NBC News “special correspondent” Ted Koppel is once again sounding like Jimmy Carter’s former Secretary of State in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. The headline was “America's Chronic Overreaction to Terrorism: The country's capacity for self-inflicted damage must have astounded even Osama bin Laden.”
“Terrorism is designed to produce overreaction,” Koppel proclaimed with his trademark arrogance. Bill Clinton’s lack of response to terrorist attacks during his tenure in office was a mark of high intelligence, not fecklessness, unlike Bush launching that disastrous Iraq war:
Former New York Times executive editor Howell Raines (sacked in the 2003 Jayson Blair debacle) provided a positive review Sunday of Washington Post political reporter Dan Balz’s 2012-campaign book “Collision.” Raines claimed Balz was “a fair-minded reporter” in the mold of the late David Broder.
You can’t say the same for Raines, who insists Mitt Romney is “excruciatingly delusional” in assessing what happened last year. Bill Clinton’s convention speech gets “deservedly heroic treatment” from Balz, but somehow, Raines saw Clint Eastwood’s erratic convention speech as a “Monty Python moment,” perhaps one of few times anyone’s ever tried to put Dirty Harry next to Eric Idle in the cultural realm:
Former New York Times columnist Frank Rich showed up on Joy Behar’s Current TV program Say Anything! on Wednesday to chat about some hot news topics – chief among them, the ongoing Anthony Weiner saga. Rich assured Behar that the Weiner situation would not affect Hillary Clinton’s future. On the contrary, he said, it would make people love her husband Bill Clinton even more.
Rich made his remarks after Behar mentioned that the Clintons seem to be distancing themselves from Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin. Rich remarked, “[L]ook, Weiner had a lot of enemies in the Democratic Party well before the scandals, but I also think it’s not going to have any effect on Hillary Clinton's future, whatever it is.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Tuesday's Good Morning America, just as NBC did on Monday, offered concern about how the Weiner scandal would impact the real victims, Bill and Hillary Clinton. Reporter Linsey Davis breathlessly explained that for the power couple, "...Patience has run out." An ABC graphic worried, "Clintons Put Pressure on Candidate: Upset at 'Comparisons' With Weiner."
Davis informed viewers that, pending a possible 2016 run by Mrs. Clinton, "...Several former Clinton aides and advisers tell ABC News the Clintons increasingly see Weiner's mayoral campaign as an embarrassment and potential liability." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Bill Maher on Friday attacked the media – particularly MSNBC’s Chris Matthews – for hypocrisy concerning how they handle sex scandals based on whether or not they like the politician involved.
The HBO Real Time host correctly pointed out that the Anthony Weiner-bashing Matthews absolutely adored John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton who were both involved in far worse sexcapades than the New York City mayoral candidate (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NPR in general and their legal affairs/Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg in particular want the public to believe that they view sexual harassment charges against public figures as a very important issue that demands immediate and full coverage. The reality: they behave that way only if the accused has a Republican party identification.
The most recent evidence of that: the reporting on the charges of sexual harassment and sexual assault by San Diego’s current Democratic mayor and former 20-year U.S. Congressman Bob Filner. In the two weeks following the initial disclosure of the accusations July 11, which was followed by named accusers coming forward July 22, 23 and 24, NPR has aired a grand total of two pieces on the matter. The first occurred a full five days after the accusations first came out, on July 16 (even The New York Times reported it July 12). And both pieces were done by a public radio journalist in San Diego who doesn’t even work for NPR.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough has been making some fairly conservative arguments on his program as of late. On Thursday’s Morning Joe, for instance, he took his liberal guests to task, blasting Politico’s Jim VandeHei and The New York Time’s Steve Rattner for characterizing the House GOP as a do-nothing, radical conference.
Scarborough insisted that Republicans have stood for the same principles “for 100 years,” while dismantling the relentless claim from liberals that the current House of Representatives is the most extreme in American history:
MSNBC’s Morning Joe spent nearly half of their Wednesday program covering the latest revelations in the Anthony Weiner scandal, yet never once mentioned that the disgraced former congressman and New York City mayoral candidate is a Democrat. The panel was extremely critical of Weiner and his candidacy, but apparently did not consider the candidate’s political affiliation to be of any importance to the story.
But while the (D) label was never applied to Weiner – save for one graphic showing a Democratic primary poll – the MSNBC show did have time to squeeze in two partisan labels – one for Republican Senator David Vitter and one for Democratic Congressman Barney Frank, in a round-up of other scandal-scarred politicians. In that same round-up, Democrat Bill Clinton was, like Weiner, not labeled.
On Wednesday's All Things Considered, NPR's Elizabeth Shogren blasted the Republican congressional majority led by Newt Gingrich during the 1990s. Shogren spotlighted a MIT professor's assertion that former President Bill Clinton "stood up for the EPA when it faced the most frightening attack it had ever had. Congressional Republicans, led by Newt Gingrich, wanted to gut regulations...some even wanted to do away with the EPA."
The correspondent made this over-the-top statement as she covered the EPA renaming its headquarters after the two-term president. Shogren also hit the Democrat from the left by claiming that "Clinton's record on the environment was mixed".
NPR afternoon co-host Melissa Block inexplicably seems to have changed her view of the value of U.S. Senate candidates living in a state for a while before running. On the July 17 All Things Considered, Block wondered why Liz Cheney would run for a Senate seat in the West. She "grew up in the East. She only moved back to Wyoming last year. Why is she running for Senate now and launching a primary fight against the incumbent?“
While Cheney had lived off-and-on in Wyoming before considering a Senate run, in 2000 then-First Lady Hillary Clinton had never lived in New York. Yet Block blithely announced on the February 16, 1999 All Things Considered: “On the books, there's nothing to bar Mrs. Clinton from a New York Senate run. All she needs to do is set up residence here by Election Day, and that's worked before....Robert Kennedy came from out of town to win the New York Senate seat in 1964.”
ABC, NBC, and CBS began their Wendy Davis love fest on June 26 during their evening newscasts, but it was also rehashed for their morning shows. Davis, a Texas state senator, has become a rock star of the left for a filibuster, which temporarily scuttled a bill, which was vociferously opposed by pro-choice advocates, to regulate the state's abortion clinics.
The liberal Democrat became a single mom at nineteen, yet put herself through Harvard Law School. Those are admirable achievements, of course, but the Big Three networks have egregiously used her life story to mask the extreme agenda she supports with her opposition to the bill.
Jay Leno took his sights off Barack Obama Wednesday and set them upon former President Bill Clinton.
During the opening monologue of NBC’s Tonight Show, the host said, “In fairness to Clinton, see he didn't totally understand the law. When he signed the bill, he thought the Defense of Marriage Act was defending marriage as if it were really just an act.”
ABC on Saturday fawned over the growing "bromance" between Bill Clinton and Chris Christie, hyping the relationship as like "Clooney and Pitt" and, oddly, "Han Solo and Chewbacca." Good Morning America reporter Reena Ninan touted the New Jersey Governor's appearance last week at the Clinton Global Initiative, enthusing, "There was Clooney and Pitt. Han Solo and Chewbacca." (Ninan didn't explain who is Chewbacca in this example.)
ABC clearly seemed pleased at Christie's relationship with the Democratic politician. A graphic touted, "Clinton & Christie's 'Bromance." Ninan repeatedly gushed, "It's a bromance...But a political bromance?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Alex Wagner just took the media’s infatuation with the Clinton family to a whole new level. In an interview with Chelsea Clinton on Friday’s Now, the daytime MSNBC host jokingly begged Clinton for “an extra large rolly bag that I can stuff myself into” when the former First Daughter travels.
After Clinton gamely approved, Wagner followed up with an even more bizarre request:
CNN sure loves the Clintons. After running a Hillary puff piece on Thursday, the network fawned over Chelsea on Friday morning's Starting Point.
Michaela Pereira, co-host of CNN's new morning show New Day, hyped that "Chelsea Clinton might just be the epitome of girl power." In her first CNN report, she added that Chelsea "is motivated from within. She's got these two extraordinary parents." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The New York Post offered an op-ed on Monday adapted from the new paperback edition of Ed Klein's book The Amateur. Klein says Team Obama and Team Clinton made a deal last summer: Bill Clinton would give the key nominating speech at the Democratic convention in Charlotte endorsing Obama. In exchange, Obama would endorse Hillary Clinton as his successor. But after he won his second term, Obama had second thoughts about endorsing Hillary in 2016.
"Bill Clinton went ballistic and threatened retaliation. Obama backed down," Klein asserteed. "He called his favorite journalist, Steve Kroft of '60 Minutes,' and offered an unprecedented 'farewell interview' with departing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton."
Appearing on Thursday's NBC Today to promote his new show premiering on the Military Channel, The Brokaw Files, special correspondent Tom Brokaw fondly looked back at a 1993 interview he conducted with Bill and Hillary Clinton: "It's amazing when you stop and think about all that they've been through. That was 1993, it's 20 years ago, and they're still at the top of the attention span in this country." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the 20-year-old clip that was shown, Brokaw is seen lobbing this softball to then-President Clinton, as Hillary looked on: "How long do you think it'll be, Mr. President, before there's a first husband?" Clinton predicted it would happen "probably in my lifetime." Following the clip, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "Well, that's a priceless piece of videotape."
As the Obama scandals surround the White House, some conservatives are suggesting that -- finally -- the media are "getting tough” on Obama. Don't count on it. All our modern experience suggests tough reporting on a Democratic president is more of a temporary sensation than an ongoing trend.
The news media honestly believe they were tough on Team Clinton. It is simply not true. There was a seemingly endless supply of Clinton administration (and Clinton pre-administration) scandals, yet can you name one that was resolved? The floating FBI files. The illegal fundraising. Whitewater. On and on they went, and the media response was predictable: two or three days of tough coverage -- if at all -- and then, inevitably, political spin overtaking the hunt for facts. The search for truth became a discussion about “Republican overreach.”
Kirsten Powers said something Saturday that should deeply embarrass so-called journalists across the fruited plain.
Appearing on Fox News Watch, Powers - who was Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Public Affairs in the Clinton administration - said of the job the current White House is doing with the Benghazi cover up, "Bill Clinton would not have gotten away with this" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
HBO's Bill Maher on Friday – like so many liberal media members before him – made the case for disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) to be forgiven for his sins and allowed to re-enter politics.
At the conclusion of his Real Time program, Maher said, "In the not too distant future, we will elect a president whose penis we have all seen" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
One might think the opening of George W. Bush’s presidential library in Dallas was an occasion for dignity. But Bill Clinton didn’t think so. On CNN yesterday, Jake Tapper asked former Bush chief of staff Andy Card about “an interesting moment” in Clinton’s remarks.
“Your mother showed me some of your landscapes and animal paintings, and I thought they were great. Really great,” Clinton said. “And I seriously considered calling you and asking you to do a portrait of me until I saw the results of your sister's hacked e-mails. Those bathroom sketches were wonderful, but at my age I think I should keep my suit.”
On Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC analyst Richard Wolffe -- formerly of Newsweek -- claimed that President Bush "ignored all the warnings about al-Qaeda wanting to attack the homeland" before 9/11 as he mocked Republicans for praising Bush's record of preventing terrorist attacks on U.S. soil after the 9/11 attacks. As he alluded to Republicans criticizing President Clinton for not handling al-Qaeda more aggressively during his presidency, Wolffe asserted:
Former President Bill Clinton made a comment Saturday evening guaranteed to raise some eyebrows.
During his acceptance speech for the Advocate for Change Award at the 24th annual Los Angeles dinner of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Clinton said, “People who oppose equal rights for gays in the marriage sphere are basically acting out of concerns for their own identity not out of respect for anyone else."
Warning: Please remove all flammables, fluids, and food from proximity to your computer as the following statement by Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on PBS's McLaughlin Group Friday could result in a potentially hazardous fit of laughter.
"The concern within the [Obama] administration [regarding cyber warfare] is intense, and it reminds me of the way the Clinton administration was focused on al Qaeda in the ’90s" (video follows with lengthy commentary to really expose the absurdity of this statement):
As two gay-marriage cases reach the Supreme Court this week, the New York Times's Peter Baker served up Bill Clinton's mea culpa on the Defense of Marriage Act, which the president signed into law in 1996, in the heat of his re-election campaign.
While letting Clinton explain his reversal on DOMA, which ensured that no state is obligated to recognize a same-sex marriage conducted in another state, Baker relayed the former president's exceedingly lame explanations for angering the left and signing it into law -- apparently Bob Dole (his '96 election opponent) made him do it. And, sleep deprivation.
CNN couldn't stop talking about former President Clinton's op-ed on Friday. Every hour between 5 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET, the network touted Clinton asking the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act that he signed as president, spending over a half hour of coverage on it.
Anchor Don Lemon reported the op-ed four times between 9 and 11 a.m. ET. Anchor Ashleigh Banfield ran two segments on it during the 11 a..m. ET hour. Lemon, openly-gay, voiced his support: "I mean, when you sit right down and just look at it, it's really all about civil and equal rights, human rights. We're a country that treats everybody equal, I mean everyone should be treated equally under the Constitution." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
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):
So, I take it that Lisa De Moraes didn’t go through her paper’s archives before she penned today's TV column in which she re-wrote history regarding Conan O’Brien's turn as emcee for the White House Correspondents Association dinner in April 1995. Yesterday it was announced that the late-night comedian would return this year as the master of ceremonies.
De Moraes suggested the O'Brien bombed the last go-around and seemed to take offense for late President Clinton, who was the butt of many of O'Brien's jokes 18 years ago.