On MSNBC’s Weekends with Alex Witt on Sunday, Ms. Witt brought on New Jersey Republican Steve Lonegan, the businessman and former small town mayor who is running against Democrat Cory Booker for the open U.S. Senate seat in the Garden State. The liberal media consensus around the country is that Booker is practically a shoo-in to win the election, and Witt was more than happy to beat Lonegan over the head with that narrative.
The host began with what seemed like a sympathetic question: “How tired are you of everybody saying this is a race that is Cory Booker's to lose?” Lonegan responded confidently that Booker was going to lose the race. To which Witt shot back, “Okay, based on what?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
After the Republican National Committee voted to refuse CNN and NBC from hosting 2016 GOP primary debates, NBC took two days to even mention the news before again ignoring it. In fact, CBS spent more time covering the boycott of NBC than NBC itself did.
The RNC threatened a boycott after CNN Films and NBC Entertainment both planned productions on Democrat Hillary Clinton as she is predicted to run for president in 2016. At Friday's summer meeting, the RNC made good on its threat, but NBC reported it only once.
Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos on Sunday parroted Barack Obama's talking points, insisting that a shutdown of the government would wound a "weak" Republican Party for a "generation." On Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos touted the President for "cutting his vacation short" due to unrest in Egypt.
After allowing that Obama has "little leverage" over House Republicans, he narrated that the White House believes "the Republican Party is in an even weaker position, that if they shut down the government, say, over their calls to defund Obamacare, they will relegate themselves to minority status for a generation." Playing the role of administration cheerleader, the journalist pointed out that Obama has a big autumn coming up, "which is why he cut his vacation short. He only went eight days this year instead of the normal two weeks." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore knows he has one goal in his professional life: not to help Rush Limbaugh’s radio show. After a tough front-page story Wednesday (with Amy Chozick) on the financial mess that is Bill Clinton’s foundation, Confessore appeared briefly that night on MSNBC’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.
O’Donnell warned that Limbaugh loved the Times article and would use it as anti-Clinton grist. Confessore shot back that Limbaugh handled his work with his “usual level” of factual ineptitude, that his take was "unrecognizable in terms of my piece":
Corrected from earlier | Just when you thought the whole Wendy Davis obsession was dying down, Vogue has up and done a puffy profile of the Texas state senator and abortion rights absolutist for its September issue. Now, I know you're tempted to run out to the newsstand and snatch up a copy, but apparently the Daily Beast's Erin Cunningham did America a favor with a blog post today about the "13 Things You Didn't Know About Wendy Davis."
"From her love of Victoria Beckham to her teenage rebellious phase [here are]13 things we learned from Vogue’s September-issue profile of Wendy Davis," the subheader for Erin Cunningham's August 15 post gushed. Predictably full of pablum and puffery, Cunningham closed her short piece on a absurdly trite note:
Perhaps in response to the backlash against a planned miniseries on Hillary Clinton, Thursday's NBC Today aired an unusually critical story about the "chaos" at the Clinton Foundation and the possible negative political fallout for the would-be 2016 presidential contender. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
White House correspondent Peter Alexander informed viewers: "As first reported by the New York Times, a 2011 review of the foundation raised concerns about infighting, bad management, and conflicts of interest. Observers say, echoing problems in Bill Clinton's White House and his wife's 2008 campaign."
Politico’s Glenn Thrush attacked RNC chairman Reince Priebus last Friday for Priebus’s threat to withhold 2016 GOP primary debates from NBC and CNN. Priebus was upset because NBC and CNN are planning to run a miniseries and a documentary, respectively, about presumed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Appearing on PBS’s Inside Washington, Thrush dismissed Priebus’s criticism as mere Hillary-hating: “[W]hat he’s doing, and what a bunch of these other ancillary Republican groups are doing, is they’re doing everything they can to sort of degrade her image, to get in early, so that you can – so it’s OK to criticize Hillary Clinton again.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Media liberals have been up in arms since the Supreme Court decision that Congress should revisit the Voting Rights Act. They’re also upset about North Carolina, which on Monday, August 12, passed sweeping new voter laws including the use of state issued ID cards in all elections starting in 2016.
On the August 13 All Things Considered on NPR, reporter Dave DeWitt of North Carolina Public Radio mostly channeled the view of unlabeled “voting rights advocates” like the NAACP, who presented a sympathetic 92-year-old woman who was allegedly being denied the right to vote by Gov. Pat McCrory: [Story continues after page break.]
USA Today's "breaking news" email ("Ex-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. sentenced to 30 months") opened with the following opening sentence: "The nine-term Democrat from Illinois and son of the former civil rights leader had pleaded guilty in February to using $750,000 in campaign money to pay for living expenses, clothes and luxury items."
So it seemed like it would be a waste of time to click through to confirm that Jackson would be tagged as a Democrat in the story itself, right? Wrong. (UPDATE, Aug. 15: USAT revised the story and included a couple of Democrat references later in the day. The original as it appeared when this post was written is here.) USAT's Fredreka Schouten applied the "Democrat" tag once — to describe Mel Reynolds, the disgraced Congressman Jackson replaced in 1995, in her 18th paragraph. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
When it comes to reporting on North Carolina's new voter ID law, NBC News's Pete Williams is an improvement over his colleagues at MSNBC, who practically portrayed the new law as the ghost of Jim Crow coming back to haunt the Tar Heel State with a new spin on the detested poll tax. That said, the peacock network's senior justice correspondent did not give viewers of the August 13 Nightly News a balanced or accurate portrait of the law, and indeed suggested that the law was motivated by racial and partisan animus.
Williams began his segment -- titled "The Fight to Vote" in an onscreen graphic which accompanied substitute anchor Lester Holt's introduction -- by noting the plight of one "Alberta Curry, who lives near Fayetteville [and] has voted in every presidential election since 1956." Ms. Curry, an elderly African-American woman, "doesn't have a birth certificate and says it will be hard to comply with North Carolina's tough new voter ID Law" which "was passed a month after the Supreme Court struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act," Williams complained. After dispatching with Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's point of view in a brief soundbite, Williams listed three changes rendered by the new law, the first of which was misleading:
What a piker, that Barack Obama. All he was going to do was stop the rise of the oceans and begin to heal the planet. Hillary can do a heck of a lot more. She can actually . . . "save the world."
Just ask Kathleen Parker. The Washington Post columnist that—laughably—some still call a conservative, recommends in in her latest column that Hillary run on the narrative that she is the person who, yes, "can save the world." Parker appeared on Morning Joe today to advance her argument, asserting that "there's no one better suited to sort of lead that movement symbolically and as leader of the free world than Hillary Clinton. It's not an endorsement but let's look at it objectively." View the video after the jump.
Our friends at Breitbart.com caught how liberal Politico writer Glenn Thrush dutifully set about as gaffe goalie for prospective Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, defending her "Medgar Evans" gaffe as a mere "verbal typo." "Gaffe is accidental truth. Verbal typo is [a] brain fart," Thrush helpfully explained via Twitter.
In and of itself, it's no big deal, Breitbart's John Nolte admits, but for the obvious liberal media double standard in what passes for political reporting these days. "[T]oday's mainstream media is merciless at using slips of the tongue to undermine the competency of Republicans. Democrats, however, always get a pass. Even if the gaffe is noted by the media, it is never used to define or undermine the pol," Nolte concluded. Thrush's eagerness to rush to Hillary's rescue illustrates that it's not just bias by omission conservatives have to contend with, but an actual positive attempt by liberal journalists to act as Democratic gaffe goalies. Expect more Glenn Thrushes to come out of the weeds as the campaign season heats up and conservative bloggers and Twitter users make sport of their verbal faux pas.
While NewsBusters really doesn’t target op-eds, especially ones that are printed in the New York Times, egregiously absurd arguments merit exposure and ridicule. Enter Frank Bruni's August 14 column, wherein the Times scribe discussed how our culture facilitates the objectification of women.
Curiously, Bruni buried longtime Democratic politician Bob Filner, who saw women as objects he could grope, towards the end of his column. The decay occurring in our popular culture is a valid point Bruni makes, but he hurtled off the rails when he had this to say about ultrasound laws:
Planet earth has been getting cooler, not warmer in the past few years. That’s an objective fact that PolitFact New Jersey omitted in its duplicitous July 22nd “Truth-O-Meter” article giving cover to Rep. Rush Holt’s (D-N.J.) alarmist statements on global warming. Holt is challenging Newark City Mayor Corey Booker in today’s N.J. Democratic primary. In a campaign ad, Holt claimed “millions will die” from rising temperatures.
“Every single month since 1985 has been warmer than the historic average," Holt said. "All 12 of the warmest years on record have come in the last 15 years.”
John Blackstone promoted Hillary Clinton's potential 2016 presidential run on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, and minimized the ongoing questions about her leadership before, during, and after the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. For opposition, Blackstone merely noted that "a new ad, just released by the GOP, criticizes Clinton's handling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi", without further explaining the issue.
The correspondent also buried the staunchly pro-abortion and partisan stance of Emily's List. He vaguely labeled the pro-Democratic PAC a "group that promotes women candidates."
On Friday, Eric Holder's Department of Justice gave the memory-hole treatment to wildly inflated statistics released last October about the number of cases and the amount of money involved in DOJ's mortgage fraud enforcement efforts.
Bloomberg News reporters who had discovered that the original numbers were suspect had been getting stonewalled for months in their efforts to get answers to their queries, and finally got them through the document-dump route. The differences are stark.
Instead of the GOP focusing all its energy on infighting over the so-called "tactical" decision of whether to defund Obamacare, how about remembering who the real enemies of freedom are and directing its energies toward the Democrats, who are propping up this monster?
It is painful to witness the expenditure of so much negative energy among people who all say they oppose the law. This law is so bad and so unpopular and its negative consequences so apparent that we would have to be complete incompetents not to be able to make this case to the American people, the majority of whom already agree.
You know NBC is experiencing backlash over its planned Hillary Clinton miniseries when a liberal National Public Radio reporter criticizes NBC’s decision to air a miniseries prior to the 2016 presidential election. Appearing on the Melissa Harris-Perry show on August 10, NPR reporter David Folkenflik had some harsh words about the upcoming documentary.
Folkenflik, commenting on the Republican National Committee chairman's threat to boycott NBC and CNN if they go through with planned Clinton documentaries, argued that:
The media were simply and utterly "shameless" with "no attempt whatsoever" to actually cover the campaign in an objective fashion and they're bound to try the same in 2016. And so, "[i]f the Republican Party doesn't understand that [neutralizing liberal media bias] is its number one priorityto do something about it, it will never come out of the weeds, and that's why I wrote the book," Bozell concluded. [watch the full event, including the audience Q&A below the page break; for a related story by our sister site CNSNews.com, click here]
There’s such a thing as playing dumb, and then there’s just playing like you’re in a political coma. On Monday’s front page of The Washington Post, political reporter Philip Rucker implied that Hillary Clinton is not going to make her 2008 mistake again of downplaying her gender in a presidential run. She’ll make 2016 “a natural continuation of her lifelong focus on advocating for women.”
The headline was "Clinton's theme, pre-2016: Women breaking barriers." Nowhere in this story could Rucker find a place to underline why the feminist angle was tricky in her last presidential campaign and might be tricky now: the horny elephant in the room, Hillary’s husband, and his record of adultery, sexual harassment, and even rape accusations. This is the one time his name surfaces in the story:
The Washington Post’s August 9 front-page story about the brutal murder of Vanessa Pham is missing a critical detail. The young woman's alleged murderer is an illegal immigrant; a fact that is omitted entirely from Justin Jouvenal's story, even as Jouvenal mentioned Julio Miguel Blanco Garcia has a prior criminal record. It's not like Jouvenal was unaware of Garcia's being in the country illegally. This has been covered in other local news outlets previously.
What makes the story particularly of interest is that Pham was being a good Samaritan, giving Garcia and his infant daughter a ride to the hospital when Garcia allegedly flipped out and murdered her in cold blood in a fit of paranoia induced from PCP:
In Thursday night’s “Media Mash” segment on “Hannity,” MRC president Brent Bozell discussed some of the harsh media reaction to RNC chairman Reince Priebus saying Republicans won’t offer primary debates to CNN or NBC if they continue their plans to produce a “lovefest” of Hillary films before the 2016 election.
Chris Matthews even said “The RNC chairman who has made bones trying to suppress African-Americans’ votes now has a plan to suppress a free media.” Bozell said NBC needs to be told to go pound sand (video and transcript below):
While MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell admitted that the planned NBC biopic of Hillary Clinton was a "bad idea," on her Thursday 1 p.m. ET hour show she and her guests scolded Republicans for refusing to allow the biased network to moderate GOP primary debates: "That's where you get debates where the audience is cheering because they were all hand picked by local or state parties, that's where you get candidates like Mitt Romney talking about self-deportation to try to play to the crowd." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell made that observation while discussing the topic with former Obama White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, not exactly someone with the best interests of the GOP at heart. Gibbs ranted: "If you're only going to do debates in front of diehard Republicans that 100% agree with you, you're going to end up pushing yourself farther and farther and farther to the right....you're not going to win any national elections."
The Washington Post’s Josh Hicks can’t be living under a rock, so his piece of the IRS’ postponement of their August furlough day is probably just fluff to fill space on the website. His August 8 story had no mention of the fact that the agency is under a congressional microscope from its past activities of targeting both conservative and progressive groups. This, along with the analysis done by NewsBusters’ Geoff Dickens, is another example of the news media giving the agency political cover.
Frankly, any interesting piece of news coming from the IRS should be about the scandal, especially since Hicks quotes Colleen Kelley, the president of the National Treasury Employees Union, who has a tenuous connection to the scandal itself. Last May, Jeffrey Lord at the American Spectator wrote that Kelley could be the “smoking gun” in the IRS scandal. She met with the president on March 31, 2010, and the alleged targeting began the next day. As Lord noted:
Talk about a lack of irony. Hardball guest host Michael Smerconish on Thursday lectured Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and the GOP to avoid "retreating" to "echo chambers" such as Fox News. Smerconish did this on MSNBC, the home of Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell, Chris Hayes and Ed Schultz.
Smerconish, with no sense of self awareness for his own network's echo chamber, scolded, "And this is how you [appeal to more people]? By shutting out news outlets and retreating to your own Fox News echo chamber. If [Priebus] gets his way, it isn't new voices that the party will be hearing and reaching, just their own." On this concept of partisans talking to partisans, Smerconish threw a question to the deeply liberal Joan Walsh. [UPDATED: See video below. MP3 audio here.]
There’s nothing liberal media members love more than a Republican who attacks other Republicans in front of the TV cameras. That probably explains the media’s rediscovered fascination with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the 2008 GOP presidential nominee. ABC’s Jeff Zeleny interviewed McCain last Friday for the ABC News / Yahoo News online series The Fine Print, and he used the veteran senator as a weapon against some of the younger, more conservative senators.
Zeleny set the tone right from his opening script, in which he proclaimed, “[McCain] is drawing sharp criticism from some of his new Republican colleagues, like Senator Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, but he’s throwing that criticism right back, saying they make him worry about the future of the Republican Party.”
MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts really needs to stop calling himself a journalist. Once again, the liberal MSNBC host can’t distinguish between reporting and activism, this time pushing a trio of female Democrats as the future of politics.
Appearing on his daily MSNBC show on August 8, Roberts introduced a segment on Democratic women entitled “Fierce and Fearless” in which he and Citizen Jane Politics editor Patricia Murphy fawned over Democratic women, including Texas state senator Wendy Davis. Roberts, who has a history of using his show as a platform to advocate for liberal causes, introduced the segment thusly:
It's not just conservatives who think it's a horrible idea for NBC to run a Hillary Clinton miniseries before the 2016 election. Network anchor Chuck Todd worries about the perception of bias, even as he insists that there's a tall wall of separation between his network's news and entertainment divisions.