Political satirist Mark Russell came out of retirement Friday to trash Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Speaking to PBS Inside Washington host Gordon Peterson, Russell said, "No comedian wants Obama to win. We may vote for Obama, but we want, we want Romney" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Kossacks notice things the rest of us don't, or maybe they just imagine things that aren't there. This past week, one picked up on the supposedly racist subtext of Mitt Romney's 47-percent comments, while another smelled a "fetid odor of fascism coming from Lord Romney's castle" (and also announced that he's "ready to compare Romney to Hitler").
As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym. Daily Kos Week in Review will return in two weeks.
President Obama basically admitted failure when he said that Washington cannot be changed "from the inside," but CNN tried to explain his gaffe on Friday's Early Start while later dumping on Mitt Romney's "47 percent" remarks.
CNN's John Berman insisted "I know what he [Obama] is trying to say there" and political director Mark Preston argued that "What President Obama said was correct." In contrast, Berman later swung at Romney by saying "I think the 47 percent is more than just another gaffe or misspeak." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
One might have thought that Charlie Rose received an extra dose of caffeine before Friday's CBS This Morning, as the normally-subdued anchor hounded Romney campaign adviser Dan Senor on how the Republican presidential nominee would change policy toward Iran. Rose wouldn't let Senor complete an answer, interrupting six different times in 50 seconds. [audio available here; video below the jump]
By contrast, 11 days earlier, the veteran TV host tossed softballs at Democratic Senator Dick Durbin on the issue of ObamaCare, and merely prompted Durbin on the issue of the Chicago teachers strike.
So what about the Democrats' would-be tempest about Mitt Romney's alleged 47 percent gaffe? Is there any "there" there?
Mitt's statement was made at a private fundraiser, where he was trying to explain that his message of reducing taxes would obviously not resonate with the 47 percent of Americans who are not paying income taxes. It's purely logical; you aren't going to entice those who aren't paying taxes with promises of lower taxes.
In the wake of Romney’s “47 percent” comments and less than positive polling from key swing states, every squishy Republican in the liberal media's stable of acceptable Republicans went into full panic mode. But just yesterday, President Obama made a huge admission when he admitted that his biggest miscalculation was that he thought he could change Washington from the inside.
Republican strategist Alice Stewart raised that point during a chat with MSNBC's Thomas Roberts this morning, blasting Obama for it and saying that he had two years in his term in which his party ran both houses of Congress. That's an indisputable fact, but Roberts insisted that Stewart was wrong on the length of time that Democrats in Obama's term controlled both the House and Senate: [See video below break. MP3 audio here.]
Again the Times focused on the political damage fostered by Mitt Romney's (accurate) statement at a fundraiser that 47 percent of Americans do not pay income taxes. Meanwhile, the Times buried two controversial Obama comments. One is an old audio tape of Obama saying "I actually believe in redistribution," a remark reporter Richard Oppel Jr. actually defended in Thursday's edition.
Yesterday in the midst of defending his record in a tough interview with Univision, President Barack Obama said that he learned in his term in the Oval Office that "you can't change Washington from the inside" but only from the outside and that "that's how [he] got elected," by appealing to a frustrated electorate to vote for change. At a campaign event later in the day, Mitt Romney seized on the gaffe to jab at the president, saying the voters will be glad to send him home in November. whereby the president all but admitted that Washington can be changed by voting out the sitting president.
But have no fear, Team Obama, MSNBC's Alex Wagner and Politico's Maggie Haberman are here to spin heavily in your favor.
NBC failed to press Obama adviser David Axelrod over the President's remarks about redistribution on Friday, chucking the story out of its news cycle after two full days. In contrast, the networks hammered Mitt Romney for three days over his comments on 47 percent of Americans who don't pay income taxes.
The Today show did find time, however, to cover the "Honey Boo Boo" nickname generator. The reporters laughed on set over each other's "Honey Boo Boo" nicknames.
Saturday Night Live trashed Mitt Romney and gave President Obama a pass on their September 20 election special. SNL, which is known for its unabashed liberalism, took to the air Thursday night to smear Romney as a racist politician. In total, SNL spent over 6 minutes smearing Governor Romney but just 13 seconds gently poking fun at the president indirectly.
The show opened with a skit depicting the hosts of FNC's Fox and Friends and proceeded to show four fake scenes of Romney. [Video below break. MP3 audio here.]
We’ve seen this play out over and over and over again. If it hurts Barack Obama’s chances of re-election, the media ignore it. If it hurts Mitt Romney, they obsess over it night after night.
We saw it in July when Obama disparaged small business and at this point in the cycle the networks had given it ZERO coverage. We saw it last week when the networks relentlessly attacked Romney’s criticism of the Obama Administration’s spineless response to anti-American violence in the Middle East. Now we’re seeing it again this week with this manufactured controversy surrounding the secretly recorded - and edited - Romney tape.
Both Mitt Romney's "47 percent" remarks and Barack Obama's pro-"redistribution" comments could be considered "inflammatory if you want to look for inflammatory comments," and yet there's a massive double standard in how the media have reported on the two, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) president Brent Bozell told Fox News's Sean Hannity on the September 20 Hannity program.
"In the case of Obama's comment," however, it "confirms... that he's a socialist who believes in the redistribution of wealth." Yet as an MRC review confirmed, the media gave roughly 10 times the coverage to the edited tape of Romney's comments at a May fundraiser as they did to the 1998 comments from then-State Senator Barack Obama. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
CBS Late Show host David Letterman on Thursday begged Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney - who he referred to as "delusional" - to come on his show.
This came as a result of a recently released videotape of Romney saying at a Boca Raton fundraiser that Letterman hates him because he goes on the Tonight Show more often (video follows with transcript and commentary):
“Game changer,” said NBC’s Brian Williams. “Seismic,” proclaimed ABC’s Diane Sawyer. “Shaken up the race,” announced CBS’s Scott Pelley. Those were the reactions of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) evening news anchors to the hidden camera tape of Mitt Romney expressing a basic breakdown of voters who weren’t likely to vote for him. What was a simple analysis by Romney of 47 percent of the electorate was turned into a “political earthquake” that threatened to sink the GOP nominee’s chances.
Over three full days of coverage, on the Big Three evening and morning shows, liberal anchors and reporters devoted almost an hour and a half (1 hour, 28 minutes, 23 seconds) to the Romney tape that made up all or a portion of 42 total stories. In contrast, when tape emerged of Barack Obama stating he was in favor of “redistribution” of wealth, reporters barely broached the story, spending only six minutes, 28 seconds over eight stories.
Only our totally unbiased watchdog media could turn the burning of U.S. embassies in countries where Barack Obama had recently supported mob revolts into Mitt Romney's blunder. Journalists couldn't risk having Obama's campaign slogan "Osama is dead" being amended with "and so is our ambassador."
After our ambassador to Libya was murdered in a preplanned, coordinated attack on our embassy last week, preceded by an attack on our embassy in Egypt (and followed by attacks on our embassies in Yemen, Indonesia, Tunisia and Lebanon), Romney criticized the Obama administration for "sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt."
Patricia Zengerle's coverage of U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine at Reuters assumes that the Democratic former Virginia Governor committed the mother of all gaffes today. I'm not so sure. It may be that David Corn's secret video of Mitt Romney commenting on the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes and are dependent on the government is sending polling data in the opposite direction from what was intended and is starting to rattle Democrats.
The New York Times wasn't impressed with the Romney campaign's counterattack on Obama after the media-inflated "47% controversy," judging by the headline over Thursday's brief story by reporter Richard Oppel: "Seeking to Turn Topic To Evils of Redistribution." The online version of the story (excerpted below) included four biased additional paragraphs at the end, but the headline at least left off the implied mockery of the Romney camp for guiding reporters to an old audio clip of Obama saying "I actually believe in redistribution."
After front-page coverage of the surreptitiously recorded (and possibly edited) clip of Romney talking about the 47% of Americans who don't pay income taxes, the Times was in no mood to provide Romney any counterplay. Oppel took pains to point out that the old Obama segment was "carefully clipped," implying it was misleading, before vigorously defending Obama and making liberal bleats about how America "has seen a significant redistribution of incomes over the past generation – from the poor and middle class to the rich, and especially to the very rich...."
While liberals and their media minions across the fruited plain call Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney dead as a result of what they believe are serious missteps the past couple of weeks, Robert Reich, Bill Clinton's Labor Secretary, thinks it's too early to celebrate.
Writing in the Huffington Post Thursday, Reich offered "Four Reasons Why Romney Might Still Win" (photo courtesy AP).
Mitt Romney’s traveling press secretary walked to the back of the candidate’s plane midflight on Tuesday and teasingly asked a pair of journalists in an exit row if they were “willing and able to assist in case of an emergency.”
Under the circumstances, it was hard to tell whether it was a question or a request.
As of midnight, Real Clear Politics showed Barack Obama with a 2.9-point lead over Mitt Romney in the average of the most recent six presidential election polls. One of those polls is a P-U production of Pew Research Center which shows Obama up by 8 points among 2,343 registered voters. The preposterous weighting of the sample is 37.1% Democrats, 30.6% Republicans, and 32.3% independents.
Any time a poll reveals the Romney v. Obama breakout in each of those three categories, I can run the results through what I'll tentatively christen the NewsBusters/BizzyBlog Poll Decoder, showing what the result would be using party affiliation results found by Rasmussen as of early September and Gallup as of before the Democratic National Convention. Here's what happens when one removes the stench from Pew's poll:
Mitt Romney on Wednesday put into play newly uncovered video of Barack Obama in 1998 advocating redistribution of wealth, but of the broadcast network evening newscasts, only the NBC Nightly News bothered to inform viewers of the display of Obama’s far-left economic philosophy. And that only came inside the newscast’s first of two stories on media-fueled fallout from Romney’s observation that 47 percent don’t pay income taxes.
“These are tough days for the Romney campaign,” NBC anchor Brian Williams led his program, declaring: “Inside 50 days to go now until the election, and they are dealing with something of a public relations disaster.”
Once again, Professor William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection is doing the work the mainstream media should do but won't do. This morning your humble correspondent posted how Jacobson got David Corn to finally admit that there was a gap in the Romney tape after initially claiming that it was complete. However, now that Corn was forced to make that admission only after being pressed by Jacobson, he is now absurdly claiming that he was upfront about that tape gap from the start. Here is Corn's latest laughable claim:
Romney had pivoted from expressing his sentiments about the “47 percent” to discussing how to appeal to independents when the tape ended, and it was the “47 percent” description that were the focus of this clip. All the clips we posted, of course, were edited out of the longer video. They all needed to have start and end points. When we posted the complete tape, we stated there was a gap of one to two minutes, or less, according to the source. That seemed to be the appropriate time to do so. I will note that Romney, who clearly has thought about how to respond to this clip, has not said in the statements he has made since its release, “But then I went on to say….
More than an hour into the program, Wednesday's CBS This Morning finally acknowledged that "this race is not over for Mitt Romney," based on the network's own polling. Norah O'Donnell noted that "in our new polls...Republicans are more enthusiastic than Democrats about voting this year in general, and that enthusiasm has actually...grown since early August."
O'Donnell's reporting came almost an hour after Bob Schieffer's apocalyptic spin about the Republican presidential nominee's campaign. Before getting to the poll numbers, she pressed Frank Luntz on whether the hidden camera videos were "a turning point in the campaign," and claimed that "Romney was suggesting that those people are mooching off the system. He wasn't offering a helping hand in that statement, or, at least, that's how they might interpret it."
Bob Schieffer all but broke out the death certificate for Mitt Romney's campaign on Tuesday's CBS Evening News and Wednesday's CBS This Morning, emphasizing the negative impact of the secretly-recorded videos released by the left-wing magazine Mother Jones: "I just can't think of anything that he could have said that could have hurt his cause more than what he said."
Schieffer claimed that "this was just an extraordinary moment," and later added that "it would seem to confirm the perception that a lot of people have, and it seems to confirm the image that the Obama campaign has been pushing...that he is out of touch, that...he doesn't have to deal with the kind of problems that other people do...I think it's a very serious thing here."
**UPDATE** On Wednesday morning, Chuck Todd played the audio of Obama's speech from 1998 on his show The Daily Rundown, 4 hours before appearing on Andrea Mitchell Reports who refused to play the clip for "authenticity" reasons.
It took less than 12 hours after it was published online at the website of leftist magazine Mother Jones for a video secretly recorded at a Mitt Romney fundraiser in May to appear all over NBC and MSNBC. The heavily-edited video, obtained by the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, has been a staple of MSNBC coverage the past two days.
Fast forward to Wednesday when audio of then-State Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) speaking at Loyola University talking about his support for wealth redistribution. MSNBC refused to play the audio on air. On her show Wednesday, Andrea Mitchell claimed that the network's reason was: [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
New York Times reporters Annie Lowrey (pictured) and Michael Cooper issued a hostile account on Wednesday poking at Romney's surreptitiously taped comments at a fundraiser about the 47% of Americans who don't pay income taxes, "Much of Romney's View on Taxes Conflicts With Longtime G.O.P. Stand." Was Romney truly "join[ing] the battle on social programs," as the opening line stated? And can Erick Erickson of Red State possibly just be a conservative activist, as opposed to a "conservative firebrand."
Tuesday's TimesCast on nytimes.com opened with a discussion of the "devastating" and "horrible moment" for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign that was the surreptitiously recorded video of Romney speaking at a fundraiser in Florida in May noting “47 percent of Americans pay no income tax." According to host Megan Liberman, Romney's words "seems to feed perfectly into the Obama campaign's narrative about Romney, that he's just a guy who doesn't care about regular people."
Liberman: "The Romney campaign is playing defense today after the release of this hidden camera video. National political correspondent Jim Rutenberg joins me now to talk about it. So Jim, is this just another gaffe, or is this video really as devastating as a lot of people on both the right and the left are saying that it is?"
On Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Michael Isikoff offered a congratulatory puff piece on the man who helped release a hidden camera video of Mitt Romney: "[It] became public as a result of some dogged sleuthing by a partisan political researcher with a very personal interest in the election....James Carter IV, who helped out it, is basking in the afterglow, receiving fresh job offers from liberal bloggers and a high-five e-mail from his grandfather, former President Jimmy Carter." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The headline on screen throughout the report read: "'Poetic Justice'; Jimmy Carter's Grandson Helped Expose Romney Video." At one point in the segment, Carter gushed: "A lot of my Twitter followers that are supporters have said that this is poetic justice, that a Carter is the one that found this – this video that has given the Romney campaign so much trouble, and I have to say that I definitely agree with that sentiment."