Barack Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment took quite a hit on television Wednesday.
After Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood mocked it during the Country Music Association Awards, NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno said the President is “better off smoking crack than passing ObamaCare” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During Tuesday night’s election coverage, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews suggested New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stood out because he hugged Barack Obama, in contrast to the many racist Republican voters who have a “physical rejection of him as African-American.”
In Matthews’ mind, any opposition to the President is due to racism on the right. Name almost any issue that President Obama has faced confrontation on, and the MSNBC host has cited racism as the root cause. The real reason for the shutdown? Racism! Opposition to the Affordable Care Act? Racism! Voting for Mitt Romney? Racism! The rise of the Tea Party? Racism!
The following is a countdown of the Top 20 Worst Chris Matthews Quotes Calling Obama Critics Racist: (Videos after the jump)
While NBC has failed to report the latest Gallup poll showing President Obama's approval rating falling to 39%, Wednesday's Today did find time to applaud the commander-in-chief for greeting tourists at the White House, with news reader Natalie Morales gushing: "On Tuesday, one of the first groups to visit got a big surprise – take a look – when President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greeted and hugged some of the visitors as they toured the Blue Room." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Megyn Kelly's Fox News Channel show last night, reporter Trace Gallagher countered the Obama adminstration's attack on Stage Four cancer patient Edie Littlefield Sundby, whose Sunday evening Wall Street Journal op-ed on her individual plan's termination in California has garnered major attention. Ms. Sundby wrote that she has not found an available insurance plan option which will cover visits and treatments from both her current oncologist and her current primary care doctor.
In the process of addressing the White House's reference to a far-left Think Progress report which tried to pin the blame on Ms. Sundby's carrier — as if that addresses the obvious failures of her Obamacare options, which it obviously doesn't — Gallagher dropped a bombshell. Covered California, the formerly Golden State's Obamacare exchange, mandated as a condition of participation that any insurance company wishing to offer plans there had to cancel all existing individual policies in the state which did not qualify under Obamacare's strictures, i.e., they could not have any grandfathered plans (video is here full transcript is here; bolds are mine):
During Tuesday's edition of Morning Joe on MSNBC, co-host Joe Scarborough criticized the GOP for having “the lowest approval rating ever” but stated that the failures of ObamaCare could elect more Republicans and members of the Tea Party if they “just get out of the way” while Democrats continue making serious blunders.
Ted Cruz, a GOP senator from Texas who tried to filibuster the Affordable Care Act, “has gotten out of the way,” Scarborough stated. “The Republicans have gotten out of the way. They've learned their lesson. And now, the spotlight is on ObamaCare. It would have been on ObamaCare two months ago if they had gotten out of the way.”
It appears the folks at PolitiFact are trying to make amends for calling President Obama's "You can keep your plan if you like it" pledge "Half True."
On Wednesday, the fact-checking organization looked at the President's recent explanation of what he said - "Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed" - and gave it a Pants on Fire:
The Associated Press's initial coverage of President Obama's attempt to "reinvent history," the term used yesterday by the National Journal's Ron Fournier, is instructive. Monday evening, Obama claimed that his core "you can keep your (health care) plan" guarantee — made dozens of times from 2008 through 2012 — was only relevant "if it (your current plan) hasn’t changed since the law was passed."
Let's look how the AP's Nedra Pickler — or perhaps the White House correspondents' pool reporter, if Team Obama limited press access — wrote things up (HT to NB commenter Alfred Lemire) immediately after Obama's speech (6:34 p.m. report after a speech which began at 5:58 p.m.):
Liberals are so often a bundle of puzzling contradictions, aren't they? On any given day, they'll inveigh fervently against the horrors of violence, misogyny, drug addiction. All of minutes later, they'll gush their ardor for a reputed form of music that glorifies the pathologies they claim to hate. Go figure.
An example of this could be heard on Stephanie Miller's radio show today when she pined for the days that we'll see future American leaders "blacker" than President Obama and -- better yet -- they'll be gangsta rappers. Hey, we can only hope. Couldn't be any worse than the homies in charge now, right? (Audio after the jump)
CNN is still giving President Obama the extreme benefit of the doubt over his false promise that Americans could keep their insurance under ObamaCare.
The President added words to his promise on Tuesday, that Americans could keep their insurance "if it hasn't changed since the law passed." Anchor Ashleigh Banfield then suggested he call his initial promise an "oversight" and rebuked conservative guest Will Cain who called it a "lie."
During an interview on Sunday's edition of the new Fox News Channel program Media Buzz, Barbara Walters told host Howard Kurtz that The View -- the weekday program she created for ABC on August 11, 1997, and is retiring from next summer -- is neither political nor news-oriented since it was intended to be “entertaining and upbeat.”
“The View is not Meet the Press,” Walters said even though she admitted that “a lot of people do get their news” from the show, which features a discussion among five female co-hosts on a wide variety of topics. However, she noted that there was no panel on what Kurtz called “the national melodrama over the federal shutdown” because, the 84-year-old newscaster said, “I didn't think that was entertaining or upbeat.”
If there is to be a tidal wave of defenders of President Barack Obama's "it if it hasn't changed" revision to his original guarantee — "If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep your health insurance plan" — Ron Fournier (NewsBusters history here), who toiled at the Associated Press for 20 years and joined the National Journal several years ago, will not be among them.
In 2008, Fournier advocated "accountability journalism." When he took over as AP Washington bureau chief, he pushed for what was described as "a more hard-charging, opinion oriented style of writing" as a "new direction AP should take." Both were, in my view, thinly veiled attempts to inject more left-leaning bias into what news consumers to this day still mostly believe are "objective" wire service reports. With that demonstrated pedigree, perhaps it's a surprise that Fournier would be so vocal about Obama's attempt to "reinvent history" (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford zeroed in on the "several flaws" with HealthCare.gov that "could expose your personal information" to hackers, contrary to the Obama administration's claims that "information is protected by stringent security standards", as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney put it at an October 31, 2013 briefing.
Crawford spotlighted a South Carolina resident whose personal information was jeopardized by a faulty software code, and pointed out how easily a consumer's password could be reset with authorization: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
This morning, in an apparent rush to get a jump on the rest of the excuse-making establishment press, Aamer Madhani at USA Today claimed that President Barack Obama's shameless, lame Monday night attempt to explain away his serial guarantee, namely that "If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep your health insurance plan, period" — made roughly two dozen times in 2009 and 2010, and repeated on the campaign trail in 2012 — represented a "tweaking of his claim" in which he "added a caveat." So that makes it all okay. (/sarc)
Madhani also acted as if it's only Republicans who have directed "an avalanche of criticism" at Obama. He also swallowed the false line that "only" 5 percent of Americans have been affected, ignoring a similar impact in the small group market and several well-known large-employer terminations of plans which had been offered to part-timers and retirees. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):
As NewsBusters has been reporting, CBS News has been one of the press outlets totally willing to expose the disaster that is the ObamaCare rollout.
On Monday, Sharyl Attkisson did a fabulous report on the CBS Evening News revealing that “four days before the launch the government took an unusual step: it granted itself a waiver to launch the website with a level of uncertainty deemed as a high security risk” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Well, let's see how well this unspeakably pathetic attempt to explain away the lie of the century (so far) works with the establishment press.
Two separate tweeters — Reid Epstein at Politico and Mark Knoller at CBS News — are reporting that President Obama, at a rally of the Organizing For Action faithful this evening, told his audience that "What we said was you can keep it (your health plan) if it hasn’t changed since the law passed" (HTs to Hot Air and Twitchy):
Ed Schultz on Monday spent half of his program praising the Kentucky health insurance exchange whilst playing lengthy clips of an interview he did with that state’s Democratic governor.
As Schultz held Steve Beshear and his state up as the gold standard for how ObamaCare can work, the MSNBC host didn’t ask his guest about the high percentage of exchange enrollees that were applying for Medicaid or a recent report from the state’s Department of Insurance predicting that 280,000 Kentuckians would lose their policies as a result of the law.
A frustrated Jay Carney on Monday excoriated ABC's Jon Karl for exposing the fact that signing up for health care via phone or mail is just as difficult as signing up by the website. Karl began by quoting the President suggesting in late October that "you can bypass the website and apply by phone or in person." The journalist highlighted newly acquired memos admitting that "at the end of the day, we're all stuck in the same queue because all those applications have to go through the same website."
In a sneering tone that mocked Karl's cadence, Carney retorted, "Jon, I get it! But the person who calls isn't the one who continues to wait after the paper application is filled? Right?" Karl calmly responded, "Your mocking is entertaining, but the President said you could apply within 25 minutes. That was not true." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Seemingly looking for help from the other journalists, Carney derided, "I think everyone else is looking quizzical because there's a reason to be quizzical here. You call up. You give your information. You get the questions answered and then they take over from there."
If there was anything resembling a sense of propriety in left-wing media, Ed Schultz's radio and MSNBC commentary would be accompanied by a laugh track.
Correction -- it is accompanied by individual laugh tracks in homes, offices and barrooms across the land, as that fraction of his listeners on the rational end of the spectrum howl in response to his inanities. (Audio clips after the jump)
On October 31 theWashington Examiner’s Paul Bedard reported the following: “The Internal Revenue Service shared highly confidential tax information of several Tea Party groups in the IRS scandal with the Federal Election Commission, a clear violation of federal law, according to newly obtained emails. The public watchdog group Judicial Watch told Secrets Thursday that it was former scandal boss Lois Lerner who shared the information on groups including the American Future Fund and the American Issues Project.’”
So far none of the Big Three (ABC, NBC, CBS) networks have reported the latest IRS scandal finding. In fact, they’ve stopped reporting on the IRS scandal altogether.
On Thursday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, during a discussion of Republican Senator Ted Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, making a birther joke about President Obama, MSNBC political analyst Joy Reid asserted that Republicans prefer minorities who "repudiate" political views supported by minorities. Singling out Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, she griped:
On Sunday, the editorialists at the New York Times claimed that President Barack Obama merely "misspoke" when he dishonestly promised the American people that "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan" to get Obamacare passed.
Sunday evening for Monday's print edition, reporters Reed Abelson and Katie Thomas carried heavy buckets of water on behalf of Obama and his administration. The headline: "Under Health Care Act, Millions Eligible for Free Policies." It took the Times pair 21 paragraphs to inform readers that the "free" plans have annual out-of-pocket cost limits of $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families. They never described how the deductibles or copays work, and never noted that taxpayers are funding the subsidies. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Monday's CBS This Morning revealed how "a trusted Obama health care adviser warned the White House it was losing control of ObamaCare". Major Garrett underlined that "the warnings were dire and specific, and ultimately ignored" by the Obama administration. Instead, they "relied on appointed bureaucrats and senior White House health care advisers" to implement the health care law.
Garrett also pointed out how "the White House became secretive about the law's complexity and regulatory reach" because they were apparently "fearful of constant attacks from congressional Republicans" over the controversial issue. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
After offering sympathetic coverage to the disastrous roll-out of the ObamaCare website, ABC on Monday actually uncovered "new troubles" and alerted viewers to misleading comments by the White House. Near the top of Good Morning America on Monday, co-host George Stephanopoulos trumpeted, "ABC News has obtained copies of internal administration memos revealing for the first time that extensive hurdles to signing up for insurance are not limited to the website."
Reporter Jon Karl quoted from internal memos destroying the idea that signing up for ObamaCare by mail or phone is any easier. Karl quoted from one of the people working on fixing the website: "The paper applications allow people to feel like they're moving forward...At the end of the day, we're all stuck in the same queue." According to the journalist, attempts to sign up with these alternate methods are simply "an effort to buy time." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
How desperate is the White House to counter complaints from Americans losing their health insurance as a result of ObamaCare?
Consider senior White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer who in response to a Wall Street Journalop-ed by a cancer survivor Monday actually tweeted an article from the far-left website ThinkProgress contesting the patient's claim:
Too smart to be President. Is that really Barack Obama's problem? Mika Brzezinski thinks so.
On today's Morning Joe, as Mike Barnicle and John Heilemann kicked around the notion, as others have before, that President Obama doesn't much like politics and the people in it, Brzezinski piped up with a different explanation for his aloofness: he's "too smart for the job," she suggested. View the video after the jump.
I think we have the winner in the "If a Republican or conservative had said it" media bias category this year, if not this decade.
In the book "Double Down" by liberal journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann (reviewed by Peter Hamby at the Washington Post on Friday), President Barack Obama, while discussing drone strikes in 2012, reportedly told aides that he's "really good at killing people." This would have been headline news three seconds after Hamby's review, and Hamby would have headlined it himself instead of casually mentioning it in Paragraph 11. A Google News search on an obvious search string ("really good at Killing people" obama; sorted by date) at 6:45 p.m. returns only 11 items, none of which are establishment press outlets. Michael Kelley at Business Insider, which did not show up among the search items returned, had some interesting thoughts on Obama's alleged remark Saturday evening (bolds are mine throughout this post; Update: important links relating to CIA practices which can only be considered barbaric are in the original):
As NewsBusters reported earlier, the New York Times embarrassed itself Sunday with an editorial astonishingly claiming President Obama "misspoke" when he told Americans they could keep their health insurance plans if they liked them.
Fox News host Greta Van Susteren couldn't wait until Monday's On the Record to comment and instead took to her blog to rip the Times as only she can:
On Saturday morning, three Wall Street Journal reporters told readers that as President Obama was promoting Obamacare, there was internal debate between "policy advisers" and "political aides" as to whether the President's obviously unqualified and unconditional "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan" statement, made roughly 20 times between his inauguration and the law's March 2010 passage, "was a promise they could keep."
"Policy advisers" didn't like it, but "political aides" prevailed, concluding that Obama's promise should remain dishonestly unconditional because "salability" and "simplification" were more "practical" and important than the truth. One particularly weak paragraph in the Journal report ends up reading like Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" riff (bolds are mine throughout this post):