A frustrated Jay Carney on Monday excoriated ABC's Jon Karl for exposing the fact that signing up for health care via phone or mail is just as difficult as signing up by the website. Karl began by quoting the President suggesting in late October that "you can bypass the website and apply by phone or in person." The journalist highlighted newly acquired memos admitting that "at the end of the day, we're all stuck in the same queue because all those applications have to go through the same website."
In a sneering tone that mocked Karl's cadence, Carney retorted, "Jon, I get it! But the person who calls isn't the one who continues to wait after the paper application is filled? Right?" Karl calmly responded, "Your mocking is entertaining, but the President said you could apply within 25 minutes. That was not true." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Seemingly looking for help from the other journalists, Carney derided, "I think everyone else is looking quizzical because there's a reason to be quizzical here. You call up. You give your information. You get the questions answered and then they take over from there."
After offering sympathetic coverage to the disastrous roll-out of the ObamaCare website, ABC on Monday actually uncovered "new troubles" and alerted viewers to misleading comments by the White House. Near the top of Good Morning America on Monday, co-host George Stephanopoulos trumpeted, "ABC News has obtained copies of internal administration memos revealing for the first time that extensive hurdles to signing up for insurance are not limited to the website."
Reporter Jon Karl quoted from internal memos destroying the idea that signing up for ObamaCare by mail or phone is any easier. Karl quoted from one of the people working on fixing the website: "The paper applications allow people to feel like they're moving forward...At the end of the day, we're all stuck in the same queue." According to the journalist, attempts to sign up with these alternate methods are simply "an effort to buy time." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In the world that Ed Schultz lives in, journalists have just been too negative about ObamaCare, showering the President's law with insults. The MSNBC anchor on Tuesday theorized as to why the implementation of the health care law has been received so poorly: "I think that network reporters throughout the entire industry maybe caught in a dilemma that ObamaCare is so positive and going to have such a tremendous impact on American life and American society." [See video below. See MP3 audio here.] Later, he mocked the "crappy" insurance that many Americans are losing.
According to Schultz, these reporters "are having a hard time saying something nice about it or positive about it because they might be viewed as journalistically compromised." In a bizarre move, the host implicitly attacked his own liberal network as part of this conspiracy against Obama. The anchor included a clip of MSNBC's Willie Geist asserting, "White House officials were aware that between 40 to 67 percent of individuals will not be able to keep their policies."
ABC and NBC journalists on Wednesday and Thursday hailed Kathleen Sebelius as "falling on her sword" and "taking responsibility" for the ObamaCare website debacle. On World News, reporter Jim Avila complained about the Sebelius grilling as a "rude grandstand" and a "three hour circus of a congressional hearing." He dismissed it as "official finger pointing day on Capitol Hill."
Yet, on Thursday, Avila sympathized with the Democratic Health and Human Services secretary, praising, "...The woman in charge of the Affordable Care Act fell on her sword with her first full-throated apology." The Obama official "was reluctant to pass the buck, even when pressed." Over on NBC's Today, host Matt Lauer gushed, "Kathleen Sebelius went before Congress yesterday and she did something you don't see happen in Washington very often, she took the blame." [Video of both morning shows below. MP3 audio here.]
Apparently, a lot of conservatives remind Chris Matthews of the scarred and burned child murderer from the Nightmare on Elm Street films. On Tuesday, the Hardball anchor linked Republican Ted Cruz to the cinematic killer. He opened the program by spewing, "Is Ted Cruz the Republican Freddy Krueger?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
According to Matthews, the Texas senator is a "grotesquerie that now presents itself as the righteous right arm of the Republican Party." Using Halloween imagery, the host attributed all of the GOP's woes to Cruz, slamming him as "this frightening Freddy Krueger that threatens this country with relentless shutdowns and credit defaults."
The journalists at Good Morning America on Wednesday conceded that Barack Obama may have "misled the public" on the health care law, that "some call it a lie." But at the same time, reporter Jim Avila helpfully told viewers that Americans would be only be losing "cheap, underperforming insurance." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Anchor George Stephanopoulos introduced the story on Kathleen Sebelius's testimony before Congress as the "latest firestorm over ObamaCare."
