H/t MRC's Jeff Poor. I urge people to read the blog entry that Jackie Seal, the impressive young lady that O'Donnell confronted, has written about her experience. Not only does it provide fascinating background material about just what a set-up O'Donnell devised, it also catches Norah out in a fib.
As you'll note from an earlier update at the foot of this item, after O'Donnell began catching heat for her stunt, she went back on the air to defend herself. Among other things, responding to charges she had confronted a young girl, O'Donnell twice claimed that her interview subject "voted in the last election."
Just one problem: Jackie informs us that she is . . . 17. Maybe Norah got confused with ACORN voting standards, but 16-year old conservatives [the age she would presumably have been at last year's election] don't go to the polls.
Have a close look at the screencap [larger image after the jump]. Notice what MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell is holding in her left hand? Those are notes, with factoids from the 2008 presidential campaign. She's reading from them to challenge a Sarah Palin supporter who was waiting in line at the book signing yesterday in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
We all remember how back during the '08 campaign, MSM reporters would challenge people attending Obama rallies with uncomfortable truths about their candidate, along the lines "would you still support him if you knew he had the most liberal voting record in the Senate?" Or not. I certainly can't remember any MSMer confronting an Obama supporter in such a way.
But let people line up to express their admiration for Sarah Palin . . .
CNN's Rick Sanchez hosted a forum of 'average joes' yesterday in a sort of focus group on Sarah Palin. CNN did not feel, however, that it needed to invite any Palin supporters. Despite claims that the group accurately represented American opinion, its responses demonstrated a total disconnect from actual public sentiment.
Sanchez, shown right in a file photo, asked the group to inform viewers of their political and party affiliations, concluding that there was "a pretty good cross-section" of Americans participating. He then asked about Palin. None of the viewers said they would vote for her in a presidential run, and none said they plan on purchasing her new book (video and transcript below the fold - h/t Townhall).
A screening of the show's guests would hardly be a surprise given Sanchez's history of playing fast and loose with the facts when conservatives are involved. He touted one of the quotes falsely attributed to Rush Limbaugh, and later apologized for his mistake, adding to his long list of retractions. He has blamed the murder of a police officer on "right wing radio" and berated Fox News for alleged bias while ignoring CNN's.
Sanchez's coverage of Palin herself has not exactly been stellar. He suggested after she stepped down as governor that she might be pregnant.
New York Times lead book critic (and avowed politicalliberal) Michiko Kakutani does the expected demolition job on Sarah Palin's new memoir, "Going Rogue." But in her rush to bash Palin as having an image of "an easily caricatured ignoramus" (a caricature in itself), Kakutani unwittingly made an anti-Obama argument.
"Going Rogue," the title of Sarah Palin's erratic new memoir, comes from a phrase used by a disgruntled McCain aide to describe her going off-message during the campaign: among other things, for breaking with the campaign over its media strategy and its decision to pull out of Michigan, and for speaking out about reports that the Republican Party had spent more than $150,000 on fancy designer duds for her and her family. In fact, the most sustained and vehement barbs in this book are directed not at Democrats or liberals or the press, but at the McCain campaign. The very campaign that plucked her out of Alaska, anointed her the Republican vice-presidential nominee and made her one of the most talked about women on the planet -- someone who could command a reported $5 million for writing this book.
Kakutani took a questionable angle of attack on Palin, mocking her supposed lack of experience:
Looking at Sarah Palin's new book, Going Rogue: An American Life, NBC's Andrea Mitchell caught a passage about herself in which Palin recalled that when she invited some reporters to go fishing with her this past July that “I wanted to see Andrea and her colleagues sporting fish-slimed waders, banging around in a skiff, stuck in the mud,” but, she regretted, the weather was too good so “dang it -- none of them got slimed.”
On Sunday's NBC Nightly News, Mitchell recounted, over video (with the book text over-layed) of Mitchell and Palin on a boat:
The roundtable members on Sunday's This Week derided or dismissed Sarah Palin, with David Brooks, the putative conservative columnist for the New York Times, declaring “she's a joke” and insisting “Republican primary voters just are not going to elect a talk show host” -- leaving it to PBS's Gwen Ifill, of all people, to come to her defense as a fellow woman.[MP3 audio available here]
Left-winger David Corn yearned for how she will damage Republicans while the Washington Post's Bob Woodward agreed with Brooks and George Will wondered: “Some conservatives think they have found in Sarah Palin a Republican William Jennings. Why they would want somebody who lost the presidency three times I do not know.”
The derogatory take from David Books on the November 15 This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC:
Yeah, she's a joke. I mean, I just can't take her seriously. We've got serious problems in the country. Barack Obama's trying to handle war. We just had a guy elected Virginia Governor who's probably the model for the future of the Republican Party, Bob McDonnell. Pretty serious guy, pragmatic, calm, kind of boring. The idea that this potential talk show host is considered seriously for the Republican nomination, believe me, it will never happen. Republican primary voters just are not going to elect a talk show host.
Does the National Journal's Hotline inhabit the same universe as the rest of us? Democrats lost two-out-of-three among last night's big races. But in declaring Winners and Losers among non-candidates involved with the campaigns, the only Losers Hotline saw were . . . Republicans and conservatives, with nary a Dem in sight!
Chris Matthews was only too happy to seize on the Hotline hitlist during his Sideshow segment on this evening's Hardball. Here were Hotline's three Losers:
Sarah Palin: for jumping into Hoffman's losing cause, whereas McDonell and Christie didn't invite her in and won.
Pete Sessions: the Chairman of the NRCC, who went 0-2 in special congressional elections.
On Friday’s Situation Room, CNN forwarded an idea proposed by The New Republic’s Peter Beinart- that Democratic losses in the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey this year would result in the reelection of President Obama in 2012. An on-screen graphic during a discussion of Beinart’s hypothesis read, “If The Dems Lose Next Week: How it might help them in the long run.”
Anchor Wolf Blitzer read the New Republic contributor’s idea during a “Strategy Session” panel discussion with Republican Mary Matalin and Democrat Paul Begala 53 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour: “Peter Beinart, writing in The Daily Beast, says...it might be good for the Democrats if the Republicans win both Virginia and New Jersey, the governors’ races next Tuesday. ‘Let’s imagine,’ he writes, ‘that Democrats lose next week because the GOP’s conservative base flocks to the polls while liberals stay home. For Obama, that wouldn’t be so terrible. The more confident right-wing Republicans become, the more likely they will nominate a Palin-like zealot in 2012.’”
Just when you thought the White House couldn't possibly do anything to make their bizarre feud with the Fox News Channel an even larger spectacle - the administration manages to take it to another level.
On the Oct. 22 broadcast of Fox News Channel's "Special Report," host Bret Baier revealed a White House pool announcement was offering Kenneth Feinberg, the "Special Master for Compensation," better known as the White House "pay czar" for interviews - all except for one network - Fox News.
On Oct. 13 "The View" hosts reacted to the news that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had ruled out a future run for the presidency. "Hillary Clinton told Anne Curry that she will not be making another run for president of the United States, saying she loves her job as Secretary of State and is looking forward to retirement at some point ... Ya know, that kind of made me sad," Whoopi Goldberg lamented.
Sherri Shepherd called Hillary "victorious" - "an inspiration to women" - and equated the news of her retirement with "being hit in the pit of your stomach" and "deflating a balloon."
"Because - not ever calling Hillary Clinton a quitter, but it's something - even when she pulled out, I felt sad," Shepherd said. "Because as a woman, you just look at Hillary as, ‘You don't quit. You always keep going' ... The fact that she's saying, ‘I think I'm going to stop and retire,' it's just like, no, Hillary!"
What happens when you have James Carville prodding Larry King to ask a "tough" question of outspoken Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann? You get a glimpse of what is really driving the movement questioning the legitimacy of President Barack Obama's birthplace.
On CNN's Oct. 7 "Larry King Live," a persistent Carville would not let it go - that Bachmann was a part of the so-called "birther" movement - a tactic to frame her as "nutty."
"Well, first of all, there are seven Republicans in the House that have ‘birther' legislation before in there," Carville said. "And one of the things that people don't like is that politicians get a simple yes or no question and they try to evade it, just like I heard the Congresswoman do. She's known to be very outspoken."
When Pres. Obama did the Fox-less Full Ginsburg last week, his toughest moment came when George Stephanopoulos cited Merriam Webster to suggest that PBO's proposal to force people to buy health insurance amounts to a "tax."
Some were surprised that Stephanopoulos would put a Dem president on the spot that way. But appearing on today's Fox News Watch, Jim Pinkerton posited an intriguing provenance for the tough question—none other than . . . Hillary Clinton [video after the break].
Has the Dem infighting for 2012 begun? Is Hillary exploiting Pres. Obama's waffling over Afghanistan to launch an offensive against her ostensible boss?
The question arises after former senior Clinton aide Dee Dee Myers described PBO as looking "indecisive" and "pushed around" in his handling of Afghanistan, and Hillary herself laid down a heavy marker, describing in graphic terms the dangers of an al Qaeda resurgence were the Taliban permitted to succeed.
On today's Morning Meeting, host Dylan Ratigan gathered his loyalist liberal media friends to deride Sarah Palin's recent speech to investors in Hong Kong, wherein she made the observation that government programs often create new problems, which are then tackled by eager politicians with what else but even more government programs.
First, in the interest of fairness, it must be noted that the guest from the Huffington Post and Vanity Fair, Vickie Ward, barely uttered a word in the entirety of the segment.
That's because she was laughing.
Here's what caused Ward's giggle-fit:
RATIGAN: I want to go to Andy Barr at Politico. Palin on health reform. This one made a little bit less sense. But I feel like it's very indicative, Andy, of certain aspects of right-wing talking points which look to demonize the government inherently, as opposed to looking at government as a tool that can either be abused, misused, or screwed up. Right? And so that rhetoric is evident here. [reading] 'It's common sense that government attempts to solve problems like the health care problem will just create new problems.' Now, forget the nonsensical aspect of that.
This is a notion that hasn't really gotten any traction anywhere yet, but could Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C. be a viable 2012 presidential election candidate?
The hosts of Fox Business Network's "Happy Hour," Eric Bolling, Rebecca Diamond and Cody Willard, contemplated that possibility on their Sept. 14 show, which comes on the eve of a vote on a "resolution of disapproval" on Wilson for calling out "You lie!" as President Barack Obama spoke to a joint-session of Congress Sept. 9.
"First off, House Dems appear set to censure South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson for shouting ‘you lie' at President Obama during last week's health care speech, but Wilson is not backing down," Diamond said. "He told Fox News Sunday he will not apologize to the House tomorrow. Instead, he is turning this - all of this into a fund-raising campaign, claiming he has raised $1 million since the outrage incident last Wednesday. So we are asking, ‘Hit or Miss' on whether Democrats risk turning Representative Wilson into a viable conservative candidate for 2012."
Once again, one of the masters of the universe trotted out on MSNBC has discovered the cure to one of society's ills - more Obama.
Daily Voice editor and CNBC contributor Keith Boykin waved off the reservations of some parents about President Barack Obama addressing their children in the classroom. Boykin appeared on MSNBC on Sept. 3 in a segment about the classroom controversy and added his insightful commentary on the matter.
"So much of the debate about President Obama has been politicized in an effort by some to delegitimize his presidency," Boykin said. "This is clearly much ado about nothing. We're talking about the President of the United States speaking to school kids. Why wouldn't schools want this to happen? That's why our kids are so dumb today, because they don't want to have basic common sense in the classroom."
Somewhere, Lyndon Johnson is smiling. Howard Dean has provided perfect proof of LBJ's adage that when it comes to potential adversaries, "it's better to have them inside the tent p---ing out than outside the tent" doing the reverse.
Barack Obama chucked Dean out of his DNC chairmanship. Adding insult to injury, PBO denied the good doctor any role in his health care initiative. Now, it's payback time. Subbing for Keith Olbermann on this evening's Countdown, Dean depicted Obama as a loser in the health care fight. For good measure, he flung a famous Obama campaign slogan back in the prez's face.
On Monday's Countdown show, substitute hosted by liberal MSNBC political analyst Lawrence O'Donnell, during a segment with Newsweek's Jonathan Alter about former Governor Sarah Palin's resignation speech from the weekend, Alter referred to what he called Palin's "fibs" and "absurdities" as he reminded viewers that she is very popular in the Republican party despite the flaws Alter and his ilk see in her. Alter: "She is now an icon within the Republican party, and we can, you know, laugh at her and point out all of her fibs and all of her absurdities, but she has a hard core constituency within that party that suggests that her career is not entirely over."
Alter later recounted some of the elements of her weekend speech, including "attacking the national media," and contended that her words would play well with Republicans, "even if it rubs us the wrong way." Alter:
It's the kind of astute analysis you'd expect from MSNBC - the place for the politics. CNBC regular and MSNBC fill-in anchor Donny Deutsch solved the mystery behind the media's fascination with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
According to the former advertising executive, it has nothing to do with her stance on several hot-button issues - an advocate of gun rights, a pro-life stance on abortion, pro-exploration and drilling for oil and concerned about the fiscal policies of President Barack Obama. Instead, he contended, it is her sexual appeal that held the media's attention - and not just from a male perspective, but a female perspective as well.
"I'm going to throw something out since I'm talking to three women here and I've said this theory before and I'd love you guys to react to it," Deutsch said on MSNBC on July 27. "That - the reason we have a fascination with Sarah Palin - men and women: This is the first woman in power that has sexual appeal and people don't know what to do with it. That's why people are fascinated with her. Everything else is secondary. OK, beat me up."
Appearing on Monday’s CBS Early Show, former Bush speech writer David Frum remarked on Sarah Palin’s political future following her resignation as governor of Alaska: "She's a divisive force within the Republican Party...And many fear, as I do...that she represents a future that leads the party both to political defeat and then to ineffectiveness in government."
Co-host Harry Smith moderated a debate over Palin’s role in the party between Frum and author Ann Coulter. Even Smith acknowledged the now former Governor’s star power: "This woman is a rock star, there’s no denying it...I don't think it matters that she quit." Coulter agreed: "And she's just an amazing speaker. I mean, I think she may do something like the Ronald Reagan GE tours, where she goes around and speaks because she is heavily desired by various Republican, conservative groups, politicians. She has amazing star power and it will be interesting to see."
Coulter went on to criticize a media double standard when it comes to politicians leaving public life: "I mean, the reason the mainstream media, by and large, didn't cover the [former Senator John] Edwards affair was the argument, ‘well, he's a private citizen now. He’s an ex-presidential candidate, but just a private citizen.’ If the media will leave her [Sarah Palin] alone. And I don't think so."
On Monday’s Early Show, co-host Julie Chen teased an upcoming story on Sarah Palin’s political future: "Also ahead, the always controversial Sarah Palin remains in the headlines this morning. We're going to tell you what she's now saying about her future plans as well as what she's planning to do right after she leaves office later this month."
Chen teased the story later, again labeling the Alaska Governor as controversial: "We're going to tell you where the controversial Alaska governor is headed once she leaves office." In the report that followed, correspondent Nancy Cordes cited new poll numbers: "According to a new CBS poll out this morning, Sarah Palin faces doubts, even from Republicans, about her ability to be an effective president. Less than 1 in 4 Americans think she has the ability. Among Republicans, only one-third say Palin could be effective."
Cordes went on to describe Palin’s future plans, including an upcoming speech in California: "Her appearance is almost certain to raise speculation about her political ambitions. But some say Palin hasn't done enough to change how people feel about her." After mentioning that Palin was offering to stump for Republican candidates, Cordes observed: "But a couple of Republicans running for governor this year have already appeared cool to the idea of having her in to support them."
CNN commentator Jack Cafferty revisited his favorite punching bag on Monday’s Situation Room: Sarah Palin. After referring to one of Palin’s reasons for her resignation, that she wanted to avoid becoming a lame duck, Cafferty cracked: “She was already lame.” He also predicted that she would become a mere “thumbsucker” if she’s no longer considered a contender for the 2012 presidential race.
Cafferty began his 4 pm Eastern hour “Cafferty File” segment by recounting the decision of the Alaska governor to resign at the end of July. He continued by briefly mentioning how Palin became famous after being named as John McCain’s running mate, listed the “lame duck” reason for resignation, and then made his crack: “Palin, who was thrust on to the national stage as John McCain’s running mate against President Obama, defended her decision as a move to avoid becoming a lame duck. Love her or hate her, Sarah Palin’s able to -- she was already lame -- Sarah Palin’s able to electrify the conservative base of the party like no other Republican in the country.”
As the broadcast network evening newscasts on Friday reported on Sarah Palin's decision to resign as Alaska's Governor, they gave little attention to the toll taken on the Governor by the onslaught of frivolous lawsuits from her political enemies. But, by contrast, FNC gave much of the credit for Palin's decision to these lawsuits that have tied up the Governor's time and forced her family to spend a fortune in legal expenses.
On Friday's Fox Report, FNC correspondent Carl Cameron informed viewers: "Those ethics complaints have all been dropped or dismissed, and yet they've taken a toll and she acknowledged as much earlier." Then came a soundbite of Palin from her news conference, which was partially played on the CBS Evening News but not on ABC or NBC. Palin:
Todd and I, we’re looking at more than half a million dollars in legal bills just in order to set the record straight. And what about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn't cost them a dime. ... My staff and I spend most of our days, we're dealing with this stuff instead of progressing our state now.
Sarah Palin hasn't had it as tough as Hillary Clinton and at her Friday announcement Palin “came across as petty and vindictive. Richard Nixon without the policy knowledge or the experience,”Washington, DC-based Atlanta Journal-Constitution political columnist Cynthia Tucker contended during the roundtable on Sunday's This Week on ABC. Both George Stephanopoulos and George Will pointed out, that after Nixon said “you won't have Richard Nixon to kick around anymore,” he came back and won the presidency twice.
Tucker, who oversaw the paper's editorial page from the early 1990s through last month and won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2007, charged: “If Sarah Palin thinks that she's had it tougher than anybody else, she's been more harshly criticized, I have for two words for her: Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton was savaged for eight years.”
A night after NBC White House reporter Chuck Todd predicted Sarah Palin will now make fundraising appearances for GOP candidates where she'll draw in “car-wreck watchers,” Todd's colleague, NBC's Mike Viqueira, after relaying how Alaska's Lieutenant Governor “says the decision was vintage Palin,” asserted over video of Ross Perot dancing: “Others describe her performance yesterday as erratic, comparing it to Ross Perot's on-again/off-again presidential run in 1992.” Unlike Palin, Perot did leave and enter the presidential race months before the election date.
Viqueira, Capitol Hill producer for NBC News who regularly appears on MSNBC, earned rare air time on the real network's NBC Nightly News because of the holiday, and proceeded to highlight how “Democrats, meanwhile, are questioning Palin's motives.” So who are these “others”? Viqueira's press corps colleagues? After all, as Rich Noyes reminded us in “Notable Quotables Flashback: Ten Months of Media Scorn for Sarah Palin,” when John McCain named Palin last year Newsweek's Eleanor Clift revealed the media reaction: “It’s been literally laughter...in very, very many newsrooms.”
Sarah Palin's “bombshell” holiday announcement that she will resign as Governor of Alaska managed to trump Michael Jackson as the lead on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts Friday night as NBC's Chuck Todd predicted she will now make fundraising appearances for GOP candidates where she'll draw in “car-wreck watchers.” CBS reporter Nancy Cordes reflected the tone of the stories when she described “a rambling, at times confusing announcement,” while on all three newscasts Palin's decision was called “bizarre.”
NBC News White House reporter Chuck Todd, who suggested she decided to quit so she could “make a lot of money” on the speaking circuit free of ethics complaint hassles, also predicted she will bring in big crowds at fundraisers for GOP candidates which will also entice those not so impressed by her:
She may spend the next year campaigning for Republicans all across the country. She's probably going to be the person that can attract the largest crowds, some of it is car-wreck watchers -- you know, they just are coming, kind of curiosity-seekers. It doesn't matter. She can attract a lot of people.
“Another case of Sarah Palin derangement syndrome has reared its ugly head,” FNC's Bret Baier announced Tuesday night in citing Todd Purdum's lengthy piece in the August issue of Vanity Fair magazine, “It Came from Wasilla.” Purdum, a New York Times reporter for 23 years until leaving the paper in 2006, is married to ex-Clinton White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers.
In the “Grapevine” segment, Baier recounted how Purdum was appalled by “a public official who often seems proud of what she does not know is not only accepted but applauded,” quoted “an anonymous friend of presidential nominee John McCain as referring to Palin as quote, 'little shop of horrors,'” and charged “that on the campaign trail aides quote, 'worried about her mental state: Was it possible that she was experiencing postpartum depression?'” Plus, “quote: 'No political principle or personal relationship is more sacred than her own ambition.'”
You don't have to be a big Palin fan to recognize the article is full of dubious claims, and is dependent on self-serving stories provided on background by some of the people who ran the McCain campaign into the ground.
The Vanity Fair national editor most recently known for publishing a withering criticism of the Clintons during the 2008 presidential race has chosen a new target for summary destruction: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
This is no mere attack on the Governor’s policy positions, nor on her performance during the 2008 campaign – nor even on her performance since. Purdum, in this article, plies his very best Luca Brazzi impression – hopelessly pathetic, yet reliably purposeful in ‘whacking’ the opposition.
In spinning his yarn, Purdum goes well below the belt:
Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina confessed to adultery with a woman in Buenos Aires Wednesday, after raising eyebrows by disappearing over the weekend, and then misleading the public about his whereabouts.
But for the New York Times, there was more to the tale than the political meltdown of a promising Republican presidential candidate for 2012. Sanford's affair gave the paper another chance to round up recent (and not so recent) stories of Republican misdeeds and controversies and suggest they (once again) spelled doom for the party. Enter reporter Jim Rutenberg's Thursday story, "Sanford Case A New Dose Of Bad News For G.O.P."
In their latest article analyzing the extramarital affairs of the deplorable Governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, the Associated Press demonstrates once again that the word ‘logic’ has somehow become lost in translation.
In a piece entitled, Sanford’s extramarital affair a problem for GOP,the AP gleefully discusses the topic of Sanford’s misdeeds and their potential effect on the Republican Party – a valid analysis. However, it takes no more than two paragraphs before the author dispenses with the aforementioned term ‘logic’, and decides instead to inexplicably link and attack several other GOP governors who have nothing to do with this affair.