During a brief visit to Washington, D.C., Deborah Turness – the president of NBC News – is slated to discuss the fate of the network's Sunday morning program with host David Gregory and executive producer Rob Yarin regarding possible changes to the format of Meet the Press, which recently saw its ratings tumble to their lowest point since the third quarter of 1992.
According to Dylan Byers, a columnist at the Politico website, the gathering is “part of Turness's ongoing effort” to improve the long-running news and interview show, which ended 2013 behind both ABC's This Week and CBS's Face the Nation.
During Wednesday's edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe program, one of the main topics of discussion was the victory of Republican David Jolly over Democrat Alex Sink in the special election held on Tuesday to fill the seat in Florida's 13th congressional district that had been occupied for decades by Rep. Bill Young until the GOP official's death last year.
One guest -- Jim VandeHei, editor and co-founder of the liberal Politico website -- declared: “It’s really hard to spin” the loss because this is “bad news for the Democratic Party” as the country heads toward the midterm election in November. “Republicans suck slightly less than Democrats,” he added, “and that’s where they’re getting an advantage.” [See video below.]
Newsweek, the weekly magazine with a penchant for controversial covers, reappeared in retail outlets across the country on Friday after more than a year as a subscription-only digital periodical. According to the Daily Beast, the publication's online partner, “a historic title is back from the dead."
If you're looking for proof that the MSNBC is in the tank for the Democrats and ObamaCare, you need go no further than to read an article posted on Wednesday by reporter Geoffrey Cowley that states insurance companies can “keep offering substandard individual health plans through 2016.”
By extending the time to apply for the Affordable Care Act by two more years, the administration has “extended the treaty it reached last fall with the half-million consumers who were set to lose their low-cost, low-value insurance plans," Cowley insisted.
In an obvious back-handed compliment, Rachel Maddow started her eponymous Tuesday night program on MSNBC by supposedly praising the Cable News Network, which she said “once upon a time” was the “only cable news network, and they really did have a singular role in keeping people informed.”
However, while the network once had a reputation for providing information “about what was going on, not only around the country, but around the world” in the 1990s, she claimed “CNN today is not what it used to be.”
Soon after Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoed S.B. 1062 -- a Religious Freedom Restoration Act that would have given business people the right to cite religious beliefs when refusing service to homosexuals -- gays and liberals began cheering and celebrating the decision, which received extensive coverage in the three network morning shows.
During the first day The Reid Report, a new weekday program aired on MSNBC, the African-American female host said during an interview with Marc Lamont Hill of HuffPostLive that “the people who watch our network” should see themselves reflected in “the full spectrum of humanity,” which she stated is “the job of all news organizations.”
“More than a third of our audience is black,” said Joy Reid, who described herself as “an opinion journalist” who is very open about being a liberal Democrat. “And so, this is just good constituent service to make sure that the people who watch our network see themselves reflected in all of our variety. … I don't think MSNBC should be unusual. Everybody should be doing that.”
The plight of black conservatives took center stage during Monday's edition of Hannity, a weeknight program on the Fox News Channel. The segment featured footage of African-American radio host David Webb interviewing Alvin Holmes, a Democratic state representative in Alabama who had used the racial slur “Uncle Tom” to describe Clarence Thomas, the black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Only the Fox News Channel has reported this story on TV.
Holmes said he stands behind his previous statement because Thomas “is a black man who allowed himself to be used to carry the message of a white man, which is against the interests of black people in America. In my opinion, Clarence Thomas is a very prolific Uncle Tom.”
According to a report by Tim Cavanaugh, news editor of National Review Online, the Federal Communications Commission “has pulled the plug on its plan to conduct an intrusive probe of newsrooms” as part of a “Critical Information Needs” survey of local media markets.
FCC spokesperson Shannon Gilson issueda news release that indicated in the course of the commission's review and public comment, “concerns were raised that some of the questions may not have been appropriate. Chairman [Tom] Wheeler agreed that survey questions in the study directed toward media outlet managers, news directors, and reporters overstepped the bounds of what is required” for the pilot study in Columbia, South Carolina.
One way the MSNBC cable channel can tell it's in trouble is when liberal comedian Bill Maher -- host of the Friday night HBO program Real Time who almost got his own show on the "Lean Forward" network -- posts a tweet accusing you of “turning into Fox News” and stating that the channel has “stopped leaning forward” since “Bridgegate has become your Benghazi.”
“I'm no good at being noble,” the self-proclaimed “passionate flaming liberal” continued in his rant entitled “MSNBC-YA,” but “it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little lanes of traffic don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”
Senator Dick Durbin apparently didn't check his facts before making a number of wild claims during his appearance on Sunday morning's edition of CBS's Face the Nation.
The Illinois Democrat's assertions that 10 million Americans have found insurance coverage thanks to ObamaCare -- which he also claimed would lower the budget deficit -- earned him four Pinocchios from the Washington Post's "fact checker," the lowest rating possible.
More than a week after conducting an interview with president Barack Obama, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly claimed on Monday night he finds it “troubling” that the questions he asked had not been brought up before because“many in the media are protecting” the Democratic occupant of the White House.
“What the heck is the national press doing?” he asked in the opening segment of that night's edition of The O'Reilly Factor. He then charged the current media with being “the most docile we've ever had,” with the possible exception of those who covered John F. Kennedy during the days of “Camelot” in the early 1960s.
What was the best way for NBC to begin that network's coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia? Have sports anchor Bob Costas host a brief profile on Vladmir Putin in which the Russian president is hailed as a global statesman superior to U.S. president Barack Obama. '
During an interview with Joy Reid, whose new MSNBC weekday show -- The Reid Report -- begins airing at 2 p.m. on Monday, February 24, the perennial network guest stated she is taking a radically different approach than most of her counterparts on the “Lean Forward” network.
“I’m not on there to do an hour of why Republicans suck,” the African-American woman said. “I don’t think I have to do that. I think what MSNBC does really well is to have a really smart conversation both with the left and the right. We may not get that right all the time, but I don’t know a mean-spirited person in this building.”
The people at Fox News are apparentlyserious about being “fair and balanced” as proved on Thursday, when the network hired veteran Democratic activist James Carville to serve as a contributor of political commentary on the channel.
The “Ragin' Cajun,” who led Bill Clinton's successful presidential campaign in 1992 and spent most of the past decade as a political commentator for the Cable News Network, joins such outspoken liberals as Juan Williams, Kirsten Powers and Bob Beckel on the channel's roster.
Michael McAuliff, a former New York Daily News reporter who now writes for the liberal Huffington Post website, stated on Wednesday that people who oppose the Affordable Care Act refer to a report released by the Congressional Budget Office that the shift of full-time employees to part-time work would result in employees losing working hours equivalent to about 2.5 million jobs during the next 10 years, “thereby raising unemployment and forcing others to pay for their health care, and adding to the federal deficit.”
However, McAuliff -- who covers Congress and politics for the site -- quoted CBO director Douglas Elmendorf, who in a hearing on Wednesday “asserted that this is not so: His office's report, he noted, says that ObamaCare will actually produce a net increase in employment and cut the deficit” while giving workers the freedom to do things most Americans praise, such as spending more time with their children or starting their own businesses.
For the past five years, the left-wing Public Policy Polling organization has asked a sample of TV viewers which news outlets they trust the most and the ones they believe the least. This year's version resulted in a low finish for MSNBC, far behind the Fox News Channel, which has topped the list ever since the annual poll got underway.
This year's numbers show that 35 percent trusted the Fox News Channel, more than any other outlet, followed by the Public Broadcasting Service at 14 percent, the Cable News Network at 10 percent, CBS at 9 percent, MSNBC and Comedy Central tied at 6 percent, and just 3 percent for NBC.
During an interview with Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast website, MSNBC president Phil Griffin strained at gnats when he stated that his network “has never had an ideology” but insisted that the dominant Fox News Channel does.
“An ideology is a single thought across all programs,” he said. “We’ve never had that.” However, Griffin asserted, MSNBC instead has“a progressive sensibility,” which he claimed is not the same as an ideology. “Obviously, I hire people who fit the sensibility” because “we do stay true to facts. You have to build your argument. That's why I call it a sensibility.”
During a speech on Monday, Cable News Network president Jeff Zucker admitted: “No news organization is perfect, and CNN is not always perfect.”
As if to verify his statement, network reporters that same day covered an appearance by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton with a poorly edited video that made it appear she was laughing about the death of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. On Tuesday, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield apologized profusely for what she called “a mistake.”
Cable News Network president Jeff Zucker used his keynote address at the RealScreen Summit in Washington, D.C., on Monday to promote his “new vision” for CNN that he said has expanded beyond reporting breaking news while including documentaries and films in its programming, which he described as “more shows, less newscasts.”
“We’re never going to stray from breaking news,” Zucker stated before noting that CNN “provides more news coverage on a daily basis than any other TV network in America” while broadening out “our offerings to the public, and we have moved into the nonfiction world with some success thus far.”
Just when you think you've seen it all, along comes an interview during the 30-minute Politicking With Larry King program on Thursday night in which the long-time interviewer asked his guest, Dan Rather: “Do you ever think the thought that Fox News Channel is an actual part of the Republican Party?”
The veteran newsman paused for a moment before responding that the claim “goes too far” even though network founder Roger Ailes has used the channel to benefit the GOP. However, “is it a sole operative and propaganda machine for the party? I'd have to stop short of that.”
