Question: What happens when you put Joe Biden, Florida Senator Bill Nelson, and Orlando Sentinel Reporter Scott Powers together in the house of a rich Democratic donor?
Answer: They don't stay together for long, as reported in a Drudge flash late this afternoon (also carried at the PJ Tatler, whose time stamp is about 45 minutes later after adjusting for its West Coast location):
Staffers with Vice President Joe Biden confined an Orlando Sentinel reporter in a closet this week to keep him from mingling with high-powered guests gathered for a Democratic fundraiser.
It's often said that unpopular speech is the type that needs to be defended, since popular speech will rarely face a meaningful threat. Speech that is disagreeable and persuasive will probably seem less appealing than speech that is disagreeable but unlikely to sway anyone to its cause.
It is telling, then, that the New York Times and Washington Post editorial pages vociferously opposed last year's "Citizens United" Supreme Court ruling, but defended the court's decision on Wednesday to preserve the right of the Westboro Baptist Church to protest the funerals of those who die defending that right.
On Friday's CBS Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge introduced a story updating the John Edwards scandal and potential legal charges against the former Senator: "...a grand jury has been looking at evidence that he may have violated campaign finance laws. Now the former Democratic presidential hopeful has hired a political heavy hitter to fight off possible charges."
In the report that followed, legal correspondent Jan Crawford continued to take the focus off Edwards and place it on prominent liberal attorney Greg Craig: "Edwards has now enlisted a heavyweight...Former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig has joined Edwards' team....Experts say bringing him on the case is a sign Edwards is worried about where this investigation is heading." The headline on-screen throughout the segment read: "Bracing For A Fight; John Edwards Hires Fmr. White House Counsel."
Discussing the possibility of Newt Gingrich running for president in 2012, on Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge touted "big negatives" for the former House speaker: "...baggage that he brings with him...the government shutdowns back in the '90s, to being forced out as speaker, to the fact that he's on his third marriage, which is probably going to alienate some social conservatives."
Political analyst John Dickerson agreed with Wragge's assessment: "Well, some of that baggage, they're trophies. He can say, 'I fought for these principles harder than anyone else.' But as you say, the personal baggage is considerable. He's not only had multiple marriages but he is an admitted adulterer. That matters in Republican primaries, where religious voters care about that kind of thing."
Thursday’s New York Times led with the Supreme Court’s 8-1 decision in the case pitting Westboro Baptist Church, the notorious roaming enclave that pickets funerals holding signs bearing messages like “God Hates Fags,” against the family of a Marine who died in Iraq, Matthew Snyder, whose funeral was picketed.
For Rachel Maddow, corrections never come easy. But while the MSNBC host has at least offered corrections where she has previously gotten it wrong - granted, with the immense level of sarcasm and snark that is her hallmark - a recent flap with online watchdogs has the indignant Maddow splitting hairs in near-comedic fashion in an effort to avoid admitting she was mistaken.
But the numbers still belie her position.
The exchange began with Maddow's appearance on Leno Tuesday night. She falsely claimed that "of the top ten people donating money in [the 2010 election cycle], seven of them were giving to Republicans." In fact, as NB's Noel Sheppard pointed out, Maddow had it exactly backwards: 7 of the top 10 individual contributors gave more to Democrats than Republicans during the past cycle (and a lot more at that).
On the February 22 edition of "American Morning," CNN's Carol Costello framed the ongoing budget debate in Wisconsin as a struggle between embattled middle class workers and corporatist Republicans with ulterior motives, parroting SEIU President Mary Kay Henry to warn viewers that "corporate America is about to win big time."
"Henry says corporate America save themselves money in wages by lining the pockets of Republicans running for statewide offices," regurgitated Costello. "According to followthemoney.org, in the 2009-2010 election cycle, business interests donated $878 million to candidates running for governor and other statewide offices across the country, that includes hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations for Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio."
While those figures are not in dispute, Costello failed to hold Democrats and their Big Labor financiers to a similar standard: "And Democrats say there is another reason Republicans want to gut unions. Organized labor donates hundreds of millions of dollars to candidates like Barack Obama. So if you weaken the unions, you weaken a traditional moneyed supporter of the Democratic Party."
Actor Richard Dreyfuss, for one, berated Citizens United president David Bossie at last week's Conservative Political Action Conference. He compared Bossie to genocidal Cambodian dictator Pol Pot, and wondered whether Bossie was "stacking skulls" in his office (a reference to the remains of hundreds of thousands of Cambodians found in mass graves after Pol Pot's rule).
For the past year, the left has cried foul at the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United vs. FEC, which overturned laws prohibiting corporations and unions from broadcast election-related communications within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary. More than a year after the court handed down its decision, misinformation still pervades liberal condemnations of the ruling.
Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the far-left magazine The Nation, pushed a near-comical distortion of the truth in a recent column in the Washington Post. She brazenly declared former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold a "victim of Citizens United spending," and linked to an interview with Feingold at The Nation.
Just one problem: in that interview, Feingold explicitly denied that campaign spending played any role in his defeat. Does vanden Heuvel even read the items she offers as evidence - or her own magazine?
Come, let us reason together with our GOP compatriots. But in the meantime, send us some cash to defeat those Republican liars. That was the decidedly mixed message that this fervent hope-and-changer received from Pres. Obama today in his fundraising email on behalf of Harry Reid and his merry band at the Dem senatorial campaign committee.
PBO was clearly trying to channel the new "civility" fad. The email's subject was "Lift Our Country," and contained the prez's earnest admonition that "it is not enough to talk about common ground. We must -- together -- seek it." Can you feel the love?
A bit later, the president informed us that "this is a moment that calls for respect and a seriousness of purpose from lawmakers of every party and persuasion." But just when you thought PBO was about to propose splitting the fund-raising take with his Republican soulmates, the prez couldn't stop himself from taking a typical partisan shot:
Nice to see them finally get their lines straight.
After making a questionable claim without a shred of substantiation, Ed Schultz doubled-down with the assertion that what he said was backed up by the head of a major union. That it was -- but only after prodding by Schultz.
Here's Schultz making the claim on his radio show Jan. 4 (audio) --
Here at NewsBusters, we've documented Ed Schultz's heroic if unsuccessful struggles with the English language. Guess we've got to add math to the subjects where Schultz requires some serious remedial work . . .
On his MSNBC show this evening, Schultz asserted that corporations donate 1000 times more money to political campaigns than unions do. Or as Ed said, in his inimitably muddled manner,: "unions contribute 1/10th of 1% of their money that corporations put into campaigns. Now think about that: 1/10th of 1%. You got the corporate money over here; you got the organized labor money over here."
How off is Ed? The National Review's Rich Lowry has documented that in the last election cycle, three unions alone kicked in $170 million to Dem coffers. So corporations would have had to contribute . . . $170 BILLION to match Ed's alleged 1000:1 pace just for those contributions, ignoring the donations that all other unions made!
Ohio election officials have unanimously dismissed a complaint by the Democratic Governors Association, alleging that the Fox News Channel made an illegal in-kind contribution of nearly $170,000 to then-gubernatorial candidate Republican John Kasich.
The DGA had alleged that the 90 seconds Kasich's campaign web address appeared at the bottom of the screen during an interview on Fox amounted to a political advertisement. The Ohio Elections Commission ruled 5-0 that it did not.
Fox News's legal counsel said the DGA's complaint ran counter to "the whole concept of press coverage."
MSNBC's Chris Jansing thinks that Republicans outraising Democrats in the 2010 midterms is a problem that government needs to fix.
On the December 13 "Jansing & Co.," the daytime anchor fretted, "Do you think it's getting out of hand?" She sardonically added, "Is the sky the limit here?"
Jim Gilmore, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, fired back in support of participatory democracy: "I've always believed that you ought to be able to participate financially in a political campaign without all these limits. The limits are making it very difficult to level the playing field."
