One of the reasons why liberals were so shocked by President Obama's disastrous performance in last Wednesday's presidential debate is that it ran completely counter to what they expected based on one of their most important fictional experiences. And that fictional experience was when "President" Jed Bartlet wiped the floor of his Republican challenger Ritchie ("richie" get it?) during a "West Wing" debate episode. You can see Bartlet destroying Ritchie as completely scripted by Aaron Sorkin in his liberal fantasy below the fold.
Since that fictitious debate has served as a liberal reference point as to how debates between a Democrat and Republican contenders for the presidency are supposed to turn out in real life, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times has invoked the spirit of Jed Bartlet to advise Obama in preparation for the next debate. One can only conclude that Dowd must have accidentally ingested some magic mushrooms because her fantasy Jed Bartlet advises Obama to prepare for the next debate by resuming smoking, appear condescending, and calling Mitt Romney a liar.
There were serious fireworks on the set of ABC's This Week Sunday.
Mostly at odds were George W. Bush aide Mary Matalin and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman with the former eventually telling the latter, "You're hardly credible on calling somebody else a liar" (video follow with transcript and commentary):
Steven Pearlstein at The Washington Post and Timothy Egan at The New York Times both served as reporters before unleashing their opinions as columnists. Both are passionate liberals. Recently both men wrote arrogant jeremiads. So which article made its author look more like a jerk?
It might depend on which group you sympathize with -- Pearlstein went after Mitt Romney types in finance, while Egan went after the still-undecided voter. In an article titled "I am a job creator: A manifesto for the entitled," Pearlstein used the first person to express arrogant ignorance by his Romney-type:
The dissing of Mitt Romney by America's Obama-loving media knows no bounds.
On CBS's Late Show Friday, Billy Crystal showed up with a picture of Romney with the mouth cut out and proceeded to ridicule the Republican presidential nominee with the assistance of host David Letterman (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Isn't it amusing when liberals allege deceit by Republicans while engaging in it themselves?
Yet another example of this shabby dynamic was on display during last night's Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC when its host and one of her guests, Bloomberg gnome Jonathan Alter, tried their best to buff a gloss on President Obama's mail-it-in debate performance. (video after page break)
As NewsBusters previously reported, MSNBC's Chris Matthews had an on-air meltdown Wednesday after the presidential debate.
NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno mocked this incident Thursday showing a video clip of Matthews giving his rant in a straight jacket as he's being taken away by men in white coats (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Jay Leno went after the President again Thursday night.
Early in his opening monologue, the NBC Tonight Show host said of the stellar television ratings for Wednesday night's debate, "The only person who didn't tune in, I think, was President Obama" (video follows with transcript).
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Nancy Cordes trumpeted that the Obama campaign is "turning lemons into lemonade" as she reported that the Democratic operation is "arguing that Romney had a great performance at the debate, but only because he was untethered from the truth." Not once did the correspondent or colleagues Norah O'Donnell and Bill Plante critically examine the claims from the incumbent or his operatives.
O'Donnell even spotlighted how "we heard David Axelrod say that they're going to change some things. They're even suggesting that Mitt Romney is a liar for what he said in the debate."
You want to know the real reason why Mitt Romney won his debate with President Obama on Wednesday night? According to the DUers at the Democratic Underground it had nothing to do with his debate skills or the fact that Obama did a poor job of defending his record. Nope. If you believe the theory floating around the DU, it was all because Romney managed to sneak in a cheat sheet cleverly disguised as a handkerchief to the debate. They even have have their own version of a Zapruder film video which has been slowed down to "prove" their case. Although there is not yet a Grassy Knoll for the Cheat Sheet theory, the DUers have provided some incredible comedy with a suggestion for a crime scene investigation as you can see in their thread, Did Romney bring cheat notes into the debate?
Here are some DU quotes from that new comedy show...CSI Debate:
CNN's Soledad O'Brien twice implied Mitt Romney is lying, on Friday's Starting Point. She pointed to the candidate's admission to being wrong about his 47 percent comments after previously standing by them as a "flip-flop," and something "which some could define as lying."
Meanwhile, on Wednesday she barely touched a 2007 video of then-Senator Obama pandering to a largely black audience and implying the federal government cared less about majority-black New Orleans than it did New York and Florida. O'Brien did not question whether Obama would now "flip-flop" on what he said then. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Appearing on Friday's NBC Today, left-wing MSNBC host Ed Schultz desperately tried to explain away President Obama's bad debate performance: "I think that there were so many lies coming across that stage, and so many inaccuracies, it was hard for the President to comprehend it and decide which one he wanted to attack first." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Savannah Guthrie called him out on the liberal talking point: "That sounds a little bit like you're making excuses for the President." Schultz doubled down on his lame attempt to defend the President: "[Romney] was the guy in the board room, he was the corporate shark, he knew how to get this audience done and he was going to run over everybody. And I think that might play to his disadvantage in the long run."
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, just hours after Mitt Romney's "crisp" debate performance, Norah O'Donnell stuck to her fixation on playing up the Republican's supposed negatives. O'Donnell maligned how Romney phrased his opposition to the federal government's subsidization of PBS: "This may have been the first time in a presidential debate that Big Bird was mentioned. It seems kind of like a silly thing to bring up."
Gayle King, an admitted friend of Michelle Obama and donor to the President's reelection campaign, also spotlighted a Tweet that referenced a decades-old anecdote about Romney placing his dog, Seamus, in a carrier on top of his car: "This wasn't a debate so much as Mitt Romney just took Obama for a cross-country drive strapped to the roof of his car."
On Thursday's NBC Today, in an attempt to deflect from Mitt Romney's strong debate performance, fill-in co-host David Gregory grilled Romney advisor Ed Gillespie on the Governor's tax plan: "...he wants to extend the Bush tax cuts, he wants to have further tax cuts beyond that, he wants to increase military spending and he rejected a 10 to 1 ratio when it came to cutting spending and raising revenue. So the math simply doesn't add up, does it?"
There have been six studies now that have analyzed what Governor Romney has proposed in terms of lowering tax rates and expanding the base. We've done that in the past in our country's history, it's resulted in economic growth. It would result in economic growth again. And six of those studies says – say that this could be done, very credible studies, without increasing the deficit.
Yes, the media are admitting the patently obvious: Mitt Romney won Wednesday's presidential debate. But, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell observed, the media are still shielding Obama by insisting that the president was merely stylistically off his game, rather than deficient on substance.
"It's all about how Obama was lackluster, how Obama wasn't firing on all cylinders.... No," Bozell told Fox Business Network's Stuart Varney on the Thursday morning Varney & Co. "All those things may be true, but that's just the beginning of it." [watch the video below the page break]
You might think of this one as a sequel to the Debacle in Denver.
MSNBC weekend host Chris Hayes was not his chirpy self last night after running into a buzzsaw known as former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani in an exchange reminiscent of that between a befuddled President Obama and a nimble Mitt Romney (video after page break) --
Watching Mitt Romney last night as he revived his campaign while demolishing President Obama was surely a bitter pill for Jon Meacham to swallow.
On Morning Joe today, the former Newsweek editor sought to console himself. Meacham—twice—pointed out that although Mark Twain famously wrote that rumors of his death were greatly exaggerated, Twain did eventually die. Nice analogy, Jon! View the video after the jump.
With the folks at MSNBC, it always seems to come back to race. Network host Ed Schultz failed to disappoint this morning when he appeared on Thomas Roberts's 11 a.m. Eastern MSNBC Live and suggested that racism was partly to blame for President Obama's weak performance in the debate (video follows page break):
The first Obama-Romney presidential debate of 2012 ran under this less-than-informative banner headline in Thursday's New York Times: "Obama and Romney, in First Debate, Spar Over Fixing the Economy." The actual headline to the story by Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg also failed to capture the sense, overwhelming even among the liberal press, that Romney had helped himself with a sharp, energetic performance at the University of Denver: "Feel of Seminar as Accusations Fly From Rivals."
The Washington Post's banner headline was more direct and captured the consensus of the night: "Romney takes fight to Obama," while the story claimed the president "found himself on the defensive repeatedly." Other headlines from around the country captured the same effect.
By contrast, you had to parse the Times to sense that Romney won the night. (One significant Timesman, former Executive Editor Bill Keller, reluctantly awarded Romney the debate on his Twitter feed, calling Romney's performance "shameless but masterful.")
Picking up where he left off Wednesday night, on Thursday's NBC Today, MSNBC's Chris Matthews continued to whine over President Obama's poor debate performance and ranted that Mitt Romney has "been accused of etch-a-sketch, last night was his greatest achievement. Everything he said within days ago, he's ignored." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Prior to Matthews' appearance, co-host Savannah Guthrie noted that he had been "very vocal" during MSNBC's post-debate coverage and played a sound bite of the Hardball host blasting Obama: "I don't know what he was doing out there. He had his head down, he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it. I don't know how he let Romney get away with the crap he threw out tonight about Social Security. Where was Obama tonight?!"
There has been a lot of harsh criticism for Barack Obama's performance at Wednesday's presidential debate, but maybe the strongest came Thursday from former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw.
Appearing on MSNBC's Daily Rundown, Brokaw said, "I think that this morning we have a kick-start to this presidential campaign. If it had been Romney performing like the president last night, it would have been over" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As Matt Vespa at NewsBusters noted earlier this morning, MSNBC's Howard Fineman was extremely unhappy with Jim Lehrer's performance as moderator in last night's first presidential debate. Vespa reports that Fineman "seemed agitated to the point of calling Lehrer 'useless' and equated his moderating of the debate to 'criminal negligence.'"
In what may be seen as a surprise, the same network's Laurence O'Donnell didn't share that sentiment, as Mackenzie Weinger reported this morning at Politico:
Appearing as a panel member on CNN's post-debate coverage on Wednesday, Democratic strategist James Carville gave President Obama a poor grade for his debate performance, asserting that 'I did everything I could not to reach it, but I had to reach it, and it looked like Romney wanted to be there, and President Obama didn't want to be there."