Some prominent US leader made threats about immediate dire consequences that would occur if the sequester went into effect, but NPR doesn't seem to know the identity of that leader. In a lengthy nine-minute piece featuring an NPR host and six NPR correspondents, the word "Obama" was nowhere to be found.
On Friday's Morning Edition, taxpayer-subsidized NPR's most-listened-to show, fill-in host David Greene said that "we heard some ominous warnings" about the results of the sequester, but he didn't identify the source of those "ominous warnings" -- nor did any of the six NPR correspondents in the piece: Brian Naylor, Tom Bowman, Julie Rovner, Yuki Noguchi or Claudio Sanchez. Instead, they spoke of potentially devastating harm that may occur at some point in the future.
President Obama exploited the dead in Connecticut this morning in a last ditch effort to shame Congress into supporting his anti-gun agenda. He had some help too. As my NewsBusters colleague Scott Whitlock posted today, all three networks – ABC, NBC, and CBS – fawned over the president’s gun control agenda, with ABC News’ Jon Karl describing it as a “moral imperative.” Yet, it seems that none of the networks took notice of a recent survey in which 15,000 law enforcement officers said they oppose more gun control, even as they portray the president having the vast majority of police officers behind him on the matter.
The poll, conducted by the law-enforcement site PoliceOne, asked 15,000 police officers thirty questions on measures related to the Obama administration’s push for more control. In all, the survey found that:
Norah O'Donnell shamelessly forwarded President Obama's gun control talking points on Tuesday's CBS This Morning as she interviewed Republican Senator Johnny Isakson: "Do you think your fellow Republicans owe the families of these Newtown victims a vote?" Mere hours earlier, at a pro-gun control rally in Connecticut, the President pointed out, "I said in my State of the Union address...that families of Newtown and Aurora and Tucson...all deserved a vote." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Gayle King also spotlighted how the massacre victims' relatives were meeting with Senator Isakson, and wondered, "What do you plan to say to them?"
All three network newscasts on Monday and the morning shows on Tuesday promoted Barack Obama's "urgent plea" for gun control. These programs pushed the emotional angles, focusing on the Newtown families. Opposition to new restrictions on the Second Amendment was mostly ignored. On World News, guest host George Stephanopoulos hyped, "Tonight, urgent plea. The President goes all out in the fight over guns in America. Calling in the families of the children slain in Newtown." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Reporter Jon Karl parroted administration talking points: "The President portrayed his gun plan as a moral imperative." The ABC reporter then played two clips of Obama, including one where he lectured, "This is not about me. This is not about politics." (How can journalists allow a politician promoting legislation to get away with saying something "isn't about politics"?) Karl also highlighted Gabby Giffords's husband arguing for more restrictions, but no pro-Second Amendment voices. On the CBS Evening News, anchor Scott Pelley introduced three segments on gun control.
Al Sharpton on Monday said one of the funniest things uttered on MSNBC this year.
Talking with Chris Matthews immediately after President Obama's speech in Hartford, Connecticut, Sharpton said - with a straight face no less! - "We’re not engaging in Americans hating each other" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chris Matthews on Monday admitted he and others at his network are not journalists but instead are advocates and activists.
Speaking with Al Sharpton on Politics Nation immediately following President Obama's speech in Hartford, Connecticut, Matthews said, "I don’t think there’s any problem with taking sides" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For the past couple of weeks there has been a steady drip of bad news for ObamaCare, but you wouldn't know it if you only get your news from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks. From a Society of Actuaries report that determined premium costs will shoot up thanks to a thirty-three percent average increase in claims; to thirty-three Senate Democrats joining Republicans in voting to repeal an ObamaCare tax on medical devices; to a Quinnipiac University poll showing even two-thirds of self-identified Democrats saying the law will either hurt them or have no effect, the recent news has been bad for the President's chief legislative victory. However, not one of these trouble spots for ObamaCare has been mentioned on ABC, CBS or NBC's evening or morning show broadcasts.
The following setbacks for ObamaCare haven't received a single second of air time on the Big Three networks:
Sometimes the media will engage in selective amnesia, pretending to forget about a past occurrence because the memory of it would hurt the liberal narrative they are trying to advance. That was clearly the case on this Saturday’s CBS This Morning.
The network’s political director, John Dickerson, was on to discuss President Obama’s forthcoming budget proposal, which is expected to include some cuts to the growth rate of Social Security. Unsurprisingly, Dickerson spoke entirely from the president’s point of view, essentially relaying the White House message to congressional Republicans, the crux of which was: “[Obama]’s also trying to create some public pressure on Republicans, saying look, I've offered something on my end, now you have to offer something, which in this case means some agreement to some level of tax increases.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
President Obama will officially transmit his fiscal year 2014 budget proposal on Thursday, a full 66 days after the deadline set by law. The past two years, by contrast, the president has been merely a week late, although as this chart via budget.house.gov shows, the norm among presidents since Harding has been to submit the budget either shortly before or on the deadline date.
But in reporting on the matter, Politico's Ginger Gibson relegated mention of that delinquency to paragraph 13 in her 19-paragraph story, "GOP ready to bash President Obama's budget." To Gibson, even President Obama's inexcusable tardiness in presenting a federal budget must be presented in light of partisan Republicans, who:
As the media predictably gush and fawn over the thought of Hillary Clinton as president, there's something extremely obvious they've been missing.
Rather surprisingly, Roger Simon, the perilously liberal chief political columnist at Politico, asked the $64 million question on CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, "How good a job did she really do as Secretary of State?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
There was a lousy jobs report from the Labor Department last Friday that has led some people to fear the already soft economic recovery might be slowing down.
Despite this, ABC's George Stephanopoulos, during a lengthy This Week interview with Barack Obama senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer Sunday, didn't ask one single question about that report or the state of the economy.
CNBC’s Jim Cramer made a statement on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday that likely shocked the host as well as the other liberal media members involved in the discussion.
After David Gregory mentioned Friday’s lousy unemployment report, Cramer said, “This is stunning. Stunning. And I think a lot of it had to do with fearmongering” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
I guess Byron Tau thought he had to make it look like Big Labor is really, really mad at President Barack Obama and the White House so he could make Obama look like he's a moderate on economic and fiscal issues. Thus his Sunday morning post's headline: "Labor targets Obama over proposed benefit cuts."
Of course, they aren't "cuts" at all, though they are being portrayed as such. All Obama has done, according to information which appears to have been conveniently leaked (perhaps in hopes of killing the idea) to the New York Times ahead of his very late President's Budget, is "propose a new inflation formula that would have the effect of reducing cost-of-living payments for Social Security benefits, though with financial protections for low-income and very old beneficiaries, administration officials said." Despite the weakly descriptive language at the Times, monthly Social Security and other checks would continue to increase under the proposal each year inflation occurs -- just not by as much.
The disgraceful lengths to which writers in the establishment press will rewrite history to paper over the economy's awful performance during the past five years is perfectly illustrated in one paragraph found in an otherwise decent Associated Press "Big Story" report ("Dropouts: Discouraged Americans leave labor force") Saturday evening by Paul Wiseman and Jesse Washington, with help from Chris "No chance of recession" Rugaber and Scott Mayerowitz.
The statement: "The participation rate peaked at 67.3 percent in 2000, reflecting an influx of women into the work force. It's been falling steadily ever since." The "fall" has not been "steady," nor has been the decline in the employment-population ratio (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics data retrievable here):
Something very rare and equally odd happened on MSNBC Friday.
Not only did an anchor criticize President Barack Obama on the air - horrors! - All In host Chris Hayes also accused the current White House resident of engaging in what he called "crazy vagina politics" (video follows with LexisNexis transcript and commentary):
Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner reported that in speaking to David Gergen at Harvard's Institute of Politics on March 27, former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau said "it's a lie" the way the news media portray President Obama as "purely cynical" and pursuing selfish political interests.
Does Favreau watch the networks? They love offering Obama the mantle of idealism whenever they can. But he insisted:
The Big Three networks' Friday morning newscasts all highlighted the "backlash" over President Obama's "best-looking attorney general in the country" compliment of California's Kamala Harris. But in addition to ignoring First Lady Michelle Obama's recent "single mother" gaffe, as of Saturday morning, ABC, CBS, and NBC have yet to report on the President's erroneous claim about the use of an automatic firearm at the Sandy Hook massacre.
The Democrat made the false statement at a Wednesday fundraiser in California. Mr. Obama asserted, "It is possible for us to create common-sense gun safety measures that respect the traditions of gun ownership in this country...but also make sure that we don't have another 20 children...gunned down by a semiautomatic weapon – by a fully automatic weapon in that case, sadly."
ABC, CBS, and NBC's Friday morning shows all devoted air time to President Obama labeling California Attorney General Kamala Harris "the best-looking attorney general in the country" at a fundraiser on Thursday. Unsurprisingly, a panel on NBC's Today tried to explain away the remark. Willie Geist asserted, "I think he [Obama] was making a joke." CBS This Morning's Norah O'Donnell was tougher on the President: "Maybe, [it] was not the right thing to say."
However, the Big Three newscasts didn't report that Mrs. Obama also got caught in a verbal misstep on Thursday. ABCNews.com's Arlette Saenz devoted a Friday morning item to how Michelle Obama mistakenly referred to herself as a "single mother" during an interview with WCAX, a CBS affiliate in Vermont.
President Obama caused ruffles on a fundraising jaunt to San Francisco when he said in a speech at a fundraising house party that state Attorney General Kamala Harris (pictured) was "by far the best-looking attorney general in the country." The Washington Post made a full story out of it, using the throwaway line the same way the media has done so often against Republican politicians, suggesting it was part of a larger pattern of regrettable behavior: "Obama rekindles talk of a White House boys' club."
President Obama reopened the debate Thursday over whether his administration is too influenced by men after praising the looks of Kamala Harris, California’s attorney general and a possible future gubernatorial candidate....Obama’s remarks during a fundraising trip to the Bay Area buzzed through Twitter and other social media, where reaction ranged from appalled to leave-the-guy-alone.
When I saw the recently released PPP poll concerning America's belief in "conspiracy theories," I knew someone in the media would cherry-pick it to trash conservatives.
Living down to my lowest expectations was MSNBC's Chris Matthews who on Wednesday's Hardball chose to use the poll to attack Republicans as well as "the peanut gallery for Glenn Beck and company" without ever mentioning any Democrat responses (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Update (April 5): Fisker has laid off three-quarters of its workforce at its headquaters in Anaheim, owes DOE approximately $193 million | With a substantial repayment of the $529 million loan guarantee it received almost four years ago -- courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer -- coming due at the end of the month, the electric car company Fisker is exploring the idea of filing for bankruptcy before then. Sources have confirmed that an influential law firm from Chicago has been hired to help with the proceedings.
The major networks have been reticent on the subject however, as if they have no intention of breaking the next Solyndra-like scandal. It should be noted that no cars have been built since last July, and 200 of Fisker's American employees were recently furloughed.
The saga all began in 2009 when the Obama administration handed out $1 billion worth of loans to two electric car manufacturers, Fisker and Tesla. The latter appears to be on the verge of becoming profitable, but that assumes there's going to be a substantial number of people willing to pay near $1200 per month in leasing charges.
Fisker promised to do the majority of its auto assembly in Delaware, home of Vice President Joe Biden. Private investment partner Al Gore predicted that tens of thousands would be rolling off the the assembly lines there someday. But alas, two years later, it was revealed that production had shifted to Finland, where 500 workers had been hired to build the $100,000 cars called Karma.
Another report exposed that only 40 cars had been built at the time, and just two had been delivered. One of which was to actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio. Adding insult to injury, over 230 were recalled in late 2011 because of a fire hazard risk in the battery compartment. Luckily, very few were in the hands of consumers anyway.
Asked for comment back in October of 2011, founder and executive chairman Henrik Fisker was defiant. "We're not in the business of failing; we're in the business of winning," he said. "So we make the right decision for the business. That's why we went to Finland." Nearly a year and a half later, he would resign from the company that bears his namesake - citing 'differences with company management' in a March 2013 statement.
Now that the Kirkland & Ellis law firm is getting involved, to presume that a bankruptcy filing is coming isn't far-fetched. We'll keep our eyes open for the media's attention to this, but we're not holding our breath.
All three networks on Wednesday and Thursday parroted the exact same talking points from the White House, touting Barack Obama for expressing "solidarity" with struggling workers by taking a five percent pay cut. The President made the move, which amounts to a minuscule $1700 a month, in the wake of sequestration. On Good Morning America, Josh Elliott trumpeted, "[Obama] says he wants to show solidarity with government workers who face a furlough because of budget cuts." [See a video montage below. MP3 audio here.]
Over on NBC's Today, Natalie Morales touted, "In an attempt at solidarity with federal workers feeling the sequester spending cuts, President Obama is giving himself a five percent pay cut on his $400,000-a-year salary." Offering a remarkably similar thought, World News anchor Diane Sawyer rounded up the amount to a year's total: " That's $20,000, to show solidarity with government employees who will be furloughed." In an impressed tone, the host praised, "The White House says Obama will personally write a check to the Treasury."
On Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie heralded that Connecticut had "approved some of the tightest gun control legislation in the country as President Obama is pushing for tougher laws nationwide." The headline on screen proclaimed: "Tough New State Gun Laws; Connecticut Governor to Sign Sweeping Gun Control Bill."
In the report that followed, White House correspondent Kristen Welker touted President Obama's cross-country trip "aimed at campaigning for stiffer gun laws," but lamented that such legislation was "virtually stalled in Congress." She then optimistically declared: "It's a different story in the states in the wake of the Newtown tragedy. This morning, the Connecticut state legislature passed some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, expanding background checks and adding 100 guns to the list of banned assault weapons."
On Tuesday's edition of the syndicated Entertainment Tonight, co-anchor Rosci Diaz did her part to pump up the President by giving Barack Obama the same sort of celebrity treatment that she would give Matt Damon as she asked Michelle Obama what it’s like being married to a "sex symbol."
Diaz, in a sitdown interview with the First Lady, initially compared Mrs. Obama's style-sense to former First Lady Jackie Kennedy and then went on to praise the President's, as Michelle Obama called it, "swag." (video after the jump)
In an exclusive Wednesday interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, CNN founder Ted Turner expressed his hopes for President Obama and advised him to "get this global climate change under control."
During the 6 p.m. ET hour of The Situation Room, Blitzer teed up Turner to give Obama advice and promoted his new biography "Last Stand." He added that "Turner's politics clearly lean left" and noted "his admiration for former President Jimmy Carter." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Yesterday, Juliet Eilperin wrote for the Washington Post that “the public interest in climate change is waning.” Posted to Chris Cillizza’s Fix blog, it’s odd that Eilperin didn’t use any hard numbers in this piece. Citing Pew, she did say that support has dropped six points since last October, but what, pray tell, was the support at that time? Ten percent? Twenty-five?
Maybe she omitted the hard numbers for the simple reason that Americans have NEVER viewed this as a high priority issue. Let’s go back to January when President Obama – and the media – were pushing hardest for gun control policies. Aa Washington Post/ABC Poll found that 18 percent of all adults viewed addressing global warming as a high priority. Concerning the partisan breakdown, only 26% of Democrats and 7% of Republicans thought that stopping the polar ice caps was of the highest national urgency.
Yesterday, the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler decided to not to be a lapdog for the Obama administration with his Pinocchio test concerning background checks for firearm purchases. On April 2, he awarded President Obama’s claim that 40 percent of gun sales don’t require a background check, which earned him three -- out of four possible -- Pinocchios from Kessler.
Kessler explained that " there are two key problems with the president’s use of this statistic:
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford played up how voters supposedly find Vice President Joe Biden's "gaffes almost endearing", as she reported on the potential face-off between President Obama's running mate and Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. Crawford played clips of Biden's most infamous gaffes, and later added that these verbal slip-ups "may not be so funny for the leader of the free world" [audio available here; video below the jump].
Back in August 2012, the CBS morning newscast actually did its best to spin the Vice President's "put y'all back in chains" slam of Mitt Romney, and adopted the Obama campaign's own talking points on the inflammatory line.