On Friday's All In show, with the words "The Sickness" displayed on screen behind him, MSNBC host Chris Hayes began the show with a commentary in which he tagged the NRA as a "far-right fringe organization" that "might be spelling their own demise" by celebrating the defeat of the universal background check proposal. Hayes:
On Friday morning, Milwaukee County District Attorney, a Democrat, announced that an investigation into illegal campaigning and other illegal acts while current Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was the county's executive had concluded nine days earlier. Three former Walker aides, a political appointee, and two private citizens were sentenced. Two county officials pled guilty to crimes relating to campaigning on government time; two others stole money, one from a not-for-profit group and another from a county commission. One private citizen was sentenced for exceeding campaign contribution limits and laundering contributions; the other pled no contest to importuning a 17 year-old boy.
Walker himself was not charged. A top state Democratic Party official was so angry that he tweeted Jeffrey Dahmer analogies. It is pretty obvious, based on word choices he made in his related writeup, that the Associated Press's Scott Bauer, whose biased coverage of Walker has been clear for at least the past two years (previous NewsBusters posts with his tag are here), was also extremely displeased (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Michigan may very well become the 24th state to adopt right-to-work legislation on Tuesday, and liberal media outlets have given its opponents ample opportunity to state their case. While proponents have not been allowed to defend the law at all, MSNBC's Chris Jansing was more than happy to briefly play "devil's advocate" with her guest on Monday -- newly elected state representative Tim Greimel who called right-to-work "too divisive and too extreme for the state."
Following his lengthy diatribe on the subject, in which he also called right-to-work the "surest path to poverty that anybody could pursue here in Michigan," Jansing invited the Washington Post's Dana Milbank and Jackie Kucinich -- daughter of retiring liberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) -- of USA Today back on the program to reinforce the argument Greimel made. Hardly a balanced analysis of legislation designed to safeguard an individual's right not be coerced into a union or into financially supporting a union in which he/she is not a member [ video and transcript below ]
The Washington Post Sports section on Wednesday turned political with an article headlined "Wisconsin governor fumbles on Twitter: Walker sees collective bargaining in a new light after Packers' loss." Would the Post actually fail to recognize the difference between private-sector unions and public-sector unions, the subject of Walker's reforms? Yes.
Strangely, the author wasn't a sports reporter. It was Brad Plumer, a veteran writer for The New Republic and Mother Jones whose usual Post habitat is Ezra Klein's Wonkblog. In fact, that's where this article is found online. Plumer joked "When it comes to professional football, the usual rules of politics apparently take a timeout."
I really can't do much with this one beyond relaying the absurd particulars involved in PolitiFact's incredible conclusion that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker made a statement which was only "Half True" about unemployment in the various states in his speech last week at the Republican National Convention.
On August 17, the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics opened its monthly Regional and State Employment and Unemployment report as follows: "Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed or slightly higher in July. Forty-four states recorded unemployment rate increases, two states and the District of Columbia posted rate decreases, and four states had no change ..." The Associated Press's opening sentence in its coverage of the report's contents was: "Unemployment rates rose in 44 U.S. states in July, the most states to show a monthly increase in more than three years and a reflection of weak hiring nationwide." After the jump, readers will see the awful statement Walker made in Tampa:
CNN's Piers Morgan fell on his face Thursday trying to fact-check Paul Ryan's RNC speech from the previous night. He was proven wrong not only by CNN's own report, but also by his guest Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
Challenging Ryan's point that a GM plant closed under Obama after he said it would stay open for years if it cooperated with the government, Morgan said the plant "closed down under George Bush, in December of that year," in agreement with the Obama campaign. [Video coming soon.]
This will show you what a bloviating hypocrite Bill Maher is.
After comparing Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker to the mentally-handicapped banjo player in the film "Deliverance" last month, the vulgar comedian on Thursday called for public pension reform:
Barack Obama’s name barely came up as The New York Times summarized the hard-left Netroots Nation conference in Providence, Rhode Island. Sarah Wheaton reported “Last year’s conference was marked by the left’s frustration with the president. But this year, his name simply did not come up much — and when it did, it was invariably paired with a favorable comparison to Mr. Romney.”
But Obama did not appear, nor did any Obama surrogate. The president did send a video message vowing to “double down on green energy” (as if that’s been a winning gamble) and fight “gutting” education, blah blah blah. Strangely, he touted killing Osama bin Laden, which the Netroots surely saw as a massive human rights violation.
In the aftermath of Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker defeating a union-backed recall election, New York Times reporter John Harwood still saw bright hopes for Obama both in Wisconsin and nationwide, basing his Saturday "political memo" on a study from a liberal group, in "Demographic Shifts in Key States Could Aid Obama in Fall." That's slanted enough. But why is Harwood also relying on the worthless exit poll from the Walker-Barrett vote last Tuesday to argue that Obama is ahead in Wisconsin?
Is there no level Bill Maher won't stoop to attack a conservative?
On HBO's Real Time Friday, the Obama-supporting host said during his New Rules segment, "Now that Scott Walker has survived his recall, he has to tell us once and for all was he that kid in Deliverance" (video follows with commentary):
I watched the Wisconsin returns on MSNBC Tuesday night, and it came right down to the wire between "the Democrats were outspent 7-to-1" and "Republicans are stripping union rights!" As we go to press it's still too close to call.
President Obama wanted to go to Wisconsin, but he just didn't have time. He's been doing so many campaign fundraisers lately he barely has time to play golf.
Remarking that Wisconsin voters had "decided to leave their governor in office" on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams contemptuously declared that "money flowed into that state from all over the country, from people who had never been to Wisconsin, had no connection to Wisconsin. Part of the new and unlimited spending that is changing politics in a hurry." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After Williams credited the out-of-state money for "a huge victory for the Republicans," chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd breathlessly proclaimed: "Walker and national Republicans responded aggressively [to the recall], launching an unprecedented fundraising and TV ad campaign, outspending Barrett and his labor allies by a 3 to 1 margin on the air alone. Overall, nearly as much money was spent in this one state for one election than Mitt Romney has spent to secure the Republican presidential nomination."
DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has made ludicrous accusations against Republicans before and the media have failed to admonish her, but CNN's Piers Morgan stomped on her argument on Wednesday night that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's policies were "extremist."
"If you keep calling him an extremist but you accept that he won, what does that say about the people of Wisconsin? Are they all just a bunch of mad extremists?" Morgan challenged Schultz. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
As my colleague Geoff Dickens recently chronicled, MSNBC’s Ed Schultz actively campaigned with the union movement leading up to the bitter end of the Wisconsin recall election. Following Scott Walker’s decisive victory to retain his post as Wisconsin's governor, Schultz suddenly changed his tune to justify the embarrassing loss Democrats were dealt.
On the Wednesday May 7 broadcast of The Ed Show, Schultz pointed out NBC News exit polls found 70 percent of Wisconsinites disagreed with Tuesday's recall on principle. Only 27 percent said they were appropriate at all and 60 percent said recalls are appropriate only for official misconduct. Schultz argues that the bottom line was, “not enough Wisconsinites were convinced the recall was justified and even though they don’t approve of Scott Walker most Wisconsinites were not convinced he did enough to be removed from office.” [Video follows page break; MP3 audio here.]
One of the most mystifying aspects of the coverage of the Wisconsin recall election has been the media's ongoing use of exit poll results in stories suggesting that -- despite Gov. Scott Walker's big win against the efforts of Democrats and Labor Unions to end his term early -- President Obama has a big lead over Mitt Romney in the crucial swing state.
The continued faith in the flawed Wisconsin survey is even more amazing when you consider the dreadful record exit polls have of matching up with the actual vote totals. In nearly every case of error, exit polls have oversampled Democrats, a fact almost never pointed out by the nation's news organizations.
How bad was MSNBC's coverage of Republican Governor Scott Walker winning his recall election in Wisconsin Tuesday?
Well, the Daily Show's Jon Stewart on Wednesday renamed the network "MSNB-Sad" saying that it "passed through all the stages of grief last night" (video follows with transcript and commentary, serious vulgarity warning):
In the same spirit as Scott Bauer's claim for Associated Press of a "narrow 7-point gap" in the Wisconsin recall polls, so The Washington Post on Wednesday's front page classified Scott Walker's win as "Walker survives," and below that, "LONG LINES AND A CLOSE VOTE." Close?
Via my Twitter friend mattjmobile, here's a reminder of the Washington Post's front page on November 5, 2008, when Obama won by the same margin as Scott Walker: "Obama Makes History: US DECISIVELY ELECTS FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT." [See below]
On Wednesday's The Ed Show, MSNBC host Ed Schultz took a condescending tone toward labor union members who voted for Governor Scott Walker in Tuesday's recall election in Wisconsin as he recounted NBC News exit poll numbers showing that a significant chunk of union voters supported the Wisconsin Republican.
A baffled Schultz relayed the numbers and recounted the decision of some union members to vote for Walker, using a mocking tone of voice:
Following his resounding victory in Wisconsin's recall election on Tuesday, Governor Scott Walker appeared on Wednesday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, where host Chuck Todd wondered if Walker's signature achievement was also his biggest regret: "Looking back, do you have any regret of going at the issue of collective bargaining itself?...any regrets on that front?"
Despite Walker's push for fiscal restraint in the state having been vindicated, Todd fretted over the Governor's success: "Because there are still Republicans who say, you know what? You poked a tiger that maybe looked like you were going for a political kill rather than focusing on the policy."
They really outdid themselves. In Wisconsin and across the nation, public school employee unions spared no kiddie human shields in their battle against GOP Gov. Scott Walker's budget and pension reforms. Students were the first and last casualties of the ruthless Big Labor war against fiscal discipline.
To kick off the yearlong protest festivities, the Wisconsin Education Association Council led a massive "sickout" of educators and other government school personnel. The coordinated truancy action — tantamount to an illegal strike — cost taxpayers an estimated $6 million. Left-wing doctors assisted the campaign by supplying fake medical excuse notes to teachers who ditched their public school classrooms to protest Walker's modest package of belt-tightening measures.
Alternate title: "Surprise (Not): Barone Exposes How Exit Poll Samples Are Typically Biased."
Early this morning, at the Washington Examiner, Michael Barone casually put out what is apparently a well-known fact in polling circles. I'm thinking that it's not at all well-known to the general public (bold is mine):
The Big Three networks certainly have their priorities straight. ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning shows on Wednesday dedicated more time to entertainment news than the results of the Wisconsin recall election. On CBS This Morning, Disney's new ban on junk food ads from its kids programming received a minute and a half more than the political story. The same gap occurred on ABC's Good Morning America, but instead of junk food, the Miss USA pageant got the extra time.
NBC's Today, however, one-upped its competitors, as they devoted over six minutes to former Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus getting engaged, while Republican Governor Scott Walker's victory received under four and a half minutes. Today also spent over five minutes on the Miss USA story.
Searching for an excuse to explain what went wrong for Democrats in Wisconsin, the broadcast networks blamed "a record-shattering $64 million poured into" the recall election by "conservative out-of-state groups" supporting Republican Governor Scott Walker.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Bill Plante promoted Obama campaign talking points on the major Democratic loss: "...what it called the 'massive spending gap'. Governor Walker's supporters raised $31 million to $4 million for the challenger, Tom Barrett....with most of that money coming from out of state – a huge chunk of it from the super-PACs." On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Dean Reynolds proclaimed: "Their efforts resulted in an avalanche of ads attacking Walker's Democratic opponent..."
While confessing Democrats and unions were dealt a "painful blow" Tuesday night as Republican Gov. Scott Walker handily beat Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in the Wisconsin recall election, Wednesday's lead story by Monica Davey and Jeff Zeleny opened with the liberal argument that Walker was to blame for undermining the "civility" of the state's progressive politics by engaging in his successful reform of public sector unions. (The online headline, "Walker Survives Wisconsin Recall Effort," is a slightly churlish acknowledgement of Walker's convincing win of 53%-46%.)
Gov. Scott Walker, whose decision to cut collective bargaining rights for most public workers set off a firestorm in a state usually known for its political civility, easily held on to his job on Tuesday, becoming the first governor in the country to survive a recall election and dealing a painful blow to Democrats and labor unions.
Politico's Glenn Thrush insists that there's "Only one takeaway from Wisconsin: Money shouts." "Cash doesn't talk in 2012, it shouts, and Wisconsin was a sonic boom that's breaking glass in Chicago," Thrush groused, adding that "Conservative groups outspent unions and progs in Wisconsin by an estimated SEVEN-TO-ONE."
Although it's a predictable left-leaning take on yesterday's results, it's incredibly insulting to Badger State voters, not to mention completely illogical in light of exit polling data.
To be fair, Yahoo News's main home page has a headlined item called "What Scott Walker can teach Barack Obama," a later reference to the slapping of Tom Barrett by a "supporter" for supposedly conceding too early, and the Politics mini-section of the home page lists three Wisconsin-related stories.
But Yahoo News's U.S. home page (screen grabs here and here) as of 11 a.m. ET was a Wisconsin-free, Walker-free zone. And it's not like the page is devoid of political items, such as the following, plus a "most popular" item I'll reveal at the end which seems like a plant:
I noticed at lunch on Tuesday while reading the handy Washington Post commuter tabloid called "Express" that Scott Bauer at Associated Press actually wrote this sentence: "A Marquette University Law School poll released last week showed Walker with a narrow 7-percentage point lead over Barrett, 52 percent to 45 percent." That looks like a pretty accurate poll.
Is this what the 2008 race was for Obama, a "narrow 7-percentage point lead" over McCain? Is that what AP will write if Obama is leading in October by seven points? This wasn't even the only time Scott Bauer used that ludicrous passage. Let's go back to last Thursday, from the same song sheet: