The White House is amping up its vigilance in silencing its critics with the creation of a new communications position designed to respond to unfavorable online stories about the President.
Attacking critics is nothing new for the administration, and the creation of this position is only the latest effort to throw the considerable weight of the White House bully pulpit behind efforts to attack Obama's critics. For the president, this tactic began during the campaign and has continued to date.
Until now, though, the fight was mostly funded by the DNC or campaign teams, as is standard practice for the sort of oppositional approach this position seems poised to adopt. But as an official White House position, taxpayers are actually the ones footing the bill for Obama’s new attack dog.
While the AP noted that "Palin’s attorney did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story," it appears the news wire made no further attempt to provide balance to its May 23 story, which chiefly conveys the former staffer's perspective on Palin's tenure in office as Alaska governor.
PBS's Mark Shields on Friday advanced the typical liberal media line that there's a danger to the GOP if it nominates a presidential candidate that is too conservative.
When he finished, his "Inside Washington" co-panelist Charles Krauthammer marvelously responded, "What Mark wants is a Republican nominee who is a squish and then he’ll vote against him anyway" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In surveying the wreckage of the Katie Couric experiment at CBS – $75 million flushed away for a distant third-place finish each week – the liberal journalists are blaming elderly viewers for not accepting Sunny Katie. Here’s James Rainey in the Los Angeles Times:
A change-averse viewership doubtless greeted the initial formatting changes for Couric's "Evening News" as confirmation that "America's Sweetheart," straight from her sunny a.m. perch, didn't have the gravitas for the job. Actually, those impressions had little to do with the newscast that emerged over Couric's five-year tenure.
And what, pray tell, proves Couric’s gravitas? Bashing Sarah Palin, of course, as uninformed. Rainey didn’t ask how Couric would have performed if the tables were turned and Palin was the one holding the microphone like a baseball bat:
Update (17:38 EDT on May 4): Rush Limbaugh mentioned this post on his May 3 program. You can listen to that by clicking here.
Well, this should be interesting.
The AP is reporting (preserved here in case the report devolves, as such things very often do) that "secret prisons" and "harsh interrogation techniques" were involved in getting the "first strands of information" that ultimately led to Sunday operation which killed 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden.
It's only a three-paragrapher, so it follows in full (for fair use and discussion purposes). Get a load of the final paragraph:
CBS's Bob Schieffer made some headlines Wednesday when he said Donald Trump was a racist for wanting to see President Obama's college grades.
The "Face the Nation" host pushed this matter further Sunday when he asked Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), "Do you think [Trump's] trying to play a race card here, suggesting we ought to check Barack Obama’s college grades, that maybe he got into Harvard because he was black?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Tea Partier and talk radio host Tony Katz on Thursday, while appearing on MSNBC News Live Contessa Brewer, called media members that blame all criticism of Barack Obama on the color of his skin "Racers" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Yesterday evening (late afternoon West Coast time), Phil Bronstein at the San Francisco Chronicle informed his readers that one of its reporters had been banned by the Obama administration:
The hip, transparent and social media-loving Obama administration is showing its analog roots. And maybe even some hypocrisy highlights.
White House officials have banished one of the best political reporters in the country from the approved pool of journalists covering presidential visits to the Bay Area for using now-standard multimedia tools to gather the news.
If you ask Al Sharpton if something is racist, what are the chances he's going to say yes?
On Wednesday's "Ed Show," the host asked the civil rights leader, "If this had been a white president, would we be seeking his birth certificate the way they have been doing this on President Obama?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
A day before the liberal website Wonkette posted a truly disgraceful piece about Sarah Palin's Down's syndrome son Trig, the Los Angeles Times published an article calling the former Alaska governor a "special-needs case."
Ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching. President Obama's perpetual campaign cash-o-matic machine kicks into high gear again this week as the celebrity-in-chief heads to Hollywood for several high-priced fundraisers. But while the Democrats' 2012 re-election team stuffs its hands into every liberal deep pocket in sight, questions about the Obama 2008 campaign finance operation still fester.
Last week, the laggard watchdogs at the Federal Election Commission announced an audit of the Obama 2008 campaign committee — which raised a record-setting $750 million. White House flacks are downplaying the probe as a "routine review."
George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday lectured potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, indignantly telling him that he was only after "the facts." Four years ago, however, Good Morning America had few tough questions for the 2008 Democratic contenders.
At one point during the nine minute interview, Stephanopoulos pressed Trump 16 straight times on the so-called birther issue. The host demanded, "You said that you sent investigators to Hawaii and you said quote, 'They cannot believe what they're finding.' What have they found?" The ABC journalist repeated this particular question four times.
Stephanopoulos did hit Trump from the right a number of times, pushing, "Today, the head of the Club for Growth, a major group inside the Republican Party, has said you're just another liberal..." However, by March 26,2007, GMA had already devoted a 26 minute infomercial to then-candidate Hillary Clinton. Host Robin Roberts allowed Clinton to speak for 18 of those 26 minutes.
Politico's Roger Simon said Sunday Barack Obama is the greatest orator of modern times.
Chatting with Howard Kurtz on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Simon also said journalists are just now looking beyond the President's speaking skills and analyzing what he's actually saying (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters reported Wednesday, the National Organization for Women's weak response to Bill Maher referring to Sarah Palin as a highly derogatory term for a woman's vagina in no way discouraged the "Real Time" host or the television network he represents from making these sexist attacks.
Proving this point, Maher called Palin and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) bimbos on Friday's show (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The National Organization for Women on Tuesday finally responded to Bill Maher calling Sarah Palin a highly derogatory term for a woman's vagina, but did so without mentioning Maher's name, the program he said it on, or the television network he represents.
NOW Communications Director Lisa Bennett also took the opportunity to bash conservatives (photo courtesy Reuters):
That was the most frequent comment I received via e-mail on the September night Sarah Palin spoke to a riveted Republican National Convention in 2008, as the vice-presidential nominee spoke of hockey moms, pit bulls, lipstick, the dignity of human life, and the future of our nation.
I suspect every man who e-mailed wasn't revealing his secret fantasy -- his wife wearing stilettos as she tries to save the world from a Barack Obama presidency. He finally saw, on prime-time television and impossible for the media to ignore, a woman in politics who closely resembled his family's values. After decades of ladies on the stump reading from a Ms. magazine script, here was a woman on a presidential ticket who didn't seem to feel the need to suppress her femininity or perversely use it to advance a most un-motherly agenda.
The far-left in America are having a collective conniption fit over President Obama's decision to attack Libya.
Included in the wolf pack is the Atlantic magazine's Andrew Sullivan who despite his preposterous claims of being a conservative appeared on "The Chris Matthews Show" this weekend and said, "I don’t know why anybody voted for Obama in the primaries...[now] we have this politicized Clintonian mess" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It took the threat of a defamation lawsuit, but the New York Times finally corrected a story from late February that accused FBI informant Brandon Darby of "encouraging" a plot to bomb the 2008 Republican National Convention, when in fact Darby was integral to law enforcement efforts to disrupt that plot.
The Times was aware of the error as far back as March 3, according to emails included in the brief filed by Darby's attorney. Yet the error remained uncorrected on the Times website until Wednesday.
As I wrote earlier this week, the fact that the Times was aware of the error and yet continued to publish it online may have made it liable. Darby's attorney certainly thought it did, and at least one legal expert concurred.
A former FBI informant who helped foil a bomb plot at the 2008 Republican National Convention has sued the New York Times for libel and defamation.
A Times story from February 22 claimed that Brandon Darby had "encouraged" others to bomb the RNC, when in fact he had been essential to law enforcement efforts that disrupted the plot. Evidence shows that the Times was aware of the error as early as March 3, yet the online version remains uncorrected. Applicable precedent holds that a publisher may be liable for continued publication of defamatory material, even if it was thought to be true when published, if the publisher does not make a sufficient effort to remove that material after being made aware of its inaccuracy.
"Though having to fight a Goliath that buys ink by the barrel is the last thing I wish to do," Darby said in a Thursday letter to the Times, "the New York Times has left me no choice." Darby said that he could not "allow a lie of this seriousness and magnitude about my character and integrity to go unanswered" (h/t Matthew Vadum).
Good Morning America's Brian Ross on Friday highlighted the sordid details of John Edwards' affair during the 2008 presidential election campaign. Yet, GMA was the same program that repeatedly hyped the marriage of the former senator and Elizabeth Edwards.
Ross intoned, "When Edwards announced he was running for president, his mistress, campaign filmmaker Rielle Hunter, was there, just a few feet away from Edwards' now-deceased wife, Elizabeth."
On July 31, 2007, then-co-host Diane Sawyer cheerfully explained how the Edwards were planning on celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary at Wendy's. "Happy anniversary," she cooed.
Philip Elliott at the Obama White House's state-compliant wire service reports, and distorts (bolds are mine):
Barbour says Obama cheers for higher gas prices
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a potential presidential contender, accused the Obama administration Wednesday of favoring a run-up in gas prices to prod consumers to buy more fuel-efficient cars.
Barbour cited 2008 comments from Steven Chu, now President Barack Obama's energy secretary, that a gradual increase in gasoline taxes could coax consumers into dumping their gas-guzzlers and finding homes closer to where they work.
As NewsBusters previously reported, advocacy media outlets such as MSNBC and the New York Times Tuesday cherry-picked comments by Mike Huckabee to make him look like a birther.
On Wednesday, the former Arkansas governor went back on the Steve Malzberg radio show to address his accusors who he claimed are attacking him because they're afraid he "might end up getting some traction running for president and [beat] Barack Obama" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
On Monday's Newsroom, CNN's Don Lemon helped film director Qasim Basir promote his new film "Mooz-lum," which he hopes will "clear up some of this ignorance" about Muslims and their religion. Basir, whose last project "aimed at supporting presidential candidate Barack Obama," claimed that "in an average person's mind, who does not know anybody that's Muslim, it's like you see Muslim, you think terrorist."
Anchor Suzanne Malveaux introduced Lemon's segment, which ran 39 minutes into the 12 pm Eastern hour, as part of her network's "What Matters" series, which is a partnership with Essence magazine. Malveaux played up the film's "strong African-American cast and director," and stated that her colleague "sat down with the director Qasim Basir to talk about the movie, and the state of Muslims in America." An on-screen graphic signaled the primary focus of Lemon's interview: "Religion + Intolerance: Don Lemon, Qasim Bair discuss 'Mooz-lum.'"
Jay Carney just assumed his new post as White House press secretary yesterday, but he already finds himself embroiled in controversy.
Despite leaving Time magazine shortly after the 2008 election to work for the Obama administration, Carney continued collecting payments from his former employer in 2009, Politico reported today.
According to newly released financial disclosure forms, Carney was paid $270,000 by Time while serving as Vice President Joe Biden's communications director, consisting of a $58,000 bonus for work during the 2008 presidential campaign and a $212,000 severance payment.
There are very few Americans who believe that the maintenance of the American republic literally depends on their continued relevance. Journalists comprise a large portion of that relatively small group.
So as technology has enabled public figures to circumvent traditional media, those journalists have raised the alarm that without the proper "filters" (them, of course) constitutional republicanism itself is at risk.
On Monday's "Morning Joe," co-host Mika Brzezinski launched into a passionate defense of President Obama's handling of tough press coverage in 2008. Joe Scarborough and Mark Halperin retorted that Obama received soft coverage on the campaign trail, and has only recently learned how to face tough interviews. Brzezinski apparently thinks that is "revisionist thinking."
"He was raked over the coal– he had to do a freakin' speech about his race! Are you kidding me!?" Mika exclaimed when she was trying to rebut claims of Obama receiving soft media coverage.
When co-host Scarborough and Time magazine's Halperin agreed that President Obama did not receive tough press coverage as a senator or as a presidential candidate, Brzezinski spat back "No. That is revisionist thinking."
The merciless attacks on Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) continued for the fifth day in a row on MSNBC's "Hardball" Monday.
These came despite a liberal women's rights advocate telling Fox New's Megyn Kelly hours earlier that Chris Matthews' treatment of the Congresswoman is sexist and "over the top" (video follows with transcripts and commentary):
To add an exclamation point to Brad Wilmouth's great post last night ("ABC Pushes for Tax Hike on Capital Gains, Ignores Likelihood of Tax Revenue Loss") -- in ignoring the likelihood that raising the capital gains tax rate would reduce capital gains tax collections, the network also "somehow" forgot now-retired World News Tonight anchor Charles Gibson's aggressive questioning on the topic during an April 2008 Democratic Party presidential debate.
That night, ABC, represented by Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, who was then the host of ABC's Sunday morning news show, drove leftists crazy (noted at the time in NewsBusters posts here and here), because, as NB's Brent Bozell noted, "For once it veered from liberal orthodoxy."
One of Gibson's "veers" consisted of questions he asked presidential contenders Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton about capital gains taxation. The now-defunct New York Sun characterized it as "Gibson's Finest Hour" (I would suggest that it might really have been "Gibson's Only Fine Hour"), and wrote it up thusly (internal link added by me; bolds are mine):