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.
What followed was an attempt to demonize Tea Party leaders as the sort of apocalyptic prophets who most people consider crazy. McLean painted a picture of wild-eyed, dangerous right-wing fanatics through lines like this:
Sometimes it’s convenient for a journalist to misinterpret someone else’s words in order to push his or her own narrative, and that was clearly what happened on Saturday’s edition of Weekends with Alex Witt on MSNBC. Alex Witt and various guests spent a good deal of time discussing Sen. Ted Cruz’s Friday appearance on The Tonight Show, and Witt seemed to take issue with this Cruz sound bite: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
"I mean, I think the biggest divide we have is not between Republicans and Democrats. It is between entrenched politicians in both parties in Washington and the American people."
Armed with evidence compiled by NewsBusters senior editor and Media Research Center director of research Rich Noyes, MRC president Brent Bozell sent letters to members of the boards of directors of two prominent newspapers in Utah, demanding that they offer their readers fair and balanced coverage of U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R). You may recall that both the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News savaged the Tea Party conservative senator for his attempt to defund ObamaCare.
"Your paper can no longer claim that Sen. Lee’s strategy was out of proportion or radical," Bozell wrote Ellis Ivory, chairman of the board of directors for the Deseret News Publishing Company. "Already the nation is seeing ObamaCare for the disaster that it is" with "more than 3.5 million... losing existing health insurance plans as a result of ObamaCare," the MRC founder noted, adding:
Trying to deflect from the political damage ObamaCare has done to Democrats, on Monday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander hyped GOP divisions: "...the Republican Party is facing a war within....Republicans have an issue over defining their brand, an ideological civil war of sorts." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In an interview with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin following Alexander's report, co-host Matt Lauer sought to stoke that supposed "civil war": "[Governor Chris Christie] called the shutdown of the government and that strategy hatched by Ted Cruz and members of the Tea Party a 'monumental failure.' If you look at the results of the [New Jersey] election, isn't the message to the Tea Party that the middle ground, not the far right, is the most fertile ground for upcoming elections?"
Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein insulted conservative Republicans during an appearance on Thursday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC. Responding to a New York Times opinion piece that likened the current GOP to the Republican Party of Joe McCarthy, Bernstein actually suggested that President Obama may be the one to moderate the GOP: “[T]he great contribution of Obama might be to help create a responsible Republican Party in the end.”
Co-host Joe Scarborough asked for an explanation, so Bernstein elaborated on how the president could achieve that end: “By what we're seeing now and the rejection of the Tea Party and the realization that you have to have a mainstream party and that Obama has made monkeys out of this wedge that is now on the defensive.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Political anaylst Charlie Cook bills himself as "non-partisan and independent." But on today's Morning Joe Cook couldn't curb his enthusiasm for Chris Christie. Cook said of Christie thatthere is "testosterone coming out of every more pore in his body" and that Christie's attitude "inoculates him against being called a RINO, pantywaist liberal Republican."
For good measure, Cook said he would "pay money" to see Christie reach down the throat and pull the lungs out of Tea Party member daring to call Christie a liberal! View the video after the jump.
On Tuesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd eagerly forecasted Republican defeat in the Virginia governor's race and that all the blame for the loss would be ascribed to conservatives: "There are a lot of anti-Tea Party Republicans who think the Tea Party has done damage to the Republican Party who are going....'You've got a Tea Party that took over the Virginia Republican Party and look at how that's going.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Touting the possibility that the Virginia GOP "could be swept this year" in all statewide offices, Todd concluded: "I think there's going to be a lot of 'I told you sos' on where the internal split of the Republican Party is. Virginia could be Tea Party losses. New Jersey, moderate Republicans winning."
In her closing "Clear the Air" commentary on the November 4 Martin Bashir program, substitute host and longtime Florida resident Joy-Ann Reid rewrote the political history of Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, who announced today that he will run for the governorship in the 2014 election cycle.
Reid suggested that Florida Democrats should get over their suspicions about the turncoat and get behind Crist to better ensure that the governor's chair is flipped over to Democratic control. In doing so, however, Reid virtually threw liberal African-American and loyal Democrat Kendrick Meek under the bus:
On October 31 theWashington Examiner’s Paul Bedard reported the following: “The Internal Revenue Service shared highly confidential tax information of several Tea Party groups in the IRS scandal with the Federal Election Commission, a clear violation of federal law, according to newly obtained emails. The public watchdog group Judicial Watch told Secrets Thursday that it was former scandal boss Lois Lerner who shared the information on groups including the American Future Fund and the American Issues Project.’”
So far none of the Big Three (ABC, NBC, CBS) networks have reported the latest IRS scandal finding. In fact, they’ve stopped reporting on the IRS scandal altogether.
When it comes to liberals standing up to indefensible rhetoric from others on the Left, the Daily Beast's Jamelle Bouie illustrates how NOT to do it.
