Some in the media have reported on the Obama administration reneging on its promise to be transparent and open. The president’s drone policy is a testament to its commitment to secrecy. The creation of a secret kill list is also another instance where Obama has betrayed a campaign promise to his liberal base. So, why aren’t watchdog groups vociferously protesting the president’s 180-degree flip on this position?
Paul Thacker wrote on the left-leaning Slate website yesterday that Obama is no different from Bush in stonewalling FOIA requests, and skirting civil liberties – but gets away with it because of his party affiliation:
George Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative turned journalist, has scored an "exclusive" interview with Barack Obama. According to TV Newser, the taped conversation will appear on Tuesday's World News, Wednesday's Good Morning America and Nightline. If it's anything like Stephanopoulos's past interviews, it will contain a number of softball questions. [See a video montage below. MP3 audio here.]
On September 09, 2010, Stephanopoulos worried about how the job was impacting the President's family life: "You know, when you're going through these hard times, how much of it bleeds through to them? And how do you protect them from it?" He also highlighted a pastor in Florida who threatened to burn copies of the Koran. The anchor sympathized, "You're President of the United States. You have to deal with the fallout. And here's a pastor who's got 30 followers in his church. Does it make you feel helpless or angry?" In total, Stephanopoulos devoted 16 minutes to Obama.
President Barack Obama used effusive praise and gentle humor in an attempt to smooth over his recently strained relationship with members of the “mainstream media” during the 128th annual Gridiron Club Dinner on Saturday evening in Washington, D.C.
“I am grateful for all the journalists who do one of the toughest jobs there is with integrity and insight and dedication -- and a sense of purpose -- that goes beyond a business model or a news cycle,” the Democratic White House occupant told approximately 650 invitation-only members of the press during the function at which TV coverage was not allowed.
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, the CNN panel scoffed at the media for getting "manipulated" by the White House last week into hyping Obama's meetings with the GOP as a "charm offensive." CNN's own reporting shows that it played right into those talking points.
"I love how easily the press corps is manipulated," remarked The Washington Post's Dana Milbank. "So, the President takes a few senators out to dinner at the Jefferson Hotel and has lunch with Paul Ryan, and suddenly, he's reaching out and there's all these efforts to have kumbaya. He's had two meals." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
For decades, members of the elite media have told Americans to trust that their political coverage is objective and fair. A new poll released today indicates that most of the people simply do not believe that.
The good news is that 46 percent of Americans agree with the correct statement that the media are “excessively sympathetic” to President Obama and that only 17 percent believe the media are fair. The bad news is that 28 percent maintain the delusion that the press “deliberately tries to hurt Obama.”
In case you missed it, the February jobs report on Friday contained some encouraging news. National Journal’s Michael Hirsh wrote that the BLS numbers gave President Obama “what he’s wanted for four years: an unemployment rate that’s below where he started as president, 7.7 percent.” But Hirsh was guarded in his optimism, also acknowledging that “things are not really as good as the numbers suggest, and they are all but certain to get worse.”
No such considerations entered into the mind of Chris Matthews Friday night when he wondered aloud on “Hardball” when Republicans were going finally make sure that Obama got “credit for this amazing economy that’s coming back.”
For weeks, ABC hyped sequestration spending cuts as a threat that could "vaporize" America and "cripple" travel in the country. On Sunday's Good Morning America, however, George Stephanopoulos admitted that the President's plan isn't "working." Perhaps helping Obama shift strategies, the GMA segment focused on the Democrat "reaching out" to the Republican Party.
Talking with Dan Harris and Bianna Golodryga about the President's dinner meeting with members of the GOP, Stephanopoulos conceded, "...The outside game at least in the short term wasn't working for the President. It was trying to raise all these alarms about the sequester but it didn't seem to be taking hold because people haven't felt it yet." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] This is quite a contrast to the March 1 GMA. As sequester was about to hit, news reader Josh Elliott warned of the coming doom: "Jobs vaporizing, flights delayed, even criminals walking free." A graphic warned of "armageddon."
While you were watching Rand Paul's historic filibuster and the debate surrounding budget sequestration, an economic theory battle was waging between two of the nation's foremost liberal economists Paul Krugman and Jeffrey Sachs.
In his most recent salvo published at the Huffington Post Saturday, Sachs spoke heresy to Obama-lovers across the fruited plain including Krugman claiming that following the 2008 financial crisis, "It was the Fed, not the fiscal stimulus, which prevented a fall into depression."
CNN's Howard Kurtz made a comment Sunday that might raise some conservative eyebrows.
In a Reliable Sources discussion about comments Fox News's Roger Ailes made in a new book about him, Kurtz said, "I think this president works very hard and doesn’t take many vacations" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Ari Fleischer responds to accusation Milbank made about him in this segment.
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank made an interesting observation Sunday about the vulgarity prominent in the current presidential administration.
Appearing on CNN's Reliable Sources, Milbank said, "The number of F-bombs being dropped by this White House, scholars are going to look in the national archives in 20 or 30 years and they're going to be shocked by the language that was coming out of this place" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The front page of Saturday's Washington Post took the publicity stunt of shutting down White House tours and spun it as an educational event. The headline was “In canceled White House tours, a civics lesson: Disappointed tourists help administration show sequester’s pain.” Inside the paper, the headline was “Worthless tickets drive home government’s dysfunction.” Ahem, the tickets are free even when they are honored.
The online headline was even worse: "With canceled tours, White House teaching how democracy works." Reporter David Nakamura blamed not Obama but the "dysfunctional state of the union":
Ed Schultz touts his radio program as the place "where America comes to talk" -- providing that "America" agrees with Schultz.
Good example of the habitually acerbic Schultz's response to criticism was heard on the show yesterday when a caller questioned the basis for Schultz's support of President Obama's use of drones to kill suspected terrorists. (audio clip after page break)
ABC's Good Morning America on Friday ignored new details of Barack Obama's pay-for-access scheme, the only morning show to skip the story. The President's campaign group, now renamed Organizing for Action (OFA), has promised quarterly meetings with the President for donations of $500,000. NBC's Today and CBS This Morning both covered the growing controversy. GMA, which did find time to focus on the latest Justin Bieber gossip, avoided it.
Today's Chuck Todd offered surprisingly hard-hitting criticism of Obama, lecturing, "When it comes to Barack Obama's views on money and politics, his actions have rarely matched his words...When it comes to big money in politics, President Obama has often talked the talk...But critics say he's rarely walked the walk." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The liberal media should have reported President Obama's Chicken Little sky-is-falling claims about the sequester, but "with clear skepticism" instead of mindlessly parroting them, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Fox News's Sean Hannity on the March 7 edition of his eponymous program. "They should have gone to the American people and in effect said, this man is lying," but instead, "they did the exact opposite. They waved the pom-poms for him," the Media Research Center (MRC) founder argued.
Even worse, Hannity added, after the sequester ended up being a nothing-burger, the media whined about it, wringing their hands that the public are not concerned. "Let's understand what they mean when they say it's sad.... they're sad that the America people aren't believing the media," Bozell argued, adding the the "big losers" in the whole sequester ordeal are the liberal media, because "people are seeing right through it." [watch the full "Media Mash" segment here]
President Obama actually had the nerve this week to close down the White House to tours as part of budget sequestration.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Fox News's Special Report Thursday observed, "The President’s travel expenses alone for the golfing outing with Tiger Woods would pay for a year of White House visits."
World News's Jonathan Karl on Wednesday turned a uniquely skeptical eye on Barack Obama's decision to end White House tours in the wake of sequester. Highlighting the President's claim that the decision was a financial necessity, he chided, "The President is having dinner tonight with Republicans at a restaurant just six blocks from here. He took a 20-car motorcade and, of course, lots of Secret Service agents." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Talking to anchor Diane Sawyer, Karl joked, "Maybe next time, Diane, [Obama] can save a little money by just ordering in." Karl questioned the White House's claim that $84 million in cuts, out of a $1.6 billion budget for the Secret Service, caused the end of the tours. The journalist did the math: "Tours are open 20 hours a week and use 30 uniformed Secret Service officers at about $30 an hour. Total saved? Approximately $18,000 a week."
Not surprisingly, most of the folks on MSNBC have being having a field day Thursday ridiculing Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for his historic filibuster the day before.
Doing his part on the Martin Bashir show was MSNBC political analyst David Corn who said that Attorney General Eric Holder’s letter to Paul “had a very silent FU in it” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
CNN gave over eight times more coverage to Beyonce lip synching the national anthem than it did to President Obama's falsehood on the sequester last Friday.
After the President claimed in last Friday's presser that Capitol Hill janitors and police would receive a pay cut because of the sequester, CNN correspondent Dana Bash fact-checked it and found it not to be the case. Her report aired twice that day and two more times over last weekend. She covered the matter for 45 seconds in each report, so CNN's coverage totaled three minutes.
Barack Obama’s strategy going into the scheduled sequestration was to hit the panic button, over and over again, putting the very Obama-friendly media into a heavy rotation of disaster metaphors.
“Hours, now, until massive government cuts go into effect that could impact every American. Jobs vaporizing, flights delayed, even criminals walking free,” warned ABC morning anchor Josh Elliott. On screen were the words “BUDGET ARMAGEDDON.”
Is it possible that Obama's arrogance, personal pettiness, sanctimoniousness and egotism (for starters) could finally be his unraveling? Even the liberal media are starting to notice, but will it last?
Up to this point, they've dutifully played along with his Alinskyite tactics — converting the office of the presidency into a headquarters for community organizing at a federal level and a position to organize and fund a perpetual campaign against his political opponents instead of governing.
President Obama's sequester-related press briefing on March 1 contained the usual fibs. Examples include but are certainly not limited to the following: "We've already cut $2.5 trillion in our deficit," when the entire amount involved is something which might happen in the future; his claim that his State of the Union laundry list "is the agenda that the American people voted for," when many of the items involved were never mentioned during the 2012 campaign; and that the sequester is "happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made," despite the fact that his advisers with his personal approval originated the idea in 2011 and the reality that he was under no compulsion when he signed the bill setting it in place last week.
Since then, while the establishment press has largely ignored it, the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler has twice honed in on a relatively small but clearly refutable statement Obama uttered that day: "Starting tomorrow, everybody here, all the folks who are cleaning the floors at the Capitol ... they're going to have less pay. The janitors, the security guards, they just got a pay cut, and they've got to figure out how to manage that. That’s real." No it's not.
"I think that for democracy to survive and thrive, I think we need a vigilant media. You know, we now have a lap dog, thrill up our leg, a**-kissing, suck-up, lapdog media. How do we have a thriving democracy when people can't get accurate, fair information? That seems to be hard to me."
So marvelously said Fox News's Sean Hannity on his program Tuesday (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Unless he had just eaten a bad cup of Jell-O pudding, it would appear that actor and comedian Bill Cosby seems to really, really hate Republicans.
The veteran entertainer made that very clear Monday morning when he claimed that Republicans not applauding President Obama’s State of the Union address in unison with Democrats were “as bad as the people who were against any kind of desegregation.” He also wondered aloud about whether or not Republicans today are upset that slavery is no longer legal.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough had an at times heated discussion about budget deficits, debt, and the economy on PBS's Charlie Rose Monday evening.
At one point Krugman got so rattled by the facts that he actually said Scarborough quoting what he had said in the past was making an ad hominem attack against him (video follows with transcript and commentary):