Debates

By Noel Sheppard | October 21, 2012 | 9:37 AM EDT

During the recent vice presidential debate, Paul Ryan blamed former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan for not being able to resolve the escalating conflict in Syria.

On a CNN interview to be aired Sunday, Annan struck back saying, "He was dead wrong. He was dead wrong."

By Tom Blumer | October 20, 2012 | 9:46 PM EDT

Seventeen days before Election Day and 45 months after Barack Obama's inauguration following a presidential campaign during which he expressed his eagerness to meet enemy leaders "without preconditions" (Obama responded "yes" to a 2008 presidential debate question containing those words), the New York Times is reporting that the U.S. and Iran "have agreed in principle for the first time to one-on-one negotiations," despite the fact that the White House has "denied that a final agreement (to negotiate) had been reached," and despite a reactive AP report (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) claiming that while "The White House says it is prepared to talk one-on-one ... there's no agreement now to meet."

Despite the supposed certainty of the Times's headline ("U.S. Officials Say Iran Has Agreed to Nuclear Talks"), the paper's Helene Cooper and Mark Landler report that "American officials said they were uncertain whether Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had signed off on the effort." If Khamenei isn't on board, it doesn't matter what anybody else, including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, says or does. Three years ago, two AP reporters covering the government's crackdown on dissidents noted Khamenei's "virtually limitless authority," i.e., he's the country's behind-the-scenes dictator. In a piece that's supposed to be about a supposedly important international development, Cooper and Landler predictably blow through quite a bit of ink and bandwidth trying to paint this development as a problem for Obama's GOP opponent Mitt Romney (bolds are mine):

By Brent Baker | October 20, 2012 | 1:54 PM EDT

The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto on Thursday offered a plausible explanation for why President Barack Obama, during Tuesday night’s debate, felt confident he could count on moderator Candy Crowley of CNN to back him up on how he had uttered the phrase “acts of terror” the day after the Benghazi attack.

On her CNN State of the Union show back on September 30, Crowley interviewed David Axelrod and during that segment she was as incredulous as Mitt Romney was at the debate that Obama had initially referred to “acts of terror” in any relationship to Benghazi.

By Ryan Robertson | October 20, 2012 | 2:39 AM EDT

In response to an innocuous joke Tagg Romney made on a radio show in North Carolina, Lawrence O'Donnell used the platform that is his late night talk show on MSNBC to taunt and threaten the oldest son of a presidential hopeful. 

Seemingly as serious as a heart attack, the nearly 57 year-old O'Donnell challenged the 42 year-old to a fist fight "any time, any where". [ video and transcript below ]

By Noel Sheppard | October 19, 2012 | 1:34 AM EDT

President Obama apologized to MSNBC's Chris Matthews at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner Thursday.

Speaking of his own horrible debate performance in Denver against Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Obama said with regard to Matthews, "Four years ago, I gave him a thrill up his leg. This time around I gave him a stroke" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | October 18, 2012 | 6:08 PM EDT

Rock star Bruce Springsteen took a shot at former President Bill Clinton for speaking too long at Thursday's Obama campaign rally in Parma, Ohio.

"Human speech has been monopolized," chided Springsteen before beginning his first tune.

By Kyle Drennen | October 18, 2012 | 4:30 PM EDT

Near the top of Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie jumped on "a comment from Mitt Romney's son Tagg that's getting some attention....he said he wanted to, quote, 'take a swing' at the President for some of the attacks on his dad." Pretending it was a newsworthy item, she added: "The Romney campaign says this was just a joke. We'll get into that."

Introducing a campaign report minutes later, Guthrie declared the Romney son's comment in jest was "making some waves." Correspondent Peter Alexander promised viewers, "We'll play that comment for you from Tagg Romney in just a moment." For all the build-up to the supposedly controversial comments, at the end of his report, Alexander revealed the light-hearted nature of them: "During a radio interview Wednesday, Governor Romney's oldest son Tagg joked about his reaction to some of the contentious exchanges during Tuesday's debate."

By Clay Waters | October 18, 2012 | 3:49 PM EDT

New York Times intelligence reporter Scott Shane's mock Q&A in Thursday's edition, "What Happened in Libya? Clearing Up a Fierce Dispute," served to shield President Obama from criticism on how his administration described the terrorist attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, misleadingly emphasizing that Obama "referred to the attack as an 'act of terror' twice" in two days. Shane omitted that Obama and his administration proceeded to blame the attacks on spontaneous protests over a YouTube video, with Obama himself doing so several times in a September 26 speech to the United Nations.

Shane is worried that "what happened in the attack, and disputes over who said what about it, have left many people confused." (Is "confused" code for "criticizing the Obama administration"?) He's the latest Times reporter to insist that Obama "applied the 'terror' label to the attack" in his Rose Garden address on September 12, while admitting "the reference was indirect." The Times' s own managing editors would quibble with that assessment.

By Ryan Robertson | October 18, 2012 | 3:23 PM EDT

Leave it to MSNBC to set the record straight, where a defense of conservativism is strictly forbidden.  With no one to dispute such claims, one would think the GOP's "war on women" has never been more overt or frightening -- especially after watching News Nation's host Tamron Hall discuss these issues of inequality with her openly liberal guests.

On the Oct. 17 edition of News Nation, Hall invited Salon's fiercely feminist staff writer Irin Carmon and Democratic strategist Keith Boykin on her show to 'fact check' everything Mitt Romney had said the previous night. Hardly a non-partisan duo, their agenda was clear from the beginning. Voting for Mitt Romney could potentially be dangerous for women everywhere. [ video below, MP3 audio available here ]

By Matthew Balan | October 18, 2012 | 2:56 PM EDT

Gayle King's support of President Obama - both vocal and financial - emerged on air on Thursday's CBS This Morning, as the newscast covered Mitt Romney's much-ballyhooed "whole binders full of women" answer at Tuesday night's debate. King blustered, "I think it's going to be the joke that keeps on giving. I really do." [audio available here; video below the jump]

Correspondent Seth Doane hyped "Romney's now-infamous phrase", and spotlighted how "on Twitter, a conservative binder backlash unfolded." Strangely, Doane cited a Tweet from Obama-defending journalist Mark Halperin as an example of a "conservative."

By Kyle Drennen | October 18, 2012 | 11:48 AM EDT

Between Wednesday's Nightly News and Thursday's Today, NBC displayed an obsession with the liberal meme of attacking Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" remark during Tuesday's presidential debate. The network's delusional hyping of the manufactured controversy reached a crescendo when Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski appeared on Today to proclaim: "Romney just completely doesn't have any leg to stand on when it comes to women and the economy." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Today co-host Savannah Guthrie teed up Brzezinski to slam Romney: "...it has taken on a life of its own. The Democrats love it. They think it really shows Mitt Romney at his most awkward. But if the fight is for independent, undecided women voters, do you think this is an issue that's weighty enough to resonate?"

By Jeffrey Meyer | October 18, 2012 | 11:44 AM EDT

Unlike his former colleague Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein has once again shown he is no longer a serious journalist but instead a Republican-bashing liberal pundit.  Bernstein, who has consistently bashed the Republican Party as “extremist” has now turned to calling them anti-women.

Appearing on Thursday’s Jansing and Co., Bernstein was highly critical of Mitt Romney’s comments about hiring female members of his cabinet while he was Governor of Massachusetts.  [See video below break.  MP3 audio here.]