MSNBC's Touré Neblett, who recently condoned consumers lying to corporations like Amazon to get discounts to which they aren't entitled, really needs to stay away from Twitter — or have someone screen his tweets.
On Tuesday, he tweeted (HT Twitchy) that "Many in poverty are working poor w two jobs. So 'jobs' is an ineffective anti poverty program." Note that he didn't indicate that "jobs" might not be the whole answer, which in some instances may be the case. He instead asserted that the idea of creating jobs and encouraging poor people to get them is "ineffective" as a way to get them out of poverty.
During the 2012 presidential campaign, somehow each and every Republican presidential contender had a sink thrown at him (or her) via what reporters call “investigative journalism.” Every time a Republican rose in the polls, the media tried to knock him or her down, like a game of Whack-a-Mole.
The very last man standing was Mitt Romney, who didn’t receive the official “Gotcha!” from The Washington Post until May, with a 5,000-word opus on “Teenage Haircutgate.” That’s why it’s so strange that the national media would decide so early it was time for journalistic carpet bombing of the Great Squishy Northeastern Hope of 2016, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Select the scandal(s) that affects the most people and has long-term implications for the country in a time of war, a country with a struggling economy that last month produced the weakest job growth in decades. (According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly 92 million Americans are no longer in the labor force.)
We at NewsBusters have demonstrated over the years that the liberal media are all too eager to flog Republican scandals to death while ignoring or downplaying Democratic scandals. MSNBC contributor Jonathan Alter provided a case study of that bias during an appearance on Sunday’s episode of Disrupt with Karen Finney.
While discussing Chris Christie’s bridge controversy, Alter brought up the Obama administration’s IRS scandal. Said Alter to the host, a former Democratic National Committee communications director: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
When the Supreme Court sat yesterday to hear the matter of NLRB v. Noel Canning, virtually every justice was highly skeptical of the Obama administration's claim that President Obama's January 2012 "recess appointments" were a valid exercise of his constitutional authority. After all, the president made the appointments when the U.S. Senate was technically in session -- a minutes-long pro forma session, but in session nonetheless. Even former Obama solicitor general Elena Kagan, no conservative she, seemed critical of the White House's arguments.
And yet when MSNBC's Adam Serwer covered the story for the Lean Forward network's website, he predictably spun the matter as the conservative wing of the Court leading the way for an outdated, dust-covered "horse and buggy" reading of the national charter. "Supremes may let GOP block Obama recess noms," blared an early msnbc.com teaser headline, although that misleading, inaccurate headline was changed shortly thereafter to read "Supreme Court questions Obama's power," a slightly less erroneous headline but one which cast's the dispute in personal terms, not constitutional and institutional ones. (see below the page break for screen captures). Here's how Serwer opened his story (emphasis mine):
Rita Braver badgered former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on the January 12, 2013 edition of CBS's Sunday Morning over his new memoir which, in her words, "has created such turmoil in Washington." Braver even used Gates's own words against him: "In your book, you say that one of your favorite adages is, never miss a good chance to shut up. And I wonder if you think, maybe, you violated your own advice here."
The correspondent's hardball treatment of the former Obama cabinet official contrasts with her kid glove treatment of Attorney General Eric Holder during a September 12, 2010 interview for the morning show: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Following up on Friday's awful jobs report from the government (only 74,000 seasonally adjusted jobs added, with the unemployment rate dropping to 6.7 percent only because adults continued to leave the workforce), the Asssociated Press's Christopher Rugaber tried to search for excuses.
To its credit, the headline at Rugaber's report didn't blatantly dissemble like the one at Bloomberg, which, in revising the title of an underrated Stevie Wonder song from the 1970s ("Blame It on the Sun"), blamed it on the cold and snow: "Old Man Winter Put a Chill on U.S. Labor Market at End of 2013." But the AP reporter predictably failed to entertain the possibility that Obamacare's virtual chaos, plan cancellations, and impending 2014 premium hikes might have thrown a great deal of sand into the job market's gears, even though a virtual halt in healthcare hiring stuck out like a sore thumb. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
The people at NBC News and Meet the Press should be ashamed of themselves.
With all that happened last week - a bombshell new book released by a former Defense Secretary as well as the worst jobs report in years - David Gregory and Company decided to devote more than half of their show Sunday to the truly earth-shattering Bridgegate scandal that directly impacted a small percentage of the nation.
During Wednesday night's edition of Piers Morgan Live on the Cable News Network, a panel of four media analysts joined their liberal host in agreement that The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News -- and Divided a Country, a new book written by New York Magazine reporter Gabriel Sherman, will not have much impact on readers' views of that cable network.
“People who are skeptical of Fox News are going to read this book and are going to be sure, once and for all, that Fox News is an arm of the Republican Party,” said media critic Brian Stetler of the New York Times. However, Amy Holmes -- a host on TheBlaze TV -- asserted that the book is filled with “pretty thin gruel.”
"Republican lawmakers Thursday blamed the Obama administration for the stunning resurgence of Iraq’s al-Qaeda franchise and called on the White House to take assertive steps to help Baghdad beat back militant uprisings in the country’s west." That's how Ernesto Londono opened his January 10 story "Republicans blame Obama administration for al-Qaeda resurgence in Iraq," a front-page-worthy story which Washington Post editors buried on page A10.
By contrast, the Post ran not one but two Chris Christie bridge-scandal stories on the Friday edition's front page. The other stories rounding out the front page centered on efforts to hash out a long-term security agreement with Afghanistan, the Washington Redskins announcing their new head coach, and privacy/data-collection concerns from dashboard computers in new cars.
On Friday CNBC correspondent John Harwood tweeted that Chris Christie’s traffic scandal was “durably damaging” because it was a “direct govt-on-citizen crime - not indirect like graft, not personal (sex). Extremely rare.”
But when Harwood was accused by Twitter user Eric Swanson that he and others in media were being tougher on Christie’s traffic jam controversy than Barack Obama’s scandals, Harwood responded that “On Obama/IRS, no one’s found anything close to ‘time for traffic problems/got it’ connecting the WH.”
Perhaps Harwood just hasn’t been looking hard enough on the “durably damaging” IRS-Tea Party scandal, because there have been e-mails that have tied-in White House officials.
Mere minutes after New Jersey governor Chris Christie said during a press conference on Thursday that he was firing deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly for lying about her role in closing lanes of the George Washington Bridge, many online posters compared the Republican official's swift action with the utter lack of movement by president Barack Obama, who has yet to terminate anyone in his administration, even if that person is embroiled in scandal.
Several comments included barbs aimed at the “mainstream media” for reporters' wall-to-wall coverage of the Christie scandal while allowing Obama officials to avoid any punishment. “To confused journalists, what @GovChristie is doing right now is called 'leadership,'” noted @derekahunter. “Google it, then look at the White House & feel shame.”
In a strange way, you have to hand it to Timothy Noah. The msnbc.com contributing writer has found a way to twist the Chris Christie bridge scandal into a blanket indictment of "bipartisanship" and serve as an rally cry t to liberal MSNBC fans of the moral superiority of full-throated, left-wing Democratic partisanship. After all, the Lean Forward network is convinced it needs to energize Obama's base to limit the damage in this year's midterm elections.
The Labor Department released absolutely horrendous employment numbers Friday that are going to be difficult for the Obama-loving media to positively spin.
Moments after the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that only 74,000 jobs had been created in December with the unemployment rate declining due to almost 500,000 people leaving the job market, Christine Romans on CNN's New Day called the report “a big miss,” “a real shocker,” “a big disappointment,” and concluded that the jobless rate “fell in part because people simply gave up” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As the Hillary-loving media predictably pile on embattled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R), they’ve completely forgotten how many scandals the current White House was involved in last year that the President claimed he had no knowledge of and his always dutiful press backed his play.
With this in mind, NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno on Thursday began his opening monologue on the growing Bridgegate joking, “Pundits are saying this could hurt [Christie’s] 2016 presidential campaign. The ironic thing is now that Christie is denying everything he sounds even more presidential (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Lee set about spinning the results of the latest Quinnipiac Poll, which shows President Obama sitting atop a 41 percent approval rating, up from a low of 38 percent in December, but still a net negative approval rating. Lee used the slight uptick in approval as a springboard to forecast that the president's economically liberal spending agenda could change his and his party's fortunes (emphasis mine):
In the competition for most obvious Obama administration apparatchik at the Los Angeles Times (i.e., the biggest tool in the toolbox), Doyle McManus has to be considered a front-runner.
As I noted on Tuesday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), McManus, in a Sunday column, contended that "President Obama has run into his share of controversies, but none that quite reached scandalhood." He even petulantly asked, "Does anyone even remember the IRS flap?" McManus was apparently so unconcerned about being seen as inconsistent that he didn't bother telling readers that he held exactly opposite positions on at least two Obama administration "scandals" — that's what he called them – just eight months ago (HT to frequent commenter Gary Hall).
Since Wednesday was the 50th anniversary of president Lyndon Johnson’s announcement of an “unconditional war on poverty” during his State of the Union address in 1964, MSNBC used the occasion to promote a poll conducted by a far-left think tank to assert that a government program providing “affordable access to quality child care could help lift millions of Americans out of poverty.”
According to an article by Morgan Whitaker on MSNBC.com, “a vast majority of people polled in a new survey” conducted by the Center for American Progress “includes results from focus groups and a major survey of more than 2,000 American adults.”
ABC, CBS, and NBC ballyhooed former Defense Secretary Robert Gates's attacks on President Obama and other high government officials on their Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts. NBC's Brian Williams and CBS's Norah O'Donnell also trumpeted the former Cabinet official's "devastating critique" of the President in his upcoming memoir. All three networks also played up Gates's self-identification as a Republican.
NBC's Today and CBS This Morning brought on former Obama administration officials on Wednesday morning. Both guests did their best to counter their former colleague. Matt Lauer touted David Axelrod's "important perspective" on the issue, and asked, "Did you get a sense that he was a guy who...was disgruntled in any way?" The CBS morning show turned to former chief of staff Bill Daley, who slammed Gates for going public: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of Republican congressional members who have spoken of the possibility of impeaching President Obama, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank labeled such talk "tribal politics" and compared it to a "revenge killing" against the President because he won the election.
After host Al Sharpton played clips of several Republican members of Congress from a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Milbank dismissed the likelihood of impeachment and then added:
After Robert Gates criticized the White House in his new book "Duty," members of CNN's liberal panel spent most of their time defending Hillary Clinton and President Obama against the charges, on Tuesday's AC 360 Later.
"I'm a little gobsmacked by it. It's not what I would expect from Bob Gates," lefty blogger Andrew Sullivan lamented. Regarding Gates' criticism of Biden, he asked "why the gratuitous insults? It's just not in his character or personality."
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer portrayed former Defense Secretary Robert Gates as an ungrateful and disgruntled ex-employee: "Blindsided. President Obama's former Defense Secretary Robert Gates takes on his old boss – the man who awarded him the Medal of Freedom – in a blistering new memoir. This morning, what may have made him turn?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed later, correspondent Andrea Mitchell fretted: "President Obama's decision to keep George Bush's defense secretary, a Republican, has now blown back on the White House." Like Lauer, she made sure to note how Obama had honored Gates: "Gates gave no hint of his resentment when he left the cabinet two years ago and President Obama awarded him the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor."
I kept looking for any sign that Ta-Nehisi Coates, described as "a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues," was kidding in his Monday afternoon column about Melissa Harris-Perry when he called her "The Smartest Nerd in the Room." He wasn't.
When last seen here at NewsBusters, Coates was pretending that the wealth gap between blacks and whites has consistently widened during the past 20 years, when the reality is that almost all of the widening has occurred during the past five years for which data is available. That delusion is nothing compared to his assessment of Harris-Perry, excerpted after the jump (bold is mine):
Los Angeles Times columnists have produced several delusional doozies in the past few days.
One of the more hysterical came from Doyle McManus on Sunday ("The president's hump year; The sixth year is often tough, but Obama could triumph"). While acknowledging that "The public's initial romance with the president has faded" and that "events are in charge now," he backhandedly described Obama's presidency thus far as scandal-free. Really (HT to frequent commenter Gary Hall):
Introducing a report on Monday's NBC Nightly News about Al-Qaeda forces seizing control of the Iraqi city of Fallujah, anchor Brian Williams went out of his way to blame the President George W. Bush for the deteriorating security situation: "U.S. fighting forces are gone from Iraq. But as so many predicted when President Bush chose to go to war there after 9/11, the fighting has started up again." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
However, in the report that followed, correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin featured a sound bite of President Obama – not President Bush – celebrating the "historic moment" of an abrupt U.S. troop withdrawal from the country after failing to negotiate a status of forces agreement with the Iraqi government. Mohyeldin noted: "Some warned the U.S. withdrawal left a security vacuum."
Just when it seemed that NBC's Meet the Press couldn't sink any lower, ratings for the last three months of 2013 for the Sunday morning news/interview show fell to its lowest level since the third quarter of 1992. That development has added to the speculation that liberal David Gregory might be on his way out as host.
From October through December, NBC's program came in third place for total viewers -- behind CBS's Face the Nation and ABC's This Week -- and the numbers among viewers in the important demographic from 25 to 54 years of age collapsed to their lowest level in the program's history.
In a report for Sunday's NBC Nightly News, White House correspondent Kristen Welker eagerly promoted efforts by President Obama to use class warfare against Republicans leading up to the 2014 midterm elections: "President Obama will aim to reboot his presidency this year after a rocky 2013. The first item on the agenda will be extending unemployment insurance benefits....In his weekly media message, Mr. Obama blamed Republicans for leaving those benefits out of last month's budget deal." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
A clip played of Obama ranting: "And denying families that security is just plain cruel. We're a better country than that." Moments later, Welker proclaimed: "The President will also renew his call for an increase in the minimum wage in his State of the Union address. Another piece of a Democratic strategy designed to paint Republicans as the party of the rich ahead of the fall elections."
Appearing as a guest on Friday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of conservative Christians making plans to push their agenda, liberal guest Frank Schaeffer charged that Republicans have a "pathological hatred" of President Obama, asserted that the GOP's goal is to "Stop the first African-American President from succeeding at all costs," and then drew a parallel with racist opposition to school intregration decades ago.
After recounting conservative concerns about same-sex marriage, Schaeffer continued: