PBS's Tavis Smiley offered his own half-baked assumptions Friday on the 2012 GOP presidential contenders. The far-left anchor dismissed the GOP field as a bunch of nobodies on the 9 a.m. EDT hour of CNN Newsroom.
"You can't beat somebody with nobody," he quipped when asked what GOP contender poses the biggest threat to President Obama's re-election. "I don't see somebody yet that the president should be all that concerned about, at least to the point of losing sleep."
Smiley also hit Obama for not doing more to help unemployed African-Americans. He assumed the reason Obama is hesitant to do so is his fear of accusations of being "tribal."
Given the issues Ron Paul speaks out on, it seems likely that subjects such as raising the debt ceiling or taxes would come up as questions for an interview. However, Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos didn't ask the 2012 Republican presidential candidate a single question on those topics.
Instead, Stephanopoulos pressed Paul on flooding: "Celia from Springfield, Ohio wants to test how just how far your libertarian principles take you. She asks, 'Do you think everyone should just be responsible for themselves and if a flood washes your house away, no FEMA? Sink or swim?"
The host then prompted the Texas Congressman on just why he hasn't bolted the Republican Party: "Why not run as an independent, given your differences with the Republicans on so many issues?"
"It is edgy to have people on the mainstream of Hollywood who celebrate cop killers," but it's quite another thing when the president of the United States invites such a person like rapper Common to the White House for a poetry event, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Fox News's Sean Hannity last night.
Although Common wrote a rap song defending a convicted cop killer and has been known to be critical of interracial dating, the media largely ignored the controversial figure to protect President Obama from another Rev. Wright-like row, Bozell noted.
[See video after the page break or click here for MP3 audio]
MSNBC's Chris Matthews is clearly not going to tolerate anyone on his program saying Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich isn't racist.
Politico's Jeanne Cummings had the nerve to do exactly that on Thursday's "Hardball," and for her sins Matthews relentlessly browbeat her until she finally gave up (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC News announced Thursday that Rick Kaplan, a long-time (FOB) Friend of Bill (Clinton) who used his high-level network news positions to protect his friend, will take the helm at ABC’s This Week and oversee all ABC News political coverage. “I’m delighted to report that Rick Kaplan is returning to ABC News as Executive Producer of This Week with Christiane Amanpour,” ABC News President Ben Sherwood declared Thursday, touting (per TVNewser): “Rick will also oversee our political coverage. His mission: To lead This Week to #1 and to guide ABC News to dominance in the 2012 elections and beyond.”
Kaplan was Executive Producer of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric from early 2007 through last night (Thursday) after a career with stints as Executive Producer of ABC's World News Tonight and Nightline before serving as President of CNN in the 1990s and later President of MSNBC in the Keith Olbermann era (2004-2006).
He has had a long record of friendly relations with former President Bill Clinton, advising Clinton on how to respond to the Gennifer Flowers scandal in 1992 and blocking anti-Clinton stories from appearing on Nightline and World News Tonight. Kaplan has also been hostile to conservatives and, even AFTER memo-gate, declared that disgraced CBS anchor Dan Rather's “legacy” was “the gold standard journalists today have struggled to live up to.”
A frothing Chris Matthews on Thursday excoriated the "nasty," "shameless" Newt Gingrich for robbing "the political arena of joy and humanity."
The Hardball host even compared the 2012 Republican presidential candidate to a famous horror movie villain: "I cannot believe there are young Republicans idealists out there, young people with hope who want our country to be good and have good politics to want to resurrect this element of Freddy Krueger, Nightmare on Elm Street politics."
The day after Newt Gingrich announced his candidacy for president, MSNBC's Martin Bashir took the opportunity to rail against the Republican contender for criticizing former President Bill Clinton's adulterous behavior while he was engaging in sexual transgressions of his own.
On his eponymous program today, Bashir admonished the former House speaker's "hypocrisy" but failed to mention even once that the Democratic president didn't just cheat on his wife, but committed perjury to cover up the affair.
