Obama transition

By Jack Coleman | January 13, 2009 | 9:31 PM EST

Back in the summer of 2003, members of the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater on Cape Cod sponsored a public forum with the memorable title, "Dissent=Democracy: A Teach-In on the 'New McCarthyism' ".

By Matthew Balan | January 13, 2009 | 4:09 PM EST

Jim Acosta, CNN Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgCNN correspondent Jim Acosta hyped the forthcoming inaugural address of President-elect Barack Obama during a report on Tuesday’s American Morning: “...Barack Obama’s inaugural address may be more than the speech of his lifetime. Historians and speechwriters say it could be one for the ages, if he can rise to the occasion.” He reenforced this sentiment with clips from a former Clinton-Gore speechwriter who predicted that it’s “a pretty good certainty that you’ll have schoolchildren reading this speech hundreds of years from now” and a professor who claimed that “it’s almost impossible for Obama to fail.”

Co-host John Roberts introduced Acosta’s report, which started 25 minutes into the 6 am Eastern hour of the CNN program, by focusing on the “great anticipation about the inaugural address” and how many “expect it to stand with some of the greatest ever presidential inaugural speeches.” Acosta began with his “speech of his lifetime...one for the ages” line,” and played a clip from Obama’s 2004 speech at the Democratic convention. He echoed Roberts’s earlier lines by stating how “the stage is being set for an address that’s destined for the history books.”

By Ken Shepherd | January 13, 2009 | 2:50 PM EST

Seattle Times photo by Steve RingmanCan you feel the excitement, the energy, the mystical unity our country is taking on since Barack Obama's election? The Seattle Times sure can.

President-elect Obama is bringing America together, and luckily for reporter Sanjay Bhatt, he had the high privilege of dutifully writing a 42-paragraph metro section story about Obama fans Teresa Pelayo, Sam Song and Tabetha Thomas. The Times took the story out of relative obscurity in the paper's local section to rest on the paper's Web site front page.

But wait, it gets better! These three close friends used to be rivals for delegate slots to the 2008 Democratic Convention. Who said Obama can't perform miracles? The Seattle Times sure didn't:

By Rich Noyes | January 13, 2009 | 2:17 PM EST

Starting this week, MRC’s Notable Quotables newsletter is evolving from a printed hard-copy product to an all-electronic Web and e-mail publication, complete with audio and video clips of the worst quotes from each issue.

Every two weeks, Notable Quotables offers a concise summary of the liberal media’s most outrageous and/or humorous eruptions, and the very best quotes are harvested once a year so the journalists can receive “awards” at our annual DisHonors dinner in Washington, D.C.

To give you a flavor of what’s in each issue, here are the most obnoxious quotes from this week’s (January 12) edition. If you've been a subscriber to the print edition, or if you’d like to sign up for our new HTML or plain-text e-mail, please go to www.MRC.org/subscriptions.

By Mark Finkelstein | January 13, 2009 | 1:14 PM EST
Now that Barack Obama is assuming the presidency, partisan criticism is suddenly so passé.  Just ask Chris Matthews. In the course of cheerleading anchoring the MSNBC coverage of Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearing today, Matthews suggested that the media shouldn't cover the Republican National Committee's criticism of Clinton. 

The comments came during the Hardball host's chat with Newsweek's Jonathan Alter.  A few minutes earlier, Matthews had assured us that those who had the privilege of knowing Hillary personally were aware of what a "wonderful" person she is.  Then it was time to attack Republicans for refusing to join the Hillary love-fest.

View video here.
By Ken Shepherd | January 13, 2009 | 11:56 AM EST

Lisa Miller, Newsweek | file photo via Newsweek.comInvoking the threat of "religious fundamentalists abroad" and tacitly comparing them to religious conservatives in the United States, Newsweek's Lisa Miller advises President-elect Obama to ditch the practice of having clergy offer prayers at the presidential inauguration:

Our new president might use his Inauguration then to showcase the values that have made this country great: pluralism, moderation—and the separation of church and state. Though not as politically expedient, the better choice might be to pray in private.

Miller wrote her article for the January 19 print edition in light of a lawsuit "filed by the atheist gadfly Michael Newdow." While she noted that "[e]ven some of Newdow's ideological allies are steering clear," Miller went no further in exploring whether it may be Newdow who is showcasing a  modern value that threatens the country's greatness: the filing of spurious lawsuits.

Instead, Miller sought to show that historians are uncertain just how traditional the role of religious faith plays in presidential inaugurals. Indeed, as far as Miller is concerned, the convention is all too recent and worse, a musty relic of the Cold War (emphases mine):

By Brent Baker | January 13, 2009 | 9:44 AM EST
The night before the inauguration, Dave Hughes reported Saturday on his DCRTV.com blog, "Virginia's Inaugural Black Tie and Blue Dominion Ball" will be emceed by two anchors at Washington, DC's Gannett-owned CBS affiliate (WUSA-TV channel 9 which is airing ads to sell tickets, see screen capture) while Del Walters, a veteran reporter/anchor until a few years ago for the local ABC affiliate (WJLA-TV channel 7), will produce the event. Amongst those scheduled to join "9 News Now" anchors JC Hayward and Lesli Foster at the National Air And Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport: Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine and former Gov. Doug Wilder as well as Democratic Congressman Jim Moran.

The Commodores will provide musical entertainment and the Web site for the affair lists actress Jenna Elfman and astronaut Buzz Aldrin as among the "celebrity hosts." As for whether Obama will make the trek out to the Virginia suburbs for the January 19 gala, Waters hoped: "Like all of Washington and Northern Virginia, we are keeping our fingers crossed that he will celebrate along with the 1.95 million Virginians who turned this once red state blue."

The ball's home page shouts: "A Celebration of a Dream Fulfilled!"
By Warner Todd Huston | January 12, 2009 | 9:43 PM EST

According to Sun-Times columnist and long-time Chicago journalist, Carol Marin, journalists at Barack Obama news conferences have come to realize that Obama has pre-picked those journalists whom he will allow to ask him questions at the conference and many of them now "don't even bother raising" their hands to be called upon.

One wonders why journalists are allowing this corralling of the press? Would they have allowed George W. Bush to pre-pick journalists like that? Would they meekly sit by and allow themselves to be systematically ignored, their freedom to ask questions silenced by any Republican? Would journalists so eagerly vie with one another for the favor of Bush like they are Obama's?

By Matthew Balan | January 12, 2009 | 4:59 PM EST

CNN correspondent Alina Cho devoted an entire report on Monday’s American Morning program to how the Obama presidential run has apparently served as an inspiration for ad campaigns by big corporations. Cho zeroed in on how the Pepsi logo and the Obama campaign logo were “strikingly similar,” both using “swirls of red, white, and blue,” despite the fact that Pepsi has used the color scheme since World War II.

Cho introduced her report by heralding how “[c]hange is coming to Madison Avenue” and explained how Obama might be a model for advertising agencies: “Think about it -- Obama is a winning product and he won on the promise of hope. So now companies like Pepsi want to use the same message in their campaigns, but will it work?”

The correspondent played a clip from an ad for the soft drink giant’s new “Optimism Project,” and asked, “Commercial or campaign message? It’s all about optimism, with a logo that’s all too familiar. But this has nothing to do with Barack Obama -- it’s an ad for Pepsi.” She also played clips from two advertising experts who highlighted the apparent sensibility of using hope as a tool to sell products.

By Seton Motley | January 12, 2009 | 4:53 PM EST

Last week, Fox News Channel's uber-host Bill O'Reilly (of his eminently popular Factor) declared a preemptive unilateral journalistic disarmament with the incoming Obama Administration on it's humongous spending proposal intended in the Administration's words to "stimulate" the economy.

Speaking with CNSNews.com's Nicholas Ballasy, O'Reilly, who regularly describes himself as a "protector of the regular folks," announced he is going to vacate his duties as said guardian with regard to President-elect Barack Obama's projected $1+ trillion outlay.

That's a great deal of money that will be taken from the "regular folks" for redistribution by Obama, yet O'Reilly says he will not scrutinize the titanic Socialistic effort.  In fact, what he's seen so far - he's "fine with."  Worse still, he says ANY negative analysis of the plan is "just cheap shotting" Obama.

This is the treatment the vapid vastness that is the Lamestream Media gives Obama; we have come to expect a little more from Fox News.  O'Reilly, the station's flagship face, seems to be less than interested in providing the governmental oversight we need from the Channel on which we are counting as the sole source of objective Obama Administration coverage.

His statement in it's entirety is transcribed below the fold.

By Brent Baker | January 11, 2009 | 3:10 PM EST

Interviewing President-elect Barack Obama for Sunday's This Week, ABC's George Stephanopoulos zeroed in on criticism of including tax cuts in the “stimulus bill” and repeatedly pressed Obama about naming a special prosecutor, a 9/11-like commission or at least getting “your Justice Department to investigate” what an e-mail Stephanopoulos showcased on screen described as “the gravest crimes of the Bush administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping.” On taxes, Stephanopoulos demanded: “Do you really believe those business tax cuts are going to work to create jobs?” He soon yearned: “But you might give up on some of the business tax cuts?”

Stephanopoulos put this e-mailed question up on the screen from “Bob Fertik of New York City,” failing to note he's a left-wing activist with “Prosecute Bush & Cheney!” at the top of his Web site: “Will you appoint a special prosecutor (ideally Patrick Fitzgerald) to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping.?” As Obama expressed reticence, Stephanopoulos pushed for alternatives to drag national security officials into the legal process: “So, no 9/11 commission with independent subpoena power?” Not giving up, he offered another way to go: “So, let me just press that one more time. You're not ruling out prosecution, but will you tell your Justice Department to investigate these cases and follow the evidence wherever it leads?”

By NB Staff | January 9, 2009 | 3:58 PM EST


Pres.-elect Obama meets in the Oval Office with all the living presidents, past and current, January 7, 2009. Photo Reuters/Kevin Lamarque