Integrity in journalism is not only optional, being dishonest is actually commendable. That was the message sent last night by the American Society of Magazine Editors as it gave one of its highly coveted National Magazine Awards to Mother Jones, the far-left publication which published a surreptitiously recorded video of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking to a Florida fund-raiser in 2012.
The Romney speech, in which he made his infamous reference to “47 percent” of Americans being willing to support President Obama because of their dependence on the welfare state, was secretly recorded by a hotel bartender and then released subsequently by Mother Jones.
On Wednesday's The Last Word on MSNBC, host Lawrence O'Donnell used a recent commencement speech delivered by Mitt Romney to slam the former GOP presidential candidate as taking the "most dishonorable posture that was possible for an able-bodied man of Mitt Romney's age" for refusing to serve in the Vietnam War while supporting the existence of the draft.
But the MSNBC host also called it "honorable service" for young people to protest against the Vietnam War while refusing to serve. O'Donnell:
On Tuesday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes asserted that, since Republicans have taken control of the North Carolina state government, the state is moving toward becoming an "insane right-wing dystopia," and claimed that the GOP wants to engage in "voter suppression" in the state. Hayes:
The email announcing the supposedly momentous occasion of another column by the Politico's Glenn Thrush arrived in my mailbox with the following headline and subhead: "Obama: Hey guys, I'm still here -- The president's press conference brimmed with frustration and was filled with tantalizing promise."
On clickthrough, I learned that the online website's massagers-in-chief changed those items (but not the underlying URL, which reflects the email) to the following in the published article: "President Obama: I’m still relevant -- Obama finds himself hemmed in by the familiar constraints of partisanship and world events." Thrush's text identifed another problem supposedly hemming Obama in, complete with a slavery analogy: "the shackles of his own commitments." Poor guy; he has to deal with the world as it is, not how he'd like it to be, and those darned things he promised to do to get elected and reelected. Gosh, life is just so unfair, isn't it? Excerpts following Thrush's theme follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
They must be paying by the word over at Politico. It's difficult to come up with another explanation as to why reporter Jonathan Martin would slog through about 3,100 words on an item entitled "Black pols stymied in Obama era." He could have easily summarized why this is the case in eight words: "Because Barack Obama is all about Barack Obama." Oh, he could have added a few more, namely "and everybody knows Barack Obama is all about Barack Obama."
Since he didn't limit himself, yours truly will note a few things Martin still left out, identify a few interesting points that were made, and then quote certain naive and/or inflammatory statements contained in Martin's mess.
On Friday's All In show on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes not only praised President Obama for being the first sitting President to speak to Planned Parenthood in the group's history, but he also seemed to lament the fact that pro-choice Democrats are not confident enough to actually use the word "abortion" more openly, as he noted that the President avoided the word during his speech.
The MSNBC host asserted that the President "made history" as he plugged the segement before a commercial break: "President Obama made history today doing something that took 97 years for a President to do. That's coming up."
The left's media-echo chamber just got louder. On Thursday morning in a claimed exclusive, the Politico reported that "(Former presidential adviser and campaign official David) Plouffe will appear regularly on Bloomberg Television to offer analysis and commentary on political and business issues as they impact the intersection of Wall Street, Main Street and K Street and will lend his expertise to the discussion of technology, demographic changes and crisis management."
That day at his new place of work, in response to a "kerfuffle" over errors in an academic paper which showed that, throughout history, government debt levels have held back economic growth -- errors which the authors insisted in a New York Times op-ed did not alter the fundamental validity of their conclusions, Plouffe delivered exactly what one would expect of a "former" lead Obama apparatchik:
There are times when I’d really like to see a liberal brain next to a conservative brain to see if there really is a physiological difference.
Consider Salon’s Joan Walsh who on MSNBC’s The Cycle Wednesday actually said the reason former President George Bush’s poll numbers are up is because President Obama is doing such a good job (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Imagine if you will that in last fall's presidential election -- in a crucial swing state no less -- that the widow of an evangelical pastor voted for her late husband via absentee ballot, committing voter fraud and arguably also violating federal mail offenses in the process. While the story of her prosecution would probably not be headline news, it's hard to imagine a complete or near-total media blackout on the story.
And yet that's exactly what happened in the case of Sister Marguerite Kloos, a Cincinnati nun who pleaded guilty on Tuesday in a Hamilton County, Ohio, court of voter fraud. While the charge carried a maximum 18-month prison term, Kloos was instead remanded to a "diversion program" and if she maintains good behavior, her record will be wiped clean, Cincinnati.com's Kimball Perry reported.
As NewsBusters colleague Kyle Drennan reported today, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie asked if President Obama was following the Gosnell case, or NBC’s reporting of it. He dodged the question, but at least NBC acknowledges that a case is actually going on in Philadelphia. The president answered:
Well, I'm familiar with it. I can't comment on it because it's an active trial. What I can say is this. I think President Clinton said it pretty well when he said abortion should be safe, legal and rare. If an individual carrying out an abortion, operating a clinic or doing anything else, is violating medical ethics, violating the law, then they should be prosecuted.
Guthrie failed to ask any follow ups on this, but a sharp reporter might have shot back that “safe, legal, and rare” was language that was actually excised from the Democratic Party platform in Charlotte last year. The platform committee was, of course, stacked with Obama acolytes and included Nancy Kennan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
President Obama’s budget is finally out -- a mere 65 days late -- and it’s loaded with tax increases.
At yesterday’s press briefing, White House flack-in-chief Jay Carney admitted that middle class tax increases were coming. But if a tree falls in the woods, does anyone hear it? Major media outlets like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and sadly even the Wall Street Journal failed to mention this aspect in their coverage of the budget’s unveiling today. Here's the relevant exchange from the April 9 briefing (emphasis mine):
Lapdog journalist Josh Elliott on Tuesday offered no skepticism about a controversial trip Beyonce and Jay-Z took to Cuba. The Good Morning America news reader insisted that there was nothing troubling about the fact that the music power couple, who raised over $4 million dollars for Barack Obama's reelection, received special permission to visit the communist country of Cuba. (American tourists are barred from traveling there.)
Elliott reassured, "Meanwhile, an uproar over Beyonce and Jay-Z's trip to Cuba may be much ado about nothing." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] After noting that the visit drew "criticism," he insisted that no laws were violated and added, "The trip was reportedly approved by the Treasury Department as a cultural visit." Elliott never mentioned the financial help Beyonce and Jay Z provided Obama, nor did he ask why the vacation was approved. In contrast, Hoda Kotb on NBC's Today deemed the trip "controversial." NBC reporter Natalie Morales offered far more skepticism: "New questions and outrage from lawmakers this morning following Beyonce and Jay-Z's trip to Cuba."
There was a lousy jobs report from the Labor Department last Friday that has led some people to fear the already soft economic recovery might be slowing down.
Despite this, ABC's George Stephanopoulos, during a lengthy This Week interview with Barack Obama senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer Sunday, didn't ask one single question about that report or the state of the economy.
Something very rare and equally odd happened on MSNBC Friday.
Not only did an anchor criticize President Barack Obama on the air - horrors! - All In host Chris Hayes also accused the current White House resident of engaging in what he called "crazy vagina politics" (video follows with LexisNexis transcript and commentary):
It could easily be argued that one of Barack Obama’s biggest cheerleaders at CNN since the day he threw his hat into the presidential ring in 2007 has been Soledad O’Brien.
This is why one had to laugh uproariously when she ended her final Starting Point show Friday hypocritically saying, “I think if I’ve learned anything over the past year it's that facts matter and we shouldn't be afraid to have tough and honest conversations" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Barack Obama is considered to be one of the least accessible presidents in decades.
Despite this, Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman told NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno that he can get the President on the phone if he wants to (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Brzezinski made that suggestion on today's Morning Joe, but Joe Scarborough sarcastically said that the reason Romney didn't pick Portman was that he didn't want to win Ohio. View the video after the jump.
"If ever the mainstream media reaches a point where they recognize that if we destroy this nation and destroy the economy, they, too, will be destroyed, I think at that point they will start asking the tough questions and helping to move the population in the right direction."
So predicted Dr. Benjamin Carson on Fox News's Hannity Monday (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Betraying his impatience with the Republican Party's insistence that President Obama cut spending, New York Times political reporter Jonathan Weisman sounded shocked that the GOP wasn't simply surrendering its principles in the wake of Obama's four–point victory last November, in Monday's "Republicans Determined To Press On With Air, If Not Vote, of Confidence." (Nice flattering photo of Paul Ryan, by the way.)
A year ago this month, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin stood on the floor of the House and declared that the ideals of small government, privatized health care and rigorous spending discipline captured in the budget plan about to pass the House would and should be central to the 2012 election campaign.
The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has released its 2013 pity party -- er, annual report -- on the State of the News Media (home page; full overview).
Two things struck me in my initial scan-through: First, the whining about newsroom cutbacks, which are largely related to pervasive bias and misplaced priorities; second, the characterization of newsmakers' improved ability to take their cases directly to the public "without any filter by the traditional media" as some kind of automatically negative trend.
Concerning a Wednesday incident which would surely have received much wider play if it had involved former Vice President Dick Cheney during the George W. Bush administration, Capital News Service reported that one of its reporters was forced by an aide to Vice President Joe Biden to delete photos he had taken at an event in Rockville, Maryland. Based on a Google News search on "Biden Maryland" (not in quotes, sorted by date with duplicates), the Politico's Dylan Byers was the only person in the national establishment press to run an item on the incident -- lending additional credence to the theory that stories the rest of the press won't touch get deliberately buried there with the excuse that "Oh, the Politico dealt with that already, so we don't have to."
Several paragraphs from the Capital News Service report follow the jump (internal link was in original; bolds are mine):
Scott Prouty is the man behind the now infamous “47 percent” video that the media hyped to bring down Mitt Romney’s presidential bid. It’s unbearably stale news at this point, but MSNBC’s Ed Schultz found a fresh hook for resurrecting it recently on his soon-to-be-defunct weeknight program. Prouty insisted that Romney’s invitation to speak at CPAC prompted him to come out of hiding and in the Schultz interview, he insisted he was not really that political a guy when he tended bar at a Romney fundraiser last year, when he surreptitiously recorded the video.
But Schultz, who owns a Canadian fishing lodge, apparently let Prouty on air to tell a fish tale. Today's Washington Post highlighted information in Prouty's background that seems to offer another explanation for why Prouty never came out in the open during the campaign, including evidence from social media postings that he is a committed liberal Democrat.
On Thursday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander promoted the first public comments from Scott Prouty, the bartender who secretly recorded Mitt Romney's 47% comments during the 2012 presidential race: "Even today some political observers insist without that 47% tape, we might actually be talking about President Mitt Romney these days. Instead, the infamous comments marked what was really a campaign game-changer. And now months later, the man behind that tape has finally come forward." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, Alexander highlighted portions of a Prouty's interview with MSNBC host Ed Schultz on Wednesday's The Ed Show and whitewashed the bartender's obvious left-wing ideology made apparent in the exchange: "Speaking publicly for the first time Wednesday, Prouty, who says he's a registered independent...[said] he arrived at the dinner that night with an open mind."
In Monday's New York Times, in a report which appeared online late Sunday, reporters Richard W. Stevenson and John Harwood devoted considerable space to the idea that President Obama's latest "outreach" effort is primarily an attempt to "salvage a big deficit-reduction deal," and not a political ploy to show voters in the 2014 congressional elections that he's really interested in achieving a compromise when no genuine desire exists.
Steven Hayes at the Weekly Standard believes it's the latter ("For Obama, It's All About 2014"), as should anyone, probably including the reporters just cited, who is on the mailing list of Obama's permanent campaign known as Organizing For Action. On Thursday, three days before the Times reporters tried to convince America that Obama is in deal-making mode, OFA, which self-evidently tailors its message to the White House's true desire went into over-the-top scaremongering mode in an email from proven prevaricator Stephanie Cutter (bolds are mine):
It will be interesting to see how much national play this story gets. My guess is: "little."
Following up on a matter on which I initially posted last month, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported yesterday that the prosecutor for Hamilton County, Ohio, where the county seat is Cincinnati, is bringing charges related to improper voting against three people – including a longtime poll worker and a nun. In connection with the poll worker, reporter Sharon Coolidge notes something that should earn today's prize for inadvertent deadpan humor (in bold):
While you were watching Rand Paul's historic filibuster and the debate surrounding budget sequestration, an economic theory battle was waging between two of the nation's foremost liberal economists Paul Krugman and Jeffrey Sachs.
In his most recent salvo published at the Huffington Post Saturday, Sachs spoke heresy to Obama-lovers across the fruited plain including Krugman claiming that following the 2008 financial crisis, "It was the Fed, not the fiscal stimulus, which prevented a fall into depression."