While NBC, ABC, and CBS have provided wall-to-wall coverage since midday Thursday on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 being shot down over Ukraine and Israel sending ground forces into Gaza, none of the broadcast networks have made a single mention of President Obama being criticized for attending political fundraisers that night.
Of the three network morning shows on Friday, only CBS This Morning even noted that Obama had just "returned to Washington late last night after a political trip to New York." Though it was never explained the trip was to raise campaign funds for the Democratic Party. NBC's Today didn't bother to mention the fundraisers, but did find time to promote Al Roker's upcoming interview with First Lady Michelle Obama. ABC's Good Morning America didn't even mention Obama's name in its coverage of the crises.
But enough about me. Let's talk about how you feel about me . . . Maybe Barack Obama should modify his famous New Age-y line, uttered after the 2008 Super Tuesday results, to read "I am the one I have been waiting for." In recent times, it's become an entertaining parlor game to count the number of self references in President Obama's public statements.
The latest opportunity to play the game comes via a fund-raising email the prez sent out this morning. Defiantly entitled "I Won't Apologize," the short message contains by my count no fewer than 11 self-references [12 if you count the URL for the fund-raising link]—a self-adoring assortment of I, I'm, I'll and me. View the complete email after the jump.
On his Wednesday program, Ronan Farrow called on MSNBC’s favorite failed congressional candidate Krystal Ball to aid him in decrying both the “corrupt system of Congress” today and the “U.S. policies in the '90s” that have lead to the immigration crisis on the border. This was after the host of Ronan Farrow Daily unironically brought Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist convicted of bribing public officials in 2006, on to hype the backhanded relationships of congressmen and lobbyists.
Both Farrow and Ball teamed up to counter Republican strategist John Feehery’s defense that congressional relationships with lobbyists are evidence of “distraction[s]” rather than of a “system” that “is necessarily corrupt.” Krystal responded by citing “new research that shows that the voices of ordinary citizens literally have no impact on our legislative process,” while Farrow switched the subject to immigration reform before Feehery could respond. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Much to the dismay of the newspaper that has an obsession with peddling Democratic attacks on the Koch brothers, Hulse was unable to find anyone besides three progressive activists that had anything negative to say about them. Instead, he found that the Koch brothers are held in high regard in the community where, among many generous donations, the Wichita State University basketball arena was renamed the Charles Koch Arena in 2003 after he gave $6 million to have it completely renovated. Here’s more from Hulse:
Considering how much time they spend talking about Republican Party strategy, it’s refreshing to see the mainstream media pull back the curtain on the Left every once in a while. That’s what The Washington Post did, if just a tiny bit, in a Monday, May 5 front-pager entitled “Liberal Donors Eye New Strategy.”
Reporter Matea Gold revealed that the Democracy Alliance, a group of wealthy liberal donors, is working on a new strategy that will focus more on helping state-level Democratic candidates and increasing voter turnout among party loyalists. The idea is to give Democrats more power over the process of gerrymandering state legislature and U.S. House districts by winning back state legislatures.
Kenneth P. Vogel called attention to an important issue in a Wednesday Politico article – namely, the inherent hypocrisy of super-rich liberal donors who give big bucks to a Democratic party that repeatedly slams wealthy conservative donors like the Koch brothers.
Vogel’s article focused on this week’s annual spring meeting in Chicago of the Democracy Alliance, a club of wealthy Democratic donors. The political journalist apparently tried to ask several attendees about the irony of the Democrats’ position on campaign finance, but he was mostly stonewalled. Here's how Vogel opened his April 30 story:
A Friday afternoon email I received from Organizing For Action, aka BarackObama.com, aka the group whose mission in life is to support whatever President Obama wants them to support, took me by surprise.
The email, which is replicated at an OFA post, told readers that "There's one fewer climate change denier in Congress." I figured that the congressman who flipped almost had to be a Republican, and I was right: "Congressman Michael Grimm (NY-11) is standing up for an honest and reality-based discussion on what to do about climate change." I also thought to myself that something else must be going here. Is it ever. I hope OFA didn't spend too much on party favors for what it described as a "breakthrough," because they happen to be cheering the "conversion" of a guy who is about to be indicted:
In a glowing interview with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted the anti-gun activist's latest crusade: "You're putting $50 million into the effort....saying essentially this new group is going to borrow a page from the NRA's playbook. The NRA has been very successful in frightening lawmakers who oppose them....You're quoted in The New York Times this morning saying, 'We have to make them afraid of us.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Only two weeks earlier, NBC was wringing its hands over a Supreme Court ruling loosening campaign finance restrictions. On the April 3 Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "And you thought there was already too much money in politics. Fasten your seat belts. From now on, there's gonna be a whole lot more."
Last week, the Supreme Court eliminated limits on how much money individuals can donate to all campaigns in any two-year election cycle and NBC’s David Gregory lamented how “American democracy is for sale.”
Appearing on “Meet the Press” on Sunday April 6, Gregory asked Shaun McCutcheon, the plaintiff in McCutcheon v. FEC: “How do you have candidates in the future now going to the wealthiest donors in the country and saying I want an unlimited amount of money? How does that is not at some-point lead to corruption?” [See video below.]
Chris Matthews made a guest appearance Thursday on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation and showcased a hilarious lack of self-awareness regarding his network, especially his own show. The Hardball host sneered at the idea that a political campaign’s TV ads amount to free speech, insisting that they are no different than Coca-Cola commercials. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Thursday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander decried Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling striking down some campaign finance restrictions: "So just consider this, in just twelve year from the 2000 elections to those in 2012, total campaign spending in this country doubled from $3 billion to $6.3 billion. And the Supreme Court ruling now opens the door even wider for unlimited money in politics that has obviously already skyrocketed." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Alexander assumed viewers agreed with that liberal narrative: "And you thought there was already too much money in politics. Fasten your seat belts. From now on, there's gonna be a whole lot more. The Supreme Court struck down a decades-old campaign law..."
Liberals have a problem, according to MSNBC host Al Sharpton and two of his left-leaning friends. They’re not blaring their pro-ObamaCare message loudly enough. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Tuesday’s PoliticsNation, MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams, worried that his side might be losing the PR war over ObamaCare, unleashed a rant against Republicans. He started by defining the difference between the two parties as he sees it:
At 63, Chuck Schumer can still dance—for awhile. But eventually, age or ambition caught up with the New York senator. On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough grilled Schumer over Harry Reid's accusation, uttered on the floor of the Senate, that the Koch brothers are "un-American."
For as long as he could, Schumer moonwalked away from Scarborough's question as to whether the Kochs are un-American. As one of Harry Reid's top lieutenants—and a lean and hungry senator who almost surely aspires to take Reid's leadership role when the opportunity arises—Schumer was on the spot. But Scarborough to his credit was relentless, and Schumer eventually wore down, making a distinction without a difference. Schumer asserted that the Kochs "actions" in running their run ads "absolutely" are "un-American." View the video after the jump.
The Associated Press and The Hill both reported on Noah Kai Newkirk shouting down the Supreme Court justices in their chamber, but ignored his far-left political affiliation. On Thursday, the wire service merely identified Newkirk's organization as "protest group 99Rise." Mario Trujilo of The Hill gave some a bit more information on Friday, but failed to disclose that 99Rise was founded by "a group of Los Angeles organizers active in Occupy" Wall Street.
By contrast, Lawrence Hurley and Joan Biskupic of Reuters explicitly mentioned the protester's ideology and his organization's background in a Thursday report:
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:
NOTE: Go to the end of this post to see my reaction to an email NB received from OpenSecrets.org.
The web site OpenSecrets.org has done a great deal of useful work. Especially helpful are its lists of high-dollar political campaign donor organizations.
The web site's 1989-2014 and 2012-specific lists, to name just two, demonstrate that the hyperventilating on the left and in the establishment press about the eeeevil Koch Brothers is completely out of line:
Leftist delusions can be amazing things. One of them is that the financial deck is stacked against their candidates and causes.
Reid Wilson at the Washington Post attempted to explain it all on Friday. On the plus side, at least he didn't try to pretend, as Evan Halper at the Los Angeles Times did in late December, that there's no one donating to Democrats and progressive causes with the financial clout of the Koch brothers except billionaire and relative newbie activist Tom Steyer. But while Wilson recognized the existence of large Dem donors, he bemoaned the fact that they are supposedly not as well organized, and that their motives, unlike the Kochs, are pure. Really (bolds are mine):
A search at the national web site of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, on the name of Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker (not in quotes) returns only two recent relevant items. One relates to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, where Walker is described as saying, in AP's words, "that (last week) he didn't know enough about the situation to comment ... (and) has remained silent in the days since details emerged." The other relates to Walker's brief jury duty stint last week.
Giving items relating to Walker national attention makes sense, given that his name frequently comes up as a possible GOP 2016 presidential contender. But if the two items just mentioned merit national coverage, why doesn't the fact that an out-of-control Democratic Wisconsin prosecutor attempting to dig up "coordination" between interested outside parties and Walker's 2012 campaign to turn back a recall effort just had his hat handed to him in court? On Friday evening, a Wall Street Journal editorial had the news (bolds are mine throughout this post; the link to a previous WSJ editorial was added by me):
As a blogger, I subscribe to the email lists of some organizations whose goals I do not, shall we say, necessarily embrace. Among them is Organizing For Action, the successor to the 2012 Obama campaign. As you can imagine, although I read OFA's messages with interest, I don't succumb to its frequent appeals for funds.
You might think OFA might let me loaf along in peace, but no. Just now arrived an email I'd call kind of creepy. Start with the subject line [emphasis added throughout]: "Mark: Not an OFA donor". Whoah: so this is more than just a generic pitch to all freeloaders: they're calling me out by name! The body of the message informs me that "according to the records associated with this exact email address," I haven't donated. "Exact email address"? Yikes! They've got me nailed dead to rights! More after the jump.
USA Today's "breaking news" email ("Ex-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. sentenced to 30 months") opened with the following opening sentence: "The nine-term Democrat from Illinois and son of the former civil rights leader had pleaded guilty in February to using $750,000 in campaign money to pay for living expenses, clothes and luxury items."
So it seemed like it would be a waste of time to click through to confirm that Jackson would be tagged as a Democrat in the story itself, right? Wrong. (UPDATE, Aug. 15: USAT revised the story and included a couple of Democrat references later in the day. The original as it appeared when this post was written is here.) USAT's Fredreka Schouten applied the "Democrat" tag once — to describe Mel Reynolds, the disgraced Congressman Jackson replaced in 1995, in her 18th paragraph. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
NewsBusters frequently reports Hollywood's finest supporting liberal politicians and causes.
Yet a new study by the Center for Responsive Politics published by The Wrap Sunday found that the top political donors in showbiz so far this year are Florida music producer Bill Edwards and his wife Joanne who gave $164,800 to - hold on to your seats - Republicans.
Scandalous news that the Internal Revenue Service intimidated nonprofit opponents of the Obama administration made page 11 of Saturday's New York Times.
The IRS apology to Tea Party and other conservative organizations for politically motivated targeting of their nonprofit status was dealt with in mild fashion by reporter Jonathan Weisman, though not on the front page. "I.R.S. Apologizes to Tea Party Groups Over Audits of Applications for Tax Exemption." The same audits that were applauded last year by the Times' s editorial page. And a Monday front-page follow-up was topped with what even liberal journalists found a bizarre headline: "IRS Focus on Conservatives Gives GOP an Issue to Seize On." That's the story?
At the Politico, Darren Samuelsohn reports that "The public has largely tuned out the Democrats’ repeated warnings about ... (what will happen) if the sequester cuts stay in place." He also notes in a separate report that Republicans "Republicans are winning the sequester wars," and that "even the White House admits there’s little chance of reversing all the cuts."
Of course, what's in question here mostly aren't "cuts" at all, but reductions in projected spending increases, as pollster Scott Rasmussen explained in his note accompanying a recent poll his organization did on the topic:
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is at it again, telling us peons that we're not deserving of our full measure of yet another freedom, this time to express ourselves.
As reported by Dana Rubenstein at CapitalNewYork.com (HT The Blaze), "As it turns out, Bloomberg, the highest-profile cheerleader for New York City's burgeoning tech scene, doesn't really like the social media revolution upon which much of it is premised." Excerpts after the jump reveal that Bloomberg wants tech, but only on his terms:
Actress and Tennessee resident Ashley Judd announced today that she is not running for Senate in Kentucky.
Politico has two items on this political development. The main story by Maggie Halberman and Manu Raju defensively describes her as "an eighth-generation Kentuckian." The second is a very short post from Caitlin McDevitt linking to the longer original which merely excerpts five paragraphs from the longer item. It's at that post where a commenter made the following observation:
In a mild shock -- mild because it's mentioned before the elections, but probably won't be when it really matters after the polls close -- Frank Bajak and Jorge Rueda at the Associated Press, in a story about how the last opposition TV station in Venezuela is being sold to an insurance magnate who is reportedly "friendly with government," noted the extraordinary handicaps that Venezuela's opposition presidential candidate faces as he attempts to unseat the Chavista successor to the late dictator Hugo Chavez in April's upcoming elections.
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):
It's hard to imagine that Nicholas Confessore and his editors at the overwhelmingly Obama-friendly New York Times were just making things up when he reported over the weekend in a Page A1 story that the Obama campaign's Organizing For America operation, now "rebooted" as the supposedly independent Organizing For Action, "will rely heavily on a small number of deep-pocketed donors ... whose influence on political campaigns Mr. Obama once deplored," granting them quarterly access to the Obama if they raise $500,000 or more.
According to Charlie Spiering at the Washington Examiner, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, when asked about the story, in Spiering's words, "asserted that OFA was an 'independent organization' that just happened to support the president’s policy agenda," "refused to address the New York Times reporting," and "ended the press briefing as reporters were still asking questions and fled the podium." If the late Tony Snow had done this while serving as press secretary under George W. Bush, we'd be seeing a continuous loop of the walkout on network TV all day long. The key paragraphs from the Times story, the reaction of MSNBC's Chuck Todd follow the jump, and the Associated Press's non-denial denial firewall follow the jump.
Does the Politico do so little noteworthy original work that it has to make it appear as if it's taking credit for stories it didn't break? It sure looks like it from here.
In a story about President Obama's Organizing For Action organization, the not-for-profit lobbying result after Obama and those running the presidential campaign's Organizing For America chose to become a permanent fixture, Politico's Byron Tau predictably whitewashed the seriousness of OFA's violation of IRS rules against partisan political activity in allowing a supporter of Democrat Terry McAuliffe to recruit signature gatherers for his gubernatorial campaign. Tau also acted as if his web site had gotten the story either first or at the same time as a competitor when he wrote in his second paragraph that "OFA removed the post after it was flagged by POLITICO and the Weekly Standard." Then, in the final sentence of his 11-paragraph entry -- one I guess he hopes nobody will read -- Tau wrote:
It's not very often that a federal judge begins a ruling by saying that "Sometimes even a person with excellent vision does not see the forest for the trees." That happened yesterday in a case involving former First District Democratic Congressman and sore loser Steve Driehaus, whose district mostly comprised the western two-thirds of Cincinnati's Hamilton County. Yet it's not news at Gannett's Cincinnati Enquirer -- or anywhere else, for that matter.
After his 2010 defeat at the hands of Republican Steve Chabot, Driehaus sued the Susan B. Anthony List in federal court for defamation and -- get this -- "loss of livelihood." Why? Because, during that campaign, SBAL told Driehaus's constituents -- correctly, it has since been proven -- that his vote for ObamaCare was a betrayal of his pro-life principles. Yesterday, despite his obvious conflict of interest as former president and director of the Planned Parenthood Association of Cincinnati, Judge Timothy Black, a Barack Obama appointee, found a way to do what he should have done in the first place, and rejected Driehaus's nonsense.