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?”
During the 12:00PM ET hour of live coverage on Tuesday, MSNBC displayed a poll that showed deceased founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford, losing to sitting New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in a possible Democratic primary for the seat. Considering Ford’s ties to big business and non-living status, his 17% to Gillibrand’s 41% was a respectable showing.
In reality, the Siena Research Institute poll described the race between Gillibrand and former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr., who has entertained the possibility of challenging her in the midterm election. Perhaps a Henry Ford campaign would have promised a Model T in every garage.
MediaBistro’s TVNewser discovered humorous error and as poster Kevin Allocca pointed out, Harold Ford Jr. has served as an MSNBC political analyst.
Appearing on Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele criticized potential Democratic efforts to delay seating Republican Scott Brown as the Senator from Massachusetts as “unseemly,” but co-host Maggie Rodriguez replied: “Is that fair? Because wouldn’t your party do the exact same thing?”
Rodriguez went on to argue: “Isn’t it true that when the GOP had the majority and the Democrats would filibuster something, you know, you didn’t like that....They’re trying to keep you from doing the same thing to them that you did when you were – had the majority.” Steele began to reply: “You’re mixing an apple and an orange here.” Rodriguez interrupted: “No, no, I’m really not.”
Steele explained: “To filibuster on an issue is not the same as seating a member in the United States Senate regardless of what’s going on in the Senate. There is a process that unfolds....[Democrats] made it very clear that [they] will obstruct this process...will change the rules in order for [them] to get [their] way in the Senate.” A shocked Rodriguez asked: “So you’re implying that they would do something illegal?” Steele replied: “I’m not – illegal is left for lawyers to decide. What I’m saying is that there is a process.”
During a Monday video interview with the New York Times’ The Caucus blog, the new White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer, joined his predecessor Anita Dunn in declaring that Fox News Channel is not a news organization: “I have the same view of Fox that Anita had, which is that Fox is not a traditional news organization.”
Responding to a question by Times reporter Jeff Zeleny about Dunn’s feud with Fox, Pfeiffer explained: “They [FNC] have a point of view. That point of view pervades the entire network both the opinion shows, like Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly, but also through the newscasts during the day.” He went on to add: “We don’t feel an obligation to treat them like we would treat a CNN or an ABC or an NBC or a traditional news organization. But there are times when it would make sense to communicate with them and appear on the network.”
MediaBistro.com’s TVNewser obtained a response from Fox News to Pfeiffer’s comments: “Obviously new to his position, Dan seems to be intent upon repeating the mistakes of his predecessor... and we all remember how well that turned out.”
In a bizarre twist of logic, on Monday’s Morning Joe program on MSNBC, Time magazine’s Mark Halperin argued that if Democrat Martha Coakley lost the race for the Massachusetts Senate, it would improve chances of health care reform passing: “I actually think they may get health care more easily than if they win.”
While Halperin acknowledged that losing the Senate seat that once belonged to the late Ted Kennedy would be a “disaster” for Democrats, he explained the supposed upside: “...if she wins, if they hold the seat, they’re still going to have to come up with a deal and then they’re going to have to have two votes, the House and Senate. They’re going to have to go through, you know, the torture of Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson deciding if they can deal with the compromised bill.” Halperin seemed convinced a Coakley loss could avoid all of that torturous democracy.
Later in the 12:00PM ET hour of live coverage on Monday, anchor Monica Novotny referred back to Halperin’s Morning Joe comments and asked guests Richard Wolffe and Larry Sabato about such an analysis of the situation: “In a discussion about this race earlier this morning on our air, the point was made that perhaps it’s better for the Democrats if they lose this seat....What do you think?”
While concluding a story on the Massachusetts Senate race on Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez acknowledged the possibility that Republican Scott Brown could win the long held Democratic seat but wondered: “It’ll be interesting to see if Brown, the Republican, wins, if the Democrats can defer his swearing in and get health care passed. We will watch that.”
At the top of the show, Rodriguez teased the story: “In Massachusetts it’s more than just a Senate race, it’s a battle that could end President Obama’s fight for health care reform.” Correspondent Nancy Cordes followed up with a report that also focused on the impact the race would have on health care: “The President was here campaigning yesterday for the Democrat. And no wonder, if she loses, it will be a major blow to his ability to get his agenda passed.”
Cordes observed how affective Brown’s opposition to ObamaCare has been: “Coakley’s Republican challenger...has made stopping the health care reform bill a signature issue. A message that seems to be resonating with voters.” She then fretted: “If Coakley loses this race, Democrats will lose their supermajority in the Senate. Meaning they won’t be able to pass Democratic priorities like health care reform unless they can convince a few Republicans to vote with them.”
On Friday’s CBS Early Show, People magazine editor Betsy Gleick discussed the latest issue, featuring an interview with Barack and Michelle Obama on their one-year anniversary in the White House, declaring: “I think the headline is that they are feeling optimistic that the country is back on track, and that they do feel that there are still some, obviously, huge challenges ahead.”
Co-host Harry Smith added his own insight into President Obama: “...sometimes when you’re not talking to him, in particular, about the news events of the day, he says a lot about himself and what his experience has been like and he talked a lot about being in the bubble.” Gleick agreed: “Absolutely. I mean, one of the most touching parts of the interview is that he just talked about the loneliness of the job and some of the loneliness he embraces, he realizes that he has big decisions that he alone needs to make. But he misses being out among regular people.”
Smith was also in awe of new photos of the first couple: “These pictures also that accompany the piece are just stunning... these may be among the best pictures, I think, we’ve seen of the two of them.” Gleick replied: “They’re beautiful, I agree.”
In yet another testament to liberals celebrating liberals, on Thursday the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism announced that CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric won the Alfred I. duPont award for excellence in broadcast journalism for her slanted 2008 interview with vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
In the interview, shown over a number of days on the CBS Evening News in September of 2008, Couric routinely sought trip up Palin. As NewsBusters' Brent Baker reported, on the September 29 broadcast, Couric pounded Palin on Pakistan, despite lobbing softballs to Joe Biden on the economy.
MediaBistro.com’s TVNewser obtained note to staff from CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus, who proclaimed that the award was “a testament to Katie’s excellence” and added that “the interviews have gone on to become an iconic moment in television journalism.” He also noted that the interviews “had a profound impact on the presidential campaign.” So much for journalists being neutral observers.
In March of 2009, Couric won the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism from the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication for the Palin interviews.
While speculating that Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien may move to Fox in the wake of NBC shaking up its late night schedule, on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez referred to Sarah Palin becoming a contributor for Fox News: “Sarah Palin his sidekick? Because she’s on Fox now, too.”
Co-host Harry Smith couldn’t resist getting in a shot of his own as he replied that Palin could “lead the band” for O’Brien’s Fox late night show. Of course if O’Brien made the move, he would be on the Fox broadcast channel, not Fox News.
Earlier, co-host Russ Mitchell reported Palin’s Fox News debut on Tuesday’s O’Reilly Factor: “Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin made her debut on Fox News last night. She appeared as a news analyst with Bill O’Reilly, who asked her about the controversy she attracts.”
On Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith followed President Obama’s lead by wondering if it was time to move on from the Harry Reid racial controversy, as he asked Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez and Democrat Dee Dee Myers: “Is the Reid story over and should it be?”
Sanchez rejected the notion that the story, which just broke over weekend, was over: “I think it’s just the beginning. It’s actually compounding....you look at his declining poll numbers in his state, declining support for health care reform, and overall his ineffectiveness in leadership.” Predictably, Myers took the opposite view: “Yeah, it’s pretty much over and it should be. Senator Reid has apologized....African-American leaders across the country have been largely supportive, including the President....he has been an effective leader. He’s gotten health care further than any Senate Majority Leader in 50 years.”
In a prior report, correspondent Nancy Cordes declared: “...the President needs Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid working at full steam if he wants to pass a health care bill quickly....that’s one of the reasons that he’s giving the leader some very high profile defense.” A clip was played of Obama arguing: “This is a good man who has always been on the right side of history....for people to try to make hay out of that makes absolutely no sense.”
While discussing Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview with former McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt on Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez asked Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer about the claim that Palin knew little of modern history: “Schmidt, last week tells 60 Minutes that she didn’t know anything....that included World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War.”
Rodriguez wondered if such allegations about Palin’s “supposed lack of knowledge” would be a future political liability, to which Schieffer replied: “You know, my take on Sarah Palin has always been she will never again seek public office....[she] resigned the governorship of Alaska and I think it would be very, very difficult for her in any primary that comes up, the first thing a candidate against her is going to say, ‘well, how long do you intend to stay if you get elected? If elected, do you promise to quit if the going gets tough?’”
In a report that preceded Rodriguez’s discussion with Schieffer, correspondent Nancy Cordes detailed charges outlined in the new book ‘Game Change,’ about the 2008 campaign, including how “...there was friction on the Democratic ticket, too. ‘How many times is Biden going to say something stupid?’ an angry Mr. Obama reportedly asked campaign staff over one of his running mate’s legendary gaffes.” For some reason, Rodriguez did not ask Schieffer about this challenge to the Vice President’s intelligence.
On Monday’s Inside Edition, distributed by CBS, host Deborah Norville cited Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview with McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt and proclaimed: “‘A debacle of historic and epic proportions.’ That’s how a former McCain campaign strategist is describing Sarah Palin’s performance as the Governor prepared for the vice presidential debate.”
Norville conveniently left out Schmidt’s later remark in the interview that Palin “did a good job in the debate against Senator Biden” and that he thought the Governor “more than held her own.” Instead, Norville only highlighted the adviser’s pre-debate concerns: “Schmidt reveals Palin was ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘ill prepared’ for the debate.”
Norville later mentioned: “Schmidt also claims Palin was so flustered during the prep for debate, she kept referring to Joe Biden as ‘O’Biden.’” She noted how Palin “did slip up once during the nationally televised debate.”
Also left out of the Inside Edition story was Schmidt’s concluding comment in the interview that: “I believe, had she [Palin] not been on the ticket, our margin of defeat would’ve been greater than it would’ve been otherwise.”
While a story on Sunday’s 60 Minutes about the new book, ‘Game Change,’ about the 2008 campaign, focused heavily on attacks against Sarah Palin by McCain staffers, it ignored numerous revelations of controversial statements by prominent Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid describing Barack Obama as “light skinned” and lacking a “negro dialect.”
Acting as a guest correspondent, CNN’s Anderson Cooper cited the book’s liberal authors, New York magazine’s John Heilemann and Time’s Mark Halperin, who claimed that Palin was picked by the McCain campaign out of “desperation” after manager Rick Davis found her name on Google. At one point, Halperin went so far as to declare that: “They said, ‘there’s one Sarah who you see in public’– upbeat. But the other Sarah was the one that frightened them. It was someone whose eyes were kind of glazed over, who was literally not responding to questions, who was keeping her head down.”
Cooper made sure to highlight CBS’s role in Palin’s supposed downfall with the Evening News Katie Couric interview: “In her book, Palin accuses CBS News of editing the interview to make her look bad. But [McCain campaign advisor] Steve Schmidt told us Palin did poorly because she didn’t do her homework.” Schmidt slammed Palin, claiming she was “focused that morning on answering ten written questions from a small newspaper in Alaska called the ‘Matsu Valley Frontiersman.’” After Cooper mentioned Palin’s criticism of Couric’s “gotcha questions,” Schmidt proclaimed: “I don’t think that Katie Couric asked a single unfair question in that interview.”
On Friday, the CBS Early Show promoted President Obama’s stronger anti-terror language as correspondent Chip Reid proclaimed: “The President accepted responsibility for the attack. He said the buck stops with him. He also adopted his toughest tone yet, stressing that the United States is at war with Al Qaeda.”
Reid later cited security improvements made under the Bush administration to minimize the failures of the Obama administration: “Security expert Edward Alden says despite the Christmas day attack, U.S. intelligence has improved dramatically over the past decade.” Alden explained: “This is a difficult job and I think that we are much better placed now, by a long shot, than we were before 9/11.”
Reid concluded his report by describing Obama’s relief at being able to move on to other topics: “After two weeks of dealing with terrorism, almost around the clock, today, the President hopes to shift the focus, he’ll be giving a statement on what he’s doing to create jobs.”
Friday’s CBS Early Show previewed an upcoming "60 Minutes" interview with former McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt as co-host Harry Smith declared: “John McCain’s former top adviser comes out swinging and tells "60 minutes" Sarah Palin often struggled with straight talk.” A clip was played of Schmidt claiming “there were numerous instances” when Palin “said things that were not accurate.”
Co-host Maggie Rodriguez later teased the interview by describing how Schmidt “gets tough on Sarah Palin” and referred to it as “explosive.” While introducing a brief preview clip of the interview, set to air on Sunday’s "60 Minutes", Rodriguez proclaimed: “the blunt-talking political strategist who ran John McCain’s presidential campaign, is going rogue, speaking out for the first time since the election....And when it comes to Sarah Palin, he’s not holding back.”
In the featured clip, Schmidt attacked Palin’s credibility and lamented how “...the campaign had to deal with and that opened the door to criticism that she was being untruthful and inaccurate.” He added: “And I think that that is something that continues to this day.” A headline on-screen read: “Going Rogue; Fmr. McCain Adviser Slams Palin on '60 Minutes'”
While the Democratic Mayor of Baltimore, Shelia Dixon, resigned on Wednesday amid a criminal scandal, the evening news programs on NBC, ABC, and CBS all failed to mention the political downfall.
On Thursday, all three network morning shows offered news briefs on the resignation, however, all forgot to note that Dixon was a Democrat.
On NBC’s Today, co-host Ann Curry mentioned: “Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon announced her resignation on Wednesday after she was convicted of embezzlement. She also agreed to plead guilty to perjury in a deal reached with prosecutors.”
Speaking to Virginia Governor Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez pointed out a potential dire situation for Democrats in the 2010 midterm election: “Your party stands to lose a lot in the fall. Its 60 vote majority in the Senate, dozens of seats in the House, as well as Governor seats across the country.”
An on-screen headline posed the question: “Democrats in Trouble?” Rodriguez summed up the circumstances under which Democrats could do well in the fall: “...two things have to happen. One, the economy has to improve, and, two, health care has to not only pass, but show that it’s working.” She assumed that health care passing would be a good thing for Democrats and failed to ask Kaine about the lack of openness in the legislative process.
Rodriguez asked for Kaine’s assessment of the situation. Unsurprisingly, the DNC chair was optimistic about his party’s chances: “I think both are going to happen....I think the passage of historic health care and continued improvement of the economy is going to actually surprise some people in November in terms of how Democrats do.”
In an interview on Fox News Channel’s Studio B on Wednesday, New York Congressman Peter King criticized President Obama for his “race to close Guantanamo,” prompting host Shepard Smith to parrot left-wing talking points on the subject: “[Obama] said that gave us a black eye around the world and studies seem to suggest that’s exactly what it did.”
King went on to staunchly defend the military prison: “I think we should not be giving in just because the terrorists say that Gitmo is a recruiting agent. So is our support of Israel. Does that mean we shouldn’t support Israel?” Smith skeptically replied: “You’re not equating the two, are you Congressman?” He then wondered: “Why is this political football being thrown around so much in the middle of all this?”
Smith later ranted: “Of all the important things to talk this just where we keep these people who want us dead, why do we spend time even talking about it? Why do people care?... In Cuba, we shoved them off to another country and stuck them on the end of an island and given the nation a black eye, if you believe – if you believe President Obama.” King pointed out Smith’s bias: “I think only a person that’s incredibly naive would say that we got – that we deserve that black eye. We got it because elements in the media and elements in the Democratic Party kept parroting that line.” In reply, Smith could be heard off camera sighing in disgust: “Ugh.”
Speaking with Republican New York Congressman Peter King on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: “Congressman, here you are a Republican talking about everything that’s wrong and everything that went wrong....Tom Kean, who was the co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission said quote,‘we should dismiss the partisan bickering over the security failures over this issue.”
Rodriguez went on to place the blame for partisanship on the Republican side of the aisle as she asked: “Do you agree and do you say to your colleagues let’s try to support the President here and get to the bottom of the real issue?” King replied: “I have never made one partisan statement on terrorism since that day....I will give the President credit when I think he’s right. But on the other hand, when mistakes are being made, I think it’s my obligation to speak out because this issue is so vital to all Americans.”
During the 3PM ET hour of live coverage on MSNBC, anchor David Shuster claimed that Fox News political analyst Brit Hume "denigrated Christianity" when suggesting that scandal-ridden golfer Tiger Woods convert to the faith.
Shuster made the comments while discussing the issue with MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan, asking: "Doesn’t it also denigrate Christianity when you do that on a Sunday political talk show? This isn’t church, this isn’t some sort of holy setting, this is a political talk show....Doesn’t that minimize the significance of Christianity, when you bring a discussion of Christianity into a conversation about politics?"
Buchanan replied: "He’s not denigrating Christianity....A lot of us feel that there ought to be more discussion of religion in politics and religious beliefs and what’s moral and right and wrong." Shuster pressed him: "And you don’t think this diminishes Christianity in any way?" Buchanan shot back: "What do you think, the religion’s dropped a peg or two now?" Shuster sarcastically responded: "I do think it diminishes the discussion of Christianity....This wasn’t the ‘700 Club,’ this wasn’t ‘Theocracy Today.’"