NBC's "Saturday Night Live" responded to criticism over two skits from its February 23 program that gave the appearance the show was supporting Hillary Clinton's campaign for president by giving the junior senator from New York her own "Editorial Response" in the most recent installment.
To make it clear the show isn't in the tank for Barack Obama's opponent, the real Hillary Clinton was allowed to address the nation rather than "SNL" actress Amy Poehler.
That should settle once and for all the questions about which candidate "SNL" is endorsing.
Hillary's editorial response immediately followed the opening sketch which, once again, was a lampoon of a recent debate between Clinton and Obama:
Brit Hume has some blunt advice for conservatives: lay off McCain if you don't want a Dem president.
At the very end of today's Fox News Sunday panel segment, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol was first to make an argument along similar lines.
BILL KRISTOL: I'm more conservative than John McCain but I think it would be a mistake for him to just make himself into an orthodox conservative in this election. The reason he is a stronger candidate than a lot of other Republicans would be is that he is a little bit heterodox. He's got his own views, he shouldn't back off on that, I think, actually.
Hume then framed the issue in dramatic terms:
BRIT HUME: And if the conservatives don't want a President Obama or a President Clinton, they ought to get off McCain's back and let him campaign as whatever he wants to, and campaign from the center.
The American left claims to hate how Ann Coulter makes a fortune with calculated outrageousness. What will they say about Mark Morford? This San Francisco Chronicle columnist has been skewered by MRC's Culture and Media Institute for mourning how America may be taken over by a new generation of “easily terrified, mindless fundamentalist evangelical Christian lemmings.” He described critics of the atheist movie The Golden Compass as “the creepy clowns in organized religion’s gloomy circus, all scrunched brows and gnarled hands and so much repressed sexuality it would make a porn star wince.”
Of course, he is a Barack Obama fan. Who in the San Francisco elite isn’t?
Daniel Wallis of Reuters reports that Kenyan elders who are hopping mad over the release of the photo of Barack Obama in "traditional Somali attire" and may impose a fine against Hillary Clinton, "payable in cattle, goats, or camels," over the outrage. You can tell it's a Reuters story by this mention in the third paragraph: "Obama has battled a whispering campaign by fringe elements who wrongly say he is Muslim."
Reuters is playing the same Obama '08 game: it's outrageous that Obama would be mistaken for a Muslim, but wow, Muslims really want to demand payment in livestock for anyone who would disparage their beloved Obama. No one is allowed to say anything anti-Obama. Wallis lines up outraged Muslims, foreign and domestic, to denounce Hillary, who, typically, denies authorizing release of the photo, but can't vouch for all of her staff members' activities on their free time. To the Goats and Camels Court:
On Monday, the Drudge Report released a picture of Barack Obama dressed as a Somali elder claiming it had been circulated by "stressed Clinton staffers."
Four days later, on HBO's "Real Time," host Bill Maher strongly implied that the picture had been leaked by conservatives.
Although Obama and his campaign representatives strongly lashed out at Hillary Clinton and her supporters for "shameful offensive fear-mongering," Maher, during his "New Rules" segment Friday, never once mentioned the picture's apparent connection to the former first lady:
"Late Show" viewers must be starting to wonder whether David Letterman hates old people or just John McCain.
Maybe more important, is the host having a hard time hiding his support for Barack Obama?
Take for example Thursday's opening monologue. As the topic changed to the presidential campaign, Letterman focused most of his comedic attacks on the GOP frontrunner and also-ran Ralph Nader while actually not offering one joke about Barack Obama.
For those interested, here was the joke tally from Thursday's monologue:
It's a sad day for conservative Jack Nicholson fans, for the face and voice of such marvelous movie characters like Billy Buddusky, J.J. Gittes, R.P. McMurphy, Jack Torrance, and Garrett Breedlove has actually created a video supporting Hillary Clinton for President:
It certainly is no surprise the stock market's big decline on Friday would be the lead story for evening news programs.
But, citing an economic study from an organization with direct and verifiable ties to Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as simply a "consumer group" while not even mentioning the liberal leaning of the think-tank seemed pretty absurd even for NBC.
Yet, that's what occurred Friday evening as the NBC "Nightly News" began its broadcast:
Videos of these skits began appearing at YouTube almost as soon as they were performed on the East Coast. Apparently for copyright infringement reasons, these unauthorized videos were pulled, sometimes within hours of them being posted.
"Nightline" correspondent Cynthia McFadden filed another fawning profile on "rock star" Hillary Clinton for Thursday's program. The journalist, who has developed a long history of gushing over the former first lady, recited lines that read like Clinton press releases. Discussing the presidential candidate's Ohio campaign, she asserted, "...Clinton relishes the chance to talk concretely about the real problems in real people's lives."
Describing Clinton's appearance at a fast food diner, McFadden enthused, "Clinton is greeted like a rock star by patrons at the Bob Evans restaurant." During the interview, the ABC journalist asked penetrating questions such as inquiring, "So, how are you?" In an attempt to gingerly address Clinton's string of 11 straight primary losses to Senator Barack Obama, McFadden seemed to echo a famous Beatles song. "Can you really let go of yesterday," she queried.
On Friday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith interviewed the Managing Editor of Time Magazine, Richard Stengel, about the publication’s latest cover story on the presidential campaign entitled "How Much Does Experience Matter?," with a clear picture of Barack Obama’s silhouette surrounded by a holy aura of light (see picture). Smith previewed the segment earlier in the show by wondering: "Still ahead, the question of experience dominating the Democratic campaign, does it really matter?"
In the segment that followed, the answer to that question was a resounding ‘no.’ Stengel began by using the anecdotal evidence of Abraham Lincoln to prove that experience does not matter: "I mean, the most famous example, of course, is Abraham Lincoln, who is probably our least experienced president, who was sandwiched between our two most experienced presidents, Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, both of whom were failures."
Stengel went on to defend JFK, claiming the young president was not responsible for the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, but rather that the more experienced, and Republican, Dwight Eisenhower was the reason for the invasion’s failure:
David's [Time writer, David Von Drehle] great piece starts out with John F. Kennedy who came in, the first 100 days, he's tested in the Bay of Pigs. He makes a terrible mistake. He says, man, 'if I'm going to learn something, at least I learned it early.' But then who got them into the Bay of Pigs originally? Dwight Eisenhower, the most experienced president.
The media’s tender loving care of and hypersensitivity in protection of Barack Obama is going to put a real crimp in attempts at Obama humor. The latest survey of late-night jokes from the Center for Media and Public Affairs found 18 Obama jokes, about a fourth of Hillary’s (68) and a tenth of President Bush’s (175). Then there’s Saturday Night Live. Chicago Tribune TV critic Maureen Ryan started whining early in the week that Obama should not be impersonated by a white comedian (Fred Armisen). She huffed: "Obama's candidacy gives us solid proof of the progress that African-Americans have made in this country. I guess SNL still has further to go on that front." A reader poll alongside these complaints asked if Obama should be impersonated by an African-American: 74 percent voted for "Doesn’t matter," and a cranky six percent said "no."
But the media elite seems to be in the minority. Friday’s Washington Post carried a story by Paul Farhi further ginning up the "Fauxbama" controversy. He not only carried Ryan’s demand for a black impersonator, but added the radical-left British newspaper The Guardian, which screamed minstrel show:
While it is currently conventional wisdom in the media that there was no Al-Qaeda presence in Iraq before the 2003 invasion, as evidenced by the media's failure to correct Barack Obama's recent claim that "there was no such thing as Al-Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq," for several years dating back before the Iraq invasion, there have been media reports of former Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's connections to Osama bin Laden, and his use of Iraq as a base to plot terror attacks against other countries before the war. In fact, four years ago, the NBC Nightly News claimed not only that there was an Al-Qaeda presence in Iraq before the invasion, busy plotting attacks against Europe, but that the Bush administration intentionally "passed up several opportunities" to attack terrorist bases in Iraq "long before the war" in 2002 because of fear it would "undercut its case" for overthrowing Saddam Hussein. (Transcripts follow)
It's enough to make Hillary yearn for a tough hit piece about herself . . .
If there's anything worse for a candidate than being attacked by the press, it's being ignored. Yet that is precisely the fate that's befallen Clinton, as per Charles Mahtesian's item in this morning's Politico: Clinton Seeks to Regain Spotlight.
Opening lines [emphasis added]:
There was a time not long ago when Hillary Clinton dominated the discourse in both parties’ presidential contests.
Now, she’s struggling to get her message out and remain part of the campaign conversation . . .
At the top of Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith teased a story on John McCain being born in the Panama Canal zone rather than inside the United States and if it would disqualify him from the presidency: "Born in the USA. John McCain wasn't. Can he still be president?"
The story, which was regurgitated from The New York Times, was presented as a news brief by co-host Russ Mitchell a few minutes later:
Does John McCain's birthplace disqualify him from serving as president? The New York Times raises the issue in a report this morning. McCain is a citizen, but he was born on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal where his father was posted. The Constitution says only a natural-born citizen can serve as president. So far no one born outside the U.S. has served as president.
Thursday's "Good Morning America" featured a group of liberals talking about whether the press favored one liberal over another liberal and several leftist journalists were cited as proof. Specifically, co-host Diane Sawyer continued the program's self flagellation over whether the media is biased in favor of Barack Obama and against Hillary Clinton.
The ABC anchor discussed the issue with Arianna Huffington, editor of the extremely liberal Huffington Post web page. But, in a perfect example of actual bias, the GMA host never mentioned either Ms. Huffington or her site's leftist affiliation. Instead, Sawyer breathlessly worried about the Clinton campaign's charges that the media have been unfair. In an intro, she fretted, "And we turn the tables on ourselves. Have all of us in the media used boxing gloves on Clinton and kid gloves on Obama? Have we been unfair?" Co-host Robin Roberts also teased the segment as a brave example of self examination: "The media. Too tough on Clinton? Not tough enough on Obama? We'll take up that debate."
What follows is coverage of the February 28 presidential news conference. I focused mostly on the questions posited by the media. Video of the most biased questions should be posted shortly thereafter. [Update: White House transcript available here.]
Bottom line: Most of the really biased questions came down on the economy, particularly with regard to gas prices. Other than that and a question by Bill Plante about FISA immunity for telecom companies, most of the questions were fine, although the reporters often tried to draw Bush into handicapping the 2008 presidential contest or commenting on how his policies affect Sen. John McCain's chances:
Not that Time's in the tank for Obama or nuthin'. Not that its new cover merely depicts Barack with an other-worldly aura, asks the question whether experience matters and answers it largely in the negative.
No, it gets much better. The magazine's editor goes on Morning Joe and cites a study comparing a new nurse with a nurse who has 35 years of experience. And he lets us know that not only did the experienced nurse not perform any better than the rookie, she actually wound up . . . killing the patient faster!
Time editor Rick Stengel [a former Bill Bradley speechwriter] today made his regular Thursday-morning Morning Joe appearance to tout the mag's new cover story. This week's, as you'll see from the screencap, is "How Much Does Experience Matter?", with that ethereal glow surrounding Obama's noggin.
The title to this article is exactly how I'd write it if I were a political hack trying to drum up a faux controversy for use by other political hacks in the mainstream media. Which is exactly what Sam Stein of the Huffington Post did on February 12th as he broke out the yellowkid journalistic mold for a fantasy leftist hack attack on John McCain headlined in giant font, McCain Received $100,000 From Firm Of Abramoff Notoriety.
Before I comment further on the idiocy of Stein's assertions it is only fair that I mention that there is nothing in his article that isn't true just as there isn't anything untrue in mine here. Barack Obama did in fact receive over $80,000 from the same firm that Stein tries to hang John McCain with. In addition both John McCain and Barack Obama were eclipsed by the $162,450 amount received by Hillary Clinton from employees of the same jaded firm.
Of all the qualities Hillary might have emphasized to her advantage, can you imagine basing her campaign on her "warmth" and "likability"? Chris Kofinis can. The former communications director of the John Edwards campaign appeared on Tucker Carlson's show this evening.
Kofinis offered his only-slightly premature post mortem of the Clinton campaign.
According to "Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts, Chelsea Clinton is so impressive, she just might be able mount a comeback for her presidential candidate-mother. On Wednesday's program, Roberts gushed over the first daughter and asserted, "[Hillary Clinton is]leaning more and more on Chelsea, who has taken on a new role as Clinton's biggest campaigner and, some say, her last, best hope for a comeback."
GMA reporter Kate Snow, who filed a segment on the topic, has a long history of rhapsodizing over the entire Clinton family. She marveled at Chelsea for being "there with a smile and hug" and also acting as "her mother's fiercest defender." Using fawning language, Snow commented, "Gone is the shy girl with frizzy hair and braces....Now she's spouting policy details, standing her ground against hecklers." It was only slightly more than a month ago that Snow narrated another piece about Chelsea's impressive campaigning. On January 18, she expounded on the "spotlight" shy Clinton. The ABC journalist claimed then, "To be honest, [Chelsea] doesn't like cameras much...She doesn't want to be in the spotlight."
Joy Behar accused conservative radio host Bill Cunningham of wanting "to put out lies" about Barack Obama, yet the "View" co-host struggles with the truth about the Bush administration. The February 27 edition of "The View" discussed Cunningham’s "Barack Hussein Obama" comments and McCain’s subsequent apology.
When Sherri Shepherd claimed to "know fully the intention" of Cunningham’s repetition of Senator Obama’s middle name, Behar added "he knows, he just doesn’t care. He wants to put out the big lies, you know."
"Good Morning America" host Diane Sawyer and ABC's George Stephanopoulos, a former top aide to Bill Clinton, discussed media bias on Wednesday's show. The topic, however, wasn't liberal spin. Instead, Sawyer wondered if "the media is, in general, easier on Barack Obama than they are on [Hillary Clinton]?"
After playing a clip of a February 23 "Saturday Night Live" sketch that mocked reporters for gushing over Senator Obama, Stephanopoulos came to the aid of the wife of his former boss, "I do think, though, Senator Clinton has a point. She's being treated like the front-runner, even though she's... the underdog in this race right now." Of course, while Sawyer and Stephanopoulos worried about unfairness to the former first lady, it should be pointed out, this is the same program that in early 2007 described the Clinton/Obama race as one between "hot factor" and "fluid poetry."
Advice to Camp Clinton: if it's not too late, remove all sharp objects before viewing the tape of this morning's Early Show. The CBS program served up a thorough trashing of Hillary's debate performance, capped by the unkindest cut of all from a Dem/MSM perspective: analogizing Hillary to Bill Cunningham, whose tough talk about Barack Obama in introducing John McCain yesterday prompted the Arizona senator to disassociate himself from the conservative radio talk show host.
CBS White House correspondent kicked off the avalanche of bad press for Hillary by offering this debate review:
JIM AXELROD: Clinton tried new ways to knock him off stride . . . But Obama seemed to slip nearly every thing she threw at him . . . Obama had the easier job than Clinton. All he had to do was avoid a major gaffe. And it what may very well be the last debate of this campaign, heseemed to handle that job breaking very little sweat.
For years, NewsBusters and the Business and Media Institute have informed readers about how the press, since George W. Bush was first elected, have tried to create a self-fulfilling prophecy by misrepresenting economic data in as negative a way as possible.
This is likely the cause of the public's continued pessimism about economic conditions even as the economy has expanded for 25 consecutive quarters.
On Tuesday, in an interview on CNBC, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune owner Sam Zell took this thinking a little further when he suggested to "Squawk Box" anchor Becky Quick that many of the economic problems facing the country today are caused by fear-mongering and politicking by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Standard-free journalism on parade all day on NBC's Sunday
Forgotten But Not GoneIt was another do-as-we-say, not-as-we-do day for the National Broadcast Company this past Sabbath.
Over the weekend NBC offered up their latest versions of Tim Russert's Meet the Press and the Chris Matthews Show -- the latter being political television's answer to Jerry Springer. In them we were treated to two more glittering examples of all that is wrong with the Jurassic Press.
That being the woeful lack of journalistic ethics demonstrated by those at the heights of the media mountain, and the utter shamelessness they and their colleagues exhibit upon their being outed as amoral hacks.
Not only does it represent the epitome of good-natured cool, it comes in stark contrast to the patented glare that Hillary aims at those who draw her ire. We've often illustrated the death-ray genre here at NB; you'll find a representative image after the jump from last night's debate.
Obama's gesture speaks largely for itself, but let's don our amateur body-language expert hat:
Tuesday night's Democratic debate brought an unexpected political analogy to mind: Hillary Clinton has become Bob Dole.
That point became eminently clear in the debate multiple times but especially during her attempt to rebuke NBC debate moderators Tim Russert and Brian Williams by evoking a recent "Saturday Night Live" episode which accused the press of being "in the tank" for Barack Obama.
"In the last several debates I seem to get the first question all the time," Clinton said. "I don't mind. I'll be happy to field it. I just find it curious if anybody saw 'Saturday Night Live,' maybe we should ask Barack if he's comfortable and needs another pillow."
Those remarks, while slightly better phrased, are strikingly similar to Bob Dole's "where is the outrage" lament while running against Bill Clinton in 1996. Both candidates:
"The New York Times is not a supermarket tabloid," boasted their Washington Bureau Chief R.W. Apple when Gennifer Flowers first declared in 1992 that she and Gov. Bill Clinton had an affair. Even then, the line sounded laughable.
One year before, then-Times reporter Maureen Dowd penned a 2400-word front-page stink bomb passing along discredited gossip author Kitty Kelley’s unproven charges of something apparently too glorious to fact-check: an alleged long-time affair between Nancy Reagan and Frank Sinatra, including private "luncheons" that went on all afternoon at the White House.