On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, regular panel member Nina Totenberg - a correspondent for NPR - generalized that "bankers and business" are not only the "super-rich" but also the "super-crooked" as the panel discussed the issue of Mitt Romney's taxes and President Barack Obama's "you didn't build that" gaffe in which he dismissed the importance of individual effort in entrepreneurship while crediting government. Totenberg:
On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, regular panel member and conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer chided host Gordon Peterson for leading the show with the story of Mitt Romney's tax returns as Krauthammer argued that the "gaffe of the year" was committed by President Barack Obama the same week.
After Peterson set up the discussion of Romney's tax returns, he turned to Krauthammer, who began:
In an interview with Mitt Romney's five sons aired on Thursday's NBC Rock Center, campaign correspondent Peter Alexander took a jab at the family's wealth: "Their life of privilege, plus a reported $100 million trust fund, continues to draw harsh scrutiny....The criticism is that a family like yours, the Romneys, can't really understand what the average American family is dealing with right now....are you out of touch?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Earlier in the segment, Alexander explained the role of the sons: "For a candidate who at times has struggled to connect, the campaign hopes the sons can also help explain some of their father's more idiosyncratic moments." In a preview of the interview on Thursday's Today, Alexander proclaimed: "For a candidate who's been called aloof, even awkward, the Romney boys help highlight their father's human side."
Soon after releasing a new advertisement that combined footage of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney “dancing around the issues” with that of his wife, Ann, riding a dancing show horse, the Democratic National Committee offered “an apology of sorts.”
The minute-long spot mingles images of Ann Romney riding her horse, which she does as therapy for multiple sclerosis, with footage of her husband stating that he would “probably” release his financial information soon and defending overseas investments as being part of a blind trust he has no control over.
Four days after President Obama insulted job creators by asserting "If you've got a business, you didn't build that; somebody else made that happen," CNN finally reported the controversial remarks, and only once the Romney campaign featured them in a campaign attack.
In contrast, when Romney surrogate John Sununu said on Tuesday morning that he wished "this President would learn how to be an American," it only took CNN a few hours to jump on the remarks. The network mentioned them every hour between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. and anchor Wolf Blitzer even brought Sununu on for an interview to explain himself.
On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley cherry-picked the most favorable result for President Obama in the most recent CBS News/New York Times poll. Pelley stated how "this campaign, of course, is, in large part, a battle for the middle class," and touted that "when we asked voters in our poll which candidate would do more to help the middle class, 52 percent said President Obama, 38 percent Mitt Romney."
The anchor failed to mention several negative findings for the President from the poll, including how 64 percent of registered voters thought the Democrat's policies were at least partially to blame for the bad economy, and that 60 percent say that Romney's leadership of Bain Capital won't effect the way they vote in November.
Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts, who has conducted a number of fawning interviews with Barack and Michelle Obama, pushed Ann Romney in an exclusive interview on Thursday to release more tax documents. She needled, "Your husband has been adamant about only the two years that will be released. Why will he not follow the example of others on both sides of the aisle?"
After Mrs. Romney reiterated that her husband wouldn't release more than two years and that they had nothing to hide, Roberts hectored, "Why not show that then? Why not release the- because then it's a moot point and people move on." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Jay Leno on Wednesday got a much-needed education on tax returns, college transcripts, and the double standard by which the media treat such things for Democrats and Republicans.
When the Tonight Show host pushed guest Newt Gingrich about wanting to see more of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney's tax returns, the former House Speaker marvelously countered, "I'd love to see President Obama’s Columbia University undergraduate work" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On July 13, President Barack Obama told a campaign audience in Roanoke that "If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen." As Geoffrey Dickens at NewsBusters pointed out on Wednesday, it wasn't until July 17 that any of the Big Three broadcast TV news networks recognized the existence of the remark -- and two of them failed to run the actual quote.
Part of the reason for the avoidance is that the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, which seems to be serving as the establishment press's signal caller and official Obama administration water carrier, has given the remark little heed -- so little that, as is so often the case with controversial remarks made by leftists or Democrats, Obama opponent Mitt Romney had to force it into the news by incorporating it into his stump speech. At that point, as seen in Steve Peoples' Tuesday writeup carried at AZcentral.com (HT to an NB tipster; the story is already gone at the AP's national site), the wire service went into "mean Republicans attack" and "what he really meant" modes (bolds are mine):
Roseanne Barr made me laugh. Alas, it was 20 years ago. It was while she was a guest on Arsenio Hall's late night show and decided to rib the host. It's not often you meet a black nerd, Barr told Hall. Most nerds are white -- like you.
If Barr has said anything as piercing since, it's passed my attention. And what she said on the most recent Smiley & West radio show demonstrated how Barr has crossed the line from funny to delusional.
Appearing on Wednesday's Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza warned Mitt Romney that he would suffer "a death by a thousand political cuts" if he does not release more tax returns. Cillizza further proclaimed: "...every day we talk about tax returns. Why hasn't he released them? What's in them?...the current position he has is untenable politically."
Continuing to push for Romney to release more, Cillizza predicted: "...what we don't know is how much tax he did pay. And until he releases more...the Obama team, at least, is not going to let this go away." He then concluded: "...all this stuff gets them [Republicans] away from talking about what they want to talk about, which is why I think he [Romney] needs to lance the boil, politically, sooner rather than later."
When Barack Obama insulted job creators everywhere, last Friday, by charging: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that, somebody else made that happen," the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks didn’t pounce on the politically damaging remark. It took five days and Romney making it the centerpiece of his speech on Tuesday before the first network mention - by Peter Alexander on last evening’s NBC Nightly News. In fact, Obama’s soundbite was ran exactly once, in the aforementioned Alexander report. Neither CBS or ABC ran Obama’s actual quote.
However, when former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu, on Tuesday, said he wished Obama "would learn how to be an American" NBC jumped to report the story on the very same day on that evening’s Nightly News. CBS got to the Sununu remark on Wednesday’s This Morning. ABC’s World News and Good Morning America have yet to mention the Sununu statement.
Donnie Box, a steelworker in Missouri who lost his job and is the focus of an anti-Mitt Romney advertisement being run by a Super PAC that supports President Barack Obama, now says he will not vote to re-elect the president in November.
"I could really care less about Obama," the lifelong Democrat says in an article written by Mike Elk on the In These Times website before criticizing the president as "a jerk, a pantywaist, a lightweight, a blowhard. He hasn’t done a goddamn thing that he said he would do," he complained, adding:
The Los Angeles Times freaked out Wednesday about Mitt Romney suggesting Obama’s socialist leanings are somehow un-American. Their tabloidish headline was “Romney campaign's attacks on Obama play on ‘birther’ fears: Mitt Romney says the Obama administration resembles foreign governments, and a chief surrogate for the GOP candidate says the president needs to ‘learn how to be an American.’”
Birther fears? The L.A. Times thinks birthers comprise millions of Republican voters? Times reporter Seema Mehta waited until the very last paragraph to notice President Obama is also using a “birther-fear” line by repeating debunked assertions about Romney being a pioneer of sending American jobs overseas.
Despite Mitt Romney clearly going on the offensive by seizing on President Obama's gaffe that business owners "didn't build" their businesses, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Peter Alexander dismissed it as a futile effort: "...the Romney campaign right back where it started the day...on the defensive."
Early in the report, Alexander did his best to downplay Obama's comment that: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that, somebody else made that happen." Alexander spun that Obama made the remark,"While outlining his vision of American progress as a partnership between business and government last Friday."
For the second straight day, CBS This Morning on Wednesday promoted a liberal comedian attacking a prominent Republican. ABC's Jimmy Kimmel denigrated former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as a "crazy moose lady" on his late night program the previous evening. Despite this insult, Kimmel hinted that Palin was still better than current GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. [audio available here; video clip below the jump]
The CBS morning newscast featured the insult during their regular "Eye Opener" segment just after the top of the 7 am Eastern hour. On Tuesday, the same segment publicized Stephen Colbert likening Romney's tenure at Bain Capital to the cannibalistic Donner Party.
On today's edition of MSNBC Live, anchor Thomas Roberts talked with Michael Barbaro of the New York Times discussing the so-called Young Guns who are on the short list to be Mitt Romney's running mate: Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), Gov. Bobby Jindal (La.), and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.).
But when the MSNBC graphics team showed photos of the Young Guns, they accidentally used a photo of Rep. Ron Paul, the septuagenarian former Republican presidential candidate with strong libertarian convictions, in lieu of Paul Ryan. See our video below:
"This man does not have a soul. If you opened up, you know, his chest, there's probably a gold ticking watch in there and not even a heart. This is not a person. This is just a robot who will do whatever it takes, whatever he's told to do, to make it to the White House."
So said New York Times columnist Charles Blow about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on MSNBC's The Last Word Tuesday (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In an online article on Tuesday, CBS's Lucy Madison all but pointed the finger at Mitt Romney for the decision to produce the uniforms of the 2002 U.S. Winter Olympic team in Burma. Madison cited left-wing website The Huffington Post as a main source: "In 2002, when Romney was at the helm of the Salt Lake City Olympics, the outfits were produced in Burma, as the Huffington Post pointed out last night."
However, the network's own reporting on the 2012 uniform controversy noted how the U.S. Olympic Committee makes the decision on the uniforms. Romney didn't lead the USOC over a decade ago, but rather the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the games. The president of the USOC at that time was Sandra "Sandy" Baldwin, who was forced to resign later in 2002, according to a CNN report.
CNN's Erin Burnett, injecting her own opinion into her newscast, lectured Mitt Romney on why he should release more tax returns and pay more taxes, on Monday's OutFront. "Release the returns," she told Romney.
"If there's a lot of tax shelters and some frankly incredibly low tax rates, significantly lower say than your 13.9 percent rate in 2010, Mitt, then say this: My tax rates were too low. I don't believe that passively invested money should be taxed lower than income other people earn by working. I benefitted from low rates on investment. That's not great policy and I'm going to change it." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Left-wing comedian Stephen Colbert smeared Mitt Romney on his Comedy Central program on Monday, hinting that Bain Capital under his helm acted like a group of 19th century settlers that resorted to cannibalism. After noting how President Obama forwarded a claim by The Washington Post that Bain owned companies that were "pioneers" of outsourcing, Colbert snarked, "Who cares? Pioneers opened up the West. Bain was just like the Donner Party. They ate the weak."
The following day, Tuesday's CBS This Morning publicized the liberal celebrity's attack during their regular "Eye Opener" segment just after the top of the 7 am Eastern hour. The morning program played a clip of the President using the "pioneers" line immediately before the Colbert soundbite [audio available here; video below the jump]:
ABC on Sunday aggressively pushed liberal talking points, hyping Barack Obama's call for Mitt Romney to release more tax documents. Over a span of just three minutes and 32 seconds, the anchor and reporters of World News played nine clips of people lobbying Mitt Romney to "show the American people" what's going on. Only one person, the candidate, appeared in a snippet to argue for the other side.
David Kerley played a montage of Democratic operatives Stephanie Cutter, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod. They berated Romney: "Show us. Show the American people....[Romney] can clear this up. Just make it public...We don't know all the loopholes he might have taken advantage of." Analyst Rick Klein gloated, "Mitt Romney's work at Bain was supposed to be his biggest strength. And the Obama campaign has made it into, perhaps, his biggest weakness." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Appearing as a panel member on Sunday's Melissa Harris-Perry show, syndicated columnist and former CNN correspondent Bob Franken obnoxiously accused Mitt Romney of trying to portray the NAACP audience he spoke to as "Willie Hortons" whom he could use to motivate his Republican base. He went on to claim that Rush Limbaugh, whom he called the "grand dragon of radio," represents people who wish to return to Jim Crow segregation in America.
After fellow panel member and MSNBC contributor Joy Reid charged that Romney attended the NAACP convention to impress moderate white voters and also to motivate his conservative base, Franken began:
On Sunday's Melissa Harris-Perry show, MSNBC host Harris-Perry went on a rant about Mitt Romney's speech to the NAACP as she accused the GOP presidential candidate of only attending the convention for the purpose using negative audience reaction as "red meat to feed to his base," making African-Americans into "props." She began:
It's really becoming difficult keeping track of all the things the liberal media claim are code for racism these days.
On MSNBC's The Last Word Monday, host Lawrence O'Donnell accused conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh of being racist for saying Barack Obama smoked weed and snorted coke (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman on Monday lashed out at Rush Limbaugh as a "nasty" "werewolf" who is making the national discourse extreme. Hardball anchor Chris Matthews played a clip of the conservative radio star asserting that Barack Obama "hates" America.
Fineman spewed, "So, if you have an establishment Republican [Mitt Romney] behaving like an attack dog, you're going to have the Rush Limbaughs of the world behaving like werewolves." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] According to Fineman, Romney "dragged the center of the gravity of the discussion over to the nasty realm which...brings what happens in talk radio and elsewhere in the conservative grassroots, legitimizes the nastiness that you're seeing there."
In an interview with Republican strategist Steve Schmidt on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie portrayed Mitt Romney's decision not to release more tax returns as a sign of guilt: "Mitt Romney is within the letter of the law, but he's on the low end of the norm. Do you think that he's left the impression with voters that perhaps he does have something to hide?"
A list appeared on screen of the amount of tax returns released by other presidential candidates in past years as Schmidt provided a bland response that only reinforced Guthrie's assertion: "...when you don't disclose something, one side is demanding you disclose it. People in your own party are saying you ought to disclose it. I think the American people look at it and they go immediately to, 'What's he hiding?' Whether that's a fair conclusion or not."