"Look, folks, we love the filibuster when Democrats use it against Republicans, but really hate it when Republicans use it against Democrats."
If the New York Times editorial board were completely honest, that's exactly what they'd admit in print to their readers. Instead the Gray Lady keeps shifting her point of view on the parliamentary maneuver depending on whose ox is gored. On January 1, 1995, the Times gave the incoming Republican majority a new year's resolution: substantially trim back the filibuster to fall in line with the proposal of liberal Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin (emphases mine):
The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward said on Fox News Sunday that ObamaCare isn’t a scandal such as Watergate or Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.
However, he thinks the problems associated with the so-called “Affordable Care Act” are going to get worse because "It’s going to blow a hole in the budget” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Tuesday, ABC's World News and CBS Evening News both reported the latest poll numbers from the "respected" Quinnipiac University, as CBS's Scott Pelley labeled the institution, regarding President Obama's "lowest ever" approval rating, along with Americans' dim view of the politician's honesty. ABC's Diane Sawyer noted that "for the first time in his presidency, a majority of American voters – 52 percent...say President Obama is not honest and trustworthy."
Both evening newscasts reported these numbers as they led into their coverage of former President Clinton's recent word of advice to Obama on his health care law – that "the President should honor the commitment...[he] made to those people, and let them keep what they've got." NBC Nightly News also devoted air time to Clinton's remarks, but failed to mention the current President's drooping approval number. [MP3 audio from the ABC and CBS reports available here; video below the jump]
"[Former president] Clinton did President Obama no favors this week when he endorsed a growing push on Capitol Hill to modify the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in order to allow people to keep their existing individual health insurance policies if they want to," MSNBC.com's Zachary Roth lamented in his November 13 story, "What's Bill Clinton up to on Obamacare?"
The teaser on the MSNBC.com main page was more hard-hitting: "The underminer-in-chief?" asked the headline emblazoned over a black-and-white photo of a half-smiling Clinton [see screen capture below page break]. Roth went on to explain that Clinton's proposed solution "would badly—perhaps fatally—undermine Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment," presuming, of course, that that's a bad thing. After mentioning how the White House is dancing around this little embarrassing incident, Roth followed up with quotes from two left-wing activists who are disenchanted with the former president's remarks (emphasis mine):
You see, when then-President Clinton proposed a government-run health care overhaul, he "promised [Americans] would lose" their health care plan because Clinton's initiative was predicated on government building from scratch a top-down approach that left had to rip up millions of health care contracts in order to put in place a top-down government-knows-best framework. That scared the dickens out of folks, and so, accordingly, liberal "health-care reformers swung far to the other side," when they continued to eternal crusade to have government "reform" health care, Klein explained (emphasis mine):
Apparently appalled that President Obama clearly needs outside help to come to the realization that something must be done to fix the mess resulting from his "keep your plan" guarantee, Josh Gerstein at the Politico opened a Monday afternoon report by claiming that "President Bill Clinton — the man President Barack Obama once dubbed his 'Secretary of Explaining Stuff' — once again has some explaining of his own to do with the Obama White House."
Hmm. It would appear that Obama has some fixing to do, and may not have been interested in doing anything to genuinely address the mess he, Kathleen Sebelius, the Affordable Care Act, and thousands of pages of restrictive regulations have wrought. Excerpts from Gerstein's grievous report follow the jump (bolds are mine):
"Honor Thy Commitment" is currently the featured headline at the Drudge Report underneath a picture of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama tensely staring at each other.
Despite this exposure, will the media report Clinton telling web magazine OZY, "[T]he President should honor the commitment the federal government made" that people who like their health insurance plans can keep them (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When you think of the Clintons, does the word "honesty" come to mind?
It does to new MSNBC host Ronan Farrow who actually said on Tuesday's The Cycle (readers are strongly advised not to have any food or fluid in their mouths before continuing reading), "They represent a style of honesty that the public craves right now" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
George Stephanopoulos scored an interview on Sunday with his old boss, Bill Clinton. In return for this exclusive, the former Democratic operative turned journalist avoided any mention of a scandal at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), of Benghazi and how the bungled response to the terrorist attack might impact Hillary Clinton's 2016 run for president.
Instead, Stephanopoulos used the ten and a half minute interview to gently query his former supervisor: "I know you can't answer anything about 2016. But when you look back to the last campaign, if you could boil it down to one, what is the one big lesson you learned from it?" As was common in the two part segment, the This Week anchor allowed Clinton to speak for long stretches. He only broke up the ex-President's answer on the 2008 primaries to murmur, "A pretty titanic battle." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
CNN's Piers Morgan fawned over the Clinton family on his Wednesday night show and on Thursday morning's New Day. He lamented that Bill Clinton can't still be president.
In his interview at the Clinton Global Initative, Morgan boosted Bill with this glowing introduction: "There is no better person to explain what's going on in Washington and the world for that matter, but Bill Clinton. The former commander in chief is honest, blunt, and fascinating." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
While ObamaCare remains widely unpopular with the American people, on Tuesday's ABC World News, anchor Diane Sawyer touted how "the President is bringing out the big gun to argue it will lead to a healthier and cheaper medical cost for Americans." In the report that followed, correspondent Bob Woodruff gushed: "Call it Bill Clinton to the rescue....the President turns to the man he calls his secretary of explaining stuff." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd declared: "...the White House thought, hey, this is a great opportunity to tap Bill Clinton to help them do what Bill Clinton did in 2012, demystify a little bit of some of the issues around the economy. This time on health care there was a lot of theatrics as well."
With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change about to release its much-anticipated fifth assessment report Friday, all eyes have been focused on how contributors will address the fifteen year halt to temperature increases despite rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
It was therefore preposterous of PBS’s Charlie Rose to spend almost 30 minutes talking to former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore Tuesday - exclusively about climate change, mind you! - without once asking either of them about the temporary cessation to "global warming" or the problem this raises for the IPCC as well as adherents to this theory.
Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell broke out the kid gloves for Bill Clinton on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Rose and O'Donnell failed to press the Democrat on the possible conflicts of interest surrounding his Clinton Global Initiative, as well as his wife Hillary's possible 2016 presidential run. The two anchors granted over 12 and a half minutes of air time to the former president.
Rose played up the "human side" of Clinton, and wondered if Hillary would "rather be – today – she can do both – president or grandmother?" O'Donnell pointed out that Mrs. Clinton "said you guys are watching movies together and taking long walks. And so, how is life different now?" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Several media outlets have eagerly picked up the political gossip coming out of a New York magazine story on Hillary Clinton and her possible 2016 run. The article itself is a fawning profile of the former of Secretary of State and her husband. According to writer Joe Hagan, Bill and Hillary are "the most celebrated political marriage in American history." (Apparently, couples like John and Abigail Adams don't qualify.)
Although it wasn't until paragraph 40 of the nearly 6000 word article that Hagan seriously discussed the terrorist attack in Benghazi, he heaped cotton candy-style praise on the 42nd president: "Bill Clinton is also a legendary politician, a brilliant tactician who won two presidential elections and reigned over the most prosperous years in America in recent memory." The journalist seriously suggested that "some" think " he single-handedly won Obama reelection with his extraordinary takedown of Mitt Romney at the Democratic National Convention last year."
The journalists at Good Morning America on Monday hyped a puff piece on whether Hillary Clinton will run for President in 2016, but ignored a critical look at the Clinton Global Initiative and its brewing scandal. Instead, reporter Dan Harris promoted a New Yorkmagazine story on the former Secretary of State. He quoted the possible presidential contender on her relationship with Bill: "We laugh at our dogs. We watch stupid movies. We take long walks. We go for a swim. You know, just ordinary, everyday pleasures." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Harris made sure to point out that "if she does run, the polls show she's in a strong position to win her party's nomination and even the general election, although it is ridiculously early in the game, of course." The segment was so content free that after it concluded, co-host Robin Roberts wondered, "So, exactly, what did we learn?" In contrast, CBS This Morning's Jan Crawford managed to cover the New York story as well as an expose in the New Republic entitled, "Scandal at Clinton Inc."
Former President Bill Clinton made a comment this weekend guaranteed to make people on both sides of the aisle laugh their heads off.
In a pre-recorded interview to be aired on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday, Clinton said – with a straight face, no less! – “I think you’ve got to give it the Republicans. They have a much more reliable media base” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Chicago Tribune’s Web site obituary today on former Congressman E. Clay Shaw (R-FL) notes his role in passing 1996’s sweeping welfare reform. The article states the legislation was “(b)acked by Republican leaders and then-President Bill Clinton.”
While it’s true that Clinton has for years taken bows for signing welfare reform, the authors err in not separating Clinton’s words from his actions. Yes, he did pledge in 1992 to "end welfare as we have come to know it," but after the election didn’t do much about it. In an August 1, 1996 Baltimore Sun piece, authors Carl M. Cannon and Karen Hosler wrote:
After assuming office, his administration took 17 months to propose a welfare reform plan -- a version supported by neither congressional Republicans nor Democrats.
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Jeff Pegues spotlighted the lack of GOP speakers at the 50th anniversary commemoration of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech: "Noticeably absent from this event, the GOP...the two most senior Republicans in the House...were invited to speak but declined." However, Pegues failed to mention that the event organizers didn't make much of an effort to get Republican Tim Scott, the only current black U.S. senator, to speak.
The correspondent also zeroed in on former President Bill Clinton's dubious claim during his speech at the commemoration – that "a great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The recently announced upcoming departure of NPR CEO Gary Knell serves as a useful time to look at the history of NPR leadership. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, NPR insists that it doesn’t play favorites in its news coverage of political parties. One indication of NPR’s actual commitment to being nonpartisan in its news coverage is its choice of President/CEO. Just from what is publicly known about NPR’s nine leaders over the past 42 years, most were known to be devoted Democrats before being hired. None were known to be Republicans (even liberal Republicans).
NPR’s first two leaders had no public history of partisan activity. The NPR board can’t take much credit for that, though. The first leader, Don Quayle, was picked before NPR was even broadcasting. The second leader, Lee Frischknecht, a life-long friend of Quayle’s and already second in command at NPR, was hand-picked by Quayle to take over at NPR, so that he could move on to another job. Those were unique cases.
Now that he's mostly settled in at the Fox News Channel, we're wondering if former CNNer and Washington Postie Howard Kurtz is ready to take the gloves off. His Monday column dealt in part with Friday's clash between President Barack Obama and conservative icon Rush Limbaugh.
By attacking the radio talk show host as a reason Republicans supposedly tell the president privately they support his desire to fund ObamaCare but can't do so publicly, Obama "elevated Limbaugh to his level," Kurtz said. It also was an extremely unpersuasive argument, Kurtz noted.
On August 8, I speculated that the Clintons might have been responsible for three different NBC employees within a few hours of each other speaking out against the network's planned miniseries about Hillary.
On Wednesday, the Hollywood Reportercited unnamed sources at NBC News claiming that fear of the Clintons might be playing a role in that network's apparent cold-feet regarding the project:
Hillary Clinton is so dreamy to Ed Schultz. More accurately, Hillary Clinton is so dreamy to Ed Schultz ... now.
The braying left-wing radio host and MSNBC weekend parolee is surely hoping that Clinton has a short memory. Clinton and her lesser half are many things, but they aren't possessed of short memories. With speculation already on the rise about the 2016 campaign, Schultz is wasting no time declaring that Clinton's the candidate for him. (Audio clips after the jump)
New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore knows he has one goal in his professional life: not to help Rush Limbaugh’s radio show. After a tough front-page story Wednesday (with Amy Chozick) on the financial mess that is Bill Clinton’s foundation, Confessore appeared briefly that night on MSNBC’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.
O’Donnell warned that Limbaugh loved the Times article and would use it as anti-Clinton grist. Confessore shot back that Limbaugh handled his work with his “usual level” of factual ineptitude, that his take was "unrecognizable in terms of my piece":
Time magazine’s Swampland blog decided to assess the vacationing styles of our recent presidents, who are "just like the rest of us." The captions were generally kind without much partisan tilt, but Bill and Hillary Clinton were shown in rear view in a cozy-looking outdoors setting on his-and-hers stumps.
“Clinton was never much good at vacationing,” Time reported. “His staff had to practically force him to go on vacation his first year in office; his idea of relaxing was reading four good books simultaneously while enjoying a cigar (chewed, not smoked).” There was no irony about Clinton’s sexual use of cigars (see The Starr Report, search for "cigar").
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's The Last Word on MSNBC to preview his interview with President Obama, NBC's Tonight Show host Jay Leno described his political views as "conservative fiscally" and "probably liberal socially" after host Lawrence O'Donnell asked him if he tries to hide his political views from the audience.
The comedian had positive words for President Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Mitt Romney, but was cool on Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Senator Fred Thompson.