On Thursday's CBS This Morning, co-hosts Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell waited until the fifth interview question to press Obama adviser David Axelrod about the fiasco in Libya. The question wasn't even a tough one, basically asking for the administration's spin.
"David, the consequences of what happened in the death of the Ambassador in Libya has caused some scrutiny in those incidents in the security there, and people are writing in editorials this morning that perhaps there was some pressure on Ambassador Rice to say what she said," Rose brought up the charges against the administration. "What is the response of the President to these questions and charges?" he asked.
Norah O'Donnell hounded Republican strategist Mike Murphy on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, repeatedly hinting that Mitt Romney flip-flopped on the issue of abortion during his Tuesday interview with The Des Moines Register. O'Donnell conspicuously failed to mention that during the same interview, Romney promised to "reinstate the Mexico City policy....that foreign aid dollars...would not be used to carry out abortion in other countries." [Update, 3:55 pm Eastern: audio clips available here; video below the jump]
By contrast, the anchor's former employer, NBC, pointed out on Wednesday's Today show that "Romney did say he would instead use an executive order to reinstate a ban on using American foreign aid to fund abortions."
Charlie Rose badgered former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday's CBS This Morning over the "few specifics" of Mitt Romney's foreign policy speech on Monday. During the interview, Norah O'Donnell boosted former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's "full of platitude and free of substance" blast at Romney's speech.
Rose changed subjects midway through the segment and also hounded the former U.S. attorney on whether the Romney campaign has "decided to be more moderate" in the last days of the presidential race.
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."
The sole political guest on Friday's CBS This Morning was Howard Dean, the ultraliberal failed presidential contender who was once the governor of Vermont. Co-host Norah O'Donnell asked him to comment on the vice president's statement on Thursday insisting the Democrats absolutely want to raise a trillion dollars in taxes on the rich.
Biden had "some comments that people are calling a gaffe, where he said Obama and Biden want to raise taxes by a trillion dollars," she said. "Well guess what, yes we do. Is that the right kind of message?" O'Donnell ignored that the actual 'gaffe' was that Biden strangely insisted it wasn't a "tax raise."
In response, Dean blamed the majority of the media for its incessant criticism and constant "hand wringing" when the president fails to live up to expectations or when the vice president says something inane. It appears that someone is still a little bitter about his own public mishaps. [ MP3 video below the page break, audio available here ]
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."
President Obama left his "greatest hits on the cutting room floor" for Wednesday night's debate, claimed CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell after the debate. According to her, "contraceptive rights" and "free mammograms" in ObamaCare are some of the President's "greatest hits."
"There was no mention of Bain," she said on Wednesday night's Charlie Rose. "There was no mention of the auto industry saved. There was no mention of the wars ended, and in the discussion about ObamaCare, he didn't mention that that would turn back many provisions that protect women's health, free mammograms, contraceptive rights." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
When push came to shove, CBS's Charlie Rose caved to the wishes of Obama adviser Robert Gibbs on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. Gibbs derided CBS for hammering a controversial video of Obama from 2007, and Rose quickly changed the subject.
"I have to say I'm a little amazed that, as you mentioned, a widely-covered speech, likely by people at your network, has somehow caused a kerfluffle five years later because somebody like Sean Hannity decided to re-air what was covered extensively," mocked Gibbs, to which Rose replied "Let me move on." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Norah O'Donnell made it clear on Monday's CBS This Morning that her job as anchor is to repeat her stick-a-fork-in-Romney mantra and boost President Obama. On the issue of the upcoming debates, O'Donnell asserted, "We already know he [Romney] has high negatives - perhaps, a likeability problem." She later asked if "we see the competitive President Obama...or will we see the cool, constitutional law professor?"
The anchor couldn't be bothered to bring up the continuing unrest in the Middle East; the related issue of the Obama administration's changing story as to what happened in the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya; or the new developments in the Fast and Furious controversy.
Norah O'Donnell was ready to tie the toe tag on Mitt Romney's presidential campaign on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, as the morning newscast hyped the latest numbers from the Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll, especially President Obama's 10-point lead in Ohio. After mentioning Romney's latest 60-second TV spot, O'Donnell twice wondered, "Is it too late? The voting in Ohio starts next week."
Charlie Rose spotlighted the President's "growing lead" in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida, according to his network's poll. But it took the program more than an hour to mention only in passing that "Republican voters remain more enthusiastic about voting than the Democrats," without mentioning the specific numbers.
On Monday, ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today failed to air any full reports on the continuing inquiry into the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and mentioned the issue only in passing. CBS This Morning did devote a full segment to the dispute between the State Department and CNN over their use of a Ambassador Chris Stevens' personal journal, but didn't mention President Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by name.
