MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on Friday said the people in the audience at Monday's Republican presidential debate were "applauding the death of a young man without health insurance" and therefore were like the John Birchers "that Bill Buckley kicked out of the conservative movement in the mid-1960s."
Unfortunately, the host of "Morning Joe" has, like so many others in the media, badly misinterpreted what occurred when Texas Congressman Ron Paul was asked what should happen to a voluntarily uninsured man who falls into a coma (video follows with transcript and commentary):
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman just can't stop offending of late. Krugman confounded even liberals with his ill-timed blog post on the morning of September 11 decrying President George W. Bush and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as “fake heroes” in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks. In his Friday column “Free To Die,” he suggested Republicans would prefer people die for lack of health insurance, using as evidence the dubious claim that the audience watching CNN’s Republican debate “erupted with cheers” at the prospect of a (hypothetical) man dying for being unable to afford intensive care. Has Krugman actually watched the clip?
Back in 1980, just as America was making its political turn to the right, Milton Friedman lent his voice to the change with the famous TV series “Free to Choose.” In episode after episode, the genial economist identified laissez-faire economics with personal choice and empowerment, an upbeat vision that would be echoed and amplified by Ronald Reagan.
But that was then. Today, “free to choose” has become “free to die.”
In a completely out-of-left-field smear posted on CNN.com, James Carville called the GOP presidential field "mortality-fascinated" and ripped the entire Tea Party as a bunch of bloodthirsty sadists.
The outspoken Democratic strategist, addressing Obama in a letter, wrote "This may be news to you but this is not going well. For precedent, see Russian Army 64th division at Stalingrad. There were enough deaths at Stalingrad to make the entire tea party collectively orgasm."
Last Thursday, President Obama unveiled his "American Jobs Act" to a joint session of Congress with a new plan for job creation. The plan takes a Keynesian approach, much like his previous stimulus bills, but with little success from them, it seems that Obama's American Jobs Act is not so much an economic plan as a political plan for his reelection. Obama and his advisors recognize that they can trap Republicans as a do-nothing Congress if they don't pass any job plan, but know the Republicans will lose their public support if they do vote for Obama's plan, which includes another $500 billion in increased spending and temporary handouts financed by an additional $500 billion in permanent tax increases. As explained by Peter Ferrara at Forbes:
In the Republican presidential candidates debate Monday night in Tampa, CNN's Wolf Blitzer posed a hypothetical question. Normally, a hypothetical question should not be answered, but in this case it revealed something about the questioner and sparked a controversial, but necessary answer from Rep. Ron Paul.
For those watching the two Monday Night Football games, the question was: "A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I'm not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I'm healthy, I don't need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it. Who's going to pay if he goes into a coma, for example? Who pays for that?"
"We counted, in the Republican debate [hosted by MSNBC at the Reagan Library], we counted 26 ideological questions.... Out 26 questions, how many do you think came with a left-wing ideological bent?" NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell asked Fox News host Sean Hannity on his eponymous program last night.
"Twenty-five out of 26" Bozell informed a stumped Hannity, referring to a study released Tuesday by Media Research Center (MRC) deputy research director Geoff Dickens.
"Now, that's perfectly fine if you're going to play devil's advocate... but that's not what these questions are," MRC founder Bozell added, noting that the media don't hit Obama from the right on policy questions in interviews.
Monday’s NBC Nightly News featured Brian Williams’ questions from the left to President Barack Obama about liberal exasperation with the President and on Thursday night Williams re-purposed that interview again, this time as a hook to devote nearly six minutes to how African-Americans are disappointed with Obama as Williams advanced the agenda of two left-wing activists, one of them from PBS.
“A lot of African-Americans in this country are getting flat out crushed in this economy,” Williams noted before fretting over how instead the “DC debate is often admittedly about tax cuts for the wealthy.”
Two out of three CBS local affiliate political reporters featured on Thursday's Early Show bluntly stated that President Obama faces "major uphill battle" in recapturing key states for the 2012 election. Anchor Chris Wragge noted the "all-time low" approval rating for the President, while an Ohio journalist highlighted how a Democratic strategist thought Obama was "feeling more Carter than Clinton."
Wragge turned to David Crabtree of WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina; Jim Heath of CBS affiliate WBNS in Columbus, Ohio; and Sam Brock from WTVR in Richmond, Virginia for their takes on the President's recent stops in their states following his jobs bill speech to Congress earlier in September. Crabtree reported on the positive reaction from those who attended Mr. Obama's speech in North Carolina, but then outlined that the Democrat faces several challenges in the months ahead:
Chris Matthews on Thursday delighted in slamming "ignorant" Republicans and their hostility for anyone "who's even slightly an intellectual." Matthews began a segment on the Republican Party's supposed hatred of science by gleefully announcing, "This is going to rip the scab off with all the conservatives watching."
The Hardball host wondered if the "GOP [has] become a party that celebrates ignorance." He continued, " Look at how the presidential candidates in the field proudly oppose mainstream scientific thought like, well, global warming, evolution."
Someone at MSNBC should tell Martin Bashir that he might not agree with Pat Buchanan's politics, but he's not one to challenge about a matter of fact.
On the show bearing his name Thursday, Bashir mistakenly tried to refute the conservative's claim that former Mayor Ed Koch accused President Obama of throwing Israel under the bus (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Obama administration and the Obama campaign aren't the only ones who should be embarrassed by the AttackWatch.com snitch site Obama for America recently created. As demonstrated last night in a series of Associated Press searches (not in quotes) which resulted in nothing relevant and still don't (here on "attackwatch.com"; here on "Attack Watch"; here on "Obama campaign"; and here on "Obama for America"), the establishment press has mostly ignored Attack Watch and its authoritarian aroma.
When not ignoring it, the press has mischaracterized those who are ridiculing it. A particularly embarrassing case in point occurred yesterday at the Washington Post's "Blogpost" blog. After posting an item by Elizabeth Flock headlined "Attack Watch, new Obama campaign site to ‘fight smears,’ becomes laughing stock of the Internet," the Post replaced the headline's last two words with "conservatives" -- quite inaccurately, it turns out.
CNN's Jim Acosta asked Rick Perry Wednesday if he was "a tad overconfident" for stumping in a battleground state like Virginia so early in the campaign season. Perry, a leading Republican presidential candidate, delivered a speech at Liberty University earlier in the day.
"It seems as if you're already looking past the primaries and into the general election," CNN's political correspondent posed to the candidate. "Aren't you being a tad overconfident?" he obnoxiously added.
After a week of seeking out Democrats to respond to Republican debates, Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Thursday interviewed Reince Priebus and grilled the Republican National Committee Chairman on the state of the GOP and whether Sarah Palin is "becoming a distraction" in the 2012 race.
Stephanopoulos did not invite Priebus to weigh in on the scandal involving Solyndra, a bankrupt green jobs company that received a guaranteed loan from the government. Yet, when the host interviewed Obama adviser David Axelrod on September 13, he implored the Democrat to higlight Republican problems. Speaking with Axelrod about Rick Perry, the anchor pushed, "Did he fix the Social Security problem he has?"
Liberals are on their high horses about a single audience member at CNN's Republican debate whom they believe wanted a hypothetical man without health insurance in a hypothetical coma to die -- hypothetically.
(Democrats want people in comas to die only when they are not hypothetical but real, like Terri Schiavo.)
"I don't like Barack Obama anymore. You know why? Because he doesn't like me and around 50 percent of America."
So said Dennis Miller on Fox News's "O'Reilly Factor" Wednesday as a result of the President not speaking out against the disgraceful Labor Day comments by Teamsters president James Hoffa (video follows with transcript and commentary):
What's more, "another two thirds (67%) believe that regulations have increased over the past few years. These percentages include majorities of all partisan affiliations, with 91% of Republicans, 75% of Independents and 58% of Democrats saying businesses/consumers are over-regulated," the polling firm noted in a press release.
Confessore, who once worked for the liberal journals Washington Monthly and American Prospect, once again staunchly defended Social Security. In a December 2004 post for the Prospect, he praised the Times, the paper he was about to join, for its harsh coverage of President Bush’s attempt at free-market-based Social Security reform.
Rachel Rose Hartman's Tuesday item for Yahoo! News's "The Ticket" blog carried a misleading headline ("Audience at tea party debate cheers leaving uninsured to die") implying that the majority, if not all, of the audience at Monday's GOP presidential debate thought that the critically injured who are uninsured should be left to die. In reality, only a handful cheered and/or laughed in response to Wolf Blitzer's question.
Despite this headline, Hartman did acknowledge in her lede that "if you're uninsured and on the brink of death, that's apparently a laughing matter to some audience members at last night's tea party [sic] Republican presidential debate." She then recounted how Blitzer, who moderated the joint debate with the Tea Party Express organization, turned to Rep. Ron Paul and "asked a hypothetical question...about how society should respond if a healthy 30-year-old man who decided against buying health insurance suddenly goes into a coma and requires intensive care for six months."
CNN's political analyst David Gergen remarked Monday that many Americans were "horrified" at what they heard from the Republican presidential debate, co-sponsored by the Tea Party Express and CNN. "I was getting notes about they ought to keep this people locked up and not let them out. Don't let them do anything to the country," Gergen remarked.
Gergen's comments came in the post-debate analysis and during the 10 p.m. EDT hour of Anderson Cooper 360. He mentioned that Tea Partiers "loved the debate" and pitted them in contrast with the many on Twitter who expressed their disgust with the debate.
Exactly how do anchors on MSNBC get away with routinely stating complete falsehoods without any repercussions?
On Tuesday, Chris Matthews wrongly accused Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul of saying during the previous evening's debate he would let a critically ill person die if the patient didn't have health insurance (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
The left is already out attacking last night's CNN Tea Party debate, with the New York Times leading the way as it cried "the first event hosted jointly by a major news organization and a Tea Party group" has "left some questioning whether the network had gone too far in reaching for centrist credibility." That charge only makes sense in a liberal world view that thought Brian Williams' biased performance at last week's NBC News/Politico debate was somehow soft and uncontroversial.
In fact there were far more liberal questions (13) to the GOP candidates at this Tea Party debate than there were conservative-oriented questions at the NBC News debate last week (just one). The Tea Party gets credit for helping restore balance to the agenda, but it's not like liberal ideas were shut out.
In an interview with Michele Bachmann on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer actually delayed discussion of job creation as he pushed her to attack Texas Governor Rick Perry: "We'll talk about jobs in a second, but I do want to stick on this controversy over...Perry mandating vaccinations for HPV."
Bachmann had attempted to begin on the subject of President Obama's jobs plan, but Lauer quickly steered her toward Republican infighting: "You not only question the policy [of mandating the HPV vaccine], but you questioned the motivation behind it, suggesting rather strongly that this could have been an attempt to appease a big drug company, Merck, because they contributed to his campaign. So I want you to lay this out for me. Is that what you are asserting?"
On Tuesday's Early Show, CBS targeted Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry by using their 'Fast Draw' animators to depict the Texas governor as gun-slinging, right-wing extremist. Cartoonists Josh Landis and Mitch Butler turned to a Texas journalist who claimed that Perry "would turn back the clock. He would take America back to where there was basically no safety net" [audio clips available here].
The largely animated segment focused on Perry as part of "a contest to find out who will be 'America's Next Top Republican,'" a parody of the TV show "America's Next Top Model." After labeling the governor a "true believer," Landis noted the Texas politician's beginnings in "the dusty little town of Paint Creek," highlighting how "he bathed on the back porch," even depicting this with feet hanging out of a bathtub.
[Video clips from the segment available below the jump.]
It is very disheartening to see Republican presidential primary candidates racing to out-demagogue one another in denouncing Texas Gov. Rick Perry's accurate description of Social Security as a Ponzi scheme. It used to be that Republicans at least waited until the general election campaign to pander to liberals.
I admire Perry both for telling it like it is and for having the guts to stand by his statement when under fire. That shows character.
After last Wednesday's Republican debate, Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos turned to a top Democrat for reaction. After last Thursday's jobs speech by Barack Obama, Stephanopoulos turned to a top Democrat for reaction. On Tuesday, after the GOP presidential contenders debated in Florida, the ABC host turned to yet another top Democrat for reaction.
Stephanopoulos offered softball questions to David Axelrod, the President's former senior adviser, treating the Democrat as though he were some disinterested political observer. After asserting that Rick Perry had "changed his tune" on Social Security, the GMA anchor wondered, "Did he fix the Social Security problem he has?"
Whether or not Social Security is a Ponzi scheme was again a source of great discussion during Monday's Republican presidential debate, and it appears this is likely going to be a hot issue throughout this election cycle.
What should be interesting to participants and pundits alike is that during the last presidential campaign, on November 5, 2007, the late Tim Russert, and Chris Matthews, while talking about the Democrat candidates on an episode of MSNBC's "Hardball" broadcast exactly one year before America elected its first black president, agreed that Social Security was "a bad Ponzi scheme" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Last night's debate brought a few blows to front runner Gov. Rick Perry, who kept his cool despite the attacks from every other candidate. While Perry's overall performance at last night's debate seemed to have improved over last week's debate, his stumbling on the issues of immigration and health care may have hurt him in the eyes of some Tea Party supporters. Do you think the attacks against Perry will hurt his campaign? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.