It seems as if Al Sharpton is struggling to find talking points after his continuous coverage of the Zimmerman case and rants claiming racism have begun to fall on deaf ears. On his Politics Nation program on Tuesday, the Rev. turned to mocking Republican congressmen while berating the GOP in general. [Link to the audio here]
In defense of the Affordable Care Act, Sharpton claimed that every GOP argument against the “law is nonsense.” He then played a clip of Representative Ted Yoho (R- Fla.) making a joke during an interview about the tanning bed tax provision in ObamaCare. Yoho said that he had asked an Indian doctor if he had ever used a tanning booth, to which the man replied that he had no need presumably because of the color of his skin already.
On the latest edition of her Sunday morning show, host Melissa Harris-Perry and her panel discussed Harris-Perry's grand theory that the media were engaging in a giant game of misdirection following the Zimmerman trial's outcome. The liberal Tulane professor naturally wants the liberal media to focus on topics that further a liberal/progressive agenda, like repealing Stand Your Ground laws, while the argument of liberal CNN anchor Don Lemon that there needs to be some soul-searching in the black community about gangsta culture among young black teens was dismissed as irrelevant.
Most panelists, like University of Pennsylvania professor and TheNation.com blogger panelist Salamishah Tillet echoed Harris-Perry’s statement and claimed that conservatives were responsible for purposefully moving the conversation away from the preferred liberal talking points. For his part, however, fellow panelist Dr. Steve Perry, principal of the renowned Capital Preparatory Magnet School offered a dissenting viewpoint, for which he was marginalized and silenced.
On Thursday morning, MSNBC guest host Mara Schiavocampo devoted a segment of the show to discussing the story of Marissa Alexander, a Florida woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot into a wall at the home of her ex-husband. She brought on Joy-Ann Reid, TheGrio.com editor and blogger, to discuss the comparability of this case to the Trayvon Martin case as well as implications that the Alexander case sentencing could attest to “a racial disparity in how the lies are applied.” [Link to the audio here]
Schiavocampo then introduced a shoddy Tampa Bay Times report that she said supported these claims of “racial imbalance” including two sets of statistics from the report about the rate of convictions based on the race of the victim and defendant respectively. The first set reported that when there was a black victim, the accused faced no penalty 73% of the time while the same was true only 59% of the time when the victim was white. The second statistic showed that, in fatal cases, black defendants went free 66% of the time while white defendants went free in 61% of cases.
Unequivocally liberal MSNBC host Chris Hayes took an underhanded jab at Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachman by comparing her career to the Titan Arum, the world’s largest species of flower which is housed at the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington D.C. The flower, which only blooms once every few years, gives off an odor that is “oddly like rotting flesh.” After being in bloom for a few days, “the flower will then begin to collapse in on itself, embarking on a trajectory very similar to Michele Bachmann’s congressional career," Hayes cynically remarked.
Since the announcement of Bachmann’s retirement on May 29, the liberal media have had a field day mocking her Tea Party brand of conservatism. Fellow MSNBC host Al Sharpton hosted a liberal panel on his show to ridicule Bachmann on the same day that a Morning Joe panel devoted a segment solely to lambasting Bachmann as a “fringe” “celebrity politician” who will soon be irrelevant. In fact, my NewsBusters colleague Geoffrey Dickens compiled a Top 10 list of anti-Bachmann quotes.
MSNBC's Steve Kornacki took to the air on Sunday morning's edition of Up with a panel comprised exclusively of liberal African Americanshe panel, which was composed of exclusively African-American liberals, all in agreement regarding their disdain for the not-guilty verdict reached in the Zimmerman trial on Saturday. [Link to the audio here]
But Mychal Denzel Smith of The Nation took his disapproval to an entirely different level when he claimed that the defense “invoked the same justification for the killing of Trayvon Martin that you would during lynching.” He claimed that, in showing the jury a picture of a white woman in the neighborhood who has a victim of a robbery, they were claiming that Zimmerman had to protect, to quote Smith, “white womanhood from this vicious black thug,” Trayvon Martin.
On the Monday night edition of All In, Chris Hayes featured a segment decrying what he considered a racially-motivated overzealous prosecution of Marissa Alexander, an African-American Florida woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a warning shot in the vicinity of her estranged husband, with whom she was having a dispute. [Link to the audio here]
Hayes hosted a panel which included Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) to discuss the story, and its implications when compared against the outcome of the Zimmerman case. Rep. Brown passionately exclaimed that this case showed “institutional racism” in the justice system. Hayes and the panel agreed with Brown about her opinion that Alexander had been overcharged for her crime and called into question the legitimacy of “mandatory minimum” laws, which require a preset minimum sentence if convicted of certain crimes. But according to an Associated Press report, the story is a lot more complex than that.
During a weekend dominated by partisan bickering over the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, it was refreshing to see a network that wasn’t exclusively covering the reaction to the verdict. On the Fox News Channel program America’s News Headquarters, host Shannon Bream served as the moderator of a “fair and balanced debate” on the recent revelations that a Tucson school district received funding for an Arabic language program from an organization with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Tucson Unified School District has reportedly accepted a $465,000 grant from Qatar Foundation International, a philanthropic organization that has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is, of course, closely tied to many Islamic extremist groups including Hamas and Al Qaeda.
On the Wednesday night edition of All In, host Christ Hayes devoted a segment to discussing the contention in our nation’s capital the introduction of Wal-Mart stores into the District. Basically, the new law would force the discount retailer to pay its employees at least $12.50 an hour in each of its proposed six new stores in the city limits.
Hayes tried to argue that instead of opposing the new legislative measures because of the economic hardships it would create, Wal-Mart was only averse to the new requirement so it could show a “raw assertion of power.” He claimed that the store wanted to be able to “pay their workers whatever they want and dare anyone to tell them otherwise.”
While serving as guest host of Tuesday's Hardball, Michael Smerconish closed the program by pushing for a legalization of prostitution. He claimed not to see anything wrong with women selling their bodies for money, calling it “the private affairs of consenting adults.” It's no coincidence that Smerconish's defense of the sex trade came just two days after gushing over prostitution patron Eliot Spitzer and his "unwarranted" resignation as governor.
In his defense of prostitution, Smerconish made two arguments for its legalization. First, he argued that it would be financially profitable for the government to “bring the world’s oldest profession aboveboard” and allow it to be considered a taxable income. This legalization would also allow for the communities to “clean up the trade,” he argued.
On her Sunday morning programming live from the Essence Festival in New Orleans, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, the namesake of her show, entertained a panel of African-American leaders to discuss several contemporary issues including the recent 5-4 decision handed down by the Supreme Court that declared Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional because it used, to quote Chief Justice Roberts, “a formula based on 40-year-old facts having no logical relation to the present day.” Harris-Perry scoffed at Roberts’ decision and claimed that this decision caused the advent of a “third reconstruction” in America. [Link to the audio here]
Clearly, this is a ridiculous comparison. The current social climate and culture of our country does not even hold a candle to the kind of suppression of rights that took place during Reconstruction or even during the civil rights movement, or so-called Second Reconstruction.
On the Tuesday evening edition of Politics Nation, host Rev. Al Sharpton took a break from his seemingly continual coverage of the George Zimmerman trial to talk about healthcare. He touted the recent decision by the Obama administration to push the to 2015 as implementation of the employee mandate requirement of the Affordable Care Act back the administration’s decision to give “employers more time to provide coverage.” [Link to the audio here]
Sharpton then vilified the decisions by several states to reject ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion provision by claiming that it showed the GOP’s “absolute disregard for this crisis” despite Obama’s “extra effort” to ease the transition in postponing the employee mandate.
On the Monday night edition of All In with Chris Hayes, host Chris Hayes sneered at Republican opposition to ObamaCare, deriding the "manically obsessed," "cruel" GOP. Going off on a fact-free soliloquy, Hayes hypothesized that the “worst caricature of a Republican” would be “maniacally obsessed with destroying Barack Obama, cruelly indifferent to the fates of the non-rich, [and a] cartoonish villain who wants to dash people’s hopes of finally getting affordable health insurance purely out of spite.” [Link to the audio here]
Most of Hayes’ remarks are inaccurate when referring to the majority of members of the Republican Party. For example, according to a Pew Research Center study, the highest percentage of Republican voters make between $30,000 and $50,000 per year, numbers that no one would consider “rich” in our country. This shows that Republicans must care about the “fates of the non-rich” or risk losing the largest segment of their voters.
On the Friday morning edition of Fox and Friends, the panel discussed, among other things, President Obama’s trip to Africa along with the continuing saga of Edward Snowden and the NSA leaks. At one point, they played a clip of the president at the joint news conference in Senegal where the president admitted that he did not personally contact the presidents of China or Russia because "number one, I shouldn't have to. This is something that routinely is dealt with between law enforcement officials and various countries." [Link to the audio]
However, host Steve Doocy and guest host Tucker Carlson were adept in pointing out that Obama has been more than ready to pick up his phone and call a number of people about far more trivial situations, albeit those that served to advance his liberal agenda. For example, President Obama personally called the plaintiffs in the Propostition 8 case to congratulate them after the Supreme Court ruling came out. Additionally, he found the time to call Jason Collins, the gay basketball player as well as the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles after he signed Michael Vick.
Guest-anchoring the June 25 edition of Now with Alex Wagner, MSNBC's Joy-Ann Reid took the opportunity to react to a 2-hour-old Supreme Court ruling with an appropriate amount of sky-is-falling bluster.
Reid's overwhelmingly liberal panel was distraught at the decision and agreed that this would lead to a “slow but steady erosion of voting rights in the South.” When asked his opinion about the ruling, Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, had this to say:
During his Monday afternoon show, MSNBC host Martin Bashir initiated a segment by reporting on the tragic shootings that took place over Father’s Day weekend in Chicago. Over the holiday weekend a total of 41 people were shot, 7 fatally. Bashir wasted no time politicizing these tragedies by using them as evidence that the “conversation is not over” on pushing new gun control legislation in Congress. He then went on to shamelessly advertise for Vice President Joe Biden’s White House event to support gun-restricting legislation as well as the No More Names bus tour which is a project paid for by Major Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns group to try to drum-up popular support for anti-gun legislation. [Link to the audio here]
It is curious that Bashir would use Chicago gun violence as an example of why there needs to be universal background checks prior to the purchase of legal firearms. Amid his own claims that the NRA was endorsing a “program of disinformation” and promulgating the “spreading of falsehood and lies” by “suggesting that there was going to be a registry for gun owners,” it seems that Bashir must not have done his homework to choose Chicago as his example for this platform.
Thursday night, both Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity showed and commented on a new video done by the Media Research Center that showed a disturbing trend among some college students at George Mason University. In the video, MRCTV reporter Dan Joseph posed as a liberal hater of Fox News to try to get students to sign a petition urging the Obama administration to spy on Fox News employees and their families’ phone and email records. [Listen to the audio here or watch the video after the jump]
This, of course, was done in the wake of the revelation that the Justice Department seized the phone and email records of Fox News correspondent James Rosen, and the phone records of the Associated Press.
On Thursday afternoon, FBI director Robert Mueller was called before the House Judiciary Committee to answer questions about the bureau's association with the recent scandals that have rocked the president's second term. He testified about the FBI investigation into the IRS targeting scandal as well as about the security at Benghazi and their delay in responding to the attack. Mueller stumbled through the interview, as he did not give many straight or definitive answers. In fact, he seemed to be remarkably uninformed about key elements regarding the scandals given the fact that he was supposed to be in charge of the entire operation.
Curiously, with such a significant development in these scandals, particularly the one pertaining to the IRS targeting, all of the broadcast networks’ evening newscasts neglected the story. NBC Nightly News along with CBS Evening News and ABC World News did not deem this progression in the scandal newsworthy as it was given collective total of no air time. The only network that gave this new development any time at all was the Fox News Channel. In fact one of the channel’s staple primetime shows, Hannity, featured the story as its leading piece and had a number of guests on the show to comment about the scandal and its lack of media coverage, including the founder of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell.
On the Thursday edition of MSNBC Live, Thomas Roberts reported that, in the wake all the controversy surrounding ObamaCare and its provision to expand Medicaid, MSNBC would be sponsoring a free health clinic in New Orleans to provide screenings and other medical services. He then brought Nicole Lamoureux, the executive director of the National Associations of Free Clinics, to have a platform to promote ObamaCare's costly expansion of Medicaid. [Listen to the audio here]
Roberts asked Lamoureux tell him “how the lack of Medicaid expansion is going to impact the residents of Louisiana,” to which she bluntly replied that unless Medicaid is expanded “people are just going to die.” Not only is that an incredibly dire, doomsday-scenario statement, but it is also simply her opinion on the issue. In the interview, she presented no statistics to back up her claim. In fact, there is quite of evidence to the contrary of her statement.
As the George Zimmerman trail progresses with the selection of the jury, media has renewed its coverage of the issue which can at times border on obsessive. Last Friday night, Black Entertainment Television (BET) decided to throw their hat into the already incredibly crowded ring and provide their version of news coverage of the George Zimmerman trial and preceding events in a half-hour special entitled, Justice for Trayvon: Our Son Is Your Son. The title plays off of a quote by Trayvon’s mother Sybrina that was made at a rally in support of her son.
The entire controversy centers on the 2012 shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin by then neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman and the ensuing lawsuit by the state of Florida. The prosecution charged Zimmerman with murder in the second degree while he claims to have shot Martin in self-defense after being attacked by the teen.
Openly gay CNN anchor Anderson Cooper devoted a full quarter of his Thursday, June 6 program to the story of a transgender ex-Navy SEAL who laments that he could not serve in the military now as a man who identifies as a woman. [Listen to the audio here]
Cooper chronicled the adult life of Christopher Beck, who now goes by Kristin, who first enlisted in the Navy in 1990 and would eventually achieve his goal of serving as a member of the Navy SEALs. However, he claimed that he always had an inner struggle with his gender identity. He was born a man, but identified himself as a woman. He also claims to have signed up for the SEALs to try to suppress or “cure” his feminine desires but never could.
In Tuesday night's episode of ABC'sNightline, host Cynthia McFadden introduced a story about a "normal" community of polygamist families that live in Centennial Park, Arizona. She also went on to plug for the new National Geographic show Polygamy, USA:
To some, having more than one wife might sound like heaven on earth. But just imagine the communication skills required the potential for jealousy. And all those family logistics well they might just seem overwhelming. No one knows exactly how many polygamous live in this country. Most live in secret. There's been a lot of news about the followers of Warren Jeffs and alleged forced marriages of underage girls. But tonight we meet a community with a twist the women choose their husbands, not the other way around.
Laura Bassett at The Huffington Post reported Tuesday that Fox Business would not air a TV advertisement by the feminist group Ultraviolet that called for the termination of Fox contributors Lou Dobbs, Erick Erickson, and Juan Williams.
"Lou Dobbs has a problem," an announcer declares in the ad, over tiny out-of-context clips of the men speaking. "Women are winning the bread. Even his own network isn't safe from this source of lady breadwinners. Tell Fox to retire Lou Dobbs, Erick Erickson, and Juan Williams and spare them the pain of equality."
During a discussion on Monday's NBC Today of internet reaction to a controversial new Cheerios commercial, lawyer and regular pundit Star Jones alleged that “social media is the new kind of Ku Klux Klan white hood; it allows you to be anonymous and say the things you would never say to a person to their face.”
The comment was made while the panel, which also included attorney Donny Deutsch and hosts Willie Geist and Samantha Guthrie, was discussing a few incendiary and racist statements that were made in the comment section of a new Cheerios commercial posted on YouTube. However, the commercial drew such comments because it featured “a white mom, biracial child, and an African-American dad.”
The new four-part series Constitution USA embodied the conglomeration of Peter Sagal, one of the more left-leaning NPR hosts, and PBS, which has been scrutinized for its abundance of liberal programming, so one might have expected this series to just be another partisan broadcast espousing solely liberal viewpoints.
However, in a rather pleasant surprise, the show covered most issues in an unbiased, nonpartisan manner. For example, when discussing the issue of homosexual marriage, Sagal interviewed proponents from both sides of the debate on this matter of contention. [Link to the audio here]
Not surprisingly, there has been yet another revelation in the unfolding of the James Rosen investigation scandal. On Tuesday, it was discovered that Attorney General Eric Holder went “judge shopping” to find someone who would sign off on a subpoena of Fox News Correspondent James Rosen’s personal records. Apparently, Holder went to three different federal judges before he found one that would agree to sign the subpoena without telling Rosen or Fox News.
However, the only morning show coverage of this important development in this scandal was found on the Fox and Friends; no other network or cable show devoted a sentence to educate the public about this discovery.
During Saturday’s NBC Nightly News coverage of recent weather phenomena, like the flooding in San Antonio, heavy snowfall in Vermont, and tornado aftermath in Oklahoma, correspondent John Yang posed the question, “Why all this severe weather?” and then stated that “government scientists say it’s partly the result of manmade climate change.” That statement was followed by a clip of Kenneth Kunkel, a NOAA scientist, who claimed that our continued contribution to greenhouse gases “will warm the globe and … increase the risks of certain types of extremes” in weather occurrences. [Link to the audio here]
We saw similar reporting tactics months earlier after Hurricane Sandy devastated seaside resorts in New Jersey, as many networks have interviewed “experts” who claim that anthropogenic, or manmade, contributions to the production of greenhouse gases have caused global warming, which they claim is the cause of the recent happenings in nature.
News broke late Thursday afternoon that President Obama had made his selection for the appointee to the position of Assistant Secretary of State to Europe and Eurasia, Victoria Nuland. Normally, that's a snoozer of a nomination unworthy of national media coverage but in this case, it should have garnered media attention.
If the name vaguely rings a bell, it is because Nuland was the spokeswoman for the Department of the State during the Benghazi attacks, and was at the center of the controversy surrounding the watering-down of the administration’s talking points concerning the attack. But it seems that of national television media outlets, only Fox News devoted a significant amount of time to the reporting of this story.
There have been a number of new revelations this week in the ever expanding scope of the IRS scandal. However, even with so many developments in the investigation of this egregious scandal, there was extremely limited coverage of the unfolding of this affair in the morning news of many more liberal stations like ABC, NBC, and CBS. In contrast, Fox News devoted almost 15 minutes in their programming on Thursday morning’s Fox & Friends show to enlighten the public of all of the new information in the scandal.
The only other station to provide any coverage of the IRS controversy this morning was CBS News, who barely covered it at all. The network devoted all of 50 seconds to covering the controversy on CBS This Morning while also airing a few minutes on their show Up to the Minute, which airs at 3 a.m. Eastern. You can ask CBS for verification, but I do not think their viewership numbers for that show are too incredibly high.
Bernie Goldberg, a 12-time Emmy winning journalist and commentator for Fox News, appeared on the O'Reilly Factor Tuesday night to discuss the biased reporting that the liberal media is employing in their coverage of the IRS scandal, particularly how the media are desperate to spin the IRS scandal in the best possible light by holding it's likely not directed from the top echelons of the Obama White House. [Link to the audio here]
Goldberg held out as an example a recent discussion between CNN's Candy Crowley and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) about "whether it's political," referring, of course, to the recent IRS scandal of targeting conservative organizations while protecting liberal groups. Goldberg quipped that Crowley's question was tantamount to "asking a scientist, is it possible that the Earth is flat?" It can't simply be rogue IRS agents and there has to be "something much bigger going on" in the situation, the veteran political journalist insisted, going on to note the media double standard in handling scandals like this depending on who's in the White House.
On Tuesday's Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor and Emmy-winning journalist Juan Williams accused the Obama Justice Department of having "criminalized journalism" by investigating Fox News correspondent James Rosen. Williams claimed that such probing by the administration “makes it difficult for journalists to do business” and posed the question, “How do you do journalism if you are treated as a criminal for asking for information?” [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
This revelation, of course, comes close on the heels of the DOJ seizing phone and email records of several Associated Press employees during a leak investigation concerning a CIA operation to foil a terror bomb plot. However, in the Rosen case, the Justice Department has “specifically gone after Rosen and Fox as co-conspirators in the case,” according to Williams, whereas “there is no such listing of AP as a co-conspirator.” In all his years of reporting, Williams said that this particular case against Rosen “stands out in a bright way to me” because it shows that the administration is trying to criminalize certain types of reporting.