Barack Obama has taken a few soft-soap interviews on the PBS NewsHour, so anchor Judy Woodruff didn't want to say he was sell Obamacare in less than dignified forums -- like prank interviews with the schlub from "The Hangover" movies.
Pseudoconservative analyst David Brooks and liberal Mark Shields typically agreed that Obama has oodles of dignity and cannot be mocked. Brooks said only if Obama's riding "with Miley Cyrus on the wrecking ball" -- where she rode naked in a video -- would it be "going a little too far." That's hardly a visual you'd expect from PBS:
Here’s something else the networks didn’t notice about on the evening news about Obamacare. Vice President Biden spoke to community health center leaders on Friday morning about the botched rollout. “You know, it got off to a slow start,” said Biden. “The president and I were as frustrated as anyone....but it's basically fixed,” he added.
Then he suggested Obama should be nominated for “sainthood” for his patience, as if everyone else was to blame for letting him down:
On Friday, McKay Coppins of BuzzFeed detailed two major developments over the past decade or so that, according to some on the right, have hurt conservative book publishing: specialty imprints such as Threshold Editions have had the effect of relegating most righty books to a "niche" a la "science fiction or nutritional self-help guides," and this segregation has created economic pressure for those imprints to issue titles by "cable news and radio provocateurs" instead of "combative intellectuals" in the tradition of the late Allan Bloom.
Coppins presents the massive popularity of Bloom's 1987 work The Closing of the American Mind as the Big Bang for right-leaning books. He opines that it forced establishment publishers to realize "a potentially lucrative fact: Conservatives knew how to read."
While the networks swooned over President Obama's mock interview with comedian Zach Galifianakis, only ABC noted Obama's appearance on Thursday's Ellen DeGeneres Show where he plugged ObamaCare.
And ABC focused only on the shallow, touting Obama's exchange with DeGeneres over her "selfie" at the Oscars. Interestingly, they left out the President plugging his health care law. Neither NBC nor CBS even mentioned the interview after all three networks touted Obama's interview with Galifianakis where he pushed for ObamaCare.
Comedian Jimmy Fallon isn't known for his animosity towards the Obamas, but he "burned" the President's health care law on Wednesday's TonightShow.
Impersonating Russian president Vladimir Putin on a mock phone call with Obama, Fallon took a swipe at ObamaCare after the President accused him of forcing Russian allegiance upon Crimea: [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The meeting next week between President Obama and Pope Francis is a meeting of a moderate and a leftist, reports The Washington Post. Obama’s the moderate. But it has “huge potential” for “two world figures” to forge a mind-meld on “social justice.”
Washington Post religion reporter Michelle Boorstein’s article is transparently, thoroughly a press release on Obama’s behalf. All of its sources, on the record and off, are liberal Obama aides and sympathizers. “Some said the trip would be only positive for Obama for several reasons,” and then Boorstein lists them. No tough words on abortion, marriage, or Obama mandating that Catholics pay for contraception? “Most Vatican-watchers” guess it will never come up:
Providing, of course, that the Secret Service prevents kryptonite from being brought anywhere near the president.
The Obama-as-godlike-figure meme has appeared again, this time on MSNBC, though it's a safe bet on any given day that this is where it will surface, usually before the end of "Morning Joe." (Video after the jump)
With the March 31 deadline looming ever closer for people -- especially young adults -- to sign up for coverage through the "Affordable Care Act," the president has used several different and unusual venues to get his message out, ranging from a fake web-based interview with Between Two Ferns host and comedian Zach Galifianakis to a “push for ObamaCare” on Thursday's edition of CBS This Morning.
During a report on Thursday's NBC Today about the impact of NCAA March Madness office pools on worker productivity, correspondent Kerry Sanders casually touted: "March Madness, an American distraction....Even the President takes a break from world affairs to fill out his bracket." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At no point did Sanders offer any criticism of Obama taking a "break from world affairs" during the Ukrainian crisis. Co-host Savannah Guthrie introduced the segment by wondering: "Does March Madness really interfere with getting actual work done?" Amid clips of employees filling out their brackets, Sanders declared: "If you're calling a business today, don't be surprised if your call goes unanswered."
Bill Plante acted as a stenographer for the Obama administration on Thursday's CBS This Morning, as he spotlighted the "multi-tiered state and national effort to get young people enrolled" in ObamaCare before the end of March. Plante touted the "supportive celebrity Tweets and videos....and a tongue-in-cheek tool kit that teaches parents how to get on social media and 'nag' their children 'mercilessly.'"
The correspondent again noted Zach Galifianikis' mock interview of President Obama, which the Big Three networks spent 100 times more coverage on than the low enrollment the previous week. However, CBS This Morning at least mentioned how the administration fell millions short of its original seven million goal. ABC nor NBC have yet to mention the new enrollment figures on their morning and evening newscasts. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted an exclusive preview of Fortune magazine's list of the world's 50 greatest leaders and wondered about one name that was absent from the ranking: "Bill Clinton comes in at number five and makes the cover. There are a lot of other notable names here. Tell you what, though, there may be some talk about one leader who did not make the list, the leader of the free world, President Obama. Fortune tells us he was not overlooked, he just did not make the cut." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Matt Lauer reacted: "Yeah, that's surprising." He then noted leaders who "did make the cut": "Pope Francis takes the top spot. Congratulations to him....Some other folks you may recognize, Bono, Derek Jeter – yes! – Angelina Jolie, and Malala Yousafzai."
Ellen DeGeneres was a completely slavish toady to President Obama as he appeared on her show to sell Obamacare -- not to young people, but to mothers.
The president made his pitch to "especially all the moms out there who may have young people – 26, 27, do not have health insurance, but they think they’re invincible and nothing’s ever going to happen to ‘em – what we’ve said is you never know what life is going to throw at ya." For example, a president who lies about keeping your plan and keeping your doctor. You didn't see that coming! But DeGeneres said "everyone's very grateful" for Obamacare:
What happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 may eventually be discovered, but there is something else that has been missing for much longer and its "disappearance" has far greater implications for America. It is our foreign policy. Can anyone say what it is?
With Russia's Vladimir Putin behaving like a modern Catherine the Great in his efforts to annex Crimea and possibly all of Ukraine, what is our policy toward Russia, which is behaving increasingly like its former, supposedly dead, communist self?
Former liberal CNN contributor Roland Martin launched a left-wing tirade on his TV One news program on Wednesday, aimed mainly at conservative opponents of President Barack Obama's foreign policy: "Who the hell is America fooling to tell somebody else in another country who you can invade and cannot invade?...the United States, under President Reagan, invaded Grenada....Yet, here we are telling another sovereign nation what countries you can't invade. It's called being hypocritical. It is called being shameless, and frankly, we look silly."
Despite targeting Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham by name for their criticism of Obama, Martin threw a much wider net in his rant: "So Americans, can you please stop with the hypocritical nature of your criticism?...The fact of the matter is, America has always invaded other countries." The host also included some of the left's usual examples of America's meddling around the world: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman went on PBS’s Charlie Rose show Monday night and defended President Obama’s soft foreign policy approach to the crisis in Ukraine. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Of that approach, which so far has consisted of sanctions against 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials, Friedman said:
Network journalists on Wednesday fawned over the fact that Barack Obama is again making NCAA basketball picks. On ABC, Good Morning America's Josh Elliott touted, "And finally, the bracketologist-in-chief is at it again. President Obama, as he does every March, making his predictions..."
Elliott played a clip of the President insisting he would use big bracket winnings to "pay down the debt" and buy his wife shoes. The news reader then enthused, "Smart man. Constituents and wife. Keep them all happy." [UPDATED with video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Wednesday, the Politico's Dylan Byers, imitating the president his web site so loves and adores, unilaterally decided ("new rule") that those of us who are making the self-evident observation that President Barack Obama's foreign policy performance has been weak can't do so unless we articulate what he should be doing.
How quaint. I don't recall seeing, hearing or reading of anyone at Politico or in the rest of the establishment press trying to place such firm conditions on those who opposed the Iraq War or how it was being conducted, the Bush 43 tax cuts, or any other performance, initiative, or idea during the previous presidential administration. Byers' tweet and several choice responses to it follow the jump (HT Twitchy):
On Tuesday, all three broadcast network evening newscasts devoted full reports to President Obama honoring 24 members of the military – only three still living – with the Medal of Honor. CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley trumpeted how the President "righted a historic wrong. He presented the nation's highest military award to 24 Americans, after a review determined that they had been passed over because they were Hispanic or African-American or Jewish." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
However, during the fifth year of former President George W. Bush's presidency, the Big Three channels furiously covered the allegations against several U.S. Marines, who were accused of killing civilians in Iraq in November 2005. Between May 17 and June 7, 2006 – a three week period – ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted three and a half hours of air time to the accusations of misconduct. These same networks aired only 52 minutes of reporting on 20 military heroes from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq during a five-year period between September 2001 and June 2006.
Next thing you know, Bill Press will be gushing about Obama's ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Press just might be the only sentient person alive who actually believes that Obama's appearance on "Between Two Ferns" at the comedy website Funny or Die was unscripted. At least that's the impression Press gave while talking with Rebecca Sinderbrand of Politico on his radio show March 14. (Audio after the jump)
In a refreshing change of pace, CNN's John King skeptically wondered on Tuesday's New Day about the White House touting the five million "enrollments" in ObamaCare: "They wanted to get the seven million by March 31 – unlikely they'll get there....How important are the next couple of weeks, and...if they get to six, can they spin that as a success, or is this baked in as a failure?"
King later pointed out that "even if they get some policy numbers that point them toward success – maybe not where they wanted to get, but close to that – can they change the political dynamic out in the country? Because if you go to these key states, it seems like ObamaCare is still a liability." Despite this, New Day anchor John Berman still trumpeted the five million figure: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
A useful rule of thumb for discerning what liberals actually think about any given policy emanating from the Obama administration -- wait a few minutes after their initial gushing. Usually the gush continues indefinitely, but unexpected candor will occasionally surface.
An example of this curious dynamic was heard on libtalker Bill Press's radio show March 14 during a discussion with one of his guests, Huffington Post reporter Dave Jamieson. (Audio clips after the jump)
On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt on MSNBC, Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times showed that she is one of the many liberal media members entranced by President Obama’s appearance on the Web series Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. Witt asked about those who criticized the president for demeaning the office by going on the show, and Sweet let it be known that she didn’t agree with the critics. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
The D.C. bureau chief for the president's hometown paper proclaimed:
One of the more humorous attempts at furious spin this weekend occurred over at the New York Times. Jonathan Martin and Ashley Parker somehow managed to cover how association with President Barack Obama is becoming “poisonous” to Democratic Party candidates in this fall's elections without identifying or even acknowledging the existence of the primary reason for his toxicity — namely his repeated guarantees, now all proven false, that "If you like your plan, doctor, medical provider, and prescription drug regimen, you can keep them, period."
Martin and Parker claim that the Dems' biggest hurdles are HealthCare.gov's awful rollout and the administration's inept marketing of Obamacare (HT Powerline; bolds are mine):
"Just 11 percent of young African-Americans say that life is better for them under Obama. You know what that means? Young African-Americans are racist!" snarked NewsBusted host Jodi Miller in the March 14 edition of the NewsBusters comedy original. Hey, Jodi, don't give MSNBC any ideas!
National Public Radio, pot-smoking Californians, and the city of Detroit are other targets of NewsBusted's Jodi Miller in the latest edition of the NewsBusters comedy original. [watch the video below the page break]
Radio libtalker and MSNBC action hero Ed Schultz used to be conservative, as he'll occasionally remind his audience. Earlier this week on his radio show, he lapsed back.
The occasion was a discussion with a caller over President Obama's apparent support for the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade pact that would involve the U.S., Canada, Mexico and nine other nations in South America and Asia. (Audio after the jump)
Longtime CBS reporter Bill Plante gave an interview to Steve Johnson at his hometown Chicago Tribune and discussed how we face a “state-run media” in recent years. It began under Bush, he suggested.
“He was neither as stupid or as disconnected as people thought, not at all. If he saw somebody leaking he didn't like it,” Plante said. “And this president doesn't like it any more than that.” He said it’s “just a lot harder” to get information now from squabbling camps inside the White House staff. So Plante made waves last year when he said Obama was undercutting the First Amendment and defining what the news was:
This week, anchors and reporters practically fell over themselves laughing at Barack Obama’s Funny or Die collaboration with comedian Zach Galifianikis as they hailed the ObamaCare promotional video was “great” and urged viewers “you gotta check it out!”
The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks devoted a total of 16 and a half minutes to the fake interview, but the reason Obama had to do the video? The horrible ObamaCare enrollment numbers, particularly among millenials? How much time did that get? [Video after the jump]
Talking to Donald Trump on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer complained about the Celebrity Apprentice host and CPAC speaker criticizing President Obama's poor handling of the Ukranian crisis: "You've been critical of the President and his handling of the situation with Ukraine and Crimea. I think you said, I'm paraphrasing here, but basically Putin was playing with or toying with Obama. That is kind of a common refrain of yours....you always think that Obama is being weak." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Trump, on to promote the 2014 Miss USA pageant set to air on NBC in June, pointed out that "a lot of other people" had been equally critical of Obama's foreign policy. Lauer countered: "What would you have done differently than he did in the days before Russian troops went into Crimea?" Trump replied: "Well, first of all, it should have never happened." Lauer pressed: " But what would you have done immediately?"
During Wednesday's edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe program, one of the main topics of discussion was the victory of Republican David Jolly over Democrat Alex Sink in the special election held on Tuesday to fill the seat in Florida's 13th congressional district that had been occupied for decades by Rep. Bill Young until the GOP official's death last year.
One guest -- Jim VandeHei, editor and co-founder of the liberal Politico website -- declared: “It’s really hard to spin” the loss because this is “bad news for the Democratic Party” as the country heads toward the midterm election in November. “Republicans suck slightly less than Democrats,” he added, “and that’s where they’re getting an advantage.” [See video below.]
Hailing him as a "Generous Guy," in this morning's "Cheat Sheet" digest [see screen capture below page break] the editors of the Daily Beast today praised President Obama for planning to "unveil a plan to force businesses to pay more overtime to millions of employees," justifying the move since the country "[faces] an economy where workers' wages have stagnated while corporate profits have taken off."
The editors explain how Mr. Obama is going about this, but fail to note any criticism from conservatives or libertarians, even as they, naturally, found a way to blame George W. Bush for the plight of fast-food wage earners: