For the New York Times, what better way to observe the 11th anniversary of 9-11 than by exploiting it for political purposes and seeking to blame George W. Bush?
The Times chose to publish on its op-ed page today a column by Kurt Eichenwald, a former Times reporter now with Vanity Fair, entitled "The Deafness Before the Storm." Its gruel is thin when it comes to actually assembling a case of any real Bush-administration negligence. And that is the best evidence that Eichenwald and the Times were not motivated by any sincere desire to review the historical record with the goal of preventing future lapses. Rather, this is cheap political exploitation and finger-pointing at its basest. More after the jump.
Joe Scarborough has suggested that Clint Eastwood was drunk when he gave his RNC speech.
Today's Morning Joe opened with a clip of Mitt Romney telling David Gregory that it was a thrill to have Eastwood speak on his behalf at the RNC, and that he felt Eastwood spoke "from the heart." Scarborough came on and said that rather than speaking from the heart, Eastwood spoke more "from the bottom of a bottle." View the video after the jump.
Guess John Harwood was feeling lucky today. CNBC's chief Washington correspondent went on the Today show and boldly proclaimed that not only did Clint Eastwood not accomplish his mission with his RNC speech, but that the speech is almost universally viewed by political professionals as "a big blunder, a big set-back for Mitt Romney."
Harwood did not adduce a scintilla of evidence in support of his contention that the speech hurt Romney. And his universe of pundits apparently does not include people like Jonah Goldberg or Mark Steyn. View the video after the jump.
How deep are MSNBC and its parent company Comcast in the tank for the Democrats? So deep that even the New York Times [!] has headlined an article "Welcome to the MSNBC, Er, Democratic Convention." [H/t Mediaite]
The article details how MSNBC personalities were treated like rock stars by adoring Dems. Even more telling is this: "Four years ago, there was open anxiety inside MSNBC over having the unabashedly partisan Keith Olbermann anchor convention coverage. But the era of liberal hand-wringing appears to have passed." Translation: in the tank and proud. Comcast's servicing of the Dems doesn't end with adoring coverage. It also translates into cold, hard cash from Comcast execs. More after the jump.
Enter Sandman . . . Sleep can be in short supply at conventions. So we can hardly fault DNC-goers who catch a few winks whenever and wherever they can.
Even so, perhaps an eagle-eyed director might have avoided camera shots revealing--for a moment during John Kerry's speech last night-- and for an extended period during today's Morning Joe, audience members deep in the arms of Morpheus. View the video after the jump.
Methinks the MSMer doth protest too much. If Mark Halperin weren't keenly aware that he was about to try to whitewash a huge vulnerability for the Democrats, why would he have prefaced his remark with the disclaimer that he and others weren't showing liberal bias by claiming it was no big deal?
But that's exactly what Halperin did this on today's Morning Joe. The show rolled video of the DNC delegates clearly voting against putting God and Jerusalem-as-the-capital-of-Israel back in the platform from which they had been removed. We then saw the convention chairman fraudently declare that two-thirds had in fact voted to reinsert the language. But there was Halperin, claiming "I don't think it's liberal bias to say that the story is pretty much done." View the video after the jump.
It's irresistible to play the game of imagining the MSM response had a prominent Republican been caught saying of Barack Obama that "a few years ago this guy would have been carrying our bags." In the case of a Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan, calls for them to quit the campaign would be echoing from the halls of MSNBC to the shores of the New York Times.
But let a Democrat say it, in the person of The World's Greatest and Most Beloved Politician, AKA Bill Clinton, and well, no problem. The MSM reacts with a yawn. Take Ryan Lizza, the New Yorker correspondent who actually broke the story. Appearing on CNN this morning, Lizza assured host Soledad O'Brien that "I don't think it's racial. I don't think Bill Clinton has a racist bone in his body." View the video after the jump.
If a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged, you might say that James Taranto became solidly conservative when his free speech was mugged by liberals.
Taranto is the author of the inimitable Best of the Web Today column at the online edition of the Wall Street Journal. In a wide-ranging interview with NewsBusters at the RNC yesterday, Taranto—asked how he became a conservative—described his experience as a college student-newspaper editor. He had written a column defending the free speech rights of a college journalist at another university who had been suspended for published a politically-incorrect cartoon regarding affirmative action. Taranto soon found himself suspended as well. It was the realization, contrary to his previous assumptions, that liberals often do not support free speech that, in Taranto's words, "solidified me on the right." View the video after the jump.
To know Barack Obama is not necessarily to love him. But MSM politics run deeper than water. So suggests Michael Medved. In an interview with NewsBusters today, the author and radio talk show host said that whereas there's not much "affection or respect" for President Obama in the White House press corps, they are still "ideologically committed to him."
That said, whereas an adoring press helped push Barack Obama to victory in 2008, Medved is convinced that Mitt Romney has an excellent chance of defeating Obama in November. So optimistic is Medved, that he has just released an eBook, The Odds Against Obama, making his case. View the interview video after the jump.
TAMPA, Florida | To Republicans in the RNC convention hall last night, and surely to the majority of Americans watching at home regardless of their politics, Ann Romney came across as a warm, kind and caring woman.
But the editors of the New York Times occupy a very different universe. In a nasty piece of work this morning, editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal painted an ugly picture of Ann Romney. Using the most violent of metaphors, Rosenthal saw a woman who, of all things, had "slipped a knife into President Obama." More after the jump.
When this NewsBuster entered a Spanish-language press conference at the Republican National Convention this morning, he was surprised to find former New Hampshire Governor and Romney surrogate John Sununu at the podium . . . holding forth in fluent Spanish.
Interviewed after his remarks, Sununu told NewsBusters that he was born in Havana and that his mother was originally from El Salvador. "As a boy, when I was bad, my mother would chew me out in Spanish. And since I was bad a lot, I learned a lot of Spanish!" Before saying goodbye, Sununu added "I love Brent Bozell!", President of NewsBusters's parent organization, Media Research Center. View a brief clip of Sununu speaking Spanish after the jump.
When it comes to family members of Republican presidential candidates, looks like the MSM has decided they're fair game for attacks. Yesterday we noted how ABC's Bianna Golodryga claimed that Paul Ryan's mother was campaigning in a "very calculated" manner.
Today we offer Joan Walsh into evidence. Appearing on the weekend edition of MSNBC's "Hardball," the Salon editor accused Ann Romney of throwing a "tantrum" over her husband's decision to release no more than two years of tax returns. View the video after the jump.
At one point during Good Morning America's coverage of the presidential race this morning, co-host Dan Harris proclaimed that--"seven days into the newly minted Romney/Romney ticket, the snark and sniping is hitting new levels."
He should know. The snarkiest snipe of the morning came from Harris's own co-host. Opening the show, co-host Bianna Golodryga [maried to former Obama budget director Peter Orszag] declared that Paul Ryan's mother would be appearing on the campaign trail with him today "for a very calculated reason." Do you recall ABC or other MSM outlets depicting, say, Michelle Obama's frequent campaign stops—or politicking thinly-disguised as public service appearances—as "very calculated" or the like? Me neither. View the video after the jump.
Move over, Paul Krugman. Someone's taken your place as the most extreme advocate of excessive government spending.
On today's Morning Joe, Columbia prof Jeffrey Sachs actually criticized the Obama administration for "shrinking" government too much. Trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see? Peanuts compared to what we Sachs wants us to spend! View the video after the jump.
At least Barney didn't accuse Paul Ryan of going all Twilight on starving children, or of actually pouring kerosene on burning buildings.
No, appearing on Al Sharpton's MSNBC show today, the retiring Dem congressman contented himself by claiming that Ryan opposes people coming together to feed poor children or put out fires. View the video after the jump.
Andrea Mitchell's Freudian slip was showing on her MSNBC show this afternoon. Mitchell's moment of unintentional honesty came during a discussion with Chris Cillizza of Joe Biden's ugly remark yesterday to a largely African-American audience that Mitt Romney would "put y'all back in chains."
As noted here, Capehart defended Biden on Morning Joe today, claiming he had "nothing to apologize for." Mitchell, seeking faux balance, cited Capehart as having enumerated a number of supposedly racially-tinged remarks made by Republicans. Just one problem: Mitchell described Capehart as a "Democratic analyst." Oopsie! Surely a distinction without much of a difference, but Capehart's official job title is that of editorial writer for the Washington Post. View the video after the jump.
An animated opening segment on today's Morning Joe focused on the fallout from VP Joe Biden's remark to a largely African-American audience yesterday that a Romney presidency would "put y'all back in chains."
Washington Post editorialist Jonathan Capehart claimed Biden doesn't have "anything to apologize for." But earlier, Willie Geist opined that had Paul Ryan said such a thing, "there would be calls" for Ryan and Romney "to get out of the race." Joe Scarborough envisioned the enraged editorials the New York Times would be emitting. Taking the cluelessness cake, Mika Brzezinski found it inconceivable that Biden might have been playing the race card. View the video after the jump.
On Morning Joe today, Chris Matthews exposed the ugly face of class warfare politics at its most primal.
Matthews claimed that Paul Ryan wants to "give" money to rich people but "doesn't like" people who depend on government, and indeed, as a conservative, wants to "screw" them. As NewsBuster Brad Wilmouth earlier noted, this isn't the first time Matthews has resorted to this vulgar metaphor. View the video after the jump.
An interesting—encouraging?—comment and admission from Mark Halperin on today's Morning Joe. The MSNBC political analyst said that "almost every national political reporter knows Paul Ryan, likes Paul Ryan, more than they do Mitt Romney. And that gives Romney a little bit of an edge that he was missing, which is pro-Obama in the press corps."
Halperin's comment came immediately after Joe Scarborough had dared Dems to demonize Ryan, saying it would only help Republicans. Halperin's statement was a bit condensed. But parsing it, he seems to be admitting that the national press corps is pro-Obama, but that they know and like Ryan, and that will be a plus for the GOP ticket as the inevitable Dem demonization of Ryan unfolds. View the video after the jump.
Serious question: is there anything—anything!—Debbie Wasserman-Schultz won't say to promote Barack Obama?
On Fox News Sunday, interviewed by guest host John Roberts, the Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee somehow managed to keep a straight face as she brazenly claimed: "I have no idea of the political affiliation of folks who are associated" with Priorities USA, the Super PAC that ran the ad essentially blaming Mitt Romney for a woman's cancer death. But as is undoubtedly well known to Wasserman-Schultz, Priorities USA is run by Bill Burton—Obama's former Deputy Press Secretary. View the video after the jump.
Incredible. CBS News has an anti-Romney "fact check" article up this morning supposedly debunking statements made by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan during yesterday's introduction of the veep pick. At the end, CBS actually snuck in the hyper-partisan, DNC-talking-point assertion that it was "clear" that when President Obama utttered his infamous "you didn't build that", he was talking about "teachers and infrastructure."
CBS claims that in criticizing "you didn't build that," Republicans "seized on only part of Obama's quote." In fact, it is CBS itself that edited out another, most telling, part of Obama's comments. The network omitted the following Obama lines which make irretrievably clear that he was indeed disparaging the achievements of entrepreneurs. More after the jump.
In one of the more loathsome displays of this election season, Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs, appearing on today's Morning Joe, refused to criticize an ad from an Obama-endorsed Super PAC that accuses Mitt Romney of being responsible for a woman's death from cancer.
The former Obama press secretary used every tired dodge in the book to evade criticizing the commercial. Gibbs variously claimed that: he hadn't seen the ad; wasn't familiar with the specifics of the woman's case, and didn't want to announce a general policy on denouncing false Super PAC ads. His evasions were too much not only for Joe Scarborough, who pointed out that the PAC was run by former Obama staffer Bill Burton. Mark Halperin and even for Sam HuffPo's Stein joined in the grilling of Gibbs. To his credit, expressing with frustration that they "would never get you to condemn the ad," Stein pointed out that while the woman lost health coverage under her husband's policy when Bain put the company into bankruptcy, she continued to have health coverage via her own employment. Stein added that the incident occurred in 2006, long after even the Obama campaign admits Romney had nothing to do with Bain. View the video after the jump.
What does it take to win a Pulitzer Prize or write editorials for the Washington Post? Hard to say [though being a liberal certainly helps], but familiarity with the basic constitutional principles upon which our country was founded is apparently not required.
On today's Morning Joe, Pulitzer Prize winner and Washington Post editorialist Jonathan Capehart apologized to Senator Tom Coburn for being unfamiliar with Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, the Enumerated Powers clause. As you'll see from the clip, Capehart's befuddlement regarding the clause seemed to extend beyond the specific article number to the very principle that it embodies. View the video after the jump.
An MSNBC host and the Chair of the Democratic National Committee walk into a bar . . . Al Sharpton, uttering one of the more absurd laugh lines of this political season, actually claimed on his MSNBC show this evening that his campaign in Florida against voter ID laws is "non-partisan."
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz apparently hadn't gotten the memo about pretending Sharpton was non-partisan. The Chair of the DNC, also a Dem Florida congresswoman, after delivering a super-partisan diatribe on the issue, giddily thanked Sharpton for his work--before the Reverend hastened to remind viewers that his campaign was "non-partisan." You're killing us, Al! View the video after the jump.
Imagine that Fox News had run a spoof video of someone seeming to line up a leading Democrat for a high-powered rifle shot. Need we state the obvious? MSNBC and the rest of the MSM would have interrupted all normal broadcasting for at least the rest of the day to condemn the outrage.
But if a liberal late-night TV show runs a clip of Sarah Palin seeming to take such a shot at Dick Cheney? Well, that's all in good fun. Conan O'Brien last night ran a spoof video of Palin, reacting to Cheney's recent comment that McCain's pick of her as his running mate was a mistake, seeming to line up Dick Cheney for a shot with a high-powered rifle. Morning Joe replayed the clip this morning and guest host Mike Barnicle pronounced it "pretty good!" as a guest smiled on. View the video after the jump.
In the current edition of his Best of the Web Today column, James Taranto notes the oddly downbeat fundraising email sent out by deputy Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter. Bearing the subject line "Romney Defeats Obama?", Cutter goes on to warn that such "might be the headline you see" the day after the election.
In recent weeks, this NewsBuster has received a number of similarly pessimistic messages from the Obama folks. But one just received today is simply strange--downright schizophrenic, you might say. Read more after the jump.
Chris Matthews let his nasty side show on Morning Joe today, callously calling Dick Cheney's weekend television interview, the first since his heart transplant, "a proof of life thing." For good measure, Matthews called Cheney "pretty much hated in this country."
For that matter, don't look for Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough to be having dinner together any time soon. After Scarborough mockingly introduced Matthews as "our Joey Heatherton", the pair sparred over the correct pronunciation of Dick Cheney's last name. A palpably peeved Matthews, champion of the chee-ney variant, eventually snapped "do some reporting" at Scarborough. View the video after the jump.
Oh those looming racists at Fox News and the Republican-friendly super-PACs. They just might try to play the race card against President Obama. But not to worry! It would only backfire against them.
So suggested Washington Post reporter Nia-Malika Henderson, appearing on this weekend's edition of the Chris Matthews show. Henderson assured viewers that if the Super PACs and Fox News "hint at that sort of [racial] language", there will be a "blowback" among independents and women. Chris Matthews was quick to chime in, adding that women are more devoted to "fairness" than men. View the video after the jump.
Next time Jay Carney goes on vacation, maybe Olivier Knox could fill in for him. After all, the Yahoo News reporter is willing to defend the Obama spokesman against charges of making politically-inspired comments about the Olympics, even while others in the press corps were literally laughing at Carney's denial. H/t Mike Allen's Politico Playbook.
After Mitt Romney had caused a minor kerfuffle with this comments about the Olympics, Carney began his press briefing by highlighting Obama admin efforts to assist the UK with security planning for the Games. Asked whether his remarks were tied to Romney's trip, Carney countered: "The answer is no. I'm just trying to fill you in on the president's day." That was too much for even the Obama-friendly press corps, which laughed in response. But here comes Knox to the rescue in his report, assuring us that "there's no evidence of any political motive." Thanks Olivier! Read more after the jump.
Liberal fascism, anyone? Add Barney Frank to the list of Thomas Friedman and Ray LaHood who regret that in the United States, that darn Constitution gets in the way of the enlightened class imposing its will on the rest of us benighted peons.
Sparring with Mario Bartiromo on CNBC this afternoon, Dem congressman Frank, expressing frustration at his inability to get through legislation he favors, lamented: "unfortunately, under this American system of government, you have these checks and balances." Yeah, so unfortunate. If only Barney could be king for a day. View the video after the jump.