Many of the claims made for, and sometimes by, Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign were amazingly lofty, hyperbolic, or both, even by political standards. Remember the columnist who speculated that Obama might be “a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being…who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet”? Remember Obama’s own “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal”?
In a Wednesday post, Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum asserted that back then, at least two persons weren’t riding the Obama wave. One was Drum himself, who felt conservatives made Obama out to be much more messianic-sounding than he was. Drum thought the Obama of ’08 was a typical Democrat who gave “soaring speeches” because “[t]hat's what presidential candidates do.” Now, however, Drum sees that “millions of Obama voters really believed all that boilerplate rhetoric.”
Sarah Palin called out her liberal/Democratic critics in a Twitter post on Monday for firing the "1st shot in the real 'war on women.'" Palin zeroed in on an excerpt from Hillary Clinton's new book Hard Choices, where the former first lady asserted that she refused to attack the then-Republican vice presidential candidate, mere hours after John McCain named her as his running mate.
Mrs. Clinton first noted that "the Obama campaign suspected that her [Palin's] nomination was a blatant attempt to scuttle their hope of welcoming the women who had vigorously supported me [Clinton]," and spotlighted how the operatives of her former primary opponent tried to get the former senator to join their offensive:
At the top of the 9 a.m. ET hour on Friday's NBC Today, co-hosts Al Roker, Tamron Hall, and Natalie Morales came up with an odd imaging of a 2008 meeting between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama following the bruising Democratic primary. Roker joked: "Well, during that date, they did play Kenny G. That really helped." Hall added: "No, no, they played Kenny G. Bill Clinton came in with the sax as Kenny G." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Hall confessed: "We fantasize a lot around here." Roker remarked: "We're just in our little world." Morales chimed in: "And they drank bottles and bottles of Chardonnay and then everything was okay."
During his lengthy interview with NSA leaker Edward Snowden, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams found time to ask if the wanted fugitive was an Obama supporter: "Did you vote for President Obama?" After Snowden refused to answer, Williams worried: "Did he disappoint you?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Snowden replied: "...whether or not I voted for President Obama, I was inspired by him. He gave me courage, he gave me hope. I really believed that he would be a positive force for the country. And I still hope he will be." Williams added: "You, however, looked at it, you were hoping he would reverse some of the Bush policies. You were quoted as saying you were disappointed that he did not." Snowden noted: "Well, he said he would."
In an effort to promote Hillary Clinton's upcoming memoir, Hard Choices, on Monday's CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King proclaimed: "Former Secretary of State, that would be Hillary Clinton, says no one had a bigger influence in her life than her mom. In a excerpt from her new memoir...she remembers Dorothy Rodham and the lessons that she learned." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
An extended clip followed of Clinton reciting her a portion of her memoir for the book on tape version: "Having her [Dorothy Rodham] so close became a source of great comfort to me, especially in the difficult period after the end of the 2008 campaign. I'd come home from a long day at the Senate or the State Department, slide in next to her at the small table in our breakfast nook, and let everything just pour out."
On Friday morning, CNN host Jake Tapper tweeted “On Hillary Clinton's assertion of media double standard, strongest complaints by her campaign in 2008 were against pro-Obama male journos”.
MRC's Dan Gainor alerted me that the responses from other national journalists about Hillary Clinton’s treatment of the press in the ‘08 cycle were surprising. Perhaps this should be a segment on Tapper's show where we can all learn more before 2016:
Friday's NBC Nightly News played up the latest dust-up between Senators John McCain and Ted Cruz over the latter's criticism of three of the Republican Party's presidential candidates, including Bob Dole. Brian Williams underlined the apparent "genuine and palpable tension today in Washington," after Senator Cruz criticized Dole, McCain, and Mitt Romney's campaigns during a speech at CPAC: "When you don't stand for principle, Democrats celebrate."
Kelly O'Donnell zeroed in McCain's shot back at Cruz on Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC program, and hyped how "[Cruz], one of the Tea Party's most provocative figures...triggered a new Republican rift" with his remark. O'Donnell also hyped the Texas senator's Friday statement reacting to his colleague from Arizona: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Anyone who's heard Hillary Clinton sing would know that comparing her to one of the great rock singers is a ludicrous comparison. But it stands out as a notable air-kiss in the new book HRC by White House reporters Jonathan Allen (Bloomberg News) and Amie Parnes (The Hill).
When Hillary arrived at the State Department to begin work "as the new boss" in 2009, they wrote, "she brought with her an entourage befitting an international icon. And she was greeted as a celebrity." But she was Bono of U2?
During the 2008 presidential campaign, GOP Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin made what has turned out to be a prescient remark about the relevance of a U.S. president's resolve and its potential impact on Russia's posture with the old Soviet Union's satellite states. She observed: "After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama's reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia's Putin to invade Ukraine next."
Many in the press ridiculed that notion. Among them was Blake Hounshell, who was then blogging at Foreign Policy Magazine. Characterizing Palin's notion as "strange," he wrote: "As we've said before, this is an extremely far-fetched scenario." Hounshell, now a deputy editor at Politico Magazine, has handled Palin's self-effacing Facebook "I told you so" ("I could see this one from Alaska") and pile-ons by center-right blogs too numerous to mention with tweets demonstrating the class, dignity, and good sportsmanship you would expect from the high-brow commentariat, i.e., none (HT Twitchy).
Democrat and former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, who has been "shadowing" Chris Christie while taking every possible opportunity to accuse New Jersey's GOP Governor of either "lying" or of being "the most inept, incompetent chief executive imaginable," tried his schtick yesterday morning on Chris Wallace's Fox News show.
Unfortunately for Ted, establishment Republican and former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove was there to do what the press should have been doing, namely calling out his blatant hypocrisy. But the clever Strickland managed to get in the last word. Viewers not familiar with the details of how Strickland's Buckeye State government went after Joe the Plumber after his preelection encounter with Barack Obama in October 2008 will likely believe that the argument ended in a standoff. That situation needs to be remedied.
In an interview that aired on Friday, CNN's Jake Tapper asked President Obama if he was "naive" back in 2008 when he bragged that his presidency would be remembered as when "the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."
"Do you think you were naive back then, or have you recalibrated your expectations and your ambitions?" Tapper pressed Obama. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Barbara Walter’s admission Tuesday evening that she used to believe President Obama was the next messiah is predictably the target of derision and satire in conservative circles.
Making a guest appearance on Fox News’s The Five Wednesday, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said, “Five years to realize the man isn't a messiah? I think it took some of us…an hour and a half” (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
On CNN’s Piers Morgan Live Tuesday, in a brief discussion about President Obama, Barbara Walters actually said, “We thought that he was going to be - I shouldn't say this at Christmastime, but - the next messiah” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Jay Leno took some more shots at the current White House resident Friday.
During his opening monologue, the NBC Tonight Show host likened Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III to President Obama saying, “He had a great first year in Washington, he showed incredible promise, then the whole thing fell apart” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In a March 2008 column, I criticized pundits' concerns about whether America was ready for Barack Obama, suggesting that the more important issue was whether black people could afford Obama. I proposed that we look at it in the context of a historical tidbit.
In 1947, Jackie Robinson, after signing a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization, broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. He encountered open racist taunts and slurs from fans, opposing team players and even some members of his own team. Despite that, his batting average was nearly .300 in his first year. He led the National League in stolen bases and won the first Rookie of the Year award. There's no sense of justice that requires a player be as good as Robinson in order to have a chance in the major leagues, but the hard fact of the matter is that as the first black player, he had to be.
MSNBC has announced that Chris Matthews, Barack Obama's most excitable fan, will be interviewing the President on Thursday's Hardball. Fawning over the liberal politician is incredibly common among journalists, but Matthews has taken it to a whole new level. According to the network host, Obama is a "perfect," "cool," brilliant figure who is comparable to Jesus, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.
The verbose Matthews has no filter when it comes to the Democrat, even once bizarrely blurting out that an Obama speech made him "forget" that the commander in chief "was black." To prepare you for the likely love-fest MSNBC viewers will see on Thursday, here are the top ten most servile, sycophantic quotes from Matthews:
For over five years, a consistent media claim has been that former Alaska governor Sarah Palin hurt Republican presidential nominee John McCain in 2008 and that he would have fared better with anyone else on the ticket besides her.
A recent study by political science professors at Bradley University debunks this claim concluding instead that Palin was a net plus for McCain including with independents and moderates.
You know why Barack Obama is having problems executing his agenda?
Rapper Kanye West told 105.1 FM radio in New York City earlier this week that it’s because “Black people don't have the same level of connections as Jewish people” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
You would think given all the heat MSNBC’s Martin Bashir is taking for his vile comments about Sarah Palin earlier this month, comedians might want to lay low for a while in attacking the former Alaska governor.
Not HBO’s Bill Maher who on Real Time Friday said, “When Reagan was elected, Sarah Palin was barely 16, probably pregnant, but still in third grade” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
HealthCare.gov is so insecure that IT experts say they wouldn't use it themselves. The supposedly firm November 30 deadline for the web site's repair and recovery really isn't. Back-end problems abound. Earlier this week, Henry Chao told a congressional committee that "the back-office systems, the accounting systems, the payment systems, they still need be built." That is, they apparently haven't been started.
This is the time the New Yorker Magazine has chosen to publish a column (HT James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web) by former Bill Clinton speechwriter Jeff Shesol officially entitled "The Republican War on Competence." The browser window title is even funnier: "Obamacare and the Republican War on Competence." You can't make this up. Shesol's content is just as hysterical.
A prime time plug Thursday night for the joy of voting for Barack Obama. “I’m really into this. You know, elections and voting, it really means a lot to me. I mean, casting my ballot for Obama in ‘08 was one of the most meaningful things I’ve ever done,” enthused “Jasmine Trussell,” played by Joy Bryant, on Parenthood, the NBC drama about the multi-generational “Braverman” family in suburban San Francisco.
Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose unsurprisingly conducted a hostile interview of Scott Walker on Monday's CBS This Morning. The two anchors, who have a long record of hammering Republican/conservative guests, badgered the Wisconsin governor on ObamaCare, the 2016 presidential race, and over the immigration issue.
O'Donnell, in particular, went after Walker, asking, "You have said that the next nominee has to come from outside of Washington – has to be a governor. Isn't it a bit presumptuous to rule out people like Senator Marco Rubio; Senator Rand Paul...Congressman Paul Ryan?" She later rephrased this same question, and hinted at her liberal slant on the immigration issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
If anyone can be expected to have no love for the liberal, legacy media, it’s former Alaska Governor and GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The character assassination, insults and slander leveled at her during the 2008 campaign were textbook examples of “the politics of personal destruction.”
So a new book from Palin – even one about Christmas – should have some sharp barbs for the newsroom partisans of New York and D.C. Palin does not disappoint.
In 2003, Halliburton Company received a great deal of scrutiny from the establishment press over certain no-bid contracts obtained in connection with the Iraq War. Examples, two of which are from the Associated Press, are here, here, and here. A Google News Archive Search on "Halliburton no-bid" not in quotes allegedly returns 1,760 items (Google's counter is suspect, but the list extends to at least 19 pages, or well over 190 items, including multiple items in some listings).
In 2010, the Washington Times was virtually alone among media outlets in reporting that the Obama administration, despite presidential candidate Barack Obama's campaign promise never to entertain such deals, had entered into a no-bid contract with KBR, a former subsidiary of Halliburton, "worth as much as $568 million." It turns out that CGI, the Canadian company which is the lead firm in the design and rollout of HealtCare.gov, also has a no-bid contract with the federal government. But an AP search on "CGI no-bid" (not in quotes) comes up empty. A Google News search on the same string (not in quotes) returns only four times, none of which are establishment press outlets (as would be expected, the Washington Times is one of the four).
NBC congressional reporter Luke Russert granted an interview to David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, and agreed with Brody's suggestion that the media can bite people of faith if they wear their faith on their sleeve too obviously.
"I think that's absolutely accurate," said Russert, saying snark is valued in religion coverage alongside stereotypes: (Video and transcript below)
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison yesterday. As has been the case for nearly six years as his scandals and prosecution have unfolded (seen here in dozens of NewsBusters posts), press coverage has usually avoided the inconvenient fact that Kilpatrick is a Democrat, and almost completely ignored Barack Obama's hearty endorsement of him during the early stages of his 2008 presidential campaign. A YouTube video from a May 2007 speech at the Detroit Economic Club shows Obama thanking Kilpatrick for "doing an outstanding job of gathering together the leadership at every level of Detroit, to bring about the kind of renaissance that all of us anticipate for this great city."
News outlets failing to note Kilpatrick's Democratic Party affiliation yesterday included the New York Times, CBS in Detroit, the Detroit Free Press in an item carried at USA Today, and Mike Tobin at Fox News. The Associated Press outdid itself in this regard, as will be explained after the jump.
“Wow, so you actually worked for Obama on his campaign in 2008!?” So gushed “Kristina Braverman,” played by Monica Potter, on last week’s episode of NBC’s Parenthood, a prime time drama about the extended, three-generation Braverman family in suburban San Francisco.
(A new episode airs tonight, Thursday, at 10 PM EDT/PDT, 9 PM CDT).
Charlie Rose's 18-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning is the sole Big Three network mention so far of the Obama administration's decision to review the cases of dozens of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay in preparation for the possible release. Both ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today ignored this latest development in the ongoing controversy over the Islamist detainees at the U.S. military base.
Rose cited a report from the Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg during the brief, and noted that the Defense Department also recently appointed a new special envoy for the closure of the detention camp: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
A Morning Joe kind of Republican? With Joe Scarborough absent today, was Nicolle Wallace assuming the role of the Republican who gets more satisfaction from ripping fellow members of her party than in criticizing Democrats?
Wallace mocked congressional Republicans who are trying to defund ObamaCare, analogizing them to two-year olds on scooters racing into traffic against a red light. She suggested that the "adults" in the party need to restrain them. View the video after the jump.