An annoyed Rachel Maddow on Thursday lectured ABC News for daring to question Barack Obama's appearance earlier this week on an internet comedy show. After playing a clip of reporter Jim Avila quizzing Jay Carney on whether the chat program damaged the "the dignity of the office," Maddow labeled this contention "completely and totally wrong." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
She mocked "capital V, capital S, very serious pundit David Gergen" for this tweet: "Unimaginable that Truman, Ike, JFK, Reagan would appear on 'Between Two Ferns.' They carefully projected majesty of their office." According to Maddow, there is precedent because Ronald Reagan appeared on a Bob Hope birthday show and Richard Nixon appeared on Laugh-In. The examples hardly compare.
A clearly worried Chris Matthews attempted to rally the Democratic Party to avoid a midterm massacre, openly suggesting that the party's goals should be "angering" voters with "scary" Republicans. On Thursday morning, the MSNBC anchor conceded that the U.S. Senate will go Republican in November. By Thursday night, he pivoted, lecturing Democrats: "...You can give the angry voter out there something really scary to vote against, a direction to really direct his or her anger." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] "Time to attack," roared Matthews.
Jumping from issue to terrifying issue, the Hardball host hyperventilated, "Want something else to fear? If the Republicans get the upper hand this fall, women's health care, Roe v. Wade, which that Florida Republican who just won plans to repeal." Matthews suggested, "You can warn people what the Republicans will do if they really clench power, how they're hell bent on cutting entitlements."
Apparently, Ed Schultz doesn't mean it when he says "get your tapes rolling at home." The MSNBC anchor on Wednesday attempted to rewrite his bogus, boastful prediction about ObamaCare. As noted by the Washington Post, on December 11, 2013, Schultz prognosticated: "I'm going to make a prediction tonight. It's going to hit five million by March 1st. That's right. Five million people signed up by March 1st. Get your tapes rolling at home folks 'cause it's going to be a big 'I told you so.'"
The just-released ObamaCare numbers for the end of February state that 4.2 million Americans have enrolled. Talking to Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, Schultz whitewashed his prediction, announcing, "Well, I predicted five million people are going to sign up by the end of this month. We're closing on it on that number." [See video below for a contrast of the two quotes. MP3 audio here.]
The co-hosts of The View brought on Republican strategist Nicolle Wallace, Thursday, to give the Republican view on politics. But instead of offering the loyal opposition, the former top aide to John McCain gushed over the Clintons.
Asked by Jenny McCarthy if Bill Clinton's personal problems will be an issue in 2016, Wallace blurted, "No. That's baked in the cake. I mean, to know Bill is to love Bill, whether you're a Democrat or a Republican." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Panic mode? Chris Matthews on Thursday morning conceded that Republicans would win the Senate in November. On Wednesday's Hardball, the host lashed out at voters. Speaking of a House special election won by the Republicans on Tuesday, he fumed, "Well, this election in Florida yesterday was about one word: 'No.' Because no worked, it will be worked again from now until November. By all means, no. That's the Republican message this year." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Grappling with the reason why it is so "hard" for Democrats to fight in this midterm election, Matthews lectured, "Well, for one thing, Democrats generally can see the complexity of our times." He added, "They don't think they have all the answers. They'd like to see some deal making between the parties and across the aisles."
MSNBC hosts have been obsessed with exposing conservative birtherism. Chris Matthews has been particularly fierce in excoriating anyone who suggests that the President was born in another country. (His birthplace is Hawaii.) So, will Matthews go after a new cable anchor who traveled to Kenya to talk about the President?
This anchor asserted, "We've heard about President Obama's poll numbers in the United States, including those pretty dim assessments of his handling of the rest of the world. But out in the wide world, there is one place he can always call home..." The aforementioned host featured a clip of a Kenyan who claimed, "Obama is our son from Kenya." Was the individual behind this segment a dreaded right-winger? No, he was a liberal journalist. [See video below to find out his identity. MP3 audio here.]
