After censoring any coverage of the continuing ObamaCare disaster since Monday morning, NBC did manage to find time to cover Michelle Obama's fashion choices and the First Couple's first date on Wednesday's Today, with co-host Matt Lauer excitedly telling viewers to stay tuned: "First Lady Michelle Obama opens up about her very first date with the future president as well as her biggest fashion regret." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the segment that followed, news reader Natalie Morales gushed: "We're used to seeing First Lady Michelle Obama looking very stylish and picture perfect, but in a new interview with BET, the First Lady admitted there is one particular look that she now regrets....the First Lady was also asked about her first date with the President and she revealed more about their day-long adventure than she's ever really revealed before."
Wednesday's CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three morning show to spotlight Henry Chao's stunning revelation to Congress – that a significant portion of the I.T. infrastructure needed to support HealthCare.gov has yet to be built. NBC's Today completely ignored Chao's testimony, while GMA aired a 19-second brief that vaguely summarized the hearing. Meanwhile, the ABC show devoted a 1 minute and 45 second report to a puppy that sleeps with a baby.
Major Garrett reported that Chao "told Congress Tuesday the team making emergency repairs still has another major task to accomplish: building 30 percent to 40 percent of the web systems needed to make payments to insurance companies." Garrett also featured two soundbites from the testimony of a panel of cyber-security experts, who warned that the ObamaCare website remains vulnerable to hackers: [audio available here; video below the jump]
Can anyone imagine a top Bush 43 adviser, say Karl Rove, telling a reporter that his boss couldn't attend an important American historical anniversary event because "he's too busy trying to save the Republican Party"?
Dan Pfeiffer is "Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications." Today, in response to a tough but fair question tweeted by Ron Fournier at the National Journal, Pfeiffer said that President Barack Obama wasn't attending the ceremonies surrounding the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address because "there's this whole website thing that someone suggested might destroy the Dem Party." The exchange would surely generate a great deal of press coverage if it involved a conservative or Republican presidential adviser, but the only story other than at Fournier's National Journal was at the Hill, a popular burial ground for such stories. The Fournier-Pfeiffer exchange, with some external razzing, follows the jump (HT Twitchy):
When conservatives appear on MSM shows, they regularly get raked over the coals. Frustratingly, the conservative guests rarely call their interviewers out for their obvious lefty bias.
So it was refreshing to see Republican Congressman Chaffetz of Utah refuse to let Luke Russert's liberal slant slide. In the guise of a question, Russert, subbing for Andrea Mitchell on her MSNBC show today, confronted Chaffetz with a contentious bit of editorializing against the "Ted Cruz, Mike Lee rabbit hole." Chaffetz called Russert on it: "That was a loaded question there, Luke!" View the video after the jump.
Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose unsurprisingly conducted a hostile interview of Scott Walker on Monday's CBS This Morning. The two anchors, who have a long record of hammering Republican/conservative guests, badgered the Wisconsin governor on ObamaCare, the 2016 presidential race, and over the immigration issue.
O'Donnell, in particular, went after Walker, asking, "You have said that the next nominee has to come from outside of Washington – has to be a governor. Isn't it a bit presumptuous to rule out people like Senator Marco Rubio; Senator Rand Paul...Congressman Paul Ryan?" She later rephrased this same question, and hinted at her liberal slant on the immigration issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Monday's CBS This Morning is the sole Big Three newscast so far to cover the firing of William P. White, a day after the now former D.C. official criticized President Obama's plan to let insurers temporarily restore canceled health insurance policies for a year. Nancy Cordes revealed how "D.C.'s insurance commissioner was abruptly fired by the city's Democratic mayor...after he warned that reinstating canceled plans 'undercuts the purpose' of the new health care exchanges." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Cordes's mention of Mayor Vincent Gray sacking the commissioner came a day after the Washington Post buried their story on the firing on page C7 of its Metro section on Sunday.
After playing a clip of Saturday Night Live mocking President Obama's "embattled second term" on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie sympathetically observed: "I guess if you're at the White House you laugh so you don't cry." She then turned to Obama's former press secretary Robert Gibbs and wondered: "What do you think the President's state of mind is right now? I mean, have you ever seen him like this, saying – acknowledging, 'I have a credibility problem'?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gibbs responded by trying to insulate the President from any responsibility for the disastrous ObamaCare rollout: "I think he is obviously tremendously frustrated that no one told him the extent of this problem. I think that you, as the commander-in-chief and as the President of the United States, have to trust all of those around you to implement and I think there's no doubt a deficit of trust that's lead to that deficit of credibility."
On Monday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander lifted talking points directly from an Organizing for Action email while reporting on the political fallout from ObamaCare: "With his signature law under fire, the President faces a daunting to-do list to resuscitate ObamaCare. Number one, fix the website....Number two, clear up confusion....Number three, keep Democratic allies on board....And finally, regain Americans' trust." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the OFA email, President Obama told his supporters: "I have just over three years left as president – and there's a lot left on my to-do list. That's why I want to talk with you....I want to cut through the noise and talk with you directly about where we're headed in the fight for change."
Just when I complimented my friends at The Salt Lake Tribune for being authentic for owning the cause of anything other than Mormon and Republican in Utah, they have to go and act like their journalistic editorial standards trump their politics – which is, of course, nonsense.
When the Media Research Center in Washington, D.C., cited dozens of reports and editorials issued by the Tribune painting Utah Senator Mike Lee negatively throughout the drama over the shutdown of the federal government, the Tribune balked.
Well, that settles it. Sunday on ABC's "This Week" (video here) New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand admitted that "We all knew" that Obamacare's core guarantee — "If you like your plan-doctor-provider, you can keep your plan-doctor-provider" — was false. That's "we" as in "all of us Democrats."
There's no wiggle room in what Gillibrand said, as will be demonstrated after the jump. Also note how guest host Martha Raddatz, with her use of "we," admitted to viewers that she's on the same team with Washington's Democrats two and possibly three different times (HT Truth Revolt via Ed Driscoll).
It's hard to tell whether a Sunday morning tweet (HT Twitchy) by the Politico's Glenn Thrush is an attempt to deflect attention from the historic Obamacare trainwreck or a sign of a serious midlife crisis.
Poor Glenn is bored. He "can't watch/listen to another word" about the Affordable Care Act. Apparently, writing a roughly 7000-word Politico Magazzzz ... zzz ... zzz ... excuse me, Magazine item about the utter uselessness and policy detachment of most of President Obama's cabinet is more interesting to him (I'm estimating the total word count because I got bored after reading Page 1 of 5 and seeing my word processor count over 1,500 words). Glenn, you really need to get out of Washington and talk to some of the millions who have seen their policies cancelled, along with a few of those who have seen their health insurance premiums double or triple under Obamacare with often worse coverage. One thing they aren't is bored.
In a pathetic analyis piece at the Politico on Friday morning, Politico's Todd S. Purdum engaged in egregious excuse-making driven by a de facto admission that the Affordable Care Act would never have passed if the public had been told the truth about what was in it.
This is the same Todd S. Purdum who recently, as Mark Finkelstein at NewsBusters reported earlier this month, accused Republicans of "calculated sabotage" of Obamacare, and compared their opposition to the "pattern of 'massive resistance' not seen since the Southern states’ defiance of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954." His Friday exercise, which should have been headlined "The Obamacare Scam," was barely less odious (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
The student health care plan offered by Bowie State University, Maryland's oldest historically black college, is an example of one of those "substandard" plans President Obama, the Affordable Care Act's architects, and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have been determined to extinguish.
Well, they've gotten their way. Rather than continue a plan whose costs would have gone from $54 to $900 per semester, an increase of over 1500 percent, the university has dropped the plan. Many students are angry, and have criticized the President directly, as seen in a video at CampusReform.org. News coverage of this calamity has been sparse, to say the least. Excerpts from a report at Washington TV station WUSA follow the jump (bolds are mine):
In Animal House, when the members of Delta Tau Chi fraternity faced imminent expulsion for poor grades, they decided to take a "Road Trip!" to, as Wikipedia's plot summary indicates, "take their minds off their troubles."
The presidential keister-kissers at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, are in a similar quandary. Over the past seven weeks, they've seen their favorite president's "signature achievement" devolve simultaneously into an national joke (HealthCare.gov) and a national disgrace (millions of health insurance policy cancellations deliberately devised through regulations). This has led to their favorite party's national humiliation. We now know that its members' guarantee that "you can keep your plan-doctor-provider" — made by President Obama, 27 Democratic Party Senators, and surely dozens of leftist congresspersons and other party apparatchiks — was a deliberate deception. The party itself has been torn asunder, as patron saint Bill Clinton called on Obama to "honor his commitment." With all of this going on, the AP's Washington-based Charles Babington somehow decided that now would be the best time for a "Road Trip!" out west to show how awful the divisions are — in the Republican Party.
Somebody cue the Debbie Downer horn. How bad are things for President Obama? In recent days, the Washington Post has brought us a double-barreled downer blast from two pundits who normally support the president.
All you need to know about Dana Milbank's and Ruth Marcus' columns you can glean from their respective final sentences, which read: "Maybe the president does understand that the game is over." And "Can he recover? I’m sorry to say: I’m not at all confident." Wah-wah, indeed! More after the jump.
According to some estimates, there are more than 100 million traffic signals in the U.S., but whatever the number, how many of us would like Washington, in the name of public health and safety, to be in sole charge of their operation? Congress or a committee it authorizes would determine the position of traffic signals at intersections, the length of time the lights stay red, yellow and green, and what hours of the day they can be flashing red.
While you ponder that, how many Americans would like Washington to be in charge of managing the delivery of food and other items to the nation's supermarkets? Today's average well-stocked U.S. supermarket stocks 60,000 to 65,000 different items from all over the U.S. and the world. Congress or some congressionally created committee could organize the choice of products and their prices. Maybe there'd be some cost savings. After all, what says that we should have so many items from which to choose? Why wouldn't 10,000 do?
Major Garrett pointed out on Friday's CBS This Morning that the politician's Thursday "attempt to fix the problem of canceled insurance policies...fell flat", as it failed to satisfy his Democratic allies in Congress, who are nervous about the next election. Garrett devoted much of his report on the morning newscast, as well on Thursday's CBS Evening News, to his hard-hitting questioning of the politician, where he hounded the politician over the ObamaCare debacle.
The journalist also underscored that "many state insurance commissioners...[are] unlikely to enforce the President's new policy". He also spotlighted an insurance industry expert's stinging assessment of this supposed fix: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Friday, NBC's Today tried to cast President Obama's Thursday press conference about the ObamaCare disaster in the most sympathetic light possible, with co-host Savannah leading off the show by proclaiming: "The humble president....President Obama does damage control on the botched health care rollout with his legacy hanging in the balance." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the segment moments later, Guthrie claimed the President was "falling on the sword over this health care rollout disaster." In the report that followed, White House correspondent Peter Alexander emphasized Obama's supposedly humility: "The President the first to admit that he has a lot of work ahead of him to regain the confidence of the American people....[he] was strikingly contrite."
"A conservative is a liberal mugged by reality," goes the old saying. We doubt Kirsten Powers will completely eschew her left-of-center ideology anytime soon, but it is abundantly clear that the Fox News contributor has been mugged by ObamaCare's empty promises.
Bob Parks of our sister site MRCTV put together a little video that compares Powers's full-on rah-rah cheerleading of ObamaCare earlier this year -- before her personal run in with the so-called Affordable Care Act -- with a decidedly chastened Powers AFTER she found herself the victim of the health care overhaul's boosting her health care premiums. Watch the video embed below the page break, and be sure to check out other videos at MRCTV.org.
Amidst all the liberal doom and gloom stemming from the Obamacare debacle, at least someone's trying to keep hope alive for beleaguered Democrats . . .
On today's Morning Joe, the BBC's Katty Kay did her best to paint a scenario in which Dems go into 2014 with Obamacare working, and the election results would not be the "disaster" that Republicans are assuming. View the video after the jump.
You really have to watch the video to perceive Chris Hayes' pathos. The poor guy really needs a hug. He needs to be reassured that—yes—it will all work out in the end for Obamacare.
On his MSNBC show this evening, Hayes asked—begged—guest Dr. Kavita Patel, a former Obama healthcare policy advisor, to assure him that in six months or a year, Obamacare would be working. Patel reached across the airwaves to pat poor Chris' hand—but with a proviso that surely sent a shiver up Chris' spine. View the video afer the jump.
On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, Nancy Cordes zeroed in on the three Republican congressmen who grilled top administration officials during a hearing on ObamaCare, ballyhooing that "none of them were really able to explain why this product they worked on for years was so flawed". Cordes played extended clips from the hearing totaling 51 seconds – nearly twice the combined number of ABC's World News and NBC Nightly News, which each played 13 seconds from it.
The correspondent played up one clip in particular from White House chief technology officer Todd Park, who gave indications that HealthCare.gov might not be fixed by the target date of November 30 [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]:
A commenter at my post yesterday ("TomsonaNonGrata") about how a pair of New York Times reporters characterized President Barack Obama's false guarantee to Americans that "If you like your plan-doctor-provider, you can keep your plan-doctor-provider" as an "incorrect promise" — because they couldn't work up the nerve to call it a lie — noted that "All these people (in the press) that were so quick to call Bush a liar about WMD, when he was basing his decision on the intelligence available at the time, now can't bring themselves to call Obama a liar, when he specifically knew policies could/would be cancelled, and kept saying otherwise."
Point well-taken, especially given what the intrepid tweet trackers at Twitchy relayed from Washington Examiner columnist Charlie Spiering. Spiering fouund a Times editorial from 2008 which commented on the George W. Bush and weapons of mass destruction:
In an episode that featured plenty of ObamaCare criticism from the president’s typical allies, MSNBC’s Morning Joe still found room for the law’s cheerleaders. On Thursday’s show, co-host Mika Brzezinski despaired over the fact that Bill Clinton advised President Obama to keep his promise to the country and allow people to keep their health care plans if they like them. The fact that Clinton was not explicitly siding with Obama caused Brzezinski to mourn, “Is anyone going to help out at this point, or is it so convoluted that we are holding onto hope at this point? Cause I believe in the concept of this law. I want it to work.”
Bloomberg’s Margaret Carlson, sitting on the panel, confessed to being a “believer” in the law as well. Going further than Brzezinski, she actually had the nerve to complain about the people who have been forced out of plans they like by ObamaCare: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Appearing on Thursday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd matter-of-factly declared that ObamaCare was always going to be a bad deal for some Americans: "There are always winners and losers in any piece of legislation. There is a small number of losers in here, if you want to count losing as in having to pay more for your health insurance....That was always the intention, that was the only way you could make the law work..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd acknowledged that was not the way President Obama sold the law, but avoided calling it a lie: "...this goes to the problem that the President brought upon himself, when they didn't make this clear." On the March 3, 2010 Nightly News, just weeks before the passage of ObamaCare, Todd touted the President's deception: "If this reform works the way the White House hopes it does, the bottom line is simple, it should be easier for you to get health insurance and harder for you to lose it."
"The Democrats Need to Stop Freaking Out About Obamacare and Take Charge," huffed the headline for Michael Tomasky's 9-paragraph November 14 Daily Beast story -- filed hours before the president's press conference -- addressing reports that nervous congressional Democrats were considering getting on board with a Republican proposal to make President Obama's "if you like it you can keep it" promise a reality.
The leftist writer groused that cable news in general, but Fox News in particular, were ultimately to blame by creating a "soap opera" political culture which makes a huge deal out of passing political travails:
A President can deal with being disliked, even despised, by his opponents. But when he becomes a laughingstock among his own supposed supporters . . .
On today's Morning Joe, Dem Sen. Joe Manchin openly mocked President Obama's failure to communicate with Congress. Asked by Joe Scarborough whether the President is disconnected from the Senate and House, Manchin sardonically said "everybody has a different style." Queried as how often he talks to the prez by phone, Manchin sarcastically replied "I'm sure he's very busy." The panel had a good laugh at Pres. Obama's expense, until a mortified Mika Brzezinski couldn't take it anymore and demanded "Stop it. Enough!" View the video after the jump.
On Tuesday, ABC's World News and CBS Evening News both reported the latest poll numbers from the "respected" Quinnipiac University, as CBS's Scott Pelley labeled the institution, regarding President Obama's "lowest ever" approval rating, along with Americans' dim view of the politician's honesty. ABC's Diane Sawyer noted that "for the first time in his presidency, a majority of American voters – 52 percent...say President Obama is not honest and trustworthy."
Both evening newscasts reported these numbers as they led into their coverage of former President Clinton's recent word of advice to Obama on his health care law – that "the President should honor the commitment...[he] made to those people, and let them keep what they've got." NBC Nightly News also devoted air time to Clinton's remarks, but failed to mention the current President's drooping approval number. [MP3 audio from the ABC and CBS reports available here; video below the jump]
"[Former president] Clinton did President Obama no favors this week when he endorsed a growing push on Capitol Hill to modify the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in order to allow people to keep their existing individual health insurance policies if they want to," MSNBC.com's Zachary Roth lamented in his November 13 story, "What's Bill Clinton up to on Obamacare?"
The teaser on the MSNBC.com main page was more hard-hitting: "The underminer-in-chief?" asked the headline emblazoned over a black-and-white photo of a half-smiling Clinton [see screen capture below page break]. Roth went on to explain that Clinton's proposed solution "would badly—perhaps fatally—undermine Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment," presuming, of course, that that's a bad thing. After mentioning how the White House is dancing around this little embarrassing incident, Roth followed up with quotes from two left-wing activists who are disenchanted with the former president's remarks (emphasis mine):