Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews urged Herman Cain to admit to sexually harassing women and even predicted what the Republican front-runner might say: "I think even if it's really bad he has to put the context to it. He has to say, 'It was an extraordinary night, I had too many drinks, I normally don't act like that, this is not me.'"[Audio available here; view video after the jump]
Since the Herman Cain sexual harassment story broke late Sunday night, the broadcast networks have covered it extensively: full stories on Monday's morning news shows (ABC's Good Morning America led off their broadcast); full stories on Monday's evening news shows (the CBS Evening News made it their top item) and ABC's Nightline; and the top story on all three Tuesday morning shows.
Cain's accusers are still anonymous. Three women publicly accused Bill Clinton of far more serious instances of sexual harassment in the 1990s, but the networks all but ignored them. The coverage that did exist was often skeptical, insulting and hostile, an astonishing double standard.
CNN's Howard Kurtz on Sunday mocked the hiring of sex scandal plagued former governor Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) by Fox News.
Hypocritically, the "Reliable Sources" host neglected to mention his own network's prior relationship with the prostitute loving former governor Eliot Spitzer (D-N.Y.) (video follows with transcript and commentary):
According to MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, Clarence Thomas' accuser, Anita Hill, is a "living legacy." The cable anchor on Wednesday fawned over the woman who, 20 years ago, charged the now-Supreme Court justice with sexual harassment. At no point did she offer a tough question or challenge the honesty of Hill.
Instead, Mitchell treated the Brandeis professor as a larger than life figure, wondering, "How is it to live with this, this history? You are now part of history. You have been for 20 years."
ABC's Robin Roberts tossed softballs to Anita Hill on Monday, wondering what the "legacy" will be for the "quiet" law professor who accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment 20 years ago. The Good Morning America co-host only once challenged Hill about skepticism of her charges.
Although co-host George Stephanopoulos teased the segment by calling the 1991 Supreme Court nomination hearings "controversial," Roberts' questions didn't indicate that at all. She prompted, "Take us back. What were your emotions?...Are you still angry?" Later, Roberts fawned, "I know there's still many books to be written, but [what's] your legacy?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
For analysis of the special election in New York's 9th Congressional District, CNN hosted Hilary Rosen – a former Democratic strategist and former interim head of the Human Rights Campaign, a leading LGBT civil rights organization.
The network simply listed Rosen as a "CNN political contributor," failing to disclose her past as a Democratic strategist. Not surprisingly, Rosen downplayed the shock of a Republican victory in former Congressman Anthony Weiner's district, which had been Democratic since the 1920s, remarking that "there's too much made of it."
CNN's legal contributor, and former legal analyst, Sunny Hostin stated Tuesday that the sex abuse cases involving the Catholic clergy could be considered war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
"I mean this is a war crimes tribunal and that is not to say that perhaps these crimes don't qualify as war crimes because we know that sex crimes and sexual violence do qualify," she maintained. However, she added that most cases seen by the ICC stem from genocide or violence in war-torn countries.
Hostin's statement came during CNN's coverage of the efforts of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) to have the pope prosecuted by the ICC for "crimes against humanity."
Wu-hoo! Welcome to another freaky ethics fiasco brought to you by the D.C. den of dysfunctional Democrats. This one comes clothed in a Tigger costume, wrapped in blinders and bathed in the fetid Beltway odor of eau de Pass le Buck.
Liberal David Wu is a seven-term Democratic congressman from Oregon who announced Tuesday that he'll resign amid a festering sex scandal involving the teenage daughter of a longtime campaign donor. He won't, however, be vacating public office until "the resolution of the debt-ceiling crisis." Translation: Call off the U-Haul trucks. Wu's staying awhile.
A prominent Democratic politician who was banned from receiving federal aid three years ago over fraud charges is once again raking in government funds from the very same program he abused. It pays to be a FOTO — Friend of the Obamas.
Our publicly subsidized con artist is Sacramento mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson. He donated the maximum individual amount to Obama for America, campaigned across the country for Obama in 2008, and bragged to California media during his mayoral run about his friendship and access to both Barack and Michelle Obama. The Obama administration's Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) recently bestowed Johnson's city with an AmeriCorps grant worth more than $650,000.
One disgraced former governor hosted another disgraced former governor Monday night to praise New York's same-sex marriage bill. CNN's In the Arena host Eliot Spitzer brought on former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey to discuss the bill in what turned out to be love-fest in honor of McGreevey's pro-gay sentiments.
McGreevey, a Democrat, announced he was gay in 2004 while he was in office as governor of New Jersey. The announcement came as he resigned from office revealing that he had an gay affair with another man while married to his wife.
In the aftermath of the exposure and resignation of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) from Congress, his colleagues, some journalists, ethicists and pundits are trying to sort out what it means. Has a new standard been created in Washington? How can Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) remain in office under an ethical cloud about money and Weiner be forced to resign because he had fantasy sex? It wasn't even "real" sex, like Bill Clinton had. Clinton also lied about sex and was impeached for lying (but not for the sex because as actress Janeane Garofalo told Bill Maher recently, "everyone lies about sex"). Some wondered then if standards had fallen for occupants of the Oval Office, or whether the behavior of Clinton and some Republicans mirror a national moral decline?
The sour grapes were incredibly sour on the Thom Hartmann radio show on Thursday when they led off with the news that Anthony Weiner was resigning. Broadcasting live from the Netroots Nation hootenanny in Minneapolis, Hartmann went right from an admitted sex scandal to an unproven old story from last November in the National Enquirer:
Looks like Anthony Weiner’s about to step down. John Boehner’s involved in a major sex scandal. It’s all over the page of the National Enquirer. Two different women, they’re naming the women. So this is this is shades of the John Edwards revisit.
Now that disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) has resigned, the media are not only trying to help resuscitate his career but also coming up with reasons why he wasn't that well liked anyway.
Jumping on the bandwagon was the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman who told MSNBC's Chris Matthews Friday, "I also don't think a lot of people loved the fact that he was on Fox a lot" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As news broke Thursday morning of Congressman Anthony Weiner's upcoming resignation, congressional correspondent Luke Russert appeared on NBC's Today and sympathetically declared: "...this is really a sad ending, a lot would say, to what was once a bright, promising political career."
Moments later, NBC political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd similarly touted Weiner's role in Democratic politics: "...he was serving as sort of the bombastic angry progressive, you know, trying to almost be the anti-Tea Party liberal in Congress taking on these folks. He'd become sort of a hero to the more progressive left, who were always upset that Democrats don't stand up for themselves. So here was the guy that had all this potential to become a huge political figure..."
From listening to CNN's pre- and post-Weiner press conference commentary, one could be forgiven for thinking they were already attempting to jumpstart the congressman's political career. Already one former politician caught in a sex scandal is using his prime-time position at CNN to rehabilitate his image.
"Sad" and "tragic" were words used by CNN's political team to describe Weiner's resignation given that he was a "rising star" in the Democrat Party. CNN's Wolf Blitzer told colleague John King, "It's almost tragic, John, because as you've been pointing out, [Weiner] was really the front-runner to become the next mayor of New York City after Michael Bloomberg."
Chris Matthews on Thursday said Fox News ought to hire disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) to play the "typical liberal with all the lifestyle qualities of a typical liberal" to talk about "the latest scandal every night."
Politico's Ben Smith responded to the "Hardball" host, "I asked them about it today. They didn’t buy it. They referred me to CNN" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
If anyone needs one more item for the already massive Missing the Point file, the ladies of The View were happy to provide their insights into the Anthony Weiner resignation. "In a way it's a tragedy." said Barbara Walters. "He's never had another job. What does he do after this?"
That's right Barbara: the real tragedy is not that Weiner has damaged his reputation and humiliated his family, but that the poor little congressman might have trouble finding a new job. "He's got a whole life ahead and he has to worry also because we don't know what Huma, who is three months pregnant, is going to do." added Walters.
During Thursday NBC News special coverage of New York Congressman Anthony Weiner announcing his resignation, congressional correspondent Kelly O'Donnell remarked to Nightly News anchor Brian Williams: "Anthony Weiner showed much of his strength as a Congressman in what he talked about just now in trying to talk about a message that was something other than this scandal." [Audio available here]
After Weiner finished speaking, Williams wondered: "Kelly, was there ever any salvaging this? It's been – it's been said that if he'd been candid at the beginning he could still have his seat in Congress." O'Donnell acknowledged how damaging the lying was, but then sympathetically observed: "The underlying nature of this type of scandal, which was so embarrassing, also made it very difficult for him to go forward because he has been mocked in a way that no one would ever wish on their enemy."
Was disgraced Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner, who carried on several inappropriate online chats with young women, a victim of a newly “puritanical” climate in Washington? That’s the inference from Kate Zernike’s front-page story for the New York Times's Week in Review, “Naked Hubris...While digital flux makes it easier for politicians to stray,” a companion piece to Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s “When it comes to scandal, boys will be boys.”
The same congressional panel that launched a preliminary inquiry into Weiner-gate this week has been diddling around with several other Democratic ethics scandals for years. These aren't foxes guarding the henhouse. They're sloths guarding the foxhole.
The House Ethics Committee is now reportedly probing into Twitter-holic Democratic New York Rep. Anthony Weiner's possible abuse of government resources while sending pervy messages and photos to young women across the country. The latest batch of Weiner's leaked social-media self-portraits — more cheesecake than beefcake — showed him in various states of undress at the congressional gym. From what other public buildings has Ick-arus tweeted his junk? And how much time on the public's dime did his government staff spend coaching Weiner girls to assist with damage control?
MSNBC's Chris Matthews took a well-deserved shot at rival network CNN Monday for actually giving former New York governor Eliot Spitzer his own program.
The "Hardball" host also took a swipe at Spitzer saying it was "ludicrous" for him to actually be talking about Congressman Anthony Weiner's (D-N.Y.) sex scandal (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MRC Director of Media Analysis and NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham appeared on the June 10 edition of FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor to document the broadcast networks’ double-standard on congressional sleaze stories. When the story first broke, ABC, CBS and NBC refused to cover the Weiner “sexting” scandal, and their overall weekday evening news coverage had amounted to less than a dozen stories as of last Friday.
But back in 2006, Graham noted, the networks pounced right away on the similarly sleazy actions of a congressional Republican, Mark Foley, which were a focus of five times as many evening news stories (55) in the first 12 days, even though Foley had quit Congress almost immediately.
The Andrew Breitbart-hating media certainly got its comeuppance Monday when Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) finally admitted that he had indeed been sending lewd pictures to young women via his Twitter account.
Sensing that he was seated with one such press member, CNN's Howard Kurtz on Sunday's "Reliable Sources" told a mopey Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, "You're just annoyed because Breitbart, who doesn't like the liberal media, has actually gotten some credit on this story" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Liberal lunatic Janeane Garofalo doesn't think Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) is responsible for the sex scandal that is currently threatening his career.
Appearing on HBO's "Real Time," the so-called comedian and actress claimed Weinergate is caused by the media and "hypocrite Republicans" (video follows with transcript and commentary, vulgarity warning):
If disgraced New York congressman Anthony Weiner needs a shoulder to cry on, he now has one in journalist Barbara Walters, who on Thursday’s edition of The View proposed that Weiner should not resign. “He was a good congressman, and maybe he can weather this all and be effective.”
Walters (who blabbed in her memoirs that she had an affair with a married politician) hoped Weiner could become another heroic Clinton: "we had a president named Bill Clinton who went through a great deal of trouble, weathered the storm and is now not only respected, but he's beloved by many people with a very good marriage."
Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today, advertising executive Donny Deutsch and psychotherapist Robi Ludwig both agreed that the American people should not stop being "shocked" by political sex scandals. Deutsch declared: "...we have to stop being shocked and amazed....when men who are conquerors by nature also chase women....we as a society have got to become a little more anesthetized to this."
Moments later, as Duetsch one again proclaimed, "Let's stop being shocked at this stuff!," Ludwig blamed American moral values for the attention the scandal received: "We're a very puritanical country and so we're a little bit sexually repressed. So on the one hand we like hearing stories about sex, but we want certain things from our leaders that maybe is not realistic and maybe that's the sad part."
Another day, another New York Times story by Katharine Seelye story on liberal Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards that completely leaves out the words "liberal" and "Democrat" -- an admiring profile of Edwards’s loyal daughter, "For Edwards’s Adult Daughter, A Recurring Role: Family Glue," which led Thursday's National section.
Seelye’s initial online story on Edwards’s indictment last Friday also left out the disgraced politician’s party affiliation, though it was added in by the time the story appeared in print Saturday.