On Wednesday's The Situation Room, CNN's Jeffrey Toobin bizarrely objected to Rudy Giuliani's choice of words in his speech endorsing John McCain when the former mayor argued that McCain should be the next "Commander-in-Chief of the United States," instead of "Commander-in-Chief of the military," as the CNN analyst called the former mayor's statement "pretty outrageous." Toobin further contended that Giuliani's words were an example of his "militaristic, authoritarian approach that I think is just not right. ... That's not what the President does. He doesn't run the country." (Transcript follows)
At about 6:40 p.m. on the January 30 show, host Wolf Blitzer led Toobin, Gloria Borger and Jack Cafferty in a discussion that included reaction to Giuliani's speech, which had run live earlier that hour. After Borger gave a positive review of the speech, Toobin responded:
Michael Medved has hurled the ultimate insult at Rush Limbaugh -- that he's acting like a liberal. According to Medved, Rush is thinking with his emotions, not his mind, when it comes to his criticism of of John McCain.
McCain supporter Medved appeared on Tucker Carlson's MSNBC show this evening.
NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr is torn over the two Democratic front runners Sens. Clinton and Obama. This according to a weekly newsletter from Politics and Prose, an independent bookstore in Washington, D.C.
As taken from the January 30 e-mail newsletter (emphasis mine; h/t Carter Wood):
"Nightline" co-host Terry Moran spent the day with Barack Obama on Tuesday and continued his habit of spouting talking points for Democratic candidates. This included telling viewers that Obama's campaign revolved around "connections" and then elaborating, "That's what is at the heart of Obama's politics, the notion that divisions are artificial and can be overcome by an act of will and of imagination."
It should be pointed out that fellow "Nightline" anchor Martin Bashir promised viewers at the top of the show that Moran, who interviewed Obama in a restaurant in Kansas, would obtain "tough chili and tough questions." One might think that would include asking about the senator's connection with indicted political operative and former supporter Tony Rezko. It didn't. Instead, Moran repeated campaign bio about how Obama's grandfather was born in Kansas and offered queries such as "So, you're home?" He told Obama, in what can't really be described as an actual question, "It always seems that the biggest applause lines are those where you tell people, let's come together."
People who oppose Hillary Clinton's presidential aspirations do so primarily out of sexism. That's at least how "The View" co-host Joy Behar sees it.
Discussing NOW’s attack on Senator Kennedy for supporting Obama over Clinton on today's show, Behar implied anti-Clinton forces are after her because she’s a woman.
"They’re piling up on Hillary from every, every corner, including Maureen Dowd, women are against her in many, many ways. And you have to say to yourself why is she at the mercy of so much more scrutiny than others? And the hatred that’s coming towards her. Think about it ladies. That’s all I’m saying."
The presidential campaigns of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) were both derailed yesterday in Florida. But in covering the story, the AP was considerably more morose about Edwards's train wreck than Giuliani's (h/t NB reader Joe Loiacono).
Let's look at the AP coverage. First the Edwards write-up by Nedra Pickler (emphasis mine):
One clear sign of just how powerful talk radio is today is the number of candidates and mainstream media types pointing fingers at leading conservative hosts for their influence.
The recent fixation on Rush Limbaugh's unfavorable position towards Republican presidential candidate John McCain is a fine example.
Conservative talker and Fox News host Sean Hannity has now been tossed into the campaign influence peddling ring by none other than Mike Huckabee who shared some criticisms of the outspoken radio and television personality with Florida's Herald Tribune last Friday:
You don’t see this every day. In a fierce Maryland fight for a majority-black seat in Congress, Rep. Al Wynn’s campaign filed a complaint against Donna Edwards, the leftist challenger that he barely beat in the last election cycle. The Washington Post reported he said in a conference call with reporters: "There seems to be a vast, dare I say, left-wing conspiracy designed to circumvent campaign finance laws." Wynn is being challenged as too conservative, even though he has a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 9.9 percent.
Edwards (the candidate the Post noted was supported in the cold by actor Danny Glover) is on leave as executive director of the Arca Foundation, a hard-left philanthropy. Its newest focus is on media groups – including $50,000 to Media Matters for America to monitor religious broadcasting (think Pat Robertson on "The 700 Club.")
Covering Hillary's tricked-up "victory" event for a Dem Florida primary that was not supposed to be contested, even MSNBC co-anchor Keith Olbermann eventually got bored and pulled away.
But before he did, the junior senator from New York began to lay out her plans for America. Though sheer ennui eventually drove MSNBC off, the network hung in for enough of Clinton's "victory" speech to give us a taste for what might rightly be called "Hillary's Manifesto."
Warning: remove small children and sensitive pets from room before viewing video here.
Previewing George Bush's State of the Union speech on Sunday's "Good Morning America," ABC correspondent John Donvan delivered a condescending, dismissive look at the President's past SOTU addresses. After showing a 2005 clip of Bush touting tax cuts for everyone, Donvan derided the cuts, saying they "came true, most of all, for wealthier Americans..." He also added that "out went balanced budgets and surpluses."
While inter-cutting clips of Bush talking about Saddam Hussein, Donvan snidely observed, "And the weapons he said justified going to war-- [State of the Union clip] --well, they were never found." Donvan also willfully ignored the successful troop surge in Iraq and stuck to the pessimistic outlook of the war. In between a clip of Bush talking about how Iraq's success would inspire democracy in the region, the ABC journalist spun, "And the great hopes for the sacrifice made--[State of the Union clip] --those were disappointed hopes."
On Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Maggie Rodriguez reported from "Little Havana" in Miami, Florida at the top of the 7am hour, mentioning the tight Republican race only briefly before moving on to Hillary Clinton’s recent photo ops and fundraising efforts in the state:
This is the biggest state to vote to date with the most delegates up for grabs for the Republican winner, 57. This morning it is a dead heat between Mitt Romney and John McCain, with a fizzling Rudy Giuliani now saying that he'll make a decision tomorrow about whether to stay in the race. It is the Republicans who have been going after voters here most aggressively. But in recent days, a Democrat has been trying to steal the spotlight. Four Republicans and one Democrat in Florida ahead of the primary election. The Republican winner here will get 57 delegates. The Democratic winner will get none. Why is she here in Florida?
After these first few sentences, mention of the Republicans vanishes and the analysis focuses entirely on Clinton:
You can tell a lot about how the news media feel about conservatives by watching how they talk about Rush Limbaugh. They want his influence curbed. They pine for the day his career hits the skids. They’re constantly looking for a moment where they can declare that conservatives no longer have – that Rush Limbaugh no longer has -- the Grand Old Party in a menacing trance. They don’t want Republican candidates seeking a Limbaugh endorsement.
On Tuesday's "Good Morning America," reporter Dan Harris covered the growing sex scandal of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and, at the same time, skipped the fact that he is a Democrat. The story, which has, thus far, been ignored by both NBC and CBS's morning shows, relates to testimony Kilpatrick gave in the summer of 2007 when he denied having an affair with his chief of staff, Christine Beatty, and of using security to cover up the relationship. (14,000 just discovered text messages between the mayor and Beatty tend to refute the Mayor's statement.)
During Harris's segment, the GMA correspondent described the embattled politician who, prior to the scandal, was "considered a talented politician with a very bright future" in apolitical terms. Other than a brief, onscreen graphic, he didn't verbally mention Kilpatrick's Democratic Party affiliation. Harris also brought up related examples of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and San Francisco's Gavin Newsom, both of whom are Democrats. (Those facts also went unspoken.) In contrast, a 2006 Media Research Center study found that the three networks of ABC, CBS and NBC filed 150 stories in less than a two week period about Republican Mark Foley and his sex scandal.
The Washington Post is paying due diligence to one of Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani's accomplishments as mayor of the Big Apple: cleaning up 42nd Street from its seedy adult-oriented businesses.
Ah, but the adult video stores and strip clubs just moved a few blocks over, the Washington Post's Keith B. Richburg reminds us in his January 29 article. Richburg made sure he took an inside look at the matter, interviewing an exotic dancer while she was, uh, working:
"Good Morning America" correspondent John Berman couldn't restrain himself on Tuesday from making snide comments about Mitt Romney campaigning heavily on economic issues in Florida. Speaking of the presidential contender and his tendency to tout business success as a CEO, Berman sarcastically claimed, "Here in Florida, sometimes it seems Mitt Romney isn't running so much to be president, as the chairman of the economics department."
Reporting live from Florida on the day of that state's primary, Berman actually appeared somewhat perturbed that the former Massachusetts governor has been touting an issue he considers to be a strength. He complained, "In case you missed the point that Mitt Romney really wants to talk about the economy, it would be hard to miss 'cause he brings it up so much." In a brief interview with the governor, he reiterated, "You really want to keep the focus on the economy." Later in the segment, Berman even admitted that, according to an ABC News poll, the economy is the top issue with many voters. That would seem to make his snide comments even more out of place.
At the top of Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith described Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama yesterday in biblical terms: "In the civic religion that is Democratic politics, the most treasured covenant was passed to the young Senator from Illinois."
Smith teased the segment by excitedly proclaiming that "Ted and Caroline set to hit the campaign trail after they announce the heir to Camelot." Smith went on to claim that "It feels like the '60s are back," to which co-host Julie Chen replied: "I think it's safe to say no matter what your party affiliation, you have to admit that no one gives a speech like a Kennedy."
There were at least two completely sickening moments for conservatives on the Monday Today show. At the show's open, all the excitement about Ted Kennedy endorsing Barack Obama bubbled over after talk of co-host Meredith Vieira touring London with the royals. Ann Curry proclaimed: "We'll be checking in with Meredith in London in just a moment. Good morning, Meredith. But let's begin with American royalty - the Kennedys."
I'm sure conservatives would like that to be a trap-door phrase or a Nerf ball-pasting phrase -- the Kennedys as America's royal family. Obama being endorsed by Ted Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy, and Caroline Kennedy? Obama should say "Only Caroline is allowed to drive me." Then there's Paul Begala with his usual embarrassing over-praise of Bill Clinton, who's now Tom Brady:
Sen. Hillary Clinton's staff had confirmed interviews earlier today with Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN. They were to be conducted after the President's State of the Union address. After wrapping an interview with Sen. Obama, CNN's Anderson Cooper said, "Senator Clinton agreed to talk with us. At the last minute she canceled. Her campaign is offering no explanation."
MSNBC and FNC confirm with TVNewser that Clinton canceled her appearances on those networks as well.
Does this mean anything? Is Hillary running scared after Obama's landslide victory Saturday, followed by the Kennedy endorsement Monday?
On Monday’s CBS "Early Show" Senior Political Correspondent and former Robert Kennedy speech writer, Jeff Greenfield, discussed Obama gaining the endorsement of Patrick, Caroline, and Ted Kennedy: "It is, Harry, a family affair, and it is loaded with political significance and more than a little irony. At its center, one of the most significant legacies in American politics."
Greenfield went on to gush over the Kennedy legacy and how Obama is now its "legitimate heir":
They are iconic images. The youngest elected president ever, whose violent death made him a permanent symbol of youth and energy. And so when another young man sought the presidency 32 years after John Kennedy, the Clinton campaign showcased this image of a teenage Bill Clinton shaking hands with JFK. During his presidency, the images of the Clintons sailing off Cape Cod with the Kennedys burnished that connection. But now as Senator Hillary Clinton seeks the White House, key members of the Kennedy family have designated her principal opponent as their legitimate heir.
Joy Behar, a noted Bush hater, took the moral high ground to denounce hatred against Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton. On the January 28 edition of "The View," Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama was the discussion topic. Behar then scolded those who exhibit hatred towards the Massachusetts Senator as well as Senator Clinton claiming Kennedy "is hated by a lot of Republicans just like Hillary Clinton is hated. The hatred that goes through on both sides is horrible."
Before Behar casts stones, she may want to consider some of the hateful comments she has made on "The View." Maybe she will exhibit another double standard as she previously denounced a personal attack on Senator Clinton but defended her own personal attacks on President Bush because she "doesn’t like him."
Leave it to Rush to nail it. Here's how Limbaugh opened today's show, speaking of the way Bill Clinton injected race into the campaign with his comparison [view video of Clinton making his statement here] of Obama's South Carolina primary victory to Jesse Jackson's twin wins in the Palmetto State in the '80s:
Romney struck first on the day before the winner-take-all Florida primary. He attacked the Arizona senator for his legislation reducing the role of money in politics, for his position on immigration and for his support of an energy bill that Romney said would have driven up consumer costs.
Funny, seems to me political campaigns are flush with cash and that campaign finance has grown, not shrunk, since 2002. What McCain's bill did do, however, was to enact a ban on so-called soft money, as well as institute bans on third-party issue ads airing 60 days prior to a general election. The issue ad ban was overturned in a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, despite McCain's wishes to the contrary:
Harry Smith won't be up on the platform with Ted Kennedy today endorsing Barack Obama. But he might be there in spirit, after having absolutely unloaded on Bill Clinton's on this morning's Early Show. The CBS anchor made the stunning suggestion that when it comes to matters racial, Bill Clinton may have perpetrated a fraud on African-Americans.
Smith's guest was "diversity expert" Joe Watson and you might have expected Watson [who FWIW impressed me favorably] to carry the anti-Bill ball. But ultimately it was Smith who offered the single most damning suggestion. The CBS host began by playing the clip of Bill's by-now infamous words from the weekend, writing off the Obama victory in South Carolina by pointing out that Jesse Jackson had won there twice in the 80s.
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, the mainstream media in general have shied away from truly examining the racist campaign strategy recently being employed by the Clintons in their effort to defeat Barack Obama for the Democrat presidential nomination.
One huge exception is NBC's "Meet the Press," which on Sunday, with the assistance of guests Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, Chuck Todd of NBC News, and Byron York of the National Review, went a long way towards possibly ending this disgraceful race baiting by a man that used to fashion himself as being the first black president.
Regardless of what folks might think of the political leanings of Russert and Dowd in particular, all present and associated with this segment are to be enthusiastically applauded and thanked for going where few media outlets dare (partial transcript follows, video available here, relevant section begins at minute 27:25):
Have the recent race baiting antics of the Clintons left you wondering whether the former first couple has lost its collective mind, especially now that this tactic seems to be at least partially responsible for Barack Obama's landslide victory in Saturday's South Carolina primary?
Or, like most conservatives, do you believe that nothing this pair ever does is spontaneous and without advanced political calculus, and that South Carolina went exactly as Bill and Hill planned?
For those undecided, a conversation I had on Friday with a very liberal albeit astute friend of mine might shed some light.
As the subject of the current presidential race surfaced, my friend indicated that he was supporting Hillary. Knowing him to be very concerned about civil rights, I asked why he wasn't backing Obama.