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:
During the special 11:00 p.m. edition of The Ed Show on Tuesday, MSNBC host Ed Schultz fretted about what he viewed as "pretty damn scary stuff" that he believed Republicans would do in following Governor Scott Walkers example in pushing a conservative agenda in Wisconsin.
A bit later, during an interview with the Reverend Jesse Jackson, he asserted that conservatives are trying to "destroy and defund public education," which he claimed was "hurting the minority communities."
On Tuesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC host O'Donnell teased his show by asserting that President Obama is "the really big winner" in Wisconsin because of exit polls showing that, in spite of Republican Governor Scott Walker's win, a majority of those who voted preferred President Obama over GOP candidate Mitt Romney in the presidential race. O'Donnell:
Tuesday night's edition of The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News featured one of the latest videos from Dan Joseph of MRCTV from the streets of Madison. Joseph tried to interview an angry aging hippie as he held up leftist signs, including one with Gov. Scott Walker's face in a pile of elephant dung.
Joseph turned to a group of middle-school-aged children who said the protester was scary. O'Reilly said "Those kids are getting quite a political education." O'Reilly also featured what a generous person might call the "soul stylings" of liberal Congresswoman Gwen Moore of Milwaukee as she tried to sing "Hit the Road, Scott."
Shortly after MSNBC called Republican Governor Scott Walker as the winner of Tuesday's recall election shortly after 9:50 p.m. during the Rachel Maddow Show, a subdued Ed Schultz gave his initial reaction.
As of 11:15 p.m., with about 74% of the votes counted, Wisconsin Governor Scott was ahead of Scott Barrett by roughly a 56-44 margin. Late-arriving votes from Democrat-heavy areas of Milwaukee and Dane Counties seemed likely to narrow the margin to perhaps 10 points. (UPDATE: Because heavier margins of support for Barrett in those two counties, the final margin was 6.9%, roughly the same as Barack Obama's 7.4% margin in 2008, which was never labeled a "survival" or "narrow" or anything similar.)
The headlines currently at CNN (HT to a NewsBusters tipster) and the Associated Press both act as if Walker squeaked by. Pics follow the jump.
In response to the news that Republican Governor Scott Walker won his recall battle in Wisconsin Tuesday, MSNBC's Ed Schultz spoke a truth that should be a total embarrassment for the entire journalism industry.
"This is not going to be an easy night for many broadcasters who are liberal" (video follows with transcript and commentary):