All three evening newscasts on Wednesday continued to ignore a super PAC ad by top Obama supporters that accuses Mitt Romney of, essentially, killing a woman. At the same time, CBS and NBC amplified the Obama administration's "war on women" talking point, playing up attacks from Sandra Fluke, who previously tangled with Rush Limbaugh over contraception. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
NBC and CBS uncritically parroted a vicious new campaign quote from the President: "They [Republicans] want to take us back to the policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century." NBC's Andrea Mitchell cheered, "Playing a starring role for the first time in the campaign, Sandra Fluke, the former law student who became a lightning rod after Rush Limbaugh denounced her for supporting contraception rights."
At the same time that NPR was offended enough to go “truth squadding” on Romney’s advertisements attacking Obama's weakness on welfare, NPR’s Don Gonyea reported on Harry Reid’s unsubstantiated charges of Romney tax evasion by leaving the clear impression that Reid is effectively punching away at a Romney “vulnerability” and sees nothing to lose. He certainly can’t seem to lose with NPR.
On Wednesday's All Things Considered, NPR anchor Melissa Block introduced the story as “Don Gonyea reports on the increasingly ugly fight,” but that was applied to both Reid and the Republicans. But their online headline was “In Brawl Over Romney's Tax Returns, Harry Reid Gets Marquee Billing.” Like a boxer, get it?
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, as correspondent Andrea Mitchell filed a report recounting that President Obama is running ahead of Mitt Romney with female voters, Mitchell referred to liberal birth control activist Sandra Fluke's political activities as a push for "contraception rights" rather than more accurately relaying her desire to force health insurance to pay for birth control pills for women as if they could not choose to purchase such products on their own.
Anyone looking for how low this campaign rhetoric can go should just tune in to Current TV. Brian Maloney at Radio Equalizer found that on the Stephanie Miller radio show (or Talking Liberally on Current TV), former MSNBC host David Shuster suggested Mitt Romney is so "socially inept" that he probably has some form of autism or Asperger's syndrome.
Shuster also suggested that since Ann Romney's horse Rafalca performed so poorly in dressage at the London Olympics, Mitt Romney should say "I bought a hammer to hit Rafalca over the head for getting, you know, 30th place after we took a $77,000 dollar tax write-off." Video and transcript below.
On Wednesday's Morning Edition, NPR followed the example of its Big Three counterparts in failing to cover a new ad from a pro-Obama super PAC that points the finger at Mitt Romney for a woman's cancer death. Instead, the liberal radio network sent correspondent Ari Shapiro to "do some truth squadding" about the Romney campaign's latest ad slamming the Obama administration on welfare reform.
Shapiro slanted towards the Democratic campaign's spin of the Romney ad, and concluded that the White House's move on welfare work requirements was "poor form by the Democrats, perhaps, but not the same at gutting welfare reform."
All three evening newscasts on Tuesday and the morning shows on Wednesday skipped a new Super PAC ad (run by former Obama spokesman Bill Burton) that blames Mitt Romney for a woman's death from cancer. While ignoring that, NBC, ABC and CBS made sure to highlight negative news for Romney or White House complaints about the Republican's new campaign spots.
By contrast, CNN on Tuesday demolished the Obama super PAC ad as "not accurate." Anchor Wolf Blitzer asserted it was "full of falsehoods." The spot misleadingly claims that Ranae Soptic passed away from cancer shortly after Bain Capital closed down the steel plant her husband worked at. In reality, she died five years later. Instead of investigating this, Good Morning America's Josh Elliott on Wednesday alerted, "Our new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds [Romney's] personal popularity sinking to a new low, the lowest of any presumptive nominee since 1984."
Everyone knows that politics can be an ugly business, but MSNBC’s Chris Matthews sunk to a new long on his Hardball program Tuesday night. Matthews’ outrage came from an ad put out by the Romney campaign suggesting that President Obama, "announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements," which, his administration most certainly did.
Since there's nothing factually assailable about the ad, Matthews decided that the best approach for criticizing the spot was claiming it was "Willie Horton stuff." Of course, the 1988 Willie Horton ad was also 100 percent factually unassailable, which is why that ad resonated against then-Gov. Michael Dukakis (D-Mass.). The issue at hand isn’t the accuracy of the ad but rather Matthews' insistence that racism is at play. [Video follows page break; MP3 audio here.]
On Tuesday, ABC and NBC's morning shows omitted covering President Obama Monday night attack on Mitt Romney at a fundraiser in Connecticut, that the GOP presidential candidate is "like Robin Hood in reverse. It's Romney Hood." However, Good Morning America and Today both reported on the "security scare" for the President, after two small planes flew into restricted airspace.
The same day, CBS This Morning played the clip of Obama's "Romney Hood" attack not once, but twice. Correspondent Nancy Cordes did note that the Democrat headlined a $500-a-plate fundraising dinner and how "the President headed to an even pricier fundraiser at the Connecticut home of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein."
In his Monday online column, "The Leak Police," former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller worked in a cheap shot against Mitt Romney while arguing that the Obama administration "without really setting out to do so, already surpassed all previous administrations in its prosecution of leakers, has begun new investigations into disclosures by The Times, Newsweek, The Associated Press and others." Keller wrote:
On Monday, Joan Walsh continued her crusade against conservatives when she authored an article entitled "Mitt's loathsome lie" for Salon.com. This piece, which was supposed to focus on the Department of Justice lawsuit in Ohio to block a law which extends early voting privileges to active-duty military members, evolves from criticism to a bizarre claim that Catholic bishops are part of a "military group" and have become "become an unregistered arm of the GOP."
Walsh began by introducing the issue: a bill by the Ohio legislature (which she is quick to accuse of being "Republican-dominated") to limit early voters to active-duty military members who would be unable to vote on Election Day. Obviously, this is a ploy by the GOP, which "keeps finding sneakier ways to disenfranchise those Americans who might be inclined to vote for Democrats" to swing the Ohio vote using "GOP resentment machine logic."
On Sunday's World News, ABC's senior Washington editor, Rick Klein, found it to be a "wildly unsubstantiated" and "irresponsible" claim for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to accuse Mitt Romney of not paying taxes for 10 years. He also asserted that Republicans are "taking the bait" by responding, suggesting that there is a "big risk" for the GOP in doing so.
CNN's media critic Howard Kurtz made the ludicrous assertion that reporters shouting loaded questions outside of a sacred site in Poland were still a "model of decorum" compared to Mitt Romney aide who cursed at them to "show some respect" for the place.
"So, the press doesn't look so great there in Poland, but the reporters were a model of decorum compared to Rick Gorka, the Romney spokesman, who later apologized for the kiss crack," Kurtz began his segment on Sunday's Reliable Sources. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In an unaired portion of an interview with British Prime Minister David Cameron meant to be featured on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer pressed Cameron to compare the London Olympics with the winter games run by Mitt Romney: "Do you think that Mitt Romney, the challenges he faced in 2002 in Salt Lake City, compared at all to what you faced here in London?" [View video after the jump]
After pushing Cameron to criticize Romney, moments later, Lauer went after Britain's head of Parliament for daring to modestly cut back on the nation's massive government spending: "You put in place some very difficult austerity measures that were controversial, hard for a lot of people to swallow. And yet, in the last quarter, your economy shrunk. So, was austerity the right path to take at that particular time, facing this very stubborn recession?"
Radio and Current TV host Bill Press got thoroughly exposed on CNN Sunday as a shill for President Obama.
After Press shamelessly uttered the typical liberal line regarding Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) unsubstantiated claims about Mitt Romney not paying taxes, Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz smartly interrupted saying, "That's a Democratic talking point. That's a Democratic talking point" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It's becoming fairly clear that even some of the Obama-loving media think Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) went too far last week with unsubstantiated and unattributed allegations concerning presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's taxes.
On CBS's Face the Nation Sunday, host Bob Schieffer asked, "Isn't this kind of like Joe McCarthy back in the era when he said, 'I have here in my hand the names of 400 people in the state department who are communist?'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Friday's World News on ABC, correspondent Jonathan Karl informed viewers of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's unsubstantiated charge that Mitt Romney has not paid taxes in 10 years, with the ABC correspondent dismissing the accusation as "outrageous and apparently unfounded."
Roland Martin and National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru had a heated debate Friday about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) unsubstantiated claims regarding Mitt Romney's taxes.
Toward the end of the battle on CNN's OutFront, Ponnuru marvelously told his opponent, "You've got to call these things as you see them, not just be a political hack for your team" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Saturday's Good Morning America on ABC, co-host Bianna Golodryga seemed to admire Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for making an unsubstantiated charge that Mitt Romney had not paid taxes in 10 years, as she ended a short discussion of the smear by gushing: "Harry Reid, always one to speak his mind," inspiring a chuckle from correspondent David Kerley.
This past week, one Kossack contended that the Republican party is dead, and that conservatives -- specifically, a Sarah Palin-led mob -- killed it. Of course, killing's to be expected from right-wingers, who according to another Kossack are characterized by "nihilism, hatred, and murder-suicidal compulsiveness."
As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym.
On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, regular panel member Evan Thomas dismissed media claims that Mitt Romney's recent trip abroad suffered from gaffes as the Politico correspondent asserted that the GOP presidential candidate spoke the truth about the Olympics in London and the social problems of the Palestinians.
The Big Three networks largely yawned at Majority Leader Harry Reid's wild charge on the Senate floor on Thursday that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney hasn't paid taxes in 10 years. ABC, CBS, and NBC failed to mention it on the evening newscasts on Thursday. On Friday morning, CBS This Morning was the lone broadcast morning show to report on Reid's "explosive accusation," as correspondent Nancy Cordes put it.
By contrast, all three networks covered Rep. Joe Wilson's 2009 "you lie" shout at President Obama at the State of the Union within 24 hours and were unanimously scandalized at the "stunning moment" in the House chamber, as then-anchor Charles Gibson labeled it on ABC's World News. Both ABC and CBS trumpeted Wilson's outburst as the "shout heard 'round the world."
National Review editor Rich Lowry has been granted space for a column in the liberal Politico newspaper/website, and he's not mincing words. On Wednesday, his headline was "The media's terrible trip."
"During his overseas trip, Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, traveled to some of our closest allies accompanied by some of his most merciless enemies — the media. If you don’t know that Romney’s foreign jaunt was the worst diplomatic fiasco since the Zimmermann telegram or the XYZ Affair, you haven’t been reading his press clips," he wrote. Politico reminded readers that was its spin by advertising within Lowry's piece: "Also on POLITICO: Mitt needs veep to replace flop."
Here is an example of why people laugh when Geraldo Rivera describes himself as conservative. His default response is invariably liberal.
On his WABC radio show out of New York City on Tuesday, Rivera played the race card in condemning Mitt Romney for having the incorrect audacity to suggest cultural differences at least partially explain Israel's economic success compared to Palestinian stagnation. (audio).
In a move out of the liberal playbook, CNN hammered Mitt Romney on Thursday for appearing out of touch because his horse is competing in the "elitist" Olympic event of dressage.
"He's back here in the United States, preparing to pick a vice president, and possibly trying to avoid charges that a sport involving horse ballet might not make him the most relatable candidate for the average voter," hyped anchor Carol Costello. [Video coming soon. Audio here.]
Mitt Romney's week-long international trip resulted in unrelentingly negative coverage from the big three broadcast networks, a stark change from the glowing press awarded to then-candidate Barack Obama's world tour in 2008. While Obama was treated like a rock star (from the Associated Press: "It's not only Obama's youth, eloquence and energy that have stolen hearts across the Atlantic...."), Romney endured a focus on gaffes and the trivial.
MRC analysts examined all 21 ABC, CBS and NBC evening news stories about Romney's trip to London, Israel and Poland between July 25 and July 31. Virtually all of these stories (18, or 86%) emphasized Romney's "diplomatic blunders," from his "golden gaffe" at the Olympic games to "missteps" that offended the Palestinians.
Harry Reid (D-Nev.) made news earlier this week by offering unsubstantiated and unattributed claims about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to the Huffington Post.
On Wednesday, The Daily Show's Jon Stewart tore into Reid saying, "You are the Senate Majority Leader. You can’t just run to the Sideboob Gazette with ridiculous speculations" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It appears as though Andrea Mitchell has joined the chorus of "journalists" on MSNBC attacking Mitt Romney for his comments in Israel over the weekend.
On Wednesday’s Morning Joe, Mitchell tried to scold Dan Senor, senior advisor to Mitt Romney, over what she described as Mitt’s ‘deeply offensive’ comments on the relationship between culture and economic success in Israel. [Video follows page break; MP3 audio here.]
In an interview with actor Kevin Spacey on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer quoted the liberal star's description of his new role in a political drama, playing "a wily murderous politician worming his way to the White House." Spacey quipped in response: "Kind of like this year, isn't it?" Immediately picking up on the reference to Mitt Romney, Lauer chuckled and replied: "No, no, no. Get yourself in trouble, not me." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]