Yesterday 39 representatives from various journalist trade groups, coordinated by the Society of Professional Journalists, shot off an open letter to President Obama criticizing the "politically driven suppression of news and information about federal agencies" that has occurred on his watch. [h/t Washington Examiner]
"The stifling of free expression is happening despite your pledge on your first day in office to bring 'a new era of openness' to federal government – and the subsequent executive orders and directives which were supposed to bring such openness about," the missive lamented, going on to detail a few examples before "ask[ing] that you issue a clear directive telling federal employees they’re not only free to answer questions from reporters and the public, but actually encouraged to do so" and, moreover to:
In an interview with White House adviser Cecilia Munoz on her Wednesday 12 p.m. ET hour show, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell actually tore into the President's poor handling of the immigration crisis and his refusal to visit the border: "...the reality is that the White House has been slow to react. And that there is something to be said for presidential optics, if you will, for presidential appearances, that's part of leadership, is it not?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Moments earlier, Munoz tried to argue that there were "a whole host of activities" being undertaken by the administration to "make sure that we stay ahead of the situation." Mitchell interrupted her: "But you're not ahead of the situation. With all due respect, the reality on the ground is that the administration did not stay ahead of this."
Bartender—send a double Wyborowa with a Zoloft chaser to the nice lady at the end of the table. But seriously, relax, Mika. Four months before an election in which they are poised to triumph, congressional Republicans are not about to muddy the waters by trying to impeach President Obama.
But on today's Morning Joe, that reality did not prevent Mika Brzezinski from getting verklempt and asking for time to compose herself before introducing a segment on impeachment talk from Sarah Palin and Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst. View the amusing video after the jump.
Much like Don Quixote mistook windmills for giants and wished to do battle with them, Republicans wrongly perceive Democrats as extreme leftists and consequently work themselves into an ideological lather.
That was, essentially, one of the main points that Salon’s Paul Rosenberg made in his Saturday piece on "Tea Party phonies" pegged to the Pew Research Center’s recent study on American political polarization. Rosenberg contended, reasonably enough, that congressional Republicans as a group are far more conservative than their counterparts of fifty years ago, but also claimed strangely that congressional Democrats are, overall, no more liberal than their mid-’60s predecessors.
MSNBC host Chuck Todd assembled a panel of liberal-media veterans on his morning show “The Daily Rundown” Monday and joked that the assembled heavyweights presented “a nightmare scenario for Brent Bozell.” But what these journalists proceeded to issue was a devastating indictment of the Obama presidency and a real nightmare for this president.
Carolyn Ryan, the Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, brought up “the national funk we’re in, the sort of national malaise.” The word “malaise” is never a good word to be around if you’re the president. But for Obama, who is now seen in polls as the worst president since World War II, worse than the Master of Malaise, Jimmy Carter, it’s Kryptonite.
The press loves billionaire Warren Buffett, who can be relied to support President Barack Obama even in implausible circumstances — such as the current economy, where the "recovery" following the 2008-2009 traditionally defined recession has been worse than any since World War II, and barely better than what was seen during the awful post-Depression 1930s.
Thus far, the press has managed to ignore one of the implications of the first quarter's serious contraction. One more quarter of economic contraction could mean that the end of the recession, as Buffett himself has defined it, failed to permanently arrive.
All three network morning shows on Tuesday noted how President Obama agreed to meet with Governor Rick Perry to discuss the illegal immigration crisis, all labeling the Texas Republican to be the "harshest" and "strongest" "big critic" of the commander-in-chief's mishandling of the chaos on the border. The only problem was that none of the broadcasts featured a single second of Perry actually voicing that criticism. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's Good Morning America, White House correspondent Jon Karl summarized Perry's recent condemnation of Obama's lack of action on the issue: "Perry has been one of the harshest critics here. On This Week he said he doesn't believe the President really cares whether or not the border is secure." Co-host George Stephanopoulos chimed in: "Yeah, he suggested there might even be a conspiracy to have more kids come over."
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's Kate Bolduan all but lobbied Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine to support President Obama's multi-billion dollar request to deal with the ongoing illegal immigration crisis: "There's an immediate crisis on the southwest border. The President is going to ask for $2 billion....He says it's emergency funds to help stem...the flow of immigrants coming in. Can you support giving the President these emergency funds?"
Bolduan especially went after the Republican congressman after he slammed the Obama administration's draconian press restrictions for a planned media day at an immigration facility in Oklahoma: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's New Day, liberal CNN commentator Paul Begala attacked Rick Perry as a "dope" and a "demagogue" during a discussion of the Texas Republican criticizing President Barack Obama for not visiting the border to see the illegal immigration crisis in person.
Begala went on to insult Perry's intelligence: "I mean, if he's going to pick Rick Perry's brain, that is the very definition of slim pickings."
CNN co-anchor Kate Bolduan reacted by exclaiming, "Ohhh, Paul!" and a bit later admonished him for going over the top as she brought in fellow guest and Republican strategist Kevin Madden. Bolduan:
New York magazine political writer Jonathan Chait isn’t a big fan of reform conservatives, but he did comment in a Sunday post that their “worldview,” unlike that of the Republican base, isn’t expressed as “a series of furious scrawlings on mental chalkboards.” (Presumably, Chait figures that the reformicons favor a crisp PowerPoint presentation.)
Chait lauds the reformers for implicitly rejecting the “apocalypticism” of movement conservatives, which holds, in his words, “that Barack Obama’s agenda poses a dire threat to the fabric of American life, that a reversal must be sweeping in its scope and undertaken immediately.”
Judging from an email interview with Marisa Guthrie of The Hollywood Reporter, Palin has already given some serious thought regarding how to revitalize the weekday morning series: give it “a punch of reality and a voice of reason from America's heartland.”
The economy is going gangbusters but Americans are not psyched about it like they should be because President Obama isn't doing a great sales job. That and Republican businessmen are sitting around in their boardrooms conspiring how they can "talk down" the economy and make us all think it sucks.
That, in a nutshell, is how Hardball host Chris Matthews explained away President Obama's poor approval on the economy with the public on his July 7 program. After hailing the sunny optimism of Democratic presidents past like FDR and JFK and noting that Republican President Ronald Reagan evinced the same optimism with his 1984 reelection campaign's "Morning in America" TV spots, Matthews asked guest and former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford (D-Tenn.) [listen to MP3 audio here; video follows page break]:
A Quinnipiac poll that listed Barack Obama as the worst president since World War II had the ladies of ABC’s The View quite upset. On Monday’s show Jenny McCarthy defended Obama’s terrible ranking by asking “isn’t the sitting president always considered the worst president?” She then griped that Obama has had to deal with the “worst Congress ever.”
Sherri Shepherd spoke up for all the “happy” people on ObamaCare and guest-host Ana Ortiz played the race card as the Devious Maids actress complained: “It’s 1400 people and 73 percent of those people were white. I have never been asked a poll question ever.” (video after the jump)
Fox News contributor and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer made a very interesting and logical correlation Friday. The press has predictably failed to make the connection or even to relay Krauthammer's point, simply because it leads to the default assumption that conservatives were right on an important economic issue.
To be clear, the point Krauthammer and National Review Online's Robert Stein made on Thursday isn't directly provable. But the fact that an acceleration in job growth and a significant reduction in the unemployment rate have occurred in the six months since extended unemployment benefits expired is hard to explain away as some kind of lucky coincidence — especially given the endless blather of "weather" excuses the press and the administration have made about the economy in general since early this year. Video and a transcript follow the jump.
In the latest White House press release disguised as analysis at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, AP stenographer Paul Wiseman sang the praises of this nation's "humming" job market and its "steadily rising" growth as the economy is "finally showing the vigor that Americans have long awaited." Wow.
Of course, the White House — er, Wiseman — never mentioned the following (to name just a few): two straight months (April and May) of real declines in consumer purchases; the seasonally adjusted decline of 523,000 in full-time employment paired with an increase of 799,000 part-time jobs in June; April’s and May's trade imbalance coming in worse than March’s, which was already very high; shipments of durable goods barely budging in April and May; factory orders falling in May; or May's flat construction spending. It got worse, as Wiseman concocted five reasons why the U.S. economy is a "world beater." Excerpts from Paul's pathetic prose follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
On Friday's World News on ABC, correspondent David Wright filed a report in which he portrayed opponents of illegal immigration in Murrieta, California, as "anti-immigrant," with the ABC correspondent blurring together the issues of legal and illegal immigration.
The report provocatively included a soundbite of an unidentified activist complaining that the people of Murrieta look "xenophobic" and "racist": "People probably believe that this is a xenophobic, racist group of folks down here."
Chuck Todd, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Political Director and host of The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, did his best to separate the current immigration crisis from the overall immigration debate taking place in our country.
During an appearance on Meet the Press on Sunday, July 6, Todd maintained that “we have immigration law conflation going on here. This crisis is separate from the immigration issue that’s been debated here in Washington but it’s been conflated obviously back and forth.” [See video below.]
Former Saturday Night Live co-workers Dennis Miller and Dana Carvey are touring together this summer. On Sunday, The Washington Post published an interview with Carvey as the two head to the Kennedy Center in the nation’s capital for a show on July 12.
While Miller now delights the right with a radio show and humorous appearances on Fox News, Carvey claims “I ride both sides.” But it became clear he doesn’t mock Barack Obama, because somehow he’s so much more serious than our other presidents and presidential candidates:
Many of the claims made for, and sometimes by, Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign were amazingly lofty, hyperbolic, or both, even by political standards. Remember the columnist who speculated that Obama might be “a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being…who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet”? Remember Obama’s own “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal”?
In a Wednesday post, Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum asserted that back then, at least two persons weren’t riding the Obama wave. One was Drum himself, who felt conservatives made Obama out to be much more messianic-sounding than he was. Drum thought the Obama of ’08 was a typical Democrat who gave “soaring speeches” because “[t]hat's what presidential candidates do.” Now, however, Drum sees that “millions of Obama voters really believed all that boilerplate rhetoric.”
A prominent exhibit explaining why the nation's trust in its media establishment has dropped to precipitous lows would likely include Tom Cohen's Thursday afternoon column at CNN expressing befuddlement over President Barack Obama's unpopularity.
After all, Cohen's headline crows that under Obama we have "more jobs" and "less war" (!), so there's a "disconnect" which must be explained. To give you an idea of how pathetic his attempt is, he managed not to mention any form of the words "immigration," "scandal," or "contraction" (as in, the first-quarter decline in GDP) while pretending to present a complete analysis. Meanwhile, one of CNN's embedded headline links to another story ("Obama to Republicans: 'So sue me'") openly mocks Cohen, doing a better job of explaining the "disconnect" in six words than anything he wrote in his first 37 paragraphs. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):
The identity of President Obama's nominee to head the scandal-plagued, bloated mess known as the Department of Veterans Affairs was known on Sunday.
Very few news outlets (the Fox news item just linked is an exception) noted that Obama's pick was particularly odd because McDonald's run as CEO at Procter & Gamble was not considered a success. He was essentially forced into retirement after four years at the helm in May 2013.
On Thursday, all three broadcast news networks continued to ignore the latest outrage over ObamaCare and the Veterans Affairs scandal. Instead, CBS This Morning chose to file a 3 minute and 26 seconds report on what Malia Obama’s plans were for her 16th birthday on Friday.
Two audits released Tuesday produced scathing critiques of the health insurance marketplaces under ObamaCare while a top official at the Veterans Affairs Administration resigned Wednesday after refusing to take serious the early reports from whistle-blowers who brought the massive scandal to light. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
ABC and NBC on Wednesday night and Thursday morning avoided a bleak new poll labeling Barack Obama the "worst president" since World War II. Only CBS This Morning on Thursday bothered to cover the story, allowing 21 seconds to the dour forecast. Guest co-host Anthony Mason explained, "Since World War II ended, 12 men have been President of the United States. A new Quinnipiac University poll puts President Obama on the bottom of that list." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalist added, "Thirty three percent of Americans rate him as the worst President." Only 13 percent said Richard Nixon. Not mentioned by Mason was the fact that the survey also shows that 45 percent think America would be better off if Romney had been elected. Only 38 percent say worse. Obama's overall approval rating stands at 40 percent. In contrast, ABC and NBC have played up the "worst" label when it applied to George W. Bush.
Julie Hirschfeld Davis's recent New York Times stories, featuring President Obama letting himself off the White House leash, have given the president free rein to mock in rambling fashion his Republican opponents in the runup to the congressional elections.
Barack Obama treats the press like a spoiled child treats his parents. Despite the pampering, he just keeps complaining about them until he gets his way. As America tires of his inflated sense of self-importance while the economy limps and his foreign policy crumbles, Obama travels around the country complaining that the mean old media isn’t complimentary enough.
At an event with big donors in May in Chicago, Obama lamented that he – the very essence of reason and nonpartisanship -- is lumped in with a fanatical Congress in a tale of gridlocked Washington.
President Obama appears to have forgotten -- or ignored -- why we have elections. One reason is to stop, or slow down, an agenda the public doesn't like.
When polls began reflecting buyer's remorse about Mr. Obama in 2010, voters elected a Republican majority in the House of Representatives and might well have done the same in the Senate in 2012 were it not for some weak GOP candidates, especially in Nevada and Delaware.
While all three networks played clips of Barack Obama on Monday blaming the GOP for the border crisis, they have been reluctant to cite the President’s own failure to enforce immigration laws as a cause for thousands of immigrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexican border.
From June 8 through the morning of July 1 ABC, CBS and NBC have offered a total of 45 stories on the border crisis, on their evening and morning shows, and in only 5 (11 percent) have they brought up Obama immigration policies as a possible cause for the most recent surge of illegal immigrants, including unaccompanied children, crossing the border. (Video after the jump)
In May, Americans were horrified by the scandal enveloping the Veterans Affairs and the media seemed to agree. World News anchor Diane Sawyer denounced the secret lists and substandard care as a "national outrage." But as the story grew and evolved in June, ABC, CBS and NBC seem to have already moved past the "outrage." In June, the networks allowed a scant 30 minutes, compared to 180 minutes in May. This is a drop of 84 percent.
According an analysis by the Media Research Center, ABC devoted 28 minutes in May to the VA controversy, but only five in June. CBS offered 78 minutes in May, but only 15 the following month. NBC's coverage dropped off a cliff in June, falling from 73 minutes to just ten. Journalists lost interest in the story even as big developments kept occurring. Among the examples:
In an MSNBC interview today, Nina Totenberg, National Public Radio's longtime Supreme Court watcher, attempted to portray the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision as possibly wide-ranging, and even advised viewers that Anthony Kennedy's presence on the court may be the only thing preventing it from bringing in an era of sex and "foreign origin" discrimination by "hundreds and hundreds and thousands and thousands of companies."
Video follows the jump (HT Hot Air). Be sure to hang in there until the end, where Totenberg stammers as she appears to be grasping for more fuel to throw onto the fire, and ends up ridiculously claiming that a person's "foreign origin" may become a basis upon which employers can discriminate (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On Monday's This Hour, CNN's John Berman underlined that the Supreme Court's ruling against the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate was "another setback to the administration, in what has been a difficult year for this White House." Berman later asserted that "this has to be very frustrating for them. They feel blocked politically, legally, foreign policy-wise. Pretty much, everywhere they look now, they're getting blocked."
Co-anchor Michaela Pereira also played up how all three female justices dissented in the Hobby Lobby case and forwarded the left's spin about the Court's ruling: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]