CBS gave President Obama over 26 and a half minutes to answer 12 questions related to the economy during a town hall aired on Thursday's Early Show. Obama got six uninterrupted minutes to answer one question about Medicare during the hour-long event. Host Erica Hill wondered how the Democrat could "change the mind-set from things are tough to things are turning around" with the economy.
Hill led the town hall with her concerned economic "mind-set" question, noting beforehand that "it seems that we have been hearing, whether it's on TV, at the office, around the kitchen table, things are tough," but continuing that "there's positive economic data coming through. Yet, sometimes it can feel like for every two steps forward, it's one step back. There's definitely a psychological component to this recovery."
Teasing a story on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich entering the presidential race at the top of Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Meredith Vieira proclaimed: "Political hurdle. Newt Gingrich launches his run for the White House, but will his two divorces and an admitted affair during his time as House speaker hurt his chances of becoming president?"
Later, fellow co-host Matt Lauer introduced a report on Gingrich by declaring: "He is perhaps the best known Republican in the field to date. But Gingrich also has a messy personal life that includes two divorces, three marriages, and a lengthy affair." Correspondent Michael Isikoff described how, "Everywhere he goes, Newt Gingrich hears the questions [about his personal life]....Gingrich, who once campaigned as a family values candidate, has been dogged for years by criticism of marital infidelity..."
Mike Barnicle has greeted Newt Gingrich's announcement of his presidential candidacy with a sneer, calling the former Speaker of the House "a delusional loser." The former Kennedy-clan retainer and Boston Globe columnist seasoned his sneer with snobbery, launching an ignorant attack on Gingrich's educational background.
Just barely a year after it derided the establishment media's obsession over oil-affected birds in the Gulf of Mexico while virtually ignoring the loss human life in awful floods in Tennessee (noted at the time at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Investors Business Daily's editorialists are calling out the press for oversaturating us with Obama-OBL victory lap coverage at the expense of informing the nation about the severity of this year's horrible Mississippi River flooding.
IBD makes great points in the following excerpts (bolds are mine):
Discussing how President Obama should craft his 2012 reelection campaign theme, MSNBC contributors Howard Fineman offered that President Obama made a "mistake" in his freshman year in office in saying voters should judge his term by his performance in office.
Because the economy is recovering under Obama's stewardship, Fineman posited on the May 11 edition of "Hardball," Obama must run on a theme of "values" not as a referendum on his track record.
Watch the relevant video in the embed below the page break:
During a report on Tuesday's Nightly News, White House correspondent Chuck Todd was largely dismissive of the current crop of Republican candidates: "[Mitt Romney] skipped the first debate last week, leaving Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty as the only major contender alongside a slew of long shots jockeying for attention."
But when it came to President Obama, Todd declared: "One of the few announced candidates for president was out campaigning and raising money today." Later, Todd put pressure on GOP hopefuls that had yet to announce: "With the clock ticking and President Obama raking in millions, some on the fence are making decisions."
In a similar report on Wednesday's Today, Todd proclaimed: "...the busiest presidential candidate hadn't been a Republican, it's been the incumbent, Barack Obama....[he] worked crowds in Texas, Tuesday, raising money in his push for a second term....with a confident president out raising millions, [GOP] candidates are starting to make decisions."
New York Times political writer Matt Bai’s "Political Memo" Wednesday was pretty hostile to the battle-scared Republican leader considering a 2012 run for president: "Gingrich’s Run Reflects His Sense of History." Bai led off by asking"Whatever can Newt Gingrich be thinking?" given that he "has never been elected to anything outside his old Congressional district in Georgia." (And, by the way, rose to Speaker of the House.)
But back on April 10 Bai confessed to being awestruck with his proximity to a liberal lion, former New York Gov. Cuomo: "...there is something awesome - in the literal sense - about sitting across a desk from Mario Cuomo."
Judging from his opening lines Wednesday, Bai was not nearly as impressed with the conservative Newt.
New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes was with the president in El Paso, Texas, inspiring Latino voters for his 2012 reelection by pushing Congress to hack a "path to citizenship for illegal immigrants." It’s a long shot in a Republican-controlled Congress, on an issue Obama did not press when the Democrats had big majorities in the House and Senate, but those points were buried in her 1,100-word story Wednesday, "In Border City Talk, Obama Urges G.O.P. to Help Overhaul Immigration Law."
President Obama came to this border city on Tuesday to argue that he is doing his part to crack down on illegal immigration, and that Republicans must now join him in overhauling the nation’s immigration laws for the millions of workers already here illegally.
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday hyped the best polling data available for President Obama, ignoring surveys finding much lower numbers. The co-anchor enthused, "And a new poll out just this morning shows President Obama with his highest approval rating in two years."
"60 percent Of Americans, according to the AP, now think the President is doing a good job," he added. But, the poll is really an outlier. Rasmussen has Obama at 48 percent. Gallup finds 52. However, Stephanopoulos ignored those numbers and focused on the AP data: "And for the first time in that poll, a majority of Americans, 53 percent, say he deserves re-election."
In a follow-up segment, Stephanopoulos reiterated, "And the White House did get that good news this morning, that 60 percent approval rating for the President in that latest poll."
The chefs in the kitchens at AP-GfK, a joint effort of the Associated Press and GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, have been working overtime cooking up a scrumptious dish for fans of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.
President Barack Obama's approval rating has hit its highest point in two years - 60 percent - and more than half of Americans now say he deserves to be re-elected, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll taken after U.S. forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
In March, the same poll had the president's approval rating at 53%. The graphic which follows, obtained from the the poll's "topline" at AP-GfK's web site, reveal that the AP pair enjoy feasting on empty calories:
The Al Sharpton radio show always gets even stranger when radical Syracuse professor Boyce Watkins is a guest. (Last year, he suggested Limbaugh listeners and Fox watchers easily become violent.) On Monday, Professor Watkins told Sharpton that Herman Cain should run for president like Colin Powell, and never mind that Powell actually endorsed Obama in 2008. If he's like a Tea Partier, then Cain's a racist:
What I will say though is that I hope he does not make this into a black man’s circus, by basically building votes within the right wing by constantly attacking the President in unfair ways. It’s one thing to say that the President’s policies are inadequate or incorrect, but it’s another thing to start acting like a Tea Partier or one of the birthers in terms of building a campaign on a basis of nonsense.
So, I will respect Herman Cain a lot more if he approaches this election the way say Colin Powell would approach the election. Colin Powell is a Republican and he wouldn’t agree with President Obama on a lot of issues, but he would advocate from a position of love and respect for his constituency, as opposed to simply trying to bash away at another black man and to gain points by being a racist with a black face.
According to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, the Sunday morning political talk shows are all biased towards the 43rd president we conservatives all thought they despised (video follows with transcript and lots of debunking commentary):
What would you say was the best week in American history?
If you're a man named Chris Matthews who gets a thrill up his leg for Barack Obama, you would say the week in which Osama bin Laden was killed by a Navy SEAL team in Pakistan (video follows with transcript and commentary):
If CNN's Roland Martin gives the same answer as a tea party conservative, you know you've asked him a pretty bizarre question. On Monday's 10 a.m. EDT news hour, CNN anchor Carol Costello asked the panel if Obama is now "unbeatable" due to the killing of Osama bin Laden, falling gas prices, and a positive May jobs report.
Of course, the election is over one year away, not all of the possible Republican candidates have officially declared their intentions, and the direction of the economy remains to be seen. But CNN apparently thought it fitting to ask the experts if the 2012 election is all but decided.
For days, Bush hating media members have concocted a variety of mostly nefarious theories why former President George W. Bush opted not to join Barack Obama at Ground Zero Thursday.
The Washington Post's David Ignatius on this weekend's "Chris Matthews Show" claimed, "The reason that Bush didn’t go is the photograph of the two of them together would have locked the reelection of Barack Obama in 2012" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS announced on Friday its plans for a "special town hall meeting on the economy" featuring President Obama. Network personalities Bob Schieffer and Erica Hill will host the event. This announcement comes just over a month after the Democrat officially started his reelection campaign, and on the same week that the President's approval ratings on the economy reached a new low according to a CBS News poll.
The network's release also noted that "CBS News is making preparations for a Town Hall next month with leading Republicans about the economy," but didn't reveal whether these were going to be some of the GOP presidential contenders or any of the various members of Congress or governors in the party.
During Thursday night's Republican presidential debate in South Carolina, Fox News contributor Juan Williams moved away from the pressing issues of national security and the economy to ask former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty: "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution, as the basis for what should be taught in our nation's schools?"
Perhaps Williams had caught the end of Thursday's Hardball on MSNBC only hours earlier, when, as NewsBusters Scott Whitlock reported, host Chris Matthews listed some of the questions he would like to ask the Republican presidential hopefuls, including: "Question to Mr. Candidate, do you believe in evolution? Are you a fundamentalist who believes in the Bible as written? Has man been around millions of years or, say, just about 6000?"
Interviewing presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty on Friday, George Stephanopoulos lectured the Republican that Barack Obama can say I've "kept my promises" for the war on terror. The Good Morning America anchor ignored examples such as the failure to close Guantanamo Bay.
Stephanopoulos added, "Our troops are coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan. And a weakened al Qaeda has not succeeded on a major attack on our homeland. When President Obama makes the case that America is safer on his watch, how will you respond?"
(That comment would also skip the Fort Hood shooting in 2009.) The morning show anchor began by touting White House talking points: "So, I wonder what you say in a debate with President Obama when he comes out and says when it comes to protecting America, I've kept my promises."
NPR's Ari Shapiro emphasized the possible political benefits for President Obama on Thursday's Morning Edition in the aftermath of the death of Osama bin Laden. Shapiro lined up sound bites from three pundits who touted the "big moment" for the "bold" President and how it amounted to a "fundamental shift in the way Americans perceive Mr. Obama."
Midway through his report, the correspondent introduced a clip from former Bill Clinton speechwriter Jeff Shesol: "He [Shesol] believes this week could mark a fundamental shift in the way Americans perceive Mr. Obama." The Clinton alum claimed that it would be "very hard after this moment to suggest that President Obama doesn't have the guts to make tough calls, to make bold and risky calls...and then to go ahead because he knows it to be the right thing to do."
Chris Matthews apparently misses moderating Republican debates and hectoring the candidates with bizarre questions. On Thursday's Hardball, hours before the first GOP face-off, the cable anchor dreamed up hypothetical queries he would like to see: "Question to Mr. Candidate, do you believe in evolution? Are you a fundamentalist who believes in the Bible as written? Has man been around millions of years or, say, just about 6000?"
Apparently this question is crucial as it determines "whether you believe in science or not." On the week Osama bin Laden was killed, Matthews added this relevant inquiry: "A question for the fundamentalists who give that answer, why do we conduct health experiments for people on animals if there's no relation?"
The liberal anchor also wondered, "Do you wish to outlaw abortion and if so what should be the punishment? If having an abortion doesn't deserve punishment, why are you pushing to outlaw it?"
On Monday and Tuesday, NPR played up how Osama Bin Laden's death might translate into a political win for President Obama. Mara Liasson trumpeted the "huge victory" for the President and spotlighted a scholar who gushed how Obama now looked "strong and competent and decisive." Cokie Roberts boasted how the military operation was a "score" for the Democrat and that it was a "game changer politically."
At the beginning of her report which lead Tuesday's Morning Edition, Liasson gushed that "every president benefits from moments of national unity, but none so much as Barack Obama, who ran for office promising to bridge partisan divides." Later, the journalist noted that, with the raid against Bin Laden, "he [Obama] made good on his repeated promise to act unilaterally if he had actionable intelligence."
We are living in strange times indeed when it's not laughable to suggest that President Obama will be difficult to beat in 2012. Well, I'm not buying it, even considering any positive (but inevitably temporary) surge Obama may receive with Osama bin Laden's death.
In 2008, as an economic crisis played into his hands, Obama ran against an uninspiring opponent in John McCain, campaigned on grandiose promises in lieu of a record, and cultivated and rode a mainstream media wave based on a myth of his messiahship. Yet he still only won with 53 percent of the vote.