The official Obama 2012 campaign slogan is "Forward." The operational motto of the Obama administration is "Cheese." As in "say cheese." From hollow Greek columns to strategically released Situation Room candids, the Paparazzi President has put self-serving optics above all else.
What did we get after four long years of expertly staged Kabuki-theater-meets-Potemkin-village productions? Sixteen trillion dollars in debt, a pile of dead bodies, troops at increased risk and a gallery of tax-subsidized Kodachrome pictures creating the grand illusion of leadership.
Appearing on Friday's NBC Today, special correspondent Tom Brokaw strained to explain why New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg endorsing President Obama would be helpful: "[It] may not move the needle, for example, in Colorado, but in Ohio and in places where they're trying to get white men, they can say, 'Look, this guy has got the endorsement of the Mayor of New York.'" Why would someone in Ohio care?
Co-host Matt Lauer noted that the endorsement "wasn't a very warm hug," prompting Brokaw to argue: "It wasn't a warm hug, but it was tough on Romney about not being the guy that he was when he was Governor of Massachusetts."
On Thursday's Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN, host Morgan treated New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's endorsement of President Barack Obama as a significant threat to Mitt Romney, and ended up bolstering Bloomberg's concerns about Hurricane Sandy being the result of manmade global warming.
Without noting Bloomberg's liberal record, Morgan highlighted the mayor's complaints about Romney's "endless flip-flopping." Morgan:
Appearing as a guest on FNC's The O'Reilly Factor, meteorologist Joe Bastardi of Weatherbell Analytics -- and formerly of AccuWeather -- debunked a recent statement by Al Gore linking Hurricane Sandy to global warming. Bastardi asserted that the former Vice President's statement is either "stunningly ignorant or stunningly deceptive," and argued that hurricane seasons go through cyclical changes that stretch over decades.
On Thursday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd depicted the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy as a boost for President Obama and a struggle for Governor Romney. Todd touted Obama receiving praise from "the GOP's convention keynote speaker" New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and how a trip to the storm-ravaged state was "a chance to show his empathetic side."
At the same time, Todd proclaimed that "Mitt Romney spent his Wednesday full-time on the trail in Florida, trying to balance campaigning and showing sensitivity for the storm victims." The headline on screen summed up the framing of the report: "President Tours Destruction & Gov. Romney Resumes Campaign."
CNN's Piers Morgan lauded President Obama's "excellent" work during Hurricane Sandy, and teed up liberal guest Michael Moore to bash Republicans on global warming. As NewsBusters reported earlier, on his Wednesday night show he didn't once press Moore about his despicable anti-Romney ad.
Morgan gushed that "whichever side you're on, you cannot say that President Obama has not so far done an excellent job." That came after Moore took a shot at President Bush. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Right on cue following Hurricane Sandy devastating the east coast, correspondent Harry Smith appeared on Thursday's NBC Today to sound the global warming alarm: "First it was Hurricane Irene, then last October's freak snowstorm, and now Sandy. Mother nature has put an unprecedented strain on the power grid and some experts are wondering if climate change is to blame." The headline on-screen wondered: "Is Global Warming to Blame for Storm Damage?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Previewing an upcoming report for Thursday's Rock Center, Smith warned viewers: "There is a growing consensus that this is all part of a new normal....Many a climate scientist say there is a reason this is happening." A sound bite followed of Ben Strauss from Climate Central: "We're seeing more and more extreme weather events. Leading to greater and greater economic damages. And I'm very suspicious that climate change is an important player for many of these."
Al Gore is concerned about Mother Nature. In a statement he released on his blog on Oct. 30 2012, he hyped the imminent doom of global warming. “Hurricane Sandy is a disturbing sign of things to come,” the Goricle stated. No big surprise that Gore would immediately link Sandy to global warming. After all, he’s gotten very rich claiming the sky is falling. Unfortunately, Gore wasn’t the only one.
On Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Keir Simmons reported from the European Weather Center in Britain that projected Hurricane Sandy's path and touted how "Global warming could make their work more important than ever." The center's Professor Alan Thorpe explained: "If it turned out to be the case that such storms became more common, then our weather forecasting models need to factor that in." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Simmons then cited Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to bolster the point: "Already the scientists are planning more research to help them, and all of us, plan for the future. Because if it's true, as New York's governor says, that we are now dealing with extreme weather patterns in a way we haven't seen, then centers like the one you've just seen are more important than ever."
Like ambulance-chasing lawyers, the heavy-handed liberal activists who populate much of the media raced to exploit Hurricane Sandy even as the storm was lashing the East Coast last night, citing it as proof of “climate change” and a reason to oppose Mitt Romney.
Yesterday afternoon, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir started a panel discussion by claiming that “people are wondering today if the current hurricane has anything to do with global change, climate change, global warming,” and then mentioned the “right-wing nut jobs” supporting Romney.
For at least 24 hours, the mainstream media have been trying to figure out a way to make Hurricane Sandy an aid to Barack Obama's re-election.
On Monday, MSNBC's Chris Matthews had a related concern asking guest John Nichols of the Nation magazine, "How long do you think it’ll take for Donald Trump to take a crack at the President for engineering this?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing on Monday's NBC Today, MSNBC Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski asserted that impending Hurricane Sandy would help Barack Obama in the election, with Scarborough proclaiming: "Mitt Romney had momentum….This was Mitt Romney's best weekend, and it stops. The momentum stops."
Brzezinski eagerly predicted how the President would be perceived during the storm: "…expect command centers up and down the east coast and the President to be very visible at all of them, telling people about the federal dollars that are on the way, and that will be advantage Obama." Meanwhile, she claimed Romney would be “in an awkward situation," and that "anything he does might look so blatantly political and almost needy, because he’s just not in the equation when the country’s under siege from a massive storm."
Mitt Romney recently took a trip to Louisiana to assess hurricane and flood ravaged areas, and to draw attention to the situation, possibly stirring people and organizations to help those in need. During the course of his visit, Romney encountered a woman who had lost her home in the flooding. Jodie Chiarello, according to a joint report from the Huffington Post and Associated Press, gave this account of her conversation with Romney:
"He just told me to, um, there's assistance out there," Chiarello said of her conversation with Romney. "He said, go home and call 211." That's a public service number offered in many states.
Gas prices have risen to a nationwide average of $3.80 per gallon, per gasbuddy.com early this afternoon, and an Ohio average of over $3.90.
Is Asjylyn Loder at Bloomberg worried about the effects on drivers' pocketbooks and travel plans over Labor Day? Don't be silly. Loder is worried about its impact on Dear Leader's presidential reelection prospects, and avoids the implications of the ten-year rule of another Dear Leader, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, on the current situation. Her first three paragraphs in graphic form, plus a few more on Venezuela, follow the jump:
Tropical Storm Isaac is more than just a logistical inconvenience for Republicans gathered in Tampa: it is a powerful reminder both of Republican incompetence in handling Hurricane Katrina seven years ago, and the party’s no-less-disastrous plans to further cut emergency-related spending.
Cue up the violin strings. A sad tragedy is being played out in California. The Sacramento Bee has a story about how the Lieutenant Governor of that state, Gavin Newsom, must endure the unendurable as described in the article's headline: "Gavin Newsom breaks boredom in Sacramento with his own TV show."
Yes, even though the Current TV ratings are in the toilet and might not even be carried on cable in the future, it's show business! Unfortunately, along with the "glamor" of showbiz, poor Newsom must endure the utter boredom of his, "ugh," Lt. Governor's job which requires him to suffer the torture of spending one day per week in "dull" Sacramento.
Seizing on warmer than usual temperatures across the country on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams ominously warned viewers: "Much warmer weather can have a dark side, of course. And tonight there is a new projection that rising seas due to climate change could cause a whole lot of damage much sooner than anyone had previously thought."
Correspondent Anne Thompson used recent weather events to drive the point home: "The ferocious surge of the Atlantic powered by Hurricane Irene last August moved a lifeguard tower...broke through a sea wall, and sent water rushing into the streets of New York's Long Beach. A scene that will become more commonplace, a new study says, because of rising sea levels caused by global warming."
New York Times environmental reporter Justin Gillis took the left-wing idea of extreme weather equaling harmful global warming to heart in his front-page Christmas Day “news analysis” lamenting the Republican block of measures that would document “climate change” more closely, in “Harsh Political Reality Slows Climate Studies Despite Extreme Year.” But an environmental scientist eviscerated Gillis’s article as “perhaps the worst piece of reporting I've ever seen in the Times on climate change.”
The paper of record for upstate New York is at it again, letting their readers know that Republicans and Tea Party members should essentially do as they say, not as they do.
The Albany Times Union has criticized Republicans for playing political games with a recently defeated bill that provides $3.65 billion for disaster assistance.The problem, it seems, is that the bill included offsets for such aid - $1.5 billion in cuts to the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program.
While self-described socialist Bernie Sanders was only termed an “independent,” Hulse managed to put an ideological label on “Conservative Republicans” who are pushing to actually pay for disaster relief, through off-setting budget cuts.
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer warned: "Record flooding in the wake of Irene leading to new evacuations and dramatic rescues across the Northeast....As FEMA's disaster fund runs dangerously low." Moments later he announced the agency was "running into a serious money crunch because of Irene and in-fighting in Washington."
In a later report, correspondent Tom Costello singled out those responsible for the "infighting": "You can blame politics and the new budget realities. The Republican-controlled House already voted to give FEMA another $1 billion this fiscal year, but that increase is tied to budget cuts elsewhere. So Senate Democrats haven't acted."
Al Sharpton has never found a crisis he couldn’t exploit – even when they don’t exist – his claim to fame. On Friday’s pre-hurricane episode of his MSNBC show, he warned “Hurricane Irene is nonpartisan” and was threatening both red and blue states. That nonpartisanship doesn’t extend to hurricane coverage on TV, where liberals once again boast about the glories of government disaster aid, and conservatives are trashed as lunatics for wanting to limit the untrammeled growth of spending on natural disasters.
Sharpton began his show by announcing “the desperate race to get ready and keep people safe reminds us all how essential our government is.” Nonsense. It reminds us how essential personal responsibility is.
Then he turned to former Democrat Gov. Ed Rendell and asked “What is your take on this anti-government rhetoric in the middle of this crisis, unprecedented crisis for people on the East Coast?”
Tim Graham, the Media Research Center's Director of Media Analysis, appeared on the Fox Business Channel, Monday, to discuss the media's hyperbolic coverage of "Hurricane" Irene.
Graham asserted, "Well, I don't think there's any doubt that the media are interested in trying to cover this 24/7 and it's a little hard to sell it as tropical storm coverage for hours and hours." Speaking of Al Sharpton's political hyping of the storm, Graham quipped, "He is not a meteorologist."
In the days leading up to Hurricane Irene's march through the Northeast, journalists repeatedly suggested that the storm was yet more evidence of climate change.
"The scale of Hurricane Irene, which could cause more extensive damage along the Eastern Seaboard than any storm in decades, is reviving an old question: are hurricanes getting worse because of human-induced climate change?" asked the New York Times' Justin Gillis in his August 28 piece.
HLN guest host Don Lemon asked scientist Bill Nye on Wednesday if the storm was proof of climate change. Nye answered that it was "consistent with all the predictions of climate change models" and added that the United States is behind the times in taking action on climate change. "There's no other developed world country that isn't very concerned about climate change," Nye asserted, and ABC's weatherman Sam Champion agreed.
Gillis’s latest story, admittedly written when Irene looked more dangerous than it turned out to be, was also guilty of disaster hype.
The scale of Hurricane Irene, which could cause more extensive damage along the Eastern Seaboard than any storm in decades, is reviving an old question: are hurricanes getting worse because of human-induced climate change?
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer introduced a panel discussion on whether media coverage of Hurricane Irene was overdone by proclaiming: "Was this storm over-hyped? In some ways, it's a one-sentence argument, this storm killed more than 20 people and 4 million people are without power, and clearly there's misery and destruction. How could it have been over-hyped?"
Weatherman Al Roker completely dismissed the notion: "You look at the predictions, you look at the track, which was right on the money. And it is a Category 3 storm. There is no – there's no argument here....The preparations – everything that was done, I would say we should do over again if we get the same scenario." Weather Channel Meteorologist Jim Cantore chimed in: "How many more times do we have to play pictures [of flooding] in Vermont?"
CBS's Bill Plante inserted the oft-repeated media spin about the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina into his report on Monday's Early Show. Plante ignored the poor handling of Katrina at the state and local levels, spotlighting instead how "the stranded and homeless wandered the streets of New Orleans" as Bush flew overhead. But three days earlier, CBS brought on former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as an "expert" on hurricane preparation without mentioning his failures.
Fill-in anchor Jeff Glor stated in his introduction for the correspondent's report that "Irene was not as bad as some thought it might be, but politicians were not taking any chances. They know what happens when government is ill-prepared for disaster." Plante began by spotlighting the Obama administration's response to Hurricane Irene: