On New Year's Eve, Chris Matthews got off one last sneering shot against conservatives. In a special 2012 retrospective, the Hardball anchor connected fiscal conservatism to segregation. After guest Howard Fineman insisted that Mitt Romney's aversion to tax increases during the primary doomed him in the general election, Matthews snorted, "It's today's politics! It's like, they used to say, you have to be the most segregationist guy in the south." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
He continued, "You can never be an inch away from it because somebody would always go to your right on that issue." Go to the "right?" Perhaps the history-challenged Matthews is unaware that segregationionist south was run by Democrats.
ABC News, the same network which falsely linked the Tea Party to a mass killing in Colorado, on Wednesday ignored an alleged connection between Occupy Wall Street and a wealthy New York City couple apparently planning a terrorist spree. Instead, a Good Morning America journalist referred to the investigation as a "preppy terror case."
The New York Post on Monday reported that Morgan Gliedman and her boyfriend, Aaron Greene, have been arrested after a vast number of guns, bombs and the "Terrorist Encyclopedia" were found in their home. According to the Post, the two are "the privileged daughter of a prominent city doctor, and...a Harvard grad and Occupy Wall Street activist." Yet, GMA reporter John Muller simply described, "She is from a prominent family on New York's ritzy upper east side. He is a Harvard graduate."
Good Morning America on Friday offered a fawning preview of Barbara Walters' exclusive interview with Barack and Michelle Obama. Walters gushed over the "touching," "charming" couple and asked the President softballs such as "What's your favorite app?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalist couldn't get over just how adorable the two Democrats are, fawning, "Together, she teases him. He teases her. It's a whole other look." Quite pleased with herself, Walters declared that such moments are what's "charming about this interview."
Chris Matthews has found the problem with how the media covered the 2012 election: Unbiased journalists were simply too focused on being "even-handed" and treating Republicans fairly. Yes, really. The Hardball anchor on Wednesday began his program by declaring, "Did you get the impression during the presidential campaign that the press was trying too hard to be even-handed?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Matthews continued, "Did you think the people delivering the news were pushing what we call balance at the expense of the obvious facts, that the day-to-day stories never got across the obvious big fact, that the Democrats in this election were like Democrats going back to Jack Kennedy?" Matthews, who previously compared the GOP to Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan, declared himself the arbiter of media fairness: "So tonight we're going to nail it. We go to the truth, and why was the truth that dared not be reported in the mainstream media?"
Apparently, Barbara Walters's idea of balance is grilling Chris Christie about being too fat and unhealthy to be president. Yet, during the same 10 Most Fascinating People of 2012 program, she conducted a girl talk session with Hillary Clinton, laughing with the Secretary of State about her hair. Walters appeared on Wednesday's Good Morning America to promote the show. Talking to Christie, she derided, "I feel very uncomfortable asking this question when I'm sitting opposite you. But you are a little overweight." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
After Christie retorted, "More than a little," Walters actually wondered, "Why [are you overweight]?" To this, the governor reminded, "If I could figure that out, I'd fix it." The journalist interrogated, "There are people who say you couldn't be president because you're so heavy. What do you say to them?" In contrast, Walters gently asked Clinton: "So, I have to ask you this very personal question. Your hair?" After Clinton chuckled, the host enthused, "Nobody asks the men that." The two then shared another laugh.
All three networks on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning ignored the violent assaults by union protesters in Michigan, instead vaguely insisting that activists were simply "voicing their anger" at the "showdown raging in the heartland." The morning shows on Wednesday allowed little coverage of Michigan at all, a mere 72 seconds out of eight hours of programming. (On Tuesday, the nightly newscasts offered eight minutes out of a possible 90 total.)
