On CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday, host Howard Kurtz granted the media mantra that Mitt Romney was quick to politicize the Mideast embassy attacks, and added, “But for the next, what, 36, 48, 72 hours, the press made him the issue. Was that fair?” Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page said, “Well, yes...what happened here was quite legitimate.”
Kurtz also talked about whether it looked "a little unsavory" for reporters to be plotting on an open mic how they would all make sure Romney was asked if he "regretted" attacking Obama. New Yorker political writer Ryan Lizza tried to claim it wasn't "conspiring," it was being "a little bit strategic with your colleagues" and should be done more often: [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
CNN's Soledad O'Brien on Monday felt the need to defend Barack Obama from criticism that his policies are at least partially responsible for the recent anti-American hostilities transpiring in the Middle East and other parts of the globe.
During a heated debate with Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.) on Starting Point, O'Brien got a much-needed education on the President's "apology tour" (video follows with CNN transcript and commentary):
Pushing the narrative of Mitt Romney losing the presidential election on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie seized on an article in Politico that "details squabbling among Romney advisers, a lot of blind quotes, anonymous quotes." She turned to political director Chuck Todd and wondered: "Is this a fairly ominous sign for the campaign, that they're already blaming each other anonymously in print?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd proclaimed: "Well, this certainly doesn't happen in winning campaigns, right, Savannah? This is the type of thing you read about losing campaigns. It reads like a pre-bituary, if you will, as if people are looking to see who's going to get the blame for blowing the Republican Party's best chance at knocking off an incumbent president in nearly 30 years."
On September 10, in a writeup which should qualify them for immediate entry into the Journalistm Hall of Shame, the Associated Press's Julie Pace and three other assisting reporters, acting as virtual stenographers for the Obama administration and water-carriers for his reelection campaign, declared that "It will be a rare day on the campaign when terrorism, or national security for that matter, will be a center of attention," while insisting that Obama has the presumptive upper hand in such matters.
Oops. Excerpts from their write-up follow the jump. It would be funny if it weren't so tragically sad (bolds are mine):
After the anti-American hostilities in the Middle East this week, one would think it's pretty obvious why it's in our interest to prevent Muslim extremists from getting nuclear weapons.
Apparently not, for CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer actually asked Sunday, "What is the difference in Iran having a nuclear weapon and Russia having a nuclear weapon or China or Pakistan?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NBC's David Gregory on Sunday actually referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as "the leader of the Jewish people."
This happened during a Meet the Press interview that included the host vociferously grilling Netanyahu about whether Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was correct when he said, “President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On the PBS NewsHour weekly pundit roundup on Friday, they reviewed the media's assault on Mitt Romney with the usual NewsHour balance: liberal Washington Post columnist (and former reporter) Ruth Marcus gave Obama an A and Romney an F, and said Romney's remarks were "really disgraceful" and his "doubling down was just unconscionable."
And the alleged conservative, David Brooks agreed, with less passion about Romney's argument: "it was not good." He also joked that Romney's campaign is over. He knows how to please the bosses at PBS. Marcus took the first shot:
Bill Maher not surprisingly spent most of his HBO show Friday trashing Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
During his final New Rule, the Real Time host said, "In many ways we're all a bit Mitt Romney - and I don't just mean dorks in mom jeans who are afraid of black people" (video follows with transcript and commentary, serious vulgarity warning, file photo):
This past week, Kossacks weighed in on the GOP presidential nominee's Libya/Egypt comments, reflected on the madness and/or fanatical religiosity of conservatives, and lauded a currently showless lefty cable-TV host.
As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym.
Bob Schieffer trumpeted "some of the best polling news that the President has seen in quite a while" on Friday's CBS Evening News, a day after NBC's Brian Williams played up poll numbers that were supposedly "ahead of the wildest dreams" of Democrats. Schieffer claimed that "the President's message that he is the one who can best help the middle class does seem to be getting through," even though one poll result is unchanged since July.
The veteran journalist gave these statements just moments after anchor Scott Pelley noted that "a new CBS News/New York Times poll shows just how close the presidential race is. Of the people who told us they were likely to vote, 49 percent said they favor President Obama, 46 percent Mitt Romney; and that three-point spread is well within the poll's margin of error."
In an obvious contrast between the two presidential campaigns, CNN's Jim Acosta highlighted both Mitt Romney's frivolous talk show interview and his campaign's "sharpened rhetoric" on Friday and pitted them against President Obama giving a solemn tribute to the slain diplomats from Libya.
Acosta did note Romney's moment of silence for the diplomats at his campaign rally, but cast that as a "brief pause in his campaign's sharpened rhetoric." The Obama camp's Twitter account was active both shortly before and after the ceremony for the diplomats, but CNN focused instead on Romney's "day of mixed messages." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Barely able to contain his glee over the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams enthused to political director Chuck Todd: "...some of these numbers are ahead of the wildest dreams of the Democratic campaigners." Todd agreed: "They are." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd touted leads for President Obama in the battleground states of Virginia, Ohio, and Florida, and eagerly noted: "...the right track, wrong track numbers, for the first time since we've been testing in these state polls, the right track is over 40%." Todd then cited partisan talking points to explain the modest improvement: "Some Democrats have been telling me, that's the Clinton bump, referring to Bill Clinton's speech [at the Democratic National Convention]."
Rev. Al Sharpton became infamous as someone whose hot racial rhetoric caused riots and violence, not calmed them down. But on his radio show Keepin' It Real on Thursday, Sharpton accused Mitt Romney of cynically and opportunistically speaking out a bad time. (Takes one to know one?)
"We have a situation now that is ugly in the Middle East. You have a dead U.S. Ambassador, three others that are dead. You have a clearly anti-Islamic film that is all over the Islamic world that again depicts this country as anti-Islam. You have protests in Egypt as well as Yemen now and an investigation going on in Libya," Sharpton said. "Is this a time for American political figures to be taking shots at each other and playing politics?"
Is Jon Huntsman headed the way of Charlie Crist? When the 2016 Dem convention rolls around, will we see the also-ran GOP presidential nomination-seeker on the podium, seconding Hillary's nomination? You've got to wonder after Huntsman's toadying performance today as he made the MSNBC rounds.
After appearing on Morning Joe earlier, Huntsman turned up on Andrea Mitchell's show. Mitchell posed a laughably-loaded question, bashing Mitt Romney's response to the Obama administration's handling of the embassy attacks. The haughty Huntsman was only too happy to play the useful idiot, concurring that there was "a lot to the criticism" and ripping Romney as an "impetuous candidate" in a time of foreign policy crisis. View the video after the jump.
In a report for Friday's NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander touted how Mitt Romney "was briefly interrupted by a heckler" at campaign stop in Virginia and played a clip of the angry malcontent ranting: "Why are you politicizing Libya?!" Alexander then played a clip of President Obama being greeted by cheers and applause in Colorado, proclaiming: "Obama took a firm stand, reminding voters of his power as commander in chief."
Alexander began the report by declaring: "Less than eight weeks til' election day, Romney, who by the way authored a book titled No Apology, is making no apologies for his sharp criticism of the President's foreign policy." At the same time, Alexander suggested Romney was backing down: "Mitt Romney toned down his foreign policy attack on President Obama Thursday, seeking to project strength in more subtle terms, arguing the President's a weak leader."
Celebrities have certainly been doing their part to get their beloved President Obama elected – including parroting wild speculations from Democratic politicians about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s taxes.
Hip-hop artist Kanye West took a shot at Mitt Romney in “To the World,” a song on his new album Cruel Summer. West referenced a speculation by some on the left that Romney is a tax dodger saying: “I’m just trying to protect my stacks / Mitt Romney don’t pay no tax.”
Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos on Friday landed an exclusive interview with Mitt Romney and proceeded to taunt the Republican presidential candidate: "But you're falling further behind. Why aren't you doing better?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Stephanopoulos's hyperbole aside, a new Rasmussen poll shows Romney ahead by three points. A CBS poll has the President ahead by three. Hardly panic time.
Unsurprisingly, the Good Morning America host neatly parroted the Democratic campaign's attacks over how Romney has responded to the situation in Libya. Teasing the segment, Stephanopoulos promised to hit Romney on "those controversial comments made right after the outbreak of violence."
Joe Scarborough has blamed Mitt Romney for the MSM's failure to cover the Obama administration's failure to heed intelligence warnings of a planned attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the death of four Americans, including US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.
Speaking on Morning Joe today, Scarborough said Romney "didn't allow us" in the media to report on the Obama administration's failures because he gave a "horrific, irresponsible press conference" criticizing Obama administration policy. View the video after the jump.
Appearing on Fox News's America Live on Thursday, Daily Beast columnist and Democratic pundit Kirsten Powers ripped the liberal media for expressing more outrage over Mitt Romney's reaction to Tuesday's embassy attacks, than toward the attackers themselves: "I mean, it is just absolutely utterly insane the way that they have elevated this." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Powers worried that the blatant bias had "overshadowed any kind of outrage that you would see over the fact that you have Islamic flags being hoisted over American embassies, the fact that an American ambassador is dead."
The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) Wednesday evening newscasts devoted more than 9 minutes (9 minutes, 28 seconds) to the flap over Mitt Romney's statement criticizing the administration's handling of the Libyan crisis but spent just 25 seconds on questions regarding Barack Obama's Middle-East policy, a greater than 20-to-1 disparity.
NBC's Brian Williams opened the Nightly News telling viewers: "Romney is taking fire tonight for the way he went on the attack politically...somehow [Romney] wanted today to be about America apologizing for its values, even after it became clear today was about the death of an American ambassador and others." CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley dutifully noted: "Democrats said the governor had injected politics into a tragedy." Over on ABC's World News Diane Sawyer announced: "Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney under fire for comments he made about the upheaval as it was unfolding." (video after the jump)
Thursday's CBS This Morning rushed to President Obama's defense over the spat between the Democrat and opponent Mitt Romney over a statement issued by the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt condemning an obscure Internet video about Muhammad. Minutes after Steve Kroft tossed softballs at the President and let him speak uninterrupted for two and half minutes, the show confronted Republican Senator Rob Portman for defending Romney's attack.
Anchor Norah O'Donnell hounded Portman, interjecting five confrontational questions in just over two and half minutes, about the same amount of time that Obama spoke without any disruption. O'Donnell cried, "You're mistaken, Senator," and read statements from Peggy Noonan, Nick Burns, and Mike Rogers to emphasize that "Republicans...are saying that Governor Romney stepped in it." [audio available here; video below the jump]
The New York Times spelled out its habit of trying to wrong-foot Mitt Romney on Thursday's front page coverage of the violence in Egypt and Libya. The banner headline over Thursday's front page, "Attack On U.S. Site In Libya Kills Envoy; A Flash Point For Obama And Romney," ushered in coverage of the attacks on U.S. embassies in Libya and Egypt, with the assault in Libya resulting in four deaths, including the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Times reporters Peter Baker and Ashley Parker made sure to follow the media template in characterizing Mitt Romney's criticism of the Obama administration as "clumsy and badly timed and Romney himself as "on the defensive" (twice!) in "A Challenger's Criticism Is Furiously Returned."
GOP strategist Ari Fleischer set the record straight about the media infatuation with Mitt Romney's statements on the embassy attacks. On Wednesday's Anderson Cooper 360, he called out the media's "double standard" and defended Romney's criticism of the Obama administration.
"Debates about foreign policy are an absolute vital part of our democracy and I don't know why the media is rushing to criticize Mitt Romney for criticizing a foreign policy when they did not do that to Barack Obama or John Kerry when they exercised their right to criticize Republican foreign policy," stated Fleischer. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Continuing to attack Mitt Romney's reaction to the embassy attacks in Egypt and Libya, on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie urged Senator John McCain to admit Romney made a mistake: "Was it correct for Mitt Romney to seize on that political opportunity at a moment when the U.S. Ambassador had been killed?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
McCain stood behind Romney's criticism of the Obama administration's initial response to the attacks and added some of his own: "Look, what this is all about is American weakness and the President's inability to lead....Iraq is dissolving, our relations with Israel are at a tension point. He – I'd like to see the President of the United States speak up once for the 20,000 people that are being massacred in Syria. There is an absence of American leadership in the region..."
Remember the uproar from the mainstream media when presidential candidate Barack Obama used the U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan to attack President George W. Bush and John McCain? Oh, you don't remember? Perhaps that is because, unlike the MSM throwing a conniption fit over Mitt Romney criticizing an apologetic statement from the U.S. embassy in Cairo which Obama himself later disavowed, the press was absolutely silent in its reactions to Obama's 2008 criticism. John Kaczynski of BuzzFeed found this video of candidate Obama and made this observation:
The Obama campaign hit Mitt Romney for using the “tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in Libya” to “launch a political attack.” On a July 2008 appearance on CNN, then-Senator used the death of U.S. troops in Afghanistan as talking point to ding John McCain and President Bush for their support of the Iraq War.
As NewsBusters reported Wednesday, CBS and NPR reporters were caught on a hot mic plotting to ensure Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney would be asked if he regrets scolding Barack Obama for his response to the recent anti-American hostilities in Egypt and Libya.
On Thursday's Fox & Friends, conservative author Michelle Malkin said the people involved were Obama's "tools' and "stenographers," and that this represented "an underline and exclamation point on the obituary of main stream objective news" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Conservative author Ann Coulter on Wednesday called the media out for its attacks on Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's criticism of Barack Obama's response to Tuesday's anti-American hostilities in Egypt and Libya.
Appearing on Fox News's Hannity, Coulter said, "You know that Romney’s statement was devastating to President Obama because the media is screaming bloody murder" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Facing criticism for failing to mention American troops or the Afghan war effort in his convention speech, Mitt Romney spoke before National Guard members on Tuesday and called for robust support of the nation’s armed forces, saying that “the return of our troops cannot and must not be used as an excuse to hollow out our military through devastating defense budget cuts.”
Mitt Romney's statement yesterday evening slamming the Obama administration for the U.S. embassy in Cairo's attempt to appease the Islamist protesters was "naive," MSNBC's Alex Wagner and Time magazine's Rana Foroohar agreed in a segment on the September 12 edition of Now with Alex Wagner.
While Wagner said the initial statement condemning the anti-Muhammad movie was intended to calm tempers and save lives, Foroohar went into an odd analogy that compared Islamist hatemongers with conservative radio host Glenn Beck (MP3 audio here; video embedded below page break):