Obama transition

By Matthew Balan | January 20, 2009 | 6:19 PM EST

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, in his latest heart-palpitation over the new era of Barack Obama, inadvertently let the cat out of the bag regarding his network’s transparent to court a left-wing audience.

“This is the network that has opened its heart to change -- to change and its possibilities. Let’s be honest about it. These -- these people watch this network out here,” Matthews gushed Tuesday morning.

Matthews’s co-anchor and fellow liberal Democrat Keith Olbermann, jokingly seconded his observation: “He’s Chris Matthews and he approved that message.” Matthews then made an indirect slam at Obama’s detractors: “We’re not crotchety about change -- stuffy” [audio available here].

Matthews’s latest gush came just before the bottom half of the 11 am Eastern hour of MSNBC’s coverage of the inauguration. He first remarked on the apparent giddiness of the mass of people in attendance for the swearing-in of the 44th president: “Well, there’s one thing you can’t see at home. I have never seen so many teeth in my life. Everybody is smiling. I mean, it’s all teeth out -- when you get close.” Olbermann responded with his first joke: “ A combination of smiling and the weather -- there’s chattering going on.” Matthews then continued about how the crowd seemed “radiant” and how they were “lucky enough to be in this business today, looking out the window here and getting the reaction when the crowd catches your eye. It is such a deal.”

By Tom Blumer | January 20, 2009 | 12:21 PM EST

2008 was the safest year ever to be an American miner. The combined number of fatalities from all forms of mining was the lowest ever.

2007 (latest information available) also shows the lowest "all-injury" rate for miners on record by far.

Yet Ken Ward Jr.'s early-January contribution at the Charleston (WV) Gazette to the spate of final-month Bush-bashing pretended that this data doesn't exist. Instead he gave the impression of an opposite situation. Media outlets have been trying and failing to make this case since the Sago Mine Disaster of January 2006 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), even while the safety stats have generally showed nearly continuous improvement.

You'll see that Ward also uses a headline that will leave those who recall Barack Obama's campaign promise to bankrupt new coal-powered plants shaking their heads in disbelief (bolds after headlines are mine):

By Kyle Drennen | January 20, 2009 | 11:58 AM EST

Douglas Brinkley and Bob Schieffer, CBS During live coverage of Barack Obama’s inauguration at 9:30AM on Tuesday, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric spoke to historian Douglas Brinkley, who observed: "And it reminds me of Franklin Roosevelt in March of 1933 in this regard, I mean the economy was in tatters, Herbert Hoover was an unpopular president, President Bush is not very popular, and he was able to galvanize people with his speech, FDR, move the nation, you know to have nothing -- you know, to fight for all of the civil rights and to start pushing forward the hundred days of the New Deal. And so you see the echoes of that." On the January 11 Sunday Morning program, Brinkley declared Bush in the "...the very bottom-rung of American Presidents."

Brinkley’s comment was prompted by Couric remarking: "...a confluence of events that will make him perhaps one of the most powerful presidents in history. It's hard to predict an administration and how successful it will be, but he really is starting off things in an enviable position, isn't he?" Later, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer shared his thoughts on that point: "But the interesting thing, Katie, is when we stop and think about it, our greatest presidents have always come to us during the worst of times. If history's any guide, the pieces are in place here for the making of a great president." On Monday’s Early Show, Schieffer compared Obama to Abraham Lincoln.

By Matthew Balan | January 20, 2009 | 11:54 AM EST

CNN correspondent Zain Verjee, in a report posted on CNN.com on January 17, likened the expected large crowds for the inauguration of Barack Obama to the Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca: “The coming political pilgrimage to Washington is similar to another grand event in both size and preparation -- the Hajj, the most important religious pilgrimage in the Muslim world.”

Verjee has personal experience of the Hajj, as she belongs to the Ismaili branch of Shiite Islam. She filed a web log for CNN of her experience on the pilgrimage in 2005. During her report, she emphasized how security is “[a]t the heart of the planning” for both the Hajj and on Inauguration Day. The CNN correspondent featured a clip of author Michael Wolfe, a convert to Islam, who claimed that security forces in Saudi Arabia “do have lessons to teach us in crowd control and in caring for large numbers of visitors in a modern city.”

By Tom Blumer | January 20, 2009 | 10:44 AM EST

Shrum0109.jpgBob Shrum has a funny way of telling the troops to calm down.

The purpose of the long-time Democratic strategist's opinion piece at The Week (the picture at the right is at that link) is to counsel his ideological colleagues that despite current appearances, soon-to-be president Barack Obama will indeed enact their liberal agenda.

By Rusty Weiss | January 20, 2009 | 10:42 AM EST
Recently, Vice President Dick Cheney pulled a muscle in his back while moving boxes, and has been relegated to viewing the inauguration ceremonies from a wheelchair. 

In an article from the AP Monday, come details of what caused the injury:

White House press secretary Dana Perino said Cheney was helping to move into his new home outside Washington in McLean, Va., when he injured his back.

Those who know the propensity of Arianna Huffington's readers to delve into the vile and disgusting know where this is heading.  One only has to review the commentary provided from the Huffington Post forums when Tony Snow was undergoing an operation to ‘remove a growth' from his lower abdomen, to see the depths of her followers.

Here is a small sampling involving the VP:

By Warner Todd Huston | January 20, 2009 | 9:31 AM EST

We have the streaming video feed of the inaugural for you today. This way you can enjoy the feed AND peruse NewBusters.org... your one stop shop! The video is below the fold of this post.

We're also running a live chat session for everyone today which you can join by clicking here (note: registration is required).

By Brent Baker | January 20, 2009 | 1:36 AM EST
Abandoning any pretense of balance, MSNBC's Inauguration coverage will be quad-anchored by four left-wingers: the network's three night time hosts -- Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow -- plus regular analyst Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post. Plugging the team at the end of the 7 PM EST Hardball on Monday night, Matthews trumpeted how “this is one of the great opportunities in journalism to cover history in the face” and declared “it's going to be the honor of our lifetimes.” With a graphic on screen showing pictures of the four and announcing MSNBC's 9:45 AM to 4 PM ET coverage, Matthews trumpeted: 
This is one of the great opportunities in journalism to cover history in the face. We're going to see history in the face and when you get up tomorrow morning I recommend you stay tuned all day because I don't think you're going to stop seeing history being made, from the very beginning in the morning. It's going to be our best coverage all day. We're going to end up -- Keith and I and Rachel and Gene Robinson -- it's going to be the honor of our lifetimes to be here on the Washington Mall.
By Brent Baker | January 19, 2009 | 7:59 PM EST
Is there anything President-elect Barack Obama's very aura cannot make better? Apparently, he has eliminated road rage -- and even honking.

ABC's David Muir, over video of stuck traffic followed by the sound of singing, in a Monday World News story on the crowds coming to Washington, DC:
By Kyle Drennen | January 19, 2009 | 6:28 PM EST

Show Promo, CBS In a 7:43AM commercial break during Monday’s CBS Early Show, the network aired a promo for a new episode of the show ‘Two And A Half Men,’ that used an Obama campaign slogan: "Can CBS show you the funny side of families?...Yes we can." The words appeared on screen in red, white, and blue, soon followed by a flash of the CBS logo in the same colors, looking very similar to Obama’s campaign logo.

At the end of the promo, the screen displayed the cast of the show in red and blue, similar to a famous Obama portrait, with the show title and time. The bottom of the screen declared: "Yes We Can Monday."

By Rich Noyes | January 19, 2009 | 6:24 PM EST
For years -- especially, it seems, the past eight years -- the "news" media have made a habit of asking liberal celebrities about their political views -- in essence, handing the microphone over to a small, unrepresentative group of left-wing Bush-bashers, blame-America-firsters and enviro-wackos. Thus, actors and singers and comics are elevated in our national discourse above the military, businessmen and scientists.

Those same celebrities are now giddily celebrating Barack Obama's arrival as the 44th president, but this weekend singer Bruce Springsteen got in his last licks as he vented to a British newspaper about how the Bush years have been a "nightmare" in which "thousands and thousands of people died, lives were ruined" because of Bush's policies.
By Brent Baker | January 19, 2009 | 6:03 PM EST
Never mind how Barack Obama will magically bring “diversity,” “excellence” and “unity” to America, “Santa Claus” loves the incoming administration.