MSNBC's Chuck Todd on Friday eagerly promoted "rising star" Joaquin Castro, a liberal Congressman from Texas. On the same program that he suggested Republicans don't care about minorities, Todd speculated on a Democratic revival in the Lone Star State. He wondered, "Is 2014 the year that Texas Democrats finally elect someone, some member of their party, to a statewide office?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Todd hyped a Texas Monthly Article on "Mr. Castro Goes to Washington." The Daily Rundown host sympathized with the difficulty of being a Democrat in the GOP-controlled House: "Compare the Texas legislature and being a member of the minority party there with being a member of the minority in Congress. What's worse?"
Even when attempting to say something nice about a conservative, MSNBC somehow managed to stick its foot in its mouth. Resident MSNBC.com voter-ID conspiracy theorist Zachary Roth sickeningly blared in a March 5th piece that “No One Pushes Greg Abbott Around” with an accompanying picture of Mr. Abbott waiving to supporters from his wheelchair.
Roth spent the first three paragraphs in a fairly tame manner, describing how Abbott was left paralyzed at age 26 from a freak accident the Republican sustained while running, before launching into an all-out attack on the Texan. Roth promoted how Abbott “likes to point out that he’s filed 30 lawsuits against “Barack Obama”—never President Obama—and his administration.”
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."
At the Associated Press on Friday, Chris Tomlinson wrote a story of national significance ("State officials investigating Democratic activists") which the wire service appears not to have ever carried at its national site.
It is nationally significant because the establishment press, both in print and over the airwaves, has chosen to make the Lone Star State gubernatorial candidacy of Democrat Wendy Davis a national matter. However, continuing a pattern going back several months (examples here and here), when negative matters relating to her campaign or to those assisting it surface, all of a sudden we're supposed to believe nobody outside of Texas cares.
Does Zachary Roth ever get tired of hyperventilating over new voting laws being passed across the country? He must not because yet again the MSNBC reporter freaked out over the Republican-controlled legislature “restricts the right to vote.” Just in the last year, Roth has penned more than 50 articles on the subject of voting and how the GOP wants to make it harder for Democrats and minorities to vote.
The February 20 article began with Roth groaning that “Ohio lawmakers passed two restrictive Republican voting billsWednesday night, raising the prospect that casting a ballot this fall could be much more difficult, especially for minority voters.”
Is The Washington Post a rag for liberal Democrats? It’s certainly striving for that reputation today. On the front page (above the fold) is this story, trying to ruin another GOP presidential hopeful like Chris Christie: “Gov. Walker, eyeing 2016, faces fallout from probes: Release of ex-aide’s e-mails could stall rise of national Republican.”
Meanwhile, on the front page of the Style section is a picture of ex-Republican Charlie Crist hugging Barack Obama on a card that says “Happy Hug-iversary.” The headline over the aticle is “Charlie Crist: Embraceable Blue.” Newly arrived Post reporter Ben Terris reports Crist loves a good hug:
The left constantly rants about alleged illegal coordination between conservative and Republican candidates and groups with little to no proof. At least once, when it had no evidence, it went to court to try to get a judge to allow them to engage in a wide-ranging fishing expedition to find something, anything, which might "prove" it. Fortunately, a Wisconsin judge in mid-January turned back that request involving Badger State Governor Scott Walker and organizations which independently advocated for his 2010 election and defended him against the 2012 recall effort.
James O'Keefe's latest video involving Battleground Texas would appear to demonstrate that many in the left assume conservatives routinely engage in illegal campaign activity because, well, the left routinely engages in illegal campaign activity. Watch Project Veritas's latest video after the jump, and ask yourself whether the illegal use of voter information O'Keefe exposes would be ignored by the press if a conservative or Republican organization were engaging in it:
As we've documented time and again, MSNBC.com’s Zachary Roth is obsessed with defending the ballot box from his favorite villain: the GOP. His February 18 item may have taken the cake for fear-mongering and outright peddling of liberal talking points.
Roth penned a nearly 1500-word piece in which he threw together examples from the 1800s and 1900s where certain segments of the population were excluded from voting -- by Democrats, of course -- as evidence of the “conservative case to limit voting.”
In near identical fashion to their treatment of abortion-activist Sandra Fluke, MSNBC has been running the unofficial political campaign for Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis. During her failed filibuster of new abortion laws in Texas, MSNBC helped propel Ms. Davis into the national spotlight, with host Chris Hayes going so far as to claim that her campaign is a “matter of life of death for many Texans.”
On the February 17 Morning Joe, the entire panel, sans conservative co-host Joe Scarborough, continued with the Wendy Davis love-fest before ultimately conceding that the liberal Democrat will likely not become the next governor of Texas.
So who's being the sexist? Mika Brzezinski went ballistic on today's Morning Joe over Republicans like Rand Paul raising Monica Lewinsky in the context of a possible Hillary presidential run, calling them "sexist" and "misogynistic." But in the course of her rant, Mika mockingly referred to such Republicans as "little peanuts." Hmm.
Did Mika need to use such suggestive, demeaning language in making her point? You have to view the video to get just how derisive was Mika with her "little peanut" line. View the video after the jump.
The latest evidence that Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis can't stay true to her convictions or doesn't have any (take your pick) is her position modification on abortion. Steve Ertelt at Life News relays an underlying Dallas News item, telling his readers that "Davis said she would back a 20-week abortion ban as long as it had two exceptions, to kill disabled babies and a health exception rendering any ban meaningless." Point taken, Steven but the idea that Davis would support anything described as a 20-week ban is a significant change from the position which supposedly drove her to filibuster a Texas law last year containing the ban.
Reaction from the establishment press can fairly be described as schizophrenic ("characterized by a breakdown in thinking and poor emotional responses"), and ranges from crickets to cries of "betrayal" to amazing exercises in excuse-making.
Appearing on FNC's Hannity Wednesday night, conservative author and columnist Ann Coulter zinged the news media and the Democratic Party for being "so smitten" with Texas liberal Wendy Davis "because she's going to stand up for killing babies. Oh, that's great, that's really speaking truth to power."
Now, Coulter said, even Davis has realized that position "isn't so popular in Texas as it is in, you know, the media, news rooms across America," which explains why the candidate for governor told the Dallas Morning News on Tuesday she would now, given the right conditions, support a ban on abortions after 20 weeks.
Wendy Davis would love to be the next governor of the state of Texas. She'd also probably love to retain the unquestioned doe-eyed adoration of MSNBC. Those aspirations might be at cross-purposes, however, especially as Davis is tacking to the right on gun rights and abortion in order to pass herself off as a centrist Democrat.
You could call it bias-by-boring-headline. This typically happens when liberal Democrats do something scandalous or at the very least questionable and a major newspaper covers the story and publishes it, but headline editors give it such a milquetoast headline as to essentially tell the reader,"You'll fall asleep reading this. Move along."
That's essentially the case with the Washington Post's headline* this morning for a story about how Democratic state legislators in Maryland are circling the wagons to protect 2014 gubernatorial front-runner Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) from a steady stream of bad ObamaCare-related news which could sink his chances for the Democratic nomination and/or the governor's office in November.
In 2007, Senator David Vitter was implicated in a prostitution ring involving the infamous “D.C. Madam.” Since then the senator apologized to his wife and family as well as the citizens of Louisiana, who, apparently, forgave him, as attested to their reelecting him to the U.S. Senate.
But that didn’t stop The Times-Picayune from publishing a story recently which selectively quoted from Family Research Council president Tony Perkins -- himself a former Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives -- in such a way as to suggest that the "far right" -- their words -- social conservative leader was opposed to Vitter's candidacy.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, whose name has come up as a possible 2016 presidential contender, had his name splashed all over the nation by the establishment press three years ago when he largely succeeded in reducing the disproportionate influence of public-sector union members. That attention remained steady until Walker beat back a statewide recall in tbe spring of 2012.
One might argue that Walker's now-obvious success is boring and unworthy of national attention, except for the fact that the press still features Walker in national stories from time to time — really important stuff like the fact that he got selected for jury duty but didn't serve. Turning a projected $3.6 billion deficit into a surplus, bringing down the unemployment rate, and proposing an across-the-board tax cut? Forget about it. And what little coverage does occur is almost comical, especially from the mostly unionized Associated Press. Take the last sentence of the following excerpted paragraph from AP reporter Scott Bauer on Friday morning:
Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator running for governor, became a liberal superhero last June when she filibustered a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. (This was the good filibuster, not that awful filibuster three months later by Ted Cruz -- that was just grandstanding.)
Apart from her enthusiasm for abortion (and you have to admit, abortion is really cool), the centerpiece of Davis' campaign is her life story. Also the fact that she's a progressive woman who doesn't look like Betty Friedan.
Fortunately for Mr. Obama, the president enjoys a liberal news media intent on shielding the president -- and with him his congressional Democratic allies -- as best they can. On Thursday evening, none of the Big Three network evening newscasts even bothered to briefly mention the Moody's downgrade. Likewise none of the Big Three morning news programs thought it worthy of even a brief mention in a news-desk roundup. The New York Times -- motto: All the news that's fit to print -- also ignored the story in its Friday print edition.
On her Tuesday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell tried to downplay the controversy swirling over the misleading biography put forward by Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis: "[She's] being forced to answer media reports down there that she had slightly altered her resume or focused on the single mom aspects of it and didn't really give the timeline correctly." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell continued by actually warning Republicans to tread lightly on the issue: "You never want to be on the defensive about giving your biography when you're running for office, but this is a careful balancing act also, given her appeal to many women and the fact that she's potentially running against a man."
On Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton pretended that the misleading details liberal hero Wendy Davis has used to exaggerate her biography are merely "minor details" and actually suggested that it is the "right wing" who should be embarrassed by repeating the revelations as he ended his regular "Nice Try" segment by proclaiming:
On Friday, as I noted on Saturday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told public radio's Susan Arbetter that "extreme conservatives" – that is, people who are pro-life, understand the clear meaning of the Second Amendment, or wish to keep marriage as it has traditionally been defined – "have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are." Note well that Cuomo's remarks are still not news at the Associated Press's national site.
On Sunday, Cuomo's people sent and released an "open letter" containing a very inaccurate transcription of the original interview accusing the New York Post's Aaron Short of being "entirely reckless with facts and the truth" in his report ("Gov. Cuomo to conservatives: Leave NY!"). As I demonstrated on Monday, the only reasonable interpretation of what Cuomo said is that Republican Party members who hold any one of the three positions noted in the previous paragraph "have no place in the state of New York." In the past several days, the matter has escalated. The Post has continued to cover the story – that's what newspapers are supposed to do – while, in an extraordinary move, the Counsel to the Governor has entered the fray with what can only be interpreted as threatening language.
This is a "Can't Make This Up" item on two levels. The more obvious of the two is an incredibly tone-deaf statement issued by Texas Democratic guberatorial candidate Wendy Davis, whose Republican opponent is paraplegic Greg Abbott, that "I am proud of what I’ve been able to achieve through hard work and perseverance. And I guarantee you that anyone who tries to say otherwise hasn’t walked a day in my shoes."
The second "Can't Make This Up" aspect relates to Nia-Malika Henderson of the "She the People" blog at the Washington Post and Jon Herskovitz at Reuters. You see, they both failed to do what establishment press members usually do, i.e, they failed to filter out the damning sentence; maybe they didn't know better. A mini-grab of Davis's statement yesterday follows the jump:
Wow, I'd better get this post done quickly, because Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has been tweeting up a storm and has posted "an open letter" at her web site. If I blink, I might miss a half-dozen more tweets.
Davis apparently thinks that if she accuses Republican candidate Greg Abbott and his campaign of being behind the Sunday Dallas Morning News story which poked gaping holes in her picture-perfect bio often enough, it will somehow become true. It won't. Wayne Slater, the DMN reporter who authored the story, has tweeted that "I talked to no - zero - Abbott people." But sadly, in the current establishment media environment, the in-your-face "poor little girl fights back against bullies" tactic might work. A pic of the eight tweets from three hours ago and excerpts from her "open letter" follow the jump.
To be fair, it started with the original story broken at the Dallas Morning News, where Wayne Slater's substantive story about Wendy Davis's problems with the truth was headlined "As Wendy Davis touts life story in race for governor, key facts blurred."
"Blurred" is clearly a popular word with an establishment press which is determined to try to make this problem with Davis's basic credibility go away. The New York Times ("Accused of Blurring Facts of Stirring Life Story, Texas Lawmaker Offers Chronology") and NBCnews.com ("Off to the races: Wendy Davis' 'blurred' bio") have also gotten in on the "blurred" headline act (Perhaps surprisingly, the Associated Press and Politico, whose coverage I addressed yesterday, have not). So has CBS News, whose Rebecca Kaplan bent over backwards to try to keep Davis in a favorable light (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):
MSNBC darling Wendy Davis is in some hot water over inaccuracies surrounding her personal biography. According to the Dallas Morning News's Wayne Slater -- no conservative he, by the way -- despite Ms. Davis’s own claims, she was 21, not 19 when she was divorced and living in a trailer as a single mother.
Despite the glaring factual inconsistencies in Ms. Davis’s own biography, on January 21, Chris Jansing was quick to rush to her defense. During her daily Jansing & Co. show, Jansing proclaimed Davis a “Democratic rising star” without mentioning that her very own network is in no small way responsible for raising the previously unknown Texas state senator’s rise to national prominence.
The administration of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tried to hit back at the press on Sunday for supposedly misunderstanding his Friday morning statement to Susan Arbetter on the public radio show "Capitol Pressroom" that "extreme conservatives ... have no place in New York." As I noted on Saturday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the Governor made it clear that "extreme conservatives" include those who are right to life, understand the clear meaning of the Second Amendment, and believe in traditional marriage.
But to go after the press, Cuomo's people had to find a news outlet besides a public radio station which actually reported on what he said. Even though his Friday remarks were self-evidently newsworthy, that appears to have been pretty difficult. The Associated Press's national site still doesn't have a story; nor does the New York Times or the Politico. Cuomo's peeps chose to go after the New York Post, whose Aaron Short went to the next step in Cuomo's stated logic in running a story headlined "Gov. Cuomo to conservatives: Leave NY!." Team Cuomo's response in full follows the jump (bolds are mine; words Cuomo's people left out are in caps; other words Cuomo didn't say are crossed out):
When a politician -- male or female, liberal or conservative -- writes a memoir*, anything therein is fair game for the news media and his or her opponents, particularly when claims made therein are false or misleading. But to the gang at MSNBC, Republican criticism of the network's anointed golden girl Wendy Davis is beyond the pale.
A small but vocal band of critics has forced an actress to bow out of a stage production purely because of her political views. It's a brand of McCarthyistic bullying that the national media would (rightly) condemn if the politics of principals in the controversy reversed. But don't hold your breath for a firestorm of outrage in the case of Maria Conchita Alonso, a conservative/libertarian Latina actress who has strayed from the liberal reservation by not merely voting for conservative Republicans but cutting a campaign commercial with one.
Imagine if Texas Senator Ted Cruz or Lone Star State Governor Rick Perry told a public radio show's host that "people who support abortion, gun control, and same-sex marriage have no place in Texas." There would be breaking news alerts on every cable news station. It would be a press obsession for weeks. More immediately, there would be intense pushback from the show's host.
On the public radio show "Capitol Pressroom" with Susan Arbetter on Friday morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is surely assessing the 2016 presidential landscape, asserted that "extreme conservatives" – that is, people who are pro-life, understand the clear meaning of the Second Amendment, or wish to keep marriage as it has traditionally been defined – "have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are." Arbetter just let Cuomo's remarks slide on by without meaningful follow-up, and arguably appeared to agree with their thrust. Audio and relevant portions of the transcript follow the jump.