CBS This Morning on Tuesday led its broadcast with the Obama re-election campaign's decision on Monday night to reverse its opposition to super PAC fundraising. Charlie Rose teased the report by noting how "the White House...flip-flops on controversial super PAC donations." ABC's Jake Tapper used the same term on Good Morning America. NBC's Today show completely ignored this breaking development.
During his report on the CBS morning show, correspondent Bill Plante highlighted President Obama's "denunciation of that Supreme Court decision which allowed unlimited fundraising" and played a clip from his 2010 State of the Union address where he ripped the Citizens United decision in the presence of several of the justices who handed it down [audio available here; video below the jump].
In a vain attempt to justify President Obama's claim that "America is back," on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd excitedly announced to viewers: "In our new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, improvement in three key categories seems to indicate the statistical green shoots about the economy is now actually penetrating the American psyche."
So what stunning reversal of public sentiment did the new poll reveal? Here it is: "The big number, of course, is whether the country is headed in the right direction. In December, it was 22%. Now it shot up seven [eight] points to 30%. That's a one-year high." The graphic on screen showed that 61% of Americans still believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction.
In an interview with Mitt Romney following the State of the Union Tuesday night, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams used the tax returns of the former Massachusetts governor as a weapon: "And it's fair to ask tonight, will you be explaining further the story of them, the back story....the amounts we've learned about today equaling unfathomable wealth for most Americans..."
Earlier in the evening, at the top of Nightly News, Williams was equally melodramatic: "...Mitt Romney, chose today to release his tax returns from the year 2010. He did it to help stop the questions about his wealth, but in releasing his taxes, he reveals what most Americans will regard as unimaginable wealth...." Williams signaled the media would not let go of the issue: "The numbers in these returns will likely get talked about for the rest of the way in this campaign."
Moments after President Obama concluded his State of the Union address on Tuesday, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams could barely contain his glee over the speech: "A rousing recitation, a reminder of why the nation is great from President Obama." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Meet the Press host David Gregory was next to take up the pom-poms, as he proclaimed: "Well, this is the power of the presidency....This was a president who was very forceful.... This was his pitch for re-election. Economic fairness is at the core of it." Williams played off Gregory's comment and sounded like a White House spokesman: "Chuck Todd, anything wrong with reminding people that as a nation we're best when we have each other's backs and what is great about America?"
After President Barack Obama finished his State of the Union address, on NBC Andrea Mitchell set to work to convince viewers of how he had discredited Mitt Romney’s campaign trail criticisms of him. As to how “this President apologizes for America,” she countered: “Any viewer watching this...would look at this speech and it would be very hard to say that he is apologizing for America. This was resoundingly positive and optimistic in every way.”
Mitchell soon saw such an “exquisite contrast” between Obama’s call for “a minimum tax of 30 percent” on millionaires on the very day Romney “finally did release his tax returns. And we saw that his effective rate was under 14 percent for 2010.”
In a pre-taped interview with gun control advocate New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, aired during Wednesday's 1PM ET hour on MSNBC, host Andrea Mitchell browbeat President Obama for having "absolutely nothing, not one word....not even a sentence" about gun control in his State of the Union address.
Prior to the interview, Mitchell touted Bloomberg's anti-gun crusade: "Michael Bloomberg is on a mission, a mission to curb guns, especially the semiautomatic pistols and the magazine used in Tucson. He sent New York undercover investigators to buy guns and ammo at a Phoenix gun show last month." While she noted how the Arizona attorney general "says Bloomberg overstepped his bounds" she seemed to cheer the Mayor's defiance: "I talked to the mayor last night and he's only just beginning to fight."
Obama's latest watchword, "investments," is not, as I originally assumed, simply a euphemism for government spending. It captures his entire economic philosophy — a philosophy that is permanently engrained in the core of his being and disastrous for America's "future."
President Bill Clinton shrewdly used the word as a more palatable substitute for income tax rate increases, saying taxpayers needed to "invest" more of their hard-earned dollars in America. But Obama's use of the term was different in two important ways. First, for him, "investments" would apply to the spending side of the fiscal equation. He would ask our support in his plan to "invest" more government money in infrastructure and education.
Secondly, and more significantly, Obama used the term to candy-coat his fundamental lack of confidence in the private sector and free market, as well as his commitment to faith in government as the primary engine for economic growth.
Howard Kurtz on Sunday pointed out a delicious irony involving MSNBC and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).
After complaining about CNN's decision to air the Congresswoman's response to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday, MSNBC spent the next several days giving far more attention to her than to the official GOP respondent (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Predictably joining the media attacks on Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), NBC's "Saturday Night Live" began its most recent installment mocking her response to the President's State of the Union address last Tuesday.
Actress Kristen Wiig playing the Congresswoman explained that as a result of technical difficulties in her first attempt, CNN gave her a second try at it. What followed was gaffe after gaffe in another segment by SNL designed to totally trash a conservative woman (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When Republican presidents in years past delivered their State of the Union addresses, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted this morning, "no sooner had the words, 'God bless America,' left their lips than the analysts were there... just pouncing on them, pointing out any discrepancy, pointing out any controversy, ridiculing any mistake."
Now "along comes Barack Obama, and the same outlets, now they have this national, maybe international fainting spell," Bozell complained to Fox News Channel's Steve Doocy on Friday's "Fox & Friends."
For the video of the full segment, watch the embed below the page break. To listen to the MP3 audio, click here.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama at times sounded like he was channeling Ronald Reagan: cutting the deficit, hailing private enterprise and individual initiative, talking about the future. But for all his eloquence, the president wrapped his liberal ideology in conservative sheep's clothing.
On the surface, the president said many things with which conservatives might agree, but words can mean something, or they can mask true intentions.
There was no indication the president plans to retreat on his far-left agenda of the last two years. Why should he? That would require denying who he is.
Absent the glamorous rhetoric, let's examine the major subjects on which the president touched.
"Can you hear the White House communications department giggling right now? Because they're saying this has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams."
That's how NewsBusters publisher and Media Reseearch Center (MRC) founder Brent Bozell responded on Thursday night's "Hannity" to a montage of mainstream media analysts insisting President Obama is shifting to the center politically.
[Embedded video attached after the page break; Click here for MP3 audio]
Given the chance to interview Katie Couric, I wouldn't ask her what newspapers she reads. I'd want to know how she understands her role as anchor, and why she thinks it's appropriate to express opinions on controversial issues of the day.
For that's just what she's done on the subject of gun control, expressing disappointment that Pres. Obama didn't raise it in his SOTU.
Describing her dissatisfaction in her "Notebook" yesterday, Couric asserted that PBO's failure to raise gun control put a "cloud" over the SOTU.
Beware when the liberal media starts a "fact check" story on political speeches. Their "facts" often come directly from liberal policy wonks. On Wednesday's Morning Edition, NPR ran through a series of Obama claims without really saying he mangled a fact. Reporter Elisabeth Shogren suggested he was too optimistic about getting electric cars on the road with "this Congress" (ahem, not progressive enough). But reporter John Ydstie suggested Paul Ryan was wrong to suggest the stimulus failed, citing that "economists of both persuasions" agree Ryan was incorrect:
RENEE MONTAGNE, anchor: And the president also spoke of infrastructure projects, such as high-speed rail and expanding to most of the population high-speed Internet. John Ydstie, let's bring you back in. Investment was a big theme of this State of the Union speech. In the official Republican rebuttal, Congressman Paul Ryan had this to say about that.
"[F]or all the surface civility [of the State of the Union], Obama wants to pick a fight, or at least draw a stark contrast, between his jobs-centric philosophy and the GOP’s determination to cut government first and ask questions later."
Of course, Obama's State of the Union address carried a fresh call for soaking the nation's richest taxpayers and plowing millions into white elephant spending projects such as high-speed rail, but it apparently didn't occur to Thrush and Budoff Brown that Obama's prescription may be to "grow government first and ignore questions later" given the failure of the first stimulus package of his administration.
Prior to calls for civility and what turned out to be a disastrous "date night" for the Democrats, Barack Obama was nicely set up to catapult himself into a fabulous 2011 approaching next year's reelection campaign with an enviable head of steam.