The former Virginia governor added that he supports disclosure requirements, but not limits on spending.
Jansing, determined to lambast the Republican fundraising machine, exploited Gilmore's nuanced position to reiterate her argument: "So the Republican groups like the ones who were founded by Karl Rove, those folks should have disclosed where that money was coming from?"
In a softball interview with retired liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on Sunday's 60 Minutes, correspondent Scott Pelley touted Stevens's opposition to the court ruling on the 2000 presidential election: "He thinks [Bush v. Gore] is one of the Court's greatest blunders....There were many people in this country who felt that the Supreme Court stole that election for President Bush."
Pelley introduced the segment by proclaiming that Stevens "has shaped more American history than any Supreme Court justice alive" and made "decisions that have changed our times." The decisions Pelley focused on were the Justice's most liberal: "It was Stevens who forced a showdown with President Bush over the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, and Stevens who tried to stop the court from deciding the presidential election of 2000."
MSNBC suspended Keith Olbermann indefinitely … after news broke that he had given the maximum allowable contribution to three Democrats without disclosing it to his employers.
With Olbermann out, MSNBC needed a fill-in, so in steps Chris Hayes, editor of the liberal magazine, The Nation. MSNBC pegged Hayes to fill in for the suspended Countdown host on Friday. His gig was short-lived however.
Several hours after the announcement, Hayes had been dropped. (h/t Weasel Zippers)
For a series of donations to Democratic campaigns in recent years.
The same day an MSNBC host admitted to being a socialist on national television, America's only openly socialist member of Congress came out in defense of Keith Olbermann after the "Countdown" host was suspended indefinitely for violating NBC's campaign finance rules.
If you needed any more proof of just how far to the left this so-called news network is, you should look no further than what Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) published at the Huffington Post Friday:
Liberal Democrats in the past few weeks have been pounding the message that massive infusions of "secret" money into independently-run political advertising have a detrimental effect on Democrats democracy. The media have done their level best to amplify that complaint.
But is knowing the identity of political advertising donors really a huge issue to swing voters?
"Follow the money," the left insisted when News Corporation donated $1 million to the Republican Governor's Association. The implication was that since News Corp. gave lots of money to Republicans (nearly 10 times as much as it did to Democrats), Fox News coverage that casted the GOP in a positive light could fairly be seen as a direct result of that contribution.
By the standard much of the left advanced, National Public Radio's firing of Juan Williams can fairly be presented as a direct result of liberal billionaire George Soros's $1.8 million contribution to NPR two days before Williams's firing.
The potentially historic midterm elections are a week away and left-wing voices are getting more shrill and paranoid than ever before.
On CNBC’s Oct. 26 “The Call,” left-wing talker and frequent MSNBC guest Mike Papantonio went on a nearly six-minute conspiratorial, anti-corporation, anti-conservative candidate rant suggesting GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Sharron Angle was raising secret money from the Chinese government in order to help them ship American jobs overseas.
Someone should tell CNN anchor Ali Velshi that attacking the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its political activities is so last week.
During the “XYZ” segment of the hour he anchors of “CNN Newsroom” on Oct. 25, Velshi did his best impersonation of an MSNBC anchor and railed against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its political activities. Velshi lamented the barrage of negative advertising in this campaign cycle and all but tied the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to it.
The folks at MSNBC are for some reason still under the impression that they are anything but a far less successful liberal alternative to Fox News.
The former channel's president, Phil Griffin, tried to perpetuate that delusion in a blog post by New York Times media blogger Brian Stelter on Sunday. Griffin claimed that MSNBC, unlike Fox News, does not help guests who are political candidates solicit funds on air.
In fact, MSNBC talker Ed Schultz has done just that on multiple occasions. “Show me an example of us fund-raising,” Stelter quotes Griffin as saying. Perhaps he should have reviewed his own channel's coverage before making that challenge.
George Will on Sunday gave Christiane Amanpour a much-needed education on the myth of campaign overspending.
During the Roundtable segment of "This Week," with a chyron below him bemoaning "Big Money Midterms," ABC's lone conservative spelled out the issue in language so simple even a caveman could get it (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Has anyone noticed a leftward tilt by Politico lately? More and more, the respected inside-the-beltway publication seems to be more aggressive in its tack with conservatives.
Here’s one such example: In the Oct. 21 issue of Politico, an article written by Jonathan Martin attacks former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for her political activities and her dealings with other conservative leaders. One of Martin’s examples of Palin “wreaking havoc on the campaign trail” involved a disagreement with Fox News host Glenn Beck:
When it comes to so-called Super PACs spending money on TV ads targeting swing House districts, the Baltimore Sun seems to care a lot more about who's behind Republican ones than Democratic operations.
Yesterday I noted how Sun staffer Paul West wrote about a PAC running ads against freshman Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil (Md.).
West portrayed the PAC's ads as a clever end-run around campaign contribution limits for Baltimore-area businessman Daniel Schuster.
The White House is opening a press bureau in New York City at 30 Rock – or so it seemed with MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski parroting the administration's talking points, one after the other, on today's "Morning Joe."
Brzezinski has mentioned in the past that the White House e-mails her during segments, and she seemed thoroughly briefed by the middle of Tuesday's show.
When Politico's executive editor Jim VandeHei explained that frustrated big business donors have been giving to the Republicans under a cloak of anonymity thanks to the Citizens United ruling, Mika retorted with the White House's argument.
"Jim, what the White House will say, though, is that the reason why the big business is hostile at this point is because they've taken them on, and they've put some rules in place that they're maybe not that comfortable with," Mika answered. "[They will say] this White House has done something actually to try and fix the system."
It's clear that the Times hates the idea that corporations may have a say, however indirectly, in democracy. But one would at least think that a journalist comparing the perfectly legal corporation donation tactics of today to illegal fundraising by past political campaigns would look for the most recent examples. Perhaps the Clinton administration’s corrupt 1996 fundraising from China, or the indelible image of Al Gore raising money in a Buddhist temple.
Instead, Abramson traveled all the way back to 1972 to link the anonymous corporate donations of 2010 to that quintessential example of Republican corruption, Richard Nixon.
Even as Abramson briefly admits today’s allegedly Nixon-style fundraising is legal, she strained to set up a parallel between this pro-Republican election cycle and the illegal donations of 1972, specifically the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CREEP), and handily exploited a single loose link from the past to the present, one Fred Malek. Abramson began with Nixon:
To old political hands, wise to the ways of candidates and money, 1972 was a watershed year. Richard M. Nixon’s re-election campaign was awash in cash, secretly donated by corporations and individuals.
When Bob Schieffer invited Liz Cheney and Howard Dean on "Face the Nation" to discuss a number of issues related to the upcoming midterm elections, he must have had a feeling sparks were going to fly.
But he certainly couldn't have known bringing up the Administration's claim the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funneling foreign money into Republican campaigns would lead to Cheney exposing the former Vermont governor in a lie about who helped bankroll his 2004 run for the White House (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC’s Christiane Amanpour on Sunday 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,” but she only showed respect for that tradition in order to contend “people,” who she failed to name, “are saying that right now, it's really gone to the extreme.” Repeating her “people” generality, she insisted: “People are looking at the Tea Party and saying this is not conservatism as we knew it but it's extreme.”
George Will retorted: “Which is exactly what they said about Bill Buckley and Bill Buckley's candidate, Barry Goldwater, who was supposedly representing the paranoid style in American politics.”
Later, during the October 17 roundtable, Amanpour fretted: “Where is campaign finance reform?” Will called the lack of legislative prospects on that front be “an absolutely wonderful development this year,” to which an appalled Amanpour wondered: “How can that be wonderful for a democracy, I mean not to know where all of this money comes from and who is putting it in?”