The Establishment Media hailed the study's lead "finding" -- 935 false statements by Bush Administration officials in the two-year period leading up to the launch of the War. The Associated Press, CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post and -- of course -- the New York Times were all exhilarated to once again climb aboard the "Bush Lied - People Died" Express.
Yesterday, the Obama campaign put out an email from John Kerry condemning the "Swiftboating" of Barack. Today it's Michelle Obama's turn, and the candidate's wife has come out swinging. Here's the text of an email from Michelle Obama just received from the Obama campaign [emphasis added]:
In the past week or two, another candidate's spouse has been getting an awful lot of attention.
We knew getting into this race that Barack would be competing with Senator Clinton and President Clinton at the same time.
We expected that Bill Clinton would tout his record from the nineties and talk about Hillary's role in his past success. That's a fair approach and a challenge we are prepared to face.
What we didn't expect, at least not from our fellow Democrats, are the win-at-all-costs tactics we've seen recently. We didn't expect misleading accusations that willfully distort Barack's record.
A woman has the hots for former President Bill Clinton, "The View’s" Joy Behar. Discussing the former president’s recent confrontation with a CNN reporter, Behar announced she still has "the hots for the guy" and "women respond" to a man notorious for sexual indiscretions.
Sherri Shepherd and right of center co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck added Bill Clinton is "very charming" and "extremely charismatic." Whoopi Goldberg told the story of her mother’s star struck meeting adding Clinton has "got it" "that just grabs somebody."
"Good Morning America" correspondent John Berman filed a snide report on Thursday's show that mocked the "not-so-big time," occasionally C-list, celebrities backing Republican presidential candidates. Berman framed the segment as a "bizarro awards show" (see picture at right) and it played out like a bad "Saturday Night live" sketch. The ABC correspondent sarcastically mused, "Best portly retiree with a big mustache? Backing John McCain, Wilford Brimley."
Clearly, Berman's point was that the "cool kids" are behind the Democrats. Of another nominee, he added, "Best estranged relative of Angelina Jolie? The winner? Jon Voight, backing Rudy Giuliani." Mentioning Chuck Norris's support for Mike Huckabee and the action star's explanation of why he didn't choose McCain, Berman derided, "[Norris] also prevailed in the category of most creative math skills, trying to say John McCain is old."
It's quite a sight to behold when media "has-beens" start drinking the doom and gloom Kool-Aid offered up in the media.
Sam Donaldson, who covered the Reagan White House for ABC and who now is a contributor to the network's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," last night told a gathering in Georgetown that the U.S. economy is going "in the dumper" and criticized the Democratic presidential candidates for not capitalizing on it.
As long as we’re in the habit of wondering about those "nonpartisan" groups being touted by reporters, what about AP reporter Deborah Hastings writing about the fight over voter fraud and requiring voters to show some form of ID? As the Supreme Court considers an Indiana law, touted as the strictest law in requiring a photo ID, Hastings writes "If the law is upheld, voting rights advocates fear it will encourage conservative lawmakers across the country to enact equally restrictive measures."
Hastings repeatedly suggests the battle is between conservatives and nonpartisans. The prospect of the Supreme Court upholding Indiana "worries voters’ rights groups." Such as?
"If it's upheld, we're certainly concerned that these same issues will resurface" in other states, said Justin Levitt of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University....
Time online editor Ana Marie Cox apparently believes a dated quip by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should be considered a "macaca moment." During a Florida event on Monday, Romney, joking with a group of young people, quoted a rather lame song by the Baha Men. After asking who had a camera, he blurted, "Who let the dogs out? Who? Who?"
Now, most people would simply smile or appreciate Romney's friendly, if somewhat dorky, sense of humor. Cox, however, at Time's "Swampland" blog, wondered, "Shouldn't it be a 'macaca moment'? I suspect he's not being pilloried for it because the moment [sic] less offensive than it is cringe-inducing..." She also described the candidate's comments, which occurred at a Martin Luther King day event, as "jive talking." (Hat tip to Hot Air, who also remembered that Cox previously went after Romney for not taking proper care of the family dog.) Is Time's online editor simply looking for a scandal, any scandal, to hit Mitt Romney with?
