Over at The Huffington Post, blogger Dana Kennedy -- a former entertainment reporter for ABC, Fox News, and MSNBC -- asks a common question: "What if Bill Secretly Wants Hillary to Lose?" She claims she's been rooting for Hillary to win, but sadly, Bill is the star and Hillary is the "brainy plain Jane" who's been wronged by Bill's lack of discipline:
People hate Hillary so much that it's easy to chalk up their marriage as a codependence-fest. Certainly nobody was a bigger enabler than Hillary. I always hoped it wasn't proof she wasn't a total chump, but because she saw the big picture: herself as president.
But I have a vivid memory of a 15-minute interview I had with Hillary when I was covering her for the AP during the 1992 Democratic Convention in New York.
We were alone together in the back of a van going to the next stop. My impression of her was tough, brittle, super-smart. At the very end of my interview, I asked her about Gennifer Flowers, since that was the Clinton scandal du jour in 1992.
Prior to asking if America is "color-blind" in reference to Barack Obama’s recent success in Iowa, on Monday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith began the show by offering a sympathetic profile of the Illinois Senator:
There is no question that Barack Obama with his big win in Iowa is the candidate of the moment, boldly predicting that if he wins New Hampshire, he will be the next president. So who is this man? And how did he get here?...As I traveled with him, Barack Obama talked to me about the man who played almost no role in his life, yet turns out to be a great influence...Barack Obama Sr. left his wife, Ann Dunham, a white woman from Kansas whom he met at the University of Hawaii, when their son was just 2 years old. A brilliant civil servant from Kenya, Obama Sr. would study at Harvard, but he didn't come back until his son was 10. In his first book, Obama writes of a man whose mere presence controlled a room. 'It fascinated me,' Obama wrote. 'This strange power of his, and for the first time I began to think of my father as something real and immediate, perhaps even permanent.'
Pollster Frank Luntz has some 'splainin' to do writes Michelle Malkin, who has a post with video about one Granite State gentleman who's shown up in more than one Luntz focus group.
New Hampshire's a small state, but c'mon:
Yep. I think Frank Luntz, not any of the campaigns, is the one who needs to answer the questions about who Mr. Undecided is–and how he managed to end up in both focus groups. Transparency about how all of the people in the room ended up there would be wise.
At the top of Monday’s CBS "Early Show," newly appointed co-host, Maggie Rodriguez, teased an upcoming segment on race in politics in the aftermath of Barack Obama’s Iowa victory: "But besides the knock-down, drag-out political fighting in New Hampshire, we're asking the question this morning on everyone's mind, is America finally color-blind?" This just days after the "Early Show" declared that Obama’s success in Iowa meant that "history has been made."
Later in the 8am hour of the show, co-host Harry Smith led the segment with guests Joe Watson, a diversity expert, and Jon Meacham of "Newsweek." Smith began by asking a similar question as Rodriguez:
When Senator Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses, he became the first presidential candidate of color to achieve a significant victory in the race for the White House. Is America turning color-blind? Ready to elect its first African-American president?
Smith asked for Watson’s reaction to Obama’s success and Watson declared, "I think it's a magnificent moment for America." Smith then turned to Meacham and gave this thoughtful insight on race and politics:
Jon Meacham, I was on the bus with Barack Obama a week or two ago in Iowa. We're driving along in the bus and the snow outside is as white as that state is, as white as New Hampshire is, what is -- what is going on here? Are people seeing past color? Is that possible?
ABC journalist Kate Snow continued her habit on Monday of parroting Hillary Clinton's campaign spin. Filing a report for "Good Morning America," she gushed over just how hard the senator is working for a resurgence in the polls. Snow raved, "No subject is too small. No issue too dense. Hillary Clinton is taking question after question from voters, from reporters."
Spinning seemingly ordinary tasks, Snow continued, "She's pounding the pavement, literally going door to door for votes." The GMA contributor also explained that "the new Hillary critiques Barack Obama for putting a lobbyist at the top of his New Hampshire campaign." Later in the segment, she repeated the phrase: "The new Hillary confronts Obama saying he's changed his positions." Snow has a long history of history of portraying Senator Clinton's every move as brilliant:
Candid criticism, or sour grapes towards a guy who's lapping MSNBC in the ratings? In any case, David Shuster and the rest of the Morning Joe crew took out after Bill O'Reilly this morning in the wake of the incident in which the Factor host was, shall we say, energetic in his efforts to speak with Barack Obama at a NH campaign event this weekend. Shuster called O'Reilly a "jerk" and "such a buffoon." Read accounts of the incident here, here and here.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: The press corps, for the most part, there are exceptions, loathe Mitt Romney. And the press corps loved to see all of the Republicans [at the ABC debate this past Saturday night] kicking the tar out of him, and they were all sitting there smirking. But I thought it was too much. I think if you're sitting at home in New Hampshire, you sit back after a while and you say, first of all, why does John McCain hate personally so much. But secondly, why are they all attacking Mitt Romney? He must be the guy with the ball; he must be the guy who's ahead.
I've said this before, but it merits saying again: We'll know that the news we're fed every day by the wire services, "newspapers of record," and TV networks is fair, accurate, and complete when those in search of the full picture no longer have to go to the editorials of the Wall Street Journal and Investors Business Daily to fill in Old Media's yawning information and coverage gaps.
Among the latest pieces evidence that we're not there yet -- Thursday's IBDeditorials.com opinion piece, which had this news from Britain's National Health Service (NHS):
The British have found a way to shorten those long, annoying waits for care and lower the rising costs of their universal access system. They'll let patients take care of themselves.
Move over, Bill Clinton. There's a new kid on the block when it comes to looking into the camera and not telling the truth to the American people . . . and his name is John Edwards. To his credit, George Stephanopoulos caught Edwards out today on a key tenet of Silky's candidacy . . . but then let things slide.
Edwards was a guest on This Week, and it didn't take him long to don his scourge-of-greedy-corporations mantle. Central to Edwards' pitch is the claim that you don't sit down with corporate interests, you fight them.
Fred Thompson today blasted the media for propagating a false rumor about his impending withdrawal, while reinforcing the role he has created for himself as the candidate in this race who does not suffer unwelcome questions gladly.
Back in Iowa, Thompson famously refused to respond to the debate moderator/school marm's demand for a hand-show on global warming. On this morning's Today, he declined to engage in horse-race speculation about his own prospects, then took the media to task for its propagation of that false rumor about his impending withdrawal. Weekend anchor Lester Holt interviewed the former Tennessee senator.
On the bright side, during Friday's The Situation Room, one day after CNN's Bill Schneider ludicrously called Democratic voters in Iowa "pretty moderate," the political analyst labeled Barack Obama as "liberal," and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin later called Obama "very liberal" as he recommended that the Hillary Clinton campaign should be attacking the Illinois Senator's voting record. Toobin further said that, as a state senator, Obama "had one of the most liberal voting records in a fairly liberal state." (Transcript follows)
On Friday afternoon, CNN's liberal contributor Roland Martin suggested that most people who are pro-life seem "hateful" as he was describing Mike Huckabee's need to reach out to non-evangelical voters. During an appearance on CNN Newsroom at about 1:47 p.m. with anchor Kyra Phillips, Martin contended that Huckabee needs to pursue a strategy similar to that of President Bush in 2000: "Sure, [Huckabee is] a staunch pro-life person, but he isn't perceived as being hateful as other people who are pro-life." (Transcript follows)
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of Martin's comments from the Friday January 4 CNN Newsroom:
On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd disclosed thatthe media was poised to take a third-place McCain finish there and use it to catapult him to victory in New Hampshire. McCain actually finished fourth in Iowa, but on Good Morning America today we saw a perfect example of the phenomenon Todd predicted.
ABC declared that McCain is "surging," "rising in the polls," may have "the most momentum," used "The Mac Is Back" as its screen graphic, and portrayed Mitt Romney in a highly unflattering light. There was only one small problem with ABC's depiction of a McCain surge: the latest poll numbers from the organization that nailed the Iowa results . . . reveal that McCain slipped in the polls overnight and lost ground to Mitt Romney.
Public radio is a left-wing preserve, but some corners of public radio are so far to the left that they treat liberals as gangsters and monsters. A brief listen to Pacifica Radio's "Democracy Now" program on Thursday brought me to a segment on the presidential candidates, and how they're all, from left to right, compromised by their warmongering national-security experts. Radical journalist Allan Nairn attacked Mike Huckabee, for example, for failing to treat Bill Clinton as a war criminal:
ThePolitico.com continues to publish hatchet hackery on Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson, with today's false coverage of Sen. Thompson's speech to supporters after his third-place finish in the Iowa Caucuses.
Politico reporter Roger Simon recently lied in The Politico about an incident at an Iowa fire hall involving Sen. Thompson and a fire helmet - an "error" that The Politico has never corrected even though video of the event clearly exposed the error.
Today, video again shows The Politico to be publishing fiction about Fred. This time, it is writer Ben Adler's coverage of the Thompson campaign's Iowa Caucus after-party, which uses words like "resignation" and "lackluster," though the video of the event clearly contradicts that depiction.
Now that whiter-than-Wonder-bread Iowa has punched Barack Obama a first-class ticket to New Hampshire, can the mainstream media, particularly the New York Times, shut up about whether America is ready for a black president? That's what Michelle Malkin rhetorically asked on her blog before giving readers the answer.
Well, it looks like the answer is no. No, the MSM won’t stop yammering about un-diverse white voters. Here’s the NYTimes editorial this morning, right on cue as I predicted, clamoring for an end to the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary by zeroing in on its lack of, you guessed it, racial diversity:
At the top of Friday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith declared: "The votes have been cast and history has been made. Democratic voters in Iowa give African-American Senator Barack Obama a giant victory."
Shortly following this "historic" proclamation, Smith also commented: "Barack Obama, the big winner on the Democratic side," and spoke of both the Obama and Huckabee wins in these terms: "What a stunning night last night, a big surprise, big votes for change."
Smith continued the "stunning" theme of Obama’s victory throughout the opening segment of the show:
For the Democrats, Obama came in first with 38% of the vote. Stunning. 38%...Now, while the polls may have predicted it, it was still no less a breathtaking win for Barack Obama because he became the clear winner in the Iowa caucuses last night...With a record turnout and support from the under-30 crowd, independent voters, and first-time caucus goers, Barack Obama stunned the political establishment, and much of the country, with his clear and decisive victory Thursday night in Iowa.
Smith also discussed the surprise win of Mike Huckabee, but did not place the Republican Governor’s victory in the same historic terms.
On the PBS talk show "Charlie Rose" Thursday night, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham declared that Hillary Clinton was right that it was a "great night for Democrats" and a bad night for Republicans. He scoured Mike Huckabee as an embarrassment: "Do you really want to see if a Southern Baptist minister who took two days to find out about the National Intelligence Estimate about Iran is going to be your standard bearer in a world at war?" He also declared it was "a rather odd thing for the Republicans of Iowa" to "say to the world that the strongest possible president is a Governor of Arkansas who does not have a great deal or any real foreign policy experience." Meacham seemed to have no sense of irony that the same words were easily spoken of Bill Clinton in 1992, and Rose didn’t call him on it, even though they joked "how many presidents does Hope, Arkansas get in one lifetime?"
Meacham also never thought it was odd that the Democrats of Iowa said to the world that the strongest possible president is a man with three years experience in the U.S. Senate who said (a) that he would meet with America-hating dictators and strongmen like Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez without preconditions and (b) then wildly swung back to suggesting he would bomb inside Pakistan to strike al-Qaeda. Meacham, who honored McCain’s courage for supporting the surge in Iraq, never mentioned Obama thought it was a mistake. When it came to the Democrats, Meacham sounded like he was offering a toast:
"Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts used the label "fundamentalist Christians" to describe the Iowa supporters of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. During an interview on Friday's program, she also noted that America "saw, there, in your offices in Iowa, right before the caucuses, people praying there in your, in your office."
The ABC journalist also grilled the '08 contender, fresh from his caucus victory, on the subject of creationism and evolution. Citing a new National Academy of Sciences report, Roberts asked, "Do you agree with that, that creationism should be kept out of our classrooms?" After Huckabee stated that, as governor, he never dealt with the question, the host repeated her question: "Should creationism be banned from the classroom. Yes or no?"
Of all the ways Harry Smith could have opened this morning's historic Early Show, he chose to do so by waving today's Boston Herald with its one-word front page "Shazam!" above a photo of Mike Huckabee. Smith described Barack Obama simply as the "big winner" on the Democratic side.
View video here [with apologies for low audio level].
Conservative Iowans who voted for Mike Huckabee on Thursday night may have been casting a vote for social conservatism, but media liberals cheered the victory as proof that Reaganism is dying in the Grand Old Party. In his live washingtonpost.com Web chat at 10 pm on Thursday night, Washington Post associate editor Robert G. Kaiser (formerly the Post’s managing editor, the second-in-command) declared with some joy that the Reagan coalition is "fracturing" due to the Huckabee win. But Kaiser also mocked Huckabee as unelectable. "Are we going to elect a president who dismisses Darwin? Are we going to elect a Baptist minister? I doubt it." He predicted fiscal conservatives and national-defense conservatives would vote Democratic or stay home instead.
Before he took any questions, Kaiser made this opening statement:
Chris Wallace and Mike Huckabee campaign chairman Ed Rollins got into it a bit during an interview on Fox News after the announcement that Huckabee took Iowa. During the exchange Wallace had asked Rollins about a blog article that appeared on Townhall.com where Rollins was allegedly overheard bad mouthing Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani.
The blog article must have hit a sore spot as Rollins became defensive in explaining his comments that appeared in the blog entry while confirming that he did indeed say some of the things that were attributed to him. (video at Webloggin)
Wallace took the opportunity to follow up on that answer in an exchange where Rollins became agitated, calling Wallace and the rest of the Washington press corps "wise men", with a final swipe that "all the wisdom doesn't live in the press corps."
Americans catching the U.S. election coverage on BBC/World on Wednesday night found a typical dose of leftish European bias. While Katty Kay reported the Republicans were dismayed by a supposed teenage "dating game" of disappointment with candidates like Romney and Huckabee, Matt Frei had a warmer take on Hillary Clinton: "Her stump speech sounds as soothing as a bedtime story and her big selling point, experience." Hillary even claimed a role in the Irish peace process during Bill’s presidency.
MRC’s Michelle Humphrey found and transcribed these snippets of Brit bias:
MATT FREI, BBC: Hillary Clinton's people chose a Methodist church in Indianola for one of her last campaign events here. At this late, desperate stage in the Iowa campaign, every bit helps including a sprinkling of Hollywood star dust, hence the appearance on stage of actress Mary Steenburgen and her husband Ted Danson. Then its time for the real star. Daughter and mother in tow. Is Chelsea learning the family business, one wonders?
HILLARY CLINTON: Long before I was ever followed around by all these cameras.
What must be the most ridiculous claim of the night's Iowa caucus coverage came on CNN when political analyst Bill Schneider argued that because only 16 percent of Democrats who showed up to caucus call themselves "very liberal," that these Democrats are "pretty moderate voters," but that Republican voters are "very conservative." Schneider based his claims simply on how voters chose to identify themselves for CNN's entrance poll of those who arrived to caucus: "The Democrats are moderate. Only about 16 percent of them call themselves 'very liberal.' There's a cliche that only liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans show up. That's half true. Republicans are very conservative. Almost half of them say they are 'very conservative.' But Democrats are pretty moderate voters." (Transcript follows)
NBC’s Today interviewers showed a dramatic contrast in interviewing presidential contenders on Thursday morning. Meredith Vieira interviewed Barack Obama with supportive questions about his voice and mildly challenging horse-race inquiries about how he would finish. "And yet some people say despite all the energy, you are short on specifics and that all that energy may not translate into people going to the caucuses." But David Gregory aggressively pressed Mitt Romney about being mean: "If you win here in Iowa and in New Hampshire you will have done so by going negative. Is that the tenor of a campaign that Americans can expect from you if you're the nominee?" He also quoted alleged conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks, who sneered in print against Romney: "In turning himself into an old-fashioned, orthodox Republican, he has made himself unelectable in the fall."
MRC's Geoff Dickens found that around 7:10 am, Vieira asked these questions to Sen. Obama:
Alright, so Hillary Clinton bills herself as better suited for the Oval O because she has foreign policy experience, plus eight years as First Lady. And we all remember that then-Gov. George W. Bush was mocked in 1999 for not knowing who the military dictator of Pakistan is.
So why the media silence on Hillary Clinton's goof in thinking that Pervez Musharraf is up for election in Pakistan? In fact the elections that were scheduled for January 8 prior to Benazir Bhutto's assassination are parliamentary elections.
After asking Senator Clinton all softball questions such as how she keeps herself "going everyday," to what nick name she would like if she wins Iowa, "Fox and Friends" asked Governor Huckabee fair but much tougher questions.
The presidential nominating contest keeps creeping earlier and earlier into the election year. The Iowa caucuses are 16 days earlier than in 2004. The New Hampshire primary is 19 days earlier than in 2004. Before the first results, the media were already pushing the contenders around, predicting that most presidential campaigns are toast if they don’t win in one of these states, and in so doing, are only advancing that perception.
All the talk of reforming the primary system – to make it more logical, more rational, more regional, more representative, less tilted to traditional first states like Iowa and New Hampshire – all of these do less for a rational nomination process than reforming the reporters and pundits who want to declare the whole race over from the first shot of the starting gun.
In 2004, John Kerry was estimated to have sealed the winning number of convention delegates by March 11, and the conventional media wisdom was talking him up as the nominee after the primaries on February 3. By the 6th, the Reuters wire service put out a story headlined "Kerry Presidency Seen [As] a Boon for U.S. Markets." Soon, CBS and other media outlets started investigating and attacking the National Guard record of President Bush, as if they were following the orders of Kerry advisers. The general election seemed already under way.