Color The New York Times slightly disappointed that Joe Scarborough is saying he won’t run for president in the GOP primaries in 2016. “He comes with instant credibility, instant recognition of a brand,” the Times quoted Matt Mowers, executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party. That instant brand recognition? MSNBC, the Obama Can Do No Wrong Channel.
But Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg honored his show “Morning Joe” as a “must-see for members of the New York-Washington news media-political axis.” That’s also code for the elites that love Obama. At least Stolberg recognized conservatives aren’t Scarborough fans, to put it mildly:
It’s election season and MNSBC’s manufactured GOP “war on women” narrative is in full-swing across the network. Appearing on “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on Wednesday March 19, the MSNBC host and her entire panel desperately attempted to create a controversy surrounding comments made by two Texas Republicans on the issue of equal pay for women.
Mitchell began the segment by proclaiming that “Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is making some news. He's getting attention for opposing equal pay legislation for women. And in fact, has reiterated, according to reports today, that he would not sign any legislation that would make it easier for women to sue for equal pay. When two of the state's Republican women leaders then tried to fix the problem, well some argue they made it worse.”
Interviewing Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on MSNBC's Daily Rundown on Wednesday, host and NBC political director Chuck Todd desperately tried to paint the GOP as anti-woman by ironically citing the top woman in the Texas Republican Party observing that men are better at negotiating higher salaries in the workplace. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd melodramatically proclaimed: "...you talked about figuring out better ways to talk to women....But here's the executive director of the Texas Republican Party....I know you're going to say you can't speak and defend everybody's comments, but this is somebody representing the Republican Party in the state of Texas. These things accumulate."
In a refreshing change of pace, CNN's John King skeptically wondered on Tuesday's New Day about the White House touting the five million "enrollments" in ObamaCare: "They wanted to get the seven million by March 31 – unlikely they'll get there....How important are the next couple of weeks, and...if they get to six, can they spin that as a success, or is this baked in as a failure?"
King later pointed out that "even if they get some policy numbers that point them toward success – maybe not where they wanted to get, but close to that – can they change the political dynamic out in the country? Because if you go to these key states, it seems like ObamaCare is still a liability." Despite this, New Day anchor John Berman still trumpeted the five million figure: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
"Wendy Davis Will Turn Texas Purple" insists the teaser headline on the Daily Beast front page today. No, this is NOT satire, but the honest-to-goodness belief of community organizer turned Daily Beast contributor Sally Kohn.
The headline for the story itself -- "Wendy Davis Is One Step Closer To Turning Texas Purple" -- dials down the hype a tiny bit, but the argument of her piece is pretty clear, even as Kohn desperately latches on to one poll for her ray of hope for the Lone Star State (emphasis mine):
Former Louisiana Governor and convicted felon Edwin Edwards now wants to be the Bayou State's Sixth District congressman — as a Democrat.
In his coverage of Edwards' improbable but obviously not impossible candidacy, Associated Press reporter Kevin McGill simply took it for granted that Edwards can appear on the November ballot as a Democrat. That shouldn't be automatic, as a recent example from next door neighbor Alablama demonstrates. Excerpts and discussion follow the jump:
Conservative actor Kevin Sorbo had some harsh words about the state of politics in America today. Sorbo appeared on “The Steve Malzberg Show” on March 17 to discuss his newest project “God’s Not Dead” and to share is thoughts on being a conservative actor.
Appearing on Maltzberg’s show Monday, Sorbo laughed at the idea that “In the last two elections if you didn’t vote for Obama you’re considered racist” and asked “what does racism have to do with it?” The star of Hercules went on to mock liberals who said they would vote for Obama “because he’s black, it would be cool to have a black president” which Sorbo argued is “racist” because “if I said I’m voting for McCain because he’s a white guy you’d call me a racist.” [See video beginning at 8:48 below.]
The line between liberal political punditry and outright, unapologetic, liberal political activism at MSNBC has faded to the very vanishing point.
In the latest promo for his All In show, Chris Hayes boasts "I'm not just a passive witness. I am not there to just tell you a story. I'm there to act out: to do it in real time—to do politics, not talk about it." There's something comic about Hayes' delivery. He speaks with all the manic strength and conviction of President Obama laying down a red line to Vladimir Putin. View the video after the jump.
The New York Times is allowing anonymous sources in politics to slime a political leader. But this time it’s Barack Obama.
In a Saturday story by Jonathan Martin and Ashley Parker on “new urgency about the need to address” Democratic prospects, an anonymous “Democratic lawmaker” said Obama was becoming “poisonous” to the party’s candidates.
One of the more humorous attempts at furious spin this weekend occurred over at the New York Times. Jonathan Martin and Ashley Parker somehow managed to cover how association with President Barack Obama is becoming “poisonous” to Democratic Party candidates in this fall's elections without identifying or even acknowledging the existence of the primary reason for his toxicity — namely his repeated guarantees, now all proven false, that "If you like your plan, doctor, medical provider, and prescription drug regimen, you can keep them, period."
Martin and Parker claim that the Dems' biggest hurdles are HealthCare.gov's awful rollout and the administration's inept marketing of Obamacare (HT Powerline; bolds are mine):
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough visited the battleground state of New Hampshire over the weekend and spoke at two Republican Party events to promote his new book “The Right Path.” Despite Scarborough’s reputation as being an MSNBC Republican, the folks at “Morning Joe” oozed over Scarborough’s visit, with co-host Mika Brzezinski narrating a campaign-style piece for her colleague.
The segment began with Mika hyping the “great reception he got…packed house” before beginning a nearly 4 minute pre-packaged piece on Scarborough’s trip into New Hampshire. [See video below.]
Comedian Bill Maher is no stranger to making outrageous and offensive comments, usually directed at conservatives. His weekly HBO program “Real Time with Bill Maher” is an opportunity for the devout atheist and liberal to spew his anti-conservative hate, yet when a major television network profiles his comedy routine, his controversial style is ignored.
NBC’s Harry Smith sat down with Maher for an interview, which aired during the March 16th “Meet the Press” and the NBC reporter treated the comedian to a friendly puff interview without ever bringing up his tasteless comedy routine. Moderator David Gregory hyped the interview and observed how Maher has “been thinking about how dysfunctional politics has become in the country and he’s been dishing on both parties as he takes his message to red state America.” [See video below.]
On Friday's Hardball, Chris Matthews continued his tirade targeted at Democrats from the previous day, in the wake of the party's loss in the special election in Florida on Tuesday. The MSNBC host bemoaned how supposedly, "Republicans say, we've got to cut entitlements....And yet, they don't pay a price for it politically. I'm determined that they pay a price for their words."
Matthews added that "Democrats better be focusing on what Republicans are promising to do – on issues like choice; on issues like voter suppression – or they're going to get their asses handed to them this November." He later zeroed in on how Republicans apparently "exploited" Democratic congressional candidate Alex Sink's "reasonable" approach during her campaign: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Washington Post "Fact Checker" blogger Glenn Kessler has given "Four Pinocchios" ("a whopper") to a pro-Democratic group's political ad opposing the U.S. Senate candidacy of Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy. The claim: The Koch Brothers, who are prominent financial supporters of the pro-GOP group Americans for Prosperity, want to protect, in the ad's words, “tax cuts for companies that ship our jobs overseas.”
Unfortunately, I have been told that Kessler's post did not make the paper's print edition; to no one's surprise, the Post has a tendency to give Kessler posts which fact-check Republicans greater print edition visibility. Additionally, at least one other Post writer and career race-baiter Al Sharpton have praised the anti-Koch ad and the strategy behind it. The likelihood that either will acknowledge Kessler's debunking is extremely low. Here are the key paragraphs from Kessler's work (bolds are mine throughout this post):
A clearly worried Chris Matthews attempted to rally the Democratic Party to avoid a midterm massacre, openly suggesting that the party's goals should be "angering" voters with "scary" Republicans. On Thursday morning, the MSNBC anchor conceded that the U.S. Senate will go Republican in November. By Thursday night, he pivoted, lecturing Democrats: "...You can give the angry voter out there something really scary to vote against, a direction to really direct his or her anger." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] "Time to attack," roared Matthews.
