During a Tuesday press conference at the White House, CBS's Bill Plante channeled his colleague Bob Schieffer's 2009 "open sore" pronouncement about Guantanamo Bay as he asked President Obama about an ongoing hunger strike among many of the detainees there. Plante hinted at sympathy for the prisoners as he wondered, "Is it any surprise, really, that they would prefer death rather than – have no end in sight to their confinement?"
The correspondent's leading question allowed the President to revisit the issue and call for the closure of the facility, just over three months after his administration closed the office tasked with shuttering the prison camp [audio available here; video below the jump]:
President Barack Obama will take to the podium in the White House press briefing room at 10:30 a.m. Eastern for a press conference. The occasion: today is the 100th day of his second term in office. We at NewsBusters will be watching and I'll be live-blogging the questions from reporters. Pardon my inaccuracies as I'll be transcribing on the fly.
In the comments section, leave some question that YOU would ask if you were in the room. Which questions should be asked but likely won't?
They must be paying by the word over at Politico. It's difficult to come up with another explanation as to why reporter Jonathan Martin would slog through about 3,100 words on an item entitled "Black pols stymied in Obama era." He could have easily summarized why this is the case in eight words: "Because Barack Obama is all about Barack Obama." Oh, he could have added a few more, namely "and everybody knows Barack Obama is all about Barack Obama."
Since he didn't limit himself, yours truly will note a few things Martin still left out, identify a few interesting points that were made, and then quote certain naive and/or inflammatory statements contained in Martin's mess.
On Friday's All In show on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes not only praised President Obama for being the first sitting President to speak to Planned Parenthood in the group's history, but he also seemed to lament the fact that pro-choice Democrats are not confident enough to actually use the word "abortion" more openly, as he noted that the President avoided the word during his speech.
The MSNBC host asserted that the President "made history" as he plugged the segement before a commercial break: "President Obama made history today doing something that took 97 years for a President to do. That's coming up."
At the top of Sunday's NBC Today, co-host Erica Hill cheered President Obama's performance at Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner as she announced: "Comedian-in-chief....President Obama gets lots of laughs at the White House Correspondents' Dinner." Moments later, fellow co-host Lester Holt gushed that Obama was "very, very funny...very loose." Hill agreed, suggesting the President "take that show on the road." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Following a report on how Obama "embraced his role as comedian-in-chief," Hill asked Meet the Press moderator David Gregory for his thoughts on the presidential stand-up. Gregory happily joined in the Obama praise: "I think the President did well. I mean, the President always does well. Any president does who, you know, is in a position to be sort of rooted on in many ways. And I think that's what happened last night. But I think the President was particularly on last night..." One wonders who Gregory thought had "rooted on" the President at the event heavily attended by media figures.
NBC's Chuck Todd made some stunning statements Sunday about recent revelations concerning Syria's use of chemical weapons on its people.
Appearing on Meet the Press, Todd first said the Administration regrets President Obama's claim that this would be a "red line" adding "They didn't want to go public last week that they had this early evidence" and only did so because "they knew Congress was going to get this briefing and it was all going to get out" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Barack Obama absolutely slayed at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner Saturday evening.
Early in his address to attendees, he took on CNN saying, “I admire their commitment to cover all sides of the story just in case one of them happens to be accurate” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NewsBusters readers know Ellen Ratner as the perilously liberal news analyst typically offering the left-wing views on Fox News Watch.
On Thursday, Ratner published an article titled "George W. Bush Has Saved More Lives Than Any American President" that is guaranteed to shock the heck out of you as it angers folks on her side of the aisle:
On Thursday's All In, MSNBC host Chris Hayes hinted that, if only Barack Obama had been successful in his efforts while he was a Senator, the fertilizer plant explosion in West Texas might not have happened, as the MSNBC host also suggested culpability from the Bush administration for transferring chemical plant regulation from the EPA to the Department of Homeland Security.
The MSNBC host plugged the segment at about 8:39 p.m.:
With the revelation that Syrian President Bashir al-Assad has used chemical weapons on his people, folks on both sides of the aisle are wondering if Barack Obama will keep his word that this is the red line that if crossed would require American action.
On Fox News's Special Report, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said Thursday, "What’s at stake here is whether anything that this president now says is believable around the world."
On Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC analyst Richard Wolffe -- formerly of Newsweek -- claimed that President Bush "ignored all the warnings about al-Qaeda wanting to attack the homeland" before 9/11 as he mocked Republicans for praising Bush's record of preventing terrorist attacks on U.S. soil after the 9/11 attacks. As he alluded to Republicans criticizing President Clinton for not handling al-Qaeda more aggressively during his presidency, Wolffe asserted:
There are times when I’d really like to see a liberal brain next to a conservative brain to see if there really is a physiological difference.
Consider Salon’s Joan Walsh who on MSNBC’s The Cycle Wednesday actually said the reason former President George Bush’s poll numbers are up is because President Obama is doing such a good job (video follows with transcript and commentary):
After initially airing more substantive portions of her April 15 interview with President Obama, on Wednesday, NBC Today co-host Savannah Guthrie made time to show a third part of the exchange: "...because of breaking news, we weren't able to show you yet our brief chat after that interview..." The "chat" that followed covered such hard-hitting topics as the First Lady's "mom dancing" on Jimmy Fallon, the President's own dance skills, and what viral videos he watches. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie wondered: "What did you think of her [Michelle Obama's] mom dancing?" A clip followed of the First Lady recently dancing with Late Night host Jimmy Fallon. Guthrie followed up: "Do you have dad dancing that can give it a run for its money?" The President explained: "You know, she consistently maintains, and I don't argue with her, that she's a better dancer than me....And in private, you know, I can bust a move and I think I'm pretty good."
Last week, before the Senate voted on the Manchin-Toomey gun control bill, Tavis Smiley declared that the idea that expanded background checks might not pass made him want to throw up. Well, the Senate has voted down the measure, and Smiley didn’t throw up on-camera. But he did hack up an angry rant on his PBS talk show Monday night.
The host focused on the idea that the overwhelming majority of Americans favor expanded background checks: "If there are polls and studies and surveys that show – and I’ve seen them, so I know this is true. If there are polls and studies and surveys that show that 90 percent of the American people want – or would have wanted, still want – some sort of background check, it raises the question how the president lost on this issue." [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC won't let reality get in the way of good hype. Good Morning America on Tuesday doubled down on the "airline apocalypse" allegedly caused by sequester. Reporter Matt Guttman actually lumped in weather delays with a shortage of Federal Aviation Association (FAA) air traffic controllers. On Monday, George Stephanopoulos warned of an "airport armageddon." The next day, Gutman seemed to contradict this, admitting, "[We] didn't really find an airline apocalypse." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
However, using a slight of hand, he quickly moved on: "But all those little delays, either caused by a shortage of FAA controllers or by the weather, started to snowball into delays of four and five hours." Using hyperbole almost identical to Stephanopoulos, Gutman hyperventilated, "But Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warns ABC News, we might yet see an airplane apocalypse." Airport armageddon? Airplane apocalypse? The GMA journalists offered such over-the-top alliteration, despite this concession from Gutman: "So far, several hundred flights delayed. Far less than the agency's prediction of 6,700 daily flight delays."
I wonder why President Obama feels he has the right to be outraged when legislators don't automatically roll over to his policy demands. I suspect that his moral indignation is more about personally losing than it is about policy issues themselves.
For indeed, President Obama was obviously furious when his gun control bill failed to muster sufficient votes to pass the Senate. Politico reported, "More than anything, it was an emotional blow to Obama, who was as irritated at the four members of his own party as he was at the 90 percent of Republicans who defeated the bill."
The journalists at ABC News on Monday renewed their push to promote sequester fears. Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos hyped, "Breaking this morning: Airport armageddon.Almost seven thousand flights could be delayed, today and every day, up to three hours." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The ABC morning show featured only liberal Democrat Chuck Schumer and no Republican voices.
Over on CBS This Morning, however, reporter Sharyl Attkisson explained the GOP position, featuring Republican Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania. The congressman described the automatic spending cuts that are causing furloughs of Federal Aviation Administration employees this way: "I believe [Obama is] instructing his agencies to – to do the things that inflict the most pain on the American people." ABC ignored that perspective.
Before Bill Maher's moment of sanity concerning radical Islam Friday, HBO's Real Time host took a cheap shot at the GOP.
After a brief discussion about the man that sent ricin to President Obama this week, Maher said, "He's been apprehended, he's facing jail time, and he is leading in the polls for the Republican nomination for president in 2016" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Add Anna Palmer and her blinkered editors at Politico to this week's outbreak of Fort Hood amnesia. In a piece on how the Boston bombings would affect the political scene, she asked, "Where does this leave Obama’s record on terror?" She answered herself: "President Barack Obama no longer has an unblemished record in stopping domestic terrorism."
To the Obama voters at Politico it all begins and ends at Zero Dark Thirty, and no one there can seem to have the memory of a certain terrorist mass shooting that killed 13 and wounded 30:
To be clear, this criticism is not of President Obama. It is directed at the Associated Press's Jim Kuhnhenn, who seems to think that the impact of any and all events in the nation and the world on the status of Obama's "presidency" is more important than any other consideration.
On Thursday's All Things Considered, NPR's Ari Shapiro couldn't be bothered to feature any of the religious leaders who spoke at the inter-faith service in honor of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, Instead, Shapiro zeroed in on the liberal politicians who spoke, playing five straight clips from President Obama's speech at the memorial event.
The correspondent also played up the President's speaking ability: "This was Obama the orator, a man who is famous for his ability to give a speech that, even in a time of mourning, can bring a crowd roaring to its feet."
For President Obama, this week delivered a painful double blow, with the Senate defeating his emotional campaign to pass tougher gun legislation and a pair of crude bombs at the Boston Marathon bringing terrorism back to American soil.
It was more painful to the victims of the blast in Boston, but Landler focused solely on how it made the president feel for the Senate to refuse to "break from the past on gun laws."
Brian Stelter, media reporter for the New York Times, foisted his peculiar news judgment on Fox News, weighing President Obama's petulant remarks after the defeat of his gun control plans as more newsworthy than a fire at a Texas fertilizer plant that has killed at least 12 people and injured up to 200.
When it comes to the failure of the Democratic gun control package in the U.S. Senate earlier this week, "[t]he media [have been] amplifying... with less subtlety" President Obama's gripes about the power of the NRA and a minority in the Senate supposedly scuttling the will of the American people on background checks, the Wall Street Journal editorial board noted today. But the truth of the matter, the board explained, is that Democrats have only themselves, and more specifically President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to blame.
The Journal editorial board explained how "[t]he White House demanded, and Mr. Reid agreed, that Congress should try to pass the [Manchin-Toomey background check] amendment without" the benefit of 30 hours of floor debate which "would have meant inspecting the details" of the legislation and "opened up the bill to pro-gun amendments that were likely to pass." A simple majority was needed for such a debate, the Journal notes, a threshold they could have cleared as Reid had 54 votes for his cloture motion. So why did Reid not go that route? Because it would "have boxed Mr. Reid into the embarrassing spectacle of having to later scotch a final bill because it also contained provisions that the White House loathes," the Journal argued, adding (emphases mine):