"I like how you think, senator," cooed "Late Show" host David Letterman in agreement with John Edwards's charge that "most of what" Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly says "is crap."
Letterman had asked the former senator about his "feud" with O'Reilly over Edwards's charge that the Bush administration is failing to care for military veterans to the extent that hundreds of thousands are winding up homeless.
The exchange came in a jovial January 22 interview in which Edwards joked about having Letterman as his running mate, or at the very least as a celebrity endorser a la Oprah Winfrey.
"Good Morning America" co-host Diane Sawyer used an interview with Senator Barack Obama on Wednesday to repeatedly plead for a truce between the Democratic presidential contender and his chief opponent, Hillary Clinton. Discussing the verbal battle that took place during Monday's debate, Sawyer implored, "We have heard a lot of people say they are exhausted by this charge, counter charge."
Later in the segment, the GMA co-host reiterated the need for calm, saying, "So, is this done? Is it a truce for future debates? No more of that kind of back and forth?" Clearly, a contentious conflict between the two liberal heavyweights bothered Sawyer. (This is, it should be restated, the same show that in early 2007 featured a reporter sizing up the Obama/Clinton battle as one between the Illinois senator's "fluid poetry" and the former first lady's "hot factor.") She closed the segment by, yet again, repeating the same question. After Obama speculated that further debates would relate to issues and not personal attacks, the ABC journalist hopefully queried, "Sounds as if you're really declaring a truce this morning. Different tone?"
In an usually tough interview with Barack Obama on Wednesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith asked the Illinois Senator about a financial scandal involving Tony Rezko, that Hillary Clinton brought up during Monday’s Democratic debate on CNN: "This is a guy that's facing federal charges of fraud and influence peddling next month. What is your real relationship with Tony Rezko?"
While such tough questioning of presidential candidates is certainly appropriate, one wonders why Harry Smith never asked Hillary Clinton about her involvement with convicted felon, Norman Hsu, who made significant financial contributions to the Clinton campaign. On September 18 of last year, while Clinton was asked about the Hsu scandal by co-host Matt Lauer on NBC’s "Today," Smith was busy touting her health care plan on CBS, ignoring Hsu completely:
In a post to his Change of Subject blog, Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn practically pressed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to go further than just stopping short of calling former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) liars:
Why stop short? The Clintons are lying about Obama's remarks on Reagan
(Barack) Obama stopped just short of calling (Hillary) Clinton and her husband liars... from the Swamp's live blog of last night's Democratic debate.
Hmm. I see no reason to stop short. Bill and Hillary Clinton have lied brazenly about Obama's recent statement about Ronald Reagan.
Zorn then turned to comments from both Clintons and an extended transcript of Obama's remarks to give readers a full and fair context for those remarks. Zorn got to the heart of the matter by concluding that the Clintons are hoping to tap residual left-wing hatred of Reagan even though they should and likely do know that the Gipper's political prowess offers lessons for Democrats, even if they lay asunder his policy goals (emphasis mine):
Tom Brokaw says his most conservative friend has told him he might vote for Hillary Clinton. I for one believe the former NBC News anchor. Hillary supporters might indeed constitute the rightmost fringe of his friend set.
Whoopi Goldberg has proven to be no Rosie O’Donnell. While Rosie’s successor on "The View" does lean to the left, she has taken some conservative positions like attacking the death tax. The January 22 edition was another example.
Discussing a recent CNN story on black women torn between Obama and Clinton, Whoopi felt "pissed off" that the media would simplify individuals to voting their gender or race. Elisabeth Hasselbeck agreed questioning if this story "undermines the intelligence of the individual" adding "it’s pretty ridiculous." Sherri Shepherd joined the consensus opining "a lot of black women are very angry" adding she wants "the best person who’s going to lead the country."
Predictably, Joy Behar dissented adding "all things being equal" she would vote for the woman over the man. Hasselbeck continued that she just sees "the individual."
On Sunday’s edition of the Chris Matthews Show (syndicated by NBC), Time managing editor Richard Stengel applied the usual superlatives to Bill Clinton, in describing how he will overshadow any mere Vice President if Hillary is elected: "But the other thing that’s going to be hard is, if you have Michael Jordan on your team, i.e., Bill Clinton when it's a troubled game, aren't you going to call him and say, ‘Let's play?’ If you're the Vice President, you're completely eclipsed by him."
This Michael Jordan encomium means more coming from Stengel, who played some college B-ball for Princeton.
Stengel also felt the 2008 race was shaping up like Bill’s win in 1992, on the heels of a "Bush recession." Chris Matthews previewed that chat: "When we come back, Republicans already have an unpopular war to run on. Now it looks like a recession. Are they bound to lose in November?"
Not that there was much doubt, but let's make it official: MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski is firmly in the Obama camp. The capper came during today's opening segment of Morning Joe. After Chris Matthews offered a plausible explanation for Obama's "present" votes in the Illinois senate, David Shuster used an apt metaphor to describe Barack's less-than-trenchant rhetorical style.
DAVID SHUSTER: It's in Barack Obama's interest to say it as sharply as you [Matthews] just did, and his inability to sort of navigate in these debates, like the giant aircraft carrier trying to make a turn. If he could make the point as simply as you just did he would be fine but the way he's trying to explain and defend everything, it's like a guy who skis down a hill who makes these wide, swooping turns, and after awhile, you know, that's not, you don't get down very fast that way.
That's when Mika made her allegiance unmistakable.
The first story discusses the three Democratic candidates - Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards - and their appearances at various black churches on Sunday. Each candidate makes determined efforts to woo the African-American vote, while mentioning Dr. King.
The second story discusses the three Democratic candidates again, and how they chose to honor Dr. King today at various memorial services.
The three rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination stood together on the steps of the state capitol here on Monday in a brief display of political unity as they remembered the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
So were the Republican presidential candidates even aware of today's holiday honoring Dr. King?
On Sunday’s "Face the Nation," host Bob Schieffer talked to Roger Simon from The Politico about the Republican race and Simon exclaimed that "The old Ronald Reagan coalition of fiscal conservatives, foreign policy conservatives, and social conservatives has shattered." Simon also observed that, "McCain is on his way to proving that he is the least unacceptable Republican...And that even though certain factions of the party may have difficulty with McCain-Feingold or his stand on immigration, he is the most electable Republican in November."
On the topic of McCain’s immigration stance, Schieffer pointed out, "You know, something a lot of people forget that McCain's immigration policy actually plays well in Florida." Simon agreed:
I think that's very important for McCain in Florida. Florida has a large number of Cuban-Americans who vote in Republican primaries. And even though Cubans are not affected by comprehensive immigration reform they have a separate law covering them, they are sympathetic to other Latinos facing the problem of earning their way to citizenship and coming to this country. And they don't view what John McCain did in trying to pass comprehensive immigration reform as selling out the Republican Party. They see it as courageous and John McCain is going to get some benefit from that, I believe.
On Monday’s CBS "Early Show," while co-host Harry Smith and political analyst Jeff Greenfield discussed both Hillary Clinton’s win in the Democratic Nevada caucus and John McCain’s win in the Republican South Carolina primary on Saturday, they failed to mention that Mitt Romney had won the Republican Nevada Caucus in a blowout. This just days after Smith interviewed Romney, when the former Massachusetts Governor discussed his expectation of a win in Nevada.
During the January 16 interview, Smith asked Romney about the future of the campaign:
SMITH: Here's one of the questions of the hour, three biggest contests, three different winners on the Republican side. Some people are suggesting that means the Republican party as a whole isn't sure what they want.
ROMNEY: That's very possible. I'm pleased that I have done well here in Michigan. I'm also happy I got Wyoming and got the gold there and, of course, we've got a couple coming up real shortly now. Nevada, which has the most Republican delegates, and I'm going to fight hard there. Also, South Carolina. I think John McCain is way in the lead there, but we'll give him a run for his money, and then comes Florida. I think one of the big surprises is that someone like Mayor Giuliani, who was leading in all these states, either number one or number two, really hasn't been able to hold on to that lead in any way.
Half a decade after observing the fifth anniversary of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, "Good Morning America" correspondent Claire Shipman filed a report on Monday's show that commemorated ten years since the event. Shipman used the January 21 piece to take a swipe at Lewinsky-gate figure Linda Tripp, snidely labeling her "that questionable, tape-recording friend" and pointing out that she "has remade her face and her life." After observing that Tripp has since opened a store selling Christmas trinkets in Virginia, Shipman mused, "Atonement? Simply irony? Who knows?"
During the fifth anniversary segment, on January 16, 2003, this same GMA reporter appeared dismissive of the Lewinsky scandal. She claimed, perhaps hopefully, "It may be, especially in this newly-sobered world, that the Lewinsky episode, as riveting as it seemed at the time, will have little lasting impact, will be little more than a memorable footnote in our political life." A similar tone pervaded Shipman's report on Monday when she described the event as the "national political episode that a decade later, and in a post-September 11th, Iraq-dominated world, seems surreal."
On Monday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith talked to two liberal politicians, the black Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, and black mayor of Washington D.C., Adrian Fenty, about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and asked Fenty:
You know, if we look at this statistically, it's not a particularly bright picture. I want to just put up a couple of statistics very quickly here. The frequency blacks feel discrimination in America. So high. Applying for jobs, renting or buying a house, dining out or shopping. This is a pretty bleak picture. Mayor Fenty, is this -- is this the America we live in?
This is not the first time Smith has seen America as a racist country, as he did in the wake of the Jena 6 controversy. One wonders where prominent conservative black leaders were for this segment, like former Maryland Lieutenant Governor, Michael Steele. Also, not even Smith’s liberal guests were willing to go as far as Smith. Fenty replied to Smith in a way beyond any particular race:
On Tuesday's Lou Dobbs Tonight, which was repeated on Sunday, CNN host Dobbs chided the media for not including illegal immigration in exit polls of Democratic voters simply because Democratic candidates have avoided discussing the issue to prevent, according to Bill Schneider, "stirring up a lot of passion," and relayed that he had pressured CNN into including the issue in other polling two years ago. Dobbs: "Would it surprise you if I were to tell you right here in front of God and everybody I had to convince CNN a couple of years ago to include illegal immigration in a poll because we didn't even in this organization believe it was an important issue, some of us didn't?" He even got Schneider to agree with his contention that the media's "complicity with that motive" of the Democratic candidates in ignoring the issue should "bring a sense of shame to these [media] organizations." (Transcript follows)
Did Hillary Clinton really claim to be "blessed" and "grateful" to have a "passionate" husband? Yes.
Freudian slip or part of a calculated strategy to curry the women's vote by reminding people of the indignities she's suffered at the hands of her wayward spouse? In any case, Hillary deployed the intriguing double-entendre to defend Bill's recent attacks on Barack Obama.
Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw dismissed Rush Limbaugh as wrong-headed on Sunday’s Meet the Press. Not only did Brokaw pound the narrative that Reaganism is dead or dying within the Republican party, with a "nomadic herd" of voters "rejecting dogma," but he said Limbaugh trying to debate which candidate is truly conservative "is not going to help the Republican party." As if Tom Brokaw was really interested in that goal. He said the country is "hungry for solutions," as if "solutions" and "conservatism" were antonyms.
Brokaw tried to claim the "nomadic" search for the non-dogmatic is "going on in the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party." Where on Earth would he get evidence for that? As Clinton, Obama, and Edwards all lurch left to secure the MoveOn/Daily Kos vote, they’re rejecting "dogma"? Here’s the exchange from a pundit’s-roundtable segment of the NBC Sunday chatfest:
Chicago Tribune Washington bureau Economics Correspondent and The Swamp blogger Frank James took inspiration from some recent comments from Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), although liberals are likely to not be fond of the result.
James posted a photo (pictured at right) of President Ronald Reagan signing a 1983 law designating the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday:
Given the New Hampshire comments by Sen. Hillary Clinton about it taking a president to make dreams a legislative reality, for which she was excoriated by some of Sen. Barack Obama's supporters, and Obama's Nevada comments about Reagan being a transformational president, for which he was castigated by Sen. Clinton, her husband former President Bill Clinton and others, this seemed like an appropriate photo to run today.
Reagan Presidential Library photo via Chicago Tribune.
Battered by Bill Clinton, Barack Obama might be up against the ropes, but he can count on having Good Morning America in his corner to apply a refreshing sponge and send him back into the ring. Check out Robin Roberts's softballs to the Illinois senator this morning, followed by even more surprising comment -- and body language -- from George Stephanopoulos.
Mike Huckabee’s declaration that we need to amend the Constitution to be in line with God’s standards easily drives secular liberals into a frenzy. On CNN’s Late Edition on Sunday, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called that statement in conflict with "all of American constitutional history." Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria was more blunt: "It frankly made him sound more like Ahmadinejad of Iran."
MIKE HUCKABEE: But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do, is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards, rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.
WOLF BLITZER: He wants constitutional amendments, just to be precise, that would ban abortion and same-sex marriage.
The weekend of January 19 - 20 might go down as the moment in history when the liberal media collectively told former President Bill Clinton to shut up.
Possibly the best example occurred on "The Chris Matthews Show" Sunday when Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution actually stated, "Sometimes I think that Bill Clinton ought to be put in the Nutty Old Geezer Club along with Andrew Young for some of the dumb things he's said lately."
For those that have forgotten, Young is the former Atlanta mayor that recently stated, "Bill [Clinton] is every bit as black as Barack [Obama]...He's probably gone with more black women than Barack."
This statement by Tucker followed other such incidents, including, as NewsBusters reported, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter publishing an article Saturday expressing grave concern that the former president's recent antics were harming Hillary's campaign. Hours later, the panel on ABC's "This Week" shared similar misgivings regarding Clinton's recent "temper tantrums."
Wonderfully, exiling the former president to the Nutty Old Geezer Club was just the beginning of the Bill bashing on Sunday's "Matthews" program:
It has become infinitely clear that America's media are deeply concerned former President Bill Clinton's recent antics on the campaign trail threaten Hillary's chances of winning the White House.
Not only was this subject addressed at length on the Sunday political talk shows, but also Newsweek's senior editor Jonathan Alter wrote an article Saturday amazingly titled "Leading Democrats To Bill Clinton: Pipe Down."
While you check that link to verify my veracity - believe me, I won't be offended! - Alter began (emphasis added throughout):
A truly extraordinary thing happened Sunday morning on ABC's "This Week": the panel and the host seemed to agree that former President Bill Clinton's antics on the campaign trail are hurting Hillary's chances of winning the Democrat presidential nomination.
Maybe even more surprising, the editor of the ultra-leftwing publication "The Nation," Katrina vanden Heuvel, quoted someone close to the Clinton campaign as having said, "People are looking at him like a little league dad who's having these temper tantrums in every state."
Making matters worse, George Will referred to the former president as "an Olympic-class whiner," while host George Stephanopoulos said, "Some people are concerned about this, even inside the Party," and fretted, "I have no indication at all though that President Clinton's going to stop."
I kid you not.
Without further ado, and for your entertainment pleasure, here's a partial transcript of this truly delicious panel segment (video available here, relevant section begins at minute 7:25):
About a week ago, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown suggested in a UK Telegraph column that allowing hospitals to harvest organs from dead patients without their prior consent or their families' post-mortem consent might be a good idea.
Mr. Brown's occasion for bringing up the topic was telling, and perhaps explains why Brown's proposal got very little coverage in the US:
This year will be the 60th anniversary of the National Health Service: a year to celebrate and thank all the staff who run our hospitals, clinics and GP practices; but also a year in which to renew the NHS for the 21st century, because I believe that only by renewal can we make the NHS even more relevant for future decades than it has been in the past.
..... we may need to do more to encourage more of us to donate (organs. In Britain we have 14.9 million people on the organ donor register - which is around 24 per cent of the population. In terms of actual donors (not just people willing to give, but those whose organs are actually used) we have a rate of about 13 donors per million in our population. This compares with about 22 per million in France, 25 per million in America and around 35 per million in Spain - the best in the world.
That is why I want to start a debate in this country about whether we should take steps to move towards a new system designed to enable far more of us to benefit from transplant surgery - one that better reflects survey findings that around 90 per cent of us are in favour of organ donation.