With all that ails the nation, Meet the Press host David Gregory actually began his interview with Newt Gingrich by asking him about contraceptives and Rush Limbaugh.
Showing obvious disgust for the topic, the Republican presidential candidate marvelously responded, "You know, David, I am astonished at the desperation of the elite media to avoid rising gas prices, to avoid the President's apology to religious fanatics in Afghanistan, to avoid a trillion dollar deficit, to avoid the longest period of unemployment since the Great Depression, and to suddenly decide that Rush Limbaugh is the great national crisis of this week" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Appearing as a subsitute panel member on the Friday, March 2, Inside Washington on PBS, Politico columnist Roger Simon recited the liberal line of attack on Republicans as he theorized that female voters were being turned off from the GOP.
After quoting the Democratic charge of there being a GOP "war on women," moments later he wondered why Republicans were trying to get government 'into our wombs."
On his radio program Friday, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh called for President Obama to return the $1 million that Bill Maher gave to his Super PAC due to the vulgar things the comedian has called Sarah Palin.
Maher haplessly countered this on HBO's Real Time later in the evening saying, "Rush, I don't have sponsors - I'm on HBO" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary, vulgarity warning):
On Thursday's All Things Considered, Julie Rovner, NPR's resident ObamaCare flack, claimed that the U.S. Senate rejecting an amendment protecting religious liberty was "closer than the 63 percent majority that supports the contraceptive coverage requirement" from the federal government, according to the poll from the liberal Kaiser Family Foundation. The organization is an oft-used source for Rovner.
The group obtained the 63 percent figure by asking a question that omits the religious liberty component to the firestorm: "In general, do you support or oppose the new federal requirement that private health insurance plans cover the cost of birth control?" A Pew Research Poll from mid-February included that issue, and found that 48 percent supported an exemption for religious groups, versus 44 percent in support of the mandate.
The three network morning shows on Friday continued a left-wing attack on Rush Limbaugh, railing at the "ugly turn" the conservative radio host took when he "eviscerated" an activist college student who testified before Congress on birth control availability.
On NBC's Today, Matt Lauer lectured, "And an ugly turn in the battle over birth control. Rush Limbaugh has ruffled feathers with his choice words for a 23-year-old woman who supports insurance coverage for contraception." Reporter Kelly O'Donnell huffed, "Limbaugh, who called [Sandra] Fluke by the wrong first name, then called her some very ugly things." [See MP3 audio here. Video below.]
Following condemnation of Rush Limbaugh's "crude tirade" against left-wing activist Sandra Fluke on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, on Friday's Today, co-host Matt Lauer gave Fluke a platform to slam the conservative radio host and urged her to denounce "what seems to be a deafening silence coming from the right in standing up for you." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Fluke followed Lauer's lead as she broadly attacked conservative commentators:
MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews on Thursday connected Don Imus's firing in the wake of the "nappy-headed hos" remark to Rush Limbaugh, hinting that the conservative commentator could face similar problems for referring to "sluts" who "must be paid to have sex." (MSNBC, of course, is no stranger to contorversial comments. One anchor on the network recently compared Rick Santorum to mass murderer Joseph Stalin.)
Matthews played a clip of Limbaugh's comments, made after college student Sandra Fluke testified before Congress on the issue of birth control. The anchor linked the two radio hosts: "You know, this cost Don Imus a lot of career, you know? A lot of career, this kind of talk. Calling people sluts, whores. This kind of stuff." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Within five minutes of the start of MSNBC's coverage of the Arizona and Michigan primaries Tuesday evening, Hardball host Chris Matthews falsely claimed Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum wants to "outlaw birth control" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose lobbed a series of questions from the left at Republican Congressman Paul Ryan. Rose wondered if the recent trend towards social issues in the Republican presidential race was "troubling." The Wisconsin Republican replied, "It's not troubling for me, and...I think that's more about the media, and maybe the Democrats, who are trying to move it in that direction."
The anchor also touted the auto bailout as an Obama administration success: "The bailout- should that be an issue, and should the voters look at Governor Romney and Governor Santorum [sic] and say, we had an economic bail-out of the auto companies and look what happened? Profits are up, and they're both doing well." Rose later asked Ryan if he thought that the apparently better economic numbers was "good news for President Obama" [audio available here; video below the jump].
It’s been nearly three weeks since President Obama faced a political backlash over his plan to force religious institutions to bow to government bureaucrats when it came to supplying birth control coverage to their employees. Since then, the liberal media — led by the broadcast networks — have helped re-script the story to suit the President’s political needs. Instead of a story about the overreach of big government and violation of religious freedom, the networks are now spinning the birth control story as one about out-of-control conservatives, to the point of ignoring broad and continuing opposition — including a lawsuit by seven state attorneys general — to the President’s power grab.
The MRC reviewed coverage from the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts starting with Obama’s February 10 declaration of a unilateral “compromise” meant to end the controversy. Our analysis shows how the networks re-framed the story from one that was damaging to Obama into one that reporters thought would hurt his opponents:
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd went after the “uncharitable nasties” in the Republican field in her Sunday column, “Ghastly Outdated Party,” and for good measure accused Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida of stealing the election for his brother George in 2000.
The contenders in the Hester Prynne primaries are tripping over one another trying to be the most radical, unreasonable and insane candidate they can be. They pounce on any traces of sanity in the other candidates -- be it humanity toward women, compassion toward immigrants or the willingness to make the rich pay a nickel more in taxes -- and try to destroy them with it.
Rick Santorum had a bit of a testy exchange with NBC's David Gregory on Sunday's Meet the Press.
After Gregory asked if Santorum was going to "rail against areas of our culture that [he] disagree[s] with" if elected president, the former senator smartly replied, "It's so funny. I get the question all the time, 'Why are you talking so much about these social issues'...as people ask me about the social issues" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Pretending the Obama administration did not intentionally turn birth control into a campaign issue with the ObamaCare insurance mandate, on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams pleaded ignorance to viewers: "Birth control seems to have become, as one headline writer put it today, 'The Third Rail of American Politics Right Now,' and this happened really out of nowhere."
In the report that followed, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell described the issue as a "political fight over government's place in women's health and reproduction." She touted how discussion of the topic "prompted boos" at Wednesday's Republican debate, while receiving "rare applause at a Democrats-only staged hearing today. Set off by the outrage Democrats vented when Republicans called only men to testify last week on religious institutions and birth control."
Rick Santorum’s recent rise in the polls in the GOP primary has escalated the liberal media’s attacks on the former Pennsylvania Republican Senator, primarily on his socially conservative views. This is not surprising since journalists have admitted, in several surveys, to being far more liberal on social issues like abortion than even the general public. One such survey of journalists, from top media outlets, found that nearly all of the media elite (97 percent) agreed that “it is a woman’s right to decide whether or not to have an abortion,” and five out of six (84 percent) agreed strongly.” For more please visit the MRC’s Media Bias 101 page.
The disdain for Santorum from that media elite began almost as soon as he arrived in the Senate in 1995. The following is a collection, in chronological order, of the 10 most vicious anti-Santorum quotes from the MRC’s archive: (videos after the break)
David Gergen had some harsh criticism for the remaining Republican candidates for president Wednesday.
Appearing on CNN's post-debate show, Gergen said, "For a lot of women it sounds like four white guys who are out there telling them, 'Here’s how we’re going to control your lives'” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Martin Bashir has been off for a few days, but he was back in the studio and in fighting form today, eager to push the network's leftist talking points on the ObamaCare contraceptive mandate that would force religious institutions to provide contraceptive coverage in their health insurance plans.
Bashir opened up an interview segment with Baptist theologian Craig Mitchell entitled "Full of Grace?" by furthering a misleading liberal talking point about a February 16 hearing before the House Committee on Government Reform, which featured opponents of the mandate affiliated with various religious institutions:
Christian evangelist Franklin Graham made some comments about President Obama on MSNBC's Morning Joe Tuesday that have liberals across the fruited plain hopping mad.
So angered is MSNBC's Chris Matthews that on Tuesday's Hardball he said, "I think we should stop inviting this guy to talk about politics...he ain’t his father’s son" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"Birth control has become a surprise obsession among the GOP presidential candidates this year."
That's the misleading teaser headline on page A1 of the February 21 Washington Post. After all, it was a liberal Democratic Congress that passed and a liberal Democratic president who is enforcing provisions of ObamaCare that will force religious institutions to provide contraceptive coverage in insurance plans, even if doing so violates religious conscience. Yet to the liberal media, it's social conservatives who are waging "culture wars."
Liberal actor and comedian John Fugelsang was a guest on Monday's Starting Point and took the opportunity to bash Republican candidates and spew liberal talking points. Apparently CNN thought the comedian had some serious commentary to offer on the news of the day.
At the very end of the show, Fugelsang launched parting shots at Republican front-runners Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney. He lectured Santorum that Jesus never advocated the positions that Santorum takes as a socially-conservative Catholic politician. [Video below the break.]
“GOP says HHS mandate is about liberty, not contraception. Dems say it’s about contraception, not liberty. Media accept and amplify Democratic framing.” So the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes adroitly tweeted noontime Sunday in an accurate observation demonstrated by Meet the Press where host David Gregory opened the roundtable: “I want to start with...a big theme in this race so far. And Politico, I thought, captured the headline here with this theme, ‘2012: The year of birth control moms?’”
Later, Gregory touted how “I see this bumper sticker,” which, he insisted, “we’ve heard everybody talk about,” that proclaims “GM’s back on top, and Osama bin Laden is dead.” Cuing up New York Times White House correspondent Helene Cooper, Gregory noted the obvious: “That’s the record that this President wants to run on.” Cooper affirmed: “That’s absolutely the record that he wants to run on.”
Fox Business Network's Lou Dobbs issued a truly delicious smack down to America's press Sunday.
In the midst of a lengthy discussion about the so-called “Contraception Controversy” on ABC's This Week, Dobbs said, "It’s awfully nice of the national media and the Democratic Party to help everyone understand the dangers of Rick Santorum" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Liberal women were in an uproar over the all-male panel at Thursday's congressional hearing on the HHS birth control mandate, and CNN made sure to tout their displeasure. Anchor Hala Gorani emphasized the "fireworks" over the hearing while ignoring the Republican explanation as to why a female pro-birth control witness was refused participation in the panel.
Gorani played clips of two Democratic congresswomen decrying the all-male panel and gave the Democratic talking points as to why two congresswomen left the hearing in protest. "The two Democratic women tried to get a witness added who favors birth control services, but were refused. Thus, the walkout," Gorani tersely explained. [Video below the break.]
Salon editor Joan Walsh said Friday that conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh is "a secret Democrat."
Speaking with MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Hardball about the debate over who should pay for contraceptives, Walsh said of Limbaugh, "He is leading [the Republican] party off a cliff on this issue" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Rick Santorum pushed back against Charlie Rose's interrogation about supporter Foster Friess's recent "bad off-color joke" on contraception, all but name-dropping former Obama pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright as an example of the media's double standard on playing "gotcha" politics with Republicans, but not Democrats.
Rose initially countered, "This is not gotcha; what this is, is trying to understand exactly what Rick Santorum stands for, and what he might say or do as president." But the GOP presidential candidate wasn't having any of it: "You don't do this with President Obama...he sat in a church for 20 years, and [you] defended him- that, oh, he can't possibly believe what he listened to for 20 years. It's a double standard...and I'm going to call you on it" [audio available here; video below the jump].