Thursday's CNN Newsroom spotlighted how President Obama "called for promoting religious freedom – quote, 'a key part of U.S. foreign policy," at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, but glossed over his administration's controversial birth control/abortifacient mandate under ObamaCare, which is being challenged in an ongoing Supreme Court case. The cable network still stood out, however, as none of the Big Three networks aired reports on Obama's speech.
John King zeroed in on the President's "very moving tribute to the Americans held in prison in North Korea and in Iran because of their faith-based beliefs." Instead of mentioning the HHS mandate, anchor Carol Costello played up the Democrat's encounter with a conservative politician as a supposed glimmer of hope for bipartisanship: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In yet another bizarre and extra-constitutional twist in the saga of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, a clearly sympathetic Associated Press — that's why I call it the Administration's Press — is reporting that the Obama administration is considering a three-year delay in demanding that health insurance companies drop so-called "substandard" or "junk" individual policies.
But that's not how the AP's Tom Murphy is framing the clearly leaked proposed move. You won't find the word "delay" in his entire story, which is a why a friend of mine who tried to find something about it online and couldn't thought that only Fox News was reporting it. No-no-no. The AP only describes the move as an "extension" which would take the pesky problem of arbitrarily cancelled individual policies off the table until — imagine that — after the 2016 elections (HT American Thinker via Free Republic; bolds are mine):
MSNBC's Chris Matthews ranted on Thursday that every Republican criticism of Obama – Benghazi, the IRS scandal, ObamaCare – is just a cover for the party's hatred of him.
"Let me finish tonight with something that's been bothering me. Why do people hate this president so much?" Matthews lamented. He then embarked on a rambling wreck of straw man fallacies and concluded that "Whatever comes along, like the CBO report yesterday, becomes another way to find a way to explain hating the guy." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters made reference Tuesday to an Associated Press story headline ("Modest drop in full-time work seen from health law") indicating that the outfit I prefer to call the Administration's Press is furiously spinning in reaction to Tuesday's report from the Congressional Budget Office projecting that Obamacare will reduce full-time-equivalent employment from what it would have been without the law by 2.5 million over the next 10 years.
The underlying content of the story Ken referenced is weak, as is Calvin Woodward's longer "fact check" ("ANTI-OBAMACARE CHORUS IS OFF KEY") currently carrying an early Thursday time stamp. Woodward's piece is especially troubling in how it seems to treat work as a curse instead of a necessary component of societal progress. But let's first look at the full "modest drop" dispatch.
During a panel discussion on Wednesday's Special Report on Fox News, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer denounced the "incredible lack of curiosity of the mainstream media" regarding the Obama administration's IRS scandal and observed: "...had this been a Republican abusing the IRS, you can be sure the mainstream media would have been all over it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Krauthammer added that President Obama "knows, as in Benghazi, as in all the other scandals, that he can hide, he can play rope-a-dope, he can string it out and over time it becomes old news. And that's what he's counting on....what the President hopes for, and he's now succeeded with other of these scandals, is you wait, you wait it out, you stonewall. And he got past – you know, on some of them, on Benghazi – he got past the election in 2012. He thinks he'll get past the elections in 2014."
On Tuesday night’s The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly played self-defense against Hillary Clinton’s lame Super Bowl tweet about Democrats being “blitzed and sacked” by Fox News. Kelly recalled how Hillary lauded Fox for fairness when she was losing to Obama in the 2008 primaries. Guest James Carville reflexively said “I thought she was being funny...I thought it was just fine...It was a little-bitty thing.”
Kelly responded with the obvious, that President George W. Bush never engaged in trashing cable-news channels like Team Obama does:
Give Sam Stein credit for being an honest liberal. Confronted with the CBO's findings about the disastrous job-killing effects of Obamacare, Stein didn't try to spin the unspinnable.
On today's Morning Joe, Donnie Deutsch invited Stein to play a game of Mad Men. Deutsch first sketched out a 30-second ad making the case against Obamacare--that contrary to what President Obama had said, you can't choose your provider and the program costs the country two million jobs. Deutsch then invited Stein to give the 30-second ad in response. Said Stein, much to the amusement of the panel: "The 30-second response is something like: 'Please change the subject to something else.' What do you want me to say?" View the video after the jump.
Alex Wagner made it clear that she was in Senator Harry Reid's Amen corner on the Tuesday edition of her MSNBC program, promoting the Nevada Democrat's green light to President Obama to use his controversial "year of action" end run around Congress to advance the agenda of leftist LGBT activists. Wagner expressed her hope that "with the White House promising a 'year of action'...we can only hope that creating a more fair and equitable society is on that list." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The host also spotlighted the reporting of ThinkProgress.org, and cited new Obama adviser John Podesta, but failed to disclose that she once worked for the Podesta-founded Center for American Progress, which runs the left-wing website.
Appearing as a guest on Monday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC contributor and Lehigh University Professor Barry Peterson asserted that Fox News has been part of making "political discourse" become "more toxic." Needless to say, Peterson did not note that his own MSNBC network has been highly "toxic" in political attacks on conservatives.
Host Al Sharpton alluded to a tweet from Hillary Clinton making a crack about not having to personally be receiving "attention" from Fox News during the interview between President Barack Obama and FNC's Bill O'Reilly. Sharpton:
On her 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Monday, host Andrea Mitchell warned that President Obama would endanger his reputation with left-wing environmentalists if he dared to approve the Keystone Pipeline: "It goes very much against the legacy, the climate change legacy of not only Barack Obama, but [Secretary of State] John Kerry has spent his whole life devoted to working on these environmental issues and all of his allies are really against this." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell began by observing that a new State Department report on the proposed oil pipeline "basically said there is going to be a bad effect on climate change whether they build this pipeline or not" and would give "some political cover to the President and Secretary Kerry if they want to go the route of building the pipeline."
On Monday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of FNC host Bill O'Reilly's interview with President Barack Obama, MSNBC host Al Sharpton and Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank dismissed the possibility of Obama administration wrongdoing in the IRS and Benghazi scandals.
After linking the IRS commissioner's many White House visits to ObamaCare, Milbank deceptively asserted that President Obama had labelled the Benghazi attack as "terrorism" the day after it happened when, in reality, the President blamed the attack on an anti-Muslim video on YouTube rather than a premeditated attack by an organized terrorist group. Milbank:
During an extended portion of Bill O'Reilly's Super Bowl interview with President Obama aired on Monday's O'Reilly Factor, the Fox News host wondered: "Do you think I've been unfair to you?" Obama replied: "Absolutely, of course you are, Bill." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
When O'Reilly demanded evidence, the President cited the preceding interview: "Bill, we just went through an interview in which you asked about health care not working, IRS, 'Were we wholly corrupt?', Benghazi. Right? So the list of issues that you talk about." O'Reilly pushed back: "But these are unanswered questions." Obama complained: "But they're defined by you guys in a certain way."
Update/Clarification:Whitaker erroneously described the interview as the unedited version of the interview done on the FOX broadcast network. It is, in fact, a second interview which was taped subsequent to the live aired interview on Sunday. || Just how in the tank is MSNBC for Barack Obama? To the extent that the president hectoring Fox News's Bill O'Reilly for being "unfair" is considered news worthy of top billing on the network's website. [see screen capture below page break]
"Obama blasts O'Reilly in extended interview," cheers the teaser headline for the first item in the lightbox at msnbc.com this morning. Clicking on the link takes you to Morgan Whitaker's 19-paragraph summary of the content of the full, unedited interview which O'Reilly taped prior to the Super Bowl. Here's an excerpt (emphasis mine):
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory fretted over the "shrinking presidency" of Barack Obama: "A thousand days left for President Obama. And here was a headline we looked up back in 2009 at the inauguration. [From Washington Post] 'Historians say he,' meaning Obama, 'could redefine the presidency.' And with no disrespect to this policy, here's Denis McDonough, the chief of staff, talking about, you know, broadband connection, getting more kids connected [to the internet]." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Turning to liberal historian and perpetual NBC pundit Doris Kearns Goodwin, Gregory worried: "Is that what you envisioned?" Goodwin tried to defend Obama's weak legacy: "He accentuated gay rights in an inaugural speech. We're getting energy independence. He said we shouldn't be on a war footing forever. He ended two wars. These things may take a while to get into history. But if he set things in motion that show a forward movement in social justice and defining inequality as the issue of our generation, then he will be remembered."
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews ranted on Monday that Susan Rice was right about Benghazi – even though according to the bipartisan report that he cited, Rice’s key assertion five days after the attacks was false.
“[T]he information is out there that Susan Rice told the truth. It was spontaneous attack on our facility in Benghazi,” Matthews insisted. “She got it right, Susan Rice. Why is the President not just blasting it back at the guy and saying O'Reilly, catch up?” he said of Bill O’Reilly, who pressed Obama on Benghazi in a Sunday evening Fox News interview. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
How do MSNBC hosts feel about the war in Afghanistan? Well, it may depend on who’s in the White House at the moment.
On Saturday morning’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Ms. Witt talked to fellow MSNBC host Rachel Maddow about President Obama’s tribute to Army Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg at last Tuesday’s State of the Union address. [Video below the break. MP3 audio here.] Maddow, who is certainly no fan of our wars in Afghanistan or Iraq, nonetheless reflected on the moment in a mostly positive way. Referring to the extended applause for Sgt. Remsburg, Maddow said:
Imagine, if you will, it's the midterm election year of 2006 and President George W. Bush's secretary of state making careless remarks which seem to lend moral validity to an economic boycott of the United States's staunchest ally in the Middle East. The Washington Post would surely glom onto such an embarrassing gaffe and play it up as much as possible.
Yet when John Kerry made such remarks about the State of Israel, the Post's William Booth spun the gaffe as best he could, seemingly exasperated that Israeli statesmen were even complaining about the remarks. For their part, Booth's bosses dutifully shuffled to story to page A8 of the February 3 edition, rather than give it more prominent coverage (emphasis mine):
On Friday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes gave a commentary opposing the Keystone pipeline as he compared America's use of oil to "drug addiction," and pushed the far left idea of leaving 80 percent of the world's oil reserves untapped to supposedly prevent the world's temperature from increasing.
The MSNBC host suggested that conservatives are like addicts who are in denial, with liberals as addicts who want to change but can't.
All three network morning shows on Monday promoted President Obama's attempts to deflect tough questions on a several administration scandals during a pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Sunday. On NBC's Today, news reader Natalie Morales described how during the "sometimes contentious interview" the President "said he tries to focus not on the fumbles, but on the next plan." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
ABC's news reader Josh Elliott touted the same line on Good Morning America: "The President said he tries not to focus on the fumbles in his administration, but rather, on the next plan."
Not accustomed to being asked difficult questions about his failures in office, President Obama attacked Fox News host Bill O'Reilly during a pre-Super Bowl interview on Sunday for daring to demand answers about the Benghazi terrorist attack and the IRS targeting conservative groups. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
O'Reilly pressed: "Your detractors believe that you did not tell the world it was a terror attack because your campaign didn't want that out. That's what they believe." Obama ranted in reply: "And they believe it because folks like you are telling them that." O'Reilly responded: "No, I'm not telling them that, I'm asking you whether you were told it was a terror attack."
New York magazine interviewed Saturday Night Live executive producer Lorne Michaels about his show and political humor. Michaels seemed to suggest that Republicans can take a joke, and Democrats can't. Or perhaps Republicans are used to being mocked by Manhattan liberals, and Democrats expect to be pampered.
The magazine’s Lane Brown asked: "Are there any basic rules for what works and what doesn’t politically?"
President Obama sat down with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly for his annual pre-Super Bowl interview and The O’Reilly Factor host called out the president’s own contradictions during their interview.
During the segment, which aired on Sunday afternoon, O’Reilly read a letter submitted to him that asked President Obama, “why do you feel it's necessary to fundamentally transform the nation that has afforded you so much opportunity?” [See video below.]
On Friday's NBC Nightly News, Andrea Mitchell slanted towards left-leaning environmentalists who are still opposed to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, despite a new report from the State Department that indicated that the environmental impact of the project would be minimal. Mitchell played three soundbites from environmentalists protesting or speaking out against the pipeline, versus only one clip from a supporter.
The correspondent also forwarded an allegation from unnamed environmentalists against contributors to the State Department study: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
I suspect that more than a few readers have noticed, with likely little surprise, that there hasn't been a lot of national establishment press attention paid to how Obamacare has been working out in the real world since it officially went into effect on January 1.
Non-existent HealthCare.gov security? Who cares? Patients turned away from emergency rooms voluntarily (because they don't want to risk huge uncovered costs they will have to pay out-of-pocket) or from medical providers involuntarily (because they don't know whether a particular patient is or isn't covered)? You might find coverage of that in the British wing of the Washington press corps, and that's about it. Meanwhile, scenarios such as the one you will see play out in the local TV news report out of Pittsburgh after the jump are happening all over the country, and it's not pretty (direct YouTube; HT Personal Liberty Digest):
In yet another negative milestone for the bailouts that supposedly saved the U.S. auto industry — already a hard-to-handle claim given that Chrysler, one of the two beneficiaries, is now 100% owned by an Italian company — Volkswagen has surpassed General Motors as the world's number two automaker behind Toyota.
The reporting on this development has been quite sparse. It's not news at the Associated Press's national site, even though AP mentions VW in a report on Super Bowl ad and social media strategies. At USA Today, James R. Healey's could easily have inserted the news into his story today on the 65th anniversary of the VW Beetle's first arrival here, and didn't. What follows is an excerpt from Expatica, one of the few publications to note the shakeup in the auto industry hierarchy:
In an interview that aired on Friday, CNN's Jake Tapper asked President Obama if he was "naive" back in 2008 when he bragged that his presidency would be remembered as when "the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."
"Do you think you were naive back then, or have you recalibrated your expectations and your ambitions?" Tapper pressed Obama. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The day after President Obama issued a call for bipartisan cooperation in Congress in his fifth State of the Union address, a powerful Democratic senator thumbed his nose at the White House regarding a matter enjoying significant bipartisan support and which could help boost the U.S. economy.
But perhaps because it doesn't fit the "Republicans are obstructionists" narrative, ABC, CBS, and NBC all ignored Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) announcing his strong opposition to President Obama's call for Congress extending him fast-track negotiations on free-trade agreements.
Today, President Obama is going to ask a group of private-sector companies to help him try to solve a problem his administration's policies have seriously worsened, namely long-term unemployment.
Of course, that's not how Josh Lederman at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, framed the situation. All he would concede is that "long-term joblessness in the U.S. remains a major problem." After the jump, in two graphs from the St. Louis Federal Reserve, we'll see the frightening level of long-term unemployment Obama's economic policies have created – and how the horrid numbers have failed to come down significantly in the 4-1/2 years since the recession officially ended.
During an interview with Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast website, MSNBC president Phil Griffin strained at gnats when he stated that his network “has never had an ideology” but insisted that the dominant Fox News Channel does.
“An ideology is a single thought across all programs,” he said. “We’ve never had that.” However, Griffin asserted, MSNBC instead has“a progressive sensibility,” which he claimed is not the same as an ideology. “Obviously, I hire people who fit the sensibility” because “we do stay true to facts. You have to build your argument. That's why I call it a sensibility.”
The journalists at ABC News have refrained from questioning Barack Obama's unilateral tone at the State of the Union address. Reporter Jim Avila on Tuesday's Nightline went so far as to compare the President to an iconic movie character. Regarding Obama's threats to use executive actions to accomplish his goals, Avila enthused, "This was President Obama, the go-it-alone Terminator, mindful he has only three years left." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The ABC journalist heralded, "This was a stare down, chest pumping President, angry and resentful about a Congress determined to log jam his ideas." Avila did describe the second term Commander in Chief as "on the downward slide" and as losing his "power to persuade" with Congress. But the reporter failed to offer skepticism about the executive orders.