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Wednesday swooned over Barack Obama's fake interview with an actor/internet chat show host. Offering almost no criticism of the viral video designed to boost ObamaCare enrollment, co-anchor Gayle King lauded, "Humor works. Bravo to Zach [Galifanakis] and bravo to the President!" [See video below MP 3 audio here.]
In a follow-up interview with senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, King enthused over the Funny or Die video: "It's certainly gone viral, which I would think you guys are doing the hula over there." Jarrett assured her that "we are." The Democratic strategist then shifted into full-commercial mode and told the hosts: "Everyone who is watching your show, go on the website today. HealthCare.gov. It's working just fine."
A prominent Democrat who illegally funneled $660,000 into the mayoral campaign of Vincent Gray in 2010 also contributed to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, according to the Washington Times. All three networks on Monday night and Tuesday morning ignored the story. Prosecutors claimed that Mayor Gray had knowledge of the illegal "shadow" campaign run by Jeffrey Thompson.
Times writer Dave Boyer explained the connection to other high-profile Democrats: "Despite Hillary Rodham Clinton’s promise that she had scrubbed illegal cash contributions from her 2008 presidential campaign, prosecutors revealed Monday that the mastermind of Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s 'shadow campaign' also funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to aid Mrs. Clinton’s bid for the White House."
ABC, CBS and NBC on Tuesday morning uncritically hyped an extended effort by Senate Democrats as an "all-night marathon" to raise awareness on climate change. Yet, these same networks mocked a similar effort by Ted Cruz in fall of 2013 as a "bizarre," "long-winded protest."
Today's Natalie Morales explained, "The dusk to dawn talk-a-thon was expected to go about 15 hours." She noted that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called global warming action a "question of our own survival."It was only CBS This Morning co-anchor Norah O'Donnell who pointed out that there "are no plans to bring a climate bill to the Senate floor this year." If no legislation is planned, how does this warrant network coverage? [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Once again, ABC's Good Morning America avoided an issue that makes liberal New York Mayor Billl de Blasio look bad. CBS This Morning and NBC's Today on Monday both highlighted how popular actor Liam Neeson slammed the Democrat, telling him to "man up." Neeson and others are furious that de Blasio wants to ban horse-drawn carriage rides within the city.
This Morning guest co-host Anthony Mason informed, "On Sunday, Neeson showed lawmakers the stables that show carriage horses that travel through Central Park. Neeson says the horses are well cared for." He added, "Neeson says, quote, '[de Blasio] should have manned up and come.'" On Today, Carson Daly noted, "Bill de Blasio wants to shut down the service, saying that the horses aren't treated humanely." Daly described the Taken movie star as "lashing out" over this. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell on Monday gushed over comedian turned Democratic Senator Al Franken. With no pretense, she told the liberal politician, "...It's great to see you in the United States Senate. But, you know, we all remember you from Saturday Night Live." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] "We grew up" watching you, the journalist added.
Franken was given five and a half minutes of air time to talk about his thoughts on a potential merger between cable giants Comcast and Time Warner. Yet, O'Donnell still found time for breezy questions such as asking, "Do you go back at all to watch SNL?... Don't we need more humor in the United States Congress?"
If you like your jail cell plan, you can keep it? In a front page story for Monday's New York Times, writer Erica Goode revealed that prisons all across the country are enrolling inmates to ObamaCare. Despite the fact that many media outlets consider the Times to be the "paper of record," NBC and ABC ignored the news that taxpayer-funded money would be going to the health care of convicted criminals.
Only CBS This Morning covered it, allowing 20 seconds. Guest co-host Anthony Mason summarized the details and insisted, "States can save millions by letting Medicaid pay for prisoners' hospital stays lasting more than 24 hours. Up to 35 percent of those now eligible for Medicaid under ObamaCare have had run-ins with the law." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Although CBS covered the latest revelation, Mason failed to mention conservative criticism.
Rush Limbaugh on Thursday mocked new MSNBC host Ronan Farrow, dismissing the 26-year-old, saying, "He's never done anything. He's never gotten good at anything." MSNBC President Phil Griffen explained to the New York Times how he was originally wowed by Farrow, who is either the son of Woody Allen or Frank Sinatra: "Within 20 minutes, I wanted to hire him...He got it."
Limbaugh translated, "In other words, if you're young, if you're charismatic, if you're good-looking, if you're hip, if you're cool, if you're glib -- if you have all the superficial traits that we can say you have -- then that will trump experience, knowledge, humility, and hard work."
As the Clintons gear up for what appears to be a 2016 presidential run, journalists are already downplaying the potential negatives Bill Clinton would create for Hillary. According to the Washington Times, the former President has cashed in on a non-profit hospital, taking nearly a quarter million dollars in speaking fees as the hospital laid off hundreds.
Writer Jim McElhatton explained, "Bill Clinton accepted a $225,000 speaking fee from the nonprofit Washington Hospital Center smack in the middle of two big rounds of layoffs in 2012." He added, "The $225,000 payment wasn't made public by the hospital on its annual Internal Revenue Service forms, but rather appeared among dozens of lucrative speeches by Mr. Clinton reported on his wife's final ethics filing as secretary of state."
MSNBC's Chuck Todd on Friday eagerly promoted "rising star" Joaquin Castro, a liberal Congressman from Texas. On the same program that he suggested Republicans don't care about minorities, Todd speculated on a Democratic revival in the Lone Star State. He wondered, "Is 2014 the year that Texas Democrats finally elect someone, some member of their party, to a statewide office?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Todd hyped a Texas Monthly Article on "Mr. Castro Goes to Washington." The Daily Rundown host sympathized with the difficulty of being a Democrat in the GOP-controlled House: "Compare the Texas legislature and being a member of the minority party there with being a member of the minority in Congress. What's worse?"
MSNBC journalist Luke Russert on Thursday reported on the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and dismissed two potential presidential candidates. Russert wondered if the Republican Party might nominate a "pragmatic governor" like Chris Christie.
He added, "Or are we going Ted Cruz? Are we going Rand Paul and the GOP is going to have their 2016 Barry Goldwater moment?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Barry Goldwater lost the 1964 presidential election in a massive landslide, winning only six states.
The journalists at Good Morning America on Thursday were sufficiently provoked by a pro-American Cadillac commercial that they devoted a whole segment to wondering if the spot was "arrogant" and "xenophobic." GMA's reporters, who couldn't find any time to cover former IRS head Lois Lerner pleading the Fifth on Capitol Hill, devoted almost three minutes to the "backlash" against the car commercial.
The ad features a man strolling around his large house, praising the free enterprise system and the work ethic of Americans: "Other countries, they work. They stroll home. They stop by the café. They take August off. Off!" Co-host George Stephanopoulos worried, "Is it selling a confident take on America with a sense of humor or showing off an arrogant caricature that is just plain obnoxious?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Good Morning America's Robin Roberts has repeatedly been awarded interviews with Michelle and Barack Obama. There's a good reason for this: She doesn't ask tough questions. On Thursday, the co-host promised a "revealing, one-on-one conversation" with Mrs. Obama. Roberts did bring up ObamaCare, but offered no tough questions about the repeated delays.
Talking to the First Lady at a Black Entertainment Television conference, Roberts vaguely began: "[The health care law] has not been without its critics who question whether or not this will work." The journalist continued, "How do you see that and being able to close the gap for those people who have not been given that opportunity to have quality health care?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Ed Schultz's brief rebellion against liberal orthodoxy is over. The MSNBC anchor in February announced his support for the Keystone oil pipeline, telling his audience to "confront reality." Ever since, Schultz has been slowly retreating. On Wednesday, Schultz caved, "Mr. President, say no to this project. I turn this night, on this program. I was wrong." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The host explained his reversal, insisting that "after researching both sides and listening to all the experts and seeing what's out there, I don't think America needs to take this risk." Schultz offered other reasons, such as suggesting that if Fox News anchors support the pipeline, that would "bring me to the conclusion that it's a really bad idea." Perhaps the real reason for the shift grew out of anger the MSNBC star faced from his audience.
Only CBS This Morning on Wednesday bothered to cover yet another delay of ObamaCare. NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America both skipped the news. On Tuesday night, all three networks ignored the topic.
CBS co-anchor Charlie Rose explained, "This morning, critics of the President's health care law have a new target for anger, another major delay." He added, "The Obama administration will allow insurers to continue offering bare-bones plans, even if they don't comply with the minimum standards." Journalist Jan Crawford described the move as one that would avoid more cancellations near the 2014 midterm elections. She opined, "...The administration will allow insurers to offer the substandard plans." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Journalists and networks hyped the so-called Republican "war on women" during the 2012 election. But ABC and CBS on Wednesday skipped the claim that liberal Congressman Alan Grayson committed domestic abuse against his estranged wife. Only Today show journalist Kristen Welker on Wednesday revealed, "Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson is denying allegations that he shoved his wife, Lolita Grayson." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
She continued, "According to court documents filed Monday and obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, Ms. Grayson accused her husband of showing up at her Florida home unannounced over the weekend and then deliberately and with force pushed her very hard against the door, causing her to fall to the ground." CBS This Morning and ABC's Good Morning America ignored the accusations. Tuesday night's evening newscasts did as well.
MSNBC viewers in February were treated to a rare sight: An anchor disagreeing with the accepted liberal position on an issue. Ed Schultz publicly came out in support of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. On the February 5 program, he lectured progressives to "confront reality" and support construction. Well, that didn't last long. On March 4, Schultz compared Keystone to Vietnam and wondered if it was as "bad." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The host began his program by recounting how protests against the Vietnam war started small and grew to an estimated 500,000 in 1969. Schultz compared, "Is the pipeline that bad?" After noting that only 400 people came out to rally against Keystone, Schultz connected, "I don't know what it's going to take to stop the pipeline and get the message to the President of the United States." With a picture of Vietnam protests behind him, he concluded, "But for reference, this is what we had to do to stop war."
Of the three networks, only CBS has investigated the "outrage" of Mayor Bill de Blasio's "attacks" against charter schools in New York City. CBS This Morning journalist Don Dahler on Tuesday revealed, "Thousands of concerned parents are traveling to New York's state capitol Albany this morning, looking to draw attention to the plight of the charter school movement." Dahler referred to this movement as one parents believe "is now under attack." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
After showing one New York mother who praised the impact charter schools had on her children, the journalist informed, "But plans to expand their schools have been repealed by New York's New York City's new mayor, Bill de Blasio." A CBS graphic surprisingly challenged the liberal politician: "Charter School Showdown: Outrage Over NYC Mayor's Anti-Charter Policies."
The journalists at World News on Monday and Good Morning America on Tuesday ignored the results of their own poll, a survey finding Democrats in deep trouble for the 2014 midterms. It's not as though GMA was packed with hard news and there was no available time. The morning show devoted an astonishing 18 minutes to promoting the new season of Dancing With the Stars. ABC News labeled this a "GMA dance party."
According to the ABC News/Washington Post poll, "...Republicans [are] in a stronger position than Democrats in the states with Senate races this fall and more than holding their own in the battle for control of the House." Writers Dan Balz and Scott Clement explained, "In the 34 states with Senate races, 50 percent of voters say they favor Republicans and 42 percent favor Democrats."
Chris Matthews is known for his verbal gaffes, but his political prognosticating doesn’t age well either. As Right Scoop noted, the Hardball anchor eagerly mocked Mitt Romney in 2012 for suggesting that Russia is one of the “world’s worst actors” and “our number one geopolitical foe.” On March 27, 2012, Matthews sneered that this was “Romney's latest misstep, his geopolitical faux pas.”
The anchor proclaimed, “I don’t know what decade this guy is living. It sounds like '72, '52 even. It's not Stalin over there. It's not Khrushchev. It's not Brezhnev. It's [Dmitry] Medvedev.” Regarding the way Medvedev dismissed Romney’s comments, Matthews offered a naive analysis: “I don't know Medvedev. We've got mixed views to these guys. But he seems so sophisticated and witty about his response.”
MSNBC journalist and former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman on Sunday night offered perhaps the most bewildering Oscar tweet of the night. As 12 Years a Slave won best picture and Alfonso Cuaron became the first Mexican-born director to win an Academy Award, Fineman tweeted, “#AcademyAwards show diversity, tolerance, cultural creativity of US in Obama Era. Hard power matters, per Putin, but Oscars r as powerful.”
The Oscars are “as powerful” as Vladimir Putin? Will member of the Academy be invading a European country? Also, is it really necessary to bring Barack Obama into every discussion, even the seemingly unrelated Oscars? Fineman received considerable blowback from his tweet and scrambled to clarify.
Newly minted journalist Ronan Farrow was given the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Exploration and Journalism this week, but he seemed incapable of basic fact checking while interviewing Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. On Friday, Farrow allowed the pro-abortion Richards to get away with this whopper: "We are not a partisan organization. We're just looking to make sure that people in office respect women's health and rights." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In reality, 100 percent of Planned Parenthood's political donations in 2014 have, so far, been to Democrats. In 2010 and 2012, that number was 99 percent. This hardly qualifies as "non-partisan." However, nothing about Farrow's questions could be described as journalistic. After praising the liberal group's effectiveness, Farrow wondered, "Why do you think that is? Why have you think you've been so successful in the past?"
According to NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, It's an "outrage" that members of Congress didn't sit in rapt attention to every word of self-admitted "pothead" Seth Rogen. The comedian and actor appeared on Capitol Hill, Thursday, to testify on the issue of Alzheimer's disease. As is common, senators filtered in and out of the hearing. Later, Rogen took to Twitter, railing against the poor showing. NBC dutifully played along.
Williams alerted, "Still ahead for us tonight, outrage. A funny guy gets suddenly serious before a roomful of empty chairs in Washington." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] According to journalist Peter Alexander, the actor felt the sting of testifying "before a largely absent Senate subcommittee." Alexander sympathized, asserting this was an example of how "Washington wasn't listening." However, the practice is fairly standard as members have meetings, votes and other congressional duties.
In another attempt to promote global warming activism, CBS This Morning journalists on Thursday warned viewers that climate change could lead to the end of snow and skiing. Co-host Charlie Rose informed viewers that "the author of a controversial book believes winter sports could be doomed." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Yet, if there was much "controversy" in the notions pushed by writer Porter Fox, they hardly made it onto the CBS segment. Instead, reporter Don Dahler tossed this softball to Fox: "If thousands of scientists agree that this is happening why are there elements who resist it so much?" The author of "Deep: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow," responded by lecturing, "I think there's a long history of doubting science when it goes against the grain of what you want to happen."
In a surprising change, CBS This Morning journalists on Thursday devoted almost five minutes to investigating the "debacle" of ObamaCare and the administration's "frantic efforts" to save it from total failure. Co-host Norah O'Donnell even went so far as to inform viewers of a new network poll: "...Forty two percent want the law repealed. Only six percent think it's working well." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
O'Donnell and Charlie Rose talked to Steven Brill, who has written a cover for Time magazine "on the failed roll out of HealthCare.gov and the White House's desperate effort to fix the web site." A CBS graphic explained, "Rebooting ObamaCare: Inside the Frantic Attempts to Save HealthCare.gov."