The co-host revealed, "All this is happening as we learn of a new report from inside the administration that warned these website problems were coming." Avila related that the Health and Human Services Secretary will blame the disastrous launch of "contractors who built the site" and take "none of the" responsibility. The journalist explained, "A document posted overnight by a congressional committee shows that the main contractor did warn the government more testing was needed before launch."
All three networks, so far, have skipped the latest example of the Obama administration's aggressive attacks on journalists, this time against a former Washington Times reporter who in 2005 exposed the scant number of flights being protected by Homeland Security. On August 6, 2013, agency officials showed up at Audrey Hudson's house at 4:30 in the morning. With a warrant for an unrelated, minor charge, they raided her home and took private notes detailing sources.
According to an October 25 article on the case, "The warrant, a copy of which was obtained by The Times, offered no specific permission to seize reporting notes or files." The reporters at ABC, CBS and ABC have ignored the plight of their fellow journalist. However, Hudson appeared on Fox News to discuss the case. Real Story host Gretchen Carlson explained, "A conservative reporter saying the feds in a pre-dawn raid took her files while searching her home for guns, including a toy potato gun." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The new Fusion Network debuted on Monday with an exclusive Barack Obama interview. Journalist Jim Avila offered mostly softball questions and avoided any mention of disastrous launch of the ObamaCare website. Avila pushed the President from the left on immigration, wondering, "...Why if you have been able to by presidential fiat say that dreamers will not be deported, why not their parents? Why not, why is it the splitting of families bothers them?"
Avila prefaced his question as coming from "some of the younger people Fusion listens to." (The query was in reference to Obama's 2012 decision to stop deporting illegal students eligible for the Dream Act.) On the issue of ObamaCare, the journalist vaguely wondered, "I guess the main question for Fusion-type listeners is, what's in it for the young people?"
Liberal MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who famously admitted to a "thrill" that Barack Obama sent up his leg, on Friday praised the "girlish" and "playful" Hillary Clinton. The Hardball anchor appeared on Alec Baldwin's new Friday night show and conceded that he and the potential 2016 candidate "giggle" and "laugh" together.
Matthews was talking to Baldwin about gay rights and made one of his customary thought digressions. Even though the host allowed for a "tussle or two" over the years with Clinton, he lauded, "Although when I am with her. I just think she is great as a person."And we giggle, everything, laugh...I hope this doesn't offend anybody. There is a part of her that is very girlish. She's still very youthful." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
All three networks on Thursday night and Friday morning highlighted the photographs of a gubernatorial candidate from Maryland at a teen party that featured underage teens and drinking. Yet, ABC failed to mention that Doug Gansler, the top tier candidate, is a Democrat.
ABC featured the most aggressive coverage. Reporter Jim Avila confronted the "would-be governor." While showing a photo that "Maryland's top cop...would love to forget," the journalist narrated, "The attorney general, right in the middle of teenage partiers, celebrating their high school graduation." At no time did the report, which aired on World News and Good Morning America, refer to Gansler as a Democrat. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
According to liberal MSNBC host Ed Schultz, the ObamaCare website, which cost nearly a half billion dollars, was created "on the cheap." During a rant on Thursday's Ed Show, the cable anchor attempted to blame congressional Republicans for the site's problems: "Republicans refuse to authorize requests from the Obama administration for additional funding to do it the right way. Instead it's on the cheap." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
He mocked GOP members as complainers, railing, "This is coming from the party that did everything in their power to sabotage this law from the get-go." Schultz could barely force himself to admit the website has problems, managing, "No one is denying that the obvious issues are there with the Affordable Health Care Act's website...It is not the law. It's the glitches."
According to Chris Matthews, conservatives have gone from wanting to kidnap babies to "killing" them. On October 1, the Hardball anchor insisted that Barack Obama "will not give up his baby" to pro-shutdown conservatives such as Ted Cruz. On Tuesday, still angry over the partial-government closure, the anchor fumed, "Today and in the future, Cruz will be remembered as the one who ignited the fire of government shutdown and general political mayhem."
Matthews added, "He'll go down in history as the Mrs. O'Leary's cow of the 2013 disaster." According to the liberal journalist, the "thug" Republican senator from Texas thinks "we're going to bring down the government if you don't do things our way" and "we're going to kill your baby ObamaCare, unless you give us the government." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Perhaps members of the rabidly pro-abortion party shouldn't be throwing around such terms?
All three networks on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning avoided discussing Congressman Alan Grayson's smear of the Tea Party as just like the Ku Klux Klan. In a new fund-raising e-mail, the controversial Democrat linked the grass roots organization to violent racists, complete with a burning cross.
CBS and NBC made no mention of the attack. The reporters on Good Morning America ignored the story. But if viewers looked very closely at the bottom of the screen they would see a one sentence crawl: "Florida Congressman compares Tea Party to KKK." Yet, Grayson's slam was surprisingly questioned on the very liberal MSNBC. Anchor Thomas Roberts on Wednesday pressed Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth: "Would you agree that the President should condemn that type of solicitation?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On the front page of Tuesday's paper, the Washington Posttrumpeted new poll results showing "major damage to the GOP" in the wake of the government shutdown. However, writers Dan Balz and Scott Clement waited until page A10 to reveal that "congressional Democrats also sustained damage to their image."
Nowhere in the article did Balz and Clement reveal that the Post found only 46 percent approval for Barack Obama among registered voters. (The poll's result can be found on the website.) Fifty one percent now disapprove of the job the President is doing. According to the Post, the President's numbers with all adults (a less reliable statistic) improve to 48 percent approve and 49 percent disapprove, not exactly a vote of confidence. The two journalists dispensed with this stat in one charitable sentence: "Almost half of all Americans approve of the way [Obama] has handled his job, and an almost identical number disapprove."
The journalists at Good Morning America on Tuesday hyped bad news for the GOP, citing a poll showing disapproval of the party's handling of the recent government shutdown. But the show's reporters downplayed and ignored ominous results for the President and his health care law. George Stephanopoulos trumpeted that Republicans are "taking the biggest hit."
Journalist Jon Karl allowed that the survey finds Americans disapprove of how "everyone handled the shutdown crisis, including the President." Stealing Stephanopoulos's line, he asserted that the GOP is "taking the biggest hit." Karl added, "Seventy seven percent disapproving of how [Republicans] handled the budget talks that led to this crisis." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] What was left out of Karl's story? Any mention that Barack Obama's approval rating has dropped to just 46 percent. In the wake of the shutdown, 51 percent of registered voters now disapprove.
Chris Matthews on Friday continued his descent into self parody, attacking conservatives as a "confederacy of hate" who don't want African Americans to vote and dream of "secession and nullification." Talking about opposition to ObamaCare and the shutdown, the Hardball anchor mixed and matched all his favorite cliches. He began the show by teasing, "Confederacy of hate. Let's play Hardball."
With no explanation, the liberal journalist began throwing around generalizations, smearing, "They call themselves the American people, as if the majority that voted for President Obama are some invading force of others or a group of lesser Americans who should be credited with only three fifths of a vote, like they were before the Civil War and the 13th Amendment made them whole." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Remember, this commentary was before Matthews had even explained the topic of that day's show. He just launched into cheap shots.
The journalists at Good Morning America on Monday woke up to the "massive technical glitches" "plaguing millions" of Americans trying to use the ObamaCare website. The morning show, which has largely minimized the troubled debut of HealthCare.gov, featured reporter Rebecca Jarvis to lament, "It was supposed to be an easy way for Americans to sign up for health care online. But this morning, the Department of Health and Human Services, which spent $500 million to build the site, is admitting it's a bust."
Jarvis attempted to navigate the web page, but offered this perplexed assessment: "But even when we tried to access the site, we encountered this error, a registration page filled with question marks and incoherent data." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Although the GMA journalists highlighted the problems, they also buried their impact. It wasn't until the very end of the segment that co-host George Stephanopoulos noted that the administration is "racing the clock." Jarvis agreed, pointing out, "They have to get people signed up for health insurance by January 1st, before the fines start kicking in."
ABC on Thursday night took a victory lap in its effort to blame congressional Republicans for the government shutdown. World News reporter Jeff Zeleny and other journalists at the network phoned all the House and Senate GOP members who opposed the deal to reopen the federal government. These reporters demanded to know if the lawmakers would give back the salary they earned during the 16-day shutdown.
Zeleny justified, "Since it was Congress that shut the government down, one of the top questions you asked us, should they get paid?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The journalist made no mention of Barack Obama or the congressional Democrats who rejected numerous compromise efforts to reopen the federal government.
Good Morning America's Jon Karl on Friday continued his efforts to assign blame for what he called the "Ted Cruz shutdown." This prompted the Texas senator to shoot back: "A lot of the media did" that. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos touted the Republican's appearance as a "contentious and defiant interview."
Karl lectured, "People hated this shutdown. They hated this impasse. And this was seen as the Ted Cruz shutdown." He attacked, "You more than any single individual were seen as the one that triggered this crisis to begin with."
Liberal cable anchor Chris Matthews on Thursday sneered at conservatives Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, trashing their "white" "minority" base. The Hardball host also defined a patriot as someone who "believes in government." According to Matthews, conservative Republicans in the House and Senate don't meet this standard. The host fumed, "They all run around as if 'we got all of these white people out here,' this little minority of the country. 'But they're better Americans than the rest and we represent them.'" Perhaps the journalist is unaware that Cruz is multi-ethnic and not "white."[See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Matthews insisted that Americans should be asking these questions in the wake of the government shutdown: "Does the majority will still matter? There's the fact that he [Obama] is President, is it paramount?" The anchor lectured that it is "highly inconsistent" for conservatives to call themselves patriots since they have "disrespect for institutions." He then went on to offer a new definition of patriotism.
After spending days trashing the Republican Party as guilty of "treason" and "economic terrorism," left-wing MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz on Wednesday spotlighted the Taliban's criticism of the shutdown. The host lectured that "no matter what the final outcome of the showdown is...damage to our global reputation has already been done." He then proceeded to showcase international attacks on America.
Schultz went so far as to highlight, "Heck, even the Taliban militants took the opportunity to taunt the United States. The group issued this statement, accusing U.S. politicians of 'sucking the blood of their own people.'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] It was just Tuesday that the cable anchor railed against a form of "terrorism," but he was talking about the GOP.
As the government shutdown neared its end, ABC's Jon Karl put the blame totally on House Republicans and allowed Barack Obama to escape responsibility. According to Karl on Tuesday night's World News, "...After bringing the economy to the brink, the Republicans, the conservatives who drove this, will have nothing to show for it." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Wednesday's Good Morning America, Karl upped the hyperbole, warning of the "dangerous brinkmanship" that could lead to "economic collapse." Shifting into opinion mode, Karl lectured, "As this showdown moves towards end game, House Republicans are the clear losers. They push to the brink and have nothing to show for it."
For the second time in one day, an MSNBC anchor accused Republicans of betraying the United States. According to Ed Schultz on Tuesday, House GOP members who won't agree to all of Barack Obama's demands on the government shutdown are committing "economic terrorism" and plotting a "coup d'etat" against the President.
Schultz brought on Democratic Congressman Joseph Crowley to discuss whether there would be a vote on the shutdown. The Ed Show host fumed, "Congressman, what we're seeing happen in America right now, I think, is economic terrorism." The anchor offered his version of what passing the debt ceiling deadline would mean: "Interest rates are going to go nuts. Belt tightening is going to take place. Unemployment's going to go up." He escalated, "This is economic terrorism as I call it...It seems to be nothing more than a legislative coup d'etat." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
MSNBC morning host Thomas Roberts on Tuesday continued in his role as one of MSNBC's most rabidly partisan, openly liberal anchors. Talking to Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn about the partial government shutdown, he questioned her patriotism, sneering, "Congresswoman, let me ask you though, when it comes to ObamaCare, do you hate ObamaCare more than you love your country?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
A surprised Blackburn immediately retorted, "I've got to tell you something,. I think that comments like that" are "just incredibly inappropriate." Parroting White House talking points, Roberts recited, "You don't think it's incredibly inappropriate to shut down our government and take all the hostages of Americans that you've taken?" After Blackburn again objected to the smear, Roberts lectured, "No, no, no. It's not inappropriate because you've taken the government hostage through a shutdown and all the American people, you're walking them to a cliff."
CBS This Morning on Tuesday allowed a scant 21 seconds to the newest revelations about the National Security Agency. The government organization has been secretly collecting millions of internet address books and instant message accounts from around the world, including Americans. In contrast, ABC and NBC highlighted the story in full reports and news briefs. [See video below of ABC's Good Morning America coverage. MP3 audio here.] None of the three network morning shows made any reference to Barack Obama or speculated on what the President's responsibility might be.
In the briefest of summaries, This Morning anchor Charlie Rose explained, "The agency is pulling the information from address books and buddy lists accounts on instant message accounts worldwide." He reassuringly added, "But a government spokesman says NSA is not interested in personal information about so-called ordinary Americans." However, the same morning show devoted three minutes to the not-so important story of President William Taft's attempts to lose weight.
ABC News on Friday announced that weekend Good Morning America host Dan Harris will replace Bill Weir as co-anchor of Nightline. Harris has a long history of offering harsh attacks on conservatives and providing liberal spin. On September 21, 2009, the journalist smeared Tea Party protests, concluding, "Add it all up, and some prominent Obama supporters are now saying that it paints a picture of an opposition driven, in part, by a refusal to accept a black President."
Earlier that year, Harris used the same dodge, insisting that "critics" see the Tea Party as "not a real grassroots phenomenon at all, that it's actually largely orchestrated by people fronting for corporate interests." In contrast, the reporter appeared charmed by the Occupy Wall Street movement, lauding their tent villages as filled with cookies and bloggers. Harris's top five most obnoxious examples of liberal bias can be found below.
According to Chris Matthews, a new NBC poll showing bad poll numbers for the Republican Party is comparable to "Watergate." Finding that Americans blame Republicans over Democrats for the shutdown by a 22 percent margin, Matthews marveled, "I get the sense that this is a historic poll."
Talking to Chuck Todd, the Hardball anchor prompted, "Compared to Watergate?" This was too much for Todd. He hedged, "Is it Watergate levels? Well, if this were October 2014, you might be talking about something like this. This is wave-type numbers, if this were a month out from the election. But we're not a month out from the election." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
MSNBC reporter Luke Russert on Thursday found the need to gratuitously connect the anniversary of John Kennedy's assassination with a possible GOP extension of the debt limit. Appearing on Now With Alex Wagner, Russert said of the John Boehner-supported move: "So the idea is the debt limit would be extended until November 22, which is, by the way, the 50th anniversary of the death of the President Kennedy, which is a whole other thing that would probably look bad optically. " [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In the 50 years since JFK's murder, many things have happened on November 22, including congressional legislation. What point, exactly, was Russert trying to make by linking the murder of a president to the debate with a current commander in chief over the debt ceiling?
ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday rightly highlighted the "outrage" over the delay of death benefits to the families of fallen U.S. soldiers. A day later, the program's hosts barely had time for the story, allowing a mere 28 seconds (within a larger report). Reporter Jon Karl briefly referred to the "disaster on military benefits," but he didn't explain that a private charity had stepped in to solve the problem.
On Wednesday, a graphic for a Jim Avila full report insisted that "outrage grows for America's heroes." The journalist featured a clip of Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy trashing, "And now, because of a small group of Tea Party Republicans, we say we can't even take care of your family when you die in the service of the country." On Thursday, Karl lectured that "the only thing both parties seem to agree on" is that "it's inexcusable to deny help to family members of those who have given their lives serving the country." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] It's true that the House acted 425-0 to pay the death benefits, but Harry Reid's Democratic Senate has not acted. [UPDATE: 12:48pm ET The Senate has now moved on approving benefits. SECOND UPDATE: But the White House has rejected it.]
Viewers who watched Ed Schultz on Wednesday witnessed something rare on the liberal host's show: a guest who voted for Republican Mitt Romney in 2012. Dirty Jobs star Mike Rowe appeared and even got in a dig at Schultz's expense. After the MSNBC anchor touted his working class background and love for trucks, Rowe quipped, "I can make a call. I can have [a truck] in your driveway before you say, 'holy crap, I'm cancelled!' [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
A surprised Schultz blurted, "I'm just trying every time slot here at MSNBC." Rowe joked, "Something's bound to stick." Earlier in the segment, the Dirty Jobs host laughed as Schultz called for him to join the Democratic Party: "You know, he is the perfect independent that we have to convince that it's their [Republicans] fault!"