CNN’s Jack Cafferty returned to bashing Sarah Palin, one of his favorite subjects of scorn, on Monday’s Situation Room, but also slammed President Obama and top Democrats again for their closed-door negotiations on health care “reform.” Cafferty, along with anchor Wolf Blitzer, poked fun of Palin for writing talking points on her hand prior to her Tea Party Convention speech.
The CNN commentator devoted his regular 5 pm Eastern hour segment to the former Alaska governor. Cafferty sarcastically remarked, “That’s swell,” after noting that Mrs. Palin was considering a run for president in 2012. He continued with more sarcasm: “Palin, who was woefully unprepared to be John McCain’s running mate, acknowledges that she- quote, ‘sure as heck better be more astute on these national issues,’ unquote- than she was two years ago- seriously- and maybe that’s why Palin says she’s started receiving daily political and economic briefings over e-mail from various Washington experts. That ought to do it, right?”
From Monday's broadcast network evening newscasts: CBS and NBC found hypocrisy in Sarah Palin scolding President Obama's incessant use of a Teleprompter while she had “crib notes” written on her hand during her Saturday Tea Party convention appearance, CBS followed by giving Obama two-straight minutes to explain why the public will come around to “connect” with him again and, meanwhile, ABC devoted a full story to “whether Republicans want action or are just the 'Party of No'?”
CBS's Nancy Cordes reported, over a helpful graphic showing the words written on Palin's hand, that while Palin “dismissed the President Saturday night as a 'charismatic guy with a Teleprompter,' she may have been relying on some crib notes of her own.” Cordes concluded: “Her supporters called it an endearing sign that Palin's a real person, while detractors argue it's proof she doesn't know her facts.” On NBC, Brian Williams led the Palin story with how “it happened after a speech where she criticized the President for relying too much on a Teleprompter.”
Next on CBS, Katie Couric highlighted how, in her pre-SuperBowl sit-down with Obama, she had raised with him that “people are not sure who he is or what he stands for.” Viewers were then treated to a two-minute long answer from Obama, ending with his insistance that when the economy improves “we'll do just fine and everybody will be saying what a connection President Obama has with the American people. Which is what they were saying a year ago.” (“They” being journalists?)
On Monday’s Rick’s List program on CNN, Slate’s Fred Kaplan attacked Republicans for politicizing national security, accused the GOP of being in an alternate reality, and blasted Sarah Palin for “talking...complete and utter nonsense.” Kaplan also wrote off the tea parties as not a “mass movement,” and, along with anchor Rick Sanchez, accused Palin of forwarding “anti-intellectualism.”
The Slate national security columnist, who is also a former correspondent for the Boston Globe, appeared as a guest during the last ten minutes of Sanchez’s program, just before the top of the 5 pm Eastern hour. Before introducing Kaplan, the CNN anchor set up the discussion by referencing the political debate over the granting of Miranda rights to attempted airline bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab after his Christmastime arrest. Sanchez first asked the Slate writer, “Who’s doing the politicizing here?”
Since Tea Party protests became an influential movement on the national scene last year, the left in general and the liberal media in particular have tried (unsuccessfully) to render it irrelevant in the eyes of the American people. By throwing around accusations of racism and dire warnings of impending violence, these pundits have tried, unsuccessfully to undermine the movement.
University of Virginia Professor Gerard Alexander explored this trend more generally in yesterday's Washington Post poses the question, pondering, "Why Are Liberals So Condescending?" In his column, Alexander details four types of condescension widespread among the far-left and omnipresent in its talking points. Perhaps unsurprisingly, all four have been employed by left-leaning journalists to bash the Tea Party movement.
"American liberals, to a degree far surpassing conservatives," Alexander writes, "appear committed to the proposition that their views are correct, self-evident, and based on fact and reason, while conservative positions are not just wrong but illegitimate, ideological and unworthy of serious consideration."
While discussing Sarah Palin’s Saturday Tea Party Convention speech with political analyst John Dickerson on Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez remarked: “She was really scrutinized because she wrote those notes on her hand during her speech....I want to show real quick....boy, are her critics having fun with that one.”
As Rodriguez mentioned the incident, a headline on screen read: “Helping Hand? Palin Seen Glancing At Notes On Palm.” Dickerson was forgiving: “Well, we all face a little difficulty getting our words together in public moments,” but added: “I think this will be the kind of thing the Democrats will use to pick at her, you know, the notion is that basically she doesn’t have the capabilities to be president.” Dickerson concluded: “I don’t think in the long term, though, this is – will cause her too much trouble.”
While Rodriguez made sure to point out Palin’s gaffe to viewers, during an interview last February, Rodriguez glossed over an obvious gaffe made by Vice President Joe Biden.
If you're a follower of conservative politics and also a user of the social networking tool Twitter, you've more than likely have noticed the use of "#tcot," for "top conservatives on Twitter" associated with certain posts that pertain to that subject matter. But it all didn't happen by accident. In the early stages, it was a concerted effort.
And most of it was because of the work of Michael Patrick Leahy, the author of "Rules for Conservative Radicals," which is a takeoff on Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals." And as Leahy explained, the origins of the acronym ‘tcot' and its use on Twitter were the creation of him, an Orange County, Calif. software engineer and a 78-year-old Texas grandmother.
And Leahy, who is the third cousin of Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., explained to a group assembled by Sandy Horwitt, author of an Alinsky biography, "Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky: His Life and Legacy" at a Washington, D.C. Chinatown restaurant on Feb. 4, how he got the ball rolling on the who "tcot" concept.
Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon bashed the media's coverage of the tea party movement with unsubstantiated claims of bias during a panel on "Fox News Sunday."
"Unsubstantiated claims" of media bias against the TEA Party movement? Really? Seriously?
It may be time for Calderone to move off the media beat. He clearly hasn't been paying attention to major details of a major story for nearly a year.
I would offer he could be moved to Obituaries, but that too would entail coverage of the "MSM."
How has Calderone missed completely the now nearly ubiquitous presence of the sexually-explicit, derogatory term used by members of the "MSM" to describe the participants in said Movement? The in-person attacks on Party participants by the likes of CNN's Susan Roesgen (now no longer with the firm)? The over-arching denigrating words and deeds by people throughout the "MSM?"
There is so much "MSM" anti-TEA Party venom to substantiate Sammon's assertion, one hardly knows where to begin. So we will simply list, with links and dates, documentation aplenty below.
(Cursory glance result: 52 NB stories.)
We hope Calderone avails himself hereof, and repents. In writing. Today.
Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement “both have far less support in the country at large than a gullible Old Media seems to understand or suggest,” Time magazine senior political analyst Mark Halperin asserted on “The Page” while colleague Joe Klein, on Time’s “Swampland” blog, showed fear of the supposedly impotent coalition as he denigrated her Saturday night convention speech as “anti-intellectual drivel,” scolding as “anti-American” those dumb enough to like her:
Those who celebrate Sarah Palin's lack of knowledge as a form of “authenticity” superior to Barack Obama's gloriously American mongrel ethnicity and self-made intellectuality are representatives of a long-standing American theme – the celebration of sameness, and mediocrity, in a country that has succeeded brilliantly because of its diversity and restlessly eccentric genius. Happily, it has almost always been a losing theme. And, indeed, in the truest sense, it can be called anti-American.
Halperin, political director for ABC News until 2007, appeared on the Sunday edition of ABC’s World News where he insisted Palin and tea partiers are “still not big enough or specific enough to do anything but criticize Obama, criticize the government” and while “that creates excitement,” it's “not a national governing movement.”
Democratic operative Bob Shrum, just after Sarah Palin finished her address to the Tea Party convention in Nashville, during the live MSNBC coverage Saturday night anchored by liberal radio host Ed Schultz who noted Palin had cited Ronald Reagan:
The difference with Ronald Reagan was that he always had an alternative vision of where America should go. And what we heard tonight was more a masterful exercise – masterful – in paranoid politics. I mean, she came across to me as a merchant of hate with an oh gosh smile...
Rachel Maddow on Friday referred to attendees of the National Tea Party convention in Nashville, Tennessee, as white-hooded racists.
Continuing MSNBC's sad tradition, Maddow first attacked one of the convention's speakers: "The opening speech last night was given by failed presidential candidate, ex-congressman and professional anti-immigrant, Tom Tancredo who started the event off with a bang, a big loud racist bang."
From there, she went after the audience (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
“The business of this first ever national Tea Party convention is the nuts and bolts of politics, like voter registration,” ABC’s John Berman began his Friday night World News story from Nashville, “but barely scratch the surface, and there's a tone of anger and confrontation.”
Specifically: “The convention's first speaker, former Congressman Tom Tancredo, said that people who voted for Barack Obama could not pass a basic civics literacy test.” Tancredo’s offensive remark: “People who could not even spell the word vote put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House.” Berman pounced on the rhetoric as out of bounds: “The President a socialist, his supporters illiterate? Today, Tancredo stood by those comments.”
Berman showed how attendees shared the bizarre assessment, running soundbites of a man affirming “I believe he is a socialist ideologue” and a woman asserting “You just read his history, he’s a Marxist,” before finding another man to agree that calling the President's supporters illiterate “was probably a little harsh.”
Berman concluded: “One of the goals of this convention is to turn this movement into a political force. The question is, does the harsh rhetoric keep them on the fringe?” Sort of like the media’s condemnation of Americans with which they disagree marginalize their influence?
CNN’s Rick Sanchez failed to mention the party affiliation of former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon on Friday’s Rick’s List program, but made every effort to identify former Congressman Tom Tancredo as a Republican. Sanchez ranked Tancredo higher on his “List You Don’t Want to Be On” for his remarks at the Tea Party Convention, despite Dixon’s conviction for illegally using donated gift cards for the needy.
The CNN anchor gave the number three and number two spots on his “List You Don’t Want to Be On” just before the top of the 4 pm Eastern hour. Sanchez chose Dixon as his number three, and gave a brief on her resignation from office and how she received two years probation for her crime. He didn’t mention her Democratic Party affiliation during his brief, nor was it mentioned in the accompanying on-screen graphic.
MSNBC on Friday continued to mock and deride the "controversial" tea party movement. Host David Shuster commented on the group's Nashville convention and asserted that it's "full of workshops, meetings, funny outfits and speeches." Setting the tone for how the conventioneers would be portrayed, Shuster introduced the segment by playing a clip of an unidentified woman.
"I just couldn't sit down anymore and not do anything, because it reminded me of what happened during the reign of Hitler," the woman asserted. Couldn't MSNBC have found someone complaining about spending or the size of government? Reporter Domenico Montanaro dismissed keynote speaker Sarah Palin. He wondered if "she's a politician first or a political celebrity first, now."
On Thursday, MSNBC continued its quest to link conservatives with the birther movement- people who don't believe Barack Obama is constitutionally eligible to serve as President. Previewing an unrelated segment on this weekend's tea party convention, Norah O'Donnell played a clip of Obama criticizing those who raise the issue. She then compared, "President Obama sends a message to those who question his citizenship, this as the tea party movement gets ready for its first big convention."
At no point did O'Donnell explain or justify the connection, other than her apparent assumption that tea partiers equal birthers. The MSNBC host interviewed author Rick Scarborough, one of the speakers at the convention in Nashville. During the piece, this MSNBC graphic appeared in large font at the bottom of the screen: "Obama: Okay to Question My Policy, Not My Citizenship."
[Update, 5:24 pm Eastern: Audio and video clips from Acosta’s report added.]
CNN’s Jim Acosta continued his network’s bias against tea party protesters on Wednesday’s American Morning by depicting them as “recession raging,” and questioned one participant over her depiction of President Obama as the personification of death: “Do you think having the President dressed up as the Grim Reaper is a little over-the-top?” Acosta then asked, “You think it’s appropriate?” [audio clip available here]
The correspondent’s report on Wednesday was the first in a series titled “Welcome to the Tea Party.” During his presentation, which first aired 39 minutes into the 7 am hour, Acosta followed his network’s model of focusing on the negative depictions of President Obama at tea party gatherings and painting the protests in a negative light. Over 5 months earlier, his colleague Jim Spellman followed the cross-country caravan of the Tea Party Express organization before the massive 9/12 rally in 2009, and zeroed-in on the protesters who labeled the President a Nazi, brought firearms to rallies, or held “outlandish conspiracy theories.” He labeled all these “a dark undercurrent.” Much more infamously, former CNN correspondent Susan Roesgen took personal offensive at a depiction of the chief executive with a Hitler mustache, while three years earlier, she thought a similar portrayal of President Bush was “comic.”
Rick Santelli is the star of perhaps the most politically consequential online video, viral to the extreme, of the past year (right). On February 19, 2009 he let loose on the Obama administration's economic policies on CNBC's "Squawk Box", calling for a "tea party", and inspiring millions of Americans to speak out against what he and many others see as collectivist economics policies pursued by the President and Congress..
“That was spontaneous, absolutely,” he said in an interview with the Daily Caller. “It was also from the heart, and I had no idea of the direction it would take or the response it would get.”
Almost a year later, Santelli is widely seen as the godfather of a large political coalition that, according to some polls, rivals the two major parties in popularity. The Tea Party protesters staged 48 simultaneous protests on tax day last year, a rally on the lawn of the Capitol with hundreds of thousands, if not millions of attendees, and will hold its own convention this week, with Sarah Palin giving the keynote address.
Since Ron Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan, would probably be the first to admit his political view are widely divergent from his father's it seems strange that he would put words in the Gipper's mouth about current events.
It's curious to see people in the mainstream media try to make sense of the Tea Party movement. The New York Times, which once called the Tea Parties a psychological phenomenon rather than a political movement, has now changed its tune.
In the wake of the stunning upset by Scott Brown in the Jan. 19 Massachusetts special election to fill the seat vacated by Ted Kennedy's death, the Times is attempting a more analytical look at the so-called "tea party tiger." Specifically, the Times looked at some key figures in the movement, Sen. Jim DeMint, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Fox News host Glenn Beck and CNBC CME group reporter Rick Santelli.
CNBC ‘Squawk Box' co-host Joe Kernen told Santelli about the Times story on Jan. 25.
NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday said the Tea Party movement has made it impossible for President Obama to buy the Republican votes he needs to pass his agenda.
Appearing on "Meet the Press," Todd told his fellow panelists, "I think the most striking thing about the minority party today...is that a Republican can't go home, and it's mostly because of this tea party crowd, cannot go home and sell a piece of pork that they got from Washington."
In Todd's view, this makes it tough for Obama because "it's not as if he can trade, you know, go and have these trades with a Susan Collins or Olympia Snowe, or let's say Lamar [Alexander]...or something like this, because they're not getting a benefit at home of bringing something back" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
A small group of liberal talking heads may be realizing that opposition to Obama is not, in fact, wholly irrational. Though it would be a bit too hasty to proclaim it a trend among the mainstream media, it has been a refreshing break from the smears usually hurled at the right by the nation's pundits.
First was Chris Matthews, who stunningly turned right and voiced his concern about an excessively large federal government, as Noel Sheppard reported this morning. NBC's David Gregory also came to his senses today, and admitted--his prior statements notwithstanding--that the Tea Party movement has been advocating the same principles that led to Scott Brown's victory yesterday (h/t Mary Katherine Ham).
Speaking on this morning's Morning Joe, Gregory characterized yesterday's special election as a sincere populist backlash against unpopular policies. The election was "about incumbency and whether government's working for you," he said. "That's what really cuts through all this is whether government is working for the people. That's what's fueling the Tea Party movement."
MSNBC’s David Shuster on Wednesday used the victory of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts as another opportunity to trash the tea party movement. Teasing an interview with one of the organizers, he smeared, "The first anniversary of President Obama's inauguration. The Hitler mustaches and the Joker and everything else." [Audio available here.]
Talking with the grassroots director of FreedomWorks, Brendan Steinhauser, Shuster rejected the notion that the tea partiers are part of the political center. The host derided, "Right, but is it the dead center when you see signs like the signs that we just showed that are easy to find at a tea party protest of Obama as a Marxist? Obama as a socialist? Obama with a Hitler mustache?" A feisty Steinhauser repeatedly knocked down Shuster’s talking points: "Well, no. Those signs with Barack Obama as Hitler, that comes from Lyndon LaRouche PAC. It’s clearly on the sign and that’s a left-wing guy."
Regarding the Senate election in the Bay State, Shuster lamented, "Brown's win could be good news for the tea party movement, which didn't seem as frightening to independent voters in Massachusetts as Democrats had hoped."
An ad for a new Chris Matthews special featured the MSNBC host complaining about tea party protesters who are "threatened" by an African American President. As pictures of protests appeared onscreen, Matthews derided, "For the first time, we have an African American head of state. But, there’s always going to be people who challenge it, who are threatened by it."
The special, Obama’s America: 2010 and Beyond, will air live at 10pm on Monday. (The ad has been running all week on MSNBC.) It will include a town hall discussion and liberal radio host Tom Joyner. The announcer in the ad, perhaps previewing the program’s tone, wondered, "One year after the historic election, how have we changed?"
Charles Blow's op-ed in Saturday New York Times, "G.O.P. Grief and Grieving," offensively mocked the Tea Party protesters as rednecks and rather desperately and unconvincingly insisted, against current evidence (the Massachusetts Senate race, anyone?) that the conservative movement is in its death throes.
At least Blow recognizes that the tea party protesters are not partisan in nature but have major problems with the Republican establishment as well as President Obama:
The attack on the Republican establishment by the tea party folks grabs the gaze like a really bad horror flick -- some version of "Hee Haw" meets "28 Days Later." It's fascinating. But it also raises a serious question: Are these the desperate thrashings of a dying movement or the labor pains of a new one?
(I suspect Blow really wanted to compare the tea partiers to the banjo players in "Deliverance," but rejected the idea as too on-the-nose.)
The Times dispatched its political personality profiler and snarkster-in-chief Mark Leibovich to Florida to report on the hot race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Mel Martinez. In the course of his report, Leibovich ran into a conservative in a parking lot who showed "contempt" for the New York Times. (Wonder why?)
Moderate Gov. Charlie Crist looks set to battle insurgent conservative Marco Rubio in the Republican primary in late August. Leibovich's piece, "The First Senator From the Tea Party?" which will appear in the Times Magazine next Sunday, described the reporter's attendance at a Tea Party rally in Orlando, from which he dutifully filed anecdotes about racist attacks, bullying, and birther-paranoia on the part of conservatives.
First, Leibovich sat down with the "embattled Republican" Crist, the "pragmatist" battling "ideological purists" in his own party:
To many Republicans, the governor's biggest sin was his support for the Obama administration's $787 billion economic-stimulus package. That's what comes up the most, although a fair number of conservatives also blame Crist for his seemingly decisive endorsement of John McCain three days before the Florida primary in the 2008 presidential campaign, effectively handing the state to an eventual nominee for whom many conservatives had little use. They see Crist's career as pockmarked with instances of consensus-seeking, deal-making and bipartisanship -- three particularly vulgar notions to a simmering Tea Party movement on the right. Conservatives have tagged Crist as being part of that pariah breed of Republican today: a "moderate." Or worse.
Since the Tea Parties began early last year, MSNBC has been a strong and often caustic voice against their very existence.
On Tuesday, Ed Schultz continued the network's vitriolic attacks on average Americans protesting the direction of their country by calling Party goers "the wingnuts of America."
He also excoriated Rep. Michele Bachman (R-Minn.) for saying the GOP should embrace the Tea Party movement by claiming, "You would be redefining the Republican party as ignorant and hateful" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Story Balloon):
If there was ever any doubt National Public Radio had a political slant, check out the animated video posted on the network's Web site. That should clear up any doubt.
This video dated Nov. 12, 2009 was created by Mark Fiore, a political animator, who NPR reports is described by The Wall Street Journal as "the undisputed guru of the form." The video demonstrates for viewers how to speak "tea bag," which is a term lefties for whatever reason seem to find absolutely hilarious. (h/t Jesse Hathaway via Bob Parks). Transcript as follows:
Moderator: Finally, learning a new language doesn't have to be hard. You can be fluent in conversational tea bag in just a few short minutes. Lesson one: Don't get distracted by the confusing words of other languages. Character: I think the public option and the competition it would foster would really -- socialist, socialist. Moderator: Good, very good. Lesson two: If you're having trouble understanding the words of others or being understood yourself, use teabag's stronger, more descriptive words. Character: The Nazi, Nazi, Nazi
In keeping with the tradition of the holidays - the minds at MSNBC, the place for politics if you're of the lefty persuasion, decided rate the top 10 political stories of the decade.
And leading this gang of masters of the political journalism universe was "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, who on the broadcast of his Dec. 24 program, announced that conservative activism, mainly the tea party movement was the eighth biggest story of the decade - but labeled "angry white voters" (emphasis added).
"Welcome back to ‘Hardball' - our number eight political story of the decade, angry whites at town hall meetings across the country," Matthews said. "Lawmakers heard the wrath of angry voters."
On Dec. 22, when Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama announced he would be switching from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, it was to be expected MSNBC, the so-called "Place for Politics" would spin it in anyway imaginable. But Rachel Maddow decided to use the left's favorite boogeyman, the tea party movement, to denigrate conservatives and distract from what could be real problems for House Democrats.
Rachel Maddow on Friday played a video of a man in underwear banging his genitals against another man's forehead in a gay bar.
This was done to explain to her MSNBC audience the derivation of the term "teabagger," the sexually-charged double entendre that sadly became popular this spring and summer as Tea Parties swept the nation.
According to Maddow, "This is where "teabag" comes from. This is a clip from a 1998 film by John Waters that`s called 'Pecker.'"
As the dancer in the fictional gay bar squats to bang his genitals against a customer's forehead, the emcee played by Martha Plimpton says, "Hey, Larry, no teabagging. You know the rules. No balls on foreheads."
At least Maddow warned her viewers to "get the kids out of this room or put them in ear muffs and cover up their eyes" before she rolled the clip (video embedded below the fold with transcript, relevant section at 2:30, file photo):
A liberal Washington Post columnist laments today of the loss of civility in the public discourse. Strange that he is suddenly outraged that Americans would dare call Obama a socialist or a fascist, given that Bush-Hitler comparisons were widespread during the previous administration.
Liberals in the media spent the summer and early fall bemoaning signs at town hall protests and tea party rallies calling Obama a socialist or communist comparing him to Hitler (incidentally, many of these signs were actually created by supporters of uber-leftist Lyndon LaRouche, as reported by Seton Motley here and here). These pundits had no such admonitions for signs at anti-war rallies during the Bush administration comparing him to Hitler and the Devil, and calling the president a fascist.
So the Post's E.J. Dionne's complaints about the loss of civility in the debate over federal politics fit right in with the narrative liberal pundits have been pushing since last year: comparing an American president to a murderous dictator is unacceptable...if that president is a Democrat.