ABC’s This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos was the only Sunday show that bothered to cover the latest ObamaCare delay and with it came some interesting insight from the panel of political experts.
Appearing on Sunday’s program, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan mocked the latest delay and hilariously asked her fellow panelists if “there still a law? Is there still an ObamaCare law? It's been changed in 25 ways.” [See video below.]
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) sat down for an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Jonathan Karl following his speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), and from the beginning was met with a barrage of questions over his outspoken criticism of President Obama.
The interview, which aired on Sunday’s This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos, featured a myriad of topics including repealing ObamaCare. During the segment, Senator Cruz mocked how the “media treats that as a bizarre proposition” to which Karl laughed and asserted “it is because he’s not going to sign it. It is a bizarre proposition.” [See video below.]
On MSNBC's Daily Rundown on Friday, NBC political director and host Chuck Todd used low attendance at a Conservative Political Action Conference panel discussion to take a cheap shot at Republicans: "For a party struggling to change its demographic destiny, this picture taken by a Brookings Institution fellow of an almost empty ballroom at a panel on Republican outreach into minority communities, should be a bit of a warning. You don't want to play into your party's stereotypes there." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Thursday, Brookings fellow John Hudak tweeted during the 2 p.m. ET event: "Big problem for GOP. Most important #CPAC2014 panel. Topic: minority outreach. View: largely empty room." He included the picture Todd referenced, a shot from the back of the large main ballroom at CPAC showing rows of empty chairs.
If you're looking for proof that the MSNBC is in the tank for the Democrats and ObamaCare, you need go no further than to read an article posted on Wednesday by reporter Geoffrey Cowley that states insurance companies can “keep offering substandard individual health plans through 2016.”
By extending the time to apply for the Affordable Care Act by two more years, the administration has “extended the treaty it reached last fall with the half-million consumers who were set to lose their low-cost, low-value insurance plans," Cowley insisted.
On Tuesday evening, ABC again skipped its own poll showing voter disapproval of both President Obama and Senate Democrats up for re-election.
Obama's approval rating was underwater at 46 percent, while voters preferred Republican senate candidates to Democrats 50-42. The poll noted that "Anti-incumbent sentiment is largely economic in nature; as such, while there's dissatisfaction with both parties, it's pointed more at the Democrats, given their control of the big chair at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave."
The journalists at World News on Monday and Good Morning America on Tuesday ignored the results of their own poll, a survey finding Democrats in deep trouble for the 2014 midterms. It's not as though GMA was packed with hard news and there was no available time. The morning show devoted an astonishing 18 minutes to promoting the new season of Dancing With the Stars. ABC News labeled this a "GMA dance party."
According to the ABC News/Washington Post poll, "...Republicans [are] in a stronger position than Democrats in the states with Senate races this fall and more than holding their own in the battle for control of the House." Writers Dan Balz and Scott Clement explained, "In the 34 states with Senate races, 50 percent of voters say they favor Republicans and 42 percent favor Democrats."
On Tuesday morning, only NBC's Today marked the beginning of the 2014 midterm primary season and explained the dire situation for Democrats ahead on the November election. Co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "While President Obama's dealing with the crisis in Ukraine, here at home, the future of his presidency could be at stake. The midterm primary season kicks off today, and this will affect who will control the levers of power in the coming years." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd warned: "...it sets the stage for what's going to be an epic national battle in these midterms between the two parties for control of the Senate, which in turn, holds the fate of the rest of the Obama presidency."
Perhaps I'm being too kind in describing the Associated Press as "The Administration's Press." Based on Jim Kuhnhenn's ridiculous "Don't worry, be happy" Saturday report on how unimportant he says the still growing national debt and the still historically large federal budget deficits supposedly are, maybe I should start calling the wire service "The Administration's Publicists" instead.
Kuhnhenn stopped just short of writing that the national debt ($17.41 trillion as of Wednesday, up from $10.63 trillion when Barack Obama took office 61 months ago, an average increase of $111 billion per month) and the annual federal budget deficit (on track to be over $500 billion for the sixth year in a row, four of which saw deficits of over $1 trillion) aren't worthy of attention, but it's clear that he believes we shouldn't be concerned about them in making electoral choices (bolds are mine):
There are few things that might please liberal journalists more than finding that elusive voter that proves a dearly held theory: anti-Obama voters really hate black people. It’s all about his race, not his policies.
NPR hit that jackpot on Tuesday’s Morning Edition in a seven-minute story on Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) seeking re-election in Louisiana. In seven minutes, NPR’s Ailsa Chang never even whispered the name of Landrieu’s expected Republican opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy (or his challenger, state Sen. Paul Hollis). The latest poll found Cassidy in the lead. But Chang found a racist sitting under an oak tree in Galliano, Louisiana, in Cajun territory:
Double standards in the establishment press's treatment of Republican and Democrat politicians is an unfortunate reality. Evidence that it's getting worse — to the point of begging the question, "At long last, have you no shame?" — can be seen in the disparate treatment of Florida's two major-party March 11 congressional special election candidates, Republican David Jolly and Democrat Alex Sink.
At the Associated Press, it is headline-making national news, via reporter Tamara Lush, that Jolly "was not charged and not at fault in a 1989 car crash in which he fatally struck a pedestrian, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report." Again: "NOT at fault." Meanwhile, it is not news at AP's national site that less than 30 hours ago, Sink, in a televised debate, resorted to offensive stereotyping in advocating changes in immigration law when she asked, "Where are you going to get people to work to clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping?" Excerpts from Townhall.com's story, plus a video containing Sink's statement, follow the jump.
The Washington Post’s ongoing love-bombing of John Dingell continued on Wednesday. Post reporter Ben Terris began promoting Dingell’s wife Debbie to take over his seat in Congress, with an announcement now expected on Friday – without one word focused on any Democrat or Republican challengers, and without any pushback to the notion that this House seat is Property of the Dingells.
The headline was “For Dingell, a life primed for politics: As wife of longtime lawmaker she’s ready to run to take over familiar reins.” It should be “one of the easier transitions to Congress,” proclaimed Terris the Post flower-petal tosser:
Michigan Congressman John Dingell announced his retirement today. The Democrat's career as Congress's longest-serving member will end with this session.
With the help of a related statement by President Obama, press coverage predictably placed great emphasis on Dingell's decades-long advocacy of universal health care coverage and his involvement in the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act, which used to be the law governing the scope and implementation of state-controlled health care until the Obama administration's regime of pre-implementation waivers and post-passage changes turned it into the mush which should now and forever be called "Obamacare." That emphasis on Obamacare "somehow" overlooked an infamous but truthful statement Dingell made to WJR Radio's Paul W. Smith shortly after the original law's passage in March 2010. It's the kind of statement the press would have covered when Dingell originally made it (they didn't), and would never have forgotten if it had been made by a Republican or conservative.
The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker must love his new position as the unofficial spokesman for Bill and Hillary Clinton. In a 30-paragraph front-page piece in Monday’s Post, Rucker declared Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes a “Young Senate Candidate, A Campaign With Star Power.”
Rucker goes on to offer a glowing profile of Ms. Grimes, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y) this November and insists that “Clinton’s popularity in Ky. Is a boon for Grimes.” The campaign article began describing how during President Clinton’s first inauguration “a 14-year-old girl from Kentucky presented the new president with a bouquet of red roses at the base of the Lincoln Memorial.” Rucker describes Clinton as an “uncle figure whom Grimes counts as a friend, mentor and advisor.”
Congressman Gary Peters (D-M.I.) seems to have some really thin skin as he recently threatened several Michigan TV stations for airing political ads targeting his support for ObamaCare.
In a piece in the Washington Examiner, reporter Charles Hoskinson revealed how the Michigan Democrat, who is running for Senate to replace the retiring Carl Levin, is upset over an ad produced by Americans for Prosperity. The ad featured Julie Boonstra, a leukemia patient who said that Peters’ support of ObamaCare “jeopardized my health.”
On February 10, in a rare moment of candor which was quickly edited away in subsequent revisions, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, wrote that President Obama had unilaterally instituted delays and revisions in Obamacare's employer mandate because he was "angling to avoid political peril."
Of course he was. Postponing and revising the requirement that firms cover their employees "or face a $2000 fine per employee, after the first 30," delays the decidedly negative impact of the statist healthcare scheme until after November's elections. But in a Friday evening report, Politico's David Nather essentially tried to claim that Obama really acted against his own best interest (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):
At MSNBC what’s worse than being a conservative member of Congress? Being a black Republican member of Congress.
That seemed to be the sentiment on February 18 when MSNBC host Craig Melvin asked former Obama official Anton Gunn whether or not Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) would “come with an asterisk” next to his name if he wins election to a full-term in the Senate this November. [See video below.]
The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky has no qualms about his dislike, if not outright hatred, for Republicans especially the Tea Party. In a February 11 piece, Tomasky gleefully cheered that the “GOP caves on debt limit.”
Tomasky, who frequents MSNBC to rant about Republicans cheered the “huge Obama win” on a "clean" debt-ceiling vote, and proceeded to shame the GOP for demanding in the past that any debt ceiling increase be accompanied by some spending cuts.
As I noted Monday night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, displayed rare candor when he opened his 8:28 p.m. report on the latest unilateral changes to Obamacare by describing their motivation as "Angling to avoid political peril." I wrote last night that "I’ll be surprised if it (the "political" characterization) survives revisions later this evening." Well, it didn't.
At the AP's national site, the 8:28 p.m. link now goes to Alonso-Zaldivar's 3:27 a.m. rendition (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes). Just in time for review by morning news show producers and editors, the new story scrubs away any hint of political thinking on the part of the administration itself, instead depositing it with Democrats trying to hold the Senate in this November's elections. A national site search on "angling" confirms the old story's non-presence. There is a politics-related quote in the revised piece — but of course, only from a Republican.
The opening of Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar's 8:28 p.m. report on President Obama's latest round of extra-legal, extra-constitutional manuevers relating to the Affordable Care Act — scratch that, it really isn't the Affordable Care Act as written any more; it really is "Obamacare," defined as "whatever Obama and his administration have done to the ACA as originally written" — is a keeper. That's why the report is also here for future reference.
Alonso-Zaldivar's first sentence tells you everything you need to know about the administration's management of Obamacare's implementation. As such, I'll be surprised if it survives revisions later this evening. It isn't about making sure Americans get quality health insurance. It isn't about first-rate care, or efficiency, or any other objective relating to a benefit the American people might see, touch, or feel. See the AP story's headline and first sentence after the jump:
On “This Week” on Sunday, substitute host Jonathan Karl told Obama adviser David Plouffe that his “far more nuanced” truth might not beat the Republicans’ negative ads when it came to the new Congressional Budget Office report on Obamacare: “The ad saying 2 million fewer jobs is a lot easier than this far more nuanced argument about job lock.”
Plouffe tried the lame spin that the American people “don’t want another political fight about health care.” Has he seen a poll on approval for Obamacare? Then conservative pundit S.E. Cupp of TheBlaze really tore into Plouffe:
On Friday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, host and NBC political director Chuck Todd proclaimed that the Republican decision to put off immigration reform until after 2014 "is a long-term disaster for the GOP." He further declared: "If the House refuses to pass immigration after the Senate did so last year, it will become clear to the public, particularly viewers of Telemundo and Univision....that one party is standing in the way of reform, and it's the Republican Party." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Minutes earlier, after playing a sound bite of House Speaker John Boehner explaining that Republicans simply couldn't trust President Obama to properly implement a new immigration law, Todd sneered: "The argument to slow-walk legislation because the President can't be trusted to implement it, though, strains credibility. If you can't trust the President, then why pass any laws?"
The reporters at Good Morning America want their audience to know that Clay Aiken's chances for making it to Congress are iffy because of the "conservative district" and "very conservative area" in which he's running. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Reporter Mara Schiavocampo on Thursday labeled the former American Idol runner-up a Democrat, as well as pointing out the Republican-leaning nature of North Carolina. But at no time did the journalist call Aiken a liberal.
Schiavocampo began the story by bluntly declaring, "...Simply put, [Aiken] is a long shot."She added, "Aiken, an openly gay single dad, is running in a conservative district in a state with a Republican governor and a GOP-run state legislature." The reporter praised Aiken for being "authentic" and having a "great life story." But to underline the odds he faces, Schiavocampo reminded, "We'll see how it plays out. Very conservative area." Co-host Robin Roberts fretted, "Very much so."
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report this morning projecting among other things, that 2.5 million Americans will drop out of full-time work thanks to ObamaCare. We will, of course, track how the broadcast networks cover this story, but if the news websites for ABC, CBS, and NBC are any indication, they will downplay and/or heavily spin this development.
For its part, for example, ABCNews.com teased a February 4 AP story with the headline "Modest Drop in Full-Time Work Seen From Health Law" in their "latest news" sidebar. By contrast, CBSNews.com was front and center with the CBO story, their teaser headline declaring, "New report stokes debate on Obamacare, jobs" [see screen captures below page break]
As House Republicans prepare to sell out the country on immigration this week, Phyllis Schlafly has produced a stunning report on how immigration is changing the country. The report is still embargoed, but someone slipped me a copy, and it's too important to wait.
Leave aside the harm cheap labor being dumped on the country does to the millions of unemployed Americans. What does it mean for the Republican Party?
Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC's Krystal Ball cracked that Republicans "must feel like they should just take a vow of silence" until the election as she alluded to New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm's meltdown with a reporter and Mike Huckabee's recent comments about the so-called "war on women."
Referring to Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers giving the Republican response to the State of the Union address, Ball observed:
That there was even one item in the "far-left" search just noted is unusual. It's even more remarkable that the underlying report was written by Steve Peoples, a far-lefty disguised as a reporter if there ever was one. Excerpts from his Wednesday dispatch follow the jump.
In his Tuesday night State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama made the following pledge: "In the coming weeks, I will issue an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour – because if you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty."
One would have every reason to believe from Obama's statement that the change will take effect quickly once the EO is issued — but it won't. Additionally, one would have every reason to believe that when it does take effect, it will increase the pay of anyone currently employed on federal contract work at a pay rate of under $10.10 per hour — but it won't do that either. Somehow, those "little" problems escaped "fact checkers" Josh Gerstein and Darren Samuelsohn at the Politico, who, while they did catch other problems with the President's statement, swallowed a clearly false claim about its long-term impact:
When President Bush gave his fifth State of the Union address on January 31, 2006, he sat at 43 percent approval in the Gallup tracking poll, in no small part because of public perception regarding his administration's handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. When President Obama delivered his fifth State of the Union last night, his Gallup approval number was lower a mere 41 percent, doubtless impacted in no small part by the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare and the public's disapproval of the health care overhaul. What's more, some 53 percent in a recent Quinnipiac poll slammed the administration as incompetent and 47 percent expressed the belief that President Obama doesn't pay attention to what's transpiring on his watch. As to more objective metrics, the job situation is worse at this point in Barack Obama's presidency than it was the same point in George W. Bush's with higher unemployment (6.7 percent to Bush's 4.9 percent) and a woefully low labor force participation rate (62.8 percent to Bush's 66 percent).
Yet when you compare the Washington Post's front-page treatments of Mr. Obama's January 28 speech and Mr. Bush's January 31, 2006 one, it becomes all too apparent that the Post is eager to help the former spin his way to resetting the narrative for the midterm election year while the paper was all too happy to pound out a drumbeat about how President Bush was an abject failure, a lame duck roasting in the waters of public disapproval. Here's how Post staffers David Nakamura and David Fahrenthold opened up their January 29 front-pager "Obama: I won't stand still" (emphasis mine):
In her January 28 story, "House passes abortion insurance restriction," MSNBC.com's Irin Carmon quoted from just one Republican who voted for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and yet found three male Democratic congressmen and one female Democratic congresswoman to slam the measure: