On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory fretted over the "shrinking presidency" of Barack Obama: "A thousand days left for President Obama. And here was a headline we looked up back in 2009 at the inauguration. [From Washington Post] 'Historians say he,' meaning Obama, 'could redefine the presidency.' And with no disrespect to this policy, here's Denis McDonough, the chief of staff, talking about, you know, broadband connection, getting more kids connected [to the internet]." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Turning to liberal historian and perpetual NBC pundit Doris Kearns Goodwin, Gregory worried: "Is that what you envisioned?" Goodwin tried to defend Obama's weak legacy: "He accentuated gay rights in an inaugural speech. We're getting energy independence. He said we shouldn't be on a war footing forever. He ended two wars. These things may take a while to get into history. But if he set things in motion that show a forward movement in social justice and defining inequality as the issue of our generation, then he will be remembered."
How do MSNBC hosts feel about the war in Afghanistan? Well, it may depend on who’s in the White House at the moment.
On Saturday morning’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Ms. Witt talked to fellow MSNBC host Rachel Maddow about President Obama’s tribute to Army Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg at last Tuesday’s State of the Union address. [Video below the break. MP3 audio here.] Maddow, who is certainly no fan of our wars in Afghanistan or Iraq, nonetheless reflected on the moment in a mostly positive way. Referring to the extended applause for Sgt. Remsburg, Maddow said:
What is wrong with the hosts at MSNBC? Ronan Farrow, who will begin anchoring a network program on February 24, made a tasteless joke on Tuesday night, comparing war hero Cory Remsburg's struggles to that of politicians in Congress. Farrow tweeted, "Cory 'struggles on the left side.' Congress relates.'"
During the State of the Union, Barack Obama movingly recounted the difficulties of the 30-year-old Remsburg who, after being deployed ten times, was almost killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Farrow has not apologized for the tweet and he's not alone in his cheap shots. MSNBC journalists have been making offensive tweets all week.
On her Thursday 1 p.m. ET MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell gushed over NBC News special anchor Maria Shriver's political activism as "the force behind the influential Shriver Report about women and poverty in America": "Maria, my God, what you have started, what you have launched here....Equal pay for women...you went and you talked to the President about before his State of the Union, when he was still writing it. And he delivered in terms of addressing that." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after jump]
Mitchell eagerly touted Obama continuing to push the issue on the road: "...just within the last hour, he's done it again. This is the President in Wisconsin today. Let's watch." A clip was played of Obama declaring: "Today women make up half of our workforce, they're making 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That's wrong.... It's an embarrassment." Following the sound bite, Shriver declared: "Amen." Mitchell excitedly proclaimed: "Maria Shriver, take a bow, let's talk about what you've started here."
The journalists at ABC News have refrained from questioning Barack Obama's unilateral tone at the State of the Union address. Reporter Jim Avila on Tuesday's Nightline went so far as to compare the President to an iconic movie character. Regarding Obama's threats to use executive actions to accomplish his goals, Avila enthused, "This was President Obama, the go-it-alone Terminator, mindful he has only three years left." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The ABC journalist heralded, "This was a stare down, chest pumping President, angry and resentful about a Congress determined to log jam his ideas." Avila did describe the second term Commander in Chief as "on the downward slide" and as losing his "power to persuade" with Congress. But the reporter failed to offer skepticism about the executive orders.
NBC's Today on Thursday decided to make Republican Congressman Michael Grimm's verbal attack on a reporter after Tuesday's State of the Union a two-day story, with fill-in co-host Tamron Hall proclaiming: "Well, there's more fallout this morning from an ugly scene following the President's State of the Union address." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The additional "fallout" that Hall mentioned was simply the Congressman offering an apology to New York One reporter Michael Scotto. In the report that followed, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declared: "Democratic critics say the Congressman is a hot head who should play a political price for his behavior. The Congressman tells me this was emotion that got the better of him after a very long day. Whatever the anger management issues were, he's trying to defend himself now."
Sen. Rand Paul sat down with NPR anchor Audie Cornish on the January 29th All Things Considered, and from the moment the interview began, NPR’s listeners knew the likely outcome: a one-sided attack job.
Anchor Robert Siegel explained that while Cathy McMorris Rodgers gave the official GOP response, Sen. Mike Lee had a Tea Party response, and Paul had an online video response. Cornish began the interview by asking, “How do you convince the independent voter out there who sees this kind of mishmash of responses from various Republicans and no definitive agenda?”
On Wednesday evening's news casts, the networks all hyped GOP congressman Michael Grimm (N.Y.) threatening a reporter after Tuesday's State of the Union address while skipping the Republican response to the address entirely.
Of Grimm's outburst, ABC's Jeff Zeleny quipped, "It was not the State of the Union response Republicans had in mind." It was the response that the networks chose to cover, though. "Later, there was a far less dignified moment with a congressman from Staten Island, New York," CBS anchor Scott Pelley introduced the story.
In his Tuesday night State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama made the following pledge: "In the coming weeks, I will issue an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour – because if you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty."
One would have every reason to believe from Obama's statement that the change will take effect quickly once the EO is issued — but it won't. Additionally, one would have every reason to believe that when it does take effect, it will increase the pay of anyone currently employed on federal contract work at a pay rate of under $10.10 per hour — but it won't do that either. Somehow, those "little" problems escaped "fact checkers" Josh Gerstein and Darren Samuelsohn at the Politico, who, while they did catch other problems with the President's statement, swallowed a clearly false claim about its long-term impact:
MSNBC airs a bizarre video montage at the beginning of every episode of The Ed Show, but the program was especially outlandish on Monday and Wednesday, depicting President Obama as a series of larger-than-life figures. The liberal network first portrayed the chief executive as Superman standing on top of the White House, and later placed the Democrat's head on George Washington's body in the famed painting of the crossing of the Delaware River.
Two days later, The Ed Show lead segment repeatedly showed a graphic depicting the President as Uncle Sam, holding a pen in his boxing glove-covered hand: [video below the jump]
ABC, NBC and CBS's morning shows on Wednesday failed to fact check Barack Obama's State of the Union address. These same networks, however, made time to feature Vice President Joe Biden (who was in full cheerleader mode). It's not as though fact checks weren't available. The Washington Post and the Associated Press both produced such critical analysis. During his speech, Obama touted "the more than eight million new jobs our businesses have created over the past four years."
The Post's Glenn Kessler called this "cherry picking" and noted that "since the start of his presidency, about 3.2 million jobs have been created — and the number of jobs in the economy still is about 1.2 million lower than when the recession began in December 2007."
On Tuesday night, Alex Wagner gave the latest example of "if it weren't for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all" (a regular saying of conservative talk show host Chris Plante). The MSNBC host took to Twitter to slam Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers's fireside setting, where she delivered the official Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union: "Living room. Lady on a settee. Where's the needlepoint?"
Conservatives struck back at this condescending attack from one of MSNBC's resident uber-feminists. Townhall.com's Kevin W. Glass pointed out what would have happened if the roles were reversed:
During NBC's live State of the Union coverage Tuesday night, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd sneered at Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson being a Republican guest at the event: "...after the shooting with Gabby Giffords and for a couple of State of the Unions in a row....There was more of a dignified feeling about the guests that you would invite. Boy, you can tell things are a lot different now, when you're inviting Duck Dynasty stars. Everybody's trying to make a partisan political point." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd concluded: "You get the feeling that whatever Kumbaya that there had been, at least in the last couple of years, that's – that's gone with this State of the Union."
The journalists at Good Morning America on Wednesday discussed Barack Obama's State of the Union address for seven minutes and 19 seconds, but only allowed a scant 16 seconds for the GOP response (a 27-to-1 disparity). Unlike the reporters at CBS This Morning who interviewed Rand Paul, GMA's hostsinstead featured Joe Biden and could only be bothered with a brief clip of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and a snippet of John Boehner. NBC's Today, despite a four-hour running time, managed a mere six seconds of McMorris Rodgers.
Co-host George Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative, opened the program by parroting, "Call to action. The President vows to use his executive powers to attack the country's biggest problems." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Jon Karl offered little in the way of skepticism about the President's plan to use executive orders. Instead, he hyped, "But the President promised to work around Republican opposition, saying he would raise the minimum wage for workers on new federal contracts." He added that Obama "tried to shame Republicans into raising it for everybody as well."
The women of CBS This Morning did not seem to appreciate Rand Paul's recent comments on Bill Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinsky. The Republican senator appeared on the morning show, Wednesday, to discuss the State of the Union address. However, King echoed the language of Secretary Clinton's famous testimony about the Benghazi terrorist attack. Speaking of the ex-president's affairs, she huffed, "But what difference does that make and what good comes of that now two decades later? What do you hope will come of that conversation?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Paul retorted by calling the former president a "serial philanderer" and added, "But he was a person who took advantage of a young girl in the workplace and I think that's inexcusable and that kind of war on women should end." O'Donnell icily responded, "And what do you think that has to do if Hillary Clinton runs for president?" Speaking of the potential Democratic presidential nominee, Paul quipped, "She's had to tolerate the same sort of problems from him, you know, I guess, over time."
NBC's Brian Williams was dripping with praise and support for President Obama after his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, touting areas where he was "strong" and quoting a sympathetic New Yorker interview of the President.
"A lot of things will perhaps be remembered from this speech," Williams announced, as if the address was almost a classic. He touted that Obama was "strong on education, strong on immigration" and "used humor and feistiness the second half."
I guess when you've run out of anything meaningful to say, you revert to your tired old one-liners, even when they are — or should be — embarrassing.
In early 2009, five days after President Obama's first State of the Union speech, Alex Castellanos, who at the time was apparenty a "Republican strategist," said the following on a CNN Sunday show: "I think, as a friend told me once, that -- listening to Barack Obama give a speech is like sex. The worse there ever was, was excellent." Tuesday night, as Politico's Lucy McCalmont reports, Castellanos was at it again:
Chris Matthews blasted the GOP's apparent "bad manners [and] lack of dignity" minutes before Tuesday's State of the Union address. Matthews expressed his outrage moments after MSNBC's Chris Hayes spotlighted a Republican congressman's attack on President Obama on Twitter: "The very idea that they would do this, in what is a historic occasion, just tells you that there are no rules."
The Hardball host continued by targeting the "right wing – sort of, revolutionary thinking...We're throwing stones at the window of the American republic. That's fine, because somehow, we're so angry that anything goes." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In the minds of MSNBC personalities, the so-called Republican “War on Women” is fought on many fronts – even in the amount of GOP responses to this year’s State of the Union address.
On Tuesday’s Morning Joe, the panelists were discussing the three planned responses to Tuesday's State of the Union: Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ official GOP response, Utah Sen. Mike Lee’s Tea Party response, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s personal response. Co-host Mika Brzezinski, upset at the idea of three separate responses, voiced her displeasure in terms of Rodgers’ gender: “Why not let the strong woman actually have a strong response for all Republicans?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Previewing Barack Obama's State of the Union on Tuesday, Good Morning America's Jon Karl hyped the President's move to unilaterally act "where he can without Congress." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Eight years ago, however, ABC hit George W. Bush for being unwilling to compromise.
After noting that Congress has failed to raise the minimum wage, Karl touted, "...The President will announce that he is increasing by nearly $3 an hour the minimum wage on all new federal contracts, acting where he can without Congress." According to Karl, this is an example of Obama "promising to work with Congress where he can but showing there are things he can do on his own, as well." In his report, the journalist failed to wonder if it was the President who should move. In contrast, previewing the January 31, 2006 State of the Union, Charles Gibson asked the liberal Ted Kennedy, "Do you get a sense that this White House is truly willing to compromise on anything?"
NPR reporter Cokie Roberts had some harsh words for President Obama when she appeared as a guest on This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, January 26th. With President Obama scheduled to give his sixth State of the Union speech on Tuesday January 28, the ABC panel had some tough advice for the embattled president.
Roberts, who in the past has made incendiary comments about conservatives, agreed with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren that President Obama cannot continue to blame the GOP for his recent problems. The NPR reporter argued that, “He's now been going back and reading his history and understanding that that's the case. And so that he has to learn to deal with it.” [See video below.]
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared on CBS Face the Nation on Sunday morning and was met with a barrage of questions from host Bob Schieffer about his involvement in the government shutdown. Apart from being the victim of Schieffer’s accusations that the Tea Party senator was to blame for the shutdown, it also appears that Mr. Cruz was the victim of editing by CBS.
Based on video from Senator Cruz’s YouTube page and what aired on today’s Face the Nation broadcast, the senator’s comments surrounding President Obama’s “abuse of power” were edited from the program. Instead what aired was a segment that ignored many of the senator’s complaints directed at President Obama. [See the aired and unaired videos below.]
President Obama is scheduled to give his sixth State of the Union address on January 28, and CBS’s Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer decided to bring on the man who will give the Tea Party response, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Rather than focus primarily on the failures of the Obama Administration over the past 5 years, the veteran CBS reporter chose to use his interview with Cruz as an opportunity to attack the Tea Party favorite and spew White House and Democratic talking points at the Republican. Schieffer began his interview with Cruz by saying that the senator “led the shutdown of the government last fall because the president wouldn't agree to shut down ObamaCare.”
Appearing on Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe asserted that Tea Partiers want someone to "be annoying and inflammatory" in responding to President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address as the group discussed the news that Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee will give a Tea Party response to the President.
In a tired Politico item on how President Obama plans to carry out his January State of the Union threat to go around Congress on "climate change" -- no surprise, his moves will be a "power plant clampdown," pouring more money into solar, wind, and geothermal, and micromanaging lamps and refrigerators -- Andrew Restuccia quoted a statistic on the production of certain "renewable" energy sources which actually understated their degree of increase during the past four years. He cited a "60 percent increase in renewable electricity produced from wind, solar and geothermal sources between 2008 and 2012."
The increase is much greater than that. But Restuccia shouldn't gloat. As seen after the jump, those three renewables still represent a pathetically small percentage of all U.S. energy production, and he should have informed his readers of that quite inconvenient fact:
Supposedly conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks exposed more of his liberal stripes on Tuesday, telling the Republican Party it needs to rethink its core message. Appearing on PBS’s post-State of the Union coverage, Brooks said he was disappointed with the response delivered by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) because it delivered the typical message of traditional conservative principles.
He continued: [Video after the jump. MP3 audio here.]
All three major networks were awash in water bottle coverage, devoting time in both morning and evening shows to discuss Sen. Marco Rubio drinking out of a water bottle during his response to President Obama’s State of the Union address on February 12.
ABC’s “Good Morning America” and World News,” CBS’s “This Morning” and “Evening News,” and NBC’s “Today” and “Nightly News” all talked about the water bottle, and the attention that it was receiving. Six stories covered the non-issue in the day following Obama’s speech. All three evening news shows ran the instant replay.
Following President Obama’s call to raise the federal minimum wage to $9/hour in Tuesday's State of the Union address, MSNBC has been eagerly pushing the president’s new-found support for the hike.
Speaking on February 14, host Thomas Roberts conducted a one-sided interview with liberal contributor Goldie Taylor on the supposed need to jack up the minimum wage. As most of Roberts’ segments are, not one guest was brought on to challenge Taylor’s liberal motives, with Roberts introducing the segment as such:
President Obama's State of the Union speech was covered by the New York Times' Mark Landler: "Obama Vows Push To Lift Economy For Middle Class." Landler, a master spinner for the president, marked the Supreme Court upholding Obama-care in embarrassingly syrupy prose in a June 2012 story: "While Mr. Obama will be remembered for bailing out the auto industry, winding down two wars and dispatching Osama bin Laden, health care was his play for history."
On Wednesday, Landler oddly claimed that Obama had signaled "the era of single-minded deficit-cutting should end" (as if it ever began), while chiding the Republican Party's "hard line stance on immigration" and pushing a higher minimum wage as an unmitigated boon for workers, though it may serve to make it even harder for the unemployed to get a job in the first place.
Stevenson was dismissive of "the conservative mantra that nearly all problems can be traced back to excess government" and criticized Obama's "more extreme conservative critics" for misrepresenting the moderate Obama.