On Friday, NPR political director Ron Elving asked in an online article “Is The Tea Party Finished?” Then he answered: “Yes, if you insist on calling it the Tea Party. Because that phrase implies the phenomenon is some sort of organized unit in the usual sense. And the Tea Party never really was one.” You might be able to read some delight between the lines, since the Tea Party wanted to defund public broadcasting.
Elving wrote like he was assembling an obituary: “the energy never really assumed the form of a conventional political party, and it did not build the machinery that could produce reliable candidates and campaigns.”
Once again, as it did a month ago in two separate stories, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, left the name of Lois Lerner, the former IRS official who ran its section on tax-exempt organizations, out of its headline and opening paragraph. This time, for good measure, AP reporter Stephen Ohlemacher didn't reveal Lerner's name until Paragraph 3.
Before getting to Ohlemacher's journalistic malpractice, let's take a look at the how the Politico handled the same story of Congress holding Ms. Lerner in contempt yesterday, and at one example of how the AP itself covered the story of another controversial figure's anticipated congressional appearance in the 1980s.
Liberal Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank did his best to spin the extramarital affair of Congressman Vance McAllister (R-La.) by declaring “Republicans make their ‘war on women’ worse.” In a piece published April 8, Milbank professed that the McAllister affair was “Not the way Republican leaders had planned to observe Equal Pay Day” before laying into the GOP’s supposed problems with female voters.
After spending three paragraphs detailing the affair itself, the Post columnist asserted that “Republicans aren’t responsible for McAllister any more than Democrats are to blame for Anthony Weiner’s weirdness. But for Republicans, who have a big disadvantage among unmarried women, this reinforces a perception.
In the past two election cycles, the media have contorted themselves in spine-splitting fashion to feign collective outrage whenever a Republican candidate for anything anywhere - no matter how little-known or inconsequential - made an untoward off-the-cuff remark.
In 2012, this aided the White House in being able to fabricate a nonexistent "Republican War on Women."
With this in mind, will this same easily offended media report comments made by Kentucky's Democratic Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo who at a campaign event Thursday for senatorial candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes compared defeating Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in 2014 to the allies liberating Europe from the Nazis at the end of World War II (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing as a panel member on the Monday, December 30, PoliticsNation on MSNBC to help assign the annual "Revvy" awards for the year 2013, MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams ranted that Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz is "the biggest fraud to have ever walked in the United States Senate," and went on to bizarrely claim that Cruz "wasn't supposed to be elected," even though the Texas Republican not only won the Republican runoff with over 56 percent of the vote, but even the general election by about the same percentage, beating the Democrat by 16 points.
After Sharpton asked for his choice of "biggest loser of the year," Williams began:
How many times in the past five years have you heard a liberal media member declare the Tea Party dead?
It happened again on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday with Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne claiming, "I think that the era of the far right and the era of the Tea Party is over" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On PBS’s Inside Washington Friday, NPR’s Nina Totenberg actually called House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “the most effective Congressional leader probably in 30 years” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams continued to blame Republicans for the government shutdown, asserting that the budget impasse "traces its history back to a determined core of GOP House members who are vehemently against ObamaCare and were willing to shut down the government because of it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
However, he took it a step further by hinting at a way to get rid of such troublesome members of Congress holding up President Obama's agenda: "These members happen to be from very conservative districts where they won by big margins, and their jobs are secure more or less. And in both parties there are congressional districts that are set up by the states to keep the parties in power. But some believe if the system stays this way, our politics will kind of stay this way."
A few weeks ago, the Washington Post's Dana Milbankcalled Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Tx.) filibuster phony.
On CBS's Face the Nation Sunday, Milbank took his criticism further calling the Texas senator "a complete phony" who's just riding the Tea Party to get "really famous" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"You tell her. No, YOU tell her!" . . . Richard Wolffe says that in 2012 an all-male group of senior Obama campaign people got together at a White Sox game and decided to fire deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter—but didn't have the "balls" to tell her.
Maybe so. Then again, Wolffe—appearing on Morning Joe today to tout his new book on the Obama re-election campaign—also claimed that Cutter was "one of the single most effective" people in the Obama campaign? Cutter? The nasty gaffe machine? View the video after the jump.
One of the media’s recent race-baiting memes is to claim that voter ID laws are being proposed by Republicans to suppress minority votes.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is in lockstep with this falsehood, and claimed without producing any evidence on Tuesday’s Hardball that conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham was wrong when she recently said such laws were nondiscriminatory (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A week ago (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I wrote up a post on the Miami Herald's coverage of how the chief of staff of Florida Democratic Congressman Joe Garcia had admittted to attempting to orchestrate "a sophisticated scheme to manipulate last year’s primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests."
I also noted that the story, which broke on Friday, May 31, was "getting very little notice," but that perhaps "the amount and scope of national coverage will increase when the work week starts." Well, the official work week has ended, and there has been almost no coverage anywhere, despite Congressman Garcia's stunning reaction to the news reported in a separate June 1 Herald story (bolds are mine):
This has to be an imaginary story, right? Most Democrats and others on the left continue to insist that voter fraud is not a problem, even in the face of examples like Minnesota U.S. Senator Al Franken, whose 312-vote "victory" margin in 2008 may have entirely consisted (and then some) of illegal votes by felons in just one county.
More recently, it seems that the claim is under revision. A Democratic Party county chair, in a Cincinnati Enquirer story about three out-of-staters who voted or attempted to vote in Ohio, is reported to have "long said there is no evidence of systemic fraud." Well, though they were were prevented from casting illegal ballots, a Florida Democratic congressman's chief of staff and his alleged cohorts definitely attempted large-scale "systemic" fraud last year. The Miami Herald, which played an important investigative role, had the story on Friday. A Google News search on relevant terms indicates that it's getting very little notice (15 items in total, most in Florida). Excerpts from Patricia Mazzei's Herald story follow the jump (bolds are mine):
They must be paying by the word over at Politico. It's difficult to come up with another explanation as to why reporter Jonathan Martin would slog through about 3,100 words on an item entitled "Black pols stymied in Obama era." He could have easily summarized why this is the case in eight words: "Because Barack Obama is all about Barack Obama." Oh, he could have added a few more, namely "and everybody knows Barack Obama is all about Barack Obama."
Since he didn't limit himself, yours truly will note a few things Martin still left out, identify a few interesting points that were made, and then quote certain naive and/or inflammatory statements contained in Martin's mess.
NewsBusters reported Sunday the media's chorus to silence Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) is growing louder.
As fate would have it, at roughly the same time, David Brooks was sitting down for a chat with PBS’s Jeff Greenfield at the 92nd Street Y during which the New York Times columnist said, “It doesn’t help that [Cruz] has a face that looks a little like Joe McCarthy” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
I guess we had better start paying closer attention to how the establishment press labels -- and mislabels -- congressional districts.
The headline at the Associated Press at a lengthy column composed by Charles Babington bemoaning the lack of willingness of Ohio First District Congressman Steve Chabot to "compromise," i.e., sell out his principles, reads as follows: "PARTISAN DISCORD FINDS ROOTS IN TOSS-UP DISTRICTS." Uh, Chabot won the district in the 2012 elections by 20 points. Babington's attempt to justify the "toss-up" classification also falls flat:
Tonight’s episode of NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will showcase failed Republican Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s infamous remark that “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down” so the woman would not get pregnant.
NBC’s promo for the March 27 episode touts a storyline “ripped from the headlines” with “words that set off a national controversy.” In the promo run at the end of last week’s show, a man on a witness stand, who is sporting a flag lapel pin, declares: “It’s nearly impossible for a victim of legitimate rape to become pregnant.” [UPDATED with a summary of what aired]
It will be interesting to see how much national play this story gets. My guess is: "little."
Following up on a matter on which I initially posted last month, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported yesterday that the prosecutor for Hamilton County, Ohio, where the county seat is Cincinnati, is bringing charges related to improper voting against three people – including a longtime poll worker and a nun. In connection with the poll worker, reporter Sharon Coolidge notes something that should earn today's prize for inadvertent deadpan humor (in bold):
In what has become a recurring theme on MSNBC, Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough railed against the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for failing to invite Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J) to the event. On the February 26 edition of the program the self-described “true conservative” Scarborough slammed CPAC as not being about winning elections, but instead being an echo-chamber that focuses on “hate” and “anger.”
The segment began with liberal co-host Brzezinski expressing shock over the line-up of speakers at CPAC, including Sen.Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, prompting Scarborough to throw out that, “It shows just how sick some elements of the conservative movement are.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Rather than take Woodward head-on, Klein gutlessly goes after three words in his Friday piece: "moving the goalposts." What Woodward wrote, followed by a portion of Klein's clunker, appear after the jump.
Newly minted Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Tea Party politician, is "raising bipartisan hackles" and otherwise being a "bad boy" in the previously collegial U.S. Senate, opined political reporter Jonathan Weisman on the front page of Saturday's New York Times: "Texas Senator Goes on Attack And Raises Bipartisan Hackles."
Clearly disturbed about Cruz's treatment of Obama's nominee for defense secretary Chuck Hagel, reporter Weisman even put a mike in front of not one but two liberal Democratic senators who likened Cruz to notorious Sen. Joe McCarthy. Well, at least Cruz is liked by what Weisman called "ardent conservatives."
In anticipation of Jesse Jackson Jr.'s indictment on Friday afternoon, Jonathan Allen and John Bresnahan at the Politico seemed all too willing to hand out sympathy cards to Jackson and his wife, both of whom stand to do time in prison for offenses relating to their raid of the congressman's campaign funds.
Specifically, the Politico pair wrote: "It’s a story of a Chicago power couple that lost track of the line between campaign cash and personal funds in a spiral of money troubles." Gosh, I didn't know that line was so blurred. Excerpts from the write-up follow the jump:
In his brief time in the United States Senate, Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is already making a name for himself on Capitol Hill, with the February 15 edition of Politico suggesting that his “no-compromise, firebrand style could turn off voters.”
In the 36-paragraph article, Politico’s Manu Raju waited until the 18th paragraph to include any direct quotes from the freshman Tea Party senator. What's more, Raju peppered the piece with numerous anecdotes meant to cast Cruz's assertive style in a negative light:
Behind closed doors, some Republican senators report that Cruz, in his stone-cold serious prosecutorial style, speaks at length when it’s far more common for freshman to wait before asserting themselves, particularly ones who were just sworn in.
Congressman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Fox News's Sean Hannity had a very entertaining debate about taxes Monday evening.
When Hannity told the Congressman he pays 60 cents in taxes on every dollar he makes, Rangel said, "It means that you need yourself a good accountant" leading Hannity to marvelously reply, "Charlie, if I used your accountant I'd be on the verge of getting in trouble in Congress."