Two Democratic politicians in Texas apparently warranted a front page, 1200 word story in Wednesday's New York Times. Writer Jason Horowitz profiled San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his brother, Congressman Joaquin Castro.
According to Horowitz, "The two brothers share not only looks, ambition and personal mannerisms — they both lower their heads, with almost monklike modesty, when greeting people — but also a childhood steeped in Latino activism, bunk beds and English." Horowitz also repeatedly hinted that one of the brothers could end up on a presidential ticket in 2016.
There's a gut-wrenching dilemma facing gay Democrats in the District of Columbia and the Washington Post was determined that we read about it, placing staff writer Mike DeBonis's story, "Catania perplexes gay D.C. Democrats"* on the front page of the April 16 paper.
You see, David Catania, an openly gay white man who is a registered independent, is facing off against Muriel Bowser -- a straight African-American woman -- this November in the mayoral contest in predominantly Democratic Washignton, D.C. This, has prompted some soul-searching among otherwise staunchly partisan gay Democrats, DeBonis noted, devoting 29 paragraphs to the existential crisis. Deep in the article, DeBonis noted how Catania's former party affiliation, a decade ago as a Republican, might be a deal-breaker for yellow-dog gay Democrats (emphasis mine):
The liberal journalists at MSNBC have been quite enamored with Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, constantly promoting her Democratic campaign. Yet, a new poll showing her trailing by 14 points has gone unmentioned on the network. Even more interesting, Republican candidate Greg Abbott is beating Davis even among women, 49-41. The Public Policy Polling survey was released on Tuesday. Also, it should be pointed out, PPP is a Democratic polling firm.
In the past, MSNBC hosts have attempted to spin bad news for Davis. In January, Andrea Mitchell gently explained, "[She's] being forced to answer media reports down there that she had slightly altered her resume." In July of 2013, the journalist became one of her early cheerleaders, prompting, "Are you thinking about statewide office? Are you thinking about running for Governor?"
In a glowing interview with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted the anti-gun activist's latest crusade: "You're putting $50 million into the effort....saying essentially this new group is going to borrow a page from the NRA's playbook. The NRA has been very successful in frightening lawmakers who oppose them....You're quoted in The New York Times this morning saying, 'We have to make them afraid of us.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Only two weeks earlier, NBC was wringing its hands over a Supreme Court ruling loosening campaign finance restrictions. On the April 3 Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "And you thought there was already too much money in politics. Fasten your seat belts. From now on, there's gonna be a whole lot more."
In a Tuesday story which appears to have been handed to it on a silver platter, and which the rest of the establishment press seems uninterested in spreading (given that searches at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Associated Press and at Politico returned nothing relevant), the New York Times has reported that the Census Bureau "is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall."
It took Times reporter Robert Pear 15 paragraphs to tell readers that measurement and reporting under the new survey design will be so supposedly difficult that "the agency was not planning to release coverage data from early this year in its next report." That statement indicates that the government will not disclose anything about how the rollout of Obamacare really affected the number of uninsured Americans — even under the new methodology — before this fall's elections. Everyone together now, say "How convenient."
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's John King hyped the Congressional Budget Office's projection about ObamaCare – that "yes, ObamaCare is expensive, but less expensive than they thought – by about $104 billion over 10 years. That's a decent junk of change." King asserted that the health care issue is "the big domestic challenge for the President and for Democrats this election year: that is...trying to defend it – you could say now, maybe, bragging – about ObamaCare."
The journalist then expressed his bewilderment that Democrats weren't playing up this CBO projection: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In the first of a series of tweets sent out Tuesday morning, NBC senior political editor Mark Murray complained: "Why ObamaCare's (un)popularity is probably going to continue: ACA opponents have sole control over the airwaves." In a follow-up tweet, Murray cited the Campaign Media Analysis Group: "Per CMAG's Elizabeth Wilner, number of anti-Obamacare commericials since March 31: 32 Number of pro-Obamacare commercials: 0"
In a third tweet minutes later, Murray explained: "Political scientists believe TV ads have an impact on public opinion when one side has unilateral control over the airwaves." What the NBC journalist failed to acknowledge was the massive pro-ObamaCare push his network and others have engaged in over recent months.
Barack Obama may have given Chris Matthews a "thrill" up his leg, but the MSNBC host is pretty excited about Hillary Clinton in 2016. Matthews was so worked up on Monday night that he wondered if Republicans have "given up on beating" Clinton. Unsurprisingly, the cable anchor is unimpressed with the current crop of Republican contenders.
After discussing Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, he derided, "Have Republicans on the right given up on beating Hillary Clinton in the center? Have they given up on beating her altogether?" Speculating as to whether Republicans think voters will follow them "all the way to the ticked off outskirts" of where Paul and Cruz live, Matthews disbelievingly questioned, "Do they really think America is ready for a dance in the moonlight with one of those guys?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The host later speculated that 2016 could be like the landslides of 1964 and 1972.
Chris Matthews did his best on Wednesday to get Jimmy Carter to fulsomely endorse Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, but just couldn't quite get a satisfying answer. In an interview on Hardball, Matthews began by noting how the former president has been "championing the cause" of "equal rights for women." He pressed, "Has a woman president -- has that time arrived? Obviously talking about Secretary Clinton here."
Carter proceeded to avoid the question and instead talk about women's rights in the world. So, Matthews, tried again: "Well, what do you think would be good about having Hillary Clinton president?" Again, Carter dodged. This prompted Matthews to later chide: "I expect that Hillaryland will notice the sin of omission." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Amidst all of the talk at MSNBC about whether or not Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016, an interesting thing happened on Morning Joe on Thursday, April 10. Appearing as a guest, Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine asked “What achievement, one sentence, what has Hillary Clinton done? What's her achievement in politics that qualifies her to be President of the United States?“
Hilariously, the entire panel, including liberal co-host Mika Brzezinski, was unable to list one achievement made by Clinton, with John Heilemann of New York Magazine proclaiming “when her book comes out in June that that's one of the questions that book is going to try to answer.” [See video below.]
Democrats have clung to the claim that women earn 77% of what men do with religious fervor, as evidenced by the "religious revival, Praise Jesus" atmosphere at President Obama's equal pay event at the White House earlier this week.
But although the 77% figure has been thoroughly debunked, on today's Morning Joe Mika Brzezinski alleged that the real gap is actually "far worse." Mika made her claim without benefit of any actual statistics. View the video after the jump.
The National Journal's Ron Fournier appeared on Greta Van Susteren's Fox News show on Tuesday and blasted Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for "making facts up" and "lying" in his non-stop campaign against the eeeeevil Koch Brothers.
Bless his naive little heart, Fournier even actually said: "Shame on us if we in the media let him get away with this." "If"? What's all of a sudden going to prevent that from happening, Ron? If anything, the already slim chances that the press will cover Reid's fairy tales have decreased, given strong evidence that Washington Post reporters completely invented a story about the Koch Brothers' lease holdings in shale oil-rich Canada — a story which "just so happened" to end up being the basis for a letter to Koch Industries' President demanding answers sent by a Democratic senator and congressman. The video segment, including Van Susteren's explanation as to why Reid can legally get away with being so reckless, follows the jump (HT National Review's The Corner; bolds and paragraph breaks are mine):
I suspect that many readers who do their best to keep up with the news at a detailed level have a hard time understanding how many of their friends, acquaintances and neighbors — even many who they know put some effort into keeping up with current events — can be so unaware of many objectively important news developments.
There are two answers to that question. One is that the establishment press very often doesn't cover important matters at all; all one has to do is recall the empty media chairs at the trial of pre-born and newborn baby butcher Kermit Gosnell. The other is that when they do cover a story, journalists and their news outlets often do all they can to keep key names and facts out of their headlines and opening paragraph. Thanks to the fact that many people now consume news using computers, tablets, and smartphones, this stalling tactic may be even more effective now than it was in the print-only days.
Daily Beast columnist Michael Tomasky on Wednesday offered a disjointed, 24-year-old example as he attacked supposedly "batsh*t crazy," anti-women Republicans. In an article on how GOP men don't respect the value of equal pay for equal work, he said this of elected GOP females: "Four Senate Republicans did vote aye on Lilly Ledbetter back in 2009. Yep, you guessed it: the 'girls'—Collins, Hutchison, Murkowski, Snowe."
The girls? Would the liberal Tomasky let conservative Republicans get away with so breezily referring to United States senators as "girls?" The journalist speculated as to why Republicans allegedly oppose financial equality for women. Blaming the "southern men and their southern beliefs" impacting the party, Tomasky spewed: [See below for full vulgarity]
Liberal Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank did his best to spin the extramarital affair of Congressman Vance McAllister (R-La.) by declaring “Republicans make their ‘war on women’ worse.” In a piece published April 8, Milbank professed that the McAllister affair was “Not the way Republican leaders had planned to observe Equal Pay Day” before laying into the GOP’s supposed problems with female voters.
After spending three paragraphs detailing the affair itself, the Post columnist asserted that “Republicans aren’t responsible for McAllister any more than Democrats are to blame for Anthony Weiner’s weirdness. But for Republicans, who have a big disadvantage among unmarried women, this reinforces a perception.
Looks like the left might be getting some of that old-time religion. Old-time, as in circa 2007-8, when Barack Obama was being hailed as The One and some sort of messiah.
On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski described yesterday's White House equal-pay-for-women event which she attended, sitting next to Valerie Jarrett. Brzezinski said "it was sort of like a church revival. I'm telling you, every time the president made a comment about why women should be paid equally to men. Equal pay for equal work, talking about the same jobs. You'd hear like "okay." Clapping, and almost like "praise Jesus." It was fun." View the video after the jump.
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's John King targeted President Obama and his administration for their "textbook case...of do as I say, not as I do" on the issue of equal pay for women. After playing a clip of Press Secretary Jay Carney playing up how the 88 cents on the dollar women in the White House apparently make compared to men is "better than the national average," King quipped, "I guess the coach would say, is that the best you got?"
The journalist also spotlighted two past studies involving the White House and congressional payroll at the time Mr. Obama was serving as a senator from Illinois, and pointed out the bad optics of the situation: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
MSNBC talking heads spend a lot of time demonizing Republicans and conservatives, but on Monday’s PoliticsNation, frequent contributor Dana Milbank made that connection directly and compared the Koch brothers to demons. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Milbank and host Al Sharpton were discussing the verbal attacks on David and Charles Koch that many Democrats, especially Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, have carried out lately. Sharpton asked why Democrats were pushing this issue so hard, and Milbank responded, “Look, everybody knows that in politics, you need demons. And the Koch brothers are uniquely qualified to play that role. I mean, they couldn't be any better for it if they were carrying around pitchforks and had horns.”
The conservative website Breitbart.com recently started running a controversial ad campaign featuring Nancy Pelosi’s head superimposed on the body of a twerking Miley Cyrus. Unsurprisingly, an April 8 piece by The Daily Beast’s Emily Shire complained that “Breitbart Twerks Pelosi With Credibility-Destroying Ad” without admitting her publication’s double-standard when publishing questionable images.
Shire began her piece by declaring that the online web campaign was “The ultimate proof that Breitbart doesn’t deserve to be considered a legitimate political news site, regardless of its political leanings” before laying into the conservative organization.
Good Morning America reporters on Tuesday reminded viewers that a Congressman who has been caught in an alleged affair with a staffer is a "conservative Republican." GMA, which is co-hosted by former Bill Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos, also included a network graphic that hyped: "Conservative Asks for Forgiveness." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC routinely downplays the political ID for Democrats involved in scandals, but correspondent Jeff Zeleny informed viewers about Vance McAllister of Louisiana, noting, "Just one month earlier, the conservative Republican was sworn into office, surrounded by his wife and five children."
Digby is far from the biggest name in the left-wing blogosphere, but she's one of its most influential figures. Lefty bloggers often introduce links to posts on her site, Hullabaloo, with the phrase "what Digby said" (it's sort of their equivalent of "megadittoes").
On Monday morning, Digby published a piece in a higher-profile outlet, the liberal online magazine Salon, in which she contended that because Ted Cruz "has his finger on the pulse" of evangelical conservatives, he has a far better shot at the 2016 GOP nomination than does Rand Paul, even though Paul, Digby opined, should have no problem pulling in the racist voters that are (allegedly) so common on the right.
Carrie Johnson's Monday report on NPR's Morning Edition could have been mistaken as an informercial for the left-of-center ACLU and the NAACP's efforts to help "protect minority voting rights," after the Supreme Court's Shelby County v. Holder decision from June 2013. Johnson played up how "a divided Supreme Court gutted part of that law – throwing into chaos a system that had required...states to ask for federal permission before making election changes."
All but one of the correspondent's talking heads during the segment were liberal activists who lamented the Court's decision, but she failed to point out their political ideology or that of the groups they represent. Johnson also singled out one attendee of the organizations' "training session," who attacked the Obama administration from the left:
As I noted yesterday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, when asked to identify a specific accomplishment during her tenure there, failed to answer the question, instead falling back on the Obama administration's tired "we inherited a terrible economy" meme.
Never let it be said that yours truly doesn't try to be helpful. Here's an "accomplishment" I can attribute to Mrs. Clinton, though I suspect she won't want to put it at the top of her resume as she promotes her anticipated presidential candidacy: presiding over an out of control agency. During each of the past four years, outside auditors have found that State had several "significant deficiencies" in its internal controls over financial reporting (of course, the last eight months of the most recent year belong to current Secretary of State John Kerry). Additionally, State's Inspector General recently identified "contracts with a total value of more than $6 billion in which contract files were incomplete or could not be located at all." Though the IG's report was released on Thursday, it conveniently escaped coverage by the Associated Press until Saturday afternoon. The unbylined AP report itself was cursory and inadequate:
Last week, the Supreme Court eliminated limits on how much money individuals can donate to all campaigns in any two-year election cycle and NBC’s David Gregory lamented how “American democracy is for sale.”
Appearing on “Meet the Press” on Sunday April 6, Gregory asked Shaun McCutcheon, the plaintiff in McCutcheon v. FEC: “How do you have candidates in the future now going to the wealthiest donors in the country and saying I want an unlimited amount of money? How does that is not at some-point lead to corruption?” [See video below.]
ABC’s Jonathan Karl did his best to get Bill Kristol to admit ObamaCare is working on ABC’s “This Week” but the “Weekly Standard” editor refused to give into the fill-in host’s demands. Karl attempted to persuade Kristol to “Give the president a little credit here right? 7.1 million sign-ups after that disastrous start. They hit their number; they went past their number.”
Appearing on Sunday April 6, Kristol shot down Karl’s assertion and argued, “It’s like saying you’ve got to give the Soviet Union a lot of credit. 200 million people bought bread in their grocery stores. If it’s the only place you can buy health insurance, they’re going to get people to buy health insurance there.” [See video below.]
Several weeks ago, MRC-TV's Dan Joseph visited the Democratic Party's winter meeting to see if attendees could name a single tangible of Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State. They couldn't. It turns out that Hillary Clinton herself can't even do that.
Remember how Texas Governor Rick Perry was mercilessly ridiculed in the press for his 2011 debate brain cramp when he couldn't identify the third of three federal government agencies he would eliminate? At the Women of the World Summit in New York City on Thursday — an event held at, of all places, the David H. Koch Theater (you can't make this stuff up) — Mrs. Clinton rambled on and on in a response to a question about what she was most proud of in looking at her time as Secretary of State, but never identified even one specific accomplishment (HT Capitol City Project):
On Friday's CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O'Donnell touted Hillary Clinton attending the Women in the World summit alongside International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde: "One of the highlights, their reaction when moderator Thomas Friedman of the New York Times suggested that Lagarde would one day lead the European Union and Clinton could become President of the United States." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After playing the clip of Friedman fawning over them amid a cheering audience, O'Donnell declared: "It was interesting to see that reaction about women ruling the world, the two of them together." Fellow co-host Gayle King chimed in: "Yeah. But it was a great moment between – to see two powerhouse women, I think, is always very exciting."
On Friday morning, CNN host Jake Tapper tweeted “On Hillary Clinton's assertion of media double standard, strongest complaints by her campaign in 2008 were against pro-Obama male journos”.
MRC's Dan Gainor alerted me that the responses from other national journalists about Hillary Clinton’s treatment of the press in the ‘08 cycle were surprising. Perhaps this should be a segment on Tapper's show where we can all learn more before 2016:
Liberal “Daily Beast” columnist Michael Tomasky must really dislike Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) because he took to the internet today to rant against his latest budget. Tomasky blared in an April 3rd piece that Paul Ryan was “still a total jerk” before engaging in a long-winded attack against the Tea Party favorite.
Tomasky began his piece by fretting “Remind me not to get in a foxhole with Paul Ryan. At the first sign of trouble, he’ll pack up his gunny sack and head for base camp, running into the latrine to hide. Or so I conclude from the budget he released this week.”