Jumping from issue to terrifying issue, the Hardball host hyperventilated, "Want something else to fear? If the Republicans get the upper hand this fall, women's health care, Roe v. Wade, which that Florida Republican who just won plans to repeal." Matthews suggested, "You can warn people what the Republicans will do if they really clench power, how they're hell bent on cutting entitlements."
The co-hosts of The View brought on Republican strategist Nicolle Wallace, Thursday, to give the Republican view on politics. But instead of offering the loyal opposition, the former top aide to John McCain gushed over the Clintons.
Asked by Jenny McCarthy if Bill Clinton's personal problems will be an issue in 2016, Wallace blurted, "No. That's baked in the cake. I mean, to know Bill is to love Bill, whether you're a Democrat or a Republican." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
We've heard it all before. Here we go again. More of the same. Can't we just move on? Those are the sort of classic liberal pundit one-liners that Clinton apologists used in the former president's tenure in office to respond to fresh scandalous revelations, seeking to guide public opinion to scandal fatigue.
Daily Beast's Eleanor Clift is singing from that song sheet now as she seeks to shield Hillary Clinton in the run-up to her 2016 presidential bid. Here's Clift in her March 13 piece "Sharks are Circling Hillary Clinton," not-so-subtly comparing conservative Clinton critics to terrorists (emphasis mine):
MSNBC had a bit of trouble keeping their guests on-message during Wednesday’s NOW with Alex Wagner. While speculating as to why Democrat Alex Sink lost to Republican David Jolly in Tuesday's special election in Florida’s 13th congressional district, Wagner and her MSNBC crew tried to push the idea that low turnout was to blame. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Addressing Adam C. Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Wagner wondered:
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” last night and criticized the networks for barely covering the GOP victory in the Florida special election Tuesday night. Bozell’s comments came after the GOP candidate David Jolly was heavily outspent by his Democratic rival Alex Sink, and Bozell noted how little coverage the results received by the “big three” networks.
The MRC president pointed out that the media refuses to admit the harm ObamaCare is having both on the nation and on Democrats: “When you look at a vote which cost the Democrat the race because of ObamaCare, 53 seconds total. They don't want to cover this story. This story was a defeat.” [See video below.]
Here at NewsBusters, we've regularly raked Chuck Todd over the coals. So let's give the NBC political director credit for calling out Dems today on their lame spin over the loss by Dem Alex Sink in this week's special congressional election in FL-13.
On today's Morning Joe, Todd mocked Dems in the White House and elsewhere now claiming that FL-13 "is not a swing district. It's an 'R+13.':" Said Todd: "Well, it's only that because your people didn't show up! They didn't move. They still live in the district. They didn't leave!" View the video after the jump.
After a Republican won a bellweather election in Florida on Tuesday night, the networks made no mention of it on Wednesday evening. That came after they gave a pittance of coverage to the victory on Wednesday morning.
CBS was the only network to report on the race Tuesday evening, but even they were nowhere to be seen the night after. Correspondent Nancy Cordes had made it clear Tuesday that the race had serious implications: "Both parties see this race as a referendum on the President's health care law."
When I wrote a book about mobs and group-think a few years ago, I could honestly say that mob behavior existed exclusively on the left in America -- unless you count Oakland Raiders tailgate parties, which I do not. As described in "Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America," the distinctive characteristics of the mob mentality include:
OXON HILL, Md. -- The first "people" I recognized on arriving at last week's Conservative Political Action Committee gathering just outside Washington were two "stormtroopers" and a Wookiee from the 1977 film "Star Wars."
Some of the speeches also expressed sentiments from the past, though not as cleverly as those in costume: Obama is a bad president, even a bad man. America looks weak before the world. Government is too big and taxes too high. "The Force" seemed to have left the building, or perhaps it never arrived.
[Update, 3:45 pm Eastern: Cuomo angrily responds to NewsBusters; see below.]
On Wednesday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo played up how Florida Republican David Jolly's campaign played The Price Is Right theme music at his victory rally on Tuesday, and remarked that its use was somehow a perfect sign of the influence of big money in political races: "What a metaphor for what politics has become – that they are playing the theme song of The Price Is Right when they celebrate a victory, because it's about the money! It makes me sick."
What Cuomo didn't realize is that the former host of The Price Is Right, Bob Barker, endorsed Jolly. NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham noted NPR's reporting on Barker's endorsement in a December 2013 item: [MP3 audio available here; video of Cuomo below the jump]
On Wednesday, the network morning shows gave a combined 53 seconds of air time to Democrats losing a bellwether congressional election in Florida and just 37 seconds to bad poll numbers for President Obama. Meanwhile, Obama shopping at the Gap and pushing regulations to force businesses to pay employees overtime wages got 3 minutes and 36 seconds of coverage. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie gushed: "You're at the Gap, you're trying to decide between the cranberry or maybe the indigo t-shirt, you look over and who is sizing up the same items but the leader of the free world....It happened to a store full of shoppers here in New York on Tuesday, President Obama popped in."
CNN anchor Jake Tapper went on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Tuesday, and naturally the 2016 presidential race came up as a discussion topic. Referring to the battle for the Republican nomination, Tapper proclaimed, “[I]t is a wide-open field, and there is no one, literally no one I would discount.”
The veteran political journalist then rattled off a few GOP hopefuls he would not discount – Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Rob Portman. He wouldn’t even discount New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, in spite of the current bridge controversy. But then Hewitt’s co-host, Jamie Weinstein of The Daily Caller, asked, “What about Joe Scarborough 2016?” [YouTube video embedded below the break.]
Last night, I noted that the Associated Press had not deigned to consider Republican David Jolly's victory over Democrat Alex Sink in the FL-13 Congressional race a "Top U.S. Story" as of 10:13 p.m. To AP's credit (or perhaps because of yours truly's and others' razzing?), a story about the race was at the Number 6 spot in Top U.S. Stories as of 8:15 this morning.
CNN.com, on the other hand (HT to NewsBusters commenter "Jon"), is clearly playing "hide the story" with the Jolly-Sink race. Its worldwide home page as of 8:38 a.m. had one line item titled "GOP wins year's 1st election showdown" halfway down the page, and a tiny picture in the "Politics" section near the bottom of the page headlined "GOP Scores First 2014 Win." Could they be any more vague? Its U.S. home page as of 7:37 a.m. had no reference to the race at all.
We all know that if Democrat Alex Sink had defeated David Jolly in FL-13's special Congressional election tonight, the morning news shows would have been all over the story, crowing that her victory represented a convincing verdict in favor of Obamacare.
Well, that didn't happen. David Jolly won, despite being badly outspent and forced to survive a bruising January primary. He also had to deal with running against Sink, a former Sunshine State gubernatorial candidate with far greater name recognition, and a libertarian candidate who siphoned off almost 5 percent of the vote. Though the Associated Press has a fairly balanced and lengthy story on the outcome, it somehow wasn't important enough to be carried as one of its Top 10 U.S. stories at 10:13 PM tonight. One story which did make the "Top 10" cut was (not kidding) about "Oregon owners of a 22-pound housecat that trapped them in their bedroom after attacking their baby." The AP story itself also didn't present the result as quite the referendum on Obamacare the left was predicting when they thought their candidate would prevail.
It was an absolute certainty that MSNBC would attack Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) following his Thursday morning speech at CPAC. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, the host wrung her hands over Cruz’s continued criticism of ObamaCare. With the air of an impatient mother, Witt fumed, “I know he’s just serving up red meat to the base. Republicans believe this is going to help them in the midterms. But aren't we past that yet?”
GOP strategist Susan Del Percio, a real MSNBC-type Republican, seemed to feel the same way about Cruz. She replied to Witt’s question, “Not if you're Ted Cruz. I mean, that's what he has become known as, is as a firebrander. He just throws this stuff out there.” With timid, apologetic Republican analysts like Del Percio, it’s no wonder MSNBC can’t have any real debates on their programs. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, host David Gregory wondered if New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's 2016 presidential chances were "done" following the Bridgegate scandal. In response, National Journal's Ron Fournier cited Christie's Friday CPAC address: "Ironically, he might have done himself some good with the Republican primary audience because he now can beat up on the media." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory joked: "Thank God the media's still here because what else would they talk about CPAC if we weren't here to kick around?" Fournier replied: "It's all we're good for sometimes."