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."
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.