Just over a week after using the term “far right” three times in a row in one night, CNN’s Larry King used the term “right wing” three times during an interview of Al Gore on his program on Thursday. King first questioned Gore about “the rise of the right wing” and “right wing radio” in the context of the health care debate, and later asked the former vice president, “ Is the right wing bigger than its bite?”
The CNN host lead his hour-long interview with Gore with a ringing endorsement of the Democrat’s new book: “We are so honored to welcome back Al Gore to the show, the former vice president of the United States and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the best-selling author, all in one person. His new book is ‘Our Choice.’ There you see it. It’s a plan to solve the climate crisis, and it is brilliantly put together.”
Thirteen minutes into the 9 pm Eastern hour, King raised the issue of the Tea Parties with Gore: “What do you make of the rise of the right wing, these rallies and dealing with health care- we’ll move to health care in a minute. Right-wing radio- they take you on pretty good.” As you might expect the “green godfather” (as Katie Couric put it) hinted the anti-ObamaCare activists were being unreasonable: “Well yeah, it’s not entirely new in American politics. We have had a strain like this in our politics for a long time, and there are extreme voices all along the ideological spectrum. And we just have to focus on building the health and strength of our democracy and hope that the voices of reason and deliberation will prevail.”
The left has gotten a lot of "giggles" over the term "teabaggers" in describing Americans who attend the tea parties. For those of you who don't know, teabagging is a perverse sexual term. It is interesting to me that the left not only knew the term, but seemed very comfortable using it. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised.
On Monday's Countdown show, responding to Mississippi Republican Governor Haley Barbour's recent contention on NBC's Meet the Press that President Obama has personal popularity -- based partially on being the first black President -- that is separate from the unpopularity of Obama's policies, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann labeled Barbour's words as "incoherent," and charged that President Obama is in reality a "target of racism from the right." Olbermann:
But it was Mississippi's Governor Haley Barbour who had perhaps the most incoherent read, explaining that Obama, the target of racism from the right, remains popular not because of his policies, but in a Donovan McNabb way, because of his color.
During a discussion with MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe, Olbermann also suggested that "Barbour knows that members of his party hate the President for being a black Democrat," as he posed a question to Wolffe about Republicans being in denial about their party's unpopularity and the meaning of the 2009 elections. Olbermann:
Isn't that Paul Krugman clever? The title of his latest op-ed ("Paranoia Strikes Deep") quotes a line, presumably deliberately, from a 1960s protest song many consider one of the opening shots in that decade's protest movement.
Before he got cute with his title, Krugman should have gone to the song's full lyrics, as they only serve to prove that what he describes as paranoia is, based on what is in HB 3962 (or was, if excised at the last minute), really very justifiable concern and fear. Or maybe he read the lyrics and was too dense to appreciate their meaning in the current circumstances.
That band featured Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Richie Furay, Jim Messina, and Dewey Martin. A YouTube of their lip-synching Smothers Brothers appearance is here.
Here are a few paragraphs, otherwise known as insults to our intelligence, from Krugman, commenting on the crowd that gathered last Thursday to protest the House's statist health care bill. I'll follow it with the song's final lyrical lament that destroys Krugman's diatribe:
After Olbermann and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson all but declared Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., organizer of the "House Call" event, an enemy of the state, they predictably came to the conclusion the event was racist. However to overcome that hurdle, Olbermann suggested organizers "pay" minorities to show up to make the cause look more diverse.
"On an associated point with this, how do the organizers of this not realize, ‘You know what, we had better get somehow, even if we have to pay them to show up, some black faces, some brown faces, some Asian people or somebody in this crowd other than the crowd we were seeing?'" Olbermann said. "Every piece of videotape I looked at looks exactly the same. This is otherwise going to look like a pro-Apartheid rally in South Africa 35 or 40 years ago."
CNN’s Roland Martin picked up where Anderson Cooper left off on Monday’s AC360, claiming that there’s “the beginnings of a civil war” in the GOP and that Tea Party protesters “want to radicalize the right” in the party. Martin also claimed that the Democrats are more of a “big tent” than Republicans: “You have a Democratic Party that has no problem having liberal...moderate...and conservative Democrats.”
The liberal political contributor appeared with Tea Party Express’s Mark Williams for two segments starting three minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour. Cooper first sought Martin’s take on the New York 23rd congressional district race. Unsurprisingly, he forwarded the Chris Matthews/mainstream media spin on the contest: “There is no doubt you are seeing the beginnings of a civil war play out, in terms of folks who are saying that we do not want moderates, in terms of being involved in this party.”
Later in the segment, after Williams highlighted how Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava endorsed Democrat Bill Owens after she withdrew from the New York 23 race, Martin struck back with his “big tent” claim about the Democrats: “You talk about endorsing a Democrat. I’m sure Mark has no problem with former Democrat Joe Lieberman saying he’s going to campaign for Republican candidates....You have a Democratic Party that has no problem having liberal Democrats, moderate Democrats, and conservative Democrats. What Republicans are saying is, we don’t want any liberal or moderate Republicans. We only want conservative Republicans, and you cannot expand a party nationally only having just conservative Republicans. You’re not going to win long-term.”
On Monday’s AC360, CNN’s Anderson Cooper forwarded the media’s new talking point about the New York 23 congressional race, that “Tea Party protesters and other conservative voices are...driving moderates out of the GOP.” Correspondent Tom Foreman continued on this note, stating that “angry conservatives...[are] forcing the party to choose between...its base and attracting more moderate Americans.”
Cooper led the 10 pm Eastern hour of his program with the question, “Does the Republican Party have room for moderates?” The anchor outlined that “state and local elections tomorrow may have profound national effects, and President Obama and Sarah Palin are a big part of it. Two governor’s races may test the President’s ability to get others elected or turn into a referendum on his presidency.” He continued with the media’s new spin on the electoral contests, as if it was a matter of fact: “As for Sarah Palin, she, Tea Party protesters and other conservative voices are front and center, driving moderates out of the GOP.”
CNN’s Candy Crowley made an oblique reference to her colleague Anderson Cooper’s infamous “teabagger” remark on Monday’s Situation Room. As she reported on the race in New York’s 23rd congressional district, Crowley referred to Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman as “the choice of many on the right, including Sarah Palin, former House leader Dick Armey and ‘tea bag partyers’” [audio clips available here].
The CNN political correspondent detailed the different key races up in the November 3 election at the top of the 5 pm Eastern hour, including the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial campaigns. She closed her report with the New York contest: “And by way of marquee races, it’s hard to beat the soap opera of New York’s 23rd congressional district, where the Republican moderate dropped out over the weekend, leaving the race to a conservative, Doug Hoffman, the choice of many on the right, including Sarah Palin, former House leader Dick Armey and ‘tea bag partyers.’”
Joy Behar, HLN's conservative-basher of record, today derided conservatives as immature bullies who smell bad and pick their noses. Obama, by Behar's account is the smart kid in class who knows all the answers but keeps letting the bullies push him around.
Her bully characterization is astoundingly hypocritical, given that she goes on to suggest that Obama bully Glenn Beck and other conservative commentators into silence. And the President hardly seems like the kid on the playground "least likely to fight back." He certainly has the means, and has been using his pulpit to deride Fox News for the past two weeks for saying things that he doesn't like.
In the schoolyard of American politics, President Obama is the big, smart kid with all of the test answers who's being bullied by a bunch of Neanderthal ankle-biters from all sides.
Big shock here - MSNBC's Rachel Maddow agrees with the White House, which is the Fox News Channel is not really a news organization.
Sarcasm aside, on her Oct. 23 MSNBC program, Maddow attempted to justify the Obama administration's tack over recent months with Fox News. She laid out a series of events over the past few days that indicated an escalation of the feud between Fox News and the White House, specifically an effort to exclude Fox News from the White House pool.
"Well yesterday the White House said that Fox would not be among the networks invited to interview Ken Feinberg in one of these round-robin pool interviews and the other networks came to Fox's defense," Maddow reported. "They said they would bow out of interviewing Mr. Feinberg's themselves unless Fox was included, so Fox was included."
"You know, the American people cherish our freedom of speech and a free and independent press," Pence said. "That's why I found this morning's headlines so troubling. Goaded on by a White House increasingly intolerant of criticism, lately the national media has taken aim at conservative commentators in radio and television - suggesting that they only speak for a small group of activists and even suggesting in one report today that Republicans in Washington are quote, ‘worried about their electoral effect.' Well, that's hogwash."
Remember back just a few short months ago - when thousands, if not millions, of Americans were protesting out-of-control government spending and other policies favored by President Barack Obama's administration?
Surprised by the resounding turnout, the usual lefty talking heads on MSNBC, specifically on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" and "The Rachel Maddow Show," explained the protests away as being fake grassroots aka AstroTurf.
Fast forward to Oct. 7, when both Olbermann and Maddow started laying down AstroTurf of their own. They encouraged free health care clinics to be held in the states of six Democratic senators that are not in lockstep with the left-wing agenda on health care reform.
Today on "Hardball," host Chris Matthews sought to portray President Barack Obama as being on the rebound from a beating in his approval rating during "all the crazy stuff of the summer" such as "the tea parties, the birthers, the nutbags out there" who drove up Obama's disapproval numbers.
But the single poll he cited was dismissed as an outlier by guests Charlie Cook of Cook Political Report fame. John Harris of The Politico also agreed with Cook's assessment.
It isn't often that one can see two decades of history re-written in under ten minutes. But such was the occasion on this morning's episode of Morning Joe. Max Blumenthal, author of "Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party," spent his time on the show demonstrating the combined power of cognitive dissonance, wanton ignorance, and a willingness to re-write historical fact.
Let's take it in chronological order, shall we?
First, Blumenthal is asked to present the major thesis of his book:
His Wednesday column was on the three bombs allegedly hanging over all of our heads, two of them of the metaphorical variety: Debt and climate change. To make his case that climate change is some kind of imminent and deadly threat, Friedman conjured up a wildly implausible scenario out of a dystopian science fiction movie.
Today's youth are growing up in the shadow of three bombs -- any one of which could go off at any time and set in motion a truly nonlinear, radical change in the trajectory of their lives.
The first, of course, is still the nuclear threat, which, for my generation, basically came from just one seemingly rational enemy, the Soviet Union, with which we shared a doctrine of mutual assured destruction. Today, the nuclear threat can be delivered by all kinds of states or terrorists, including suicidal jihadists for whom mutual assured destruction is a delight, not a deterrent.
But there are now two other bombs our children have hanging over them: the debt bomb and the climate bomb.
As we continue to build up carbon in the atmosphere to unprecedented levels, we never know when the next emitted carbon molecule will tip over some ecosystem and trigger a nonlinear climate event -- like melting the Siberian tundra and releasing all of its methane, or drying up the Amazon or melting all the sea ice in the North Pole in summer. And when one ecosystem collapses, it can trigger unpredictable changes in others that could alter our whole world.
New York Times Week in Review and Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus is discussinghis recent book "The Death of Conservatism" with Reihan Salam on Slate's Book Club feature.
The tone of these Slate debates is usually civilly contentious, but in his Thursday afternoon posting, Tanenhaus leaves his lofty chambers of rhetoric to insult the conservatives he purports to be an expert on with a well-known lefty vulgarism:
Even today the right insists it is driven by ideas, even if the leading thinkers are now Limbaugh and Beck, and the shock troops are tea-baggers and anti-tax demonstrators.
CNN’s Rick Sanchez joined two of his colleagues in omitting the left-wing affiliation of Wendell Potter, a senior fellow at the Center for Media and Democracy. In fact, Sanchez went so far as to deny Potter’s alignment with liberals: “Is he [Potter] some crazy lefty? Is he Ralph Nader? Is he Dennis Kucinich? No. In fact, he’s a former player in the health insurance world.”
Before the CNN anchor made this denial about Potter, he read the senior fellow’s assessment of Senator Max Baucus’s health care “reform” proposal: “Here’s what my next guest thinks of this Baucus bill- quote, ‘It’s hard to imagine how insurance companies could have written legislation,’ he says- ‘that would benefit them more.’ In other words, if the guys who run the insurance companies would have sat down and written legislation- he says- they couldn’t have written it any better.”
Sanchez then made his introduction of his guest: “Who’s my guest? Is he some crazy lefty? Is he Ralph Nader? Is he Dennis Kucinich? No. In fact, he’s a former player in the health insurance world. He used to be a part of it. You ever heard of Cigna? Of course, you’ve heard of Cigna. They’re one of the biggest insurers in the whole world. Wendell Potter is who I’m talking about, and for 15 years he was the company’s chief corporate spokesperson, and he was also an executive with Humana as well.” He didn’t mention Potter’s current position with the Center for Media and Democracy during the interview, though an on-screen graphic did mention it (see above).
CNN’s Candy Crowley tried to prompt former President Jimmy Carter to explain his charge of racism against opponents of President Obama on Thursday’s American Morning, but the Democrat tried to worm his way out of what he said. Crowley paraphrased, “You said, overall, you thought the protesters were upset that there was a black president,” to which Carter replied, “That’s not what I said” [audio clips from the interview are available here].
The topic of the former president’s inflammatory accusation came midway through the CNN correspondent’s live interview during the 8 am Eastern hour. Crowley had first asked Carter about the revamp of his presidential museum and library. Before turning to the Obama/race issue, she also prompted Mrs. Carter, who was also present, to comment on the future of mental health care.
Carter was clearly defensive about his allegation when Crowley brought it up. The correspondent put her question this way: “Mr. President, let me ask you first- domestically, you made some remarks recently about how you felt about the protesters that were protesting against President Obama. You said, overall, you thought the protesters were upset that there was a black president, that there was racism involved.” The former president interrupted, “By the way, that’s not what I said.”
CNN’s Jack Cafferty and Wolf Blitzer endorsed Thomas Friedman’s “scary and sobering column” in the New York Times on Wednesday’s Situation Room, where the liberal writer compared the current American political climate to that of Israel in 1995 prior to Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination. After Cafferty remarked that “Friedman’s right,” Blitzer labeled the column “powerful.”
The CNN commentator began his 5 pm Eastern “Cafferty File” segment with his “scary and sobering” label of the New York Times column. After summarizing it and reading a quote where Friedman warned that “something very dangerous is happening” in the American political dialogue, Cafferty remarked that “Friedman’s right. You don’t have to look any further than protesters comparing President Obama to a Nazi, or a Facebook poll asking if he should be killed. Tom Friedman says even if you’re not worried about violence against Mr. Obama, you should be worried about what’s happening to American politics.”
Making a truly odious comparison, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman claimed parallels between the behavior of anti-Obama protestors (who have been quite peaceful) to that of "extreme right-wing settlers" in Israel before the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Friedman warned that "criticism from the far right has begun tipping over into delegitimation and creating the same kind of climate here that existed in Israel on the eve of the Rabin assassination." But where was this concern for the presidency when the left worked non-stop to delegitimize George W. Bush?
I hate to write about this, but I have actually been to this play before and it is really disturbing.
I was in Israel interviewing Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin just before he was assassinated in 1995. We had a beer in his office. He needed one. I remember the ugly mood in Israel then -- a mood in which extreme right-wing settlers and politicians were doing all they could to delegitimize Rabin, who was committed to trading land for peace as part of the Oslo accords. They questioned his authority. They accused him of treason. They created pictures depicting him as a Nazi SS officer, and they shouted death threats at rallies. His political opponents winked at it all.
It's just what the primetime cable news lineup needed - another hour-long program tilted toward left-of-center politics with character assassination on conservatives.
CNN Headline News debuted its "The Joy Behar Show" on Sept. 29, which included appearances by lefty comedian Jeanane Garofalo, CNN's Jack Cafferty and actress Bette Midler. Garofalo doubled down on her low regard for conservative 9/12 and tea party protesters, labeling them as racists. Cafferty went after President Barack Obama for his disregard of the carbon footprint his lobbying efforts in Copenhagen for Chicago to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.
However, actress-turned-Vegas entertainer Bette Midler went straight after former CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck. She was prodded by host Joy Behar, who mentioned Beck as someone who is encouraging a breakdown in so-called "political discourse."
Radical-left protesters outside the G-20 summit meeting in Pittsburgh last week underlined once again that our friends in the news media see no real enemy or extremist to their left. But conservative protests against Team Obama are an ugly sign of incivility, and according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, even impending violence.
HBO talk show host Bill Maher exemplified the liberal-media atttitude on his Twitter page on September 24: "Even with a face full of tear gas, these G-20 protesters [are] better looking than the teabaggers."
But there’s a big difference between the sea of tens of thousands of conservative protesters in Washington on September 12 and the three thousand anti-capitalist radicals in Pittsburgh. The tone from the podium in Washington was happy and patriotic, which meant nothing to The Washington Post, which covered it as an outpouring of a "spectrum of conservative anger."
CNN’s Larry King fawned over Michael Moore during an hour-long interview on his program on Wednesday, calling the leftist’s latest feature “a brilliant documentary,” and went on to label the director “our number one propagandist.” King encouraged all of his viewers to see Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story,” which was released in New York City and L.A. earlier that day.
The CNN anchor led his 9 pm Eastern program with his gush over the apparent magnificence of Moore and his latest documentary: “I’ve seen this movie, and I’ll tell you, whether people agree or disagree with it- and there will be people who disagree- this is a brilliant documentary. You are our number one propagandist, in the good sense that a propagandist presents their viewpoint very well. Maybe no one does it better.”
Eight minutes later, King besought his viewers to go see Moore’s “Love Story,” regardless of their political views: “Agree or disagree, ‘Capitalism: A Love Story’ is one heck of a documentary. We saw it. You should see it- again, whether you agree or disagree, you should- you should see it.”
It takes a breathtaking lack of self-awareness, or selective amnesia, or just bald hypocrisy for the left-wing blogosphere to speculate on the cause of “right-wing hatemongering.” But there it was on Sept. 21 – an article asserting that the “anti-Obama hyperventilating” was the result of … Christianity.
Appearing on Alternet.org, Frank Schaeffer’s “Right-Wing Hatemongering Fueled by Christianity?” suggested that resistance to the Obama program comes from “the ugliest side of religion.”
“The fact is,” wrote Schaeffer, “that if you're going to blame one group above all others for the willful ignorance and continuing ugliness of the response to President Obama the best candidate would be the evangelical/fundamentalist community.”
Schaeffer wrote that former president Jimmy Carter was correct when he recently asserted that racism was behind the passionate anti-Obama reaction. But Carter fell short in not explicitly linking that racism to his own religion – Evangelical Christianity. “The angry part of the South Carter spoke of is racist because it's dominated by a certain type of ‘Christian’ culture,” Schaeffer wrote.
CNN anchor Rick Sanchez again attacked Fox News on Monday’s Newsroom, implying the channel wasn’t a “real news organization,” and bizarrely labeled Glenn Beck “pudgy-faced.” Unsurprisingly, Sanchez continued his silence concerning his own network’s left-wing bias [audio clips from the segment are available here].
The anchor began the segment by summarizing his attack on the Fox News Channel from the September 18 edition of Newsroom, and then dropped his hint that his competitor was not a genuine news outlet: “Real news organizations- real news organizations- are not supposed to stage events, nor should they promote news events, nor should they hype news events. Otherwise, they lose their ability to be impartial. They’re no longer even remotely objective if they do that, nor are they being ‘fair and balanced.’”
Left-wing PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers, host of "Bill Moyers Journal," interviewed New York Times editor Sam Tanenhaus about his new book "The Death of Conservatism," which Times Watch found intellectually dishonest, unnecessarily hostile, and already dated.
Tanenhaus, who edits two Sunday sections, the Book Review and the Week in Review, insulted today's conservative movement the same way he did in his book, calling it "a politics of vengeance." Tanenhaus, who decries conspiracism on the right, indulged in his own when he declared of the 2000 election between Bush and Al Gore:"... the conservatives on the Supreme Court stopped the democratic process, put their guy into office."
Challenged by Moyers on the book's title, given the huge anti-government rallies opposing Obama's spending and health care schemes, Tanenhaus insisted that "the overt signs of energy and vitality" of today's anti-government protesters notwithstanding, "the rigor mortis I described is still there."
Whatever you say, Sam. Some excerpts from the interview, which aired Friday night:
Moyers: So, if you're right about the decline and death of conservatism, who are all those people we see on television?
Tanenhaus:I'm afraid they're radicals. (Laughter.) Conservatism has been divided for a long time -- this is what my book describes narratively -- between two strains. What I call realism and revanchism. We're seeing the revanchist side.
On Friday’s Newsroom, CNN’s Rick Sanchez correctly pointed out that a full-page color ad by the Fox News Channel incorrectly claimed that his network missed the massive September 12 Tea Party rally in Washington, DC, but went on to paper over CNN’s own double-standard on covering left-wing protests versus conservative protests. Sanchez also accused Fox News of trying to “promote” the Tea Parties.
During the segment, which began 13 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour, the CNN anchor seemed to be perturbed by Fox News’s ad, which ran in the Washington Post on Friday with one main line: “How did ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and CNN miss this story?” Sanchez led with a direct attack on the ad: “If you watch this show every day...you know that I usually don’t suffer fools gladly, especially when it comes to the fools who perpetuate falsehoods. Well today, thousands of you flipped through the pages of the Washington Post, only to come across a lie so bold and so upsetting that frankly, I’m not just going to sit here in silence and allow my craft or my news operation to be unfairly maligned, because enough is enough. And, yes, I’m talking to you, Fox News.”
After a summer swoon, you would think that the evening newscasts of the Big 3 networks would start to recover a bit now that many Americans are back from vacations, kids are back in school, and fall routines are getting established or re-established.
So far, you would be wrong.
It's early, and there's still plenty of time this fall to recover, but during the time period after Labor Day, the broadcasts primarily anchored by Brian Williams at NBC, Charles Gibson at ABC, and Katie Couric at CBS:
Are down a combined 28.5% from their peak in late January during the first full week of Barack Obama's presidency.
Have lost a combined 37.7% of their audience in the 25-54 demographic during the same time period.
Are down year-over-year compared to September 1, 2008, the week after Labor a year ago, by 8.9% overall and 18.1% in the 25-54 demographic.
At 19.55 million, are basically drawing audiences no larger than they were during this past (for them) miserable summer.
Time Magazine's Joe Klein leveled another accusation of racism against Tea Party protesters today, employing fallacious arguments that could be torn apart by any student of basic logic.
Tea Party protesters, by Klein's account, are similar to the caricature of the 1990s religious right: "largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command," in the words of the Washington Post. Klein takes that WaPo adage and adds 'racist' to the end.
The Tea Party protesters are scared above all, Klein asserts, "by an amorphous feeling that they [sic] America they imagined they were living in--Sarah Palin's fantasy America--is a different place now, changing for the worse, overrun by furriners of all sorts: Latinos, South Asians, East Asians, homosexuals...to say nothing of liberated, uppity blacks...
RNC Chairman Michael Steele shot back at CNN’s Wolf Blitzer after the anchor tried to smear conservatives with racism on Wednesday’s Situation Room. The CNN anchor pointed out a racist sign at a Tea Party, and Steele replied, “Don’t hold up one person as an example of behavior by everyone.” The RNC chairman also rebuked Blitzer after the anchor pointed out the GOP’s dearth of minorities in Congress [audio clips from the segment are available here].
Before he introduced Steele, Blitzer played a clip from former President Jimmy Carter, who attributed “overwhelming portion of the intensely-demonstrated animosity towards President Barack Obama” to racism. He then asked the RNC chairman for his take on the Democrat’s remarks. Steele replied that Carter was “just dead wrong....I am, like a lot of Americans, concerned and disagree with the President’s policies and approaches from the stimulus spending to this health care strategy. Am I a racist because I disagree with that? I don’t think so.”