Phil Griffin, head of the MSNBC cable television channel, told Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter that he accepts responsibility for recent embarrassments that led Alec Baldwin and Martin Bashir to leave the network and Melissa Harris-Perry to offer a tearful on-air apology.
"These were judgment calls made by some of our people. We handled them. We were transparent. That is our philosophy: Be factual, and step up when you make a mistake,” Griffin asserted. “We took responsibility for them and took action. They were unfortunate,” but “I don't think it hurt us in any way.”
While trying to win elections, the Democratic strategy is often perceived as combining several minorities -- including African-Americans, feminists, global warming alarmists and members of labor unions -- to pull together a winning total over Republicans, who usually try to draw more than 50 percent of the general population, a strategy that has often been hammered by liberals and members of the “mainstream” media as painting the GOP as “the party of the rich.”
However, ever since the October 1 rollout of ObamaCare, the program and its website have come under intense scrutiny for not working well,a charge that is now being brandished by Hispanics, who have usually voted Democratic but are accusing CuidadoDeSalud.gov of using computers to translate the original text from English into “Spanglish,” an “insulting” combination of the two languages.
During Wednesday night's edition of Piers Morgan Live on the Cable News Network, a panel of four media analysts joined their liberal host in agreement that The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News -- and Divided a Country, a new book written by New York Magazine reporter Gabriel Sherman, will not have much impact on readers' views of that cable network.
“People who are skeptical of Fox News are going to read this book and are going to be sure, once and for all, that Fox News is an arm of the Republican Party,” said media critic Brian Stetler of the New York Times. However, Amy Holmes -- a host on TheBlaze TV -- asserted that the book is filled with “pretty thin gruel.”
Mere minutes after New Jersey governor Chris Christie said during a press conference on Thursday that he was firing deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly for lying about her role in closing lanes of the George Washington Bridge, many online posters compared the Republican official's swift action with the utter lack of movement by president Barack Obama, who has yet to terminate anyone in his administration, even if that person is embroiled in scandal.
Several comments included barbs aimed at the “mainstream media” for reporters' wall-to-wall coverage of the Christie scandal while allowing Obama officials to avoid any punishment. “To confused journalists, what @GovChristie is doing right now is called 'leadership,'” noted @derekahunter. “Google it, then look at the White House & feel shame.”
Since Wednesday was the 50th anniversary of president Lyndon Johnson’s announcement of an “unconditional war on poverty” during his State of the Union address in 1964, MSNBC used the occasion to promote a poll conducted by a far-left think tank to assert that a government program providing “affordable access to quality child care could help lift millions of Americans out of poverty.”
According to an article by Morgan Whitaker on MSNBC.com, “a vast majority of people polled in a new survey” conducted by the Center for American Progress “includes results from focus groups and a major survey of more than 2,000 American adults.”
Just when it seemed that NBC's Meet the Press couldn't sink any lower, ratings for the last three months of 2013 for the Sunday morning news/interview show fell to its lowest level since the third quarter of 1992. That development has added to the speculation that liberal David Gregory might be on his way out as host.
From October through December, NBC's program came in third place for total viewers -- behind CBS's Face the Nation and ABC's This Week -- and the numbers among viewers in the important demographic from 25 to 54 years of age collapsed to their lowest level in the program's history.
How much do you need to know about a subject before expressing a strong opinion during a panel on MSNBC? Apparently very little, as Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart took part in a Monday afternoon discussion on the future of the Washington Redskins National Football League team since coach Mike Shanahan had just been fired.
Kristen Welker -- fill-in host for that weekday's edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports -- asked: “Are the Redskins stronger moving forward without Shanahan?” Capehart replied: “You’re asking the wrong guy here. I don’t know anything about football.” Instead, he turned to a liberal talking point: “But this much I do know: The name of the football team, personally speaking, is an abomination and that they should change it.”
During Thursday afternoon's edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports, the MSNBC host joined NBC News chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd and USA Today reporter Susan Page in stating that the troubled implementation of the Affordable Care Act has diminished the political status of Barack Obama and resulted in negative poll results from people all across the country.
The discussion was part of a “year-in-review” segment, when Mitchell claimed that the “unhelpful” insurance industry has generated “a big piece” of the ObamaCare program's troubles because, as Page noted, some of the negative developments that are taking place “are not related” to the Affordable Care Act. Todd agreed, noting that the program is “clearly being used by the health-care industry to hide bad – to hide unpopular moves.”
Just when it seemed that proponents of the Affordable Care Act couldn't sink any lower, they've gone ahead and approved an offensive advertisement trying to get gay men to enroll in healthcare exchanges that has managed to get everyone disgusted.
The ad -- which features muscular men dancing in colorful underwear and Christmas headgear as they tout the benefits of enrollment in insurance exchanges -- was praised by Rep. Frank Pallone, a Democrat from New Jersey who said he supports “whatever it takes to get people enrolled.”