In a continued effort to tag Mitt Romney with a flip-flopper label, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed that Romney's performance in the final presidential debate "seemed to be a move to the center" on foreign policy issues and asserted that the Governor was "taking positions he has not taken before."
In the report that followed, correspondent Andrea Mitchell declared: "Mitt Romney's switch to a more moderate foreign policy last night was clearly aimed at independent women voters.... Clearly having decided that undecided voters, those swing voters, are more likely to choose a moderate Republican than a hawk."
**UPDATE** At 2:30 p.m. EDT, MSNBC mentioned the damaging emails for the first time, coupling it with breaking news of an arrest in the attack on our Libyan consulate.
Following in the footsteps of its sister broadcast network, MSNBC has continued to ignore the shocking revelation that the White House knew on September 11 that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was under a well-coordinated terrorist attack.
As NewsBusters’ Matthew Balan noted, NBC's Today was the only broadcast network morning show this to ignore the story altogether, with MSNBC following suit by remaining silent as well throughout the day. In contrast, both Fox News and CNN have run numerous stories Wednesday morning.
Two of the women who anchor hour-long news programs on the MSNBC cable TV channel have stated that "the guys get paid more," but they are nevertheless "lucky" to be paid half of what a male co-host earns.
During an interview on Thursday, Mitt Romney senior adviser Barbara Comstock told the host of "Andrea Mitchell Reports" that "we know here at MSNBC, the guys get paid more," and Mitchell replied: "We certainly do."
A not so undecided “undecided voter.” At 10:12 AM EDT Wednesday on CNN, faux “undecided voter” Susan Katz, who had asked Mitt Romney at the debate the night before how he’s different from George W. Bush, told Carol Costello she voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and plans to do so again this year because “I saw in President Obama someone who has ripened with time who deserves another four years to see his vision through.” (“Ripened”?)
A little more than eight hours later, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, on Nightly News, looked at debate reaction from “undecided voters chosen to ask questions” who “were not entirely happy with what they heard,” starting with Susan Katz whom Mitchell showcased trashing Romney for liking “to be in charge,” as if that’s a bad thing for a President.
Islamist radicals affiliated with the Taliban shot and critically wounded Malala Yousafzai yesterday. The Financial Times notes that Yousafzai is "a 14-year-old Pakistani activist who won international acclaim for speaking out for girls denied education under the Taliban." Yousafzai was wounded in the leg from a shot fired at her as she left school on Tuesday.
Yousafzai's shooting was the third item in a news brief aired 10 minutes before the close of Andrea Mitchell's 1 p.m. Eastern program:
Neil Munro of the Daily Caller was attacked by journalists for asking President Obama a question out of turn -- because Obama wasn't offering a turn. He expects to speak without taking questions. On Thursday, Munro once again found himself surrounded by amateur Obama advisers thinly disguised as objective journalists after Obama lost the debate in Denver.
Munro noted several reporters on the 11:15 a.m. phone conference promptly offered questions that bordered on advice. "Axe, I'm not sure you can hear me, David," said NBC's Andrea Mitchell, "I'm wondering whether the president, whether you have rethought the strategy of not bringing up either women's issues, or the 47 percent or some of the other issues that have worked so well for you in your campaign advertising and in your stump speech?" Other transcripts without the reporter names identified seconded that emotion:
On Thursday's NBC Today, in an attempt to deflect from Mitt Romney's strong debate performance, fill-in co-host David Gregory grilled Romney advisor Ed Gillespie on the Governor's tax plan: "...he wants to extend the Bush tax cuts, he wants to have further tax cuts beyond that, he wants to increase military spending and he rejected a 10 to 1 ratio when it came to cutting spending and raising revenue. So the math simply doesn't add up, does it?"
There have been six studies now that have analyzed what Governor Romney has proposed in terms of lowering tax rates and expanding the base. We've done that in the past in our country's history, it's resulted in economic growth. It would result in economic growth again. And six of those studies says – say that this could be done, very credible studies, without increasing the deficit.
Mitt Romney on Wednesday put into play newly uncovered video of Barack Obama in 1998 advocating redistribution of wealth, but of the broadcast network evening newscasts, only the NBC Nightly News bothered to inform viewers of the display of Obama’s far-left economic philosophy. And that only came inside the newscast’s first of two stories on media-fueled fallout from Romney’s observation that 47 percent don’t pay income taxes.
“These are tough days for the Romney campaign,” NBC anchor Brian Williams led his program, declaring: “Inside 50 days to go now until the election, and they are dealing with something of a public relations disaster.”
**UPDATE** On Wednesday morning, Chuck Todd played the audio of Obama's speech from 1998 on his show The Daily Rundown, 4 hours before appearing on Andrea Mitchell Reports who refused to play the clip for "authenticity" reasons.
It took less than 12 hours after it was published online at the website of leftist magazine Mother Jones for a video secretly recorded at a Mitt Romney fundraiser in May to appear all over NBC and MSNBC. The heavily-edited video, obtained by the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, has been a staple of MSNBC coverage the past two days.
Fast forward to Wednesday when audio of then-State Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) speaking at Loyola University talking about his support for wealth redistribution. MSNBC refused to play the audio on air. On her show Wednesday, Andrea Mitchell claimed that the network's reason was: [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
NBC and CBS felt compelled Tuesday night to fact check Mitt Romney’s assertion “47 percent of Americans pay no income tax” and both had to acknowledge his accuracy, but then tried to undermine Romney’s point. Noting the statistic had become “Tea Party mantra,” NBC’s Andrea Mitchell allowed “it’s true that approximately 47 percent of Americans do not pay federal income taxes, as Mitt Romney said, but,” she quickly added, “not because they are living off of the 53 percent.”
Over on CBS, Anthony Mason relayed how “Roberton Williams with the non-partisan Tax Policy Center says, to be precise, 46.4 percent of Americans pay no federal tax. But,” Mason insisted, “it’s more complicated than that.”
Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu on Tuesday took New York Times columnist David Brooks to task for his Romney-bashing piece "Thurston Howell Romney."
In the middle of a heated debate with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell about the Republican presidential nominee's comments regarding the 47 percent of Americans that don't pay taxes, Sununu asserted, "David Brooks ought to be ashamed of himself for recategorizing what Mitt Romney said" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Gee, and you thought Barack Obama had an inflated opinion of himself. After watching Andrea Mitchell in action, he might actually need self-esteem therapy . . .
On her MSNBC show today, Mitchell rolled a clip in which Rick Santorum told the Value Voters Summit audience that "we will never have the elite, smart people on our side." After asking a former Santorum aide what he he meant by the "elite smart people," Mitchell declared "I think I should plead guilty." View the video after the jump.
In a stunning display of group-think on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, a panel of journalists all concluded that no American president could have possibly prevented the ongoing crisis in Middle East or responded to it any better than Barack Obama. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The hand-wringing began with The Atlantic's Jeff Goldberg absolving the President of any responsibility for chaos in the region: "There are some very, very deep and troubling things going on in – in the Middle East that have very little to do with what a president does or doesn't do.... so to blame the President for – for an attack on – on these embassies, I think, is a bit much."
Is Jon Huntsman headed the way of Charlie Crist? When the 2016 Dem convention rolls around, will we see the also-ran GOP presidential nomination-seeker on the podium, seconding Hillary's nomination? You've got to wonder after Huntsman's toadying performance today as he made the MSNBC rounds.
After appearing on Morning Joe earlier, Huntsman turned up on Andrea Mitchell's show. Mitchell posed a laughably-loaded question, bashing Mitt Romney's response to the Obama administration's handling of the embassy attacks. The haughty Huntsman was only too happy to play the useful idiot, concurring that there was "a lot to the criticism" and ripping Romney as an "impetuous candidate" in a time of foreign policy crisis. View the video after the jump.
In February, I documented how liberal MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell thoroughly went to bat for Planned Parenthood in a biased interview with Komen for the Cure CEO Nancy Brinker. The larger controversy, you may recall, was over Komen's decision to not extend grants to Planned Parenthood chapters, redirecting those funds elsewhere. This was one of the controversies that MSNBC later used as evidence of a conservative "war on women." In the midst of that firestorm, Komen vice president and pro-life Republican Karen Handel was pressured by pro-choice activists to resign her post.
Fast forward to the present, Handel is out with a new book, "Planned Bullyhood," which tells her side of the story. The former Komen executive was interviewed via satellite today by Mitchell, who, of course, stuck to her guns pushing liberal talking points and seeking to discount Handel's version as self-serving spin. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
On her 1 p.m. et MSNBC program on Wednesday, host Andrea Mitchell interrogated former United Nations Ambassador and Romney advisor Richard Williamson on the Republican presidential candidate's criticism of President Obama's response to attacks in Egypt and Libya: "Does it seem to be injecting politics into a national tragedy?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Williamson dismissed Mitchell's question: "Andrea, you're an experienced reporter. You've had the same questions asked about your own reporting from time to time....You're engaging in a process question. The importance is the substance of what's going on in the Middle East, where the U.S. is being compromised and in retreat."
The media's full-throttle attack on Mitt Romney's condemnation of Barack Obama's weak handling of the Libyan crisis isn't surprising given they invested so much time praising the President's Libyan policy in 2011. During the Arab Spring of 2011, Time's Mark Halperin called the administration’s policy toward Libya "deft" and CBS’s Norah O'Donnell declared Obama's "victories" in the Middle East would "burnish his credentials as a world leader." NBC's David Gregory hailed that since Obama "has been tested" in the foreign policy "arena" he would use the experience as "a club against Republicans."
The following quotes are the worst examples of journalists' adulation of Obama's Libyan policy back in 2011:
Eager to get a jump-start on biased coverage of the next presidential race, on Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell salivated over a possible Hillary Clinton run: "Well, the conventions were barely over before politicians in both parties started talking about likely contenders for 2016, and overshadowing all others is the woman who wasn't even there."
Mitchell sympathetically observed: "Hillary has been waiting a long time for her chance to be president, after losing a bitter primary fight to then-Senator Barack Obama four years ago." Mitchell then proclaimed: "She says she has no plans to run, but if she did, some say she would clear the field."
Former Kennedy speechwriter and campaign operative Bob Shrum outdid himself on Ed Schultz's radio show Wednesday, gushing about Ted Kennedy and the maudlin video tribute to him at the Democratic convention. (audio) --
MSNBC's on-air personalities were plainly in awe of Bill Clinton on Wednesday night. Moments after the former President finished his speech at the Democratic National Convention, they kept up the praise for almost 20 minutes. Chris Matthews gushed over the "strong offensive" Clinton gave for President Obama. Al Sharpton exclaimed, "Elvis and Bubba showed up tonight."
Ed Schultz was the most enthusiastic for the former Arkansas governor: "Affable, effective - as a Democrat, it doesn't get any better. I'm sitting here - I'm giddy...I just think President Clinton just did Barack Obama the biggest favor he could have ever done." Rachel Maddow and former McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt agreed that Clinton's address was "powerful," with Schmidt exclaiming that "I wish to God, as a Republican, we had someone on our side who had the ability to do that. We don't. It would be great if we did. Just an amazing performance." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Andrea Mitchell gushed over Michelle Obama on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, labeling her a "political superstar" and "her husband's best campaigner, hardly needing to practice with the Teleprompters or get a feel for the stage." Mitchell went out of her way to point out how Mrs. Obama apparently is "all about hugs, connecting to people with a physical embrace." [audio available here; video below the jump]
The correspondent also emphasized the First Lady's supposed celebrity status by noting how she has "become a regular on late night," and playing clips from interviews she gave to Ryan Seacrest, David Letterman, and to E! News.
New York Times "TV Watch" columnist Alessandra Stanley focused Friday on MSNBC's embarrassingly partisan coverage of the Republican National Convention and tried to contrast it with the struggle of NBC's more objective reporters to remain above the fray: "MSNBC, Arch Counterprogramming to Fox." The online head was more interesting: "How MSNBC Became Fox’s Liberal Evil Twin." Stanley even accused MSNBC host Chris Matthews of "thuggish" behavior in an interview with a female Republican governor.
But do NBC reporters Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd (or anchor Brian Williams) really "keep their opinions to themselves" as Stanley claims? Hardly. In fact, they fit in quite well with the liberal partisans at MSNBC.
NBC news, during its live Thursday night coverage of the RNC, skipped the first two-minutes and 50 seconds of Marco Rubio’s speech, as they joined the Florida Senator’s speech in progress after a commercial break. Viewers of NBC missed Rubio’s call for “prayers that soon freedom and liberty” will arrive in Cuba and recalling his grandfather’s inspiring message that: “There was no limit in how far I could go because I was an American.”
This wasn't the first time NBC snubbed a conservative minority during this year's RNC. On Wednesday, its cable channel broadcast the speeches of only one minority Republican speaker, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley. While he was speaking, former House member Artur Davis was derided by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow as "a lower profile speaker" despite the fact that he had switched parties and was President Obama's first major endorser not from Illinois.
Eager to keep the Todd Akin controversy alive on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams declared the Missouri Republican's comments were "inflicting unforeseen and great damage on the national party." Correspondent Andrea Mitchell began her report by proclaiming: "...only days before their convention, Republicans remain trapped in a national debate about abortion and rape." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell quickly attempted to link vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan to Akin: "Ryan co-sponsored one bill with Akin that critics say could outlaw all abortions, even for rape victims." She then tried to connect Mitt Romney: "Romney once supported abortion rights, but reversed course before his first run for the White House. In 2007, he embraced anti-abortion activist Dr. John Wilkie, the man who came up with the discredited rape theory that Akin was citing."
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."
At the top of Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie seized on controversies involving Republican members of Congress and proclaimed: "Hot water....Two distractions for the GOP with the convention now just one week away." Introducing coverage of the incidents, fill-in cost Lester Holt similarly declared: "...some high-profile distractions for the Republican Party. Two congressmen under fire this morning, one for what he did, the other for what he said."