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:
Sometimes, an image says it all. Check out the screengrab after the jump of Jeffrey Sachs. The lefty professor is unabashedly angry at Joe Scarborough.
Why? Because the Morning Joe host called him out on his egregious double-standard. Sachs had labeled Republican Super PAC funder Sheldon Adelson "completely unlikable" and said he shouldn't be involved in American politics. But when Scarborough asked whose approach he prefers: Adelson's--who gives openly in his own name--or George Soros's--who funnels his money through myriad corporations to hide his influence--Sachs suddenly claimed he wasn't attacking one side or the other. Righhht. Video after the jump.
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory recited Obama campaign talking points perfectly as he predicted: "...Well, he's going to raise plenty of money.... even if people are disappointed with the President, they're going to focus on the alternative. They're going to say, 'Do you really want to hand it over to Republicans?' I think Democrats will be plenty energized..."
That response was prompted by co-host Jenna Wolfe helpfully touting Obama's fundraising numbers, emphasizing small-dollar donors: "...they raised over $29 million in January for their re-election. Ninety-eight percent of those donations were $250 or less. What does that say about Obama supporters?" The headline on screen added: "Obama's Fundraising Driven By Small Donors."
On Thursday's NBC Today, chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman scolded Rick Santorum for a recent humorous campaign ad that depicted Mitt Romney firing a mud-filled paint ball gun at a cardboard cut-out of the former Pennsylvania Senator: "I'm sick of guns. I'm sick of the violence. I'm sick of all of it. And I know it's tongue-in-cheek....I don't like it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Snyderman made the declaration during the Today's Professionals panel discussion on the show, which prompted attorney Star Jones to chime in that the ad made all the GOP candidates look like the Three Stooges: "...it does go to the whole Larry, Curly and Moe mentality of the Republican primary over the last few months. It's been almost like joking."
CBS This Morning on Tuesday led its broadcast with the Obama re-election campaign's decision on Monday night to reverse its opposition to super PAC fundraising. Charlie Rose teased the report by noting how "the White House...flip-flops on controversial super PAC donations." ABC's Jake Tapper used the same term on Good Morning America. NBC's Today show completely ignored this breaking development.
During his report on the CBS morning show, correspondent Bill Plante highlighted President Obama's "denunciation of that Supreme Court decision which allowed unlimited fundraising" and played a clip from his 2010 State of the Union address where he ripped the Citizens United decision in the presence of several of the justices who handed it down [audio available here; video below the jump].
While Democrats mock Mitt Romney for his alleged lack of interest in the “very poor” and focus their political pitch on income inequality, one can’t help noticing the Obamas running around to $35,000-a-head fundraisers with the very rich and very famous in New York City and Hollywood.
Michelle Obama kicked off February with an exclusive fundraiser in Beverly Hills at the home of Netflix executive Ted Sarandos and his wife Nicole Avant, who raised Hollywood millions for the Obamas in 2008, and then became their ambassador to the Bahamas. Now Nicole Avant’s back managing Obama’s Hollywood money march. Many of Tinseltown’s titans ponied up: Jeffrey Katzenberg, Harvey Weinstein, Haim Saban, and Steve Bing, among others. (Katzenberg’s also given $2 million to the Obama-affiliated super PAC called Priorities USA Action.)
Late-night comedians historically have relished the opportunity to poke fun at politicians. Sometimes they savage them. In the Obama era, they haven’t been so enthusiastic about any of it. A recent study of political jokes on three late-night shows (Letterman, Leno, and Jimmy Fallon) by the Center for Media and Public Affairs found that Barack Obama’s joke count is “substantially lower than any other president.”
Some of the Obama jokes are actually bipartisan slams. Jimmy Fallon joked that “Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton are more mature than President Obama and John Boehner.” This is the classic comedian’s pose, and the safe one, that all the politicians are ridiculous, squabbling poseurs. Still, it’s every bit as much pandering to the public as the politicians are.
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the Obama-loving media are in a full-court press depicting Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his former company Bain Capital as ruthless, Wall Street raiders willing to step on anybody for money.
But will they inform the public that according to The Hill, Bain employees actually give more money to Democrats than to Republicans:
While Brian Williams warned of "those lethal weapons known as super-PACs" in the GOP primary race on NBC's Rock Center, he and correspondent Ted Koppel failed to recognize their own network's routine advocacy on behalf of liberal causes and in favor of Democratic candidates. Not to mention the barrage of negative coverage directed toward conservatives and Republicans.
The report itself on the Monday night broadcast was pushing the traditional liberal cause of greater government regulation of campaign finance. Koppel interviewed comedian Stephen Colbert, whose farcical super-PAC in South Carolina has begun running ads calling Mitt Romney a "serial killer." Koppel praised it as "proving how ridiculous this system has become."
Today's starter topic: Liberals fancy themselves to be the best proponents of free speech and tolerance. But when actual political speech is at issue rather than theoretical speech, their boasts are often revealed to be mere posturing. That's why we thought it'd be nice to start off today's OT by giving some well-deserved praise to Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen for mounting a solid defense for political speech against the self-interested censors of the liberal press:
Republican Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel is challenging incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown this November. Despite the false bravado emanating from the DNC and Ohio's Democratic Party and polls solely based on name recognition, Brown, as the Senate's most liberal member (2009 and 2010 Club for Growth ratings: 0%) in a swing state, is very vulnerable.
Associated Press Ohio reporter Julie Carr Smyth has apparently preliminarily staked out a role as the race's designated Democratic Party talking point and innuendo relay person. Her Saturday report on Mandel ("Ohio Treasurer Seeks To Unseat Brown"; alternate title showing her byline is "Ohio treasurer focused on politics in 1st year") is so transparent it's almost funny.
On Friday, two Deputy Secretaries, one at the Department of Transportation and the other at Defense, in their capacities as co-chairs of the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Executive Committee, released a one page letter concluding that the modified broadband deployment plan of LightSquared could not coexist with current GPS devices and their spectrum. That's because: a) LightSquared's deployment "would cause harmful interference to many GPS receivers"; b) It would not be "compatible with several GPS-dependent aircraft safety-of-flight systems," and c) "there appear to be no practical solutions" to the problems.
Stories about the release, to the extent they exist, are largely avoiding the mention of "Falcone" (that's hedge fund operator and heavy Obama campaign contributor Philip Falcone, "SEC" (which is investigating Falcone and his hedge fund, and "Obama" (as in President Barack Obama, the beneficiary along with the "Democratic Party" -- another unmentioned term in any variation -- of said contributions). Coverage by Daniel Fisher at Forbes at least brings up Falcone, the SEC, and the Obama administration:
MSNBC's Martin Bashir on Thursday perfectly demonstrated the liberal media's hypocrisy concerning campaign finances.
After beginning his program gushing and fawning over all the money Barack Obama raised in the fourth quarter, Bashir proceeded to carp and whine about the funds GOP PACs are spending, even calling for campaign finance reform to curb it (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On December 31, 2003, looking ahead to the upcoming 2004 election year, an Associated Press reporter -- I think it would have been Jennifer Loven at the time -- wrote about how George W. Bush was going to spend as much of the next 10-plus months as possible figuring that "he no longer needs Congress to promote his agenda." Therfore, he would use "aggressive campaign fundraising and use executive action to try to boost the economy." Thus, his "re-election year will focus almost exclusively on executive action" at the rate of "at least two or three directives per week." Sadly, this meant that Bush's "election year retreat from legislative fights means" that his "term will end without significant progress on two of his ... campaign promises."
Oops, I'm sorry. That AP report never happened. The high-handed, non-governing, non-legislating, campaign-driven agenda is what Barack Obama, his White House apparatchiks, and his reelection campaign have said they will do in 2012 -- and Julie Pace at the Associated Press seems to heartily approve (bolds repeating what was quoted in the first paragraph above are mine):
On Tuesday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted an email I received from Obama For America -- I forgot to mention the subject line, which was "In honor of the GOP" -- that encouraged readers to give $3 or more to Barack Obama's reelection campaign and become entered to win dinner with the president and his wife. The email also promised donors that OFA would taunt (my word) a Republican acquaintance on their behalf with the fact that they just gave if they provided an email address to which to send the taunt. As will be shown later, establishment press coverage of this uniquely odious twist in campaign financing and conduct has been virtually non-existent.
In his commentary on the Obama campaign's childishness, the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto revealed that he had been forwarded a related OFA email targeting Facebook and Twitter users with another intensely annoying nuance. It reads as follows (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Late Friday afternoon, Todd Shields at Bloomberg News broke a story about some guy, who happens to be an Obama and Democratic Party donor (but not disclosed), against whom the Securities and Exchange Commission is formally considering an enforcement action (also not disclosed, though it was noted at the New York Times's Dealbook Blog five hours before Shields's report), whose "wireless service caused interference to 75 percent of global-positioning system receivers examined in a U.S. government test." Though it generated a fair amount of center-right blog discussion over the weekend, the establishment press largely ignored the stunning result.
Earlier this evening, Shields and Alan Levin reported even more troubling info (as carried at the San Francisco Chronicle; bolds are mine throughout this post):
This one definitely does not go into the "how to persuade people that your cause is right" file.
Obama For America's latest attempt to beg people to contribute $3 to enter a drawing for a dinner with POTUS and FLOTUS has a pathetic, insufferable, punkish and privacy-invading twist, wherein you get the opportunity to tell a Republican acquaintance that you just gave money to the Obama campaign.
In Hawaii today, according to an Associated Press dispatch filed by Ben Feller, President Barack Obama is reported to have told supporters that, in Feller's words, "everything they worked for and that the country stands for is on the line in his 2012 re-election bid."
Well, if what those donors have "worked" for is an inside track to government money, and if what the country stands for is crony capitalism, the President is right. The following excerpt from Peter Schweizer's new book, "Throw The All Out," provides the details in just one commercial arena (via The Daily Beast; HTs to Doug Ross, Conservatives4Palin, Victory Chronicles, and Heritage; bolds are mine; extra paragraph breaks added by me):