In Thursday and Friday posts at the "Politico 44: A Living Diary of the Obama Presidency," Jennifer Epstein relayed the announcement that President Barack Obama has nominated Victoria Nuland as the next assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.
In other words, the President is defiantly giving the person who was integrally involved in altering the Benghazi talking points until they bore no resemblance to what really happened a promotion. In her first item, Epstein acted as if Republicans are the only ones who might have a problem with this. In her second item, she found two usual-suspect GOP senators who said they'd be okay being walked over. Excerpts follow the jump.
Appearing for his regular "Miller Time" segment on Wednesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, comedian Dennis Miller asserted that the Obama administration is "looking more Nixonian" because of recent scandal revelations.
He went on to crack that when President Obama says, "I am not a crook," he'll need a teleprompter to help him. Referring to the Justice Department's focus on FNC reporter James Rosen, Miller began:
Jay Leno continued his humorous attacks on Barack Obama Wednesday.
During a series of opening monologue jokes about the various scandals plaguing the Administration, the NBC Tonight Show host said that with all the President appears not to know about what's going on around him, it means "They took 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' out of the Pentagon and moved it into the White House."
On last Friday’s Washington Week, PBS moderator Gwen Ifill brought in a panel of four liberal journalists to dissect the three scandals that have plagued the Obama administration the past couple of weeks. Predictably, most of the panelists attempted to downplay the seriousness of the Benghazi fiasco.
Midway through the Benghazi discussion, Ifill turned to The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe and posed the question that has surely been on every left-wing reporter’s mind for months: “But Ed, why is this -- why is this stuck? Why is this a story that never went away?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
While the three network morning shows on Thursday all promoted President Obama's "renewed focus on transparency" in an upcoming national security speech, none of the broadcasts made any mention of the administration's deception in the ongoing scandal surrounding the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
On NBC's Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander declared that Obama would be "highlighting new efforts to bring about transparency and even new restriction in the so-called hidden war" while citing "evidence of that renewed focus on transparency" in the form a Justice Department letter to Congress officially acknowledging the already widely-reported fact that drones were used to kill American citizen and terrorist cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki.
"Let's face facts: the American media is in an abusive relationship with Obama."
So marvelously said Dennis Miller on Fox New's the O'Reilly Factor in a discussion about the Internal Revenue Service scandal Wednesday (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Defending the indefensible can make a liberal journalist a little prickly. How else do you explain Washington Post columnist Colbert I. "Colby" King's specious attack on his fellow Post colleague and Inside Washington panelist Charles Krauthammer this weekend?
It all happened when Krauthammer responded to a Post editorial, published in Thursday’s paper, which asserted that UN Ambassador Susan Rice did not mislead anyone about the nature of the September 11 Benghazi attack. Ninety-seven House Republicans had signed a letter charging that Rice did mislead the public, and the Post editorial demanded that those Republicans apologize to Rice. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On the Tuesday, May 21, All In with Chris Hayes show on MSNBC, host Hayes mocked House Speaker John Boehner for calling for the American people "to know what the truth is" about recent Obama scandals, as the MSNBC host referred to the Ohio Republican's speech as "a little invented scandal Mad Libs."
Hayes took a break from Oklahoma tornado coverage for a little political news:
Appearing on CNBC’s “Kudlow Report” with Larry Kudlow, former Democratic Party presidential candidate and DNC chair Howard Dean dismissed the controversy surrounding the Benghazi terror attack as “ridiculous” and a “laughable joke,” The Blaze reported Tuesday.
“This is about issues that are important to the American people,” said RNC communications director Sean Spicer.
Dylan Byers of Politico reports “Sharyl Attkisson, the Emmy-award winning CBS News investigative reporter, says that her personal and work computers have been compromised and are under investigation.”
"I can confirm that an intrusion of my computers has been under some investigation on my end for some months. But I'm not prepared to make an allegation against a specific entity today as I've been patient and methodical about this matter," Attkisson told Politico on Tuesday. She suggested it could be related to the probe of Fox reporter James Rosen:
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory urged Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to condemn fellow Republicans for drawing parallels between the scandals rocking the Obama administration and those that occurred under President Nixon: "Would you call on Republicans who talk about impeaching the President or who talk about this as a Nixonian-style cover-up with regard to Benghazi, would you like them to stop it?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
McConnell responded: "Well, what I think we ought to do is complete the investigation and found out – find out what exactly happened....we know the administration kind of made up a tale here in order to make it seem like it wasn't a – a terrorist attack. I think that's worthy of investigation and the investigations ought to go forward."
At Bloomberg Views, Al Hunt, formerly "the executive editor of Bloomberg News, directing coverage of the Washington bureau," referred to the controversies swirling around the White House as "faux scandals" and insisted that ... wait for it ... the Obama administration "is the most scandal-free administration in recent memory." No wonder Bloomberg News developed into such a hopelessly biased outfit while he was there. As much as I could stand to excerpt from Hunt's harangue follows the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
UPDATED: [May 21; 5:15 p.m. EDT | see portion in brackets below the page break] || The liberal media continue their effort to spin the Obama administration right out of trouble. On Saturday’s Today, NBC brought on John Harwood, CNBC’s chief Washington correspondent, to provide some analysis of the three scandals that rocked the administration last week. Harwood, with help from co-anchor Erica Hill, attempted to make the discussion about the Republicans and their shortcomings rather than the White House’s failings.
Hill brought up the fact that some senior Republicans, such as Newt Gingrich, have cautioned the party about not going after Obama too aggressively over the scandals. Harwood agreed, adding that the party does not have a wide enough base. He then chastised Republicans: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Appearing on Sunday’s edition of C-SPAN’s Washington Journal program, Huffington Post correspondent Jennifer Bendery dismissed the Benghazi scandal, telling host John McArdle that “there’s really not a whole lot of ‘there’ there” when it comes to the September 2012 attacks.
It’s offensive enough that Bendery abandoned any sense of objective journalism in her interview with McArdle. It’s even worse that she repeated nearly verbatim a phrase used by President Obama in his press conference last Monday (transcript of the May 13 press conference via The Wall Street Journal):
While the the front page of today's Washington Post is actually reporting significant developments in two of Barack Obama's trifecta of scandals, the Washington Post Company-owned free tabloid the Express is busy lamenting if the president will ever get "A Break from the Storm?"
Perhaps, as "advisers say," he "should stage a major economic speech to drown out the noise[emphasis mine] of recent scandals," Express editors helpfully offered in a caption for their front-page photo illustration, which depicted a grimacing President Obama getting drenched in a downpour [see image below page break].
As NewsBusters has been reporting this week, even comedians that have been almost universally squeamish about telling jokes about Barack Obama have begun to do so with all the scandals now surrounding this White House.
Jumping on the bandwagon Saturday was political satirist Andy Borowitz who published a piece deliciously titled "Obama Denies Role In Government":
Do you remember Candy Crowley back in October, while acting as a presidential debate moderator, defending Barack Obama's claim that he had called the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, an act of terror the day after the attack?
Crowley apparently doesn't, for on CNN's State of the Union Sunday, she actually challenged Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer about this asking, "Why didn't the president just say, yeah, it was a terrorist attack?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters reported two weeks ago, CBS’s Bob Schieffer is fed up with the White House’s talking points concerning what happened at our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last September.
His impatience continued on Sunday's Face the Nation when Obama senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer gave stock answers to questions about the three crises facing the President leading Schieffer to first accuse his guest of taking "exactly the approach that the Nixon administration took" and finally scolding him by asking, "Why are you here today? Why isn't the White House Chief of Staff here to tell us what happened?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It has only been a week since the Associated Press learned that its reporters' privacy and the confidentiality of their relationships with sources were violated on a massive and unprecedented scale by Eric Holder's Justice Department in April and May of last year. DOJ has admitted that it secretly obtained the call records for 20 personal and business lines used by over 100 AP reporters and editors. Despite its insistence that they were looking for the person who leaked information about a foiled terrorist plot, there is reason to believe the DOJ's fishing expedition was a childish response to the wire service's refusal to let the government crow about the foiled operation before anyone reported on it.
In the wake of all of this, the AP, appears determined to soldier on as the wire service more appropriately described as the Administration's Press. That's about the only way one can view the Saturday afternoon dispatch from the AP's David Espo and its accompanying headline:
Jay Leno on Friday continued his humorous attacks on the White House.
The NBC Tonight Show host finished a string of opening monologue jokes aimed at President Obama saying, “Let me tell you how bad it's gotten: Fox News has changed its slogan from ‘Fair and Balanced’ to ‘See, I Told You So!’" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was Jay Leno’s guest on the Tonight Show Friday, and he didn’t have kind things to say about the current White House resident or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
At one point in their discussion, Romney said, "I'm not a fan of the president - in case you didn't know that."
The liberal media are not really "up in arms" with the Obama administration, but are simply having a "lover's quarrel" over the AP scandal in particular, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told CNBC host Larry Kudlow on his May 16 The Kudlow Report program.
What's more, it won't be that long until "[t]he Bill Clinton syndrome is going to be upon us, where it's time to move on, we've covered it [the media will say] and they're going to turn the fire right on Republicans as being obstructionists. Mark my word," the Media Research Center founder predicted. [watch the full segment below the page break]
By Friday, as the Obama promoters within the network news divisions started spreading the president's word that three growing scandals are just a blip, they might point to Gallup's daily job-approval ratings for Obama, which remained at 49 percent approve, 45 percent disapprove.
This result might also reflect that Gallup found that a slim majority of Americans are either "very" or "somewhat" following news of the IRS and Benghazi scandals, "comparatively low based on historical measures of other news stories over the last two decades." Low-information voters could still obsess about Angelina Jolie's surgeries or whether Beyonce is pregnant again:
The PBS NewsHour led off its Thursday evening telecast with a story about the three scandals that currently envelop the Obama administration: the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups, the Justice Department’s subpoena of AP phone records, and the Benghazi attack. Rather than following the package with analysis from a journalist, as PBS often does with stories like this, the taxpayer-subsidized network brought on White House Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri to provide the White House's spin on these scandals.
Even worse, anchor Judy Woodruff did not rise to the occasion with any tough questioning, allowing Palmieri to spin her way right out of trouble. All of Woodruff’s questions dealt with President Obama’s reaction to the scandals; she never grilled Palmieri on whether the White House was involved in any of this. The assumption seemed to be that the president was an innocent bystander in all of these scandals. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
In the latest instance of liberal journalists thinking alike, Charlie Rose asked practically the same question on Friday's CBS This Morning that ABC's George Stephanopoulos did on Good Morning America. Rose wondered if congressional Republicans "may overplay their hand and somehow squander what they think is opportunity" on the three scandals currently surrounding the Obama White House.
The CBS anchor proposed this question not even four minutes after Stephanopoulos asked ABC correspondent Jonathan Karl, "Are some of [the GOP] leaders worried that some of the Republicans may be overplaying their hand?"
Reeve imputes a level of pessimism to the quote that doesn’t inhere in it. But then she turns around and evinces a degree of optimism that isn’t warranted either, telling readers the Obama presidency “is being declared alive after all on Thursday.”