Matt Lauer vaguely referenced the "new wave of anti-Americanism" in the Islamic world during an interview of Tony Blair, but it took the former British prime minister to specifically point out the "tragic death of your ambassador" in Libya. During a report on the presidential race, ABC's Jake Tapper did briefly note how the President "described some of the events as bumps in the road. The Romney campaign saying that the death of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador in Libya, is far worse than a bump in the road."
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."
Norah O'Donnell played up the possible negative impact of the hidden camera video of Mitt Romney on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Regarding the elderly vote, O'Donnell asked 2008 McCain presidential campaign manager Rick Davis, "Did Mitt Romney just insult many of the people who end up voting Republican?"
Co-anchor Charlie Rose led the interview of Davis with a question on the impact of the remarks, and threw in the reported splits in the presidential nominee's campaign: "So, how damaging is this, and all these reports of dissension within the Romney camp?" O'Donnell followed up with her "insult" hint about Romney, as she cited figures from the liberal Tax Policy Center.
Like their colleagues on NBC's Today show, Monday's CBS This Morning forwarded a recent Politico report about supposed "turmoil inside the Romney campaign," which was stuffed with unnamed sources. Norah O'Donnell spotlighted "this finger-pointing that's going on...and whether or not they mismanaged the messaging in terms of Romney's big convention speech." John Dickerson hyped that "what's extraordinary about this, is that it's all happening in public."
O'Donnell also touted "four different national polls that show that Obama now has the lead on the issue of taxes over Romney. I mean, that has traditionally been where most people trust Republicans more than Democrats."
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]
Bob Woodward singled out congressional Republicans as the main party to blame for the 2011 debt ceiling showdown during an interview on Wednesday's CBS This Morning and minimized President Obama and Senate Democrats's responsibility regarding the looming fiscal cliff: "The Republicans are like a brick wall, and it's very difficult to deal with them."
Woodward also bemoaned that the press apparently wasn't doing enough to press the budget issue with Obama and Romney: "What's astonishing to me, is it clearly is the key domestic issue. We have a presidential campaign going on....and no one is pressing the candidates – if we had the candidates here, we would say, what is your plan? What are you going to do? This is not something to do by the seat of your pants....we need to have answers."
Eight weeks before the presidential election, Tuesday's CBS This Morning marked the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by helping Vanity Fair's Kurt Eichenwald forward his accusation that the Bush administration ignored warnings about a possible terrorist strike as early as May 2001. Eichenwald claimed that "the CIA did a spectacular job...the White House and others said, well, they didn't tell us enough. No, they told them everything they needed to know to go on a full alert, and the White House didn't do it."
The morning show also helped the former New York Times reporter promote his new Bush-bashing book, where he hinted at the supposed religious extremism of the former President during the lead-up to the Iraq war: "He [Bush] mentioned something called Gog and Magog, which is very central to the Book of Revelation...[former French president] Chirac didn't know what he was talking about...they went off and got a biblical expert...who then looked at this and said, the President's a fanatic."
On CBS's Face the Nation Sunday, substitute host Norah O'Donnell not only asked Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan about how he could have gotten his marathon time wrong from 22 years ago, she actually equated the error to Al Gore saying he invented the internet (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Apparently the mainstream media have a conservative bias towards Congressman Paul Ryan. Such is the ludicrous assertion held by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaking on CBS This Morning following the first night of the Democratic National Convention.
First, Schumer claimed that Ryan, “creates this halo for himself that he’s a budget reducer” then goes on to claim that, “the mainstream media, maybe not the two of you [Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell], but the mainstream media, not just the hard right, gave Ryan this halo. Undeserved.” Lastly, Schumer argued that, “The halo came from the mainstream media who needed a hard right guy to say here’s the real compromiser.” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Appearing during the 8am hour of CBS This Morning, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani scoffed when co-host Charlie Rose suggested the flurry of national security leaks coming from the Obama administration were not aimed at making the President “look like a superhero.”
Giuliani laughed at him: “Oh, come on, Charlie. Why are you leaking all this stuff that shouldn’t be talked about, shouldn’t be discussed? The only reason you’re doing it is to try to make the President look good on foreign policy.” [Video after the jump]
New Jersey Governor and Republican keynote speaker Chris Christie had to combat and correct several of his hosts’ liberal assumptions on CBS This Morning on Tuesday. CBS’s Norah O’Donnell had trouble grasping that Mitt Romney’s plan for tax simplification included lower overall tax rates, but not necessarily a lower tax burden on wealthy individuals.
Three times, O’Donnell claimed to Christie that Romney would cut taxes for the rich: “ He says he's going to cut everybody's tax rates by 20%... He said he will cut everybody’s taxes by 20%...So, he will cut the wealthiest Americans' taxes?”
Setting up the stakes for Mitt Romney and the Republican National Convention on Monday’s CBS This Morning, journalists and pundits kept insisting that the candidate had to show his touchy-feely side.
Correspondent Jan Crawford plugged a CNN poll showing how Romney is “down 35 points on the question of whether or not he understands and is in touch with problems facing women.” Soon-to-be co-host Norah O’Donnell insisted Romney has to “convince middle class voters that he cares about issues that they care about.”
A week after giving relatively light coverage to Joe Biden's "chains" smear, the broadcast networks eagerly dove into the Todd Akin controversy, giving over four times more coverage to an uproar involving a statewide (conservative) politician than a controversy involving a national (liberal) politician. NBC, CBS and ABC's evening and morning shows have devoted an astonishing 88 minutes (or 40 segments) of coverage to Congressman Akin's "legitimate rape" remark. Over a similar three day period, the networks allowed a scant 19 minutes (or ten segments) to a racially charged gaffe by the Vice President of the United States.
CBS This Morning reporter Norah O'Donnell on Tuesday pronounced, "If Akin is still running for the United States Senate, everybody is going to be asking about Akin, abortion rights, women's rights, etc., during the Republican convention." CBS journalists certainly did their best to make sure "everybody" would be talking about the Republican. The network hyped the story the most, pushing the controversy for 13 segments and 37 minutes.
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King applauded colleague Nancy Cordes for her "great question" to President Obama on Monday about a dishonest ad from a supporting super PAC that blamed Mitt Romney for a woman's cancer death. However, they failed to mention Cordes's earlier question on how Obama's campaign has "suggested that Mr. Romney might be a felon for the way that he handed over power of Bain Capital."
The President falsely claimed that "nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon" in his answer to Cordes, an additional detail that went unnoticed by the CBS on-air personalities. Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, made the felony suggestion on July 12, 2012: "Either Mitt Romney, through his own words and his own signature, was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony, or he was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people."
Within hours of the horrible massacre at the Aurora, Colorado movie theater, liberal reporters hijacked the tragedy to advance their anti-gun rights agenda. As they did in the wake of school shootings like Columbine (Back in 2000 the MRC documented, stories advocating gun control outnumbered those in favor of gun rights by a 10 to 1 ratio), the media were quick to heap blame on the NRA and Second Amendment supporters in their quest for more restrictions on guns.
On the very day of the Aurora shooting Time’sMichael Grunwald justified the oncoming push for gun control by the media when he pronounced: “There is nothing wrong with politicizing tragedy....Gun control and the Second Amendment are issues, too, and now seems like a pretty good time to talk about them.” (videos after the jump)
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell glossed over President Barack Obama's record of supporting gun control when she claimed that "Mitt Romney, in some ways, has been more for gun control than Barack Obama...He signed, as governor...a law, to ban assault weapons, and he only just recently joined the NRA." O'Donnell also played up that the President has apparently "disappointed gun control advocates." [audio available here; video below the jump]
In an unsigned 2009 report, the correspondent's own network actually acknowledged that Obama supported gun control as an Illinois state senator, a U.S. senator, and as a presidential candidate in 2008. Even before holding elected office, the Democrat sat on the board of a foundation that granted just under $2.7 million to gun control organizations.
Norah O'Donnell adopted the left's spin on extending the current tax rates on Friday's CBS This Morning, challenging Rep. Paul Ryan when he asserted that "they're really not tax cuts. We're just talking about keeping taxes where they are." She asked, "You're calling them tax policies and tax code. You're afraid to call them tax cuts now?" O'Donnell laughed when Ryan affirmed that "they're not tax cuts," and replied, "Oh, Congressman, come on!" [video below the jump; 02:16 into the segment]
Back on July 9, 2012, the White House correspondent bizarrely cited that there was a $150 billion "cost to taxpayers" if the existing tax rates were maintained for another year.
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.
A study released Wednesday from accounting firm Ernst & Young, which estimated that the U.S. would lose 710,000 jobs if the Bush-era tax cuts on the highest income earners aren't renewed, apparently isn't newsworthy to CBS. The network's Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts omitted the study, which also predicted that the nation's already struggling economic output would decline another 1.3 percent.
By contrast, on the July 9, 2012 edition of CBS Evening News, White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell played up a supposed $850 billion "cost to taxpayers" over 10 years if the current tax rates are extended.