Jim Acosta emulated a P.R. flack for the Obama administration on Tuesday's CNN Newsroom, as he hyped how the White House is "on track to hit seven million signing up" for ObamaCare. Acosta gushed that "if ObamaCare were a patient, this would be a pretty miraculous recovery, when you consider...that disastrous rollout in October and November."
The correspondent later touted the development as "pretty big news over here at the White House. They're reacting with a lot of glee and happiness, I can tell you." Acosta and anchor Carol Costello also credited the President's Internet video with comedian Zach Galifianakis for part of ObamaCare's apparent success: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham appeared on the Fox Business show Varney & Co. on Monday afternoon discuss how MRC research of evening news stories found next to nothing on the victims of Obamacare. (There was just one CBS story on a Saturday in February.)
Host Stuart Varney expressed amazement that the networks haven’t reported the many problems with Obamacare (video below):
"None of them knew the color of the sky" is the first line of the Stephen Crane short story "The Open Boat" about four men crowded in an overloaded dinghy on rough seas. The men are so intent on preventing their small boat from getting swamped, none of them has time to look up.
Much the same way, Ed Schultz is so busy shilling for Obama, he can't see the writing on the wall. (Audio after the jump)
When the “Lean Forward” network hired Ronan Farrow last October to host his own weekday news/interview show, the 20-something son of actress Mia Farrow was hailed as “an original thinker” who could bring his 250,000 Twitter followers to watch him on MSNBC.
However, only a month after Ronan Farrow Dailydebuted in mid-February, an anonymous source inside the channel told the New York Daily News that Farrow's ratings have been poor, and his program “has been a disaster for MSNBC” because the young host “sort of stinks on TV” and “hasn't turned out to be the superstar they were hoping for,” even in the relevant demographic of younger viewers ranging from 25 to 54 years of age.
The Associated Press has a breaking news update: If you want to apply for Obamacare at HealthCare.gov today and you've never set up an account, forget about doing so for the time being.
The update is is running under this morning's old headline ("HEALTH CARE WEBSITE STUMBLES ON LAST DAY"), begging the question as to when a "stumble" turns into "I've fallen and I can't get up" (HT to several tweeters):
One (among many) of the more stunning elements of Obamacare's six-month run thus far has been the administration's increasingly desperate ploys to get "millennials" to sign up as the sort-of enrollment deadline looms. One of the more appalling of those involved President Obama himself appearing on comedian Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns” show and directing scripted insults at the host. Almost no one in the establishment press has commented on how stunts such as these diminish the dignity which used to be associated with the highest office in the land.
Building on that personal involvement, Saturday Night Live's opening skit last night showed several other made-up (I hope) attempts to make "Get Covered" go viral, including presidential photo and video ops with Kim Kardashian and the Pope, respectively. The final effort possibly included spreading viruses, as it required Obama to kiss Justin Bieber ... on the lips. Video of that skit (obvious warning to those who don't would rather not see the final act: stop the tape) follows the jump (HT the Blaze):
Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, The Washington Post’s David Ignatius did his best to shill for President Obama following the president’s interview with CBS anchorman Scott Pelley.
Speaking with moderator Bob Schieffer on Sunday, Ignatius opined, “It's crucial for statesmen to try to see the world as their adversaries see it” while urging President Obama to see the world through Vladimir Putin’s eyes. [See video below.]
Imagine if a former Republican presidential candidate and U.S. senator had called a current Republican president a delusional liar whose programs are wasteful. Would the mainstream media not be all over the story? Such a person would be interviewed at length by Wolf Blitzer on CNN as well as made the rounds of the morning talk shows and the Sunday news programs as well. The media buzz would be red hot on this topic for days extending into weeks.
Well, there is such a person but because he is a Democrat saying these things about President Obama, we can expect him to become an MSM nonperson. Such seems to already be the fate of former presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey. It is no surprise that his extended criticisms of Obama appeared in in a Daily Mail article in Britain, not in America where the shunning seems to have already begun. Here is what Kerrey has to say about Obama which you most likely won't see in any major liberal news outlet in America:
Friday's CBS Evening News featured a previously unaired portion of Scott Pelley's softball interview of President Obama on his recent meeting with Pope Francis. The Vatican noted on Thursday that "there was a discussion on questions of particular relevance for the Church...such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection" – a reference to the Catholic Church's objection to ObamaCare's abortifacient/contraception mandate.
But instead of asking about this discussion, Pelley gave the President the kid glove treatment, and wondered how the encounter affected the liberal politician: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Politico reported something interesting before President Obama met with Pope Francis: “The visit is a rare chance for Obama to associate himself with a world leader whose cool factor far outweighs his own.”
It’s rare for pundits to admit that someone else might top their revered Barack in the coolness category. They’re equating coolness and popularity, and the Pope certainly polls much better than the president, which is no surprise these days.
Friday's CBS Evening News picked up where the Big Three morning shows left off earlier in the day and trumpeted how "visitors have been surging to [HealthCare.gov] – about one-and-half million a day." Scott Pelley did give a bit of slightly bad news during his 16-second news brief, noting that "today, the ObamaCare website was taken down for about 20 minutes, to fix a problem that affected log-ins." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
However, the CBS evening newscast, along with Friday's NBC Nightly News and ABC's World News, glossed over the latest Associated Press poll, which found record-high disapproval of the controversial law: "[S]upport for President Barack Obama's health care law is languishing at its lowest level since passage of the landmark legislation four years ago...26 percent of Americans support the Affordable Care Act." This omission continues a nearly three-month-long trend by the Big Three networks to paper over bad news about ObamaCare.
"The Navy has come up with a drone that can predict the weather several months in advance. Which is not to be confused with Al Gore -- a drone who says he can predict the weather a hundred years in advance."
CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley scored an exclusive interview with Barack Obama on Friday. Much of the conversation centered around the President's meeting with Pope Francis. But rather than highlight the Pope's strong disagreements on issues like abortion, gay marriage and the contraception mandate in the health care law, Pelley appeared on CBS This Morning to wonder if the President, like Francis, wishes he could escape the "trappings" of power. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Pelley explained, "It's well known here in Rome that sometimes the Pope slips those trappings, even gets in car, drives himself to another part of the city to help minister to the poor." The anchor added, "I asked the President about that and the fact that the President of the United States can't do the same thing. The President said that he was sure that the Pope had a lot more freedom but that he, the President, had only two and a half to go and he was sure that the Pope would be at this much, much longer."
All the networks gave positive coverage on Wednesday evening to President Obama's meeting with Pope Francis, but ABC left out the elephant in the room, the massive conflict between the Obama administration and the U.S. Catholic Bishops over the birth control mandate.
Each network reported a happy meeting; both ABC and NBC called it "historic." All the networks highlighted the consensus between the two men on fighting poverty, as ABC noted a "bond" between the two men.
Earlier today, the Facebook page for BBC World News posted a captionfest item featuring a photo of President Obama and Pope Francis shaking hands. Curiously, the photo caption begins, "Pope Francis (R) and US President Barack Obama shake hands after exchanging gifts during a private audience on March 27, 2014 at the Vatican." [see screen capture -- taken around 10 p.m. Eastern -- below page break]
To be fair, Pope Francis is on the right in the photo, but it's still incredibly odd as the only subjects in focus in the photo are the president and the pontiff, and it's not like the average reader would be confused as to which is which.
Imagine it's March 2006, some eight months before the midterm elections in an unpopular President Bush's second term, and the Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has this nasty habit of running afoul of the Federal Election Commission over pricey gifts for campaign donors. The media would most certainly have a field day with the revelations.
But alas, it's March 2014 and it's Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and President Obama's Senate majority on the line. Here's Rebecca Shabad of TheHill.com with details (emphasis mine):
During coverage of President's Obama meeting with Pope Francis on Thursday, both NBC's Today and CBS This Morning hoped the papal visit would boost the commander-in-chief's sinking poll numbers. Today co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "The Pope, enormously popular....Is there something in just rubbing elbows with the Pope for President Obama?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd observed: "I think that the President, particularly right now where his own approval ratings are not so hot, just being seen with the Pope, particularly in some places where there are a lot of Catholic voters in the United States, it's not gonna hurt. So, yes, I think the White House sees this as a potential political up side."
Thursday's network morning shows tripped over themselves in their rush to fawn over President Obama meeting Pope Francis for the first time at the Vatican. At the top of ABC's Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts touted how the President "feels a special bond with the Pontiff." On NBC's Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd spoke of an "ideological comfort level" between the two leaders, while on CBS This Morning, White House correspondent Major Garrett described their "genuine connection." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
While ABC, NBC, and CBS provided a combined 14 minutes 30 seconds of coverage to the papal meeting on Thursday, only 2 minutes 21 seconds of that air time referred to the fundamental disagreements between Obama and the Pope on a host of issues. Instead, the morning broadcasts chose to play up the "common ground" between the two men on issues of "income inequality" and "social justice."
As the media boosted President Obama's meeting with Pope Francis on Thursday morning, none have noticed how the reportedly weekly-Mass-attending Vice President Joe Biden made remarks in Los Angeles at a "Human Rights Campaign" event last Saturday night. Biden expressed disbelief and outrage that anyone's still taking Catholic teaching on sexuality seriously in this modern age.
The gay newspaper The Washington Blade reported Biden used words like "close to barbaric" to describe the present system of religious liberty -- the notion that a religious employer doesn't have to hire (and can fire) gay activists. Biden even said "the world -- God willing -- is beginning to change." He then cited Pope Francis (out of context) saying "who are we to judge?" (video below)
According to a new report released on Wednesday by the Pew Research Center, the liberalMSNBC channel's prime-time audience fell 24 percent to 619,500 during the last calendar year, more than the Cable News Network -- which dropped 13 percent to a viewership of 543,000 – and the Fox News Channel, which lost 6 percent but still easily held onto first place with 1.75 million viewers.
As if that weren't bad enough, the “Lean Forward” network's revenue in 2013 lost 2 percent to total only $475 million. During the same period, CNN's income grew 2 percent to reach $1.11 billion, and the revenue for Fox News increased 5 percent to a tidy sum of $1.89 billion.
Someone needs to tell the Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown that it isn't 2008 any more. While they're at it, that person also needs to inform her that the Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, could give a rip about whether or not he is perceived as "cool," and certainly isn't Obama's "replacement."
Budoff Brown wrote tonight that President Barack Obama's meeting tomorrow with the Pope "is a rare chance for Obama to associate himself with a world leader whose cool factor far outweighs his own." Gag me. Obama's ability to move merchandise, one of the supposed indicators of "cool" tanked in the fall of 2009 and has never come back. Excerpts for readers who can stand more such drivel follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Ever since Friday afternoon, when Matt Drudge tweeted that he had just paid the “ObamaCare penalty for not getting covered” and called it a “Liberty Tax,” that post by the editor of the Drudge Report website has been slammed as a “flat lie” and “bad press” for the approaching March 31 enrollment deadline of the Affordable Care Act.
However, during Monday's edition of Rush Limbaugh's weekday radio program, the conservative host accused members of the media of trying “to smear and destroy” Drudge and anyone else “they consider to be the enemy of Obama.” Before long, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin praised Limbaugh as “consistently loyal to the cause of justice,” including his defense of Drudge “for calling out 'Obamascare.'”
At President Barack Obama's press conference in The Hague, Netherlands today, as part of a much longer question, ABC's Jonathan Karl asked Obama whether "Mitt Romney had a point when he said that Russia is America’s biggest geopolitical foe? If not Russia, who?"
It's important to note that Obama's response to that portion of Karl's question pertained to and was directed at Romney. A video containing Karl's question and Obama's answer ("With respect to Mr. Romney’s assertion that Russia’s our number- one geopolitical foe, the truth of the matter is that, you know, America’s got a whole lot of challenges. Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors -- not out of strength, but out of weakness") shows that the President's tone at that point was generally calm with a bit of a defiant edge which seemed directed at Romney and Karl (perhaps not in that order). That didn't stop the establishment press from claiming that Obama's statement was really an insult directed at Russia (it wasn't) and that the President supposedly directed his "derisive" statement towards Russian President Vladimir Putin (he didn't).
Appearing on Monday’s PoliticsNation, MSNBC’s Krystal Ball spat on the religious liberty that Hobby Lobby is presently fighting to defend before the U.S. Supreme Court. The co-host of The Cycle refused to believe that the Hobby Lobby case is about religious liberty, insisting it is actually about “whether your employer can decide what kind of health care you're going to have access to.” She scoffed, “Employers and corporations don't have a religion.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Really, Krystal? A corporation itself may not have a religion, but many employers certainly do. Employers are human beings with thoughts and beliefs just like the rest of us. Should their religious convictions not be respected, as well as their autonomy to run their businesses as they see fit?
Risen is the Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist for The New York Times who has been in the Obama administration's crosshairs "in a years-long legal battle against the government to reveal one of his confidential sources, even petitioning the Supreme Court to hear his case." On Monday, according to Andrew Beaujon at Poynter.org, Risen, appearing at at a George Polk Awards conference called Sources and Secrets, went after the Obama administration's heavy-handedness towards the press (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Unquestionably, ObamaCare is the central political issue of 2014. As the midterm election campaign moves forward, liberal politicians will have to justify their support for a program that has cost millions of individuals their insurance; will raise premiums for most small businesses; imposes hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes; and will cost, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the equivalent of two million jobs over the next three years.
But so far this year, the three network evening newscasts have minimized, spun or ignored every negative development about ObamaCare, while at the same time touting staged pro-ObamaCare publicity stunts, such as the President’s appearance on a Web-based comedy show in March.
Just when you thought it was finally safe to watch news programs and be free of any references to slain black teenager Trayvon Martin, along comes Monday's edition of Ronan Farrow Daily in which the MSNBC host and a legal analyst linked Martin's tragic life and a new study to claim he was a victim of a system that punishes African-American preschool children three times more often than their Caucasian counterparts.
After Farrow called the report “shocking, and I really mean this, shocking,” guest Lisa Bloom declared that “Martin was suspended three times” during preschool for minor violations, which makes him “a perfect example, unfortunately, very sadly, of this trend.”