At Thursday’s press conference there were no questions about the latest IRS scandal developments or Benghazi but today’s presser did give Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere a chance to tee one up for the President.
Given the opportunity to ask a tough question about all of ObamaCare’s problems Dovere instead prompted the President to go on a tirade against Republicans. Politico’s senior White House reporter wondered if it was “time for Democrats to start campaigning loudly and positively on the benefits of ObamaCare?” and then pushed the President: “Will you lead that charge?” [video after the jump]
The network morning shows on Thursday were thrilled by Vice President Joe Biden joining Instagram on Wednesday and posting a selfie of himself with President Obama. On NBC's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie couldn't contain her excitement: "Presidents and vice presidents, they're just like us! The latest selfie racing around the web today." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos hailed: "...the selfie craze has hit the White House again....Joe Biden set up an Instagram account overnight, sending out his first picture, it went viral immediately." CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell gushed: "It's being called the selfie to end all selfies....The White House Twitter account also posted the photo with the caption, 'Pals.'"
CBS News devoted 15 and a half minutes on Wednesday night and Thursday morning to an interview with Barack Obama. Despite April 15th having just passed, correspondent Major Garrett offered no questions on taxes or the IRS scandal. He also avoided any queries on ObamaCare or the Benghazi terrorist attack.
Instead, more than four minutes on This Morning were given over to a horse race discussion on 2016. (Joe Biden joined the interview for that section.) Garrett did press the President on Russia and Ukraine, quizzing, "In your mind, is there a line, never mind the color, is there a line in eastern Europe or Ukraine, that Vladimir Putin must not cross?" After Obama paused as he formulated an answer, the journalist prodded, "Can you articulate that for the world and for the Russian government?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
CNN's Chris Cuomo tried to get former Assistant Secretary of State Jamie Rubin to defend President Obama's response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine during a segment on Wednesday's New Day. Cuomo cited how Russian President Vladimir Putin "did this in Georgia.....under President Bush" in 2008, and wondered, "Is it fair to look at this situation and say, the weakness or perception of weakness of President Obama has given a window of opportunity to Putin?"
The anchor didn't identify Rubin as either a former Clinton administration official or as the husband of CNN personality Christiane Amanpour. Interestingly, the State Department veteran didn't give Cuomo the response he was looking for: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
For a moment, imagine yourself back in 2006, at the height of liberal aggression about the “imperial hubris” of George W. Bush in the War on Terror. The left's contempt for this man was rampant. Liberals savaged him for turning the world against this country. Keith Olbermann announced “the beginning of the end of America.”
Now imagine, in that milieu, if during the Bush administration we'd witnessed a mass shooting by an Islamist at Fort Hood. Or a terrorist bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Or a deadly terrorist attack on a consulate in Libya. Would liberals have granted President Bush a pass for any of these? Or would he and his policies have been blamed?
During the most recent edition of Fox News Sunday, political analyst Brit Hume asserted that attorney general Eric Holder had become a “crybaby” and that he and president Barack Obama have “benefited enormously” from being the first African-Americans to hold the offices they now inhabit.
Then on Monday, Hume was accused of “race-baiting” by the host of MSNBC's The Ed Show. Later, he was supported by Bill O'Reilly, who exclaimed “Wow!” regarding Hume's “very provocative soundbite” and Twitter feedback that ranged from emails telling the conservative analyst he was “right on” to others who hammered him as a racist.
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's John King hyped the Congressional Budget Office's projection about ObamaCare – that "yes, ObamaCare is expensive, but less expensive than they thought – by about $104 billion over 10 years. That's a decent junk of change." King asserted that the health care issue is "the big domestic challenge for the President and for Democrats this election year: that is...trying to defend it – you could say now, maybe, bragging – about ObamaCare."
The journalist then expressed his bewilderment that Democrats weren't playing up this CBO projection: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Monday afternoon at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Andrew Taylor predictably described the House's passage of the Ryan Budget in shrill terms (in order of appearance): "A slashing budget blueprint"; "Sweeping budget cuts"; balances the budget "at the expense of poor people and seniors"; "sharp cuts to domestic programs"; "staking out a hard line for the future"; and "tough cuts." Naturally, he failed to disclose that the Ryan budget increases the federal government's total outlays in each and every fiscal year from 2015 to 2024, with the final projected year coming in at $4.995 trillion, or 42 percent above the $3.523 trillion in spending the Congressional Budget Office predicted yesterday for fiscal 2014.
In the process of performing the AP's usual hatchet job, Taylor let loose with a howler about the federal government's ability to continue on its current financial path. The AP reporter may also have inadvertently let something slip into his narrative about the viability of a cherished government program, something which is a deep, dark secret to most Americans, but is quite well-known to those who watch things more closely:
Q. How do you know when Barack Obama has set a dubious new record for presidential weakness? A. When Jimmy Carter's former top adviser mocks his anemic response to an international crisis.
On today's Morning Joe, Zbigniew Brzezinski argued that the US needs to discuss with Ukraine the provision of defensive weapons in the face of the Russian threat. He then mockingly observed: "the Ukrainians did ask us for help in that regard. Do you know what our answer has been? We offered them prepackaged food for their soldiers. Well, you can't win a military conflict by throwing pancakes at somebody." The laughter on the normally Obama-friendly set should still be ringing in the President's ears. View the video after the jump.
On the Monday, April 14, PoliticsNation, host Al Sharpton squeezed more mileage out of President Obama's Friday visit to the MSNBC host's National Action Network as Sharpton devoted another segment to the President's words criticizing new laws against voter fraud, with Sharpton accusing Republicans of "waging a war on voting rights." The PoliticsNation host had previously highlighted Obama's speech on Friday's show.
Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post soon joined Sharpton in going over the top as he accused Republicans of engaging in a "concerted effort" to "disenfranchise a vast block of voters," and of "trying to make" voting "illegal."
After a clip of President Obama addressing Sharpton's National Action Network on Friday, the MSNBC host recalled:
MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams blurred the lines of reality while arguing with Republican strategist Ron Christie on Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt. The two men were sparring over the desire among some Republicans to impeach Attorney General Eric Holder. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Witt asked how Holder can work with Republicans when some of them are calling for his impeachment, and Christie responded with an example from the George W. Bush presidency:
Recently departed CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson appeared with Howard Kurtz on Fox's Media Buzz on Sunday. Kurtz said her forthcoming book is titled “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.” Kurtz asked her to define those forces.
"I think any journalist who has been covering Washington for a few years would agree… that there is pressure coming to bear on journalists for just doing their job in ways that have never come to bear before." (Video below)
On the Friday, April 11, PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton led the show by pushing the liberal mantra that Republicans are in a "war on voting" as he highlighted President Obama's speech earlier that day to Sharpton's own left-wing National Action Network organization on the subject of voting rights.
And later in the show, as Sharpton hosted a segment dismissing the various Obama administration scandals, guest and liberal talk radio host Bill Press accused FNC audience members of being "dumb" as he asserted that California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa should be "on the payroll" of FNC head Roger Ailes.
On Friday's World News, ABC's David Kerley pressed I.R.S. Commissioner John Koskinen about taxpayers who are unable to "get an answer as to how much they're supposed to pay," due to long wait times on the agency' help line. However, Kerley didn't bother to ask Koskinen about the House Ways and Means Committee's Wednesday vote to refer former IRS official Lois Lerner to the Justice Department for prosecution, over alleged targeting of Tea Party groups for auditing.
In fact, as of Friday, none of the Big Three evening newscasts have covered the House committee's criminal referral, nor the House Oversight Committee voting on Thursday to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress. Instead, the ABC correspondent zeroed in on taxpayers' complaints about the IRS help line, as well as the commissioner's YouTube video warning about how to deal with the poor service there: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The Democratic National Committee has accused the MSNBC cable channel of having "a pretty big double standard" regarding its “confusing policy” of forbidding some anchors from attending political fundraising events while others are allowed to speak at similar programs, according to a letter written to Phil Griffin, president of the liberal television network.
Mo Elleithee, the DNC's communications director, indicated that channel executives prevented Ed Schultz -- host of the weekday afternoon program The Ed Show – from appearing at a Democratic Unity Dinner in Broward County, Fla., on March 15, while Joe Scarborough, a co-host of the weekday Morning Joe program, is slated to give the keynote address at next month's Cheshire County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner in New Hampshire.
David Letterman shocked the late night talk show world, last week, when he announced he was going to retire in 2015. But over the last few years Letterman had been losing the ratings war to his less liberal competitor Jay Leno. While Leno tried to be more even-handed in his jokes against Republicans and Democrats, Letterman took a decidedly leftist turn. A recent study of Letterman’s 2012 campaign jokes found he took more shots at Mitt Romney (44) than Barack Obama (9).
In the 2000’s Letterman throttled Republicans like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, questioning if they had any “humanity.” He also conducted his own personal war on GOP women as he called Michele Bachmann a “whacko” and depicted Sarah Palin and her daughter in “slutty” terms. But when it came to Obama, Letterman was positively awe-struck when the President came on his show, as he gushed “how satisfying it is to watch you work.” [Video compilation after the jump]
Looks like the left might be getting some of that old-time religion. Old-time, as in circa 2007-8, when Barack Obama was being hailed as The One and some sort of messiah.
On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski described yesterday's White House equal-pay-for-women event which she attended, sitting next to Valerie Jarrett. Brzezinski said "it was sort of like a church revival. I'm telling you, every time the president made a comment about why women should be paid equally to men. Equal pay for equal work, talking about the same jobs. You'd hear like "okay." Clapping, and almost like "praise Jesus." It was fun." View the video after the jump.
Team Obama's spokesman were testy on Tuesday after being challenged by the press in their daily messaging about the allegedly awful pay gap between men and women. In the briefing today, Andrew Johnson at The Corner noted Carney lashed out at Jeff Mason of Reuters when the reporter suggested "outside economists say that the data the president is using, the 77-cent phrase, is wrong."
"To say, 'economists.' I mean, from Reuters, I would expect something a little more precise,” Carney snapped. Communications director Jennifer Palmieri also attacked the White House press on Tuesday. (Video below)
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's John King targeted President Obama and his administration for their "textbook case...of do as I say, not as I do" on the issue of equal pay for women. After playing a clip of Press Secretary Jay Carney playing up how the 88 cents on the dollar women in the White House apparently make compared to men is "better than the national average," King quipped, "I guess the coach would say, is that the best you got?"
The journalist also spotlighted two past studies involving the White House and congressional payroll at the time Mr. Obama was serving as a senator from Illinois, and pointed out the bad optics of the situation: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, White House correspondent Major Garrett completely dismantled President Obama's left-wing talking points on the supposed gender pay gap of women making 77 cents on the dollar compared to men, reporting: "The White House is getting...roughed up by hits own pay equity rhetoric." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Garrett used the administration's hypocrisy on the issue to fact check the false claims: "An analysis of White House salaries, which nobody here disputes, shows that the median income of female staffers is 88% of that of male staffers....Now, the White House said it's gender pay gap is tied to job experience, education, and hours worked, among other factors. This matters because those explanations, according to the Labor Department, explain a good deal of the gender pay gap nationally."
It's one thing to spike the football when you actually score a touchdown, but why is Obama celebrating in the end zone when he just got tackled for a safety?
What on earth is this man boasting about? Boasting is obnoxious enough when the braggart in question has accomplished something, but how many people do you know who brag when they've hurt millions?
Under the goal posts in the Rose Garden, Obama said: Obamacare "is doing what it's supposed to do; it's working. ... The debate over repealing this law is over; the Affordable Care Act is here to stay. ... I've got to admit, I don't get it. Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance? Why are they so mad about the idea of folks having health insurance?"
On Monday morning, NBC, ABC, and CBS all found an excuse to cover Obama's selfie with Red Sox player David Ortiz one more time, expressing their collective fear that the White House may ban selfies with the commander-in-chief. On NBC's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie fretted: "Has David Ortiz ruined the presidential selfie for the rest of us?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After the networks initially promoted the photo-op as a "good day in Washington" last week, they were chagrined when word came that Ortiz may have staged the supposedly spontaneous moment in order to promote cell phone maker Samsung, with whom he had an endorsement deal.
Chris Matthews made a guest appearance Thursday on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation and showcased a hilarious lack of self-awareness regarding his network, especially his own show. The Hardball host sneered at the idea that a political campaign’s TV ads amount to free speech, insisting that they are no different than Coca-Cola commercials. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Thursday, BuzzFeed reported that NBC, ABC, and CBS turned down a White House request for primetime coverage of a presidential address on Tuesday to spike the football on ObamaCare reaching the seven million enrollment mark. Instead, the President was forced to settle for an afternoon pep rally in the Rose Garden which only ABC and NBC covered live.
These were the same networks that fretted over Republicans not agreeing to let Obama give a primetime campaign speech to Congress at the same time as a Republican presidential primary debate in 2011.
Though he didn't quite get to the "Shut up, he said" threshold, Politico's David Nather, in a Tuesday tome, argued that HealthCare.gov allegedly crossing the 7 million enrollment threshold leaves opponents blubbering, and supports the argument "that government can still solve big social problems" and is "a wake-up call for Republicans and conservatives."
It's as if Nather believes — and maybe he does, in which case he's woefully ignorant — that not achieving the enrollment target is about the only potential problem with HealthCare.gov. Uh, not exactly. Just off the top of my head, there's the lack of site security, the absence of back-office interaction with insurance carriers, miscalculations of subsidies, the system's outrageous cost, and the complete inability of enrollees to add, change or delete elements of what they submitted to correct inadvertent errors or reflect changes in their life circumstances. I'm sure that only scratches the surface. Excerpts from Nather's nattering follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On the Thursday edition of WMAL's Mornings on the Mall radio show, Sharyl Attkisson spotlighted the Obama administration's many inconsistencies in their claims about the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. Attkisson outlined, in detail, "all of the different stories told about the talking points" about the terrorist attack.
Former Fox News anchor Brian Wilson and Breitbart.com's Larry O'Connor turned to the former CBS News journalist for her take on former deputy CIA director Mike Morell's congressional testimony on the Benghazi issue on Wednesday. She zeroed in on how Morell and others were trying to minimize any perception that the talking points were altered for political considerations: [MP3 audio of the full Attkisson segmentavailable here]
After eagerly promoting President Obama's selfie with Red Sox player David Ortiz on Wednesday, Thursday's NBC's Today and CBS This Morning expressed their dismay that Ortiz may have staged the seemingly spontaneous cell phone picture to promote his sponsor Samsung. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie lamented: "Okay, so turns out that wasn't as spontaneous as it looks. The selfie was captured with a Samsung phone and it turns out, mm-hm, you guessed it, David Ortiz has an endorsement deal with Samsung....I think it's kind of ridiculous that it's a product placement. And also because I thought it was a really cute moment, so I guess I'm kind of disappointed."
When an unmistakable embarrassment to liberalism occurs, a standard establishment press fallback tactic is to accuse conservatives of some form of incivility — and if there really isn't one, to make up a story about it anyway.
That's exactly what Bloomberg Businsessweek's Paul M. Barrett did on Tuesday in covering the NRA's reaction to the arrest of California State Senator and ardent gun control advocate Leland Yee on gun trafficking charges. The story's headline claimed that the group did "a victory dance." Barrett's content claimed that it was "gloating" and "strained to veil its pleasure." In truth, the group was doing nothing of the sort — unless the speech police now believe that making any kind of obvious observation about a liberal's failure is inherently unfair:
Forget all the unanswered questions about ObamaCare or the President's sinking poll numbers or the Democratic Party's vulnerability in the midterm elections, on Wednesday's NBC Today, all that was wiped away by President Obama taking a selfie with Red Sox player David Ortiz. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
As fill-in news anchor Tamron Hall put it, "In a town where they don't agree on a lot, I think everyone agrees that this was a pretty cool moment....The Red Sox meeting with the President.... Big Papi [David Ortiz] with the President preparing to take his official photo. Then, he went rogue....The Big Papi selfie....Look at those smiles there. A good day in Washington."