Oh, sure, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) was wrong to compare the Tea Party with the KKK but "it would be needless political correctness to dismiss the Tea Party as completely unrelated to the Klan, or at least, the reactionary currents that gave it life," Bouie insisted in his October 23 piece, "Grayson's Folly: What the Tea Party and the KKK Have in Common." Bouie did his best armchair psychiatrist impression in diagnosing the supposed xenophobic and reactionary neuroses of American conservatives (emphasis mine):
Some media figures just can’t let go of the idea that opposition to ObamaCare is fueled by hatred of the president himself. On Wednesday’s The Cycle, co-host Toure engaged in some Matthewsian ranting against opponents of the health care law.
Near the end of a roundtable discussion about the failures of Healthcare.gov, Toure redirected everyone’s attention to what he saw as the major issue: [See video below the break.]
All three networks on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning avoided discussing Congressman Alan Grayson's smear of the Tea Party as just like the Ku Klux Klan. In a new fund-raising e-mail, the controversial Democrat linked the grass roots organization to violent racists, complete with a burning cross.
CBS and NBC made no mention of the attack. The reporters on Good Morning America ignored the story. But if viewers looked very closely at the bottom of the screen they would see a one sentence crawl: "Florida Congressman compares Tea Party to KKK." Yet, Grayson's slam was surprisingly questioned on the very liberal MSNBC. Anchor Thomas Roberts on Wednesday pressed Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth: "Would you agree that the President should condemn that type of solicitation?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Apparently PBS has decided to make like MSNBC and spend more time dissecting the Republican Party’s problems real, imagined, and/or overblown. On Monday’s PBSNewsHour, anchor Judy Woodruff announced that the program would begin “a series of conversations about where the Republican Party goes from here.” The first installment, a discussion with former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), amounted to a lot of hand-wringing over the Tea Party.
Throughout the interview, Lott tried to keep the focus on positive steps Republicans can take, but Woodruff kept calling his attention back to the alleged problem of the Tea Party. The anchor reminded Lott that “you have factions in your party, I mean, all the way from the Tea Party to folks who sympathize with the Tea Party all the way to some moderates.” Interesting how she split the Tea Party into two groups while putting “some moderates” in one group. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
In an interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed a "civil war" in the Republican Party and persistently urged him to blame it on the Tea Party. Instead, Cheney began the exchange by explaining: "I think the most radical operator in Washington today is the President. I think he's trying to take the country in a direction that is fundamentally different than anything we've seen before." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie was undeterred and continued to stoke GOP division: "And you would think that might be a unifying moment for the party but instead you have Senator Lindsey Graham this weekend calling the shutdown 'a political gift to Democrats'....Mitch McConnell said, 'I think we fully acquainted our new members with what a losing strategy is.' That suggests there is a real rift."
Hours after President Obama lectured Republicans about governing, CNN boosted his agenda by ordering conservatives and the Tea Party to "lighten up" on Thursday's The Situation Room.
"So while the President is calling for a change in behavior and tone here in Washington, listen to this from CNN's Fareed Zakaria writing in today's Washington Post. He takes direct aim at what he calls the extreme rhetoric of the right," noted The Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer. Zakaria explained his withering indictment of conservatism and smacked the "extreme" Tea Party.
After slamming the "Tea Party radicals" who he said initiated the shutdown, CNN's Michael Holmes was admonished by his colleague Jim Acosta on Thursday.
"I mean, first of all, let's be careful about using the term 'radical,' because a lot of those folks feel like they're standing on principle today, even though they didn't come out on top in this," Acosta lectured Holmes. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Who's going to break the news to MSNBC's Chris Matthews? Apparently, a study by Yale University -- you know, that great New Haven bastion of conservatism -- finds that folks who self-identify with the Tea Party are more literate when it comes to scientific matters than non-Tea Partiers.
If and when this knowledge causes the Hardball host's head to explode, I hope the suits at MSNBC will be kind enough to donate Chris's cranium to science. Former NewsBuster Matt Vespa has more at our sister site CNSNews.com. Here's an excerpt:
For millions of Americans, big political contests such as presidential elections and pivotal congressional hearings are still largely witnessed through the lens of ABC’s, CBS’s and NBC’s evening newscasts. According to Nielsen Research, more than 20 million viewers tuned in over the past twoweeks for the Big Three’s take on the shutdown drama.
What those viewers heard, according to a just-completed Media Research Center study, was a version of the shutdown story that could easily have emanated from Barack Obama’s own White House. The broadcast networks invariably blamed Republicans for the impasse; spotlighted dozens of examples of how Americans were being victimized; and ran scores of soundbites from furloughed federal workers and others harmed by the shutdown — even as they ignored examples of how the Obama administration and Senate Democrats were working to make the shutdown as painful as possible.
Tea Party conservative Republicans like Sens. Mike Lee (Utah) and Ted Cruz (Texas) are nothing more than a racist "clavern of sociopaths" who are eager to saddle the country's first black president with a default on the nation's debt. That was the latest foaming-at-the-mouth bile from ultra-liberal Daily Beast's contributor Michael Tomasky this morning.
"Clavern," of course, is not a real word, but "klavern" is the term the KKK uses to refer to one of its local chapters. Of course, Tomasky would have to conduct a seance to talk to the last member of the U.S. Senate who knew what a klavern was from person experience -- former Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) -- and the only black member of the U.S. Senate is conservative Republican Tim Scott (S.C.) -- a staunch opponent of ObamaCare -- but those inconvenient facts don't fit Tomasky's simplistic boil-everything-down-to-Republican-racism narrative (emphasis mine)
On Monday's All In show on MSNBC, after beginning a segment about a conservative rally in D.C. by displaying a Confederate Flag in the background, host Chris Hayes asked if connecting the Confederate Flag to the Tea Party was "fair" based on just one instance of its display.
Does Piers Morgan even try to show integrity anymore? The CNN host goaded the chair of the DNC into bashing Republicans on his Monday night show and plugged her new book without asking her one tough question about her own party.
Morgan's first question to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) was this pathetic softball: "What is going on with the GOP right now?" Schultz laid into her political opponents. "They have the opportunity to do the right thing and not shut the government down and hold the economy hostage with the Affordable Care Act as ransom. And instead they went with the Tea Party," she ranted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Monday's CBS Evening News unsurprisingly ginned up the ideological struggle inside the Republican Party as it covered the ongoing partial government shutdown. Chip Reid spun the face-off inside the House Republican caucus as being between "staunch" Tea Party-aligned representatives inside the House and "mainstream" Republicans.
Reid later played up how House Speaker John Boehner could "face a dilemma" if the Senate came up with a compromise to end the shutdown, and that Boehner "can either allow the House to vote, which will likely split the Republican Party in two and create a major backlash from the Tea Party; or...he can refuse to allow a vote, which could lead to default." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
At the top of her 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Monday, host Andrea Mitchell wrung her hands over "angry Tea Party protesters" who gathered in Washington over the weekend to denounce the Obama administration's politicization of the government shutdown being "whipped up" Sarah Palin and Texas Senator Ted Cruz. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later on the program, she contemptuously remarked to The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza: "I'm really struck by Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin over the weekend at these protests saying that it's, you know, terrible to be taking advantage of veterans....who was it who started playing politics with this thing in the first place?"
Appearing as a guest on the Friday, October 11, PoliticsNation on MSNBC, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank called the Tea Party Republican faction a "very small minority" and accused them of causing "economic destruction."
After host Al Sharpton noted polling finding that Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz is substantially more popular with Tea Party Republicans than other groups, Milbank responded:
CNN anchor Don Lemon shouted down a conservative guest after pushing him to admit he should be "embarrassed" over certain protesters at Sunday's Million Vet March.
CNN played a video of controversial protesters at Sunday's Million Vet March telling President Obama to "leave town" and "put the Koran down." Lemon tried to link this to the GOP as a whole. [Video below the break.]
Ezra Klein may be young, but he’s not young enough to miss how recycled it is to smear the Tea Party as haters in every category. Nevertheless, Klein sought out and interviewed Christopher Parker, a political scientist at the University of Washington, is co-author of the book "Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America".
After rigorous, professorial study, Parker found people don't fully appreciate why Tea Partiers won't compromise: “when I looked at it empirically, I found that people who supported the tea party tended to be more racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and anti-Obama.” Klein then professed that this made him bristle a tiny bit:
If Republicans were smart (I know, but stay with me) their focus during the Obamacare debate should have been less on blocking its implementation and more on a page they might have taken from the Democrat's playbook, which is to rally the country to its side by use of sentimentality and the threat of impending doom. The good news for Republicans is that there's still time.
It's a sure bet Democrats are right now writing sob stories of tearful children barred from the Lincoln Memorial because of the government "shutdown." The National Zoo in Washington inexplicably turned off its unmanned Panda Cam, which showed video of the newborn panda cub on the Internet. Boohoo.
When you have to toss out in the midst of your race-baiting article that you are in no way insisting that conservatives are racists, well, that's pretty good evidence that you're doing just that.
"No, this is not a convoluted way of calling Republicans racists,"Jamelle Bouie insisted -- and which editors placed into a pull quote -- in his October 3 story "How the South Blocked Health Care for Those Who Need It Most." "Thanks to Republican legislators in old Confederate states, universal health-care won’t be so universal" laments a front-page caption accompanying a stock image of a black girl being attended to by two black medical personnel in surgical scrubs. [see image below the page break] Here's how Bouie opened his story on the lack of Southern states participating in a Medicaid expansion available to them under ObamaCare: