Jury selection in the trial of two-time Democratic Party presidential candidate and John Kerry's Democratic Party running mate in the 2004 election John Edwards began on Thursday. In the related five-paragraph Associated Press story, Michael Biesecker actually identified Edwards as a Democrat in his fourth of his five paragraphs.
That's not a stellar performance (a Republican or conservative in the kind of trouble Edwards is in would have his or her party identified in either the headline, the first paragraph, or both), but at least the party label is present. As blogger extraordinaire Doug Ross noted earlier this evening, in an 1,800-word item at the Atlantic on Wednesday ("Why the John Edwards Trial Is a Bigger Deal Than You Think"), author and undisclosed former Democratic candidate for statewide office Hampton Dellinger failed to name Edwards's party at all, while figuring out a way to tag something or someone "Republican" five times. Here are the opportunities studiously avoided in his treatise only relating to variations on the word "president" (bolded by me):
New York Times media reporter Jeremy Peters on Tuesday defended Republican Gov Nikki Haley of South Carolina from a phony scandal story that made the rounds of the media via Twitter last week, in "A Lie Races On Twitter Before Truth Can Boot Up." Peters reminded readers that Haley had previously been hit with an "unfounded blog report of marital infidelity." So why did the Times eagerly make that "unfounded" report a news story in 2010?
The Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog network bills itself as “a conversation on religion and politics.” But the conversation of “On Faith” more accurately resembles a diatribe justifying liberal politics with religious imagery.
During this past week, Becky Garrison claimed that Christian actor Kirk Cameron was not a Christian because he opposes homosexual marriage, and Lisa Miller declared that “In churches across the land, women are still treated as second class citizens.”
Anyone who saw what the Associated Press wrote when former Bush 43 press secretary Tony Snow died in 2008 (original AP article; related NewsBusters post) knew that the wire service would do what it could to subtly distort Andrew Breitbart's considerable accomplishments in exposing leftist hatred, duplicity, and criminality. The only question was what form(s) it would take.
Not surprisingly, reporters/distorters Philip Elliott and Sue Manning misrepresented or omitted key elements of the three episodes for which Breitbart will be best remembered -- the James O'Keefe-led ACORN stings; Shirley Sherrod, Pigford lawsuit opportunist; and his exposure (so to speak) of former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner's sleazy online escapades. The 11:44 a.m. version of their report (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purporses) was bad enough. In their 1:56 p.m. revision (saved here), perhaps egged on by the vitriol which has been posted all day at leftist sites, they descended into cheap-shot name-calling adjectives which would rarely if ever be used to describe activist leftists. In his opening hour today, Rush Limbaugh covered some of what happened during the three key episodes; I will expand on them later in the post:
CNN's Don Lemon on Sunday asked viewers, "Why are there so many more examples of gay conservative closet cases?"
In a segment about homosexual scandals in the Republican Party, Lemon answered his own question saying, "Perhaps the GOP’s own repressive platform is the very thing that forces gay members to live a lie" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
In a live interview with John F. Kennedy mistress Mimi Alford on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry fretted over her sharing unflattering details about the late president: "What about Caroline [Kennedy], who is still alive?...Did you think about, as you talk about unburdening yourself, the idea that you've burdened other people now with this?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Alford stood by her decision to go public with the affair: "Well, I don't intentionally burden someone else. I'm telling my story. And that is what – that is what I needed to do." Curry followed up: "Any push-back from the Kennedy family? Yes or no?" Alford replied: "No, nothing."
Following a revealing interview with former JFK mistress Mimi Alford on Wednesday's NBC Rock Center, left-wing MSNBC host Chris Matthews, along with liberal historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Richard Reeves, were invited on the broadcast to give a sycophantic defense of the womanizing president. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Touting his new book, "Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero," Matthews proclaimed: "The greatest heroes are often the most flawed." The Hardball host went on to gush over how Kennedy "colorized American politics....made it a technicolor movie, he made it exciting." In his characteristic fashion, Matthews concluded: "And so with it all, the total picture still arouses the country."
Bill Clinton has done hundreds of TV interviews since leaving office in 2001, and journalists have very rarely found it appropriate to revisit his sex scandals. But for CNN, Republicans merit an entirely different standard of coverage.
On Monday's Early Start, co-host Ashleigh Banfield insisted to Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) that "I got to" bring up his 2007 prostitution scandal, so she could ask how Newt Gingrich could "manage the baggage" of his personal sex life. Vitter fired back that "the good news is, in America, it's not up to CNN" how the GOP presidential nominee is chosen. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
In the annals of fawning coverage of scandal-plagued Democrats, Michael Biesecker's Saturday morning report on John Edwards's illness and its effect on his upcoming trail on campaign finance violations surely must be among the worst.
Biesecker missed at least a half-dozen natural opportunities to tag Edwards as a Democrat, finally doing so in cryptic fashion in his 15th of 17 paragraphs. He didn't identify Edwards as the 2004 vice-presidential candidate until that same paragraph, and in doing so named who was at the top of the GOP ticket (George W. Bush) without naming who was at the top of the Dems' (John Kerry). The AP reporter threw obsequious virtual kisses at a man who betrayed his terminally ill wife while omitting two clearly relevant recent reports, one from an outlet which has scooped the look-the-other-way establishment press time after time in this sad, four-year saga. Here are several paragraphs from Biescecker's blather (some of the many clear opportunities to tag Edwards as a Dem and examples of over-the-top fawning are bolded):
CBS's Bob Schieffer led his interview of Herman Cain on Tuesday's Early Show by asking, "Why did you accept the invitation?" Cain must have been wondering that himself by the end of the segment, as Schieffer and Norah O'Donnell conducted a hostile interrogation of the entrepreneur, pressing him about his qualifications to be secretary of defense, and even asked about the state of his marriage.
The Face the Nation host, filling in as CBS transitions to its new morning show lineup, noted how someone at his network "had the idea...why don't we ask Herman Cain to come on?...Well, of all things he said, yes." Schieffer then turned to the former GOP presidential candidate and asked his "why accept the invitation" question, adding, "Do you have something you want to tell us this morning? Are you going to endorse a candidate? What brings you to television this morning?"
On the popular radio show A Prairie Home Companion this weekend, NPR star Garrison Keillor sang a different version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." It had a slightly different melody, and mocked Newt Gingrich, without naming him. Keillor sang: "Don’t think a sense of style conceals your escapades / Don’t vote to impeach Bill Clinton while shacking up with Congressional aides." Gingrich was cheating on his second wife (with his eventual third wife) at that time in 1998.
Keillor also sang that Santa is watching for who is "beating up on" gays or minorities. There's nothing wrong with opposing physical violence or mean-spirited bullying -- but with NPR, you'd have to suspect Keillor is implying a broader argument about conservative arguments against gay marriage or "affirmative action." Keillor sang:
Sad to see Ed Schultz suffer such sudden memory loss on live national TV. On his MSNBC show this evening, discussing Herman Cain's handling of the various allegations against him, Schultz: found it odd that Cain's wife had come to his defense; said he'd never "seen anything like this in American politics;" and claimed that by criticizing his accusers, Cain had hit "a new low in American politics."
Suggest that infrequent churchgoer Barack Obama may not really be a sincere from-the-heart Christian and MSNBC's anchors will be chief among the media pack to denounce you for questioning the president's religious faith.
But when it comes to Herman Cain, MSNBC's Martin Bashir is comfortable not merely charging the presidential contender as a hypocrite but suggesting he's headed to Hell (MP3 audio here; video follows page break).
CBS's Jan Crawford played up Newt Gingrich's "baggage" on Friday's Early Show, underlining how the Republican presidential candidate is "going to be hit hard for his ties to corporate interests, the ethics allegations...even his personal relationships- his adulterous affairs." Crawford also spotlighted the claim that only Herman Cain's "die-hard supporters...think that he can stay in this race."
The correspondent first reported on the allegation that Cain had a 13-year affair with Ginger White and how the candidate recently admitted to helping White financially. Crawford shifted to Gingrich by stating that "in a crowded field, that could help candidates like Newt Gingrich, who continues to surge ahead." She then used her "baggage" term, and highlighted a "scathing new ad" from GOP competitor Ron Paul, which targeted Newt.
Instead, Twitter (and their ABC promoters) insisted it was more notable that a guy joke-tweeted for a Morton's porterhouse at the airport and Morton's decided to show up with a steak for the publicity. Or that bored NBA star Kevin Durant showed up at a flag-football game with old Oklahoma buddies through Twitter. It doesn't pass the laugh test. (By contrast, on December 31, 2010, Sawyer's newscast did mock Sarah Palin using "refudiate" on Twitter in their year in review.)
"The media loves the idea of being able to push someone out of the race by saying they're dead," not because they want to show off they are political prognosticating geniuses but simply because they want to push them out of the race, NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham noted on today's Your World program on Fox News.
"I think you can really hear this with Cain" as we're now into "day three" of the media pushing Cain to drop out of the 2012 race, Graham told anchor Neil Cavuto.
With the mainstream media giddily reporting on an alleged affair involving Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, how long can it be before they break the news that their 2004 vice presidential candidate conceived a "love child" with his mistress, Rielle Hunter?
The left is trying to destroy Cain with a miasma of hazy accusations leveled by three troubled women. Considered individually, the accusations are utterly unbelievable. They are even less credible taken together. This is how liberals destroy a man, out of nothing.
Will the media take advantage of sexual harassment allegations to perform even more stringent levels of Cain scrutiny of every word and action from his campaign? New York Times reporter Susan Saulny hinted so in Friday’s “Even Cain’s Old Jokes Face Extra Scrutiny Now.”
Previously, Saulny had quoted leftist Cain-haters Cornel West and Harry Belafonte in an October 19 story fretting over Cain’s playful treatment of black stereotypes on the campaign trail, even quoting a professor who accused Cain of employing “a certain kind of minstrelsy to play to white audiences.”
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams followed a report on the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State University by drawing this comparison: "A lot of people watching this scandal unfold at Penn State, watching the human damage pile up, watching an institution get badly soiled, can't help but think of the scandal that rocked the Catholic Church in America. There are a lot of parallels."
In the full report that followed, correspondent Anne Thompson gratuitously used the opportunity to slam the Church: "Almost ten years ago, the Boston Globe broke the story of priests abusing minors and the cover-up by Church officials, shattering the Archdiocese and the faith of many American Catholics. One of its reporters sees parallels in the Penn State case....Critics say these are institutions of power, secrecy, mythology, dominated by men who circled the wagons in a crisis."
Herman Cain has spent his life living and working all over the country -- Indiana, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Washington, D.C. -- but never in Chicago.
So it's curious that all the sexual harassment allegations against Cain emanate from Chicago: home of the Daley machine and Obama consigliere David Axelrod.
Suspicions had already fallen on Sheila O'Grady, who is close with David Axelrod and went straight from being former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley's chief of staff to president of the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA), as being the person who dug up Herman Cain's personnel records from the National Restaurant Association (NRA).
For information on one of Herman Cain's accusers, CNN interviewed her former boss on Wednesday – who just also happened to be a former Clinton advisor and a Democratic strategist at present. Not surprisingly, interviewee Maria Cardona gave the accuser, Karen Kraushaar, a giant thumbs-up and told CNN that Kraushaar had referred to her old boss Herman Cain as a "monster."
Anchor Kyra Phillips never mentioned that Cardona was a Democratic strategist or a former Clinton advisor, and failed to question her if she had any underlying political motive in the case. CNN flashed the title of "Democratic Strategist" under Cardona's name for nine seconds during the interview which lasted over four minutes. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory discussed the political fallout of sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain and the possibility of the Republican presidential candidate being urged to drop out, declaring: "Well, there is no, you know, grand wizard in the party right now who can really force the issue." [Audio available here]
The term "grand wizard" was used as a leadership title in the Ku Klux Klan. Gregory later apologized via Twitter: "'Wizard' remark this morning was a very poor choice of words. Did not mean to make that connection at all. Was not thinking. I apologize." While Gregory may have simply used poor phrasing, if a Republican official or conservative commentator had made that kind of remark, Gregory and others in the media would certainly jump on it. [View video after the jump]
The same networks that ignored sexual allegations against Democrats for months all leaped on Tuesday to interview Sharon Bialek and her liberal advocate Gloria Allred on the morning after she came forward. Between them, ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC devoted over 21 minutes to Bialek, who accused GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain of groping her over a decade ago. CNN had Bialek on for eight and a half minutes, and played up how Rush Limbaugh apparently said "not so nice things" about her [audio clips available here; video below the jump].
CBS's The Early Show gave the softest interview, failing to mention the accuser's past bankruptcies or Allred's liberal political leanings, something the other three at least mentioned. Anchor Jeff Glor asked Bialek if she would still vote for Cain if he became the GOP presidential nominee, only after her attorney, Gloria Allred, mentioned that her client was a registered Republican. None of the interviewers raised why Bialek had been fired by the National Restaurant Association before her meeting with Cain (correspondent Jan Crawford noted the firing in a setup piece on CBS).
On Saturday, NewsBusters reported that CNN in the six days after Politico's hit piece on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was published did more stories on that subject than it did on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's connections to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko, and America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright combined.
On Fox News Monday, Bill O'Reilly agreed with our analysis saying, "This is disturbing," as did guest Bernie Goldberg who explained, "The reason is fairly obvious and fairly simple. They like Barack Obama and his politics and they don't like Herman Cain and his politics" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A former White House aide that accused Bill Clinton of sexually assaulting her back in 1993 says she's infuriated by the media firestorm caused by anonymous harassment allegations leveled at Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Speaking with radio's Steve Malzberg Friday, Kathleen Willey said, "Why are we even entertaining, you know, any of this from a person with no name and no face and a spokesperson who isn’t really clear on anything either" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
When it comes to sex, the media apply different standards to Republicans and Democrats.
Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton allegedly trolled for women, using state troopers as his procurers. As president, Clinton engaged in oral sex with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. He lied about it under oath and was impeached, though later acquitted by the U.S. Senate. Other sexual accusations tainted Clinton, including one that he raped one Juanita Broaddrick. That "everybody lies about sex" and "it was just sex" and didn't affect his public responsibilities, were just two of the exculpatory statements from Clinton's Democratic defenders. James Carville slimed Paula Jones, one of Clinton's accusers, by saying you never know what you'll find "when you drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park."
In an interview with Michele Bachmann on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer's first four questions pushed Bachmann to comment on the Herman Cain controversy: "As the only woman in this race, I just would like your perspective on all this....Do you think you are hearing the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth from Herman Cain?"
Bachmann repeatedly told Lauer: "I don't have any comment on this particular issue." However, Lauer persisted: "Is a subject like sexual harassment, and if there – especially if there is more than one instance of it, even back in the '90s, is it a game-ender if it's proven to be true?"
Updated [11:22 ET]: More analysis and full transcript added.
At the top of Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry reported on Herman Cain's campaign blaming Rick Perry for dredging up sexual harassment allegations against the Republican front-runner and then wondered: "Will this intra-party fight hurt the Republican Party's chance of taking back the White House?" [Audio available here]
Later, in an interview with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus Curry touted the back and forth among the GOP primary candidates as a "serious feud" and asked: "Do you think this scandal has affected your party's ability to unseat Barack Obama?" [View video after the jump]
Well, Maureen Dowd’s Wednesday New York Times column on anonymous accusations of sexual harassment against Herman Cain, “Cain Not Able,” certainly shows she has no fear of causing racial offense, at least when writing about conservative political figures: “Even Barack Obama couldn’t be lucky enough to waltz past two wacky black conservatives, first Alan Keyes and then Cain.”
On Wednesday's Early Show, CBS's Betty Nguyen incorrectly reported that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain had been accused of "sexual assault" by two women. Nguyen later accurately reported that the women actually leveled sexual harassment allegations against Cain [video below the jump; audio clip available here].
The fill-in news anchor used the erroneous term during a 14-second news brief 37 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour: "One of two women who accuse Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexual assault wants to speak out. The woman's lawyer say she wants to be released from a confidentiality agreement, so that she can publically respond to Cain's recent claims regarding the case."