For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: Mitt takes Michigan.
How do you see Romney's victory last night impacting the campaign? Is there a GOP frontrunner in your mind, or is this race as wide open as it can be? Also, with Mitt getting his first win, how will a Romney-hating media cover the story?
The headline "The Economy Sucks" might be something you'd expect to see in Rolling Stone or on Slate.com, but certainly not in a reputable news magazine, right?
Yet, the January 21 issue of Newsweek defied expectations by using that for part of a headline for a one-sided, pro-Bill Clinton view of the economy. The article recalled the 1992 "It's the economy, stupid!" campaign as it tore down the current economy.
So, why does the economy "suck" according to Newsweek? It isn't that there's a depression looming or that we're in recessionary times, we're just "perilously close to sliding into a recession."
"Today, the nation is perilously close to sliding into a recession; in '92, the economy had already started growing, though a jobless recovery doomed George H.W. Bush's re-election bid anyway," Gross wrote. "The lesson? Voters' perceptions matter more than whether the economy is technically expanding or contracting."
You don't suppose NewsBusters has become Matt Lauer's guilty pleasure; one having a salubrious effect on his thinking? The Today co-anchor this morning suggested an MSM double-standard on the Dem and GOP races and acknowledged the success of the surge.
Matt's guest during the first half-hour was Tim Russert, impressively fresh despite red-eyeing to NYC after moderating last night's Nevada debate. Lauer, after playing clips of the candidates' take on Iraq, suggested that the war is no longer the winning issue the Dems once thought it was.
MATT LAUER: How much of a tightrope are they walking with the apparent success of the surge over the last couple months, how difficult is it for these Democratic candidates to score points on Iraq right now?
During Tuesday's post-debate coverage of the Democratic debate on MSNBC, Keith Olbermann repeatedly showed fascination with Hillary Clinton's contention that she is best experienced to deal with a potential terrorist attack if one occurs soon after the next President takes office, which the MSNBC host suggested was a "milder Democratic version of the same language that ... has been used by so many Republicans since 9/11," contending that her comments put her "in the position of having to defend herself against charges of some kind of fearmongering a la Karl Rove." (Transcript follows)
The ink was barely dry on the Michigan primary results when the Associated Press circulated an "On Deadline" column from political reporter Ron Fournier headlined "Mitt Won, Authenticity Lost." Fournier savaged Mitt Romney for pandering to Michigan voters and demonstrating he is "the most malleable — and least credible — major presidential candidate." Fournier complained that John McCain "deserved a better result," and that "The man who spoke hard truths to Michigan lost."
So much for journalists not taking sides. Here's how the Fournier news analysis began:
WASHINGTON - Mitt Romney's victory in Michigan was a defeat for authenticity in politics.
The former Massachusetts governor pandered to voters, distorted his opponents' record and continued to show why he's the most malleable — and least credible — major presidential candidate.
Don't you just love it when The Washington Post lays bare its bias for all to see?
Today's lead editorial scolds those naughty Democrats, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, for slinging mud at each other, and pleads with them to "move the discussion to a higher plane" for the sake of the Party.
Heaven forbid the Party should tear itself apart months before a presidential election! Can you imagine the Post demanding that John McCain and Mitt Romney stop lying about each other to maximize the GOP's chances of winning in November?
Like so many Big Media reports about the Martin Luther King Jr. spat, the Post editorial bends over backwards to be fair and balanced, pointedly avoiding any hint of favoritism for either Hillary or Barack. Just like Mom breaking up a fight between Sis and Junior.
Asked by Katie Couric Tuesday night why having Republicans dominate the Michigan GOP primary, as opposed to independents and Democrats, is bad for John McCain, CBS's Bob Schieffer didn't cite any of McCain's views -- such as on immigration, tax cuts and freedom of speech -- where he's out of sync with most Republicans. Instead of realizing how McCain is too liberal for many conservatives who are the majority in the GOP, Schieffer contended Republicans just don't like him because he's “willing to challenge the authority,” insisting:
John McCain has always been sort of a maverick. He's always been willing to challenge the authority and a lot of Republicans just have not forgiven him for that.
If you need any more proof that the concept of Global Warming is less "science" and is more just a replacement for the kind of failed concepts of communism and socialism that is increasingly being rejected by the world, two recent stories helps clarify the point. These same stories also highlight how the media facilitate the lies that is globaloney.
The first is a recent article by one Kellie Hastings, a writer who claims that her "research is thorough" and her "articles are written with style and intellect." In a piece titled "Deadly Ozone From Drive-Thru Mania," our Miss Hastings pours out her considerable "intellect" into the theory that drive thru windows are destroying the planet and making us a bunch of fatties.
Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger, the Washington Post’s "Reliable Sources" gossip columnists, were all smiles in their column for leftist actor Danny Glover as he stumped for a leftist trying for a second to unseat Democratic Rep. Al Wynn in Maryland, contending he’s too conservative (with a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 9.9 percent):
Lots of Hollywood types show up to a rally and give a two-minute speech. But who among them will do the real dirty work of politics?
Ladies and gentlemen, Danny Glover. The "Lethal Weapon" star turned out last night for congressional candidate Donna Edwards, doing the kind of chore that cures most folks of higher-office notions: standing at a Metro station on a cold winter night shaking hands with potential voters.
Glover is hailed for his commitment in the cold, and he jokes in the story that Mel Gibson would never do the same.
From MyDamnChannel.com comes a gem: Katie Couric yukking it up with CBS News production staff off-the-air on primary election night in New Hampshire. (Warning: There is some profanity in the video).
Some of my favorites 1) Couric admitting she doesn't know much about Huckabee 2) Couric talking about how she thinks she creeped out Cindy McCain because she couldn't stop staring at her eyes. 3) "I'm always like oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t" 4) "Give me one interesting exit poll, please!" 6) "Oh sh*t, I have seven seconds. [shrieks]"
The Democratic presidential race is turning into a snippy identity-politics battle waged around the question: Is America more racist or more sexist? Is America too racist to deserve Barack Obama? Or too sexist to deserve Hillary Clinton? Liberals think this is a real puzzler, since they assume America is bigoted both ways. It’s going to be a long, America-accusing election year no matter who wins.
This is nuts. Our system of laws in this country contains energetic remedies for discrimination against blacks and women. Discriminatory attitudes still exist in isolated, politically irrelevant pockets whose existence is then magnified one hundred-fold by those in the media who want this picture of discrimination to exist. Blacks and women simply are not as a rule denied their humanity, as evidenced by a black and a woman vying to become America’s next president.
If we don’t want this year to be an exercise in liberal accusation and intimidation, we should force the Democratic front-runners to answer a different question. If we want to identify the one segment of American humanity that is routinely disregarded, we should ask them: when will you recognize the civil rights and humanity of the unborn baby? When will America overcome this injustice of destroying human lives in the name of "choice"?
You might disagree with how he slashed the Fed funds rate during times of economic turmoil as Federal Reserve chairman.
You might have even disavowed him after showing his coziness with the Clinton administration throughout the 1990s. But after 18 years of public service, you can't deny that Alan Greenspan should have a shot in the private sector.
The '80s are back -- Sylvester Stallone has prepped another "Rambo" movie, Chuck Norris is an Internet icon and Mr. T is doing commercials. Alex Williams tackled the "trend" for the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times, "Tough Guys for Tough Times." Williams' story is a retread in its own way; the first sentence below in particular could have been been found 20 years ago in any college rag, pretentiously penned by an earnest liberal student straining for profundity:
"The leading action symbols of the Reagan era -- with all their excess, jingoism and good vs. evil bombast -- have returned, as outsize and obvious as they were in the decade of stonewash. Yet as stars of prime-time hits and feature films (not to mention Republican mascots), these actors are still as ripped and imposing as they were 20 years ago, and they continue to carry an undeniable authority with fans old and new."
Williams cracked on insecure conservative men, albeit in code ("likely not Hillary Clinton supporters"):
“In 2006, the Antarctic peninsula near South America lost 60 billion metric tons of ice; 132 billion tons disappeared in West Antarctica,” said Anne Thompson, NBC News chief environmental affairs correspondent. “Big numbers that could have a big impact.”
Thompson blamed mankind as the “prime suspect” for the changes – ignoring all other possibilities, despite some scientists that are skeptical of that theory.
It wasn't long after the fatal Minnesota bridge collapse on I-35 last summer that the liberal media jumped on the tragedy as a way to bash President Bush and the spending priorities of the Bush administration. Keith Olbermann suggested that Iraq war spending was to blame and Mike Barnicle, subbing for Chris Matthews on "Hardball" wondered if it gave Democrats political ammunition for growing the size of government.
Of course, this hardly was shocking for seasoned bias busters like our own Tim Graham, who noted parallels with media bias following a 1989 bridge collapse in San Francisco.
But now the investigation into the August bridge collapse is complete and it turns out that the seeds of the tragedy were planted in the 1960s when the bridge was built during the LBJ Era of massive social and defense spending with the Great Society and Vietnam respectively.
Actress Diane Keaton appeared live on Tuesday's "Good Morning America" and dropped the F-bomb while attempting to compliment GMA co-host Diane Sawyer's looks. After gushing over how much better her life would be with "those lips," the movie star blurted, "I'd like to have lips like that. Then I wouldn't have worked on my fucking personality or my-- excuse me. My personality."
Sawyer, who had been attempting to get the actress to talk about "Mad Money," Keaton's new film, appeared momentarily shocked and then started laughing. She retorted, "My mother is going to work on your personality with soap in your mouth, is what she's going to do."
CNN senior political analyst (and U.S. News & World Report editor-at-large) David Gergen scolded GOP candidate Mitt Romney on Monday’s Anderson Cooper 360 for daring to suggest that the health of the American economy is as important as fighting climate change. Gergen likened that to the "divisive" debate on race among Democratic candidates and called it a “very dangerous” argument for Republicans to make: “If Romney wins, and that becomes the message of the Republican Party, we are going to have two huge clashes in this country between needs on the economy vs. needs to deal with climate change. And it’s a very dangerous place for the Republican Party to go.”
Romney’s chief rival in today’s Michigan primary, Arizona Senator John McCain, has consistently pushed the liberal side of the climate change debate. In a speech in Kalamazoo yesterday, McCain sounded a lot like Al Gore: “I believe there's scientific evidence that drastic things are happening to our planet. If I'm wrong and we move ahead with green technology, the only downside is leaving a cleaner world for our children.”
Instead of scolding McCain for embracing a liberal position in a Republican primary, Gergen faulted Romney for not following suit. Because of his past service in the Reagan and Ford administrations, Gergen is often cast as the conservative counter-balance in roundtables; last night, for example, he appeared with reporter Candy Crowley and liberal CNN contributor Roland Martin. But with Gergen (who also worked for Bill Clinton) making liberal points, too, there’s no conservative to offer an alternative opinion.
It really was just a matter of time before one of the most hate-filled and vitriolic press members, whose material relies so strongly on reports from Clinton front organizations Media Matters for America and Think Progress, would start posting articles at one of the most hate-filled and vitriolic liberal websites on the Internet.
In fact, it's really a perfect fit, dontcha think?
As such, when MSNBC's Keith Olbermann posted his first blog at Daily Kos Monday, it shouldn't be surprising that he took the opportunity to bash Fox News's Bill O'Reilly.
After all, what would this man be without Bill, and those who hate him (h/t NB reader Thomas Stewart and Inside Cable News):
It's Tuesday which means another episode of our comedy webcast "NewsBusted!" Topics in this show include: John Kerry endorses Barack Obama, left-wing talk show host Lionel cheers a tiger attack, and Dan Rather being allowed to sue CBS. Click the "Play" icon to the right on the video to watch.
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As many liberals subscribe to the "Do As I Say, Not As I Do" philosophy, it certainly shouldn't come as any great surprise that so-called eco-warriors that extol the virtues of a green lifestyle are actually the worst polluters.
At least, that is the conclusion of a survey of 25,000 people by the British research organization Target Group Index.
As reported in Sunday's Telegraph (emphasis added, h/t NB reader Wilbur747):
On Saturday's "Good Morning America," Kate Snow chatted with a woman who once wished death on Clarence Thomas and highlighted her as an expert on racial politics in America. The weekend GMA co-host interviewed Julianne Malveaux on the subject of racial overtones in the conflict between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
On November 4, 1994, Malveaux famously stated of Supreme Court Justice Thomas: "I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease....He is an absolutely reprehensible person." (Video in the MRC's 20th anniversary Notable Quotables, scroll down to "Damn Those Conservatives Award.") Of course, Snow made no mention of this. She simply introduced the well known liberal as "a noted commentator on American politics." Snow also skipped over the fact that Malveaux is a former talk show host for the leftist Pacifica Radio network.
Every one of these Republicans is starting to talk about redefining the party, and this has been going on since the early days of this, not just now. If you recall, all during last year, I told you this was my big concern: that Reaganism and conservatism were going to be redefined so as to fit the mold of whoever these guys on our primary roster are. One of the things that Newt said is "redefine the nature of the Republican Party in response to what the country needs." Something about that rubs me wrong. Something about that sort of grates on me. The Republican Party is supposed to sit out there and I guess (slurps) moisten its index finger, stick it in the air, find out what people want, and be that? That's not who we are!
Terri Burke, former editor of the Abilene Reporter-News, has been named executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.
Burke, 56, will begin work at the ACLU of Texas on Tuesday. Her duties will include lobbying, fundraising, administering the organization and communicating with the public.
Burke said her new job seems like a continuation of her work in the newspaper business.
"I wanted to be a journalist because I thought journalism was a way to further the democratic process," Burke said. "At its heart, journalism is about the First Amendment. All my life, I've been interested in those kinds of issues."
I will suggest that no one in Old Media will think of Burke's move as the least bit odd.
Funny, that's not how they saw it in 1998 when the late David Brinkley retired and became a spokesman for a large corporation.
It's sometimes hard to get around to all of the non-traditional interviews the presidential candidates are doing. Hillary Clinton may never sit down with Bill O'Reilly, but she did do an interview with Tyra Banks (and suck up by saying she'd like to be on Tyra's show "America's Next Top Model.") A preview of the show, set to air Friday, was offered by Andrew Malcolm on the Los Angeles Times blog Top of the Ticket. He also found Hillary once again lamenting the White House as a prison:
Not that it's going to diminish her ambition to live there again, but Hillary Clinton says she views the White House as something of a prison...
"Do you ever get lonely?" Banks asked the New York senator. "Do you ever sit in your room by yourself sometimes and just feel alone?"....
See update at bottom: Scarborough nails Shuster on Huck/Obama double-standard.
If a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, does Mike Huckabee's sweet way with a word make tolerable views that would be rejected as extreme in the mouths of others less verbally gifted?
That's Willie Geist's view of the matter. The genius of the Morning Joe panelist normally resides in his ability to avoid the controversial while remaining interesting. But the anodyne-if-endearing Geist went out of character in today's opening segment on the subject of Mike Huckabee. And he did so in a manner the former Baptist preacher might not find so fetching.
The subject was a speech Huckabee gave yesterday in which he advocated changing the Constitution to adapt to the word of God.
ABC on Monday night, unlike the CBS and NBC evening newscasts, noted two political developments which conservatives cheer: Anchor Charles Gibson highlighted the inauguration in Baton Rouge of Republican Bobby Jindal as Governor of Louisiana, the first non-white Governor since Reconstruction in the state dominated by Democrats -- though Gibson didn't emphasize Jindal's party affiliation -- and “a significant political breakthrough in Iraq.” On Jindal, Gibson relayed on World News, over video of the inauguration:
History was made in Louisiana today. Bobby Jindal took office as the state's new Governor. Jindal is 36, the son of Indian immigrants. He's Louisiana's first non-white Governor since Reconstruction, and the nation's first elected Indian-American Governor. Jindal, a former Republican Congressman, vowed to clean up Louisiana politics and speed hurricane recovery.
On Monday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann used his regular "Worst Person in the World" segment to accuse the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Michael Mullen, of trying to "fake" a "Gulf of Tonkin" incident with Iran over the recent U.S. Navy confrontation with Iranian navy speed boats in the Strait of Hormuz. Referring to reports that, out of five Iranian boats, only one unarmed boat approached the U.S. Navy ships, and that the threatening message received could have come from a "well-known marine heckler" of the area, Olbermann awarded the "Worst Person" dishonor to Mullen: "So you guys tried to fake another Gulf of Tonkin incident using some clown with a CB radio and the lethal threat posed by the S.S. Minnow? Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen, on behalf of the Bush administration, today's 'Worst Person in the World'!"
Columnist Ann Coulter should probably not sign up to be a guest on Bill Maher’s HBO show anytime soon. Maher writer Chris Kelly took her column on the death and funeral of her father, John Vincent Coulter, and mocked her and the dead man relentlessly on The Huffington Post. He even compared her dead father to Hitler. Remember, in our Special Report, we recalled Arianna Huffington proclaimed her site wouldn’t be known for "flame-throwing, name-calling, and simplistic attack dog rhetoric." (What a pile of souvlaki that boast was.)
Chris Kelly, who on this day qualified as the Least Compassionate Man in America, explained he had "taken the liberty of going through the eulogy -- cutting the Kennedy material -- and punching up the rest." Such as:
The longest baby ever born at the Albany, N.Y., hospital, at least as of May 5, 1926, who grew up to be my strapping father, passed away last Friday morning.
And by "strapping" I mean, "he beat me with a strap."
TV Newser reports that reader reaction to the Playboy magazine interview in which MSNBC star Keith Olbermann wackily claimed that Fox News was more dangerous than al-Qaeda was so bad, Playboy went looking to recruit a positive letter-writer for balance.
[A]n anonymous emailer directed TVNewser to BloggingOlbermann.com, a fan site of Olbermann's. Becky, who runs the site, tells the story of how Playboy editor Chip Rowe contacted her looking for a positive letter in support of Olbermann to offset the slew of negative letters Playboy received...
More from an industry insider: "The more glaring issue here is that Olbermann's Al Qaeda comment was so over the top that Playboy had to resort to asking one of his rabid fans to find one person to say something positive about him."
But there's more. Keith-loving blogger Becky was allowed to use a phony surname in her letter: