Was that Mike Huckabee on "Morning Joe" today -- or John Edwards? The former Arkansas governor found an odd way to refute charges he's not a true conservative, indulging in some class-warfare rhetoric that would have been the envy of the former North Carolina senator.
Mika Brzezinski hit Huckabee with an excerpt from Bob Novak's column of today. Here are the opening paragraphs from Novak's False Conservative:
Who would respond to criticism from the Club for Growth by calling the conservative, free-market campaign organization the "Club for Greed"? That sounds like Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich or John Edwards, all Democrats preaching the class struggle.
One clear theme running through the history of Hillary Clinton is her reaction to her husband’s affairs. Her primary reaction is political, not emotional, as she said to George Stephanopoulos: "We have to destroy her story." So it’s funny to read through old Clinton books, where Bill is quoted saying that Hillary’s just an old-fashioned girl who "doesn’t see any sense to extramarital sex."
The book is The Hillary Factor by Rex Nelson (with Philip Martin), and the scene is set in February 1979, as the new First Lady of Arkansas is trying to sell herself with her maiden name as not a hardcore feminist, just an "old-fashioned girl" with "old-fashioned ideas about the work ethic." Nelson and Martin report:
In a television interview later that month, she said the couple’s dual careers "often do not provide enough time for us to lead private lives, to be with one another, to have a family life, to have time to think."
Would you have ever imagined the New York Times, less than a year before the presidential elections, not only admitting that things are getting better in Iraq, but also suggesting Democrats – including those campaigning for president – were wrong about the surge?
On the front page of its popular Sunday edition, no less?
Team Edwards, both eminently coiffed candidate John and his designated political hitter bride Elizabeth, on Wednesday, Novemeber 21st cancelled their scheduled appearance on The View, doing so, according to the UnDynamic Duo, to “honor the members of the Writers Guild of America”, who are currently on strike.
Not to be outpandered, Michelle Obama, wife of the incredibly audacious Barack, later that same day pulled out of her December 5th guest co-hosting duties.
Obviously, sucking up is more important than being sucked up to in Democratic presidential politics.
This is related to nearly every Donkey candidate promising to not participate in a scheduled December 10th CBS debate (moderated by the ratings Juggernaut Katie Couric) should their news writers decide to join their union brethren and sistren (one must be, in this age of PC, all-inclusive) and abandon that foundering network vessel to the waves unscribed.
Wednesday's edition of ABC's World News hyped the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll finding a dramatic rise in Iowa for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, rising to a near-tie with Mitt Romney, 28 to 24 percent. After noticing that Huckabee attacked Romney as a pseudo-conservative, Tapper challenged Huckabee from the right on taxes and on illegal aliens. When he asked about tuition breaks for illegals, Huckabee sounded like Hillary on the issue: "If you're government at the federal level is so incompetent that it fails to secure the border, you don't then grind your heel into the face of a 6-year-old child over it."
Tapper said "Huckabee appeals to socially conservative evangelicals because he is one. And he cultivates an affable image." But the remarks Tapper quoted weren't affable. They were like that "heel to the face" imagery. Here's the meatiest part of the transcript:
In the Philadelphia Bulletin, long-time Philly TV consumer reporter Herb Denenberg reviewed our book Whitewash, and easily found how its thesis of paving Hillary's path to the presdiency applied to the here and now. Hillary Clinton is being favored by the liberals at CNN during the current campaign:
I happened to be reading the book when the CNN debate with the Democrat presidential candidates was aired on Nov. 15 and realized that this is another chapter, one of an endless series, proving Mr. Limbaugh and Mr. Bozell's thesis. After Hillary's celebrated meltdown over the question of whether or not she favored driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, that question had to be the number one issue in this debate. But what did Wolf Blitzer, the CNN moderator, do with the question?
He asked Hillary if she favored licenses for illegals and then accepted her one-word answer of "no" without a follow-up question. It is inconceivable that, on a nationally televised debate with over 4 million people watching, Mr. Blitzer would not follow up that answer with further questions on her multiple, ever-changing flip-flopping positions on licensing illegals.
As irrefutable evidence mounts that Nobel Laureate Al Gore's climate alarmism is about nothing other than lining his supposedly green pockets with green currency, manmade global warming skeptics around the world wonder when the former vice president's house of cards will collapse.
Without question, if Gore were to lose the support of almost universally adoring Hollywoodans, the scam would implode quicker than a Democrat demanding a recount after losing a close election.
As such, the following comments by actor and environmentalist Robert Redford, reported by the New Statesman last week, should bring hope to folks not buying the snake oil Gore is selling (emphasis added, h/t NB reader Lee):
Yesterday I noted that the Washington Post's John Wagner virtually cheered Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and the Democratic Maryland General Assembly for its recently-concluded, tax-hiking special legislative session. Well today the hosannas migrated from the front page to the editorial one. The closing paragraphs are rather telling (emphasis mine):
Politically, Mr. O'Malley will have more than higher taxes to show for his gamble. The new revenue will not only close the deficit, it will also help to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, extend health-care coverage to 100,000 lower-income Marylanders, build public schools, and add facilities for state colleges and universities. In addition, and critically, the governor secured about $420 million in fresh annual revenue for transportation, the biggest infusion of new money in 15 years...
On Saturday, State Representative Carla Blanchard Dartez (D-La.) lost her re-election bid to Republican challenger Joe Harrison in a heated and controversial run-off. Yet the largest newspaper in Louisiana, The Times-Picayune (TP), chose to bury it as an afterthought in its coverage of the statewide election results. The Times-Picayune online edition, NOLA.com, placed this paragraph at the end of its story.
The only two incumbent lawmakers to lose in either chamber were Democrats. Chris Hazel dispatched Rep. Rick Farrar of Pineville in the 27th District primary. Challenger Joe Harrison topped Rep. Carla Blanchard Dartez of Morgan City to claim the 51st District seat in the runoff.
The TP made no mention of the 'Buckwheat' racial slur or the other controversies which surrounded this incumbent Democrat. Why is that?
Update | 10:48 AM ET -- Mystery Solved: Morning Joe Executive Producer Chris Licht has emailed me to say: "Mika was reading research emailed from a segment producer to her Blackberry: specifically, the Bloomberg News article re: Townsend says election is potential terrorism target."
Have a look at the screencap. It's Mika Brzezinski scrolling what looks to be her Blackberry as she poses a hostile question to Fran Townsend, President Bush's top White House adviser on terrorism and homeland security.
Townsend, who has announced that she's stepping down after four years in the Bush administration, appeared on today's "Morning Joe." After some conversation with Willie Geist, Mika Brzezinski took over, peppering Townsend with a series of challenging questions on everything from the failure to capture Bin Laden to waterboarding.
Mika appeared to have Blackberry in hand throughout. When it came to her last, and nastiest, question, she was busily scrolling it as she read off its screen.
The President's escalation strategy has failed. We need to stop refereeing this civil war, and start getting out now. -- Hillary Clinton, statement of August 23, 2007
As many had foreseen, the escalation has failed to produce the intended results. -- letter to Pres. Bush from Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, June 12, 2007
That's not a cement mixer you hear. It's the collective Dem gnashing of teeth. Things have gotten so bad -- meaning good -- in Iraq that now even the New York Times is reporting it. Have a look at Willie Geist -- sitting in for Joe Scarborough -- opening today's "Morning Joe" by holding up the paper's front page to display its headline: "Baghdad Starts to Exhale as Security Improves."
Is ‘The View’s’ token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck drifting leftwards? In a letter to Barbara Walters she hinted she may actually vote for Senator Hillary Clinton. On the November 19 edition of "The View," creator and co-host Barbara Walters read a letter from Elisabeth Hasselbeck updating the co-hosts on her new born baby Taylor Thomas and the congratulatory letter she received from Senator Clinton.
"Well, you know if you watch the show, you that Elisabeth is our resident Republican. Okay, alright? Fine. Taylor Thomas received an official letter from Senator Hillary Clinton today, wishing him well. She said ‘truly a most thoughtful and warm act. I may actually change my vote.’" [applause]
If you had any questions about how much Thursday's Democrat presidential debate, sponsored by the Clinton News Network, was staged so that Hillary, who had an abysmal two weeks heading into the event, could mount a comeback, they were answered on Sunday's "Late Edition."
During this installment of the CNN program hosted by Wolf Blitzer, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux actually proclaimed the audience attending the event one of the winners for playing such a significant role.
What did the audience do that was so key in Malveaux's view?
"They booed Senator Edwards, they booed Senator Obama, and really I think kind of framed and changed kind of the tone of the debate" (partial transcript follows, video available here):
David Shuster has hurled a hand grenade in the direction of one of Washington's most venerable political reporters. The MSNBC "correspondent" has alleged that many people don't believe Robert Novak has "any credibility as a journalist."
Shuster sat in as a "Morning Joe" panelist today. His comment came in the context of a discussion regarding the Novak column from over the weekend stating that "agents of Sen. Hillary Clinton are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent for the party's presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama, but has decided not to use it."
"CNN's 'Reliable Sources' is one of television's only regular programs to examine how journalists do their jobs and how the media affect the stories they cover." -- from CNN's "Reliable Sources" website [emphasis added].
When it comes to "how journalists do their job," the story of the week was Wolf Blitzer's spectacular failure to do his. Going into Thursday's debate, the big question was how Hillary was going to deal with the inevitable grilling over her flip-flopping on the issue of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. But when Blitzer finally got around to the issue, well into the debate, he didn't bother to ask a single follow-up question to Hillary's terse "no" answer.
So surely Reliable Sources's host Howard Kurtz would put that question squarely on the table on today's show, right? Wrong.
In Markos Moulitsas's first column for Newsweek, the proprietor of the liberal website Daily Kos sadly personified exactly what's wrong with today's Democrat Party as well as the media: the inability to see things beyond the grips of Bush Derangement Syndrome.
In fact, you could diagnose the malady right in the headline, "Make the Bush Record the Issue." Maybe more surprising, Markos also pointed his pen at Ronald Reagan.
Someone ought to tell Moulitsas, who was hired to offer commentary concerning the 2008 elections, that neither of these former presidents is running for office next year.
Unfortunately, much as the Party members he supports, Kos seemed totally oblivious to this fact, and actually wrote a column about the current campaign that didn't mention a single candidate in it (emphasis added throughout):
Who'd you bet on in a Mixed Martial Arts match between Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd? You might get the chance. Earlier this week, Krugman called Barack Obama a "sucker" and a "fool," while praising Hillary. Maureen Dowd has now gone after Paul's girl, calling Clinton every name in the headline and a few more.
The theory of Dowd's column today is that while Hillary knows how to shake Barack Obama with her ice-cold demeanor, Rudy will revel in the combat with Clinton. Excerpts from "Shake, Rattle and Roll" [emphasis added]:
The Washington Post’s Book World section included a brief review of the MRC book Whitewash on Sunday. Reviewer Alan Cooperman, who before joining the book section recently was a Post reporter on the religion-and-politics beat, reviewed four books "full of honest venom and outright partisanship." The other three were all anti-Republican. Here’s Cooperman’s review, in its entirety:
This book is a two-fer, blasting away both at Hillary Clinton and at "liberal reporters -- and, truth be told, female liberal reporters especially" for their coverage of her. "It is truly shocking to see how blatantly the media have shilled for Hillary," write Bozell and Graham, who run the Media Research Center, a group dedicated to "documenting the news media's left-wing bias." Whitewash does not offer any new allegations, but it does challenge the reporting on all the old ones. The book groans, for example, that "the Big Three networks gave both Watergate and Iran-Contra more than three times the attention they gave Whitewater." And it says the allegation that Bill Clinton used Arkansas troopers to arrange sexual trysts attracted "only" 22 evening news stories in the first 12 days after the story broke. Readers can decide whether those figures are high, low or about right, though it's abundantly clear where Whitewash comes down.
As NewsBusters reported Thursday, Karl Rove, the famed former adviser to President Bush, is now writing for Newsweek.
If you thought Rove would be constrained in this assignment given the liberal leaning of his new employer, your concerns should quickly be laid to rest with this first article just published.
Entitled "How to Beat Hillary," the piece was practically a strategy memo for the eventual Republican presidential nominee to defeat the Democrat candidate Rove believes will successfully get through the primaries (emphasis added throughout):
It's certainly safe to say that conservatives rarely agree with anything written by liberal bloggers.
However, on Saturday, not only was there a prominent posting at Daily Kos entitled "Clinton News Network = CNN," which received 631 comments in only seven hours, but the website's proprietor, the esteemed Markos Moulitsas, wrote an article of his own that was highly critical of Clintonista James Carville's role at the cable network.
In the end, the hypocrisy was so thick you could cut it with a knife.
But before we get there, the first piece voiced displeasure with the recent shenanigans by CNN during Thursday's Democrat Presidential debate:
There's a great deal of controversy brewing concerning implications that CNN not only stocked the audience at Thursday's Democrat Presidential debate, but also controlled the questions attendees asked.
So much for Wolf Blitzer not caving into pressure from the Clinton campaign.
*****Update: It looks like all six "undecided voters" set up to ask questions at the debate were plants. More at end of post!
One of the most delicious incidents from the debate was reported Friday by Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic magazine blog (emphasis added (h/t Allah at Hot Air):
On Tuesday, "Good Morning America" reporter Bianna Golodryga hyperventilated about high gas prices and highlighted a man who alleged that the cost of fuel is keeping him from going to church and that it could ruin Christmas. Golodryga piled on, suggesting that some Americans would be forced to eat "cheaper foods" such as pasta and peanut butter instead of fruits and vegetables.
Only a few days later, Golodryga, who covers business and economic issues for GMA, proved her journalistic independence by gushing over liberal billionaire Warren Buffet, or "Robin Hood," as she called him. While Golodryga lobbied for holding on to the death tax (or, as she called it, the estate tax), co-host Diane Sawyer rhapsodized over how Buffet is battling "on behalf of fairness in taxes." (The leftist billionaire has claimed recently that he pays less taxes, percentage-wise, than his receptionist.)
A Google alert this morning brought an article about a speech in which NBC's Lester Holt claimed that he and his MSM colleagues "are perfectly capable of putting [their] personal bias aside." Holt went to state that "the level of organized attacks against news organizations from the blogosphere and even from competitors in recent years is unprecedented and disturbing."
Less than an hour later there was Holt on the Today show . . . which proceeded to run a segment typifying the very kind of bias he claims the MSM is "perfectly capable" of putting aside.
The lead story on Friday’s CBS "Early Show" focused on the Democratic debate and celebrated Hillary Clinton’s comeback as co-host Harry Smith exclaimed: "This morning, Hillary's camp declares a landslide as the Dems sling mud, exchange barbs, in the feistiest debate yet." The segment began with a report by CBS White House Correspondent, Jim Axelrod, who described how, "Hillary Clinton's two top rivals didn't waste any time attacking her...[she] looked confident, taking the attacks in stride." Axelrod later concluded his report by declaring that:
Her performance at this debate makes her prior stumble look like an isolated event. The story line now goes back to Hillary the sure-footed front-runner, where it will stay. At least for now.
Liberal journalists George Stephanopoulos and Kate Snow spun ABC's coverage of Thursday's Democratic debate as a roaring comeback for Hillary Clinton and charitably described the 2008 contender's shifting position on the issue of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. Reporting on Friday's "Good Morning America," Snow slyly claimed that Clinton has "simplified her opinion" on the matter and now opposes licenses.
"Simplified" is one way to describe the senator's change of heart. A less friendly variation, one that might be handed to a Republican, is that she flip-flopped. On November 1, the Boston Globe reported, "Hillary Clinton came out yesterday in support of a plan by Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York to offer limited driver's licenses to illegal immigrants..." So, on November 1, she was for the program. She's now against it and that's simplifying a position? "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos, a former Bill Clinton operative, appeared on GMA to gush that the headline from the debate is "Hillary's back." He enthused, "And the subhead, I guess, would be 'no more Madam Nice Guy.'"