During his regular “Political Daily Briefing’ feature on CNN’s “No Bias, No Bull” program on Tuesday evening, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post used Hillary Clinton’s famous descriptive about her conservative opponents in describing one group’s latest effort against the outgoing New York senator: “A group called Judicial Watch, charter members of the vast right-wing conspiracy -- they were on to Hillary back during the commodity trading days -- now, they say because of Article One in the Constitution says you cannot serve in the position where you got a -- voted for a pay raise while you were in Congress, they’re saying she is constitutionally ineligible.” He then opined that “the only thing for Hillary to do is just give her $191,000 salary as Secretary of State to Judicial Watch for their extraordinary creativity -- just save everybody the court costs.”
Admission: Lawrence O'Donnell is emerging as one of my favorite media liberals. On the one hand, almost exactly one year ago, his anti-Mormon rant spurred me to action. But lately, watching him as a frequent MSNBC guest, I've been impressed by his acumen and willingness to call them as he sees them.
Take O'Donnell's intervention on tonight's "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," where he made the salient point that the scandal of the Marc Rich pardon is, ironically, being held against AG nominee Eric Holder . . . while Hillary Clinton skates.
Note to Chris Matthews: when mocking someone for using a ghostwriter, it's best to avoid doing so on a day when Hillary Clinton is prominently in the news . . .
On this evening's Hardball, Matthews went out of his way to mock Joe The Plumber for his use of a ghostwriter on his just-released book. This on the day Hillary Clinton was in the headlines, having been named Barack Obama's Secretary of State. You know, Hillary Clinton. The woman famous, in writing "It Takes A Village," for failing to credit her . . . ghostwriter.
In the interview for Wednesday’s Barbara Walters Special on ABC with Barack and Michelle Obama, excerpts of which were also shown on Wednesday’s World News with Charles Gibson, Walters asked few questions that put the Obamas on the defensive, in contrast with her January 2001 interview, aired on 20/20, with then-President-elect Bush in which she challenged him on a number of fronts. Most notably, she seemed to chide Bush for choosing John Ashcroft as Attorney General because he "openly opposes abortion," and claimed that Ashcroft was "not considered a friend to civil rights." She asked Bush about reports that, as governor of Texas, he "spent relatively little time studying specific issues," and "only does a few hours of work" a day. The ABC host also challenged Bush from the left on the trade embargo against Cuba, and even asked Laura Bush if her more "traditional" plans for her time as First Lady would be a "setback for women." It is also noteworthy that Walters asked Bush about his plans for dealing with Saddam Hussein and cited "people in the know" who contended that the Iraqi dictator was "stronger than ever."
Joe Conason's column should be as chilling to conservatives as it is meant to be comforting to liberals. His message: don't be distracted by the centrist-seeming appointments Pres.-elect Obama has made to his economic team. He remains as committed as ever to his radical agenda.
Conason's commentary appears this morning at Rasmussen Reports. Key lines [emphasis added]:
[W]hen liberals point to Summers and other members of the Obama team, crying betrayal, they misunderstand the strategy behind those appointments. The most important thing to remember about the president-elect as he prepares to govern is that he takes the long view -- and that he knows how to make a reasonable case for radical change. He has not taken one step back from the commitments he articulated during his campaign.
The major broadcast networks have so far lavished praise on President-elect Barack Obama for his Cabinet choices, in contrast to the airing of complaints from liberals over President Bush’s choice of John Ashcroft as Attorney General eight years ago. But an exception came on Sunday as the CBS Evening News anchor Russ Mitchell informed viewers that "not everyone is happy about some of Mr. Obama’s picks." But rather than examining whether conservatives will be unhappy with the liberal views of Obama’s Cabinet members, CBS’s Randall Pinkston instead focused on liberals who believe the President-elect is not delivering on his campaign promise of "change," even playing a clip of political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson claiming that Obama had chosen a number of "Clintonesque, moderate, centrist Democrats."
On the Saturday Early Show on CBS, President-elect Barack Obama’s Cabinet picks were presented positively as correspondent Kimberly Dozier referred to a "superstar Cabinet," and its members as "bold" and "inspired," while co-anchor Erica Hill called the Cabinet "star-studded." The terminology was similar to that employed by NBC's Andrea Mitchell on the previous night's Nightly News, as she referred to Obama's "all-star Cabinet."
During the 8:00 a.m. hour of the Saturday Early Show, as she filed a story regarding Obama’s choices of Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State and Timothy Geithner, also from the Clinton administration, for Treasury Secretary, Dozier introduced her report: "Well, Obama’s Cabinet picks are coming one by one, and they’re calling it, in some cases, a ‘superstar Cabinet.’" After informing viewers that Obama may ask Defense Secretary Robert Gates to stay on, Dozier repeated the "superstar" label as she passed on praise from former Reagan Chief of Staff Ken Duberstein. Dozier: "Ronald Reagan’s former chief of staff says Obama’s taking a page from his boss’s book, choosing a superstar team for their skills, not their political persuasion."
Tom Brokaw: talk show host or DNC enforcer? Barack Obama and Harry Reid were willing to let bygones be bygones, letting Joe Lieberman keep his Homeland Security Committee chairmanship.
But Lieberman's professed "regret" for statements he made in the course of supporting John McCain for president wasn't good enough for Brokaw. Interviewing the senator on Meet The Press today, Brokaw pointedly observed that he hadn't heard the word "apology" for Lieberman's lèse majesté. Brokaw broached the subject by asserting Lieberman needed to be held "accountable."
Whoever had the brilliant idea of making Capricia Marshall a guest on MSNBC's "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" last night was probably hiding from host David Gregory when the show ended. Marshall turned out to be the least forthcoming guest I have ever seen on a political talk show. The aide to Hillary Clinton put up a smiling stonewall that would make G. Gordon Liddy—who chose a stiff prison sentence over Watergate stool-pigeonhood—proud.
Marshall is the director of Hillary Clinton's political action committee, Hillpac, and former social secretary in the Clinton White House. Gregory had her on in the clear expectation that she would dish on Hillary's prospective appointment as Secretary of State. But Capricia was tighter than the proverbial clam. Try as Gregory might, Marshall wouldn't give up the smallest shadow of a hint of a scrap of a tidbit about anything of interest. Her big revelation? She's excited about the inauguration. Gag Gregory with an NBC "Yes We Can!" commemorative Obama-campaign DVD.
Now that Eric Holder is in the process of trying to graduate from Barack Obama's vice-presidential search committee to President-elect Obama's apparent nominee for Attorney General, it's a good idea to remind people of Holder's role in the Elian Gonzalez case in 2000. This post largely reprises one I put up in June.
In between hosannas, someone should consider Barack Obama's "Judgment to Lead" in light of his selection of Eric Holder as his nominee for Attorney General.
Besides his already-known role as former Clinton Administration Deputy Attorney General in facilitating the Clinton pardons, including that of fugitive billionaire financier Marc Rich, there's the matter of Holder's involvement in the Elian Gonzalez case in 2000.
As the April 23, 2000 edition of the Media Research Center's CyberAlert noted at the time, Andrew Napolitano of Fox News charged that the early-Saturday seizure of the then 6 year-old Gonzalez from those who were taking care of him flagrantly disobeyed a ruling of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
In response to a question from Fox News anchor Jeff Asman, Napolitano said the following (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Last night, Larry King had four guests on his show to discuss the nomination of Eric Holder to become Attorney General. Even though Holder's role in the pardon of fugitive Marc Rich by Bill Clinton was highly controversial, not one of the guests had any real problem with that. Somehow Larry King couldn't find a single guest who would offer arguments against the appointment of Eric Holder. To get you up to speed on Holder's role in the Marc Rich pardon, here is an Associated Press story on this subject from last June:
The last time Washington attorney Eric Holder participated in a high-profile vetting, it was for fugitive financier Marc Rich.
The episode in 2001 became the final scandal of the Clinton administration and landed Holder, at the time the No. 2 official at the Justice Department, in the middle of a congressional investigation.
Now Holder, a co-chairman of Barack Obama's campaign, is one of three big names who will lead the search for a potential running mate for the presumed Democratic presidential nominee.
...In the Clinton pardon scandal, Holder was deputy attorney general when his duties intersected with the efforts of Rich's lawyer, Jack Quinn, who had been White House counsel earlier in the Clinton administration.
The entire matter was handled in an unorthodox manner - on a straight line from Rich's lawyer to the White House, with a consulting role for Holder.
At 78, Larry Eagleburger hasn't lost his fastball. Since leaving government, he might actually have added some MPH. Appearing on MSNBC this afternoon, the former Secretary of State in George H.W.'s administration warmed up with some rough words for Barack Obama and Christopher Hitchens . . . then absolutely rubbished Bill Richardson.
Andrea Mitchell had invited Eagleburger on to assess the list of potential Secretary of State nominees. While he wasn't wildly enthusiatic about Hillary, she was his pick among those under serious consideration. When Mitchell suggested that Bill Clinton's foreign policy experience might prove useful, Eagleburger unloaded on Obama's lack of experience..
Before a few weeks ago, I don't recall seeing Kathleen Parker much on TV. But tuning into Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC show this afternoon, there she was. And when I got back from the gym and fired up my DVR of David Gregory's "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?" Yup, Parker redux.
Let's see. What might possibly explain Kathleen Parker's sudden popularity on MSNBC? You don't suppose it could conceivably have anything to do with her September column calling on Sarah Palin to step down from the GOP ticket, do you?
We've seen some major cases of left leaning bias in the media, especially during the late presidential campaign. Many of these cases have been blatant and over-the-top in style but, while covering the brazen cases of such bias, it is easy to forget that there are every day cases of the more subtle bias to the left in the media. Today, we have a perfect example of a more subtle left leaning bias in the media with a Reuters story headlined "Obama likely to push courts away from right." In it there are lies, distortions and tricky wording all used to pat Barack Obama on the back for his assumed sharp turn to the left he'll take as he appoints judges during his forthcoming presidency. The same tricks of the trade are used to attack George Bush and conservatives for their judicial turn to the right these last eight years.
The headline, of course, is a classic example of leftist bias. Just take a look at the language: "Obama likely to push courts away from right." More properly this headline should read: "Obama likely to push courts to the left." But, notice that instead of saying "push to the left," they say "push away from the right." This gives Obama cover for what he's really doing and takes the emotional impact away from the fact that Obama is, indeed, going to veer to the left by placing the negative connotation on the right. Reuters is assuring people that Obama ISN'T going left, no, no, no, he's only going "away" from the right!
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen has taken a divorce from reality in recommending that Barack Obama appoint the "Custodian of the Planet," Al Gore, as Secretary of state. Cohen submits this proposal, along with other wacky ideas, in his latest column (emphasis mine):
If there is a single appointment Barack Obama could make to signal how dramatically things will change in Washington, it would be to name Albert Gore Jr. -- former House member, former senator, former vice president, former presidential nominee and current Custodian of the Planet -- as secretary of state. For all the other aspirants to the job, sorry -- this is an inconvenient truth.
The MSM have already begun circling the wagons around their guy. Like a secular priest, Chris Cuomo this morning absolved Barack Obama of any responsibility for yesterday's stock market nosedive, the largest post-election drop in history.
Cuomo offered his absolution while chatting about the economy with Good Morning America co-host Diane Sawyer today.
DIANE SAWYER: First we've got to start with the market. Market went way down. Why?
CHRIS CUOMO: Well, not because it was Obama that got elected. That had already been figured into the markets. It went down because the news about the economy is not good.
If Keith Olbermann is going to engage in violent fantasies about Sarah Palin, can't he at least come up with some original material? On tonight's Countdown, Olbermann drooled at the prospect of Palin remaining in national politics, saying:
She might stick around to be the slowest-moving target imaginable for comedians and commentators. It would be like shooting moose from a chopper.
Despicable, yes. But also a "borrowing" of Bidenesque proportions. As we noted here, Bill Maher plumbed those noisesome depths weeks ago, imagining Palin being "shot from a plane" like a wolf.
Olbermann got off his loathsome line in a conversation with Chris Kofinis, a former John Edwards aide.
Who's going to be the leader of the financial world in the role of Treasury Secretary under President Obama? It may be Democratic New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, who has pushed for an additional economic stimulus package to the tune of $300 billion to support infrastructure projects.
CNBC's Carl Quintanilla asked Corzine outright on "Squawk Box" if he would accept a job in the Obama administration as Treasury Secretary. "If it's offered, governor, will you say no?" Quintanilla asked.
"Squawk Box" co-host Joe Kernan encouraged Corzine to consider accepting the job if offered, even as the former U.S. senator expressed his contentment as governor. "You could save the world" as Treasury Secretary, Kernan said.
There really are no words, though I suppose we'll manage to find some. Wonkette, which bills itself as "the DC Gossip," and is the creation of Ana Marie Cox, now gone on to bigger things at Time, has this photograph up of Trig Palin, dressed for Halloween as an elephant and being held in the loving embrace of one of his sisters. [H/t Damian at Conservathink.]
Wonkette appends its comment, suggesting—and there really is no way to sugar coat it—that given the choice Trig would rather have been aborted:
For a guy who calls for the rejection of the "politics of fear and division," Bob Cesca has an odd way of showing it. His HuffPo column is one long, headfirst dive into the ugly politics he purports to decry. Cesca hurls insult after distortion not merely at Sarah Palin, but more importantly, at the Americans who support her. Among other things, Cesca-the-rejector-of-division calls Sarah Palin's supporters "easily-led gomers."
Read along, as we excerpt from Cesca's cesspit [emphasis added]:
Someone at The Phoenix, a small Boston weekly, is off his medication. It's hard to believe sanity is a familiar state, at least, when reviewing the silliness passed off as serious political analysis, anyway. For the lead editorial in The Phoenix this week is a fantastic display of hyperbole filled with "truther" propensities. The editorial, you see, is all worried that John McCain will make himself a "dictator" if he wins the election next month. No, they are serious, so quit laughing.
And how is it that he will become a "dictator"? Why, it's because he will be able to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice, you see. Yes, that is the only proof posited for this idiotic theory.
The "argument" this editorial pushes on an unsuspecting reader is that if McCain appoints another eeeevil conservative Justice, then the Courts will turn over all the power in the land to the president. After that, I suppose the writer of this schlock posing as analysis imagines that the rest of the government will just turn off the lights and go home, or something.
Let's take a break from the tedious MSM spin on the latest polls, and settle back and enjoy the televised spectacle of two people who patently dislike each other going at it on live national TV.
Former UN Ambassador/current Obama backer Richard Holbrooke was a guest on today's Morning Joe. Observing Holbrooke over the years, he's struck me as someone with, shall we say, a deep and abiding appreciation for his own acumen and importance.
Holbrooke and host Joe Scarborough repeatedly clashed over a host of issues from Biden's latest gaffe to Osama Bin Laden. But beyond the substance, it was the unvarnished animosity between the two that makes this must-see TV.
I suppose that mocking Republican candidates is an essential element of a Washington Post editorial writer's job description. Even so, it was jarring to hear the snide comments of WaPo editorialist Jonathan Capehart [seen right in file photo] about Sarah Palin read on the air today. Not merely did he mock her shopping habits, Capehart came very close to accusing Palin of . . . "child abuse."
Mika Brzezinski, at the Morning Joe helm with Joe Scarborough off on assignment today, led the show with the Politico report that the Republican National Committee has spent more than $150 thousand on clothes and accessories for Sarah Palin and family. Also aired was a clip of Palin describing the duties of the vice-president to a third-grader, the accuracy of which has been questioned.
Guess who said the following this morning about Joe Biden's latest gaffe—his statement that America would be faced with a major international crisis within the first six months of an Obama administration as foreign forces seek to test the young new president: "certainly if Sarah Palin had said this, it would be above the fold in most newspapers today."
1. Brent Bozell 2. Rush Limbaugh 3. McCain adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer 4. Dan Rather
If you guessed 1, 2 or 3, you'd be a rational NewsBusters reader . . . but wrong. Yes, the answer is 4, Dan Rather. In true man-bites-MSM mode, Rather made the remark on today's Morning Joe.
I thought Sarah Palin did more than fine on Saturday Night Live [Noel's got the video here]. In particular, during her Weekend Update appearance Palin displayed a speaking poise and polish exceeding that of the other candidates on both tickets. But Republicans who agree to appear on such shows put themselves in the lap of the liberal media gods. And those lesser deities abused their power last night, running a nasty joke at Clarence Thomas's expense during Weekend Update shortly before Palin appeared.
The set-up was the fact that, in a dissenting opinion published this past week, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts employed the style of a hard-bitten detective novel. That set up this . . .
Has Mike Barnicle called Sarah Palin stupid? Seems that way. In a Huffington Post column that Mika Brzezinski read on today's Morning Joe, Barnicle, referring to Palin, wrote of the:
preposterous pronouncements of a woman whose candidacy is an insult to intelligence.
Let's deconstruct. The normal formulation is an "insult to our intelligence," used to describe an assertion that is obviously unbelievable. For example, you might say Barack Obama insulted our intelligence when he claimed against all evidence during this week's debate that his only tie to ACORN is his past representation of the group in a lawsuit. But when Barnicle writes that Sarah Palin's candidacy is an insult not to "our" intelligence, but to intelligence itself, it's hard to read that other than as suggesting Palin is something other than smart. Throw in his reference to "preposterous pronouncements" and there's little doubt that the person Barnicle intended to insult is Palin herself. Mika seemed to acknowledge that Barnicle meant to slur Sarah, observing, after reading that last line, "that's rough stuff."
You're an MSM anchor. For the last couple days, Obama spokesmen have been out there denying their candidate knew of William Ayers's terrorist past when Obama launched his political career in the Ayers living room. You now have the opportunity to interview Obama's VP running-mate. So naturally, you ask him to confirm or deny the campaign's assertion of Obama's ignorance, right?
Trick question. I did say "you're an MSM anchor." No, when Ann Curry had Joe Biden on Today this morning, she couldn't even bring herself to mention Ayers by name. Far from challenging Biden as to the truth of the campaign's denial, she teed up the notion that Sarah Palin is using "ugly" tactics by daring to raise the Obama-Ayers and Obama-Wright connections.
The Associated Press has long been a bastion of liberal bias. But has it now sunk to the level of a left-wing blog in the throes of Palin Derangement Syndrome? Yes, suggests the Morning Joe folks. In a rare bit of unanimity, the panel condemned and ridiculed AP for its "analysis" item, "Palin's words carry racial tinge." According to Douglass K. Daniel, the item's author, Palin's criticism of Barack Obama for his association with Ayers somehow carries "a racially tinged subtext." See Warner Todd Huston's earlier discussion here.
Mika Brzezinski questioned the strategic wisdom of the McCain campaign's playing of the Ayers card, but even she joined in the excoriation of the AP.