In a report on Tuesday's NBC Today, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell described "awkward stumbles" for Senator Scott Brown and challenger Elizabeth Warren in a Massachusetts senatorial debate on Monday. Brown's supposed stumble was that he "first named an ultra-conservative" Antonin Scalia as an example of "a very good judge" and model Supreme Court justice.
O'Donnell described Warren's stumble being that she named "retiring" Indiana Senator Dick Lugar as a Republican she could work with if elected. In reality, Lugar was defeated by Richard Mourdock in the Republican primary.
It's time to take stock of where we stand as a nation. The election of 2012 offers us a stark contrast, between candidates who are looking to protect our Second Amendment rights and those who seek to restrict those same freedoms. Over the past month, I've been alerting you to some dangers on the horizon. As we consider the path we are about to embark upon, it's good to recall what's at stake.
We need to prevent the next president from appointing a Supreme Court that would reverse the two landmark Second Amendment cases — Heller and McDonald. In those decisions, the Supreme Court ruled that all American citizens, no matter where they live, have the right to legally possess a firearm as a means of self-defense. These decisions were a tremendous accomplishment, and they finally ratified what our Founding Fathers envisioned when they drafted the Second Amendment.
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie promoted "a congressional battle in Massachusetts featuring a very familiar name" and wondered, "Could another Kennedy be headed to Congress?" In the report that followed, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell lamented the end of 65 years of Kennedys in Congress, then proclaimed: "But now a new generation has stepped forward."
In reference to Joseph Kennedy III running for Congress in the Bay State, O'Donnell announced: "In Massachusetts politics, he's no ordinary Joe....Going door to door in the rain Sunday, he bears both a family resemblance and a weighty family legacy." She noted him being "the first of his generation to enter the family trade" and touted his resume as "a Harvard law grad, former assistant D.A., and Peace Corps volunteer."
Appearing on MSNBC’s Jansing and Co., Vanity Fair contributing editor Carl Berstein joined the ranks of his fellow liberal journalists who are slamming the Romney campaign and the entire Republican Party as radical. Naturally, anchor Chris Jansing failed to challenge the premise or balance out the segment with someone who would. Bernstein insisted that polls showing President Obama with a lead over Governor Romney show that:
There's a fundamental problem and that is the Republican Party. That their polls reflect the fact that the real issue in this campaign has become the Republican Party in Washington.
Throughout the segment, Bernstein argued that Romney has been taken captive by a radical party with what he says has a radical message that Romney is saddled with and can’t get out of. Bernstein continued his anti- Republican rant by claiming that: [See video below break. MP3 audio here.]
This one requires a reality check before proceeding. First, a long list of Democratic Party candidates (per ABC on September 4, five for the Senate and eight for the House) -- including many incumbents, chose not to attend the Democratic Convention in Charlotte because (let's get real) they wanted to put distance between themselves, Barack Obama, and Obama's policies (and still do). Candidate absences from the Republican Convention were relatively rare. Second, six of the most recent seven polls listed at Real Clear Politics as of 10 p.m. ET showed Obama leading Mitt Romney nationally by three or fewer points. Third, state polls have turned in a couple of surprises this week showing Obama leading by just two points and one point, respectively in Pennsylvania and Ohio -- despite Ohio's poll giving Democrats a 10-point sample advantage.
It would therefore seem that you must live in a tightly sealed, Obama-loving bubble to believe that it is Mitt Romney's campaign which is "faltering" and that GOP House candidates would therefore try to avoid being seen with him. Politico's Alex Isenstadt lives in such a bubble (bolds are mine):
Saturday Night Live trashed Mitt Romney and gave President Obama a pass on their September 20 election special. SNL, which is known for its unabashed liberalism, took to the air Thursday night to smear Romney as a racist politician. In total, SNL spent over 6 minutes smearing Governor Romney but just 13 seconds gently poking fun at the president indirectly.
The show opened with a skit depicting the hosts of FNC's Fox and Friends and proceeded to show four fake scenes of Romney. [Video below break. MP3 audio here.]
Patricia Zengerle's coverage of U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine at Reuters assumes that the Democratic former Virginia Governor committed the mother of all gaffes today. I'm not so sure. It may be that David Corn's secret video of Mitt Romney commenting on the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes and are dependent on the government is sending polling data in the opposite direction from what was intended and is starting to rattle Democrats.
Not content to keep his trashing of Mitt Romney and the Republican Party confined to his Morning Joe program on MSNBC, Republican congressman-turned-political commentator Joe Scarborough took his show on the road to Burbank, California, last night, slamming Republicans on The Tonight Show.
Appearing on the September 19 program, Scarborough started off the interview by stating the obvious, he is not a Republican, but a conservative -- well at least the sort of "conservative" that MSNBC can stomach to sign to a multi-million dollar contract. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Stick a fork in Romney, he's done! The election's over! According to hard-left MSNBC contributors anyway. It's just a matter of time before Chris Matthews demands a prime slot on the president's inaugural ball dance card.
Speaking on Wednesday’s Morning Joe, Donny Deutsch ridiculously proclaimed the race over and asked regarding the first presidential debate, “What do you think's going to happen October 3rd that we haven't seen already?” The segment focused on a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll which found President Obama with a 5-point lead in their poll. Of course, the most recent AP/Gallup poll has the race within 1 point, but that doesn't seem to faze Deutsch. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Continuing with its obsession over voter ID laws, MSNBC once again treated viewers to a one-sided segment to trash Republican efforts to maintain voter integrity. Speaking with MSNBC’s Richard Lui on Wednesday, Congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis (D-GA) slammed GOP voting efforts as racist, suggesting the success in numerous states in passing these laws showed Americans have forgotten the lessons of the civil rights movement.
Lewis, who was brutally beaten in Selma, Alabama, as a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, is essentially put forward as an infallible expert on voting issues in the eyes of MSNBC. Lui offered up a softball interview, pulling at the heartstrings of his audience by saying: [video below page break]
The liveliest speaker at the Democratic National Convention has been hosting her own show on Current TV for almost 8 months now. A relatively new cable network co-founded by Al Gore that goes out of its way to hire all of the unabashedly liberal pundits it can get. Former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm has fit right in.
On Friday night’s episode of The War Room, the Canadian-born talk show host began her hour-long show with a factually-challenged diatribe that bordered on the same intensity level of her now infamous speech in Charlotte. Coincidentally, the topic of discussion was kind of about the same thing – jobs, the defense of Obama’s seemingly successful stimulus bill of 2009, and more Romney criticism of course.
The Washington Post doesn’t always report on voter fraud, but when it does, it buries the story in the Metro section.
At the bottom of page B4 in the September 11 issue, the Post noted a Democratic congressional candidate in Maryland who dropped out of the race yesterday after instances of her voter fraud were brought to light.
Brian Williams, on NBC’s Thursday night coverage of the DNC, unleashed the biggest howler of the night when he told White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett: “You, I guess have to play mistake-free ball now for 60 days, hope for nothing but positive coverage. That's a tall order.”
Delivering positive coverage for Obama was certainly not a "tall order" for Williams and his fellow NBC News colleagues, as they spent most of the night praising Team Obama and dumping on Mitt Romney. (Video after the jump)
Well, it looks like we have a bit of evidence that, contrary to an assertion by a pair of Politico reporters, it's not the media elites who can "powerfully shape" the narrative coming out of party conventions (the issue in question there was how Mitt Romney's nomination acceptance speech would be spun).
After all, as Scott Whitlock at NewsBusters noted earlier today, the three major networks have totally ignored the omission of "God" in the Democratic Party's platform, and have only lightly covered the platform's failure to name Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Despite that, and therefore obviously because of center-right media pressure (and semi-sensible Dems sensing disastrous election fallout), those issues now are both like Prego spaghetti sauce -- i.e., they're in there. Associated Press reporters Julie Pace and Steve Peoples seemed a bit unhappy with this turn of events in the version of their dispatch which appeared shortly after 6 PM ET, and tried to pin the entire blame on Republicans:
Each morning, NewsBusters is showcasing the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala on September 27. (Click here for ticket information)
Already this week, we’ve published the worst quotes of 1988, 1989 and 1990; today, the worst bias of 1991. Highlights include journalists saluting Anita Hill while disparaging Clarence Thomas (“if you gave Clarence Thomas a little flour on his face, you’d think you had [former KKK Grand Wizard] David Duke talking”), and a Boston Globe arts critic writing about patriotism: “Oh, say, we’ve seen too much. The Star-Spangled Banner pushes like a cough through America’s mouth...” [Quotes and video below the jump.]
On the final day of last week's Republican National Convention in Tampa, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky sat down with NewsBusters to discuss amongst other things our favorite topic - liberal media bias.
In the course of our lengthy discussion, McConnell addressed Chris Matthews's claim that Republicans are being racist when they accuse President Obama of engaging in Chicago-style politics (video follows with transcript, Matthews section at minute 8:30):
So much for the idea that the children of public figures are off limits when it comes to criticism...
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford best known to the world for turning himself into a laughingstock four years ago for his inadvertently hilarious suggestion that Barack Obama is some sort of spiritually attuned Lightworker, has demonstrated in his most recent column that he has no problem with wallowing in the spiritual sewer. Morford does not merely mock the daughters of Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin but seems absolutely obsessed in attempting to make them as much the objects of ridicule that he has already become. Read Morford's insane rantings about them and you get the idea that perhaps a psychiatric intervention in the form of restraint straps is needed here:
On his radio program Wednesday, a very frustrated Rush Limbaugh wondered aloud at what he characterized as an insufficient amount of attention to President Obama's record.
He blamed the problem on Republican election consultants (including perpetual failure Ed Rollins) and their misbegotten belief that telling the truth about liberalism will somehow disenchant unaffiliated voters. "I want to know why these independents don't get turned off when Obama calls Romney a murderer and a felon?" Limbaugh asked.
It's trapping season. The targets are Republicans, whom the Democratic-friendly media (the trappers) hunt in order to smear -- especially the Romney-Ryan ticket -- forcing them off message.
The bait in the latest case is the issue of abortion in cases of rape. The hunter's target was Rep. Todd Akin, a Missouri Republican, who is running for the Senate against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.
In an apparent attempt to set the record for the most words expended on a multi-part non-story, Politico's Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan have supplemented their useless, 1,400-word August 19 item (noted at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) about how a one Republican congressman swam naked in Israel's Sea of Galilee with a 1,000-worder which asks a question no one cares about, and no one else is asking: "Who paid the GOP bar tab in Galilee?"
The bottom line on the first story was that the FBI investigated the trip by a Republican congressional delegation to see "whether any inappropriate behavior occurred" but has made no "formal allegations of wrongdoing." In other words, there was no reason to publish the story. Excerpts from the second story, for those who can stay awake (I'm having trouble with that), follow the jump (bolds are mine):
The Washington Post editorial board today set out to slam Florida's Republican governor for "threaten[ing] the integrity of elections" with his voter "purge" effort and for enforcing the state's new curtailed early-voting hours.
But in their editorial on the matter, the Post misled readers with deceptive language about how the state undertook its voter roll cleanup effort (emphasis mine):
Relying on Todd Akin's sense of decency has not worked. Within hours of his idiotic comments about "legitimate rape," Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS pulled out millions of dollars in funding for the Missouri Senate race. Akin didn't get the hint.
Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, withdrew all funding from the Missouri race. Akin still refused to quit.
On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams brought on political director Chuck Todd to give a "damage assessment" for Republicans in the wake of the Todd Akin controversy. Todd attempted to blame the conservative grassroots for the uproar: "...the Tea Party effect....will maybe cost Mitch McConnell a shot at controlling the United States Senate. Their own infighting has done this." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
What Todd failed to mention was that Tea Party Express and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin backed one of Akin's opponents, Sarah Steelman, in the Missouri Republican Senate primary.
An e-mail from Daily Kos Campaign Manager, Chris Bowers announces 'big news' regarding voter ID laws in Pennsylvania. Bowers explains:
A huge coalition of 100+ labor and civil rights groups has come together to do the door knocking, phone banking and voter education necessary to make sure everyone in this must-win swing state can still cast a ballot.
At Daily Kos, we're helping out by running online ads in Pennsylvania to sign up more than 1,000 volunteers so that this coalition has the people power it needs. Please, click here to contribute $3 to Daily Kos so that we can sign up the thousands of volunteers needed to overcome Pennsylvania's voter ID law.
The network morning shows on Tuesday devoted an enormous 20 minutes and 53 seconds to obsessing over a gaffe by a Republican congressman, hyping Todd Akin's comments for nine separate segments. NBC, CBS and ABC touted Democratic efforts to link the gaffe-prone representative to the GOP presidential ticket.
Former Democratic operative turned Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos zeroed in on Akin's comments what constitutes a "legitimate rape." He breathlessly wondered, "We saw the President pounce in the White House briefing room yesterday. How are the Democrats going to try to capitalize on this today?"
During the Today's Professionals panel segment on Tuesday's NBC Today, attorney Star Jones predicted that if Todd Akin continues his Senate run in Missouri, the entire Republican Party will be branded with his controversial remarks: "If he doesn't [get out], the Romney/Ryan ticket is going to be tarred with this feather for the entire campaign. They sponsored bills together that pretty much echo this sentiment." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Moments later, advertising executive Donny Deutsch struck the same tone, warning: "As far as the GOP, this is going to be devastating if he stays in. Because they have two big issues, the Hispanic vote and the female vote, and it gives them the ultimate poster boy. They're in trouble."
At the top of Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed: "Firestorm. A Congressman's words about rape rocket across the country...women's issues are front and center again." Introducing the lead story moments later, Williams announced how "suddenly" Republican Todd Akin's comments "exploded well beyond the borders of Missouri."
Correspondent Andrea Mitchell began her report by nationalizing the gaffe made by Akin during a local news interview: "Republicans fear their hopes for the White House and control of the Senate could turn on what happened at a St. Louis TV station..." Mitchell later touted: "In a race where the President had a 15-point advantage with women voters in the last NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Republicans were reeling."