This one of the most obvious "if the shoe were on the other foot" items I've seen in some time.
If a Republican or conservative presidential candidate's campaign ever dared to suggest that supporters register their wedding, graduation, or other event so they could then ask friends and family to make donations to the candidate's election efforts in lieu of a gift, the ridicule wouldn't stop for the next year -- and, I should add, deservedly so. But the Obama Event Registry (Obama-Biden blog post here; HT Weasel Zippers), which has been out there for about 48 hours, has barely made an establishment press ripple. What follows is a graphic from the blog post, followed by its first four outraged comments, showing that the idea is not getting a warm, uh, reception.
CBS This Morning on Friday spun Mitt Romney's upcoming meeting in Utah with prominent Republicans and top fundraisers as a "secret summit." Just a week earlier, the morning newscast didn't even devote a full report to President Obama's fundraising jaunt to New York City, merely playing three soundbites on the Democrat's $40,000 per plate dinner at the home of liberal actress Sarah Jessica Parker.
Political director John Dickerson also bizarrely labeled the upcoming GOP event as "kind of a mix between a shareholders' meeting and a renewal of vows."
Freedom of speech is one of the core values of the American constitutional system. It continues to be so despite the far left's recent campaign to silence those who dared to question. Such censorship efforts have taken many forms, including selective law enforcement against advocates of the free market or traditional values, intimidation of private individuals who've donated money to politically incorrect causes, and outright attempts to use government force to compel groups of people to be silent before elections.
In a speech given last week at the American Enterprise Institute, Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell provided a summary of the recent history of the struggle to keep political speech free despite the efforts of leftists in the media and in government. He also explored why the left has become so interested in censorship of late. Please read below for the full text of McConnell's remarks:
Does Middle America really want their country run by celebrities, a kitchen cabinet of divas and Clooneys and Snookis? That’s what was implied in an AP story by Ben Feller titled "Obama to Celebrities: 'You're the Ultimate Arbiter of Which Direction This Country Goes.'"
"President Barack Obama soaked in the support — and the campaign cash — of Manhattan's elite entertainers Thursday as his re-election team sought to fill its fundraising coffers," Feller wrote. "Speaking in a dimly lighted, art-filled room, Obama told supporters they would play a critical role in an election that would determine a vision for the nation's future.’
At the top of his Tuesday MSNBC morning show The Daily Rundown, NBC chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd cited the Romney campaign's refusal to release a list of top fundraising bundlers as evidence that "if he wins in November, Romney could very well be the least transparent president in a generation." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd continued to rant: "Less transparent than the two previous Republican presidential nominees, George W. Bush and John McCain, who did release their bundlers. But the Romney camp – campaign believes there is no penalty with voters and they don't care if the media criticizes them, because the conservative media outlets won't criticize them for this."
To commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the infamous 1972 break-in at the Watergate, Andrea Mitchell on Monday hosted John Dean, President Nixon’s former legal counsel. The MSNBC anchor and the conservative critic actually connected the scandal to the 2010 Citizen United Supreme Court case.
During the interview, Dean complained that the “financial reform that came with Watergate is gone because of Supreme Court decisions.” Mitchell promptly agreed, calling it the“the nail in the coffin” for these supposed post-Watergate reforms. Mitchell continued her off-topic rant about the Citizens United ruling, complaining that if it "ends up being the law of the land for all future campaigns” it will be detrimental to the political system since, “there's no transparency as to where the money is coming from." [Video follows page break; MP3 audio here.]
The same Rachel Maddow, not incidentally, who considers what she perceives as lies from Mitt Romney to be so utterly disgraceful.
But no problemo when the deceit flows from her. After all, Maddow works amid that rarefied cadre of humanity known as MSNBC where rules of conduct governing less evolved beings don't apply. (video clip after page break)
Remarking that Wisconsin voters had "decided to leave their governor in office" on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams contemptuously declared that "money flowed into that state from all over the country, from people who had never been to Wisconsin, had no connection to Wisconsin. Part of the new and unlimited spending that is changing politics in a hurry." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After Williams credited the out-of-state money for "a huge victory for the Republicans," chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd breathlessly proclaimed: "Walker and national Republicans responded aggressively [to the recall], launching an unprecedented fundraising and TV ad campaign, outspending Barrett and his labor allies by a 3 to 1 margin on the air alone. Overall, nearly as much money was spent in this one state for one election than Mitt Romney has spent to secure the Republican presidential nomination."
Searching for an excuse to explain what went wrong for Democrats in Wisconsin, the broadcast networks blamed "a record-shattering $64 million poured into" the recall election by "conservative out-of-state groups" supporting Republican Governor Scott Walker.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Bill Plante promoted Obama campaign talking points on the major Democratic loss: "...what it called the 'massive spending gap'. Governor Walker's supporters raised $31 million to $4 million for the challenger, Tom Barrett....with most of that money coming from out of state – a huge chunk of it from the super-PACs." On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Dean Reynolds proclaimed: "Their efforts resulted in an avalanche of ads attacking Walker's Democratic opponent..."
On May 27, going to the same theme Scott Bauer employed at the Associated Press yesterday, USA Today's Ben Jones did his level best to cast Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as the richly funded perpetual campaigner, while portraying Walker's recall challenger, former Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, as the underfunded man of the people underdog. Of course, as was the with Bauer's bombast, there's not a word about union-driven funding, which Walker estimated in an April Newsmax interview at about $60 million. This seems like preemptive excuse-making for a Walker victory on Tuesday. Preelection polls show Walker ahead by anywhere from 2 to 10 points.
Without a whit of skepticism, Jones relayed the following dissembling quote from a Barrett spokesperson which follows the jump:
Though he hasn't been alone in his applying the campaign fundraisng double standard in Wisconsin's recall election, Scott Bauer at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, has a particularly odious item today about the dollars raised by each side. It's particularly odious because the word "unions" appears only once -- as the target of Walker, who has, as Bauer sees it, "rocketed to stardom after taking on public sector unions." There is no mention of the millions of union dollars which have poured into Wisconsin from all over the country, which, thankfully, someone else has quantified.
Bauer also continues to bitterly cling to the notion, concerning which yours truly has been nagging him since February of last year, that "most Wisconsin public workers lost their collective bargaining rights" as a result of Walker-supported legislation which passed in the Legislature last year -- as if they no longer have any collective bargaining rights at all. This has been and continues to be a flat-out falsehood. The first five paragraphs of Bauer's bombast follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The New York Times on Thursday published a front page piece about a Mitt Romney supporting Super PAC that allegedly considered bringing a lot of attention to Barack Obama's America-hating Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
Conservatives George Will and Laura Ingraham both slammed the Times for this shoddy report on ABC's This Week Sunday with the former saying the truth "didn't fit their narrative" and the latter claiming it "was a shot across the bow that if you are a wealthy person in the United States, you happen to be conservative, you're going to get involved in this election, then we are going to watch everything that you do" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham gave a much-needed education to ABC's George Stephanopoulos Sunday about the tremendous double standard involving campaign contributions.
After Ingraham pointed out that Barack Obama is never held responsible for things MoveOn.org does, ABC's This Week host foolishly said, "The president's been held accountable for Bill Maher" leading the conservative talker to smartly respond, "Did he give that money back to Bill Maher?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams decried a pitch to use President Obama's former radical left-wing pastor Jeremiah Wright in a campaign ad: "...there was an explosive headline this morning. The New York Times reporting that a Republican super-PAC was considering an expensive anti-Obama ad campaign that would have put the issue of race front and center in the campaign..."
Williams conveniently skipped over Wright's vicious anti-American rhetoric in several sermons, preferring to cast the story in racial terms. The only sound bite featured of Wright in the segment was brief and again described in racial terms, as correspondent Peter Alexander explained: "...the plan for a short film to publicize Wright's racially incendiary sermons, including this remark following 9/11." The sound bite that followed showed Wright ranting: "America's chickens are coming home to roost."
Leading off Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams enthusiastically touted the President's fundraising efforts: "President Obama cashing in the day after his gay marriage announcement." Moments later, Williams proclaimed: "Tonight, it is clear President Obama is hoping, at least, to capitalize on the history he made yesterday, becoming the first American president to come out in favor of same-sex marriage."
Williams fully embraced the cynicism of Obama's sudden flip-flop on the issue, noting how the President would be "appearing before a sympathetic audience tonight" of big-money campaign donors who "might not have been so sympathetic to the President before the gay marriage announcement."
Richard Nixon was roundly declaimed by the liberal press for creating an "enemies list" of private citizens, focusing some of the power of the American executive to bear on individuals. While Nixon's enemy list was private, Barack Obama's list is public. Besides being singled out by the president and his team, Obama's "enemies," mere large-dollar donors to Republicans, are being harassed by liberal activists, pundits, and Democratic Party operatives.
The Wall Street Journal's Kimberley Strassel takes a good look at just one individual, Frank VanderSloot, who has been singled out by the liberal smear machine for daring to support Mitt Romney:
For months, the Obama-loving media have been carping and whining about all the money going to conservative Super PACs in the wake of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling back in 2010.
Yet as you can see from the following segment on MSNBC's Martin Bashir show Thursday, the press are giddy over the prospect the president will raise up to $15 million at actor George Clooney's campaign event later this evening (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Liberal journalists Frank Rich and Piers Morgan have teamed up to bash conservatives before, and they raised new fears on Thursday that conservative "rich white men" could buy the election through super PACs. Rich admitted on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight he was "seriously worried Mitt Romney could buy this election," even though to date President Obama has raised more campaign money than Romney.
However, the media also have extraordinary power to influence this election on a daily basis. Liberal media bias may be a non-issue for liberals like Rich and Morgan, but the daily slant on campaign coverage from the three major networks and cable news could have a big hand in tipping the balance toward the Democrats this fall. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Using the Trayvon Martin tragedy as their hook, liberal lobby groups have set their sights on the conservative-leaning American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and its corporate donors, blaming the Sanford, Fla., shooting on the Sunshine State's Stand Your Ground law. ALEC supports conservative legislative efforts at the state level such as Stand Your Ground, as well as pro-business legislative priorities of interest to many food and drink companies.
But in reporting on recent victories by liberal groups in pushing companies like PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, and McDonalds to drop their support of ALEC, the Washington Post's Tom Hamburger failed to clue readers into the liberal allegiances of "advocacy groups" attacking ALEC and its corporate donors.
Adding to past reports defending disgraced former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards against charges of violating campaign finance laws, on Thursday's NBC Today, correspondent Lisa Myers proclaimed: "Now, for all the dislike of Edwards, the public does seem to have serious doubts about the merits of this case. Most surveyed say they believe this prosecution is a waste of taxpayer money."
Presumably, Myers was referring to a Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina that she had cited earlier in the report about jury selection beginning in the trial of Edwards: "A new survey by Public Policy Polling shows most North Carolinians have an unfavorable opinion of Edwards and most already think he's guilty of the charges." Then why would they think prosecution of the case would be a "waste of taxpayer money"?
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward mounted his high horse in condemning the role of Super-PACs in the 2012 race: "...under the Supreme Court decision all of the new 21st century robber barons, let's call them what they are, can put tens of millions of dollars into the campaign. It's negative, it's poison, it's venom..."
Woodward then laughably told viewers who would protect them from the villains: "...we – NBC, The New York Times, Washington Post, the people in the media...we're going to be tested to say can we present a clear-eyed view of who the candidates are and not just have this negative atmosphere." The only problem with that call to action is that the media have acted like the largest Democratic Super-PAC money can buy.
On Saturday, ABC's Devin Dwyer reported how President Obama gave "a rousing speech to 600 donors in Chicago and closed it with an intimate appeal before 40 'friends' that included...Oprah Winfrey....Oprah was flanked at her table by...longtime friend and companion Gayle King [and] Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett." However, Dwyer failed to mention that King is co-anchor of CBS This Morning.
Though it isn't currently known whether the CBS on-air personality donated to the Obama reelection campaign at this event, she donated $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund during the third quarter of 2011 - before she started working at CBS - and $30,800 to the Democratic National Committee during the same time period.
The Portland, Maine, Press Herald and the American Bridge 21st Century SuperPAC are accusing Maine Governor Paul LePage of Operating a vehicle Under the Influence (OUI) even though the GOP official never drives since a state trooper always transports him in a state vehicle.
According to the Maine Wire website, liberal hedge-fund billionaire S. Donald Sussman recently spent $4 million to purchase an ownership share in the daily newspaper, while the Political Action Committee was founded by Media Matters President David Brock.
From David Axelrod's Magic Land of the Double Standard: "Cleanup attempt at CNN. Bring the hazmat suits."
Tonight on CNN, as reported by several outlets (Mediaite, Politico, LA Times, but not the Associated Press, which as of 11:45 p.m. on Thursday hadn't done a national story about Maher in 10 days), David Axelrod told Erin Burnett, in the process of dodging a question about whether an Obama Super-PAC would give back Bill Maher's $1 million contribution, said that Maher's outrageous, misogynist comments against mostly conservative women really aren't as important as Rush Limbaugh's one-time, apologized-for hits at Sandra Fluke:
While virtually all of the Obama-loving, Super PAC-bashing media have given the President a pass for his campaign finance hypocrisy, PBS's Tavis Smiley stepped off the bandwagon Sunday to speak the inconvenient truth.
During his Tavis and West radio show, Smiley said Obama's "one of the worst hypocrites in the country is he now on campaign finance reform" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Syndicated columnist Mark Shields on Friday excoriated Supreme Court justices Samuel Alito and John Roberts for "taking our system and absolutely screwing it up completely."
Appearing on PBS's Inside Washington, Shields was complaining about how "these campaigns have been taken over totally by Super PACs" as a result of the Citizens United decision (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted the press's ridiculously forgiving coverage of today's reported increase in unemployment claims while concentrating primarily on RTT News's assertion that the unemployment rate should continue to come down as long as weekly claims stay below 400,000. Three years ago, Christopher Rugaber's threshold at the Associated Press, also known to yours truly as the Administration's Press, was 325,000. He has since raised it (including in today's report) to 375,000.
This afternoon, Rush Limbaugh expanded on wire service's knee-jerk defense of mediocre-to-bad economic news, taking particular umbrage at the thoroughly misleading headline at Rugaber's report, as well as his first paragraph, which I will relay first before posting part of Rush's reaction:
Luo in particular wrote several articles in 2010 suggesting the IRS and the Federal Election Commission might find it worthwhile to investigate GOP-affiliated groups making campaign ads, with Karl Rove a particular target. The Times’s concern over questionable campaign funding has certainly risen since 2008, when Obama scandals were greeted with nothing-to-see-here headline like this, from October 7, 2008: "G.O.P. Query Involves 1% of Giving to Obama." Sunday's piece is not as explicit (Obama is indulging in Super PAC's as well, as the reporters briefly note) but the implication remains: