Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, Huffington Post contributor Abby Huntsman proclaimed that following Mark Sanford's win in Tuesday's special congressional election in South Carolina, disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner "probably slept well last night knowing that he can potentially come back, too."
Co-host Willie Geist agreed: "Absolutely, absolutely." News reader Natalie Morales chimed in: "I was thinking the same thing this morning."
HBO's Bill Maher on Friday – like so many liberal media members before him – made the case for disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) to be forgiven for his sins and allowed to re-enter politics.
At the conclusion of his Real Time program, Maher said, "In the not too distant future, we will elect a president whose penis we have all seen" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
The media are starting a full-court press to assist disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) in becoming mayor of New York City if he decides to run.
Jonathan Karl tried to do exactly that on ABC's This Week Sunday, and was surprisingly snubbed by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) who three times refused to comment on the issue (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday, the morning shows on NBC, CBS, and ABC all touted a New York Times Magazine profile of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, an article designed to rehabilitate the Democrat's image in preparation for a mayoral run in New York City. On NBC's Today, correspondent Stephanie Gosk explained: "Most people wanted to know whether or not he had learned from his mistakes before they could vote for him. His wife says she forgives him."
Gosk detailed Weiner's expression of regret for the 2011 sexting scandal that ended his congressional career: "Both Weiner and his wife revealing in their own words how it happened, why it happened, and the damage it caused....Weiner describes the shame and the guilt." A sound bite was featured of NYT magazine interviewer Jonathan Van Meter sympathetically recalling: "[Weiner's] still wracked with a sort of shame and pain and guilt about it, and – and he cried, I think every time I interviewed him, at some point."
Married congressman texts pics of his private parts to other women but brazenly denies it. How would you characterize the fact that he was eventually forced to resign?
If "bum rap" springs to mind, you are on the same wavelength as Michelle Goldberg of Newsweek—and probably should seek immediate professional help. Goldberg's assertion, made on day deux of Chris Hayes's new MSNBC show, was even too much for David Axelrod. View the video after the jump.
Amid all of the news breaking in Washington, from the upcoming sequester cuts to President Obama's second term agenda, NBC's Today decided to focus its Tuesday political coverage on a scandal that plagued former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford four years ago. The news hook was Sanford running in a GOP primary for the congressional seat left open by newly appointed Senator Tim Scott.
Co-host Savannah Guthrie touted an exclusive interview with the Republican: "Second chance? Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford running again for Congress years after an affair that ended his marriage and made him a political punch line. Will voters forgive and forget? This morning we'll talk to him live."
While reluctantly admitting the seriousness of the charges involving Menendez's relationship with Florida donor Dr. Salamon Melgen, Lipton suggested the partisan, shadowy origin of the charges weighed against them. The caption to a photo of a lonesome Menendez set the tone: "Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey said a partisan conspiracy focused the news media on him before his re-election." Would a conservative politician enveloped in scandal be covered from such a sympathy-inducing angle?
When then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) was caught in a sex scandal involving inappropriate instant messages to an underage boy, the media had a field day, using the matter to tar House Republicans at large in the 2006 election cycle, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted in a February 7 appearance on Fox Business Network's "Cavuto." But fast-forward six years to allegations against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and the media snoozed on the story until well after he was reelected.
"Silence! You heard nothing from the media before the election. it was this complete opposite view. In other words, we're not going to cover this if it hurts the Democrats," Bozell noted of the liberal media. [watch the full segment below]
On Tuesday's Today, while teasing NBC's third full report on the unfolding scandal surrounding New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: "...we're hearing from [him] this morning for the first time about claims that he was with prostitutes during some overseas trips. Coming up, his emotional response to what he says is a false attack."
In the segment that followed, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell teed up a series of sound bites of Menendez denying the allegations and attacking those making them: "[He] denied that online story and grew emotional, saying political enemies launched a false attack." Referring to the story that broke on The Daily Caller, Menendez ranted: "...smears that right-wing blogs have been pushing since the election...It's amazing to me that anonymous, nameless, faceless individuals on a website can drive that type of story into the mainstream..."
Jay Leno did something Tuesday most media members up to that point hadn't done.
On NBC's Tonight Show, the host actually reported - albeit with jokes, of course - the FBI's investigation of Sen. Robert Menendez's (D-N.J.) alleged involvement with Dominican prostitutes (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Friday it was revealed that the FBI is investigating Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) for allegedly sleeping with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.
Despite this, when Menendez was given a six-minute interview with Martha Raddatz on ABC's This Week Sunday, he was not asked one question about the investigation or the allegations (commentary follows with full transcript at end of post):
During fawning reports on Thursday's NBC Nightly News and Friday's Today, the network's news personalities expressed thrill over the discovery of a collection of JFK memorabilia once owned by Kennedy aide Dave Powers, with anchor Brian Williams raving: "It's an intimate collection of time spent with the President of the United states and his family. It's the kind of memorabilia only a close friend would have. And it shows a man, our president, up close." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
What the coverage failed to mention was the recent shocking revelation by former White House intern and Kennedy mistress Mimi Alford that the late President once pressured her to perform oral sex on Powers during one their trysts. The omission was particularly surprising since Alford recalled the incident in an exclusive interview with Meredith Vieira aired on NBC's Rock Center in February of 2012.
The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair has raised and will continue to raise a number of questions.
First among them (OK, maybe not first, national security being more important, but stay with me) is why should he have resigned? I am always amused when journalists use the words "sex scandal" when writing about such things. Having abandoned most standards for what used to be called "upright behavior," culture now "tsk-tsks" when someone is caught in a compromising position.
As the discussions about sex and sex scandals dominate the media due to the Petraeus affair, one affair the media are strangely silent about is that of New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, who was handily reelected last week despite shocking allegations that his idea of an Easter vacation was flying to the Dominican Republican to soliciting sex from prostitutes. Oh, and, like Secret Service agents in Colombia before him, the hookers are saying that he stiffed them on the tab.
The latest development in the Menendez saga, according to Scott Wong at Politico is that:
In attempt to deflect the growing scandal surrounding former CIA director David Petreaus away from President Obama, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd parroted administration spin on the controversy: "...they do believe they're a little insulated here, because Petraeus isn't considered an Obama guy. If anything, he's more of a Republican guy at the end of the day." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Anchor Brian Williams wondered about the timing of the scandal: "What if this had come out during the election campaign?" Todd described how relieved the Obama campaign team was that it didn't: "Well, look, it's something that the political team here at the White House is glad that they didn't have to test that hypothetical."
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, liberal historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin pleaded for the American people to excuse extramarital affairs of public figures like David Petraeus: "What would we have done if FDR had not been our leader because he had an affair with Lucy Mercer? Think of the productive years that Clinton could have had if Monica Lewinsky hadn't derailed them. We've got to figure out a way that we give a private sphere for our public leaders. We're not gonna get the best people in public life if we don't do that." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Sharyl Attkisson filed a hard-hitting report on the possible ties between former CIA chief David Petraeus's resignation and the continuing controversy over the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Attkisson spotlighted how Petraeus told several members of Congress that "video of the Benghazi attack supports an element of spontaneity, as the administration first claimed."
Anchor Charlie Rose also hyped Rep. Peter King's theory on General Petraeus's resignation: "The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says the timing of the resignation suggests a cover-up. Petraeus was scheduled to testify to Congress this week about the attack that killed the American ambassador to Libya." [audio clip available here; video below the jump]
Thirteen Catholic church abuse articles made the front page; just one BBC piece did
Lead sentence linked Pope to scandals 20 times; linked new Times boss to BBC scandals just once.
It’s a horrifying and tragically familiar story: A beloved and trusted institution is rocked by allegations of sexual abuse of minors over many years. Intrepid reporters dig to learn how the crimes could have gone on so for so long, who knew about them, and if officials kept it quiet. Story after newspaper story leads with speculation that corruption may be systemic and the cover-up may go all the way to the man at the top.
Andrea Mitchell was willing to peddle the Obama party line regarding the Petraeus matter . . . but Joe Scarborough wasn't buying. On today's Morning Joe, Mitchell dutifully reported that "according to all the officials involved," President Obama was not informed about Petraeus until the Thursday after the election.
Scarborough dropped something of a bombshell, saying he "heard about something like this coming several weeks ago." Said Scarborough emphatically: "don't tell me the White House didn't know. That is not true." View the video after the jump.
Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo and star puppeteer for PBS, who the taxpayer-funded network promoted with a documentary called Being Elmo -- "has taken a leave of absence from Sesame Street in the wake of allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy" when he was 45, reported TMZ.
Clash "adamantly denies" the allegations, but "has acknowledged to TMZ he had a relationship with the young man -- but insists it only took place AFTER the accuser was an adult." The accuser met with lawyers for Sesame Workshop. Clash said "I had a relationship with [the accuser]. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not." TMZ added:
On Monday and Tuesday, MSNBC won over Fox News in the ratings in the key demographic of viewers 25 to 54 -- the prized audience for advertisers. Rachel Maddow had bigger ratings in the demo than longtime cable-news ratings king Bill O'Reilly. In their time slots, Maddow defeated Hannity, and Lawrence O'Donnell beat out Greta van Susteren in those numbers.
Almost immediately, the wins went to leftist heads at the Daily Kos.The headline was "Romney's 47% Fiasco Fuels MSNBC Ratings Rout For Rachel Maddow." "News Corpse" insisted, "Viewers are responding to the editorial content of MSNBC and its most dynamic presenters. It's still way too soon to make definitive statements or projections, but the gathering trends are promising. Now all MSNBC has to do is capitalize on the new attention they are receiving and bring in new talent." His recommendation: disgraced ex-congressman Anthony Weiner.
Each morning, NewsBusters has been showcasing the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala September 27. (Click here for details and ticket information.)
If you’ve missed a previous blog, recounting the worst of 1988 through 1997, you can find them here. Today, the worst bias of 1998: Journalists disparage Ken Starr for investigating Bill Clinton's tawdry scandals, while an ex-Time magazine correspondent reveals the depth of her appreciation for Clinton's pro-abortion policies. [Quotes and video below the jump.]
Minnesota Democratic State Rep. Kerry Gauthier has had a rough go of it lately. Embroiled in a sex scandal that has attracted the attention of national media outlets, Gauthier has gone from waging a promising reelection bid for his seat, to being caught engaged in oral sex acts at a rest stop with a teenage boy, to pulling out of the race and facing possible expulsion from the Minnesota legislature.
Gauthier does have one place in which he can reliably look for cover on this story however – CNN.
During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today, advertising executive Donny Deutsch predicted a political comeback for disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner: "...he's a good politician, I think he will get a second chance." The network's chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman gushed: "He's cuckoo smart, he's a great representative, and no one understands health care and I think the problems better than he." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In a teaser for a CNN interview airing next Tuesday, liberal comedian David Letterman denied a partisan bias and said he is a "registered independent." He also pitied former President Bill Clinton for getting "hammered" by the press during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, in an interview that will air on Piers Morgan Tonight with guest host Regis Philbin.
"Poor Bill Clinton. No president that I'm aware of got hammered harder than Bill – President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky situation," mused Letterman. "We beat up on him. We still use him as a reference."
During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today about new French President Francois Hollande having a girlfriend, advertising executive Donny Deutsch insisted Americans would soon accept the same: "I think we're ready for it....the culture that grew up on the internet, that is not going to keep prisoner candidates or people because they've had some personal mishaps, infidelities. I think the rest of the world has grown up, we're going to eventually get there." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The Media Research Center's Dan Gainor tipped me to a remarkable development this afternoon. Someone at the Atlantic, probably with the help of commenters there, took notice of the noise being made by Doug Ross, yours truly (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), and probably others, and took some action on a disgracefully written 1,800-word article about the upcoming trial of John Edwards by Hampton Dellinger ("Why the John Edwards Trial Is a Bigger Deal Than You Think") -- for the better.
Doug's more than valid complaint was that Dellinger never tagged the former 2008 Democratic presidential contender who was also the party's vice-presidential nominee in 2004 and (shudder) would have become Vice President if Bush v. Kerry in Ohio had gone the other way, as a Democrat. Yet Dellinger was somehow still able to mention the Republican Party or specific Republicans five times. I further noted that the author's bio was totally inadequate, as it never mentioned his unsuccessful run -- as a Democrat, of course -- for Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina in 2008. These shortcomings have been fixed, as will be shown after the jump.
You "can't blame" President Barack Obama for high gas prices. "Desperate" Republicans are hoping for the scandal-free Obama to have a scandal. When a conservative woman denounces absurd gender politics it's simply "a ventriloquist act" for "patriarchal ideas."
Those were the gems which stumbled out of the mouths, respectively, of conservative columnist S.E. Cupp, Democratic strategist Krystal Ball, and Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson, all panelists on today's edition of the Martin Bashir program on MSNBC. The topic at hand was how Republicans were pressing the Obama administration over the Secret Service prostitution scandal.