Clearly, Becky Bohrer at the Associated Press is very picky about what she'll report.
In her story datelined early this morning ("Senate race in Alaska is bitter and unpredictable"), she played the "any Tea Partier whose family or extended family has ever taken a government benefit is automatically a hypocrite" card. She made sure readers knew about Republican candidate Joe Miller's incredibly awful (that's sarcasm, in case anyone doesn't get it) violation of a government entity's office policy, wherein he was "disciplined for participating in a private poll during his lunch hour" (oh, the humanity!), and how Miller's presence in the campaign has "frightened" many Democrats into seriously considering their candidate, Scott McAdams.
Chris Jansing's cognitive dissonance must be excruciating.
On today's "Jansing and Co.," the MSNBC anchor initially rejected the practice of gotcha journalism in political campaign coverage, but proceeded to play gotcha with a comment made yesterday by Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell.
"I'm not a big fan of trying to do a gotcha," prefaced Jansing, directing the remark at retired Army General Wesley Clark. "I've said that before on this program. But does it bother you at all when someone can't name a current member of the Senate on the Democratic side?"
Clark, who ran for president in 2004 as a Democrat, refuted Jansing's gotcha question: "Well, first of all I think that's a little bit of a stretch in this case. She wasn't asked to name a current member, she was asked to name someone she'd like to work with. So I think that's a little bit of a stretch."
At the top of Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez teased an upcoming report on Wednesday's Delaware Senate debate by proclaiming: "U.S. Senate candidate and tea party favorite Christine O'Donnell is grilled in her first highly-anticipated debate, where she addresses everything from witches, to China, to late-night TV jokes."
Rodriguez's declaration was later followed by a completely one-sided report from congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes, who focused exclusively on O'Donnell being interrogated over past statements: "Well, this debate involved two candidates, but the spotlight was really on one of them, Christine O'Donnell, and her history of controversial comments."
After playing clips of moderators, CNN anchor Wolf Blizter and Delaware First Media's Nancy Karibjanian, grilling O'Donnell, Cordes mockingly remarked: "Outside the auditorium, several witches milled about, some for O'Donnell, some against." She then noted how O'Donnell's "now infamous ad came up more than once."
Update - 9:25 AM | Lachlan Markay:David Gergen commented on Brown's response. His comments below.
The death of Ted Kennedy hit the liberal media particularly hard. NBC's Andrea Mitchell caught the mood of the nation's pundits when she said the "heavens were weeping" during Kennedy's funeral. Now that Kennedy is dead, some pundits feel as if Democrats are entitled to the seat he left vacant.
CNN senior political analyst David Gergen had to be reminded of this fact Monday as he moderated a debate between the two candidates for Massachusetts's open Senate seat. He asked Republican candidate Scott Brown whether he'd be willing to "sit in Teddy Kennedy's seat and [say] I'm going to be the person who's going to block it [liberal health care policy] for another 15 years."
But Brown, refusing to take for granted Gergen's blatantly left-wing premises, responded instead: "Well, with all due respect it's not the Kennedys' seat, and it's not the Democrats' seat, it's the people's seat." (video and transcript below the fold - h/t Kerry Picket)
While discussing Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview with former McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt on Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez asked Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer about the claim that Palin knew little of modern history: “Schmidt, last week tells 60 Minutes that she didn’t know anything....that included World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War.”
Rodriguez wondered if such allegations about Palin’s “supposed lack of knowledge” would be a future political liability, to which Schieffer replied: “You know, my take on Sarah Palin has always been she will never again seek public office....[she] resigned the governorship of Alaska and I think it would be very, very difficult for her in any primary that comes up, the first thing a candidate against her is going to say, ‘well, how long do you intend to stay if you get elected? If elected, do you promise to quit if the going gets tough?’”
In a report that preceded Rodriguez’s discussion with Schieffer, correspondent Nancy Cordes detailed charges outlined in the new book ‘Game Change,’ about the 2008 campaign, including how “...there was friction on the Democratic ticket, too. ‘How many times is Biden going to say something stupid?’ an angry Mr. Obama reportedly asked campaign staff over one of his running mate’s legendary gaffes.” For some reason, Rodriguez did not ask Schieffer about this challenge to the Vice President’s intelligence.
On Monday’s Inside Edition, distributed by CBS, host Deborah Norville cited Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview with McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt and proclaimed: “‘A debacle of historic and epic proportions.’ That’s how a former McCain campaign strategist is describing Sarah Palin’s performance as the Governor prepared for the vice presidential debate.”
Norville conveniently left out Schmidt’s later remark in the interview that Palin “did a good job in the debate against Senator Biden” and that he thought the Governor “more than held her own.” Instead, Norville only highlighted the adviser’s pre-debate concerns: “Schmidt reveals Palin was ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘ill prepared’ for the debate.”
Norville later mentioned: “Schmidt also claims Palin was so flustered during the prep for debate, she kept referring to Joe Biden as ‘O’Biden.’” She noted how Palin “did slip up once during the nationally televised debate.”
Also left out of the Inside Edition story was Schmidt’s concluding comment in the interview that: “I believe, had she [Palin] not been on the ticket, our margin of defeat would’ve been greater than it would’ve been otherwise.”
With much fanfare, President Barack Obama rolled out his intentions to cut $17 billion from the federal budget on May 7. But despite the spinmeisters, not everyone was buying it.
"The White House today played up its proposed cuts to the federal budget," ABC "World News" anchor Charles Gibson said on his May 7 broadcast. "That budget plays up to $3.6 trillion. The White House wants to trim a tiny fraction - $17 billion. The president, arguing that seemingly small amount is a step in the right direction."
And that's exactly what ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper emphasized during his report on the budget cuts.
Here’s a quick informal poll:Who has heard news of Russia’s recent troop buildup in the South Ossetia region of Georgia?
Most of our readers would immediately think of the Russian invasion of that region last summer, during the presidential contest, but the Russians are arguably saber rattling again with a fresh buildup of boots on-the-ground ahead of planned NATO exercises.
Last August, the media coverage immediately took the angle of breathless anticipation on how each presidential candidate would react to such a situation.John McCain’s position was easily established from his record over many years in the Senate.Then-Senator Obama’s position was much more difficult to ascertain – but the media gave him ample time to figure it out, helping the candidate defer those questions to the September 26 debate.In fact, a good example of such activism was shown in the Washington Post’s Jim Hoagland, who in his August 31 op-ed insisted:
If you were dying to know what Gwen Ifill was thinking when the controversy arose about her so-called Obama book and how that might have effected her ability to moderate the 2008 vice-presidential debate - now's your chance.
In that appearance, Ifill claimed she didn't believe the book inhibited her ability to moderate that debate and pointed out her ability to overcome racism as how she dealt with the controversy - by strapping on her "blinders." She also took a couple of passive jabs at former GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin - commenting on her "thin" biography and remarking on Palin's debate performance.
Surely no one would view Rev. Jeremiah Wright as closer to the centerpoint of American politics than Pastor Rick Warren, right? Wrong. Here's Chris Matthews on this evening's Hardball.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: It seems like Barack Obama, as much as seems to inspire people, including me, has a problem with pastors. I don't know what it is. You get him hooked up with a pastor, whether it's Jeremiah Wright, or it's this guy Rick Warren. One's on the left, one's on the far right. Both are causing him trouble.
So Wright's merely "left," while Warren's "far-right." Do we really need to prove the obvious: that Warren is vastly more mainstream than Wright? It hardly seems worth the effort, but let's consider a few factoids:
In a new afterword to his memoir, 1960s radical William Ayers describes himself as a "family friend" of President-elect Barack Obama and writes that the campaign controversy over their relationship was an effort by Obama's political enemies to "deepen a dishonest narrative" about the candidate.
See Update at foot: university says Mika will not "represent" Obama.
H/t reader Thomas S. Despite her obvious liberal leanings, Mika Brzezinski prefers to play coy about her presidential preference on Morning Joe. Mika often deflects co-host Joe Scarborough's accusations that she's in the tank for Obama by invoking the fact that her brother works for McCain. And I have two beloved liberal Dem sisters: nu?
But Mika is apparently set to emerge from the political closet and let her Obama flag fly. Check out this report from the Fairfield [CT] Weekly about Brzezinski's upcoming participation in a debate at Fairfield University in which Mika will be "representing" Obama in a debate with formidable conservative pundit Monica Crowley [emphasis added]:
In an October 16 Web exclusive today, Newsweek's Sarah Kliff looked at the "chorus of disapproval" that met Sen. John McCain's use of air quotes when dismissing the "health of the mother" exception that swallows the rule in some late-term abortion bans. Of course Kliff hit her readers with complaints from such unbiased, neutral observers as Chris Matthews and NARAL Pro-Choice America, which endorsed Sen. Obama in May. She concluded by citing a pro-choice Biden backer insisting that pro-lifers would be turned off too.
Kliff then went on to dive into what the health exception is in federal case law and conceded that:
McCain is correct when he suggests that the law does not specify which conditions or complications should be included in the legal definition of what constitutes a threat to the mother's health. That decision is left up to the doctor.
CNN's Presidential Debate Report Card echoes most polls offered by the main stream media. It involves 60% Democrats as a sample group, and if your response doesn't agree with their agenda, then some ‘alterations' are made. In other words, the results are weighted to provide liberals with an edge.
The Web site's latest report card allows the viewer to rate the performance of both Presidential candidates in Wednesday's debate. Seems pretty straight-forward, right? But things weren't working properly for some readers.
In fact, when visiting the Barack Obama side of the report card first, all is seemingly well. Votes are counted and recorded correctly. Everything seems just dandy. However, when one visits the John McCain side first, things can get a little peculiar.
This peculiarity occurred several times early Thursday afternoon, and will be outlined after the break.
When clicking on a choice of grade for McCain's debate performance, I went with an A, as can be seen here with the highlight:
With 15minutesoffame comes 15 hours of “gotcha” scrutiny -- especially if you’re a voter who has daredto criticize Barack Obama, the liberal media’s Chosen One for president.
Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher has had his 15 minutes of fame, capping it off with an unplanned appearance as the poster boy of populist tax policy in last night’s presidential debate. So now it’s time for the press to turn its sights on him not as a human-interest story but as an investigative subject.
Jonathan Martin of The Politico was among the first out of the gate, with blog posts noting that Wurzelbacher, affectionately known by most of America as “Joe The Plumber,” has a tax lien against him and doesn’t have a plumber’s license. Martin conveniently forgot to mention that the law doesn’t require one.) Bloomberg also has a story on the tax lien, and AP and The Washington Post did their part to make a story out of the “unlicensed” non-story.
Within an hour of the conclusion of Wednesday night’s presidential debate, CNN’s political panel began sketching out John McCain’s political obituary, with senior analyst David Gergen drawing a round of laughter when he replied “beats the hell out of me” when asked by anchor Anderson Cooper what McCain could do next. Gergen bleakly suggested McCain had no chance and should end the race with his “honor intact” (which means no more attacks on Barack Obama):
I think you have to do everything you can to help save as much of the Senate and the House as you can for your party. I think you have to need -- you need to see if you can leave this with your honor intact. I think you need to go positive about what you do on the economy and get rid of this stuff about Bill Ayers and all this garbage that we've been going through now.
Joe the Plumber, aka Joe Wurzelbacher the Ohio man that has suddenly become the face of the presidential campaign, told ABC's Diane Sawyer Thursday that Barack Obama's tax plan to spread the wealth is "a very socialist view, and it's incredibly wrong."
Predictably, Sawyer defended Obama's position by saying it's only a three percent tax increase that people making over $250,000 would be required to pay.
Deliciously, the "Good Morning America" guest wasn't backing down (partial video embedded right):
This year’s final debate moderator, CBS’s Bob Schieffer, clearly did not take pains to appear objective before the debate. He opened fire on the October 5 Face the Nation by denouncing "the Palin factor... a campaign that's turned down and dirty. Down in the polls, the McCain campaign has found a new attack dog." After the opening music, he returned to the hatchet-woman line: "She took after Barack Obama in a style reminiscent of Spiro Agnew when he was Richard Nixon's running mate." He asked if the Republicans were going to get "nastier and nastier."
Schieffer also failed the fair-and-balanced test in a review of the debate he moderated in 2004. Six questions came from the left. Another three dared Bush to disagree with the liberal media’s definitions of acceptable views. Only three questions to Kerry came from a more conservative direction. Here are some examples of questions to Bush:
In his 1999 memoir, “All Too Human,” George Stephanopoulos defined good spin as “a hope dressed up as an observation.” Starting with the 2000 election, however, Stephanopoulos (supposedly) abandoned the role of paid spinner that he filled during Bill Clinton’s 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns, instead offering his expert opinion as an analyst and anchor for ABC News.
But a review finds Stephanopoulos’s campaign-year “observations” seem a whole lot like the spin he used to peddle when he worked for the Clintons. So far this election year, as my colleague Brent Baker has chronicled, Stephanopoulos the neutral pundit has declared Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden the winners of the first three debates.
Does anyone want to bet against him going four-for-four?
Looks like they're back. Turns out at least one of the questioners in Tuesday's presidential debate actually told event organizers that he would "most likely be voting for Obama" but was allowed to continue participate just the same.
Townhall's Amanda Carpenter caught the admission from Oliver Clark, the man who asked the first question about the disgraced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:
One of Barack Obama's biggest lines, which he repeats at every campaign event and delivered in Tuesday night's Town Hall Debate in Nashville, is that the Wall Street financial crisis was created by deregulation - deregulation, he hastens to add, is the policy of George W. Bush, John McCain and the Republicans.
He made the charge in response to the first question in the debate (transcript) last night:
And I believe this is a final verdict on the failed economic policies of the last eight years, strongly promoted by President Bush and supported by Sen. McCain, that essentially said that we should strip away regulations, consumer protections, let the market run wild, and prosperity would rain down on all of us.
It's approaching halftime for the voting for Round One, and the competition is fierce. Some match-ups are tight, some are in danger of turning into runaways and there are more than a few upsets brewing.
Click here to check the scores. And don't forget to Comment on how you think the games are going.
It was certainly no surprise that NBC's "Saturday Night Live," in its most recent installment, lampooned Thursday's vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.
However, despite doing a nice job of mocking Biden and host Gwen Ifill -- masterfully played by guest Queen Latifah -- the butt of most of the jokes was cleary Palin who was once again portrayed by Tina Fey (video embedded below the fold, photo courtesy Huffington Post):