Filling in for Alex Wagner on Monday afternoon, Ari Melber of the left-wing Nation magazine did some thing on MSNBC's Now that Wagner and many of their colleagues have been reluctant to do themselves -- expose the deception and dishonesty of Obama on the subject of drone attacks. While there was a brief mention or two in the weeks and months that preceded the election, the coverage was never sufficient -- considering the circumstances.
It's a telling sign however, that such a report would air three weeks after the incumbent's decisive re-election victory, by a guest host at that. Armed with indisputable video evidence, Melber noted the disparity between the candidate and the president [video below the page break]:
CNN's White House correspondent Dan Lothian made headlines with his ridiculous softball question to President Obama on Sunday. However, as NewsBusters has documented, Lothian has posed such a soft question to Obama before, and has shown some liberal bias in his past reporting.
Lothian asked the President at Sunday's press conference in Hawaii if he thought the Republican candidates, who supported the practice of waterboarding, were "uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible." Fox News analyst Bernie Goldberg later called it "the most ridiculous question I have ever heard by a regular reporter from a so-called mainstream news outfit. Ever." [Video of the question below the break. Click here for audio.]
ABC and NBC have delivered fawning coverage of First Lady Michelle Obama's visit this week to South Africa and Botswana, oozing over the "celebrity" and "excitement" of the "patented Michelle power" on display. To its credit, CBS has largely taken a pass on the idolatry.
Is Obama more 'hawkish' and yet more charming than his immediate predecessor?
Apparently so, claimed Time's Mark Halperin and MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski on Thursday's edition of "Morning Joe."
Halperin believes that President Obama has been more cavalier than his predecessor, and Brzezinski thinks that although Obama has extended many of Bush's unpopular policies, he brings a different "characterization" to the table.
The panel harped on the irony of Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize despite his inexperience in the White House at the time (less than a year) and the fact that he has continued American wars overseas and started a third one in Libya. Liberals Mike Barnicle and Mika Brzezinski both admitted to having been taken aback by the 2009 decision to bestow the prize on the president in his freshman year in office. (Interestingly enough, this recalls an episode in 2009 when co-host Joe Scarborough mocked the Nobel committee's decision on the "Morning Joe" set.)
(Video after the jump. Comments from start until 3 minutes in.)
The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."
There is one thing I very much want everyone who reads this to understand. Although I vehemently disagree with just about everything Barack Obama has done since he has been in office, and I really believe that he's digging a fiscal hole that this nation will be generations, if ever, digging out of, although I believe him to be a total socialist and just hate it when I have seen him bow to royalty around the world, I will write this piece with as much impartiality as I can, so that it will not be about the man or anything he has done in the past, but rather about the defense of this nation.
First of all, trying terrorists in America is nothing more than gross arrogance by our President and Attorney General.
The repercussions of a terrorist trial in New York could be so catastrophic that you don't even want to think about it.
“Barack Obama as a person is a fantastic individual, but Barack Obama as an idea marks an evolutionary flash point for humanity,” gushed actor Will Smith (IMDb page), who will co-host Friday's Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo. His idealization of Obama came during a recorded interview, from Norway, with CNN's Dan Lothian run shortly before 5 PM EST on Thursday's The Situation Room.
Asked if Obama had really earned the peace prize, Smith's wife, actress Jada Pickett Smith who will co-host the concert with her husband, insisted: “All I can say is that our President has opened his arms to the world and he has been a huge symbol of change himself. So, I have to say that I was quite honored when he was bestowed the Nobel Peace Prize.” Will Smith chimed in with how “they've been giving out that award for a hundred and some years, so they get kind of good at picking” the honoree.
Newsweek writer and native Australian Katie Connolly set out to lecture American readers today on the magazine's Gaggle blog yesterday about how Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize isn't really about the man or the United States as a country, but rather the U.S. as a lofty ideal -- an ideal she reckons in the eyes of "the collective world" to have been "almost entirely undone" by the Bush administration.
As such, Connolly tells us in her December 9 post that Obama had to show kindly Norweigans that his countrymen aren't such a rude, rabble-rousing lot after all, an impression she insists was given by how many Americans exercised that all-too-American ideal of free speech when they criticized the awarding of the Nobel to the freshman president (emphases mine):
Tom Brokaw made an appearance on this morning's edition of Morning Joe this morning, plugging his interview with the former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Brokaw was, of course, reporting from the historic Brandenburg Gate this morning to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The Brew Crew were gathered in their studio with national security expert Dr. Richard Haas, discussing such weighty subjects as the American response to the fall of communism, the geopolitical advantages and disadvantages of that event, and so on. And which of these subjects did Brokaw use to segue into the subject of his interview?
Concerned about how President Obama's "critics will dog him all the way to Oslo," former NBC "Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw took to the op-ed page of the October 15 Washington Post to offer his recipe for "lift[ing] this discussion out of the partisan soup that is now the main course on our national agenda, whatever the issue."
Chef Brokaw then served up what is a proverbial bipartisan casserole comprised of some apolitical figures as well as a smattering of Democratic and Republican statesmen from the past quarter century:
Rachel Campos-Duffy, former reality-TV star and current blogger for Anderson Cooper's AC360 blog, was Elizabeth Hasselbeck's fill-in on today's edition of The View. As a conservative fill-in, she did not disappoint.
Before diving into the meat of the blog, however, we at NewsBusters would like to congratulate her on this bit of news [emphasis mine]:
RACHEL CAMPOS-DUFFY: Thank you. And, yes, I found happiness after all. And the news is, because I've never come on "The View," as Joy knows, without announcing a pregnancy. And I am having a sixth child and I'm three months pregnant.
That is wonderful news - congratulations to her and her husband Sean.
Now, containing our pro-life glee for a moment, the Viewettes transitioned from a conversation about Campos-Duffy’s happy home life to a discussion of President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize win:
Hardly shocking news, but it's always good to note for the record whenever a mainstream media journalist admits – or boasts – of voting for the more liberal presidential candidate. The Nobel Peace Prize going to President Barack Obama prompted such an admission from long-time Washington Post reporter Ruth Marcus, the paper's deputy national editor from 1999 through 2002 (bio) and now a columnist. In an opinion piece in the Saturday Post, Marcus called the selection “ridiculous -- embarrassing, even.” Then she offered up what gives her the credibility to make such a judgment:
I admire President Obama. I like President Obama. I voted for President Obama.
She concluded by fretting of Obama's Nobel: “I suspect it did not do the president any favors. Obama's cheerleaders don't need encouragement -- and his critics will only seize on the prize to further lampoon the Obama-as-messiah storyline. Now what does he do for an encore?”
However, will they be so eager to echo the sentiment of David Brooks in the wake of President Barack Obama's Nobel Prize announcement? On PBS's Oct. 9 "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," the Times columnist had some disparaging words for Obama's award - despite a sentiment from some liberals that those who question it were somehow un-American.
"Well, my first reaction is he should have won all the prizes because he has given speeches about peace, but also he's give economic speeches. He wrote a book - that's literature. He has biological elements within his body. He could win that prize. He could have swept the whole prizes," Brooks said tongue-in-cheek before delivering the knock-out blow. "Now - it's sort of a joke."
ABC, CBS and NBC all led Friday night with the “surprise” pick of President Barack Obama for the Nobel Peace Prize after less than a year in office and acknowledged the choice was meant as a slap at former President George W. Bush, but that didn't prevent the network journalists from touting the honor of the selection and, in one case, worrying about how critics will use the award against him.
“He has been in office nine months,” ABC anchor Charles Gibson observed as ABC plastered glowing praise on screen: “The Nobel committee citation seemed to take note of that, saying, 'only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope.'” Katie Couric exclaimed: “Talk about an October surprise!”
Despite the obvious politicization of the award, NBC's Brian Williams championed how it's “one of the last remaining towering honors on Earth.” Williams also fretted over how Obama's advisers will deal with “knowing that critics of the White House will use this, oddly, as a tool against him.” On CBS, Jeff Greenfield saw vindication for Obama after losing the Olympic bid:
Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter grouped conservative talk radio with Islamic radicals, specifically singling out Rush Limbaugh for attack, on Friday’s MSNBC Live. While acknowledging that “everybody agrees it was premature” to award the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama, Alter singled out the two groups that, in his view, were actually voicing criticism: “You’ve got the mullahs in the Taliban, and then you’ve got Mullah Rush” [audio clip from the segment available here].
Anchor Tamron Hall brought on the Newsweek senior editor and MSNBC news analyst minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour. Midway through the segment, Hall noted the “reaction from the world” and the “incredible pressure” that President Obama is facing concerning the war in Afghanistan. Alter replied that “it’s important to know that the award doesn’t go for pacifists....There have been plenty of examples of recipients who’ve been heads of state and...were war presidents. But...I also think it’s important to know who is actually sounding off against this. Everybody agrees it was premature, maybe undeserved. But who’s actually attacking it? Well, you’ve got the mullahs in the Taliban, and then you’ve got Mullah Rush [Limbaugh] -- you know, you have his, his [Obama’s] critics here at home” [video from the segment available below the jump].
No wonder why Chris Matthews is always positively tingly over Obama. It's just a neverending Gorbasm with a different leftist object of lust.
Today on "Hardball," Matthews favorably compared the president to former Soviet dictator and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Mikhail Gorbachev (MP3 audio available here):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, host: When Gorbachev became chairman of the [Communist] Party and ran, took over Russia [sic], a lot of us in this country said, this guy, by his very fact of coming to office has so changed Soviet history, Communist history. I love the guy. Because he came in there and knocked off that whole history of Andropov and Stalin and all those bums. He comes in there as an open door.
MATTHEWS: Isn't the statement's he's [Obama has] made about torture, his opposition to the Iraq War, his statements of approval of the rest of the world, after Bush's chauvinism and cheap shots about French fries. After eight years of that nonsense, doesn't the world have a right to say, "Thank God, America is back to being America again"?
Newsweek has a blog called “The Gaggle.” I’ll skip the tired jokes about how I didn’t know either, and just get to the main point: Ben Adler and Daniel Stone, writers for this blog, are defending the Nobel Prize Committee’s choice of President Barack Obama as the 2009 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
As you can see, not much is needed in the way of extra humor.
Here are the reasons they give for President Obama’s worthiness:
MSNBC’s David Shuster on Friday slammed conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh and RNC Chairman Michael Steele as "un-American" and "extreme" for criticizing Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize win. The liberal co-host of News Live applauded the President’s speech on the award and asserted, "...It makes the harsh comments from Michael Steele, from Rush Limbaugh, the rest, seem even more extreme and, as some would argue, un-American." (Audio available here.)
Arguing that Obama came across as humble for stating that he’s not worthy to be in the same category as some of the other nominees, Shuster told co-anchor Tamron Hall that the remarks "made some of the conservatives look silly." Hall herself found the President’s reaction to be "incredible" and unquestioningly cooed, "...The President started out his speech, or address this morning, saying that his daughter Malia walked in and said, ‘Dad, you won the Nobel Peace Prize. And, by the way, it is our dog's first birthday.’"
On Friday’s CBS Early Show, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer wondered about negative political fallout from President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize win: “one European commentator who said ‘will this become a poison chalice?’ In other words, is this going to hurt the President rather than help him?...is this going to widen the part of partisan divide rather than bring people together?”
Schieffer spoke with Early Show co-host Maggie Rodriguez, who asked: “Clearly a surprise to everyone, including the White House, for the President to be awarded this less than nine months into his term. And already some people are questioning whether he deserves it.” Schieffer expressed that skepticism: “My first reaction was, ‘what?!....It’s almost as if they’re saying ‘we’re giving you the Nobel Peace Prize for winning the election.’...I can’t recall anybody who won this prize for his aspirations. People usually get it for results.”
During 11AM CBS breaking news coverage of the President’s acceptance speech, anchor Jeff Glor got more Scheiffer reaction: “Is this more a commentary on the current administration and the current president or the previous administration, Bob?” Schieffer replied: “It’s almost as if the committee today was giving Barack Obama a prize for not being George Bush.”
CNN’s White House correspondent Dan Lothian, on Friday's American Morning, saw nothing but pluses for President Obama’s reception of the Nobel Peace Prize. Lothian guessed that “the President obviously is getting an ‘A’ for effort here,” and even went so far to speculate about whether the reward could help the Democrat “push through on...health care as well...so this could help him.”
Anchors Kiran Chetry and John Roberts turned to the correspondent right out of the gate at the beginning of the program at 6 AM EDT. Chetry asked if there had been any official reaction from the White House at that early hour, and Lothian confirmed that the administration hadn’t released any statement at that point. He continued that “two things came to mind when this shocking announcement was made. First of all, that the President obviously is getting an ‘A’ for effort here. The President has made overtures and talked about, since he was running for president, that he wanted to be one who would engage in dialogue.” The White House correspondent cited the Obama administration recent work with Iran and the President “trying to get both the Israelis and the Palestinians to jump-start the peace process there.”
Anchoring live coverage on Friday of Barack Obama’s speech about receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, ABC’s Charles Gibson enthused that the President won the award because he inspires. The World News host extolled, "The Nobel Committee feeling that he has inspired a new sense in the world." (Audio available here.)
Introducing another ABC host, Gibson commented on the "humble" tone of Obama’s address. He then spun, "But, the use of the word inspiration is interesting, George Stephanopoulos, because, indeed, that's why he won this award."
Stephanopoulos would not be outdone in lauding the Commander in Chief for his humble nature. He touted, "I thought it was a deft statement, Charlie. I thought the President deftly deflected a lot of the criticism of the committee and he might get for getting this prize by saying. 'I don't feel I deserve to be in the company of other winners.'"
Moments after President Obama’s remarks in the Rose Garden this morning, NBC anchor Brian Williams took a weird shot at the blogosphere as the “comic element of our society,” suggesting perhaps that Obama or the Nobel committee would face three days of mockery over what Williams in the same broadcast himself termed the “bizarre” selection of Obama as this year’s Peace Prize Winner.
In his typically overblown and convoluted fashion, Williams argued to White House reporter Chuck Todd that “the way our society and civilization is set up now,” the “comic element of our society -- the blogosphere, pundits, the opinion-based economy in the United States” would “just get a free shot and have at it for the next three days at least.” [MP3 audio available here]
Is Twitter a place where journalists betray their biases? Yes, in the case of ABC Nightline anchor Terry Moran. If you like the "feeling of hope," then you favor Obama's prize.
Today: "Obama's Nobel is an award to a feeling more than any deed:the feeling of hope.Justified?Depends on what you think of the Nobel--and of hope."
Last week, after the Chicago Olympic fiasco: "Today this Chicago-born die-hard is crestfallen. I know--lots of people are happy: Obama-haters, fiscal cons, etc. But not me. I need a pop."
Moran doesn’t "tweet" multiple times a day – unlike ABC’s Jake Tapper (who joked on Twitter today about Arizona State refusing an honorary degree: "apparently the standards are more exacting for an ASU honorary degree these days.") But Moran did get repeatedly exercised over Rep. Joe Wilson’s yelling at Obama:
The Associated Press took to the streets of Washington, D.C. and Chicago this morning for reaction from everyday citizens about President Obama's Nobel Prize win. All but one of the featured interviewees expressed at least some skepticism about the president's worthiness to receive the award. And no, it seems none of these men (and woman) on the street are rabid right-wingers.
Good Morning America co-host Diane Sawyer on Friday used an odd expression to fawn over Barack Obama’s Nobel Prize win. She cooed that the award is "the Olympic gold of international diplomacy." (Was this Sawyer’s way of saying the prize makes up for the Chicago Olympic failure?)
In a follow-up segment, former top Democratic aide turned journalist George Stephanopoulos touted what an enormous impact the Nobel Prize would have: "But on a serious note, White House aides do believe this will strengthen the President's hand, both at home and abroad." He explained how these "White House aides" (Rahm Emanuel, perhaps?) told him that "this will really strengthen the President's hand as they try to force inspectors in to the Iranian nuclear sites."
Sawyer should be credited for at least asking the obvious question. Talking to Geir Lundeestad, the director of the Nobel Institute, she quizzed, "Here’s the first question: Nine months into a presidency. Isn’t that a little fast?" Reporter Yunji De Nies mildly observed, "But with critics arguing that Mr. Obama's accomplishments have yet to rival those of previous winners, the chairman of the committee found himself on the defensive."
While two reporters -- Washington Post White House reporter Michael Fletcher and Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Gerald Seib -- criticized RNC Chairman Michael Steele this morning on NPR's Diane Rehm show for issuing a statement against Obama after the Nobel Peace Prize win [transcript now below], will reporters forward and criticize this, from the CNN Political Ticker?
A Democratic National Committee spokesman said Friday the GOP has "thrown in its lot with the terrorists" in criticizing the president's Nobel Peace Prize award.
“The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists – the Taliban and Hamas this morning – in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize," DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse said in a statement.
Even Barack Obama’s fan club on NBC’s Today were stunned at the President’s winning of the Nobel Peace Prize. Co-host Matt Lauer found it baffling: “We’re less than a year into the first term of this president and there are no -- I'm not trying to be, you know, rude here -- no major foreign policy achievements, to date.”
Meet the Press moderator David Gregory felt the need to point out the “left-leaning” impulse of the Europeans who christened Obama as the world’s leading peacemaker for 2009: “This is a lot more about tone than it is substantive accomplishment. In many ways, this is a European body who is more left-leaning, certainly, and opposed to the administration of George W. Bush.”
Lauer followed up: “So, what you're saying in some ways and, again, not to be rude here or sarcastic, that in some ways he wins this award for not being George W. Bush?”
What a morning at Morning Joe! First, a "senior White House official" sent an email calling Joe Scarborough an "a-----e" for mocking Pres. Obama's Nobel Peace Prize. A bit later, responding to Rush Limbaugh's depiction of Scarborough as a "neutered, chickified moderate," Scarborough repeatedly claimed that Pres. George W. Bush had Rush's "testicles in a blind trust."
Scarborough and Time's Mark Halperin—whom no one would accuse of being a right-wing hack—had some good-natured fun with the Nobel news. A laughing-out-loud Scarborough suggested among other things that Marisa Tomei was more deserving of her Academy Award. But the Messiah will not be mocked, and it wasn't long before NBC's Savannah Guthrie, on the set, announced that she had received an email from "a senior White House official" telling Joe to "stop being an a------e" [spelled out in the original, according to Savannah]. Mika Brzezinski tried to soft-pedal the insult, claiming the White House was "joking." Real side-splitter! Is this the new standard of civility from Dems so offended by "you lie"?
No Peace Prize is likely to be awarded to Scarborough or Rush Limbaugh anytime soon. War has broken out between the two. Scarborough initiated hostilities by criticizing Rush for reveling in PBO's Olympic failure. Rush returned fire yesterday, calling Scarborough a "neutered, chickified moderate." This morning, Scarborough repeatedly claimed that W had Rush's "testicles in a blind trust" for eight years. Joe asserted that he had early and often warned Republicans against profligate spending during the Bush years, while others stood by in support of the president.