Was it a change of heart or manipulating the media? My personal opinion is of the latter, and I've gathered several reactions from other bloggers that seem to agree. The way the media is reporting it right now, Mike just made a stupid mistake and it is backfiring already.
NBC’s Ann Curry interviewed Mitt Romney on Friday morning's Today on the impact of Benazir Bhutto's assassination, and in a tough interview, she dismissed Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy credentials. When Curry questioned Romney’s foreign policy experience, Romney noted that Reagan "was a governor, not a so-called foreign policy expert." Curry dismissively stated "Reagan was not elected at a time of war."
No, Reagan was just elected in an intense point in the Cold War. The Soviets had invaded Afghanistan and U.S. diplomats were still being held hostage in Iran. Romney did say that Reagan was "elected at a time of the Cold War. And the Cold War was the greatest challenge that was faced by this nation in the last half of the last century."
Chris Matthews was in full flight on today's Morning Joe, vividly expressing himself on everything from the historic shockwaves that an Obama Iowa victory would send, to Media Matters's role as a Hillary front, to the attitude of NewsBusters. But the Hardball host was especially animated in describing the way the Clintons use intimidation to keep people in line.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: In the world, in the universe, the biggest American political story of modern times if Obama wins the Iowa caucuses. It will be all over the world; it will sweep the headlines in every newspaper in the world: friend, foe or neutral. It will be the Third World story of the century, of the last century [Barack's Time Machine?], the biggest story of modern Third World history, really, if Obama wins the American presidential caucus in Iowa.
NewsBusters and affiliate The Business & Media Institute have been reporting for many months the continuous, bearish assessments of economic gloom and doom by America's press.
Of course, this all comes despite 24 straight quarters of Gross Domestic Product growth, 50 consecutive months of job gains, higher wages for virtually all Americans, and last month's consumer spending explosion.
Ignoring all this Sunday morning were panelists on "The Chris Matthews Show" who demonstrated such a deplorable lack of economic acumen that maybe they shouldn't be allowed to comment on such matters when cameras and microphones are on.
As 2007 comes to a close, one has to wonder just how much further the press are willing to go printing Democrat talking points in order to get the candidates of their choice elected next year.
Throughout 2006, the biased media told the citizenry that all their problems would be solved if they kicked Republicans out of office, and elected enough Democrats to take over the Senate and the House.
Now that the first year of the 110th Congress has ended with key Democrat campaign promises not having been fulfilled, it's all the Republicans' fault.
Despite the absurdity of such a claim, that's exactly how the Associated Press depicted the situation in an article published moments ago, while making the case that if readers want Congress to accomplish more in the future, they had better vote for Democrats in 2008 (emphasis added throughout):
With less than a year to go until the November elections, it seems a metaphysical certitude any media outlet addressing the campaign efforts of a Republican candidate is going to figure out a way to reference the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
After all, supposedly impartial press representatives in 2004 did everything within their power to discredit the claims against Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) made by this organization, so much so that "Swift Boat" has become both a verb and an adverb in political parlance.
Such was the case Wednesday when the Los Angeles Times published an article about Republican Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani. Even though the piece dealt with an organization opposing the former New York City mayor, it did so by grossly misrepresenting some pertinent facts about Kerry's detractors (emphasis added throughout, h/t Patterico and NBer Bingo):
Although just 30% of those polled give Democrats in Congress good marks, they favor the party by a 53%-40% margin in next year’s elections. That represents a silver lining for Democrats, who achieved only a fraction of their ambitious agenda after taking over Congress.
It’s odd because Wolf doesn't indicate how many of those polled gave Republicans in Congress good marks. It's even odder that the 53%-40% election margin Wolf cited is nowhere to be found in the survey detail. Also, neither the article nor the survey detail have an external link to information relevant to this margin.
But the survey detail does tell us that 26% give Republicans in Congress good marks, only 4 points fewer than the Dems. Wolf "somehow” managed not to mention that.
The alleged outraged readers plant themselves, but that doesn't stop the Courier-Journal in Kentucky from propping them up in their opposition to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in what will be one of the closest watched races in 2008 behind the Presidential campaign. The Politico is already following the race here. This is the second smear campaign started by the likes of Think Progress against McConnell to make its way into the media. Here's the first.
Just in case you thought Paul Begala's boorishness knew any bounds . . .
Bill Clinton's former adviser was a guest on the Situation Room this afternoon on CNN. Talk turned to the strategy Republicans should adopt in upcoming special elections.
WOLF BLITZER: How much of a lightning rod -- you're an expert on this subject -- will Hillary Clinton be for Republicans out there, cause they're already, in some of these special elections that are coming up, they're already pointed to her to try to help Republican candidates?
Steve Fraser might look mild-mannered, but when it comes to economic doomsaying, he is the Rocky Marciano of recession, the Tiger Woods of turndown, the David Beckham of depression.
Speaking of bending one, Fraser's LA Times column of today, "Symptoms of an Economic Depression," twists U.S. economic data into a harbinger of impending doom. Fraser begins by falsely claiming that "no one wants to utter the word 'depression.'" In fact, Fraser himself, a left-wing labor historian, wants not merely to utter it, but to bellow the word with a 10,000 megawatt bullhorn. Why? Because, as he gleefully predicts in that same column:
This perfect storm [of a bad economy] will be upon us just as the election season heats up, and it will inevitably hasten the already well-advanced implosion of the Republican Party.
Despite all the good news coming out of Iraq lately, it's perfectly clear that whatever happens there, CBS's Bob Schieffer isn't prepared to change his antiwar stripes any time soon.
In fact, as media outlet after media outlet - including even the liberal New York Times - admits that conditions in Iraq are improving, the host of "Face the Nation" wanted his viewers to know Sunday morning that he clearly is not willing to put down his white flag.
In fact, Schieffer's commentary is sure to make our troops putting their lives on the line for this country wonder why they are doing so (video available here):
The Democrats are better at understanding the impact of globalization on working people in America. The wages that have been arrested and halted in their growth, while, you know the boys in investment banking are making 10 times the average income of an American. I think the Democrats understand the consequences of it more than the Republicans and, frankly, another disagreement I've got with Republicans is that they are compulsive interventionists. They seem to have learned nothing and forgotten nothing from what happened in Iraq when they are talking about doing the same thing in Iran. -- Pat Buchanan, November 29, 2007
The next time you hear the MSM defending itself against charges of a lack of balance by pointing to Pat Buchanan's presence on its panels, remember his statement above. On globalization, Pat echoes the Seattle street protesters, seasoned with some John Edwards "Two Americas" rhetoric about Wall Street fat cats. On foreign policy, Pat sounds like someone auditioning for Secretary of Peace in Pres. Kucinich's cabinet.
Thursday’s “American Morning” program, while reporting retired Brigadier General Keith Kerr’s connections to the Hillary Clinton campaign, failed to mention one key revelation made by debate moderator Anderson Cooper during the post-debate coverage - that Cooper knew that Kerr was “an activist of some sort.”
Co-host John Roberts not only reported on Kerr’s membership of Clinton’s “LGBT Americans For Hillary Steering Committee” during all 3 hours of “American Morning,” but conducted a live interview of Kerr during the 7 am Eastern hour. Six minutes into the 6 am Eastern, Roberts gave the following brief on the Kerr story.
In the greatest of ironies, after Democrats refused to participate in debates sponsored by Fox News due to its supposed partiality, CNN has now shown itself in back-to-back debates to be as biased as biased can be.
After either participating in or allowing the planting of campaign operatives at November 15's Democrat presidential debate in Las Vegas, it has now become apparent that similar stocking of audience questioners occurred in Wednesday's Republican debate.
On Thursday morning, Michelle Malkin identified two plants from the Obama and Edwards campaigns. As her website is having some problems at the moment, Inside Cable News reported that according to Malkin, one plant was David Cercone, a declared Obama supporter, who asked the following question:
Wash, spin, rinse, spin. Phone, spin, report, spin, poll, spin. The similarities between the work of the mainstream media and a laundry machine are striking. Yet there is nothing about the cycle -- the spin-report-poll-spin cycle -- that does for political events what detergent does for your boxers or briefs.
The media, as One, spend days or weeks bashing someone or something they do not like. They then conduct a poll to prove to you that they were right all along. In a campaign season, their one-sided coverage is calculated, then executed to produce a result. It’s not about reporting the events, it’s about changing the prevailing view.
And the polls -- such as the ones by the media, which are not independent surveys like those undertaken by the likes of Rasmussen or Gallup -- aren’t intended as much to gauge the public view of a candidate or events as they are to reinforce that which they have “reported”, or provide the media guidance on how effective their spinning of the news has been.
Would you have ever imagined the New York Times, less than a year before the presidential elections, not only admitting that things are getting better in Iraq, but also suggesting Democrats – including those campaigning for president – were wrong about the surge?
On the front page of its popular Sunday edition, no less?
When Newsweek announced Tuesday that it was hiring Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos to be a contributor during the 2008 presidential campaign, Kos told his readers, "Newsweek is ‘balancing' me out with someone that should make heads on our side explode."
As reported by the Washington Post moments ago, Moulitsas was quite prescient:
Newsweek has signed the president's former deputy chief of staff [Karl Rove] as a commentator who will turn out several columns on the 2008 campaign through inauguration day.
The Post continued (emphasis added throughout, h/t NBer Right2thePoint):
A red meat speech to Gwinnett County, Georgia, Democrats was cause for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Rhonda Cook to whip up a 15-paragraph Max Cleland press release just in time for Veteran's Day. Not once were any Georgia Republicans quoted for balance in Cook's November 11 story, as the former senator and Vietnam veteran thundered about impending doom for Republicans both nationwide an in Georgia in 2008. But particularly offensive was how Cook uncritically relayed a tired, discredited liberal Democratic meme that Cleland was ousted from office in 2002 thanks to an ad questioning his love of country:
Democrats were especially angered by Cleland's loss to Saxby Chambliss five years ago because of an 11th-hour television ad in which the Republican challenger questioned the incumbent's patriotism.
Of course, Democrats and longtime Cleland supporters are welcome to think anything they want about the ads that questioned Cleland's voting record, but it's not objectively accurate, and neither Cook nor the AJC should uncritically further the Democratic talking point.
This is hardly the first time liberals have played the Max Cleland-as-a-victim-of-McCarthyism card. National Review's Rich Lowry capably addressed this three years ago (emphasis mine):
On Thursday, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet picked up on a story related by the Atlantic Monthly's Marc Ambinder that claims that a few months ago the Barack Obama campaign sought to place the Norman Hsu scandal in the press in an effort to create anti-Hillary buzz in the MSM. Such a political "dirty trick" would seem to be a juice story for members of the MSM, wouldn't it? So, why is Lynn Sweet the only one focusing on this one, anyway? With the sneaky actions of the Obama campaign, one would think that the MSM would be in an uproar for having been used so badly by a political candidate. And, were this a GOP "dirty trick," it would be sure that news creators the nation over would be wagging their fingers and clucking their tongues at this violation of their purported integrity and independence for being used so by a mere political campaign. But, so far the condemnation of the Obama campaign is nearly nonexistent with this barely even causing a raised eyebrow. Don't you wonder why that is?
ENDA Who? The House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill on Wednesday evening that elevates sexual behavior to the civil rights status of race, ethnicity and sex. Except for the New York Times, AP, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Miami Herald, the media swept it under the rug. TV networks ignored it Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is a major expansion of federal government power and civil rights law. Backers call it "historic." Opponents say it is a direct threat to religious freedom. But much of the media skipped the 235-184 House vote (including 30 Republicans for it and 25 Democrats against). Major papers including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and USA Today failed to carry the story.
Not that there was any doubt about the ulterior motives behind NBC's "Green Week," but we didn't expect the Peacock Network to be quite this brazen. This morning on MSNBC, an NBC environmental "correspondent," who as you'll see has an impressive resume as a left-wing activist, openly urged viewers [on the eve of Election Day] to vote for politicians with an environmentalist agenda.
Meterologist Jackie Meretsky was in NYC, reporting live 67 stories up at the "Top of the [NBC] Rock," overlooking Central Park. At 10:12 AM ET, she interviewed Simran Sethi [shown on the right], whom she described as the "brand new environmental correspondent for NBC" and "the greenest person in the organization."
The networks and the newspapers that compose the "mainstream media" "don’t care" if they’re biased towards liberals according to former CBS reporter and best selling author Bernard Goldberg. Appearing on the November 1 edition of "The O’Reilly Factor," Goldberg responded to the recent Harvard study, cited by NewsBusters, that Democrats do get more positive coverage and less negative coverage than their Republican counterparts.
Goldberg also opined that "if another study came out about another kind of bias against women or against minorities, they’d establish a blue ribbon panel to investigate it. But bias against Republicans, they don’t care."
He might be a middle-aged white guy from the Mountain West, but Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) suddenly understands the travails of people stopped for "DWB": driving while black. In the course of his interview with Matt Lauer, aired last night and excerpted on this morning's "Today," Craig tried to play the profiling card.
MATT LAUER: The fact that these motions seemed to replicate a well-established sequence of signals for soliciting anonymous sex, it's a coincidence?
Wired magazine's Sarah Lai Stirland is reporting that liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org is reversing course after it was lambasted for censorship for pushing Google to censor anti-MoveOn.org ads by Maine Senator Susan Collins' (R) campaign.:
The left-leaning political advocacy group, MoveOn.org, is backing down in a flap over the use of its name in online advertisements, permitting an influential Republican senator to criticize the organization in a reelection ad on Google's search engine.
"We don't want to support a policy that denies people freedom of expression," says Jennifer Lindenauer, MoveOn.org's communications director.
There's something to be said for a slightly irreverent, punchy writing style when it comes to reporting political developments in an online news venture. But is conjuring up the image of Ohio as flyover country a way to endear outside-the-Beltway readers to The Politico?
A nine-term member of Congress, Hobson, 70, announced his plans to retire Sunday. “I wanted to go out on top,” said Hobson, who said his health is good. In a telephone interview with Politico, he said he had been thinking about retiring for quite a while and “almost did not run last year.”
Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) will now face questions over the fact that three of the 12 Republicans (Hobson, Ralph Regula and Deborah Pryce) who have announced their retirement this year come from the Buckeye State, Boehner’s home.
In reality, there were a lot of disgraceful moments during Friday's "Real Time" on HBO, like "The View's" Joy Behar saying "the Republican [presidential] candidates are a bunch of pussies," and calling Michelle Malkin "a selfish bitch."
Despite such lowlights, the most deplorable moment of the evening -- and maybe the most despicable thing Bill Maher has done his entire entertainment career -- was to invite former Mexican president Vicente Fox on his program to bash George W. Bush.
After all, it's one thing to have actors, musicians, comedians, and pundits on your show debasing the most powerful man on the planet who also happens to be a fellow citizen. But to invite a former president of one of America's closest allies and neighbors to participate in insulting your own president is about as low as a member of the media can go.