As Clay Waters at the Media Research Center's Times Watch reported earlier today ("One of Obama's Emotional Arguments for Obama-Care Proven Wrong in NYT Staffer's New Book"), the New York Times's Kevin Sack ran a story yesterday which "reflects badly on Barack Obama and how he misled people in his campaign for Obama-care."
It's no secret that most campaigns are heavily funded by big checks from lobbyists, PACs, and rich donors, but President Obama's campaign team is turning away from that assertion, instead showcasing the claim that it is 98-percent-funded by grassroots support. Jim Messina, Obama's campaign manager, said "we did this from the bottom up," pushing the idea that the $86 million fundraising figure released on Wednesday was fueled almost entirely by grassroots organizers.
While 98 percent of the checks may have come from grassroots donors, it doesn't mean that 98 percent of the money did. Many media outlets are taking the bait and are ignoring the two percent of donors whose contributions may turn out to be a far greater portion of Obama's campaign funds than Messina is making them out to be.
For comparison, eight years ago when then-President George W. Bush was ramping up for his re-election campaign, the media magnified a small fraction of extremely wealthy donors to be the image of his campaign.
You mean, like the Americans who made president someone who two years before had been a state legislator and ran on "hope and change"?
Seriously, just who did Zbigniew Brzezinski have in mind when he said this on Morning Joe today?
"We have a large public that's very ignorant about world affairs, and very susceptible to simplistic slogans by candidates who appear out of nowhere, have no track record, but mouth appealing slogans."
John Lennon in the '70s sang about instant karma getting you.
On Wednesday's "Hardball," two weeks after mocking Texas governor Rick Perry for calling Twitter "Tweeter," the pathetically pompous Chris Matthews made the same mistake not once, but twice (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Good Morning America's John Berman on Tuesday offered a condescending, dismissive take on how the money "obsessed" presidential candidates spent their Fourth of July. Yet, four years ago, the same program offered a fawning look at what Barack Obama did on Independence Day.
After mentioning Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich, Berman suggested that the Fourth of July could be "a chance to take a break from their recent big obsession, cash."
The journalist quickly followed this up by noting that the President has raised $60 million. Berman pointedly explained, "...Though he spent the day with men and women whose value is beyond priceless." (This was a reference to Obama's speech to U.S. troops at a barbeque.)
Conservative publisher Andrew Breitbart was on Saturday's "Fox & Friends" to discuss the double standard concerning how President Obama's gaffes are reported compared to the miscues of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.
In Breitbart's view, "Life for [Palin and Bachmann] is a permanent game of Jeopardy where the George Stephanopouloses of the world, he of the Clinton war room, are there to try to make them look stupid on YouTube" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday's CBS Evening News and Friday's Early Show, CBS glossed over President Obama's aim to break a campaign promise with a proposal to raise taxes on people who make less than $250,000 a year. Both Chip Reid and Bill Plante noted that "the White House is also insisting on...a limit on deductions for people...making more than $200,000 a year," but didn't reference the Democrat's 2008 tax pledge.
Near the end of his report, which aired 44 minutes into the 6 pm Eastern hour, Reid highlighted the Obama administration's push for tax hikes:
There were two candidates on the GOP ticket in 2008, John McCain and Sarah Palin. Both had young daughters involved in the campaign. Both have written books about the experience. Guess which book was celebrated and which was savaged?
The media's character assassination of Sarah Palin knows no bounds, as she's been smeared as everything from "evil" to "unintelligent." But "Palin Derangement Syndrome" is a hereditary disease, and the media have continued their multigenerational malice toward Bristol Palin in reviews of her new memoir, "Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far."
With a poll earlier this month showing that an unnamed Republican candidate could beat President Barack Obama by a narrow margin if the election were held today, Obama's advisers are scrambling to find ways to win his reelection in 2012 amid a $14 trillion debt and three wars.
Obama's dismal poll numbers are leaving his nostalgic advisers grappling to assemble an astroturf campaign reminiscent of his successful 2008 grassroots campaign. As the National Journal's Josh Kraushaar explains, Obama's administration has made a series of critical moves over the past month that reflect their growing concern for Obama's chances in 2012.
Check out Kraushaar's thoughts on Obama's struggling 2012 campaign after the break, and let us know what you think in the comments.
MSNBC's Martin Bashir, who once argued Sarah Palin's bus tour was in "breach of federal law," attacked Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday, wondering if the 69-year-old Republican is "suffering some kind of mild dementia or long-term memory loss?"
Excoriating McConnell for rejecting tax increases as part of a potential budget deal, the former ABC "Nightline" anchor regurgitated a litany of liberal talking points about the Bush years on his eponymous program:
"It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."
-John Adams, July 3rd, 1776
Seems like a lot of fuss over a document written to form a political agreement between some loosely unified colonies more than 200 years ago.
When Adams wrote that, a nation had been created, yes, but it had yet to win any significant victories in its war against the most powerful military in the world. Many states were nearly bankrupt and it wasn't certain they'd hang together. And for all its noble ideas about equality, the Declaration did nothing to end slavery, which Adams called "as offensive in the sight of God as it is derogatory from our own honor or interest of happiness."
ABC and CBS have both recently wielded PolitiFact as a club to bash Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), yet in the 29 months since President Barack Obama took office – despite 49 "false" ratings in Obama's PolitiFact file – the three broadcast networks have cited the fact-checking website only once to challenge the Democratic commander-in-chief.
ABC host George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday's "Good Morning America" used PolitiFact as an excuse to badger Bachmann about her past statements, while CBS host Bob Schieffer on Sunday's "Face the Nation" pressed the Republican presidential candidate to answer to a spate of PolitiFact judgments against her.
Earlier today, a grand jury convicted former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, on 17 of 20 counts of corruption. 11 of of the guilty verdicts related to attempts to profit from the "sale" of the U.S. Senate seat Barack Obama vacated when he became president.
At USA Today's On Deadline blog (as of its 5:33 p.m. update), Michael Winter failed to identify Blagojevich or any other politician involved as a Democrat. Neither did the video found at Winter's article. This is not surprising, because the video came from the "see no evil Democrat" Associated Press.
In six items all carrying today's date found at the AP's main site in a search on the former governor's last name at 8:15 p.m. ET, the wire service not only failed to tag Blago as a Democrat, it failed to tag anyone as Democrat. Here's the list:
Fox News's Chris Wallace on Sunday actually asked Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann if she's a flake.
Possibly feeling the question was a bit over the top, the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol during the panel discussion segment of "Fox News Sunday" ribbed the host saying, "You can call me a flake if you want" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As the First Lady and her daughters toured Africa last week, Americans were treated to puff piece after piece from their adoring fans in the press.
One such aired on ABC's "This Week" Sunday with David Muir actually saying, "Will some of that deeply felt criticism in Africa melt under the glow cast by Mrs. Obama and her girls?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Alan Colmes and Cal Thomas had a humorous exchange about the media's love for Obama on Saturday's "Fox News Watch."
After Thomas asked when the press will come to their senses and admit they were wrong about the messiah-like powers of the former junior Senator from Illinois, Colmes replied, "You keep presuming the media is supporting this guy and they're not" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Karl Rove and Juan Williams had quite a lively debate Friday evening about politics, the economy, and who can beat Barack Obama in 2012.
With Williams acting as substitute host on "The O'Reilly Factor," guest Rove asked the question that has been plaguing conservatives for approaching three years - "How can an obscure United States senator from Illinois who had done diddly squat in the senate become the nominee of the Democratic Party and the President of the United States?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Jon Huntsman wants you to know he rides a dirt bike. On real dirt! He's Salt of the Earth. Grease of the Garage. Dragster on the Dunes. Huntsman's runnin' and gunnin' for president. But underneath the Steve McQueen costumery, this made-for-cable-TV Moderate Speed Racer is a creaky old John McCain on Wheels.
The former Utah Republican governor and Obama ambassador to China is the answer to an election-year problem that doesn't exist. The quadrennial "problem," in the minds of Beltway GOP strategists and liberal media chin-pullers, is that the Republican Party isn't moderate, civil, self-critical or inclusive enough.
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."