Picking up where he left off Wednesday night, on Thursday's NBC Today, MSNBC's Chris Matthews continued to whine over President Obama's poor debate performance and ranted that Mitt Romney has "been accused of etch-a-sketch, last night was his greatest achievement. Everything he said within days ago, he's ignored." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Prior to Matthews' appearance, co-host Savannah Guthrie noted that he had been "very vocal" during MSNBC's post-debate coverage and played a sound bite of the Hardball host blasting Obama: "I don't know what he was doing out there. He had his head down, he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it. I don't know how he let Romney get away with the crap he threw out tonight about Social Security. Where was Obama tonight?!"
As Matt Vespa at NewsBusters noted earlier this morning, MSNBC's Howard Fineman was extremely unhappy with Jim Lehrer's performance as moderator in last night's first presidential debate. Vespa reports that Fineman "seemed agitated to the point of calling Lehrer 'useless' and equated his moderating of the debate to 'criminal negligence.'"
In what may be seen as a surprise, the same network's Laurence O'Donnell didn't share that sentiment, as Mackenzie Weinger reported this morning at Politico:
Appearing as a panel member on CNN's post-debate coverage on Wednesday, Democratic strategist James Carville gave President Obama a poor grade for his debate performance, asserting that 'I did everything I could not to reach it, but I had to reach it, and it looked like Romney wanted to be there, and President Obama didn't want to be there."
ABC's George Stephanonopoulos carried a eight-out-of-nine record of declaring the Democratic presidential candidate the winner into Wednesday night's Obama-Romney presidential debate. Surprisingly, the Clinton administration veteran affirmed that Mitt Romney scored points on President Obama: "I think Governor Romney definitely more crisp in his presentation tonight....he was able to be aggressive without being offensive."
Stephanopoulos later claimed that "Governor Romney will get the boost that challengers usually get coming out of these debates," while downplaying President Obama's own performance: "I didn't see any knockout punches....didn't see breakthrough moments or major mistakes by either candidate." [audio available here; video below the jump]
MSNBC contributor Howard Fineman lamented how the president was on the defensive in his first bout with Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Jim Lehrer, who moderated the October 3 debate, has a history of bias that is usually cloaked with his soporific disposition. However, Fineman seemed agitated to the point of calling Lehrer “useless” and equated his moderating of the debate to “criminal negligence.” Fineman’s ire seems to be indicative of liberals’ reaction towards Obama’s poor debate performance.
Time's assistant managing editor Rana Foroohar could have been mistaken as an Obama campaign flack during CBS's post-presidential debate coverage on Wednesday night, with her claim that "the key issue is, really, taxes, and I think that you have to wonder whether Romney's math adds up." She asserted, "There's a bigger math issue here, and that's whether or not lowering tax rates actually creates jobs and growth, and I would argue that, factually, it doesn't."
Foroohar also boosted the incumbent's massive stimulus spending, and held up communist China as a model: "I think what the President tried to convince voters, is that investment is going to create growth...and I think that there's a case to be made for that. If you look at where jobs are going - to places like China - infrastructure spending is much higher. There's a lot more investment in those, sort of, basic competitiveness issues. Unfortunately, I don't think the President made that point sharply enough." [audio available here; video below the jump]
How resounding was Mitt Romney's rout of Barack Obama tonight? In the post-debate spin room, a hopelessly muddled Martin O'Malley, Dem guv from Maryland and supposedly an Obama surrogate, wound up referring to "President Romney"! Freudian slip, anyone?
For good measure, pressed by MSNBC's Larry O'Donnell—clearly dismayed by Obama's dismal performance—to suggest what he'd recommend the prez do differently next time, a demoralized O'Malley could only mutter "uh, I don't know." View the video after the jump.
An angry Chris Matthews sharply denounced President Obama's performance in the presidential debate tonight, implying his knowledge of the facts was "first grade." Matthews also urged Obama to tune in to MSNBC so he could learn a thing or two from the supposedly non-partisan hosts and guests on the channel.
"I don't know what he was doing out there," the normally effusively pro-Obama former Democratic operative raged. "I don't know how he let Romney get away with the crap he threw out tonight." Video and transcript below the fold.
On Wednesday’s Jansing & Co., MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing tried to establish that there is one question “we can all anticipate and not be surprised by,” and that is a question to Mitt Romney about the 47 percent comments, because it had a “very negative effect” on voters. Jim Lehrer must repeat Obama's TV ads in a question?
But what about the “other race speech” video of Obama from 2007? In perfect formation with the DNC line, Jansing asked disgraced CBS anchor Dan Rather if that smacked of Republican desperation: [ video below the break, audio here ]
Mitt Romney recently told CBS’s Scott Pelley that a leader would “say which of those things that you should take out of the budget that are no longer essential,” and when pressed to be specific, Romney nominated "the subsidy for PBS,” and subsidies for Amtrak, the NEA, and the NEH. This raises one obvious question. In moderating tonight's first general election debate of 2012, can longtime PBS star Jim Lehrer be fair to a candidate who wants to zero out the subsidy for PBS?
In his 1992 memoir A Bus of My Own, Lehrer confesses he could sound like a “PBS superpatriot” in lauding his own newscast. For his own career at PBS, Lehrer professed he loved how Watergate “crumbled” Nixon’s plans to “crumble us” in liberal taxpayer-funded broadcasting:
Talk about missing the elephant (or is it donkey?) in the room – on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Nancy Cordes reported that Senator John Kerry is "playing Mitt Romney in mock debates" with President Obama before Wednesday's debate. But she didn't once mention that Kerry's debate skills didn't help him in 2004, when he lost a presidential race to President George W. Bush.
Cordes did note that "Romney and...Kerry know each other well. They're both longtime politicians from Massachusetts." She also twice emphasized that Obama's campaign was "working hard...to try to lower expectations about his performance" during the upcoming presidential debates.
Even if an elite journalist is actually committed to being fair, unless he actively fights to overcome the worldview of the vast majority of his colleagues, bias is going to creep into coverage. It’s only natural since reporters are humans.
But what if we had a news media where you actually had questions which were contrary to the liberal Democrat worldview? Hard to imagine, granted, but our friends at Investor’s Business Daily have done just that. Here are just a few that they would like to see asked of President Obama:
On Friday's World News on ABC, substitute anchor David Muir filed a report which warned that the winner of the first presidential candidate debate may have to take advantage of a "'cares about you' moment," as the report seemed more preoccupied with Mitt Romney as the candidate more likely to fail in such a moment.
Muir set up the report by harkening back to an audience question in 1992 that left then-candidate Bill Clinton giving an answer which suggested he could "connect with average problems" better than then-President George H.W. Bush.
Election Day is still six weeks away, but the all important battleground state of Ohio will begin early voting -- both in-person and via absentee balloting -- on Tuesday, Oct. 2. At least a third of likely voters in the Buckeye State are reportedly expected to cast their ballot before Nov. 6.
So in an attempt to drum up support and enthusiasm, as well as sympathetic press, Democratic lawmakers in Ohio are encouraging students and union workers across the state to camp outside of their respective board of elections office overnight in order to be among the first to vote the following morning. Dutifully helping out the Democrats, MSNBC Live anchor Thomas Roberts interviewed state senator Eric Kearney (D-Ohio) about the upcoming publicity stunt called "Sleep Out the Vote." Kearney explained the basis of the idea as such:
Norah O'Donnell made it clear on Monday's CBS This Morning that her job as anchor is to repeat her stick-a-fork-in-Romney mantra and boost President Obama. On the issue of the upcoming debates, O'Donnell asserted, "We already know he [Romney] has high negatives - perhaps, a likeability problem." She later asked if "we see the competitive President Obama...or will we see the cool, constitutional law professor?"
The anchor couldn't be bothered to bring up the continuing unrest in the Middle East; the related issue of the Obama administration's changing story as to what happened in the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya; or the new developments in the Fast and Furious controversy.
MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal on Saturday morning to discuss the letter MRC president Brent Bozell and more than 20 other conservative leaders and media personalities wrote to executives of ABC News, CBS News, CNN and NBC News.
"I would simply say we have a news media that doesn't hold the Obama Administration accountable. It's trying to destroy the Mitt Romney presidential campaign," Graham said. "That is not what ‘objective’ news media does." (See video and transcript below, MP3 audio available here).
At the top of Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory announced Mitt Romney was backed "against the wall" in the presidential race and proceeded to ask both New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Obama advisor David Plouffe: "Is the race over?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After Christie rejected the notion and suggested Romney's performance in the upcoming first debate on Wednesday would reset the campaign, Gregory incredulously replied: "Why isn't it too late to believe that the presidential debates, after you announce your running mate, after you have your own convention including keynoter Chris Christie, that you can restart with the presidential debates?"
It’s been four years since Barack Obama beat John McCain to become the 44th President of the United States, but that hasn’t stopped some in the media from putting McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, in the crosshairs. In this morning’s broadcast of Good Morning America, ABC News’ David Muir detailed the dynamics related to the home stretch of the presidential campaign. It was here that he snuck in a gratuitous swipe at Gov. Palin:
Can we stop calling the hosts of the presidential debates "moderators"? They're left-erators. It's time for the old media godfathers to end the pretense that they're fair and neutral observers of the American political scene. And it's time for the GOP to stop perpetuating these rigged exercises in futility.
Last week, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced the names of 2012's chosen referees: CNN's Candy Crowley, PBS's Jim Lehrer and CBS's Bob Schieffer will preside over the three presidential debates; ABC's Martha Raddatz will host the sole vice presidential debate. While the debate panel trumpeted the gender diversity of its picks, the chromosomal diversity is far outweighed by the political uniformity, class conformity and geographical homogeneity of the group.
New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter made a little news at the end of his Saturday report on the picking of the moderators for the upcoming presidential and vice presidential debates: "Criticism Greets List of Debate Moderators."
Dismissing conservative concerns of liberal bias on the part of moderators as a predictable Rush Limbaugh talking point, Stelter focused more on liberal concerns about the historical lack of black and female moderators, and reported that PBS political host Gwen Ifill was "livid" about not being chosen (old-time PBS hand Jim Lehrer was coaxed out of retirement to fill the bill insetad).
Towards the close of today's MSNBC Live, anchor Thomas Roberts presented a segment featuring three New Jersey teenage girls who started a petition on the left-leaning Change.org website demanding female moderators for the upcoming presidential debates. The young ladies succeeded in getting 180,000 signatures for their initiative.
But rather than simply hailing their civic activism, Roberts decided to expoloit these girls to slam Rep. Paul Ryan over his no vote for the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act -- which does nothing to equalize pay for women but simply expanded the statute of limitations to file suit in court -- by saying "do you think he's going to have a tough time defending his no vote to Martha Radditz when he gets asked about that?"
ABC’s Martha Raddatz is perhaps the freshest face of the Old Media veterans chosen as a moderator by the Commission on the Presidential Debates. After five years at National Public Radio, Raddatz has handled a variety of serious Washington beats for ABC since 1999. She's married to journalist Tom Gjelten, who's worked for NPR for 30 years. Raddatz has also been married to Obama's FCC chairman Julius Genachowski and journalist Ben Bradlee III, son of the former Washington Post executive editor.
Is Raddatz objective? The Commission could have considered Raddatz fawning all over Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as “cool” and “trending” on May 9, 2012:
The Jurassic Press is missing much in their reporting on the $50 billion bailout of General Motors (GM). The Press is open channeling for President Barack Obama - allowing him to frame the bailout exactly as he wishes in the 2012 Presidential election.
The President is running in large part on the bailout’s $30+ billion loss, uber-failed “success.” And the Press is acting as his stenographers. An epitome of this bailout nightmare mess is the electric absurdity that is the Chevrolet Volt. The Press is at every turn covering up - rather than covering - the serial failures of President Obama’s signature vehicle.
Former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee talked to Andrew Goldman for the New York Times Magazine, who used a media myth to give Huckabee a platform to call the Republican Party "hyperorthodox" and excessively ideological: "Mike Huckabee Likes Romney. Really."
Goldman's opening question basically begged Huckabee to bash the GOP: "During the Republican primary debates, audience members booed a question from an active serviceman who was gay and shouted, “Let him die,” about a hypothetical gravely ill patient without insurance. Is this different from the party that you know and love?"
During the May 9 edition of ABC’s The View, Whoopi Goldberg made a surprising revelation to members of the audience. During an interview with Fox’s John Stossel about his new book, "No They Can't: Why Government Fails But Individuals Succeed," Goldberg disclosed that she was a member of the NRA. [Video below the jump.]
On Thursday’s edition of Morning Joe, Zeke Emanuel, former health policy advisor for President Obama, completely distorted and misrepresented the controversy surrounding ObamaCare, and found no pushback from the Brew Crew, naturally.
Emanuel started out the segment making the ridiculous claim that no "credible legal scholar" would doubt the constitutionality of the individual mandate in ObamaCare. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Wednesday’s edition of his eponymous program, MSNBC anchor Martin Bashir and his liberal panel continued their staunch defense of Bill Maher while ripping into Rush Limbaugh. MSNBC contributor and former Democratic National Committee communications chief Karen Finney gave her tortured defense of the media's double standard:
You know, he is a public person. Sandra Fluke is not a public person. Bill Maher is a public person. Sarah Palin is a public person. You could make the argument whether you like what Bill Maher says or not, when you are in the public arena, you do put yourself out there in a way that a private person asked to testify in Congress should not expect to be attacked. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Reviewing Wednesday's Republican debate on Thursday's Today, NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd spun hard for Democrats: "You know, there was something about last night's debate that I know the folks in Chicago, meaning the Obama re-election team, felt pretty happy about....it felt like the shift was a little bit too much to the right and away from the middle." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd detailed the reasons why the Obama camp would be so pleased by the debate: "They felt that the conversation the Republicans were having, 20 minutes on earmarks, you know. Another 10 or 15 minutes on contraception....as much criticism was being leveled at the Bush administration as it was on the Obama administration. The tacks to the right on immigration." Todd concluded: "I'm not sure right now the Republican brand is – is helping itself with these debates."
David Gergen had some harsh criticism for the remaining Republican candidates for president Wednesday.
Appearing on CNN's post-debate show, Gergen said, "For a lot of women it sounds like four white guys who are out there telling them, 'Here’s how we’re going to control your lives'” (video follows with transcript and commentary):