On CNN’s Piers Morgan Live Tuesday, in a brief discussion about President Obama, Barbara Walters actually said, “We thought that he was going to be - I shouldn't say this at Christmastime, but - the next messiah” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Getting a glimpse of the kind of real reporting that can occur on NBC Nightly News when Brian Williams isn't in the anchor chair, on Sunday's edition of the program, weekend anchor Lester Holt informed viewers that "official photo releases" from the Obama administration were "at the center of an escalating battle between the White House and the news media over access and image control." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, White House correspondent Kristen Welker cited National Journal's Ron Fournier calling "images like these pure propaganda, arguing the Obama White House consistently blocks journalists from events they routinely covered in previous administrations." A sound bite followed of Fournier warning: "The White House is getting most of the control. That's not healthy for democracy."
Chris Matthews, who has repeatedly compared conservatives to Nazis, indignantly objected to a North Carolina state senator comparing ObamaCare to Nazism. Showing no self awareness, Matthews on Monday sneered, "Ted Cruz has a formidable challenger in the hyperbole department these days when it comes to Hitler references."
The Hardball anchor complained, "This weekend, a Republican state senator from North Carolina tweeted this gem -- quote -- 'Justice Roberts' pen and Obamacare has done more damage to the USA than the swords of the Nazis, the Soviets, and terrorists combined.'" But it was Matthews who, on October 22, 2012, attacked, "Is it in society's interests for [a young woman's] boss to be able to be the birth control Nazi to decide who gets it and who doesn't?" [A video comparison of the two quotes can be found below. MP3 audio here.]
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Tx.) were in Richardson, Texas, Monday at a hearing to investigate allegations that ObamaCare navigators in that state were instructing applicants to lie about their income thereby committing tax fraud.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Issa at one point told Dr. Randy Farris, regional administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, “You need to watch more Fox":
Earlier this morning (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), in a post primarily about the Associated Press's whitewashing of President Barack Obama's quote of the year acknowledging that his multi-year guarantee — "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health clinic care plan, period" — was, ahem, "not ... accurate" (Obama's words), I noted that the related web page for NBC's "Today" show followed the AP's lead by claiming that Obama's original promise and not the admission was the quote of the year.
The video clip present at that same web page is both funny and sad. It's funny, because Tamron Hall began her report by ignorantly asserting that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is "everyone's favorite mayor from the Northeast." It's sad, because like the AP, NBC's video truncated Obama's actual November 14 admission and let it slide without further comment, effectively giving what Ford said about his drinking and use of drugs more weight than Obama's admission that he lied to the American people for years. The clip follows the jump:
All three networks on Monday night and Tuesday morning covered the "major blow" a judge delivered by ruling that the National Security Agency's massive data collection is likely unconstitutional. Yet, NBC's Nightly News managed to mention the President only once in passing. Instead, anchor Brian Williams kept the nearly three and a half minute segment politically vague: "Privacy violation: A surprise ruling about the government's spying on the phone calls made by Americans. The question tonight, what will this change and when?"
Williams lectured, "In the name of keeping us safe, Americans have sacrificed a number of freedoms since 9/11, including the privacy of communications." Journalist Pete Williams added, "It's a serious legal blow to one of the most controversial practices of the NSA." Is it a blow to Obama? Neither journalist said. In contrast, NBC's Today on Tuesday immediately mentioned the President. Matt Lauer opened the segment by noting that "the Obama administration's beginning to plan an appeal of a major court ruling." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In what appears to be a deliberate watering down of the significance of the statement a Yale University librarian has identified as the year's top quote in his eighth annual list, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, used the following headline in its Sunday morning "Big Story" coverage: "OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE PROMISE IS 2013 TOP QUOTE."
Uh, no. The statement tagged as 2013's top quote is Obama's admission that the guarantee he made dozens of times over a several-year period — "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan, period" — was, ahem, "not ... accurate" (Obama's words). The wire service also truncated what Obama actually said in his November 14 admission, yet didn't employ an ellipsis in doing so.
The new ABC News-Washington Post poll shows Obama’s approval rating stuck at 43 percent approve, 55 percent disapprove, very close to their last result. The Post headline was “Obama’s approval ratings plummet” – over the year. A year ago, it was 52 percent approve, 44 percent disapprove. Online, it was merely a "year of turmoil." But ABC put a happy spin on it.
The headline on ABCNews.com was “OPPOSITION TO OBAMACARE DECLINES.” Click on it, and the headline on pollster Gary Langer’s report? “A Drop in Opposition to Obamacare Helps Stabilize a Struggling Presidency.” So if you're just grazing on the Web, you might think Obama's poll ratings are on the mend. But that's not in the fine print.
MSNBC's occasional Christianity "expert" Frank Schaeffer has come truly unglued with a dreadfully overwrought blog post called “The Slow Motion Lynching of President Barack Obama.” On Twitter he boasted “My blog went global closing in on twenty thousand shares/likes”. There's probably a lot of overlap with the "Bring Back Bashir" crowd. Bashir liked putting on Frank's rants.
Schaeffer insisted he’s a wiser white man now about American racism, that “I’ve changed because if this country will lynch a brilliant, civil, kind, humble, compassionate, moderate, articulate, black intellectual we’re lucky enough to have in the White House, we’ll lynch anyone. What chance does an anonymous black man pulled over in a traffic stop have of fair treatment when the former editor of the Harvard Law Review is being lynched?”
I'm interrupting my series on Common Core State Standards for public schools to join the appeal to Iran and North Korea for the release of American hostages like imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini and missionary Kenneth Bae. And I'm also calling upon President Obama and Congress to step up their action, stand for religious freedom and fight for the release of these godly men, whose crimes were nothing more than exercising their faith.
For those who haven't followed the news on these men of the cloth, pastor Abedini was sentenced to eight years by an Iranian court last January for starting house churches in the 2000s, an era in which they weren't even regarded as a threat to Iran's security.
An Associated Press-GfK poll has found that 11 percent of an admittedly small sample of Americans insured through their employer or a family member's employer are losing their coverage in 2014. The related AP report relays that point and even has a graphic supporting it.
But reporters Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Jennifer Agiesta failed to make the drop-dead obvious connection. According President Barack Obama and his White House spinmeisters, nothing is changing as a result of Obamacare if you're employed, and Obama's false guarantee that "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan" only applies to those in the private individual insurance market. Tell that to the 11 percent.
With President Obama's approval rating in the dumps, it's time for softball interviews. We've seen the usual Barbara Walters holiday spit-and-polish. Then Obama sat down with black talk show host/game show host Steve Harvey. You can see why Obama would pick this opportunity to remind people how unbelievably likeable and down-to-earth he is. The show is syndicated nationally by NBC Universal.
In an interview with WRC-TV in Washington, Harvey insisted his interview (airing Friday) left out the politics. "I don’t care about the politics. It’s not important to me. Look, he’s a great guy. There’s a section of people who don’t agree with anything he does, and then there’s those of us who get it. So I don’t have to go into that again." Harvey then went on to defend both Obamas over the "selfie" in South Africa:
Democratic strategist and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus Angela Rye picked the wrong panel Sunday to accuse the Tea Party of being "racial."
When he heard this during his appearance on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry show, Republican strategist Ron Christie strongly objected saying, "Racial! I will not sit here and allow you to say that!” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Right now, the White House press corps is in a shouting match with the Obama Administration over the White House's refusal to allow media photographers to take pictures of various presidential events. While the left-leaning journalists are tossing around words like "propaganda" to describe the official photos which are being released, the recent trip President Obama took to South Africa for the funeral of Nelson Mandela illustrates that the media elite really isn't interested in news so much as it is in preserving its institutional power.
Perhaps the most-discussed news item out of the Mandela funeral trip was a picture that was taken of Obama, British prime minister David Cameron, and Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt taking a “selfie” -- a self-portrait usually shot with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone -- a moment that was caught by Roberto Schmidt, a photographer for the French Press Agency. Now, Schmidt says that the overwhelming interest in the shot makes him “ashamed of mankind.”
ABC This Week viewers were treated to a classic conservative versus liberal debate Sunday.
When former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich tried to blame the increase in poverty in the past five years on Republicans, former Speaker of the House and current CNN host Newt Gingrich called it "baloney" firing back, "Every major city which is a center of poverty is run by Democrats" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
As the President’s poll numbers continue to decline, it’s becoming quite clear that some of the media – excluding the hopeless shills on MSNBC, of course! – are beginning to feel more comfortable criticizing him.
Take the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward who on Fox News Sunday said the just concluded budget deal happened “because Obama was not part of the negotiations” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal took on the strange conflict that is PolitiFact picked a “Lie of the Year” they’ve repeatedly defended as “Half True.” Barack Obama repeatedly claimed that if you liked your health plan, you could keep it once he passed his badly named "Affordable Care Act." He called it "PolitiFact's Forked Tongue."
PolitiFact has only drawn a yellow Hi-Liter through what’s wrong with liberal media-elite “fact checking” patrols: It exploits their "objective" image as it declares a campaign promise as factual (or not) prematurely, before there’s any factual reality to judge. From the beginning of the “truth squad” tendency in the 1992 presidential campaign, we’ve found this disturbing tendency.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer clearly was unhappy with the liberal topics being discussed on PBS’s Inside Washington Friday.
At one point, he looked into the camera after mentioning the new deadline changes to ObamaCare announced this week and said, “You won’t hear about this on this show, so try Fox” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Is there anything MSNBC hosts won't compare conservatives to?
Consider Chris Matthews who began Friday's Hardball likening conservatives such as Glenn Beck, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Mark Levin, and Rand Paul - who have the nerve to oppose the budget compromise just passed in the House - to North Korean despot Kim Jong Un killing his uncle (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Jay Leno took some more shots at the current White House resident Friday.
During his opening monologue, the NBC Tonight Show host likened Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III to President Obama saying, “He had a great first year in Washington, he showed incredible promise, then the whole thing fell apart” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
But somehow, the fact that the state's Obamacare exchange, Access Health CT, "had incorrect information online about deductibles and co-insurance impacting all 19 individual health plans from the three insurance companies that offer those plans" doesn't merit attention. Further indicating the development's national significance, as David Steinberg at PJ Media has noted, President Barack Obama himself cited Access Health CT as a success story in supposedly getting one-third of its enrollees from people who are 35 and younger (also not true) back on October 21. More verbiage from the story, as reported in the Hartford Courant by Fox Connecticut's Louisa Moller, follows the jump:
During his 19-year tenure as host of the Hardball cable TV political talk show, Chris Matthews has made several mistakes, but the one he will probably be remembered for most was his 2008 off-the-cuff remark that “I felt this thrill going up my leg” while listening to a speech given by then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Even though he has been razzed about it many times over the years, when the situation calls for it, Matthews isn't above repeating that statement, as he did on Wednesday's edition of his weeknight program. “At least I got my thrill up my leg from Obama,” he told former John McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt. “You got it from Sarah Palin.”
Joe Scarborough made a point of mentioning that until today, his MSNBC show hadn't discussed the Obama selfie at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela. Morning Joe's way too highbrow for that kind of stuff, don't you know, particularly when it might reflect badly on Barack Obama.
But when the crew finally got around to it today, opinion from Joe to Mika to Ed Rendell to Thomas Roberts was unanimous: there was nothing to criticize. Mika made her point by seeking to snap a selfie with Scarborough, as Joe jokingly showed her the hand. View the video after the jump.
Conservatives across the fruited plain are likely going to be shocked by this - and liberals extremely angered! - but the fact-checking website PolitiFact on Thursday named President Obama's "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it" promise the Lie of the Year.
Such was announced on CNN's The Lead (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
All three networks on Wednesday engaged in damage control for the White House following criticism of President Obama's selfie during Tuesday's Mandela memorial service. On CBS This Morning, senior White House correspondent Bill Plante even made this absurd assertion: "The President might have caused a diplomatic incident if he had declined the invitation to be in a photo with two long-time allies." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The cast of NBC's Today also justified the incident, with co-host Savannah Guthrie arguing: "I think some people thought it's not appropriate because it's a funeral. On the other hand, it wasn't a funeral, it was a memorial service." Weatherman Al Roker added: "It was a memorial, it was a celebration." Matt Lauer chimed in: "There were people singing and dancing all around them."
Still stinging from the large number of primary debates that often changed the momentum from one Republican candidate to another during the 2012 presidential contest and liberal moderators who all asked questions that favored Democratic incumbent Barack Obama over GOP candidate Mitt Romney, Republican officials are “quietly advancing a new batch of rules aimed at streamlining” what they call a chaotic nominating process.
Those claims are taken from an article written by CNN's Peter Hamby, who stated he received information from “multiple GOP sources” that “handpicked members of the Republican National Committee” have been working with party chairman Reince Priebus in Washington, D.C., since August to sanction “a small handful of debates” in which party officials will have “a heavy appetite” for a much stronger say over who will moderate any encounters of presidential candidates.
Well, it's not perfect, but it's a start — and it's certainly a far cry from what President Obama is now willing to admit.
In his report Tuesday on the congressional hearing for John Koskinen, Obama's nominee to be the next IRS Commissioner, Stephen Ohlemacher of the Associated Press wrote that Koskinen "told senators Tuesday he will work to restore public trust in the agency in the wake of the tea party scandal even as the IRS takes on new responsibilities administering the president's health care law." That's a remarkable admission, given that the word "scandal" does not appear in Koskinen's prepared remarks, and of course given that Obama's current opinion of what is better described as the "IRS conservative targeting scandal" is that it isn't one ("they’ve got a list, and suddenly everybody’s outraged"). As nice as it is that he used the "S-word," Ohlemacher's dispatch still contained serious oversights, including his failure to cite the change in Obama's public stance since May and his contention that no one outside the IRS knew of its targeting efforts until then.