Who says the long sound bite is dead? According to an MRC analysis, "Good Morning America" devoted over 26 minutes of its two hour time slot on Monday to a fawning town hall meeting with Senator Hillary Clinton.
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," co-anchor Robin Roberts hosted a fawning town hall meeting with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. During the opening segment, which encompassed much of the program’s first half hour, Roberts didn’t bother challenging the New York Senator and, instead, asked her softball questions.
She even told the former Fist Lady that "many people" felt her 1993 universal health care proposal was "ahead of its time." This lead to a question by an audience member who, in ‘93, just happened to have been on the Clinton’s universal health care task force:
Robin Roberts: "What you said then in, in ‘93, many people felt it was just, in some ways, ahead of its, ahead of its time. Somebody that was there, and wants to ask you what is different now, between what happened then, and he is Dr. Steve Eckstat. He is, he works at the free clinic of Iowa. Doctor?"
There’s been no shortage of flattering network stories about Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. “You are the equivalent of a rock star in politics,” NBC Today co-host Meredith Vieira told Obama in October. “You can see it in the crowds. The thrill, the hope. How they surge toward him. You’re looking at an American political phenomenon,” ABC’s Terry Moran gushed on Nightline a few weeks later.
“Barack Obama, with his fairy tale family, has personal charisma to spare,” ABC’s Claire Shipman enthused in January. “He does draw on something deeply good about this country. And we will have to see whether he can really deliver,” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews announced on Hardball in February.
This weekend, the Chicago Tribune published a long investigative story about Obama’s youth, discovering that the story of his own life that Obama presented in his memoir is sometimes at odds with the facts. “Several of his oft-recited stories may not have happened in the way he has recounted them,” the Tribune’s Kirsten Scharnberg and Kim Barker reported in Sunday’s article, “The not-so-simple story of Barack Obama’s youth.”
Town hall or pep rally? Hard to tell, judging from the first half-hour of Hillary's appearance on Good Morning America today. Host Robin Roberts lavished praise on Hillary, suggested there's unanimous support for the Dem Iraq policy, and fielded only one audience question -- which came from someone who worked on Hillarycare in 1993 and beseeched Clinton to try it again as president.
GMA today kicked off its series of Town Hall meetings with the presidential candidates. This one, featuring Hillary, was located in Des Moines, Iowa. During the opening schmooze, Hillary, speaking of Iraq, stated: "I'm very proud that all the Democrats are saying the same thing and that's what we should all be working toward, and that's to begin to change this policy and get us on the right track."
ROBERTS: That is something that I think the country completely agrees on, on both sides about that.
Lately it seems that HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” has become the place for left-wing politicians and media members to go on Friday evenings to say whatever disgraceful thing they want about the Bush administration without regard for accuracy or prudence.
Does that make it HBO’s answer to ABC’s farcical morning coffee klatch “The View,” and Bill Maher is suddenly just an intelligent version of Rosie O’Donnell with a Y-chromosome and better clothing?
The March 23 installment certainly suggested so, with the unabashed and unashamed host leading a herd of disgruntled liberals to slaughter conservatives much as Rosie now despicably does on almost a daily basis. In fact, Maher began this most recent episode with a monologue featuring ten out of eleven jokes about Bush, his family, the Administration, and seemingly any politician with an “R” next to his name.
Most disgracefully, the first josh of the evening actually mocked the First Lady (video available here):
At the end of his 2004 campaign, Howard Dean started Democracy for America, billed as a grassroots Democratic political action committee "dedicated to supporting fiscally responsible, socially progressive candidates at all levels of government."
Last week, DFA staged an online Dem presidential candidate preference poll. As a proud DFA member [meaning that I joined the email list], I just received the results of the poll. Hillary's advisers might want to dust off Hirohito's famous statement at the end of WWII to the effect that the situation "has not progressed entirely as we would have wished." Because Hillary finished in fifth place with 8.7%, behind Dennis Kucinich and barely one point ahead of Bill Richardson. Obama finished first with 28%, John Edwards a close second at 25%.
Now it's true that this is an unscientific poll, and that DFA surely attracts people from the liberal wing of the Dem party. But then again, isn't the conventional wisdom that Dem primary voters come from that same liberal wing?
Was DFA Executive Director Tom Hughes mortified by the results? He buried the mention of Hillary's embarrassingly bad performance in the eighth paragraph of his email!
Today's Edwards announcement is an object lesson in how easy it is for us in the blogosphere to run with something juicy without double-checking the facts and/or being very, very careful to precisely word our posts so that we don't tell readers to take something to the bank that hasn't been confirmed.
It's also a lesson in how to promptly and gracefully face the music and admit error.
Earlier today, Politico's Ben Smith ran with a single anonymous source today at shortly past 11:00 a.m. saying that former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) would suspend his presidential campaign so he could tend to his wife, Elizabeth, as she battles breast cancer.
That source turned out to be wrong. Edwards will continue his campaign and Smith promptly admitted and apologized for his error (his blog post was submited at 12:34 EDT, just after the Edwards announcement). [continued...]
After grilling White House spokesman Tony Snow, the March 22 edition of CBS’s "The Early Show," followed with a fawning story on former Vice President Al Gore and his testimony on Capitol Hill. Anchor Russ Mitchell kicked it off calling Gore "a big celebrity with a message about global warming."
Correspondent Gloria Borger exclaimed the former vice president "looked like a winner." CBS then played a sound bite of Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) offering praise to Mr. Gore calling him "a role model for us all." After briefly playing a clip of Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) grilling Al Gore, Borger called him a "professor" and reminding the audience that "he could still run for president." The transcript is below.
Time's Joe Klein is pleased that Al Gore isn't squishing out on global warming in order to make a 2008 campaign run more palatable for the American people.
As if that wasn't a liberal-enough talking point, Klein's March 22 "Swampland" blog post describes Gore's willingness to resort to the usual tax and spend policies as "putting his [Gore's] money where his mouth is." Portion in bold is my emphasis.:
Yesterday, I wrote--based on incomplete reporting of ongoing testimony
(no criticism of live-blogger Brian Beutler; the hearing was in
midstream when I posted)--that Al Gore seemed to be backing away from
his carbon-payroll tax swap. I haven't seen the complete testimony, and
the press reports are not sufficiently wonky to give all the relevant
details, but it appears that Gore is still up for the tax swap (an idea
I supported in this column last year). In fact--no surprise--he's for a
very tough global warming regime, including a ban on new coal-fired
power plants and an intense cap-and-trade regime.
yesterday that if he stepped away from the tax swap, it might mean that
Gore has political plans--but that speculation obviously was idle and
kind of dumb. In 2000, Gore proposed spending $150 billion on global
warming over the next 10 years (essentially, he wanted to spend the
entire budget surplus on global warming...you remember the budget
surplus). So he isn't averse to putting his money where his mouth is on
this issue, even when running for office. Is he running? Dunno. But, as
Jake Barnes once said to Lady Brett Ashley (or vice versa), it would be
nice to think so.
The Huffington Post is featuring a post by the man who blasted Hillary Clinton with an edit of the Apple Computer spinoff of George Orwell's anti-authoritarian "1984." The creator of the video is the former Internet communications director for Sherrod Brown's 2006 Senate campaign and until today was employed by Blue State Digital; a company that provides internet technology services to many presidential campaigns, including that of Barack Obama.
The video creator is Philip de Vellis and he explains his reasoning as follows:
Cox began her March 21 post by pointing to a post in The New Republic's blog "The Plank":
Michael Crowley makes a point over at TNR's blog about McCain's senior
moment regarding condoms (Do they prevent AIDS? “You’ve stumped me.”)
and how his "old fashioned" bus-tour-talkathon is a bad fit with this
whole "blogging" phenomenon:
We can get a sneak preview of the MSM worship of Al Gore sure to follow his testimony before Congress tomorrow on the subject of global warming by reading David Remnick's glowing commentary about the former veep in the March 5 edition of the New Yorker. If you suffer at all from tooth decay, I advise you to skip over the rest because Remnick's idolatrous saccharine coated praise for Gore is sure to exacerbate your condition.
Without a trace of ironic awareness that a Saturday Night Live skit is mocking people such as himself who believe that a Gore win in 2000 would have led to an American paradise, Remnick longingly sets up the premise of the show in his You Know Me, Al commentary in the New Yorker:
On Tuesday morning's Good Morning America, ABC co-host Robin Roberts announced they would be airing a special town hall meeting about health care and veterans care with Hillary Clinton next Monday, March 26. In 1999, as First Lady Hillary Clinton prepared to run for the Senate, GMA handed over most of their broadcast to gun control and kids on June 4. This special included 45 minutes with Bill and Hillary talking to high-schoolers town hall-style about the horrors of school violence. Hillary's Senate opponents, Rudy Giuliani and then Rep. Rick Lazio, were never awarded comparative feasts of free air time. Roberts promoted their new broadcast gift to Hillary like this:
“And we want to tell everybody about a special event on ‘Good Morning America’ that’s coming up this Monday. It’s the first in our series of GMA town hall meetings leading up to next year’s election. And Senator Hillary Clinton will be here live to answer questions about health care and veterans care in a live town hall meeting that actually will be held in Des Moines, Iowa. That’s next Monday, only on GMA.”
As already noted on NewsBusters, Tuesday’s "Good Morning America" defensively investigated an anonymous new attack ad against presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Co-host Diane Sawyer even referred to the commercial as "drive-by ad-ing." The spot plugs fellow Democrat Barack Obama’s ‘08 bid at it’s conclusion, but ABC wasn’t buying the Illinois Senator as the culprit.
Reporter Claire Shipman helpfully observed that since the commercial puts both Clinton and Obama in a bad light, "some Democrats think a Republican operative" is responsible:
Claire Shipman: "Now, there still are no real clues about the author, but, Robin, the ultimate conspiracy theory? Some Democrats think a Republican operative could be responsible because it not only makes Hillary Clinton look bad, but Barack Obama look bad since it’s an attack ad."
It was Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards trying to revive his ‘70s disco moves and he danced around every tough question CNN’s Miles O’Brien threw at him. Most notably, how much does it cost to pay for energy in the new 28,000-square-foot mansion Edwards calls home?
“It’s actually not bad.” And followed that up with talk of how energy efficient the home was.
“I’m not telling you. It’s actually, it’s actually not bad. It’s about three or four hundred dollars, the last one I saw.”
Following that claim, Edwards backed off a bit and said “the power bill is several hundred dollars a month.”
Edwards also claimed he and his family operate the house in a “carbon neutral way,” though he wants to put caps on how much carbon dioxide businesses operate. “We have committed to operate this house in a carbon neutral way which means in addition to using energy saving devices in the house itself, to the extent that doesn’t cover it, we’re going to purchase carbon credits on the market,” said Edwards.
MSM-think: when you have no facts on a controversy, offer up the Democrats' anti-GOP conjecture. That was ABC's modus operandi this morning.
Being the astute observers of the political scene they are, most NewsBusters readers have surely watched the YouTube-based anti-Hillary campaign ad that has been making the rounds. It is a take-off on the famous Apple computer ad, which in turn was inspired by George Orwell's anti-authoritarian epic "1984." In the current version, an ominous Hillary, appearing on a wide screen to an audience of automatons, represents Big Brother in the same way IBM did in the Apple original. Barack Obama, represented by a woman athlete of a certain age, plays the hero, hurling a hammer into the screen to smash the state and free the prisoners.
The bold and brilliant Hugh Hewitt doesn't hesitate to ask journalists appearing as guests on his radio show to describe their personal political leanings. Most decline to do so in a self-righteous huff, the typical response being along the lines "that is irrelevant to my reporting, which I play down the middle." There are rare-but-welcome bursts of candor, as when former WaPo political reporter Tom Edsall famously acknowledged to Hugh that he, along with the overwhelmingly majority of his erstwhile WaPo confreres, were indeed Dems and liberals.
I mention this because a few weeks ago, Hugh had as a guest John Harris, one of the founding members of the Politico, the new web-based venture that draws many of its reporters from the ranks of some of the leading MSM institutions. Harris, for example, is the WaPo's former political editor. Hugh posed the who-did-you-vote-for question, and Harris demurred along the lines cited above. After the interview, Hewitt said he suspected that Harris and the rest of the Politco crew were indeed libs. Nevertheless, Hewitt seems to appreciate the Politico's lively and topical reporting. With that as an endorsement, I decided to sign up for the Politco's Daily Digest email, and have been reading and largely enjoying it ever since.
In Monday's Los Angeles Times, reporter James Rainey raised the issue of a conflict between political reporting and family ties: "Some of America's most prominent political journalists are, quite literally, wedded to the 2008 presidential race: Their spouses work for one of the candidates." Rainey made a short list of four of the conflicted:
A truly astounding thing happened on HBO’s “Real Time” Friday evening: a panel comprised of four liberal media members actually voiced unanimous displeasure with Democrats.
I bet you’re looking out your window to see some airborne swine right about now.
As shocking and unlikely as such a public display might seem, when host Bill Maher moved the discussion to the recent cancellation of a presidential debate to be hosted by Fox News, he and his guests all felt the Democrats made a mistake.
Defying the currently in vogue theory of anthropogenic global warming, hell hath begun freezing over.
Present and accounted for were former CBS anchor Dan Rather, ABC’s Martha Raddatz, and comedian Jason Alexander. What follows is a partial transcript of this shocking event (video available here courtesy of our friend Ms Underestimated):
As NB senior editor Tim Graham and Clay Waters of Times Watch have documented here and here, nothing gets under the skin of Democrats like using "Democrat" rather than "Democratic" as an adjective in referring to them. Thus, for example, the use of "Democrat party" apparently sends the blood pressure of the Pelosi crew skyrocketing.
But on today's Good Morning America, discussing proposals to move up the date of presidential primaries in a number of states, This Week host George Stephanopoulos [file photo] said:
“Just about every campaign strategist I spoke with, on both the Democrat as well as Republican side, said . . . “
What? George Stephanopolous referred to the "Democrat side"? Could the former Clinton aide have fallen prey to a devious GOP mind-control plot? Might he be a deep Roveian mole?
NBC Today co-host Meredith Vieira tossed softballs to Barack Obama, in an exclusive interview this morning, as she asked him if Alberto Gonzales should resign over firing of U.S. Attorneys and also allowed him to spout off on the President's Iraq policy. In the 7am half-hour Vieira lobbed this pitch to the Democratic presidential candidate:
Vieira: "Senator let's switch gears now and talk about the firing of those eight U.S. Attorneys. The Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales has admitted that mistakes were made. He wants to right them. He says he wants to stay on the job as well. You opposed his nomination two years ago and this is what you said about the Attorney General on Tuesday, you said, 'He had shown in his role as White House counsel a penchant for subverting justice to serve the President's goals, and I feared that in an Attorney General.' Do you believe, sir, that Mr. Gonzales knowingly subverted justice in this case and do you want him to resign?"
Why is it every time I see a newspulper headline about Barack Obama I envision the editors in near orgasmic delight over the "multiculturalism" they perceive in Obama, or the "connection" he has with all the peoples of the world? Or the near hero worship of his "clean and articulate" abilities they wallow in, for that matter? And how come I get a corresponding feeling that all I am getting is delightful puffs of air but no substance when I'm done reading the piece that goes with the sweetness and honey that is the headline?
If ABC was going to provide a platform for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to express her moral outrage over the firings of the eight US Attorneys and call for AG Gonzales' resignation, didn't the network have an obligation to let viewers know that her husband's administration had itself peremptorily fired more than ten times that many US attorneys -- and that a close personal associate of Hillary's was intimately involved?
Senior national correspondent Jake Tapper scored the exclusive with Hillary. In the excerpts aired, Hillary in high dudgeon declared that "the Attorney General, who still seems to confuse his prior role as the president's personal attorney with his duty to the system of justice and to the entire country, should resign."
There was somewhat interesting and awfully quiet news about the unpaid parking tickets of Barack Husseian Obambi Obama (who I call "BHOO" for short, with "Obambi" being the New York Times' Maureen Dowd's favorite nickname for the Illinois senator) in Cambridge, MA from the late 1980s.
..... Records from the Cambridge Traffic, Parking and Transportation office show that between Oct. 5, 1988 and Jan. 12, 1990 Obama was cited for 17 traffic violations, sometimes committing two in the same day. The abuses included parking in a resident permit area, parking in a bus stop and failing to pay the meter. Twelve of Obama’s 17 tickets were given to him on Massachusetts Avenue.
In one eight day stretch in 1988, Obama was cited seven times for parking violations and was fined $45. Thirteen of the 17 violations occurred within one month in 1988.
Obama’s disobedience of the rules of the road earned him $140 in fines from the City of Cambridge. The tickets went unpaid for over 17 years and $260 in late fees were added to the tab. On Jan. 26, the fines and late fees were paid in full. The final tally for Obama’s parking breaches was $400, according to Cambridge Traffic, Parking and Transportation.
Another left winger appeared on "The View." This time it was Roseanne Barr who felt she knew everything because she’s "old," claimed to stump for the middle and working class while admitting she’s rich, bashed the late Ronald Reagan, praised Rosie O’Donnell, and hinted at the left wing election "fixing" conspiracy theory.
Roseanne started with her explanation on why she thinks she knows everything, then demonstrated her love for her favorite "View" co-hosts, Rosie O’Donnell and Joy Behar. She even added that Rosie made this a "very intellectual hour." The multimillionaire comedienne proceeded to bring in her class warfare pitch by bashing the late President Ronald Reagan and then discussed with four rich women the horror that "most people like to hang out with rich people. They don’t give a damn about anyone else." The four rich co-hosts agreed.
Rosie, Roseanne, and Joy agreed on some commonly held left wing conspiracy theories. Roseanne called on "people who fix elections" to "let a Democrat in the next time." Then of course, much of the media feeds us is "the art of distraction." The transcript from key points of the discussion is below.
As most people are likely aware, the Democrats have pulled out of a presidential debate to be held in Nevada this August. Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly was none too pleased about this announcement, and made his feelings known Monday evening (video available here):
The dishonesty of the far left on display again…Within the Democratic party, there are two elements, moderate Dems and radical left Dems. The radical movement is funded by George Soros and Peter Lewis, who pour millions of dollars into candidates and websites like MoveOn to do their bidding. Soros and Lewis have given MoveOn at least $5 million.
That was just the beginning. I suggest you fasten your seatbelts, for O’Reilly was loaded for bear:
It’s probably not that surprising that some on the far Left were complaining that the Fox News Channel was going to host a debate between the Democratic presidential candidates in Nevada later this year. They were probably completely unaware that Fox News co-hosted (with the liberal Congressional Black Caucus Institute) two Democratic debates during the last presidential campaign.
What is surprising is that former Democratic Senator John Edwards, who smilingly participated in both of the Fox debates in 2003 (picture at left), decided that he could not participate in a debate hosted by Fox. “I said, ‘Why are we doing Fox?’ I said, ‘No, tell them no,’” Edwards told the Washington Post’s Dan Balz.
NBC's Matt Lauer and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough had a really hard time buying their colleague Andrea Mitchell's line of thinking that Senator Chuck Hagel might go places by appealing to anti-war Republicans. On this morning's Today, Mitchell proclaimed of a potential presidential run by the Nebraska senator: "Hagel would give Republicans an anti-war alternative..." But just minutes later Lauer and Scarborough scoffed at that idea as even they couldn't choke down that odd bit of Andrea's analysis:
Matt Lauer: "Alright Chuck Hagel, he's a guy who's come out strongly against the war, that upset a lot of loyal Republicans and yet conservative on just about every major social issue. So what's his biggest challenge right now? Is it name recognition?"
Fred Thompson, who is exploring the possibilty of a presidential candidacy, went on Fox News Sunday yesterday, strongly criticized Roe v. Wade and said the answer to it was "good judges." But on this morning's "Today," Andrea Mitchell flatly stated that Thompson doesn't want to overturn Roe. So where does Thompson stand on Roe, and how can we explain Today's depiction of his views?
For answers, let's go to the videotape. The first portion of the clip is from this morning's "Today," the second portion from Thompson's Fox News Sunday appearance yesterday.
On "Today," laying out Thompson's positions on key issues, Andrea Mitchell stated Thompson is "anti-abortion but opposes overturning Roe v. Wade." Where did she get that from? A good clue comes from the fact that just previously she had just played a clip of Thompson's appearance on yesterday's Fox News Sunday. While the clip had nothing to do with abortion [Thompson merely described his rationale for a possible run], it does demonstrate that Mitchell had watched Thompson's appearance and was likely relying on it as the latest, best evidence of his views.
So what did the former Tennessee senator tell Chris Wallace about his views on Roe? Again, have a look at the video.
Chris Wallace: "Do you want to overturn Roe v. Wade?"
Thompson: "I think Roe v. Wade was bad law and bad medical science. And the way to address that is through good judges. I don't think the court ought to wake up one day and make new social policy for the country that's contrary to what it's been for the last 200 years. We have a process in this country to do that. Judges shouldn't be doing that. That's what happened in the that case. I think it was wrong."
Today's article is just the latest in a growing, voluminous list of adulatory, flattering coverage of the Democratic candidate by the Times. Just a few examples are here, here, here, here, here, and here. (Images of the Times' articles are available at several of the links.)