When Congressman Paul Ryan was named Mitt Romney’s running mate, one of the dominant liberal-media spin lines is that his budget proposal would “slash Medicare.” Everyone knows that Medicare spending is never “slashed,” but there are proposals to slow it from its skyrocketing trend line.
ABC reporter Martha Raddatz, who will moderate Ryan’s debate with Vice President Biden, used exactly this kind of misleading terminology against President Bush on February 4, 2008: "The President’s budget slashes billions of dollars in the growth of federal health care programs. Medicare and Medicaid would be cut by almost $200 billion."
While the ABC and CBS morning shows on Thursday focused on a tightening presidential race following Mitt Romney's winning performance in the first debate, on NBC's Today, political director Chuck Todd used the network's new swing state polling to argue that the debate was "not as helpful to Romney as he might have hoped." Prompting co-host Savannah Guthrie conclude: "Alright, so the debate had maybe not as much of an impact."
In contrast, opening CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose announced: "New polls show the race between President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney is getting tighter." Similarly opening ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos proclaimed: "High stakes and high pressure as new polls show Mitt Romney closing the gap in some key states."
ABC’s Diane Sawyer spent a solid four minutes of her interview with President Barack Obama, as excerpted at the top of Wednesday’s World News, channeling liberal angst over Obama’s debate performance – and that’s before she allocated more than a minute to cuing up Obama to denounce a Mitt Romney comment on abortion. She prompted Obama with a harsh assessment of Romney: “Is it a lie?”
“Libya” was not even uttered in the Sawyer-Obama segment. Viewers had to wait until the next story, by Jake Tapper, on the House hearing which laid out the administration’s dissembling on what happened in Libya when Ambassador Chris Stevens was murdered. Then viewers got 20 seconds -- more than half of that consumed by Obama’s defense and assurance he’ll “fix” anything that wasn’t done properly.
On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer cited left-wing Daily Beast columnist Andrew Sullivan ripping apart President Obama's bad debate performance: "I've never seen a candidate this late in the game so far ahead just throw in the towel in the way Obama did last week. How do you erase that imprinted first image from public consciousness, a president incapable of making a single argument or even a halfway decent closing argument?"
Lauer employed the quote in an interview with Obama campaign advisor Robert Gibbs and worried: "So with the second debate just a week away, Robert, does President Obama understand what he did wrong? Does he agree that he took the wrong approach?" Gibbs acknowledged: "...the President understands that he didn't even live up to his own high expectations for that debate."
The liberal media/politician/bureaucrat revolving door spins so rapidly, sometimes it's hard to keep pace. Today we learn via the Daily Caller that the moderator for tomorrow's vice presidential debate, ABC News reporter Martha Raddatz, hosted President Obama as a guest at her 1991 wedding to the man who would later become Obama's FCC commissioner, Julius Genachowski.
That's shocking enough in its own right but things are further compounded by the fact that ABC News, home of veteran Democratic adviser George Stephanopoulos, has long known about this conflict of interest and did nothing about it. Even worse, the network has actively tried to prevent the public from learning of it.
Every election cycle, the American people are inundated with polls. Polls with blacks, white, Hispanics, women, Jews, Catholics, young people, and the Asians are disseminated ad nauseam – despite most of them being flawed or so skewed concerning the sample spread that it’s not worth commenting on in any analysis. When Romney hit a slump towards the end of September, which led to his dip in the polls, the left thought it was over. No one was more convinced of this than Pew Research president Andrew Kohut, a public-broadcasting regular, who had to change his tune on the October 8 broadcast of the PBS Newshour.
Howard Fineman, the former Newsweek reporter turned editorial director for The Huffington Post, is excited for the upcoming Vice Presidential debate this Thursday. You could tell from his column published today, which glorifies Joe as the archetypal debater. It's titled "Obama Needs the Merciless Joe."
To start things off, Fineman threw in a thinly veiled racial remark concerning Biden’s thirst for a political fight saying “what Biden lacks in academic chops he more than makes up for in street smarts; genetic political talent (his Secret Service code name is "Celtic," enough said); an eye for and an ability to earn the loyalty of brilliant, dedicated staffers; an instinct for the jugular; and a thirst for political combat.”
During the Week in Buzz segment on Sunday's NBC Today, Ericka Souter, editor of the celebrity gossip blog The Stir, trashed Mitt Romney for announcing plans to cut federal funding of PBS, including Sesame Street, ranting: "Everything else Romney said was completely overshadowed by the fact that Big Bird felt attacked or people felt Big Bird was attacked, and he's like an icon to millions of moms and kids." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
As Souter denounced Romney for supposedly attacking Big Bird, the headline on screen read: "Romney Goes 'Bird' Hunting." A picture appeared that showed a protestor dressed in a Big Bird costume holding a sign that read: "Unemployed in a Romney economy."
It is one thing to trash Jim Lehrer’s moderating behind his back. It’s even worse when you then bring him on your show to praise his performance after you trash him. No one does this better than Morning Joe’s Scarborough who did a complete 180 on his analysis of Lehrer’s moderating skills.
On the morning after the first presidential debate, Scarborough claimed that “Jim Lehrer got rolled over” as moderator on October 3rd. Fast forward to Monday’s Morning Joe when Lehrer appeared in person and Scarborough had suddenly wiped his hands clean of any such criticism. [See video below break. MP3 audio here.]
On Monday's front page, New York Times reporters Peter Baker and Trip Gabriel used the upcoming vice presidential debate to criticize Obama's performance in his debate with Mitt Romney last week: "Biden Up Next, Obama's Aides Plot Comeback."
The Times didn't flinch from calling out Obama's "disaster" of a debate performance, but did find some excuses for the president, including distractions like the terrorist massacre in Libya (though that didn't stop Obama from attending a fundraiser in Las Vegas the next day). The Times also dropped in this revelation: "Mr. Obama made clear to advisers that he was not happy about debating Mr. Romney, whom he views with disdain."
Given the shellacking Barack Obama took at last week's presidential debate with Mitt Romney, one would have thought NBC's Saturday Night Live would have had no difficulty finding material to spoof the event.
Not so according to New York magazine which published a piece Monday entitled "Unlike the Rest of the World, SNL Had a Hard Time Joking About the Debate":
Sam Donaldson had some harsh words this weekend for President Obama's performance at Wednesday's debate.
Appearing on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show, the former ABC White House correspondent said, "If he comes to the next two debates with the same demeanor, with the same passive resistance, he’s losing" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters previously reported, MSNBC's Chris Matthews had an on-air meltdown Wednesday after the presidential debate.
NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno mocked this incident Thursday showing a video clip of Matthews giving his rant in a straight jacket as he's being taken away by men in white coats (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Jay Leno went after the President again Thursday night.
Early in his opening monologue, the NBC Tonight Show host said of the stellar television ratings for Wednesday night's debate, "The only person who didn't tune in, I think, was President Obama" (video follows with transcript).
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Nancy Cordes trumpeted that the Obama campaign is "turning lemons into lemonade" as she reported that the Democratic operation is "arguing that Romney had a great performance at the debate, but only because he was untethered from the truth." Not once did the correspondent or colleagues Norah O'Donnell and Bill Plante critically examine the claims from the incumbent or his operatives.
O'Donnell even spotlighted how "we heard David Axelrod say that they're going to change some things. They're even suggesting that Mitt Romney is a liar for what he said in the debate."
The sole political guest on Friday's CBS This Morning was Howard Dean, the ultraliberal failed presidential contender who was once the governor of Vermont. Co-host Norah O'Donnell asked him to comment on the vice president's statement on Thursday insisting the Democrats absolutely want to raise a trillion dollars in taxes on the rich.
Biden had "some comments that people are calling a gaffe, where he said Obama and Biden want to raise taxes by a trillion dollars," she said. "Well guess what, yes we do. Is that the right kind of message?" O'Donnell ignored that the actual 'gaffe' was that Biden strangely insisted it wasn't a "tax raise."
In response, Dean blamed the majority of the media for its incessant criticism and constant "hand wringing" when the president fails to live up to expectations or when the vice president says something inane. It appears that someone is still a little bitter about his own public mishaps. [ MP3 video below the page break, audio available here ]
In a display of just how badly President Obama performed in Wednesday's presidential debate, Friday's NBC Today played a clip of Daily Show host Jon Stewart ripping into Obama: "There is no red America. There is no blue America. There is only the America that can't believe how bad this guy did in the debate. Romney won with the sound up....Romney won with the sound off." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Stewart mockingly implored the President: "...think of your supporters. Look what your performance did last night to one of them." A sound bite followed of the meltdown of MSNBC's Chris Matthews: "What was he doing tonight? He went in there disarmed? Where was Obama tonight?!" Stewart declared: "Mr. President, you broke Chris Matthews!" The Today show hosts all laughed as weatherman Al Roker quipped: "And he's still broken."
Appearing on Friday's NBC Today, left-wing MSNBC host Ed Schultz desperately tried to explain away President Obama's bad debate performance: "I think that there were so many lies coming across that stage, and so many inaccuracies, it was hard for the President to comprehend it and decide which one he wanted to attack first." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Savannah Guthrie called him out on the liberal talking point: "That sounds a little bit like you're making excuses for the President." Schultz doubled down on his lame attempt to defend the President: "[Romney] was the guy in the board room, he was the corporate shark, he knew how to get this audience done and he was going to run over everybody. And I think that might play to his disadvantage in the long run."
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, just hours after Mitt Romney's "crisp" debate performance, Norah O'Donnell stuck to her fixation on playing up the Republican's supposed negatives. O'Donnell maligned how Romney phrased his opposition to the federal government's subsidization of PBS: "This may have been the first time in a presidential debate that Big Bird was mentioned. It seems kind of like a silly thing to bring up."
Gayle King, an admitted friend of Michelle Obama and donor to the President's reelection campaign, also spotlighted a Tweet that referenced a decades-old anecdote about Romney placing his dog, Seamus, in a carrier on top of his car: "This wasn't a debate so much as Mitt Romney just took Obama for a cross-country drive strapped to the roof of his car."
On Thursday's NBC Today, in an attempt to deflect from Mitt Romney's strong debate performance, fill-in co-host David Gregory grilled Romney advisor Ed Gillespie on the Governor's tax plan: "...he wants to extend the Bush tax cuts, he wants to have further tax cuts beyond that, he wants to increase military spending and he rejected a 10 to 1 ratio when it came to cutting spending and raising revenue. So the math simply doesn't add up, does it?"
There have been six studies now that have analyzed what Governor Romney has proposed in terms of lowering tax rates and expanding the base. We've done that in the past in our country's history, it's resulted in economic growth. It would result in economic growth again. And six of those studies says – say that this could be done, very credible studies, without increasing the deficit.
Something odd happened to the liberal media after the first presidential debate on Wednesday. They couldn't for the life of them put any postive spin on the president's lackluster performance. There was nothing they could say that could take away from Mitt Romney's clear victory, but then came the excuses. Some blamed Jim Lehrer for his inability to moderate properly, others cited what must've been an incumbent debate curse, there was even some mention of Obama's reluctance to come across as an angry black man.
But the dopiest analysis by far was from former Vice President Al Gore, on his Current TV network -- think an even farther left version of MSNBC with fewer viewers -- who blamed altitude sickness on Obama's poor performance: [ video below after page break ]
President Obama left his "greatest hits on the cutting room floor" for Wednesday night's debate, claimed CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell after the debate. According to her, "contraceptive rights" and "free mammograms" in ObamaCare are some of the President's "greatest hits."
"There was no mention of Bain," she said on Wednesday night's Charlie Rose. "There was no mention of the auto industry saved. There was no mention of the wars ended, and in the discussion about ObamaCare, he didn't mention that that would turn back many provisions that protect women's health, free mammograms, contraceptive rights." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Watching Mitt Romney last night as he revived his campaign while demolishing President Obama was surely a bitter pill for Jon Meacham to swallow.
On Morning Joe today, the former Newsweek editor sought to console himself. Meacham—twice—pointed out that although Mark Twain famously wrote that rumors of his death were greatly exaggerated, Twain did eventually die. Nice analogy, Jon! View the video after the jump.
The first Obama-Romney presidential debate of 2012 ran under this less-than-informative banner headline in Thursday's New York Times: "Obama and Romney, in First Debate, Spar Over Fixing the Economy." The actual headline to the story by Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg also failed to capture the sense, overwhelming even among the liberal press, that Romney had helped himself with a sharp, energetic performance at the University of Denver: "Feel of Seminar as Accusations Fly From Rivals."
The Washington Post's banner headline was more direct and captured the consensus of the night: "Romney takes fight to Obama," while the story claimed the president "found himself on the defensive repeatedly." Other headlines from around the country captured the same effect.
By contrast, you had to parse the Times to sense that Romney won the night. (One significant Timesman, former Executive Editor Bill Keller, reluctantly awarded Romney the debate on his Twitter feed, calling Romney's performance "shameless but masterful.")