In his weekly address today (video only at link; transcript was not present when this post was prepared), President Obama opened with these three sentences:
It was a little more than one year ago that our country faced a potentially devastating crisis in our auto industry.
Over the course of 2008, the industry shed 400,000 jobs. In the midst of a financial crisis and deep recession, both General Motors and Chrysler, two companies that for generations were a symbol of America's manufacturing might, were on the brink of collapse.
Look at what Associated Press reporter Darlene Superville did to those first three sentences in the third paragraph of her report on Obama's presentation:
The Associated Press seems to have two unwritten rules on how and when to write stories about leftist controversies and setbacks:
Rule Number 1 -- Do little or nothing with the story until you can figure out a way to make center-right critics or victors look like the bad guys.
Rule Number 2 -- If you're thinking about covering the story any other way, refer to Rule Number 1.
On Thursday, the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law in Columbus, Ohio, which describes itself as "an independent legal center dedicated to protecting the constitutional rights of Ohioans from government abuse," announced a significant legal victory for Buckeye State residents interested in clean elections:
The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law achieved victory in its state RICO action against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). ACORN has agreed to settle the case and will cease all Ohio activity as a result. In its settlement with the 1851 Center, ACORN agreed to surrender all of its Ohio business licenses by June 1, 2010. Further, the organization cannot support or enable any individual or organization that seeks to engage in the same type of activity.
That seems like a pretty clear-cut result, doesn't it? Not if you're the Associated Press's JoAnne Viviano, whose brief item on Saturday followed the rules above, fabricated a supposed loophole in the settlement, and gave an unnamed spokesman an open mic to despicably play the race card:
"Are we on seven-second delay?"--Mark Halperin on Morning Joe, prefacing his criticism of Pres. Obama's performance at the health-care summit.
Halperin was surely being facetious, but the point about MSNBC's pro-Obama predilection was made.
The Time editor went on to rather comprehensively pan PBO's petulant performance. His comments were preceded by a clip of Pres. Obama rudely reminding Sen. John McCain of just who had won the presidential election.
"I pray God when the Democrats take back control we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing." - Joe Biden, 2005
Few Americans would be shocked to hear that members of Congress are not always consistent, and occasionally outright hypocritical. Very often, however, the liberal media attempts to downplay Democratic double standards and highlight Republican ones.
Each recent change in the congressional majority, it seems has brought calls from the newly dominant party for an end to the filibuster. This Democratic majority is no different.
When noting rhetorical inconsistencies, however, the mainstream media has jumped at the chance to note that Republicans, now using the filibuster as a potential means to block Democratic health care legislation, were ardent advocates of majoritarianism in the Senate only a few years ago (as demonstrated in the video below the fold).
Does the National Journal's Hotline inhabit the same universe as the rest of us? Democrats lost two-out-of-three among last night's big races. But in declaring Winners and Losers among non-candidates involved with the campaigns, the only Losers Hotline saw were . . . Republicans and conservatives, with nary a Dem in sight!
Chris Matthews was only too happy to seize on the Hotline hitlist during his Sideshow segment on this evening's Hardball. Here were Hotline's three Losers:
Sarah Palin: for jumping into Hoffman's losing cause, whereas McDonell and Christie didn't invite her in and won.
Pete Sessions: the Chairman of the NRCC, who went 0-2 in special congressional elections.
Want to be noticed by any one of the hosts that have a primetime show on MSNBC's weeknight lineup? Just figure out a way to make Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. the subject matter, and there's an excellent chance either Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow will take a shot at it, or her, during their shows.
In the Oct. 25 Washington Post, George Will penned a column about Bachmann, outlining her ascendancy into the national spotlight, which told of her start in politics and how she grew to become reviled by the left. And it was just a matter time before one of the charming personalities on MSNBC made some sort of remarks about the column, albeit two days later. That came on Olbermann's Oct. 27 "Countdown" broadcast.
"You know, the American people cherish our freedom of speech and a free and independent press," Pence said. "That's why I found this morning's headlines so troubling. Goaded on by a White House increasingly intolerant of criticism, lately the national media has taken aim at conservative commentators in radio and television - suggesting that they only speak for a small group of activists and even suggesting in one report today that Republicans in Washington are quote, ‘worried about their electoral effect.' Well, that's hogwash."
"But our winner, Michele Bachmann," Olbermann said, referring to the first place contestant, the "worst" person. "[Fox News host Bill O'Reilly], dimly aware of the world around him, asks her, ‘Now you are a pretty interesting politician, Congresswoman. You are second to Sarah Palin in far-left angst. You know, Sarah Palin leads the league, no doubt. But they're after you now. We hear it all the time, Michele Bachmann, she's this, she's that. How did you get into that wheelhouse?'"
Last Wednesday, ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis, in the wake of James O'Keefe's and Hannah Giles's embarrassing video barrage, went into damage control mode:
As a result of the indefensible action of a handful of our employees, I am, in consultation with ACORN’s Executive Committee, immediately ordering a halt to any new intakes into ACORN’s service programs until completion of an independent review. I have also communicated with ACORN’s independent Advisory Council, and they will assist ACORN in naming an independent auditor and investigator to conduct a thorough review of all of the organization's relevant systems and processes.
The Politico entry from Ben Smith linked above reports that the (cough, cough) "Independent Advisory Council" consists of the following eight members:
Remember when the children of public figures were off-limits in the day-to-day hand-to-hand combat of political warfare?
It's a rule that didn't just applied to the underage children of politicians, but the adult children. Witness the 2008 suspension of MSNBC's David Shuster for suggesting then-presidential contender Hillary Clinton's 28-year-old daughter Chelsea Clinton was being "pimped out" by the campaign.
But maybe that rule only applied to Democrats. When it comes to liberal pundits attempting to score cheap points against conservatives, especially ones they loathe like Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, all bets are off. In an Aug. 12 column, Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Jon Tevlin, citing a hateful anti-Bachmann blog, decided it appropriate to beat up the two-term congresswoman using her son Harrison's decision to participate in the government program Teach for America (TFA). TFA is one of the programs under the AmeriCorps umbrella.
On Thursday's Today, Meredith Vieira tossed mostly softballs to Senator-elect Al Franken, offering no hard questions about the disputed 2008 election, instead fawning, "...Are you more worried about becoming a target for the GOP or a target for Saturday Night Live, your old stomping ground?" In regards to the post-election wrangling for the Minnesota Senate seat, the best Vieira could do is to wonder, "It did get a little contentious, didn't it?"
To be fair, she did reference the closeness of the election. Noting Franken's 312 vote margin of victory, Vieira observed, "Are you conscious of that as you head to Washington D.C. next week?" However, there was no mention of the reports of irregularities in the state. If the co-host wished to challenge the incoming senator, she could have read from a July 1 Wall Street Journal editorial which asserted, "Mr. Franken now goes to the Senate having effectively stolen an election."
On ABC’s World News Saturday, and the same day’s CBS Evening News, correspondents suggested that conservative positions on social issues were responsible for the Republican party’s recent electoral misfortunes, as the two programs filed stories about an appearance in Arlington by Jeb Bush, Eric Cantor and Mitt Romney as part of an effort to rebuild the party’s appeal. ABC cited a recent ABC News / Washington Post poll showing only 21 percent of Americans identify themselves as Republicans, while CBS cited a Pew Research poll finding the number had dropped from 30 percent in 2004 to 23 percent currently.
After a soundbite of Jeb Bush explaining that Republicans needed to spend more time "listening," "learning," and "upgrading our message," ABC’s Rachel Martin contended that "That means moving hot-button social issues like abortion and gay marriage to the side, and shifting the focus to health care, education and the economy."
And, ignoring the fact that a substantial number of moderate House Democrats have taken conservative positions on issues like guns and abortion to win in their own conservative leaning districts, CBS’s Kimberly Dozier more directly charged that conservative positions on such issues by Republicans had hurt the party: "The trio notably avoided controversial touch stones like gun rights or abortion, which are blamed for driving away moderates and independents." Notably, 65 House Democrats recently sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder stating their opposition to a new assault weapons ban.
