More than any other Republican presidential prospect, Sarah Palin draws white-hot journalistic loathing. She’s too red-state, too gun-toting, too religious, and too unwilling to abort a disabled “fetus.” Even so, filmmaker Steve Bannon remains deeply optimistic his forthcoming Palin documentary “The Undefeated” will sway the media to see Palin in a different light.
Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs banker turned filmmaker, told National Review’s Kathryn Lopez that once he and his producing partner delved into Palin’s life story, “we decided that not just the American people but even the mainstream media were both fair and decent -- that when presented with something that represented a completely different point of view they would be at least open to considering it.”
In a late Monday morning report, the Associated Press's Erica Werner wondered why "the White House has yet to take any new steps on gun violence" he supposedly promised in the wake of the January shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Either Werner or the headline writers at AP are getting extraordinarily impatient, as seen in the headline which follows the jump:
A gem of a letter appeared in the “Free for All” page of letters in Saturday’s Washington Post.
“Kindly let us know exactly where on your Web site we should go to participate in your ‘Let’s Get Obama’ project so we can interact with the objective mainstream media,” Michael Crawford, of Great Falls, Virginia, concluded.
Catching up on an item from Saturday’s The Early Show, CBS correspondent Jan Crawford used the word "spectacle" to describe various media organizations "ripping through" the recently released emails from Sarah Palin’s time as governor of Alaska, noting that some media organizations were "enlisting people you don’t even know" to help examine the mountain of documents and "find something damaging" on Palin.
Crawford noted that it was an "unusual step" for the New York Times and Washington Post to ask for help from its readers to help the papers pore through the thousands of pages of correspondence, and concluded that "this e-mail release may say a lot more about the press and its views than it does about Palin."
With headlines like “Sarah Palin’s emails: Annoyingly gaffe-free” from the Los Angeles Times, reporters are lamenting the fact they didn’t find the juicy details about the life of the former vice presidential candidate they were looking for in their 24,000 page stack of Palin emails.
Much of the media made fools of themselves with their excited obsession over the release of Sarah Palin’s gubernatorial e-mails, but NBC News went the furthest, sending, as did CNN, reporters to Juneau as the network uniquely led its Friday night newscast by hyping the non-news as a major event. “On the broadcast tonight,” anchor Lester Holt heralded, “mail call. Thousands of pages of e-mail from Sarah Palin's time as Governor. What we're learning about her tonight.”
Following a story from “national investigative correspondent” Michael Isikoff in which “MSNBC.com investigative reporter” Bill Dedman had the gall to complain “we waited longer for these records than Sarah Palin was Governor, almost a thousand days,” NBC’s David Gregory recognized, in an understatement: “As Mike and his team are finding, not a lot of bombshells here.”
HBO's Bill Maher on Friday took a racist swipe at Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
During the New Rules segment of "Real Time," the host said pretending that he was speaking to Newt Gingrich, "Let me put your unpopularity in context for you - you're a Republican and you're polling behind a black guy" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Friday's Hardball on MSNBC, host Chris Matthews proposed a GOP conspiracy behind the indictment of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards: "Do you think there's politics in this prosecution? Was it just a Republican U.S. attorney going after this guy, sticking around to do the dirty work for the 'R's?" [Audio available here]
Matthews posed that question to Democratic strategist and former Edwards spokesperson Karen Finney, even she wasn't buying it: "You know, I don't know." Undeterred, Matthews continued his bizarre rant: "But this looks like one of those things you read about in third world countries or in India or somewhere or Pakistan, where they get someone who's been out of office a couple of years, get them while they're down, hit them with some incredible charge with campaign funding that nobody's ever heard of before and put them away for a while. It just looks like revenge against the party – against somebody that lost an election."
At the top of Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer touted objections to the indictment of former Democratic Senator John Edwards: "Some critics blast the government's case against the former presidential candidate. Why they say what he did may not have been against the law."
Introducing a later report on the scandal, fellow co-host Meredith Vieira similarly proclaimed: "There are growing questions over the indictment of former presidential candidate John Edwards for allegedly using campaign funds to hide an affair. Did the government overreach?" The headline that appeared on screen read: "Bad Guy or Bad Case?; Legal Experts Question Indictment of John Edwards."
The gang at "Fox News Watch" had some very interesting things to say about how media members who absolutely despise former Alaska governor Sarah Palin just can't get enough of her "One Nation" bus tour.
The best line came from liberal commentator Kirsten Powers who said of the former vice presidential candidatee, "It’s actually kind of refreshing to see somebody who just says screw you to these people who treat her like garbage" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams seemed to take smug delight Friday night in pointing out how Sarah Palin’s off-the-cuff recounting of Paul Revere’s ride was at odds with the correct history, smirking that Palin’s version “already has tongues wagging.”
Williams interest was unique — neither the CBS Evening News, anchored by Harry Smith, nor ABC’s World News, with ex-Democratic spin doctor George Stephanopoulos filling in for Diane Sawyer, thought Palin’s error was worth even mentioning. And Williams himself — even though he generally works with a pre-written script, in contrast to Palin’s impromptu remarks in Boston — has had his own problems with historical accuracy over the years (details below the fold).
Williams attention to Palin’s mistake is also in contrast to how his newscast never reported the bizarre gaffe made by then-candidate Barack Obama in 2007, when on March 4 of that year Obama, in a speech saluting the 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Alabama, claimed his parents “got together” because of “what happened in Selma.”
UPDATE: Some hours after the Times's initial filing, the phrase "former senator" in paragraph one was changed to read "former Democratic senator."
Where’s the party? New York Times reporter Katharine Seelye filed an online report early Friday on the breaking story of the indictment on campaign finance violations of John Edwards, the former senator and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate (and John Kerry’s 2004 running mate), on charges he violated campaign finance law to conceal an extramarital affair during his presidential campaign. Only one thing missing: His political party.
CBS's Erica Hill strongly hinted on Monday's Early Show that Sarah Palin's "extended flirtation...with running" for president and speaking only to Fox News to the detriment of the rest of the media would sour her with the voters. Hill asked former Mitt Romney aide Kevin Madden, "Does any of this risk though rubbing voters the wrong way?"
The anchor brought on Madden and former Clinton spokesman Joe Lockhart to discuss the former Alaska governor and the rest of the possible and actual 2012 presidential field for the Republican Party. After the Republican strategist agreed to a large extent with Hill in his answer to this question, she turned to Lockhart for his left-of-center view: "From a Democratic standpoint, if Sarah Palin jumped into the race, how do you think that would work out for President Obama?"
In reply, the former Clinton mouthpiece regurgitated a common liberal talking point about Palin:
The Justice Department is expected to indict former Senator John Edwards as early as Wednesday for violating federal campaign finance laws.
On this weekend's "Chris Matthews Show," the host along with Time magazine's Joe Klein and the Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan said the DOJ should leave Edwards alone (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Andrew Sullivan's vendetta against Sarah Palin reached a new milestone on Friday after he insinuated that the former Alaska governor was somehow akin to Adolf Hitler. Sullivan referenced Leni Riefenstahl's infamous pro-Nazi movie after quoting a former Palin spokeswoman on what he labeled "the upcoming propaganda movie, 'Triumph Of The Will' 'The Undefeated.'"
The writer, who is a top purveyor of the "Trig Truther" theory about the Republican's youngest son, made the latest attack on his blog on The Daily Beast as part of a "quote for the day" item. Sullivan reproduced Meg Stapleton's laudatory words about the Palin documentary, which will soon be released in Iowa, and then added his beyond snarky one-liner:
UPDATE:As seen here, the very earliest AP reports appear to have identified Edwards as a Democrat (the age of the item may not correspond with when the AP subscriber actually received it), but the latest ones, including this item found at AP's home site (as of 12:59 p.m.), do not. UPDATE 2: A mixed bag -- The 6:55 p.m. report from the same AP reporters (pic here) notes that Edwards was the "2004 Democratic vice-presidential nominee," and waits until Paragraph 4 to note that the possible indictment stems from the 2007-2008 campaign.
In their 11:29 a.m. report (saved here in case it gets updated, and for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) on the apparently imminent indictment of 2004 and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, Associated Press reporters Mike Baker and Gary D. Robertson did not identify Edwards as a Democrat, nor did they identify any of his campaign associates (e.g., Andrew Young, Fred Baron) as Democrats. No form of the word "Democrat" appears in the report as it was posted at 11:29 a.m.
Here are the first seven paragraphs of the AP pair's effort:
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.