On Tuesday, World News reporter Alex Perez put the focus not on out of control violence, but on the fact that Michigan's right-to-work bill actually passed. He began, "The anger boiling over. Officers turning to pepper spray to control the crowd at least 10,000 deep. But it wasn't enough." One might think the journalist was speaking of the attack on Fox News contributor Steven Crowder. No. Perez kept the attention on the new law: "Michigan Republican lawmakers approving landmark legislation, lifting the requirement that workers in unionized workplaces pay union dues." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
An unhinged Chris Matthews on Tuesday berated a representative of Americans for Prosperity with the same question 13 times. Talking to Scott Hagerstrom, the Hardball anchor didn't seem to hear the answer, despite Hagerstrom repeating it over and over. Matthews fumed, "Well, who's paying your salary?" [See a montage video below. MP3 audio here.]
A calm Hagerstrom appeared on the show to discuss the just-passed right-to-work law in Mighican. He explained, "I work for Americans for Prosperity...This is about freedom for everybody." Matthews repeated over and over: "Who's paying your salary?...No, but who's paying your salary to do it?Who's paying your salary to do what you're doing right now?...Who's paying your– to do this today?"
On a day when violent union protesters in Mighigan attacked those who would dare disagree with them, MSNBC stuck to liberal talking points. Anchor Martin Bashir on Tuesday ignored the assaults and instead assailed the state's Republican governor for his "crap burger" comments. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Although Bashir showed footage of some of the protests, he did not discuss the violence directed against political contributor Steven Crowder and others. Bashir only gently noted, "Angry protests have accompanied the decision by the state's legislature to send two bills, which would weaken unions, to the desk of the state's governor." After the liberal anchor played a clip of Governor Rick Snyder insisting the right-to-work legislation is "pro-worker," Bashir dismissed, "That's what we describe as a crap burger."
Apparently, ABC can't tell the difference between opponents of gay marriage and hateful, anti-American bigots. As World News reporter Terry Moran on Friday highlighted the Supreme Court's decision to consider the legality of same-sex marriage, video of Westboro Baptist picketers appeared onscreen to visually represent "opponents." [See video below. Listen to MP3 audio here.]
Members of the small and extreme Westboro Baptist Church have disrupted the funerals of American military personal who were killed defending this country. Yet, Moran announced, "For opponents of gay marriage, the very fabric of our society is at stake." During this voice-over, video showed Westboro protesters with signs reading "God hates America." After that footage, the segment immediately cut to a Family Research Council representative (FRC).
In what ABC News deemed a "major blow to union rights," Michigan became the 24th right-to-work state on Thursday. Yet, NBC and CBS totally ignored this development. ABC allowed a scant 14 second news brief on Friday's Good Morning America.
What did the networks cover instead? Over a three minute segment, CBS This Morning highlighted the deeply important news that Justin Bieber endured a snub from the Grammys. On NBC's Today, the hosts donated four minutes and 43 seconds to watching Obama operative David Axelrod shave his moustache for charity. Good Morning America's brief report aside, the program lavished five and a half minutes on Catherine Zeta-Jones' new film.
ABC News, which previously mocked the loss of 18,000 jobs at Hostess, now has concern for the unemployed, worrying about those who will lose benefits if a deal on the fiscal cliff cannot be found. Reporter Jon Karl on Wednesday's World News fretted, "Without a deal, unemployment compensation will end for more than two million people who've been out of work more than 26 weeks."
Karl highlighted the case of Melinda Vega, worrying about "her $450 a week unemployment check, her lifeline." However, ABC journalists were less concerned about unemployment when it didn't involve possible tax increases. On November 16, 2012, Good Morning America's co-anchors mocked the bankruptcy of Hostess, passing out Twinkies.
Chris Matthews' affinity for Bill Clinton is well known. But on Wednesday's Hardball, Mathews argued that the Democrat would be the best lobbyist to get one into heaven. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Talking to journalist Joe Klein and GOP strategist David Winston, Matthews lauded the former president's campaigning for Barack Obama.
The liberal host enthused, "...I have to tell you, who would you rather have make your case to Saint Peter than this guy?" Clinton, of course, was accused of rape by Juanita Broaddrick, of sexual assault by Kathleen Willey and by Paula Jones of exposing himself.
One year ago, Barack Obama backed a budget solution that would not "hike" tax rates. Now, the President rejects this plan, an apparent flip-flop only ABC's Jake Tapper reported. House Speaker John Boehner has proposed a plan that increases revenues though the closing of loopholes and the elimination of deductions.
On Wednesday's Good Morning America, Tapper reminded that "what the Republicans are offering sounds a lot like what the President wanted during last year's budget showdown." He then played a 2011 clip of Obama requesting, "Give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking tax rates by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] CBS This Morning and NBC's Today both ignored this quote.
Former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman apologized on Monday for his "inadvertent smear" against Grover Norquist. First reported on NewsBusters, Fineman appeared on the December 3 Hardball and slammed the President of Americans for Tax Reform. The journalist railed, "A long time before the Tea Party existed or had a name, Grover Norquist, the famous anti-tax lobbyist in Washington, was running around beginning to enforce, ayatollah-style, his edict about taxes."
Four hours after the comment, Fineman tweeted an apology, allowing, "Apologies to Grover Norquist and his Muslim wife for inadvertent slur on #MSNBC #Hardball, calling him 'Ayatollah' of GOP anti-tax movement."
[UPDATE: Fineman apologized. For more, go here.] MSNBC contributor and Huffington Post editor Howard Fineman on Monday smeared Grover Norquist as "ayatollah"-like for his opposition to higher taxes. Talking to Hardball's Chris Matthews, Fineman fumed, "...A long time before the Tea Party existed or had a name, Grover Norquist, the famous anti-tax lobbyist in Washington, was running around beginning to enforce, ayatollah-style, his edict about taxes." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
According to Fineman, this Middle Eastern-style pledge "has really become the core identity of the modern conservative Republican party." Anchor Matthews ludicrously described GOP fidelity to Norquist as "human bondage."
ABC News continued to hype the Democratic position on the fiscal cliff, Sunday. World News Reporter David Kerley touted the White House as "confident with the stronger hand in talks with House Republicans, demanding and believing tax rates for the wealthy are going up."
The reporter did play a clip of Boehner rejecting tax increases, but Kerley made sure to point out the Speaker "hasn't outlined possible cuts." In one of multiple clips of Tim Geithner, the Treasury Secretary lectured, "They have to come to us and tell us what they think they need. What we can't do is to keep guessing. "
Good Morning America on Thursday allowed a scant 23 seconds to the latest on Susan Rice's possible Secretary of State nomination and her troubled role in providing false information on the Libya. Yet, the same program devoted over two minutes of the precious 7am half hour, supposedly the time for hard news, to the claim that Bigfoot is "real." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Guest co-host Amy Robach opened the show by enthusing, "Part-human, part-primate. Is Bigfoot real, after all?" Co-anchor George Stephanopoulos hyped "a prominent veterinarian who says she can prove Bigfoot exists and that he's related to all of us." Reporter Nick Watt could barely contain himself: "Oh my goodness, I want to believe. Can you imagine if Bigfoot is actually real?" Contributor Laura Spencer declared, "Yeah, I believe. I totally believe."
Good Morning America's reporters on Wednesday continued to fret about the fate of Susan Rice, lamenting the GOP "buzz saw" the UN Ambassador ran into on Tuesday. ABC's Martha Raddatz hyped all the pressing issues in the world as a possible reason to just confirm the potential Secretary of State nominee quickly.
Martha Raddatz worried, "You have got Iran that is trying to acquire a nuclear weapon. You have got North Korea. There's satellite photos just out showing that North Korea would like to test another long-range ballistic missile." She then reminded that this is "such a critical time in Afghanistan." GMA co-anchor George Stephanopoulos referenced the fall of David Petraeus and hyped that all of these vacancies are "happening when there's a lot of hot spots in the world bubbling up."
