Any time you see an establishment press reporter fail to use quotation marks in characterizing something said by a subject of his or her report, be on the lookout for misdirection, misinterpretation, and downright distortion, especially if the person is a conservative or Republican. A story at Politico by Donovan Slack early this afternoon about the reactions of House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to President Obama's budget is a case in point. Slack pretended that Boehner said something he simply did not say.
Slack wrote: "House Speaker John Boehner hit President Obama's budget for failing to cut enough spending while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed it as 'just another left-wing wish list.'" Slack didn't quote Boehner. Boehner didn't come anywhere close to saying what Slack claims he said, as seen in the complete text of the Speaker's statement (video is at the link) following the jump:
Scott Pelley chided House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday's CBS Evening News, indicating the Republican leader was largely to blame for the imminent sequester: "You said that the President didn't have the guts to do what needed to be done on the budget. Today, you said the Senate has to get off its ass. Those don't sound like the words of a man seeking to bring people together to compromise."
Pelley had already pointed the finger at Boehner for the impasse over the federal budget back on the February 12, 2013 edition of the evening newscast, mere hours before the State of the Union:
In the first part of an interview aired on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer interrogated House Speaker John Boehner over saying President Obama lacked the courage to stand up to his Democratic base: "And by calling the President of the United States out in such harsh terms today, on the day of the State of the Union address....I think a lot of people are going to say, 'Here we go. Same old division. Same old animosity.' Don't they have a right to say that?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Boehner began to reply: "No. Listen, the President and I get along fine...We have a very good relationship." Lauer interrupted: "So this all politics, these questions you raise today?" Boehner continued: "...the American people on election day gave us a mandate, a Republican congress and a Democratic president, and the mandate was to find a way to work together, find common ground."
In an interview with House Speaker John Boehner aired on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer highlighted the Speaker inviting two girls from a Washington D.C. inner city school to the State of the Union address, but rather than focus on the scholarship program Boehner supports, Lauer wondered: "They're your guests. Could you blame them, though, if they're not a little mesmerized by Barack Obama tonight? The nation's first African American president?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Continuing to aggrandize Obama, Lauer went further: "Is he, in your opinion, the most inspirational African American living right now?...You think that's the way these kids will feel when they watch?"
Previewing the State of the Union address, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley repeatedly scolded Republican House Speaker John Boehner for daring to criticize President Barack Obama’s commitment to reducing the deficit. “There will be a great deal said about compromise and bi-partisanship, but in reality there seems to be very little mood for it,” Pelley despaired, before citing the Speaker as the culprit. He relayed a Boehner quote: “When it comes to the heavy lifting that has to be done, he doesn’t have the guts to do it.”
Pelley expressed disbelief, recounting: “Those of us in the room asked the Speaker if he really meant what he said and he repeated it.” Turning to Bob Schieffer, Pelley mimicked the Obama campaign line, fretting: “He didn’t seem open to change.”
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams joined Jimmy Fallon Monday in another "Slow Jam the News" segment on NBC's Late Night.
This time the subject was the fight over the debt ceiling with the target of course being Republicans who were repeatedly hit with sexually-charged attacks (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters readers know, one of my great pleasures is pointing out the staggering stupidity of Bill Maher.
My hero came through once again on HBO’s Real Time Friday telling Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), “You really actually should be the Speaker because Democrats got a million more House votes” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Never ceases to amaze me how little it takes for liberals to amuse themselves.
It wasn't enough for left-wing radio host Stephanie Miller to criticize Mitt Romney as petty for not attending President Obama's second inaugural, as one could reasonably do. No, Miller and her sidekicks denigrated Romney as someone now reduced to weeping in a fetal position (hence, less than fully human), pumping his own gas (the horror!) and, even worse, a "smelly hobo." (audio clip after page break)
A common media theme since the Republicans took over the House of Representatives in January 2011 has been that former President Ronald Reagan and former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill were great legislative partners despite being from different parties.
Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan threw some cold water on this notion on PBS’s McLaughlin Group Friday saying, “There’s a lot of myth about Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan working together. They did not" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"The president who came into office speaking in lofty terms about bipartisanship and cooperation can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP. If he wants to transform American politics, he must go for the throat."
So astonishingly wrote CBS News political director John Dickerson at Slate Friday evening in a piece astonishingly titled "Go for the Throat! Why if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party."
When it comes to the Washington press corps, it seems journalists have two modes: garden variety liberal bias and rah-rah, fist-pumping Obama boosterism. The cover of today's Express tabloid exhibits both.
"Obama Draws the Line on Guns," exults the headline on the front of the January 17 Washington Post-published tabloid. The photoshopped image accompanying the headline is an upturned fountain pen from which a wisp of smoke is curling. [view the image below the page break]
In a Washington Examiner column last night, Gregory Kane made several quite valid points in comparing the media firestorm over Rush Limbaugh's comments about Sarah Fluke to the virtual silence over Des Moines Register columnist Donald Kaul, who, if he were in charge, "would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner ... to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control." Kaul also wrote that he would, "If some people refused to give up their guns," make "that 'prying the guns from their cold, dead hands' thing" operative.
Confirming what readers here would expect, a search at the Associated Press's national web site on Kaul's last name comes up empty. Key paragraphs from Kane's column follow the jump (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):
The Washington Post's Bob Woodward took a ridiculous swipe at the Tea Party Sunday.
Appearing on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show, Woodward said, "We'll see if the White House is going to realize it's much better to have a Speaker Boehner with that mindset than somebody from the Tea Party or the more extreme right which would just lay down and, you know, let the country burn" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham appeared on Neil Cavuto's prime-time show on Fox Business on Thursday night to discuss how the media rained down critiques of House Speaker John Boehner for delaying more federal aid for Hurricane Sandy victims. Cavuto said they tried to turn Boehner into "Satan" as the New York Daily News ran the headline "STABBED IN THE BACK: N.Y. pols blast Sandy betrayer Boehner."
This bias in favor of ever more federal subsidies reminded Graham of the old Daily News headline: "Ford to City: Drop Dead." (Video and transcript below)
Needing 214 votes (of the 427 lawmakers who voted) to win reelection to the speakership on January 3, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) handily beat his closest opponent, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for the office, 220-192. Boehner did see a smattering of dissenting votes in his conference, but no serious challenger within his conference came close to depriving the Speaker of a majority on the first ballot.
Despite these facts, however, today's Washington Post blared on page A4 that "Boehner narrowly wins 2nd term as House speaker." "12 of most conservative Republicans staged rebellion against him," the subheadline for Paul Kane's story insisted melodramatically. The Ohio Republican "was narrowly reelected speaker... giving him a another [sic] chance to lead the chamber -- a task that has been difficult for him over the past two years," staffer Paul Kane began his 14-paragraph story.
95% of the House Republican caucus reelected John Boehner as Speaker of the House on Thursday, but the 12 dissenting Republicans attracted intense coverage in the New York Times, including a front-page story saying the vote foretold "turmoil and division" in the new Congress.
By contrast, there was only scattered coverage when 19 members of the Democratic caucus refused to support Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker in January 2011, after the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections. (The cases aren't quite parallel, as Pelosi was certain to lose her role as Speaker of the House in the newly elected Republican-majority House of 2011, while Boehner was expected to retain his position as head of the Republican-majority House in 2013.)
Despite John Boehner receiving overwhelming support from the Republican caucus to be reelected as Speaker of the House, NBC Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell hyped dissension in the ranks on Friday's NBC Today: "After a turbulent few weeks of setbacks that had cast doubt on his power and influence, a dozen rebellious conservatives turned against him, but Boehner had enough votes."
On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, O'Donnell proclaimed: "John Boehner's path to a second term as Speaker of the House has been rocky. But there was no challenge, only a handful of conservatives voted against him." That morning, Today co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed a "civil war" among Republicans over a Hurricane Sandy relief bill.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Oh.) made news earlier this week when he allegedly told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) "Go f--k yourself."
NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno commented on this Thursday saying of Reid, "Doesn't he look like a guy who heard that a lot in high school? Usually followed by a wedgie then getting stuffed in a locker?” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Fast forward to January 3, 2013, when five percent of House Republicans failed to vote for Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) to be speaker of the House in the 113th Congress. Covering the story this afternoon, Bresnahan and colleague Jake Sherman sought to simultaneously argue that Boehner faced an uphill struggle to hold on to power and that he never really had a credible challenge to the speakership in the first place (emphasis mine):
After House Speaker Boehner pulled a vote for Hurricane Sandy aid on Tuesday, CNN gave a microphone to outraged politicians who bashed the House GOP for not voting on the relief bill that Senate Democrats loaded with pork.
CNN gave two interviews to Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) airing his grievances against fellow Republicans, and anchor Don Lemon interviewed three Democrats who wanted the relief bill passed: Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). [Video below the break. Audio here.]
With four days until the "fiscal cliff," CBS This Morning peppered its report on the Congressional negotiations with four Democratic sound bites compared to just one from Republicans.
Chief White House correspondent Major Garrett quoted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) three times and simply relayed his smear of Rep. John Boehner's Speakership as a "dictatorship." Both ABC and NBC called out Reid's rhetoric, however. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
"I think quite bluntly leaving and losing their virginity on the issue of tax cuts is an important thing to these Republicans who have not voted – make it understood - no Republican in the House or Senate for 22 years has voted to increase taxes."
So said PBS's Mark Shields on Inside Washington Friday (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
With 11 days until the United States goes over the fiscal cliff, ABC's Good Morning America focused squarely on Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Republicans for the failure to reach a negotiation with President Obama.
On Thursday, newly-appointed Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl began his first story hyping Boehner's "crushing" loss when his "Plan B" was aborted for lack of GOP votes: [See video below jump. MP3 audio here.]
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Major Garrett tried to shoehorn Steven Spielberg's screening of his recent film "Lincoln" for the Senate into his report on President Obama's Wednesday press conference on the fiscal cliff and gun control. Garrett hyped how the movie "celebrates presidential power and crafty legislative strategy," and that Obama "may need the wisdom of Lincoln for his latest legislative battle - gun control."
The correspondent even played a clip from the film about the sixteenth President to hint at a parallel between the passage the 13th Amendment, which happened after the carnage of the Civil War, and possible new firearms regulations in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut massacre [audio available here; video below the jump]: