I saw how many meetings with Republicans, how many attempts to reach out, how much time was spent listening to their concerns. An entire summer spent giving a lot of room to a bipartisan process which ultimately Republicans walked away from, even as their leaders from day one announced that they were going to kill health care no matter what was in the bill.
Writing the cover story for the February issue of Newsweek magazine, editor Jon Meacham examined “The Trouble With Barack”, arguing the President: “is accused of being too radical, but he’s been governing from the middle for a year.” Meacham then wondered: “So why all the anger?” Answering his own question: “Because he’s leading with his head, not his heart.”
Meacham began the piece by assuring readers of his own political moderation: “I am a Southerner, a churchgoer, and a swing voter in presidential elections....I have no automatic faith in government’s capacity to solve problems. I share these details to make clear that I am not a reflexive lefty. Far from it.”
Having established his credentials as a “swing voter,” Meacham continued with his assertion that Obama is no liberal: “I hope President Obama does not take the conventional message from the Democrats’ drubbing in Massachusetts...go to the center, Mr. President. Turn right before it is too late....the evidence fails to support the contention that the Barack Obama...was a Chicago Che or even an unreconstructed Great Society liberal. Obama is essentially a centrist.”
At the top of Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez highlighted the latest attempt at populism by the Obama administration: “President Obama calls for a big spending freeze and focuses on plans to help the struggling middle class, but does he have the political support he needs?”
Moments later, co-host Harry Smith introduced the story with a similar declaration: “President Obama will try and calm voter anger during tomorrow’s State of the Union address. He’ll announce plans to cut the growing federal deficit and help the struggling middle class.” Writing for the Heritage Foundation blog, The Foundry, Alison Fraser pointed out the problem with Obama’s supposed “spending freeze”: “If it applies to last year’s supercharged spending on stimulus steroids baseline, it’s no freeze at all, but a locking in of spending that was supposed to be temporary.”
Freezing government spending at its current record-high level would do nothing to “cut the growing federal deficit” as Smith asserted. White House correspondent Bill Plante pushed the same argument in a report that followed: “...the President has been busy for several days spreading his message of fiscal responsibility....in an effort to show that the federal government has to manage its budget by making choices, just as families must, the President is calling for a freeze on non-security spending for the next three fiscal years.”
On Sunday’s Face the Nation on CBS, host Bob Schieffer twisted the meaning of a recent Washington Post poll on the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts: “Three-fourths of those voters...said they wanted Brown to work with Democrats to get Republican ideas into legislation....the vote for Brown was not so much a vote for or against policy or party, as it was a vote against the process itself.”
Schieffer seemed to completely ignore the fact that the poll showed 65% of those who voted for Brown did so to “express opposition to the Democratic agenda in Washington.” Instead, Schieffer tried to spin the data as evidence that voters were upset with both parties: “People don’t like the political games....if the two sides could somehow pay less attention to the voices on the fringes of the Left and the Right, take the Massachusetts voters’ advice, sit down together and see what they can agree on, who knows? They might get something done.”
At the top of his commentary, Schieffer pretended that the meaning of Brown’s extraordinary win was uncertain, rather than a rebuke of the Democratic Party: “Figuring out what Scott Brown’s victory meant has set off a fiercer debate than trying to divine the meaning of the Book of Job. We were all certain it meant something profound, we just weren’t sure what.”
Near the end of the 3PM ET hour of CNN’s Rick’s List on Friday, host Rick Sanchez couldn’t seem to figure out who was protesting at the March for Life in Washington D.C.: “It’s the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade case....both sides being represented today, but it does appear to me, as I look at these signs that – which side is represented the most....Do we know?”
Sanchez directed that question to his executive producer Angie Massie as he went to a commercial break. Of course, the March for Life, as it’s name implies, is an annual gathering of pro-life activists in the nation’s capital to voice their opposition to abortion on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. As Rick puzzled over which side was more represented, live footage appeared on screen showing a seemingly equal number of pro-abortion and pro-life protestors.
Returning from the commercial break, Sanchez clarified that most of the protestors “seem to be” pro-life, but still seemed completely unfamiliar with the annual event: “As far as we can tell, following this protest on this day, the bulk of the protesters that we have seen here – that doesn’t mean there aren’t others, because we haven’t gone out and counted them individually – seem to be anti-abortion activists. We’ve seen more pro-life signs than we have the others.”
Speaking to former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean on Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith repeated standard liberal talking points as he urged Republicans and Democrats to quickly pass some form of health care reform: “...to help the 40 some million that don’t have insurance or the vast majority of other folks who are one medical catastrophe away from bankruptcy.”
Dean replied by lamenting how: “The President’s tried awfully hard to get even one Republican to support this.” He added: “They believe if they obstruct this agenda that they can benefit from it and I think that’s wrong for the country, but the Republicans have always been great at opposition, never very good at leadership.”
Appearing on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, Politico.com White House reporter Nia-Malika Henderson argued to co-host Harry Smith that Senator-elect Scott Brown’s humorous remark that his daughters were “available” during his Tuesday night victory speech showed that: “this might be a senator who is gaffe-prone, who has to kind of walk back from remarks that he – that he makes.”
However, Henderson followed that statement by concluding that Brown’s style could make him a “hero for at least folks in the tea bag movement and grassroots folks because he says what’s on his mind.” Smith agreed: “Yeah, a breath of fresh air, as it were.”
Earlier in the segment, Smith admitted he did not see the controversy in the comments: “I’m not seeing sort of what was so horrible about it. And it feels like to me there’s a real sort of nice warm familiarity between the new senator and his daughters.” He then added: “But I guess it’s had other kinds of ramifications and there’s some blow back on this.”
On Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith introduced a segment on the future of ObamaCare in the wake of Scott Brown becoming the 41st Republican senator: “Democrats are trying to figure out their next move after Tuesday’s stunning loss of Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. The big question continues to be what will it mean for President Obama’s agenda? Especially health care reform.”
In the report that followed, White House correspondent Chip Reid described how: “The President says he still wants Congress to move forward with reform, but in an orderly way.” Citing political analyst and executive editor of The Hotline, John Mercurio, Reid declared that: “not passing health care would be devastating for Democrats.” Mercurio added: “I think without that, they satisfy no one and they discourage a lot of their base voters from turning out in November.”
Following Reid’s report, Smith conducted an exclusive interview with Senator John McCain, asking: “Is health care...as the Democrats understand it right now, is it dead?” The headline on-screen read: “Capitol Hill Chaos; GOP Victory Could Halt Health Care Reform.”
Speaking to political analyst John Dickerson on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show about Republican Scott Brown winning the Massachusetts Senate race, co-host Maggie Rodriguez lamented: “When it comes to health care, I think it’s so ironic that the late Ted Kennedy’s passion was health care. He dedicated his career to it. And the man who will replace him could be the one to derail it.”
Rodriguez wondered: “Do you think that’ll happen? Do you think that Senator Brown will be seated in time to vote no?” Dickerson replied: “I think so. It looks like there’s not any appetite to try and rush something through quickly. Health care is already unpopular in Massachusetts and across the country. It’s a very tricky thing indeed to take an unpopular bill and then sort of sneak it in through this back door way. So that’s politically too painful.”
Interestingly, Rodriguez’s concern over Kennedy’s health care legacy was almost identical to a question NBC’s Meredith Vieira asked Senator-elect Brown on Wednesday’s Today: “...you plan to do whatever you can to derail what Ted Kennedy called, called ‘the cause of his lifetime,’ which is health care reform?”