For the second time in less than 24 hours, ABC's Jon Karl on Tuesday hyped a "newfound willingness" by Republicans to compromise on raising taxes and a possible abandonment of "anti-tax enforcer" Grover Norquist. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Yet, this didn't appear enough for Karl who lamented that "even Republicans who say they are willing to violate the pledge say they will only do so by closing loopholes, not by doing what the President wants to do, which is raising tax rates." Talking to Norquist on Good Morning America, the journalist quizzed the founder of Americans for Tax Reform on pledges his organization encourages politicians to sign: "If somebody signed this 10 years ago, 18 years ago, 20 years ago, are they still bound by it?"
[UPDATE: See bottom of post] Chris Matthews on Monday disgustingly connected conservatives unhappy with the 2012 election to Hitler and the 1936 Olympics. After Huffington Post journalist Howard Fineman mocked the GOP for supposedly considering the African American and Hispanic vote to be "extraterrestrial," Matthews spewed, "The last guy to refer to the black auxiliary was Hitler." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Matthews, known for his verbal gaffes, prefaced the Nazi comparison by rambling, "...And these references are always dangerous, but I'll take it anyway." Trying to explain his smear, the Hardball anchor expanded, "During the '36 Olympics, we had Jesse Owens and a couple other guys winning the Olympics and they [the Nazis] were saying, "Well, they had their auxiliary out there." As if this made his comments all go away, Matthews added that his comments have "no bearing on the Republican Party."
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Sunday fought back against attempts by George Stephanopoulos to cover for the Obama administration's handling of the terrorist attack in Libya. The This Week anchor and former aide to Bill Clinton pushed Graham, a vocal critic of the President, to retreat on opposing the elevation of UN Ambassador Susan Rice's elevation to Secretary of State.
Stephanopoulos pushed, "All of the evidence is that Ambassador Rice was using the information given to her by the intelligence community." After playing a clip of Rice insisting she was only repeating intelligence information, Stephanopoulos cajoled, "Do you accept the explanation of Ambassador Rice?" Graham aggressively fought back against's Stephanopoulos' spin: "There was an al Qaeda storm brewing for months. I blame the President above all others! And we'll get to the bottom of this." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
A new History Channel series uses fictionalized "reenactments" to knock Republican President William McKinley (1897-1901) as a corporate stooge who took bribes and had his speeches rewritten by business titan John D. Rockefeller. In contrast, The Men Who Built America, which aired in October and November, portrays liberal Democrat William Jennings Bryan as running "on a ticket promising equality for all."
The series focuses on Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan and Rockefeller and the building of their corporate empires. The episodes "Changing the Game" and "When One Ends, Another Begins" include comical, Oliver Stone-esque dialogue. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Referring to McKinley, "Morgan" hyperbolically declared, "We need to buy the president." "Carnegie" proclaimed, "He'll be our man in the White House."
According to the Washington Post, the Red Dawn remake that appeared in theaters, Wednesday, is perfect for paranoid Tea Partiers who fear being placed in “internment camps.”
Film critic Michael O’Sullivan huffed, “The scenes that follow -- featuring internment camps and summary executions -- will be red meat for tea party patriots.” Aside from the cheap shots, fans of the original 1984 film about a communist invasion might take O’Sullivan’s review lightly. The journalist began by mocking the conservative themes as “silly.”
Former top Newsweek journalist and current MSNBC.com editor Richard Wolffe on Monday smeared Senator John McCain as a racist. According to Wolffe, there's no legitimate reason for the Republican to oppose Susan Rice's confirmation for Secretary of State. Appearing on Hardball, the journalist sneered that it was "outrageous" the way McCain was acting, raging against "this witch hunt going on the right about these people of color, let's face it, around this president. Eric Holder, Valerie Jarrett, now Susan Rice." [See video below.]
Such a charge seemed to shock even Chris Matthews. He sputtered, "McCain, who had his own daughter attacked, was accused of having an illegitimate child when, in fact, he adopted a young girl from South Asia. You're saying that McCain's being driven by racial prejudice here?" Wolffe confirmed, "There is no other way to look at this..." Of course, McCain opposes Rice's nomination because of her dissembling on the issue of the terrorist attack in Libya.
According to the Atlantic Monthlyand the receptive audience at MSNBC, the year's "brave" and "provocative" thinkers include Lena Dunham, who made an ad comparing voting to sex, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who tried to ban large sodas. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Jansing and Co. Guest anchor Richard Lui introduced Atlantic Monthly editor James Bennet by hyping, "The Atlantic Monthly has honored some of American's most provocative thinkers for more than 150 years." Highlighting a liberal actress in liberal Hollywood who bravely spoke out in favor of a liberal president, Lui insisted, "And another woman on your list who is being compared to Woody Allen and Nora Ephron, that is Lena Dunham."
The cast of Good Morning America on Friday treated the bankruptcy of Hostess and the loss of 18,500 jobs as a hilarious joke. Josh Elliott, George Stephanopoulos and others guffawed as they handed out Twinkies and ate them on set. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] This is the same program that repeatedly spun Republican Mitt Romney as out of touch with the average American.
News anchor Josh Elliott highlighted the report for his final update of the 8am hour, a segment usually saved for humorous stories about puppies or funny videos. After referring to the mass firing as "troubling," the crew handed out treats. Elliott joked, "You know, I'm just going to save mine for 12 years when it will still be good." Co-host George Stephanopoulos mused, "So this is, like, one of our final Twinkies." Amy Robach mocked, "A toast to Twinkies."
Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran on Wednesday couldn't be bothered with spending much time on the scandal in Libya that left four Americans dead. Instead, he thrilled over the President's performance during a White House press conference. "An Obama smackdown," proclaimed the unabashed fan of the Democratic president. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Moran enthused, "The 44th President, today, was ready to rumble. You heard and saw it most emphatically when he leapt to the defense on Susan Rice." Moran explained that the United Nations ambassador is "under fire for claiming the deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya was not a terrorist attack but a riot sparked by outrage over an anti-Muslim film." But the journalist quickly moved on to the battle between Senator John McCain and Obama. Declaring a winner, he cheered, "Today, an Obama smackdown."
The journalists at ABC News on Wednesday and Thursday hyped the President for "coming out swinging" and showing "presidential anger" by defending his United Nations Ambassador, Susan Rice, over Libya. These World News and Good Morning America reporters downplayed the issue of what the Obama White House knew and when.
During the November 14 White House press conference, Fox News' Ed Henry spoke of the families of the four Americans who died during the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya. He directly pressed, "...[They] have been waiting for more than two months. So I would like for you to address the families, if you can. On 9/11, as Commander-in-Chief, did you issue any orders to try to protect their lives?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Instead of highlighting this angle, World News anchor Diane Sawyer began her program by exclaiming "...[Barack Obama] came out swinging in defense of one member of his team and ABC's Jonathan Karl was right there in that room asking questions."
For the second time this year, one of Good Morning America's hosts will be promoting the left-wing Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). The organization announced on its website that GMA weatherman Sam Champion will be anchoring a fund-raiser in New York City.
Champion, who is gay, will be the event co-chair with Rubem Robierb. In October, ABC announced, the two were engaged. This isn't the first time the stars of the ABC morning show have promoted GLAAD. On March 24, news anchor Josh Elliott appeared at an event for the organization. He enthused, "I'm proud to work at a place that believes in advocacy journalism!"
Barack Obama on Wednesday submitted to his first press conference since March. Some of the White House journalists didn't seem to hold the long wait against him, however. One reporter, Christi Parsons of the Chicago Tribune, turned into a gushing fan, congratulating the President on his reelection. Parsons cooed to Obama that she had "never" seen him "lose." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Other questioners, including CNN's Jessica Yellin, exhorted the President to not "cave" when dealing with Republicans.
After calling on Parsons, Obama added, "Christi was there when I was running for state senate." With a big grin on her face, the Tribune reporter extolled, "That's right. I was!...I have never seen you lose." Yellin pushed the President from the left, demanding, "...Two years ago you said that you wouldn't extend the Bush era tax cuts, but at the end of the day, you did. So, respectfully sir, why should the American people and the Republicans believe that you won't cave again this time?"