In an exclusive interview with Mitt Romney on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie wondered if the 2012 presidential contender would have traded five Taliban terrorists for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl if commander-in-chief: "It was controversial. The President presumably knew the circumstance of Bowe Bergdahl's leaving his post. He said, though, leave no soldier on the battlefield. If that had been you in the Oval Office, would you have made that same call?"
In their coverage of desertion charges filed against U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the major broadcast networks on Wednesday night failed to mention that National Security Advisor Susan Rice had praised Bergdahl for serving “with honor and distinction.” Standing in sharp contrast to this glaring omission by the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC, the clip of Rice’s claim on the June 1, 2014 broadcast of ABC’s This Week was shown on CNN and FNC newscasts.
CNN's Brooke Baldwin slanted towards the sympathizers of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl on Wednesday's CNN Newsroom, just minutes after the U.S. Army announced that the former captive would be charged with desertion. Baldwin asked special forces veteran Scott Mann, "You have those who...on the opposite end, [are] vilifying him. Again, this is someone who was held...for five years by terrorists. Is that not – this is what some say – is that not punishment enough?"
From all appearances, only Fox News, CNS News, and a few Israel-based outlets and U.S.-based center-right blogs care about the fact, acknowledged by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, that Iran and Hezbollah, in the words of Fox's Greta Van Susteren, "are suddenly MIA from the U.S. terror threat list."
DNI apparently has no plans to change its report, having told CNS News that “This year’s Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. intelligence community report was simply a format change,” while contending that "There is no ‘softening’ of our position." DNI's excuse-making tacitly acknowledges the absence of Iran and Hezbollah from this year's terror threat list.
Imagine the audacity of a freshman senator presuming to speak out forcefully on foreign affairs! What? You thought we were alluding to Barack Obama, who after less than a year in the Senate and with no discernible foreign policy credentials began a campaign to become Commander-in-Chief?
No, no, no! We were talking about Tom Cotton, of course! On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski castigated Cotton as a "toddler" and a "fool" for writing that letter to Iran. For good measure, Al Hunt said that, like America, Iran has its "crazies" too. Did Hunt just equate Republican senators who sign a letter to those in Iran who have killed Americans and others around the world with impunity? So who's crazy now?
CBS Evening News was the sole Big Three evening newscast on Friday to cover President Obama's visit to the V.A. hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, where "some vets died before they got treatment, and hospital officials hid those long delays on secret wait lists," as Scott Pelley put it. The CBS program also touted a veteran who poured cold water on the Obama administration's claim that appointment times have improved in the V.A. system.
The Indianapolis Star reported on Monday that it had obtained emails from an employee at the Indianapolis VA hospital who mocked returning combat veterans who were facing mental health issues and committed suicide. On Monday night, both the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and NBC Nightly News failed to cover this story.
It was almost a funny moment . . . until you realized that members of the press were openly laughing at the fecklessness of the ostensible leader of the free world.
On today's Morning Joe, the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, his voice occasionally cracking with emotion, repeatedly insisted that President Obama would use military force if necessary to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Andrea Mitchell eventually had enough, saying in a devastating aside "ask Bashar al-Assad," an allusion of course to how President Obama ran away from his red line in Syria. Joe Scarborough laughingly joined in, repeating "ask Assad." Even Mika Brzezinski couldn't suppress a smile [see screencap below.]
In today's speech, Benjamin Netanyahu took a not-so-subtle shot at John Kerry: will the MSM notice? The Israeli PM otherwise went out of his way to be bi-partisan, finding ways to praise President Obama and even Harry Reid.
But Kerry came in for a stinging swipe when Netanyahu said "last year, the same [Iranian foreign minister] Zarif, who charms Western diplomats, laid a wreath at the grave of Imad Mughniyeh. Imad Mughniyeh is the terrorist mastermind who spilled more American blood [at the Beirut Marine barracks bombing] than any other terrorist besides Osama bin Laden. I'd like to see someone ask him a question about that." Wonder just which Western diplomat Bibi had in mind, John? And Netanyahu threw down the gauntlet: do you dare raise the issue with Zarif next time you go for a stroll with him?
On Sunday, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd sat down with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to discuss the ongoing battle over the President Obama’s executive action on immigration and its connection to funding for the Department of Homeland Security. Todd repeatedly insisted that “[t]his immigration dispute in the funding of Homeland Security was a cliff that the Republicans chose to create, and in this case as far as making the protest over the immigration policy a part of Homeland Security.”
At the Associated Press late Thursday morning, Ken Dilanian, the wire service's intelligence writer, did a marvelous job of covering up the essence of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's Worldwide Threat Assessment testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The trouble is that if he were doing his job as our Founders anticipated he would when they gave the nation's press extraordinary and then unheard-of freedoms, he would have covered the story instead of covering it up.
Wyatt Andrews revealed the details of a new scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. Andrews zeroed in on how the veterans' benefits office in Oakland, California simply ignored "more than 13,000 informal claims filed between 1996 and 2009 – all of which were stashed in a file cabinet." The correspondent spotlighted whistleblowers who claimed that "V.A. supervisors in Oakland ordered [employees] to mark the claims 'no action necessary,' and to toss them aside." Andrews later put the California benefits office in a larger context of government "mismanagement."