You just knew this was bound to happen. Some on the left are trying to blame George W. Bush for Obama's IRS fiasco. Take for example Mediaite's resident Obama apologist Tommy Christopher, who wrote a much ado about nothing post on May 16 insinuating that this egregious abuse of government power stems from former Bush appointed IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman – and that credit for clearing this whole thing up will go to Obama.
Christopher penned this piece using Martin Bashir’s May 16 broadcast, which featured Joy Reid of the Grio and Republican strategist Ron Christie. During the exchange, Christie was forced to admit the Shulman was a Bush appointee, but so what? This scandal happened under Obama. The IRS executed this plan in 2010, and Shulman –and his successor Steve Miller– knew about it since the spring of 2012. There is no doubt the agency lied about their knowledge of their employees’ malfeasance, and it happened under the Obama administration. Nevertheless, Christopher dutifully wove his spin, concluding:
When a reporter makes an assertion about someone else's beliefs or motivations, he or she is supposed to offer something up as evidence, say a direct quote, something that person has written, or even something someone else close to him or her has said.
Politico's Josh Gerstein offered nothing of the sort in his coverage of Eric Holder's "you can't touch me" attitude, though he provides plenty of evidence to support my characterization of Holder's outlook. Gerstein, without a shred of support, wrote the following in describing what he believes Republicans and conservatives are trying to accomplish in pursuing the myriad scandals in the Obama administration which have burst forth during the past two weeks, along with others, including but not limited to Operation Fast and Furious, which occurred during the Obama administration's first term (bolds are mine throughout this post):
CBS again paid homage to Caroline Kennedy on Tuesday's CBS This Morning as they hyped her possible nomination to be the next ambassador of Japan. During her report, Jan Crawford featured liberal historian Robert Dallek, who gushed over the apparent worldwide reputation of the presidential daughter's family: "The Kennedys, generally, have an extraordinary, continuing hold on the public's imagination, both in this country and abroad."
Dallek later asserted that the U.S. might be "sending somebody as ambassador to Tokyo who is representative of the best in American culture." The correspondent also touted how Kennedy "would have an opportunity to test her political skills, but also, she would be able to put the Kennedy name back on an international stage" if President Obama named her to the key diplomatic post.
So, Politico jumped the shark on gay marriage yesterday in reporting that Justice Elena Kagan that she had a ‘gotcha’ moment during yesterday’s hearings on the Defense of Marriage Act.
But a real ‘gotcha’ moment would have been if Politico did their homework and resurrected Kagan’s past comments about gay marriage from 2009, when she was awaiting confirmation to the post of solicitor general and she insisted in the answer to a questionnaire that “there is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”
In Elena Kagan's DOMA 'Gotcha' Moment, Jennifer Epstein and Josh Gerstein gushed that:
In a brief item Friday at Politico, Donovan Slack reported that President Obama has withdrawn his nomination of Caitlin Halligan for the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.
Concerning Republican senators' opposition to her nomination, Slack said it was "because they said she had a record of advocacy and an activist view of the judiciary" without citing specifics. It's almost as if Slack knew he had to write something, but wished to keep a rare Republican success at stopping an objectionable court nominee as vague and quiet as possible. In early March, the folks at Eagle Forum compiled a useful list of how awful Halligan would have been had her appointment made it through the Senate (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On Monday, President Obama tapped Thomas Perez, currently the head of the Civil Rights Division in the Justice Department, to take the helm at the Department of Labor, replacing outgoing Secretary Hilda Solis. This will be the third controversial Cabinet appointment after Brennan and Hagel. In covering the story, Peter Baker of the New York Times mentioned Republican opposition to his nomination, but failed to mention Perez’s radical past preceding his service in the Obama administration, much less his controversial actions while at Justice.
The liberal media’s effort to demonize Sen. Ted Cruz continues. On last Friday’s episode of PBS’s Inside Washington, the mostly left-leaning panel of journalists piled on the criticism of the junior senator from Texas. The attacks were focused on Cruz’s questioning of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during Hagel’s confirmation battle. Moderator Gordon Peterson presented the topic like this: “The Tea Party activists love this guy for being so aggressive. I’m wondering how this aggression so early in his career plays on in the Senate.”
But according to panelist Evan Thomas, a Politico contributor, Cruz is not merely aggressive; he is dangerous: “You need to watch this guy, because there are a lot of demagogues out there, but not that many who are that smart. He is really, really smart, and that makes him potentially dangerous.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Reporting on former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel's nomination to serve Obama as secretary of defense, the New York Times' Jeremy Peterstried to imply as he has before that the Republican move to filibuster Hagel, who bombed in hearings, was both uncollegial and unprecedented.
But Peters had to stretch in his Tuesday piece, limiting his examples to the narrow fact that Hagel is the first secretary of defense nominee to be threatened with a filibuster (ignoring the many other Republican nominees filibustered by Democrats, as well as the Democrats' outright rejection of Republican nominee John Tower in 1989).
It's hard to imagine that Nicholas Confessore and his editors at the overwhelmingly Obama-friendly New York Times were just making things up when he reported over the weekend in a Page A1 story that the Obama campaign's Organizing For America operation, now "rebooted" as the supposedly independent Organizing For Action, "will rely heavily on a small number of deep-pocketed donors ... whose influence on political campaigns Mr. Obama once deplored," granting them quarterly access to the Obama if they raise $500,000 or more.
According to Charlie Spiering at the Washington Examiner, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, when asked about the story, in Spiering's words, "asserted that OFA was an 'independent organization' that just happened to support the president’s policy agenda," "refused to address the New York Times reporting," and "ended the press briefing as reporters were still asking questions and fled the podium." If the late Tony Snow had done this while serving as press secretary under George W. Bush, we'd be seeing a continuous loop of the walkout on network TV all day long. The key paragraphs from the Times story, the reaction of MSNBC's Chuck Todd follow the jump, and the Associated Press's non-denial denial firewall follow the jump.
On her 1 p.m. et hour MSNBC show on Thursday, host Andrea Mitchell mounted her high horse in condemning Republican senators who questioned defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel about his connection to what turned out to be a fake organization: "Without even checking the factual basis for their questions....You can ask anything and create a sound bite, and then people pick it up in social media, and it's off and running." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
People in glass houses should not throw stones. Mitchell infamously aired a deceptively edited clip of Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential race that made him seem out of touch. In September of 2011, she took Republican House Speaker John Boehner wildly out of context and accused him of being "disrespectful" to President Obama.
Ten years ago, then-Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) held together a Democratic filibuster of President Bush's nomination of Miguel Estrada to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Tom Curry of NBCNews.com notes that Republicans tried to end debate and proceed to an up-or-down vote seven times before eventually giving up. Frustrated with Daschle's obstructionism, President Bush called for filibuster reform, which Daschle dismissed out of hand, insisting,"The Senate is always going to be the Senate."
Fast forward to February 19, 2013. Appearing on MSNBC's The Cycle in part to promote his new book about the U.S. Senate, co-host Krystal Ball dutifully read back to Daschle a line from his new tome about the filibuster being abused. At no point, however, did Ball or anyone else on the panel, including token conservative S.E. Cupp, point out the Center for American Progress fellow’s hypocrisy.
NBC continues to lead the way in belittling any and all Republican attempts to stand up to President Obama. On Sunday’s Today, David Gregory rehashed the common left-wing talking point that Republicans are opposing Obama at every turn merely for the sake of being obstructionist.
Commenting on Republican opposition to the Chuck Hagel nomination, Gregory said, “There’s no question that this looks to be similar to what people are criticizing Republicans for doing on the economy or on spending, on these various battles they’ve had over the debt, which is just trying to jam the president up.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Wait a sec: aren't liberals supposed to be the edgy dudes who like to buck the established order? The ones who glorify guys with the guts to "speak truth to power"? So what could possibly have turned these hipsters into a bunch of suddenly stodgy sourpusses reaching for their Miss Manners? Looks like in-your-face is no longer in style when the upstart in question is—horrors!—a conservative!
Continuing his campaign for proper etiquette--and against Ted Cruz--Frank Bruni appeared on Morning Joe today. The New York Times columnist recently wrote a cranky column calling Cruz an "an ornery, swaggering piece of work." Bruni took things one stodgy step further, calling Cruz a "whippersnapper." Frank fulminated over Ted's temerity in actually voting against the august John Kerry. View the video after the jump.
Ed Schultz was in seventh heaven, lionizing Elizabeth Warren [new first name 'Sheriff'] for the way she grilled financial regulators for failing to take big banks to trial.
Just one teenie-weenie factoid Ed failed to mention: those two regulators he showed Warren scalding during his MSNBC show tonight were appointed by, yup, President Barack Obama. View the video after the jump.
Following the failure of former Senator Chuck Hagel to receive enough votes in the Senate on Thursday to be confirmed as defense secretary, NBC, ABC, and CBS all immediately turned their ire on Republicans for daring to object to President Obama's appointment.
On Friday's NBC Today, news reader Natalie Morales fretted over the "partisan standoff." In the report that followed, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd mentioned Republican reasons for blocking the nomination, but brushed them aside as he concluded: "Ultimately, Hagel's issues with his former GOP colleagues are personal."
On today’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough repeated the fib that our country is currently operating without a secretary of defense. After playing a clip of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) explaining the Republican ill will toward nominee Chuck Hagel, Scarborough unleashed his venom:
You know... for the 66,000 troops currently serving in Afghanistan and for the families all across America this morning, I'm sure they're glad to know that we don't have a secretary of defense in place and we're not going to because of a seven-year-old political grudge. [Video after the break. MP3 audio here.]
In his brief time in the United States Senate, Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is already making a name for himself on Capitol Hill, with the February 15 edition of Politico suggesting that his “no-compromise, firebrand style could turn off voters.”
In the 36-paragraph article, Politico’s Manu Raju waited until the 18th paragraph to include any direct quotes from the freshman Tea Party senator. What's more, Raju peppered the piece with numerous anecdotes meant to cast Cruz's assertive style in a negative light:
Behind closed doors, some Republican senators report that Cruz, in his stone-cold serious prosecutorial style, speaks at length when it’s far more common for freshman to wait before asserting themselves, particularly ones who were just sworn in.
From the day President Obama nominated him, the New York Times has oozed sympathy for the plight of Chuck Hagel, Obama's nominee for secretary of Defense. Times reporters have warned darkly of the disappearance of congressional "comity" and "courtesy" (as if the clubbiness and glad-handing endemic to the U.S. Senate represents some shining exemplar of good government) among Republicans, who dare suggest Hagel came off grossly uninformed and confused on foreign policy issues in his congressional hearings.
NBC's Savannah Guthrie pressed White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett on Tuesday's Today over President Obama's apparent inaction on many key issues. After reading an excerpt from the President's 2009 address to Congress, Guthrie wondered, "You know, Americans have heard these refrains over and over again. What can you guarantee to the American people that will turn these words into actual action?"
By contrast, on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, anchor Charlie Rose merely prompted Jarrett to provide the Obama administration's talking points on the upcoming State of the Union address:
Martin Bashir once again demonstrates that he represents the bottom of the admittedly deep MSNBC barrel . . .
On his MSNBC show this afternoon, Bashir suggested to a female guest that by his questioning at the Senate confirmation hearing of John Brennan, Senator Marco Rubio sought to demonstrate that he had "very strong testicles." Bashir elicited nervous laughter and a duck of the head from guest Karen Finney. View the video after the jump.
Complaining about Senate Republicans being dissatisfied with former senator Chuck Hagel's refusal to turn over information related to speeches he delivered that were financed by foreign sources, MSNBC's Tamron Hall this afternoon took a conservative blogger out of context to suggest that even conservatives were frustrated with how the Senate GOP -- which, by the way, is the minority party in the Senate and lacks the votes to thwart a Hagel confirmation -- was handling the confirmation process.
In a February 8 NewsNation segment entitled "Hagel Holdup," Hall lamented that Republican "senators are also demanding that Hagel give them copies of every speech he's made in the past five years. It's a process Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin says, quote, 'could be the most inept and disorganized confirmation effort in recent memory.'" While Rubin did write that Friday morning, the Post blogger was referring to the Obama administration and Mr. Hagel, not Republicans. From "A critical weekend for the Hagel nomination" (video follows page break; MP3 audio here):
A Wednesday report by Keith Laing at the Hill failed to point out a quite obvious contradiction during departing Transportation Secretary LaHood's appearance on NPR's Diane Rehm show.
From all appearances, based on the video available at her site, Rehm, once LaHood launched into a predictable rant about how our transportation infrastructure is in serious disrepair, didn't ask -- and should have asked -- why the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the stimulus plan accompanied by those ubiquitous Recovery Act promotional signs seen at road construction projects didn't stabilize things two or three years ago. Excerpts from Laing's lackluster effort follow the jump (bolds are mine):
The Senate's "advice and consent" role doesn't require it to rubber-stamp a presidential appointee for secretary of defense who senators believe would weaken America in this increasingly dangerous world.
Notwithstanding former Sen. Chuck Hagel's diminished view of the post — "I won't be in a policymaking position" — the secretary of defense is an exceedingly important position and must be filled with someone who understands the complexity and gravity of the threats we face.
Veteran journalist Howard Kurtz chided the media's "romance" of departing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday, asking "But, particularly in those TV interviews, could you see any Republican outgoing cabinet member getting that kind of treatment?" Another example came in Sunday's New York Times's front-page review of Clinton's career by Michael Gordon and Mark Landler, "Backstage Glimpses of Clinton as Dogged Diplomat, Win or Lose." The Times opened with the administration's hand-wringing over assisting the Syrian resistance (Clinton's more activist support for the rebels was rebuffed at the White House).
Yet the more damaging controversy over the assassination of four Americans at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was mentioned just twice in the 1,674-word story, once as a "low point" for Clinton, but balanced with the "biggest highlight" of her term -- the diplomatic opening to Myanmar. The other reference noted that while the incident may have "marred" her last months of service, she still has the highest favorability ratings of her career.
Surprised they didn't opt for the auto da fe analogy . . .
On Chris Hayes's MSNBC show this morning, Ali Gharib, editor of the "Open Zion" blog at the Daily Beast, described the questioning of Chuck Hagel at his Senate confirmation hearing as "a Republican purge" and a "Maoist public shaming." Michael Hastings of the Rolling Stone begged to differ, finding it more reminiscent of "Stalin." View the video after the jump.
Sure, Chuck Hagel might have been a bumbling, stumbling mess at his confirmation hearing yesterday. But the real story was how awful were the Republicans who questioned him. That was the collective judgment of today's Morning Joe panel.
For example, so contemptuous was Joe Scarborough of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, that the Morning Joe host announced that he would not even mention him by name. "Clown show" was the panel's operative phrase for the Republican performance. Andrea Mitchell, Mika Brzezinski, Mike Barnicle et al. joined in the Republican roasting. View the video after the jump.
I don't know about you, but when I want to know how William F. Buckley, Jr. would have felt about an issue, I always consult Arianna Huffington and Joe Scarborough. But seriously, who would you trust more to reflect how Buckley would have felt on an important issue of the day: the editors of the National Review--the magazine that WFB founded--or the combined wisdom of Huffington and Scarborough? In an editorial published before Hagel's nomination became official, the Editors at National Review wrote: "Chuck Hagel is a very poor choice for the next secretary of defense," concluding that he was "definitively not the man who should be the next secretary of defense."
But on today's Morning Joe, when Huffington asked "don't you think William F. Buckley would be endorsing Chuck Hagel now?", Scarborough responded with an emphatic "yes!" View the video after the jump.
As my NewsBusters colleague Scott Whitlock pointed out on January 9, networks such as ABC and CBS, slammed the president for a lack of diversity in his second term administration, particularly with women. Whitlock wrote the “correspondent Jon Karl chided, ‘Well, some critics are looking at that emerging second-term cabinet and wondering, where are the women?’ He touted a New York Times article fretting about the "all-male look" of the new picks.
Oddly enough, concerns over diversity don't seem to be a problem for liberal Obama cheerleader and Washington Post In the Loop columnist Al Kamen. Now, with some major news outlets slamming for his apparent abandonment of women within his inner circle, Kamen asks for us to view this within the context of ‘musical chairs’ in his January 11 post – with fellow WaPo colleague Emily Heil.
Exactly three years ago, on January 7, 2010, during a press conference regarding the 2009 attempted bombing of an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan declared to reporters: "I told the President today I let him down." That admission of responsibility for a major intelligence failure was completely absent from Monday's network morning show coverage of President Obama nominating Brennan to be CIA director.
While NBC, CBS, and ABC focused much of their attention on the President's nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense and the likely confirmation fight that would result, Brennan's nomination was only a brief side note.
During a retrospective on 2012 on the December 30, 2012 edition of CBS's Sunday Morning, Charles Osgood ludicrously oversimplified the continuing scandal over the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Osgood conspicuously omitted U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's Sunday show appearances five days after the assault, which conflicted with intelligence agencies' early conclusion that the attack was pre-planned.
The journalist's 14-second look at the story merely consisted of two sentences noting who died in the American installation and one of the most recent developments [audio available here; video below the jump]: