Following Hillary Clinton’s illness last week, which prompted a fainting spell and a mild concussion, Good Morning America on Tuesday morning hyped the busy career of Ms. Clinton, proudly dubbing her the “Most Traveled Secretary of State.” The story began with GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos, a former President Clinton operative, mentioning that Ms. Clinton is, “On the mend now" although "she may be still out of action for most of her remaining time as Secretary of State."
ABC News Correspondent Reena Ninan described in detail the accident Ms. Clinton experienced, as this was the second time in eight years the Secretary has fainted because of a stomach bug. While Ninan and Stephanopoulos both emphasized the rest Mrs. Clinton requires, neither mention the fact that as a result the Secretary will miss the December 20 hearing scheduled to receive her testimony on the September 11 terrorist strike on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. You may recall that Clinton's State Department received numerous complaints from the late Amb. Chris Stevens about insufficient security on the ground in Libya. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
Following Susan Rice’s abrupt withdrawal from being considered for Secretary of State, NBC's Andrea Mitchell felt it important to sneer that Republican opposition to Ms. Rice was racially motivated.
Speaking on MSNBC’s The Cycle Thursday afternoon, Mitchell’s immediate analysis of Rice’s withdrawal was that, “this is not going to help Republicans at all, the fact that a woman and a woman of color has been forced out of a confirmation process even before she was nominated.” Andrea Mitchell must have forgotten that four years ago, Republicans in the Senate confirmed an African-American woman named Condoleezza Rice to be Secretary of State. But that wouldn't fit the liberal narrative NBC and MSNBC continue to peddle that Republicans have racist motivations behind their objections to Rice’s nomination to Secretary of State. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
In an exclusive interview on Thursday's NBC Rock Center with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice following her withdrawal of her name to be secretary of state, host Brian Williams worked to portray her as a victim of unwarranted political attacks: "She's been under withering attack for weeks....Were you set up? Were you a victim of circumstance? Bad data? Bad information?...Are you blameless in all this?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Referring to her Sunday show statements on the Benghazi attack, Rice responded: "I'm not a victim. I wasn't set up....I don't think anybody is ever wholly blameless, but I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't mislead. I didn't misrepresent. I did the best with the information the United States government had at the time."
Moments after news broke of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice withdrawing her name from consideration to be secretary of state, NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd appeared on MSNBC's Martin Bashir to denounce those he deemed responsible: "It was all driven, in many cases, by some conservative outlets who were making her the center of the Benghazi story....[which] never made a lot of sense. She sort of became a victim of this." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Left-wing host Bashir teed up Todd by reciting Rice's resume and declaring her to be "amply qualified" for the cabinet post, but that "so much of the criticism of her seemed to suggest that she was not, and that was dressed up under the guise of these attacks following what happened in Benghazi" Todd lamented that Rice not having a "full PR team" meant she "was more susceptible to this type of where one story where she could become the victim of these attacks very quickly, it could take hold."
Following Senator Jim DeMint’s abrupt resignation to run The Heritage Foundation, much has been made over who South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley might name to replace him. One name mentioned is that of African American Congressman Tim Scott, a prospect which prompted MSNBC anchor Richard Lui to sneer: "... Is the South ready for a black Senator?"
On Friday’s MSNBC Live, Lui baited fellow MSNBCer Melissa Harris-Perry into trashing the South as intolerant. Surprisingly, she did not fall into this trap. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
After the cast of NBC's Today gushed on Tuesday over President Obama's "very fashionable decision" to possibly appoint Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour as an ambassador, on Wednesday, regular panelists Donny Deutsch and Star Jones scoffed at the idea, with Deutsch declaring: "I'm not quite sure somebody who edits a fashion magazine is qualified to be a liaison to one of our biggest allies." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
While the morning show's supposed journalists touted the news and made a joke out of ambassadorships being handed out to big Obama campaign donors, Deutsch and Jones, reliable fans of the President, spoke out against the notion. Deutsch took the cronyism to task:
At the top of Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie cheered the news that President Obama may make one of his major campaign donors, Anna Wintour, an ambassador: "Going Vogue? A report this morning that the President could appoint Vogue's famed editor-in-chief Anna Wintour to be his next ambassador to England or France. More on what could be a very fashionable decision." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
During a panel discussion later in the show, fellow co-host Willie Geist excused the obvious patronage job: "This is not unusual...I think something like 30% of appointees to ambassadorships are political, as a reward for people who raise a lot of money." That prompted a round of jokes about giving money to Obama to get an appointment. Fill-in news reader Tamron remarked: "[Wintour] raised more than $500,000 for his campaign, so we need to get on the ball....We need to get it going..."
In an attempt to dismiss Republican criticism of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's misleading September 14 Sunday show statements about Benghazi, on Thursday's MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus asserted: "I don't think this is really about some comments that were basically right, that she made on Sunday talk shows." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Marcus was prompted to make the declaration after Mitchell tried to paint GOP critics as a combination of sexist and racist: "There have been issues raised as to whether she was being attacked, criticized because she's a woman, because she's African-American....is there a double standard here? Have we had others who've gone on Sunday television talk shows, made mistakes, and not been punished as severely as Susan Rice?"
Striking a sympathetic tone toward the U.N. ambassador on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams lamented: "It was another one of those days for Susan Rice....who again found herself today in the middle of a power struggle between some Republicans on the Hill on one side, and the President..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell eagerly described a moment in a recent Obama cabinet meeting: "With Hillary Clinton nodding her approval, the President sent a strong message to Senate Republicans, 'Don't mess with my U.N. Ambassador.'" Mitchell observed: "For Rice, a welcome signal that her nomination is still alive, despite another brutal day on Capitol Hill."
In what would appear to be a sure sign that the Obama administration's leftist allies, perhaps with the President's go-ahead, are preparing to throw current U.N. ambassador Susan Rice under the bus, Alex Guillen at the Politico reported at 6:14 p.m. on information that has from all appearances been public for at least three months, but which the National Resources Defense Council's On Earth blog noted about an hour earlier.
Rice's offenses? She "holds significant investments in more than a dozen Canadian oil companies and banks that would stand to benefit from expansion of the North American tar sands industry and construction of the proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline." That's indeed troubling, but it was just as troubling when leftists up to and including the editorialists at the Washington Post were accusing anyone objecting to Rice's potential nomination of being presumptively racist. Excerpts from Guillen's report follow the jump (bolds are mine):
It’s one thing for a leftist pundit to appear on MSNBC and smear Republicans as racist and bigoted. It’s another when the editor of MSNBC.com, a supposedly professional journalist, joins the ranks of liberal pundits slamming the GOP for its criticism of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s comments following the attack on our Embassy in Benghazi.
Appearing on Tuesday’s NOW with Alex Wagner, Wolffe started off the show by having the audacity to claim, “there has been a witch hunt against every prominent person of color that has served alongside this president.” [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
At the end of Joe Klein's stupefying defense of Susan Rice and the Obama admin's misinformation campaign on the Benghazi outrage on today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough asked Time's Klein whether President Obama had invited him to play golf, "because you are just gobbling up the talking points like Thanksgiving turkey." H/t NB reader Carmel.
Here were some of Klein's astounding assertions: There are no unanswered questions about Benghazi. Ambassador Stevens had all the security he wanted. Rice's talking points were "absolutely accurate"--it was a spontaneous demonstration by extremists. Al qaeda was not involved in the attack. Not clear that reports from Stevens asking for more security exist. View the video after the jump.
As I wrote this morning to the NewsBusters editor who alerted me to the Washington Post's editorial, "The GOP’s bizarre attack on Susan Rice," I don't read WaPo much, but somehow assume they're not quite as extreme as the New York Times." Silly me, judging by WaPo's ugly, over-the-top opinion item.
Here's the ugly last paragraph from today's editorial: "Could it be, as members of the Congressional Black Caucus are charging, that the signatories of the letter are targeting Ms. Rice because she is an African American woman? The signatories deny that, and we can’t know their hearts. What we do know is that more than 80 of the signatories are white males, and nearly half are from states of the former Confederacy." More after the jump.
From Joe Scarborough to John Heilemann, Katty Kay to Mark Halperin to Willie Geist, it was unanimous on today's Morning Joe. Whatever the substance, whatever the policy, Republicans would be making a massive political mistake by opposing the possible nomination of Susan Rice as Secretary of State.
Summed up Scarborough the MJ zeitgeist: "do a bunch of old white guys want to make their first big battle, post-election, a battle going up against a younger woman of color?" View the video after the jump. H/t reader cobokat.
Suddenly discovering something that anyone with eyes could see before the election, Josh Gerstein at Politico tells us that "Obama's foreign policy team hits turbulence."
Please. For over a week after September 11, the administration was pretending that a video which wasn't relevant at all caused protests which never occurred were what supposedly led to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya which killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. We had different people in the administration taking blame (but not really), and learned that but for the heroics of two of the men who died, dozens of others might have perished. But only now is Gerstein discovering "turbulence." Read on for a narrative which would be funny if it were not so sadly symptomatic of a see-no-evil press corps:
Does anyone remember anybody in the establishment press speculating over who might hold Cabinet positions during a second Bush 43 term in the fall of 2004 without qualifying it with "if Bush is reelected"? Neither do I.
But at the Politico on Thursday, the closest Josh Ragin got in an item found at the web site's "The Cable" section speculating on whether John Kerry or Susan Rice is better positioned to be Obama's nominee to be "America's next top diplomat" (i.e., Secretary of State) was quoting a Republican Senate aide who merely referred to the possible fireworks "if it's the beginning of a second Obama term." That doesn't even qualify as a qualifier either, because a victorious Obama might attempt to confirm a new nominee to replace Hillary Clinton during a lame-duck session. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Once again MSNBC has shown it is more a Democratic operative rather than an actual news organization. On Thursday morning, Obama campaign national press secretary Ben LaBolt appeared on both CNN’s Starting Point and MSNBC Live, and the interviews could not have been more different.
LaBolt got the kid glove treatment from MSNBC's Thomas Roberts, who first teed him up to slam the Romney campaign's "sloppy messaging." Contrast that with CNN"s Soledad O'Brien grilling LaBolt on whether ObamaCare's individual mandate was a tax or a penalty. [Video coming soon. MP3 audio here.]
Reporter Steven Lee Myers heaped praise on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a 5,500-word profile for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, evident in the title, "Last Tour of the Rock-Star Diplomat."
One of Myers's big scoops is that Hillary Clinton can remember names and personal details, which is apparently just as important as all that foreign policy guff: "Whatever she might have lacked in scholarship or experience in foreign affairs, she has made up for with a politician’s touch....She has an acute attention to detail, remembering names and personal details." Myers concluded by promoting a Hillary run for president in 2016, when she would be "more iconic than ever."
Myers was not nearly as big a fan of a Republican at war, President George W. Bush. He wrote for the Times on February 12, 2008: "Mr. Bush never sounds surer of himself than when the subject is Sept. 11, even when his critics argue that he has squandered the country's moral authority, violated American and international law, and led the United States into the foolhardy distraction of Iraq."
Readers are advised to remove all food, fluids, and flammables from proximity to their computers before proceeding. You've been warned.
NBC News justice correspondent Pete Williams on this weekend's syndicated Chris Matthews Show actually said that when it comes to nominating judges, "A Democratic president is more likely to appoint somebody near the middle who is less ideological" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Is the New York Times trying to soften up the Supreme Court before its Obama-care ruling, which may come later in June and could see the law declared unconstitutional? An unusual poll conducted by the Times and poll partner CBS News and plastered on Friday's front page is food for thought.
Perhaps it’s unrealistic to expect history textbooks to present and analyze events and epochs with complete objectivity. But it’s entirely reasonable to demand that they don’t actively reinforce the news media’s liberal bias when it comes to recent history and individuals who are still alive and active in shaping that history.
Yet commonly used American history textbooks have eschewed historical analysis when discussing recent Supreme Court justices, and in its place substituted partisan political commentary.
Yesterday, as apparently first reported at the Daily Caller, Oklahoma Republican Senator James Imhofe revealed that Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 administrator Al Armendariz had explained his enforcement philosophy towards companies within his jurisdiction as "[C]rucify them ... Find people who are not compliant with the law, and you hit them as hard as you can and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there." Remember that Antagonistic Al was referring to those who are "not compliant." A YouTube video of Armendariz's remarks in fuller context is here.
The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, in what I would hope is only its first version of coverage (but don't count on any follow-up), did its level best to minimize the significance of Armendariz's remarks, with a headline designed to make people think he only said one bad word, and content which tried to emphasize that the administrator reserves his harsh treatment only for actual lawbreakers. At Forbes, Christopher Helman has made mincemeat of that pretense in one very prominent case.
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):
Liberal pundits, journalists, and yes, the president of the United States seem to be in a full-blown panic about the prospects of ObamaCare going down in flames when the Supreme Court rules on HHS v. Florida in two months. Doing so would be the sort of judicial activism that conservatives decry, President Obama complained ludicrously earlier this week.
But have no fear, liberals, for law professor and Daily Beast/Newsweek contributor David R. Dow -- who previously wrote a book defending judicial activism -- has your solution. The Yale-educated lawyer suggests that President Obama's congressional defenders could try something last attempted in 1805: the politically-motivated impeachment of a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Here's how Dow opened his April 3 Daily Beast post:
The Department of (I don't know what kind of) Justice has decided to drop its case again prolife sidewalk counselor Mary Susan Pine and pay her $120,000 in legal fees. DOJ had no case in the first place.
Van Jones, "Lefty Dreamboat"? The New York Times assures us that yes, he is. Jones was the Obama administration's Advisor for Green Jobs until he was booted in September 2009 when his name showed up on a list of people who had signed a 9-11 Truther petition, suggesting he thought there was a Bush administration coverup of what really happened on September 11. In his new book "Rebuild the Dream," Van Jones denies ever having signed it, and Andrew Goldman's weekly Q&A for the Times Sunday magazine takes his word as law, under the sick-making headline "Meet the New Lefty Dreamboat – Can Van Jones Take on the Tea Party?"
On Saturday, Barbara Hollingsworth at the Washington Examiner (HT Peter Roff at US News) reported on the latest development in lawsuit filed by former congressman Steve "Sore Loser" Driehaus against Susan B. Anthony's List (SBA).
Democrat Driehaus, who served one term in Congress before losing to Republican Steve Chabot, is suing SBA under a Ohio’s False Statement Law for "loss of livelihood." Seriously. Driehaus says that his vote for ObamaCare, which has no prolife protections hard-wired into the law, was not a betrayal of his prolife beliefs. SBA says it was a betrayal, and is correct. Driehaus's excuse was that President Obama wrote up an Executive Order with supposed prolife protections, which of course can be revoked at any whimsical presidential moment -- like, say, January 21, 2013 if he's reelected (or January 19, 2013 if he's not).
Uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, the NBC Nightly News on Thursday took a moment to recount an appearance by Brandeis University Professor Anita Hill commemorating the 20th anniversary of her Senate testimony making unsubstantiated accusations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for sexually harassing her in the 1980s.
Anchor Brian Williams relayed Hill's contention that "her role in the hearings was worthwhile," before playing a clip of her asserting that her testimony "was not in vain." Below is a complete transcript of the segment from the Thursday, October 6, NBC Nightly News:
Wednesday on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, Morgan interviewed GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum. The host spent considerable time on Santorum's views on homosexuality. Confirming the candidate is a Catholic, Morgan asked if he believes homosexuality is a sin. Santorum stated he subscribes to his Church's teaching that it is. Morgan asked how Santorum would react to learning one of his sons is gay and after listening to his response:
MORGAN: I guess one of the reasons it's troubling and difficult for people to come out is because of the level of bigotry that's out there against them. I have to say that your views you espoused on this issue are bordering on bigotry, aren't they?
So an orthodox Roman Catholic who adheres to his faith's determination that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered" borders on bigotry. Not Morgan, however:
MORGAN: Well, I'm a Catholic, too. I just think, unfortunately, we're in a different era. We're in a modern world. And the fact --
President Obama’s nominee to a top State Department post is one of the few American diplomats to have met North Korea’s Kim Jong-il, whom she later described as “smart, capable and supremely confident.”
Wendy Sherman traveled to Pyongyang in 2000 in her capacity as counselor to then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Visiting South Korea four years later – when she was no longer in government – Sherman had positive things to say about the reclusive Stalinist leader.