On Tuesday's Lou Dobbs Tonight, which was repeated on Sunday, CNN host Dobbs chided the media for not including illegal immigration in exit polls of Democratic voters simply because Democratic candidates have avoided discussing the issue to prevent, according to Bill Schneider, "stirring up a lot of passion," and relayed that he had pressured CNN into including the issue in other polling two years ago. Dobbs: "Would it surprise you if I were to tell you right here in front of God and everybody I had to convince CNN a couple of years ago to include illegal immigration in a poll because we didn't even in this organization believe it was an important issue, some of us didn't?" He even got Schneider to agree with his contention that the media's "complicity with that motive" of the Democratic candidates in ignoring the issue should "bring a sense of shame to these [media] organizations." (Transcript follows)
Did Hillary Clinton really claim to be "blessed" and "grateful" to have a "passionate" husband? Yes.
Freudian slip or part of a calculated strategy to curry the women's vote by reminding people of the indignities she's suffered at the hands of her wayward spouse? In any case, Hillary deployed the intriguing double-entendre to defend Bill's recent attacks on Barack Obama.
Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw dismissed Rush Limbaugh as wrong-headed on Sunday’s Meet the Press. Not only did Brokaw pound the narrative that Reaganism is dead or dying within the Republican party, with a "nomadic herd" of voters "rejecting dogma," but he said Limbaugh trying to debate which candidate is truly conservative "is not going to help the Republican party." As if Tom Brokaw was really interested in that goal. He said the country is "hungry for solutions," as if "solutions" and "conservatism" were antonyms.
Brokaw tried to claim the "nomadic" search for the non-dogmatic is "going on in the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party." Where on Earth would he get evidence for that? As Clinton, Obama, and Edwards all lurch left to secure the MoveOn/Daily Kos vote, they’re rejecting "dogma"? Here’s the exchange from a pundit’s-roundtable segment of the NBC Sunday chatfest:
Chicago Tribune Washington bureau Economics Correspondent and The Swamp blogger Frank James took inspiration from some recent comments from Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), although liberals are likely to not be fond of the result.
James posted a photo (pictured at right) of President Ronald Reagan signing a 1983 law designating the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday:
Given the New Hampshire comments by Sen. Hillary Clinton about it taking a president to make dreams a legislative reality, for which she was excoriated by some of Sen. Barack Obama's supporters, and Obama's Nevada comments about Reagan being a transformational president, for which he was castigated by Sen. Clinton, her husband former President Bill Clinton and others, this seemed like an appropriate photo to run today.
Reagan Presidential Library photo via Chicago Tribune.
Battered by Bill Clinton, Barack Obama might be up against the ropes, but he can count on having Good Morning America in his corner to apply a refreshing sponge and send him back into the ring. Check out Robin Roberts's softballs to the Illinois senator this morning, followed by even more surprising comment -- and body language -- from George Stephanopoulos.
Mike Huckabee’s declaration that we need to amend the Constitution to be in line with God’s standards easily drives secular liberals into a frenzy. On CNN’s Late Edition on Sunday, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called that statement in conflict with "all of American constitutional history." Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria was more blunt: "It frankly made him sound more like Ahmadinejad of Iran."
MIKE HUCKABEE: But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do, is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards, rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.
WOLF BLITZER: He wants constitutional amendments, just to be precise, that would ban abortion and same-sex marriage.
The weekend of January 19 - 20 might go down as the moment in history when the liberal media collectively told former President Bill Clinton to shut up.
Possibly the best example occurred on "The Chris Matthews Show" Sunday when Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution actually stated, "Sometimes I think that Bill Clinton ought to be put in the Nutty Old Geezer Club along with Andrew Young for some of the dumb things he's said lately."
For those that have forgotten, Young is the former Atlanta mayor that recently stated, "Bill [Clinton] is every bit as black as Barack [Obama]...He's probably gone with more black women than Barack."
This statement by Tucker followed other such incidents, including, as NewsBusters reported, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter publishing an article Saturday expressing grave concern that the former president's recent antics were harming Hillary's campaign. Hours later, the panel on ABC's "This Week" shared similar misgivings regarding Clinton's recent "temper tantrums."
Wonderfully, exiling the former president to the Nutty Old Geezer Club was just the beginning of the Bill bashing on Sunday's "Matthews" program:
It has become infinitely clear that America's media are deeply concerned former President Bill Clinton's recent antics on the campaign trail threaten Hillary's chances of winning the White House.
Not only was this subject addressed at length on the Sunday political talk shows, but also Newsweek's senior editor Jonathan Alter wrote an article Saturday amazingly titled "Leading Democrats To Bill Clinton: Pipe Down."
While you check that link to verify my veracity - believe me, I won't be offended! - Alter began (emphasis added throughout):
A truly extraordinary thing happened Sunday morning on ABC's "This Week": the panel and the host seemed to agree that former President Bill Clinton's antics on the campaign trail are hurting Hillary's chances of winning the Democrat presidential nomination.
Maybe even more surprising, the editor of the ultra-leftwing publication "The Nation," Katrina vanden Heuvel, quoted someone close to the Clinton campaign as having said, "People are looking at him like a little league dad who's having these temper tantrums in every state."
Making matters worse, George Will referred to the former president as "an Olympic-class whiner," while host George Stephanopoulos said, "Some people are concerned about this, even inside the Party," and fretted, "I have no indication at all though that President Clinton's going to stop."
I kid you not.
Without further ado, and for your entertainment pleasure, here's a partial transcript of this truly delicious panel segment (video available here, relevant section begins at minute 7:25):
About a week ago, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown suggested in a UK Telegraph column that allowing hospitals to harvest organs from dead patients without their prior consent or their families' post-mortem consent might be a good idea.
Mr. Brown's occasion for bringing up the topic was telling, and perhaps explains why Brown's proposal got very little coverage in the US:
This year will be the 60th anniversary of the National Health Service: a year to celebrate and thank all the staff who run our hospitals, clinics and GP practices; but also a year in which to renew the NHS for the 21st century, because I believe that only by renewal can we make the NHS even more relevant for future decades than it has been in the past.
..... we may need to do more to encourage more of us to donate (organs. In Britain we have 14.9 million people on the organ donor register - which is around 24 per cent of the population. In terms of actual donors (not just people willing to give, but those whose organs are actually used) we have a rate of about 13 donors per million in our population. This compares with about 22 per million in France, 25 per million in America and around 35 per million in Spain - the best in the world.
That is why I want to start a debate in this country about whether we should take steps to move towards a new system designed to enable far more of us to benefit from transplant surgery - one that better reflects survey findings that around 90 per cent of us are in favour of organ donation.
The Republicans had two contests for delegates on Saturday, but many pundits played the game of playing up the hotly contested race, and playing down the "little-contested" race, even though they equally count at convention time. In this case, it also means playing up media favorite John McCain and playing down media un-favorite Mitt Romney. Here's AP reporter Tom Raum:
Among Republicans, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney cruised to victory in the little-contested GOP Nevada caucuses.
But McCain's victory in South Carolina could shake up the GOP contest and give him political grasp. McCain won in New Hampshire but placed second to Romney in Michigan.
This kind of punditry, assuming McCain's victory is the one with the "grasp," ignores the actual delegate count. According to CNN on Sunday morning, Romney has 72, McCain has 38, and Huckabee has 29.
During a campaign stop for his wife in Oakland, CA on January 18th, Bill Clinton became visibly annoyed when KGO ABC7 reporter Mark Mathews asked him whether Sen. Clinton's campaign should take a stronger stand against a union's lawsuit to keep casino workers from caucusing at special precincts in Nevada. View video of exchange here.
On Tuesday, in a report concerning MSNBC's Keith Olbermann publishing his first article at the liberal website Daily Kos, NewsBusters pointed out that the "Countdown" host certainly "knows exactly who his audience is, and exactly what they want."
This observation was demonstrably confirmed by Olbermann himself on Friday when in his second posting at DKos, he actually apologized to readers for having Lawrence O'Donnell on as a guest the night before.
I kid you not.
To set this up, as NewsBusters reported last Friday, O'Donnell had written an article at the Huffington Post harshly critical of Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards.
This didn't sit well with the Kos Kidz, nor, according to Olbermann, did O'Donnell's appearance on "Countdown" Thursday evening (emphasis added, h/t NB reader Thomas Stewart and Inside Cable News):
H/t David Shuster. What's that? David Shuster, liberal MSNBC avenger, now a NewsBusters source? Not exactly, but read on . . .
Watching a special Saturday-morning edition of Morning Joe, I was surprised by CNBC chief DC correspondent John Harwood's willingness to pronounce Fred Thompson's political epitaph even before voters went to the South Carolina primary polls today. Shuster was similarly struck, going so far as to suggest a headline.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: What about Fred Thompson? Is it the end of the line, John, for him tonight, or is there a way he can rejuvenate his campaign?
While the news media have focused like a laser beam on what Hillary Clinton said on the Tyra Banks show Friday, MRC's Michelle Humphrey and Kristine Lawrence each suffered through pieces of the interview to find the other angle: How soft and silly was Tyra Banks? Plenty. The show opened with the supermodel bowing deeply and gratefully to Hillary for appearing:
I am so honored that you are here. I am so -- aren't we like happy? (Cheers and applause)... This is a glorious moment, and I gotta tell you, I was intimidated at first, and I was intimidated because I feel like you are this -- there's an image of perfection, a polished diamond and I was like, oh, my gosh, what am I gonna say? And then I started doing all this research, and I started reading your book and just really digging into articles and I found such an honesty, vulnerability that I didn't know was there and I don't think a lot of people know is inside of you.
A few minutes later, Banks pulled out the "tough" questions:
TYRA: What about you? Do you ever get lonely, sit in a room by yourself and just feel lonely?
ABC reporter Kate Snow continued her long history of delivering generous Clinton spin during a segment on Friday's "Good Morning America." The GMA correspondent followed Chelsea Clinton as the former first daughter campaigned for her mother, repeating talking points along the way. Snow announced, "To be honest, [Chelsea] doesn't like cameras much. She let us tag along, but takes no questions." Later Snow repeated, "She doesn't want to be in the spotlight." The ABC reporter, who often covers the Clintons, didn't ask the obvious question: If Chelsea doesn't like the spotlight or cameras, why, exactly, did she allow ABC to follow her around with a camera crew?
GMA did balance the piece on the Clinton daughter with a sympathetic take on Mike Huckabee's wife, Janet. (At one point, reporter Claire Shipman asked about Mike Hucakbee's "legendary guitar playing.") However, Snow has developed a pattern of vigorously lauding the actions of various Clintons. On January 7th of 2008, she praised Hillary Clinton for seemingly ordinary actions. "No subject is too small. No issue too dense," Snow raved.
Riled! Angry Romney Rips Reporter Sparks fly as Mitt Romney tells reporters lobbyists aren't running his campaign.
According to anyone else who has watched the video, theirs is a difficult assessment with which to agree.
As we stated when we posted the video last night (video below as well), the Associated Press' Glen Johnson angily interrupts Romney on the podium mid-sentence, already visibly flustered, and only proceeds to become more so as he tries to drive home the semantic difference between a campaign "run"ner and a campaign "adviser".
One of the American mainstream media's favorite John McCain memes is that South Carolina voters rejected the Arizona Republican in 2000 because of a baseless smear campaign about McCain's personal life. That bias is so infectious it's now a global pandemic, just witness this item from the January 18 edition of the London-based Financial Times:
McCain hopes to avoid repeat of 2000
For John McCain, victory in tomorrow's Republican primary in South Carolina would exorcise the ghosts of the bitterest moment in his political career.
It was in South Carolina in 2000 that his first presidential campaign crumbled after a vicious smear campaign by supporters of his opponent, George W. Bush.
A barrage of misinformation was spread through phone calls and leaflets, including claims the Arizona senator had fathered an illegitimate black child and that his wife was a drug addict.
The smears reinforced doubts about Mr McCain among social conservatives and helped deliver Mr Bush a victory that set him on course for the Republican nomination.
The problem, of course is that the smear tactics were not only never proven to be linked to the Bush campaign, they are taken on face value as THE driving factor rather than conservative distaste for the more liberal stances of John McCain when set in contrast to then-Gov. Bush.
For example, McCain ran, to be charitable, gun-shy on income tax cuts compared to then-Gov. Bush's tax cut plans. What's more, McCain actually pushed some tax hikes and demagogic rhetoric about a major industry in South Carolina centered on the state's most profitable cash crop, tobacco.
Take this Nexis transcript excerpt from Linda Douglass's report on the Feb. 3, 2000 edition of ABC's "World News Tonight" (emphasis mine):
Bill and Hillary might be taking flak for the vote-suppressing lawsuit their supporters brought in Nevada, but the couple can count on at least one supporter in the MSM: David Shuster.
On today's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough and MSNBC's David Shuster got into an extended argument over Mitt Romney's testy exchange with a reporter over the candidate's claim that Washington lobbyists were not running his campaign [in contrast with McCain's]. But while that dust-up between Scarborough and Shuster had its moments, a couple Shuster comments during the briefer Nevada-caucus discussion were, IMHO, more telling.
View video here, which includes both the MSNBC pair's discussion and footage of Bill Clinton's angry reaction to a reporter who had the temerity to question him about the lawsuit.
The Associated Press (AP) is the Hulking Monster of the news syndication business.
Formed in May of 1846, The Syndicate has risen to currently consist of 243 news bureaus in 97 countries. They have over 3,000 journalists on staff. 121 countries avail themselves of what they have to offer. Their content appears in 1,700 newspapers worldwide.
But the AP is now far more than merely "Press". There are additionally 850 AP Radio News audio affiliates, with 5,000 radio and television outlets spanning the globe taking them for and at their word.
Beyond just the majors, it is from where a great many small town American newspapers get most or all of their national and international news stories. They are a deeply and tremendously dominant and influential force.
Ten years ago today, a website whose name at the time was unknown to most Americans released information about the President of the United States having an affair with a 22-year-old White House intern.
This eventually led to impeachment proceedings against then President Bill Clinton - which many political analysts feel is a partial cause of the continued acrimony and contentiousness between Democrats and Republicans across the country - whilst also radically changing the journalism industry as we know it.
Lest we not forget how this sad event impacted sexual mores in our nation, unquestionably for the worse.
Given the extraordinary historical importance of this event to America and Americans on so many levels -- and the wife of the president in question currently involved in a presidential campaign of her own -- one has to wonder just how much focus media will give this anniversary today.
Thankfully, we can always count on journalists across the Pond to report that which goes counter to our press's agenda; here's what the British Times had to say about this issue (emphasis added):
What does it say about the secular state of the MSM that a liberal media member has to defensively clarify for the record that she doesn't object to a candidate having "a moral grounding"?
During the opening half-hour of today's Morning Joe, a clip was played of Mike Huckabee describing to a South Carolina gathering how he found his faith as a 10-year old attending a vacation Bible school. He expressed the hope that others had experienced that joy and would share it with others.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: The thing that I found is, if people don't get too down in the weeds about their faith, and don't seem like they're lecturing, then I think it gives people a sense of assurance: "OK, the guy's got a faith system; I'm comfortable with that, and now move on and tell me how you're going to run the country."
That seemed to put Mika Brzezinski on the defensive.
What's wrong with this picture: a young, prominent, liberal blogger gets a respectable and highly-coveted position with a leading, leftwing magazine, and for some reason, can't shake himself from the vulgarity and vitriol prevalent in his past writing?
Such appears to be the case for Ezra Klein, a virtual rising star in the liberal blogosphere, who despite being on the staff of The American Prospect, still feels the need to drop an f-bomb now and again while attacking one of the nation's leading television journalists.
As reported by new blogger Unpopular Front (vulgarity warning!):
While Wednesday morning shows on Fox, CNN, and even NBC covered the outcome of the Democratic primary in Michigan, in which Hillary Clinton got 55% of the vote with 40% going to ‘uncommitted’ and lost the black vote 32% to 68%, ABC’s "Good Morning America" and CBS’s "Early Show" made no mention of the Democratic primary.
On the "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith and "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer made mention of the Democrats once, early in the 7am hour, and then it was only about Tuesday’s Nevada debate:
SMITH: Let's talk about the Democrats for a second because there was this truce called. I watched the debates on cable last night. And it was so peaceful and so calm and, you know, if you were looking to get a little rest, that might have helped you a little bit.
Yes, the Democratic primary last night in Michigan was a beauty contest -- the delegates selected to represent their candidates will not be seated at the convention in Denver -- but it is something of a story that 45 percent of that primary's voters cast ballots in favor of alternatives to Clinton, including a sizable portion of them to uncommitted delegates.
Essentially this means that over 264,000 Wolverine State Democrats took time out of their day yesterday to vote against Hillary Clinton --voting uncommitted or for Kucinich, Dodd, or Gravel -- even though it didn't matter for much of anything.
The Washington Post picked it up on page A7 of the January 16 paper and Congressional Quarterly reported story on its Web page, noting the Clinton campaign heralded the victory with triumphant rhetoric even though her delegates will not be able to vote for her nomination at the convention:
The VRWC rides again, but this time it's apparently going after a Republican . . .
Mike Huckabee went on Morning Joe today and toyed with suggesting a "conspiracy" composed of the "Washington power circles" was out to get him. At 7:41 AM ET, the former Arkansas governor was discussing his efforts in South Carolina with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
A funny thing happened on the way to the wife of America's first black president being coronated: more than twice as many African-Americans voted for "Mr. Uncommitted" as Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) in Tuesday's Michigan primary.
Clearly, the recent racial sparring between the Clintons and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has not helped Hillary in the black community.