Legendary South African leader Nelson Mandela is in the hospital today with a lung infection, and MSNBC could not resist using the occasion to compare President Obama to Mr. Mandela. During a discussion with Time managing editor Richard Stengel on her daily program, Andrea Mitchell showed a picture of then-Senator Obama visiting South Africa’s first black president in 2005. Mitchell cooed, “You can imagine the role that Mandela played just in the imagination of a young Barack Obama and all of his generation.”
Stengel picked up on that thread. “And I think, you know, there are similarities between President Obama and Nelson Mandela, I think, in terms of their temperament, in terms of their approach to problems as pragmatists.” [Video after the jump. MP3 audio here.]
Don't tell us that Al Sharpton and MSNBC are hypocrites? Noooo!! The Reverend Al opened his show by praising President Obama's efforts to promote tougher gun control laws. But 28 minutes into the show, a commercial appeared for, of all things . . . Henry Repeating Rifles.
Go to Henry Rifle's website and you'll find one rifle described as "big, brutal and beautiful" and noting that it fires ammunition "said to have killed more game, big and small, and more men, good and bad, than any other in existence." Another model offered for sale, the AR-7, is based on a military rifle, Henry emphasizing that given its lightweight design "you can carry a large quantity of ammunition." Oh the horror! View the video after the jump.
If the New Republic's Rebecca Dana is correct, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is more deluded than anyone thought.
In her lengthy piece about MSNBC president Phil Griffin, Dana claimed Maddow believes the reason President Obama hasn't given the cable network an interview since 2008 is because "his people know he’s going to get asked difficult questions":
In what looks like a commentary on the front page, Washington Post reporter Zachary Goldfarb's story was a liberal lament: "Signing cuts, Obama lets priorities slip." The little sequester is somehow a major failure for Obama's liberal vision.
"With his signature this week, President Obama will lock into place deep spending cuts that threaten to undermine his second-term economic vision just four months after he won re-election," Goldfarb mourned. Liberal economist Lawrence Mishel has the wackiest quote in the piece:
As I noted earlier this evening, Obama spoke last week under a banner of Yasser Arafat, "the father of modern terrorism." That move is being seen as a gaffe by the very few, almost none of whom are in the establishment press, who have even noticed it. What if it's not a gaffe, but rather an intentional move? That may be the case if what Al Arabiya reported on Friday, seen after the jump, is indeed true (HT Examiner.com):
On Thursday in Ramallah, as Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard blog noted, U.S. President Barack Obama "addressed the assembled journalists while standing under a Yasser Arafat banner." Arafat is rightly considered the “father of modern terrorism.” Since U.S. establishment press coverage is non-existent, I'll take readers to an outraged Nile Gardiner at the UK Telegraph to express how utterly offensive Obama's silently condoning Arafat's legitimacy really is:
National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre asked a marvelous question on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday.
"Why doesn't the national press corps, when they're sitting down there with Jay Carney and the president and the vice president, why don't they say, 'Why is Chicago dead last in enforcement of the gun laws against gangs with guns, felons with guns, drug dealers with guns?'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In a brief item Friday at Politico, Donovan Slack reported that President Obama has withdrawn his nomination of Caitlin Halligan for the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.
Concerning Republican senators' opposition to her nomination, Slack said it was "because they said she had a record of advocacy and an activist view of the judiciary" without citing specifics. It's almost as if Slack knew he had to write something, but wished to keep a rare Republican success at stopping an objectionable court nominee as vague and quiet as possible. In early March, the folks at Eagle Forum compiled a useful list of how awful Halligan would have been had her appointment made it through the Senate (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Silly me. I thought a "balanced budget" was defined as one where receipts equal outlays and there is no surplus or deficit during the period involved.
Not to David Espo, who is chief congressional correspondent at the Associated Press. In an "analysis" piece which looks more like a tool to begin reframing the language of "balance" to mean what Barack Obama and his Democratic Party really want it to mean -- namely to describe a "budget" containing deficits as far as the eye can see that has lots of tax increases and "spending cuts" which based on the historical record never materialize -- Espo showed once again why it's more than fair to call his employer and its journalists "the Administration's Press" (bolds are mine):
Barack Obama's speech in front of a sympathetic young left-wing audience in Israel demanding that Israel's leaders take risks for peace with the Palestinians, and to end the Israeli "occupation," received gushing reviews for its "historic" nature from New York Times journalists. Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren joined host Marcus Mabry and deputy foreign editor Michael Slackman on Thursday's Timescast. Joining by phone from Jerusalem, Rudoren could hardly contain her excitement.
Rudoren: "Well, this was an audience of people who were predisposed to like the speech and like Obama, and they wanted to come, and it was a largely left-wing audience, and they [ate?] the speech up. They loved it. He spoke Hebrew, he made jokes, he handled a heckler well. And he just played the strings of, sort of, the Israeli public very effectively, talking about their ancient roots in land, and then he delivered what was a very tough message, which he said very strongly, Israel cannot remain a Jewish and democratic state if it continues the occupation of the Palestinian territory...."
Radio hosts like Mark Levin and Web sites like Canada Free Press are mocking President Obama’s statement in a press conference yesterday with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, where he compared the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to U.S.-Canada relations. What? Levin called him a "moron" for the comparison.
But ABC, CBS, and NBC failed to notice. They acted like a press release service for Obama on their newscasts Thursday night and Friday morning, offering Obama 18 soundbites adding up to 215 seconds, often ending in applause. Only Chuck Todd on NBC Nightly News aired a soundbite from anyone other than Obama.
Has Slate’s John Dickerson been replaced with a pod person? If not, the CBS Political Director is exuding signs of schizophrenia – or sheer forgetfulness. While in January Dickerson counseled the president to "go for the throat" of the Republican Party, in today's piece at the online opinion journal he's calling for Obama to court Republicans on a "grand bargain" to avert the looming debt crisis.
Today, Mr. Dickinson used anecdotes and Sun Tzu axioms to convey the point that Obama should not be such an agitator if he wants a deal to solve our fiscal woes.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews is the "real face of character assassination," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued on the March 21 edition of Fox News Channel's Hannity program. The Media Research Center founder and president reacted to just the latest instance of the Hardball host bashing Tea Party conservatives as racist, xenophobic, and anti-gay. "On Monday night, he was so off on his attacks on CPAC" that the non-partisan media criticism site Mediaite.com "called it grossly unfair and inaccurate." Two nights later, Matthews practically wrote off as insufficiently black African-American politicians like Mia Love, Herman Cain, former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who identify strongly with the Tea Party movement.
Also discussed on the "Media Mash" segment was a new Pew survey showing MSNBC is 85 percent commentary to 15 percent news reporting [watch the full Mash segment below the page break].
Are congressmen four times as important as the President? CNN spent over four times more airtime questioning claims made by Rep. Michele Bachmann against President Obama than it did on President Obama's falsehood on the sequester.
Three weeks ago, CNN reporter Dana Bash corrected President Obama's statement that Capitol Hill janitors and police would receive a pay cut because of the sequester. Her report aired four times on CNN that weekend, for a total of three minutes of coverage. In contrast, Bash's confrontation with Bachmann got over four times more coverage this week.
Zurprise, zurprise: Zbig wouldn't go to war to stop Iran getting nukes. On Morning Joe today, Jimmy Carter's former national security adviser had some advice for President Obama: tell Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that America will not go to war against Iran.
Attacking Iran's nuclear facilities would surely be an act of war. Yet doing so might well be the only way to prevent the ayatollahs from getting the A-bomb. Unfortunately, neither Joe Scarborough nor anyone else on the panel including daughter Mika asked Brzezinski flat out whether he would encourage America to stand by while Iran got nukes. But it's hard to intepret his words otherwise. And of course, Zbig is the man who called for the U.S. to shoot down Israeli warplanes on the way to Iran. View the video after the jump.
After President Obama scolded NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd as "incorrigible" for asking too many tough questions during a Wednesday press conference, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams mocked Todd's grilling and agreed with the President: "He is incorrigible, come to think of it. Our own Chuck Todd called out today in Jerusalem, and guilty as charged, truth be told." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing a clip of Obama lecturing Todd, which completely edited out any of the challenging questions, Williams explained: "Both leaders had opening statements, the actual press conference part was limited to two questions from Israeli journalists and two questions from the visiting Americans. So when our own friend Chuck Todd asked a multi-part question, he got called out for it."
It's easy to tell when a television series is a success because elements from the program start popping up in the oddest places. The latest example of this is the History Channel's wildly popular “The Bible” miniseries, which featured an actor representing the devil in last Sunday's episode. Soon after, Glenn Beck asked in a tweet if anyone else thought the character looked exactly like President Obama.
On the following day, CNN's Erin Burnett accused the “right-wing radio host” of having an “ugly history” of demeaning the Democratic occupant of the White House by calling him “That Guy,” “Satan” or “the Antichrist.” Beck responded on his Wednesday program by calling the accusation “complete hogwash” and “a blatant smear.”
During a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, President Obama lectured NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd for asking too many questions: "Chuck, how many do you got? Do you guys do this in the Israeli press? You say you get one question and then you add like five?...You see how the young lady from Channel One, she had one question, she was very well behaved, Chuck?...I mean, you're just incorrigible." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Perhaps it was the content of Todd's questions, rather than the number, that the President objected to: "I want to follow up a little bit on the peace process....you said you weren't going to let this slip to your second term. We're in your second term with the Mideast peace process. What went wrong? Why are we further away from a two-state solution?... what do you believe went wrong? Did you push Israel too hard? What do you wish you would have done differently?"
Brace yourselves, for NBC's Andrea Mitchell - on MSNBC no less - actually criticized Barack Obama Wednesday.
During a News Nation segment about the President's trip to Israel, Mitchell said his relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is "one of the worst" she can remember going all the way back to her years covering Ronald Reagan (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Seventy-percent of the White House staffers who made the top annual salary of $172,200 in 2012 were men and 30 percent were women, according to a White House report on staff compensation.
In addition, men on the White House staff are paid, on average, $86,260.89 and women are paid, on average, $76,162.65. That means the average man on the White House staff is paid about $10,098--about 13 percent--more than the average woman.
Will Dick Cheney is evil jokes ever go out of style?
On NBC's Tonight Show Tuesday, host Jay Leno joked that the folks at the History Channel considered casting the former Vice President in the role of Satan in their hit miniseries The Bible, but they decided he was too evil (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Does Mika Brzezinski see Barack Obama as the Messiah? Mika dismissed the notion, but Joe Scarborough had a very different point of view.
As today's Morning Joe rolled live footage of President Obama's arrival in Tel Aviv, former Bush foreign policy advisor Dan Senor couldn't help sarcastically observing "the Messiah has returned to Israel." Mika Brzezinski feigned dismissiveness, asking: "are you kidding me?" Retorted Joe Scarborough: "no, he's channeling you." View the video after the jump.
Barack Obama is considered to be one of the least accessible presidents in decades.
Despite this, Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman told NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno that he can get the President on the phone if he wants to (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
At the Washington Post's Post Politics blog on Monday, Juliet Eilperin revealed that the White House has notified participants invited to the April 1 Easter Egg Roll that the event "is subject to cancellation due to funding uncertainty surrounding the Executive Office of the President and other federal agencies."
Eilperin only considered the White House's latest obvious example of "no petty and partisan gesture left behind" a partisan matter when a Republican who hasn't held political office for 15 years objected (bolds are mine):
"If ever the mainstream media reaches a point where they recognize that if we destroy this nation and destroy the economy, they, too, will be destroyed, I think at that point they will start asking the tough questions and helping to move the population in the right direction."
So predicted Dr. Benjamin Carson on Fox News's Hannity Monday (video follows with transcript and commentary):