Debates

By Tom Blumer | October 13, 2014 | 10:58 PM EDT

Apparently the folks at Vocativ, who took a look at over 600 presidential speeches going all the way back to George Washington, were a little reluctant to document what their "scientific" analysis of those speeches told them about this nation's two most recent chief executives.

After finding that there is very little difference between the "sophistication" of speeches made by President Obama and former President George W. Bush, the former Clinton speechwriter the firm enlisted to comment on the results couldn't resist taking a gratuitous and I believe false swipe at Bush 43, one which I daresay most readers here will find absolutely hysterical.

By Tom Blumer | October 11, 2014 | 2:26 PM EDT

In covering the latest debate between incumbent Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke, the Politico's James Hohmann significantly understated the number of jobs added in the Badger State during Walker's tenure.

Hohmann wrote that "Burke attacked Walker for his 'broken promise' to create 250,000 private sector jobs during his first term. He’s now at a little over 100,000." That's only true if you think that 126,000 is only "a little over" 100,000:

By Tom Blumer | September 23, 2014 | 9:18 PM EDT

This morning (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis's awful performance in Friday's debate with Republican aspirant Greg Abbott was predictably ignored by the Politico, the New York Times, and the Associated Press's national site.

The AP did have a story it apparently limited to distribution within Texas. As I also noted this morning, though it's probably not the case, it would not surprise anyone if we learned the wire service's Paul Weber wrote his story in advance and stayed in his hotel room during the event. That's because his Saturday dispatch was so divorced from reality that it's hard to imagine that he could really have written it based on what he and other viewers actually saw.

By Tim Graham | May 11, 2014 | 5:33 PM EDT

Someone in the GOP is starting to listen to our refrain of "Say No to Feisty Liberal Moderators."  On Friday, RNC spokesman Sean Spicer talked to Newsmax TV host Steve Malzberg after the RNC voted to change the rules to include more conservative moderators in the primaries.

Spicer noted the obvious: “ For too long, it’s been the media that’s decided when we’re going to debate, who is going to be in the debate, what questions are going to be asked, what subjects are going to be forward....As we all know, the liberal media does not have the interest of the party at hand . . . You should not just have left-wing, liberal moderators asking questions of our candidates and determining that.” (video below)

By Jeffrey Meyer | April 6, 2014 | 7:22 PM EDT

Last week, the Supreme Court eliminated limits on how much money individuals can donate to all campaigns in any two-year election cycle and NBC’s David Gregory lamented how “American democracy is for sale.”

Appearing on “Meet the Press” on Sunday April 6, Gregory asked Shaun McCutcheon, the plaintiff in McCutcheon v. FEC: “How do you have candidates in the future now going to the wealthiest donors in the country and saying I want an unlimited amount of money? How does that is not at some-point lead to corruption?” [See video below.]

By Kyle Drennen | November 4, 2013 | 3:00 PM EST

Promoting his new book about the 2012 election, Double Down, with co-author Mark Halperin on Monday's NBC Today, New York Magazine national affairs editor John Heilemann offered Obama campaign spin to excuse the President's disastrous performance in the first debate against Mitt Romney: "...[Obama's] disdain for Romney, his contempt for Romney, he couldn't figure out how to deal with that. He would say, 'What am I supposed to do when he starts spewing his BS?'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Heilemann laughably added that Obama also had "contempt for the theatricality of politics," which, "all got mixed up together and he gave this horrible practice session performance that left them totally stymied about how they were going to fix it" before the second debate with Romney.

By Matt Hadro | August 19, 2013 | 4:18 PM EDT

After the Republican National Committee voted to refuse CNN and NBC from hosting 2016 GOP primary debates, NBC took two days to even mention the news before again ignoring it. In fact, CBS spent more time covering the boycott of NBC than NBC itself did.

The RNC threatened a boycott after CNN Films and NBC Entertainment both planned productions on Democrat Hillary Clinton as she is predicted to run for president in 2016. At Friday's summer meeting, the RNC made good on its threat, but NBC reported it only once.

By Randy Hall | August 15, 2013 | 10:27 PM EDT

Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh began his Thursday afternoon program by addressing the possibility that he and such other well-known conservatives as Sean Hannity and Mark Levin might moderate debates of Republican primary candidates during the 2016 election cycle as a departure from the previously biased questioning at such events by obviously liberal journalists.

“I don’t see how I can do it,” he stated. “I’m too famous,” and he added that his presence would “overshadow” the event, though Limbaugh admitted that deciding whether to take part in a radio debate “would be a real, real, real tough call” since “it could get ratings.”

By Matt Vespa | August 13, 2013 | 3:52 PM EDT

While NewsBusters really doesn’t target op-eds, especially ones that are printed in the New York Times, egregiously absurd arguments merit exposure and ridicule. Enter Frank Bruni's August 14 column, wherein the Times scribe discussed how our culture facilitates the objectification of women. 

Curiously, Bruni buried longtime Democratic politician Bob Filner, who saw women as objects he could grope, towards the end of his column.  The decay occurring in our popular culture is a valid point Bruni makes, but he hurtled off the rails when he had this to say about ultrasound laws:

By Matt Vespa | August 11, 2013 | 7:46 PM EDT

The Washington Post’s August 9 front-page story about the brutal murder of Vanessa Pham is missing a critical detail.  The young woman's alleged murderer is an illegal immigrant; a fact that is omitted entirely from Justin Jouvenal's story, even as Jouvenal mentioned Julio Miguel Blanco Garcia has a prior criminal record. It's not like Jouvenal was unaware of Garcia's being in the country illegally. This has been covered in other local news outlets previously.

What makes the story particularly of interest is that Pham was being a good Samaritan, giving Garcia and his infant daughter a ride to the hospital when Garcia allegedly flipped out and murdered her in cold blood in a fit of paranoia induced from PCP:

By Kyle Drennen | August 9, 2013 | 10:35 AM EDT

While MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell admitted that the planned NBC biopic of Hillary Clinton was a "bad idea," on her Thursday 1 p.m. ET hour show she and her guests scolded Republicans for refusing to allow the biased network to moderate GOP primary debates: "That's where you get debates where the audience is cheering because they were all hand picked by local or state parties, that's where you get candidates like Mitt Romney talking about self-deportation to try to play to the crowd." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Mitchell made that observation while discussing the topic with former Obama White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, not exactly someone with the best interests of the GOP at heart. Gibbs ranted: "If you're only going to do debates in front of diehard Republicans that 100% agree with you, you're going to end up pushing yourself farther and farther and farther to the right....you're not going to win any national elections."

By Matt Vespa | August 6, 2013 | 3:00 PM EDT

Well, the Washington Post is back to their usual tricks in distorting the facts about guns and background checks.  On page A2 of today's print edition, staff writer Philip Rucker gave readers a story, which read pretty much like a press release for a left-wing pro-gun control group, calling itself Third Way.  Rucker harped on the misleading “gun show loophole” and how, according to Third Way, criminals are taking to the Internet to arm themselves for murder and mayhem.

That's far from the truth, as Rucker's colleague Brad Plumer noted in an August 5 Wonkblog post which cut against Rucker's Wild West narrative on online gun sales. Of course, Plumer's item didn't make it into print while Rucker's did, on page A2.