Having been all but considered dead - am I allowed to say that post-Tucson? - after his shellacking at the polls in November, the President eked out win after win in the lame duck session, and did a very admirable job with his memorial speech.
Even conservatives like syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer were singing his praises.
The nation was also getting a proverbial thrill back up its collective leg according to polls making the coincidence of all these stars aligning so perfectly right before the State of the Union address almost Capraesque.
NewsBusters for years has chronicled the staggering idiocy of comedian Bill Maher.
On Tuesday's "Situation Room," we got a hand from Wolf Blitzer when he marvelously countered Maher's complaint that CNN's decision to air Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) Tea Party response to the President's State of the Union address was depriving Democrats of equal time (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC’s Christiane Amanpour hailed President Obama’s State of the Union address as “very Reaganesque,” but in October, holding herself up as some kind of protector of Reagan’s legacy, she discovered “a long and venerable tradition of conservatism in this country” exemplified by Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley and “all of that sort of intellectual conservatism,” yet now, she feigned distress, “people are looking at the Tea Party and saying this is not conservatism as we knew it but it's extreme.”
Asked for her “take” on Obama’s address, Amanpour trumpeted his “Sputnik moment” as “remarkable,” heralding Tuesday night on ABC:
The consensus from last night seems to be that Obama learned little from the midterm shellacking his party was handed in November. Despite paying lip service to spending cuts, deficit reduction, and market economics, Obama wholly embraced big government liberalism throughout the speech. The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes summed it up thusly:
Less than three months after voters across the country expressed their utter disdain for Washington and an overreaching government, Barack Obama’s second State of the Union address, and the mindless symbolism surrounding it, validated their judgment and demonstrated that many in the political class, beginning and ending with the president himself, learned nothing from that election.
How can a Dem president tell that his SOTU was a for-real floperewski? When even Andrea Mitchell pans it. Yet that's precisely what NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent did on Morning Joe today.
What was particularly unkind about Andrea's cut was that she criticized both the form and the substance of the speech. After observing that Pres. Obama's oratory lacked "energy" and "passion," Mitchell opined that "it doesn't add up. The dollars and cents don't add up." Ouch.
Before Andrea's assessment, the rest of the panel, with the notable exception of Howard Dean who managed to defend the speech, took turns lampooning it, with Joe Scarborough contributing a particularly brutal basketball analogy.
"News is about stories," Rachel Maddow intones in this MSNBC "Lean Forward" promo. "It's about finding all the disparate facts and then finding their coherence. Doing this right takes rigor and a devotion to facts that borders on obsessive. ... At the end of the day, though, this is about what's true in the world."
Just as the purpose of this promo is to convince MSNBC viewers and advertisers that Maddow is so nobly inclined, despite a never-ending supply of inconvenient facts to the contrary.
On her show Monday night, for example, Maddow talked about Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin being selected to provide the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union speech and Ryan as author of "A Roadmap for America's Future," his detailed legislative proposal for reducing federal debt, when she said this: [Video and audio clips after page break]
Talking to New York Senator Chuck Schumer on Sunday's Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer said of a video statement released by President Obama on Saturday: "If I didn't know better and had my eyes closed I might have thought that was President Reagan talking." Schieffer specifically referred to Obama's call for spending cuts, noting: "It sounded very much like a speech that a Republican would make."
After Schumer promised his party was serious about deficit reduction, Schieffer proceeded to characterize Republican calls for spending cuts in much less flattering light: "Eric Cantor said this morning, under hard questioning I should add, that yes indeed cancer research would also be on the table when you talk about cutting spending. Can you envision cuts in cancer research?"
CNN.com's opinion page has clearly sided with those supporting President Obama's proposed repeal of the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring open homosexuals from the ranks. During the first five months of 2010, the website has published four columns pushing for the repeal and none from supporters of the policy. Two came from the executive director of a homosexual activist group.
The first of the editorials on CNN's website came on January 28, the day after the President's State of the Union address. Alexander Nicholson, the executive director and founder of Servicemembers United, a "national organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their allies," praised Mr. Obama for doing "exactly what he should have done...in this venue" in making the repeal of the policy "a priority for his administration in 2010." He also labeled this call during the speech a "watershed moment." Later in the column, Nicholson disclosed that in 2002, "just six months after the September 11 attacks, I was honorably but involuntarily discharged" due to don't ask, don't tell.
The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."
Check out the latest episode of NewsBusters’ Notable Quotables comedy show. Our news analysts give their take on the latest and most outrageous sound bites from the liberal media.
This week there was everything from MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann proclaiming the U.S. Supreme Court “murdered” democracy to CNN’s Rick Sanchez being unsure what the annual March for Life in Washington was all about.
To see the current episode in a larger size or to go back and watch past episodes, visit the Media Research Center’s video sharing website, Eyeblast.tv.
On HLN’s Joy Behar Show on Thursday, Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg gave a racial explanation for Chris Matthews’ recent “I forgot he was black” remark about President Obama. Goldberg cracked that “this has been quite a year for the white man.” Behar replied, “Traumatic,” and Goldberg continued it was “traumatic in many ways because...you have to think before you speak” [audio clip from the segment are available here].
The HLN host brought up Matthews post-State of the Union comment during her interview of her colleague from The View. After playing the clip of the MSNBC host, Behar asked Goldberg, “What do you think he was driving at there? Because he’s a lefty- you know, he’s liberal, and he likes Obama. And yet, he says something stupid like that- you know, I forgot he was black. He would never say I forgot he was white if he was looking at Bush.”
Goldberg responded half-jokingly, “Well, white people- you know, this is- this has been quite a year for the white man.” After laughs both on and off-camera, Behar interjected, “Traumatic.” Her guest agreed and continued with her point:
Maybe it’s just happy coincidence. Maybe Hollywood really is taking White House suggestions for its scripts. Or maybe liberal group think has evolved to the point where they don’t just think the same things, they think them at the same time.
Whatever the case, just a day after President Obama’s “surprise announcement” in his State of the Union speech that he intends to overturn the military’s “Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell” policy, the issue surfaced again in prime time. And the inclusion of propaganda in a TV drama was even more incongruous and gratuitous than Obama’s sop to his left wing.
The Jan. 28 episode of Fox’s forensics-based crime drama, “Bones,” centered on the murder of a gay man, and the writers took the opportunity to inject some standard talking points about the inequity of gays being unable to marry and the threat of physical violence from straight men.
The Washington Post launched an interactive page this week to profile President Obama's record on his campaign promises after one year in office. The Post put promises into three categories: "To Do," "In Progress" and "Completed."
Based on the president's record, most people would be surprised to learn the Post put most of the promises in the "In Progress" category -- and didn't even include a "Broken Promises" category. Many recent promises made as president would belong in that category.
"In Progress" according to the Post includes "reversing" the Bush tax cuts, while the "To Do" list includes "enact a windfall profits tax" on oil companies.
James Valvo, government affairs manager for Americans for Prosperity, offers the following additions to the Post's analysis:
Immediately following President Obama’s State of the Union address Wednesday night, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos got reaction from Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, who observed: “There were at least three moments where he expressed explicit humility. ‘I’m not – I know that people aren’t sure I can deliver this change. I take my share of the blame for not explaining health care.’”
At the same time, both Stephanopoulos and Meacham agreed that Obama’s speech was Reaganesque. Stephanopoulos argued: “What I saw there is the President not being contrite like Bill Clinton in 1995, much more defiant, more like Ronald Reagan in 1983.” Meacham replied: “There was a lot of Reagan here.”
On NBC’s Today on Thursday, Matt Lauer cited Obama’s “humility” to press former Florida Governor Jeb Bush on Republicans not supporting the President’s agenda: “...you said about the President quote, ‘if he does show humility and does try to find common ground, there are Republicans who will sign up for that.’ He showed humility....will you now get behind this president and will other Republicans?” Bush rejected the notion that Obama was humble: “I don’t think it’s humble to say that you didn’t communicate a message and that’s the reason why people opposed the health care plan in front of Congress right now by a dramatic margin.”