On Wednesday, CNN's Carol Costello spent more time on a GOP Senate candidate's remarks on abortion than she did on a new bombshell report on the Libya attacks. Costello devoted just over 12 minutes to Libya, versus 13 and a half minutes to Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's comments, and his endorsement by Mitt Romney. Costello anchors the 9 and 10 a.m. hours of CNN Newsroom.
Mourdock affirmed his faith-based views against abortion in cases of rape, stating "life is a gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen." Costello said those words "erupted online and re-energized the so-called war on women."
In a continued effort to tag Mitt Romney with a flip-flopper label, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed that Romney's performance in the final presidential debate "seemed to be a move to the center" on foreign policy issues and asserted that the Governor was "taking positions he has not taken before."
In the report that followed, correspondent Andrea Mitchell declared: "Mitt Romney's switch to a more moderate foreign policy last night was clearly aimed at independent women voters.... Clearly having decided that undecided voters, those swing voters, are more likely to choose a moderate Republican than a hawk."
PolitiFact has received a fair share of criticism from conservatives for their spin-heavy fact-checks. The liberal media, for the most part, has accordingly been dismissive of such conservative complaints. But now even The Daily Beast/Newsweek is joining in on the criticism, with contributor Megan McArdle joining conservatives in noting the fact-checker repeated repetition of a falsehood regarding the Lilly Ledbetter Supreme Court case.
**UPDATE** At 2:30 p.m. EDT, MSNBC mentioned the damaging emails for the first time, coupling it with breaking news of an arrest in the attack on our Libyan consulate.
Following in the footsteps of its sister broadcast network, MSNBC has continued to ignore the shocking revelation that the White House knew on September 11 that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was under a well-coordinated terrorist attack.
As NewsBusters’ Matthew Balan noted, NBC's Today was the only broadcast network morning show this to ignore the story altogether, with MSNBC following suit by remaining silent as well throughout the day. In contrast, both Fox News and CNN have run numerous stories Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday evening, CBS broke wide open a story on State Department e-mails showing the White House knew on September 11 that the consulate in Benghazi was subjected to a terrorist attack, and that terrorists took credit on Facebook and Twitter. But by Wednesday, the three network morning shows weren't leaping to follow up. ABC and CBS combined devoted just over a minute to the story, while NBC completely ignored it.
By contrast, all three newscasts showed that they were more interested in helping the Democrats in Indiana, aggressively spotlighting Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's faith-based affirmation that he did not support abortion even in the case of rape, that even those are children "God intended." Mourdock's "controversial comments" drew more than seven and a half minutes of coverage.
All three morning shows on Wednesday touted White House talking points linking Mitt Romney to a Republican Senate candidate in Indiana who, while speaking about "the horrible situation of rape," called life a "gift from God." Only one program, CBS This Morning, seemed to notice how closely this story mirrored Democratic spin.
As though he was referencing a connection to a criminal, former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos intoned, "Mitt Romney catching some flak for his ties to a GOP Senate candidate making controversial comments about abortion and rape in a Tuesday debate." Trying to make trouble, reporter David Muir asserted that the GOP campaign is "trying to distance itself from a Senate candidate that Romney endorsed, did a TV ad for." Muir needled, "The [Romney] campaign did not say whether it would ask [Richard] Mourdock to take down this ad." CBS's Norah O'Donnell speculated that the remark could cost Republicans a shot at "control of the Senate." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie brought on liberal MSNBC host Krystal Ball and radio host Michael Smerconish to discuss campaign strategy in the final two weeks before the presidential election, with the headline on-screen claiming: "Left vs. Right on Final Race for the White House."
There's one problem with that assertion, Smerconish prominently supported President Obama in 2008 and has routinely filled in for left-wing Hardball host Chris Matthews on MSNBC in the years since. Apparently having someone on the left like Ball and someone center-left like Smerconish is NBC's idea of balance.
Is Soledad O'Brien working for the DSCC? She distorted a pro-life statement from Senate candidate Richard Mourdock by including it with the Todd Akin controversy in a critical "Get Real" segment on Wednesday's Starting Point. She also tied Romney to Mourdock by noting he previously backed the candidate.
"Our 'Get Real' this morning, I think it's a really interesting question about a lack of sensitivity toward a victim of rape," O'Brien began. "Big implications politically, of course, Dana, for this," she hyped later. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
You know Obama supporters are getting desperate about their candidate’s electoral prospects when they start to play the anti-Mormon card.
In an October 23 opinion piece in the Washington Post, Barbara Reynolds launched a broadside against Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith, arguing that he has become the “face of Mormonism” in America and complaining “I find it strange that the media are not opening up a dialogue concerning Romney and his faith.”
The president may have stepped in it with his glib, dismissive "horses and bayonets" crack in Monday's debate, but Laura Vozzella is determined to provide cover fire from her foxhole at the Washington Post.
"Navy country not riled by Obama 'bayonets' jab," blared the Metro section headline to Vozzella's October 24 story. "As Republicans criticize debate barb, folks in southeast Va. shrug it off," added the subheader. In fact, Vozzella insisted, "it seemed to hardly make a ripple in Hampton Roads," an area in southeastern Virginia with a large military and shipbuilding presence.
With less than two weeks before the November election, it appears as though the media have found their newest manufactured controversy to smear Mitt Romney and other Republicans running for elected office.
Following comments made by Richard Mourdock, Republican candidate for Senate in Indiana, NBC News’ Luke Russert disgustingly tried to twist Mourdock’s comments and tie them to the Romney campaign. [See video below break. MP3 audio here.]
Talk about wearing your politics on your sleeve. An elitist clique of fashion designers has banded together to raise money for celebrity-in-chief Barack Obama and browbeat their customers into supporting him. Even worse, the Beautiful People who dress the Powerful People are putting increased pressure on conservatives to stay out of the business altogether.
Some serious fur flew on the Morning Joe set today, as Joe Scarborough clashed with David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker. Setting Scarborough off was the magazine's endorsement of Barack Obama that lauded the president for relieving the "national shame inflicted by the Bush administration."
Scarborough saracastically asked Remnick "who got paid the bonus for being able to squeeze in, quote, 'the shame of the Bush years?'" Scarborough went on to scald Remnick for the left's hypocrisy in giving President Obama a pass for pursuing many of the same policies that it had accused Bush-Cheney of undermining the Constitution for establishing. Remnick feigned ignorance of what Scarborough meant by "the left," and accused Joe of having "within two seconds, leapt down my throat" about the endorsement. View the video after the jump.
Tuesday’s Washington Post honored lesbian comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres for“A comic’s courage” to come out of the closet. So did the Kennedy Center people who selected her to win the Mark Twain Prize. She did not disappoint the liberals.
On the awards show (taped for PBS), she made a “sly nod toward Mitt Romney’s sentiments” with the joke, “Thank you, PBS. I’m so glad to be part of your final season.” She also told Politico Romney made her “very, very scared” for women for many reasons (on which she apparently didn't have the "courage" to elaborate):
At the Associated Press Tuesday evening, the wire service re-posted verbatim Eileen Sullivan's "Why It Matters" report from October 15. One of that report's core assertions is that It "injected the issue of diplomatic security into the presidential campaign and renewed questions about the quality of U.S. intelligence." At my related NewsBusters post that day, I noted that President Obama and administration had "lots of intelligence within 24 hours of the attack, and that there was no reason to doubt its accuracy."
Reports Tuesday evening from other news sources -- notably not picked up by AP as of 6:45 this morning Eastern Time (the better to possibly keep it from appearing on the morning TV News shows which rely heavily on AP for content) -- indicate that the White House knew that the Benghazi attack was terrorism within minutes of its beginning. Excerpts from Reuters and CBS News follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Although it should have used harsher language in its headline, FactCheck.org, the Annenberg Foundation-funded outfit, has apparently set its leftist bias aside long enough to take shots at an ad narrated by President Barack Obama which claims 5.2 million jobs created and gives all but the most alert viewers the impression that the number represents those created during his entire administration. Perhaps predictably, the item, which was at the top at Yahoo News just a few hours ago, is not on the home page of Yahoo's U.S. home page and is on the verge of falling off at its main page.
Excerpts from Brooks Jackson's writeup follow the jump, including FactCheck's review of claims made at the "learn more" web link mentioned in the ad (bolds are mine):
On Tuesday, liberal stalwart NPR hyped a BBC World Service poll that found that "if the world picked U.S. president, election would be a blowout" for President Obama. Writer Eyder Peralta's item, which was the number-one most-viewed on its website, spotlighted that the poll "taken in 21 countries...found for the most part, foreign countries preferred Obama. The only exception was Pakistan where more people said they preferred Romney."
The BBC poll, conducted between July 3 and September 3, found that the most strongly pro-Obama country, to no one's shock, was France, with 72 percent of respondents supporting the incumbent Democrat. The second highest pro-Obama country was Australia, followed by Kenya, Nigeria, and Canada.
The rampant crony capitalism of the federal government simply can't be ignored anymore, but the media has made a habit out of selectively picking and choosing what it wants to report on with this administration. This latest example may ultimately be ignored and denied too however, because it involves the brother of our current vice president.
According to Charlie Gasparino of Fox Business, a subsidiary of the construction company called Hill International was handpicked last year to oversee the building of at least 100,000 affordable homes in decimated areas of Iraq. When asked why his company was chosen over all the others, company president David Richter didn't beat around the bush. "It really helps to have the brother of the vice president as a partner," he said. [Video of FBN's exclusive coverage below]
Shortly following the conclusion of the final presidential debate Monday night, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams posed this question to Richard Haas of the Council on Foreign Relations: "I noticed a columnist for the New York Times tonight tweeted out that this was an etch-a-sketch moment for Governor Romney....Did you see that kind of movement on his part?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Williams reminded viewers of the origin of the phrase: "It was obviously a knock of the campaign story that came up about changing policy, moving toward the center with an ease of erasing an etch-a-sketch." Haas avoided any validation of the liberal talking point: "I'm almost more comfortable, Brian, leaving the politics to others, about, you know, what Governor Romney was trying to do tonight."
In an article for the NovemberPhiladelphia Style magazine, a cocky Chris Matthews wistfully recounted a considered 2010 run for Senate, bragging at how incredible he would have been: "I'm not dreaming here. I would be one of the stars of the Democratic Party—there aren’t that many."
The liberal MSNBC anchor flirted with, but ultimately decided against, running in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary. Perhaps wondering what might have been, he lamented, "I know this: If I had run and won and beaten [Senator Pat] Toomey, I would be one of the Democrats people talk about today." The Hardball host also took some disgruntled shots at Barack Obama.
At the end of an interview with vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie parroted Democratic attacks on Mitt Romney's foreign policy credentials: "John Kerry said, 'this is the most inexperienced foreign policy ticket to run in decades,' talking about you and Governor Romney. What specific national security experience qualifies Governor Romney to be commander in chief?"
At the top of an interview with Joe Biden only seconds later, fellow co-host Matt Lauer teed up the Vice President to slam Romney on the same issue: "[I] started by asking him if he thought Governor Romney is a qualified candidate when it comes to his vision and understanding of foreign policy." Not surprisingly, Biden declared: "No, he's not."
In their third Presidential debate analysis, the Jurassic Press Media last night and thus far this morning have failed utterly in their role as fact checker and record-corrector - at least when it comes to what President Barack Obama had to say.
As but one glaring example, there were the President’s absurd assertions regarding the auto bailout and China.
Talk about the law of unintended consequences . . . On today's Morning Joe, Willie Geist interviewed an audience member sporting a T-shirt reading "Mika Made Me Republican."
The good-natured fellow explained that his daughter had made the T-shirt for him, that he was an independent who had voted for Perot, and that he watches Morning Joe daily because he likes to hear what the other side has to say. Whatever it was that Mika has been saying, it has apparently driven him into the Romney camp. View the video after the jump.
During his special post-debate Hardball, Chris Matthews's panelists -- with the exception of Republican Michael Steele -- praised moderator Bob Schieffer’s ability to get Romney “to be quiet.” Apparently it’s the job of the moderator to keep the Republican docile during debates in the minds of liberals.
Matthews also liked the format of Monday's debate because it denied Romney from being exhibiting "flagrant disrespect" towards President Obama.
Martha Raddatz boosted President Obama on ABC after the final presidential debate on Monday evening, just as she did during the earlier vice presidential debate that she moderated. Raddatz asserted that Obama "humanized what he was talking about. He talked a lot about the troops; he talked about the survivors from 9/11; he talked about the people in Israel. So if, in fact, he was going towards the female vote, he probably got their attention with that sort of approach." [audio available here; video below the jump]
"We got some big laughs out of the crowd" on President Obama's "horses and bayonets" line, CNN's Soledad O'Brien gushed during a focus-group segment on CNN following shortly after the conclusion of Monday's presidential debate. Yet when she turned to see if a member of the focus group found it influential towards his vote, she was rebuffed.
"Often we in the media talk about moments. Did you think that that was an important moment that would influence your vote in any way?" O'Brien asked one Bob Thwaits (sp?), who replied, "No, not at all. I think that the digs are just part of the game and just a distraction. Takes you away from the facts." O'Brien dusted that off and turned to a female panelist who "rolled [her] eyes a lot" at Gov. Romney saying "I love teachers."
In the post debate commentary of the third – and last – presidential debate on foreign policy, on Monday, Chris Matthews just could not help himself spewing another diatribe about the racial hatred that he insists is ingrained into the soul of America’s conservatives.
In fact, clucked Matthews, they’re so hateful of Obama that they want him out of the White House more than they want al-Qaeda’s complete destruction. Below is the transcript and video of this hyperbolic and unruly episode. (video after the jump)
According to the initial report in The Canadian Press, UN special rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights Ben Emmerson has an urgent message for the American people which essentially adds up to a presidential endorsement for Barack Obama.
A Romney/Ryan administration, Emmerson warned, would use torture on enemy combatants detained at U.S. facilities, and could point to their election as evidence the public approves of torture. Even so, the broadcast networks have failed to pick up on what seems to be an unprecedented attempt by a United Nations official to influence a presidential election.
Going around the rope line at the bottom of his 7 p.m. Eastern edition of Monday's Hardball to ask folks whom they are supporting in the presidential race, Chris Matthews found a young man who said he was backing Romney because, unlike Obama, "he doesn't cover up scandals in the Middle East."
"What was the scandal? Get to it, nail it, what was the scandal?!" Matthews rudely barked at the Romney backer. Upon the young Romney supporter answering that he was referring to Benghazi and the administration's early dogged insistence that the fiasco was the result of a spontaneous demonstration over a YouTube video, Matthews barked back (emphasis mine), "Yeah, it was about the video. Read the newspaper. Thank you. Everybodyknows it's about the video. It's all about the video." [video follows page break]
CNN's Carol Costello agreed with a guest whom she cut off last week in mid-interview after he addressed health risks of homosexual behavior. He claimed her tactic was the "gay Gestapo" "in action."
"Well, Mr. Fischer if that's the definition of the 'gay Gestapo,' then I'm a proud card-carrying member," Costello professed on Monday morning. She had defended "Mix It Up at Lunch Day" against claims from her guest, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, that it promoted homosexuality. [Video below the break. Audio here.]