It only took 35 hours for MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin to bravely announce, "I don't agree with Joe" Scarborough. A day after appearing on his show, the Game Change co-author more firmly refuted Scarborough's pessimistic assessment that the entire GOP establishment thinks Mitt Romney will lose the general election.
After Hardball guest host Michael Smerconish played a clip of the negative Scarborough comment, Halperin mocked, "Michael, I've worked in TV for 25 years. When the host of the show says something, you have two choices. You can say, 'That's exactly right, Joe!'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC and NBC could barely contain their contempt while covering the controversy over the all-male Augusta golf club. Katie Couric, guest anchoring Good Morning America on Thursday, lectured the organization hosting the Masters tournament to allow a woman in: "I mean, really. Get with the program. Seriously?"
Reporter Josh Elliott lamented that Augusta has remained "cloistered," "a secretive sanctuary for golfers and one that has never admitted a woman. On Wednesday's Nightly News, correspondent Lisa Myers wondered what Augusta Chairman Billy Payne would "tell his granddaughters about why women are excluded."
A day after Barack Obama was praised by the Chairman of the Associated Press's board, Mitt Romney spoke at the same conference and was actually lauded for his "record of accomplishment" in the field of health care and education.
Speaking at American Society of News Editors (ASNE) luncheon, Mike Reed, the Chairman of the Newspaper Association of America, touted Romney for a record "built soundly on a career of accomplishment." He hyped, "As governor of Massachusetts, he led an administration that erased a $1.5 billion budget deficit. He enacted education reform and implemented the first health care reform at the state level."
Good Morning America analyst Matt Dowd on Wednesday lectured Rick Santorum to "get out" and stop wasting "any little bit of political capital he has left." Depending on which count one looks at, Mitt Romney is currently 489 delegates short of the nomination.
That fact didn't stop Dowd from making his point clear. Over four sentences, he used the phrase "get out" four times, pronouncing, "I think he has to get out because he wants to preserve any little bit of political capital he has left and a voice in the Republican Party." The same man who, on March 26 slammed conservative states as hypocrites, instructed Santorum, "I think it would be good to get out right now before he loses Pennsylvania. But he has got to try to keep a voice in the party by getting out."
Good Morning America's John Berman on Tuesday again proved his ability to be crude, adding a zipper sound effect to a quote by Ann Romney. Sounding like a fifth grade boy, Berman derided the wife of the presidential candidate, insisting that "unexpected comments from Ann Romney...just begged to be taken out of context."
Berman played a clip of Mrs. Romney on a radio show in which she rebutted claims that her husband is "stiff," replying, "I guess we better unzip him and let the real Mitt Romney out." Immediately following this, ABC played a zipper sound. Now, while GMA and Berman found time for juvenile humor, there was no mention of President Obama's attack on the Supreme Court. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Different network, same fawning coverage. MSNBC journalists Chuck Todd and Luke Russert fawned over Bill Clinton, Monday, with Todd "loving" the liberal history lesson that the former Democratic President gave on health care.
Rather than show the interview straight through, Russert and Todd would play a clip and then marvel over Clinton's wisdom. Regarding Obamacare, the Daily Rundown anchor introduced, "Well, speaking of health care, I love the history lesson he gave you on health care. Here’s his health care answer."
Good Morning America offered another typical softball session with Bill Clinton on Monday to promote his latest Global Initiative meeting, but since using George Stephanopoulos might seem too obvious, they sent normally aggressive Jake Tapper to lob the softballs. Oddly, the questions that might actually be defined as news were edited out of the ABC program and left to a much smaller audience of political junkies on Tapper's Political Punch blog.
Instead of the program featuring queries about Travon Martin or the Supreme Court, Tapper highlighted the "long, bruising" Republican presidential primary and compared it to Clinton's 1992 campaign: "You turned it around. Can [Romney]?" An ABC graphic trumpeted, "Bill Clinton: Romney Can't Win." Clinton piously asserted that his presidential campaign endured "one long character attack." Tapper had no follow-up or query about Clinton's actual character issues. [See video below. See MP3 audio here.]
How detached is Chris Matthews from the rest of the country? The Hardball host on Thursday appeared bewildered as he conceded to being "totally unprepared" for the prospect that Obamacare might be "ripped off the books." Talking to Chuck Todd, Matthews asked his fellow MSNBC colleague if he would be "surprised" to see the Supreme Court strike down the health care law.
Matthews then confessed, "I was totally unprepared because of the way people talked." The anchor insisted that "intellectually," he knew it could be a problem, but "I never heard it discussed politically as a prospect, that they actually might get his major achievement just ripped off the books." He never heard it discussed? [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The Obama administration suffered another bad day in the Supreme Court, Wednesday, leading many to wonder if all of the President's health care law will be entirely scrapped. ABC's Good Morning America on Thursday responded to this with silence, totally ignoring the story.
GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday referred to the case as "historic," but apparently lost interest a day later. The other two morning shows, Today and CBS This Morning, each offered one report. In total, over eight hours of possible broadcast time, the three networks allowed a scant four minutes and 19 seconds. GMA, however, still managed to squeeze in a piece on important topics, such as an elderly Texas grandmother who is mad at Justin Bieber.
After another bad day at the Supreme Court for the Obama administration's health care law, journalists on MSNBC and CNN marveled at how the President's signature legislation seemed to be unraveling. Appearing on MSNBC, HD Net reporter Brooks Silva-Braga compared the Solicitor General (who defended the law in front of the court) to an embarrassed child.
Silva-Braga mocked, "If you've ever been to a fifth grade play and looked into the eyes of a kid who is not sure if he's going to remember his lines, that's what Donald Verrilli looked like yesterday." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] On CNN, Jeffrey Toobin, who on Tuesday reversed a previous prediction of an easy win for Obama, sneered that Obamacare had become a "plane wreck."
Barack Obama's health care law ran into a legal buzz saw at the Supreme Court, Tuesday. So, how did the network morning shows on Wednesday cover the "historic" case? They mostly ignored it. Over two hours, ABC's Good Morning America allowed just two minutes.
Reporter Jon Karl hyped an Obamacare loss as win-win for the President. He insisted it would be a "rallying cry for liberals" and that "it would also take away an issue for Republicans." There's no down side to having one's biggest legislative accomplishment eviscerated? [MP3 audio here. See video below.]
The journalists at Good Morning America on Tuesday appeared shocked that a "sour" Rick Santorum dared to aggressively oppose a New York Times reporter, hyperventilating that the Republican presidential candidate has gone to "war against the media."
Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos insisted that the "wear and tear of a long, tough campaign" is beginning to show on Santorum. He piled on, "His Cinderella story has gone a bit sour." Reporter Berman, who often can't refuse using over-the-top language for his stories, began, "Well, cover your ears and hide the children. Dirty words have hit the presidential race." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Sometimes journalists just come right out and say it: Appearing at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Awards, Saturday, ABC News anchor Josh Elliott gushed over media subjectivity: "I'm proud to work at a place that believes in advocacy journalism!"
Elliott, who reads the news for Good Morning America, fawned over the liberal gay rights group: "I will never be in a braver room than this!" The reporter seemed to be under the impression that, so long as the cause is good enough, objectivity isn't needed. Elliott highlighted his own late, gay father: "I took from him the importance of being an advocate for those who need it; and I took from him what it means to be a man."
Which This Week analyst used the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida as an excuse to slam religious conservative? It wasn't liberal host George Stephanopoulos. Instead, Matt Dowd on Sunday said this: "We want to be a Christian nation and we want to act in a Christian manner, but, oh, by the way, we don't believe in turn the other cheek."
The former George W. Bush pollster mocked, "And we don't believe in love your enemy. And we believe in loading, loading citizens and basically give them an opportunity to shoot people." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Friday's Good Morning America, Chris Cuomo interviewed the man convicted of "bias intimidation" against a gay college student who took his own life. Co-host Robin Roberts admitted, "...So many people believe this case went beyond the facts, that a clear message was trying to be sent here." Cuomo, then touted the "message" that was sent.
He began, "The agony, in this situation, for the families involved, for people like you who fight for victims' rights, is we need a message about bullying. It's pervasive." He added, "Then, this case comes. Finally, we get that message."
MSNBC analyst and Democratic strategist Karen Finney disgustingly smeared Rush Limbaugh and several Republican presidential candidates on Thursday, charging that the racist hate of these conservatives had "lethal consequences" in the case of Trayvon Martin, an African American teen shot in Florida.
After decrying "bigotry and stereotypes tak[ing] over our better judgment," Finney sneeringly insisted that when "Rush Limbaugh calls a presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama, a magic negro...In the case of Trayvon, those festering stereotypes had lethal consequences." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Four years ago this month, journalists began spinning, downplaying and, at times, ignoring Barack Obama's close ties with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a man who famously implored, "Goddamn America!" As the nation begins another presidential race with Obama as the head of the Democratic Party, what will they do this time?
In 2008, reporters tried many different angles. On April 28, 2008, then-Good Morning America reporter David Wright (no relation), gushed over the "soft-spoken man" who "couldn't seem more different from that fire-brand preacher we've all seen in those soundbites."
MSNBC can't even keep liberal politics out of sports. Nation sports editor Dave Zirin appeared on the cable network, Wednesday, to hyperventilate over the announcement that Tim Tebow has been traded to the New York Jets. Zirin berated, "...There are a lot of LGBT people that live in New York City who are also football fans and they might want to know why the new, possibly, starting quarterback for the New York Jets wants them to move backwards 30 or 40 years."
Why does Tebow want to set gays back 40 years? Because he once did a very mild pro-life commercial for Focus on the Family? Completely going off on a tangent, Zirin whined, "Now, I don't want to shock you, Tamron, but there are a lot of women in New York who use birth control." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
For the third day in a row, Wednesday, an absent George Stephanopoulos prompted ABC's Good Morning America to provide skimpy coverage of the GOP presidential race. While CBS This Morning devoted nine minutes, including an interview, on the Illinois primary, ABC allowed just two minutes and 21 seconds of coverage.
In GMA's only full report, Jake Tapper quoted Romney casting the race as law professor vs. conservative businessman (which typically leaves out describing Obama as liberal): "It's very clearly a very stark choice between Barack Obama, who [Romney is] casting as a law professor, versus a conservative businessman."
A seemingly befuddled Chris Matthews on Tuesday interviewed former Senator Arlen Specter, gleefully (and incorrectly) referring to the Democrat as a Republican. Downplaying the fact that Specter switched parties, Matthews bellowed, "Your party has become a right-wing party."
After mentioning the plight of Charlie Crist, who was defeated by Marco Rubio in a Republican senatorial primary, Matthews shrieked, "He lost the Senate race because he contacted [hugged] the President physically once. This is what is going on in your party." Again, the Republican Party is not Specter's party. Just getting warmed up, Matthews complained, "And so the party of Lincoln has became the party of Strom Thurmond, hasn't it?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Is there a clause in George Stephanopoulos's contract stating that politics must be ignored if he's not there? On Tuesday, for the second straight day, the former Democratic operative turned journalist was absent from Good Morning America. Despite March 20th featuring a critical primary in the Republican race for the White House, a Stephanopoulos-less GMA allowed just 19 seconds on the topic. (Dancing With the Stars, by contrast, received six minutes.)
The hosts who did show up for work on Monday and Tuesday's GMA also skipped a new ABC poll finding that "Two-thirds of Americans say the U.S. Supreme Court should throw out either the individual mandate in the federal health care law or the law in its entirety."
In an attempt to mock Rush Limbaugh, yet again, Stephen Colbert on Thursday compared the conservative radio host to the Taliban. Highlighting advertisers who have pulled out of Limbaugh's show in the wake of the Sandra Fluke controversy, the comedian insisted that the U.S. Army would no longer buy commercials.
Colbert smeared, "Yes, the Army is pulling out of Rush. Meanwhile, they're staying in Afghanistan to negotiate with the Taliban who evidently have a better track record on women's issues." [MP3 audio here. See video below.]
A liberal, NBC smugfest invaded CNN on Wednesday. Former Today co-host Meredith Vieira appeared with her husband, journalist Richard M. Cohen, on Piers Morgan. Cohen railed against Christian conservatives as the "American equivalent of the Taliban." In another segment, CNBC regular Donny Deutsch, who guest hosted for Morgan, bashed "vicious bully" Rush Limbaugh.
Deutsch began a discussion on Republican chances in 2012 by playing a clip of a new Planned Parenthood ad attacking the GOP. Cohen, a former producer for CBS and CNN, smeared, "...They remind me of sort of the American equivalent of the Taliban. You know, they want to drag women back to a different point in time." His wife, a longtime anchor at NBC, didn't refute this attack. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Chris Matthews doesn't think much of southerners. The Hardball anchor appeared on MSNBC's primary night coverage, Tuesday, and mocked the supposed thought process of the Republican voters: "They've got three RCs, or two RCs- two Roman Catholics- running and a Mormon, so three cultists running, and they gotta pick one of the three cultists, as they see them."
The host sneered, "...But it is ridiculous to pick a guy they think is really the other, the heretic, the Muslim. What a strange stew of religious prejudice is at work here." Trying to explain the mind set of conservative primary voters, he added, "They are willing to outsource [defeating the President] to a Mormon...It's almost like calling up India or somewhere in the third world to get your computer fixed. You don't care who's fixing it, just fix the damn computer." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
A day after MSNBC featured a guest who compared Rush Limbaugh to a "serial murderer," Tamron Hall on Wednesday eagerly wondered if the radio host "should be canned." The News Nation anchor repeatedly teased a new Bloomberg poll claiming 53 percent of Americans want Limbaugh to be fired.
Stoking her liberal audience, Hall wondered, "And should Rush Limbaugh be canned? That's a question that's been floating around, but a new poll shows how many Americans feel it's time to say goodbye." A MSNBC graphic touted, "Fire Rush?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
According to Joe Williams, the senior White House reporter for Politico, Rush Limbaugh is like the "serial murderer" who was caught with "three bodies in the trunk." The veteran journalist made the outrageous comparison on Tuesday's Martin Bashir show, a program that included other liberal smears against the conservative radio host.
Before making his offensive connection, Williams highlighted his background covering the police. Regarding Limbaugh's comments about Sandra Fluke, the journalist linked: "... [Law enforcement] always would catch the serial murderer because he was driving around with a busted taillight, not because he had, like, three bodies in the trunk." He added, "I mean they would always have some incident to really capture him on and this was Rush Limbaugh's." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Liberal MSNBC on Tuesday adopted Democratic talking points for the contraceptive fight. As anchor Chris Jansing offered softball questions to left-wing Senator Patty Murray, a MSNBC graphic flatly declared: "War on Women: 12 Dem Women Senators Send Letter to Speaker Boehner."
Usually, MSNBC can at least provide a question mark ("War on women?") as the network spins for Democrats. Jansing framed the issue as hostile to females, offering this loaded question: "You were one of 12 Democratic women in the Senate that sent a letter to House Speaker Boehner asking him to abandon plans to continue the fight against contraception coverage in the House."
Who's the best person to give Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney advice? Why, longtime Democratic strategist James Carville, of course. Recapping the Super Tuesday primaries on Wednesday's Good Morning America, former Democratic operative turned Journalist George Stephanopoulos seriously wondered, "James Carville, you usually give advice to Democrats, but take that hat off for a second."
With no sense of humor or irony, the co-host continued, "Give some advice to Mitt Romney. How does he handle this right now?" Of course, Carville had no interest in giving Mitt Romney advice and proceeded to deride the Republican. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Good Morning America's Dan Harris on Tuesday highlighted liberal hopes to turn Rush Limbaugh's "slut" comments into a "Don Imus moment." The March 6 segment brings the total number of ABC stories on the subject to eight in just four and a half days.
Harris played two nasty clips, one showing Jon Stewart mocking the conservative host as a "terrible person." Harris excitedly related, "This morning, liberal groups are going all out. They're mounting an aggressive online campaign to get Limbaugh's sponsors to pull their ads. They are hoping this is Rush Limbaugh's Don Imus moment."
Liberal cable host Chris Matthews, who once dismissed Michele Bachmann as a "balloon head," on Monday derided the supposed sexism of "horse's ass" Rush Limbaugh. The Hardball anchor sparred with Senator Rob Portman. Speaking of Matthews' coverage of the Sandra Fluke controversy, the Republican mocked, "...It sounds like maybe you're keeping it alive more than [Limbaugh] in the eyes of the voter."
Later, Matthews introduced left-wing columnist David Corn by arrogantly pronouncing, "[Republicans] could have gotten rid of this problem last Wednesday if they had all stood up and said this guy is a horse's ass."