According to CNN contributor David Frum on Tuesday, the best way for Republicans to win is to mimic the actions of the British Conservative Party. Frum's Daily Beast article is bizarrely titled, "Where the Right Is Winning." Except, the right isn't winning in the United Kingdom. As the Wall Street Journal reported on September 30, "The Conservative Party has lagged behind the center-left Labour Party in opinion polls by as much as 10 percentage points or more over recent months."
The sub-headline for Frum's article announced, "In the U.K., the ideologically rigid left can’t keep up with David Cameron’s ruling Conservatives." Also wrong. A YouGov poll from September 27 found that Labour had jumped 13 points, from 29 percent to 42 percent, since 2010. At the same time the Conservatives are hemorrhaging voters, the right-wing United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has seen its numbers rocket up, from three percent to 13 percent.
As Barack Obama wrapped up a speech from the White House on Tuesday, reporter Jon Karl of ABC actually shouted a tough question at the President, wondering, "...If you won't negotiate, how can you get a solution? How can you bring an end to this if you won't talk to the congressional leaders?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Anchor George Stephanopoulos noted that "Obama ignor[ed] a question from our own Jon Karl." Karl's network, on World News and Good Morning America, ignored it as well. NBC and CBS blamed the Republicans.
Instead of repeating his question on World News, Karl parroted Democratic talking points: "Today the President accused Republicans of waging an ideological crusade against Obamacare while he rejected their latest offer to re-open just part of the government." Anchor Diane Sawyer assigned responsibility to the GOP House: "And everywhere tonight, Americans are saying they are fed up with the congressmen who dig in and force the U.S. government to screech to a halt." "A lot of people outraged," she added. Did Obama play a part in the drama? Sawyer didn't say.
ABC reporter Jeff Zeleny on Tuesday afternoon excitedly told viewers that "cracks" are "emerging" in the Republican opposition to the government shutdown. His example of this? A GOP congressman already on record opposing a shutdown. Following live coverage of Barack Obama's speech, the journalist related, "But a couple cracks emerging, including a congressman from Virginia, a military district, Scott Rigell. He says, 'enough is enough. It's time to move on with this.'"
However, on the September 20 World News, Zeleny reported, "We caught up with Congressman Scott Rigell of Virginia, the only Republican to go against his party." On that day, the reporter featured a clip of Rigell exclaiming, "And I've not heard from any members who thinks that shutting this government down is a good idea." [Video of both clips below. MP3 audio here.]
All three networks on Tuesday morning hyped the partial government shutdown with reports from closed museums in Washington D.C. and live shots of the Statue of Liberty. The journalists of ABC's Good Morning America informed Americans that Republicans would probably "blink first" in the stand-off with the White House and congressional Democrats.
NBC's Peter Alexander checked in live from Washington, touting the "4200 workers at the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo." He narrated, "We're now here in front of the National Air and Space Museum. They tell me last week they had 88,000 visitors come here. Today it'll be zero, the door's are locked." Alexander added, "And there's a very simple message posted to that front door, it reads, 'We apologize for the inconvenience.'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
George Stephanopoulos scored an interview on Sunday with his old boss, Bill Clinton. In return for this exclusive, the former Democratic operative turned journalist avoided any mention of a scandal at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), of Benghazi and how the bungled response to the terrorist attack might impact Hillary Clinton's 2016 run for president.
Instead, Stephanopoulos used the ten and a half minute interview to gently query his former supervisor: "I know you can't answer anything about 2016. But when you look back to the last campaign, if you could boil it down to one, what is the one big lesson you learned from it?" As was common in the two part segment, the This Week anchor allowed Clinton to speak for long stretches. He only broke up the ex-President's answer on the 2008 primaries to murmur, "A pretty titanic battle." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Chris Matthews doesn't like cheap shots. The Hardball host, who two days ago linked Ted Cruz to Hitler, on Thursday raged at a Republican Congressman for making a joke at his expense. Pennsylvania Congressman Scott Perry appeared on Matthews's show and aggressively fought back against the charge that uncaring Republicans want to shut down the government. This led Matthews to change the subject and attack Perry as a pawn of big oil: "By the way, why is a congressman from Gettysburg so interested in offshore oil development in the Gulf?"
After Perry explained how the Keystone pipeline could benefit the economy, he addressed Matthew's critique of the House bill: "I'm surprised that you read any of it, first of all." The wounded anchor replied, "You know what you can do with that? You can be excused, because you just accused me of not doing my job. And that's a big mistake here." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Matthews added, "I wish you hadn't made that last remark. I think it was a cheap shot." The man who doesn't like "cheap shots" once assailed conservatves as "birth control Nazis."
