During the 2008 presidential campaign, GOP Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin made what has turned out to be a prescient remark about the relevance of a U.S. president's resolve and its potential impact on Russia's posture with the old Soviet Union's satellite states. She observed: "After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama's reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia's Putin to invade Ukraine next."
Many in the press ridiculed that notion. Among them was Blake Hounshell, who was then blogging at Foreign Policy Magazine. Characterizing Palin's notion as "strange," he wrote: "As we've said before, this is an extremely far-fetched scenario." Hounshell, now a deputy editor at Politico Magazine, has handled Palin's self-effacing Facebook "I told you so" ("I could see this one from Alaska") and pile-ons by center-right blogs too numerous to mention with tweets demonstrating the class, dignity, and good sportsmanship you would expect from the high-brow commentariat, i.e., none (HT Twitchy).
Perhaps I'm being too kind in describing the Associated Press as "The Administration's Press." Based on Jim Kuhnhenn's ridiculous "Don't worry, be happy" Saturday report on how unimportant he says the still growing national debt and the still historically large federal budget deficits supposedly are, maybe I should start calling the wire service "The Administration's Publicists" instead.
Kuhnhenn stopped just short of writing that the national debt ($17.41 trillion as of Wednesday, up from $10.63 trillion when Barack Obama took office 61 months ago, an average increase of $111 billion per month) and the annual federal budget deficit (on track to be over $500 billion for the sixth year in a row, four of which saw deficits of over $1 trillion) aren't worthy of attention, but it's clear that he believes we shouldn't be concerned about them in making electoral choices (bolds are mine):
There are few things that might please liberal journalists more than finding that elusive voter that proves a dearly held theory: anti-Obama voters really hate black people. It’s all about his race, not his policies.
NPR hit that jackpot on Tuesday’s Morning Edition in a seven-minute story on Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) seeking re-election in Louisiana. In seven minutes, NPR’s Ailsa Chang never even whispered the name of Landrieu’s expected Republican opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy (or his challenger, state Sen. Paul Hollis). The latest poll found Cassidy in the lead. But Chang found a racist sitting under an oak tree in Galliano, Louisiana, in Cajun territory:
Chris Matthews’ vendetta against Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) continued at a fever-pitched pace Wednesday night. The Hardball host has a long history of attacking Cruz; he once called the Tea Party senator a “Thug” who wants to “Kill” Obama’s “Baby” and compared him to cinematic murderer “Freddy Krueger.”
On February 26, the MSNBC host took his anti-Cruz hatred to a new level, shrieking that “Ted Cruz Secedes From the Union” before asking what if the GOP “becomes a torpedo headed directly for the U.S. Capitol?” [See video below.]
Double standards in the establishment press's treatment of Republican and Democrat politicians is an unfortunate reality. Evidence that it's getting worse — to the point of begging the question, "At long last, have you no shame?" — can be seen in the disparate treatment of Florida's two major-party March 11 congressional special election candidates, Republican David Jolly and Democrat Alex Sink.
At the Associated Press, it is headline-making national news, via reporter Tamara Lush, that Jolly "was not charged and not at fault in a 1989 car crash in which he fatally struck a pedestrian, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report." Again: "NOT at fault." Meanwhile, it is not news at AP's national site that less than 30 hours ago, Sink, in a televised debate, resorted to offensive stereotyping in advocating changes in immigration law when she asked, "Where are you going to get people to work to clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping?" Excerpts from Townhall.com's story, plus a video containing Sink's statement, follow the jump.
The Washington Post’s ongoing love-bombing of John Dingell continued on Wednesday. Post reporter Ben Terris began promoting Dingell’s wife Debbie to take over his seat in Congress, with an announcement now expected on Friday – without one word focused on any Democrat or Republican challengers, and without any pushback to the notion that this House seat is Property of the Dingells.
The headline was “For Dingell, a life primed for politics: As wife of longtime lawmaker she’s ready to run to take over familiar reins.” It should be “one of the easier transitions to Congress,” proclaimed Terris the Post flower-petal tosser:
At the Associated Press on Friday, Chris Tomlinson wrote a story of national significance ("State officials investigating Democratic activists") which the wire service appears not to have ever carried at its national site.
It is nationally significant because the establishment press, both in print and over the airwaves, has chosen to make the Lone Star State gubernatorial candidacy of Democrat Wendy Davis a national matter. However, continuing a pattern going back several months (examples here and here), when negative matters relating to her campaign or to those assisting it surface, all of a sudden we're supposed to believe nobody outside of Texas cares.
Michigan Congressman John Dingell announced his retirement today. The Democrat's career as Congress's longest-serving member will end with this session.
With the help of a related statement by President Obama, press coverage predictably placed great emphasis on Dingell's decades-long advocacy of universal health care coverage and his involvement in the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act, which used to be the law governing the scope and implementation of state-controlled health care until the Obama administration's regime of pre-implementation waivers and post-passage changes turned it into the mush which should now and forever be called "Obamacare." That emphasis on Obamacare "somehow" overlooked an infamous but truthful statement Dingell made to WJR Radio's Paul W. Smith shortly after the original law's passage in March 2010. It's the kind of statement the press would have covered when Dingell originally made it (they didn't), and would never have forgotten if it had been made by a Republican or conservative.
The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker must love his new position as the unofficial spokesman for Bill and Hillary Clinton. In a 30-paragraph front-page piece in Monday’s Post, Rucker declared Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes a “Young Senate Candidate, A Campaign With Star Power.”
Rucker goes on to offer a glowing profile of Ms. Grimes, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y) this November and insists that “Clinton’s popularity in Ky. Is a boon for Grimes.” The campaign article began describing how during President Clinton’s first inauguration “a 14-year-old girl from Kentucky presented the new president with a bouquet of red roses at the base of the Lincoln Memorial.” Rucker describes Clinton as an “uncle figure whom Grimes counts as a friend, mentor and advisor.”
Following Meet the Press host David Gregory’s softball interview with former Ambassador Susan Rice, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews rushed to defend Ms. Rice from criticism surrounding the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
Appearing as a panelist on the Sunday show, Matthews eagerly asked Gregory if he could defend Ambassador Rice before pushing the White House talking point that “it was a copycat situation Benghazi, came out of what happened in Cairo – which itself probably came out of that crazy movie out of Los Angeles.” [See video below.]
For the first time since her infamous 2012 interview, National Security Advisor Susan Rice appeared on Meet the Press on Sunday February 23 to discuss a variety of foreign policy issues, most noticeably Benghazi.
Throughout the interview, which focused primarily on the recent violent protests in Ukraine, host David Gregory provided Rice with a variety of softball questions on Benghazi, and allowed her to push White House talking points without any significant pushback.
Congressman Gary Peters (D-M.I.) seems to have some really thin skin as he recently threatened several Michigan TV stations for airing political ads targeting his support for ObamaCare.
In a piece in the Washington Examiner, reporter Charles Hoskinson revealed how the Michigan Democrat, who is running for Senate to replace the retiring Carl Levin, is upset over an ad produced by Americans for Prosperity. The ad featured Julie Boonstra, a leukemia patient who said that Peters’ support of ObamaCare “jeopardized my health.”
In a complete non-surprise given their officials' reactions last week, the United Auto Workers union has filed an appeal with the National Labor Relations Board of the election they lost at Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.
As would be expected for an organization whose journalists are members of the News Media Guild, a Friday evening report by Associated Press reporters Tom Raum and Erik Schelzig emphasized the "outside intervention" of First Amendment-protected statements made by Volunteer State politicians, including Senator Bob Corker, in the runup to the balloting, while ignoring and minimizing thuggish behavior and statements by UAW supporters and sympathizers. They also saved assessments that the effort is a long-shot at best, at least on the merits, for much later paragraphs — but with President Barack Obama's NLRB, you never know. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On February 10, in a rare moment of candor which was quickly edited away in subsequent revisions, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, wrote that President Obama had unilaterally instituted delays and revisions in Obamacare's employer mandate because he was "angling to avoid political peril."
Of course he was. Postponing and revising the requirement that firms cover their employees "or face a $2000 fine per employee, after the first 30," delays the decidedly negative impact of the statist healthcare scheme until after November's elections. But in a Friday evening report, Politico's David Nather essentially tried to claim that Obama really acted against his own best interest (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):
As predicted by Bryan Preston of the PJ Tatler, the supposedly non-partisan Texas Tribune downplayed the story about the Project Veritas video showing Battleground Texas illegally using voter registration information. How did The Texas Tribune do that? By bizarrely makiing the focus of their deflect story the Texas Secretary of State, rather than the video itself.
Here is Preston's detailed analysis of The Texas Tribune's deflection:
Kathleen Willey is back. For people who have forgotten, she is the former volunteer aide to President Bill Clinton who claims he sexually harassed her 20 years ago. She wrote a book about it called "Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton."
What, you say you didn't read it? Neither, it seems, did most of America, which long ago yawned at Bill Clinton's exploits and Hillary's apparent enabling of his extramarital liaisons.
If there was any doubt that MSNBC is a mouthpiece for liberal activism, Chris Hayes should have erased it on Wednesday’s edition of his program All In. Hayes was discussing MSNBC’s favorite current topic – the Chris Christie “Bridgegate” saga – with Dan Cantor, national director of the ultra-liberal Working Families Party. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Near the end of the discussion, Cantor optimistically declared his belief that Christie will be defeated in the end, thanks in part to Cantor’s own organization:
Does Zachary Roth ever get tired of hyperventilating over new voting laws being passed across the country? He must not because yet again the MSNBC reporter freaked out over the Republican-controlled legislature “restricts the right to vote.” Just in the last year, Roth has penned more than 50 articles on the subject of voting and how the GOP wants to make it harder for Democrats and minorities to vote.
The February 20 article began with Roth groaning that “Ohio lawmakers passed two restrictive Republican voting billsWednesday night, raising the prospect that casting a ballot this fall could be much more difficult, especially for minority voters.”
Is The Washington Post a rag for liberal Democrats? It’s certainly striving for that reputation today. On the front page (above the fold) is this story, trying to ruin another GOP presidential hopeful like Chris Christie: “Gov. Walker, eyeing 2016, faces fallout from probes: Release of ex-aide’s e-mails could stall rise of national Republican.”
Meanwhile, on the front page of the Style section is a picture of ex-Republican Charlie Crist hugging Barack Obama on a card that says “Happy Hug-iversary.” The headline over the aticle is “Charlie Crist: Embraceable Blue.” Newly arrived Post reporter Ben Terris reports Crist loves a good hug:
The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, had an interesting pair of headlines near the top of its raw feed yesterday.
The first headline used the typical "Republicans attack" approach any time President Obama does something objectionable, which has been quite often. The headline was "Issa Rails Against Obama's 'Imperial Presidency.'" Of course, reporter Steve Peoples didn't let readers see the exact statement Issa made, perhaps because it would have shown that he wasn't "railing" (uttering a "bitter complaint" or a "vehement denunciation") at all. The current headline at the story at AP's national site doesn't have quote marks around "imperial presidency." Clearly, Peoples doesn't think much of Issa's claim, which makes the raw feed's next headline about Obama all the more ironic:
The left constantly rants about alleged illegal coordination between conservative and Republican candidates and groups with little to no proof. At least once, when it had no evidence, it went to court to try to get a judge to allow them to engage in a wide-ranging fishing expedition to find something, anything, which might "prove" it. Fortunately, a Wisconsin judge in mid-January turned back that request involving Badger State Governor Scott Walker and organizations which independently advocated for his 2010 election and defended him against the 2012 recall effort.
James O'Keefe's latest video involving Battleground Texas would appear to demonstrate that many in the left assume conservatives routinely engage in illegal campaign activity because, well, the left routinely engages in illegal campaign activity. Watch Project Veritas's latest video after the jump, and ask yourself whether the illegal use of voter information O'Keefe exposes would be ignored by the press if a conservative or Republican organization were engaging in it:
With less than a year left in her fourth and final term in Congress, it's a little early for an exit interview, but not too early to get the views of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on issues dear to a "founding mother" of the Tea Party movement and on how to beat Hillary Clinton in 2016, if the Democrat decides to run.
Bachmann remains confident and resolute despite many political setbacks. We met in her office while much of Congress was fleeing the Capitol Building ahead of a major storm that eventually dumped a foot of snow on Washington. The snow was a big deal to residents of the nation's capital, but little more than flurries to a Minnesotan like Bachmann.
At MSNBC what’s worse than being a conservative member of Congress? Being a black Republican member of Congress.
That seemed to be the sentiment on February 18 when MSNBC host Craig Melvin asked former Obama official Anton Gunn whether or not Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) would “come with an asterisk” next to his name if he wins election to a full-term in the Senate this November. [See video below.]
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told host David Gregory that former President Bill Clinton had "embarrassed the nation" while in office. However, of the three network morning shows on Monday, only CBS This Morning mentioned the political headline. ABC's Good Morning America ignored it and even NBC's Today skipped the scoop from it's own network. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
As we've documented time and again, MSNBC.com’s Zachary Roth is obsessed with defending the ballot box from his favorite villain: the GOP. His February 18 item may have taken the cake for fear-mongering and outright peddling of liberal talking points.
Roth penned a nearly 1500-word piece in which he threw together examples from the 1800s and 1900s where certain segments of the population were excluded from voting -- by Democrats, of course -- as evidence of the “conservative case to limit voting.”
George Stephanopoulos, a former operative to Bill Clinton turned journalist, had one question he wanted to ask actor Kevin Spacey about his diabolical character from the political TV series House of Cards: "What would Frank Underwood's advice be to Hillary Clinton on whether to run for president?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Spacey, appearing on Tuesday's Good Morning America to promote the new season of his Netflix series, adopted a Bill Clinton impersonation and joked, "Oh, run." He continued, "Sorry, I did that as Bill. 'Run, baby, run.'" Showing up on the Today show in 2012 to promote season one of House of Cards, Spacey compared fiction to real life, smearing Mitt Romney was a "murderous politician."
NOTE: Go to the end of this post to see my reaction to an email NB received from OpenSecrets.org.
The web site OpenSecrets.org has done a great deal of useful work. Especially helpful are its lists of high-dollar political campaign donor organizations.
The web site's 1989-2014 and 2012-specific lists, to name just two, demonstrate that the hyperventilating on the left and in the establishment press about the eeeevil Koch Brothers is completely out of line:
In near identical fashion to their treatment of abortion-activist Sandra Fluke, MSNBC has been running the unofficial political campaign for Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis. During her failed filibuster of new abortion laws in Texas, MSNBC helped propel Ms. Davis into the national spotlight, with host Chris Hayes going so far as to claim that her campaign is a “matter of life of death for many Texans.”
On the February 17 Morning Joe, the entire panel, sans conservative co-host Joe Scarborough, continued with the Wendy Davis love-fest before ultimately conceding that the liberal Democrat will likely not become the next governor of Texas.
MSNBC’s Alex Witt is clearly one of those journalists who wishes Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky sex scandal would completely fade from memory so as not to obstruct Hillary Clinton’s potential bid for the White House in 2016. On Sunday’s edition of Weekends with Alex Witt, the host went so far as to apologize after her guest mentioned Lewinsky’s name. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Witt was talking to Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) about Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) attempts to link Mrs. Clinton to her husband’s sexual misdeeds in the 1990s. Cicilline, a loyal Democrat, stuck up for Hillary and downplayed the importance of the scandal: