Sitting in on Thursday's Randi Rhodes show, Nicole Sandler was reviewing 2012 and “all the rapey guys” like Senate candidates like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. “You could say they raped themselves...because they got all rapey on us.” In January, Sandler added, “Frothy Rick Santorum” said the same thing to Piers Morgan on CNN, that a baby, even “horribly created,” is a “gift of human life.” Left out of all this comedy? That it was the liberal Morgans and the stack-decking moderators who kept asking the rape questions to embarrass politicians who want to defend the unborn.
Then she turned her attack to “The disgrace to the female gender, Dana Loesch." She played a clip of Loesch saying that women complaining about a trans-vaginal probe had already been well, probed in their consensual sexual activity. This sent Sandler over the edge, complaining that perhaps Dana Loesch, a married woman and mother, has never had sex:
As NewsBusters readers know, one of my favorite things to do on Saturday is expose the stunning ignorance of HBO's Bill Maher.
The Real Time host didn't let me down Friday actually saying during his prepared opening monologue that Indiana's Richard Mourdock lost his senate bid Tuesday to - wait for it! - "Elizabeth Warren up in Massachusetts" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
AP reporter Andrew Taylor wrote up one of those teasing narratives Tuesday – the kind where he says, gee the GOP could have the Senate majority if it hadn’t managed to nominate Tea Party wackos that were successfully ripped down by harsh national press coverage.
Well, there was no actual reference to the press or its anti-Tea Party aggression. There are only “flawed, gaffe-prone nominees,” and no mention of who in the political world decides what a “gaffe” is and how the media's gaffe patrol never seems to locate them in the vicinity of Joe Biden. Taylor began his “bizarre GOP missteps” narrative this way:
Ever wonder why so few Republicans appear on "The Rachel Maddow Show"? Its namesake would have you believe they are deterred by her hypercaffeinated cerebral intensity. Instead, it's because they find Maddow's frequent lies, reliance on half truths, glaring omissions and paraphrasing of what they say beyond recognition inherently repellent.
On her MSNBC program Friday night, Maddow waded into the controversy that resulted after GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's remarks about abortion during pregnancies resulting from rape. (video after page break)
On Friday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd described how "both sides are dealing with some unexpected political speed bumps on the trail" and began by detailing the supposed obstacles for the Romney campaign:
...it's Indiana's Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who made controversial comments about abortion and rape on Tuesday...another unforced error for Team Romney and Republicans, national campaign co-chair John Sununu made these eyebrow-raising commentsin response to Colin Powell's endorsement of President Obama.
New York Times reporters Jonathan Weisman and Michael Cooper both suggested Mitt Romney would be hurt by comments made by Indiana's Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock at a debate Tuesday night. While explaining why he doesn't support abortion in the case of rape, Mourdock said: "I've struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
Democrats and their media allies pounced, devoting more airtime to Mourdock's comments than to damning emails showing the White House was informed within hours that the Benghazi attacks were terrorism, not a spontaneous reaction to a YouTube video. The paper's get-Romney attack line was clear from the headline in Thursday's edition: "Rape Remark Jolts a Senate Race, and the Presidential One, Too."
Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell badgered former RNC head Haley Barbour on Thursday's CBS This Morning on Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock's strongly pro-life stance, that even children conceived in rape are "God intended." Rose strongly hinted that the media firestorm surrounding Mourdock could affect the presidential race: "Romney may be gaining support among women. And the question arises, could this Mourdock controversy impact that?" [audio available here; video below the jump]
The CBS morning newscast stood out among its Big Three peers in significantly adding to the more than seven and half minutes of coverage from the previous day. The network devoted three minutes, 6 seconds to Mourdock, which is nearly three times the one minutes and 7 seconds that ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today set aside to the story combined.
Continuing to hype Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's opposition to abortion as some kind of scandal for Mitt Romney, on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "...the Romney campaign is also dealing with a new controversy, trying to distance itself from this comment..."
After playing a sound bite of Mourdock explaining in a Tuesday senatorial debate that he believed an unborn child conceived by rape was still a life "intended by God," Alexander touted an ad of Romney endorsing the Indiana Republican. He then observed how, "Mr. Romney, who's been carefully courting women voters, ignored the controversy" and declared that the Governor's campaign has "been trying to steer away from it's party's right-wing since the contentious primaries..."
A Democratic Senate candidate insulted CNN's Candy Crowley by joking to a male debate moderator "You're prettier than her," but CNN still hasn't covered that after a week. The network quickly jumped all over GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock for his comments on rape and abortion, however.
After Democrats pounced on Mourdock for saying pregnancies, even in cases of rape, are "something that God intended to happen," CNN hammered the story all day Wednesday. Anchor Ashleigh Banfield spent over 20 minutes – one-third of her news hour – on Mourdock's comments and his press conference.
On Wednesday, CNN's Carol Costello spent more time on a GOP Senate candidate's remarks on abortion than she did on a new bombshell report on the Libya attacks. Costello devoted just over 12 minutes to Libya, versus 13 and a half minutes to Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's comments, and his endorsement by Mitt Romney. Costello anchors the 9 and 10 a.m. hours of CNN Newsroom.
Mourdock affirmed his faith-based views against abortion in cases of rape, stating "life is a gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen." Costello said those words "erupted online and re-energized the so-called war on women."
On Tuesday evening, CBS broke wide open a story on State Department e-mails showing the White House knew on September 11 that the consulate in Benghazi was subjected to a terrorist attack, and that terrorists took credit on Facebook and Twitter. But by Wednesday, the three network morning shows weren't leaping to follow up. ABC and CBS combined devoted just over a minute to the story, while NBC completely ignored it.
By contrast, all three newscasts showed that they were more interested in helping the Democrats in Indiana, aggressively spotlighting Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's faith-based affirmation that he did not support abortion even in the case of rape, that even those are children "God intended." Mourdock's "controversial comments" drew more than seven and a half minutes of coverage.
All three morning shows on Wednesday touted White House talking points linking Mitt Romney to a Republican Senate candidate in Indiana who, while speaking about "the horrible situation of rape," called life a "gift from God." Only one program, CBS This Morning, seemed to notice how closely this story mirrored Democratic spin.
As though he was referencing a connection to a criminal, former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos intoned, "Mitt Romney catching some flak for his ties to a GOP Senate candidate making controversial comments about abortion and rape in a Tuesday debate." Trying to make trouble, reporter David Muir asserted that the GOP campaign is "trying to distance itself from a Senate candidate that Romney endorsed, did a TV ad for." Muir needled, "The [Romney] campaign did not say whether it would ask [Richard] Mourdock to take down this ad." CBS's Norah O'Donnell speculated that the remark could cost Republicans a shot at "control of the Senate." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Is Soledad O'Brien working for the DSCC? She distorted a pro-life statement from Senate candidate Richard Mourdock by including it with the Todd Akin controversy in a critical "Get Real" segment on Wednesday's Starting Point. She also tied Romney to Mourdock by noting he previously backed the candidate.
"Our 'Get Real' this morning, I think it's a really interesting question about a lack of sensitivity toward a victim of rape," O'Brien began. "Big implications politically, of course, Dana, for this," she hyped later. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
With less than two weeks before the November election, it appears as though the media have found their newest manufactured controversy to smear Mitt Romney and other Republicans running for elected office.
Following comments made by Richard Mourdock, Republican candidate for Senate in Indiana, NBC News’ Luke Russert disgustingly tried to twist Mourdock’s comments and tie them to the Romney campaign. [See video below break. MP3 audio here.]
Perhaps setting the tone for the 2012 election coverage, the New York Times leaned "staunchly" on "deep-seated" conservative labels in Sunday's front-page off-lead by Jennifer Steinhauer (pictured) and Jonathan Weisman: "Tea Party Focus Turns to Senate And Shake-Up-- Pursuing a House-Style Conservative Fervor." After months of hinting that the Tea Party was losing influence, the toppling of veteran Republican moderate Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana has convinced the Times that the group now poses a danger to moderates and deal-makers in the party.
The primary victory of a Tea Party-blessed candidate in Indiana illustrates how closely Republican hopes for a majority in the Senate are tied to candidates who pledge to infuse the chamber with the deep-seated conservatism that has been the hallmark of the House since the Republicans gained control in 2010.
In the wake of Richard Mourdock's landslide victory over Republican Senator Richard Lugar in Indiana's primary Tuesday, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift made what some might consider a staggeringly stupid prediction on Friday's McLaughlin Group.
"The Tea Party will cost the Republicans control of the Senate" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Following Richard Mourdock’s commanding victory in the Indiana Republican primary, CNN’s John King felt it appropriate to criticize Mourdock for of all things his campaign pledge of legislating as a conservative. King began the interview with a loaded question, asking the GOP candidate, "are you so rigid in your ideology that you will refuse compromise and therefore keep the country from solving its problems?" The presumption, of course, that the country's problems can only be solved through compromise away from conservative solutions. King like many in the media have been mourning the loss of Dick Lugar who many viewed as a moderate, and now consider his Republican successor as an extreme Tea Party-backed candidate.
Mourdock held his own throughout the interview and consistently maintained that he will not compromise on his principles, explaining that when the term compromise is usually invoked these days, "it’s about having Republicans join Democrats to get something done. One of the things we’ve spoken of a great deal over the last 15 minutes is my desire to help build the Republican Party into the majority so that the word bipartisanship means maybe some Democrats will come our way instead." [Video follows page break; MP3 audio here.]
New York Times reporter Monica Davey was in Indianapolis to cover the Tea Party toppling of the moderate, establishment Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana: "G.O.P. Voters Topple Lugar After 6 Terms." Davey barely concealed her regretful tone:
Richard G. Lugar, one of the Senate’s longest-serving members, a collegial moderate who personified a gentler political era, was turned out of office on Tuesday, ending a career that had spanned the terms of half a dozen presidents.
After CNN's Erin Burnett lamented the defeat of "moderate" Dick Lugar in Indiana's GOP Senate primary, Wednesday's Starting Point panel had a cold welcome for the victorious Tea Party candidate Richard Mourdock.
Anchor Soledad O'Brien asked Mourdock if his "confrontational" attitude wouldn't help "undermine" the cause of uniting Americans. It's doubtful whether Soledad thought the same of President Obama as he shoved liberal legislation down the throats of Republicans in the first two years of his term. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
ABC’s Good Morning America treated last night’s loss of long-time serving Republican Senator Richard Lugar, to the more conservative Tea Party favorite Richard Mourdock, as a sad sign of the end of bi-partisanship. In the 7am half-hour of Wednesday’s show, ABC’s Josh Elliott declared Lugar’s loss was an “earthquake of great degree” and eulogized Lugar as a senator who was “well-known for his willingness to reach across party lines.” Later on in the 8am half-hour Elliott called Lugar’s loss “a massive political headline” as he reported: “A long time voice of bipartisanship...has been defeated.”
CNN’s Erin Burnett, on last night’s edition of Outfront, also cast the Mourdock victory as a bad omen for Washington, as she worried, “So are the only people willing to find the middle ground disappearing from Washington...This is pretty tragic that we have gotten to this point where working together is a negative thing.” (Video after the jump)