The journalists at ABC News have not made an effort to hide their disgust with the conservative effort to oppose funding ObamaCare. On Wednesday, Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos derided Ted Cruz's fight against it as "bizarre." On Thursday night, World News's Jon Karl sneered that it was "absurd." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Karl described the possible government shutdown as a situation where "we've got a furious President calling his opponents crazy...and a Republican Party willing to go to the brink." The journalist brought up past confrontations between Obama and the GOP, petulantly wondering, "Lessons learned? Nah." The supposedly neutral Karl skewered, "The absurdities were on display when Tea Party hero Ted Cruz gave his 20 hour-plus speech demanding an end to ObamaCare in exchange for funding the government."
ABC on Wednesday morning dismissed Ted Cruz as "bizarre." But that night on the network's World News, reporter Jeff Zeleny featured a man who will lose his health coverage because of ObamaCare. In a noticeable break from Good Morning America's coverage, Zeleny also allowed, "The bottom line for millions: many young and healthy will likely pay more while older and sick Americans get a break and costs vary widely."
On GMA, Zeleny skipped the substance of Cruz's complaints against the health care law. On World News, the journalist conceded, "[Cruz] told story after story how families are bracing for ObamaCare." Zeleny highlighted, "In Pittsburgh, Dan Howard received a letter saying his policy will be cancelled because of the new law. Married with six children, he's struggling to find coverage."
The Obama-pleasing journalists at Good Morning America on Thursday managed to actually criticize the President. However, the critique was not over the health care law or excess spending. It was a complaint issued by a fellow liberal on the issue of grammar. Co-anchor George Stephanopoulos began by praising Obama, gushing, "He first skyrocketed to the national stage on the strength of his eloquent speeches." According to Stephanopoulos, the President has now been accused of "talking down to his audience." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Ron Claiborne explained, "It turns out Samuel L. Jackson, the maestro of the on-screen F-bomb has" noticed Obama's use of slang in speeches. Claiborne added, "[Jackson is] filing a grammatical grievance against the President." The journalist highlighted other presidents who have done such thing, including Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. However, he skipped one particular 2016 contender, Hillary Clinton.
The networks reacted negatively to Ted Cruz's "long-winded protest." On Wednesday, George Stephanopoulos derided it as "bizarre." This is not exactly the reception Democratic state senator Wendy Davis received when she fought against pro-life legislation in Texas. [See video below for a montage of media slobbering. MP3 audio here.]
On June 27, CBS This Morning correspondent Manuel Bojorquez thrilled, "The marathon filibuster that went viral has turned a little-known Texas lawmaker into a national political star." He added, "Some political analysts are comparing it to the 1988 Democratic convention speech that catapulted Ann Richards to the national stage." On July 1, CNN's Miguel Marquez enthused, "A Democrat in the governor’s mansion here? Unthinkable a week ago; a ‘maybe’ today."
The networks on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning derided the conservative uprising against ObamaCare, mocking Senator Ted Cruz's "bizarre," "long-winded protest" against funding for the law. This stands in stark contrast to how ABC, CBS and NBC hyped "folk hero" Wendy Davis.
On Wednesday, Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos opened the program by needling the "Tea Party senator's all-night marathon fight against the President in a bizarre, blockbuster speech on Capitol Hill." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Reporter Jeff Zeleny, rather than focus on the substance of the arguments from Senator Cruz, gossiped, "He talked about Dr. Seuss. And in the wee night hours, he even invoked the reality show, Duck Dynasty."
MSNBC isn't even trying anymore. A new ad for Hardball actually touted Chris Matthews's past as a Democratic operative for Tip O'Neill. As black and white pictures of Matthews appeared onscreen, the host bragged, "I'm not new to politics, nor to the issues that divide us. Nor am I free of the passions they engage." (Considering that Matthews famously extolled the "thrill" Barack Obama sent up his leg, he's clearly not free of "passion.") [See video of the ad below. MP3 audio here.]
Hyping the profundity of his TV show, Matthews trumpeted, "Here on Hardball, you can expect me to discuss history as it relates to what's happening now. You can expect me to analyze what politicians are doing today with what I've seen other politicians do before." Perhaps it's a knowledge of history that caused the anchor last year to connect modern conservatives to genocidal murderer Adolf Hitler.
Several media outlets have eagerly picked up the political gossip coming out of a New York magazine story on Hillary Clinton and her possible 2016 run. The article itself is a fawning profile of the former of Secretary of State and her husband. According to writer Joe Hagan, Bill and Hillary are "the most celebrated political marriage in American history." (Apparently, couples like John and Abigail Adams don't qualify.)
Although it wasn't until paragraph 40 of the nearly 6000 word article that Hagan seriously discussed the terrorist attack in Benghazi, he heaped cotton candy-style praise on the 42nd president: "Bill Clinton is also a legendary politician, a brilliant tactician who won two presidential elections and reigned over the most prosperous years in America in recent memory." The journalist seriously suggested that "some" think " he single-handedly won Obama reelection with his extraordinary takedown of Mitt Romney at the Democratic National Convention last year."
The journalists at Good Morning America on Monday hyped a puff piece on whether Hillary Clinton will run for President in 2016, but ignored a critical look at the Clinton Global Initiative and its brewing scandal. Instead, reporter Dan Harris promoted a New Yorkmagazine story on the former Secretary of State. He quoted the possible presidential contender on her relationship with Bill: "We laugh at our dogs. We watch stupid movies. We take long walks. We go for a swim. You know, just ordinary, everyday pleasures." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Harris made sure to point out that "if she does run, the polls show she's in a strong position to win her party's nomination and even the general election, although it is ridiculously early in the game, of course." The segment was so content free that after it concluded, co-host Robin Roberts wondered, "So, exactly, what did we learn?" In contrast, CBS This Morning's Jan Crawford managed to cover the New York story as well as an expose in the New Republic entitled, "Scandal at Clinton Inc."
Lefty Keith Olbermann, after losing his jobs on MSNBC and Current TV, has turned up on ESPN, still indignant and angry. The host on Tuesday night railed against the Washington Nationals for what he took to be a botched effort at honoring the victims of the Navy Yard shooting. Olbermann's remarks prompted the team's manager to fire back at the liberal host.
The Nats on Tuesday wore Navy hats during batting practice, but took them off for the games. Olbermann fumed, "And then just as they had been symbolically telling the victims and the Navy and the nation that they were with them all the way, now the Nationals and Major League Baseball were symbolically declaring that the grief was over, the mourning was over, the regular caps were back on and available online and at souvenir stands." According to MLB rules, teams may only wear their official hats during games (although exceptions have been made). Olbermann bashed the Washington team and MLB as greedy and selfish, railing, "Shame on the Nationals. More shame on MLB." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The network morning shows on Friday derided the move by House Republicans to defund ObamaCare as simply "bowing to demands" from the Tea Party. But it was CBS's Bob Schieffer who made no attempt to restrain his contempt, declaring the ObamaCare fight "over" and linking GOP members to elderly Japanese veterans of World War II who refused to accept that the fight was futile.
After noting that the Wall Street Journal derided the plan as a kamikaze move, the Face the Nation anchor built on the analogy, sneering, "But even more apt...way on into the 1950s when they go into the jungles of the Philippines and they find these Japanese soldiers that thought World War II was still going on?" This prompted This Morning hosts Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell to break up in laughter at the mockery of Republicans. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Chris Matthews on Wednesday continued his assault on conservatives who oppose the funding of ObamaCare in the coming fiscal showdown, sneering that the "looney tunes" Republicans want to "kill the recovery." The Hardball anchor, who recently lost his 5pm slot and now can only be seen at 7pm, also bizarrely linked this to the President of Starbucks asking gun owners not to open carry in stores.
Refusing to even consider the legitimacy of conservative ideas, Matthews lectured, "I don't even think it's right to call it politics in the sane sense. There are dozens on the right who are deliberately plotting to jeopardize the U.S. economy by defaulting on the federal debt." Mocking conservatives as crazy, he continued, "It's that U.S. government the loony tunes are now pushing down, knocking the recovery off its feet with them." The host weirdly connected, "And while they're at it, they want to carry pistols, rifles, semiautomatics, whatever they want to carry, whatever firepower man has created in there when they go in to buy their frappuccinos." [See Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The three networks on Thursday morning allowed a scant 65 seconds to Senator John McCain's "blistering" op-ed published in the communist newspaper Pravda, featuringa call for freedom and tolerance in Russia. Although ABC, CBS and NBC quickly summarized the Senator's international rebuttal to Vladimir Putin's New York Times op-ed, the morning shows offered the briefest of quotes and mostly portrayed the piece as a grudge match with Putin.
CBS This Morning devoted just 19 seconds to the "blistering opinion piece." Rose narrated, "[McCain] accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of corruption and repression." Good Morning America's Josh Elliott allowed 23 seconds and insisted that the Senator "blast[ed] Russian President Vladimir Putin." According to Today's Savannah Guthrie, McCain offered a "scathing" attack on Russian corruption. Mostly absent from the three networks were full quotes highlighting the Senator's main topic, a defense of democracy and freedom.
Are film references a prerequisite for a 5pm show on MSNBC? Ed Schultz, who took over for movie-mad Chris Matthews, on Wednesday compared Barack Obama to George C. Scott's portrayal of General Patton. Schultz attacked House Republicans for disparaging ObamaCare and not allowing supporters of the President's health care reform to testify. The anchor salivated, "Can we say that President Obama has 'em exactly where he wants 'em?"
He added, "You know, it kind of reminds me of that 1971 movie Patton...General Patton was in the field, and he was watching Rommel bring his tanks into a trap. And General Patton put the glasses on...and said 'Rommel, you bastard! I read your book!'" Quite pleased with his comparison, Schultz concluded, "Our guy [Obama] reads a lot too. He's got these folks right where they deserve to be." [MP3 audio here. See video below.]
CBS and ABC on Wednesday trotted out the same tired warning of a "pay gap" between men and women, deeming it "ridiculous" that anyone could possibly disagree with the talking points put forth by feminists such as Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda. CBS This Morning featured the two liberal women, as well as another feminist for a one-sided harangue about females in the workplace. Norah O'Donnell hyped, "Last year women earned 76.5 cents to every dollar a man makes. Why does that still exist?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
None of the hosts questioned the legitimacy of the pay gap. Instead, they allowed Steinem to play the victim card, complaining that the reason is "because we are the cheap labor source on which the country is running." Fellow guest Robin Morgan (an arch-leftist author) railed against the "pale males" who run the media.
The HBO series Newsroom on Sunday continued its clumsy examination of liberal media bias. In the Aaron Sorkin-created series, "Will McAvoy" (played by Jeff Daniels) is a "Republican" anchor at the fictional ACN network. Yet, he constantly bashes members of the GOP in the harshest terms. In the September 15 episode, McAvoy, who in a previous episode referred to the Tea Party as the "American Taliban," huffed, "I call myself a Republican because I am one."
In the episode, which was set on election night 2012, McAvoy then proceeded to denounce the party he claims to be a member of: "...Now I have to be homophobic. I have to count the number of times people go to church. I have to deny facts and think scientific research is a long con." Talking on-air with a fictional Republican operative, Daniels's character lectured, "And I have to have such a stunning inferiority complex that I fear education and intellect in the 21st century. But most of all, the biggest new requirement, really the only requirement, is that I have to hate Democrats." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
A mass shooting couldn't halt Good Morning America's continuing disintegration from a news program to a tabloid-obsessed entertainment show. On Tuesday, the show devoted more time to Britney Spears's new Las Vegas show and Dancing With the Stars than to the slaughter of 12 people in Washington D.C. The journalists at GMA allowed nine minutes and 24 seconds to the massacre at the Navy Yard. However, an interview with Spears and a full report on dissecting Dancing With the Stars (another ABC program) amounted to 11 minutes and 54 seconds.
At 7am, before even launching into a recounting of the attack near the nation's Capitol building, anchor George Stephanopoulos teased, "We do have a packed show this morning. There is Sam [Champion], right in the middle of the Nevada desert. Right there. We're going to get to him in a little bit for the Britney Spears live event." He then awkwardly shifted topics: "But right now, that major story in Washington, the massacre at the Navy Yard..." [See a video montage below. MP3 audio here.]
Second Amendment foe Alex Wagner on Monday predictably attempted to use the tragic shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. to push for gun control. Reporter Pete Williams, appearing on MSNBC to simply offer facts on the unfolding situation, completely dismissed the left-wing question from Wagner.
The Now host noted that Barack Obama referred to the attack as another "mass shooting." Wagner hopefully suggested that comment "presages the White House taking up the issue again, perhaps, the issue of gun violence and gun safety reform." She continued, "We don't know that many details about the shooting but we are hearing that the gunman was armed with a long gun and an AR-15. Those have been weapons of choice in other mass shootings in America." The anchor lectured, "...It's worth noting the U.S. has had on average one mass shootings every month since the year 2009." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
According to the reporters on Monday's Good Morning America, Barack Obama's "potentially groundbreaking" plan for Syria faces "heat" from critics who think it's a "bad deal." In a shift from last week, ABC allowed more skepticism for the President's handling of the ongoing situation. Yet, Jon Karl still touted, "John Kerry accomplished a big first step. Getting [Russia] to agree that Syria must give a comprehensive accounting of all its chemical weapons within one week."
George Stephanopoulos wondered if "this weekend's potentially groundbreaking deal will really eliminate Assad's chemical weapons." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The GMA/This Week anchor touted his "exclusive interview" with the President from Sunday, but noted that Obama's "critics say he made a bad deal on Syria."
A perplexed Ed Schultz on Friday couldn't fathom why Americans have failed to "love Obama." The MSNBC anchor highlighted a new poll showing that the President only has a 45 percent approval rating. Schultz marveled, "I just cannot believe this number. Seriously."
The confused host sputtered, "It amazes me that people don't love Obama...It just amazes me he can't get above 50 percent when it comes to a favorable view of the economy." [MP3 audio here. See video below.] Schultz also took time to trash Ronald Reagan, the man who won 49 states in his 1984 reelection bid.
ABC on Friday morning again tried to prop up Barack Obama's handling of Syria, hyping "encouraging news" and "signs of hope." Reporter Martha Raddatz touted White House spin on Russia's involvement in plans to secure chemical weapons, asserting, "Secretary Kerry saying the dialogue thus far has been constructive. What a difference a few days and a threat of force makes." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
She failed to highlight a story in the Wall Street Journal that Syria's military has secretly moved chemical weapons to "as many as 50 sites to make them harder for the U.S. to track." This ominous piece of news wasn't revealed until the 8am news hour – and then only in a 19-second news brief. Instead, Raddatz trumpeted meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: "This morning, before round two of talks, encouraging news. Secretary Kerry saying the dialogue thus far has been constructive." On Thursday's World News, Raddatz put America and Russia on equal footing, touting a "showdown of world titans."
Loud liberal Ed Schultz on Thursday sneered that Republicans, because of a hatred for Barack Obama, now idolize their "new hero" Vladimir Putin. The Ed Show anchor also repeatedly, but incorrectly, identified Putin as the former head of the KGB.
In a viewer mail section, Schultz read aloud, "Our next question is from Jay Stan. 'Do you think Putin is hinting for a leadership role in the Republican Party?'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Schultz mocked, "I tell you what, all of a sudden Putin is the new hero for the Republican Party. Have you noticed that?" He continued, "Have you noticed how many right-wing talk show hosts across the country all of a sudden are just embracing this former head of the KGB?" Schultz offered no examples of GOP love for Putin. In fact, in a later segment, he showed clips of Republicans slamming the Russian.
NBC and CBS on Wednesday night and Thursday morning failed to cover the "impassioned" demand by big labor unions to reject large portions of ObamaCare. Only ABC's Good Morning America, allowing just a 24-second news brief, covered the complaints that the law will spike the cost of health care. At a convention in Los Angeles, the AFL-CIO adopted an angry resolution in opposition. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
News reader Josh Elliott quickly explained, "And big labor is demanding changes be made to President Obama's health care law." An ABC graphic hyped "Big Labor Vs. 'ObamaCare." According to the Hill, Terry O'Sullivan, President of the Laborers' International Union of America, railed, "But we will be damned if we are going to lose our health insurance because of unintended consequences in the law. It needs to be changed. It needs to be fixed. And it needs to be fixed now."
Discussing the 2013 mayoral election in New York, MSNBC's Chris Matthews implored the city not to return to the bad days of the 1991 Crown Heights race riots and the liberal government's incompetent response. Yet, the Hardball anchor selectively ignored the fact that his MSNBC colleague was one of the people who escalated that situation into chaos and violence.
Matthews ranted, "I hope they don't go back to Dinkins and Crown Heights and all of that stuff." The host oddly insisted this was the "one time when I was with the neo-cons all the way." (Neo-cons? What is the "neo-con" way to fight crime?) Matthews mentioned riot murder victim Yankel Rosenbaum and Mayor David Dinkins's ineffectual response: "Dinkins says 'I'm taking the even-handed view on this one.' What do you mean even-handed? They guy got killed by the mob." Not once did Matthews mention Sharpton, the "organizer" who chanted "no justice, no peace" and warned of Jewish "diamond merchants."
All three networks on Tuesday and Wednesday touted a new report showing the gap between the wealthiest one percent of Americans and everyone else has grown to its widest level since the Great Depression. Yet, none of them mentioned that Barack Obama was president for the last five years, the time in which the disparity grew so large. In contrast, ABC, NBC and CBS hammered Mitt Romney in 2012 for supposedly being out of touch with average Americans.
On Tuesday, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams apocalyptically hyped the new study by a group of international economists: "We learned today that a dangerous, devastating, and paralyzing trend in the U.S. economy, the wealth gap, is getting worse." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] He added, "...The richest Americans, the top one percent, made nearly 20 percent of all the available income in America last year." If this is a "devastating" problem, it should be pointed out that Williams's yearly salary is $13 million and the journalist has a net worth of $40 million (according to CelebrityNetWorth.com).