Joy Behar still complains about Al Gore’s 2000 election loss. In discussing Gore’s Nobel Prize acceptance, Behar implied Gore lost an unfair election. When Whoopi Goldberg reminded Behar that Gore conceded. Behar retorted "that was a mistake" after the Supreme Court, which has final jurisdiction ruled against him.
Behar continued that Gore "should have let them count the votes legitimately...to keep our country the way it’s supposed to be instead of the Supreme Court making the decision." Behar essentially said Gore should have defied the Court to "let them count the votes legitimately."
Behar is forgetting that Gore exhausted the legal system and there were little or no avenues Gore could have pursued after the Supreme Court ruled against him. Also, Florida did have a full state recount, including court ordered hand recounts of Florida’s most liberal counties.
The Associated Press is reporting a second Hillary Clinton campaign volunteer has been shown the door for furthering rumors about rival Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) being a "Muslim possibly intent on destroying the United States.":
The Clinton campaign has decried the rumors as offensive and outrageous, and last week forced volunteer Jones County coordinator Judy Rose to resign after learning that she forwarded a such an e-mail on Nov. 21. But it turns out Rose wasn't the only one.
Linda Olson, a volunteer coordinator in Iowa County, had forwarded a similar version on Oct. 5, without comment, to 11 people. One of the recipients was Ben Young, a regional field director for Democrat Chris Dodd's campaign, who provided a copy to The Associated Press on Sunday.
As NewsBusters editor Brent Baker noted in an October 31 post, NBC "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams tossed Obama a softball at an interview on the matter of the Illinois Democrat being subtly "swift-boated" about his religion.
Williams hinted that Republicans were most likely to unfairly smear Obama, but given the fact that TWO Hillary Clinton workers have been given the boot thus far, what are the chances Williams will apply the left-wing "swift-boating" canard to Hillary Clinton? (emphasis mine):
In a typical softball interview with former President Bill Clinton on Monday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith ran defense for the Clinton campaign:
I also want to set the record straight. When you were in Muscatine a week and a half ago or so, right, and said 'I've always been against this,' speaking about the Iraq war. I did a little Googling last night, and the best I could tell, was you said the weapons inspectors should be allowed to do their jobs.
Beyond Smith’s idea that a thirty second Google search is journalism, one wonders why he felt the need to "set the record straight" for a particular presidential campaign. Maybe it has something to do with Smith’s belief that the Clintons are a "still-young couple" and "political rock stars."
In the battle of Democratic "superstar campaigners," the reporters of "Good Morning America" couldn't decide whether they prefer Hillary Clinton's exciting surrogates or Barack Obama's. On Monday's edition of the ABC program, correspondent David Wright parroted talking points about Oprah Winfrey supporting Obama and the inspiring nature of the talk show host. He glowingly asserted, "She's urging her fans to vote the dream, not just to settle for the inevitable." Wright didn't bother to explain what, exactly, that means.
The GMA reporter also gushed that "...When it comes to connecting a crowd over shared hardships and shared hopes, nobody beats Oprah." According to Wright, she's "kind of like everybody's big sister." Kate Snow, filing a piece on the Clinton campaign, explained that operatives at "Hillaryland" sent Bill and Chelsea Clinton to Iowa in order to manipulate media coverage away from Obama. Snow shamelessly confessed, "And it worked. We're not just talking about Oprah this morning, are we?"
As Republican primary campaign slogans go, "Endorsed by Frank Rich!" might not be a candidate's strongest play. But for better or worse Mike Huckabee is essentially stuck with it after Rich's NYT's column of yesterday. The ostensible theme of "The Republicans Find Their Obama" is that Republican voters are leaning toward Huckabee for the same reasons that Dems are trending to Obama: that both men are relatively young, speak across racial lines, are witty and avoid hyper-partisanship.
But dig down a bit deeper, and it appears that Huckabee's real appeal for Rich is that, social issues aside, he is the most liberal of the GOP frontrunners. Making his case for Huckabee, Rich goes so far to dabble in Christian theology [emphasis added]:
Steve Fraser might look mild-mannered, but when it comes to economic doomsaying, he is the Rocky Marciano of recession, the Tiger Woods of turndown, the David Beckham of depression.
Speaking of bending one, Fraser's LA Times column of today, "Symptoms of an Economic Depression," twists U.S. economic data into a harbinger of impending doom. Fraser begins by falsely claiming that "no one wants to utter the word 'depression.'" In fact, Fraser himself, a left-wing labor historian, wants not merely to utter it, but to bellow the word with a 10,000 megawatt bullhorn. Why? Because, as he gleefully predicts in that same column:
This perfect storm [of a bad economy] will be upon us just as the election season heats up, and it will inevitably hasten the already well-advanced implosion of the Republican Party.
Why would Barbara Walters make Bill Clinton a Most Fascinating Person of 2007? She explained it on Thursday’s Good Morning America: “We didn't want a political candidate, but I mean he has had such a year. Wrote another best-selling book, Giving, traveled all over the place. And we talked to him about what it was like to be, you know, what he thinks it's going to be if she wins.”
But the ooziest, least credible part came when GMA co-host Robin Roberts asked Walters “What do you make of the partnership between Bill and Hillary Clinton?” Walters laid on the lovey-dovey-Clintons line, thick as an oil slick: “Well, you know, we asked him, for example if he does, you know, text messaging. And he said no, he calls her because he has to hear her voice. He knows from the moment she says hello what kind of a day it is for her. Well, that's the only kind of relationship you can have if you're very close and, you know, obviously, they are.”
That’s not exactly what Walters heard from Hillary during a long, mostly fawning 2003 interview about her memoir. Hillary ducked and dodged on whether her husband is now hopelessly devoted only to her. From our book Whitewash:
Lawrence O'Donnell, already infamous for his in-your-face rant at John O'Neill of the Swiftboat Veterans, is at it again. This time, the object of O'Donnell's obloquy is Mitt Romney, and in particular his Mormon religion. Appearing on last night's McLaughlin group, O'Donnell indulged in an angry, protracted condemnation of Mormonism.
This was the worst political speech of my lifetime. Because this man stood there and said to you "this is the faith of my fathers." And you, and none of these commentators who liked this speech realized that the faith of his fathers is a racist faith. As of 1978 it was an officially racist faith, and for political convenience in 1978 it switched. And it said "OK, black people can be in this church." He believes, if he believes the faith of his fathers, that black people are black because in heaven they turned away from God, in this demented, Scientology-like notion of what was going on in heaven before the creation of the earth.
The mainstream media have been fawning over the atheist inspired film "The Goldan Compass" and ignoring the fact that the author (upon which the movie is based), Phillip Pullman, has bragged about killing God in his novels. Well, according to CNN, the real focus should be on the fact that the film raises "awareness" about the plight of polar bears. No, really.
In 2007, ABC's investigative reporter Brian Ross has provided hard-hitting looks at Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani. He's focused only one such segment on a Democrat, Hillary Clinton. And, unsurprisingly, each of his investigations into a GOP candidate has been accompanied by snarky, sarcastic comments.
Does Mitt Romney believe atheists should enjoy freedom? "Good Morning America" co-host Diane Sawyer apparently isn't too sure. On Friday's edition of the ABC program, the co-host discussed the 2008 presidential candidate's speech on his Mormon faith and wondered about Romney's comment that "freedom requires religion." "Is there going to be a question whether humanists or even atheists, agnostics deserve freedom," she asked "This Week" host, and former Clinton operative, George Stephanopoulos. (This is the same Diane Sawyer who has repeatedly objected to '08 contender Mike Huckabee using the phrase "Christian leader" in a campaign spot. She derided that as "heavy handed" and possibly crossing a line.)
In response to the loaded question, Stephanopoulos simply replied, "I think that's a fight that Romney is willing to pick." In a segment setting up the interview, reporter Dan reiterated the same themes and fretted, "What about non-believers?" He then negatively spun the speech: "Did Romney go too far in blurring the line between church and state?"
Director's Note: In my rush to get to a meeting, I neglected to give credit where credit is due. David G., you are indeed the Man. -- SM
(Yet Another) Smarter Than the MediaAs wily and wary as we have come to know the media to be, the many members of Team Clinton just keep out-Foxing them (apologies for the mention of the Hellish network).
In a great many of the media's post-game analyses of the Thursday, December 6th Mitt Romney religion speech, including that of the Associated Press, we are treated to the negative reactions thereto of one Costas Panagopoulos, who is rightly (if only partially) identified as "a political science professor at Fordham University".
Amongst his many analytical stylings on Romney's effort:
Diane Sawyer and other "Good Morning America" journalists offered a surprisingly substantive look into religion on Thursday's edition of the ABC program. The show featured a three part, 12 minute-plus series of segments on Mitt Romney, Mormonism and his faith's relationship with evangelical voters.
The discussion wasn't perfect, certainly. GMA co-host Diane Sawyer simply couldn't let go of her discomfort in regards to Mike Huckabee's use of the phrase "Christian leader" in a recent Iowa campaign ad. On November 27, she wondered if the spot might have "crossed a line" and called it "heavy-handed." On Thursday's program, while talking to the Southern Baptist Convention's Dr. Richard Land, Sawyer pointedly noted that "many people thought [the ad's point] was unmistakable, what he was doing. Do you think that was fair?"
Pat Buchanan was very moved. Chris Matthews "heard greatness this morning." Joe Scarborough said Romney "hit it out the park." But with his speech on faith this morning, Mitt clearly didn't make a believer out of Sally Quinn, doyenne of the DC establishment and wife of former WaPo editor Ben Bradlee.
SALLY QUINN: I have to say that I'm really stunned because I think it was an obliteration of the idea of the separation of church and state. He eliminated anybody who was a doubter, an atheist, an agnostic, a seeker. It's like, if you believe in God or Christ, if not, you're not.
After the Venezuela referendum, I 'd been waiting for the first MSMer to make an invidious comparison between Hugo Chavez and George W. Bush.
Didn't take long:
"[D]emocracy was alive and vital in Venezuela on Sunday in a way foreign to President Bush’s America."
That's Roger Cohen writing in today's New York Times, reacting to Chavez's apparent acceptance of the referendum results that turned thumbs down on his "reforms" that would have effectively made him dictator.
The Times's "International Writer-at-Large" is careful to temper his praise of Chavez with some boilerplate criticism, calling him a "strongman" and a "menace." But, time and again, Cohen returns to his theme: that democracy is more alive and well in Venezuela than in the U.S. under President Bush.
Following the recent GOP debate in which CNN chose to air a YouTube question putting candidates on the spot as to their belief in the literal truth of the Bible, there was much breast-beating as to the inappropriateness of religious tests for office.
But that didn't stop Tucker Carlson's two liberal guests this evening from taking potshots on religious grounds at President Bush and Mitt Romney.
On Wednesday's "Good Morning America," reporter Brian Ross's story on Mike Huckabee featured a misleading onscreen graphic that claimed the then-Arkansas governor pardoned a rapist who went on to murder two women in Missouri. In fact, Huckabee didn't pardon Wayne Dumond, the man in question. The ABC graphic read, "Huckabee's Pardon: Rapist Struck Again After Release." The inaccurate information appeared beneath the December 5 segment for two minutes and 50 seconds of a three minute plus segment. (Hat tip to NewsBusters reader TE.)
On "Fox and Friends," which got the story right, co-host Steve Doocy explained that the governor lobbied the Arkansas parole board to release Dumond. They did so. He then played a clip of Huckabee on FNC in November in which the governor pointed out, "I did originally support parole, but governors don't parole anybody." "The Early Show" on CBS also refrained from using the term "pardon." NBC's "Today" ignored the story completely.
Following two days of positive coverage of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and his front-runner status in Iowa, on Wednesday the CBS "Early Show" decided it was time to tear down the former governor’s campaign: "He's being dogged by new reports that he had a much bigger role in the parole of convicted rapist Wayne Dumond while he was Governor of Arkansas than he had previously been claiming."
Compare that statement by co-host Harry Smith, with Smith’s previous assessment of Huckabee when previewing an interview with the candidate two days ago:
When he announced he was running for the Republican nomination, many people said Mike who? Hucka what? But Evangelical Christians, a powerful force here, have rallied to his support. Pro-life, traditional marriage, they have found their champion. But they have found something more, a candidate who is good on his feet...His thoughtful debate performances have set him apart.
ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross on Wednesday continued his habit of offering up critical takes on Republican front-runners and ignoring Democratic scandals. So far this year, the correspondent has featured four hard-hitting segments on GOP candidates and only one on a Democrat.
During a piece on "Good Morning America," Ross investigated a developing story of whether then-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee used his influence to secure the release of a convicted rapist who went on murder two women. The story has received major play on the left-wing blog site Huffington Post, a point Ross mentioned, but he left out any attribution of the web page's very liberal leanings.
I highly doubt that readers of the Washington Post enjoying the morning paper over a steaming cup of coffee deserve to flip to the Style section only to be greeted by a huge photo of Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich making out.
Of course the front page photo -- unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, I couldn't find it online -- wasn't the only sloppy wet one the Post planted on Kucinich in the page C1 article, "The Love Song of Dennis J. Kucinich." Staff writer Libby Copeland gave readers of the December 5 Post an article sopping wet with the magical fairy tale of the Kuciniches' unlikely romance, sprinkled with the Ohio congressman's political ramblings.
While Copeland did paint Kucinich as dopey and eccentric, in the process she puffed up Kucinich's far-left politics, as seen by the adoring eyes of equally left-wing better half Elizabeth, the statuesque redhead that joined Rep. Kucinich at the altar two years ago.
What's more, staff writer Libby Copeland spilled some ink to given ear to relay Kucinich's rant about "corporate media," and how he believes it's conspiratorially biased against him:
The Laura Ingraham radio show began Wednesday morning with a red-hot burst of outrage at yesterday's National Public Radio debate with the Democratic presidential candidates. She called it "an underreported treasure trove of idiocy" and said the broadcast completely lived up the boutique-liberal NPR stereotype -- which is why it was underreported by the rest of the media.
The show began with an NPR question on why America is so hated in the Muslim world, which couldn't be a bigger softball to Joe Biden, and the rest of the candidates, who quickly blamed the Bush administration for the unsettled Muslim world.
The lead-in to NPR's evening newscast All Things Considered last night was all ‘crazy neocon’ Iran quotes last night from the candidates. (They play the theme song, and then you get that featured soundbite or set of soundbites). Sadly, that’s not on the NPR website, but the two-hour debate is here.
Hillary Clinton, victim of an unfair press? Bill certainly thinks so. Associated Press writer Philip Elliott reported: "Bill Clinton said Tuesday that if reporters covered the candidates' public records better, his wife's presidential bid would be far ahead of her rivals. During a campaign stop on behalf of his wife, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former president said he can't understand why so much of the media coverage of the campaign ignores her experience—and, without naming him, the relative lack of experience of her closest Democratic rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama."
Press coverage aside, if this Democratic race was really about experience, wouldn’t Joe Biden and Chris Dodd be the two front-runners? It is amazing and shameless that the Clintons can complain that the 89-percent pro-Clinton press isn’t pro-Clinton enough, that if the press did their job correctly, Hillary would have an enormous lead, as if media professionalism was defined by how well the media elite realized and established for the public that she is just what the country desperately needs. Elliott continued with Bill’s mighty whine about the media being rude to his wife (as if he’s never been):
Is CNN capable and professional enough to host presidential debates? After last week’s CNN-YouTube debate fiasco, even Tim Rutten, a media writer for the left-leaning Los Angeles Times, was giving CNN a big fat F for failure: "In fact, this most recent debacle masquerading as a presidential debate raises serious questions about whether CNN is ethically or professionally suitable" to host debates. CNN had the opportunity to perform a journalistic swan dive. Instead it produced an enormous belly flop. It’s far worse when you realize this mess of a production was the highest-rated primary presidential debate in history.
Back in May, after the Democrats stiff-armed the Fox News Channel invitation to debate, many conservatives believed the Republicans should return the favor with CNN and its proposed CNN-YouTube debate. I disagreed. I suggested in this space that Republicans should accept debates on CNN, but be more forceful in setting the terms and selecting the hosts. It seemed correct to assume at the time that CNN would attempt to be more fair and balanced simply because so much was riding on the outcome, namely CNN’s very credibility as an impartial observer of the political process.
I was wrong. We can’t expect CNN to be an honest broker.
"Is this anything more than the media building up a candidate, particularly a woman, and then tearing her down because it makes a good story?" Fox News Channel's Terry Keenan asked to open her December 4 interview with NewsBusters senior editor and "Whitewash" co-author Tim Graham.
Brought on "Your World w/Neil Cavuto" to discuss media coverage of Hillary Clinton's slippage in some recent polls, Graham dismissed Keenan's suggestion that Clinton is a victim of a soft form of sexism by the media:
Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul’s December 4 appearance on "The View" did not lead to the predictable agreement between Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg on Iraq, but a very strong disagreement over abortion. Whoopi Goldberg, who previously boasted about marching in a NARAL rally with Katie Couric, alluded to her confrontation with Elisabeth Hasselbeck asserted without doubt that "nobody makes this decision lightly."
Co-host Joy Behar occupied most of the segment attacking Paul’s abortion position. Though Behar admitted she believes killing a child immediately before birth is "murder" she asked "what about the first month?" and about the "mental state" or "health" line that many partial birth abortion apologists use.
Hillary Clinton fundraiser Norman Hsu was indicted earlier today in a $20 million Ponzi scheme. I received a text message e-mail alert to this effect shortly after 1:30 p.m. Eastern. Given the heated lead-up to Iowa and New Hampshire, it's major news. In a 24/7 media cycle, it's inconceivable that it major news organization Web sites could not or would not give it top billing shortly after the news broke.
Yet at 3 p.m. today, a review of some major media Web sites showed no prominence given to the story. MSNBC.com didn't have a teaser headline for it until its "local news" box for WNBC, the NBC network's East Coast flagship in New York City:
Fox News, by contrast, had this tease prominently displayed on it's front page:
While interviewing the young Clinton staffers who suffered through a hostage situation in New Hampshire last week, "Good Morning America" co-anchor Chris Cuomo used an interview on Tuesday's program to gush over their zeal for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Almost unable to contain himself, the ABC journalist extolled, "They come out of this experience lucky to have their lives, more dedicated than ever to Senator Hillary Clinton."
Now, most Americans would freely admire the calm and collected manner in which Graham, Katherine and Morgan (GMA provided no last names) handled the obviously stressful situation of having to deal with a disturbed man claiming to have a bomb. However, some of Cuomo's comments seemed to go over the top. He approvingly explained to co-host Diane Sawyer, "They said they want to campaign harder then ever, because of this experience. If she wins, they should go right into the cabinet."