The last time I wrote about Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, I described her as "ever-smiling." Scratch that. The Dem congresswoman from Ohio and Hillary co-chair just jabbed at MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell during a discussion of who is responsible for circulating the story about the Rezko trial: the media or the Clinton campaign.
At one point, things got heated enough for Tubbs Jones to tell O'Donnell "you know what? I'm enjoying talking to you but you can't talk on top of me in order for me to answer your question."
Markos "Kos" Moulitsas has bought into the latest loopy conspiracy theory spinning around the left-wing Web.: that the Hillary Clinton campaign deliberately darkened a photo of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to make him appear darker in skin tone than he actually is.
...morons are hyperventilating over videos they are watching via the internet, and assuming that the orangey color of Obama’s face in one video is somehow “genuine,” while the desaturated color and slightly different aspect ratio in the Clinton video is a nefarious racist plot.
That sounds about right. Here at NewsBusters, we often make basic color and contrast adjustments for video captures from network TV. If we posted photos from TV screen captures without doing so, everyone would appear darker, regardless of their race or ethnic background.
Besides, Johnson points out, following Kossack logic, the Associated Press would be playing the race card too while oddly enough the Black College Wire is making Obama whiter:
Sorely DispleasedIt seems it all depends on who is doing the asking.
ABC News spent a good portion of last week's morning programming in deep prostration and self-analysis in response to criticism that their journalistic presentation suffered from partiality.
Could it be? Had we at the Media Research Center (MRC) -- after twenty-one years of protracted press analysis and serial and sober exposition of liberal bias in all manner of broadcast and print reporting -- finally saturated the consciousness of a member of the Network Big Three?
Despite the fact that John McCain officially clinched the GOP nomination on Tuesday, the three network morning shows on Wednesday devoted almost a full hour of air time to covering the Democratic presidential race and barely nine minutes for the Republicans. Additionally, the Arizona senator did not appear on NBC's "Today" show, ABC's "Good Morning America" or the CBS "Early Show." Democratic Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, however, showed up on all three programs.
The network morning shows featured the Democratic presidential candidates for a grand total of 59 minutes and 12 seconds. McCain and his remaining rival, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, received a mere nine minutes and ten seconds of coverage. Now, obviously, the Democratic race is a close, hard fought contest. So, it's natural that it would receive more attention. However, McCain's very act of winning the nomination should be a well covered event, especially considering the candidate's remarkable rise from the political dead. The networks, apparently, saw it a different way.
The co-hosts of "The View," where many people apparently get their news, have proven their ignorance on the Constitution and American history. On the March 5 episode, Whoopi Goldberg proposed that the runner up in a presidential election should be the vice president, as if it were a new and innovative idea. Joy Behar, who claims to be well researched exclaimed "it’s not the way the founders thought of it."
"In every case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President."
In 1796, this led to John Adams’ opponent, Thomas Jefferson, as vice president. The 12th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1804, fixed that clause and remains the selection process to this day.
When Christopher Hitchens came on today's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough began by inviting him to comment on "last night's" results. Quipped the famously hard-living Hitchens: "I'm still thinking of it as this morning's result. I hope it doesn't show." Unfortunately for Christopher, it did. See screencap.
But whatever price Hitchens was paying for indulgences of the night before did nothing to blunt his acerbic wit. The quondam Englishman turned naturalized American offered acid observations about both Dem contenders. Hillary was first in his sights. He described as "slightly sinister" her listing during last night's victory speech of Florida and Michigan among her primary wins, since by DNC rules those contests counted for nothing. By his lights, her inclusion of the two states portends nasty arm-twisting to come.
Then there was this: "Anyone who like me when they think about the Clintons thinks about zombies, thinks about the undead, thinks about stakes through the heart, silver bullets and so on, has just received confirmation. It's as bad as we thought it was going to be."
As NewsBusters previously reported, the wife of Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama isn't very proud of her country.
Two weeks after making her disdain for the nation clear during a campaign speech for her husband in Wisconsin, Michelle further debased America by saying that we're a country that is "just downright mean."
Given how media made excuses for her comments in Wisconsin, it will be quite interesting to see just how much of her interview in the March 10th edition of The New Yorker will be reported in the next 24 hours (emphasis added throughout, h/t JWF):
Barack Obama had a rough night in Texas and Ohio, and some are even taking a contentious press conference he recently endured as a sign the MSM might be turning on him. But the junior senator from Illinois can still count on one MSMer in his corner: Robin Roberts. A few weeks ago, as I noted here, the GMA co-anchor conducted a softball session for the ages with Obama.
Today, Hillary Clinton made the rounds of all the morning network news shows. The toughest questioning by far came from Roberts, in this exchange.
ROBIN ROBERTS: What do you think the negative ad factor, how did that help you in this race? Because leading up, you did have some negative attack ads, and can we expect to see more of that in the days and weeks ahead?
Now that Barack Obama is closing in on the Democratic nomination, some are wondering whether the media will be tougher in their coverage. There’s a better question: is it possible to be any softer? The media writ large have been sounding like they’re covering a messiah more than a man. So was Hillary Clinton right to complain that Barack Obama has been more celebrated rather than vetted?
Let’s be clear. Hillary Clinton has been the beneficiary of so many cotton-candy profiles and “I Am Woman” honorifics that it’s almost impossible that her bad press will ever come anywhere close to balancing out her mountains of puff over the last 15 years. The “rough” press she’s been getting since Super Tuesday is merely the political prognosticators noticing she’s getting her clock cleaned by 18 to 20 points in a lot of states. Even so, she’s still being awarded softball interviews – like the latest in a long series of twinkly Katie Couric gal-pal segments on “60 Minutes.”
Monday’s NBC psychic crime drama "Medium" featured a plot line in which an Arizona senator and former POW is discovered to be a two-time murderer and a cannibal. While it is safe to assume that the story was written before the Hollywood writers’ strike, and before the rise of John McCain to front-runner status for the GOP presidential nomination, the blatant use of McCain’s personal history, as a politician and Vietnam POW, as grist to feed the murderous plot is obvious.
In Monday’s episode, titled “Aftertaste”, the medium (“Allison DuBois,” played by Patricia Arquette) suspects an ex-POW Arizona state senator is involved in a murder she sees in her dreams. Through a series of psychic flashbacks, she discovers that the senator (“Jed Garrity,” played by Gregory Itzin), as a young Army captain held by the North Vietnamese, proposed to his cellmates that they kill and eat a dying American soldier rather than starve to death. “Garrity” drew the short straw and committed the actual murder himself by strangling the dying soldier.
If Rush Limbaugh, in promoting his radio show, said we must "ignore partisanship," would anyone take those words seriously? Limbaugh did not air that ad, but left wing MSNBC host Keith Olbermann did. In an MSNBC "Decision 2008" ad, Olbermann spoke of the need to "ignore partisanship" under inspirational music and prominent American flag displays.
"We as citizens must at some point ignore partisanship, not that we may prosper as a nation, but that merely we may function as a nation."
The ad then displayed a large photo of Olbermann followed by a brief slideshow of all of the MSNBC/NBC political correspondents. The Daily Kos blogger should explain when his highly partisan show will "ignore partisanship."Olbermann has called President Bush a "fascist" "engaging in terrorism," a "liar" and "idiot in chief." He even asked if there is an element in the Republican party that wants to re-segregate America.
Also of irony, was MSNBC’s prominent American flag displays. Back in 2002, then NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw explained that he does not wear an American flag on his lapel pin because he feels it’s an implied endorsement of the Bush administration.
Has the Clinton campaign been caught engaging in ethnic stereotyping of Latinos? Jake Tapper suggests it has. ABC News' Senior National Correspondent reported from Texas this morning. After airing footage of Hillary on the stump reminiscing about her days in Texas back in 1972 working on the McGovern campaign, Tapper continued.
JAKE TAPPER: That experience may the reason why Clinton's campaign asks supporters in Spanish-language TV ads to show up at tonight's caucuses 15 minutes earlier than it asks supporters in English ads, suggesting to some Hispanic political observers that the Clinton campaign thinks Latinos might be a little tardy.
One obvious advantage Barack Obama will wield over John McCain in the general election is the Celebrity Media, from Oprah and Ellen and Tyra on television to the supermarket weeklies like People and UsWeekly, a celebrity magazine published by Wenner Media (as in ultraliberal Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone fame.) The March 10 issue has an exclusive (softball) interview with Obama, and a photo spread with the headline "HE REALLY IS JUST LIKE US!" The picture captions profess amazement that Obama is a human:
I Pick Up Groceries!
I Play With Babies!
I Love Hot Sauce!
I Pose by the [Christmas] Tree!
I Ride With My Kids! [on amusement park rides]
As the national media profess outrage at the injustice of "Internet whispers" against Obama, consider the balancing force of the celebrity media treating Obama as amazing because he buys fruit at the supermarket.
Jury selection began Monday in Chicago in the trial of Syrian-born businessman Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a major supporter of Barack Obama. Two days before the 2006 elections in which Democrats won by running against a "culture of corruption," Chicago newspapers revealed that Obama purchased a home in the summer of 2005 for $1.6 million, but to complete the deal, he would need to buy an adjoining parcel for $625,000. Instead, Mrs. Rezko bought the parcel, and they closed on the properties on the same day. Rezko was already under federal investigation for kickback schemes.
To a political opponent, this might resemble a lobbyist’s sweetheart deal like the one that started Rep. Duke Cunningham’s political decline, where a lobbyist paid $700,000 more for Cunningham’s home than his own sale price months later. But the national media are anything but opponents of Obama’s. An MRC analysis shows that despite Obama’s high national profile as a Democratic symbol of hope, network TV news and the national news magazines have done a dreadful job of telling the Rezko story, and have struggled not to repeat it.
"We'll deal with him later." -- Clinton co-chair Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, on Mark Penn.
"It's disgusting for him to do this . . . that's just disgusting." -- Clinton supporter Hilary Rosen.
Mark Penn sleeps with the fishes. Metaphorically speaking only, of course.
On this evening's Tucker, Clinton's chief campaign strategist came in for some industrial-strength opprobrium from two prominent members of Team Hillary for his attempt to flee what might be a sinking ship.
On Sunday’s CBS "60 Minutes," anchor Steve Kroft interviewed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, along with a small group of Ohio Democratic voters who, as Kroft explained: "told us that both race and gender would be hidden factors in southern Ohio, that many blue collar workers here won't vote for a woman, and others would never vote for a black." Kroft went on to focus on Obama: "And Senator Obama has another problem: a malicious campaign against him that surfaced in a number of our interviews."
This "malicious campaign" as Kroft sees it is the suggestion by some that Obama is a Muslim. Kroft was shocked to find this belief from one of the voters he talked to, Kenny Schoenholtz, who said:
I'm leaning towards Obama. There's a couple issues with him I'm not too clear on...Well, I'm hearing he doesn't even know the national anthem. He wouldn't use the Holy Bible. He's got his own beliefs, with the Muslim beliefs. And couple of issues that bothers me at heart.
Kroft was concerned that this one misinformed voter, who said he would probably vote for Obama anyway, was reflective of broader smear against the Illinois Senator:
Joy Behar defended the indefensible on "The View," Gloria Steinem’s anti-military comments, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck came out strong against them. For those that missed it, the famous feminist implied Hillary Clinton is more qualified than John McCain because Senator Clinton did not serve in the military. Steinem rhetorically asked "killing people is a qualification for ruling people?" She continued to wonder how it may have been different had John McCain been a female prisoner of war.
"suppose John McCain had been Joan McCain and been captured, shot and been a POW for eight years. The media would ask ‘what did you do wrong to get captured? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive for eight years?’"
These inflammatory comments became the topic of discussion on the March 3 edition of "The View." Elisabeth Hasselbeck, to a very loud applause, called the rhetoric "despicable" and "evil."
According to Geraldo Rivera, Rush Limbaugh is "the dean of the academy" of a "nativist reaction" and "the most savage talk radio campaign every in history." Appearing on the March 3 edition of "The View," the Fox News correspondent promoted to his book, "His Panic: Why Americans Fear Hispanics in the U.S." Rivera also said McCain’s virtual lock of the Republican nomination is "a victory for the decency wing of the GOP." Rivera also claimed Mitt Romney "was such a nice guy" as governor of Massachusetts, but "suddenly became an anti-immigrant radical."
Geraldo also said he refuses to even shake CNN correspondent Lou Dobbs’s hand. The relevant transcript is below. Allahpundit at Hot Air has the video.
"Nightline" host Terry Moran appeared on Monday's "Good Morning America" with a segment in which he repeatedly quizzed Senator Barack Obama on the subject of his relationship to indicted political operative Tony Rezko, now facing corruption charges. Moran persistently asked the Democratic presidential candidate if he would release all information relating to the role Rezko played in a house purchase by Obama.
After several evasive answers, Moran scolded, "...You call yourself a reformer?You talk about your judgment?" He then bluntly followed-up by wondering, "And yet, how could you enter into this transaction with a long-term contributor who, at that time, was known to be under investigation for corruption? What does that say about your judgment?" This is quite a change for the anchor, who, in 2006, skipped Rezko and gushed over Obama as "an American political phenomenon" and someone who might be "the savior of the Democratic Party."
Prior to becoming a serious presidential candidate in the run up to the 1964 election Barry Goldwater was on the receiving of favorable press coverage and even led a “charmed life” that he was reticent to give up, according to a new book that explores the origins of the modern conservative movement.
In the spring and summer months of 1961 Time, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report all ran positive and often highly complimentary stories on the Republican senator from Arizona. His popularity among college students and his growing influence within the party were widely acknowledged.
“Goldwater has more than his share of political sex appeal,” a Time Magazine piece observed.
Here at NB, we're not normally in the business of feeling sorry for MSMers like Harry Smith. But I can't help but express some sympathy for the Early Show anchor at the prospect of the feminist, Clintonite wrath that is likely to descend on his head after a comment he made this morning
Among the metaphors most likely to drive feminists up the wall is that of the angry woman yielding that symbol of domestic serfdom, the frying pan. But in discussing the prospect of Hillary's anger at Bill for his responsibility for her possibly impending defeat, Smith invoked . . . you guessed it. Harry was coffee klatsching with Dem consultant Joe Trippi and pollster Frank Luntz this morning, and it was the latter who first described Bill as a drag on Hillary's campaign. The issue was whether Clinton could stay in the race if she splits the Texas and Ohio primaries tomorrow.
JOE TRIPPI: I don't think she should get out if she wins Ohio and loses Texas but I think there will be pressure there.
FRANK LUNTZ: It didn't help her that her husband said that she's got to win both.
HARRY SMITH: Right.
LUNTZ: Bill has been -- I feel sorry for him the night, if she does pull out, he should not be at the home in Chappaqua.
That's when a chuckling Smith put his foot in it, even providing the sound effects.
Has American journalism degraded so far that a magazine with a circulation of over 1 million would allow one of its columnists, in an article about a Republican nominee for president, to refer to a popular albeit controversial author as a "skanky bitch-whore?"
Such was the case in the most recent issue of "Rolling Stone" wherein Matt Taibbi, in a tremendously defamatory piece about John McCain, also took the opportunity to vulgarly attack Ann Coulter whilst regularly besmirching conservative talk radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.
For those with a strong stomach and/or a masochistic strain, the hits in this rancid pile of detritus came early and often (emphasis added throughout, h/t NBer Rusty Arnold, vulgarity alert!):
In the past couple of months, two journalists -- the Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman and Fox News's Bill O'Reilly -- have gotten themselves in trouble for making a seemingly innocent remark that involved the word "lynch."
On Sunday, a Democrat Congresswoman from Ohio innocently accused the Obama campaign of trying to put a noose around Hillary Clinton's neck.
Think this will stoke equal if any outrage?
While you ponder, Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio), a Hillary Clinton supporter, was talking to Fox News's Shepard Smith about NAFTA as a campaign issue on Sunday when she said the following (h/t and video available here courtesy our dear friend Ms Underestimated):
In an animated sketch entitled "The Obama Files," candidate Barack is seen hiding Jackson from the press by talking to him in a broom closet as he instructs the reverend to go abroad as a "special envoy" to what ends up being non-existent countries.
Later, Sharpton showed up complaining that Obama had sent him to East Paraguay (h/t Tim Graham):
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: