Breaking story from the New York Times: Obama attended a pretentious dinner party in Rome back in March, hob-nobbing with particle physicists and captains of industry. Reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis, whose articles on Obama outside the White House give the president free rein to insult the GOP, on Tuesday slobbered over Obama the intellectual, and his fabulous dinner guests from all over the world, drinking Drappier Champagne and talking of "the importance of understanding science, the future of the universe, how sports brings people together, and many other things," according to party hostess Linda Douglass.
Douglass, an Obama-defending reporter at CBS and ABC who joined the Obama campaign in 2008 and became an Obama-care spokesperson, is the wife of John Phillips, U.S. ambassador to Rome. The Times left out Douglass's journalism past, merely calling her a former Obama aide.
Rather than spending his two weeks off developing new ways to insult conservatives, Stephen Colbert returned from vacation brandishing a tired favorite: racism. According to the Comedy Central host, “conservatives, like myself, have supported a unitary executive and the use of executive orders in the past” however, there is something “shady” about Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.
Just in case the host wasn’t making it clear enough, he played a clip of Attorney General Holder describing the “certain level of vehemence” and “racial animus” directed at him and the president. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
In the early 1970s, the press obsessed about President Nixon's alleged "isolation," especially as the Watergate scandal, which in an objective lookback has to be seen as relative child's play compared to what we're seeing now, unfolded. Proof that Nixon's "isolation" had been a constant media theme in previous months is found in an NBC Nightly News report on May 10, 1973, when a White House staff reorganization was characterized by reporter Richard Valeriani as "Nixon moving to end President('s) isolation."
On Fox News's "The Five" on Friday, Democrat Bob Beckel relayed what he said was an anonymous comment by a person in a position to know about how cut off from external advice President Barack Obama is. It seems arguably creepier than any degree of isolation Nixon may have ever had, for reasons which I will explain below. Let's see what Beckel had to say following co-host Andrea Tantaros's comment that Obama has a "Stepford staff just sort of nodding at whatever he says," and Greg Gutfeld's assertion that Obama "doesn't have anybody in his circle" with the nerve or access to intervene (bolds are mine):
A Justin Lynch column ("Wartime Press") originally posted at the Weekly Wonk and republished at Time.com with a more foreboding title ("Bloggers, Surveillance and Obama’s Orwellian State") really ends up being an attempted justification by those Lynch quoted for having a close alliance between the government and "journalists" with "professional standards." Thom Shanker, the Pentagon correspondent for the New York Times, gets the award for the most Orwellian quote in the litter, which will come after the jump. Its prelude is his belief that "The government really needs to get its message out to the American people, and it knows that the best way to do that is by using the American news media." Excerpts follow.
The Huffington Post happily ran an Associated Press analysis by Josh Lederman that simply regurgitated Obama’s latest stump-speech complaint that the other side represents cynicism, but he still represents hope. The headline was "How 'hope' became Obama's fight against cynicism." Lederman never acknowledges the sorry state of Obama’s polling – that this is the lament of a man who’s lost all his shiny pre-presidential media gloss.
“With a mix of alarm and dismay, Obama has started musing about the dangers of cynicism in nearly every major public appearance,” Lederman warned. “The cautionary note has showed up in speeches to students and civil rights groups, at Democratic fundraisers — even in his meeting with Pope Francis.”
At the Associated Press on Friday afternoon, Andrew Taylor, who it should be noted covers Congress and is not routinely on the economics or business beat, relayed an Obama administration prediction that economic growth in 2014 will come in at 2.6 percent.
Taylor noted that this estimate, lowered from 3.3 percent, came about because of "the unexpected 2.9 percent drop in gross domestic product in the first quarter of this year when unusually severe weather dinged the economy." Besides failing to note that the contraction was an annualized drop (the actual contraction was about 0.7 percent), he didn't tell readers how absurdly strong growth will have to be during the rest of the year to hit that 2.6 percent target; it works out to an annualized 4.5 percent during each of this year's remaining unreported quarters. Perhaps the AP reporter isn't economically astute enough to recognize how unlikely that is — or worse, he recognized it and let it pass unchallenged.
For a few brief seconds on Friday night, Bill Maher made sense. Maher, who could be described as a “useless Obama hack” – after all, he’s a big donor to Obama and a constant defender of him who chalks up any and all criticism of Obama to racism – condemned liberals, on one subject at least, as “useless Obama hacks without a shred of intellectual honesty.”
What prompted this brief trip into reality? A report on how the NSA intercepted and stored “useless” online conversations that were “intimate” and “voyeuristic.” Maher asserted: “I just want to say, if this was happening under Bush, liberals would be apoplectic.”
One of the reasons President Barack Obama and the left can continue to make their cherished "budget stalemate" arguments against conservatives and Republicans is that the establishment press has memory-holed tax increases, including "the largest tax increase in the past two decades," which have already taken place. It now acts as if taxes on "the wealthy," which are really taxes on "high-income earners," have never been increased during Dear Leader's administration.
Josh Boak's coverage of the June budget surplus yesterday at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, is a case in point. After regaling readers with the administration-manipulated recent history of budget deficits (without mentioning the manipulation, of course), Boak uncritically relayed the Democrats' version of the argument that the standoff between the White House and the House of Representatives is over "sharp cuts on needed government programs" versus "higher taxes on the wealthy." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):
On Friday's Hardball, Chris Matthews and Howard Dean slammed the supposedly "lunatic" Republican Party for opposing President Obama's $3.7 billion request to deal with the ongoing crisis at the U.S-Mexico border. Dean likened the political stalemate over this issue and in general in Washington to McCarthyism in the 1950s: "It reminds me of the 'who lost China' debate...where one side is frothing at the mouth and finding communists under every bed; and the other side – including some reasonable Republicans...actually trying to run the country."
Matthews endorsed the former Vermont governor's take, and targeted fiscal conservatives/the Tea Party as somehow akin to Mao's Red Guards: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Eleanor Clift of The Daily Beast profiled former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, and suggested she’s best known for asserting “the Obama administration is the most secretive of any she has covered, and in 22 years in Washington, that covers a lot of White Houses. She got plenty of grief from President Obama’s top aides in the aftermath, and while other journalists made the same observation, Abramson’s words carried weight, coming as they did from the prestigious newspaper’s first female top editor.”
Clift added “Two months after leaving the Times, in case anyone is wondering, she isn’t backing down from that assertion, but backing it up with concrete examples and inside anecdotes."
On Friday, only CBS This Morning covered the latest developments on House Speaker John Boehner's lawsuit against President Obama over a 2013 executive order delaying the ObamaCare employer mandate. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump] NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America completely ignored Boehner's office releasing the House resolution to sue the President.
However, those same morning shows did find time to cover a lawsuit against online retailer Amazon on behalf of customers being charged for accidental purchases. On Thursday evening, NBC Nightly News and ABC's World News similarly skipped the congressional move, while CBS Evening News devoted a mere twenty-two seconds to the story.
Of the Big Three network newscasts for this evening, only CBS's Evening News covered how Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) threatened lawsuit against President Obama came a step closer to fruition today.
I'm sure that many will pass off what Reuters and Yahoo News have just been caught doing as some kind of an innocent mistake, and perhaps it was. But isn't odd how often those "mistakes" so often end up giving President Obama and the left more credit than they deserve?
Yesterday, a Reuters story at Yahoo News was headlined "President Obama Visits the Border." That's a pretty remarkable headline, given Obama's quite widely known refusal — except perhaps by low-information Yahoo readers — to visit the Texas-Mexico border or to visit facilities where Unaccompanied Alien Children are being detained by the Border Patrol. The headline, before it was corrected to "President Obama Visits Austin," along with evidence that Google News was still carrying the original headline until just a short time ago, follow the jump.
Want to be nominated for an Emmy? Just get Barack Obama on your show. The internet show Between Two Ferns was honored on Thursday for the category "Outstanding Short-Format." The six and a half minute episode featured the President joking with host/actor Zach Galifianakis as he promoted ObamaCare. According to the Washington Post, it would be the third award connected to the President.
Post writer Veronica Toney explained, "President Obama has already won two Grammy Awards for best spoken word album for 2008's 'The Audacity of Hope” and 2006's 'Dreams from My Father.'” In March, the networks swooned over Obama's appearance with Galifianakis.
Sheesh! Talk about being blind to really bad optics.
You have to wonder why the Obama administration allowed the release of two Reuters photos of Obama laughing during yesterday's border crises meeting which you can see after the jump. From the reaction of the Democrat Underground and the Daily Kos, it is easy to see why. Because Texas Governor Rick Perry looked unamused as Barack Obama was laughing, they (and probably the adminstration) thought his discomfort was just hilarious while overlooking the fact that Obama was acting as if he didn't take the situation seriously. Although the DUers and Kossacks were generally chuckling over the photos, at least one Kossack was well aware of what the real public reaction would be. First let us watch the DUers mock Rick Perry for not finding laughter amusing during the border crises meeting.
In his defense of President Obama last night, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes made the bizarre case that too much security is the real problem at the border. The All In host used his opening segment on the July 9 edition of the program to hammer Republicans for their critique of the President's response to the border crisis.
Hayes first cited a few liberal talking points arguing that Obama really is tough on immigration. He contended that “the border has never been more secured than it is now. In some ways, the humanitarian crisis along the southwest border is actually a result of that security.” [MP3 audio here; video below]
Talking to political director John Dickerson on Thursday's CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O'Donnell tried to dismiss Texas Governor Rick Perry calling the current border crisis President Obama's "Katrina moment": "Is there some truth to that or is there, as we say in Texas, is that a bunch of bull?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Dickerson flippantly replied: "Well, you know, the Katrina moment since that disaster has gotten kind of thrown around, it's become something of a political cliche. I think this might be the President's maybe twentieth Katrina moment."
Washington Monthly blogger Ed Kilgore has found some people he thinks conservatives hate even more than they hate President Obama: the thousands of Central American children trying to enter the U.S. at its border with Mexico. After all, righties are merely obsessed with making Obama at least as unpopular in his second term as George W. Bush was in his, but they want to “immediately ship [the] children back across the border in cattle cars,” or maybe just shoot them. But Obama's apparently so much more compassionate than Bush.
At the Politico Wednesday afternoon, Jonathan Topaz covered Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar's sharp criticism of President Barack Obama's failure to visit the nation's southern border, or for that matter any of the detention centers set up for "Unaccompanied Alien Children" (the Department of Homeland Security's term).
The Politico is where many stories the rest of the establishment press would rather not cover go to die; they then appear to say, "Well, the Politico covered it, so we don't have to." During the Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 presidencies, the press went with saturation coverage of Republicans who criticized a president from their party. The degree of coverage in Cuellar's situation is quite the opposite, even though, as we shall see, the White House has contacted him in an attempt to convince him to shut up.
So just who is in charge in Barack Obama's White House?
ABC's Jonathan Karl on Tuesday asked White House press secretary why the letter from the White House to Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) inviting him to a meeting with President Obama regarding the Texas border crisis was from Valerie Jarrett. While it's routine for staff to draft such letters for elected officials, matters of such magnitude and to other elected officials of stature are almost always in the name of the principle. The president's spokesman, when asked why the letter was from Jarrett rather than the President, said "Valerie spends a lot of time maintaining relationships with governors around the country" on behalf of the President. (Video below)
MSNBC host Michael Eric Dyson on Wednesday lashed out at Sarah Palin, accusing the conservative of committing "treason" against Barack Obama by calling for the President's impeachment. The guest host of the Ed Show first praised the President for "his tireless effort to help [illegal children who have crossed the border]." Dyson then fumed, "The President's push towards positive and crucial change was met with treasonous accusations." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
During the last administration, however, Dyson called for the impeachment of George W. Bush. In a highly edited clip of Palin on Fox News, the Republican insisted, "Impeachment is a message that has to be sent to our President that we're not going to put up with lawlessness... I really want Congress to do its job, the constitutional power that they have to halt an imperial presidency."
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]