In the wake of back to back disappointments the past two elections, as well as Arlen Specter's recent defection to the Democrat Party, liberal media members -- and even some not-so liberal media members -- have been blaming the GOP's supposed demise on Republicans being too conservative.
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," MSNBC's Joe Scarborough took issue with this popular yet obviously debatable theme:
[W]hen I hear Democrats like Arlen Specter and read editorialists like E.J. Dionne saying how liberal--or, or how conservative the Republican Party's become, they've got it backwards.We have not been conservative as a party, we've been radical.
That was just one of many eye-opening statements by Scarborough during this segment that have been edited together in the video embedded right. Below the fold is a partial transcript of this enlightening discussion that included former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie:
Somebody needs to 'fess up. Who put truth serum in Calvin Woodward's coffee this morning?
Whoever it is, they're in a heap of trouble, as Woodward produced a fact-checking critique of Barack Obama that is so good you'd swear most of it was ghostwritten by a conservative talk host.
It will be interesting to see how much distribution it gets. I would suggest not counting on too much, but being open to a pleasant surprise.
Regardless of its distribution, you'd better believe they've read it in the White House, and they're wondering what in the world happened.
Here are key paragraphs from Woodward's rundown, which is really, seriously, a read (and save) the whole thing item (it is saved at my host for future reference; HT to Mark Levin, who excerpted the report on his show tonight):
It's enlightening to see what topics New York Times editors find disturbing and newsworthy and which ones they shrug off or ignore.
New York's new senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, is a Democrat who is nonetheless under strong suspicions at the liberal Times for her support of gun rights and her previous representation of a white conservative district. On Friday's front page, she came under fire via a stash of old ammo in a story by Raymond Hernandez and David Kocieniewski. "As New Lawyer, Senator Defended Big Tobacco." Gillibrand is in trouble for defending Big Tobacco as a lawyer representing Philip Morris back in 1996.
The Philip Morris Company did not like to talk about what went on inside its lab in Cologne, Germany, where researchers secretly conducted experiments exploring the effects of cigarette smoking.
So when the Justice Department tried to get its hands on that research in 1996 to prove that tobacco industry executives had lied about the dangers of smoking, the company moved to fend off the effort with the help of a highly regarded young lawyer named Kirsten Rutnik.
Ms. Rutnik, who now goes by her married name, Gillibrand, threw herself into the work. She traveled to Germany at least twice, interviewing the lab's top scientists, whose research showed a connection between smoking and cancer but was kept far from public view.
The decision by New York Governor David Paterson to name a somewhat conservative replacement (by that state's democrat standards), Kirsten Gillibrand, to Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate seat has already sent some liberals into a tizzy. They are upset over Gillibrand's support for the National Rifle Association as well as for extending the Bush tax cuts among the issues that disturb them. So when will the mainstream media begin labeling Gillibrand as a "Maverick Democrat?" Or is the "maverick" label applied by the MSM only to Republicans who are liberals or "moderates" (really meaning liberal)?
Top-rated "progressive talker" Ed Schultz is concerned about possible improprieties in the Minnesota Senate recount.
At least he was a moment ago.
Almost certainly without intending to, the liberal radio host fueled at least one belly laugh among listeners while he took calls Wednesday.
Schultz talked about incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's legal challenge to the questionable results of a recount that reversed his initial narrow victory and put Democratic challenger Al Franken, formerly of Air America Radio and "Saturday Night Live," barely ahead (click here for audio) --
... except that's not exactly what the poll says. Minneapolis's KSTP channel 5's headline reads "POLL: Coleman should concede." The article that follows reads,
An exclusive Survey USA poll shows nearly half of Minnesotans surveyed say its time for Republican Norm Coleman to concede the U.S. Senate race to Democrat Al Franken.
But the survey does not hold good news for Franken either.
On election night, each candidate received only 42 percent of the votes. Now it appears they're both even less popular.
Only 38 percent of Minnesotans surveyed said they view Coleman favorably. 44 percent have an unfavorable view.
Franken scored similarly with 37 percent favorable and 45 percent unfavorable.
Now what would you think "nearly half" means? 49%? 48%? What would you think of 44%? Because, as the Minnesota Independent reports, that's the percentage that actually believes Norm Coleman should concede:
Media Research Center Director of Communications and NewsBusters.org Contributing Editor Seton Motley appeared on this morning's Fox & Friends on the Fox News Channel to discuss the egregious media double standard when it comes to Republicans and Democrats misbehaving.
Motley pointed to the media's incessant chant in 2006, the "Republican Culture of Corruption," and noted that no such parallel moniker has been affixed by the press to the Democratic Party despite a great and apparently growing number of their members having become embroiled in scandals.
Motley "defended" New Mexico Governor and recently withdrawn Commerce Secretary designee Bill Richardson, currently under federal investigation for swapping large government contracts for large campaign contributions, saying Richardson was only engaging in his form of commerce, preparing for his (almost) next gig.
On Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, correspondent Ron Mott filed a report featuring incoming Republican Congressman Joseph Cao, the first Vietnamese-American elected to Congress, and the man who defeated corrupt former Democratic Congressman William Jefferson in heavily Democratic New Orleans. Brian Williams introduced Mott’s piece: "There was new ground broken on Capitol Hill today, where the first Vietnamese-American Congressman in the history of this republic was sworn in. Joseph Cao of Louisiana is also the first Republican in more than a century to win the seat representing New Orleans."
Mott recounted Cao’s escape from Vietnam and his victory against Jefferson, who was involved in a bribery scandal: "The 41-year-old Republican Congressman, Joseph Cao, is now a standout on Capitol Hill, traveling a very long way to get there. As a boy, he was among tens of thousands airlifted out of Vietnam after the fall of Saigon, without his parents, who feared he was killed at the airport. ... He later studied for the priesthood, eventually became a lawyer, and then last year, took on a political institution in New Orleans, Democrat William Jefferson, embroiled in a bribery scandal."
Why can't everyone just settle down, get out of the way, get rid of the "distractions," and let Barack Obama do his magic? That seems to be a recurring media meme during this presidential transition period.
Here are just a few examples in just the past 30 days:
In a December 12 "analysis" piece at Reuters, Steve Holland opened by telling readers that "A political scandal that led to the arrest of Illinois' governor has become an unwelcome distraction for President-elect Barack Obama as he tries to keep his focus on preparing to run the country."
Amanda Paulson's Christian Science Monitor report on December 23 about Obama's internal investigation of contacts between his team and Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich fretted that "As the saga of Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his alleged “political corruption crime spree” has played out over the past two weeks, it’s been an unwelcome distraction for another politician from Illinois: President-elect Obama."
And yesterday, Brent Baker of NewsBusters caught ABC World News Tonight anchor Dan Harris worrying that Bill Richardson's unexpected withdrawal as Commerce Secretary nominee might be "a distraction in the key early days."
The Denver Post seems to have decided that "the Lord" should not be allowed in its paper. In a January 5 report about Illinois Senator wannabe Roland Burris, the unwelcome Burris is quoted by the AP as saying "the Lord" had "ordained" that he get his Senate seat. At 3AM the Post had the full religious quote featured on its site, yet by 8PM the religious reference was purged from the story. One wonders why reference to the Lord was scrubbed from the report?
The report by David Espo of the Associated Press originally quoted Burris as saying that, "We are hoping and praying that they will not be able to deny what the Lord has ordained." Obviously, Burris is convinced that God wants him to be a Senator. (The full AP report with the religious reference can be seen here.)
On the eve of the 111st Congress's first day of business, the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun aimed to send off outgoing capital-area legislators Sen. John Warner (Va.) and Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (Md.) by piling praise on the moderate-to-liberal Republicans for their "independence" (read: opposition to conservative Republicans).
The January 5 Washington Post heralded outgoing Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) in "A Political Giant Takes His Leave." Warner's absence will leave a "void in [the] Va. delegation," the subheader to Amy Gardner's Metro section front-pager lamented.
Gardner gushed about Warner leaving "the broad legacy of a man who came to personify the Virginia political gentleman," and quickly turned to Democrats Mark Warner and Jim Webb to praise the former Mr. Elizabeth Taylor. Gardner then turned to her focus to "Warner's independent-minded style," citing his criticism in 2006 of the Iraq war effort and his opposition, in campaign cycles past, to conservative Republicans candidates.
Reuters ran a little flak for Barack Obama trying to help dull the outrageous expectations placed on The One by his irrationally exuberant adherents in theirs headlined "Congress faces historic challenges" -- As if no other Congress has faced "historic challenges" before? Reuters assures us, though, that times are so bad that we should not expect Obama to live up to any of his outlandish promises. This way, of course, if Obama reneges on them, the Old Media can remind everyone that it’s really our fault for expecting too much, not Obama's for reneging.
Naturally, we get the kind of Bush-is-worst rhetoric we expect from Reuters but we also find that Reuters seems to have forgotten that Congress itself has even lower ratings than does Bush. And Reuters starts off the story conveniently forgetting that the Democrats have controlled Congress since 2006.
In the Chicago Sun-Times' Top Year-ends from its bottom rear-end today, columnist Richard Roeper picked Governor Sarah Palin as his top GOOF for 2008... yet got owned himself by awarding her his dubious distinction based on at least one lie and a few dubious assumptions.
Roeper, a man that clearly imagines himself the living embodiment of the lead character on Seinfeld, lapsed into the most supreme case of hyperbolic overload in his description of why he thinks Sarah Palin is a GOOF (a self-fashioned acronym standing for Greatly Overhyped and Overexposed Fool).
On the ball. That's what the experts at The New York Times are, alright. They are the arbiters of all that's fit to print, remember? The ones that know all and see all, dontcha know? They are the ones with all sorts of advice on foreign policy, we must point out. So, it's a bit hard to fathom how The New York Times printed a hoax letter, supposedly from Bertrand Delanoe, the mayor of Paris, France, taking the State of New York to task for turning to the ditzy Caroline Kennedy to fill Hillary's Senate Seat.
That's right, The New York Times got scammed by a fake letter. Worse, they didn't even follow up to confirm the authenticity of the letter that arrived in their inbox via email. Someone at the Times just read the email then published the letter. And now they are apologizing for the negligence.
When It's the Democrats, the Media Falls SilentWe are now a week into the wall-to-wall coverage of the tape recorded fall of Senate seat auctioneer and sometime Illinois Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich. But there has always been a distinctly different tenor from the media in stories involving scandalized Democrats compared to their reports on corrupt Republicans.
During the 2006 mid-term elections, the news world was saturated with talk of a GOP "Culture of Corruption," a Democratic slogan repeated incessantly by the traditional media. The press cast three bad Congressmen and a single scamming lobbyist as representative of an entire Party gone bad, and their incessant drumbeat helped drive the GOP out of power.
Meanwhile, one prominent Democrat after another has been tinged with scandal, but the media has yet to stamp their Party as "Culturally Corrupt."
Some of America's leading bloggers had an opportunity to talk with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) Friday morning.
For those unfamiliar, Coburn is a true conservative and straight-talker who is always a treat on these conference calls due to his hold no punches, tell it like it is style.
Beyond the agenda items of the expanding federal deficit, earmarks, and bailouts, the Senator offered participants his must-hear view of who should be recruited by the Republican Party to return it to its conservative, fiscally responsible roots (audio available here).
We've already seen how the media is covering up for Barack Obama to the extent of removing any information on the web that would show he met with Rod Blagojevich recently as chronicled by NewsBusters editor Tom Blumer. And now we have evidence that Jesse Jackson, Jr. "misspoke" when he claimed yesterday that the meeting he had with Monday Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was the first time the two had met in four years. It turns out that there is a video of a sobbing Jesse Jackson, Jr. embracing Blagojevich just last August at a breakfast of the Illinois delegation to the Democrat Nation Convention in Denver. Here is how the incredibly surreal hugfest was covered by the Chicago Tribune:
Let's hug it out
An emotional Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. touched off a surreal hugfest among bickering top Illinois Democrats meeting at a convention delegation breakfast, all in the name of party unity and Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential bid. Here's the tale of the tape: